Tricounty News

Chicken Soup book includes stories by columnist, Jill Pertler

Moms are the busiest people in the world. They juggle kids, husbands, home and office (and occasionally a ball or two). The well-loved Chicken Soup for the W-JillPertlerSoul books is celebrating the multi-
talents of moms everywhere with a new book titled, Chicken Soup for the Soul: the Multitasking Mom’s Survival Guide. (Available beginning March 18.)

Syndicated columnist and multitasker, Jill Pertler, has two stories published in this new collection of 101 inspiring and amusing stories for mothers who do it all. Pertler’s story, “A Mom’s Talents Run Deep,” takes a lighthearted look at the superpowers many mothers possess, while the topic matter of her second story, “Toilet Talk,” is self-explanatory.


March 21 Update

Skills for Success

I recently read an article from our service cooperative that focused on the development of critical skills necessary for future success. It’s hard to believe, but our students will one day have jobs that currently don’t exist. The research is pretty clear about what students will need to know and do in the future. Tony Wager, an international best-selling author, interviewed hundreds of business leaders and conducted numerous school visits across the county to determine the “Seven Survival Skills for Careers, College and Citizenship.” For in-depth information about the Seven Skills and Tony’s research, visit his webpage at The educational programs and co-curricular activities at EV-W are committed to providing opportunities for students to grow, explore, create, and pursue their dreams into the future, but we also want them to learn and practice the necessary skills they will need for a successful life. Those skills are very similar to those that Tony Wagner identified through his research. The list includes:


Words gone wrong

I found myself humming a tune I’d heard on the radio, “I came in like a rainbow…. La la la de da….” Like many songs, most of the words eluded me, but I sang the ones I knew for sure. Over and over – the rainbow. I came in like a rainbow. Yes I did.

And then there was all the hoopla about the Grammys and I got a visual snippit of the song’s video on the news and realized my rainbow was none other than everyone else’s wrecking ball. Just imagine. Let’s just say knowing the correct words to the pop tune gave it a whole new meaning.


March 14 Update

Legislative Update

Despite a significant budget surplus of just over $1.2 billion, the prospects for additional education funding this session are low. As educators, we are hopeful that our elected officials will recognize the need to pay for implementing the Minnesota mandated principal and teacher evaluations, facility improvements, and equalization aid to assure all students receive appropriate funds regardless of zip code.

Governor Dayton announced his supplemental budget plan last week and it included $3.5 million to pay for reduced price lunches. In addition, the House and Senate leaders are working to establish budget targets for the various finance committees. We’ll have a better idea where the spending will take place once the budget targets are established.


Things we should do more often

Live. Love. Laugh. Stop and smell the roses. See the glass as half full. Shoot for the moon. There are the familiar (cliché) activities we know we should engage in more often. But, for those of us not wanting to be cliché, there are others. Everyday things that can become elevated by how we approach them. How we think about them. Simple things that can be anything but simple. Things that we should do. More. Often. Like:

Start. Learn – something, anything new.

Say hello.

Compliment. Comfort. Cultivate.

Create something for a friend. Get messy.

Seek perfection, but learn to be satisfied with your own personal best.

Make mistakes. Don’t be afraid.

Let others know you are glad to see them. Go out on a limb.

Forgive others. Forgive yourself.

Surprise someone with a gift when it’s not their birthday.

Say, “It’s no big deal,” and mean it.

Say, “I love you,” and mean it.

Act. Believe. Care.

Dare to try. Read.

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

Use the fancy dishes.

Twirl in public for no reason.

Hop. Skip. Jump.

Put it in first gear and coast for a while.

Aspire. Acknowledge. Adapt.

Ask questions.

Ask for help.

Ride with the windows down and the radio up.

Pat the dog’s stomach in that spot that makes his leg twitch.

Drink water.

Whip up a large stockpot of anything homemade - chicken noodle soup, chili or beef stew. Let it simmer on the stove all day. Freeze the leftovers to give to your dad or your mom or your brother.

Pause. Reflect. Be still in the moment.

Make funny faces at yourself in the mirror.

Tell a joke.

Shoot hoops.

Share. Play. Listen.

Show your soft side.

Scratch someone’s back.

Have someone’s back.

Change the batteries in the smoke detectors.

Change your mind.

Let the kids have a sleep over.

Sing. Praise. Applaud.

Say, “Good morning,” to everyone living in your house.

Say, “Good night,” to everyone living in your house.

Stay up past bedtime. Sleep in late.

Bake chocolate chip cookies from scratch.

Look to the future. Forget the past.

Shout. Whisper. Cheer for your team.

Take a deep breath. Repeat. Again.

Eat family meals together. Give thanks.



Admit your mistakes and own them.

Apologize. Move on.

Ride a roller coaster. Eat something deep fried on a stick. Act like a kid.

Love others. Love yourself.

Love people more than things.

Give to the food shelf.

Let your good acts be anonymous.

Swap out an old toothbrush for a new one.

Comb your hair. (Even before your mom pesters you about it.)

Eat your veggies. Including the broccoli.

Wear comfortable shoes.

Spray paint something to make it new.

Plant a garden.

Grow. Stretch. Smile.

Let someone cut in front of you in traffic. Give a friendly wave.

Be kind.

Look people in the eye.

Volunteer. Do without on occasion.

Splurge on dessert. Exercise.

Take a nap with the dog.

Make a new friend. Call an old friend. Keep in touch.

Bask in the sunshine.

Finish. Savor.

Say the occasional goodbye. Move on.

See endings for what they really are: beginnings in disguise.

Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, playwright and author of “The Do-It-Yourselfer’s Guide to Self-Syndication” You can read more and follow her column on the Slices of Life page on Facebook.