Ingredients for happiness

1. Sing out loud I have a voice made for silent movies, but I sing when I’m driving. I’m quieter when the children are in the car, but I still sing. I don’t stop singing at red lights. It makes no difference to me what I look like to other drivers. If I’m singing, I’m […]

The other occupiers

When hopeful college students first began occupying public parks, they were not the first urban campers. Homeless people were living in parks, empty buildings and cars long before the Citizens United ruling. Fighting attempts to help the homeless with the hateful excuse that they will go away if we ignore or punish them is a […]

it’s a marathon, not a sprint

There has been far too much death, illness, injury and loss in the social and IRL community that surrounds me lately. In every instance, people have swarmed to support those in need. Then, they slowly drifted to other places where they felt more needed. I’m going to tell you a secret about women. When there […]

I do get weary

After almost twenty years with a child who doesn’t fit the mold and that same amount of time spent advocating, I get tired. It is exhausting to constantly explain to those who don’t want to understand. It makes your bones hurt to have obstacles and insults hurled at you daily. It is draining to trudge […]

keep them behind a locked gate

After meeting opposition at every proposed site, the plan to create permanent supportive housing for the chronically homeless all over Knox County has ended where so many wanted it to be, Lakeshore. Pessimistic voices argue that this keeps the mentally ill homeless near mental health services. Optimistic voices argue that Lakeshore is lovely and one […]

hiding out

I have no personal space. I thought about hiding in our bedroom closet until I realized that it is filled with everyone’s stuff but mine. It’s not fair to hide in someone else’s clothes. You would think the bathroom would be a safe place for privacy, but you’d be wrong. Even the newest 4-y-o picks […]

I do not think it means what you think it means

stimulus: something that rouses or incites to activity: as a: incentive b: stimulant 1 c: an agent (as an environmental change) that directly influences the activity of a living organism or one of its parts (as by exciting a sensory organ or evoking muscular contraction or glandular secretion) Children’s Services -16.40% Division of Mental Retardation […]

help me understand

I am not an accountant. Reading the TN budget for 2009-2010 is about as pleasant as watching for the return of a swallowed Playmobile toy. I understand clearly that we are cutting or eliminating: family resource centers, school safety grants, school health positions and funding, the child health and development (CHAD) program, the healthy start […]

chapel > soccer

While another area in Knoxville rallies together to be heard by St. Mary’s, the neighborhoods around Lakeshore sit silently. They silently watched, year after year, while the buildings deteriorated as the state reduced Lakeshore’s budget. They said nothing when Lakeshore was forced to sell some of their valuable property to Parks & Rec. They are […]

Dear family and friends,

When I have my mental breakdown, if you love me in the very least, please, please, please do not call Dr. Phil. In fact, don’t call anyone with their own television show. It won’t take much effort to locate a good therapist. The local Mental Health Association can recommend a doctor who specializes in whatever […]