Stuck at the Airport

I want to be witty and fun today but unfortunately internet access at the airport cost money, so I am posting on my phone.

The phone is already paid for.

Thank goodness for free internet at our hotel, but considering I will be at a bachelorette party tonight, don’t hold your breath for a decent post tonight either.

The Hare and I are on an adventure to Virginia for my cousin’s wedding. I am going to be a bridesmaid for the second time in my life. This weekend will be full of manicures and pedicures, up-do’s and makeup applications, pictures and champagne.

It reminds me of my own wedding weekend and how much fun it was to be around family celebrating my future. I might not remember the details, but I remember all the emotions and joy. And I am so thankful that we are able to participate in my cousin’s new beginnings.

Thankfully our flight is about to board and our fabulous journey can begin. The Hare is my buddy for the next few days, reminding me what happiness the years bring.

All Good Things Must Come to an End

I have spent ten Christmas drives from Michigan to Texas planning where to eat.

Twenty-five hours is a long time to fantasize about food.

Only getting to eat perfectly seasoned white meat at  Chick-Fil-A, creamy bean and cheese tacos at  Taco Cabana, or the most moist smoked brisket at  Rudy’s once a year is torture.

And no one makes sweet tea like Bill Miller’s BBQ.

The most coveted restaurant  is  Niki’s Tokyo Inn and their garlic dumplings, gyoza.  The dark paneled walls and matted red carpet transport you back to when the restaurant opened in 1970. I have been eating there since I was little. The family’s houses and vegetable gardens hide behind the restaurant parking lot. The owner’s grown son, a brilliant Yale graduate, is quirky and tells crass jokes, but has a genuine heart.

Everything on the menu is exquisite, but the gyoza is divine. They melt in your mouth, taunting you to eat more. The garlic is sweet and tangy. Served as an appetizer, these 8 little dumplings are garnished with fresh cabbage to cleanse the palette.

I don’t share.

I eat a whole plate by myself.

I eat any leftovers that are missed.

I collect everyone’s unused garlic sauce to pour over my rice.

There is a long list of things you shouldn’t eat while you are pregnant, garlic being one of them, and the first Christmas home after moving to Michigan I was pregnant.  I craved gyoza for double the months, increasing my desire to order this delicacy on our next visit.

When I stepped inside, slipped off my shoes, and sunk into the soft squishy pillows surrounding our table, I knew I was home. My legs assumed the usual position of criss-cross-applesauce as I patiently waited for our order, grateful to my in-laws for watching our children so we could have a date.

Still in a garlic euphoria, I kissed The Tortoise goodnight and then nursed The Hare before going to bed.

A few hours later, I was startled from a deep sleep.

The Hare was screaming and crying.

I ran to pick her up, her little body squirming, belly distended.

Her diaper was full, gushing. An overpowering smell of fresh garlic ignited, burning my eyes and nose. I cleaned that up and quickly put on a fresh diaper. The Hare continued crying and writhing, filling another diaper. After a few diaper changes, she began to settle down. I cradled and rocked her.  Her sweaty head still oozing the scent of garlic from her pores.

Apparently, garlic wasn’t conducive to nursing either.

Lesson learned.

This week’s RemembeRed memoir prompt from, The Red Dress Club, asked us to write a post that either starts or ends with the words “Lesson learned.”


This week’s Red Writing Hood writing prompt was to write only a 400 word post using the following picture for inspiration. Usually I focus on non-fiction writing, but this week I thought I would try something different and write  fiction. It took me forever to figure out where I wanted to start, so of course, I missed the opportunity to link up with everyone else. But here it is anyway:


Sweat and suntan lotion trickled down Nina’s face, stinging her eyes. She blinked back tears, trying to take inventory of the crooked stacks of boxes and blanketed furniture. The storage unit was small and hot. She couldn’t afford the air-conditioned units. She probably couldn’t even afford this sauna, but she wasn’t willing to give up everything, just yet. The Texas heat hung low in the air, making it hard to breathe easily, each breath labored and shallow. Nina slumped to the concrete floor, absorbing the cool contrast, hiding behind memories and disappointments.

“Where the hell is my ride?” she thought, glancing at her watch, sipping her oversized sweet tea.

The ice had melted hours ago, leaving a much watered down version of the original libation. Nina’s stomach rumbled angrily, reminding her that a .99 cent taco was not enough sustenance to last a whole day. She dug deep into her wrinkled shorts’ pocket, counting the last few dollars before pay-day. Her hands were swollen and sore, a white line tattooing her left ring finger stood out against the brown sugar of her skin. Forty bucks, which was all she had for the next week, would have to cover gas, groceries and diapers.

She set the tea down, stretched her legs out in front of her and tightened her long dark mahogany pony-tail, increasing the tension in her temples. These last five years had been exhausting. Nina closed her eyes, rested her head against the hard metal garage door frame, and listened to the buzz of traffic zipping down the highway. Just on the other side of the highway loomed a tall glass office building where she met her attorney the week before. His harsh words still echoed in her mind.

“All you can do is wait for something worse to happen. Document everything.”

Popping gravel and the sharp squeal of brakes broke the stillness. Nina sat up, saw a car door swing open; muscular calves jumped out of the car.

“What took you so long?” Nina snapped.

“I did a little investigating,” smiled Ronnie, holding up a zip-lock bag full of undeveloped film.

Nina stared blankly at Ronnie’s confiscations.

“Whatever he is hiding,” Ronnie said. “We’ll find it. I took the film from a shoebox in his closet and this,” Ronnie continued, waving a green motherboard in the air, “this I took out of his computer.”

Hopped Up On Salt & Vinegar

Never, never, and I mean never, try to blog when you are on hormonal overload. I was in a complete funk yesterday, weepy & strung out. I felt like I was going through some sort of withdrawal, so I did what any addict would do.

I consumed almost an entire bag of salt & vinegar chips.

In bed.

By myself.

And I hid the bag until after the kids went to bed.

So what kind of post do you get when you are emotionally charged and hopped up on salt & vinegar chips? You get what is now being featured over at Studio 30 Plus’ Magazine.

Expose Yourself More

I rely heavily on first impressions.

I’m referring to my own first impressions. For the most part I like everybody as soon as I meet them, until they prove themselves high maintenance, untrustworthy, lacking compassion or just simply a pain in the ass. Religion, politics, social demographics, culture and partner preferences really don’t matter to me. I care about people’s spirit. I care about what is at the heart of a person. And yet, I worry extensively about how people perceive me, especially through my comments on other people’s blogs.

Commenting on other people’s blogs  is like peeing with the door open. It feels embarrassing. I second guess every word, every thought before it hits the page, because once it is out there, I can’t take it back. There is no edit button.

  • What if I misunderstood the message the writer was trying to convey?
  • What if my humor or sarcasm is misinterpreted as snarkiness?
  • What if I misspell something and look like a complete idiot?
  • What if I don’t like what I read? How honest should I really be?
  • What if my words are totally an out-of-body-artistic moment making my blog look like dribble?

I rather like my stealth approach to blog reading, slide in and out unnoticed. I get to be the child hiding at the top of the stairs, trying to figure out what mom and dad are whispering about. Reading behind closed doors is comfortable and unexposed. But I’ve learned two valuable lessons this week.

All Levels of Writers Need Encouragement and Feedback

Many of the blogs I read inspire me to be a better writer, a better mom, a better wife, a better everything. Their words seem to come effortlessly, day after day. They are the moon I want to hook my star to. It never occurred to me that maybe we were more alike than I realized, that maybe we share the same secret fear of not being liked or heard. Comments on my own blog fuel my desire to keep writing, sometimes cause me to look at things differently or reaffirm that my thoughts were right on target. I forgot other writers, writers I think are far more talented than myself, also need to be reminded how much their words impact lives and I didn’t think about how they seek community as much as I do. Selfishly, I just wanted to wrap their words around me, cover my creativity in their inspiration, and never risk being rejected .

Writing From the Heart is What Really Matters

Yes, I expose myself every time I post something on my blog, but somehow it  feels less scary than a comment. I can manipulate the words a million times before hitting “publish”, and I can even wipe the slate completely clean if I change my mind later.  But that comment, misspelled, misinterpreted, misquoted, could last a lifetime. But I forgot that even if the very first time you meet me is through a comment on someone else’s blog, that as long as I always write with integrity, compassion and honesty, I can stand by my words. My heart will show through the mistakes.

Thank you Theta Mom, Four Plus an Angel, Rock and Drool, and Mrs. Weber’s Neighborhood for reminding me to comment more. It was a big stretch for me to introduce myself to each you more intimately this week. Sometimes it is much easier to hide in my blog than be the woman behind the blog. For me, commenting has never been about increasing blog traffic, but something much more personal. However, I forgot that it helps build community, which is why I started blogging in the first place.