Karen's Blog

Let's take a walk through a brand new day.

“We’ve already bought the cheese and crackers!”

I’ve spent a lot of time in hospitals in my adult life. Thankfully, I was not the one in the hospital bed but rather the one sleeping in the lie flat recliner beside the patient. I prefer to call it my “Delta One Bed”. The made up name just makes the bed seem a little more comfortable than it really is.

I first had the experience of staying nights in the hospital with my mother since I was the daughter that could sleep anywhere, anytime.  After my mother passed, it was time to stay with my father and then later with my husband. It’s important, in my opinion, for someone to be there to pay attention to details and provide help or comfort when needed.
But, sometimes, it is the caregiver who needs comforting. And, sometimes, the caregiver doesn’t even realize that she needs comforting. (more…)

Marriage…or Not

Traveling to Cuba this past week had me thinking about all sorts of things from politics to religion to lifestyles. Traveling always makes me think. This time, a chance encounter in the beautiful blue waters of the ocean left me pondering an age-old question.

I was floating around in the ocean on my hot pink inflatable float (more…)

Mr. George

A recent visit to the Birthplace of Mardi Gras brought the usual… bands, floats, parades, outlandish costumes and BEADS! It was fun to watch the parade and be in the line of fire of the “throwers” on the floats who not only hit us with beads and trinkets, but also with rice, ramen noodles, honey buns, and moon pies! Mardi Gras is a grand time.  (more…)

There’s no place like…

Traveling in Southeast Asia was new experience for me and one I totally embraced from the minute I walked off the plane.  The smells were different.  The people looked different.  The actions were different.  The food was different.  Sanitation was different.  Even the toilets were different.  I embraced it all.  Well… maybe not the toilets. (more…)

Traveling is a Hassle!

I’ve been preparing for a trip this holiday and I’ve been reminded just how much work preparing for extended travel is!  Let’s just cut this commentary short and sweet and make a list: (more…)


Lately, I find myself very eager to learn new things and have new experiences. I am, by nature, a curious person. Not as curious as Isaac Newton, (considered by some the most curious human of all time), but curious just the same. I am curious about people, places, nature, opinions, emotions, reasons, things, mechanics, physics, chemistry, religion….and the list goes on. (more…)

Order among Chaos

As Hurricane Willa makes landfall near the resort towns on the Mexican Riviera, I am reminded of the devastation caused by Hurricane Michael in Georgia and Florida. So many friends were affected by power outages, fallen trees, destroyed crops, and mangled houses. But, thankfully, no friends or family lost lives. As I reflect on that powerful storm and my experience, I want to share my observation as I outran the hurricane by going west.

My cousin and I had planned a trip which was to begin on the Florida Panhandle and end in Baton Rouge. We realized on the day before we were to leave that Hurricane Michael was at sea and was possibly headed directly to the area where we planned to spend part of our vacation. Undeterred, we decided to go forth with our plans and keep tabs on mighty Michael. As luck would have it, Michael decided he’d like to land in the exact same spot we were to start our trip. (more…)

My heart is hurting…

Today was a gut wrenching day due to a mere 5 minute heartbreaking encounter. (more…)

Where is it?

“I can’t find it!”  “Where is it?” “How do I access it?” “Can I google it?” “Can you message me with it?”  Oh, the joys of technology… (more…)


I listened to a story on 60 Minutes recently that got my feathers ruffled.  The story was about how California is reforming the prison system away from solitary confinement/tough love towards a focus on education. Prisoners are spending more time in the classroom and less time being idle. Sounds good, right? Education is the key to a better life. But, when I saw the topics of discussion on the board of the prison classroom, my heart felt a tug. The topics were almost all about communication, building relationships, and decision making.  Hmm……

I couldn’t help but feel that maybe we had failed these men in our current education system. They all attended school in their younger years yet failed to learn the basic human skills needed for a happier and healthier life.

Maybe it’s time for a different kind of education reform.  Instead of focusing weeks and weeks on testing factual knowledge, maybe we need to spend a large part of every day learning how to communicate effectively, overcome adversity, problem solve, and think critically. These men would certainly have benefitted. Good decision making skills could have changed the course of their life.

Teacher friends, as you head back into the classroom, add those needed life skills into your curriculum.  They are easy to embed Into every subject we teach through the management of the classroom and the words you speak.

In the end, our children are worth it.

Have a great school year!