The Explorer: Such The Spot

Such the Spot

Friday 09/12/2014
Such the Spot - A case of the HOA blues
Posted: September 12, 2014

Before I lived in one, I always thought that neighborhoods with Homeowner’s Associations were better than those without. I imagined manicured lawns and pride of ownership and major curb appeal—all great things when it comes to resale value. I’m here to tell you that I was wrong. Now that I own a home and am subject to CC&R’s, I get to see the good, the bad and the oh so very ugly.

My husband and I own a home outside of Tucson’s city limits among the tumbleweeds and cacti of the dusty desert. Our community is gated, but that is about the extent of the amenities our neighborhood affords its residents. There is no community pool. No clubhouse. We don’t even have stinking sidewalks, for Pete’s sake. Still, we pay fees to the HOA monthly. From what I can gather, most of the fees go towards fixing the perpetually-broken gate and paying postage for the nastygrams that the HOA is so fond of mailing out every two weeks or so. My husband and I have been on the receiving end of several nastygrams over the course of our nine years in this neighborhood.

Pull your weeds! Hide your trash cans! Don’t park there!

I often wonder if the senders of these obnoxious little violation letters have, you know, actual jobs to do or whether they indeed collect a salary for noting every single infraction of every single article of every single paragraph in the CC&R’s. I suspect it’s the latter.

Most recently, we received a notice informing us that we were in violation of the rules because the easement (the common space between our property and the street) was showing signs of erosion. We were told that it is against the rules to “obstruct or otherwise alter” the easement. The notice arrived in the height of monsoon season. You know, about the time of year that we can count on heavy rains to fall almost every afternoon. Those rainwaters had washed away some dirt and resulted in a small gulley. It was less a matter of us doing anything to “obstruct or otherwise alter” anything and more a matter of, um, rain? Nevertheless, my husband begrudgingly set about the business of filling in the gulley with dirt from another part of our property. He did so precisely two days before that major storm came in from Phoenix. That storm, as you might imagine, effectively washed away every last piece of gravel that my husband had just placed. I probably needn’t bother telling you how thoroughly excited he is at the prospect of starting over again.

Meanwhile, a neighbor down the street and around the corner has submitted an application to build a massive, free-standing garage. A garage, mind you, that violates several articles in the CC&R’s. I have it on good authority (okay fine, the other neighborhood moms at the bus stop told me) that the application is likely going to be approved. Despite the fact that it violates several articles in the CC&R’s. Makes perfect sense, right? Rules are made to be broken, it would appear.

All of my HOA troubles have taught me a very valuable lesson. That is: Maybe having neighbors with a few stray weeds and lingering garbage receptacles aren’t so bad after all. Considering the alternative.

Posted in Such the spot on Friday, September 12, 2014 3:25 pm. Comments (0)

Monday 08/25/2014
Guest Column - Suing the President or impeachment for life?
Posted: August 25, 2014

Suing the president or, as we call it, “impeachment lite.” So why is the House suing the president? First, you understand the House is made up of lawyers and suing is what lawyers do. Secondly, it is because they know they cannot impeach him. The last time the Republicans tried to impeach a Democrat president, the press crucified them. That Democrat went on to be disbarred from the practice of law for lying to a Grand Jury and then, for no reason intelligent people could ever understand, became the darling of the Democrat party. Thirdly, even if they were successful with articles of impeachment, that would leave us with what has been identified as “impeachment insurance,” Joe Biden. So they are left with only this attempt to embarrass the president.

Let us now examine the real reason for this lawsuit. We are being told that the suit is because the president is attempting to enact laws and change already written laws by executive order bypassing Congress which they say is against the law. Well he is and he is obviously not the first president to do so. The problem for me is the laws he is actually attempting to enact or change, not the fact that he is doing so.

It should come as no surprise to you that I am no fan of this president or of his policies. But that having been said, he has been elected and reelected by the people. If he is guilty of lawbreaking, then Congress should remove him. Otherwise, just keep quiet and work to defeat such policies in the next election. This lawsuit is nothing but political theater, period. It will be a gigantic waste of time and money designed to take voter’s attention away from the real issues facing us and creating a story for the press to follow. It is a lot like the old carnivals which used to come to small towns. The dancing girls would come on the stage in their scanty outfits while the pickpockets moved among the crowd fleecing the gawkers.

Does anybody really think that this lawsuit will ever go anywhere? And even if it did, what would the Congress win? We already have a book of rules. We already have a Constitution. What we need is to have people in positions of authority who know and understand the law and work to enforce it. Our Congress passes numerous laws to stack upon the laws which we already have but no one seems interested is enforcing the laws already on the books. Incidentally the House of Representatives holds the purse strings for the entire government and could, if they were truly serious, stop any action by any president by refusing to fund it.

Clearly we don’t elect emperors. We don’t elect kings. We elect presidents and they represent all the people, not just the forty per cent who voted for them. Our laws should be enacted by the Congress as the Constitution requires. The President’s only role is to sign the law or to veto it. The Congress then has the authority, by that same Constitution, to override his veto.

Suing this president might make some headlines but it is going to end up being a fiasco. Thoughtful, intelligent people need to sit down and figure out a way to get along for the good of the country and get on with the business of governing. Let’s leave theater to actors, not silly politicians.

Ron Scarbro

Posted in Such the spot, Northwest chatter on Monday, August 25, 2014 10:44 am. Comments (0)

Such the Spot - Tips for packing kid's lunches
Posted: August 25, 2014

By now, most school-age children have returned to the classroom. I know that there exists an entire population of parents who rejoice when the back to school bell sounds for the first time. I, however, am not among them. For our family, the school year signifies a return to busy weeknights filled with sports practice or clubs or extracurricular activities. It means that dinner is rushed so as to squeeze in time for homework. The return to school also means that we have to get up early and zip through the morning routine of teeth brushing and dressing and eating breakfast. My biggest complaint about the school year, though? Making lunches. The daily drone of packing the lunchbox exhausts my creativity. Still, I persevere because I’ve witnessed what they serve in the cafeteria lunch line and I’m here to tell you that tater totz and chk’n nuggets do not a healthy meal make. No sir. If you, too, have already fallen into a lunch packing rut, here are some suggestions on healthy (and relatively easy) items to pack in your child’s lunch.

  • o Whole-wheat English muffin pizza
  • o Black bean, tomato, corn and avocado salad with organic blue corn tortilla chips
  • o Hummus and multi-colored pepper strips
  • o Watermelon cubes on a stick
  • o Peanut butter-filled pretzels
  • o Caprese salad kabobs with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and basil
  • o Plum slices
  • o Baby carrots with buttermilk ranch for dipping
  • o Hard-boiled egg
  • o Fruit salad
  • o Whole-wheat pita stuffed with cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and feta
  • o Peanut butter and banana roll ups in a whole wheat tortilla
  • o Green apple slices and cheddar cubes
  • o Kiwi slices
  • o Whole-wheat pasta spirals in basil pesto
  • o Whole-wheat tortilla quesadillas with black beans
  • o Pear slices with cinnamon cream cheese for dipping
  • o Ham and cheddar kabobs
  • o Mini cucumber sandwiches
  • o Blueberries and strawberry slices
  • o Veggie roll-ups with shredded carrot, cucumber, leafy greens and ranch
  • o Cashew and raisin trail mix
  • o Celery boats with peanut butter
  • o Pineapple spears
  • o Broccolini with hummus
  • o Bacon, avocado, lettuce and tomato spring rolls
  • And here are a handful of tips for ensuring that the healthy foods you pack in your child’s lunch end up in his or her belly, as opposed to the school dumpster:
  • o Use mini cookie cutters to cut soft foods like cheese and cucumber slices into fun shapes
  • o Include a little note in your child’s lunch (extra credit for knock-knock jokes!)
  • o Try not to include the same foods day after day – keep it exciting and fresh!
  • o It’s perfectly acceptable to pack a little treat. Think along the lines of fresh raspberries stuffed with a dark chocolate chip
  • o Do include ice packs – nobody likes wilty cheese sticks

Hopefully these suggestions will get your school year lunch making off to a great start!

Posted in Such the spot, Northwest chatter on Monday, August 25, 2014 10:37 am. Comments (1)

Friday 08/15/2014
Such the Spot - Using our nice words
Posted: August 15, 2014

I caught a snippet of The Today Show this morning. I gave up watching that show years ago but it did pop up on my screen this morning briefly as I was starting my workout DVD. The hosts (who I didn’t recognize) were discussing something they referred to as “skinny shaming”. From what I gathered, it was in reference to a GAP ad in which a very gaunt model is depicted in a plaid dress. Apparently the Twitterverse responded adversely to the photo, making disparaging comments about the model’s physique. She is too skinny, apparently.

The comments stand in stark contrast to the last major episode of public body type shaming I can recall. In that case, it was Jessica Simpson who was being called out not for being too thin, but for weight gain. It amounted to a public “fat shaming,” if you will. We Americans, it seems, are nondiscriminatory in our shaming.

It’s a disturbing trend to say the least. A random sampling of Tweets would surely reveal ugly comments aimed at people of every size, every sexual orientation, every race. Not that the thoughts themselves are anything new; mean people have always thought mean thoughts. The difference in modern times is that now mean people have a microphone and a global stage from which to spew their blech. It’s a sad state of affairs.

Here is why it disturbs me (and why it should disturb you, too): the generation coming up now and those that will follow are subject to these rampant criticisms all. the. time. Short of burying their heads in the sand, they’ll be hard-pressed to escape the constant stream of judgmental people exercising their freedom of speech.

A friend and I were recently talking about how much harder it would be to grow up with Facebook. Imagine if we had access to the comments people made about our bad yearbook photos. For impressionable young people who are so desperate for acceptance, those kinds of comments could be terribly hurtful. People don’t seem to understand that whether they’re typed or spoken, words have a lot of power—both to build up and to tear down.

Screens are similar to cars in many ways. Think about it. How quick are you to honk at (or make hand gestures to) a fellow driver? The separateness of being in one’s own car seems to take away a degree of humanity, doesn’t it? Consider how much more kindness we extend to neighbors at the grocery store, when we’re behind the wheels of shopping carts as opposed to steering wheels. Screens seem to have the same effect on us. We type words onto a keyboard and—for whatever reason—we forget that there are real people out there reading our words.

For years I’ve been telling my kids this one thing: words matter. This society of ours would be a much kinder place if only people would consider that before they type their next 140 character tweet. When in doubt, consider whether you’d say what you’re about to post to the face of someone behind you in the grocery store checkout lane. If not, I offer some wise words of wisdom from my grandma: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

Posted in Such the spot, Northwest chatter, Columns on Friday, August 15, 2014 11:46 am. Comments (1)

Thursday 08/07/2014
Vacation season is over, time for school
Posted: August 07, 2014

Vacation season might be wrapping up as children everywhere prepare to head back to school soon.  The lucky ones among us, though, might be able to squeeze in one more quick trip.  For some, that means air travel.  Having completed my fair share of that already this summer, I wanted to share a list of five things you should never do on an airplane.  Many of these things seem like common sense, but so does not ironing in your sleep and yet they still have that warning on the box.  I am not kidding when I tell you that I’ve witnessed each and every one of these actions taking place on a flight.  And so I’m doing what any writer would do and voicing my frustrations in writing for all the world (or my captive Southern Arizona audience, at least) to read.  It might be a passive aggressive act, but some things just need to be addressed, don’t you agree?

Dogs, for example.  I understand that several airlines now allow dogs to fly in the cabin on the flight.  Fine.  I’m not thrilled to be sharing recirculated air with the Chihuahua two rows up but fine.  I have to draw the line though at people who remove aforementioned Chihuahua from its carrier and proceed to walk it up and down the aisle.  Seriously?  It’s all just too reminiscent of the buses in developing countries—you know the ones, with the luggage strapped precariously on top and every kind of foul blocking the aisles and spilling out the windows.  

 Tuna sandwiches.  Don’t even get me started on the stinky food people see fit to bring aboard the airplane!  What really floors me, though, is when you see the offender casually passing time prior to boarding the flight, saving the stinky food for the plane instead of scarfing it down before boarding.  Because surely every single passenger wants to smell your tuna all the way from Orlando to Vegas.  Gross.

Lap layers.  These are the passengers (usually men, in my experience) who recline their seat as far as possible until they are practically lying in your lap.  Lap layers have to be my number one most dreaded fellow passengers.

Seat hogs.  Seat hogs are my number two.  These are the folks who—clearly—ought to purchase two seats on the flight because their girth cannot be fully accommodated in a single seat.  I may be small, but I paid for my whole seat and I’d like to be able to use it, thank you very much.

Porn watchers.  I kid you not.  Within the confines of a small aluminum tube in which 200+ people are forced to sit knee-to-knee, you really can’t help but notice what might be showing on your neighbor’s iPad screen.  Leave the porn at home people.  It—and your stinky tuna sandwich—will be waiting for you when you get back.

Posted in Such the spot, Deserttimes on Thursday, August 7, 2014 4:08 pm. Comments (0)

Tuesday 07/08/2014
Such the Spot - Why you shouldn't judge a book by its cover
Posted: July 08, 2014

We started reading to my son when he was six weeks old. It sounds a little strange, I know, but I’d read about the benefits of reading to a baby and so I insisted that we do it. We started with simple board books that contained mostly colorful pictures of oversized objects—shoes, balls, animals—and slowly progressed to books with simple story lines. Our reading time quickly became a treasured part of my son’s daily schedule. After we successfully got his sisters off to school each morning, the two of us would cozy into a spot on the rocking chair in his room. He’d choose a pile of books from our home library and stack them as neatly as his chubby little toddler hands would allow, by the chair. Eventually his attention span grew and we were able to complete lengthy series. I think that he was under five years old when we completed all seven books in The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis.

We certainly didn’t stop there.

Some of the books we read together wouldn’t surprise you. We read books that boys love—tales of pirates and cowboys, stories about Indian figurines that magically sprung to life upon being placed in a special cupboard. He always favored fantasy and adventure. Being a lover of books myself, I didn’t want to stop with those expected choices. I wanted him to get lost in stories that would grow his horizons. To that end, we started a series most well-known for appealing to young girls: The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Having never read that particular series as a child, I didn’t know quite what to expect. I feared he might not appreciate or enjoy the more feminine tones of the stories. He surprised me. The books did, too. Hardly feminine, The Little House books are accounts of brave pioneers. They overflow with adventurous characters, rich relationships and heartbreaking loss. Once we’d finished all of the books about Laura Ingalls Wilder, we moved on to the next series that chronicle the life of Laura’s daughter, Rose.

I credit our ritual of story time for instilling in my son a deep love of literature. He’s going into the third grade this year and already he’s an accomplished reader; he just wrapped up the final book of the Oz series on his own. I’m thrilled about that part, of course, but that in itself isn’t what I find most encouraging about his love of books. Rather, I love the fact that he can wander into a bookstore and find a book in just about any genre and waste away hours reading.

The stories he’s heard read aloud and those he’s read on his own have given him an impressive vocabulary, a deeper understanding of the world around him and—I believe—empathy for people in all ages and stages of life. If you happen to be the mother or father, sister or brother, grandmother or grandfather of a little one (even a newborn!) don’t underestimate the power of a book. And—please— don’t judge the appropriateness of that book by the gender of the character on the cover; the stories might surprise you.

Posted in Such the spot, Northwest chatter on Tuesday, July 8, 2014 12:32 pm. Comments (1)

Wednesday 07/02/2014
Such the Spot - The impact of constant connectivity
Updated: July 02, 2014 - 11:09 am

At the risk of sounding like my grandfather, I have to say that I have genuine concerns about the next generation. I’m worried about the impact of constant connectivity on impressionable young minds.

Don’t get me wrong; I see the value in modern technology. Whereas I had to spend hours in a library with access to limited information every time I had a report due at school, my children have instant access to page after page of study material via the internet. Technology has played a part in making the world seem like a smaller, more accessible place and I can’t help but appreciate that aspect of its influence. We all know, though, that there can be too much of a good thing.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to deliver my college-age daughter to Walt Disney World for an internship program. While we were there, we dined in a restaurant at a table next to a woman and a boy who seemed to be somewhere between eight and 10 years old. My guess is that it was a mother dining with her son. Here’s the troubling part: throughout the course of the hour-long meal, the boy’s eyes and attention were focused on a tablet screen the whole time. With the exception of lunch orders and drink refill requests being voiced to the server, I don’t recall so much as three sentences being exchanged at that table. I found it to be sad, and somewhat disturbing.

On “The Today Show” this morning, I heard just a short blurb about how voicemail messages are becoming obsolete. They were reporting that with the popularity of texting, people are less and less likely to leave or listen to voicemail messages. It’s not a surprising trend, really; I prefer texts over voicemail, too. But I think most of us would agree that there are certain things that should not be said over text—or voicemail for that matter. I’m concerned that today’s teens and tweens don’t appreciate those boundaries. Within the past three months, my two teen daughters have texted me some things I feel warrant a phone call, at the very least. My oldest daughter texted me when she totaled her car. And my 16-year-old told me via text that one of her friends had committed suicide.

The problem—I believe— is a grand one, but like most widespread problems, I think the solution starts at home. We can’t keep our children from technology, but we can certainly do our best to combat the negative aspects of it. We can do so by responding appropriately to inappropriate behaviors. When my daughter texted me about her car, for instance, I picked up the phone. My husband and I don’t bring our phones (or any other devices) to the table. I engage my kids in conversation when we’re in the car together, rather than allow them to zone out on mobile Twitter. I won’t say that I’m immune to all of this; I definitely have a weakness for my iPhone. But when I consider how important an example I’m setting, it makes it a bit easier to unplug.

Posted in Such the spot, Northwest chatter, Columns on Wednesday, July 2, 2014 11:06 am. Updated: 11:09 am. | Tags: Connectivity , Social Media , Technology Comments (1)

Friday 06/13/2014
Such the Spot - It really is a small, small world
Updated: July 02, 2014 - 11:13 am

A month ago, a tattered box arrived at my door. Tattered because it had traveled a great distance—all the way from Italy. It was a package I’ve been waiting a very long time for. That box contained seven copies of my first published novel. The only trouble, of course, being that the book is printed in Italian and—well—I can’t read it. Still, the arrival of those seven books caused quite a stir in my house. There were many squeals and photos and toasts raised as one would expect. What I didn’t know to expect, though, was the response I’d receive from Italian readers.

Social media has made the world seem like a much smaller place, hasn’t it? If I had written the same book some ten or fifteen years ago, I might have received a letter or two in the mail. Because of the time we live in, though, I’m able to get almost instant feedback from Italians who—for one reason or another—have reached out to me after reading my book.

It’s quite fun to open my Facebook each day and find new friend requests from women with names like Elisabetta and Gianna and Luca. More fun than that is it to find my inbox filled with notes from women who live half a world away and yet so intimately relate with the story I’ve written that they want to share their thoughts with me and hear mine in return.

I don’t fancy myself to be much more than a wife and mom living a quiet life in the dusty desert of Tucson. What, then, might I have in common with cultured European women who speak multiple languages and live in age-old cities and have easy access to the most famous museums and historical sites and ancient structures in the entire world? Truthfully, I have more in common with them than you might think.

Here’s what I’ve discovered about the women I’ve connected with: most of them are moms like me. Most of them want to share the struggles and triumphs of motherhood. Most of them are completely relatable. Sure, they might live within walking distance of The Coliseum, but that does not in the least change what matters most to them. That is: the beliefs they hold to be true, the dreams they dare to dream and the people they love.

The publication of my book has been a most rewarding experience for so many reasons. Perhaps the most surprising thing, though, are the discoveries I’ve made in acquainting myself with several distant readers and the reminder that this world we live in isn’t such a big place after all.

Posted in Such the spot, Northwest chatter, Columns on Friday, June 13, 2014 12:27 pm. Updated: 11:13 am. Comments (0)

Thursday 06/05/2014
Such the Spot - Literally Speaking
Posted: June 05, 2014

Have you seen the TV show, American Dream Builders? It’s an NBC program in which several designers are assigned to a team and they compete against one another to design a house that wins the votes of a neighborhood council. I’m not sure what the big prize at the end is and I didn’t bother to look it up because the prize is not my point. I only mention the show because I want to tell you about something the host, Nate Berkus, said on an episode I watched the other night. Two things, actually. The first phrase came to pass when he walked into a newly-designed bedroom painted a drab gray color. He looked around and then said on camera to his colleagues, “This room literally bores me to tears.” Only he was wrong because, as I mentioned, he was being filmed and I can assuredly say that not a single tear rolled down his face as he spoke those words. By definition, the word ‘literally’ means to convey an actual, exact occurrence or sentiment.

Or does it?

Apparently not anymore. Did you know that several online sources have updated the word ‘literally’ to also now be used to convey strong emotion or emphasis while not literally being true? Did you catch that? Basically they’re saying that the opposite definition of ‘literally’ now can be encompassed in the updated definition of the word. Why? Because a large portion of the population has so frequently misused the word that they decided it would just be easier to change the definition.

As a lover of the English language, I can’t say that the updated definition thrills me. I’m a person who strongly believes that words matter. Words have the power to heal broken hearts, inspire armies, boost morale and crumble entire governments. It serves us well to carefully choose the right—most accurate—words for any given situation.

Later in that same episode, Mr. Berkus had to send one of his three favorite contestants home from the competition. Before he made the decision, he said, “This is literally the hardest thing I’ve ever done.” Personally, I can think of several things that likely were harder. And so I struggle to believe that the torch snuffing he did during that episode was literally the hardest thing he’s ever done. Unless, of course, we’re accepting the updated (albeit so very inaccurate) definition of the word.

I hope we can all agree that the English language is worth preserving. Watching it deteriorate one definition at a time breaks my heart. Figuratively speaking, of course.

Posted in Such the spot, Northwest chatter on Thursday, June 5, 2014 8:43 am. Comments (1)

Wednesday 05/28/2014
Such the Spot - Moving my daughter across country
Posted: May 28, 2014

This afternoon I’m getting on a plane with my daughter, Torri.  We’re flying to Florida, the Sunshine State, so you’d think the trip would be a happy one.  It is, in many ways.  But the fact that Torri’s ticket is one-way, and mine is round-trip, well, that complicates things.

I raised her to love many things.  I raised her to love strawberry pie and warm weather and God (though not—I assure you—in that order).  I raised her to love books and honey in her tea and anything related to Disney.  It’s that last one that is coming back to haunt me now.

She was two the very first time I took her to Disneyland.  By the end of the day she was sweaty and sugared up—a stuffed Piglet trailing from her tired, dragging hand.   A love for the magic took root during that trip and so many more that would follow.  And then five years later, we took her to Disney parks on the opposite coast.  She spent her seventh birthday at Magic Kingdom—still young enough then to believe that the princess dress and tiara she wore had convinced Cinderella to invite us inside her castle for breakfast and a visit.  All those spins on the carousel—all those walks down Main Street—they were the most magical times of her life.  And mine.

She was just starting high school when I was selected to be a part of the inaugural Walt Disney World Moms Panel.  During my on-site training, I had the chance to meet several of Disney’s executives.  I remember sitting at dinner and talking with one of them about how she came to be a magic maker.  Quite possibly, there was pixie dust in my eyes as I listened and learned.  Alas, it was too late for me, but I knew of a certain young girl at home—a young girl whose heart already had a magical slight.  I went home from that trip and planted the teensiest seed in that young girl’s heart.  It was no accident; I did it because I believed that if her dreams mattered, they’d steer her right during those tumultuous teen years.

And they {mostly} did.

Here’s what I know about dreams: you need only take a single step to start chasing ‘em.  Today, my baby girl will get on a plane and go about the business of dream chasing.  If I’m being completely honest with you, I have to admit that there is a part of me that wishes she’d stay.  But more than that, I’m watching through eyes open wide in wonder—so full of admiration for a girl brave enough to chase down the wishes her heart made.  And is making still.     

Posted in Such the spot, Northwest chatter on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 11:14 am. | Tags: Moving Your Children , When Your Children Move Out , My Child Is Moving , Such The Spot , Darcie Maranich Comments (0)

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Darcie Maranich
  • Darcie Maranich
  • Darcie Maranich was a teen mom long before MTV made it the next big thing. In the 18 years that have passed since, she's gone on to build a life bold and beautiful here in Tucson. A self-described rebel with a lifestyle blog, her posts at Such The Spot reflect on the ups and downs of life as a mother to four, including one daughter who rocks three 21st chromosomes (or has Down syndrome, in layman's terms). Her passions for handcrafted food, inspired travel and back-to-basics living make her someone to keep an eye on. She's @medarcie on Twitter.

Friday 09/12/2014

Such the Spot - A case of the HOA blues

Monday 08/25/2014

Guest Column - Suing the President or impeachment for life? Such the Spot - Tips for packing kid's lunches

Friday 08/15/2014

Such the Spot - Using our nice words

Thursday 08/07/2014

Vacation season is over, time for school

Tuesday 07/08/2014

Such the Spot - Why you shouldn't judge a book by its cover

Wednesday 07/02/2014

Such the Spot - The impact of constant connectivity

Friday 06/13/2014

Such the Spot - It really is a small, small world

Thursday 06/05/2014

Such the Spot - Literally Speaking

Wednesday 05/28/2014

Such the Spot - Moving my daughter across country

Wednesday 05/07/2014

Such the Spot - Inclusive fun benefits all Such the Spot - Did the Easter bunny make it to your house this year? If so, you have me to thank. Let me explain: Such the Spot - Loose lips sink ships

Tuesday 04/22/2014

Such the Spot - Three mom code rules I wish every mother could agree on Such the Spot - What the teen who sued her parents really needs

Friday 04/11/2014

Such the Spot: Prom yesteryear vs. prom today

Monday 04/07/2014

Such the Spot - The trouble with volunteering as a little league coach

Monday 03/31/2014

Such the Spot - Spring cleaning checklist

Monday 03/17/2014

Such the Spot - A lesson in dream chasing

Friday 02/28/2014

Such the Spot - A mom's take on a legalized prejudice bill

Friday 02/21/2014

Such the Spot - Three fresh ideas for packed school lunches

Monday 02/17/2014

Such the Spot - Dental anxiety

Thursday 02/06/2014

Such the Spot - Seven foods for seven days

Monday 01/27/2014

Such the Spot - How I undid years of parenting in one sentence

Thursday 01/16/2014

Such the Spot - What I learned from watching MTV's 'Catfish'

Sunday 01/12/2014

Such the Spot - My phrase for the year

Sunday 01/05/2014

Such the Spot - A lesson in movie going

Monday 12/23/2013

Such the Spot - Are Christmas Cards not a thing anymore

Tuesday 12/17/2013

Such the Spot - Gift ideas for the entire family

Tuesday 12/10/2013

Such the Spot - Elf on the Shelf shenanigans

Monday 12/02/2013

Such the Spot - America's moral decline

Thursday 11/21/2013

Such the Spot - Thanksgiving is coming - send help

Monday 11/04/2013

Such the Spot: What to say when you don't know what to say

Friday 11/01/2013

Such the Spot: Embracing the candles on the cake

Tuesday 10/29/2013

Such the spot: An anniversary dinner splurge

Friday 10/11/2013

Such the Spot - Six things every husband should keep in his car

Monday 10/07/2013

Such the Spot - Confessions of a football convert

Thursday 10/03/2013

Such the Spot - On not sweating the small stuff

Friday 09/13/2013

Such the Spot - Why I take my children to church

Thursday 09/05/2013

Such the Spot - Getting acclimated to the desert

Tuesday 08/27/2013

Such the Spot - A rose by another name

Friday 08/23/2013

Such the Spot - Somewhere between couch potato and adrenaline junkie

Monday 08/12/2013

Such the Spot - Age appropriateness for household chores

Monday 08/05/2013

Such the spot - My secret criminal life

Monday 07/22/2013

Such the Spot - Teaching my daughter to drive. Again

Monday 07/15/2013

Such the Spot - It's back-to-school time already

Friday 07/12/2013

Such the Spot - Two ways to satisfy your inner foodie this weekend

Monday 07/01/2013

Such the Spot - No, I don't like dogs. But yes, I have one

Tuesday 06/25/2013

Such the Spot - The trip we'll laugh about later

Friday 06/14/2013

Such the Spot - Please don't feed the children
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