Our Impending Empty Nest

Somehow, I’ve returned to the emotional rollercoaster I rode when I was pregnant with my son twenty years ago. On the way home from work this week, I had myself in tears over our forthcoming “empty nest” status. Then, when I did get home, I had to...

What is it about Pomp and Circumstance?

Graduation at my school happened last Friday evening.  I sat next to a cooler on the track, sweat dripping, and gauged sold water bottles to all the unprepared poor souls who didn’t bring any in with them. My Forensics kids scored with the unseasonably warm 90...

McWhat?!?

Faced with the daunting task of raising thousands of dollars to take five kids to the Forensics National Tournament in Indianapolis this summer, I have spent the last several weeks enconsced in fundraising activities such as sending kids out in their professional...

What I look at when I run . . .

The ground. That is the depressing finish to this sentence. I went on a long (for me) run this morning as we are actually having a beautiful spring here in the high desert. Normally spring is non-existent. We just go from snow to mud to broiling hot without a whole...

On Expectations

As they say, anticipation is half the fun. We get to imagine perfect outcomes for any experience we may dream up, but when the job, book, vacation, or even the restaurant I’ve just tried doesn’t live up to my expectations, disappointment...

My Next “Epic Adventure”

Whenever I take my Forensics/Speech & Debate team on a trip, the kids somehow manage to go on “epic adventures.” Sometimes I hear about their shenanigans during the event or just after, but most often, I don’t hear about them until much, much...

Shakespeare and Freshmen – Good Times

Think back to your freshman year in high school.  You lived through moments that defined your life . . . at the time at least.  Now, you probably can’t recall what they were.  Think back also to your English class.  Do you remember what you read? Do you remember...

Scissor Slut

I’m a little bit crazy about my good fabric scissors. In fact, I guard them kind of like how Rumpelstiltskin guarded his name, and like good old Rump, I get a little crazy when somebody steals my scissors and potentially ruins their magic. There are paper scissors all...

Reflections on 2011

In 2010, I spent the last day, December 31, 2010, journaling and creating a mandala that I posted in my writing area.  I’ve spent this entire year, looking at it everyday.  I’d never actually set goals for the year in such a concrete and specific manner, and as...

9 Reasons I Miss my Film Camera

This little roll of film made getting pics so much easier. Last weekend, my husband asked for one picture, a single lone shot he took.  When I went to get it off my camera, I discovered that every single picture I’ve taken over the past year and a half was still on...

The Lost Art of Letter Writing

A few weeks ago, my husband’s aunt sent me a handwritten letter.  I will be honest here – when I first received it, I opened it up, felt the thickness of the folded up yellow sheets, and inwardly groaned.  I wanted to have enough time to sit and read the entire...

The Taste of Fall

Fall brings with it Halloween, falling leaves, football and piles of unripe green tomatoes stacked in our windowsills and piled in bowls on the kitchen counter, all rescued from the impending first frost.  Some of the tomatoes ripen enough to eat or can, but many...

Fly Season

Every fall, fly season opens.  Unlike hunting season or the holiday season, it is not a season I look forward to.  The nasty pests congregate in groups,  slow, disgusting and fat, and then they magically multiply.  How do they get into my home in such droves?  I have...

Messy Desk = Inspiration

I’ve decided to give up on my desk.  I’ve rearranged it, organized it, tidied it dozens of times, but by the end of my every writing session, it looks the same way, disastrous. This is odd for me.  I’m a fanatically organized person.  If there was such a thing called...

Want to people watch? Hold a yard sale.

Last weekend, a friend and I got inspired to clean out our closets and garages and hold a yard sale.  We set up some tables on the driveway, loaded them up, priced all our goodies with little round neon stickers and were ready to go. The morning was a study in people...

I’m worried, and it sucks.

I am leaving shortly to take my baby to the DMV to take his driver’s test.  He will walk away with his first official ID, and the ability to take a vehicle, a large moving projectile, on the road all by himself without me stomping on the highly effective passenger...

Progress on my Works in Progress

I’ve been awake since 4:08 am.  I do this every time I’m going somewhere that I’m excited to go.  Today, I’m driving four hours to the airport (the joys of living in rural America), and flying to Portland, Oregon to: 1) visit my sister and her kids and 2) attend a...

The Smell of Home

I grew up with pine trees outside my bedroom window.  For eleven years, I fell asleep listening to the branches and needles swoosh in the breeze coming off the mountains.  The wind is an everyday occurrence on the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  It...

5 Things I Learned from my Dad

As a parent, I like to think that my kids will take my always insightful, wise, and relevant advice to heart when they’re making any sort of decision for themselves.  How could they not? I know the answer to that question because I am also a daughter who...

“Any road will get you there.”

Earlier this week while my students were working on their final projects, I asked a senior what she was planning on doing after graduation.  She explained that she was going to an acting/comedy school.  Then she instantly began justifying herself, as if her decision...