Friday, November 28, 2008


Like the moon pulling the too my mind s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-s, and then releases.  Again, s-t-r-e-t-c-h and release.

Can't quite figure out all the stirring within, but something is happening.  

Do you ever feel like your destined to be doing ... well, something else?  The vastness of the world, the poverty, the faces, the stories, the suffering, the all exists out there and yet here I sit, in the safety of my home, my neighborhood, my country.  

s-t-r-e-t-c-h ....

Where can I go to fill the hole within?  Can I build a well so children can be nourished by clean drinking water?  Spend time in a refuge camp?  An orphanage?  Adopt?  Live humbly.  Give.  Give.  Give.  Serve in the Peace Corps?  Travel by foot?  Write?  Learn languages?  

...and release.

Of course I am pulled back to Earth, my world, my home, my family, my children, my job.  I think of jeans I'd like to buy, movies I'd like to watch, organic food I'd like to eat.  I bathe in gallons of clean water, brush my teeth several times a day, sip Starbucks, drive freely, on-line shop, snap at the kids, worship in the church of my choice, sleep restfully.


How can I give more, be more, learn more, live more?  How can I fill my life with more spirit?  How can I share my freedoms with those who suffer?

...and release.

Where can I get that, do that, see that, try that, buy that?


Some days I imagine shedding my skin and following the footsteps of my soul.  Some days I imagine leaping into a life where selfless acts come first, and where that means much more than serving a hot meal to others before ourselves.  Some days I feel the bubbling inside and wonder if I have the courage to make it last...

...and release.

And then I look into the faces of that which I've already begun.  I can't leave them.  Not because they need me.  But because I need them.  I need their strength to guide me through this world, this place.  And my prayer is that we journey into our future with clarity, grace, and purpose, together.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Puff the Magic Dragon

(Chase's favorite song)

Puff the Magic Dragon

Lived by the sea

And frolicked in the autumn mist
In a land called Honalee.

Little Jackie Paper loved that rascal Puff
And brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff.
Oh, Puff the magic dragon
lived by the sea.
And frolicked in the autumn mist
In a land called Honalee.
Together they would travel
On a boat with billowed sail
Jackie kept a lookout perched
On Puff's gigantic tail.

Noble kings and princes
Would bow whene'er they came.
Pirate ships would lower their flag
When Puff roared out his name.

Oh Puff the magic dragon
Lived by the sea.
And frolicked in the autumn mist
In a land called Honalee.
(Yes, I know what the song means.  But Chase doesn't.  He simply believes in a magical dragon.)

She Sure Told Me

In the car...

Tatum:  Chase, do you hear that beautiful music?

Me:  (Turning the radio up.  Finally, they like MY music.)

Tatum:  Mom, turn that DOWN.  I'm playing the piano.

Me:  ?

Tatum:  Gran downloaded a piano on your phone.

Me:  ?  (Did she just say, "down-loaded?")
  Do you know everything Tatum?

Tatum:  No.  I don't know everything.
       I don't know what tigers eat.
       But I know everything else.

That settles that.

Monday, November 17, 2008

An Epic Woman

'Twas the night before the weekend
And all through the house
Were messes and socks and even a real mouse.

Nothing was hung ANYwhere with care.
But never fear, Cheri would send Martitza to dare
Step into my house, step into my clutter.
And prepare this crazed placed without even a mutter.

A party was happening.
A surprise would take place.
A surprise planned with love for a woman with grace.

The woman would turn half a century old
The woman, my mother, could not be told
ANYthing remotely that breathed the surprise.
So Cheri and and had a plan to devise.

We coaxed my poor Mother into thinking the worst
We told her to meet at the counselor's office first.
A Sunday meeting with "Yoda" to spill all my beans
But, wait, "dress cute," don't wear ratty jeans.

My mother, she fretted, what could it be?
Why does my daughter want to torture me?
My 50th birthday is quickly approaching.
My daughter is selfishly bitching and moaning.

"I'm SO busy Mom."  "My life is a wreck."
You must meet me on Sunday to sort out the mess.
"I'll pick you up at noon, so we can drive together."
Meanwhile Cheri greets guests and cuts bagels.

We show up in the back, tear open the door,
Mom walks into my home to find friends she adores.
Her "Trish" friends, "her Patti" friends, and even some call her "Gran."
Which Cheri, the lovely co-host has planned.

"We did it!"  We cried.  
And of course she looked cute.
'Cause what can be better than hawt legs in hawt boots!

I hope she exclaimed as she cried out in fright,
"I'm a beautiful woman with a beautiful life!"

Happy Birthday Mom.  You rock 50!  I love you.

For the backstory on this incredible woman, see here.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

He Forgot That "Asshole" Has a Silent "e"

For a couple of weeks now, first grade has been an obnoxious amount of the Silent "e" rule.  We sing songs about it.  We practice it in reading group with ridiculous stories about how one might "bake a cake on a lake with a snake" or "tape a shape of a kite while awake in space."  Uh-huh.  Kind of like the Harry Potter series, gripping, only ... not.

So when Parent Teacher conferences began this morning, I did what most teachers do:  inundate parents with paperwork and examples and assessments and journals and test-scores and rubrics and ... did I mention the journal?

So there's me, in my most professional demeanor, behind my kidney table, work sprawled out, presenting to Little Boy Blue's parents.

Me:  I'd like to share with you some of Little Boy Blue's writing samples now.  Here (flipping pages) are our daily journals.  Each morning we (something catches my eye ... did that just say "Bitch?" ... no, couldn't have) begin with a writing prompt (flipping through more pages ... there it is again, it says "Bich" ... oh, it must mean "rich," or "big,"...) and students respond (THAT'S IT!).  

Me:  ?  

Parents:  ?


Dear Mrs. Just-Jamie,

Bich  Asshol Bich Bich Ass

Yup.  And the shit of it all was this, he didn't even freakin' remember the silent "e" in Ass-holE.

Sheez.  Some teacher I am.

(In Little Boy Blue's defense, I have yet to teach the trigraph "tch.")


FYI:  Said journal went home as a souvenir for Little Boy Blue to explain.  We'll see what he has to write about this week.   

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Me:  In a teacher-y sing-song-y-Mommy-voice:  What do you want to be when you grow up Tatum?

Tater:  A doctor.  A kid's doctor.

Me (Annoying Voice):  Oooooh.  A Pedia-tri-cian!  Wow!
And Chase what do you want to be honey?

Chase:  A Daddy.

Me:  Awwww.  How sweet.  And how many kids do you want?

Chase:  None.