Dear Senator Corker,
I am disturbed to learn that people coming to our United States of America in need of asylum, are instead being jailed. Jail is not a place for people in need of help. Neither are containment camps. Do we no longer consider a person to be innocent until proven guilty?
Even if a person has entered without proper documents, this is a misdemeanor, correct? Equivalent to impersonating a member of 4-H, or wearing the US flag as clothing?
I am even more disturbed to learn that parents are separated from their children. This is wrong, unless there is proof of abuse.
It is a sad thing to treat people with a presumption of guilt. This is not how I, as a citizen, want people treated when they come into our country.
Please do what you can to return the USA to a more sensible handling of immigration and asylum seekers. Our government should work with people to document their entry, and treat them humanely in the process.
Buried drainage tube. Water coming off the north corner of the apartment will be carried out towards the raised stone bed that will become a greenhouse soon. The yard there turned out to be mostly gravel.
Neatened up around that raised bed. Stacked bags of garden soil and threw a bunch of soil from below the bed up into the raised square that Sherry had built. Rolled two big fallen rocks back up towards the remaining wall.
Walked Teddy thru the woods out to the bridge. He behaved fairly well. Remarkably well, for him.
Dug out a portion of a hydrangea to plant on the north side of Diagon Alley. The Alley needs mowing. Tore up a few honeysuckle shoots. That hydrangea was tough! I fought to cut each root, falling down into the dry old branches. I hope it will like its new home.
Resisted the urge to get out the mower – my job is landscape and garden, not mow. It is my goal to make the mowing easier, trimming overhanging branches and making garden beds simpler to mow around.
Emptied one of the pallets of garden wall blocks, got the western side placed. Just placed. Not set it. I am laying them on top of the ground. Good golly I am doing enough already.
Moved two small sections of the giant grass rhizomes. They were even tougher to dig out than the hydrangea! My feet hurt from stomping on the top of the shovel. We need them to grow under the wires to block the view from the road.
Moved the stones from around the giant grass to complete the other side of that bed. Decorated that bed with a clay frog and a stone stack.
Stretched out the plastic sheets, eventually folded them to put away. Walked Teddy again.
Moved some containers around trying to decorate, gave up. Pondered the future rose garden.
Am exhausted and need to run Full Moon circle tonight!
4 quarters of the year, 10 weeks each
3 weeks off beginning of each season (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter)
Child begins Kindergarten the season after they turn 5 years
K thru 12 campuses include gardens, trails, sport arena, greenhouse, zoo and/or small farm
Breakfast, Lunch & afternoon snack (balanced, good nutrition) free
Fluent in ASL by 6th grade
Fluent in a foreign language by 12th grade
Comprehensive Physical Education:
Line dance K-3, Contra dance 4-7, Square dance 8-12
Yoga, martial arts, Gymnatstics in Winter & Summer
Team Sports in Spring, Autumn
Missiles & targets: stones K-3, archery 4-6, pellet 7-8, BB 9-10, handguns 11-12
First aid K-6
Marching and queueing K-3
Hiking and Orienteering 4-12
Debate and public speaking taught from 2nd grade
Memorize the Preamble by 3rd grade
Memorize the Constitution by 6th grade
Memorize the Bill of Rights by 12th grade
Singing and drumming K – 3
Singing and keyboard or recorder 3 – 6
Singing and another instrument 7 – 12
Astronomy K-12, beginning with Moon phases
Biology includes horticulture, animal husbandry
Physics includes hand missile sports
Reading includes reading for fun, recitation, writing, and book clubs
Home Economics taught in Mathematics class 1 – 12
Horticulture taught in Science class K – 12
History includes drama, art, and language
Geography includes culinary, horticulture
Sewing is taught in Geometry 6-10
Drafting is taught in Shop 11-12
Scorekeeping is taught in Mathematics
Failure is acceptable part of process
Strengths enhanced, weaknesses mitigated
Every person registered to vote when they turn 18
Every person serves 2 military or civil service upon graduating
2 years of College or Trade School is free
Did you know that the word “idiot” was introduced as a technical, non-insulting word to describe someone that had a low IQ? It quickly turned into an insult. So, they replaced it with the word “retarded” because that just means “slowed down”. It quickly turned into an insult. So, they replaced it with the word “handicapped”, a sports term that meant you had more of a burden to bear. It quickly turned into an insult. So they replaced it with the term “special”, which meant unusual in a positive way…which is quickly turning into an insult.
Maybe we should just stop being insulted by these words.
It is neither a compliment or an insult to be classified alongside any other lane of intellectual traffic. Some people are slow, some people are medium, some people are fast. Together, we are all People.
I was born in 1969. The Civil Rights movement had already radically changed our country and we were a month away from landing on the Moon. The world had made enormous changes for the better.
My father, a career Army man, worked with Black service members. The Army could not be bothered to keep up inefficient, worthless segregation practices in its ranks. So I went to school with Black children and we sometimes played together in our Army neighborhoods.
Dick Gregory and Diana Ross were on my TV. My sister and I watched Good Times and The Jeffersons. Soul Train came on every evening. My mother considered rock music evil, but disco was more or less acceptable.
I had teen crushes on John Oates, Simon LeBon and Michael Jackson. My friends and I danced to Wham and Lionel Richie and Madonna and the Pointer Sisters. We wanted to be Tina Turner when we turned 50. We turned puzzled eyes on people who said Janet Jackson was pretty “for a black girl”. Janet was just pretty.
I still have a nerd crush on LeVar Burton.
Yes, I am a nerd. Science was my favorite school subject. I love geology, meterology and astronomy. Star Wars was my favorite movie, Star Trek was my favorite TV show. When I played make believe, I was some combination of Princess Leia and Lieutenant Uhura.
White boys in the 80’s wore heavy metal t-shirts and treated girls like toys. Black boys in the 80’s wore double-breasted suits to school and smiled when you looked them in the eye.
My college offered a year’s course in the geography of Africa, the largest and most diverse continent on Earth. I eagerly signed up. We learned that elevation changes in the Congo River make it practically unnavigable. The Aswan Dam on the Nile caused an epidemic of snail-borne parasites. The King of Ghana on his way to Mecca, dropped so much gold in Cairo that it took 500 years for the city’s economy to recover. Children in South Africa play marbles with diamonds that wash down from the mountains. Eating real yams (not sweet potatoes) protected people from numerous ailments. Forcing Africans to switch to American maize made a lot of people sick.
Africa is part of my world. Hollywood has neglected this fact, until this month.
The biggest movie studio in the world is releasing Marvel’s Black Panther, with a gorgeous African and African American cast, beautiful costume and brilliant special effects. Photos from the premier alone left me breathless. Trailers of Chadwick flipping thru the air make me jump out of my chair in astonishment. I cannot WAIT for the movie itself.
I AM SO EXCITED!!
Halfway between Christmas and the first day of Spring, we have Imbolc. People start noticing that days have gotten longer. The days have been getting longer for six weeks already, but now it is obvious. You walk out of work and it is not dark. You see the sun rise on the way to school.
Christians call this Candlemas, time to bless votive candles before Lent. The Christ child and His mother Mary had passed the period of rest and isolation that traditionally followed childbirth. Time to change modes.
Pagans anticipate the world awakening. We see snowdrops and maybe crocus, and delicate looking greens like chickweed peek out of frosted ground. Maybe some burrowing critters peek out, too. Yes, Groundhog Day. Not really about the weather, it is about anticipation. Spring is coming and people like me – dirty, optimistic gardeners – lose our minds.
At this time, no candy or card company has figured out how to sell Groundhog related wares. Florists ramp up for Valentine’s day, Cadbury is already pushing eggs. But my mailbox is stuffed with seed catalogs, and optimism peaks.
THIS is the year I will finish my landscaping. THIS year I will plan my garden and follow the plan religiously. THIS year I will conquer weeds. THIS year I will try all those adorable backyard decor ideas I have saved on Pinterest. Maybe I will build that greenhouse I have always wanted. There are no grubs, no aphids, no hornworms, no mites, no squash bugs, no moles because it is still winter.
Sacred fires celebrate the lengthening days and anticipation of Spring inspires poetry. Cabin fevered Irish told long tales, staring into Saint Bridget’s flames.
My air registers inspire few poems, but I have colour-coded sketches of plantings and notes on companion plants. Brightly illustrated seed packets peek out of grubby file folders and tattered bags, and daffodil shoots make me manic.
From now until April, every cold front will break my heart. Warm spells will delude me into early planting and I will lose innumerable seedlings before final frost.
Happy Imbolc, and may Bridget inspire you.