Plan Ahead For Fail

hiking shoes feet

I just sat down to look at my email and I saw this in the subject line of a message: “Plan Ahead For Fail.” I was struck by it because I am in the middle of a parenting fail moment and I thought “Wow! What perfect timing!” But when I looked again I realized it just said “Plan Ahead For Fall” and I was mentally grasping at straws. This is truly the middle of the summer doldrums, when the children and I have spent a lot of time together, just me, my kid, and his annoying little brother. Or seen the other way, me, my kid, and his obnoxious older brother. Can’t you just hear the bickering from where you sit? Today, after several weeks of days in a row when we simply can’t get through it without an episode of fighting, complaining, talking back, or just plain entitled behavior no matter how I structure the behavior/reward way of life, I finally lost it. Up until now I’ve been pretty good at holding my temper in check, keeping my language clean, doling out consequences and scolding when necessary. People who witness me NOT losing my temper might wonder what I mean by that, because it’s all relative. I’m not exactly calm, cool, and collected ever. But you’d understand if you saw me lose my shit today. I feel, of course, incredibly guilty about it now. It’s not the first time it’s happened and for God’s sake they’re only 6 and 8. It won’t be the last. It’s a good reminder that now is a good time for me to take a little break, and that daily meditation, stretching, and walking practice is something I should never skip. That’s planning ahead to handle “fail” with a little bit more grace than I did today.

Just One Paragraph 13/30

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday: Dog Days of Summer

I don’t think I’ve ever invoked the Wordless Wednesday cheat of adding (Not So) to the beginning so I could weasel a bunch of words into what is supposed to be a post that includes only a picture. But a few things made me short on time today, so I’m going to do it now. Number one: the day just got away from me. Kyle started day one of three at Apple Camp today, which sounds great except that for the 1.5 hour session parents are expected to hang out nearby. It’s not like I got a load of free time. It was at the mall, and blessedly, my friend Noelle and her kids were there too, so we spent a nice time hanging out and catching up. But that meant the rest of the day was filled with the regular business of life. Number two: It wasn’t until the late afternoon, taking a walk with some other friends and their dogs, that I remembered today’s theme, so I borrowed one of the dogs and  made her smile for the camera. Now, look. I’m not really a dog person, as evidenced by our great dog owner failure of 2007. I don’t dislike dogs, but I don’t want any living with me right now, and I don’t want to pick up their poop. And I certainly don’t want them kissing me on the mouth. But it’s certainly an eye-catching photo. Except I think instead of “Say cheese!” she heard “KISS ME!” and then this happened:

I can assure you, this dog’s big slurpy tongue did not connect with my face. I mean, ew. I dodged back just in time.

Just One Paragraph 12/30


Get Off My Lawn


I’m becoming a cranky old lady. Here is a short list of things that I can no longer tolerate: hashtags, group texts, the slightest hint of heartburn, shitty cocktails, a lack of available parking spaces, traffic, being late for anything, being kept waiting for anything, passive aggressive announcements of “friend-cleaning” on Facebook, or for that matter – Facebook, mint in anything other than Thin Mints or Altoids, bananas in anything other than a peel, olives, staying up late when I’m really tired, or kids who talk back. It’s a good thing I don’t know any kids like that.

Just One Paragraph 11/30

My Florinda Shelf

Florinda says goodbye to her books.

Florinda says goodbye to her books.

I have this friend. Her name is Florinda and she is a book blogger. (She is also in our world famous Wordless Wednesday linkup and she’s also doing this Just One Paragraph challenge – our great minds think alike.) That is a person who blogs about books – it’s pretty plain and simple. In her years of book blogging, she has amassed quite a library of review copies and galleys and just…books. And today she emailed me and invited me to come “shopping” in her book stash because she is moving and she is getting rid of books she has already read, and even some she finally admitted she probably will never read. It’s like when I clean out my closet – letting go of that comfy sweater that I finally admit I will never wear again, even though I bought it in 1988, is hard. But it will find a good home on someone else’s body. I jumped at the chance and hauled the boys with me up to her house, where they did NOT behave as I looked through the stacks. I chose titles based on their authors, or their covers, or the fact that Florinda liked them or blogged about them or sometimes, both. In this case, the books found a good home with my brain, which looks at the stack that I chose from among the dozens and dozens and DOZENS to choose from, and calculates how quickly I’ll be able to burn through them. Stewart gives me a year.

My "Florinda" shelf.

My “Florinda” shelf.

Just One Paragraph 10/30