Even the Grinch Has Issues

The holidays are “the most wonderful time of the year” for a lot of people, but what about the post-holiday season when all the hype has died down? While many settle back into normal routines, there are a few people that find this time of year to be even more difficult.

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Why?

After weeks of being in the spotlight, they’re suddenly erased from the minds of the public for another 11 long months. Needless to say, a round of therapy is in order.


Patient Name: Little Drummer Boy

Session Notes: Possible abandonment issues coupled with concern over money has manifested itself into OCD, as LDB sat on the couch “pa rum pum pum pum-ing” on the table with a pencil throughout the entire session.

Talked of his willingness to follow three “wise” men without parental guidance. Expressed concern over lack of money and having no gifts to bring and asked to put his name on the card of the wise man who brought gold because he “had no idea what Frankincense or Myrrh are.”

Interested in starting a boy band like One Direction and naming it North Star. We’re working through this one.


Patient Name: Rudolph

Session Notes: Self-esteem issues evident by eagerness to guide the sleigh of seasonal employer (who was initially freaked out by his “abnormal” nose) after being told he would never join the flying reindeer team (a team that teased him mercilessly and refused to let him join in any reindeer games.)

This, combined with the fact his own father forced him to cover his nose in black dirt, has also led to a slight alcohol dependence evidenced by a bright red nose in clear weather and a strong smell of Jack Daniels.

Suggested finding a new crowd to hang out with — Blitzen and Vixen are no help—and perhaps seeking employment with Hermey to open a thriving dental practice on the Island of Misfit Toys.


Patient Name: Frosty the Snowman

Session Notes: A bit bipolar, no pun intended. Wavers between overconfidence—“I’ll be back again some day!” with a tendency to hit on married women, “I can do the job while I’m in town!”— and anxiety over the threat of global warming, not to mention the fact that he basically lets children dress him in produce and trash.

Feels people forget about him once it gets warm, which is a valid concern, and tends to overcompensate with streaks of merry mania. Suggested moving to a permanently colder climate and finding a job as an ice cream truck driver. Given his appeal to children, it seems like a natural fit.


Patient Name: Grinch

Session Notes: Physician-ordered session after patient’s heart “grew three sizes” and raised cardiac concerns. Also had a brief charge of theft by police. Seems anxiety has been plaguing patient since whole town has taken to ostracizing him for bad behavior.

Cited a song created about him in which various parts are likened to “a greasy black peel, a three decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich,” that his heart’s “a dead tomato splotched” and that he has “garlic in his soul.”

To be honest, I tuned him out after “garlic in your soul,” as that sounds delicious. And living on top of a mountain away from the town with only his dog? Seems like a good plan to me. I don’t really see much of an issue.

And now I’m hungry.

I think that my work here is done.

Need a holiday gift? Buy the books and cool things!

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P.S. Facebook has changed it’s reach AGAIN and only 5-10 percent of people are seeing my updates. To ensure you’re not missing a thing, add my Facebook page to your “Interests” lists, subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter.

What I Took When I Left

I’m beginning to think this is just a “Serious Sunday” series here on the blog, as I have something funny for next week, but as predicted, I have a little bit more to say about the things that happened last week

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First of all, another big thank you for all the overwhelming support. Between that post, Facebook and private messages, I am honestly touched by the hundreds of you who reached out. Because people have asked for an update, I figured a blog post would be the easiest way to reply, so here we go.

This past week has been weird.

Two hours after it happened I shook off the shock and was already on the phone. The whole weekend was spent completely overwhelmed but filled with getting my resume sent out, replying to messages from friends and family and trying to navigate this unfamiliar terrain.

There have been a few moments when I’ve lost it–when filing for unemployment and honestly, most of this past weekend–but other than that, I’ve really yet to wallow.

I’ve kept to a schedule and have honestly been busier than I’ve been in months and haven’t even had much time for “fun” writing or reading. I’m sure that things will settle down soon, I’ll crash and then catch up on “Chopped” while feeding my feelings again.

But through it all, I’m still cautiously calm, a feeling that’s completely foreign to me in situations that are pretty much out of my control. As you know, control and routine are a big thing for me and until this happened, the smallest thing that upset that (pseudo) balance would stress me out.

My days were spent in a bubble of predictability and routine and quite honestly, as unhappy as that place made me, I relished that sense of security. I might not have liked where I was all the time, but at least I knew where I would be—and when I would be there.

The day I left I walked back to my office to gather my things and do you know what I walked out with?

My space heater, a planner full of deadlines—most already met for things that once held practical importance—a bottle of lotion and a pair of old tennis shoes. That’s it. After almost eight years at that place, those were the physical things that I took.

I think that when I realized that, that’s the first moment that I felt relief. I don’t know that I ever really belonged in that environment—in an office, at a desk by myself, playing the corporate game—and I never made it “my home.”

Despite putting forth my best effort every day, it never felt authentic, and along with that space heater, I realized I left there with something even more valuable.

I left with new perspective.

Until this happened, I never knew how many people cared. I never realized how many opportunities are out there. I never let myself think about doing something that I really wanted to do because I was comfortable—not hopeful for the future, but at least comfortable thinking I knew what that future was.

Now I don’t.

With that predictable perspective now shattered, I have to pick up the pieces and create something totally new. I’m still unemployed and freaked out, of course, but I’m also figuring out what it is that I want to do, not just what I thought that I should be doing. I’m trusting that something better can happen if I work my butt off to find it. I’m not stressing the way that I thought I would be an even feel a little bit hopeful.

I would say this is very un-Abby-like, but I don’t know that that would be true. I think this is very un-Abby-like for the person I was for too long. Maybe this is the Abby that I used to be.

Because the biggest thing I took from that job is that sometimes you have to let go—to what you think should be happening, to how you want certain people to be, to that predictable perspective that can dull the spark you have.

I didn’t get to do it on my terms, but this is my reality now. And while it’s scary not knowing here I will end up, I do know that if I’m brave enough to trust myself, to wake the hell up and find what it is that I need to be doing, that reality can be even better than it was before.

Hopefully next week along with some humor my update includes a new job, but if it doesn’t, I have to keep faith.

That’s what I took when I left. 

Want a fun holiday gift? Buy the books and cool things!

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P.S. Facebook has changed it’s reach AGAIN and only 5-10 percent of people are seeing my updates. To ensure you’re not missing a thing, add my Facebook page to your “Interests” lists, subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter.

Rebecca from “Frugalista Blog” Has Issues

I prefer to say that I’m not cheap, I’m frugal—both financially and emotionally, if we’re being honest—so it makes sense that a blog called “Frugalista” would capture my attention.

Well, today’s blogger spilling her issues is THE Frugalista and also a co-writer in two of the anthologies I’m in—“I Just Want to Be Alone” and “You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth.”

She describes her blog as being “confessions of a middle aged drama queen, stuck in the burbs, running to PTA meetings and scooping cat poop. It’s a glamorous life. Join me.”

Minus the PTA meetings and scooping cat poop, we’re practically twins. Well, except she is married, has kids, is gorgeous and actually wears makeup. I guess what I’m saying is we’re both drama queens who live in the suburbs—frugally. 

Frugalista

Name: Rebecca Tipper Gallagher

Blog: Frugalista Blog (It’s a stupid name because it sounds weird to my ears when I say it. When folks ask me what it’s called, I always have to repeat myself.)

Where, what and why do you write?

I write on my couch with my laptop and my dog next to me. Sometimes my cat sits on the back of my couch judging me. He doesn’t cuddle, just sleeps from afar. I write about whatever suits me, which can be complaining about my husband, sharing my opinion regarding an issue or sharing beauty tips and makeup deals. I like to keep it funny and real. So sometimes I show myself topless or in Spanx. Why I write is mostly to entertain myself and embarrass my family.

 First thing you think of when you wake up in the morning.

Is this when Madonna does her yoga? I heard she does yoga first thing in the morning and before she goes to bed. I can barely get my feet to move down the stairs to the kitchen to make my tea. Of course, maybe if I did the yoga, I would feel better.

 What’s the one “issue” or frustration annoying you the most right now?

If we’re talking ‘global issue’ it would have to be human trafficking, which is not a joking matter. If we’re talking close to home, I’m pretty irritated with myself that I still have a roasting pan of baked penne in the back of my fridge that I’m too scared to clean out.

Three websites you visit every day.

Is this a trick question? Does social media count because there’s about four of those. So, Facebook. Duh. Yahoo, because I need my news BUT I like a bit of pop culture mixed in. Pinterest. Twitter. And Sephora. That’s more than three. Sorry.

What’s an unusual talent and/or accomplishment you could never put on a resume?

*Wink, wink.* I’ll let my husband answer that. *eyebrow raises*

Editor’s note: I think she means replacing the toilet paper in the bathroom, right?

If you could rule the land for one day, what laws would you create and enforce?

I would make dental care for old people free of charge. Why is it that old people who need dental work never can afford insurance? It’s horrible. Also, I would make Tuesdays free donut days. I think everyone would be happier with free donuts in their lives.

And, I would ban leaf blowers. When I see six yard guys at the apartment complex down the street blowing leaves all over the place at the same time and it’s a windy day, it chaps my hide.

Who would play you in the movie of your life?

If the movie is portraying my life now, I would say Amy Poehler. I think she would do it incredible justice. If the movie is portraying me as a younger version, I would pick Emma Stone because she is so gosh darn cute. And I would like to think that in my 20s, I was that cute too.

You can only eat three foods for a week. What are they?

Oh that’s easy because I only eat about five things a week. Is this like a Cambodian prison thing three things? Or like if I was at Martha Stewart’s for a week? I would have a seafood Louis salad, donuts and granola.

 The last thing you Googled?

Porn. Just kidding. It was water heater companies sadly.

Me again: If you say it with air quotes, it can maybe sound a bit sexy…? “Water” “heater” “company” *wink wink*

What question do you wish I had asked you and what would be your reply?

What do you think are more overrated? Unicorns or Mermaids? And I would answer mermaids. I don’t see the big deal over a woman or man who has no legs. I don’t know where the babies come out, or how the babies are made and it confuses me.

Deep thoughts, my friend. Deep thoughts. Now it’s your turn to go check out her blog after you answer our question:

What food would you want given away free every Tuesday?

Want a fun holiday gift? Buy the books and cool things!

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 P.S. Facebook has changed it’s reach AGAIN and only 5-10 percent of people are seeing my updates. To ensure you’re not missing a thing, add my Facebook page to your “Interests” lists, subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter.

How To Stay In Shape During the Holidays

There’s a lot of talk this time of year about people being too busy to exercise and keep up with their fitness routines. While I always find time to hop into the gym—if only to see if Hot Gym guy is hanging around—or throw in a Jillian Michaels DVD for 30 minutes so I can yell, “I’M NOT PHONING IT IN!, I understand that some people simply have different priorities.

Considering I don’t prioritize spending more than five minutes on my makeup in the morning, no judgment here.

But there’s good news! Because just like holiday décor doesn’t have to come from traditional places, neither does breaking a sweat and getting in a workout during the holiday season. I’m here today to let you know that it’s totally fine if the only jogging you do is of your memory while trying to remember where you hid that last freaking gift.

So pull off that ugly Christmas sweater, do a few light stretches and feel the burn doing things you’re probably already doing, my friends!

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Dashing through the snow to bring the trash bin to the end of the driveway before the truck comes in the morning.

Doing twisting crunches in bed to reach and hit the snooze again super-setted with kicking off the sheets or blanket in an effort to get untwisted.

Walking around the parking lot looking for where you parked your car (while ticking off the parking spot stalkers that are waiting for you to get in your car and leave, like you’re roaming around in the cold on purpose.)

Pushing a grocery cart through the slushy lot requires lower body strength while upper body strength is necessary to try and steer the cart away from the direction the slush wants to go—most often into another parked car.

When grocery shopping, lifting the overflowing basket you told yourself you would use instead of a full cart is great for building up your arms—be sure to switch from right to left for equal amounts of time.

Loading/unloading the car and then carrying all the groceries/purchases in one trip because you’re cold and don’t want to walk back outside is great for both the upper and lower body. Be sure to throw in a few kickboxing kicks as you try and catch the door before it slams shut.

Forget the stairmaster! Going up and down the stairs to retrieve boxes of decorations, armloads of laundry and gifts you forgot that you hid will get the job done just as well.

Lifting boxes of decorations alternated with moving furniture around—no, that looks better over there. No wait, push it over there.—works both the upper and lower body.

Putting ornaments on the Christmas tree involves calf raises to reach the top, squats to bend down pick up dropped ornaments and tones the shoulders when you take the ball full of tangled lights and throw them across the room.

Running through the stores trying to avoid people you know that you don’t want to get stuck talking to because there are SO MANY PEOPLE in the store and you just want to leave is great cardio, not to mention the plyometrics involved in the starting and stopping each time.

Don’t worry about eating those baked goods, as whisking and stirring ingredients for desserts sculpts your arms, quick squats in front of the oven to bend down and check how things are baking works your legs and lunging to catch the egg before it falls off the counter works your butt.

And finally—and possibly the most important exercise of all—is power yoga, and by “power yoga” I mean lying in corpse pose on the couch for a minimum of two hours a day.

See? You’re pretty much an elite athlete at this point, so enjoy those chestnuts roasting on an open fire and another slice of pie. After all, you’ve more than earned it.

P.S. I have to add that I was overwhelmed by your replies to my last post and on my Facebook page. I’m still trying to deal with everything, but all your support honestly made this ice queen melt quite a bit. I plan on writing about it a bit more in the future, because if nothing else it’s new blog fodder. But today, just…thanks. Now go do your grocery cart glute crunches!

Want a fun holiday gift? Buy the books and cool things!

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Fear, Freedom and a Fight Club Quote

I have a funny post to share with you, but that will have to wait a couple more days. If you follow my Facebook page, you know I did that annoying vague status update thing about something rather life-altering happening Friday, and not in a good way, and that I might need a little time to regroup my funny.

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While I never do things like that, for once I needed support and you guys came out in such a way that I was actually emotionally touched, which rarely happens. And even though I owe you a “thanks” and not an explanation, you’re getting both instead. Plus, writing is my therapy.

*Here’s where you can click away if you don’t want to read a ramble and instead come back next time for normal neurosis (waits for the room to clear.)

Okay. Let me start with a little story…go grab a drink.

I don’t talk about it a lot, but when I was much younger I was in a relationship with an older guy for more than five years. He wasn’t a bad guy, but it was a very bad relationship for me that left me feeling trapped and has contributed to many of the issues I still have today. At a time in my life when that should have been carefree and fun, I was miserable.

I cried myself to sleep way too often.

So why did I stay in a situation that I knew was wrong, that was making me sick and unhappy? Because at the time, I was naïve and craved that stability and safety. Even if it wasn’t ideal, it was something that I could depend on. I would finish college, get married, have financial stability and the “normal” that we’re told we need to achieve.

When we finally broke up, I was devastated. I mean, I was “cry your eyes out the world is going to end” devastated but not for the obvious reasons. It wasn’t that I was going to necessarily miss him as a person, but rather that the stable future I thought I could depend on was gone.

I panicked. I cried. I did the normal 20-year-old freaking out thing.

But you know what happened? In less than a week, I woke up and everything was fine. In fact, it was awesome. For the first time I had the freedom to do what I wanted when I wanted. I got a job as a cocktail waitress and had the best summer of my life, making new friends and doing things that made me happy—for me. It took losing who I thought I had to become to finally learn who I was—as much as you can know at age 21.

What does that have to do with me now?

Friday I lost my job.

I’m still a little in shock and I’m sure it hasn’t completely sunk in yet, but the enormity of the situation is obvious. My benefits run out at the end of the month and I have to apply for unemployment all while trying to pay my mortgage, bills, etc. all on my own. That’s huge. Enter panic and “oh my god the world is going to end” initial reaction.

But while you don’t need to know the details, I will tell you that the situation was not healthy and in fact bordered on abusive on several occasions.

And I know I was damn good at my job. Hell, two months before I was told I was great and my job was mine as long as I wanted it, which is why this was a surprise (but not unheard of, seeing as they’re a small company and more than 20 people had come in and out of that office in six years.)

But more than external praise, I know how hard I worked and I’m proud of the quality that I produced, the effort that I gave and the way that I conducted myself, despite an unhealthy situation. So while right now I’m trying to decide how to decorate the cardboard box I might end up living in, there’s also a small sense of…unfamiliar relief?

Although it’s still raw, there’s a sense that a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and that maybe this is just what I needed to find something that is healthier for me—physically and mentally. Maybe this will allow me to actually do something that means something to someone other than the only person making the profit.

Because much like that relationship mentioned above, I felt stuck in this job, but yet I never left because I didn’t know what else I could do even though what I was doing wasn’t making me unhappy.

So I’m taking this as a sign.

If I wasn’t going to  seek out the respect and fulfillment I deserve, the universe decided it would step in instead and throw a high-speed curve ball at my head. Now I have no choice.

That’s not to say I’m not scared, that I won’t miss my coworkers or that things are going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination. Right now there’s a little bit of fear. There’s a little bit of panic. There’s this whole long ramble nobody probably read. But there’s also no walking on eggshells. There’s no sitting at a desk and counting down the seconds on the clock. 

With my security stripped, there’s also an unfamiliar freedom.

Maybe it will take losing who I thought I had to become to finally learn who I am—as much as you can know at age 33.

Need a holiday gift? Buy the books and cool things!

P.S. Thank you. I promise funny next time, but today–thank you. 

Tara from “You Know It Happens At Your House, Too” Has Issues

Be honest. How many times have you done something like run out of the house in your robe and flip-flops in the snow to drag the trash bin out to the curb, had your neighbor notice you and think, “Oh, please. You know it happens at your house, too.”

Just me? No, I don’t think so, my friends.

That’s why this week’s blogger and “I Just Want to Pee Alone” contributor spilling her issues—Tara from You Know It Happens At Your House, Too—is so easy to like.

She has a farmer husband, five kids, a love for wine and a strong affection for Johnny Depp. She enjoys humor and dislikes uptight people. She drinks an absurd amount of coffee and depending on the day, an absurd amount of wine.

Lucky for us, I caught her on one of those latter days and she agreed to share her issues—and her talents with catching bodily fluids—with us.

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Name: I usually go by “Hey *insert child’s name here* mom*, but for these purposes I’ll go by Tara

Blog:  http://youknowithappensatyourhousetoo.com

Where, what, and why do you write?

I write really great stuff in my mind, usually while in the shower which explains why it never makes it to paper.  I try my best to write the funny stuff, because I have hopes that somewhere someone will find me funny because my family really doesn’t.

 (Editor’s note: We find you funny, Tara. The Internet is your family. Come back to us now, my friend.)

First thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?

Why have I not put a coffee maker on my night stand programmed to come on at the sound of the Red Hot Chili Peppers yelling at me to get up?  

What’s the one “issue” or frustration annoying you the most right now?

Chin hair. Women should NOT have chin hair. We have babies, the monthly “special time” and saggy boobs. We should absolutely NOT have to spend our free time looking for rogue hairs.  It’s bullshit really.

(Another note: Great. Another blogger rubbing it in that they have boobs and don’t have to resort to have a sock stuffed in their bra while sporting a mullet.)

Three websites you visit every day.

The Facebook–because if it isn’t on the Facebook, it never happened

The Twitter–because after being on the Facebook, I need to laugh about something.

One other reputable news source like Buzzfeed or The Onion.

What’s an unusual talent and/or accomplishment you could never put on a resume?

I can change an explodo-poo diaper in the dark with absolutely no spillage and I can catch vomit in my hands. Both incredibly useful, yet completely useless.

If you could rule the land for one day, what laws would you create and enforce?

All Targets would be required to have an open bar next to Starbucks, because for the amount of money we spend in there they could at least buy us a drink or six.

Who would play you in the movie of your life?

I think my family would agree that we don’t need more than one of me, so I would play myself. The important question here is who would play Farmer Bob?  There is really only one answer to that.  Johnny Depp–because Johnny Depp.

You can only eat three foods for a week. What are they?

Nachos, burritos and Milk Duds. I wish I had a funny reason why, but really I just put those down because it’s all I’ve been able to think about since I read this question.

What’s the last thing you Googled?

How to spell the word restrant, restraint, resturant. You know, those places where we go to eat.

What question do you wish I had asked you and what would be your reply?

Quite frankly, I couldn’t have handled one more question. All I hear all day are questions: Mom, when’s lunch? Mom, where’s my shoe? Mom, does my underwear stink? Mom, why is she touching me?  Mom, when can we eat again?  Mom, do you need more wine?  I’m questioned out, except for that last one in which the answer is always yes.

So there you have it. Go check her out and show her some love on her blog and Facebook so when she goes on Shark Tank to pitch her coffee maker alarm clock, you can say you knew her back in the day. I’ll be back here on Sunday with more rambles.

First though, humor me. What’s the last thing you Googled?

Need a fun holiday gift? Buy the books and cool things!

zazzle.jpg

P.S. Facebook has changed it’s reach AGAIN and only 5-10 percent of people are seeing my updates. To ensure you’re not missing a thing, add my  Facebook page to your “Interests” lists, subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter.

Snackin’ Around the Christmas Tree

It’s been a while since I’ve serenaded vegan food in song or questionable rhymes, so I figured a seasonal selection of holiday hymns were in order. So fa-la-la and bon appetite!

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Oh Broccoli Tree

(Sung to O Christmas Tree)

Oh broccoli tree, Oh broccoli tree,

I steam you every dinner.

Oh broccoli tree, Oh broccoli tree,

To me you are a winner.

Not only green when summer’s here,

But also when it’s cold and drear.

Oh broccoli tree, Oh broccoli tree,

To me you are a winner.

Oh broccoli tree, Oh broccoli tree,

Such flavor do you bring me!

Oh broccoli tree, Oh broccoli tree,

Such pleasure do you bring me!

Each fresh floret,

Each diced up crown.

Completes a meal I want to down.

Oh broccoli tree, Oh broccoli tree,

To me you are a winner.

Pizza Pie Rocks

(Sung to “Jingle Bell Rock”)

Pizza pie, pizza pie, pizza pie rocks.

Pizza with cheese or the toppings you please.

Turn on the oven to preheat the fun,

Now the pizza love has begun.

Pizza pie, pizza pie, pizza pie rocks.

Pizza’s sublime at just any time.

Cooking and smelling the oregano there,

Wafting through the air.

What a bright time, it’s the right time,

To snack the night away.

Pizza pie time is a swell time,

To go eating and improve on your day.

Hurry-up, oven, come and pick up the pace.

I want to stuff my face.

Put on yoga pants and kick up my feet.Because pizza pie,

Because pizza pie,

Because pizza pie rocks.

Hummus Night

(Sung to “Silent Night”)

Hummus last night, hummus tonight.

You’re so smooth, and so light.

Round yon chickpeas and tahini paste,

Add some garlic for that perfect taste.

Eat it any way you please.

Eat it any way you please.

Hummus last night, hummus tonight.

Any time, is pure delight.

Eaten in salad or slathered on grains,

Pita or crackers or just spooned up plain.

Hummus, you do no wrong.

Hummus, you do no wrong.

Hummus last night, hummus tonight.

Taste buds quake, at the sight.

Glories stream from X above

Those who eat it know it tastes like love.

A snacking savior is born.

A snacking savoir is born.

Have Yourself a Perfect Avocado

(Sung to “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”)

Have yourself a perfect avocado,

That is ripe and right.

Not too dark,

but also not too hard and light.

Have yourself a perfect avocado,

Make a wrap or dips,

Smashed on bread,

or served along with healthy chips.

Here we are in the grocery store,

Choosing our new fruit and more.

Faithful foods that are dear to us

Will come home with us once more.

Through the years our tastes may change a little,

But I must avow.

An avocado is a food I’ll keep somehow.

So have yourself a perfect avocado now.

Snackin’ Around the Christmas Tree

(Sung to “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”)

Snackin’ around the Christmas tree

At the Christmas party hop,

Tables of food that you can see,

And at which you have to stop.

Snackin’ around the Christmas tree,

Let the Christmas “spirits” ring,

We’ll have a glass of red and white,

And screw the caroling.

You will get a sentimental feeling when you hear,

Voices singing, “Let’s be merry!”

Look! There’s bread and cake with berries.

Snackin’ around the Christmas tree,

Have a happy holiday.

Everyone eating merrily,

In the true food lovers way!

Like the blog? Buy the books and cool things!

P.S. Facebook has changed it’s reach AGAIN and only 5-10 percent of people are seeing my updates. To ensure you’re not missing a thing, add my  Facebook page to your “Interests” lists, subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter.