My Mother Was a Hooker!

Look at what you can do with wool strips? My mother, God Rest Her Soul, was a rug hooker, but how I loved to tell people she was a hooker. Her grandkids used to tell their friends, “My grandmother’s a hooker.”  Well, maybe I was the only one in the family who enjoyed that joke. But the reality is rug hooking is a lost and dying craft, one that involves searching out discarded wool clothing, dying the wool the proper color, cutting the fabric into strips and then hooking the strips into a canvas – the results of which are usually a rug but in this case – YOU CAN MAKE HANDBAGS!

I’m selling her lifelong collection to another hooker next week. Sadly, I cannot take it with me. We’re downsizing and that means I have to shed stuff all over the place. It’s disheartening because I always thought I would one day take up the craft and make my own creations. I guess I’ll have to treasure the rugs she left behind all the more.

Although the kids are grown up and gone and we’re done caring for our elderly parents and pets, my husband and I will miss the big old house where, in every room, nook and cranny, memories are stacked up like pancakes. I don’t understand how in the world I ended up with hundreds of picture frames! There’s a moving sale in my future, and my advice is to GO DIGITAL!!

Hundreds more just like this!

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Scam Artists Who Can’t Even Spell Make Me Sick

Unless you’re looking to rent a home and checking craigslist every hour like I’m doing, you would never stumble upon such funny stuff. I cannot believe these scam artists actually think there are people out there who will fall for this. Just fill out this online application and the house is yours! Here’s the actual email I received concerning a home in a nearby community, one I know is for sale, not for rent! It’s  good for a giggle and that’s all it’s good for. Enjoy the rest of your summer. Check out my tweets: jodierandisi. Good stuff for parents!


God bless you for your interest about my House. My name is Vivian M Bierweiler and my Husband name is Steve Robert, Our house is still available for rent and also we intend to sale this house but we have changed our mind to rent it out is no more for sale, please  if you see any for sale reject it immediately. I am renting this house to a responsible and neat person or family who has the fear of God and treat my house as his or her own. Presently I and my husband have moved out of the house due to my husband work transfer:  to West Africa and will be away for 8 years or more and this is why we are actually renting it out so if you are interested and will take good care of our house then we will be ready to accept you as our future tenant and family friend. If you really impress me by taking good care of our house then you will be allowed to stay as long as you wish okay. This is the address of the House: 9 ___________.

Hope you are okay with the price of $950/month and Security Deposit $650 with heat laundry facilities, air condition and so on. PETS ARE WELCOME! I am looking forward to hear from you as soon as possible I will like you to fill The Rental Application form below, also are you ready to rent it now or when?


looking forward to hear from you with all this details so that I can have it in my file in case of issuing the receipt for you and contacting you. Await your urgent reply so that we can discuss on how to get the document and the key to you, please we are giving you all this base on trust and again I will want you to stick to your words, you know that we do not see yet and only putting everything into Gods hand, so please do not let us down in this our property and God bless you more as you do this.

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State Champion Liar – What FUN!

This is a rarely seen photo unless you live at my house, then it’s on display in the family room.

QUESTION: What’s wrong with this picture?

ANSWER: I’m packing heat. Check out. It’s fake heat, but the cap gun from Wal Mart proved to be an excellent prop.

I convinced an audience in a hotel in Columbia, South Carolina that I was the secret agent of the Randisi Family and that’s how I became the state’s champion liar.

It’s quite the story, and what I think is so great about this whole thing is that Toastmasters International retired the Tall Tales Contest the year after I won, therefore, I reign. The title is all mine.

The story in a nutshell: I got stuck in traffic one day going off island, found a piece of paper and began constructing a tale that answered the question, “What do you do?” (We were relatively new to Hilton Head and some of the neighbor kids were asking our three children, “What do your parents do?” To which they replied, “We don’t know. They walk us to the bus stop, greet us when we get home and then we watch Animanics cartoons.”)

And that, your honor, is how the rumor got started that the Randisi family, all five of us, were stuck on Hilton Head thanks to the witness protection program. The actual speech was the telling of how everyone thought it was my husband who did the secret agent stuff when in reality it was because of me the whole the family had to go into hiding.

NOW for the BEST PART: After I told this totally believable story to several classes at the middle school where I was substitute teaching, students went directly to our daughter Emily (also a student there) and quizzed her about the validity of my story. Only I had added some “Hollywood” to the tale. I told the kids that I, the screenwriter (that part is true), sold our story to USA Network and the show Cover Me (late 199o’s) was based on us. The show featured a mom and dad who were undercover agents and their three children also had to comply with the duties of spyhood.

Without any forewarning or prompting from me, Emily went along with it and said, “Yes, it’s true. I’m the one with the streak in her hair, ya know, the middle daughter. Hellow!”  How proud was I? Amazingly, the whole school (including teachers) thought this stuff was true for a number of weeks. While I’m sure some doubted, I know for sure some believed.

Though telling lies is not something I want to promote as an educator or a parent, this was PURE FUN! Perhaps you and your family can have your own Tall Tales contest this summer. I recommend props.

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Bored Children, or Parents in Distress?

First of all, I think being bored is a good thing. Boredom has value. It forces children to develop their imaginations and ingenuity. I am not one to (though I’ve been falsely accused simply because of the title of my book, 201 Things to Do When Children Say I’M BORED! The Checklist and Journal for Busy Families) promote instant gratification for the I’M BORED! syndrome.

Although children can find themselves in trouble if idleness become a magnet for unbecoming behavior or unwanted characters, children must have time to daydream and create something from nothing. Kids who have everything handed to them (which is what some people think I do, again because of the title of the book I’ve written) will not rise to their full potential as a human being. Children who create stuff, even stuff that doesn’t work and makes a fabulous mess, are better candidates for employment down the road. Children who mess around with stuff and ideas are the ones who have the confidence to try new things, and employers like that. Being in the moment while following nobody’s rules or instructions will open up so many unexplored channels. So UNPLUG the devices (after you finish reading this) and go play.

To clarify, there are those of us who have great intentions just not enough great ideas, so if that’s the case, by all means get the BOOK and use it to promote creativity and togetherness. The concept behind 201 Things to Do When Children Say I’M BORED! is simple. SPEND TIME WITH CHILDREN – the rewards are terrific! I wrote it because at one time I was a young parent in distress – all because I lacked a list of things to do when my children needed and wanted my attention.Not only do I have a list, I have a record, which is very COOL!

Here’s one of my absolute favorites:  IDEA #186  BEGIN A FAMILY DIARY – Take turns writing in it. Let the younger children tell of the experiences, thoughts and feelings while someone older records the entry.

I recommend that you do this in writing BUT since the future is digital, you should find ways to record your summer memories online with or  TRUST ME – you’ll be SOOOO glad you did. Children grow up too fast. All three of ours are now officially launched, out of the nest and living in the real world and Hubby and I are totally wishing we had recorded more memories. Here’s why. We disagree on who said what or where we were when ____ happened. That’s just he way it is when you get older. Memories fade and get rewritten, which is actually fine with me.

BOTTOMLINE: Children have to have fun. And as adults, it’s not our responsibility to pave the road for our children. It is, however, a good idea to provide a decent roadmap.

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Summer Reading for Adults – A Must Read BOOK!


I hope everyone reads this book. Even if you’re not a teacher you will enjoy this book.  It’s an amazing true story about a teacher who had all the obstacles ever created stacked up against him – and yet he had TREMENDOUS success in the classroom. Happy reading!

By the way, let me know what you think. Comments are always welcome.

Here’s the deal. Teachers have the hardest job on the planet and they need help. Whenever I hear that a teacher has given up the profession because they simply cannot do it anymore, I get upset. We must give our teachers the tools to succeed in the classroom BEFORE they burn out, and it starts with classroom management and student discipline.

Let’s fact it. It doesn’t really matter what social-economic environment students come from – rich or poor or somewhere in the middle, they’re coming to school ill equipped and unprepared to learn. Teachers are pulling their hair out because they have to constantly discipline low level behaviors throughout the day which means they are continually losing time to teach.

Teach with Passion - Manage with Compassion!

This is why I’ve chosen to become a certified Time to Teach! trainer.

I’ve been a resource room teacher, learning disabilities consultant and substitute teacher since – well, since Ronald Regan became president. Student discipline comes naturally to me. Ever since my first day in the classroom, I’ve been especially adept at controlling the environment in a classroom, k-12.  I’ve found that students really appreciate a teacher who can engage individuals while maintaining an effective overall class atmosphere. Letting out of control students rob other students of their education is my pet peeve, so I’ve learned how to tackle the problem makers first. All that to say – now that I’m a Time to Teach! trainer, my influence has expanded from the classroom to entire school districts.

For more info, see

TRUE STORY: I was shocked to find out that a new teacher with just 18 months of experience under her belt had been let go by her school in Florida due to budget cuts. But what I found even more shocking was that in her recent college education she did not have access to the strategies we offer in our Time to Teach! program for classroom management. These concepts have been in use for forty years, all of which is researched based and data driven, yet the practicality of what we offer teachers was not included in her coursework at college, nor is it included in most teacher certification programs. I want to help.

Author Speaker Educator

THE GOOD NEWS: I’m available. Please contact me if you know of a school or school district that could benefit from a proven classroom management and student discipline program. My most popular presentation is called “If Home is Where the Heart is, Perhaps We Need a Bypass – Working with At-Risk Students” I customize all presentations to suit the audience, meaning a presentation can be 15 minutes, an hour or a full day training.

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Scam Me Not!

Okay, so this is so reeee-dic-u-lous!!! I’m in the market for a used car and find a gem on craigslist.

A. It’s downright unbelievable.

B. Here’s the explanation:

I am selling this car because my unit will be sent back to Iraq.I have no use for the car anyway,due to my job.The price is low because I need to sell it before April 20th.The car is in great condition and runs great.I have a clean title ready to be signed.The car has no electrical or mechanical problems.It is still available for sale if interested,price as stated in the ad.The car is in Billings, MT; in case it gets sold I will take care of shipping.Let me know if you are interested, email back.
2004 BMW 5-Series 530I
Inspection: Inspected
Vehicle Title: Clear
Condition: Used
Transmission: Automatic
Fuel type: Gasoline
Engine: 3.0L V6

So I write back:

Can you call me? I’d like to discuss the possibilities of how we can do a deal.

And he writes back:

I’m sorry but as i told you i am not at home,i’m in this military base and we are not allowed to take calls here,we have very restricted rules here,once again i appologise for this inconvenience,hope you understand my situation.I will ship it with DAS. I think I can have it there in 5-7 working days. I will take care of the shipping charges as I told you in my first email. It will come with a clear title . I am a member of the eBay buyer protection program and using this service you will get a 3 days testing period after delivery. During that 3 days testing period I will not be getting any money. I need to know if you are interested so I can ask eBay to send you the details on this deal. If interested please include in your next email your contact info for eBay (name, address and phone number), so we can get the ball rolling.

And I write back:

Could you direct me to your listing and eBay buyer id?

PLUS a SECOND more compelling email:

Wait – I have permission to fly out to MONTANA!!!! My husband has spoken. Since I’m really interested in this car and a cash buyer, it seems like this might work. Could it be arranged that I could take a look at the vehicle while in Billings?

His response:

The car was on eBay but i didn’t sell it there.Please send me your full name,address and phone number so i can ship the car to you.

What a fun night I’ve had!

Scam ME NOT!

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Time and Attention

Tell me if you’ve heard this one . . .

Five birds are sitting on a telephone wire. Two decide to fly south. How many are left? Most people would say three. Actually, all five are left. You see, deciding to fly isn’t the same thing as actually doing it.

So it is with most things. Good intentions are not enough. It’s not what we want, say or think that makes things happen; it’s what we do. We either make the time for the things we want to and should do, or we make excuses.

No doubt all good parents want to spend more time with their children, but so often life gets in the way. Bills have to be paid and there’s no getting off that merry-go-round. Teachers fantasize about spending more time with children doing activities that don’t require a lesson plan, but endless responsibilities soak up any surplus creativity and free time in the classroom. But this does not change a child’s enormous need for personal attention.

We’ve all see children in our schools and on our streets struggling to get the attention they need. Misbehavior is a sure way to capture attention, and sadly, some children have been conditioned to believe that acting up is the only way to get noticed. On the other hand, children thrive with regular doses of healthy interest from a caring adult. Naturally, positive affection starts at home. Educators and helping professionals can’t begin to fill the ever-growing number of empty “love” cups, but they quickly recognize when a child is not receiving regular one-on-one time at home.

Perhaps the solution is easily attainable. What if more adults were willing to fill a child’s cup with the simple act of time and attention? Imagine if making a connection with a child were just a routine part of our busy schedules. Essentially, there are only a couple of things to remember if you want instigate and inspire more connectivity between you and the children in your life.

The best gifts in life cannot be purchased.

You may already know that the best gifts in life are not things but people and experiences, which is why the best gift you can ever hope to give someone is yourself. The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention. Don’t save up your time and energy for a trip to Disney World when you can take a nightly walk or complete a jigsaw puzzle together. Connecting with children is relatively easy to do when you think of yourself as a gift. Keep in mind how much children love gifts. Caring gestures do not have to be complicated or costly. Kindness will resonate in every child’s heart no matter how silly or small. The most memorable gestures often cost nothing.

Here’s a hot tip: Adults sometimes forget how pliable and interested children are when offered the opportunity to help. Cleaning a closet, for example, is on everyone’s “to do list.” Put some forethought into how you could infuse a little creativity into the task and incorporate your child into the chore. Everyone will have more fun and get more done. Don’t fall into the trap of dismissing or ignoring children when you’re swamped with a bottomless list of things to do. Remind yourself that all it takes is a slight shift in attitude and VOILA — you’re a present!

My husband and I took the time to teach our children how to do chores, including grooming the dog. Admittedly, it took extra time not to mention a bucket load and a half of patience, but it was worth it. Our favorite Emily-age nine-quote was and still is, “We’re not cheap dog owners. We’re sheepdog owners!” Would it have been easier to groom the dog myself? Of course it would have, but look at what we would have missed.

A house is made of bricks and beams, but a home is made of love and dreams.

Our homes reflect who, what and where we are. A home is the nest where both adults and children roost and take refuge from the storms of life. Home is where we nurture ourselves and whether you live in a mansion, an igloo, an apartment, a houseboat or a room, home is where stories begins and hearts lives.

To help children boost their sense of belonging and cultivate confidence, make sure children have space for inspiration and outlets for creative energy. Frame and hang their artwork. Let them plant a garden, arrange a cozy reading nook, and most of all, let them have a say in how their room is arranged. Children flourish when they are able express themselves without the fear of making a mess stifling their imaginations.

When I was thirteen my mother finally gave me permission to decorate my room. I fell in love with a purple and lime green fabric. No one told me that green and purple could have been accent colors and introducing a third neutral color such as tan would have been good choice so I choose lavender for the wall color and chartreuse for all the wood trim including windows, baseboards and closet. What I thought was stunning surely made my parents gag. But I was free to dream and to this day I still dream big dreams.

Whether or not we work outside the home or in a classroom, life will always be hectic. It is easy to get into a busy schedule that leads us to feel disconnected from children. The key is to put “fun” on the schedule and enjoy the anticipation of reconnecting with children. Remember, relationships do not do well because people decide to connect. (Five birds on a wire ring a bell?)

Relationships thrive because caring adults offer themselves as a gift to little birdies, all of whom crave attention.

Need help? Get the book 201 Things to Do When Children Say I’M BORED! The Checklist and Journal for Busy Families.

DISCOUNT UGU (for $2 off)

Download or soft cover!!!

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