Thursday, April 12, 2012


No one would be likely to argue that parenting is stressful and very hard work. Parents teach by example. Teachers see this regularly in the ways children choose to handle interpersonal issues. Children who bully are taught bullying by parents. Children who become victims see their parents being helpless when dealing with challenging situations.
It is unfortunate that today many families leave the teaching of social skills to the public schools. The job of teachers is to teach children how to learn, rather than how to treat others. Personally, I feel a lot of frustration when I hear parents say "Yes, he told the teacher and the teacher didn't do anything." Here is the truth: because the child did not understand that the teacher handled the issue discreetly. Frequently the teacher talks to the "bully" privately, or passes the information to the principal or school counselor. A teacher has no authority to suspend a student on another student's say-so. A teacher has no authority to use corporal punishment (most states have laws against corporal punishment.).
People who parent using corporal punishment or explosive behavior, are only teaching their children that the biggest person gets his way. I wish more parents would just think about the example they set for their children.
Personally, I was raised in a violent, explosive home. When I became a parent, that was my parenting style. One day I learned that I was using a learned behavior, and I could choose to behave differently. I began to practive a gentler approach to discipline. I never achieved perfection, but I keep practicing. Children are small and helpless and look to the adults in their lives for security and self-esteem.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Child Labor!

I was at Cassie's the other day, and looked up to see the children standing on the counters, wiping down the cupboard doors. They were so proud of themselves. Of course, Cassie and I were only inches away.
This looks like Erica. Or it could be Megan. Either way. . .

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


My neighbor's cat
Sits on the fence
Watching my little brown dog.

My little brown dog
Sits on the porch
Watching the neighbor's cat.

The cat waits.
The dog waits.
Each watching for the other to weaken
And make the move that would justify

The air is soft and lush
Blackberry brambles camouflage the cat
My little dog sits so still,
She scarcely breathes.
They wait.

Stand off.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I get scared

When I contemplate how old I am, and how old my parents were at their deaths, I find myself frightened. Will I develop Alzheimer's? Will my heart give out? I am not ready to go, and I am afraid of dying. Or will medical science keep me alive long past any possible usefulness? Will I end up alone in a nursing home? Will I be alone?

My friend's father passed away about a week ago. Thinking about his death and attending his funeral, have caused me to think about my own mortality.

I remember figuring out hold I would be when the new millenium happened. I remember thinking I would be so old that nothing would matter to me anymore.

Being alone is awful. There are days when I never speak to another person. My whole social interaction is restricted to Dr Phil and my best friends on The Talk. I never wanted to live alone. I never had a great urge to get away from home and living alone. I still don't like it. It wasn't so bad when I was working. My daughter and son don't understand how difficult this is. They are young and busy with their families. To them, days alone may sound wonderful. The reality is much different.

I know I'm in a downward spiral. Wish I knew how to stop it.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Muffins with Moms

The PTA at Jack's school had a special Mother's Day celebration this morning. They called it Muffins With Mom. It was held in the school library; muffins and fruit and sweet pastries were served along with orange juice and coffee. Since Jack's mom could not attend, I was invited. It was a very nice event; I think the PTA did a nice job of putting it together. Someone told me they have been doing it for years, which is no doubt why it was so smoothly organized. We also had a free picture taken. You can see it here somewhere if I can upload it correctly.

I don't know why, but photographers never snap me as I see myself: tall and slender. The last time I had my driver's license photo updated, I told the somewhat surly clerk to make me look tall and thin. He tried not to smile, but it happened anyway. Do clerks at all DOLs take classes in being rude and unfriendly?

My Jack wasn't feeling very good this morning. He felt so warm to me, I took him to the health room to have his temperature taken. He also was acting out of character - clingy and teary. I made the executive decision to bring him home.

His family is going to YMCA camp for the weekend, so he had a chance to rest before the big event. I already have their dogs who are enthusiastic about barking a warning to anyone who shuts a car door in my neighborhood. They are sweet dogs, and I enjoy them.

I am invited out to Camp Seymour for brunch on Sunday. It sounds like a long drive, so I must consider this.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Book Review: Forget to Remember

Rigo Ramirez is emptying trash one night at his temporary job. When he opens the dumpster he discovers the naked body of a lovely young woman who seems to have lost her memory. Having recently completed a degree in psychology, Rigo is just the right person to help "Carol Golden" as she searches for her missing identity.

Carol's search takes her around the United States, and to Europe, providing some international intrigue. With the help of Rigo and his parents, who open their home to Carol, our protagonist works her way through the various people who have been part of her life. Fortunately she seems to be a missing heiress, so there is no lack of money for her search. What's up with the lawyer who is helping her? Is he a good guy or does he wear a black hat? Ultimately she discovers her own identity and learns why she was left for dead.

Alan's books are very readable and provide a good puzzle for the mystery buff. Four and a half out of five stars for this bo

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Conference Was a Hit With Me

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Pacific Northwest Writers Association annual conference at the Seatac Hilton. I was a lot more focused this year about what I am writing and where I want to go with it. That helped me get more out of the weekend than the other two times I have attended the conference.

A couple of the conference perks are being able to make editor and agent appointments. I met with an agent who said she liked my idea, and invited me to send her a few pages to review.

So, I am writing more, and have contacted an editor to work with me. If I knew how to add links to my blog, I would add links to PNWA and to Writers In Action.

A friend had been inviting me to join her writing group for a while. I finally attended and found it useful. It is a group where writing actually happens while we are meeting. So far, I have been able to gear the writing exercises to advancing my storyline, and that has been most helpful, as well as keeping my enthusiasm up. I just might pull this off after all!

My wonderful friends have become the best cheer squad one could hope for: everyone is asking for signed copies...of course, someone has to accept the book first, and then publish it, but my friends seem to think those things are just minor details. I'd like to believe that, too.

I'm also finding that I enjoy writing my story longhand. I think it keeps me better connected to my characters. (and I like looking at my handwriting) This is becoming fun!