Five Minute Friday – Red

Red, huh?



well this year for the first time ever in my whole entire life, Red (ok Scarlet) is a school color for me. And it’s Liturgically important on feast days of martyrs, pentecost, and palm Sunday. And on the US flag.


but other than that? Red is visibly absent from my days. It’s symbolic of 3 of the “big” institutions in my life – nation, church & school.





Five Minute Friday – Last

Last … from Five Minute Friday at LisaJoBaker (whew! I’m back … it’s been too long!)

next Tuesday I begin my next last academic adventure 😉 I always say it’s the LAST ONE but this one might really be it.

But this morning I’m mulling over the other “last” things that others may cherish more than we do ourselves – for example Tales from the Nursery is raising 4 boys, the eldest is 5 years younger than my daughter (actually TFTN is the same age younger than I than her eldest is from my dd). It’s funny how your perspective changes as your kids age  –  and the things you forget you worried about – and the things that you realize worried you just the right amount.

Last also reminds me of the print that hung in my Grandma’s kitchen for as long as my childhood – a gilded frame with tempered glass and a painting of The Last Supper in it. The last time I visited her it wasn’t there – funny that I didn’t notice when she took it down – or even when and trying to reimagine her kitchen on various visits with or without seems impossible …

Which makes you wonder what will be important to you when you’re in your dotage that’s important to you now that was important to you when your brain was abducted by littles … and it makes you contemplate this cartoon that I found this morning

with props to Col Chris Hadfield and Zen Pencils for the quote and the rendering:

zen pencils cartoon

five minute friday – belong

Earlier this summer I finished my final project in my English program and an interesting element of the reading I did included the 3 or 4 ways (depending on how you look at it) that people are able to temper/mitigate the stresses in their lives.

BELONGING is one of them.

We all knew that right? I mean Maslow blah blah blah needs blah blah blah hierarchy blah blah blah blah blah.

But did we ever really THINK about how our ACTIONS translate into creating a culture or environment conducive to enhancing someone else’s experience of BELONGING?

Families have traditions for it – wedding showers, engagement parties, weddings themselves, and then later baptisms and baby showers and birthday parties and whatnot.

Religions do but whether they enhance the belonging or exacerbate the separateness is up for debate (gee you had your first live snake handling … do you “belong” to those nut job snake handlers or are you separate from the rest of us? Or are we separate from you? And O BTW WHERE THE F is the snake NOW?!?!? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!) If you’re interested in learning more about that aspect of belonging, I advocate reading AJ Jacobs’ book The Year of Living Biblically. And yes, I can live with the fact that he went to Brown … because HE isn’t the Brown student who tried to hack the IRS’s website this week and sent out a bajillion spam phishing emails to state university students all over the country (which BTW, reporting to both the IRS & to Brown University was useless … thus it’s on my blog).


So go forth. Make people belong. Belong to someone. To something. To yourself. To the world. And don’t forget at the end of the day – no matter who has let you down – you’ll always belong to the dog. Because she doesn’t have thumbs & you do. Now go open the fridge and make some noms appear before you belong to the barked-at-guild-of-America.



Present – Five Minute Friday – from

Five Minute Friday – Present

Present …. The first thought that comes to mind is Van Dyke’s book The 4th Wise Man – an excellent story about the gifts that each of us brings to the lives we live through the blessings we receive from the Lord. Blessings that, until we give of them to others, prevent us from truly seeing the Lord in our lives.

set godin

Present … here and now … challenging my deodorant to live up to its Marathon Sport Clinical Strength labeling when speaking in public about the importance of a blended learning option in our school district.

Present … being able to think on your feet because you’re in the moment, not dwelling on the past not dreaming of the future, but firmly grounded in the path which is set before you – and knowing that the thing you MUST do is take the next right step (thank you Regina Brett for putting it much more eloquently than I)

for steph
Present … being able to preorder books from Amazon so they’re waiting for you to rip open the box and dive into the pages when the time is right.


Present … the touchstones that remind us of who we are, what we mean to others, how we connect with them and the world around us, the thrumming of the universal language of humanity; not words; but harmony and connection. A touch. A smile. A gift of presence.


From Pinterest

From Pinterest

Present … being able to laugh and cry at the same time; being blessed to have the words to tell someone else how much they’re valued and how deeply their friendship meets others hearts and emboldens them to go beyond their shell and into the greater good they have to offer the world.


Present … what’s apparently “lacking” from those of us who chose outward migration from our hometown … that gives rise to challenge – a gauntlet as it were – from those who remained and feel that those who departed somehow took the answers and solutions “con migo”


Present … with diet dr pepper and the freedom to wear whatever shoes I want after 466 days of sneaker imprisonment! Present … wondering if sometimes Doctor’s Orders are meant to push us to the breaking point … or to repair us from it.




Five Minute Friday – Beautiful

Beautiful – today’s Prompt from Five Minute Friday


Is it beautiful to have the opportunity to write without worrying about others’ feedback? Or is it more of a challenge not knowing what others think?

The summer project from heck came back yesterday … the material’s there but it needs a significant overhaul … oh boy … so a beautiful day was spent working on it … not without accomplishing what needed to be done though; all in a mom’s day as they say! Thankfully the ever beautiful MadiKnz93theUnicorn is having fun with the fun part of the family this summer, so it didn’t affect her 4th that momma was editing (which in case you didn’t know, is more time-consuming than writing).


But really on the topic of beautiful – I’ve been struggling to come to terms with a blogpost that I read last week (that originally appeared at The Daily Life here ) written by the daughter of a mom whose body image issues haunted her (haunted them both actually) … but as I read the blog-post I was more taken aback by the absolute lack of shall we say “HEY YOU! You made me SAD as a child and it’s your fault that I’m a wreck today” directed at the girl’s dad … when the dad was the jerk who was criticizing the mom, making her cry over dinner, teaching his children that she should be the object of their contempt and scorn. Good job deadbeat wherever you are you taught your daughter well – mommma’s the one to attack; not you, even though you’re the real jerk.


See, I’m not a big fan of Blake Shelton (as anyone who knows me can attest … sorry, but one more damn objectification of women song UGH!) although his Tweets are a hoot


Alas I digress … I’m not a big fan of Blake Shelton (or country in general) but I admire Miranda Lambert’s Pistol Annies for their first album (not so much the 2nd one) and her Tweets are worth reading also

Here’s my point …

In an interview with Self Magazine, Miranda reported:

“I asked Blake, ‘Dude, why didn’t you tell me I got fat?’ He said, ‘That would go over like a lead balloon. It’s not my job to tell you you’re fat. It’s my job to tell you you’re beautiful.’”

You can see her entire interview here – Self Magazine June Issue Link




My point is this … they say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder … but sometimes people need to be reminded that they are beautiful … and Operation Beautiful is changing the world (and your life and how you see it) one Sticky Note at a time! So get to living. Put your sticky notes where you can see them. Put your sticky notes where others can share them because YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! And your message to the world lives in your ability to get past/over/through your issues with/about/from your physical form and remembering that your ethereal presence – soul, kismet, whatever you personally call it … that presence is ALWAYS beautiful. You’ve never heard of an ugly angel have you? So HA!





For Felicia






(by the way Five Minute Friday’ers? Last week’s In-Between Prompt … My writing was so terrible that not even the person who posted behind me at first I was kind of wondering why … then I read her blog post and realized that she’s got WAYYY bigger stuff going on than reading my whine fests & I’ve totally been there between injury and healing, and kind of still am … so it was a good learning opportunity … and I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to read her post if she hadn’t not-commented 🙂 so it was a good visit – I still didn’t comment, but if you get a chance her blog is beautiful  – family, faith, crafts and food … who can go wrong with a visit there? and I can totally empathize with her struggle … next Friday I can FINALLY wear “real people shoes” after being stuck in post-injury sneakers for a year.)



See? Angels are beautiful. Zombies are Zombies.

See? Angels are beautiful. Zombies are Zombies.


Five minute Friday – In Between a quoka & a wokka

Well this little


guy in my newsfeed made me smile between kicking the computer in the butt because it was eating reports (and queries and all that nerdy stuff that I do for a living) and reading my 3rd selection in the 1 Minute Manager Series: the one minute manager meets the monkey (which is awesome – so much so that I bought myself a sheet of fuzzy monkey stickers to keep myself accountable to not be a compulsive monkey picker upper. Which it seems I am. Not as a manager, but as an everything else er.

And somehow in between selling raffle tickets & eating the 61st workday salad in a row, I managed to run to the post office & stock up on priority mail envelopes (because I’m one of those loathsome beasts who prints her own priority postage to save 11% and not have to go to the post office – which in small town America is only open in between the hours of 8:30am & 4:30pm)

where I am

In Between the “I turned it in” and “what does my mentor think of my work” between the first submitted copy and the revision time. and it’s weird. I didn’t realize how much of the grey matter in between my ears was preoccupied with the project.

Between you, me & the internet … be blessed & have a good weekend. I’ll linkup to LisaJoBaker later

Kitchen Witchin … Early June Edition

First Tales From The Nursery could probably use some hugs right about now since it’s almost bedtime on the first Sunday of Summer Vacation, so please stop over and give her one, ok? She’s an awesome momma and an awesome lady & she’s taking The Orange Rhino Challenge and she’s doing really well with it. Plus she’s just all ’round amazing so please go give her a hug :*


3 timezones away, it’s also the first Sunday of Summer Vacation since MadiKinz93TheUnicorn is on vacation having safely arrived at her destination. Nikki  has been sending her Project Updates to add to the site though 🙂 (since that’s a summer occupation) and I’m 8100 words into Le Capstone … and 8 more books to read for it LOL but it’s overall going well and if you’re interested in participating in my survey for it, go ahead and hit me up via email 🙂  (and no, even though I suggested that Diary of a Zookeeper  try it, I haven’t been over to Five Minute Friday at LisaJoBaker’s site this week).


But right now it’s time to take a break from all that for some Kitchin Witchin …

Last night we had fabulous grilled chicken w/ satay sauce, Asian salad, and grilled zucchini with Szechuan Spice.

There’s chicken ready to go on the grill for grilled chicken Cesar salads.

Greek salads are going to be put together after I build some Tzatziki (from the awesome Lemon Bowl site!)  for tomorrow’s lunches.

Cherry, Almond & Balsamic will be the salad for Tuesday.

Wednesday might be some sort of tuna torture.

Thursday’s lunches will probably be Cesar salads.

Friday’s lunches will be whatever we’re not tired of by the time we get there 😉

Carrot sticks will be made for hummus dipping.

Need to figure out something to do with zucchini & fish for tonight …

And our favorite stuffed peppers will end up on the menu somewhere this week.


found this on Pinterest - it fits - even when my pants don't

found this on Pinterest – it fits – even when my pants don’t


And just as a point of note … if someone contacts you through your “contact us” (or Contact Robert) link, if you choose to write back to them (or have interns doing it for you) have a double check on the spelling of the person’s name. I was reading the book for my capstone … I emailed the author … he wrote back & misspelled my name. Um gee, should I give the books props in my Capstone? Or just its editors?

Honestly, it’s better for a fan to NOT hear back at all than to get an email with their name spelled wrong. An automated response loop would even get that correct.

Five Minute Friday – Imagine

Imagine …

… being able to be in 3 places at once: home, work, and floating on a cloud …

also for the quiet file on facebook

… living in a world where people really understood that the reason bad things make the news is because they’re UNUSUAL …

… people realizing that Green Day is really talking about um them?

Prof McgonnagalLOL for silent bucket

… a world where moms didn’t feel guilt for being adults, women, human, caffeine-addicted diet soda junkies 😉


… a life where books didn’t fall into bathtubs and where you could wear your favorite scented lotion every day, all day

… being able to just “jump” without remembering the last time you got burned … or broken … or lost … or hurt … or splat

… being able to drive down the road without having to perform evasive maneuvers to avoid asshattery in motion

… being able to be yourself. Without worry. Fear. Compromise.

fashion citation

… putting your cellphone in your pocket and almost losing your drawers … oh wait I actually DID that today …

… how hard life would be if bathtubs, lotion, books, and big fuzzy bathrobes didn’t fix most issues

… if Guinea Pigs didn’t adore Blake Shelton

… tesseracts are real

… that every time you prayed for someone, a soft fuzzy star of loving joy nestled in their heart and they knew that they were more important than their worries; than their fears; than their tax bracket

From The Chive

From The Chive

… being able to jump without thinking about tax brackets … or poverty of time … or the cost of gas … or anything

… being able to randomly take a day to go do whatever you wanted without worrying about how much it cost, how long it took, or the responsibilities piling up behind you …

… being able to say what you think, feel, believe, aspire to, and hope for without judgment, chastisement, animosity, people reading between the lines


… a day when our children can learn for pure love of learning not kowtowing to the lowest common denominator

… a day when every child knows the joy of a new book, an old book, a safe and stable home, loving adults, and caring companions

… writing being the key to it all.

 And it can be 😉 follow us over to Five Minute Friday at and join the party! Really!


Five Minute Friday – View

Homemade Taco Seasoning
Makes about 20 servings

1 and 1/4 cup chili powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons dried oregano
4 tablespoons paprika
1/2 cup cumin
1/3 cup pepper

Five minute Friday …. View ….


The above was the view the other morning … had everything ready to go for chili and no taco seasoning. Oops. Drove kiddo to school, came home to make that recipe … and discovered that I had enough chili powder and paprika to make 1/5th of the above recipe. So I did. And then I left for work and I stopped on my way at the insurance agency because my windshield looked like it had been struck with a harpoon … the great white whale is now a small white jeep with an otter complex. Insurance agent is fabulous – absolutely fabulous –

Got to work … with an email from el jefe telling me that we need to talk about getting to the office earlier. Now my “view” on that is that I always put in an honest day’s work – it might not seem like it to the NoneYa’s, but they’re NoneYa’s for a reason – but I did what he asked and got there earlier yesterday and today.

But views are what they are and as the esteemable Mr. Betz always said “it’s all about perception” … or as The Orange Rhino says “It’s all about perspective”

Soooooo … as I said to (a group of friends) earlier today … I’m still working on improving my yelling – verbal violence isn’t right & I know better; and I am still learning. After all the time & $$ I spent in therapy, you’d think I would have 10 kids & all the answers instead of 1 that I still yell at; but nobody’s perfect.

That’s why I have to leave this on the screen … because my perspective changed 😉 there’s a new Bones on the DVR and someone special with whom I’d like to watch it.

Night y’all.

p.s. my view on my windshield still isn’t great – but it’s guaranteed so I’ll be having it redone.