Reasons I love Seattle: #2 Floating Houses

Reasons I love Seattle: #2 Floating Houses

The houseboats on Seattle’s Lake Union were the stuff of my daydreams, even as a child growing up in small town Alaska. I had never actually laid eyes on a houseboat when I was a child, that I can remember, but somewhere along the line, I must have seen pictures.

My husband wants to buy a boat. He wants us to live on a boat. I tease him about a boat being a hole in the water that you throw money into. But it’s ok. He can have his fantasy, his dream – and maybe some day we will make it happen.

I’d be a whole lot more on-board with the idea if he was trying to move us into a houseboat.  Mama needs her bathtub.




here’s a bit of my favorites around the interwebs this week…

Me: As seen on…

GalTime: Things To Do If You Are Diagnosed With Cancer – I am now the Seattle Ambassador for GalTime Magazine. For my first post with them, I discussed a few tips for dealing with a cancer diagnosis.  Hopefully, you will have no use for this post.

Awesome people who mentioned me (or linked to me) in their posts this week

One Working Musician: The Beauty of Collaboration – Jason Parker wrote this post about that magical night when Karen Walrond read from her new book, The Beauty of Different, while his band, the Jason Parker Quartet, backed her up.  Jason very kindly linked to my post about this event.

My favorite reads from this week

Big Girl Panties: last day of radiation… through the eyes of my children – did I mention that I just finished up my radiation treatments? Yes, I know I’m due to write a more indepth update on my cancer battle.  Anyway, Krista Colvin finished up her radiation about the same time I did. She brought her kids to film her final treatment.  Beautiful.  Also, SCCA, you really need to get a bell, or something, to mark the end of treatment.

Heather Christo: Chocolate Beet Cake, (otherwise known as “the BEST chocolate cake”) – I have NEVER liked beets. They are one of those vegetables that make my head and neck do this involuntary icky-shudder, even when I think about them. Of course, they are not one of those vegetables that you run in to every day, so they’re pretty easy to avoid.  That might be too bad, because I’ve been reading about all kinds of wonderful things that beets do for the body.  A body that’s been through what my body has been through this year could really use some beets. At first glance, the thought of this recipe, using beets to moisten up chocolate cake, sounded a little, um, iffy. But, the more I think about it, the more I think I might be willing to give it a try.  We’ll see. I’m not making any promises, but if I do make it, I’ll report back.

Miss Britt: And Then We Bought An RV – Buying an RV and taking a year to explore the United States is another one of those fantasies of mine that sit in the back of my head, but I never actually do anything about.  Miss Britt and her family are doing something about it. They are selling off their possessions and heading out across the countryside to see America.  Watching the dream play out, step by step, over the past few months has been fascinating. The more I watch other people chase their dreams, especially when they give the play-by-play along the way in their blogs, the more I think I my dreams are achievable, too.

Bloggers at Work

Bloggers at Work

Step into my office.

my office

This is where I do the very important work of blogging about being a mom. I know. You want to be like me when you grow up, don’t you?

I even have an intern.


Let me tell you, for an unpaid intern she’s quite expensive and high maintenance. She expects a meal, several meals, every day. I’d say something about her expecting me to wipe her butt, but that would be crude.

This is the kind of meal I prepare for my crew every day.

healthy cookbooks

Ok, that’s not true. That’s the kind of food I intend to cook every day.

This is more like the kind of food I prepare for our meals.

unhealthy cookbooks

Well, no, that’s not true either. That is the kind of food I would like to eat, and it implies I actually cook. In reality, I serve freezer lasagna, macaroni and cheese, and anything else that requires less than 5 minutes of time and effort on my part.

So much for being a food blogger.

These are my blogging pants.

froggy pants

What? You don’t match your intern to your pants?

napping baby and mom with froggy pants

Yes, she was taking yet another break. But she does contribute a lot to our team.

Here she is storyboarding my next blog post.

baby coloring

How do you work?



For the past five years in a row, I’ve found myself in a bit of a funk come mid-summer. It’s a bit childish, for sure; this funk is all about jealousy. I’m missing the BlogHer Conference. This time of year, every year, bloggers from the far corners of the planet converge on a selected city to meet each other in person, drink, discuss tricks of the trade, and show off their high priced footwear.

This year, right now, they are in New York City.

The city of dreams.

The city so nice they named it twice.

The Big Apple.

Right at the top of my list of places that I want to visit.

The tweets and blog posts are rolling in with updates on the shenanigans and tom-foolery, and I’m enjoying the opportunity to live vicariously – to a point. Part of me is still pouting.

There has always been a good reason why I couldn’t go: pregnancy, a new baby, cancer, and most significantly, no money.

This time of year has also become a time of resolve – of promises to self. One way or another I’ll go next year, I promise myself. If I put away $100 a month starting now… yeah, right. If I had a spare $100 a month, it would be making a very small dent in some Very Large Bills. Or buying a lot more shoes.

Each year I promise myself I’ll find a way, one way or another, to go next year. The truth is that I make a lot of promises to myself. Making use of that gym membership, walking every day, eating more vegetables, getting out of debt (snort), scrubbing the toilet more frequently… And I let myself off the hook for those promises quite easily.

Don’t make promises you can’t keep? Sure. Sounds good. So about eating more vegetables…

Instead of promising myself that I will go next year, this year I’m participating in the NoGo BlogHer blogparty and The Blog Hop.

When did you start blogging?
I’ve been blogging off and on since 2001, mostly off until the past 5 years.

Why did you start blogging?
A friend got me started. In those days it was called keeping an online journal, and mine was on livejournal. It was much more insular then, and the posts were privately shared with a small community of other writers. I started because I loved having people to read, and comment on, my writing.

What is one thing you are going to do this week that is WAY cooler than going to BlogHer?
Play tickle monster with my 16 month old daughter

Share a post that you think says a lot about you or is your favorite.
Stuffed Bra




30 things I vow to do this summer

so many things to do this summer
1. Kick Cancer’s Ass!
2. Get lots of sleep
3. Eat my veggies every day
4. Become habitual about exercise
5. Get really, really good at yoga – like sexy, awesome good
6. Catch up on all those thank you cards I need to send out
7. Rearrange the furniture in the nursery
8. Write more
9. Find ways to fit a little Joy into even the crappy days
10. Play
11. Dance
12. Sing (sorry if you happen to be within earshot)
13. Giggle
14. Snuggle with my baby
15. Get caught up on all the movie watching I’ve missed the past few years
16. Read a book for fun
17. Work the kinks out of my blog
18. Write fiction
19. Get a massage, maybe several
20. Pay the late fee at the library so I can check out more books
21. Blog more
22. Increase my blog readership
23. Learn to focus on what I can control and let go of what I can’t
24. Play
25. Spend as much time with my little girl as I can
26. Tickle my daughter more
27. Snuggle with my husband
28. Go on as many adventures as we can
29. Laugh
30. Do the best I can to make sure my breast cancer doesn’t interrupt my baby’s childhood.









This is my 500th post in this blog. Who knew I had that much to say?

Still I sit here thinking about writing another post and I’m torn; I have so much to say, too much actually.

I wonder about over-sharing, about letting my battle with cancer consume my blog the way it has consumed my life.

I wonder about how this blog will change over the coming year.

I miss the frivolous, light-hearted posts I used to write; my monthly letters to my daughter have taken on a new significance in the past couple months.500 blog posts

I’ve been reading over some of my favorite posts, and in honor of my 500 posts, I thought I’d share a few of them here

20 Year High School Class Reunion
Contemplating my high school class reunion and how connecting with my old classmates on Facebook changed my attitude towards attending.

Pregnancy 101: How to Roll Over
Sometimes a pregnant woman in bed feels (and looks) like a beached whale.  Sometimes she needs to roll over.  Sometimes the results are disastrous.

I feel pretty
Self image is such a complicated issue for young women.  I contemplate what makes me feel pretty, and how to help my daughter negotiate these issues as she grows up.

Do you pick up an accent when you visit the South? Is your mood affected by anyone else’s mood?  What influences you? What influences you on a subconscious level? How do we teach our children to manage their influnces?

Pregnancy isn’t all bloating, and waddling, and strange cravings.  Pregnancy can make you feel Amazing.

Dear Baby Girl
A note to my daughter, written before she was born.

The Sweetest Gift
The sweetest Christmas gift I have ever received.

A Blessing
A stranger appears, blesses us, and vanishes.  One of the coolest moments of my life.

What Fuels Your Vote?
Whenever you take sides on a political issue, how do you come to your decision? Once the decision is made, do you have peace in your heart, or fear?

One Year Later
My father taught us a lot about living, the most powerful lesson came to me at his funeral.

Sometimes getting the perfect shot can be frustrating and take quite a bit of patience.

What I Didn’t Know
Finding out I was going to be a mommy.

Five Things I Learned from My Dad
Dad had a lot to teach.  I was too thick headed to appreciate all his lessons, but some of them really stuck with me.

On Being Content
A change in attitude can change your life.

So, about this breast cancer diagnosis…

So, about this breast cancer diagnosis…

I’ve been thinking about the direction and purpose of my blog in relation to this  breast cancer diagnosis. When I first found out I was pregnant with my daughter, I swore I would not let CoffeeJitters turn into a mommy blog. It took about a month to figure out that idea was a little ridiculous. My daughter is just about the only thing I write about any more.

I suspect over the coming months cancer will continue to consume my thoughts as it has this month, and that’s bound to have an effect on my choice of topics for posting. On the other hand, writing about my daughter makes me happy. Cancer, not so much.

Although there has been some pressure to use CoffeeJitters as a clearing house for my cancer updates, I would like to reserve this blog (and facebook) for me, for what I want to write about. To avoid allowing CoffeeJitters to become cancer central, I’m setting up a site through where I will post updates on my condition as well as details about help we will be needing on issues such as housekeeping, child care, transportation, and meal prep. Please contact me directly if you would like access to that site.

That said, here is a quick update on what’s going on: The mass has grown to 8 cm. It is a combination of two kinds of cancer: Ductal Carcinoma in Situ and Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. There is no good cancer, but the first kind is preferable as it stays in one place, while the invasive cancer, well, invades other areas. From the images, they can not determine what percentage of the cancer is in situ and how much is invasive. They won’t know exactly what stage I’m in or what the prognosis is until they operate. So far it looks as though the cancer has kept to the breast although a few of the lymph nodes look suspicious. The condition of those lymph nodes will be the most important factor in determining the stage of the cancer and prognosis. So step one is the mastectomy (which we are still working on scheduling) which is both the primary treatment for the disease as well as providing more diagnostic information.

I’m not declaring the blog a cancer free zone, I’ll probably write about it from time to time. Breast cancer that strikes women under the age of 40 tends to be particularly aggressive. Additionally, these women often have very young children they are raising. When we think of breast cancer, we usually think of grandmas, not women who have to suddenly wean their infant because the breast is going to be removed. This is a whole new demographic of women challenged by breast cancer that has received little attention. I’m sure I’ll be writing on this topic from time to time.

Meanwhile, rest assured that I am eating my vegetables, exercising, and researching all the different options available to me.


You can learn more about my cancer story here:

my cancer story | Judy Schwartz Haley


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