Showing posts from November, 2014

Growing Up with My Kids

Until my kids were old enough to compare me to their friend’s moms, they thought I was normal. But it became more evident that I was kind of a freak when they’d return from play dates and question my rigid, military style mothering—especially since I'd never been in the military.
In my defense, I fixed healthy meals, read them lots of children’s stories, played games, purchased educational toys, all while reading tons of parenting advice books. But I couldn’t seem to prevent myself from using my parent’s tactics.

I learned how to be a freakish parent from my own parents—who were both freaks. Good freaks, but freaks, none-the-less. My Air Force dad was a clean freak. Saturday mornings were relegated to laundry and housecleaning. Throughout the week chores were done according to a schedule. Doesn’t everybody make his/her bed before breakfast? 
My mom was the book freak—she was a librarian after all. I was the little kid who routinely took a book for show and tell. And books were ho…

Sacrifice of Thanksgiving

Pulling up her hood, she shivered in the cold. Her hand felt the coins in her pocket. Eighty-five cents wouldn’t buy much, but at least she could be warm inside the store. 
She walked in behind a busily distracted woman clutching a long list. The woman grabbed a shopping cart and methodically paced the store aisles, crossing off each item as she went. She didn’t notice the hooded girl standing near the bakery.

Steering her cart into the checkout line, the cashier joked about the veritable feast within the woman’s mounded grocery cart. A curt nod met the cashier’s cheerfulness, so the clerk silently checked the rest of the items, before asking, “Would you like to donate to the food bank?”
“Not today.”The woman snipped, as she ran her credit card through the machine. Making a call on her cell phone, she ignored the “Happy Thanksgiving” greeting from the cashier and briskly pushed her cart towards the exit.
The hooded girl approached the cashier with a bag of marked-down day-old rolls. …

Lost and Found

While scanning old family photos, my husband found a newspaper advertisement from our farm days. We grew the largest, juiciest, sweetest strawberries around. Lots of hard work and tasty rewards, but never enough money. Even though we eventually lost the farm, we found a new career in marketing.

Sometimes in life we have to lose something in order to find something better. We lose our childhood, but find adult independence. We lose our school days, but find satisfaction in our careers. We can even lose a few friends, before we find the ones that remain.
But sometimes the losses are hard~
A friend’s wife has lost her good health to cancer, but they’ve found encouragement and prayers coming from friendships built over a lifetime.
Another friend lost his job and wondered how he’d be able to support his family. Then he volunteered at a clinic for recovering addicts—and within a few months they hired him. He lost his old job but found a more gratifying purpose for his life.
Then there was …

Dear President Obama,

Dear President Obama,

I watched your news conference and heard you say that you’re optimistic about America. Let’s hope your optimism is contagious in Congress. Serious issues can’t wait. 
Our economy needs to grow—I live in a community that desperately needs that growth. Unemployment and underemployment breed problems. You probably know the statistics—every full time job creates $12,000 in tax revenue. Jobs help both of us.

As a small business owner, my biggest expense is health insurance. Revising the Affordable Care Act is essential. Yet even with added insurance costs, I’ve always balanced my budget by cutting other expenses. So, let’s balance our nation’s budget. Let’s cut non-essential spending since we’re trillions in debt. Seriously, did we need to study synchronized swimming for sea monkeys? And five million dollars for a collaborative zombie game to propel climate change activists? Enough.

But helping the poor is essential. As a broke college student I used food stamps for