Posted in Writing Prompts

Reena’s Xploration Challenge #178-Conscience Before Comfort

I’ve chosen a few unusual words to serve as a fillip to your imagination.


Adjective: hating endings; someone who prolongs saying goodbye for as long as possible.


Adjective: to do something with soul, passion, or love. 


Verb: to turn into a star. 


Noun: a person who reads in bed.


Adjective: whirling around the universe. 

It may be a good idea to invent a word of your own on similar lines and use it in your piece. Mention the word that you have chosen as a prompt.

Or you could choose to write something on etymology or how authors choose their language to suit the theme.
I chose to make up my own word for this challenge.
Survoward – A person who perpetuates falsehoods in order to preserve his/her standard of living, to feel accepted by society, or to ensure their own personal safety.

Bonnie was told to introduce gender fluidity to her Kindergarten class. It was part of the new curriculum. There was also an implied urgency to this morning’s memo.
She’d been thrilled to get the teaching position and excited to engage with her favorite age group of kids. Her generous starting pay would mean she’d finally be able to save AND pay off her college debt simultaneously.
Bonnie was instructed to use this book with kid friendly illustrations:

When she read the book, her gut bothered her. Bonnie could see her 4 1/2-year-old niece who’d be a kindergardener next school year. Her innocence was always the greatest part of playing with her. She’d never even think about introducing this topic to her!

Suddenly, Bonnie had a flashback to her ‘tomboy’ period at age 15. She had tucked back her hair while staring in the bathroom mirror and imagined herself as a boy. Would she had been a handsome boy instead of a rather plain girl? That was her momentary question at the time. She went easily from there to excelling on her softball team and forgot the question as quickly as it had occurred to her. What if? What if someone had told her to BE a boy?
Bonnie shuddered while recalling a recent video made by a child psychologist. The psychologist had said that she’d had only one child with gender dysphoria in her entire 20 years of practice until 2018. Her much older colleagues had had none in their longer practices. But starting in 2018, she had gotten a progressively larger gender confused clientele. So many that she could not in clear conscience say that this change was organic. It was, in her opinion, a conditioned response. It was real in the genuine suffering but there was ‘something’ environmental obviously inspiring it.

On the next school day, Bonnie held back tears and told her kids she had been hired someplace new. Then she handed in her resignation letter. She had chosen not to be a survoward by choosing her human dignity and conscience over her financial comfort. Her financial situation ultimately did become difficult again, but she also found that she was sleeping better than she had in a while.

Posted in In my humble opinion..., Keeping Kids Creative, My Vivid Memories

My Vivid Memories-Creating Artists – 4/17/23

Through my childcare years, I had a special mission. It was clear to me that children are natural, instinctive, artists. I wanted to keep that alive in my day care friends.
We never used coloring books and I just made many kinds of art supplies available. As an artist, myself, I gave them instruction on composition, style, and lighting in their paintings.
We even put on an Art Show in my front yard once. I wanted them to have the whole experience. Public schools (during my time there) didn’t take art seriously IMHO. It seemed to actually interfere with the innate creativity every child has. I wanted MY kids to bloom and embrace a confident, personal, approach to creating art that they’d never forget.
I’m just going to load this post with photos of the Art Show but also many creative moments we all had. Enjoy!

First a slideshow of our Art Show followed by a stacked gallery of some really cool masterpieces!

Posted in In my humble opinion...

SoCS ~April 8th, 2023 Harsh Reality

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “starts with gen.” Find a word that starts with “gen” and use it in your post. Have fun!

Gentle is such a generic term.
It doesn’t differ from the word “kind” in that it has no definition beyond a personal one.
But we can agree that whatever “gentle” means it’s a good thing for babies and old folk.
Our language has become so captured by generalities that all common understanding has been swept aside. I sometimes entertain the idea that we’ve been ‘nudged’ into generalities specifically to stir-up division.
Add to that a few generations of youths who have been taught that they truly are the smartest humans ever to exist and there’s a problem.
We ought to ask, “Who benefits from the lack of cohesive understanding in a society?”
And the next question since the pandemic ought to be, “Who benefits from widespread propagandized fear?”
I suspect those answers are the same.
I hope this serves as a ‘gentle’ reminder that we ought to seriously examine our ‘harsh’ reality.

Happy Saturday Everyone! ❤

Posted in In my humble opinion...

Sunday Dawdle- 1/29/23 Who we are.

Rory, as usual, has offered a few interesting questions.

Should we fear the arrival of more progressive AI [Artificial Intelligence] or embrace it?

As with most things, cautious fascination is my default.
It’s the same way I approach thunderstorms.
They are wonderous, awe-inspiring, events but shouldn’t be met with careless disregard for their dangerous capability.
Given that…my worry mainly lies with the ‘all for profit’ type of human innovators who time-after-time throw caution to the wind.
A quote from Jurassic Park that fits this well is, “The scientists were so concerned with whether they COULD, they never asked if they SHOULD.”

How much time do you spend sitting each day?

Sometimes a lot (reading or blogging) and sometimes so little (from gardening or doing errands) that my body aches. I guess that balances out over time as a healthy lifestyle.

What is your proudest accomplishment?
[Having Children not included] 

Being an excellent childcare provider. I built a wonderful reputation and took my role of inspiring and teaching kids farther than what some might consider “babysitting”.
Kindergarten teachers approached me on a few occasions expressing how well prepared and skilled ‘my kids’ were and knowing new kids each September had spent their ‘tender years’ under my tutelage made them happy. Some family members of ‘my kids’ have also reached out to tell me how pleased they were by what they had noticed the kids had learned. That included manners, life-skills, and being curious.

Are/Were you the youngest, middle, oldest or only child?

I have been interested in ‘birth order’ theory for a long time. Some psychologists believe that one’s birth order plays a crucial role in each of our personalities. The little day care ‘families’ (keep in mind that many of the kids spent more wakeful hours with me than at home) that grew up in my care often scrambled that dynamic by placing ‘oldest’ children in a group where they were the ‘youngest’, and so on.
I was all in on “Birth Order Theory” at one time. And I DO think birth order plays a part in the rate at which kids mature. BUT, after years of my own curious study, I’m now convinced that most of our temperament and natural inclinations come from inborn tendencies. Our DNA has done much of the decision making. I could go on and on about my real-life observations, but I’ll spare you. LOL

I am the oldest child of three. I was also the oldest grandchild on BOTH sides. I got a slathering of attention for sure.

Posted in Writing Prompts

Weekend Writing Prompt #295- Mistaken Identity

Mistaken Identity

Helen began her evenings, since she started her first week as a kindergarten teacher, with a glass of wine.
Her degree hadn’t prepared her for constant chatter and the “Why? question” hundreds of times a day!

By the next Monday, she worried why Lydia (the one student who sat quietly observing) hadn’t join the chaos. Helen became concerned about identifying a ‘learning disability’ frequently described by professors, so she decided to investigate.

“Lydia, why don’t you ask questions?”

“I didn’t want you to think of me as loquacious.”


Posted in In my humble opinion...

Readers are Created not Born

There’s a wonderful public school initiative that asks children to read for 30 minutes a day. I think it’s a good start but the “art” of reading is not in the “time spent” but about comprehension.

I say this with some hands-on experience in my day care situation. One of my charges is a fourth grader who asks me to keep track of his after school reading period. The sad part is his reading is done with one eye on the clock. I ask him about what he’s read. Occasionally, he has an answer but most often, he doesn’t have a clue.

A few days ago, I asked him to read his book out loud to me. He’d chosen a book about the American Revolution which, by the sparkle in his eyes, was a topic of interest. As he read, there was stumbling on unknown words. Many of these words were critical to his understanding. I pronounced the words and gave him the definitions. Light bulbs of understanding and interest were coming to light like I had not ever seen with him before.

In addition to listening, I was reacting with excitement to the content. “Wow! The colonists were really out numbered!” …” Of course the king would be angry. He wanted their money and obedience to continue, don’t you think?”

Well, the 30 minutes turned into almost an hour without one glance at the clock. He clutched the book like a newly discovered treasure when he packed to go home too. My friend went from reading to reader without even realizing it. I told him to look for a book about Valley Forge if he wanted to know more about the trials of war. (I cannot wait to see if he does.)

So, there is a difference between minutes spent reading and the sharing that makes a kid into a reader.

Curious fun fact~ The very first entire book that I read, in one sitting, was in sixth grade and was Washington at Valley Forge.

Washington at Valley Forge
Washington at Valley Forge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Posted in Kid Story Ideas, Sideshows, Susan's Family Day Care

A kind word

There’s no substitute for the feeling one gets from being generous. Even though it is hard for little kids to share, they catch on to that feeling. We want kids to develop this generous nature but I do not think we should reward them with gifts.  I award my day care friends with a kind word and a hug. By giving kids rewards of tangible objects, we are sending the message that they get some thing for all their kindness. Isn’t what we want them to learn that kindness is its own reward?

I’ve had fun through the years training my pet dogs. I am no expert but I have read and studied about dog training. At the risk of sounding weird, I think toddler training and puppy training are very similar. I’ve noticed that the commands that I use are the same. Sit,stay,wait,come,good boy, are applicable to kids.

Kids and dogs both want the same thing. Positive attention is their favorite reward. They just really want to please their care giver more than anything.

My Jack Russell Terrier can be a stubborn little cus. I’ll let him out,once in awhile, in the middle of one of these balmy nights to do his business. I can tell he would prefer to linger. On occasion, I have lost my cool and growled at him to hurry up! I finally found the key. I start praising him in a gentle voice. “Come on my good boy.” “That’s MY good boy”. Works every time. I follow it with a few warm pats. (offering him a piece of ham never worked.) The essence is to make him want to come in. I use our friendship as the prize and he deems that a great trade.

My favorite prize for my children is a comment, “You made me smile!” or “I can tell that that made you feel good. Way to go!” A kind word and a hug  is a very powerful tool when it is sincere. Certainly, it is rewarding to all!