Thursday, December 22, 2016

I Put A 5 Year Old In Charge Of Her Educational Career And Now I Yell At Passing Cars

Ellie somehow managed to enroll herself in a Japanese language immersion elementary school. 

I know! I'm not sure how it all happened either....

I mean, sure, I remember signing some paperwork once a year or so ago, but, it's not like I really thought it was a real option, you know? I just thought it was a "this would be a cool option" option.

Ok, fine, I'm exaggerating. But only a bit. The VH1 True Backstory here is: I signed her up because back in college, my ECI 304 professor had us watch a documentary where kids were running around a playground talking in French. I'm 95% sure the point of the documentary, all wrapped up in some pedagogical theory, was that kids learn language more easily at a young age. Listen, the room was dark and I maaaay have fallen asleep. In my defense, you shouldn't tell your audience the ending of the movie in the first 2 minutes. It's called a spoiler for a reason, people! 

Anyway, it's year two and Ellie is still skipping to and from school, singing some song in Japanese that has a word that sounds like "booshi" in it. Which, let's face it, makes me giggle. Then, invariably, when she asks why I'm laughing, I lie, and tell her I'm laughing "for the joy of life". But, really, it's because booshi sounds like tushy. And I think it's funny. (Ignorant, uncouth American: party of one.)

Well, this year, I thought to myself, "Dude. You need to actually try and learn Japanese. You're getting laughed at by six year olds. On the playground. When you call jump ropes Nairobis*. It's getting a little embarrassing." (True story.) So, in defense of all my cool points I need to hold onto with the local six year old Japanese speaking population, I took Ellie out for pizza. Because, let's face it, I work better with a carrot metaphorically covered in cheese and pineapple than a stick. Because you can't eat sticks. But you can eat carrots. Although, full vegetarian disclosure, we didn't order any carrots. But we did order ice cream. Because I worked really really hard yelling out the color of cars in Japanese as they passed by our booth's window. And I deserved a treat. Again.

Now, what have I retained approximately three weeks later after gorging myself on pizza and ice cream and annoying all the other 5 o'clock diners at the local pizza restaurant? Owl**. Which, almost sounds like the Japanese word for blue. And, unfortunately, even with all of Ellie's corrections, encouragement and patience, is as close as I'm ever going to get to a proper pronunciation. Because I cemented it. Deep down into the roots of my brain. By singing this song. A lot.:

Yo listen up here's a story
About a little guy that lives in a owl world
And all day and all night and everything he sees
Is just owl like him inside and outside
Owl his house with a owl little window
And a owl corvette
And everything is owl for him and himself
And everybody around
'Cause he ain't got nobody to listen to (except an owl, whoo! whoo!)

I'm owl, da ba dee da ba die,
da ba dee da ba die,
da ba dee da ba die,
da ba dee da ba die,
da ba dee da ba die,
da ba dee da ba die,
da ba dee da ba die.
Note: This song is best sung while dancing like an owl. Because, as all Disciples of Confucius and education majors know, children learn best when they cement new information auditorily, visually, and kinetically. Pedagogical pyramids don't lie:

*Because you don't want to be laughed at by six year olds either:

**Or the way Ellie WANTS you to pronounce it:

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

What's The Looming End Of The Year Without A Little Whine? (But Not The Good Kind That Comes In A Box.)

Every Friday morning, as I'm setting up the painting easels at the back of Ellie's classroom, I listen to her teacher, as, in her warm, direct, friendly, and everything explained simply manner, she leads the daily writing lesson. Her main focus these last few weeks? Writing the small moments. Small stories, not big ones. Stories about making cookies with your sister, or riding your bike to school on a cold morning, or going out to dinner for pizza with your family, brushing your teeth before bed. She's encouraging these six year olds to keep it simple, and to add details. And, you know what? They all head back to their tables with the plastic tubs of fat red pencils in the middle and they write. And each week, as I'm washing and refilling the paint cups I think to myself, "Dude, they're like little tiny bloggers with really low tech stylus pens. If they can do it, so can I!"

And then, two hours later, jeans smeared with paint (because I'm an adult and don't have to use a paper towel if I don't want to), I bike toward home with every intention of sitting down, opening up my computer and typing my own small moment story. But, things, things get in the way. I have laundry to switch, or cupcakes to make for the class holiday party, or I realize that the last time anyone cleaned the shower was, well, it's not a time frame I want published on the Internets if that's any indication.

Or, I can't focus. And I end up wandering to the kitchen, wondering who drank all the coffee. (Spoiler alert: it was me.) Or looking desperately, searching all the way to the back of the cupboards for a box of Cheeze-Its, or potato chips, or anything processed and bad for me, and cursing the person who keeps buying  FRUITS AND VEGETABLES AS SNACK FOOD! (Spoiler Alert: it's me.)

Or, worse, I sit, and can't for the life of me think of the word that sounds like, say, exchange, but, isn't exchange, it just might start with an e, or have an x in it, or like an x sound, but, it has to do with cows, or rather, it has to do with cow jokes, kind of.... Wait. Or is it clowns? Like, with, three dots under their eye, like teardrops, and Johnny Depp in Cry Baby....GLOBULAR!!! That was the word! Now, how did that relate to the episode of Veronica Mars with the confessional again...?


Plus, it's an ineffective method for...for writing with any, um... shoot, ok, the word is like the book, with the kids, like 12 of them, they had a car, they all threw out their hands to signal a turn but some were signalling left and others right, bids were taken for household chores...expediency? (What is up with these "ex" words? Oh. My. Gosh.) Cheaper by the Dozen! Um, the dad was an...EFFICIENCY-that's it!  It's an ineffective writing, oh, method's not the perfect word there, more like, you know what? Method works just fine in that sentence. It's an ineffective method for writing with any efficiency.

Because, if I COULD write with any Frank Bunker Gilbreth skill, I'd... I don't know. Maybe I'd be less short tempered with my kids. Maybe I'd volunteer for more chaperone duties at Katie and Ellie's schools. The Powis Castle in front of my house would still be alive. I'd finally be able to win a game of Blockus against Katie. I'd speak Japanese. I'd know how to use spreadsheets properly to track Katie's troop's cookie sales instead of secretly having Jon do it. I'd be a faster runner! Fitter! With gloriously shiny and strong hair for full on butt* kicking.

Dude! I'd totally be a superhero!

You know...

I bet superheros have some really interesting small moment stories to write.

*Yeah. You heard me. Butt. I'll say it again, too. Butt.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

If A Tyrannosaurus Rex Can Figure Out How To Function In Modern Society, There's Hope For Us All

Have you guys seen this?

Ok!Ok! It’s not a really real t-rex. It's actually a person dressed in a t-rex costume. Or, so Katie and Ellie insisted each time I queued up yet another video for them to watch. Yes. Before. Each. And. Every. Video.

Because I’m an optimist.

And, maybe, juuuust


Dude, did you, seriously, just add the word "fiction" to the end of my sentence? *tsk* Rude!

Look people, reading one Michael Crichton book doesn't make you an expert on dinosaurs. It...also...doesn't make me one either. A-pparently. Or so Jon likes to point out, like, aaaaa lot. Which is fiiiiine. Because, really, I've just started calling him Reginald Von Hoobie-Doobie. And then pretending to turn around and high five Edwina. Which works because it means Mo Willems and I totally both win!

But, now, in all seriousnessables, the election this month has thrown quite a few people for a loop. And I get it, I do. I'm all loopy right there with you. And, yes, the next four years are going to do I put this politely...well...interesting*. But, guys, come on. If T-rexes can miraculously manage to rise from extinction (Quiet, Reginald.) and figure out how to (No one is listening, Von Hoobie-Doobie!) successfully shop at the grocery store:

or throw their tails over their shoulders and courageously go out and ride that bike anyway:

then so can we.

With elegance, and passion, aplomb, and, yes, grace.
Even if we don't make the cut for the Cincinnati Ballet.

*I mean, really, how bad can the next four years be? We all put our pants on one leg at a time, right?

Well, crap-a-zoidal.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Someone Needs To...Go

I have a friend. Her name is Scooby.

As in Doo.

(Note: That was foreshadowing. Like in the Harry Potter books with the Bezoar-but with less character development on my part. *Spoiler: She's just as awesome as Hermione*.)


The other day Scooby. Doo. Sent me this text:
There's a new Canadian restaurant specializing in dessert. Shaped like poo. It's true!

And after the obligatory Google check and a few well placed poop puns exchanged via text-waves, I remembered that once we had a conversation about an Epic East Coast Road Trip! when I was thinking about hauling the kids cross country for a visit:

Me: Dude. (dramatic pause, because when something is epic, it needs dramatic pauses)People keep telling me that everything on the east coast is only like a 2 hour drive away. Is that true?
Scooby. Doo.: Um, I guess so. There's a lot that's pretty close to where we are in Phila-
Me: Jersey Coast?
Scooby. Doo.: Yeah.
Me: New York?
Scooby. Doo.: Sure we could get-
Me: Ooo! DC! And all the museums!
Scooby. Doo.: Yeah, although we haven't been there sin-
Me: Boston! To visit Paul Revere!
Scooby. Doo.: Well, no, and he's dea-
Me: St. Luis!
Scooby. Doo.: Ok. Look. Do you know where-
Me: NIAGARA FALLS! Wait! The Great Lakes! No-Chicago!
Scooby. Doo.: You do know, just because it's east of Colorado doesn't mean it's two hours away.
Me: (not listening because I'm now planning the world's most Epic weekend road trip EV (dramatic pause) ER!)

SCOOBY! (Doo) Guess what I'm adding to that Epic East Coast Road Trip I have planned?
You'll never guess!!

But we'll smile when we wear ours.

While sitting on our toilets

Eating desserts out of urinals.

At The Poop Cafe.

Because it's only a two hour drive from your house.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sound Bites Of The Summer. But Not Real Sound Bites, Because That Would Be Cruel*.

From the TSA line we've stood in for over an hour and a half:

Agent: M'am? Is this your bag? I'm going to have to look through it.
Me: (closing eyes, needing to count to 10, but only have time to count to three) Okfine.Butcanwebequickplease?I'm late!
Agent: (puts down my bag, looks me in the eye) Why are you in such a hurry, m'am? Is something wrong? What are you late for?
Me: (Finishes the count from 4-10, because apparently I have to explain what happens when you miss a flight to an airline employee.)

Eavesdropping, Solidarity Sister Style, in the bathroom at Target:

Kid in stall: Mom! Mom! Did you you hear that toot!?!
Mother leaning against stall door: (closes eyes) No. Sweetie. (takes breath) I did not hear that toot.
Kid in stall: Yeah! Because that was how quiet I was tooting!

From the Family Reunion:

Random Family Member, possibly more than one of them, at different times: You're a... vegetarian? But. It's just you, though, right?
Me: Yes.... And these two. (gestures toward Katie and Ellie) That I made. With my uterus.

In the living room, at 9:58 pm:

Me: Ellie? Why are you out of bed?
Ellie: Remember? Miniature trash can. (picks up plastic cup from tea set, goes back upstairs)
Me: (thinking, counting pages to end of book, deciding) Nope. Not worth it. (settling back into couch)

Climbing into bed:

Me: (contented sigh) It's nice having a guest room. I like to think of our guests all filed away, nice and tidy like, down in the basement.
Jon: Um, that's creepy, Martha. (pause) You know that's creepy, right?

Looking up from weeding in the front yard:

Me: (whispering, to myself, inside my head, because you shouldn't point out naked men to the children) Hedges: the landscaping choice that makes neighbors wonder if the new guy in the neighborhood is a nudist or just enjoying a shirtless summer Seattle day....

Biking Around The Neighborhood:

Ellie: (singing) I've got peace like a river,
I've got peace like a river,
I've got peace like a river in my soul!
I've got love like an ocean, I've got love like an ocean,
I've got love like an ocean in my soul.
I've got joy like a fountain,
I've got joy like a fountain,
I've got joy like a fountain in my sooooooooooouuuuullll!
Me: (rudely, under my breath, because this is not the first round of this song) Jazz hands!
Ellie: Mommy, you know what? When I sing the words it makes me feel that way in my SOUL! (resuming song) I've got peace like a-
Me: (interrupting) NEW VERSE!
I've got patience like a creek now,
I've got patience like a creek now,
I've got patience like a creak now in my-
Ellie: No. Mommy. I don't feel that in my soul.
Me: Neither do I little one. Neither. Do. I.

Reading through the packing list for church camp:

Letter: No pants with writing on the backside.
Me: Wait. Are they serious? (yelling, loudly) Hey! Jon! You know what I can't bring to camp? My yoga pants printed with John 3:16 across the butt and my t-shirt that says "Bathsheba Is My Spirit Woman" spelled out in rhinestones!
Jon: (exasperated sigh) Do you even own those clothes?
Me: (tsk) Noooo. But now I want to. There is a serious hole in the whole Jesus wear market.

*The title of this post was inspired by Bare Naked Ladies. And, yes, I find saying things like that very entertaining.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Let's Face It. There's Really No Difference.

I may have had this conversation with myself today. Or I posted the whole thing on Twitter. Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference.

But I DID have this real conversation with my kids today:

Me: Hey! Girls! I filled up the hand soap in your bathroom.
Kids: (crickets. nada.)
Me: Cleaned the toilet too.
Kids:(silence. uncommunicativeness.)
Me: Because I care about your hygiene.
Kids: (dead air. tumbleweeds.)

Just as I was starting to respond (in the high pitched annoying Snow White voice I use when my kids ignore me) my phone buzzed with this message from Twitter:

Awww! Those kids.... :) They do care!

And with such proper punctuation and grammar too!

Friday, July 22, 2016

If It Looks Like A Death Threat*....

Our landlady is doing some remodel work in our house this month. I try to stay out of her way by sitting in coffee shops.

For hours.

Drinking coffee.

And eating pastries.

I know, the sacrifices I have to make....

But, today? I came home and found a rusty ice pick and this picture on the kitchen table:


I don't know who you are, but, girl in the yellow dress? It might be time to do a runner.

To Antarctica.

So you can wear balaclavas on your face.

Because someone has designs on the one from 1985.

*It's probably not. Because I make things up. It's way more likely that she's now an undercover CIA agent and she's having all friends and acquaintances ice pick any photographic evidence of her with really really big hair. Because, dude, that was one embarrassing hairstyle**.

**I'm sorry, Girl in the Yellow Dress. I apologize. That came from dark place-full of preteen jealousy and an inability to wield a hairspray bottle with any skill.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

I've Taken To Calling Everything The Kids Don't Want To Do An ADVENTURE!

Ellie is six.

Ellie has always been my little girl of rainbows and light and dancing and giggles and pink frosting cupcakes decorated with skulls. (Because "skeletons are really really interesting, Mommy".)


Ellie was that girl.

Until today.

When someone squashed the little girl inside Ellie.

Like Big Foot at a monster truck show.

Look. In my defense we were totally on a summer ADVENTURE! You know, the kind with pinwheels and bubbles and songs and stuff. But, in this case, substitute the bubbles and pinwheels with a forced march carrying 30% of her body weight in a backpack.

You know what? People have fun doing different things. Don't judge my parenting skills! Because, I'll just judge yours back. With my extra strong parental judge-y skills. For example: your kid's hair a....well, truthfully, it's cute, BUT! it'd look really stupid on a chihuahua.  Ye-ah. Talk to the hand, people. (Note to self: Improve parental judge-y skills. Maybe check out a book or something?)

Conversations I had with Ellie while walking home from the library, because I promised her a brownie at the bakery that happened to be half a mile outside the bus zone but they didn't have any-brownies that is-they totally had an oatmeal raisin cookie-WHICH I BOUGHT BECAUSE I'M A GOOD MOTHER. Besides, raisins are brown and brownies are brown, and both are full of sugar, so, like, total same sames here, people. Also, there were backpacks. Full of books. Because I have no control over my children at the library.

Ellie, walking out of the bakery: Wait. How are we getting home?
Me: WALKING! Because it's like half a mile to the nearest bus stop that could take us home, and at that distance we might as well...
Ellie: But, how far is it?
Me: Shhhhhhh....... (whispers) It's a surprise.
Ellie: Awwwww...... (Slumps. Literary curiosity seems so heavy now with no promise of a brownie raisin cookie in the future.)
Me: (Fist, pumped to the heavens! Because pumping your fist toward the heavens sounds more exciting than pumping it toward, like, a rock or a tree or something.) ADVENTURE!!


Me: Look! A bulldozer! (runs all the way up to the construction barrier) ELLIE!! COME ON! IT'S DIGGING DIRT! IN THE STREET! RIGHT IN FRONT OF US! (whispering) This is soooo cool.
Ellie: (shoulders slumped, under the weight of her own literary curiosity) The sidewalk is closed. Do we have to walk all the way back and around the block?
Ellie: No.


Me: (turning corner, Ellie trailing behind, like a grumpy baby duck.) Oh my gosh! WE NEED TO CROSS THE STREET NOW! There's this really cool spot up here, you'll love it! It's fun! Promise!
Ellie: (trudging, under the weight of her own literary curiosity) This isn't fun.
Me: What!?! Don't you see the giant hedge? We're WALKING PAST A HUGE HEDGE! It's like we're in one of those castle mazes with fairies and magic and stuff! WE CAN'T EVEN SEE OVER IT! THIS IS AWESOME! Ooo! Maybe there's a dragon around the corner. Wands out.
Ellie: Urrrg.


Me: (after zooming down a hill, like an airplane) That was fun! Did you like that downhill?
Ellie: (puffing behind, under the weight of her literary curiosity) Kind-
Me: GOOD! BECAUSE (turns corner) NOW WE GET TO GO UPHILL! Again. Yay! (cue jazz hands)


Me: (Pointing. Quietly. Yes. That's a real thing.) Look! A butterfly!
Ellie: (rolling her eyes, under the weight of her own literary curiosity) I don't care.

Oh man, step back, Willis.

And. That's when I stopped talking, people.

For the rest of the walk home.

Because, believe me, I know when my kids are teetering on the edge.

Mostly because I push them there know...often.

But only because it's fun!

You know? I should take a summer ADVENTURE with Katie tomorrow! Ooo! With bathroom sinks and laundry! She'll love it!

What ADVENTURES! do you have planned for the rest of the summer with your kids?

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Hints For Parents Traveling With School Age Children

Dudes. This year, the tradition of me walking down to the grocery store and buying my own birthday cake came to an end! Also ending this year was the tradition of Jon, staring June in the face, saying something like, "Hey! Isn't your birthday coming up?" Which means the end of the tradition of me rolling my eyes at Jon and mumbling something along the lines of, "Oh. My. Gosh. You totally ate that birthday cake. I bought. For myself."

It's sad when traditions die.

She said.


But this year! Jon remembered my birthday! And we celebrated! In Hawaii!

I know! I wouldn't believe myself either if I didn't have photographic evidence!

40. It hits you hard.

Oh. Oops. Wait. My bad. That was my 36th birthday. When we went out for pizza. I ordered a salad. That was a banner year.


THIS was my 40th:

I know! I'm totally getting prettier.
Just like Rodney Dangerfield in Iron Man*.
* Wait. Googlegooglegoogle. Oops.... That was Robert Downey Jr.
But, come onlet's face it,
my facial reference was spot on:

So, anyway, celebrity look alikes aside, there we all were, in Hawaii, swimming. In the hotel pool. For the third day in a row. When I realized, once again, that traveling with kids can be a challenge.

(And all the parents said, "Amen!")

Plus, come on, let's just face it people, most of the time it's not one of those good challenges. You know, like, running 13 miles so you can stuff waffles in your face! Waffles. Eaten. All day, people. All. Day. Yeah, traveling with children is soooo not that easy.

Traveling with children is more of a,'s a bad challenge.  You know, like, going to Zyggies Ice Cream Parlor with your friends and having Napoleon sit down and yell, "Non!" Then knock all your spoons away and eat the whole Ziggy Pig by himself.

That's what traveling with kids feels like. 

(And all the parents said, "Amen." Again. But sadder. Because they know it's true.)

But this trip! There I was sitting poolside, staring into the horizon, because someone told me that there was a real ocean out there, that people could swim in, children! Anyway, I looked over at the extra book Katie brought to the pool, you know, just in case, and I noticed that it had 870 pages. And she wasn't reading it. So I picked it up.





With your souls.

And your eyes.

But not your ears, because there's no audio file for this post.

Unless someone is reading it out loud to you, then, totally use your ears. Because otherwise you won't hear anything. And that'd be stupid.

But mostly listen with your souls, people.

Because listening with your souls sounds poetic.

No really. It does.



Fine. (Napoleon) 

I'll just use a soulless flow chart:

Dudes. I'm not even kidding. It was amazingly effective! I sat! I read! I metaphorically ate the Ziggy Pig! And whenever anyone tried to interrupt me I waggled Katie's book in the air and referenced this list:

Reference List of Handy Phrases to use while 
Traveling with School Age Children
  1. I'd pour you some cereal/make you a sandwich/get you a snack but then I'd have to stop.... (Raise book in air. Look sad.)
  2. I'd help you with your sunscreen but then I'd have to stop... (Raise book in air. Look sad.)
  3. I'm thirsty. I'll probably have to stop reading (Raise book in air. Look sad.) to go get it myself....
  4. Who thinks mommy is the prettiest ever? (Raise book in air. Look pointedly at child.)
  5. Coffee. Cold. Need more. (Raise book in air. Flip through pages still to read.)
  6. (Sounds of kids fighting) WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN IF I HAVE TO COME IN THERE!?! (Slam book shut. Loudly.)
  7. Are you eating Cheez-Its? (Start to close book without a bookmark.)

And, like, the parental bonus points here?

You're totally teaching your children independence.

And self control.

And patience.

Mostly patience.

Lots and lots of patience.

What's on your summer reading list?

Friday, May 27, 2016

Are You A Redneck Parent Too?

The other day, as I yelled up the stairway, "Dude! Put the pedal to the metal, girls!" for, like, the billionth time that morning, I paused. Took another sip of my organic fair trade coffee, stared down at the butterflies on the toes of my running shoes and thought, "Huh. Jeff Foxworthy might be onto something here."

So I immediately sat right down at the kitchen table to write this list. While I finished my morning flax seed/chia seed/sesame seed/pumpkin seed/wheat germ/TVP/hemp seed oatmeal. Because, like mama says, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.


1. Put the pedal to the metal! 

This useful phrase is perfect for the morning routine when you've already climbed up the stairs three times in attempts to hurry people into their day clothes and you're tired of having to pause your NPR podcast. 

2. Get the lead out!

This one I save for the night time routine. Especially after I finish reading our bedtime story, Herb, the Vegetarian Dragon and the children have collapsed onto the floor. Too. Tired. To. Move. Themselves. Please. Carry. ME!

3. Quicker started, quicker done!

This is for homework time. Because it's the concise vision of perfection in one golden nugget of homily advice. Whispers: It's my favorite.

4. A little less talk, a little more action!

Especially useful during dinner times when your kids are negotiating exactly how many bites they need to take of the Mediterranean Tofu Chili you made for dinner. With artichoke hearts. 

5. Put a little trot in your giddiup!

I like to throw this one over my shoulder as I make my kids bike to school. Because, as Fancy Nancy: Everyday is Earth Day taught us, under a mile we ride in style and leave the Prius in the garage.

6. This is about as easy as herding organic, free range, antibiotic free chickens. 

My kids think this is a compliment.
That's because they're vegetarians. 

What are your favorite motivational Redneck parent sayings? 

Friday, May 13, 2016

There Is No Reason For This Post To Be Floating Out In The Internets.

Unless you have a computer.

And access to a free wi-fi network.

And you know how to spell words like, hat, baby, turtle and techno.

And you're a chicken.

In retrospect, I probably should have led with the whole "you're a chicken" thing....

Top 5 Best Chicken Videos Of All Time*!!!
Curated From The Internets!
Which I Already Alluded To.
In The Title Of This Post.
But, That's OK.
Because, Chickens? 
They Aren't All That Smart.

Video #1
Why walk when you can ride?

Video #2
Chickens need best friends too.

Video #3
Babies. They're hilarious!

Video #4
Fashion. Not just for Scarlet O'Hara anymore.

Video #5
Because it's Friday! Which means it's time to quit brooding around and shake those wattles like the total bantam you are.

I lied. There's a total reason for this post. And I set it to loop at 6am this morning and have been shaking my own bantam tail feathers to its beat ever since! (Don't judge me.)

*No real polling was done in the development of this statement. Unless you count me. Because I totally polled myself.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

DUDES! I'm Not Joshing You! This Is, Like, For Real!

All I can say, is that, Dudes, the power of prayer? It's freakishly strong.

Like, for reals.

And by reals, I mean really real reals, people.

I mean, like, stories for the family genealogical archives and everything reals!

Awwww....Yeah! The best kind of for reals: Historical for reals!

I've even archived the pictures!

Because serious family genealogy has to start somewhere.

And now, someday Katie and Ellie will be sitting at the matriarchal ends of the Thanksgiving table, passing around the vegan clam chowder, and the littlest great-great-grandchild, with pigtails bobbing and book hidden under the table, will confidently lisp, "Tell uth about Great Great Grandmama again, pleasth." And, because I prayed, Katie and Ellie will be able to dig out these pictures and tell them, once again, the story that proves I was a good and Godly woman.

Ooo! (claps hands, jumps up and down) Just like Bathsheba!


Not because of the whole adultery and murder thing!

But, because, the Girl Scout camp where I once worked had outdoor showers.

Oh gosh... I hope that was obvious....

Weeeeeellll... anyway-

This story is about...

a kitten!

On my deck!!

Who wants to cuddle with me!!!

While I drink coffee!!!!
 That's right, people.

God totally just gave me...

my own cat cafe!!!!!
Because I prayed for it.





With a holy need.





Deep down in my heart.

Ok, fine!

It's possible that maybe it was less like praying and more like whining. But, in my defense, It'd been a really crappy day.

And, sure, this may not actually be how prayer works-wait! Guys! UNLESS! GOD! IN HIS ALL POWERFUL POWERFULNESS WANTS IT TO!!

(cue bright light bulb over my head, heck, throw in some organ music for good measure)

Hey! God! How's it goin'? Goooood. Anyway! Have you seen this shower?

Because, God? I'm pretty sure that my Biblical Spirit Woman, Bathsheba, would totally want me to have it. 


Oops. Sorry. 

I mean, please. 



Tuesday, March 29, 2016

I Think Dolly Parton Would Agree. NOW! NEWLY UPDATED!

Yesterday, Ellie and I had just got home from school and she immediately sat down at the kitchen table, pulled out her math workbook and started to do.... math.

Dudes. I didn't have to ask. I didn't have to beg. I didn't even have to bribe her. (As long as you don't count the doughnut we stopped for on the way home a bribe. A yummy sprinkle covered bribe....)

Looks left. Looks right. Looks under chair, because, really, you never know. Looks you straight in the eyes and whispers, "I know. It's kinda freaking me out too..."

Speaking of things that kinda freak me out...

(cue up Sylvester Stallone singing country)

No. Not that. That's. Hilarious.

(Note to self: Waste perfectly good Saturday night watching "Rhinestone".)

No, I was thinking more like NAPSA.

And, in case you haven't seen NAPSA come across in your Facebook feed,  it's-



Let's break this down Balderdash style.

Is NAPSA the...

A. North Atlantic Philosophical Sailors Association
B. National Association for the Preservation of Skin Art
C. National Association for the Preservation of Skin Art
D. National Association for the Preservation of Skin Art

If you picked A (North Atlantic Philosophical Sailors Association) I'm guessing you live in Australia and know all about Horatio's left arm*. Which is, like, awesome! But. You picked badly. Because you're wrong.

It's B. 

And C.

And D.

Because, seriously, it's that disturbing.

I mean, NOW how am I supposed to screen the parents of my kid's friends?

Seriously! Because, you know, previously, I could totally drop my kids at a new friend's house, take a quick glance at their decor and be pretty certain that I wasn't leaving them at some psychotic skin suit wearing killer's house. Why? BECAUSE THERE WAS NO HUMAN SKIN DISPLAYED ON THEIR WALLS!

But now? I'm going to have to stoop to snooping through their kitchen drawers.

Because we have to draw the line somewhere.

And I'm hoping it's at oven gloves made out of Great Uncle Bob's biceps.

Guys, I think there's a classier way to do this whole tattoo preservation thing! AND! It's totally approved by both Sylvester Stallone and Dolly Parton!

If Dolly had tattoos.


*He "found the direct evidence of the existence of soul" in his left arm. Guys? History is awesome!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

I Spelled Omniscient As Omnisiount. Because I Still Have Free Will. Google.


Again, my computer has put on its "Evil Overlord Editor" hat. Which looks more like a tiara than a fedora, because,' know, it's obvious, soooo.....

See, my computer in it's omnisiount power has deleted another post I was writing. A week of work, just, gone-disappeared from my computer. And, yes, computer people (everybody wave at Jon!), I looked through my computer history and, I swear, it's like those hours I spent writing don't even exist!

Thought! My computer is in cahoots with Daylight Savings, Benjamin Franklin and the six fingered man from "The Princess Bride". There's virus software for that, right?

I mean, it's not like my ramblings were that bad, you know?

Ok, sure, I may have been writing jokes about Satan in the post it deleted from last week.

And, in one other deleted post, I was trying to draw a well scientifically researched line between ice skating falls and diarrhea.

But that other time! I was totally writing a review about the Pulitzer Prize winning novel All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr!  Which is like, a real quality writing topic, you know? But, apparently my computer knew I hadn't actually read the book. It knew my Americano sipping and loud page flipping was sheer posturing. To impress the other coffee shop people. Who I don't know. With my...intelligence.

But, dudes, I did the exact same thing in college once and my typewriter didn't even blink an eye, not even once, through that ten page paper on The Grapes of Wrath*.

So, in order to pull one over on Google, who runs the Internet with Amazon, near as I can figure, I'm posting. Yes. I am. After only 50 minutes of writing, editing, revising, staring off into space and watching people order their drinks at the coffee shop I'm shoving this post into Google's face! Because, just like the Paper Bag Princess, I don't need a knight to save me from myself.

*Note to my alma mater: Look. Don't freak out. I totally read The Grapes of Wrath in, like, seventh grade. So, let's not put this in my file next to that accusation of plagiarism**, kay?

**Note to Mom and Dad: OK, see, I wrote my paper debating pacifism and nationalism in the form of a short story, and, well, apparently, real college students don't turn in well researched fiction as English papers....

Friday, February 12, 2016

Mocking IKEA. MLA Style. Which Is A Lot Like Watching A UFC Fight, But More Exciting. Because There Are Page Numbers. And Shoe Racks.

IKEA! High five up high, man! You are really stepping up your game!


I use to have to log into my PinINterest account to mock interior decorating themes.

Because they didn't finish the quote.
And Charles Dickens is wearing his disappointed face. 
Which, you know, is fiiiiine. But, sometimes, you long for some unplugged, technology free mocking time. Like they had in the olden days.

Sitting around the tables at Wendy's. 

But, IKEA? Lately they've totally been filling that "let's be fully present while we mock" need!

"It's the little things that matter." (pg. 1)
Really? Are you sure about that, IKEA?

"Room for one more?" (pg. 59)

Everyone doesn't think so, IKEA.... 

"A well-oiled machine. A cleverly planned come-and-go area 
means that traffic can flow without pile-ups." (pg. 110)

Unless there's a toddler in the house.

Going to the bathroom.
Pretty much better than nature. (pg. 141)


No. No. It's not. Shut up, Nicolas. (pg. 107)

This is, like, the best "go to" motto for the bathroom. Ever.
(That was sarcasm, IKEA. Don't be fooled.) (pg. 144)

Look, IKEA, deep down-
-deep down no one loves their significant other this much.
So,  just remove your "awake" zone from
my "sleep" zone and no one will get hurt.
Yeah, yeah, I love you too.
Now, shhhh.... I'm sleeping. (pg. 155) 

"For days when you look less than fabulous-
a pretty net curtain comes between you and your reflection." (pg. 121)
Step back, Willis.
I think IKEA just called us all ugly.

And this face?

This face thinks that is one ugly chair.
Because two can play at that game, IKEA. (pg. 310)

Friday, February 5, 2016

If You Don't Say Anything Out Loud It's Not Passive Aggression, It's a Writing Prompt. Plus, In My Fantasy? Dude Got To Make His Own Ice Cream!

I visit a coffee shop every Thursday morning. It's supposed to be my treat (add selfish glare here) before spending the majority of my day volunteering at Katie's school, because, let's face it, when you show up to school drop off with this hairdo*:

You're totally outing yourself as a... stay-at-home mom. Shhhhh....

(look anxiously over shoulder) Maybe they didn't hear that over there at Ellie's school....Maybe.

So now every Thursday I order an Americano, flip open my computer and write for an hour.


Unless Loud Guy On Cell Phone shows up.

Then I spend my hour recreating the other side of his loud phone conversation.

Loud Guy On Cell Phone: (walks into coffee shop, places computer bag on chair next to mine) Why does Evan even have to come back?

Person on Other End Of Cell Phone Tower/or Me. In my own head. But Typing Replys On My Computer So It Doesn't Look Like I'm Eavesdropping**: (incredulously, obviously) Because he makes his own ice cream! And there's that... ice cream contest. At... the company.

Loud Guy On Cell Phone: (Interrupting. (Dude. How rude?))  Right. I don't think he's going to come back.

Person on Other End of Cell Phone Tower/Really Me Typing: No, Dude! Ice cream is like a really big deal for Evan. He, like, full on transports last year's trophy to and from work every day. He's not-

Loud Guy On Cell Phone: (Interrupting. (I know! Who'd of thought!?!)) I don't think he's going to accept it if he does-

Person on Other End of Cell Phone Tower/Maybe I Should Just Say Me: (Interrupting. Because two can play at that game.) That new thing down from HR? He might! Plus he was talking about this new flavor, Lemon Chocolate Chip. He seemed really-

Loud Guy On Cell Phone: (Interrupting. (Because that's just how he is.)) I'm sorry, but I think he's going to do something else anyway!

Cell Phone Tower Person/Me: (Sign. Eye roll. Throws hands in air. Like I just don't care. But  because I'm annoyed, not to indicate inhibition on a dance floor.)

Loud Guy on Cell Phone:  Look, what do you think of-I'm just looking at Joel-

Me: Because he wears funny shoes? I don't-

Loud Guy: I thought you said you did have it in there!

Me: (Oh! OK, I get it now. Still on ice cream. Loud Guy is pretty concerned about their ice cream making team. Which is good, because I know all about making homemade ice cream! Thanks, Mom!) Well, it seems there are holes in our ice cream team wait list, man. You've just told me we've lost our best ice cream maker, it's gonna take time to get the team back in the same freezer canister, so to speak, once they hear of this.

Loud Guy: Right.

Me: Exactly, we'll need to suggest someone. Now, Libby has her own antique ice cream maker, crank and all. But, Karl, Karl used to work for Cold Stone Creamery. Bolden just wrote, "I like ice cream" on his application. We're all over the place! We're going to need to dash these people into shape. Ice cream maker pun intended there, Dude. (I'm doing so well! It's like I'M actually having the conversation with Loud Cell Phone Guy!)

Loud Guy: Right. I just don't know which one. Because, they all look good and I don't know how to pick.

Me: We could-

Loud Guy: What did you think about Gino? Did you like him?

Me: (rude breathy noise) No one likes Gino.

Loud Guy: Ok, so it's not just me.

Me: (I can say this, because Loud Guy and me? We're friends now.)Nope. He smells funny.

Loud Guy: I know. I know! Can I ask you a question? Why not just put all your buckets into interns?

Me: (Scrambling, because, if they have an ice cream contest at this guys company every year, I want to work there! So, I need to make a good impression!) Because On ...Joel's shoes?

Loud Guy: Ok, coooool.... Sure. Um, You hang in there.  (Puts phone in pocket. Walks away. To order coffee. Or because He and Joel are like best bestest besties and Loud Guy thinks Joel's zebra shoes are amazing, and now, I've totally insulted him.)

Me: (Mumbling as I close my computer, and start to pack up to volunteer. At Katie's school. Again.) Shoot, man! I'll never get a job at his company now. (tsk) Good goin', Martha.

*Ellie did my hair. I look pretty. She told me so.

**Look, it wasn't just me, Okay? EVERYONE was eavesdropping in the coffee shop that day.