Nurture

Refined by the Library

Nursing a Grudge From the moment I learned to love books, I have had a love-hate relationship with the library. Before I could read, I loved the library because it held a treasure-trove of books with pictures. I could pull them off the shelves and invent the stories in my head. Sure, I knew that someone else had created words that directed the story of the pictures, but I didn’t care. The pictures contained all I needed to create my…

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How to Avoid Jargon and Save Sheep

Sheep in Distress The children lined the steps at the front of the church, eager to hear the guest tell the children’s story. She spoke with a beautiful accent, but I groaned inwardly when I realized her topic. She told a story about a small boat in distress during a violent storm near the coast, and about the man who heard the SOS on his ham radio. “When the man called the Coast Guard to tell them about the SOS…

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The Problem With Being a Middle Child

How Do YOU Define ‘Middle?’ In a family with four kids, I consider the second and third children to be ‘middle’ children. I don’t know if birth-order gurus would agree or not, but in my mind, how else could it work? So that makes me a middle child. It also makes me super-competitive. The problem with the super-competitive-middle-child syndrome is that as I grew older it turned into the super-comparative syndrome. The act of comparison always leaves someone feeling little…

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There is no ‘Game’ in my Hunger

Wordless During that no man’s land week between Christmas and New Year I suddenly realized that I had not chosen a word for the year. All of my friends had posted and tweeted about their word, and I started to experience word envy. I first heard about the concept almost three years ago, and for 2015 I chose the word ‘deeper.’ Other than writing a few blog posts about the word, and thinking about it at random times, I can’t say…

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Choose to Connect With Compassion and Grace

How We Connect These Days Moments ago, Pedro finished eating his second serving of Eggplant Tagine with Mint and Cilantro over a serving of buttery couscous. I made supper using a Moroccan cooking dish that our Chinese daughter gave us for Christmas. Pedro set down his fork and said, “It’s time to chillax. Shall we watch another episode of Poldark?” I glanced at my watch. “I think it’s time for my Twitter party,” I said. “Can we watch it when…

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Loosing My Cool in Chicken, Alaska

Tisha Made Me Do It After successfully delivering the rhubarb pie to the sweet folks at Red Eagle Lodge, I had to decide on my next destination. I had two choices—return the way we came, or take a slightly-out-of-the-way route through Chicken, AK and Dawson City, Yukon Territory. Tisha made me go the unknown route. I read Tisha in my first year of teaching—and it inspired me to stay in my profession despite the difficult students I encountered. When we…

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Six Things You Can Do to Stop a Verbal Attack

Racist Attack at the Mall The video made the rounds of social media last week and I saw it a few days before Christmas. A woman in a Kentucky mall spies a shopper in line ahead of her taking a few small items that her friend had brought to the cash register and adding them to her purchase. We don’t know if the shopper at the register had forgotten something and sent her companion back to find the item. We don’t…

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The Truth Behind Treadmill and Fitness App Combinations

Buyer Beware With Christmas around the corner (along with cookies, fudge, and other holiday treats), and the temperatures outside dropping, you might have considered purchasing a treadmill. We purchased a ProForm 995i treadmill from a seller on Craigslist on Black Friday. (I am not an affiliate for any product I mention in this post). After reading reviews and comparison shopping, we made arrangements to drive four hours to pick up a brand-new-in-the-box screaming deal. I spent an equal amount of time…

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A Psalm for NOW! (An Inner Coversation)

So Busy So many things to do NOW! The end of the semester looms, but ungraded papers weigh my backpack down. The house remains half-decorated for Christmas, but I spent the evening watching the Survivor finale. Forty people will arrive at my door tomorrow night for the annual staff Christmas party. But first I need to clean the cobwebs out of the windowsills (not the kind one uses for Halloween decorations). I haven’t washed the windows in two years…or more.…

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What I Learned from Rhubarb Pie Might Surprise You

Rhubarb Restraint The rhubarb pie helped me decided when to leave Homer. If I headed out after a quick supper in the trailer, I would make it to Tern Lake before it got too dark. The next morning, I could get up early and go birding right out my front door. That would allow me to make it to Long Rifle Lodge, northeast of Anchorage, in time for lunch and slice of the world’s best rhubarb pie. My plan worked…

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