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Everyone likes to be told what they’re doing wrong

30 Aug



2 Aug


plate /pleɪt/ [pleyt]
1. a usually circular dish, often of delicate nature, from which food is eaten. Also used to catch fragments of said food (e.g., cottage cheese) that may slip from spoon en route to mouth of frenzied parent when used in conjunction with Baby Bjorn.

Related Word: Hungry


24 Jan
Patience by Angie Friedel
Patience, a photo by Angie Friedel on Flickr.

pa·tience [pey-shuhns]
1. the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.


5 Dec
Elf on a Shelf by Angie Friedel
Elf on a Shelf, a photo by Angie Friedel on Flickr.

The Elf on a Shelf: a brilliant invention by a mother and daughter who appreciate the value of scaring the living daylight out of their kids for entertainment purposes. I found this link online today – people posting fabulously creative images of their Elves on Shelves. Mine, unfortunately, haunts my daughter like the clown from Poltergeist. She has asked to put him back in the basement, but I refuse. I spent $29.99 on that little sprite and he’s being put to good use this year. So he usually sits in the Christmas tree where he has the whole first floor in sight, watching her every move. But her fear had me wondering, could I be creating a new form of coulrophobia? (That is a fancy term for fear of clowns, for all you normal people.) This prompted me to look up the word for “fear of elves.” Yep, there is a word for it: fayophobia. Don’t act like you knew.

So in addition to a college fund, I’ll start setting money aside for therapy. For the month of December, however, I’m appreciating the fact that I can use this little guy to get her to do as she’s told, stay un-naked for most of the day, and wipe her own butt. Merry Christmas! (He’s watching you….)

New Word In Celebration of the Olympics

4 Aug

I have been out of touch lately, but came across this gem of a word on Image

August 4
Term coined for the Bromance between Olympic swimmers Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps.

“Olympic swimmers Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps have their own bromance of sorts. Sports casters (Lochte and Phelps included) often refer to their friendship as a “relationship.” Lochte is said to be the only man Phelps will take his headphones in the ready room off for and many people around Phelps maintain that, “Lochte is the best thing that’s ever happened to Phelps”.8 They keep in touch with daily text messages and phone calls and were featured on the cover of Mens Journal together as a precursor to the 2008 Beijing Summer Games. 9 Though they share a strong rivalry in the pool, the two have become great friends outside of it. Phelps, in his latest book, refers to Lochte as “Doggy” and talks affectionately about his rival and teammate. Bloggers have coined the term “Phlochte” for their bromance.”

Happy Father’s Day!

17 Jun
Father's Day by Angie Friedel
Father’s Day, a photo by Angie Friedel on Flickr.

Happy Father’s Day to all the great dads out there. One day, those little shadows that have been following your every move will start to get taller, disappearing when the sun goes down, and asking for your car keys. The roles will start to reverse as you find yourself falling at their heels in order to keep up with them, reaching your hands out and asking for a simple hug. While they are still safe in the shade of your shadow, make sure you lead them only to the places where you would want to meet them down the road. Mold that little shadow into one that will someday provide you with that same comforting shade before the sun sets.

What is the Value of a Book?

2 Jun
Little Free Library by Angie Friedel
Little Free Library, a photo by Angie Friedel on Flickr.

Of all the times I have walked through Kletzsch Park in Glendale, I have never noticed this cute little concept until now: Little Free Library. A small sign simply states, “Take a Book. Leave a Book.” I am naturally pessimistic by nature, with little faith in the human race. So I wondered why none of the books had been stolen yet to be sold on Ebay or (like I used to do with my college textbooks).

On my walk home as I pondered this thought, I realized that maybe books don’t have as much value as they used to – monetary value at least. I had planned to revisit the Little Free Library several times within the next month to see if the books would still be there. Sure enough, they are still there with a different selection than I initially noticed. People had been using it and respecting it. Folks aren’t so bad are they? And they still enjoy reading books.

On my initial visit, I noticed a hardcover version of The DaVinci Code. I didn’t see it in the little wooden box during my last visit, so I looked up its value on $.75 for the hardcover version. Then I looked up the Kindle Edition: $9.99! For some strange reason, this makes me feel weird and a little sad. I still enjoy reading old-fashioned books with pages to turn and cute little bookmarks with cheesy inspirational sayings to stick between the pages. Although I own a Kindle, it is a little heavy and awkward to hold, plus it would never last on a sandy beach. But it does has its benefits – nobody has to know that I am reading Fifty Shades of Grey and that I’m a total perv.

Nonetheless, my assumption is that in 25 years or so, the word, “book” will be used in a way similar to the word, “album.” An album used to be a big cardboard sleeve with a vinyl record inside. Now we download albums on iTunes.

After doing a little bit of research, I realized that there is a reason I had never noticed the Little Free Library before. The concept is relatively new to Milwaukee but got it’s start in Hudson, Wisconsin. Madison has over 100 of them and they have spread to over 20 different countries!

Yes, there are real libraries in real buildings where you can rent books and movies for free. But the LFL encourages me to read something I would never otherwise rent from the real library. The fact that it is located in my favorite park where I can sit by the waterfall and read for a bit is pretty nifty too. (Not like I would ever have the time to do that, but someday I might.) I plan on throwing some kids’ books in there at some point since it is near the playground. Those little people really know the value of a good book, at least for now.

Building a Strong Foundation

16 Apr

My daughter has been all about Winnie the Pooh lately. Inspired by Eeyore’s stick house (she calls him “He-Whore”), she decided that she needed to build a house for our dog. I imagined her thought process as she was building it. Eeyore’s house looks like a pile of sticks. I am piling up a bunch of sticks. Why does this look different?

But she seemed to be quite satisfied with it. I was not present during the build, which is a good thing. My inner perfectionist probably would have tried to arrange the twigs in a log cabin formation and installed a hot tub. But at least for now, she was able to enjoy her imagination before it was compromised by people like me.

Her project makes me wonder when it is appropriate to teach and when it is best to stand back and simply observe. I don’t expect a three-year-old to build an elaborate dwelling for a small canine, although I would certainly brag about it if she did. It is just that if she has to make a diorama in 2nd grade and just throws a bunch of junk in a shoebox, I’m going to have to intervene.

Going forward, I will try to keep myself in check, thinking before I judge. According to Pooh, “People who don’t think probably don’t have brains; rather, they have grey fluff that’s blown into their heads by mistake.” I am going to try to get rid of my grey fluff; at least until she gets that diorama assignment.

Drinking Tea = Going to Vegas

21 Mar
Pink Tea Tastes Pretty by Angie Friedel
Pink Tea Tastes Pretty, a photo by Angie Friedel on Flickr.

I hate flying. My fear has escalated after having a kid, with worries that she’ll be left alone to be raised by racoons after my plane is struck by turbulence and loses a wing. My dear husband wants to leave my defenseless and fragile child with her grandparents for a quick jaunt to Vegas, somewhere we have been multiple times. Yes, it would be nice to wake up at noon, play blackjack, drink too much, and then wake up to do it again – but why can’t we do that without getting on a two-winged death machine?

My favorite tea cup states: “Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage.” Perhaps there is a Vegas-type tea that I can feed to my spouse along with that line.


15 Mar
Yoga at Art Museum by Angie Friedel
Yoga at Art Museum, a photo by Angie Friedel on Flickr.

This was Saturday’s photo for my Gift of an Ordinary Day project. The Milwaukee Art Museum hosts a monthly yoga session at which hundreds of people are allowed to practice their “downward dogs” and “warrior” poses hosted by the most stunning view in the city. Yoga instructors are always telling us to bring intention to our practice. We are supposed to focus on the pose we are holding, trying to ignore any pain, while shunning any thoughts that may creep into our heads. That is easier said than done.

My inner dialogue on Saturday went something like this: “I hope nobody looks at my toes. I really need a pedicure. I like her outfit. I don’t like her outfit. Should I have breakfast or lunch when this is over? When will this be over? What’s that smell? That guy is cute: I wonder if he is gay. Wait, I’m married. I need new yoga clothes. I need a new yoga mat. I should have washed my hair this morning. I wish my hair looked like hers. Are we done yet?”

That was all followed by an “Om” – a chant that everyone is supposed to offer at the end of the session. I never say it. I always feel stupid. Apparently it means realizing that you are one with the universe. I already know this. I pay taxes to the universe. Instead of saying, “Om” and meditating like the rest of the group, I shuffled in my purse for my iphone and snapped a picture.

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