The Secret Keepers

Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher:

Greetings friends ~
I’m sharing this post on behalf of my one of my dearest friends at Mended Musings. I hope it reaches someone in need. Please share it as well if you think it appropriate.

Originally posted on Mended Musings:


I’m going to do something I’ve never done before. I’m going to ask you to share this post. Reblog it, share it on Facebook, tweet it. Someone out there needs to hear this message today. Even if you think you don’t know anyone who has been abused. Even if you don’t read the entire post.

About a month ago I was asked by Dawn at WTF words, thoughts, feelings to contribute an essay for an anthology that she and Joyelle are creating for parents who are survivors of childhood sexual and physical abuse (learn more at

I submitted my essay but I also want to shine a bigger spotlight on this project because I fear that they may not get many submissions. Not because it’s not a worthy cause or because there aren’t enough people out there to contribute but because survivors of abuse are secret…

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A Little Factoid ~

Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher:

And more reblog…

To end the story – my son did OK with soccer – he loved practice but was not too thrilled with the actual games. He was more interested in engaging the refs in some conversation and/or standing around ignoring the game. Why run for a ball you are going to miss anyway? That’s my son… he’s definitely his mother’s kid. But he never wanted to quit. And spending 3 days a week driving 15 miles each way to & from practice/games, I desperately WISHED he wanted to quit. I wanted to quit, but for some reason, that’s not allowed.

Originally posted on The Mercenary Researcher:

That could be me ~
Cartoon by Charles Schultz

Remember the worst kid on the Royal Blue softball team? The kid that was kind of chunky? Awkward with a bat? Was a little wheezy when running around the field during practice? Yes, I was that kid.  It was an ungainly time in my life. Fifth grade softball – it scarred me for life.

I had a long history of quitting. I quit flute, baton, swim team, figure staking, and gymnastics (which I was actually good at – but then developed a Dolly-Partonesque physique and that was that).   So in 5th grade, I decided to join the North West Side softball league.  I place the blame squarely on my friend Dawn. She was tall, slender and athletic. I was short, stocky and apathetic.  She suggested we join; and like a sheep to the slaughter; I followed.  I didn’t even get…

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You Not Nomal!!!

Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher:

A little blast from the past since my brain is on leave…

Originally posted on The Mercenary Researcher:

San Francisco is a hard city for me. Riding the bus is also a challenge for the same reason. I’m sure some of you know what I’m alluding to. There are a lot of us around. . We’re called ‘freak magnets’ – there is something about us that inevitably draws the weirdoes.

We don’t ask for this – it just happens. We just ARE through no fault of our own.
You’ve probably see it happen – someone, somewhere, innocently just standing there, minding their own business, a bizarre person comes along and all of a sudden WHAMO – a hilarious story is born. One of my freak magnet friends does like to ‘poke the jellyfish’ (yes, Annie – I’m looking at you) – so I guess some of us seek it out more than others.

I do not. I am, however, a people watcher and I like to make eye…

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Scary Mommy 2014 Thanksgiving Project

Greetings People,

It’s been ages since I posted anything – I don’t know what has happened… I decide to write a book and my brain just dries up.  But sometimes that’s OK, because it allows us to have room for others things to focus on – like bad TV, er, I mean placing the spotlight on a great cause…

This morning in my inbox I got my daily Scary Mommy email – and this most excellent blog has a worthwhile cause that I’d like to highlight today in own blog.


It’s called The Scary Mommy 2014 Thanksgiving Project - and you should definitely click on that link as soon as you’re done reading here.

Here’s a little teaser…

The Scary Mommy Thanksgiving Project began three years ago, with just a handful of families.

A handful of mothers who confessed not being able to afford Thanksgiving dinners and a handful of readers who volunteered to help them. Nobody was trying to save the world; we just wanted to be able to make a difference in one family’s life.

And then the magic happened….

Now you really should read to learn more – community is so vital in our society. We are all connected on some level, and reaching out to give a little means a lot.

Come on, you can do it!

Come on, you can do it!

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Plastic Magic

“I don’t believe you.”  I think I said this a million times.

“It’s true,” my mother, obviously exasperated with my disbelief, replied again and again.

“Are you sure? Are you really sure?”

“Yes. Yes, I’m sure – I wouldn’t lie to you about this.” Again she answered to my disbelief.

“As many as I want?”  I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was a flaw some place in her statement.

“Yes, as many as you want. You can get as many as you want.”  We went around and around again.

Even at age 6, I couldn’t believe I was allowed to get as many books as I wanted from the library.  AS MANY AS I WANTED. I don’t think there was another instance in my life where I was allowed an unlimited amount of something I wanted (we’re excluding peas here because, well I wanted to limit those from day one).  Could that little plastic card really give me access to ANYTHING I WANTED IN THE LIBRARY?  I was quite stunned. I stood there in our small village library with my arms filled up with books – all sorts of books. Picture books, Snoopy books, chapter books.  I wasn’t sure how all this worked – all I knew was that I could feed this ravenous monster inside me with books. As many books as I wanted….and when they were all read, someone would take me back to this magical place and let me get MORE books.  FOR FREE. It seemed the only thing I had to do was read and return them before the date stamped on the little rectangular piece of paper attached to the inside cover.  Since I had no concept of time, that wasn’t even a bother for me.

All I could think of was “What an amazing world I live in.”


“As many as I want?” My son couldn’t seem to grasp the idea.

“Yes,” I replied,”as many as you want.”

“We rent them? Does it cost as much as at the video rental store?” He asked.

“No, we don’t ‘rent’ them. We ‘borrow’ them. It means we check them out and then promise to bring them back after a certain amount of time.”  I think I had explained this a million times.

“Are you sure? That doesn’t seem right.” Argued my precocious 6 year old. “Are you saying I can get as many books as I want for free from this place and all you do is show them a plastic card?”

“Yes,” I explained, “that’s how a library works.”

He shook his head in disbelief as he approached the counter with his arms filled with books.  Picture books, Snoopy books, chapter books.  He conveyed to the librarian his disbelief and she assured him I was not telling tales out of school.

Another generation stunned by the magic of a piece of plastic.

Posted in Childhood, Education, Family, Humor, Language, Librarian, love, Parenting, Random Thoughts, Reading, Relationships, Story, Words | Tagged , , , , , | 55 Comments


Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher:

I want to share this on behalf of my dear friend. But also because I briefly knew Punky when I was just 15 years old, and saw with my own eyes how someone’s life can spiral out of control yet they still try to hold-on. Living with mental illness in a time when resources were more scarce and stigma was strong. She grew up too soon and left this earth too soon, and at times for her, it was not soon enough. I hope she finally finds some peace. She showed love in the best way she knew how and that is how she should be remembered.

Much love to you all

Originally posted on Mended Musings:


My sister, the year I was born.

I felt too tethered to the earth last week. I walked through each day with a sense that something was coming, or maybe more like something was happening but I didn’t know what. It was like that time I had a dream about the woman who adopted my cat. I only met her once but we became Facebook friends so that we could see pictures of Moo-Moo. I had a dream that her friends were stuck in a basement with a raging fire above them and they were screaming her name. The next morning, I saw on Facebook that she lost 5 of her friends in a fire.

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The Most Awesome Thing My Mom Did for Me

Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher:

My kid, age 12, is starting to like Nancy Drew graphic novels – which is so excellent as I loved Nancy Drew when I was his age. So I thought I’d reblog a favorite story in honor of reading.

Originally posted on The Mercenary Researcher:

When I was growing up I read quite a bit. I could spend literally 8 hours straight reading. Not to say I didn’t do other things- but when I was interested in a book – it engulfed me.

My favorite thing about a book was that it I would be immersed in that world. The longer the story the better. I would become slightly depressed when the book ended (ok-sometimes I mooned around for days). I was that kind of reader.

Anyway – my favorite thing to do in the winter or right before it rained in cold weather was be outside reading. It might seem counter-intuitive to be outside in the rain reading but that’s where mom came in.

My favorite way to spend an afternoon was all wrapped up in a chaise lounge in my own cocoon world. I would get a poncho (it was a Sear’s poncho…

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