The Front Yard

Sometimes, the “to do” list just sits quietly on the table while I get on with other things. Today was one of those days.

Lisa was home from college, so we decided to decorate the front yard for Christmas. I took one picture early to show the ornaments and the other one later to show the lights. Big fun!




Yearly Interview Questions

For the last many, many years, I’ve tried to do a yearly interview with our daughters Amy and Lisa. I have one of those dad fantasies that Lisa will find them fascinating  to watch when she gets older (and that Amy would have).

These two pictures are scans of the list of questions I’ve been using. The list has evolved over the years and I don’t always keep to the script, but I think they’re a good jumping-off point.

I’m posting them because some new friends asked me about them and I said I would. I’m hoping they will spark some other parents to do something similar for their kids. I’d love to know what other kinds of questions you come up with – let me know.

I’ve often thought about rewriting them, cleaning them up, but there’s something nostalgic for me about working off the original list…

The first image is my list of questions – along with notes I’ve added over the years.


The second image is a list Lisa generated some years ago. I think she was about 9 or 10. We have a lot of fun with this list – though often she won’t answer all of them.


I hope you enjoy these and that you think about doing this with your own kids. Or maybe with yourself?

Major Victory over ADHD brain!

OK, I know that for some of you, this is not going to sound like a very big deal. But for the rest of you – especially members of my tribe – this might throw a little glimmer of hope into your day.

Earlier today, I mentioned that I’ve been doing a once-a-year interview with Lisa (and Amy, back when I could). Usually sometime around New  Years, sort of a way to recap the year and get ready for the next one.

Lisa’s graduating college this semester, and commencement is this Friday. So, I thought I’d like to do the interview this week and capture her feelings at this major transition in her life.

A couple of the folks who were in the session with me said they’d like to do something similar and would I post the list of questions. I said “sure.”

Then, realized I didn’t know where they were.

I was pretty sure they were in one of two places. This is often the case and, most of the time, I’m right. But not this time. It wasn’t in “get to this soon” and it wasn’t with the camera – the 2 logical places.



I didn’t take my Adderall today and I don’t take frustration well when I’m not medicated (I’m working on it).

Today was a good day to skip meds. It was a very structured day, I was well rested, and I just came off of a great weekend. But, I didn’t need a monkey wrench like this one.

I realized I’d have to go the archives. The basement. Where I send things when I want to clear the deck up here on the first floor.


As I walked down the stairs, I just kept repeating “breathe, breathe.”

It wouldn’t be uncommon for me to dump the boxes on the floor and shuffle through the papers, looking for what I wanted, then leave the wreckage to clean up “some other time.”

It wouldn’t be uncommon for me to carry on a steady stream of self-abusive insults about losing the paper in the first place.

But neither of these happened.

I looked through three or four boxes, stopping whenever I recognized that familiar feeling coming over me that meant “you’re gonna lose it.” Another few breaths – the pause, the mindfulness, whatever you want to call it – and then I continued.

When I finally found it (in a box I’d already looked through once), it was kind of amazing. “Kid in a candy store” time! I haven’t felt that kind of pure joy in a long time.

Like I said, for some of you, finding 2 pieces of paper buried in a box in the basement might not be a big deal. But, for those of you who “get it”, here’s hoping you get that same feeling soon and often!

Amateurs cooking Chicken Tikka Masala

I mentioned to Nisha Nisha Subramanian that I was cooking some Indian food tomorrow with Lisa. I said we were making it from canned sauce and she thought I meant canned tomatoes and made a suggestion how to get rid of the tinny taste. (Nisha is one of the dozen people who were with me in the last group that went through Eric Tivers’ ADHD reWired Support Group.)

I had to ‘fess up to her that we’re even more basic than that. I was using the word “canned” lightly – what I meant was that we’re going to cook up some chicken, cut up some veggies and then mix in 2 bottles of Kroger’s house brand Tikka Masala sauce. I plan to tackle making it “from scratch” someday (and Nisha, I won’t forget you volunteered to help!) but for now, we’re doing it the easy way.


We always use 2 bottles of the sauce because Lisa and I both agree that the main reason to make this dish is to dip the naan bread in the sauce. The meat and vegetables are just to make it respectable. Otherwise, we’d just sit with naan and masala and have a dip-fest!

Inspirational Phrase Drawing for Pointless

Some of the folks associated with Pointless Brewery and Theatre are picking one or Tori’s favorite inspirational phrases and doing drawings or other types of art to hang on the walls. I picked this one from the Buddha. I’m half-satisfied. Will probably do another and see which one I like better…