Val's Version

Val's Version

Personal Musings

Recent Posts

What Parenting Taught Me About Mental Health

What Parenting Taught Me About Mental Health

I had my first child in 1987, my second in 1988, and my third in 1990. My husband and I called it the “Go nuts now, go broke later” plan. In the early 90’s, the Internet started becoming available to mere mortals at home, and […]

Reach Out and Touch Someone Part Two: The Bidening

Reach Out and Touch Someone Part Two: The Bidening

It doesn’t look as if she has fully consented to this kiss…

Reach Out and Touch Someone?
Does her smile look a little strained to you?

Reach Out and Touch Someone?

I hold a 5th degree black belt in USA Shuto-Kan Karate. I also do prevention education in the schools for the sexual assault center in my town. So it’s fascinating to me to hear all the protests going up in defense of Joe Biden. Let […]

A Black Belt’s Guide to Self Defense Against Thieves

A Black Belt’s Guide to Self Defense Against Thieves

A friend of mine was mugged this past week. It was ugly. In her attempt to defend her purse from some young thieves who accosted her in the church parking lot near her suburban home as she exited choir practice, she was thrown to the […]

The Uncertain Ally
Photo: Decatur Herald and Review

The Uncertain Ally

It’s July 11, 2016. My husband and I stand at the bottom of the steps of the Macon County court house in Decatur, Illinois. We are attending an event put on by local pastors, supporting their efforts to prevent violence in the wake of a shooting, […]

College Application Follies – A Cautionary Tale

College Application Follies – A Cautionary Tale

Yesterday was the deadline for Early Decision for a number of selective U.S. universities. “Early Decision” permits students who are sure of their first choice school the opportunity to find out early whether they will be accepted in exchange for committing to attending that school […]

Struggle, Challenge and Meaning – The Education of a Gifted Child

Struggle, Challenge and Meaning – The Education of a Gifted Child

Parents of young children are familiar with the grin of triumph which accompanies mastery of a new skill after a concentrated effort… from pulling up to a stand, to taking those first steps and tying their own shoes, life for all young children is full […]

Meditations on Mud

Meditations on Mud

It’s a springlike 60 degrees here today.  Katie came down with an ear infection yesterday, so I cancelled the dentist appointment, and today became a real at-home day.  She’s feeling much better, so we took a walk down to the river this morning. She’s discovered […]