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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: life, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 26 - 50 of 1,784
26. Happy 24th Anniversary, Honey!


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27. I’m Obsessed with Coastal.com

Nope. This post is not sponsored. I don’t DO sponsored. And if anyone from Coastal.com visits my blog *waves* Hey! What up! Love your product!

So. I said something about wanting a new pair of reading glasses one day at work. And one of my co-workers was all like, “Oh hey! Alyssa got a FREE pair of glasses from this website, Coastal.com.”

She even wrote the URL down for me because I forget things two seconds later.

But before I could visit the website, I saw a YouTube video from a YouTuber talking about Warby Parker and if you bought a pair of glasses, then Warby Parker would donate a pair of glasses to someone who can’t afford glasses and I thought “COOL”, what a great cause and I was in the market for new glasses anyway so … why not. I went to Warby Parker.com and bought a pair of glasses.

And they’re cool, I’m wearing them right now.

But out of curiosity, I went to Coastal.com. And I saw the promotion to get my first pair of glasses for free. So I signed up for an account and started looking around. THEN I noticed that I could upload a pic of myself and virtually try on the glasses and I’ve been OBSESSED with this site ever since. I won’t even tell you how many hours I’ve spent on that website looking at pictures of myself wearing different glasses – it’s obscene (and a little weird). But I finally found a pair I liked and ordered them. I uploaded my eyeglass prescription, paid $40 bucks to get the non-glare lenses, (because, Dude, IT’S WORTH SPENDING THAT MONEY FOR NON-GLARE GLASSES WHEN YOU SPEND AS MUCH TIME ON THE COMPUTER AS I DO), and voila! I got both of pairs of glasses in no time flat.

I got two pairs of glasses for half of what I would have paid for one pair of glasses at a traditional eyeglass store.

But unfortunately, I didn’t stop there.

Out of curiosity, and because I saw the 2 for $99 bucks promotion (darn you Coastal.com), I started poking around AGAIN. And started “virtually” trying on glasses … AGAIN. And I’m agonizing over buying two more pair of reading glasses.

What is wrong with me?!?

I have two more pair of reading glasses in my shopping cart on Coastal.com and just can’t bring myself to hit that “place your order” button because come on, that’s a little extravagant, don’t you think? But I can tell you why I’m so obsessed with reading glasses right now.

It’s the same reason I’ve sort of been on a jewelry kick, too.

I wear scrubs all day, every day. I rotate between pewter, navy blue and black. Those are the three approved colors we can wear at work.


Where is the excitement in that?

So I know I’m obsessed with reading glasses right now because I can change my look up with out really changing my look up, you follow?

On one hand, it’s really cool not having to think about what you’re going to wear every day. I just have to pick the color and BAM, I’m dressed and ready to go.

But on the other hand, it’s pretty boring wearing the same thing all the time.

Sometimes you have to do what you have to do to stay sane.

You know?

*Update: So I wore my Warby Parker glasses last night and both times I wore them, I felt dizzy and nauseous. So much so, that I had to lay down both times. I’m not sure if the prescription is different (though they have exactly what I gave them) or what, but I’m returning them. They have a 30-day guarantee, no questions asked policy and I’m afraid I’m going to have to take advantage of that policy. I simply don’t like them and they don’t fit as well as my glasses from Coastal.com. So it looks like I may end up taking advantage of that 2 for $99 bucks offer after all at Coastal.com.

Darn. *smirk*

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28. The Open Door

Our cat is fascinated with doors. If one is closed, she sits staring at it or dig under it until it is opened. She may not see the room within as worthy of a visit once she can enter, but she wants the opportunity nonetheless. For us bipeds, what is it about open doors that stirs our curiosity? Who can walk down a hall of doors where most are closed and not peek inside the ones ajar? A hotel, office, hospital – wherever we are, we must look! What do we expect to find inside?

Don’t tell me you walk on focused with your eyes straight forward. I won’t believe you. I know you slow your pace slightly to get as much of a look as possible as you approach. Isn’t it awkward when you turn your head as you are walking past and end up looking face to face with someone whose expression is always, “why is this person staring at me?”

Uhhh, you left the door open!

When you were a kid, did you think of doors as some sort of portal with endless possibilities? Every door was a wardrobe that could take you to Narnia. Bugs Bunny cemented that feeling with the recurrent theme of being chased down a hall by coming and going through random doors completely out of time and sequence. The heart-shaped monster was my favorite chaser.



Heart monster

I heard a commotion in our den and opened the door of our bedroom recently to investigate. It was not a magic portal, but I did learn a lesson. One should always make sure they are fully dressed when exploring what may be beyond closed doors. That became a door one daughter wishes had remained closed and a memory her visitor wishes he could erase.

As I see it, there are a number of potential doors.

  • Closed doors that should remain closed
  • Closed doors that need to be opened
  • Locked doors with no hope of admittance
  • Locked doors to which we have the key
  • Doors sealed for our protection
  • Doors sealed for the protection of those inside
  • Open doors that we should enter
  • Open doors we should pass by

The list goes on, but you get my point. Life is a series of one door after another. When one comes to a life door, he or she should decide on the best and worse case scenarios before passing under the threshold. Count the cost, as it were. I currently find myself standing in front of an open door and I have yet to decide how great the cost of entry. It seems attractive, but I find myself somewhat intimidated by its potential. What I lack is discernment about this particular door, thus all of my musing about doors in general. And so, I sit at the frame and pray, think, and wonder what could be inside. It is daunting, but I remember James 1:5

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

I need wisdom. Either that or a heart-shaped monster to chase me in or away.



10 Comments on The Open Door, last added: 5/19/2014
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29. My 30th High School Reunion


I have a standing rule on who I’m friends with on Facebook – REAL friends (and by that I mean, people I’ve actually spoken to in real life at some point in my life) and family.


This means I’M NOT FRIENDS WITH ANYONE FROM WORK ON FACEBOOK. I just don’t think it’s a good idea. I’m tempted. I’m VERY tempted, to bend that rule for a few people at work but honestly, I just don’t want the drama, or having to censor myself (anymore than I already do) on what sorts of status updates I post on Facebook. I sometimes comment about work on Facebook and even then, I’m not sure I really should. There have already been three people from high school that I’ve ran into at work and though it was super awesome to see them, it was also super awkward for me. I’ve always worked very hard to keep my working life separate from my “real” life. And this includes my immediate family. They are under STRICT orders not to come “visit” me at work – the melding of my two worlds, even on a temporary basis, throws my entire existence off it’s axis.

Anyway. Because I am friends with quite a few people I went to high school with on Facebook, I learned we’re having a 30th high school reunion in July. I would have had no idea this event even existed if I hadn’t seen it, or been invited to it, on Facebook.

Thanks Facebook, I think.

I have mixed feelings about this reunion. On one hand, it would be awesome to see my old friends again, but then again … UGH.

I didn’t go to my 10-year high school reunion. I WANTED to, but Kevin wanted to go to a church camp in Ohio (OHIO) even more, so I missed it.

Wait. You haven’t heard that story? Let me digress a moment …

Let’s see … Blake was three and Brandon was 18 months? But wait, is that right? I was still giving Brandon bottles because I remember packing bottles, and bottle liners (because I didn’t breast freed, for very selfish reasons – judge away), and a butt load of formula cans … and we borrowed my sister-in-law’s double stroller … and did I mention we drove to Ohio hauling a POP-UP CAMPER? And that we had to stop someplace in Indiana, set up camp, spend the night, then pack everything up and drive the rest of the way to Ohio the next day? And that Ohio had gotten a butt load of rain the week before and the grounds we pulled our POP-UP CAMPER onto were a muddy, swampy mess? And that I got QUITE THE WORKOUT pushing two little boys, in a stroller, through the MUCK and then trying to KEEP THEM QUIET so people could learn a little something-something from church camp without being bothered by two, young, fussy boys??

It was … an experience. In hindsight, I’m really glad we went but I’ll be honest, I didn’t get a lot out of it since I was so focused on the boys, but it was an experience I can hold over Kevin’s head whenever he gives me a hard time about something stupid I’ve done in the past…

Good times.

So no. I would have preferred to stay at home, with all of our baby crap within reach and go to my 10-year high school reunion, but I missed it.

I don’t even know if we had a 20-year reunion, that was pre-Facebook days and see? If we had one, I had no clue about it.

And now, it’s time for our 30-year high school reunion.

It’s SO WEIRD to think I’ve been out of school for 30 years. That sounds like such a long time ago, and I guess I SHOULD feel old, but I don’t. I truly don’t. Thirty years …. Thirty years …. Thirty years …. I think if I say it enough times it’ll somehow feel real. I feel like it’s only been a few years since I graduated from high school – that I’m just NOW getting my life started. Which is a weird thing to say since I’ve gotten married, had several jobs, graduated from college with a BS (yes, it is) degree in Professional Writing and had two pretty freaking awesome sons to boot.

Thirty years sounds ancient. I don’t feel ancient. And apparently I don’t look ancient. (It amuses me when patients try to guess my age – and yes, that happens more times that I’m comfortable with but for some reason, it’s a go-to conversation breaker whenever I show patients back to the exam rooms and no – no one has ever gotten CLOSE to my real age, thank you very much) and the people I’ve worked with have been absolutely FLOORED and SHOCKED to learn my true age.

I guess all those unhealthy preservatives I’ve scarfed down over the past 30 years are doing the trick. (See what I did there?)

Anyhoo, let’s move past the time factor … it’s getting old. (Ba-dum-bump).

A friend of mine sent me a message on Facebook the other day (Hi Shelly!) to ask if I was planning on going to our reunion. I didn’t really give her an answer but my response leaned more to “no.”

Please don’t think badly of me (and if you already do, well …) but my high school days are OVER. They were OVER in my head the moment I met Kevin and we started planning a future together. I’ve never been one to live in the past – it’s sort of a problem. No, it IS a problem. I am so focused on present day and the future that I have a tendency to completely disregard the past and put it so far out of my mind that I completely forget about it.

And I mean so completely that it’s a real effort for me to even REMEMBER past events.

So high school for me? Happened in another lifetime ago. And it’s almost like it happened to another person because I’m certainly nothing like I was in high school. I’m confident, arrogant (well, I was a bit arrogant in high school too), and way smarter than I used to be. I certainly have more common sense NOW. I did some of the stupidest things I’ve ever done in my life in high school … (and shortly thereafter, since we’re being honest here).

And to be brutally honest, I … uh … sort of don’t care to go to the reunion. I’ve sort of written that part of my life off. And it’s not because I had a traumatic experience in high school, far from it, my years in drama class are some of the best years of my life but … I can’t really put my finger on it. I’m sort of anti-social, truth be known. That’s why I don’t have a lot of friends. I like ME time. I like my quiet time. I’m perfectly content to do things with my family or me, myself and I. Small talk doesn’t interest me in the slightest. I just can’t STAND other people’s drama: either in my personal life or in anyone else’s life. I like peace, and serenity and living a simple, quiet life.

And being friends with people means giving up some of that … and did I mention I’m terribly selfish with my time? I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’ve volunteered plenty of my time to the community. I donate to charities, I maintained several school websites for either free or DIRT cheap over the years, thereby informing the community, and the parents, of what was going on at that school. I’m a giving person … as long as it’s on my terms. Friends would require too much time and effort from me and …

Did I mention I’m a selfish person?

I don’t mean to sound flippant, it’s not really a good trait to have and be completely honest about, but … that’s who I am, unfortunately.

And it makes my heart hurt, physically hurt, whenever I hear about other people’s struggles. I’ve been so blessed in my life. I have a fantastic family, a fantastic husband and pretty awesome kids (though I wish they were more focused on their lives and careers but hopefully, with time and a lot of prayer that will come) – NOT PERFECT, but pretty darn close. I’ve worked for everything we have. I’ve gotten very little sleep and sacrificed a lot to be where I am today and it hurts me whenever I hear how other people just weren’t as fortunate for life is so precious and it worries me whenever people take that for granted.

And then there’s Kevin. He would go with me to the reunion because A. I would like him there with me and B. he’s just that kind of guy. (I’m selfish, Kevin is not. He’s one of the most generous and giving people I’ve ever known and I have no idea what I did right to have him in my life). But I wouldn’t enjoy having him there because I’d be worried the whole time that he was bored, or feeling awkward because let’s face it – reunions are not fun for the spouses. Spouses have to stand awkwardly by and smile and laugh at people and stories they know nothing about and probably care even less about.

And I would have to dress up. I’m so used to wearing scrubs every day or t-shirts and sweats at home that the thought of putting on an actual pair of pants sort of makes me anxious, if you want the truth. It’s not so much that I’m worried about what I look like or think I’m fat, I just feel like I’m trying to be someone I’m not. Because I’m not a person who goes out of her way to dress for success and certainly not to impress people. In fact, it’s safe to say that I’m FINALLY comfortable in my skin and though I’m conscious about how I look and want to look nice for both myself and for my husband, I no longer obsess over what size I am. (As long as I’m not taking up two seats when I sit down, I’m good).

*takes a breath* All of this to say, that no, I will not be going to my 30th high school reunion. I just don’t have any interest in reliving those days. They are part of who I was, not part of who I am now.

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30. I have to admit, I love Saturday mornings.

In the other room, getting ready to go feed the sheep*:

Josh: WHO LET THE SHEEP OUT? BAA, BAA, BAA BAA BAA. *cackles manically*


*Not our sheep. Someone else's sheep.

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31. "These are for you. NOT for the book sale. FOR YOU."

That's what one of my library board members just said before handing me a box containing these:




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32. The King of Feminine Hygiene


I have been a good errand runner for many years. I have never minded getting those “things” that need to be got. However, the situation can be comical. Early in our marriage, I learned brand preference – often taking a boxtop as a crutch to make sure. Everything changed after our first daughter was born and the new mama needed something different. My mind isn’t programmed for different.

There I stood looking at an infinite wall of products with no idea what to purchase. I am sure she had given me instructions, but I had no purchase history, no boxtop, no clue. The wall got bigger and bigger while I shrunk into a puddle of indecision.

Until I was rescued by a wonderfully kind, large woman who took pity on me.

“You need some help, honey?” she asked.

“Well, yes, is it that obvious?” I stammered.

“It sure is. What’s the problem?”

“Well, I need to get something for my wife. We just had a baby.”

Her angelic face lit up with joy, “Oh, sweety! How wonderful! Is it a boy or a girl?”

“We had a little girl,” I replied proudly as I dug a picture out to show her.

“She’s just beautiful,” she said. And as if she suddenly plugged into an amplifier, her voice boomed throughout the store while I shrunk even smaller. “WHAT YOU NEED IS NIGHT TIME EXTRA-ABSORBANT…..”

I’ve forgotten whatever else she said. It went on for some time, I think. I will forever appreciate her help, but I have no idea why she had to tell everyone in a five mile radius of the store what I was shopping for. She was spot on with her advice, though.

I was only twenty-eight then. Why it mattered I don’t know. I couldn’t care less now. I have had to do a great deal of shopping lately – and with a wife and three teenage daughters, yes, I have purchased quite a few of those types of products. I don’t flinch anymore. In fact, I like to check out wherever a young boy is working give him to he stink-eye as he handles the carton. I have made more than one blush.

Better yet, when I come home I have even more fun by announcing, “I got your feminine hygiene products.” There is never a “daddy’s home!” parade for that proclamation. No one comes running. They don’t want to hear that from their father. So I deliver them personally to their rooms and make the announcement individually. Lots of rolled eyes and groans.

I don’t mind buying that stuff anymore, but I do have one regret. With four daughters, why didn’t I have the forethought to invest in that stock? If I had done that, I truly would be the King of Feminine Hygiene!


Photo attribution: Geni (Photo by user:geni)

8 Comments on The King of Feminine Hygiene, last added: 5/13/2014
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33. I Am Now Officially Menopausal

menopausecartoon I know. I’m sorry. This will be one of those “too much information” posts but I have to get this off my chest – it’s part of who I am now and always will be.

It’s been one year since my last period.

Yep. It’s official – I’m menopausal.

I can’t say I miss it, though the “side effects” of being menopausal is something I’ve been getting used to. I sweat – CONSTANTLY. Nearly all the time, if you want the truth. I should invest in stock in fan companies because I’ve given them so much of my business these past few months it’s insane. I have a fan in my clinic “pod,” a fan at my “pit” desk, a fan on my desk at home and I can’t BE in a room in our house without the ceiling fan on and circulating precious air.

The number of hotflashes I have on a daily basis … well, I’ve stopped counting. There are simply too many. They are craziest things – it starts in my back – it feels like someone has poured gasoline on my back and lit a match – my back just suddenly heats up and SWOOSH – I’m on FIRE. The heat consumes my entire body and before long, I have a sweat mustache and the roots of my hair become damp. I’ve sweated so much during clinic at work that I’ve sweat THROUGH my scrubs: I have to wear a cami under my scrub top when I’m in clinic because it’s become such an issue. Which only makes me more nervous and makes my hot flashes even more severe.

It’s a vicious cycle.

I’ve gotten pudgy. Granted, I haven’t been exercising lately (I’ve gotten back to it lately because I can’t stand the sight of my pudgy self in the mirror anymore) and though I know that some of that pudginess is from inactivity, some of it is also due to the changes my body is going through.

I have bitchy moments, but honestly, I think I have less of those moments now than when I was still having periods. My moods don’t seem AS crazy as they used to be.

I’m tired – all the time. But again, that could be largely due to the fact that I’ve been a slug lately. I’m working on that. Kevin and I also switch sleeping arrangements every week – I sleep on his office futon, he sleeps in our bed for one week, and then we switch. Whenever I sleep on the futon, I flop around like a fish (hence one of the reasons we don’t sleep together). I can never get comfortable and I think one of the reasons I’m tired all the time is because I’m not sleeping that well at night. Which is another weird thing for me – I used to sleep like a baby before the menopausal “period.” Now? Not so much.

So. Are all of these “side effects” worth not having a period every month??


I don’t miss them, at all. It’s such a relief not to have to worry if I’m going to bleed through my pants whenever we’re out somewhere, or out in the middle of somewhere strange whenever we go on vacation. It’s SUCH A RELIEF not to have to worry about having enough female supplies on hand whenever I go out or get physically weak because I’ve bled a kidney, or two, during one cycle.

I’ve been taking supplements to try and help with the hot flashes and I think they’ve worked, for the most part. My GYNO doctor wanted to put me on a hormone regiment but I said no. I’m going to try the natural route for as long as I can. I’ve read too many horror stories about side effects from medications.

So yep. I can no longer have babies. It’s weird to think of it like that and though I was initially sad when the change started happening, I’ve accepted it and am now even relieved to have gone through it, quite honestly.

Again, I apologize for the personal insight to my bodily functions but hey – it’s just another one of those natural things that happens to most women. We might as well stop pretending that it doesn’t.

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34. The Moment I'd Been Working For

On the afternoon of March 20th I was sitting in traffic happily planning my packing strategy for the beach vacation we were leaving for the next day. Out of the blue, I got the urge to check my email. I hardly ever check email behind the wheel but this time I did. As I scrolled through the list of senders one name stood out. I looked at it and thought, "mmm how do I know that name?" Then I read the first line of the email: "Dear Ms. Uhles, I am the senior designer for Sleeping Bear Press and we have a manuscript we think your work would be perfect for…."

My ears started ringing. Everything else faded to stillness except for the phone in my hand. Traffic started to inch forward. I clicked on the email. Somehow I managed not to drive into a guardrail as I skimmed the message.

There it was, my first offer to illustrate a trade picture book.

Behind that moment lies a patchwork of years of learning and hours of work, all of it held together by one tiny thread of faith that eventually my art, my vision, my characters, my imagination would be seen as trade quality. For this post I considered writing more about starting over and over again after rejections to numerous to count*. But that gets pretty maudlin. Let's just say for the record it's been a long and winding road as I wrote here, here and especially here.

Instead let's talk about the fun stuff!

The name of the book is The Little Kid's Table, by Mary Ann McCabe Reihle. In this wacky rhyming story when the family gathers for a big celebratory meal, those sitting at the kid's table may not eat a lot of broccoli casserole but they do have the best ideas about what to do with spoons and a Labradoodle. As is usual with trade publishing I'm working with the editors and art directors and will have little contact with the author.

Why am I excited about trade when I've already illustrated books for educational and religious publishers? Well for starters I didn't dream about doing art for those books when I was kid. I dreamed about making books like the ones in my mom's library. And this time its my vision that gets to bring the story to life, not a preordained set of curriculum. Plus I get almost a whole year to work on it! I get to make up what I think the characters should look like! I get to put into practice all the stuff I've learned about about story-telling over 32 pages. I'll introduce the characters little by little on the blog as they are approved. For now I'll leave you with a photo of something that makes me very happy. Yes that IS my name in purple ink:

*ps. also for the record, I did keep that maudlin blog about the years of rejection. I hope this book will be the beginning of many trade books to come and I never, ever, want to take it for granted. If someday off in the future I'm whining about some tiny problem related to, oh say, my 10th trade book I plan to keep that blog around for some long term perspective. No matter what problems may arise, I'm very very very lucky to make my living this way.

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35. To be Indigenous or not to be that isn’t a good question even!

A quite lively discussion has blown in from space on a friends Face-postcard about something I forgot because it went a completely different way in short order and is now a history lesson on indigenous peoples.

It was said the “Native “”American”” people” were here first and that they claim to be “Indigenous” and that they have their traditional stories to back up their claim to properties etc.

That got me to thinking (usually leads to minor disasters) that just because someone in your past lived some place and told creation stories doesn’t always mean you have any more rights than the guy who was born there after you lost the battle, in my case way after.

I know, growing up, my mother used to tell me, when I asked how I got here that I came from heaven and perhaps, if I’m a good boy, God will give me land there again though I think he may balk at the casino I want to build even if it is to take all the sinner’s money or credits or what ever the currency of his realm is.

And further more if in the past there was only one super continent, Pangaea or what ever they really called it, then we all have a claim to everywhere cause we are all descendants of the original inhabitants and I’ll bet a dollar to a doughnut there aint anywho who can tell me where they thought they came from even after the break up.

I thought perhaps we are all from Mars via the Pleiades star system but had to leave cause the Marshonians wanted the place back so we moved on as they had come from the Hercules system to Mars first.

To send every one back to where they came from is stupid, you can’t fit that many people on Ellis Island let alone grow enough hemp there to have a trade economy with New York.

I don’t know the answer other than if we don’t start being natives from “EARTH” the little grey men will boot us out and wipe out the myths of our origins from then to eternity.

HareBrained_II_smJPGIt’s a race none us may win …

0 Comments on To be Indigenous or not to be that isn’t a good question even! as of 5/2/2014 10:21:00 PM
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36. And now I know what I'm making for my library's upcoming bake sale.


Josh has just informed me that he wants to make Pegasus Airlines barf bags to package it in.

Good times.

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37. Hospital 101 for the Incurably Immature

My girls have grown accustomed to it, but their friends constantly remark on my maturity level, which isn’t high. My personal favorite was a comment from a friend of the eldest, who said, “Your dad is like, 7!” Very true. So with all of the time we are spending at the hospital now, I have developed a list of things my childish mind WANTS to do.

1. Every day we walk past a sleep study area to get to our room. I yearn to yell, beat on the walls, and bang pots and pans to wake everyone up.

2. My daughter has a bright-red diode sometimes hooked to her finger that measures her blood oxygen level. I am literally dying to turn the lights off and stick it in my nose and play Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer. She has told me in no uncertain terms that this is unacceptable and her word is law right now.

_MG_13173. I want to drape a stethoscope around my neck and diagnose someone. I don’t really want to barge into a room and play doctor. I just want to find someone, take their vital signs, and prescribe rest and that they lose five pounds before I ask for my co-pay.

4. There are so many things to ride around her that it is killing me. With the wide halls and automatic doors, an epic race seems in order. I picture it a little bit like Mario Kart.Operation_Room,_Kitchener_Hospital_Brighton,_searching_for_a_bullet_(Photo_24-7)

5. I want to run out of our room and yell something like, “Code Blue! Stat!” I don’t know what would happen, but everyone seems to fly into a dither on TV.

6. Get a lab coat and join the doctors on their rounds. I could be some travelling expert from Albania and mutter things that make no sense when it is my turn to examine the patient.



I haven’t done any of these things yet. Every time I get a 7 year-old notion, my 46 year-old mind overrules it. Thus far. While this wonderful place heals the sick, there is no hope of them helping me, the incurably immature.


Photo credit: By Alex Proimos (Flickr: The Stethoscope) & H. D. Girdwood


19 Comments on Hospital 101 for the Incurably Immature, last added: 4/29/2014
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38. "What is WRONG with you?" "I DON'T KNOOOOOOOOOW!"

Mr selfridgeWhile watching the suffragette episode of Mr. Selfridge:

Me: *bursts into tears*




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39. Still reading, reading, reading. #rawhide

Reluctant journal of henry k larsen Reluctant journal of henry k larsenFinished up Mafia Girl (mixed feelings), moved on to The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen (which I loved so much that I'm going to order her other books, STAT), and am now moving on to Loki's Wolves.




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40. Reading, reading, reading. #rawhide

Roomies RoomiesIt's in your head now, too, isn't it?


It's cold and gloomy and all I feel like doing is reading, SO THAT'S WHAT I'M GOING TO DO ALL WEEKEND. (My weekends are Sunday-Monday).

I woke up and immediately blew through Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando's Roomies. Which, love.

Next on deck is Deborah Blumenthal's Mafia Girl.

But first I'm going to make some popcorn.

MORE BULLETINS AS EVENTS WARRANT! (And feel free to join in.)

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After days of downtime*, it looks like Typepad is back up and running, which means that so is yours truly (and Gwenda!).

So, thanks all, for your patience and concerned emails.


(Well, except to the jerks who caused all of the problems in the first place. Yeesh.)


*They were hit by some massive DDoS attacks starting last week.

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1. Make homemade Peeps.

2. Eat homemade Peeps until I'm sick.

3. Rest.

4. Repeat.

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43. First blood.


Oh, man. It's going to be a gory spring.

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44. J Is For Juggling Roles

The weekend was rough. We had electricity problems and were unconnected for more than 24 hours. It was not a loadshedding issue ( loadhshedding was not implemented in my area anyway). It was just a technical problem that was complicated by a techie who told the utility company that everything was fine on their end when they did in fact have a problem and it was affecting us. So I had to

0 Comments on J Is For Juggling Roles as of 3/10/2014 6:30:00 AM
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45. J Is For Job Losses In Phokeng

Central Phokeng, around 5kms from where I live One of the reasons I'm such a strong advocate for running your own business is that no one can retrench you. A client can fire you. A long term contract that provides the backbone of your business can expire.But hopefully, if such a thing happens, you made sure you have other clients who can take up the slack and you know where to go look for

0 Comments on J Is For Job Losses In Phokeng as of 3/13/2014 10:31:00 AM
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46. Hasten, Spring


One last sketch before I head off to the weekend.

I'm planning to watch this.
Read that.
And fingers crossed, cook this.

And you?

0 Comments on Hasten, Spring as of 3/14/2014 8:09:00 PM
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47. "What? I want one!"

Josh: *sad sigh* There's not a Girls of Hart of Dixie calendar available on Amazon.

Me: *side eye*

Josh: What? I want one!

Me: *side eye*

Josh: WHAT? As if you wouldn't want a Hot Neighbor Wade calendar.

Me: Okay, you're totally right about the Hot Neighbor Wade calendar. But I'm still totally judging you right now. ALSO, IT'S MARCH.


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48. The Holy Trinity of Boys

Passing over the bridge to the park Saturday, I heard laughter mixed with threats from the creek below. It took a few steps to get a view of the action between the dense limbs forming a canopy above the slow moving water. But what I saw brought an instant smile to my face: a real, knockdown, drag-out mudfight.


Four shirtless combatants

No distinct sides or teams

Eight handfuls of muck and sludge, ducking, slinging, flailing away.

Goo and gunk flying in every direction.

Filthy joy pigs would be proud of.

The Holy Trinity of Boys – Filth in all three forms: Dirt, Mud, & Dust


One Mom – a lax referee, sat on the bank chuckling along. I wanted to take a picture of the fun, but was afraid to be labelled some sort of park whacko. So I just watched, a little jealous of them, wondering if I could have been as cool a parent to sons. Would I let my boys get that dirty, despite the inconvenience of taking them home? Or if I had boys, would I be more worried about the cleanliness, my car seats, and the waste of time?

(Nah, I’m pretty sure my shirt would have been on the bank with theirs…but who knows.)

I don’t know who you are, lady. All I know is; you are the official Mother of the Weekend. You get no award besides the joy you allowed your boys. But that’s enough.

Artwork credit: Harold W. Olsen (www.haroldolsen.com)

10 Comments on The Holy Trinity of Boys, last added: 3/18/2014
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49. In which April does the math

Every night I lie awake doing the math.  In the next six weeks, I need to:

- Write 70K words. This is what is stressing me out the most.  I can't skip a single day of writing.
- Try to read someone's book to blurb
- Go to Missouri and do several days of school visits
- Go to the Houston Teen Book Con
- Write two articles (one may be emotionally wrenching)
- Celebrate my birthday
- Drive five hours to my home town for two days of school visits and a presentation at B&N
- Walk through the house where I grew up and where my mom died and say goodbye because it just got sold
- Finish paying my taxes and set up an IRA SEP
- Speak at a benefit for low-income housing

And a few other things.

I just tell myself something Laini Taylor did once.  That there is a future me and she has done it.

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50. In Praise of the Mom-Traffic Controller

Yesterday was one of those days. It is beyond my man-sized mind how everything fit together. I had nothing to do with its success or organization. But like a giant fuel-guzzling puzzle, the last piece set in perfectly about nine o’clock. Until then, my family ranged in different directions all across the metro area. The amazing thing is that the MTC (Mom-Traffic Controller) was absent for a good portion of it.

I had business on the other side of the city that kept me away until most of the flights were filed and done. If you know Atlanta traffic, you know that being on the other side of it on a weekday means that, while only thirty miles away, I may as well have been in Guatemala in case of an emergency. Sometimes, there is just no getting home. But the MTC needed me not.


The Grandaddy taxi (my kids’ favorite ride because it often stops for a milkshake) had a few trips, she called in a favor from another middle-school parent, my nephew’s girlfriend made a pick-up, and I think there were two dog sleds and a rickshaw involved. Of course, this day involved multiple after school activities for every child that required extra commutes. Here is where I think the MTC was just showing off – she drove an hour north of the city on a college visit and took the only other driver of the house with her. So she wasn’t even around to oversee her masterpiece!

Through some mystery of mother magic, everything worked out. I counted two children when I got home and the other two trudged through the door soon after. They looked haggard but familiar, so I’m fairly certain they are mine.

Men, lest you think you could handle this task, let me recount for you my experience on Saturday (Car Day). I had one assigned job, ONE: pick up dancer daughter at 12:30. The brakes took a little longer than expected, but I finished and went inside to wipe the grime off of my fingertips so I could handle food. While at the sink, my phone lit up with a missed text. Instantly, I had that “Oh Crap!” moment when I saw the digital readout. You guessed it, 12:40. I forgot my one job, along with my daughter who sat waiting twenty minutes away. The forgotten child’s next text went to the MTC, who was at a play. I had planned to bribe my daughter’s silence with ice cream. But on the frantic trip to get her, I received from the MTC saying, “Nice job, Dad.” Exposed.


So, all hail the MTC! I don’t know where you received your degree in family flight management, but the entire (and somehow intact) family is glad you have it!

10 Comments on In Praise of the Mom-Traffic Controller, last added: 3/25/2014
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