Category Archives: yes I’m vain

The Tao of The Nuggets

From time-to-time people (the ones who live in my head) will say to me; “Four amazing kids, awesome marriage, cool career, and a wildly popular (again in my head) blog, how DO you do it?”

To that I simply reply… The Tao of Nuggets. So what exactly is a Tao? Simple wisdom. A code. Tao roughly translates as “path” or “way”.  And the way of the Nuggets, reads something like this:

Like the moth to flame, dirty socks are drawn to the living room floor. No amount of reasoning will save the moth her life or the mom her sanity. Consider the socks as decor.

Attempting to reason with a teenager is much like trying to coax Shakespeare from a rock. Abandon such fruitless endeavors and seek reason in the Starbucks cafe within Barnes and Noble.

Upon every meal a little ketchup (or ranch) will fall. So cook what you like, they will simply drown their food anyway. 

Breathe deep. Let it go. Uncork it.

Life is a Story. Don't skip pages. The Tao of The Nuggets.

Life is a story told in moments. Don’t skip pages.

Always keep a bag packed. Be ready when your chance to runaway from home comes.

Plucking facial hair is Zen.

They are watching you. Don’t let them think that life is such serious business.


What’s your Tao?

When is it ever okay?

I’m still trying to collect myself after the weekend so today I thought I’d blog in pictures. Sometimes there is just nothing like a visual. The theme of this pictorial is.. When is it ever okay…?

When is it ever okay… WHEN?!!

When is it ever okay to… rock BOTH these winning looks at the same time? One at a time big guy!

When is it ever okay.. to let this chick borrow YOUR car?

When is it ever okay… to try and pull off the Princess Leia look?

I leave you with this…
When is it ever okay… NOT to take this sage advice?

A conversation with #4

Let me just preface this post by saying, I can go NO WHERE in my home without at least ONE child in tow. Yes, I mean NO WHERE! Heck it’s the rare occasion that I can leave the house without at least one of the four of them. It’s so bad that I feel like it’s a vacation if I can go to the grocery store sans offspring. I can often be seen singing to myself in the car “free at last! free at last!”. This is the set up for my, shall we say… interesting, conversation with #4 last night (in case you didn’t know #4 is my 2 3/4 year old daughter).

Me “It’s time to go to bed Chewcita (her nickname)”

Her “Carry me”

Me “No, you’re a big girl you can walk”

At this point she attaches herself to my leg like a mini octopus and starts whimpering like a beat up puppy dog. I of course fold like a cheap suit and carry her up stairs.

While climbing the stairs, her on my hip she says…

“See mommy you can do it. Good Mommy, yeah”

Thanks for the impromptu pep rally kiddo.
We head in to the powder room to do the pre-snooze grooming.

Me “okay baby get undressed so we can put your pjs on”

Her “DUH”

Me “What did you say”

Her “Not thing momma”

Me “Be nice, come on let’s get ready for bed”

Her “Mommy what happened to your legs? Did a seekto get you?

Me “No”

Her “Why are you legs so bumpy then?”

Me “I’m old”

Her “Very old huh?”

Me “Yep”

Her “Mommy, what is that?! Cat hair?!”

Me “WHAT?!”

Her “Mommy, you hiney growin’ cat hair on it”

Me “Time for bed!”

Her “Does daddy know you have cat hair, like Coco?”

Me “BED”

Her “How come you have cat hair?”

Me “I said BED!”

Her “Can I tell daddy you have cat hair on your (insert giggle) BUTT?!”

In the words of the immortal Art Linkledder… “Kids say the darndest things”

Literati List (where do you score?)

I’m actually pilfering this post from the FaceBook page of the simply sublime Ms. Anne Kelleher. I thought it was an interesting combo of great stuff and cheesy fluff. I’d love to see how wide the spectrum is with the Nuggetiers. I know you’re all super smart, sassy, sexy beasts I’m just curious to see how this one turns out, give it the ol’ bloggy try!

Apparently the BBC reckons most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here.
1) Look at the list and put an ‘x’ after those you have read.
2) Add a ‘+’ to the ones you LOVE.
3) Star (*) those you plan on reading.
4) Tally your total at the bottom.
5) Put in a note with your total in your comment or re-post

X+ 1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
X +2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
X +3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
X + 4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling ++++ (sadly I’m a hopeless Harry Potter DORK!)
x 5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
X 6 The Bible
x+7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte (more times than I care to admit)
x 8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell (only because it was a school requirement)
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
X+10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens (again a school assignment BUT I loved it)
X+11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott (like Heathclif and Kathy I couldn’t get enough of Jo and the girls)
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
X 13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
X 14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (okay maybe HALF an X here My Da was an English lit major and when I ran out of reading materials I’d pick up his complete Baird and muddle through)
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
X+16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien (I heart Hobbits!)
X 17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
X +18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger (only give this a + because my DH is a conspiracy theory nut and each time he gets his “official” news letter I think fondly of Holden Caufield)
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger (HATE THIS BOOK!!! I kept reading it thinking, dam if they can reference Violent Femmes concerts and Pad Tai I’m eventually going to love it.. NOPE IT FREAKIN’ SUCKED DIRTY TOE NAILS!)
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
X 21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
X + 22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald (a college pshych class assignment I ended up loving, does that say something about me?)
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
X 24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy (blah, blah.. vodka shots.. blah)
X 25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams (I was so pissed when the movie came out it SUCKED but the book was sort of fun)
X26 +Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh (my first foray into British pseudo erotic cast system romance lit)
X 27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky (half an X again)
X 28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck (I actually read this on the air plane ride to Dublin this summer. My most favorite book as a tweenager was The Red Pony (I had horses, and books as friends until I was 15) so I was surprised that I didn’t love this one.
X 29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
X 30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
X 31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy (again with the blah and Vodka shots)
X 32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
X+33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis (I was totally stoked to take the kids to the movie, I bought the whole set of the books and read them to my daughter before the movie premiered. We loved it and I was so PROUD that she said she loved the book MORE!.
X + 34 Emma – Jane Austen (any girl who doesn’t gush over the divine Miss Jane is no girl)
35 + Persuasion – Jane Austen
X+36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis (I guess we get extra points for reading the whole series?)
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
X38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
X39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
X 40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne (one must follow this with the Tao of Pooh)
X 41 Animal Farm – George Orwell (Orwell was a nutjob!)
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown –
*43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
X 45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
X 46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
X 48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
X 49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
X 50 Atonement – Ian McEwan (I LOVE this book, the movie was okay. If you liked the movie and are a reader GET THE BOOK! It’s just so much more. I also recommend his book Black Dogs)
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
X +52 Dune – Frank Herbert (ah great series AND Sting was in the movie.. BONUS)
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
X++ 54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
X57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
*60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
X + 61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck (another pleasant school assignment)
X 62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
X 65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
X 66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
X 68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
X 70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
X 71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
X 72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
X 73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
X + 76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath (this one got me into great female writers like the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay and my most recent muse Susan Jane Gillman)
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
X 81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
X 84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
X87 + Charlotte’s Web – EB White (my 9 year old daughter started out with me reading this to her about 5 times and now it’s her “go to” book when she is in between books)
*88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
X 89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
*91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad (this is in the DH’s collection and I keep meaning to get to it.. I’ve sadly been side tracked by (ashamed blushing) the Twilight series.
X 92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
X 94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
X 96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
X 98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare (one part of the complete works of Shakespeare – that I DID get to but as Annie says “maybe the person who put this list together thinks there is more than one.)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

Annie read 75 of them, what a Literati she is! Me I managed 55, which impressed me very little.. I guess in addition to raising 4 kids, writing, cleaning, cooking, saving the world.. I need to read more!

Annie added that she felt some of these books were not list worthly..true..however it never said the 100 greatest books of all time, how could they? There is no Frank McCourt, it’s lacking Susan Jane Gillman two of my personal favs. Oh and let us not forget that there simply are not nearly enough Oprah’s book club members on the list (yick, hack, phooie..did I say Oprah, or just belch realy loudly?)