55 minutes of utter bliss (until, of course, reality returned)

It’s been a few days since I’ve last posted here.  Not since I’ve last posted, mind you, as I’ve been posting all over the place at AskOwlbert.com … but since I’ve last posted HERE.

You know, I thought last Friday that I’d actually have time to indulge in my other pastimes.  :)   For 55 utterly blissful minutes, I really thought my life would be returning to normal!  And then inspiration struck…and I’ve haven’t been still since.

I seem to be swept up into a never-ending stream of tying everything together.  I had planned on returning to my beloved Kendo tomorrow and Wednesday, but alas, that’s not to be either.   Sigh.  Part of me really misses my adult self-defense/sparring/etc., and another part of me simply lacks the time/energy to focus on anything except my family/work. 

I do believe everything happens for a reason, and that what I’m currently going thru is meant to be.  What will come out of it….gosh, I really wish I knew!! 

More later,



When kids get around parents

You know

I’m always big on holding strong on boundaries and making kids follow their responsibilities. 

But now that my kids are getting older, they’re realizing there’s one way to compel Mom to soften on her stance. 

It all happened this afternoon.  I was ready to get the kids to karate (advanced and sparring), when one of my kids suggested, hey Mom, let’s do the circle walk instead!

Now, this is a 2.4 mile walk.  It was raining and very windy outside; my kids know I adore walking in such weather.

But no, I was going to be tough with responsibilities!  Until, that is, said kid tickled the back of my neck.

It’s my weak spot!  I just can’t think straight when they do that.  :)   And I figured, okay, well, hmmm, a 2.4 mile circle was IS exercise, and we could always go to karate tomorrow, and and and …. and the end result: we went on the walk.  :)

Oh that was nice – the wind was fierce and the rains were lashing and my kid and I had a great conversation to boot.

Karate tomorrow – I promise!  :)



ps – want some nifty umbrellas to boot?

My child the rock star, her mother the Barry Manilow fan

I still

cannot fathom the following.

I am a logical, calm, dignified, utterly awesome mom with phenomenal musical taste. After all, Barry Manilow rules! Followed closely by, Maynard Ferguson, Chuck Mangione, the track of West Side Story and the like.

But! My utterly brilliant child….loves hard rock.

I have no idea where her genes got so, ahem, screwed up! While I will not allow rap into my house, I can’t find a real reason to forbid rock….and actually, as said kid uses it as a way to express herself, I’m rather proud that she’s forging her own path.

It would be so easy to try and change her…but if there’s one thing my 4 decades have taught me, it’s:

Better a spirit that rebounds….rather than one that breaks.

This is the kid, mind you, who had her hair streaked red on a whim. The kid whose favorite colors are black. The kid who is a straight A student, and the kid who always is open to learning from my experiences. Talk about a unique combination of qualities.

Parenting….it’s a hero’s journey. :)


ps – want Barry Manilow goodies?

“Mom, tattling on myself just isn’t cool!”

You know you’re a parent

when your precocious younger child tells you

“Mom, tattling on myself just isn’t cool!”

This conversation happened when my children were debating the merits of being the tale-bearer back to Mom. When I asked him, okay, if you feel an insane urge to tattle, just tattle on yourself, he gave me the above rather cute response.

Kids. Gotta love raisin’ em. :)



ps- some great parenting resources include:

“How does she manage to do that with her kids?”


Today as I dropped off my kid at the gym’s child watch, I heard something that made my heart smile.

My kid had forgotten to bring in his toy car in with him, and realized that after we entered the child watch place. Now, it was about a bazillion degrees below zero outside, so when said kid asked me to go back and retrieve the car, I say, alas, no, it’s too cold, but you can have it when we leave the gym.

The instant response was, no no no, I want it now! I listened for 13 seconds, and then simply held out my hand and said,


That’s a cue that Mommy has started counting, and life will be most unpleasant if she reaches “3.” My kid looked at me, sighed, and went off to play.

But the cool thing was, the teacher who was watching said to her colleague, how on earth does she DO that? Every single time he listens when his parents say


It’s called

Setting Expectations!

My children know what’s expected, and they also know what constitutes good behavior. 2 minutes after this, my kid was happily playing with everyone else, his anger forgotten.

Raise your children with boundaries, and they will respond!



ps – want some good child-rearing guides? Consider:

Say NO to Chatspeak – Creative writing for kids, great resources


Are you fed up, like me, with kids who can only speak or write in chatspeak?

Kids whose grammar consists of 99% “like you know” and 1 percent…actual intelligent conversation?

I know I am! Chatspeak is utterly banned in my household. In many cases, today’s generation writes on a level that wouldn’t be accepted in the Kindergarten of my youth, let alone grown-up adult conversation. :(

I’m not the only parent who hates chatspeak – other discussions about it include:

Personally, I think chatspeak by itself encourages your brain cells to die. Why should they be active if they’re only used to communicate on a level that would make a fossilized clam laugh? You can see chatspeak examples for yourself at:

Utterly dismal it is.

Anywhos, let’s get to the topic of this post – if you want your children to learn creative writing that actually is capable of influencing one’s emotions, here are some great sites:

The ability to communicate clearly and coherently is a skill that will be valuable long past your child has graduated! Do your kids a favor and ban chatspeak – it will only drag them down into the gutter where they truly DON’T belong.



ps – some neat creative writing goodies are:

I Am Mama Bear, Hear Me Roar!

Omigosh, what a day.

With the exception of my beloved p90x, I worked straight for hours and hours. I’m currently building a community site that’s written in PHP (I know nothing about PHP) and I had to integrate PHP modules in specific formats.

In other words, I had to:

  • Configure the site
  • Figure out what needed to be done
  • Research how to do it
  • Research how to program the how-to-do-it
  • Implement the idea
  • Research why it didn’t work

The above steps were rinsed and repeated for…. gosh, I have not a clue, how many times.

BUT! I didn’t give up!

I found forums where experts resided, asked for help, received it, tried it, DIDN’T GIVE UP, tried other things, DIDN’T GIVE UP, and finally….right before beginners karate arrived, I solved the problem.

Drained I was, utterly drained. So much so I didn’t have the energy to do my beloved adult self-defense either. Wah.

But! I’m rather humbled by the fact…no matter what life hands me, I don’t give up. I choose to succeed and when I do fail, I learn from it….and use that as a stepping stone to the future success.

My gosh, I have to teach this to the kids.

When things don’t work out, don’t wait for others to rescue you – make it happen yourself.

I think I will call it a night now, I’ve earned it.

Night night,

Mama Bear

ps – want some great Mama Bear goodies?

Life, friends and family are truly wonderful blessings – the true secret to happiness

It’s always ‘way smart

when one listens to their bodies…and takes it easy to the xtreme.

Okay, true, I did get my P90x workout in, but besides that, I gave myself permission to take a nap in the morning, nix going to the gym, and enjoy some nice calm work online.

But the thing that really made an impression on me today was at karate. I normally do not take beginners anymore, as I’m ‘way past that, but my daughter’s friend participated so I joined in again. And I was able to watch my kids practice, and then see my husband arrive with the other kids, and watch how content they were….and I realized that now, in my 40s, life is really darned good.

I think that the true secret to happiness is appreciating the good times, loving your family, laughing with your friends, realizing the bad times – they do indeed pass, and witnessing how your actions can give joy to the lives of those important to you.

Work – it’s transient.

Shallow friendships – they’re beyond transient.

Angsting over the small stuff – a waste of time beyond belief.

Teaching the above to your kids and letting them internalize what’s really important to them – now that’s an incredible gift to give.

So! If you have folks you love and people you cherish and family members who mean the world to you – take the time and let them know how special they are. I did today, and it really made their day. So often, we just don’t take the time to let people know their importance in our lives.

I am one lucky woman indeed, I am.

Time to call it a night,


ps – Valentine’s day is coming up!

Turn Opportunities for Great Frustration Into….

It never fails, you know.

Get a brilliant idea, implement it…and then realize, you forgot some of the Golden Rules of Website Design:

* Sites look different on different browsers

* Font sizes can be set by viewers

* Cascading menus can cascade off the screen if they’re deep enough

Ah well, these things happen. Today will be another 18 hour day, methinks.

But! The good news is that the new enhanced design is much easier to navigate…so in hindsight, it’s a good thing I ran into this opportunity to experience great frustration.

Every happens for a reason, you know. :)



ps – are you frustrated? If so, get these great frustration toys!