Three Thoughts for Thursday


  1. Can someone explain why Mom can spend an afternoon mercilessly teasing me about dropping my phone down the throne, but she can’t remember what she ate for lunch?
  2. During the lunch she can’t remember, she once again offered tastes of her ice cream. “Mmmm,” she said more than once, “it’s good.” When I declined, she feigned surprise. “Oh, that’s right. You’re allergic to dairy. I forgot!”
  3. In other news, I had a haircut yesterday and my annual mammogram today. Mom used to refer to the convergence of those events as being “tressed and pressed.” The woman did and does have a way with words and a bent for teasing. Gotta love her!

Three Thoughts for Thursday

Unusual color combinations, seeding grass, and monsoon autumn rains in this week's 3 thoughts.

  1. An unusual combination: Brightly colored autumn leaves landing on spring green grass. That’s what happens when September in Iowa includes monsoon rain one day and chilly temperatures the next.
  2. A reason to be thankful: All the recent rain means the grass seed planted two weeks ago is coming up without much extra watering.
  3. A reason to cheer: The monsoon moisture has stayed in the ground and out of the basement. Which means the Man of Steel’s basement project is a success. (Insert crowd cheering noises here.)

What are you thankful for this week? Leave a comment.

Top Ten Reasons Working With Teachers Is a Delight

After spending a day working with educators, coming up with 10 delightful things about working with them was easy.This past Saturday, I spent the day with 14 educators. They were there to complete the first half of a teacher’s licensure recertification class. I was there as their teacher. Here are the top 10 reasons I’m looking forward to working with those 14 teachers again this coming Saturday for the second half of the class.

10.  Teachers are very prompt. They were on time or early with the exception of 1 class member who got lost on the way.

9.  Teachers practice self-control. They have no trouble keeping their hands and feet to themselves.

8.  Teachers are generous. When the dollar their instructor tries to use in the vending machine won’t work because it was taped together, they give you quarters to use instead.

7.  Teachers are inclusive. They will actually invite the instructor to join them for lunch. And one of them may offer to drive so you can have a break.

6.  Teachers are conscientious. They willingly use their expertise to do extra research for the good of the larger group. When you email to say they’re are excused from their homework because of the extra work they did, they email back to say they already completed the homework.

5.  They are readers. When you assign them a few pages, they read the entire chapter.

4.  They take lots of notes about what they read. Reams of notes. But that’s not all.

3.  Teachers also ask good questions. Some of their questions are based on what they read or what they wrote in their notes. And some based on what you say because…

2.  Teachers love to learn. About all sorts of things. But they are extra-passionate about learning that enables them to work more effectively with children because…

1.  Teachers care about their students. They really do. And they are willing to do more than you can imagine to help their children learn and make them feel safe at school.

Do you work with teachers? What would you add to this list?


Three Thoughts for Thursday

Walking under a harvest moon, why I'm a nervous Nellie, and the breakthrough toddler toy of the century in this week's 3 thoughts.

  1. When your day begins with a sunrise walk under a harvest moon so bright it makes a dusty gravel road into a shimmering silver pathway, you know it will be a very good day indeed.
  2. For the next two Saturdays I’ll be teaching teachers. Teachers who know their stuff. And their stuff is teaching. I am extremely nervous. Prayers appreciated!
  3. My grandson has spent many hours during the past week trying to place clothespins on the rim of a cardboard box. I’ve spent many hours during the past week trying to come up with a way to disguise clothespins and cardboard boxes, market them as the breakthrough toddler toy of the century, and get them on the shelves before Christmas. Can you guess which one of us has been more successful?


Three Thoughts for Thursday

Gravel Road showcases triple Iowa nice in this week's 3 thoughts.


  1. On our last really rainy day, it started to pour. I was stranded in the grocery store. Until the man in line behind me opened his stadium umbrella and walked with me to my car. How’s that for Iowa nice?
  2. A few hours later, the hostess at Applebee’s stuck her head out the door as my small umbrella failed to protect Mom, her walker, and I on our way to the restaurant entrance. “I’ll bring a bigger umbrella,” she said. By then, we had reached the door, but we appreciated her offer. More Iowa nice.
  3. When I arrived at home that evening, our mail delivery person had sealed our mail and a large package in a large plastic bag and placed it on the stoop beside the kitchen door. Iowa nice. That’s how we roll around here.

What’s nice about where you live? Leave a comment.


Three Thoughts for Thursday

Happy trees; green-eyed, man-stealing women; and Gene Wilder retrospectives in this week's 3 thoughts.

  1. Good news for those who haven’t mastered the art of painting happy trees. The entire Bob Ross PBS series is now available on Netflix.
  2. In my entire life, I have never purchased a Dolly Parton 45, LP, 8 track tape, cassette tape, CD, or iTunes download. And yet, ads about her new Pure & Simple album keep appearing in my Facebook news feed. So I have concluded that part of her marketing team’s strategy is to target every green-eyed Jolene who uses social media.
  3. Was anyone else surprised to learn that the forever young Gene Wilder was 83 when he died last month? We’re keeping his memory alive at our house by scheduling a Young Frankenstein retrospective viewing in the near future.

What’s your favorite Gene Wilder movie? Leave a comment.

Three Thoughts for Thursday

Giggling with the grandson, Ghostbusters, and fashion statements in this week's three thoughts.

  1. This week our 16-month-old grandson learned to high five. I don’t know who giggles more when our hands meet, him or me.
  2. Want to laugh until your sides ache? Go see the new Ghostbusters movie.
  3. I am now the proud owner of 13 pairs of cheap reading glasses. The red polka dot pair stays in the kitchen to make reading recipes easier. And as a fashion statement since they match the decor.

What’s your latest fashion statement? Leave a comment.

Three Thoughts for Thursday

Sleeping weather, the public library hold system, and triplets in this week's 3 thoughts.

  1. We’ve had an entire week of sleeping weather in Iowa. In August. Yes, August. What a mercy. What a kindness. What a gift!
  2. I’m listening to a book about a family with triplets, and I’ve regularly seen a doe with triplet fawns on my morning walks. The two events could be interpreted as a synergistic sign were I of childbearing age. Just another perk of turning 60.
  3. The public library automatic hold system is one of the seven wonders of the modern world. I’m not sure what the other six are, though toilet paper makes my short list. You?

Three Thoughts for Thursday

Peach pie season, sofa sleeper snafus, and the truth about barbecued beets in this week's three thoughts.

  1. The first fresh peach pie of the season was worth the wait. Thanks to our son-in-law for requesting it for his birthday dessert!
  2. Decorating tip: It’s a good idea to measure doorways and hallways before purchasing a sofa sleeper for an upstairs bedroom. Otherwise, your comfy arm chairs may be relegated to the bedroom so the sofa can take their place in the living room. Don’t ask how I know this.
  3. No matter how beautiful balsamic barbecued beets appear in the Pinterest picture, real beets will still taste like dirt.

What’s your birthday dessert request? Leave a comment.


Three Thoughts for Thursday

Everybody's Fool, Sesame Street, and peach season in this week's 3 thoughts.

  1. I’m reading Richard Russo’s Everybody’s Fool and loving it. What’s not to love to hate about Sully, the down-and-out character first introduced in Nobody’s Fool?
  2. Sesame Street wouldn’t be the same without Bob, Gordon, and Luis. Thanks to the powers that be for redacting the decision to mess with perfection.
  3. Peach season is here and presidential convention season is over. I’m not sure which one makes me happier. You?