Sunday, November 18, 2012

My uncle Warren Shawcroft was a cattle rancher in southern Colorado. We used to visit Aunt Mary and him when we went there to see Grama and Grampa DePriest. When I was a teenager he would ask me, "Marty, are you over fool's hill yet?" I always asked him what was he talking about? Now, many years later, I think I'm part way up the hill, but certainly not over it yet.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How much of our lives is controlled by fear of lawsuits? So much of what I do in school every day is driven by former lawsuits and the potential of future lawsuits. Of course, some things have to be improved or prevented, but when we become hedged in by constant the constant scrutiny and vigilance, it seems we have lost a great deal of freedom and enjoyment in life.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

We get a lot of rain in Western Washington. For a guy that grew up in the high desert of New Mexico, the weather here gets a bit monotonous. It's been cloudy and raining for several weeks now...not those heavy downpours we used to get in Illinois and Australia, but somewhere between a drizzle and a shower. Not a lot falls in a short time, but over several days it starts to add up. Janene and I went driving along the levee of the Puyallup River yesterday. The source of the river is glaciers on Mt. Rainier. It was quite high due to the recent rains, and there were a lot of Native American fishermen  along the banks and in boats hauling in what looked like salmon or steelhead trout. We weren't close enough to see exactly what they were catching. I thought of the blessing the river and the fish have been over the centuries to these people. We enjoyed the fall colors of the trees and bushes along the river. Next to the levee were fields of cabbages and other produce. While the rains can be tedious, there are benefits that come with them. Life can be like that.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Why anyone would want to be President of the United States is something I don't understand. Perhaps the most surprised and disappointed person in America is President Obama. If I were him, I would be hoping to lose...who would want to keep trying to solve the problems we are facing?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I heard an interesting comment from Dave Ramsey last night.
Something like, "When you give a man money, he reveals
who he is by how he uses it."

Thirty-some years ago, our little family moved from Illinois to Washington.
We bought a small home in the north end of Tacoma. Part of the deal was
a note for $10,000 that we would pay to the previous owner at $100 per month.
Teacher salaries were not the greatest back then, so that was a bit of a burden for us.

One day I came home from work and my wife was in tears.
I thought something horrible had happened. I asked what was
wrong and she said, "Mr.X called and said he had just inherited
some money from his aunt, and he would like to forgive us the $10,000 debt."

Money is not evil.
Having a lot of it is not evil.
It's simply what you choose to do with it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Our son Reuben (Sgt US Army 10th Mt Division, Ft. Drum New York) just received 2 hour emergency orders to deploy with his company to New Jersey to guard the Army assets that are being used for Hurricane Sandy Relief. As a member of the Armed Forces he cannot make civilian arrests, but he is authorized to use any means to protect Army vehicles, property, and assets.

So, what does this mean for us here in Washington?

Perhaps the most severe problem is the lack of food, medicine, drinking water, and fuel. We are so used to running to the store for a loaf of bread or assuming the water will always come out of the tap. Most homes run out of these items in just a few days. In catastrophic disasters, help does not arrive immediately. It may take more days for help to arrive than we have food and water, and then things become difficult. That is what is happening in the Northeast right now.

May I encourage everyone to be sure you have enough food and water on hand to sustain your household for at least a month? My mother (Great Depression and WWII survivor) always said, "Never let your car's gas tank get less than 1/2 full." Thousands of New York and New Jersey residents are in serious trouble with no fuel.

Here are some reputable web sites that can help with emergency preparation:

http://www.co.pierce.wa.us/pc/abtus/ourorg/dem/pub%20ed/preparedness.htm
http://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/checklist_1.pdf
http://www.lds.org/topics/emergency-preparedness?lang=eng
http://emergency.cdc.gov/preparedness/kit/disasters/

We don't have to be a loony tunes survivalist kooks. Just prepare for the worst and hope for the best! Be able to share with our neighbors when the time comes, or encourage them to prepare, too.
We are prone to bad weather and earthquakes. Why not be prepared?
I'm going to bed tonight without watching or listening to the news. That way I can wake up in the morning and all the hoopla will be over with. Or maybe it will just be starting.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

There is no experience in life that compares with raising your own children. It is the greatest miracle in the universe. I am blessed to have 7 wonderful children. Their spouses and children have enriched my life like nothing else could. Praise be to God.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

As I go through life, I meet some really good people. There is a lot of kindness, love, generosity, and care out there. This is a great blessing, for which I am most thankful.