Browsing All Posts filed under »Family«

Joan Larsen’s Life Stories: A Father’s Quest: Finding Debra

June 14, 2017

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By Joan Larsen So often it is just a single moment in time that will change our lives forever.  Many of us have had such moments as we have traveled the road of life. But a true fairy tale ending as this story has? I would call it rare. I would call it a miracle […]

Swim Season Safety: Know What A Drowning Person Really Looks Like

May 29, 2017

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More than half of Americans cannot swim adequately, and most of us can’t recognize a drowning person right in front of us. Ah, yes. The pools and beaches are open again. For the past couple of seasons around this time of year, I have vainly attempted to educate the public about the horrors of the […]

The Unsanitary Swim Diaper: Not in My Pool, Please!

May 22, 2017

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Time for Lila’s annual public safety and health announcement:  even the manufacturers don’t claim that “swim diapers” will contain a mess. Memorial Day is fast approaching, and that means the neighborhood pools will soon be opening for business.  As we wrote last year, the whole concept of a diapered child in a communal swimming area […]

Joan Larsen Writes: No Stiff Upper Lip – Prince Harry Speaks Candidly and Emotionally About His Life Struggles

April 19, 2017

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By Joan Larsen In a voice that is both moving and articulate, England’s Prince Harry has only now come out to the world – to us – about his severe emotional problems following the death of his mother, Princess Diana. Still struggling in his late twenties – almost two decades after losing his mum – […]

Joan Larsen’s Sleigh Full of Holiday Ideas: Turning Your Selection of Christmas Gifts into Lifelong Memories

December 14, 2016

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by Joan Larsen   Aren’t the feelings of warmth, of joy and laughter .  .  . but, most of all, of love – what the holidays truly are supposed to be?  Shouldn’t the element of togetherness be forefront in this season?  I think we are all nodding yes.  I am sure you are. But instead, […]

The Cat’s in the Cradle and the Silver Spoon: Slow Down, Parents

December 5, 2016

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Andrea Petersen recently wrote a Wall Street Journal article, “A Nanny Who’s Always On Vacation.”  Far from being on vacation, these specialized nannies make their livings by accompanying families on their vacations, to attend to the children while traveling and to give the parents their “adult time” sans kids. I’m not sure what I think […]

Joan Larsen Presents: Thanksgiving at the Lake House

November 23, 2016

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It’s Thanksgiving at the Lake House and the gathering of family is always equated to love overflowing and the feeling of closeness . . .   A warm welcome to our family Thanksgiving!!       The greatest fun is coming early and working together to make decorations for the house   As the children […]

Keeping the Elderly Relevant

November 21, 2016

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Every holiday season, and in some other seasons too, we will make the traditional pilgrimages to our relatives’ homes, and within a couple of days, we are reminded of why we moved out in the first place.  You know what they say:  fish and house guests stink after three days. On this year’s Thanksgiving odyssey […]

Joan Larsen Presents Katrina Kenison: This is 55

October 5, 2016

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“To really value life is to know this:  the best moments are often the ones we might miss altogether if we weren’t paying attention.” Katrina Kenison As we too become immersed in the latest chapters in our lives, there is something so reassuring to know that we are not alone.  And so it is as […]

Joan Larsen Presents Eileen Rockefeller: The Rewards of Labor in Beauty

September 14, 2016

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In this week following Labor Day, we are delighted to welcome writer-author Eileen Rockefeller to join us.  Her words are always deep – and deeply felt… and this week is no exception.  We too believe that spending time in the natural world tends to help wash away our worries and concerns.  It can wipe clean […]

I Never Wanted to Be a Mommy

September 12, 2016

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I ran across this really excellent article by Jessica Valenti in The Atlantic:  “Not Wanting Kids Is Entirely Normal.”  Thank you, thank you, thank you Ms. Valenti.  Everyone needs to read this.  It exposes the dirty, secret truth about parenting:  there are a lot of mothers out there who regret becoming parents, who didn’t know […]

The Gritmobile: My Dad’s Toyota SR-5 Turns to Treasure

July 18, 2016

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Keep something around long enough, and magic can happen. Way back in 1983, my sixty-something-year-old Dad casually announced that he would be trading in his somewhat plain gray sedan and getting, for the first and only time in his life, a pickup truck. “Whatever for?” I wondered. “I just like it. Something different,” said Dad. […]

The Unsanitary Swim Diaper: Not in My Pool, Please!

May 23, 2016

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Time for Lila’s annual public safety and health announcement:  even the manufacturers don’t claim that “swim diapers” will contain a mess. Memorial Day is fast approaching, and that means the neighborhood pools will soon be opening for business.  As we wrote last year, the whole concept of a diapered child in a communal swimming area […]

On Single Parenthood

May 16, 2016

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It’s not progress. Some time ago, a favorite website ran a feature celebrating single mothers who have helped to change societal attitudes toward single parenting.  Certainly, there was a time when having children out of wedlock carried a definite stigma, divorce was frowned upon, and widows and widowers were objects of pity, and generally expected […]

Another Misleading Internet Meme

April 4, 2016

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I’m getting tired of seeing certain Internet memes like this one making the rounds.  Golly, life is so hard and unfair these days.  A 40-hour-a-week job just doesn’t support us anymore.  You know what?  Life IS unfair, but this is not why.  This is something you can actually fix, if you want to.  Yes, there was […]

The Gift of Nina

March 23, 2016

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By Joan Larsen Death is a part of life.  We must accept that.  .  . and do.  We find that the joys jointly shared will become the emotions that will remain with us forever.  Nina remains in my heart.  . and always will. My thoughts leap out.  I find it rare to find a woman — […]

Lauriate Roly Remembers: They Laughed When I Sat Down to Play

March 14, 2016

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I don’t know how I learned to play the piano. It’s such a ridiculous history that I’m having trouble writing about it.  But, ridiculous as it may be, I’m going to try to tell you, as clearly as I, in my senior of senior years, may relate the story and attempt to put all the fatuous […]

This Conservative Meme Got It All Wrong on Reproductive Rights and Responsibilities

January 25, 2016

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Fact-based critical thinking is seriously wounded in this country. So… one of my rather conservative friends… a very religious and avidly pro-life individual… shared the below meme, from a Facebook page called “Right Wing News.” A quick scroll through the posts on that page pretty much confirm that it is rabidly uber-conservative, sometimes nonsensically so. […]

Joan Larsen Writes: Live Life to the Fullest – A Room of Our Own

January 20, 2016

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By Joan Larsen So often, we do not have time to smell the roses, do we?  Sometimes, it feels as if we have just run a marathon  .  .  . and yet there is still more to do.  Perhaps I am prejudiced, but women are responsible for so many things in our world of today.  […]

Delicious Irony of the Flight of the Affluenza Boy

January 4, 2016

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In a deliciously ironic twist, Affluenza Boy’s maneuvering to avoid justice has landed him in a “sanctuary” that is far worse and may even last longer than any punishment he would have received in the US. Two years ago, we expressed our outrage at the Ethan Couch case. You may remember it; a spoiled and […]

Lauriate Roly Remembers: Crèche – Mom, From Central Casting

December 21, 2015

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By Lauriate Roly The school I went to had a boy’s side and a girl’s side, “and never the twain shall meet.”  It was strictly forbidden for either side to mix with the other. Even in the big schoolyard we shared together, there was a heavy painted line that neither gender child would even think […]

Joan Larsen Presents: A True and Inspiring Holiday Tale to Remember – Sprinkling Stars on the Life of a Child

December 16, 2015

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By Joan Larsen Sometimes, a single story can change our lives. Though this personal tale takes place in the Christmas season, it is one that – once heard – is remembered forever.   The glories of nature in the Bitterroot Valley of western Montana would be hard to match.  But in that wilderness live families whose […]

“Free-Range Kid” Legislation: Pretty Sad That It Needed a Law

December 14, 2015

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A little bit of common sense may be returning to our schools. On 10 December, President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act, which overhauls the disastrous “No Child Left Behind” law. Love it or not, the idea is to get the Federal Government mostly out of the education business and return control of curricula […]

Wonderful Wool – and Other Old Things

November 30, 2015

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The holiday season is upon us!  May you stay safe in your forays into the shopping chaos. I’d like to make a suggestion for this year: buy old stuff. I started pondering this with the arrival of the cold weather last year. It happens that I have my parents’ wool blankets that they bought way […]

Joan Larsen Encore: Thanksgiving at the Lake House

November 25, 2015

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It’s Thanksgiving at the Lake House and the gathering of family is always equated to love overflowing and the feeling of closeness . . .   A warm welcome to our family Thanksgiving!!       The greatest fun is coming early and working together to make decorations for the house   As the children […]

Why Child Care May Never Be Well Compensated

November 9, 2015

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It’s because of the limited availability of parental dollars to pay for the service. Marketwatch published an interesting chart this week, showing how those who care for our nation’s children are compensated at a lower rate than bellhops, car cleaners, and even parking lot attendants. Why is this? Child-care workers are entrusted with our nation’s […]

Kim Davis and False Christianity

October 5, 2015

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According to the teachings of Jesus, Kim Davis is an adulteress and hypocrite right now. Not just in her past. I’m not a Christian. I’m not trying to convert anybody, one way or the other. However, as a sometime scholar of the Bible (for actual grades!), I do think it bears mentioning that Kim Davis […]

Teen Pregnancy: The Old, Old Story

September 21, 2015

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It is the old, old story. Young love, flaring passions, secret, unprotected sex… an unintended pregnancy… and life-changing consequences.  Adolescence instantaneously ends, and two young people are flung, unprepared, into adulthood. Here is a glimpse backward at how things once were… A far cry from how they are today. Just some food for thought. A […]

Dorothy Stewart McElhaney: Best Obit EVER

August 17, 2015

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A friend pointed out this obituary, which appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch last Tuesday. We have written previously that what matters in life is what you can pack into that little dash that appears between your birth date and your death date. Well, what a jam-packed dash this lady had, and what wit and humor! […]

Bristol Palin, Pregnant Again, Doesn’t Want Any Lectures. Good. Neither Do We.

June 26, 2015

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If ever there were an argument that we should all butt out of each others’ reproductive business, this is it.   Time for a quick Friday rant: Bristol Palin is pregnant out of wedlock for the second time. “Bristol Palin announces second pregnancy, schadenfreude-tinged pile-on begins,” trumpets the Los Angeles Times. I’m not into the […]

Ten More Turns: The Little Gold Watch

June 22, 2015

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By Lauriate Roly She probably played with this lovely watch many times.  Trying to set the time or trying to wind it so it would keep running, or watching to see that it is wound enough to keep running until to-morrow. How many times a day should it be wound, and how many turns of […]