All posts for the month March, 2009

The Tragedies of Kindergarten

Published March 30, 2009 by glaumland

To start off, let me say that these tragedies are mine, not little boy’s (who is in K now with a wonderful teacher!). But this story has come up a few times recently, so I decided it should be told. So here it is…

Tragedy #1 – My Kindergarten teacher looked like a witch. She was tall (but isn’t everyone compared to a 5 year old?), had black hair, and was very mean. She had an all-or-nothing teaching style and was really quite intimidating to children. I don’t remember hearing praise when a job was well done. Luckily, another student’s mother volunteered and was in charge of cookies & milk. Now, I have to admit I was 5/6 at the time, and it was 40-some years ago, so my memory may not be entirely accurate. But it is a shame that she didn’t look and act more like the Good Witch Glenda than the Wicked Witch of the West.

Tragedy #2 – This is related to #1 and has to do with one of the most prized possessions of any Kindergarteners: their crayons. I was already a good colorer, at least in my opinion. I knew how to color in lightly to get shades of color, and how to stay inside the lines. But was that good enough for Wicked? NO! We had to press hard in order to apply as much wax as possible to our paper. And the result? Broken crayons. It was really heartbreaking, because then instead of having those long, beautiful crayons with the paper that told their names, you had just short, stubby pieces and spent more time peeling paper. And of course your parents wouldn’t buy you another new set when that first set was perfectly useful. Sigh…

Tragedy #3 – This had to do with my birthday present given to me by my Godmother. It was an adorable outfit, consisting of robin’s egg blue pants and a matching blue/white striped shirt with fish appliqued on the front. Probably what made this so important was that back then little girls just didn’t wear pants to school. (I didn’t even have a pair of jeans until about the 7th grade.) The first day I wore the outfit to school, we had a gym class outside on a patch of concrete. The game that day? Dodgeball. So of course, some boy threw the ball at me and I fell down, right on my knees, and got a big hole in my BRAND NEW PANTS! AARRGGHH!!!!! And of course, the pants were polyester, and I believe that is how my I-Hate-Polyester attitude began.

Tragedy #4 – I learned to lie. We would play tag during recess, and there was a little boy named Rodney who was very fast and liked to play tag with the girls. You see, if he caught you he threatened to kiss you. (I know today behavior like that will get you a trip to see the principal, but back then nobody seemed to mind.) Rodney was pretty long-legged and fast, so he always caught the girls. But there was one flaw in his plan: he didn’t kiss the girls right away. So if you promised to stand still and not run, he would chase another girl. Then you could get away, to be chased again. Poor Rodney, I wonder if he ever figured it out?

Needless to say, I did survive Kindergarten and went on to First Grade, where my teacher Mrs. Adams was more like a grandmother, I had to deal with glasses, and continued to run from Rodney. Life was good.

Until next time…


Night of the Double Whammy

Published March 29, 2009 by glaumland

Man, I feel awful this morning.

I didn’t fall asleep last night until 4:30 in the morning. Darn that Restless Leg stuff anyway. Actually it wasn’t just my legs, but my arms, too. Keeps me twitching like a bad case of ants in my pants. And now this morning, my muscles and joints are all sore, especially my calf muscles and my forearms. I wish I could get some muscle relaxants that would actually relax my muscles. Part of my problems with fibromyalgia is that I tend to clench my fists and my arms when I sleep, then I wake with sore muscles.

So now that I’m finally out of bed, I think I’ll take some medicine and go back to bed. I’m not much good to myself or anyone feeling the way I do now.

Until next time…

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Published March 28, 2009 by glaumland

In memory of Anna Maxine (Gordon) Landman

March 28, 1910 to August 21, 2001


The favorite memory I have of my grandparents (you have to include them both for it’s hard to separate Elmer from Maxine) was a cold winter night during my college years.  I drove to Sabetha from Manhattan and it was so bitterly cold I was afraid my little car wouldn’t make the trip. Mom & Dad were to be there the next day. I can’t remember the occasion (maybe Grandpa’s birthday?) andI decided to drive up Friday night and surprise everyone.


503 Harrison has always had a special place in my heart because of all the happy times I spent there surrounded by their love. That night was even more special. We found some school books that Gma & Gpa had used as children. One of the books was a song book, and I discovered that I, too, had learned some of the same songs in elementary school. The one I remember best was “Waltzing Matilda.” We sang together, the three of us, enjoying the music of our blended voices. Gma & Gpa also reminisced about their early days, and told stories of their youth. My favorite tale was the story of how they first met at a dance in Kirwin, when Gma as 17 and Gpa was 14. Gma told how handsome she thought Gpa was and said it was “love at first sight!” Gpa blushed but looked very pleased.


I want to remember that special evening and to share with others the joy I have had in my life because of Elmer and Maxine. Their love for their family was only surpassed by their devotion to their Lord. My wish is to keep them alive in my stories and my deeds so that my children and those who follow may know about the life and love of two very special people, and the granddaughter who adored them.


Until next time…

Please Mr Gore, May We Have Some Global Warming?

Published March 27, 2009 by glaumland

Brrrr….Hey, what happened to Spring? I blinked my eyes and we went from shorts and t-shirt weather to digging out the coveralls and snow boots. I don’t think it will get so cold that it will hurt the fruit trees (the apricot is already in full bloom, and the cherry and peach aren’t far behind). I’m enjoying the spring yellows – forsythias and daffodils – in all their glory.

So now I guess there are blizzards from North Dakota to the Texas panhandle. Boy, am I glad I don’t live in Amarillo anymore – it’s a big mess when they get snow. First, everybody continues to drive fast, especially if they have SUV’s. So between the SUV’s and all of the semi’s, you have the ingredients for big pile-ups (which you get to see on the national news). Then the city of Amarillo gets out their snow plows, but instead of plowing the snow to the sides of the streets, they plow the snow in the R lane to the side and the snow in the L lane to the center. And that leads to people getting high-centered in the middle of traffic. Then once the snow starts to melt and the lanes are clear, you’ve got the snow in the center still melting and icing up the driving lanes. It’s actually quite funny now that I don’t have to deal with it any more!

So we stocked up on food and water, have wood ready to burn, and we’re ready to face whatever nature throws at us. The water thing is more important than you would think. Since we have a well, and the well depends upon electricity, if we lose our power we are in a pickle – no drinks, no showers and no POTTYS! Ugh – not so bad for the men-folk, but definitely a luxery we girls depend upon.

And I continue to laugh about Mr Gore and his crusade for global warming. I’m not sure if so many people have taken up his cause because they really believe in it, or if they just feel sorry for him. It amazes me how far people are willing to go to forward the scare of global warming. Today I read that the UN is now calling for global control over the power industry in all countries. That way they can force any country that doesn’t obey their half-baked rules on emmisions control to either conform or pay the price. And I think we all know how screwed up things get when the UN gets it fingers in the pie (think Oil for Food).

But I guess the question really is: Is there such a thing a global warming? I would say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ The global climate has been changing, forever. Just ask the Anasazi tribe of the Southwestern United States. They experienced the Great Drought, that lasted 300 years. Or go look up the “Little Ice Age” that occurs after an era described as the “Medieval Warm Period.” Change happens; that’s why no one can really accurately define what is “normal” for the climate.

So we come to all of the alarmist propaganda being spread as thick as manure on a garden. I’ve heard that the term “Global Warming” is actually on the way out in favor of “Global Climate Change.” Good thing, since NOAA has documented that we’re experiencing some record cold temperatures. What I think is so funny is how much cold weather follows Mr Gore to his lectures. Maybe he could even start his own line of winter-wear. Ha Ha Ha.

Even Obama has jumped on the “Climate Change” bandwagon. He’s blaming global warming for all of the flooding in North Dakota. I guess the politicans from ND didn’t bother to tell him that they’ve been freezing their bums off this winter and have had lots of snow. Mr Obama would like to have everyone using “Green” power, but hasn’t watched closely to see that countries who have already tried this lost 2 jobs for every one they created. Just ask Spain. Plus industries that need cheap power to make their products will just relocate to another country. Oh wait…that’s where the UN plan comes in…we have to punish everyone.

This is a fun little article about a really smart physicist who says that global warming is a bunch of junk. Not only is he really smart (besides his own studies he has been granted 21 honorary degrees from such places as Oxford & Princeton), he is an old man of 85 who doesn’t care what he says to whom and if they get upset. Mr Dyson actually hypothesized that all of the CO2 emmissions are good for the planet in that the trees and plants are better nourished! (Bet that makes Al turn purple!)

Well, guess I’d better close and go find my snow shovel. If we have enough snow maybe I’ll build a snowman and name him “Al.”

Until next time…

Democrat Leadership – Smart-Asses or Dumb-Asses, or Both?

Published March 26, 2009 by glaumland

 Women and Wine, Wealth and Deceit, make the Wealth small, and the Wants great.

I continue to watch the Democratic leadership with a mixture of horror and fascination, caught somewhere between believing it’s all just a bad dream (nobody could be that bad on purpose) and believing in conspiracy theories (nobody could be that bad without trying). On the one hand, I want to believe that all Americans (and especially our elected leaders) have America’s best interests at heart. But on the other hand, I think that many politicians become politicians because they want the power that their office brings. So, part of me wants to be hopeful, without being naive, while another part of me wants to be on my guard, without becoming cynical.

Haste makes waste.

I’m not sure if this is Aesop or Poor Richard, but this seems to have been the rule, rather than the exception, for the Democrat-lead Congress and the Obama administration. They’ve spent TRILLIONS to save financial organizations and passed a 2009 budget spending many more TRILLIONS. I can’t even keep the numbers straight any more, there have been so many (between bank bail-outs, auto bail-outs, pork bills, etc). It’s pretty sad though, when the American public doesn’t blink its eyes when talking about BILLIONS, and only seems slightly dazed now that we’re constantly hearing TRILLIONS. I did check my calculator at home, and it only goes up to the 10-MILLIONs place, so I guess I’ll have to watch my budget a little more carefully – ha ha. (OK, I looked it up and Poor Richard said “Necessity never made a good bargain.”)

Money doesn’t grow on trees.

To paraphrase a Sonic commercial, “maybe it does because money is made of paper and paper is made of trees…” OK, not quite accurate these days (DH tells me that money is more fabric than anything) but funny nonetheless. Where does the government think they will get all of this money that they are spending? I read a report today that the administration is thinking up new ways to get money. Obviously, their idea to make America’s veterans carry private insurance wasn’t well thought out and it certainly didn’t go over well (my opinion was that this was one step that Obama & Co. had in mind to get their national health-care legislation passed, but they didn’t realize how much it would be opposed). The cap-and-trade policy to have power companies buy and sell polution credits already failed in Europe, so why would we try something that’s already been proven a loser (not to mention costing every American family more dollars). And we’ve also been told that we are not being patriotic if we don’t want to pay more taxes – so that would make several of Obama’s appointments to be some of the most un-American people in America (it doesn’t matter if they are unethical or just stupid – either way they are not fit to govern). So the dollar and the 401-Ks continue to roll downhill.

Promises may get thee friends, but non-performance will turn them into enemies.

Not only have we seen  some terrible economic blunders by the current administration, we’ve also seen some real doozies in our foreign relations. There is the cheap plastic button given to a Russian diplomat that say “overcharge” and not “reset” – I guess Hillary doesn’t have any friends or co-workers that are fluent in Russian. There was her statement that she doesn’t understand multi-party democracies (ummm…how many polical parties are there in the US?). Hillary told Bejing that our relationship with the Chinese is more important than their policies on human right issues (which is actually a GOOD thing if you’re selling second-hand Chinese ultrasound machines). And my final example here – and this is truly the best of all – giving the British Prime Minister a thoughtful gift of 25 DVDs of American movies in the US viewing format as opposed to the priceless & historic gifts America (not just Obama) received. Perhaps Obama should’ve made Martha Stewart his Secretary of State or maybe just gift-giving czar; I don’t think she would make such stupid and class-less moves.

Love your neighbor, yet don’t pull down your hedge.

Wait, I forgot, we’ve got Smart Diplomacy now! The first call Obama made was to a terrorist-supporting Palastinian leader, not to someone who has been closely allied to the US for many years. And if you don’t believe it from reading the above examples, just consider the following: Obama’s administration has declared that we’re no longer in a ‘Global War On Terror’, now we’re calling it ‘Overseas Contingency Operation’ (that sounds to me like taking Kaopectate and Charmin with you when you travel abroad). So now we can be friends with the countries that Bush labeled as “evil”. When North Korea fires a missile, it really is just a satellite so we can get better cell-phone coverage when we visit their country (just like the 2 reporters who weren’t ‘abducted’, they just received an all-expenses paid vacation at the Pyongyang Hilton). And the poor Iranians need to build nuclear energy power plants because they just don’t have any oil to burn! Boy, I’m feeling so much safer that I’ve just got that tingly feeling all over! (Sorry, I didn’t mean to get so obviously sarcastic.)

Here comes the orator, with his flood of words and his drop of reason.

I do have to confess that I enjoy watching clips of Obama answering questions without his trusty sidekick, the Teleprompter. I don’t get to see as many as I would like since I have dial-up and since MSM tends to ask fluffy questions. But I think the comparisons of Obama with Teleprompter and Obama sans Teleprompter show something more important: that our current president is actually an intellectual light-weight. His reasoning is circular,  and his responses are rambling and really don’t contain any pertinent information. His ideals aren’t in question, but his background is. It just proves that ACORN training and campaigning are no substitute for executive experience. What people have confused for intelligence is his ability to give speeches that were written for him and read off of a teleprompter. Now we have even more proof of his failings in his inability to fill the presidential cabinet and other political positions, as well as his allowing the Democratic co-horts of Reid and Pelosi to take leadership on stimulus and budget legislation. So just who is in charge, anyway?

Well done is better than well said.

One of the things that has really struck me though about the Obama administration is the number of foul-mouthed and smart-assed people Obama has surrounded himself with. We have ‘gotta love him’ Joe Biden who can’t keep his foot out of his mouth. He can’t seem to remember the names of people he admires (Is is Justice Stevens or Stewart?) or the “website number” for how the TARP money is being spent. But Joe also responded with the F-bomb when one of his friends addressed him by his new title of “Mr. VP” – yeah, that’s certainly a good reason to curse at your friends. Classless Jerk#1. Rahm Emanuel, the current chief of staff, enjoys throwing the F-bomb around, in public, in his office, right there in the White House. He even has a souvenir name plate on his desk saying, “Undersecretary for Go (F-Bomb) Yourself.” Classless Jerk #2. Finally, we come to the Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. I don’t get to watch the daily press conferences very often (no cable, remember), but I can say that my favorite PS was Tony Snow (RIP). He always managed to deliver the briefings with respect towards the administration and the reporters, while remaining quick-witted and personable. And Ari Fleischer continues to be thoughtful and deliberate when delivering his comments. Not so the current Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. This longtime Obama spokesman seems to take special delight in making sarcastic remarks and delivering wisecracks, as if he is trying to do stand up comedy and get the press corps rolling on the floor laughing. His crass schtick seemed to work at first, but even lately the press appears to be getting weary of the act. Although he can’t seem to answer the serious questions that are now being put to him, Gibbs does have the one-liners to bash Cheney and Limbaugh, or complain that he is “all Russia’d out”, or giggling while he tries to convince a reporter that he is serious (jusk ask Obama cheerleader April Ryan). Classless Jerk #3. Is it me, or does there seem to be an awful lot of giggling from this administration.

What you would seem to be, be really. 

Bad policies and decision-making don’t mean that there is a conspiracy to undermine the America that our founding fathers created. But it is hard to believe that this much stupidity and lack of ethics, coupled with arrogance and elegance, could come together without someone pulling the strings. Just another argument for intelligent design over evolution.

The excellency of hogs is fatness, of men virtue.

I just had to throw this one in because of porkulus and just because I thought it was funny. (Hat tip to Benjamin Franklin for all of the nuggets of wisdom.)

Until next time…

Christians With Integrity

Published March 20, 2009 by glaumland

As I was perusing the web looking for some specific items, I came across some news articles that I found interesting. And since I’m sitting here on dial-up for several hours getting updates, I figured I would share them…

The first was a Wall Street Journal interview with Czech President Vaclav Klaus (via Power Line This is the first time I have heard of, or even heard, President Klaus, and I have to say I was very surprised. I found his arguments well thought out and well presented. He does not fall into the traps of bashing his opponents or of combining non-related issues. I wish we could elect him President of the USA. We need clear heads at the top to deal with the current economy,  and from the reports I’m seeing, there aren’t any in the present administration. President Klaus seems to have a very good perspective of what is needed to right the situation.

And not only does President Klaus seem to understand the global financial crisis, he doesn’t buy into the nonsense spouted from global warming alarmists. He correctly understands that being good stewards of our earth and reducing our pollution are totally different issues from global warming. Let’s face it: scientific facts just do not support global warming. It even appears that the king of global warming, former VP Al Gore, is afraid to an open debate on the topic.

The first two chapters in Genesis are some of my favorite passages from the Bible; they show us how incredible God is. He not only had an idea for the heavens and the earth, He created them & created the Laws of Science and Math that they follow. And although mankind has a sinful nature that degrades anything it contacts, I don’t believe that God’s creation and His power could be permanently tainted by man.

Another article I came across was from the BBC: . President Obama has reversed a Bush policy to allow our government to vigorously support embryonic stem cell research on new cell lines. Under the Bush policy, only cell lines developed before August 9, 2001 could be kept and used. It is NOT true that President Bush banned testing on ESC’s; what he did was to keep the government from funding the projects that wanted to develop, and then destroy, embryos. In other words, if research companies wanted to use their own or private funds for ESCR, they were able to, they just couldn’t look to the government to support them. (And since most companies don’t pursue this course with their own money, it obviously isn’t profitable. In fact, my opinion is that any scientist who is honestly looking at making gains in stem cell research would want to steer away from ESCR, which is fraught with social and spiritual implications, and use a plentiful and readily available stem cell resource: umbilical cord blood left over after the delivery of a baby.) To look at one example of a successful stem cell research program, check out my alma mater: .

According to the BBC article, Obama describes himself as a man of faith. As I wrote in an earlier blog entry, I don’t really know what that means. You see, he calls himself a ‘Christian,’ but his words and actions don’t really align with the Christian faith. For 20 years Obama attended a church where the pastor routinely used racially inflammatory and foul language from the pulpit. (Talk about a hate crime – to use a pulpit for something other than telling the Good News of Christ’s death and resurrection! And to expose your children to this garbage – amazing.) I don’t know a lot about this black liberation theology, but I do know that salvation isn’t about anything that humans do (no matter what color, gender, nationality, etc), but about what Jesus Christ has done for us. So like I said earlier, I don’t know what Obama means when he talks about his “faith.”

You see, for me, my “faith” isn’t something like a bumper-sticker on my car, or my Christian music turned up loud enough for the neighbors to hear, or to walk around campus waving a Bible and condemning co-eds. Funny enough, my faith isn’t even about me. It’s about my LORD. And it certainly isn’t about what I do, or don’t do, because I can never do enough. But I do hope that in some way people can see my faith through the way I live my life and by the choices I make. I want to talk the talk AND walk the walk. That’s integrity.

So you see, when the BBC says of ESCR, “Like Mr Bush, President Obama has profound Christian beliefs but he has defined the issue in terms of integrity,” I get really upset. To imply that integrity isn’t congruent with Christian beliefs is wrong. OK, I will be the first to admit that there have been a lot of very horrible things done in the name of “Christianity,” but that was a result of mankind sinfully and purposefully misrepresenting God. God has, from the very beginning, demanded that His followers live lives of integrity. That’s what the 10 Commandments are all about – it is not about saying one thing, then thinking or doing something to the contrary.

And now we have an administration where junk science will be put up on a pedestal, all in the name of integrity (as opposed to being held hostage by the previous administration). Education Secretary Arne Duncan said today, “Whether it’s global warming, evolution or stem cell research, science will be honored. It will be respected and supported by this administration.” Those of us who manage to be Christians and scientists at the same time need to be very wary of allowing these politicians and junk scientists  to speak for us all and to monopolize the public discussion.

Obama’s “profound Christian beliefs” don’t impress me. He worshiped with a man that preached anger and divisiveness rather than the love and forgiveness of God (at least until it became a political hotpoint). Some of the first legislation he enacted as president had to do with making more money available for abortions and for embryonic stem cell research (Hello! Embryos are babies, even if it’s above Barack Obama’s paygrade and Bill Clinton can’t figure it out.). And, when he is working without his teleprompter, he tries to make jokes in stupid and hurtful ways (just ask Special Olympics and Jessica Simpson). That’s not the behavior and actions I expect from my “Christian” leader.

If I want to learn something about my Christian beliefs, I’ll study my Bible (NIV). If I want to learn something about integrity, I’ll study my Bible. If I want to learn something about hypocrisy, I’ll study Obama.

Until next time…

Squashing A Rooster Rebellion

Published March 20, 2009 by glaumland

Hello, Spring! I am so happy to see the robins roosting in the trees, and I noticed the first blooms on the forsythia today. I guess this means spring is finallly here.

We burned pasture/ditches/yard last weekend. Luckily, Mother Nature had cooperated, so the moisture level at the ground was high enough that only the dry grass  & leaves on top burned. So the sparsely grassed and mowed areas worked well enough to keep the fire contained. Good thing – Dear Hubby has a pyromaniac gene and once he gets started burning, he just wants to make more and bigger fires! At least this year he was careful enough not to burn the cedars (which look quite impressive when they go up in flames), fruit trees and lilacs. So the only down-side was all of the soot tracked into the house, but hey, it could’ve been a lot worse!

On a sad note, a neighbor dog jumped their fence and decided to “play” with the turkeys (which means tearing out all of their feathers, chewing off their wings, tearing off the skin, and then leaving them when they aren’t fun anymore). We immediately killed my Blue Slate, he was in really bad shape. Poor guy survived the dog attack from last year. The Royal Palm was in slightly better shape, so I loaded her up on pain meds and antibiotics, then tried to treat her wounds. Unfortunately, she passed away a short time later, but at least it wasn’t a painful end. (It was difficult coming up with dosages for meds for individual turkeys, since most people eat them and don’t treat them for pain or bite wounds…only us crazy turkey ladies!) We didn’t eat these turkeys – it’s one thing to know you are going to butcher and eat one of your birds (or critters), but to have them attacked…I just couldn’t do it. Plus I don’t know where THAT TURKEY KILLIN’ DOG’s mouth has been, or what the meat would taste like after all of the stress and damage. So the carcasses just went down to the river (thank you DH) and became cat fish food (or whatever – I don’t want to know).

Now that my big turkey is gone, the Barred Rock Rooster (aka ‘Tough Guy’) thinks he really is tough, since he’s now the biggest guy around. He’s gone after the kids, so he probably will be in the stew pot soon. It’s the only thing to do with these old roosters, since they need to cook a long time so they won’t be tough. Last one we ate was “Steve & Noodles.”

Anyway, I was doing chores tonight and Tough Guy ambushed me from behind! What nerve! And when I was fixing to get him some food! Well, you don’t pick on Big Momma unless you can back it up. Tough Guy thought he could, and he kept coming at me with his head low and his neck feathers puffed out. Then he would leap and strike me with his back legs. I half-heartedly kicked at him, which he avoided and then came right back for me. OK, now this is getting serious. I can’t have a rooster who isn’t respectful, so I put my head down low, puffed out my neck feathers, and spread my wings, then started walking menacingly towards Tough Guy (well, OK, that’s a little exaggerated, but it usually is effective even if it appears like I’m crazy).

But Tough Guy wouldn’t back down. So I started trash talkin’ him and askin’ him if he thought he was tougher than me. He did. But what he didn’t count on was that I have opposable thumbs at the end of my ‘wings.’ HA! I was able to grab him and fling him a few times. A few tail feathers later, he finally got the idea – funny how good the garden looked just then – and off he went, tail between his legs, so to speak. What a ‘chicken’ – ha ha!

After dark I went out to count & check the chickens and close the chicken house door. And just to make sure that ‘Tough Guy’ knew that Big Momma still ruled the roost, I started petting him under his wings and rubbing his comb. He growled at me and eventually fell off the roost, but he was lots more respectful. As for the other roosters, they are in pretty good shape, except for my little Buttercup – he’s kind of skinny, but he has to work so much harder to get a hen.

It is nice to have fresh eggs again. Boy, do they taste good. There really aren’t any ticks yet, so it must be all of the time spent in the horse pen! I haven’t decided if I want to raise chicks, but I do want some more turkeys. Guess I’ll have to make up my mind soon.

Until next time…