Monthly Archives: January 2021

K.B , Em and Dad



Both are my girls. I am rooting for them in so many ways. They have both have chosen the difficult path, not a smooth-salted highway, but a wandering, unpaved, not knowing- where- you’re- going adventure. One is the daughter by birth and the other daughter of my second heart birth.

“Wha…. what does she mean by that, you inquire”

“Well, I did have to be reborn to loving this girl who came to live with us at age eighteen.”

The guy in the middle, he loved me through it all; the mess, the stress of me being me.

Both of my daughters are also of the King and they thankfully depend on him for EVERYTHING. They choose to love and follow him and admittedly reach out for him in the midnight hour, sorting their lives fraught with challenges and decisions. They’ve learned their lessons well and quite often taking a hard path.

The girls open his word, they abide in the message he gives— journaling in their writing spaces they start their days of family, work, loving, and becoming a disciple of Christ.


not Fancy nancy


Fancy Nancy could never be used to describe me— but Anti-Fancy-Nancy could. I grew up in the SIXTIES where Leave it to Beaver, My Three Sons, Father Knows Best, and channel 9 reigned supreme.

Girls, you haven’t lived until the magic finder has chosen you to do Bozo buckets. Sadly, I only got to bucket # 2 and missed # 3, definitely not fancy moves.

Sorry for the digression. Bozo wasn’t a fancy clown—but I loved him and my childhood so much, I just had to share with you. In school, I loved Dick, Jane, and Sally but hated Think and Do. Dick and Jane weren’t very fancy, but Sally looked like my little sister with her curly locks and little kitty, Puff. So she was pretty fancy— until she made a mess.

My kindergarten teacher was mean but definitely fancy with her sharp colored nails and wicked, pouty red lips. I wanted her to like me, but she didn’t.

My first-grade teacher taught me the word, LOOK, the first day of school. I will always remember the moment I could read. My classroom was wild and crazy and, we loved to finger paint each other. My teacher was simply dressed, single and kind. I loved her, and she loved me. I believe she loved all her little children, especially when we’d settle down for a story reading for us in her special fancy voice.

My second-grade teacher, a glamorous beauty, looked like Jackie Kennedy. I wanted her to love me, but she didn’t. At least she didn’t send me to the office like the boys who came back to the room, every time buckling their belts after the paddle. They didn’t look very fancy trying to tuck in their shirts after either.

My third-grade teacher was grey-haired and very, very… (I know you’re guessing feeble, but she wasn’t). She was so slender that you might fear the wind would knock her down, but she would never have let it. She had an old fancy microphone in her room, taught us all how to get up and speak like a reporter, and also taught us to sing like angels. Every one of us led our class in daily song-time. It was the year of me learning, “New Math,” as she called it. She taught it like a champ. I understood numbers for the first time in my school career when she introduced the new way. Numbers and my tiny teacher became fancy to me.

But then I moved.…

to the scariest and prettiest teacher of my life. I think even the principal had a crush on her. That was the year I was introduced to the “We pick it” “We eat it “club, which wasn’t explained until my name went up on the chalkboard and my new class-mates burst into hysterical laughter. After that, I became a pariah on the playground. I thought it was because of my not-fancy blue glasses I had been wearing since I was little, but sadly I know know what, “We pick it, We eat it” means. My new school did “Old Math” and I was hopelessly confused; of course, that didn’t help. Confusion is not fancy.

With my fourth grade teacher, joy flooded my world again. This teacher was really older than dirt. It was her retirement year, which I didn’t find out about until the last day of school. She wasn’t fancy in her black skirt, white shirt, and oxfords. But her love was so fancy. Every student was her favorite. Every life mattered. And when I struggled, she persevered. I mourned not seeing her again after that year. I missed her fancy script and her fascination with writing famous quotes on the board.

My life and school kind of went like that every other year; it kind of went like that. Thank goodness I had my not-fancy mom to rely on. She only got a little fancier with a dash of lipstick and a change from her pedal pushers to a skirt before my dad came home from downtown Chicago. He may have liked a little fancy because he always whistled and gave her what we used to call “juicy kisses”.

I would have never expressed it in words, but I yearned for a mom who always wore polished red nails, mascara, and pancake makeup. I wished she had gone to the beauty parlor for the sprayed up bouffant hairdos of the day. And believe me, I tried whenever I could to get away with mascara in Junior High until one day when I got home from school with it running down my face because someone had said something mean.

And then she’d say, “Honey, when are you going to learn that your natural beauty is the best and that glow from inside of you shines so bright.”

I tried to be Fancy Nancy until my college years. I had a little help becoming un-fancy from Goldie Hawn, Carol Burnett, and the total peace, love generation moving forward.




Turning the page to Medicare this birthday, my only regret is not using sunblock when it first came out. But I am proud to say; there has never been a day that foundation has creased my cheeks or neck.

The day I got married almost 44 years ago my mom, made me get my hair done at the beauty parlor (the irony of this makes me giggle). The stylist rolled, set, and sprayed my hair. I promptly went home and took a shower and did my own, without the spray. My mom shook her head and realized some of what she had emulated had rubbed off. She had paid the stylist good money for no good reason. Her little girl had learned her lessons well.

PS I taught school for 40 years. In my final year, I had a student named Nancy; we were kindred spirits, not liking the girlie—the fancy. But inside there was lots of fancy love.
PSS Opening up my blog header that I have had for ten years is pretty- paisley fancy. A feast for my eyes that I never have tired of…Word Press doesn’t even offer it any longer. It’s only SIXTIES fancy!

gimme a break


The spider infestation made its way into our bedroom. On Sunday I saw one round mark on my forearm. On Monday Dave felt several itchy places on his head. On Tuesday, my guy who does everything the right way went on a cleaning frenzy in-between stretches of watching news programming our national crisis. Tuesday night we both slept like rocks. Wednesday I noticed many mysterious bites on both forearms. I washed my t-shirts, sweatshirts jeans.

That wasn’t hard because I’ve rotated my comfy pants, my comfy jeans, and the same two t-shirts from last March until yesterday. Oops— I forgot the soccer pants I wore almost every day of the summer. My jeans are now too tight, so if I was really being honest I’ve worn my pajama pants day and night for about a month now. I’ll put those in the washing machine too.

Sometime along the way, something must have been exposed to spiders. Because even though I don’t see them, I know they are coming up to visit and nibble in the middle of the night.

Come on…gimme a break!

I’ve endured a 95 year-old-dad with a shattered ankle, a 10 week (no-see-HIM) rehab horror story, 3 children in far off places that I can’t go and see, and 4 grandkids that I haven’t snuggled for too long now.  I’ve led large Zoom Bible study groups with no training with only a wing and a prayer. I’ve only crashed, burned, and been locked out about every other session but for this 60 something girl, it feels like a heart attack just waiting to happen. Am I getting too dramatic here? No, no I’m not

Gimme a stinkin’ break already, would you?

Spiders and all other nasty things like COVID-19, and a sad and very divided country.

Please, oh please, you can gimme just a little break, I know you can …

We need some love around these parts of Illinois and could people just start saying a few please and thank yous again, I know we’re wearing masks, but I’m sure in 1917 they still made a point to be kind to everyone. After all, it makes our world go around. Thank you by the way for letting me vent. So if you don’t give a break I’ll just take my own and I’ll be back after a time.



 Hmmm…Thank you that I can take my next breath— others can’t today.

Thank you that people love me because— others aren’t so sure that they are loved.

Thank you for shelter— others who live close to me are couch-surfing, or worse.

Thank you for my sometimes disagreeable family—  I have a friend without one living relative.

Thank you for crip clean air, a hint of miraculous flakes falling, and water I can drink from a faucet—others have to escape fires, 844 million do not have access to clean water.

Thank you for the free press, public education, freedom of religion, and the right to vote— all people across the world don’t have many of our freedoms.

My list, God,  is still incomplete. But at least now, with this break, I can breathe again.

Thank you, Ruth, for the encouragement to write our hearts.

Thank you for writing SOS Magic posts,  friends.

PS I know many of you keep gratitude lists…

PSS Now is a great time to start, if you don’t!




one little word (written last week)


Today the word finds me and an unusual word it is, but a personal favorite. For years, actually, I’ve loved it.

Drumroll, please do it with me… (bang your hands like drums on your desks for three seconds and finish by putting your hands together, stretching your hands to the sky, and saying WOOSH as you bring your hands down to your sides). Some of you may be tried this for the first time!

My kids in my classrooms, from kdg- 8th grade did this every time we were about to learn something new. And I sometimes do it on my own in my cozy office alone—but not lonely with my wall of books and my favorite girl, Apple, under my fingertips.

Today I should have been driving and focusing, but I started wondering when my word would find me; then suddenly it was there, a word I haven’t talked about probably since the day I retired.

My word for 2021 is THREE. It is an unassuming number, a little lonely even though it is surrounded by two and four. I remember as a young mother, I couldn’t wait until Emily and Jeff graduated to age three. Young mothers of today don’t like three much more than two and my grandchildren were affectionately called ‘threenagers’ by their parents (my grand’s were smart and sneaky at the age of three).

“But why then three, Nancy?” you might ask.

It’s hardly distinguishable in spelling from tree.

It’s so simple, not even pretty in different fonts.


But girls, I happen to think of the beauty of the Three Little Pigs, Flicka, Ricka and Dika, Moe, Larry and Curly, The Three Little Peppers and How they Grew, Nancy, Julie and Carol (my sisters)—to name a few.

Writers!!! Let’s not forget BEGINNING, MIDDLE AND END. We teach it, we love it, we treasure it.

But , wait a minute here is the main reason for my choice:

This is why I’m devoted to the #3. I know you are all trying to guess.


“NOOOO… IT’S NOT THE BATTLE PLAN FOR CORONAVIRUS, face covering, physical distancing, frequent handwashing.”

… drumroll for at least three seconds…

Father, Son, and Holy Ghost

and “no, they didn’t take the last train to the coast”  Bye, Bye Miss American Pie

These three will be my everything in the year 2021 and after.

If you don’t know them, you may want to check them out because my God, three in one he is faithful,—moment to moment to moment

in the hard, and in the joy, he remains the same…


PS I’m adding this today… so many weeks of 2020 have been horrific, but storming the Capitol will go down in history and my Triune God has been stalwart in my search for meaning. This morning I pulled up a greatly respected author’s blog. She is masterful in her writing. It is long, but worth it.  In Days Like These…