Category Archives: Show & Tell


dad-ism(2008) — Does anyone else have a Dad who says the same things over and over?

I do. So about 20 years ago for my Dad’s birthday, my sisters and I put together an ENTIRE BOOK of his repeatisms. I will spare you the insider ones such as “I always carry a garlic shaker” and leave you with some of the true gems, the ones that turned out to be helpful in life rather than just annoying in the moment.

And ones that will possibly show up in my own book of Mom-isms one day.

dad and three girls

  • Sometimes you COUNT the votes and sometimes you WEIGH them.
  • You are blessed with parents who care.
  • Everyone is NOT doing it because YOU are not!
  • Who said the world is fair?
  • Treat people when you don’t need them the way you wish you’d treated them when you do need them (this one actually got me a job once).
  • Leave things better than you find them.
  • Come in when the streetlights are on!
  • Elbow your way in (meaning: get in there and do the dishes!).
  • Draw a wider circle (meaning: don’t find reasons to exclude yourself).
  • I’m glad I had daughters because they are so genteel (usually said after a burping contest — or worse).
  • 90% of the world’s work is done by people who don’t feel very good (we were not allowed to slack much).
  • Drive like everyone else is out to get you.
  • Here’s a book I want you to read.
  • Starting is half done.
  • Everything in moderation, including moderation.
  • Put the short things on the short shelf and the tall things on the tall shelf (he actually said this to me last week when looking in my fridge for tonic).

My Dad has always been a consummate teacher (although not by profession) teaching ordinary people about his main passions, freedom, personal power, and economics.

We kid him a lot, but my sisters and I hold immense respect and love for our Dad. It’s amazing to us that this man who grew up without a father had it in him to become a great one anyhow.

XOXO, Dad. Thanks for loving us so well.

Now I’m going to obsess and compulse over the height of things in my refrigerator.


I must make an addendum to last week’s Show & Tell photo.

I was reminded that besides the boots and the pipe, I was outfitted in a red velvet dress that my mom sewed. Not only sewed, but also embroidered and crocheted or one of those arts that was completely lost on me. The bib was made of organza into which she needled my name.

So amidst the charge of rotten-ness I leveled at them, I must also acknowledge the love they have always showered on me.

XOXO to you, too, Mom.

Show & Tell: My Friend Captures My Family

Not long ago, I posted about my real-life friend, Mary Beth, and her burgeoning talent in photography.

I asked her via that post if she would take our annual portraits, which have always been tortuous days of cowlicks, ketchup stains, ill-timed grumpiness, and asynchronous smiles.

Graciously, Mary Beth didn’t even make me say “pretty please.” Instead, she invited us to her Secret Beautiful Place and gave a Sunday afternoon to us. Here’s a sample of what she captured. (I’ve chosen fairly anonymous shots, due to an agreement I have with my husband about the limits of my blogging.)

Tessa had just had her birthday mani-pedi.

The Casual Perfectionist has turned me on to shadow pix.
At the right time of day, they make you look 10 pounds lighter!
Reed had a minor cactus mishap. He’s picking needles out of his socks.
Me and my Tessa.
Toot, toot, tootsies, goodbye.

If you thought these were impressive, you should see the shots with faces. MB is a lady of immeasurable talent. I’m so glad that this year we broke the bonds of chain store portraits and entrusted our moment in time with her.