as September ends

Since June, one of my favorite photographers and writers, Karen Walrond of Chookooloonks, has been sharing at the end of the month her five favorite photographs.

My sweet photographer friends Xanthe & Andrea both share their five favourite photographs they take every month — isn’t that a great habit? Not just because it inspires fans like me from a technical photography perspective (and really, they’re just so talented), but I imagine that the practice of going through their archives to look at their images more critically to pick their favourites helps them get better as well.

And so, of course, I’m copying them.

I was inspired but never got around to it (or a round tuit – nod to my late father in law) until now as September ends.

Is it just me or does September always seem a little endless? It does. At least it does here under The Big Top and, of course, I have this on a loop in my ear pretty much all month long…thanks Green Day!

Sorry. Off topic.

Me when I sit dow to write lately.

Like our friend, Shaun, here I am tripping down memory lane staring at baby pictures…babies with incredibly big hair.

Think what you may about Greek life ladies, but these ones are fierce, driven and super smart…watch out world!

Whatever will Dr. D. do when the last Scarborough living under The Big Top is straight outta braces?

And while the rest of the world seems to be overwrought over a recent news story about a 13th Zodiac sign, it really isn’t news after all. Regardless of the news, I remain Pisces forever!

blogtography 2015 edition

What a year! A year where I found myself having to DEAL with so much. It almost makes me afraid to choose a word for 2016. Almost. Just wait. I’m working on the right word for the new year. Until then, let’s enjoy 2015 in pictures and blogging.

Never a bridesmaid…until this year.

The 0300 phone call that literally changed everything under The Big Top and perhaps made me wish that I had not chose DEAL as the word for 2015.

I run like a big girl!

When you regard a mother of five healthy, bright, engaging children, ages ranging from 28 to 13, you might imagine that this person certainly can manage the care and feeding of someone’s beloved fur-baby…

80 days later…

Sometimes the most challenging conversations with your child are the times when you are least expecting it.

It’s true we actually shouted “SMEGMA” as the photographer got this shot.

Having a sister is like having a best friend you can’t get rid of. You know whatever you do, they’ll still be there. ~Amy Li

Literally five seconds of kind of famous. Definitely going to need an entourage when I report to work tomorrow night…and dark glasses…and someone to hold my stethoscope.

It never is easy to leave a piece of your heart hundreds of miles away from home.

Perhaps we are horrible people but the laughter we shared together throughout the evening made it all so right.

Today I am going to focus on this good, this incredible good

2015 nearly done…thank goodness!

Bring on the images of 2016.

pink for Traci

When I started this adventure 11 years ago, one of the things that shocked me was that there were people who were actually interested in what basically has been my own navel gazing. Successful, popular, noted writer-type people who would share links of some of more memorable moments in this juggling act that I shared. For better, or for worse, they encouraged this. I for one am grateful for the encouragement.

One such person, Traci Arbios, has been an encourager, mentor and friend for years now. Right now Traci is in a fight…a mighty big fight. Earlier this week she suffered a life-threatening cardiac event. For those who know her, this came as a shock as she is a healthy, active 45 year old woman. Paramedics managed to restart her heart and she was then airlifted from the Fresno area to UCSF where she remains on life support quite possibly needing a heart transplant.

This witty, brilliant wife, mother of seven, friend and mentor to many faces a long, tough path to recovery. A gofundme account has been created with an amazing response which is wonderful because she and her family are going to need all the help that they can get.

In the meantime, to help grow the support for Traci, and create an online presence of support while her family is rallied around her, please consider sharing via social media a photo of yourself proudly wearing pink in some way (a favorite color of hers, which she once dyed her hair), with the hashtag #gopinkfortraci. Together, we can help Traci and her family feel our love and support during this incredibly difficult time.

I love you Traci!


not so zestful but not dead yet

The question is blogging dead seems to be making the rounds again.


Google “is blogging dead” and it will literally pop up with years I guess because every year someone asks “is blogging dead?”

But yes, it seems that someone again is asking if blogging is dead because yes, some of the favorites, most popular and most successful bloggers, including some friends of mine, have stopped. Dooce stops  (sort of, kind of) so it would follow that everyone else is done too.

So, is blogging dead?

I could offer my opinion but I would much rather defer to the wisdom of Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess herself. Added bonus is she pretty much gives permission to write whatever the shit you want to write. When one is The Bloggess one can make such a pronouncement. At least I believe so.

True, I might be posting rather sporadically of late which might suggest the end is near and I could offer so many reasons why including

  • I’m too busy
  • I’m too tired
  • I have nothing to say
  • I have too much to say
  • one of my kids demanded that I not write about THAT
  • ALL of my kids demanded that I not write about THAT
  • I demanded that I not write about THAT
  • you guys actually are reading this
  • I know some of you in real life
  • I honestly don’t want those of you whom I know face to face to put me on blast on my phone, by text messages, by email, by snail mail, on Facebook because that’s not fun at all even if I do agree with Jenny that it’s about writing whatever crazy shit you want to write and having some people say “YES! I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE” and some say “What the shit is wrong with you?”

See? I have my reasons sometimes even if I know that everyone everywhere wants to know every little thought that pops into my head…the littler the better. Okay, perhaps not the whole world…perhaps just my kids, my parents, my family, some of my friends, my readers…and the occasional visitors from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the Czech Republic. So at least right now I am not blogging like a zestful necrophiliac…read The Bloggess’ post if you haven’t yet…but as long as I have an adventure that I imagine is worth sharing, I will be sharing for sure…even if there is no one to see it.

And to prove that point I will share this with you.

The awkward that is a 7th grade school portrait because everyone’s 7th grade portrait is all kinds of awkward. Except my favorite son is such an adorable, handsome kind of 7th grade awkward with his gritted teeth smile. He told me that he smiled like that so everyone can admire his braces.



life distracts

No apologies, just acknowledging that living life day to day sometimes will distract.

Doctors’ appointments and wondering what pediatrician’s office doesn’t have these germ encrusted toys that our kids always want to play with? Sorry, some things micro preemie moms just never let go even when their extremely premature baby is now a teenager.

Road trips…for more doctors’ office visits.

Exhausting they are…completely.

Back to school adventures begin and we pause wondering how in the world can she be in SECOND GRADE??!!

And how can she possibly be hundreds of miles from home starting college which includes a class studying Orange Is The New Black? She better ace that class. I mean it.

Then there’s work…

and laundry…yes, still…

Life distracts from taking the time to sit down and write about life and I offer no apology because life distracts…and because I have several loads of laundry waiting to be folded.

One would imagine that with only 2 of my 5 children remaining here under The Big Top that there would be so much less to juggle. One would be wrong.

Give me a sec to adjust this juggling act.