Always Enough Happy to Tell You Something Good, Guaranteed

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I can make my famous brown and white sugar pancakes by heart now.

I save time. And a great way to avoid leaving out key ingredients – such as baking soda – or doubling key ingredients – such as baking soda. I’ve flipped these classics – this same recipe – for years, probably since the Milwaukee Brewers (or Jewel) were any good.

I looked Saturday at the dry ingredients in the bowl, mostly white even with the brown sugar integrated, and it started the wheels turning.

Not of Hispanic America’s integration or dispersion into modern caucasian culture. I thought of how sugar – brown and white – mixes with salt, baking soda and flour, to become greater than the sum of parts. To become something delicious.

And if you were forced to choose a single grain of that to eat, you’d wish for sugar, right?

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Sunday Reads No. 1: Routines, Reviews, and Roadblocks

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I wish I had more time to read.

I wish I had more time for other things, too. Like, watching Elizabeth Banks commercials, or melting cheese on anything, or eating cheese with Elizabeth Banks. I somehow manage, during times I should be doing other things, to read a little every day.

(Don’t tell my boss.)

Actually, tell my boss. Reading’s essential to be a writer. I think Stephen King or Steph Curry said that once. Lots of my blogging friends put together a list of favorites every week, and I’m honored they have the misguided tendency to include me sometimes.

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Go Ask Daddy About Saxophone Glory, the Cost to Watch and Celestial Endings

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So, this one time, in marching band …

GAD GRAPHICWe got to play at halftime of a Colorado State football game in Ft. Collins. It was Band Day, and they played the University of New Mexico. I played baritone sax. I was first chair, I might add. The cheerleaders came with us.

Stick with me … this will tie together eventually.

Her name was Kaylie. (It was actually Shawna, but I don’t want to use her real name.) She was dreamy. Silky, curly brown hair, hazel eyes, braces. Sigh. The universe had a little fun that day and put Shawna – I mean, Kaylie – next to me on the bus.

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Guest Post: Katherine, of Welcome to the Nursery, on How Her Kids are Slowly Destroying Their House

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photo credit: Chris Blakeley that’s some hat, stitch via photopin (license)

Want to know if a guy is a parent?

guest postTake a look at his face, his car, or his home. All will have sustained some degree of damage in the process of fatherhood. Worry lines, spray stains on the ceiling of his car, and a host of tell-tales in his place of residence.

Busted furniture, chipped wall paint, crayon marks on … everything. Markers, too, and stray bits of strawberry, Goldfish crackers, and even beef jerky, in a man’s car, behind a man’s couch, and stuck in a man’s hair.  That’s just the beginning, as any of you who parent know.

Katherine writes a blog called Welcome to the Nursery.

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I Didn’t Die From Writing a Post About a Book I’m in Called ‘But Did You Die?’

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I’m just not good at some stuff.

Some stuff you know about. You know, portion control and getting my hair cut at regular intervals. Okay, and there’s that keeping-your-car-clean thing, too. I’m also not good at promoting a book that I have a small part in.

And it’s a book an author who knows her way around the New York Times best-seller list has compiled, with a ton of marquee names.

The book is But Did You Die: Setting the Parenting Bar Low, and it features names many of you know. Jen Mann of the blog People I Want to Punch in the Throat has compiled a series of New York Times Best Sellers in the series I Just Want to Pee Alone.

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Go Ask Daddy About Fellow Passengers, Childish Children, and the Legacy of a Hawaiian Legend

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Ben Kenobi spoke to me again.

GAD GRAPHICNot actually Obi Wan. But, the voice. Know how he told Luke after he self-incinerated him when he was losing a lightsaber duel with Darth Vader – Use the Force, Luke? Only to me, he says stuff like, Use more cheese, Eli, or, Write about Kesha, Eli.

This time, he was clear, as usual: Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Eli.

You don’t question a dead Jedi. I’d already plopped a rotisserie chicken in my basket ($4.99, Harris-Teeter), and turned on autopilot toward the cereal aisle. I am one with the Force and the Force is in me, I muttered repeatedly.

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Guest Post: Joey of Big Teeth & Clouds, on Quitting (and Un-quitting)

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The blog world is cyclical.

guest postUnless you count those blogs that drop off sharply. Not because of quality, but from lack of posts. Sometimes, it’s not sustainable. Or we forget the password. Either way, the blog floats along in the ether, like a dead satellite.

Most often, we cycle toward and then away from blogs and blog friends, and when the cycle brings us back close, it’s as if no time had elapsed at all.

Joey writes the blog Big Teeth & Clouds, and she’s here today talking about quitters.

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3+ Uncommonly Good Gifts for a Happy Father’s Day

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Stormtrooper in a pickle at Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet, S.C.

I just wanted them to pretend.

Kids are busy, though. There are church camps and chicken fajitas with friends in restaurants way past the dinner rush. There’s a whole day spent with a friend from school, laying out at the pool and baking chocolate chip cookies.

Kids my kids’ age don’t have time to pretend anymore.

So I will. My friends at Uncommon Goods have the coolest stuff you could possibly get your dad (outside of one of those sweet Rockies jerseys.) Uncommon Goods has some uncommon traits going for them as a company, too, in an effort for sustainability.

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Go Ask (Someone Else’s) Daddy About Childhood Aspirations, Returns from Blog Vacations and How to Make a Bit of Sense of the Wacked-out Universe We Live in

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The kids get a break this week.

GAD GRAPHICCourtney of Baking in my Bathing Suit suggested I extend an invitation to the grown-up world for Go Ask Daddy. A handful of readers submitted questions, so there was enough to set the girls’ questions back on the shelf for today.

Mimi of Messy Mimi’s Meanderings asked me to tell the story of when I broke big-league news at a small-town paper.

I covered racing for the Hickory (N.C.) Daily Record. It was my second job out of college. A racing writer at a tiny paper doesn’t make enough to pay country club dues. Hell, it barely pays enough to buy a club sandwich. In the country.

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Guest Post: Rebecca of Ninja Librarian, on How to Get Kids Outside

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One of my players will study in college to become a librarian.

guest postI think it’s quite cool. She’s a studious sort, who found herself determined to try out for soccer in high school – and make it. She did just that and even scored a few goals along the way. She was inspirational to her teammates and to me.

Today’s guest writer is a librarian – but a ninja variety.

Rebecca writes the blog The Ninja Librarian. She’s the coolest librarian you’ll ever know. (Even cooler than that dreamy one at the Mint Hill Library.) Rebecca writes about writing, and of course reviews books for kids and adults.

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