Viewing category ‘Best Practices’



Categories: Best Practices, Fighting the Stereotype

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I am immersed in a project, equal parts treasure-hunting, fact-finding, historic research, and, hopefully, a pinch of magic making, if I can find the right words.

It’s a big project—unpaid. If anything, I’m going to be losing money for a while, as I gather what I need. Definitely a labor of love.

It found me, not the other way around. I can’t explain it. But I’m hooked. I hope I can do it justice.

I like this immersion. I like the way the world drops away when I’m engulfed in papers and research and links and bookmarks.

This project couldn’t have found me at a better time.
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Something clear

Categories: Best Practices


“Mommy. MOMMY. HELLLLOOOOOOO. Pick up the phone. PICK UP THE PHOOOONE, I beg you! We’re begging you!”

I hear this raucous pleading, punctuated by giggles and squeals, on the answering machine downstairs. I am in the loo, uh, indisposed.

When I am re-disposed, I call them back on their father’s phone.

“Hello, ladies.”


“Yes, darlings. I was in the bathroom.”

“OHHHhhh. SHE WAS IN THE BATHROOM.” I am sure their father is delighted to have that information.

“What’s up, monkeys?”

Hannah wrestles the phone to herself. “MOMMY, THIS IS HAAAAAANNAH NOW.”

“I know, dear one. What’s going on? Is everything okay?”

“We’re in the car!”

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Happy 2011

Categories: Best Practices, Fighting the Stereotype, Found Love


I am not going to resolve anything for 2011, at least, not today. I am not even going to be resolute about anything today. I am not even going to think about high or low resolution today.

Today, I am going to pack.

Because I got one helluva Christmas present this year. Maybe the best present of all time. I am beginning to think there is something to that visualization stuff.

Holy freezing magical Northern crap, Santa. Two degrees south of the Arctic Circle, here I come.
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Mama Bears

Categories: Best Practices

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I keep meaning to read up on bears. Mama bears, in particular.

Outside of Goldilocks and the Grateful Dead, you don’t hear much about papa bears and their habits. Not sure if they participate much in the rearing of their offspring. But we all know better than to get between a mama bear and her cubs.

Been thinking a lot about mama bears this week. The comments that came in after my last post, “Here Comes Pirate Claus,” reminded me that we mama bears don’t suffer fools lightly, and we will do whatever it takes to keep our cubs happy and well-adjusted. We are willing to roar.

Thank you for writing in, Mama Bears. I think the dialogue is important, even when we disagree.


Categories: Best Practices, Fighting the Stereotype, Hoping for Love, Tentative Steps


My mind staggers, trying to wake itself. I blink again and again and try to catch my breath. Again, I find myself sifting reality from dream rubble.

Another nightmare.

Enough, already, Mind.


“What’s the worst nightmare you ever had?” S asks me the other night, at bedtime.

I contemplate her question. “That a hard one. I used to dream over and over of losing people I loved, chasing after them in dreams—”

I stop myself.

She gives me a quizzical look. “And?”

“The worst nightmares are when you wake up and realize that it’s already happened. That the people you love are already long gone.”

She nods. This seems to make sense to her.


I would have told you there was no way in hell he and I could have become strangers like we are. He is long gone, in every way.


Now my nightmares are without hope that I will catch up to anyone. In my dreams, I don’t bother to go looking for help, for the people I think should be there.

The latest nightmares: I am completely on my own, searching for a home. I am not homeless, but I am without home. I have something less than home: home-less.
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How to Be Alone

Categories: Best Practices

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Jenny alone

Add this to the Survival Kit.

Watch at least ten times.

Chapstick for the single soul, for sure.

Click the blue below, and breathe:

How to Be Alone

Told you so.


Thanks, Sarah McNair, for this drawing of my happy alone-ness.

Thanks, Andrea Dorfman (filmmaker) and poet/singer/songwriter, Tanya Davis.

What it is now

Categories: Best Practices, Fighting the Stereotype

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It’s becoming what it is.

At the edges of my vision I sense a sort of erosion, a crumbling of the scene of what used to be, and the image of me, standing within that scene. The edges are beginning to blur.

That life will never be erased completely in my mind’s eye.

But it’s going. It’s leaving me. A new space is opening up.

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In love

Categories: Best Practices, Fighting the Stereotype, Missing Parent


Lately, we’ve been garnering some strange looks, the three of us. People smile when we pass them at the supermarket, grin at us from parked cars, chuckle quietly to themselves as they witness our animated conversations.

I know the looks from these strangers. It’s the look of folks observing love at work, love in play.

I am in love with my daughters, more than ever.

We seem to have finally hit our stride. Not to say there are not difficult moments, but for the most part, we have worked out our post-divorce routine as an all-girl unit. We have come to happy terms as a threesome instead of a foursome. There is a fluid give-and-take, with much good humor and lively chatter, but Mama here is definitely alpha. It works. They know exactly where I’ve drawn the lines in the sand. Although they occasionally try to inch a painted toenail past the line, they are good, honest, respectful girls. We all play by the rules, including me: when you screw up, you say you’re sorry, and you say it quickly and earnestly. No excuses.
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This is how it will be

Categories: Best Practices, Fighting the Stereotype, Tentative Steps


He first wooed me by asking me if I would collaborate with him.

I did not know then, nearly 14 years ago, that our collaboration would eventually include two daughters.

It is that time of year, the time of awards and ceremony and graduation and promotion to the next grade.

The girls wanted us to sit together, so they could find us easily. I wish we could have found each other easily.
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See Mommy. See Mommy act. See Mommy smile.

Categories: Best Practices, Tentative Steps


See Mommy. See Mommy act. See Mommy smile.

Good Mommy! Playing is fun!

I did it, you guys. I got the part.

I really did. Those orange shoes did the trick.
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