#WQWWC #4 Celebration

Celebration takes on a new look for most of us this year with the continued persistence of COVID 19. As I read your blogs, I see resiliency, hope, and joy as you plan your celebrations for the holidays.

What is your celebration going to be like this year? Will you stay safe? Will you worship at church or at home? Will you decorate?

Below are several quotes that inspire me to rejoice this holiday season in spite or maybe even because of COVID 19.

“The holiest of holidays are those kept by ourselves in silence and apart; The secret anniversaries of the heart.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Thank you Patti Moed for sharing this in your Lens-Artist Holiday post .

The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. ”    

Oprah Winfrey

“Celebration is forgetting oneself. … When we are always enthusiastic, happy and surrendered to God, life becomes a blissful celebration.”

Amma (There are several references to Amma (Mother) in Wikipedia. I’m not sure which Amma said the quote above.

“Life is passion, celebration in the face of chaos, light in the face of darkness, hope in the face of despair, and joy, for the universe without life feels nothing, is nothing, and does nothing except slowly die.”

Rick Tumlinson
#WQWWC Logo – Save to use in your post.

Pick any celebration quote this week that you like and tell your story, poem or opinion. Add a link to this post to help me find your post.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukkah, and a better New Year

Abandoning Sordid Pasts and Moving On

If you live as long as I have, there might be something SORDID in your past if folks cared enough  excavate the artifacts to uncover it!  Personally I want my sordid history scattered so deeply into ancient history that it would take a toothpick to carefully clean the shredded evidence of my past.  Few people have that kind of patience or interest in examining the mundane lives of mundane people from the past.  If they did, the world’s libraries would be littered with unreadable and boring trash!

Ralph and Manny

Ralph suggested that I write my memoirs.  I tried that, and it got downright scary.  No more sweet, nice Marsha.  The thin skin I have covering my delicate inner self peeled away revealing…. You know I’m not going to tell you!  It’s just downright embarrassing!  Since I’m not famous, and didn’t write it all down for my posterity, of which I have none, it’s doubtful that anyone will ever find out about my notoriety, and the heinous crimes of my sordid past.


SFW San Diego History Girls 1-13235
Ewwww, gross!

I say all that to announce that the topic of my Friday posts is just not working for me, so I’m moving on.  In fact, I have to confess that scheduled posts, are tying down my normally random nature.  I tried a schedule on my other site, and now I can’t even bear to open up the site and post anything any more.  One of my spammers on this site told me I need lessons on writing titles, that they are “too vanilla.”  YIKES, and I love vanilla!  Another commenter told me I need to avoid serious stuff, or no one will read my blog. (Was that a threat?)  He may have a point.  One of my best posts  (in MY opinion) has only one comment and 11 likes, and the comment is mine!

Got any Vanilla Wafers over there?  Just put them on the bench!
Got any Vanilla Wafers over there? Just put them on the bench!

I created this site to be random.  Unfortunately this stream of chatter runs directly into my LinkedIn account, and I’ve spent the last month connecting with superintendents of schools for the past month as the President of California Council for the Social Studies this year.  My hope is that I increase awareness of promote advocacy for the need for continuing to specifically teach social studies in public education system K-12.  My dilemma is that I’m afraid that my educational credibility is shot with my silly posts.  And, if my blogging spammers advisors are correct, my “fun” blogging personality apparently is sullied by  Dissociative Identity Disorder (multiple personality) –  the multiple hats that I wear.  🙂  hehehe (which is more sinister than hahaha, I think!)

Save me


When I am acting CCSS President, I’m sorry bloggers, but I have to put on my education hat, and reveal that I am indeed a knowledgeable person with some intelligent ideas about the future of education.  I actually love wearing that hat.  I love rubbing shoulders with some of the best thinkers on our planet, and learning and listening, and once in a while throwing out a cogent thought onto the discussion floor.  On the other hand, I just can’t resist being a frustrated comic, and trying to make you, my friends, laugh, so the rest of the time I’m trying hard to be funny.  I’m sixty-one going on two still trying to figure out how to merge the two diverse aspects of my personality!

I had the privilege of honoring Tulare County Superintendent of Schools, Jim Vidak, as Administrator of the Year.
I had the privilege of honoring Tulare County Superintendent of Schools, Jim Vidak, as Administrator of the Year.

What I’m trying to say through this not-so-sordid post, is that I’m giving up scheduled posts in favor of streaming thoughts as they float by.  I will still stream you book reviews done as often as I run across good books, and I will usually comment on the Common Core Standards because I do care about education, and I can’t control my passion! Manny will continue to crop up, of course.  He’s having too much fun going to such distant places not to tell you about his antics.  Mostly he is meeting interesting people, and getting to dive into THEIR lifestyles.  How often do we see life as it is in REAL time, not just a tourist view?

He's on his way to Malaga, Spain to the airport.
He’s on his way to Malaga, Spain to the airport.

So I am going to do a couple of things.  First I am going to turn off my instant connection to LinkedIn, and notify them only my academic posts.  There go my following stats! Sorry ego!   Secondly I’m ending my schedule and going back to the diversity that is my life.  If you hate one side or the other of my personality, you can click on past the stuff you don’t want to read.  I won’t be hurt if you don’t press like or leave a comment.

Kaweah River streaming into Bravo Lake
Kaweah River streaming into Bravo Lake

This blog started as an experiment, became a new way to get friends, and continues into maturity with the boulders of my exposed life settled securely at the bottom of the stream bed, and the pebbles of daily activities, thoughts and conversations with you, my dear friends, still churning as they chortle along their path to the river of life and eventually merge into the salty sea that was and is the eternal me and you blended together as we meet, comment, laugh, cry and love each other.

Back to daily life, what’s going on in your life today?

Tuesday Review: Interview with JT Weaver

the interview

As I continue to try to find my voice as a blogger, I find myself drawn into the role of book reviewer.  As I continue on this pathway, a next step that I notice among other blogger reviewers is the INTERVIEW.


Since I am blogger friends with JT Weaver, who authored Uphill Both Ways, he’s my interview guinea pig.  Thanks JT  🙂

Hi JT,

Let’s begin with an ice breaker question.


What makes you laugh?

I guess I like intellectual humor; the kind of story that has you going in one direction and then at the last-minute gets you laughing at what you missed.  I’ve never been a fan of slapstick Three Stooges type of humor.  The Bill Cosby “Himself” album still cracks me up.  I was raised on the droll tangentially humorous stories of my father and it became easy for me to adapt any of my own stories into the format that he used. 

What do you think contributes to your success as an author?

To be honest, I don’t know what “success as an author” really means.  I wrote some stories and then discovered that, without any approval process from the world of “Big 6” publishing, I could self-publish my book at almost no cost.  Years ago being a published author meant you went through several gateways, signed your rights away, hired an agent, hired an editor, and were accepted and printed by Houghton-Mifflin.  Because of these gateways, the title of “published author” carried with it an aura of prestige that perhaps no longer exists.  While my stories were individually lauded and my book is 5-star rated and reviewed, it is also doing well in the marketplace.  

The impetus of the project was to document the important parts of my life for my children in such a way that they could understand who I am.  At the beginning of the project, there were no ideas or discussions about compiling these stories into a single volume; that discussion came later.  The mere idea that someone outside the family might have the slightest interest in these stories is somewhat shocking to me.  I am, of course, delighted that people enjoy them and even want to buy them, but that was never my intention.

 Since you wrote this book to your kids, what is their reaction to your its publication?

“Congratulations Dad, what’s for dinner?”  I haven’t really discussed it with them.  I have a sense that they may be a bit uncomfortable with it all.  From their point of view, this was supposed to be my “letters” to them.  Now the world has access to it.  It somehow has lost it’s personal appeal to them I think.  Many of the stories in the book are familiar to them already.  Some of them probably make them a little uncomfortable. Just because I was documenting my life for them didn’t mean that they had to read it now.

Another part of the emotions of a document like this is the finality of it all.  I think to them it signals the beginning of the end.  Kids grow up thinking their parents will be around forever and only when something happens, an illness or an accident, do they ever think that their parents are even mortal.  They have both moved away from home and are leading their lives to the fullest.  In their minds, they can visit Dad and Mom anytime they want.  Reading this memoir may signal to them that a time will come when they won’t be able to do that.  And to me, that’s OK.  When they’re 60 and I’m long gone, this will be something I hope they will enjoy reading.  I think they’ll like to reflect back on things and this will help them do that.  Perhaps they’ll even want to read some of these stories to their own grandchildren, who knows?

What part has your wife played in getting this book off the ground?

At first, I just began writing a story.  My wife, Karen, really wasn’t involved.  Then I wrote a little something about Social Security and then something about the 2nd Amendment.  Then I found the picture album my parents had made for me and wrote a story about one of those pictures.  I honestly was just fooling around with it.  As I was writing, Karen and my college roommate John were both reviewing each piece.

 Then a discussion started among John, Karen, and I about what it was I was doing.  They thought these stories were better than I did.  At one point John said that he thought he was looking into my soul, and because he knew me so well, he was a little uncomfortable with it.  From that came the idea came the thought from Karen that this would be a nice gift for the kids and it was then that I wrote the letter that would become the Prologue to the book.  When I published that letter, the blogging community took notice and my readership exploded.  At that point Karen got involved with every aspect of the writing.

What obstacles did you run into as you went through the process?

Generally, the writing was very easy.  All I had to do was remember things that happened and write them down.  It wasn’t like writing fiction where you have to make sure everything fits.  In a memoir, if it happened, then it fits, plain and simple.  The difficult part was the rigorous editing and publishing.  I had no previous experience with any of these things so I had to learn it all for the first time.  I am a consummate researcher so I spent many hours trying to understand everything.

I did have some difficulty with some of the chapters.  Recounting military school and the death of my friend Rick was one, some of the experiences in my teen years were some others, and the last chapter was very difficult.  What I found was that a wonderful healing that occurs when you commit these things to paper.  I was surprised and gratified that the weight had been lifted.

Do you have another book in mind?

As I continue to write, I may consider compiling a large series of essays into a book.  That would depend on the enthusiasm of my blog readers.  If the quality of my writing stays up, and people want it, I can publish another book.

What place in the larger picture of American history do you think your book holds?

 From my point of view, the answer is none.  It’s something that we cannot know.  The wonderful letters home from the Civil War are a perfect example.  They were simple and innocent when they were written however; now give so much insight into life at that time.  I cannot know what people will interest people in 100 years.  To me this is a good look at what it was like to grow up in the 1950s and 1960s.  It wasn’t an ideal life perhaps but then no one knows what that is.  I just lived my life in the best way I could, married a wonderful woman, and raised two great kids.

What was your favorite period in your life?

 The best part of my life began on August 22, 1984 and has continues every day.  That was the day that I met Karen in San Francisco.  

What surprised you as you went through this writing process?

Everything!  I’ve never written anything before.  I’m a pretty good storyteller like my father before me.  In my mind, I simply placed myself in a favorite chair by the fireplace and enjoyed the warmth it gave me.  I would enjoy some fine wine and aged cheese and daydream into the past.  When the children came into the room before bedtime, I would tell them a story.  What you read in my book are those stories; nothing more complicated or fancy about it.  It was extremely easy to write these stories down because I had lived them.  I think the most surprising thing for me was that there are people who like these stories. 

 What would you change if you were going to write another book?

The process would be the same, I think.

What are your favorite songs?

This is the “record” he wore out as a teen.

If you enjoyed learning about John T. Weaver, then you will enjoy his website.  You can go on his site and see what he’s working on now.


Have any of you written your memoir?  It’s amazing how little our children actually know about our lives before they were born.  Do JT’s motivations to write his story remind you your own?   Would your children read it?  How did the events in history touch your life? Let me know what you think!  🙂