Category Archives: Home & Family

Girls, Boys and Magazine Covers

What happens when you click on a Facebook link, then work backwards clicking on links in various blog posts?  You find yourself thinking about things that hadn’t crossed your mind in a long time – like marketing and stereotypes and what we’re teaching kids. Here’s a picture comparison of current magazines at a county library, posted originally on Facebook: Just what is that telling our girls?   As writer Michele Yulo said at Women You Should Know, “You can read the copy and pretty much figure out that according to this magazine—a girl’s top priority is to “Wake Up Pretty”, and a boy’s is to “Explore Your Future.” A colleague of hers, graphic designer Katherine Young, was just as appalled.  So Ms. Young  re-did the Girls’ Life cover to encourage girls in things far more important and life-altering than hair and fashion. (The new cover girl is  Olivia Hallisey, who won the … Continue reading

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Snowpocalypse: Take Time for a Text

Blizzards and ice storms and hurricanes are scary times. If they’re coming our way, we prepare as best we can: food, camp stove, warm blankets, lots of batteries. But sometimes that’s not all we need. I have a friend back east where “Snowpocalypse” is hitting hard. We’ve talked several times over the last few days, but this morning, as she’s still watching the snow come down, she told me something else.   She hasn’t heard from her children at all. She has no other family – she’s an only child and a widow. Her children are out west now, but they visit and have a good long-distance relationship. None of them have called, or even texted, to ask how she’s doing. In a centuries-old house with very little insulation, they didn’t ask how she’d stay warm if the power went out. She worried about the heat pump freezing up, but they didn’t … Continue reading

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What Can You Forget on a Camping Trip?

We had planned a lovely camping trip for last weekend:  sunny September weather, our 36th wedding anniversary, and a break from weeks of piled-up stress.  A  wonderful get-away, right? Now, you have to realize that we’re old hands at camping, even if we haven’t gone for a while. But boy, did we succumb to some newbie forgetfulness – even after a last-minute stop at Wally World! The camp stove somehow, somehow, got left behind in the garage.  How could that possibly be?  The fire grill didn’t go low enough to cook well over coals, and our little aluminum barbecue would only work with the small pan.  Hmm . . . how many one-piece batches of french toast does it take to feed two adults? S’mores Fixings:  Marshmallows, check.  Graham crackers, check.  Hershey bars? Pick them up at Wally World.  Except . . . we didn’t.  Do you have any idea what camp stores charge?? But it … Continue reading

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Graduation Day: A Son Finds His Road in Life

My best Mother’s Day gift this year was the realization, once again, of the joy of watching my children find their passion. This is what we did yesterday: Bryan, my oldest son, received his Bachelor’s in English – a long first step on his way to becoming a university professor. It’s been hard to watch sometimes – after exploring Chemistry Ed, English Ed, English Lit, Accounting, Poly Sci and who knows what else, I sometimes despaired that I would ever hear the passion in his voice that he needs to have for his life’s vocation.  And he despaired of taking so long and still not knowing what he wanted to do. Through these years, though, he found he does want to teach, just not high school. And he’s discovered that he’s definitely not into 19th Century Literature enough to do a doctorate in either American or British Lit. On the … Continue reading

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The Beauty of a Woman: Bring on Those Wrinkles!

I see my mother when I look in the mirror. The line of my jaw, the way my eyelids crease,  the bump on the bridge of my nose. But I especially see her when I’m tired – when my skin is sagging and flat and my brow is wrinkled. I think, ohhh, I look old. And yet when I get to see my mother in person (about twice a year since we’re 2,000 miles apart), I see beauty. Yes, at 79 years and 10 months old, she definitely has wrinkles. And age spots. And she’s not very tall anymore. But she is strong and intelligent and her eyes can sparkle with fun. All my growing up, Mom worked:  at an office job, at home, with the horses and other livestock. I’d try to bury myself in a book after my chores were done and she’d call me out to help … Continue reading

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