I think the universe is trying to tell me something!

For the second time in two years, I had to have surgery to remove something cancerous in my body. Last year, they found a cancerous polyp in my colon that had to be removed and my colon resected. This year, they found another polyp in my uterus so last week, I had a total hysterectomy. Almost exactly one year apart.

I think my uterus felt left out?! Anyway, didn’t have to have any chemo/radiation for either one. But now I have Governor Hogan’s oncologist for the next six years. Good thing I like him!

This stuff makes you think.

As I heal, I start to think. (Which is always scary for me and those who know me!).

It’s funny, I used to being on my own. But people make me smile. I talk to everyone I meet, even just in passing. But I don’t let many people in, even family. I don’t have much family left. But I have my “adopted” and “chosen” family. They are spread across the planet. And I love each and every one of them. I hope they know that. I have missed saying “goodbye” in person to many people I have loved. Since my Dad died, I have tried to show/tell people how I feel about them. He died when I was 21 (and now I’m almost 66). I wasn’t there for his death or my Ma’s. I don’t regret it now but I did at the times. I hold them in my head and heart. I hope they are proud of me.

Sometimes I feel like I’m skimming across the top of my life but not alway in it. I working it out, making it up as I go along, just surviving.

Featured post

Time’s Undoing

I rarely post reviews of books I have read. But I just finished Cheryl Head’s Time’s Undoing.

Cheryl is one of my favorite authors for her Charlie Mack mystery series. Time’s Undoing is not part of that series. It is a deeply moving story that is so appropriate and needed during these times of anxiety, anger and angst.
I am not going to tell you much about the story itself. Believe me, it is riveting. I purposely read it slowly to savor the storytelling AND to examine my reactions to it.
I teach US History, mostly post 1877. I have loved history since I was a little kid. As you know, most history texts are arid and lifeless. I have always looked for books that gave life to history. Cheryl’s book does that. It looks back at US history that a remains a blot on our history. But it does so with detail, love, and truth.
I think everyone should read it. EVERYONE! And then step out into the world with love, compassion and work to live out the aspirational words that our country was founded upon. Because none of us are perfect but we can work to make our country and our world a better place for the future.
It is our only legacy.
Thank you, Cheryl for enriching us with your beautiful words.

Banning Media

A parent in St. Pete, Florida stated that the movie, Ruby Bridges, should not be shown in the elementary school her child attends because it teaches

that white people hate black people. I am a teacher but I have never taught at the elementary level. But I was taught was to respond to “teachable moments.” This is definitely one.

I was in elementary school in the early 1960’s on the south side of Chicago. And I cannot say if my parents or their friends hated black people but they didn’t want to live near them. We moved to the suburbs when I entered third grade. I remember one of my parents’ friends saying “those” people were moving onto our block. I was eight. I didn’t understand.

I also didn’t ask what that meant. That wasn’t done but I was confused.

I want to believe what the Florida parent means well. I really do. But I would take this opportunity to have a teachable moment.

Because in our present, the proof that people don’t hate each other is not there. I wish we had dealt with this much earlier in our history. But we didn’t. We moved forward and “papered” over our past. We never dealt with the horrendous history. We didn’t have time. We believed that our country was special, different than others.

Over time we have proved we are not. We are fallible human beings that make horrendous choices. We don’t want to look back because, deep down, we know we’ve screwed up.

I believe this is a teachable moment that is long overdue. Our history needs to told with all its warts. We must come to terms before we destroy ourselves. This has been a “both/and” moment for a couple hundred years. But we have not been strong enough. Not willing to examine ourselves. But now we must face our failures and move forward.

I teach college students now. Both young and old. Immigrant, persons of color. LGBTQIA and not. Many who are multiracial. And I can say that most of are. DNA can show us how alike we really are, deep down!

It’s reckoning day, everyone! Time to own up to our shortcomings and begin to live for the future. We are one little country on one little planet in one little galaxy. Time to heal ourselves.

Time to see that our differences are not that different. That we are better and stronger BECAUSE of our diversity, not in spite of it.

Time to see each other as the unique individuals that we are.

AND TO CELEBRATE EACH UNIQUE BEING AS PART OF OUR WHOLE. This is what makes us strong. It’s time to grow up.

Let’s not have violence tonight.

I keep hearing this on TV from reporters, from leaders and even the mother of a young man who just died. From what I have heard his death was very violent. So hasn’t the VIOLENCE ALREADY HAPPENED?

By the hands of other men who looked like him. Who were members of an “elite” squad of police persons. Who had extraordinary powers because of this “elite” squad and its charge. In Memphis, TN, a place that has significance in our United States history as one of the first places where violence was perpetrated on free black people AFTER our Civil War. Memphis Race Riot of 1866

We supposedly fought the Civil War to end our “original sin” of the founding of our country. But that was not what happened , was it? Isn’t it time?

Maybe it’s time to think differently. If the only tool you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail. We need police because we have crime. Why do we have crime? Why do people turn to crime? I’m not naive enough to think that all people are good.

But I’m not jaded enough to there is no way out that doesn’t require MORE violence. It will require us to come out from behind our barriers, from under our rocks, to step into what has become no man’s land. To reach out. To look beyond the small mindedness. To realize our future does not have to look like a dark, dystopian piece of science fiction.

What do we choose?

New Thinking for a New Year!

I heard someone ask this morning, what is the most important thing in life to you? It’s an interesting question, isn’t it?! I know I would answer it differently at different times of my life. How about you?

Remember when you were eight? What was MOST important to your eight year old self? What about age eighteen? Twenty-five? Thirty-two? Forty-one? Fifty? Sixty-five?

I’m stopping there because I turned sixty-five this past year?

I was listening to NPR Weekend Edition this morning and Scott Simon interviewed a brain surgeon who written about his journey dealing with prostrate cancer. Simon’s last question was what I asked above.

My mind started wandering back through my life. I have always wanted to be happy and enjoy whatever part of my life in that moment. To be happy with what I’m doing, where I am, and who I’m with.

Most times, I can say I lived up to that.

As I look back now, I see where I’ve been, I’m good with my past. Have I made mistakes? Oh, yeah….. some really big ones. Some that I really regret! But overall, I’m content with where I am physically and emotionally at this point.

I start to wonder how I will be remembered and what will happen after this life is over. It used to terrify me but not as much now. Death was never a stranger in my life. It started when I was five or six. I understand it’s part of life. I miss those I’ve lost, human and animal but I remember the happy times and smile.

I know eventually it will happen to me. But not at this moment. Age has a way of evening out everything. Death will come to all of us in its own time.

Maybe tomorrow will be better, maybe not. But I always think about how I want to be remembered. I hope those who do remember me will have more good memories than bad. I hope my Ma knew that I loved her.

This post is not meant to be morbid or sad. It is to remind me and maybe those who happen upon it, to live each day as best you can, to have regrets AND happiness as the day ends but know that tomorrow is coming and you can try again.

Love who you are. Love who you are becoming. Understand your humanity. Life is the chance we have to take. Take it and have fun! Wherever it takes you!


It’s a scary thing…..

A leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court.

This is what started my mind spiraling into understanding the “why.” I try to figure out how we got here again.

Roe v. Wade was decided in January 13, 1973. I was halfway to my 16th birthday. I didn’t even know about it at the time. No one had ever told me I couldn’t do things BECAUSE I was female…..YET!

Justice Alito starts by stating the obvious — that “Abortion is a profound moral issue with conflicting viewpoints.”

Isn’t this true of very court decision, law enacted and enforced, and any Executive Order made? We are a country of diverse opinions, much more so since our inception in the 18th century. Even then, we were different. Our founders had the audacity to believe that “men” could govern themselves, without monarchies, priests, rabbis, emirs or other higher powers. That “men” could be civil, debate, disagree but come to a consensus over every issue. We know that there was compromise when our Constitution was written and ratified, on many things. Many issues that would have destroyed our fledging country were pushed off for future generations to grapple with. Could still destroy it now.

We are all upset with the SCOTUS leaked draft opinion. And we want change… BUT….

You are talking about things that take time to do. Justices serve for life. Very few retire. especially these days. There are very slim margins in Congress…. Biden is not a dictator… we have a process… albeit bulky and close to broken. Trump issued executive orders… which are not laws… they get dumped with a new President is elected. Is that what you want???

Yes, Dems need to be more serious and deliberative… but being deliberative is a slow, prodding process… Our Constitution is a very conservative document for a reason. It was created while France was having their revolution as well… with mobs, beheadings and turmoil.. that scared our founders…. so they made it cumbersome so that corrections could be made but slowly. To allow for cooler heads to prevail. And there is an ebb and flow to politics… But both sides experience it. Maybe not equally but it does happen.

Should we speed it up, yes!! but that does take compromise and consensus and cooperation from the opposition. and if you’ve noticed they don’t want to play in the Dems sandbox… they want to regain power and slingshot us back to the 1850s! (and this is NOT a typo)

I always thought we needed to codify many decisions into law.. Some we did… Civil Rights comes to mind…

But many we did not. So our only recourse now is to get out and VOTE…. VOTE in overwhelming numbers. VOTE like your life depends on it. (Trust me I have to give myself this speech!). Encourage debate (not yelling) among our friends and our foes. Be direct…. ask questions….. listen for answers…… always learn… Be open to compromise without losing your core beliefs.

🧐😁😎Just my rant for the week!

Just finished a book…..

I just finished reading Louise McBain’s Claiming Camille. It was a roller-coaster ride from meeting on an escalator to happily together.

The beginning was a little choppy. Or maybe I shouldn’t start reading at midnight. The more I read, the more I got pulled in. It helped that I now live in the DMV area. So, the Metro escalators are familiar as well as other places along the way. The story was interesting. I loved the secondary characters.

The chemistry between Camille and Hannah — Whoa! And who doesn’t love a good-looking motorcycle! A purple one!

Definitely worth the read.

Thoughts on a Book – Caren Werlinger’s In This Small Spot.

I just finished reading Caren J. Werlinger’s In This Small Spot. It is not a new book, in fact, its original publication was in 2007 with a reprint in 2013.

Not many things can make me cry. Music is usually the only thing. This book, In This Small Spot, has done this as well. The depth of emotions in this tome pull you into the story. The strength of Werlinger’s writing creates a world that few ever experience. And the few that do ever talk about.

This is the first book in a very, long time that I have read over only 48 hours.

The depth and breadth of Werlinger’s research is apparent even if I hadn’t read the acknowledgments. She draws you into to the monastic life of a postulant and eventually a nun. The struggles of leaving one life to create another.

She shows through flashbacks, how people are shaped by their experiences. How joy can grow from sorrow. How to live a life to its fullest. I believe it is a perfect book for our turbulent times in many ways.

Using her characters’ reflection and introspection, you may find yourself examining your priorities as you read. It is not the easiest read but it is worth it. I found it led me to ask questions about many things. I think you might as well.

Thank you, Caren Werlinger, for this wonderful book.

Where do we go from now?

Where did we lose our optimism?

Lose our idea that the future would be better?

Lose that idea that JFK put into words?

Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country?

The idea that we can go to the moon and beyond.

That we move forward.

That love is more powerful than hate.

That people are more important than “stuff.”

That we learn everyday from everything that happens

Everything is a lesson.

Life is transient.

We will all die some day.

This scares us.

We don’t WANT to die.

Wealth has become our goal in life.


We can’t take it with us.

A loaf of bread that cost 25 cents years ago now costs 3 dollars.

Today’s bread is not better than yesterday’s bread.

We need to TALK to each other.

Where are we going?

What do we want?

How can we live with our mistakes?

How do we move past our errors?

How do we get “there” from “here?”

We need to change.

Our world needs to be revisited and revised.

There is no such thing as scarcity but there are those who amass wealth.

But having wealth is like sitting on a mountain of sand.

Wealth is fleeting.

The more you grab for wealth

The more you can lose your soul.

The only constant in our world is change.

Every day is something different.

Every thought is fleeting.

Every footstep disappears into the wind.

We will NOT get out of this world alive.

No matter how long you live,

You will die.

This is not morbid,

It is a fact.

We cannot outrun it, push it away, hide from it.

Sunrise, sunset,

Beginnings, endings

These are inevitable.

We fear the unknown.

We fear what fear what we don’t know

We are terrified of what we don’t understand.

We fear what is different from what we know

We fear those are different from us.

We have been taught to fear.

Instead of seeing difference as opportunity,

As a chance to learn,

To expand our thoughts,

To feel new feelings,

To embrace more people.

Society has taught us to be be terrified.

I must have missed that day.

I am rarely terrified.

I look at the new as opportunity, not pain.

I wander, I learn, I grow.


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