Flying Kites Down the Stairs






I’m making Mom’s spaghetti sauce and meatballs for Sunday Dinner. Mom grew up in an Italian-American household, but she and her siblings were encouraged to be more American than Italian, despite a father who’d come from Bari as… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 12, 2011 10:32PM

Spring Blooms


 A couple of summers ago, I took a job working at my favorite local Garden Center. As a Nursery School teacher I have the option of teaching summer camp, but decided I wanted a break from kids. This will be my third season tending flowers instead of four-year-olds.… Read full post »
JUNE 17, 2010 10:17AM

Missing: My Writing Self




I drifted away from her, convinced we’d grown apart. 

I ignored her, turned a deaf ear to her voice, shut her out of my everyday life.


I turned my back on her. Denied she existed, and didn’t beckon her from hiding. Allowed her toRead full post »


"A park should be a place of natural find needed rest and comfort."  Jens Jensen (designer of the Conservatory)



Jensen knew what he was talking about, and a recent visit to the Garfield Park Conservatory offered a warm retreat from the icy Chicago winter. Th… Read full post »

JANUARY 6, 2010 12:31AM

The Fourteenth Kid

I wanted a few more days off, despite the two week break. Grumbled at the alarm clock and shivered despite my long johns as I warmed up the car. Instead of feeling grateful that I'd had the time for breakfast with my family and dancing to bluegrass with my best friend,… Read full post »

DECEMBER 25, 2009 10:48AM

I'm Trying Not to Shake It

My middle son is an amazing artist. When I told him I'd like him to do a drawing for me, for Christmas, I thought he'd take out the charcoals and sketch pad. Instead, he doodled around with an Etch a Sketch and in about ten minutes handed me this… Read full post »
DECEMBER 24, 2009 11:39AM

Red Light. Green Light.

In stops and starts, we move forward, like that old kids’ game. Red light. Green light. Green light. Red light. Sometimes we’re sent back to the beginning, if we overstep or try to move ahead too quickly.


Divorcing was definitely a move forward for me, but itRead full post »

DECEMBER 23, 2009 10:53AM

I Must Be Nutcups!





I always think I should just stuff my jeans with sacks of sugar and pounds of butter, instead of making cookies for the holidays. I could avoid all the shopping and baking, and I’d have the same bulges I always wind up with after ChristmasRead full post »

NOVEMBER 27, 2009 2:02PM

Flakier Than My Family


The holiday is over, and if your dinner was an exercise in endurance, now's the time to take back the kitchen and restore order. You may have gotten enough flakiness from your family, but if you prefer yours in pie crust, tuck some of those leftovers into a TurkeyRead full post »

NOVEMBER 25, 2009 8:47AM

Ok, Ok, I'm Thankful!


Instead of allowing my usual complaints and dissatisfactions to drum my mood like November drizzle, I'm using this exercise to find the bright spots already in my life.

I’m thankful I have a body that continues to function, a mind that continues to grow, and the space andRead full post »

NOVEMBER 1, 2009 10:44PM

Nature's Trick

Nature drops rainbows underfoot to crunch,

bright leaves

  bathes leaves in brilliant sun,


pools colors in the puddles.

leaf puddle


A distraction? The end's inevitable,

death with clouds

and the path is clear.

bridge over pond

We'll  shrug off life, like Autumn's blanket.

leaf shadows



I… Read full post »

OCTOBER 26, 2009 12:04PM

Autumn Musings

milkweed seed


Why do some plants have to die to spread their seeds?

Spent and brown, pods  burst in a last ditch effort to live on.

I prefer lantana's plan - seeds form amid the flowers.

Buds and blooms and seedpods together on one stalk.

Mingling generations.Read full post »

OCTOBER 24, 2009 10:35AM

Rainbows in the Sky


My mother’s girlhood poems are recorded in white ink on black pages, in a book intended for photographs. The pages are brittle, and some of them have disconnected at their perforations, so that when I open it now they flutter to the floor if I’m not careful.Read full post »

Kris T. Parker has an open call for stories about scars. While I can't support her theory that everybody has a scar near their eye or chin, I can offer my own examples of stitches and disfigured digits.

My only two are both on my left hand. The first  is… Read full post »

Unending sunlight.

One yellow schoolbus, with driver.

Fifteen preschoolers, three teachers.

Hats, mittens, saltines and juice-boxes.

First aid kit, spare set of dry clothes.

Tissue and paper towels. Papers and markers. Bag of books.

Nature Center. Pond. Trails crunchy with leaves.  

Bathr… Read full post »

OCTOBER 12, 2009 10:19AM

From Monsters to Cop Cade


I’m waiting for the last two kids to be picked up after my morning class. Emily and Jane are sitting on the steps inside the doors, clutching rolled-up easel paintings, and I stand in the doorway, peering through the drizzly rain for their folks’ arrival.


I’m tryingRead full post »

OCTOBER 7, 2009 9:00PM

Wanna See My Underwear?


Working with kids means I’m privy to an astounding amount of personal information. Kids don’t censor themselves, so I’m often informed about what was served for breakfast, how their Dad sounds when he is mad, who sleeps where, and what sort of underwear they wear.


F… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 28, 2009 11:46AM

Kidbits - Potty Talk


I’ve been peed on, puked on, and am snotted on regularly in my preschool classroom.  I’ve become familiar with the signs of impending leakage, and spend a good part of my day offering tissues instead of my pants leg and asking if someone has to use the potty. I’veRead full post »

SEPTEMBER 21, 2009 9:09PM

Just Desserts

I came home from work with the idea I'd jot down a little story from the classroom. Nothing heavy, just a smile from my day to share with all of you. When I opened to my blog, posts from some of my favorites sounded so good I thought I'd just sample… Read full post »

As the bottle spun I was terrified it would land on me, and the only reason I didn’t try to melt into the wood paneling that lined my Aunt’s basement was the friend my cousin Paul had invited to his first boy-girl birthday party. Irv had feathered blonde hair and teeth… Read full post »

AUGUST 29, 2009 4:44PM

Who Feeds You?

I’m glad I taught my daughter Amy to feed herself. Starting in infancy, when I sprinkled frozen peas on her high chair tray, or handed her a spoon to hold while I fed her, I invited her to get in on the action. She’d practice that pincer grip on the peas,… Read full post »

AUGUST 8, 2009 11:42AM


AUGUST 7, 2009 10:57AM

Finding My Balance

I’m learning to paddleboard. You may have seen paddleboarders, if you live near any body of water. The board is long, like a surf board, but you stand on it, and paddle along. Well, paddleboarders stand on it – I’m still learning.

It’s a step in my plan to one day… Read full post »

AUGUST 6, 2009 12:46PM

OS Chicago Picnic

 "Where did the Drapers go? Oh, well, maybe some OSers would like to come for a picnic." 
pedalpusher picnic
Those of us who live in Chicago are accustomed to crowds of people, honking horns and rattling el trains, skyscrapers releasing workers at days' end.  Last night's picnic in… Read full post »
Tomorrow's the day, and picnicers far and wide  (ok, just me) have been preparing
for the OS gathering at Foster Beach. 
I've spared no expense to ensure we find each other (five bucks at the Dollar Tree) so look for these cheerful balloons and luau banner to find our… Read full post »