Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Voice from the Bed

My mother was sick recently. Like really sick. Hospitalized sick.

First there was my mom at 80 - spry, the mall walking, seniorcizing ball of energy. Then there was her auto accident a little over a year ago and things changed. Suddenly there was my mom, her couch, her TV remote and her phones lined up in front of her. A smaller life and an older mom where suddenly taking a walk meant walking to the kitchen.

So she got sick like that, just sitting on the couch with not even a breeze blowing by and it was the usual mayhem in the hospital - seven sisters showing up here and there, and grandchildren and husbands and the nurses wondering exactly how many offspring one woman could have anyway?

I knew I had to leave for Chicago right before she was getting out since I was appearing at a Jewish United Fund event for my book but how was I supposed to leave her that way?

I was pondering that, sitting in the hospital room, the oxygen machine hissing away, watching the IV drip, when I suddenly heard my mom's voice from the bed.

"What are you wearing for the presentation? You bought something new?"

Like swimming out of the murky depths of old age, my mother suddenly reappeared before me, as evidenced by her lifelong obsession with the buying of clothes. I breathed a sigh of relief. Nothing could convince me my mother was on the mend more than her quizzing me about clothes.

(that's me in the center at JUF event)

"I have a great outfit, Ma. A brown sweater dress, Clark boot shoes, brown tights and a jacket."

She looks at me askance. She's unhappy, but not exactly with my outfit. She's unhappy that I've taken care of it already and out of my own closet without going shopping. Going shopping in my closet doesn't count. With my mother every event must be shopped for anew even if you have the clothes already. Then she moves on to a different event.

"What about for Joan Rivers?" Somehow, she can't remember how to boil an egg but she remembers my itinerary in Chicago with a mind like a steel trap.

"Gray dress, black jacket, black boots and tights."  
She nods but I can tell that she's a little let down. She really wanted to plot out a shopping trip, a meandering path of me traipsing from store to store to store searching for the perfect outfit. Or, based on her history as a lifelong seamstress, her sewing it for me.

When I see that she's about to question me about all the other clothes I'll be wearing and, more importantly, whether I'll be dressed warm enough, I take over and I become the mother again.

When I return from Chicago, she's out of the hospital but back on the couch, the oxygen hissing next to her. But there's still part of her there. I visit her the morning after we return, sit down next to her on that couch. She says, "How'd the outfit go?"

Is there any one topic that your parent(s) love talking about or that you know when they bring it up that they're on the mend? Any aging parent issues?

Linda Pressman
Author of Looking Up: A Memoir of Sisters, Survivors and Skokie

Sunday, December 4, 2011

My Mother's Closet (a Faceshuk post)

Daughter is now twelve. This means a few things. Like she's sprouted up to over 5'3. (Though, somehow, she still only weighs 89 pounds...) It also means adolescence - female adolescence - has set in causing her to fight with me each day like I fought with my mother before me.

But it also means this: her clothes doesn't fit anymore or they're too babyish, or not cool enough, or any of a thousand other reasons she can no longer wear them. She stomps into my bathroom while I'm getting ready each morning, says she needs to go shopping, and then goes shopping. Right then. In my closet.

On the one hand I know I should be pretty grateful she wants to go in there. I am 39 years older than her, after all. Also, I'm glad that we actually fit in some of the same clothes especially since I don't weigh anywhere near 89 pounds. But what's the chance of me having anything hip enough for her?

Turns out that the clothes that are now too young for me are just the right age for her. The clothes I monitor carefully, aware that there's a thin line between dressing well and looking like I'm longing for the 1970s and my own teen years. The stuff that doesn't make the cut gets trotted out for the tween.

This wasn't something I could do when I was a kid in Skokie. First of all, even if our mother's clothes had been attractive to us, I had five older sisters who would have gotten there first. Second, her clothes were never going to appeal to us. I was 12 in 1972, for goodness sakes. I wanted - needed - hippyish clothes, maybe a leather bandanna for my forehead, a halter top, bell bottom baggy jeans, maybe a fringed vest.

My mother's closet was not the place to find these items. The most noticeable thing upon opening its door was the smell of mothballs. Then there were the brocade dresses, the handmade suits, the torturous pumps, the foundation garments. My mother's clothes could actually stand up and walk around by themselves, they were that stiff, they didn't need a human body in them. For a free-wheeling 12-year-old who didn't want to dress like Jackie Onassis, that wasn't the look I was going for.

But here in Scottsdale, in 2011, with a mom who writes at home and has her professional clothes gathered neatly in one side of the closet, it's a windfall for the kid. She looks around at the clothes I think would be perfect for her, rejects them all, steals my favorite top off its hanger and sneaks off before I completely notice what she's doing.

As I'm exiting the bathroom I notice another thing: Bar Mitzvahzilla coming in half-dressed, insisting he also has no clothes to wear. The last thing I see is him heading off to his own shopping spree - in Husband's closet.

Did you ever "shop" in your mom's or sister's closets? Can you? Does your daughter "shop" in yours?

Thanks for reading!
Linda Pressman, author of Looking Up: A Memoir of Sisters, Survivors and Skokie
Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Indiebound, in many local libraries, and at Changing Hands in Tempe.
(The "Faceshuk" in the title and this code: 3daa678fe7c57f042a0645dfc6668578 are intended to establish my blog ownership on the Faceshuk site. Check it out!)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Animals Past and Present

I'm sitting at my desk, working diligently, when two furry animals suddenly decide to stand on top of my work area, blocking out my screen.

Oh yeah. They're my cats. Our bright idea of about six months ago: adopting sister kittens.

We thought that our kids should have pets before they completely grew up; that it would help them stop being self-centered and care about something smaller than themselves. In that we were right. What I didn't expect was that with their silent, mysterious presence and their baleful glares when their food bowl is empty, how much I have to stand around staring at the cats, trying to read their minds, asking them to lead me to whatever is wrong, like Rin Tin Tin or Lassie.

I finally realize what this all reminds me of. It reminds me of the worst days of being single; in particle, of what it was like being in a relationship with the very Bad Boyfriend I once had.

Like him, the cats don't talk much. I have to sit around trying to guess what they want, what mood they're in, try to read their minds. I never know if they like me so I wait for a little bit of parcelled out affection but end up wounded each time they run from me. They use me for food and shelter. As a matter of fact, I don't remember them ever paying for anything. And sometimes they spend the night cuddled with me and sometimes I just don't know where they are.

Basically, they're using me.

One big difference? Unlike the Bad Boyfriend, who I had delusions of marrying, I actually am married to these cats.

Ever notice human traits in your animal friends? Even bad ones? Cat lover or dog lover?
I've had difficulties commenting on my own blog and other blogspot blogs for months, as well as other technical difficulties. Bear with me; it appears to be better now!
Linda Pressman author of Looking Up: A Memoir of Sisters, Survivors and Skokie
Top Rated on Amazon and available there, on, local libraries and other retailers. See the tab above to read an excerpt!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Jet Lagged

First there was just the fact that I needed to write a blog post. After all, I had a lot to write about. It was summer in Arizona. That's always seemed to lend itself to a lot of whining.

But then, when mulling over vacation spots, I somehow convinced Husband to run wild and free and farther than he'd ever gone before. We suddenly booked four flights to Israel. With two weeks notice.

I could still have written a blog post, but then again, we only had flights booked. We had no place to stay. Can I even try to count how many nights I sat in my office instead of working, with one web browser up with a Google map of Tel Aviv, another of Jerusalem and yet another with Vacation Rentals in Israel?

There were the flights: seventeen hours there and eighteen hours back. There was the jet lag, a day on the way there and a week long after we got back. There was the crazy, mixed-up, beautiful insanity of being in Israel, of going on tours with our guide driving around hairpin turns with a Jewish Bible in one hand and the steering wheel in the other. There was my broken hair straightener, which led to me being assumed for Israeli everywhere we went, with my gigantic head of something almost resembling hair. There was the moment the four of us were crammed into a minuscule grocery store, frantically trying to buy food for the Sabbath, and staring at the all Hebrew packaging around us. We had no idea what anything was. There was standing at the Western Wall, with women all scrambling for a spot to talk to God, standing there crying, one next to another.

And just when I was figuring things out, just when the money wasn't looking like play money to me any longer and I could actually figure out what the change was in my wallet, just when the sounds around me started to sound familiar - like language - we left.

How was your summer vacation? Have you ever been on a vacation and left a piece of yourself there?
This week Kristen over at Motherese has posted a book review of Looking Up: A Memoir of Sisters, Survivors and Skokie and will post an interview with me tomorrow. She is also giving away a copy of the book, the winner will be drawn from those who leave comments. Please head over there!


Monday, July 4, 2011

The Difference Between Boys and Girls, Part I

I'm dashing off to my exercise class, leaving the almost 16-year-old watching the almost 12-year-old. They know the rules: on this particular day of the week they have to do three chores each. These chores are pretty well established and, considering how sloppily the kids do them, easily done. Stainless steel, toilets, vacuuming, mirrors, countertops.

As I run out I say to Daughter, "No TV or computer until you do your three chores!" There's no reply, which, in retrospect, seems ominous. But I do hear a final click of her hands on the keyboard.

I finish my exercise class, get in my car and call home. Daughter answers. I ask, "What chores did you do?" I'm genuinely curious. I'm optimistic, upbeat, expecting a list in response. Maybe a list of the easiest stuff she could do, but a list nonetheless.

She says, "I didn't watch TV or go on the computer."


"So I didn't do any chores."

I take a deep breath, not wanting to scare anyone in the parking lot I'm in by yelling loudly. I ask her to put Bar Mitzvahzilla on the phone. Although by now I'm expecting the worst, I ask him the same question, "What chores did you do?"

"Stainless steel, toilets and vacuuming. Can I go? I'm watching TV?"

Ah, the differnce between boys and girls. Part I.

Ever had this sneaky over-interpretation of your instructions happen with your kids? Ever wish you had just a little more time to lay out exactly what you want them to do ahead of time, with all the possible caveats so that there are no loopholes?

Linda Pressman,
Author of Looking Up: A Memoir of Sisters, Survivors and Skokie, now on Amazon, Barnes and, Books-a-Million, Powells, at Changing Hands, on Kindle and in libraries.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Paper Jam

Here's the scene: it's my bedroom. The bed, to be exact. Nicely made, every thing looking normal, except there's a very large and disorderly pile of papers on the bed. Very, very large.

Suddenly the pile of paper moves. It breathes. It coughs. A voice can be heard from inside the pile of papers - my voice - exclaiming at the volume of paper, the quantity of paper, the sheer duplicative quantity of paper.

Of course - it's the camp paperwork and I've gotten buried beneath it.

My kids have gone to the same summer day camp almost every summer for the last six or seven years. The first year the amount of paperwork was a terrible surprise. I paid the camp fees, filled out a nice little two-sided sheet with our family information and a credit card number and, with a smile on my face, prepared to walk away. Suddenly I was handed a brick of paperwork and told to complete the forms contained in it for each child and then registration would be complete.

There's the normal stuff in there, like the contact sheet with phone numbers, and then there's stuff like the "Get to know your camper" sheet where I have to tell them about my children's psychological foibles to maybe smooth their way through their weeks there. Husband and I have had no small amount of fun over the years imagining what we'd really like to write under "Child's Three Favorite Activities" as opposed to what we actually write there. Not to mention the "Three characteristics that best describe your child." There's the challah order form, the lunch order form, the aftercare form - which needs to be filled out whether we use aftercare or not - and the friend request form. Then there's the one form I have to fill out twice: the medical/immunization form.

I've come to realize this form is created only to torture me since I must obtain my children's immunization records and then transpose those records onto the form. Each year I peer quizzically at the immunization form from the doctor's office, where they've abbreviated certain shots under one name, and tried to match them up to the form, where they've abbreviated them another.

As the years have gone by, my dread of doing this paperwork has sometimes become a deciding factor in whether my kids will go to camp, kind of like the "Sponge-worthy" Seinfeld episode. Is it paperwork-worthy? Is one week of camp worth it to fill out the paperwork? A resounding no. Two weeks? Three?

I jump back in the pile, pick up my pen with my claw-like hand, and finish the task.

Are your kids in summer camp? How voluminous are the enrollment forms? Every get overwhelmed and discouraged by paperwork?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Blame it on the Blemishes

I have an important motto I've made up myself that is related particularly to the raising of children. At least I think I've made it up.

It didn't occur to me quite away because, frankly it wasn't needed. It occurred to me when Bar Mitzvahzilla went from being a smooth-faced twelve-year-old several years ago, into a raging, hormonal thirteen-year-old. And then the pimples came.

It was a normal night. The kids were up too late. The husband causing a ruckus in the house because those same kids had managed to mess up the house in the most minute ways; ways that seemed intended to drive us to the brink of insanity. I was hiding in my office, trying to get some writing done and wondering - lamenting - why my office didn't have a door. Oh yeah, I know. Because it's the living room.

Then Bar Mitzvahzilla marched in for a goodnight kiss. No knocking because, of course, there was no door.  He presented a face full of pimples for me to kiss. And I, of course, kissed the pimples.

It's not like I spent my life purposely kissing pimples. The common wisdom when I was heading into high school was that you could catch these things if you made out with a boy who had them. Since I already had enough of them to send makeup counter ladies running in horror from their stations in the mall, I wasn't going to purposely rub faces with someone who had worse pimples than me. There was also all the other stuff we believed about our skin right then: chocolate causes pimples. Rubbing alcohol will cure pimples (topically, not as a drink...). Use a blackhead popper on your pimples (hello, scarring!). We even believed that one day soon we'd grow out of them.

And, just like my nascent belief, as a teenager, in the fact that a ten-pound weight loss could change my life, I also believed that if I strategized just right, I could declare war on the pimples, and fix my social life.

I don't think Bar Mitzvahzilla was philosophizing quite as much as I had, as an adolescent girl. But he did march into my office for a kiss. So here's my motto, reiterated in case you missed it, used in the fullness of loving parenthood: Kiss the Pimples. And then get that kid to a dermatologist.

Any horrible acne stories from your youth? Archaic beliefs or practices? Any experience with this situation? Anyone else spend a lot of time in the dermatologist's office and not for Botox and Juvederm?

Linda Pressman, Author of Looking Up: A Memoir of Sisters, Survivors and Skokie
available on Amazon, Kindle, Barnes and, libraries and other retailers

Sunday, June 5, 2011

To Sleep or Not To Sleep

One thing about giving birth to Bar Mitzvahzilla - besides him being born a pound and a half, besides the whole prematurity thing, besides the coming home with an apnea monitor and an oxygen tank - he was never one of those kids who would fall asleep in the car.

We had to go a lot of places when he first came home from the hospital. Four times a week back to the pediatrician to monitor his weight gain and recovery from recent hernia surgery; a cardiac surgeon; an ophthalmologist; other specialists. And they were all very far from my house, like near the hospital where Bar Mitzvahzilla had been born. Could he have fallen asleep one time?

Instead I'd be driving along the interminable mountain passes of Phoenix on a thirty-minute ride downtown with a squalling by then four-pound baby sunk into a rear-facing car seat facing away from me in my car. Do you know how this drove me nuts? Can you imagine how many times I had to stop to make sure he wasn't strangling on something in the sunken tunnel of his car seat? Because he couldn't really fill the thing up.

Now Bar Mitzvahzilla is nearly sixteen. A big clunk, really, and thank goodness for it considering his beginning. I pick him up at school and he is irritable. Everyday. I guess he doesn't remember those heartbreaking scenes from next to his incubator. Finally, we descend into silence after he realizes that, whether he likes it or not, one particular day I'm bringing him to our store to work. Then it gets too quiet. He's sleeping.

A kid who could never even close his eyes as a tiny newborn now finds that the motion of the car lulls him tranquilly to sleep, in bright daylight and at nearly sixteen-years-old.

I shake my head at the contradictions of parenthood, happy for the silence from my teenager, wondering if every time he fights with me I could just somehow trick him into the car and make him falls asleep. Then I drive on, towards our store.

Did you have a kid who fell asleep in cars or stayed alarmingly awake? Any annoying sleep tales of teenagers?

Author of Looking Up: A Memoir of Sisters, Survivors and Skokie
Available on Amazon, Kindle, B&N, and other retailers

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Daughter vs. the Wall

Lately Daughter's been on a cleaning spree. Not of our kitchen island, on which she has scattered arts and crafts supplies and anything and everything she could dump on there. Not of our family room where she has snuck plates, wrappers, cups, and cans, treating "her chair" in the middle of the room like it's her private garbage can, while not having anything actually make it into a garbage can.

Instead, she's suddenly started cleaning out her room. First she had an idea, which she presented to me and Husband in compelling detail: her room is too small and we need to take the wall down between it and the room next door. She had some drawings handy for how this would be accomplished, had chosen paint colors, and had a white board showing the eventual placement of her futon (she doesn't actually have a futon) and her walk-in closet (ditto). Every morning during my recent illness, the first thing I saw when I cracked my eyes open was Daughter standing at the foot of my bed with her white board and easel, ready to provide me with a detailed presentation on the subject. And, by any chance, do I happen to have the blueprints for our house laying about? 

Husband expressed some doubt that she could actually keep a space twice as large clean. "Let's see you clean up the room you've got and then we'll talk about it," he said.

His statement, I'm sure, is what triggered the cleaning frenzy.

This is how our lives were before: once a year or so, Daughter would lure me into her room on some pretense, I'm not sure what, and I'd find myself still sitting there about two days later sorting through junk, Daughter by my side and two gigantic bags nearby - one for giveaway and one for garbage. We'd slowly move through the room until it was clean, or at least vacuumable.

But Daughter, in her present cleaning frenzy, is handling things differently. She is slowly divesting herself of everything in the room, till now it resembles a prison cell or nun's chamber. Basically, there's a bed in there.  She's emptied out her dresser, one whole side of her closet, packed away some chairs she once loved, and has told me she doesn't need her bookshelves anymore. Or books.

I'm unsure of what's exactly going on here. Is she moving out? Because she's only eleven. I'm all for the kids moving out but I had kind of thought they'd wait till they got through middle school.

Husband thinks he can hold her off, keep setting new and more miserable cleaning tasks for her, trying to avoid the home renovation issue, the big daughter/small room issue. But I know what's going to happen. With Daughter's indomitable will, once she's done with her emptying, she'll take down that wall herself.

Do you ever recognize a will stronger than your own in your child or children? Messy kids? Determined kids?

Monday, May 16, 2011

From the Sick Bed

Okay, so I'll admit it, I've been sick. Like really sick. Right when I'm supposed to be full of energy, launching my newly published book into the stratosphere, promoting it, signing it, mailing it off to editors and columnists, what am I doing? I'm laying in a heap on my bed, my eyes replaced by Xs, like a cartoon.

And what's worse is that I have a mysterious type of ailment. Part asthma. Part exhaustion. Part massive  throbbing headache. Could it be the years upon years that I've spent staying up till two in the morning writing the darn book? Could it be all the years of getting four to five hours of sleep per night, all catching up with me at once?

Gone are the days of me waking up like a robot, showing up at my exercise class, magically appearing everywhere I'm supposed to be. Now I'm lucky if I can lift my head from my pillow. I crawl out of the house just in time to pick up Bar Mitzvahzilla from high school at 2:20 each day and then I creak over to Daughter's school to get her at 3:15. And that's the total of my big daily activity. I walk back in the house and fall back on my bed exhausted. I can feel my muscles atrophying.

Yet, somehow, when Husband hauled me off to the ER, I wasn't sick enough for them. They triaged me right to the bottom of the list, making me wait six hours and talking to me about the "impression of not being able to breath." Although with all the tests they did I guess I know it's not fatal.

You know you're really sick when, instead of the daughter taking care of the elderly mother - like I normally do - the eighty-year-old mother has to call me ten times a day worried sick about whether I'm dying. Today she even had my nearly deaf eighty-six-year-old stepfather call. I could hear her yelling at him in the background as he fumbled with the phone, "WHAT BOB? YOU CAN'T ASK HER HOW SHE IS?"

And, because of the hearing thing, because of the eighty-six-year-old thing, when he asked how I was, it was just simpler to say, "Fine, I'm fine."

And maybe I will be. Tomorrow.

Ever had illness get in the way of your plans? Ever had to become the patient when you've been the caretaker?

My book is available now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and on Kindle!

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Un-Mother's Day

I didn't really get anything for Mother's Day. Even I had to confess that I didn't deserve anything.

It wasn't because I'm not a good mom. I'm a good mom. When you take the Exemplary Mom days and the Pathetic Mom days and average them out, I think I come out a solid, average Good.

But here's why I didn't insist on a monetary gift. In our family we have a bunch of our own personal "holidays" that come up in rapid succession early in the year - Husband's birthday in January, our anniversary in February, my birthday in March. If you wiggle that around a little (and, compulsive shopper that I am, I do wiggle it around a little) I manage to loop Chanukah in from December, Valentine's Day in February, and spread it out into Mother's Day in May, which has the affect of leaving Husband not knowing if he's coming or going. It's a nonstop spoiled wife festival, to the point where I practically have him buying me a present for his birthday in January and wondering if perhaps we should start celebrating April Fool's Day, with him the fool.

So this year I let him off the hook for Mother's Day. We celebrated with the one mother we have between us, mine. A present for her.

I'll make do with the one I got for Ground Hog Day. 

Do you get spontaneous gifts from your partner or do you feel like you need to hypermanage this issue? Are you a great, spontaneous gift-buyer?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Kitchen Dysmorphia

This week, having a little more time on my hands since my book got published, I returned to my kitchen.

Not that I haven't been in there at all during the months I was editing the manuscript. I was in and out. When procrastinating my work, I'd grab something to eat in front of my TV, watching the stupidest shows I could find (Hoarders and Say Yes to the Dress). When not procrastinating, I'd grab something to eat in front of my computer.

This week I got ambitious. I started cooking.

My family looks on my cooking ambitions with some trepidation. For some reason, maybe it's coming from a gigantic family, maybe it's the deprivation my parents experienced during the Holocaust, maybe it's because I used to be much bigger and part of me wants to eat a house, but I can't seem to cook normal quantities of food. I only cook for armies.

When I make barley soup, I overestimate the amount of barley needed - the barley pearls are so tiny, who can tell how many is the right amount? Suddenly I end up with sludge-like soup, quicksand textured soup. A mallet is needed to stir.

This week I made a chinese noodle salad. I used twelve packages of ramen noodles. Twelve.

But then, of course, I panicked. What if twelve packages of ramen noodles weren't enough? Maybe I should put in an extra pound of spaghetti noodles? Well, I'm here to tell anyone who's curious about it that you can't actually boil twelve packages of ramen noodles and one pound of spaghetti in any normalish kind of soup pot, unless maybe you're a witch and own a cauldron.

So I'm the bane of my family. They're terrified to see me enter the kitchen, to see me hauling up my gear - three, maybe four, soup pots for the one dinner that night, bags of potatoes and onions - they're terrified because there always will be a lot of leftovers. Like for the whole neighborhood.

And tonight? I threw those noodles away.  

Does anyone else cook the wrong amount of food all the time? Cook for an army when there are many less than that living in your home? Worry about never having enough?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Book Come Lately

A long, long time ago - okay, December - I said that my book would be out in about two weeks. That would have made it the middle of January. Needless to say, it wasn't. My book, Looking Up: A Memoir of Sisters, Survivors and Skokie, was just released this past Tuesday, April 19th, which would make it about three months longer than the two weeks I estimated. That's all. About normal for my usual combination of procrastination and angst.
Why did I say that my book would be ready to roll in two weeks? Was I insane? Was I intent on causing myself full-blown depression and paranoia? Did I need even more pressure on myself than the regular pressure I had of just trying to write a book about being raised by somewhat insane Holocaust Survivor parents in a Chicago suburb in the 60s, the sixth of seven daughters, where normal was very abnormal, indeed?

Obviously, I said it'd be done in mid-January for a couple of reasons. First of all, I believed it. Second of all, I underestimated the poisonous combination of a neurotic perfectionist (and, trust me, a book can never be perfect) and a book project. Third of all, I had to get used to the idea that writing memoir is like running through the streets naked. Did I really want to run through the streets naked?

Then the intervening months took place. Like anyone who's gotten used to blogging, I missed it, but felt I'd pinned myself in. The next blog entry had to be about the book being published. How could I skulk back here and act like everything was normal with no book in hand?

So here I am, back in Bar Mitzvahzilla-land, the blog now moss-covered, stale, somehow frozen (so to speak) on a snowy December day in Flagstaff, my kids now four months older. Now, thank goodness I can leave the insanity of my childhood behind and get back to normal - the usual insanity of my everyday life. 

Do you miss blogging when you take a break, or miss reading blogs if you take a break from that? Do you write down topics so you can cover them later or are they forever gone?
If anyone would like to lend a hand with my virtual book launch, email me at or leave me a comment here. All help is appreciated!