It is the night of the new nanny. She is maybe a nanny or maybe a Spanish teacher. It is unclear. She is a blog reader who told me she could help me.

Lots of people offer to come to the farm and help me get that mythic work-life balance that no one really has. But this woman said good things in her emails — that she worked with autistic kids, her native language is Spanish, she loves my blog. I hesitated. She said she has done this before, gone to someone's house for a short time to help get the things back on track. So I said yes.

I had Spanish-speaking nannies in New York City. They are so easy to find there. It should be easy here, too. Darlington has a relatively large Hispanic community. They come to rural areas so the police leave them alone.

Here's an interesting thing about the Hispanic community here. We are one of the only counties in the whole US that has a Hispanic population that is more educated than the white population. The white families have been here for forever, and they don't take big risks—they grow up here and do exactly what their parents did. The Hispanic people have huge ambition, they took huge risks so their kids could grow up in the US and do great things, and they look down on the white people as hicks.

We come into contact with Hispanic people when they buy animals from us. Once a bunch of Hispanic men came by to buy some pigs. But the Farmer and I were having a fight. I was screaming at him that he doesn't ever talk to me and he was saying how he didn't care and I should just take the kids and leave.

I said, “You never wanted a family! You should go live with your pigs! All you want is some woman who doesn't talk to you and just gives you blow jobs!”

The guy who was trying to buy the pigs but couldn't because I was in the way — he just sort of stood there, a little ahead of all his friends in the truck.

And the Farmer looked at me and looked at the guy, and the Farmer said, “How many of you guys understand English?”

And the guy said, “All of us.”

I've tried to hire someone locally who speaks Spanish to work for us. I can't tell if no one is interested because the Hispanic community just doesn't want to have anything to do with the white people or if it's our family in particular that is scary, after the day of pigs.

So I thought maybe this woman could come and negotiate something with someone here who speaks Spanish. So I bought her a plane ticket for a week-long trip. As a try-it-out thing. Also, I did a background check on her. I have a friend who does those for me. I wanted to be careful.

To be honest, I did not talk with the person on the phone. Because I hate the phone. And I did not pick her up at the airport. Jeanenne did. And the person, who I will call S, got to our house at 9pm. The Farmer and I were sitting in the living room waiting.

She has three suitcases. One is full of gifts and Mexican food. She is prepared. She looks like she has diabetes, maybe. She is that kind of fat—the fat was oddly distributed in a too-even way.

She has to use the bathroom and she nearly pulls down the bannister going up the stairs and I am seriously worried that she will not be able to make it living in our house.

I tell S the schedule for the next day. I'm in Chicago for cello lessons and the Farmer is in Madison with the other son. I had sort of hoped that S would take the boys to Madison but it's two hours away. She does not look mobile enough for taking care of the boys in Madison.

S says she will cook dinner for the Farmer and the son. She is very excited to do that and it becomes clear to me that what she wants is to be our cook.

I say I will have to show her how to work the stove. She says she can figure it out, but I have spray-painted the whole thing with chalkboard paint so you can't see the buttons, so really, she will not figure it out.

I show her tricks to finding the on button.

We sit back down in the living room.

She says she brought gifts.

I say, “Oh! Thank you.” I do not ask what because I hate gifts because I hate surprises. Actually, I like gifts that are surprises if the person is not there. I do not like having to be thankful and surprised and grateful all with the person right there. It's a lot of required emotions for one moment.

I told her ahead of time not to bring gifts. The Farmer said she'd bring them anyway. He was right.

She says, “I brought you a copy of the book To Train Up a Child.”

For those of you who did not read my post about this book on my homeschooling blog, go read that right now. This book is about why people should beat their kids, and three kids have died from this way of parenting.

I say, “Oh, I'm so curious to see the book. How did you get a copy?”

“My friends buy it by the case. We love it.”

“What? Beating kids?”

“It's not beating them unless they are very disobedient.”

“That's crazy! This is crazy. Kids are dying.”

“No. It's saving lives. It really works. There is proof.”

“What? Tell me the proof.”

“When the author of the book had his kids in a truck, and the truck caught on fire, he yelled “?Get out of the truck!' and they all ran. Being obedient saved their lives.”

Before I could say anything, before I could even move, the Farmer said, “We're going to bed now. Goodnight.” And he as he stood up he grabbed my hand so that I had to leave with him.

I said goodnight.

Then, in the bedroom, we laughed. For a second. And then he told me that I absolutely cannot have another person visit the house that I have not met for coffee first. He reminded me of the last family. Who I ripped apart on the homeschooling blog. It's amazing, really, that anyone will come visit.

So the next day S makes breakfast. She makes cactus. The boys ask for cornflakes, but they are interested to see the Farmer try cactus. The thing is that we don't want to have all new food. We want stability and predictability. So this breakfast makes no one happy.

It also does not make S happy. She thinks we need to be more strict with the kids and this means the Farmer should sit at the head of the table. She is disturbed that we have her at the head of the table. She does not understand that it's an expression of how little we care about who is at the head. Or maybe she does understand that. Maybe that is the way she is planning to help us.

We do not find out because while I'm driving to Chicago and back, Jeanenne is buying a plane ticket for S to go back early.

The next morning, when I tell S, she seems to not care. She says, “Well, I'll still read your blog.”

All in all, with the plane tickets, and Jeanenne driving to and from the airport, and the $500 I promised to pay S for the week, it cost me about $2000.

But it's a good lesson, because I realized that I am pretty good at having a fun job and a fun family at the same time. I like cooking for the family. I like having a cozy family, just the four of us, on the quiet winter farm. I like our meals together, and I like the dance of driving that I have composed between me and Jeanenne and the Farmer. I am actually doing pretty well at getting my job done and taking care of kids. Having S come tell me that she will fix my life makes me realize that I like my life.

73 replies
Newer Comments »
    • jane
      jane says:

      Off the subj Penelo, I’ve given you some shit over time but recently I read some older blogs where you talk about past abuse and you know, I’ve been through similar experiences and I cut you slack. I was unaware of that past stuff and it definitely plays a major role in who we are and how we act. You said something about how you and the farm-man had horrible lives growing up and that has played a big part on how it makes it super-difficult to be close to somebody else. Anywho, I’ve rambled but the point is, I understand you. Good luck on the future.

  1. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    I like my life too. I fought hard to get it like it is, and while it’s not perfect, it’s still MY LIFE, that I love. I neither would appreciate someone stepping in and telling me it’s not how it *should* be! Especially if it’s about how to bring up my kid.

    I brought up a young man now aged 19 who I’m incredibly proud of, and who is at one of the best universities in the UK, and guess what? I never had to hit him! Nor did I ever want to. Urgh – never heard of that book you mention here until I read this post, but I totally abhor the idea that smacking children is an acceptable parenting technique.

  2. michael cardus
    michael cardus says:

    The truck was on fire and the author yelled get out, being obedient saved their lives…at that point I also would have lost it. If she reads your blog why would she think you would enjoy that book? It is amazing how seeing how someone else sees our lives makes us understand that we have it pretty good.

  3. Alex
    Alex says:

    What a nice post. It’s so true. Here’s the difference between having someone else tell you what to do, and start it yourself. You just ‘own’ whatever you start on your own. And the best thing is, if you fail you won’t find excuses. You’ll just learn from it instead. Which incidentally is also something people should consider for their career.

  4. roberta
    roberta says:

    This is a great post and I will tell you why. I once met one of my blog/tweet readers. It did not go well. We seemed to have so much in common. Since then I have hesitated to meet anyone with whom I communicate online. People have asked. I politely decline. You can tell nothing about a person from what they write online. I am convinced of that.

  5. Yuse Lajiminmuhip
    Yuse Lajiminmuhip says:

    I’m sure S was trying her best, but I think she went overboard by trying to change everything at once. Giving someone cactus for breakfast is not a win-win situation. I’ve tried it…it’s not *horrible* but even the blandest corn flakes is a sugar-rush-meal compared to it.

    Penelope demonstrated an open mind by giving it a shot, unfortunately S was a bit to set in her ways to think outside her way of life.

    • Towelhead
      Towelhead says:

      @ Yuse –
      This post is an example of what lack of leadership looks like.
      The goals:
      1. Learn Spanish (for the kids).
      2. Assistance at home (for the mom).

      It may have been a bad hire, but with proper guidance, P would have been able to somewhat meet her goals.
      Unless, of course, the goal was to have entertaining material for a post.
      In that case US$2k sounds like a good investment.

  6. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    Great post! I totally agree with Andrea, too. Since the moment I found I was pregnant, I was so grateful for the gift of a child. I never ever hit her, how could anyone strike their child who looks to them for love and security? My daughter is now 20 and currently attending an ivy league school and on the dean’s list. She’s a great kid and I’m darn grateful to be her mom!! Sure life can be a juggle sometimes, but its our loved ones who help see us through and give us the strength and purpose to get up and do it all over again the next day.

  7. TR
    TR says:

    LOL good post. That is why I am leary of people who always want to tell me what is “wrong” with my life or with my children. Listening to them means goofing up something that my family and I enjoy about our life.

    • Sabrina
      Sabrina says:

      I co-sign this. Driving in the country might be calming but as a city driver, hiring car service has restored my sanity. Drivers, FTW.

  8. Victoria
    Victoria says:

    Penelope, I am so happy that you are happy. It seems like what you are doing is hard, but very worthwhile. Any new job (homeschooling) takes a while to get used to, especially since you are now doing a new job in addition to your other job. Maybe you’re just going through growing pains.

    On another note, how is the chalkboard paint lasting on the stove? Any chips? I’ve been thinking of doing something similar, but I’ve been too worried about upkeep to actually do it.

  9. Whitney
    Whitney says:

    Hypothetical: If someone came to your house, was doing and saying all the wrong things but was open to suggestion, would you tell them what they were doing wrong to their face or would you wait until they left to write a blog post about it?

    Just curious.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      I think we each have point where we decide if someone is worth talking to, to get them to do more of what we want, or someone is so far off that it’s not worth it. We do that in our worklife and our homelife.

      And, anyone who comes to my house knows they are opening themselves up to a blog post. So that part does not surprise anyone.

      Penelope

  10. Justin
    Justin says:

    Maybe you keep bringing weird people into your home for weeks at a time to remind yourself that your family isn’t as weird as you think it is. I think you’re onto something…

  11. Amy Parmenter
    Amy Parmenter says:

    Penelope,

    I love this! I love how you ‘coped’ with it. And I loved that you and the farmer seemed to do it together, with respect for each other.

    I do something very similar — I go on job interviews when I’m not really looking for a job. I figure either I will completely fall in love with the opportunity OR, more likely, it will make me remember what I value about the job I have! Works every time.

    Amy Parmenter
    The ParmFarm

  12. Beth
    Beth says:

    There seems to be a lot of confusion about the book "To Train up a Child." They would never condone "smacking" or beating your child. It is about developing a trusting, loving, respectful relationship with your children (as the authors have with their children and I have with mine). There is the use of a small dowel to provide a little bit of discomfort on the bottom of a child who is deliberately disobeying. The horrible deaths of children whose parents have abused them may have had a copy of the book in their home, but they were clearly mentally ill individuals who were abusers.
    That being said, it would definitely NOT be a good idea to try to come into a stranger's home and "fix" them up like this lady was hoping she could.

  13. Baum, Mary
    Baum, Mary says:

    I’m actually in tears for you – after all the hell you’ve been through, this is huge – according to my gut, anyway. Otherwise I don’t think I’d be crying.

    Ps> I put in my name this weird way because my iPad was insisting on using one of my clients’ google apps logins, and if I’d tapped any harder to make the autosuggest go away I’d have put a hole in the screen. So I decided to fool it. Thought you’d get a kick out of the story.

  14. ReportingLife
    ReportingLife says:

    This post made me laugh and shake my head.

    Someone pointed out the bad grammar on my blog. Why do people care about grammar and punctuation on a blog? They come to my house(blog)and complain about grammar. I’m not fixing it. I like my life and my blog.

  15. Jana
    Jana says:

    “Actually, I like gifts that are surprises if the person is not there. I do not like having to be thankful and surprised and grateful all with the person right there. It's a lot of required emotions for one moment.”

    THIS! I don’t mind gifts, I just have a hard time giving the appropriate amount of gratitude that in MY mind, I think should be given. It’s just awkward all around. I’ve never read it spelled out like that before.

    Great blog! Thank you!

  16. Michael Aumock
    Michael Aumock says:

    Penelope,
    I loved your blog today (as usual).
    But when I read “day of pigs” I laughed so hard I shot breakfast cactus out of my nose!

    You rock my world :)

  17. -k-
    -k- says:

    So, just to get this straight- you invited this woman to your house specifically to ‘help get the things back on track’, didn’t *really* do your due diligence, then proceeded to publicly skewer her for a) being fat, b) bringing you presents, c) making your family a home-cooked breakfast, and d) having opinions about how to pull things together?

    This is seriously awful behavior. It isn’t this woman’s fault that you didn’t clarify your needs or expectations before or during her visit. You’re using her as a punching bag to work out your regret/anger/whatever over spending $2k on something that didn’t work out. Really, really gross.

    (Also gross how “Hispanic” is good when you can get something out of it, but not when you want cornflakes.)

  18. Paul Hassing
    Paul Hassing says:

    Fascinating tale. Like your life. I just related the salient points to my wife. I laughed my head off. She asked for a link. You just scored a new reader! :)

    Your brand of crazy is like pure ethanol. You knock the socks off anyone brave, curious or foolish enough to try you. But you don’t intoxicate on purpose or with malice. It is merely your nature. You’re a force of nature, P. Bloody fantastic. Onya Sonya! P. :)

  19. Nopal
    Nopal says:

    Cactus . . . probably this was ‘nopalitos’ and as it happens, good for general health.

    If anyone in your house had any adventurous spirit about new food(s), this might have been a fun moment. Instead of something to make fun of.

    • Rose
      Rose says:

      @ Nopal – re new foods. This comment reminded me of a guy who told me “Sushi? yuck! those Japanese people eat raw fish”.
      Pretty sophisticated New Yorkers indeed.

      PS I couldn’t live in Cowtown if you pay me 10x my salary.

  20. Carolyn
    Carolyn says:

    So, when I read your posts, I’m fully running along beside you and panting, and feeling every crazy moment of your life and your obscure choices and the way your inner dialogue is transcribed here frustrates me and makes me want to stop you. Then, your final paragraph always settles me down and I smile with clarity and empathy. You are such a good, concise writer and journalist.

  21. Steve C
    Steve C says:

    The guy who wrote that book, and the people who read it, should all be locked up, and flogged on a daily basis while they are. I’m sure that judge in Texas who belt-whipped his daughter loves it.

  22. Phil
    Phil says:

    “Day of Pigs”

    Classic Champagne comedy writing right there!

    Now if only they were cubans not Americans…..

  23. Caitlin
    Caitlin says:

    That post made me laugh out loud Penelope! I can just imagine this lady making weird stuff for you guys and all you want is normal stuff.

  24. karelys
    karelys says:

    this post made me laugh hard.

    and i learned quite a few things. one of them is that i noticed that my relationships with my new friends grow deeper when i we share a very low key dinner. the other night we had soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. and beers and juice.

    i love cooking. it’s so fun for me. i love that it’s fun and creative and then you get to eat it. so i love to cook fun grand stuff for my friends. usually it’s mexican food.

    but then it becomes about feasting on this fun stuff that took so long to make and then i become, unofficially, the host of the night. which i’d normally love. but i feel like the affair is less intimate. it’s more like “i’m going to wow you” rather than “let’s just focus on getting to know each other and just spend a nice evening together.”

    i find it interesting that no matter how straight forward we can be people understand what they want to understand.

    this woman reads your blog but clearly doesn’t quite get what you are all about. especially when you’ve already written about that book.

  25. Carmen
    Carmen says:

    Penelope isn’t the only person I know who has done this exact same thing. It’s pretty common, actually.

    I’ve always had Jewish friends, lived in predominently Jewish areas, and I’m Hispanic. Everyone’s upbringing and childhood experiences affects their perspective of things. We’re all products of our environment more so than our nationality.

      • Carmen
        Carmen says:

        It’s more expensive bringing someone over with credentials and a resume. I know people who require a college degree when bringing someone over from different countries to help with their children.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      There’s a link to her name – that explains what she does. She’s my assistant. Sort of. She just helps me get stuff done so I don’t have to do everything for work and the household on my own.

      I recommend this to anyone who is trying to work and take care of kids at the same time. A friend, who is a guy, who as an executive at Starbucks and then Google once told me that the determining factor about whether or not a woman would succeed at work after kids is how much household help she has.

      That comment has really stuck with me. I think it’s true. So a huge percentage of the money I earn goes to pay people to help me so I can do work and kids at the same time.

      Penelope

  26. Irish
    Irish says:

    Seriously?

    Wow- would anyone in their right mind actually agree to go to Penelope’s house after seeing what she has done to the reputations of David Dellafield (who has stage 4 cancer, not that she would care), her ex-husband, her soon-to-be ex-husband, her parents, siblings, current and former co-workers/ friends/ etc.

    In case no one has noticed, Penelope has no love for anyone. She wants attention, and except for a handful of others here who see how she used the lumpy Hispanic woman as yet another device for proving literary prowess, she got it again. In spades.

    We have heard ad infinitum about Asperger’s and Penelope’s self-diagnosis of same. How about this one? Any similarities?

    React to criticism with rage, shame, or humiliation

    Take advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals

    Have excessive feelings of self-importance

    Exaggerate achievements and talents

    Be preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, or ideal love

    Have unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment

    Need constant attention and admiration

    Disregard the feelings of others, and have little ability to feel empathy

    Have obsessive self-interest

    Pursue mainly selfish goals

    How about we diagnosis Narcissistic Personality Disorder and all call it a day?

    • Al
      Al says:

      Penelope has love, care and concern for people.

      Just like her financial resources, Penelope’s emotional resources pendulum back and forth, positioning her in places of considerable strength and places of considerable weakness. Our emotional states are like bank accounts: when they’re overdrawn, shit hits the fan. With an autistic son, a risk-tolerant business sense, and character traits that enable her to conquer her corner of the business world, Penelope has significantly bigger pendulums than most people, who live safer, securer lifestyles (*cough* Irish).

      When people’s emotional margins are overdrawn, bad things happen–it’s a very real threat to the self, and people fight/flight/freeze. Sometimes there are casualties, but every good person almost always has a good intention.

      In essence, Penelope sometimes operates as if she’s positioned from a place of strength, when really she’s emotionally overdrawn, and that’s an unhealthy place to be acting from.

      But that’s life.

      Both Penelope and the farmer need to figure out how to maintain their margins of emotional resources so that they can operate from positions of strength. That’s where people can show their love from best. I think Penelope has never had that. I think this is why she thinks she’s autistic. I think she’s just a dominant personality who knows that life is more predictable and controllable if she tells the truth as she sees it, because people’s reactions are clearer and she’s less vulnerable.

    • Mark Wiehenstroer
      Mark Wiehenstroer says:

      And how does these damning statements further the conversation?
      I’m not going to argue one way or the other regarding the credibility of your accusations here. I’m just trying to understand why you spend your time and energy reading Penelope’s posts and then belittling her here. You’re not the first person to do this and you won’t be the last. Surely you have a goal. Maybe you’re trying to break her spirit. Maybe you’re giving us your “fresh perspective”. Maybe you’re trying to discourage her readers from reading her material. I really don’t know. I should probably ignore your comment and not publish this reply but the fact of the matter is I get tired of reading comments like this one. This comment of mine won’t change anything other than it makes me feel better to respond to your negative comment. It’ similar to your comment in that nothing will change as a result.

      • Brad
        Brad says:

        What exactly is the conversation? Penelope scathingly belittled a defenseless well-meaning person. So Irish belittled Penelope. Seems right on topic.

        That said, one man’s NPD diagnosis is another’s “artistic temperament”. Doesn’t matter. Sure, she’s nuts. That’s her main attraction.

    • Sara
      Sara says:

      Can you please explain why David Dellafield is entitled to call Penelope a bad mom on twitter, a broadcast medium, but Penelope is in no way permitted to respond?

  27. Towelhead
    Towelhead says:

    Would you feel so great with your life if if the nanny were a Swedish-looking young female, from the Pioneer Woman’s finishing school?
    Making fresh cranberry-orange muffins for breakfast without breaking a sweat?
    Yes, it’s easier to made up an over-weight middle aged “Hispanic”, who dare to cook funny food for breakfast.
    Whatever, dude.

  28. Carmen
    Carmen says:

    Everyone is missing the dichotomy here…

    There are professional nannies from Latin countries that get paid very well to come here and help raise and teach children.

    Penelope can’t afford a professional, well-educated nanny. She opted for bargain-basement.

    Penelope’s effort to make herself sound superior is the dichotomy. She’s actually telling you she’s broke, and made a terrible decision.

    Anybody who reads this blog knows Penelope’s horrible background. She’s always going to try to sound superior…but we all know the reality.

  29. Fred
    Fred says:

    ON SPANKING/BEATING: I was spanked when I was a kid and disobeyed. I experienced two different kinds of spanking, one that seemed to me (in hindsight, at least), fair, loving, and constructive. This kind of discipline was done in genuine love, after I deliberately disobeyed, and with the goal of me not repeating what I had done. I also saw an angry “beating” type of spanking. This looked more like taking revenge, venting annoyance and frustration, venting aggression, etc. than any sort of loving correction. It made me angry, and made me more likely to be physically abusive myself (e.g., fighting with other kids, siblings, etc).

    My wife and I adopted our children. Part of that process was a commitment to no corporal punishment. I am glad for that. While I believe there is a way to spank a child lovingly, I find that the times when I would be most tempted to physically punish my children is the very times I’m doing it for the wrong reasons (because I’ve “had enough”… or because they are deliberately pushing buttons…)

    I think the big problem with the “Train up a Child” movement is that many people who spank out of anger (what I would call “beating”), don’t even realize that’s what they’re doing. They have no sense of loving discipline, or their sense is so warped that they cannot even identify what’s right. They are blind to their own errors. They lack an understanding of proportionality, and they don’t see that spanking simply doesn’t work for some personality types. As a result, kids die because of these people’s errors.

    Do I think its the fault of the book? In part, yes. Clearly the authors(and their followers) don’t realize that many people who read it lack basic common sense, might be prone to anger problems, might be blind to appropriate punishment, etc., and that such a book is an enabler of their sickness.

  30. Renae
    Renae says:

    Why did you use chalk-board paint on your stove? Can you use it for messages and writing recipes? Or were you just trying to paint the stove? I’ve thought about using it on my refrigerator. Also, good job on having the nanny leave after one day. Your screening process could use some improvement, but at least she’s not still there.

  31. Don B.
    Don B. says:

    I was surprised by the harsh comments of Irish. I always thought you were frank, provocative, interesting, unique and very observant. I like hearing your perspective and if I don’t like it, so what, it is your right to have an opinion is it not? I too liked the day of pigs. I am sorry you have to have so many arguments with the Farmer. Keep writing as I enjoy smiling.

  32. Courtney Tolley
    Courtney Tolley says:

    I would still consider being your guest in spite of the performance reviews your guests receive after their visits.

    However I find it unlikely that you would ever have me as a guest because I am shockingly mediocre. I take pictures, program computers, eat vegetarian food, and own lots of pets. On paper, I sound like the crazy old cat lady.

    I am not a multilingual world traveler or a CEO. I just think it would be interesting to listen to you talk to me about things.

    A blog post dedicated to my visit would probably not entertain your readers…except maybe the part about how fat I am and that I have Asperger syndrome. That might be of interest to some readers.

  33. Carolyn
    Carolyn says:

    You know, somebody wrote that Penelope’s “being nuts” is the main draw to her blog. But, if that is the only reason you read her blog, then you are missing out on her core mission: to inform. Penelope is an incredibly intelligent and informed woman who can clearly communicate her message — whether it be business, technical, educational, parental or personal — while at the same time conveying a personal experience. That personal experience may be crazy and offensive to some; but, to many it is spot on with real life and that is what makes her core message so relevant. Read this blog for information and insight…and a fresh perspective. Don’t read it to get angry with her. That’s a waste of your time and her’s.

  34. colleen
    colleen says:

    I was fascinated with the nopalitos, which I’ve never heard of, and I looked up recipes. But after my research, I have to say I doubt I would want them for breakfast either–supposedly they taste like green beans when boiled, ugh. But there’s nopalitos ice cream which I might like to try…

    I would want to meet you too, Penelope, and I bet many more would as well. If you created an internship paid only with room and board you’d probably get hundreds of applicants. It would be a little like guest starring on a reality tv show having you do a write-up about it afterwards–entertaining, probably unflattering, but definitely a learning experience and one that could be creatively spun on a resume.

  35. Liza
    Liza says:

    Life is about living it. Not about how you finish it. :-). You’re a lot like wood- in the spring and winter you seem to be a little more restless- adjusting to the humidity. Then when you settle into the new season, you are happy and focused on what you enjoy the most. The farmer and your kids. :-D

  36. Craig
    Craig says:

    How do you do it Penelope? How do you consistently throw out engaging stories. Probably most of us can hit the spot sometimes but you do it every day.

    To be honest, I didn’t feel I could relate to you for a long time (and I bought your book) but the more I read your blog, the more I appreciate you. I see some people take offense to the words you use or statements you make. But you open yourself up for criticism and that is admirable, gutsy. My world needs more of that.

    Keep up the good.work. Thank you.

  37. Christy
    Christy says:

    the part about cactus for dinner made me laugh, so foreign to me! well atleast you can say hey you met her and tried it out, no regrets

  38. terri
    terri says:

    It’s always good to have to deal with a few S’s occasionally, makes you realize that you’re ok without adding another S into your life.

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