Reflections on January 6th, 2021: Hope

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Joey & Kamala: Picture Books for Everyone


When my children were in elementary school, I volunteered in the school library and was lucky to work with Arlene Lambert, the librarian. She called picture books, “Everyone Books.” I was studying for my Masters in Education, and eventually specialized in Children’s and Young Adult Literature; perhaps partly thanks to her influence.

I love children’s books and still have quite a large collection left from my own children and from my years teaching. Even with middle schoolers, I’d read picture books to use as writing prompts. My grands are all reading on their own now; ensconced in e-readers, graphic novels, and also regular print books. The youngest, nearly 7, will allow me to read to him now and then and I jump at the chance to cuddle up, open a book, and read. We discuss the illustrations, and comment about all the elements of story: plot, character, setting.

So seeing…

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Losing Mom

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Finding Peace

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A Day at the Beach & My Octopus Teacher

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Knitting like a River

My latest post on my new site:



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Presidential Debates, Local Campagin Forums: Every Vote Counts!

My post on my new blog. Please sign up to receive emails! Thank you!

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Goodbye, Hello. New Blog!

Dear Readers,

After 8 years blogging as cyclingrandma, I’ve decided to change my blog name and look.

I’m of course still a grandmother, (of 10!) but don’t cycle nearly as much as before. Adopting a dog two years ago (link) has cut into our cycling time, and I’m not longer as eager to speed downhills or struggle climbing up them. I still love cycling and no doubt we’ll be searching for a cycling trip once we can safely travel again.

So hello lisakwinkler. Still opinions and observations. Still same range of topics from food to family, travels to television, reading to reviews.

I appreciate all my followers – those that have been with me since the beginning, and those that have joined over the years and hope you’ll hop over to my new site, sign up, and comment.


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Covid DeCluttering: Cookie Jar?

Like many during the past several months, I’ve managed to unload a few unused, not needed items.

An enormous pot I used to make marmalade. Another one for chili. A glass trifle bowl. Some yarn and needles. I could easily go through the entire house, tossing, donating, recycling.

Our town created a residents’ only virtual free market site. Most things posted usually are gone in a nano-second. If an item doesn’t go; it probably won’t. Users are encouraged to remove those. I posted a turkey roasting pan– it’s still on the basement shelf.

Which brings me to the cookie jar. I haven’t used it in years. Years. The once children and then teenagers who enjoyed availing themselves of its contents as they passed by are now adults. None want it.

I mentioned to my husband that I wanted to put it on the free site; there’s bound to be a younger family who’d take it.

My husband, the least sentimental person I know, balked.
“I look at that cookie jar and think of all the Anzacs that used to be there.”

Yes, Anzacs. And  chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodles, and oatmeal raisin. Maybe some molasses.

It’s not that I don’t bake. I make muffins for the grands, mostly to use up brown bananas. I make summer fruit pies, crisps and crumbles; and cakes all seasons. Just not so many cookies anymore, or when I do, I parcel them out– a can for the grands, a can for my parents; and a few left for us. Never enough left to fill the jar.

So the cookie jar is staying. Empty. Some day I guess it will sell in an estate sale.

My neighbor suggested I put dog biscuits in it. That’s an idea.

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Social Distancing #8: Be a Mask Monitor

I’ve become that woman. The one who when seeing someone not wearing a mask while shopping, will call you out on it. I take my cue from Dr. Laura Popper, a  Manhattan pediatrician, who posted photos of maskless New Yorkers, publicly shaming them. Her public service announcement garnered attention from a local newspaper,  she’s officially the Mask Monitor.

Yesterday, I took my grands food shopping while they’re visiting at our lake house in northeast Pennsylvania. No matter that the refrigerator and freezer are overflowing; I wanted to ensure they had the right brands of cereal, yogurts, breads they prefer.

We wore masks. As did everyone in the store, except one man we encountered in the cereal aisle whose mask dangled around his neck like a loosened necktie. While I’ve seen maskless people before, I think the fact I was with the grands, brought the whole issue into greater focus. My blood boiled; how dare this jerk toy with their health? With their futures?

I bluntly said, “Put on your mask.”

He grinned and pulled it below his nose. Not good enough. I countered, “Cover your nose, too. We’re all trying hard to do our bit, you’re putting my kids’ and my health at risk.” I walked away, steaming, and sad that my grands had to see me get angry.

Unless parents want to keep home schooling, unless local businesses want to continue curbside only sales, and restaurants want to be limited to outdoor, six-foot apart dining, and unless we no longer want to travel, attend concerts and theater, or go to a doctor’s office or get a haircut without wearing masks, Covid 19 won’t go away too soon.

Mask shaming will be my mission. It should be everyone’s.

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