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Jill Pertler

Slices of Life

Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, playwright and author of "The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Self-Syndication." More columns are available at the Slices of Life page on Facebook.

Parenting crimes
By Jill Pertler

“Blackmail is an act involving unjustified threats to make a gain or cause loss to another unless a demand is met. It may be defined as coercion involving threats of public exposure, physical harm, criminal prosecution or for the purposes of taking the person’s money or property.” (Courtesy of: Wikipedia and Merriam Webster)

Under federal law,

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 11:11 AM
Grocery superpowers
By Jill Pertler

Superman, Wonder Woman and the Incredible Hulk all possess superpowers, but I enjoy supremacy even greater than X-ray vision, unlimited strength or the ability to fly. My capabilities come from grocery lists in my pocket and canned goods on aisle seven. It’s the power of food acquisition and I’ve assumed extreme control. Those of us in the know know it doesn’t get any better than that.

Simply put, I do 97.376% of the grocery shopping for my family. Let the scope of that sink in for a moment. Pause and ponder like you might over the glazed donuts in the bakery section. Victuals. Chow. Sustenance. Edibles. Nourishment. Cuisine. Food impacts the menu,

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 10:47 AM
Things I hate
By Jill Pertler

I tell my kids not to hate things. You can dislike Brussels sprouts, but there’s no need to hate them, not really. The word “hate” itself has become a buzzword for political incorrectness. No one wants to be accused of being a hater. As a parent, I should follow my own advice — lead by example and be a good role model. Still, there are things worthy of my strong, strong dislike — and maybe even the “H” word. There, I said it. There are some things I hate. (Don’t tell my kids.)

For instance, I hate those website pop-up pages that make

Tuesday, August 05, 2014 2:24 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, August 05, 2014 2:26 PM )
Adventures with glue
By Jill Pertler

Note to readers (and self): Super Glue® does not mix well with granite countertops. Recently I had the opportunity to experience this noxious combination in the comfort of my own kitchen. This was not of my doing. But you already knew that.

Late one night (when all the excitement happens at my house), my teenage son had an unfortunate encounter with a ceramic bowl, which resulted in the right half of the bowl separating from the left. Normally a broken bowl is no big deal at our house, but this happened

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 10:56 AM
All thumbs
By Jill Pertler

When I was in school — and dinosaurs roamed the Earth — everyone took a class called Typewriting 101. We wrote about the quick brown fox and lazy dog using our eight fingers without hardly any effort from our thumbs. My right thumb was responsible for only one button — the space bar. My left thumb had the day off.

Today kids learn keyboarding and have probably never laid eyes on a typewriter,

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 12:43 PM
Having it all
By Jill Pertler

There’s been a renewed media buzz on the age-old topic of women having it all. Career plus family equals success. Cameron Diaz fueled the discussion with an announcement about not wanting kids, because in her words, “It’s so much more work to have children.”

In another publicized conversation, Indra Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo and mother of two (not necessarily in that order) admitted she doesn’t think women can have it all. “We pretend we can have it all,” she said during an interview for The Atlantic. She also confessed she’s not sure her two daughters

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 12:13 PM
The patio project
By Jill Pertler

I am tired. My back is sore. My arms ache. My husband put me through the ropes this weekend. He had me completely tied up with yard work.

Our little project involved considerable moving of earth and sod as well as lifting and placement of 4,524 pounds of patio blocks. But that’s just an estimate.

We’ve always been do-it-yourselfers. We enjoy proj­ecting together. Some couples are good at recreating. If they found an extra pile of cash they’d go out for a night on the town. We’d purchase a bunch of lumber or maybe resurface the driveway. Give us a garden that needs planting,

Tuesday, July 08, 2014 2:11 PM
Picture perfect
By Jill Pertler

When my kids were babies, I took lots of photos, always hoping to get the one perfect shot. This was during the prehistoric predigital age, when cameras required film and film required developing. You couldn’t take a million pictures and preview them on your screen. You had to send them away and pay to have them printed. One by one by one.

Back then, I couldn’t tell a megapixel from a winning lottery ticket, but I knew I’d be able to recognize the perfect shot when I saw it. Trouble was, after hundreds of developed photos, I still hadn’t seen it.

I burned through scores of 35mm rolls, peering

Tuesday, July 01, 2014 10:49 AM
A watched pot
By Jill Pertler

At our house, my husband browns the hamburger. I don’t have the patience for it. I go in with the best of intentions. I place the ground beef in the pan, turn on the heat and grab my spatula. Then I get sidetracked — with the potatoes or maybe the corn, sorting through the mail, answering the phone, twiddling my thumbs, Googling the area code for Paris.

I like to consider myself the ultimate multitasker. Unfortunately that’s bad news for the hamburger.

Under my watch, it lies helpless and forgotten,

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 1:15 PM
Survey says . . .
By Jill Pertler

We’ve all partaken in the occasional survey, whether it be for business (customer feedback), pleasure (what’s your personality type), political purposes (donkey or elephant) or just to get a head count of your household (U.S. census). Back in the day, I used to peruse my Seventeen™ magazine in search of a survey about boyfriend types or what my nail polish color said about me. In college I took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® personality inventory to find out if I was an INFP (or maybe it was an ESTJ.) Even TV is dependent on surveys — the Nielsen ratings and Family Feud couldn’t exist without them.

Questionnaires, inventories, surveys — whatever you want to call them — have been around for eons. The concept is ancient, literally. According to my sources, the Babylonians were the first known society to survey the population in the form of a census. They counted people,

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 11:20 AM

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