Showing posts from March, 2009


After bathing three children, I go through a sort of grooming routine that amazes my husband. Each child needs to have their nails clipped (all 60 of them!), hair brushed, teeth brushed, and ears cleaned. So earwax is pretty much a standard thing around the house. (More on Q-tip consumption later...) And what else is a standard thing around this house? Me watching crazy science TV shows and picking up tiny pieces of odd knowledge. Which brings me to today's topic: Human Evolution and Earwax. I love this. Talk about a good conversation topic. Impress all of your friends with this potential worthless knowledge over lunch tomorrow, and they'll never look at you the same way again. In 2006, Japanese researchers found that the 2 types of earwax, wet and dry (who knew?), can be traced back to a single switch in human DNA. This switch apparently happened during the dawn of human evolution and the people with wet earwax went one way and the ones with dry earwax went the other wa

An honest conversation with myself

I spent part of yesterday whining to myself about my so-called writing career, how my blog doesn't get as many hits as I'd like and how much better everyone else's blog is. I was feeling a little down in the dumps and then Ellen came home from school. I was running here and there between computer and dinner and children she started crying. "You never have time for me." So I dropped everything and colored Franklin for as long as I could, until the smell of burning chicken wafted its way over to me. Today I was revisiting those same crummy feelings that I had about blogging, weighing in what I have, what I wish I had, my upcoming MWLM column (I'm calling it a "must read!") my kids, etc. and then, at school pickup, the principal stopped me. "Can you keep a secret? Your little girl is citizen of the month!" Blogging, smogging. I must be doing a good job as a mommy. So one day next week, the mayor and the police chief of Orrville are going

A Mothering Creed

Originally published on I have the utmost honor of being part of a local club of mothers that has been around for 76 years. We meet every month during the school year and, among other things like chit chat and have snacks, we learn something and do some sort of service for the community. And like I said, we've been doing it for a long time. Part of our ritual is all chanting this mothering creed at the beginning of each meeting. It is very homey, very loving, and very outdated. No, very, very outdated. A lot of things can change in 76 years. It got to be that when we would speak the words, I had to my best to not crack up laughing-- there are lines about women being submissive, about honoring our husbands (we've got a few single mother members ) and a line or two about God which in my mind is fine, but is not really up to speed with the times. So wanting to save myself the monthly embarrassment of trying not to crack a smile during this obviou

The weekend wrap-up

It's not often that one can look at the calendar and say, "wow. These two days are completely blank." It's like the Halley's Comet of family life, and as infrequent as a solid night's sleep. But that's the absolute pleasure we had this weekend. Well, not the sleep...that was still choppy. But the days were blissfully empty, and for once we didn't take it for granted and all waste away looking at each other wondering what to do. Instead we really filled our time being together as a family, knocking some things off of our "someday-we'll-get-around-to-it" list that were long overdue. 1. I stayed in my PJs until noon on Saturday. 2. I took my daughter out to lunch on a special date, just the two of us. I let her order whatever she wanted, just not the popcorn chicken because that's overpriced. The boys were busy building me new garden boxes. (Apologies to the neighbors for having to put them right in the middle of the yard.) 3. We watched

Our first Ribbon Festival

And make sure you notice the flying leap off of the stage!

What a nice review!

This world of writing combined with the Internet makes for strange relationships. I know personally that I have befriended many wonderful women, most of whom I have never met, nor spoken to on the phone. I'm not even sure if I could pick them out in a lineup. But somehow, in a strange way, these relationships are very important. We are friends, we are colleagues, we are soliders fighting the same battles of motherhood. We share similar hobbies and we support each other through the tinest blog comment or emails. My week has been extrememly long. I've got a giant workload, new things on the horizon, and a 50:1 ratio of laundry to food. And when you're feeling completely frazzled I think it's only second nature for self-doubt to rear its ugly head. Then along comes one of those friends. Besides having a normally fabulous blog, Loren recently read my book and wrote up the nicest review. You can read it here and then look around at Loren's blog. It's 5000 ti


All those who have ever used a Dustbuster to clean the kitchen table, raise your hand. Those of you who think it is a great idea, raise your Dustbuster. (Can you guess we had rice for dinner?) :)

Dairy-free soda bread

A lot of my personal friends know this, but my baby is allergic to milk. Allergic, not "lactose intolerant" so that means it can't even touch her skin. And since I want her to actually get some nutrients, I'm what they call an 'extended nurser' which honestly would have freaked me out before I had children of my own, but now seems completely natural and normal. This means that I myself have to eat dairy-free. And it also means that I haven't had pizza for almost a year. Same for ice cream, cream cheese, cheese crackers, even Goldfish. (And guess what, there's even milk products in salt and vinegar potato chips!!) But it's St. Patty's Day, which means I am required by law to make soda bread. And here's what I came up with... 2 cups flour 1/3 cup sugar (or 1/2 cup if you have 'plain' soy/rice milk) 1 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1/2 tsp. salt 1 egg 1/4 cup white rasins 1 Tbl vinegar plus enough vanilla rice milk to make 1 c

A change

Just a note to everyone who has followed me in the Bargain Hunter and/or Wooster Weekly news over the past few years... ...Some may have noticed that my weekly column hasn't been appearing as much of late. As I understand it, the paper itself has been shrinking a little and the columnists have just been rotated, or something along those lines. After some deep thinking and a leap of faith, I have decided to leave that publication. Readers can still catch up with me here on this blog or stay tuned for some news-- I hope to be returning to the print world soon. Trust me, these kids give me plenty of fodder, and I've got to let it out somewhere.

Mag-nificient Mag-azine

I haven't been very good with this blog thing lately, mostly because I've put every spare minute (and then some!) into the new design for Mom Writer's Literary Magazine . Please visit! It was a ton of work and I'm kinda proud. :)

Through Toby's Eyes...

(From a Facebook deal-- thought it would be fun to blog) Toby(age 5) 1. What is something mom always says to you? "No, Toby!" 2. What makes mom happy? When I am good. 3. What makes mom sad? When Norma died. 4. How does your mom make you laugh? When she dances in her underwear. 5. What was your mom like as a child? I don't know, but she has funny stories, like how she used to put a blanket on her head and pretend she was in a fort. 6. How old is your mom? 25 (ooh, suck up!) 7. How tall is your mom? 35 feet long 8. What is her favorite thing to do? Play outside with me. 9. What does your mom do when you're not around? Watch Spongebob 10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? Singing and guitar playing 11. What is your mom really good at? Yelling at me. 12. What is your mom not very good at? Shaking a glass of chocolate milk. 13. What does your mom do for a job? Teach music class, do work on the computer. 14. What is your mom's favorite food? Guacamole 15

Easy steps to a family meal planning caper

We all know someone like this. The kind of person whose organizational skills make us want to rip through her kitchen and stuff her freezer completely full of three year old frozen corn and popsicles just like ours. And then we want to move to her pantry where we want to rearrange her canned goods and make sure she’s only got tomato paste instead of diced tomatoes and then, the coup de gras, mix up and throw out half of her plastic container lids so that she’s got a totally mismatching set like the rest of us do. But I’m getting ahead of myself. For years I have known a very organized woman who puts my entire existence to shame. I am not an organized person, despite what others think. One look at my desk will quickly clear up any suspicions. This friend of mine seems to have her entire life in order, including meal planning. For years now, she has been treating her family to – oh, it even makes me flinch to say it—well planned out family meals. In fact, she plans a month (a mont

Blushing—it’s more than just rosy cheeks…and necks…and arms…

Even imagining everyone in their underwear doesn’t work. In fact it just makes it worse. I never thought that I would ever do any public speaking. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, because I actually like it. The opportunity to share what I’ve got to say or do really appeals to me. The problem is that I have a little issue with blushing. Actually, it’s a large issue, one that stretches from the top of my head all the way down to my middle. Whenever I am in front of a group of people, my face, neck, chest, and even the tops of my arms go from a pasty Ohio-winter-white to red and splotchy, like someone just shot off a slingshot of tomato sauce at me. So I frequently find myself standing in front of a group of people looking completely horrified and embarrassed, but strangely enough, not feeling it. My voice doesn’t crack. My palms don’t sweat. I don’t find myself sprinting off to the bathroom. On the inside, I am perfectly calm. It’s just the outside that appears as nervous as a