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Category: People

Renée Pampered Me with a Mohawk

Renée with her daughter Sadie

I met Renée twelve years ago. Almost exactly.  She did my long tresses in an undo for CeCe’s wedding.  She’s been making me feel beautiful ever since. Plus, she makes me laugh.  That first time I sat in her chair, she told me she had a real live ghost in her apartment.

“For real,” she said, her blue eyes wide, looking at me in the mirror.  Besides, she calls me a genius. How can I refuse to love Renée?  She makes me beautiful and she thinks I’m smart.

Renée is funny and she’s brave and she’s good.

Just a few months ago, she left the Big Name Salon where she worked for almost 18-year career, and ventured into a smaller salon. Sure, Big Name offered security and health insurance, but her new home, Salon Coccolé, offered something more important: freedom to pursue what she wants to do and a chance to grow and learn.  Her friend, mentor, and boss Donna Gentile encourages her to do that. For the first time in her career, thanks to Donna, Renée went to a Beauty Show where she met Ted Gibson Nick Arroyo of “What not to Wear” fame.

“Adela, you won’t believe how nice he is,” Renee’s blue eyes popped in the same way they did when she told me about her ghost. “He’s smaller than I thought he’d be, too.  He does cool makeovers.  He knows

Mashup: NaPoWriMo, Gratitude Monday

It’s gratitude Monday and It’s CeCe’s birthday.  My gratitude is focused on her today. Today’s NaPoWriMo challenge: Wright a hay(na)ku). Created by the poet Eileen Tabios and named by Vince, the hay(na)ku is a variant on the haiku. A hay(na)ku consists of a three-line stanza, where the first line has one word, the second line has two words, and the third line has three words. You can write just one, or chain several together into a longer poem. For example, you could write a hay(na)ku sonnet, like the one that Vince himself wrote back during NaPoWriMo 2012! Gratitude for a Daughter Anticipating: A…

Finding my Cronies at BAM

A week ago Loved-One helped me load up the Prius, hugged me good-bye and waved as I set off for BAM in Nashville.

I texted Love-One at home,  and his sister, Mary in Nashville,  along the way.  (#1 So you know where I am and you don’t worry; #2 In case I disappear and you need to worry.)  No one  worried.

As I followed Tweets and FaceBook posts of cancelled flights and disappointed bloggers, I was happy I decided to drive.  Until…

The Value of A Life

I am thinking about the value of one person’s life as I prepare to say goodbye to a good friend. Educators classified Allison as MMI, Mild Mental Impairment. Allison died suddenly, in her apartment January 2. She had a pulmonary embolism. She was 38 years old. As I get my thoughts together, this morning’s Wall Street Journal‘s article about “carrier screening,” hits a chord. The author describes a simple test so no parent need face giving birth to a child with a genetic defect. What gives value to our life? Is it being free of defect? Is it our success in our careers?…

When People Go Above and Beyond

I love to camp.  I camped since, well, maybe since before I was born.  Mom camped as a little girl.  Grandpa camped.  Now my grandchildren camp with me. When I say camping, I mean in a tent, on the ground, cooking on a campfire or a propane stove, swimming, biking, walking, and eating ice cream. I love the sound of the night that comes through tent walls.  I love when the sound of silence wakes me at 2 AM because even the crickets went to sleep. I love the sound of the wind rustling the branches, and flashes of lightning…

Come Meet Seth Brady, Illinois Teacher of the Year Finalist

seth2This week I sat down with Seth Brady, one of the 12 Illinois Teacher of the Year finalists.  Disclaimer:  Yes, Seth is my son, the same son I bragged about here, on FaceBook, Twitter, Google+, and any other place that came to mind.

“All you need is one teacher that cares about you and can deliver a comment that resonates with your soul.”

She can undo almost any negative comment and totally change a student’s perception of himself.  A Parent’s love is important, of course, but often it takes someone outside the family, someone who recognizes a child’s unique genius, to cement a confident belief in himself.  For Seth Brady, 2014 Illinois Teacher of the Year finalist, one of those teachers is Mrs. Fryzel who tenaciously pointed out his gifts. Her ability to see his talents was like magic.

“Teachers are like seed-scatters, they don’t always know what becomes of the seeds,” but the seeds take root and grow throughout an individual’s life.

Brady earned two masters degrees

Doreen McGettigan: Amazing Author and Amazing Woman (and Another Book Giveaway)

Doreen McGettigan offered to share her book with me in exchange for an interview.  I came out on top with the bargain.   Doreen is a thoroughly delightful person and I got a chance to make a new friend. You can come out on top, too because Doreen has agreed to gift two of you with a copy of her book, Bristol boyz Stomp:  The Night that Divided a Town. Doreen’s writing style exposes the raw emotion of losing someone to a violent, senseless crime.  She reminds us that the loss is just the beginning.  Survivors must endure the pain of…

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