I have succumbed...

"I have succumbed..." seemed the right title for this post somehow. Although now that I've typed that post title and checked the definition of "succumb," I'm thinking the word may be a bit strong. I meant it as the first definition "fail to resist" rather than "die from the effect of a disease" -- because I have (unwillingly) failed to resist the effect of the disease that has been plaguing my son and husband this week. I am sick. I am not dead....more

Despite the turkey...

Another year, another turkey. Another hundred exclamations of "I HATE cooking turkey."(I do hate cooking turkey. So much pressure to cook it just right. And such a track record of doing something wrong.)...more

An office of one's own...

I have always wanted my own office -- at home or at work. But until today, that never happened.I have had my own classroom -- which isn't the same. Students seem to think it is their classroom and encroach on my personal space. The school seems to think it is its classroom and schedules classes I don't teach or meetings I don't lead, keeping it full of people and keeping me out. It was not like having an office of my own....more

Affected by the threat of loss...

A few years ago, when I was in high school :),  I tried out for the pompon squad. My sister was about to graduate high school, and she wanted her klutzy little sister to take her place as a Sailorette. (Our motto, "Sailorettes Shake It," meant we shook our pompons, not our rear ends, just to be clear. Seriously.) Initially, I tried out for the squad to please my sister -- or certainly because of her encouragement. But by the end of tryouts, I really hoped I would make the squad, and I did....more

When work is the escape...

I have never been more thankful that I gave up teaching than I am today. If I were a teacher, I would not be heading to work. Instead, I would be living the life fantastic -- cleaning and cooking and preparing for Thursday's big bash at my leisure. Lucky me! I get to go to work. (I am not being sarcastic.)...more

Still a mama...

For months I have been working with colleagues who are mothers of young children, newly entered into childcare situations and suffering the germs and illnesses that come with that. These young moms come to work tired, sharing stories of how little sleep they got the night before because their child was sick.Today is my turn. Except my son is 18, well above the acceptable age for daycare. His "babysitters" are his 30-hour-a-week job at a pizza parlor and his college classes, but despite his 6'4" stature and his apparent maturity, he needed his mama last night....more

And I worried about matching?

This morning the temperature outside my home registered 32 degrees -- which meant it likely dropped below that just before sunrise. Our wooded lot also shelters us from wind and somewhat insulates us from the cold, and so when I arrived at the health club a few miles from home, the temp was 28 degrees. Fahrenheit. In mid-November. In Florida. As I drove, I listened to the news on the radio and learned that at least eight people have died due to weather in Buffalo, New York. I know I should not complain about my weather woes, but I will anyway....more

When it all points to God...

Twenty years ago today, I wrapped myself in satin, lace, and bows and made myself a birthday present -- a bride for Steve Dagen on his birthday. With that "I do," I changed my status from widow to wife and childless to child-full. I became an instant mother of four children, 9, 8, 5, and 3. I had no idea what I was doing....more

"Dine at desk" November

Because we went out for lunch to celebrate the birthday of a colleague yesterday -- and went out for lunch last week to bid farewell to a colleague moving to another city -- my husband has taken to asking me what I am doing for lunch, as if on a daily basis I am having restaurant meals and fun with friends instead of my usual brown bag lunch all alone in the office kitchen. In November, my answer to his question doesn't even include "eating in the office kitchenette," because I know I will be dining at my desk. Not working, mind you, but writing....more

When I am scared of pants...

Americans are getting fatter and fatter, yet the pants we wear are getting smaller and smaller. I just don't understand it. Personally, trying on pants has made me so afraid it reminds me of Dr....more