Friday, May 27, 2011

Packin' a stink

Optimism seems to be the twin sister of gratitude

I go to the gym most days and see people stretching and exercising just about every muscle, but the one muscle I don’t ever see exercised is the tongue. Of course, how would I know? But this I do know: whether it’s complaining or criticizing, arguing or gossiping, far too often people allow themselves to “go packin’ a stink,” as my daughter likes to say.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Just 3 tricks to help boys love reading

Just Three

And now for something practical. I recently spoke to a group of women about children’s books and reading. With four boys, I’ve had to learn a few tricks to help them learn to love reading. Here are just three:

Monday, May 23, 2011

Something to cheer about

The Apollo 13 Crew, returning worn but victorious

“We missed the moon,” said Apollo 13 Commander Jim Lovell when he realized a mechanical breakdown necessitated a change in flight plans. 

I recently re-watched the Hollywood version of this real-life drama and was, once again, amazed by the incredible obstacles the crew had to overcome just to return to Earth, having circled but never having stepped on the moon. Even though they did, indeed, have to abort their mission to the moon, the astronauts still captured all of America’s attention and imagination. Gripped by hope and fear, people watched and waited and wondered. Then, after many nail-biting close calls, the men miraculously came back alive and well, and the country let out a collective sigh of relief. People cheered. People cried. People hugged. Then they cheered some more.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Counting on change

The view of Fremont's hills from my kitchen window

Some things you can just count on: October 31 will always be Halloween; December 25 will always mean it's Christmas day; and January 1 will forever be the start of a new year. And May 17 in Fremont, California, always marks the end of green hills.

No matter how lush they are throughout the spring, our signature green hills always turn utterly, completely, and unmistakably wheat-brown by May 17—up until this year, anyway. It’s such a random date that I never would have remembered except that it was the birthday of our long-ago friend and realtor Sterling Nicolaysen.