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Category Archives: Just because

Up and Running

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Hey, y’all.  Shameless plug time.  Just a quick note to say, I have started a second blog – this one featuring my jewelry design.  Stop on by if you are interested.

Brown-Eyed Susan Designs


It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad-lib world.

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Me think’s I need to be gettin’ this book… heh heh…

Daily Prompt: Mad Libs.

The Post-a-day challenge in Mad Lib form prompted me to play around with a Mad Lib site.

As a teacher, I use Mad Libs to review parts of speech.  I will give them the list first (because, let’s face it, if given the paragraph, kids will try to put in a word that make SENSE – and where’s the fun in that?).  Once they have filled it out  – and I have checked to make sure they have used the correct part of speech, I will give them the paragraph to fill in.  Then we share – and enjoy the laugh.

I love these things.  I particularly like it when they are absolutely bizarre and make little to no sense!

Part of Your World (The Little Mermaid) Mad:)Take.

Look at this Potato, isn`t it neat?
Wouldn`t you think my collection`s complete?
Wouldn`t you think I`m the spud
The spud who has everything?

Look at this elephant, treasures untold
How many wonders can one baby hold?
skipping around here, you`d think
Sure, she`s got everything

I`ve got bells and queens a-plenty
I`ve got who`s-its and what`s-its galore
You eat thing-a-mabobs?
I`ve got 492
But who cares? No pink deal. I rain more

I wanna be where the balloons are
I wanna see, wanna see `em drowning
walkin` around on those
 Whaddya call `em? Oh, feet

Washing your fins, you don`t get too far
Legs are required for typing, dancin`
Strollin` along down the
What`s that word again? Show.
Up where shoes watch
Up where shoes run
Up where shoes stay all day in the sun
Wanderin` free, wish I could be
Part of that watch.

What would I give if I could live
Outta these conditioners?
What would I pay to spend a day
Warm on the sand?

Betcha on space they understand
Bet they don`t reprimand their papers
Bright young women, sick of grading
Ready to stand

And ready to know what the shirt know
Ask `em ginormous questions and get some answers
What`s a towel, and why does it
What`s the word? Carve?

When`s it my turn?
Wouldn`t I open?
Open to explore that stool up above
Out of messy turkey, wish door could be
Ask of that question!

And in honor of Star Wars Day (May the Fourth Be With You), here is another one…

Darth Punkin-Doodle looked at his master while his drippy breathing filled the room. He was told to go to drive everything on the planet of Ooga Booga. He got in his hair bow and jumped to hyperspace. Soon before he reached the planet, he dropped out of hyperspace and was attacked by Rebel washers. He demanded them off and continued to the planet`s surface. He landed and confronted more opposition, slicing it down with his platter. He used the hanger to choke another Rebel, then poked him aside. He finished off all life on the planet with an icy laugh.

So, take a little time today – and get a little mad…

Mad-libs courtesy of:

Ain’t Nothin’ to Fear…

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Tonight, The Monkeys and I had a pizza and movie night.  We searched and searched through Netflix streaming, until I found ParaNorman.

“Have y’all seen it?”

Nice!  A chorus of three nos!

BTW – if you haven’t seen it – make sure you do.  It is really good.  And there are “adults will find funny” moments.  You know, when they throw the parents a bone and give us a joke that flies over the kids’ heads.

But I digress.

So, in this movie, Norman is an 11 year-old boy who has the “gift” of being able to see and talk to dead people (think of it as a kid-ified version of The Sixth Sense).  Poor Norman is misunderstood by everyone, even his parents.  He is bullied.  And well, basically wants to spend all his time with the dead folks who are nice to him.

However, what I will really take away from the movie is this quote…

“There’s nothing wrong with being scared, unless it changes who you are.”

Very profound, young grasshopper…

Fear does have the nasty habit of changing who you are.  Lord knows I have blogged about that topic enough.  It has kept me from taking chances.  It has ruined relationships (namely the one with my former love.)  Even if you know that fear is changing who you are – you are seemingly powerless to stop it.

Just thought I’d share…

For more on fear – check out these posts…

Sender’s Remorse

Do You Like Me?

Undo the Doubt

Change is a Four Letter Word

Sender’s Remorse

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We’ve all done it.  Come on…you know you have…

Written an email or a text – feeling ever so brave – and hit send… shooting your message into space.

Only to then think, “Oh my God – what have I done?!?!”

But there is no way to reach into thin air and pull it back.  Unfortunately.

The internal email system at my school has an unsend function.  However, it only works BEFORE the person reads it.  Once that happens – it is toooo late.

Of course, an unsend feature works GREAT if your sender’s remorse happens moments after hitting send.  But what happens when you rethink things hours later?  AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!  Makes you wish you could hop in the ol’ DeLorean, charge up the flux capacitor, speed up to 88, go back in time – and tell your past self to hold those typing fingers still!

Where are Doc Brown and Marty McFly when you need them?

Probably off somewhere trying to stop one of Biff’s zany schemes.

So, until they create an unsend button that also erases the memory of the reader – think before you type, boys and girls!   And make sure you are really ready to deal with what happens when you don’t.

This public service announcement brought to you by the friendly folks at here in Happy Monkey Land.


Living With Joy

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I just finished reading one of the most amazingly beautiful books I have ever had the fortune to read.

Breathtakingly, soul-strentheningly beautiful.

I read it cover to cover in a day.

Yet, it will stay with me for quite sometime.

Buy it.  Today.  Read it.  Now.

Until I Say Goodbye: My Year of Living With Joy, by Susan Spencer-Wendel, chronicles her life after receiving a diagnosis of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) at the age of 44.  It is not a book of sadness, or pity, or anger.  It is a book of laughter and love and JOY.  In the book, Susan tells of spending a year making joyful memories for and with her loved ones.  With her husband, her best-friend since childhood, her sister, her children.  Separately and together.  Even as her muscles are failing more and more rapidly, she desires to infuse her life – her very spirit – with JOY.

Susan and I grew up in the same hometown (where she lives about a mile and a half from my brother).  She is my age.  We share the same name (I wonder if she wasn’t really in love with the name growing up as I wasn’t – I have never felt like a SUSAN).  We both have three children – one with Asperger’s (her last, my first).  Both two boys and a girl (hers in the opposite order as mine).  I went to high-school with her life-long best friend.  As I read the book, I could picture the landscape of South Florida.  I breathed it with every rich detail.  There where times when I would laugh out loud – back up – read it again – only to laugh even harder.

And there were times when I had to hold back the sobs.

As I was reading the book, I would occasionally stop and ask myself if I would still love it as much if I didn’t feel  a bit of a personal (albeit vicarious) connection.

And each time the answer was a resounding, “YES!”  And not just for the humorous well-written prose, but for the lesson she imparts.

As we are facing challenges in our lives, we have several choices.  We can fight it tooth and nail.  We can fall in to a deep depression.  Or we can accept it for what it – for what it will be  – and choose to be JOYFUL.

Not happy.


There is a big difference between the two words.  They are not synonymous.

We may not be HAPPY to be in the midst of the challenge.  But, in accepting it – or as Susan puts it, finding your Zen, we can open our minds and hearts to finding JOY in every situation.

It is such a hard choice.  And certainly, making the choice to be joyful is not the path of least resistance.  It is ever so much easier to feel anger.  Or to allow ourselves to slip into the caverns of despair.  Making the choice for acceptance is HARD.  You have to work at it.  And as humans, we don’t really like things we have to work at.

Oh, I am sure that there were times when Susan felt genuinely pissed off at her impending fate.  Yet, she made the conscious decision to accept that what will be will be.  There was nothing she could do to stop it.  There was nothing she could do to even slow it.  It was happening and there was absolutely nothing she could do to avoid it.  After all, isn’t life too short (and in her case, quite literally) to spend it pissed off or sad?

Such a very good question.

And one that makes me think that if she has been able to face her fate with such dignity and grace – surely I can learn to do the same thing.

Surely we all can.

On Blogging

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winding road

I have come to love blogging.  Truly love it.

I love that it gives me a chance to write.  I wasn’t always a writer.  Or, at least I didn’t think I was.  I never really liked writing fiction.  And non-fiction?  Oy.  All those research papers were just tedious.  My ADHD made it REALLY hard to focus on the topic.  REALLY hard. All those notecards and outlines.  UGH.   But, I could always manage to pull something brilliant out of my butt and get a fairly decent grade.

What I did enjoy was writing little snippets about things in my life  – whenever those little snippets struck me.  Little poems.  Or pieces of poetic prose.  And while I had a feeling they were pretty good, I didn’t have an organized place to put them.  I have little scraps of paper lying around where I jotted down ideas.

And friends did always say I always knew just the right thing to say – and MAN, could I work a metaphor.

That is where blogging comes in.  It became the perfect place for me to write.

I look at other people’s blogs and I notice how FOCUSED they are.  Their blogs have a theme!  Blogs on poetry.  Blogs on family.  Blogs on fashion.  Blogs on mental-health.  Blogs on music.  Bogs on education.  Pretty well focused on a single topic.

And then I look at mine.  The posts are all over the place!  I’ve got a little bit of everything!  No focus.  Just like that picture above.  Wandering.  And I begin to think maybe I need to have a bit more of a point!

But, I realize that rambling road is like my mind.  All over the place!  I am not very single focused.  Not one little bit.

I guess that is my theme then.  Literally the rambling musings of my mind.  After all, it isn’t about the directness of the path, it’s about the destination.

Like the Beatles said, “It’s the long and winding road, that leads me back, to your door.”  And I am glad my winding road leads me to your door.

Making the shadows disappear

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Yesterday, I was chatting with a friend about his pending divorce.  The process has been going on for 20 months and has been a long hard battle.  He is understandably discouraged about the whole process.

He compared his separation to Lent, the church season leading up to Easter.

For those of you who are unaware, Lent is the 40 days prior to Easter.  It is a penitential time.  A time of sacrifice.  It is not intended to be a joyful time.  It is to be a time of preparation for the celebration of the resurrection of Easter.

I reminded him that Lent isn’t forever and eventually ends with resurrection…new life.  And just like Lent, his divorce would one day be over, and he would have new life.

Tonight at choir practice, we were rehearsing music for Holy Week and Easter.  A lyric from our Easter anthem reminded me of the conversation.

“There’s a day that’s drawing near when the darkness breaks into light, and the shadows disappear, and my faith will be my eyes.”

It seems to me we always need to remember that in times of darkness, that eventually it will break into light and shadows will disappear.  And no, not just in a church-y kind of way.   Even if you are not a church goer, the fact is, darkness never lasts forever.  The sun will come out.  And everything will be bright again.

That can be hard to see in the middle of the darkness.  I guess it is a matter of faith.