Bluebonnet Season is coming soon.

It’s been slow on this blog, but it’s only because life has been busy.

This is a picture I took on March 23rd last year (and a similar one on April 2010) as the bluebonnets were taking bloom. It’s almost time for Bluebonnet Season!!!! And, I just got a new camera to help me capture it. Oh, what fun!

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Week 2 – Real life Muffasa

Real-life Muffasa 2/52 by s.kat130
Real-life Muffasa 2/52, a photo by s.kat130 on Flickr.

This is the picture for week 2. Taken 1/8/2012

On our way back from Oklahoma City, we stopped at GW Exotic Animal Park. This place is both amazing and heartbreaking at the same time. They have more lions and tigers (and bears) than any other zoo I’ve visited. Each of these animals were former exotic pets — kept in backyards and fed inadequate diets.

Besides the animals mentioned above, they also had crocodiles, exotic birds, monkey, baboons, and hyenas (to name a few.) However, they also have a few cross-breeds (taligers and ligers).

Week 2 of the 52 project is coming along well. I am starting to get back into the groove of taking pictures regularly after my early ending to the 365 photo project.

School lunches – to pack or not to pack…

I started the new school year religiously packing my son’s lunch everyday.  It was fun at first.  He enjoyed getting new things.  I enjoyed lovingly picking out his food. Then, life got in the way.  It started with one Friday… and then every Friday he would buy lunch at school.  For the last 2.5 months it’s been everyday with a few exceptions. 

My reasonings were:

  1. I’m a single mom and I was running out of time at both ends – buying his lunch saved me time and effort.  And, at only, $2.10/day it was a good deal.
  2. Food bought for his lunches didn’t get used fast enough and would go bad before I could use it.  This is wasteful and I hate waste.
  3. I lost interest in creating new lunches everyday. 

I’m beginning to swing back in the direction of phasing packed lunches again.  The school does not allow kindergarteners to get salads everyday (mine would eat salad with ham and cheese on it almost everyday.)  He gets flavored milk (strawberry or chocolate) everyday.  It seemed that when I was packing his lunch (with a thermos of water) he wasn’t getting as much sugar.  He also wasn’t getting in as much trouble (not following directions, etc.) back then, too.  I’d like to test the theory by controlling his daily sugar intake a little more.  I’d like to see if it would help his concentration skills to help him stay focused on learning.  But, all of that is just an experiment. 

As with all motherly experiments/activities/questions, I started with a Google search.  I LOVE Google and all it’s googliness, but that’s another story.

One of the underlying themes was the use of color, small portions, interactive food (dips for fruits or veggies, pack the parts of the  sandwich and let them assemble it themselves), and that’s it’s okay if you kid wants to eat the same thing every day.  It looks like Chef’s Salad is on the menu for tomorrow!

OKC memorial reflection (week 1)

OKC memorial reflection by s.kat130
OKC memorial reflection, a photo by s.kat130 on Flickr.

I finally made it back to OKC to visit the memorial site. OKC is my birthplace and where I lived for the first 14 years of my life. When a sick man with a plan came into town back in April 22, 1995 – my small world was never the same.

This is the first of a 52 weeks photo project I’m starting in 2012. Stay tuned for more.

Happy December!

It’s been a while since I blogged.  Sorry!  I have a few random things to share.

1. It’s officially Fall here.  We had frost on the rooftops this morning and the leaves are falling from the trees like rain.  And, of course, because it’s Texas  the sun is still shining. 

2. Today is the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  I received an email today which pretty much sums it all up:

Today is the 70th anniversary of the “date which will live in infamy,” 7 December 1941, when the Japanese Navy executed their devastating surprise attack on the U. S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor and brought the United States into World War II.  Approximately 2,400 people lost their lives – including over 2,000 Sailors, most of whom perished on USS ARIZONA (BB-39).  The toll of those lost on 11 September 2001 was considerably higher, but it’s a stretch to see the resulting sense of outrage and determination matching that which followed the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Nobody doubted then that we were at war.

The 7 December 1941 Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor was one of the great defining moments in history.  A single carefully-planned and well-executed stroke removed the United States Navy’s battleship force as a possible threat to the Japanese Empire’s southward expansion. America, unprepared and now considerably weakened, was abruptly brought into the Second World War as a full combatant.

Eighteen months earlier, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had transferred the United States Fleet to Pearl Harbor as a presumed deterrent to Japanese aggression. The Japanese military, deeply engaged in the seemingly endless war it had started against China in mid-1937, badly needed oil and other raw materials. Commercial access to these was gradually curtailed as the conquests continued. In July 1941 the Western powers effectively halted trade with Japan. From then on, as the desperate Japanese schemed to seize the oil and mineral-rich East Indies and Southeast Asia, a Pacific war was virtually inevitable.

By late November 1941, with peace negotiations clearly approaching an end, informed U.S. officials (and they were well-informed, they believed, through an ability to read Japan’s diplomatic codes) fully expected a Japanese attack into the Indies, Malaya and probably the Philippines. Completely unanticipated was the prospect that Japan would attack east, as well.

The U.S. Fleet’s Pearl Harbor base was reachable by an aircraft carrier force, and the Japanese Navy secretly sent one across the Pacific with greater aerial striking power than had ever been seen on the World’s oceans. Its planes hit just before 8AM on 7 December. Within a short time five of eight battleships at Pearl Harbor were sunk or sinking, with the rest damaged. Several other ships and most Hawaii-based combat planes were also knocked out and over 2400 Americans were dead. Soon after, Japanese planes eliminated much of the American air force in the Philippines, and a Japanese Army was ashore in Malaya.

These great Japanese successes, achieved without prior diplomatic formalities, shocked and enraged the previously divided American people into a level of purposeful unity hardly seen before or since. For the next five months, until the Battle of the Coral Sea in early May, Japan’s far-reaching offensives proceeded untroubled by fruitful opposition. American and Allied morale suffered accordingly. Under normal political circumstances, an accommodation might have been considered.

However, the memory of the “sneak attack” on Pearl Harbor fueled a determination to fight on. Once the Battle of Midway in early June 1942 had eliminated much of Japan’s striking power, that same memory stoked a relentless war to reverse her conquests and remove her, and her German and Italian allies, as future threats to World peace.

3.  I stumbled upon this blog, Fibromy-Awesome.  Mary’s writing style is the right mix of witty, sarcastic, and real.  She is “a sickly girl with a computer” (in her own words) but her perpsective is spot on.  Check out her latest post 15 Things White Girls love to do on Facebook.  Hilarious!  I wish her the best with her illnesses and her writing. 

4.  Christmas is coming!  Santa Claus is coming to town?!  I’m really low- key on Santa this year.  I’m not big on the lie that is Santa, but I’m not going to spoil the impression our culture has created for my kids.  I’m taking the approach the military used to take to homesexuals “Don’t ask, Don’t tell.”  As in, I won’t ask them to go see Santa or ask them what they want Santa to bring them and I won’t tell them lies to make him more real.  Yeah, it’s kinda of like I’ve got my head in the sand in this one.  I’m torn because, as a child, I totally bought into the idea that Santa was real (and that I really saw the Easter Bunny in the moonlight on my front porch when I was supposed to be asleep).   

Happy Christmas planning and remember that it’s how we spend our time and what we do not what we buy that counts!