Wedgwood and Wine


Delighted to be over at Sue Vincent’s place today, sharing the story of Tracy and her family’s not-so-perfect Christmas dinner. I enjoyed writing this one. It’s not a feel-good holiday feast and involves family drama, fine china, and a Prince Charming…of sorts. You can read it here: Wedgwood and Wine

Ani (Sue’s adorable ‘Small Dog’) invited me to write a story for her Advent posts this year. Do think about sending Ani your letters, stories, or holiday memories this season.



Wedgwood and Wine

Sarah Brentyn


“That’s not how it happened,” Terri barked.

“Maybe…” Tracy began.

“Who cares,” Kim interrupted, “I want to hear more about Tracy’s new ‘boyfriend’.”

“He had a…” Tracy said.

“No, no,” Mark gestured with his beer, “let’s hear more about this supposed thing I said about Tracy. I hurt her wittle feelings?”

Britney laughed. “It’s bullshit. Like her new job.”

“Tracy?” Her mother glared. “Don’t just stand there like an idiot.”

Tracy concentrated on smoothing her velvet dress, which was quite free of wrinkles.

She swore the merlot wouldn’t flow this Christmas but found herself holding a crystal goblet like a life vest in the storm that was her family.

Slow sips, at first, then an empty wine glass. More merlot and wishes of civility or, at the very least, quiet.

It was a gift she wouldn’t get. Dinner was excruciating. Six courses served with cruelty and foie gras on floral Wedgwood china.


Wedgwood and WineContinue Reading…



My Cup Runneth Over




I find myself in the place where life is offering me both olive branches and snakes.

Be careful what you reach for.

There is joy and sorrow. Peace and distress.

I find myself in the place where I am most grateful for the fact that I have too much to be grateful for.

When I look at the big things, the small things, the basic things, the superfluous things…I am amazed.

My cup is so full, it overflows. Regardless of everything else, I am thankful for that.

And I am thankful for you, my friends.

I absolutely must give a special shout-out to all those who showed up to support me last week for the release of my new book. I’m truly touched. Thank you.


Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow US bloggers.


What Ditching My Phone Did for Me


Soccer Ball & Piano - sig


In light of my recent technology fail, I’ve taken a major break from many of my devices.

While I was out this weekend, something was missing.

What was missing?

Glad you asked. My phone. It was zipped up inside my handbag.

Sure, I got the thing out to take a few photos but then it went right back inside the deep, dark, depths of my cluttered bag.

I didn’t have my phone in my hand the way I usually do. Like an extension of my arm. (Creepy…)

And my days were better for it.

I was appreciating my kid’s drawing at the school art show, watching him run after a ball with some sort of net on a field, listening to my other one play music at his piano recital.

Throughout these events, I’d normally be snapping photos, texting those to family and friends, getting caught up in a text convo about how it was going, and, inevitably, becoming distracted by a reminder about a dentist appointment on Monday.

You can guess what I wouldn’t be doing.

But, it so happens, without the blasted phone, I was actually paying attention to my life.


My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.


Are you able to “be” where you are? Are you seeing it through your camera lens or looking down, missing something, because you’re texting or checking your calendar?


Envy and Honesty


Envy is never pretty. Not really all that helpful, either. (Except if it motivates you to go to the gym or something.) But I digress. I’ve been envious lately. Of the “good” writers, the funny tweeps, the people who have it all together. Because their blog and social media shows this, it must be true.

Then I received a DM.

An online friend was struggling.

I got an email. Then another. And another. They were all struggling. And I had no idea. I wrote back, sending supportive words and virtual hugs. But I felt helpless.

I also felt guilty. Here’s why.

Two of the people who contacted me were, less than a week before that, on my list. (My completely, utterly unfair list.) It was a long list, I must admit, because I am not doing well. I’m overwhelmed. I can’t keep up. And more is headed my way every day.

Although I should know better, I envied these people who had it all together. Who were juggling families, jobs, friends, writing, blogging, social media… Life. They were managing life. Without breaking a virtual sweat.

Ah. But there it is, right? Virtual. It’s difficult enough to recognize in real life people who are struggling. When you can hide behind a screen and type when you feel chipper or comment when you’re capable, no one can tell that you’re struggling.

Imagine my shock when one of these emails expressed a good-natured jab about how well I was doing because I was seemingly all around the blogosphere. Here I was drowning and someone thought I was winning the swim meet. Everyone is dealing with something—they may be fine, they may not be.

I know this. People post when they’re feeling okay. I should never have assumed. Needless to say, and yet I will, I should never have been envious of their ability to handle the world in the first place, virtual or not.


Sarah B rainy day - sig


Because September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day, I thought it fitting to share this today. I’m checking my envy at the door. Giving what I can, when I can. Being there.

And asking “How are you?”


You Don’t Write Me Love Notes…Anymore


My husband had to work this weekend. That’s when it occurred to me.

He doesn’t leave me love notes around the house anymore. I sat and tried to remember when I’d seen the last one.

Months ago.

The ones that used to say “Hope you have a wonderful day” or “Your purple is gorgeous” (I have a purple streak in my hair) or “You are beautiful”. Or simply “I love you”.

They’re gone—the post-its that used to be stuck to my mirror, my nightstand, my favorite coffee cup.

Where are all the notes?

Oh. There they are. On my phone. “Have a great day” and “Love you” and “I made you iced coffee—it’s in the fridge” with tiny, smiling emoticons or cute flowers.


The love notes I used to get are little electronic bubbles on my frickin’ phone. It’s weird. Still sweet, of course, but like a sterilized version of what I had. Is this called a “love text”? (If that is some crude, new term, I apologize.)

I appreciate that my husband still writes these messages but there’s something special about a handwritten note.

Plus, I can’t use a text as a bookmark. Just saying.


Love Notes TextingLove Notes Texting 2


My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

Love Note Thought Bubble



Philosophy, Families, and Kindness


Last week, while reading a history book with my son, we saw a sidebar about Confucius stating that he advocated family loyalty and kindness.

This confused my son. He asked about unkindness within families.

I debated what to say.ThoughtBubble

I don’t put rose-colored glasses on my children. The world is not pink.

However, there is only so much information they need. When one of my boys asks me something, there is a split second where my mind quickly determines how to answer by factoring in his chronological age, his emotional age, and his sensitivity. I go from there.

So, with my 8-yr-old, I simply said, “Some families treat each other badly. They are…not very nice to each other.”

To which he cried and said, “Like if you don’t get a birthday card from your parents? Because that would be awful. Cards are a wish for good things and, I don’t know, it means ‘I love you’ and ‘I’m thinking of you’.”

I stared.

He continued, “So ‘unkind’ like if your father never wrote you a card?”

Yes. Just like that.

Can I bottle this innocent beauty? Just for a few more years…


Handwritten Notes

A typical note for my kids.

If, for my son, not ever receiving a handwritten note is what it means for family to be cruel,
I’m not going to correct him. Not right now.


My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.


Mother of the Year Award Goes To…


I’ve been tagged by Irene Waters to tell some secrets. I don’t gossip so these will be about me. And since I’ve already written a things-you-don’t-know-about-me post last year, I’m going to make this a confessions post. Because people love to read confessions. They do.

So, as mother of the year, I’ll start with the fact that I have never baked cookies with my children. In fact, I have never baked anything with them. My poor little boys. I’ve never let them roll dough with that neat wooden rolling thingy with the handles on the side or squish dough with their hands. Do I think they’ll make a mess? Is my OCD acting up imagining flour on the floor and egg yolks on the counter? Um. Maybe. The point is, I’ve never baked anything that wasn’t from an Easy-Bake Oven.

Since we’re on food and kitchens and stoves and stuff, I’ll let you all know another secret that helped me win this prestigious award: I don’t cook meals for my children. My children do eat and I do spend a lot of time in the kitchen but I’m usually cleaning, not cooking. It would be more accurate to say that I prepare meals. You know, washing fruit, cutting fruit, opening jars of peanut butter, containers of yogurt, and boxes of graham crackers, making sandwiches, microwaving, that sort of thing. I have no excuse. Well, I have lots of excuses but I won’t bore you with them. You’re welcome. I will say that I cooked more for my cat (he loved salmon and rice the best) than I have for my kids.

Out of the frying pan, into the fire. Let’s scoot out of the kitchen and head over to the living room where my family loves playing games—board games, cards, dice, whatever. After a game, I trick my kids into counting my points claiming it’s a “teaching moment”. In reality, at six and eight years old, my kids counted faster (and more accurately) than I did. Sometimes I won, though, so there’s that.

Speaking of winning… Actually this has nothing to do with winning. It’s about sharing. I have sharing issues. I like books. I love books. My books. My precious… And I read a lot of MG and YA novels so, sometimes, my children ask to *gulp* borrow my books. I don’t let my children read my books. My younger son could read a book three times and it would look like we just bought it so I’m a little more likely to let him borrow. My older son will take a beautiful copy of Harry Potter and return it with torn pages, the spine broken in seven places, and goodness-knows-what (I don’t want to know) smeared on the front cover. The back cover may or may not still be there. If it’s a special book, one that belonged to my grandmother or that I wrote a message in for them as babies, I make them lend the book from the library—the exact one that is already right here in my hot little hands.

Moving on to the last, but certainly not least, secret that I believe put me over the top. I can’t stand the sound of my children laughing. After a day of bickering, complaining, whining, and arguing, I’m done. Also, my boys are fond of making random noises for some reason. Just…noises. All. Day. Long. Around four in the afternoon, I’m ready for some giant, fluffy earmuffs. Then it is dinner and bedtime. At this point, giggles, guffaws, and laughter simply sound like more noise. And for some reason, kids feel the need to laugh loudly. Just more noise to add to the echoes of all the other noise bouncing around my skull and making me want to run screaming (very quietly) from the house.

And those are five reasons I won this award. That I gave to myself. Now. I will mention five other people here who will, if you’re lucky, spill some secrets of their own. But, whether they do or not, you should check them out. Because they’re awesome.

To the five marvelous bloggy people I am tagging: time to tell some secrets. Or not. I am giving you a compliment, not the flu.


Georgia Bell

Author of Unbound, the first book in her YA trilogy All Good Things. Amazing flasher (writer of amazing flash fiction—because flashing might be chilly in Canada). Wine-drinker. Scotch-drinker. Chocolate-eater. Doppelgänger with a damn good sense of humor. Or is it humour?

Robin Flanigan

Author, blogger, award-winning freelance writer. Yoga-loving inspiration. (I know you cringed at my aforementioned eating habits but do remember I’m with you on the meditation, yoga, balance, mindfulness. I am but a young grasshopper. Old-ish grasshopper.)

Amy Good

Author of Rooted. Creator of Friday Phrases (microfiction on Twitter), Story Bandit (writing dares), co-creator of Rewriting MarySue, how-does-she-do-it-all beauteous red-haired remarkable woman.

Sherri Matthews

Blogger, memoirist, poet, photographer, robin-inspired lover-of-life and one of the loveliest ladies you eva shall meet. Truly.

Loni Townsend

Author of Thanmir War and newly-released fantasy This World Bites, the first book in her Cera Chronicles series.
Funny, witty, wonderful gal. Loni is made of awesome. That is all.


Mommy Math


Mommy math goes something like this:
(Stick with me. Word problems are wicked fun.)

Question 1: Five appointments need to be made. There is one person making these appointments and one week in which to do it. How many hours are spent trying to find a pen, some scrap paper, and the phone? ThoughtBubble

Did you get it? Awesome. Here’s another one. This time it’s a multiple choice:

Question 2: There are seven days in one week. Three weeks have gone by. How many days is that? (Oh, you’re good.) Fifteen more appointments need to be made, including the five that were not made three weeks ago. Where is the person who was supposed to make these appointments?

A) Helping someone else find his shoes
B) Blowing someone else’s nose
C) Answering work emails
D) Rocking in a corner
E) All of the above

When answering a multiple choice question, it is a fallacy that, should you not know the answer, choose C. What you should do, in a case like this especially, is back away slowly. You never know when someone might spring from a corner.


I’m a wee bit overwhelmed at the moment.
And not very good at math.

Sarah Brentyn Parenting Posts

© Peter Le Pard


My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.


Family Photos: What’s Happening Here?


Flipping through our phones, my husband and I look at pictures. There are soccer games, piano recitals, and little boys bundled up in winter jackets building a snowman together. There are adoring parents (that would be us) smiling at the camera. ThoughtBubble

“Aww, how cute! The one of the kids at that holiday festival.”

“Look! I love this one of us at The Nutcracker.”

“Oh, yeah,” we cringe. “That was the time when…”

We have our arms around each other. All of us are smiling. I am beaming. I will not excuse my clichéd word choice here because I am simply beaming, people. My happiness is bursting through the pixels.

Yet I know that I had just barked at one of my boys after he had a meltdown and turned Hulk on the other one after he wandered away from us into a crowd of people (again). And yet there I am all smiles.

Especially during the holidays, when we’re snapping pictures more often, I’m reminded of this.

Sometimes, what we see in a photograph is the honest, beautiful truth. But other times, it is a lucky snapshot of a moment we wish were true.

That’s life – beauty and bullshit.


The reality of the family behind the picture isn’t always pretty. Then again, sometimes it’s beautiful.




My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.


Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving?


I understand stuffing your face with, well, stuffing. It’s yummy. And you gotta have the turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes withThoughtBubble gobs of butter, pumpkin pie… But Thanksgiving goes something like this: jam food in your mouth, watch football games, and get together with family you can’t stand. (Or maybe you actually like them—lucky you.)

There’s not a hell of a lot of thanks going on. I am not feeling the love, you know? I get that we’re not out hunting and harvesting our crops so we don’t gather around the table in appreciation of a bountiful harvest but we can still be thankful for something.

If you think about it, I know you can come up with one or two things you are grateful for. I just know you can.

More and more stores are selling decor with “Give Thanks”, “Be Grateful”, and “Happy Harvest” for Thanksgiving. I like it. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Like a wicked soft sweater. Hey! That’s something right there. Soft, non-itchy sweaters. See? Easy.

Those simple statements say so much. Give thanks and be grateful, gentle readers.

P.S. If you’re feeling in the spirit of all that is good and covered in gravy, leave a comment with one thing you’re grateful for. Pick something, anything, and be thankful for it.


My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.