Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Lady In France

I am traveling overseas.

Yes, I am.

A blog post that I've contributed to Lady Jennie, la femme du maison from the photographically and poetically exquisite A Lady In France, is published there today.

And she blogs from France. Because she lives there. And my blog post is on there, and I wrote it, so, I'm going to say I'm A Lady In France today.

I love blogging.

I hope you hop over the pond, and come visit, where the gracious and intimate Jennie and I, speak of what else? but ze glorious gift of ze food.

Her beautiful blog is addictive to me, with it's peaceful, wise, no airs about her ways.

I know you'll love the way she writes, and the things you learn about living in a different culture. You leave with a feeling of knowing  a bit more of something than before you clicked over. I like her, I truly do.


Comments closed. Hop on over, please,  and meet the lovely Lady Jennie

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Clues That Your We Had Joy, We Had Fun, We Had Seasons In The Sun Have Now Passed

I went to college in the 80's, and I, back then, had this as my daily uniform:

Proudly, too, right down to the tights around the head
The $10 a tube matte red lipstick, the mismatched earrings, the Ray-Bans. You can't see the Walkman I've got in my hand, but it was there, with the Pat Benatar cassette playing: "You're a heartbreaker, dreammaker, lovetaker, don't you mess around with nonono no!"

Time stands still. It will always, I am convinced of this in 1984.  I have been walking tall and sniffing pies in heaven, as my grandmother used to tell me in Spanish, ever since.


Flash forward to a morning when getting ready to take teen DDG* son clothes shopping, I pull on my 15 year old cowboy boots, stand up, and I say, "All ready. Let's go."

And, he says, the words that freeze any woman in her tracks: "You're going like that?! Mom!?"

All kneejerk responses run through my head:
  • never let them see you sweat
  • they sense fear
  • don't lose your dominance
  • speak with confidence
  • maintain the status quo
  • do NOT buckle
  • keep your pole position

But I'm a woman, my appearance is my weak spot. I eek out,"Whaaaat, whaaa---umm, is it that you mean, honey?"

"Mom. The way you look. You need a trip to the mall, not me."

A woman and her appearance. Put the two together, and the images of how you still see yourself fight to be heard first:

I was hot!
Here, see? A picture in case you don't believe me.
Wait, go ask your dad. no. don't.
I've got loveletters upstairs that would sear your young eyes!
I once had to double book 2 dates for the same night, little boy.
You can't imagine ...

But, well adjusted, normal, grounded mom would ever go there with her child. He already had enough terror in his voice, I couldn't dump my stuff on that poor thing. No. I would work this s**t out.

It's time for the truth to be the truth that needs to be faced. No more hot mama days.  There it is.

The parts are starting to fall off, and plastic replacement is not a possibility in our household. Time for age appropriate hairdos, professional hair coloring-- no boot black done at home die jobs, time for shirts that cover the belly, and belts that prevent diaper butt.

Time to remember that when you let your hair down after it's been up in a rubber band all day, that you look more like Crazy Mary that roams the streets downtown mopping the bridge, then you look like a flower child.

I have often told my husband that you can tell what the year was when a person was plucked out of the dating game, by the bust-a-move they pull on the dance floor. Frozen movements in time, they will forever be doing the very last bump and grind they were popping and locking it to, before they were picked up, and plunked down into their new life.

Me? I'm still doing Madonna's "Holiday" skip~skip~shoulder lift~shoulder lift.

I let my son suggest what to wear, and replace the cowboy boots with the Danskos he likes better. (in my mind, I'll always be Thelma and Louise).

We get to the mall, and head toward the stores he likes best: H&M, American Eagle, Aeropostale. We pull the double doors open, enter, and begin to walk the long corridor. All heads turn.

They are on him.

Yes, DDG*, your turn, baby. Your turn.

*Lady Di would call Prince William DDG, short for Drop Dead Gorgeous. I have always loved that.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Fun Things My Mom Gets Me and Things I Like To Do and Things I WOULD Like To Do

I don't like this picture I look like I have zombie eyes
It's a glorious Monday, and Baby E is better! Thank you for all of your sweet love, prayers, well wishes and healing thoughts. The antibiotic worked and did get rid of the lump on his jawline. THANK YOU!!   [TMI warning: turned out to be an infected submandibular gland - sorry!sorry!  but you know, I'm a mom]

He is back, and full of energy and 10,000 mph thoughts. And I couldn't be happier. 

Monday -- Baby E post day. And I am so happy to have my co-writing partner back. Love you, sweet baby boy.

Well, first I'll start off with fun things my mom gets me. Sometimes my mom gets me fun things like this duck whistle which everyone says is annoying, even though it's really not that much.

It goes like this, you blow in and it makes a funny noise that kinda sounds like, well not a duck, but you know...gas. It goes ::flaaaaarp::

[My mom is laughing her head off--that's how I told her to spell it]

Now I'll do something that's kind of something that she doesn't get me, but still I like -- movie tickets. I saw this movie today called, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules."  And it was good.  ::flaaaaaaaaaaarp::

I love this duck whistle thing my mom got me. No one else does.

Well, I guess I'd better go to THINGS I LIKE TO DO:

First of all, I like to look at the YouTube video about this man who makes fake gas sounding noises, that my mom's friend sent to  her. It is so funny. One part, the man makes a fake gas sounding noise with his armpit and this guy walking past him hears it and says, "oh, hello, how are you?" He answers the fake gas sound and I'm laughing about it just thinking about it.

Another thing that I like to do: I like drawing and writing in my journal, which most of you probably know.


I would like to be a hypnotist.

And people might say, "oh, baby e, you can't be a hypnotist. You'll never be a hypnotist"' but I say why can't I do it?

I would also like to be a geologist, which is a person who studies rocks. I didn't know that right away, either.

And I would also like to be a soccer player, a professional, like playing in the World Cup.

Oh, yeah, and then I would like to be one of the science dudes who studies elements.

And don't smile about this one because it is a serious dream and goal of mine and it is to drink a shamrock shake in 3 seconds.  

I like to think about stuff in exclamation marks.

And I wish I could hypnotize people and make them do what I want them to do.

I'm reading this cool book series, that I think your kids would like to read. They're the Molly Moon Series. They're really interesting books BUT they might be a little frightening in some points. And, so, you might want to look at it before your kids read it. But the books are false advertising at first because there is a picture of a pug with swirly eyes on the cover and but it's not about a pug. I know, false advertising, right? It is an incredible book about hypnotizing and the girl is a master hypnotist.  And the scary part is they kidnap her dog. But the cover says ages 8 through 12. I started the second book, there are 5 books in it.

Earlier today at the store there was this really cool journal but my mom wouldn't let me get it. I like journals. Once, we went to a bookstore and they had this really cool journal with a dragon on the cover but it was like 50 dollars or something and so I know I can't buy stuff like that.

But, instead, I got the duck whistle today. ::flaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarp::

There's these little toys that are kind of girly, but I like them anyway. They're called Squinkies.  But they're making a boy version of Squinkies. And this is something totally different: there's this rock painting set my mom hasn't let us do it yet because you need to set up a big place to do it and we've been busy and not home.

And there's this song that my mom is crazy about and thinks it's the best song ever and I sing it to her and she says I'm really good when I sing.

And, also, I AM FEELING BETTER. Yeah! Thank you, everybody, for hoping I will be Okay.

Thank you very much.



I am lucky enough to be Blogger of the Month over at Kpug's place, Mom Got Blog. Thank you, Kel!

I've prepared a guest post for Kel, more of a guest rant, really: I have become an old lady who is fed up with, come see, what... Hope to see you there!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Best - How Do You Decide To Homeschool?

If someone had told me 15 years ago, that one day we would be a homeschooling family, I would have stared at them bug-eyed and insisted that they had the wrong crystal ball.

I had firm ideas and opinions about homeschooling, the foremost being that it was not for me. I'll be honest, I couldn't understand why someone would decide to homeschool.

That was, until our family became a family of homeschoolers. How does such a change in personal conviction take place? What is it that found us arriving at this lifestyle choice for our family?

My husband and I have always been book a week heavy readers. Our home, from the beginning, has had piles of books bedside, sofaside, coffee table piled up to here, with books.We are a family of readers.In a very unromantic, yet  prescient act, we had both packed books for our honeymoon. Without consulting each other: we just assumed that we'd find time to read. Leisure time meant reading time.

After our children were born, within the first twenty-four hours of bringing each of our 3 newborn boys home, we held a book in front of their little faces, and read to them. There were as many books scattered in the toy room as toys themselves.

At three months old, our children were grabbing for books, and chewing on the covers. Nine months old found them crawling over to their own low level bookcase that we kept for them, and pulling out a book of their own.Yes, it was only to chew, but the recognition of what a book was, and where it was kept, was there.

At fifteen months old, they would open the book, look at the pictures, then make their way to our laps, handing us the books they wanted  read to them. As time went on, and we began our weekly trips to the library, we had already begun what we didn't recognize then, as informal homeschooling.

Our children would excitedly choose books of their interest, and we would sit at the library, criss cross applesauce, amidst piles of books, and read, point, look. They’d become immersed in a certain topic, say, anything bulldozers--and we’d delve further. They would ask questions, and we’d go find out more together. Soon, our reading together at the library about bulldozers evolved into a field trip to a quarry, and then a hands on activity of making a bulldozer out of torn construction paper bits, renting a DVD on construction site equipment, and then a discussion at dinner on all the different types of bulldozers we had learned about.

Time marched on and our oldest had reached the age where we began to look at preschools. As the majority of families do, we made appointments to see several sites. We'd visit a few schools, but our oldest son would always comment at the end of our stay,  that he felt as if he never had the chance to do any of the things he had wanted to. And so it continued, the same reaction, at all the other appointments, too.

The preschool teachers we consulted felt that it might be a good idea and appropriate for him, if we were to wait another year before starting him in a formal education setting. One year soon became two years. We were now at the kindergarten stage. We had scheduled three visits for him to sit in a kindergarten classroom. With each visit, I’d pick him up, and he’d confess that he really wanted to be home, learning what he wanted to learn more about.

After much discussion and research and meeting with other homeschooling families, we decided to take the plunge and begin kindergarten at home. We would see how it would go. No firm time commitments were made. We would just see and test it out for one year. I remember the happiness on my son's face when we told him of our decision.

There was such excitement in my heart as we began our first day of learning at home. And familiarity. It was what we had been doing all along.

Is this a permanent commitment for us? We decide year by year.

Is this just for the time being? Perhaps.

Have we decided to homeschool every year? We will decide this on an annual basis.

The liberating thing about homeschooling is that it is up to you and your family to determine for how long, and for what grade levels you will homeschool. If we had decided to do this for only one year, it would’ve been wonderful. If it had only turned out to be for six months, that would have been a blessed time in which I truly got to know my children, and their learning style. It was, and is, win win for me.

We are a homeschooling family--it's right for us. And we decide year by year, whether we will be a homeschooling family in the year to come.

There is no perfect answer, no perfect environment, no black and white. We don't homeschool because we are pro anything or anti anything. To me, this lifestyle we’ve chosen has brought our family a deeper level of happiness,closeness, and knowledge of each other that I don't think we would have known otherwise. We began homeschooling in 2005, and we are still homeschooling in 2010. This works for us now and we will decide whether or not to continue as long as all of us feel happy and satisfied with the style of learning we’ve chosen.
This post was originally prepared for mamapedia. I was so thrilled when they decided to publish it.  If you have a subject you'd like to write about for mamapedia, you can submit it for review.  Good luck!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Being Perfect: Mom Renewal Project

Empowering Moms To Live Their Best Lives

I proudly write for a wonderful site called  The Mom Renewal Project. Stacey Weckstein is the amazing founder and editor of The Mom Renewal Project, and she runs her baby with such love and care for her readers. Stacey's Mission Statement is:  - empowering moms to live their best lives body, mind, and spirit. 

With every visit to The Mom Renewal Project, readers will find acceptance, encouragement, and inspiration that will renew their spirit and life.

I enjoy preparing posts for The Mom Renewal Project, and am so honored to be part of Stacey's mission "to renew women's spirits."

My monthly post is published there today, entitled "Do We Have To Be Perfect To Love Who We Are?"

I truly hope you'll visit -- I think you'll find yourself leaving as a subscriber.
 Comments Closed HERE in hopes that you'll visit us at Mom Renewal Project. Thank you!

Bringing The Funny: They Can

It's You Must Get To Know Thursdays: where I'll be showcasing  fantastically funny humor bloggers that I've been secretly, and guiltily, keeping to myself.

As I promised during blogoversary week, I'm going to be mature this New Blogging Year, and share them with you. Because it's the right thing to do. The world needs me to do this. Also? It weighed heavily upon my soul.
We have adhoc mom as the Feature Funny today. And they are Thu-Ree ladies. Funny x 3. THREE LADIES doling out the fun, batting off each other, each one trying to act like they don't care if they're the funniest one or not, which makes them ALL the funniest.

Bring the Funny? She Can Thursdays is thrilled and full of bloggy crushness to talk about adhoc mom. They are today's You Must Get To Know.

In their own words:
Adhoc mom is Paula, a Brooklyn based literary agent who happily traded in a few pairs of unreasonable heels for sensible clogs.
Adhoc Mom #2 is Tonya, who used to bore fellow party guests with talk of biotechnology and contemporary art, now she lulls strangers into a trance with talks of toilet training and any facts she can retain about Yo Gabba Gabba.
Finishing off the trio is Carrie--when her son is awake, the tools of her trade are raisins, Nick Jr. on Demand, play dates, and non-judgmental mom friends.

This is Carrie: 

Please, please, you don't have to thank me. I know. I find THE BEST. Enjoy! Happy Thursday!

While the Cat is Away, the Mice Will Rat You Out


My husband had to go to Hong Kong for business this week, which is completely amazing for him and completely de-mazing for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel completely sorry for him that he has to sit alone, undisturbed, for 16 hours while people only talk to him to say “sir, can I get you a drink?” My heart breaks a little, too, when I think of the church-like quiet of a business-grade hotel room with nothing but an internet connection and television to distract him from his grief. I also wipe away a tear when I think how he doesn’t get a home cooked meal and has to choke down the meager culinary offerings of a rich, thriving and world-class city...  [read more...]

 Comments Closed Here because I want you to go THERE and leave them some love

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Always A Thrill


Do you have it?

I've been diagnosed with it. Maybe you're afflicted, too.

My post today, syndicated on BlogHer , tells the full story."But They're Home With You Now" -- stop by, please and read-- if you're able to,  leave me a comment. I would appreciate it so very much.

I am always thrilled to be syndicated on BlogHer. What BlogHer does for the small blogger, can't be measured in dollars. It's priceless encouragement, validation, dreams of writing made real.

If you are here, through BlogHer, for the first time, how exciting for me and Thank You! Please, poke around, look at my favorite posts on The Empress' Best page.  I hope you like them. 

Thank you, BlogHer, for choosing my post, and thank you, Reader:  for visiting today, and for clicking over here, and supporting this woman, who just wants to write.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Don't Let A Lack Of Talent Hold You Back

While on twitter with the other night, the subject came up of opportunities, and the ones we let slip by.

Doors that were held open for us, but we were too scared to go through. We felt we just weren't enough.

We give ourselves all sorts of reasons for not rushing in through that door open just a crack. The door that needs just a push from us to open. Maybe we don't think the invitation to enter was extended to us, maybe we think we don't belong on that other side. Maybe we feel the people on the other side of that door deserve to be there, but we don't.

Maybe there's no way that itty-bitty us should be among the company of the mighty and able that go through that door. The ones with the talent.

We talk ourselves out of it. We don't even try to rush in before it slams shut. Our legs may take a step or two forward, propelled by the dreams we have for ourselves -- but then we let our thoughts take over--and our feet stop sharp.

In between the two conversations I was having with the others online at the time, it occurred to me -- how can we tell our children to pursue their dreams -- while we don't, our own?

We tell our children Go for it! You can do it! Believe in Yourself!, but what is our self-talk?

What happens when our children ask us, Mama? What did you wanna be? And did you get to be it?

What do we say then? What are our children watching in us now? Do they see us working hard to get up to that five mile run, because we've always wanted to be a runner, but aren't one -- yet. Do they see us entering our short stories in  the writing competition we just read about -- because we have always wanted to reach others with our words?  Are they witness to us registering for the local Digital Photography 101 class -- because learning how to use a camera is something we have always wanted to do?

Do you see this lady in the picture above in the shimmyshimmy turquoise selling herself short? No. She BELIEVES she is going to take home the prize. She went in through that door marked Contestants.

Because she is living her life like it matters.  She knows in this journey, you get one shot -- so she's chasing it with all she's got. And her children are in the audience, grinning wildly, shouting, "Go, mama, go!"

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sign The Get Well Card Here - Baby E Post

It's Monday, and that usually joyously means a Baby E Post.

Baby E is under the weather. Doctors are hoping this first round of antibiotics will work for a lump on the bone of his beautiful jawline.

Me, too.

We'll have a follow up midweek.

I told Baby E I'd do his post for him. He has some notes, but I told him to just save them for next week. He's not feeling the greatest on the antibiotics.

If you'd like to leave him well wishes, please do...and he will love to read them later.  He loves to read your comments.

It'll be a doozy of a post next week.

Here's to positive energy and thoughts that next week at this time, we'll know what's going on.

Thank you all, I know you'll send your love and healing thoughts our way. 
**Just found out now that I post  I submitted to a blog I've long admired: Tiki Tiki Blog, has been accepted by them. It's up today, and I couldn't be prouder.

If you can, I'd love for you to click over, and get to know one of Parenting Magazines choices for "Moms Must Read" Blogs. Here's the link to my post there, and THANK YOU!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Best - Peer Pressure 101

Peer Pressure 101:

We hear a lot about children and peer pressure.

An awful lot.

But -- if we listen to ourselves as we speak to our children on resisting the urge to give in to what their friends are doing and what their friends have -- what we'll hear is that resisting peer pressure applies to us, as parents, as well. Just listen.

Resisting Peer Pressure 101

1. "But all the other kids are wearing this!"
Do you, as a parent, fall into this category? Really think about that before you answer. Do you spend money your family can't afford, to have the current hot mama status symbol uniform? Trends we have to buy what the mom down the street is wearing? Either to belong, or to impress? Why not save our money, instead: spend the dimes and pennies that add up with wise accumulation on something for our family, right?

2.  "But if you let me do this, then all the kids will like me!" 
Really? Everyone will like you? As in, if you sign up for every single expensive baby and you class out there because all the other mommies go, will you have any more friends than you do now?  I made this mistake, with my first: instead of staying home? I had us billed with frantic activity. Now, I wish I would've taken a sweet walk to the park, chatting all the way with my baby. But what did I do? I threw him in the car seat every day of the week, thinking I had to...because all the moms I knew were in every class there was. Had to be the right thing to do, right? I wish I knew then, that I didn't have to do all the mommy and me classes just because all the other moms were going.

3.  "If you let me get this new haircut, then I'll fit in with the other kids."
Fitting in. What is wrong with being different? Unique? Special? Variety is what makes the world so beautiful. Be who you are. If you like your hair long, and others say you need to cut it short because no one wears their hair long past a certain age-- then keep it long. You are who you beautifully were made to be, mom in her 40's with long hair, or not. I actually tried to do the haircut thing...even though I didn't want to. I know now, I can have long hair at my age, if I want to. I so can.

4.  "I wish I had a nicer car, like the other kids." 
A nicer car, a nicer house, a nicer vacation, it never will stop.  Never. We need to want what we have, not have what we want. Do you envy the beautiful car parked in the driveway across the street from your house?  Do you say this out loud to your children? Do you let them hear you mention how nice it would be to live in the Jones' house-- with the All-Season porch, instead of your porchless house? They hear you.

5.  "If I can just get into the A group at school, then I'll be happy." 
The Queen Bees, wanting them to like you, trying so hard to become like what you think they would want you to be.  It's friendship built on the sand of a false you. If someone is going to like you, they will. If they're not going to, you have to make yourself accept that. Begin with rock, the foundation of who you really are. Those who want to be with you, will be with you. In the meantime, you don't have to pretend to be someone else and live an untrue version of yourself, just to fit into a prized group.  Be patient, you'll find your own people, ones that know you and LIKE you, from the beginning.

6.  "I wish I weren't so fat/flat/disgusting."
Sigh. Women and body image, women and esteem tied to body image. If only I were skinny, all my problems would disappear. If only I had great legs then I could wear shorts, and I'd have a more fun summer. If only, if only...meantime, life is passing by.  Live your life, the way you are. Be healthy, get exercise, eat the right things, and feel free to enjoy everything that the day has for you. You have a fine, capable body that works and is able, feel grateful for the blessing of movement. Think about this one.

Your children are watching you, and listening to you. They will see you model acceptance and approval for yourself, and if we're lucky --- they'll form this trait into a value of their own.

They see how you compare, or don't compare yourself to others

They listen if you express disappointment in who you are, what you look like, your home, the state of your old car.

They see if you enviously eye someone and what they have.

They take their cues from you. They hear you say, "I wish we could take nice vacations, like the Smith's do."

Teach your children to withstand peer pressure now, teach them the lesson to not look to others for acceptance. They don't have to be part of the popular group, or look perfect, or have what others have. They just need to like themselves, and be true to who they are. Hear what you're saying with your actions, are you trying to impress? Do they see you dissatisfied and envious?

The next time the opportunity to talk to your children about peer pressure arrives, think about living the message that you are delivering out loud. We all know what they say about actions: they speak louder than words. 

How can we ask our children to resist peer pressure -- how can we say to them, "be happy with who you are" -- how can we ask them to do something, that we ourselves can't do?    
I love running these old posts. This post was originally prepared for the amazing Naomi of Organic Motherhood With CoolWhip. I was crowned a "Cool Whip Queen," with this post. Thank you, Naomi.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Funny - Anne Flournoy

I happily spent the better part of my late night internet hours yesterday, clicking and viewing episode after addicting episode of a new to me YouTube-based webcom, The Louise Log.  I loved this clever, sophisticated, offbeat video series so much, that I knew right away I had to tell you about it.

The Louise Log is a comedy web series of short video made up whispered confessions of a New York City wife and mother hell-bent on getting it right in spite of her high maintenance husband, her addiction to caffeine and her over-active inner voice. Sundance veteran director, Anne Flournoy, is the creator  of  The Louise Log, where the subtle heroine, Louise, whispers her thoughts aloud as she encounters life.
You love this already, don't you?

What draws me and binds me to a humorist or a character, is when I find myself able to relate. I very much relate to the heroine in this series, "Louise". I do all the fumbling self doubt and second guessing of myself, as she does. My internal dialogue is much like hers--and to hear it voiced aloud, I laugh in recognition. And relief.

Seeing myself in Louise provides a welcoming chance to appreciate and feel alright about my own thoughts as I try to figure out life.

I fell in love with Louise with Season 1, Episode 1, of The Louise Log, where you meet her for the 1st time. She is so wonderfully real.

This one is my favorite. Season 1, Episode 2 :"How To Shop at A Farmer's Market" ENJOY!! [1 min 43 sec]

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bring The Funny? She Can...

Lori Dyan

It's Get To Know Thursdays: where I'll be showcasing some fantastic, funny, humor bloggers that I've been secretly, and guiltily, keeping to myself.

As I promised during blogoversary week, I'm going to be mature this New Blogging Year, and introduce you to these fantastic bloggers. Because it's the right thing to do. The world needs more humor.
Lori Dyan  is the feature funny lady today, on Bring the Funny? She Can Thursdays. She is a blogger you Must Get To Know.

If I were to link up every post of Lori's that has made me actually laugh out loud, not just the acronym LOL....this post would go down as one of the longest I've ever put up.

Lori is that kind of funny. Laugh Out Loud kind of funny.

The giggly, guilty pleasure, "Oh...She IS waaaay bad" funny.

You can start here --where you will have to click and see the woman she calls Miss BJ--who also happens to be her lookalike.

Lori makes me feel like I'm at a 7th grade slumber party, all over again, where the girl who knows everything we're not supposed to know about, has me in a corner telling it all to me...while I take it in, wild eyed and gaping mouthed.

See if you don't agree, with this post here.  Nothing like a little yeast imbalance talk.

She is hilarious on her blog, and to follow @RestlessLori on twitter?

::Just mistook new naturopath's rock garden for a parking spot. #firstimpressionfail 6 hours ago::

Very Good Times. 

Stop over and meet Lori. I can't tell you enough what a very funny woman she is.


The Return of Stinky McSmelly Pits

by Lori Dyan

I recycle. I compost. I use SLS-free shampoo and I even buy organic if it’s on sale. But I’ve recently learned that my loyalty to all things environmental has limits, and those limits begin and end with my armpits.

I’d heard the scary statistics linking the aluminium content of antiperspirants and breast cancer, so I decided to try out a more natural alternative. The lady at my local health food store recommended a crystal deodorant. I was skeptical that a chunk of salt could keep rank odours away, but decided to give it a try.

The following morning I applied it vigorously under each arm. By lunch I felt wet and sticky (and not in a good way) so I re-applied. By dinner I reeked..[ READ MORE HERE ]


Monday, March 14, 2011

This Is Me - Baby E Post

Me and my brothers
Monday morning. And a Daylight Savings Time Monday Morning. I hope this little visit with Baby E today makes you smile, and gets your day to a sweeter start. Just like Baby E does for me.

That's a big reason we decided to do Baby E posts on  Monday mornings. Mondays are pretty tough, and we wanted to make them just a bit easier for you---

Here's hoping this Baby E post does just that. xo

Hi. It's me today. Baby E. I am tired. It is Monday morning, but I am tired.

We stayed up late to see this cool movie last night, Contact. My mom knew the parts to cover my ears with.

I loved the travel in space wormholes part. That was so cool. I wish it was me in the movie.

We went to a school carnival fair on Friday. I won a long yellow snake. But not a real one.

My brother's friend won the new Nintendo!!! He brought it over on Saturday and we all played with it.

My last basketball game was on Saturday. I made 4 baskets.  And my dad said I was a superstar.

Soon it will be time for soccer.

Last night, we watched my mom's friend, and her kids, be on America's Funniest Videos. I have lots of ideas for videos I want to send in and win $100,000.00 for. They would be the winners, too. Mostly, scaring people ideas.

This Thursday is the Season Premiere of Wipe-Out. That is mine and my dad's favorite show. My mom always says, "I can't watch that. I don't believe what people do for money."

But, me and my dad love to watch it. Maybe you should make a note: the season premiere is this Thursday night. The commercial said, "more red punching gloves." It's going to be really funny.

When we watch movies about Aliens, I always can recognize the Alien Agent. I know which person in the movie is going to turn out to be the alien.

I saw a commercial for Cash for Gold. All you do is put your gold stuff in an envelope and mail it and money comes back. I told my mom she should send her wedding rings in. She said she wouldn't do that for all the money in the universe. I asked her how much money she would ask for, for me. And she said "There's not enough money in the world, or the history of the world, or the universe, or the multiverse, for you."

I don't get it. I would sell me for a lot of money. She said, "When you're older, you'll know what I mean."

We watch Transformer cartoons together with my mom. She likes them. She said if our dad was a Transformer he'd be the Black and White volkswagen beetle Geek Squad car, and his arms would become keyboards instead of cannons.

My dad said,"HaHa." And then he said, "Laugh, until you can't find a post you wrote, and you need me."

This is a picture of me and my big brothers. They make me laugh.

Bye. It's getting nice out. I can't wait.


Oh. Next week, I can't wait to talk about my future. 


Don't forget to watch Wipe Out this Thursday.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Best - Commisery Loves Company


Commiseration. Yes, sometimes commiseration can be the best solution.

I have been thinking about the blogs I frequent often, the ones I jump up to check on each day.

What keeps me returning there?

Why do I like them and look forward to their posting?

It’s what I find there: moods that match my own on some days. Other days it’s a place where “they get it.” Pretty often, I don’t want answers to my problems, I just want to be somewhere where it’s OK to be who I am. With no feelings of needing to impress, or pretend to be something I’m really not.

I’ve read that “water seeks its own level” and “ seeks the path of least resistance.” That is what a “blogfriend” does for me.

A blogging friend is easy, they get you, they know what you're like--without you having to be alike.

When we find ourselves needing to vent, talk it out, work it out, feeling short ended on this life gig sometimes (we’re only human, right?) it’s strangely and curiously uplifting to find someone muddling through, too.

There is something about the “safety” you feel at a favorite blog.

You can be comfortable in your reaction and your response, and in what you say in the little square comment box, because you know that there can be a difference in opinion, and you and your girl are still good.

Sometimes, we just want to be understood.

Sometimes, we don’t want a solution.

We just want to nod “yes, yes, yes” to what we read, and let that be all there is to it. And laughing along in recognition of it all lightens the load.


One minute, you can be crying as you look around at the Hoarder's episode your house is becoming...and then, you hit the right blog at the right time, where there's a post on how the blogger sprained her ankle tripping over a mountain of toy trucks...perfect. Just what the Dr. ordered. You're now laughing at the sisterhood of it all, and no longer feeling like the messiest mom in town.

If you're feeling as if you're the only mother around who tears up as you watch your oldest be able to do so many things for himself now, and why can other moms embrace the independence of these teen years so well...and you? You just can't seem to stop pouring his orange juice for him in the morning. You sit in front of the computer, all misty eyed over this fleeing of childhood, and then you find just the right post, where another blogger is able to put words to what you feel in your heart. 

You can’t really describe chemistry, or put a formula as to why you feel drawn to a specific blogger and their site. If we could, we would all write the book and begin blogs and sell them later for thousands.

You can’t really figure out how you find your “tribe,” your group of women that make up your daily life as much as your family and co workers, and physical friends do.

You begin blogging one day, and then little by little, and one by one, you meet people that bring joy to your life, people who make you smile excitedly when you see it’s them on comments, or in an email, or a tweet, or a sweet: “a direct message to you from…” on twitter. People online who make your heart skip a little when you see it's them.

I think we all just want to belong to a part of something larger than what we have only physically around us. We want to be accepted, and part of a larger collective of who we are, what is reflected back to us, of us.  Sharing what is dear to us, tethers and binds us to others. We no longer feel alone, and misunderstood, isolated-- a stranger in a strange land.

There are times in our lives, when--yes, we truly want a fix, a solution, resources, help, ideas…but there are, more often than not, times when we only want to hear, “me, too!”

Times when we want to know that someone misses our presence in their life that day.

We want to know that we matter, and that someone likes us being part of their world.

It’s nice to know that we came to mind, when someone prepared a post. It’s nice to know that we, also, have somewhere to go with feelings we have inside,  news we want to share, a memory we need to give life to. Or when we need someone to listen to us at 1:00 a.m.

Commiseration. Sometimes just the sweet balm we need, and no more.

This post was originally prepared for the amazing  Erin Margolin, at her original website, The Mother Load.

I still like what it says.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Beautifully Bilingual - Your Child Talking Guest Post

Lori of In Pursuit of Martha Points is one of my favorite funny lady bloggers, and she's one of the best peeps to follow on twitter, @marthapoints.

Lori is also a licensed, certified speech-language pathologist, with over 15 years experience, who has created a resource site, Your Child Talking,  dedicated to providing parents with information on children and language development.

How did Your Child Talking come to be? In Lori's words: 

"I wanted to develop a place where parents could subscribe to blog posts with information about language, speech, linguistic development and communication. I wanted to create a place where people could contact me to ask questions. I wanted to develop a service where I could consult with parents about their own children using easy-to-use web services like YouTube and Skype.
And after thinking about it for a while…here it is..."

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of guest posting at Lori's Speech and Language site, Your Child Talking, with this post on being raised bilingually. Lori follows up my post there, today, with her take on the linguistic and cognitive benefits of raising a child with more than one language.

I am honored to have Lori here today to discuss the blessings of raising children knowing more than one language.

Beautifully Bilingual--- by Lori, of Your Child Talking
There are many things I want to accomplish in this life. I want to write a book. I want to climb Half Dome. But there’s one more, and I’ve tried and tried and I just can’t get it to work.

I want to speak a second language.

I tried French. I tried Spanish. I tried sign language. And while I’d like to blame my failure to learn Spanish on the distraction created by my incredibly handsome Spanish professor, my blame game breaks down with French. I had a good high school teacher, a good (if somewhat austere) college instructor, and yet I can still only stumble through in asking to buy a ticket somewhere or find a bathroom (or a library).

I know that part of my impairments comes from a resistance to making mistakes, and you just can’t get anywhere with a language if you wait to talk until you know you’re going to get it right.

As a result of this repeated failure, I have an amazing respect for people who are bi-lingual. And that respect climbs for the multi-lingual.

We are hard-wired to use language. But we are hard-wired to learn language when we’re little. Up to around the age of 10 or 12. Then it is at its easiest and most natural. That’s why people who learn their other languages when they’re young escape the accent challenge. The amazing plasticity of a young brain allows it to gobble up motor patterns with ease and their speech sounds as natural as if they spoke only the one language all the time.

Here’s an interesting fact about children who grow up bilingual: they often acquire language more slowly than monolingual children. To the point where in places where there are large immigrant populations and a language other than English is learned at home, that school speech therapists spend a lot of time filtering out children who are referred to them for language problems when they’re truly just trying to acquire more than one language at time. This is the simplest type of delay, not a disability or a disorder. And since we know that the fix for this problem is time, we give it to them. A speech therapist cannot fix what is not broken. But if you think about it, this makes complete sense. The child is learning two sound systems, two vocabularies and two sets of grammatical rules. So since they’re doing twice the work, it is really only fair that it takes them a bit longer.

But here’s the GREAT part: people who were bi-lingual as children often exhibit far greater cognitive flexibility later in life. And by cognitive flexibility I mean the ability to make leaps in problem solving. I mean a rich appreciation of humor. I mean access to a broad array of language subtlety. I mean ability to appreciate multiple sides of problems. They often have better focus and attention. And any person who can speak more than one language has a part of the world open to them that may be closed to others. And lastly, there seems to be a cascade effect where learning two language makes a person that much more able to learn a third. It’s almost as if the act of learning two languages as a child wires in the language-learning ability far more permanently than learning only one does. Isn’t all that fantastic? So if you’ve been thinking about raising your children with a second language, or about bilingual immersion programs that some magnet or charter schools are offering these days for your kids, I urge you to do those things. It may slow the language process down initially, but that’s a small price to pay, and a temporary one at that. And your kidlet gets back the investment in spades.

I invite you to visit Your Child Talking, read, browse, email me or leave Lori comments.

A resource like Your Child Talking is an amazing, valuable asset for parents who have speech language questions, concerns, or a healthy curiosity about their child and age appropriate language development.
Click here to learn more about one-on-one services for you and your child.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Get To Know Thursdays

Featured Humor Blogger: TheSuniverse
During Blogoversary week last week, [which was so much fun, thank you], I announced a weekly Thursday feature that I'll be hosting here.

It's called Get To Know Thursdays: where I'll be showcasing some fantastic, funny, humor bloggers that I've been secretly, and guiltily, keeping to myself.

I'm going to be mature this new Blogging Year, and introduce you to them. Because it's the right thing to do. The world needs more humor.

This week's featured humor blogger  is TheSuniverse. 

And you'll have to get used to calling her TheSuniverse, because she prefers to remain Sunonymous. I wish I were funny enough for that to be my joke, but it's hers.

I followed Suniverse home from a tweet. [She's a lot of F.U.N. on twitter, you'll need to follow her @thesuniverse ]

She tweeted out this post.

With this post? Instant kindred spirits. She spoke a language that I understood. She spoke it like a long lost college girlfriend that would make me laugh hard enough for beer spit ups. Beer spit ups are good, people.

That post had me smiling for a long time, I thought I'd just go back again and revisit, whenever I felt the need for a good laugh. And, then, Sunny comes back at me with this one.

More guffaws and knee slapping from me, oh, yeah, I was serious about this girl now.I was following, I was RTing. I had stars in my eyes over that post.

Then, she moves in with the killer, and I'm just about to pack up and move across the street from her house.

All with this one.

I had already promised to love her till the day I die, and then she still seals the deal with this post on being assaulted by a bug and its eventual death at the hand of her boobs. Her.boobs. Oh, and this post on getting stuck on the phone with a longtalker. CanNOT miss that one.

What does TheSuniverse say about herself? Let her tell you, herself:

No sugar coating, just the real thing. And, as I said earlier, it's like finding that one college girlfriend you had, that you now miss so much. The one that would make you laugh hard enough for beer spit ups.

I love you, girl.

Stop over, say hi, and meet TheSuniverse. There's really no one out there like her. And, now, I don't have to miss my college friend anymore.

I introduce you to, TheSuniverse:

Because you would have asked me anyway

I tend to write more about myself and my crazy here than about anything else.  But I do have interests and opinions beyond worrying that I was allergic to the new pinconning cheese I picked up on the recommendation of my cheese lady [Of course I have a cheese lady. You don't have one? GET ONE!] to put in my mac & cheese and then not only not eating any of the mac & cheese, even though I forced myself to take a bite of the pinconning, which subsequently made me stand in the bathroom looking at myself in the mirror, staring diligently at my face to make sure that I wasn't swelling from an allergic reaction but which only made me realize that my features are lopsided so maybe I'm not allergic, I'm just a Harlequin mask . . . I have no idea where I was going with this [READ MORE HERE]  ....


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Your Child Talking

Have you thought of raising your child with a second language?

Do you want to raise your child with a second language, but think you can't?

Do you know of the benefits of exposing your child to a second language?

I'm over at Lori O's. exciting new language development website, Your Child Talking, with a guest post today on ways you can include a second language in your child's development. Even if you don't know a second language.

I hope you stop over, and talk to us about your concerns, questions, apprehensions, input, on this topic. Both Lori and I have degrees in Speech Pathology, and Lori is a currently practicing Speech Pathologist. We would LOVE to hear what you think.

Thank you!! See you there.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Farewell, Green Skirt --- or, The GiveAway Finale Post

Shake It Shake It Like It's Your Last Day
Did I milk this blogoversary or what??

You don't have to answer.  I know I did and it felt good. Real good.

I will miss this lady in the green skirt, but our time of celebrating is up. The blogoversary week is over.

But it was so much fun.

For the Grand Blogoversary Week Finale, we are going to Shake Shake It Good Bye Green Skirt, till next year. We will do it with a wonderful Grand Finale Giveaway.

The Giveaway prize up for grabs to one lucky commenter below will be:

I've had a truly wonderful week celebrating YOU, knowing you, meeting you, and having you in my life.

Thank you so very, very much, for a year that has been one of the sweetest ones in my memory.

I love you, all.

Now, leave a comment below to be entered in the giveaway-- I hope it's a lucky one. XO

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Final Installment -- When Someone You Love Has A Blog

The Sad, Sad Tale of Becky Blogger
The long overdue tale of Becky Blogger will finally be laid to rest today, in celebration of Blogoversary week.

We first met Becky in Part I, of the When Someone You Love Has A Blog Series. For Part I, Part II, and a  preemptive Post by Becky Blogger's husband,  the series can be found here.  

As promised, the final installment, Part III:  Re-introducing Your Blogger Back Into Society:

The sad, sad tale of Becky Blogger and BAD: Blogging Addiction Disorder.

Signs that  Becky's new :hobby:  had taken on a life of its own were only much too clear. Becky's husband could no longer ignore, or accept, Becky's excuses, for what was going down in their household.

The breakfast dishes were still wet to the touch when he'd arrive home in the evening, showing how they had they had just been done moments before he had walked in the door.  Dinner, one too many evenings this week, was the familiar bag of dumped out chicken nuggets intermixed with fries on the same, large sheet pan.

Becky's husband sighed as he hung up his coat, and went to search for the day's mail...the day's mail that should have been waiting on the kitchen counter, where it had always been for the last 15 years, but not since Becky had begun with her new :diversion: Upon seeing no mail in the house, he slowly pulled his coat back on, and walked out to the mailbox. He opened the mailbox, and saw the mail there, mail that had not been brought in. Again.  Becky's husband pressed his lips together into a thin line, with the "face." The "face" that meant, he had to become a man of action. 

Becky--a quiet, ordinary, mother of 2.5 children, living on a quiet, ordinary street in a not so extraordinary town, has BAD. Blogging Addiction Disorder. Her husband knows this, the children have hinted at it, and Becky...oh, Becky...there is no one more surprised than Becky, with what has happened to what she once knew as her life.

She openly acknowledges the physical symptoms of blogging: the pinched shoulders, a sore neck, strained vision.

She easily admits to playing beat the clock when it comes to getting the daily necessities of home life accomplished, such as dishes, dinner, grocery shopping, picking up the house, preparing classroom treats.

What she has kept hidden, and to herself, is the sneaking downstairs while everyone sleeps, to tweak and complete the last post she put up. How she asks her husband to take the children out for awhile so she can "really get this kitchen floor done right," only to run to the computer as soon as the door is closed behind them. She tells no one that her showers have become a wet, soapy rag that she quickly runs over her body, more than just a few times a week--in the hopes of being able to get on the computer faster. Becky is silent when her husband comes home at night, and asks, "so...what did you do today?" She stammers as she silently curses herself that she doesn't have an answer at the ready. "I..I..I, geez, well, the day just got away from me!"

Is this family doomed? Is this situation  hopeless?

The encouraging thing about BAD, blogging addiction disorder, is that Becky does NOT have to stop blogging. With a few pointers here, for Becky and her husband to follow, Becky can once again become a happy, guilt and anxiety free member of her household.

1. Becky can be taught to see Blogging as a PART of her life, but not as her whole life. 

For this change of perception, we must first find out what it is about blogging that feeds Becky. Is it the friendships? Is it the communication? Is she an alter ego in the computer world? Or has she become someone that is esteemed and valued, and listened to, when she is online? In order for Becky to trade in her hours blogging, her family, with the help of outside friends, may have to work to help Becky feel in the real world, what she felt in her virtual world.

2. Becky can be taught to change the habit by balancing the habit.

Becky needs a replacement activity or two--or three, depending on how deep she was in it. She will need someone to help her schedule outings, exercise, family bike rides, trips to the museum, lunches out with friends from her real life. She needs replacement activities in place of the time she spent in front of the screen. 

3.  Make Becky accountable for her time.

Yes, this does sound heavy handed, but this is what is needed as part of treatment. Becky needs to keep track of time on the computer, and to only use the computer after her daily minimum expectations are completed. That's how we have to roll with her during the intervention phase. This is the only way. Showers, full daytime clothing, dishes, errands, phone calls, all need to be done, before she can sign on. This is non negotiable.

4.  Just like matching dollars, Becky must match friends.

Becky must spend equal amounts of time with In Real Life People, as she does with her online people. Do not allow Becky to answer, when asked how she is, "Read my blog."  She has to make conversation.

5.  Acknowledge Becky's reasons, and allow her to be honest about them.

Blogging is wonderful for procrastination, and as avoidance for the mundane of bed making, and phone call returning, and dog walking. It's easier to blog than it is to exercise, or work on your dreams. It's easy to jump on behind the computer, when you have so many undesirable responsibilities like sorting the laundry, or organizing the Xmas ornaments in the basement, or going through the kids' closets,'re talking about Becky. Sorry.

6. You, as the partner in Becky's life, must help her to create and provide what she seeks.

Was she lonely? Was she getting companionship? Was she feeling a sense of belonging? Maybe blogging did that for her. (Hah! maybe??!! er, sorry. again.)

A happy life that is blogger and twitter reduced is possible. Yes, you will have to remove Becky from influences and situations that are a computer left on. You may have to watch her for the first 4-6 weeks, perhaps immerse her in another way of filling her time in the evenings.

BAD, when acted upon with love and family involvement, can result in Renewal and Rebirth.

Becky does want to regain control of her life again, but she does not want to give up all the loveliness of the blogging world.

Understand her, but don't confront her ways. Help her to improve her life. Your strength, plus her strength will equal OUR strength. Together, with friends and family, you can help re-establish and reintroduce Becky to In Real Life living. With people.

We leave you with this. Remember to: 

  • Find out what was missing from her life, that blogging was able to provide her with.
  • What played the role in sending her into solely blogging as her entire existence.
  • What will replace those hours that she had been spending in front of the computer? Without a replacement, the siren's call of the computer will once again be too strong for her to resist.

We are all in this together, and we are wearing our "We have been there" T shirts, right along with you.

If you do find yourself at wit's end? Meet us at the BAR (Blogging Addiction Recovery). My husband is usually there, heading up the meeting.
What is your B.A.D. confession? Leave it here, in your comment below.

Thank you, to all of you, for making this week such a happy one for me. I mean that.

Be sure to stop back for the last day, tomorrow: for the giveaway. You won't want to miss all the goodies that will go out to a lucky commenter. Fun Stuff!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Day 7 of the Blogoversary- Things I Learned From The First Year of Blogging

Day 7-- How did I ever live without her?
Day 7 of Blogoversary Week.

How ever did I live without this lady in the green skirt? She's my friend. (shuttup. I have attachment issues-- I have saved all my babies' toothbrushes.)

As much as I hate to see her go, it soon will be time to send her on her way. She has served me well this week. She'll be here yet to Shake It Shake it and announce the giveaway and to reveal the surprise post Saturday.

I felt that a celebration of one year of blogging needed a post on "What I've Learned In A Year of Blogging." When I began the draft of this topic, my notes filled 3 pages of my notebook.

Either I learned a lot, or I didn't know a lot.

You decide. No hurt feelings.


Blogging will take so very much more time in your life than you could ever imagine. So.Much.More.

Computer time is not the same as Real Time. One hour of computer time is equal to about 15 minutes in real time. Take into consideration all the freeze ups, load time, jumping across media: FB, twitter, your blog, other blogs, email, skype. Plan for that, and it'll reduce the stress of trying to get it all done.

You will talk to people you never dreamed you'd talk to.

You will become frustrated at how disinterested your non blogging friends are in your blogging existence. (", yeah, wow. 10,000 tweets?, right? I mean, that's good...right?")

You MUST get to know more experienced bloggers who will explain to you things like the "super nice" lady who keeps emailing you to ask if she can use your blog for a guest post on her felted purses that you're trying to remember just how and when and where you know her from, is really not a super nice lady looking to do a guest post on purses at all. No, she wants to use your blog as FREE ADVERTISING FOR HER PURSES. Especially when she "found" your blog right after you did a post on "Pursey Galore."  [Thanks, Lori...I can't believe I was actually emailing her back and forth with "Hi! Good to hear from you again!"]

Be prepared for public displayS of humiliation. DisplayS with a big S at the end, since there will be many. You will tweet yourself, you will thank yourself for the follow, you will send a DM instructing someone else that "see, this is a secret between you and me DM, cool, huh?" and it actually won't be a DM. You will have 500 people on twitter call your attention to it--they'll be like ants to a dropped popsicle. To tell you-- in case you didn't notice. That you sent a tweet and not a DM.

You will receive a negative comment, or two, along the way. The first one will kill you. The second and third ones, you'll just delete, and won't even flinch.

People around you will say the words "blogging addiction" like it's a bad thing. I think of it as "blogging connection."

You will gain the blogger butt. And I don't mean powerful glutes developed from long hours of sitting.

Don't let the size of someone's audience, number of comments, or accomplishments intimidate you. I'd guess that 70% --no, 80%--of the contact that I've initiated with established bloggers, has been returned.

You will LOVE the people that you meet from blogging.

You will be grateful for the opportunities and doors to friendships that blogging opens up for you.

You will LOVE blogging more than you could have thought possible.

You will wonder where all the stories in your head used to go.

Blogging will make you walk a bit taller, smile a lot more, and will strengthen you for life's battles with your secret online corps of friends that are very real.

You will become a more interesting person, who will know so very many little this and that things...just enough things to keep dinner conversation with your family flowing. And lively.

Do not determine the worth of a post based on whether it was comment heavy or not. You posted it because you had something to say. That is enough.

If you follow someone, and they don't follow you back, do not decide to unfollow them based solely on that.  Do you enjoy their blog? Does their writing make you smile? Does their writing push you to do more with your posts? Do you look forward to what they have to say? Do you learn something each time you visit?

If yes, then why stop? I have been following one blog, (actually, more like 4), commenting every time they  post, for a year now. I laugh every time I am there. I think these bloggers are exceptionally bright, clever, witty, and very talented.

They have yet to visit me, or reply back. Will I stop visiting them? No. I gain too much from my visits there. They make me a better blogger, plus, I'm a humor junkie...and they are among the best. Always delivering. Their comment counts tops out at 13. But, to me, they are Stellar.  I will keep following them. 

Do not be offended when someone you are faithful to visits you sporadically, but you see this blogger on a daily basis at other blogs. Even if they are your bloggy crush. Be a big girl and realize that this blogger has her daily favorites, and you may not be on that list of what she needs to get in that day. Or she has a relationship with the blogger she visits daily. Or she just doesn't have enough hours in the day. The point is: DO NOT take it personally. People don't purposely shun us, they have their agenda, their daily list of "must do" and "never miss."

Just like us.

Taste is subjective. We can't be everything to everybody. Some people will love us, some people will think we are only meh. You have to be Okay with that. Not everyone loves Benecio Del Toro [though I canNOT for the life of me ever understand that one.]

Make peace with that fact of life. Not everyone is going to be crazy about your blog. I've gone online and read community forums that call themselves "I Hate So and So Big Blogger." Now, this big blogger sees $850,00 a year from blogging and gets 20,000 comments per post... do you think she focuses on those that create an online group saying they hate her? Probably not.  You be the same. [not hate her, I mean, be grown up about it].

Make commenting easy. I'm sure lots of my comments have been lost because I don't go back and check if I did the word verification thing. I comment, hit publish, then X out. I NEVER go back and check if it went through. 

Respect your reader. Seriously. If you wouldn't want to read it, then DON'T POST IT.

Think about what you want to offer your reader. For me, it's companionship. I would like to think that I offer a place where a reader can come anytime they have a minute, like a short visit with a friend. Like a home where the backdoor is always open.

Don't think you're great because you get 25 comments and don't think you're not great because you get 0 comments. You are not your blog. Keep that reality in check...spend time, quality time, away from your blog.

Be who you are and embrace it. Laugh at your mistakes. I know I'm a dork and don't know a thing about a thing. So what.  

BE PATIENT. It takes a good year [and that year will go quickly, though it may not seem like it in the beginning]  before you start to see some solid direction in the kind of niche you have.

Have fun. Love what you're doing. Be grateful for the AMAZING people you've met. Celebrate that the internet came to be. Be happy that you have your very own little space in the world, to place your words in.

Thank you, all, I am grateful for you. You've made this week so wonderful for me!!
Still to come: just a few more days with my green skirted friend. A giveaway, and a Saturday surprise post.

THANKS for being here this week! I have really loved celebrating with you.


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