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Shivaun
Bucks County, PA
I am a Writer.
Recent Activity
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When I was a child, my Dad worked in an office and smoked cigarettes. It was the late 1970's and things like smoking in one's office were totally a thing. In the same office, sat his secretary, a woman named Joan, whose desk faced his. Joan's New York accent was as thick as the smoke that wafted through their Manhattan workplace. Although I only visited there a few times, usually en route to a day filled with visiting The World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty, I still remember it well. I also remember random weeknights when Joan would... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2017 at dar liomsa (in my opinion)
Today, I trimmed hydrangea stems and placed their flowery purple heads into water-filled mason jars. I needed a reminder that it's still summer. This past week has felt like ice cold winter, with a horrific story on a continuous loop. For four families, it's more than a story, it's a never-ending nightmare. As a mother, I have felt a connection and a pull to people whom I have never met, and whose loss I can't erase from my mind. For days, we watched and waited for their boys to be found. We held out hope for them, feeling the proximity... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2017 at dar liomsa (in my opinion)
My youngest of three children started his T-ball career rather young. With two older sisters committed to four days a week at the local softball field; learning to pitch, field and hit, it was the obvious choice for our 5-year old boy. He tolerated a few seasons of t-ball, followed by baseball. Every Saturday morning, we cheered him on as he stepped up to bat and watched as his tiny legs carried him around the bases. He was our little baseball star. Until one day, when he announced that he was done. He would not be returning to the baseball... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2017 at dar liomsa (in my opinion)
Eleven years ago, our family of five snuggled on the couch for a movie night. It was probably a VHS and I'm sure there was pizza involved. The movie, My Dog Skip, was a solemn tribute to a boy and his dog. I wept through the entire thing. It wasn't my love for animals that sparked this sob fest, but rather the circumstances surrounding me at the time. My oldest was tackling second grade, while my younger two children kept me busy. All. Day. Add to that, my father was dying. I can only say those words now, eleven years... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2017 at dar liomsa (in my opinion)
The past few February days felt like a lot like May and there were a lot of people upset about it. There was some head shaking and disapproval for a too-warm day in a month that normally promises snow. 'This is not as it should be, this is not a good thing.' were random bits of conversation I overheard, while shielding my eyes from the sun. Global warming may be to blame, but who can deny the sheer pleasure of leaving the winter coat in the closet and waking to singing birds, even if the calendar isn't ready. Sure, trees... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2017 at dar liomsa (in my opinion)
As much as I adore everything that the holiday season has to offer, I love almost nearly as much, it's ending. In the exciting month of December, I'm really into 1960's claymation Christmas favorites providing background noise to tree trimming, gift wrapping, and cookie baking. I live for our yearly trek to Christmas Eve mass, fresh new Christmas jammies and ornaments right before bed on Christmas Eve, and still playing Santa to a house full of teenagers. But it all comes in a close-second to packing it all away. Because, let's face it, the month of January is the calm... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2017 at dar liomsa (in my opinion)
Seven summers ago, surrounded by elementary aged kids and an incessantly shedding dog, I had a grand idea to start a blog. Spending my mornings sipping coffee and stringing words was my escape from dish-filled sinks and mounting laundry. The blog grew in popularity, with at least a handful of readers and eventually spawned into a nice little writing life- a freelance life. Freelance, as I soon learned, had little to do with its root word: free. I had little free time and little free money, as I worked tirelessly to claim a life of self-employment. It was much like... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2016 at dar liomsa (in my opinion)
I don't like to judge people. Well, maybe I do. It's not so much that I enjoy it as it just comes natural. I'll admit that it's not nice. But neither is smoking next to a building's entrance and people are still doing that. So. I judge. I judge people who smoke cigarettes near building entrances, because I hate getting the smell of smoke in my hair. I also judge people who go out of their way to be rude to strangers. The hardest judging I do, is against women who wear chipped nail polish. There. I said it. I... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2016 at dar liomsa (in my opinion)
Back when I was pregnant with each of my three children, in between rubbing layers of cocoa butter on my expanding belly and devouring every page of the 'What to Expect" bible, I forgot to wish for something. Sure, I prayed that they'd be healthy, have all of their appendages and organs, you know, everything we ask for when we're expecting, but one thing I never thought to request was that they be funny. I guess I just assumed they would be. Once each child was born, I wasn't really expecting much in the way of jokes or funny one-liners.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 26, 2015 at dar liomsa (in my opinion)
Christmas decorations are back. They are tucked into what used to be empty spaces in my home. I love empty spaces. I live for blank walls and blank space. It's just who I am. When there is too much noise, too much stuff, too many Legos, my mind races wondering where to focus. I'm pretty sure there's a name for it, like sensory overload, but let's not get melodramatic, here. I can deal with the nativity scene and other random holiday characters that have taken up residence in those empty places for a few weeks and I'll be fine. Each... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2015 at dar liomsa (in my opinion)
I'll probably end up in Target this week. A sentence that could totally apply to any given week of my life. But, this week Halloween candy is on Clearance, gravy boats are in abundance, and oh, the red cup is back. The Starbucks red cup, that is. It's hard to remember a time when Target and Starbucks didn't go hand in hand, or cup in hand. Back then, I shopped with both hands free. Actually, that's not true. Back then, visits to Target meant tiny hands digging into a bag of popcorn and a shared fountain soda. I'll likely look... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2015 at dar liomsa (in my opinion)
We've got college visits lined up. It's Fall, she's a senior, and I'm trying to avoid posting things on social media that echo the posts of so many other women my age, because, well, they all sound the same. Things like, 'where has the time gone?', 'when did my baby grow up?', and 'seems like just yesterday' are sentiments of moms (like me) who suddenly realize how quickly kids grow and just aren't ready to let go. Whenever I feel myself saddened by this passage of time, I snap out of it and pat myself on the back for a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2015 at dar liomsa (in my opinion)
-They just don't make them like they used to. What's that? -Homeless people. Uh, excuse me? -Homeless people begging for money. They look different these days. Back when I was a kid, you knew a homeless person when you saw one. Like, they didn't even hold a sign advertising that they were homeless. You just knew. Ya' know? They lived in one spot, never moved, never shaved, kind of smelled. I guess. -Today's homeless? Forget it. They set up shop on a busy corner near my neighborhood. And let me tell you, they are the cleanest bunch of homeless people... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2015 at dar liomsa (in my opinion)
"Are you enjoying your summer so far?", asked the bank teller as she processed my deposit. "Yea." I answered politely. I saved her the long and detailed answer of how I have been enjoying my summer but not in ways I usually do. I usually spend a week on the Delaware shore, with my family, and I haven't done that this year. I usually allow myself a few days a week to sleep late, and I haven't done much of that, either. I spent the better part of the last ten summers floating in my backyard pool on sunny days,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2015 at dar liomsa (in my opinion)
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Say what you will about August. Say it's hot, say it's the unofficial countdown to football season, or (gasp) back to school. No matter how you choose to describe this month, it will always be my favorite. I'm not really big on choosing favorites of anything. I never really locked in to choosing a favorite color or a favorite number. But out of all twelve months, August, for me, ranks pretty high. It all started the day I was born. No, I don't claim to remember that day. Though, I have pieced together a rather good scenario, based on the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2015 at dar liomsa (in my opinion)
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Things are put in an attic for good reason. Items we save and diligently store, are just pawns. They are merely extensions of our feelings. Once discovered, we are weighed down again, and forced to remember a time and a place where we once stood. A way that we once felt. A time we had long forgotten. Yea, I found our honeymoon journals. Apparently, even back in 1995, I was writing it all down. These handwritten journals, start with our departure from the Philadelphia airport and follow the 7-day journey of two naive newlyweds to Saint Lucia. Just two young... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2015 at dar liomsa (in my opinion)
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If you're complaining about your kids not living their childhood the way you lived your childhood, stop. They can't even, with that crap. They're not interested in your stories of you and your childhood friends riding your bikes through the neighborhood and spending countless summer hours at the public pool. They don't care. And, quite frankly, they're convinced that if you had the luxuries of smartphones, the internet, Netflix, and PlayStation, you probably would have been a lot less interested in flashlight tag, manhunt, or kick the can ,too. So, let's agree to stop blaming our kids for having their... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2015 at dar liomsa (in my opinion)
Pained toenails can fix anything. Someone should chalk paint that and hang it on a wall, maybe sell it on a yard sale site. A simple pedicure is a gift you can give yourself, and enjoy for weeks if you do it right. Just like a bottle of wine. It's true. There's nothing I like more than popping open a bottle of sweet red and enjoying a glass with my feet up, complete with a great view of my painted toenails. I enjoy wine by the glass, but don't always indulge. A lot of things have to happen before I... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2015 at dar liomsa (in my opinion)
The only time a mom can get away with going on strike is if she is the star of a Lifetime movie. Otherwise, nobody really cares. Much like a toddler throwing a tantrum, after a few minutes of no one taking the bait, it ends. It's a lot like my monthly rant that goes ignored in this house. That rant about how the children in this house really need to learn how to pack a lunch and could at least make their sandwiches ahead of time for the love of God, and maybe stop eating all of the lunch snacks... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2015 at dar liomsa (in my opinion)
When you're the parent of an adolescent, you spend many weeknights, over dinner, discussing their sudden disdain for red meat and their plans for the future. There is a lot of head shaking and uncertainty in these trying years. It's exciting and frightening to watch a young person plot their course and begin to figure out their life; all while needing to be reminded to clear their plate once they've finished sliding all of that uneaten meat from one side to the other. Quite often, parents of teens can find themselves in the same flux, wondering where they go from... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2015 at dar liomsa (in my opinion)
I discovered recently, thanks to a phone call from my credit union, that my debit card had been compromised. They red flagged a purchase and called me immediately. The purchase, totaling approximately $76.00, was made at a Wal Mart. In. Illinois. Quite frankly, I'd prefer to hear from my credit union every time there was a purchase at a WalMart, even if it is within 2 miles from my home. Even if the purchase was made by me. I need someone to remind me to stay out of that place. I find myself there more often than I'd like to... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2015 at dar liomsa (in my opinion)
When you finally reach that mountain, the one that is said to be your halfway point in life, known as your mid- forties, you start to evaluate everything around you. In doing so, your circle of friends tends to shrink, substantially. Quite often, all that remains is a core set of friends you have acquired thanks to the fact that your children play organized sports. These women can fast become your closest allies, your backup transport, and if you're really lucky, decent wine-drinking companions. These women with whom you share common interests, complaints, and sometimes a warm blanket (because, ice... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2015 at dar liomsa (in my opinion)
Dare I say it, Spring has finally sprung. Yippee! This time of year, my allergies are awake before I am. They've already calculated the pollen count and grabbed the box of tissues, before I've wiped the sleep from my eyes. They're like, 'oh my God, do you hear the birds chirping?' When you suffer from seasonal allergies, it's really hard to be happy about the arrival of Spring, no matter how pretty those birds sound. Headaches, bulging sinuses, runny noses, well one runny nose, are all to be expected. But, the blazing sun and warmer temperatures also bring with them... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2015 at dar liomsa (in my opinion)
Oh, how quickly we become annoyed by trends, once we find ourselves far removed from a situation. (Read: when you get old, everything bothers you) And by 'we', I, of course, mean 'me'. And by trendy, I am totally referring to the latest in pregnancy related activities. It's called the gender reveal, the festive time when young parents choose to find out, along with a room full of loved ones, the gender of their baby. Months before the baby is even born. You might think that the gender reveal, first got it's start back when ultrasound could kind of determine... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2015 at dar liomsa (in my opinion)
The calendar says Spring, the ice cream stands are back in full swing, forecasters are still threatening snow, and I've spent the better part of the month, huddled in tiny chairs at school related functions. I'm talking about kids' performances, competitions, and award presentations. It's a part of the parenting process, attending events to watch and listen to your child recite, perform, compete, and share. I love it. I live for it. I never tire of watching my children take a stage, a ball field, an ice rink, a volleyball court, and show the world, okay, a small group of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2015 at dar liomsa (in my opinion)