Observe: See how that works?  You can lie to your children if you want, or you can do like we did and watch the countdown on Netflix and then watch some footage of fireworks in London and tell them we’re celebrating with the Mother Land.  Whichever.  Either way, you get to bring the little ones into the celebration of 2016, and then let them go to bed before the Alabama game at 8pm. Happy New Year’s!






I was introduced to Pepto as a teen who’d consumed too much candy one Halloween.  My mother produced it to silence my whining about frequent trips to the potty.  When I asked what it was, she said, “It’s like concrete for your bottom.”  I pictured my dad with a trowel patching up the little brick wall my uncle knocked over while backing out our driveway the previous Christmas.  Can Pepto-Bismol do that?  If so, it was exactly what I needed, as my backside was a gushing faucet of…






The next suggestion from the “642 things…” book (see title above): Hey.  You in the green.  Drink something.  Stand up straight.  Quit showing your roots.  Have some self-respect.  Listen to me for a minute. You’re privileged.  You sit in a window near the back door, in a room full of windows.  You get to watch 3 precocious little creatures learn together, play together, and grow up together every day.  You see the games they make up in the back yard.  You watch them do their homework on the…






A couple weeks ago, I was at a local store I like to endorse any time we need something framed called Binders.  The children were with us and were picking out items to break, take, or insist that we buy for them.  Among them was the 9-year-old’s choice of a book that was a sequel to another book that seems to serve as an impetus for writing things; the original was called “642 Things to Write About.”  I bought them the version containing things to draw and told…