Eight weeks.

My daughter is getting married in eight weeks.

Everything, for the most part, has gone well about the planning, especially considering we’re doing this in the midst of a pandemic.

There’s one thing that I would like to achieve before then. It’s possible, but not probable.

I would like to lose weight.

I have gained at least 15 pounds since the pandemic began. Why did it feel like a “sure let’s have a beer and some chips every afternoon” vacation when this all started?

It’s not just the daily beer/cider and chips that are the problem, though. My…


A green roof against a blue sky background with the word “green” in white letters.
A green roof against a blue sky background with the word “green” in white letters.

GREEN:

Green!

When I found out “green” was the prompt for Five Minute Friday, there was no way I could skip this week.

“Big Green Pen” has been my social media identity since 2008 when I first created my blog.

The ironic thing is that red is my favorite color. But that’s somewhat beside the point.

As I thought about writing to this prompt, here’s what was niggling at my brain: I give the “elevator speech” of how I became “Big Green Pen” often. (Short version: I used a green pen at my previous employer to edit people’s work ……


COULD

As an introduction, before my five minutes, here’s something that has been on my mind since June.

Most Sundays, I help produce the #NYTReadalong. The readalong began when Sree Sreenivasan was testing out Facebook live almost five years ago. He would show the view of New York City from his balcony and then read the New York Times along with whoever joined the broadcast. Learn more here.

Most Sundays, the host and guest touch on the Ethicist column. …


I am thrilled to welcome Gerald Jackson, known as West Philly Author on social media, to share a guest post. I heard him read his book, “A Father’s Message,” on the Philadelphia Parks Alliance Readalong, and I wanted to know more about how he came to write the book. He tells the story best:

I never knew the title “author” would one day be a name associated with me. Little did I know my story would be able to connect to so many. It all started in a single-parent home, my mother, brother, and me. …


People show disrespect for others in so many ways.

In 2019, discord among people reached new lows. 2020, with the onset of the pandemic, found protesters against stay-at-home orders descending to new antagonistic lows.

There were the horrific tragedies such as the 41 US mass killings in which 210 people died. Children are still being separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border.

To shift from the obvious and massive examples to the (possibly) trivial, can we talk about what we call each other?

At the risk of earning an “OK Boomer” from you, can I just ask that you…


Third-grade Paula, a student at W.E. Cherry Elementary School in Orange Park, Fla., was not a fan of the communal weigh-in. I don’t remember exactly how the process worked, but it was a public enough thing that your classmates knew your weight. Mine was far above average, the number was embarrassing and it was among the first of many times I felt self-conscious about my weight.


Two friends lost their infants recently. One of them is Jesse, who I wrote about in this post.

I didn’t know Jesse’s family before he was born. I learned about him when the family started a Facebook page and community to pray for him after he was born. A friend of mine is a friend of Jesse’s family.

I don’t recall the specifics of his birth injury in great detail, but he was deprived of oxygen prior to or during labor (because the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck), and his prognosis was uncertain from the moment he was…


I never expected events to unfurl the way they did after I left Healthy Kids in May 2014. One of the goals of leaving after working there for almost 20 years was to find a way to earn a living that aligned more effectively with the things I loved doing.

When my father-in-law moved in with us three weeks later due to a rapid decline in his health, my options became my more limited. …


Today’s prompt: INCLUDE

Today, at my work, I had written something summarizing another piece of information (it’s what I do at this job). The client asked for me to include a link to a different site that would help the reader understand more about the topic.

Don’t you want to be the hyperlink in others’ lives?

Okay, maybe it’s just me, so I’ll own it.

I want to be the hyperlink in others’ lives, the person who helps them think a bit more deeply about topics, talk more articulately about them, and (most of all) see other angles so as…


Photo Credit: Chris Keats (Unsplash)

At its chrysalis stage, a future butterfly can’t go very far. It remains stationary as the butterfly inside matures.

Once the butterfly gains its wings, though, it has options, as long as it has a food source, favorable winds and protection from predators.

Eventually, the cycle starts all over as a butterfly deposits eggs to reproduce. A new caterpillar evolves into a chrysalis that affixes to a new branch or leaf. A transformed creature breaks free and follows nature’s beckoning.

Butterflies hold much significance for many people I know. My friend Mary Nell loved them. …

Paula Kiger

Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many #IR4 Gareth

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