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Packin’ it in

Thursday, April 1, 2010

If I should ever have to evacuate in one of those horrible “you have 10 minutes to take anything of value and get out” scenarios, you will find me out in the car. I’m going to let my husband handle it all. I’d get out with one toothbrush and vase. Mr. Wonderful could probably fit […]

Give me that merit badge, give me that badge

Thursday, March 25, 2010

If I have learned anything from my years as a Scout Parent — first with Cub Scouts (cute) and then Boy Scouts (cute, but gangly and sometimes smell funny) — it is that all the wrong people are earning badges around here. If you are a scout parent you soon learn that the boys earn […]

Family vacation: Sunny days or bust

Thursday, March 18, 2010

As if Andrew and Rita didn’t do enough damage, pity the great state of Florida which now has the Seabolts to contend with. When the unexpected but delightfully generous offer of a beach-front condo dangled in front of us, we jumped on it. Granted, with the spate of midwestern blizzards that have beleaguered us lately, […]

Renovation mood blows hot and cold

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Exactly one day after agreeing to purchase our ancient wreck of a house, we discovered, as do many young marrieds, that the good Lord had a much bigger project in plan for us: our first baby. This sped up our original “five year plan” of home renovation considerably. Indeed, we spent the next six months […]

When Food Snobs Ruled – and Ruined – the World

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Eating used to be so much fun before food snobs ruled – and ruined – the world. For generations, down home cooking like pies and gravy (or pies WITH gravy) vied for buffet space next to burgers, fries, and an ice cold shake. Sure you always had your fancy types with their steamed salmon and […]

Parenting? We’re just having a ball

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I am probably the only parent in history who has requested a parent/teacher conference with the playground monitor. Rules Generally, I teach my children that their teachers make The Rules and that, just as in all walks of life, we don’t necessarily have to agree with them to abide by them. I call this the […]

What’s the recipe for a good family dinner?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Leave it to those same fine souls who brought us “cocoa powder” that tastes nothing like actual chocolate, in any form, to be up to their old hijinks when it comes to “fixing dinner.” Food giant Nestle is now linking healthy families with gathering around the table at dinnertime in a new advertising campaign for […]

An ordinary life

Thursday, February 11, 2010

His was, by all accounts, an ordinary life. I first met him when he was nearly 70, and I was not yet 30. He was a quiet, Mennonite man who enjoyed reading — and writing — poetry in his spare time. I was an newlywed expecting my first baby. I wrote nothing remotely close to […]

Words can be deadly: Bullies can go digital, beyond the classroom

Thursday, February 4, 2010

“Sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can never hurt you.” I have always hated that fable. Words do hurt. Words can kill. Fifteen-year-old Phoebe Prince chose to take her own life rather than deal with what has been characterized as “relentless physical and cyber bullying.” Prince was besieged in school, via text […]

Embracing my inner grouch

Thursday, January 28, 2010

You hear all the time about embracing your inner child, but what if what you have is less an inner 8-year-old and more an inner 80-year-old? So to speak I was kind of mature even as a kid, downright stodgy even. Take grammar for instance. There is an attempt by “kids these days” to embrace […]

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