Tuesday, March 27, 2012

When Parents Are The Bullies

Perhaps you are tired of me getting on my soapbox to complain about the way some children are abused by the people who should be protecting them. I will stop getting on my soapbox when people stop abusing children. Protecting them is not synonomous with a lack of discipline. Children need boundaries and structure, and with them they will not only behave better but will feel more secure and more loved. They do NOT, however, need to be beaten into submission or tortured by cigarette burns or any other inhumane treatment. Today's news carried a story of a stepfather who allegedly beat his 12-year old stepson AND made him eat two screws (perhaps they are the screws that this guy has loose because no intelligent, mature adult would force a child to eat metal screws). Only a sadistic bully does something like that OR a lunatic! We must all get sick to death of these stories so that we can somehow stop the madness and unbelievable treatment some children are forced to endure. How do we expect these children to grow up and know how to behave and not become bullies themselves? Children learn by example, and I am incredibly appalled at the pitiful examples that some parents, step-parents and guardians are setting for children. Do you have any ideas of what we can do for these poor children? Please share your ideas and comments with me. Child Protective Services cannot handle all of the cases they already have, and as we have read and heard many times they have dropped the ball resulting in deaths of children. Surely there is a solution. Please help find it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Have You Heard Of Nathan Laube?

Last evening I took my delightful 92-year old next-door neighbor to an organ concert because she thoroughly loves organ music. I personally think organ music is an acquired taste since many of the selections written for the organ are not melodic but very intense. It was an absolute pleasure to watch and listen as 23-year old Nathan Laube shared his incredible musical gifts with us. He has poise and presence beyond his years, and is very articulate. I think he is brilliant, has an amazing personal history, and will no doubt have a successful and exciting future. My memory did not retain all of the facts about Mr. Laube's education, awards, honors, and experiences which are numerous. I can tell you that he began a graduate degree program in Stuttgart, Germany last fall, and he holds the position of Artist in Residence at The American Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Paris, France so commuting is frequent. Somehow he finds time to pursue other interests which include medieval and modern architecture, gardening, international travel, exotic cuisine and cooking, sketching and drawing. Learning what Mr. Laube has accomplished in his young life, it makes me think it is unbelievable in comparison to the young men we hear about too often in the nightly news. I mean the way-too-large number of young men who are in gangs, on trial, incarcerated, or dead before they are 25. It also makes me think when the arts are taken out of our schools due to lack of funds, we are denying some potential artists the chance to learn, blossom and succeed. If ever you have an opportunity to attend a concert by Mr. Laube in the USA or in Europe, jump at the chance. You will be glad you did!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

When Things Turn Out As Hoped

Yesterday I had a luncheon for a neighbor who lives here in the desert only six months of the year. Then she returns to her primary residence in another state to escape the 100+ degree temperatures of our desert summers. This gathering was special because my neighbor is 92 years old, and we are not certain she will be able to return to us in the Fall. I made sure the table setting was pretty because she appreciates those touches and was a wonderful hostess in her day. Cooking for guests makes me nervous because I cannot be confident that everything will turn out as it should. When it does it is cause for great relief on my part. I made her favorite Hawaiian Chicken Salad served with cantaloupe slices, watermelon wedges, huge strawberries and piping hot croissants. I made creme brulee for dessert which is also one of her favorites. The weather was beautiful so my doors and windows were open; conversation and laughter flowed freely; spring flowers from other neighbors' gardens provided spectacular colors and fragrances; and she was reminded of how much she is loved and will be missed by all of us. Our prayer is that she will remain healthy enough to come back to us in October for another six months, but life is fragile and can change in an instant so we will hold our collective breaths as we wait for October and her return.

Monday, March 12, 2012

My Girlfriend's Quilt Shoppe In Logan, Utah

Perhaps many of you are already familiar with Kris and Kim, identical twins from Utah who are incredibly talented, successful entrepreneurs, and very creative fiber artists. Their videos and websites provide creative ideas, patterns, and how-to-instructions for making apparel, accessories, home decor, and an abundance of other projects. They maintain several websites http://www.theDIYDish.com, http://www.youcanmakethis.com, http://www.swakembroidery.com and http://www.mygirlfriend's quiltshoppe.com. Kris and her husband own the retail store My Girlfriend's Quilt Shoppe in Logan, Utah. If you take a virtual tour of the shop on line you will see it is filled with charm, color, beautiful fabrics and great ideas. If you watch their videos and/or subscribe to their free newsletters you will be enchanted by these young women who are absolutely delightful to watch. One of the recent how-to videos from My Girlfriend's Quilt Shoppe showed me how to make a ten-minute table runner. I needed a gift so I went to my fabric stash, followed the video, and quickly made this table runner for a friend.
Kris and Kim seem to offer something for everyone in the variety of arts and crafts they share. Visit their sites and enjoy!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Where, Oh Where, Are My Blog Readers Living?

It is very exciting and gratifying to me to realize that people from so many different parts of the world are reading my blog posts. I wish I knew something about my readers. Hopefully, as time goes by I will learn more about them as individuals. If you are thinking about writing a blog, I encourage you to just do it. You'll really enjoy it! Since I started blogging, following is the breakdown of the countries from where my readers hail: United States 1,113 **** Russia 173 **** Malaysia 56 **** Germany 37 **** France 13 **** United Kingdom 11 **** Canada 7 **** Brazil 6 **** India 4 **** Panama 4 **** *************************** Thanks to all who take time to read my posts. I truly appreciate you!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Is Learning To Drive More Important Than Learning How To Be A Parent?

Two toddlers in Alaska were allegedly punished for wetting their beds by being locked in a room with a window open when the outside temperature was 30 degrees below zero. One of the children froze to death, and the other little one is in a hospital with hypothermia. I am sick to death of reading about children being abused or killed by the people who should be taking care of them and protecting them. Single parents who allow boyfriends, girlfriends or step-parents to harm their children are equally if not more guilty in my opinion. Can our education systems do more to teach children how to be responsible adults before they actually become parents? In order to drive an automobile we deem it necessary that kids receive training, and take written and physical driving tests before obtaining a license. While I agree that is essential for public safety, should there be a test or training to ensure an individual is fit to be a parent? Even individuals who are good parents sometimes have trouble coping with the stresses of child-rearing. Children cry, children wet their beds, children get sick, children get cranky! How many more children are going to suffer or die before serious consideration is given to educating people to help them determine if they will be suitable parents? Perhaps if they realized they were not cut out to be parents they might think twice about getting pregnant or about allowing boyfriends, girlfriends or step-parents to harm their children. Heaven help the children who are in harm's way!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Mother Nature Is A Formidable Opponent

As I watched the news yesterday evening I could not believe that more tornadoes had decimated lives, homes, and towns. I was so happy today to receive an email from one of my childhood friends who lives with her husband just a few miles from Henryville, Indiana. They waited out the tornadoes in their basement and are safe, thanks be to God. Once again Mother Nature demonstrated her power to change lives in an instant. All the more reason why we should do what we need to do, say the things we need to say to our friends and families, apologize for the things we should not have said or done, be thankful for all that we have, and appreciate every moment of life. Life is a fragile gift, but a gift nonetheless.