10 Questions for Kohl’s About This Shirt
Because back-to-school shouldn’t mean a return to rudeness
We Didn’t Need a Hashtag on 9/11
#newyorkstrong would not have fit
Skopelos’ Church of Agios Michael Synadon
When you learn (yet again) how much you don’t know
What Dream are You Trading for New Hardwood Flooring?
When it comes right down to it, I’d rather marvel at a Greek monastery than marvel at my kitchen.
Madeline, Me, and the Cathedral of Notre Dame
The classic children’s book caused me to feel the tragedy of the fire
How to Forget the Holocaust
Remove it from the curriculum.
The Day I Flipped Out at the Social Security Office
Sometimes my students become really angry. I can relate.
Seize the Moment. Or Not.
A ripple of regret dashes across my mind. The clarity of this moment lays bare the brevity of my life.
The Freedom that Men Enjoy
(even though they may not realize it)
The Toy I Trashed: The Hot Wheels Slimecano
With lots of pieces and lots of slime, I should have known better.
Thanks, Kohl’s, for selling this shirt.
It’s nice to see clothing like this instead of that snarky shirt I wrote about recently. In August, Kohl’s mailed a back-to-school catalog with a shirt on the cover displaying the words, “Shhhh! Nobody Cares!” I wrote about it in “Ten Questions for Kohl’s About This Shirt.” I believe that snarky messages like this…
It Bothers Me that Sept. 11 is Becoming “Historical” and in the Distant Past
This is a drawing my daughter made on Sept. 11, 2001, when she was six. My daughter understood the devastation and the loss of that day. As for myself, I have noticed a diminishing sadness when I contemplate September 11. It seems the shock has softened some for me, to be honest. I don’t notice…
Promposals, Gender Reveal Parties, and Other Things I Do Not Understand
In which I see a connection between these things and mascara Gender reveal parties. Promposals. Save-the-dates. Bachelorette weekends. Maybe I’m a Debbie Downer, but these are all things I just don’t see a need for. I don’t understand the need for a get-together where we pop a balloon to see whether it’s filled with pink…
Why am I learning how to erase my iPhone from NBC Nightly News?
According to NBC’s Rossen Reports, if someone sells their iPhone or any smartphone, for that matter, without erasing their data, the next owner (or hacker) is able to access text messages, apps, shopping activity, banking information, you name it. Jeff Rossen, NBC investigative reporter, even found some previous owners who had sold their phones online to…
I am a Christian. I believe that Jesus Christ was sent to Earth to save humanity from its sinful nature. He did save us. It is finished. There is nothing you can do to earn the grace of God provided by Jesus Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection. It is freely provided to you…
Knowing Where A Spark Could Lead
Tad liked to play with matches and fire. He enjoyed other boyish pursuits, such as baseball and fishing, but he definitely had a peculiar attraction for fire. I always assumed that fires and the red-tipped sticks that started them attracted Tad chiefly because his parents had forbidden him to use them inside their modest ranch home. On the other…
My Friend, Sheila
When I was six years old, I had a friend named Sheila. Sheila wore dresses every day. Her favorite one was the color of a mimosa blossom. A magenta satin sash with a rhinestone placed in the center accented her waist, but also got in the way when she lifted buildings. One late summer afternoon, Sheila…
Cats Were Another Story
Mildred Sneigel liked dogs. She had always owned at least one dog, even before her husband had died. Her dogs tended to be lapdogs, smaller, terrier-sized breeds that she could easily care for, groom, and converse with. Cats were another story and the two little girls who lived across the alley knew it. One morning,…
Exactly Why You Should Be Aware of Your Surroundings
During my growing-up years, I had always been taught by good parents to be aware of my surroundings — whether at home or out on my own. And while I heeded that advice, I needed my parents to complete the thought. I needed to hear why: …because bad things really do happen to unsuspecting women and if…
Watching and Waiting at Persimmon Hill Berry Farm
My husband wants to pick some blackberries, so he gets another bucket from the shed and heads to the ten or so rows of blackberry bushes toward the less-frequented part of Persimmon Hill Berry Farm in Lampe, Missouri. I wait for him under a cedar tree at a picnic table with our two one-gallon buckets…
Behind-the-Scenes in a Clay Studio
This is a photo of a kiln shelf. It’s a one-inch thick, 12-pound shelf made primarily of mullite high-alumina clay that will withstand the 2,350+ degrees (F) of a gas-fired kiln. The shelf holds pottery and other items that are ready for their second and final firing. In the photo, the brown “paint” is actually…
Life was too short to wonder about something she couldn’t feel
She ran her finger down over her knee and felt nothing. What’s going on, she wondered. Why did she have this numb, yet tingly feeling just below her knee? She followed the vague sensation down her shin. It continued. How strange, she thought. Probably nothing, but she Googled it anyway, so she could forget it later.…
I’m losing my mind. Thanks, Google.
Everyday in my middle school language arts class, we open the hour by doing a warm-up activity that consists of some quick grammar exercises and cursive writing. On the Smartboard, I post an inspirational quote for the students to copy onto their paper in cursive. The name of the speaker of the quote also appears on the…
Seeing John Malkovich at the Los Angeles Farmer’s Market
I followed him, surprising myself with my sense of daring and willingness to annoy. During the summer of 1992, I saw the actor John Malkovich. In person. He’s the actor who plays one of the old guys in the movie, Red. The weirdest old guy in the movie, if that helps you place him.…
How to win a spelling bee: always ask for the definition
It’s almost — no, it is — annoying. If there’s a misspelled word out there, I see it, groan, and usually point it out to my husband, Mitch, who is accustomed to my persnicketiness (yes, it’s spelled correctly; I looked it up). Now I’m not talking about truly obscure, rarely seen words. I would probably have…
So this is what a snow day feels like
I’m not sure why my school district called off school again today, but then again the district is about twenty minutes away from my home, so it could be icy over there. But that’s okay, because I’ve used the two preceding snow days to get caught up on a couple of projects that will affect…
Grandpa and me
I used to spend one week every summer in Hume, Missouri, visiting my grandparents, Charles and Rhoda Goodenough.