#TeachbackThursday Limulidae

Did I get your attention?

Do you know what Limulidae are?  They are important to you.

I saw a pair mating today.  I showed about thirty or forty other people the same pair today. I made it clear I wasn’t touching them and we were just looking.  They were moving slightly.  They were trying to burrow in the peat to stay cool from the warming sun.  They came up high on the sandy shore, mating, burying their eggs.

They are older than dinosaurs.  They are living fossils.  They are feared because of the way they look.  People abuse them.  People use them for bait.  They are somewhere between threatened and endangered.

They do nothing to us.  They are gentle.  I can stick my hand where their legs are and they will do nothing to me or anyone else.

Yet we also need them.  We need them for their blue, copper-filled blood.  (Our blood is red from the hemoglobin.)  We need them to aerate the ocean bottoms for us and to control populations of smaller creatures.

Science uses them, collects their blood, to help identify bacteria in liquids and to add to IV (saline) bags in the hospital.  They often do not survive having their blood being collected.

Barnacles like to tag along for the ride on their shells.  This is a symbiotic relationship.  A symbiotic relationship is where nobody in a relationship is hurt.  (Think sharks and the feeder fish that swim alongside eating the leftover food bits.)

They use their tail for navigation and to flip themselves over if they get stuck on their back.  It doesn’t hurt anything or anyone.

They lay thousands of eggs but only a fraction may make it to adulthood.

It breaks my heart when people tell me they see people abusing these animals.  They are so gentle.

This is part of what I do.  I show people animals and places they may not know about.  I spend a lot of hours volunteering during the late spring giving tours of a local salt tidal marsh to local fourth grade students and their adult counterparts.  Most people who come down, adults included, have no idea what they drive past each day and how vital it is to the area in which we live.

The scary part is many people haven’t been learning what an ecosystem is and why it is important.

What am I teaching back? Learn about things and animals that scare you or you don’t know about.  Go out into the community.  Go out into the world.  Find out why things are important.  Explore.  Learn.  Grow.  Share.

I’m there because I love it, I love the horseshoe crabs, I love the fiddler crabs.  I love the smell.  I love the view.  I just love it and don’t want to see it disappear.

Long live the Limulidae!

National Biography Day

Today, Monday, May 16, 2016 is National Biography Day.

What is your story?  What do you want people to know about you?

What is your favorite biography?  Who do you like to read about?

I had a coworker many years ago who told me she only read biographies.  The reasoning was that she actually gained inspiration and insight from them.  She told me she also learned a lot about famous people, people she didn’t know about, and a lot of unknown history as well.

As a small business owner, one piece of advice I have read over and over is to read biographies of famous people, especially business people.

Many people have truly amazing backgrounds and it is quite amazing how they came to be famous, or infamous.

After Abraham Lincoln, the most striking biographies I have ever read are those on Andrew Johnson, his successor after Lincoln was murdered.  Johnson truly climbed from the bottom to the top even though he set the United States back many decades after the Civil War and in some respects this country has never truly recovered.

Harry Truman is another fascinating person with an amazing biography.

My favorite biographer is David McCullough.

Who is yours?

#TeachbackThursday Have it out

My significant other loves to have me talk about some of the past supervisors and bosses and ended relationships I have had.  The stories can really liven up a party.

There was one many years ago who pushed a chair back so I would have to sit a few feet away from them.  I pushed the chair back up to their desk and had the meeting head on. In the long run, they turned out to be a big liar.  It was also the first meeting where I had to defend my teaching practices and explain why I believed my observations were correct. They recently left their job.  I wish them the best of luck.

There have been email wars.  The passive aggressive ones who like to throw people under the bus.  The ones who have made me work for free because they won’t admit to running out of budget money while they earn a six-figure bureaucratic salary.  The ones who put me on three different payrolls so they wouldn’t have to pay health insurance while not taking former employees off of payroll and health insurance.  The ones who told me I have to come back after a medical procedure or they would replace me.  The ones who liked to interrupt my classes with a lot of huffing and puffing and hot air after confronting them about contradictory statements.  The ones who sent an email berating me in front of someone I had never even met.  The same ones who cut my hours in retaliation.

Have it out.

I thought of all of these yesterday as I stood, hands on my hips, looking at myself reflected in someone’s sunglasses while we had it out for a good fifteen minutes.

How many times have I been in this situation before?

How many people do I want to be in this situation with?  I just want to clear the air and say what needs to be said instead of the all the emails and constant drama and just plain being ignored or belittled or berated either in writing or in front of others or a combination of both.  If the relationship ends forever, so be it.  I can have my own Christmas parties.

I know some people claim to abhor drama while creating it and others just plain hate confrontation.

My motto has always been either say it to my face or don’t say it at all.  And I mean my face.  Call me but don’t email me at 10 p.m. or Facebook message that could be a fucking college essay over something that could have been said and dropped in five minutes. Don’t unfriend me on Facebook and then go on Facebook and call me a cheap bitch in front of people I don’t know just because you wanted a cheap gift you didn’t get.

I don’t play those games.

Sit down and let’s talk or we can go somewhere and just have it out.

When I have it out, I feel much better.

When I say something that needs to be said, I feel much better.

Things went much better today.  I’m glad I had it out with this other person.

 

Contrast

Black and white. Old and new. Tall and short.

When I think of contrast, I think of adjectives. Dark, light, ugly, beautiful, crooked, straight.

English has many adjectives.

The past, the present, the future.

Contrast is a natural way of looking at the world. How are these the same and different?

We spend a lot of time contrasting people, places, things, events, books…..

Contrast keeps life fun and interesting.

Beginning Tips: Stay-at-home (SAHM)

As promised, this is for you who are looking for work and have been at home.  This includes Moms, Dads, grandparents, and parents who homeschool.

This is a very slippery slope.  Some people feel comfortable talking about it and some people don’t.  We are told that employers can’t discriminate if you are or did stay-at-home.  Yet from both personal experience and others I have spoken with, this is not always true.

A wise woman once told me to say: “I have/ I had other obligations” when the illegal question is asked, or if you work part-time, why don’t you work full-time?  I have my business.  When not meeting with clients, it is full-time with marketing and trying to stay on top of things and keep up with clients.

Resumes and job applications are even tougher.  I filled out one job application recently that asked you to explain a month or more of no work.

I have learned in life to always be doing something: volunteer work, direct selling, something.  This keeps you in contact with people and possible future references and job opportunities.  I have also learned to get out of the house for a couple of hours each day unless snowed in during a blizzard.  Even then, go out and shovel.

Running a household and taking care of children is no joke.  Doing this is like earning a crash course degree in economics and psychology all in one.  (I wish all colleges would count this experience as life learning.)  Yet the question: how to dodge the question and answer the question at the same time?

Two words: “Private caregiver.”

Two other possible words: “Family caregiver.” (If you feel so inclined and so comfortable.)

When listing tasks and responsibilities:

  1. Day-to-day upkeep and maintenance of private household
  2. Day-to-day accounting of given  budget/ allowance
  3. Day-to-day daily and personal care of private individuals

What else?

Years of hard work can be difficult to sum up in a few short words.  Everyone’s experience is similar but different.

If you have any questions or comments, please post them below.  Also, you can contact me at 203-414-5176 or email yourmindinbloom@yahoo.com

Book Review: Abigail Adams by Woody Holton

Yes, even Abigail Adams fought the man, as we would say today, even though one of the men was her own husband, John Adams, second President of the United States, and so was her son, John Quincy Adams, third President of the United States.

There are many “aha”moments reading this book: why we never hear about her except the “don’t forget the ladies” comment.  She wrote and wrote and wrote prolific letters for a person today we would consider “undereducated.”  She read the classics to her children when they were young: six, seven, eight years old.  And I don’t mean the classics we call classics today: the classics from the worlds of Greece and Rome.  Even though not allowed to have property, she ran a business, a farm, and assisted her husband.

Abigail Adams thought for herself.

Even in death she gave all of her property to female heirs because she knew they would never get anything besides what she gave them.  How is that for recompense?

This book shows and shares a side of a person who everyone should know about.  Yes, people probably malign her but she was a product of her society and its’ beliefs.  However, she went above and beyond and lit the candle for the rest of us.

If Abigail can do it, we can do it.

Book Review: “Queen Esther the Morning Star” by Mordicai Gerstein

Okay, so my family member picked this book up based on the cover. The illustrations are very eye-catching, full of different shades of colors, and very different from what you see in other children’s books.

The book tells the story of Queen Esther and the the story behind the Jewish holiday of Purim, or “lots.”

Trivia: The Book of Esther is in the Bible does not mention God at all.

Trivia: Esther means Venus, just like the Greek goddess and the morning star.

The Book of Esther tells how Esther is chosen because of her beauty to be the king’s new wife yet she does not reveal her identity until caught between a rock and hard place where she must choose her life or that of saving the Jewish people.

Purim usually occurs in March. The Jewish holiday cycle is based on the lunar, or moon cycle. Purim coincides with the full moon in March, usually, and is the Jewish “Mardi Gras” in many ways. It is also a reminder that spring is also almost in full bloom and even when evil seems to always triumph, the good somewhere will win out and that good and evil begins with individuals and will end that way as well.