Thanks to Education World for use of my Mrs. Waffenschmidt illustration.

Thanks to Education World for use of my Mrs. Waffenschmidt illustration.
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Monday, July 31, 2017

The Solar Eclipse is Coming on August 21st!

A total solar eclipse to cover the USA from coast to coast hasn’t occurred in the USA since 1918 and one to exclusively occur only over the United Sates hasn’t happened since Revolutionary War days (1776). However, that will change on August 21st. On that day, the moon will block out the sun leaving what scientists call a “diamond ring remaining. The entire solar event will last just 3 minutes.Since I wasn’t around in 1918, it will be an amazing scientific event to witness(on television news) as I will not be in the path of the eclipse where I live in Upstate New York! 

Did you Know?
1. The moon is actually 400 times smaller than the sun? Since the sun is about 400 times father away, the moon will be able to “cover” the sun during the eclipse.
2. Scientists say that animals may react strangely to an eclipse. Night creatures may be more active and day creatures may think it’s time to go to sleep.
3. Columbus used a lunar eclipse in 1504 to get the native people on the island of Jamaica to give he and his crew food.
4. The average speed of the moon crossing the USA is about 1651 mph.(two times faster than a supersonic jet)
5. The next total solar eclipse  will be in 2024.
6. The first to see the total solar eclipse, if the weather cooperates, will be West Coast of Oregon at 10:16 AM . Charleston ,SC will have the eclipse at 2:48 pm.
7 The 12 states in the path of the solar eclipse are: South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Illinois, Georgia, Idaho, Oregon and Wyoming.
8. DO NOT look at the eclipse before or after as it can do eye damage!
9. A total solar eclipse is rare because you need the Earth, moon and sun to all be lined up with their orbital paths.

Illustration from:

Monday, July 10, 2017

Past Lives...Hmmmm

This is not the usual posting but I wanted to share an experience in my life in hopes that it might be of help to someone else.
I just finished reading Kristina McMorris’ The Pieces We Keep which included the topic of past lives. It got me remembering about my own encounter with this topic.(It's a great read!)
For the past twenty-five years or so, a woman has been making my life very unpleasant. A year ago, I  decided that it was finally time to have a confrontation, to finally come to terms with her.  It was on an beautiful sunny August day, that I met this woman, Judy, she was... my past life.
Before you shake your head, let me say that I, too, was very skeptical of the entire concept. However, after years of trying traditional medical options, I felt I had nothing to lose by contacting someone who specializes in past life regressions to try and  rid me of night terror for which I suffered for so many years. 
For years, like clockwork, I would wake up within 40 minutes of going to sleep, around 11:40.  Aroused from a deep sleep, I would start screaming, “no, no, no”.  My heart would be palpitating at a tremendous pace, I would wake up visibly shaken. I was terrified that I was dying. My husband would calm me down and within minutes, I would return to sleep for the evening. This routine occurred a couple of days a week.   Awakening with one of my night terrors,  first with loud whimpers and then screams echoing from the bedroom, was extremely embarrassing when we’d travel to a bed and breakfast or stayed with friends  for the weekend.
My primary physician sent me to a neurologist who prescribed a strong tranquilizer to help with the episodes, to little effect. After a couple of days of being so groggy during the daytime, I had to stop the drug medication.  My doctor then suggested another doctor that specialized in sleep disorders. I spent two nights in a sleep lab, hooked up to lots of wires stuck onto my scalp with a clay like substance. I commented to the technician that it would be a wonder that I’d be able to “sleep” with so many wires and equipment hooked up to my during the evening. Just as I thought, I had no sleep problem the first night and was asked to stay another evening....nothing the next day, either.  Of, course, the  following night when I was back home in my own bed, I had a terrible episode. Another visit to the doctor, another prescribed to help me sleep. This medication caused my white blood cells to be so depleted, I was eventually taken off the pills!
After numerous doctors were unsuccessful in trying to help me with my night terrors, I finally gave up ever getting any help from these extremely unpleasant night episodes.  The screams, the horrific panic, the heart palpitations and embarrassment continued. Then, one day, I picked up Carol Bowman’s book,Children’s Past Lives. Her book shared a phenomenon where very young children often recount past-lives. She also discussed how fears and issues we deal with in our lives might have a connection with a previous life.  I was intrigued. Nothing else had worked for me so what did I have to lose in trying a non traditional avenue to seek help? I thought that I’d contact her.
It took me another couple of years before I actually  contacted Carol. My hesitation...worries what people might think of me if they learned that I was seeking out such a non-traditional therapeutic approach to my night terrors. But the nightmares continued. I finally picked up the telephone and dialed Carl Bowman and made the appointment.  
My husband accompanied me on the four hour drive to meet Carol and maybe my past. With a book to read, he waited outside on the porch as I went in for my session, which would last for three hours. Carol and I spoke for about an  hour, getting acquainted, building a confidence bond and discussing  reasons why I came for a session. Carol asked me if there was a period in history of particular interest, of which I said the holocaust.  She asked me why did this time in history seem to be a focus for me and I said a great aunt died in the concentration camps. Silently, I was a bit disappointed and skeptical at this point.  Would  this pre discussion cause me to create a past life from this period , drawing a “life” from the many movies and books I’d read on the time period? I, then, moved to a comfortable floor cushion, lights turned down.  I was asked to close my eyes as relaxation techniques were used. I was asked to focus on a distant time and just start speaking of what was coming to the forefront. I began to talk about being a nurse in a children’s ward of a hospital. I gave my name.....Judy.  The year was 1941. In extremely vivid details(which I will not go into), I talked about the last day of my life, being abducted around 11:15 from the streets near Temple University, in Philadelphia, PA, and dying around 11:40.  Screams, hysteria crying, intense fear, regrets that my family would never know what happened to me, all came through in my session with Carol. When done, I was shocked at the story which I had brought to the surface for the very first time. Carol had taped the entire regressive therapy session. She gave it to me when I left.
Was it my imagination at work creating the memory of a young woman who died a traumatic  death, or, did I actually, remember a distant past I had once lived?  What ever the truth may be, one thing is certain, my horrible night terrors have virtually gone and to that, I am most grateful to Carol, and ,to myself for trying this alternative idea to alleviate  my night terrors. I have made peace with this memory of Judy and she has now found the peace to also move on, as well, from my unconscious mind. 
As for the tape made during the session, it’s in a drawer, one which I will probably never have the desire or need to replay.

I’ve been asked whether I plan to “investigate” a disappearance of a nurse in Philadelphia, PA, in 1941. Sometimes, I  am tempted to do this, to see whether there may be any validity to my memories brought to the surface on that particular August day. However, at this point, I have no needs to search out ... Judy.

* I'd love to hear from anyone who reads this blog as to whether they have had similar past life encounters, too.

Gail Hennessey

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Tour de France 2017 has begun! Possible Interactive Notebook Activity

The 2018 Tour de France began on July 7th and ends on July 29th. It's considered the world's biggest and most exciting bicycling race.  Athletes competing in the race will travel  approximately 3351K     ( 2082 miles) during the 22 day race. This year's Tour de France began in Noirmoutier-en-l'lle, France, and will end in Paris, France. For a brief time, the race with cross the border into Spain . Each day(called stages), a leader  will be awarded a yellow jersey(or Maillot Jaune in French). In addition to the yellow jersey, there is a polka dot jersey awarded to the best climber(king of the mountains), a white jersey( the best youngest rider) and a green jersey(best sprinter).The Tour de France began in 1903.
See a map with the 2018 route: a short video on the Tour de France).

Fun Facts:

Only men compete in the Tour de France.

Approximately, 123,900 calories are burned by each rider in the Tour de France.

42000 water bottles will be used by the racers!

Someone figured out that enough sweat is created from racers competing in the 22 day race, to flush a toilet 39 times!

Riders from France have won the most races!(36 as of 2015)

The Tour de France is also known as "La Grande Boucle". 

Vocabulary word: Peloton, the term for the "pack" of riders.

Extension Activities:
1. Write a diary pretending to be one of the cyclists in the Tour de France. What do you see? Feel? Hear?

2. Try this FREE crossword puzzle on France:

3. Draw/color a picture of a bicycle. Write a fact learned about the Tour de France on your drawing.

4. Read about the Eiffel Tower, one of France's most famous landmarks:

5. Do you think women should be allowed to compete with the men's Tour de France? Why or why not?

6. Learn some fun facts about France:

Illustration from:Wpclipart