You are Welcome Here

Saturday we marched and rallied for immigrants and refugees.  It was a beautiful warm and sunny day in Dallas as we made our way from City Hall to the JFK Memorial Plaza with a couple thousand like-minded folks.

When I lived in Alaska, I taught English to immigrants from many countries for a couple of years. This experience opened my eyes as I got to know my students ; I quickly came to love them and to respect their motivation and dedication.  They were such hard workers and such kindhearted human beings.  Recently I’ve been volunteering with a refugee agency here in Dallas and I’ve been so troubled by the hatred toward immigrants and refugees as well as the Trump administration’s harsh policies and actions. Can you imagine how tough it is to come to a new country where you don’t speak the language well (if at all), where you’re unfamiliar with the customs and expectations of other people, and find yourself feeling unwelcome or unwanted after years in a refugee camp holding onto your hopes and dreams of a better life in the USA?  I worry about the people arriving in Dallas each week and I hope they do feel welcome here.  Our small action last weekend was a statement and we hope it was heard.

Mentioning my students made me want to go back and look at all of my pictures from our classes, gatherings, and celebrations.  I sure do miss these beautiful people!

 

 

 

Happy (belated) birthday, Elle!

Our granddaughter Elle turned 9 on February 11th so I had to regale her (again) with the story of my rush from Alaska when she decided to be born a little bit early.  I had a plane ticket for a week later but when Sarah called to tell me she was in labor, I rushed to the airport in Unalaska to try to get on a flight. Of course, we had had bad weather and lots of plane cancellations so the stand-by list was a mile long.  Thankfully I was a “local” and knew the staff at the airport so when I went to the counter to tearfully tell them my daughter was having a baby and I needed to get to Dallas, they secretly moved me to the top of the stand-by list and got me on a plane. Shhhhh…don’t tell!  I was ever so grateful!  I didn’t make it in time for Elle’s birth but was there the next day to meet that little sweetheart.

Now she’s 9!  This girl is very sweet and kindhearted and caring toward others and also has a fun, sassy side–loves to tease Grandpa and loves to beat both of us at card games and board games.  She adores our cats and can’t wait to hold Ajax when she comes over (Kali will have nothing of it). She’s great at sports and excels at soccer, volleyball and softball–quite the little competitor. One of her favorite things is stopping by 7-11 for a slushie and a treat when we pick her up from school.  We have great conversations, lots of laughs, and she gives the best hugs.  Happy birthday, Elle! We love you so!

Because she was having a party with friends and a sleepover on her birthday, we had a family party the night before, complete with our favorite Mexican food and some yummy mini Bundt cakes from a bakery near our house.  So Sarah and Miles could concentrate on the birthday activities and slumber party with 8 girls the next night, Jack came to spend the night with us. We obviously got the easier job!  🙂  Jack is no trouble and is perfectly happy if someone will toss a ball with him or put Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on TV.  🙂

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Hoopin’ it up

Aidan is playing on the 7th grade basketball team at school and we’ve been wanting to go to a game all season long but it never seemed to work out.  Monday was his last game so we drove to Clyde for the day, hung out with Susan till the kids got home from school, played a game of Rack-o with Ally, went to eat pizza, and then to Aidan’s game at 6:30.

Seventh graders are pretty tough!  They had a hard fought game which ended up tied 17-17.  They then played an overtime period but no one scored so I guess the tie stands.  Both teams were pretty scrappy, went after the ball, and tried to grab it from each other at any opportunity.  They weren’t the best at shooting baskets but they sure did try!  Aidan made two points so that was pretty exciting!

We had a lot of fun at the game and I’m sorry we didn’t get to see more of them.  I wanted a photo of us with Aidan in his uniform but he skedaddled to the locker room and changed before we could get his attention.  Because I had  volunteer work the next day and we were expecting a furniture delivery as well, we headed back home.  Quick trip,but I’m glad we did it!

Weekend Update

Wow, there sure has been a lot going on!  I am shocked and amazed every day by the new Administration and its shenanigans.  We had quite a bit of excitement at DFW airport when the refugee travel ban came down and there were individuals and families detained as they arrived in Dallas with valid visas and green cards.  I was pleased to see lawyers volunteering their time, supporters showing up in large numbers to protest and bring attention to the issue, and even our mayor and a county judge greeting and apologizing to those who were finally released the next day.  I REALLY wanted to go to the airport but we were keeping grandson Jack for a few days and I decided it probably wouldn’t be best to subject him to the crowd and the noise.  I did tease his mom that I was thinking about breaking him in early and taking him along to a protest.  🙂

A few days ago I went with about 40 other people to our US Representative’s office to discuss the Affordable Care Act with his aide.  The aide was great; he listened, took notes, acknowledged our concerns, and didn’t argue or dismiss our worries.  I am not too hopeful anything will happen with our very conservative Rep but it was good to make contact and make our voices heard.

As I mentioned, we had Jack for four nights while the rest of the family went skiing.  He is such a sweet kid and usually very happy and agreeable.  It was cold so we didn’t get out much but we did take him with us on the one warm and sunny day to dig up the garden, lay down some compost, and get ready for spring planting.  He had lots of fun digging in the dirt.

I picked Elle and Beck up from school the day before their trip and we went out for some frozen yogurt.  According to all reports, they had a blast skiing and did great on their second time out on the slopes.

We’ve also been to a couple of Beck’s basketball games. Oh, my goodness, 6 year olds are a hoot on the bball court.  They don’t have a clue!  They are improving game by game and Beck made a basket tonight!

And our son in law Corey had his birthday on Feb. 2.  Corey’s a fine husband and father, a very hard worker, a reliable and responsible guy, not to mention funny and lots of fun.  And he tolerates his liberal in-laws pretty well, thankfully!  We love you, Corey!

My reading is very political these days.  Check these out.

Help refugee organizations by purchasing one or more of these posters.  🙂

DFW Airport CEO thanks protesters for their peaceful demonstration.

Just in case you were wondering (wish Trump would read)

Proud of my profession.

Hate has no home here.

Sobering and heartbreaking 

Non political….these are pretty.  🙂

Happy weekend, friends.  Let’s work for justice.

 

Resist

I traveled to Austin on Saturday morning to meet my sister, three of my nieces and some of their friends for the Women’s March.  If you’ve been reading this blog long, you are aware that I am not pleased with the election of Donald Trump so it only made sense to join the legions of women marching in opposition to his policies, his behavior, his words, and his plans for the country we all hold dear.

Along the road, it was foggy 3/4 of the way but by the time I arrived in Austin the day was sunny and warm.  Just perfect for a march and a rally, in fact, the weather got a little bit hot while we were out on the streets. What a glorious day we had!  50,000 of our new best friends converged on the State Capitol as we voiced our dissent, heard music and speakers, made our point that we are here, we are informed, we are not backing down, we are not afraid and we will not let the president unravel the gains we have made.

Kids “Cook”

Last week I picked up Elle and Beck after school and they were both literally jumping for joy that they were given a small paperback kids’ cookbook by their teachers that day.  It was sponsored by a local hospital and was full of “healthy snacks.”  They couldn’t wait to make some! So we told them to pick a couple they liked, pick a day, and we’d get together to prepare them.

Monday they were off school for Martin Luther King Day and Sarah asked if we could babysit in the afternoon so she and Miles could go to a movie.  Perfect timing!  The kids picked two recipes each and Sarah texted us the ingredients that she had on hand. We brought some other ingredients to their house, then Rich and Beck went to the store to get the remaining items while Elle and I began prepping.

First up, a berry smoothie, which ended up being the fave of the day.  They had fun fixing it and enjoyed the taste.  Next, a “bubble fish,” which was basically a clementine arranged in the shape of a fish with a fanned tail, finished off with a slice of grape for the mouth, a chocolate chip for the eye, and some blueberries for bubbles.  They also liked this one and ate it up.  Third, “someone” had picked a tortilla roll up containing cooked sweet potato with banana slices and some seasoning.  The kids didn’t even want to taste it and both denied picking it.  Beck even tried to blame his Daddy.  Elle said it was Beck’s pick (which I think it was).  Rich and I ate a little bit of it–it wasn’t bad.  Elle barely took a tiny taste and threw it away.  Beck wouldn’t even try it. Thumbs down! The final pick was spiced pears.  We mixed up some honey, cinnamon and nutmeg.  The kids enjoyed making the sauce and pouring it over the sliced pears.  We warmed them up in the microwave.  Nope, not a success. They didn’t like those either. Meanwhile, their friends kept coming to the door and wanting to play so I made them help clean up the kitchen and off they went.

In summary:
Smoothie:  YES!  So cool to put everything in the food processor!  And it tasted great!

Bubble Fish: YES!  Cute and delicious!

Tortilla Roll Ups: NO WAY!!  Who wanted those?? Not me!! Not me, either!! Daddy did!!  Daddy’s not even home!

Spiced Pears: NOT SO MUCH.  But it was awesome making the sauce!

Chef Grandpa:  These were lame and we could have come up with better stuff ourselves!

Still a fun time!