• Childhood Memories,  Confessions,  Family Fun,  Reflections on Parenting

    Photographic Evidence

    If you know me even just a little bit you are aware that when I take on a project I truly put everything into it (“go big or go home” and all that jazz). While I can annoy myself along the way, I’m rarely disappointed at the end. In fact, Jim reminded me of that just last week. I’m making a Blurb book (just for me) out of all the letters I wrote ahead of my fiftieth birthday last year and decided to add photos. The problem was going to be finding what I needed: like needles in a house-sized haystack. I was talking to Jim about stopping my hunt…

  • I've Got Mad Skillz,  Motivation

    There Has To Be A Life Lesson In Here Somewhere.

    I throw my back out approximately twice a year, and when it happens my my ability to move normally is impaired for a week to 10 days. As someone who exercises every single day for between an hour and ninety minutes (and gets crabby when she can’t, even for a day), this semi-annual event makes me ragey. I have a few risk factors for back woes: both of my parents have a history of back problems, I carry extra weight around, and there’s that aforementioned daily workout nearly without fail, without days off for recovery. It happened again nearly three weeks ago, under stupid circumstances: I yanked my back out…

  • Childhood Memories,  Confessions,  Music

    Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time.

    Today I’m participating in an old school Blog Hop, organized by my friend Nancy over at Midlife Mixtape. (Thanks for inviting me, Nancy!) The theme, as you may have guessed by reading my post title, is “Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time.” Way (way) back in the summer of 1979, my family was preparing to move away from the Chicago area for the very first time. My dad was hired to manage a Holiday Inn outside of Ft. Worth, Texas. I was very upset about the move, specifically because I was scared to leave the the home I knew and loved and my friends and everything that was…

  • Confessions,  Favorite Things

    God Save The Queen (And Her Corgi)!

    One of my very favorite things in this house was given to me a couple of years ago by my friend Sue, followed a year or so later by Sue’s gifting of another one of my very favorite things in this house. They are Queen Elizabeth and one of her Corgis. Not the REAL Queen Elizabeth, silly. THIS Queen Elizabeth: To say I’m a British Royals fanatic would be a massive understatement. You can get an idea of my crazy, and I highly recommend you do, by reading my live blog of William and Kate’s wedding in 2011, which is (along with the comments) still hysterical (to me) three and…

  • Childhood Memories,  Confessions,  Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?,  Music

    Record Regret

    After lunch on Sunday we walked to the next street corner where we found a record store. As in vinyl. As in albumins. As in “Big CDs”, which was the term I used when trying to explain to my two boys what record albums were, way back in the late 90’s and before they became interested in vinyl themselves. These days, all three of us are suckers for a cool record store. (Jim’s lukewarm about it but will absolutely spend some time happily browsing if you ask him to.) We’ve all spent time with my sister on Record Store Day, tracking down colored vinyl or special releases or other treasures.…

  • Confessions

    Oops, I Did It Again

    I may or may not have had to confess to J that I “tapped” the front of his car today when I was backing down the driveway. Luckily, 1. I only bent his license plate a little bit and 2. He “tapped” my car into something when I was in Costa Rica so he couldn’t really say anything except, “Well, I guess we’re even.” Also, when you do something twice, I’m pretty sure it can be spun into something like, “Oh that? That’s a family tradition!” It sounds better that way. Anyway, I’m just thankful that he wasn’t standing in our front window watching me do it, like his brother…

  • Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?,  My Sister Has Mad Skillz,  Queen of Denial

    Knife Skills Are Only Helpful When You Use Them

    Where was I? Oh yes, sitting here with a wrapped up finger after my kitchen accident yesterday. Here’s what happened. Not quite six weeks after attending a knife skills class during which we learned to “curl your fingers under when holding whatever you’re cutting, to protect your fingertips from the knife”, I was dicing apples for my very delicious and popular apple bread recipe with the Chef’s Knife I received at that very class (the VERY SHARP Chef’s Knife*) when it happened. *insert elevator music here, instead of the gory details* I didn’t panic; I grabbed a paper towel and started applying pressure immediately, keeping my finger above my head.…

  • Childhood Memories,  Confessions,  I've Got Mad Skillz,  Jew Stuff,  Too Funny To Ignore

    How Overnight Camp Is Two Degrees From Bacon

    Back in the spring of 1979, I was a fifth grader seeking redemption. The temple to which my family belonged was holding its annual contest through which three lucky Sunday School students would win a two-week scholarship to Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute (OSRUI), the Oconomowoc, Wisconsin overnight camp for Reform Jewish youngsters. The contest consisted of an essay written during religious school from a pre-selected prompt and then, if advanced to the final round, an interview with members of the temple Board of Directors to determine the winners. The prior year I was a much less mature fourth grader who wrote in freeflow. That’s why, when given the prompt…

  • Confessions,  Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?,  How To,  I've Got Mad Skillz,  Too Funny To Ignore

    The Best AND Creepiest Way To Discourage A Door-To-Door Salesperson. Maybe.

    We have lived in our current home for nearly twelve years. Our neighborhood is on the smallish side, and our elementary school is smack-dab in the middle. Both of my boys attended that school from Kindergarten through fifth grade (D started Kindergarten there when we were living in a rental home in another subdivision nearby). One of the things I love about this neighborhood is that it feels a lot like Mayberry: it’s quaint, neighbors know neighbors (for the most part), and until the last couple of years it was not very transient compared to other areas in my town. I have seen lots of kids grow up here alongside…

  • Childhood Memories

    I Lost My Innocence Right Outside The Corner Store.

    Back in the 1970s, the world was a very different place and generally safer than it is today. Parents used to let their kids run around as long as they were home by dinner, or by nine, or whatever, and kids respected that. There were no cell phones, and although it was recommended that kids not talk to strangers, generally most strangers were totally fine. When my sister and I used to visit our Grandma, one of our favorite things to do was walk two blocks to the corner store in order to pick up any random items that Grandma “needed” (milk, potato chips, gum…I’m pretty sure she came up…