How I Ended Up in a Twitter Book in 72 Easy Steps..

Long ago, when I first had my Facebook page, when Facebook pages were all the rage, I knew OF Twitter but had no idea how it worked.

I was easily confused by Twitter.

But friends of mine kept telling me, inviting me, begging me to try Twitter

The thought of having to limit my unlimited sense of funny to 140 characters was terrifying.

Pretty soon, all I was hearing about was Twitter and all about how funny the tweets were. Tweet Tweet Tweet was all I kept hearing.

Alright, alright.  I'll start a Twitter or whatever the hell you say when you join the Blue Bird Club.

Guess what happened?    I LOVED IT. Total thumbs up.

I didn't know what the hell I was doing.  I couldn't get it all in under 140.

I had to think.

And then...I figured it out.  Keep it short.  Keep it funny. Use abbreviations.
I got addicted to the funny.  I got high on the laughs...


The laughing continued...

I needed the laughs to get me through the day.  I was scrolling Twitter as much as I could in my downtime...just cruising for more laughs.

Is it appropriate to be hysterical laughing in the pick up lane at school?  I hope so.

At the DMV waiting for my license?  Seems like a good place to get a chuckle...

Know what I DON'T recommend? Reading funny tweets while eating or drinking.

I started telling MY friends, and anyone I talked to they NEEDED TO BE ON TWITTER!

But then Twitter showed me it's not always a funny place...sometimes, I followed people...and they were like...

And sometimes my Tweets got no response....

I was addicted to Twitter and I didn't care who knew it.

But some places didn't have wifi and I COULDN'T GET TO MY TWITTER.

I needed MORE laughs.

 I hung in there. I put the time in.  I figured out what I was doing - and would you believe I even won a trip to Florida at a Twitter Party? THAT was awesome.

Sometimes, I even get my NEWS from Twitter.  It's all I need in a tiny little appetizer of tastiness.

And today...I'm proud to say...I'm in a HILARIOUS book with some of the FUNNIEST people on Twitter.  It's appropriately called The Big Book of Parenting Tweets. (Huge thank you to Kate Hall from @katewhinehall and also to the brilliant writers behind  Science of Parenthood - Jessica and Norine and to the other contributors of this cleverly written collaboration - and for inviting me to be in the company of some of the greatest gut-busting, tweeters around.  I have no idea how I ended up in the land of the comics, but I'm hoping no one realizes I'm in the wrong place and let's me stay!

buy here!


So what are you waiting for??? You need this book!  You need to laugh!  And since we don't get much time to ourselves, you can read these little snippets of funny in between fishing Legos out of the toilet and making snacks!  It's THAT quick!

Thanks for reading!  Happy Tweeting! xo DG


My Car Isn't Leaking Wiper Fluid, Those are Tears...

Dear Click & Clack...

I woke to find a leak under both of my front headlights.  Alas, it wasn't wiper fluid, it was tears - for one of the greatest friends to all cars and car owners has gone to the auto repair shop in the sky.  All cars big and small weep for this great loss.

Please know there is a gaping hole on our Saturday mornings, in our hearts, and our radiators that cannot be filled.



By now you've heard that the country lost one of it's greatest treasures -  Tom, co-host of NPR's 'Car Talk' died yesterday of complications from Alzheimer's.  The news came to me after a particularly crappy Monday and it really hit me hard.  I'll tell you why.  Not only was he part of my Saturday morning for more years than I can remember, but he was part of my family. Maybe it hit me that slowly, all of the comforts of childhood, and growing up, and constants of life are slowly leaving, changing, ending.  This is just one more sad loss that brought comfort and laughter for many years.   These 10 reasons are a tribute to you, Tom.  Rest in Peace, & I just know you are driving around heaven in your beloved Dodge Dart or something like it.

10 Reasons Why Car Talk Was Much More Than Just Car Talk:

10.  It was from him that I learned that it was for a very serious reason that my very first car, a VW Jetta, smelled like maple was leaking anti-freeze.  And here I thought my car was just a sweet little bottle of Vermont Maple Syrup on wheels.  I was 16, what did I know?

9.  I learned so much from THEIR Top 10 Lists like the top 10 cars THEY hate the most,  Top 10 Signs You Should Pull Over Immediately,  & Top 10 Most Annoying Things Drivers Do.  Even advice to help with road trips that include wishes like May the remembrances of your next road trip bring a smile to your face, rather than inducing a bad case of post-traumatic stress.  It's like they had a camera in my car on my last road trip.

8.  Car Talk made it okay to run errands with my dad during the awkward teen years when conversation was painful.  With the Tappet Brothers making us laugh in the background, our car rides were pleasant and easy during a hormonal period of life.  It also built a bridge to NPR.  I went from mouthing the words to Salt-n-Pepa on my Sony Walkman, to actually wanting to listen to the funny guys on NPR.  Car Talk was the bridge, and Click and Clack pulled me over the hump.  Saturday mornings  with Car Talk became a ritual - a way of life - that stuck with me for years.  Eventually my Saturday mornings with my dad became Saturday mornings with my husband, running errands to Home Depot with 3 screaming kids in the backseat. Car Talk helped us forget about the mundane tasks that waited to occupy our Saturday, and started our day with laughter.

7.  Speaking of Laughter...Their laughter was infectious, contagious, catchy...whatever other word I can find for it.  It was a magnet that drew people close and held them tight in its grasp.  You couldn't help but laugh when they laughed.  Tom was a brilliant man, but used self-deprecating humor more often that not, proving that even the brightest bulbs can shine on others to give them some laughter at their expense.
6.  In this crazy world, the most pleasant, good-natured people win.  Millions tuned in every week to be around the brothers' good humor and cheerful ways.  They laughed at almost everything and found a positive spin on the questions and circumstances that filled the hour.

5.  They are proof that life is 98% human interaction and 2% business.  When they answered a caller's question, they spent 2 minutes fixing/addressing the car problem, and the rest of the time addressing life.  What a brilliant metaphor.  It's all about the human side of things - the other stuff is just a minor detail.  

4.   No matter if you are a mechanic, car salesman, or any type of job you have, your greatest tools are free and easy: honesty & trust.  Entertainment value aside, these guys were trusted by everyone - they were painfully, brutally honest on most occasions.  We could all learn that with the right amount of panache, humor and genuine care, we can build a reputation that is unbeatable. Don't take yourself too seriously, but be serious with a sprinkle of happiness and hope.  A little kindness never hurt the recipe either.

3.  When you love what you do, it shows.  It's so obvious they loved everything about cars.  How else could you so effortlessly and endlessly talk about it for so many years and keep it fresh and funny?  To make radiator fluid funny is a gift - but the gift comes from love.  They shared their gift with the world and the world loved them back.  Brilliant.

2.  They helped me understand brotherly love.  Honestly, most of the time I didn't listen because I wanted to hear about cars.  I'm a girl - that's borrrr-inggg to me.   I loved the interaction between two brothers who not only genuinely liked each other, but they loved life and it came through show after show. I can't imagine the gaping hole Tom's passing left on the family.

1.  SLOW DOWN.  A near fatal accident with a semi in his younger years caused Tom to reevaluate his life.  He quit his job, started a small shop with his brother and essentially changed their entire life path.  He was an advocate for a slower speed limit but I think it was just a metaphor for our life in the the fast lane.  We all can learn a lesson to slow down and enjoy the car ride.

Thank you, Mr. M...for your endless laughs on Saturday mornings since forever.  You will be sadly missed.

Thanks for reading.  Until next time~
Love, Light & Contagious Laughter - - and Don't Drive Like My Brother,


Fun with Pinterest 1950's Edition

Official Song of the 1950's Housewife.  Read on and find out why...(as if you don't already know).

One of my favorite social media sites is Pinterest.  I can't tell you how many times I have stared hopelessly into the depths of my fridge to find meat with no inspiration to follow.  I only have to worry for 2 minutes until I can get Pinterest up on my computer to help me.  But what about the holidays!

What appetizer can I make for Thanksgiving? 

What can I do for a side salad for Christmas?

What can I take to holiday parties?

How can I jazz up my Thanksgiving table without too much effort?

Luckily, I am living in modern day where all I have to do is type those questions in and Voila! More answers await than I have time to even explore.

But what if I was in the middle of life in the 1950's?  I would have to turn to magazines and cookbooks like those poor housewives of the old days.  As I wandered around the local antique store in town, I happened upon three Better Homes and Gardens magazines from the 1950's and almost fell over as I anxiously turned the pages and read the Holiday Tips and Recipes section. Could you imagine if Pinterest was around back then - you'd have basically three boards:  Jello, Loaves, and Casseroles.  Bahahaa!

I decided to share some of the funniest photos, articles and recipes so that you could really embrace the idea of what Pinterest has done for us and how far we've actually come in what we have to work with.

I hope you get a good laugh out of it - and since the holidays are, in fact, coming, and we will be using Pinterest more than ever, this should help you really take time to appreciate the gift that program really is to us.

Enjoy, and until next time, stay away from surprise Jello.

The first colorful page that not only caught my eye, but also made my stomach turn immediately, was the article called "Thrifty Hamburger Dinners."  This collection of recipes include  Hamburger Ring Barbeque; a recipe that involves baking meatloaf in a jello mold and decorating the middle of the ring with green beans slathered in butter and topped with a sweet and spicy barbeque sauce, and several other gag-worthy nightmares.  Center stage of the photo stars a recipe for "Upside Down Hamburger Pie" that  calls for a combination of ground beef, FAT, and tomato soup on a bed of biscuits and topped with raw onion rings.  Not sure about your kids, but I might have a complete uprising if I put that on the table, not to mention, I try not to stock my pantry with fat in a jar.  One of the funniest things I noticed that 6 out of the 10 hamburger recipes call for tomato soup, fat, and green beans.  The lack of choices when pulling these dishes together was equal parts funny and sad.  Other recipe titles in this article were:  "He-Man Casserole," "Chef's Surprise,"  (you will see the word "surprise" used often in these recipes), "Savory Meatpie," and "Steak and Onion Pie."  I don't know about you, but none of those yell "MAKE ME TONIGHT."  Maybe I'm too picky?

This comes from an article called "Thrifty Hamburger Dinners."
 I had to include this advertisement for Libby's because it caught my eye as I flipped through.  I am kind of jealous that I don't own a Vegetable Tilt-a-Whirl.  Imagine how fun a buffet table would look with one of these - preferably not with succotash-like themes in the mini-cars of the ferris wheel.  Maybe hummus, dip, raw veggies, fruit?  Not sure, but I NEED this 1950's  server on my Holiday Table. 

Because your table is plain old naked without the Veggie Ferris Wheel.
I had to post this Prize Recipes photo because it is such a sad representation of what these people had to work with for exciting new dishes in the 50's.  Think about what a recipe needs to win a prize THESE days of Pinterest and then consider the "winners" of that year.  Some of the winners include:
Pennsylvania Dutch Pepper Cabbage - main ingredient is Heinz canned Chicken Stew with Dumplings.   A close second place winner include Macaroni Tuna Loaf starring a can of "Macaroni in Cheese Sauce" (sorry folks, no longer found in can variety in stores!), and get this - "Hearty Beans: a masculine favorite with a special feminine appeal when topped with onion braised in butter."  Because nothing yells feminine touch like being braised in butter and smelling like onions.  Oh the creative writing of Mad Men agencies to make Heinz Cooking Contest sing the praises of women all over the country.  For dessert, the big winner was a 'Big, Cool, Refreshing Fruit Salad" made with canned fruit, GARNISHED WITH FRESH FRUIT and  - wait for it - topped with HEINZ VINEGAR.  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! NO NO NO NO! 
One of the "Prize Winning Entries"  consists of Cream of Canned Macaroni.  *Shudder*
Moving on to desserts.  You can't imagine the poor choices and horrible ideas that were suggested in these magazines.  First of all, everything is a BIG SURPRISE.  I'm not sure if the 50's lacked that much zest for life, or general lack of surprise - but why did the element of fun and shock have to come via dessert?  I don't know about you, but I like birthday surprises, and party surprises, but NOT surprises in my spoonfuls of food. Maybe we just aren't risk takers like the people of the 50's?  Take this "WHITE Mystery Fruitcake"  (why is white capitalized? was it that big of a shocker that the cake would be white?) Aren't there enough surprises in fruit cake as it is - why more?  Because MORE surprises make it MORE fun to NOT eat!  Guess what the mystery ingredient that makes it white is!  Betty Crocker WHITE cake mix.  WHO KNEW! Those were some wild and crazy contestants in the kitchen of Top Chef Betty Crocker Corporation.  Oh, and just for fun, don't forget to throw in white frosting to really confuse them.
Why all the mystery?  Were the 50's missing that much excitement that their surprises had to come by way of their food?
You guys, I can't.  I don't know if I'm ready to talk about this one yet.  I'll try.  Want to know what the fun surprise ingredient is in these Thanksgiving dinner side dishes?  Mayonnaise.  Oh, and Pineapple....or maybe the walnuts?  or the unflavored gelatin (why did EVERYTHING have to be Jello-like consistency?)  Don't you dare forget to serve it on a bed of lettuce and TOP IT WITH ANOTHER TABLESPOON OF MAYO!  
Cranberry Souffle Surprise - Jello Plus Mayo Plus Lemon = NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO and the slogan "This is the place for Hellman's?  No...actually, this is NOT the place, like at all...for Hellman's. Go home to your tuna salad where you belong."
I feel like the sad part about the Holiday Edition of the Better Homes 1950's edition was the large section DEDICATED to fruit cake.  What was so damn elegant about fruitcake?  NO ONE ATE THEM.  Everyone brought them to each other's house and smiled their June Cleaver smile while secretly rolling their eyes to heaven as they placed it on the dessert table.  No seven layer bars?  No three tier cake boss type cakes at these parties?  Ooof.  No wonder the ladies were so damn skinny - the food choices were disgusting! 
Yay for more secrets!!! Oooh tell us! What is the BIG SECRET in this beauty?  Double rich Pet Milk!  WHAT THE HELL IS PET MILK ANYWAY?? Turns out it was just evaporated milk...and they thought that was a great idea to name it. I know they claim that Pet Milk was the big surprise ingredient, but as I look over the list, I have to say I am torn between the Marshmallows, dates, and the surprise alcohol flavoring.  All of them just so unexpected it's hard to say who wins. 
 I was utterly terrified while reading the treats that every holiday feast must include.  Take the Yuletide Mold for starters.  Of course the recipe calls for even more unflavored gelatin (why..for the love - was jello the only consistency they could eat??? What the hell?), SOUR CREAM, AVOCADO (weren't they just ahead of their time using avocado!?), TABASCO - oh make it stop! Your Yuletide Mold cried for only the BEST salad dressing, pimiento and oranges.  Are you starting to wonder if anyone actually ate any of this?  Could you imagine the poor kids?  "Now honey, be a good boy and eat all of your Yuletide Mold that Grandma made!"   GROSS!  Moving on to the Gala Fruit Wreath pictured below, that bowl of white creamy stuff in the middle is in fact, NOT cream cheese fruit spread or anything fun like that - no delicious goodness to dip your fruit in.  It is, my friends, MAYONNAISE.  More Mayonnaise.  Mayonnaise and jello, mayo and veggies, mayo and meat, mayo and fruit. MAYO MAYO MAYOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.  Do you think when these ladies were making their holiday dishes they just started singing, "I throw my hands up in the air sometimes singing "MAYO...GOTTA USE MAYYYOOOO." 
 Come on people!  Don't you just want to yell back in time and tell them that some day they will live a life without JELLO AND MAYO SURPRISES!  Hang in there - Pinterest is commmmmmminnnnnnnng!    Okay let's talk about the frosted King Henry grapes on the Gala Fruit Wreath.  Maybe their grapes weren't already white from pesticide like ours are now - maybe they didn't have to wash them six times to get that film off?  So they had to create their own frosted look with using egg whites and coating them in sugar.  Egg whites and sugar.  Egg whites and Sugar....on their grapes.  Who ate this stuff?  They suggest using the Wreath as a centerpiece AND a Salad OR Dessert.   Wait, what?  When they give you the choice of using something as a salad OR a dessert we have a serious problem. I feel extremely sad that they suggest garnishing your wreath with - are you ready?  Holly leaves.  What poor, unknowing man will innocently grab a holly leaf, dip it in that irresistIble mayo dip and end up in the guest bathroom with side effects of eating holly leaves like diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and stomach and intestinal problems.  It's just not a party until you have Poison Control on the heavy rotary phone.
Gala Fruit Wreath: Center a large round platter with bowl of Fluffy Mayo, apple cups placed on groups of 3 lettuce ruffles, fill in with fruits like canned pears, canned peaches, canned pineapple, canned apricots, frosted grapes AND fresh kumquats.  Oh that made me laugh - everything canned and frosted - but must add fresh kumquats.  Who the hell does Kumquats thing he is? lol!  Don't forget the candied ginger to ease stomach upset after eating the poisonous holly leaves.  WAY TO GO BETTER HOMES.   THIS IS A CLASSIC.
 Shoot!  I forgot to pop this in under Fun with Holiday Appetizers!!  This amazing Holiday Cheese Ring is not enough when served on a platter with crackers - it MUST be adorned in toxic glass Christmas bulbs!   You guys, really?   Why would it ever, EVER, be necessary to adorn a cheese ring with GLASS BULBS??  I mean WTF? STOP THIS MADNESS 1950's housewives!  I'm begging you! 
Be extra careful how much you have to drink at this holiday party because slicing into a cheese ring could poison you.
 Why should Pillsbury have all of the fun with their bad ideas of cheese roll center poisoning decor?  What about this brilliant idea for your cake center?  In this recipe for "Cherry Candle Cake" it will LOOK like Christmas when you light this candle on your dessert table!  When you cut this deliciously light and airy cake, folks will see the red flecks of candied cherry and not know whether they are part of the outside lead paint of the red candle or actual bits of cherry!  Nothing says risk taker like throwing caution to the wind and really digging into this toxic cake!  I'll tell you, folks will be lined up outside of the guest bathroom at this awesome party!

That's it for now my friends.  I hope you got a good laugh like I did - - and now you will really appreciate Pinterest, and the millions of recipes at your fingertips this holiday season.  May your season be merry, bright, peaceful, and without Jello, Mayo, Food Surprises, & Poison.  We've come a long way, baby.

First Degree Burn(out)

It's Sunday, my friends. 

I don't know about you but I am exhausted.  I feel as though once Spring actually came, we were so deprived from the long cold winter and being stuck inside for month after month, that we went outside and barely stopped moving for fear we'd find ourselves hibernating again in the cold before we knew it.

And here we are.  Spring came late and left early - chased away by Summer and all of the activities that it brings.  Between baseball and lacrosse, dance recitals, graduations, summer bbqs, and the go go go in general, Summer was gone in a blink.  Back to school started a new type of whirlwind with adjusting to new teachers and students and schedules and soccer.  Every weekend packed full of stuff....stuff to keep us busy, stuff to provide photos for Instagram and Facebook for all to see that we are important people that are on the move and keeping up with the Joneses. (I'm speaking in general, tongue-in-cheek terms, here). Suddenly, it's October 19th and we've baked all we can for fall festivals and last day of soccer games and craft fairs and and and freaking and.     We. Are. Exhausted.

But wait....there's more.

There are bills to pay.
There are houses to clean.
There is a mound of laundry to be tackled.
There is ISIS.
Political Campaign Calls.
Notes from school bearing news of Lice, Strep, Croup...etc.

Is it any wonder we are fried?  When this is the song that's playing in our heads on a daily basis, of course we're going to be burned out!  GOTTA GO TO WORK- GOTTA GO TO A MEETING- GOTTA HIT THE BANK- NEED TO GET GAS -HAVE TO MAIL A PACKAGE- THE KIDS NEED A CHECKUP- I SHOULD COLOR MY HAIR- WE'RE OUT OF MILK- I JUST READ ON FACEBOOK THAT MY FRIEND'S AUNT'S COUSIN'S ROOMMATE FROM COLLEGE WAS ON A PLANE WITH SOMEONE WHO HAS EBOLA-I FORGOT MY GRANDMOTHER'S BIRTHDAY-THE GARAGE DOOR IS BROKEN-WE SHOULD GO TO CHURCH SUNDAY BUT NONE OF THEIR CHURCH SHOES FIT....  Maybe it's not all of the things we have to do in any given week that stresses out, but the THOUGHT of all of the things we have to do.  Maybe we over think things - maybe we just need to realize so much of this isn't even in our control and just learn to let it roll and take it as it comes.  Ha! Easier said than actually done.

We, as parents, have to keep moving forward, keeping up with everything and everyone, and life in general.  We cannot lag behind.  There is no one to push us in a stroller, or hold our hand to pull us along and keep us focused on the treat at the end of the day - no - only we can do that and sometimes, damn it, it's hard.   This is when I feel like I'm suffering from First Degree Burnout.  I say First Degree because it's uncomfortable, but not dangerous.  But the fear of Second and Third Degree Burnout startles me.  That feeling when you want to give up or you have given up.   I am somewhat comforted by the thought that we all must feel that way at some point, right?

Look, I know life is hard.  As a middle class mama, no matter what I complain about, it does sound like First World problems compared to so many in this world that suffer, but that doesn't minimize our struggles.  Parents are parents.  We want our children to be okay, to be healthy and stay healthy, to have kind friends and wonderful teachers, to be good friends and respectful students.  We want them to do their best, be their best, and above all, be happy little ones.  But let's face it, we are afraid for the world we live in.  We know too much, and in their little faces we see innocence and want to protect them from the ugly that's all around us.  We are tired - and rightfully so.  We are all just doing the best we can and sometimes in the midst of all of that we get a little lost and a bit weary - and maybe that's why winter comes just when we need it most.  It's like a way of forcing us back in the nest to settle in earlier, cozy up on the couch here and there and just exhale. 

I love this quote.

Getting burned out is something we all experience - some of us weekly, or monthly, or yearly or if you are really lucky - longer than that.  We care so much about our families and our homes and our jobs - our communities, our world - that we exhaust ourselves and our minds and even our souls with the worry and exhaustion that comes along with caring.  We go to bed completely wiped out every night with a thousand scenarios dancing in our heads - did we forget this or that - what's on tap for tomorrow - what if someone gets sick - what if ...what if...what if?  Shhhhh....we try to quiet our minds and thankfully, and most of the time, we are so tired that sleep takes us quickly.  If we keep going like this - like the Energizer bunny on crack - we get a mandatory time out by way of illness - cold, fever, whatever.  We've got to stop thinking this kind of go-go-go is temporary and realize it can and will become a way of life if we don't slow it down a little.  How many of us are walking around cranky, irritable, tired, worried, and weary and feeling like there is NO TIME for anything - and whatever there is requires what feels like an unbearable amount of effort.  Have you ever heard the beginning of the depression commercials when they ask "are you worried, sad, tired, depressed...blah blah..."  well most of us answer yes to all of the above.  An emphatic Yes to it all.

So - what do we do?  Isn't that the million dollar question?  I only know what I have been doing lately to survive.   First of all, with the whole Ebola thing - read the facts, educate yourself and free your mind of the bombardment of media.  Once you've done that, you are not a prisoner of fear of the unknown anymore.  Other scary stuff - I continue to live my life in the most happy, carefree way possible - and know that when it is my time to go, I will go and there's not much I can do about that other than not play in traffic or text and drive.  I can at least NOT encourage my time to come get me earlier by making smart decisions.  As far as the state of our world, country, state, city, community - - - I take baby steps and volunteer my time for two non-profits in my area that provide much needed help to children in need.  By doing this, I am taking my worries, and my woes, and my frustration for how things are - and putting them to good use in results I can see with my own eyes.  Seeing the smile on a child's face when they get a new pair of boots, or coat, or snowpants, or get to go on one of our scholarships to basketball camp or get a hockey stick with our funding - THAT'S what helps put salve on my burns.  Do SOMETHING that helps SOMEONE.  This is the greatest gift you can give yourself and others.

Turning to friends and family and laughing and enjoying life is the great first aid, too.  You need these people to support you and encourage you and help you through the craziness. Just knowing you are not alone in the Marathon of Life helps more than you know.

The holidays are coming and I beg you, instead of letting them stress you out and continue the cycle of burnout - commit yourself to simplicity and helping others so that you might find solace in return.  We are the only ones who can restore our strength, fill our tanks up with positivity, and fight the good fight.

Until next time, find some relief to your burns, and know we're all in this together.