Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Summer Reading: Click, Clack, Moo

I believe that every baby should have a copy of Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin.  It is an early text on active citizenship and organizing - the story of cows who feel that changes must be made and who take steps to advocate for those changes to the farmer (the Man!!).

It is never too early to teach your kids about citizenship and democratic processes.

I almost always give this book to people when a baby present is called for (so, like, if you work in the same building as I do and I know you and you have recently had a baby and I know this, you do not need to get this book for your little guy - it is covered already).  If there is  a baby in your life, you should start them out on the right track with this book as well.  (For America.)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

College Computer!

So, we are not generally ones to make big purchases.  We blow a lot of money on tacos and books and such small family fun stuff, but big stuff?  Almost never unless you count those fun medical bills.  We also do not much, since the dark times, use credit cards at all.  The one exception is the Best Buy card in times of appliance emergency.  Corpus used to have a scratch and dent store at which we would replace the occasional worn out washing machine, etc., but it went away and that was a great loss because we so cannot afford unscratched and not dented appliances.  Enter the Best Buy card with those 18 months no interest deals.  We have several times now found ourselves using it for a washer or refrigerator when our old ones wore out and it has been a very helpful thing (if only Best Buy replaced bathrooms and furnaces, but that would take way more than 18 months to pay off anyways).

Today we used the card, with its 18 months no interest deal, to buy a computer for the Lone Star Girl to use in college.  The financial aid office actually suggested that a computer purchase would help raise her Estimated Cost of Attendance and allow her to keep more of the  scholarship money she earned (ask me sometime in person about how students do not always get to keep all the scholarship money they earned), but she needed one anyways.  We had purchased her a net book to use for high school in ninth grade, but it was never really very useful as running applications was often just too much for it.  It definitely would not meet her college needs.

Now the Lone Star Girl has a real laptop and the Lone Star Baby has gleefully commandeered the old net book and we have monthly payments.  Less than the ones to the hospital, though, and we will finish with them sooner.  Honestly, even though large purchases make me very twitchy, I am very pleased to be able to do this as a graduation present for my Girl as I know it is an important investment in her education that she will use everyday.

Summer Food

Many of the over 27% of Texas children who are food insecure receive free or reduced price lunch and breakfast at school during the school year, through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National School Lunch Program.  In the summer, though, hunger is often a problem for these kids.  In the summer, children are scattered across communities; not all together in one place where the Department of Agriculture can feed them.  In many communities, there are not enough sites available for the Summer Food Service Program to reach everyone.  Where it does reach children, that one meal a day is often all the child eats during the summer months.

Please support the local agencies that participate in the Summer Food Service Program and try to spread the word on where kids can go to get lunch in your community.  

All of this information can change, but in Corpus, according to the City's website, lunch is served from 11:30pm until 1pm to youth ages 1 - 18.  No paperwork or anything like that is needed to participate.  According to the City of Corpus Christi Parks and Recreation Department, which administers the program, lunch is served at the following locations:

Ben Garza Gym  1815 Howard St.
Casa De MaƱana  4702 Old Brownsville Rd.

Cliff Maus Village  1458 W Point Rd. (M- Th)
Del Mar College  101 Baldwin Blvd.
Garcia Arts Center  2021 Agnes St.
Joe Garza Recreation Center 3 204 Highland Ave.
John Paul High School  3036 Saratoga Blvd.
La Armada Family Resource Center  1455 Southgate Dr.
Lantana Square Apartments 5 802 Academy Dr.
Lexington Manor Community Center 3 102 Ray Ellison Dr.
Lindale Recreation Center 3 133 Swantner Dr.
LULAC Village Apartments  1417 Horne Rd.
McKinzie Family Resource Center  2842 McKinzie Rd.
Molina Neighborhood Center  614 Horne Rd.
Navarro Family Resource Center  160 N. 19th St.
North Side Manor Apartments  1401 N. Alameda St.
Northwest Senior Center  9725 Up River Rd.
Oak Park Recreation Center  842 Erwin Dr.
Oso Recreation Center 1 111 Bernice Dr.
Samuel Place Apartments  4315 Carroll Ln.
Solomon Coles Gym  924 Winnebago St.
South Pointe Apartments  5725 Curtis Clark Dr.
Treyway Apartments  2022 Treyway Ln.
Wiggins Family Resource Center  320 Buford St.
YMCA  417 S. Upper Broadway
YWCA  4601 Corona Dr.

There is also an afternoon snack served from 2:30 - 3:30pm. Spread the word.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Pedialyte and Rebozos

The Texas Young Democrats have started an Amazon Wish List for supplies for the refugee children and have raised over $28,000 in donations so far!  They are in contact with partners in the Rio Grande Valley in order to keep up with what the children really need.  It is very easy to contribute and there are all kinds of gifts at all kinds of prices that you can donate.  

Please click below to donate to the refugee children:

"Please click here and order today to keep the #LoveFromTexas coming. These items will be directly distributed to the children in need."

How will you help? 

(* I got the link from the Burnt Orange Report.) 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The School Supply Shop

We had a nice night with the girls last night finding and purchasing the items on the Lone Star Baby's Far-Too-Specific school supply list from her school.  Even though the school's specificity and the expense of the items they require is quite frustrating and gross, it was fun to see the Lone Star Baby get into finding things with her big sister's assistance.  Warning:  the "It's Time" period when the notebooks and folders are cheapest is already starting to slide some.  We only have a few items left - the less school-y ones like paper towels and storage bags and disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer.  Those we will get at the grocery store sometime this week. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wendy's Coming

Word on the street is that Wendy Davis will be speaking at the Unity Headquarters in Corpus (Tancahua and Buffalo) tomorrow at 3pm!

Target Truce

We have had lots of dorm room shopping to do this summer, but first I had to have a little talk with Target, which was carrying most of the items for which we were looking.  See, the Open Carry nuts have visited Target several times, including the local Target in Corpus Christi.  At first, Target did not respond to these scary visits with a ban on carrying guns openly in its stores and I was not going to be hanging around in any place where that was allowed, especially not with children, who should not have their emotional development damaged by exposure to symbols of violence.

I spoke with a manager at the Target in Corpus Christi about my concerns and, fortunately, they had already handled it.  The company has now "respectfully requested" that people leave their guns at home.  This may not be totally enforced in some stores, but in ones that sell alcohol in Texas, it will be.  Thank you, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

First Day School: Peace Testimony

We had Meeting on Sunday and the Lone Star Baby and I had First Day School.  We are still studying the Peace Testimony in the context of WWII.  We finished talking about Number The Stars and non-fighting ways to be brave, and talked some about Anne Frank.  We started talking about the internment camps for Japanese-Americans during the war and read Baseball Saved Us and discussed how much easier it is for people to hurt each other when they slip into "us" and "them" thinking.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Hebrews 13:2: The Refugee Children

While United Nations officials urge that many of the children who have flooded our borders should be treated not as undocumented immigrants but as the “refugees displaced by armed conflict” that they are, Governor Perry has ordered  1,000 members of the National Guard to the Texas- Mexico border.  Other countries all over the world - the remotely decent ones - respond to armed conflict that displaces their neighbors by giving those neighbors, always at great cost, sanctuary.  Because that is what you do when your neighbor is fleeing for her life - you help her.  

I live in South Texas, in Corpus.  I work and haul daughters and troops of little girls all over South Texas, lots of driving.  Any place south of Corpus Christi is teaming with La Migra already - Border Patrol is everywhere, everywhere.  Americans have nothing to fear.  Certainly we have nothing to fear from these poor children - except having to share some, as other neighbors do.  

Even the Pope has called us out for not providing sanctuary to these children.  

Also, from God: 

"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."

More Walking for Wendy!

Lone Star Pa, the Lone Star Baby and I got in 3.5 more hours of walking for Wendy last night, block-walking around our own neighborhood, which was really nice.  I got to be a good citizen and chat with my neighbors!  I even met an amazing lady who is 102 years old and answered the door herself.

Below are some links to help you get involved:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

South Texas History Musum Girls

And More College...

The Lone Star Girl is a finalist for a scholarship she wrote an essay for recently and for which she then got interviewed a week ago Saturday in Edinburg.  She also found out, once UTPA received her IB scores, that she is entering college with 42 hours of college credit!  It is not entirely as exciting as it sounds since the pre-med program she is in will still definitely take four years, but it will give her room in her schedule to do the Medical Spanish minor she wants to do in addition to the Chemistry minor she has to do.  Pictures from the trip to UTPA:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Does Anyone Remember How Most Americans (Who Are Still Alive - Not The Ones Our Ancestors Murdered) Got Here?

Fleeing from various countries?

American Dream?

Statue of Liberty?  

Emma Lazarus' poem, The New Colossus


I mean, Native Americans have every right to say ugly things about immigrants if they want to, given how that all worked out, but no one else here does.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

W.B. Ray Class of 2014 Global Citizen Scholarship

The Lone Star Girl is raising money to establish an ongoing scholarship for a high school senior at Ray High School every year. 

She has set up criteria and an application and a permanent committee of 2014 Ray High School graduates to screen applications each year, as well as a way for the scholarship to be administered through the exceedingly helpful Coastal Bend Community Foundation. It is to be funded mainly by her Class of 2014 classmates over the years, but could use some help getting up and running. Eventually, donations will be made through the Coastal Bend Community Foundation website, a method much more Millennial-Friendly than checks, but they had a fire recently and it is taking awhile to set up. She needs to raise $1000 to get the CBCF account started and if she finishes raising the first $1500 in time, it can also be her Gold Award Project. The information is below if anyone wants to donate for this project. Thank you!

Website URL: 

"Donate Page" of Website URL:!donate/c1ghi

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Walking for Wendy

Lone Star Pa and the Lone Star Baby and I spent three hours block-walking for Wendy Davis  in Corpus Christi neighborhoods this evening.  We are going to do lots more.

Wendy stood for twelve hours for Texas women during her filibuster and I challenge every Texas woman who reads this to contribute at least twelve hours to her campaign.  You don't win if you don't try.  There is no one else to do it  - only us.

If you are a Texan, how are you going to stand for Wendy?  Please tell me in the comments.

Here are some links to get you started:

Get on it, Mamas!

More College

June and early July have been a whirlwind.  As soon as graduation and the birthdays and college appointments were over, there was Cousin Camp and then almost right after, our trip to the wilds of North Texas to see elderly and ailing relatives (not you - you are young and hale) and then we got back for a scant week of doctor appointments and work before it was time to head to UTPA again yesterday.  The Girl wrote an essay for a scholarship contest there and she got picked for the next round to get interviewed on Saturday, so we all went so we could be together and we also checked out the dorm room again so the Girl could think about dimensions and storage.

Today we shopped for some dorm room supplies for the Girl.  She already has a comforter and sheets and towels and hand towels.  We got storage crates and bins and a shower caddy and a toothbrush cup holder and and wash cloths and a lamp.  

I didn't cry.  


Wednesday, July 02, 2014

About this Religious Freedom Thing, SCOTUS...

So...Hobby Lobby does not have to comply with federal laws mandating that the health insurance plans they offer include contraception because they believe the contraceptives are abortifacients, even though science shows that they clearly are no such thing, but merely drugs that prevent pregnancy.

That means that I, a fervent Quaker,  no longer have to pay to support real wars and acts of violence committed by the government, right? Right?

Are you sure you want to go there, SCOTUS?