Strawberry Fields Forever

Nine Cent Girl:

I’m on VACATION so….posting slipped my mind last night. HOWEVER, today, tomorrow, or whenever possible, I want to encourage you, dear reader, to make some fresh jam (it’s strawberry season in VT, so that’s what is cooking on our stove). Simply stated: Life is so much better with jam. So much, trust me! xxoo

Originally posted on Nine Cent Girl:

farmstandVermont is “Pick Your Own” territory: from summer berries to fall apples we have the opportunity to visit farms and orchards to handpick any number of fruit, much of it organic.

Despite a very wet June the strawberry crop at River Berry Farm was coming beautifully, although later than typical. In between the rain storms rolling through our valley I had a fortuitous and dry hour-long window to pick six quarts of ripe and wonderfully sweet strawberries.

View original 632 more words

for all of us

Last week while still in Louisville I had the good fortune to hear Richard Blanco retell his story: from immigrant to inaugural poet for Obama in 2013. The story he shared is fabulous, filled with colorful elaboration, detailing his parents’ bold move from Cuba to Miami, recalling his fascinating childhood to his own journey as a poet. He moved his audience to tears and laughter, from the nostalgia of the past to the shared hope for the future. His story touched us all as pieces of it became our own. How he was picked by the White House is a mystery, even to him, but once we all heard his voice ring out over the capital on that cold January day, that no longer mattered. Richard Blanco is all of us.

Continue reading

“look up and out” #again

I’ve just returned from scoring AP English Literature exams, 1400 of them to be exact, and I will not pretend to have much of a brain left to blog. But besides that reality, this post, which I wrote a few years ago, speaks of my experience then, and is echoed just as vividly now. There are multiple worlds that collide while I am in Louisville: the privileged AP students whose essays I am reading and the homeless camping about the city. I have no answers to our national questions of poverty and race and inequality, only these brief personal reflections, only this re-post from 2012 in which to decipher my myriad of emotions. I thank you old-time Nine Cent Girl fans for re-reading. I hope to be back on solid ground next week.

Continue reading

Graduation Day #again

First published in June of 2011. True then. True now; and I hope you think worth a re-read too!! me

As a teacher of high school seniors, come June, I am reminded daily of the almost–here graduation-day swiftly moving toward us. There is no them and me or me and them at this point, for we have all been riding on this roller-coaster of great expectations and harsh realities for an entire school year together. All over the country 18 year olds are experiencing this free-falling sensation and I for one think it is a feeling worth catching on to, but I did not start out with this appreciation. No, I most certainly did not, in fact, I did my best to stay uninfected with what I, as well as most adults, labeled senior-itis.

transparent politics

Seriously, I am the last person in the world to discuss politics. Not that I don’t have an opinion, because, of course, I always havevote-button one. But politics is a broad term that encompasses lifestyle, money, business, education, housing, basically infrastructures in every area of our America. I don’t have the wherewithal to blog about such a complex and tangled topic because I don’t have the background or understanding or library to support claims unequivocally, but I would love to at least discuss the politics of my little home state, and the possibility of listening to a politician who has built his career on caring about real people like me. If you go to work each weekday and at the end of the month wonder about paying bills or how your children might repay their college loans or how your grandchildren might have clean water to drink and a climate that isn’t completely compromised by our carelessness in 20 years, then you are like me. I believe we all need to begin the discourse of politics, even those of us who have degrees in literature and not law, even those of us who feel inadequate to express our views, and within that discourse begin to truly educate ourselves.

Continue reading

All you need is…ping-pong

What makes a house a home? Laughter, love, family, and a few fabulous ping-pong games! This parlor game, which originated in England in the 19th century, was created for the leisure class, to fill those dull after-dinner hours. Within a few short decades, whiff-whaff, later to be termed table-tennis, took on a more competitive role, and is now a game that fuels tournaments around the globe. We decided, when making our last move, to bring back the game that one can play regardless of weather, even in your own home, into ours. Of course, first comes the days awaiting the delivery, and then the hours of set up…

Continue reading

Lipstick +

A friend of mine gave me a sweet compliment when she remarked, you always look put together, and then said something like, if you were to give 6 pointers to help a woman pull her look together, what would they be? The question was framed with, you know, you’re dashing around with children, doing errands, just home from work: how can you look put together then?

As soon as she asked I pictured the most glamorous woman of my youth: my mother. I thought back to my mother’s house IMG_1372and the downstairs half bath with small glass shelves in a gilded wall unit lined with lipsticks. In her selection there was always a bold shade. Always an orange red. Always on hand before she dashed after one of her six.

Continue reading