Mostly Unplugged, Slightly Unhinged

Hey, guys! Remember me? Did I miss anything? I’m almost two weeks into my blog break. Big whoop! you might be saying. Well, it is painful to cut myself off like this, but it was time to recharge again. Do things in real life like: gaze at the moon, run barefoot through the grass, remember my husband’s eye color, take out the trash…clean the shower. It’s amazing how much free time I have on my break. What’s the longest you’ve gone without your internet habit…a few days? A few hours? Ten minutes?

So how am I managing being unplugged like this? Well, I’m here at the computer typing this right now, so that should tell you–still surviving. Barely. Had to stop myself from posting after only one day. One day! Pathetic.

Suddenly all these post ideas kept popping up. I was eating breakfast and my Cheerios were getting soggy too fast and I thought: Holy crap! This would make a great blog post!  I noticed my husband put the toilet paper roll on backwards and I immediately thought: Hot damn! This would make a great blog post! 

Or maybe not. I suppose it’s a good thing I’m not posting much right now.

My husband predicted I would only last two weeks tops without posting something, and dammit all to hell, he was right.

So here I am.

But I’ve had lots of fun this summer. (After the WordPress-withdrawal shakes leveled off.)

So far this break has been full of:


Arrgh! Ahoy, ye mateys! Don’t mess with me, or I will kick yer scallywag booty!

featuring Frogman and his trusty sidekick, Goggle-Googly-Eyes Girl!

Fighting crime and keeping our pools safe and urine-free!

I’ve taken the kids to about 100 birthday parties and hosted 300 pool parties so far. If you ever feel you need to cut through all the BS in your life, just spend a few hours with a bunch of nine year olds hyped up on sugar and Red Dye #40, splashing around like maniacs in a germ-infested vat of warm water. You’ll be grounded back in face-slappin’ reality in no time.

Which reminds me, I took the liberty of putting up a large warning sign next to our pool:

Notice there’s a P in it!
Because there are likely gallons
Of PEE in it!
Don’t worry! The chlorine will
Take it all away!
Along with the first two layers
Of your skin!


Unfortunately, a power nap to me at my age means a solid two hours. I like to consider it my ‘beauty rest’.  But I still look like crap, so what gives?

The kind with pages that you turn and you can get them for free at this place called the library! It’s really something!

My son has reached a level of reading where he can finally enjoy books from my youth. He’s signed up for the local library’s summer reading program. Right now he’s into reading aloud Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. Let me tell you, there is nothing finer in life, than laying in the sun on a lazy summer afternoon, listening to your son’s sweet voice telling you all about Fudge and Peter’s turtle Dribble. I was transported right back to his age and it was glorious. Pure bliss.


Anyway, I’ve missed you guys. It is good to see you all are keeping my blog neat and tidy while I’m away. Looks like someone vacuumed. And my plants are still alive–I guess you kept Peg away from them, good call. Oh–did you remember to feed the fish? And Mr. Skittles? Yeah, he’s down in the basement. Don’t worry, he won’t bite. Hard. Just throw open the door, toss down some circus peanuts, then run like hell. Thanks!

I am very disappointed there are no Chariots of Fire videos, Angie. And please–someone leave a light on the front porch at night to scare away despicable gravatar-stealing burglars. MJ– [narrowing eyes] I’m looking at you, buddy.

Also: big welcome to all my new readers! Don’t be afraid to just come on in and sit down a spell on the couch while I’m away. (Psst…there’s a Cool Ranch Doritos and chocolate Yoo-Hoo stash in the pantry I keep only for the newbies…shh…it’ll be our little secret…)

Soooo…..I aim to enjoy more time away from the computer.  Wish me luck. Sigh.

**Announcements–Guest Blogger Alert!**

I have a couple guest bloggers posting in the next few weeks: one an author of an award-winning parenting book, and the other a popular blogger/author of several YA fiction books. Be sure to check them both out and show them some love…(give them some Doritos–if there’s any left.)

And I hope to see YOU in a few weeks for the premiere of my new video and expletive-laced baton-twirling disaster.

I’ll leave you with a little taste of what it was like to kick my internet habit…This was me when I first ‘unplugged’ the computer: “Don’t take it from me now, man!” Hysterical stuff.

112 thoughts on “Mostly Unplugged, Slightly Unhinged

  1. Oh, Darla. How I missed you!! Welcome back, even if it is only for a brief check in. I’ve tried to keep everything in order, but I will say it has not been easy . . . MJ has been up to some stuff, I must say. He might be planning to steal some more of your mojo, er I mean, plaid items. I’ll try to keep look out. 🙂

    Enjoy the rest of your break! What I wouldn’t give for a good power nap here and there.

      1. Oh damn. You saw that? No . . . I mean. I wasn’t REALLY ratting you out, see. I was just trying to throw her off the track. Divert attention to YOU, so that I could go ahead and sneak by, with devious hijacking plans. THAT’S what I meant the whole time! Really. We’re cool, right? I mean, you believe me and all. Don’t ya? MJ? Hello?

      2. You know what I love, Dammit? That seeing this thread of you and me and our avatar pictures really does almost feel like we’re actually in a coffee shop together, just shooting the shit. But I can’t see your eyes behind those shifty shades you’re wearing…hmm…

    1. I know, I love Jackie in that clip-she is hilarious. It’s exactly how I felt when I tried to cut down on my internet use….like I was going to go crazy. But then after a few days, I didn’t miss it. And then after a few more days, I really missed it again.

  2. We’ve both been on a holiday provoked blogging hiatus at the same time (people will talk!)

    I started reading back at 2 weeks worth of blogs yesterday, I think I got through two days worth, still plenty to catch up on, now if everyone can stop posting for a week I’ll catch up

    1. Your break prompted me to take one, Joe. Well, that and that we both secretly traveled to some exotic locale together to gossip about bloggers and drink margaritas.

      I don’t think I’ll ever catch up on everyone’s blog. I am slowly working my way down my reader, trying to make a dent but people keep insisting on posting in our absence, how dare they!

  3. Tar-Buns

    So how does it feel to get that ‘fix’? Glad you are having quality time in the P pool and other fun ventures! I need to do more reading instead of working on paper projects, house cleaning, bank stuff, researching newer used cars, etc.
    Oh, and trying to stay cool. Did I mention there’s a heatwave cooking us? I don’t hang outside from 11am – 6pm lately. Too Hot!
    I bitch too much about that. Sorry… 🙂
    I think Peg’s lonely in blog world right now. I’m worried about her languishing in the bottom of her golden WP cage with no pixie dust, or something like that 🙂
    See ya later!

    1. Tar, that fix feels damn good. Too good. Blogging: I can’t quit you, baby! Grr…I’m a wordpress junkie, what has become of me?

      I hope you do stay somewhat cool, well at least not roasting. Good lord, it is bad out there. You have the right to bitch away. We went to the beach yesterday and one dip in that frigid ocean cooled me right down for the next week.

      Pegoleg is lonely? Say it isn’t so! Oh well, she is more than welcome to blog-sit for me, make posts for me, write clever comments….if she’s really bored, she can watch my DVR filled with The Daily Show and Conan…she’ll be fine, just fine.

  4. Welcome back, Darla. I took a bit of a hiatus this week, but it wasn’t by choice (I was busy!). Whenever we go on family vacation (we try to do it twice a year), we completely unplug. The world can wait for when we get back, and we come back with a new perspective and appreciation of each of our family members. As it is, I’m “unplugged” 22 of 24 hours a day. I rather like it that way.

    That was an awesome video clip! I so resemble that sometimes.

    1. Being unplugged is such a great thing, really. Just think, we used to be like that– living real life, free from the computer–all the time when we were young. It’s hard not to check in though, I feel I’m out of the loop. But then, sometimes being gone is good for the soul. (although I am still cranky missing reading the blogs in my reader)

  5. That’s a might fierce, cutie-pie of a pirate you’ve got there. Moms make the best nap-buddies, don’t they?

    Tar took care of the plants – she’s got a green thumb, not me. MJ is off crying from loneliness missing you. I love that video – hysterical, but not true at all. Nope. No way.

    Enjoy the rest of your vaca!

    1. I am nothing but Julia’s pillow in that picture. I miss taking naps with the kids. Julia stopped taking naps when she was two, so this was a treat for me.
      Some of my best memories are when I was pregnant with her and napping on the couch curled up next to my son. Why can’t every day be like that?

      Keep Tar in line, tell her to get her blog going already. It’s too hot to go outside, so what’s her excuse?

      1. Tar-Buns

        I heard that…It’ll come. I’m pondering it. What name? Peg said I have to have an ‘angle’ when she knows I’m all rounded. Hmmm…

  6. hey there! I will be taking my blogging break in August when we go on vacation. I haven’t had much of summer yet here. 60s and rainy and now it’s July. We can only hope to soon play in the pool with chlorine to burn our skin off.

    1. 60s and rainy? My kids would go bonkers. It’s been pretty nice here but we get wicked thunderstorms every day, it almost feels tropical for Maine, like it’s turning into Florida. Still, we are pretty cool compared to most of the country. I’ll take it.

      I hope you enjoy your vacation and summer break and get some warmer weather to enjoy.

  7. I knew you wouldn’t be gone long. Good to see you, and I trust I’ll see you again – sooner than you’d care to admit. I mean come on … your husband may put the toilet paper roll on wrong again. Darla – that’s big stuff!

    1. Lenore, it is brutal cutting down my computer time! I had to upload a Words for Friends app just so I could keep up with my games. I can’t possibly be expected to give up the internet completely, right? Why, that’s just insane!

      I have actually gone several days in a row without going on the computer at all and that is a record for me. So sad. I can’t say I missed facebook at all. Still hate twitter. But wordpress? I miss it, wahhhh!

  8. So glad we bumped into each other when we both came over for some cyber-air…ahhh…it’s a fresh, cool breeze. Thanks for the heads up on all the snacks. I may be over when the family has eaten all the peanuts, cashews, chips, dip and cookies while we’re at the lake. You are such a thoughtful hostess. Love the pool shots…now that looks coooool.

  9. That video is hilarious! I just shared it on Facebook. Just imagine my face instead of Jackie’s! Hahaha! My kids will die laughing when they see it. So busted!
    I am pretty good once I pry my fingers off the keyboard, get physically out of the house, into my car and about 5 miles away.
    Enjoy your time away from the time suck. We will be here when you get back since our addiction ……will…..not……..relent……..

    1. I laugh hysterically every time I see that clip. That is me. Especially when someone is trying to talk to me and my eyes keep going back to the screen. What’s weird is, after a few days, I really don’t notice my lack of being ‘plugged in’,,it’s kinda freeing and really grounds you back into life again. Makes me realize how much time I spend on the computer! yikes! I am slowly weaning myself and it is painful.

  10. Running from Hell with El

    The way my break is going is best illustrated by this: I was reading your blog an hour ago. I hit “like” on was about to comment, when my boys came upstairs looking all sweet. They were coming to confess that they had painted my SUV with blacktop filler. Yes. For real.

    An hour of scrubbing, a trip to the car wash, and a lot of dramatic sighing under my belt, here I am, to tell you how much I liked your blog today. I think unplugging is SO hard! I hope you continue to enjoy your time off and hope you don’t grit your teeth too much!

    1. Oh my god! Well, I would say that having your car painted with tar is an emergency worth leaving the computer for. Good thing the car wash worked. I am afraid right now what the kids are doing downstairs while I’m typing this comment. It sounds like the floor is caving in…I’m afraid to investigate.. Another reason for my blog break–the kids. We are all home this summer and it’s like barely controlled chaos! My unplugging is almost necessary.

  11. Welcome back! I loved Judy Blume books. It must be so cool to relive them through your kids reading them. I should probably take an Internet break too but I just don’t want to.

    1. Thanks, Madame! I really loved reading Judy Blume, too. Especially the ones featuring Fudge. My son isn’t into the Harry Potter scene at all, which is weird but I don’t mind as I’m not either.

      I think this will be my only internet break for awhile. I can barely hang on for one month (as you can see)

  12. Nice little break. Looks like you got a lot done though. I can’t imagine being away from the internet. I should try it though, maybe for a weekend. (BTW I’ve changed my username from liberalcynic to bharatwrites! So, now my blog is called

    1. You should try it. It’s much harder than you’d think it’d be. Try it for one day and see how addicted you are…I was finding myself going back to the computer after a few hours. Had to distract myself with real life stuff. Having real time conversations and making eye contact with people again. Felt good!

  13. I’ve missed you. Sniff Sniff. Terribly. Boo hoo…(wipes real tears…) I am thinking I will take a break after my surgery, but then I’ll be laying around all pathetic and lonely….nope, better just hang with my budz on the interwebz

    1. I wish I was there to help you during recovery–bring you some trashy magazines….some ice cream….fluff your pillows. I hope you can get this surgery over with soon and the recovery sooner. Not a good way to spend the summer. You can email me anytime if you’re bored. 😀

    1. Thanks! I hope I never will. Whenever I see ‘wild and crazy’ I think of that Steve Martin SNL sketch.

      I just popped over to your blog and see you’re working on writing a book. Kudos to you! I am supposedly working on one but can’t seem to keep it going this summer. I think I might have it done by the time I’m dead. I hope. You are right when you said it’s frightening. Writing is probably one of the scariest things I’ve attempted in a long time. So hard to lay your heart and soul out there on the page like that for people to come along and scrutinize!

  14. OMG!! I am laughing so hard that the tears are rolling!!! I was making such a commotion that the the kid had to watch the video too. We go away later this week, and it will be interesting to see just how unplugged I will be. Of course, the laptop has to come with us, and the iPad, and the iPod, and the smart phone. But I can turn them off… really I can… I promise… just give me five more minutes… aaaaaggggghhhhh!

    1. Yeah, see it’s the laptops and iPhones that are hard to quit. I am on my iPad right now! I’m outside the kids are in the pool and I’m typing on it like a moron. This is why I’m going back to my break again. It’s getting a bit too much, y’know? Gotta smell the grass, feel the sun…just be in the moment. In other words LIVE again.

      Hey, are you still coming to Maine?

  15. Looks like you’re having a great summer, and unplugged is definitely better than overplugged, which is that state I constantly seem to be in. Adorable kids. Enjoy your down time, WordPress will still be here when you return…

  16. Glad you’re enjoying your time off Darla, but oh so glad to see your summer-loving name pop up in Google Reader.

    Hey now, would I steal your Gravatar?? Must have been some other “plaid lovin’, coffee sipping MJ, out there!

    Anyway, Peg, Angie, Misty, and Katy were having D-drawals, so glad you popped back in, even if only momentarily. 🙂

    1. Aw, thanks, MJ. It is comforting to know my readers and blogging buddies haven’t jumped ship now that I’m gone. I have this unsettling fear when I come back later this month there will only be the sound of crickets.

  17. Kudos to you for two weeks completely enamored with the “real” world – I think that’s what summer’s all about! Still, a great blog as usual – a 50/50 delegation of your time never hurt anyone, right?? I really need to know what happened next with that toilet paper…

    P.S. The newbies ate all the Cool Ranch Doritos – can you pick some more up on your way back here? Thanks!

    1. And Cassie, I have another two whole whopping weeks chock full of nothing but MORE real life stuff! Yeehaw!

      I would be more than happy to pick up some more Doritos. Anything else I can get you while I’m out? Beer? Wine? Dangerous fireworks?

    1. Tee hee, your comment about the pool made me laugh. Yeah, I think a pool without the pee would be nice. Don’t think it’s ever gonna happen at my house. We have a few more kids coming over today. Time to crank up the chlorine!

      I love The Princess Bride. I certainly hope he keeps his love of books going. I can’t wait for my daughter to start reading. I have a feeling she’ll fall in love with the Little House books like I did.

      Have a great holiday, Simple Life! 😀

  18. Deborah the Closet Monster

    I’m glad you had sneaked away from the offline world for a few minutes! Even this had me smiling, and wishing I had the willpower for two whole weeks away. Maybe someday? *cries a little at the mere thought*

    1. I hope and pray you get that break someday soon, Deb. We could all use it from time to time…good to clear the cobwebs out of our heads, cluttered with too much online junk. I just emailed you, by the way. 🙂 Have a fantastic holiday and week!

  19. Glad you’re breather from blogging is refreshing, but you were missed, Darla. Love the photos of the pirate, the action shot – jumping in the pool, mother and child napping. It looks like you are enjoying your break.
    That video is hysterical, but it hits too close to home. On my brief vacay in Las Vegas last month, the only reason I didn’t check in is that FB locked me out – didn’t recognize the URL. Also, I messed up on my WP password. So, a forced hiatus.

    1. Thanks, Judy–I certainly rely on my blogging connections and really do appreciate them when I’m away for a bit.

      The pirate pic…she was heading to a pirate-themed bday party. She had an eye patch but when she put it on she yelled “Take it off! It hurts!”

      Your forced vacation from the net sounds painful to me. There is nothing worse then being shut out involuntarily.That’s happened to me before, the internet was down for a day and I freaked out a bit. Deep breathing got me through.

  20. Oooh I didn’t realize your one-day return also meant a new blog post, promises of guest posts AND Cool Ranch Doritos (listen, I WILL find them, and the newbies better step off)!

    Your sign by the pool is hysterical, and I think you look lovely with Julia during your power nap! That is SO cool your son is reading Judy Blume; that brings back so many fond memories for me, too!

    Ohmygoddddd how am I ever going to last until the baton-twirling reveal?

  21. I’d like you to know that while you’ve been away, I’ve been vacuuming under the sofa. Sooo many dust bunnies.

    Have a great 4th!
    I’ll be dreaming of the baton twirling video and hoping that the baton is on fire while you’re twirling. I think it would add a lot to the overall effect.

    1. Ah, I bet there’s tons of bunnies under there!

      Well now that you mention the baton-on-fire deal, I’m thinking my baton feat won’t be so stellar now. 😉

      Hope you have a great holiday as well!

  22. I’m glad you popped back in! And that you’re having a lovely summer! Great pics!

    The longest I’ve ever been away from the WWW is 4 or 5 days. I kinda liked it. I don’t know if I could do more than that.

    1. Thanks, Thoughtsy! I have to admit I kinda liked being away from the net. My thoughts seemed much calmer as I wasn’t so preoccupied with the nonstop stream of digital information. I am almost afraid after 2 more weeks of this, I won’t come back at all.

      Enjoy your holiday tomorrow!

  23. That Roseanne episode hits too close to home. The trouble walking (I’d add, the trouble lifting up chin with a neck cramp) — I’ve even been caught in an Urkel chatroom before. Dude, I need a vacation.

    Your kids are too damn cute! I know I say that every time you show their little mugs.

    Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing! You knew that flashback would reel me in. I also loved the spin-off books, Superfudge and Sheila the Great. And then there’s Beverly Cleary and oh how I loved the Ramona Quimby books. I think I need to write a blog post on old chapter books from our childhood. I’ll patiently wait ’til your return. Happy 4th, my friend!

    1. I think you really do need to write a post on books from our childhood! That would be fantastic. Remember Encyclopedia Brown? I used to love those. And Trixie Belden. Of course, Little House series were my favorite. Enjoy your holiday Angie Z. 😀

      1. I was a big fan of Encylopedia Brown. Except sometimes the answers in the back were too far fetched to believe. Like how he figured out a suitcase didn’t belong to a redhead woman because the clothes were red and redheads never wear red. Seriously?

      2. You mean that’s not true?!

        Do you remember the books that had the reader choose the ending? Like you’d chose what the character would do: Does he go down into the basement? Turn to page 50. Does he run outside screaming? Turn to page 100. My brothers and I were obsessed with those books. We’d beg my mom to buy them at Kmart.

  24. What a surprise visit!!! We were just…uh…playing with…uh…reading…yeah, reading just like you to fill up a summer. Nevermind our hands in your chocolate treat bags. You shouldn’t leave them laying around when you’re gone. See you when you return. Brink chocolate, your site maybe devoid of it by the time you get back.

  25. Darla and Judy Blume… together in one post? Have I died and gone to heaven?? Seriously, though. Judy Blume was one of my many childhood heroes. Her and the ghost writers who wrote hundreds upon hundreds of Babysitters’ Club and Sweet Valley Twins books. Oh, sweet memories!

    1. Can you believe I never read a single Babysitters’ Club book? Or Sweet Valley Twins? I know! It’s nuts! Back to Blume–I loved Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret? and Superfudge!

      1. ‘Are You There God?’ is a complete classic! Much more so than Babysitters’ Club and Sweet Valley Twins. Those books were crap, but I read hundreds of them anyway. 😉

    1. In due time, Charles. In due time. It’s going to be epic I tells ya!

      Uh, yeah. You’re right about the Yoo-Hoos. Sorry. But as I tell my kids, Oh, they’re not chilled enough for you? Well, you’ll drink your lukewarm Yoo-Hoos and you will like it and that’s the end of the story.”

  26. Wow look at all these comments Darla! Your peoples sure missed you!
    Happy 4th!

    Only two weeks! Funny how our husband’s know us! I was in Spain for 3 weeks and when I came back I didn’t look at my computer for about a week. It was a lovely break. I didn’t miss the constant racing to keep up with the reading, but I did miss reading everyone’s stories and that’s the life of a blogger

    1. Aw, thanks, Rosie! I would think a 3 week break in Spain would trump any of my internet habits. It is relaxing to be ‘away’ for awhile, isn’t it? After a few weeks, you start to get used to the slower pace and I have to admit, I really love it this summer. But then the catching up seems daunting!

  27. cooper

    Power naps…wonderful things…
    the longest i’ve gone without blogging is about a week. the longest i’ve gone not turning on a computer…probably less than 24 hours…maybe even 12….i have consumed the computer-cult sugar based red dye 40 beverage…

  28. Personally, I believe the only thing you need to make your life complete is a little “Fudge” of your own–What bliss! I’ve also had my ups and downs in blogging and getting my short stories out there on a regular basis. But I’ve noticed that the forced entries are not nearly as good as the natural ones. (Yours always seem natural, and they’re always very humorous.)

    On that note, make sure and let me know when you add a Fudge to your family. It ain’t going to be nuthin’ but good — for us. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for that compliment! Sometimes I walk that line of forced vs. natural and fail miserably.

      I used to have a ‘Fudge’ in my family about 8 years ago…my son when he was two years old. He was a holy terror. Probably could go down in the Guiness book of world records as the tantrum-iest toddler to ever live. Things were never boring that’s for sure.

  29. Curly Carly

    I took a week-long break and it about killed me. Now I’m trying to sort through hundreds of others’ blog posts in my inbox. Impossible. It was probably good to have a mental break though. Glad you’re surviving in the non-blog world. I’m sure your family has loved watching you squirm 🙂

    1. Ha! Yes, it did nearly kill me after only a few days! I am slowly catching up on my blog reader now but I think it might be weeks before I get through everything. Might have to go back to my blissfully clueless break very soon…hm…

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  31. Darla, You are having a great summer. Keep on enjoying your power naps. And not to forget, that picture is a really nice one. These are some precious moments, which are priceless.
    Number of comments in your blog is showing, how much we have all missed you.
    Thanks a lot for giving us something to laugh after so many days. And do not worry, we are all keeping an eye on Mj. We will not let him steal your gravatar this time. 🙂 LOL

  32. Okay, maybe it’s not exactly 100, but I really did love this post! Your kids are too cute. And this is the post that made me start the post-mow-pre-beer-Darla-pool-plunge. See? You DO touch people’s lives.

  33. Pingback: I Leave You With a Parting Gift. And, Cake. | Keeping it Real

  34. Pingback: I Leave You A Parting Gift. And, Cake. | Keeping it Real

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