Trick or treat, candy, costumes, parties, and ghoulish pranks are the hallmarks of this holiday.  I could explain how this day has its roots in the pagan wheel of life where the dearly departed is behind a thin veil to the living world.  It would be a real downer to say this day was traditionally a day to honor our ancestors and ask their spirits to help us with our struggles.  There is no fun in pointing out that the Christians were so fearful of this pagan holiday that they placed All Saints Day on the day after Halloween to help convince pagans to convert to the new religion without too much of a  disruption in their traditional celebrations. A true killjoy to point out that the tradition of masks being worn on this day is rooted in a rural ideology of frightening bad spirits away from crops during this thinning of the veil between the dead and the living.

Halloween is a time for fun and treats. Candy corn (yech), chocolates, Smarties, The Great Pumpkin, a stomach ache, a scary movie (Vincent Price), and a harmless fright on an unsuspecting mark are the rage.  Have fun!  Be safe!


Today I was a hero to my youngest son. Without his knowing I ordered pizza for dinner. My husband picked the pizza up with my youngest riding shotgun.  Since I  was practicing my yoga ,  I didn’t bother  to make a salad.

Do I feel guilty?

A little . 

Knock  it off. For the love of all that makes life living, please stop trying to guilt trip everyone around you with your halo and doe-eyed goodness. If you do things out of the kindness of your heart, your reward should be organic. But if you do good things because you’re looking for some kind of reward or karma kickback, then you tarnished your good deed. If you constantly remind the recipient of your goodwill, then you get the guilt induced gratitude which is not gratitude at all. If you begrudgingly do something so your family, friends, and strangers can give you an attaboy/attagirl, then you’re only hurting yourself. In this realm called reality, organic good deeds with genuine intentions will be appreciated while contrived good deeds born out of a sense of martyrdom will be resented.

Some would say women do this more than men, but that is not true.  Both genders have their way of priming the martyrdom pump to guilt others into feeling less.  I know someone who can reel off a laundry list of all they done for everyone around them, and sadly because this list gets brought out from time to time, the recipients of the good deeds can never measure up. The person wraps their martyrdom around their shoulders like a sad super hero cape. 

So if you’re a closet martyr and you get some satisfaction in making everyone feel indebted to your goodness, then please knock it off. For those of us on the other side of that coin, we  resent you.

People are basically good.  In the best and worst of upbringings, I have seen the open honesty in some children’s faces.  This open and honest light I see makes me feel confident that future generations will still find these values worth upholding.  Yes, there are people who seem rotten to the core, and unfortunately, they are the bad apples that have the potential to ruin the entire barrel, but I think for the health of humanity, we need to believe these people are the exception to the rule.

The 24 hour news cycle needs the exception to the rule in order to stay in business.  When I was a young child of the 70’s, there were 3 major networks with the news coming on in the evening when children should be in bed.  There might’ve been morning and evening news, but I was blissfully unaware.  On my transistor AM radio, I would tune in to KFWB news station and hear the stories that were important to know. I remember hearing about sports teams, the president, traffic, and local interest stories.  There were no boogie men or women to scare me.  Now, news radio, news apps, and the 24 hours news programming is exploiting every horror found from every corner of earth.  I could be cruising along PCH and hear about a crime that happened in a little city in a flyover state.  My children will start asking questions, and I need to change to the station to find something less intrusive and scary because I don’t want my children thinking everyone is bad.

Now I don’t want my children to be dangerously naive and think they are living in a state of this-won’t-happen-here, but it’s important to realize that the news media’s job is to keep themselves relevant and necessary.  And if that job is to horrify the audience and tell about the grandmother who drowned her grandchildren and their puppy in a bathtub, then so be it.  I just don’t want my children to start fearing their grandmother because if someone else’s grandmother did it, then maybe it’s in the nature of grandmothers to flip out and start killing puppies and children.

I know someone who is immersed in the world of the 24 hours news cycle and they are PARANOID.  Whenever they don’t hear from someone or if someone acts a little odd, their first instinct is to believe the worst of the situation.  If I don’t answer my phone, I must’ve been in a horrific car accident.  If they haven’t spoken to me in a while, then something bad must’ve happened.  If I go out on a blind date, I’m putting myself in the cross-hairs of a rape because that is what men are doing to their dates.  Now that I’m married with children, the paranoia has increased a thousandfold because the news  cycle has set up all women and children as victims waiting to be victimized. Thanks to Nancy Grace and her ilk, victimization became big business and women are encouraged to be fearful because it could happen ANYWHERE.  Now people are expected to believe that the exception to the rule is the color of human nature.  That’s not true.  What say you?


Headphones and earbuds are everywhere.  Thanks to Beats by Dre, the old school earmuff style headphones are back in style which looks really ridiculous at the gym.  Many of us who like our ears to not be saturated with sweat and bacteria wear earbuds of various styles.  We wear them at the gym, on a run, shopping, and (illegally in California) driving.

I have an ongoing battle with my boys in regards to headphones.  They both wear the earmuff (over ear) style around the house while watching Youtube videos.  I find myself having to say everything twice which is very annoying.  I know they get annoyed by my interruptions, but to parent, I need to break in on their entertainment and give them information or direction.

When I workout, I always were earbuds.  Whether I’m listening to music or a podcast, I need to separate myself from the noise of the world to get lost in my workout.  Well, I can understand the occasional interruption at the gym by someone who wants to know if they can work in a set on the machine I’m on or to inquire if I was going to use some equipment near me.  I can’t understand the person who approaches me as if I’m not engaged in a listening activity for a nonsensical conversation.  For example, I like to powerwalk and catch up on a podcast or two when my sons are participating in homeschool P.E..  One day out of no where another mom crossed the field to join me on my powerwalk.  She ignored the earbuds and started to chat me up.  The previous week she approached me tentatively and I accepted her company.  I guess she thought the initial acceptance meant she could break my self-imposed cone of silence at will.  It was rude.

If you are someone who wants to engage with someone who is wearing headphones or earbuds, first get their attention with a polite wave of the hand.  Once you make eye contact, ask if it’s okay to interrupt them.  It may look like the wearer of headphones is doing nothing, but in essence they are listening to something.  If you’re in the gym, universal hand signals can go a long way without interrupting.

Today I Was That Person

I’m usually that straight shooter when it comes to coffee drinks. I order a tall coffee black with no room for cream. Typically I shun the people who can’t order straight off the menu. But today I needed a little extra love and a hug that can only be had from an overpriced cup of chai tea I can’t make for myself at home. I wanted almond milk because it sounded good. And you know what? It was delicious!


Woke up, got out of bed

Dragged my running tights up my legs.

Drank a cup of water, hooked up my iPod

Looking up, I noticed it was getting late.

Got my pepper spray, phone, money, and ID.

Stepped into my kicks and ran down the street.

The air was clean because of the rain

The crossing guard was not being a pain.

After mile 4.5 I start to slow

I ran a 12:40, that speed is a bit low.


This is a question I get from friends, strangers, and curious acquaintances who do not understand why I don’t take advantage of the public school system and get a 6-7 hour break from my children.  Yes, I have had other parents wonder why I would choose to be with my children 24/7 rather than allow the public school system take care of educate my. children from 8-3pm.

The short answer to this loaded question is pretty simple.  Everyday after breakfast, I get my boys into their books.  Depending on the weather or our mood, we sort of gather in whichever room the boys feel comfortable to work.  Sometimes they work together and other times they work apart.  Since they are at different levels, their assignments are individualized for their interests and success.  One child enjoys coding while the other likes 3D animation.  They both are in the same books for science which has a great online component.

Rarely do I make the boys get dressed for the day. Schoolwork does not last a typical school day.  After 3-4 hours of work which includes the practice of instruments, the boys have the rest of the day to explore their other interests.  I do not give homework because the work we do at home is sufficient.  I do give my children a standardized test at the end of the year to measure their growth. The results are used to evaluate their progress and guide further instruction.

My program works for my family.  I can’t say that my sons are in love with the work they need to complete.  There are days when they may drag their feet or give me push-back when the weather is  nice and they’ve been indoors too long.  On those days, we go on a field trip.  Museums, science centers, and historical sites are nearby to explore.  The world becomes our classroom.

This is how I homeschool.



For 12 good years, she lived in a committed relationship with a good man.  He had a successful career that kept him quite comfortable.  His dreams for a future with her by his side encouraged him to invest for a nest egg.  He was so successful. He wanted children.  He wanted family.  He wanted love.  They bought a house together and he called her his fiancee.  He held her hand and called her beautiful.  She spent time and money on herself.  Her body was her temple, and he held her hand.

Then one day he mentioned children.

She pulled her hand away. Children would ruin her temple.

The next day he mentioned family.

She turned her back. Why should anything change?

He said he loved her.

She walked away.  There had to be something more.

She wanted love.



Today after my son’s soccer game, I  watched the faces of his teammates as their coach tried to give them an after game pep talk. They had another devastating loss 5-0. No matter what she said, you could tell they had all mentally checked out. They wanted their snack and to go home.

Sadly, my Los Angeles Dodgers had the same kind of devastating loss. I’m sure there were no words to help ease the disappointment of not getting to the World Series. The team probably wanted to get their snacks and go home too.

Congratulations,  Cubs! GG