Harmony. Colorado Rocky Mountain High.


first earth day, 1970

Looking out from a mountaintop in Colorado, I have felt the harmony of the earth, the sky, the water, the sounds, the quiet solitude within a group, the music of the ages. Looking out over the trees for miles and miles, I have realized the vastness of the world. Looking out from the mountains, I have seen one tree in the distance. A peaceful tree…one with the earth and the sky. And the world seems smaller. Harmony…when one tree can make the forest seem whole again.



Hoping that you find your own harmony on Earth Day, 2017 and on all days.



Spiked Hair. $$$$$ For Gel. Tomorrow.

 fletchers-corny-dogBefore spiked hair. Looking awful at the State Fair last October!

There are times when I think spiked hair might be kind of fun. Like maybe for a day or…well…maybe just the morning. I would like to look cool as I walk down an aisle at Target. With spiked hair, I could go to all sorts of stores. I don’t know where those stores are really located…but, with spiked hair everyone will just tell me where to go. I don’t mean there.


spiked hair seven

Not my color, not my style, not my necklace, not my outfit. NO.

Spiked hair would make me look younger and maybe smarter and maybe carefree. I would color my hair back to my original really very blonde, instead of sort of blonde when the sun shines just right. I would wear either some of those hippie like sandals or very tall wedges. I would wear a silk-like flowing shirt-like dress…just casual enough that I look like I am going to the beach or, at least the lake.



spiked hair one

Getting slightly better. Only a little slightly better. What is a stronger word than slightly?


I would resemble Sheryl Crow, but her hair isn’t spiked. Well…who cares. I like the way she sings and I know someone who knows her. They grew up in the same town, so that means that I almost know her. With spiked hair, I would sing folk or maybe jazz songs at the very hip corner club. And I would play guitar like Sheryl Crow or Keith Urban. I might as well go for the big time. People with spiked hair can do that.


spiked hair six

I call this the Hurricane look. My New Orleans relatives would not appreciate this hairstyle at all.

One problem. I absolutely cannot stand that sticky and icky hair gel or whatever people use to make spiked hair. I would gel everything in sight…like my shoes, no…my sandals. My knees would be sticky. My elbows would be sticky. I don’t even want to think about my flowing silk-like dress. Hair gel is awful. I really dislike hair gel. Hair gel is disgusting.


spiked hair eight

Thank goodness that my hair is not this long. This spiked hair looks like it would get under my collar and drive me totally crazy.

However, my spiked hair might work out. We might have a positive. Hair gel…I mean the very good hair gel…is expensive! I would need A LOT each day. Such a problem…I wouldn’t be able to go to Fuzzy’s Tacos every other day and Chicken Salad Chick on the other days. I would get WAY skinny!


Bring on the hair gel! Tomorrow may be my first true spiked hair experience. Everything will be better with spiked hair. That is what I think that I heard!



 After spiked hair…


spiked hair four

I actually think that I could handle this one. And see…this person looks very slender. No Fuzzy’s Tacos or Chicken Salad Chick for her. No $$$$ left!






Call Them Heroes. Physical Therapists.

physical therapy three

For the last few years, it seems that I have spent an inordinate amount of time working with Physical Therapists and their assistants. Let me restate that comment…I am trying to complete the work that my Physical Therapist and his Assistants conjure up for me. That sounds like they are sitting there in a dark office trying to magically figure out how to move me from Point A to Point B. Hmmm…maybe that is true!


To arrive at Point B seems like Dorothy trying to find the yellow brick road in The Wizard of Oz. There are so many obstacles in the way.

  • Like my lower back.

  • Like my entire back.

  • Like my left leg that hurts because my back hurts because I think that my shoulder hurts because my neck hurts. Car accidents have consequences that are ongoing.

  • Like my less than strong core (I wonder if that is the right word…see I just know nothing at all!)

  • Like my lack of ability to jump on the table without the stool to step on.

    physical therapy two

    Did I hear correctly what the assistants were possibly saying…words that Dorothy heard?  

“Going so soon? I wouldn’t hear of it. Why my little party’s just beginning!”


“So, you won’t take warning, eh? All the worse for you. I’ll take care of you now instead of later!”


OK… probably I just imagined that conversation…they are all actually just too nice to say those words! This is the best Physical Therapy Team that I have had in this journey to being able to move without as much pain in my back…in this journey to find my original self. Truly, I am so lucky to have met them and I look forward to Tuesday/Thursday mornings. Imagine that…me looking forward to Physical Therapy! Amazing!


physical therapy four


The following is what I think it takes to make Physical Therapy a positive experience…

  • Happy and friendly Physical Therapists and Assistants

  • An atmosphere of positive energy

  • A slow pace if necessary

  • A fast pace when it can be achieved

  • Constant encouragement

  • Fun, yet productive conversations

  • Ability to listen to the patient

  • Ability of the patient to listen to the Physical Therapist and Assistants

  • Not too crowded…time for one-on-one work

  • An incredible base of knowledge for everyone

  • A sense of joy…for better health is a joy for everyone


    I am lucky to have such a wonderful Physical Therapy Team…I want to thank them for being there for me…for being incredibly patient and for making me laugh at every visit!!

    Evidently I really did find the Yellow Brick Road!

The Important Statue of Liberty Cruise.

The Statue of Liberty

When I first saw the Statue of Liberty standing proudly across the the Hudson River as it flows into the Bay of New York, I was filled with unexpected emotion. I knew that I would be thrilled beyond measure to actually see the Statue of Liberty. However, what I really saw were the images in my mind of my great-great grandfather arriving from England in the mid 1800s.

The Statue of Liberty had not yet arrived in the United States when my first relative arrived. Most likely, he first arrived at an immigration station located at Castle Garden in the Battery. As the number of immigrants grew larger, Castle Garden was determined to be too small and unprepared to handle so many people. A new immigration station was built on Ellis Island and opened in 1892. The Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbor in 1885 in 214 crates and was dedicated in 1886.


Pictures of Battery Park in New York City. A wonderful place to view the Statue of Liberty across the water.

Arriving from the Port of Liverpool in England, my great-great grandfather was not greeted by seeing the Statue of Liberty or the hopefully organized and professional atmosphere of Ellis Island. However, I can only imagine his excitement, his fear, his plans for the future, his expectations. My great-great grandfather was the first to arrive. He was in his very early twenties. So young…and I think…so brave.


Paintings of early immigrants to New York City.

That is why I felt such a surge of emotion to be looking directly at the Statue of Liberty. We were in New York  City for a wedding, but we had a few days to take some sightseeing tours. We booked a Circle Line afternoon cruise to get a closer look at the statue and other sights along the river.


Circle LIne one

Honestly, I was like a child at a birthday party even when we were waiting in line to board. Our daughter thought that I had lost my mind. Upon boarding, we realized that our tour was full of an equally excited tourist group from Japan. I fit right in with them and started talking with the group sitting near us almost immediately…of course, I had to get to know them.


Circle Line two


As we moved closer and closer to the statue, every single person in the tourist group from Japan stood up and started singing America the Beautiful! What a truly memorable moment! I was impressed that they knew the song… one of my favorites. There were so many people standing up that I was worried about the safety. But…who can worry at a time like this?

So…I stood up too and started singing the song. Our daughter was totally embarrassed and told me to sit down right away since I was certainly not part of the tourist group. The look of distress was evident on her face and almost enough to cause me to chuckle, but I held myself back. She was just too young to grasp the importance.


Today…she would understand the implication of a group from Japan standing up and singing American the Beautiful. She would understand the implication of a group from Japan taking pictures of the Statue of Liberty. She would understand the implication of a group from Japan being proud to be actually seeing such a grand representation of freedom.



Schools. Transparency vs Opaque.

school two

Tree of learning at elementary school.

Think of an elementary school. From my last several classrooms, I could take just a few steps and see the front and back doors at the same time. The glass doors were sparkling clean with no smudges except from children’s hands. Those spots appeared to be cleaned immediately. The sparkling glass made the school doors transparent. Therefore, it is assumed that the school is transparent and not opaque in any way.

Is every aspect of the school transparent? Perhaps. Perhaps not. The sparkling glass can possibly be a mirage in many ways.

One way that the sparkling glass may not be completely transparent occurs because of necessary security. In many (if not most) schools, parents and other visitors are not readily allowed to walk into a school of their own volition. This is incredibly important. Visitors may have to punch a button on an intercom for possible entry to the school. There may be several monitors in the reception area of the office to show visitors at the door. Parents also should be given explanations for security measures at the school. Security plans vary from school to school, from district to district.

school glass door one

A person in authority may look at one of the screens and either allow the person to enter or not approve entrance. In this case, the door would be automatically unlocked to let the visitor in and automatically locked back again. A security guard might spend the day near the front door… monitoring every move of the children and visitors. Teachers might not be allowed to enter the building at free will when arriving at school.

Did I feel safer and in a good position to keep the children safe when I was teaching? Absolutely. Security measures were in place. No doubt, a safe environment moves teaching to a new and more confident level. Have these security measures taken away a sense of total transparency? Yes, they have and thank goodness for that!

There might be parents who feel left out of their child’s classroom and do not understand the new stringent requirements for entering school buildings. Or they may not understand the need to make an appointment to visit their child’s classroom. Certainly, background checks on parents or guardians are appropriately made when a child enrolls at a school.

school seven

Without a positive background check, a parent would not be allowed to help on a Field Trip… plus other restrictions. Definitely a sign of the times! However, excellent schools can be identified to be positively transparent and not opaque in several other important ways. The U.S. Department of Education has published a document regarding best practices for school transparency.


The following information is from… http://ptac.ed.gov

The U.S. Department of Education established the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) as a “one-stop” resource for education stakeholders to learn about data privacy, confidentiality and security practices related to student-level longitudinal data systems and other uses of student data.

PTAC states the following regarding the look of transparency concerning information collected within schools…

PTAC has published this document to provide several recommendations for keeping parents and students better informed about schools’ and districts’ collection and use of student data. The recommendations contained in the guidance can be divided into three main categories: (1) what information schools and districts ought to communicate to parents; (2) how to convey that information in a way that parents can understand; and (3) how to respond to parent inquiries about student data policies and practices.

school four


Some of the best practices for transparency covered in the PTAC document include:

  • making information about your student data policies and practices easy to find on your public webpage

  • publishing a data inventory that details what information you collect about your students, and what you use it for

  • explaining to parents what, if an, personal information is shared with third parties and for what purpose(s)

  • using multi-layered communication strategies that tailor the complexity of the information to the medium, and telling parents where they can get more detailed information if they want it

school six


Data indeed does drive instruction in many school districts. Privacy protection for any and all dissemination of student information is paramount in building parent confidence. This practice can begin the atmosphere of transparency on a school campus already questioning security measures. The key is dialogue between administrators, teachers, parents and students. The result is open discussion and trust without a hint of anything opaque.



Chocolate Angel Pie! A Favorite!



chocolate angel pie #3

Chocolate Angel Pie was one of my mother’s favorite pies to make. It just did not last very long around our house! My parents had so much company constantly coming over that it was a good idea to hover around the kitchen! The hovering person was the lucky one to get the first slice of any pie that my mother made!

While going through my mom’s recipes looking for a special brownie recipe, I recently found the original Baker’s German Sweet Chocolate wrapper advertising the Chocolate Angel Pie recipe on the back! I was SO, SO excited! I AM SO excited! I am going to make it today even though I have 1001 things to finish…like cleaning out closets or some other non-exciting tasks.

In other words, I have jolted the closets and everything else to another day! Making the pie is happening first!!


Advertisements for  Chocolate Angel Pie, meringue beater (yum!), Chocolate Angel Pie with fancy chocolate shavings…if you look closely you will see an extra recipe for Chocolate Icebox Cake!



Recipe for Chocolate Angel Pie



2 egg whites

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cream of tarter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans

1 bar (4 oz.) Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate

3 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup heavy whipping cream



Meringue Shell: Beat egg whites with salt and cream of tartar until foamy. Add sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Then continue beating to very stiff peaks. Fold in vanilla and nuts. Spoon into lightly greased 8-inch pie pan to form nest-like shell; build sides up 1/2 inch above edge of pan. Bake in slow oven (300 degrees F.) for 50 to 55 minutes. Cool.

Chocolate Cream Mixture:

Stir chocolate in the water over low heat until melted; cool until thickened. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Whip cream, fold in chocolate mixture. Pile into shell. Chill for 2 hours. Serves 6 to 8.

 *****The top of the pie may be decorated with chocolate shavings*****








Tea Sets for Easter Bunnies…

Tea Set one

The Easter Bunny evidently climbed over the porch railing and came to our house when I was about six years old. My mother loved children’s tea sets and so do I…typical! I always like to collect things that are not that easy to find. At least…china tea sets that are still intact are difficult to find!

When I looked closely at my Easter Bunny tea set…I suddenly realized that it was…

Really Real Fine China!

I was thrilled. No wonder I love dishes today! The Easter Bunny tea set found a place on my corner shelves in my room. The tea set now has a place in my entry hall…on a shelf…behind glass. I am a bit protective, I guess!




A few special tea sets that might turn another little child into a dish collector…






Happy Easter sign