Lost In Busy-ness

Writing posts for Grumpa Joes Place have taken the back seat to two big projects in my life. The first is a Lions club thing which I will explain below. The second is a personal project inside my house. All other projects like making art, reading, etc have dropped to the bottom of the list.

  • The Lions Club thing. As the Club Service Chair it is my job to come up with ways to serve the community. An active club is one that has many hands-on projects as well as one that writes checks. For too many years my club has languished in stagnation being satisfied with writing checks. The forefathers of forty years ago decided that it was more efficient to organize a once a year fund raiser which would fund all of our service in the community. As time passed the membership dwindled from 130 to fifty, and that became the topic of our board meetings. All of us were in a quandry about how to turn things around. Some of the loss was a normal nationwide trend experienced by all service clubs. People just didn’t join anymore.
  • After ten years in the club, I accepted the presidency. The first thing I did was to set some new goals for myself and the club. We needed to change the culture of the organization from one of check writing to one of activity. I was highly criticized by members young and old that with limited numbers we couldn’t do everything. I analyzed the membership and their participation in activities, I surveyed them with questions like “why did you join a Lions Club?” The number one answer was “I want to give back.” The activity analysis pointed out that the Pareto principle was working well within our organization. Exactly twenty percent of the members were responsible for eighty percent of the activities.
  • I studied Lions Clubs International guides about how to run a club, about how to run a project, about how to determine what the community needs are. I was on the right track with my goals. Thankfully, I had another Lion on my side and between the two of us we began signing up for activities throughout the village. Polar Express, Bunny Breakfast, Rib Fest, Movies on the Green, all of these involved a few members and a short period of time. Yes, the same twenty percent of active members were still active, but more so, and we began to see new faces show up. It was my philosophy that the many members needed many different types of activity to interest them. With variety and short duration the participation began to grow. We still write checks, and we still have a large fund raiser every year, but we also have a lot more, and we are now up to seventy-two members.
  • Currently, as Club Service Chair, I suggested we do some things for the homeless. I suggested a Winter Coat Drive. The board liked it. I jumped at the opportunity, and within a week we had collection-boxes scattered about the village. That stimulated a need for publicity. Wallah, a member stepped up to a post on our Facebook page and our website. Others agreed to empty the boxes. We found a location to store the coats. Then, organized a sorting session to separate them into men’s, women’s, and children’s, and to bag them in counts of ten. With a system in place we could deliver them to the charities easily. We distributed 735 coats throughout the Township. More importantly our members were excited. The question on the table was “what’s next?” I figured that perhaps a clean pair of socks would be appreciated by someone who had nothing. I turned out to be right. Luckily, my Sock Drive committee decided to approach the grammar schools to assist. Fortunately, the Principals and teachers bought in to the idea, and they added to the fun by proposing a competition between classrooms. The Lions promised to award the winners with a pizza party lunch. We wound up collecting 23,000 pairs of socks.
  • A year passed and it was winter again. The schools asked us to partner again. Yes, we would. This time I asked them to choose from a list of possibles. They ignored my suggestions and decided to collect personal hygiene items: tooth paste, tooth brushes, soap, deodorant, shampoo, etc. We agreed, and found a hundred boxes to distribute in the schools, one for every room. Same deal, pizza party to the winners, except we allowed a first and second place this time. Well, this is why I haven’t posted during March. The collection began on March 1st, and we quickly realized we would need a truck to haul the stuff. The kids counted a total of 21,000 items. All of it is heavier than socks. Nevertheless, Lions jumped in, and within fifteen days we sorted, classified, re-boxed everything into manageable sizes, and delivered it all to sixteen separate charities. Whew!
A Small Order Packed and Ready to Deliver
The Order For Hines VA Homeless Vets

Lions Sorting Into Categories
Lion President Rick and His Wife Elaine Prepare an Order for Trinity Services
  • The personal thing. My wife lovely and I invited her only living relative to live with us, her grandson. He currently lives in his deceased father’s house which is a rented place filled with furniture and goodies accumulated over eight years. He reached a point where living with his father’s ghost was too much to handle emotionally. So, we are rearranging our home to accommodate all the stuff he will bring with him. We are in effect marrying two complete homes into one space. For the next two months I’ll be living in interesting times.

Better Than Puns-Churchillisms

A favorite story about Churchill is when at a dinner party a member of the Labor Party’s (the opposition) wife said, “Mr. Churchill, you are despicable.  If I were your wife I’d put poison in your whiskey. ”His reply, “Madam, if you were my wife, I’d drink it.”  He always had an appropriate come-back.

A Little Bitty Bird Made Me Lie

A few days ago I posted a bit about the coming of spring. In it, I mentioned that the Junco, a bird from up north, left to go home. This morning as I looked out on the yard I spotted a Junco hopping around under the feeder picking up sunflower seeds. Damn, I exclaimed to myself. He made me a liar.

What I suspect is that the Juncos are migrating south to north, and this guy is late. Probably because he winters further south. It doesn’t matter except I wrote a bald faced lie in my last post. I don’t like to lie, telling lies is reserved for politicians on the stump, or defending their shoddy records. Politi-speak has evolved into something that is widely accepted even though we all know it is wrong. So then, why do we continue to vote for the people that live to tell untruths? A great example of this type of talk was displayed during the last election cycle when then candidate Biden stood before the country and said he would eliminate COVID. We all knew that was BS, but the Trump haters were so anxious to get rid of someone who knew how to run the country that they accepted that lie and many more.

Just as we all know that state run elections are running over with fraud, but the chiefs in charge continue to accept the lies told by state attorney generals who certify results. As long as those who oversee the election run by the laws in their state they cannot see the real fraud going on because they followed the law to the letter.

Another common form of lying, that is publicized, is when a politician makes a statement based on his knowledge of the facts at hand, and newly uncovered facts come up. On the basis of the new facts the old statements are now false, therefore the subject is telling a lie.

I wonder if America will ever get any of this stuff straightened out to correct the system. Until then, I have to rely on my own judgement of what is, and what isn’t a lie. Reading opposing viewpoints makes things worse because because often a lie is challenged with another lie. I tend to believe the people I want to believe in, and anyone else is a liar. I don’t think I’m alone on that point. In the meantime, I’ll try to correct my own lies with fresh news based on new facts about the migratory habits of my bird residents. Or, are they residents if they only stay here for the winter? That poses another question, just where does a migratory bird call home? Since he commutes between places one or the other must take precedence. I guess I’ll just go sit on my rock and strike a Rodin pose whilst pondering the issue.

Robins, Daffodils, and Junco’s

A few days ago, my heart skipped a beat. I looked out the kitchen window and spotted a robin, the first sure sign of spring. Robins leave for the south-land during the winter months and return when it is warm enough to find food. A minute later, I spotted the green shoots of daffodils sprouting from the near frozen ground. Yessss! Spring is launched. Daffodils are one of the earliest flowers to bloom and they love cold weather. In fact, if the weather turns warm while they flower, the flower wilts and drops. As the day worn on, I began looking at the spots where I planted daffodils and yes, they were all poking their pointed green leaves though the surface.

Robin, worm eater
Daffodils waking from winter sleep

Two days later, as I sat reading at the morning table, it occurred to me that I have not seen a Junco in a long time. Junco’s are tiny birds who nest in Canada and migrate south in the winter. They consider Illinois south, not a very smart bird. The fact that I had not seen one lately means they are headed north for the summer.

Junco, butI call them Snowbirds

Three very positive signs that the long cold winter is coming to an end in the heartland. They can only be a harbinger of the work that is coming, cleaning dead leaves, digging beds, planting vegetable seeds. Then watering to watch nature explode into green goodness.

My Kind of Teacher

Lessons of life often come easily, and at other times they come hard. This story about a teacher giving her students a lesson is extremely interesting, and probably very effective. If for nothing else her students will not forget it easily.

#####################################################################

Teacher Removes all Desks and Chairs From Classroom

NOW SHE IS A TEACHER!

In September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a history teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she removed all of the desks in her classroom. When the first period kids entered the room they discovered that there were no desks

‘Ms. Cothren, where are our desks?’

She replied, ‘You can’t have a desk until you tell me how you earn the right to sit at a desk.’

They thought, ‘Well, maybe it’s our grades.’ ‘No,’ she said.

‘Maybe it’s our behavior.’ She told them, ‘No, it’s not even your behavior.’

And so, they came and went, the first period, second period, third period. Still no desks in the classroom.  Kids called their parents to tell them what was happening and by early afternoon television news crews had started gathering at the school to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of her room.

The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the desk-less classroom.  Martha Cothren said, ‘Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he or she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom.  Now I am going to tell you.’

At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it.  Twenty-seven (27) U.S. Veterans, all in uniform, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk.  The Vets began placing the school desks in rows, and then they would walk over and stand alongside the wall.  By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place those kids started to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks had been earned.

Martha said, ‘You didn’t earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did it for you.  They placed the desks here for you.  They went halfway around the world, giving up their education and interrupting their careers and families so you could have the freedom you have. Now, it’s up to you to sit in them.  It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens.  They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education.  Don’t ever forget it.’ 

By the way, this is a true story.  And this teacher was awarded the Veterans of Foreign Wars Teacher of the Year for the State of Arkansas in 2006.  She is the daughter of a WWII POW.

Do you think this email is worth passing along so others won’t forget either, that the freedoms we have in this great country were earned by our US. Veterans?  I did.

Let us always remember the men and women of our military and the rights that they have won for us.

The Tree of Life

All you need to know about life, the universe, everything

Nutsrok

The humor and humanity of storytelling.

Tracey J Boothe Publishing Blog

Nature, books, exploring, publishing, photography, video, short films, lifestyle

Jim Campbell's

"Inside Every Progressive Is A Totalitarian Screaming To Get Out"

Wavy and Anchored

The waves may come crashing down, but they will not break me.

Journeyman's Journal

This is a journal of the art of woodworking by hand

KetoJENic Vibe

🥓🥑🍳 Health and Wellness based, Easy Recipes, and Keto Product Reviews

The Lockdown Chef

A cooking survival guide for those who don't know how

My Serene Words

Seeking Solace in the horizon of life & beyond

MRS. T’S CORNER

https://www.tangietwoods

ESL Ventures

Teach ESL and Travel the World

Heart Felt

This platform is for the people who likes to talk straight from the heart🤩

Suzette B's Blog

Inspiration and Spirituality **Award Free**

Bhutadarma

Nothing is impossible (at least that does not violate the laws of physics). When you can..violate the laws of physics!

I Know I Made You Smile

cartoons/humor/fiction/nonfiction

galesmind

Come take a journey through my mind