Tag Archives: life

Time to Cry Tuesday – Being Six

1526299_10202899101262805_1167290587_nYeh, that’s me. At six.

Six was pretty perfect. Obviously from this picture I was sure I was all that. This is such an amazing shot. Hey, it got over 50 likes on Facebook in less than 24 hours! I told Gary today I think I might have peaked at six!

All kidding aside, I had the most amazing childhood. And this picture seems to embody it all. I know those are my eyes. I remember her. The way she lounged on that couch and maybe ate a little chocolate pudding out of one of those fabulous green square glass bowls. Or one of the white milk glass ones with the gold rim.  My brother and I didn’t realize that this life was not the norm at the time, but as we grow older we appreciate how wonderful it was to grow up in our house.

And now that house has sort of outlived its happiness for our family. It’s not that it has lost its beautiful memories, it is just time. The master of its charm has left the building, and so now, must the contents of a lifetime. It’s an interesting task. One that uncovers the treasures of the past buried amongst the bowling balls, slide projectors and ice skates from the 1960s. I have just begun, and I am sure there will be many tears and equally as many laughs as we dismantle what was for me, the most wonderful place on earth.

Thanks Dad, for giving me this task. Don’t feel bad about it. Don’t worry about the time it will take. You know this is my process. And you have earned the rest.

What does worry me a little is that closet in the garage, though. Mom always told me if she had a third child after raising me she would lock it in the garage closet… she was kidding, right?




Filed under aging parents, childhood, homeowner, moms

Out of sight



I hope not. I know it has been quite a while since my last post. A few of you have asked where I have been.

It seems after 3 years of consistently blogging every day, life on the other side of the keyboard got a little too acute to accommodate daily posting. It has been a hell of a few months over here. But I am happy to report things are starting to fall back into place (probably shouldn’t have put that in writing) and I am back and ready to roll on a daily posting schedule.

Here’s hoping that you have missed reading about my antics as much as I have missed posting about them.


Filed under blogging, carry a camera, license plates

What if?


Every once in awhile a bumper sticker comes along and makes you really think. Or really laugh. Or both. I texted this picture to my brother and his answer was, “Then I would have to turn myself around. It may be too late for that.” My response was that it is never too late.

So, my friends, I believe we could all do with a little philosophy of the hokey pokey. Think about it for a moment or two. If you think it is time to turn yourself around, go ahead.

You just never know.


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No Soap Radio

Here is a perfect example of how I keep myself entertained at all times.

These past few weeks I have been exceptionally busy and preoccupied. Not in a bad way, I thrive on this pace. It has not been the stay up all night, work all weekend kind of busy. More like the very full day and lots of plans at night and on the weekends sort of busy.

The thing is, at times like these the little details of life seem to get put on the back burner. You know, like going to the bank, making sure there is milk, buying stamps (yes we still use stamps on occassion, we are very retro) and the biggie this week…

buying soap.

More than once I heard Gary at 6:30 AM mumbling to himself and then asking me, “Do we have soap?”

Infant that I am, the only response I could think of was:

No soap, radio.

Luckily I was smart enough to keep that to myself because frankly his humor is just not all that developed at such an hour. I, on the other hand, would snicker to myself and then rummage through the travel bags to find soap until I finally wandered down to the basement bathroom and grabbed a vintage bar from the shower that is hardly ever used. (does soap go bad?)

Seriously, if you don’t entertain yourself throughout the day, what is really the point? Now might be a good time to tell you how I was sort of dancing a little to a Frank Sinatra song in Uncle Guiseppes this morning holding a big ass can of coffee and was ‘caught’ by a friend who looked at the coffee (and the little dance) and said, “wow, that’s a hell of a lot of coffee, cranking on a deadline?” I told her that actually I was and she was rather impressed that I could still do that little dance.

Don’t kid yourself folks, inside I am way more of a wreck than I appear to be.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.


Filed under absurdities, gary, humor

Time to Cry Tuesday – Life Stages

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Well kids, it’s Tuesday and I am not gonna lie, I might be almost all cried out after this bittersweet roller coaster of a week. There are a only a few things I am truly sure of after all the excitement of graduating my second and last child. Here is my takeaway from the whole experience.

1. If one more person uses the term ’empty nest’ I am pretty sure I will have to just punch them in the face. Enough with that crap already. Empty, shmempty, we all know they come home with laundry in tow and lie on the couch like they never left. And we love it. Period. And then they leave. And we kinda like that too. Period.

2. This is a given, and it is huge when you finally get it: every life stage has its rocky parts at the beginning. When we move out of our parents’ house we are apprehensive. Then college life is the norm and as soon as we get used to that we are off in the ‘real world’ and we have to adjust to life not being one big party. Then we learn how to make life one big party with a paycheck and we get married and have to adjust to another person’s needs. So that goes OK and then we squeak out a couple of puppies and we pine away for those carefree days, sans diaper bags and mortgages until…

you guessed it. We become THAT life. A friend said to me the other day, ” There was one period of time when it seemed like time stood still and everything was perfect. The kids were around 8-12 and they were independent enough but we still had control. And then BANG, it all blew up again.”

I kept thinking about that all weekend. How being a parent with kids was who we were. It defined us in our community, throughout our days, in all our planning. It was ‘all about the kids’ (right Jo?).

And then it was not. Or not exactly ‘not’ but kind of ‘hey we can maybe go back to the way it was before we squeaked out the puppies’.


3. Being a fast learner I get that as soon as I become used to this next stage these rotten kids will up and get married and have their own kids and throw me into the lead role in a friggin’ lifestyle commercial for irregularity (if you know me that is highly unlikely), or osteoporosis meds. And there we will be again, adjusting.

Keyword: adjusting.

The only constant is change. (another sentence I have heard ad nauseum this week – another comment worthy of face punching). Or back to the old love child in me: To everything turn, turn ,turn, there is a season… damn I always hated that song! And if I am not mistaken it might have been the theme of my high school yearbook.

So here’s to change. And not taking any of this all too seriously. And a nice rambling Time to Cry Tuesday that probably did not really even shed a tear…

because we’re all cried out.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under Time to Cry Tuesdays

Time to Cry Tuesday – Life: It’s all about your mother

Ok, so I am a mom and I like to think in these terms. But this post is more than just a matriacentric (yeh I think I made that word up) view of the world as I see it in terms of my own mothering.

First, you should know that the beautifully manicured hand pointing to that shirt would be that of my mom. The full mom is in the original picture but I was afraid she might be a little shy about being featured here. Those who know her would recognize that hand anywhere.

So there hangs this cute little shirt in an equally cute little shop in Delray Beach. I am sure many a mommy (or maternal grandmommy) wanders into that shop to purchase this item and clothe some sweet little baby in it before they are old enough to have a say in what clothing they will wear (in the case of my daughter that would be by the time she was two!) My mom noticed it and we took a picture to send to my daughter. I am sure her response was something like ‘Aw, Gram!”

So what makes this Time to Cry Tuesday worthy. Well, just the way my daughter says “Aw, Gram!” is a start. Or the fact that we moms so often take the heat for what is wrong with our kids, I felt it was time to praise the idea of what we do right. Face it, we are accused of being overprotective (ahem, cough cough, Gary and Danny accusing me of that just yesterday), helicoptering, nagging, being the heavy, the number one culprit for all that is wrong in the lives of our adult children– as in all therapists blaming the mothers (exactly why don’t the fathers get the blame in therapy?)

This post is dedicated to and in recognition of all the fabulous moms in my life. Mine, my husband’s, both of whom I have been so very fortunate to have been able to share my adult life with – there is never a day I take that for granted. And all of my mommy friends who have been in the mothering trenches with me for the past (almost) 21 years. There is much truth in that silly little shirt. If you were raised by a woman who always put you first (as I was) or you know what it feels like to mother a child and how you would throw yourself in front of a bus for them – for real, you understand that it really is (kinda) all about your mother.

It is hard to explain the joys of motherhood. The best thing I can say is that without it my life would never have been so full. Colors would have been a little less bright. Things simply would not have tasted the same. Laughter would not have been as hearty and tears would not have been so sorrowful.

In short: Life, it’s all about your mother. (oh and of course your dad too)

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under danny, family, Jana, Time to Cry Tuesdays

When Fit Hits the Shan and other Tales of Daily Living

One of those days. I would not classify it as a bad day, just a day on steroids.

Have you ever taken steroids? Not for athletic enhancement, more for respiratory stuff or maybe anti-inflammatory reasons. I was once on them for 6 weeks with pneumonia and my family threatened to move out. I remember my poor husband reading the side effects and thinking, check, check, check, oh frankly psychotic behavior? Big check!

There is a sense of hyper-vigilant edginess with a dollop of what next? A feeling that you are not sure what is going to be around the next corner and of course whatever it is it will become your problem to solve while your hands are full and you have to go to the bathroom but you don’t have time. Not to be confused with needing to cry but you don’t have time.

See? You see that rambling style of borderline insane banter? That is what I am talking about here.

Were all the problems of the day solved? Yeh, right? Tomorrow AM will be the solution hangover scramble. But I have confidence. I have been here before. Hoping I have this all worked out by noon.

Perhaps lazy being the new productive was the foreshadowing of just such a day.

(oh, kill me now, read definition number 2 on urbandictionary for fit hits the shan)

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under family, health, humor, moms

Time to Cry Tuesday – And in the end…

… the love you take is, is equal to the love you make.* – Lennon/McCartney

I heard this today. For perhaps the 1,000th time in my life and yet in the context that it was quoted I had never heard it quite so clearly.

In our busy lives we often forget what is really important. We jump from task to task, place to place, moment to moment without stepping back to just ‘be’. And part of ‘being’ is to make sure that we nurture the people in our lives that need it most.

Hopefully at the end of the day, week, month, year… life; it all evens out.

This Tuesday I would like to try a little experiment. Indulge me, if you will, and make an effort to even things out so to speak. Stop, smell the coffee, the roses or whatever else finds its way up your nose and make sure you let someone know how much they mean to you.

The inspiration for today’s post comes from a woman who touched so many and prompted a son-in-law to utter those lyrics… in the end.

Let it Bea!

*(The End is the final song of  the sixteen-minute medley on side 2 of Abbey Road, the final Beatles album).

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under Time to Cry Tuesdays

Time to Cry Tuesday – Camp is Short and Life is Long


This little pearl of wisdom spilled out of Gary while he was on the phone. He was explaining how we feel about the kids being counselors at camp. In these times of rising unemployment and stiff job competition it is hard to let go of the idea that internships and job experience are the only route to travel. Unless of course you understand the need they have to fill by going back to camp because you too, have known it first hand.

I have gushed about the way we feel about camp ad nauseam here, but bear with me on this one.

Read the title of this post and really think about it for a moment. If you ever went to summer camp you are smiling and nodding your head. If you have not, let me try to articulate the importance of this statement.

Camp is the essence of the freedom of summer. It is the place where you leave the social and scholastic pressures of the ten previous months at the threshold and you don’t look back for eight weeks. You can breathe and just BE YOU. The sweet core you without the hinderance of all that life piles on you. Yes, even as a kid. Or, in these times, especially as a kid. Sure there are social issues and competition, but somehow the aura that surrounds you at camp is one of tolerance. Kids of all kinds mesh into the fabric of the place.

When you walk into an alumni weekend at a sleepaway camp like we did this weekend, you see droves of young (and not so young) adults converging on the promised land of their childhoods. Some have just begun their journey down the path of adulthood. Some come back with their spouses in tow, trying to show them exactly why this place is so much a part of who they are today. Others are bringing their children to see the place in hopes that they will want to attend next year. And still others, like ourselves, watch our own kids become the leaders of the place.

How’s this for full circle? I watched my daughter tour a prospective camper around the place, giving her the full flavor of why she would want to be a camper there. This 7-year-old? She was the child of a woman who was my camper when she was ten. And the kid looked just like the mom did when I had her.

History. Love. Belonging. A sense of place.

Camp is short. And life is surely long.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under danny, friendship, Jana, relationships, road trip, teenagers, Time to Cry Tuesdays



Believe it or not, my friends, today marks my one year blogaversary. Yes, I have been banging away here on the the keyboard for a full year, trying to make you all laugh. I look back on my first post and still consider it one of my best: Spanx, Dunkin Donuts and the fear of YouTube. I had no idea what this crazy blog would become. Oddly that first post set the tone and made me realize that my life can be funny sometimes. 

I hardly remember life before blogging. Everything seems like it should be a post. Sad, funny, poignant, disgusting, it is all blogworthy.

I think what this blog has done most for me, is made me walk the walk of its mission; to laugh, sometimes to the point of tears.

Face it, life is hard, and we all get cranky… A LOT. Those who know me well hear me kvetch on a regular basis. But this is the place I come to at the end of every day to force myself to see the humorous side of things. No matter how down I get, the idea of a big box of shut the hell up will always get a laugh out of me. Sometimes the topics are ones where you would never find humor, like aging parents. Other times it is just the theatre of the absurd, like the Freakatorium, because that is the best place to escape.

Hey, without this blog I would never have been the Minneapolis fm107.1 Get Real Girl of the Week. A thrill no woman should be denied.

As a little gift to myself I submitted the word blogaversary to Urban Dictionary. If approved this will join my other words there: bloganoia, psuedosnarky, twitobirth, twirgin and twexpert. Yes, it is an odd hobby but someone has to do it. Why? I don’t know, but someone does.

I want to thank all of you that read me so loyally. Those I know in real life, and those I have met through this space. Social media has combined my two faves, connecting with people and technology. I was a natural for this crap.

In celebration of this event, you can stop racking your brains on what to get me (no I am not registered at Blogs ‘r Us), simply humor me and throw a comment out today. Those who read daily but stay quiet, show a little love and tell me what you like, or what you don’t like. A favorite post, a least favorite topic. Or hell, share a recipe or a story of your own. Just de-lurk and show me that you are there. Then you can go back into your little holes and read quietly again after today.

Thank you all, and I see you in the stats so I know you are there. For making me realize that there is always room for more humor in your lives.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone

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Filed under blogging, friendship, humor, writing