Broken Laptops and Lost Passwords

Posted by Laura Echevarria on June 10, 2015 in Uncategorized |

It has taken most of the school year but I am getting back up to speed with everything I lost when my laptop died. Bear with me while I get myself back together.


Housekeeping Notes

Posted by Laura Echevarria on September 17, 2014 in Blog, General News |

Peter hip resized

My apologies for my lack of posts. We had a crazy summer.

Our middle child, who has mild/moderate autism, had to have surgery this summer to repair his femur. Peter was limping in June but when I asked him what hurt, he point to his leg and I assumed it was growing pains. However, the limp persisted. And then he told me his hip hurt. Growing pains do not present in the hip. We thought maybe his leg was still bothering him so we tried to keep him off of it as much as possible but at a Fourth of July picnic, I noticed that his limp had become much, much worse. A trip to the doctor was in order.

A visit to the pediatrician almost had us leaving with orders for X-rays for the next day and prescription of Advil for that night until the doctor realized he had not seen Peter walk. (He had done a full exam that showed Peter was experiencing discomfort in his left hip but Peter had remained on the exam table.) He asked Peter to hop down and walk to him. As soon as he saw Peter’s walk, the doctor became alarmed and said he wanted X-rays immediately. He was pretty sure he knew what was wrong but wanted X-rays to be sure. He then wrote SCFE on a paper towel. And I knew what that meant: Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis. The only treatment for the condition is usually surgery.

A trip to the emergency room (after the doctor called ahead) revealed that, yes, Peter had SCFE. He was transported from the emergency room near our home to the main hospital where he was scheduled for surgery the next day. He spent nearly three days in the hospital. (Because of his autism, he can’t communicate well and they wanted to make sure that he didn’t have any difficulties or complications that a neuro-typical child would be able to express verbally. Most kids are in and out within 24-48 hours.) His surgeon wanted him off the leg for six weeks! (Ugh!) But because of insurance reasons we had his care transferred to a surgeon with MCV/VCU in Richmond, Virginia. That surgeon said he could use his leg as he was able to tolerate bearing weight on the leg. Needless to say, Peter is very close to being back to his usual self.



Praying for the Son of Maggie at Maggie’s Notebook

Posted by Laura Echevarria on June 27, 2014 in Fellow Bloggers |


Maggie’s Notebook is a wonderful blog full of well-reasoned arguments. It is with sadness that Maggie reported to her readers and bloggers news of her son’s cancer. In his mid-30s and married for less than three months, he has been diagnosed with two different kinds of cancer. From her blog,

This is the post none of us ever want to have to write. Our son, in his mid-30s, has been diagnosed with two cancers, advanced and serious. We will leave for an out-of-state cancer specialty hospital within the next few days, if possible. If not within the next few days, as soon as he receives word that he will be admitted.

She does not mention her son by name but I will be praying for him and his family and ask that you do too.

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I have a problem…is there life after Twitter?

Posted by Laura Echevarria on May 30, 2014 in Just for Fun |


It is with great distress that I admit this but…I think I have a Twitter addiction. You will notice that I have not posted a blog post in a few weeks–it’s because I have been tweeting tweets on Twitter. You may think I jest but I have come to realize the seriousness of my problem.

I frequently check my tweets and the tweets of those I follow. I retweet tweets I find interesting. I achieved the goal of 500 followers and announced it to my children (who, apparently, do not view the achievement to the same degree I do– or, for that matter, any degree at all.) I check Twitter probably as much or more often than I check my mail on my phone and look up Twitter news links I find interesting. I follow only those who tweet primarily on politics or politically-related topics. I am, I admit, a Twitter junkie and a follower of political tweets. Am I doomed to wander through the Twitter landscape looking for other Twitterers who are tweeting about politics? Am I twitterpated about Twitter?

Is there life after Twitter?



New Hampshire School District and the Sexually Graphic Novel

Posted by Laura Echevarria on May 7, 2014 in Education |

Gilford High School in New Hampshire has been using a sexually graphic novel in English classes since 2007 according to Todd Starnes. Starnes’s column includes some of the graphic content that I will not relate here. It is sufficient to say that the 9th graders (the same age as my daughter) who are reading it, should not be.

The novel, Nineteen Minutes, is very explicit about a sexual encounter and parents should have been notified of just how detailed this novel is.

Instead, according to Starnes,

“Superintendent Kent Hemingway told me in a telephone interview that the district had been using the novel since 2007 – and to his knowledge – there have not been any complaints.

He also said the principal contacted every family in the affected classes and polled them on whether or not they supported the racy novel.

‘More than 80 percent consented with their students continuing with the book,’ he said. ‘Ten percent said no.’”

However, the superintendent would not go on record as to whether or not the book was “smutty” instead saying, “I’m not going to make a decision on pornographic material.”

Well, somebody should.

If a person passed out the passages contained in the novel to random 14-year-olds on the street, that person would be arrested. Instead, the school district is passing out the sexually-graphic novel and sugar-coating it as an English assignment. I’ve taught English. I’m quite sure there is no compellingly educational value in the little bit of text posted in Starnes’s column.

I’m very, very sure.



What Space Program?

Posted by Laura Echevarria on April 30, 2014 in International Affairs, Space Program |


It was not surprising that this administration mothballed the shuttle fleet and decided to rely on the Russian space agency to get our astronauts into space. So far, this administration seems to have a policy of “if it works, break it.”

Well, now post-Ukraine, everyone is flexing their muscles. The U.S. has imposed economic sanctions and Russia is saying it will retaliate. In fact, according to Reuters, “A deputy prime minister suggested that U.S. astronauts, who depend on Russian rockets to get to the International Space Station (ISS), use trampolines to reach it instead.”

Whether this will happen or not is uncertain because the U.S. forks over $60 million per astronaut to the financially-troubled Russian space agency. Yet, because of sanctions, NASA is limited in it’s contact with it’s Russian counterpart.

So, let’s review. We mothballed the space shuttle before we had a replacement. We tied our space program and our support of the International Space Station to a country that we were in conflict with only a generation before. Russia has been flexing its muscles before Ukraine– but our president and his administration, in their naivete, think they can trust Russia.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t long ago that I was taught that Russia was the “Soviet Union” and, sadly, as the conflict over the Ukraine heats up, my tendency is to use “Soviet Union” again.



What Gives? Am I Looking in All the Wrong Places for a Job?

Posted by Laura Echevarria on April 25, 2014 in Uncategorized |

job search

Have you ever had a “eureka” moment?

I think most of us can safely say we have had several of them over the course of our lives. My latest was the realization that I may be too “old” for the job market. Hah! I never thought being in my 40s would be too “old.”

I haven’t changed–at least not in a bad way. I would hope that I’m a little wiser. I’m still perky, smart enough to learn new skills and constantly adding to my own knowledge base. I have written hundreds of blog posts, web-published articles and articles for traditional print publications. I have taught English and composition on the college level and yet, in the job hunt, I get nibbles, vague interest, and an initial call (and a message) but often no call back.

The last interview I had was in March and I didn’t feel I meshed well with the potential employer. I guess I could have continued to pursue the job but it wouldn’t have been fair to me or the company.

A week ago Thursday, I received a call from another potential employer. The contact called my cell phone, left a message and I returned her call within five minutes and left her a message. No response. Thinking that maybe she deleted it or didn’t get it, I called again on Friday and left another message. No response. I sent an e-mail yesterday but, again, no response.

Was I dreaming? I did get the call, right? But, I may have been an “also-ran.” I have been scooped by more “kids” applying out of college than I care to admit. One dream job would have involved half the work of my job at NRLC (the being a spokesperson part) but at the same salary I had when I left. Who got it? Someone that I had to hunt for online and had no real spokesperson experience even though the job involved being a spokesperson on a major conservative issue.

Another potential employer said that I was tremendously over-qualified for the job. I had to explain that I don’t have to be the “face” of an organization or the person in charge, I just want to be where my talents can be used best.

I should mention here that I am–primarily–applying for jobs that would get me back into conservative politics. I have toyed with idea of starting a PR firm catering to conservative groups and clients but there are so many PR firms out there serving conservative groups that I’m not sure I would be able to make such a firm stay afloat. I know I bring a unique perspective and skill set to the table but I’m not sure it is enough.

I would love to start my own pro-life organization helping children and parents of children with special needs from the moment of diagnosis but it takes money– a lot of money. I would also like to continue writing but I can’t apply for some jobs for fear they won’t want me writing about political/pro-life/pro-family issues.

I told myself I would write a book about my sons but all I have managed to get done is to start it (after several failed– but close– attempts at publishing a political book). Maybe I should just knuckle-down and do it. But wait, that involves finding a publisher or an agent–which is like a job hunt…Ugh!

[Image courtesy of http://taxcredits.net/]

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A Busy Month

Posted by Laura Echevarria on April 17, 2014 in Uncategorized |

My apologies for not posting for the last few weeks.

My daughter attends a private school and I was asked to coach the students competing in speech for the annual competition. Winners on the regional level advanced to state and students who won first place at the state competition advanced to the national competition for the American Association of Christian Schools (held at Bob Jones University in South Carolina). Unfortunately, with all of the snow, the time frame between regional, state and national competitions was very tight. But the work paid off. One of my students (not my daughter, so I can’t name the student here), performed “The Revenge of Hamish” by Sidney Lanier and took 3rd in the nation.

Her medal:

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