buenos días, cómo estás?

Oh boy, do I love this duoLingo.  I’ve been working on my Spanish for over a month and reached the intermediate level – woo hoo! – which basically means I’ve graduated from apples and rice to present tense verbs.  My app tells me I’ve achieved 37% fluency, which may or may not be a slight exaggeration…I’m taking it as encouragement either way.

At 37% fluency I can regale captive blog readers friends with phrases like:

  • ¿Dónde está el baño?
  • Mi esposo es mono.
  • Como pollo y arroz.
  • Yo no corro.
  • Sí, me gusta tomar una cerveza, gracias.

I’m pretty good at colors, too.

Continue reading

Share Your World 10/16/17

If you had to move to a country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why? 

I took a new approach to this question, googled “socially advanced nations” (info from Business Insider), and chose Sweden.  They rank outside the top ten in two categories: Shelter (16th) and Personal Rights (11th).  Otherwise Sweden is knocking it out of the park: Water and Sanitation (tied 1st), Nutrition and Basic Medical Care (3rd), Personal Safety (2nd), Health and Wellness (4th), Personal Freedom and Choice (6th), and Tolerance and Inclusion (7th).

What color would you like your bedroom to be?

A very light teal – that color blending blue and sea green so that its appearance shifts based on the time of day.

What makes you Happy? Make a list of things in your life that bring you joy.

BrightSide, my kids, Gracie & Phoebe, my close friends & family, a well written post, a warm bed, inspiration, music, books I can’t put down, spending time in nature, and photography.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

“They deem me mad because I will not sell my days for gold; and I deem them mad because they think my days have a price.” Khalil Gibran

Cee’s Share Your World questions drop on Mondays.  Click over to check out her blog.

What’s happening in your world today?

10 alternative mediation therapies that’ll catch on any day now

I’m beginning to think BrightSide and I could kick off a side business offering alternative mediation.  We’ve had a bit of success in the area (a very little bit but hey, any success is better than none, right?) and just might have some skills to offer to the public at large. 

BrightSide’s strengths might lie in more traditional mediation.  He’s all about the feelings and seeing each other’s perspectives and active listening and such…the whole “sit down in a room and put it all out there until we’ve got it resolved” approach.  It’s a perfectly valid system and, frankly, largely responsible for our successes.

Me?  Well, I’ve been considering some alternative approaches to the field.  Clients would probably need to sign some sort of waiver, but I think the ideas below are worth a try.

Continue reading

$147 a minute makes for pretty expensive bathroom breaks

Weddings.  The hardcore breakdown.

“Uh oh, DGGYST has been reading again.  Nothing good can come of that.  I get new information and then I pass it on to you like some kind of horrible virus…

So when I read an article that the average cost of a wedding climbed to a record high of $35,329 last year, I was a bit stupefied and immediately felt the need to discuss it with you.

Now let me assure you, I think you are a big sexy adult who is entirely capable of spending her money the way she sees fit.  There are a bunch of ridiculous articles out there telling you that weddings are a waste and stupid, and that you look fat and shouldn’t go to the beach (maybe my magazine pages got stuck together).  I’m not going to do any of that.

I only want you to have a firm understanding of what you are getting for your money.”

Your Wedding, Your Money – Damn, Girl. Get Your Shit Together.

SoCS – world shifts in hydration

I grew up a city girl, born and bred, a situation I was certain would never change.  Not necessarily the city part – I wasn’t wed to living near high-rise buildings – but deep down I knew where my loyalties lie.  I loved movie theaters, sports, school clubs, plays, and being able to pick up a cheeseburger without driving thirty minutes.

I felt pretty confident about where life would lead me.

Then, of course, I met BrightSide and things went all willy nilly.  Not so much the first two years of our marriage; we spent those living in St. Louis, the city-est city we’ve lived in, but from that point forward we’ve grown increasingly rural-ly.  First was the move to a smaller town (though, frankly, anything would have been “smaller” compared to St. Louis) but then came the real whammy.

THEN we moved to the country.  The real country.  The one where people have wells and septic tanks.  The one where the seasonal smell of manure wafting in from the nearest pasture is par for the course.

The. Country. Y’all.

Continue reading

from the mouths of babes (comes bizarre commentary)

Welcome to another episode of Kid Quotes, land of the wait, what was that? moment.


Bear, upon her return from camp and the family’s trip to California:  “I haven’t had sweet tea in TWO WEEKS.  TWO WEEKS, people.  We gotta fix this now.”

“You guys are weird.”  From both kids.  All the time.  Without any provocation at all, I swear.

T-man:  “Is this racist?”  We were watching a sidewalk show on the San Francisco pier and performers were ripping jokes on all the volunteers pulled from the crowd.  (BrightSide proudly represented the “middle age white guy” population.  Bless.)

“All your music sounds the same.” says the girl who listens to Top 40 stations where all the music sounds the same.

Continue reading

Forever Family: odds and ends #4


One of the parts of parenting I struggle with is the spectator aspect.  There’s lots of hands on activity to be sure, but we seem to be in a season of watching our young-ish ones test their wings (aka waiting to see if they crash and burn).  Watching and waiting is hard.  And watching when you know the crash and burn is inevitable?  Hell, that’s the hardest part of all.

And self esteem…oh my lawd, the self esteem.  How is it I know to the depths of my soul the innate worth of these children, but they just don’t seem to get it?  One of mine will go back to kids who are disrespectful and outright cruel over and over, calling them “friends” until they act like turds again.  You deserve better.  You deserve better.

This week brought the delightful moment when I found myself explaining to one of my children why we never, ever, ever joke about how much the other kid cost.  A) We don’t buy and sell people because that is i-l-l-e-g-a-l.  B) We should strive to be our best selves, and that comment is nowhere close.  C) Sadly, it cuts a little close to the bone.

It took about a month but I finally told T-man why I stopped responding to a certain parent’s texts.  I thought I was protecting him, but he’s thirteen and deserves to have all the information when choosing whether to go to someone else’s house.  Be friends, don’t be friends, whatever…but you should know his dad made a comment about shielding his daughter from ebonics, so I’m not feeling real cool about the parental aspect over there.

We shared some John Oliver episodes with the kids this week.  Sure, some of you might be thinking we’re nuts watching a late night comedian who drops the F bomb, but things get pretty real around here.  And it’s been good for them to see an adult stand up on national television and call out what passes for bullshit in this country right now.  The episode Oliver did on the Confederate flag was particularly timely.

On a side note, this isn’t adoption related, but the kids’ commentary on cheerleaders at Wednesday’s pep rally was downright hysterical.  Boobs, a twerking motion, and those ridiculous skirts all came up.  (BrightSide dryly noted that cheerleaders enjoy a rather lax dress code exemption.)

And those are the odds and ends for this week.