Be like Eliza….

I’ve never found history boring and have found the more one learns, the more there is always to learn. (The same can be said of science and other “subjects”, or areas of learning. Yes, math is included in this.)

Last night, even with a hockey playoff game going on in the background, I finished Tilar Mazzeo’s work Eliza Hamilton.  Eliza’s life was a Shakespearean type drama and Greek tragedy rolled into one. Eliza was born into the Schuyler family of New York, who were cousins to the Rensselaer family. Does this name sound familiar? Eliza’s father, Phillip, fought in the Revolutionary War and was one of George Washington’s top generals. This is how she came to meet Alexander Hamilton.

Mazzeo divulges into Eliza’s life before and after Hamilton and how her life afterwards was always under his shadow. Mazzeo also goes into how history isn’t always what we think it is and there is always much more to each story given. Mazzeo goes deeply into the Maria Reynolds affair: did it really happen and was it a cover up for something else going on? The whitewashed history books don’t talk about people’s fiances and back door dealings that all of the Founding Fathers partook in. Mazzeo’s biography of Eliza is only the third of fourth book I’ve read that tackles this subject. The two best history teachers I had were the only ones who discussed this and Hamilton’s link to the Crash of 1792.

Eliza not only lost Alexander in a duel. Her oldest son, also Phillip, was killed in a duel shortly before Alexander was. Eliza dealt with situations and events most people could not picture today yet she survived and preserved what she wanted to preserve of Alexander’s legacy. Eliza also took her grief and made it into something positive.

Be like Eliza.


The Power of Value & Dead Scooters

I was doing a Word of the Day for a while.  I found one of the notepads recently where I jotted down my ideas about the word “value”.


Value goes beyond money.

Volunteer value.

Value vs. Worth

Worth = money?

How much do you value……?

What is the value of…….?

Love/ monetary/ friendship/ financial

I was thinking of this word after an EMS shift where my partner and myself moved a couple of hundred pound dead mobility scooter.  The person who called is a “regular” and she called for a “fall” but the “fall” was really a dead scooter.  The home health aide said they told the person not to call but the person did anyway.

We dragged that scooter across a tiny condo to the person’s bedroom using a canvas stretcher.  Then we took the person’s vitals.

The service I work with doesn’t bill for refusals.  We couldn’t help the scooter.  The scooter was blocking access to the tiny kitchen.

I guess in this case our value went beyond money.

girl eating lollipop
Photo by bruce lam on

Caleb’s Crossing

Even though this book is a work of fiction, Caleb’s Crossing could easily be used as a jumping off point to teach early American history, women’s studies, Native American history, colonial history, and much more.

It was fascinating to read this as I have visited both Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts and the Mashantuckut Pequot Museum in Ledyard, Connecticut.  This is one of the many parts of American history I shake my head in sorry at and feel like Western civilization trampled and nearly killed off peoples who could have helped this country on a different course.  What Geraldine Brooks writes about is a “missing” piece of American history.  I will especially never look at Harvard University the same way again.

Rinker Buck: The Oregon Trail

This is a book about memory on both personal and national levels.  I didn’t want it to end.  Someone had it on the list for a local book club and karma bought it to me a few days later.  This is the type of book that is both heartbreaking and profound at the same time.  I will hold onto this book for a long time.

Rinker Buck is a fellow resident of the State of Connecticut.  Rinker takes a journey with his brother, Nick, across the Oregon Trail during the summer of 2011.  Rinker brings in his personal life and past into the American past and through self-reading brings out the truth about America’s past and the Oregon Trail’s past.  Rinker also talks about how the past is changed and hidden away and covered over and rewritten and reinterpreted. Many parts of the Trail are literally paved over.  Other parts have been taken over and renamed and their history glossed over.  Other parts are never discussed at all in the course of the teaching of American history.  Rinker brings these memories out to the forefront.  Yet reading it, I feel that his journey barely touched the surface.

A must read.

Connecticut SB 487

Good morning.  Thank you for taking the time to have this hearing and for incorporating individual testimony.
I am in support of SB 487.  I know there are many countless others who share this as well.
I want to let you know that Thomas Paine, who wrote the short book Common Sense, which as you know helped spur the American Revolution, was in favor of hemp production and believed hemp was one of the products that could make America strong and keep America independent from outside economic influences.  Most textbooks take out this part of his work.  I didn’t discover this until I read the complete book.  If you haven’t, I encourage you to do so.  I believe Mr. Paine would find the banning of hemp a travesty and if he were here today, be in favor of this bill.
I don’t know if Mr. Paine knew about marijuana or cannabis, I can’t ask. Yet I do believe he would find what we are doing today in banning plants a travesty.  Marijuana and hemp are that: plants.  The banning of plants is incomprehensible.  I’ve heard every argument from many people about why marijuana needs to be banned and I don’t get it.  Hemp as well.  Early Americans used hemp for rope, clothing, and everyday items.  America would not be America without the hemp ropes used to build the ships that sailed before metal was able to be processed securely.
Do we really need to sit here and debate about THC, reefer madness, gateway drugs, self-medication, and processing ad nauseam?  Marijuana is a plant that has a world of possibilities that we as adults are well aware of.  Any substance can be abused and we are well aware of that as adults as well.
Would you rather have the marijuana processed in a clean facility and you know what is in it than processed in someone’s garage or basement?  I can tell you from experience as an EMT that many people, even from their “regular” dealers, are sold marijuana laced with substances they don’t know about.
Are people afraid to admit to their own use?  Afraid to admit that their children may be using?  I know I would rather be out in the open than hiding.  Wouldn’t you rather be able to monitor what is going into the marijuana before people smoke it or at least give them the options of their own plants?  I know if someone told me today I have a disease or sickness where the best alleviation of it is to smoke or intake marijuana due to the THC, I would want to grow my own plants and gladly pay the State to do so.  It is small price to pay and cheaper than many prescription options.  Or are you afraid of the prescription drug companies?  They won’t lose out, they actually serve to benefit in the long run.  Many of them already use marijuana in their pills.  Look it up if you don’t believe me.
Why are you enabling the large dealers, many of whom are white and never see jail time and run enough marijuana to run a small empire and pay no taxes whatsoever ever on their transactions, to continue to do this?  Wouldn’t you rather have the money from their transactions, which can run into the millions of dollars, in the State coiffers than in their pockets?  Why are you enabling mass incarceration, or are you afraid of all the people who run the prisons here in Connecticut?
Please go out among your constituents and talk with them.  Listen to the people here today that have been persecuted when they are trying to take care of themselves.  Help bring crime down.  Help bring money and common sense into Connecticut.
Thank you.

Review: Pictures of Hollis Woods

Hollis Woods is trouble, or is she?

As this story unfolds, the reader meets Hollis in both the past and present.  Hollis has been written off and Hollis is always running.  Yet now Hollis finds herself in a situation where she must care for herself and her caregiver.  As this story unfolds, Hollis reveals what happened to get her to where she is now.

An excellent, inspirational story.  A must read, especially for preteens and teens.

Daily Prompt: Tether

via Daily Prompt: Tether

This has been sitting in my hold pile for a while.

Tether.  This word always make me think of tethering a horse and not being able to go anywhere.

Currently the State of Connecticut, where I live, and the Town I live in, have both (as of my writing this) as of yet to pass a budget.  There is a lot of talk where the money that is needed will eventually come from.  Not one person wants more taxes and the politicians are really digging around to find ways to tax, like on cell phone bills and usage, within the State.  (One proposal I read.)

The taxes may come from things we are tethered to whether we want to be or not.  I can’t have my business, run it, without my cell phone.  I know I speak for others as well.

I know we all feel tethered at times.  Life is responsibility and responsibility is life.  Responsibility tethers us, there is no way around it.

Are we horses?  No.  Can we untether ourselves?  Yet then the question is at what cost and at what cost to ourselves and others?