Re-Run Monday: The Bird Battle Begins Again

Here's a new feature, Re-Run Monday. Lots of our old stuff didn't make it over to the new site last year, so we're uploading some of them here on Re-Run Mondays. Some of you might remember them, some of you might be new enough, this will be just like the first time around. Thanks for sticking with us! By Wendy Pierman Mitzel 3/27/13 Ahhhh Spring! The daffodils burst yellow from the muddy earth. A single crocus reaches for the sun.  And the shiny grackle bird spreads its wings in preparation to turd-bomb my backyard swimming pool. As I said to my son the other day: “It’s not Spring until I start yelling ‘Quit pooping in my pool!’ out the kitchen window.” Grackles show up in Spring to nest and like Navy Seals carefully plan their siege on my pool cover. Birdwatching blogs identify them as bullies and now I know why. These birds mock me with their beautiful iridescent feathers and alight on the very tree the little sparrows prefer and either kill them or drive them away. The sparrows and I are not the only victims of these poop-launching missiles. There are tons of blogs and web-forums dedicated to other’s driven cuckoo by these bird-brains.  Apparently, these Read more...

Re-Run Monday: Youth Sports is About More Than Just Winning

Here's a new feature, Re-Run Monday. Lots of our old stuff didn't make it over to the new site last year, so we're uploading some of them here on Re-Run Mondays. Some of you might remember them, some of you might be new enough, this will be just like the first time around. Thanks for sticking with us! Wendy Pierman Mitzel From : 3/6/2013 I used to squeak. From kindergarten through high school I put on my trademark white cleats and hit the “pitch” as those Brit friends of mine call it. And for the first few years I squeaked each time the black and white sphere came my direction and required me to engage in battle. It was a weird habit that my gawky, bespecticled-self developed. It took years to break once I realized I was too old for it to be cute and instead it had turned just plain weird.  I wasn’t a great soccer player at first, but as time went on I gained confidence and skill and control over my long, skinny arms and legs. Just as a foal takes time to become a mare, I needed a few years to GROW into myself. Eventually, I earned a varsity spot and a few conference awards for my kick-ass defensive moves and rockin’ white cleats. What’s disheartening to me, Read more...

The One Titled: What I Have In Common With An Old Classmate’s Mother

It may be all wrong, but this is how I remember it: Joanna Pascucci lived in a big, brick Italian ranch house on a little hill across from middle school.  I felt lucky that day to be part of a group of kids who walked home with the "cool girl" Joanna while we all waited for something that must have been going on later back at school. We walked up the long dirt driveway and in through the garage. I'd always wondered what it looked like in that house on the hill. Did it have marble? Was it gorgeous? I'll be honest. I don't know. All I remember is the kitchen island.  I was expecting a Venetian mansion, not an Italian mother's suburban Detroit kitchen. It was piled high with brown grocery bags of food. Not just a few bags. But to me, in my 7th grade memory, a dozen at least. Some of the items, bananas, cereal had already made it out of box. There was food on the counters. It was a free-for-all. I know I marveled out loud at the cornucopia of plenty, because she reminded me of her older brothers and their appetites. I swear she told me her mother gave up on actually putting most of the food in a pantry. It was attacked so quickly by the boys it wasn't worth the time and Read more...

Bruce Springsteen Said My Name

There I was truckin' along in my salty, dirty minivan with Sirius XM classic rock bustin' out my bass when Bruce Springsteen spoke to me. "Wendy let me in I wanna be your friend I want to guard your dreams and visions Just wrap your legs'round these velvet rims and strap your hands 'cross my engines..." The Boss was singin' to me people. Testify! I had no idea I was "Born to Run!" Yet here it was: "I wanna die with you Wendy on the street tonight In an everlasting kiss" Well, okay, Bruce but Sean might get jealous... "Together Wendy we can live with the sadness I'll love you with all the madness in my soul Oh-oh, someday girl I don't know when we're gonna get to that place Where we really wanna go and we'll walk in the sun But till then tramps like us baby we were born to run" Maybe you haven't heard Bruce, but I really don't like running, unless it's after a soccer ball, but even then I have my limits... Still, it's hard to say no to the Boss. Maybe I was born to walk really fast? Stroll along merrily? Okay, I'll run, but just 'til the next mailbox. After that serenade I started to think about my name, I encourage you all to do the same. There's Read more...

With Peaceful Intent…

~~~~~~By Heather Thomas Sinon, Guest Contributor    An Open Letter to Terrorists of all Sorts: You’ve made it so I have to stop watching the news. My soul hurts after hearing and seeing what you do. But, I want you to know that I get my kicks out of doing the opposite of everything you do. Does my love outweigh your hate? Probably not. I don’t have access to the 24/7 news cycle, as you unfortunately do. Even though you won’t see it, here’s a list of how I am defeating you. You like to bring down planes. I like to lift up people. You like to take people hostage. I like to take prisoners of hugs. You like to show horrible images. I like to show birds and bunnies and rainbows. You like to cause violent death. I like to ensure peaceful transitions. You like to bomb roads into oblivion. I like to let people merge on the highway. You like to cause homelessness. I like to adopt homeless pets. You like to spread viral threats. I like to spread viral love. You like to starve people. I like to feed them a little too much. You like to cause pain. I like to hold hands. You like to be a megaforce of evil. I like to be a megaforce of compassion. We could Read more...

Saturday Morning Happiness

By Wendy Pierman Mitzel ~~ Remember when Saturday mornings broke with the promise of a television full of cartoons to be watched from under a warm blanket in pajamas til noon? As an adult, I don't run out of bed for Looney Toons anymore, but this Saturday morning I felt a similar feeling of possibility. The sun is shining hard through my kitchen window, the coffee is made and there is nowhere to go just yet. So I have a few clear moments to simply look around, inside and outside of myself, and appreciate what brings peace and a smile to my face at any given moment. First, bunny tracks. Yup. It's been a beautiful few days of snow and each morning I peer out the window for fresh bunny tracks coming from under my shed and from the field behind it. It's like a map to their world, these fuzzy wuzzy bunnies who eat my raspberries in the summer and give my dog chase when he spots them. In the snow I can see where they come from and where they go. (Under my deck apparently.) It's like Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny are telling me a story. Second, yesterday I made a discovery at Starbucks: The Flat White. According to SBux it's: "A product of simplicity, crafted into artistry. An extra Read more...

When Love and Kindness Leave Lessons and Legacies

By Wendy Pierman Mitzel ~~~~   One afternoon, probably seven years ago, my neighbor saved the day with a glass of wine and a few moments of peace. I remember the day as a bit nuttier than usual. The four kids, 10 and under, were in the yard on scooters, bikes, swings and I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. I was likely yelling or whining at said children and I’m pretty sure now that my neighbors, Frankie and Bill, were witness to it all. They were a beautiful pair. Elegant and classy at more than 80-years-old, the couple exuded confidence, grace and class. Frankie wore lovely earrings. Bill always dressed the role of a dapper gentlemen. That afternoon, sunny and warm, they strolled out of their house as if nothing was amiss and invited me for a glass of wine and some cheese on the back patio, beautiful bluestone with rock walls and blooming rhododendron. Fairly new to New England at that time, I assumed 4 o’clock wine was some sort of classy East Coast tradition. And while I learned that it was not out-of-the-ordinary for the pair to enjoy a glass and a toast together, I’m convinced that on that day they spotted a woman at her wits’ end and said to each other: “Oh Dear, Read more...

The Story of My Cousin’s Boobs

Special Guest Writer Julie Pierman ~ My journey started in 1998 when I found the first of 3 lumps in my right breast. I was 26 at the time. I remember being so afraid to call the doctor and ask if they wanted me to come in and have it examined. I had plans that day to go shopping with my sister and wanted to avoid this whole situation as long as I could. Obviously, the doctor's office wanted me to come in that day. I was hoping I could put it off for a few days, weeks, etc . . . I went in, they examined it and ordered a mammogram and an ultrasound. The mammogram and ultrasound did detect something but they were not sure exactly what it was, so onto the surgeon I went. I ended up needing surgery to remove it. This completely freaked me out! I was very fortunate that it ended up be a cluster of thick-walled cysts about the size of a dime. However, I ended up developing a hemotoma the size of my fist from the surgery, which resulted in another surgery about 6 weeks later to remove it. Life went on until 2009 when I found another lump in my right breast. I had tried to be very good at doing my self-exams, but in reality I did them about 3 or 4 times a year. Since this had Read more...

Wayward Whiskers and Untamed Eyebrows

  By Wendy Pierman Mitzel What is the protocol for alerting a fellow human to a hair in their honker? You know what I’m talking about, the hairs, like spider legs that creep out from within the nostril. Usually sported by older men, these hairy horrors are hard to miss. Or are they? Because apparently, they become invisible when seen in the mirror. How is this getting by the morning routine? Let’s see: brush teeth, wash face, shave, big hairy proboscis, brush hair, aftershave. Now, I’ve seen those on the drug store shelves the torture devices that probe and spin like a weed wacker up the schnoz and I imagine it’s not a soothing massage for the muzzle. But still, let’s get it over with and give it a trim already. Moving on... Let us not forget for the ear hair. Another grand joke played on those getting older. How do you bring that up in conversation? Start with a compliment? “Hi, wow, your nose hair is so nice and tidy but could I just point out that the hair in your ears is beginning to look like a homegrown set of ear muffs?” I believe the schnoz wacker is multi-functional and can be used gently and cautiously although Men’s Fitness suggests plucking - Read more...

Artie T & The People Who Love Him

There’s nothing better than a Feel Good Underdog/Good vs. Evil story this Labor Day holiday to put faith (and appreciation) back into the workplace. Since when does a high power CEO really care for the people responsible for the foundation of their pyramid? An individual who looks at its employees as people and not as unnamed, replaceable objects? Because of Market Basket’s CEO Artie T. Demoulas’s compassion for others, history was made. Arthur (Artie T.) T. Demoulas is the CEO of the family owned/operated New England based, Market Basket grocery store chain. According to the LA Times: “Artie T was fired in June by his cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas after he gained control of the board. Members of the board had accused Artie T. of ignoring them; he said they were greedy and wanted a big share of profits he said should go to employees. The two sides of the family have warred for years in and out of court; at one point there was even a fist fight between cousins.” Artie T. is the type of corporate leader who spends much of his time dealing with the day to day operations. He can be seen behind the counters, in the deli, in the warehouse. He knows many of his employees names, Read more...
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