Saturday, October 5, 2013

Ceremonial or everyday Zep Tie shirt; Alaskan raging beast attacks moving fateful finger; Ready or not; Ordinary life; Obamacare; Clean your windows; Uncle Lee & co.; Healing Forest Studio opens grandly today

Attention members of First Cong. UCC church:
For the 
Festival of Talents silent auction
we will be offering in addition to the already touted
gourd rattle, under construction, a Pierre Cardin long sleeve XL shirt 
to which we have affixed a wide string-tie as seen in
the raccoon recently.  Look it up. Last week's SRN.

The photo above is only to indicate that we have signed -
per our custom - the tie shirt, this time in gold leaf, hidden
in the context of the fabrication but which may be
found if provenance is ever sought.
"ZEP  '13"

This could be an everyday garment, but
our thoughts are that it will be more of a
ceremonial sort of thing.

All proceeds go to the church.


Blue skies
smilin' at me
nothin' but blue skies 
do I see.....

No, wait, I see something else in those skies:
a police surveillance camera 
mounted atop the old Friedman's building.
(previously reported on)


Alaskan wildcat named
Paul Anka seriously sheds shower curtain.
His existence is a wild country cat- 
Wasilla (say no more!)
has the Ankan cat 
ever on the alert for things
himself to strike at.

It is a Robert Service/Jack London Call of the Wild sort of thing.

It would be a Repubican, probably

Paul has seen many nasty things in the woodshed
For Leland, a kindergarten teacher n Harlem:


 290 9 59

first day of schoolAbout four million U.S. children will start kindergarten this fall.1 We know that learning begins long before children start school. The kindergartners who will gain the most from their school experience are those whose families and communities have given them a good foundation—proper health, social skills, emotional security, facility with language, a zest for discovering new things.
Let’s imagine a hypothetical community’s kindergartners. We’ve assembled the best available statistics that are nationally representative of five- and six-year-olds. The data don’t tell us all we’d like to know, by any means; but, they paint a revealing portrait. And, of course, any real community’s kindergarten class will vary—perhaps greatly—from this “average” class.
Of 100 children entering kindergarten in the fall of 2013:
  • 98 “usually” or “always” smile or laugh a lot.2
  • 94 “usually” or “always” show interest and curiosity in learning new things.3
  • 93 “usually” or “always” are tender and affectionate with a parent.4
  • 89 are attending public schools; 11 are in private schools.5
  • 87 are between five and six years old; nine are older than six; and 4 are younger than five.6
  • 85 have parents who say their neighborhoods are “usually” or “always” safe. Ten years ago, there would have been 82.7
  • 84 use English as their primary language at home.8
  • 81 have one or both parents working full-time.9
  • 78 “usually” or “always” bounce back quickly when things don’t go their way.10
  • 76 live in a two-parent household; 21 live with their mothers only; two live with their fathers only.11
  • 75 received at least some breastfeeding as infants.12
  • 58 saw a dentist in the past year. Ten years ago, there would have been 42.13
  • 55 had some experience with center-based care as their primary care arrangement prior to kindergarten; 21 had no regular non-parental care arrangement prior to kindergarten; 15 were in home-based care with a relative; 6 were in home-based care with a non-relative.14
  • 54 ate meals together with all family members every day during the past week. Ten years ago, there would have been 53.15
  • 52 are non-Hispanic white, 23 are Hispanic, 16 are black, five are Asian/Pacific Islander, one is American Indian/Alaska Native, and two are of multiple races. Ten years ago, there would have been 61 non-Hispanic white children, 16 Hispanic children, 17 black children, four Asian/Pacific Islander children, and one American Indian/Alaska Native.16
  • 49 spend one or more hours on an average weekday watching television programs or videos, or playing video games.17
  • 48 were read to by a family member every day during the past week. Ten years ago, there would have been 45.18
  • 45 are covered by some type of public-assisted health insurance.19
  • 32 have one or more parents whose education extends to some college or post-secondary vocational training; 20 have parents with a bachelor’s degree; 20 have a parent whose highest level of education is high school; 18 have a parent with some graduate (post-college) education; and nine have a parent who did not finish high school.20
  • 27 are overweight or obese. Ten years ago, there would have been 23.21
  • 27 are in families receiving SNAP benefits (food stamps).  Ten years ago, there would have been 12. (Note: The increase is the result of expanded eligibility in 2008, and economic conditions.)22
  • 25 live in families with incomes below the poverty level, and an additional 22 are from “low-income” families.23
  • 24 are immigrants or children of immigrants. Ten years ago, there would have been 23.24
  • 12 have at least one limitation/disability. Ten years ago, there would have been 9.25
  • 11 have asthma. Ten years ago, there would have been 10.26
  • 10 don’t use any safety restraints (seat belt, car seat) when riding in a car.27
  • 9 have a special health care need, according to parents.28
  • 8 were low birthweight babies (less than five-and-a-half pounds at birth), a risk to optimal development that will persist into adulthood.29
  • 1 was the victim of substantiated abuse or neglect in the past year.30
References for the statistics above can be found at
David Murphey, Senior Research Scientist
Mae Cooper, Research Assistant
Read the latest Child Trends 5: 5 Things to Know about School Readiness, to learn what it takes to get these kids ready for success!
- See more at:


Ordinary Life

This was a day when nothing happened,
the children went off to school
without a murmur, remembering
their books, lunches, gloves.
All morning, the baby and I built block stacks
in the squares of light on the floor.
And lunch blended into naptime,
I cleaned out kitchen cupboards,
one of those jobs that never gets done,
then sat in a circle of sunlight
and drank ginger tea,
watched the birds at the feeder
jostle over lunch's little scraps.
A pheasant strutted from the hedgerow,
preened and flashed his jeweled head.
Now a chicken roasts in the pan,
and the children return,
the murmur of their stories dappling the air.
I peel carrots and potatoes without paring my thumb.
We listen together for your wheels on the drive.
Grace before bread.
And at the table, actual conversation,
no bickering or pokes.
And then, the drift into homework.
The baby goes to his cars, drives them
along the sofa's ridges and hills.
Leaning by the counter, we steal a long slow kiss,
tasting of coffee and cream.
The chicken's diminished to skin and skeleton,
the moon to a comma, a sliver of white,
but this has been a day of grace
in the dead of winter,
the hard knuckle of the year,
a day that unwrapped itself
like an unexpected gift,
and the stars turn on,
order themselves
into the winter night.

"Ordinary Life" by Barbara Crooker, from Ordinary Life. © By Line Press, 2001.


This hits home
sent to the SRN by a Congo member
whose sister is the minister of the writer
in Ubana IL

Our experience with Obamacare

The following is a letter sent to Representative Rodney Davis, Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk, and President Obama, as well as to the editorial section of the News Gazette.
This past Monday while driving his motorcycle back to Champaign from Makanda, IL, our 23-year-old son, Eric, was hit by a minivan. His left femur was broken and the ankle and foot were shattered. But he had no trauma to his head, spine, or other appendages. He remained alert as he was moved to an ambulance, and subsequently to a helicopter. He was flown from Effingham, where the accident happened, to St. John’s hospital in Springfield. His femur has been repaired and will recover, but he will loose his lower leg below his knee. With prosthesis, he will likely be able to do almost everything he had been doing as an active young man.
While in the emergency room awaiting the surgery to repair the femur and assess the rest of the leg, he asked how much this all would cost. Fortunately, this accident happened after the portion of Obamacare took effect that allows children to remain on their parent’s plan until they are 26. I grew up rural poor and did not have insurance. But I’ve been fortunate to be part of the upwardly mobile in the U.S. and now have good insurance through my position as a senior research scientist at the University of Illinois. When I cut my finger to the bone in an accident as a child, I had my uncle, who had been a medic in Korea, wrap it at home. Now, my son can receive world-class care from the doctors, nurses, and therapists here at St. John’s without having the stress of long-term financial debt looming.
My work through the University has brought me into engagement with many community members who will be benefiting from Obamacare. This week, our family personally saw benefits of the plan. The traumatic event of the accident will be life changing but ultimately will not keep our son from achieving his dreams of becoming a leader within a community helping to build a more sustainable approach to agriculture. Trying to piecemeal together funds to cover the costs of the hospital stay, surgeries, prosthesis, and extended therapy from his vehicle insurance, federal programs, and bank loans, would have been crippling. Obamacare is not perfect and needs modifications to become better. It needs participants from both sides of the isle to come together with a critical eye to strengthen good components, add missing aspects, and remove unworkable pieces. What it does not need is to be defunded. All of us benefit when people, not just vehicles and homes, have quality insurance.
Martin and Angie Wolske


A much better viewpoint

Our windows
were washed the other day
it was a surprise to see the Berg workers
outside our 3rd floor windows
here at the Odd Fellows.......

Now our photos out those panes will become
ever clearer......


from our own archives

The four Dix boys of Cedar Falls Iowa
from left - Leslie, Leland, Maynard, Meredith

Leslie was the father of the raccoon news editor.
He spent some time himself as a journalist out of Marquette MI.

We sent this post card, mounted to a piece of cardboard, to Uncle Lee at Kiwanis Manor, East Troy WI
when we were his guardian as he segued out in 1998.
It had a cancelled German zeppelin stamp on it.


captured by the lower crustacean cell cam
ascends stepladder to the summit
and advises she is pantomiming a Masonic symbol
I advise her that's a pretty abstract 'square'


Across the street here at the Five Points
The Healing Forest Studio
turned on their newly-installed exterior sign lights
for the first time last night -   10-4-13
for today's GRAND OPENING!

Let's go back to 1958:

The start of something BIG!