I have for a long time written personal essays. Never really choosing to attempt anything new. Staying in my comfort zone.

I hate my comfort zone. It keeps me sane but very bored. I’ll never know what’s out there waiting for me if I don’t jump into the unknown.

So, I’m a poet. It may not be your cup of tea but I write for me. I enjoy when others enjoy it but it is for me.

I feel a lot. I think a lot. I write a lot. So if you feel inclined, follow me on Instagram at michellepjoyce. 



Breaking News: Hurricane Vomit makes landfall

Fawn Grove, PA – Hurricane Vomit has left its mark on the small Pennsylvania town of Fawn Grove after making landfall nearly 24 hours ago.  Beginning at 8 am on Monday, the vomiting continued throughout the evening and into the early hours of Tuesday.  Vomit left Fawn Grove around 8 am this morning after Moose the dog, not to be outdone by his vomiting, human sister, threw up on the feet of Joyce family matriarch, Michelle.  No one was injured.  Though damage to the house is still being assessed.

Ahh…the joys of parenthood. First steps, first words, kindergarten graduation, all night vomit fests….wait, what?  Those first few moments after giving birth are magical.  You stare at this miracle that you just pushed out of you and you picture their life.  All the firsts….then the next morning you wake and realize that with all the good will come the bad.  My seven-year old daughter will get any stomach bug being passed around the elementary school no matter what. In addition, she will vomit when she gets strep throat.  I deal with a lot of vomit.

Alas, when she woke me up Monday morning by vomiting on me, I just prepared myself for another round.  This was different.  Linda what’s-her-name-from The Exorcist has nothing on my kid.  I have never seen so much throwing up and she wasn’t even eating or drinking.  That’s right…no drinking anything from 8 am Monday morning until 2 am Tuesday morning.  In addition to the mounds of puke-soaked sheets and dirty laundry, she really wanted to give me something to do…worry.

After an afternoon trip to the doctor, who graciously gave me antibiotics for strep just in case, she finally started resting.  I woke this morning comforted by the sight of my child resting soundly and then waking to ask me if she could eat a popsicle.  Yes, you may. Have 20 popsicles!  I untangled myself from the random blankets that had been thrown on the bed when I ran out of clean sheets.  Made my way out to the living room and discovered this.

The ariel view of my living room after Hurricane Vomit came to visit.  I think my sick kid is down there somewhere.  I just can’t find her yet. I’m what my friends call a “neat freak.”  Is there something freakish about wanting a nice, clean, sparkling home for your family?  Not in my book.  A place for everything and everything in its place. That’s my motto.  Which is why this picture is so disturbing to me.

I’m off to clean up the debris.  I’ve been walking around the house all morning with the smell of vomit lingering under my nose.  At this point, I can’t tell if every room has been vomited in or if I’m smelling myself.

I’d better clean up quickly though.  The only image running through my mind right now is of my adorable seven year-old and me sharing a slice of pizza on Sunday.  Why did I eat off her plate?!?!

General Jane

Report:  Day 5 of Jane-eats-exactly-what-I-make-or-she-doesn’t-eat

I have a tiny, little terror living in my house.  It’s not supernatural, paranormal or ghostly, no….it’s a 3 year-old!  Parents of 3 year-olds know exactly what I’m talking about.  They have the faces of angels and the attitudes of hormonal, out-of-control, 15 year-old teenage girls who date bad boys and give you the finger behind their bedroom door.

I have no doubt that if Jane continues to act like this she will one day be a powerful dictator of some small, third world country.  Okay, most likely, not. She will grow out of this phase and move on to a more lovable, adorable portion of her life.  But until then, Jane thinks she rules the roost.

To demonstrate her dictatorship, she refuses to eat anything that is not some form of baked snack cracker or chicken nuggets.  McDonald’s chicken nuggets.  That’s right…I feed my kids McDonald’s. (crickets chirping)  I think I hear a lot of judgement in that silence.  You can judge me all you want but when your child refuses to eat anything that doesn’t resemble a nugget-shaped piece of chicken, you become desperate. Desperate to feed her.  To nourish her.

I used to be desperate.  Not so much anymore.  I began to realize that Jane was actually committing psychological warfare.  She wanted me to think she would waste away to nothing at my incapable, unfit motherly hands.

Then on day 12 of Jane-would-only-eat-Lucky-Charms-morning-noon-and-night, I came across this gold mine of a website, www.superhealthykids.com.  Love it, love it, love it.  After looking at the recipes and skimming through the pages, I began to feel the cold grip of Jane’s dictatorship loosening from around my neck.  I was going to do this.  I was going to get her to eat healthy.

So, began my project at the beginning of the week.  It has not been an easy journey.  Monday’s attempt at a yogurt parfait got a lukewarm reception.  Jane didn’t understand why her Cheerios were not swimming in milk but laying out on top of yogurt.  She wondered why the yogurt was white instead of the usual blue, pink, orange kind she usually eats and then she asked why in fact she had Cheerios instead of Lucky Charms.

Day 2 and 3 and 4 were not successful either.  She told me the smoothie made her throw up while her older sister looked at me like I was a saint of a mother for giving her a milkshake for breakfast.

But, alas, on Day 5, I’ve had success.  It came in the form of Pumpkin Waffles!

Not only did Jane eat them, she helped make them too!  Here’s the recipe….

  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 TBL pumpkin pie spice (or 1 tsp each of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

Mix the wet ingredients.  Mix the dry ingredients. Combine wet into dry and enjoy!!

Jane was a happy customer!


Order has been restored….

after a very busy Christmas.  The presents have been put away and, though the tree remains standing until the New Year, Christmas feels done.  It’s time for me to move on to contemplating 2012. Though I don’t call them resolutions, I do look at my life and decide if things need changing.  This year I vow to make my new house a home for my family, spend more time with my kids and less time worrying about stuff that hasn’t happened and probably won’t.  Life in my new town has a lot to offer.  No bustling city activities, but time to walk down to the ponds and throw pebbles into the water.  Or time to plant some veggies and build my chicken coop. Time to think about what I’m going to name my future goat.  I’m going to be a small-town farmer.  Maybe a more appropriate term would be “farmer-ette.”  I don’t have dozens of acres.  Just 3.  And a quarter.  Can’t forget the quarter.  Just enough to see if I can sustain my family off the land I’ve been given.  So here’s to the New Year and my new adventure!