Category Archives: Uncategorized

Endless Isolation: Dream or Nightmare?

It’s day seventeen.

Week three of working from home is well underway, and it isn’t as glorious as one might suspect. This is not the way I dreamed it would be.

For years I have left my home to go to work–secretly wishing I could just stay in my cozy house and concentrate on being a mama while still making money, but from home.

If I were home during the day, I would tidy up from breakfast, watch a little TV here and there, make my kids’ beds, and I would bake cookies so they would have a snack waiting for them after school.

I envisioned myself reading books, baking bread and leisurely flipping through a cookbook as I planned out our family’s evening meal.

I would go to my hair appointments, botox appointments, the gym to workout and I would shop…all during the day.

So that was the dream…

Here’s the reality…

I haven’t made my bed in a week. I’ve gone through two bottles of dry shampoo. I have no idea if my kids’ beds are made, and there is enough dirt and dog hair on our hardwoods to create a piece of art suitable for the Guggenheim.

There are no healthy snacks cleverly arranged on plates, no pot roast simmering in the Crock Pot.

If my kids want a snack, I direct them to the kitchen.

They’re here all day long.

I wait for my husband to cook dinner when he gets home.

I have seven books laying on my coffee table that I couldn’t wait to get started on…collecting dust.

My baked bread is in a sack in the pantry. I call it Nature’s Own.

I sit in my office all day long doing tasks that now take me six times longer to accomplish because it’s all online. My breaks consist of YouTube and multiple Debbie snack cakes. I have more work now than I did when I was at work.

The only thing keeping me showered regularly are the videos I have to produce explaining the day’s lesson to my students. I find with each video I record, I see less makeup, weirder hair, and a lack of good vocabulary. My regard for my appearance is rapidly declining.

I’ve never been so busy–yet so bored! I’ve worn the same outfit three days in a row. Who cares…no one.

My hair appointments…cancelled.

My botox appointments…cancelled.

My gym membership…frozen. They’re closed. That’s really going to mess up my schedule. I go at least once every three years.

My flight to Malibu…cancelled.

Everything I look forward to…unavailable.

I just sit here day after day glued to my computer working from home not cooking, not tidying; empty and lost.

And I wonder…is this because of the Coronavirus or would this be my reality if I worked from home?

I just can’t wait to put heels on again…and pants…and makeup.

I can’t wait to go back to work.

It’s Mine

It’s hard to admit when you are wrong. BUT, it’s especially hard to suck it up when you ARE NOT, but then realize you kind of were.

So, it all began with a simple trip with my girls to Lenox for a little Christmas shopping.

The trip was smooth even though the Peach Pass Lane was CLOSED (which makes me want to commit a felony). When is it OPEN? A little heads up on where to find that info would be much appreciated.

Anywhoo, we arrived safely and were looking for a parking spot.

I usually default to the parking garage because that’s guaranteed success, however, this particular afternoon I must have felt like a winner because I was drawn like a magnet to the open parking directly in front of Lenox. This is premium parking (just below valet). I’m not that desperate yet, good Lord I’ve still got some fight in me…but not much.

So, I make that last second decision to dart into the needy yet primal arena that begets watching and waiting. You watch for glowing reverse lights and, once found, you screech your way over to the spot dodging shoppers and bags just to get there before all the other sharks smell blood.

The alternative is to stalk a shopper as they seek out their car. This move is risky, however, as they may have no intention of leaving just yet.

These people really have all the power too. I always feel like they are screwing with me. Once they notice they are being followed, they seem to walk a little slower. Sometimes, they walk all the way down the row of cars while you sheepishly follow them being sure not to get too close yet close enough to let the other hunters know this prey’s yours and then instead of stopping at a car they cross over into another aisle altogether leaving you sitting there like an idiot waiting on absolutely nothing.

None of that happened, however, and I found someone backing out right away and was the first to arrive ready to swallow up the spot. I put my blinker on signaling to all those around; mine. Just move along sweetie. This one’s mine…better luck next time. Ya snooze, ya lose. Ha!

Not even an entire second into this blissful conquest did a little compact Mercedes come to a dead halt on the opposite side.

The blinker–engaged.

I’m thinking What is this loser doing? I’m clearly waiting for this spot. It’s mine… Why are you still here? You can see me. I know you can see me.

The situation suddenly turned into survival of the fittest. I became a bull snorting and pawing my hoof in the dirt awaiting the swoosh of the red cape that would be my signal to go for it. That signal, of course, was the car already occupying the space to begin the surrender of their coveted prime real estate parking spot.

Now, these situations are extremely uncomfortable for me. I don’t like confrontation especially when I am unsure of what is even happening. I was just praying the car leaving would back out with its tail facing me so the other car would be blocked from getting in.

As we sat there waiting I desperately tried avoiding eye contact. It was taking forever.

I am really uncomfortable. I am acting like I’m not. I don’t even notice you. I’m dying.

But I had to look. I had to see what type of person would have the audacity to challenge me for this spot that’s so clearly mine.

I did it. I looked. It was a couple. A man and woman probably around my age.

And they were laughing.


As I sat there claiming my territory like a dog in heat guarding its bitch, wondering what they could possibly be thinking, it all became crystal clear.


As I look back over to the spot the tiny car was leaving, I begin to realize that there is no possible way my big ass Armada is fitting into that already tight spot currently flanked by a car on both sides, one of them parked by a driver so inept that I began to feel sorry for their life and what had become of it.

I wanted to surrender. My girls, sitting on the edge of their seats hunched over mine watching the whole thing go down said, “Don’t do it.”

Ok. I guess I’m going to see this debacle all the way to it’s dire end.

Well, what I wished for earlier happened, and as the car backed out of the spot, I was left with the perfect opportunity to slide right in behind him. Great.

Avoiding eye contact completely at this point with the demon couple, I begin my comedy of errors and slowly go toward the spot that is also laughing at me.

I get the corner of my front right bumper in. Nothing else.

I asked the girls the obvious.

Their reply was, “Yes, they are still there.”

I said, “I’m ready to give up. It’s over.”

My competitive girls said, “No mom! You can do it.”

“Science or math or something clearly says I can’t!”

“Try again.”

So, as I back up and twist my steering wheel into combinations of twists and turns it’s never felt before, begging my wheels to do something that would’ve required a seance and a few witches chanting, my pits sweating profusely, the “Waiters” laughing even harder (I imagine because there is no way I’m looking at them), we all realize that this isn’t happening.

It’s time. The white flag is waved.

In my final reverse (after too many to count), I straighten up my vehicle, hold my head up high and drive past the laughing couple with my middle finger cleverly directed at them and screech my tires so loudly that their car alarm goes off. Hahahahaha! That’ll teach ‘em.

Ok, let me tell you what I really did once my juvenile fantasy was over.

I straightened up my wheel, I held my head up high, and I drove right past the haters. I can’t see you. You can’t see me. You don’t exist. Didn’t even know you were there.

Humility is real.

I was so angry. At myself.

Why did I stay?

I stayed because I didn’t want to give in and look meek or sheepish.

Why look meek when the title buffoon is up for grabs?

Go big or go home…with your tail between your legs.

So, yes, it was my spot first, and they shouldn’t have tried to get it. (Me being right.)

But, the reality was that it was never going to work for me. (Me being wrong.)

So, moral of the story: If you are going to fight the fight, make sure it’s one you can win.

Packing Genius

I can’t believe I am actually sharing this weakness. I have serious issues about being inadequate.

I have a packing deficiency-you know-for traveling. The harder I work at being more efficient in this area of my life, the worse I get.

Like, I need a 504 plan; some accommodations. Because I simply can’t figure it out…on my own. Maybe I need a life coach…a sensei who can help me pack less like Rose Dawson from The Titanic.

My whole family knows this about me. Of course, they know, and they would probably like to add that I also may struggle just a teensy bit with time management.

And they’re over it.

For them, traveling with me, looks like this: me struggling with overloaded bags, feeling miserable/angry/sweaty during our quest for the terminal, me begging, pleading asking for a family member to hold, roll or drag an item I can no longer bare, or to stuff something else into their bag of roomy wonder while I lag behind desperate not to let them see the tug of war I am playing with my tears as they have either said, “No” or “Fine” with an eye roll that makes me feel blue.

I must deal with this.


Because I will not continue to be a loser getting judged by judgy judgers love them.

My attempt to remedy this, of course, began with several hours of squandered time relinquished to the YouTube lords which led me directly to Amazon, and soon after that, to my plan to go forth and pack.

Upon receiving the Amazon purchases, I spent time in my closet secretly laying everything out, making notes and checklists carefully putting together a game plan that rocked.

And finally, it was time. We would be flying out the following morning, and I was ready.

The morning came fast and furious as it always seems to on a day of travel, and I was ready to triumph. I began unwrapping my Amazon purchases of toiletry cases (yes, there was more than one and that number is not necessary here), my neck pillow, passport holder, and blanket that would not only keep me warm, but contained pockets that would hold things.

I got my packing cubes in order and grabbed my Knock Knock Pack This! Pad Packing List (courtesy of Amazon…that’s right, it’s amazing) and began furiously checking off each item as I tucked it away into my suitcase.

Luckily, I had already whittled down my outfit choices (after several edits) to a bare minimum, so packing it all up was a pretty quick process…or would have been had I already brought down the extra suitcase I ended up needing to pack all the things I purchased to help me pack light…

I have never needed two suitcases.

Time to load the car.

The bag that was supposed to be loose and full of room for foreign country purchases seemed a little heavy upon zipping, so I decided to do one final edit.

I removed a sweater.

And put it in the other suitcase.

I thought about more, but just couldn’t seem to part with any of it.

So, I zipped it up, choking out the feelings of failure poking at my brain like a hungry mosquito in the Amazon jungle.

Nah, it’s all good.

Luckily, My husband had enlisted a friend’s son to take us to the airport so, we had one less travel stress.

As I was the final one to leave the house due to my last minute decision to lighten up, I was faced with a sea of bags that already claimed a space on the floor of my spacious Armada. Help was offered, but not wanting anyone to feel the weight of my bag, I alone, hurled it into the back of my car where it landed on its side awkwardly balancing on the tidy heap of small bags neatly tucked in. (I am convinced it would’ve been easier to throw a murder victim wrapped in an 8×10 rug over a bridge.) Then, I quickly tucked the uninvited but necessary, like a family member you want to hide, bag into the one last crevice available.

I am sweating already.

No worries.

I still did good.

It’s funny how you talk to yourself desperately trying to persuade your brain not to buy into the thoughts pecking their way in begging to be heard. It’s like when you have acid bubbling up in the back of your throat and you know without a shadow of a doubt that you will be throwing up in the very near future, yet you tell yourself that Your fine, I’ll just brush my teeth, I’ll get some fresh air, That’s all I need, and then in that same breath you throw up violently all the while thanking the Good Lord above that you threw up.

Yeah, it’s the same.

I knew I packed too much. I knew I had to purge.

It was like some madness came over me. My husband was sitting in the front seat, while our friend’s son, Grant, drove. They were deep into a conversation about baseball or football, who knows, and I had a window.

A window of opportunity to undo the doing, of the incompetent packing.

As I turned toward the backseat facing my two teenage daughters, I knew this wasn’t going to be easy. They were blocking my path to keeping my insanity a secret.

I asked one of them to unzip my bag. My question was answered with a death stare.

I had to actually crawl between my lovely daughters and kneel on the console that separated them in order to reach the third row seating where my bag sat.

At this point it didn’t matter. They knew.

While on this crusade, I had to keep shifting my weight to balance on that console with my butt in the air and my high heels desperately trying to find somewhere to land as I poked and prodded around in my bag looking for less amazing things.

We were getting closer to the airport so, I furiously began plucking out items discarding them one by one on the floorboard behind me. At some point, I bravely leaned back ever so slightly just to steal a quick glance at my daughters imploring them to help.

I was met with a glare less like we should help and more like we are so over this, we can’t even look at you right now.

I guess not.

After what felt like a good 30 minutes on the stair master, I decided that I had lightened up enough, zipped my bag up, turned around and plopped back into my seat. Glowing. From all the sweat.

I was done just as we arrived at the airport.

They looked at me. I looked at them.

My husband was none the wiser.

Packing genius.

Thank You

Thank you for standing strong in the midst of great stress and tribulation. Thank you for sticking by me and not forsaking me in such a great time of need. Thank you for staying strong and delivering on what you committed to provide–protection in the time of need.

Thank you for going above and beyond the call of duty without expecting anything in return. Today you were everything.

Thank you…deodorant.


Ok, Mama…this one’s for you.

As a little girl, I believed that the sun rose and set with my mama. I couldn’t imagine living a day without her by my side; she was the air in my lungs that wouldn’t exist without her. In fact, the thought of ever losing her was so excruciating that it consumed me many times throughout my life even as I got older…the what ifs.

Well, the big “What if” has come, and it is no different now.

So many years later, all grown up, the realization of losing the one person on the planet that will never stop loving you no matter what—your “Number 1 Fan”—hurts just as deep as you think it would when you are little.

Ginny was the all-star of moms. She made you feel like you won the lottery just because you were lucky enough to be granted this gift of pre-destined linkage.

My mom taught me things in life that only a mother can teach.

She taught me how to enjoy the simple pleasures in life from drinking lemon Yoplait yogurt straight from the container in the car on the way home from the grocery store because it was just so darn good to how the smell of fresh cut grass on a summer day should be breathed in so deeply you get dizzy from doing it.

She taught me how to be girly and enjoy choosing perfume and jewelry, makeup and having pretty, painted nails.  She taught me to appreciate everything that I have–to look at life through blessings not hardships.

When she said the words, “EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OK,” I knew it was.

She taught me how to entertain big groups, how to reach out to old friends (still working on that one), how to be selfless (a work in progress), how to laugh LOUD and HEARTILY…at many things…and how to be a good mother.

She was the strongest alliance I had. If I was sad, so was she. If I was mad at someone, so was she. If I felt hurt, so did she. If I felt pain, so did she…

Glad she doesn’t feel what I am feeling now.

My mom had a particular type of “good” in her that I knew I would never have. She touched everyone she ever met, connected with them, and had the ability to make them feel so loved, special, and important. She left me in awe at just how wonderful she was.

She was special.

She was a gift.

And I am forever grateful.

I love you mama.

Not Today

In less than a year I’ve lost four parents. Two step and two originals. 

The pain with loss comes like a lightning flash, forceful and brilliant. 

But, grief is different. It doesn’t have a singular definition. 

I have felt grief so differently for all four of these losses and this final loss…the loss of my mother cuts like a knife so sharp you don’t even realize it’s done any damage until your brain registers the pain. 

I feel nothing, yet I feel everything, and I can’t identify any of it. 

I dabble with thinking about this strange and foreign reality then, just as the feelings begin to choke me, I quickly abort the tempestuous thoughts so desperately trying to seep into every part of my being knowing I’m not ready for what’s coming. 

I’m not ready. 

I don’t want any part of it. 

It smothers me. 

So I choose to breathe. 

HSN Shopping…No Shower Necessary

There is something about the Home Shopping Network that makes me feel like I’ve been missing things all my life.

I feel the need to have these things and buy these things after watching these hot messes demonstrate and talk about how wonderful these things are.

Eyelid 1

She’s got the hood.

The Lids By Design, for example, is amazing.

In fact, the lady just said it’s like a push-up bra for the eyelid.

I want that.

They say this gets the hood.

I’m starting to get the hood.

I don’t have to pay thousands of dollars for surgery either.

I can just get this Lids By Design strip from HSN.

Oh and there’s only 10,527 left!

I’d better hurry.

Eyelid Pic2

“I’m…a monster…

And God bless the model that demonstrates the product.

She has to listen to how visually disturbing she is until the said product is applied. Then magically she gets to be loveable again… accepted by the human race.

Thank God!

Just when I thought it was over…Neck Rescue comes on.


There is a sticker for your neck.

It’s about time!

Neck Rescue

That’s as tight as she gets.

We can now leave the house again without making anyone want to vomit at the sight of our neck! Who knew this was such a disaster?!

Ohh, perfect for selfies. They’re so excited about this. I’m sure they would be excited about a rock…they found…in the driveway…and it changed their life.

Neck Pic

The difference is astounding!

Well, that’s over now, and these silver balls on a joystick are being touted as something I CAN’T SPEND ANOTHER DAY WITHOUT!

She says It pinches your skin…”Literally, it is pinching my skin.”

 Why would I go another minute without getting my skin pinched? 

They say it’s a HUGE stress reliever.

I’ll leave you with some of their favorite lines.

“Deep satisfaction…”

“I’ll be totally honest with you…”

“Those balls!”

“Oh, look at that ergonomical handle!” (I know that’s not a word.)

“It looks really cool too while you hold it!” (Pretty sure they have run out of things to say about the ball massager at this point.)

“It’s a wonderful experience…in the privacy of your own home.” (Mmmhmm)

“We only have two minutes left and WE…HAVE…TO…GO!”

“It’s free shipping…”

“If you don’t adore this product…”

“It’s a box of OZ…”

Well, I better go and get my credit card so I don’t miss out.

Damn HSN!

Paying For Murder

Every time I get into an Uber I think…this is the night I’m going to be murdered.

The person knows my name, and I’m never totally confident that it’s because I told them.

They have my address but I’m not sure why.

Sometimes the picture doesn’t match the driver…I still get in the car…I don’t want to offend the driver by asking them what happened to the black man in the circle picture driving the minivan.

They joke with me, and I’m sure it’s to throw me off from their master plan to kill me and my family.

Have you seen the movie The Bone Collector? If you haven’t, check out the scene with the cab ride. Chilling.

Sometimes they like to chit chat which somewhat eases the tension, but sometimes they don’t…which totally freaks me out!

Asking for heat or air seems like a death wish.

Can you still investigate a crime that you paid for?

I keep doing this.

I keep ordering Uber.

I won’t stop because it’s just so damn convenient.


For the Love of Dogs


These are the words that come to my head when I think of the unrelenting passion my twin, twelve-year-old daughters share for the animal kingdom.

Now, it is no secret in my world that the sort of animal love they share is not the typical kind of love children tend to bear for creatures. It truly borderlines on, dare I say, an obsession.


What’s ours is yours!

And although they have this sense of animal kinship, they seem to be particularly captivated by none other than “Man’s Best Friend.”


I love you, Coleman.


This special affinity towards dogs is displayed regularly and with unrelenting constraint. Their love is bountiful and unsparing and at times quite annoying.

Because…with love must come ownership.

One dog wasn’t enough…now we have four.

We were (I was) happy with the two deliciously easy small Shih Tzus we had.


Ollie (baby


Boogie (mama)

BUT THEY INSISTED/BEGGED/PLEADED to get a big dog.  So we did.


Meet Coleman

But that wasn’t enough. And they just kept rescuing them.


Yeah, we did. We’re the owners.

I used to have these gorgeous, shiny hardwood floors, but now I have scratched up hairy floors. I used to have furniture and clothing with no scars. I now have to fix a cocktail just to look around the house making sure there is no new damage. (Great Excuse…hahaha!)

It’s always fun too when one of them leaves one of their special treasures.

It’s always a toss-up too; the choices are poop, pee, blood, a baby tooth, a chewed something or other that’s not supposed to be, or puke.

It’s awesome. I love my life!


Jesus take the wheel.

My girls love to create dog food, cook dog treats, train dogs, groom dogs, walk dogs–you name it. They even have a business where they do all of the things above for a small fee just so they can spend more time with dogs.

They even dress them up and put them in special poses not designed to humiliate the dog, but to have a running record of just how special they are.


I will do whatever you want me to do as long as you keep loving me.

The funny thing is, dogs adore them too.

This sacred relationship is by far, not a one-way street. These dogs will let them do just about anything to them just in the hopes of their profoundly welcomed attention.



I love my girls, I love their dogs, and in the big scheme of things, the hair, the dirt, and whatnot are just a blip on the radar screen of…our life; our big, happy life.


Unreasonable Requests

At some point in time in your life, you have most likely been faced with an unreasonable request. Was it peer pressure? A family member you didn’t want to disappoint? Or was that request simply from a straight up lunatic?

Well, I have recently been faced with such a situation and am still trying to decipher the best way to answer the aforementioned question.

So, my family and I are embarking on our annual summer vacation where we explore some distant land in the United States in the desperate attempt to have major fun, make memories, and experience extreme relaxation.


Now, of course, these journeys encompass a stressful moment at some time in the journey (maybe more than one)–that’s life!

Usually, the stressful moment happens somewhere in the middle of the journey, but no, not this time. Our stressful moment lands front and center–on our way to the airport.

It all begins with a simple conversation…of course.

Husband:  So, since I am a member of the Clear program with Delta, I will just drop you guys off at the gate, which makes it convenient for you, and then I will drive back to Park-and-Ride and travel in.

Me:  Why? What makes it convenient for me? We should all just do Park-and-Ride together.

Husband:  Well, that way you will get a head start going through security.

Me:  Why do I need a head start?

Husband:  I have the Clear pass. (Angels singing) I can bypass security.

Me In My Brain:  Well isn’t that nice for you…abandoner.

Me:  Oh, ok.

So, we continue to travel in the stress-free zone of our vacation to the airport when Husband decides to deliver another sliver of the puzzle that he has so obviously carefully crafted beforehand.

Husband:  So, I will drop you off at curbside check-in.

Me:  Right–got it…what we always do…when you aren’t going on the trip.

Husband:  You go ahead and take my bag too.

Me:  What? That’s never going to work. You have to be there to check your own bag.

Husband:  It’s fine! just take it. It will be fine!

Me:  Are you crazy? Why do you need me to check your luggage anyway? You are already doing Park-and-Ride which will basically be the exact same thing I am doing with the girls. You will be getting dropped off at the curb and won’t have to worry about dragging your luggage anywhere. Why can’t you just take it? It’s one freaking suitcase!

Husband:  Whatever. (His go to) Just leave it there. I will get it.

Me In My Brain:  Just leave it there?  Leave it where? Have you lost your mind?? That’s fantastic–set my ass up to be a terrorist. Have you ever listened to the recordings they play on a continuous loop about never leaving your baggage, and if anyone has had contact with your luggage…blah, blah, blah? Perfect. My husband hates me.

Me:  K

Me In My Brain:  Why, Jesus, Why????? Has he truly lost his mind? What if his luggage gets stolen? Does he even care? I don’t!! What is his secret agenda? Since when was he too good to check luggage? What the hell? I will not leave it. I will not do what he says. I will stand there and prove to him his plan sucks. I will not tell him these things.

So, as I am calming the fury in my head, I realize there is truly no reason to continue down this path of complete pandemonium because we don’t know if anything will even be a problem at this point. I am going with the motto, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”

That works right?

Anyway, as I am living in the world of acceptance and not being angry until there is something to be angry about (already have something to be angry about but choosing the high road) I realize that I have clearly made the right choice. We are chatting. I am not getting angry about him taking all of the business calls he’s getting on the way. I am Zanax happy without the Zanax–pure choice. I like this me. It’s new.

So, as we pull up to the curb, I can already feel the stress rising as I watch my husband’s eyes dart around scouting out his prey in the hopes of scoring the coveted curb drop-off spot carefully gauging how long the tearful goodbyes and trunk luggage removals will take. Me–I’m like what are they going to do? Everybody is doing this…why are we the ones stressing out like we will be stoned if we are here longer than twelve seconds? Screw it! I got luggage.  I dare you to look at me wrong. I am a traveling beast.

So, after sliding into the stressy drop off space, as the dutiful wife I am, I take Husband’s bag and the Delta Sky Miles credit card he shoves in my hand (as if that will be the saving grace when they look at me to fix the problem of the bag with the missing man) and begin my journey into illegal land.

Well, Of course, it doesn’t work. No matter how many bulky George Washingtons I have rolled up in my hand there for the taking if you hook me up–it’s inconsequential. So many things I want to say. So many victory dances I am envisioning, but no time for that now. I must focus on…what we gonna do now?

So this God awful plan takes us straight inside the pit of hell the airport where we now must stand in line–in line I say–and check our bags. What? Is this 1980? We must already be red flagging the place.

This is such a straight up hot mess with, admittedly,  a few hiccups on booking where the girls aren’t actually booked under my name but his–oh yeah–another reason FOR HIM TO BE HERE WITH US so we just get in line and basically watch time stand still.

Of course, we called his cell phone.

No answer.

Well, in the distance, we finally see baggage free Thomas on his crusade to destination Clear pass.

I try to act nonchalant and am careful not make eye contact with him as he would immediately read my Can you see what you made us go through? eyes and go on the defensive.

None of that mattered.

Completely unobserved, I am forced to send one of my daughters sprinting into the crowd to CATCH DADDY!!!!!

As he is being summoned by our daughter and briefed as to the quagmire we are in, I see him look towards the direction I am standing in.

I look away. Not desperate or pitiful…just dutiful mom style. I…will…do…whatever…it takes…

Whatever that means.

Me In My Brain:  I told you so…Stop that.  I told you so…Nope.

Hee, hee, hee…


So after being plucked from the angelic Clear line by his twelve-year-old daughter, he makes his way over to the pathetic hillbilly line where I am granted the opportunity to enlighten him on the situation I TRIED TO WARN HIM ABOUT IN THE CAR.

He then tells me that he can actually take the girls with him through Clear, deal with all of this luggage situation, and that I should probably go ahead and get going so I wouldn’t miss the flight.

Well…isn’t that something.

Upon being dismissed, I forged ahead on my solo trip through the Six Flags on a hot summer day maze of security, the walking through security with strappy high heels because we were told NOT TO TAKE OFF SHOES, the humiliating beckon to go back and take off the strappy high heels and walk through again, the forever putting back on of the strappy high heels, catching the train where I almost fell to the floor in my strappy high heels but didn’t thanks to the strong man who chose to reach out and grab the lady (me) who clearly jumped on at the last-minute and couldn’t find a place to neither plant her feet nor grab a pole and pull her in slow motion to safety (my hero), the near sprint in said strappy high heels, and finally the arrival at the gate  sweaty dewey-faced sitting next to the sweat free relaxed looking family who had been there waiting for me…for a while…ready to rock this vacation.

In the end, despite that unreasonable request, things worked out. We made our plane on time. Our destination was beautiful. Memories were made.

Good memories…







From the Eye of The Storm…A Teacher’s Point of View…ESPN Style

I’ve learned quite a bit from ten years of teaching…here are some of the highlights.

If a second grader says, “I don’t feel good,”–get a trash can under his chin before he finishes that sentence.

If a 7th grader says, “Want to hear a joke?…Are you sure?…hee, hee, hee.”

Don’t say yes. It most definitely will be about sex.

If you say something funny and you are wondering if your middle school students are laughing at you or with you–be assured they are laughing at you.

The sentence, “This is due tomorrow,” means the same thing as:

Don’t forget to take the trash out.

Pick up your clothes.

Put your dishes in the dish washer.

Walk your dog.

You get the idea…

Volume means nothing. They WILL yell at the person sitting an inch away from their face.

If you want to get their attention, say “Phone.”

If you want them to work, let them listen to their music.

Eating like a dog, unsure of where his next meal will come from, becomes a daily act…on the part of the teacher…because we have about 12 minutes left by the time we have actually made our way through the maze, hunted down the students that owe us work, or found the students that are silently escaping their silent lunch consequence from a behavior that truly deserves so much more than a mere few minutes at a separate table.

A middle schooler’s social life IS EVERYTHING. Use this against them to thwart their evil ways WHENEVER POSSIBLE.

Planning time is akin to TOTAL ANXIETY as you wonder if you will actually be granted this mystical notion.

Hoodies are the end all be all way to PISS THE TEACHER OFF.

Second graders don’t capitalize “I” or end their sentences with punctuation. Fourth graders don’t capitalize “I” or end their sentences with punctuation. Fifth graders don’t capitalize “I” or end their sentences with punctuation. Seventh graders don’t capitalize “I” or end their sentences with punctuation. Good Lord where does the madness end??!!!

You may spend eight hours of your glorious weekend finessing your plans to be perfect–fun and interesting, yet full of learning for your little minions…yeah, those minions don’t give a crap.

You keep signing that contract. Year after year…you sign.


There is no explanation.

Teachers are an enigma. We do it. We hate it. We love it. We hate them.

We love them.

We stay.

Thank goodness we stay.

You need us to stay…and so do your kids.

Do They Know?

What one sees may not be what one knows.

Do they know that when they see a beautiful face, I see the unyielding bumps desperately trying to free themselves out from under the tediously crafted camouflage?

Do they know when they see a tall lean body, I see the pale, white string climbing up my spine, the hip that sits too high, and the bones that will never again give way to a curve?

Do they know when they see hair thick and long, I see a bank account habitually dwindling due to the monthly wage being summoned like a sinner to the altar to support the hiding of old, the lightening of too dark, and the snip that keeps it healthily yet doesn’t stop the breakage?

Do they know when they see confidence through smiling and speaking or laughing, I see crows feet, an imposter, weariness,  and those too blind to see the truth?

Do they know when they see offspring too good to be true, I see a long, silent drive home from the outing that had to be abandoned because it was plagued by disobedience? I see the discipline that was handed down as a result of the test that I knew could be ignored but was chosen to be a lesson. I see authority and wonder how long they’ll buy it.

Do they know when they see someone who came through the breakup of a family less like a suicidal nutcase and more like a champ, I see a father that apparently didn’t love enough, a hole so deep all the ocean’s in the world couldn’t fill it, and a loss so great that giving it the time it deserved to heal would mean a crack in the canvas that would never be sealed.

Do people know when they see a great couple, I see the choice to never walk away, the tears…anger…words never forgotten yet forgiven, the eye of the storm, the other side of the fury, the clearing sky after the tumultuous rain…the reason for the words “to death do us part?”

Do they see what they want to see?

Don’t we all?

Game Night!

These days playing board games seems to be about as antiquated as trying to solve the mystery of the Rubik’s Cube or awkwardly hopping around on a pogo stick watching your life flash before your eyes. But they’re so fun, so why doesn’t anyone really play them anymore?

The board games that we once played as children just don’t quite make the cut anymore when searching for ideas of what to do on a Friday night. For me, however, they do tend to bring back memories of laughter and fun with my family where no computer or iPhone was repeatedly being checked being sure not miss someone’s latest selfie or the all too familiar  picture of just toes sticking up in front of a line of sand and just beyond that the blue ocean emulating how pleased the owner of the toes is that their feet are on vacation.

Oh, the moments technology has robbed us of! Well, not tonight, my friend…not tonight.

So, with that in mind, I decided to go retro the other night and offer out the idea of family game night with the clever little game we inherited from a friend; Clue.

Even though past memories of trying new games flashed into my brain (complete warning signals) of me reading the rules to my family first happily, sometimes pausing to make sure they understood, then moving on to a more than eager pace desperately trying to avoid eye contact with my less than enthused audience so they wouldn’t stop me with the eventual proclamation of, “Let’s just play!” or, “We got it!”

Well, why not give it a whirl?

Clue is a game I have heard of since forever but have never actually played. So, here I am faced with the inevitable reading of the rules to the family situation once again because none of them know how to play it either.


This is not a step to be skipped (even though my family believes otherwise.) The directions must be read because they are are there for a reason. How else are we supposed to know what to do with the colored pieces, the cards (which look bizarrely elementary for such a complicated game,) and the miniature replicas of common killing devices?

We will read–then we will have fun.

This time, though, I wisely decided I would figure everything out beforehand. That would make the explaining part quick and simple.


Once I found the rules (wondering if finding them was actually part of the game since I could’ve used a clue as to where to actually find them,) I laid them out on the floor, bent over them and started reading, and reading, and reading.

Total snorefest.

By the time I arrived at what to do with the cards, I had already forgotten how to start the game (which I really didn’t understand to begin with) and then got so confused about the doors and how to get in the rooms and how many people can be in the rooms at one time that I began to feel mentally deficient and that I may have chosen the wrong career path. Children play this game. Children I’ve taught play this game. How hard can it be?

So, after I neatly returned the pieces that did make it in the box from the previous owner (looks like we’ll be fashioning our own lead pipe and looking for a replacement for the purple token if we ever do play this game,) I declared, “We aren’t playing Clue EVER people!”

I’ll admit, guilty feelings did enter my mind as I packed it all away thinking about the ghosts of former students and those whiny voices saying this is soooooo haaaaarrd and I don’t get iiiiiiiiit.

Am I one of those now?  A giver upper?

Well, after a glass of wine and the hopes that I wouldn’t give a crap how hard the directions were once it had taken effect in my system, I realized I had let a game get the best of me, and I would go back and read them again.

Then…that thought was quickly replaced with an even better one.

I had actually solved the big mystery of why people don’t play board games anymore and, therefore, was free of my guilt for being a quitter.

We are too advanced for the reading of long, boring directions these days. We’re movers and shakers now. This is the 21st Century afterall!

Who needs board games when you have computers and iPhones?

Gotta love technology.


The Amended Trajectory

According to, “change” means “to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone…”

Hmmm….if life was just left alone, it would be stagnant, mundane…boring!

I don’t want “it” to be left alone. Bring on the change, I say! falling-big-1

So, what’s so scary about change anyway? You never know just what it may lead to. Think about what you may miss out on by never straying off the path.

Yes, the unbroken path may seem safer and more secure, but is it? Isn’t life always full of ups, downs, uncertainties, and surprises anyway? Why not make it interesting along the way?


You said this path was safe. No, I said there were no turns…

Instead of fearing the unknown, why not think about it as opportunity that offers what safety may not:  discovery, new experiences, excitement, new friends…happiness.

I have signed up for countless changes in my life and they are usually scary, but I like change and I love to stretch myself. I have found I can do much more than I ever would have dreamed from moving to New York City to quitting a lucrative job in order to pursue a career that allowed more flexibility as a mother.


I’m a mommy!

Change isn’t always an easy choice, but I continually find that what follows is great reward.

I just happen to be embarking on a change this year. A change that has brought me great sadness as closing a great chapter in life always does but also sends my stomach surging with twists of excitement.

As I sent my fifth grade students off to face their next challenge in life (middle school) I sent them with some words to live by…

…and realized we could all live by these words.

Dear departing fifth graders,

I would like to give you some advice to take with you as you leave.  But, before I do, I wanted to tell you how special you really are to me. You guys (class of 2023) have traveled the same road as my own two daughters and have shared many of the same adventures. From the Kindergarten egg drop FAIL, to the well worth it tug-of-war rope burns Coach provided every field day; from singing it out with Mrs. Banks and her awesome music, to finding interesting books with Miss Dixie, and of course we can’t forget how much you enjoyed the enlightening PUBERTY discussion Mr. Aikens and Nurse Sheila presented; you truly hold a special place in my heart and will continue to be a bittersweet memory that I will hold onto throughout the years.

Ok, so onto middle school…

I know you’re excited; your parents are too, but along with this age comes a challenge or two. You are going from “KING OF THE HILL” to peasants of the manor, “THE BIG CHEESE” to the stinky little sixth grader.

Now, I’ve been told that middle school students are a different breed. They’re easily compared to awful things, indeed.

Things like… demons, aliens, monsters, and mutations. Oh, how I hope you don’t have too many confrontations. These words may mean nothing to you in this moment, but as your parents are tightly strapping their seat belts in preparation of your impending mutation into a temporary but strange remnant of what you are today, remember these few things that I have learned along the way.  

Kindness is a cure for many ailments.

Making friends is much easier than the pain that comes from losing one.

Gossip is wicked and has no place…anywhere.

Knowledge isn’t only power, it’s a necessity.

Your word should be your word, and if it is, a promise isn’t necessary.

Be teachable; you’ll go farther than the ones who aren’t.

The truth won’t set you free, but it will ease your tummy. Guilt is there for a reason.

Think before you speak. It can and in most cases will save you from looking like a fool.

Technology can’t and won’t ever replace the closeness and camaraderie that face to face conversations provide.

Conquering a challenge is unspeakably more rewarding than giving up. Life isn’t easy, so quit acting like it should be.

Listening is magical…just doing it helps you learn. (No sweat required)

Being popular for the right reasons takes time; being popular for the wrong reasons maaaayyyyyy land you in jail.

Respect can be taught, it can be given, and it can be earned, but it won’t be forgotten. 

Impressing a teacher will get you farther in life than impressing your friends.

Laugh at yourself…it most likely was funny.

When you make a mistake own it…and move on.

And finally, cool isn’t always cool.

So, in conclusion, from my heart to your ears…Embrace good friends. Laugh hard and laugh often. Forgive hurts, and let them be forgotten. Love those when they don’t love you, and give even when you don’t want to. Seek knowledge and wisdom as you travel your life road, and always know a special place in my heart you do hold.


Mrs. Slagle  

So, as I tearily wrap up the chapter I am currently in, I look forward to the next one which just happens to be teaching middle school (yikes!)

Sometimes you choose your path, sometimes someone else does, and sometimes changes are simply the inevitable next step.

Don’t let fear stand in your way of something great!


A Deal with the Devil Part II

So, here is what you, my dear readers (all seven of you) have been anxiously awaiting–the highly anticipated sequel to A Deal With the Devil.

(I like to think positively.)

Before I start, I must say that uncovering something so revealing, so personal, yet so ridiculous may be crazy or weird (judge if you will judgy judgers), but keeping funny stories all to myself just isn’t right.

It’s plain selfish.

Sharing is better.

So, I left off with me in the bathroom staring at my countertop lined with products and my true grit willingness to conquer the application of fake eyelashes which interestingly enough also happen to come in delicate, wispy singles as well which is just what I chose.

Piece of cake. Ha!

Not only were the simple singles appealing, but also the fact that the package they were in said they lasted for weeks. I didn’t believe it for a minute, but I was definitely in.

Anyway, I unpacked the little lash tray with all of these different lengths of single wisps of lashes, the directions, and the glue that came with it.  I put my glasses on to read the only three steps the makers for some God forsaken reason think that’s all there are and quickly realized this wasn’t going to be easy–especially minus the glasses. Thank goodness for magnifying mirrors.

Maneuvering these microscopic hairs with tweezers and applying the glue was no easy task. Several fell to their demise in my sink, others got eternally stuck to the tweezers, while finally the lucky remaining lashes made it to my eyelids. (Found out later that’s not where they go, but that’s neither here nor there.)

After a while, I started to get the hang of the application process, and my eyelashes began to take on a look that said, “You’re gettin’ good at this…look…at…you.”

Soooooooo…of course I applied more. If one row looks good, two rows will look fabulous! I layered and buried and stacked those lashes till only one or two lonely sprigs lingered in the tray.

My transformation was complete. It was two grueling hours of intense labor, but I was finally pleased with the heap of tiny hairs that now bordered my eyeballs.


My eyelids felt as if a small child had sat on them, but not feeling that this was a dealbreaker, I ended my process with one of my favorite sayings, “And it was good.”

Hello eyelashes!

Feeling ever so lovely, I took advantage of enjoying my beauty every time I could.

I looked in the mirror every time I passed it in the hallway. I calmly snuck off to the bathroom many times to make sure they were still awesome. I subtly stole glances of myself sideways in the microwave, and I finally decided it was time to take them out for a spin.

I wore them when I ran my errands feeling just a little self-conscious but owned it.  I wore them all day.


Until…I had to go meet my friend to pick up her daughter to spend the night with my daughters. I decided I was NOT going to have the eyelashes on then. For strangers it was ok, but for people I actually encounter regularly it wasn’t.

This was a test drive, and I was not quite ready to let the world know I had chosen this path.

So, having worn them as long as I could until meeting my friend, I returned to my bathroom to undo all I had done and began the process of dismantling the tiny hairs one by one.

I had one hour until pickup…no worries.

The pack came with a liquid that would “release” the glue, so I began drizzling that over my forest of lashes, let it soak in for the recommended 15 seconds or so, and then began to tug with my tweezers.

One problem; there was no releasing of the eyelash wisps.

Ok, let me try that again. I let it soak a little longer.

Still, no releasing whatsoever, and no promise of any type of release in my near future.

I started to realize that the whole “stays on for weeks” was no whisper in the wind.

It was real.

They sold me “releasing liquid” AKA Crazy Glue. You know the one–where in the commercial the guy glues his hard hat to a steel beam and hangs from it all because of the Crazy Glue and it’s amazing holding power?

Yeah, that’s on my eyelashes.

Forty minutes in and the countdown to meeting my friend (and dropping them off at a church event where I will need to briefly talk to other adults) I begin to feel a rush of panic set in.

You know how you feel when you need something off or you will lose your mind?

Maybe it’s an itchy sweater, or a jacket that’s got the arms of your shirt underneath bunched up around your elbows, or even a too tight dress all zipped up that won’t pull over your head and won’t come back down either–pure panic I say!

So, good Lord, of course I begin to take what I feel is the ONLY course of action and rip them out.

That’s right. Once I did one and realized I was left with a tidy little bald spot, I figured I had no other choice.

Flashes of white light hit me. I envisioned my eye baldness after this situation. I wondered if Crazy Glue worked if there were no eyelashes at all…because there were going to be eyelashes in my future, and this was definitely going to be what I was going to use if it came down to it.

It just got worse and worse, and it was time to meet this mother.


Good lord what happened?

Not just an hour ago, I was feeling like J LO from her L’Oreal mascara commercial, and now I look like Smeagol from Lord of the Rings.


So I make my way toward the other eye.

Let ‘er rip.

I ran out of time though, and I decided that cutting the remaining lashes down to meet whatever I had left was a reasonable solution.

Things get weird when ya panic.

But, I was nervous so I cut a big gash out and now I had this real low part right in the middle of my eyelashes…lower that my own.

I had cut the few poor eyelashes I did have shorter than the rest of my eyelashes and now they looked like they were smiling at me.

I actually heard my eyelashes beg me to stop.

I held back tears. I sucked it up. I told my daughters to look away, and I texted my friend.

Now, she really is more of an acquaintance which makes this conversation that much harder, but I basically told her of my lapse in judgement and that it wasn’t going to be pretty.

You know when someone looks at you and laughs with that uncomfortable, tight laughter while telling you that you don’t look that bad… it’s that bad. 

She’s so nice.

I made a very brief, far away showing at the church event. I had actually looked in the mirror before I left to see how many inches/feet a person would actually have to be in proximity to me to make out what I had done.

I didn’t move an inch closer.

After the drop off, I made a beeline to the nearest drugstore and purchased–you guessed it–another set of eyelashes.

The prospect of putting glue on what was now red hot, bleeding eyelids was not something I was looking forward to.

Yes, they were bleeding…

…complete freak show…

When I got home, I tearily removed the remainder of lashes I had and decided to give my bleeding eyeballs a break. I went to bed…and rested.

Amazingly, eyelashes are quite resilient.

They weren’t hideous for long. Miracle! I did use some natural looking eyelashes for a bit. They actually came with a sticky strip so no glue was necessary. (Where were they that night?)

And I got some lessons (from those on YouTube that had gone before me), and found out how to do the whole eyelash thing right. At this point though…who cares?!

Although I am not completely against the fakes, I’m still not totally on board because they are a lot of work and feel weird, but I thought this journey might be an enjoyable one for you to take vicariously through me.

You know the one that you’re sooooooo glad you’re not actually on?

Maybe I should go on YouTube and give tutorials…of what not to do…ever.

Sweet dreams…










A Deal with the Devil

In the ever desperate attempt to hold onto my rapidly fleeting youth, I find myself in some of the oddest of situations. This one is no exception. Continue reading

Just Say No

I promised myself I would never do it again. I dared myself to try it–or else. I told my kids they had permission to say inappropriate things to me if I dared try. I deleted it it from my life forever and sealed the deal with a vow to NEVER DO IT AGAIN!

In the famous words of Britney Spears, “Oops, I did it again.”

I went to Walmart (no, that’s not it, but great guess) completed my shopping, looked at the ridiculously long lines, and decided….wait for it…to check myself out quickly at the “self check.”


I was the “self-check’s” prey once again.

Everything about that seductive little sign with its come-hither look is nothing short of a complete mockery!

Come to me. Look, there are no lines. Look how easy this is. You can do it, and it’s fun…look how fun this is.

Well, as Eve is to an apple, here I am to the “self-check.” (It’s an analogy. Go with it.)

We had a movie date planned, and it was dangerously close to the start time…so here I am choosing to do something guaranteed to cause a complete panic in my world. Why not? (I need to be at the movies before the previews start because if I miss the previews, I’m not fit to parent–total Rainman situation.)

As I am “patiently” waiting for my impending implosion the lady to finish, I realize the self-serve check-out behind her has been open all along. That irritates me, but moving on. I move in, hit the start button, and the machine immediately tells me cards only and no cash accepted. Well, any other day that’d be just fantastic because I never have cash anyway but, of course, today that’s all I have.

Already not looking good.

As I’m winding up, the lady at the register I was previously waiting at (for no reason) tells me she is almost finished and her machine takes cash.


So, here we go. I am telling my kids to just hand me things and since we’ve walked this slippery slope before, make sure they bag every item in the bagging area (as I’m gesturing all over the place trying to show them.) This may not sound important, but, oh, how it is.

My kids (in full prep mode to handle mom’s meltdown) are battle-style finding the bar codes handing them to me in perfect position for swiping and taking the items from my hand as soon as they hear the beep and placing them in the bagging area.

So far so good.

And then it happens. The very thing that makes my heart pulsate, my pits sweat, my rational thoughts turn irrational happens.

The machine starts telling me to place the item in the bagging area. (No s#@t lady.) They are in the bagging area!

As I immediately begin a less than Christian-like conversation with the voice coming out of the screen, I feel my body heat rise. Please tell me this is not happening. If ya don’t know, at this point the entire transaction is frozen.

FROZEN, I SAY, as you, the helpless moron who signed up for the (idiots who come to Walmart and think they know how to do our job better and faster than we do) attempts to hunt down the person sadistically planning their well-planned jaunt to a customer as faaaaaaarrrrrrrrr away from you as possible just as you get into a pickle.

This is always fun.

So, as my eyes are darting around the area of self-serve stalls, they finally land where the “leader” stands and supposedly is ready and waiting to swoop in and help you when something goes sideways.

Well, the bearded lady (yep) has strolled her way down about four stalls. So, I just wait…and wait…as I watch her go help every person in Walmart on her way back to me. Yeah, everybody has a problem.

She makes it to me, puts in her 49 digit code, tells me I’m “good to go,”  and walks off.

Ugh. Here we go again.

One child is handing items to me. I am handing them off to the other child. I am yelling at them to do it right so we don’t get stopped again.  The movie is about to start. They’re a nervous wreck; I’m a hot mess, and, of course, it happens again.

So here I go craning my neck around like some sort of zoo animal on crack trying to find the “leader.”

She’s with someone else. I look around and see these ominous lights above all of our heads and realize that they are all blinking red.

I’m never gonna get out of here.

This time I actually walk over and hover, abandoning everything I know about politeness/personal space/being weird/acting like an idiot/embarrassing my children/embarrassing myself and simply hover.

I will stand here if this situation you are trying to work out with the other moron takes ten minutes. It takes ten minutes. It’s awkward, but I’m not going anywhere.

So, she finally turns her face to me (she knew I was there the whole time) and as I try not to flinch at the 5 o’clock shadow desperately working its way to a 12:00 horror show I calmly tell her (with a plastic smile) that I need her.

We walk back to my machine together.

As I desperately attempt to memorize her mother of a code she’s tap-tapping in, (I’ll just take the matter into my own hands if necessary) I asked her if she would just stay and get me through to the end of this transaction as I was getting desperately close to committing a felon. (fake smile attached)

She clearly didn’t think that was very funny and as I turned, swiped another item, and turned back to assure myself she wasn’t leaving, I see she was already gone and well, you guessed it not two seconds later the third situation arises.


So this just gets better and better as I begin swirling my head around like the Exorcist girl trying to find out where Herman has ran off to, I now begin to contemplate simply walking off.

I will just leave, and you, my friend, will have to go put all this crap back. Ha Ha.

But then I realized that would really be more inconvenient for me since I already did the shopping, spent all of this time in hell trying to complete my mission, and would have nothing but a bad experience to show for it.

Nope! I will see this through…to the dire end…no matter how dire.

So, I find myself  just standing there. I literally felt like a balloon deflating. There is nothing I can do. The fight is over. I…have…been…defeated…beat.

So, I waited for Nanny McPhee to mosey on back, and as she saunters over I just look at her like I told you not to leave. See? Look how miserable I am. I’m missing something VEEEERRRRRRRY important. I knew it was gonna break down again! 

I saw her her smirk…and giggle.

Lord, as I finally finish this eternal transaction, I find myself walking to the car realizing what my children just witnessed/went through and most likely will be talking about in therapy one day.

I told them I was sorry, and please don’t let my actions sink into their lives. I told them I was acting ugly and not to act like mommy when they grow up. I told them how great they are when I’m stressed and they were my rocks (as I was secretly hoping they weren’t planning my mysterious disappearance when they are old enough to drive.)

One of the girls’ sweet words to me were, “Don’t worry mommy we know you express things more aggressively than what you are actually thinking.”



So, maybe I’m not ruining them…


So, moral of the story–I am NEVER going through the self-check again!

(If you see me, please intervene. You have my permission.)

The Man That Makes a Father


When Father’s Day rolls around I find myself in a mad dash trying to figure out what to do for my father…well, my father and my stepdad…well, my father, my stepdad, and my husband.

Yes, it’s a little complicated, but not, by any means, out of the ordinary.

I am always in this emotional frenzy of taking this day seriously yet ultimately feeling somewhat blue, moody, guilt ridden, and, quite frankly, screwed which makes me want to ditch the day, burn it at the stake, and never look back.

I have done this every year…since I grew up, took the blinders off, and realized what a true “father” is.

Definitions of the word “father” are provided by a multitude of dictionaries including the Urban Dictionary which is giggle worthy, but I will let you look up that one on your own. These definitions are surprisingly plentiful, clinical, and void of any feeling.

Click here if you can’t stand it. Urban Dictionary- Father

So, the question remains…what is my responsibility?

I have two fathers–one that is biologically mine and one that is mine through marriage. Wow, two! Well, I still feel somewhat fatherless…in father limbo.

There’s just not really another way to describe it. You only get one dad. When that one isn’t there anymore, it never quite feels the same. You have loyalty issues. You have issues with feeling like your stepdad isn’t really yours, and you have the ultimate issue of not being loved (by the man that was originally yours) enough for him to stay or at the very least stay close.

Death certainly makes this situation incredibly different. Death wouldn’t be a choice…well unless it was suicide. Then, my friend, you certainly have different issues than myself, yet still issues of him leaving by choice.

These issues are no joke.

So, when I snap out of that train of thought, my next thought is to recognize the father in my life that belongs to my children; he is the father that I so desperately want to be everything to my girls that my father inevitably wasn’t to me.

Sounds reasonable, right?

My father was a wonderful dad to me. He was my hero. He was my favorite (sorry mom). I loved him so much that I thought my heart might actually burst when he loved on me. I actually thought that if I were to ever lose him, I would not be able to go on.

(I now know that I can.)

He filled my cup to overflowing and then some…until he eventually did the unthinkable–left, moved away, claimed his new family, and eventually allowed me to be slowly phased out of his life.

This rocked my world. I pretended it didn’t, but it did. I was tough, and not going to let this speed bump set the stage for my future–not an option…but I now know that it shaped me in some ways.

Some fathers move their responsibility to new families. Some fathers stop being responsible at all, and some fathers step into responsibility that doesn’t technically belong to them, yet they are man enough and loving enough to take on that responsibility by choice.

I’ve been affected by all of the above.


What a father may not know about a girl is that she needs him there to keep her safe, to make her feel protected, to be the spiritual leader of the home, to show her how to respect a man, how to act like a lady, how to hold her tongue when wild horses seem to be ripping it from her, how to keep herself pure, how to look for Godly qualities in the man she wants to marry, and she needs him to wrestle with her and tickle her until she can’t breathe.

A girl needs every one of these things.

Father and sonWhat a father may not know about the incredible responsibility he owes to a boy is that he needs to teach him how to be confident. He needs to teach him structure–to be self-disciplined, how to be tough in life when tough is the last thing he wants to be, how to respect a woman and how to treat her the way she needs to be treated as well as how to be respectable.

He needs to know how to be emotional and tender, and how to let his guard down when someone needs to connect with him.

He needs to teach him how to start a fire and cut the grass. He needs to teach him how to nail a nail (straight), how to use a drill, how to drive a stick shift, and ultimately how to be a man–someone willing to do what they need to do for their family or their friends when they are needed whether it be cold, rainy, or hot like the Sahara.

daddy girls 3

What a father needs to give all his children is discipline that says, “I love you, and I care about your future,” prayers at night to remember who comes first and last each day, gas money, and time, time, and more time. A good father is there for events that matter…and those that don’t.

Daddy and girls 4
A good father is willing to take the more difficult route in order to teach a lesson even though it may mean suffering for himself as well.

A good father is supportive when you succeed and when you fail.

daddy and girls 5

daddy and girls

So, ladies, take care of your men out there-they deserve it, and for the ones that don’t–forgive them, and for the ones that could do better–love them through it, and for the ones that are “Rock Star” dads–make sure they know how you feel.

For the fathers that are yet to be, show them you have faith in them while revealing your expectations.

Dads, whether biological or inherited, are a gift from God and deserve to have this special day in their honor.

daddy girls 2

Where would we be without the men in our lives?

Happy Father’s Day 6/21/15.

Walk or Scoot?

walk or scoot

Back in the day, in the not so distant past, the riding of scooters in a store was reserved for those that were, well, a little long in the tooth– the sweet little old person riding around trying to lead a normal life as they go through the aging process.

“Oopsie, I think we are tangled.”

However, riding a scooter in a store looks a little different these days. Continue reading

Two Girls, One Night to Remember

I have a childhood memory that doesn’t surface often, but it surfaces with regularity, and when it does, it is vivid.

It is a memory of a night I spent at a friend’s house when I was in middle school.

It still gives me the shivers… Continue reading

Your Prescription’s Ready! Better Call Saul…Doctor’s Orders


pills Just a few short (eternal) weeks ago I went through some serious despair when I had to accept the fact that I was taking my final dose. I was at the end of my obsession/comfort/happy place…addiction, and the bottle was forever empty with no refill in sight. If you are curious check out this post.
Breaking Bad Heisenburg



Well, today is a new day, and Monday nights now offer a surge of anticipation as I pull into my garage, drop my bags on the chair, clear away the evidence of a hectic family of four trying to get out the door on time for work and school, shed my work clothes, pour a glass of wine, grab my remote, turn on my TV and…finally…see that sexy, little red dot that holds the promise of…pure entertainment–my new fix.

I am, of course, talking about Breaking Bad’s spinoff show…Better Call Saul.

Better Call Saul isn’t simply a continuation of the AMC series Breaking Bad, nor is it entirely its own entity. It has a simple, seamless connection to the ground breaking series Breaking Bad (If that is necessary for you to be invested) yet, enough caliber of its own to seduce you, make mad love to you, and keep you begging for more even if you just happen to be a Breaking Bad virgin or just weren’t taken captive like most. (Perish the thought!)

So the question is…Has it been able to deliver so far?


Saul Goodman, the dirty dog lawyer in the bad suit from Breaking Bad (one of my favorite characters) is now the main character in the new show Better Call Saul.

His character, however, is introduced as Jimmy McGill due to the creative spin Vince Gilligan (creator) and Peter Gould (executive producer) have given the show. The show is actually a prequel that goes back six years before he met Walter White a.k.a. Heisenberg (the main character from Breaking Bad).

Bob Odenkirk (Saul) clearly has his work cut out for him considering the success and following Breaking Bad commanded; but so far the series has started out on a strong note and he is keeping up his end of the bargain.

Part of the draw to the show is you feel an immediate intimacy to the character because Bob Odenkirk didn’t miss a beat in the series premiere.

He evokes the kind of emotion in me that makes me want to save him, love him, and, well, reward comfort him through his desperation yet willingness to put it all out there leaving his pride at the door and putting his need to make money front and center.

As his story unfolds we get to take a journey through his life and even find out his lost innocence started out pretty early in life as he tells a story about his childhood when referring to “Slipping Jimmy” the kid who hustled people for money by falling and suing.

Although he does dabble a little with the moral high road, he quickly sinks right back where we want him–need him–playing the role of the seedy lawyer who’s not afraid of a little trouble for the right price.

So, here I am again sitting at ground zero: addicted.

I just hope the refills episodes last as long as the desire for more does. RX

Bra Envy

bra pic

So, the other day while watching Million Dollar Listing I became fascinated by a particular scene.

Josh (one of the real estate brokers) is coming to the rescue of his grandmother by changing a light bulb for her that had gone out on a chandelier too high for her to reach. (Yeah, and…)

Wait for it…The fascinating part is where she was keeping the replacement light bulb. Click Here to Find Out Why!

Moment of Silence, Please

freddy letter

Sophie’s letter after Freddy the Rat died

Being the mother of two animal lovin’ girls, I face the challenge of loss much more often than I’d like to think is normal.

Sophie and her Maine crab

Sophie and her Maine crab

My daughters (10 year old twins) have grown up through the years investigating and loving everything that has a heartbeat– and I mean everything.

Oh, the treasures they have brought me throughout the years! They have adopted and cared for lizards, beetles, wooly bears, birds, worms, lightning bugs, lady bugs, a praying mantis, Freddie the Rat, frogs, snakes, squirrels, hermit crabs, dogs, cats, mice, guinea pigs, and chickens (the list could go on forever).


It’s a new guinea pig!

They have bandaged, wrapped, and nursed to health (most of the time successfully) birds that couldn’t fly, kittens that were almost road kill, and snakes that, well…were.

I have spent more than I’d like to admit on various types of cages, hay, toys, chews, treats, food, bowls, litter, pet beds, and replacement animals.


Vets for Halloween

They even proclaimed their future careers at the ripe ol’ age of three to be veterinarians. (But, of course!)

Well, with that plethora of small animals has come many the memorial service followed by a ritualistic burial complete with a resting place, headstone, and a prayer (we must all be present for).

These moments aren’t easy. They come with sadness, a few giggles (stifled), and the feelings of great loss–really. It’s heartbreaking to watch your child mourn the death of something they have loved, played with, cared for, and of course named.

Ash was an especially tough loss

Ash was an especially tough loss

In fact, I cannot count the times I myself have shed tears over the furry little bodies we’ve buried and the eulogies we’ve delivered.

But, truly, what do we have to gain if we never jump off that cliff–never love even though it ultimately may bring pain?

I do believe that Alfred Lord Tennyson said it best, though, “‘Tis better to have loved and lost/ Than to never have loved at all.” (“In Memoriam” line 15).

snake and raff

Look, mom.

I have enjoyed these experiences and have been able to let the “true” animal lover in me come out as a result. I’ve been able to let go of my inner OCD issues (sort of) and embrace all things living.

My girls love hard, care brilliantly, and respect living creatures in a way that still amazes me, and I will forever be grateful to them for bringing their animal love and all of the madness that comes with it to my world.

mom and girls

Me and my girls

Wake Up So I Can Kill You


My husband cheated on me last night.

Ok, no phone calls please; it was in a dream, but it felt soooooooo real; and now I’m mad, and want him to wake up so I can tell him how awful he is so he can feel terrible then love on me and assure me he doesn’t own a curly clown wig or lime green suspenders. (complete freak show.)

He was being so naughty when I caught him too. He didn’t even stop! In fact I walked over to him to get a really good look to make sure he was doing what I thought he was doing. He was, and now I hate him. Great.

I rolled over and just looked at him; I gave him a long blink and rolled back over–a bumpy flailing about (like a mackerel on a dock) type roll over so he would know just how mad I was. I was disgusted and here he was just sleeping away all peaceful.

sleeping cat

So I waited, like a hunter waiting for their prey to flinch. I finally saw a flicker of eyeball.

A lion in Kenya's Ol Pejeta Conservancy. © Stefan Ekernas


He just thought he was waking up to a glorious Super Bowl Sunday.


Just one bite...

Black Widow


Me:  “Well, well, well, I hope you enjoyed it.”

Him: “What?”






Just what I thought…denial. Wasn't meTypical man.







How about you? Have you ever wanted to call your attorney after a dream?

Million Dollar Movie

AMC Movie Theater

The other day I was enjoying a movie at the theater with my mother. My time was being split between watching Bradley Cooper on the big screen and staring at /listening to my mother suck on the never-ending sucker. I actually had my own Tootsie Pop in my purse that I was waiting patiently to get out since I felt too silly having two of us sitting side by side sucking on suckers. It looks ridiculous enough-an adult eating a sucker-but two of us is where I draw the line.

We were in public after all.

That’s when I began to think of how weird it was to actually be surrounded by strangers eating and relaxing in a large room together…very close together watching a movie.

I started dissecting the whole movie theater experience (which I LOVE by-the-way) and how odd the whole situation really is.

Here is a short recap of my thoughts:

1. You leave the comfort of your house to go see a film that will soon be available for you to watch on your comfy sofa where you can do whatever you want (like eating our suckers at the same time) for a third of the cost and soon for free thanks to the wonders of patience and Netflix.

2. You wait in line only to be asked to pay a dollar amount that could have sent some of those mosquito nets to an entire village in Uganda.

Let’s see…end malaria or see a movie…sorry Sally–Sniper it is!

3. You go to yet another line and buy a five dollar box of Snow Caps that the Dollar Tree sells for, well, a dollar. You say yes to the combo deal with a commercial size bucket of popcorn smothered in orange “butter” along with the refillable drink they talked you into since, of course, it’s smarter to just drink an entire gallon since it’s a mere fifty cents more and has the guarantee that the only thing you will run out of is room in your bladder.

(I actually prefer to smuggle in all my snacks since I’m a professional at getting around the “fffssshhh” sound of my home-brought coke, the strategic placement of the litany of items in my oversized purse, and pouring liquor in the dark—I’m no dummy!)

4. Now comes seat selection. For the ultimate experience you want to get to the middle of the row in the middle of the theater making sure you aren’t too far back or too close. You certainly don’t want to be the time-challenged schmuck who has to take the walk of shame to that bad-mood inducing, bitch of a front row.

5. Finally, after silencing your phone, making sure your purse doesn’t touch the floor, and getting all of your snacks into a Jenga-like position perfect for grabbing in the dark, you are ready for the show.

Whew! It’s a lot of work, but so much fun and totally worth it!! How do you feel about the movie experience? Any funny stories to share?



Cuisine or Crap?

Holiday fire safety - Unattended cooking on stove leads to a fire

Every day I thank my lucky stars (no joke!) because I happened to have married an amazing cook that keeps my family not only satisfied but healthy as he provides us with food–good food–without fail on a daily basis.

Continue reading

A True “Hairror” Story


There are three things I am absolutely sure about in life:  Klondike bars are a gift from God, Botox works, and I absolutely look hideous while getting my hair colored. Continue reading

“He Coulda Kept His Pants On”

The Celebrity Apprentice

So, this post is mostly about Geraldo Rivera (and something that you can’t “unsee” once you see it), but I must quickly give it a premise.

Continue reading

Play Ball!

Just a quick reblog for my newest readers. This is one of my favorites. 🙂

The Daily Colonic


A favorite pastime that the average American can relate to is good ‘ole baseball.

When I think of baseball these thoughts come into my mind: the smell of hotdogs and cotton candy, the crisp, green striped grassy fields, phrases like  “Shake it off!” and “He wanted that!”,  guys in tight uniforms, and people–lots of different sorts of people.

Are you with me?

Just recently I had the pleasure of going to a Brave’s game in Atlanta and had forgotten just how much fun actually going to the game can be.

So, the experience starts out pretty normal.

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“I’d Plow Your Farm Any Day”


So, this is the please remember me phrase from one of Chris Soule’s (ABC’s The Bachelor) potential wifeys.

Yes it was. I thought she was a complete HoHo, but noooooowwwwwwww….

She’s one of my favorites…gotta love some reality TV.

I know I am not alone in this reality lovin’ goodness. It is an ugly obsession that one doesn’t enjoy admitting, but when one finds others that indeed have slipped up and admitted it–knows that we are bonded together…forever…as people who will always have something to talk about.

Me:  “Do you watch The Bachelor?”

Random Person:  “Ummmmm…”

Me:  “I love it.”

Random Person: “OMG! Me too!”

RTV (that’s my new acronym for reality TV that I just made up in case you were wondering, but know you aren’t, because my readers are without a doubt, unbelievably smart, clever and intelligent) is shocking, unbelievable, disgusting, annoying, ridiculous, mind-numbing, stupid, funny, sad, and addicting.

Can you say that about any other TV show? Well, not including Breaking Bad. Refer to my previous post to get my opinion on that. (Spoiler alert! Best show ever!)

RTV is like watching a car wreck complete with shattered glass, blood, dismemberment, and people all around you admonishing you for staring too long.

In fact, If my husband were to ever leave me, you can rest assured my love for RTV would, no doubt, be used against me in a court of law as my husband and lawyer built their case attempting to make me look crazy. Scary thing is…it could work.

So, anywhoo,The Bachelor is one of my absolute favorite RTV shows. It has romance, love, secret rendezvous, tears, scandal, and heartbreak. It is a girl’s dream and (un-admittedly) a man’s way to see what kind of “mojo” the leading man has. I’m also pretty sure it’s not to hard to look at 30 of the most beautiful girls in America throwing themselves at one guy.

This season Chris, a farmer from Iowa, and a “dumpee” on the last season of The Bachelorette, is on his quest to find who he truly believes will be his wife. It’s not completely crazy because it actually has worked out for some of his predecessors, but the odds lean more toward the fact that he will most likely be plowing his own field for quite some time.


Or maybe not…

So, he is clearly a decent looking guy, with a sweet personality to match with the bonus of being sensitive–not in a gag-me-with-a-spoon way but a way that you fantasize about.

This season has not disappointed so far either. It has had the token drunk AND a couple of extra drunks in the wings to fill in as the girls not doing it for Chris get plucked off one by one in a humiliating you ain’t gettin’ a rose ceremony

Now, these extra drunks have truly provided some great entertainment, but I don’t want to get too spoiled because when they’re gone we must rely on the personalities of those that are left. They can range anywhere from the bitch not here to make friends, to the girl who becomes your very best friend but will secretly screw him if she gets half a chance to, and the girl who has no intention of getting married and every intention of getting cozy with the production staff so she can get every bit of screen time as possible to help catapult her career as an actress.

See? Intoxicating. 🙂

Mother May I…Pleeeeease Get This Baby Out?!


This little tale I’m about to tell isn’t just for the mommies out there. It’s simply for anyone who finds that whole “baby gotta come out” situation as fascinating as I do, and ,actually, the men that…well…did this to us because you might as well know.

This is totally for all of you…

I’m taking a quick stroll down memory lane (yes my memory, but hang in there it will be worth it) to tell you a little story of how two of the coolest people got to planet Earth.

My journey is somewhat unique because when I went for my first OB appointment to see my little lima bean and hear its heartbeat something somewhat unexpected happened.

Now, before I get to all that I must quickly fill you in on my desire as a young girl to be a mother just to make the story complete.

(Men out there–if this actually caught your attention enough to stay, you have just landed on a golden opportunity to gain sacred knowledge that will ultimately catapult you into “Rock Star” status in the eyes of your woman because you will be two steps ahead of her–if her pregnancy journey takes a left turn–armed and prepared to use that knowledge to comfort her, be her rock, and give her sound advice.)

Hahahahahahahah!!!! Sorry, I was lost in a moment of fantasy. If a man clicks on this link AND reads to the end, I just may deserve a medal.

OK –back to reality! I knew I wanted to be a mother from the moment I had the ability to hold baby dolls. I took the best care of those babies. I swaddled them, fed them, dressed them, rocked and sang to them. I even breast-fed them…well pretended to because that’s what good mommies do! I had a plan. I was going to get married and be a mama, and the only detail I would have to iron out in that plan would be the who–as in who was gonna be my baby daddy. (But that’s a completely different story. A DOOZIE, but not for today.)

At this point, I believe you have enough of the background knowledge you need for the full effect so, I will get back to my story now.

A year or so prior to this OB appointment (I referred to earlier) my husband and I went through a devastating miscarriage that rocked my world. Anything after that, of course, was going to make me uneasy and terrified of possibly enduring the same fate. So, every pregnancy test, every appointment, every heard or unheard sound, every weird feeling or no feeling at all had me on edge preparing myself to hear those shocking words once again, “We were unable to find a heartbeat…I’m so sorry.”

Now, Let’s go back to that memorable day in my OB’s office. My husband, Thomas, (AKA “Baby Daddy”) and I were nervously awaiting the screen shot of the unidentifiable object when the sonographer (yes, apparently that’s what they call them according to my Google quest) said something I will NEVER forget.

Sonographer:  “Have you been taking fertility drugs?”

Me: “No.”

Sonographer:  “Well, someone just made up for your miscarriage because you have two.”

Now, I know people can have like fourteen babies at a time these days, but just imagine (if you are a parent of a single) those exact words.

Wow…it still gives me chills.

OK, now let me shortcut this a bit.

My pregnancy was AWESOME. I loved every moment, only threw up once, was the picture of health for every appointment (minus the placenta previa which managed to work itself out), and looked and felt as cute/sexy/important as ever. I wore pregnancy like a Cartier necklace in mint condition passed down from my wealthy great-grandmother…

That is…before it was stolen and rearranged to look more like a set of twister beads from the 80’s that wasn’t quite so fascinating nor covet-worthy.

My pregnancy plan had been to continue with my career as a pharmaceutical sales rep for Abbot Labs, work up until the time the babies were due, take my six weeks maternity leave, and then jump right back in to work. Pregnancy and children weren’t going to slow me down.

I was in my 24th week or so (stop trying to figure it out–6th month) when I started having Braxton-Hicks contractions. They said it was normal at that point in my pregnancy to have these mild contractions and that they wouldn’t last. But they did. I waited them out for weeks. I took warm baths, went back and forth to the doctor to measure the intensity of these “mild” contractions, took the asthma medicine I was prescribed that made me feel like I couldn’t get my breath (ironic huh?), called the doctor every time I had them for long durations (as told to do), and was eventually put on bed rest at 26 weeks. No more work for me. (So much for my whole work till I deliver plan.)

Finally one evening when I was still enduring these “mild” contractions (now not so”mild”) and just not feeling right, I was summoned by the doctor on call to go ahead and get to the hospital. It was late, and I really didn’t feel like making the 30 minute trek in the cold to see a doctor, but I didn’t argue.

So, my sweet man Thomas (who had to go to work very early the next morning) drove me to the hospital just outside of Atlanta to get checked out. The contractions had really started becoming more intense turning my stomach into a very large over-inflated basketball with rock-like hardness, and those contractions were coming closer and closer together. Thomas had decided to take this as an opportunity to run every red light from our driveway to the hospital. I reminded him that I wasn’t due for eight weeks so he probably had enough time to go ahead and hit those red lights, but do you think that made him reconsider? Right. Fortunately we did get there safely, and the stress-inducing drive didn’t take my contractions to full-blown labor, but I was exhausted and very ready to see what the doctor had in store for me and the future of this pregnancy.

Well, after a short visit from the doctor, (two hours later) I did end up getting admitted. I really didn’t bring much because it was so unclear what my fate would be. Why would I have a hospital bag packed eight weeks early anyway? Much less one that had enough items for a month and half.

My first thought was I’m having my babies tonight. (This was very exciting. I was ready!)

Unfortunately, after a very stern talking to from my doctor about how having them tonight would be detrimental and that I wasn’t here to have the babies, I was here to keep from having the babies my new thought was I’m going to rot in here.

I wasn’t due for eight weeks.

Here I had been on a paid vacation from work because of my doctor mandated bed rest at week 26 having the time of my life shopping for Christmas, showing off my belly, and watching all the glorious daytime TV I could get my hands on. I had learned to work around the discomfort of the contractions, and although they did eventually slow me way down-they didn’t stop me. Braxton-Hicks contractions didn’t scare me. They just scared the doctors.

In your FACE bed rest!

Ah, consequences…aren’t they great? Because I didn’t take the whole “bed rest” situation seriously, there were consequences to pay, and a sentence to serve. I was checking in to the hospital, and I wouldn’t be coming out until my due date or until the babies refused to stay in any longer. My brain hadn’t quite wrapped around this idea yet as I was wheeled away.

I knew It was official as my own clothes were quickly whisked away and replaced with the standard issue hospital gown that sets you up for failure every time you try to tie it as if I had some sort of special appendage that could actually tie things behind me. Ok, I can do this. I can say goodbye to my home stretch maternity wear that would no longer be necessary to get me through the last month and a half of my pregnancy in style. The truth was, my cute mid-pregnancy body had been traded in for something a little more swollen and puffy unrecognizable so, quite honestly, the gown was working for me somewhat, and soon to be the least of my worries.

Just when I was enjoying enduring all of the hustle and bustle of the hospital staff as they catered to me like royalty herded me in finally understanding how terribly uncomfortable I was during my quest to populate the earth, I was kindly fitted with my very own catheter.

Yay for me!

I tried to tell them how very unnecessary that was and that I would be ever so happy to urinate in that little room in the corner where the pee pee goes down the big pipe and far, far away where nobody knows…the way the normal people do it, but noooooooooo. They preferred I not get out of bed (ya know, the whole bed rest thing and all) and don my own Bag-‘O-Pee during my stay.

Get this. They were planning on putting a tube in a tiny little hole I knew my body had, had never witnessed, but was absolutely sure things only came out of–no exceptions.

After they had assured me that this was a legal procedure in all 50 states, and it wasn’t going to be optional, the nurse came in with her cart of bagged sterilized paraphernalia.  As I was rounding the corner to the third stage of grief (bargaining) the nurse with her cat-like reflexes started and finished before I even had a chance to grit my teeth in preparation. It might as well have been a rusty, five-inch nail because the pain sent me to the moon and back and then right back again to that very same moon every time I moved a little to the left…a little to the right…up, down…well you get the idea–whenever I moved.


Finally, when that whole fiasco was over they eventually got me to a pretty nice room to settle in, and we just waited to see what was next. This was truly just the beginning, but that part I didn’t know yet. I was still under the impression that I could probably just let them know that I would really just like to go ahead and deliver, and then very soon I would happily be beginning my journey as a mother.

Again, I laugh at the thought.

Initially, when I was admitted to the maternity wing, I had asked a lot of questions about those I was surrounded by. I wanted to know what their story was and why they were here and what was going on. One woman was screaming so loudly on one of those first nights that I had to know pronto. She was delivering. Oh dear. There was another woman pregnant with twins as well, but much earlier in her pregnancy than myself. I had been told that she had actually delivered one of the twins and they were trying to keep the other one in as long as possible. Of course, that led me to the question about how the delivered twin was doing, and the nurse reluctantly told me that he didn’t make it. This was information that I really didn’t need to be thinking about as I was in a very similar situation.

My questions stopped after that.

Now, I do love me some TV, but laying flat on my back all day with that being my only form of entertainment was pure torture. Oh the boredom! I did keep myself busy painting my nails and tweezing my eyebrows. I put on makeup, investigated the rolling table and drawer that neatly slid right over my bed, filled it up with all of my essentials–nail polish/lip balm/tweezers/ phone etc, read magazine after magazine, and finished a novel. It was about ten o’clock the very next day, and with exhausted resources of fun I was beginning to realize that this was going to be harder than I thought. And I already thought it was going to be hard.

One morning after one of the doctors had checked my cervix for dilation, she asked me if I would like to get a shower. What? They were going to let me get out of bed? I must have looked like hell and smelled like death. A big “Yes!” through held back tears was my very grateful answer. But, my question was what to do about my IV and catheter? Her way too simple answer was to take it with me. So you want me to go from not getting out of bed at all to dragging metal contraptions to another room?

I’m in!

So during my stay I became the master at navigating my way to the shower wheeling an IV cart full of tubes connected to me and trying not to move that minion of a catheter tube hanging between my legs. What’s not to love about a little challenge?

Well, I not only did this successfully, but I took my shower, washed and conditioned my hair, shaved my legs–well what I could see of them, slathered my body from head to toe in the lavender lotion they provided for me, and wait for it…blow-dried my hair. In your FACE boredom! By the time what came to be my morning ritual was complete, I was begging to get back in that bed.

I began looking forward to this time every day especially with the bonus that the nurse would overhaul my bed with fresh sheets during my shower. I, unfortunately, as with every thing else I had to endure, was at the nurses’ mercy. One day I was feeling really bad due to the shot of magnesium (you will hear about that soon), and I told the nurse how about she come back in a little while (as if this was a premium hotel with turn down service). Her abrupt response was “Now or never.” Hmmm…no shower and the same sheets as yesterday… (Oh yeah, I became Oprah-like about my daily change of sheets.) So, up and at ’em I went. I would force myself to get up even on the bad days just for this one comfort. A bonus was that it sucked up a good two hours of my never-ending days.

As the days continued and my contractions would get worse the doctor would order a shot of magnesium to be put in my IV. Sure sounds good…something to do. Well, 2000 mg of magnesium feels like liquid fire running through every vein in your body, with a nice side effect of feeling like you’ve got the worst flu you could imagine. It was definitely a trade-off. No contractions–good–burning fire veins–bad. Whatever. At least this made me want to sleep and not miss shopping soooooo…

Along the way some very disturbing news was delivered to me by my original OB. He came to visit me and told me he had some news for me. I could tell by looking at him that he wasn’t going to be telling me I had been chosen to be on the cover of Hottest Maternity Moms. Baby B (the one that would come out 2nd–now known as Sophie) had apparently decided to step on her sister’s head, Baby A–now known as Rafferty. She was breech. So? Soooooooooo, that means I would not be able to experience a natural birth–plus drugs. You have got to be kidding me. These were the things that were rushing through my mind:  I’ll have a scar on my awesome abs that I was totally planning on getting back ASAP, a scar, getting sliced open and having a really bad scar, an ugly scar, and a scar that might be seen in my bikini, oh, and, a much longer, more painful recovery. After whining about this and crying, my doctor gave me another stern talking to about what was really important here. This is part of most woman’s expectation by-the-way. We typically don’t go into this signing up to be sliced open so someone can pull a human being (or two) out. We are wired with an innate need to PUSH a baby out. But, the truth was, I was really getting used to the idea of being flexible and adaptable the further along I got in my pregnancy. Especially since I just kept getting screwed left and right. Still–fighting–down–the–inner–negativity. Fine. Slice and dice. Whatever.

When the pity party was over, I went back to the thoughts that the good doctor left me with, and that was that I was one step closer to having two-not one-but-two healthy babies to take home, and this was certainly going to increase the odds. Of course this was a no-brainer and would eventually just be another chapter in my story.

Anyone who has ever had to stay in the hospital knows that every hour on the hour someone comes in your room to do something, and I was no exception.  There was always someone taking my blood pressure, checking my IV tubes, emptying my Bag-‘O-Pee, or checking my cervix to see if I had dilated. It happened around the clock, and at one point I began to sleep with one eye open.

Fortunately, my amazing husband camped out in my room on a tiny window seat each and every night to see that I didn’t go through this alone, but there were occasions that he chose not to sleep at the hospital because he got in from work so late and had to be at work so early. I will always love him for that sacrifice because it was extremely hard on him and because I’m pretty sure I would have said, “See you tomorrow.” each and every other night. I love my bed, and I’m sort of selfish too, but I’m working on it.

Well, on one of those nights that I had gotten the phone call that he would not be coming up to spend the night, I told him I totally understood and would be fine, but I broke down crying after hanging up the phone due to the fact that this male nurse was on duty that night.

He was a very gentle soft-spoken guy that I really liked until the night I caught him peering under my covers when I woke up. (He clearly needed some higher goals.) The problem was that along with my nightly dose of Ambien, I was in such a fog induced state with yet another shot of magnesium that I questioned what I thought I saw. He stopped immediately when I lifted my head up, and I began wondering what exactly I had just witnessed. Was he looking for my arm to take my blood pressure? He hadn’t turned the lights on. Was he making sure my catheter was not tangled, or trying to find my IV? See my dilemma? I couldn’t say anything…to anyone. I’m also pretty sure he tried to cop a feel every time he put my blood pressure cuff on, but, again, was I imagining that due to the fact that I was delirious from the magnesium shot? These thoughts are the only reason I wasn’t on the national news being interview by Matt Lauer about how a male nurse groped me–a pregnant woman–during his shift.  From then on I just made sure my covers were sealed around me and that the arm that he would need for the blood pressure cuff was as far away from my boob as I could get it.

Fortunately, I never had that nurse again. I’m not sure why but maybe my prayers just simply got answered.

As the days wore on, I had doctor after doctor coming in to check on me. We discussed my birth plan as well as the obstacles I would indeed face if I chose to have an epidural (choice number one) since I had scoliosis surgery back when I was twelve which came complete with three rods and spinal fusion. They sent one of the best epidural givers in the country apparently, and he said he would be able to do the epidural–crazy spine, hardware and all. Awesome.

It was starting to look really good, and my expectations for two healthy babies being born according to my already adjusted plan were getting higher and higher.

During my stay, I became a connoisseur of hospital food and would look forward to the days they actually let me eat meat. Oh, yeah, along with the magnesium came a liquid diet. I got broth and jello and tea. Yum. During those times it was so good to me, though. I loved it when my lunch tray would come in. This was another activity that would take up one of the hours of my never-ending day. I didn’t like it, however, when visitors would come just as I got my tray. I didn’t want to eat in front of them because it made me feel weird. (I was laying in a sheath that I was completely naked under in a bed that had a bag of pee hanging off of it, and I didn’t want to eat my hospital meal in front of someone?) I guess it just pushed the whole weird factor off the charts for me. Whatever.

Now, my husband is one of twelve so, as you can imagine, we had us some visitors. Some of the visitors brought visitors. That was always fun. (Refer back to the feeling awkward already) One visit in particular stood out as a memory I will go to my grave with. Just some background information–I have always been extremely particular about my body. I started working out in my bedroom at nine years old in the morning before I went to school. I taught aerobics/step/kickboxing/ for about twelve years of my life and then took up running. My physique was not only important, but exercise was in my blood. I loved it. Fast forward to this nifty scene of me in my hospital bed with family I was still getting to know and, well, their guests coming in for a lengthy never ending visit one evening. I was in the bed–no kidding?–and unbelievably self-conscious about my body from the ass down. Forget about what was above my knees and let me explain the monstrosity below. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen. Well, I have, but not on me. My legs were so swollen from all of the IV fluids and no movement that they were like two foreign objects sticking out of my body. My ankles had completely vanished. I looked like a Lego–nice face–weird body. My toes had become Vienna sausages complete with straggly hairs I couldn’t see much less reach to shave. Let’s put it this way, “Ain’t nobody gonna ever see this.”

Back to the company.

I desperately had to go to the restroom (this was a time in my journey when I was catheter free), and I asked Thomas to come around to my bedside and help me get my slippers on so I could shuffle my larger than life self over to the restroom. The way my mind works, I just figured that statement would be a signal to the guests that I needed some personal time in a room that was half a foot from where they were all loitering, so maybe they would just go ahead and call it a night. Well, apparently that’s just me. Well, one of the loiterers Thomas’ brother’s best friend, “Pitty-Pat”…yep, happened to be closer to me. As soon as the words left my mouth, I began to see Thomas’ mind begin to formulate a more convenient option, and panic set in. Don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t do it. I was trying to mind-Jedi this information over to Thomas, but the dreaded words came anyway.

“Pitty-Pat, will you help Amy with her slippers?”

If daggers actually could shoot out of eyeballs, we would have been planning Thomas’ funeral the next day.

Oh no he di int.

So here comes sweet ‘ole Pitty-Pat coming over getting the most up close and personal look at my two sausage legs. Maybe he could hit my toes with a razor while he was there. Not much to lose at this point. As I was mental noting the conversation I would be having with the nurse once they left about preparing a hospital bed down in ICU for my husband, I watched poor, poor Pitty-Pat bend over trying to shove my sausage stumps into granny hospital slippers and wondered if this moment would be seared in his brain like it was going to be seared in mine. I was even thinking about taking up the doctors on that offer for those drugs that up until then I had no intention of taking because I didn’t want my babies exposed to drugs like that. Things change. So what if I have high babies, maybe all three of us will forget this ever happened.

Anyway, the company left, and I had a little conversation with the husband. We’ll just leave it at that. He was sleeping on a three by four plank after all. Lol.

After about 21 days and nights of the never-ending stay in what I now believed to be the place I would grow old in, my contractions started to lift. My doctors were beginning to think I could go home and continue the last five weeks of my pregnancy at home. What? I did all of this and I’m coming home with absolutely nothing to gain from it but possibly needing to set up some therapy sessions? The disappointment was palpable. This information came to us on a night Thomas was there, and I’m sure he must have been ecstatic to not have to spend another night on the three by four plank, but he just consoled me sweetly anyway.  Then came some really good news. The nurse had come in to give me my nightly dose of Ambien, and remove my catheter. Whoo hoo!!!!

“Free at last, Free at last. Thank God, I’m free at last.”

Well, as you know by now with my stories, It ain’t over till it’s over.

I was laying there thinking of all the things I was going to do the next day (still hadn’t learned my lesson) when I started to feel moisture in my bed. I was so used to just peeing at will maybe it was still happening. I told Thomas that I was going to get up and go to the bathroom and check something, and that he needed to make sure I came back after having taken the Ambien and all. Nothing unusual I guess. I went back to the bed and decided to call the nurse just in case. What if this was how a water breaks? I know people say it gushes, but very little had been normal in my pregnancy, so I wasn’t going to ignore it.

In a few minutes the young blond nurse came in to check me, and as she was doing this now way too familiar activity of glove on hand–finger in vagina–asked me (warning-this is so gross) if I had a yeast infection. As she was asking this question, she did this barely noticeable shiver and “icky” face that I most certainly did notice.  My answer had been “No” because it was true, and also because I had been on Diflucan since I got there to prevent that very possibility since I was on a cocktail of antibiotics that are notorious for bringing one on. So, what was she so horrified about and pretending (poorly by-the-way) not to be? I was starting to panic. Was I ruined down there? Was I ever going to be the same again? Was it so hideous now that even a nurse couldn’t look at it without wanting to vomit? Not one baby had even come out of my vagina yet, and it’s already setting off someone’s gag reflex? What the hell?

Soon another nurse was called in. What was this show and tell? Actually she brought in these special strips that would change a certain color if the liquid coming out of me was indeed my water. The strips changed color, and within five minutes my water actually did break, and…it was a gush. Normal! Yay!

Time to have a baby…five weeks early

What? You’ve got to be kidding. The good thing is, is that the doctors really wanted me to get to this week in my pregnancy and felt it was very safe to deliver. And side note–I wasn’t hideous. It was my mucus plug that the nurse, unfortunately, had to witness me losing. Gross!!!!! Sorry, but I feel the need to tell you that it’s awesome and not hideous down there.

Before you know it my own personal entourage was surrounding me prepping me for the big moment. I got a nice little shave that was a little awkward! Really it was. I know you think after all that I could probably walk naked down the street and not really care, but, no, that’s not true. I was so excited, though, that I got over it quickly. I was a little stressed out that I had just taken an Ambien. How is that supposed to work? Thank goodness I wasn’t going to have to push. If you have ever taken an Ambien you would know that It causes you to go into a coma like state for about eight hours. Still wondering if that was going to be a problem, another bit of news came my way.

My catheter had to go back in.

“No thank you.”

“I’m sorry, it does.”

“I would prefer to just pee on myself please.”


So, the next step was to take myself and eventually Thomas to the surgery room in order to get prepped for the arrival.

But, first I must tell you about the epidural. Remember Dr. Confident who said no worries about my spine? Yeah, that was going to be a problem. When getting an epidural you have to bend your back in the shape of a C so they can reach the right area. Now spinal fusion (I told you about this earlier with the scoliosis surgery) means no more bending. They wanted me to get in the same position as a normal person, and then he would do his magic. I was thinking this was going to be interesting because my spine doesn’t bend…at all. After about thirty minutes, my arms being pulled like taffy over whatever that thing was (Ambien was really kicking in at this point) prayers to the heavens above by my sweet little black nurse (AKA the “Taffy puller”) and prayers by me at the command by her to “Pray with me honey!” and MULTIPLE sticks, the doctor finally said that he was not going to be able to do the epidural and any more tries might give me an infection.

No kidding.

This came with more bad news. I was going to have to go under anesthesia, and Thomas would not be allowed in because they would treat it as a normal surgery. Neither one of us were going to witness the birth of our babies. How much more bad news would be in the pipeline? I was getting numb to it…or maybe that was the Ambien. Whatever…just let me go to sleep!!!!

The next thing I remember was that I was being wheeled by two of the tiniest babies in incubators. Are these mine? Drugs…so…many…drugs.

The next thing I remember was my mom telling me how wonderful my babies were. What babies?           Drugs…so…many…drugs.

The next thing I remember was that my best friends Doug and Sharon Wesley were in my room telling  me how tiny and sweet my babies were. What babies? I asked them to stay put so I could visit but that I was going to close my eyes for just a second.  I woke up the next day. Drugs….so…tired.

The next thing I remembered was that I was getting wheeled down to the NICU to see my babies that apparently half of the state of Georgia had already seen and held.

Those two tiny babies I saw earlier were mine. I held them like I may drop them while the nurse tossed them up and played basketball with them as I waited for the next baby to be put in my arms. It was the scariest thing. How was I supposed to know what to do? Thomas was sitting across from me holding one like he had done it all his life. Oh yeah, one of twelve, the oldest boy, the second born…

They would bring the babies to my room to be breastfed and then come back and pick them up when I was finished.

So…two babies…just been cut open…all alone in the room…hmmm.

I would have to lift my bed up using the remote control, take one baby out of the bassinet and lay it beside me, then get the other baby and feed it. Then I would lay that one down beside me and pick up the other one and feed it. Then I would have to figure out how to get both of them back in that little bassinet. That was a lot of work after major surgery!! Then, they would come pick up my newest little treasures and I would get to lay back down and drift off to a very happy place. Yes, they were out of me and I took the drugs now. Yesireee. In the breast milk you say? Don’t know. Don’t care.

So it was my second day of mommyhood and really getting the hang of things.

Step One:  Feed babies

Step Two:  Give them back

Step Three:  Take nap.

This totally works for me. On this glorious second day of motherhood, I was on step two and had them all ready to be whisked away when the nurse came in to give me my medicine. Then something strange happened. She started to walk away…without the babies…

“Hey there, aren’t cha forgetting something?”

“Oh no. They’re yours.”

“But we had this nifty little arrangement all worked out.”

“Yes, but now they’re yours.”

She smiled and left my room.


I turned and looked at the two little baby burritos lying beside me. All mine…

“Ok, girls, this is what we’ve been waiting for.”

“I’m your mommy, and I will love you to the end of time.”


Breaking Bad-Ass

Breaking Bad chem pic

I have a secret to disclose.

I’m an addict.

I’m in recovery now (completely against my will), but recovery nonetheless.

I’m willing to share this dirty, dark little secret of mine now because quite simply it’s over.

Continue reading

In the Mood—Season of Change


Fall is hands down my favorite time of year. It consumes me with memories of my childhood and the renewed hope that comes with change.

I feel the anticipation build as I begin to see brilliantly colored leaves enjoying their “last call” before lazily descending to the ground, when I smell smoke that has drifted from an eager chimney happy to once again be serving a purpose in the family home, and when I hold my steaming mug of afternoon coffee allowing it to remove the chill from my body while it sends an electric surge of energy through my veins. Deeeelightful!

I look forward to evenings outside, sipping on cool, crisp wine paired with decadent cheese, and wearing chilly weather layers (boots, scarves, sweaters, oh my!)

It truly amazes me how the slightest hint of change–something new on the horizon– can charge your battery, refresh your soul, and launch you into reset mode dissolving the humdrum bore of life that has infected you like a virus and lifting that old familiar friend named “Depression” that has settled in like an unwelcome, unwanted visitor that refuses to leave because it’s just so darn comfortable here.

Well, here it comes, the delightfully dependable loop that we call a “season” but count on like a best friend that offers unwavering assurance and inspires us to pursue excellence while walking through uncharted territory with the understanding that “it is good.”

Diary of a Teacher: I Thought Only Actors Were Given Scripts…


Monday, October 27, 2014

Today I was told that I would be using a computer program to teach my children how to read. They will put headphones on their ears. They will listen to everything being read to them as they follow along. They will make keyboard clicks to navigate through the program and answer questions. Consequently, the program will leave me with an assessment of what they know, what they don’t know, and how I” can help them. Oh, and one more thing–the how I can help them part is scripted.

I will read the script that “The Groupinator” has fashioned for the groups that “The Groupinator” has formed.

I wonder if “The Groupinator” will write my lesson plans…hmmm. I’ll have to look into that…food for thought…

I also learned…this is not optional.

Every student will follow this program.

Every student will spend a minimum of twenty minutes a day on the program.

One more thing…

I have 7 computers in my class of 20 students.

…only three of those computers work.

The Giver

The Giver

As I sit here pondering what to do with the publish button on this post, the words Freedom of Speech come to mind, but on the other hand I think freedom of firing and all…yet, I still feel compelled to write about this institution that I have given my blood, sweat, tears, and time to for eight years that has failed and continues to fail me miserably time and time again.

I willingly continue to be the loyal puppy in this world of high demand/low pay and yet continue to gain nothing for what I have given. I serve and accommodate and surrender, and yet I still am left feeling that it’s never enough. I pack my plate with one demand after another with nothing being removed from that dreadfully heavy plate because “It’s my job.”

Yet, is it really one’s job to give everything required, more than what is necessary, and do it all in an expected silent trance of submission with absolutely nothing in return but a paycheck (sad at best) and a free yearbook portrait? (thanks I love having a 5×7 and four wallets taken of me trying to take a 5 second break and smile as though I’m happy and trying desperately not to commit a felony so I can preserve the memory for a lifetime in a $25 yearbook.) “Here mom…”

All I really see is the once fresh, glowing face of my first year and the progression it has taken to a mere shadow of that girl and one that now knows a little too many dirty, dark secrets of this “underworld.” One may say someone in my profession does nothing but complain. (I can’t stand those folks–I get it!)

The question that needs to be asked is why do so many complain, have dark circles under their eyes, look like the weight of the world is resting on their shoulders, and want to inhale sugar, fat, carbs, and gluten down their throats 24 hours a day 7 days a week for a mere 30 seconds of satisfaction?

I know why…but that is not what the story is about today.

People see the profession that I’m in as easy. They think summers off and days ending by 3:00. The truth is, I rarely see my living room before 6:25 pm, I’ve left it by 7:15 am, and my summers are full of endless meetings, plans that inevitably include a new curriculum/idea/computer program etc. that must be learned/prepared/implemented before the new year begins.

So, why not quit and do something else? Well, I like so many others, had a career other than being a dispenser of knowledge and quit that to pursue this. I left a job where I made three times as much as I do now simply because this was the desire of my heart, I wanted to be around to raise my children, and I knew I would be great at it. Ha!

If it was ever about the money, I would never have left my successful career or I would’ve jumped ship from this years ago–and that, my friend, is how myself and so many others in this field feel.

We are servants at heart. We are not here for fame and fortune (clearly), but for what our gut tells us to do and the gift that has been bestowed upon us.

I am finally at the point in my career that I feel like ethically I cannot continue down this path for very much longer. That what is being asked of me is parallel to being asked to steal–steal someone’s creativity, someone’s triumphs, and someone’s self-discovery of how to be independent, self-sufficient, and a survivor in this ever so competitive world.

I leave this post vague and somewhat questionable, because not only do I have a family to feed, I know that those that are swimming/sinking in this same boat as myself…know…and they too are looking for answers…and change.

They say when someone’s heart stops beating they seep instead of bleed out because the heart no longer pumps the blood. Well, my heartbeat for what I do is declining dramatically. It’s getting weaker and weaker, and seems to be unwilling to take the beating as it once did, and I’m afraid I’m beginning to seep and along with that seeping the truth is bound to seep out as well.

“Holy Filler, Batman”


Joan RiversHappy…sad…mad…crying??? Who knows?

So, clearly, if you are a regular, you already know that I’m a TV addict and no longer ashamed of it by the way!!  (Don’t even…)

We are ALL addicted in some way I tell ya! Just because your screen happens to be the size of your palm and fits into your purse or back pocket and poses as a phone doesn’t make you any better.

Do you hear me?

Not any better…nope…uh-uh.

Anywhoo! My love of the “Large Rectangle of Fun” in my living room, bedroom, basement, guest room…playroom…(I digress) has brought me not only much enjoyment but plenty of story starters as well.

For instance, I was watching (hahahahahaha….yes…of course this has to do with a TV show) Botched which is a new reality TV show (Really? Another one? How many can there be???? It’s endless people! Sorry the little gremlin in my head keeps interrupting me!!!!!!) where the most interesting freaks people are showcased as they seek out the “Yodas” of plastic surgery (two husbands of wives of The Real Housewives of Yada, Yada, Yada–yes it’s confusing just hang in there) to fix the mamed, marred, and flat out ruined due to a “botched” job the first time around.

You can only imagine. Check it out on BRAVO TV.

Well, watching this show has only re-enforced my feelings toward “extreme” plastic surgery and how women, in the effort to seek perfection, destroy anything they actually might have had going for them.

Now, I’m not talking about the slow little tweek here and there or the fixer uppers that look absolutely stunning afterwards. It can be done right and certainly has been done right by many, but those poor souls who apparently thought calling 1-800-I-own-a-scapel have endured quite a different fate.

One must wonder what these people were actually trying to accomplish in the first place–because if it’s  the look of a surprised, bloated trout that happens to be of Asian descent—well, then, they have certainly gotten their money’s worth, but I’m guessing their hopes and dreams rested more with trying to recreate what once was–no longer is–but can possibly be “born again” with a few pricks, pokes, slices, dices and “Wha La”… a younger version of themselves.

You know the face I’m talking about too–that jokerish, pastry puff of scariness. And don’t get me started on the grizzly effects that a little bit of laughter creates in these carefully crafted faces. It can be very difficult to tell if  “The Changed” are angry or sad…or laughing or crying. I’m sorry, but  life is confusing enough without now having to decipher why in the world someone you don’t even know is pissed off at you. I’m sensitive enough without now wondering why everyone is frowning/not smiling at me–oh wait–they are but you can’t tell…bummer.

It’s so sad, and what’s done is done. (Unless you go on Botched of course.) Leave it alone!

Age is comin’…like a freight train people…so trying to stop it is about as easy as getting Juan Pablo to stop saying “Is okay.”  

In the end, all we really have that’s worth something is our friends, our loves, our family, our spirituality, and if that’s not doing it for you, friend, I’m sorry to say…plastic surgery probably isn’t going do it for you either. Love yourselves. Be good, love your loved ones, and be a light in this dark judgy world.

It’s amazing what kind of “lift” that will give your face.

Tick Tock

time flies

Life is not a picnic. There are good days and bad–too many of the latter if you ask me. Life is hard and sad and bizarre at times to say the least.

We have control over very little of it.

We do have control over our choices, however.

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the day-to-day emotion of what bothers me, why I am sad, or who has made me sad…instead of what can I do to live this life to the fullest and impact the lives of others in a wonderful way?

I recently read a heart-breaking post from a young woman who within just the past couple of weeks tragically lost her husband in a surfing accident.  As I read the heart-felt, emotional words she had to say about this man she had spent the last fourteen years with and made a family with, I realized I am not really living the life I want to be remembered by when I die.

Scary thought!

The clock’s ticking, time’s wasting, and I’m wondering.

As I read the post I began to wonder what my love would say about me if I were to die tomorrow. Would the memory of me bring about happy moments full of laughter (dearly hope so) and fun that would bring the brawniest, stone-faced hard-hearted man to tears…or  would the memory of me take effort and create discomfort as my love struggled to find funeral appropriate words that would fill in the gaps of an obligatory speech that was delivered and checked off the list on my funeral program?

Then I felt ashamed. Why am I even wondering? Yikes!

How dare I be living a life of blame and sorry for me and anger when I could be living a life that blesses every human being that steps into, on, or near my path?

How dare I be thinking thoughts about who wronged me and who hurt me and who didn’t live up to my expectations when I could be living every day with the single question what can I do to bless someone today?

In the big picture, a life well lived (or not) will be remembered for its effect on people–good, bad, or both.

I want to be remembered for how I made someone feel, and if I am wondering if I have made my fellow teammates on this planet feel anything less than loved, then I have failed…and I have…at some point or another.

It takes only a moment for us to make a choice–to decide this is going to be a good day or bad, to choose to make a difference or not, or to help someone in need or reject the moment.

As a parent I teach my children how to make the right choice.

As a teacher, I tell my students to make the right choice.

As a child of God I am given the ability to make any choice. (That’s exciting–there’s hope in redemption.)

Choosing love is the obvious choice, but words mean nothing without actions. Am I willing to put my heart…pride…time on the line? (I am SUPER selfish with my time.)

It is certainly something to ponder. If you are wondering, maybe you are dealing with the same inner issues as well.

Who knows!

The beauty is, we have choices, and they can begin in this very moment.

I want my legacy to be one of laughter, happiness, and love. Now, I need to live it…

What about you?




Oh, Sweet Saccharin II…

So, I did say I would follow-up with my journey to delete sugar from my world. Well, in the words of my Big Brother friends, “With sadness, I happily choose to evict ‘that idea’ because it’s ludicrous!” Do you even know how much food has sugar?

Me..What???Well, everything I tell ya, and it is no easy feat! I would rather sign up for a  marathon at this point than to truly get rid of sugar altogether. It’s just soooooo…muuuuuch…efforrrrrrt.

Not interested.

I was even going to write this cute little post about how I wasn’t going to “break up” with sugar, but I was going to have a “long distance relationship,” but NOT EVEN! I’m having an up close and personal very inappropriate relationship just like the makers of Twinkies, popsicles, cookies, etc. intended!ME serious

It ain’t happening.

So, although, I completely appreciate all of the helpful advice and support from friends and family…I ain’t gonna…do…this.

My dear friends and family, I am sorry and I hope I have let none of you down in my inability (choice) to not do this.

I’m coming clean! Hey, at least I’m not a liar.

It is what it is…

You never know, I may quietly work this into my life…one day…maybe.

BUT, until then, I will leave you with this.

Sugar lips me

Just love me.

I am Ryland – the story of a male-identifying little girl who didn’t transition

I am Ryland – the story of a male-identifying little girl who didn’t transition. This is a very interesting take on life and all things controversial.  (I did not write this one but the link will send you to this writer’s blog.)

Oh, Sweet Saccharin


Sugar–the holy grail of all that is good and marvelous

Sugar–the one worldly (blissful) thing that  brightens up my day, gives me oodles of comfort, and of course helps me bribe 22 second graders into “doing the right thing” (whatever I say) is now apparently of the Devil.

Now, it’s certainly not like this is new news to me.

I have simply been in denial.

Sooooooo, I’ve decided I’m giving up sugar.


I know making claims like this is a little hokey, but according to “The Doctors” of daytime TV (love them…well…Travis mostly) it’s basically going to be the root of every disease I may have, cause cancer, inflict diabetes, give my kids hairlips, and pretty much kill my entire family.  Sooooooo, I’m really thinking about trying to maybe…consider…possibly…hopefully…kind of  sort of…removing it… little by little from my life…(well, morning)…so I don’t die.


Now, this is no easy feat. I have been a lover of the white magic that has given my day LIFE since childhood, and  this is how I really feel about it.


(That’s where I keep the sugar in case you are wondering…)

I’ll keep you posted. 🙂



“It’s In My Purse.”

Have you ever caught a glimpse of a woman navigating the mysterious darkness of the insides of her purse?  Purse

What about your mother? I find it fascinating.

For some reason I always imagine tribal jungle music playing in the background as I watch this peculiar scene unfold. (In case you’re curious)

It’s like a perfectly choreographed dance with her hands and the purse’s compartments as every item is being taken out of each pocket, looked at thoroughly, and replaced only to be repeated again as many times necessary until the desired treasure has been found and the “hunt” is over.  It’s like fly fishing–in and out, in and out, in and out… Continue reading

I Call Mine Fred





What looks like a grape, feels like a grape, but isn’t a grape? Hmmmm…..let me see…

Homer thinking Ugh…

I have been debating on writing this for obvious reasons–it’s gross–it’s private–It’s embarrassing. BUT, the way I look at it, I may give a fellow sufferer a little comic relief to take their mind off of you know what…

So maybe you’ve been a silent sufferer or never been faced with one at all. Maybe you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about! Hopefully the latter, but if you do know, you may want to read on.

(As much as I’d like to insert a picture here for pure shock value I most certainly won’t–no worries.) Continue reading

The Best Christmas Card EVER!!!


So, this must be the year of The Best Freakin’ Christmas Card Ever!!!

Well, the Christmas cards of yore seem to have fallen by the wayside and replaced by a miniature family photo album complete with a short story about a picture perfect life. Basically saying, This is my world and aren’t you the lucky SOB that gets to look at it?

What happened to the fancy yet boring cards that donned a bell or a Christmas tree on the outside and a predictable yet stale poem on the inside?  They still conjured up plenty of Christmas cheer…right?

I mean, what is the purpose of the Christmas card after all? We want to connect with others and say, “Hey, I think of you…once a year.” Continue reading

Brains vs. Beauty…Really?

Remember the Utah contestant that completely flubbed up her Miss USA interview question about equality between men and women in the workplace?  miss utahDuuuhh……

How about the interview with Miss South Carolina in the Teen USA competition that blew up on YouTube when she was asked why she thought 1 out of five Americans couldn’t locate the USA on a map?

Let me just refresh your memory on this one. It’s worth your time. It went a little something like this… (insert “valley girl” voice…or the great voiceover used for the honey badger on YouTube-narrated by Randall)

“I personally believe that US Americans (??) are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don’t have maps…and our education like such as in South Africa and “the” Iraq and everywhere like such as…I believe the education..over here should help South Africa and should help “the” Iraq and the Aisians….”

pageant sc

Wow…completely cringe worthy. Continue reading

Play Ball!


A favorite pastime that the average American can relate to is good ‘ole baseball.

When I think of baseball these thoughts come into my mind: the smell of hotdogs and cotton candy, the crisp, green striped grassy fields, phrases like  “Shake it off!” and “He wanted that!”,  guys in tight uniforms, and people–lots of different sorts of people.

Are you with me?

Just recently I had the pleasure of going to a Brave’s game in Atlanta and had forgotten just how much fun actually going to the game can be.

So, the experience starts out pretty normal. Continue reading

Remember Me?


I’ve never been good with names. I can forget a name the minute it leaves the person’s mouth. In fact, it’s quite concerning to me that I can forget something that I’m still listening to.


When someone asks me “Do you remember so and so?” I typically say that I’m really better with faces, but that’s just a bold-face lie.


I’m well-aware of  the brain’s seemingly endless capacity to hold information–but to ask me to remember someone’s name is like asking me to give you a recipe in Spanish–oh yeah I could probably do that.

I love how when I’m out (minding my own business might I add) and an (obviously) overly confident person comes up to me with a big “Hey, how are you?”

The panic in my face has to be obvious too, but for some reason (like an idiot) I act like I know the person.


Sometimes the person even gives me an out with a “You don’t remember me do you?” and I still nod my head vigorously up and down.

Now why would I do that?


This certainly causes the already awkward situation to be even more awkward because now I have to pretend to listen to whatever in the world they are droning on about while I wildly search my brain folders for any stitch of information that could possibly lead me to some sort of memory of this person.

So, in the end, even though that person is clearly on to me, I complete the bogus conversation just to save face.

huh 3

Wow. Clearly, I’m winning.

Spread ’em

gyno visit2

So..once a year women of all shapes, ages, and sizes make the dreaded but necessary trip to the gynecologist.

Pretty much NOTHING can make this visit fun. Find Out Why!

Bra Envy

bra pic

So, the other day while watching Million Dollar Listing I became fascinated by a particular scene.

Josh (one of the real estate brokers) is coming to the rescue of his grandmother by changing a light bulb for her that had gone out on a chandelier too high for her to reach. (Yeah, and…)

Wait for it…The fascinating part is where she was keeping the replacement light bulb. Click Here to Find Out Why!

Chew and Hurl

I don’t know about you, but discovering an overbearingly large piece of rubbery matter that CANNOT be chewed in a bite of food is about enough to send me over the edge.


What’s worse is when this unfortunate incident happens at a fancy dinner with people whom you are still in the trying to impress stage.

You know just when it happens too.

First comes denial where you allow your tongue to gingerly investigate the gnarly goober in your mouth pleading with it to just be your imagination and really be a piece of meat or at best something edible.

I love it, too, when someone at the table decides to address you as you are having this battle of wills with your esophagus and gag reflex.

Next, comes this panic because you know you have to get it out–get it out or let your table neighbor watch as your body does this inexplicable heave as you attempt to swallow what your body will NOT ALLOW YOU TO DO. No amount of water is going to get this minion down.


Pair this with an accidental swallow out of your neighbors drink and you’ve got friends of friends wondering why in the world they are friends with you.

“What’s the matter with that woman?”

How does one handle a situation like this?

I find the easiest option is just to take it out of my mouth and put it under some salad on my plate. (Not exactly what Martha Stewart recommends but I think at this point she’s certainly seen worse–so…)

This, unfortunately, comes with its own set of obstacles because I always inevitably end up finding my way back to it again (as if it’s destiny) and sign right back up to enjoy a second round of “gristle hockey” when this clever little vomit inducer grabs a ride on the next forkful of food. (Maybe hiding it under lettuce isn’t such a good idea after all.)


What the hell?

All I can think at that moment is Are you freaking kidding me?

The process must now start all over again.

Although, NOW I will be much wiser–I will put it in my napkin (cloth or not–at this point I don’t care–I truly have nothing to lose) and I will get rid of it once and for all.

Wow. Who knew a simple dinner out could be riddled with such challenges.

For me–anything’s possible.

Any funny dinner experiences to share?

For English, Press 1

telephone operator

Did the hair on the back of your neck just stand up?

Did random thoughts of a telephone, curse words, and the phrase–Good Lord get me someone who speaks English or who would like to wrap this up in preferably under an hour before I permanently destroy my phone and anything in its path in a fit of rage just cross your mind???

We’ve all been there. We have all made the dreaded call to the “Customer Service Rep” that has brought out our inner “Psycho”. psycho_norman

At some point in everyone’s life we are faced with the unfortunate reality that–that call–has to be made.

Whether  it is to dispute a credit card charge or to order  The Magic Bullet from QVC, we at some point or another have broken down and dialed the dreaded 800 number.

When I have found myself in this blood pressure raising position I try to do a few things to offset the impending  fury that is sure to make an appearance such as:

  • having no other distractions like screaming children or TV in the background.
  • being alone (because I want to be free to make a class A arse of myself) in the event that it “gets U-G-L-Y”.
  • And, I try to have one stiff cocktail beforehand as well as one on board in order to calm the nerves quickly simmering just beneath my skin as I dial the number.

Here is an example of a true story that had me giggling…Conversation With My Insurance Company’s Automated Machine.

Do you have any funny stories that are worth sharing?

Dinner Time!


Each evening it happens. We go through this anticipated, indispensable, domestic ritual that leads us to something that we have titled–dinner.

One comes home from work, methodically goes to the refrigerator and retrieves multiple items (that make no sense together), sets them atop the counter, and starts this flurry of chopping and opening and closing of doors and cabinets, complete with sound effects of sizzles and pops and smells that trigger memories from childhood. It’s this symphony of food prep that unfolds into this glorious meal from products that one purchased and stuck in their fridge.

I don’t get it.

It’s sooooooo ridiculously time-consuming. It takes what seems like an eternity to fix this masterpiece, twenty minutes to round everybody up, at least another ten to set the table, another five to shout threats throughout the house to those that have chosen to push the limits of the chef and his utter need for seating promptness, and 6 and a half minutes flat to ask everyone how their day was (because that’s proper) while frantically shoveling down the food.

Sometimes, I have to wonder if family members have uncovered this magical secret on their plate saying (If you eat the fastest while acting interested in everyone’s day, and then get your plate in the dishwasher first I will give you one miiiiiiillllllllion dollars)

Finally, upon completion comes–the best part–you get to spend four times the amount of time it took for the preparer to prepare the food to get your kitchen back the way it was (like nothing ever happened).  Thank you very much you über chef  Obie Wan Kenobi.

I just don’t understand the freaking point. I would be just as happy eating a half-frozen tube of cookie dough while hovered over the kitchen sink. The way I see it, you are eating eggs (healthy) and saving the environment at the same time (no dishes to wash or dispose of). And certainly less time-consuming. Hello!!

My kids certainly know better than to ask me what’s for dinner.  They know that question comes with a default answer of “Ask your father.”  BUT, if they asked me what shelf the marshmallows are on, the odds are very good that they will get the answer they are looking for.

What’s even more frustrating is that my husband is the Yoda of cooking.

He can take two grapes, a piece of lunchmeat, and a molded piece of cheese and cook us a dinner that tastes like it was just flown in from France. What the hell? chef002Wha la….

I can take a box of macaroni, painstakingly read the directions fifteen times, make sure my measurements on the half stick of butter and third cup of milk are exact and still end up with something that makes my kids say, “Dad makes this better.”  Really?

Is cooking well something that is simply in your genes? If so–I am one chromosome short.

Sorry kiddos, Dad’s out-of-town. Pizza????????

Great Expectations

Three things in life are inevitable–death, taxes, and family vacations. Family vacations guarantee good times, laughter, and an opportunity to see your family members for who they really are (demons).

We spend countless hours planning these fancy little trips with mind numbing web searches, countless phone calls, and price comparisons–would sell our first-born to pay for it if necessary and count down the hours and days until that holy day arrives, BUT cant wait until it’s all over to get the hell back home. (“How was your vacation? It was nice but  its good to be home.”)

Vacations aren’t easy. We attempt to make people of varying ages perfectly happy all the while trying not to land a spot on the “needs help with bills” prayer chain at church.

Interestingly enough, we do little to plan for the vacation pitfalls that will most definitely engulf a good portion of one’s trip.

What we are really doing is setting ourselves up for the ultimate failure. We might as well be saying, “Hey why don’t we go to another state and fight? Huh? Sound good?”

For example, rain–not a normal rain–but monsoon season type rain (inherently seems to follow us) on a day when all your outdoor activities were planned (perrrrrrfect), or the quick trip to the children’s museum that eats up a good portion of your day because your kids were having soooooo much fun (they need so much freaking attention), or not being able to go ATVing/horseback riding/white water rafting/zip lining (or anything else fun for that matter) because your kids are just about 16 ounces and half-inch shy of the necessary requirements to be safe (liability schmiability). Who cares!!!!! Let them ride the damn horse!

Now kids certainly put a whole new level to the meaning of “kink” in our plans. I mean I would looooove to just drink for an entire day. Is that so wrong? But noooooo we’ve got the children to think about.

I would love to ride the Traveling Bartender Peddle Hopper but noooooooo you have to be 21 and over. And heaven forbid they put a bar in at least one of these kid friendly places (they’d make a killing).

Something else that is a no fail guarantee is that when we finally do arrive, the question that is always on everyone’s lips is “What do you want to do?” We’ll, I’m pretty sure that I just spent a freaking month answering that very question before we left in the hopes to avoid THAT question.

Finally, the saddest part of it all is when you see the monumental excitement displayed  by each family member (you just flew halfway across the country might I add) when on the way to the airport you provide them with a Taco Bell burrito and the promise of an ice cream cone upon finishing it. Really?

Good grief.


general life and beauty blog

Kristen Lamb

Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi

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