The Pledge

I think The Pledge of Allegiance is important and so on my Student Questionnaire this year I asked, “Do you know The Pledge of Allegiance?” Just about half of my students answered, “I don’t know.” I was more than a little horrified.

And so, like any other teacher who is slightly-neurotic-and-minimally-anal-about-certain-things, like grammar and the Pledge, I had them memorize it for a quiz the following week. I didn’t realize the trauma this would instill. I told them the quiz would be written, which almost all of them were happy to hear…almost.

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Posted in America, Childhood, Children, Courage, English Teacher, Humor, Pride, Students, Teaching, The Pledge of Allegiance | 2 Comments


Last week I told you about my Room Without a View, which is my classroom where I teach on Tuesdays. This week I’m actually writing to you from my new “office,” my room for school preparations and corrections, my writing room, my very own, personal room with a view!

Our home has undergone a “few” transformations recently, not the least of these being my new office, but I’ll get to that later. Family that was with us has found a home of their own and Cliff and I have been working…hard…together. We now have three extra bedrooms in addition to my office. One will be worked on next year, one is for our out-of-town or out-of-country guests (hint, hint to our friends near and far); and the last one is for our 7 little curmudgeons for sleepovers.

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Posted in Compromise, diversity, Family, Friends, Home, Humor, Irish Roots, Italian Roots, Life, Love, Marriage, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Room ‘Without’ A View


I have a thing for windows. I love them big, small, curtained, shuttered, and naked. I don’t even mind them dirty, as long as I can still see out. In the summer in NJ, I loved them open so almost all of my senses could be fully involved. Here in Florida we open them in the winter for the same reasons. A little confusing at first, but I’ve gotten used to it. I just LOVE windows, which has brought me to this conclusion…I am a ‘windoholic’.

In case you couldn’t tell, I made that word up. I had to drop the last ‘w’ because it just looked weird, but I digress…

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Posted in Children, English Teacher, Florida, Humor, New Jersey, Teaching, The Human Spirit, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

He Hears His Father’s Voice

I was never very good at basketball. I was almost always the last kid picked. The one standing there after everyone else had been chosen. The one the captains of the teams complained about saying, “I had her last time. It’s your turn.” Yes, I was that kid. Since I did get picked fairly regularly for other sports in gym class, I decided it wasn’t personal and I didn’t let it bother me. I was short, and basketball is not a game for the vertically challenged or so I thought.


We have 6 grandsons. Among them are two who are named Colby and Jack. I call them my Cheeseboys. This year the Colby half of the Cheeseboys decided to play basketball and, like any good grandparents, we went to some of his games. May I say, for the first time in my life, I paid attention to a basketball game. Not only is this not a game for the vertically challenged, this is not a game for the easily confused, which I am.

Offense at one end, defense at the other, and it all changes in seconds…Seconds! I had no idea who was playing what or why. They ran back and forth a bazillion times dribbling, traveling, passing, and shooting. And, they all seemed to know what was going on. Of course the parents helped.

“You’re on defense! Defense! Good job! Who are you guarding? Where’s your man? Number 7, number 7! Good job! Get between your man and the basket! Get between him…Get between him! You’re playing offense now! Offense! Good job!” And this was just from my son to Colby! Of course most of the other fathers, and some of the mothers, were doing the same thing. As any coddling, non-athletic Nana would agree, I thought the constant barrage of instruction was too much for these little boys. After all, they’re just babies! I made a decision. I’d see how things went at the next game and then speak to my son about it.

At the second game it was more of the same, the ongoing instruction, the barrage of direction. But, it was also something else. Something I hadn’t noticed the first time. Colby  was looking for his Father’s instruction. He was listening for his Father’s voice. It made me think…maybe I should do the same…maybe we all should. After all, it is a very big deal.

“For He is our God…today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts…” 

~Psalm 95:7












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Painting…The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Do you ever wonder who decided that painting our homes would be a good idea? We’ve been painting quite a bit recently and I’ve been thinking about this…a lot. Don’t get me  wrong, I enjoy painting. It is instant gratification with, hopefully, no unhappy  circumstances. Not surprisingly, Sherwin-Williams invented the first ready-to-use paint way back in 1866. Mr. Sherwin was also the inventor of the resealable tin can.

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The Boy Band Revolution

The year was 1967. Mom was parking the car in front of my Aunt Lois’ apartment when I realized, for the very first time, that I was hearing music from our car radio. I was almost 8.  (I told you that I didn’t think much when I was younger. Evidently, I didn’t pay attention much either.) The song was What’s New Pussycat? by Tom Jones. And so, my realization of music began. When a few years went by, I started noticing that some of the songs on the radio were sung by good looking guys, and I really liked them! Thus began my own  fascination with what we now know as ‘boy bands’.

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Posted in Boy Bands, Family, Getting Old, Humor, music, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

“Thick and Tired Of It”

“Thick and Tired Of It” ~ This is a quote by Mary Tyler Moore who, I think it is safe to say, was probably never “thick” a day in her life. Being “thick” is a common feeling for those of us in Middle Age…that unmagical place that is nothing like Middle Earth…being ‘thick’ is not necessarily something that automatically happens but, for me anyway, there is a reason and so I confess…

My name is Roxanne and I am a foodie.

I am not the kind of foodie that writes reviews, I am the kind of foodie that loves food…all food…except for spam and liver. I like to blame my love of food on my Italian roots. Italians are known for their food, both the food they make and the food they eat. But then again, I am also Irish. The Irish are not known for their food. Nobody has ever said, I feel like having a nice Irish meal tonight, unless of course it’s St. Patrick’s Day when we consume copious amounts of Corned Beef and Cabbage as a nation, whether we’re Irish or not. Washing it down with Guinness seems to make it that much more enjoyable and helps us to be oblivious to the fact that “corned beef and cabbage” is not really an Irish meal, but that’s another story for another time.

There comes a moment in every foodies life when we have over-indulged, the thickness  has caught up with us, and we decide it’s time to do the “E” word…exercise. My first clue that this was the case for me was when I was teaching my high school students about adjectives. I decided to make the lesson interactive. Students had to pick a name of someone in the class and give two nice adjectives describing them. The clincher was each adjective could only be used once. I’m still not sure why I included my name, but I did. It was chosen by one of the boys. His first adjective, was “funny.” His second adjective was “squatty.” How that fell into the realm of “nice adjectives” is still a mystery, but I quickly decided that “squatty” was not how I wanted to be described. This presented another problem. I do not like exercise. I’ve made the decision to exercise many times. In my younger days I exercised fairly consistently. My children have vivid memories of sitting on the couch when they woke up watching Mommy finish doing her thing so they could have breakfast. My exercise of choice was either Reebok Step Aerobics or Charlene Prickett on It Figures. I will  even say I think I must have almost enjoyed it back then.

Now, whenever I plan to exercise, if I even think about exercise, I’ve noticed an automatic response from my body…I get sick. When things make us sick, or give us a bad reaction, we rightly conclude that we are allergic. And so, I have come to the logical conclusion…I am allergic to exercise. That being said, and wanting, nay needing to start exercising again and not wanting to be sick, I came up with a brilliant plan. I meandered through the possibilities available on YouTube, and told myself, exercise“Maybe someday I’ll  exercise again.” Then, I woke up yesterday morning and just did it. I pulled up YouTube, found my old Reebok Step Aerobics, and started stepping.  It’s a bit harder than I remember. It’s also a lot longer. I got halfway through the 45 minutes and deemed my plan a success. Day two I decided to find something shorter. I found a video just as old, the instructor is a man with a mullet, but it’s only 23.5 minutes long AND I can do the whole thing! So far, I’ve got 2 days under my belt, we’ll see if I can keep it up. If not well, maybe being “squatty” is really not that big a deal!



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