Monday, October 31, 2016

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Smacksy Sunday Links

A three second brain exercise for finding joy.

How to make choices you won't regret.

Magic tricks that are really just science.

Stunning land artwork.

And a guy dresses up as a dog's favorite toy. (Easily the best thing on the internet this week.)

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Guys and Their Sale

Bob and nine of his friends had an all kid yard sale today. Everyone made some cash and let go of some old toys and books and kid items. There was a little bit of cross purchasing among the guys. Doughnuts were eaten. There was a lot of math and a lot of making change. It was all pretty great.

We might need to make it an annual thing.

Thursday, October 27, 2016



"Mom? I think it's time we cleaned Allan Murray's fishbowl."

"I think you're right. It's looking a little bit murky."

"You know what's really murky?"


"The pico de gallo at school."

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

In the Crosswalk

Mike the Crossing Guard: Hey! I haven't seen you guys around! Where's the station wagon?

Me: Sold it.

Mike the Crossing Guard: Aw, that's sad.

Me: Yeah, it was time.

Mike the Crossing Guard: What are you driving now? What should I look for?

Me: Gray Prius.

Mike the Crossing Guard: Everyone drives a gray Prius.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Game One

I used to think baseball was boring. I know, I know. I was wrong. Now, thanks to Bob, I am a fan. Watching Bob play and then having to actually learn the rules when I was scorekeeping, all worked to get me into the game. Now I like watching even if Bob's not playing. Who am I?

Monday, October 24, 2016


Sometimes you're running through your day. You blow through the morning rush, traffic, appointments, emails, phone calls, head down all business. And then you turn a corner and you look up. You look up and see this. You stand still and the world slows down for a minute.

What ARE you?

My DNA results.

"What are you?" is a question I've heard all my life. I've often struggled to answer because there seemed to be so many right answers.

I had some information about my ancestry that I had every reason to believe was accurate. And then, I did a DNA test and got this information back that contained a few surprises. Yes, Native American. I know. Iberian Penninsula, I knew that - Basque has always been in the story. 51% Great Britain? That's news. I knew some - but not 51%. And then Italy/Greece? Never heard those before.

So, what am I? There's still no quick answer - except this one: I'm 100% fantastic.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Smacksy Sunday Links

How not to be a spasmodic Hercules.

Science says lasting relationships come down to - you guessed it - kindness and generosity.

The Japanese practice of forest bathing.

Artist tightly winds newspaper to create highly realistic animal sculptures.

And a koala getting tummy rubs.

Happy Sunday.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Oh, Hi

Our house is on the very small side. Still, there are 864 square feet available. Teddy prefers to share one of those square feet with the back of my neck. He's not really a guy with a sense of personal space. Or maybe he is and he just wants me to be inside of his personal space.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


"Mom, that one guy in the blue shirt in the scrimmage kept cleating me in the feet on purpose."


"Remember how you were telling me about we have to have a filter between your emotions and your reactions?"

"I do."

"Yeah, that guy had no filter for his cleats."

Monday, October 17, 2016

Howdy, Neighbor

When Mr. Rosenberg pulled into the driveway from work this evening, I opened the door and Teddy slipped out to say hi. A man came around the corner walking his dog. Teddy ran up to the little dog and the little dog started barking. We grabbed Teddy and were taking him inside when the man stood on the sidewalk in front of our house and started yelling obscenities at us. "Stupid, f***ing ugly Americans!" and "F*** you!" he shouted over and over in a German accent. Bob could hear it from inside. The whole neighborhood could hear it.

I get that Teddy startled the guy. I totally get that he didn't know that Teddy was friendly. I take responsibility for my mistake letting Teddy get out of the door. This guy's reaction was unhinged and frightening. (And I'm not sure what us being American had to do with it.)

How did we react to this guy? (He did not seem open to a polite apology. Ahem.) We grabbed our dog and went into the house quickly, leaving him outside yelling. He continued yelling as he finally left and walked down the street. We didn't go at it with him. There's no point in trying to reason with crazy.

I can't remember the last time I had someone screaming at me. Maybe that time I worked for Michael Bay?

The evening can only get more relaxing from here.

Friday, October 14, 2016

He is an Excellent Listener

I read a fascinating interview today with an animal communicator. One of the things he talked about was his belief that our animals understand everything we say to them. He said we should talk to them a lot and explain situations that will affect them. I'm ahead of the game because I talk to Teddy all the time. I mean like all the time. I tell him e v e r y t h i n g. So if I believe what the communicator is saying, it means that perhaps Teddy knows too much. He's not telling any of my secrets though. He's a vault. As far as I know.

Thursday, October 13, 2016


"...And producers are at the start of the food web."

"Ok, Bob. Good. What's a protist?"

"I already know that one, Mom."

"I don't. What is it?"

"You don't know what a protist is?"

"No, I really don't."

"Mom, I think this homework might be more for you than for me."

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

G'mar Hatimah Tovah (May You be Sealed for a Good Year)

Today is Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, the holiest and most solemn of the Jewish holidays. As I understand it, during the Days of Awe, the ten days leading up to Yom Kippur, Jews are directed to consider the sins of the previous year and repent, making amends to those they have harmed. Yom Kippur is the day to work it all out between you and God, asking for forgiveness, peace and to be sealed in the Book of Life for the coming year.

I'm not Jewish, only in the tangential sense that Mr. Rosenberg is Jewish, but I know a good thing when I hear one. So I've spent some time today working it out with God. I think I've got this. Rather, God's got this.

May you be sealed for a good year.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Weather Report

I sat in my soccer-mom chair at Bob's practice tonight WITH A BLANKET. It's finally not 90° for the first time in what feels like forever and it is delightful. Bring on all of your decorative gourds and pumpkin spice situations immediately. I'm wearing all of my sweaters at one time. Until Sunday, when the forecast is back in the 90s again.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Out of the Dark Place

Back then

Today, I posted a Facebook update that I am celebrating 29 years sober. One of my friends posted a meme in the comments that reads, "Congratulations on the anniversary of your horrific alcoholic bottom." It made me laugh out loud.

Yes, my horrific alcoholic bottom was exactly that, horrific. Every day I celebrate that October 10, 1987 gets smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror of my life but I also need to remember that first day, the vivid details of every hopeless feeling I had. I need to hold it close as evidence about how much I do not want to return there, to that hopeless place. It's motivation to stay the course.

I know it's only today that matters, only today that I can hold onto, just this one day at a time, as we say. I am grateful for the days that have strung together into these years and all the places these years have taken me. So very grateful.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Smacksy Sunday Links

Small change, small victories.

The Savannah Summer: A Metaphor.

Inside the New York Public Library's last secret apartments. I had no idea.

Photographer recreates iconic portraits using John Malkovich as his model.

And a kitten sleeping in a cup.

Happy Sunday.

Friday, October 7, 2016


"Wow, Bob. Did you see that fungi in the tree?"

"Yeah, Mom."

"Isn't it cool looking? It's sort of beautiful."

"It's not beautiful, it's weird looking."

"Weird things can be beautiful. I read an article about how mushrooms are going to save the world."

"You can't believe everything you read on the internet, Mom."

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Sham

Mr: Rosenberg: Which one of these is my pillow?

Me: Not the one with the sham.

Mr. Rosenberg: You're a sham.

Me: The one with the sham has buttons and it's not soft. 

Mr. Rosenberg: You're a sham with buttons.

Me: Here's your pillow.

Mr. Rosenberg: But what's the sham one for if you can't sleep on it?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Dinner is Served

"What is that thing, Mom?"

"It's a pasta-cheese-sauce-baked-thing."


"No. It's more like a casserole."

"Cass-er-ole? I like the first name better."

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Someday Pile

I read a post from Cait Flanders' blog called, "You Can't Change Your Life Without Changing Your Life." It was about some big moves she's made recently. It was interesting, but the title of the post is what has really stuck with me. You can't change your life without changing your life. It reminds me of the Albert Einstein quote, "The definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

It also made me think of the things I keep in my head that I plan on getting around to someday that I keep all heaped on my internal someday pile. When I break it down, I see that some of these things will require breaking habits and incorporating new practices, others a few hours time commitment, and some will require just a phone call. These changes require change. When does someday happen? Perhaps when inaction starts to feel more uncomfortable than action? Could someday be today?

How will you change your life to change your life? When is your someday?

Monday, October 3, 2016

It's 5777

Today we celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. The next ten days are the Days of Awe which end with Yom Kippur. It's a time for introspection, a time to repent the sins of the past year, and a time to plan for the year ahead.

On this day, it's customary to eat round-shaped challah bread and apples dipped in honey, symbolizing a hope for sweetness in the new year. We didn't quite get there last night, opting instead for the less traditional vegetarian bowls from Chipotle. Perhaps symbolizing a spicy new year?  We'll do sweetness tonight.

I found this list of questions to answer for Rosh Hashanah's spiritual accounting:
Achievements: What did I accomplish this past year?
Efficiency: Am I careful not to waste precious time?
Community: Am I involved in contributing to bettering the world?
Forward: What are my goals and aspirations for the coming year?

These are standard reflective ideas but the question that hadn't occurred to me before was the question of efficiency and not wasting precious time. I believe I'm guilty of a certain mindlessness. Some checking out is important but I may be wasting not just some time but precious time. How many times can you re-watch an episode of Fixer Upper before it falls into that category? How much alphabetizing of the spice rack? How much scrolling through Twitter is a waste? Most of it? All? I will give this one some thought and then some action.

Wishing you all a very sweet and spicy year.
L'Shana Tova.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Smacksy Sunday Links

Just some nice corn muffins.

Head, heart, hands, and hustle.

Is your spending allied with your values?

Beautiful 100-year-old photos of immigrants at Ellis Island.

A poetic murmuration of birds in the Netherlands. I love murmurations.

And dogs catching treats.

Happy Sunday.