Tag Archives: lesson

The Right Way To Load The Dishwasher

I was loading the dishwasher last night and I thought, I can not wait until my kids know how to load the dishwasher correctly. 

There was mountains of dishes piled on each other and many crusted with old food.  There was a large sigh and then I thought, ‘Aall I want is for them to know how to load and unload the dishwasher by the time they are on their own.’ 

We all know there is the right way to load the dishwasher and there is the wrong way however, this always seems this is a constant dispute at our house.  

Then I stopped and thought about all the things that I want them to know before they either go to college or move on in life..  And then it hit me even harder that my oldest will be graduating high school in two years and I have a lot to teach her before then.  

I want them to know how to definitely load the dishwasher, what about everything else-all the basics of every day life; like doing your own laundry, washing your dishes, making hard boiled eggs. mowing the lawn, making a doctor appointment, keeping a budget, sewing on a button, fixing a flat tire, the list goes on and on. Its all the life lessons that you don’t always learn in school but what others teach you. 

The more I thought about it the more my head started swimming.  I have just been so focused on my kids grades, sports, driving, end of school, prom, etc, I forget all the little things in life which are actually every day life.  

Maybe kids just magically learn these things, but I still remember my dad taking me out and showing me how to change a tire.  I still remember him telling me I always needed a winter survival kit in my car and I still have it in there.  

And at age 47, I still call my mom on a daily basis to ask her a question on how to do something. Usually it’s the same question I have asked her many times before and generally it’s regarding cooking or planting flowers. 

I still remember my mom showing me how to sew on a button.  However, that’s as far as she got with sewing.   My sister and I still tease my mom about the fact that she never taught us the basics of sewing but she’s spent years teaching my kids.

But those are the things that I still use today.

I thought to myself,  I have two years to work on teaching my oldest the things I want her to remember, the basics. That will definitely be my goal.  Yes, we all use YouTube these days, but I want my kids to remember some of the things I showed them.  They might not seem important now and they will roll their eyes but guarantee they will appreciate it someday.  

I want them to be the kids that know how to do their own laundry and make their favorite dinner for someone.  I want them to know how to mow the lawn and change a flat tire.  And if they don’t know the basics, I want them to pick up the phone and call me.  

So, I guess tomorrow we will start with the dishwasher… 



Living Life On Life Avenue

Living life on Life Avenue….the disappointment that we incur as a result of an unmet expectation is usually our fault, our problem, our unrealistic view.  Now that does not mean ‘don’t expect anything’… what it means is… Don’t let it ruin your day.  Don’t get disappointed about it.  At least not the kind of disappointment that keeps you in bed with a tear-soaked pillow or the kind that keeps you  returning to the fridge for yet…. another scoop of ice cream.

Especially if it was an expectation that YOU put upon someone else without even telling them that you expected it.  In my younger years in my dating life, I had sooooo many unspoken expectations in regards to ‘him’.  AND it ruined much.  If the man I was dating didn’t line up with my expectations of him, if he didn’t act the way I expected him to….. he was out!  Gone!  Done!

What WAS that!?

1) who the heck was I to be so brutally cold ?

2) where in the world did that attitude of mine come from ?

3) who on earth did I think I was ?

I remember one time I was dating this great guy.  I’m talking GREAT.  He made me laugh all the time.  We grooved together.  It just worked. Until one day…we went to a party and he got so drunk that I had to drive us home.  That was it.  We were DONE. It was over.  I was OUT!  He did not know what hit him. He had no idea that his behavior would end US… as he told me, “I would NEVER have done that, if I knew this is where I would be now.” He figured in his own mind that it was no big deal….since I wasn’t drinking it was safe for him to get toasted and I would easily drive. WELL, that’s not went on in my own mind.

Only when I was older did I realize how messed up that was.  Now I know I have the power to say what I like, what I want, what I hope for in a mate.  To actually have a grown-up conversation about how to make the relationship work, for both of us, so it would actually last rather than be DONE because of unspoken expectations.  

Ohhhhh the lessons we learn while on Life Avenue!



Your God girl



Another Lesson In Handling Worry

Last week I wrote a piece about living in day-tight compartments as a way to reduce the amount of worry we experience. Yesterday I had a great opportunity to practice another one of Dale Carnegie’s principles in handling worry.

 Yesterday was a busy day for me I was up early and out working and running errands and arrived home around 2 o’clock. Around 3 o’clock I went to get back in my car to go to the post office and my car turned over once and then shut down like a switch was turned off. It seemed odd that it would just shut down like that, but I got my jumper cables out and attempted to jumpstart it.… nothing. At this point, I could feel myself getting very aggravated and concerned. I had some important things that needed to get into the mail and it was evident that wasn’t going to happen.

 Years ago when I read Dale Carnegie’s book, I remember one of his principles was to cooperate with the inevitable. I took a look at my situation and realized this was out of my control. My car wasn’t going to take me to the post office like I wanted. I could’ve thrown a hissy fit and cursed like a drunken sailor. I could’ve felt victimized, or acted out in someway, but none of that would help my situation.

 Since I had no control over my car, I thought about what I did have control over. I called a friend who lives nearby to come and take my mail to the post office and I called my mechanic to schedule him to come and help. It was then that I realized there really was nothing to worry about. This was only an inconvenience.

 Reinhold Niebur has a quote that many 12 step programs use in their groups, it is “God grant me the serenity to except the things I cannot change: the courage to change the things I can: and the wisdom to know the difference”. That’s what Dale Carnegie is encouraging – cooperate with the inevitable.


Don’t Let This Be My Story

Don’ let this be my story….It is early this week while I write this. No beverage, no music. But lots of thoughts banging around in my head.

My daughter finally visited with her Dad. She hasn’t said much and I don’t want to push.

This is a slippery slope this Single Mama thing. I realize I’m preaching to the proverbial choir. But there are days I want to come home, look at someone and just have them hug me alright.

I’m a pretty independent person and have been wading these waters solo even when I wasn’t solo but I’m going to be honest. I don’t always want it to be like this. I’ve dipped my toe back into dating again as you all know it’s a roller coaster.

I have a person but the world right now has put roadblocks in our way.

As a person who thrives on end goals,it’s hard for me to feel like I don’t have one.

On the flip side we joke every story we will  tell our grandchildren will be something related to the pandemic.

But there are days I worry we won’t make it. I come with that infamous suitcase I try to hide under my bed.

The suitcase will slide out and suddenly I start believing I’m unlovable. I’m not worthy. I’m all the things the ghosts of my past made me believe, which makes me start looking for cracks that don’t exist.

Shut down.

Go radio silent.

It would be easy to start sticking labels on me. First … yes I go to therapy. Lol. Please for all that is holy do not call me broken. Chipped. Sure. Cautious. Oh my goodness yes. 



Last but not least I don’t want this to be my story. I think the fact that I don’t want it. Means there is hope.

At least the perpetual optimist in me believes so.

Hope is huge. Hope, caffeine and my daughter are what get me through a lot of days.

My hope for you that you have hope and things to keep you bright and going when your story doesn’t feel like it’s going to end the way you want.


 Much love and be safe Mommas

<3 Caprise

Life Lessons

Life lessons….

My Mother is nearing the end of her time here, it is the reason that I didn’t do Coffee Chat last Sunday morning as we thought the exit was closing in…it appears now that it will be a journey to the finish line with an undefined amount of time…so as you might imagine no matter what else I am doing right now this knowledge is with me, running under everything that I do.

Every day I am asking myself what lessons God wants to teach me with all of this, what is there for me to see, to learn, to give, to do?  Some lessons have been about boundaries and understanding that I cannot fix or save other people, some have been about carrying on the things she taught me about being a WARRIOR no matter what you are walking through and this morning was a lesson about adding something to my work with people…

She trained me hard, taught me how to achieve results with no excuses, taught me how to tell it like it is, taught me how to stand in the face of a shit storm and not let it phase me….warrior training, my whole life has been that.  She, herself would tell you that the softer sides of things she wasn’t good at—- and so my training in those ways has been from other things and other people.  Of course training also never ends, life continues to train us on the daily.

This morning I shared some thoughts on the FB page about adversity and how to use it — it was an excerpt from something that I had written awhile back— when I went to check the comments I saw that someone had written that I was ‘harsh’ and ‘mean’— after my ego finished being insulted and I deleted the comment which was written in a shitty way— I re-read what I posted and I saw how the person could have interpreted what I had written in a way that was more ‘hard’ than I meant it to be.  It is difficult sometimes to have my personality come through my words, if you know me or watch me you see that I care about people and that I only want to help them overcome things that are in their way.  

In this particular thing that I wrote I was talking about using adversity to make you stronger and not to get stuck in a mode of whining and complaining when things are hard—- the person in her comment had pointed out that sometimes talking about it and venting is needed, it is part of the process…and she was CORRECT.  

Lord knows that my closest friends have been getting an earful daily for the last week as I process my Mother’s impending exit from this world…I have been angry, I have cried, I have complained etc—-so much so that I am sick of talking about it now. What could be the lessons?It feels like a coat that I cannot shed right now and I am not a fan.  Am I wallowing?  NO. Am I processing? YES.  Is that a necessary factor? YES.

I went back and edited the post I made to include a line about how it is ok to vent and process and then just move on from that, don’t dwell in the seeming mess, don’t dwell in the sadness—don’t move in and stay in those places.

I am still learning, learning that helping people to be warriors can also mean showing them how to make room for sadness or despair and not live IN it—- learning that a day of “I can’t” is ok as long as it is JUST a day or two— learning that having space for “i’d rather not” and letting it run me for a day or two is okay as long as I PUSH through it after that.  

Learning also that I have to accept people where they are and be okay with them being incongruent— every one, including my Mother has their own path, their own karma, their own life lessons—it is not my job to judge or evaluate them.  It is my job to heal my own shit, OWN my own shit and take care of ME and to do what I can to be helpful while being true to my own boundaries of what works and what doesn’t.

My Mother and my Grandparents have been my greatest teachers thus far and they continue to teach me daily from this world and beyond….funnily enough my Son is also an excellent teacher of mine and his point of view on recent events has been invaluable to me—- it’s cool to see when you have gotten a job done well.

I am not sure if I will see you on Sunday for Coffee Chat, we’ll play it by ear—know that I am always thinking of you all and sending you love and strength and peace.

XO, N.

Battle Unicorn

Battle Unicorn….I woke up this morning with the Beatles song Blackbird in my head. I can’t share too much here because of licensing. But the lyric “ take these broken wings and learn to fly…” They are on repeat in my head.

I had about three blogs all set to write.

More about my daughter.

A fluffy one about how I am resisting the urge to cut my hair.

A personal one about how I am trying to maintain my relationship while having to stay home.

Instead I woke up to news my city is on a curfew. Our downtown had 75 businesses torn up.

I can’t speak to much. I don’t know that I should. But I am exhausted.

My heart is broken in a million pieces.

I have said throughout all of this people will show who they are, to believe them.

I have also said we have an opportunity to show people who we are.

This morning I was all set to wallow in this. 2020 is truly the year that can be tucked away in the suitcase I like to reference that holds my troubles and heartbreaks. The one I slide under my bed.

This is bigger than that.

I would like to think I am bigger than that.

I am a teacher by trade. Four year olds. I was until the virus. I was actually in the midst of switching careers but for almost fourteen years I have spent time with four year olds.

They are pretty smart cookies, four year olds.

They also have absolutely no filter.

They love with their whole heart.

Negotiating with a four year old is pretty cut and dry.

They judge you off of how you treat them. Period.

Nothing else.

I worked in Human Resources for a long time and quit to work with kids. When people would ask me why I would say less BS.

I still feel that way.

Four year olds could teach us a lot.

I have two lessons they taught me.

The first is not from my group, but rather an article I read about the unique names children give animals.

I love Rhinos. Apparently a four year old somewhere in the universe decided they are actually Battle Unicorns.

The explanation is pretty detailed but I fell in love with that.

The fact that a Rhino could be something so beautiful and majestic. Pretty fantastic.

I even have it on a T-shirt,

The second lesson was from my kids.

We were reading a story together.

They were all snuggled into me.

My kids came from all backgrounds. All cultures.

What they had in common was me as their teacher and being four.

The book was about family.

We finished and were talking.

As we did.

I was informed that several of them were indeed sisters and brothers too.

They lived together and had slumber parties and watched Frozen.

I told them I’m pretty lucky to be teaching such a big family.

I was informed I could be the big sister if I wanted to be.

Extra credit for that by the way.

My point on sharing this…

I am sad and angry and there are days I want to wrap up in a blanket and cry.

A lot lately if I am being honest.

But my Battle Unicorns taught me better than that.

They taught me to love with my whole heart.

Take people for how they treat you.

I will however be using a filter.

Be safe.

Much love Mommas.

<3 Caprise

A Death of a Guinea Pig

There is nothing like the death of the family rodent to teach a kid about life & death. In our case, our guinea pig, Odie, stepped up and took it for the team this past weekend. He was only 2 years old, so we’re all a bit shocked…

My oldest daughter, who is 9, took the news quite well. She even discovered him, and calmly asked me to confirm his status. I was sure that I could just quietly remove the remains and the cage and all that a guinea pig implied without my 3 y.o. son even noticing, but after last week’s escapade of moving the water cooler to another room, and his epic meltdown because of it, I shouldve known better. Unbenounced to us, though, my son was lurking just out of view while we did a pulse check, poke check, and the rattle-the-cage-wicked-loud check. And when I pronounced him officially dead, he made his entrance with as much drama as an episode of All My Children. I was completely caught off guard, and the right words to console this child had left me high and dry.

So…after little time to come up with a plan, I sent Cara off to find a shoebox. I gave clear instructions to decorate it any way she wanted to, and that we would use it to put Odie in it and give him a proper funeral in the morning. There were stickers and markers everywhere—suddenly the guinea pig had become a family hero, and the box became its shrine. All around the NIKE Swoosh there were stickers of red roses, and written above it in magic marker read the words “R.I.P Odie Our beloved Guinea Pig”.

BELOVED Guinea Pig? He wasnt very BELOVED when it was time to clean his cage. He wasnt very BELOVED when he took a chunk out of the neighbor’s finger. He wasnt even BELOVED when he was squealing so loud even the dogs left the room….

At any rate, I helped them write it. And they werent crying anymore, so hey…if it works, its true. Whatever.

On Sunday, My husband took the little thing out to the woods and buried it, further confusing the youngest child. It was my fault really….I was the one who announced his intent and both kids were just curious enough to insist on going with him. I didnt know they’d do that…sorry, Hunny.

But for days now, the story of this traumatic event as told by my 3 year old son has taken on a life of its own. It began when my 3 year old niece arrived at our house for a visit on Monday morning.

I heard her enter the house with her mother, and I heard the boy begin to spill the gory details of the previous days. I raced towards the room in an attempt to spare her the details, but before I could, there it was. All of it within 30 seconds…
Odie died.
He’s in a box.
With a paper towel bed.
We buried him.
Angels will pick him up…

And when I rounded the corner, there stood my innocent little niece clutching the last of her bagel. I braced myself, and waited for her response. And there it was…
“Ok. Want a bite of my bagel?”
And with that, they were off sharing a bagel and picking through the toy bin.

The questions are still coming.

“When will he not be old?’
“When are the angels gonna drop him back off?”
“Where is heaven?”
“Is he still stiff?”

But with each one, I know his curious mind is learning something new. He merely trying to grasp something no one has yet to understand.

With that, RIP Odie…Our BELOVED guinea Pig.



Life Lessons From The Playscape

Life Lessons From The Playscape.

When you have your first baby, you dream of her growing up to be a strong confident woman, of being smart and taking on the world. Perhaps she is a beautiful little girl with big brown eyes, and you want to protect her. You want to wrap her in the softest blankets, gently rock her to sleep and give her all the best care. You never want to see her cry or be hurt. You love that little precious thing and so you protect. And then one day you realize she won’t grow strong wrapped in the softest blankets. She won’t grow strong if you protect her from everything. She won’t be confident if you’re afraid.

Well, damn!

So you go to the playground and you watch this teeny tiny precious ball of joy trying to climb those terrifying metal bars they call a ladder, up way too high, trying to get to the top of the playscape, and you stop breathing a little. Maybe you say, “No! You’re not ready for that!” or perhaps a simple, “Be careful!” But your beautiful brave little child now thinks, “Mom doesn’t believe in me and maybe I shouldn’t believe in me either.” Or maybe she just thinks, “Don’t take risks.”

This scene right here is one of my parenting struggles. I don’t want my kids to get hurt. I find myself warning them far more often than I find myself encouraging them to take the chance, to try it or encouraging them with a “you can do it!” And the crazy thing is, it’s the exact opposite of what will yield a brave, strong, confident child.

All that’s true, but what if you are the child. What if you’re the scared little girl and you tell yourself all the time, “don’t take risks,” “that’s not safe,” or “You’re going to fail.”

I’ve been that little girl for most of my life, so if that’s you, I feel you.

I didn’t try out for the team because I was afraid I wouldn’t be any good. I didn’t run for President of my class, because I was afraid I’d lose to that girl. I dated that guy because he was a sure thing. I didn’t follow my dreams, one after another, time after time, because the risks were too scary.

But, what I read about kids back when my first baby was just a little girl on the playground applies to us as adults too. There’s still time! What I read is that children develop confidence by 1) taking those risks, by daring to climb the scary metal ladder, and by 2) always having a safe place to run when they get hurt.

So, when my confidence is shot because I was never really confident to begin with, and the last 10 years of my life was anything but safe, I have to rebuild my confidence one scary metal ladder rung at a time. I have to dare to climb.

This last year and a half, I’ve been intentionally taking one small risk at a time, allowing my confidence to grow little by little. Fearing failure or pain, yes, but being my own safe place to fail. Sometimes I blow it. I fall. I make bad choices. Then I remind myself I am not my bad choice. I am not my failed attempt. In fact, just as I would congratulate my child for trying something new, for taking that chance even if she fails, I am practicing congratulating myself for taking the chance and trying something new.

I am determined to 1) take some calculated risks to build confidence and 2) being my own safe place when I get hurt.

I’m not ready to give up on myself. I’m not ready to succumb to a lack of confidence and stop living a life of new experiences and adventure – and adventure is risky – so I will take the lessons I learned on the playscape and climb my way to confidence and a full, even if a little risky, life.


Happy 51st Birthday!

Tomorrow…51st Birthday?!?! WTF? How did that even happen???? I was literally just, like 30! The kid is 18 now too, going on 60 or so he thinks…he’s moving out soon, looking for an apartment with his friends as he works full time as a Sous Chef and tells me it isn’t “cool” to be a Sous Chef and living at home….he says it is ruining his image….pardon me while I roll around on the floor laughing. I am ruining his image???? HAHAHA—-what do you think he did for mine all these years???? (Continues to laugh until she snorts)

So now what? Here I sit at 51 and soon the kid will be on his own…so what now? It strikes me that I don’t even know who I am without having to be concerned about the boy 24/7— I support him moving, I was on my own at an early age too—-so I get that. It’s just that a moment will catch me and I am like completely undone for a flash. Composure is regained and I keep moving…I am not sure how I will sleep at night not knowing exactly where he is or if he got home safe from work…and I can’t always be asking…he will just say I am being a “helicopter parent”. I don’t think regular people GET what it is like to give up everything to pour yourself into the job of raising a child ALL on your own and having to pay for EVERYTHING and then all of a sudden it is complete…at least this phase because of course we are always their parents….that is a lifetime position….lucky us:)

Then there is the whole 51 issue…damn if I had $5.00 for every lesson I have learned…honestly it seems like the first 50 years was just training ground…sometimes I wonder how the hell I made it!! Also what is with the lines in my face all of a sudden??? Like where the F did those even come from??? UGH!

So let’s talk about some of the “biggies”—-lesson wise that is—-

I learned to watch for behavior patterns as well as actions…words I have discovered mean little….actions are important and patterns will tell you even more. Patterns show the history of someone’s behavior and that is SO important.

-I learned how to walk through fire and hell and come out the other side and I learned that the fire refines me every time and every time I come out stronger and wiser. The fire seasons are hard, yet they are the biggest gifts. Truly. When you are IN them, they are hellish—-when you are out the other side you come to appreciate their value to your growth.

-I have learned patience…mostly…:)

-I have learned how to set boundaries and how to say NO

-I have learned that I cannot fix people and I cannot save them….no matter how much I love them or how much I want to…only they can save themselves.

-I have learned and seen first hand that no matter how long it takes, karma NEVER loses an address.

-I learned that I am not for everyone and that is OK.

And lastly I learned to understand my worth and to value that…this one took almost the whole 51 years to get…

There are SO many more…however those are the BIG ones, the ones that came as a result of walking through fire seasons. Life really is a work in progress and change is what keeps pushing us forward…the kid moving will be its own season for me, not quite a fire season yet some sort of reclaiming…

Reclaiming parts of myself that I had to put aside in order to effectively be his mother and make it work…it will be interesting to see who I become now that I can breathe a little…I look forward to sharing this coming season with you.

I will say that I am grateful for ALL of what came before and that I have also learned to have GRACE for myself and for others as well as I learned that everything really IS working together for good even when I cannot see.

Talk next week.



Everyone Has Soulmates

Everyone has soulmates of all different shapes and sizes of them. Soulmates are levers for change and growth, for learning in our life. Not on the same scale as twin flames, but still very important.

Best friends, lovers, family. People who have had large impacts on your life, views and feelings.

Each one has a single lessen for you, and most of the time even though they are dear to you once that lesson is learned they get removed from your life.

They are simply a catalyst for change, and growth. Some stick around, and they end up playing a huge roll in our life after we have learned what they were send to teach, but majority leave soon after. When you try to hang on to a soulmate that tries to leave it can be painful and the relationship can become very toxic.

This lack of permanency in our life does not affect the value and important of soul mates they are a crucial part of our lives and should be cherished.  If you know someone who keeps going in and out of your life take a look and see the difference in yourself during those times and I can almost guarantee you’ll find the lesson that you haven’t completed.

Always be unapologetically yourself,