Friday Funny: Golf

Because I miss him…and this is a classic skit.  (Definitely NSFW…lots of F-bombs).

Here’s my idea for a sport: You knock a ball into a gopher hole….hundreds of yards away….with s$%# in the way, like trees and bushes and grass….then I’ll put a pool and a sandbox to mess with your ball again….

Three things — 8/27/15

Things I’m loving this week


1. Saucony sale at Shoe Carnival. Oh…I love a good sale…and last night I found one on Saucony Cohesion running shoes (mine and Dan’s shoe) at Shoe Carnival — snagging two pairs of shoes mailed to my house for $57. Read more about it here.


2. New hummer feeder. I have two hummingbird feeders (and an oriole feeder they eat out of, too). A couple years ago, I added third feeder that had a blue bottom. The birds wouldn’t touch it. I don’t know why. After two years, I gave up and bought this one and for the first time ever, I have several hummers fighting for a position on it. Though, admittedly, it could be that word got out we have the sweetest nectar around — Lauren made the last batch for me and when I told her to add 8 scoops (1/4 cup scoop), she thought I meant 8 cups, so….it’s pretty much hummingbird crack right now.


3. Tim Horton’s coffee. I find Starbucks and McDonald’s to be too bitter, Country Fair too bland and Tim Horton’s coffee to be juuuuussst right.

Things I’m not loving this week

1. Back to school B.S. Enforcing bedtimes, hectic mornings, homework, socks, filling out the same exact health forms I’ve filled out for the last nine years….gah!

2. People who abuse the “All employees” email distribution list. There’s a special place in hell for people who deem everything that their department does as worthy of being shouted from the rooftops (email server) multiple times a week. I’m about to go ape-shit one one chronic abuser.

Worth Reading — 8/26/15

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

Serious eats: 10 Easy S’mores Variations  (There’s still time!)

Jon Acuff: Divorce is so ordinary, we sometimes forget the extraordinary pain it causes

“Sometimes the frequency of divorce makes us forget the heartache of it. It’s such an ordinary thing these days that we tend to rush right by the extraordinary pain it causes.”

Makes You Mom: The Possibilities of Toast (Really vivid storytelling here. Also, I really want to try the tomato-and-cucumber sandwich she describes!)

Mark’s Daily Apple: 7 Childhood Activities that Can Make You Happier and Healthier

Just Write 124 ~ The unexamined life… is one being lived

Where have I been lately? Well…let’s see:


In the pool….


In the ‘burgh with mom & the girls…



Eriez Speedway

at Eriez speedway…

sailing - crew

learning to sail….


riding on a pirate ship with all my inlaws (and our hand-drawn anchor tatts)…IMG_8474

trekking through Fourmile creek…



meeting the newest member of the family (Kinzlee)….


Getting some color….


celebrating three special Cass anniversaries…


riding the rapids at Cedar Point…



swinging in the trees at the Peek…


canoeing down the Allegheny River…IMG_9221

and…just relaxing in the river….

Here’s where I have not been (a short list):

  • School shopping/the mall
  • At the YMCA or any indoor exercise class
  • In front of the TV
  • In my home office (for anything other than must-finish freelance work)
  • WordPress

I feel guilty sad bummed disappointed conflicted about not finding time to blog.

It’s not that I think you’re all waiting with bated breath for my next post.  (Oh, what wisdom will Heather bless us with today!?), but that an un-examined life is not worth living.

Well, that’s what Socrates said anyway. But, let’s be honest — he was being a bit of a drama queen with the whole “not worth living” part. I mean, I’m not going to go jump off a cliff because I don’t have time to think right now (I would, however, probably do it if all my friends did. It’s been established that I’m a sucker for peer pressure...and adventure.)

But I do regret not having time to reflect, make connections, and write the words that help me make sense of life and, more importantly, appreciate it.

When I finally get some free/down time, it’s usually 9:30 or 10 p.m. and, I just want to chill out with my Kindle or my guilty pleasure — Us Weekly magazine (don’t judge me). Writing anything intelligent/witty/insightful at that time of night is nearly impossible for me. There’s a reason most writers are early birds. We are better at the crack of dawn than the edge of night.

But the crack of dawn usually finds me running, or lifting weights, or scooping cat litter and folding laundry between sets of pushups or overhead presses.

Life is full right now. Sometimes I resent the endless–and exhausting–work and obligations that come with a home, family, friends, and a full-time job. I fantasize about selling everything and moving to a tiny house that takes 10 minutes to clean…or Mexico where Dan and I could lead kayak expeditions for tourists…or to some cottage on a river. Then, surely, I’d have no trouble finding time to examine my life, right?

But, then, what would I have to examine, right?


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.”


Three things — 8/20/15

Things I’m loving this week

1. Students back on campus. Summers on college campuses are quiet. Sure…there are summer classes, and summer camps, and students who are still around doing summer research…and it’s a peaceful reprieve…at first. But it’s exciting when 4,000 students and faculty return and bring the campus back to life.


2. Peek’n Peak’s Mountain Top Adventure Course. It’s pretty awesome, but it’s not for the weak or those afraid of heights. Read more about it here.


3. The Allegheny River.  Dan’s aunt and uncle have a camp on the Allegheny River in Warren and it’s always a peaceful place to spend a day or two. This year, we rented canoes and paddled down river (thanks to a headwind…we had to paddle. *sigh*). When we got back, there was still plenty of time to fish, swim, relax, and enjoy a few drinks and s’mores around the campfire. The girls didn’t fight the whole time we were there. Also…I saw my first bald eagle:


Things I’m not loving this week

  1. Summer homework. We knew it would happen…and despite our incessant reminders and prodding to do a little of it every day, the girls waited until the two weeks before school starts to begin their summer homework packets (which are total bulls#$t in and of themselves, but….).


2. This expression. I’ve been seeing FAR too much of this face lately. This too shall pass….this too shall pass…this too shall pass….

3.  “The Altar Girl.” This was an Amazon Prime freebie and proof that you get what you pay for. I got about halfway through before I deleted it from my Kindle. Life is too short and there are too many good books to read to slog through a bad one.

Worth Reading — 8/19/15

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

KQED News: What Do Students Lose By Being Perfect? Valuable Failure

We taught her that her potential is tied to her intellect, and her intellect is more important than her character. We taught her to protect her academic and extracurricular perfection at all costs and that it’s better to quit when things get challenging rather than risk marring that perfection.

Above all else, we have taught her to fear failure, and that fear has destroyed her love of learning.”

Marc and Angel Hack Life: 18 Reminders You Need When Things Don’t Go Your Way

One Crafty Mother: Fail Better – On Divorce and Creating My Own Orbit

“My life doesn’t look anything like I imagined it would, but I have learned that the disconnect there isn’t in life itself, but in the imagining, in the expectations of how things are supposed to be. I no longer believe in supposed-to.

Zen Habits: Advice for People in Their Early 20s (cause I’m sure soooo many of them are reading my blog, right? You can pass it along to all the 20somethings in your life.)

The New York Times’ Room for Debate: Don’t Limit Your Teen’s Screen Time (some interesting food for thought here…and something I’ve been wondering about with my own girls. Lauren loves Minecraft, I sent her to tech camps this summer based around the program. She plays on it with her sister and the neighbor girl down the street. After taking some tech/programming camps this summer, she says she wants to be a programmer. And, I think, well then why am I denying her access to this technology? I don’t know what the answer is because I also want her to climb trees and hunt for fossils, but it’s probably somewhere in the middle between nature and nurture.

Just Write 123 ~ Saving herself


She’s thirty feet in the air when she starts to panic, her legs and arms shaking with both effort and fear. She has one leg on two different blocks of swaying wood, one hand on the left cable, and her arm clutched over the right cable.

“I can’t do this…I’m going to fall…,” she says in a rising falsetto voice.

Just then her feet go in two directions and her legs splay like a deer on ice. We all gasp, but she manages to keep herself from dangling by her safety harness.

Her uncle and aunt are on the platform at the end encouraging her.

“OK, Kelly, just take a break,” her uncle says. “Just breathe and listen. Put your left foot flat on that board, move your right hand up and to the left….”

Her dad and I stand at the start platform behind her, helpless. We can’t go out to get her and or reach out a hand to help her.

We can only stand there and watch her struggle. She’s got to do it herself. She has to find the strength. She has to figure out how to make it across.

We can only stand by and watch and hope and hold our breath and offer encouragement and instructions.

When she almost falls, I have to turn away.

It’s hard to watch your kid struggle and suffer. It’s hard to watch them fail, but I know it’s essential.

There were times earlier in the course when I could’ve helped her — steadied the blocks, held the cable taut, reached out a hand to pull her up — and chose not to because sometimes I think we are too quick to help… too quick to intervene in sibling or friend spats…to quick to rescue our kids from any discomfort or adversity. While we mean well, it’s being proven again and again and again and again that this kind of parenting is to the child’s detriment.

Too many kids today are afraid to fail…or fall…or mess up… and they are paralyzed by that fear into never doing or trying anything lest it be anything less than perfect.

They need to struggle. They need to fail. They need to face adversity. They need to know that they can handle things on their own. That they are strong and resourceful and capable of doing things for themselves.

Kelly eventually regained her balance, shifted her weight to cross the blocks, and made it to the platform. We all cheered. She smiled, maybe from relief, but more likely from the sense of self accomplishment and inner strength that came from doing what she didn’t think she could do.

From coming that close to falling and saving herself.


More about the Peek’s ropes course here.

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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