Sunday, January 31, 2016

Done Darkness: Book Launch

"A collection of stories of life beyond sadness."
I am pleased to announce that a piece I wrote about navigating life the week of my mother's funeral is included in the newly released anthology, Done Darkness. It's humor, because there were moments that slipped into those days surprising me with laughter. This is how we heal. But this anthology also offers beautiful prose, insightful poetry, and essays that place you right in the middle of someone's hope. 
Today is the book launch for Done Darkness, for those who live in southeastern Wisconsin, we hope to see you there! Our book launch is Sunday, January 31, 2016 at 1:30PM CST at ComedySportz.
These stories are exceptional and will shine a light in the darkness for anyone struggling with depression, who has struggled, or knows someone searching for their light in the darkness. 
Done Darkness: A collection of stories, poetry, and essays about life beyond sadness is an anthology about the triumph of hope over hopelessness for those with depression or other mental illness. These narratives, from multiple award-winning authors, reflect the daily battle with various forms of depression: clinical, postpartum, and reactive, just to name a few. Real life plays out on the pages, depicting empty nests, grief, missing children, contemplating suicide, postpartum anxiety and more. Readers will connect, think, laugh, and maybe shed a sympathetic tear while gaining a better understanding of their own experiences or perhaps of a loved one.
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Friday, January 29, 2016

Parenting: It's So Easy

For the past 20 years, I have mothered. And for every year that passes while I guess, bluff, hope, and put my heart into this role, I wish for another year to try again and fingers crossed, get it right.

But I don't think we can ever get it right. But we can aim to.

When I was invited to talk about raising boys in today's world, and the shift (so welcome) from forcing boys to be tough, strong, never cry, and never feel hurt, I jumped at the chance.

We can change, do what we're supposed to, and accept our kids for who they are.

This morning's topic on The Morning Blend. "Raising Today's Boys."

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I Never Make Decorating Mistakes

When I walked into the showroom, I knew it was a bad idea. I was alone, as alone as you can be with a 3 month old, a 5 year old, and a 7 year old. It was 11:00 a.m. and I had weeks ago run out of ways to keep my children entertained during the month of January. The Sunday paper circular advertised a huge furniture blow out from a furniture showroom that was 10 acres big and two stories high. They also featured a root beer bar and chocolate chip cookies. While the paper said Super Sale I read Field Trip, so half an hour ago I strapped the three into their safety seats and tucked my hair into a fetching cap so I would at least look like I might buy a piece of furniture. I drove my crew out of my driveway and onto the interstate that would take us to the corner of Hwy 60 and Port Road.

“This will be fun, kids! We're going to a furniture store and you know what they have there? Bunk beds you can look at and pretend bedrooms where you can get ideas for your dream rooms!”

“Can we try the beds?” Their eyes grew wide.


“Yay! Furniture!” A chorus filled the minivan with my voice being the loudest. We were getting out! We were doing something new! We had found a way to kill time until Mark came home!

At this point, you need to be aware that my husband conducts our finances with one goal in mind: to retire with a million bucks and buy an RV. You know what that means as well as I do, there is no way I can decide to just buy furniture. I knew that today was novelty, chocolate chip cookies and root beer through paper straws. And a bit of daydreaming about bunk beds and a leather sectional never hurt nobody.

How hard can it be to not spend money?

Well, four minutes into the store visit and I was already love sick. My first furniture heartbreak and it was over not being able to think about leaving the store without what was in the first showroom. A dark, rich, reclaimed barnwood kitchen table with two black benches (how freakin' Laura Ingalls cute) alongside instead of clumsy chairs that were too hard for kids to push in. I wanted that table so much my neck was starting to itch.

I twisted my hair in anguish. This table, why can't I have this table? I don't ask for much of anything, keep my children fed, warm, and loved and I'm yours for life (hence the wedding ring) BUT this table? Is there a god I can pray to for this table?

The rest of the afternoon clipped along, my kids sat on beds, tried recliners, talked in voices 100 decibels louder than I'd usually allow about who would get the top bunk and where they'd keep their toys. We were having the best daydream of a day. We sat at the pretend '50s diner and munched on free cookies.

“Mom, this is fun!”

“I know, right? Want to come again?”

YES!,” everyone around me agrees. 
Monday morning, we were back. It was drizzly and grey, but inside the showroom? Glorious sunshine from heaven above as my table threw out its rays of blazing light. Once more, we stopped and my children patiently understood while I ran my fingers along six feet of sturdy, solid splendor. I chewed on my lip and swallowed hard and my eyes grew misty. Later, my son told me he heard me whispering to it.

“You guys, mom really likes this table."

"Look, mom! You can roll out paper and draw on it it's so long. It seats eight!”

“It could be a birthday party table!"

“Preaching to the choir, my children."
“We could have watermelon seed spitting contests it's so long!”


“And then we could use it for bowling with bottles and baseballs on top because IT'S SO LONG!”

“Yes! YES!”

Before we even took our places at our new favorite cookie counter, that table had a SOLD sign on it in my heart.

“You guys," I said while finishing the cookies they left because leftovers eaten by mothers have no calories. "I want that table.”

“You should get it, mom. It would be fun.”

“I can't just buy something without seeing if your dad says yes. I wouldn't want him to buy something without seeing if I say yes.”

"Is that because he wants to keep as much money as he can?"
My kids were no strangers to the budget talks. We left the store once more, but not without a longing look back at our table.

“Bye bowling alley,” said my oldest.

“Bye table!” The rest of us waved. Well, the three of them waved, I cried.

Somehow I had to find a way to get this table. It would be ours for the next 100 years and the kids were still young enough for us to get use out of it for crafts, homeschooling, birthday parties, and my chicken nugget dinners.

Once home, I searched out the measuring tape. This table, this 8-seat with two fold-out leaves at the end would sit just right along the north end of the kitchen wall. I put my hands on my hips and imagined a fiesta red runner down the middle of the boards, a long-necked turquoise blue vase with a solitary daisy standing in the center, and all of us, seated around it. This kitchen could become our nest instead of a place to eat and run as it was now, because of the limited use round oak breakfast nook.

Ten years later, the showroom table sits in our kitchen. Where my youngest sits is speckled with light brushes of yellow from when he was first learning to control a paint brush. My oldest's chair, against the north wall, is gummy and tomato-tacky to the touch from his love of ketchup. The benches have been replaced with high-back chairs as the kids grew into them. This table is the heartbeat of this house, where we have celebrated birthday parties at dawn, slurped July watermelon while sitting in the breeze of open patio doors, and where we have sent one son off to college while its entire surface was edge to edge with congratulatory cards of good wishes. Our last Christmas with my mother was spent here, when she took Auggie's place at the table next to me, since she had become the one I now got up for.

I never did have to plead my case for this table to my husband. He saw the spark in my eyes when we took him along on our next “table field trip” and I told him how he would sit at the west end because he liked the sunrise and four-year-old Auggie would be next to me because I'm the one who gets up for him. The other half of the table would be piled high with paints, papers, monopoly boards, and home-made bowling games that we wouldn't have to move because this table, ahhhhh, the LENGTH of this table.

We bought the table.

“It wasn't even for you,” he later told me. “It was how you wanted it for the kids. The way you always want things through the kids' lives. You told me everything you knew would happen on that table. I looked at it, and I saw it, too.”
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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Movie Reviews in 15 Words or Less

The Martian:  Is there wind on Maaaaaars? Yes. And space potatoes.

Transylvania 2:  Moral of the story: Let kids be who they are.

V for Vendetta:  Guy Fawkes makes eggs that make you love him.

Man of La Mancha:  Couldn't get past the first six minutes without going into a coma.

Terminator Genisys:  What happens when you put all the Terminators in one movie? This.

Mad Max: Fury Road:  Angry men in cars, just like the freeway. And then there's FURIOSA.

The Force Awakens:  Spoilers. Don't read any things about it. (but best one ever)

Jurassic World:  More dinosaurs and kids running away. But with Chris Pratt which is Ok.

Avengers: Age of Ultron:  Avengers again. But with robots now and a vision guy.

The Good Dinosaur:  Dinosaur gets lost emotionally and physically. But for kids. Yeah.

Ant-Man:  Dare you to not cry over ants.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation:  Tom Cruz and Jeremy Renner are so good together I don't even know.

Red:  Sweet Bruce Willie somehow makes kidnapping look like an act of love.

Maze Runner: Scorch Trials:  Jump scares deluxe and get ready to scream many times.

Man from U.N.C.L.E.:   Buddy cop-spies who dress like dreams. You'll want to marry the soundtrack.

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Moth Stories: The Last Gift

A story about my mother, her last Christmas, and having to choose between what I promised her and what my son needed.

Available now through The Moth's podcast.

Thank you to The Moth for the incredible honor of being featured on a moth podcast, and thank you all for helping me believe I have words to share.

Happy 2016.
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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Blogging Without a Breakdown

To know me, is to know I love my blog. I love blogging and all the good it has brought into my life: my friends, my writing sites, my connections, my communities. I feel at home on the internet and the friendships I've made because of blogging are the reason I will never be offline.

But our bodies know that we are not machines - we can't keep going with one hand on the keyboard and the other slamming water and Scooby-do snacks into our mouth. We need to breathe, be, stop, and live the life we have offline.

How do we do it all? Can we maintain our blog presence without losing our minds?

I write of just this, today on BlogHer: When Your Blog Becomes Too Much.

I hope you'll click over and join the conversation on blogging with balance: can it happen? Let me know what has helped you to stay sane with the time devouring internet, I'd love to hear your ideas.
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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Things To Do When It's SubZero Outside

A post today from Auggie. Because his mother is freshly frozen out of ideas on what to do when 7 below has us all imprisoned stuck inside. She just keeps making chili and crying.

1 Watch the youngest play video games or whoever's the best at them. You can all watch around the campfire, super exciting (for one person). Quality entertainment but gets old fast. If you have two player games, that's fun, too. Old people don't get them as much, though.

2 Listen to music as a family or have a music party and see whose jams are the best. Sometimes listen to the radio like an old-timey family.

3 Watch movies and take turns voting on which ones you want to watch. You got to be careful if your dad doesn't know which movies to watch, like he thinks The Fugitive is family-value entertainment. But it's still sometimes fun to watch dumb movies you've never seen before like Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. And it doesn't matter that Christmas is over because this movie is good anytime.

4 Draw. Look up fun drawing games. Google “Fun drawing games.” There's one where one person draws a part of something then passes it to the next person to draw another part of it and go around the table like that until everyone feels it's done, or something like that. Sometimes it doesn't work.

5 Do origami. Find some good stuff online. Like here's a good one.

6 Play board games.
7 Play card games. Play cards like Four Card is a favorite (no it's not but it's my dad's so he makes us and this is my way of complaining about it)

8 Draw again but this time use markers. 

9 Monopoly is a last resort, you don't want it to come to that though because of family fights and it never ends.

10 Read a book.
11 You can all sit under a blanket tent and talk. How life is going.
12 Talk about what you're gonna do when it's not so cold anymore.

P.S. No matter what, do NOT say "I have nothing to do" or your mom will give you something to do. Surprises like laundry, and carrying stuff to the basement.

P.P.S. We've made 12 of these already:

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Friday, January 15, 2016

Listen To Your Mother Milwaukee Show Auditions Announced!

Listen To Your Mother Milwaukee is now open for auditions for its 4th annual Listen To Your Mother Show!

Our venue is once more the beautiful Pitman Theatre located on Alverno College Campus, and our show date is Sunday, May 1, 2016.

Audition dates are BY APPOINTMENT ONLY Saturday, February 27 at Bayshore Mall Community Room. Please contact us for your time slot by emailing ltymmil at gmail dot com. We will not be able to accommodate anyone without a scheduled appointment time.

If you’re wondering what to audition with, Listen To Your Mother Milwaukee is looking for a 5-minute in length, original and non-fiction piece of what motherhood means to you. We don’t look for tributes or “eulogies” but something that represents the diverse and expanse of motherhood – as long as motherhood is the focus of the piece. We welcome submissions from everyone, and you don’t have to be a mother to audition.

Did you get that? You do not have to be a mother to read for Listen To Your Mother.

For an idea of the pieces that work with a Listen To Your Mother Show, please view our LTYM youtube channel. There, you’ll find essays, poetry, prose on the heavy and the light on the theme of motherhood. As Ann Imig, creator and national director perfectly puts it, “LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER features live readings by local writers on the beauty, the beast, and the barely-rested of motherhood in celebration of Mother’s Day.”

To be considered for a Listen To Your Mother Show, it’s not required that you be a parent, a woman, or bring us a story about your mother. What we hope you share with us is what motherhood means to you. You don’t need to have stage or public speaking experience. You do not need to be a professional writer. You just need to have a story that is yours to tell.

Here’s what Listen To Your Mother Milwaukee looks for when considering a piece for our shows:
◾Motherhood is the star focus of your piece.
◾It must be a true, yours, and original. No fiction.
◾Your piece should not be longer than 5 minutes when read aloud.
◾Poetry is welcome.
◾Pieces should not be memorized. Work is read from your pages on stage, so please don’t memorize.

If you’re still not sure you’re up to audition, let us offer you some encouragement by watching the LTYM youtube channel  – we want to hear your story!

Whether you decide that this is the year you’ll give life to your words or not, either way, be sure to attend a Listen To Your Mother Show. Seeing a show may inspire a story in you!

Take on those dreams, push the nerves and doubt out of your way, and come tell us your story! Reserve your audition slot online by emailing the Milwaukee LTYM production team at ltymmil at gmail dot com.

And if telling a story isn’t your thing, but you know of someone perfect for this amazing opportunity, please share this audition information with them.

In the meantime, be sure to follow us here for LTYM Milwaukee updates on our 2016 season, to include our local charity announcement, cast announcements, our wonderful sponsors, and details on our beautiful venue!

Come share your story with us, Milwaukee!

Listen To Your Mother – a national series of original live readings shared locally on stages and globally via social media.”

Your Listen To Your Mother Milwaukee Team,

Jen, Rochelle, and Alexandra
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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I Can Tell A Story With a Little Help From My Friends/Kids/Same Thing

Me: "I had a dream last night that that one singer, Justin Bieber? No ... the other one ... the one that I like ... but not Justin Bieber, but Justin for sure..."

Them: "Justin Timberlake, Mom."

Me: "Yes! Yes yes. Justin Timberlake. Anyway, Justin Timberlake was breaking and entering into a theater - and I could tell it surprised me in my dream, because in my dream I thought That's not like him but I didn't say it, but knew I thought it. So, Justin is breaking his way into the theater to see that one movie I liked ... Hot Mess? Hot Ones?? It started Hot Something ..."
Them: "Heat, Mom."
Me: "Right. Heat. Heat. That was it. Well, they were selling Girl Scout cookies there at the theater while he was breaking in, but they had other kinds of cookies on the table too - not just Girl Scout. Like there was a basket already opened of my favorite ones ... the thin crisp ones. With the cranberries. Crisps? Crunchers? Cranberry Crunchers?"
Them: "Mom, Cranberry Crisps."
Me: "Those are the ones! Cranberry Crisps! So, Justin Bieber, I mean Timberlake, gets the cookies somehow, he has them in his hands, still in the basket, and he HIDES them like a little kid underneath a big car. One of those big cars ... you know like the one we saw the other day that your dad liked. But I think they're too boxy. What was that car called?"
Them: "Lincoln Navigator."
Me: "Ugh. Yes. That big box of a car. Anyway ..."
Them: "Mom, does this dream have an ending?"
Me: "Well, that's the funny thing. It almost did, see, it was just like that one series we were watching two summers ago. Remember? When we had Hulu for free? It was - what was that series called? That science fiction one that we all liked ..."
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Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Things That Take Time

This Sunday was beautiful, sunlight was finally coming in through the house windows and there was a moment early this morning when all that was missing as I made breakfast was a bluebird chirping on my shoulder. Hearth and home, plenty to eat, we had it all. With a day that promised long-awaited rest, I pierced it with a sharp needle of haggard and nagging words, "No cinnamon rolls until all the laundry is put away!"

Even before the last s in the word rolls left my lips, I knew it was the dart that would pop the happy balloon of the moment. Why, Alexandra, why? Really? Threats with food? Why was it much too often this desperate take it all away from them cry to action? Do you know of no other way?

In those seconds of gut punching clarity I knew I had to find a kinder, smarter way to ask for what I needed from everyone in this home. Discipline methods that begin with "Here's what you're going to lose if you don't xxx!" are guaranteed heart breakers. My kids love fresh, warm cinnamon rolls, they mean Sunday mornings and introduce a day when we can forget about the work that Monday will bring. As for my threats and promises later that day of a future that does not include screen time, they feel just as half-assed and knee-jerk as the no cinnamon rolls promise.

If I needed any confirmation on how B.S. my discipline methods with my family had become, it was made sickeningly clear when mid-morning I put my hand up to apologize for my wackadackle ways and in unison I heard the kids side-mouth to one another, "Her hand's up, she is so mad, let's get the laundry done."

Right then, I felt it. The spikes that dug, the weight of the metal, the crown that I had woven for myself of raging power-mad Queen.

All or nothing, now or never, do it do do it. What happened to my deep-breaths-and-count-to-three mantra of patience? When did I lose it? Was it with the third child? Was it with the added hours of work and less hours of fun? Maybe it was the financial strain as children grow up, the pressures of trying to keep up with the people in my life, the need to include time to care for our body as we grow older. Yes to all of that and still, those are excuses.

As their parent, I do have the control to influence the energy and spirit in this house. And I am responsible for the tone that I set when I'm short and abrupt. The deep sighs of exasperation when someone speaks, not allowing my children the respect to finish their sentence, dismissing what they have to say because they're kids -- all of that, it's got to stop.

Children need us, and they need us without ever knowing they do. Parents are a significant influence in the temperament of the home, and that is the part that we forget. When we sell our roles short, and lose the awareness of the impact of our presence, we convince ourselves that we are a p.s. to their lives. We matter, and when we live together, we need to help each other.   

We err, we fall short. I did it today. But I have the chance to start again. And when I screw up tomorrow, I can keep trying something different.

I will never be perfect, and don't strive for that. But I can adjust my heart to become the kind of parent who weaves a crown from their heart. A ring made of tender resilient stems that weathers days that at times threaten to unravel but holds together plaited with gentle words of patience, hope, and determination to bloom in beauty for my children.
* * *  

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Toy Talk

Does it bring you joy? If the answer is no, then it's time to toss and send it on its way. BUT if it's a toy, and you're asking a kid, the answer will always be YES I LOVE IT SO MUCH!

Toys will always bring joy to their owners but what about your house running out of room? What about every inch of shelf crammedjammedpacked to the brim with toys toys toys.

Teach your children to share them -- maybe it's not natural for them to want to let things go, but when you work with them to help them understand there are kids that don't get even a sixth of what I know our own receive from aunts, grandparents, cousins, friends, birthday parties, you may be able to lead them to water and make them drink.

I talk about encouraging a spirit of giving with your children, of spreading the good that we have when we have more than we need on The Morning Blend.

Thanks for watching! And thank you for helping me spread the message, Morning Blend!

Click here to watch.

Happy de-cluttering!

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

She's Got Those Winter Blues

They're real, and they're a time of low energy, where everything you know you have to do seems like it's made up of 500 steps. I've learned a few techniques to help during these longs months of winter, I hope that by sharing here it can help to make this time more manageable for you, too.

Before meeting Jane, my therapist, I waded through the winter months with a tried-and-so-not-true-how's-that-not-working-for-you approach. A big ugly monster throughout my life has been the winter blues, Seasonal Affective Disorder, what people call "SAD".
I have been this way about the heavy winter months for as long as I can remember, and grew up thinking Oh just me. Just me, sighing twenty times in a row while staring out of a Jack Frost impressed window. But if you ask around, you’ll find that it's not just you. Lots of us struggle with their mood during this gray time of year with the days of less sun, less hours of light.
Finding out that SAD is much more than a wimpy response to the fall and winter months made me feel like I had a chance of doing something about the anchor on my spirit that came during this season. If I could find a way to deal with October through April (probably only January for you, but I do everything extreme when it comes to lack of sunlight), then there was hope. There is a reason, proven and scientific, for the winter doldrums.
Less sunlight reduces the serotonin, which is nature’s feel good hormone, that your body makes. When our body makes lots of serotonin, we feel happy. Less sun, less serotonin, less happy.
If you're like me, which means you've been in a corner already crying ten times before 9:30 a.m.and not just to puppy commercials, and you’re taking everything personally including the sneer you know you didn't imagine from the bagger at Trader Joe’s because you forgot your tree-loving canvas bags, then I think I can help you with these suggestions for getting a hold of these winter blues.
--I can’t say this enough times: please see a Doctor. Medication is pretty dang close to miraculous, so ask for it. Talk therapy is another miracle worker. So are support groups. You don't have to tough out SAD alone.
--Use color. Sounds so dumb, but we don't have to make our black turtlenecks into our uniform. I have a bright orange cardigan I wear over my black turtleneck since I can't ditch my black T-neck altogether, it's my blankie. The glow of orange makes me feel like I'm my own chestnuts roasting by an open fire. The human psyche is influenced by color. Greens and blues have been found to be the most uplifting. (Surprise? Nope. It's because they remind us of outside!)
--Showers are magic. Though it can be tough to find the oomph to shower, it's worth it. You'll feel better being clean.
--Find ways to give yourself a lift. It costs $7.00 for a nail color, not a full manicure, at most nail salons. Your feet, color change only, run $10.00. I do this once a month in the winter. Every time I look at my twinkleberry hands and feet, I feel better about myself. Find what makes you smile.
--Listen to your favorite comedians on YouTube at least once a day. My tried and true guarantee is George Lopez. But I swear by Tig Notaro and Cameron Esposito. Prozac in 5 minute audio bursts.
--Get yourself a light box if you can. I found an affordable one at a warehouse store. If you are able to do it financially, this is an investment you will not regret. Exposure to the rays will stimulate serotonin production in your body and that's how the human body works, remember? #Themoreyou know
--Exercise. Exercise is like sunlight for your body; it makes your body produce serotonin. So walk outside for an hour, run around a local gym for 30 minutes. Join a pickle ball league (it's only for January, you can do it)
--SLEEP at least 7 hours a night. Serotonin is made while you’re at rest. More sleep, more serotonin.
Some more quick changes to help you during this time:
-Ease up on the sugar, turn to protein instead
-Take a multivitamin with D
-Give yourself a special hair treatment: cut, color, deep conditioner. Something out of the ordinary.
-Fight the urge to isolate yourself -- reach out to friends via phone, text, or social media
-Keep your choice of movies/books/music, light. (Nix The Fault in Our Stars. Same goes for Adele)
-Hold your pets. A lot.
Recognizing what we need in the way of mental health care is the best course of action. You’re not the only one struggling through these winter months, many of us are right here with you. As long as we keep a bright blue pitcher full of yellow daisies on the kitchen table, we help make the way to March easier. As long as we look for and implement whatever it is that brings a smile, we stand a good chance of seeing these months through.
When you're armed with knowledge and understand how brains and bodies work with SAD, it makes it easier to see why you have to do what you have to do. Read more, learn more, join Facebook SAD support groups, see your Doctor, check in with friends, and practice good health.
Hang on to hope, spring will be here again. It returns every year. I promise you.
Until then, come back here any time you need to and stare at this. I know I will.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2015: What the People Liked

It's always fun, and a guaranteed delight, to see what posts do well on a blog. Sometimes you feel when you hit the nail on the head, but when you really get to that sweet spot where others say, "Yes, this," that thrills me to no end.

It's also good for a snort and a giggle to see the searches that bring the people out of the woodwork, (let me tell you, the woods is full of them.)

I've pulled together a month by month compote of most viewed posts here on my blog in 2015, and capped it all off with a pecan brittle topping of google searches that brought all the  kooks people to the kitchen.

So much fun in a blogger's house.

Here you go, the most popular posts in 2015:

JANUARY:              Oomancy: Food for the New Year

FEBRUARY:            Happy Five Years, Good Day Regular People

MARCH:                The Unraveling of Mercy Louis

APRIL:                   13 Epiphanies About a Third Child

MAY:                     The Music That Made Me

JUNE:                    The Years Don't Lessen: On Father's Day Without My Father

JULY:                   35 Ways My Mother Loves To Torture Me Over Summer Vacation

AUGUST:            What You End Up Saying Instead of I Love You

SEPTEMBER:      Asking the Wrong Questions About Suicide

OCTOBER:        Go Ahead, You Can Miss Them

NOVEMBER:     Why Old Moms Tell New Moms, "Enjoy Them While You Can"

DECEMBER:     Wedding Vows From the 21-Year Other Side

As promised, the bag-full-o'nuts google searches:

--Can Latina Women Wear Ponchos
--Are Spanish People all short
--Jelly Bean Recipes for Easter
--What's Out of Style If You're Old
--I'm Sad I Have Boys
--Good frozen pizzas
--What do Spanish People Look Like
--Old Skin
--Is it Hard To Blog
--I'm Trying to Write
--Grunting Elderly

Happy 2016, everyone! THANK YOU for your friendship and your visits here in 2015. It means so much to me that you gift me with your time.

Here's to love, peace, and laughter, in 2015, and wishing you all the best in the year to come!

**P.S. Dear "Sad You Have Boys":  I wish you would read this and email me. Maybe I can help you see the way you'll fall in love with your children when you see them, as just children.

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