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Friday, November 29, 2013

The Tea Party


It  was Thanksgiving, the apartment was warm, the TV was on. We had eaten and enjoyed the food. There were eleven of us, family and friends. The two toddlers entertained, because they were adorable, and smart. They jumped and danced and spun and fell. When you are almost two you talk and laugh and everyone in the room feels happy/  It's an age full of magic.


The little girl had gotten a gift. It was part of a kitchen set that would later be put together. The gift was a tiny tea set.  The tea set was made out of wood.  It was small and delicate but sturdy too. There was a pitcher, two tiny tea cups, a sugar bowl with little cubes and a wooden tea bag and spoon, and two tiny dishes for cookies.
We sat on the floor, and I unwrapped the tea set.  Dishes were being cleared, ice cream cakes eaten. For a few precious minutes nobody else was in the apartment. I poured the make believe tea, and the little girl dunked the tea bags.  We ate imaginary cookies from the tiny shiny plates. I poured more tea. She added the sugar cubes.  I heard the others, we drank our tea.  Then it was over, too soon, and I wrapped the dishes back in their box, for our next tea party.

I am going to bring two big hats, and some tiny cat cookies. I might even add a lace napkin for a table cloth. The words to an old Juice Newton song, came to me this morning, "  the sweetest thing I've ever known was loving you". Happy Thanksgiving, may your life be filled with Tea Parties.

Friday, November 22, 2013

How To Be Happy...

I wish I had written this article. It makes a lot of sense. I hope it speaks to you, as it does the me.

The 20 Things You Need To Let Go To Be Happy

The 20 Things You Need To Let Go To Be Happy
WELLNESS •  • 
Everyone has one common goal in life: to achieve true happiness. The biggest factor holding us back from achieving our dreams is, simply and sadly, our own selves. We put limitations on ourselves everyday, whether intentionally or unintentionally. There are so many ways we can alleviate these restraints.
Remember, life can either be something you embrace or something you hide from. Stop making things complicated and just live your life. It would be so much simpler and more enjoyable if we learned to just release certain limitations.
Let’s take a look at the things you need to let go of in order to become a happier person.

1. The Approval Of Others

Who gives a sh*t what other people think? If you are happy with the decisions you have made, then whose business is that but your own? Think of how much you could achieve if you stopped letting other people’s opinions dictate the way you live your life. Do you, and engage in whatever actions you think might better your life.

2. Anger/Resentment

Anger will eat at you from the inside. Learn how to make peace with those who have wronged you. This isn’t about letting the other person off the hook; it’s about alleviating the pain that resonates within you. Keep in mind that he who angers you, controls you.
“Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.”

3. Negative Body Image

There is only one person’s opinion you should be concerned with when it comes to your body and that is you. No one person determines what the “correct” body type is. If you are comfortable in your own skin, and you are healthy, then that should be the only thing that matters. Do not let others tell you that you’re not beautiful because if you believe you are, then you are.

4. Idea Of A Perfect Partner

There is no such thing as a perfect partner, so throw your checklist out the window. In life, what prevents us from moving forward is looking at the perfect image of a partner we concoct in our minds. Find the right person for you: one that you can love with all your heart, one you feel comfortable with and one that accepts you for the person you are. The sooner you realize there isn’t one perfect person out there for you, the better off you will be.
“He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.” – Bob Marley

5. Perfect Life

Just like there is no perfect partner, there is also not a perfect life. Life is what you put into it, so if you are not willing to work hard and put forth effort, you will most likely end up miserable. The choices you make will directly reflect the life you lead. It is up to you to create the best possible world for yourself.

6. You’re Going To Be Rich

Too many people live their lives with the thought that they will be millionaires. While this can be a realistic goal for some, it is not something that can be achieved without hard work and dedication. Stop letting money be your sole motivator; find a career you are passionate about and immerse yourself in it completely.

7. The Idea That Good Fortune Will Arrive At Your Doorstep

You need to go out into the world and actively look for fulfillment. You cannot take a backseat in life and expect things to happen for you. Appreciate the life you live, and be grateful for what you have. Value each minute of every day. Live like there’s no tomorrow, and make the most out of any situation.

8. Excuses

Make no time for excuses. You want to work out, but you don’t have the time? Wake up early and get your gym on. Excuses are only rationalizations that make you feel better about yourself for not doing something you want/need to be doing. You desire results? Stop bitching, and start doing.

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9. Thoughts Of Your Ex

This person is your ex for a reason. If you are going to think of him or her at all, try and think only about the lessons the experience taught you. Do not linger on any old feelings, as this will only prevent you from being happy with someone else in the future.

10. Stubbornness

I know it’s hard to admit, but sometimes you are just wrong. Other people have just as much capability as you do in providing the correct answer, so stop being stubborn and just embrace it. The less stubborn you act, the more open you are to learning new things. Think of all you could be exposed to if you stopped believing in opinions other than your own.

11. Procrastination

Stop thinking you will finally get to whatever task is at hand tomorrow. Live in the present, and get your sh*t done when it needs to be done. Maximize your time to the best of your ability. Complete each task you need to as soon as you can. This allows you to feel free from worry and stress by getting things out of the way as soon as possible. You also allow yourself more free time to enjoy the things you love.

12. Your Baggage

We have all been hurt one time or another by someone we loved, or we thought we loved. Carrying negative feelings into future relationships will only prove to be disastrous. No two people are the same, so it’s unfair to hold a future partner to a standard set by an ex. Try to begin each new relationship with a clean slate.

13. Negativity

What you put out into the universe will come back to you, so change the way you think, immediately. Stop thinking of life as a glass half empty, but rather, half full. You have so much to be grateful for, if only you took a moment to appreciate it. Anything is possible in the mind of a positive thinker.

14. Judgmental Thoughts

Why do people feel the need to constantly worry about what is going on in other people’s lives? If we spent as much time worrying about our own behaviors as we do worrying about those of others, our lives would be a whole lot more meaningful. You have no idea what is going on in another person’s life, so who are you to pass judgment on the way they act?

15. Jealousy

Happiness is not having what you want; it’s wanting what you have. Stop envying others and learn to appreciate what you have. Everyone’s life is unique; you have certain things to offer that others cannot. When we act in a jealous manner, all we do is bring negative feelings into our lives. There is absolutely nothing to gain from behaving this way.

16. Insecurity

Happy people tend to have extremely high levels of self-esteem. They accept who they are and work it everyday of their lives. They radiate confidence, flaunt their pride and give off positive vibes. There is no reason to be insecure in life. If there are things you are self-conscious about, go out into the world and seek to change them. Only you have the ability to create the best version of yourself.

17. Depending On Others For Happiness

At the end of the day, the only person you can count on 100 percent of the time is yourself. Do not make the unfortunate mistake many people do and put your happiness in the hands of others. A relationship is not going to fulfill the void if you can’t even make yourself happy. You need to achieve happiness on your own before you can find someone else to share it with. This creates a detrimental dependency that will prevent you from becoming self-sufficient.

18. The Past

Stop living in the past! There is virtually nothing you can gain if you wallow in mistakes you have previously made. Take past mistakes as lessons learned, and move forward. You cannot wholeheartedly move on to a better future if you are constantly looking behind you. Things happened, and that’s that. Take them with a grain of salt and move on.

19. The Need For Control

Sometimes you just need to let life happen the way it is meant to. You cannot spend your life stressing about things that are outside of your control. Try to relax, and let things play out naturally. Embrace the unknown, as this is where you will be surprised the most. Let yourself be whisked into unforeseen endeavors, and relish in the excitement they bring.

20. Expectations

Managing your expectations is the key to happiness. If you let go of expectations, you will never be disappointed. Often, we tend to believe that the way we treat others will be the way we are treated in return. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Do not expect a certain result from any given situations. Go into an experience with an open mind. This will allow you to fully immerse yourself, without the pressure of living up to preconceived notions.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I Am Now A Commuter


I am now a commuter.  True,  I only commute on the railroad one day a week. I have to buy daily tickets and don't wear my monthly pass around my neck, or on my phone like the " real" commuters.  I am learning.  As I wait on the platform I see what the commuters wear. It's cold in NY especially catching the 7:29.  Some people  wear heavy coats, but don't close them. This is a very popular look.  I cannot imagine the purpose of this, unless it is to give the impression of carelessly flapping in the wind.  I feel cold looking at them.  Then you have the parade of scarves.


Scarves have become a very important fashion statement.  I have had young teachers wear elaborate scarves in classrooms well over 80 degrees.  I recently sat across from a lady who folded and unfolded her pashmina for our 40 minute railroad trip.  It was like watching a silent how to video. I really learned a lot. Thank you scarf lady.


Aside from scarves there are now phones, I pads, and readers  to play with,  on the train.  There was an announcement that there were designated silent cars one could chose to sit in.  My car was packed not a sound was heard.  I had my kindle, it's great.  Some people still read newspapers/ I wish they wouldn't, because most of them leave them on their seats. 


Lastly I am fascinated with the train conductors, ticket agents....  the people who punch your ticket and sell tickets if necessary.  Why would anyone want to ride up and back on a train all day?  The uniforms are OK...I wonder how much money they earn? My wise husband says many have family that have done this, like police or firemen/ women. I have never heard a child wish to grow up to work on a railroad...  Commuting one day a week is OK. Thirty forty years.... I rather take the car.

Monday, November 11, 2013

UPDATE...MY CO- Worker the Convicted Sex Offender

This blog is about a man I worked with in my last years of teaching.  I came to the school, not knowing anyone.  It felt strange for a long time.  One of the teachers I worked with closely was in his 30's.  he was a family man. His children were young, so was his wife.  I thought he had a nice manner in the classroom.  I have never seen a more organized or neater educator.  His name is Simon.

 

First and third impressions can be deceiving.  Sadly people do not wear signs stating their real intentions.  How wonderful if we could look into the hearts and see their true natures.  Some of my second graders became his third graders. Some moved up to fourth grade with him..When the children both boys and girls starting telling the counselors and parents about inappropriate touching and suggestive language, the school began to investigate.

 

The scandal broke, and many students came forward. It was an ugly time for all.  I could not believe the allegations.  I spent many hours in that classroom, He was my friend and coworker.  I spoke to reliable  people and they insisted the stories were credible.  The evidence was damning. Most of the staff believed he was guilty.

 

Time passed and he was convicted, and will serve jail time. I believe in truth and courts and the justice system.  I cry for my students and innocence lost, which is never found  I wish I could have protected them.  How could I have been so wrong?


Queens teacher convicted of molesting students in classroom 

Simon Watts abused four girls and one boy, ranging in age from 8 to 10 years old

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 Fourth grade teacher Simon Watts, 38, convicted of molesting 8-10 year old girls at PS 15 .

Todd Maisel/New York Daily News

Fourth grade teacher Simon Watts, 38, convicted of molesting 8-10 year old children at PS 15 .


A Queens teacher was convicted of molesting five of his students over three years within view of their classmates, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced Wednesday.
Hulking sexual predator Simon Watts abused four girls and one boy, all ranging from 8 to 10 years old, during class time while he taught them in third and fourth grades at Public School 15.
The 41-year-old pervert fondled them and forced them to touch his genitals, and then threatened them not to tell anyone. The sick acts took place while he was a teacher at the Springfield Gardens school between September 2007 and March 2010.
Fourth grade teacher Simon Watts, 38, convicted of molesting students.

Todd Maisel/New York Daily News

Fourth grade teacher Simon Watts, 38, convicted of molesting students.

After the two-week trial concluded, Watts was convicted of three counts of second-degree sexual conduct against a child, two counts of first-degree sexual abuse, one count of forcible touching and five counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
Watts, who had been free on $200,000 bail since shortly after his arrest in April 2010, had his bail revoked and was ordered remanded. He has been terminated by the Department of Education.
Watts, who began working as a city substitute teacher in 2000, faces up to 35 years in prison when he is sentenced July 22. His lawyer, Amy Marion, did not respond to a request for comment.




Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/queens-teacher-convicted-abuse-article-1.1377199#ixzz2kMe46NCX

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Fantasy Magazine


It was in the early 1980's. I was a stay at home mother.  My time was spent in different activities.  My challenges seemed never ending.  The days had many more hours in them then.  Small children need a lot, of everything.  I had made a new friend. I was beginning my toy business, she made rubber puzzles,  We had a lot in common. She taught me to knit, again.  We had little girls to buy doll clothes for.  That year I sewed Lissie, my daughter's beloved Cabbage Patch Doll

I pride myself on being a good shopper, my new friend "V" was better.  She called me one morning with urgent news. Urgent only to those who valued collectable dolls, and the thrill of the hunt.  For some crazy reason a cigarette/cigar store not far from the house had gotten a shipment of Madame Alexander Baby Dolls/  They were packed in beautiful boxes, and there were not many.  Was I interested?

Try and stop me.  The store was not far from the house.  I had never been in a store like that and other then smokes, I had no idea what it sold. I parked, with my daughter in tow, and went in.  There were many men in the store.  Most were looking at magazines.  They turned and looked at me, and turned away.  The salesperson said, you must be here for the dolls, I will bring one out. Maybe I would pick up a craft magazine, or Cosmopolitan while I was there.
I walked toward the magazines and the men moved away from me. Good manners I thought.  I had never seen, before or since magazines like this. They had every part of a women's anatomy on the cover, with snakes, mice and more. The titles of the magazine all ended with the word Fantasy.  The blog prevents me from using the first words. You get the drift, it was horrific.  Women got paid to do this on magazines...

The man came out with the doll, I paid and I ran.  We loved the doll, sadly she did not survive the years.  My friend and her husband divorced, I hear she moved. Our friendship faded.  The memory of that visit lingers on.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

When It Comes To The Past...


When it comes to the past everyone writes fiction...  Stephen King
 
I just finished reading a new Stephen King novel, Joyland. It's about a college student and his summer working at a carnival.  By King standards it was very mild.  It brought to mind the games and festivities I grew up with living at a beach resort.  I really liked the quote, it made me think.
 
Now that my children, have children I have taken to sharing their childhood personalities with them. Their children are a lot like they were. My son was extremely bright, determined, and straight forward. My daughter was charming smart, loved people.  She also knew how to get what she wanted. 
 
I have countless stories, anecdotal's, and even their baby book quotes ( the bible of facts) to prove my points. They  question whether these things ever happened.  Of course they happened. They happened the way I tell them 25-30 years ago.  They don't remember. If I can add enough background info my son usually says , ok I think I remember. My daughter, accepts the story, but has no memory of it.
 
We had a phrase in kindergarten that was,  " that's about the size, where you put your eyes".  That's  what   the past has come down to. We view the world through our  unique lenses. I see what I see, I hear what I hear, and that is not necessarily what you see or hear. My memories, fiction for you even if you lived them right next to me.  Are you confused?  He ain't Stephen King for nothing.