10 Things Thankful, and a bit of self-forgiveness

best barbecue in gatlinburg, stormtrooper pics, black and white pics
Hayden snapped this photo at Bennett’s Real Smoke Barbecue Pit in Gatlinburg. We celebrated a season with a rack of ribs and a pint of homebrew. (This class mysteriously disappeared from our table, however.)

The toughest person to forgive is often ourselves.

I’ve two Go Ask Daddy posts unpublished. Crazy, huh? If I can’t finish on my self-imposed deadline, I won’t publish. I’ll save them. I’m holding my blog hostage. I force myself to finish freelance work (veggies) before I get to blogging (snickerdoodle cookies.)

Heard of the Pomodoro timer?

I’m using that too. I’m rewarding myself for hours of distraction-free work with writing for fun. It keeps me hungry (not for snickerdoodles, although …) to put in the work to get to what feeds my soul most.

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10 Things Grateful, plus a stellar book to buy today

stormtrooperschoolhouse

Who is your favorite writer?

More to the point: How did they get there? For most of us, it’s picking up a Jennie Ritz novel or Lee Smith masterpiece or sinking your literary teeth into some Pat Conroy while on a Carolina beach trip and you find something. Something that resonates.

See, I got it all ass-backward with my favorite writer.

Corey Wheeland was a writer before she was my friend. She became a published author just last night. This same friend with a similar heart and a marvelous daughter that shines like she ate the rings of Saturn for breakfast had a book released on Thursday.

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I went on a walkabout in San Jose looking for Sharks shirts. Here’s what happened next.

stormtrooper crafts

All they wanted was San Jose Sharks shirts.

Which seems an easy get, right? Dad’s in San Jose. Spending his day in the SAP Center, where the San Jose Sharks play, for Patrick Marleau’s sake.

Except, it wasn’t easy. At all.

And that makes a simple task an adventure, right? There were moments: Some are captured in these pictures, others, like the mom who tipped her beer bottle to me as I walked by (and she finished her yard work just before sundown), in my mind only.

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10 things grateful, plus a college signing

stormtrooper tonka tag sale

One week in.

I made it this far. Not gracefully. It’s 1:14 and I promised myself 1 hour, 14 minutes ago to get to bed at midnight like a normal person. Wait. Don’t normal people get to sleep at even decenter hours than that?

Blogging again has been better than any of the high school reunions I never went to.

I’m seeing friends again and spending less time in aimless pursuits. I’m also falling asleep at inopportune times and really need to work on that. I have a fantastic guest post live just before this one that deserves a load of promotion as big as the donuts I dream of.

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Guest Post: Laura, of Riddle From the Middle, on books she likes as much as she does ice cream

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It’s fitting that I post a guest blog from a middle child on the same day my middle child signs her letter of intent to play soccer in college.

Yes, that’s a stretch. (And a way to give Hayden a shoutout. She’s signing with Piedmont International. She’ll walk in with a brace but no crutches as her recovery from ACL surgery continues. So proud of you Hayd!)

Laura’s the middle child starring on this page today.

She’s a valued blogging friend and wonderful wordsmith. No one beats Laura, a fellow parent, and writer, at headlines. Every headline makes you want to click. Her page is like an open box of vanilla wafers you won’t be satisfied with until you’ve had all of them.

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Go Ask Daddy about firehouse monitoring, NFL turkeys and mashed up chickpeas

stormtrooper antique shop shells green jars
Here’s to sea glass, sunsets and sales in beachside gift shops.

The comeback is complete.

GAD GRAPHICI haven’t done a Go Ask Daddy post since … the last time the Rams were in the Super Bowl. Or the Patriots didn’t cheat. That was 1776. Anyway, it’s been a while, and the girls’ questions are different now, but I still have 250 unanswered waiting on a spreadsheet.

Here’s how it works.

I select five questions each week randomly. They come from a trove of inquiries my girls ask. I capture them on bits of paper or in my phone note-taking app or in sharpie on my skin. (Not really, that last one.) Most I forget if I don’t write them down immediately.

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Quotes post I: On success, steadfastness, and sisterhood

stormtrooper stressy candy dish
Living in a couple of Death Stars that get blown up will do that to a stormtrooper.

I quote: A fine quotation is a diamond in the hand of a man of wit and a pebble in the hand of a fool.

Deep. And true. And yes, that’s a quote about quotes. Because this is a post about quotes. Joseph Roux said that, by the way. No, he wasn’t a second baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals in the mid-80s.

(Remember those baby blue uniforms?)

He was actually a French surgeon in the 1700s. I’m not sure which of these men I am, and that’s up for debate. What I’d like to do is write posts about quotes now and then. Because of words about words, right?

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Weekend Reads III: Attitude, friends and time

stormtrooper socks
Back when my stormtrooper’s elbows didn’t bend and my Android phone took blurry pictures.

For now, all the girls are close.

They’re in town, really. Two in the same house. Plans changed for one and brought her back to Charlotte. Another will leave for school in the fall, but won’t be far. The youngest? She’s got budding wanderlust in the 37th degree.

I don’t blame her.

She’s the one who has lived in one town. She’s the one who has seen Charlotte – or east Charlotte, anyway – as only a waning wasteland of faltering lifestyle. They all want to see the world. I imagined I’d be the one with a passport and plane ticket next to them.

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10 Things Grateful, and a new plan

stormtrooper receipts numbers paper clip

Hey guys.

I did it. I found my way back. Like, in a real way. I keep hearing and reading about doing what we love and loving what we do and you know what? Me, not writing, was kind of like me not thinking about tacos. Only, kinda worse, you know?

Anyway, I’ve found a way to schedule writing and reading and commenting.

I promise it’ll be better than the new Full House or even slicker than those Detroit Lions throwback jerseys, which actually look like a kid just peeled all the Lions stickers off. I’m grateful for a chance to breathe some new life around her.

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Guest Post: Jenn from The Bold Thing, on Self Care

Hanging out with The Sith and Batman (prone, kissy suit) on a sunny day at Mazeppa.

Ever feel ready for something, but just not quite ready, all at once?

I know. Confusing. In all the time I’m not writing, I’m hoping to write. I’m also hoping to improve processes so that I can write soon (and have more tacos. Let’s be honest.)

A few months back, I connected with Jenn Shull, a local coach, and yogi. And, it turns out, way tons more.

She writes the blog The Bold Thing. It takes someone bold to write a blog called The Bold Thing. Jenn’s perspective and ability to see someone’s potential – through endless tarnish even – is remarkable.

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