The Uninvited

I enter, unannounced and unwelcome.

I do not belong here.

I hide where no one can see me

doing damage and altering the surrounding environment.

Days. Weeks. Months pass as I continue my work unnoticed by the outside world.

How long do I have?

I work feverishly, stealthily building my strength as I steal it from my surroundings.

One day they will find me.

My days might be numbered.

In the meantime, I keep stealing, keep damaging, keep growing my strength.

Just in case.

I am cancer.




A Pip for the Pope

I just saw the newsclip of Pope Francis and the little girl who grabbed his zucchetto from his head as he leaned over to give her a kiss. What a precious moment between a humble man of great power and a little girl being-well-a little girl.

I’m sure her father, who moved her towards the pope for a smooch was beside himself. But Pope Francis handled it with humor and grace.

What a wonderful moment!


Book Club

I just returned home from book club. It is one of my favorite pleasures. Spending an hour or so discussing the virtues of the latest read is always interesting. 

But really, the biggest pleasure is meeting with my lady friends and sharing anecdotes of family, jobs, current events , etc. Once a month we drink tea, share a sweet, and just enjoy each other’s company.

What a great way to experience a book!


One of my favorite strategies when teaching a piece of writing is to have students color-code the areas we are focusing on when they think they are ready to write their final draft. By highlighting or underlining in colored pencil, they are able to visually check their writing. Content that is missing is more likely to be noticed than if I give them a checklist. Often with a checklist, they will check things off, never really making sure their writing is complete. By color-coding, they can’t color-code what isn’t there. And it can be done on the final copy too, if you only want to score for specific content.


In the Blink of an Eye

March Madness. Check. Barn work done. Check. Groceries purchased and put away. Check. Minor house cleaning done. Check. One set of papers graded accompanied by a couple of movies. Check. March Madness. Check. Visit with a dear friend. Check. Second set of papers graded accompanied by a movie and March Madness. Check. Laundry. Check. Dog walked. Check. March Madness. Check.

Where has the weekend gone? In the blink of an eye, it is Sunday evening and I’m already preparing for the week and what lies ahead. With more to grade and with more March Madness. Check!


The Blocks Came Tumbling Down

What drew them to one another. Was it good looks? Him – dark haired, muscular bodied. The way he could move on the dance floor? Or was it something less noticeable? His work ethic? Or maybe he was a sweet-talker. Her – blonde and blue eyed, slim and petite. The way she could easily sketch the world around her? Or was it something less noticeable? Her easy laugh? Or maybe she loved to listen-hanging on every word.

They had little in common, but with what little they had, they fell in love and decided to marry. He – a boy from the south side. She – a girl from the north side. One – a Sox fan. One – a Cub fan. Protestant. Catholic. Serious. Humorous.

There were many truths. Many stories. Many hurts. What pulled them apart only they TRULY knew.

The marriage lasted twenty years. Through five births and four children.

Only vaguely aware that things were amiss, involved in their own world. The four. Vying for attention. Forming bonds, taking sides, playing peacemaker, shouldering each other’s burdens  the way only siblings can.

As the world around them came tumbling down like the blocks once carefully stacked, they were left wondering…