Practice What You Post

Happy New Year.
Happy fresh start.
Happy do-over. Or redo-over. Or do-new.

2016 was quite a year.
These are just words on a screen. Any tone you read was drawn of your own implication.
But you did read that with tone, didn’t you? You couldn’t help it.
It was quite a year.

To be fair, 2016 had some good stuff.
And it had some bad stuff.
Like all years.
But in this era of immediate action/reaction/overreaction, it was the most emotionally charged year I’ve ever known. And I was a teen in the 80’s, so that’s saying a lot.

My goal in the new year–this fresh, pristine, untainted new year–is to keep it clean as long as I personally can. I’d like you to join me in attaining this goal.

The award for unnecessary drama went to 2016. There seemed to be a lot of dishing it out while lacking the ability to take it. We’re all getting way too free and easy with the “attacktion” that the internet allows.






Conflicting posts saturated social media. According to their streams, the same person who claimed to seek peace wanted to execute certain persons of political affiliation. The same person who proposed global respect also seemed to think it was okay to alienate half the population with derogatory terms. The same person who posted articles regarding tolerance also posted mocking memes. There’s humor, and then there’s hypocrisy.

I get it–social media is a way to have our voices heard (seen), our points of view validated, our feelings shared. Life isn’t all Kumbaya and rainbows, there’s a lot of crap going on in this world and we need to talk about it. But all this instant access is not good for us.

Are we trying to sway an opinion based on fact and name-calling? Or are we giddy at an excuse to passive-aggressively call names?

We need to revisit the idea of thinking before we speak (post). Of respecting each other regardless of our beliefs. We don’t have to like everyone, we don’t have to agree on everything. But hate is never good. And hiding behind the keyboard while we promote bullying through cruel and unusually inaccurate posts is really shitty.

Join me as I try to personally curb my online negativity.
Let’s work together to keep 2017 shit-free.



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My 2017 To-Do List

I love a fresh start.
A blank page, a white canvas, a new year.
They hold so much promise.

I’m not so concerned with traditional “resolutions” this new year, although I do resolve to get things done. There’re a lot of things I think about doing that I just never seem to get to. For example, I subscribe to a blog called the Introvert’s Dictionary and every time I get an update, I think, I want to do this! I want to create a Writer’s Dictionary. So, I’m going to.

I’m also going to publish. Again. Because it is awesome.

I want to take the steps necessary to personalize our new house. Paint some rooms, hang some pictures, make it ours.

I intend to celebrate the people in my life.

I plan on being smarter about how I spend money, spend time, and suspend opinions.

I love that I have an entire year to work through these promises.
What do you hope to accomplish in 2017? What’s on your to-do list?

We can do these things, you know. We can.
I love the optimism a new year offers.

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After Christmas

You have officially survived Christmas.
All those weeks of planning, prepping, buying, baking, carding, cleaning, and wrapping have paid off.

(in the words of those oh-so-popular-this-time-of-year infomercials)

The myriad of things you didn’t get done have come due.
For every Christmas accomplishment, there was an, “Oh, I’ll do that after Christmas,” or a, “Let’s get together after Christmas!” and surely a “That can wait until after Christmas”.

Well, guess what?
It’s “after Christmas”.

So breath deep, find encouragement in the bottom of that coffee cup, buckle down and get to work.

And do yourself a favor, DON’T say, “I’ll get to that next year.”

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My Christmas Letter to You

I’ve defended Christmas letters in the past as an enjoyable way to keep in annual touch.
I know a lot of people think they’re a self-centered indulgence, but so what? It’s been kind of a shitty year. We lost famous people, personal people, and favorite pets. We’ve given bad news, we’ve gotten bad news…
So let’s take a moment to focus on the good and share some fun stuff.
Feel free to post your 2016 highlights in the comments.

Merry Christmas!

2016. Wow, what a year.

My debut novel, Pocket Money, is the thrilling story of what can go tragically
wrong when four average guys reunite for a day of memories…and murder.
Available on Amazon, Kindle, Barnes & Noble, and at Books on First in Dixon, Book World in Freeport, Abet Books & Games in Freeport, and Book World in DeKalb.

PM_cover1_PC copy








Mary & Dave MOVED!
After 19 years in the same house, we have a new home.
About a mile away. Totally worth the wait.







Zach & Christina also MOVED!
It must have been meant to be–
he never bothered to update his driver’s license. (It’s been 8 years.)
Christina continues to impress at her job with the DeKalb County Circuit Clerk.
Zach proves to be invaluable at Lamphere’s.






Ben turned TWO in June!







Mary & Dave celebrated THIRTY YEARS in August!


(and Mary turned fifty in October)

Nicole celebrated her GOLDEN birthday in November!









Nicole is doing phenomenal things as a Jefferson High School teacher.
Zach started a new position as an Assistant Principal at RESA Middle School.
Ben is the funniest, smartest, cutest, most adorable grandkid ever.
(He can’t help it, it’s in his genes.)








Say what you will about 2016…as long as you say farewell.

Wishing you the Happiest of Holidays
and the best a New Year has to offer.

BRING ON 2017!

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Brain Space

I truly believe there is only so much you can know at any given time. I’m pretty sure I’m at capacity, which is why I’m so forgetful. At my age, every time I learn something new, something else gets pushed out. It’s a pretty common theory amongst the absentminded. And the aging.

It’s amazing what we don’t know anymore.
I don’t think we’re dumber. I think we’re dumb different.

Over time, we replace what we no longer need with what’s currently relevant.
Candy Crush, social networking, and fifty-seven different passwords, right?
Ha. There’s no brain space for passwords.

Do you know how to milk a cow? Churn butter? Turn wool into yarn?
Probably not. You don’t have to.
We have Oberweis, Kerry Gold, and Michael’s for those chores.

Heck, you probably don’t even know how to adjust the tin foil on the antennae to get three channels on your 19″ black and white television. I’ve forgotten more about tuning tvs than you’ll ever know.
Or need to know.

They’re making self-driving cars.
Think on that.
(but don’t lose anything important while you do it)

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In the Mood

It’s no secret that the idea of driving in the snow freaks me out. I had plans for last night! Plans* which my phobia cancelled.

I don’t hate snow. As a matter of fact, I really enjoy a good snow. The kind with the big fat flakes that fall lazily from the sky, dotting the land with white polka-dots, and blanketing the signs of autumn grown old. From the safety and warmth of my house, I love gazing through the windows in a sort of reverse snow globe.


But the best part of the first good snow in December is that it puts me in the mood for Christmas! Being a lifelong Midwesterner, I honestly don’t know how the warmer climes feel festive with sunshine and high temps. You may dream of a white Christmas, but (most years) we actually get one.





With the carols blaring, the fire blazing, the cookies baking, and the tree aglow with shiny ornaments and lights, a winter wonderland right outside the window is part of the seasonal decor. It truly is beginning to look a lot like Christmas!






And trust me, when the room is strewn with boxes and wrap,


This is just a sampling of the collection of boxes, wrap, supplies, and gifts that litter my tables, desk, and floors.











this is a welcome view.






I’m in the mood for Christmas!
Today I’ll be baking, wrapping, and watching Hallmark Holiday movies.
Because I’m not going anywhere.

*Sorry NaNoers! I’m sure I missed you more than you missed me–

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The Morals of all Stories

“THE SKY IS FALLING!” said Chicken Little.
And some believed him.
Disaster must be imminent; the baby bird said so.
But read on…
And don’t believe everything you are told.
Even if you want to.

“WOLF!” the boy cried.
And some believed him.
There must be a threat to the flock; the young shepherd said so.
But read on…
And don’t be fooled by repeated deception.
Even if you want to.

“Anyone unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent will be unable to see the new clothes,” said the weavers.
And some believed him.
The clothing must be magical; the emperor is “wearing” them.
But read on…
And stand neither on false pretense nor fall for the ruse.
Even if you want to.

If you did not see it with your own eyes,
Or hear it with your own ears,
Don’t believe it just because you want to.

There is a lot of crap reporting out there. A ton of false posts. And too many opinions to count. In this age of digital deluge, it’s easy to alter information. Edit, revise, misdirect. Despite what we want to believe, we have very little control over what we are exposed to. Please don’t think that because you avoid FOX News (or CNN) and never repost a meme with a typo, that you are free from ambiguous data. Even if that data states exactly what you want it to. Especially then.

Read to the end of the story. Be skeptical. Ask Questions. Consider a moral.
Even if you don’t want to.




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