Product Review: Simply-Bags

The owner of Simply-Bags contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in evaluating and presenting a Summer Beach Bag to my blog readers.

I did not hesitate to say, “YES!”   (I may have a slight addiction to tote bags.)

Here’s the bag I received in the mail:

Isn’t it cute?  (And doesn’t my backyard look green?  It’s been rainy here in Southern California!)

Here’s where you can order one for yourself.  It cost $22.99.

This bag is made of jute . . . it’s sturdy and adorable and has a zipper pocket inside (for your keys or whatever).  It snaps closed.  I love it.  This is the bag I’ll be carrying to soccer practice.

You can see other bags here.  You can get them personalized and I have to say that the prices seem pretty reasonable to me.  Look at the wide variety.

I don’t mean to boss you around, but these would be a nice gift for Mother’s Day or a graduation or a teacher or . . . well, for yourself.   Right?

Anyway, that’s the end of this commercial interruption.


You should know that I did receive this bag free of charge in exchange for my review of it . . . but my views are my own.

Carlsbad Flower Fields

We three–my husband, daughter and I–visited the Flower Fields this afternoon.

Sometimes, you must stop and . . . photograph the flowers.




He is Risen!



Lola. She’s not a showgirl.

This is my dog, Lola.  She rode with us in the van this morning while I delivered Grace to school.

When we got home, Lola was not interested in getting out of the van.

I didn’t want to drag her, so I took a chance and left her in the open van . . . and went to the front door.  Lola scrambled out of the van and rushed through the front door.

I’m not sure what exactly I would have done if she’d run up the street.


The truth is, I’m feeling a little bitter at the moment.  Now, I tend to avoid saying things like that because I don’t need any helpful comments or sympathy or judgment.  And I could shape this into a life lesson and wrap it up with a cheerful bow, but I don’t want to.  I just want to express the way things feel at this moment, even if it’s not pretty.

Perhaps I’m not actually bitter.  Maybe it’s exhaustion.

Actually, here is what it is.  I am a passenger in a car and I want to be the driver.  I don’t want to go where this car is taking me.

Here’s what I want to do:

I want to spend days alone.
I want to plant a garden.
I want to sleep in.
I want to see three movies in one day.
I want to read a whole novel in one sitting.
I want to watch the sun set.
I want to take a walk.
I want people to stop talking to me and asking me things and calling, “MOM?”

Basically, I want to be selfish.  I want to put myself first.  I want to do what I want to do and I don’t want to have to stop to make dinner and cook food that I would never choose for myself.

But I’m just along for the ride.  I work, I take care of kids, I tend to my kitchen, I wash laundry, I shuttle kids to their activities.  And there’s never time left over for me.  It’s like I handed over my driver’s license all those years ago and now I’m just riding along, locked into the backseat.  This ride has no brakes.

Now, of course, there is time for me.  Rarely but sometimes.  And I feel guilty when those times arrive and I have to carefully arrange that time so everyone else is taken care of  . . . and I answer my phone while I’m away because everyone needs to know exactly what time I’ll be back and am I bringing dinner?  Or what will I cook when I get home?

I’d like to time travel twenty years into the future when I have the luxury of  a quiet week and leisure time and less of this scurry and hurry life because I know when the silence comes I will get all nostalgic and wish for just One More Day of all of this.

But right now I’d like to take my car keys and drive up the coast but instead I will sleep for six hours, take my daughter to school, start working, wash my son’s lacrosse uniform for Picture Day, pick up my son from school, have a meeting with my daughter’s teacher, remember that I forgot to plan dinner, debate going to the gym with my boys, drive son to music practice, take a nap and work again until midnight.

And here’s the thing.  I am essentially an introvert who is never alone.  I’m a creative soul who has no creative outlet.  And every time this one plant in the back yard starts to create a bud, a snail gnaws it off and that, my friends, really irritates me.

In memory

Four years ago on this date, my grandma died.  She was 102 years old . . . but in my mind, she is always the way she appears here, somewhere between eighty and ninety, wearing a frilly white apron, a dress and sensible shoes.

And now, a random update of meaningless, but numbered items

I don’t even really know where the time goes.  I still want to talk about February 17, but there is no time to do it justice.

Lately, I can’t seem to get to bed before 2 a.m.  I work until past midnight every night, usually closer to 1 a.m.  By the time I make a school lunch and fold a load of laundry, it’s 2 a.m.  I’m yawning right now.

And now, ten unrelated items:

1)  I saw a roadrunner running across the road this afternoon while on the way to the YMCA.

2)  My puppy is 5 months old now and needs both a bath and to be spayed.

3)  My office is in constant danger of a being buried in a paper avalanche, even though I clean it regularly.

4)  I still think about that time in college that some boy was telling me about his ideal woman.  I said (foolishly), “Like me, only prettier?”  And he said, “Yes.”  That still hurts my feelings as ridiculous as it sounds.

5)  My daughter misplaced her eyeglasses.  I’m sure they’re in her cluttered room but I don’t have time to search.

6)  I would like to eat pizza every day for the rest of my life.

7)  My husband and I went to a very fancy movie theater the other night.  Without even asking, the young man behind the cash register gave my husband a senior discount.

8)  When bangs are in fashion, I do not have bangs.  This applies to pretty much every fashion and body trend there is.

9)  I don’t understand why I don’t ever hear from someone I used to hear from regularly.

10)  My garage is still unorganized from our move last summer, but over the weekend I completely cleaned and organized my pantry.

Sunday, where did you go?


















I spent the first three hours of today believing my cell phone when it told me the time.

Alas, my cell phone failed to spring forward at 2 a.m. which explains why I lollygagged in bed until 10 a.m. because I thought it was really only 9 a.m.  Actually, now it all seems confusing and foggy, but doesn’t the time change always seem that way for a few days at least?

I’m not sure where the day went . . . after church and lunch, I took my oldest son shopping for sandals, read the Sunday newspaper, worked some, then took the puppy and my daughter to see the sunset.

But halfway there, I could see that the giant cloud-bank would block the view.  We continued on anyway, and took the puppy for a jaunt on the sidewalk that runs along the beach.  Even though the cloud blotted out the sun, the ocean shimmered and we were happy to be there.

The sun set at almost 7 p.m.–not that we could see it.

Now it’s time to make yet another school lunch and head to bed so I can start another week.

Busy, busy, busy

I woke up ridiculously early thanks to the puppy.  We had settled into a nice routine in the past weeks–my husband gets up early anyway, so he feeds the dog, then lets her back into our bedroom where I’m sleeping.  Normally, the puppy goes to sleep and we doze until 9 a.m. or so.

Today, she was riled up and ready to play.  When I rolled over she jumped up onto the bed, which is forbidden.  I had to get out of bed myself to get her out of bed.  She sat looking at me with so much delight until I put her on the floor.  We did that twice before I banished her from my room and went back to sleep.

When I finally fell asleep again I had a troubling, complex nightmare that I can’t remember at all.  And then it was time to wake up and hurry downstairs to work for an hour.

I finished working, cleaned up dog poop in the back yard, took a shower and took Grace with me to buy a dog toy–something to entertain the puppy–and then we got some lunch.  We rushed back home in time for me to work my normal four hour shift . . . after work, my husband and I took our teenagers to see “Acts of Valor” (Grace had gone to a friend’s house for the night).

When we got home, I cleaned up the puppy’s accident (guess we should have crated her), then cooked my husband chocolate pudding and finished reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  Then I took a twelve minute nap before working again at 9 pm.

And here I am!   It’s nearly 2 am and I’ll fold a load of laundry before crawling into bed.

Tomorrow – soccer for Grace and lacrosse for Zach.


Missing: My babies

Isn’t it strange when you realize that you are no longer responsible for wiping anyone’s nose besides your own?  (Did you think I was going to say something besides nose?)

After spending so many hours submerged in the day-to-dayness of babies and toddlers and preschoolers, you’re suddenly sprung free, able to run errands without tucking them into the space between breakfast and nap-time.

And honestly, you are kind of dizzy from the slow motion suddenness of the difference in your life between then and now.










It’s hard to even imagine how different life will look in ten years.  I just hope I’m still the one in charge of wiping my own nose.












Where did my babies go?

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