Friday, August 18, 2017

Flashback Friday to March 1, 2014

Again, while cleaning up old posts, I came across this one.  In light of current events I am re-posting it.

Black History Month

Black History Month was in February.  I had intended to write a post about it and just never got around to doing it.

One of my reasons for writing about it was to recommend a book that I read last month which is on the NY times Best Sellers list.  It is The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd.  Perhaps you have read her previous book The Secret Life of Bees or perhaps seen the movie.  It is one of my favorite books.

Anyway, The Invention of Wings is a historical novel about the Grimke sisters of South Carolina.  The women were two of the earliest feminists and abolitionists in America.  If you saw the PBS series The Abolitionists, then you saw Angeline Grimke featured in that.  The author imagines a story of their early life and writes the history of the time to make for an interesting and entertaining read.  It is a book I would recommend.

I personally found the attitudes of Southern churches as written in the book rather appalling.  It hardly seems imaginable that any so-called Christian would have such unfounded ideas about another race of humans.  Which brings me to the other reason I was going to write about Black History Month.

The Detroit Free Press ran an article titled The Impossible Test.   My head was spinning.  The test was given before the Voting Rights Act to anyone who could not prove a fifth-grade education.  There were 30 questions and you had ten minutes to complete the test.  And one wrong answer was failure.

I honestly don't think I would have passed.  For example:

Question 29. Write every word in the first line and print every third word in the same line but capitalize the fifth word that you write. 

WTF?  What 'first line'?  The first line on the test?  Or is it the first line of this question?  I would have spent five minutes just trying to understand.

That is if I had gotten past the first question:  1. Draw a line around the number or letter of this sentence.

OK.  I always thought that instructions told you to draw a circle around something or to underline.  Not sure I ever was told to 'draw a line around' something.  So, there is the number '1'.  But what letter are they talking about?  Is this a trick?  (probably)

20.  Spell backwards, forwards.  Which word?  Backwards?  Which is 'backwards'.  Or forwards backwards?  Which is sdrawrof.

Or 24.  Print a word that looks the same whether it is printed forwards or backwards.  The first one that comes to mind is 'ewe'.  But perhaps they mean to print the individual letters 'backwards'?  In which case I would write 'OHO'.  I mean everything is so poorly written, including using the word 'some' instead of 'same' in Q. 19 who knows what they mean.

Anyway, the days of literacy tests are long gone, but I think that just for fun, they should administer this to all current members of the Louisiana Legislature and see how they do.  I am guessing they would not be voting on anything!  Click on 'the test' link above to try it for yourself.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Garden Blooms, August, 2017

A few days late.  It's been busy.  And hectic and who really wants to her about it.  Anyway, here is what is blooming here in August in Southeastern Michigan.  Despite the heat and humidity, lack of decent rain, and the thrips and aphids, I still have flowers, but it has not been a great year.

 Joe-Pye weed.  I can't resist posting photos of this plant.  Lots of bees this year but almost no butterflies around.  Making they are flying back to Mexico before the wall is erected.
I thought this heliopsis cultivar was lost, but there was one lonely stem.   It's possible that the rabbits kept nipping off the new shoots.  They totally destroyed rudbeckia in the front garden.
Rudbeckia in the garden next to the above heliopsis.  No idea why they did not eat this.  Maybe they were too busy eating the daisies.
Plum Fantasy hibiscus.  If you look closely you can see the aphids on Summer Sun heliopsis, which have now all been cut back.  I sprayed with organic soap spray for two weeks and they only seemed to get worse.  Ugh.  Worse year ever.  The hibiscus in the front yard had all the blossoms destroyed by thrips, so no flowers.
Limelight hydrangeas.  

 Hosta 'First Frost'
 Hosta 'Guacamole' - it has the sweetest fragrance, better than a rose IMO.
 Hosta 'June' - I'd love an entire border of this plant
A border of Fortunei Aureomarginata hostas with Hosta 'Stained Glass' on the right.
Snow on the Mountain growing three feet tall this year.  Wow.
The new front garden plantings
Thanks for stopping by and touring the garden with me.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Another Re-Post from the Past - Setting a Good Example

I mentioned a few posts back that I was clearing out old posts that I had written.  I finally decided to do them my labels attached and am currently working on those labelled 'politics'.  It was never my intent to cover any politics on my blog, but did so at the request of a local paper that was carrying it.

I wrote the following post on May 26, 2010.  It had all of sixteen online views and no comments.  I think it is still relevant today in light of what is happening in our country and the world.  Here it is; food for thought:

Today's local papers are all brimming with details of the sentencing of Detroit's former mayor (Kwame Kilpatrick).  We have opinions from everyone.  Supporters and detractors.  But what do our young people see and think about all this mess?

When I entered politics in 1988, my three sons were 9, 10, and 11.  Our meetings at that time were tape-delayed.  By 1990, we were on live TV.  With meetings starting at 7:30 PM, they were able to watch before bedtime.  And watch they did.

By this time, we had a newly appointed Supervisor.  The same person who had run in 1988 and lost in the primary election, now had taken office on a 4-1 vote of a seven member board.  (One trustee stayed home and I voted 'present'.  Call it a coward's way of voting 'no', when your vote will not matter.)  The result was a very contentious two years until the next election.

Those who are still around from back then can tell you that it was pretty disgusting television.  Most of the residents thought that the Supervisor was being controlled some members of a group called OUST, which had forced a recall election in 1988.  (This Supervisor was 'ousted' in the 1992 primary.)

At one meeting an employee got up and called the Supervisor a liar.  True on the issue involved, but not quite appropriate.  Another time, items were thrown at the Board table.

I mention all this because once, when I scolded my children for arguing with each other, they quickly responded by reminding me of the behavior on the Township Board.  Oops.  They were absolutely right.

Again, after eight years of relative calm, the community again had a contentious board from 2001-2008.  I had school teachers tell me that they taped our meetings to show their high school government classes 'how not to act'.  And while I thought things would change with a new administration in 2009, it seems it is even worse (yes, my opinion, deal with it).

But in all of this, young people are seeing adults in political positions of power setting very bad examples of behavior, the least of which is disrespectful disagreement.  The worst of this has to be the misuse of the trust placed in them at the time of their election.  The waste of hard-earned tax dollars.  And yet, some still do not get it.

Is it not surprising that our young people do not trust government to do what they promise?  Government today is 'up close and personal'.  And these future leaders are watching.  Let's make sure we send the right message and express it in our behavior and our words.