breathing in…and out

[Here is a poem that I think my readers will like.   Very appropriate to Spring, I think.]

breathing in,
oxygen I consume
which loving plants exude
breathing out,
carbon dioxide sent
for loving plants to use

and so we dance
to the delight
of the sun giving life
from all of its radiant rays
we give and we take
each and every day

the purpose of our existence
is reliance and assistance
to and from all that is around us
in this beauty that surrounds us
we are not alone
but all one
parts of the total sum

and if we wish to remain
from our harmful actions we must refrain
contemplate and reflect
all of the effects
and their cause
not one immune to natural law

so please take heed
using only what u need
leaving very little waste
mindful of every step you take
and the foot prints left in their wake

 

©Max’sMaxims, (Sometimes, 2017)

Where have all the bloggers gone? Gone to silence, every one…my take on Opinionated Man’s observations.

Today my friend Jason over at OPINIONATED MAN  posted a question about the recent slow-down in blogging.          https://aopinionatedman.com/2017/03/29/where-did-they-all-go/#respond    I started to make a comment, which of course went all hay-wild, and I am moved to make a post of my own.    Thanks, Jason

huh….good question!

I’ve been thinking about this a lot.   I think it is because I am overwhelmed.   I LOVE blogging…love my blog, my fellow bloggers.   Since the beginning of this year…. January 20, 1917 to be exact we wake up every morning to a new disaster of Government Gone Mad, and are filled with rage that everything we hold dear is going down the tubes.

Now….having written that statement above, my zapping finger wants to delete it.   WHY?   Because someone will pick on me for being partisan or a conspiracy theorist or a Democrat or Liberal or biased….and make me feel like a terrible person because I am critical and speak out about it.

What I really want to do is write about Daisies…and Little Bunnies…Sweetness…Light.     I want to write poetry that curls the toes and reaches out to my lost- love- with- the- blue- eyes .

Photos…I want to take photos and put them online.
Blogs…I want to visit every one of my blogger pals every day….AND comment on stuff.
Writing Poetry…I want to write great poems that I love.  (I may be my own favorite poet.)
History…I want to write about History….the pyramids, archeology, slavery, British Abolishment of Slavery,
Rachel Jackson, the Real Purpose of Foreign Aid.

So why don’t I write about these things?     Because someone/somewhere will resent it, or think that I am opinionated.   Someone told me once when I was complaining about the bombing of Baghdad…that he “always knew what I was going to say…always negative…always unpatriotic.”

Or worse, the “WHO do you think you are?” remarks from alien commenters…both from Mars and from Maryland.   These are the folks who demand their right to say and write anything they please—while sneering at what I write and telling me that I don’t know what I’m talking about.      Do I ever say that to anyone?   No—

Yes….I am overwhelmed.   Chastised by people who laugh at me for being “afraid of the Russians.”    Reluctant to say anything that will piss somebody off.

I check my notebooks, and too often to stuff I find scribbled there is pinched and stiff…topics like bombs and war and why I hate the news people.

From now on I’m going back to writing something in my blog every day….no matter how mundane, how ridiculous, how unpopular…and if anyone doesn’t like it they can go read something else.    AND I’ll just write about my theories, and is anyone wants to snicker or make fun of me for being a silly…well, I’m not even going there…fine.   Just keep one thing in mind: just because I’m a conspiracy theorist doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get me.

Tree Garden Time, illustrated…

When I built my house in the middle of the cabbage patch about sixteen years ago (with my little hammer and nails)  I decided to preserve a patch of former farm land to create a garden area.   Envisioning trails and paths through tall stately trees, flowering shrubs and perennials, I set out to physically dig out certain areas to accommodate raised beds of Boxwood and Myrtle, Winterberry and Rhododendron.

The size of the Tree Garden is approximately 80 feet by maybe 40 feet.  The patch was really an area behind my house and in front of the barn, where my late husband and his family had farmed for half a century before my time.   The land had been part of about 12 acres on which all kinds of crops: cabbage, corn, tomatoes, cauliflower, apples, rhubarb, onions, garlic…and various other foods like herbs and lettuce.

The land was split up, with four acres or more going to the state of Ohio for a highway, selling of 13 acres to neighbors in the land-locked parcel on the other side, leaving 8 1/2 acres including our original house.   When my husband died in 2000, my daughter and son-in-law bought much of the remainder … and I built a new house to the East.   There is still about two acres in a vacant lot, and about an acre and a half where my house is.

So…to get back to the Tree Garden parcel.   The piece was pretty much over-growing with saplings and assorted volunteer plants and shrubs.   Over the years it was shaped through arbitrary pruning and removal of young trees to form sections which would be cleared and shaped into paths.     I intend to include some photos with this post that more or less illustrate what I am trying to do.

For years only the youngest grandkids understood what I was trying to do back there.   But as it took shape eventually my vision was better understood.

Now the basic shaping is pretty much workable, as the Maple, Oak, and various trees I am not sure of, became so tall and so big that they needed to be Pruned with a chain-saw.  The paths have become clear and discernible, and garden aspects are clearer.

The tall Pampas Grass I planted back there took over, but has now died back, or rather probably the deer trampled it during winter.   Originally when I set up the garden I planted some big shrubs like Hawthorne and Black Pussy Willow which flourished then died off probably because of too much shade as the trees grew.

This year (again) I plan (hope) to build an arch from maple-tree-culls cut from the paths.    Also I’d like to plant some more perennials, shade ones this time, and paint some signs and plaques and stuff, paint the old bird cage hanging from a tree, resurrect the huge plaster Sun with its ray tips broken off.     Hang up some of the wonderful treasures from garage sale junk boxes acquired.   Use up some of the numerous plastic/silk flowers in the basement, line the paths with rocks (ha! that ain’t going to happen), and create a couple of seating places back there….which will involve mosquito control.

Big plans….more than likely I’ll spend more time on the blog talking about what I’d like to do.   🙂

Here are some photos taken in the last year or two, with examples of the assortment of critters that live in the Tree Garden and nearby, and some of the “decorations” natural and ornamental.    I had to look closely to see the one cat in these photos, a white cat named “coon tail” because he has a striped tail.   Peggy is one of my most photogenic outdoor cats, odd she isn’t in any of these pics, but I was choosing from thumbnails so some of the details didn’t show up.

A House Divided

Great topic and discussion. Thanks for the re-blog, Jason! 🙂

HarsH ReaLiTy

A divided house will fall. What is the price of choice and options? How high is that price when what we witness is nothing actually happening.

Politics in America is a unique beast. If you scroll through facebook right now you’ll probably see tons of posts on American politics, Trump, and most of those posts will be opinionated in nature. I keep hearing folks say “I’ve never seen the political climate so nasty” and I find those statements amusing. American history is short and yet so many people don’t study it other than what we are forced to learn in sixth grade American History class that we slept through. If you give the political history of the United States a real read you’ll actually find that the two “sides” decided for us have always hated one another. They’ve made accusations against each other, called the other party liars, claimed people are…

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4 Ways to Tell if You are a Writer 

I like this article a lot! Is there anything Writers like better than to read about Writing?

Read Write Live

Image courtsey: The Odyssey Online

Disclaimer: This post is aimed at and addressed to you, the reader. However, whenever I say ‘you’ for the reader, it can also be construed as ‘me’, the writer, because this is why the post is written: to reassure myself that I am doing alright.
It can take (us) writers a long time to be marginally readable. There are a few who are like Gods on Earth, the ones who seem to write without effort, sitting down at their gleaming writing desks each morning, hammering out hundreds of words with scarce a pause in between and a smile on their lips. These demi Gods are a paragon of clarity and eloquence and everything that they write is lapped up by the masses and the adulating crowds… anyway, you get my point.

Then there are the mere mortals, the ordinary writers who find the writing…

View original post 946 more words

Snow Drifts, and The Night of the Tomato, revisited

Well, Spring is on the way, I heard!    We here in Northern Ohio escaped most of the big snow storm this past week, which is fine with me, but the news weather people were quite disappointed.     It is always so heartening the way they put on parkas and mittens and various snow gear and wade out to the nearest snow drift to pose for the 11 o’clock news segment.      There used to be an old joke about shoveling “partly cloudy” off the front walk on the morning after the prediction of sunshine and warming temperatures.

We never know what to expect here in Ohio in March, when the daffodils are raring to go, and indeed when ready the blooms just open, even there is snow up to their eyebrows.   We have photos someplace of snowdrifts with daffodil flowers laying right on top of the snow.

Back in the 1940s there was a great snow fall in Cleveland.   My Dad and the other men in the neighborhood waded through the waist-high snow (maybe it was thigh-high…but hey, I was a kid) to trudge along the middle of the road to the grocery store, which valiantly opened its doors to the brave men who made it through the deep snow to buy supplies for their families.

Kids all over town were ecstatic, since the school was closed.   Except me…who was sick.   I have written about this traumatic event in my young life before…ten years old and unable to go outside to play in what (as far as I can recall) was the most exciting event ever.      I still remember standing looking out the front window as my brother proceeded to demolish the pristine white snow drifts.    Even at this late date the disappointment is  palpable.     (I have  always been a dramatic kid.)

The television news crew was stranded at the TV studio for a long time, and the exhausted and dedicated News Men were so worn out after being on camera for days (well, many hours anyway) they removed their coats and ties, which was nearly unheard of on the TV in those days.    These selfless and loyal personalities stayed with their fans and watchers throughout the siege…helping the police department care for the needs of the citizens…who were desperate for milk and other life-sustaining items.

Several years later two of my girlfriends, and our boyfriends, were caught in another huge snow storm.   We came out of a movie theater, to find the storm raging…and nearby was a man and woman whose car had become stuck in a snow drift.    We—the boys anyway—helped the couple out of the drift, and they invited us to their house for sandwiches and a hot drink.      That was nice of them, as by this time we were all frozen and starving.

To my horror, the lady served us bacon-lettuce-tomatoes (BLTs), which was something of a remarkable gesture in the middle of winter to have fresh tomatoes and lettuce.    Now, lest anyone fails to understand why the BLTs would be such a bad thing to the point of being a Big Deal to Me.      To that point in time I had never eaten a tomato…I hated tomatoes, and avoided them at all costs.   But now…faced with a tomato sandwich…I HAD to eat it.    Refusing to partake of the couple’s generosity was not possible.

So that’s how I happened to eat a tomato for the first time in my life.    I think of that incident every time I see a BLT….but yes, I do eat tomatoes now, at least in sandwiches with bacon and lettuce.

a math lesson…

Here’s an interesting tidbit about math problems.      Really I fail to see what the issue is here…until I read the rest of the post and thought about the answers in the comments…which serve to sow doubt in my brain.       .   Assuming that the students have been taught modern  equations right from the beginning of their Mathematical career, the question is quite straight-forward.      The confusion appears to stem from the commenters’ adding extraneous information, or rather superfluous details, and that dealing with the question as originally presented is not that complicated.    The imprecise “some people” on the train is the x-factor, and ignores or includes train workers.

Perhaps the real question here is “should first/second level students be asked this question on a test.   The age-appropriateness is a matter of opinion.  Adults who were more than likely taught to do math problems by the old methods may think the question is “too difficult,” but it is probably well within the capability of the affected children.   Also, in my opinion, the problem must be stated exactly as written…starting with the “some people” on the train in the first place.    It isn’t a trick question.

 

https://www.popsugar.com/tech/Math-Test-Question-Stumps-Parents-41259705

POPSUGAR

 

 

Math Test Question Stumps Parents

 

6- and 7-Year-Olds Couldn’t Solve This Math Test Question, and We’re Not Surprised

The internet is having a field day figuring out what the real answer is to a simple math problem. A Twitter user named Louise Bloxham shared a math problem from a Year 2 (equivalent to the first grade in the US) workbook. The tweet and account are now gone but the problem asked, “There were some people on a train. 19 people get off the train at the first stop. 17 people get on the train. Now there are 63 people on the train. How many people were on the train to begin with?”

If you try solving it yourself, you’ll probably get this setup: X – 19 + 17 = 63. All you have to do is solve for x, which gives you 65 as the answer:

But if you look further into the comments, users start arguing that the answer is 46, not 65.

Other commentators became philosophical and said that the math problem fails to factor in the train driver and inspector:

The situation apparently became too much for one person, who said that everyone was “looking at it algebraically for proof purposes,” when it was really just a simple equation.

Although the math question has stumped some parents and young children, the main concern here is not whether or not it can be solved, but if 6- and 7-year-olds should’ve been asked it. That answer to that question is simple: if there’s this much debate about it with adults, then it’s not suitable for children.

 


This post was originally published on May 10, 2016.

Russian roulette and rhetoric

Every week we watch the TV show Blacklist, which is noted for its elaborate plots of spies, agents, good guys and extremely unlikely  situations.     Now there is a spin-off show, starring one of the lead characters in the original show.

Last night’s episode dealt with The Russians— new spies and situations, and one of the most frightening and far-fetched (maybe…) “plots” that were featured in the old days when the Cold War was at its height.    We all knew from a very early age that The Russians were absolutely out to get us…to somehow come to the United States and take over everything.     One of the most nefarious scenarios was—Sleeper Cells.

These were groups of individual Russian spies that were trained to impersonate Americans, and underwent elaborate training programs to guarantee absolute authenticity.  They drove American cars, sang American songs, ate American food…even birthday cakes!     They lived in mock villages built to duplicate American homes and movie theaters, schools and way of life.     Then, when the training was completed, these Russians-turned-Americans would actually move to the United States to set up “sleeper cells.”

These “sleeper agents” would then establish their new identities within American towns and cities, and live among the natural citizens indefinitely…until they were “activated” to do whatever it was that they were supposed to do.    Namely take over peacefully instead of resorting to violence and war.

Readers who have never before heard about the supposed sleeper-cell projects will no doubt scoff…snicker even…at the fanciful imagination of the Cold War Kids.    On the other hand, those in the “know” will experience the old familiar shiver up the spine at the mention of being taken over by enemy agents.   Like the old monster movies where the bugs grew to monstrous sizes and proceeded to devour us—unlikely but still scary.

This whole idea used to be reoccurring in movies, novels…even newspaper articles.    It became almost like Science Fiction…associated with the similar flicks featuring alien hordes that arrived from outer space in space ships instead of in metal ships or railroad cars.

Apparently we are about to enter another era where we live in nervous laughter at ourselves as we encounter terrible scenarios, worrying about new neighbors moving in next door… gosh, they LOOK normal!  Let’s take them a tuna fish casserole and see if they are surprised…

Well, I’m not about to judge anyone.   I lived through this stuff before, and will probably survive it again.     I have always wondered about Russians.   If they were to simulate the American-way-of-life, what in the world was their own life like?       It used to be our own government that went out of its way to scare the citizenry with tales about being infiltrated by “them”…the Russians.   What if they actually wanted us all to become Russians…would we get to participate in world domination?