Weekend Coffee Share 4/17


It is time again for weekend coffee share (hosted by Part Time Monster). Join in by creating your own coffee share post with the tag weekendcoffeeshare and/or add to the linkup here.

If we were having coffee, we may decide to take our virtual date outside on this fine morning. The weather here is glorious, warm and sunny. We finally feel like we’ve turned the corner into spring. It is amazing how that feeling makes my whole life feel lighter.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you how good last week at work was. You would be shocked because I don’t say that often (or ever). I didn’t have to bring work home this weekend for the first time in quite a while. Hooray for small victories.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you about my daughter’s sleepover this weekend. Twelve year-old girls are… interesting. They are obsessed with the song “NO” by Megan Trainor (which I mentioned that I like last week). I have heard them sing it, dance to it, make videos to it, etc. all weekend. They also love snapchat and dubsmash. Snapchat friend requests were a hot topic of conversation. Middle school girl social drama has always been tricky but social media has made it a minefield. I’m a little nervous to watch her navigate it.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you how happy I am that I had time to do Friday Fictioneers this week. I haven’t published much fiction lately so doing FF was a major coup. Confession: I feel way out of my league in that group. There are some legit hardcore writers in there. Their work is amazing. I feel like a poser, like the tag-along kid sister. They are nice, though, and they let me play. My writing may suck compared to theirs but I am getting my work out there and I am learning a lot from reading how they construct their stories.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you about the amazing french toast that my husband made for us this morning (because of the sleepover, we don’t usually go to that much effort on an average Sunday). It was really rich and sugary. Sinful, almost.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you how much I love the show North Woods Law. And My Cat From Hell. I can marathon those all day long.

Our cups are getting empty and we have days to get back to. Thanks so much for having coffee with me.

If we were having coffee, what would you tell me?







Courage Under Fire



Lorna, the smallest and last remaining warrior, pushed through the thick brambles with bloody fingers and stumbled into a clearing.

There it was. The book. That evil book. On a stone in the forest guarded by a fire-breathing beast, just as the prophecy promised.

The dragon’s blazing exhale surrounded her. The book glowed, mocking.

The voices of her fallen comrades swirled around her like a breeze.

Destroy it! Destroy the tome! Break the curse! Defeat the wizard!

With weary arms, she raised her sword. She plunged it into the book with fury.

The forest ignited in a blinding white heat.



This is written for Friday Fictioneers, a group of writers who strive to write a 100 word story for a weekly picture prompt. Thanks to Kent Bonham for the picture. For the other authors’ stories, click here.

Throwback Tuesday (is that a thing?)

Thanks to the “Memories” feature on Facebook, this blast from the past showed up. This is from my old blog at blogspot which I didn’t even realize was still up. So I took a little trip down memory lane and read my old entries. I thought I would share this one. I do remember this particular day. My daughter is still just as spirited as she was at age 2. She just communicates better now and has mastered the eyeroll and exaggerated sigh.


I Am Toddler, Hear Me Roar

Monday, September 13, 2010

My 25 month-old always keeps me on my toes. I never quite know if I will be subjected to one of her good moods or her bad moods, if she will eat or not eat, if she will get along with her sister or fight over any and every little thing, if she will nap or fight off sleep with every fiber of her being. Her moodiness has gotten worse lately and she has also been working on perfecting the toddler staple: the temper tantrum.

Yesterday started out like any other. She awoke at 7am and crawled into bed with me to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She drank her milk and watched her friends on MMCH use Mouska-tools and go on crazy adventures (and defy the laws of gravity and physics and all the other sciences too probably). Things were going well. Then the girls went downstairs and Kiera was fawning over her new fish tank. Caitlin, in typical form, got grabby and started to touch the tank and flip the lid open and tried to turn the light on and off. This irritated Kiera who told her to back off and then the fight ensued. So by 8am, I was breaking up fights in front of the fish tank. Then we got dressed. Well, Caitlin didn’t like the outfit that I picked out so she screamed. We eventually compromised on an outfit.

We were planning a picnic in the park – a park I knew had a playground structure – so I pulled her tennis shoes out of her closet. As soon as she saw the shoes, she cried and screamed “NO!” She pointed at her pink and purple crocs. She loves the crocs and wants to wear them all the time. I tried to tell her that she needed to wear the tennis shoes to play outside. I told her that if she wanted to see grandma and grandpa at the park, she needed to wear the tennis shoes. I know, trying to rationalize with a toddler is stupid. I know. So she threw the tennis shoes at me while screaming red-faced. I realized that I was going to have to wrestle her to get the crocs off her feet so I decided to deflect… probably not the best method but the best I could do at the time. She agreed to putting the tennis shoes in her backpack and bringing them along… guaranteeing me another tantrum later when we arrived at the park.

I was able to get the tennis shoes on her when we got into my parents’ car and left for the park. It was a fight, but I did it. As she always does, she pulled the tennis shoes and socks off in the car. So I had to battle her all over again upon arriving at the park.

Yesterday was a beautiful day with perfect picnic weather. We went to a local city park that has a nice playground. There were little horses on springs for kids to ride on, swings and a monstrous climbing structure with slides and ladders. My dad brought his portable grill to make hot dogs and we also brought baked beans and potato chips. These are all things that Caitlin loves (and note to the food police: I know these aren’t healthy foods to feed my kids, thank you very much). We let the kids play while dad grilled the hot dogs. Of course, she didn’t want to leave the play area when it was time to eat so cue tantrum #1. When I finally got her to sit at the table, she refused to eat (tantrum #2). She also refused to sit still on the picnic table bench (tantrum #3) and eventually she fell off of it backwards (tantrum #4). Since she refused to eat, I wouldn’t let her return to the playground area until we had finished eating –so that someone could go with her to supervise. Enter tantrum #5. And when I say tantrum, I mean a full-on throw body on the ground, kick, scream at top of lungs tantrum. We were very close to a pavilion where a group of people were gathering for what looked like a birthday party. So these total strangers watched as I dealt with this screaming child for what seemed like forever.

So what was supposed to be a nice picnic in the great weather with my loving family, turned into me eating as much as I could as fast as I could so that I could deal with Caitlin, who seemed to scream the entire time we were there.

She did eventually get to go back to the playground, accompanied by my mom. Caitlin took off running in the other direction –toward the pavilion people, who probably considered calling CPS – and my mom called after her and tried to grab her. Caitlin yelled “don’t get me!” and as my mom got her, she threw herself to the ground to complete tantrum #6. As she went down she yelled, “Kiera help me!” I’m not sure why she thought Kiera would help her. Kiera, who was on the swings ignoring her sister’s antics, just yelled in a bored voice “Get up!” It was the funniest thing ever. Even my mom, who was watching tantrum #7 unfold at her feet, laughed.

Tantrum #8 occurred when it was time to leave, of course.

When we got back to my parent’s house, there was some of the usual whininess and fights with Kiera over toys. This is to be expected. When it was time to go home, tantrum #9 reared its ugly head. And it was a doozy. I eventually had to carry her from their house kicking and screaming and manhandle her to get her buckled into our car. She screamed the entire car ride home, which was a very long 10 minutes.

If there is any positive side to this (and believe me, I looked hard for that silver lining), she was exhausted by bedtime and fell asleep rather quickly. I relaxed for the first time all day.

I know there will be days like this. I know it’s her age and it’s to be expected. I know she can’t communicate as well as she wants to and she can’t control her emotions. I know she’s pushing boundaries and trying to assert her independence.

I try to be as patient as possible, which isn’t my forte. I try to stay calm. I’m not all that good at it, but I am trying. I love my daughter to death and while I watch her tantrum I try to think about how she feels. Heck, I’ve been known to throw a tantrum or two on really bad days. But yesterday just felt like my initiation into toddlerhood with child #2. Fun times are ahead, for sure.

Weekend Coffee Share 4/10/16


In lieu of Weekend Rewind, I thought I would try to join the Weekend Coffee Share (hosted by Part Time Monster). The point is to write a post as if I were chatting with a friend over a cup of coffee (each paragraph starting with “If we were having coffee…”). I feel this is similar to Weekend Rewind (random, chat format) with the added cozy atmosphere of a more intimate conversation. I am also excited about joining the Weekend Coffee Share community and meeting some new blogger friends. Pull up a chair and grab a cup of Joe (or whatever beverage you prefer) and join me.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you how much I’ve missed you. I have not been around the blogosphere much lately. There are many reasons for that, mostly the same reasons that have kept me away in the past. I would also thank you for meeting me so late. I had intended to meet this morning but life got in the way as usual. I even debated skipping the coffee date altogether but I have done so much of that lately. Pity, party of one? No, thanks.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have had a lot on my mind lately. Actually, I have had something sitting quite heavily on my heart – but I wouldn’t want to burden you with it and I most certainly wouldn’t want to cry and make you uncomfortable. So I would likely tell you how distracted and busy I have been. How life has been stressful. How I haven’t felt exactly like myself.

If we were having coffee, I would lighten the mood and talk about my kids. My two girls are the lights that chase the shadows from my world. They are nearing the end of the school year, I can’t believe how fast time goes. The older one has been keeping herself busy lately with all kinds of crafts and projects. The younger one is pure energy, I wish I could harness some of it. She is the perfect blend of sugar and spice, sweet with a generous ornery streak.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you about the camping trip in two weeks. We are taking both girls’ scout troops. They are so excited. This is our second campout with these girls and we are doing two nights this time. You might call me crazy… and you just might be right.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am excited for the return of baseball season. We would commiserate about the Cardinals. They had a dismal opening series against the Pirates, losing all three games. Then their bats came alive and they swept the Braves in their next three-game series. We love our Cards and we are used to their ups and downs. Go Cards!

If we were having coffee, we would have a long chat about the Walking Dead finale. It was so intense and, truth be told, a little traumatizing at the end. I can’t decide if the producers are geniuses or scoundrels for cliff-hanging us like that. I have read so many fan theories about who was killed. I would be lively and animated as we talked through all of the possibilities. October can’t come soon enough.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that (and I’m probably late to the party on this one) Keebler grasshoppers are just like girl scout thin mints! I have no idea why it took me so long to realize this. I am so happy that I can get my favorite all year long!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you how I have “NO” by Meghan Trainor stuck in my head. I love that song!

What would you want to tell me if we were having coffee?