Inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #86: Cliché

Those pesky clichés pop up everywhere. This week let’s have fun with them.


Not all clichés make sense to me…




Don’t cry over spilled milk comes to mind…

I never believed that one, as my mother always cried over the spilling of beverages of any kind – especially milk – when I was a kid. Fit to be tied, she’d start freaking out and crying if one of her children reached thoughtlessly for the salt shaker and accidentally knocked over his or her cup. She’d have a cow as milk soaked the tablecloth and puddled on the floor.

Plain and simple…I grew up believing milk spilling was a major personal flaw deserving of tearful high drama.

Take it from me…crying over spilled milk happens more often than you think. Rest assured…that cliché does not always ring true.

The calm before the storm? – right before the milk spilled. That one makes sense. Mealtime with my siblings was usually giggly and spirited, but calm…ish.

On the other hand

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…

And hopefully…time heals all wounds…

Or perhaps…laughter IS the best medicine.

To help you live happily ever after…

One day at a time.

And now…to circle back

Be careful with that glass of milk…

Better safe than sorry.

High Chair 1
Two Peas in a Pod



This post inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #55: Reclaim


rock wall woods


The things that women reclaim are often their own voice, their own values, their imagination, their clairvoyance, their stories, their ancient memories. If we go for the deeper, and the darker, and the less known we will touch the bones.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés


What’s done is done.
What’s over is over.

One by one she closed the chapters
Convincing herself
it was so.

She shelved them high…year after year
Dust settled slowly
Coating spine after spine.

But that glimmer still surfaced
Again and again
A nagging suspicion…

Is done really done?
Is over really…over?

So she emptied the shelf
And cracked open each volume
To travel chapter by chapter

From whisper to shout
Addendum in process
The jury still out.






This post inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #50:  Acceptance

“There’s release in knowing the truth no matter how anguishing it is. You come finally to the irreducible thing, and there’s nothing left to do but pick it up and hold it. Then, at last, you can enter the severe mercy of acceptance.”

Sue Monk Kidd
The Mermaid Chair




Acceptance…may mean making peace with an overwhelming, ugly truth. Living with it in your head.

My head.

The new raw reality nudges me. Breaks my concentration on a bright sunny day. I take it out. Examine it. Until a familiar gnawing sickness in the pit of my stomach makes me look away. I put it back before it drops from my shaking hands and explodes.

I’m a member of a club I never asked to join. But was accepted into anyway. I don’t belong here. But it turns out I do. Surrounded by the nameless who also lost their pasts. Exposing ragged edges of grief. Struggling to reach a place of resignation in a stark new reality. Healing measured in tiny steps.

Get over it Move on Let it go…well meaning, but frantic pleas from those who care, but…they aren’t in my head with the unimaginable truth. How could they possibly get it?

So for those of us who struggle to accept what life has thrown up on us…for those of us with battle scar tread marks on our backs…we yearn to be accepted…frailties, brokenness and all. In order to be whole again.

Not easy for them to accept the changes.

Even more difficult for us to go it alone.






This post was inspired by:

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #17: Attention


“Pay attention to me! Pay attention to me!”

My 7 year old daughter, eyes narrowed, stamping her foot for emphasis, shouted. I was circling our small deck operating a camcorder; videotaping family fun: her, her little brother and my sister (who was visiting). She knew I was distracted. Focused on the view through the camera lens. This was almost 30 years ago.

My 2 year old son was capturing most of the attention, as 2 year olds often do – throwing a ball, giggling, running back & forth. Adorable and scene stealing.  In the video, my daughter’s face jumps in and out of view as she tries to get in on the action. After all, she had the “floor” – and family video time – all to herself for 5 years. Although equally adorable, she now had to share the family stage.

It’s hard to give up that attention to an unasked-for little person who bursts upon the scene for no apparent reason. “Remember the good old days?” she asked quite wistfully every once in a while when he was a newborn. It didn’t take long, however, until she loved her little brother deeply and fiercely…and slowly learned to share time…and attention…with him. She knew there was more than enough love to go around.

I often commiserated with her…I agreed it’s not easy – and it’s often confusing – being the oldest. By the time I was 7, I had 2 little sisters & 1 little brother. One more brother arrived when I was 14.

From a very early age I discovered that attracting my parents’ (positive) attention could be tricky. And elusive. Especially my mother’s. Becoming her helper – that’s what seemed to work. At least on the surface. Household chores and taking care of my siblings. Worthy lessons to learn, I suppose. I did leap into independent life with a full skill set.

andrea profile

However, my childhood was much more about paying very close attention to my mother. All the time. Watching. Reading her mood. Her facial expressions. Body language. Her tone of voice. Listening. Interpreting.  I developed a keen second sense for what she needed – from me – to stay…steady and okay. And not get mad. Or sad. Or disappointed. I usually got it right. But even so, I was never completely sure. Did I miss anything?

Over the years, I became a confident observer and listener.  Again, worthy skills to develop – becoming a human radar of sorts – with deepening intuition and vigilant attention to details. Which has been valuable in my personal, as well as professional life. Paying attention paid off. But not without cost.

I would never have dreamed of shouting out “Pay attention to me!” to my mother. Never in a million years.
But I am profoundly grateful that my daughter felt safe enough to do so. And did.