The Acorn Flour and Most Delicious Bread

I'm crunching enormous acorns underfoot on the walk to school, and it's not even October yet. I remember the afternoon in October 2011 when we gathered acorns to make the most delicious Acorn Bread. I wish to do so again, so I reread my post and have reposted it here for you.And, of course, the lesson in bitterness still applies to this little heart of mine.If you have an acorn recipe, I would love to hear about it! ...more

What I Respect Most in Others

In her book, Writing to Change the World, Mary Pipher asks writers to consider various questions to help us understand ourselves better. One of her questions is this: What do you most respect in others?...more

The Day I Lectured in a Math Class

Today I guest lectured in a Math class of all things. Are you chuckling with compassion? I comforted myself and eased my nerves by saying, "Whatever weakness I possess in math, I more than make up for in verbs."I aimed to help math students write more clearly and effectively as they blog about various measurable environmental issues--whether water, meat consumption, fracking, or any interesting and timely environmental matter ....more

Better and Better

On this beautifully chilled Sunday, we all enjoy Pennsylvania's gentle transition to autumn. We bring in enormous acorns to paint already, and we've even turned over the closets into colder weather clothes. We swing the back door wide open to let in the crisp morning air ....more

Strange, Relaxing Things

I love to practice typing....more

How It's Going to Happen

This morning I find myself reading the story of when Naaman was healed of leprosy in 2 Kings 5. It's been years since I've read this account of a commander who seeks healing from the Lord. Do you know it?If you remember, Naaman goes to the prophet Elisha, but Elisha merely sends a messenger to Naaman to announce something rather common and ordinary ....more

Stop Telling That Story

I listen to a line by Jennifer Aaker, professor of Marketing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in her Leadership and Management video called, "Harnessing the Power of Stories."...more

Giving Not to Get

This morning, the Italian Mama and I talk about coming to the point in our lives when we work from a sense of giving--of love, really--and not from a need to gain importance or prove ourselves.Why does it take so long to get here? Why couldn't I have felt this way in my 20's and 30's (yes, I turn 40 in a few weeks)? Why was so much about striving to matter and to make a contribution that was really about me more than anything else?What does work feel like now? ...more

What I'm Teaching this Week

I know that some of you readers follow my blog because you love it when I talk about writing or give a writing lesson, so for you, here's a snapshot of my week in a college writing course.This week, I'm teaching on the thesis position--embedded in a stellar introduction--in my freshmen course. These writers analyze a single print advertisement to showcase what rhetorical strategies designers use to create consumer desire. This paper also critiques the ideology--or worldview--presented in the advertisement ....more

As I Cleaned the Blinds

As I cleaned the plastic blinds today--each one by hand with a little cloth and hot water--I realized what I wasn't thinking.I wasn't wishing for different blinds.I wasn't wishing for other views out of the window that let me peer on the great oak that one autumn dropped so many acorns we had to make acorn flour.I wasn't wishing for a different task or a more important or glamorous one. I wasn't wishing for my children to be any different from exactly as they are--even the way they make the cookie dough and then abandon it so I'm baking the cookies by myself every single time.The timer dings as I wring out my cloth, wash my hands, and then bring the cookies from the oven. I arrange more dough on the pan and set the timer again.I return to the kind of task that nobody will really ever notice unless I point it out: "Did you see my sparkling blinds? ...more