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.

My Dad

Yesterday was my dad’s birthday. He would’ve been 85. As I sat here wishing I could make that birthday phone call and wondering which book would have made the best gift, I couldn’t help but be grateful for the 79 birthdays we did have. His name was Gordon, but my mom and his friends calledContinued

Joy to the World

It’s over ten years since I met Barie Joy.  I had purchased her Tarot Card reading at the high school’s silent auction, exclaiming to my dubious husband “what fun!” and “why not?”.  I remember being wildly jealous of her memorable name. Though her daughter was already a friend to my son (and soon one toContinued

Randy’s Reminder

I met our plumber, Randy, last fall when we were preparing to sell our 100-year-old house.  I’d been through quite a few other plumbers during our ten years there, as 100-year-old homes come with 100-year-old pipes.  And not every repairman has the stomach or patience for dealing with them. My friend Joya had recommended Randy…Continued

Crutch Power

Crutch Power

According to Thesaurus.com the word “crutch ” is a noun meaning “support“.  Synonyms include aid, bolster, brace, buttress, cane, help, post, prop, staff, stick. I’m obsessing about crutches of late because I’ve been relying on them following a recent hip surgery.  It’d  been forty-some years since I last tried to balance on crutches, when my momContinued


The three-day weekend seemed like a perfect opportunity to get my study organized.  The kids had headed back to school, and after being away most of the summer, I felt the need for a fresh start myself.  Contemplating this room where I do  a little writing, some reading, a dash of sewing, barely any filing,Continued

One Fine Father

When I was in early labor with our second kiddo and the doctor suggested I meet my husband for a light lunch and then mosey over to the hospital, I called Phil to make lunch plans.  He said he was sorry, but that he already had lunch plans…with his dad and his brother!  I lookedContinued

Be Bad

I’ve always been a worrier.  I worry about all kinds of things; from little stuff like accidentally mixing trash into the recycling bin, to big things like global warming. Something that has haunted my worries since the pre-school years is the fear of getting in trouble, which is baffling since my parents weren’t brutes whoContinued

A Whole New Spin on Mothers’ Day

Yesterday I received an email from my mother-in-law thanking us for the flowers that my husband (brown-nose that he is, and let’s be clear that’s why I married him…) was foresighted enough to order. Along with her thanks, she noted that this time next year there will be another mother celebrating.  And I did aContinued

Engage Not Enrage

That’s the mantra my friend “Pilates Lisa” has been teaching me.  She’s Pilates Lisa  because a plethora of friends named Lisa caused my husband to ask “which Lisa?”every single time I mentioned one. So even though Lisa is my friend besides  being a long time pilates instructor, this is how I must refer to her!Continued


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