News of My Boy Jimmer


In case you missed the news . . .

My boy Jimmer has been traded to (of all teams) the Chicago Bulls.

He’s been so busy lately he hasn’t had time to hang around in our family room for a while, but still, we’re so proud of him. Any mother would be.

Check him out.

What a game! (Still with the Kings in February.)

And here’s his debut with Da Bulls.
He looks good in red.

Good job, Jimmer. Proud of you.


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Kissing Treadmill


I admire runners.treadmill

I admire runners as they dash past my front porch where I sit in my chair dipping chocolate chip cookies in milk.

People say that the secret to running is to find your rhythm, then running becomes a pleasure. They get addicted to the feeling and (like the worst heroin addicts) will go to extreme measures to get their fix; extreme measures such as running twenty six consecutive miles. In a row.

I have never experienced pleasure in running. It’s like there’s a Twilight Zone for runners than I have yet to discover.

“Listen to music while you run,” my husband says. “It’s way better.”

So Saturday at the local fitness center, I climb aboard a treadmill, put my iPhone in the pocket of my shorts, stuff in the earbuds, and fire up Pandora. The music really does help, and soon I have upped the treadmill speed to a robust jog.

I hit a half-mile and, surprisingly, my body is not begging to quit.

Could it be? Am I entering that zone of Runner’s Rhythm? . . .

I’ll never know, because at that moment (probably due to my less-than-smooth gait) my iPhone leaps out of my pocket, hits the treadmill, and is catapulted into the machine directly behind me. The crunch at impact does not sound good.

I panic because, you know, iPhones are now like 5th appendages and you would panic too if your arm fell off and was flung into a neighboring treadmill. In fact, I hear an audible gasp from around the room: “Oh, no, she’s dropped her smart phone on a treadmill!” I don’t think that dropping a baby would have garnered that much anxious worry from the group.

Acutely aware that the room is watching to see what will happen next, I let my panic instincts take over, which means that I stop running.

The treadmill, however, has found his rhythm and has no intention of slowing down, so now I’m destined to follow the same trajectory as my phone. Fortunately, I manage to ward off imminent disaster by sort of “skiing” to the back of the treadmill and rather gracefully (I must say) hopping off.

Perhaps everything would have been fine if I had taken a moment to breathe, regroup, check my phone, stop the treadmill, and start over. But, no. I don’t want the people around me to think that I’m the kind of wimp who would let a little cell phone drop slow me down.  And I had been so close to finding the mystical “Rhythm.” My treadmill hadn’t missed a beat, and neither would I.

In one smoothly connected, nearly perfectly-choreographed movement, I bend down, snatch up my phone, and pause (only for the briefest of nanoseconds) to reconsider the wisdom of jumping right back onto the moving horse (I mean treadmill).

Apparently, it’s a bad idea to jump onto the back of a running treadmill, because you don’t have enough treadmill behind you to get your other foot down before you run out of track and are launched into space,  just like your iPhone.

Only I’m a little larger than my phone, so only my feet are pitched out from under me and I fall down hard landing on both knees. Old reliable, rhythmic treadmill keeps moving taking the skin from both my knees with it.

On the next bounce, my knees fly off the back of the treadmill and I come down with a thump on the inside of my right arm. Until that moment, I didn’t know it was possible to skin the inside crook of your elbow. I have no chance to regroup before my torso is launched off the back and I land on my face sideways. The treadmill licks across my chin like the rough tongue of a St. Bernard.

After three hits, I am at last free of the treadmill, which (I notice) has now stopped.

The whole impromptu acrobatic routine has taken all of three seconds. My husband felt the audible gasp in the room and noticed that I was no longer running upright next to him. Looking around, he spotted me on the ground, flailing to get free of my treadmill in the way a salmon tries to wriggle free of a grizzly bear’s paws.  That’s when he reached over and pressed the red emergency stop button on my machine.

“Are you okay?” he (sensibly) stops his machine and hops down to help me up.

Still, not wanting all these nimble athletes around me to think that a little boxing match with a treadmill could bring me down (especially after weeks of watching Olympic snowboarders and figure skaters take way worse falls and bounce right back up to finish their routines) I jump to my feet.

“I’m fine. I’m fine,” I say and jump back onto the horse…I mean treadmill.treadmill ego

Turning the machine on, I crank up the speed to where it had been before the phone mishap and finish my run. Afterwards, I limp to the locker room, put on my swimsuit and cringe as the shower water hits my raw skin. I swim laps, doing an extra 100 meters because I do not want my husband to think I am a wimp.

But the secret is out. I am a wimp. My knees really hurt and I have a red treadmill hickey on my chin.

Still, let me put your worried minds at ease: My phone is fine.

And I am never taking my ego to the gym again.

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Praying for Discretion


What do You Pray For?


Lately, I've been thinking about praying for discretion.

I already pray for Wisdom.

I've done this for years, because although I can be slow to figure some things out, it didn't take me too long to realize that I am pretty stupid on my own.

I also pray for Faith and for Charity. By myself, I'm not so good at either one of those.

So I'm a bit hesitant to add more to the already lengthy list of attributes I need to develop, but this prayer thing really works. 

You can pray for anything.

I pray to find the video camera memory card because I need to record the 5th grade play in one hour.

I pray to be a better visiting teacher.

When I'm not in the mood to pray, I pray, "Please help me to  want to pray."

Let's face it, the monotony of life gets heavy and sometimes I want to throw in the whole load of towels.

Most days I just pray, "Please help me want to do the laundry."


And it works, it really does.


For example, several years ago I decided that I took life way too seriously and that I needed to develop a sense of humor, so I started praying for  humor. Then (like most things) I forgot about it, until a year or so later I came across a page in my journal where I had written,  

Things to pray for:  *Humor


 And I realized that I am funnier that I used to be. I promise. I am.


So about this discretion thing…

In a church lesson about honesty, a lady asked, "If my friend asks me if her hair looks bad, and it does, do I tell her the truth?"

Another lady said, you can be honest and discrete. You can use good judgment in your honesty."

So I got to thinking about Discretion and all its synonyms: Care, Consideration, Deliberateness, Diplomacy, Foresight, Good Sense, Good Judgment, Gumption, Maturity, Presence of Mind, Prudence, Thoughtfulness, Tact, and Wisdom.  

If one word can include all that, then I think there is room on my prayer list for one more word.


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Generation Gap


Little Z Man comes to me, "Mom. What is this?" He emphasizes each word and puts out his hand showing me what he seems to believe is the most absurd and unusual object he has ever discovered.


"That," I say, "is a cassette tape."




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Little Z and the One Shoe Band

Dear  Producers:

Please consider this audition for American Idol 2026.

If Simon Cowell says anything rude, my sister-in-law and I will poke his eyes out.



p.s. The next seven verses are the same as the first three.

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Squirrel in the House

Squirrel in the House

The story goes like this:

I was still enjoying the comfort of my Saturday morning pillow and lazy summer dreams when I was pounced into wide-awakeness by torpedo children exploding onto the mattress all around me.  Immediately diving for cover under the bedspread I said, "Go tell your dad that he needs you to weed the garden."

"Dad is gone," the elected spokesperson for the group declared. "Mom, there is a strange beeping sound in the garage and Toby is going crazy." (Toby would be our dog, not one of my children, though they were going crazy as well.)

I meandered out to the garage wearing my pajamas. The noise made me think of a smoke detector warning low batteries, but we don't have any smoke detectors in the garage. And something about the way Toby was scratching and barking at the junk heap in the corner told me that the source of the  sound had to be more animal than electronic–something with teeth and claws (or maybe fangs and a rattle).

I went back into the house and traded in my pajamas for jeans, thick socks, and sturdy shoes.

Then I started pulling stuff away from the wall: the extra chairs we keep for when company comes over, the weed eater, the leaf blower, folding tables, scrap wood, gas cans, and the "haven't-been-used-in-six-years-but-we-still-need-to-store-them-just-in-case set of golf clubs–all layered in spider webs and mouse turds. One thing I knew for sure: if I couldn't be sleeping in, there were at least one hundred thousand things I would prefer to be doing than taking inventory of the garage.

The beeping sound quickened and intensified. I tilted a scrap piece of drywall towards me, shedding morning light onto the shadow of three squirrels huddled, their furry tails encircling one another forming natural sleeping bags for their uninvited slumber party in my garage. I suppose that for breakfast they were crafting a plan to help themselves to Toby's dog food when he went out for his morning potty break (which traditionally starts over a lush, green spot of lawn and ends ten minutes later with yellowed grass blades choking beneath fogs of chemical warfare, for which they will bear the yellow scars for the rest of the summer. But I'm not bitter, right? Dogs will be dogs?)

I stared at the squirrels and they watched me, each of us sizing up the other until Toby managed to squeeze his snout behind the drywall and let out a menacing bark. Then I found myself in the middle of a three-squirrel fire work show, the furry rodents shooting up and over me like bottle rockets. I whipped around to see one squirrel fly out of the garage with Toby hot on its bushy tail. From the doorway into the house the kids screamed and I looked over to see them dancing like they they were walking on hot coals. While no one saw where the second squirrel went, my kids' scream and fancy footwork told me that the third squirrel was now in my house.

That's when I grabbed my video camera and went squirrel hunting.

Before you click on the video here are a few things you should watch for: 

1. The air soft gun. 

2. My brave, fearless children (yeah right). 

3. How we all scream like girls when the squirrel darts past us.  

Things you should "pay no attention to" as you watch the video:

1. The tidiness (or lack thereof) of my house. It's Saturday morning.

2. Baby Z's soggy, sagging diaper. It's Saturday morning.  

3. My bedroom closet. (You get waaaaay too intimate a look into my personal space, but for the sake of sharing the infamous squirrel video, I'll bury the shame and bare my closet.) 


The fact that we weren't 100% certain that Mr. Squirrel actually ran outside plus the fact that no one saw what happened to squirrel #2, makes for a rather interesting Saturday night, but that is a story for another time.


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