Image by Jose Antonio Alba from Pixabay

I didn’t always want to be a teacher. Contrary to popular belief, most of us aren’t born thinking that teaching is the only thing we could ever do. Sure, there are those teachers who always wanted to be teachers and never imagined themselves in any other professional role, but for every one of those, there are at least ten Mr. Hollands (whose dreams slowly fall by the wayside as they teach out of necessity).

Many teachers fall into this profession to monetize their passion for their content area or because they wanted a job that allowed for a certain level…

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

While you may be hoping for a better world in 2021, my new year has just begun. With the Jewish High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, I have been welcoming the year 5781. Today is the 12th of Tishrei, 1581, so I am 12 days into what will be my second full year as a Jewish woman.

While I was studying to make my conversion, Pittsburgh happened. Being a teacher, I had played active shooter scenes through my head before, and I wasn’t ignorant to the reality that Nazis, white supremacists, and anti-Semites still exist and are involved…

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

I Can’t Even.

I want this to be a lie: some dystopian world I fell into through the back of the wardrobe closet. I want it just to be a dream. So now I guess, I equate dreams with lies, hmmm. Interesting, huh?

Maybe you know what I am rambling about, and perhaps you don’t, so let me clue you in. Let’s talk about May 2020.

Earlier this month, the video appeared showing Ahmaud Arbery hunted down and shot to death while he was out for a jog. On the 911 call that the murderers made to justify their actions…

One summer day, I came home from my morning teaching summer school classes to find my eleven-year-old daughter in the backyard trying to undo the circumstances of her life one grain of sand at a time. In front of her was a Waialua soda bottle formerly filled with passion fruit soda. In place of the passion fruit was colored sand.

During my wedding ceremony to my second husband, we had opted to add a sand ceremony to symbolize the blending and creation of a new family. There were words about making a commitment to share the rest of our lives…

Photo by Katherine Chase on Unsplash

A few years ago, I wrote a post about Father’s Day titled, Father’s Day, A Single-Mom, Where People Pee, and Alligators — Oh, My! In that post, I vented a lot of my frustrations with being a twice-divorced, single mom of two children ages twelve and eleven (a boy and a girl respectively). My frustrations were with problems I was personally experiencing that were engendered — a daddy-daughter dance, debates over restrooms in the broader culture and my work contexts, an abundance of judgment again in the more general culture and personal experience related to parental choices, and Father’s Day.

Today is the pet dedication day at Unitarian Church North in Mequon, WI where I work as the Director of Lifespan Faith Development, and this circus called the pet blessing is my show to put on and lead. I hope all of our furry, feathered, and scaly friends enjoy their trip into the unusual surroundings of our sanctuary and I hope that the blessings that the congregation bestows on them are meaningful to all of the sentient beings in attendance. Two years ago, I wrote a blog/sermon for the same occasion entitled, “What Would Grover Do.” Consider this part two.

  • Hate Unfurled.

what is going on in this world
so much hate unfurled

manspreading disease
bringing me down to my knees
someone has to give a...fuck
words in a haze of paranoia...I’m struck

can’t keep going on this way
express train to doomsday
turn it off, switch it off, unplug
people around me venerate
things that only denegrate
who i am,
who am i?

i don’t want you to classify
bigotry bringing me down
headed to a breakdown
overheating over what
they’re tweeting uncut
hate layer after layer.
false smut.

who are you to tell me how to…

Before I infuriate my entire friend list (Should I really be worried about that given how much my Facebook feed is messing up my chi right now?), let me first tell a few stories that I think provide just enough background for you to understand why I don’t want to look at you right now or your damn posts.

Last year, my kiddos lost their Grandpa Larry. Grandpa Larry was my step-grandpa, and while I didn’t grow up with him as a grandparent, he was a grandpa to my children from the very beginning. He was at Normandy. He was…

The following is the sermon I gave at the Pet Blessing Service at UCN in Mequon, WI, on June 25th, 2017.

“Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.” My favorite prayer. At times, no one embodies these words better than the family pet, like my buddy, Grover. So much so, that in the absence of a more perfect role model, I sometimes ask myself, “What would Grover do?”

That prayer was, and perhaps still is, the vein of what spirituality is to me. The scariest book that…

As both a high school teacher and a mom of a 12-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy, I have been warned in numerous ways about the inevitable dangers of allowing my children to watch the Netflix original series based on the YA novel, 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher. Letters from school districts, blog posts, news broadcasts–everyone, it seems, has an opinion about the dangers of exposing teens to the life perils of a fictitious 17-year-old girl. The letters and posts are vague and scary, and I’m sure they have panicked more than a few parents who have discovered that…

jax skalecki

I became a writer the moment I could mark with a crayon. Nowadays, I prefer purple pen. Serendipity is finding a creative space to be, with my dog as my #1 fan.

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