Thursday, October 5, 2017


If you're looking for Pam Lobley, you've found me.  Sort of.  This is a blog I wrote for several years celebrating the chaos of daily living.

The best place to find me now is:  There you can read my latest articles or find out about my book, Why Can't We Just Play? What I Did When I Realized My Kids Were Way Too Busy ... (

Enjoy this day!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Where there's smoke ... there's an alarm.

You have smoke alarms.  You replace the batteries when you set the clocks back/forward like the advice tells you to.  So did we.  This one is actually hard wired.

But the other night, when we were having a fire in the fireplace, some pieces of wood that were still burning fell into the trap below our fireplace.  (We have an old house, so this is a thing that can happen.)


Without going into the geography of the whole fireplace/chimney/furnace, I'll just say that the wood down in the trap kept burning.  I don't believe it was a fire hazard, but there was smoke.

We called the fire department.  We didn't take it too seriously, because no smoke alarms were going off.  But we could smell a lot of smoke, and we were starting to be able to see it.

The wonderful fireman arrived, determined the problem, fixed the problem, and didn't even eat the cookies I offered.

But the scary part was that our smoke alarms were not working.  They were too old.  So even though we had replaced the batteries, and EVEN THOUGH THEY PASSED THE BEEP TEST WHEN WE TESTED THEM, they didn't work.  The firemen said any alarm older than 5 years should be replaced, because the sensors aren't that good anymore.

Buy new smoke alarms if you think they might be 5 years old.  Don't think that just because they go off when you cook a hamburger that they are still good.

We bought some.  We bought many, actually.  And don't forget a few of these either,
Carbon monoxide detectors.  I like this plug-in kind.

Enjoy your home.  I'll be funny next time.

Thursday, December 17, 2015


My oldest son is home from college.  We are so proud of the way he has grown and matured during this first semester.  This was evident at a recent trip to the doctor for a checkup.

We had a little bit of a wait, so he helped himself to a rubber glove.  With exceptional skill, he was able to inflate and tie the glove like a balloon.  We were enjoying it, when suddenly we heard the doctor coming in.

He quickly hid the glove.

It stayed under the examination table and she never noticed a thing.

I had forgotten how much fun it is to do errands with your children!

Happy family time to you!

ps Yes, we took it home.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

BEGONIA - My New Favorite

I need to talk about Begonias. 

Every spring I put a few annuals in pots around my yard ... by the front door, flanking the garage door, on the patio.  I have an odd mixture of sun and shade around the place, and I've tried Impatients, Pansies, Petunias, and Zinnias all with varying degrees of success.  I had never tried Begonias, but they were on sale in May and golly, did they look good.

The sale was kind of a "one-day and use your coupon" deal, so I bought several different pots, not knowing how they would fare.  I read later in my gardening book that Begonias are amenable to shade, or sun, or in between. 

Well they surpassed my expectations and are my new favorite annual!  They roasted out by the garage and they enjoyed the shade on the patio.  Either way, they thrived and just kept blooming.  The only thing I will say is this -- they like a drink now and then.

Even more reason to love them!

Seriously, I had to keep them watered and deadheaded, but that was easy.  Here it is November ...

And they are going strong.  They are even doing better than the Mums I put in pots in September!

Here in New Jersey, it was in the 70s today, and I have flowers blooming, so I'm calling it summer.    (OK, in the early morning I wear my parka to walk Baxter, but by noon it is warm enough for no jacket at all.)

Begonias come in pink, red, or white with yellow or white centers.  Their leaves can have a reddish tint or a regular green one.  They are so versatile I had just had to Blogonia about them.  

With any luck I'll be throwing them at the same time I put up the Christmas lights.  And that's the bloomin' truth.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


Pumpkin is everywhere this time of year.  It's a little crazy. It’s like the pumpkin knows it’s season is short, so it really tries to kick it into high gear.  

I’m betting pumpkins give themselves a pep talk in August.  Something like “This fall we can be better than ever!  We’re in lattes!  We’re in beer!  We can wake it up or we can party!  Get down with your gourd self!"

Pumpkin is having a good year, even though people say they're sick of it.  I recently went to a Trader Joe's and the plethora of pumpkin products was pronounced.

1.  They sell Pumpkin Muffin mix, Pumpkin pancake mix, and Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancake mix.

2.  They have Pumpkin Pie Spice Cookie Butter.  I'm not sure how to eat this.  Does it go ON the cookie, or IN the cookie or both?  Or just on a spoon and into your mouth?

3.  They also have Pumpkin Tortilla chips.

4.  They have Pumpkin Bars and, in fact, actual pumpkins.

I'm glad to see that pumpkin is doing well for itself, but I wonder if things have gone too far.

5.  Pumpkin skin care!  It claims to repair dull, sun-damaged skin, and maybe it does.  But what if it doesn't?  What if, instead, you end up looking like this?

Boo to you!

Monday, October 19, 2015


I found this little face on my kitchen counter.

As you might have guessed, those are pills.  I had set my pills out by the toaster but hadn't had a chance to take them yet.  The pills are: 



2 Glucosamine/Chondroiton combos

This is because I have allergies, bad sinuses and osteoarthritis in my left hand.  I am a righty -- how did my left hand get so old and creaky?

Oh well.  At least I have a sweet husband who makes little faces out of my pills.

Medically yours,

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Taking your youngest child, your last child, your baby, to his first day of Kindergarten can be a traumatic experience.  Even if he is ready, you may not be.  After all, he’s still so young.  It was just yesterday he was standing on his tiptoes trying to see the top of dining room table, or charging around the living room with his shirt off waving a wooden spoon as a sword.  Actually, that sword thing was this morning.  In any case, he’s a big boy now.  So here are some tips to make it through the day successfully.

DO:  Try to make the last 2 weeks of summer stupefyingly boring.  You will all be so sick of each other school will seem like a Disney ride.

DO:  Wear sunglasses, so that if you get teary eyed people will not see it.

DO: Plan an activity for after drop off, so that you will not have to go home to that empty house.

DO NOT, however, become so absorbed in planning your post drop activity that you forget your child’s backpack, have to run back home for it and barely make it to lineup time, sweaty and disoriented.

DO NOT: Go the library.  You will end up wandering into the children’s section, looking at all the baby flap books you read to him just a few years ago.  Or you will find yourself wistfully staring at a “Blues Clues” videotape, and remembering a song, word for word, about the planets.

DO: Go the wine store and pick out something for yourself for dinner tonight.  A nice bottle, not the usual el cheapo jug stuff you drink most days.  And when the clerk asks if you need help DO NOT snap “Uh uh” simply because you are too emotional to talk to anyone.

DO NOT:  Plan to do housework.  If there is anything worse than coming home to an empty house, it is coming home to an empty house and picking up a dust rag.  It’s been messy this long, let it go a few more days.

DO:  Spend some time thinking up some new excuses not to do housework.  Now that you don’t have a baby at home, how will you explain the mess?

DO NOT:  Clean out your child’s clothing drawers.  I know they are a mess, but you have been through enough today.  You don’t need to also face the fact that he will never again fit into those adorable Spiderman PJs.
DO: plan a nice family dinner for tonight.  Maybe bake a cake.  This will give you the opportunity to eat from stress and lick the frosting bowl until you’re slightly queasy. 

DO NOT:  Keep looking at the clock and think:  “I wonder what he is doing right now.” 

DO NOT:  Go on to look at the cute little dog you’ve been trying to talk your husband into adopting.  That dog has been adopted by someone else.  This is too much loss for one day.  Perhaps a second cake is in order.
DO NOT:  Plan to get a lot done.  Because if by chance you end up drifting from room to room, unable to get your bearings, at a loss for how to organize your time without constant cries of “Mom” to punctuate your day, you will accomplish nothing and feel terrible about it.  Try instead to just get one simple thing done.  Like, for instance, baking a cake.

DO:  Greet him joyfully at pick up time. 

DO:  Bring him to his older brother’s soccer practice.  Listen to him whine about the heat and how he hates the snack you brought.  Let him step on your toes several times as he tries to climb up your legs.  Have him spill Gatorade all over your newspaper.  Have him bite your stomach, TWICE, while you are trying to get the game schedule from the coach.  During dinner, listen to him howl that “This is the gross chicken!” and watch him twist in his chair, eat with his fingers, and pretend to snore in your face when you correct his manners. 

You will be ready for drop off again first thing tomorrow.
My oldest son started college this month.  Savor your moments!