Monthly Archives: October 2014

Street Cred


Language is fun. Colorful words, unique phrasing, timely sayings, regional accents, dialects – they add so much to our communication. I recalled some of the expressions, many coined by young people, which have been used by recent generations.

“Groovy” has been used to describe a thing or person that is really cool, but when something is a “hot mess” it most certainly is not cool or good. If a person tells another to “gag me with a spoon,” they are not impressed, but rather repulsed by something. And, if they are “blowing chunks” or “tossing their cookies” they have in fact actually gagged. If a person is “chillin’,” he is relaxed, the exact opposite of someone who has “gone postal.”

Things can be copacetic or heinous, just fine or awful. Girls can crush on (like) a guy, and boys can dump (break up with) a girl. They can be busted (caught), amped (excited), and cra cra (crazy). Complicated stuff! In fact, I am told by my teen sources that “cra cra” is now simply “cra.” Ocray. I mean otay. I mean okay! Crazy words and Buckwheat got combined in my boggled brain. This old mom has to work to keep up, or she will undoubtedly lose street cred.

It’s great to know the latest language when we communicate with our children, but perhaps the best way for us to gain meaningful credibility with them is by demonstrating honesty in our communications with them and others. It is by doing our jobs as parents even with that is hard. It is through showing them love always and discipline when needed.

Outside our homes, we have the opportunity gain or lose credibility as professionals and citizens of our community. If we fail to do our jobs well or lack integrity in our workplaces, we will lose credibility. If we support local clubs and schools, participate in service or volunteer projects, and engage in local government, we will be recognized as contributing members of our community.

And, we have the honor of gaining credibility for Christ. When we demonstrate our faith to those around us, we show them how having a relationship with Him provides hope, healing and internal (as well as eternal) happiness for believers. Though the walk of His children is not always righteous and sometimes is rough, Christians choose to persevere with His help.

And no matter what lingo you use, that’s radical!


As I complete this post, I am hoping it will bring you a smile. However, I am feeling sad this evening. A woman in my town died today, leaving three children behind. I have known her casually for a few years, but had a few meaningful conversations with her in recent months. She wanted to help others and had considered joining my writing group, but was busy with many endeavors. I am sorry for her children and family, but I am pleased to know that she had been saved in recent months. She was living for Christ. Please remember her children in your prayers.

Enjoy a Thoughtful Thursday,



Is Having a High-Tech Phone Really So Smart?


I’m due for an upgrade. Not for my car, house, husband, or any body part – although a couple of those might be nice. No, it’s time for a new phone. I’ve reached the contracted period on my current perfectly-good flip phone, and I am eligible for one with all the latest features.

Soon I will make the brain-blowing trip to the cell phone store and try to decipher the choices and costs, hopefully, emerging hours later with the latest and greatest. At which point, I hope all my flip-phone-hating loved ones and friends will stop abusing me. Taunts about the 21st century, cackles at my fine fuchsia phone, the badgering about texting. It’s all grown very old, even though my communication device still does just

The peer pressure concerning texting has become more than I can bear. Everyone wants me to be able to text. Resisting alcohol at a college fraternity party wasn’t this difficult. The shame of having to remind folks “I don’t get texts” has become too great. Though quite frankly, I really feel no shame about it at all, except for the apparent inconvenience it causes others.

My first degree is in business, so after several years in retail and getting married, I returned to school for a teaching certificate. I taught keyboarding, marketing, and Introduction to Business before becoming a high school guidance counselor. In my mind, typing is an important skill, but like so many others, it is becoming a lost art. Gone for the masses the way of Shorthand, sewing and canning. My son is a terrible typist. It’s hard to type 60 words per minute using only one stupid little finger. It makes me sad.

Before those years of teaching, I worked at a now closed big-box discount store. I managed the safety, security and shortage functions for the store, so I was required to carry a pager (aka beeper), which is one of the reasons I decided to become a teacher. It was a pain to be “on call” when not at work. So, here’s my question … Why in the world do I want to subject myself to a constant state of on callness?blog-ht phone1

I don’t get it. Folks have become slaves to their devices. I’ll grant you there are benefits to having the tools available at one’s fingertips, but, like so many other things in life, I think we have gotten completely carried away. Do we want every other activity in our lives to be interrupted by the demanding communication diva that incessantly buzzes, rattles and rings in our hands? One friend has a ring-tone representative of a bleating goat. I wish a goat would eat all the silly things.

The rebellious side of me (thin, though it may be) wants to resist the upgrade altogether and stick with my sweet little pink phone. There when I need her, able to let me know about the most important of alerts, and silent regarding the rest of the data that funnels into my e-mail and social media pages at a frenetic pace. I’ll check that when I get to it.

Alas, I will upgrade. I will get texting and maybe a few other “critical” options, but don’t expect me to like it!

Keep Smiling!


People-Watching: A Sure Thing for Great Fun!


I’m coming in very late on my Friday post, but you know we humans can rationalize just about anything we want to. So, here goes…

Since this post discusses my recent jaunt to Las Vegas, and Vegas is the city (or one of them) that never sleeps, I suppose it’s okay to bring this to you in the last remaining hours of the day.

While Sin City never really shuts down, I will let you know that my husband Tim and our travel companions were regularly back at our condo before 10:00 pm. We gals went to our respective rooms for female-friendly TV, and the guys stayed in the common area to watch sports. Our days were full of walking and looking, shopping and eating. And, minimal - vegas #5

I spent a total of $13 on slots and video poker. Though perhaps that was not the number to stop on and 14 would have brought a big win, but somehow I doubt it. Tim bet twice that with a few wagers on sporting events, one that is yet to be played. I’m just sure a big check is coming our way in a few months – but I won’t bet on it.

So, what was the highlight of this trip? That’s easy. The change of scenery, the sights and sounds, the people-watching – we enjoyed those - vegas#4

It had been fifteen years since Tim and I visited, and this was our friends’ first time in Las Vegas. So, we toured all the splendid hotels, ate at restaurants unavailable in the Midwest, marveled at pastries in fancy bakeries, bought gifts for our kids at the M & M store, hiked out to Pawn Stars and Freemont Street, and saw an awesome show. While the pastries were decadent, there was little other debauchery on our - vegas #2 -

But, boy the people are interesting. There were “entertainers” dressed in all manner of costumes, from scantily-clad cocktail waitresses to Hello Kitty. I wanted to take a picture of the latter, but my friend advised me in time that I’d have to pay for it. There were muscled twenty-something males in super-hero garb inviting tourist to step into their capes for a photo op. I must admit that was a bit tempting, but I couldn’t bear the thought of how cougarish I might appear in such a shot. (Did I mention this trip was in celebration of my 50th birthday?)blog - vegas #1

Then, there were those without much clothing at all. There were three grown men in diapers… apparently intentionally. I’m not sure what the goal was. There were young men and women covered entirely in body paint, with only a small strip on the most critical of regions. I have to say the artwork was amazing. My bestie was very good at averting her eyes, but sometimes I just had to take a longer look. One person called me out. “Don’t look too shocked. It’s Vegas.”

Aside from the shock value, there is worth in just plain old people-watching. If we get our eyes off of our devices and into the world around us, we can learn a vegas

In a place like Las Vegas, we see people from the very rich to the destitute. We see people from cultures and countries around the world. When we study the geographical surroundings, we gain a sense of how people live in a spot unlike our own. And, we sometimes wonder what stories all these people have to tell.

For me, that’s one of the greatest joys of travel. Seeing new things, asking questions, gaining empathy for some, being inspired by others, satisfying curiosities, realizing there is so much more than just my little spot of the world, sharing that with my kids. Learning.

It looks like it will be a beautiful weekend, perfect for some people-watching. Bet on it!

Enjoy the Weekend!








Grandma’s Gift


My grandmother had few possessions of any monetary value. When she passed away a few years ago in her early nineties, I was the executor of her estate. My father and uncle had given me the assignment years earlier when my dad was still living, and they deemed me, as the oldest grandchild and the one with a business degree, the person who should handle this project for my grandmother. I went with her to prepare her will, and I coordinated the disposal of her property after her death.

blog Grandma1Because she was a woman without much means, each family member basically “called dibs” on items in the home that we connected with in some sentimental way. It was done with civility and courtesy… and tears.

My outdoorsy cousin claimed some hunting items of my grandfather’s and an antique-looking phone decoration with dusty, fake flowers on it. My sister wanted the blue-and-white cookie jar. My son wanted an old scythe from the garage. And so it went.

I took for myself a wall hanging that hung on the wall for years, and, for me, was the essence of my grandmother.

(Grandma with my son when she spent a few days helping me in ’97.) 

 It read:

Four Things Every Woman Should Know

How to Look Like a Girl

How to Act Like a Lady

How to Think Like a Man

How to Work Like a Dog

For the most part, she did these things. I will admit that she was known to flash a certain finger privately if provoked by smart aleck kids, but she always looked nice out-and-about, and she had the thinking and working down.



(Boy, wouldn’t she be excited right about now! This was taken one Christmas during the 70’s.)


I love the advice, but I am afraid many women today have failed in these areas.

A trip to the local Wal-Mart in most small towns demonstrates that many of us don’t take time to present ourselves properly to the world. Perhaps this is a lack of pride, time or means, but I think we have gotten lazy about looking as nice as we can in the world. I am guilty of this.

It takes all of five minutes of TV or internet to see that lady-like behavior is truly a thing of the past. The ways in which females behave is shocking and disturbing, unhealthy and damaging to individuals and the culture.

We are all so obsessed with our own thoughts that few take time to consider how others think. We learn about personality and interpersonal relationships in our culture and through our work, but do we care enough to practice those insights in the name of harmony? Most do not.

And, work ethic. Well, that’s a challenge for us parents as we raise girls and boys. Things come too easy for young people much of the time, and adults should remember to reward work, effort and determination for its own sake.

Four simple statements offer guidance to women on how to survive and thrive in the world. Maybe they were written in a different time, but are they irrelevant now? I think our daughters would be better citizens, wives, mothers and Christian sisters if they followed some of this sage wisdom.

(Grandma and Grandpa with my Dad’s horses and us four oldest grandkids in the early 80’s.)


Thanks, Grandma, for the plaque and for living the message. It’s a gift as good as any I could have received!

Enjoy a Thoughtful Thursday!