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Get back in bed, you insolent child

In Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird she tells us that after we think we’ve tucked our story into bed, it will jump out and demand a drink of water or one last before bedtime song.  Those aren’t her words. They’re my interpretation of her words. Guess what?  Today the last chapter of my novel came tiptoeing over and demanded a re-write.  Helping to push her out of bed were two readers who said, “Oh, that was quick.  I tried to turn the page and read more, and it was over.” Again, my interpretation. So, final chapter, you win.  One more try before…

Throw Back Thursday: First Day of School

Even if the long shadows of August didn’t remind me of the first day of school, the posts on Facebook do not let me forget.  Really? It’s time for school to start again? It seems like summer barely got rolling.  As my grandma said, I’m glad I have a good memory, because back when she told me this, I had one foot into my 20s.  Now I know what she means. I hope you will jump on board and take a bus ride down memory lane with me and re-experience my first day of school. Please skip on over to Once A…

Gratitude Monday: Abundance

My heart got tortured the past week. My nephew’s getting married.  Saturday was the Wedding Shower. A niece and nephew graduated this year.  Their parties are this coming weekend.  Connie is my godchild. I can’t go both weekends.  It’s over 300 miles away, more than a 5 hour drive.  I say more than, because I never know how long it will take. Traffic through Chicago is always a bit dicey. I choose graduations. Godchild trumps nephew. I see the photos on Facebook of the Shower. Boo.  I wish I went.  Oh well, I’ll see everyone next weekend. Then it happens. Mr.…

PhotoFriday and NaPoWriMo Mashup

Today’s challenge: (well, it’s actually yesterday’s challenge) write a “social media”-style poem. Namecheck all of your friends. Quote from their texts, tweets, FB status updates, twitter accounts, and blogposts, and the back of the cereal box on your breakfast table. The poem is about you and you are about what you say, think, talk, eat. You might end up with a poem that seems bizarrely solipsistic (like the internet itself, maybe?), but there might also be a spark there of something live and fun and present (like the verbal equivalent of a really great animated cat .gif). I hope my…

10 Ways Facebook Can Help the Mentally Disabled

  Friends often urge me to write about CoCo. I do have many stories that make people laugh, or bring a tear to their eye. CoCo has pseudohyoparathyroidism. That means her fingers and toes are a little gnarly; she has dimples where she should have knuckles. She is mildly mentally impaired. Over the 36 years with CoCo, I began to think of her brain functioning as a dimples where the rest of us have knuckles.  I am cautious about writing my experiences with CoCo because she is more than pseudohypoparathyroidism; she is more than a disability. She is funny and…

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

Rage in High Schools: Should we tolerate it?

I feel so lucky that I am writing for a local newspaper.  I never tire of the interesting people I meet.  Everyone has an interesting story.  Everyone has a history.

Last month Camille Paddock gifted me with her poise and grace.  She took a painful experience and propelled it into a national, perhaps international, anti-bullying campaign.  This month, Camille visited the a local school.  Some parents choked back tears as they described the bullying their children endured.  Yesterday, Beanie dropped the DVD of Camille’s speech at the local high school.

A high school football player, K, slammed his locker shut with such force that he nearly severed the finger of my grandson, B, whose locker is next to K’s. (K was angry that he left his own shorts outside.) B’s injury is such that he is “out for the season,” cannot go to his part-time job, which requires the use of both of his hands, and is out of school for at least a week. The injury required a trip to the emergency room, X-rays, stitches, and a bug-eyed Doctor’s recommendation to see a specialist. The cut exposed tendon, vessels, and nerves. One bone broke, and B has nerve damage. Although it’s too soon to tell regarding the nerve damage, the prognosis is good for a full recovery is good. I have a picture, but they make me a little squeamish, so save it until the end for the strong of heart. Here’s a picture of Halloween hotdogs instead.  If you really want to see the gory details, scroll down past “Related Articles.”

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