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Showing posts from June, 2015

The Day I Went Psycho

It was the last day of school, a work day for teachers.  That usually entails that our classrooms are packed up for the summer and we have returned all borrowed materials to the book room or the library, cleared all debts with the front office, and turned in our lesson plan books and student grades to the principal or her designee. Teachers usually start preparing for this big day a month or so in advance; after all, it is a tremendous amount of work to get done in one 8-hour day. Most principals I worked for did not keep the teachers past noon, though the work day is a paid contract day.  It makes up marginally for all the hours and weekends teachers spend throughout the school year doing work on their own time. By the time I had cleared my room and locked it for the last time, it was close to eleven. I started my “stations of the cross,” going from one to another getting the mandatory initials on my checkout list – the librarian, my department chair, the front desk, etc. I w

Babysitting for One Hundred and Ninety-two Hours Straight

Two weeks ago, our oldest granddaughter came over to help me babysit her two youngest cousins.  Knowing the intrepid personality of our three-year-old grandson and the strong will of his one-year-old sister, I was going to need back up. While Mommy and Daddy took off for a one-week cruise of the Caribbean to “get away from it all and reconnect,” HoneyBunch and I (mostly I) were jumping into the thick of it. I’ve babysat before pl enty of times, but not for eight days and eight nights straight.  That’s one hundred and ninety two (192) hours! This would be the longest time ever for me without some sort of respite – nights off or maybe a weekend in between there somewhere without two munchkins watching me use the bathroom.  We usually watch the babies over a weekend so HoneyBunch is home from work and helps with the diapering or he provides entertainment, but this gig would run from one Friday through the next Saturday a week later, ergo the need to hire a “mommy’s helper.” Thank g

Understanding Writer’s Platform

Most people vote in elections for the person who has made his/her name the most visible on social media, someone with whom they identify. Other than family and a pocketful of indebted friends, very few vote for Mr. or Ms. Name Less. No Names are usually the bottom lot, forgotten by the press when election results are tallied and posted. A Writer’s Platform works the same as a politician’s platform. It relies on the same principles. The writer has to establish a public persona, one that makes the writer’s name not only recognizable but THE preferred choice of many. When a person prepares to vote (it does not matter – mayor, governor, president), the voter studies (hopefully) the candidates. The person researches, gathers information, and observes through the only means available for most of us – regular media (TV and newspapers) and social media (media that allows for two-way communication).  The candidates’ platforms - voting records, their public statements, their integrity (

Forty-Something Father’s Day Gift Ideas

My dad graciously accepted our gifts.  Year after year, my siblings and I would give him the de rigueur ties, shirts, monogrammed handkerchiefs. There was the occasional mug or T-shirt with “The World’s Greatest Dad” printed on the front. He appreciated the cakes and the barbecues. He loved gifts of chocolate and caramels and fancy peanuts. He always thanked us for remembering.  He came to expect certain things.  He could always use another nice dress shirt.  He lived in the day that gentlemen carried handkerchiefs in their pockets.  He was health conscious so he depended on us to supply him with foods he would not buy for himself. As a wife and mother, I always find it difficult to shop for the men in my family. I have an easier time buying for the women because I usually get what I would enjoy.  It also helps to keep eyes and ears open for what they might need or want.  Listen and watch all year long and you will be better prepared when it comes time to choose gifts. Here ar