Three things — 4/24/14

Things I’m loving this week


1. Yoga Warrior challenge. My friend Rhonda Berlin challenged me to do a 14-day yoga challenge — an hour a day for two weeks, rolling through every DVD in Rudy Mettia’s 14-disc Yoga Warrior 365 set.  You know I love a challenge. As a runner, flexibility and core strength are important to me, but …as a busy mom, it’s something I rarely make time for.  It’s not easy to make the time for yoga — actually, it is why I didn’t “just write” this week…I was breathing and downward dogging at 5 a.m. instead of writing — but I really feel like it’s been worth it.

And, how cool is this…Rudy Mettia, the creator of the YW 365 DVDs, joined the party, too. He’s doing the challenge with us. How fun is that?

You can read daily updates on the challenge (there are a group of us doing it) on Rhonda’s blog.


2.  Play/playgrounds. Ten minutes before this photo was taken, these two were at each others’ throats. I <3 playgrounds…especially because they are good training grounds for Tough Mudder moms.



3. A freezer full of grass-fed beef. We bought a cow…or a half of cow…or rather a half of a half of a cow…and it nearly filled our chest freezer. While I feel bad for the cow, at least I know that he had a nice free-range, green-grass-eating life before he had one really bad day.

4. Walmart product replacement plan. (See things I’m not loving)

Things I’m not loving this week:


1. Smashed iPod. Yeah…so this happened…a mere week (or less) after I got my new iPod and promptly fell in love with it. I must have dropped it in the driveway after swim class when I was trying to carry bags, dinner, coats, shoes and everything else into the house (while the kids bounded in with free arms). I whined on Facebook and a friend asked if I’d bought it at Walmart and if I’d bought the product replacement plan for $20. I had bought it at Walmart, but hadn’t bought the plan.

I got to thinking about it and wondered if I could still buy it because the product was only a week old. I could, so I did and then promptly filed a claim. And for $20 I just got a refund from the Product Replacement Plan to buy a new iPod Nano. Thank God for FB. And, you bet I’m buying the $20 plan on the next Nano I order.

2. Quick-dying phone battery. My phone, which I charge overnight, barely makes it to the end of the workday before it losing a charge. It’s not old and I’ve deleted as many non essential apps & such as possible. Bluetooth and Wifi is not on…so I cannot figure out what’s sucking all the life out of the thing every day. I did download an app — Battery Doctor — that I hope will help keep things in check.

3. Schizophrenic spring weather. Go home, Mother Nature, you’re drunk.


Worth Reading — 4/23/14

A random collections of blog posts, articles and other things I think are worth sharing.

Scary Mommy: This is how dreams are shattered (*sniff*)

Buddhist Vision: How not to be offended — the secret to peace (I’m pretty hard to offend because I’ve learned it’s rarely about me).

The Comics Journal: The Bill Watterson Interview (I miss Calvin & Hobbes)

Outside magazine: The Best New travel booking websites

Reader’s Digest: 6 easy homemade Mother’s Day gifts

Three things — 4/17/14

Things I’m loving this week


1. My new Nano. I know. Just last week I was saying how much I would miss my beloved old Nano *cue the violins* and that the new one just wouldn’t be the same. I was right. It’s like 9,000 times better.

My new Nano is awesome. It plays radio stations! It comes with Nike’s Fit+ app, which tracks my workouts & calculates mileage and pace for me (who needs that clunky man-sized wrist Garmin). It has a stopwatch and a timer. AND….AND….the new earbuds are more like Yurbuds and they actually fit my ears.

It’s pretty awesome. (Though I did think for just a minute…oh, I wish it had a camera…see how entirely spoiled we are?)


2. Parenthood. I only watch this show on the interwebs (thank God NBC hasn’t shut us out yet) because I haven’t a clue when it’s actually on TV — late, I know. But I do love following the Braverman clan around….even if it is sometimes just a little to much like real life.


3. Amazon Prime. Guess who realized on Tuesday that Easter is Sunday? Guess who has no worries because she has Amazon Prime? With two-day free shipping, the smiley-face “bunny” will be delivering basket stuffers to my doorstep on Thursday and all I have to do is hit the local chocolate shops. Winning.


4. Bonfires. We had our first redneck dinner of the year this weekend — hot dogs and smore’s cooked over an open fire out back. I even let Lauren light the fire because I read this the other day.

Things I’m not loving this week

1. April crush/rush. April is the cruelest month in academia, particularly for a writer/editor. I’ve got to conduct interviews & get photos (or at the very least, touch base with sources and get their summer contact info) for four upcoming publications. So, I’m currently conducting interviews for some stories that won’t be published until late August. *sigh*

It can be overwhelming to keep everything straight. But, then, I am a master at multitasking and organization. And it’s kind of an adrenaline rush/challenge.

2. Winter clothes. I’m sick of all my winter clothes. I want to “shop” on the summer side of my closet.


Worth Reading — 4/16/14

A random collections of blog posts, articles and other things I think are worth sharing.

Buddhist Broadcasting Network: Accepting yourself as an introvert and loving your inner tortoise

Atlantic: Sweden: The new laboratory for the six-hour workday (Oh….what I would give for another two hours in my day..and I have to tell you that nothing makes me more productive than a deadline, so condensing the workday would only make me buckle down & get more done — ask any working mom who’s hell bent on getting out at 5 p.m.)

Time: The Simple Thing That Makes the Happiest People in the World Happy (All true)

New York Times: I refuse to be busy (I think that this should be retitled…I Refuse to Do Things I Don’t Want To because that’s what she’s really saying…which is fine and really what we should all be doing anything. We women do too much out of obligation or to “look good”. Bleh…who cares?)

The Digital Media Mom: My Secret to Getting the Best Deal on a Laptop (Helpful advice if you are in the market for a new PC).

Worth playing with

How many states can you name in four minutes? (I got 41…can you beat me???)


Just Write 101 ~ Scorched Earth

I recognize the flamboyant swirling scrawl on the front of the pale blue envelope addressed to my daughters and covered in Easter stickers, and internally groan.

Why can’t she just forget about us.

A relative I’ve chosen to cut ties with for lots of reasons I’m never going to go into here, likes to twist the knife, communicating solely with my children through holiday cards. Typically a few dollars stuck inside. I wish she’d stop because then I have to explain why we never see her anymore.

I’m sure she’s told everyone who will listen how I turned my back on her. I know because I endured her complaints about everyone else in her life for years. I was the one who gave her the benefit of the doubt. I was the one who was compassionate and kind. I was the one who stuck up for her with the rest of my family.

But, then…she went too far and took advantage of a situation in a manner so blatant and appalling it caused my jaw to drop. All for money. And that was it. I was done. Done. I don’t hate her, but I lost all respect for her.

Sometimes Lauren asks why we never see her anymore. For awhile I just brushed her off, but she’s relentless, demanding to know the real reason. I explained it as simply as I could. I sugarcoated. Why I care, I don’t know. I guess because I don’t want them to hate her. It’s not right to hate, and I don’t think she can help herself.

Folded up inside the Easter card are four dollars and an Easter card I sent her when the girls were young. A handmade card, with the girls’ fingerprints turned into chicks.

She’s been doing this for years now. Returning everything we ever gave her. She sends them a few at a time. Sometimes she sends entire albums and photo boxes full of every greeting card, every school photo, every letter, every coloring page we’ve ever given her.

I’m amazed that she’s kept every single one of these things. I can’t believe that after all she has already sent back she still some left to send. She must be holding back to draw it out. I’m sickened by her need to hurt.

Lauren is particularly upset about these returns. She has fond memories of this relative lavishing them with attention and gifts. Always gifts. But her gifts came with a lot of strings, invisible to excited toddlers, clear as cable wire to me.

There are some things in the basement that I’d love to send back to her. I never wanted them in the first place. I never wanted anything, but to make her happy. I know now what an impossible feat that is. She thrives on drama, spending much of her energy locked in (mostly imaginary) epic struggles with everyone from her neighbors to her former coworkers to her own son.

It’s quite sad, actually. I do feel sorry for her. But I can’t deal with it anymore. I tapped out.

“Mom, why does she keep sending our things back?”

“I don’t know, Lauren. I guess because we hurt her feelings and she wants us to know that.”

“It makes me feel really bad,” she says.

“I know. I think that’s what she wants,” I say sadly.

I know that she means to hurt me, not the girls. But when you go around burning bridges, you’re bound to scorch the earth around them, too.

About Just Write
“What ends up revealing itself when free writing is that everything has meaning. That is a magnificent gift of writing. If we write from a free heart-gut place, our souls start speaking


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