Monthly Archives: February 2019

tongue -in-cheek

“I’m human again – Only human again – Poised and polished and gleaming with charm.” Lumiere the Candlestick in Broadway musical Beauty and the Beast.

Sometimes something you’re not looking for shows up – and grabs your attention, puts a smile on your face, and suggests a why-not attitude.

That’s what happened when I accidentally came across this Lumiere quote – and I felt  with total tongue- in -cheek -seriousness – – that says it all.

After six weeks of strengthening my new knee and still more to go, I feel ready to start to put it to the real test and find my way back to work and play – outside the home.

It’s quite amazing, really, to be on the other side of something that had loomed ahead of me seven weeks ago.  But as daunting as that seemed then, the feeling of accomplishment, of relief, of healing, and most of all, of gratitude, is worth it all.

So join me in my tongue-in-cheek celebration declaration , won’t you?

Look for ways to celebrate the things in your life – big or small – that you have worked through.

And humor me –  and Lumiere –  as we, tongue-in-cheek, playfully declare –

“I’m human again – only human again – Poised and polished and gleaming with charm.”

Hope to see you soon.


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Won’t you be my neighbor?

Have you ever gotten a tune stuck in your head that you find yourself humming all day long?

Well – that’s me – with “Its a beautiful day in the neighborhood”, the opening song from Mr. Roger’s TV show that so many of today’s parents and children have grown up watching.

Recently when Heather and I sat down to plan our family Spring Fun morning coming up at The Parenting Place, we talked about the message of neighborhoods and the significance of neighbors that always came across so strongly in this beloved TV classic.

And, so, yep – our Spring Fun morning, on Saturday, March 23rd at The Parenting Place will be just that – “It’s a beautiful day in our neighborhood”, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM, where we’ll celebrate our friendship through play, activities and visits from a few of our own very special neighbors of The Parenting Place.

And – since we discovered March is also Mr. Roger’s birthday, we’ll celebrate that with – what else? – cake and candles and party pizazz.

And we’re asking participants, if they are able, to bring a package cake mix and can of frosting to pack up and deliver to our neighborhood food bank for families in need to be able to celebrate someone in their family on their special day.

You know, we often wonder how to help our children feel a part of their “larger world” outside the family, and for me, that always, always starts with our neighbors.

So, you’re invited – to meet some of our very fun and interesting neighbors – to celebrate together, to play and create, (of course, always, at The Parenting Place!) meet new friends, and enjoy a beautiful day in our neighborhood.

Registration is required – online at or by contacting Fran/Heather at 608-784-8125; families with young and older siblings welcome.

“Please won’t you be our neighbor?”




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just ask

Sometimes when my sisters and I were young, we would go with my mom to visit her elderly aunt who lived alone in a large rambling house.  As my mom and her aunt visited in the kitchen, we would be off on our own, exploring all the rooms in the house.

There was one room that held great attraction for us – as well as fear and daring.  And that shadowy room had in it an ornate secretary desk.  It stood dark in a corner – closed up – but one day we opened it –  inside, there was a black revolver pistol.

That was enough for us.  We closed the desk and ran out.  But, every time we visited, the attraction of seeing the revolver was too much – and we would need to go back and look at it.

We never picked it up – although I think we dared each other to touch it.  It was a frightening object to us – and one we never told any adult about.

I’m sharing this with you because there may be guns in people’s homes now where your children play.  The question experts advise parents to ask of the homes their children visit is “Do you have a gun in your home and is it unloaded and locked up, and is the ammunition stored separately?”

Because just as my sisters and I found out –  the attraction of just looking even at the gun we discovered was a thrill.

And many children – braver than us – could actually pick up a gun they find, point it and even pull the trigger, innocently ending in loss of life.

So … it’s a hard question to ask, isn’t it?  But The Academy of Pediatrics advises it’s a question that needs an answer – for the safety of your children.

Sometimes we have to start the difficult conversation.

People who have a gun properly stored will not take offense.  And those who do react negatively to your inquiry, that, too, might just be your answer.


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I just read a phrase recently that stuck with me – “empowered by knowing the routine”.

I always believed that was true for children, whether at home or at childcare.

But after my knee replacement surgery, I came home to – what for me was almost a sense of anxiety at first – and I wondered why. It didn’t take long for me to recognize that my normal routine no longer fit – and so each day, I tried to figure out – what my new routine/structure was supposed to be.

Fortunately I had great help leading me into the days ahead until I felt comfortable – yes, empowered even – by my new normal. Now as I slip back into a combination of my old trusty routine and my healing one, I believe even more in the strength and confidence a routine offers.

Of course, that’s probably number one when I talk to parents about a parenting concern- “what is your child’s daily routine look like?

For children thrive on knowing what to expect, from day break to sunset.  When they are informed, when they feel confident and aware of their daily details, stress is relieved and behavior improves.

Appreciating a routine is far different than feeling one is in a rut.  Having a routine doesn’t mean things don’t change. Fun activities pop up, bedtime is later, Monday’s are different than Saturdays, but the general sense and warmth of sharing, of knowing what’s going to happen and what integral part they play brings a sense of place, of belonging, of confidence and yes, empowerment.

“Empowered by knowing”.

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