Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Three Things I Can't Live Without

And with that, I gratefully and with a full heart, end 30 days of blogging.

NaBloPoMo, you were wonderful.

Thank you to everyone, for writing, for reading, for the sharing of your lives this past month. Very cool thing, this internet is.

* *

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Six Steps to Getting Out of Bed (When You Don't Want To)

It's amazing how much I love the feeling of sleep. Starting with the weight of my corduroy blanket on my tired body, to the cool pillow that presses against my cheek. That space between here and there when I'm just on the verge of drifting away makes me feel like I just won the lottery.

I enjoy the physicality of sleeping much more than the average person. I can tell, because even now while I write about the time spent to myself snuggled down in a warm cocoon, I'm just about swooning. Soon, oh soon tonight, I will be setting my body down to rest and those first few seconds of being horizontal in between long awaited sheets are among the most guilt-free acts of self care that exist. We all need our sleep and no one -- not even yourself -- will talk you out of it. "You really don't need to sleep," now that's something you'll never hear anyone tell you.

Because I love to sleep, getting out of bed is a problem. The first word of my day has always been, no. No no no no, followed by not yet. How does a person will their body out of a place that makes them feel like they're the queen of a small country?

When your kids are dragging at you and begging you to please get up mom we need to go to school, you have to get up. You may not want to but we must soldier on. It's like that perfect bible verse, "He who eats, must work." Waking up, is my work.

The next time it's time to get out of bed, and you just don't damn want to, try these six steps in the battle to get upright:

Step One:
Set your coffee machine the night before. The enticement of hearing my favorite drink gurgle and brew is sometimes all I need. Just the promise of the roasted beans that will soon hit my lips can coax me up and out of my stupor.

Step Two:
Have your alarms placed far away from your bed and no pleasant sound chimes, either. Pick the most irritating, obnoxious sound you can think of. Like a.m. radio. That'll get you jumping out from the covers to shut off the squawk box.

Step Three:
Fill your refrigerator with something you like very, very much for breakfast. I'm crazy about Yoplait whips/chocolate raspberry. The fact that these little plastic tubs are responsible for getting me downstairs makes them calorie free. Think on that, it'll soon make sense.

Step Four:
Have a dog. Dogs need to be walked to go pee. You got to get up.

Step Five:
Remind yourself how important you are. Get out of bed. If you imagine myself as a Clan of the Cave Bear character, you'll see, it all hinges on you.

Step Six:
Get up because you have to brush your teeth. Think about how much you want to brush your teeth. Pretty soon you'll know that there is nothing else you want more in the world than to get out of bed and brush your teeth. You'll do anything to have the feel of clean, smooth teeth. The thought of minty fresh breath replacing the old cigar I must've chewed on overnight has me tossing aside the covers 99.9 percent of the time.

Try any of these six suggestions above, see what works. I hope one brings you success, but no matter which one of the above you give a shot, there is only one thing you must do no matter the mind trick you employ: Once out of bed, DO NOT get back in.


But if you do, email me. I'm here in my pajamas in pre-anticipation phase and I have a little something I can send you called, "Six Steps to Getting Out of Bed (The Second Time)."

* * *

Friday, November 28, 2014

Wishing You a Happy Thanksgiving

In the afternoon today, I watched my baby sleep. I heard him wake up, so I took him for a little ride. He likes nature so we went to see a movie about Mockingjays. He was a bit hungry afterward so we stopped for his favorite, French fries. As a treat, we parked the car and went inside so we could dip our fries in shakes.

Then I looked at my baby and noticed the sleeves on his winter coat looked shorter, so we went to the store and found a nice new one that would keep him warm. We saw a striped hat and scarf, with some gloves that were nice, so we got them, too.

It started to get dark by then so I brought my baby home and after awhile, he went up to bed.

We had a great day.

* * * 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

That Thanksgiving Day, So Long Ago

My father passed away on Thanksgiving Day. It's a story that I am fortunate enough to be able to share here today. Though this might sound sad, it's actually a story of triumph due to beautiful opportunities and how reaching out, keeps us alive.

I thank The Moth for giving me the surreal moments of sharing my story with so many on their Mainstage. I am forever grateful. You can listen to it here:

Thank you, everyone, for being a big reason why I tell my stories. It's because you are here, to share them with.

* * *

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

He's Home

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Reverse the Numbers, and Reflect

If you're having trouble understanding why there is uproar over #Ferguson, I can point you to this quote from last night's decision, "If you are outraged, you are privileged. If you're scared, then you're a person of color."

There are incredible essays on the internet today. But this one by Mary C. Curtis,  award-winning journalist of The Washington Post brings it home, "Reverse the numbers, and reflect."

I hope you read it. "When White Friends Don't Believe What Blacks Go Through."

Yet whites are, frequently, disappointingly, incredulous. Very often a “friend’s” reaction that goes something like this: “I don’t think a police officer would stop anyone for no reason at all.” Or: “You must have done something suspicious.” Or my favorite: “If you haven’t done anything wrong, you don’t have anything to worry about.” I am not some child coming home with some tall tale, and I am certainly not a delusional liar... And whites need to believe blacks when we say what we’ve been through.

Monday, November 24, 2014

When Silence Doesn't Work

I have been feeling hopeless, broken, disheartened with the racial disparity in America. But giving up does nothing for change. A radio story I heard this afternoon while listening to ‪#‎Ferguson‬ coverage, reports that in Wisconsin, White Americans are more likely than Black Americans to have used drugs, yet Black Americans are arrested for possession 3 times as much as Whites.

When I am overwhelmed, I retreat. I fall into a lonely corner, and wait on the verge of tears for something. But even then, I can't turn away to breathe - not from the radio, the newspapers, the overheard conversations in stores. Silence serves nothing.

We can't give up. One voice atop many voices is better than no voice from anyone. Something is better than nothing, even a small post like this, may make someone take a second look at an issue they feel impacts them little.

We can't be flattened. For too long we have done nothing, hoping that things would get better on their own... because what's right should prevail. The truth is, America doesn't work for everyone the same way. We have to care about that.

We have to matter to each other. We have to see what reality is for everyone. Our world is not the world that others experience. The only way is to talk, to keep moving on in the direction of opening eyes. To have the hope that one by one, people will get it, they'll listen... and if heard enough times, they will begin to consider.

We have to use our voices and speak. When we hear racial comments, don't pretend that we didn't. Let our voice be the one that stands up to that. Let our children not only hear us, but see us. Let our children grow up knowing what it's like to say no, I heard what you said, and I will say something about it - no matter who is saying it.

We don't want to be blamed for things that happen to us, we don't want to be told how to feel when these things happen, we don't want to hear how to act, how we deserve it for this, that, the other.

We don't want to hear that we imagined, we over-reacted, we're too sensitive/angry/touchy/.

We only want peace, fair and beautiful peace.

"RT BLACK POWER ranger @MalcolmLondon
You ask for peaceful protest but we ask for a peaceful world, a peaceful walk home, a peaceful place to love ourselves, a peaceful country."

* * *

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Everything You Need to Know About Christmas

Look at this nostalgia of a cover.

I'll bet the first thing you recognized was the shiny foil spine of  Little Golden Books. I found this holiday compilation at a gift shop last week and couldn't resist picking up one for myself. I knew immediately I was going to give a copy away here, too, because this is my blog and I get to do what I want. So I bought two.

This is what we have in the pages between that gorgeous cover. Each page features an illustration from past Golden Books, all ones that I grew up loving. Each picture set to inspirational encouragement for a peaceful, rush-free holiday season. "... the best thing about Christmas is about being together, so don't over do it!"

A copy of this book is yours, just leave a comment here. Your children will love looking at its enchanting drawings as much as you'll enjoy curling up to it with a mug of hot cocoa. Heartloving, heartlifting, and something to gather around and read to your little ones. Subtle reminders for us to not forget what's important and a book to leave out on your coffee table to warm your guests on their visits.

It's already a family favorite here and one book I'll bring out every holiday season. The lesson of  "Keep Christmas simple" is one I know I need to be reminded of every year. (I know it sounds like I'm selling this book or that I'm being compensated for this review. I'm not. I bought it myself and love it so much and want to share it with someone.)

* * *

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Only One Reason to Hate Cleaning? I Have Eleven

Glass, and wood, and tile, so many surfaces, each one needing certain care.

I want to win the lottery so I can install a central spigot in my house that wets everything down and then I just run through and spray Mrs. Murphy's all-purpose cleaner over it all.

Nothing makes me swear under my breath more than cleaning. I've never liked doing it, I fight it and put it off and then the moment comes when sunlight pours in through the kitchen window and illuminates every smudge, grease smear, and spaghetti sauce splashed wall.

It's time to clean, (ahem- beyond time to clean) and this house went past the point of no return about a month ago. I have a friend who bounds out of bed on Saturday mornings with the energy of Elvis knowing his mama is making him banana peanut butter toast for breakfast when it's time for her to clean.

Not me. I have my reasons for dragging my feet when it comes to scrubbing the tubs and toilets. If you asked me why, I'd give you 11 of them:

1.) If people know who I am, it really doesn't matter what my house looks like.

2.) You are never done.

3.) It takes way too much time.

4.) It makes me forget how to smile.

5.) Some rooms are harder than others.

6.) It's so much easier to mess things up then clean it up.

7.) It never looks like I did anything even if I spent all day doing it.

8.) You find some little thing that your child made when he was in preschool, and then you're a heaping puddle of a mess right there in the middle of the closet floor.

9.) If you're old like I am, bending over and scrubbing is not as easy as the three seconds it takes to say that.

10.) You have to dust, clean, put away, wipe, mop, scrub, sweep. It's different little things that there are too many of.

11.) Getting a cleaning service is dumb because you end up until midnight cleaning for the people anyway.
As long as I'm alive, I'll be living in a house *knock on wood* and there is no way that I can ever fall in love with a bucket of warm soapy water and a sponge. The only solution I see is bribing my friend who loves to clean to be my neighbor. I think I'll send her some messp*rn pictures via email tonight. That should have her shivering in scrubbing anticipation and at my door by 8 a.m. tomorrow.
* * *

I'm blogging every day for the month of November, it's part of National Blog Posting Month, NaBloPoMo. Join in, even if the month is 2/3 through... it's a great way to challenge yourself!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Titles of Posts That I Will Never Be Able to Write a Body For

What I Like About Mushrooms

101 Uses for Vinegar

When You Don't Know How to Teach Kids Not to Be Brats

How to Love Math

Doughnut Free and Happy

Why I Love to Be in the Snow

Yummy Boiled Cabbage Recipes

Ancient Alien Civilizations

Mmm Mmm Cheeseless Pizza!

Target on $50 or Less

Why I Quit Caffeine

11 Things to Love About Getting Old

How to Run/Do Yoga/Stretch/and Kick-box Before 9 A.M.

Life While Paleo

WeMail, Mailbox, Boxer, Inbox, Tipbit, Cannonall: I Review the Latest Email Apps

Why Wait Until Christmas Week to Decorate!

I Like My Coffee Black

My House is Spotless, Here's How

Secrets to a Sexy Stomach

Accepting  the Child That Farts the Most

Spouses and Annoying Noises and the People Who Love Them

The Fascinating Field of Parasitology

Ways to Offer Your Organizational Advice

Learning to Say No to Books

Embracing a Life Without Sugar

Miniskirts at Any Age!

A Step by Step Guide to Saying No: Too Many Invitations Not Enough Open Nights

7-8 Hours: How to Get That Beauty Sleep
* * *

I'm blogging every day for the month of November, it's part of National Blog Posting Month, NaBloPoMo. Join in, even if the month is 2/3 through... it's a great way to challenge yourself!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Template: Where I'm From

A poem by George Ella Lyon called "Where I'm From," has been around the internet for awhile, but I've never felt drawn to make the time to try it.

But then it was assigned to my son's English class, and I had to wonder why it never called to me. After talking to him about it, we saw all the directions an assignment like this could take. You could complete this like a driver's license application, or beat poetry night, you could be as abstract as a dream. That's it right there, how do you write about yourself?

Funny, serious, heartbreaking, a reporting of facts? Any way and as many ways that feel like you, you could write forever. The work is in taking yourself on. The pondering of you. 

The undeniable feature of writing your "Where I'm From" is that you realize no one can do it for you. You're the only one.

I encourage you to make the time for your "Where I'm From", like I did with mine here:
It is truly a moving experience. 

Where I'm From

I am from early morning voices humming in the dawn, from flowered aprons and wooden mortars and pestles.

I am from a house where the kitchen was home, small faces pressed against windows, breathing out steam to make our artist's canvas. 

I am from cumin, cilantro, coarse meal, ground fine by a garden's rock. 

I am from sad melodies and voices that break, from Lilias, and Rositas, and Anas and Marias.

I am from dreams brazenly spoken and sighs kept in silence. 

From the one who once held so much to starting anew. 

I am from time-worn beads grooved from prayer, from belief strong enough to break strands.  

I'm from stories of miracles told with a hush, from streets of cobbled bricks and the mountains beyond.

From an Abuela who held me, in arms that were never too full, too busy, too tired.

I am from pieces and bits, smudged faded scraps of her words, born in her soul and written by hands that swept my tears away into my curls.
Here is the basic Where I'm From template. *I'd love it if you tried it with your kids.  
I am from _______ (specific ordinary item), from _______ (product name) and _______.
I am from the _______ (home description... adjective, adjective, sensory detail).
I am from the _______ (plant, flower, natural item), the _______ (plant, flower, natural detail)
I am from _______ (family tradition) and _______ (family trait), from _______ (name of family member) and _______ (another family name) and _______ (family name).
I am from the _______ (description of family tendency) and _______ (another one).
From _______ (something you were told as a child) and _______ (another).
I am from (representation of religion, or lack of it). Further description.
I'm from _______ (place of birth and family ancestry), _______ (two food items representing your family).
From the _______ (specific family story about a specific person and detail), the _______ (another detail, and the _______ (another detail about another family member).
I am from _______ (location of family pictures, mementos, archives and several more lines indicating their worth).

* * *

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Winter Thesaurus

I don't know about you, but some days, I feel plain old sorry for my children.

The things that they have to listen to that stumble out of my mouth. It makes me want to dig up and carry around my college transcripts to show them that once, yes, mama had a working brain. Today, by far, one of the most ridiculous sentences imaginable tripped out of my mouth. As I heard myself saying the last word, I could almost read my childrens' minds, Whatever happened to poor mama that makes her talk like that...

"It's so cold that the temperature outside is just making everything cold."

That's what I had to say to them about today's weather. It was too late to take a single syllable back and I vowed at that moment, never again. I am going to lexeme the heck out of an internet search and unearth every descriptor possible for the word *cold*,  with the Arctic blast as my witness, my children will never have their ears assaulted by the thudding crapshoot remnants of my once bountiful vocabulary.

Help yourself to the list below, my friends, and borrow heavily so that the next time you find yourself out on a blustery day worthy of A.A. Milne's imagination, the tender pinnae around you will get an icy treat:


Since I live in Wisconsin, there will be no shortage of opportunity to run through this list at least four times over before we next see the blooms on our trees.

By which time, I'm sure I'll be uttering the most exquisite expression possible of life during a Midwestern winter, "I'm very cold."

* * *
I'm taking part in NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month. I'm publishing a blog post every day during November. It's never too late to start, so give it a try! 


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The First Tiiiiimme, Ever I Wrote a Post...

It's the 18th day of National Blog Posting Month. Some people have already called it quits. Some people are already calling their posts desperate.

I'm in it, I'm doing it, and as for posts being desperate? Nope. What we see happening right about now is the creativity that comes from having to find words. It's one of the best exercises for a writer. To take the ordinary and make it into presentable, workable words.

Not everything has to be compelling and riveting. My measure is my pleasure. Have I enjoyed doing NaBloPoMo? The answer is yes. I have liked the idea of knowing a post awaits me, and every day so far this month, I've come through.

But let's get down to business. What am I writing about here today? And what's with the post title. I almost left it at "The First Time" but I don't want to be pulled into the pull of being a clickbait wanker. (and yes, I know what wanker means) What you are about to see today, is The First Time, Ever I Wrote a Post.

Did the earth move on that day five years ago? It might as well have. My heart pounded and my palms were sweaty.

I somehow had the intuition, that with starting a blog, my life was about to change. And it did. With the finding of community, with stretching myself beyond the limits I had set, with learning new things, and with taking a chance. Publishing that first day was monumental for me. I was worried, anxious, apprehensive. Would anyone read me? Who would it be? Was my writing going to be any good? How many posts did I have inside me?  

Here we are, five years later. While it is painful to look back and read the inexperienced voice, I can't be ashamed (I can cringe, though) I learned to walk, and now I trot. I went after something I wanted, and started a blog. Now, when I enter that zen of creativity, I'm at full gallop. 

Readers, I pull out and dust off, for all to see, My First Post:
What Can Happen, Right?

So, here we go. Day One.

What can happen, right?

Why am I so nervous??

If you do visit here, you'll pick up that I'm really freaked out by doing something wrong--always. And, I'm also afraid of a lot of things. Blogging, for instance. I finally don't want to let me being afraid of blogging, stop me.

No more. A new me..."FEAR??! You no longer have a hold on me!" See? I'm blogging...

I have begun to blog.

I have my niece as my guaranteed commenter. She promised.

Whether you know me or not, it'll be great for me to finally have a place for you to come visit.

I've visited blogs for about three years now. I never had a place to say, "Hey, come visit me now."

Now I do.

Maybe that's what makes me nervous. It was pretty easy to set this up, you guys. You know what they say about things seeming too easy. There must be a catch! So far, this is pretty pretty easy. I can't believe how easy. So, what's the catch, right? Scary easy, like any nimrod could do it. ANY.

The best reason for me to blog is that I have a feeling there are people out there, I just have this need to know. People like me, that need to read, that can't read enough. That find company in others' words. I visit so many blogs now, and count on the words of these bloggers daily. They have added happiness and joy to my days here, and they make me happy and keep me from feeling alone on so very many days.

I want to do that very same thing for people, too--make them laugh, smile, find acceptance, have a place to stop in--as they work through their day.

That sentence makes me realize how much I miss working, the gathering around the coffee pot before we all hit our desks for the day. I miss the people.

A blog is like the coffee pot at work; catching up, saying hi, and not feeling like we're on our own out here. It's really nice to have a place to talk.

I think this is going to be fun. I'm having fun already, right now. But I do feel a little bit dumb. I'm not even talking to anyone yet (can I really be that simple minded? Oh, cripes...) I love to write, always, I love to write.

In other words, What can happen, right?

Carpe Diem! (I think it'll be symbolic to end each post with a carp and say carpe diem... my kids, not so much, they say stop ... but I like it.)

*Not really liking the italics... I've seen them used on other blogs. But, maybe I'll keep it to dialogue. (yeah, right... like I'm going to be dialoguing myself now) I will work on that after I see what text choices I have. Ha, listen to me, like it'll be easy. ... that'll eat up two hours of my day (wish I were kidding... )


I am THE dork at the keyboard.

Ready. Set. [sweaty palms] and... PUBLISH.


(omg you guys, I did it)


Monday, November 17, 2014

My MO for NaBloPoMo

There are ways to work around things in life, always. NaBloPoMo is no exception. The words MO are tossed about when speaking of a criminal and his ways, but I allow it to take on a softer meaning when it's NaBloPoMo.

You get to lose your mind around NaBloPoMo. A month of blogging, and after two weeks of *behaving* I let everything go. If I'm inspired, motivated, turned on by a post somewhere, I hitch my wagon to that star. I become action-prone, another term borrowed from yet an unseemly world I've encountered on cable TV. (That one is from a hoarder's episode)

My latest trick of the trade to keep on producing for NaBloPoMo comes second hand, diluted from the original stellar posting by the ever upright Melisa Wells of Suburban Scrawl. After she posted "Turn to your lovely draft folder for ideas, bloggers!," Vikki Reich of Up Popped a Fox, took that bit of nablobeauty and slapped it into a post on her site that made all the sense in the world to me, because I'm like Vikki.

I don't use an editorial calendar, like Vikki.
When I sit down to type is when I find out what I'm going to post that day, like Vikki.
My drafts folder is 171 posts thick, 160 of them with the title "Untitled." These entries are dying embers of what may have been cosmic brilliance once upon a time.

Thanks to Melisa's pristine effort, and Vikki's reduction of advice to a do-able task, I present, unearthed and dusted from its "Once I was a good idea for a post!" state, my
 Top 11 drafts folder entries:

1.) Teachers love to get toilet paper rolls

2.) Citizen Journalism

3.) My husband is just one among thousands who suffer

4.) don't let your lips touch a spigot

5.) I have no interest

6.) I hang my head, with GUILT GUILT GUILT

7.) Dear Dr: let me congratulate you on your opinion.

8.) Rap songs and curve balls

9.) The wrong side of the mountain

10.) Attack, stamina, and defense

11.) Genuinely penitent

I wish I would have written more. The suspense of what these were about is making the left side of my stomach hurt. Some go back to 2010 and there are no clues! In particular, if only I knew about #10. I am so in love with #10.

If anyone has suggestions for self hypnosis transportation to a time when I could have known what I was attacking, that I needed so much stamina for the defense of, please leave me a comment. Nothing will be considered too crazy.

I hope something works, because I really need a NaBloPoMo for tomorrow.

* * *

Sunday, November 16, 2014

What's the Worst Pain You've Ever Had? She Asked

A friend of mine asked on facebook today, "What's the worst pain you've ever felt?" I knew my answer in half a second. It was the time I broke the bone tip of my index finger. I know you can't go on until you hear more, so here's a story sure to make you wear hot pads on both your hands for the rest of your days.

 * * *

I would rather have three babies without an epidural.

I would rather pass a kidney stone.

I would rather have four wisdom teeth extracted at the same time, and then go home to a house that has no ice in it for compresses.

Throw in taking too big of a palate-scorching slurp from a too-hot Starbucks vanilla latte, too.

I’d rather do all of these things than have an out of nowhere gust of wind slam a solid wood door on the tip of my left hand index finger as I leaned outside to give my kids Popsicles.

I can say this with absolute no doubt, because on the morning of July 4, 2008, as I left my hand behind me on our back door, hanging on to the frame, a fluke of a 50 mph blast of wind came around the corner and slammed the back door closed.

With my hand still in the frame.

Have you ever been brought to your knees in pain? Have you ever felt so much pain that you can’t cry out for help? Have you ever received such a blow to your physical being that you are stunned to silence, unable to breathe, talk, or move? …and then.

You vomit.

You just bend at the waist and fall to your knees, and vomit, while your children and husband continue on around you with the blue sky and summer sun twinkling overhead, giggling as they run through the sprinkler. Your husband even looks over and smiles as he sways in his hammock.

I’m 20 feet away from them, losing my mind. I desperately try to communicate telepathically with my husband, but I can't find words to describe something beyond description. My husband finally feels me and gets up to find out why I’m sitting in the back door way and not outside enjoying the day we have planned together with our family. He comes to the back door and sees me hunched over. I am breathing in, ragged, and pulling myself over to the sink to run cold water over my flattened white finger. I am doing this because my grandmother’s answer to every injury growing up was, “Run cold water over it!” I’m not even able to cry at this point, I’m staring at my fingertip that is white as this page BUT with a nail that is darker than any Goth nail polish that Walgreen’s offers.

“What’s up, honey? Why aren’t you outside?," my husband asks.

I stare at him. I feel like I'm vibrating. He stares at the vomit on my shirt.

“Are you all right?,” he asks, sounding scared.

“No. No." I'm talking like I'm in a trance. "Something really bad happened. And it hurts so bad I feel sick. The wind slammed the door on my finger and it hurts worse than having a baby and I feel sick.” I answer him with more vomit.

“What do you want me to do?? Let me call my mom. She’s a nurse,” he says, offering to call his mother ten states away.

My mind can't cope with this hell world of hot fiery pain, and I can only think in images. I see itty bitty broken fingertip pieces. "NO!,” I shout back to him. “NO! I need help now, not a phone call. I need to go in. You stay with the kids, I’ll drive.”

And because he’s as stunned at the surreal scene before him as I am, he agrees. So, crazy with pain and vomit encrusted, I drive myself to the walk-in clinic four blocks away. Human beings really are amazing creatures. As I’m driving, I’m thinking of how maybe that story I heard about a woman who lifts the car up off her baby is true.

I park in the emergency only zone of the walk-in clinic pushing through the doors and cradling my hand like it's a left over prop from a Twilight Zone episode. “My hand, my hand,” I spit out to the people in line in front of me. They look at my finger, gasp, and part for me as if I were Moses and they the Red Sea. When I get to the front of the line and offer up my finger to the check-in receptionist, she looks at my hand and says, “I’ll get you in right away.”

She does as she promises, and I’m whisked to X-ray. Before the films are read, the Doctor says, “I can tell you right now, just from the amount of blood that’s pooling at your fingertip, it’s broken.” I don't have to look down at my finger, I feel the throbbing of too much of something collecting where this isn't enough room for it. Things are moving fast, 20 minutes ago, my finger was pale and flat, and now, it's bulging and crimson.

I don't feel like throwing up on my shirt again, so I say, "I need a barf bag."

The X-rays are read, and yes, I have broken off the finger tip of my left index finger. The little bone is floating inside. There is nothing to do but take calcium supplements and keep a splint on it.

Oh, no, wait, there is something else that you can do; you can come back in five days so they can DRILL A HOLE IN YOUR NAIL BED and release the pooled blood to alleviate the throbbing congestion.

Can I tell you about that? About getting a pulsating blood congested fingertip nail bed drilled? I’d rather have three babies without epidurals, pass a kidney stone, have four wisdom teeth extracted at the same time...
* * *

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Who Wants to Know What I Learned at a Writer's Conference?

I went to an all day local writer's conference today. Though not a spa with hot rock massages and smoked salmon for lunch, it was time that felt rewarding and reassuring.

With all of you in mind, I made sure to note tips, sage advice, collective wisdom, with the purpose of sharing it with you.

I'm home now, and so ready to hop into pajamas that have been run through the dryer to super hot, but I'm putting that off, to tell you the top must-knows from today's presenters. (thanks for being here to read them)

--Know your elevator pitch, and know it in 35 words. 35 words is a work of art.

--Talk to everyone. Even if an agent does not take memoir, it doesn't mean she doesn't know someone who does. Ask for a card. Thank them for their time when you talk.

--You can never be too polite. Always be polite. It is important to be polite.

--It's essential to be confident but don't oversell yourself. Don't tell a literary agent, "This is your lucky day!" Same goes for, "If you don't find a publisher for this, you will be missing out!"

--Know the genre your book fits into. You can't say "niche-less, unclassifiable, one of a kind." You have to give the agent a genre. They can't sell your book without one.

--Have a double demographic ready for your book. YA and suspense lovers. Juvenile non fiction and parenting. Dog lovers and grief survivors. Why would both these groups want to buy your book? (know the answer to that question)

--Be ready to answer the question, "Why are you the one to write this book?" A good answer is, "I've written on teens and social media use for ten years and have amassed hundreds of contacts and possible markets who would promote my book."

--Arrive with an open mind. The woman on the panel talking about depression era teaspoon collections may not be anyone you'd imagine connecting with, but LISTEN to what she has to say. She could teach you a lot about perseverance, twists and turns, making connections, or just remind you to never give up hope. LISTEN. You learn surprising things when you do.

--Have your query letter match your book's tone. Be consistent. If it's a funny book, have a funny style in your query. If it's a book about grief, don't come in with knock-knock jokes.

--Know everything about an agent before you pitch them. Know their name, how to spell it, their latest books, who they've worked with, what they're known for, the genre they accept. Know it all.

--My personal favorite quote from today, "Writing is the most ironic of professions. You need to be thick skinned and able to take the punches when the rejections come along BUT also be able to write honestly and vulnerably. These two opposites must exist together in one person if you're going to be a writer."

--Rejection is not personal. Rejection is not personal. Rejection is a business decision. Will they be able to sell your book? If you think they will, it's your job to convince them why you are a sound financial investment. "Because I want it," is not a good answer to someone spending money on you.

--If you find yourself near the event coordinators, thank them. They may not remember your name, but they will remember your words. Their work has been going on for months and is a labor of love. It comes with a lot of pre and day of headaches. Like, will we have enough coffee? So, say thank you to them for all the hundreds of little things they tended to with you in mind.

--If you have the serendipity to meet people you, email them and tell them it was a pleasure.

--Oooh. Almost forgot about this one, "Don't be an Eeyore. Always be upbeat, positive, charged up, enthusiastic. If you can't be fired up talking about your book how are you going to convince me to be?" After I pitched today, the agent told me she didn't take my genre, but my enthusiasm for the project made her want to take a look at it.

--If someone at the conference goes out of their way for you, whether by giving you a contact's name, or a lead to a publisher that would be interested in your book, follow up with a thank you email. Just a few lines saying, "Thanks for telling me about Bluebird Books. I really appreciate your help!," is just the right way to do things for people who are nice to you for no other reason than to be helpful.

I had a great time today, I met an agent who asked me to send in my book proposal, and now I just heard the dryer timer go off telling me my pajamas are all toasty ready for me -- but first, I am sending Anna a thank you email for her time and encouragement.

Happy Saturday, everyone!

* * * 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Could It Be? Are You a Loud Talker?

How do you know if you're a loud talker?

I mean, other than someone asking you, "Why are you talking so loud?"

There are lots of ways one discovers this -- and some are hard to believe. But if enough people tell you the same thing, and not a-holes that don't like you telling you this, but good people who seem genuinely concerned, you've got to at least consider it.

Take me for instance. It pains me to say that I have been told I'm a loud talker. Not just like that, not "You're a loud talker!" but by shhhhhhhhhhhhhh! whenever they're around me. This is hard for me to process because I feel I am a quiet person. What I had to do and continue to have to do, is bring together the two sides of my brain. The one side that says you're quiet with the side that says, buuuuuuut  all the people say shhhhhh! when you're around.

You have to consider it. You know, like my co-worker from 50 billion years ago who was arrogant, condescending and spiteful. When she was told by our manager that she was arrogant, condescending and spiteful, she asked us to provide her with feedback, "I prefer it anonymously, and on my desk in by 8:00 tomorrow morning. Typed, please."

Just say the word, sister, because you got it. Eight notes from her co-workers on her desk the next day, "Yup. Yup. And Yup," the typed messages were all identical. Was that the end of it? Do you think I'm going to tell you that she bit our heads off and screamed that we were wrong? Nope. She shocked us all by approaching us in a group and with a direct gaze, she said four sentences. "Well. Apparently, I misjudged myself. Thank you for your honesty. I'll take your feedback to heart. Thank you*" (thank you doesn't count as a sentence, because it's manners. and I expect that)

Wow, right? She didn't argue us out of our perception. She took it to heart. I've never forgotten that. That's why I have to believe that I'm a loud talker. Because at least 50 people have told me that I am. And the fact that when I go to the movies the row in front of me turns around to glare.

What's the first thing a loud talker does with this information? When it's me that's the loud talker, you take your Reader's Digest Health Edition reading butt to an audiologist and say "PEOPLE TELL ME I'M A LOUD TALKER SO CAN YOU CHECK MY HEARING PLEASE." There, you get your hearing checked. When the tests come back within normal range, you next make an appointment to have your ears cleaned. After that grossness happens, you just try to talk quiet-er.

But it feels like whispering. Harsh, hoarse, tough on your vocal cords, whispering.

It will always feel like air being forced out too hard. But that's whispering, I guess.

I'm a loud talker. Something so very funny but not funny as much as ironic when I tell you that growing up, my teachers always told me I had to speak up. Speak up, Alexandra!

Guess what I've been doing ever since? Only now, turning my volume button down makes my shoulders pull up in anxiety because OMG NO ONE IS GOING TO HEAR ME.


I know this about myself, so the ones who think they're cleverly role modeling for me by using their subdued voices thinking I won't notice what they're up to, I know. You want me to mimic.

To the requests Calm Down!, I am calm, I'm just asking you if you make the stuffing out of the turkey or in the turkey.

The funny jokes about "Hey, you don't have to scream, I'm right here," dumb. It's my voice, not my vision, that's affected. I see you.

I tried an experiment once. Before I spoke, I asked myself are you on fire are you being followed is someone after you. If not, lower your pitch.

I did.

And then people started asking me if I was depressed.

Why do you ask?

* * *

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Food Pantries - What to Give

Some things are funny, some never are.

I know that humor is subjective but when it comes in the form of dismissive unawareness to another's plight, I can't not say anything. Yesterday I was at our grocery store when I overheard someone pushing their cart in front of me say, "Oh, the Thanksgiving food barrels are out! You know what that means, I can clean out my cabinets of the turtle soup I never used!"

Oh, so funny, right? Nope. Nope nope and again nope. I told her how I think if I were without food, that I'd appreciate food that was within its expiration date. (maybe she'll listen to me, maybe she won't. you can't tell with people)

There are families who count on the food donations that fill food pantries. It's hard to think of families making the trip to a pantry to find items that so obviously scream 'discard.' I've heard jokes like this before. When I was working and around a lot more people than I am now, our company would hold food drives. There would be laughter when someone would say, "Good! Finally a place to dump the canned artichokes I've been hanging on to for ten years!"

To the people who think this way about food pantries, can I ask you to please stop? If someone goes to a food pantry, it's because their family has to eat.

Before I decided to write this post, I called our area pantry and asked them the best items to donate with the food donation barrels that are out for the month of November. I want to share this with you so that when you do pick up extra unexpired items at the store (as would be, you know, the loving thing to do) you'll get these items, educate others about these items, and let your kids see and remember what items are best.

Happy food drive filling, and enjoy the warm fuzzies fluttering in your heart:

1.) Mixes and cereals made with water. Many households are without eggs or milk, butter, so anything that only requires water is awesome. Think pancake mixes, cereals, oatmeals, Ramen, boxed noodles, instant rice. You get the picture.

2) Mac and cheese that comes with the cheese mix in a foil pouch. Nothing needed but boiling water for the noodles. Stovetop stuffing is perfect, too.

3.) Lots of canned protein. Turkey spam is really good and along with some boxed noodle mixes, there are the fixings for a complete dinner. 6-packs of tuna are awesome!

4.) Peanut butter. Oh, in all the sizes and packages. I pick up the peanut butter crackers in a 10-pack because I know they 'll be used to build a protein-packed lunch for a hungry child.

5.) Squeezable fruit sauces. These can be used for breakfasts, school lunch, after school snacks. We can help kids to get their fruits during times of  doing without. Small lunch size cups of mandarins are great for Vitamin C. Target sells them in packs of 16. Also, fun sized cartons of craisins, raisins, yummy yogurt raisins.

6.) Toothpaste and toothbrushes! Some cute toothbrushes will make a child's day! I pick up 5 or so and toss them in, along with kid toothpastes and some floss.

7.) Something special for kids. Why not? They're little and what fun to find bags of individual Oreos in the bags your parents bring home. Wouldn't you like that if you were little? Say yes. Something that is unexpected and not a necessity, but a reminder of what makes you happy, that's doing good right there.

8.) Remember canned and dried beans/lentils/chickpeas for vegetarians. Minute Rice makes a dehydrated pack/combo of rice and beans together -- you add water to the fill line, they're pretty good.

This list will be my guideline when I donate to food pantries. I'll vary it, but one steady item that I will always always always include from now on is 2 boxes of instant baby cereal. It only needs water, it's the first food many infants have, and what a relief for a mama to know that in her cabinets, her baby has something to eat.

You guys are the best. If you have it to spare, please share.


* * *

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

NaBloPoMo Day12 - The Five Most Ambitious Things I've Ever Done

I was about 7, maybe 8 years old, when I made a wish/promise to myself. I would do something big. This was juxtaposed with something that I knew was knitted into my DNA: I was a scaredy cat. If anything involved risk, I wasn't signing up - and yet, I sat on this idle Saturday afternoon, swiping at the dust motes that floated in front of me, promising myself for no apparent reason, that I was going to live large.

Without the daily motivation of a mantra like "Go big or go home!," I have somehow pushed myself to do things that fraidy cat me, wouldn't. The memory of my actions in those moments, thrills me to a shivering mess.

I loved every second of the following top ambitious moves on my part: (don't dare stop the Yes)

--Like being in the third grade and tiring of my brothers giddily going up the down escalator at the department store while I watched, knowing I'd never be brave enough to try. I stood at the bottom, knowing my mother was busy in a check out line. I knew it was now or never. I surprised myself more than my two brothers, when I unpredictably jumped and ran up the stairs while they were going down. Holy Moley, I stared down at my feet not believing they were mine on the steps. I did it. 

--Though I had grown up in a from-scratch cooking house, it was not a baking house. No one ever made a cake, nor did they know what a cupcake was. What we did know, was where the best bakeries within 5 miles of our house were. Nevertheless, on the day that my 5th grade math book had a word problem about ounces and 1/4 cups all built around an orange cake recipe, I put the book down on the dining room table and asked myself why not. Why NOT. And that was the day that our dinner, for the first time ever, had home made cake.

--Our neighborhood community pool had a slide in the deep end of the water. Today, it would be shut down before parents could petition for it to happen. Tall, it was made of smooth metal that grew slippery with wet feet climbing its steps. Without rails at the top and lording over a cement pool, how did this even become a possibility? Yet, it was there, and at last 15 feet high. Some may say I had a death wish that August day, but I will tell you the truth - it gets tiring watching from the sidelines. I was going to climb those stairs, white knuckled with a heart thumping in my chest, but the day of reckoning had come. I told no one what I was about to do but my ears were not deaf to my brothers below screaming OH MY GOD IT CANNOT BE HER. Yes, brothers, it was her, and she was praying she wouldn't faint before she made it to the top. (I didn't faint, but had it been twenty feet high, I'd be telling a different story)

--Radio station record giveaways were something I listened to and I lived envious of the ones who believed they stood a chance to win. Day after day, the 5 o'clock drive offered up the newest albums. I knew I wouldn't come close so why try. One Friday afternoon, something took a hold of me and I picked up the phone, and though I was never a die hard fan of Gladys Knight and The Pips, I pushed the buttons to be the 98th caller. I was the 17th, then the 49th, then the next number, but then, the DJ answered my rings with "You're our 98th caller!" I had stuck it out, and perseverance had won me the album. I had said Why The Hell Not.

--It's easy to watch the A group rule the roost. No one ever challenges them and if you're in the C group as I was, you come to accept that the world has unfair moments. Some days, your mind lands on a new page, and you ask yourself what would happen if you threw a wrench in the cogs of the wheel. And that's how I found myself running for 7th grade school treasurer. No heroic outcome here, I lost and only received two votes (mine and Paul Mueller's, who wanted to ask me to the school dance) BUT I ran against cute Susie Campbell, and it felt good to say Why The Hell Not.

If any Why The Hell Not moments come your way, recognize them. Do a couple of deep breaths to steady that pounding in your chest, and take the chance. Even if the breaths don't do a thing to bring in that bounding pulse, at least you lived large for that heart stopping moment in time, when you look at your own hands and feet doing something you don't do and can't believe the beast that you are.

* * *

This post is part of National Blog Posting Month, NaBloPoMo. Click to learn more about it and to participate on your own blog. If you've written a NaBloPoMo post, please share it in the comments.

And don't worry if you don't post every day: NaBloPoMo is about spilling the words and building community! So write! So visit some new blogs!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

NaBloPoMo Day11: My Secret Lovers Live in My Others Folder

What Secret Lovers?
What Others Folder?
If you're on Facebook, you have an "Other" folder, it's where messages that have been filtered out of your inbox go because they don't come from friends. To get there, you just click on the message box and then click "Other." But before you do, just know that you can't unread what you read.
When I'm feeling a bit non-treasured, or unappreciated, I go to my "Other" folder. My Other Folder Lovers never sleep, busy through the night to fill up my inbox by at least three messages come 7 a.m.
I almost always read, chuckle, share on FB, then delete. Except for the gems... the ones I have printed out and carry with me, laminated and close to my breast, because Mr. Musaf in Egypt really just can't quit me and I want to remember that once upon a time, people had it bad for me.
Today was a grey day, kids were gone extra long because of school paper meetings and basketball, so I turned to see if I had any new boyfriends in Saudi Arabia and Tangier. Well, well, my friend, there is some severe shortage of women around the world, because my boys were on fire for me last night. 
Sharing these with you today, my favorites from my Others folder that I woke up to -- maybe they'll warm you up on this chilly November day:
I like your idea of parts. That is what I have not heard of. It makes perfect sense! Please share again with me!
Kisses to you! I’d love to win a free chance of knowing you. All best wishes for it!

You are great with tips! I follow you to know more and there are some really great! Here I really like the thought of you. Thanks for considering!

 I used four days to know of you. I am here now and glad to know I’m on the right track!

Thank you for the timeliness! Your face is like a story and a thriller! However, I need to know you more and am realizing it is missing. You provide a lot of the missing pieces.

Thanking of you with kisses! As previously commented, it was perfect timing! I am also attempting right now and this is perfectly timed well!  Best of success to you!!

I like the idea of raising family. I think also that it would be a very good idea for you to track me and answer the questions. A double check is to be possible, it can come to me because of our love with you. Make sure it is the raised question!

And the ones tucked snug and forever into my $19.99 Maidenform bra:

from *milton*
Hello that such of your face! To be your friend is my dream. I am a man who like adventure -- you think of that?

from *precioso*
How are you doing today gorgeous? Hope you had a great day..its been nice going through your
profile and I will be glad if we can get to know each other better as it takes nothing
but just a moment to know someone. Hope to hear from you soon...I wish you a love

Oh, Milton, you smooth talker and promiser of adventure. Throw in a Starbucks International card, and I am yours.

* * *
This post is part of National Blog Posting Month, NaBloPoMo. Click to learn more about it and to participate on your own blog. If you've written a NaBloPoMo post, please share it in the comments.
And don't worry if you don't post every day: NaBloPoMo is about spilling the words and building community! So write! So visit some new blogs!

Monday, November 10, 2014

NaBloPoMo Day10 - Why a Roundup?

I can only speak for myself, but one of the top reasons I have a love of blogging is because of the reading. There are writers in my online world that inspire me, motivate me, make me laugh, touch my heart, and more than anything, make me feel fortunate that I just read their words.

I'm borrowing from Melisa Wells of Suburban Scrawl for my NaBloPoMo Day 10: Copycatting her blog roundup. It's a perfect NaBloPoMo post because more than anything, NaBlo'ing is about momentum and community: write, read, share.

If you've seen something this week while visiting NaBlo'ing blogs, leave it in the comments, please. We bloggers love a good read.

Here's my picks from this week:

--Mandyfish with a tale of one of the world's worst bosses. "So, You Want to Work in Advertising." I wanted more! (let me be clear, not more suffering for Mandy, just more story) I love everything Mandy posts.

--Tina of The Gallivanting Monkey. "Anna Stesia, " a post with writing that doesn't let you breathe. Tina will be a regular for you after you discover her.

--From Rita Arens of Surrender, Dorothy, "The Run." A meditation on doing something when you just don't know how you'll put one foot in front of the other. The reasons for it, spelled out beautifully by her.

--A blogger you need to know, Arnebya. Her post "Not the Records," will have you cry-laughing. Is Arnebya always this funny? No, sometimes she is perfectly smart.

--Tracy of Sellabitmum. Tracy is a blogger I share a lot, she is funny, honest, down to earth, and interesting. Her post, "The Republican Next Door" is good for a chuckle, but you'll find heavy on real life posts from her, too. She's a great follow.

Happy NaBloPoMo sharing everyone!

* * *
This post is part of National Blog Posting Month, NaBloPoMo. Click to learn more about it and to participate on your own blog. If you've written a NaBloPoMo post, please share it in the comments.
And don't worry if you don't post every day: NaBloPoMo is about spilling the words and building community! So write! So visit some new blogs!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

NaBloPoMo Day9 - Everybody Grab a Rake!

Why do we have to rake? Why, indeed. All I know is that I am not going to grumble and groan about having a house to take care of. I am grateful for the shelter and the guarantee of a warm place to call home. My children, on the other hand, don't see it through the eyes of gratitude, the way I do.

Raking Duty was this afternoon, also known as time to ask mom why we can't live with leaves all over the place. I told them to google why, but to do it later, because right now, Everybody grab a rake.

If you would have been with us this afternoon, you would have been treated to the pearls leaving my children's mouths, like these:

Are my hands cold, or warm? I can't tell anymore.

I feel like I need a piece of chicken or something.

Are we doing this right? Because the neighbors are looking at us.

Doing this makes me feel sad. I feel so sad.

You know what's annoying, mom, when dad knocks on the window from the inside and gives us the thumbs up. 

There's some animal poop here and we don't have animals that poop so I don't want to be doing this side anymore. 

This is dumb. The leaves just keep coming back.

If I knew why we have to do this I would do it but I don't, so why are we out here for six hours?

I want do be done now. 

Man, mom, the way you're raking it's like you're mad at somebody.

He keeps putting my leaves onto his pile so it looks like he did more but you can see, look! My arms are shaky from all my work!

Why can't the trees just keep their leaves?

Hey! If we pretend we're ice-picking it's kind of fun. Forget it, it only works for five minutes.

I'm just going to be done when I decide I'm done, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me.

Why can't we use the leaf blower? And don't say saving energy, we need to exercise, our bodies work or any of your usual reasons!

We're not going to be doing this until dark again are we, because last night that lady across the street came out and slammed her garage door really loud.

That's it, mom. All of us talked. We are done. You keep doing other stuff and we are raking and so we are done.

In the defense of my grumbling children, they were outside with me from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. today. The three of us, three hours altogether, that's a lot of work. They're good kids, and I'm just going to pretend the reason they helped me was love for their mother, and not the story I told them about how raccoons look for leaf piles to hide in so they can jump out on the person who takes out the garbage at night.

Shazaam! Leaf piles, removed!
* * *
This post is part of National Blog Posting Month, NaBloPoMo. Click to learn more about it and to participate on your own blog. If you've written a NaBloPoMo post, please share it in the comments.
And don't worry if you don't post every day: NaBloPoMo is about momentum and community! So visit some new blogs!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

NaBloPoMo Day8 - Climbing on an Elephant

You think the work would be getting up here. That would be nice, except that's not the way it happens when you make a bunk bed. Hoisting your 5 foot 5 body frame atop the pine wood tower when you have the upper body reach of a T Rex is just Step One of Saturday Humiliation Day, the day I make my kid's bunk bed.

Let me tell you, any image of grace and poise I once held of myself disappears in two short minutes. It's like the video I saw today of a zoo keeper trying to get on top of an elephant.

Picture that scenario, if you would please, complete with butt up in the air, because that is exactly what it's like.

Except that the lucky zoo worker's job is done once he makes it up, and he can heave a sigh of relief with his butt up there. For me, that's just when the party gets started. I find myself in 3 feet by 6 feet worth of space with my tender knees that bruise like pears shoved up against the wall. That's the first friendly hello from the bed's bulky frame.

Once I scoot away from the wall, I gather my Geritol gumption and work my way through to the corner of the bed like I'm on a kneeling pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe. When it feels like it's Day 3 on the pebble paved path, I know I finally made it to the next step, pulling the covers off. 

Bunk beds are deceiving. The word bed means comfort, the kind of sweet comfort that comes whenever you're in a bed. That would be any bed that's not a bunk bed -- that's where the difference is. Being in a bunk bed is not the same thing as making a bunk bed.

There's lots to consider when you're up there, like time to start making the bed, even if just getting there makes you feel you earned the right to a nap. You still have to do the work, which is easy if you're 12 and under, but middle age has a way of making you feel like you're kneeling on baby marbles any time you're on your knees, which, in case you didn't know, is the only way to make a bunk bed.

Bunk beds go against things you usually see as good for you. Like you'd think all this motion would be a good opportunity for stretching. Not so. A good stretch feels great, when it's done in an environment conducive to a full range of motion --- this is not the case when you're 5 feet off the ground in a confined area like a hamster caught in an air duct.

You find yourself doing a combat crawl from one side of the mattress to the other and do you know how hard it is to do a combat crawl when you've never had combat training to learn how? Damn hard. I've heard the armed forces have tricks of the trade, something I haven't been privy to in my chickensh*t life. Also something I don't want to google because I don't want said armed forces on to me and calling my house looking for my kids and asking how ripe old they are.

If it's too late and you already own bunk beds, I say in Clinton's raspy yet attractive gastric reflux induced voice, I feel your pain. Reaching for one end of the corner with the fitted sheet ends up with the opposite corner popping up and you knee-race back over there and then you're in the middle of a live version of a whack-a-mole game.

And if you're thinking of bunk beds, you still have time to ponder whether you want to make a bed while kneeling. Because that's how you'll be doing it from now on. Go - try it now, on a regular bed.

Pretend the floor around you is lava and you can't use it. Don't forget about the part where your ankles knock against the wall at every turn. If you don't love the experience, then think hard about whether or not the return on doubling your floor space is worth the price of suiting up like a knee-pad clad volleyball player every Saturday morning.

Making a bed while kneeling. That's all I'm going to say. EXCEPT plug this into your formula too:
Your height
No floor to stand on
You will be on the bed while you make it. For the entire time.
Are you 4 foot 10 and 72 lbs
Can you live with a bed that will never be smooth enough for a pottery barn shoot?
On the other hand, if you enjoy playing whirlpool with the blankets in the middle of the bed while you crawl to the sides to tuck them in, this may be just the thing for you. Because you will become a human maelstrom with the swirling around that goes on. I guess there is a plus side, to be fair. The bed is so high up who's going to see it anyway.
If you still decide to get or keep those bunk beds, then swirl away, my bunk bed making friends! And don't say I didn't try and warn you. Which is more than my so-called friends did for me. (they knew I was ordering them, too. FULLY KNEW.)

Noteworthy: Step One to Bunk Bed Ownership (and woefully missing from the manual): If there is a ceiling fan, remove it. 
* * *
This post is part of National Blog Posting Month, NaBloPoMo. Click to learn more about it and to participate on your own blog. If you've written a NaBloPoMo post, feel free to share it in the comments.

Friday, November 7, 2014

NaBloPoMo Day7 - Flash Movie Reviews

It's the weekend. This week has made me feel like the old back-broken man in The Wood Gatherer.
My cure is just one thing: immersing myself into oblivion with a microfleece blanket, a bowl of popcorn swimming in butter, and some good movies.

Let me help you wipe Monday through Friday off your mind with my flash movie reviews.

Ah, Friday night and my sofa, here I come. *Warning: Movie spoilers ahead*

Hunger Games: Shaky cam clown regime makes kids duke it out and hopes no one will notice how much their lives suck.
Pacific Rim:  Giant robots fight-punch crusty monsters from the briny deep. If you have a problem with this, you probably shouldn’t see this movie.

Turbo:  A tale about a mutant snail. You’ll never look at Chap Stick in the same way.

Hunt for Red October: You guessed it, a hunt for red October.

Star Wars: A war with people in space.

Saving Private Ryan: You can guess it’s about WWII with soldiers trying to save a guy named Ryan.
Lord of The Rings: Believe it or not, there’s only one ring and the *lord* quote quote has been dead for a thousand years. Or the lord’s just a creepy eyeball chained to a tower.

National Treasure: Nicholas Cage tips his hat to American history while trying to clear his family’s name.

Pirates of the Caribbean/Curse of the Black Pearl: Pirates who sail the Caribbean and something about a curse, and maybe a pearl.

Planes: Someone took the story of Cars and flipped it backwards.

How To Train Your Dragon: An instruction manual for training scaly flying beasts.

Kung Fu Panda: A pudgy panda that does Kung Fu that finds out the secret to winning is believing in yourself.

Matrix: There’s a dude who lives in a computer and there’s no sunlight but he somehow needs to always wear sunglasses.
Thor: Hammer wielding buff beach bum lays a beat down to some trolls with crackly skin and dandruff issues.

The Avengers: Whose bright idea was it to put all the super heroes in one movie? Nobody saw that coming.

Captain America: Wonder where his allegiance lies.

Man of Steel: Mean square-head general from Krypton with a haircut that looks like he just got out of the shower plays hide and seek with man in tights.

Despicable Me: Pointy nosed middle aged man commands an army of earplug-looking yellow beings that brings all the kids to the theater because they love these things.

Indiana Jones: Not what you think. Doesn’t take place in Indiana. Beats Nazis with a bull whip and finds stuff from the Old Testament.

The King’s Speech: You can bet by the time it’s over the King’s gonna give one helluva speech.

Lincoln: Probably not about JFK. How daaaaaaaaaaaare yoooooooooooou think it’s about JFK.

Argo: Ben Affleck works movie magic to save American embassy workers in a tight spot.

Transformers: Exploding space robots hide each others’ valuables underneath historic land marks on Earth.

Lone Ranger: Believe it or not, he actually has friends.

Iron Man III: Iron Man decides to throw in the towel. Probably not going to show up for Avengers Club meetings.

The Butler: It actually is about a butler.
Real Steel: A touching father/son reunion story and robots still can’t settle their differences.

Galaxy Quest: A look into the epic age-old conflict of space squids versus galaxy lobster men.

Finding Nemo: A large portion of this film is spent looking for an orange fish named Nemo.
Hotel Transylvania: Paranoid monsters at human-excluding hotel.

ParaNorman: Sketchy animation drives small children out of the theater.

P.S. My favorite thing about escaping into movies? I don't have to try and say anything. 

* * *
This post is part of National Blog Posting Month, NaBloPoMo. Click to learn more about it and to participate on your own blog. If you've written a NaBloPoMo post, feel free to share it in the comments.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

NaBloPoMo Day6 - 10 New Cities!

For the past four years, I have been part of a national live storytelling series, Listen To Your Mother. Today, we kick off our 2015 season and we have added 10 new cities to the 29 returning cities. 39 cities and Milwaukee is proud to be one of them, returning for its 3rd season with LTYM!

I was part of the 2012 cast of Listen To Your Mother Madison, an experience that changed my life and made me decide to bring that same opportunity to others. So, in 2013, I went on to bring LTYM to Milwaukee, as producer/director along with Jen Gaskell and Rochelle Fritsch.

To know more about Listen To Your Mother, please watch the short video above. If you're intrigued, we have 1,000 videos of original stories on the LTYM youtube channel.

If there is a show near you, see it. If you have a show near you, audition for it! These shows are real, salt of the earth, let's get down and talk about it moments. (see list of 39 cities here)

You can't miss out on life like this, you know?

Happy 2015 Listen To Your Mother! To our new cities, WELCOME! And to the returning cities, it's good to be back in your company, friends.

Let's all break a leg! *watch here for updates on audition times, show dates, and each city's local charity/cause!

* * *
This post is part of National Blog Posting Month, NaBloPoMo. Click to learn more about it and to participate on your own blog. If you've written a NaBloPoMo post, feel free to share it in the comments.


Related Posts with Thumbnails