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Sarah at Christmas

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Gay's Days. Another warm one

January 16, 2016

Good morning friends,

We are ten degrees cooler today, than yesterday so we are beginning the day with the temp of 47 and the high will be in the 60’s. Here we are in mid-January, and the temperature is still warm. I have a fire going in the fireplace early in the day and the A/C turned on in the afternoon. Mild temps are nice in the winter in the Houston area—but oh the summer! I’m dreading it already. Spring begins in two months, and along with it, come those hotter days.
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The Mr. is sort of sick today. He got up at his usual early time—about 4:30, but he decided to lie down after he read the paper and ate breakfast.  He’s always a doer, even when ill, so this is unusual for him.
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We had friends over last night. I prepared a simple Mexican salad with ice cream for dessert. I don’t do complicated meals, but the visit was enjoyable. We hadn’t seen these friends in a few months, so it was delightful to catch up.

Hubby and I spend an inordinate amount of time helping our daughter these days. Her husband passed away on September 10, 2015, and we are helping with all the business details. It’s amazing how many there are. We’ve spent many days traveling back and forth to Austin to attend to specifics. These are sad times for all of us, especially her.
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Now to happier news.
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I’m excited about my new Sarah book. It’s available as a preorder on Amazon now.

Here’s an excerpt from the book. Mackenzie is a shy teen and her mom teaches in the same high school Mackenzie attends. Sarah is listening to the conversation regarding bullies, and she's trying to figure out how to help Mackenzie. This is a good book for all ages, especially young people.

What’s the difference between bullying and teasing?” Mackenzie sliced into meatloaf.

        Sometimes joshing is for fun—maybe Ethan is trying to make you feel at ease. Or it could be his way of flirting with you.” Jessica closed one eye and seemed to search her mind for more definitions.

       “Having said that, let me hasten to say this. Teasing from anyone, including Ethan, can turn nasty and become bullying. I’ve seen kids at school start out with a plan to intimidate another with a tease but it escalated to physical abuse.”
      Bonnie crossed her arms and tapped her foot. “Does Ethan try to bodily hurt you?”

           “No, ma’am.”

“He’d better not. I’ll make him put his tail between his legs and whimper like a scolded puppy.” Bonnie’s glare could ignite a furnace.

Jessica and Mackenzie both giggled at the fierce look on the older woman’s face.

Jessica bit her lip as she continued to muse. “Teasing in a fun manner can be a friendly way of communicating. Tone, facial expression, and body language often convey a person’s intention. Does Ethan appear to say things to you in a good-natured or aggressive way?”

Mackenzie shrugged and wrinkled her nose. “Good-natured, I guess.”

Jessica nodded. “Yet you still view his demeanor as negative. It can be difficult to tell the difference between a teaser and a bully. I wouldn’t want you to put up with a tormenter, but I honestly don’t see Ethan in that light. Knowing the difference between a teaser and a bully is complicated. If Ethan acted like a bully toward others, I’d consider having a talk with him about his aggressive attitude. As a teacher, I’m required to write up a student who behaves unacceptably. As a mom, I wouldn’t allow it for you, either. No one should put up with abusive treatment or statements.” She cocked an eyebrow. “If you want, I’ll talk to him.”

“No! That’s one of the reasons I don’t tell you stuff.”

Jessica sighed as if her heart hurt. “I understand. Thing is, that’s one of the reasons a lot of kids endure offensive behavior. They’re afraid of being called a snitch if they tell someone like me. Teachers can help, but teens don’t let us, and that’s too bad. We give a bit of advice when someone asks, or we refer them to a school counselor. They’re experts and make suggestions to modify reactions to taunts. Then, if the bully fails to respond to the new conduct, we take other actions to stop the tough guy’s aggression.” Another huge sigh escaped her lips. “Kids should trust adults.”
Ya'll have a good one. Stay safe. See you tomorrow.