Friday, August 23, 2013

Dear Daughters: Just a Little Advice

Dear Daughters,
* Beware of ‘trends in d├ęcor’.  YOU are the trend- your heart, your soul, your creativity. Knock your own socks off. That is what matters.

* If you are dancing with someone to Brooks and Dunn's Neon Moon, and he just doesn't have the beat, take note. Neon Moon dances for you for goodness sake.

* Watch out for high blood pressure carriers. Remember Nonnie's (my mother's) famous line when asked if Papa (my father) had high blood pressure?

"No... he's a carrier."

* While you are young, value all of your friends- even if you are not particularly close or you do not always agree. Life has a way of coming full circle.

* Keep your love of old things- build your collections, and then start another one.  Don't listen to the naysayers who chastise those of us who like old things or things in general. Until they've been bent over with their head in a box of junk at the flea market, they just don't know.

* There is nothing out in the world of busyness, or calendars, or having to be there, or I need to do this, or social obligations that can substitute for a day at home .

I hope you have your head in a box this weekend.
I will, and I will be thinking of YOU.
Love, Mom

Friday, August 16, 2013

Good Morning Students



(First published on my blog in 2009, I wrote this brief post because I was yearning for teaching and my students.

In 2009 I was one year into retirement after 32 years in teaching,and I was having withdrawal.

I know. I know. 

If any of my former English department colleagues read this, I can hear them now:

”Well, you didn’t appear to be ‘yearning’ for teaching during faculty meetings when we were all rolling our eyes.”

Again, I know. 

But this is my fantasy, right?)



My classroom, AP American literature class, March 2008


”Good morning students.” 

(walk toward them, smiling- show them by your body language that you are prepared and you have been waiting for them to arrive and you can’t wait to begin- these first minutes of class are critical)

“Please take out paper and pen for notes.”

(this simple , old school directive sends a message of hope- everyone can take out paper and pen- everyone has a fighting chance for success)

“Our focus this morning is an introduction to the philosophy of Ralph Waldo Emerson-“

(pause… )

“One of the coolest guys you will ever meet.”


“I know, I know.”

( if groaning begins, let them sink into teenager-dom for about 3 seconds and then say)

“Work with me here.”

“Emerson’s on your side.  Today you are going to meet the gift that keeps giving.  Once Emerson hits your memory bank, you will be amazed at the reference points he provides.”

“Turn to page 288 in your American literature book.”

(Note to teaching self: ask someone to read the quotation, but do not call on anyone in particular.

Wait…wait… wait for it -as my grandson would say-

Someone inevitably begins to read- without being called upon to read. I love that. It puts students on edge, which is a really good place for students to be. It’s like saying, “Snap out of it, now let’s get after it.”)

”Let’s look at the quotation ‘whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist’.”

“So Christopher…

(now start calling on them by name- they’re ready)

where are you in this?”

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I Have been studying you this summer


I have been studying you this short, hot summer.

Yes, you.

You of

the blogging DIY makeovers,

the makeup videos on YouTube,

the other people who frequent Ross Dress for Less at 8:00 am in the morning,

whoever the guest is on Darryl’s House (Darryl Hall, Palladia channel),

Gary Clark, Jr, (Texas blues guitarist)


Pretty Woman

how to bake bread with 4 ingredients,
and some of the best television I have seen in years.

(Newsroom, The Killing, The Bridge, Ray Donovan- even if I do hide my eyes)

I have spent time reflecting on my introverted personality,

NCAA  college football violations,

how smart my grandsons are,


how much I enjoy brewing Sun tea.


What did you study this summer?



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