Sunday, July 31, 2005

I went up to Nashville this past week to keep the kids so Anne could work on her classroom.

One interesting topic of discussion was why they could not remember things from when they were two. I thought it was unusual that they had thought about this. I told them that a two year old's mind is not developed enough to remember things. Emma asked the orginal question. George wanted to know when children began remembering. I told him that some people could remember when they were three but that most people did not remember anything until four or later but that Aunt Julia remembered from much earlier than two.

We went to the pool on Thursday afternoon. They are all as brown as berries from being outside so much in Florida. George is the brownest; Emma is the lightest; Adam is in the middle. The boys have different skin tones from Emma. I remember when they were babies the pictures of the three of them would show a little pinkish red Emma between two more yellow toned boys.

All three are excellent swimmers. They jump off the diving board without holding their nose like I do. Emma wants to learn to dive. Right now when she tries she mainly just puts her arms out and then falls on her stomach. Emma loves the water the most and is the best at swimming. She is also more adventuresome in the water.

Adam is so eager to start school. He loves to learn. Emma is anxious to restart her social life. George gets along well at school but prefers to figure things out himself.

I bought the book A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein this time. They and I have read Where the Sidewalk Ends, also by Silverstein, so many times that we can practically recite the poems. It was good to get some new ones.

Emma's favorite is about how good tasting a thumb is. She currently has an appliance in her mouth to prevent her from sucking her thumb and she is doing good giving it up.

The Ruckers have joined a new church and they got a welcome basket Wednesday night. The children enjoyed some card games from the basket. One was a memory game, where you turn up cards and try to make a match. If there is no match you turn the cards back over.

Two years ago this type game was no fun to play with the children because Adam was so far ahead of George and Emma. It was a foregone conclusion that Adam would win by a long shot.

When we played the game Thursday I was suprised that it was easily won by George.

Another game we played is like Old Maid except that the extra card is an Angel and if you have it at the end of the game you win.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Anne is just about ready for school to start. She says she is not going back to the school until she is required to go to new teacher training but I'm not sure I believe her.

She has been working very hard on her classroom. I went up there this week to keep the children for her so she could work. She spent all day, 8:30 to 5, on Thursday but came home after one on Friday so I could go home.

When I visited Wednesday night, it looked complete to me. I recognized some things, especially my 20 year old rug. A rocking chair is there so I guess she will read to the children while they sit on the rug.

Signs saying East, West, North, and South label the appropriate walls. The children's names are taped to the desks. She is not sure yet of the arrangement. She knows the children already so she has some idea of who works good with whom and who not to sit together. Sometimes she asks Emma "the one who knows all and tells all."

I noticed that China will be in her class. I don't know what is medically wrong with China. She is small, sits in a wheelchair, and doesn't talk. Anne said she requested to have her. Since she has an aide with her at all times and is often gone to other special classes and therapies, it shouldn't be too much of a burden.

I wanted George to read me the book My New Boy but found Anne had taken it to her room so I had her retrieve it for me. All her books are in plastic bins sitting on shelves. They are also in plastic bags, according to reading level.

She has plastic tags handing by the door to use for bathroom visit control. The one for girls has pink ribbon and "Girl's" written on it. The boys is similar. I told her I thought that the Girl's was wrong. I wasn't sure what belonged to the one girl. She said she thought I was right but they were that way when she got them. I don't know if she bought them or they were a gift. Other teachers have been very kind to her and given her gifts of supplies.

I think it should be Girls. Or, at least, Girls'.

I told her how it was done at Friendship when I was in the little room. There were signs on each side of the door. They had a large red circle on one side and a large green circle on the other. One was for boys and one for girls. If I needed to go to the toilet and the sign for girls had the green circle on it, I turned the sign to the red circle when I went out the door. On my return, I turned it to green and another girl was free to go. Anne said she might use that system instead. There would be nothing to get lost.

Anne has a desk with a computer. She has a few personal pictures taped up there, including one with Ken, George, Adam, Emma, Margie Rucker, Gina Rucker, and me at her graduation from Aquineas.

I did not see it but Anne said on the corrider outside her door she has since put little backpacks with names of the students. Adam and George's teacher has apples posted with the names of her students including Adam and George. Emma's teacher has not yet done that.

Emma measured to see how far they will be from their mother. Her classroom is five steps away and the boys' room is nineteen steps away.

They are getting a new computer lab at the school. It is being set up in the room next to Anne's. There were new Dell computers with the thin flat screens all over the place.

Later both George and Emma read me the book My New Boy. I love that book so. It is written from the viewpoint of the dog. The dog gets his new boy and teaches him tricks like throwing a stick, etc. It is so cute.

Friday, July 29, 2005

I know where NASA went wrong with the Space Shuttle. They are having problems with keeping things stuck on the surface of the missle.

It is my fault.

Many years ago George Rodney, Anne, Beth, and I went on a vacation after school was out in May.

When we returned, George Rodney found out that NASA had been trying to get in touch with him. This was before cell phones. They were having problems with the glues on the surface of the shuttle and wanted him to spend the summer helping them.

Unfortunately for them, when theycould not get in touch with him, they hired someone else.

So it is my fault. If I had not taken my family on vacation, NASA would not be in such trouble now.

They have never had any trouble with the plastic internal struts, have they? That is because George Lightsey developed it and got a patent on it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

John has come up with such a wonderful idea. I am so excited about it.

There are 76 acres of cotton planted on Mother's property this year. The huge field across from Cousin Hattie Lee has cotton and it goes from there around to behind Mother's house to Peddy Road.

John explained to me how cotton is grown now. All weed control is done chemically. It is never cultivated after it is planted. New varieties of cotton seed keep the plant from growing too large and making it just right for the mechanical picker.

Speaking of cotton seed, it is so expensive it is priced per seed.

Rather than being dropped into the ground, it is now injected.

The fields are beautifu now. The cotton is in the square stage. I have never understood why it is called a square since clearly it is a triangle.

John's wonderful idea is to have a cotton party to show our children and grandchildren what it was like to grow cotton.

We are going to have it down by the big ditch. We will make some sacks and let them pick cotton. I have Aunt Catherine's old cotton scales and we will use that to weigh the cotton. We will make bonnets for the girls like Mama and Mother used to make.

Our beverage will be water in a gallon jug, covered in newspaper and set in a paper sack, just like in the olden days.

John says that Daddy's chains are in the closet at the house, the ones he used to measure cotton. That would be educational and fun to get out also.

I just can't wait.

The problem is when to have it. It must be after the cotton opens but before it is harvested. That will be sometimes in September or October.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Yesterday I was happy. Happiness is a strange thing. Sometimes it comes on unexpectedly. I suddenly notice how beautiful the roadside is, even though it may just be trees. I have always appreciated the flora of this part of the country. I don't like the desert, the mountains, or the ocean as far as the vegetation is concerned. And sometimes happiness just creeps up. You are doing something that seemed pleasant but turns out to give happiness, not fun, but a quiet happiness.

Yesterday my brother John called about 12:30 to ask if I wanted to go up to Parkers Crossing to meet some Sons of Confederate Veterans at the battlefield there. I am not clear on what they intended to do.

We drove up there in his car talking all the day. John is a good ole boy, close to a redneck, but he has a sharp mind, a good heart, and is a discerning observer of people. (I tried my best to make that sentence be of parallel construction, but couldn't.)

When we got to Parkers Crossing, none of his friends were there. He figured maybe the impending rain scared them off.

We decided to take the one mile walk around the battleground. The SCV has worked hard on this and done a good job.

I had a great guide as John is a student of Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was the commanding officer there.

Forrest was the only soldier in either army during the Civil War who rose from private to brigadier general. Since he had no formal military training, his tactics were not fathomable to officers on the other side. He was very pragmatic. He particularly tried and usually successfully to convince the opposing army that he had more men and equipment than he really did.

He lost the battle at PC when Union reinforcements arrived just as Union forces were surrendering. He retreated across the Tennessee River. They had built rafts to cross the river when he brought his army from Middle Tennesse to West Tennessee. Those rafts were hidden in a creek leading to the river and were used again when they crossed the river to the east. He was able to get his entire army, men, horses, and equipment, across the river in less than 12 hours.

I enjoyed reading the plaques but John knew a lot more and filled me in. One time he was telling me about "horseholders" who cared for spare horses close to the battle. As sometimes happens the next plaque told about that very thing.

In one battle Forrest's horse was wounded and taken back to the horseholders. As the saddle was removed the horse bolted and ran back to the battle, as if it knew where it was supposed to be. Unfortunately it was mortally wounded.

They do have one cannon at Parkers Crossing. John wants one but an authentic one costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. The SCV wants John to start an artillery unit, since Robert Anderson Webb was in the artillery.

Unfortunately I found an error on one plaque where the word "principle" was used when it should have been "principal." Not important to most people, but it bothers me.

It started to sprinkle just as we finished the trail and we went home.

It was a quiet leisurely day with my brother and it was very enjoyable.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Do you know if something is full or empty before you touch it?

It seems like black magic or something, certainly not scientific, but sometimes I feel that I can.

The most common example is when I am cleaning up and am picking up Coke cans. I can tell if it has liquid in it or is empty before I pick it up. This works even if it isn't my can so it isn't memory. Cleaning up after the get together Saturday night I knew which cans still had Coke in it and which didn't.

Today I went to the mail box. I was crossing the road and I thought the mail box is full. Of course, when I am opening the mail box I can feel how much is in there by the the motion of the box, but I knew it was full before I touched it and it was.

The most likely explanation for this is our natural desire to make sense of the world. Therefore, I remember those times when I guess right and conveniently forget about those times I am wrong.

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