Hey Barbie! She's So Cool, All Dolled Up
Jul 27, 2023 by Amber McClain Shaw
Join me as I delve into the world of Barbie, celebrating her as more than just a doll, but a symbol of creativity and limitless imagination. From childhood play to artistic endeavors and unconventional decorations, Barbie has been a constant thread in my life, a source of inspiration that continues to spark joy and creativity.
Cookie Crumbs, Booty Lifts and Unexpected Encounters: A Tour of Senior Living Facilities
Jul 21, 2023 by Amber McClain Shaw
Join me on a captivating journey as we explore the intriguing world of senior living facilities through a series of informational tours. Though I have no immediate need to move myself or my loved ones into senior living, I want to be prepared for the future. As we venture into these communities, we will encounter eccentric tour guides, quirky amenities, and some surprises that senior living has to offer.
Throughout my tours, I discovered that these "retirement living" spaces are a far cry from the dreary nursing homes of the past. Instead, they exude elegance and dignity, treating aging with respect. From Victorian houses reminiscent of the 19th century to modern cruise ship-like amenities, each community boasts its unique charm and ambiance.
On my tours, I encountered unforgettable characters, like the enigmatic Katy, whose dual identity as a tour guide and an aggressive lawn mower left me unnerved. I marveled at the curious offerings in beauty salons, such as booty lifts and body sculpting.
In this article, I'll share my firsthand experiences, humorous anecdotes, and valuable insights, empowering readers to make informed decisions when considering senior living options. Whether you are seeking to plan for your own future or that of a loved one, this exploration promises to be an enlightening and delightful voyage.
Waiting for My Self-Published Book to Appear Online
Apr 13, 2023 by Amber McClain Shaw
Are you a writer who has self-published a book and is waiting for your book to appear online? If so, you're probably experiencing a mix of emotions ranging from excitement to impatience.
Dear Diary: Life at age 10
Feb 15, 2023 by Amber McClain Shaw
The first two weeks of my childhood diary disprove my memory that I grew up mostly without TV (I watched The Donny and Marie Show often), introduce the reader to the main characters of my life at the time including my pet mouse and a frequent babysitter, touch on important cultural trends (Pete's Dragon and Shrinky Dinks), friendship (sleepovers, showers and indignation over a bad grade), and my painfully factual reporting on the illness and death of my grandmother. I had a lot to write about at age ten.
Jan 28, 2023 by Amber McClain Shaw
I started my writing career with an existential crisis.
I was ten years old when I got my first diary.
On the blank page before January 1st, I wrote: Dear Diary, I will try to tell the truth as well as I can.
Where Are My People At?
Jan 25, 2023 by Amber McClain Shaw
When the kids were younger we knew where to find each other. Carpool, volunteering at school, the sidelines of all kinds of sports matches or at one of the kid-friendly restaurants in the area. But now that they are off to college and beyond, we no longer have a connection through our children. How do we find each other? Now that, in theory, we have more time for ourselves and our own interests, I’m wondering where everyone went.
Bon Mot Newsletter, past issue links
Jan 23, 2023 by Amber McClain Shaw
I Have Not Loved a Car for 26 Years. Until Now.
Jan 18, 2023 by Amber McClain Shaw
I have loved convertibles since I was a kid and my dad had several that were so fun to ride around in; an MG and a Fiat. When I bought my first car, it was a convertible, a Miata. I loved that car and only gave it up when I absolutely had to; I was a week away from my due date and I realized a stroller would not fit in the trunk. I have not loved another car for the last 26 years. Until now.
How to Eat Cereal
Jan 06, 2023 by Amber McClain Shaw
My boys left me with a Costco-sized box of Frosted Mini Wheats that they opened but didn’t finish. It’s making me question my sanity.
I don’t consider myself a particularly fussy person, but Frosted Mini Wheats bring out an intense desire for order, organization and doing things the RIGHT WAY.
Connection Was My Word of 2022: How It Went, And Why Social Media Got In the Way
Dec 07, 2022 by Amber McClain Shaw
At the start of a new year, I choose a word of the year. More than eleven months into this year, my word is still going strong. I find it more interesting and powerful than a resolution. A word has a way of echoing back to you in a song, in something you read, in a conversation with a friend, and asks you to pay attention. This year I chose the word connection.
Know Thyself: The Practice of Journaling
Dec 01, 2022 by Amber McClain Shaw
I’ve kept a journal since I was in about fourth grade, on and off. My first diary had a lock on it, which I thought was such a great feature. I could pour my heart out without anyone else being able to read it. The fourth-grade me apparently had a few secrets to keep. But that lock was easily picked with a hair pin and whatever secrets I had were no longer secret.
I Cried at Erma’s Bombeck's Grave
Nov 16, 2022 by Amber McClain Shaw
When I visited Erma Bombeck's grave, something totally unexpected happened. I started crying. I wish there was something funny about why I cried at Erma’s grave. That it was something poignant she wrote or said. But my emotional response was about something Erma did not say, and kept secret for most of her life: a lifetime of living with disease. A disease I am very familiar with. Erma had polycystic kidney disease (PKD), diagnosed at the age of 20, and endured daily dialysis for years before undergoing a kidney transplant at the age of 69. She died from complications of the transplant surgery.
What Can You Let Go Of? Comfort is the Enemy of Progress
Nov 09, 2022 by Amber McClain Shaw
In the fall, my yoga teacher asks her class to consider, “What can you let go of?” This question echoed around in my head, and I knew there were some things I wanted--needed--to let go of. What has gotten too comfortable, too habitual? I wanted to examine some of my routines, habits, and thought patterns and determine whether they serve my overall wellness.
Comfort is the enemy of progress. --PT Barnum
A Comfort Zone is a beautiful place, but nothing grows there. --Robert Stevenson
My Neighbor Wrote an Amazing Autobiography and I Helped to Publish It
Aug 19, 2022 by Amber McClain Shaw
I’m excited to announce that my neighbor Dr. Werner Stamm has published a book! And I am honored to have been a part of the process, helping him to self-publish it.
Choose Your Own Adventure: Night Market
Aug 16, 2022 by Amber McClain Shaw
Are you ready for a fun food adventure? Go check out a Night Market! Here are ten things to know before you go so you can have a great time.
When the Mountains Fell In Love with the Sea Mural
Aug 09, 2022 by Amber McClain Shaw
The most unexpected, wonderfully marvelous, and fun surprise this summer has been watching a beautiful mural painted right across the street from where I live.
I'm at the Book Fair!
Jul 06, 2022 by Amber McClain Shaw
The Tiny Book Fair is all summer long. I'm a participating author. Please go check it out!
Amber's Cooking Collective July 2022
Jun 27, 2022 by Amber McClain Shaw
Kids are on summer break, kids are home from college, everyone is hungry all day.
I don't want to be in the kitchen a lot in July. Do you? No, you have better things to do. Pick up a copy of this Mark Bittman cookbook and join me in making easy fast tasty meals so we can spend less time in the kitchen and more time outside doing fun stuff.
Some Things Don't Change
Jun 23, 2022 by Amber McClain Shaw
As a young child, Kieran loved mud. I was delighted to see this vacation photo he sent. Some things don't change!
Another School Shooting
May 25, 2022 by Amber McClain Shaw
In high school, in the early 1980s, a boy I didn’t know very well looked at me through his long fringe of bangs and asked me to come to see something in his locker. He stared at me, eyes mostly hidden. We were not friends. I went, I don’t know why. His locker was near mine.
Inside he had a gun.