Why I am making you practice your violin

Without fail, after the lesson with her beloved teacher, my 8 year old loves violin.  Without fail, after a recital she also loves violin.  Without fail, when she plays with other kids who play violin, and they have fun together, she is swelling with pride about her ability. this video is too dark, but you can…

A different Advent celebration.

Christmas has always contained some amount of stress. Panic sprung as the wave washed over and traditions were left floating in the sea of life around me, left behind perhaps to be picked up next year. There’s the advent calendar that didn’t get attended to daily.  There are the books never read, the movie we forgot to watch, the…

the story

because perhaps i have been here so long, the story can’t be told without the pictures. and because i have been here for so long, there are so, so many pictures. some so old, you may have seen them before. but regardless, they tell the story of lives.  firsts.   and of blessing granted. pictures…

Rolling over Redemption (a minimally refined SFD)*

When the kids are bored sometimes I tell them to go hunt ladybugs or to go roll over a rock to see what is there.  I don’t know, it works for me, that rock rolling over thing. Except now I get more complicated, I want to roll over the rock of what is the difference…

So, this.

When a person writes in the same place for ten years to not ask “what am I doing here?” is unnatural. Perhaps this is what I have aspired to all this time. Maria Popova’s BrainPicking Finally a place where the purpose is not to market oneself, which seems like just the scratch of the surface…

Administrative Superpowers

Originally posted on ChezWhat?:
Consider;  an executive without a desk, a zookeeper with animals but no habitats, an actor with no stage, a pilot with no cockpit.  Instead, the executive has a suitcase, the zookeeper has a large fenced area where animals roam intermingled, the actor has his body and the pilot has a seat…

Worlds apart

Originally posted on ChezWhat?:
it is good to hear the tale of someone who has met success by being inspired and following through.  -David Adamshick The fluorescent lights always buzzed. Sometimes, after being there for a long time, I wore them like a heavy coat I couldn’t wait to take off at home. The plastic…

Playing Candyland.

When a 6-year old calls out to you, “Let’s play Candyland!”, how do you respond? Someone in our house is continually trying to throw Candyland away.  Trying to convince the kids they are “too old for Candyland,”  (whaaat?) Perhaps the most important part of my job these days is saying, “Ok, Candyland, not Uno?” and…

Rarified Places: Kalmykia

The cars in the industrial grease and creosote smelling stations had names on their sides of strange places.  One such place was “Dagestan”.  My silly mind went to Doggystan. This Russian train is clearly marked to go to Moscow, which was the hub for nearly all this 11-time-zone spanning country. Amidst all the metal, people,…

Stories from Russia: Easter

The place:  One of 20 some ethnic republics inside of Russia, this one with a history going back to the Khans and Turks.  Chuvashia.  Where even Russian isn’t the first language.  A gentle, quiet people with deep hearts.  I am visiting their schools, traveling with a staunch senior lady who is first in my eyes…

Political Correctness (a repost from 2005)

Published in 2005, long before Portlandia… If you have ever listened to Dandy Warhols or listened to Damali Ayo talk about Portland types, it’s clear that I am not alone in noticing Portland types are often a sort of..different. I say this with love, I am a Portlander and I work with Portland “types”.  Recently…