child psychology

In 1649, in Massachusetts, the Puritan government ruled: “Any childe over 16 who shall CURSE, or SMITE their natural FATHER, or MOTHER, or act in a STUBBORNE or REBELLIOUS manner” would be put to death!

child psychology


justice, faith, power

The Meaning and Origin of Purple, Green, and Gold in Mardi Gras

Purple Represents Justice. Green Represents Faith. Gold Represents Power.

creole salad

the squaw dress


“The Squaw Dress, a categorization label for several types of one- and two-piece dresses, was a regional style in the American Southwest in the late 1940s and became a national dress trend in the 1950s. Its defining feature, a full, tiered skirt, came in three shapes: (1) a slightly gathered skirt based on Navajo dress; (2) a “broomstick” or pleated skirt based on Navajo and Mexican attire; and (3) a fully gathered, three-tiered skirt based on contemporary Western Apache Camp Dresses or Navajo attire. In addition to the common designation of Squaw Dress, dresses with the third skirt type were also called Fiesta, Kachina, Tohono, or Patio Dress (depending on the type of decoration); the former two styles were called Navajo Dresses. Squaw Dresses were extremely popular because of their comfort and regional indigenous associations. They represented both idealized femininity and Americanness because of their Native American origins.”

Excerpted from:

What’s in a name? The 1940s-1950s “Squaw Dress”
By Parezo, Nancy J.
Publication: The American Indian Quarterly

intellectual curiosity

There are two kinds of educational experience you can have in college. One is passive and one is active. In the first, you are a little bird in the nest with your beak stretched open wide, and the professor gathers up all the information you need and drops it down your gullet. You may feel god about this—after all, you are passionately waiting for your information—but your only role is to accept what you are given. To memorize facts and later repeat them for a test might get you a good grade, but it’s not the same thing as baby bird--12having intellectual curiosity. In the second kind, you are taught how to find the information, and how to think about it, for yourself. You learn how to question and to engage. You realize that one answer is not enough and that you have to look at as many sources as are available to you so that you can piece together a larger picture – “Fact vs. Fiction” by Ann Patchett in her book of essays: This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage

the beginnings

Back in November of 1775, the Congress had established a Secret Committee to “correspond with our friends in Great Britain, Ireland, and other parts of the world,” but whose most immediate task would be to quietly test the waters about the likelihood of obtaining useful foreign alliances. Initially composed of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Johnson, John Dickinson and John Jay, the committee later added the wealthy and worldly Philadelphian Robert Morris, who perhaps knew the world of international commerce better than any other American. It has been argued with considerable persuasiveness that this Secret Committee was, in effect, the beginning of what we now call the Department of State.

–          Our Lives, Our Fortunes, & Our Sacred Honor – The Forging of American Independence, 1774-1776 by Richard R. Beeman

continental congress-e

personal space



Definition: the branch of knowledge that deals with the amount of space that people feel it necessary to set between themselves and others

personal-space-1Communications scholars began studying personal space and people’s perception of it decades ago, in a field known as proxemics. But with the population in the United States climbing above 300 million, urban corridors becoming denser and people with wealth searching for new ways to separate themselves from the masses, interest in the issue of personal space — that invisible force field around your body — is intensifying.

. . . According to scientists, personal space involves not only the invisible bubble around the body, but all the senses. People may feel their space is being violated when they experience an unwelcome sound, scent or stare: the woman on the bus squawking into her cellphone, the co-worker in the adjacent cubicle dabbing on cologne, or the man in the sandwich shop leering at you over his panini.

. . . Edward T. Hall, an anthropologist and the father of proxemics, even put numbers to the unspoken rules. He defined the invisible zones around us and attributed a range of distance to each one: intimate distance (6 to 18 inches); personal distance (18 inches to 4 feet); social distance (4 to 12 feet); and public distance (about 12 feet or more).

. . . In general most people understand the rules of personal space and heed the cues. Then again, the world is littered with clods. As Dr. Archer put it, people generally view personal-space rules in one of two ways: “the wrong way and my way.”

Source: Personal Space

Annexing Texas

Annexing Texas

One of [President John] Tyler’s final acts as president was one of his most monumental. Whereas in 1842 the Senate had ratified the Webster-Ashburn Treaty, which settled many boundary disputes between Canada and the United States, senators split over the legality and ramifications of annexing Texas. By the time, the annexation question reached the White House, the secretary of state was John Calhoun, who had returned to the position he had held under President Monroe. Calhoun believed Texas would become a proslavery state and thus tip the balance of power in the Senate in favor of the interests of slaveholders. He believed that treaty between the United States and Texas, which saw itself as a small nation, was lawful; however, many Democrats and Whigs were concerned that Mexico would invade Texas if there were such a treaty. Many Democrats also wanted the next president to handle the matter. Whigs did not want a war, but they opposed acquiring a territory that would become a slave state and happily opposed Tyler and Calhoun whenever possible.

In spite of the skepticism and threatened opposition, Calhoun and Tyler negotiated a treaty with Texas on April 12, 1844, which they sent to the Senate ten days later. Along with the treaty, they sent supporting documentation, including a letter from Tyler emphasizing that the treaty was in the best interests of everyone and that the federal government had the power to execute the treaty pursuant to its authority to acquire new territories and to admit new states. It was soon discovered that the documentation included two letters that Calhoun had written to Richard Pakenham, the British minister in Washington, D.C. In both letters, Calhoun explained that the treaty was needed to protect slavery in the United States. Although the chances of ratification were uncertain before the two letters were released, they disposed all senators, except for those most committed to Calhoun, to reject the treaty’s ratification.

The Senate debated the treaty for nearly a month. Several prominent Democrats favored treaty ratification, while the Whigs opposed it. Clay was pleased the Senate fell ten votes shy of the two-thirds required for treaty ratification.

Tyler did not quit. After consulting with Calhoun, he proposed an alternative to treaty ratification. He suggested that a simple majority in each chamber of Congress could approve the agreement with Texas. This was the same procedure required for acquiring territory or admitting a new state as provided by implication in Article IV. Just two days after the Senate rejected the treaty, Tyler sent a copy of the agreement to the House with a message declaring that it had the authority to approve the agreement pursuant to the powers granted in
Article IV to admit new states into the Union.

Construing Polk’s victory in the 1844 presidential election as a mandate for annexation, Tyler pressed Congress to approve the agreement. Just a few days before Polk’s inauguration, the House and Senate each approved a resolution giving the president the choice of annexing Texas according to the resolution that the House had approved or by opening new negotiations with Texas as specified in a resolution from Missouri senator Benton. On March 1, Tyler signed the joint resolution. Shortly after his inauguration, President Polk chose not to challenge the authority of the joint resolution or Tyler’s signature.

–          Forgotten Presidents Their Untold Constitutional Legacy by Michael J. Gerhardt


the eye

The comparison of the human eye to an old-fashioned camera is apt — the back of the retina is like a sheet of photographic film. …

Source – The Forever Fix: Gene Therapy and the Boy Who Saved It by Ricki Lewis

the moretto

The “moretto” is an item of jewellery that best encapsulates the classical image of Shakespeare’s Othello and the refined goldsmith’s techniques of 18th-century Venice.

Dressed in his characteristic clothes and turban, the blackamoor, or “moretto”, is embellished by the infinite styles and combinations of its creators’ unbridled fantasy and skill.

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Blackamoors have a long history in decorative art stretching all the way back to 17th century Italy and the famous blackamoor sculptor Andrea Brustolon (1662-1732). Blackamoors are especially popular in Venice where they still grace entrances to grand salons. The sculptures are most often fashioned as lamps and candelabras or as tables and stands. Blackamoors enjoyed a resurgence of popularity during the early to mid 20th century and our pair is from the 1950s.


From the book:

There has long been a societal consensus that the U.S. immigration is broken. However, as one policy analyst has noted, this consensus erodes as soon as discussion turns to reform. Still, dating back to its earliest days, immigration agencies have had severe reputation problems, not only due to inefficiency, but also because of brutality and corruption. When Frances Perkins took over immigration enforcement during the Roosevelt administration (even before there was an “INS”), her very first official act was to eliminate “case fixing and terrorization of aliens,” one infamous component of which had been the extortion of money from legal immigrants on threat of deportation. In the 1970s and 1980s, a series of critical GAO reports focused continual negative attention on INS. The 1981 Select Commission Report referred to the agency as “beleaguered.” Indeed, few, if any, governmental programs have been subject to the sort of sustained criticism that has been leveled against the U.S. immigration and deportation systems. Despite this rather negative consensus, in my personal experience there are many able, intelligent, decent, and compassionate people who toil in these trenches every day. Much of the critique they have faced derives from the impossible tensions of the job.

. . . as one judge wrote more than two decades ago, the system still faces “crushing caseloads,” and “an ever-increasing complexity of issues” with insufficient resources.

. . . the harshness and rigidity of the 1996 changes to deportation law have long been seen as problematic by courts, lawyers, scholars, activists, and even some of the legislators who enacted them.

. . . Among the most poignant and compelling stories one hears in deportation cases are those that describe the effects on individuals, families, and, indeed, on entire communities. In one sense, of course, this is inevitable, obvious, and  perhaps even a goal of deportation. But the more one hears such stories, the more one is struck by the extent of these collateral consequences and their disproportionate harshness. When judges, politicians, reporters, and scholars write about deportation as a sanction that may deprive a “man and his family of all that makes life worthwhile,” this is what they are thinking of.

. . . The deportation and detention systems place families “in crisis” from the moment a family member is arrested and incarcerated. The number of people involved are simply staggering. Some 33 million native-born citizens have at least one foreign-born parent. Further, among the estimated 12 million undocumented people in the United States, more than 1.5 million are children. In 2009, Human Rights Watch estimated that over 1 million family members have been forcibly separated by deportation. Unfortunately, we may never know the full effects of our recent deportation delirium on long-term residents because the government has failed to keep comprehensive accurate data on deportations from the United States. Such data are especially important because the losses are felt acutely throughout U.S. communities: “shops close, entrepreneurs lose their business partners, tax revenues are lost, and most tragically, U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents are forced to confront life without their fathers, mothers, children, husbands, or wives.”

From the book jacket:

Since 1996, when new, harsher deportation laws went into effect, the United States has deported millions of noncitizens back to their countries of origin. While the rights of immigrants–with or without legal status–as well as the appropriate pathway to legal status are the subject of much debate, hardly any attention has been paid to what actually happens to deportees once they “pass beyond our aid.” In fact, we have fostered a new diaspora of deportees, many of whom are alone and isolated, with strong ties to their former communities in the United States.

. . . Few know that once deportees have been expelled to places like Guatemala, Cambodia, Haiti, and El Salvador, many face severe hardship, persecution and, in extreme instances, even death.

Hardcase Survival Pinto Bean Sludge

Letters of Note

19 May 1973

Dear Victoria,

Herewith my bit for your cookbook. This recipe is not original but a variation on an old (perhaps ancient) Southwestern dish. It has also been a favorite of mine and was for many years the staple, the sole staple, of my personal nutritional program. (I am six feet three and weigh 190 pounds, sober.)

I call it Hardcase Survival Pinto Bean Sludge.

1. Take one fifty-pound sack Colorado pinto beans. Remove stones, cockleburs, horseshit, ants, lizards, etc. Wash in clear cold crick water. Soak for twenty-four hours in iron kettle or earthenware cooking pot. (DO NOT USE TEFLON, ALUMINUM OR PYREX CONTAINER. THIS WARNING CANNOT BE OVERSTRESSED.)

2. Place kettle or pot with entire fifty lbs. of pinto beans on low fire and simmer for twenty-four hours. (DO NOT POUR OFF WATER IN WHICH BEANS HAVE BEEN IMMERSED. THIS IS IMPORTANT.) Fire must be of juniper, pinyon pine, mesquite or ironwood; other fuels tend to modify the subtle flavor and delicate aroma of Pinto Bean Sludge.



5. After simmering on low fire for twenty-four hours, add one gallon green chile peppers. Stir vigorously. Add one quart natural (non-iodized) pure sea salt. Add black pepper. Stir some more and throw in additional flavoring materials, as desired, such as old bacon rinds, corncobs, salt pork, hog jowls, kidney stones, ham hocks, sowbelly, saddle blankets, jungle boots, worn-out tennis shoes, cinch straps, whatnot, use your own judgment. Simmer an additional twenty-four hours.

6. Now ladle as many servings as desired from pot but do not remove pot from fire. Allow to simmer continuously for hours, days or weeks if necessary, until all contents have been thoroughly consumed. Continue to stir vigorously, whenever in vicinity or whenever you think of it.

7. Serve Pinto Bean Sludge on large flat stones or on any convenient fairly level surface. Garnish liberally with parsley flakes. Slather generously with raw ketchup. Sprinkle with endive, anchovy crumbs and boiled cruets and eat hearty.

8. One potful Pinto Bean Sludge, as above specified, will feed one poet for two full weeks at a cost of about $11.45 at current prices. Annual costs less than $300.

9. The philosopher Pythagoras found flatulence incompatible with meditation and therefore urged his followers not to eat beans. I have found, however, that custom and thorough cooking will alleviate this problem.

Yrs, Edward Abbey—Tucson

It is so very easy

 – to reach out into Cyberspace and snatch any cute quote or phrase to suit our purposes.  However, these cute quotes may not always be factual.  Recently, while searching for a quote about women (Women’s Rights if you will), I googled and searched (redundant, I know) for a quote to match up with my particular interest on that particular day.

Eureka!  Found one!  The revered theologian and philosopher St. Augustine of Hippo (supposedly) wrote to a friend

What difference is it in a wife or mother? It is still Eve the temptress that we must beware of in any woman, I fail to see what use a woman can be to a man if one excludes the function of bearing children.

I copied. I pasted. I posted.

I did not research or  ‘fact-check’ but instead felt this quote spoke to my Thought of the Day about Women’s Rights and I posted it on my Daily Awareness blog. Then I went on to the Next Thing, the Next Interest, the Next Thought (which was most certainly very inconsequential).

A sharp eye who knows Augustine – reads him, pours over his words, and researches him – questioned this quote.  As well he should have, for alas, it is highly unlikely that St. Augustine ever wrote, thought, or said the above.

St. Augustine and his mother St. Monica

The internet can be a valuable tool, however, one must use caution and not always  trust everything one reads.  As a matter of fact, I have found some incorrect genealogical information posted about my own family.  Genealogy research is addictive and I’ve been chasing my roots for nigh on to thirty or more years. I digress.

That said, there is much that is good and readily available on the internet.  I’ve especially been pleased to find digitalized copies of old, rare books that were beforehand inaccessible to the lay person.

Good stuff.

Silly stuff.

False stuff.


1. The material out of which something is made or formed; substance.

2. The essential substance or elements; essence: “We are such stuff/As dreams are made of” (Shakespeare).

3. Informal

a. Unspecified material: Put that stuff over there.

b. Household or personal articles considered as a group.

c. Worthless objects.

4. Slang Specific talk or actions: Don’t give me that stuff about being tired.

5. Sports

a. The control a player has over a ball, especially to give it spin, english, curve, or speed.

b. The spin, english, curve, or speed imparted to a ball: “where we could watch the stuff, mainly curves, that the pitchers were putting on the ball” (James Henry Gray).

6. Basketball A dunk shot.

7. Special capability: The team really showed its stuff and won the championship.

8. Chiefly British Woven material, especially woolens.

9. Slang Money; cash.

10. Slang A drug, especially one that is illegal or habit-forming.

v. stuffed, stuff·ing, stuffs


a. To pack (a container) tightly; cram: stuff a Christmas stocking.

b. To block (a passage); plug: stuff a crack with caulking.

c. Basketball To block (a shot or an opponent who is shooting), especially before the ball leaves the shooter’s hands.


a. To place forcefully into a container or space; thrust: stuffed laundry into the bag.

b. Sports To shoot (a ball or puck) forcefully into the goal from close range.

c. Basketball To dunk (the ball).


a. To fill with an appropriate stuffing: stuff a pillow.

b. To fill (an animal skin) to restore its natural form for mounting or display.

4. To cram with food.

5. To fill (the mind): His head is stuffed with silly notions.

6. To put fraudulent votes into (a ballot box).

7. To apply a preservative and softening agent to (leather).


To overeat; gorge.


stuff it Vulgar Slang

Used as an intensive to express extreme anger, frustration, or disgust.

stuff (one’s) face Slang

To eat greedily.

[Middle English, from Old French estoffe, from estoffer, to equip, of Germanic origin.]

the privilege of voting

The Constitution: The 19th Amendment

August 1995 marked the 75th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment to the Constitution. The amendment guarantees all American women the right to vote. Achieving this milestone required a lengthy and difficult struggle; victory took decades of agitation and protest. Beginning in the mid-19th century, several generations of woman suffrage supporters lectured, wrote, marched, lobbied, and practiced civil disobedience to achieve what many Americans considered a radical change of the Constitution. Few early supporters lived to see final victory in 1920.

Between 1878, when the amendment was first introduced in Congress, and August 18, 1920, when it was ratified, champions of voting rights for women worked tirelessly, but strategies for achieving their goal varied. Some pursued a strategy of passing suffrage acts in each state–nine western states adopted woman suffrage legislation by 1912. Others challenged male-only voting laws in the courts. Militant suffragists used tactics such as parades, silent vigils, and hunger strikes. Often supporters met fierce resistance. Opponents heckled, jailed, and sometimes physically abused them.

By 1916, almost all of the major suffrage organizations were united behind the goal of a constitutional amendment. When New York adopted woman suffrage in 1917 and President Wilson changed his position to support an amendment in 1918, the political balance began to shift.

On May 21, 1919, the House of Representatives passed the amendment, and 2 weeks later, the Senate followed. When Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment on August 18, 1920, the amendment passed its final hurdle of obtaining the agreement of three-fourths of the states. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the ratification on August 26, 1920, changing the face of the American electorate forever.

Source: Featured Documents

I voted!!!

In 1869, Wyoming (as a territory) granted women the right to vote. God bless Wyoming!

In 1890, Wyoming was admitted to the Union as the first state that allowed women to vote, and in fact insisted it would not accept statehood without keeping suffrage. In 1893, voters of Colorado made that state the second of the woman suffrage states and the first state where the men voted to give women the right to vote. In 1896 Idaho approved a constitutional amendment in statewide vote giving women the right to vote.

The first woman to act as governor was Carolyn B. Shelton, who served as “acting governor” of Oregon for one weekend – 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, through 10 a.m. Monday, March 1 – in 1909.

The first elected female governor was Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming, who was elected on November 4, 1924, and sworn in on January 5, 1925.She was preceded in office by her late husband William B. Ross.

The first female governor elected without being the wife or widow of a past state governor was Ella T. Grasso of Connecticut,  elected in 1974 and sworn in on January 8, 1975.

a biography

The Book of Mormon has been translated into more than one hundred different languages, and the polyglot nature of the book is reflected in the curriculum offered in Provo’s Training Center. This center trains missionaries in more than fifty languages. The length of time missionaries spend at the center is directly tied to the language they will be using in their mission work. Those who are going on English-speaking missions spend nineteen days at the center; those who will be ministering in Romance languages spend nine weeks in training; while those learning non-Romance languages such as Chinese and Japanese spend the longest period at the center, eleven weeks. Almost all of the language training is done by eight hundred part-time instructors, most of whom are students at the neighboring Brigham Young University campus who have just returned from their mission work.

. . . The distinctive character of Mormonism is firmly rooted in the Book of Mormon, as it stands as a testimony to God’s restored priesthood and Church on the earth. To underline this message, the Guide involves the words of Ezra Taft Benson, who pointed to the book as the single best response to anyone who objects to the teachings of Mormonism. Benson put it simply: “The only problem the objector has to resolve for himself is whether the Book of Mormon is true. For if the Book of Mormon is true, then Jesus is the Christ, Joseph Smith was his prophet, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true, and it is being led today by a prophet receiving revelation.” In this spirit, the Guide instructs missionaries to introduce the Book of Mormon as early as possible in their encounters with nonbelievers.

. . . Ultimately, confirmation of the book’s truths is left to the workings of higher spiritual forces, not to the persuasive abilities of the missionary.


A fish knows how to swim the instant it hatches, and off it darts to fend for itself. When a duckling hatches, it can follow its mother over land and across the water within moments. Foals, still dripping with amniotic fluid, spend a few minutes bucking around to get the feel of their legs, then join the herd. Not so with humans. We come out limp and squalling and utterly dependent on round-the-clock care and supervision. We mature glacially, and do not approach anything resembling adult competence for many, many years. Obviously we must gain some very large advantage from this costly, not to mention risky up-front investment, and we do: It’s called culture.

ape or angel?

What is the question now placed before society with the glib assurance which to me is most astonishing? That question is this: Is man an ape or an angel? I, my lord, I am on the side of the angels. I repudiate with indignation and abhorrence those new fangled theories. – Benjamin Disraeli


Lana Turner


Actress Lana Turner was one of the Glamour Girls – when there were ‘movie stars.’

Julia Jean “Lana” Turner (1921-1995) was also (personal trivia) my third cousin once removed.  I know.  I know.  Who cares?

Lana’s mother, Mildred Frances Cowan and I share Cowan ancestors: Stephen Cowan and Elizabeth Long.

The Cowan link above is information I put online many many years ago and there have probably been some changes.  Had even forgotten it was available online until recently.  Ah – it is all out there anymore, isn’t it??