The Lily Pad


Portland, Oregon, USA
June 07
She Who Must Be Obeyed
Yes please! Come on over. We'll have tea.
Mom, editor, writer, wife, traveler, dog owner, laundry wrangler, and superintendent of homework.


Froggy's Links
JUNE 24, 2013 10:17PM

Four Violins

We drove over the mountains to Grandma’s house this weekend to find a violin.

My daughter has been playing violin since she was seven. She heard one in an assembly at school—a man played a regular violin, and an electric violin—and she was hooked. That was it. That was the… Read full post »

MARCH 19, 2013 1:47PM

Sympathy for the Perpetrator


The story of Steubenville is personal for me.

My brother's childhood friend, we'll call him Terry, killed a kid at a party when we were teens, and got life in prison. 

My brother knew him from school. We went to Catholic school in a small town, and while it was… Read full post »

MARCH 12, 2013 10:29AM

Poverty in Education

Poverty in America comes in many guises. 

My son is dyslexic. I know he's not the only dyslexic kid in America. But being the intelligent, dyslexic kid of two college graduates, one of whom is also dyslexic (my husband), means that we have busted our asses for him. We know what… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 12, 2013 7:24PM

Hope for my Engineer

High school isn't easy.

Lost in the glop of teen hormonal stew, my son started high school in September. In between the cute girl with pink hair, his friend with the frizzy blond skater 'do, and the who's-dating-who chatter on the bus, there is that pesky thing called schoolwork.

He's dyslexic.… Read full post »

OCTOBER 31, 2012 2:25AM


It’s a word in Dutch. Gezelligheid. We don’t have an equivalent in English. The closest translation I found is “cozy togetherness.” 

I found it in a book called Not Under My Roof by Amy T. Schalet. The author is a sociologist who studies Dutch and American attitudes abou… Read full post »

JUNE 29, 2012 11:36AM

Hong Kong Journal: Typhoon!

In my favorite children's book, Alexander and the Magical Mouse, a yak, a crocodile, a brindle London squatting cat, and an old lady get a portentious message from the magical mouse, predicting forty days and forty nights of rain. They stockpile tea, marmalade, and toast to ride out the storm.… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 24, 2012 10:23PM

Hong Kong Journal: Landing On Our Feet

We’re in Hong Kong.

We spent the first few days rushing around. We have to see the Big Buddha at the Po Lin monastery! So we did. Took the metro to the end of the line, bought tickets on an amazing cable car, took the pictures, climbed the steps, and… Read full post »

JUNE 11, 2012 5:46PM

Weight Loss Journal: More beans!

Another milestone today... 1/4 of the way there.

I'm still moving beans from one jar to the other. One bean for every pound lost. I've moved sixteen beans.

jars 6-11-2012 

I will get there.

I want to buy clothes again, and enjoy them. I want colorful, fabulous, artistic, wonderful… Read full post »

JUNE 9, 2012 10:38PM

Parade Day

Today was Parade Day. The big one, for Portland, anyway. The Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade, in all its pomp and ceremony and silliness. There are horses, floats, bands, festival princesses riding in convertibles, and blessedly, no rain.

My band, 500 old farts with instruments, aging majorettes wi… Read full post »

MAY 28, 2012 12:48AM

Memorial Day Song

In the immortal words of Moxy Fruvous.



MAY 18, 2012 12:46AM

I'm with the band

It's band season again.

Portland's One More Time Around Again Marching Band. So now I've given my anonymity away away, within 500 people.

That's right, 500 people. It's awesome. And it's loud.

We practice in a middle school cafeteria. There are drums. Drums! Lots of them! My whole body vibrates,… Read full post »

MAY 11, 2012 3:20PM

Weight Loss Journal: Ten pounds


Ten pounds. Something of a milestone. Two sugar sacks.

It's disappointing, though, because there is so much farther to go. I want to look in the mirror and see the person I remember, not this fat woman hiding in my skin. I want it now. Not in six months or… Read full post »



These are my new best friends.


What this weight loss journey is teaching me is:

1. I can't estimate.

2. I lie to myself all the time.

I can't estimate to save my soul. I have no idea how much a portion is if I… Read full post »

APRIL 30, 2012 1:04PM

Weight Loss Journal: Beans




And no, I'm not talking about the kind of beans you eat.


This is my kitchen windowsill. I had the jars already--I just like them. There they sat, collecting dust. When I started this weight loss project, and decided to get serious about it,… Read full post »

APRIL 26, 2012 12:50PM

Weight Loss Journal: Mindfulness



OS blogger Sarah Cavanaugh has posted an excellent Weight Loss Journal, and she's inspired me. So here goes.

I won't go into the history too much... I weigh too much, it crept on, eventually I couldn't ignore it. Nuff said. I called it baby weight for a long time,… Read full post »

APRIL 25, 2012 10:11AM

I'm outta here!



My very good friend and her husband live in Hong Kong. He took a job there a year ago, they packed up their baby and their stuff and vamoosed. We still work together via Skype and email.

And we have their pet snake until they move home. (He's actually… Read full post »


Southeast Portland, Oregon.

One newly graduated no-longer-college-student, living alone in her first real apartment. 

I had a bedroom, a bathroom, a living room, and a kitchen in a funky 1920s brick building. All mine. No housemates, no studios. A real apartment, all for me. I had… Read full post »

Of all the holidays in the colorful Catholic pantheon of celebrations, Easter is the one that left me cold. I haven't been a Catholic since my sophomore year in college, but the feelings of Easter still leave me questioning, sad, and slightly uncomfortable.

The weeks before are Lent, that time of… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 18, 2012 1:07PM

The Portland I want to live in

I think we all want to be someone else.

In reality, I'm a suburban mom with kids in middle school. I weigh too much, I have a penchant for mom jeans and sweatshirts. When I'm not working or folding laundry, I spend my time driving to various sports practices and music… Read full post »

MARCH 2, 2012 1:26AM

Positive Journaling Day 4: Lunch

Late at night
After everyone's asleep
I spread cream cheese on bread
Slice strawberries
Spread peanut butter and jam
Or ham
And nestle them in plastic boxes.

I find bags of cookies
And fill the water bottles.

They ought to do it themselves.
They ought.
But I always forget
In the rush of homework-teeth-shower-b… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 29, 2012 11:17PM

Positive Journaling--Day 3: Trash

Tadpole had a project for school to do a one-week trash and recycling audit.

My husband calls me Queen of Recycling. I'm more than a bit wound up about it. We use cloth napkins, plastic boxes for sandwiches, reusable grocery bags, and I recycle everything I can. Even shoes. (Nike… Read full post »

I have a dog.


Leo Small


He's a purebred rescue mutt. We think lab and maybe border collie. Or cattle dog. Or something.

He has issues. We got him at a year old, scared out of his mind, afraid of everything, but a loving sweet nature under the fear.… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 27, 2012 1:26AM

Positive Journaling--Day 1

I stayed home today, and helped Tadpole with her homework. Quiet, peaceful, rain outside, fire inside. Husband and son were out all day.  Tadpole is a kind of house-mouse of a kid anyway. She's learning, slowly, how to not let homework pile up. She got her project done, and we went… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 21, 2012 3:20AM

Birth Control Made Me

Kinda oxymoronic, eh?

But it did.

I could have gotten pregnant oh so many years ago, with my high school boyfriend. I would have been showing in my graduation robe, with that silly gold Honor Student cord meaning nothing, as I settled down in my nothing town, with bills, diapers, and… Read full post »

JANUARY 31, 2012 11:39AM

My knee, my mother, my life

About noon on Thursday, pain stabbed through my kneecap.

Oh crap! What's that?

I tried to shake it out. Walk it out. It wouldn't shake.


My mother has terrible knees. She's 76 now, with two artificial knees. My mother has not ever been the picture of vigorous or active. She… Read full post »