Christmas Decorations outdoors in Oklahoma – Continued

After Thanksgiving my Post about “Christmas Yard Decorations in Oklahoma” was mainly about how I loved to decorate for christmas each year and promised to bring pictures of my process back to you. What  a difference a few days make. After waiting for the weather to cooperate and then cleaning out the front yard of the leaves of a Neighboring Oak tree, the set up began. The thought process was to be creative yet not outrageously Luminous that would cause the ISS (International Space Station) take notice

Beginning with a Blank Canvas
Of course Santa and the gifts are the centerpiece
Off course we must add the Christmas Trees
Add the Snowman Solar globes and the Lighted garland with Net lighting behind large Tree and of course  Candy Canes  at its base. Setting the Projectors in the foreground.

Gives the final picture.

Now while it is not a  professional display, it is my way of saying “Merry Christmas” to all from our family

Christmas Decorating Outdoors

Yes, it is now after Thanksgiving. It is time to start decorating for Christmas. I will get to inside later, so for now it is dealing with outside.

It begins with deciding a theme. Last year it was two trees with lights and an LED light projecting on the front of the house with a Santa with packages. The Santa had lights and it was a fold up type. The only problem was with the south facing house and strong southern breezes (15 – 25 mph in Oklahoma) Santa and the two trees spent more time flat than upright.

This year my plan is to change the design a bit and add two trees, a different Santa with some LED lighted presents and a row of Candy Canes lighting the path to the presents. I will be changing out the LED lightshow but not too much. I will post before and After pictures. I will also take some shots of some of the decorations in the neighborhood.

Until then, to all of you from our family, Have a very Merry Christmas and a Safe and Prosperous New Year.

Christmas in Oklahoma

We are now in the beginning of Thanksgiving Week, Christmas decorations have been in the stores since before Halloween.

The commercialization of this holiday has increased, I have watched this creep earlier each year. I had some neighbors go from Halloween yard decorations to Christmas over night.

I used to leave my lights up Year Round, but when the needed replacement I haven’t climbed a ladder to put up new ones. I had removed the old ones when I painted the trim a few years ago. I have switched to yard decorations and wait to put them up until the weekend after Thanksgiving.

It was below freezing this past weekend but will be warmer this week.

In Oklahoma, we have neighborhoods that decorate with beautiful displays. It is wonderful to take a short drive to view. Now different cities do a Festival of Lights.

Here in Midwest City ours is done by the City but takes Donations to cover the expenses. No taxpayer dollars. The different displays are sponsored by companies, organizations and individuals. It has become quite a site. Gets bigger each year.

Oklahoma, the heartland, knows how to celebrate the Holidays. We may not have a big  Thanksgiving Day parade with Huge balloons, not a good Idea when ‘the wind comes sweeping down the plains. But we do have many Dinners to feed the Homeless. Many churches offer a meal to any and all for free. The same at Christmas, Shelters and different organizations attempt to make sure the homeless and the poor and needy have a Christmas both presents and dinner. We are a charitable state.

Ask yourself “how can I help those in need?” Then do it. Become a volunteer, Be a Bell Ringer for The Salvation Army, Work with your Church, Work with a Homeless shelter.  You will feel better and  those that you help will thank you. a true Win / Win.

from our family to yours, Happy Thanks giving and a very Merry Christmas!

How Facebook is Censoring Conservatives Points of View

Now before I upset everyone, let me explain what I am basing this on. I was replying to a friend’s Post and it is obvious that my friend and have a different political point of view. I am a Constitutional conservative and based from his posts I would say that he is not a republican and sides with the Democrats. It is just a guess as I have no verifiable proof.  In my Post I had stated that we are both entitled to our opinions and have the right to disagree. It is very interesting that when attempting to post my reply, three time, it said that they (The Facebook page) were unable to publish the post. Here are the attempts.

I know it is probably just a problem with the site, but it is one of those things that make you go Hmmmm!

The Mid-term Elections are Over

Good Morning America!

The Public has voted and the results are what they are. Now it is time to get to work. As one who exercised their right to vote, I can now say to those elected.”Remember what your duty is as an elected Public Servant

Your are the peoples voice that elected you. You Must Decide if your are going to represent all of them or just the party that elected you.

When the House of Representatives elects the new Speaker, I urge them to do so with that in mind. Lead by example!

If you are in it to seek revenge for 2016 you should resign.

If you are in the house to make America stronger, Safer, and a better place to live, work with the others to do so in a civil and honorable manner.

You have the right to disagree as do I. But find enough common ground to work for the country not your self or a particular party.Yes that goes to Democrats, Republicans and Independents.

You have a duty to the country so let’s be clear , all legislation should be “Read thoroughly before it is voted on“!

Backroom politics, and shutting out the debate is not how an Honorable Representation is done.

To those of you that have been newly elected to Congress for the First time, Congratulations!

Remember what you ran on and promised to all those that you represent.

It’s now time to heal the divide, and that can only be down through civility, and respect for others.

Stop the hate speech and decisiveness. Stop the squandering of our Tax dollars on on obstructive search and destroy tactics.

I have a phrase that sometimes is misconstrued as condescending and arrogant, but in reality it is about as truthful  as it gets.

“If you don’t like the past and feel rejected, GET OVER IT! Move on, get passed the hate and descension. The world will not come to a screeching halt because you lost.

Learn from it and try to see what is more important.

Many that read this may be offended by that, but as I say, they too will get over it, eventually.

I wish the entire country a great day and better life.

 

Oklahoma – A State with Four Seasons

I am sure that the title of this grabbed your attention because living in Oklahoma, one would ask themselves “what does he mean four seasons”? When someone speaks of “Four Seasons” I think of winter, spring, summer and fall. In Oklahoma we have winter, summer, tornado, and football.
This year, 2018, are winter was one of the coldest on record. We went from winter bypassing spring except for all the rain straight to summer. Although this summer was not as hot as some, it was wetter than most. Tornado season, usually starts late March early April and ends around June. Not this year, we had outbreaks of tornadoes in October. The final season is football. It starts when it’s summer and ends in winter. You go from 95°F with the humidity and heat index feeling more like 100°F to snow and 30° or lower. Of course I am estimating the snow and temperatures because it’s only October.
Enjoy this levity and have a wonderful rest of the year.

November 6, 2018: 7 AM – 7 PM Election Day

We are just shy of two weeks until election day! This election cycle is being called the midterms. There are many issues to be decided on 6 November 2018, we have several state questions, we have a race for the governorship of the state of Oklahoma, we have seats in both the state and U.S. Senate, the state and US House of Representatives. I am not going to get into a political discussion as to who to vote for who not to vote for. I’m not going to save what does to answer on the state questions! I am going to ask every Oklahoman to go to the polls between 7 AM and 7 PM on 6 November 2018, and exercise your privilege to vote. If you decide to stay home and not exercise your privilege, casting a ballot and voting for one of the candidates or the state questions then I say to you that is your choice but do not complain about the government or who was elected as you chose not to participate. I also ask all Oklahomans to be civil, respectful of others, and pleasant to the poll workers. We are classier and have better manners than some of the folks on the East Coast.
By exercising your privilege and casting a ballot. You have one more function to do. No matter who is elected to the office, they deserve respect.
In order to make changes and improve our education system and raise the bar so that teachers and educators, and support staff are paid an adequate wage for the job they do. We must use the system that is in place to achieve these goals. It does not take a strike, walkout, forceful demonstration to get the attention of the legislature. Instead of leaving the classroom. Why don’t we try staying in the classroom and teaching the students how to effectively communicate with their representatives in office. A successful letter writing campaign from all grades K-12 and all of the students in those grades and dumped on the floor of the Senate and the House of Representatives to prove what needs to be done would have more impact and gain more respect from the public, then to strike and be wishy-washy in your demands making you look like Oliver coming up to the headmaster with his bowl saying “please sir, and I have some more”! Solving the teachers inadequate pay will not happen overnight, it may take several years to finally be able to raise our standard pay higher than we are now and get ourselves into the top 10. What is more important getting a one time pay raise of six to $10,000 or raising the base pay of an entry-level educator, K-12 to to the rank of 15th Place, with a starting salary of $37,848 per year and an average salary of $48,670 per year. Those wages would be only the beginning. As the legislation would also allow for increases. The teachers pay package is just one of several packages that must be passed in order to fix our education system. When I was in school in the 50s 60s and 70s, families did not have to pay for items such as Kleenex, sanitizing wipes, notebook paper construction paper. All we were required to have or to have purchased was a number two pencil with an eraser and in elementary school. A big Chief tablet to write on. Teachers did not have to dig out of end of their pocket in order to decorate the room or provide the construction paper or the art supplies. We did not have school administrators making six figures a year and having all the perks of company car company phone get paid mileage and Per diem. The Board of Regents for higher Ed were also not making six figures a year. One of the things that I noticed when they passed House Bill 1017, which was supposed to give the teachers a raise and fix education was that the first thing it did was it raised the salaries of the Board of Regents of higher education, $167,000 a year. Oklahoma decided to devote a lottery to help fund education. So where does all that money go? It’s very simple $0.35 out of every dollar was to go to education majority of that money went to the Regents of higher education salary and the rest filtered down top to bottom. It was sad that the lottery was supposed to help fix education and all it did was raise the salaries of the Regents of Higher education and maybe a few professors in higher Education. It however,  had little if any effect on K-12. It is interesting that we continue to raise tuition yet our schools are still in trouble and I’m not just speaking of about K-12 it’s taking more and more money to run colleges and universities.
I urge everyone to go vote on November 6, 2018. Make your vote count and live with your choices! But don’t stop there for the legislature is paid by us to work for us. And while teachers are ranked 47th in the nation for pay, our legislatures are ranked 15th in the nation for their salary!

 

Education in Oklahoma

We are entering yet another election cycle where all the candidates are claiming they know how to fix education in the state of Oklahoma. I want to look at the problems facing the education system in the state of Oklahoma.

The rate at which we pay our elementary and secondary teachers in the state ranks 50th in the US. (https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/a-look-at-teacher-pay-across-the-united-states-in-2017.htm)

The amount of money the state puts into the classroom.

The sources of revenue for the education system in the state of Oklahoma.

This is in my own personal opinion the three top issues facing our education system in the state of Oklahoma. The ranking listed above with the state of Oklahoma being dead last in the 50 states even after the pay raise is frightening.

The methods to remedy the situation do not include another walkout by the OEA and other teachers unions. They also do not include demonizing sources of revenue as the way which would fix the low salary.

As the reader, you must decide which candidate you think would have the best interest of our students and our educators in their platform before you vote. I have gotten to the point where I do not listen to all the negative ads by the different candidates and organizations telling me how to vote. My standard is simply one of who has the most conservative values and supports the interests of all persons legally in our country.

I know one candidate has been in politics for as long as I have been able to vote. I also know that he supported national politicians that were not conservative and one of them did more to harm this country, then to help it. That candidate would not get my vote!

I have a unique idea, or at least I think it is. Form an independent committee of 13 people. The makeup of that committee would consist of educators in the K-12 system, higher education system, leading economists, and finally taxpayers in different age ranges. This committee, while having no authority to write legislation, would have access to the complete state budget. A review of each of the accounts in the budget, the sources of revenue for each account, and the last audit of each account. The next area that would be reviewed would be the budgets of all the school districts, the population of students in each district, the numbers of administrators in each district and their salaries, the fringe benefits of said administrators.

This committee would be nonpartisan, with no political agenda! A task force of this makeup that is unpaid, would be able to post their findings to the state website and forward recommendations for the solutions to our challenges in our education system to the people that actually write the legislation. The state legislature both House and Senate would then have a recommendation to follow to improve the issue.

And a word of advice to the state legislators, if you’re writing legislation dealing with fixing education. It should include no other items! Yes, there will be funding issues. Yes, there will be revenue issues in order to reach the funding goals. We elected you to represent us and it is high time that you get to work, set aside your political ambitions and arguments, address the issues at hand and fix the problem.

A word to the educators of the state of Oklahoma, the only thing that strikes do is hurt the students. When you close school to walkout because of a pay issue. What are you teaching the students. Do not think that I am against higher pay for our teachers! It saddens me to discover that we, after getting a paltry 6% increase over several years lands us in last place. According to the Bureau of Labor. I agree in order to maintain qualified and exceptional educators we have to raise the base pay. We also have to raise the level of education of our students!

Voters of Oklahoma, it is in your hands. Make sure that you go to the polls on November 6, 2018 and make your vote count!

Mid-Term Election Mania

The American public is inundated with the most horrible rhetoric I have experienced in my 40+ years of voting. In the national side how can you believe a party that is obstructionist and viciously attacked members of the opposing party in the press And have members that have called for violence / harassment of members of the opposition party. All politicians make campaign promises to the people that vote. Some promises can never be kept, some are kept, some are attempted but fail because they don’t get the support from both sides.

  1. At the state level I have watched an interesting set of issues. Mostly about education funding. I MUST STATE I SUPPORT EDUCATION, having said that, there are points that I take issue with. Calling for a strike by the OEA, was effective, to a point. The legislature, too little too late, took the Teachers, seriously and made progress toward fixing the issues. The teachers did get a raise and some funding for the classroom was restored. Where I begin to disagree was when the OEA leader continued to say it’s not enough. And basically continued to bargain in bad faith. “Bad faith how can you say that”? You may ask.
    She continued her criticism of what was offered and when it was met, she changed the goal.
    She lied to the public claiming she had a consensus of the Union membership, yet numerous members were never asked for their input.
    She gave the perception that she wold hold the legislature hostage until all demands were met by continuing to strike. That is nothing short of extortion!

Was education fixed? Not completely, it was started down the path to a better system.

Should they Strike again this year? My personal opinion is No. this election will change the makeup of the state government.

How do we fix the problem? That is a subject for another. Daily Dose of Common Sense!