Author Archives: merrylynn

My Postcard From Italy


Ciao amici! E ‘marzo. Sei di pulizia? Pianificare la vostra vacanza?*

If I ever study another language, it will definitely be Italian. The cadence, the expression, the waving of the hands while you speak – it all appeals to me on a lovely, intrinsic level.


I recently succumbed to an inexplicable urge and emptied a plastic bucket stowed under my bed. It’s been there for three and a half years – since the day its contents had been unceremoniously dumped into said bucket and transferred under my bed on the day of our move. We weren’t in a hurry, that’s just the way I pack.

In the bucket I discovered:

  • well, was reminded really, I am a terrible crafter. If ever I say to you, “Dear friend, I am about to embark upon thus and such crafting endeavor,” slap me.
  • a “Save $3 on Two Dinner Entrées at Olive Garden! Offer expires 2/29/04 – Seriously, how much would that $1.5 per plate have helped the last time the seven of us went out to dinner anyway?
  • Circular E, Employer’s Tax Guide ‘Employment tax rates and wage bases for (…wait for it…) 1996‘ !!!
  • picture of the day we planted the willow tree at the old house – It must be an old picture because in it Nathanael is shorter than the tree. He’s 6’4″ now… but the tree is now taller than the house.
  • 1 oz bar of Dove soap – approximately the size of a small mouse, or if you prefer, one weeks washing in my downstairs guest bathroom.
  • Shrinky dinks. – Okay, that’s awesome.
  • and this: a postcard I mailed to myself from Italy.


My idea, write down all the wonderful things as they happened and the trip would be preserved forever.
The bonus, a postcard and a stamp from another country!

Limoncello; folded pizza; You can’t drive on this road even if you do speak English; Anderson’s house; the hidden canal; Eddie and the pigeons; the talking corners; gelato; Michelangelo’s David and all the tourist gifts lovingly based on it!

In theory it’s a great idea but in practice it left me wanting more – the details were a little sketchy.

  • Remember Limoncello?* Yes, and I have been wanting more, now that you ask…
  • Folded pizza. Does it really taste better folded? I can’t remember.
  • Gelato. This does taste better in Italy; something about the light in the piazza and whatnot.
  • The hidden canal. No clue. It’s hidden to me… I know, that was bad. Sorry.
  • Eddie and the pigeons. I love this one, sounds like a 1960’s rock and roll band doesn’t it?
  • The talking corners. Ingenious Italian architecture. Also maybe a 1960’s rock and roll band.
  • The Anderson’s house. Just a villa they rented, originally built in the – oh I don’t remember – 1700s. Nothing fancy. But seriously, THE 1700s! People in other countries live in their history.
  • Michelangelo’s David. A 14′ marble sculpture mounted on a 6′ pedestal. Go to Florence. Pay your money. Wait in line. See this beautiful, awe-inspiring work. And then the rest of the day walk the streets of Florence and giggle at the ‘awe-inspiring’ array of tourist knick-knacks and knock-offs. You will not be disappointed.
  • “You can’t drive on this road even if you do speak English” Alright, this was kind of funny. It was a street made for driving, but evidently not for driving at that moment. Our American friend and driver, in his deviously broken Italian, explained that he had driven on the street because he spoke English and had no way of knowing the street was sometimes off-limits. To which the very exasperated poliziotto responded: You can’t drive on this road even if you do speak English!


Summer is around the corner. Whether you go to Italy (oh! I hope you do) or Oklahoma (it’s pretty there too…) you will have wonderfully interesting and, hopefully, wildly funny things to remember. Make some detailed notes and send them to yourself; send more than one!
Tuck them away and when you pull them out years from now… read them with an Italian accent. It’ll be so much more fun that way. Ciao!


*”Hi friends! It’s March. Are you [spring] cleaning? Planning your vacation?” Google Translate

When I first typed this I spelled it Limoncella. My spell-check didn’t like that and gave me this list of alternatives (just try not reading them with an Italian accent…) Salmonella, Violincello, Monticello, Citronella. (See? That was fun, wasn’t it? I told you :)


I Told Ginger, Gilligan Is Neat!


“Ladies and Gentlemen, the story you are about to [read] is true…

only the names have been changed to protect the innocent11.”  …and the ridiculous; and some of the grammar because I couldn’t help myself…

In the spirit of the month of love, loss, and mockery I have carefully selected the following excerpts (between 8-1980 and 12-1982) from my high school and college diaries for your reading pleasure.

My life according to movies…

“In the evening Jane, Elizabeth, and I all went to see ‘The Great Muppet Caper”. It was really cute; then afterwards we went to Pizza Inn. John, Paul, George, and Ringo came. It was fun.”1 2 3

“Yesterday Anders and I went to Superman II. It was really good. He’s super sweet.”4

“The other night Shawn, [brother] Mark, and I went to see Richard Pryor in The Toy (good movie)… I kinda like Gus at the BSU, but I think everyone else kinda likes Gus at the BSU too.”5

“We went to go see the Fox and the Hound (cute movie!). I about died, Finn held my hand.”6

“The first time Henry kissed me, just for the record, was after we saw Raiders of the Lost Ark.”7



you might not want to use these at home

“The Big Brat” “The Big Slime” – about the cute boy who put a handful of confetti in Miss Bennet (bbf) and my Coke2
“Big Slime Dog” – about the boy for whom our friend dumped us at a football game
“Mr Snobola” – about another cute boy

“It was kinda neat.” Outdoor art festival
“It was really neat.” Demolition Derby which Miss Bennet and I attended at the county fair

“It was great.” Cruising for an hour and a half on Saturday night
“It was super great.” Sweet-16 surprise party
“Who ever gets him is super lucky.” About an ex-boyfriend

“Blow Me Away!” What I wrote in my diary when the boy I was going with told me he’d liked me 3 months earlier
“JK JK HA HA HA” Does it really matter why?
“Swoon…” About a boyfriend’s pretty eyes


Love is exciting...“You had better sit down for this next one! D’Artagnan and I have been together for 1 month and 2 weeks! WOW!” ♥ Six weeks was probably a record for me.8

Love is sad… “I want to go away to where everything is perfect… I think about the rainbows early in the morning with the dew and the unicorns. Air Supply. Here I am, the one that you love.” ♥ You were a fifteen year old girl once, right?

Love advice from a sixteen year old… “I told him I was gonna play the field for a while. He said, “That’s the only way you’re gonna get anyone, just be sure you play it in the right place!” ♥ Where’s that, centerfield?

Yes it will Mary Ann, yes it will… “I’ll be honest with you, Ginger, after fighting it for awhile I’ve decided I like Gilligan.” I couldn’t believe I said it. Just blunt and forward.

I know one day all this will seem so immature.

She said to Gilligan she thought I liked him, but she wasn’t sure and when she asked him if he liked me, “more than a friend” he said OF COURSE! (Pause). Gilligan is neat.” ♥  What. He was.9

It’s snowing, he’s pausing, I’m speechless… “Later we went for a walk. It was beautiful outside. We have been having a lot of snow and it had been snowing (well, still was). The snow just sparkled. It covered everything, it was so beautiful. I’ve never known Chandler to be cautious, but this is it… we were just getting ready to walk and he looked at me for a long time, then said,

“Girl, (pause) I’m not gonna let it burnout, not like Ross and Rachael, but (pause) I want to tell you, (pause) ‘I love you’.

It was really, um, wonderful, I was speechless.” ♥  Um, evidently (pause) so.10  But maybe not so much. Read on.

“I thought I’d play it smart this time.
I thought I could handle “being in love”.
I’d play it cool like I knew what I was doing. I was really careful what I said at first.
No promises I couldn’t keep, no unreasonable statements,
the kind of things that sting later on, after it’s over.

Now, I’m careful of what I say because I’m scared.
I’m scared because I’m falling in love.”  
♥ I am not making this up.


And … this is free

“Down to the nitty-gritty.”
“Some girl named Pee-Wee likes [my brother]”
“We got an  Atari!  I can hear it from the family room.”
“Yesterday  [9.9.81]  was the last sq. root day of the century, WOW!”
“I liked him then, I like him now.”

My high school nickname was Sparky, that’s all you need to know.


Hey guys, I shared a little piece of my soul here. Help me out, the least you can do is tell me your high school nickname…right?

Okay. If that’s asking too much: coming up with suitable pseudonyms (yes, I had to look that up) was harder than you’d think. What names would you have used?


All characters were chosen for nostalgia or as a shout-out to a friend. 1)Jane Austen 2)Pride and Prejudice 3)well duh 4)Battlestar Galactica 5)Psych 6)Glee 7)Ugly Betty 8)The Three Musketeers 9)Gilligan’s Island 10)Friends 11)Dragnet

With Or Without A Piggy


Have I ever told you how much I love my bed?

Oh! I love my bed.
I know, I know:
I love my husband;
I love my kids;
I love my large happy-hour unsweetened easy-ice tea from Sonic;
I love my cat.*

We have to be careful not to water-down the power of the word: LOVE.
But man, oh man, I love my bed.


Mark bought me this bed twelve years ago during a particularly bad occasion of my Crohn’s Disease. We spent more on it than we were accustomed to spending on a mattress and box-spring set. It was worth it; it’s like sleeping on a cloud – a very large cloud. We super-sized from a double to king! We were hoping that an upgraded bed would upgrade my health.

As I remember, time and a change in my regular meds eventually helped more to improve my health. The purchase of the mattress/ box-spring upgraded my mood, my quality of sleep, and my desire to spend every waking moment, performing every possible household task in my bedroom.

I think it must have come with a ten-year guarantee. We laughed about how very possibly a grandchild could nap on this bed; that was twelve years ago, but no one’s counting.


Many hours of pleasure have passed on this bed. Alright, what I meant was: watching movies, lots of girl talk, wrestling matches, savasana -my favorite yoga pose- especially while listening to the rain, theological discussions -with dad, mom comfort (broken hearts and stomach viruses can feel eerily similar can’t they?), eating cookies -don’t tell Mark, folding laundry -very zen, blog writing, earnest prayer, kitten and puppy snuggling, dog-piling siblings and friends.

These last two call to mind a song indelibly inked on my brain during a 1970’s John Denver phase:

It was nine feet high and six feet wide
Soft as a downy chick
It was made from the feathers
of forty’leven geese
Took a whole bolt of cloth for the tick
It’d hold eight kids, four hound dogs
And a piggy we stole from the shed
We didn’t get much sleep
but we had a lot of fun
On Grandma’s feather bed

-Jim Conner

Without the piggy, that’s my bed; I love my bed!


Someone once asked me where was one of my most favorite places in the whole world.
My answer? My bed – piled high with kids, and pets, and cookies, and Mark (if he can stand it, ha! sorry babe).
Can you think of a sweeter place?


Where’s one of your most favorite, sweetest places in the whole world? May I humbly suggest you make plans to spend some time there as soon as possible…?


*hey now, no comment from the peanut gallery please.


Oh! and one more thing..

While I was writing the other day I glanced at the blog sidebar and noticed You Smell Like Pie has over a hundred followers!

I nearly fell off my chair. Yay, thank you!

Please (your information will NEVER be sold, traded, bartered, or even laughed at) comment below or on Facebook or Tweet me so I can say Hi

See you again on February♥16. And, thanks for reading! ~L~

a worthy goal


Hey, welcome back!

Thanks for reading last week, and for stopping by again today. I’ve been thinking – maybe I could have been a little more clear about my intentions. I originally challenged myself to post once a month. Twelve posts, that’s do-able, right?

I tried looking up an official definition of ‘blogger’ for us to work from but only found ‘blog’ and ‘blogging’. Here’s what, one of my favorite phone apps ever, thinks of blogging:

blogging – n. making an entry into a weblog or blog = online diary. When John said he was busy blogging, Sally said he should get a life!

It’s still a great app.


I admire radio and talk-show hosts, fiction narrators, and auto/biographers; The Life Of Lynn!<-be thankful you haven't had to read that book. My brain to mouth speed, however, isn’t quick enough to be on radio or television. My life not eventful enough for publication. Twelve blog-posts? It’s a worthy goal.

Oh, and my purpose? Nothing deep or educational. My strength lies in my ability to laugh with life. Yes, I meant to say with, not at, life. And then I was just about to launch off into an inspiring little speech about bringing others along as we travel life’s highway…

“Mom, (insert name of offending sibling here) broke Skyrim.”

…when this happened and interrupted my flow.

Life is unpredictable. And complicated. And difficult. And funny.


My next scheduled post isn’t until February: the shortest month of the year, National Bird-feeding month, the month of love, and, in 2012, leap year. Until then, I leave you with this picture of my son wearing a tea cosey.


Never trust a man, who when left alone with a tea cosey…doesn’t try it on. -Billy Connolly


This post sounded better right before I fell asleep. Unfortunately my brain doesn’t have download functionality (or fortunately, I’ll let you decide). I had to reconstruct it in the light of day.

Luckily for me dawn has cut short more than one substandard idea I have fabricated during the dark of night. How about you, any you’d like to share…?


Siri and me


My career as ‘A Blogger’ began at 10:37 a.m. this morning in a fairly inauspicious way: “at this very moment I’m driving around with a Whataburger in my lap arguing with my iPhone”.

We’re sci-fi fans around the Mattayhouse: Star Wars, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek. When Mark upgraded my iPhone to a 4S as an early Christmas present, my daughter Molly suggested I rename Siri (the voice-activated assistant app built into the 4S), ‘Computer’. You get it, right? “Computer, compute to the last digit the value of pi.” It’s a Star Trek thing. I thought the idea was inspired so I tried…

me: Computer, take a note.
Siri: “computer taken note” Here’s your note: Computer taken

me: Computer (pause) take a note.
Siri: “Computer” I found a number of computer stores… 20 of them are fairly close to you:

And she helpfully displayed a Google webpage listing 20 computer stores fairly close to me.

me: Computer, listen to me: take. a. note.
Siri: Yes, I can hear you, Lynn.
me: (to myself) sheesh.

Siri can get a little snippy sometimes, especially when you try to rename her ‘Computer’.
Doggedly, I tried again.

me: Computer, listen to me: take. a. note.
Siri: “Computer listen to me taken note” Here’s your note: Computer listen to me taken

Then, she turned herself off.


I’ve always wanted to be ‘A Blogger’. Even as a child I narrated my life as if I were dictating a memoir. Before any of us had computers I invented a job writing essays, “only about stuff that interested me and not for a grade, duh”. As an adult I realize that’s called ‘A Columnist’. Of course, even for fun, getting your ideas out of your head and ‘down on paper’ isn’t always easy…

Siri: What can I help you with?
me: Note.
Siri: “Note” Okay, I can take that note for you… just tell me what you want it to say.
me: Note: (pause) my career as a blogger started out inauspiciously (pause) …
Siri: “Note” Got it: Note.

She’s a feisty one, that Siri.

Siri: What can I help you with?
me: Siri, take a note.
Siri: “Siri take a note” What would you like the note to say?
me: my career as a blogger started out in a very inauspicious way (pause)…
Siri: “My career as a blogger started out in a very auspicious Way” Got it.

me: Siri, take a note.
Siri: “Siri taken note” Here’s your note: Siri taken

me: NOTE!
Siri: “Nope”
me: NOTE!!!
Siri: No, perhaps not.
me: No, Take. A. Note.
Siri: “Know take note” What would you like the note to say?
me: (to myself) gah!
me: (to Siri) Consider the fact that on my very first blog-post I’m already calling myself a blogger.
Siri: “consider the fact that on my very first blog on Marty calling my cell phone blocker” Got it.

me: (to myself) *sigh* I don’t even know a Marty…


Alright, life is too short and too crazy to not argue a little with your computer (you know you already do). So seriously: what’s the most ridiculous thing your ‘Siri’ (or GPS, or Marty) has ever told you?