Why it’s Important to Encourage the Weak

Weak at Mile 11 I didn’t feel weak until about mile 11. At that point, I had run as far as my training had taken me last Sunday. The February drizzle and stiff wind had me feeling chilled. Although I only had 2.1 miles left to run, it looked like we’d have to run a long ways still to reach the Cardinal’s stadium. For the past two hours I had been running in my third half-marathon—only this time, I signed…

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Ten Tips for Turning Reluctant Readers into Voracious Readers

What Makes a Reader Reluctant? You might wonder what chasing the FedEx truck has to do with reluctant readers and how the two events relate (and who wants their kid chasing delivery trucks, anyway?). Let me explain. I teach at a private school where 95% of the students are ‘reluctant readers’—mostly because about 95% of them have never owned their own book nor do they have access to a public library. Reading happens at school. From textbooks. When I survey my…

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The Pre-Trip Inspection Keeps Me Safe in More Ways Than One

The Dread Pre-Trip Inspection I didn’t want to do it. Never in my life had I thought, ‘Hey, I want to drive a bus!’ Yet last week I spent hours and hours studying for my Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Six months ago I passed the written portion of the test to get my learner’s permit. The next day I took one look at the pre-trip inspection section of the manual and stopped studying. Our school has a maintenance guy who…

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Don’t Miss Dickerson’s Newest Regency: A Viscount’s Proposal!

Not Your Average Regency Romp The allure of marrying a British noble, say, a duke or a viscount, makes Regency novels, from Pride and Prejudice to The Foundling popular with romantics. Courtship has morphed into dating however, and the average young lady nowadays thinks nothing of spending time alone with a young man. But two hundred years ago, during the Regency era, everyone knew that time spent alone with a member of the opposite sex could ruin a reputation faster…

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Mystery, Mayhem, Music, and Marriage: January New Releases

Mystery and Suspense to Keep You Up at Night Murder on the Moor: If you haven’t read any of Julianna Deering’s Drew Farthering Mysteries, you’re missing out. Drew, an English gentleman, and his wife Madeline receive an invitation to an old classmate’s country estate—located on the English moors. The reason for the invitation? A mystery involving the murder of a well-loved vicar. Drew quickly finds his suspects and starts trying to prove them guilty. Madeline cautions him to not judge…

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Martin Luther’s Most Radical Act Wasn’t His 95 Theses

Katharina and Martin Luther I have vague memories of watching a movie about Martin Luther forty years ago for a class at school. The lingering impressions consist of the doors to a church and the constant danger of bucking the Roman Catholic Church at its most powerful. And of course, the hymn. I knew Martin Luther wrote my favorite hymn—”A Mighty Fortress.” From time spent in Europe, I knew that Martin Luther played a huge role in the Reformation and…

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Finding Grace at the Northernmost Border

From Chicken to Dawson City Driving away from Chicken, I paused on the hillside across the creek and used my binoculars to look down at Tisha’s schoolhouse. I could barely see the roof of the building—but at least I could claim that I had ‘seen’ it now. My postcard would have to suffice for a photo, though. The Milepost showed that I would need to travel 108 miles to reach Dawson City, Yukon Territory. My route would take me over…

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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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Create a Post Template on Your Self-hosted WordPress Site

  Granny Geek Strikes Out I fall somewhere between complete computer novice and geek when it comes to the inner workings of WordPress blogs and code. I understand the basics, but I can’t always figure out how to make plugins work. After I read the first paragraph of instructions on most plugins, I realize that I have jumped in over my head and I quickly exit the program. My frustration this morning involved templates. I know that templates exists.  I’ve heard…

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