On Humanity


Here’s a beautiful, collaborative post of all the qualities that make us human with words by A Frank Angle and photos by Ray Laskowitz. Enjoy.

Please stop by Frank’s blog and tell him I sent you. He’d love to meet you! 

A Frank Angle

RLHumanity “Burger” on trumpet with his band, TBC, at a second line on St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans

The majority of the world is good – I’ve written those words on past posts here because I believe it. Even when the news constantly reminds us about all the evil, I continue to believe the majority of the world is good.

Humanity is a term that refers to all of us. All … not all with a but or except … simply all. Regardless of skin color, ethnicity, religion, gender, age, location or any other qualifier or disqualifier, humanity includes the characteristics human beings have in common.

The greatest gift that you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance. (Brian Tracy, author)

RLAcceptance Men in support of the Lady Buckjumpers second line in Central City, New Orleans

Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of…

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If you believe, they will believe

I knew I was no longer a student when I (5)

I’ve always loved this quote. I came across it while going through some of my dad’s boxes. He had been a teacher, so it made me laugh. I think this quote applies in many areas of my life, but I really found this to true when I stood before a classroom of thirty small children with very busy mouths. Gaining control of the classroom meant not letting them see you sweat. Later, when I taught dance, I had the same jolting realization. I could do the steps; teaching them was something altogether different.

But really it’s simply this.  If you believe, they will believe. No matter what you do, just do it with conviction.

Of course, as writers, it’s our job to convince, persuade, and make it all up all the time! Personally, I think that’s what I like about it. 

How does this quote apply to your life? Does anything stand out as a time when you had to “wing it”?

Life is short – Mark Twain Quote


We picked this quote of Mark Twain’s for my dad’s eulogy. My sister suggested it and, instantly, we said yes! We all thought it so fitting. You may have come across this quote before.  It’s a brilliant quote and a proper outlook on life, so I put this together. Of course, now it holds special meaning for me.

For someone who thought life was short, he certainly had a lot to say about it. Mark Twain was one of my dad’s favorite authors. He had many of his books, including the Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1. Take a look.

Mark Twain Autobiography
A lover of life. The font is quite small, too!

Volume 1 is 712 pages, not including the index. The existence of a Volume 1 suggests that there is a Volume 2. And there is, as well as a Volume 3. The third volume is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2015. The Mark Twain Project compiled the books, but the words are from Mark Twain. It’s quite a scholarly achievement.

Whatever you’re dong, I hope you’re enjoying your weekend and your life!

In the Words of a Child (June 2013)

This weekend we had temperatures breaking all the records. It was as hot as 111 degrees today. When I walked outside, I felt like I was cooking. At a time like this, it’s even too hot to eat. Kids, it looks like we’re having popsicles for dinner.

It’s been some time since I wrote about my sons (H and S) and what they’ve been saying these days. I thought you would enjoy their words today. I wanted to write these words down before they got lost.

From my ten-year-old:

When I get to college, I’m going to take an English class so I can move to England. (11/24/12)

Me: Why don’t you get up and do it?
H: Because I’m busy relaxing.

It’s easier to live with guests.
(How he refers to “roommates.” I’m sure this will change; 3/22/13)

The teacher had a creepy smile and treated us like kindergarteners. She’d say, “What will we do next?”
(The teacher was a substitute. I thought it was pretty funny, but you might have had to have been there; 5/23/13)

I’m just going to wait until middle school to find the girl of my dreams. Then there will be more options. (He just completed fourth grade. Yikes, it’s time for the talk; 5/30/12)

From my seven-year-old:

I’ll you give three words why I don’t want to go visit Grandma: Skylanders. That’s Sky-lan-ders. (Words, syllables…close enough; 11/24/12)

Me: Is your tummy full?
S: Yeah, except for my thirst tank. (1/13)

And now, a little joke:
Q: What happens when a tide comes over your brain?
A. You get brainwashed.
(“Tide” as in Tide, the laundry detergent. Aw, good one! 4/3/13)

My tooth came out with a swallow. (4/5/13)

My son drank a whole bottle of water in 10 minutes. Actually in less than 10 minutes. Are you going to put that on your blog? I think you should put that on your blog. I think you should write that.
(Yes, he said this whole thing. All right already. Done!; 5/20/13)

I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Post of the Week – Vanessa-Jane Chapman

Vanessa-Jane Chapman, I’ll put this as simply as I can. You have inspired me with your Not So Inspirational Quotes post. I’m not sure exactly what it is….I, uh, can’t quite put my finger on it. Oh, I know. It’s the quote thingys, those things that are sucking up the last of my brain cells

Dear readers, do you remember when you had tucked inside your little memory bank at least 30 phone numbers? That’s right. I could rattle off a phone number in an instant. The Millennials out there don’t even know what I’m talking about, am I right?

Enough of that for now, how’s your kitty today? Because this is important, too. Mine is scowling at me. Oh, and she’s eating some more. Yours is sleeping with you while you watch T.V. Splendid! Who doesn’t like cats? I mean you can never look at too many. (I’m actually a big cat lover.)

You don’t have a cat you say? Why not read a quote instead? It will make you positively glow inside. No? You’re looking a little sick. Would you like to throw up?  Try this one…

Your heart is the gift of life and a candle lights our journey in friendship, as we celebrate yesterday, tomorrow, and today with happiness and love.

Cue sunset.

Vanessa, how did I do? That was slightly invigorating.

Just read Vanessa’s post. She’s the one with talent. Oh, and she has a bucket for you if you should need one.

Not So Inspirational Quotes

In the Words of a Child (July – October 2012)

I will admit my brain is a little fried and my house is a complete mess. Just today, when I thought I got the house under control, my kids had friends over and they destroyed the place. What are they thinking?

Well, here are a few thoughts of my two sons over the past couple of months. I have similar posts in the “Parenting” archives. My commentary is in italics.

H. rebel, my nine-year-old:

Stay away from my thoughts.  (Can you say teenager? I think I’m in trouble; 7/12/12)

…Daddy, the do-nothing do off.   ( I’m sorry I missed the beginning of this!; 7/15/12 )

We have a great group. No one has any anger issues. (He is referring to his seating pod arrangement at school. Apparently last year in third grade, some kids had issues;10/15/12)

Did you know that the worse your handwriting is, the smarter you are. See what happens is your mind is thinking so fast and your hands can’t keep up. (I’d say this is pretty accurate, huh? I’m finally getting some recognition; 10/15/12) 

S. darling, my six-year-old:

Your eyes can get sunburned when you look at the sun and at the computer. Did you know that?  (7/31/12)

(When asked about his first day of school)
Everyone is commanding. Teachers are commanding. All the adults in the whole world are commanding.  (8/15/12)

Everybody is being mean to me except the cats and the toys. (Poor little love!; 8/16/12 )

Carrots are good in stew, but not in real life. (9/12/12)

(This, I asked after school)
Me: What was the best part of your day?
S.: Going home.
Me: What was the second best part of you day?
S.: Going home.
(Dare I ask, what the third thing was?)


Conversation between the two of them:

My nine-year old is twirling his hair while reading a book, something he never does:

S. says: You shouldn’t twirl your hair like that. You’ll get a bald spot. That’s what happened to the little red-haired girl at school.

(As far as I know, there is no little red-haired girl. Whomever is he talking about?; 10/2/12)

In the Words of a Child (July 2012)

My kids keep me young. That must be why I have gray hair. Here’s what I’ve been hearing lately.

S. love, my six-year-old:

Mom, don’t get distracted. I’m here to see the Hot Wheels. (while at Target)

You need to go to love management. (for giving him too many hugs)

Mommy I like our house, but we need a hot tub. (after spending time at Grandpa’s clubhouse)

Do you want to know my favorite shade of green? Acid green.

Get the beeping, beep, beep out of here. (First words when I woke him up. Yes, he did say “beep.” )

H. darling, my nine-year-old

I get to celebrate my freedom by not listening to you and playing video games. (On the 4th of July!)

Why do they call it chili if it’s supposed to be hot? (He knows about chiles. Just thought I should capture this innocent moment.)

I’ll let you call me adorable all summer if you let us buy that castle. (Said to me)

I found a way to get S. to have fun. I’ve taken rational measures. Like he can play with unlimited Lego pieces, so long as he checks with me first, and a few toys, which is nothing to me.  (We were going roller skating and S. didn’t want to go. Unfortunately, his plan did not work. S. did not skate. Did not even attempt it.)