Posted on

Nothing like receiving a notice from GoDaddy.com that the company is discontinuing all their Quick Blogcast blogs, to spur me to finally post again!!
According to my blog “dashboard”, it’s been 701 days since I last posted. WOW. To say I’ve been busy would be an understatement, but it’s the main reason I haven’t posted since the summer of
2012. At first, it was a case of writer’s block– I got to a point where I just couldn’t think of anything to write, and I always told myself if the inspiration wasn’t there, it was time
to stop. It didn’t take too long to get inspired again, but by then, I had boarded the Busy Train, and it was picking up speed.

Not only was I offered numerous freelance writing assignments that summer, but my mom moved from being 13 hours away from me to 7 minutes away, …

Kids and Money, Raising Teenagers

How To Help Your Teen Be A Successful Babysitter

Posted on

Now that my 13-year-old is a bona fide, certified, babysitter (she took a course at a local rec center in
May), she’s been trying to build her business and get jobs (saving for an iPhone can be a powerful incentive…). After she created a flier, gathered email addresses and sent out the flier, she has
started to get calls. So I thought it was time to pass on to her what my childhood friend, Trisha, passed on to me and what I’d already passed on to my older daughter: the secret to successful babysitting.
Trisha was a very successful babysitter; I took her advice and was booked solid almost every weekend evening (at least a Friday or Saturday night) during my junior high and early high school
years , and in summer, some weekdays and evenings as well.

So what’s the secret?  Bring your own “stuff”. Yes, that’s it in …

Being a Better Parent, Domestic Engineering, Kids and Cleaning

Outsmarted and Outfoxed: When Kids Call Your Bluff

Posted on

Dana Macario at the mom blog “18 Years to Life” recently wrote an account
of how, to teach her kids to pick up their toys, she and her husband gathered up all the toys strewn about, stuffed them into large trash bags, put them in a closet and told their kids that
for each night they picked up the rest of their toys, they could earn back one of the “hostage” toys. Logic would dictate that the kids would want their toys back badly, and it would take so long
to earn them back, that once earned back, the kids would think twice in the future about leaving them lying everywhere. Logic would say this was a great way to teach kids a lesson in being neat
without having to nag, “Pick up your toys!!”  Only Dana’s kids chose …

Raising Teenagers

Time for a Coffee BRAKE

Posted on

When I first noticed the twitching, it didn’t alarm me much. I was sitting
in church and glanced down at my left hand, resting on my leg. My left thumb was moving side to side slightly, without me telling it to do so. Weird, I thought, but we all sometimes get
unexplainable twitches, twinges or pains that end up never happening again and not amounting to anything, right? I moved my hand and the twitching stopped. But when the twitching
happened again the next day, I took more notice. I remembered Michael J. Fox talking about his early signs of Parkinson’s disease—didn’t he say it began with hand twitching? I consulted the
Internet, which is where we all go to get a good scare whenever we need more medical information, and it confirmed my suspicions. Though Fox’s first twitches were in his pinkie finger, when I
Googled “thumb twitching” and …

Humor, Kids and Money, Raising Teenagers

Many Happy Returns: Some Post Tax Day Humor and Ways to Teach Your Kids About Money

Posted on


Whew- so glad to be done with the taxes! Yep, that’s where I’ve been over
the past few days—glued to Turbo Tax and barely coming up for air. I HATE DOING TAXES because I always wait until the last minute. I used to do them all by myself, but I think Andy was tired of
driving to the post office at 11 p.m. on April 15 in a panic (but hey, the postal employees always made it so festive and welcoming and would be standing out there waving signs and holding baskets
and you could just drive up and throw in your envelope…) and so a couple years ago we started splitting the tax prep responsibility, so he does half and then hands the file over to me, usually in
February or March. But I’ve always got a million other pressing things to do that keep me from opening that file, and so there I sat on Tax Day, finishing up “under …

Raising Girls, Raising Teenagers

Pinterest & Teens: A “Good Thing”?

Posted on

I heard a sweet sound in the house over the past weekend I haven’t heard in a long time: the whirr of the sewing machine. A sewing machine, I might add, that I bought on a Black Friday years ago,
getting up at four in the morning for a “Door Buster Special”. My oldest daughter was 10 at the time, determined to become a fashion designer and learn how to sew, and I was determined to help foster that

Ah, my daughters and I were once such a crafty bunch.  I’m reminded of that a lot—in the garden, where stepping
stones the kids and I made (out of cement mix and pizza boxes) still mark a …

Being a Better Parent, Domestic Engineering, Grandparents

The Feng Shui of Family Photos

Posted on

“The realtor has told me to put away any personal photographs,” said Mom the other day.
“Is that right?” I just knew she was going to ask me that. She’s been asking me a lot of things lately since she just put her house on the market this week– something she’s never had to
do before. At least, not by herself. But Dad’s been gone for almost nine of the 50+ years she’s been in that house, and the kids all live far away, so it’s been a nerve-wracking and scary process
for her. She phones often. While I’m no expert, I (and Andy) did sell a house less than six years ago (and shopped for a new one) and last fall, we helped his parents navigate a little bit of
their move to “senior living”…

I’m sure my realtor friends would disagree, …