Worth Reading — 7.19.17

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

Scary Mommy: There is a Reason Moms are Always Tired, even After a Full Night’s Sleep

Medium: This is How Your Fear and Outrage is Being Sold For Profit (LONG, but…very interesting and eye-opening post)

Men’s Journal: Lost in the Waves (Another long one—from longform.org—but worth your time)

Swept out to sea by a riptide, a father and his 12-year-old autistic son struggle to stay alive. As night falls, the dad comes to a devastating realization: If they remain together, they’ll drown together.

Reader’s Digest: 50 Organizing Tricks (Tip: Click on “View as a List” to avoid clicking through that stupid slideshow format….argh!)

Friday Funny — The quicker picker uppers


Dan to me: Here’s a question: What do you think we pick up the most of….

Me: (interrupting) Water bottles!

Dan: No….

Me: (interrupting again) Hair bands!

Dan: No…

Me: (interrupting again) Dirty laundry! Wet Towels!

Dan: No…listen: pet hair, cat vomit/hairballs, or dead rodents (gifts from the cats)?

Me: Hmm….tough call. But, let’s be honest, you don’t pick up any of the cat vomit or hairballs…you just pretend you don’t see it until I clean it up.

Dan: Yeah, but I pick up ALL the dead animals.

Me: It’s like living with serial killers with colitis and chronic hair loss.

Three things — 7.13.17

Three things I’m loving this week


Outdoor swim meets. Wow…outdoor swim meets are a whole different experience. I did learn that next time I’m going to bring sunscreen and try to pick a seat in the shade, but all in all it was pretty cool to sit outside instead of a stifling indoor pool deck.


The Highmark Quad. It’s a family affair this year with both girls and myself signed up for the four-race series. The bike event (last Saturday) also draws out my big bro, Joe, who is an avid cyclist, and my niece-in-law Bethany who rode her bike for the first time this year the night before the Quad. (And, that’s what is awesome about the Quad — it attracts athletes of all ages and abilities.


Teen “How To” Classes at Blasco Library. To be fair, Kelly’s loving these more since she’s the one actually doing them, but she’s loved every one that she has done. I’m happy to kill time biking or walking along the bayfront while she’s there. She made the cupcake above in the “Let’s Get Baking” class. I’m hoping to talk her into the Teen Advisory Board.

Things I’m not loving this week


Loss of the Smile-face Tree. There’s a tree….wait…there WAS a tree right across from my office that appeared to be a smiling face with a leafy hairdo. It made me happy every time I walked by it. It reminded me of the illustrated tree in one of the girls’ favorite childhood story books — Cookie Monster and the Cookie Tree.  I was slightly horrified to find workers cutting it down last week.  Apparently, carpenter ants were eating it alive, but that doesn’t make the loss any easier.

Summer mid-way point. How are we so close to the end of July already? Have you seen the back-to-school crap on the shelves?






Worth Reading — 7.12.17

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

Parent.Co: 10 Things I Wish I Could Tell Teenage Me (Even Though She Would Roll Her Eyes)

New York Times: This is How I Want to Be Dead (Me, too….I think viewings, embalming, $10K caskets, and the entire funeral industry is bullshit. And, I’ve always wondered what happens to all those chemicals when bodies, inevitably, disintegrate).

Washington Post: Coal No Longer Fuels America, but the Legecy—and the Myth—Remains (I’ve never understood those who advocate for “bringing back” manufacturing and coal jobs. I mean…why look back? That’s dead & gone. Let’s look forward. Let’s train for the future in energy industries—solar, wind, etc.)

Discover: 12 Technologies that Will Transform the World

Just Write 151 ~ Peace of Nature

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The old stone pool outside my office window hasn’t been opened in two years now. But the black tarp that covers it offers a series of shallow leaf-littered pools that the local wildlife love. Especially frogs and toads, judging by the loud and ceaseless chorus of croaking and splashing that provide the summer soundtrack to my work day. The amphibians are joined by chittering chipmunks and about 100,000 birds that would put Adele to shame.

I’m not complaining. Far from it. I welcome these sounds of nature that draw my attention away from the day’s news.

Every day there’s a new scandal out of the White House, some other egregious thing our “president” or a member of his family or inner circle has said or done, some important ally he has offended, some brutal dictator he has embraced, some accomplished professional woman he ogled and thereby reduced down to a piece of pretty flesh.

It’s hard to keep up.  Or, rather, it’s depressing and discouraging and heart-breaking to keep up. If I read, listen, take in too much, I want to cover my ears and rock in a corner until 2020 (provided this national nightmare actually lasts that long). It all stresses me out and I’ve got the extra pounds and a new TMJ night guard to prove it.

So I’m finding it increasingly important to unplug, turn away, disengage, and find peace somewhere.

I can always find it outdoors, preferably in or near woods. I find myself absolutely craving it these days (as in I need to get OUT of here and away from all this s#$@).

I can breathe there. With the trees and the skittering chipmunks and buzzing insects and the rustling leaves. Things make sense in the woods. Nature makes sense.

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Nature is not trying to game the system. Nature is unconcerned with politics, power or money. There are no mind games in the woods. No party affiliations. No confounding beliefs that don’t jive with actions. No B.S.  No judgement. No religion.  Just the tangible and observable reality of what actually is. Nature is just doing it’s thing. Day after day after day.

It’s my safe space in a world that seems to have lost it’s f@#$ing way mind.

“It’s not that we don’t care, we just know that the fight ain’t fair.”


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.”