Tag Archives: chaos

Friday Fun: The Smartest Card

Time for a shameless plug:


We just dropped our son off at college this week, and you know what I’m the most envious about?  That he’s going to school in Boston, which gives him access to the Boston Public Library!  He’s our third child in college, and they’re all good readers, but even so I’ve encouraged all of them to visit their town’s public library and apply for a free card. Public library collections are very different from college library collections, since the colleges need to cater to a specific audience – namely the professors and students, focusing their collection on materials that can supplement coursework.  Years ago I worked at a small public library in Durham, home to the University of New Hampshire, and one day two young ladies walked in, obviously new students at the school. They looked around the small magazine reading area, taking the entire library in in a few glances. Back then the library (now in it’s own gorgeous building) rented space in a storefront of a strip mall and the staff did their best with the tiny, odd space. We had a magazine reading area, children’s area, public computers and a small staff area in the back of the storefront. Usually we’d get visitors who would look around and then compare it to the big, beautiful library in their home town or places they went on vacation. But these two girls looked around, sighed, and one said to the other, “Oh, yeah. That’s more like home.”  Our tiny library was familiar to them, a haven of normalcy in their big, unfamiliar college territory.

What’s in your wallet?


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Friday Fun: My Bookshelves

book shelves

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August 19, 2016 · 8:30 am

A to Z Blogging Challenge: E, Expectations

expectationsEarly in our marriage, my husband decided to return to school. We  lived in several states and spent a year in Germany in pursuit of this, all along with the expectation that he’d land a tenure-track teaching position at a nice college somewhere, we’d become knit into the intellectual and creative community on campus, and eventually we’d send our kids there and they’d benefit from some tuition remission. As a graduate student family we furnished our home with eclectic finds from tag sales.  I always said to myself, I’ll wait to buy matching couches when he has that tenure position. I said it so often that eventually these matching couches began to represent much more to me than just being couches – they represented success and stability.  I’d repeat that phrase to myself when times were stressful and the future was unknown and like a mantra, just saying it would conjure images of peace and tranquility – represented by a tidy living room set.

Long story short: my expectations never panned out. My husband’s career has never been steady; I’ve had the job and career climb in a surprise twist that neither of us expected. When I took my most recent promotion, it coincided with a move and I suggested we buy a loveseat/couch set.  We’d downsized so much in the previous move that we didn’t have enough furniture to spread out in the new place. Our family had grown and in a very practical sense we needed seating for all of us to be able to be in one room together. Probably to everyone else, we were just making a purchase, but to me, I was resigning myself to how our life had turned out in the new “now” and allowing myself to grieve and release all the expectations I had for so many years about what it meant to be successful and happy. It was very emotional and a bit frightening and at times continues to be so.

I think we should pursue our dreams, but know that those dreams are more than their shell – writing a successful novel, getting married, losing weight, buying a home.  These dreams come from a place deep within, and it’s important to be mindful about what the outside milestones represent –  Peace? Stability? Acceptance? Respect?  – and know  that you can achieve that personal quest on a path that you hadn’t known existed.

During April, I’m participating in The A to Z Blogging Challenging, blogging 26 days of the month on topics that systematically move through the alphabet. The goal is to develop a more regular blogging habit and network with other bloggers.  Join us!

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A to Z Challenge: Change

Day 3: Change

You all know about change, more than I can say.

From the great Judy Blume, consider this:



During April, I’m participating in The A to Z Blogging Challenging, blogging 26 days of the month on topics that systematically move through the alphabet. The goal is to develop a more regular blogging habit and network with other bloggers.  Join us!


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Writing Prompt Wednesday: Killer Stories

what doesn't kill us

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March 23, 2016 · 9:18 pm

Friday Fun: Priorities

jk rowling

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March 18, 2016 · 8:07 am

Saturday Scramble: Flying Update

WP_003194 (1)“Later is a lie that never happens unless you set your mind to clearing out your mind clutter! That is all procrastination really is!”

In January, 2016 I decided to take control of my disorganized home and try FLYing (Finally Loving Yourself). Here’s a thoughtful email update from the FlyLady herself, Marla Cilley, posted on her website that I received this week. As you can see from this photo of my living room (or maybe you can’t), decluttering is process.  Most of the items in the picture that need to be tidied are my daughter’s – and she tends to spread out and play in this room or the kitchen while I’m working at my desk near the window.  A busy, long afternoon yesterday and the day before caused her to drop her karate things and swimming things in exhaustion, and since I got dinner on late, I didn’t ask her to pick up before she went to bed.  I admit that sometimes the decluttering process is mentally overwhelming, but I’m trying to do my 15 minutes a day in my weekly zone around all the other obligations I have in my life.

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