Friday, 23 May 2014

Book Review: E is for Ethics

E is for Ethics by Ian James Corlett

I have read and shared a list of things that Money can't buy on Facebook. I got it from somebody else's wall and I was thankful because it reminded me that these are really important and they can't be bought by any amount of money.

Last Week, Kyle and I returned some books to the library and he asked if we could borrow again, I said yes, provided that he will also choose a book for his brothers. I ended up getting one myself because I was attracted by the word "Ethics".  The title of the book was covered by the library's sticker that's why it was not clear if you have not looked closely. I was happy to have found this book. It is very timely because of the fast times and rapid change in technology, People just want to go with the flow, no one wants to touch the subject of right and wrong anymore.  Parents being the first teacher of a child should and must fill this gap.

The complete title of the book is  E is for Ethics: How to talk to kids about morals, values and what matters most.  The book contains twenty-six simple, clear, original, and entertaining stories for you to read aloud with your child.  Our family has a routine before going to bed and this is reading a book, it could be from an actual book or something online like Bookboard. We read this book every night before my sons sleep. They look forward to a new story because even if the characters are the same, the situations are different.  I think they can relate to some of it because the situations are familiar.  We have more stories to read, not even halfway through but we enjoyed the lighter and fun side of the ethics in every story. Even if we finish, I think I will need to buy our own copy so that we will continue to read this once a week to be reminded of all the ethics and values we've learned.

We already read stories about Honesty, Understanding, Forgiveness, Courage, Tact, Perseverance, Politeness, Loyalty, Gratitude.  Big words, right?  Well, the book described situations where the characters (young children like mine) faced and how they dealt with it or how it should have been handled. While I was reading, the back of my mind is telling me that some of the people in my workplace need to read this book too.  I for one learned a lot from reading the stories. Applicable to young and old alike.

After each story, there is an opportunity for a discussion on the subject.  Questions and what-if -you-are-in-same situations added were designed to give a chance for the kids to apply what they have learned. There is a short commentary and quotes from famous individuals.

The author believes that children need training, reinforcement and respect for ethics. He thinks that this book is a baby step in the right direction. I strongly agree. I hope you can grab a copy soon.  Your kids deserve to be read with valuable books like this.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Perennials and annuals

I have many plans for our garden. I inherited some perennials from the previous owner of the house and I liked the flowers but some of it have taken over the flower beds. I needed to remove them. Now that all the day lilies are gone, I need to replace them with other flowering plants.  I am torn between choosing a perennial or annual plant but considering the cost, I opted for the previous.  I thought that I will not have a hard time choosing because there are more annual flowers to choose from. I was wrong. I also needed to plan for where to put them and what should be planted beside another because the bloom times vary too.  Kinakareer pala Ito! I hope I'm doing the right thing. I started with sowing Gallardia seeds and until now, I have not put everything on the beds because those I did were either dug by squirrels or didn't survive. I have purple thumb talaga. I still have some seedlings waiting to become a little stronger before I transfer them. I am so excited to see the red and yellow daisy-like flowers.

Spring blooms

Before buying seeds or plants, I started looking for plants from the neighbours to be able to know what thrives in our area.  I got interested with bulbs especially tulips but I learned from my officemates that if I won't be careful, I will lose the bulbs to squirrels too. It was hard to plant because you need to put chicken wire, dig a certain level and you also have to do it weeks before the frost starts because they need the cold temperature. I told myself, I will skip tulips but I will try Hyacinths, our neighbours got the pink ones and they're gorgeous. I also like the grape hyacinths, I took a picture from our neighbours and show it to the garden centre because I could not figure out if it's a bulb or not, the lady at the garden centre told me that it's grape hyacinth but they are not selling that at this time because it needs to be planted in the fall. Well for spring flowers, I transplanted the Mini Daffodils I got for Mother's Day in the flower bed and I discovered that the previous owner had 1 daffodil planted too.  Next on my lists are delphiniums, crocuses but it is still a long wait before I could plant them so I will just focus on plant that will bloom in summer.

Summer blooms and produce

In the front flower beds, I have roses, peonies and lily of the valley.  I added creeping phlox, the Stella de oro day lilies to where I removed the big day lilies. I also reserved a spot for the Gallardia and I also put some ground cover plants. In the backyard, I transferred some lily of the valley and I also placed the Cherry 100 tomatoes and pepper to where the sun shines most. I found out that to  help the tomatoes especially this variety that I bought produce more, I need to put a tomato cage to support the branches.  I also found out that it should be done with my peonies too in front. I can't wait to take pictures with the peonies supported by a cage instead of lying down on the ground because the plant couldn't support it with the big flowers it bears.  When I removed the hosta in the backyard and transferred them to the other side of the house, I discovered that the Black-eyed Susan grew where the hosta used to be. I couldn't wait for the flowers to bloom because there are lots of buds coming out. I hope to be able to take a picture.

I  learned that just like people, plants need tender loving care, give them the things they need in order to grow, water, soil and sunlight. Prune them or deadhead (removing the foliage)  when they die to give more room for growth the next time they come out. Take out the weeds and  plan where to put them so they can give the best blooms in the right time and place.  That will give the utmost satisfaction to its owner. I am looking forward to that but I also was trying to compare or apply this to our own life as parents.  I realized that we need to give our children the basic needs  - food, water, shelter, clothing. Discipline like pruning to be able to grow  up in  the right way and  protecting them from weeds (bad company) to be able plan /work for their bright future so that parents who gave all these things will be satisfied.