A Digital Mini Time Capsule

Last week my friend and co-worker, Pam, posted a cute blog post in which she asked her kids questions, and they answered. She opened by saying it was a meme going around Facebook. Remembering the past, I dredged up a link to the trend from 2009 and pulled up my own kids’ answers (different questions, though). Then I realized it would be fun to see their answers now, many years later. I asked them the same questions, and they hadn’t known I had the original answers so it was pretty much a blank slate. It’s interesting to see how we all have grown. And they pretty much nailed me. Thanks for humoring me, CJ, Zeb and Hudi! Love you guys!

1. What is something mom always says to you?

CJ (15): Don’t eat in your room.
CJ (22): I love you.

Zeb (12): get your grades up
Zeb (19): I love you

Hudi (9): take a shower
Hudi (16): Don’t eat my chocolate!

2. What makes mom happy?

CJ (15): chocolate
CJ (22): Simple, stress-free things.

Zeb (12): chocolate
Zeb (19): Chocolate and family time

Hudi (9) chocolate
Hudi (16): Chocolate

3. What makes mom sad?

CJ (15): when chocolate’s gone
CJ (22): When the rum/wine is gone.

Zeb (12): broccoli (I have an intolerance and it makes me sick, but I love the taste of it!)
Zeb (19): Death and drugs

Hudi (9) when people die
Hudi (16): When I do eat her chocolate

4. How does your mom make you laugh?

CJ (15): when she laughs when people get hurt (disclaimer from Chrissie: it’s an involuntary reaction I can’t seem to control, and I think it’s horrible! Definite character flaw)
CJ (22): When she gets excited over small things that I don’t think she should be excited over.

Zeb (12): being random
Zeb (19): Funny jokes and stories

Hudi (9): jokes
Hudi (16): By trying to make puns.

5. What was your mom like as a child?

CJ (15): a boy in pink overalls (explanation from Chrissie–I looked like a boy and was forever mistaken as one even when I wore pink overalls one time).
CJ (22): Driven and goal-oriented.

Zeb (12): active
Zeb (19): energetic and curious

Hudi (9) nice
Hudi (16): preppy

6. How old is your mom?

CJ (15): 18 (Does anyone else detect sarcasm here)?
CJ (22): 26

Zeb (12): 37 (he got it right)
Zeb (19): like 20

Hudi (9) 36
Hudi (16): still 29… right? 😉

7. How tall is your mom? True answer (5 ft 2 in)

CJ (15): SHORT
CJ (22): Short.

Zeb (12): 5.9 ft
Zeb (19): 5’2″

Hudi (9) 6 foot 1
Hudi (16): 5 ft 2 in

8. What is her favorite thing to do?

CJ (15): Be absorbed into either screens or the sun.
CJ (22): Do things with family; like snowboarding and camping trips.

Zeb (12): eat chocolate
Zeb (19): read, work or play

Hudi (9) play Rock Band
Hudi (16): spend time with her boys

9. What does your mom do when you’re not around?

CJ (15): go online
CJ (22): Works, watches movies and talks about traveling.

Zeb (12): work
Zeb (19): work and hang out. Snowboarding in the winter.

Hudi (9) exercise
Hudi (16): watch movies

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?

CJ (15): writing
CJ (22): Helping somebody.

Zeb (12): writing
Zeb (19): Helping a bunch of people on the internet.

Hudi (9) writing
Hudi (16): cooking…… XD no no I kid. she would be a famous writer

11. What is your mom really good at?

CJ (15): not being on the same page as everyone else (note from Chrissie – not sure if this is a compliment or not)
CJ (22): Putting thoughts into written word.

Zeb (12): writing
Zeb (19): Happiness Engineering and mothering

Hudi (9) Rock Band
Hudi (16): writing

12. What is your mom not very good at?

CJ (15): Skiing
CJ (22): Being observant.

Zeb (12): guitar
Zeb (19): Some cooking

Hudi (9) video games
Hudi (16): cooking

13. What does your mom do for her job?

CJ (15): write
CJ (22): Helps people.

Zeb (12): write
Zeb (19): Helps people with website problems

Hudi (9) write
Hudi (16): she is a happiness engineer

14. What is your mom’s favorite food?

CJ (15): chocolate
CJ (22): Cold strawberries coated in dark chocolate with whipped cream.

Zeb (12): chocolate
Zeb (19): chocolate

Hudi (9) chocolate
Hudi (16): strawberry rhubarb pie or lamb

15. What makes you proud of your mom?

CJ (15): When she lets me eat in my room and keep the laptop in it.
CJ (22): Sticking with snowboarding even though it’s tough for her.

Zeb (12): being there when I need her
Zeb (19): she puts up with all my crap

Hudi (9) her new dresses
Hudi (16): her love for everyone and everything. she’s not negative about most things

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?

CJ (15): Takeshi Saehara… but that’s a guy. (Note from Chrissie – I just asked him about this now in 2016, and he said it was because he wrote and always stuck to his deadlines).
CJ (22): –

Zeb (12): Elmer Fudd
Zeb (19): Smurfette

Hudi (9) Bugs Bunny — (Note from Chrissie in 2009 – He said I make him laugh, and I’m sneaky like when I go into his room at night and he doesn’t know it)
Hudi (16): Wanda from the Fairly Odd Parents

17. What do you and your mom do together?

CJ (15): Facebook
CJ (22): Troubleshoot technology and snowboard.

Zeb (12): Rock Band
Zeb (19): Snowboard and talk

Hudi (9) play games
Hudi (16): watch movies especially Les Miserables and Across the Universe

18. How are you and your mom the same?

CJ (15): Same hair color.
CJ (22): We’re both able to talk to anyone about anything, and can make something happen out of nothing.

Zeb (12): we like Rock Band and cooking
Zeb (19): we like extreme sports like snowboarding

Hudi (9) we are both in the same family
Hudi (16): we’re both usually happy about everything we do

19. How are you and your mom different?

CJ (15): Everything else.
CJ (22): She likes getting up early.

Zeb (12): she’s a girl
Zeb (19): Different opinions in lifestyles

Hudi (9) she is a girl i am a boy
Hudi (16): well she’s a lot more wise then I am

20. How do you know your mom loves you?

CJ (15): When… she tapes my concerts and puts them on Facebook.
CJ (22): Somewhere between raising me, helping me through early adulthood, giving me countless opportunities, and telling me that she loves me.

Zeb (12): she says so and is always there for me
Zeb (19): she puts up with me and my brothers and always cares

Hudi (9) she told me
Hudi (16): she tells me constantly

21. What does your mom like most about your dad?

CJ (15): I don’t know
CJ (22): His hair. In all seriousness, probably his rational thinking, abstract thoughts, and ability to accomplish anything.

Zeb (12): He protects her
Zeb (19): His ability to do whatever he puts his mind to

Hudi (9) You like everything about him.
Hudi (16): his humor

22. Where is your mom’s favorite place to go?

CJ (15): Places with sun, chocolate and a massage.
CJ (22): She just likes to travel. She tends to like beaches and mountains, but I don’t think she’d be content staying in any one place. If I did have to pick one though, I’d say Southwick Beach.

Zeb (12): Disney (or the bath tub)
Zeb (19): Disney World

Hudi (9) Disney
Hudi (16): Disney World

I Got a 70% in Blogging University

Blogging U.
And I’m 100% okay with that.

As many of you know, I tried my hand at poetry writing a bit ago. I’m always telling people how much I love Blogging University, and I was taking full advantage of the coursework by taking part in the Poetry class.

So here’s the confession: I only did seven out of the ten lessons. And it really bothered me that I didn’t finish.

And here’s the catch: One of the benefits of Blogging University  that I always rave about is the fact that you can do the free course at your own pace. It’s totally okay to skip lessons or fall behind.

But I didn’t listen to myself, and it ate at me. My pre-holiday life was filled with personal and professional deadlines, my energy level was fighting a sugar-induced dip, and my brain was starting to spin towards next year’s goals. I had the lessons on my to-do list, but kept pushing them off until the lateness was getting pretty embarrassing. Headaches ensued, and I considered staying up hours later to catch up. Not an optimal choice.

Then it hit me. I had the freedom to let go. That’s what Blogging University is all about. I can always take the class over, or write those prompts another time. It will still be free so no $ lost. Only wisdom gained.

The fact that I was three lessons behind did not take away from the reality that:

  • I actually wrote poetry for the first time in forever.
  • I learned about different poetry styles.
  • I met some seriously talented writers in my class who are now my role models.
  • I received critiques that made my writing stronger.
  • I was greatly encouraged by the community.
  • And now I have some incredible poetry to read when I relax with coffee and my WordPress Reader.

What an incredible take-away! Yeah, I only hit 70% of the assignments, but I benefitted 100%.

Thanks for the free courses, Blogging University!

See you on the Commons if you are in Blogging 101 in January 🙂

Beloved – Poetry Day 7

Something about the very word “beloved” causes a frisson in us. Out of the people that matter to you, who matters the most? Whom do you love, or whom have you loved more than anyone else? What does the word “beloved” summon up in your imagination? What songs, poems, stories, movies spring to mind? Who is your beloved?


I can’t look at this assignment without thinking of the Bible passage from Song of Solomon 6 and Song of Solomon 5:16. “I am my beloved and he is mine…”…”This is my lover, this is my friend.” I am nowhere near as eloquent as the author of the passage, and I realize that there is no way to verbally capture the intense love I feel for the one I was fortunate enough to marry. He balances me. I am strong and would be fine on my own, but he takes me to a better, higher, stronger, more passionate plane. For which I am thankful.

This poem is a Petrarchan (or Italian or Miltonic) Sonnet, according to http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/harris/Rom_Travel/Handouts/RomPoetryForm.pdf.

It’s written as a 14 lines poem with the first eight-line octave in abba, abba format showing a situation, followed by a six-line cde, cde resolution:

It has been twenty-four years
On this roller coaster we call life
Happiness, sadness, triumphs and fears
Since that day I became your wife.
Balance and love are the keys
Taking turns, being strong, showing love
Bolstering up the one who’s in need
Showing grace. You. My beloved.

An etching on my soul
You make me whole
And will ’til the end of my days
You’re the yin to my yang
The whole shebang
I adore you now and always.


Fallacy – Poetry Day 6

Flat Earth

Today, let’s write poems that are wholly illogical.
Let’s see how miserably we can get reason to fail; both our reason and the reason that guides our readers.

Try not to consider this prompt as a call to nonsense but rather a call to use your good (creative) sense to arrive at firmly misconstrued ends. Surprise yourself!

Flat Earth
Image courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/a_siegel/2356136219

The earth is flat and all that
I was told by the man in the moon
As he munched on cheese
Imported by mice
Who saw (in blinding belief)
The edge of the world
From their vantage
Atop the clock

This post is part of the Poetry 101 course from the WordPress Blogging University.

Seconds – Poetry Day 4

Unimportant as it may seem, a split second can change our lives in ways we can never imagine. So today, write about the basic unit of time, seconds. Reflect on those few seconds when a loved one was in a life-and-death situation. …

So the assignment today was pretty tough for me. I knew immediately which second to write about. A second from my existence that rocked my world on impact and will continue skewing my reality forever. But writing about it wasn’t easy. And my poetry is particularly weak on it. I think in time I can make it strong, but I don’t have the time or mental capacity to deal with it more today. So consider it a draft. I want to get a better flow and rhythm in the future, but would rather post the draft then ignore the assignment.


Twenty years and two days ago my world changed forever
Thanks to a decision
Made in a second.

You were failing. You didn’t kick,
And there were moments left
In the stress test.

I told the nurse to turn me. That always made you move.
You kicked. I grinned. We passed!
Micro-seconds to spare.

I didn’t realize that my split-second choice
Was the harbinger of

Since you passed the test they wouldn’t induce
Though it was a week past your due time.
Rest in peace, beloved son of mine.

How I wish I could turn back time.

Not my fault. I know. Still, I’ll always regret
The decision that I made in the final
Second of that test.

  • This post is part of the Poetry 101 course from the WordPress Blogging University. 



Sleep – Poetry Day 3

It’s time to think deeply about sleep. Dive into the pool of night and let whatever it is you find there take poetic form. (I hope this prompt doesn’t make an insomniac out of you!)

Evolve into
Epic tales as my physical momentum is put on

*This post is part of the Poetry 101 course from the WordPress Blogging University. 

December Poems – Magic

A Bee FlyingMany of you know I spent years working as a professional writer, but did you know about my connection with poetry? Yeah, I don’t know about the connection, either. And that’s why I’m taking the Poetry 101 class with Blogging University.

If I can keep up with assignments, I’ll be writing a poem each weekday based on a topic/style assigned. Feel free to laugh at me, give me pointers, encourage me, whatever. It’s a learning experience and at the very least I should make everyone else feel great about their poetry 🙂
Assignment 1 was:

Write a poem involving magic, whatever your take on the magical might be.


Carnival music

And a hawker’s call

Ready to reveal

Mystic powers to all


It’s fun, yes, that’s true

But don’t you agree?

No magic’s quite like

The flight of a bee


My First Contributor’s Day

IMG_20151030_120931811While I’ve been to numerous WordCamps, I’ve never been to a contributor’s day before. It’s pretty wild seeing people group themselves by strength and interest, dedicating a day to make WordPress stronger and better. Nothing like seeing the community in action. My group? Lesson plans. We are working on creating, testing, and fine-tuning lessons for meetup organizers and educators. Love it!