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So glad you’re here!

Welcome to my little sliver of the digital universe! My name is Juli and I write things.  I am unapologetically ordinary. I’m a feminist in that I believe in women. I’m a humanist in that I believe in humans. And I’m a writer in that I find it …

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WHACK, ZOINK, POW- Hooray for Thanksgiving Day

Over the river and through the woods… a song portraying the Thanksgiving ride to a family gathering like so many Hallmark movies today. Thanksgiving of 1972. Our house was the designated home for all our family and any extras to enjoy the day as well. The set up:• …

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REFLECTIONS: SALT LAKE CITY SITUATION

In the early nineties I decided to take an Audit Assignment for a large Insurance company in Salt Lake City, mainly because I’d never been there and I wanted to stay on the “Left Coast”. One of the perks of working for a National Healthcare Consulting Company was …

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Survival

Everyone works their way through things differently. Sometimes what is survival doesn’t seem to fit. Some situations you just have to get through, and maybe that is survival, I don’t know. Two days after Christmas 4 years ago we heard the words that no siblings even knows how …

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3 Strikes and You’re Out

I survived menopause 3 times. 3. Mother f—ing times. If middle school is the pit of hell, then menopause is hell’s front porch – Due to medical issues, I willingly put myself into menopause during my first year of marriage. Not great timing. Ironically, I did so in …

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Not “who,” but “what”

I’ve been on a spiritual journey since the mid 1990s, and the most powerful thing I have discovered is that I needn’t rely on any person or thing – or anything outside of myself – for my “survival.” The term “survival,” I have discovered, is a concept born …

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Survival Raft

It started a few days after I told my closest, local friends about my divorce. I opened my mailbox to find a baggie containing the note and peppermint life savers. During one of the most horrific periods in my life, who’d have known how much a little note …

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My Survival Support Staff

Chapter 2ish – CJ As if on cue, a new chapter to this story wrote itself… Meet CJ. Added to my team on Tuesday. I thought I was just adopting a kitten, a friend for Scarlet who so misses Buster. And then Thursday, Cooper’s plans eroded and his …

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Rite of Passage

Grabbing the razor, I stuck it in my pocket and headed for the barn. It was late afternoon on a Sunday. Earlier in the day, I’d been to Sunday School. I wore a wispy burgundy dress with black patent heels. Hoping to socialize, I joined a group of …

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A Tragedy?

I once thought that bad things had to happen to me in order for me to write. Like I wasn’t qualified to tell a story, or share my own story, if I hadn’t endured some kind of trauma. But that begs the question – why? Why are we …

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Au Revoir Buster

Ryan and I decided very early into parenthood that Santa didn’t bring firearms or live animals. (Firearms were added to the list when we moved to Alabama…Dixie Santa gifted weaponry in our neighborhood. Let that marinate for a minute). But when my children were hurting. Really hurting. The …

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tYPiNg clAsS

“Take out a sheet of paper this test will be timed and graded. When the buzzer sounds stop typing, circle your mistakes and turn your paper in as you leave.” #*#@=! Typing class. At the sound of the bell, 30 Royal Classic Manual typewriters with return handles began …

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Reno the D.A.D.

Reno came into our world over 10 years ago, shortly after it was turned upside down. During a family vacation at Disney World, my 3rd son was diagnosed with type one diabetes. We knew nothing. Everyone missed the signs. No family history. We were at ground zero of …

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We welcome you, Summer!

The rest of the summer, we are going to focus on survival and coming of age. The biggies in the literary world of universal themes. And in an effort to get from here to there and build our little community of humans, each week we will pose a …

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Abandoned

Is this your cat? It was a headline on the NextDoor app. There in the photo was a largely pregnant cat. The lady who had taken her in confirmed she had been meowing at her back door and was a stray. Abandoned at her time of great need. …

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RESCUE ME

• Drools profusely • Hairy • Giant • 175 lbs. Just a brief description I read one evening while scrolling for my next furry friend on a rescue site. His big brown eyes stole my heart. Iowa bound! I left Tennessee on a flight headed for Cedar Rapids, …

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Fear of Fallout

I cuss people out in my mirror. I have yelled at coaches and teachers and politicians and Ryan. I have cussed out so many people. On my own. In my bathroom.Whispering my anger. I am impressed with people who share their opinions openly as if they are the …

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Two, three, four, tell the people what she wore!

“It was an itsy-bitsy tiny weeny yellow polka dot bikini. That she wore for the first time today.” The 1960 release of that song played on every teenager’s turntable. The lyrics considered a bit risqué…but also fun. Move forward to 1974 – I am turning 14 and the …

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The Wild Rumpus

Oh how I love summer. I love it when school gets out. I love staying up late, sleeping in, drinking too much wine because it’s a Tuesday. I love summer movies. I love it all. Our theme for June is Bathing Suit Season. Every year we are forced …

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It’s May!

Hello, May, you sweet breath of fresh air! The lilacs are blooming, the sky is bright and the air still has just a hint of winter’s kiss. I love the month of May because May is that bridge out of winter and into summer…and it’s full of celebrations. …

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The List

I peer out of the crack in hay loft hoping not to be seen. Just a short nap to revive me and then I’ll be back at it again before I am discovered. In my pocket folded into a square is the source of my despair and need …

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Here’s to my mom!  And here’s to me!

I daresay that my mom is doing this mom thing a little better than I am at the moment. I’m a great mom. I fight for my kids. I try to be their loudest and most fervent champion. But sometimes I’m average – at best. Some days simply get the best …

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Is Faith like a raincoat?

The word faith is derived from the Latin word fides which is one of my favorite Latin words! Fun fact, I love Latin – took 4 years in high school and 3 in college. Faith is the confidence or trust in a person, thing, or concept…i.e. believing without …

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5 People That Impacted My Faith

Corrie ten Boom Corrie is important to me because of her enormous faith. I struggle with my faith and I look towards Corrie as an example. She impacted me because she causes me to want to do right and when I’m afraid, to look to God. I read …

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For the love of friends!

When I think of my friends, I consider myself one of the luckiest humans on this planet. I have friends from childhood, new friends, old friends, college friends, work friends and my ride and die friends. No other relationship is quite the same, nor as powerful. I have …

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Some say Friends. I say Lifers.

I was looking through digital photos the other day and got swept up looking at old photos of me and my “besties”. We span a decade between oldest and youngest, but feel like we have been together a lifetime. Because we have. Living in the transient area of …

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Chapter VI – The Madness of March

The thing about moving – at least for me – is that it’s like the world around me is no longer spinning. I’m in a vacuum. A black hole. And I do this to myself. I really am not so great with chaos. I’d like to be. But I’m not. I need …

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Do We Have Bread?

“Do we have any bread?”  Every night when we would sit down to dinner, my father would look around the table to see if we had bread. If not, my mother or one of us kids would pop up and get the Bunny Bread and bring it to …

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I Hope My Funeral is Standing Room Only

Best friend, we use the words to describe that so near and dear, the one we count on, share our secrets, joys and sorrows. That definition is right on for a 13 year old, but as we travel through life, we find it just isn’t that simple. I …

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My sister, my friend, my Ride and Die

My sister and I weren’t very close growing up. Just 22 months apart, but different in so many ways. We shared a bedroom most of our lives, but that was about all we shared. Looking back now…oh the time we wasted. I had a terrible car accident my …

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My Next Great Adventure – IV

Chapter IVish – Apartment Living The things I am learning. We can get a contact high walking in the hallway…that’s a free bonus. The dogs can learn to poo while leashed and not step in it, but it’s a gradual process. Apparently, hipsters don’t actually sleep at night…they …

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Stronger and Braver

The ER doctor said, “Yes, he is still conscious, but I don’t know how.” Diabetic ketoacidosis. Type one Diabetes. BGL, 987. All real words, but I didn’t know what they meant. Words that would describe my then 10 year old, seemingly healthy child. Words that would mold him, …

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My Life (5 Years) At Sea

I am not the Ancient Mariner: Ancient, maybe. Part 1 – The Cruises Let me start at the beginning. I was very fortunate that the Dean of Students at the State University of New York, Maritime College decided to recruit at my High School. He painted such a …

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February. The month of love, Groundhog’s Day, and the Chinese New Year.

February 1, 2022 welcomes in the Year of The Tiger…an auspicious beginning as my mom would say. The Tiger is known as the king of all beasts in China, and its zodiac sign is a symbol of strength, exorcising evils, and braveness. This month, Universal Stories will highlight …

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Leap of Faith

It is not often in our mid-40s that we look at our lives, say we want a change, and actually change. My job was just a job. I worked at the first office of our elementary school. I had summers off, home with my kids before dinner. It …

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My Next Great Adventure – III

Chapter 3 – To be or not to be When Mackenzi is struggling with something, she speaks with an English accent. I’m not even entirely sure she knows she’s doing it. She spoke as a native Brit throughout the entirety of quarantine. I, on the other hand, quote Hamlet …

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My Next Great Adventure – II

Chapter 2 – The Island of Denial We are under contract. So that’s good. And not so good. Ahem. One month. That’s what I have. I have one month to find our next home, pack up a life, say goodbye and start anew. Saying goodbye. This is the …

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My Next Great Adventure – I

Chapter 1 Selling Your House – AKA a pain in the ass Yesterday we had our first day of showings. Letting strangers traipse through my house, critiquing wall color, flooring, windows is akin to my experience of going into premature labor at a teaching hospital. Everyone had to …

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2022…we welcome you with open arms, open minds and open hearts!

Is there anything quite like January? The chance to begin anew, forge new paths, new friendships and new horizons! Last January, we witnessed an attempted coup on our capital juxtaposed with the nation’s youngest Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman. Literally, the dawn after the fiercest of storms…and for many …

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Seasons of Life

Life brings many seasons Change happens for a reason So as one ending occurs Look forward, open the doors. A new beginning a time to do All of the things you want to. A time to look at yourself And put away any doubts. Believe that you can …

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I Saw Rudolph!

It was a well-known maxim around my house, repeated in the days leading up to Christmas: NEVER try to watch Santa Claus perform magic. It’s the rule. If you saw, his secrets would be let out, and that would be a disaster. It’s why he doesn’t do any …

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Growing Up on 42nd Street – A Serial Story – Part 5

Back to Verplanck, a.k.a 42nd St. North. Whenever there was space in the new Pontiac woody station wagon, my friends tagged along. We often had 13 people squeezed in. This was way before seat belts. By that time Matt Lagana had started the Marina, which Pop practically built …

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Rounding Third and Heading for Home

May 18th, 2015. I grew up inside a baseball park. The smell of the dirt, clinks of the bats, and everything in between is home to me. When I was younger, I would barely pay attention to the game in front of me. I was more concerned with …

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Welcome December!

“I’ve come to sing you a song called December.” ― Ryan Murphy There are few things in this life that amaze me more than the passage of time. I am always, always mesmerized by how quickly things happen…how easily things change…how life goes on. December is a bittersweet …

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Growing Up on 42nd Street – Christmas Memories

Christmas was different. After lunch my Mom told my brother, Joey, and me that since we would be up late tonight, Christmas Eve, we needed to take a nap. We went to the first bedroom, the one with a door to the rest of the apartment including the …

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Growing Up on 42nd Street – A Serial Story – Part 3

We, the new group, were never without things to do. We would often have races up the stairway in the McGraw Hill building; all 33 stories. The 6 to 8 foot walls at the Lincoln Tunnel exit where better than monkey bars in the playground. This included large …

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800 Square Feet of Family

My grandparents, Aida and Joe, lived on West 96th Street in Manhattan. As far as NYC apartments go, theirs was sprawling – 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, a living/dining room combo and a galley kitchen. All told, it was about 800 square feet. For two people living in NYC, …

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November, November, how we welcome thee!

Emily Dickinson once said, “November always seems to me the Norway of the year.” I’m not sure I even know what that means.  But I really want to go to Norway so I am going to pretend that it means something fabulous…just like the fabulous images I have …

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Growing Up on 42nd Street – A Serial Story – Part 2

My apartment layout was quaint. It was called a “railroad flat” because all the rooms were in one row. They started with the kitchen which was small but workable. The next room was supposed to be the dining room but my parents took it over as their bedroom. …

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In a Nutshell

We met wife to be #3 (or was that #4?) the December before. We had a grand time meeting her and her pre-middle school daughters. Gathered around a fondue Christmas dinner we laughed and told stories. The following summer she took me garage-sale shopping. We were nearly best …

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Growing Up on 42nd Street – A Serial Story – Part 1

I’m sure that you’ve all heard of 42nd Street in New York City. There was a show with that title and a song, “Give My Regards to Broadway.” Growing up a block away from Times Square is undoubtedly different. I grew up on the top floor of a …

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Worst Halloween Ever!

It WAS a dark and stormy night. Well, mostly it was just cold and miserable, but it was spooky for us trick or treaters. I had planned my costume for months. I was going as Fran Tarkenton, the greatest quarterback of his generation. I was, no doubt, going …

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Pushing the Boundaries

It is Homecoming weekend for my high schooler and I dread his requests for after-dance parties and sleepovers. Surely I can use exposed COVID contamination as a negator for this party. I see the mass communication happening in grunted code through my child’s phone. The phone that I bought …

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Hold It Until You Get Home

It was 1971 and I was 5 1/2 years old. Old enough to remember a traumatic experience that, to this day, causes me to “hold it until I get home,” rather than visiting the restroom when traveling with a group. It was early evening on a rainy fall …

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Hello, October!

Anne of Green Gables said it best, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” We are rounding third and heading for home, Universal Stories Friends! And, dare I say, there does seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel?  Might …

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I felt a Funeral, in my Brain

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, And Mourners to and fro Kept treading – treading – till it seemed That Sense was breaking through – And when they all were seated, A Service, like a Drum – Kept beating – beating – till I thought My mind …

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Three’s Company

I have two friends whom I will call Rhonda and Samantha. (Not their real names😉). It’s 1978. Space Invaders was the digital craze, First Test Tube Baby is born, Cult leader Jim Jones tells 900 members of his church, “People’s Temple”, to commit suicide in Guyana. The first ever Mobile …

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Where the Yellow Arrows Lead

I don’t know if it was the licor de hierbas or the mystical muse of the Camino, but a look of inspiration came over Antonio’s face and he grabbed a clean bar napkin from the next table and pulled out a pen from his pocket and began writing. …

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Skating Rink Blues

I had just gotten my first pair of roller skates. They were hand-me down high ankle skates for figure skating, not the cool racing ones, but I didn’t care because they weren’t those weird rental skates possessed by the ghost of the last kid who wore them the …

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Welcome, September!

For me, September is always a beginning, a promise, and a reminder to slow down and…football. I think it’s my midwestern roots, but I actually require seasonal changes.  For me, the seasons are the chapters of my year… Fall reminds me of those things that make me most …

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A Party Peck

I had had the biggest crush on this girl for months. One day, a friend of mine got invited to a party we knew the girl would be at, so we got all dressed up and went. We ended up talking for a while and then we went …

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Hope vs. Fear

“In my heart there was a kind of fighting that would not let me sleep”. HAMLET Tonight, my daughter said, “I”m not sad or mad or even frustrated anymore. I’m just empty.” Empty? Gas tanks get empty. Milk gets empty. But us? We aren’t supposed to feel empty. …

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For Willa

I have been looking for someone to clean my house. During this pandemic, I have decluttered, organized, rearranged, lifted, swept and shifted. The suddenness and endlessness of the lockdown magnifies the undone as will as the unknown. Flattening the curve has meant that my laundry room has new …

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The New Old Normal

“Exactly how many people will be at this thing?” Calvin asked as he rinsed his razor. His voice betrayed just enough anxiety, so that Kate skipped the question and went straight for the comforting words. “It’ll be okay, Cal. I promise.” She reached for his hair and gently …

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Poor Planning and a Pandemic

I sat thinking about all the big decisions I had been entrusted with throughout the years. Oftentimes the delta between my own self-perception and those who counted on me to lend credence to whether they should quit their job, or their spouse. Did having their kids were right, …

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The Oneness of Beer

I moved to Los Angeles 20 years ago.  Moving to L.A. from Ohio was like that moment in the Wizard of Oz where everything goes from sepia to bold technicolor. I exchanged the comfortable cultural binaries of my youth for the confusing spectrum of cultures, languages, and faiths.  …

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2020 Brought Us Clarity

Clarity of vision that the weight of being human is heavy … incredibly and increasingly heavy. But being human also means that we are a part of humanity… and as card holding members of humanity, we truly are all in this together. Let’s be honest, though, we are …

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