About Me:

Aloha! I'm Wendy Kennar. I'm the mother of a seven-year-old son and a wife living in Los Angeles. I was a public school teacher for twelve years until a chronic medical condition made it necessary to leave my teaching career.

I've always been described as "quiet" - really, I'm just biting my tongue. I've got lots to say, and lots of thoughts to share, I just prefer to write them. That's the purpose of this blog. Each Wednesday, I post a personal essay offering my observations and thoughts.

A few fun facts about me: I've wanted to be a writer since second grade, when my teacher, Mrs. Jones, made me a "book" with a yellow construction paper cover. I have never learned to whistle, have always preferred sunflowers to roses, and have spent my life living within the same zip code.

Through the years, my writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, United Teacher, GreenPrints, L.A. Parent, DivineCaroline.com, RoleReboot.org, XOJane, and Brain, Child Magazine. Additionally, my personal essays have been included in several anthologies, including: The Barefoot Review, Beyond the Diaper Bag, Lessons From My Parents, Write for Light, Being a Grown-Up: A User's Manual for the Real World, Ka-Pow!, How Writing Can Get You Through Tough Times, Breath and Shadow, The Grey Wolfe Storybook, and Sisters Born, Sisters Found.
I am a regular contributor at MomsLA.com, and you can also find me at Goodreads.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Feel free to comment and share my blog with others!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The A to Z List of My Unconventional Life

A Alphabetize.  My A to Z lists are proof that my brain is wired a little unconventionally and has this need to put things in order, alphabetical order.  

B Brushing my teeth.  Somehow, I never learned how to brush my teeth neatly, ladylike, meaning, keeping all the toothpaste inside my mouth.  As I brush, I always have an overflow of Aquafresh oozing out of my mouth, dripping down my wrist.  It’s certainly not me at my most attractive.

C College.  I was the straight-A student who attended a community college before transferring to a public state university.  Additionally, I was the still-straight-A student who commuted on six buses a day in order to attend college.  I wasn’t going to let a minor detail like not owning a car get in my way of earning my college degree.

D Dinners.  I am a list-maker.  I plan my dinners for the week and dutifully record them in my Day Planner.  When meal-planning, I take into account work schedules and items on sale at the market.

E Expressing myself during labor.  I had decided I would try to bring my son into this world naturally, without any medication.  (I did).  And I had made a promise to myself that I would not curse or blame my husband for my predicament.  I didn’t want my son to enter the world hearing his Mommy uttering curse words.  So I stated the obvious, “This hurts.”  “Owww.”  I expressed myself in a g-rated format and gave birth to a beautiful boy who entered the world with wide 
open, alert eyes.

F Feet.  My feet are freakishly cold, even in hot weather.  This isn’t a new phenomenon, it’s been one of my quirks since I was a young girl.

G Growls.  My stomach growls when I’m lying down, trying to go to sleep.  It growls during my acupuncture treatments.  It growls when I’m watching “Elmo’s World” with my son.  It growls even when I’m not hungry.

H Hygiene.  The unconventional part is the way I refer to my hygienic supplies.  My shampoo, body wash, bubble bath, and lotion all have very pleasant names and scents, such as “Sweet Pea,”  and “Blackberry Raspberry Vanilla.”  They sound like sweet edible treats; hence, I don’t refer to them as scents but rather as flavors.

I Ice cubes.  I like my beverages cold.  Consequently, I add ice cubes to my morning mug full of juice (apple or orange).

J Jar of the season.  On my coffee table, sits a clear glass jar.  The jar’s contents change to reflect the season.  In winter, it is filled with pinecones.  Easter eggs fill the jar in spring.  Seashells occupy the jar in summer, and in fall, I stock the jar with colored leaves.

K Ketchup.  As a little girl, I dipped my scrambled eggs in it.  Now, I use it for cold left-over meats, specifically Thanksgiving turkey and my mom’s meatloaf.  

L Lupus.  My autoimmune disease isn’t officially lupus, but it has many symptoms of lupus (among other conditions).  Because, of course, I go ahead and suffer from a disease that most people don’t know of and that there’s no cure for.

M Maintain a pen pal relationship.  Aya and I have written since the fall of 1993.  We’ve written through romantic relationships, navigating motherhood, and full-time jobs as teachers.  And we write letters on decorative stationery, with only the occasional email.

N Newspaper.  Generally, it takes me almost a week to read the Sunday paper.  I don’t read every section (skipping the sports and business), but I do browse through the others.  I don’t read every article (the countries may change but I can only take so many stories of bombs and catastrophes), but I’m curious.  I never know what will pique my interest, what may prove to be inspiration for some future writing.

O Observe monthly anniversaries.  My husband and I exchange cards each 14th of the month, not just on our yearly wedding anniversary.  

P Phone.  I use a flip phone as my mobile phone, and I use it only as a phone.  I don’t text.  I don’t go online.  I don’t use the camera or calendar features.  (I also don’t use Facebook or Twitter).

Q Quote.  My brain works in strange ways.  In elementary school I was required to memorize the Preamble to the Constitution, and it’s still there in my memory, waiting to be recalled each September when I teach my students about the Constitution.  I also have memorized Steve Martin’s opening monologue from Father of the Bride.  Not sure why that particular scene resonated with me enough that it stuck in my memory, but there it remains.

R Rings.  Eight of my ten fingers are adorned with rings.  Sterling silver or white gold.  

S Shoes.  My shoe of choice is a pair of clogs.  Something easily slipped on and slipped off.  Taking a look in my closet confirms my preference for an open backed shoe - I own one pair of lace-up sneakers.

T Tomatoes.  I don’t like them - on a sandwich or in a salad.  I do, however, like ketchup and spaghetti sauce.

U Utter words.  I have spoken to my houseplants.  When my life was less busy, I spent time naming my houseplants and talking to them.  When I was pregnant, I spoke, read, and sang to my son all the time.  While we drove, I told him where we were going.  I gave him the recipe while we cooked.  I sang the alphabet song while I dried off after a shower.  

V Videotapes.  I still watch movies on this pre-DVD format.  The tapes still play and I haven’t found a reason to replace them with the more high-tech version.

W Wedding.  My husband and I were just shy of our twenty-third birthdays when we wed.  We opted for simple - a ceremony in a neighborhood non-denominational chapel.  A champagne and cake reception in my parents’ living room.  The number of guests was less than the number of students I teach each year.  We helped each other dress, and drove over together in a limousine.  We did everything the way we wanted to, and thirteen years later, we remain Mr. and Mrs.

X Inexperience in the snow.  I have never been in the snow.  Never known the cold or the wet associated with making snow angels or sledding.  My son’t first snow experience (sometime in the future) will be my own as well.

Y Yearly Day Planner.  Each winter I purchase a new yearly day planner.  It has a prominent place on my desk and helps me maintain my family’s schedule, meals, and appointments.  I adamantly refuse to convert to any sort of electronic calendar device - I’m a paper and pencil kind of gal.

Z Zip code.  I have lived in the same zip code my whole life.  I grew up in one home.   And both my adult homes have allowed me to remain within the same zip code.  


  1. I just love reading your work.You have such a way with words.Considering all you have on your plate along with dealing with this horrible illness which causes you so much pain and constantly going to different doctors yet you still make the time to write on your blog each week.You deserve more credit than you get.I love you and I am very proud of you.

  2. It never occurred to me, but the fact, you have lived in the same zip code your whole life is very interesting. It stands to reason that Ryan has also lived in the same zip code his whole life. There are not very many people that can make this claim. I enjoy your blog very much. How you find time to write and publish it is amazing. Your Mother and I are proud of you.

    Love, Dad

  3. Honey,
    This A t Z is fantastic! Your descriptions are so vivid and fun to read. I am really proud of you and your writing. You are a wonderful and dedicated woman. I am so proud that you are my wife and best friend.