The Little Things

If you live with family, or a roommate, how often do you acknowledge the little things that they do for you?

How often do they acknowledge what you do for them?

Replacing the toilet paper…buying the toilet paper…wiping down the toilet…

Do you do these tasks? Do you help with these tasks? Does someone else do these tasks? Do you expect someone else to do these tasks?

We ran out of toilet paper last week.

Normally, I am the person who replaces the paper on the holder. Usually they just grab a tissue. At least, I hope that they grab a tissue…but rarely does someone take off the used brown cylinder and replace it with a fresh gleaming roll…

And this is how I know that we are running out of paper…because I put the roll on and I count how many rolls there are left.

Early in pandemic, I would buy toilet paper when I saw it. I would pick up my one rationed pack and tote it home because we really didn’t know if we would see toilet paper again. I’m surprised some enterprising company didn’t rename their paper “Unicorn” because sightings were rare, and we would text each other if we say it…

“Morton Williams. Now. The good Charmin in four packs…”

But I digress…thinking about the good old days and how we had to forage for a square…

Back to my bathroom…

The other day, a miracle happened. Someone in my house replaced the toilet paper.


Alas, the person who took that last roll out of the plastic covering failed to make the connection that throwing the package away meant that there was nothing left. Not a square to spare…

And neither alerted me to the lack of tp, nor bought a roll on their own.

Toilet paper

toilet paper

toilet paper

Nope. Not like Beetlejuice. You don’t say it three times and have it appear.

You have to actually go to the store and buy it…

Who knew?

Well, you know who knew? The person that always does these things…

So if someone in your life does the little things that make your world go a little more smoothly, give them a little nod every now and then. Be appreciative of the little things that they do. Maybe buy them a present.

Or maybe just check on the toilet paper situation, so that the person who does so much for you doesn’t go into the bathroom and say “Oh crap” for the wrong reason…

Put the Fun is Dysfunction

My sister and niece were in from Seattle last week. They stayed with my parents. Apparently our parents were, let’s just say obsessing about something, so my sister sent me a text:

Was our family always this dysfunctional?

Of course the answer is yes and no. My parents have gotten more set in their ways as time has gone on. But, there was always lots of crazy going on in the house.

Whenever I’ve written about my family I get a variety of responses from readers.

  1. I shouldn’t talk badly about my parents
  2. I should get over my past
  3. I shouldn’t expect my parents to apologize
  4. What would I say if my daughter said things like that about me

Which leads me to my conclusions:

  1. those who have had a relatively functional childhood can’t understand those who didn’t
  2. just because someone turned out relatively OK doesn’t mean they don’t have demons
  3. Sometimes the person who never speaks ill of their childhood is far worse off than those who complain because they are pushing their feelings aside
  4. if your child tells you how your actions affected them, you should listen with an open mind

I think that people should learn to move on from the mistakes of their parents. I firmly believe at some point you have to stop blaming your parents for your failures.


It doesn’t mean that parents are blameless.

The actions of parents do affect the person you were, the person you are, and the person you will become. Your background matters.

I know that I have made some mistakes with my life because I was trying to get my parents approval. I tried to do the things they wanted me to do instead of what I wanted to do. Bottom line: This made me a very unhappy person.

In order to become a more content, more stable person, I needed to admit to myself that my parents were wrong about a lot of things. They made mistakes.

This does not mean I love them less. I just accepted that they are human and flawed. They thought life should be lived a certain way- they weren’t trying to hurt me. They were doing the best that they could.

But this doesn’t mean I won’t talk about what they did, especially to them. I don’t need an apology when I talk to them. I would like them to listen with an open mind. Listen to my point of view. I don’t expect them to like the criticism. I do expect them to love me enough to hear my out. I hope that they love me enough to listen.

Is there anything worse than someone you love not listening to you?

Lack of communication is one of the largest problems we face as humans.

If your kids are talking to you, you need to listen.

Which leads me to the next point:

What if my daughter said the same things to me.

First off: I know I have made parenting mistakes. I’ve probably made more mistakes than done things right. My daughter will tell me if I’m doing something that hurts her. I admit, it hurts to have your child be truthful with you about your parenting.

It really hurts.

Sometimes I want to cover my ears and not listen.

But I realize that if I am to have an adult child/parent relationship with her, I need to listen. I need to hear her out. I need to acknowledge that I have, at times, been a lousy parent. I need her to get things out so that we can move on to a better relationship. I want to have a good relationship with my daughter as time goes on. We can only have that relationship if we communicate.

We do need to accept our pasts and move on. But we also need to acknowledge the feelings that come along with it.

Highlights of the Week That Was

This movie has been restored recently, and as I love movies. Did want to say May the force be with you about a thousand times though…fun film that I’d never seen before
sleepy Betty

Gratitude Saturday April 17

Have you all noticed the new WordPress thing, the one where other posts by the blogger show up at the bottom of the screen, as well as posts along similar subject area? Tater and I were talking about this the other day, as he posted about it. I was telling him that one of my posts, the one about whether or not reading was better than other pursuits, was getting a lot of hits (well, lots of hits for me) I told him that last week I gained like a hundred new readers (again- abnormal for me). So I wondered what my blog about reading had linked up to.

A few days later, tater contacted me. He told me that my post about reading was at the top of the Discover page. That’s when the lightbulb went off. My post was at the top of the page designed to highlight a post or blogger and introduce them to others.


Now the hits and the new readers totally made sense.

So I am grateful that my post was at the top of the page for a bit of time and I found some new readers and exposed my ideas to more people.


You knew there was going to be some sort of angst along with this, didn’t you?

The past ten months, I have not been really writing blogs. I have been asking questions to get the conversation started. I thought we needed something to focus on that wasn’t necessarily what was featured on the news that day. I wanted us to come together and discuss ideas. This didn’t start out as my goal, but it seemed to work. People were joining the discussion. There was a roundtable of sorts where people presented their thoughts and reflections and I know I certainly learned a lot of things, and thought about things in different ways.

This has been fun. I’ve enjoyed posing these questions.


This does not mean that these have been the best blogs that I’ve ever written. Far from it. These have been pieces that have gotten me through all the challenges that we have faced throughout the past year.

So, the piece that was at the top of the charts so to speak…The reading post was like a bubblegum pop song that makes it to the top of the charts. It was cute, it sparked reaction, but it was by no means representative of what I have done or could do as a writer.

I have so many blogs that I am proud of, so I am a little sad that one of those did not get the same recognition as this one did.

Part of me wants to scream to the new readers-

“This is not the best of me- let me show you the posts I think are good. Let me show you the posts that made me cry as I wrote them. Let me show you the posts that I still laugh about. Let me show you the posts that made me who I am…

See how something “good” can be a blessing and a curse?

My guess is, knowing myself, I am going to try to up my blogging game. I am going to try to write the Great American Post. I am probably going to check my blog for error and spell check…I’m going to try to appear smarter or better or just more…

But at this moment in time….

I am grateful for having a little bit of the spotlight..

I am grateful for 4000+ followers

I am grateful that I want to open up my computer and blog everyday

I am grateful that there is no blogging award acceptance speech…could you imagine what a train wreck that would be?

Anything Can Happen Friday: Safety

This week, the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority-New York City) posted a result of a recent survey. New Yorkers are more afraid of crime in the subway than they are of COVID in the subway.

The mayor is not happy about this.

He wants people to think they are safe. Safe from crime. Safe from COVID. Safe from whatever.

What do we mean when we think of the word safe?

For arguments sake, let’s say that 100% of the people want to be safe. It’s something that we all want to a certain degree.

But do you think every person has the exact same definition of what safe means?

Some might thing having money in the bank means safe. Some may think having a good education means they are safe. We could go on and on with all the things that people say bring them a feeling of safety. But let’s just say that there are lots of ways that individuals think convey safe.

Some people think that a vaccine will make them safe.

Some people do not think the vaccine will make them safe.

Do the people in either of these groups have the right to tell the other group that they are wrong?

Do either of these groups have the right to make the other group feel guilty?

Now let’s touch on what we talked about last week: needing to show proof of vaccine.

Some people feel safe when every ID is checked to ensure that someone has been vaccinated or tested.

Some people don’t feel safe when confronted with someone wanting them to prove something.

Do either of these groups have the right to tell the other group that they are wrong?

Do either of these groups have the right to make the other group feel guilty?

Think of the things that make you personally feel safe. Now think if these very same things make someone else feel unsafe. Put yourself in the shoes of a person not like you.

Who is right?

Who is wrong?

What is safe?

Are You Happy?

Everyone you meet always asks if you have a career, are married, or own a house, as if life was some kind of grocery list. But no one ever asks you if you are happy

Heath Ledger

We’ve gone down the whole happiness route before. But I saw this quote and I thought it was interesting, especially considering how Ledger’s life ended.

Let’s break this down a little.

When you first meet someone, what are the things that you want to know about them? How do you know if you want to be friends with someone? How do you know if it’s someone you want to avoid?

My daughter is in the process of figuring out who her roommates will be for next year. One person was easy, but now they are trying to find two others so that they can try to get one of the cool, Junior apartments. I’m betting they’re asked about majors, clubs and hometowns. They’ve probably talked about sleep habits and smoking. But I doubt they’re branched out into asking each other if they are happy.

Do we assume that those around us are happy?

A few months ago a neighbor of mine put a picture on Facebook on their grandchildren. I thought one of the kids looked, I don’t know, closed off? Arms crossed, not engaged with the siblings and cousins, far off look. I wondered if this kid was happy. It was odd for me, because I normally don’t think about whether or not people are happy. But there was something about this kid…the look…

Not long after the kid did suffer an episode that could be considered a mental breakdown.

While we all appear to be striving for happy, do we know what happy looks like? Do we know what unhappy looks like?

Are we more likely to realize that a stranger is unhappy as opposed to someone in our own family?

Do we really care if those around us are happy?

Do you ever ask someone if they are happy?

Or are you afraid to find out the answer is anything other than yes?

Of course, we could ask if happy is really the goal, or if content will suffice…

We could also ask if happy is conditional, a feeling that comes and goes as the day progresses…or is happy just a state of mind?


For write my blog Thursday….pick a question and ponder…



I have been kinda/sorta doing an instagram photo challenge.

I have some problems with it.

  1. some people use pictures that other people took (like ads) in order to describe the scene. I think that’s kind of like cheating
  2. Some people take pictures of words to describe the prompt- I’m iffy about this one. While a word does tell you the prompt, it’s kind if boring

The we come along my greatest problem with insta challenges:

I am not good at staging scenes.

In fact, I am horrible at staging scenes.

And I am just not creative or clever when it comes to photos.

It’s odd that I scheduled this post for this week. On Sunday I had a crisis of faith regarding my insta phot challenge. The prompt was “swing”.

How do you portray “swing”?

Of course, as I am blazingly literal, I thought about an actual swing at the park.

And I also realized that I could not go to the park and take a picture of the children’s playground. On one level that’s just weird. And on the other level it could get me beat up or arrested.

And then I didn’t know what to do. I did not feel like getting up before the park opened to take a picture…

Then I got lazy.

I didn’t do any of the prompts this week.

Yesterday as I sat in Barnes and Noble and enjoyed by iced tea, I looked at the prompt list. One of them was “mood”. I saw a mural of Oscar Wilde looking quite moody so I snapped it. But I was 100% phoning it in.

Another prompt was “picture”, so I glanced through my camera role and saw a picture of a picture I saw at the Whitney the other day. So I shared that one.




Here are my missing prompts:


a beautiful sight



water drops


Admittedly, some of these are easy, but it’s still hard for me to think about the picture that I want to get…

I know I can take a picture of a vehicle, but how do I make it fun? How do I make it stand out? How do I make it good?

How do I express these ideas clearly without resorting to words, or worse, having to make sure the description is clear enough to show my intention without explanation?

And it all comes down to creativity and set up.

Can you get more creative with photography? Is it a learned skill? If I keep practicing will I get better? Or will I always be blatantly average at it?

Same questions for staging. Some people are genius at it. Others, like me, are not…

I wonder if I’m just too impatient. Do I look at a word and expect some brilliant thought to shoot out of my head thus making it easy? Does some part of me think, well, you just take a picture of something…duh…

I think I’m going to start by doing the prompts a day before they are due. If I give myself a day to think about it, instead of rushing to take the picture and post it, maybe the creativity will start to take space.


But for now, I think I’ll make sure I take the donut picture today, you know, because, donuts…

And I’ll think about how I can creatively portray the others…


I am a fan of self help/live a better life books. I always garner a little wisdom from them, plus they always motivate me to be a little better person. After a year like we’ve had, I need a little self love.

One of the books I read recently was “The Lemonade Life How to Fuel Success, Create Happiness and Conquer Anything”- Zack Friedman.

This is a bit of a rah rah, yay you sort of book. Find out the distractions and live your best life yay team….

I like those kind of books…and if you like this kind of books, this is worth a look.

But anyway…

Here’s one takeaway I got from the book:

Friedman states that “noise” is a thief who steals focus and prevents you from achieving your vision and realizing your goals. (Chapter 9)

So what are your “noises”? What are the things that suck the creativity from you?

Here are some of mine:

  1. Husband working out of the living room- seriously- I can’t think, let alone do anything that causes actual noise (I was unable to have a phone conversation with a friend yesterday because my husband was in meetings all day and there is no place left for me to talk except the bathroom…which I just can’t do…
  2. I manage to find a game every month that does suck away at my time- I get really into it and I become hyper focused on it to the point where I have to set up time windows
  3. writing truth in my work that no one will say could ever happen- when you put yourself on a page, and thinking/knowing that people are judging and doubting
  4. communication with my Mom- she just argues about everything…


What are your noises? What are the things that distract you from achieving your dreams?

What do you do to get through the things that block you?

How do you reach your goals?


The Headline that Made me Switch my Blog Schedule


This is the headline that flashed across my phone news scroll the other day.

First off- I had to double check the date to make sure it wasn’t an April Fool’s Joke.

Secondly, I checked the date to see if it was an April Fool’s Joke…

And I fully note that the papers were filed on April 1…


Is there a chance that this is for real?

And then I scanned the article…

The person filing says that it is a matter of “individual autonomy”.

Ok- I was originally going to joke about this, say something like, well at least I know that my Mother in Law is in Florida, but really…

I can’t even…

If this is true, if this is actually a good law suit…

Am I wrong to think that this is nuts?

Or is there someone out there who is going to defend this saying that as I’ve never been in this situation I can’t put myself in their shoes? That I don’t understand what it’s like to be them?

Now…if you agree with this being an OK thing to file…I will listen to your argument…

But please…


But I will say, this would be one heck of an April Fool’s Joke

Highlights of the Week That Was April 11

Chocolate Cream Pie from Petee’s Pies