musings of a retired educator…

“The words are not good for the secret meaning, everything always becomes a bit different,
as soon as it is put into words, gets distorted a bit, a bit silly—yes,
and this is also very good, and I like it a lot, I also very much agree with this,
that this what is one man’s treasure and wisdom always sounds like
foolishness to another person.”

Hermann Hesse

(a bunch of wilted and rotting swiss chard in the trash / Julie Cook / 2018)

Or so that was the impetus behind my wanting to start a blog 5…ish years ago..
I was a retired teacher who still had things to “teach”…
or so I figured.

But then ‘it’ happened.

It happened not all at once but rather it came upon gradually…slowly and almost undetected.

It was life and we all know life brings with it…change.

Life changed.
I changed.

It happens.

But that didn’t mean that I didn’t have musings or things I still felt compelled
I needed to “teach”…
I did and I do.

Take for example the above image of the spent swiss chard.

I like swiss chard.
I grew it myself once when I use to have a garden.

I had a garden when I first started blogging.
I blogged about my garden…
then ‘it’ happened.

Life happened and things changed and now I don’t have a garden to blog about.

So now I buy swiss chard at the grocery store.
I like to chop it and sautee it with bacon, onions, a little chicken broth and salt and pepper.

The swiss chard you’re looking at is in the trash.
As has been the last five or so bunches of swiss chard I’ve brought in oh so many weeks.
They’ve all been sent to the rubbish bin…because ‘it’ happened.
Life happened and my swiss chard wilted and got past its prime and I had to throw it out.

Life can be that way…wasteful as well as expensive.

Life can also grow and expand or it can shrink and shrivel.

(two cousins enjoying the human’s couch / Julie Cook / 2018)

I had two cats when I started my blog.

I still have the two cats, but I also have a granddog that has come to stay with us since her new
human baby sister arrived.

They’re all staying with us.

Because ‘it’ happened.

Life brought new life and old life had to go back to work so now older life is caring for the
new life and the two cats and the dog.

And since all these lives are currently living under our roof,
I find that I visit places like the grocery store and Target a lot more often then I use to.
And sadly waste more and more and more swiss chard as life keeps getting in the way.

Take for example yesterday when I had to go to Target for a few things for the new life currently
living under our roof.

Look what I saw for sale…

Politically Correct band-aids.
For when life gives us boo boos.

They are marketed as diverse band-aids.
Skintone correct.

Yeah, right.

Kind of like a Crayola crayon box—talk about diversity in a box.

Because even band-aids have now decided to be all about diversity and the politically correct.

“Genius” some would muse.
“Why didn’t I think of that” others would lament.

All the while I look at traditional band-aids while shaking my head as I know they match
my skin tone about as much as a strip of duct tape does.

Simply put, they don’t.
So let’s not pretend that cream colored band-aids are just for creamed colored folks…
Next, we’ll be changing the color of gauze or surgical tape…

I think the clear band-aids were more along the lines of correctness.

These stips of sticky color are just one more example of members of the bandwagon
jumping on that proverbial train ride while touting that diversity brings everyone together…
yet failing to understand that diversity is really all about splintering.

And then there were these desk signs…

I’m a girl.
I have a granddaughter.
I’m all for equal pay for equal work no matter who’s doing the work…
But if the furture is all about being female…where does that leave our male population?
And where will that leave the making of more males and yes, more females…???


Another example of all things marketing taking life to the same level of
the militant movements of activism…
Hurray for more militant activism…


But happily, I am pulled back to thinking about that new life currently,
yet temporarily, living under our roof.

She got very sick this past week.
Life threw us a tremendous curveball.
A frightening, scary, grab you by the collar, curveball.

When we got home from the second hospital, after a very frightening couple of days
of touch and go, her grandfather presented her with her first bouquet of flowers.

See…this is what life and new life can do to older life.

It can make older life think and do things it normally would not have thought about
or done before…
Like walk up the sidewalk to a store selling flowers in order to bring the sickly little
new life a pot of pretty purple flowers.

Which brings us to a hard part of new life.


Some new life is all about, well, life…sleep is not an important factor…
because sleep precludes one from , well, taking it all in.
It gets in the way of eating, being held, having diapers changed and missing out
on the older lives scattered about.

And so we now introduce the Finnbin

A couple of years back, before I had this new life in my life, I read an article about
babies in Nordic countries who sleep outside—even in the dead of winter.
Parents make no never mind about meeting up at a cafe for a coffee while their babies hang out,
outside in the sub-zero temps, bundled up, yet happy as little snuggly clams.
They claim babies sleep better out in the fresh air versus inside…
makes sense as I have been known to go a bit stir crazy when I can’t get outside.

I thought the concept intriguing at the time and that perhaps our Nordic friends
were on to something.

And so when this new life came into my life and had a nice new crib, a functional pack and play
and two Mama Roos yet still found sleep elusive,
I recalled the story of our Nordic friends and the other stories I’d seen about
Finnish babies sleeping in boxes…
yep boxes.

A box seemed a bit safer then shoving the new life outside to fin for herself in a stroller.

And so, in desperation…I found the Finnbins.

Boxes for baby sleeping—albeit made in America, The Finnbin is a Finnish style sleeping
baby box.

The concept tips its hat to the Finnish Government providing all new parents-to-be with
a baby sleeping box full of all kinds of goodies for new parents to be.
Finnbins make great gifts for expectant parents.
We’re hoping it will provide a happy and much cheaper alternative spot to this new life’s
other more expensive sleeping devices.

Or maybe the stroller will just have to do….

Maybe I’ll go to the store tomorrow and pick up a new bunch of swiss chard…

My son, pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.
Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
for they are life to those who find them
and health to one’s whole body.
Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
Keep your mouth free of perversity;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
and be steadfast in all your ways.
Do not turn to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.

Proverbs 4:20-27

20 comments on “musings of a retired educator…

  1. Wally Fry says:

    “Stuff,” does tend to happen, doesn’t it Julie? Seems the stuff just beats us to death sometimes. Sure glad that baby seems to be doing better though. Our big day is likely next Friday!

  2. Lynda Clayton says:

    I hope something brings Autumn the comfort she needs to sleep so that the rest of you can catch up on much needed rest. Blessings.

  3. Elihu says:

    I thought I was the only one whose well-intentioned veggies and fruits landed in the trash because “it” happened. Lol! I totally relate. We now live in Texas because life happened. This was never the plan, but now it’s our reality. The Lord’s plans are so dramatically different from our own, aren’t they?

    I saw those cool nordic boxes and I think they’re a fabulous idea. Lately I’ve been thinking it would be of great value to simply live with less. Buy less, use less, waste less.

    I love these pictures of your adorable granddaughter. What a little delight she must be for you. May the Lord bless you, sister!

    • I’m glad knowing I’m not the only one who has good and even grand intentions with my fresh produce and fruits—I keep trying however…one day, I’ll get that Swiss Chard cooked 🙂
      And the boxes are really neat.
      The one I got was $65 dollars and it came with a real deal mattress, a cotton mattress pad and a little storage are that the mattress sits on that is cubbied so you could store bibs, burb clothes, towels, etc…they included in the box a pack of diapers, a great durable glass baby bottle made in Germnay with a colic prevention nipple, a very nice thermometer, a huggies travel wipes case complete with wipes and a bunch of coupons—for 65 bucks—a great thing!
      They also have gift box sets available that will include clothes etc…
      A great new parent baby shower gift!
      And it’s really convenient for traveling verses hauling a massive pack-n-play around…of which this one does not care for, nor her crib…but she does like the Mama Roo (cause it is in a constant state of gentle rocking) or the stroller of all things…

      She is a handful and a mess for sure!!!
      But one I will certainly keep 😉

  4. SharaC says:

    Thank you for pushing through all the “it’s” that are happening to take time to be such an encouragement. Those band aids tho… what is happening?! 😂I laugh but yikes… healing through diversity… I’ll just stick with Jesus.

    • and thank you Shara for all your encouragement!!!—I should have titled the post, “when Swiss chard is the barometer of life…yeah—stupid new band-aids—you’re right, I’m sticking with and stuck to Jesus as the great Healer!!!

  5. “Life brought new life and old life had to go back to work so now older life is caring for the
    new life and the two cats and the dog.” I so love that! You express it all in such a witty way! Yes, life happens. Sigh. I’ve been full-on in the “happening” of recent weeks as I know you are, dear Julie. Ongoing prayers for you! So glad she is doing better! Such a relief. ❤ ❤ and hugs!!

  6. Julie, SHE IS PRECIOUS! Enjoy this new life while she is still a baby, and grow up with her.
    Blessings as the best is yet to come.:)

    • Thanks Fran— this has been some more 2 months!!

      • I have not been in touch, so I do not know what has been happening. How can I pray?

      • here is a link to the post I wrote as a follow up to our recent ordeal…
        My daughter-n-law has had a heck of a post materninity journey. She’s back teaching now, finishing out the school year. They live in Atlanta due to my son having taken a job there but Abby has still maintained her post here in Carroll Co–driving back and forth.
        They’re staying with us while she finishes the year.
        Abby came down with Salmonella after we ate at the Atlanta Fish Market. That was three weeks ago. This past week Autumn became sick—we went to the ER here then rushed to Scottish Rite—she too had Salmonella…and the fear was it had gotten into her blood stream and brain—they did a spinal tab which was thankfully clear…she’s received some powerful antibiotics…and had every grueling test possible for a two month old baby.
        Brenton’s company closed a week before the baby was born–so he was without a job until about two weeks ago—he’ll start a new job Monday at Home Depot Corporate…which is great but we now need for Abby to find a teaching job in Atlatna…it’s just one day at a time with lots of prayers….

      • Just read your follow-up. I had not idea, but you had others praying, so I can join in the PRAISE for the Lord’s hand upon you all. Blessings as you enjoy this time together.

      • thank you Fran—we have certainly been under the gun these past twon months and all prayers are greatly appreciated!

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