Day 14: Favorite Book

I love Smile A Lot by Nancy Carlson.  My favorite part is the frog's grinny teeth. It's a children's book about dealing with everyday disappointments and looking on the bright side of the situation. For instance, "if your mom made oatmeal again for breakfast, smile a lot! Ask if you can help her make chocolate chip pancakes tomorrow. Then figure out what to do with your oatmeal." Nancy then illustrates the frog spoon-feeding the oatmeal to his younger sibling.

I thought the message applies well to adults too.

If you didn't make it through the last round of lay-offs,

Smile a lot! You'll probably eat better on food stamps anyway.

If that cute guy you really like "just isn't interested" in you,

Smile a lot! It turns out he has herpes.

If your school-aged children are making a scene at the store,

Smile a lot! Everybody is judging you for having not enough or too many children anyway.

It really is a good book. 

*disclaimer, none of these stock photos are mine. I stole them from the internet.


Day 13: Something You Miss


Growing up, I had a slight overbite and a few of my bottom teeth were a bit crowded, but nothing to call the fire department about.

My freshman year in high school it was decided that I should have braces. While my prognosis was nothing like Lisa Simpson's, the orthodontist recommended a palate expander. Allow me to explain what that is:

They stick a metal plate in the roof of your mouth (which is great for trapping bread, by the way, and you need a stick somewhere between  the size of a toothpick and a kitchen utensil to get it out), which is held aloft by thick, metal wires attached to cuffs around select teeth and arched across your mouth. Then a loving parent or trusted person will put you in a straight jacket, restrain your head, place a small "key" in the center of the metal plate and turn it a click or two, which forces the teeth apart with tremendous throbbing pressure. This also makes your teeth loose, which in turn makes it hard to process any food, let alone suck anything down, without reminding you that you are a victim of medieval torture. Also when you  can move past gingerly gumming food and finally bite something, it's time to turn that key again.

I'm not even going to try and illustrate that, so let a picture of Hitler suffice.

The best day of being in high school with braces was when the kid I had a swoony schoolgirl crush on came over to talk to me. It also happened to be immediately after I got back from the orthodontist appointment with a mouth full of new metal.

"Did you get braces?"

People with normal teeth can smile from start to finish. People 30 minutes into having braces on their teeth can smile, but then get stuck half way at the part where your lips have to close back down your face again.

"Yes." Blush.




That was awesome.

In the end, braces changed my life and affected my self-esteem more than I ever imagined they would:




I miss my old mouth.


Day 12: Something Green

Grouches are green

Legos are green

Snot is green

Happy clovers are green

Sick clovers are green too.


Day 10: Favorite Fairy Tale

I like The Ugly Duckling. Hans Christian Andersen's stories are good stuff.



"Yes," said the swans, "everybody is ugly.  Except for us, of course."

I'm sure it went something like that.


Day 5: Something You Don't Like

Some people don't like spiders, tomatoes, fish, or squirmy dirty things.

People have nightmares about dirty bathrooms, spouses turning evil, or newly animate inanimate objects that misbehave and eat humans, but I think they're missing the real issue here;

There are worse things out there.


True life-or-death hazards that bring us to stare in the angry face of our own mortal peril


yes, mortal peril

and it is these threats

that terrorize people during the course of their everyday lives

that we should be more aware of.