Janet Sumner Johnson
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Potty Talk


18, 2011 |

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Though we generally discourage potty talk at our house, today I’m making an exception. On my latest trip to France and Switzerland, my sister and I had endless laugh sessions from the potties that be.

Sure, you can find gross public restrooms in the U.S., and let’s not forget the long-drop outhouses at camp sites or the infamous port-a-potties at big events. Still, we just can’t compare to Europe.

First, we have the squatters.

From the outside, it looks like a typical roadside rest stop potty,

but open those doors and you’re in for a fun surprise.

Oh yes. Not only is this a place to unload your cares, it’s an exercise facility as well. Talk about time management.

And don’t even think about cheating on those squats by putting a hand on the back wall. The thing automatically flushes down the entire wall to clear your waste. Not a pleasant surprise (fortunately, that was my sister who found out the hard way).

Next we have the pay potties

Slip your euro in the slot, and you’re ensured a cool 20 minutes of private reading time. Just don’t get caught up in your book, because those doors pop right open when your time’s up.

But on the plus side, they come with the guarantee of an automatic washdown between each use. A word of caution: be sure to dry off the seat before getting comfortable.

And finally, my personal favorite: the metal-seated variety in the high Alps.

So, I used this thing in July, and I nearly froze my little tushy off. I can only imagine the fun experience you might have in January. Drying off your seat before using it is more than just good hygiene if you know what I mean (think A Christmas Story and the flag pole incident).

Now what does all this have to do with writing? Well, I’m sure I could say something about style and making it your own. Or perhaps it’s about the improvement process over time. Or maybe something about being aware of the pitfalls of writing . . . but really, I just thought it was funny.

What do you take from this?

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On Juggling


05, 2010 |

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I’ve always been a bit of a sloppy juggler . . . rushing to catch the ball that’s about the shatter against the floor (oh yeah, the balls are glass, I’m just sure of it).  

  1. My writing . . . oof! Phew, got 100 words in.  
  2. My family . . . oh no! We’ve got 2 minutes to get to soccer, let’s move it people! 
  3. My work . . . my deadline’s tomorrow?  
  4. My husband . . . you don’t mind if we talk about my book on our date, do you?  
  5. My blog . . . uh . . . I had an idea . . .  
  6. My co-op preschool . . . It can’t be my week to teach already, can it? 
  7. My friends . . . Wait, what are their names again?  
  8. My exercise . . . I could just skip today, right? Surely the scale was wrong. Again.
  9. My cleaning . . . Do I really need to vacuum today? 
  10. My laundry . . . I still have one more clean shirt, right? Oh wait, that was yesterday. . .

Anyway, you get the idea. So many balls, so hard to keep them all in the air.

What are your secrets for not dropping the ball? And seriously here . . .

Speak up:



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