Books, History, Food, Politics, and Life

Books, History, Food, Politics, and Life
Things through a different light...

Sunday, January 25, 2015


We have a toddler who loves to sleep in the bed with us, not in his own. The internet is filled with various expert who voice the pros and cons of co-sleeping and I I have not read anything really damning about it, but my back just disagrees with the entire situation...I am just too sore.
So we are trying once again to convince the toddler that his room is awesome. 

Today we redecorated to give him more play space. 

The new improved open room, with lots of fun space

I am hoping that this works some... it seems to be paying off.

Afternoon Nap Achieved!

How I love LUSH

LUSH is a cosmetics company that works with all natural ingredients and makes wonderful skincare and bath items that I adore...
Lately on a trip to Atlanta, I purchased one of their beauty facial masks (made fresh in the store) and some solid shampoo (I fell for it, it had Lavender in it) with some bath bombs.  Everything was amazing, but the mask, called Love Lettuce which is made up of crushed almond shells, seaweed, and lavender oil and it is beyond wonderful.  It treats my sensitive skin so well, soothes the redness and leaves everything soft and smooth.
It is amazing, sadly... I need something closer to home. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

I found out today randomly that a good friend of mine in high school died in 2009, we had not spoken in years, but he was a wonderfully intelligent and creative person even as a teenager and it is sad that he is gone.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


I had this lovely post about what to do in 2015 and my plans, my efforts with PhD apps, and graduate stuff about being a mom, etc....
Then the teenagers from hell came and ruined my vibe. 

I heard them get off the bus, which lets off for our entire neighborhood in front of my house (oh the joy). They were screaming and yelling like they normally do and I was trying to read some notes on the relationship between Darwin and Wallace for my class when I heard a string of profanities used incorrectly and went to the window.  There were two older girl, one boy.. play fighting in my front yard...throwing each other's clothes and things in the yard and acting like idiots.
During this, two other teenagers, who were planted in my neighbor's yard...jumped in front of a car...on purpose (yes I said that) and laughed at the car who had to slam on breaks to avoid them.

The first time, I asked...nicely, if I could help them.

When the large girl responded with shut up you F&%$*@# B*%$#, I told them to leave immediately and they moved 10 feet to the neighbors yard and the empty lot across the street and continued to scream, push each other around, throw things and just be annoying for ten minutes...then... they saw a mini van coming down the road and decided to see who could run across the street before it hit them...yes again...on purpose...making the mini-van slam on breaks.

At this point another neighbor walked out of his house and started to walk towards them and they ran off...there were at least 6 of them.

Totally ruined my studious mood. 

I am going to try to read about Darwin and Wallace again and maybe write something relevant tomorrow.

ps.... Aiden will NEVER behave like that. 
I think this is the face I gave the rude girl 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Darwin, Wallace, and my headache

I cannot blame Darwin or Wallace for my headache, I think it is constant climate change to be fair and being a bit tired.

I am reading about the Darwin-Wallace papers and their early reception amongst 19th century naturalists, interesting stuff because many of the first who heard Darwin & Wallace's theories missed the whole natural selection thing because they were focusing on something else and missed the point to some extent.

And...well poor Wallace gets forgotten often...and he had a lot to do with Origin of Species getting published...

Monday, January 19, 2015

Oh those Spanish...

I do not have much time today, but I found it interesting that even early during the Spanish conquest, there were men like de las Casas who spoke out against the barbaric violence done to native inhabitants....
The Spanish were kind of horrific...

Yes, they would sick dogs on live people....
Knowing what they were doing was pretty horrible...the Spanish had propaganda historians who wrote defenses of the Conquistador behavior and provided reasons for why it was ok to murder and enslave people...
One of their reasons (this is funny later since the herb took over Europe) was tobacco.  Early accounts claimed that tobacco was this evil plant that natives used to contact the devil.

Oh the 17th century, those Spanish sure did want to contact the devil a lot. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

I Have Not Abandoned The Blog...But Time Is Short

While slightly annoying and sometimes infuriating, I believe that some, when they hear that I am a part-time bookseller, full-time mother, and full-time graduate student...they stop at part-time bookseller and assume the other things are not considered real time sinks. I compound that by attending classes online. It never gets old, explaining that just because I do not step into a classroom...does not mean: 1. my school is somehow not a legit university. Please look up Sam Houston State University (it is not one of those for profit online money is a real school, with a large campus, full academic programs, full extra-curricular programs, and pretty rigorous coursework). 2. Because it is online, it must be easy.  Hello... I read up to three books and write one to three papers a week, like any other graduate student and if you have never attended a graduate course, then you truly have no idea how stressful, difficult, and time consuming graduate work is. 
It is not easy to explain to someone with no interest in academics what the demands are for someone seeking a graduate or higher degree...
Sometimes it is like explaining something to a person who speaks Japanese in English.   
     - Hey, if I get a comma wrong I could lose a letter grade.
     - Too many B's can sink a student's ability to get accepted into a PhD program.
     - They do not just let anyone in, there are a finite amount of spaces and you have to bust your butt to get them... 
     - Teaching college is NOT like teaching primary school.  There is nothing wrong with being a teacher who teaches k-12.  These are vitally important positions, usually filled by patient, skilled, and dedicated people... but comparing the two jobs is like saying an Apple and Broccoli are the same thing...they are not so if you do not have any experience with either, it is probably a bad idea to assume you have any concept of what a person has to do to pursue an academic career. that out.
So over the last few months I have been insanely busy. I am finishing up my last year at Sam Houston, an experience that has been both stressful and enlightening. As I prepare for my comprehensive exams this Spring and get ready to graduate, I also have to apply to PhD programs...write many introduction letters, send off forms, fill out questionnaires questionnaires questionnaires questionnaires complete strangers who are experts in their particular fields and beg them to allow me to work under them for a number of years in the hopes that one day I will have the same position that they have, research, write... and so on. In between that... I have to go to work, worry about selling my house, worry about other problems, raise my son, and be a tolerable wife to my really patient and loving husband. 

I have neglected the blog and really have not had the time to update it....

But... I have had some wonderful experiences...going to disney and Harry Potter... visiting family, eating at great places, spending time with the people I love, writing amazing papers, reading amazing books.  I will be really really busy for the foreseen future, but I will try to update now and then.