I am a writer who enjoys the heck out of writing personal thoughtful essays. In addition to the nearly three years of writing on my blog at Shalavee.com, I am grateful for the opportunities to have written pieces for Mindie Burgoyne’s Travel Hag which you can find under Eastern Shore Experiences. I have also written for Jennifer Cooper’s Classic Play and have contributed to Eastern Shore Savvy and the Talbot/Chestertown Spy.
The one thing I like better than being read by you is being offered an opportunity to write more for you. If you have such an opportunity or you have an inquiry about a piece I’ve previously published, write me a note and leave your contact information in the boxes below. Thanks for you communication.
A couple of weeks after I gave birth to my son, my husband routinely would ask me “On a scale of one to ten, how do you feel ?” My mental state was in question and I remember standing by the garden in those first weeks and answering,”About a 4″ . And then eventually, I remember reaching a 7. And it’s even been only in the last year that I felt capable of a 10. I felt overwhelmed, incompetent, full of frustration, anger, and just plain exhausted. All symptoms of what I would soon understand was postpartum (or postnatal)...read more
On the phone recently, my Mom recounted a story about the last time I had a baby. She laughed as she told her version of that fateful day in the delivery room. Her portrayal of me as a labor room dictator was slightly unsettling. Stories can be both comforting and unsettling. Storytelling impacts, creates, and continues our cultural and individual perceptions of self. I can see how I tell certain stories to remember, substantiate, and explain who I am, where I’ve come from, and what I believe. And I know other people are telling their stories...read more
We had difficulty naming the first baby and we seem to be having more with the second. And the husband not wanting to know the gender of the baby has put more than just a small twist in this game. I may have told you this but you can’t stop me anyway from telling you again.We were at our first OB visit with the good Dr. O’Bryan who’s explaining the timeline of fun stuff to come. And when he says, ”That’s when you’ll be able to find out the gender of the baby,” Mark says “We don’t want to know” at the same time I say “I figured we’d find...read more
This is the second part of a two-part post entitled Trouble at the Table, in which I review and summarize Karen Le Billon’s book French Kids Eat Everything. It was actually one of those reads that changed my life and my kid’s by default. I hope I do it justice. Neither his food pickiness nor my astonishment over it seemed to diminish as my child grew from a three to a seven year-old. “Do you know what a good cook your Mom is?” my husband kept asking him. This justified my dismay but did nothing for his food fears. I have always...read more
My fabulous e-course teacher Holly Becker had asked for her students comments on her Blogging Your Way E-course during October 2012. As the window for enjoying the workshop resources is about to shut, I thought it time to deliver my letter. And feel complete. Dear Holly, Several weeks ago, I had just listened to your last podcast for Blogging Your Way Bootcamp and typed a few notes sitting in front of my fireplace. I was sad the end of camp was near yet inspired. Per your request, I have gathered my bouquet of thoughts for you here. First, I...read more
My family’s tomato soup episode was one of those final moments when I knew we were in trouble at the table. I had heard the husband strike a bargain with our 7 year-old Picky-a-saurus. Whatever treat the child was requesting could be had after he ate and finished his cream of tomato soup. OK, the kid says. And I know this will not end well. Sure enough, there were tears aplenty and extra drama( partly from hunger) all for the fear of this unknown food. And it was one of the most uncomfortable un-enjoyable meals I have ever endured. It was a...read more
My mommy mind keeps slipping to that place where I think about all the stuff I want to accomplish. And I tickle that fancy of having other people to help me. Like the hired kind. You know the ones that rock stars and movie stars have. So talented, they need to hire help to do all the mundane stuff so they can practice their uber talented craft. I could start out with a part-time personal assistant, a housekeeper, and a cook/chef. Oh and a gardener and an interior decorator and part-time nanny. Martha Stewart style, I delegate the bejuices out...read more
I was monkeying around on the computer, or most likely just hit the wrong key and fell upon some “data” that tickled me. I am a non-spelling and non-grammatically correct knowing and using somebody. I know you noticed and thanks for not saying anything. Spell check is an acquaintance I use when I have to. But there are plenty of times when I tell the spellchecker to F-off and add the word I’m using here to the internal dictionary. I really do get tired of having my name questioned every time I type it. And that’s the “data” I found. I had...read more
As today marks the year anniversary of the return, after a weeks abrupt absence, of our cat Butthead, I felt the urge to share the story once more for those who missed reading it the first time. It’s a good one. Enjoy. At 9am on a mid-October Saturday, my husband had called me at our home in Denton from his cell phone. Neither of us recalls the reason for this call. Before the line went dead, he utters the equivalent of “Freaking cat” and probably more unheard expletives. Our cat Butthead had stowed away in the back of a moving truck...read more
The world of blogging is integrally tied into the “social media thing”. I started my blog as a dare to myself and then found out my deeper fear. Every social platform I went to join, people were friending and following. What the heck did it mean? What did this really mean? What did they want and why? How could I not view myself as an ego maniac if I acted like this? Oh the issues that started to ooze. I’ve just never been much of a follower. I was friends with both the preppies and the punkers. In my heart, I’m a leader yet I seem to have a...read more