One Girl at a Time.

How to Put on a Bra

My friend Katherine writes a series called Uncomfortable Truths that is positively brilliant. I love this feature so much that I might have contributed my own not-so-comfortable facts once or twice.


In a recent installment, she discovered a fascinating bit of information about the way we go about restraining ourselves.

Katherine hooks her bra backwards (in the front) and upside down, then swings it around and places it where it should go. She assumed everyone else did it “correctly”, aka putting their arms through and hooking it in the back.

I am Katherine’s Normal – I put my arms through and hook in the back. I also assumed everyone did it “correctly,” aka like me.

However, it quickly became evident through the comments on the post that there are many more women in the world like Katherine than Katherine or I would have thought.

(Thereby nullifying her confession as an Uncomfortable Truth – she owes us all one extra next time.)

I had to know the stats. So I tackled the research project to find the truth in this pressing matter, using the highest of scientific methods: Facebook.

I received 146 responses and the data was shocking.

Here’s a broad overview.

Bra Graph Split

That’s right, ladies, we have been lifted and separated.

Who would have thought that we were a nation divided between those who needed to see the clasps and those who did not?

Furthermore, if you take out the one percent of Hook-In-Backers who get their husband to do the hooking, we are nearly an even split.

(Also. Whose husband is always around when they’re putting on their bras? Are they just magnetically drawn to this procedure? Do they have an app that keeps them abreast of this need? Do they linger a few extra minutes before heading to work so that they can be a part of the brocess?)

(Maybe I’m just jealous because I don’t even see my husband in the mornings. No – wait – I’m not jealous – I get to sleep in instead.)

We did, however, rack up a few jugs of outliers, as well as some specifics that must be addressed.

For instance, the number of Backwardsers were split between whether they were just backwards or backwards and upside down.

And then there were a few Hook-in-backers that hooked with it upside down, which seemed to puzzle the rest of the respondents.

(But far be it from us to be knockers of someone else’s technique.)

And although we didn’t have anyone that hooked then stepped into their bra (we all have hips that preclude such), there were people who hooked before pulling the bras over their head…and a couple that hooked at waist level then pulled it up.

Here is the complete statitstical breakdown:

Bra Graph

Now it must be noted that the decision on how to put on one’s bra is a grave and important one to make. Several respondents admitted to getting strained muscles or sprained wrists from using the wrong method, and a broken toe is not out of the question. Although many respondents said that they put on their bras “just like Mom taught”, make sure that your Mom taught you a method that will not maim your body.

I hope this has been enlightening. And please – weigh your girls in below.

A Cure for the Common Ant.

“Uh Oh! I dropped an M&M on the ground!”

“That’s okay. Just throw it in the bushes. No – wait – why don’t you go put it on top of that ant bed you were looking at a while ago? I bet they would love it.”

After all, it was Easter Sunday. Everyone deserves a good meal, right?

That conversation happened between Chris and Ali. I came outside a few minutes later and Chris told me to go check it out – and take my macro lens.

They were definitely happy (and photogenic) ants.


You can see the pock marks where various ants had been able to take bites of the sugar coating as the whole colony happily nibbled. Every now and then the candy would tilt and shift, as if they were about to carry it away on the backs of hundreds of tiny pall bearers.

The next day, we went back to check on our science experiment. The M&M seemed to be gone, but there were very caffeinated-looking ants giddily tromping about. With a little finger digging, though, we uncovered the M&M – although it had only an extraordinarily thin outer layer left, the chocolate was in tact. They had just buried it to save it for later.

The next Saturday, we went back to check.

And it was as if the Ant War II had occurred and we’d missed it.


What had been a bustling ant metropolis only six days prior was now an abandoned crater.

Not a single ant could be found in that community, but there were giant red ants patrolling the wasteland, looking rather like US troops in an Afghan desert – they clearly weren’t from around there.

What had happened?

Had the chocolate caused a war? Had the red ants come and killed the village for what was left of the morsel? Or had it caused a civil war? Had all of the black ants been so greedy that they’d killed each other for the chocolate?

I mean I’ve been in a place where I might’ve killed for chocolate. All women understand.

Or….had the chocolate killed them?

This called for further investigation. Immediately.

I called the kids out of their happy place of running through the sprinkler and sent them inside to find more M&Ms.

We located the biggest ant bed in the yard and covered it in what we had on hand, which were mini M&Ms.



Because we’re homeschoolers. And this is what homeschoolers do. They pour perfectly good chocolate out in the yard and call it education.



An hour later we went and checked, fully expecting each M&M to have a colony of ants around it like last time.


But no.

The ants were nowhere to be found! Even the ants who had been disturbed out of the bed by our chocolate air raid had returned inside.

In fact, there was only one grouping of M&Ms that had any trace of ants near them, and all of those were…curled up dead.


And we all know that curled up dead is one step past just regular dead.

(Only to be out-deaded by cockroaches who all somehow manage to flip themselves upside down immediately prior to death.)

(I actually saw one do it one time – he had like this fifth leg thing that extended longer than his other legs and flipped him like a burger on a griddle. That’s right, people – cockroaches have a Death Leg.)

We were more suspicious than ever that the cause of death of the other bed had been the chocolate itself. And further more, those original gluttons had somehow managed to communicate with The Big City before they died to warn them of the dangers of Brown Death – which is why none of our current ant subjects were happily eating like that original gluttonous tribe.


I know that I could have Googled at any point “Does chocolate kill ants?” to find out the answer to this mystery, but I purposefully didn’t – because Google has killed the Scientific Method, and I wasn’t going to let it ruin it this time.

The rain came and pushed/melted the chocolate down into the bed. We hoped that this would quicken the killing process since the ants were refusing to cooperate. So, a couple of days later, we anxiously stirred up the bed to check the progress.


No dice.

There were gazillions of ants and innumerable disgusting ant eggs. They seemed to be blissfully unaware that we’d tried to kill them by cacao.

I fretted.

Perhaps we were wrong.

Perhaps our other ants just caught a really bad cold and couldn’t survive a bed full of ant snot.

But on Thursday, we went back to check again – the ever important Day Six.

And were immediately overcome with gleeful emotion.


The population was decimated. There were only a few ants still wandering about, looking perplexed as if the ant rapture had occurred and they had been forsaken, with nothing else to do but look desperately for a Tim LaHaye book to tell them what would happen next.

Even the eggs were gone.

Now sure.

Maybe they all left because we’d stirred their bed a couple of days prior.

Or maybe ants rotate beds like farmers rotate crops.

Or maybe a number of other factors played into the situation, thereby ruining our Scientific Method. After all, “All Other Things” are never equal.

But. For the purposes of First Grade Science, we’re calling it.

Chocolate. Kills. Ants.

(And no. I still haven’t Googled it.)

A Triad of Short Stories.

Thank You: Private Eye.


I received a thank you note in the mail last week.

It was addressed to “Mrs. Callahan” and was signed “Mrs. [insert last name I’d never heard before here.]”

It was a rather generically written thank you card for a wedding gift that I did not remember giving. In fact, I recalled very few wedding presents I’d bought in the past year – we’ve journeyed past that state of being to baby presents. Which means that the only stage of life left is funeral flowers.

But this note. This puzzling note. I found it odd that she signed her name with no first name, indicating that she wasn’t sure who I was and she wasn’t sure that I was sure who she was.

Which would hint at the conclusion that I knew the groom, not the bride, but I knew no one of that name.

My first assumption was that she got a wedding gift from another Mrs. Callahan that she didn’t know, but still felt compelled to write a thank you note, so she looked up Callahan, threw a dart at my name, and sent me the thanks.

It made sense to me that I was never the intended recipient, as I didn’t believe I’d given the gift. But….I’m not listed in any directories. So I should never be The Default Mrs. Callahan.

Perhaps her wedding was so long ago that I had already forgotten her. But that sounds more like something someone in the Funeral Flowers stage of life would do.

The idea of me resting on my laurels with such a lack of closure was impossible.

So I began my usual internet stalking.

First, the return address on the outside of the envelope – searching that gave me the groom’s full name – I’d never heard of him.

Second. Facebook. He had no Facebook account. Not very helpful for stalkers, but not a bad plan for life.

Third. I searched for his marriage license in a vain attempt to locate the Bride’s first name. Couldn’t find it. Unusual….maybe they got married in the Bahamas.

Fourth. Broad Google Searches with a variety of terms. I gathered a bit more information on him and his relatives from the 1700s, but nothing helpful.

Fifth. LinkedIn. I completely ignore my LinkedIn account but it can be an extraordinarily helpful stalking tool.

He was there! And his profile picture showed him lovingly snuggled up to his new wife.

I enlarged the photo. Studied it. She looked slightly familiar. I had a hunch of someone she might be – who was someone to which I could have sent a wedding present.

I Googled his full name with her potential first name.


She was, indeed, someone I knew. And so I was, indeed, the present giver.

And it only took an hour of searching to accept it.



Hair Do You Like Me Now

It all started with Pillow Talk.

Doesn’t everything?

”Hey, dear. How do you think I’d look with black hair? Exceptionally pale, modern and edgy, glamorous, or freaky goth?”

“Um…I don’t know?”

“Well what do you THINK…? Because black hair does vastly different things to different people.”

“Seriously. I have no idea. Surely there’s an app for that.”

“Maybe I should wait until summer when I have a tan…”

Then, the next day, I saw that one of you ladies, Fi, had posted about the very app I needed:The ModiFace Hair Color App.

Yes, this was what my life lacked!

I started with this picture….


And gave it a whirl.

I actually liked myself with virtual black hair – no trace of goth…possibly a tiny bit glamorous.


The other black option seemed to give me white streaks. Which is fair.


Then I moved on.

Let’s try red! My hair will NEVER hold a titch* of red hair color. So I might as well have it while I can.


Okay. Maybe softer.


Not bad…Not bad.

I was on a roll. Why not go blond while I’m at it?


Or not. Wow.

Definitely not.


But PINK. I’ve always wanted Pink! Pink I could do.


Maybe just a little more…


YES. I was made for pink.

I put them all in a grid and sent them to Chris – since he wasn’t helpful without pictures, maybe he could be helpful WITH pictures.





Then again, still not helpful.

* Titch is a word that Ali made up but continually insists is a real word that she heard on television. She uses it often and awesomely. Usage examples:

“I don’t have a titch of candy left!!”

“I could use just a titch more apple juice, please.”

“Noah!! Scoot over a titch!!”

I expect you all to be using titch by week end.


Moist of my Own.

Remember Moist, Birmingham’s mysterious and disgustingly named graffiti artist?

Well guess what.

He has an Etsy shop* now. Isn’t that just adorable?

…Because Etsy was just getting too full of smock and needed someone selling graffiti prints and…Bloody Razor Vial Necklaces??

Okay that’s just disgusting, Moist.

But still.

His lettering is fabulous. And I needed a memento from my thrilling interview opportunity. So I ordered my very own Moist Placard.

When my package arrived, I excitedly looked at the return address – after all, I don’t know Moist’s real name, even after stalking him a bit – just for my own curiosity.

I liked his choice.

Moist Mailing

And I liked his packaging style,


The placard was wrapped in what appeared to be vintage Birmingham paperwork, and my invoice was hand-printed on an old “Material Requisitions” form. He also included a few Moist Tags….I haven’t quite decided what to do with those yet but I should definitely wear one as my nametag at the next Homeschool Moms meeting.


I opened up my placard, which was signed on the back (and pre-drilled for hanging)…


And then turned it over to see my very own bit of Moist.


It was the most fabulous moist thing I’d ever held in my hands.

The entire package was Birmingham perfection.


And, naturally, I hung it in my bathroom.

Moist Placard

Because where else are you going to hang a sign that says Moist?

* No representation is made that the content of his Etsy Shop is or will be G-Rated at any or all time periods. Browse at your own risk.