A Child’s Calendar Beautiful, First Year, October

The Child’s Calendar Beautiful, as some of our regular remembers will know, is an older book I picked up from a library booksale. It is a “collection of poems and prose selections to be memorized by children… as a part of the regular courses in English and ethics.”
I’ve been posting the poems and prose selections from the book to the blog, a little at a time. I think we’ll be done by next September. To see previous selections, look for our other fall poem postings.
The selections are organized by year and month for years 1-8. Because the school year begins in September, so does the book. The majority of the selections are seasonal, but there are a few exceptions. The October selections for first year students contains several exceptions:
~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ . .~. ~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ . .~.
The Swing
Robert Louis Stevenson

HOW do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside—

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown—
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!
~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ . .~. ~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ . .~.
NONSENSE ALPHABET
Edward Lear

C was a camel:
You rode on his hump;
And if you fell off,
You came down such a bump!
c!

What a high camel!

D

D was a dove,
Who lived in a wood,
With such pretty soft wings,
And so gentle and good!

d!

Dear little dove!
~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ . .~. ~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ .~ . .~.
Alphabetic Gems

Cherish what is good and drive
Evil thoughts and feelings far,
For as sure as you’re alive
You will show for what you are.
~Phoebe Cary

GOODNESS

Do not look for wrong and evil, -
You will find them if you do;
As you measure for your neighbor,
He will measure back to you.
- Alice Carey

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diaper cleaning

This is another older post I’ve found while journeying down memory lane. I wrote it to somebody who asked a question about the care and cleaning of cloth diapers. The baby wearing the diapers in this post is now seven nine, and it’s been a long time since I had to launder diapers for him.=)

I mostly change our baby in the bathroom and I keep the diaper pail there (this would not work in every house. That particular bathroom had a very long bathroom counter and lots of floor space for a pail. I put the padded top to a changing table on the counter). The diaper pail is only used to hold the diapers and washcloths- no water for soaking is added. I also keep a pair of rubber gloves nearby and wear them to rinse and squeeze out the dirty diapers. I have to do this right away because otherwise I never remember to come back for one I’ve let soak in the toilet:-( Incidentally, if you have one place to change diapers and keep all your supplies there, it takes about a minute to change a wet diaper, maybe three minutes to change, rinse, and put a soiled diaper in the pail.

I don’t soak them until I’m ready to wash. I put the diapers in the washer at night, just after putting the last child to bed. I fill the washer with water, pull out the dial and leave the lid up so it won’t continue the cycle. I add some vinegar, a few drops of tea tree oil, or Borax. This only takes a couple minutes- because, remember, there is no water in my diaper pail, only damp diapers. All you have to do is dump the pail directly into the washing machine. I never, never bleach (Note: a few months later I quit adding vinegar, too, because it is harder on natural fibers- I know adding vinegar to the wash is something we have all heard is a good thing to do, but your cloth diapers will last much longer if you don’t). I leave the diapers soaking in the washer tub full of water and those drops of tea tree oil all night. This is a good time to spray the inside of the pail with something like lysol, Shaklee’s basic G, a mixture of vinegar, water, and tea tree oil, or the odor remover of your choide. Add fifteen seconds to your time for that step.

In the a.m. as soon as I get up, I push the dial in, letting the washing machine drain, rinse, and spin. That takes five seconds on my way from my bedroom to the kitchen. A child could be instructed to push the knob in for you. Later, when the washer is done (usually after breakfast) I start the washer again so the the diapers will run through another full regular wash cycle. I use perfume-free laundry soap and maybe a little more vinegar or Borax for this load. I rinse this load twice because my baby has sensitive skin. This also takes only about five minutes, at the most, of my time.

To dry them, I really prefer to dry them on the line, the sun is a great freshener and stain remover, but weather does not always permit. Drying on the line takes the most of my time. If I do dry them on the line, I would sometimes run them through the drier for five minutes to soften them up. I never used any kind of softener in the washer or dryer- this is bad for the diapers and hinders their absorbency.

It’s true that sun drying makes them a bit stiff, but you can solve that by throwing them in the dryer for five minutes or so after you hang them out.

This all sounds complicated, but it’s easier to do than to explain, at least for me, and it is so much cheaper. We bought our diapers at yard sales or were given them. Each cloth diaper can be used up to 200 times, so even with the extra washing, they are more affordable (and better for landfills) than disposable diapers.

I have three posts on cloth diapering. You can read them here, here and here.
(one of those links is to this post)

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A Tale of Two Students Part Four

In our previous posts we discussed some philosophical issues about the level of responsibility students carry for their own education, and whether teachers themselves have any responsibility for students who fail to learn. I am now sharing personal anecdotes that I believe illustrate the problems with holding students completely responsible when they fail to learn- or learn the wrong thing- while absolving the teachers of all responsibility.

I had a small handful of experiences in public school that I consider truly dreadful. This is probably the worst one. It was either fifth or sixth grade when our teachers chose to split up the subjects amongst themselves sort of like high school or junior high. That way, I think, each teacher was able to teach his or her favorite group of subjects, and the students would get some exposure to switching classrooms during the day, helping us get used to the pace of junior high. It was a creative idea, and I’m know that we really benefited from this approach to math and science.

Reading was another story. I do not know why that particular teacher took the language arts class, because she clearly wasn’t a reader. I’m not even sure why she was a teacher, because I felt like she loathed her students, and in particular, me. We had boring readers with choppy stories in them. We were supposed to read one story to ourselves quietly in class and discuss it. I read my story, looked around the classroom a bit to see where my classmates were, realized it was going to be a while longer, so I twiddled my thumbs a while. I looked around and didn’t see anybody else had finished, so I read the story a second time. Nobody else was done. Bored and with nothing to do, I read the next story. And the next one. The next thing I knew Mrs. M. was looming over my desk demanding to know why I was reading the wrong story. I explained I’d finished the assigned story already. She flatly told me that was impossible, and that I was lying to her (she wasn’t quiet about it, either). She insisted that I needed to read it from start to finish. So… I drearily turned back to the beginning and read it again. Then I closed my book and rested my head on my hands.

Mrs. M came swooping down upon me again, demanding to know what I was about. I told her I’d finished it, again, and did not have anything else to do. She was furious. She called me a liar and in scathing tones said she knew I was a liar because she still hadn’t finished the story yet, and I couldn’t possibly read faster than she did. I was more angry than humiliated. I knew that I also read faster than my mother, but I had never supposed this had anything to do with intelligence. I thought it was just a knack, like some people ran faster, some people could build things and others couldn’t, and some people sang well while others didn’t. My mother was no intellectual slouch. She read a lot. She thought it was delightful that I read faster than her, but she never made me think that I was a superior human being for it. Mrs. M. made me think otherwise. For the first time I thought that reading fast made me smart and reading slowly apparently made other people stupid. I wasn’t able to articulate my ideas about it, but I understood that Mrs. M. had just proven herself an idiot. I was about ten.

Again, Mrs. M. was quite loud in her derision of me- the rest of the class could hear her and they all listened wide-eyed. They also knew I was a fast reader- we’d been classmates since I moved into that school district in the last couple of weeks of 2nd grade. At the age of ten for the first time I felt vastly superior to an adult in a position of authority. I had had a couple of other teachers that I really disliked for one reason or another- but I had never before felt this sort of scornful derision of a teacher. I simply wrote off everything she had to say to me at that point. I don’t think that was very healthy for a fifth grader, but at least I already read well and came from a family that valued reading. What sort of values and principles do you suppose Mrs. M. passed on to my more susceptible classmates? What did she communicate to them about the value she placed on reading well? What sort of culture do teachers like her create in the classroom? Do you suppose that after that day the slower readers in class found much value in trying to improve their reading? What was her excuse? Where did the buck stop?

Have things changed much? Today the Head Girl tells me that one of her class mates is an elementary education major who hates reading. He’s a very nice fellow, friendly, personable, and quite likable- the HG says we must stress this. She asked him how his children’s literature class was going, and he said it was okay, but there was a lot of reading, which stinks (he used another word) because he doesn’t like reading. She asked what he was reading. He said Peter Pan and something about that guy who takes from the rich to give to the poor, whatever his name was.

Fortunately the Head Girl had the presence of mind to tell her mother this while the Mother was sitting down. The DHM has required medicinal doses of chocolate ever since hearing this depressing news. This young man hates to read and he wants to be a teacher. Where did he learn that a dislike of reading was compatible with the education of the young?

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What Late Hours Are Not Good For

Don’t try to solve serious matters in the middle of the night.
*Philip K Dick

Introspection and the study of one’s character are very serious matters. Do not look at yourself too closely too late, it will reflect no credit on anybody. The time to take a serious look at one’s character reasonably and dispassionately is not a late night after a very long day.
The Equuschick used to be very bad about this and it was all very depressing, until the above points were made in a magazine article. It pleased The Equuschick very much to know that just because as she lay in bed late at night alone in the dark after a long day and resolved that she the Horrible-est Person Imaginable, it didn’t’ actually mean she was quite that hopeless. The Equuschick does not mean by this to imply that we should all pat ourselves on the back and say “We’re not that bad”, because we’re quite bad enough, thank-you. But let’s be reasonable about it, shall we? If any of you gentle readers are up too late and know that you are in a bad mood, do not take that moment for introspection. It is not the opportune moment, so to speak. Go to bed. When you have slept and another Day Has Begun, that is the time to look at yourself reasonably and say “Yes, that was a rather nasty thing to do. I shall do better today because whatever else I may be, I’m not so hopeless that I can’t.” It was some of the best advice The Equuschick has read anywhere, and has led to a much brighter outlook on life.

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Cheeseburger Soup

2014-12-07 09.59.31I do not remember where we got this recipe, but it’s very frugal and very warming in cool autumn months (YES! It’s cool again!)

Cheeseburger Soup

Ingredients:

1/2 pound ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
4 tablespoons butter
3 cups chicken broth
4 cups cubed potatoes (we don’t peel them)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (you can use arrowroot powder if you have a wheat allergy, but it doesn’t reheat as well if you do that).
2 cups cubed Cheddar cheese (or less)
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup sour cream

Directions
1 In a large pot, melt 1 tablespoon butter or margarine over medium heat: cook and stir vegetables and beef , until beef is brown.
2 Stir in basil and parsley. Add broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil, then simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10-12 minutes.
3 Melt the remainder of butter and stir in flour.Add the milk, stirring until smooth.
4 Gradually add milk mixture to the soup, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Stir in cheese. When cheese is melted, add sour cream and heat through. Do not boil.

Serve with toasted bread and fruit or salad

This serves about 5 people. We double it for our brood.

Reposted at The Common Kitchen

Posted in cookery, frugalities | 12 Comments

Put Not Your Trust In Men

United Press International July 8, 1981, Wednesday, AM cycle
Copyright 1981 U.P.I.

United Press International

July 8, 1981, Wednesday, AM cycle

SECTION: Washington News

BYLINE: By WESLEY G. PIPPERT

DATELINE: WASHINGTON

In Texas, television evangelist James Robison expressed his support for Mrs. [Sandra Day] O’Connor based on a conversation Tuesday with presidential counselor Edwin Meese.

A Robison aide said Meese told the evangelist:

”Sandra O’Connor thinks abortion is abhorrent and is not in favor of it. She agrees with the president on abortion. There was a time when she was sympathetic toward the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) movement, but the more she studied and found out about it, the more she changed her mind.

”She is very conservative … Sandra O’Connor assured the president that she was in agreement with him and she totally supports pro-family issues and the Republican platform.”

National Review

“The following story appeared in the Washington Times on July 25, 1990, ten days after President George H.W. Bush nominated David Souter for the Supreme Court:
CONSERVATIVES LUKEWARM ON SOUTER
Joyce Price

Conservatives expressed lukewarm support yesterday for Supreme Court nominee David Souter, but most predicted they will be behind him strongly once they know more about him.
“The consensus is that we would have preferred someone else – not what we were given,” said Richard Viguerie, chairman of the United Conservatives of America. “But we have to accept what’s on the table and move forward.”
Mr. Viguerie made his comments at a news conference that featured leaders of five conservative organizations. “We’re giving a cautious thumbs-up” to the nomination, he said, adding that the president “still has a seriously damaged relationshp with conservatives.”
Peter T. Flaherty, chairman of the Conservative Campaign Fund, said he could not endorse Judge Souter at this time.
“There remain too many unanswered questions about who he is and how this nomination came about,” he said. “President Bush needlesly passed over a number of highly qualified candidates for the court whose philosophy is well known. In doing so, he has taken an unacceptable risk . . .”
. . .
But despite the downbeat tone many expressed about Judge Souter’s selection,David A. Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, predicted: “Most conservatives will get into the fight and fight for the confirmation of Judge Souter.”
Mr. Viguerie agreed. “We’re driven by a lot of things. When the NARL (National Abortion Rights Action League) and Molly Yard (president of the National Organization for Women) start trashing this guy, our natural juices start flowing.”
… Liberals are also preparing for combat. The same women’s, pro-choice and civil rights organizations that lobbied to defeat the Bork nomination in 1987 vow to do the same thing to Judge Souter if they find out they don’t like him. While most are officially taking a wait-and-see attitude, some are already convinced he is their enemy.
“At this point we have to assume he’s very anti-choice, since John Sununu, who’s anti-choice, thinks he’s wonderful and President Bush, who’s anti-choice, thinks he’s qualified,” said Chung Seto, spokeswoman for the National Women’s Political Caucus. “It’s no longer enough to have no record. We’ve seen how that works with Anthony Kennedy. We need to know where he stands on women, abortion and civil rights.”

From the Volokh Conspiracy

Thanks to Polipundit, who still supports the nomination, but also says, “Long term damage is done by her nomination: The message it sends to smart young conservative jurists is that they should keep silent about their opinions, and find some way to latch on to rising politicians, like Bush in Texas. Instead, we need young conservative jurists to fight for the cause every day in the legal system, secure in the knowledge that membership in the Federalist Society won’t be held against them.

And there’s short term damage too: An ideological fight for the Court, over a brilliant nominee like Michael McConnell, would have paid significant political dividends; judicial nominations are the litmus test that allow us to paint Red-state Democrat senators as liberals. Instead, we’re stuck with a damp squib of a nomination fight, over a nominee that no one seems enthusiastic about except the president.”

So you see why the fact that Dr. James Dobson and Jay Sekulow of the ACLJ have both endosed the Mier nomination doesn’t mean quite so much to me as one might think.

I’d rather have a horse of a different color, but then, we’re not to put our trust in horses, either.

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Headmistress Rules

The HEADMISTERESS, ZOOKEEPER, sent this link to me some time ago. It makes some very good points regarding leadership, responsibility and authority.

The Wife as Ruler
Credenda Agenda
Douglas Wilson
Volume 12, issue 3
Husbandry

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Cheeseburger Soup

I do not remember where we got this recipe, but it’s very frugal and very warming in cool autumn months (YES! It’s cool again!)

Cheeseburger Soup

Ingredients:

1/2 pound ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
4 tablespoons butter
3 cups chicken broth
4 cups cubed potatoes (we don’t peel them)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (you can use arrowroot powder if you have a wheat allergy, but it doesn’t reheat as well if you do that).
2 cups cubed Cheddar cheese (or less)
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup sour cream

Directions
1 In a large pot, melt 1 tablespoon butter or margarine over medium heat: cook and stir vegetables and beef , until beef is brown.
2 Stir in basil and parsley. Add broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil, then simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10-12 minutes.
3 Melt the remainder of butter and stir in flour.Add the milk, stirring until smooth.
4 Gradually add milk mixture to the soup, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Stir in cheese. When cheese is melted, add sour cream and heat through. Do not boil.

Serve with toasted bread and fruit or salad

This serves about 5 people. We double it for our brood.

Reposted at The Common Kitchen

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Put Not Your Trust In Men

United Press International July 8, 1981, Wednesday, AM cycle
Copyright 1981 U.P.I.

United Press International

July 8, 1981, Wednesday, AM cycle

SECTION: Washington News

BYLINE: By WESLEY G. PIPPERT

DATELINE: WASHINGTON

In Texas, television evangelist James Robison expressed his support for Mrs. [Sandra Day] O’Connor based on a conversation Tuesday with presidential counselor Edwin Meese.

A Robison aide said Meese told the evangelist:

”Sandra O’Connor thinks abortion is abhorrent and is not in favor of it. She agrees with the president on abortion. There was a time when she was sympathetic toward the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) movement, but the more she studied and found out about it, the more she changed her mind.

”She is very conservative … Sandra O’Connor assured the president that she was in agreement with him and she totally supports pro-family issues and the Republican platform.”

National Review

“The following story appeared in the Washington Times on July 25, 1990, ten days after President George H.W. Bush nominated David Souter for the Supreme Court:
CONSERVATIVES LUKEWARM ON SOUTER
Joyce Price

Conservatives expressed lukewarm support yesterday for Supreme Court nominee David Souter, but most predicted they will be behind him strongly once they know more about him.
“The consensus is that we would have preferred someone else – not what we were given,” said Richard Viguerie, chairman of the United Conservatives of America. “But we have to accept what’s on the table and move forward.”
Mr. Viguerie made his comments at a news conference that featured leaders of five conservative organizations. “We’re giving a cautious thumbs-up” to the nomination, he said, adding that the president “still has a seriously damaged relationshp with conservatives.”
Peter T. Flaherty, chairman of the Conservative Campaign Fund, said he could not endorse Judge Souter at this time.
“There remain too many unanswered questions about who he is and how this nomination came about,” he said. “President Bush needlesly passed over a number of highly qualified candidates for the court whose philosophy is well known. In doing so, he has taken an unacceptable risk . . .”
. . .
But despite the downbeat tone many expressed about Judge Souter’s selection,David A. Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, predicted: “Most conservatives will get into the fight and fight for the confirmation of Judge Souter.”
Mr. Viguerie agreed. “We’re driven by a lot of things. When the NARL (National Abortion Rights Action League) and Molly Yard (president of the National Organization for Women) start trashing this guy, our natural juices start flowing.”
… Liberals are also preparing for combat. The same women’s, pro-choice and civil rights organizations that lobbied to defeat the Bork nomination in 1987 vow to do the same thing to Judge Souter if they find out they don’t like him. While most are officially taking a wait-and-see attitude, some are already convinced he is their enemy.
“At this point we have to assume he’s very anti-choice, since John Sununu, who’s anti-choice, thinks he’s wonderful and President Bush, who’s anti-choice, thinks he’s qualified,” said Chung Seto, spokeswoman for the National Women’s Political Caucus. “It’s no longer enough to have no record. We’ve seen how that works with Anthony Kennedy. We need to know where he stands on women, abortion and civil rights.”

From the Volokh Conspiracy

Thanks to Polipundit, who still supports the nomination, but also says, “Long term damage is done by her nomination: The message it sends to smart young conservative jurists is that they should keep silent about their opinions, and find some way to latch on to rising politicians, like Bush in Texas. Instead, we need young conservative jurists to fight for the cause every day in the legal system, secure in the knowledge that membership in the Federalist Society won’t be held against them.

And there’s short term damage too: An ideological fight for the Court, over a brilliant nominee like Michael McConnell, would have paid significant political dividends; judicial nominations are the litmus test that allow us to paint Red-state Democrat senators as liberals. Instead, we’re stuck with a damp squib of a nomination fight, over a nominee that no one seems enthusiastic about except the president.”

So you see why the fact that Dr. James Dobson and Jay Sekulow of the ACLJ have both endosed the Mier nomination doesn’t mean quite so much to me as one might think.

I’d rather have a horse of a different color, but then, we’re not to put our trust in horses, either.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Headmistress Rules

The HEADMISTERESS, ZOOKEEPER, sent this link to me some time ago. It makes some very good points regarding leadership, responsibility and authority.

The Wife as Ruler
Credenda Agenda
Douglas Wilson
Volume 12, issue 3
Husbandry

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments