Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Something Wicked This Way Comes....

We had a spring thunderstorm system blow through this afternoon and evening, bringing our first severe thunderstorm warning and tornado watch of the season. I took these pictures around 6pm:

Proofread and spell check, would you please?!

This past week saw a great deal of controversy in my little town concerning several different law-related issues, and lots and lots of folks posted their thoughts about things on the local radio station's guestbook.

It's wonderful that we have the Internet to engage in dialogue on any number of issues. And it's also wonderful that so very many of us feel compelled to do just that - join the dialogue. However, is it too much to ask to have the authors of Internet postings proofread and spell check before they hit "submit"?

I know I'm a picky beast, but reading through multiple postings that are rife with misspellings, misuse of words, and/or poor grammar, always makes me take the authors much less seriously, and usually miffs me off a bit. We are, by and large, an educated society. I would venture a guess that the majority of us have actually even graduated from some level of formal education. So how about we put that education to use when we begin or join in a written dialogue?

I was reading the guestbook of my hometown's local newspaper today, and some poster kept going on and on about how the "government must have something to hid from us." The poster repeated that statement multiple times. I'm sorry, but if you can't even use correct wording, I'm just not going to take you seriously.

Things like "y'all" and "gonna" - slang, if you will - are fine. But when it comes to correct word usage, overall spelling, and grammar, well, I'm going to expect you to be on top of it all if you want me to read your online posting and take anything you write seriously. Or else I might think you are trying to "hid" something from me.

Now, little ones, get out there and join in the dialogue...but proofread and spell check before you click "submit" please.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Important Parenting Tip #3: Did You Dent the Sidewalk?!

It's been quite a while since I shared any of my parenting insight with you, little ones, and I'm sure you've been missing my wisdom, right? Well, even if you haven't, you're gonna get some more now!

When kids are little, they are clumsy as all get out. They fall, they trip, they bump, they roll. And while it may be your first instinct to suck in your breath and freak when your child, say, falls off the trike and bonks his/her head on the sidewalk, don't. Your reaction will tell your child how to react, so if you freak out, your child will freak out.

I honestly can't tell you how many times I said, "Well, did you dent the sidewalk (or floor, or table, or whatever)?" when my son was a clumsy little one. I learned early on that moving the emphasis from his injury to the condition of whatever-the-heck-he-careened-into kept him (and me) from over-reacting in the moment. Many times I had to hold myself together, keep from freaking out, and deal with whatever the injury was at the time, but it taught both him and me not to over-react. And it was a handy skill to have while he was playin' soccer and football all those years when he was older, I tell ya.

There were many times I would lose it that night in the shower, with the water running to cover up my shaking and tears. But by keeping the focus away from the incident and on the condition of the sidewalk (so to speak), he and I both learned to weather the owies with little drama.

So, the next time your own little one falls off the top of the steps or topples off his/her bike, just pick 'em, dust 'em off, and ask "Well, did you dent the sidewalk?"

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Welcome, Spring!

Yea! It's finally Spring! After the long, cold, and sometimes snowy winter, I'm ready for things to green up and start growin'! This kind of weather just makes me itch to get out and start workin' in the flower beds, the garden....but I've lived here long enough to know better. We'll likely have at least two more significant cold snaps and at least one more heavy, wet snow, so I'll behave myself, for now....

Happy Spring, little ones!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

This time of year there's a little "Irish" in all of us, isn't there?!? Have a fun and safe St. Paddy's Day, little ones!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Prexy's Pasture

Prexy’s Pasture is a big, open greenspace in the middle of the University of Wyoming campus. It is cross-crossed with sidewalks that have come into being based on the walking paths created by students, faculty, and staff as they move from one building or part of campus to the next on their journeys through this landscape of higher education.

Twenty-seven years ago, when I was on this campus on my own journey through higher education, Prexy’s Pasture was a green lawn with just a few sidewalks criss-crossing it, a lot of paths worn into the grass, and few flower beds. In the fall, spring, and summer there were always people scattered on the grass – studying, talking, sleeping, playing frisbee, catchin’ some rays….

Today – on a cool, clear early spring day – I see a Prexy’s Pasture with a few more amenities (a beautiful sculpture in the center, surrounded by benches; more benches scattered at each end, and more sidewalks criss-crossing it...lots more sidewalks), but the spirit remains the same. It is a little oasis, a place to pause, reflect, catch your breath before you move on to the next class, the next task.

Take a cue from Prexy's Pasture, little ones...every now and then, find a spot - your own little oasis - to pause, reflect, catch your breath before you move on the to next task....

Sunday, March 04, 2007

March-ing, Part 1

Every month of every year is filled with traditions...universal, cultural, and (mostly) personal traditions. March is traditionally our "beef" month. Every other year, one weekend during the month of March we trek to the central part of the state and spend a day cutting up and packaging a half a beef, to fill our freezer for another 2 years. We've been doing this for at least the last 10 years...driving to the center of the state, spending the night in a small hotel in Broken Bow, then driving out to our friends' ranch early in the morning and spending the day there, cutting, packaging, visiting, eating a fabulous meal, then driving back home with a truck full of beef-filled coolers.

It's hard work, but it's worth it - for the beef, but more so for the friendship. The ranch we head to is 95 years old this year and has been held by the same family through multiple generations all these years. The owners and their extended family and friends are hard workers, and fantastic people.

This year our "March" to the center of the state brought us to an unexpected gift. As we drove east and south through the Sandhills region of the state on Saturday evening, we were treated to a breathtaking view of the lunar eclipse. I didn't get the best pictures (I have got to remember to pack my tripod!), but at least I did get pictures.

As I always say, little ones, be open to the gifts that come your way....however and wherever they may come.