Worth Reading — 5.25.16

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

Huffington Post Women: If Only You Knew What I’ve Seen as a Paramedic

“If you only knew the weight of a wife as she crumbles to the floor when I pronounce her husband dead. In the very same spot that their young baby took his first steps just hours before. His first birthday cake still on the kitchen table, and I feel my chest caving in. I’ve carried her weight on my shoulders since that day.”

Take Part: See Inside the New Book Teaching Girls They Can Change the World

Competitor.com: Out There: I Can, I Will and Kiss my A#$ (A new mantra! I love it!)

Fatherly: Why Having Alone Time is Key to Keeping Your Family Together (it really is…so banish that bull%^$ guilt that you must attend every sporting event, let your kid dictate your schedule, or apologize for a two-hour long run.)

“Because while you may feel like being a good parent means setting aside your life because the kids need you, the truth is that it’s better for everyone when, occasionally, you do you.”

Just Write 140 ~ Man vs. nature

JW 1 larger

I first noticed the straw strewn along the door mat at the entrance to our office building a week or two ago. I thought the mess odd because the maintenance crew spends hours upon noisy hours blowing every bit of stray matter away from the building.

It’s a historic old stone farmhouse with nooks and crannies galore—inside an out. It’s drafty, oddly (but solidly) constructed, and has itty-bitty doorways and steep stairways. It full of character, charm, and craftmanship you’d never find today. I love it.

The birds do, too. The farmhouse offers myriad places to tuck a nest, usually with little to no disturbance from humans.

But this year, one persistent, but clearly stupid, robin keeps constructing a nest on top of the hinge of the main entrance to the building.

Because I start at 7 a.m., I’m almost always the first one at the office most mornings and, so, I’ve been the one destroying his nest day after day.

Friday, I arrived to find Mr. Robin had been working his tail off all night and morning. His nest was half constructed once again and, then I noticed him watching me from a nearby bush with a mouthful of nest makings.

Credit: http://www.birdsofthebog.com


I’m telling you, this bird is breaking my freaking heart.

I carefully picked up the half nest and held it out to Mr. Robin and hoped he was watching me as I set it on the top of a window shutter around the corner where I’m pretty sure he built his home last spring.

He didn’t buy into my Robin Relocation effort. I arrived Monday morning to find a fully constructed nest atop the door hinge.

I couldn’t destroy it. Not again. Not at this stage in the game.

I went in another door. There are plenty in this old farmhouse. At least seven, in fact. I know because last year when they redid the stone walkways surrounding most of the building, we were constantly redirected to different entrances.

I knew not everyone would go around, but I hoped they would. How long would it take this bird to raise it’s brood? A couple weeks?

Just let the bird be. Put up a sign and designate a new temporary entrance. It’s summer and our students and professors are gone. New student orientation and summer outreach programs haven’t started. The campus is a virtual ghost town right now and will be till Mid-June when Mr. & Mrs. Robin would have an empty nest again.

But I arrived back from lunch (having gone out the other entrance) to find the nest knocked to the ground, lying upside down. I didn’t have the heart to turn it over and see if there were any eggs.


About Just Write: Just Write is my adaptation of free writing, a technique in which a person writes continuously and quickly without little regard for spelling, grammar, or topic. It helps writers overcome blocks of apathy and explore everything from meaningful topics to mundane observations with the same effort and without the pressure of crafting perfect prose. I just start writing.

“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.”

Three things — 5.19.16

Things I’m loving this week

Chi-Chi’s ready-to-drink Margaritas. Oh, how I wish I hadn’t picked this up on a whim at the liquor store on Cinco De Mayo. Just add some ice cubes and blend for a tasty frozen margarita. Deeeelish….(Probably because there’s a  pound of sugar in it).

This American Life

This American Life podcast. Yeah, yeah…I know I’m like….a decade behind the game on this, but I just discovered this gem and added it to my podcast library. Most recently, I listened to an episode about Proms and one about Middle School, which actually took me back and reminded me what those years were like. Valuable insight for the mother of a couple of middle-schoolers.

A handy hubby. Our master bath shower surround allowed some kind of leaking that destroyed the bottom of the walls next to it, so this week the husband ripped it out & is tiling the shower. We’ll resuse the shower doors, but not the plastic surround. He’s also replacing and covering up parts the water rotted in the wall.  It’s a $350 project that probably would’ve cost $1,000 if we had to have someone else do it.

Things I’m not loving this week

The City of Erie considering closing it’s high schools. It seems extreme and I can’t imagine how the county schools could handle the influx of students. Nor can I wrap my head around the myriad of repercussions from a city with no school district, but I don’t think it’s mismanagement (though Barker sure did his best), but that, ultimately, that this is the result of electing candidates who pass budgets and policies that benefit corporations instead of kids.

G.U.M. flossers. Crappiest, weakest flossers ever. The dollar store brand Plackers brand is much better. Trust me: I’m obsessed with flossing and I would know.





Worth reading — 5.18.16

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

Finding joy: 20 Mom Things I Wish I Had Done More Of

“Had much less stuff. Probably don’t even need to go into why on this one. Just remember more stuff equals more to manage equals more to clean equals more time spent on things and not time.”

New York Times: When Do You Give Up On Treating a Child with Cancer? (Heartbreaking…and inspiring, too.)

Erie Times-News: After Heroin: Erie-area Family Shares Battle With Addiction (Addiction can happen to any family — yes, even white middle-class kids raised in good and loving homes. Kudos to this family for shedding light on addiction and refusing to wear the badge of shame.)

Erie Reader: Caring for the Community, One Bird at a Time (Nicely written profile about one of Erie’s humble heroes.)

“Too often we put all of our focus on people who run businesses, wear suits, own big houses. We point and say, “See, this is success.” I’m here to broaden the definition to include someone like McWilliams who has dedicated his life to wildlife conservation. His gifts to our community are priceless and will last long into the future.”


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