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GMO n (genetically modified organism) an organism whose genetic material has been altered to include DNA molecules from other sources. This DNA is then transferred into an organism, giving it modified genes. Also known as GM or GE.

Transgenic organisms are a subset of GMOs. These are organisms inserted with DNA from different species.

Includes animals, food crops, and other foodstuffs.

Currently, the US does not require that these items be labeled.

Organic adj of, relating to, or derived from living matter; food certification includes standards which include:

  • no use of fertilizer, pesticides, antibiotics, food additives, GMOs, irradiation, or the use of solid or semisolid organic material obtained from treated wastewater, often used as a fertilizer or soil amendment;
  • production on land that has been free from prohibited synthetic chemicals for a number of years;
  • detailed written production and sales records;
  • strict physical separation of organic products from non-certified products;
  • periodic on-site inspections.

In the US,

products made entirely with certified organic ingredients and methods can be labeled “100% organic”;

products with at least 95% organic ingredients can use the word “organic”;

products containing a minimum of 70% organic ingredients, can be labeled “made with organic ingredients”.

These regulations can and are stretched in varying circumstances.

Health and intellect are the two blessings of life. – Menander

Feminine woman, this is your lane.

Pay attention. Protect your health and that of your family.

Never choose to reproduce any man who will simply take care of children. Choose one who will parent . . .  best to choose one who has been parented. – Auntie Vanessa

to provide financial support = to provide financial support

to provide food, clothing, and shelter = to provide food, clothing, and shelter

to provide financial support OR to provide food, clothing, and shelter = (apparently) to take care of

to pay child support solely OR to provide food, clothing, and shelter solely ≠ parenting

to care = love, nurturing, emotional support, physical presence, quality time, shared memories

to raise (or to rear) = to lead by example; to impart knowledge, wisdom; to instill morals, sound values; to discipline in effort to move to a higher position; to lift up; to elevate

to provide financial support, to provide food, clothing and shelter, to care, and to raise = parenting

Age is a given. Maturity is not.

Barring death, a child will grow into adulthood. That is the nature of this planet.

A child, however, will not grow into a high quality man or woman without care and rearing.

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. – Frederick Douglass

on Proper Guidance

Responsibility does not only lie with the leaders of our countries or with those who have been appointed or elected to do a particular job. It lies with each of us individually. – 14th Dalai Lama

Personal Responsibility II

“Students in the United States are not taking the high level math and science classes but their competitors in other countries are.” Soledad O’Brien

Common Sense

Success will forever belong to those of us with common sense.

Us in Science

Wonder Twins

Keri & Kelli Jones

SpelBots Robotic Team

After a wonderful Easter with the family . . .

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. – Marcel Proust

In Time of Silver Rain

In time of silver rain
the earth
puts forth new life again,
green grasses grow
and flowers lift their heads,
and over all the plain
the wonder spreads

Of Life,
Of Life,
Of life!

In time of silver rain
the butterflies
lift silken wings
to catch a rainbow cry,
and trees put forth
new leaves to sing
in joy beneath the sky
as down the roadway
passing boys and girls
go singing, too,

in time of silver rain When spring
and life
are new.

Langston Hughes

No kiddie tree and adult tree for us. There is but one tree in our house.

This means that the children’s ornaments go on the tree with the grown up decorations. Therefore, no popsicle stick, q-tip or cotton ball, pipe cleaner type ornaments make it. That stuff is only cute to a child’s mother on the day the child makes it!

Our rule is that creations such as these go on display in the family room for as long as the Christmas tree stands. After that, they go into the School Year Box. This wonderful box holds each child’s artwork, projects, etc. for the school year. We label each gem and pack them neatly away where we can revisit them whenever we like 🙂

Drip Ornaments

adapted from


glass ball ornaments (cheap is fine)

acrylic craft paint

paint palette with wells or dishes to hold paint



ribbon for hangers

clear glaze spray suitable for glass

snow spray suitable for glass


Adult – Remove the hanger top from each ornament and set aside.

Adult – Place some paint in a dish or a palette. Add water so that the paint will drip down the ornament.

Adult – Either place the ornament upside on something stable (your thumb will do) or just hold it upside down while the child paints.

Child – Dip paintbrush into the watered down paint, picking up a generous amount. Place a dollop of paint on the very bottom (which is now the very top because it is upside down) of the ornament.  Turning the ornament, continue around alternating colors as you go.

Adult – After the child finishes, place the ornament aside and allow it to dry completely.

Adult – Once the ornaments are dry, replace the hanger tops and tie ribbon in place. Hang the ornaments and, in a well-ventilated area, spray with the clear glaze spray. Allow them dry to completely. For a snowy look, add spray snow before the clear glaze and allow to dry.


The saying “a woman’s place is in the home” is just wrong – on so many levels. It’s “a wife and mother’s priority is the home”. – one of my very astute grown man cousins

And if she doesn’t recognize it, there’s bound to be problems! – Grandma (said very pointedly to my much younger male cousins)

There was lots of agreement on that statement. It’s rare that anyone disagrees with Grandma anyway but this is just true.

And husband before children. – one my aunts.

Now we have Thanksgiving Day dissension 🙂

All of the men agreed, the long married women agreed, but almost none of the younger women agreed. Only the engaged one and the two in serious relationships even stuck around to listen to grown folks talk.

Oh well . . .

The soft-headed woman makes many poor decisions, because she fails to accept that children are passersby in her marriage and temporaries in husband’s castle. What Women Never Hear

Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction. – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Be discerning.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. That may be the case, but the truth is that it takes a lot of solid, stable marriages to create a village. Diane Sollee

Develop a complementary union.

You need only do three things in this country to avoid poverty – finish high school, marry before having a child, and marry after the age of 20. Only 8 percent of the families who do this are poor; 79 percent of those who fail to do this are poor. – William Galston, Clinton White House

Choose your role wisely.

to provide the education of your children at home rather than at public or private schools; a viable alternative to educational institutions operated by civil governments, religious or private entities.


  1. You are better able to instill your values and beliefs as there are more opportunities for interaction and while learning.
  2. You are better able to shield your children from outside negative influences.
  3. You control what your children learn and when they learn it.
  4. You can provide your child with customized attention in any subject where there is difficulty or excellence.
  5. The family bond is reinforced as the child draws his primary identity from his membership in your family rather than from his peer group.


  1. Home schooling is more expensive than public school especially if you give up a salary.
  2. You must learn to home school effectively – research difficult subjects and appropriate curriculum, find or develop extra curricular activities, team up with other homeschooling parents and tutors, and separate the roles of teacher and mom.
  3. You may end up spending 24 hours a day with your child for several days at a time.
  4. You must find children with whom your children can interact, socialize, and compete.
  5. You may have to justify your decision to home school to family and friends.


National Black Home Educators

Home School Legal Defense Association

“Nothing is worse than a stupid man – leave a fool where he stands. Criminals too! And, for God’s sake, DO NOT reproduce him.” – Auntie Vanessa

How many times did I hear this growing up? From Mom, from both my Grandmas, from my other aunts, from my older cousins . . .

Of course, their definition of stupid extended beyond your basic smarts. If a man’s place is to head the home and a man is not particularly capable of leading, he’d fall into the stupid category. No questions asked.

To them, no man with any sense would even approach a woman whom he is incapable of providing for. It would be ridiculous. And I, under no circumstances, was to bother with anyone, especially a male, without any sense. Of course, as a young girl, a cute guy could catch my eye . . . which would inevitably lead to

“Cute?! You’re thinking like a man. How are his studies? What does he want to do when he grows up? Who are his parents?” – various relatives most notably Mom


Men are visual; they seek out the most healthy women to carry and bear their children. Barring a medical questionnaire, a man assesses a woman’s health by her physical symmetry, her weight, the condition of her hair and skin, her behavior, etc.

Women, on the other hand, seek out the most capable men to provide for both her and any children they may produce. Barring an audit, a woman assesses a man’s ability from his social status, financial status, profession, intelligence, etc.

It is what it is. Nature is queen and she operates in perfect order. Her rules provide the best chances for producing stable, healthy people. Unfortunately, those same rules can create skirt chasers and gold diggers.

And therein lies the difference between being raised and simply being allowed to age into physical maturity.

Raise your children or enable them to become people whom society will never appreciate.