Tips, Must-haves, and Favorites (or, “How I like to deflect with humor”)

As I searched Pinterest tonight for “writing prompts for bloggers” (because you don’t ALWAYS want to hear about me being depressed and crazy, right?), I came across this:

Write On: August Blogging Prompts

Write On: August Blogging Prompts


Not quite my blogging “genre,” but let’s try it.  And yes, I know it’s September and not August.  Just roll with it.

1. Tips for getting organized for the new school year

Fret and worry.

Get mad at Pinterest for making me feel like a loser mom because I don’t cut my kid’s fruit into various shapes and skewer them together in ROY.G.BIV order, or create a masterpiece in a Bento Box.

Go to psychiatrist, obtain new prescription to stabilize mood.

(Reality check: My husband would shake his head and laugh, because all the above are true AND I also went to great lengths to prepare make-ahead lunches involving tortilla triangles, pizza sauce in tiny plastic containers, and mozzarella cheese).

2. Your must-have office supplies

Iced Mocha

One-hour lunch with co-workers involving lots of laughs and occasional mocking of each other

(True must-haves.  Also, the usual supplies like paper, pens, computer….oh, wait, did she mean the home office?  Well, then…um, paper, pens, computer…)

3. What’s left on your summer bucket list?


(We did not make a bucket list. I think that’s only for when you’re going to die soon, right?)

4.  Round up the best back-to-school blog posts

This one

5.  What are your favorite Late-Summer Reads?

A former co-worker wrote this book, and yes, I read it AND have an autographed copy.  She’s one of the reasons I began writing again (thanks, Lisa!).

6.  Tips for dressing for super-hot weather

Go inside.  Turn air conditioning on.  Maybe get naked.

7.  What about fall are you looking forward to most?

Not having to do the above.

8.  Share things you’ve pinned that you want to try before the end of the year


(No, just kidding.  My husband does the laundry, so he’ll have to get the laundry into the dryer before the mildew sets in.)

9.  What’s on your back-to-school wishlist?

Sleep.  It hasn’t happened yet, but maybe soon Stewart will take both kids to school and I will sleep in (because going to bed early is not an option for a night-owl like me).

10.  Do a photo series on the end of summer

I didn’t take any pictures of the 5-foot tall weeds in my garden.  So, instead, here’s a picture of my rear-end that Stewart took while we walked up 300 steps (get it – rear-end?).  He does that a lot – takes pictures of me from behind, none of them flattering.  He also likes to take walks that involve hills and steps and trails that go up “Mount Something-or-other.”  He must enjoy seeing me sweat.


11.  What’s your must-see fall TV show?

Well, I do want to see if Castle is still alive.  He better be, because it seems like all the characters on all the shows have been dying.  (Matthew on Downtown Abbey?  Are you kidding me?  Okay, I know that was two seasons ago, but I just watched it this year.)

12.  Create a craft tutorial out of citrus fruit


13.  Share a pasta salad recipe

Actually, I have a good one.  Cook some pasta – rotini or fusilli or bow tie or whatever.  Add in your favorite veggies – we use corn, black beans, tomatoes, and avocados.  Mix 1 part mayonnaise with 2 parts salsa (I really don’t measure things anymore).  Combine all.  Oh, yeah, you can add chicken or something too.

14.  Create a video starring you and your best friend

Oh, man, and I just saw her this past Sunday!  We could have made something so freakin’ awesome, and it would include one of us holding a finger up to the other’s mouth and saying “Shhhh,” and then we would laugh.  (Don’t you hate inside jokes?)

15.  Write a goodbye letter to summer

Dear Summer,

I got mad when you were cold.  And then I got mad when you were hot and humid.  I’ll miss you anyway.

Love, Mandy

16.  What do you remember about going back to school as a kid?  What do you want your kids to remember when they look back?

I got excited about going back to school.  I loved new books, new folders, new pencils and especially new Trapper Keepers.  I was born to be a nerd.  I don’t know if there is one particular “want” I have for my children.  They will remember what they remember, but I hope that it’s positive in some way.

17.  Round up the best on-the-go breakfast recipes

It’s called “drive through the closest Biggby or Starbucks.”  It’s delicious and SO EASY.

18.  What are your goals for this school year?

See number 9 above.  Oh, she means for the kids?  This question was posed to me on both of the “getting to know you” forms I had to turn in to the kids’ teachers.  Pure and simple, I want them to know more than they do now, and I want them to be nice to other people.  That’s not what I wrote on those forms, though.  I think I wrote something like “I want Beatrix to use her voice more and speak up, and develop better reading and spelling skills.”  I don’t remember what I wrote on Milo’s.

I’m invested in my children’s future.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell, that’s all.

19.  Review a book you’ve read recently

Recent is a relative term, right?  One of my favorite authors is Christopher Moore.  His novel Sacré Bleu is so fun and fantastical (as is all of his writing).  It has some history, a little mystery, humor, and characters that become the reader’s friends.  I’m not good at book reviews (I think because I’ve never written one), but if you click on the link, there are some good ones by professional book reviewers (I don’t know if that’s a thing).

20.  Share your fitness routine

Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!  That is some funny stuff.

21.  Share an excerpt from your travel journal

The furthest we traveled this summer was about 90 minutes from our house.  I did not keep a journal.  So, for your reading pleasure, here are some snippets of a journal I kept while in Taiwan.  Eleven years ago.

“I need to stop eating at McDonalds!  It’s just so easy to order food (point at picture), and I know I’ll like it!  Soon, very soon, I will learn much Chinese and I will order food at a restaurant.  Yup.”

“Tomorrow I move into Jo’s apartment.  When I told Frans I was moving in with Jo, he started singing “Ebony & Ivory” – she’s Ebony (black hair) and I’m Ivory (white hair?).  Anyway, that makes me laugh.”

“Hell, I’m living in a foreign country, and need to get used to not having a shower curtain.  If I wanted a shower curtain, I’d be back in the U.S!”

22.  Write a letter to yourself or your child, to be read at the end of the school year

Dear Beatrix, Milo, and myself,

Let’s go get some ice cream.

23.  Write and share a poem or short story

I think there was a typo.  I’m pretty sure it was supposed to say “Write and share a poem or short story or a joke.”

Knock knock.

Who’s there?


HIPAA who?

I can’t tell you that.

(Not my own joke, but funny to me as it relates to the insurance biz, and that’s my part-time job.)

24.  What are your favorite apps to help make the back-to-school transition smooth?

There are apps for that?  Are you kidding me?  If I knew there was an app that would make it smooth, I mean…just…why didn’t anyone tell me?!

(P.S.  It’s not Pinterest, that’s for sure!)

(P.P.S.  I love Pinterest.  And hate it.  I think everyone on Pinterest feels the same way I do.)

25.  How do you keep your to-do list organized and up to date?

First, I try to find it under the two-foot pile of papers, books, mail, lunch bags, and…dear Lord, what is that gooey stuff stuck on it?  Next, I throw it out because it has gooey stuff on it.  I see the broom by the by the garbage can and think “I should sweep the floor.”  Then, I laugh and laugh and go on Facebook.

What was the question again?

26.  How do you stay on top of cleaning and chores at home?

Ask Grandma to babysit.  Let her cleaning OCD take over.  Thanks, Mom!

27.  Share a unique lemonade recipe

I once made lemonade with lavender in it.  I liked it.  No one else did.  If you want to try a lemonade recipe that no one likes, let me know and I’ll try to find it.

28.  Share a hot-weather hair tutorial

29.  Share the recipe for your favorite campfire treat

Take one awesome husband, add two kids in pajamas.  Snuggle and warm by the fire.  (See, I do have a sappy side).

30.  How do you transition your home decor from summer to fall?

Close the windows?

31.  Do a recap of your summer

Gardening, weeding, more weeding.

Camping, family, fun.

Have a breakdown and get really depressed.

Forget about the garden.

Start writing again!

(See, it ended well).


This post contains a link to  While my post may seem a bit snarky, it is no way intended to put down or make fun of the author of Hello Neverland.  In fact, I will be visiting her site more often to get some blogging tips.  Had I responded to the prompt earlier in the summer, my post would have been different.  More serious, more thoughtful.  However, when I’m overwhelmed, anxious, and depressed, I tend to deflect with humor.  I hope, Kenzie, you understand.  This quote from your “About” page leads me to believe you do: “I like to keep things positive, but I’ll be totally honest when life is less than ideal.”  Thank you for the prompt.  Writing this post was fun for me.  I hope reading it is fun for you.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Hopes and Dreams and Cleaning House | The Lorix Chronicles
  2. dmessinger
    Sep 07, 2014 @ 19:40:04

    SO honest, So funny, and funny, and funny. You are a gifted writer. I love you!



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