Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mental Debates

As I mentioned here a few weeks ago, I'm going to start writing a monthly column - beginning the third week of September - for the weekly publication from a nearby community.

I've been debating in my mind since the offer was made to me about writing this column as to what or how to present myself in the first column. I still haven't come up with an idea that I think will be best for an "opener" but I'm kind of leaning towards a very short, general introduction of myself, leading then into an also "short" piece about differences, as I perceive them, in school today compared to my generation. After all, when I started school, the elementary school -grades one through sixth -was located atop the hill here in this village and all of us walked to school. With the exception of a very few kids who lived on top of the hill, it was an uphill walk for the rest of us - both ways! Well, considering how long it would take me to make my way HOME from school, I think my Mom probably thought it must be an uphill walk both ways.

Or, perhaps, I could do a little bit about my granddaughter, the little Princess, Maya, who will begin school next Tuesday at a school about 22 miles from here specifically for kids who are autistic. That's another thought, ya know.

Then, there's also my interests about local history, the research I've been doing online for the past three years now pertaining to the little villages within the township where I've lived the bulk of my life. Considering this topic is what I primarily wrote about when I was doing articles for a little local monthly publication up until last winter, I'm sure I could come up with something on that topic too.

I could also write about one of my other big interests too - family tree research -and how much fun it can be -along with some of the pitfalls it produces too along the way. Boy, does it ever do that at times!

My kids, all three of my grandchildren and the three step-grandchildren often provide a bit of "comic relief" here although my son also often provides a lot of worrisome things too. I'd kind of hoped by the time he hit his 30's that some of the stuff he did that really worried me would start to die down but you know as they say, "a mother's work is never done!" How true, how true!

Since this publication is basically a newspaper - not a small-time magazine type thing - I figure I'd best keep my political leanings far, far away from this column. Especially so, considering our esteemed representative to Harrisburg also does a monthly column for the paper too and I am not exactly one of his minions who pay homage to him at every turn. Frankly, I just plain don't like, don't trust the guy as far as I could throw a baby grand piano so you know I really have to lock up the keyboard in that aspect don't cha? And, I don't suppose mentioning anything I find humor in -like the lovely Bushisms I like to post here - would be a good thing to write about either, would it?

Or another thought that popped into my mind is the problems we've had most of this summer - heck for longer than that - of animals that like to visit our humble abode, inside and outside. Yeah a mouse family in the house along with numerous raccoons, and some skunks too the latter two species that had developed an affinity for our garbage cans. First there was the skunk my son-in-law thought he'd done away with but it crawled into the drainpipe that runs under the road in front of the house and decided to die there. Now there was a smell you don't want to experience! Trust me! Or the recent episode when he set up the humane trap by the garbage cans using some tuna fish as bait and the next morning, what was in there but the next door neighbor's fat cat - appropriately named "Tuna." Last week, after switching the bait to a mixture of peanut butter and breakfast cereal, he caught another cat. This one was one we'd never seen before and boy, was it mad too at being caught there. When Bill finally tripped the release on the cage, that cat took off like a shot, running up the road and we're all wondering if it might not still be running considering how fast it was going!

Got any thoughts you'd like to give me of other ideas? Feel free to bring them forward, drop a note to me either by e-mail or in the comments section.

I'm more than willing to entertain lots and lots of ideas to compensate for the days when I am totally braindead and can't even manage to conjure up a tiny little old brain fart!


Vic Grace said...

Hi Jeni, your such an encouragement. Yes, rocking horses are the descendants of hobby horses.

I think you are wise to avoid politics. I think I would avoid family stuff until your readers get to know you, then they would be more interested. Maybe follow you religiously like a soap opera, if such a thing would be desirable.

The history of your area is a good subject I think. How about how streets and roads got their names. Presumably it would be from settlers, you might already have some information. What would the original people who settled in your area be doing now in preparation for fall and winter

I think you will do fine although it is scary coming up with something that is going to be published consitently, but you do that every day here.

Its the AMOUNT OF WORDS that I think you are going to be challeged by.

I guess you said that a personal introduction for the first one would be good, and that is a good thought. Why you want to write it in the first place, how you came to be asked, what your goal for the piece is and where you are coming from in your philosopy of life.

Doesn't that all sound so easy. HA HA

Are you going to let us read your articles?

Smalltown RN said...

I think Vic grace gave you some great suggestions....might I add hobbies and interests...things that people say and do....or places you'd like to go or dream about and why you would like to go there....

Jo said...

I like the idea of introducing yourself and then perhaps talking about school since the article will be published in September (back-to-school time). You could talk about how things were when you were in grade school then talk about how things are now that your granddaughter is starting school. Save the autistic topic for a separate article.

All of your topics you suggest will be interesting pieces for the paper so save them. You could start a list so when you are totally brain dead you can just look at your topic list. :)

Of course these are just my suggestions so feel free to take them or leave them.

Still got to go on and register for that technorati thing. I may ask you for help if I have any questions. -S

Shelby said...

yeah - introduce yourself - and talking about school would be an excellent starting point given the time of year..

but - whatever you choose - I'm sure it'll be great!

Claire said...

Jeni jeni jeni!

I really cant imagine you being brain dead at all! even when you pop your clogs you will of probably wrote enough to keep the column going for another 100 years!

You make my day with your comments on my blog and offer me all sorts of encouragement.

Its a shame you cant poke fun at the other blokes politics but it probably is wise not too.

So a wee bit about oneself and the little spud maya would be a great start :)

Oh what about about a 'ask jeni' thing? then we could write into you!

TomCat said...

Jeni, the first article is always the hardest. Have you considered starting off with an article calling for the impeachment you your esteemed representative to Harrisburg, who also writes a column there? You have to admit, it would be the news of the summer there!! ;-)

Seriously, I'd suggest something generic that reveals your warmth and humor.

Paula said...

I agree with Shelby. With the start of school, your piece about the difference in schools would be really well timed. It seems to me that you've got alot running around in your little 'ole brain and are not going to have a hard time coming up with anything. I'm sure it will be marvelous, no matter the topic. When is your first column going to be published?

Skittles said...

I think the idea about schools would be right for this time of year. (Do you know the first post I ever read here was a very cute one about Maya?)

Psst.. You need to get a Twitter "Badge" :)

I'll wait for the email. LOL!

lattégirl said...

Even before reading the other comments, I was going to suggest you follow Vic's example! Small-town, historical musings, then-and-now stuff...

Keith said...


I think you should write about your granddaughter Maya. I know quite a few autistic kids and they are very dear to my heart. I served at Camp Barnabas in Missouri last summer which is a special camp for disabled kids. The week I served was for kids aged 7-17 with autism and downs syndrome. It was one of the most mentally and physically exhausting weeks in my life but also one of the most rewarding.

I laughed when I read about your son in his 30's. It's so true. A mother's work is never done. Just ask my mom. I didn't grow up until I was 40. hehehehe.

Good luck on your column. I'm sure whatever you decide to write about will be a very good read.

Be well.


Linda said...

I'd love to help you out on this one but I have trouble enough trying to figure out what to write on my blog half the time!!

I am sure that whatever you write will be wonderful and I hope that you reprint it here for all of us to see!

lattégirl said...

Someone said what I thought but did not voice: Don't bring personal family stuff (e.g. the Princess Maya) right off.

Start off neutral, but warm, introduce yourself. Easy 300 words.

Then go into the school thing, as it is topical.

Best of luck, my dear Jeni. Merde, as they say in Quebec!

Jen said...

Hey...thanks for coming by and visiting me. I love genealogy.....love it. It's one of my biggest passions....so do your column on it. And yes...invisible is for every person raising or helping with raising children....autism....thats a hard one. Very challenging. My girlfriend has a son with it. Like I said very challenging.....I wish you my prayers.

TomCat said...

Latte, I hate to tell you, but when Jeni signs a check it takes over 300 words. ;-)

Jeni said...

Hmmm. Do you get the feeling Tomcat thinks I'm maybe just a tad on the long-winded side? Ok, he's right although a check is about the ONLY thing I CAN sign very quickly and with minimal amount of words! Two -first and last name! Might not be entirely legible, but the bank knows my signature by now! LOL