Adventures in Imperfection

When the pony tail hits the fan….

Happy Monday! I hope today finds you rested, refreshed and ready for another week of chaos and adventure.

This mama hen had a fantastic weekend with all of my chicks, chick’s friends and Rooster under the same roof. We ate hearty food, enjoyed the sunshine and mostly avoided injury in a wild Girls vs. Boys whiffle ball game (sorry Tanna!)

Um...those aren't Easter Eggs
Um…those aren’t Easter Eggs
He could have avoided the chin music if he didn’t hug the plate like a spider monkey!
Banana in the rat rod







The perma-smile that hit the pillow last night was still there today until I peeked at the day job e-mail, noticed the piles of laundry and looked at an afternoon full of meetings that would best be served with sharp sticks for emergency eye impalement.

On selected mornings, I get to volunteer at the county extension office greenhouse and today was my Monday to work.

I didn’t really have time, but knew I needed to keep my promise. It wasn’t until I stuck my pony tail into the greenhouse fan that I decided it was time for a quick attitude adjustment. All I could do was laugh and be thankful that my scalp didn’t come with the clump of hair wrapped around the blades.

Pony tails and fans are not friends. Just sayin'
Pony tails and fans are not friends. Just sayin’

Part of my life’s journey is to be real, authentic and vulnerable all while scoffing at imperfection and laughing at silly mistakes. Despite my best efforts, I still fall into a rut–especially on overwhelming Monday mornings.  Muscle memory starts writing lists while Left Brain tells me what a slacker I am.

For those of you dear friends who have already read the post that follows…thank you from the bottom of my heart. For those of you who haven’t read this, it’s an archive of my first “real” post and today serves as my reminder that it’s time to practice what I preach.


Reposted from the archives October 2013

Photo I


Hey Friends,

Ten minutes into my first “real” post and already my fingers have frozen at the keyboard. Left-brain has been in overdrive ever since I shared the “Jumping off the Ledge” announcement a couple of weeks ago and Right-brain has gone into permanent hiding!  Last night’s attempt at sleep was spent in an epic battle with the bed covers and constant mathematics around how many zzz’s I could get if I drifted off immediately. Umm…3 hours last time I checked…

What’s the dilemma you ask? It’s just a stupid blog, right?

Honestly, I had planned to share a story so funny, clever and engaging that you’d be hooked from the beginning. Something unforgettable that’d make you fall fast and hard.  Kinda like putting on high heels and a red dress in order to grab your attention for a drink and a one night stand.

Frankly, I’m just not that type of girl.

I’m really looking for a long-term relationship here and starting with the good stuff just felt wrong and out of character. Like any good friendship, we need to build a foundation and get to know each better before we skydive into the really good, juicy stuff, right?

The thing is, I want you to come back. I want you to trust me. I want to make you laugh and I want you to like me.

Ugh. I want to be PERFECT!

Sound familiar? If so, then you are in the right place!

My words and photographs are dedicated to the mighty men and women (and boys and girls) who strive for daily perfection and beat themselves up when they fall short. We humans plug cluelessly along–buried in stuff, careers, mindless media chatter and busy family activities all while pretending that perfection is actually attainable.  We proudly wear our exhaustion and crazy schedules like the Congressional Medal of Honor until our perfect bubble bursts by whatever little curve ball life throws us (an empty gas tank, a missed school note, laundry that breeds while we sleep, and the wrong word used with the person you love the most). It’s those unintended mishaps that you and I are going to celebrate, laugh at and learn from.

If you’re smiling and nodding your head today, that’s good. If you are still reading and laughing tomorrow–that’s even better. In my Type-A way, I’ve described below what this page will and will not be. Don’t be surprised as I find my voice (and you share yours) that I’ll add to this list; however, these are my core goals and want you to know what to expect.

1) I am NOT an expert. My words are not those of a professional psychologist or trained professional. I’m simply a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend trying to love my kiddos, husband, parents, siblings and friends in ways that make them feel special, unique and valuable. And, quite honestly, I want them to love me the same way back.

2) You WILL laugh.  In fact, this is probably the most serious post of mine that you’ll read. Any life-lessons and profound messages you glean from these words will likely be completely accidental–buried in the context of clueless mistakes and below the surface sarcasm.   We’ve all been here–the times that our many faults come crashing front and center for all to see and appreciate. Please don’t make reading this another item on your list of things in your day that you “have to do.” Sit down for a couple of minutes, read something to make you giggle and let it be okay if you learn a little in the process.

3) You WILL be learning with me. My “day job” is a clinical, demanding, right-brain sucking 40+ hours and ten-states-travel type of career. I haven’t written anything meaningful other than e-mails since college.  You won’t hear much about my job, but you may see the effects. Writer’s block, insomnia and caffeine. In fact, just let me apologize in advance for anything that I write at 3 a.m. while jacked up on diet Mountain Dew.

4) I WILL be honest. I will share my mistakes in their full dorky glory. You will see the times where I have screwed up, burned the meatloaf, made questionable fashion choices, almost drowned the dog, and said things (out loud…in public) that made the crickets stop chirping. Real life is way better than fiction!

5) These stories WILL be real. I have names and events and I’m not afraid to use them. They may be slightly embellished, but that’ll only be for literary bling–every girl needs a little bling, right?

6) What about Jesus? You won’t hear a lot about Jesus, but He will be walking beside me the whole way. Hopefully, you’ll see evidence of that in the stories I share and the words I use. If you see a swear word, it’ll only be because I asked Him first and He said, “Sure…go for it!”

7) I DO want to hear from you! And, with your permission, I want to share your stories, too.  This ain’t all about me. You can leave comments about your own adventures, or you can drop me an e-mail and I’ll share with our audience in future posts.

Why would I do this in such a public forum?

It’s simply because I want to share what it took me 40+ years to learn. When we share our imperfections, it makes us real and reachable to the people who love us the most.

I’ve finally learned that vulnerable is GOOD! Vulnerability and “keeping it real” make us loveable and courageous.  It’s when we are at our most vulnerable that others accept and love us for who we are and not who we think we should be. Can you think of anyone who doesn’t want to be loved and accepted–faults and all??

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. It means more than you know. This is only our first date and already I can feel the beginnings of a really great relationship.

I know this journey will be perfect…




Photo credits on this post go to my talented friend, Shelby Hoytal. You can check out her awesome work at:

47 thoughts on “When the pony tail hits the fan….

  1. hi there! so glad i got to read your first post. here’s to being vulnerable and real. it’s not always easy. although for me – this monday morning, i’m appreciating that the kids are back to school and it’s quiet. ahhhh…


  2. first post eh?
    so glad I got to read it, so glad you started the blog!
    I am stuck in major writer’s block, thanks for reminding me it’s ok, and certainly happy you weren’t scalped this morning!


    1. Hi Michele,
      Right there with you on the Writer’s Block thing. Today’s post almost felt like cheating, but decided it was “okay” to borrow words when new ones aren’t there. It’s a start, right??
      Thanks for your encouragement and always kind words…
      PS: I have yet to check what’s left of my pony tail. I’m a little nervous after seeing the clump that remained in the fan 🙂


  3. You’re so cute! I love your pony tail moment. I thought things like that only happened to me. Great blog goals. Thanks for being real and making me laugh.


    1. You are too kind, Char! I’m also glad to know that I’m not the only person with pony tail moments. That said…it’s YOUR turn. Please tell me something silly you just did and I’ll feel better for sure!!


      1. The first time I used my electric trimmer on the bushes for fall cleanup, I went over my bush making it into a beautiful shape and then came down and cut the cord off. There was a huge sparky explosion before my trimmer was dead. Luckily I didn’t electrocute myself or cut off my leg. I’m much more careful now, but that’s kind of how all my first time doing anything experiences always go.


      2. Oh thank you!!!! I’m laughing so loud–not at you, but with you!!
        I’m glad you weren’t hurt and also glad to know that I may have just found my long lost sister 🙂


  4. “Please don’t make reading this another item on your list of things in your day that you “have to do.”

    Michelle, I am seriously multitasking today. I’m about half-way into a 2 hour lecture, attempting to answer emails and return comments, all the while trying to keep up with my reader. Ugh. BUT…

    I’m so glad I made myself stop everything and read this post. I sometimes miss some of the posts from my favorite bloggers — friends, because my reader tends to move fast, and then I find myself overwhelmed with trying to catch up with everyone. Whew — I’m sure you know what I mean. So, now I’m rambling, but I just wanted to tell you how proud I am of you and that this post was kick-ass (I got Jesus’ permission before saying that. 😀 )

    You talked about being vulnerable, and this is old stomping ground territory for us both. It took me a long time to put ‘me’ back out in public, unline — predominately because of negative past online experiences. I lived in fear of being identified (leaving an identifiable personality trail) by the cyberfraud perpetrator who served his time and was out of prison, and quite active online again. But I also lived in fear when he was still behind bars not knowing if he had access to a computer. It took me 12 years to find the courage to put myself out there again, and I recognize that courage in you. I admire you so much for your willingness to be vulnerable — to put yourself out there.

    I don’t share my last name on an open forum for obvious reasons, but I am beginning to share more of my essence — what makes up me. I’m owning my story. There is liberation in that. There is growth. I’m thankful for friends like you, Michelle, who remind me that being vulnerable has so many more pros than cons. Like you mentioned, establishing boundaries, and making time your best friend when it comes to getting to know people better is necessary. But we can still do that and be our authentic selves at the same time. I’m really looking for to your future posts. Here’s to following your bliss.

    Btw, I’m glad to read you had a wonderful day, yesterday. Loved the pics.



      1. You are too cute.
        Regarding the injury…um, I’m too scared to look at the rat’s nest that’s been my hair all day. Thank goodness my meetings are phone calls and not video conferences!!!!!


    1. “I’m so glad I made myself stop everything and read this post. I sometimes miss some of the posts from my favorite bloggers — friends, because my reader tends to move fast, and then I find myself overwhelmed with trying to catch up with everyone”

      You are a true and good friend 🙂 I feel the SAME way and know I’m waaay behind on my own reading. How ironic you’d read this though…you were my very first blogger friend to read my very first post–not only did you read this twice…you filled my space with your kind words and comments.
      We were destined to be friends from the start.


  5. Ouch…and I read somewhere that gardening was a peaceful, gentle, meditative practice. Did I miss something? 🙂
    I do hope the scalp repairs Michelle, and may the gentle art of gardening return and not be remembered as a place of sacrifice and pain! 🙂


  6. I just discovered there’s a greenhouse near my house attached to a museum and I wanted to see if I could volunteer there. I will have to be careful of the fans, though!


  7. well first of all – I was laughing so hard at the joke with the rake – those aren’t eggs – ha! and then I am so sorry your hair hit the fan blades – but you tell it with such humor that I keep laughing…. even though I feel bad!!!!

    anyhow, I was a first time reader of that October post – so thanks for reposting it for some of us to get to know you more. and what cool aims – and I think I really like it here over at the mama-mick blog. So diffusing and feels warm and genuine.
    peace out ~!


    1. Hello Yvette!
      Always so good to hear from you 🙂 Thank you for your kind words and affirmation of my goals…warmth and positivity are exactly what I aim for–how kind of you to notice.


  8. I love that first post…open and willing and honest…just like you. I don’t even want to look at my first post – back then I was using it like a journal of some kind, and didn’t open it up until later. Ugh. But the great thing about looking back is seeing how we’ve grown since. We often go deeper and open up and examine what’s within. We put it out there not because we’re exhibitionists, but because we want to share and identify and have others identify with us. I started out with a recovery blog – still is – but I have learned that we all carry stuff within us – regardless of our externals. Deep down, we have common fears, hurts, loves and things that wash over us and keep us submerged. We have common joys and wants and needs. We come together on things we are surprised to come together on.

    That’s the joy of this blogging thing. That’s what keeps me coming back.

    Thank you for this – wonderful post and wonderful pics.

    Glad you made it through the trials of the fan 🙂



    1. You might just be one of the kindest souls ever. Thank you for your understanding words and constant encouragement. I’m guessing that your first post is way better than you imagine and my guess is that even if you connected with just one or two people early, your perspective likely helped them just like it always helps me. Thank you!
      PS: Don’t be surprised if I circle back and look for your early posts!!


      1. You know, I just looked, and my first post was just a youtube trailer for a movie documentary…lol. And then the next few are heavy AA stuff – step work, etc. No pictures, no funny back then. I was a much more studious and serious lad…ha ha.

        Anyway, encouragement is what we do for one another out here, and out there. Why not? If it weren’t for people encouraging me to do things, I’d be eating Doritos watching online videos of dogs peeing in funny places. But here I am now – blogging, running, writing, helping out when I can…all thanks to you guys!

        Hope you have a wonderful evening, my friend 🙂


  9. I kind of love you and I’m not afraid to say it. You had me at “Part of my life’s journey is to be real, authentic and vulnerable all while scoffing at imperfection and laughing at silly mistakes.”
    What a perfect first post. heading back to read more of you….


    1. Oh Beth…you just made my day 🙂
      I read the post that sits on your site, too and thought, “I love this girl!”
      I think we could really become fun partners in crime!
      I’ll be back to read more…gotta muddle thru my day job (grumble, grumble).
      So glad our paths crossed 🙂


      1. I believe it was completely serendipitous that we met on The Hook’s site. Sometimes you just *know* when you’ve found another writer who you click with on all levels. 🙂


  10. *Note to self: Stay away from fans in greenhouses…

    Your ponytail story is so much something that could happen to me that I’m actually shocked to inform you that (as yet) it hasn’t! I loved seeing your first “real” post! 🙂 xo


    1. Hello my long lost friend! I hope you are feeling a little better?
      Yes: Fan-1 Pony-0
      At least I have enough hair that it doesn’t show too badly 🙂
      Thanks for reading my first post. I remember that I worked for WEEKS on that thing. Now…I’m less than a week out from the RoS deadline and barely have a draft!
      Note to self: time to kill writer’s block!


  11. You’re over-thinking this whole process. A blog is always a work-in-progress – just like a human being is.
    Keep up the good work and you’ll be fine.


    1. Hubby just told me the same thing tonight. I was stressing about being “behind on my writing.” He laughed me right out of the kitchen. That’s why we have you guys around…a much needed dose of common sense,


  12. I love this. Perfectionism has hurt me so much and kept me from just getting started. I also use it as a form of distraction, a way to keep my mind focused on tasks instead of having to dig deep into emotions. I’ve recently gone from being a work-at-home mom with a little business to being a not-enough-hours-to-get-it-done mom running a much bigger business with my husband. I have to constantly remind myself of what’s really important and that none of it is going to be even close to perfect. Reading posts like this keep me grounded. 🙂


    1. Oh my goodness….are we SISTERS? I completely understand doing tasks instead of dealing with emotions…sometimes even HAPPY emotions.
      Keep plugging away, Karen. I think supporting each other in our little ways is why we have this space. Reading your stuff keeps me grounded, too!


    2. One more little note…are you having any problems with your website? I noticed that I get an error message when I click over to your site AND the links I put in my article (for next week) linking back to your article and “about” page aren’t working…they worked yesterday and thought you should know in case you were having issues on your end.


      1. OMG! Thank you so much for telling me! There was a problem with my nameservers with GoDaddy. It should be fixed shortly but I may not have known if you didn’t tell me because I don’t usually have a reason to go to my own site. I did a post a couple of days ago and thought it was strange that I didn’t have as many comments as usual. Now I know why! THANK YOU!


      2. Yay! It’s fixed 🙂
        I see that I have a new post to read! You can bet that I will be back later. It’s Saturday!!! Try to have a restful reprieve from your busy life.


  13. Hi Michelle! I bopped over here from chez Ned – where your wit and lawn-mowing skills are motivational. I don’t have a blog of my own yet but am pondering it. I can be a bit verbose, but you can tune me down by mentioning it. Your first post is neat and I nodded my way through (not as in “nodded off” but rather “nodded in agreement and empatthy”).Love the pictures of family. You certainly have a great social web – both IRL and online. I look forward to reading more of your posts both past and future. Thanks for your positive attitude and cheerful demeanor, it brightens up my day. (Also, of course, your brilliant wit, blinding smile, dedication and pony tail – you’re the only blogger I know who has suffered at the hands of a fan – congratulations!)


    1. Thank you for your kind words, Paul! Any friend of Ned’s is a friend of mine 🙂
      I DO hope to see your very own blog…nothing wrong with verbose…I fight that tendency myself.


    1. Awww thanks for the concern! Fortunately, I have lots of hair and had a few to spare 😉
      As always, thanks for stopping by and for your kind words! You have a great week, too!


    1. Ha! Ha! So true about the “brain-box”
      Fortunately, I managed to operate some heavy equipment today (mower!) and all pieces and parts are intact!
      Thank you so much for stopping by! A friend of Karen’s is a friend of mine:-)


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