Friday, July 25, 2008

The Peaceful People

My firstborn and I went on a three day retreat from the hustle-bustle of modern society and traveled to Holmes County, Ohio. This is home to the largest Amish Settlement in the World. Notice this home has no electric or telephone lines, which the peaceful Amish people believe would bring bad influences into their homes. After many such visits, I agree with them that the outside world is messing with our hearts and souls. Each day more and more harmful thoughts and ideas creep into our lives and we become inured to them inch by inch, minute by minute.
Amish youth enjoy a period of "rumspringa" or "running around", which begins about sixteen and ends when the teen decides to commit to the church and be baptized into adult membership of the community. During rumspringa, the teens party with beer, cigarettes, drugs, wearing "English" clothing and makeup. This taste of wild American life allows them to make an informed decision to live the remainder of their lives for God under the rules of the Amish Ordnung without feelings of having missed out on some nebulous big-time experience. Ninety percent of the teens return to the church after this period of "running around"to marry and become full members of the Amish community. They raise their children in the church, speak only German in their homes and follow principles handed down for centuries. By staying faithful to the simple, plain life, these peaceful people eschew modern conveniences and work very hard. Their lives are productive and successful.
We drove from Northwest Ohio down to Bettsville, Ohio to visit our
favorite fabric shop. We tried to not spend too much money on our quilting addiction, but we have some great fabrics hiding in the sewing room. We failed miserably! Then, we picnicked beside the Tiffin River and leisurely drove on to Holmes County to The Inn at Honey Run. The rooms are very nice with quilts on every bed and hiking trails accessible by simply stepping out the window. Hummingbirds and tiny squirrels flit past the windows and the air is alive with the chirping of many different types of birds. The best part of our trip is driving the car off the main drag at dusk to ogle the Amish as they bring in the big teams of Belgium Draft Horses Horses for the night. Children play games and chase barefoot through the deepening shadows. Moms are out tending the flower gardens. The Amish dress plainly and wear no jewelry. The homes are plain and functional, but beauty comes into their lives in the form of flowers. Though they work very hard all day at chores, the evening is devoted to tending the flower gardens and quilting... no wonder we love the Amish!
This little gal is a living weed eater used for grass control on rolling hillsides and she gives milk, too. The whole area gives an aura of peace and tranquility, which is needed so much by the fast paced American life. When you need rejuvenation of spirit and a picker-upper to carry on in your life....head for the nearest Amish community and learn how to slow down and smell the new mown hay or pig poop. The oldest daughter does not have a feeling for the farm smells, but she loves the quiet. Soon, she will be back teaching a roomful of third graders, which is anything but quiet.


Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Computer

I have a joke for you today....thought it would keep a smile in your week-end. It's a beautiful day in my neighborhood. Smile!

A Spanish teacher was explaining to her class that in Spanish, unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine of feminine. 'House' for instance, is feminine: 'la casa.' 'Pencil,' however, is masculine: 'el lapiz.' A student asked, 'What gender is 'computer'? Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups, males and females, and asked them to decided for themselves whether 'computer'should be a masculine or a feminine noun. Each group was asked to give four reasons for its recommendation.

The men's group decided that 'computer' should definitely be of the feminine gender ('la computadora"), because:

1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic;

2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else;

3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval; and

4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.

The women's group, however, concluded that computers should be masculine ('el computador') because:

1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on;

2. They have a lot of data, but still can't think for themselves;

3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem; and

4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.

Who do you think won?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


One is the Democratic Party and one is the Republican Party. We are what the winner will poop out after the election! NEVER GIVE UP!