Hey Y’all (in my Paula Deen voice) – I’ve Moved!

Season’s Greetings!

I trust you are enjoying the holiday season. I’m not sure you know it, but I recently moved from WordPress over to BlueHost. Of course I’m still trying to work out the kinks, so you may have missed my last couple of posts, What I Want You to Do and Why I Refuse to Give Up.

Sure it’s probably a hassle to re-subscribe or change some settings to keep following this blog. Please know that I would be honored if you opted to continue on the journey with me.

May you have a safe, prosperous, and Happy New Year!


December 27, 2012 at 3:21 PM 1 comment

Gone Too Soon


Like a shooting star

Flyin’ across the room

So fast so far

You were gone too soon

You’re part of me

And I’ll never be

The same here without you

You were gone too soon


Shine on! Shine on!

You were gone too soon

Shine on! Shine on!

You were gone too soon

Shine on! Shine on!

You were gone too soon


~From Gone Too Soon by Simple Plan

*The Bible tells us that “love is of God,” and even goes on to tell us that “God is love.”

Because I believe the Bible, I’ll acquiesce to those descriptors and definitions of love and do my best to lay my personal thoughts aside.

You see, based on my personal thoughts, there are times when I think love is a beastly thing, and best to be avoided, because on a good day, love, though sweet, is yet wrapped up in risk. On a bad, bad, bad day, love hurts. Love, particularly when it is wrenched away from you by force, can cripple you; bring you to your knees; devastate you – and even break you.

Friday, December 14, 2012 is indelibly stamped in our collective memory as one of those bad, bad, bad days. Since Thanksgiving I’ve been working as a contract 4th grade teacher at a rural elementary school. The ages of 4th graders generally range from 9-10; occasionally a kid will turn 11 during the school year, depending on the age the child started school.

Teaching 4th graders is an extreme stretch for me. I currently teach continuing education classes at the University of Louisiana, and I’m a certified executive trainer. I’ve served as a Dean of Women’s Education for a faith-based organization and taught non-traditional adult learners in a variety of subjects. I’m now interviewing participants for the research portion of my doctoral dissertation working on a PhD in higher education administration. Needless to say, working with 4th graders is a huge s-t-r-e-t-c-h.

When driving home, I thought, “Good Lord! One more week – this assignment can’t end soon enough!”

Needless to say, I was shocked and dismayed when I made it to my parents’ house. My school is in a rural area and internet access is limited (never mind the fact that there’s no way you even think about getting on the internet when you’re trying to manage 21 kids).

My Dad was in his usual spot in front of the television. I remember wondering why my Dad’s expression was so pained when he turned to look at me; he’s usual very jovial and ready to hear about my adventures with the students.

My Dad tersely told me what happened in Newtown, Connecticut; I dropped into a chair. I stared mutely at the screen as CNN replayed President Obama’s initial words.

And then I lost it.

I thought about the 21 students I’ve come to know. As much as they get on my last nerves at times, I know that I love them. I may or may not see any of them again after December 21, yet I know that I care about their future; I’m concerned about what will happen to them. Who will they grow up to be? What will their lives be like?

And now, for a reason that only God truly knows, in addition to six adults and himself, a gunman had ruthlessly murdered 20 children who were even younger than the ones in my class.

Do I have some psychological theory to offer, or some religious babble? No, I don’t. The same love that carried with it so much joy is the same love that now brings grief and pain. Along with the rest of the country, my heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to all the families touched by this tragedy.

This week, as I returned to my 4th graders for  my final week, I took pains to be a bit more patient, and gentle. I was more generous with comments of “Great job!” and “There you go!” and “You’re a Rock Star!”

And when I leave today, one week after the tragedy, I’ll be sure to ruffle their hair, pull their pig tails, and hug them very, very, tightly; each and every one.

 Join in the fray: Feel free to share your thoughts and feelings regarding this tragedy. If there’s a small child who you love and appreciate, tell me about him/her.

Copyright © 2012 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl™, All rights reserved.

December 21, 2012 at 9:30 AM Leave a comment

Late Night Testing . . . One . . . Two . . . Three. . . . .


It’s probably me, but my new site is acting wonky.

It’s late night, and hopefully a good time to test to see if this will post.

December 20, 2012 at 12:13 AM 1 comment

Flights of Fancy

Yesterday this picture was posted  on The Swirl World Facebook page, and it just tickled my fancy.

Superman and Lois Lane, indeed! 

I wonder what each one is thinking????

Join in the Fray: How would you caption this photo?

Copyright © 2012 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl™, All rights reserved.

I’m blogging every day in the month of November as a participant in NaBloPoMo. Thanks for reading and feel free to comment!


November 30, 2012 at 8:35 AM Leave a comment

How to be Wild and Woolly

Ever feel like your life has gotten a little too humdrum and predictable? Ever want to break out of an self-inflicted molds, defy your own conventions and norms, and otherwise shock the heck out of the people who think they know you best?

(People like my Mother – but shhh! I’m not supposed to write about her!)

I mentioned Monday that my technical difficulties threw a serious monkey wrench in my Cyber Monday plans. Alas, poor me – I was only able to snag one item. Not just any old item, mind you.

MAC’s Grey Friday.

When I first viewed it on the Temptalia website (and shout out to make-up maven extraordinaire, Christine Mielke who runs that awesome beauty blog), I was drawn by the seeming contradiction of the fierceness and awfulness of this product.

Think about it: Grey . . . . lipstick

Fierce . . . . and . . . . awful.

I had to have it.

Thankfully I was able to snatch it up (which, unbeknownst to me at the time, would be my final act before my computer and my phone decided to go on vacation without informing me).

This fiercely awful lipstick represented an escape from my normal make-up looks; my ticket out of the boundaries of what I formerly deemed good taste. 

Grey Friday was to be the vehicle I used to go way, way, WAY out there: My chance, Ladies and Gentlemen, to walk on the wild side.

To go out into the light of day (actually, night) in all my goth and glory.

To be wild. And woolly. 

And fierce.

Wanna know how to be wild and woolly?

Step out of the boxes that you have created. Do something that is wildly and wonderfully different from  those things that constitute your normal. Something that, if your friends and family see you do it – or see you in it – their sensibilities and preconceived notions of who “you” are will be utterly and totally shattered.

 Go ahead, do it!  Be wild and woolly.

I dare you.

Join in the Fray: What can you do (or wear) to be wild and woolly? Tell me about it!

Copyright © 2012 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl™, All rights reserved.

I’m blogging every day in the month of November as a participant in NaBloPoMo. Thanks for reading and feel free to comment!



November 29, 2012 at 8:36 AM 3 comments

Good People – Bad Choices

Join in the Fray: Do “good” people really make “bad” choices? 

Copyright © 2012 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl™, All rights reserved.

I’m blogging every day in the month of November as a participant in NaBloPoMo. Thanks for reading and feel free to comment!

November 29, 2012 at 12:28 AM Leave a comment

The Reconnection

I’m not going to say the technical difficulty I’ve experienced for the past few days was this serious, but to have your phone and your lap top going on strike at the same time can leave a girl feeling a bit . . . well . . . out of touch.


I have to admit that once I decided to just roll with it, I did enjoy my little break from technology. 

Plugged back in now . . . . .


Join in the Fray: What makes you feel “disconnected?”

Copyright © 2012 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl™, All rights reserved.

I’m blogging every day in the month of November as a participant in NaBloPoMo. Thanks for reading and feel free to comment!


November 27, 2012 at 11:51 PM Leave a comment

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