I've been learning on the job since February 1, 1989. It's high time I started sharing what I've learned!

New Year, New Blog, New Business, New Me

When I was a little girl, I loved the sound of my mother’s laughter.  She’d snicker when the dog came home with every newspaper on our block, giggle kindly at Dad’s corny puns, and chuckle proudly at my brother’s pre-teen jokes.  Sometimes she’d howl with best friend, Aunt Peg while reminiscing about a Lucy and Ethel moment. But it was in the afternoon, when Mom finally sat down to read the paper with her Tab and a Camel, that I’d hear the gales of laughter that meant  it was an Erma day.

Erma Bombeck was the original Mommy Blogger.  With her syndicated column, At Wit’s End, she chronicled the ordinary life of a suburban housewife.   Erma’s self-deprecating humor resonated well with her peers, and gave them a rare but welcome opportunity to laugh at their husbands, their children, their mothers, and themselves.erma-bombeck1

While I sure as hell didn’t want her name, I did want Erma’s wit. Making people laugh the way my mom laughed, sounded both magical and medicinal.

Two decades later it was just a fluke that I discovered my latent sense of humor.  Unlike my joker of a husband, or comedian of a son, coming up with quick, sassy, johnny-on-the-spot responses, has never been my forte. But 18 years ago, when the reality of four kids and a workaholic husband put an unexpected damper on my Christmas spirit and made holiday cards a farcical fantasy, I began writing the yearly Christmas letter.

And Baby Makes Six

My mom always warned me to: “never say never” and, in that maddening way that mothers seem to have, she was oh, so right.  I said I’d never give my baby a pacifier, never drink before dusk, never go to bed mad, never go through another labor, and never write one of these cop-out Christmas letters.  But let’s face it, when you’re young, you’re smug …and when you’re mother to four kids under six, you’re toast.

The first year set the standard.  After my husband initially balked at my honesty “what do you mean, you go to bed mad??” and I refused to back down, he soon jumped on board as editor-in-chief and earned my undying respect the year he began telling it like it was himself …” I’ll give you a quarter, if you bring me a Bud without shaking it.”

I first learned the power of telling it like it is back in middle school after an oreo-binge confession brought me more friends in an hour than during ten years I’d spent pretending to be perfect. Even then, when most of us jockeyed for position with the popular crowd by posturing as self-assured, underneath it all, everyone ached to not be the only one who overdosed on Oreos.

Mommy bloggers have the right idea. Sharing the dementia of early motherhood and the demands of activities as exotic as properly acknowledging a toddler’s proud comparison of her poop to a shark… helps make motherhood a hell of a lot more bearable.  Now, instead of blowing up when the kids are sick, the DVD player’s shot, the husband’s traveling, and your roots are growing in…moms can read, or write about it and – poof! – all is well, or at least a LOT  better. That’s what good ole Erma did for moms 35+years ago.

No matter how tired, angry, sad, burdened, or overwhelmed I am, sharing the human experience with like-minded folks was always as close to a cure-all as I’d ever found.

But after a rough patch this time last year, I became too tired, angry, sad, burdened and overwhelmed to believe there even were like-minded folks…so I took an extended sabbatical; but 2013 is a new year, and I’m ready to write again.

21 22 Years of Plan B is what I’ve long referred to as my book in “blogress” and after a year filled with thumb-sucking, soul-searching, knitting, snoozing, beading, sewing, cooking, boozing, wedding-planning, procrastinating, meditating, painting, reading, cleaning, boo-hooing, dog-walking, volunteering, and doing pretty much everything but writing…I am about to re-embark on my blog journey.

I hope you’ll come along for the ride.  Whether you opt to subscribe or not, I’d be eternally grateful if you’d hop over to my Facebook give it a like.

Many Thanks and Welcome to Plan B.

AWOL

Not sure how to explain my lengthy silence except to say that moving 2 weeks before Christmas pretty much did me in for  4 months prior and 4 months after.  But I miss writing, and so am going to give it a try again…and hope you’ll bear with me. As I was driving between appointmentsContinued

That’s My Mom

That’s My Mom

Though my mother only gave birth to two kids, she’s played mom to many more.  From a wayward boyfriend of mine, to a best friend of my brother’s, several of our cousins, and even a few  babysitters…Mom’s been there with an ear or a shoulder, a nugget of advice or a word of praise, aContinued

Made by Hand

Made by Hand

Last summer Kristen and I happened upon a wonderful gem of a shop on Santa Fe Boulevard. Fabric Bliss is a modern fabric and yarn boutique where you can learn to sew, knit, and crochet while surrounded by the most colorful scrumptious stuff. While I may not have the amazing knack for sewing that KrisContinued

Quilts for the Kids

Quilts for the Kids

 

Lost & Found

Lost & Found

The summer I was 17, my friend’s younger brother lost his left foot in a motorcycle accident.  I remember  how strange it was to see this 16-year-old in a hospital bed. Especially when the last time I’d seen him he’d been tan and muscular, hair gleaming as he rode a wave that would have dauntedContinued

Food For Thought

Food For Thought

Last Saturday, with the kids occupied and Phil out of town, I decided to indulge in a favorite guilty pleasure on my first travel-free weekend in awhile, and  took myself to the movies.  The first time I’d  ever gone to a  movie solo, I was 22 and living in Brooklyn. After my boyfriend ditched meContinued

Bucket List: 1. Finish To-Do List

Bucket List: 1. Finish To-Do List

Some days it feels like I don’t accomplish anything.  To blame: everything from errands to emails, projects to phone calls, appointments to articles, bill-paying and traveling …not to mention Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Blogging.  Though things eventually do get done, my list never gets any shorter ~ meaning that for every item that’s crossed off,Continued

Laughing Out Loud

Laughing Out Loud

When I first saw the term LOL in a text exchange a few years ago, I assumed it meant lots of love, and thought ”aww, how sweet”. When my kids glibly informed me the acronym actually meant laughing out loud… I was like “huh, what other way is there to laugh?” and then tried to remember theContinued

My Dog has a Napoleon Complex

My Dog has a Napoleon Complex

Frankie is just about the cutest little dachshund/cocker mix that ever walked down the block.  I found  and adopted him via Petfinders.com on March 2nd last year – 2 weeks after having to put Augie to sleep.  As Eloise would have said he’s been ‘my mostliest‘ companion ever since.  He joined a household that alreadyContinued