And You Can Tell Everybody This is Your Song: TMT {Twisted Mix Tape}

My Skewed View


There are only two more weeks of Twisted Mix Tape (for now)

 I’m feeling all the feelings of losing a place where I learned things, heard stories and music, felt the pull of a community. (Cue teary eyes)

This week the prompt is :
“Those lyrics are genius!”

Of course that’s a bit subjective isn’t it?

Because maybe the  songs I find most prolific you look at as just pop nonsense while I struggle to understand or connect with  the songs you might choose for this tape.

But as a lover of words, I envy those who pen lyrics.

They tell a story in 3 minutes, they move me to tears or the dance floor with their words.

Lyrics can make you powerful, they can change your mind or your perspective.

They can help you fall in love, or ease you out of it .

They are the heart of any song.


Sirius XM has a new BILLY JOEL channel and I am addicted.

I love the stories behind the songs, the reasons that made him sit down and weave a tale for me.
I could have chosen a dozen Billy Joel songs for this prompt.

I find him prolific, honest and the voice of some of my earliest music memories.

But I decided on Vienna because I am at this place in my life right now.

The chaos of marriage, parenthood and yes, unfulfilled dreams roaring in my ears.

Yet, I know, Vienna waits for me.

Slow down you’re doing fine
You can’t be everything you want to be before your time
Although it’s so romantic on the borderline tonight (tonight)

Vienna / Billy Joel

One of my favorite songwriters is Van Morrison. His music tends to set my heart on edge, I need to listen to it, to hear it.

The song “Did Ye Get Healed” is fast and fun, dance-able, and yet underneath it asks all the important questions:

I wanna know did you get the feelin’?
Did you get it down in your soul?
I wanna know did you get the feelin’?
And did the feelin’ grow?
Van Morrison: Did Ye Get Healed

Ah, Babylon. I remember hearing this song for the first time and thinking it was so deep and moving.

(I still feel that way about this song)

When I look back on my 20′s, on college, on my single days, this song comes to mind over and over again.

I have a few people I’d love to sing this to…do you?


Only wish that you were here
You know I’m seeing it so clear
I’ve been afraid
To tell you how I really feel
Admit to some of those bad mistakes I’ve made

If you want it
Come and get it
Crying out loud
The love that I was
Giving you was
Never in doubt
Let go your heart
Let go your head
And feel it now

Babylon: David Gray 

I have a true love for the songwriting ability of Sara. She continues to produce songs that are funny, introspective and brave (pardon the pun, just this once).

Her latest song has brought me and my hopelessly romantic heart to tears more than once lately.

It is this line that I love most and the reason I chose to showcase it here:

I am not scared of the elements
I am under-prepared, but I am willing
And even better
I get to be the other half of you

 Sara Bareilles:  I Choose You 

And finally, because I can’t talk about INCREDIBLE LYRICS and not mention my girl Adele.

I am knee deep in the writing/revising/obsessing over my Kimmy and David story while I take a “Write Your First Novel” class, so I am also knee deep in Adele’s music.

This story of love lost, gone astray and the two people who are meant to be together but just can’t seem to find their way to their happily ever after yet, is what brought me to share this song.

Forgiveness and a second chance at love is on my mind and so this song really speaks to me right now.
Plus, it’s Adele. Who is my go-to love song lyricist.

But we had time against us,

Miles between us,
The heavens cried,
I know I left you speechless,
But now the sky has cleared and it’s blue,
And I see my future in you,

I’ll be waiting for you when you’re ready to love me again,
I’ll put my hands up,
I’ll do everything different,
I’ll be better to you

I’ll Be Waiting: Adele


Next week will be the last of Twisted Mix Tape Tuesdays for a while.

Why don’t you join us for the theme :

“Missing You”

I’m missing TMT already.

Seen {Just Write}

I’m not sure what she saw.

However, if you’d bothered to ask me, I would have pointed out all the faults.


Smiles that never quite reach my eyes anymore or even the new haircut that is too new,  thus causing me to touch it too often, resulting in cowlicks and strands that vehemently ignore gravity and hairspray.

It had been a trying morning. Such that all my emotions were stuck somewhere between numb and passively combative.

And this Saturday morning had been decidedly frustrating. There were arguments, bribes, ultimatums, talk of consequences and a compromise that was only reached because I simply gave up.

I was tired.

I was tired and it was only nine am.

So by the time we squeezed our foursome into a booth(about 4 hours later) , negotiated the “who would sit next to who”, (complete with loud whimpering and allegations of “he always gets to…” ) handled the knives that were thrust aimlessly at me as tiny fingers struggled to dislodge them from the crayons that were the true prize and I took a nice deep breath, turning my attention to the pretty girl who stood ready, pen in hand, to take our order, I’m pretty sure all she saw was chaos.

It was nothing new; this is how our many outings go on the weekends. It doesn’t matter how much care, thought or planning I put into the order of our errands or destinations, it doesn’t matter if they are well rested, well fed or even well loved before we leave the house it always seems like my children want me to remember that they will interrupt a conversation, will fight over the two red crayons I was careful to pack (one had a pointy tip, one did not) and will be the reason I am close to tears or exhaustion by the we arrive home.

I offered up a weak smile,  muttered  and apology over the under –his- breath singing from Jacob while I  spent the better part of a minute begging my children to make a decision about their choice of beverage. I made polite conversation and thanked her for being patient, helpful, and kind to us. I congratulated her on the pregnancy news she shared as she rubbed her belly and I fear I asked her for far too many things to accommodate us.

I saw our table being the one she wanted to serve and move toward the door as quickly as possible.

(And honestly, who could blame her?)

But she must have seen something else.

Even when I asked for extra straws (so Jacob could use one as a wand to play Harry Potter). Even when Jacob then neglected his lunch in order to eat off my salad plate then demand one of his own only to then refuse to eat it , then push himself out of the booth and perform One Directions songs and dances for the nearby tables as we hung our heads, “Shh”d him and promised things between clenched teeth if he’d only “sit down!”.

Gio not to be outdone, crawled under the table, wanted to sit on my lap while I munched on salad  and then quizzed John on hockey stats until he announced he needed to poop “RIGHT NOW!” just as the adult food arrived.

I took the boys to the bathroom, where they tried to cross streams and then got soaking wet insisting they would wash their own hands at a sink much taller than them. When we returned to the table John was sitting with our food in boxes and bags and he was holding a piece of white paper that I could only assume was the bill.

But as we approached, he handed it to me. I read it as tears filled my eyes and ran down my cheeks.


She had witnessed my family, in all our natural dysfunction, and saw all the good stuff.

A loving reminder of how the universe will care for and comfort you (and pass it on) just when you need it most.

 Writing out a stream  of my thoughts about our encounter with our incredible, thoughtful (and possibly life-saving) waitress during lunch on Saturday.

You can join JUST WRITE by clicking here



Michele and Mel (two great gals)  invite us every 1st and 15th of the month to

“KETCHUP with US”.

(click the link and you can join the fun too!) 

If I Can’t Have You… (TMT-Twisted Mix Tape)

My Skewed View



Forbidden love is a hard subject to tackle because  I believe all of us, at one time or another, have wanted someone (something) we couldn’t have.

I think that it somehow makes the chase  sweeter, more delightful and dare I say it,  wonderfully sinful before it turns bitter and your world falls apart.

Or you never find one another, living only to pine for that fateful day when your unrequited love or unconsummated love can come to fruition.

 Isn’t that what the great works of romantic literature show us?


This week Jen asked us to share songs of Forbidden Love.

I know a little bit about the subject but it doesn’t make these songs sting any less…


Let’s start with my favorite decade of music and in the same vein of Chris Rea’s “Fool If You Think It’s Over” this song by Rupert Holmes talks about choosing between two people.

Him him him, what’s she gonna do about Him?
She’s gonna have to live without him,
It’s him or it’s me, me me,


Did Barry Gibb write a bad song? Ever?

I don’t think he ever did, even if you want to disagree about the merits of disco (I LOVE IT!) or sappy, romantic love songs (Love them too!).

When he teamed with Barbra their voices were like butta. Guilty is not an emotion I feel very often because I’ve learned that if I truly don’t want to do something I just won’t instead of hiding from the shame.

Let’s put it this way, in forbidden love or love triangles you wouldn’t be where you are if you didn’t want to be.

You got a reason for livin
You battle on with the love youre livin on
You gotta be mine
We take it away
Its gotta be night and say
Just a matter of time
And we got nothing to be guilty of…

In my 20′s I went back to college and my degree bears a “Minor in Women’s Studies” on it. I was finding my feminist self and Ani DiFranco found me. Her lyrics are so deep and rich, her songs so haunting and in many ways healing too.

My 27th year was the one where I heard this song for the first time .

Breakups and wronged hearts would never sound, feel or taste the same again:

I could make you happy, you know
If you weren’t already
I could do a lot of things
And I do

Tell you the truth I prefer the worst of you
Too bad you had to have a better half

(Careful there are a lot of adult words in this song…)

I remember the first time I saw the movie Jerry Maquire sitting in the dark theatre and holding a hand I knew I probably wouldn’t be holding for the rest of my life.
I want to be loved like that“, I remember thinking .

Then Bruce came on, and relationship that should have never happened, two people from two different worlds came together in the middle of the street.

You’ve gone a million miles
How far’d you get
To that place where you can’t remember
And you can’t forget

She’ll lead you down a path
There’ll be tenderness in the air
She’ll let you come just far enough
So you know she’s really there

I’m a Broadway baby. I love a good musical and Wicked blew me away.

Idina Menzel’s voice coursed through me for three hours and I felt for her green faced Elphaba in the way you do for a girl who wants to find love with the popular boy.

He wasn’t supposed to fall for her, but he did.

Leaving your heart to ache for them and their doomed love affair.

Don’t dream too far
Don’t lose sight of who you are
Don’t remember that rush of joy
He could be that boy
I’m not that girl

Ev’ry so often we long to steal
To the land of what-might-have-been
But that doesn’t soften the ache we feel
When reality sets back in

Does heart hurt a little? Yep, mine does too. 

Thanks for stopping by!


Are you sharing your own songs with Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesday yet?
C’mon, join us!

Random Rules! {Old School Blogging for March}

What is the last thing you watched on TV?

I love TV. The last thing I watched yesterday was the ‘almost-ending-of White House Down” but  just before I actually started to get behind the fact that Jamie Foxx could be the POTUS I had to go upstairs and put my children to bed because they kept creeping back down.

(John! How did it end? Who was the villain??)

I watched TV this morning but the NYC News (even though it’s NYC!) is boring.

When did you last step outside? What were you doing?

This morning. Coming (running in 3 inch heels) into work because I don’t wear (or like ) coats and it was a cold walk from car to door this morning. Brrr.

What is on the walls of the room you are in?

Pictures , quotes, The “Ultimate Guide to Writing Better”, 3 different calendars and quotes all over the place.

I am in my cubicle at work, but I’ve decorated it so that I have everything and everyone I love around me while I (have to- ahem) sit here.

If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy?

I wouldn’t even know where to start.  I mean a house on the beach? Yes! Take care of my entire family? Yes!

But if it just happened overnight and here we are this morning??? I’d probably buy a limo ride to work and treat everyone to breakfast AND lunch, while I cleaned out my desk. There would be time for the beach houses, new cars, a big ass closet for my shoes along with a very large check to charities later.

Tell me something about you that most people don’t know.

I’m very transparent in my real life, most people who know me, know a whole lot of my secrets.

But I think that if you met me in real life you expect cute and friendly and the sarcasm and quick wit is a little jarring until you just start giggling with me.

Who made the last incoming call on your phone?

My mom. My mom is normally the only person who calls me on my cell and honestly, the only call I will pick up. Everyone else texts or emails me.

If you could change something about your home, without worry about expense or mess, what would you do?

I’d have our basement finished. It’s great right now for storage (and god knows I need it as I decorate for every season) but I’d love to have a place to send the boys where they’d be inside and safe. I had a playroom growing up in our house and I’d really like them to be able to have one too. (They share the space in our office but it’s not entirely theirs, you know?)

Or I could avoid the whole thing and just say I’d just make our home bigger. Bump it out, add another bedroom and voila, playroom and more house.

What was the last thing you bought?

Hmm. Rye toast this morning in the cafeteria and Andra Watkins new book:  “To Live Forever” on my Kindle app. (I just started it and it’s excellent!)

Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving?

Neither. It’s not that I’m afraid. I mean I’m not overly fond of heights but the reason I wouldn’t go right now is my fibromyalgia and migraines. Both of these activities could trigger a pretty bad reaction or flare; so no big jumps for me anytime soon. ;)

If you could eat lunch with one famous person, who would it be?

I always give questions like this a great deal of thought because I know that I’d love to sit down and break bread with a lot of people, Jesus included.

There are singers/songwriters I’d love to sit across from and ask questions about how it feels to be full of music and lyrics, authors I’d sit in awe of and listen as they told me the stories that never make it to the books (or maybe the ones that do) and celebrities that I’d be tickled to sit next to whether that be because they are so good looking or because they are simply such a force of energy in one way or another.

But I think that if I had to choose one person to share a table with for a long, delicious afternoon it would be Dr. Maya Angelou. I believe that there would be introspection, honesty, laughter and humanity at that table and I would soak in the all the goodness she had to share.

Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?

Right now, I’m not entirely sure. I don’t need a whole lot right now and I’ve been purging in many areas of my life lately. I love JCPenney and NY& Company for clothes, Payless for shoes and Hallmark for all things cards, trinkets, jewelry and tzchatkes. I am a true believer in the power of retail therapy so I’m having a hard time deciding how/where to spend until I feel better. ;)

Is the glass half empty or half full?

Being me, it’s half full.

For most of my life I’ve been the most optimistic gal I know and I’ve always loved that about myself. Lately, I’ve been feeling empty and lost but I am hopeful that at the heart of me , the core of who I am, I am still the girl who believes the glass is half full and it’s a wonderful, delicious concoction in there.

What’s the farthest-away place you’ve been?

Aruba.  Ah, I miss Aruba. (We have a timeshare there)

What’s under your bed?

Pillows and comforters, bedskirts for different seasons. Also I have a Tupperware type box full of sheet sets. Right now it is full of summer designs, but I’ll be pulling them out to wash them and replacing them with the flannels that are now in our hall closet. I also have a Tupperware of sweaters I rarely wear but am keeping. For now.

What is your favorite time of the day?

Early morning. I like the calm, the peace of it. Especially on weekend mornings when the house is quiet and all my guys are sleeping. I watch my DVR’d shows, I scribble away in the notebook I keep on my nightstand and I read my Kindle. But it’s the promise of the whole day ahead of me that I love at that time of day, the hope that exists in the thought “I can still make anything happen” that I love the most.

It hasn’t felt that way for a while, my heart hurts most of the day and sleep is my escape but I’ve always really loved early morning.

What Inspires You?

My incredible amazing friends,  my sister, my nieces and my children, love stories and romantic comedies. My mom and her incredible spirit and wisdom. My family. Words and books, sports movies and quiet churches. All of the women who have come before me and trees budding in the Spring. The love of Christmas and the patriotism of Memorial Day.

The complexity and compassion of the human experience. 


Old School Blogging is hosted by the awesome and lovely Elaine of The Miss-Elaineous Life. This month her wonderful cohost is Kim of Co-Pilot Mom.

You can answer these questions and link up too!

C’mon, join the party and get to know someone new. 

How I Haven’t Hardened My Heart…Just Yet.

I am not a music snob. In fact I love all kinds of groups and musicians. Popular music, Broadway show tunes and a deep love for Barry Manilow and the The Bee Gees are many things you could tease me about (and probably do), but I don’t care.

Music is a huge part of my emotional life. It guides, soothes, motivates and inspires me.

Because lyrics are words set to sound I feel a  deep comfort there. Even if I don’t hear them correctly the first time.

My awesome friend Jen at Jen’s Skewed View has a weekly feature about those of us who misheard the words to a song, sang it like that for far too long and then realized how wrong we were.


Today I’m over at Jen’s place talking about a song I got wrong (and then  right) in so many ways.

Come and read about how I haven’t hardened my heart … just yet.

Just Write: How Are You?

I walk through the halls, my high heels hitting tile and marble.

“Nice sweater” and “ooh, I love your scarf” tossed back and forth, smiles attached , and I move on. Normally I’d stop, trade a story or two, catch up or chat for a few moments, but lately, I simply walk past.

Ghosts are in my eyes and I’m not always sure I want to expose them.

I used to wait for the obligatory “how are you?” when my answer was never just “fine” or “I’m good, how are you?” I would stand and be sincerely interested in the life of the person I was talking with.

But these days I shy away from the question itself.  I walk away quickly, I no longer linger.

I know that empathy is being passed to me instead of the other way around and I’m exhausted with the effort I need to make, the gratefulness I have for the care I’m being given.

I’ve stalled trips to the restroom and avoided the cafeteria and common areas.

I do not want to have to answer the question.

In the early days of this loss, my mom had my stepdad visit her nail salon and various other places to deliver the news of Ben’s passing. She too feared the inevitable “what’s new?”  Or “how are you today?” that would start every conversation with someone that knew her.  So like a town crier, he brought the announcement to the masses and she could avoid the role of being the bearer of it.

I envied it.

I didn’t feel I had the luxury of this kind of preventative care. I had lost a brother, not a son(my child) so with big girl panties on; I sat in the chair to have my hair cut and shared my news as if I was breaking it to myself.

“My brother died, quite suddenly, during the Holidays. How was your Christmas?” Taking away the horror and sadness (pity) before it could even materialize.

I used to yearn for the connections to other people but right now, in this limbo of loss, I have lost my gift of words.

How are you?


I don’t know.

I don’t know how I am.

I wonder:

Is it too early to have happiness flood me for no reason? Or  do people think I should I be past the worst part of this by now? (as evidenced by the speed at which everything happens in our lives these days. ) Is grief measured in days, months or years? Is it judged by amount of smiles or pools of tears?

All I know is that my brother is dead. Ben is never coming back and that notion crushes my soul more often than I expect. I have begun to think of days that I get out of bed, apply makeup and match my clothes as successes.

“I am LIVING!” I remind myself.  “I am up and washed and dressed and that, for now, is enough.”

How are you?

I’ve taken to saying, “I have good days and bad days. Today…is a not a bad day.”



Just Write with Heather of The Extraordinary Ordinary.

TMT: I’ll Write You a Story, You Sing Me a Love Song

My Skewed View



I’ve been absent from TMT for the past few weeks.(Sorry Jen!)
Snow, birthdays and well more snow have been keeping me away but I have also been writing, editing and rewriting parts of


And when I am writing love stories like theirs I have certain albums & songs that I play over and over to keep me motivated and inspired to follow the story through.

The past few weeks I had the same idea for my lists.

Motivational songs? (I hate exercising) so I  planned to write about the songs that I had on repeat  when I am weaving love stories.

Love songs? I’d planned to share the songs that are the background to my own love life, the highs, the lows, the make ups and break ups. Turns out they overlapped with my storytelling.

This week is My choice? : I’m  choosing to weave all three weeks into a Mix-tape of songs that are the background music to my writing. These songs inspire, these songs motivate me to change a storyline or add a ripple, these songs remind me (in the best possible ways) of love, redemption and the power of words and melodies.


My go to girl for love songs is Adele, always and forever.

My  English gal pal brings the pain, passion and perpetual search of love to every melodic and smoky number she serenades me with.

Her album 21 is always in heavy rotation if I’m writing.

Turning Tables is a favorite of mine:

Since high school Phil Collins has had a minor (but significant)  role in my love life. His songs have seeped under my skin and played in my head during first kisses, early mornings and late nights, falling in love and falling out of it.

I was 16, dating a college freshman, when he took me to a party and I heard this song off “Face Value” for the first time.

I remember hearing this song in my head every time I fell in love afterwards.

This album and “Hello, I Must Be Going” are favorites of mine for love writing sessions.

This Must Be Love

Kimmy & David is the story of a romantic triangle, and how time, distance and initial feelings are not always the end of the story. This song, by America, is one that I have come back to again and again because it’s become part of the landscape of my love life. Many times, I’ve been called Sister Golden Hair:

Well, I keep on thinkin’ ’bout you, Sister Golden Hair surprise
And I just can’t live without you; can’t you see it in my eyes?
I been one poor correspondent, and I been too, too hard to find
But it doesn’t mean you ain’t been on my mind

this girl means something to him, just like Kimmy does to David, even if it takes a while to admit it  to himself.

Sister Golden Hair

No one does love like John Legend . I have swooned have Barry White and Manilow, appreciate John Mayer and gotten my sexy on to smooth jazz from Brian Culbertson. But John Legend takes sex and sexy, love and passion to another place.

From Ordinary People to PDA (We Just Don’t Care) his music puts me in a mood and normally makes for some sexy writing.
The song I  always hit repeat for?
Tonight (Best You Ever Had)

…and because Kimmy & David come full circle in the end, returning to each other after their choices and decisions separate and distance them,  I thought I’d end with the voice of Miss Whitney and her song about forgiveness,  second chance and a new start from the beginning.

While it’s not my favorite Whitney Houston song it is the one that always finds its way onto my writing playlists  because it’s about coming back to the arms you belong in.

Like I Never Left


 I’d love to hear about the that remind you of falling in or falling out of love. Share them in the comments.

You can find out about Twisted Mix Tape Tuesdays right HERE and play along.

Love You, Most. {Old School Blogging }

Welcome to the VALENTINE’S DAY edition of Old School Blogging with the SUPER SWEET and BEAUTIFUL (she is!!! in Real Life, she’s Gorgeous!) Elaine of The Miss Elaine-ous Life .

This month her co-host is Tamara of Tamara Camera.

BlogChristmas2013PicciniFamilyonBeachMakingHearts*making the Heart*


How do you typically celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Oh we don’t. It’s not my favorite holiday, so we used to go out and celebrate on principle, but I believe in loving every day, not just one day in February. (Although I do send out a bunch of cards to friends, ‘other valentines’ and since the boys have been born, I kiss them up a little bit more today.

Do you like to get A) chocolates  B) flowers  C) a sweet card or  D) ALL OF THE ABOVE?

When I was young and single I liked a card (and all the other trappings). If I can be honest, I often weeded potential suitors and boyfriends by seeing if they would try to combine my birthday gift and Valentine’s Day gift. I felt that Valentine’s day was for EVERYONE and Feb 6th was my special day, so I wanted to be special on both days…combining gifts didn’t make me feel special. ;)

However, the gift I love …whether if it cheaper costume or 14K is jewelry.

(You thought I was going to say Shoes, didn’t you?)

Would you consider yourself a “cuddler”?  If not, would you at least cuddle on Valentine’s Day?


What is your favorite movie about love or with a love story?

I have dozens.

My top three: The Mirror Has Two Faces, Pride & Prejudice and Love Actually.

Do you believe in “love at first sight”?  Did it happen to you?

I DO! I believe that you can merely cross paths or glances with someone and you can feel a connection. In my life I have felt it many times, I’ve just looked at someone and said “I know you’re going to be a part of my life” and honestly, all of them were.

John was like that for me, I saw him walk through the atrium at work and thought, “that man might just change my life”.

Goodness knows he did.

Do you believe love can conquer all things?

Are you lost?

You know you’re in THE KIR CORNER right?

Do I believe LOVE can conquer all things?

I believe in miracles (my sons), LOVE (my husband), Unicorns, Second Chances, Magic and Buttercream Cupcake so of course I believe that Love is the only thing that will make the world go round.

Does it require action and hard work? You bet your sweet ass it does

(except for the Unicorns they just require a vivid imagination or a boatload of NyQuil)

What is ONE of the main things you love about your S.O.(significant other)

Picking one thing to love about John is difficult, because as with any person you love , there are a million little things that you adore about them. If I had to pick one?


I love that John sees me and knows me and still chooses to Like/Love me anyway.

If you could have the perfect Valentine date what would you and your loved one do?

I’m going to ask you something? Who really likes to go out TONIGHT? (on Valentine’s Day?) Long table waits, long lines at the movies, roses all over the place (I do not like roses, they remind me of a flower or a guy who tries to hard. Plus, I’m not a big fan of flowers, they die. Sure they are pretty in the vase, but eventually they die and you don’t have them anymore. (sad face)) and couples doing their best to “be in love today!”.

My perfect date is the same on Valentine’s Day or a Wednesday night in the middle of March. A meal, a movie and a hand holding mine with our laughter mingling in the background.

Tell me about your first crush!

Oh Johnny Moran. Beautiful blue eyes, dark eyelashes, looked so cute in his St. Rose uniform.  He’s the reason I love the New England Patriots (story for another day).  And of course, Andy Gibb. His poster was on my wall well into the mid 1980’s and made me smile every time I imagined him saying he wanted to be “my everything”.

Do you have any embarrassing or horror dating stories?

Look, you don’t have all day.

My dating history is long, sorted and  currently being made into a Lifetime Movie (not really!!!).

I don’t regret one one those dates …they are going to be a fantastic BOOK one day. J

Favorite flower?

Sunflowers and Daises. Always.

What’s the first type of chocolate you hope for when you reach into a box of chocolates?

Dark Chocolate with a Raspberry Filling.

Favorite love song?

Oh I can’t choose, don’t make me choose!!!! Just play Bread, Air Supply, Van Morrison, Adele or  Garth Brooks.

Okay, maybe Shameless  written by Billy Joel then covered by Garth Brooks.

Awesome, beautiful love song about being a fool for love.

What is the best breakup song?

Blow Me (One Last Kiss)

Rolling in the Deep (Adele)

Favorite celebrity couple?

I like the long haul…Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward-like .

You know those couples that saw some very hard, trying times, but they worked it out, they kept it civil, they didn’t let too much of the world in.

Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood.

*Swoon* I just love these two together.

Star crossed, broken marriages, divorces done right and new marriages and families made.

They make me believe in 2nd chances and love you can’t deny.

Overall, are you pro- or anti- Valentine’s Day

Have you been reading this meme?
Valentine’s Day tries too hard…


If someone did that “Say Anything” boombox thing outside your window, would you be into it, or call the police?

I would kiss that man (esp if I was John Cusack), long and deep.

First thing you notice about the objects of your affection

In order of importance:

Their eyes, their shoes, their laugh.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever gotten for Valentine’s Day?


Whether I’m expecting it or not…there is always LOVE floating around on Valentine’s Day and chances are some of it is going to find its way to me and make me smile.


 Your turn to play!!!

Answer the questions, link up and don’t forget to tweet with @elainea and @TamaraCamPhoto using the hashtag #OSBlog!

My “Small Thing” :The Gift of Life (Donate Life)


 The banner that flew in front of  Meritus Hospital and at his wake to acknowledge Ben’s donation.

A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun.  Enjoy the trip. 

~Author Unknown

Last week I turned 44, and in addition to having MANY of my favorite people ( scribes, writers, friends, family and kindred souls) help me celebrate with a virtual birthday celebration of words,  it was also time to renew my driver’s license.

The first time I checked the ORGAN DONOR box on my renewal slip I was 24 years old. Back then, filled with the fire of youth and the burning to “do something” I checked the box in much the same way that I approached humanity at the time. I accepted that while I was a small fish in an enormous pond if I could make one ripple in that water who could know what good would come of it.

It was my “small thing”;  my starfish thrown back knowing the difference it could make to just that one sea creature.

I never really thought about it in terms of my actual death but rather viewed as the ultimate in altruism and paying it forward  long before that phrase became popular.  Even after my dad died and I was shown how short and precious life can be, I continued to check the box every four years, happy with the notion that I had been granted one more trip around the sun,  and the sad awareness that others might not be so lucky.

This past December, as we said an unexpected and unbearable goodbye to Ben, I realized it is not a small thing.

Giving of yourself never is.

After Ben had been declared brain dead and the realization of that had sunk in, decisions needed to be made. As a family we were asked about organ donation and within moments of hearing the words, my sister in law and mom agreed that Ben would want to help as many people as he could, that his young death didn’t have to be simply tragic, it could also be, heroic.

Donate Life comforted and counseled our family, helping to make the final goodbyes one of hope that Ben’s life could now mean something even bigger.

It already has.

BlogDonateLifeBraceletsPMBracelets our family wears to support DONATE LIFE  in honor of Ben

Much like donating blood or slipping folded dollar bills into Salvation Army Kettles, checking the ORGAN DONOR box when you go to renew your driver’s license is a little thing that could potentially save someone else’s life someday.

You never know what one small ripple in the water will encourage.


I’m an ORGAN DONOR, are you?


Please visit the Donate life website to learn about how to become a donor.

There are chapters in each state, so you can do some good in your own backyard and keep update on

the Donate Life America Facebook page.

Currently, more than 120,000 men, women and children are awaiting organ transplants in the United States. For specific numbers visit

Approximately 67,808 Multicultural Patients*

Approximately 1,851 Pediatric Patients*

28,052 Organ Transplants Performed in 2012

14,013 Organ Donors in 2012

More than 46,000 corneas were transplanted in 2012

More than 1 million tissue transplants are done each year and the surgical need for tissue has been steadily rising

*as of October 2013

-Taken from the Donate Life Website 

Photo: Like & share this post if you've #GotHeart?

#AskAwayFriday with Katie of Sluiter Nation

The Real Housewife of Caroline County



Welcome to #AskAwayFriday, a weekly link up hosted by Penny of The Real Housewife of Caroline County and Amber of Bold Fab Mama.  A meme where bloggers swap questions.


This week I have Kate of Sluiter Nation in the Corner and wow there just aren’t enough adjectives (or even nouns or verbs) to tell you how much I adore this girl. I had read her blog  ever since I joined THE RED DRESS CLUB (she was one of the the *AMAZING* editors) and was introduced to her.

She is smart, funny, introspective and a great big voice about mothering, PPD and education.

Plus, I finally got to hug her at BlogHer’13, a real highlight of this past year.

In short, she’s an inspiration and I was so happy to answer these questions for her.


1. You write “chick lit.” What is your favorite genre of book to read?

Chick lit.

I am a hopeless romantic and so when I have the privilege of reading lately I reach for the light, fluffy, stuff of girlfriends, boyfriends and love conquering all.

I love all kinds of books, with the exception of horror. While I think Stephen King is a genius the only book of his that I ever finished was THE GREEN MILE and it took a lot of evenings with all the lights on to finish it.

2. Again, you write “chick lit”. Where do you get inspiration for your characters/plot lines?


Oh yes, I’ve had enough love relationships, mishaps, love gone wrong and what-if’s in my romantic life that I use it often. Many of my stories have come out of my previous relationships, dialogue verbatim to the stuff on the page (I often laugh when someone will read me and say “that would never happen!” and “No man would ever say that to a woman” because I always counter with, “wanna bet?”)

Three of my  current WIPs are real life stories with some fiction thrown in, but those moments are based in reality 99% of the time.

(what is that quote? “Behave or I’ll write about you” ? )

3. As a mom of only boys, are you the queen of the house or “one of the guys”?

You are a mom of only boys too!!! I should have asked YOU this question.

I feel like a queen most days and like a maid the rest of them.

My boys (even our dog Fenton is a boy!) are very good to me. They enjoy musicals with me and never fail to compliment me on my shoes, my dresses, my hair. I love having boys that are quick to hug and kiss me and still be rough and tumbly with each other.  Because I’m not a very athletic gal so I don’t wrestle and play hockey or tackle football with them, but I do love taking them to NYC and the park.

Another quote that we use a  lot in my house, “if momma ain’t happy, aint nobody happy” and while they are lousy housekeepers I do feel like I’m cherished and loved beyond measure.

4. What is your guilty pleasure BESIDES shoes and cupcakes ;)

Oh. That would have to be TV. On Weekend mornings I have been known to wake at 4:30 as usual and spend thet time until the rest of the house wakes up watching the shows I’ve DVR’d all week.  I once tweeted to USA NETWORK that I would gladly be their “pimp” since I loved every show they produced.

TV is one thing I never want to wonder about doing without.

I also love Salt & Vinegar potato chips.

5. Which personality traits of yours do you see in each of your sons?

I see a lot of myself in Jacob.

He is creative, easily distracted and refuses to do things just because “that’s how it’s done”.

He loves musicals, A CHRISTMAS CAROL and HARRY POTTER as much as I do.

Jacob is lovable, empathetic and so introspective.  He sees three sides to every story and is always ready to make everyone feel included.

Jacob (like me) acts like he is just grateful to be invited to the party.

He also says things without thinking and is quick to apologize, hug and accept someone.

He is a TALKER and as my mom always says, “it’s not like he doesn’t come by it naturally”.

Then there is Gio.

Ah. My BIG THINKER and child that offers a cheek to kiss instead of a full mouth even now.

But you know what I see in Gio that reminds me of myself ?

He is thoughtful and quick to make a concession.
He is a peacemaker along with being the kid at school that follows the rules just for the sake of doing it. He doesn’t want fighting or angst, so he does his best to quiet it (while Jacob just wants things HIS WAY or not at all.)

He might not like it, but he acts like the “oldest sibling” (like I am) , taking on the responsibilities of actions for both of them.

6. Which personality traits of your husband’s do you see in each of your sons?

Well first and foremost, if they could clone John, you’d get Gio.

So beyond personality, I look at Gio and I’ve see John since his picture in the NICU.

But beyond that, Gio has inherited John’s love of sports, stats and information.

He can name whole teams of players by the numbers on their jerseys, he knows the rules of  HOCKEY (I still don’t know them and honestly, by now, I should, considering the amount of ex boyfriends that played actually played hockey along with John’s obsession with the game) and he continues to impress me with his knowledge of  Football stats that compare to the likes of Terry Bradshaw or Mike Francesa.

He is also great with technology (John works in IT)

Gio is shy, just like John and I call him my oven…Jacob is a microwave like I am, but Gio (and John) need a little time to “preheat” before they get warm. Once they are, they are talkative and friendly, open and engaging, but it takes a little while.

I thought a lot about how Jacob is like his daddy. I don’t see a lot of John in Jacob, not as much as say my brother, sister or daddy.


He is quick to reach for my hand and quick to ease a hurt feeling. He is thoughtful too and has  a deep faith like his daddy, both of them love our church choir.

He does special things for me or remembers things that I would never expect and surprises me with a picture or present. He pays attention and never fails to make me feel like I’m important. (these are things that I love about both John and Jacob.)

7. What is a favorite memory of high school?

Hmm. I think it was when I was named “Class Flirt”, “Most Optimistic” and “Most Spirited” in our Senior year. I think I’d always been liked well enough but I was a bit of an outsider in our class of 43 people. I think it’s because I befriended everyone. There was room in my life for the cool kids, the nerdy kids, the poor kids and the popular kids. I dated and kissed as many people as I wanted to, I had no “type” beyond just wanting people in my life. Even then I could see the good in every person and giving anyone the benefit of the doubt.

I spent a lot of my HS career wondering what people thought of me. (I guess we all do) but when I was named these three things (3!!) I realized that people SAW me. To this day, I love knowing that I am seen as optimistic, flirty and spirited. Those are three adjectives I identify with and it was a sweet moment to have them bestowed on me and understand that people “knew” me.

8. If you were going to make me a mix tape (yes, I just aged myself with that) of songs to make me happy, what would the top 6 songs be and why?

Oh Katie!

Do you know that this is the question that has given me the most sleepless nights and made my face twist up in thought?
First, I love mix-tapes! (and dating yourself, DUDE I turned 44 yesterday. WORD!)

Second music is so personal and one person’s HAPPY tune is another person’s “oh dear GOD do I need to listen to this?”

But in the end I decided to send you music that I love that I am hoping will lift your spirit for no other reason than you know it came from my heart straight to yours.

Dressed Up In Love by Jennifer Hudson (because what girl doesn’t need her girlfriends, people who make her feel “warm in the Winter, cool in the summer and all dressed up in LOVE?”

Let it Go by Idina Menzel from Frozen, (because it’s empowering and speaks to dispelling all the doubts we have about ourselves. “The cold never bothered me anyway…” )

HAPPY by Pharrell (because  we should all CLAP ALONG and smile. HAPPY is here!)

You’ve Got a Friend  (Carole King or James Taylor or BOTH! I want you to always remember you’ve got a friend in me)

Don’t Stop Believing by Journey (because you started it with your about page…but it’s such great advice. I believe in you and the incredible person you are. Always.)

I Like to Move It/I’ve Got the Power By Snap: I couldn’t choose, but I wanted to DANCE with you. I figured let’s go 90′s for that…;)

9. How did you meet your husband?

I met John at work. He was married when he came to work here but there was something about him that attracted me from the start. We were friends first, colleagues, and then a year after he started he sat down with me at lunch and told me he was getting a divorce. John took an enormous leap of faith with me and left his marriage so we could have ours.

Our story is hard to tell because it starts in a way that puts  many people off, but sometimes it’s the ending of one thing that makes way for the beginning of another.

I feel like we are perfect proof of that.

10. Lastly, what is your favorite thing about yourself?

My empathy and optimism.

I will always give you the benefit of the doubt, I will always be in your corner, I will try to see every side of your story.

Plus I forgive, with my whole heart.

Sometimes that means that I’m taken for granted or ignored or even hurt , but I never regret it.


Thanks so much for playing #AskAwayFriday with me Katie. Loved having you hang in the corner today.

If you’d like to play #AskAwayFriday with me, just shoot me an email. I love spending my Fridays like this.
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