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Life is a Balloon

A few months ago, I described a song like this: “It’s sung by a woman… and maybe I heard it in the car… and it sort of sounds like this, but not really like this…” AND YOU WERE ABLE TO TELL ME THE NAME OF THE SONG. Which is ten kinds of amazing, but let’s not talk about that. Let’s talk about the fact that I did this again this week, but this time I played the song via the tiny keyboard on my phone’s version of GarageBand. I gave you 17 whole seconds of the song played on something that sounded like a Casio keyboard… and it was crickets.

This is the thing: the song came into my head as I was driving to the school to pick up the kids. I was stressed out; really stressed out. I was looping through the neighbourhood because I got there a little early, my mind on other things, when I started humming this song. And I had no clue why I was humming it or what I was trying to tell myself by humming it. All I knew was that something about it made me want to burst into tears.

I was positive it was from a movie or a television show. At first I was leaning toward television show, but I kept getting flashes of New York in my head and felt like it came from a romantic comedy. Meg Ryan? No. Woody Allen? No… Maybe? No… Tom Hanks?

I finally started Googling things like, “Romantic Comedies Set in New York.” And there, on the list, one title popped out at me: Jeffrey. Like the play by Paul Rudnick. They made it into a movie in the 1990s.

Do you know how hard it is to find Jeffrey? My copy is buried in the back of the storage room, and it’s on a VHS tape. iTunes doesn’t have Jeffrey. Netflix doesn’t have it. Amazon doesn’t have it. But Hulu has it for free. And you can see it below:

Anyway, before you watch, I want to tell you that this is one of my top 5 favourite movies of all time. It has been a while since I’ve seen it because my only copy is on VHS tape, but before I was married and got the DVD machine, I watched this movie a lot. Like a lot. I watched it whenever I was stressed out and I needed a good cry. And I am happy to report that I can still recite it.

If you only look at the surface story, it feels a little dated. But it’s really a story about going forward even though you’re scared. It’s about the impermanence of relationships and how difficult it is to give your heart to another person — any other person — because… people die. People go away. Shit happens… life happens. And we lose those people that we’ve invested all of our emotions in, that we’ve let into our heart. But even knowing that: we need to do it anyway.

As someone who is constantly scared… well, this movie spoke to me.

So if you need a good cry (and a good laugh, but mostly a good cry), watch the movie above. Especially when Nathan Lane explains the meaning of life, and later Jeffrey pulls out the red balloon.

That part gets me every time.

Really, what better love story can I give you on Valentine’s Day?

February 14, 2016   3 Comments

582nd Friday Blog Roundup

Mental Floss posted the exchange rate between Muggle money and magical money, giving us insight into the cost of various items in the magical world.  1 galleon is about $25, which means a sickle is $1.50 and a knut is 5 cents.  I don’t know, I sort of feel like the magical world would have a few more denominations between $25 and $1.50, nu?

Harry’s wand cost $175, which is far less than what we pay for our phones.  How are these two objects equivalent?  I don’t know.  But considering how much they use their wands and we use our phones, I thought it would be a comparable price.  On the other hand, he spend $250 on a pair of omnioculars.  That doesn’t sound quite right.  A pair of omniculars costs more than a wand with a phoenix feather core?

And Mr. Weasley got a $1250 fine for his flying car?  That seems awfully steep even in the scope of Muggles finding out about magic.  And the book Advance Potion Making is $225?  More than a wand?  A wand with a phoenix feather?  And that phoenix only gave one other feather?

Magic folk may want to rethink their pricing.


Stop procrastinating.  Go make your backups.  Don’t have regrets.

Seriously.  Stop what you’re doing for a moment.  It will take you fifteen minutes, tops.  But you will have peace of mind for days and days.  It’s the gift to yourself that keeps on giving.

As always, add any new thoughts to the Friday Backup post and peruse new comments in order to find out about methods, plug-ins, and devices that help you quickly back up your data and accounts.


And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

Family Rocks has a raw, moving post that will make your heart ache.  She explains about her relationship: “He’s still the perfect package to me.  The package is a bit beat up.  Marred by resentments, hurts, family stress, breakages of trust and pain.”  You can hear the love and the pain in every word in this post.

It has been three years since Bio Girl lost her sister.  She wrote a line so perfect that I stared at it for a full minute: “As with all things I guess, the grief over these last three years has gotten easier. Not because I miss her less, but because I have grown more accustom to the missing.”  Go hold her in your heart as she remembers her sister this week.

Lastly, Lavender Luz calls for a better discussion to introduce people to the intricacies of adoption.  She writes about a hospital-based program trying to change the conversation and better prepare and support all members of the triad.  She links to a podcast about the program, too.

The roundup to the Roundup: Magical to Muggle exchange rate.  Your weekly backup nudge.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between February 5th and 12th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.

February 12, 2016   6 Comments

Audio Book Giveaway

Gather round, kids, because I have 5 audio book copies of Life from Scratch and Measure of Love to give away.  Which, if I’m doing the math correctly, is 10 audio books total.  But it probably makes sense to give them as a set.  I mean, getting book 2 without book 1… makes for confused listening.

So, if you would like a free copy of Life from Scratch and Measure of Love all you have to do is go leave a comment on someone else’s blog.  Then come back here and provide a link to their post.  Yes, commenting other places on the Internet can win you two free books.  This is about spreading the love.  It also counts if you use the list that forms in my comment section and go and add a comment to those posts, too.  Just let me know you’ve done so.

You can enter as many times as you wish between now and next Wednesday (the 17th).  I’ll close this drawing at 11 pm ET and announce the winners in the Roundup that Friday.  Each comment in another place (as long as you post the URL below on this post so I know you actually left a comment) counts.  This is a way to spread attention and give you plenty of good, comment-worthy posts to read.

Even if you don’t want to listen to two audio books, feel free to join in the comment fiesta, win the books, and give them as a gift to a friend.

And… go!

February 10, 2016   4 Comments

Hobbies After Infertility

Back when we were in our first round of treatments, Josh came home from work one day with a book about breadmaking.  He gave it to me, along with a pizza stone, and hinted that maybe I needed a hobby; a distraction from obsessing about each cycle.  A friend of his suggested the book.  The couple had done fertility treatments and ultimately built their family through adoption.  They knew how stressful it could be.  They thought this might help.

I threw the book.

But days later, I opened the book and started working my way through the lessons because I hated the idea of wasting book and pizza stone money.

Here’s the thing: it didn’t help.  Nothing could distract me from what my mind wanted to focus on.  But we did end up with some delicious loaves of bread, and I still use the book to this day.

I don’t know if I believe in hobbies as distractions, but I do believe in hobbies as a way to feel control when you’re in situations outside of your control.  A stitch is a stitch.  If you pull the string in this movement, it will make a stitch.  That is within your control.  Transfer an embryo to your uterus and hope that it sticks?  That’s out of your control.

So that’s what I got out of it.  I liked having a place in life where I could follow the directions and the end result was pretty much what I expected to happen.

Katherine A left a comment on the leveling up post last week that reminded me of that time between bouts at the clinic: when the twins were here but we weren’t ready to add a sibling.  All of the energy I poured into building my family was still there — that level of energy doesn’t just dissipate once the moment is over.  But it had nowhere to go.  There was nothing to research, nothing to measure, nothing to chart, nothing to jot into a spreadsheet.  No daily appointments, no daily medications.  I didn’t have a single timer set.

On one hand, it was such a relief to be done for a bit.  On the other hand, I felt so lost without a goal to focus on.

Katherine A writes:

I needed a hobby other than trying to get pregnant. It sounded so strange to reduce so much stress, sadness, money, etc to that point, but my life had really become so focused on ‘leveling up’ in that particular pursuit that I’d mostly neglected all the other parts of life I usually would have been working on. It seemed odd to let go – even in a temporary, small way – of something I’d put so much effort into and just enjoy where I was.

Yes, that is exactly it.

I forgot until that comment that I ultimately purchased a culinary school textbook and worked my way through the lessons.  I knew how to cook, but I didn’t know how to cook.  So I cooked, with the twins strapped to my chest in a double carrier.  For months I worked on making up my own recipes — my crazy-ass chocolate chip cookies are courtesy of this time period — and I kept a blog about working my way through the textbook.

By the time the textbook was done (skipping over several chapters on things that made me feel squicky), I felt more settled.  I felt like I could find ways to make myself feel happy or occupied.  I felt full again, focused again, even though I was — for all intents and purposes — lacking a clear focus in comparison to family building.

I don’t think it’s important to start a hobby as a distraction.  I think it’s important to start a hobby as a way to feel in control.  To take small steps towards a goal where the steps mean something.  Where X leads to Y which leads to Z.  To remind yourself that not everything in life is a roller coaster like infertility.

What will you teach yourself this year?

February 9, 2016   13 Comments

#MicroblogMondays 76: Chickpea Rage

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.


My current biggest non-dangerous pet peeve (to differentiate the annoying from the dangerous, such as texting and driving) is people who call something hummus that doesn’t have chickpeas.

The word “hummus” means chickpea.  How can you have hummus without chickpeas?  That’s like saying this is a delicious coffee made with tea.  It isn’t coffee then; it’s tea.  And hummus without chickpeas is some other bean spread.

This ire isn’t even aimed at people who put stuff in their hummus.  I mean, I personally won’t eat bizarro hummus with ingredients beyond tehini and garlic, but if people want to use chickpeas as a base and add stuff to it, go ahead.  But I just read yet another site that said, “No chickpeas, no problem!  Try this delicious hummus made with edamame.”


Got that out of my system.  So what is your annoying (non-dangerous) pet peeve?


Are you also doing #MicroblogMondays? Add your link below. The list will be open until Tuesday morning. Link to the post itself, not your blog URL. (Don’t know what that means? Please read the three rules on this post to understand the difference between a permalink to a post and a blog’s main URL.) Only personal blogs can be added to the list. I will remove any posts that are connected to businesses or are sponsored posts.

1. One and Done? 13. Parul | Happiness & Food 25. Inconceivable!
2. No Baby Ruth 14. Rain 26. Just Heather
3. articulation 15. Isabelle 27. Wendy English – 40 bags challenge
4. Persnickety 16. Unpregnant Chicken 28. Virginia
5. Mali (No Kidding) 17. Raven 29. Jess
6. Mali (A Separate Life) 18. Geochick 30. Amber
7. A. 19. Loribeth (The Road Less Travelled) 31. Kechara
8. Middle Girl 20. Vaibhav | Thorough and Unkempt 32. Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal)
9. Ira 21. Priya 33. Jamie
10. * Our Wish* 22. Baby Blue Sunday 34. Kasey
11. Catwoman73 23. Paradoxical Sprite 35. Stacy E.
12. Lori@ Laughing IS Conceivable 24. Traci York, Writer


February 8, 2016   34 Comments

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