Dani Stone

I Hear Laugh Tracks


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You Could Eat Off Our Pool, But The Colonel Would Not Approve

A few days ago, I wrote a post where I lamented about my son’s lackadaisical summer attitude, his obsession with Minecraft and how, due to financial burdens, we would be staycationing at Stone Casa this year. Thankfully, now we can add, “frolic in the water” to our list of frivolity options because the pool is UP, people. The pool is up and prepped and Dougie has finally given us the green light to enter.  Isn’t that AWESOME? Wait, I’m sensing you don’t realize what a big deal this is. Clearly, you don’t know what goes into the annual “raising of the pool.” No one does, really, except The Colonel.*

*In case you’re new here, The Colonel is the loving endearment for my husband when he’s being a little extra type-A. It’s okay. He knows it, accepts it and often refers to himself in the third person by using this moniker.

A few days ago I posted this message on Twitter:

If you build it, they will come. . .

If you build it, they will come. . .

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Minecraft and the Not-So-Busy Bummer Summer

j k ducks crop  resize “Summertime. . . and the livin’ is easy. . . “

If you immediately started singing the lyrics to that song you’re either a George Gershwin fan, over the age of 50 or a fan of every reality singing competition ever made. Countless hopeful starlets have destroyed this classic tune in the hopes of becoming the winner of America’s Next Top Voice Talent X Factor Idol.

Much to my chagrin, this has also become the theme song to my son’s 12th summer. While I’m in favor of letting my children relax and enjoy the fruits of their educational labor, there’s got to be some balance. Unfortunately, we’re having trouble finding that right now.

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Mama Knows

Karen Ledford Photography

Karen Ledford Photography

Last weekend I was a cast member in the inaugural Kansas City production of Listen To Your Mother. Last weekend I did something I’ve never done. I walked up to a lectern, which is like a podium but without the body-hiding security of wood panels, and told a story about my daughter. How I knew something was terribly wrong with her after she was born but no one would listen to me. How I shouted and shrieked and pointed to her little face where veins were beginning to sprout like a road map and the darkness under her eyes was becoming so noticeable, someone actually accused me of child abuse. How she almost wasn’t diagnosed in time. How we found help and encouragement from angels among us. How we sought treatment in New York, and the best part, how Katie beat insurmountable odds to be here with us today.

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My Kitchen Needs A Mop and a Good Exorcism

Isn’t it funny how the ebb and flow of life can take you from happiness to irritation in just a few short minutes. And of course by funny I don’t mean funny-HAHA, I mean funny-OH COME ON YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME WITH THIS.

One minute you’re with your daughter petting a pot-bellied pig and looking at the hairless ass of a hand-size tarantula sitting in Tupperware and the next minute you come home to find your husband behind the refrigerator cursing like he’s in a Quinton Tarantino movie. We’ve all been THERE, right? No? Okay, sorry. Quick recap.

Evidently the tarantula does something to his booty hair when he's stressed out. HELLO? You're the tarantula, dude!

Evidently the tarantula does something to his booty hair when he’s stressed out. HELLO? You’re the tarantula, dude!

Last Thursday I joined my daughter’s Girl Scout troop on a field trip to visit The Bug Lady where we saw the creepy Tupperware tarantula (pictured) and also watched The Lady Bug mascot, a pot bellied pig, lumber around the room and chew on all the rugs. Good times had by all. Then we dodged hail stones through a spring thunderstorm until we made it back home. That’s where the fun train stopped. Our smiles faded the moment we walked in the door.

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Kansas Women Bloggers and Next Left Summer Cover

To say the last two months have been crazy would be an understatement.

This post is not so much a new epiphany of thoughts and feelings or even a cute post about my children or my Dougie, though, come on, seriously, how adorable is this little Girl Scout?

katie dog n shakeOr this birthday boy whom we bribed to wear the sombrero even though he felt like a, “lumping idiot.” Lumping is his new boundary-pushing curse word. I find myself saying it now. Quality parenting. 2013-04-03_17-57-18_470

Or these three precious faces snuggling on Saturday morning. You know what they say, “the family who plays WordFeud, Pokemon and Fruit Ninja together, stays together.”

fam electronics crop

Nope, this post is actually a recap of goodness, the introduction to a new blogging community and a chance to show you the new summer cover of my e-book, Next Left.

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Why I Auditioned for Listen To Your Mother

badge-2013A few weeks ago I wrote about my audition for LTYM (Listen To Your Mother) but there were so many things going on that week including the passing of my uncle and a possessed dishwasher that decided to spew forth water with the voracity of that poor child from the Exorcist that I didn’t give the story the attention it deserved.

Since that time, I’ve learned that I did, in fact, make it in to the big show. Yay! My reaction? Joy, tears and gratitude followed by flop sweat, nerves, the desire to lose 20 pounds and I may have even peed just a teeny tiny bit. ‘Cause this thing, folks, is a big deal.

What is Listen To Your Mother? From the official website: “Celebrating Mother’s Day with a national series of original live-readings shared on local stages and via social media.” Each show is individually produced and all the shows are performed in May. This year, 24 cities will be participating. Through generous sponsors and ticket sales, a portion of the proceeds from each show will go to a local charity. On Saturday, May 11th, I’ll be speaking at the show in Kansas City at Unity Temple on the Plaza. For more information or to buy tickets, click HERE.

Speaking. I’ll be. . . speaking. *gulp*

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Uncle Lew, The Pope and Listen To Your Mother: Week In Review

Some weeks it seems my life is nothing but a seven-day stretch of making PB&J sandwiches, policing homework, letting cats in, folding laundry, hustling for freelance work, letting cats out, and then the cycle begins again. The doldrums take hold and I’m this close to reaching for a Harlequin Romance novel for a little escapism. Then, well, then there’s last week.

On Thursday, February 28th I went to dinner with a group of friends and had a long overdue chat. Some of my very favorite ladies were in attendance and after having rescheduled the dinner four previous times, I welcomed the laughter and conversation. Every time we get together a new inside joke is created. “Did she say, whore up? No, honey, I think she said order up. Okay then.” Ohhhh, you had to be there. I was still smiling when I got home that night, changed in to my comfy snowflake pajama pants and started scrolling through Facebook updates. Then I received a private message from my cousin, and my smile disappeared.

882822_10200696576001377_643741155_oAlthough I knew my Uncle Lewis had not been well for some time, I was unprepared for the message I received. “Lewis was taken to the hospital. . . nothing more doctors can do. . . Hospice coming tonight. . . doctors do not expect him to live through the weekend.” I stared at the blinking cursor but had no immediate reply. Uncle Lew, the handsome rugged man pictured to your left, has been a fixture in my life for 42 years. The strong man with the broad chest and tattoos, whose life-uniform consisted of a light blue button-down and generous amount of Brylcreem, always had a smile for me and doted on me like I was one of his own. I understood he was sick but could not grasp the finality of my cousin’s words.

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