Ben Hatke

His blog isn’t WordPress but he is a fantastic author and illustrator. My house ages 7 to 50 and we adore his books and graphic novels.  From Zita to Little Robot.  Barnes and Noble lists both his author works and his illustration work.  The Etsy is empty at the moment; he will add things now and then – original pages and artwork.  They sell out quickly.  Feel free to click around.  Follow him EVERYWHERE! He is really close to 1000 on FB

Ben Hatke Blog       Ben Hatke Goodreads   Twitter   Facebook   Instagram

Hatke House on Etsy   Amazon Author Page   Barnes & Noble

All images and book covers are property of Ben Hatke

Christmas Answer or Real Answer

With a myriad of Christmas/holiday specials on TV I found myself watching an Ice Age Holiday short last night.  It was full of Mammothy, Slothy, Sid and Diego goodness.  At one point, Manny askes Diego “How does it look?” referring to a Christmas item.  Diego responds “Do you want a Christmas answer or a real answer?” Manny responds with “A Christmas Answer.” “Wonderful, it looks great!”  Which,of course, is a total lie.

This got me to thinking.  Our houses, cars, families and lives are all gussied up for the holidays. Covered with lights, garland, and ornaments.  The air is full of the wonderful smells of baked cookies and pies. Wrapped, pretty and shiny just like the presents we share.  The reality is that our houses, cars, families and lives are not all shiny, pretty or even healthy.  We put on a happy face from Thanksgiving to New Years and then go back to the REAL world.

I am struggling and have been for a while.  I try to keep my social media “happy” and usually just flood it blog posts about food, sharing others’ posts or books.  Facebook and Instagram full of pictures of my youngest son or silly snapchat filtered photos.

My son and stepson bring me joy and for that I am grateful.  I think I may lean on my children to much.  I am a bit of a nerd and so are my children.  We enjoy anime, Potter, Dr Who, comic books, regular books, video games, movies, musical, anything PBS etc.  We talk, watch and read.

The truth is I dread my day to day.  My routine of fighting the alarm every morning and going to work.  Coming home for the dishes, laundry, dirty toilets, dinner prep, homework, reading, bath time, bed time etc.  All these things keep me busy but feel a bit robotic.

I dread my husband coming home with nothing or little to say. When he does speak I can’t tell if I actually say something that upsets him or if he is looking for a way to be upset with me so he doesn’t have to engage.  Of course asking this gets flipped and I was rude or snarky which caused his discomfort and resulting silence.  Maybe it is my fault.  Maybe I am a snarky, rude person.

He may or may not eat the dinner I prepare that is on the table prior or close to when he walks through the door.  I try to get us all to eat together every night.

I dread the awkward silence that has become my house.  My children talk with me and sit and watch Jeopardy with me but my husband sits in the other room wearing headphones and watching videos on his phone.  The other night – the only time he came out was because his neck/shoulder cramped and he needed someone to rub it.

Once my youngest is in bed and my teenager is sitting at his own computer with homework or whatever has caught his eye; I am essentially alone.

I am alone. I feel alone in a house full of people.  I just crawl into bed and close my eyes until the alarm goes off telling me to do it all over again.  I dread my empty feeling.  I dread that I feel I deserve to be empty.  I dread the empty feeling I have when I look at my husband.  A man I feel I have nothing in common with. This Man I vowed to be with until I died.  Maybe it is me.  Maybe I am a snarky person.  Maybe I do deserve the way I am treated regardless of how I feel.  Maybe I should just be quiet since it is apparent that to the other party that I have brought this on myself.

I feel like I should move out.  I feel like I should take my biological son and go live with my parents.  My stepson is a senior in High School.  He is currently rebuilding his relationship with his biological mother who suffers from a mental illness and hurt him and herself because of it.  I feel I should stay for him.  He will soon be an adult but I feel I should stay until it is official.  I feel like I should stay for my young son.  Give him a 2-parent household and maintain his stability.  I feel like my unhappiness is not important.  I don’t want to stay in an unhappy relationship.  I don’t want my sons to think their wives will just take care of everything while they talk on the phone with their friends, sit in the garage and smoke [cigarettes] and watch videos on their phones or surf the web.

I wrote a document in 2015 when I started having this crisis of mind.  I brought it up to my husband then that I felt we didn’t have anything in common any more.  I used to be semi interested in the things he was. Now, honestly I could care less about going out on a Motorcycle or going shooting.  As for the physical, I don’t feel it either. Not even cuddle.   He basically, then and now, blamed my feeling of having nothing in common and my emptiness on the children.  The premise for his blame and argument being that I am more in love with my children – and more specifically my one biological child – than him.

The truth is it is Christmas and this is not a Christmas problem.  I can’t ruin Christmas.

Smyrna District Supervisor needs to step down and the board needs address this issue NOW ! re: all students subjected to breathalyzer at proms and homecoming! — Kilroy’s Delaware

Homecoming breathalyzers irk Smyrna parents Jerry Smith , The News Journal Tina Vass couldn’t believe it when her son told her a breathalyzer test was being administered to every student walking into the Smyrna High School homecoming dance. Like many parents, it was the first she had heard of the practice of giving mandatory breathalyzer tests […]

via Smyrna District Supervisor needs to step down and the board needs address this issue NOW ! re: all students subjected to breathalyzer at proms and homecoming! — Kilroy’s Delaware

Dragons Love Tacos

I love reading with my son.  Today’s selection is Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri.

We checked out the book and the movie from our local library.

As a parent, this book is great for the beginning reader. The words are short and few per page and the story is engaging.  The illustrations are fun and full of little surprises when you examine them.  Funny titles to jars and books within the actual pictures. The movie has a read-a-long option where the words appear on the screen.  The movie is the pictures from the book slightly animated.  There is also an option to not have the words appear on screen.  We read the book 12 ways to Sunday, with and without the movie.  My son loved it more every time. Below is my budding 6 year old’s review – he spoke, I typed.

This book is wonderful.  They party and eat tacos together. The kid fills a boat and the whole entire house with tacos but buries the spicy salsa, no spicy anything.  There are a lot of dragons. It’s wonderful because the Dragons build a house for the kid.  ~Ian

Read to your children.  The love of books is one of the greatest gifts you can bestow.  If they have a book they will always have something to do.

Goodreads – Dragons Love Tacos

WorldCat.org World’s Largest Library Catalog

Find a US Library