Small Success Thursday with a Latte on Top

What’s the best thing about Thursday? It’s Small Success Day at! Feel like you haven’t accomplished anything this week? You probably have–and those small things do add up. There’s only one rule:  no beating up on yourself over what you didn’t get done.



I signed up for the FREE Catholic Writers’ Guild Online Conference, to be held in March at a computer near you. It was wonderful, this summer, to meet so many authors at the in-person conference, and I look forward to the learning and encouragement that I know will happen. I’m hoping this will give me the kick-start I need to get busy, once again, on that book idea.


I braved the snowy roads yesterday and showed up on time for my dentist appointment. The dentist, however, did not. Doesn’t he know what kind of mental preparation it takes for me to steel myself up to go sit in a chair and have someone come at my mouth with pointy metal objects (some of which make horrible noises)? Yes, I consider it a success that I got there at all.

I also firmly believe that since I showed up and the dentist didn’t, I am hereby exempt from all future dental work. It’s only right.

Here’s the obligatory shot of the yardstick I used to measure the snow yesterday:

snow measurement 01222014

10 inches even. That’s after it “settled,” according to TheDad (AKA TheMeteorologist.) We probably had over 13.


I’ve invented another homemade latte. This time it’s a copycat of Starbucks’ Cinnamon Dolce Latte. Use a 12-ounce mug to make this drink:

Heat 1/4 cup (2 ounces) of milk in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Froth with a mini-frother at least 1 minute. Pour 6 ounces of coffee into the frothed milk. Add sugar to taste, sprinkle 1/8 tsp of cinnamon on top, and stir.

I’m a big fan of Penzeys Cinnamon for this drink, and they didn’t even have to pay me to say it! (They have very high-quality spices at a reasonable price. Don’t think that because they’re a specialty company that they charge a premium for their spices.) This cinnamon is a blend of 4 types of cinnamon–yes, there are several different kinds, and yes, they do taste different!

penzeys cinnamon blend

Join the party over at and share your own small successes. No blog? No problem–add yours in the comments box.

But I Switched to Decaf (well, Half-Caff, anyway)

I was having a really good (and quite productive) morning. By 10:30 AM I’d started laundry, hung one load on the line, had some “prayer and coffee” time, made my to-do list for the day, set up the kids’ chore schedule for the week, and gone to Mass, the bakery and the supermarket.8046b-michelesplanners

Then I got home and started working the phones and the planner.

I needed to call the soccer camp where we’d just registered Little Brother to clear up a few questions (such as why I’d never received an email confirming his registration, for starters).

I called the pediatrician to schedule Little Brother’s physical.

I called my gynecologist to make an appointment for my mother-in-law, who has dementia and needs to see a gynecologist (but can’t remember who her GYN is or when she last saw that doctor).

I scheduled 4 college visits in the next 3 weeks for Middle Sister.

And then I couldn’t settle down. I was so agitated that I couldn’t sit here and write. I’m having a hard time writing this, actually. I can’t get calm.

I decided to run over to the GYN’s office and pick up the new-patient packet that needs to be filled out before the appointment. Then I went to the Carter’s store to get a baby gift for my cousin’s little girl who’s being christened this weekend.

Driving home, I was still agitated and really wondering what the problem is. I’d had 2 cups of coffee today, but one was half-caff and the other decaf. Yet I feel like I’ve had a whole pot of high-test.

Then I thought about how I spent my morning. Phone calls, scheduling of appointments and college visits and other things that are going to be unsettling at the very least–no wonder I’m agitated. Anxiety is in high gear right now.

And there will be no more coffee for this mama today.

Translation, Please

What the Panera “barista” says when she hands you a latte with no lid on it: “I’ll just pass you the lid. This way you can enjoy the beauty of the latte.”

What she means: “I put too much whipped cream on this latte, and I won’t be able to put the lid on without making a huge mess and spilling all over the place. I’ll let it be your problem.”

Honestly. “The beauty of the latte?!” Yes, for $3.59 it had better be beautiful. But don’t think I’m snowed by all that. I’m happy if it tastes good (and doesn’t make a mess.)