Ten days ago I wrote about a 14 year-old Pakistani girl named Malala, who’d been shot in the head by a Taliban would-be assassin. Why? Apparently her activism on behalf of educating girls in her country is threatening to the Taliban.  She survived the attack and is being treated in the UK.  Not only did she survive, but she’s doing well, according to a Time NewsFeed today.  She’s walked “with a little help” and the British doctors are optimistic for minimal brain damage!  According to that same article, Malala reportedly asked for her schoolbooks so she could pick up on her studies in order to be able to take her finals.  Fourteen years old – committed, passionate, courageous – I am in awe of the power of the human spirit as exemplified by one small girl.  I encourage you again, as in the original post, to pray for her recovery and to use your voice, wherever possible, to make life better for women everywhere.  Think I’m overreacting?

Four women were murdered in my state this week, one who had recently gotten a restraining order against her husband, the alleged murderer, and four more were injured.  Brookfield, WI, is not on foreign soil, my friends, it’s only a couple hours away.

So we rejoice with Malala and her family and pray for continued recovery.  We also pray for a culture that holds the Lord’s daughters in such low regard, in whatever part of the world that exists.  Blessings to all!



This is not my usual post, but the incident has been on my mind since it occurred and I’m hoping my readers are also aware of this girl, and if not, that your hearts and minds will be moved by this story.  And it isn’t a story, that’s not a good use of words; this is my way of speaking out against a huge crime committed against a 14 year-old girl.  Why do I care?  Why should you care? 

Those of you familiar with this site know that I have a passion for bettering the lives of women. While here in the U.S., we still have a ways to go with regard to the importance of health, safety and equity of women in general,  we are light-years ahead of other parts of the world, places like Pakistan, where young MalalaYousafzai lived and where, as an 11 year-old, she began crusading for the education of girls. For that, on Tuesday, a Taliban gunman entered her school bus, asked for her by name, supposedly threatening to kill them all if Malala did not speak up.  This courageous child, according to survivors, identified herself, was approached by the gunman and shot twice – once in the head and once in the neck.  A female child with no rights or value in her culture.

Lest you think this is an isolated incident or location, it is not.  Consider the work of Edna Adan Ismail in the region of Somali known as Somaliland to improve the lives of women and girls who are cruelly mutilated yet today.   Think of China and India , where women are so valueless that words like gendercide and female infanticide are now part of English language.

This is not a pretty post; but these not-pretty subjects are very real in this 21st century world.  Are we civilized?  One can only wonder.  But it’s my belief that we have got to speak up and speak out because if, as women, we do not address these issues, I would ask you to consider who will do so. 

In the meantime, young Malala is now being cared for in a British hospital, where they are claiming cautious optimism.  And yes, she’s under guard, because  her enemies have boldly proclaimed that they are not finished with her yet.  This is the world in which we live and  that I believe we have a responsibility to make a better place.  So pray, please, for young Malala and women everywhere.  Blessings…





  Today we celebrate Erin Lee, born 28 years ago tonight, just shy of midnight, changing my world forever.  I knew she was going to be Erin Lee, no ultrasound needed.  When I told my obstetrician that I was embroidering her Christmas stocking and already had her name across the top; he reminded me that the odds were 50/50.  When I told him that I was working on her Christmas dress – red velveteen and white satin – he just shook his head.  And then she was born, four days overdue, in typical fashion, making a dramatic entrance in her own time – Erin Lee; I just knew. 

     She was tiny, five pounds, thirteen ounces, and I was smitten.  I asked that her bassinet be left with me, couldn’t imagine letting them whisk her off to a nursery.  I wanted to get to know this little miracle and the journey began. What I couldn’t possibly have known was the depth of motherly love that would overtake me instantly and continue to grow.  Though she lives far away in a city she loves, I believe we are close at heart, more alike than not, though she might not always claim that 🙂  I’ve had occasion to tell her over the years that there is absolutely nothing on the face of this earth that could possibly change the fact of my unconditional love for her; she was and always will be my Erin Lee. 

With her permission, I describe her as 105 pounds of pure spitfire.  She’s an artist in personality and temperament, unlike myself;  I’ve always been amazed at how she sees the world, from little on, with totally different eyes than mine.  I’ve saved samples of her art over the years; a fascinating journey through the developing eye and mind of an artist’s view of her world, always a unique perspective.  It will provide the back-story when she’s famous, having her first gallery show.  In the meantime, three of her paintings hang in my home and I wear several pieces of her jewelry. 

  An early reader, having completed the Laura Ingalls Wilder series at age six (a gift from her first-grade teacher during one of her many hospitalizations), she’s intelligent and articulate.  I used to joke that all the time spent in an oxygen tent paid off beautifully, a silver lining to difficult days of chronic illness first manifested when she was just five months old.  With a gift for languages hearkening back to her early days of imitating Pepe Le Pew, and a first-rate imitation of Lady (of the movie Lady and the Tramp), this was a little girl who let you know with a toss of her hair, that she knew without doubt that she was special.  When Erin Lee laughs, everybody laughs, it’s positively contagious.  She’s fiercely loyal with a wicked wit.  If you’re close to her, she may challenge you in ways that test your soul, but the result is always worthwhile.

  My firstborn child is 28 today.  I am so very proud of the woman she has become and I am a better person for being her Mumma Lee.  Blessings, Erin Lee, and thank you for the joy you’ve brought me over these 28 years.  I’d do it all over in a heartbeat.  Joyeux Anniversaire; je t’aime en pièces!!

                Artistic  view                                                                         Quintessential Erin Lee




It’s time for what is becoming the annual birthday post.  Twenty-seven years ago this evening, I met my younger daughter, Meghan Lee, for the first time.  Weighing in at just six pounds, she showed early signs of being her own person, struggling to be released from the hospital swaddling that her sister, a year earlier, had found so comforting.  Being her mother, one might accuse me of prejudice, but I am so very proud of the young woman she has become. I am blessed to be close to her, not in proximity, but in mind and heart, the places that really count. I  have watched her grow over the years, overcoming challenges and learning to soar like an eagle!!

An early reader determined to keep up with her sister, likely based on something she read in a book, she began calling me “Mother.”  Not mom and not just to my face, but in reference to me as well.  It was very noticeable, coming from this little person, so formal – Mother.  She still does, today, but I’m used to it and no longer feel like Joan Crawford.  That’s Meghan Lee,  no nicknames, please.

This past year was one of continued growth in grace and beauty for Meghan, who, last year, began a tradition of wearing a tiara on her birthday, even on the bike 🙂 The year also brought a major life event.  On March 24th, Meghan became a wife, marrying Brian Smith, a perfect match for her, in a unique two-state wedding that began in Oklahoma and ended with the completion of the ceremony by Meghan’s Grandpa Buelow in Green Bay. An additional event that was very exciting for Meghan was the purchase of a new bike, an upgrade to a bigger and better motorcycle that she really enjoys and a passion shared with Brian, who has become a biker dude 🙂 since meeting Meghan Lee.  They were able to take several fun bike trips over the summer.

My younger daughter turns 27 today and I couldn’t be more pleased to claim her though I’m learning to share her with Brian and we jokingly refer to “our Meghan” or “our girl” instead of the former “my”.  She is kind, loving and generally an exceptional human being, grown now, with a blog of her own.  Ride on Tiara Girl 🙂   I’m thanking the Lord for putting her in my arms and into my care – a gift to me beyond compare.  Joyeux anniversaire, Meghan Lee, je t’adore!!

               Meghan Lee & new bike                                            Meghan Lee & Brian Smith