A brown belt for Big Guy – not that it’s important
Mon, 12/03/12 – 12:49 | Comments Off

It was testing week in karate and, as usual, Big Guy was under the gun. Not as much as he used to be, when he didn’t have a clue and had to frantically cram, but …

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Food

Picky eaters and allergy-safe cooking — the two aren’t necessarily unrelated.

Girl Gone Wonk

From policy to politics, this rant’s for you.

News

The day’s events in a family way — unless something else amuses me.

School days

From preschool to kindergarten — so far

Simple Gifts

Inexpensive homemade gifts, creative parties and low-cost projects, for Christmas and beyond. Many are easy enough for children to help.

Reaching shutdown shutdown
Thu, 7/04/11 – 14:09 | One Comment
Reaching shutdown shutdown

After a few hours this morning of watching various channels for word on the budget the way he usually watches for news from Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya, Dad had had enough. “Whatever happens will happen,” …

You can learn a lot from a dummy
Wed, 6/04/11 – 12:25 | Comments Off
You can learn a lot from a dummy

I wish I could track down everyone who, two years ago, was ready to label Boots a mental midget just because Big Guy was doing well in kindergarten.
“Gosh, I hope Boots isn’t dumb,” was the …

Boots plays kindergarten cop
Tue, 5/04/11 – 13:32 | Comments Off
Boots plays kindergarten cop

Boots is  a law and order man – except when it comes to keeping his stuff in order, but what fun is being the sheriff if you can’t let yourself out of the occasional parking …

Home is where you make it
Mon, 4/04/11 – 15:50 | Comments Off
Home is where you make it

I’ve lived in nine different cities and towns in my adult life – journalism in the early part of your career is a lot like the military. Two or three  years and you’re out, except …

Why I volunteer at the guys’ school
Fri, 1/04/11 – 15:16 | Comments Off
Why I volunteer at the guys’ school

It came to 17 hours out of my life this week, and I’m a slacker. Some folks put in 40 or more. My paltry total still was the equivalent of half a work week at …

Big Guy’s warp-speed world
Thu, 31/03/11 – 11:14 | Comments Off
Big Guy’s warp-speed world

The running joke about Big Guy is that he was born in a hurry. He arrived a week early, with all the subtlety of a thunderstorm, and tried to pop his head up and look …

Learning the electronic birds and bees – the hard way
Wed, 30/03/11 – 17:33 | Comments Off
Learning the electronic birds and bees – the hard way

I still don’t think that “sexting” – sending a suggestive or explicit picture via cell phone – is crime that rises to the level of lock-them-up-and-throw-away-the key, particularly when the perpetrators all are minors.
But neither …

Yes, it was a fun season
Wed, 30/03/11 – 10:27 | Comments Off
Yes, it was a fun season

It took Big Guy all of three minutes after meeting his coach to assess the coming flag football season – not that he’s prone to snap judgments.
“This is going to be fun,” he grinned. “He’s …

Bad Kitty’s the purrfect read
Tue, 29/03/11 – 13:15 | Comments Off
Bad Kitty’s the purrfect read

In this corner we have Big Guy, who’s bored with every book I bring home and isn’t fond of fiction.
In this corner we have Boots, who could devour Step 3 books if he wanted to, …

Learning a happy sort of hate
Mon, 28/03/11 – 13:37 | One Comment
Learning a happy sort of hate

The old proverb slipped out of my mouth Friday night before I could stop it, as Spike and Jerry ganged up on Tom during a marathon cartoon session: “The enemy of my enemy is my …

Egg-free pumpkin or applesauce bars
Sat, 19/03/11 – 9:18 | Comments Off
Egg-free pumpkin or applesauce bars

I should call these magic bars, because they disappear. I’ve never seen a pan survive as long as 24 hours in this house, though admittedly I live with two pumpkin freaks. It’s probably just as …

The empathy dog
Fri, 18/03/11 – 11:33 | One Comment
The empathy dog

Rita is not having a good time of it.
We’re on a road trip that came up at the last minute, too late to make arrangements to board here. She handled the trip part spectacularly. We’d …

A SWAT for requiring over-the-counter prescriptions
Thu, 17/03/11 – 15:43 | Comments Off
A SWAT for requiring over-the-counter prescriptions

As a former speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates was fond of saying, “fat possums travel at night.” That translated roughly to “watch out for legislation trying to sneak through in the waning …

Wait, guys! Mommy wants to play!
Thu, 17/03/11 – 11:19 | One Comment
Wait, guys! Mommy wants to play!

No matter how involved you are as a parent, you know that “Cat’s in the Cradle” moment is going to come eventually. I just expected it closer to college.
Mine instead happened this week, courtesy of …

Extending the principal’s job to cover the world
Wed, 16/03/11 – 17:03 | One Comment
Extending the principal’s job to cover the world

I am not in favor of bullying.
I am not against school officials taking swift action against anyone who breaks the rules or laws on their campuses.
I am, however, opposed to making principals in charge of …

Lessons from the lemonade stand
Wed, 16/03/11 – 11:47 | 2 Comments
Lessons from the lemonade stand

It was the kind of capitalism that capitalists would frown on because, while it didn’t take a village, it did require three sets of siblings.
First came the idea, which actually was stolen from another set …

Retiring – again – as the finder of lost objects
Tue, 15/03/11 – 13:24 | One Comment
Retiring – again – as the finder of lost objects

For want of a sock, the soccer game was lost.
Technically, I don’t know that the game was lost. I do know, though, that Boots was lost to the game after he decided to sit on …

Just whose rights are at risk here?
Mon, 14/03/11 – 15:55 | Comments Off
Just whose rights are at risk here?

Until today, I thought “Fight for Your Right to Party” was just an old 80s rock song. I never dreamed that holiday celebrations – or the lack thereof – would draw actual protests.
That was before …

At home, at last
Mon, 14/03/11 – 11:19 | Comments Off
At home, at last

The only way to keep a secret in this house is if one of the beings that knows it can’t speak.
That’s why I confided only in the dog a few Thursdays ago when I found …

Whose Kindle is it anyway?
Thu, 3/03/11 – 13:23 | Comments Off
Whose Kindle is it anyway?

As I unloaded a trunkload of guy goodies last week, a tiny chunk of petulant poutiness came sneaking up from my gut. It worked its way to my throat, where it stuck for the next …

Epiblogue: Army morale spending and skyrocketing youth sports costs
Tue, 1/03/11 – 10:18 | Comments Off
Epiblogue: Army morale spending and skyrocketing youth sports costs

Just as I was in a mood to rant about proposals to cut Army morale spending anyway, they were handing out papers at last night’s soccer game alerting parents that registration is open for tee …

When PCS stands for “poor child’s sad”
Mon, 28/02/11 – 11:05 | One Comment
When PCS stands for “poor child’s sad”

Big Guy survived his BFF’s move last spring, and the relationship continues to thrive thanks to unlimited long distance and Skype. He teetered last week, though, when another friend – the first he’d made here …

If you think MWR spending is frivolous come spend a week with us
Sun, 27/02/11 – 16:56 | One Comment
If you think MWR spending is frivolous come spend a week with us

Listen to Joe “You lie” Wilson, for the South Carolina congressman is speaking the truth.
“While demands for increased effectiveness and efficiency are to be expected, I fear that misperceptions about the absence of a …

Big boys do cry
Fri, 25/02/11 – 14:28 | One Comment
Big boys do cry

After all the warnings that any paper left lying around faced extreme peril, I was the one who screwed up.
I was sorting through Big Guy’s envelope of graded school work when I moved his Valentine’s …

Don’t go away mad. Just go away.
Thu, 24/02/11 – 17:08 | Comments Off
Don’t go away mad. Just go away.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:
We’ll leave if you don’t build us a new arena. We’ll go to a city that appreciates us, because we can’t afford to stay here any longer.
If this …

Keep your hands off my desk. Please.
Thu, 24/02/11 – 12:09 | Comments Off
Keep your hands off my desk. Please.

I thought I was choosing wisely when I put my desk in front of a window in the family room when we moved here.
It’s usually a sunny spot until mid-afternoon, which helps wake me up …

In defense of gaming – or something like it – in the classroom
Wed, 23/02/11 – 16:50 | Comments Off
In defense of gaming – or something like it – in the classroom

Why is it that Boots can “die” endlessly on Mario and still go back for more, yet he used to get frustrated to near tears if he wasn’t the first to answer a question in …

The competition conundrum
Wed, 23/02/11 – 12:46 | One Comment
The competition conundrum

Competition is good: Before his last indoor soccer game last winter, Big Guy knew his team hadn’t lost all season. He saw that slipping away and begged his coach to put him in on defense …