My kids are getting an A+ in finding ways to duck schoolwork

A folding table in a guest bedroom with a laptop, folders, and other school materials arranged on it.
A folding table in a guest bedroom with a laptop, folders, and other school materials arranged on it.
What’s missing from this picture? Hint: he’s 4 foot 1 inch tall and has red hair.

I sit on the guest room bed, watching my seven-year-old working as hard as he can on not doing his school work. It’s been an hour and a half, and he is not one step further along than he was when the school day ended.

He turns and looks at me. I look back. After a moment, he waves. I wave back. I point to the desk. He makes a face and turns back to his work. Or rather, his not-work.

“Hey, Mom?” he asks. “Do you wanna know how many states I think are in the United States?”

I…


…and accumulate in your driveway in large amounts

It’s Snowpocalypse 2021, the once-a-year major snow event that we get in the Pacific Northwest. Most of the time, our precipitation is the stereotypical rain we’re known for, but we do usually get a couple of days of really good snow in early to mid-February.

The Montana girl in me said, better shovel the driveway before it gets too wet and heavy.


Masks and vaccines will not get us out of this pandemic.

On this date one year ago, COVID-19 had already been spreading like wildfire in my community, and none of us saw it.

I live in Kirkland, Washington. The first person in the United States diagnosed with COVID-19 lives one county to the north. The first officially reported death in the United States occurred at the hospital five miles from my house. During the 39 days between those two milestones, the virus made its way south, an invisible hitchhiker passing through the places where my family and I regularly ate, shopped, and worked. …


Science, or at least the internet, assures me that I am not crazy.

A strange phenomenon has been happening for as long as I can remember. Late at night, I’ll be lying in bed and hear a distant low-frequency rumbling like a box truck idling its engine a block away. It isn’t even a noise as much as a sensation, something that seems just under the actual hearable threshold but still there. And like so many other annoying things, once it comes to my attention it’s impossible to ignore.

Woman lying awake in bed
Woman lying awake in bed
Photo swiped from The Telegraph

I remember as a kid I would prowl the house at night, peering out windows in search of the elusive rumbler. I got some…


I’m bringing my unhealthy coping mechanisms into 2021. I’m not done coping (or hoping) yet.

Dionne Warwick, singing superstar and recently-hailed Queen of Twitter, shared some pithy advice for everyone last December:

A banner displaying a December 2020 tweet by Dionne Warwick that says “Please do not bring that foolishness into 2021.”
A banner displaying a December 2020 tweet by Dionne Warwick that says “Please do not bring that foolishness into 2021.”
Photo from Twitter via @dionnewarwick’s Twitter feed

The foolishness in question was some silly behavior by some of her followers, but the tweet quickly became a motto for the new year. People enthusiastically embraced the idea of leaving behind all the frustration, stressors, and pain of 2020, and entering a new era of hope and satisfaction.

This, of course, is not a new thing; we do this every year with our shiny resolutions and our declarations that This Is the Year That I Will ______. And there’s nothing wrong with…


There is something strangely cathartic about the Caps Lock key.

A few months ago, one of my FaceBook friends posted this.

Screen shot of a November 10 FaceBook post with the text ”SHoUTY TUESdaY. WhAt DO YOu WAnt TO YELL ‘BOUT?”
Screen shot of a November 10 FaceBook post with the text ”SHoUTY TUESdaY. WhAt DO YOu WAnt TO YELL ‘BOUT?”

There were no rules, just the unwritten guideline that everything we posted should be written in ALL CAPS — the Internet version of shouting. People shouted about little things (“I HATE CALLING PEOPLE”), big things (“MY GRANDMA IS SICK AND I CAN’T TRAVEL TO SEE HER”), happy things (“I CAN WALK WITHOUT CRUTCHES AGAIN!”), political things, and silly things:


Once upon a time, I thought I was going to be a Writer.

Putting words on paper has always come easily to me. I was a well-read kid with an active imagination. The vocabulary and turns of phrases that I absorbed from my books blended with the scenes and songs running through my mind and the result was stacks of stories, poems, and song lyrics. My writing skills served me well in school too: I remember the day in junior high when my English teacher handed back our annual writing assessments, casually mentioning to the room that only one essay…

Jessica Wallace

She/her ~ 40ish mom and software engineer near Seattle, WA

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