Squandered Opportunities

The other day I asked a friend if she watched the news last night. She told me “no”, and then went on to explain that, with two little children at home, she almost never watches the news on TV. She worried that what they would see would be too scary or the information presented not appropriate for their young ears to hear. I couldn’t help but smile. It’s refreshing to see a parent spare their young ones the angst and horror that is so often our daily news. Earlier this same day I was speaking with a colleague who marveled at how much information parents give their children. As we prepared to watch the new president take his oath of office, several little ones mentioned that they thought Donald Trump was a mean man and they were afraid of him. A few others told us that he was “not their mommy or daddy’s president”. What does that mean? If I am having a hard time understanding this kind of comment how the heck is a five-year-old supposed to make sense of it?  I thought my colleague did a tremendous job with this touchy subject by pointing out our new president’s grandchildren. She explained that he was not only the new president but that he was also someone’s grandpa. This is something the children could relate to. Her explanation humanized a man that so many have demonized. Continue reading “Squandered Opportunities”

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Little Lessons

We are approaching the inauguration of a new president. People are losing their minds. Those who did not support the new guy are waiting with twisted faces from chomping on a lot of sour grapes. Those who did support him are anxiously waiting with eyes glazed over for HUGE changes to occur. The rest of the world is scratching their head and trying to figure out how exactly Omarosa ended up in this whole puzzle of a presidency. It’s a mess really. This whole political “season” has been. Family members are estranged. Friends no longer communicate. Social Media has become a minefield. I don’t know how to talk to people I have known for decades. Sigh… As some of you may remember, I am a teacher of kindergarteners. I can tell you that five and six year olds are smart. They don’t get tripped up by labels , only their own shoelaces. They aren’t “political”. Kindergarteners are very practical about life. So for today’s blog post I thought I would list things I have learned from my kindergarteners that have helped me deal with our current political situation. Continue reading “Little Lessons”

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Happy Birthday Mr. B

I met this guy a while back. 28 years ago to be more specific. I picked him up in a bar. Ok…I lied. I met him in a bar. My best friend introduced us. He wasn’t even actually introducing us to become an us. My friend, a guy, had been going on and on and on about his new friend whom he wanted me to meet. I was away in college in Massachusetts so the next time I headed home for a visit we made plans to get together. I met up with my friend at a local bar that was, ahem, lenient about underage drinking. I had been there a while and was just getting ready to leave when this guy I was supposed to meet finally showed up. He was late (something I would later learn is a common event). I can still remember what he was wearing. It was a kelly green sweater that was tight in all the right places. I was VERY intrigued. I was VERY interested. I gave him my best flirty, “hello!”. And that’s when he asked SOMEONE else to dance. Continue reading “Happy Birthday Mr. B”

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Grit and Shit 

I know several people who have had horrific things happen to them; they’ve gone to hell and back. You wouldn’t know it if you met them. They don’t dwell in the past or wallow in their sorrow. They simply live their life without excuses; without complaint. They have a grit and determination that leaves me in awe of them.  Continue reading “Grit and Shit “

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Pursuing Peace in 2017

I am on a quest for peace. I want to feel calm and serene in a world that does all it can to make me crazy. Like many people, I often feel pulled in a million different directions. Trying to make sure that my husband and children are happy, my students are learning, and doing enough for the friends and families in my community keeps my days long and my nights sleepless. I wake each morning full of good intentions to eat better, exercise more, keep my temper in check and complete my never ending to-do list only to fall into bed frustrated and exhausted.  Now that 2017 is around the corner I have started thinking about my annual resolutions. Usually I want to start a reading program, exercise challenge, photography class or savings plan. It lasts a good two weeks before life gets in the way of my good intentions. In the end I have decided to leave all the usual resolutions at the curb and instead pursue peace. I have decided to make peace…with myself. Continue reading “Pursuing Peace in 2017”

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Fleeting Moments

As Christmas fast approaches I can’t help but get sentimental about holidays past. Days filled with decorating, list making and excitement as Santa’s arrival approached. Presents hid all over the house from spying eyes, the pitter patter of tiny feet scurrying upstairs as Mr. B and I patiently wait to fill stockings. Nowadays wrapped presents are in plain view, decorations are put up in quiet solitude and stockings will be filled well before bedtime arrives. The fun gifts that once required batteries and “some assembly required” now are replaced with much more practical choices that read “dishwasher safe – top rack only”.

When your children are little everyone tells you to savor the moments as they are fleeting. It’s true. Just when you think you’ll lose your mind if you step on one more Barbie shoe, Barbie’s handler is graduating college and in need of pots and pans.

So,  here is some holiday advice for younger parents living in the “Santa” moment. Continue reading “Fleeting Moments”

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Tourist Spot? I think not.

*I originally wrote this blog post two years ago after visiting the 9/11 Museum in NYC with Mr.B. I’m posting it today in remembrance of all those that lost their lives and for those who are surviving, despite the tragedy that changed us all. 

Yesterday my husband and I took some time and visited the new 9/11 Memorial Museum. The facility is well thought out. Attention to detail has been paid. Visitors will come from all over the world to learn about what happened. Some, to pay their respects. This is good. Then why, do I feel so bad? Continue reading “Tourist Spot? I think not.”

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Happy Birthday Blondie

A while back I posted a piece about Milestones. You can read it here if you missed it. Since this whole blogging thing is new I am always seeking feedback from family and friends. My older daughter read Milestones sitting in my living room with me nervously watching and when she burst into tears I knew had “done good”. Blondie hasn’t been home much with school, her summer internship, etc. so I asked her one day, “Have you read my blog?” I was surprised when she erupted and went on and on about me not being proud of her and she was sorry she had never done anything blog worthy. Yep, parenting fail folks. I explained that each blog post is inspired by recent events and needs to be something I think people would be interested in reading about. To which she went on about “not being interesting or inspirational” and “never had a milestone worth writing about”. This whole conversation turned into a little banter that has gone on for several months now between us. Every time I would tell Blondie she did something wonderful or express my delight in her latest accomplishment she would simply ask, “Are you going to blog about it?”. Well let’s just say stubbornness is in the family DNA and I decided not to write about her specifically until I tortured her for a little while it felt right to me.

So why today? It’s not the lack of inspiration or pride I feel. I am overflowing with those feelings on a daily basis with this kid. Quite simply, my baby is turning 21 today and I wanted to write an entire blog post about the little shit. Continue reading “Happy Birthday Blondie”

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My French Connection

This summer I hosted two french exchange students. This is my second time hosting students from France with Horizons du Monde and our third time hosting an exchange student. I enjoy the whole experience tremendously. There is something very exciting about showing our country to foreigners.

Many of my friends tell me that they find the whole process interesting but they are too busy – too broke – too lazy – or just too intimidated to attempt. I’m writing this blog post to encourage you to consider conquering your fears (or excuses) and consider participating in an exchange program in the future. We haven’t hosted a year long program and prefer the smaller 10 day to two week experience ourselves. It fits our lifestyle and find it to be just enough time. Friends of ours have done both and while there are pros and cons to each I will focus on our most recent short term experiences. Continue reading “My French Connection”

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4114802404_a6aeb47762_oFor my birthday this year Mr. B gave me a lavish gift certificate to Mohonk Mountain House Spa. We are fortunate that this award winning spa is literally in our backyard. I didn’t want to go to the spa alone so I suggested to my husband that we visit for a day of relaxation prior to our daughter’s wedding. After thinking about it for a split second, he said “yes!” and a massage (for him) and facial (for me) were booked! Continue reading “SPAstic”

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