Saturday, November 24, 2012

Lone Star Ma Issue #11 Needs Good Submissions, Mamas!

I do not know what has happened to all the mamas who can usually be counted on to raise their voices on behalf of Texas families and other families, but...I need them back!

I have extended the deadline for submissions for  Lone Star Ma #11 several times now but still have nowhere near the pool of good content to choose from that we always got in our print days.  The transition to digital is no fun, for sure, but Texas still needs your voices!  Please submit!

Call For Submissions - Lone Star Ma #11

Calling for submissions for Issue #11 of Lone Star Ma:  The Magazine of Progressive Texas Parenting And Children's Issues!!!
For this issue, we are looking for feature articles on the effects of lax enforcement of environmental standards on children in Texas.  We are looking for articles on how the Right-Wing War on Women affects mothers and children.  

Specific other topics we might be interested in:  social services funding in Texas, education in Texas, urban farming for busy families, the Texas State Board of Education, libraries, sex education, breastfeeding, safely avoiding insect-borne tropical diseases.  

We do accept articles on other themes as well if they strike our fancy, so send whatever you think we should consider and we will ponder it. 

Please see the general submission information at for guidelines and please consider submitting to our various departments, as well. 

Lone Star Ma wants poetry.  Lone Star Ma wants mama fiction.  Lone Star Ma wants brilliant articles. What have you got? 

The deadline for submissions has been extended to December 15th.  

Raise your voices. 

xo, Lone Star Ma

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Don't Buy War Toys

I have numerous issues with the whole Black Friday frenzy thing, but here is one that I have not heard mentioned by very many others lately:

Please do not celebrate the holiday season by buying war toys for the children in your life.

Hurting people is not entertainment, war is not a game.  Buying war toys encourages violence and that is something of which our world needs no more.  No more at all.

I love toys, but there are so many good kinds.  There are toys that can help kids learn, toys that can spark their imaginations, toys that help children to build and many.  

There is no need for toys that de-sensitize children to the horrors of war and violence.

Whether it is a recent generation video game full of graphic gore or a simple water gun, there is no need to put that sort of violent representation into the hands or minds of our children.  Everywhere I hear people answer back my position with stories of all the many  and precious toy guns, etc. of their own childhoods and how they were not hurt by them...

But weren't they? Weren't we?

What civilized nation keeps weaponry like we do?  What civilized nation uses weapons on each other for crime and outbursts as we do?  And then there is the child abuse, the domestic violence... it goes on and on, buried so deep in all of our psyches in this culture in which even our childhood play is saturated with violence.

And we believe, so many of us, in a military solution to everything.

 I think we can do so much better.

Give the children in your lives constructive toys.  Peaceful toys.  Give them tools to build peaceful lives in a culture saturated by caring rather than violence.

Please start today.

Happy Thanksgiving!

To be clear, I am not celebrating the murdered history of the genocide of our nation's Native Peoples.

That said, thankfulness is something I can totally celebrate (also, the harvest).

What I am most thankful for, as always, is having my good, beautiful, brilliant daughters and being lucky enough to be able to care for them as they grow up. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Amazing Artist Girl

The Lone Star Girl has been working so hard in her DP Art class.  The overall style she has chosen for her gallery pieces is basically impressionist.  She made this piece out of tissue paper, on the theme of her name and her sister's name.  I think it's lovely.

The following piece is simply amazing.  The assignment was to do a self-portrait.  She got a picture of herself underwater that her swim friends had taken with the underwater camera.  She blew it up big at what-once-was-Kinko's, and she pixilated it - all with candy wrappers she had folded up into tiny, tiny squares.

Impressive, yes?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Texas SBOE, Post -Election

So, the Texas State Board of Education now looks like this:

District 1: Martha Dominguez, D-El Paso
District 2: Ruben Cortez, D-Brownsville
District 3: Marisa Perez, D-San Antonio
District 4: Lawrence Allen, D-Fresno
District 5: Ken Mercer, R-San Antonio
District 6: Donna Bahorich, R-Houston
District 7: David Bradley, R-Beaumont
District 8: Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands
District 9: Thomas Ratliff, R-Mount Pleasant
District 10: Tom Maynard, R-Florence
District 11: Pat Hardy, R-Fort Worth
District 12: Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, R-Dallas 
District 13: Mavis Knight, D-Dallas
District 14: Sue Melton, R-Waco
District 15: Marty Rowley, R-Amarillo.

While five members of the scary creationist bloc that recently ravaged our science standards seem to be have been defeated or quit, that bloc has gained at least one new member or more and it looks to me like Democrats are still outnumbered two-to-one by Texas Republicans.  Not all Republicans are anti-scientist racists, of course, but allow me to remind you of the Texas Republican Party Platform?  Enough said. 

Social studies standards in 2014, Mamas. Let's keep the eyes of Texas upon them.

Local Results of The Election

It looks like South Texas will still have a worthless Congressional delegation with Farenthold in the House, and Cruz, even worse than his predecessors, in the Senate.  I'm still having a hard time with the fact that people would elect someone as far out on the crazy right-wing fringe as Cruz is in these parts.  Maybe they just looked at his name.  Maybe re-re-districting will help.  Pretty grim for now.

I'm glad that we still have Senator Hinojosa in the Texas Senate and that our wonderful, smart, ethical Abel Herrero defeated Connie Scott and won his seat "back", so to speak, in the Texas House.  The new lines took our house out of his district where it used to be, though, and we have to contend with Representative Hunter, a Republican who ran unopposed - le sigh.

I'm not fussed that the Sheriff was re-elected.  He may be a Republican, but his opponent was nothing to write home about. I wish David Torres had won a seat on the Commissioner's Court - he would have been great.

I have little faith in many of the people who were elected (re-elected) to the City Council in Corpus Christi, but I am thrilled that Priscilla Leal was re-elected and super-crazy-glad that Nelda Martinez is our new Mayor.  They truly care about doing what's right.  As for the rest, we'll see. 

I will withhold judgement on whether the CCISD School Board will be improved by this election until I see what happens with teachers' health insurance, class sizes  and the consultation process next school year.  There is a lot of room for improvement.

And now - we start working on the next election!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

We All Win!

We get to keep the Environmental Protection Agency, women's rights, the Affordable Care Act and a decent enough person with daughters he cares about will choose the next few Supreme Court Justices!  


Nuclear Reactor At Comanche Peak Shut Down

Super scary!  Overheating!  Read about it.  Makes me not want to go back to see the fossils!

Election Day!

Join the strong-shouldered river of democracy and vote!

Sunday, November 04, 2012

The Glories of Dual-Language Montessori Lower El

My third grader has it good.  She spends most of her mornings immersed in her work cycle - operations, grammar, geometry, fractions, phonograms, Spanish, SRAs, silent reading, word study, creative writing - and once she has taken care of business, she gets to delve into the projects.

Last week, she and a partner gave a presentation of their research on Saturn in Spanish and in English.  She just brought home another enormous map creation - this one of North America.  Tomorrow, she is presenting a Jupiter research project.  She and her sister made sugar cookies (with a red hot on each to represent the Great Storm) to pass out during the presentation and I found myself checking the ingredients and telling her that she could tell her friend that they are halal because there is nothing in them that is not okay for her friend to eat.  She is also researching frogs at the moment.  

She plays card games like an addict in morning care and runs around like a monkey in after care. 

It is good.

Vote For A Texas Rose!

Rose Meza Harrison (unlike her opponent, who does not believe in public education) supports funding public education so that class sizes are manageable, allowing students to get the attention they need so that they can be prepared for the future.  She supports the inclusion of the arts in education, as well as strong math and science instruction.  She supports early childhood education programs and affordable higher education as well.

Rose Meza Harrison believes in protecting the vulnerable of our society - the children, elderly, poor and sick - rather than sacrificing them on the altar of corporate greed.  Her opponent believes in slashing programs that help the needy.

Rose Meza Harrison believes that we can develop renewable energy sources that are clean and safe and allow us to be energy-independent.  Her opponent believes in abolishing the EPA and allowing polluters to have free reign without regulation.

Rose Meza Harrison supports women's rights and heath.  Her opponent believes we should eliminate programs that provide health care to uninsured women and could not be bothered to vote on fair pay for women.

Our community needs Rose Meza Harrison in Congress.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Texas Mamas for Paul Sadler!

Be sure to get out there on Tuesday, Mamas, and vote for Paul Sadler for the U.S. Senate! 

Democrat Paul Sadler supports health care for women, unlike his opponent who was chosen by the tea party in the Republican primary because Perry's lackey Dewhurst was not conservative enough for them.  

Paul Sadler supports health care for everyone, in fact, and - unlike his Republican opponent - does not intend to repeal health care reforms that protect children with preexisting conditions and keep people who get sick from getting dropped by their insurance plans.  He also thinks parents should be able to keep their sons and daughters on their health insurance plans until they turn 26, so that young Americans will be covered while they complete their educations.

Paul Sadler supports public education and he supports teachers.  His opponent is one of the growing number of Republicans who do not believe in public education and who will slash funding for it every chance they get. Paul Sadler knows that public education is the heart of democracy.

Most importantly, Paul Sadler believes in protecting our environment for future Americans.  He is a nationally recognized expert on alternative and renewable sources of energy and can help us build the new, green economy that will save our economy and our world.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Fancy Nancy By Day, Darth Vader By Night

One girl, two Halloween costumes....(one for dress-up-as-a-storybook-character at school, one for trick-or-treating)