ALL THE KIDS I’VE TAUGHT (PART TWO)

After we were married for one year, an opportunity came to teach at the two-room school at Joyceville which was two miles away from home. I applied and was accepted. This was the first of two times I was interviewed , and hired, by the trustees (all three of them) in my living room!

Because I was teaching the senior room, I was the principal! It is a bit embarrassing when you are 21 and have to point out to the primary teacher, who not only has taught for twenty years, but is also a neighbour, that she made a mistake in her attendance register. Because it is so important that the primary teacher is not overwhelmed by numbers when starting the students on their educational path, I took the grade fours. I had 42 students, grades four to eight! There were eight grade eights. This was an extra stress, because there was a pressure that your students did well when they went to high school in grade nine.

There is an advantage to having attended a one-room school, because you understand how they work. I was taking over from a teacher from the year before, who .while was an excellent teacher, had had a few problems. However with so many students, it was quite a job, and I soon realized (with threats from the doctor) that this would probably be my one and only experience of being principal of a two room school! Of course I did it to myself by accepting the ten grade four students which actually should have been in the other room. The inspector told my mom, who also taught in that township, that I was trying to teach each grade as if it were the only grade and was doing too much. I never have been able to take the easier way!

It was an interesting year. I had two great, big grade 8 boys who got on each other’s nerves. One day they got into  physical fisticuffs  outside at recess. In those days teachers did not do yard duty. Someone ran in to tell me.  I rushed out and got between them to stop them. Thankfully John was able to stop his fist about 2″ from my face – I know, how stupid can you be! I brought them in and reamed them out (at which I am very good !) Then I told them if they ever did it again they would get the strap, but I wouldn’t be doing it. They would strap each other. Now of course, I couldn’t have let that happen, but they didn’t know that! It worked. They sized each other up – both six feet tall – and never fought again!

I also had a girl with severe behaviour problems. Some times she had to go into the office to cool down. To this day, if you know where to look , there is my name- now faint- written in Magic Marker in the office of Joyceville P.S..

I solved the question about whether to resign, or tough it out another year by becoming pregnant! Then I HAD to resign. At that time, you could not teach if you were pregnant, and there was no such thing as maternity leave. Thankfully, as often happens with a first pregnancy, there was no telling bump for the remaining four months and I resigned. My mom applied for, and was accepted as the new principal. She kept this position until she retired twelve years later. By that time the school had been added to two times and had twelve classrooms.

I thought my teaching career was over for a while. My mother-in-law certainly assumed that! However it wasn’t long before Lloyd and I realized we needed another income, as he and his father farmed 150 acres, and there just was not enough money for two people starting out. I interviewed and was hired for a teaching position the following year in a grade two-three class. Christopher would be ten months by then, and I knew a woman who only took one child at a time to baby sit.  I didn’t have the nerve to tell Lloyd’s parents right away. They were so annoyed at my next move, I decided not to rock the boat any more! Everyone knew, once she had children, the mother stayed home to look after them.

On the next road there was another one room school. Up until that year there had been a wonderful teacher. She had left to teach grade six at the school where I would be the next year. They had hired a young man who wanted to be near Queen’s University to he could work toward his degree. What a disaster! By March, everyone realized he had to go, and they needed an experienced teacher, and fixed their eyes on me! (I was 22!) Again, the trustees came to me to talk to me – in my living room! They wanted me to teach at their school. I pointed out there was no way I could talk to them, since they already had a teacher under contract. They said, well if in a week’s time we find ourselves without a teacher, would you come and finish the year?

This was the beginning of big changes in the school system. The one-room schools were being closed, and they already had a salary contract.They bribed me with the next year’s salary! I said if I could find someone who would come and live at our house, as a nanny, I would. I put an ad in the paper, and immediately got a call from a young woman who had just arrived from Holland to visit her pen pal, and she needed a job. We went up to Kingston and interviewed her, and hired her. We brought her home, and set her up in her room. It turned out her pen pal lived about five miles from our house! It was meant to be! A neat add-on is she and her pen pall became engaged, and married the next year!

The young man was reassigned to another rural school that had even more students and assisted the teacher with the senior grades.

The following three months were some of the most challenging, and most satisfying, of my teaching career. They were in such bad shape. There were two grade one girls. One had learned to read because her family taught her at home, the other one had spent most of the time walking around hitting anyone talking with a pointer! The grade eights were in almost as bad shape. I have a degree in Canadian history and that is the only time I read The British North America Act !! He actually made them copy it! They were so far behind that they willingly came an hour early every morning for extra classes. By the end I only had to fail one boy. He has since told me it was the best thing that happened to him as he had started school a year early. This gave him a chance to mature. He went on to do well in school. He also was the one who told people (when I was around) that Mr. **** did a lot of PT (physical training – in other words let them play outside a lot) but Mrs. Chase didn’t seem to like it! In fact there were very few extras. They worked all day. As young as they were they knew they were in trouble. Added to that was the knowledge that the next year they would be in a room full of children the same age, and they didn’t want to be behind.

At the end of June, the school was closed. This was the end of my multi-grade teaching. I went home to my baby, the nanny moved to the home of her fiance and got ready for a new teaching experience.

 

FATHER AND SON

In appearance and personality you could not find any two men who are more different than Lloyd and Christopher. Lloyd is fairly tall with a slim build, and fairly quiet, keeping his thoughts to himself (of course many people say he doesn’t get much chance to talk!) Christopher is fairly short and stocky. Many think he takes after me. Actually he is a typical Chase – short of stature, but a stocky build.  My family, on the other hand, except for me,  tends to be taller. It was his misfortune to take after the Chase men in height and Cindy took after my family! Christopher is also quite verbal- OK, I agree part of him is certainly me

However different they are, they have such love and respect for each other. Before Christopher was born, I read something about men sometimes are a bit jealous of their first born because they are no longer the single focus of the mother. When we got home from the hospital, Lloyd took Christopher and carried him to show him off to his parents in their part of the house, leaving me in the car. I thought, “Well that’s one problem I obviously don’t have to worry about!”

Christopher was with Lloyd wherever he was allowed – at the barn, where he would sleep nestled up to a cow, as she chewed her cud after being milked; riding on the tractor with him; taking oats to the Co-op to be ground; just anywhere he could go. He started working in the barn at a young age as all farm kids do. The first job was usually feeding the calves from pails of milk, or milk replacer –  at times a messy and totally disgusting task. You always wore a coat ready for the rag bag. You’ve never felt anything worse than a coat sucked on by a calf after it has had its meal!

As Christopher grew older, his responsibilities grew as well. By the time he was 18 we felt comfortable leaving him looking after the farm as we went on a two week cruise.

Of course – in our family at least – there are funny father-son stories – the dead chicken, the bat, the snowmobile, the CB, the turkey vultures  and the skunk are some.

The first happened when Christopher was really young – about 3 or 4. He thinks he has blocked it from his memory. Lloyd was killing a chicken for Sunday dinner. Any of you familiar with this action know the nerves keep the muscles moving after they are killed, so they flop around a bit after. Christopher was standing there watching (to farm kids, this was just a part of life) Lloyd chopped off its head and dropped it to ground. The chicken started flopping around – right at Christopher! For a few seconds, wherever he went, the chicken seemed to go too! He sure welcomed his dad picking him up, even though he didn’t appreciate Lloyd having a good laugh!

Another time, evening this time, they were walking in from the barn after milking. As they went under the big yard light, Lloyd saw this bat swooping. He yelled, “Duck, Christoper!”.. and he did, and the bat continued on and flew right into the gas tank. There it was on the ground. Lloyd thought it would be funny to throw the ‘dead’ bat at Christopher,  which he did. However the ‘dead’ , stunned, not dead,  bat spread out full width, stuck to Christopher’s shirt until , after screaming and yelling, he shook it off! I am not sure Christopher has quite forgiven him, but does see the funny part.

The snowmobile incident, I am almost positive, Christopher still has trouble seeing the funny part, but the rest of us have no difficulty! We owned two farms, one right behind the other. In the winter it was faster to go to the barn at the other farm by driving the snowmobile there. One time the snow was so deep that they got stuck. Christopher got off and was pushing at the back, as Lloyd at the front, was pushing and gunning the snowmobile. All at once it started to move and he jumped on and got moving…… with Christopher hanging on, being dragged behind. Now , later, Lloyd told Christopher he had had to keep going, or they would have been stuck again. To this day Christopher does not believe him. As they were coming to the house, I could hear Christopher yelling at his father, using words I didn’t know he knew. He kept yelling at his dad as he went upstairs to change his snow filled clothes – everything, and I mean everything was snowpacked! After I heard the story, I couldn’t reprimand Christopher for swearing – besides it’s hard to bawl someone out when you are roaring with laughter.

The CB incident was more about me. We bought a CB to use to communicate between farms. Christopher and Lloyd were trying it out as they went to the other farm (in the truck on the road this time). We wanted to see if it would work that far. Part way there, they tried it out. All I can remember is Lloyd’s sign off ” OK Big Mama!” Apparently Christopher said, “Oh, you’re going to pay for that” When they came in the door, Lloyd had a smirk on his face, and Christopher’s eyes were big in wonder. I started for Lloyd, finger pointed, then poking him in the chest, saying with emphasis, ” BIG MOMMA? BIG MOMMA!” Christopher, said, “I told you so, Dad !”

One mid-summer day they were fixing fence. It was one of those very humid, extremely hot days. Christopher was really suffering from the heat when Lloyd said,”Look Christopher!” There on every fence post was a turkey vulture, with its wings out trying to be cooler. Christopher swears to this day that they were eyeing him up for a feast. Now Lloyd disputes Christopher’s insistence they were also on the ground surrounding them! Being a fan of horror stories, and having my sense of imagination, I suspect these vultures made it into his dreams!

The last story is probably the funniest of all. I wish Christopher could tell it, because when he told it at our 40th anniversary, he had everyone howling with laughter. In fact, our minister said he could never look at Lloyd the same again!

We had a Scottish Terrier, Kirsty. At night, she would sleep under a little bush at the side of the house, tied to a long rope. In the middle of the night we heard Kirsty barking. While a Scotty is small, it has the bark of a mastiff! We jumped up and ran downstairs, and Lloyd pulled Kirsty inside . We saw a skunk hightailing it to the barn. Lloyd grabbed his gun, put on his rubber boots and headed toward the barn with Christopher,  who had grabbed his machete (don’t ask) from the tent where he was sleeping. Did I mention Lloyd doesn’t wear PJs? Actually he wears nothing. I stood on the corner of the front step watching them go toward the barn. All I could see in the mist under the yard light, was this long white shape, and hear the ‘flip flop’ of rubber boots. Not long after,  Christopher came back into the house. I asked if they had had any luck. Christopher said, “No, we separated and I didn’t have a light (pause) but then I did have clothes” We started laughing and by the time Lloyd came back we were actually leaning against each other howling, making up slogans, like “All the protection you need – rubber boots and a gun” Lloyd, wearing nothing but a sheepish grin, looked at us,  shook his head and went to bed! The next night, the skunk came back. Lloyd got him. He was wearing clothes this time!

I have a friend who loves to come to dinner when Christopher and Carolyn are here. Christopher and I get telling stories of events that have happened – we sort of feed off one another! Lloyd sits there with a grin, adding a few words. We love to laugh!

What a wonderful friendship they have!

 

ALL THE KIDS I’VE TAUGHT (PART ONE)

Two days ago I heard Willie Nelson singing “All the Girls I’ve Loved Before” I could not get the tune out of my head. However I found myself sing “ To all the kids I’ve taught before”!

So I decided if I wrote about them I might get that out of my head.

First of all, I didn’t want to be a teacher. I wanted to do something with mathematics – I wasn’t sure what. At that time girls could choose between being a nurse, a teacher or a secretary if they planned on working. I was raised on a farm in a house full of love, but very little money! Mom said she couldn’t afford to send me to university. She could afford the one year of teachers’ college, and I could teach, save my money, and get whatever additional schooling I wanted. So she gave me $100 a month – $60 for room and board, and the other $40 for bus fare, transportation home on the weekends, and anything else I needed. I didn’t know until many years later how hard on the family that $100 a month was. (The next year I paid Mom back the $900)

I remember the first day I went into a classroom as a student teacher. As I stood up there, delivering my carefully prepared lesson, all of a sudden it hit me. This is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life! I had found where I was meant to be.

First I want to explain why I call them “Kids” I remember a student teacher, whose father taught at that school, saying her dad never called them ‘kids’, he always called them ‘students’ because it was more respectful. That took me back for a bit. Then I decided that just pointed out the difference in our teaching style. He was an excellent teacher, but a bit remote. I, on the other hand, was more ‘hands on’. The time came that we were told we were not to touch the students in our class.  I said I might as well quit right then, because if I couldn’t touch , I couldn’t teach.  I wasn’t to pat someone on the shoulder for good work, or give them a hug when standing by them. But I just kept on as I always had. When you are a kindergarten teacher and a little four or five year old comes crying to you because you are the closest thing to a parent he/she has right then, you have to be able to pick them up, hug them and let them sit in your lap until all was well.  I’d like to get my hands on the disgraceful teachers who abused their position and make it difficult for the rest of us. In a round about way I am trying to explain why I say kids…. because they’re MY kids. Once you were in my class, you remained “my kid”  forever.

As I mentioned in my introductory blog, I began teaching six weeks before my eighteenth birthday at Maple Hill P.S. near Sunbury. I will never forget the first day, standing on the platform (about six inches high) at the front of the room, with twenty six pair of curious eyes staring at me. They were wondering about a teenage teacher, after having had one for several years who was close to retirement. I wasn’t afraid ( I didn’t know that I knew nothing!) I was just so excited! I used bribery as a behaviour modification. If everything was done, and they had behaved well all week, part, or all of Friday afternoon, was spent having fun – baseball, soccer, sliding down hill in the winter (followed by hot chocolate), Red Cross meetings, whatever we decided.

There were three in grade one, four in grade eight (the two most important grades in a one-room school). The other fourteen were scattered in the other grades. As well there were four children from one family who were severely developmentally delayed. No one told me I couldn’t teach them, so I did. I had no idea what I was doing. I gave them very simple tasks, and if they didn’t disturb the other children in the morning, in the afternoon  they could cut out pictures from magazines, and paste them into scrapbooks that I bought.  At our Christmas concert the primary children held up letters for an acrostic, and the youngest boy of that family, who was non verbal, held up an exclamation point! The community was not particularly happy having the family in the area, nor with the neighbour who rented them the house. They credited me with getting them out of the area. One of the girls had taken her reader home. I had stressed over and over  that it must be brought back every day. After they had left for school, their father realized the book was still at the house and he walked all the way to school to return it. By the time he got back home he was so cold he put too much wood in the stove, the chimney caught fire, and then house burned down. I was teased a lot for a while!  Another incident with those parents , this time the mother, happened  the first day of school.  I could see that the children had impetigo on their faces, and I knew they couldn’t be there, so I sent them home with a letter. About half an hour later this woman stormed in, neither her hair, face or hands had seen soap or water in a long time. She was screaming and using words not in the school curriculum! The other children just sat at their desks terrified. I don’t know how I managed it, but I got her calmed down and she went home and took them to the doctor and got salve. I think after that, the parents decided their children would be safe with the teenage teacher!

Of the four grade eights in the first year, three of them received their B.A.’s before I did. I don’t know how far most of the others went, but I did attend a teachers’ conference with one of them!

Every once in a while something would happen to take me down a peg or two. One of the funniest is onr day the oil was delivered for the stove which heated the room. There was a knock at the door and I went to it. The delivery man asked to see the teacher. I said, “I AM the teacher” He started laughing and said, “You’ve got to be kidding!” He was still laughing after I signed the bill and went back to his truck. In his defence, I had my hair in a pony tail and always looked even younger than I was.

The teenage girls were so excited about the fact that their teacher had a boyfriend, then an engagement ring, and at the end of the second year they served at our wedding reception.

My three years there were so wonderful. I was treated with respect, even though I was younger than many of their older brothers and sisters. I always assumed part of their behaviour was because it was a farming community and they had had to learn responsibility. One day Mom (who drove me to my school before going to hers) had trouble getting me there because of the snow. When I walked into the school, the older kids were hearing the younger children read!

I am so proud of those kids. They went on to farm, teach, nurse, and many other occupations. One, Mike Mundell, is well known because of his business, as well as being a lay minister. Imagine how I felt the day I introduced him to our church congregation as the guest minister! The funny thing is, every time he sees me he apologizes for his behaviour those three years.  He was a tad mischievious!

Since I taught for thirthy-six years, and this is just the first three, you can see why this will be more than a one day topic!

THE MATRIARCH

One of my brothers-in-law once commented we were a family of matriarchs! This does not mean we are bossy (well maybe a little)  It definitely doesn’t mean we married men who are wimps! All it means is that in each generation, there are one or two women who assumes the responsibility for keeping our extended family together.

My Collins Canadian dictionary describes a matriarch as ‘the female head of a tribe or family’. 

My Grandmother Blackman (Ma) was the first I remember. While we seldom got together in her smallish house, she still held the reins. It was really funny to see her two daughters (Mom and Aunt Ruby) scurrying around doing what she wanted. Ma was under five feet  (of all her grandchildren, just hazard a guess who was the only one who took after her in height),  Mom 5’7, Aunt Ruby a little shorter, but there was no question about who was in charge.

When I was small, my mom sort of took over the task. I can remember Christmas Day. One side of the family (I think it was the Jones side) came at noon, and the other came for the evening – turkey one meal, goose the other. But Aunt Ruby did most of the hostessing  once she had a bigger house.  Mom by then was a school principal, and didn’t have as much time. Aunt Ruby continued even after Uncle Ted died and she lived in a double wide park model in the trailer park in Elgin  We were rather packed in. At that time my title was “Matriarch-in-training”

One Christmas day, she took my hand and said,”I think the time has come for you to take over.” The time had come, now I would be in charge of the family!  Oh yeah, right.

Now, by looking at my picture you can tell I am matriarch material – dignified,poised, graceful, genteel. I should instill a desire by all my subjects to obey my every command! I don’t know what happened! They don’t do it. They just look at me and smirk, or smile in a very patronizing manner.

My siblings and as many of their family as can come, plus our two children and their families, get together four times a year, but at different houses -determined by size of house, and distance. Christmas is at our house, Easter at Dorothy and Ron’s in Morrisburg, Jones Family Reunion at our place –third Sunday in July  and Thanksgiving at Cindy and Casey’s farm – what better place to give thanks for our bounty! Everyone brings what they are told by the hostess, but usually it’s the same thing each time. Of course there are usually other times during the year we find an excuse to be together.

Cindy now seems to be the matriarch in training! She is a great organizer. Even though she is a mother of four, farm wife, veterinarian, one of the owners of a business, and involved in church activities and an avid scrapbooker, she still manages Thanksgiving dinner like the pro she is!

All joking aside, we are blessed as a family to be so close, and we give thanks to those wonderful women who started the tradition.

 

TERRORIST ATTACKS

I have been talking about family and memories, but today it is time for some musing, and maybe a wee history lesson.

We  Canadians often look to the big nation south of us, and all of its challenges rather smugly, saying that would never happen here in Canada. Events like the attack on the mosque in Quebec City are seen as anomalies.

But we have pretty close to as many terrorist attacks percentagewise, if you consider there are over 300 million people in the U.S. and less than 40 million in Canada. We may not have monthly or even yearly attacks, but we have them, starting right back to the mid 1800’s.

According to Wikipedia we had the Brock monument near Queenston bombed, Thomas D’Arcy assassinated, attacks by Fenians, Confederate Secret Service (John Wilkes Booth visited them in Montreal) Croatian Nationalists, Cuban Nationalist action , etc.

Then we have our domestic terrorism – bombing by anarchists and a group opposing the gas industry. In Quebec we either have Anglophones attacking Parti Quebecois leaders or the Brigade d’autodefense du francais bombing places like ” Second Cup” that refused to change its incorporated ‘English’ name .

Of course our biggest terrorist scare came from the Front de liberation du Quebec (FLQ). Between 1963 and 1969, there was a bomb on the average of one every ten days. If there was an up side -there were only three people killed. That is until two men were kidnapped – James Cross and Pierre Laporte. Sadly while Cross was released, Laporte was killed. The murderers were arrested.

Then there was the horrendous massacre in 1989 when 14 woman students were killed by one gunman at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal.

October, 2014 was our first experience of attacks on our soldiers on Canadian soil and parliament buildings.  Two soldiers were run down, one died, by a recent Muslim convert, and then a soldier on ceremonial sentry duty at the Canadian National War Memorial was shot and then this man, also a recent convert to Islam, forced himself into the parliament building where he was killed. It is so sad that some people blame all of the Muslim faith because of the actions of two recent converts who did not really understand the faith.

Of course, the worse was just this year, January 29, 2017 when a mosque in Quebec City, in Quebec, was attacked by one gunman who opened fired at the congregation , killing six, and injuring eight – five critically. All we know about him is he has extreme right winged views.

I was   interested in  the statement made by Neil Macdonald – CBC , Ottawa “Just about every single [mass murder in Canada] has been a Canadian born, Canadian citizen and usually white and Christian. meaning “extreme vetting for immigrants” from places like Yemen and Iraq wouldn’t have done anything to prevent their predations”

But I want to focus on some of the positive actions that happened because of these tragedies.

As a result of the attack on the women Students in Montreal in 1989, there is a day of remembrance. As the murderer shot these young women he was shouting, “You are all a bunch of feminists. I hate feminists! ”   This horrible action led to December 6 being named a Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

Ever since the attack Sunday night, there have been peaceful gatherings across the country showing support for those of the Muslem faith. One of the most moving things I have ever seen was on that evening , when over a thousand people stood outside the mosque in silence.  There was absolutely no sounds as people shared their support and grief.

In comparison to our southern neighbours, I think we approach such situations in a more moderate manner – more low-keyed.  We have our negative groups – anti French, English, Muslems, immigrants, anti- everything, but they don’t get much coverage, so don’t have much of an impact.

No matter where it happens, terrorist attacks remain a senseless act which does not advance any cause.

My apologies for not putting the accents, etc on the French words. It comes down to the fact that I don’t know how!

FAMILY STORIES ABOUT SNAKES

Let’s get it out first thing. I don’t like snakes, in fact I am afraid of them and will do anything to avoid them. My mother always blamed my grandmother – her mother. I should explain right now that when I refer to ” Ma” this is to whom I am referring. I was at Ma and Pappy’s place during the winter, while Mom taught north of Ottawa. No place around here would hire married women, especially now that the male teachers had returned from the war. So she had to go far away. Dad and she had just bought a farm, and she was helping to pay for it. Uncle Stu had just returned from the war, and was home to visit. He called his mother ‘Ma’, so I did too! So did the rest of my family.

To get back to Ma being blamed for making me afraid of snakes. I personally blame Adam and Eve! The explanation for her fear is a great story. One day she was bringing the cows to the barn for milking. It was a long walk, she had lots of time, so she decided to sit on a big rock to let the cows graze a bit. She put her stick down beside her. After a bit, it was time to go so she stood and grabbed the stick. But instead of a stick it was a great big black snake! I guess for a little bit of a woman she could let out quite a blood curdling scream! So naturally, she really hated them after that. Since I spent so much time with her, naturally Ma got the blame. Now I thought Mom was the weird one – she liked them!

One evening Dad was sitting out on the walkway playing his harmonica. The walkway was an old cement one, about four feet wide, which went in front of the kitchen, and on two sides of the brick part of the house. It had big cracks everywhere. Dad was very musical. He played fiddle, guitar, piano, flute and harmonica. He was sitting on a chair, sort of leaning back against the house playing, and I was sitting out there listening. It started to get dark, and as Dad started to get up, the big crack between his chair and where I was sitting on the walkway began to move, and slithered away into the grass! Dad always said after that, “Well if I can’t make it as a farmer, maybe I could become a snake charmer.”

I have a few snake stories of my own, but they never seemed funny. I was walking home from school. I had walked with Elaine to her house and continued down her long road to my house. It was at least  a half-mile long, and went through the woods. Sure enough, right where the woods came up to the road was a big snake across the road. There was no way I could get by it (or so I thought). I wasn’t about to throw a stone at it, if I did manage to hit it, I figured it would come after me. Did I ever tell you I have always had a vivid imagination? So I hightailed it back to Elaine’s, I can’t remember who came back with me, but of course, no snake! Mom was not pleased when I was late.

My other snake story was when I was getting the cows. I was about 9 . They had to walk through a path that went through the thorn bushes, Right there in the middle of the thorns was a big milk snake across the path ( we didn’t seem to have any small ones. I think they grew up somewhere else and came to torment me when they got big)  I actually made a new path through the thorns. My knees were rather torn up, but I got the cows to the barn in time.

We had a few water snakes when we lived at Chisamore Point, but we seemed to avoid each other.

We just have little garter snakes here. Our cat, Samson, likes to catch things- mice, chipmunks,birds and yes, snakes. One summer he kept catching a snake and would carry it to the house, snake hanging from either side of his mouth. I swear it was the same snake. I called it Sam, and we came to an agreement – he stayed on one side of the steps, I would stay on the other. That’s the end of my snake stories, except, oh yes. When one walks by the front door of the barn you might see a little head sticking out of the cracks in the stone wall. I always look carefully.

 

 

RUBYANN’S RAMBLINGS

People may wonder how I could ever find enough to write about to keep a blog going. SERIOUSLY  ??  I talk all the time, and have an opinion about everything! This way you can just ignore me without getting “the” look !

I just sat down and wrote some possible topics: Weird things on FaceBook; My Faith; If I Won the Lottery ;Having depression; Teaching – the good, the bad, the frustration; Being the family ” matriarch“; How We See Ourselves; What Has Caused Our Poor Grammar; Funny Family Stories; Music in Our Family; Living in Arizona for five months a year; Politics -my view; Being Canadian; Use of Profanity on FaceBook.

As you can see, I probably will have lots of topics.