Healthy Junk

Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire

A week or so ago, a young man that goes to my son’s high school was arrested for graffitiing a terroristic threat on the school’s bathroom wall.  I texted a picture of the kid’s mug shot to my son and asked if he knew him, and he said that, yes, he did - that they even worked together, and that he’d given him a ride home from work a time or two, and that he’d told me about him several times.

I’ll tell you what irritates me more than the itch of a growing-out bikini area, it's finding out my son’s been talking to me, and I haven’t been listening.

I immediately searched all the local news media posts about the arrest, not just to fulfill my need for juicy gossip (but that, too), but also because - now that I was paying attention - I realized how close to home it hits:  the guy's being my son’s age, going to the same school, working at the same place, and **gulp** riding in my son’s car.  

I'm Struggling Here, But I Guess It Could Be Worse

I promised my youngest last night that we’d go for a jog this morning, and I immediately regretted making that promise when I woke up because I had a screaming headache.  Since I get them almost daily, I figure I might as well plug on through.  I’d never get out of bed if I waited till I was headache-free*.  Besides, I'm trying to be a role model of health and responsibility to my kid.

We’ve been thinking of cancelling our gym membership because we’ve been paying for a family membership for years, and we suddenly realized:  that gym doesn’t freaking work.  

We’re still not healthy, and we’ve paid that place thousands of dollars. 

A String of Disappointments, and I'm Still Here

Several months ago I posted about an upcoming event called "Listen To Your Mother," a live event where authors read their work on stage in front of a live studio audience.  I asked my subscribers to vote on which of my most popular articles I should use in my audition.  

I was a little nervous auditioning, but I was pretty sure I’d get in.  

I'm not bad looking, and I don't mean to brag...

I’m not bad looking.  Let's get that out of the way at the very start. 

Not to sound all braggy, but I’ve got a mouthful of straight teeth (and I never had braces!), tiny ankles, and naturally thick, healthy nails.  I only recently started seeing a few gray hairs, and I have cute little Fred Flintstone feet.

But I’m embarrassed to say that I stepped on the scale this morning and I’m exactly 100 pounds heavier than the day I graduated high school.  

I'm going to let that sink in for a sec.

Back to School: How the 504 May Be Keeping Your Kid From Adulting

Let me start by first saying that I’m not judging you if you have a 504 Plan in place for your kid.

In case you aren’t sure what that even means, I’ll explain:  Section 504 is part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  It’s part of the civil rights law, and its purpose is to prohibit discrimination based on a mental or physical disability. 

Basically, it serves to sort-of level the playing field, to give a student with a disability the same opportunities for success as those without a disability.  It’s a list of accommodations offered to students who aren’t eligible for special education services, but their special health needs require special consideration, and slightly different rules.

The Good News Is, My Foot Still Fits In My Mouth

If you've followed my blog for any length of time, or if you've read my book, you know that the battle between me and my mouth is very real.  

From cliche's, which I slaughter to pieces like some sort of harebrained butcher, to awkward small-talk exchanges that are so heavily wrapped in social anxiety, I invariably say something that earns me a furrowed brow and a silent look of confusion.

And sometimes I just get my words all jumbled up.  

We went to Florida last week for a family vacation, and on the way there, I pondered whether I'd fit in my swimsuits or not (I did, but only the super-stretchy ones.)  

I didn't wonder whether my foot fit in my mouth.  But, alas, it does.

The Gifts I Hope My Dad Gives To My Boys

My teenager was forced to emerge yesterday from his dark hole of a bedroom because it was the first day of summer break, and we had to go get his passport renewed.  

Just a few days before, I'd stood on the front porch, bantering with him as he walked out to his car, watching him pull out and waving goodbye to him as he left for one of his last few days of his junior year.  

He hates when I do this.  

"Why do you do that?  It's so weird," he'll say in a tone that makes it clear he's disgusted by the whole thing.

Murder-Suicide? Or Just Avoiding The Phone?

Running around this morning, unloading the dishwasher from last night, tossing dirty socks into the laundry basket, then picking up throw pillows from the floor, which is where they spend 97% of their time, because my children are trying to kill me, so they intentionally take them off the couch and toss them to the floor on the daily, I thought to myself, "I wonder how Mom and Dad are doing?"

It's been a while since I've heard from them.  

Not that I ever hear from them.  We only talk if I initiate the call.  And when I say "call," I'm referring only to my dad.  My mom doesn't talk on the phone.  If I want to have a conversation with her, it's almost always through texts, which is pretty funny when you know the back story.

It's A Good Day To Be Alive

My inner dialog this morning as I stretched myself awake:  "Hooray!  It's a school holiday, so no early rush to get lunches made!"

Followed immediately by:  "Booo, it's a school holiday, so the kids will be home with me all day." (don't judge me)

Then, "Hooray!  It's Friday, so we can sleep in the next two days!"

Followed by, "Booo, I have a dentist's appointment this morning."

I'd been awake for 25 seconds and I'd already been taken on an emotional roller coaster ride.  

I trudged downstairs to make my beloved coffee, then went back up to get ready for my day.  I reached for my contact solution, tipped the bottle over, and poured my perfectly-brewed cup of coffee over my unsuspecting contact lens.

Cat-like Vapor Lock (and other stress-induced oddities)

How are you under pressure?  God willing, you're better than I am.  

Despite having years of experience as a professional counselor (and by that, I mean that I had years of professional counseling), I still have a weird vapor-lock response to out-of-the-ordinary stress situations.  

5 Songs I Will Love & Sing Forever

A few months ago, I got a new car and I feel a little silly saying it, but my favorite thing is the trial account of XM Satellite.  The best channels are 80's on 8 and 90's on 9, and I toggle between the two stations losing myself in the memories the songs from those decades brings back.

I'm sharing a handful of songs here that I'll love and sing forever.  These aren't in any particular order, because I love them all for very different reasons.  Enjoy!

Public Bathroom Safety For Your Child

Something happened recently that has me freaked out a bit over what could have happened.  I want to share it with you, not to be exploitative, but to bring awareness. 

And because writing about things is how I “deal.” 

Not that this is about me.

My 8-year-old son and I went to my favorite place in the whole wide world (Target, of course) to buy materials we needed for a school project.  My child had to, of course, use the bathroom, because using bathrooms in every store we visit is his most passionate hobby, so I waited by the registers for him to come out.

He came out of the bathroom and told me that something weird had happened.

9 Pet Peeves That Don't Include Beef Jerky

I challenged myself (because that's what I need, is another challenge in my life) to write a blog post every single day for a month.  Then I took it down a notch (because I'm all about lowering my own standards), deciding instead to write a post every single day - Monday through Friday - for a month. 

The last 24 hours have been spent brainstorming topic ideas that range from parenting, to how-to's and hacks, to books and product reviews.  Nothing's off limits, I'll write about anything (this is a not-so-subtle request for ideas - what do you want to hear me blather on about?)

Instant Confidence Booster: Think Of All The Idiots Out There

As you probably know, I'm in the process of publishing a book, You Should Write A Book!, which is thiiisss close to being ready for the editor.  It's taking longer than it probably should because I keep coming up with more to add to it.

I have stories to tell, y'all.  I can't wait for you to get your hands on this tell-all.

The back-end stuff to writing a book is what takes so darn long.  Getting the stories written and organized is a pretty big job, sure.  But the editing junk, the design junk, the publishing junk, and the legal junk... that's what takes forever, and I'll be honest: it's sometimes a complicated process.  

Kanye's Freak Flag

I've never been a Kanye West fan.  His music doesn't appeal to me whatsoever, and he always goes off on some tangent, usually at the cost of someone else, which is a big turn-off for me.

Usually his antics make me sort-of shake my head in astonishment, then I go on about my business, continuing not being a fan of his.

I don't spend any more time on it than that, mainly because I don't like to spend my time on negative energy, but it's also because I have my hands plenty full dealing with my own crazy, thankyouverymuch.

But I have a few issues with his latest rants.

Let This Be A Warning To All You Young Golden Goddesses

My dad is technically English (he moved to the States when he was about 5, so he doesn't have any of that fun accent, anymore.  He still uses some of the colloquialisms, though, like the word "bloody," as in, "I couldn't get a bloody cab to save my life!"  Or "knackered," as in, "I had way too much to drink last night. I'm completely knackered today." But none of these things sound quite right without the support of an English accent.)

With that English heritage of my dad's - thus, of my own - we probably have some Scottish down the lines somewhere.  I've submitted my DNA to Ancestry.com, and I'm just waiting for the results so I can find out if I was switched at the hospital, and really belong to someone wealthy and with no history of mental health issues.