Thoughts From A Former Walking Coat Hanger

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Photo by Michael Lee on Unsplash

Today I was most amused by a Facebook post by a classmate of mine in which she shared several photos from a supposed recent men’s fashion week. The photos were of a men’s fashion show where the male models were wearing all sorts of getup from women’s clothing articles like high heels and fishnet stockings, to more effeminate, or some might argue, emasculating attire, to more daring shapes like strips of wood, or hulking non-human forms.

My friends lamented the state of men, and that they felt sorry for the models as if they were trapped or tricked into such…


Perspective is Everything

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Photo by Japheth Mast on Unsplash

I knew my son was different before his first birthday.

Though he hit all the milestones, Ewan scooted on the floor instead of crawled, and never was a disagreeable child. Toys were flown through the air as if they were all airplanes, and the wheels of toy cars, in particular, were of great interest. He never babbled and seemed impervious of the bottom half of his face — like his chin, jaw, and tongue didn’t exist.

The doctors told us he had oral dyspraxia, and that it could be a barrier to him learning to speak.

https://exceptionalindividuals.com/about-us/blog/what-is-verbal-dyspraxia/

As a new parent, learning that you might never hear your child speak is the icing on the cake when dealing with the…


I’ve been called worse, but this time it was totally unprovoked.

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Photo by Obie Fernandez on Unsplash

A funny thing happened at the grocery store today.

Here’s the setting: I’m a mid-40’s woman of means living in a rural part of Phoenix Arizona. I’ve never had a problem with anyone in any way. No raucous disputes with the neighbors. I never feed the trolls on the internet. I get upset when someone kills a snake. I’ve never been late on my taxes and always vote. No criminal record, nada. For all intents and purposes, I’m a law-abiding citizen and according to my friends, a great listener.

Even at the grocery store, I’m the rare customer who brings…


How The Election is Hitting This Multi-National Home

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Photo by NASA on Unsplash

Today is the day before the storm.

In this house, only two are American citizens, and only one is of legal age to vote.

I am that voter.

I can report in no uncertain terms the levels of anxiety in this house. My husband, who is a UK citizen, has found this an especially burdensome time. …


Take It From a Former Professional Model

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Photo by frankie cordoba on Unsplash

I recently retired from being a professional model. I was represented by prestigious modeling agencies all over the world. I traveled extensively, working in many different countries and their fashion capitals. For twenty-five years I ate (virtually nothing), slept (mostly on airplanes), and breathed (lots of second-hand smoke) modeling. So I can tell you with all certainty that “beauty” is 100% COMPLETELY…

Arbitrary.

It’s also many other things: a blessing and a curse, skin deep and deep in your heart. It’s both lucky and unlucky and can take you places or keep you home. …


And The Audacious Solution to Save It

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Photo by Nikita Kostrykin on Unsplash

This was it. I was done. I was newly married less than two years and I was already FED UP.

My husband would snap at me. I would then criticize him back. We argued constantly. I felt angry all the time, so I cried all the time. I was ready to leave him behind and move back home and back to my parents after yet another failed marriage.

My husband, the man who swept me off my feet and charmed me with his stories, accent, and swagger, was now so irritated by me that we’d rather be in different rooms…


Asking For A Friend

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Photo by Diane Helentjaris on Unsplash

When my daughter was around five years old, she was a bundle of giggly energy wrapped up in pink frilly dresses and glittery face paint. She simply had a LOVE of everything. She is my only daughter, and I know I indulged her.

My husband and I had incredible jobs where we could often afford to go on staycations at the nearest hotel for the weekend, or even quick trips overseas. We had a nanny too, and would bring them all along to swim in luxurious swimming pools right on the beach, or more simple family trips to the zoo…


And it’ll work every time

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Photo by Ian Stauffer on Unsplash

Today I’m celebrating a milestone.

Today I was notified by Medium that I have been given a Top Writer designation in my bio.

If you look at my bio it will say I’ve been a member of Medium since June of 2020, which might imply that’s how long I’ve been writing. In actuality, that is simply the month and year I discovered this platform.

Honestly, I’ve been writing for YEARS. Since I was a teenager, in fact. I’ve written every day since June of 1989. Hundreds of thousands of words I’ve handwritten tucked away in organized notebooks, loose-leaf paper, and…


And What I Did To Change — In One Easy Step

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Photo by Courtney Nuss on Unsplash

Yup, I was an asshole mom.

Of course I didn’t set out to be that way — no one ever does — but the look on my daughter’s face the moment I realized I was dropping the ball is one I’ll never forget.

The Setup

It was back in 2014 when my kids were 6 years old. It was autumn. My husband had accepted a contract for work in another state, so I was on my own during the week with two kids and a new house to run and set up.

Before that, we recently moved from living overseas and bought…


Keep Calm and Learn On!

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Moms and Dads of America — I hear you. This school year is going to be SO different from anything we’ve ever experienced before. Most likely the effects of the pandemic will linger far into our foreseeable future, and I share your anguish. Since whinging about it doesn’t solve anything (or at least, this is what we tell our kids), let’s just plunge right ahead into this and figure this out now. Maybe you’ll have some fixes of your own that you can pass along as we go into this coming year.

I’m a work from home parent with two…

LJ Black

Wife. Mother to an autistic son and an adopted daughter. Alpha female to my pack of dogs & lover of nature. Eagerly searching for that perfect Prosecco.

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