Be a Duck.

by Julie on July 21, 2014

A long time ago, I had a bad day at work.

I was a nurse working in Labor and Delivery, and one of the doctors was being a bit of a jerk about one of his patients that I was caring for. Except, he wasn’t being bit of a jerk, he was being a BIG, GIANT JERK. This was a person whom I normally enjoyed working with and had respect for.

After my shift was over, I went to my mom’s house to visit so that I could decompress over a glass of wine and tell her about my day. She told me, “Be a duck”.

I’m sure I looked at her funny.

She continued, “Some days, you just have to let that stuff roll off of your back because it usually has nothing to do with you.”

I had never heard the saying, but my mom (who was also a nurse), knew EXACTLY what she was talking about. Turned out to be great advice.

Sadly, this was something I found difficult to do. Taking the good doctor’s perspective into account and walking in his shoes was something that I resisted, because my own ignorant, self-absorbed feelings took precedence. And this guy was being an ass. I found it difficult to feel anything toward him but ambivalence.

We all have bad days.

A few days later, I was chatting with the same doc (who was in a better mood), and out of nowhere, he lowered his head and said, “Sometimes, I wish I had never become a doctor. If I could do things over, I would open my own restaurant.”  He went into some detail about it.

The sympathy I felt for him in that moment was pretty intense, given my conversation with The Mother a few days earlier. Watching him talk about his “would-be restaurant”, I saw in his face how much he had regretted following his current path. Still, he was a very good doctor. I told him that I thought so, too.

Sometimes, I get my house professionally cleaned. I know there is really no good excuse for hiring someone to do something I could do myself, but I have not mastered cleaning the floors. If someone comes up with the best and quickest way to clean floors and make them shiny, then I’m all up in that.

Prior to the “official” cleaning, there’s always the “pre-cleaning”. Fun times.

So I’m straightening up my girls’ room…and it’s just a disaster:

This is just a tiny portion of what’s going on in there, and I have no idea where to start. It is endless layers of books, Littlest Pet Shop toys, Barbies, toy houses, and stuffed animals all over the floor. What is it with little girl toys? The colors are so vivid and bright. It’s a litany of eyeball noise.

I sometimes let myself get really worked up over the fact that my little girls are NORMAL.

So, I take a few deep breaths and try to see things from their perspective and be in their shoes. I remember that I was a kid once, too, and recall MY messy room. I really loved using my imagination and coming up with all of these silly scenarios. In my world, Princess Leia was married to Luke Skywalker and the jawas were their babies (oops!).

Let it roll. Let it roll off of my greasy, feathered duck-back.

So, I get it all cleaned up and put away, trying not to interrupt the “story” that is happening there…just clearing off enough of the dresser so that it can be dusted.

Then, I move on to straighten up the master bedroom. I hear these two little voices in the hallway conspiring to run away from home.

“We’ll check in to a hotel!”


“Or we’ll live in a tent! Or, a LEAN-TO!”


One of them decides they need to make their intentions known to me.

“Mom, we’ve decided that since you cleaned our room, we’re running away.”

“I wish you the best. Good luck.”

See? I was a duck. No problem.

Let it roll.


Good Stuff #1 – Air.

by Julie on July 1, 2014

In an attempt to exercise my gratitude muscles a little bit (because I don’t think any of the other ones work anymore), I am starting a series of posts about things I am grateful for. I call them “gratitudinals”. It’s a mix of “gratitude” and “cardinal”, because cardinals are my favorite bird. I like to make up words. It’s very mad-scientist-y, don’t you think? Plus, it’s a funny word, and I like to say it.

Wait. Maybe “gratitudinal” should be a mix of “gratitude” and “ordinal”, which would make more sense, because I plan to number these “graditudinals” in order. Yes, that’s it. Forget the bird reference, although that was pretty cool. The numbering thing seems more germane.

Okay, forget the stupid word. How about we just call it “Good Stuff”?

Maybe this will keep me accountable and perhaps it will help some of you folks be more aware of the things that you are grateful for as well. I love to help people.

My first item in the series is quite basic and necessary for life.

It’s AIR. I really, really like air.

Here’s a picture.


Funny how Google works. I always try to find images that are free to use and not copyrighted, and I mean, come on. It’s AIR.

It’s a photo of some clouds in the sky, actually, but whatever. Do I really need to add the source on this? Okay, FINE, I will do that. If you click on the picture, it will take you somewhere else where some website used that picture. They didn’t source it, either. Jerks.

Oh, another thing? Don’t Google “free air images”, because you will see a lot of this:


You aren’t interested in this type of air. Free air is bad when it’s inside your body. I mean, it’s not exactly air that you can breathe because it’s not going into your lungs. This is AIR OF UNWANTED ORIGIN. I’m not sure what this air is made of, but it’s probably not good. I’m a nurse. Trust me.

Did you know that the air we breathe contains only 21% oxygen? The other components are nitrogen (78.09%), argon (0.93%), and carbon dioxide (0.039%), along with small amounts of other gases and water vapor.

I’m not sure why we put oxygen in the limelight so much. I mean, oxygen is a righteous gas, but nitrogen seems to be the star of the show when it comes to air composition. I don’t know…I think nitrogen needs to get some attention. Nitrogen needs its own talk show or maybe an HBO movie made about it.

Anyway, back to the gratitude.

When I think about the air we breathe (and probably take for granted), I think about that scene in “Spaceballs” where President Scroob is inhaling some “Perri-air” from a can because…


I’m sorry, what? You aren’t getting that reference? Okay, yeah, it’s dumb. Sorry.



Sometimes, when I am feeling stressed or confused or lost, I breathe. Long deep breaths in and out. I do this a lot. It helps.

It helps me calm down when I feel like I will lose my sanity because life can be a little difficult at times. It helps me fall asleep when my brain will not stop thinking about things that will never, ever happen.

I am thankful for the air that I breathe in and out of my lungs, and the air that my children breathe so that they can play and sing and bike and dance and play Xbox. Expanding on that, I’m glad that all of our lungs all work well, but I really appreciate that the air around here doesn’t suck at being air (to use a John Green sort of phrase).

Air? I’m all for it. Thank you to God, the Universe and everything else that is involved for air.

Air is Good Stuff.


My Summer Reading List.

July 1, 2014

As you can probably tell, I’m still trying to “find my voice” as a humor writer. Such a silly phrase and quite cliché, but so am I. I do want to be funny, but sometimes, I feel like I’m the un-funniest person on the planet. Aside from my obsessions with Star Wars and cats, I […]

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I Don’t Want To Sell You ANYTHING.

July 1, 2014

I’m convinced that I am the female version of Lloyd Dobler. Remember Lloyd Dobler? Kind of dorky and likes the valedictorian of his class? They fall in love and she gives him a pen after breaking up with him. In dramatic fashion, they end up reuniting and fly off into the sunset together. I wonder […]

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I Say “Buns” A Lot In This Post.

June 26, 2014

It was May of 1977. I was nine. The most important movie of all time came out. You know the one… I saw “Star Wars” at the drive-in with my best friend, Kristi, and her family. We ran around the parking lot and messed with the little speaker doodads and munched on junk food. We […]

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A Guest Post: Love Me, Adore Me, Then Leave Me Alone.

June 23, 2014

Hello, public. You don’t know me, but my name is Mr. Big. I am Julie’s cat. Bask in my gloriousness. She’s not here right now because she’s upstairs cleaning out my treasure box. I’m not sure what she does with the gifts that I leave for her, but I continue to bury them and she […]

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I’m Still Here.

June 17, 2014

So…yeah… I’ve been gone from the blog for a while, but I’m still here…and gosh-golly, I’m sure that the whole 3 of you (or whoever is left of my readers) are just thrilled. Well, I’ve been kind of busy, doing…stuff. Doing WHAT, you ask? For one thing, I weaned my youngest babe…who is no longer […]

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Things You Don’t Want to Hear Your Kids Say From the Other Room.

November 19, 2013

I took a bit of a break from the blog recently. Did you notice? I wanted to spend some time doing stuff with my kids (like I have a choice!), and I also wanted to try to focus on living in the present moment. That sounds hokey, but it’s something I don’t do enough these […]

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Some Useless Tidbits.

October 13, 2013

Welcome! If you’ve never been here before, I’m so happy that you stopped by. If you are a regular, thank you for coming back. I’ve been thinking that I should share some stuff about myself on the “About” page so you lovely readers can get to know what I’m all about, and at the same […]

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The Time She Asked Me That Question In Front of The Whole World.

September 30, 2013

Once upon a time, I signed my 7-year-old up for dance at the local studio. Her dance class has a small Christmas recital in December (where all of the younger dancers perform at the studio’s adjacent theater) and a larger presentation in Spring. The Spring recital is a very huge deal because all of the […]

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