Category Archives: Educating

All things related to teaching and learning.

Syringomyelia 1 - Movie 0. A Propensity to Discuss post.

Syringomyelia 1 – Movie 0

Syringomyelia – 1        Movie-going – 0

Yep. Going to a movie lost out to syringomyelia (SM). Hubby and I went to see the movie Dunkirk and it was really good (click here for review) and it was really bad.

No, not the movie, but what seeing the movie did to me. After seeing it on Saturday, I spent all day Sunday, most of Monday and part of Tuesday on muscle relaxers, pain pills, a heating pad, and on the sofa recuperating. No, I am not kidding.

The movie was very intense and I spent probably 100 of its 106 minutes stressed out about what was going to happen and who might die and when the next bomb may hit. Tensed is not a way for me to spend 100 minutes. Or even 30 minutes.

Why didn’t I leave the movie, you ask? Why didn’t I stop watching? Quite honestly, because it never crossed my mind that seeing a movie was going to put me out of action for the next 3 days! Would it cross yours if it had never happened? No, probably not. But I know better now. I had even taken medicine as a precaution to sitting in the chairs at the movie, but even that didn’t help.

Syringomyelia sucks. Just saying.

Syringomyelia 1 - Movie 0. A Propensity to Discuss post.

Other than the pain, there are the “little” things.

I drop things. Sometimes my hand(s) just let go and whatever I was holding is on the floor. I don’t drink out of glass anymore, don’t worry!

I get vertigo at very inopportune times. Like one day I was fine and hubby and I walked into a Subway to get lunch. Ten steps in and the world shifted and began to spin around me. The teenagers behind the counter thought it was great that I was drunk. Until I told them that I don’t drink alcohol. That’ll shut ’em up quickly.

I can’t get to a word sometimes, even though I know it. I was talking to my dad one day about my eyes and was trying to say that I have astigmatism. I know that word. But all that would come out was augmentin. Even after he said it to me, I could not say it back. The next day, I could say it perfectly.

My balance is really bad. If I ever got pulled over and asked to do the DUI test, I’d never in a million years pass it. Except that I don’t drink alcohol, so there is that. (And no, I do not drive when I am heavily medicated.)

My legs and feet go to sleep. Most of the time without me knowing it until I try to stand up. It’s not a pretty sight, I tell you!

My family and sense of humor keep me sane. When I drop something, I just pick it up with a loud thank you that it wasn’t glass, or priceless. When I can’t come up with a word, I generally insert a nonsense or alternate one and those who know me just roll with it. When my balance is bad, I am so thankful for a hubby and kids who non-theatrically steady me.

My faith in God sustains me. There is no possible way I could handle this on my own, so I lean into my faith to help me through the hardest days and I know that I am loved.

So after SM won against the movie, I spent several days reading, watching a couple of no-stress-at-all movies on Netflix and resting. While I did take muscle relaxers and pain meds, the one thing that seemed to help the most was Amish Origins Pain Relief Cream. This stuff is magical on sore and tight muscles! I found it a couple of years ago at a Mennonite bakery that we go to often and the owner assured me that it helped. I have since found it on Amazon (the bakery is 4 hours away) and I still use it.

Syringomyelia 1 - Movie 0. A Propensity to Discuss post.

While I don’t generally post about my issues with SM, I do believe that it is very important to bring awareness to this issue, as there are so many of us out there struggling to live a “normal” life and not let SM control us. But it is an every single day kind of struggle. We don’t want pity. We don’t want unsolicited advice (sorry, we have lots of doctors giving advice). We don’t want to be left alone. We want your support. We want your love. We don’t want to be in pain.

But most of all, we want you to know that sometimes just listening to us rant, without judgment or attempts to “fix” us is the thing we would like most.


This post may contain affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products!

Helicopter teachers. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

Helicopter teachers

Whether or not you have read my post on helicopter parenting…I think the research shows that “hovering” as parents is a no-no. It is so detrimental to kids and it is a travesty of justice for kids. But now there is an issue with teachers being led into hover mode.

What another insane travesty of justice.

In school systems where parents have 24/7 access to their students’ grades and access to all the upcoming assignments, and quiz and test dates for their students through a learning platform, why are teachers required to call/email a parent when a student fails a test? Why on earth do parents have to be specifically notified? If parents want to hover and helicopter, this is the one area where they actually should be a little over the top. But ironically, most are not.

Many of the same reasons that make hover parenting bad, also make hover-teaching bad. Let’s look at entitlement. So the child fails, the teacher calls the parent and the parent wants to know why the child failed. Hello? Your child doesn’t study. Your child doesn’t prepare for class. Your child doesn’t care. Why? Because a parent that doesn’t hold kids accountable for their grades gives that child an open invitation to entitlement.

Think about it: Mom and/or Dad know that Junior isn’t studying. He is playing video games. Or hanging out with friends. He may even be working. But if he isn’t studying, he is not preparing for his job as a student. So, when Junior (or Suzie-Q) fails, Mom/Dad really don’t have any recourse. They have allowed the child to forgo studying, so how can they legitimately get angry when he/she didn’t pass?

Chronic complainers? Yes! Kids who don’t study and don’t pass are generally the ones who complain about the test or the teacher or the school or anything else that doesn’t go exactly they way they want it. They are entitled, so they know for certain that it is not their own fault that they failed. “This wasn’t on the study guide/We didn’t get a study guide.” Guess what, there is no study guide for life or for your job/career. What then?

Helicopter teachers. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

At what point do we hold the students responsible for their actions or inaction, as the case may be. The teacher has to notify the parent. Really? Can the parent not talk to the child? Can the child actually be held accountable?

I was, and I am pretty sure you were, also. In the 70s and 80s, how many times did our parents blame teachers for our bad grades? How often did our parents get a phone call about a failing grade we made? They didn’t. And they didn’t have instant access to grades.

Our parents got a report card once every 6 or 9 weeks, and it had to be signed and returned to school the next day. That was it. They knew about those things, not because they had a learning platform on a computer that was updated daily, but because they took an interest in our education and asked us what we were doing in school.

Let’s face it, anyone who doesn’t hold kids accountable is responsible for the anxiety and lack of confidence these students have. In the same way that helicopter parenting damages kids, helicopter teaching has a similar outcome.

Should parents know their kids have failed a test? Yes!

Should the teacher have to be a helicopter figure to let the parents know? No!

If parents take the initiative to know what their child is doing in school, the child will be more likely to take the initiative to do better. If not, the parents must force the issue with the child. The parents. Not the teacher.

We are raising the future here. We need them to be confident, non-entitled adults ready to take on the world by themselves, not just because someone is forcing them to do so.

Sorry for the rant, I just get a little heated sometimes!

Anyway, what are your thoughts on this?


Four Reasons To Read This Book. A Propensity to Discuss Review. The real doctor will see you shortly.

The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly: A Physician’s First Year by Matt McCarthy

There are quite a few reasons to read “The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly: A Physician’s First Year by Matt McCarthy. This true story, names changed to protect the innocent, or at least the HIPPA laws, is at first woefully scary. But as it continues, the fear that while Harvard book educated, this doctor is somewhat incompetent in the hands-on world of a hospital.

As you continue reading, his abilities get better and better, but it is so much more than that and those are the 4 reasons to read this book.

Four Reasons To Read This Book. A Propensity to Discuss Review. The real doctor will see you shortly.

(1) To know the value of Hands-On Learning

When Dr. Matthew McCarthy graduated from medical school, he was an extremely well-educated man. He had all of the book-knowledge of medicine that could be crammed into 4 years. He did not, however, know how to make a diagnosis or treat patients. And let’s face it, you can’t really refer to a book when someone shows up at the Emergency Room having a heart attack.

Hands-on learning is vital to learning. An absolute necessity. And why in the world Americans still think that learning from a book is supreme, I’ll never know. But, trust me, if you read this book you will become a true believer.

(2) To grasp Sympathy

A few trips out on the streets with a highly respected physician to search for, find and treat homeless patients and McCarthy came to realize that sympathy for those he treated was paramount. Not only to show sympathy to those who were dressed well, smelled clean and had all their wits about them, but to never judge a person by his or her status in the world.

How much better would this world be if we all took a lesson like this to heart?

(3) To understand Empathy

It was only after a chance encounter that McCarthy came to understand completely why HIV patients many times stop taking their medications, even though they know that the disease will quickly begin to destroy their bodies and their lives. It is something he cannot fully explain to others, but his understanding led him to be a much more effective and much better physician because he could empathize with those he served.

This was not the only event that led him down that path, there is also another patient who spends McCarthy’s entire intern year in the Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) waiting for a heart. This man teaches McCarthy more about being a caregiver than any class he ever took.

(4) It is a really good book.

When I began this book I kept reading because I was so amazed at how little McCarthy knew about taking care of patients and I was actually appalled at his lack of ability. The more I read, the more I became invested not only in McCarthy but in the patients in his care, especially the ones who were constant and/or recurrent. I found myself worrying over them, scared for them and willing them to be better.

I also found myself really pulling for McCarthy. Perhaps it is because my father is a doctor and I saw him in the lead worrying about patients, trying to learn all of the ins and outs and how to be a good doctor, but most importantly a great caregiver.

There are stories of survival and stories of loss. There are stories of hope and stories of devastation. But most importantly, they are all stories of compassion.  And that is something we all need. This really is a good book and I highly recommend you read it.

Blogging for Books Disclosure

Blogging for Books Disclosure

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

I never imagined that one day I'd get hurt and never get better. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

I never imagined that one day I’d get hurt and never get better.

I may never have imagined it, but it happened. Just like it has happened to approximately 21,000 other people in the U.S. (American Syringomyelia & Chiari Alliance Project) I have syringomyelia. 

What is syringomyelia?

Syringomyelia (sear-IN-go-my-EEL-ya) or SM, is a disorder from a cyst that has formed in a spinal cord. This cyst, or syrinx, generally grows wider and longer over time. As that happens, part of the spinal cord is damaged and/or destroyed. When the syrinx widens, it presses on nerves that lead from the spine to the arms and legs. It can also push against the spine and discs of the spine, causing them to herniate.

What problems does SM cause?

The injury to the spinal cord caused by the syrinx often leads to increasing weakness in the arms and legs, very sore, stiff muscles in the shoulders, back, arms and legs. There is also chronic, severe pain for many, but not all, people who suffer from SM. There can also be bladder issues (a loss of control, infections).

The signs and symptoms are different from each person with SM. For some, the pain is debilitating. For others, it is a problem but does not completely interrupt their lives, and for some, there are no symptoms at all. There is no real rhyme or reason for a syrinx that has been dormant to begin causing problems. It could be something as simple as a sneeze or a cough or even straining.

What caused my syrinx.

I have had a syrinx for about 14 years. While running one day I started to fall forward and knew I had to protect my head, so I put out my arm and locked my elbow against the fall. I did protect my head from the floor. Unfortunately, my arm took the full force of my fall. Had I broken my arm, the outcome would probably have been much different. However, my arm did not break. I damaged/tore all the ligaments and tendons and my ulnar nerve was displaced. The ulnar nerve is your “funny bone” so that was really not a pleasant experience. (Insert funny/ironic joke here.)

What I have had done in the past.

Over the next 10 years, I had 2 surgeries to reposition that nerve. After the first, scar tissue formed and attached the nerve to the bone. The second corrected that. The ring and pinky finger on that hand remained asleep (for ten years) and there was a good bit of pain involved.

Eight years later, I had an MRI that revealed the syrinx. The neurologist who ordered the MRI began treating me for the SM at that time. I continued to have an MRI once a year and 2 years later there were big changes in my MRI and he sent me immediately to a neurosurgeon.

Post Op. I never imagined that one day I'd get hurt and never get better. A Propensity to Discuss Post. Syringomyelia

Cervical Fusion Post Op. They do go through the front of your neck to get to the damaged cervical area.

Two days after seeing her for the first time I had my first neck fusion or Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). One of the discs in my neck had herniated and pushed the vertebrae into my spinal cord. I was about 1/8 of an inch from paralysis. I thank God that I have an absolutely amazing neurosurgeon. She was able to complete the surgery with no issues.

My second fusion surgery was 364 days later. Same incredible neurosurgeon. No issues. I am fused from C3-C5. This means that I have a titanium brace on my vertebrae that looks like the one pictured below, except mine covers 3 discs where this one is just one.

What I presently do for my SM.

I have 2 MRIs per year. I see my neurosurgeon every 6 months. One conclusion from my last appointment was that I am “in pretty good shape for the terrible shape I’m in.” The syrinx at the top of my spine (cervical) has also caused problems for the bottom of my spine (lumbar). As of now, I have one cervical and three lumbar discs that are protruding and one lumbar disc with a tear. Chances are extremely high that these will herniate and they will have to be fused as well. But at this point, it is just a wait and watch scenario.

I am also a patient of Shepherd Spine and Pain Institute. My doctor and the entire staff are amazing. When your doctor walks in and immediately notices your hair is cut differently, you know for certain he is paying attention to you. He handles all of my pain management medications, procedures, and treatments.

Radiofrequency Ablation. I never imagined that one day I'd get hurt and never get better. A Propensity to Discuss Post. Syringomyelia

Radiofrequency Ablation.

For example, every six months, I have Radiofrequency Ablation on my neck (cervical) and lower back (lumbar). In this procedure, my doctor cauterizes some of the nerves to keep them from causing so much pain. This is a seriously painful process, but it is worth it. An hour of severe pain. Five months of help. Here are two videos that explain the procedure. This one is an animated version. This one is a video of an actual procedure. If you have a weak stomach, choose the animated one.

Dry Needling. I never imagined that one day I'd get hurt and never get better. A Propensity to Discuss Post. Syringomyelia

Needles for Dry Needling

I also have dry needling as needed with an order written by my doctor. This is a process where very thin needles are inserted into muscle tissue that is “knotted.” (I am sure my physical therapist is cringing right now that I called it that, but that is what it feels like – muscles full of knots!) The needle being moved around makes the muscle tense and then release. The effect is immediate. I have gone to an appointment unable to move my neck more than a couple of inches in any direction and after the 15-25 minute procedure been able to touch my chin to my neck and look straight up at the ceiling. Who knew looking at the ceiling would ever be so exciting?

I am on quite a bit a ton of medication. I have 5 different muscle relaxers that I can take. Two of these I only take before bed, one which specifically targets my myoclonic jerks or myoclonus that get worse at night. One I take 3 times a day and the other 2 I can take up to 3 times a day as needed.

What about addiction?

As I wrote in another post, Nope. People who suffer from chronic pain don’t generally become addicted. Our bodies use the medications for purposes other than the euphoria that addicts hope for. Trust me, there’s no euphoria here! ( If you don’t really believe me, check out this link for emedicine health

What my future holds.

Well, it holds more of what I have already been through. As of my last MRI (I now have one every 6 months) I have 1 cervical and 3 lumbar discs that are in the process of herniating. I have a lumbar disc with a tear. It is a waiting game. Waiting to see if they hold their own of if they will decide to give up. In that case, there will be another fusion. If that happens, I’ll face it head on. That is the only way. If it doesn’t, or until it does, I will continue as I am now. Smiling when I don’t really feel like it and moving on with my life.

I don’t say this for pity. Truly I don’t. I do not want to hear “Oh, I’m so sorry.” It isn’t your fault. I don’t want to hear “You’ll get better.” I won’t, but I don’t dwell on that and I don’t want those around me to do that, either. The best thing to do is just acknowledge that I have good days and bad days. On good days, treat me the way you would anyone else. On bad days, treat me the way you would anyone else.

Just know that there are times that I want to do things and my body just says “No.” It’s nothing against you. My body just loves playing tricks on me.

What resources are available.

The very best thing you can do if you are diagnosed with SM is to find a really good set of doctors. You need a neurologist who can refer you to a neurosurgeon if needed. You need a pain management physician.

You also need a really good support system. You can find support groups on Facebook, on blogs, Twitter and even Instagram. There are some face-to-face groups as well, but most of them meet at night and, quite honestly, by the time I get home I don’t have the energy to go somewhere to a meeting. So I settle for online interaction. However, I really think there is a great benefit to meeting people who share your issues.

American Syringomyelia & Chiari Alliance Project

Chiari and Syringomyelia Foundation Handbook for Patients and Families

Syringomyelia Fact Sheet

Carion Fenn Network

Mayo Clinic SM page


National Organization for Rare Diseases (NORD)

Rare Connect

Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

Worldwide Syringomyelia and Chiari Task Force

Christopher S Burton Syringomyelia Foundation

ASAP list of support groups

ASAP’s main Facebook page (open to the public)

ASAP’s closed Facebook page (only those diagnosed with SM)

Ann Conroy Trust (Great Britain)

What I Didn’t Know About Chronic Illness. Now I Know Better.

Living with Syringomyelia

Brain Facts SM

Disability Information

Getting Social Security Disability for Syringomyelia


Anyone out there with SM? Want to talk about it? If you have anything to add, ask, or comment, please let me know. I’d love to hear from you. I do like to connect, but can we connect on here and not meet? I’m tired! 🙂

I've been enlightened and Illuminated. A Propensity to Discuss Review. Beginning Illumination

 Beginning Illumination: Learning the Ancient Art, Step by Step by Claire Travers

The truth of the matter is that I had NO IDEA what illumination was before I received this book. Quite honestly this book, Beginning Illumination: Learning the Ancient Art, Step by Step by Claire Traverswas one that I literally chose because of its cover (and the description) but the cover got me first.

Come on, admit it! You choose books by their covers sometimes. Everyone does. That is why on sites that offer pre-published books generally want you to judge the cover. As the old saying goes…You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Especially on a book cover!

Illuminated Manuscript. I've been enlightened and Illuminated. A Propensity to Discuss Review. Beginning Illumination.

When I read the description I was a bit intrigued.  Being a book lover and an art lover, I did just enough research to find out that illumination is about the drawings at the beginning  of paragraphs in old manuscripts. I also learned that the illuminations were to show the start of something new in a book because there were no periods or punctuation marks.

Example from book. I've been enlightened and Illuminated. A Propensity to Discuss Review. Beginning Illumination

Example from Beginning Illumination

Books, which I love. Art, which I love.  How much better could it get? The answer? A whole lot better!

This book is truly educational. It begins with a short very interesting history lesson about illumination and manuscripts. Not the movie kind… the earliest books that were hand-written by scribes.

Beginning Illumination Muller. I've been enlightened and Illuminated. A Propensity to Discuss Review. Beginning Illumination

Beginning Illumination. Muller and pigment

As you move further in the book Travers explains the materials needed, how to mix the materials, and how to create your own illuminations. Not only does Travers show you how to mix your own pigments, Including using a muller (pictured above, right) to grind them, but also how parchment is made and how it should be fastened to a board. Trust me, people, this is not paint-by-numbers!

Parchment. I've been enlightened and Illuminated. A Propensity to Discuss Review. Beginning Illumination

The illustrations are really good quality and quite helpful. That being said, the technique is not for the faint of heart.

As a testament to how much I enjoyed this book and how well I believe it is written, I will be purchasing the hardcover edition for my media center and for my school’s art teachers. I love the idea that this beautiful art form will continue hopefully at least in a small part because I have passed it along to someone who will enjoy it and has the talent to put it to great use.

Yes, I will try it out on a much smaller scale, but I just am not sure I am up for stretching parchment and mixing pigments just yet.


NetGalley Disclosure. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

5 Harsh Truths Every Girl (or Guy) Should Understand About Dating

I have mentioned that I am a Dr. Phil fan. A huge fan. I love his outspoken style of tell-it-like-it-is, take no prisoners, make no excuses advice. And I think he is spot on with that advice. I am more than a little like that. If I think it and don’t say it, it’s because I have used a great deal of restraint and that doesn’t happen very often. I also have a secret desire to be BFFs with his wife, Robin! 🙂

That being said, I particularly agree with his advice on dating and marriage and as an educator in a high school setting, I see so many teenagers who are so “in love” that they cannot see the forest for the trees. I am writing this post for them. Or for anyone in a relationship, really. I hope you don’t mind the soapbox…

If you argue more than you laugh, the relationship isn’t worth it.

5 Harsh Truths Every Girl (or Guy) Should Understand About Dating. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

Every day at work I walk down the halls and there are teenagers who are so “in love” hanging around every corner. But there is one couple that I see every day, a couple of times a day, and they are always in some kind of argument. I cannot count the number of times I have heard her saying “I’m sorry.” Or “I know, but…” Or “I didn’t mean it.” He always looks like he is having the worst day of his life.

Every time I see them, I want to stop and ask them why in the world are they together? Good grief! If I spent all my time with hubby apologizing or explaining my actions, I would be miserable. And so would he!

No, hubby and I probably don’t laugh 50% of the time we are together, but we don’t fight 50% of the time, either. We have a lot of conversations that aren’t funny, they are just conversations. We also have fun and laugh a good bit. We just have conversations. About life. About work. About the kids. About things on TV, the news, the weather, our lives…But we don’t have conversations that require apologies all the time.

What I am saying is that if your relationship is made up of apologies and excuses, it isn’t worth having.

If he/she cheats on you, say goodbye. And leave.

If you are dating someone and they cheat, why would you stay with that person? You have nothing holding you in a relationship.

Why would someone cheat? The Truth About Deception website claims that there are 2 basic reasons: 1st is being unhappy in a relationship and 2nd is that being faithful is difficult for some people.

Looking at these two issues, my responses are this: If you are unhappy with a dating relationship, get out of that relationship. If you cheat you are not only unhappy, but you are lowering yourself to being untrustworthy.

As for the second issue, my response is: That is malarkey! Being faithful is not that difficult. Just don’t do it. Don’t put yourself into situations where it is more likely that you will cheat. If cheating is looking like an option, make that decision not to do it. Take yourself out of the situation that is endangering your relationship.

5 Harsh Truths Every Girl (or Guy) Should Understand About Dating. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

Sex doesn’t mean he/she loves you. Nor does it mean you love him/her.

Sex is an act of love. But it does not mean that you love someone. Having sex does not make someone love you. It does not make you love someone, either. Having sex does not mean you are officially an adult, either. Trust me, I’ve met a lot of people who have sex that I would not consider adults! Just sayin’.

It’s just a fact. Sex is an act of love between two people, but it should never be forced or required. The statement “If you love me you’ll have sex with me” should ALWAYS be followed by “If you love me, you won’t pressure me.”  I am not saying sex is a bad thing. I am saying that holding sex over someone’s head to pressure them into something is a terrible thing.

Part of what makes you an adult is making good decisions based on a level of maturity that allows you to continue to make good decisions. Having sex to hang on to a boyfriend/girlfriend is the opposite of that.

If he/she keeps you from your friends, he/she isn’t worth keeping.

Being in a relationship takes time and commitment. I get that. But it doesn’t take 100% of your free time. I am amazed at the teenage couples at schools where I have worked that cannot be out of one another’s sight. They are holding hands, touching, or hanging all over each other all of the time. That’s just not for me. But for some, that is the relationship they like. I am good with that.

But then there is the more sinister side to that type of relationship, where one person basically requires the other to spend all his or her free time as a couple, not allowing the other to call, text, or talk to anyone else. Sometimes even family.

If this is the case, you should start to worry about abuse. I am not saying that person will abuse you, I am just saying that, in my opinion, and from what I have seen, these relationships usually involve abuse. Sometimes physical, but almost always emotional. I mean, let’s face it, not having any relationships outside your romantic one is already emotional abuse.

If your significant other doesn’t have other friends and interests beyond you, what is going to happen when you do something that lets them down? And you will because no one can be everything to someone else all the time. So if you let them down, how will they handle it? They are already controlling you emotionally, so how big of a leap would it be for the control to get physical?

Which leads me to the last point:

If he/she puts his hand on you in anger leave. Right then. And NEVER go back.

5 Harsh Truths Every Girl (or Guy) Should Understand About Dating. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

One of my favorite Dr. Phil/Robin quotes is “No man has the right to put his hands on a woman in anger. EVER.” This goes for women, too.

If there is physical abuse in a dating relationship, it will only get worse in a marital relationship. Because once you are married to an abuser, he/she gets this insane notion that you “belong” to them and they own you and can do whatever they like to you.

This is non-negotiable. Period.

So now that I have jumped squarely up on this soapbox, I truly hope that this helps someone out there. A good relationship takes a lot of time, a lot of effort on both people, respect, friendship and love. I hope you find that. I hope this article helps….

5 Harsh Truths Every Girl (or Guy) Should Understand About Dating. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

Because at the end of the day, what most of us want is someone to share our life with who has the same feelings toward us that we have toward them. That is what truly matters.

Blogs that have enamored me…

Here are a few of the blogs that I read regularly and that I really enjoy. These are my go-to sites when I want a little inspiration, something to read, want a laugh, or want to just dream a little about projects that I may or may not complete.

Blogs that have enamored me. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

The Handmade Home

The first time I went to this site was because of The Dollhouse Diaries. I have loved dollhouses since my Uncle Joe made me one when I was a little girl. A couple of years ago I was trolling Pinterest and found tutorials on dollhouses and my love affair with them resumed. So this post certainly piqued my interest. Not only does this site have tons of DIY projects, (not just dollhouses) they also have a shop so that you don’t have to be quite so handy. There are also gift ideas, some of those being DIY ideas like this Giant Instagram Frame.  And that egg painting shown above, left, is awesome!

Blogs that have enamored me. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

I Heart Organizing 

You may not always be able to tell it from my home, but I love to organize things. I love baskets and bins and everything having its own little space. If you feel the same way, even though you may struggle at keeping things that way like me, Jen’s site is one you should check out! Her home tour can be found here.  Not only do I love her organization, but her style and colors are my favorites! Navy blue, gray, greens…love, love, love! She has projects for every room in your house by category and topics from your nightstand to pantry to organizing on a budget. If you are into organizing, this is the place to start!

Blogs that have enamored me. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

Infarrantly Creative 

I only recently found this site, but I find myself going back to it over and over. From Roadkill Rescue (found and repurposed items) to Pennywise  Presents (inexpensive ideas) and lots of DIY tutorials, if you like crafty, out of the ordinary, off the beaten path projects, decorating and ideas, this is a great website. And teacher that I am, I did check, infarrantly is a word Beckie made up to suit her blog using her name. And boy does it work for me! I have to say that the yardstick wall is my absolute favorite on the site!

Blogs that have enamored me. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

The Literate Housewife

Pretty much if you can name a book, Jennifer has read it and reviewed it on her site. I am amazed at how many reviews she has here! There are over 400 and climbing. In her “about” page she states: “The next best thing to a good book is sharing and discussing it with others.” and that pretty much sums up exactly what I feel about reading. Books are wonderful, and they are made even more enchanting by talking about them and sharing them with others! And her reviews are not short and sweet. They are thoughtful, well written and just plain good. Check out this one for Matt Ruff’s Bad Monkeys, which is a book I also really like!

Blogs that have enamored me. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

LK Herndon (Ladybug & Lulu)

Full disclosure. This is the blog of a great friend of mine. It is wonderful, just like she is! It is full of funny yet inspiring posts about her life and her family. She has written quite a few articles for Moms Magazine and they are always insightful, witty, and hard-hitting, just being honest articles, just like her! Tell it like it is, no holds barred. Titles such as
YO! Mom at the playground – Watch your damn kid! and Someone has to bring the juice boxes.
I love it. And I love her! I hope you will, also.

And a shameless plug! She has written a 3 book series about a whale named Petunia who is bullied a bit and learns to take back her life. Inspired by a situation one of her daughter’s experienced, these are worth reading and sharing!

Blogs that have enamored me. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

The New Oregon Trail

I have to go with full disclosure here. While I am extremely intrigued with the idea of converting a bus and taking off for a summer, the reason I am most intrigued with this site is that the bus they refurbished and redesigned is from my Alma mater. Yep. I went from 1st -12th grades at Southwest Georgia Academy in Damascus, GA. So this website is a little bit of nostalgia for me.

Blogs that have enamored me. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

Nerdy Book Club

Where do I begin? Ahhh…how about with Donalyn Miller: Teacher, author, reader, along with Katherine Sokolowski, Cindy Minnich, and Colby Sharp, who are amazing at stirring up interest in reading, have created this blog for books and nerds like me who love them and love to read anything and everything. The premise here is that there are many people who contribute, but those 4 maintain the blog and keep everything in order. A really good site to find things to read for yourself and for any readers you may know.

Blogs that have enamored me. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

Planted By The River

This blog is extremely near and dear to me. It is written by my daughter, a college student with a heart for Jesus and a life for missions. I once had someone ask “Wow, did you know you were raising a missionary?” No. I raised a daughter. God raised a missionary. With words of wisdom far beyond her age, her posts inspire me in ways she probably doesn’t realize. I hope they inspire you, as well. I love you, P!

Blogs that have enamored me. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

Single Dad Laughing.

Dan Pearce is hilarious. And sometimes serious. But even the “serious” stuff is funny. This blog has every topic from ear hair, to parenting advice to how he screwed up in his marriage and of course funny kid stories. The first one I ever read I really enjoyed and learned a good bit from was 16 Reasons Ways I Blew My Marriage. You Just Broke Your Child, Congratulations is by far my favorite and one I think every parent in the world should read. And one more…50 more random things I did not know I did not know. 

Blogs that have enamored me. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

Teen Librarian Toolbox 

Anything and everything for librarians/media specialists serving teens. Book reviews, information on maker spaces, space planning and relating. Even if you aren’t a librarian, if you want to connect to a teen through reading, check out this site put together by School Library Journal!

Blogs that have enamored me. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

Unskinny Boppy 

How to photograph your Christmas tree was the post that I found on Pinterest that drew me to this site. What keeps me coming back to Beth’s blog are the really good photography posts such as What’s in my camera bag, as well as tons of posts for decorating in a classy farmhouse way. Beautiful! To get a full idea of her style, check out her entire home!

Blogs that have enamored me. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

View Along The Way 

Decorating and projects for all of us who love DIY. Kelly’s home “tour” has tons of images with links to all the projects that were done throughout the process of decorating her home. She also has great tips like How to search Craigslist and decorating on a budget. One of the greatest pieces of advice ever comes from “Decorating 101…Or: Put down that paintbrush!” Not to mention the built-in bookshelf wall and the lighting for those shelves.  And one that I am so ready to try…painting linoleum flooring.

Blogs that have enamored me. A Propensity to Discuss Post.

When Crazy Meets Exhaustion

Stephanie’s post “The worst mother I’ve ever seen” went viral, no doubt because every mother in the world can see herself in that post at some time or another. Then she shocked the world with another post titled “Why I put my husband (and sometimes myself) before my kids.” Yep. Viral. I love it! It reminds me of what I researched and wrote about helicopter parenting.  With posts from Family Stuff to Funny Stuff to Fixing Stuff, there is plenty of information here to keep you informed and highly amused for quite a while! Oh, and she’s a teacher, so there’s stuff for me on that end, as well. Love it!

I hope you find these interesting. I hope you find something you like. I hope that you are enjoying Propensity to Discuss. I certainly am enjoying writing it!