Category Archives: family

Another Year Livin’ Love

My husband is not a writer. He is an orator. He does not leave me daily love notes and I cannot remember any time he’s ever written me a letter other than a card. But not a day goes by that he doesn’t tell me he loves me… And he’s been saying it for 22 years. And every time he says it, it feels like the first time.

“When a guy is happily married, no matter what happens at work, no matter what happens in the rest of the day,” Danny said, “there’s a shelter when you get home, there’s a knowledge, knowing that you can hug somebody without them throwing you down the stairs and saying, ‘Get your hands off me.’ Being married is like having a color television set; you never want to go back to black and white.”

In celebration of our anniversary this weekend, I share with you this touching love story of Danny and Annie.

This Hungry Place is about to Starve

Most people have a hard time believing that people here in the U.S. go hungry too. And NO not always by choice, I pre-empt the ones who say we are always on a diet. The sober truth is, all you have to do is look a little closer at your neighbors or people you pass on the street next time. Many people can barely afford to eat and are too embarrassed to admit it.

Too embarrassed to admit it because in a country as rich as ours supposedly to be, it’s unthinkable that anyone’s stomach should grumble involuntarily. An yet, congress is proposing cuts to food stamps and other forms of aid to the poor. No, strike that. Yesterday, conservatives actually pushed through the bill that will cut billions from the food stamps (a.k.a. SNAP–the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and other welfare programs.

Many conservatives claim that SNAP is out of control and rife with abuses. If they had their way, it should be simply eradicated. What they don’t realize is that the population that benefits most from the program is the future of this country, the children. See the quick infographic below for figures.

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Back To School Reminders for Parents of High School Students

When I was going to school, the first week of school was usually reserved for socializing and catching up on what everyone else did over the summer. I think times may have changed a bit since then.

This was the first week back to school for our district and already, even before the first school bell rang, my high schooler has been off and running. She’s been working on finishing her summer assignments in time for the first day of school. During open house, when students usually go to scope out their classrooms and meet their teachers, these students were going up to their teachers to ask questions on projects that they were assigned to work on over the summer. You can already feel their anxiety and exuberance before they even sit down for the first class. While it’s nice to see students excited to get back to work, it’s a bit daunting at the same time to see the kind of pressure some of these kids put themselves through.

Parents of high school students now have a different set of worries. The rules are somewhat different and the role of parents have drastically altered. I don’t ever remember my mom needing to be as involved by the time we were in high school. And while I have always been the laid-back mom who tried to stay out of the way and let the kids work things out on their own as much as possible, I am finding with my youngest daughter that I have to be just a little bit more involved in helping her manage her school work.

While we as parents don’t have to be as ‘hands-on’ with our high school students as when they were in grade school, they still need support and guidance. Here’s a few guidelines that have worked for me.

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Missing: the Girl Who Mutilated this Book

When I was in college and had a choice between used and new books, I almost always bought new unless the used book was pristine and unmarked. Before that, I didn’t have a choice. I just had to live through the scribbles and highlights of the previous textbook user. If their name was written on the bookplate, and I knew them, their reputation was taken down a notch in my mind. But after high school, I had a choice and I chose unblemished books.

I admit, I don’t like reading ‘dirty’ books. I like to keep mine as clean as possible. Because of that, I keep meticulous notes in a separate notebook. I am not obsessive about keeping a book clean, mind you. I’ve had lapses when I didn’t have anything else to write on and I just had to make a note on the margin or highlight a passage. The reason I didn’t like books that have been highlighted or marked up when I was in school was not due to any OCD tendencies either, I just didn’t want any spoilers. I want to see a passage and say to myself, ‘Wow! that’s highlight worthy!’ When something triggers a question or thought, I want to be the one to jot it down on my notebook or on the margin. I don’t want other people’s mark ups to influence how I understand or absorb or react to any book.

But I found, in the process of reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, that maybe there’s another way of looking at mark ups.

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