What to Wear

Male and Female Body type

(Image: Bodybuilding.com)

If you are a human being you have likely had to think about clothing. Certain environmental conditions influence our clothing choices. For instance you would not want to be in Antarctica in a bikini or exploring rain forests along the equator in a parka. Social situations may also influence our choice of clothing. You probably wouldn’t wear Daisy Duke shorts to Sunday morning worship or mud covered overalls to a wedding. Beyond these types of situations, though, another major factor in how human beings choose to clothe themselves is body type. Human beings come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Certain clothing styles look better matched to certain body types.

In What You Wear Can Change Your Life by Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine women’s body types are discussed as well as what women should and shouldn’t wear to either accentuate or camouflage certain areas of their bodies.

What You Wear Can Change Your Life

This is an adult picture book that shows women what looks best on certain body types and what doesn’t. Though the clothing is a bit dated in this book, the concepts are still very applicable. In addition to discussing exactly what garments flatter body types, the authors also discuss how color should be used with skin tones, how make up should be applied according to age range, and how accessories and shoes can be used to flatter body types.

A similar book is Dress Your Best: The Complete Guide to Finding the Style That’s Right for Your Body by Clinton Kelly and Stacy London.

Dress Your Best

This book is for both men and women. Again, the clothing styles are a bit dated in this book, but the tips and techniques are still very applicable. Male body shapes are included in this book and ideas about accentuating or disguising various areas of men’s bodies.

The next book Men’s Fashion: The Complete Sourcebook by John Peacock follows men’s fashion from the late 1700’s through the 1990’s. Though this book doesn’t comment on male body types, it is a delightful adult picture book which traces only men’s fashion. There are not too many fashion books (that I’m aware of) devoted just to men. I had a great time looking through this book and remembering styles men wore especially from the 1970’s through the 1990’s.

Men's Fashion

This book follows trends featuring underwear, shirts, pants, outerwear, shoes, hats, ties, and various other accessories. I got quite a laugh looking at some of the platform shoes that were so popular in the 70’s.

Have you ever thought about your body type in relation to what you do or don’t wear? Did you know that accessories are also recommended depending on your body type?

 

Special Education

God Created Special Education Teachers

Continuing along in the Education section of the Fulton County Public Library, I’ve reached a section on Special Education. This is a topic quite near to my heart as I was a Special Education Teacher in a “former life.”  I would probably still be in the classroom if not for a family emergency that forced my life in a different direction.

A Child With Special Needs

Having said that, I haven’t been in the classroom for years.  I continue to have the utmost respect for everyone involved in the special education process.

Special Ed Ninja

There is no way I can do justice to the topic of Special Education in just one blog post so I will just share some books that I checked out and encourage anyone interested in this topic to seriously explore it. I tried to choose broad spectrum books that touch on some important aspects of special education.

The Everything Paren’ts Guide to Special Education: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Advocating for Your Child with Special Needs by Amanda Morin is just what it sounds like it is.

The Everything Parent's Guide to Special Education

This book is an excellent resource for parents who are just encountering the Special Education process. It explains such things as what to do if you suspect your child may have some special needs.  The book explains to parents how to approach school officials with your concerns to methods that may be tried before your child is tested for special education placement.  The author takes parents through a discussion of special education terminology, laws affecting special education, categories of disability, steps the school may want to take before actually assessing a child, and what takes place during the referral and placement process just to mention a few things. This book also addresses problems that might occur after placement–such as what to do if a parent believes the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) isn’t being followed and explains a parent’s right to due process. This is one of the most comprehensive books I have seen on this topic. I highly recommend it to parents as well as all  teachers who will surely encounter students with special needs.

The next book I came to was Helping Kids with Special Needs:Resources for Parents and Teachers of Children with Emotional and Neurological Challenges compiled by Julie Nekola. Again, this book is just what it sounds like it is. It is full of resources that anyone involved in the education of special needs students will find very helpful.

Helping Kids with Special Needs

The final book I checked out this time is Just Another Kid by Torey Hayden. This book is a story of a teacher and six emotionally troubled kids.

Just Another Kid

Because I can’t say it better, this is what is on the back of the book:

“Just Another Kid is an enchanting, inspiring book…impossible to put down.”   –The Washington Post

Torey Hayden faced six emotionally troubled kids no other teacher could handle –three recent arrivals from battle-torn Northern Ireland, badly traumatized by the horrors of war; eleven-year-old Dirkie, who only knew of life inside an institution; excitable Mariana, aggressive and sexually precocious at the age of eight; and seven-year-old Leslie, perhaps the most hopeless of all, unresponsive and unable to speak.

With compassion, rare insight, and masterful storytelling, teacher Torey L. Hayden once again touches our hearts with her account of the miracles that can happen in her class of “special” children.

A Literary Guild Alternate Selection

This is an inspiring story about how one teacher can make a difference in the lives of some very special students. I would definitely recommend this book.

This week happens to be Teacher Appreciation week. Be sure to thank a teacher for all teachers are special!

Have you had encounters with Special Education teachers and/or students? Were your encounters positive or negative? Have you ever considered a career in Special Education?

 

Homeschooling

Homeschooling

Several different approaches to this post have been considered. There is just no way to adequately cover homeschooling in one blog post so I’ve decided I will make this post a bit of a survey post to show some of the many options when homeschooling.

Beginning with the most well known version of homeschooling is the Stay at Home approach. This approach in and of itself has many different versions although the most common is when kids learn at home and are taught by one or both parents.

Real-Life Homeschooling

In Real-Life Homeschooling: the Stories of 21 Families Who Teach Their Children at Home by Rhonda Barfield many different methods of homeschooling are explained by the real life families who do them. Many people have an idea in their heads that all homeschoolers do (if they are taught at all) is sit and do worksheets all day. While worksheets might play a part in some homeschooling programs, they are actually not very typical. Most homeschoolers get a very hands on approach to learning complete with educational field trips and instruction in home arts skills. Often homeschooling parents are very capable and good instructors. They have good days and bad days–just like teachers in a public school. When a homeschooling parent is not strong in a certain academic subject and other family members aren’t able to fill in the gap, sometimes they will join Cooperative Home Schools.

In the cooperative homeschooling approach parents may formerly join other homeschoolers and/or organizations. Some cooperative homeschoolers are organized informally because the homeschooling families know and trust each other. Each co-op looks and functions differently. Sometimes homeschooling parents will teach different subjects which may be set up by the day of the week. For instance if one parent is very strong in Math and another is stronger in Language Arts, they may trade kids for a day and teach their particular subject to ensure that the kids are taught well. This isn’t all that different than changing class periods and teachers in a public school. One advantage to setting up a curriculum where students learn math skills on a Monday is that there is more time to explore and practice a particular subject. A more hands on approach can be utilized without time restrictions which allows children to work and learn at their own pace. Some parents using this approach may set it up differently where Math is half a day twice a week or whatever works in their particular situation(s).  The possibilities are endless.

In addition to the two approaches listed above, now there are also Hybrid Home Schools. This approach amounts to part time homeschooling. In this approach students may attend an actual school (often a private one) a few days a week and learn at home the rest of the week. This approach has also been called the Collegiate Model since the schedule will resemble a college student’s schedule.

I have also heard of some newer versions of homeschooling which I believe would fall into a hybrid description. In this approach a small amount of homeschoolers (maybe 3 or 4 students from different families) are taken to another home, usually another homeschooling family. They maintain fairly regular school hours but are instructed in small groups by the homeschooling parent(s) who reside there. A fee is charged (similar to private schools) to take on these extra students, but all the benefits of homeschooling are maintained. Though there are regular hours there is heightened flexibility in scheduling to accommodate family schedules, doctor’s appointments, and the like.

Although I’m sure all of us could think of a few exceptions, usually homeschooling families are quite dedicated and organized. In my read through of the Fulton County Public Library, I came across many resources and suggestions for homeschool organization, including how to keep academic records and create transcripts for college entry. Since I can’t go into all of this in depth, I will just show a few of the (many) books that I checked out on this topic.

The Well-Trained MindThe Complete Guide to Homeschooling

Setting the Record Straight

The cost of home schooling ranges from free to quite expensive. Many families strive for the free range while still providing quality education. For those interested, the following book would be a good place to start your research.

Homeschool Your Child for Free

Another book worth checking out is The Well-Adjusted Child: the Social Benefits of Homeschooling by Rachel Gathercole.

The Well-Adjusted Child

Homeschooling families are often accused of neglecting the social development of their children by keeping them isolated. This has been changing quite a bit in the last several years. Homeschoolers are now much more conscientious about providing socialization activities.

Homeschooling laws may vary from state to state. According to the A -to-Z Homeschooling  site, in Indiana all you have to do is start homeschooling. There aren’t a lot (if any) forms to fill out. There are, however, some guidelines for parents which are recommended by the Indiana Department of Education. If interested in homeschooling, be sure to check the laws of your own state. Some states require the supervision of homeschoolers by a licensed teacher.

Do you know anyone who is homeschooling? Is homeschooling something that you would be interested in? What is your opinion of homeschooling?

Educational Product

What's Education For

Most of us believe we need to provide our children with a quality education. However for every person you ask to define what “quality education” means, you would probably get a different answer.  We also need to be thinking ahead to what we want to happen at the end of the school years. Are we preparing students for factory and/or vocational jobs? Are we preparing students to further their studies in colleges and universities? Do we want to ensure that students become life long learners or are we just happy with producing cookie cutter copies of graduates who were all educated exactly alike? These are just some of the many things that educators and parents need to consider. What is an acceptable educational product? Though there aren’t any easy answers to these questions (and many others), it is important to consider educational options based on what parents and students want as the desired outcome of the educational experience.

Once we determine what is a desirable educational product in our students, we must then consider how we approach learning and teaching to achieve that outcome. There are many possibilities in the United States. Many different methods have been tried in the US and many are still an option. To explore these options, I checked out the following books all with alternative ideas to standard educational approaches.
Reskilling America

In Reskilling America: Learning to Labor in the Twenty-First Century by Katherine S. Newman and Hella Winston the authors believe that a more vocational education is what America’s graduates need. They believe that high schools should not be pushing every student towards college classes. They believe instead that when students graduate high school that they should already have employable job skills and be able to enter the labor force immediately.

The School Revolution

In The School Revolution, Ron Paul advocates for homeschooling. In some developed countries (Germany for example) it is illegal to home school your children. The US allows for all sorts of differing educational experiences–including many forms of homeschooling. Ron Paul believes that parents should be educating their own children at home. As a former teacher I can see pros and cons to this approach. As a Christian parent, and especially in recent years, I can definitely see the appeal of this approach. (Hopefully I will be commenting more in depth on this topic in a later post.)

Secret Societies 004

In The BIG Picture: Education is Everyone’s Business by Dennis Littky with Samantha Grabelle, the author believes that the traditional school model (a student leaves home to go to a school building) is workable, however he believes that the educational model of traditional schools needs some serious overhauling. Of all of these books, this is the one that really resonated with me. We’ve all heard that schools teach the “three R’s: Reading, (W)Riting, and (A)Rithmatic.” The approach modeled in this book is based on a lot of collaboration with school, home, the students, and the community.  This educational approach still has three R’s although they differ from the traditional ones. In this case the three R’s stand for Relationships, Relevance, and Rigor.  There is heavy emphasis in this approach to build a culture of trust and respect. Kids will be respectful and open to learning if they are themselves treated with respect. Producing students who want to learn and will become life long learners is one of the core goals of this sort of approach.  There is so much good information in this book that I could never fit into one post so I will encourage those who are interested in it to read it for themselves. If you are a parent or teacher and want the best for your student(s), I highly recommend this book. The book itself has put all the big ideas into boldface print so you could even skim read it and still come out with a great understanding. I really did love this book and the ideas are not that hard to carry out, but it does require educators, parents, and students to all be on the same page in the educational process. When I was in school learning how to be a teacher, this is also how I was taught and how I was taught to teach. I cannot say enough good about this book.

Did you have a teacher who treated you with respect? Do you lean towards a particular educational model? What is your idea of a perfect educational product?

 

The Mystery Blogger Award

The mystery bloggers award

Dewey Hop is once again honored to receive another award. This time it’s The Mystery Blogger Award. Many thanks to Melinda at purpleslobinrecovery for nominating Dewey Hop.

Okoto Enigma created this award as a means of helping bloggers connect and discover amazing blogs. This is what she says the The Mystery Blogger Award is for:

“Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve any of the recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.

Here are the rules for accepting/nominating for this award:

  1. Post the award/ image on your blog .
  2. Thank whoever nominated you and give a link back to their blog.
  3. Mention the creator of the award and give a link back to her blog.
  4. Nominate some deserving bloggers and notify your nominees by commenting on their blogs.
  5. Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice; including one weird or funny question.

So without further ado, here are the answers to the questions I received:

  1. If you could change one thing about our country, what would it be and why?

I would make abortion illegal. I believe in the sanctity of human life. Also, I consider killing an unborn child to be murder.

    2. Which super hero powers would you like to have, if given a chance? Why ?

Super speed like Super Man! I would like to have super speed because I could rush through annoying chores/house keeping, etc and then slow down for more enjoyable activities. I would be able to accomplish so much more each day!

     3. What motivates you to blog (write) ?

As far as the Dewey Hop blog, I blog because it’s part of my job at the Fulton County Public Library. I love reading the library books and getting to share what I’ve read about. Not only is this aspect of my job enjoyable, I’m learning a lot too! I also enjoy all the interaction with fellow bloggers.

As far as writing which isn’t my job–like the book I’m writing–I have several reasons. The main reason for the book is to keep a promise to my oldest tadpole. (For more info read Suicide and Survival.) It’s also a healing experience for me. I am hoping to help many others through very difficult circumstances of life because we’re all in this together!

     4. What is something you like to collect, if anything?  

I collect country angels. I will post a picture of a few of them.

 

Angels 041

Angels 027

Angels 028

All of these angels are on the top of my desk at home. I will spare you all the rest! Just take my word for it-there are a lot of them! The ones I collect are all hand crafted (although I didn’t make any of them).  I do have a few that were mass manufactured (none pictured in this post), but they look like hand crafted ones and mostly those are some that other people have given me but that fit in with my collection.

     5. If given the chance to rename any fast food restaurant, which would it be?                  What would it’s new name be?

I am not a big fan of fast food as most of it is unhealthy (although that is beginning to change with some menu choices). If I had to rename any fast food joints, it probably wouldn’t be nice names so, “If you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all” seems to apply here!

I am happy with the questions that were asked of me, so if my nominees would like to participate, please just use the same questions.

Should they choose to accept The Myster Blogger Award and participate, here are my nominations:

  1. Tierney – Tierney is truly a blogger who inspires and motivates! She is a versatile blogger as well. Not only does Tierney inspire and motivate in creative endeavers she’s also very thought provoking in sharing her thoughts about the audiobooks she loves to listen to. She also sometimes shares her hiking adventures, life with her dogs, and life with the other human in her household Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH).  I always look forward to her posts and adventures.
  2. Camie-Camie is a “new to me” blogger that I’ve only just discovered and she’s already an inspiration to me! She has a way of making events come to life through her writing. I enjoy all of the pictures she shares in describing her life events and adventures.
  3. Cale-Cale is a fun blogger who blogs about his life experiences through organizations, family, home, and work. He is very inspirational because he is always involved in different projects. He is pretty handy around his house and always has multiple projects going on on the homefront. He’s helping to build a cabin get away with his family. His energy level is always high and he’s “real” in writing about his experiences. In addition to all of the above, he also does movie reviews which are always interesting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Versatile Blogger Award

versatile-blogger-award-konacna

The Dewey Hop blog has once again been honored with an award! I would like to thank Cale at Diaries of a Scatterbrain for nominating Dewey Hop and for his constant support. Cale described Dewey Hop as “versatile, informative, fun, and original.”

In order accept this award, I must list the rules (slightly altered since I never could follow directions! 😉 ) :

THE RULES:

  • You have to thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog!
  • Nominate bloggers of your choice.
  • Link the nominees and inform them about their nomination.
  • Share some facts about yourself.

NOMINEES:

I  (like Cale) will do my best to nominate people who really are versatile, informative, fun, and original. Bloggers, please don’t feel that you have to participate if you don’t want to, but you do deserve this honor whether you participate or not.

Tiereny – tierenycreates

Prepper -Prepper 365

The 20 Something Existential Crisis

Elizabeth – The Comfortable Coop

Brad – Under Western Skies

Kelley – kelleysdiy

Dolly – Kool Kosher Kitchen

FACTS:

  1. I recently lost 8.8 lbs.
  2. I am currently painting my living room. (I’m a wanna be interior designer.)
  3. The Mister and I will soon be touring MMS Aviation near Canton, Ohio. The Mister has been in negotiations with this missionary organization about doing an internship with them. The Mister would be fixing planes and helicopters for other missionaries as well as occassionally deploying to other countries to fix planes and helicopters for missionaries already in the field. Additionally, he would also be teaching students who are learning to fix aircraft.
  4. My RH factor is negative. I’ve recently been told that only about 15% of the US population is negative.
  5. I’ve recently learned to Marco Polo on my phone.

Thanks again to Cale at Diaries of a Scatterbrain for nominating Dewey Hop.

 

 

Natural Disasters

Top Ten Natural Disasters

We live on a volatile planet. The earth’s crust is constantly shifting which changes land formations, forms mountains, volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis. Additionally the wind may form into cyclones and tornadoes while water sources such as lakes, rivers, streams, creeks, ocean harbors, and rain all may contribute to flooding. Droughts may contribute to wildfires. Heat and erosion may contribute to avalanches and landslides.   When events like these collide with humans, the results can be deadly. Despite it all, we all call planet Earth home.

We are fortunate that in most areas of the US there are weather and disaster warning systems. If we are paying attention, we should at least have some warning and hopefully be able to make wise decisions in precious little time that can save lives and minimize casualties. Beyond this, there are things we can do to prepare for the unexpected. Being prepared is one of the best ways to give yourself peace of mind and buy precious time in the event of an actual emergency.  One thing you will definitely want to have is a back up supply of food, water, pet supplies, necessary pharmaceuticals and toiletry items. You can see a detailed list of things you may need in my post on Terrorism.

Organize for Disaster

In addition to the same type of things needed in the event of a terrorist attack, Organize for Disaster by Judith Kolberg covers most natural disasters (also some man made ones) and gives specific suggestions as to how you can prepare. Of course many of the preparations will work for multiple events. Being well prepared for various disaster scenarios involves more than just stock piling food and personal items. Judith Kolberg suggests that you also have clothing (at least one change of clothing for each member of your household), blankets and/or sleeping bags, a well stocked first aid kit, extra tennis shoes and/or boots (waterproof would be best). It is also recommended that you have both a landline phone and a cell phone. A small portable radio and flashlights should also be readily available.

If you are fortunate enough to have the space (perhaps in a basement or garage) you can set up a disaster provision area. Pet carriers and  emergency pet supplies should also be stored in this area.

Basement prep   Garage prep

If you are not so fortunate to have such space luxury there are still things you can do. Here is an excellent way to pack a lot into a small space. You might consider doing one for each family member.

Home-emergency-Kit-flyer

It would be best if you used a waterproof trashcan on wheels since you may have to leave your home on foot. Wheels would obviously make it easier to transport supplies if needed.

If you are leaving your home to go to an emergency shelter you wouldn’t need to take something the size of a trashcan. A shelter should have its own stock of those sorts of supplies. Judith Kolberg recommends having a prepacked “grab and go bag.” For those of you with military backgrounds, this is basically the same thing as a bug out bag. Judith recommends having these bags stored in an easily accessible place. There should be one bag per family member (including pets) and each bag should be labeled by family member name. Weather appropriate coats, jackets, and sweaters should be stored close to these bags. Judith’s book suggests using backpacks hung on coat hooks with weather gear stored directly below them on another row of coat hooks. Some shelters will not take animals so be sure that you have a previously thought out plan about where your pets will go to get to safety. Other shelters DO allow pets so if a temporary emergency shelter is part of your plan, find out in advance the shelter’s pet policy. If you are going to a hotel, you should also find out the pet policy well in advance. Many hotels are becoming more animal friendly.

If you need to bug out and you will be taking pets with you, here are some examples of what you may need:
72_Hr_Bug_Out_Bag

Doggie_Bug_Out_LG-e1456966021606
cat bug out

Check to see if your cat still fits! You may need to purchase a small soft sided cat carrier that can be worn and then use the carrier at your destination to secure your cat.

Cat wear

If you need to bug out with small pets, birds, fish, snakes, reptiles, etc. think along the guidelines listed above. Birds should have a light cover over their cage during movement. Be sure that the cover allows air and light into the cage.  Small animals will require housing, food, water, toys, bedding, treats, etc. Fish will be more challenging. You may want to have a previously established emergency tank set up within a safe distance (for instance in a friends garage, basement, or shed with access to electricity in a nearby town or another part of the city that doesn’t flood). The emergency tank should be filled from the same water source you use for your tank at home. Be sure to have plenty of food, necessary water conditioners and stress reducing products stored here. If at all possible try to give yourself enough time to acclimate your fish to the emergency tank. If you must keep moving and can’t acclimate the fish yourself, be sure you have previously taught your friend how to acclimate fish–and leave written instructions near the tank as a reminder.  Have emergency transfer nets and carriers available. Fish can be transferred in almost any nonmetal clean container that holds water. Bear in mind that while you want your fish to be able to move freely about, you won’t want to completely fill the container–fish still need oxygen. Also, make sure the container has a lid (fish can jump out) with air holes.

If you must leave your home due to an emergency, no pets should ever be left behind. Having a previously thought out plan will make evacuating much smoother and less stressful.

In addition to all of the above preparations there are also several other things that you should arrange prior to needing them:

Your Family Plan– You should have escape routes well thought out for various scenarios and possibilities. Each family’s plan will be different from another family’s. For instance, I live in Indiana and it is highly unlikely that I would ever need to evacuate due to a tsunami (unless on vacation). However, you may live on the coast and need to plan for that possibility.

Your family needs a communication plan. Phone numbers should be in your phone and also written and stored in your bug out bag for easy access. Cell towers may be down, but if you can make it to a landline you may be able to make any necessary phone calls. Also, if calls are not going through, always check and see if texting will work. If you use a prepaid phone, be sure every member of your family has emergency minute cards (prior to the emergency-these would be packed in your bug out bags.) Taking a tablet or ipad with you for communication is an excellent idea if the internet is functional. Don’t forget chargers and accessories.

Have at least two places to meet each other if you should become separated. You need more than one location. For example if you have left your home due to flooding and your plan was to meet in front of the court house but the court house is also flooded you would have a problem if you became separated and phones are down.  Since you were well prepared though, everyone in your family knows the alternate location is to meet at the library. You can make as many locations as you want. It is a good idea to write this plan down and have it in everyone’s bug out bag. When people are under stress they may not remember even simple plans, but again because you are well prepared everyone knows exactly what to do and where to go.

Your Essential and Important Documents-Organize anything you would need to reestablish services, file insurance claims, prove identity, etc and all irreplaceable items such as treasured family photos, etc. Most survivalists recommend putting these documents in light weight containers such as plastic freezer baggies that will protect them from water. All of your family photos can be taken with you easily by having them scanned onto a flash drive and stored in a freezer baggie  in your bug out bag. If needed, they can be reprinted at a later date. It’s also a good idea to scan in all of your important documents although you may still need some of the originals with you like your driver’s license or ID card and your Social Security card. In most cases, one flash drive can handle all of this–and more.  By scanning in all of your important documents you will have all your account numbers and other important information available to you. Always have your flash drive backed up to a disc or other device.

Insurance-Insurance coverage should be arranged now while there is time to do it correctly. Do you live in a flood zone? Have you checked if your home owner’s policy covers flooding? If a tree falls on your roof during a tornado, will your policy cover it? Don’t forget to check on things like cars, boats, lawn mowers, and basically anything it would be expensive to pay for repairs or to replace. Do not just assume that certain events are covered. Ask specific questions and find out what all is covered.  I once went in for an insurance review on my car. The insurance agent said something like my policy only covered anything that was on wheels. In other words, he said, if a deer jumped out of the woods and hit my car (and that does happen in my area) it wouldn’t be covered because something with wheels didn’t strike me. I asked him about horses (there are a lot in my area) and he told me that horses were not covered. Then I asked him what if the horse was attached to a buggy (There are a lot of Amish horse drawn buggys in my area.) The agent looked puzzled and said, “I don’t know. No one has ever asked me that!” I made some changes to my policy.

Home Furnishings– It is a good idea to do a home inventory documented with photos and/or videos. This can be invaluable in helping you replace items in the event a natural disaster completely destroys everything in your home. (Things can be replaced, but people can’t.) This information can be included on your flash drive, phone, or other device.  Again, always back up your important information.

In the book Disaster Preparedness:Ready Yourself, Your Family, and Your Home-Before Disaster Strikes by Rod Brouhard, EMT-P and Crystal Kline, MEP the authors cover all of the topics listed above but they have also included many helpful checklists to help you prepare. The checklists make this book worth checking out.

Disaster Preparedness

 

 

 

 

If  you are unsure what to do in a particular weather (or man made) emergency, there are may books that describe weather and natural phenomenon and what to do. It is a good idea to acquaint yourself with these types of books now. Here are a few of the ones I looked at:

Devastation Tsunami

Natural Disasters

The three books above are pretty amazing picture books. There is also great information in all three.

Do you have any experience with natural disasters? Do you have friends and family who have had to deal with severe weather phenomenon? What will you do to prepare for the possibility of extreme weather and natural events?

The Blog-aholic Award

blog-aholic-award1 (2)

Dewey Hop has been nominated for The Blog-aholic Award! So what exactly is the Blog-aholic? 

The Blog-aholic Award” is an award for bloggers addicted to blogging with creative, ingenious and inspiring posts. They mesmerize their followers with their posts, keep them captivated and riveted to their blog. The Blog-aholic Award is also for bloggers who “Share and Inspire Others!” The Recipe Hunter (Cook & Enjoy) 

After that description, the Dewey Hop blog humbly accepts this award and thanks Melinda at Purple Slob In Recovery for the nomination. In addition I would like to thank the originator of the The Blog-aholic Award, Esme at The Recipe Hunter (Cook and Enjoy).

As part of The Blog-aholic Award I am supposed to share some links to other posts. I am choosing to share a few links to the most popular and most frequently visited posts:

The Lighter Side of Law

Suicide and Survival

Forensics and Crime Scene Investigation

K9 Officers

Lastly I would like to nominate the following blogs:

kelleysdiy

no face woman

Brother Murf’s Corner

transforminglifenow

Claudia McGill

Should those nominated choose to accept, here are the rules:

  1. Put the above award logo/image on your blog.
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  4. Mention the creator, Esme, of this award and please provide a link or pingback as [Esmé of The Recipe Hunter (Cook & Enjoy) ] would love to meet you!
  5. Write a post to show your award.
  6. Share a link to some of your posts.
  7. Share 3 interesting facts about yourself.
  8. Nominate and Notify some blogs/bloggers.

A few facts about myself:

  1. I am writing a book.
  2. I haven’t watched TV in almost 6 years.
  3. I use cinnamon to combat caffeine withdrawl headaches.

 

 

 

 

 

Lying

liar

Continuing along in the 360’s (Social Problems & Social Services) section of the Fulton County Public Library, I’ve landed in a section on lying. Lying is a huge social problem. There are many reasons people might lie which include (but are not limited to) trying not to hurt someone’s feelings or trying to keep themselves out of trouble.

Dictionary.com defines lying as:

noun
  1. the telling of lies, or false statements; untruthfulness…
adjective

     2.telling or containing lies; deliberately untruthful; deceitful; false…

The Bible has this to say about lying:

The LORD detests lying lips, but He delights in people who are trustworthy. (Proverbs 12:22, NIV)

Because, unfortunately, lying is so prevalent in our society and because in many cases people think it is socially acceptable, we need a way to figure out who is telling the truth and who is lying. While character would enter in to this detection process on various levels we also need more scientific methods of proving truth or lies. This is especially true in courts of law as well as in cases where officials need to interview suspected criminals or witnesses. This need gave birth to the invention of the lie detector, circa 1920. A lie detector is a device that is hooked up to a person who is being questioned. The device measures physiological responses such as rate of breathing, blood pressure, pulse, and perspiration. It is believed that a person who is trying to hide something would have involuntary responses while trying to cover up the truth. The machine records an individual’s responses and if they are “out of the ordinary,” the person is assumed to be lying. Lie detectors are known by many different names some of which are polygraph, deception detection (or detector), and truth seekers. The United States is the only country in the world that has made extensive use of this device. While the device itself isn’t fail proof and it’s results have rarely been admissible in a court of law, Americans are still obsessed with the idea that we can scientifically prove when someone is lying. This obsession is at the heart of The Lie Detectors:the History of an American Obsession by Ken Alder.

the-lie-detectors

As you might imagine, The Lie Detectors follows the invention, implications, and applications of a lie detector from its birth to modern day. Along the way, various interesting stories involving lie detectors are told.

The lie detector is an American invention that was initially supposed to be used to stop “third degree” (read hostile and violent) interrogation of suspects in criminal cases. Initially it was hoped that the lie detector would eliminate the need for juries, judges, and the legal system since the truth would be known and there would be no need to weigh evidence and make a decision about guilt or innocence. The first case in which a lie detector was used to solve a crime was at College Hall, a women’s dormitory at Berkley. A woman was robbed of a diamond ring and some cash. The lie detector was brought in to discover the truth of the situation; a real life whodunnit. The robbery victim was used as a control subject since it was known that she actually was robbed. All the other women and the dorm mother were questioned until the culprit was found and charged with the crime. It is important to note that the thief was caught not only by the lie detector results but also because she believed the lie detector would find her guilty.

John Larson, a police officer and the person who is generally credited with the invention of the lie detector, wanted to use his device as an official law enforcement tool.  (Detective Larson had to “interview” the robbery victim mentioned in the above case on multiple occasions. On one of these interview dates, Larsen asked the victim if she loved him. She said no, but the machine said she was lying. Larsen later married her.) Larsen also wanted to clean up police and political corruption using the device. This tool could also be used to identify inmates who were falsely imprisoned. Although the uses just mentioned were Larsen’s primary aspirations for his machine, he inadvertently discovered it could also be used as tool to diagnose mental disorders such as schizophrenia, psychopathology, and medical conditions. Larsen discovered his own irregular heartbeat with his lie detector.

Not surprisingly, Larsen met a lot of resistance from corrupt politicians and police officers when he tried to clean up “dirty” officers and officials who didn’t want to be exposed. Even many inmates (particularly the guilty ones) didn’t like the use of lie detectors since they were able to buy their way out of trouble through the corrupt cops and politicians. Judges were afraid of being replaced by a machine and didn’t like the idea that a machine could decide a man’s fate-something they said that only juries should do. Perhaps more surprising was the reaction of the mental health professionals of the day. They claimed that the lie detector was not based on “real science” since they felt threatened by its existence. When confronted with this reaction from psychiatrists and psychologists, Larsen came to believe that many of these people were frauds and had no qualms about saying so. Being so outspoken didn’t win Larsen any friends.

There were (and still are) other problems with the lie detector. From the very beginning, there were ways to circumvent the results. For instance in the very first case at College Hall, Berkley the thief actually passed the test the first time she took it. It was discovered that she was so nervous having to take the test that she took several drugs to try to calm herself–which influenced the test results. When the thief was retested when not on drugs, she believed she would now be found guilty and when told the machine said she was lying, she became very violent, jumped up and tried to destroy the machine. She eventually confessed believing she had been found out, but ironically the test wasn’t finished and Larsen only told her she was found to be lying (as he did all the other women so he could gauge their reactions). Therefore, the test can be influenced based on what the test subject believes to be true, whether it is or not.

There were times, when the test subjects themselves were able to fool the lie detector by only pretending to do what was asked of them. Another examiner, Leonarde Keeler, made some improvements to the recording instruments on the lie detector machine and then patented the “Keeler Polygraph.” Keeler, who was also an amateur magician, used the farce of trying to help subjects relax before the test by performing a card trick. He actually was trying to establish a baseline pattern on the machine. Keeler would ask subjects to pick a card out of a deck of playing cards and look at it. Then he would ask the subjects to deny every card he showed them was their card as part of the trick. Of course Keeler had marked the cards so he knew exactly which card the subject had seen and when they denied it, he had their baseline. A particularly astute woman picked a card, but only pretended to look at it. So when she denied seeing all of the cards, she beat the test. (Keeler later married the woman.)

Not all of the problems associated with the lie detector test were about the machine itself. Because the questions were subjective and usually written by the examiner, bias could be introduced through the questions. Many questions were found to be prejudicial based on the assumptions of the examiner. For instance, there was a ridiculous assumption in the 1920’s that African Americans were less truthful than whites. Despite the lie detector confirming an African American’s answers, the examiners (who were almost always white men) would make excuses as to why the results couldn’t be correct because everyone “knew” that whites were more truthful. Ironically this said more about the dishonesty of the white officials than anything that was assumed about African Americans.

John Larsen saw the lie detector being used in ways he never intended and compared himself to Dr. Frankenstein who lost control of his monster. Though John Larsen tried, he couldn’t reign in his own monster, the lie detector he had created. During Larsen’s lifetime, the lie detector was being used to advertise everything from cigarettes to razors. A one time friend and late life enemy of Larsen, Leonarde Keeler, used the lie detector to gauge audience responses to movies making him one of the earliest audience pollers of film. The only use John Larsen had in mind for his monster of a machine was law enforcement and criminal justice.

In the area of law enforcement and criminal justice, the lie detector was frequently used to print newspapers stories about high profile criminal cases and court proceedings. The public seemed to have an insatiable need to know who did or did not pass the lie detector test. Newspapers quickly figured out that crime sells and soon had a cult following which has contributed to the book genres, tv shows, movies, and magazine articles of true crime that is so popular today.

Due to the ways in which the lie detector was known to yield imperfect results (drugs, the subject cheating, and prejudicial questioning) and because of other questionable uses, judges insisted that juries be the deciding factor in criminal cases, the lie detector was banned from American courtrooms. It was because of this ban that police officers continued to use lie detectors as an investigatory tool while judges said the results of such investigations are inadmissible in court even to the present day.

Even though Americans still can’t scientifically prove whether someone is lying or not, we still try. The next book, The Truth About Lying: How to Spot a Lie and Protect Yourself from Deception by Stan B. Walters is a book that attempts to teach ways to recognize a liar. Walters has a quite impressive resume which includes such things as teaching his skills to businesses, industries, and law enforcement agencies & academies. In addition to all of this Walters has also taught classes at the US Department of Defense, US Immigration and Naturalization Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms. Walters is a member of the American Polygraph Association.

truth_about_lying_book

In a nutshell, The Truth About Lying describes ways in which people may get nervous when concocting or telling a lie. The key is to learn to be a great observer. It takes practice, but Stan Walters explains that liars are a bit like poker players and they all have their own “tell.” There is no one formula of behavior that fits all liars. It’s more like figuring out a person’s personal combination of behaviors. I found this book interesting, but not particularly out of the ordinary.

Have you ever taken a lie detector test or known someone who has? Have you ever observed behaviors that you thought indicated lying?

 

Eldercare and Seniors

Psaml 71 v9

With good nutrition and proper health care many people are living much longer and usually with good quality of life. Sometimes though elderly people do require assistance and often for longer periods of time than others have in the past.

live-long-and-prosper

I was blessed to have both of my parents well into their 80’s. I lost my Dad last year at age 87. He suffered from Parkinson’s disease but had his mind right up until the end. My Mom is still living and just turned 85 in September. Her overall health is pretty good given her age, but she has some physical challenges. She is still as spunky as ever. When I’m not at work and writing the Dewey Hop blog, much of my time (past and present) has been spent caring for my parent(s), driving to doctors appointments, trying to help with whatever needs done, and just visiting and spending time with one or both of them just to mention a few things.All of this can be overwhelming at times but one of my sisters and her husband also do quite a bit to help.

chair

My sister and I  have worked out a system of sorts. Our current arrangement is that I am at Mom’s house 6 out of 7 days a week to check on her, run errands, visit, and generally help out with laundry and whatever else comes up. I live 5 minutes away from Mom so I usually swing by after work and in the afternoons on the weekends.  I spend shorter amounts of time at Mom’s, but go more frequently. My “day off” is on Tuesday. My sister, who lives out of town, stays all day with Mom on Tuesday. Her job is to get all of the shopping accomplished while her husband takes care of all of the yard work and some general maintenance (if needed). Mom looks forward to getting to spend the day shopping. She is taken where ever she needs or wants to go (grocery store, Walmart, pharmacy, bank, etc.). My sister takes Mom to any doctor’s appointments that are scheduled on Tuesday; otherwise I take her. Mom has a service that comes in and cleans every two weeks (everyone background checked). Friends take her out to eat once a week and she has other activities scheduled at various times  throughout the week such as going to the beauty shop and church activities.

When Dad’s Parkinson’s disease was getting progressively worse, my parents had their entire home outfitted with safety items such as grab bars, a chair lift, a lift recliner, walk in showers with seating, hand held shower sprayers, etc. These household features turned out to be a great thing for my Mom as well as they have enabled her to continue living in her own home. She is able to get up and down the basement steps to her laundry room safely and we do not have to worry about her taking a tumble down the stairs. She’s able to maneuver around her home with assistance of a walker and cane in addition to the other safety features. Mom is able to take care of her own grooming, bathing, and cooking needs.

Mom uses the Life Alert service so we do not have to worry about her quite as much when she is home alone. She has frequent visitors and neighbors who all help to keep an eye on her when we can’t be there with her. Mom still drives herself to church on Sunday mornings and to a hair appointment once a week. She is able to drive well enough to go through drive throughs at various places if she wants to (fast food, bank, pharmacy, etc). She does not drive after dark or out of town. In the winter time if the roads aren’t real clear she either decides to stay home or someone drives for her. Mom’s eyes are getting worse though and she says that when her license expires (in the not too distant future) that she will not renew it. She knows that we will make sure she is driven anywhere she wants to go, but this does mean giving up more independence so it is a hard thing for her.

With improvements in healthcare and life span, I wondered who is actually considered “senior” or “old.” I read through a lot of information in books and depending on the publication “senior” and / or “old” was anywhere from 44(!) to 100+. Later after trying to verify some information I read I came across this:

Definition of Elderly

I’ve shared all of the above because I know that every family works out eldercare based on individual circumstances, family make up, and needs. Perhaps our family can help other families currently thinking through how to set up care.There are health, safety, and financial aspects to address. When I reached the books on eldercare I was really curious to find out if there is anything else we can be doing for my Mom to make her life easier and still maintain a high quality of life for her. Of course, all families have to deal with how to care for their elderly members as well as take care of the caretaker(s) needs. Caring for Yourself While Caring for Your Aging Parents by Claire Berman addresses all of these concerns.

Caring for Yourself

I believe this book would be helpful to many who are caretakers. While it is written with elderly parents in mind, it could also offer some suggestions for those with handicapped family members. This book covers topics all the way from parents needing minimal assistance through nursing home options and end of life decisions. If you have situations anywhere in between these topics, this book probably covers them. Additionally the author shares some of her own experiences while caring for her elderly family members and discusses the guilt that caregivers can have when they finally manage to squeeze in some time for themselves. Claire Berman shares many examples of how people care for their loved ones when the caregiver is an only child, when there are multiple siblings, when family members live far apart from each other and the stress that results from these and  many other situations. If you are in or nearing this stage of life (either as the caretaker or the elderly person who may require attention in the future) I would recommend this book to start some family discussions. As long as the elderly parents still have their wits about them, there is no reason why they can’t help make decisions about their care.

Eldercare

The Complete Guide to Eldercare by A.J. Lee and Melanie Callender, Ph.D. shares much of the same type of information mentioned above, but also includes practical ways and suggested agendas for family meetings. This book provides a chart to help families decide which skills their elderly members have and seeks to help to objectively figure out what sort of care is needed.  It is loaded with information that families should consider before making a long term decision about loved ones.

For some families there are added psychological issues and diminished mental capacity on top of dealing with physical limitations, health, and finances. Sometimes living arrangements aren’t so clear cut. If you find yourself in this situation, Elder Rage -or- Take My Father…Please! by  Jacqueline Marcell is the book for you. Jacqueline learned everything the hard way and then wrote this book so you don’t have to learn the hard way. This book will be enlightening to anyone dealing with the elderly–or even if you are the elderly!

Elder Rage

Elder Rage is full of information and humor that will have you not wanting to put the book down. In it you will learn such things as how to get accurate diagnosis and care for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, ways to encourage someone to give up driving, behavior management skills, and where to find important resources to get proper care for the elderly.  I can’t say enough good things about this book.  If you and/or your parents are still young enough to qualify, Jacqueline Marcell encourages everyone to invest in Long Term Care (LTC) insurance which would have saved her thousands of dollars. Accompanying the book is a companion website elderrage.com which can also help to point the reader to appropriate resources.

Honorable Mention:senior benefits

American Benefits for Seniors by Matthew Lesko highlights many resources available to seniors either at extremely low cost or free. I am giving this book an “honorable mention” because a book like this is quickly outdated if there are time limits on certain offers or government policies are changed. However, I did still find this book helpful in finding some resources. The way I explored this book was to skim read it (this isn’t the kind of book that you must read every word) and then try to look up the mentioned resources online. While one could still explore it the old fashioned way through snail mail, you may end up wasting postage costs only to find out that the information has become outdated. I was rather successful looking up some “senior offers” online. Some of the offers have conditions (age, location, income, etc) while others didn’t. One of the offers that I decided to explore just to check it out was an offer about how to get free fresh produce and fruit from local farmers’ markets. This is a great offer…my only problem is that I’m not old enough (yay!) and my mother doesn’t meet the criteria. I’m sure though that this book could be helpful for many and it’s kind of fun to explore new things and ideas on the internet. If you decide to explore it, please let me know what you think!

Do you currently or have you ever been a caretaker for an elderly family member? Do you have any helpful suggestions for people already in this stage of life?