Avoiding First Week of School Parent Fails

The smell of pencil shavings permeates the air, kids’ tennis shoes are actually clean, not yet filled with various shades of rubber mulch, and bus fumes are hanging above every suburban corner because the first day of school has arrived! I’m not clicking my heels up too much. It’s always bittersweet. I desperately love my children and enjoyed having them around for almost all 2,880 hours this summer, but I must confess, it's time for my darlings to increase their mental capacity outside of my home. Clearly, things won’t go perfectly the first week of school; but I am proud to say if both my children are accounted for after a summer of fun and vacationing, and if I can get them into the car with shoes and something other than a swimsuit, I will chock that up to a major success. I’ve ... [ Read More ]

Canning Cucumbers has me Pickled

Have you ever had one of those days when you think you just can’t handle it anymore? I’m not talking about ending it all, but perhaps an impromptu locking yourself in the hall closet and not coming out until your luck improves. My near breakdown recently was due to cucumbers. It started in early May, when my husband who is the master of his garden plot, decided to change up the summer vegetables. He had read about hay bale gardening in some hipster article and thought it sounded unique and interesting. Since our suburbanite soil is at least five-feet of clay deep, and our vegetable harvest in years past has resembled an elementary school science project involving moldy beans in wet paper towels, I agreed a change was in order. Nine years ago, when my husband insisted we needed ... [ Read More ]

My Husband is Trying to Kill me

Biking is his Weapon of Choice It was a bright, sunshiny day. My husband and I planned to enjoy our time together sans daughters because they were spending a few days at their grandparents. It was a perfect day. The birds were singing while perched atop their favorite branch, as gentle breezes swayed them back and forth. The puffy clouds danced above forming various animal designs. That’s what I dreamed while gazing out my kitchen window. Then I noticed the temperature gauge and 99 degrees barked in my face. Mother Nature wasn’t messing around. I’m not sure how I got hoodwinked into taking a bicycle ride at high noon. I didn’t owe my husband anything. My mental capacity wasn’t diminished. But somehow I was persuaded it was a grand idea. Obviously, my husband is trying to kill ... [ Read More ]

Summer Mind is a Terrible Thing to Lose

As I open the newspaper each morning, I read about someone who has performed some horrendous crime. Why is it that further into the summer months the offenses become more frequent and irrational? I’ll tell you why. It’s because everyone is losing their blooming “summer mind.” Never heard of summer mind? I know you’ve felt it in suburbia – especially if you have children. The beginning of summer is brimming with possibilities of sleeping in late, splashing in the pool and relaxing vacations. All the while you never have to harp on your kids about homework or shuttle around vans bursting with cleated-children to their 50 million soccer games. This is your bliss time. But then by the middle of summer, something happens. Many vacations are over and by the end of the trip; ... [ Read More ]