Mary Kathryn Johnson - Mary's Blog


Not Yet

As your independence from me looms like the dark before the dawn, I can't help but reflect on the exciting journey before you, and my new role as your Mom.

Thinking of your Graduation, as you make decisions for your future - as you pack to leave home and study, I imagine sparkling excitement in your eyes, and yes, a little fear, but if I have done my job by helping you prepare for your life away from me, I know you will make most of the right choices.  I hope you learn from the wrong ones.

You will experiment with all kinds of new things, people and events.  Always remember...Don't put anything up your nose that you don't want in your brain...  Please choose as wisely as possible, as these experiments can affect the remainder of your life, and the lives of others.

Marrying these thoughts with my current reality, I can answer your question confidently, my son:

"NO! You can't have your iPod back until your 8th Grade English is above a C-!"



I Lost You!

I hate it when I lose you! When I check Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, etc., and I don't see the avatar of my favorite contributors, I get a little panicky!

First rule of writing, blogging, social media chatting...DON'T CHANGE YOUR AVATAR ONCE YOU'VE ESTABLISHED AN AUDIENCE! It makes me a little crazy, and since I'm a functioning member of society with only a few neurotic peccadillos, I don't think it's just me. One of my favorite tweeters and Google+'ers has recently changed his avatar that was very eye-catching, and now I can't find him with a quick review of my Twitter Stream. It only took me about a week to stop looking for him, and since my email is already the equivalent of the Autobahn, I'm not going back to his website, and signing up for email notifications of his posts! (No, I don't use lists...I use the Twitter Lottery - whoever is posting when I check Twitter won the 'MKJ saw your post' Lottery!)

I've Lost Him.

More importantly, He Lost Me! Just think of your favorite soda (okay, I'm showing my California accent...pop, if you will). What would you do if you were looking for a Pepsi, and couldn't find that familiar blue can anywhere, and your 2 yo was screaming in your ear, while pulling a clump of hair out right above that ringing ear? You'd just choose something else, or leave screaming yourself, right?!

One of my favorite Dad Bloggers recently asked his audience if they thought he should change his avatar since his daughter is now three (probably going on thirteen, because she told him to shave his beard), and the baby feet in his picture aren't current. I said very clearly, and as loudly as my ALL CAPS could get...NOOOOOOO!

Thank Goodness Michael Schmid of A Daddy Blog heard the outcry, and kept his baby and daddy feet avatar. He added some new pic's of his little girl (darling btw) to his homepage logo, google+ bar, and the like, but when I look for his Tweets, I find him, and feel safe and secure that the world is still orbiting the sun, and the dinosaurs are still extinct.

When you are first starting out, change away. Before you become more successful in your online presence, however, find the avatar that works for you, and stick with it until it no longer represents your brand at all - in other words...until your current brand dies, and a new brand rises from the ashes like a phoenix.

(Ladies who dye their hair, listen up...this also goes for suddenly going brunette when your avatar picture has always been blond!)

Anyone else feel strongly about their favorite people changing their brand image? Please share!


Hitting Negative Where it Hurts

Like everyone around me, I have my good days and my bad. Most days I am a very positive, upbeat person, and I see the possibilities and goodness in those around me. There are days, however, when I'm not so positive.

I have had a string of six of those days:

Day 1 ~ Son #1 was punched in the face after teasing another kid.

Day 2 ~ Son #2 was told by a friend (in detail) about a great website called

Day 3 ~ Woke up to dead car battery.

Day 4 ~ Received grades so far this trimester for Son #1.

Day 5 ~ Received grades so far this trimester for Son #2.

Day 6 ~ Woke up to the 21st straight day of Husband working from dark a.m. to dark p.m. because it's Harvest time.

I realized the negative vibe was spilling out of me with today's zinger. Son #2 was being teased by some kids at school, and he lost it and refused to do any more school work. Of course, Son #2 was the one who got in trouble, and while I was yelling at him that he needed to control his anger, I realized where the behavior had originated. Really, it was like I was slapped in the face with this realization, and that mental slap took it all away when I saw my son's face, and looked over to my other son to see him cowering at the homework table clearly saying to himself, "Please don't let her start on me next!" Okay, maybe some "Mom Guilt" is spilling out too, and it wasn't really that bad, but that is how it felt.

I took a deep breath, and called both my sons over to the couch. I apologized for yelling, and said, "Let's recap our week so far, and find out why we are all so tense."

I ticked off on my fingers the above six days events in greater detail, and then asked both boys, "So, how does that make you feel?" Stupid question, really, when their feelings were as clear as the scrunched up noses and seething eyes on their faces, but necessary to get them to verbalize it.

I asked them to close their eyes and take a deep breath. We all did that, actually, which started a good crack in the negative. To get that crack to grow into a chasm from which the negative would never recover, I ticked off on my fingers the above six days events a little differently:

Day 1 ~ Son #1 was very lucky the kid who punched him wasn't taller and stronger, otherwise the little red mark on his nose and under his eye would have probably been a broken nose and black eye. He is also lucky both kids' parents didN'T OVER REACT AND CALL THE SHERIFF! (deep breath) More importantly, Son #1 learned a very important lesson...DON'T TEASE! It's not nice, and the Karma hurts!

Day #2 ~ Son #2 is lucky he knows right from wrong, and has a good enough relationship with his Mother that he talks to her about such things before sneaking off to the computer (because he is not allowed to look up websites without my presence and approval), investigating them himself and having those images forever burned in his brain!

Day #3 ~ We are lucky we have AAA roadside assistance - and now know that it works out on a lonely road in addition to our very own garage - and are even more lucky to have wonderful friends who are willing to give rides to school anytime we need them!

Day #4 ~ We know where we need help now, don't we?!

Day #5 ~ We know where we need help now, don't we?!

Day #6 ~ 21 days down, 34 to go, and on April 15th we have a party, after which Daddy will crash and wake up a few days later...then we have him back for the rest of the year! Yes, my hubby is a Tax Accountant, and this is his harvest time!

After talking about this party for a while, and the goodies we will have...the movies we will watch...the Black Ops they will play (while mom is on the computer writing another blog post because she can't stand watching them play Black Ops), I turned to Son #2, and asked him, "So, how do you think we should handle this latest situation with you, the kids at school, and refusing to finish your school work?"

Since this son is the very dramatic one, and we have talked about this particular issue several times since first grade (he is now in fifth grade...) he had lots of advice to draw upon, and he is very lucky he did so now! When he spewed my former words back to me, head hung low, I said, "Thank you for listening. Now, what is going to be different the next time someone starts winding you up?!"

"Next time, I'll ask the teacher if I can move my desk before I let them get me so angry." he replied. (Why isn't he telling the teacher the kids are teasing him, you might ask?..."I've got 30 kids in this class to deal with...just get along!" is her reply. Again...deep breath...)

We all felt better after the camaraderie of our discussion, and agreed that we will still be under some stress until Daddy gets released from Tax Season, so we will need to be on our guard for negativity and the situations it creates.

We now have a daily saying in our household that comes from a very dear friend going through a very trying time in her life:

"Who we are is not made up of what happens to us, but how we deal with those events."

Now, we are hitting the negative with some positive whenever possible! Don't ask me about the conversation with Hubby the night Son #1 was punched...I just had to let that storm blow over, and not wake the kids.

How do you deal with the negative that creeps into your daily life when you least expect it?

Please share some of your ammunition.



Son #2 experienced the same teasing yesterday, and handled it exactly like he role-played with me, and of course surprisingly it worked! He came home a very happy and confident kid! Son #1 earned an A on his latest History test! (whew!)

Now I'm off to Home Depot to get some fence stakes and nails to fix the fence so the neighbor's non-neutered mastiff won't come through the fence, then our dog doors to try and mark our living room as his territory again...our two Aussies were quite offended. Please send positive thoughts out into the universe that I don't drown in the downpour... ヅ