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Grizzly Mama

There's a Grizzly who has escaped the City of Brotherly Love..(and she's going back to homeschooling!!)

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Location: Out of Philly, Pennsylvania, United States

"All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth." Aristotle - Greek Philosopher.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

No More Jersey Shore For Us

First there is the matter of gun law. This is the Right To Carry map for 2006 over at gun-nuttery. Jersey is falling a bit behind the times, wouldn't you agree? To see the map in action go to this page and the magic happens right before your very eyes. It shows the progress made for 'shall issue' in the United States of America since 1986. Thank you Zendo Deb.

Then there is the matter of the Public Smoking Ban signed into law this year in New Jersey. Okay, okay - so I sort of quit. I still don't agree with the law.

They will have to do without our hard earned dollars this year.

I hear there are some nice beaches down in Delaware and Maryland. We're going to go exploring tomorrow.

Have a great Monday!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Aesop's Fable Friday.

The Ants

Ants were once men and made their living by tilling the soil.

But, not content with the results of their own work, they were always casting longing eyes upon the crops and fruits of their neighbors, which they stole, whenever they got the chance, and added to their own store.

At last their greediness made Jupiter so angry that he changed them into Ants.

But, though their forms were changed, their nature remained the same: and so, to this day, they go about among the cornfields and gather the fruits of others' labor, and store them up for their own use.

Moral of the story: You may punish a thief, but his habits remain.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

The sun is shining. The birds are singing. The roses are blooming. The leaves on the trees are dancing in the gentle breeze. The squirrels are chattering. The freight train - here it comes! The traffic noise up on the Pike is temporarily drowned out by the godawful deafening racket of that freight train. The house gently sways and the pictures are askew once again. (*sigh* A woman's work is never done!) Away it goes lumbering on up the track. Sweet silence - er - well, pretty close to silence anyway. Ahhhhhhhhhh...AAAARRGGHHH! For Godsakes it's an air raid siren. It's up on top of that pharmacy 1/10th of a mile up the Pike. What the devil? Not to worry, just calm down. It's loud - yes it is! It has to be loud so that the volunteer firemen know there's a fire and rush to the firehouse with their little blue lights flashing on the top of their cars. We know they have pagers now and there is no reason to blare those air raid sirens but they do it anyway. Sometimes those sirens will blast for 2 minutes straight before they get to the firehouse and turn them off. (real nice in the middle of the night, btw..) 'Eddy Machete' (we call him) is waving. He trimmed his lawn once with a machete. Nice guy - I mean really a nice guy. He would give you the shirt off of his back. Just don't mess with him - or anyone he likes. He likes me, thank goodness, and I genuinely like him too. Good neighbor leftist is wanting to hash over this Israel thing. Just don't go there. I'm behind Israel and I'm too on edge to have a nice debate about it. Jake and Petey are at it again - you can never let those two dogs out at the same time. They don't like each other. Period. There's a nasty little terrier across the street who makes it his business to tell everyone what to do. The girls and I call him 'Mussolini'. I never did like a terrier. Nasty, yappy, jumpy little dogs and they'll attack your ankles. There are 2 sets of twins on the block. One set are awesome, the other set are nasty. Stay away from those nasty twins, girls! The nasty twins will play in the middle of the street and not move if a car comes. They'll stand there with an attitude. I've taken to beeping the horn, putting on the gas and screaming that I'll run 'em over if they don't move their asses. They move for me. They aint in Southwest Philly anymore. We don't play that 'attitude in the middle of the street' thing here. People are moving out. The house values are up and people are taking advantage of it. The school district sucks. It was a great block for the little ones for many years. I always told Troll, 'It's not a good neighborhood for teenagers'. We're stuck for a couple of years. We'll make the best of it and there are many good neighbors left. A couple of new neighbors that moved in are very nice, too. People take care of their houses and yards. We'll keep the girls busy as we always have - involved in many activities away from the block. It's always nice to hang on the block, though, let the kids play while the parents chat. The neighborhood probably has a couple of good years left in it.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

We Found a Little Treasure.

She was on the corner of Bartram and Island Ave - right outside the airport. It was pouring with thunder cracking overhead. We were stuck at the red light and the 6 year old said, 'There's a bunny!' Then, 'No! It's a kitten!' The light turned green and as I glanced back to see - sure enough there was a little kitten, soaking wet, seeking shelter under a sign. It's a busy intersection, so I had to keep going. I told the girls that if the kitten was still there after I turned around, we would try to rescue it.

U-turn. Coming back to the intersection - yep. There she is - in that wet grass underneath the real estate 'space available' sign. It's all industrial in there. I pull over to the shoulder and put the hazard lights on. Almost get rear-ended by 2 cars careening around the corner. 'Yo! This isn't a lane, you whack!' yells I. I make the long trek across the green. She sees me coming. She stops and stares at me. Her eyes are question marks - swear to God. I hold my hand out and she comes right up to me. She's purring as I carry her back to the truck. I can hear the girls screaming through the closed windows - they are so excited.

She is grey and striped - just like our Miss Kitty. She has looonnng, skinny legs, a beautiful face with big ears. She has no collar. She's very skinny. We might name her Stormy. The girls also suggested Isabella. I told them sometimes you have to get to know an animal before you know it's name. Right now I just call her 'kitten.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Aesops Fable Friday.

The Wolf and the Lion

A Wolf stole a lamb fromthe flock, and was carrying it off to devour it at his leisure when he met a Lion, who took his prey away from him and walked off with it.

The Wolf dared not resist, but when the Lion had gone some distance he said, "It is most unjust of you to take what's mine away from me like that."

The Lion laughed and called out in reply, "It was justly yours, no doubt! The gift of a friend, perhaps?"

Moral of the story: Those who live by thievery can't complain of robbers.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Academics KO Grammar Again

Malcolm A. Kline writes for CampusReportOnline, and is featured on FrontPageMag. Here is the article in full - with what I thought were the most interesting parts in bold.

The academic left has painted itself into a peculiar corner. They urge the rejection of traditional grammar as chauvinistic, or, more frequently, “hegemonic.” Unfortunately for them, they eventually have to read papers by students who have previously been taught by teachers who also share this outlook.
One of the seminal texts that promotes the “grammar is dead” thesis is Preparing to Teach Writing by James Williams. “Ironically, the third edition of Williams’ book Preparing to Teach Writing appeared in 2003, the same year the National Commission on Writing made public its discovery that ‘Recent analyses indicate that more than 50 percent of first-year college students are unable to produce papers that are relatively free of language errors,’” retired English professor Nan Martin points out in a paper recently published by the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Reform. “Perhaps in response to the Commission’s disturbing disclosure, the section on usage in the [National Council of Teachers of English] NCTE’s 2004 report relents somewhat, admitting that ‘Writers need an image in their minds of conventional grammar, spelling, and punctuation.’”

“Just how they are to come by this image isn’t made clear,
but the NCTE still contends that ‘conventions of writing are best taught in the context of writing,’ not by ‘completing workbook or online exercises.’”

Ms. Martin taught writing at Meredith College in Raleigh for two and a half decades. In her study, English 101: Prologue to Literacy or Postmodern Moonshine?, she looked primarily at two North Carolina colleges.

“From my conversations with senior faculty at both North Carolina State and UNC, I learned the following,” she reports. “The new English 101 is a continuation of the ‘disastrous’ public school trend to have students work in groups.”

“The new English 101 continues the public school trend to go easy on grammar gaffes, so enrollees in upper level classes have ‘startling’ problems with correctness.”
She means linguistically, not politically.

New Jersey widower Van-Ness Crawford is going to court to bring attention to the failures of that state’s public schools. “Not only for his family.” The New York Post’s Andrea Peyser reports, “But for more than 60,000 students—the vast majority of them poor and minority—attending 95 rotten Jersey schools, the worst of which have failure rates of 87 percent in standardized English tests. And a 90 percent failure rate in math.” “He is the lead plaintiff in a groundbreaking lawsuit filed yesterday [July 13th] in Newark against the New Jersey education department.”

“It seeks a remedy that makes the educrats—who’ve ruled the schools for decades too long—absolutely insane. Crawford wants to take the $16,351 in taxpayer dollars that are squandered each year in the name of educating each of his kids, and use the money for a private school.”

For its part, the ACT [America College Testing] surveyed college composition teachers and found that they place a premium on correct language usage. But those professors, even if they are grammatically dedicated, do not usually write the textbooks or design the composition courses that students in American colleges and universities are forced to use.

When we covered the Modern Language Association’s annual convention, we attended about half a dozen panels on composition and language. Despite its name, these few were about all of the hundreds offered at the annual conclave on the subject that would seem to be central to the MLA’s mission.

Thousands of English professors attend the event, leaving most colleges and universities in America represented there. The six composition and/or language séances, in turn, featured only a dozen or so professors and panelists from across the country.

Of these, one third had written widely-used textbooks on composition and language, and another professor/participant edits a journal on rhetoric and composition. That would be Deborah Holdstein of Northern Illinois University. “Holdstein, of Oak Park, has been active for many years in the Conference on College Composition and Communication, a national organization that supports and promotes teaching and scholarship in the study of writing,” according to the university web site. “She is a member of the organization’s executive committee and, in 2004, was appointed editor of its flagship journal.”

“She also served a 4-year term on the publications committee of the Modern Language Association.” Overwhelmingly, Dr. Holdstein and her colleagues were actively hostile to the idea of reviving the teaching of grammar and determined to resist its comeback.

Perhaps that university degree that many of us want for the kiddies isn't such a good idea? It looks as though we may have to homeschool them through college as well!


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Contemplating the Possibility of a Dead Cat.

Our 18 year old cat is gone. She got out 4 days ago and when we tried to get her in she ran. We haven't seen her since.

She was 18 and a mess. Missing teeth, failing sight, and we had to shave her because she wasn't cleaning herself and would get all matted. Other than that she seemed fairly content and even had some very spry moments.

We are all very upset and worried and wondering if she is dead or if someone took her in. We've checked with the SPCA and checked again and reported her missing. The girls especially are crying and very sad. It's a bedtime thing now - to cry and talk about Miss Kitty. I have taken to talking about my memories of her and what a good little mother she was to my baby girls. That calms the girls down and I can usually get them to giggle about some silly thing that the cat did. I tell them that I appreciate them giving Miss Kitty so much love and affection. We say a little prayer for Miss Kitty.

I have heard that sometimes animals go away to be alone to die. It breaks my heart to think of her all alone out there. I wish we could help her and make her comfortable. It's hard to put all the kitty things away.

The Cat Dream:

The oldest had a dream about her last night. (Miss Kitty usually slept with the oldest.) We were all sitting in our living room and Miss Kitty walked in with a kitten in her mouth. She walked up to each one of us. We were all astonished and happy to see her.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Aesop's Fable Friday

The Rose and the Amaranth

A Rose and an Amaranth blossomed side by side in a garden, and the Amaranth said to her neighbor, "How I envy you your beauty and your sweet scent! No wonder you are such a universal favorite."

But the Rose replied with a shade of sadness in her voice, "Ah, my dear friend, I bloom but for a time: my petals soon wither and fall, and then I die. But your flowers never fade, even if they are cut; for they are everlasting."

Moral of the story: The flower in the vase smiles, but it can no longer laugh.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Go Israel

Kick some terrorist ass. Did I hear someone say Putin objects?! Screw Putin.


Scout Night and Haiku

Aaaaaaahhh - these girls of mine. It's amazing what is rattling around inside those bright little heads.

The little one - Sixth Birthday Today!! - decided Tuesday night (the 11th), while playing with the neighborhood kids, that July 12th from now on will be 'Scout Night'. She invited several of the little ladies on the block and planned her menu. Two bags of chips, 2 different kinds of Mondo juice (blue and red), and sticks with which to pretend to make a campfire. Unbeknownst to me, she and another girl arranged with the other girls father to pick up some marshmallows. We shopped at Aldi for the goods (89 cents per 6 pack of Mondo! Doritos and Pretzels bought as well). When we got home several of the ladies were already waiting. We set out the goodies, spread a beach blanket on the lawn ('the lawn' I call it. My 10 ft by 10 ft patch of grass...), and Mum went to sneak a smoke with several of the other mothers. Even though the marshmallows were all gooey and stuck together because of the horrid heat and humidity, Scout Night was a great success.

Speaking of smoking - I am quitting again. I've decided not to actually quit - as 20 or so attempts to do so have failed. I am smoking 4 to 5 smokes p/day and chewing lots of gum. So far my 1st three days I have made the girlies cry twice by hollering at them, and I screamed at an ignorant customer down at the neighborhood store. I wish there was a magic wand I could wave. I have made many mistakes in my life and for all but one (smoking) I have no regrets.

The older one went to a Haiku workshop at the library the other week. Here is the result of her labor.

Numero Uno:

Green, bright and pretty
Just like my eyes green and bright
Twinkle, sparkle green.

Numero Dos:

Miss Kitty my cat
Sometimes she can be a brat
And she says, 'Don't pat'.

She was sitting on the couch the other day and spat out another Haiku creation and damn if I forgot to write it down. It was awesome though! Maybe she will remember it. I sure hope so.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Always On Watch Review of 'Islam - What the West Needs to Know.'

Click the title and see what AOW thought of this documentary. I would say that it is a must see. Thanks, AOW!

Wish it would play in Philly, too.


Friday, July 07, 2006

Aesop's Fable Friday

In light of the situation in which we find ourselves, that being the moslems wanting to kill us, I thought that this fable might remind us what our priorities ought to be.

The Wild Boar and the Fox

A wild Boar was engaged in sharpening his tusks on the trunk of a tree in the forest when a Fox came by and, seeing what he was at, said to him, "Why are you doing that, pray? The huntsmen are not out today, and there are no other dangers at hand that I can see."

"True, my friend," replied the Boar, "but the instant my life is in danger, I shall need to use my tusks. There'll be no time to sharpen them then!"

Moral of the story: Prepare your defenses before the enemy appears.

It's a bit late in the game. No time like the present though!

One Year.

One year ago we watched in horror as the reports came in of the bombings in London. It was added to the horror of all of the attacks by mohammedans in recent years. London hits close for some odd reason. London is all about better culture, refined behavior, liberal(and I mean that in the best possible way!) values. Some of my ancestors hailed from England and Ireland. I have a soft spot in my heart for them. Some of the best ideas originated in England. These ideas carried us forward - all of us.

The Sparky shares what life in England is like these days. It is not a pretty picture. The leftists are at the helm and the ship is listing badly. The flaming dhimmis are in control and have left the law abiding citizen no way of defending themselves. The crime rate is skyrocketing, the unassimilated mohammedan masses are pissed off no matter how much money the government pays in tribute to them and it seems that one cannot find a policeman anywhere. The sparks most certainly fly at Sparky's place.

Andrew at A Tangled Web shares his frustration about the seething masses of mohammedans who refuse to assimilate. A sizable minority from this community fully support the bombings that took place one year ago. David, who hails from the same blog (A Tangled Web), tells us about a video, broadcast on Al Jazeera, of one of the murderers and his statement that recognized the fact that mohammedans are at war with us.

We remember the victims of that horrible day. They are the ones who matter and who need to be remembered. God bless your souls, God bless the survivors and give you all strength. May our resolution grow stronger. We must stand our ground and never back down.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

"Our Sacred Honor"

"And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our Sacred Honor."

sa·cred [ sáykrid ] adjective. Definition: 1. devoted to God: dedicated to God or religious purpose.

hon·or [ ónnər ] noun. Definition: 1. personal integrity: strong moral character or strength, and adherence to ethical principles.

They made the pledge - and many of them lost their lives and their fortunes. Their sacred honor is intact. Thanks to them we enjoy the freedoms we enjoy today in the United States of America. We will never forget those who died, or lost everything.

The Price They Paid.

Here are but a few of the signers and what happened to them.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

Thomas Nelson Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for hisheadquarters. The owner quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart. Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates.

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons in the revolutionary army, another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the revolutionary war.

What kind of men were they? Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantationowners, men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

God Bless America.

Update - Welcome Inquirer readers. Thank you, young journalist, for linking to my blog this weekend. I take back all of those horrible things I've said about the Philadelphia Inquirer!