Tuesday, May 22, 2012

When I grow up ...

... speaking of graduations, have you ever attended a pre-school or kindergarten ceremony?

My gal-pal shared a favorite moment when her little granddaughter's name was called and asked in turn, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
Most likely, I'm a bit envious of their assurance, their unwavering vision of what the future holds.   You know, before Real Life comes knocking.  

Once upon a time, I had my heart set on becoming a cowgirl ...  living next door to Spin and Marty  ... riding the range all the live-long day.
A year later, I thought it more sensible to follow in daddy's footsteps (lol).  

I don't recall ever dreaming of becoming an pseudo air-traffic controller / court jester in a busy office.   In fact, I don't suppose there are a lot of folks fortunate enough to be living their dream.   

So we do what's necessary ... hopefully, with a smile.

All the same, I'm curious.   
What did the little child you once were want to be when she grew up?    

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


So, when I think of my precious grand-daughters preparing for their final exams ... I'm reminded of another post I made some 3 years ago. 
It 'twas tuggin' at me .... asking for an encore, so here goes!

"Remember when our grandparents, great-grandparents stated that they only had an 8th grade education?"

Here is the 8th-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina , KS , USA . (Source: Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina , KS.)

(To be honest, if I were presented with these questions my poor dried bones would STILL be sitting at a desk, trying to graduate!)


Grammar (Time, one hour)

1. Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters.
2. Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no Modifications.
3. Define Verse, Stanza and Paragraph.
4. What are the Principal Parts of a verb. Give Principal Parts of. lie, lay and run
5. Define Case, Illustrate each Case.
6. What is Punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of Punctuation.
7. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

Arithmetic (Time, 1.25 hours)

1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 lbs., what is it worth at
50cts/bushel, deducting 1050lbs. for tare?
4. District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the nece ss ary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
5. Find cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $20 per meter?
8 Find bank discount on $300 for! 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance
around which is 640 rods?
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

U. S. History (Time, 45 minutes)
1. Give the epochs into which U. S. History is divided.
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus .
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.
5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas .
6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell , Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?
8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865.

Orthography (Time, one hour)

1. What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication?
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: Trigraph, sub vocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?
4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u'.
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e.' Name two
exceptions under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane,
fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

Geography (Time, one hour)

1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas ?
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4. Describe the mountains of North America .
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver,
Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall &Orinoco.
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
7. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.

Gives the saying 'she/he only had an 8th grade education' a whole new meaning, doesn't it? 

Kind of humbling, isn't it?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Momma's Hands


Our minister shared a curious observation a few years back: While there's little elbow room to be had at the Christmas and Easter services, many stay away on Mother's Day or Father's Day.    Why?   Because for many who've lost a parent, it's too painful.   

While that's understandable (sorta), I prefer to celebrate the memories.

Today I'm celebrating my mother's hands. 
Unlike her daughter, momma's hands were slender and pretty ...  nimble fingers that could coax piano keys or wield knitting needles like a mastro.  

I don't recall her ever having had a professional manicure, yet every Saturday evening -- without fail -- she'd set aside time to trim, buff and polish.   Even following an unfortunate incident with the lawn mower --which left 3 digits terribly mangled -- she'd continue her Saturday night ritual.   A totally unassuming lady, my mother still believed one should do the best they could with what they had.   

Now it's probably been 50 years since I read Little Women, but when I think of momma's hands I think of Meg.   Meg, who "cheerfully blackened and burned her white hands cooking delicate messes."   

What she did for love.
I wonder if I might yet take a lesson. 

I wish all mothers (and those men, women and Godparents who mother little ones) a lovely day, making memories!  

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Some like it hot!

So, did your favorite pony place in yesterday's Derby?     I've never lived in or near Kentucky, but can't help getting misty-eyed when they sing "Old Kentucky Home."
Anyway, I hope no-one  took "I'll Have Another" (mint julep) to heart ...
or -- darn our ethnicity! -- celebrated Cinco de Mayo to excess.

I was feeling well enough yesterday morning to accompany DH on our usual Saturday errands, when we decided on the spur-of-the-moment to visit a nearby eatery -- noted for their hatch chiles.
Now, no-one could ever accuse me of being a "spur-of-the-moment" gal.     And given the state of my innards, hatch chile might not sound like a sensible choice.  But somedays you have to tell your brain to take a hike!

Mine has been a looooong and winding road from New Mexico -- but I've their particular green chile hard-wired!    Keep your Tabasco and other atomic condiments, thank you.   The hatch doesn't immediately assault.   Rather, like experts oooh-n-ahhh over a wine's "finish", this little gem is remarkable on one's tonsils.

Wasn't long before I was sucked back to Pinterest.  (Ya, I'm a bit like poor Carol-Anne in Poltergeist.) 
... and was astonished how many others are heralding the hatch.... and their great recipe ideas.

There's a few obvious choices ... then, one or two which had me saying "Huh?"
...Still trying to wrap my mind around this idea.

Someday, I hope we'll have a chance make time to visit the chile festival.
I'm sure interested to know if you, too, "like it hot"!  If so, do you have a favorite?

Wishing you a new week that's "just right!