Scams Will Make you Feel Old

 Ever have one of those events in your life that is slightly traumatizing, but in the back of your head you know you’ll laugh at later? Much later. Recently, I was contacted to become a Mystery Shopper for a few stores in our area. This is a business where you are paid by the store to sneak around, buy things and then write a detailed report of what you witnessed, from cleanliness to customer service. They pay for all expenses and give you an itinerary so you know exactly what the company wants. Living in New York City stole the Midwest girl out of me. Robbed me blind of trusting others. Because of my jaded outlook, I did some research and learned this "company" was legit. It seemed too good to be true, but I figured they contacted me because of my writing skills and charming ... [ Read More ]

Reoccurring Dreams are Often a Nightmare

Have you ever had a dream that you went to school in your underwear? Yeah, me neither. That would be awkward to admit. Actually, I had numerous variations of weird dreams as a child, which I’m sure isn’t surprising to those who know me. I even walked and talked in my sleep. I prefer to think I was chatty even while sleeping. I became obsessed with analyzing dreams when I grew a bit older. I didn’t have a crystal ball or Tarot cards, and never took money for my services - this “talent” was a mere hobby. Plus, the gypsies weren’t exactly knocking on my door. Once I checked out a dream analysis book from the public library, eager to explore my friends’ dreams. What a fabulous guest I was to be at slumber parties. In between Mad Libs stories, Ouija boards and the light as a feather ... [ Read More ]

Child’s Fear of Halloween is Tough for Chocolate Craving Parents

Previously published in The Kansas City Star newspaper - October 23, 2015 Once upon a time, there were children who hated Halloween. “Shut your mouth!” the crowd exclaims in unison. True story. “How can children not enjoy a holiday, where they can play dress up and receive copious amounts of free candy?” you ask. Apparently, some kids are afraid of the dark and/or monsters and can experience extreme fears of the holiday far into grade school. Before motherhood, I wouldn’t have believed it, but I have firsthand observed children - due to their overly creative minds and fueled by zombie commercials on the Disney Channel – who have such a fear of all things Halloween they have been knocked out of prime candy-retrieval position for years. As a child, I remember being afraid ... [ Read More ]

Extravagant kid birthdays for a new generation

Previously published in The Kansas City Star news: September 26, 2015 I grew up in a house where birthdays were not only celebrated, but morphed into a pageant. They always included some sort of a talent segment and occasional formal wear, but thank goodness swimsuits never made an appearance. (That one Christmas when Grandpa took off his shirt by the tree to model his new gift was enough torture for a lifetime. As a result, we enforced a stringent dress code.) We couldn’t celebrate a birthday on just one day. Apparently, the idea of throwing one party annually never occurred to us. Why would you do that when you could drag out your birthday for a week? So when my children were born, I unfortunately continued the tradition of pageantry. Honestly, I planned on ... [ Read More ]

Lice Union Reports They Need a Little Respect

I need to air my recent grievance to the public. Truly, I try to be the wine-glass-is-half-full type of gal, but I had a bomb dropped on me that brought out the cynic in my Syrah. There is no way to sugarcoat my woe. In fact, I’m pretty sure I would prefer a root canal than wish this on my worst enemy. At least there are drugs that can help you get through mouth surgery. I’d rather have an endless laundry pile rather than experience this again. Wait, I take that last one back. That’s partially what’s been causing my panic attacks. Just rip off the Band-Aid, and spit it out… We had lice. Parasites. An infestation, if you will. The secret L-bomb! Never before have I so vehemently practiced sterile technique, and I’ve worked inpatient in a children’s hospital. If you’ve ... [ Read More ]

Becoming a Grandmother is Not Rough at All

As Time Goes by, Here’s Walking with you, Kid I'm sure this will come as a surprise to those who know my family, but I’m proud to announce that I’ve become a grandmother! Yes, I know my daughters are eight and nine, but I’m thrilled about my new role. When I was in college my mother asked for grandkids to spoil. It might have been a tad early to request and perhaps she could have kept that desire to herself, but now I understand the draw. My friends with older children have been sharing how wonderful it is becoming a Grandmother because you get to love your grandkids with all your heart, but return them when your pampering itch is scratched (aka when the whining and begging is so obnoxious you need to escape.) My new grandson is perfect. He is sweet, loves to play outside without ... [ Read More ]