Hey y’all! It’s autumn… YAY!

Here in north-east Florida we don’t get much of a change of seasons. As people further south say, “Florida has two seasons: summer and January.”

Where I live, we have summer, and like a few days of autumn, a month or two of winter, a few days of spring, and then summer once again. So, I’m super excited that it’s actually unusually cool right now.

This past week it didn’t get out of the 70s during the day and was in the 50s at night with one night in the 40s. Of course, so many people who live here chose to live here because of the mild temperatures so they’re complaining. I, however, only live here because family is here in Florida, so I’m overjoyed with the cooler temps.

The main thing that makes our autumn not like it is further north, is that although the cooler temps start the day off brisk, it can still get up into the 80s during the day (like today) and that means that the wardrobe changes twice in one day which is quite annoying.

Well, I know I have been absent for a bit (sorry) so I have a few updates for you…

In case you weren’t aware, G’ma Joan had to go back to Mayo AGAIN for a second round of open-heart surgery. Evidently the pericarditis and pleurisy and the fact that she will keloid (so, for aesthetic reasons made the incision so the scar would form on the inside instead of the outside) caused the mammary vein they used to basically get eaten up by the scar tissue and close off, thereby undoing all their hard work.

This time they’ve used a leg vein and are closely monitoring her for any signs of pericarditis and will treat with colchicine right away to help prevent further damage. They told her that if her body “eats up” this vein that they CANNOT go in and do another surgery on that side. I mean, she is 80. So that’s completely understandable.

Anyway, this has meant that I have been spending a lot of time visiting with her at Mayo after work and neglecting my school work and social life. In addition, my G’ma B and Dad are coming up tonight to spend the weekend. I’m very excited about seeing them, though, not to mention the fact that they are bringing me a new television. YAY!

My poor G’ma B has macular degeneration that they discovered when she recently underwent cataract surgery. The good news is that they were able to catch it early enough to give her injections in her eye to halt further growth and hopefully minimize damage. She says that her left eye is a bit fuzzy but with both eyes open she sees just fine and the doctor says it should get better over the next 6-8 months.

Nothing like getting older and watching your parents and grandparents age.

We tend to take our elders for granted here in America. As much as they may get on our nerves, it is important that we spend as much time with them as we can because soon they will be gone. I learn something new each visit and get to hear some amazing stories. They’ve lived through so much and have so much wisdom to share if we only take the time to stop and listen.

In other news, I really am enjoying the Primary Education course I’m enrolled in this semester. We recently went to a rally for the Children’s Movement (you should see if there is something similar in your neck of the woods) and it got me pumped… really puts things in perspective. Did you know that ninety percent of human brain development occurs during the first five years of life and every dollar spent to improve the health and well-being of children creates an aggregate total of $4.55 in economic output. That is a return on investment of 455 percent!


Working at the University I see how much politicians push for college education for all. I understand and appreciate the desire to make college available to those who cannot afford it, however, I also know that it’s easy to make these promises because they know that the percentage of our poor who can actually get into a college is relatively low so they really aren’t having to spend as much.

We continuously raise the amount of the Pell Grant each year (a big push by Obama) and this also makes the student eligible for other grant funding that is only possible if you qualify for Pell. In order to qualify you must have almost if not completely zero family contribution which basically translates to a $30k a year salary (or less) for a family of four. This is all well and good, HOWEVER, the majority of students in college are middle class who make just slightly more than the cut off and therefore they qualify for NOTHING. There is no help for anyone but the very poorest and as much as I fully support providing them an education I know that their retention rates are horrible and it’s not fair to rob Peter to pay Paul.

Also, if we truly cared about these children we wouldn’t focus so much on college education but instead of their very foundation of being and support them during their early childhood years. It would save us money in the long run and build a better populous. I think that so much of the promises made by congress is so that we will think they are helping when really they are doing what works best for them.

Okay, I’m off my soap-box now…

So, hope y’all have a wonderful weekend. I hope that the weather is whatever you most desire and that you have plenty of time for R&R. I’ll be spending time with family and completing a mid-term while making a 15 page paper (draft) appear out of thin air. Wish me luck!

God bless! 🙂