Category Archives: learning disabilities

The Opposite of Fix is to Break


As a counterpoint essay on a subject opposite of the “fix” post, I thought that it

would be fun to use the word, “broke” and all of its variations. This will follow the

pattern that I used last time, analysis, wordplay and include a popular song, which

has an unusual use of ‘broke’ within its lyrics. Like last time, I would like you to

help me to determine if this detracts from the friendly, caring tone it is trying to

set. I feel the One Direction’s song, “The Story of My Life,” is quite lively and goes

at such a quick pace, that you may not have noticed the words I heard the other


If you watched, “American Idol,” 2014, you may have caught Alex Preston

singing this song. I am not sure, since they edit the song to fit a timed format,

if it included the phrase that concerns me. I will show the passages before this

and let you know by using *s to indicate the phrase which include the word,

“broke inside.”

“The Story of My Life”

The story of my life,

I take her home

I drive all night to keep her warm

And time is frozen

(the story, the story)

The story of my life,

I give her hope

*I spend her love

until she’s broke inside.”*

I found myself pondering this long and hard. It seems that the author loves

and cares for the woman, but then that just feels like hurtful words to say

in amongst the love messages. It seems rather ‘cold’ instead of depicting

‘warm’ feelings.

What do you think? Let me know…

The words, “break, broke, break-up and broken” all have a variety of

definitions. Most have emotions and feelings attached. I allowed myself

to add “Heartbreak” to this post, while listing positive and negative

meanings.  I had several positive reactions to the “fix” post, so hope

you will like some of the brain-storming that my coworkers did between

the first post and this one.

POSITIVE uses of the variations of “Break, etc.”

We all enjoy ‘breaks!’

From school- Summer Vacation!

From work- Vacation!

During school-







At work in an office- The Water Cooler.

Almost all jobs have Vending Machines for snacks.




Daily stretches.

Some of us wished we lived where “Siestas” were a daily afternoon event!

Breaking bad habits (always a positive)

Break from Ordinary Routines = Extraordinary Experiences.

Making a “clean break” is good from a bad relationship.

When two people are having some rough patches, they may wish to “take a break.”

When two people are in a committed relationship and are raising children, they

may wish to have a “break” which is otherwise known as, “Date Night!”

A “break” during a long movie or play is called “Intermission.”

When you are putting all your money into the Pot, in a game, you may say these

words, “I’m going for Broke!”

“Breaking barriers” is a good way to allow communication and relationships

between cultures, countries or other situations to grow and develop.

“Breaking Bad” was a good and entertaining television show.

“Breaking the Ice” is also good, to allow people to have more fun. One game

that was an “ice breaker,” in the old days, while a teenager, was “Spin the

Bottle.” One my parents ‘approved of,’ was “Twister!”

NEGATIVE uses of the word, “Break, etc.”

Being “broke” (when not playing a game of Monopoly) is a bad thing.

Being ’emotionally broke’ may mean you are empty inside or possibly


“The Break Up” was the title of a not so funny movie with Jennifer Anniston

and Vince Vaughn. (Maybe it was just me!)

Melvin mentioned that one of his favorite Clint Eastwood ‘war themed movies,’

was “Heartbreak Ridge.”

Broken hearts are so sad.

Broken engagements may leave one of the two parties involved, happier. One

much sadder.

Broken objects.

Cars broke down or breaking down.

Broken bones do hurt.

(Sticks and stones may break your bones,

And words DO hurt you, too!)

Marriage Break Up’s:

1. Accidental-

Unplanned, fall out of love, curiosity or boredom

may lead to an affair. Lack of interest with partner.

Situational and sometimes out of anger or a rash


2. Intentional-

Separation. One or both parties chooses to leave.

Counseling ‘didn’t work.’ Too many problems, wide

disparity in personalities.

3. Emotional-

Grow apart. Reaching a breaking point. Some habits

that are not mutual, possibly addictions. The statistics

for two people, raising a child with disabilities, chances

of divorce goes from the “norm” of 50% up to 75%.

Stress and depression can be part of this ‘break up.’

When you ‘tame a horse,’ you have to ‘break’ them of

their freedom. I put this under negatives, but can see

it going either way. Depends on the perspective, the

horse or the owner.

I loved the way my coworkers helped me to compile a

list of songs with ‘heart break’ as its core. If you wish to

add some more, please do so in the comments section.

1.  “How Do You Mend a Broken Heart?”

This song was released in 1971, by the Bee Gees. Robin

and Barry Gibb mainly are the ones who wrote the lyrics.

2.  “Heartbreak Hotel”

This song was released on January 27, 1956 by Elvis Presley.

3.  “Heartbreak Hotel”

This song, totally different from Elvis’ in its lyrics and melody,

was released in 1998 by Whitney Houston.

4.  “I Can’t Make You Love Me”

Sung by Bonnie Raitt, more recently by Adele. Written in 1991.

4.  “Heartbreaker”

This was an exciting title for many famous songs!

a. Led Zeppelin, in 1969, English rock band.

b. Pat Benatar in 1979, totally different song.

c. Dionne Warwick in 1982, another song.

d. Mariah Carey in 1999, another song.

e. Justin Bieber in 2013, his own song.

Lastly, when googling this subject, I had no idea it would include

such a diverse group of performers singing the one I knew best,

Pat Benatar’s, which also was sung by Jena Irene, on “American

Idol,” 2014. We cannot go too far on this, it would generate a

whole other post!

5.  “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”

a. First title song, one I did not remember was Dionne Warwick’s

singing this in 1976. This was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

The one that I saw performed in Cincinnati at what was then called,

Riverside Stadium was written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. It

was with two ‘youngsters’ born in the same year of 1947:

Elton John and Kiki Dee.

6.  “Cecilia”

Sung by Simon and Garfunkel. This song was on their album in 1970.

An ‘oldie but goodie!’

The first line in the song goes like this, “Cecilia, you’re breaking

my heart. You’re breaking my confidence daily….”

(Notice two uses of the word, ‘breaking.’)

The part where the man gets up to use the bathroom and comes

back to bed, to find someone else taking his place; made us all laugh

hysterically, thinking that we had gotten away with listening to this

rather wild, risqué song! (And our parents had all liked S & G!)

7. “Achy Breaky Heart”

First sung in 1991, by the Marcy Brothers. Don Von Tress wrote this

song, that was later made famous by Billy Ray Cyrus, of course!

What song would you include from the band,

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers?









Amusing Book with a Message


I love the title to this book! It is filled with an

assortment of helpful and hilarious ways someone can

benefit, first as a child, later as an adult reading

to one’s children, nieces, nephews, students or

neighbors. It is titled, “Everything I Need to Know

I Learned From a Little Golden Book.”

There are a mere 96 pages in this treasure chest. The

Golden Nuggets of Wisdom (my label I gave them!) are

such wonders to be imparted to its readers! The author,

who also has been a longtime editorial director for

the Golden Books line, is named Diane Muldrow.

She has taken pictures from such famous illustrators

as Richard Scarry and Margaret Wise Brown to pair up

with some choice and ridiculous interpretations of

those endearing books which have been around since


Golden Books have embraced many popular culture

aspects, such as the hit “Sesame Street” television

show, “Howdy Doody,” the “Little House” series,

“Davy Crockett,” and all our famous fairy tales.

I will give you an example to cherish and smile at,

hopefully even chuckle at, from Muldrow’s book.

While there is an adage of “Play hard,” you are

also, given a second one, “But not too hard.”

The pretty pictures shows an old-fashioned

drawing of a man working at a foundry, then

the next one has animals run amok! There

also has a two page illustration of animals

who have taken over a picnic, with a few

popped corks!

The animals in the artwork show a stork

who is pouring pink liquid from a can into

the pelican’s large beak, a boa constrictor

who is eating a boot along with many varied

wild animals canoodling!

While looking at this book, I could not help

myself, reminiscing about the days when my

own three young children would enjoy these

three Golden Books that were our “favorites:”

1. “The Little Engine That Could,” which

I think everyone will agree has a fantastic

and encouraging message. It is the “David

Vs. Goliath” message. It is a story where

perseverance overcomes all obstacles. This

message is one that we all can remember and

learn from children’s persistence!

2. “Wait For Me!” are the plaintive words of

all youngest children in families, from time

in memorial. The last book is called, “The

Wait-for-me Kitten.” How many times have you

or someone close to you heard these appeals

for the older children to wait for the slower

or younger ones?

If you are an aunt, uncle, teacher or other

one who is not a parent, you can ‘feel’ for

the poor little guys or girls who fall behind.

It was an especially poignant story, while I

was a preschool teacher with the mixture of

typically developing children with the ones

with various disabilities. We had a whole year

where we ALL crawled (“combat style”) to Circle.

This was due to a sweet tempered child, Caleb,

who had Cerebral Palsy, allowing the little lad

to ‘lead’ us, teacher, assistant teacher, P.T.,

O.T or other visitors to our classroom.

Caleb received a gift bestowed upon him,

through a grant we all proposed, of a small

motorized wheelchair, when he turned five

years old. You should have seen the huge

grin on his face, once he mastered the

ability to control the circular knob!

No more pulling him to gym in a wagon

lined with pillows! We never put him in

a stroller, even on walks from age three

to that eventful five year old gift. He

would have ‘none of that baby stuff!’

3. “The Poky Little Puppy,” which will

always remind me of my daydreaming, oldest

daughter, Carrie. We had to wake her up

before the others, just to get ready in

time for school. Don’t tell her this, but

we still give her an earlier time than the

actual ‘party,’ ‘festivity,’ or family

gathering is scheduled!!

I share these, along with the rest of the

small, child sized Golden Books with my

six grandchildren. Some are quite worn

and I have had to replace a few, too!

(Yes, crayoned on and ripped pages, occur

in my not so perfect world! Smiles!)

The cover of Diane Muldrow’s book has a

photograph of a woman in a red dress with

a coat ‘ensemble,’ from the fifties’ era.

The woman is holding the Poky puppy. It

is a clever and witty collection of sage

advice. I think these last imparting ones

will give you an idea of why you may wish

to ‘check out this book!’

“Take you antioxidants!”


“Get your exercise!”

and one I particularly enjoy,

“Star gaze!”

A True Story and a Flight of Fancy


The real story begins, in a small rural corner of the

world. There were four horses, Sapphire, Spirit, Lokie

and Summer. Recently, the cost was approaching the limit

of extra expenses for a country family who loved their

horses, so much so that they considered them ‘family.’

When a woman stopped to visit the horses down her county

road, she brought along her daughter who was challenged

with speech difficulties and her sister also, who had

never spoken a word.

Amy, the horses’ savior and owner, noticed from a

distance that the girls were pointing and making loud

shrieks. She approached through the muddy terrain,

leading Summer, the oldest horse in her stable. She was

making her way to the fence by the side of the road.

When the mother introduced herself and her daughters,

she also shared her frustration with Amy. Amy is such

a kind and wondrous soul, it is so easy to lean on her

and let all the tough times get vented. She does this

for almost anyone she meets.

The two girls’ mother said that she was considering

buying a horse since both girls had been diagnosed

to have autism.

The therapists at school recommended lessons at the

Flying Horses stable. This was sometimes the place

for field trips for the classes which had budgets for

such events.

This business is located in Morrow County and is

reasonably priced and known for their special

services. Many local merchants and sponsors help to

pay for lessons for children with disabilities or

special needs.

The woman was consoled by Amy, so thankful that she

was willing to listen. Amy offered to put each of

them on Summer, her oldest, most tame and trained horse,

and give them rides.

(An aside comment: I had not included Summer in my story

about filming nor the one where I mentioned a possibility

of houses and land purchases. Amy’s son in law was not

sure when the whole adventure will transpire but Summer

is Amy’s daughter’s horse. Summer is stabled with the

other three horses. Often Amy’s daughter rides on longer

hikes on the wonderful horse paths, at nearby Mount

Gilead State Park. Both horse and daughter had missed

the time when the film crew’s van travelled to their farm.

There are great horse paths at the Mount Gilead State Park,

where her daughter likes to take Summer.

Amy’s family’s budget has had to tighten with the higher

cost of heating the barns this winter. They can not ‘count

on’ the money from her daughter’s husband, until it is

given. The horses will continue to stay together until the

property is found and purchased.)

End of aside comments…

Once the oldest girl visitor sat on the tame and gentle

Summer’s back, she exclaimed and bounced. Amy led Summer,

holding onto the child’s leg on one side of the horse.

She had suggested that the mother hold her leg on the

other side of the fence, along with placing the younger

one on her hip away from the horse.

When it came time for the oldest sister to be taken

off, she did not shriek nor cry. She was pensive and

calm, as if the horse had ‘tamed her.’

The youngest sister had never having spoken a word,

despite Speech and Language Therapy (through the Early

Intervention program), since she was one year’s old.

It was now her turn.

The mother stood on one side of the horse, while Amy

placed the child on the horse, then she held on tightly

to the little one’s upper thigh. Meanwhile, the oldest

visiting daughter was placed on a tree stump to watch

from a short distance. Amy had never seen such a change

in demeanor in a child, as what she had witnessed with

the girl.

Amy knew the ‘littlest angel’ would respond to the

horse, since there was a light in her eyes. There was

a different and new kind of serious look on her face.

The child’s eyes were large and blue with eyelashes

long and beautiful. There was a determined set to her

mouth and a furrow between her eyes.

The little one started to giggle, she wriggled her

legs and started to gently kick them. She seemed to

know that she was on a great big horse. This recognition

spread to show a new affinity to the horse. Her motions

seemed to be saying, ‘Go!’

The mother’s face had tears streaming down her face. She

saw the magic going on and could not believe her eyes and


Then the little one said, “Ma!”

This one syllable sound emitted from the child, made Amy’s

eyes well up with tears.

Sharing Summer with the girls and allowing them to have

their short little rides, had opened up both the girls.

If you could put a label on the experience and the sense

of wonder felt in those moments, you may express it as

their showing the emotion of “Love.”

In studies of children with autism, many unusual elements

can create this feeling of well being. It is something

that is not easily examined or explained.

The simple element of water running over their fingers,

petting a dog or cat or listening to a certain musical

piece are among a few ‘triggers’ that bring calming

effects upon people whose wiring in their brains is

not still fully understood.

Amy did not take a dime for Summer’s becoming part of

the family down the road’s. Summer will come back to

visit, the woman promised. When her husband got off

work, they all walked down the county road, the horse

named Summer, the family with two parents and two girls

and Amy. They had an empty barn, clean and filled with

the hay they had purchased. The family had been on many

locations on their computer, having searched for over a

month. Their stop to look at Amy’s horses had been to

allow the girls to know this is what they were planning.

“Never in a million years,” the mother exclaimed, had

she expected this gift of Summer!

Her upkeep was going to be the responsibility of the

new family who appreciated such a generous gift. Amy

hugged her daughter’s horse, imparting a secret message,

“I love you, Summer. You will be so useful and helpful

to this family that I know you will live a longer life.”

The continuing tale is about the remaining horse family

which includes now, two sisters and a brother.

The three younger horses have been raised together.

They came from three different lineages and parents.

They were on their own, separated from their families.

They became part of a set that was purchased by my

good friend and coworker, Amy.

Their lives were very different before they came to

live in Morrow County, as a part of Amy’s loved ones.

They had ribs that showed, coats that needed to be

washed and brushed to become shiny again, along with

looks of belligerence and defiance that showed mistrust

of human beings that had been entrusted with their


Amy was their ‘savior’ in their lives. Their lives

allowed for freedom to run and also, gentle children

to pet them, sharing treats with them of sugar cubes

and apples. Their barn was clean, their daily routine

more structured in that they were outside more than

inside. They were lucky to be alive and getting more

healthy every day.

One brittle cold day, the three horses were stuck in

the barn all day. Lokie, a paint horse, with her spots

having changed more than once in colors and tones, was

anxious for winter’s end.

Sapphire, her beauty and loveliness shining like her

name, had acquired more patience and more confidence

since she had become part of Amy’s clan. She knew that

there would be better times, she also knew there wasn’t

much you could do in the freezing cold.

Spirit, who had many times injured himself, not caring

if he had an infection or possible gangrene from the

metal barb wire he had got tangled in when he had first

arrived, was able to breathe in and then, snort, the

huge noise shaking the cats that were trying to sleep

in the straw in the hayloft. There was moist wisps

of his breath upon the air. He leaned against the

wall in his stable, starting to relax and breathe in

an even way, that set the tone for his ‘sisters of a

different mother.’

Spirit’s early battles of horse versus metal, with

his anger and frustration of having moved more than

the others had had to endure, had made him restless.

His stampedes against fences, shrugging off his saddle

in battles with Amy and finally submission had taken

time and energy.

Though Amy claims she has no patience, there was

evidence in the way Spirit was able to go through his

‘tricks’ and his jumps for the cameras that rolled on

that fateful day, awhile back.

Their dreams were usually the same, with few exceptions.

The three horses had an affinity to their roots, their

long ancestral trees that included where their parents

and grandparents had come from. Those roots made them

visualize very different places to relax and run wild

in their dreams.

Lokie’s desire to ride in her dreams, bareback and

trotting over the wild prairies with a sense of

vastness and freedom was a natural result of her

heritage. She was after all, a ‘paint,’ which usually

during the early American unsettled days, Native

Americans chose for their beauty and colors. Although

Lokie is not anything like her big ‘brother,’ Spirit,

she does have her own brand of spirit!

Sapphire’s pedigree and her lofty nature has changed

and improved over her time with Amy. She used to refuse

to associate with the other two. Her nose resembled

that of a ‘snob,’ held high up in the air. That lofty

nature was not dampened by her mean spirited old owners,

she kept it as her way to keep sane and enjoy her life,

despite its desperate direction it had veered off in,

a few years back. Sapphire loved her turquoise blue

satin ribbons that were woven into her mane and tail.

She adored her azure blue blanket that was put on her

back before the saddle was placed on top of it.

“Ah!” sighed Sapphire, at the vision of such lovely

finery and herself being so adorned.

She liked the idea of stars and a moon outside in the

cold air, to look up and see, guiding her to a better

life with Amy.

Amy was her ‘servant’ and she would help her go through

her paces. She would lead and gently nudge her with the

habit and get her to prance, gallop and trot. She would

also stand perfectly still, when a little one was placed

on her back.

Parades were in Sapphire’s dreams, as Amy had planted

the seeds of them early on. Amy had whispered that if

she grew more strong and beautiful that she would get to

be in the Delaware All Horse Parade. This would take

endurance and she would have to be a good horse to go

there. But the idea of having others’ watch her, admire

her and possibly clap, (like the little ones sometimes

did on her back) filled her dreams with happiness.

Spirit sometimes snorted in disdain at her sister’s

unrealistic dreams of being a princess herself. He was

still able to dream of being on an island, far away

from the cold weather. Amy had mentioned her favorite

book about “Misty of Chincoteague,” by and he had

listened to her tales of running wild and free, across

soft grass that was not mowed, where there would also

be warm sand to run in. Underneath his slight disgust

at the pretty dreams that Sapphire had, was his own

soft and gentle heart, he was fond of her… maybe even

would miss her, if his dream would come true.

Living in close quarters in the barn, with the chickens,

rooster, one cow and cats who were due to have kittens,

made all three horses happy. The bodies warmed their

place enough to not shiver and shake from the cold


Spirit thought about this, when he was waking from his

island dream again. Lokie shook her mane and stamped

her foot, irritated that it had gone asleep again.

While she had been dreaming of running through wild

grasses, stopping at a crystal blue stream to sip

on water that trickled over rocks, she has spied in

her dream a little child with dark straight hair

and almond colored skin. His eyes had been so shiny

dark brown, serious in his demeanor. Lokie yearned

for this child to be his owner, if he were not able

to ‘take Amy into his dream.’

Spirit saw Lokie’s calm countenance and her special

dreamy look upon her face, glad that she had an escape

in these cold days. It would have been boring to the

girl, had she not her Western dreams of romance and


Sapphire may someday make her life more famous. Since

she was the one who had primped and paraded so well

for the French filmmakers and crew. This memory had

only reinforced her dreams of ‘fame and fortune.’

Rugged Lokie, although a mare, would have only liked

to have children or possibly Annie Oakley ride her.

Taming Lokie has not been as challenging for Amy,

as Spirit had been. Lokie had her sweet tooth, which

made her work for the treats more. She could do her

many tricks for a passing guest or a group now, too.

Spirit leaned again towards the gray weathered wall,


“It is about another hour or two, until our caretaker,

Amy comes by after her work, to give us a new pitch

fork full of hay. Maybe I can remember the path that

led me to the cave on the island. I would like to

explore the passages…”

Before he drifted off to sleep, Spirit whinnied to

let the others know the message that a mouse had

given to him, that the squirrels had heard from the

little birds’ chirpings’ that Spring was on its way.

When horses snore, it is hard to resist and it can

become contagious…


Someone Saved My Life Today


There are times when I feel like I am on the verge of tears, sometimes

I am thinking, “You are too old… for working here, for having been in

love and then, not anymore,” and other little negative tailspins. I was

happy to hear a love story at lunch today.  I also, on the way to work,

had a light easy listening radio station on and heard Elton John’s sweet

song, “Someone Saved My Life Today.”  These two things, the music

and the story helped me (excuse the swear words!) “keep my shit

together” at work today!

Trevinal is a funny and interesting man who works in the receiving

department. He has always shared with me, different things about his

growing up and “bad educational experiences,” ever since I started and

somehow, he had heard I had started as a middle school Language Arts

teacher. His name is unique and his mother tells him it was found in one

of those books. I may look it up, if I have time, but mainly he wanted to

tell me that he did some incredibly special and nice things for his wife’s

and his 17th anniversary.

Trevinal sits at our lunch table but not our break time table. So, we have

more time to hear about his life. He had a whole week off last week, but

his wife only gets one week a year and they had already had a nice trip

down to the southern states. He was excited to tell me that he had

bought a bouquet of  pink roses, got dressed up in nice khaki slacks with

a polo shirt on, drove to his wife’s work place and delivered them with

quite a lot of pomp and circumstance!

Trev was just bubbling because when his wife arrived home, he also had

stopped at the Kroger’s seafood area and purchased a nice lobster, two

baked potatoes, and made a delicious layered salad. She came in, he

told her to go check out the bathroom, he had washed out the tub,

(he admits he falls short usually in the kitchen and bathroom cleaning

chores area) and had placed a set of brand new towels in a pretty

lavendar color he had bought at Sears in the Southland Mall in Marion,


Trev’s wife, Suzie, was esctatic! He said he was given so much loving

attention, hugs, kisses and he raised his eyebrows up and down, with

a kind of Marx brothers, dramatic flaired look on his face, saying these

silly words,

“And you know what other attention I got!”

The reason I want to go back to Trevinal’s mentioning his educational

experiences, is because this is also an area I am proud to know about.

He had almost all D’s and F’s except for a few, rare C’s in school. His

mother and father never yelled, sought help frequently but his situation

sounds like he was considered “slow” but in today’s world would be

considered, “learning disabled.”

Trevinal met his wife in high school, has been married since they were in

their early twenties, and they have one son. He is studying right now,

taking tests, learning at Marion Technical College, how to be a Nursing

Assistant. He would like to proceed to becoming a nurse, RN! He is very

successful in his studies, but has also gone up to each and every professor,

telling them of his horrendous past educational experiences. Each have

accomodated his learning, in one way or another.

Trevinal and Suzie are a success, not only in their personal achievements

such as their longlasting marriage, but both have tough jobs and still

manage to juggle their educational pursuits. This family has come a “long

way” towards making it in this world.

Their love story and the way Trevinal and Suzie are accomplishing more

than they had planned while in high school, are very inspiring! This “saved

my life” in the way it brightened my day!