Truthful Tuesday — Allotment

Di, of Pensitivity101, is our host for Truthful Tuesday. This week Di wants to know:

Have you ever had or wanted to own an allotment?

Huh? What? An allotment? What’s that? I’ll Google it. Oh, right, it’s a British term for a small parcel of land rented to grow fruits, vegetables and plants. Some people even use them to keep bees and smaller animals like rabbits and hens. Allotments, Google said, can vary in size but the most common is ten rods or poles, which is an old Anglo-Saxon measurement roughly equal to 250 square metres.

So no, I’ve never had or wanted to own an allotment, but I do have space allotted in my back and front yards for plants and trees. And some of that allotted land serves as a home for unwanted gophers and moles.

My daughter lives in San Francisco and around the corner from her condo is a small, community garden where volunteers can grow produce and ornamental plants for personal use. There are a number of these community gardens around the city and most are composed entirely of plots allotted to individuals with some common areas for shared perennial herbs, native plants, and fruit trees.

As I understand it, these community gardens may have regularly scheduled workdays, self-imposed annual dues to purchase shared garden tools and equipment, and either an individual volunteer garden coordinator or a steering committee that manages membership, workday plans, and plot assignments.

I suppose that’s the closest thing to an allotment that I’m at all aware of.

Bits and Pieces — May 29, 2023

Just a few bits and pieces that I thought I might share with you today.

The Knowledge Paradox

“As modern humans, we have access to more knowledge than anyone, ever. Even the poorest, most uneducated person has more quality information available to them today — in public libraries and on the internet — than the richest scholar with packed mahogany bookshelves from bygone eras. And yet, paradoxically, deliberate ignorance has become one of the biggest threats to our fragile democracies. In the past, we needed to worry about uninformed voters, those who didn’t know much about politics. These days, we need to worry about the much more dangerous misinformed voters who are often wrong, but never uncertain.”

Brian Klaas, American political scientist and contributing writer at The Atlantic.

Meanwhile, in Florida, Of Course

A Florida teacher is under investigation by the state’s Department of Education after she showed her students an animated Disney movie that has a gay character.

The fifth grade teacher, Jenna Barbee, screened the comedy-adventure Strange World, a movie that tells the story about a family of explorers, to give her fifth-graders a break after exams. One parent, who happens to a member of the Hernando County School District, objected to the film’s inclusion of a gay character, which she said constitutes illegal “indoctrination” under state law.

Barbee said the movie focuses on humans’ relationship to the environment, which was why she chose to show it to her class after a section on ecosystems, plants, and animals. She said a subplot about a boy having a crush on another boy never crossed her mind before screening the film.

A spokesperson for the school district said, “While not the main plot of the movie, parts of the story involves a male character having and expressing feelings for another male character. In the future, this movie will not be shown.”

This situation is due to Florida’s “Parental Bill of Rights,” dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law, which was signed by Florida’s self-descibed “anti-woke” Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, last year. The law bars classroom instruction related to sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. In April, the Florida Board of Education approved an expansion of the ban to all grades.

Shannon Rodriguez, the county school board member who reported the showing of the movie to state education officials, said that the teacher “showed a movie that wasn’t sanctioned school material, thus stripping the innocence of my 10-year-old.” Seriously, Shannon?

Barbee had submitted her resignation a week before the incident due to “politics and the fear of not being able to be who you are” in the Florida public school system.

Of course, being Florida, this action should come as no surprise. It was in Florida where an art teacher was forced to resign after projecting on the screen a picture of Michelangelo’s 600-year-old sculpture of the biblical figure of David. I wrote about that here.

Share Your World — 05/29/2023

Share Your World

Di, at Pensitivity101, is our host for Share Your World each week. Here are her SYW questions for this week.

1. If money was no object, what would be your ideal vacation?

Prior to the pandemic I might have said a world cruise, but these days I don’t think I’d want to spend any time on a giant floating Petri dish with hundreds of other germ-laden human beings. So how about a few weeks lounging around on the French Riviera?

2. Do you save for a vacation or put it on plastic to pay off later?

It’s been a while since we’ve taken what I would call a true vacation, and whether we ever will again is up for debate. But in the past, it had been a combination of both — putting some money aside and charging the rest.

3. Have you ever been on a cruise?

Three times: two to Alaska and one to Hawaii.

4. Do you send postcards or buy mementos?

Do people really send postcards anymore when they can post on Facebook and Instagram or sent text messages with photos attached?

As to mementos, we might buy souvenir t-shirts or sweatshirts or maybe a hat or a cap, but that’s probably the extent of any mementos we would likely buy.

WDYS — Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?

🎶 If you want my body and you think I’m sexy,
Come on, sugar, let me know.

Bow wow!

🎶 If you really need me, just reach out and touch me.
Come on, honey, tell me so.

Bow wow!

Written for Sadje’s What Do You See prompt. Photo crédit: Grin @ Unsplash.

Thursday Inspiration — Hold On Loosely

For this week’s Thursday Inspiration prompt, Jim Adams has instructed us to respond to this challenge by either using the prompt word, hold, or or going with the above picture, or by means of the song “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You” from The Bee Gees, or by going with another song that we think fits.

I’m going with the song by 38 Special titled “Hold On Loosely.” Written by Don Barnes, Jeff Carlisi, and Jim Peterik, it was released on the band’s 1981 studio album, Wild-Eyed Southern Boys. It reached number 3 on the Billboard Rock Tracks chart, and number 27 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song was written about adult relationships. Lead singer, Don Barnes, was going through a difficult time in his marriage. He lamented that his wife was not being more supportive of his career aspirations. He presented a seed idea for a song to co-writer Jim Peterik, asking what he thought of the title “Hold On Loosely,” to which Peterik came back with, “…but don’t let go.”

Even though the song was about an adult relationship gone bad, when I saw the photo of the mother and the newborn, I realized that some of the lyrics present sound advice to a young mother.

Your baby needs someone to believe in
And a whole lot of space to breathe in

It's so damn easy, when your feelings are such
To overprotect her, to love her too much

Just hold on loosely
But don't let go
If you cling too tight babe
You're gonna loose control
Your baby needs someone to believe in
And a whole lot of space to breathe in
Don't let her slip away