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I saw tenderness displayed this evening, and it touched my heart beyond measure. 

It all started when I decided to take advantage of the rare, February 1st, 75-degree weather we were having. When I got home from work, I changed into running clothes and headed out. 

My goal was to hit four miles on my Charity Miles app and my Garmin watch, so I ran past my house as my circuit ended with the intention of running to the end of my street and back one more time. 

It was dark by that time, but my neighborhood is small. I know the path well, lined with sidewalks and a few street lamps. 

Just as I approached the house on the corner, something unexpected happened. 

Well, not unexpected as I tend to do things like this. 

I tripped on the uneven pavement. 

I went down on my knees, falling forward onto my left hand. My right thumb somehow turned under as I landed. 

First, there was shock. Next, I did a quick body check. My knees were already sore, but my workout pants had saved the skin from getting torn up. 

My left hand had scrapes. I couldn’t see well enough to gauge how bad they were.

Then, I looked at my right thumb. As soon as I moved it, blood started pouring from it. 

It was bad. I didn’t know a finger could bleed so much. 

I might have said a wordy dird…loudly enough for my sweet, Baptist neighbor, in her garage, to turn and look at me. 


The blood continued to flow, and large drops were running between my fingers and falling on the ground.

I decided that miles be da@%#d…I was going home. 

And I did, hobbling…determined not to cry. 

Because there was so much blood, I grabbed something from my recycle box in the garage and put it under my hand to prevent a bigger mess when I went inside. 

That’s when I lost my cool and started crying.

Rooster was in the kitchen. He saw my hand and immediately took control of the situation. 

After calling for the Mr. to get his first aid kit, Rooster handed me paper towels and instructed me to put pressure on my thumb firmly to make it clot. 

He wouldn’t let me let go, even when I wanted to take a picture for my blog. 

Yes, I was crying but still thinking of the blog. 


Meanwhile, the Mr. started trying to clean up the mess. Blood was everywhere…in the sink…on the counter…running down my leg from where it had dripped. 

Rooster cut gauze to fit my finger and, when things were ready, carefully wrapped and taped it. 

The training he’d undergone when he was a lifeguard had kicked into full throttle. 

I sat down to catch my breath and decide what to do next. I was sweaty from my run, but my body was sore from the fall. I needed a shower, so the Mr. taped, at the suggestion of my friend, Megan, a baggy around my finger. 


My finger still got wet, but at least the shower water didn’t hit it directly. 

I got a glass of wine and watched the Iowa primary results, trying to air out my thumb. I wound up applying a bandage. The wound, which we now think is a puncture from, perhaps, landing on a small rock, was still oozing. Yeah. Gross. I wound up putting a band aide on to keep it covered.  


I needed to change the bandage before heading to bed, and without asking, Rooster stepped into the kitchen and took over, adding  a dab of the prescription antibiotic ointment he’d used after he had a cyst removed after Thanksgiving. 

He was gentle and apologetic when I experienced a bit of pain. 

Such a sweet boy. 

I can’t help but be moved by the tenderness shown to me tonight. 

As a mom and teacher, I’m used to taking care of others. 

To have my 21-year old son take the lead and love on me when I needed it most fills my eyes with tears and my heart with gratitude. 

I am so blessed. God has created a fine young man in this son of mine. 

By the way, I did get my miles…not bad for the evening of discomfort that followed. 


I am Huffletuff…ever the overachiever….with an incredible son to prove it. ❤️

The Restoring Power of Grace

Last night, I watched the power that grace can have on a person’s life.

I attended my high school’s basketball games…both of them (JV and Varsity).  It was Senior Night, and I wanted to honor my basketball son…the young man I taught three years ago and have been providing game day snacks for the past two years, and another young man I taught four years ago.  Both are amazing human beings…polite, hard workers, and great examples to their peers.

I had the added bonus of watching a current student of mine play in his first game this season.

This young man had previously been unable to play because he had been academically ineligible.  With the end of the first semester last week, new grade point averages were configured, and he’d fallen short by one point.

He asked me for grace…the chance to get the one point he needed to be able to play.

I’d said no.

At first.

After a chat with a fellow staff member…someone I respect immensely…and a bit of soul searching and praying, I decided to have the student redo a major assignment he’d blown off.

He floated into my classroom the next morning, and I was proud to put a more-than-passing grade on the completed work.

He’d earned his point with a lot of blood, sweat, and tears…pulled an all-nighter…probably a first for him.

Thus it was that I found myself watching as the game began; he was in the starting lineup.

His coach, who had never asked for any special favors, had visited my classroom yesterday morning before school started…thanked me for working with the student and for giving him another chance.  He’d told me that this student was an excellent athlete and would be a key player next year.

Let me tell you…watching this young man play was a humbling experience.  He scored between fifteen to twenty of the team’s points.  Our guys won the game…by a slim margin of five points, I think.  It was a nail-biter of a game.

After it was over, I told my student congratulations.

He hugged me…pure joy on his face.

He thanked me.

He told me he’d never let himself get in that situation again.

I then told the coach that he hadn’t been wrong about this young man.  The coach thanked me.

Honestly, this was less about me than this student of mine.  He took action when given the chance.

Had I not extended grace, he wouldn’t have learned the lesson of the assignment.

He also wouldn’t have learned a bigger life lesson…that laziness will bite you in the rear if you allow it to become a habit.

He might have given up on me, as a teacher.

I believe that I’ve laid some groundwork that will be key to his success in the next few months as we prepare for the state reading exam and, possibly, the last two years of his high school career.

I think I learned as much as he did.

I learned that although I can and should be wary of students who might try to manipulate me into getting what they want, there are exceptions to the case, and that I’ll never know until I take a chance on someone.

I was reminded that there are a lot of gray areas when it comes to handling students’ individual situations.  I tend to think in black and white.  The gray in the middle is hard for me to navigate through.

I learned that God will make His will known to me through the use of others and to be sensitive to those times.  Trust me.  It became very obvious by the end of the day that this was something I had to do.

I hope that this experience will one day point this young man to the saving grace that Jesus extended when He gave His life on the cross.  I am so grateful for that forgiveness…the chance to redo things in my own life.  It’s only right that I do the same for others as well.  In my humanness, I sometimes forget.

Treasured Moments

A five-minute phone call to my Rooster boy during the break between classes…getting an update about upcoming plans.

A car in the garage when I arrive home from work…evidence that things are, at the moment, the same.

An hour-long conversation with my boy when I enter the house…excitement flowing from his words…brilliant smile on his face.

Late-night chat…evening plans that had led our paths to diverge now ended…a time to reconnect as a family.

Debate-after-the-debate…the boy and his father hashing it out over the Republican candidates.

These are the moments I am treasuring in my heart right now…moments that fill me with an overflowing love…moments that cause my eyes to brim over with tears.

I am grateful for each of these for I know that when spring arrives, so too will changes in this Auburnchick abode.


Yesterday evening after dinner, I left the TV off…a very rare occurrence.

The reason?

I had cupcakes to bake for my 6th period class.  It’s small in number, and we had a number of behavior issues the first three months of school; however, with consistency and accountability, the kids have grown into a cohesive group.  They finally earned their 2,000 Class Dojo points and are having a celebratory party today.

While I prepared my vegan Crimson Velveteen Cupcakes, I was tuned into Twitter and the Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study party.  It’s the first online study I’ve done, and I am so excited!  I’m in a Facebook group that’s being led by a longtime online knitting/bloggy friend.

I must have been quite the sight…laptop on my counter, mixing bowl not too close but not too far away…Pandora belting out a mixture of Ingrid Michaelson songs and Christian tracks.

I’d overfilled the cupcake liners, so when I pulled them out, there was cupcake overflow around each cupcake…that dried into hard-to-remove cupcake overflow.


It took me quite a while to clean the pans.  One of them is an air bake tin, so it can’t be submerged in water.

Bigger sigh.

I used some of my newfound muscles and scrubbed for a longggggggggggggggg time.

I had also decided to prep for a crockpot dish that I wanted to turn on before leaving for work.  I know myself, and it’s hard to get much accomplished in the morning besides my daily workout, shower, and beauty regimen.

Oh my, but I had to saute the chicken first, thus making ANOTHER mess that I had to scrub up.

Oh wait.  There’s more though.

While all that was transpiring, I was washing a load of clothes…of which I had to hang up about half of my stuff because I am quite particular, you see.

I was multi-tasking to the highest level…because I tend to be an overachiever, as you already know.

My students and co-workers may find me bleary-eyed in the morning.  Thank heavens for the cancellation of a regular Wednesday morning meeting.  I won’t have to be on my game immediately after stepping onto campus.

Small miracles, people.  Small miracles.

Mondays Be Like

Rough to get up to an early alarm after a weekend of sleeping in.  At least I have a lovely new wallpaper, courtesy of my Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study group!



A 20-minute workout followed by a ten-minute ab video, followed by ten minutes of stretching. I left the Charity Miles app on all day at school. I think I walked way more than two miles, but whatever. I also decided to wear heels to school. I was feeling extra sassy. Before I left, Molly needed to don the cone of shame so she wouldn’t chew on two hot spots that are on her rear end. When I got home, Gambit was scouting squirrels.



Delivery of my TurboFire Advance program, along with bands for resistance training. The glass of wine was there to soothe away stress from the day. Things are getting intense at school…crunch time during the three months we have left before state reading exams.



Twitter notification on my phone…Neal Shusterman liked a response I made to another tweeter about him. #fangirl



Chocoholic’s Nightcap

I’ve been on a mission.

Ok…I know.  I’m always on a mission, whether it’s related to teaching or exercise.


My latest search has been for the perfect hot chocolate recipe.

Store-bought mixes nearly always contain powdered milk or some other milk by-products.  The dairy-free mixes I’ve found haven’t been quite to my liking.

A few nights ago, I googled two things:  coconut rum and soy milk.

I saw a small blurb that explained how to substitute coconut rum for Bailey’s Irish Creme (which I can’t have because it’s got milk in it).  Then, there was a link to this recipe:  Chocoholic’s Nightcap.

I followed the instructions, substituting cacao powder for the cocoa and Tortuga Coconut Rum for the Bailey’s.




This stuff was delicious!

Being a former chocoholic, the level of chocolate-ness in this drink was Ah-mazing.

It was creamy too.

The rum added a nice touch, although you could make this without any alcohol and be just fine.

I did try to make this drink using my hot chocolate maker, but the milk got too foamy and just wasn’t as good.  It diluted the chocolate taste, so the third time I made it, I went back to using a saucepan to warm up the milk.

Tres divine.

I imported this recipe into MyFitnessPal, the calorie app I use, and it registered, with my modifications at 319 calories…for one cup.

Drink up.  Enjoy.  With this crazy weather we’re all experiencing, we all need to put warm goodies into our bellies.

13 Hours – A Movie Review

I’d originally planned to get up a little earlier on Saturday morning to get my long, 55-minute TurboFire workout done before my guys woke up.

Yeah.  I’m a teacher.  That alarm thing didn’t exactly work out.

I wound up waking up a little after 10 when the Mr. called me.  He had gone in to work for a bit and was making sure I was awake in time to see the movie, 13 Hours, we’d discussed a couple of days ago.

I scrambled, let me tell you, after briefly weighing whether or not to use Saturday as my “rest” day.  I’m addicted to burning calories and earning miles for my Hufflepuffs.  Plus, I’m on a roll with my Charity Miles app, and I didn’t want to break my streak.

I hoofed it, and we left a teensy bit later than the Mr. would have preferred.  The line outside the theater was long, so it took us a little while to actually get in the theater.  By the time we did, nearly all of the seats, and we’re talking the afternoon matinee, were taken up.  Because of his Crohn’s, the Mr. needs an end seat so he can get up to use the restroom without bothering anyone.

We wound up sitting in seats down on the lowest level…right in front of the screen.  Not ideal.  He was very unhappy.

It took a bit of adjusting, but we finally settled in to the movie.

Rooster and his girlfriend had gone to see this movie last week; Rooster had warned me that it had a lot of foul language, and the violence was pretty rough too.

I’ll tell you something, though.  As turned off as I get with bad language, for some reason, I didn’t notice it as much as the movie played.

I was completely caught up in the story.  I am naive, I’ll readily admit.  I’ve never really understood a whole lot about the Benghazi controversy.

Now, I do.

This movie reminded me of the long cardio workouts I do.  The pace alternated between fast and nail-biting to segments that allowed me to catch my breath and take peeks into the men’s private lives.

This movie was riveting.

It was shocking.

It was so sad.  I shed a few tears at the end.

When the Mr. and I walked out, we were both filled with two emotions:  gratefulness for those fighting for our freedom and anger at the politicians who continue to get away with the lies they told to cover their a$$e$ after things started coming to light.

I am ashamed of the way our leaders treat the military…the way they disrespect taxpayers by putting forth lies.

My heart hurts for the loved ones of those who sacrificed their lives during the Benghazi attack.  I suppose that these “soldiers,” contracted workers or special forces, don’t exist as real people to politicians.

Should this post have a political tone?



Because we have got to make our displeasure known and VOTE.  Of course, I’m becoming more jaded as I get older and don’t believe that many people holding political offices are honest.  However, we can certainly vote OUT those currently in there (and praise God that certain other people are leaving due to term limits).

This is a must-see movie.  We plan on buying it when it comes out on DVD (and we won’t have to crane our necks to watch it).

Watch the movie.

Then, make sure your voter registration card is up-to-date.

Exercise your right as an American citizen.  Honor those who have fought and are currently fighting the good fight, whether we know any or all the details.  Their service should not be in vain.


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