Friday, March 10, 2017


For many many years, this has been my home away from home for my mind and my voice.  I've often needed a place to think out loud or get something off my head or heart. I believed that there were those of you out there that benefited from my words, my feelings, my observations, and the lessons I learned hard. I believed that the weird quirky episodes of my day to day life would bring to you the same joy and humor that they brought to me.

Maybe they did. Maybe not.

I got quiet for a million different reasons.

Some said come back. Some asked where I went. Some didn't notice.

For a while, I didn't notice either and took the time away almost as a needed break. Maybe it was.

I know that I write for me. I know that it's a good thing for my head and my heart. It sorts my thoughts. It lets me share my opinions. It leaves a legacy of sorts to my kids, when one day far from now, they wonder what I was besides what they remember as their ever exhausted and screaming mom. I hope they find something of value here in the crumbs of phrases. I hope they find a different picture of the world they lived in and were growing up in. The world they will remember through the best eyes, the eyes of a child.

Time will show us both how often I come back here and share, but I have finally come back to a place where I have more moments than not of life that I think to myself, that's one to write down.

Maybe it's just the state of our country right now, or the state of my family.  Maybe it's my age. Somehow this running record of my life is necessary again.

So it begins again.

Monday, June 13, 2016

God, Guns & Gays

Stereotypes abound, and I couldn't resist.

Our American lives are constantly touched by violence of all kinds. Guns are just a small part of it. Just a brief Google search shows statistics of 90+ gun deaths a day in America.  Roughly 7 kids and teens per day.

By now we are all familiar with the Orlando gay nightclub shooting. Horrible no matter how you might feel about "the gays". That shooting alone was 50 deaths.

We hear all about how guns are safe and it is the person that kills not the gun. There is concealed carry and happy courses to go with it. The fiction is out there that we are protecting ourselves by having guns in our homes. It's our right. But it might not be right.

It is indeed our right.  It's also our right to pick our nose in public, scratch our crotch, or say out loud how fat and smelly someone is. Mostly we don't do those things though, social mores and all.

So far this year, 6 months in, more than 1000 people have died from "accidental" gunshots.

Gun shots have been close to home this week. My oldest, whom I can barely call Little Mr. anymore, has identified with the LGBT community for a while. The shots fired in Orlando hit very close to our home. He is almost to the age where a club like that would be the place he and his friends would go. It was another moment that took away more of his illusions of what America is like and how safe he actually is.

Gun shots have been too close to home.

I was in a home last week where a gun was unintentionally fired. A very real bullet when through a very real wall.  A wall very near to me.

Now, before you go off, pun intended, read the rest of the story.

I have quite a few friends both on Facebook and in real life that have guns. They have all done the courses of gun safety. They have the locked safe to keep the guns in. They shoot only at the range when sober. They follow all the rules, whether for hunting or personal use.

These friends are God fearing Christians and law abiding citizens. They aren't drunks or addicts or gamblers. They don't beat or cheat on their spouses. They are parent volunteers in classrooms and churches. They vote and sing the anthem with their hand over their heart. They care about kids, the elderly, puppies and Autism. They wear their seat-belts and try to eat their veggies.

These are good people.

Good people.

Yet a mistake was still made. A gun was fired. A bullet went through a wall. The gun shot smell rose up to our noses. Our ears rang. It was real.

The shooting in Orlando wasn't an accident. The shooter planned and did this on purpose, whatever twisted purpose he had.

All of this isn't so much to say we shouldn't have our guns. It's our right after all, as Americans. It is to say though, that somewhere along the line we, as an American whole, have made some sort of mistake. We worked very hard to become a nation united and yet now we spend most of our time and energy and money bickering and killing.

Perhaps our answers lie in this God thing, or maybe even in the Gay thing. Both sides, often against each other, usually say the same thing when you get right down to it. It goes something like, respect, forgive and love unconditionally.

Maybe it's as simple as guns could help us kill food. Beyond that, they aren't much good for anything but murder, death and war.

I think my new policy is more God, more Gays and a lot less guns.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

It's Not A Sprint

Well my friends much time has gone by. Life cruising along at top speed as always. I've had a lot of questions lately. Why haven't I been writing? When will I be writing again? Why did I stop writing?

My short answer is; none of your damn business!

The long answer will follow, because as always, I process my life pen to paper and it is time again. I'll share my long answer, in all it's twists and rambles only because I think it's a part of every one's day to day life. I don't think it's specific to me putting words on a page. I could, of course, be wrong here, but I expect then that you will tell me so in the comments. Which, by the way, I'm looking forward to having some of now that I'm firing this thing up again. It is both good and bad to write in a vacuum, but that is a post for another day.

Some of the answers are easy and obvious. For example, writing is work and takes time. Frankly some times it takes a lot of time. Actually it always takes a lot of time. Not always the obvious time of me sitting in front of a screen, but time spent thinking, jotting down notes and ideas too. The time can be a sacrifice of other things I'd like to do. My sacrifice can be as lame as not watching a TV show I'd like to see or as big as not getting something done around the house I need to do or even missing out on time with friends. Part of stopping was to get some of these things back in balance.

Here's another easy obvious one. Writing is hard. I am lazy by nature. I like to avoid hard work, despite knowing the reward that comes from hard work, the way I feel after accomplishing something hard, the lessons I'm teaching my kids by setting hard goals and working for them. The kids watching me work hard and seeing it as the normal way to reach something I desire is important. Learning to balance the hard with the lazy has been a challenge for me. I have always seemed to bounce back and forth between the two. I am the pendulum. All in and working hard or all out and laying low.

I've been learning the balance of hard work vs easing out, oddly enough, by trying to get myself a bit more healthy. Pen to paper processing of my life was becoming too complex. There were too many things happening that just weren't things I could put out here for the world to see. They weren't my stories to tell, being only a minor character. There was also a battle in my head that I couldn't settle. So, I put the pen down and started walking. Just me, alone, birds, trees, silences. Lots of thinking. Eventually the thinking gave way to not thinking and just feeling good walking. That led to a new mental game, could I run?

As life often does, one thing led to another and now I'm well on my way to better health. I have my friends I work out with and do fun runs with. We set crazy goals and accomplish them. I almost feel bad now on days I choose not to work out in some way.

But where is the lesson in balance? Well, it's the same lesson I learned in special needs parenting, foster parenting and regular parenting. Why I couldn't carry it over to all the pieces of my life all at once? I don't know.

Here it is. It's a marathon, not a sprint.

That might be the single most important mantra to have in life.

It's a marathon, not a sprint.

What has worked for me in parenting, focusing on the small things with consistency, goes much further than grasping for the whole giant goal all at once.  The kid struggles in school for 5000 reasons, pick one or two at most to work on, not a massive plan to pull it all together all at once. Stay at your pace and don't worry about all the other kids. That's how it is in fitness for me too. It's easy to get sucked into all the catchy phrases and tips for going faster and further and being stronger and thinner and try to do it all at once. In the end though, it's more important to get moving every day, and try your best every day to be a little better than the day before. There is no magic to it. No one tip or trick will make your kids be the ideal in behavior or sports or academics or spirituality or kindness. No one thing will make you fast, strong, thin or whatever.

It all comes of hard working baby steps taken consistently. It's important to know you will fall off and lapse and not be perfect. It's more important to get back out and take the next steps.

So, writing and that battle in my head. I got caught in a trap, just like anyone else might have. I bought into all or nothing. I lost sight of my success being measured only by me. I forgot that I set my rules and my goals. I don't need to write 8 hours a day or hit 5000 words a day. I don't need to judge my worth by the amount of readers or comments. My stories don't need to be best sellers to be good. I tell my stories because they are mine to tell. The amount of books published and sold by the time of my death doesn't make me, me. It isn't my value or worth.

But it is my job to tell them, to write them. I cheat us both if I don't. I don't know what your thing is, but it's the same, not doing it cheats us both.

And so my baby steps bring me back to the blog, back to dusty half written novels and words on the page.

It's good to be home.

Monday, September 21, 2015


It's time for me to say farewell, to wish you peace, to let you go, and so I will, the only way I know how, words on the page and I will hope you know...

I hope you know Tracy...
just how much my family loved you, how much I loved you.

I hope you know that I've been missing you and mourning you and holding my breath, hoping and praying and wishing for the last year and a half.

I hope you know all the things I did and said trying to help.

I hope you know all this while even though we weren't ready for it, I still had my eyes on your boys, I was still checking in on you. I saw you when you didn't know I did.

You asked only one thing of me, and I will keep my word, you knew I would. I never thought I'd have to.

We have things unfinished yet. There are still school plays and girl friends, proms and graduations, weddings and grand kids. This is all wrong, not the plan. There are breakfasts going to be missed now, and afternoons on the deck...

I hope you know, I saw you be the encourager and listener to my oldest. I saw you be second mom to my middle son. I saw you be my daughters champion. I saw you love my youngest almost as much as I did on his adoption day.

I'm not going to lie, Tracy, I'm jealous of all those claiming bestie status of you in the last long hard year or so. You always told me, you didn't have any female friends. Hell, we became friends over our mutual dislike of people.

I hope you know I saw you give all you could in so many ways for your family and especially your boys.

I hope you know you won't be forgotten. There isn't a place around here I can go or be without the strangeness of being there by myself. After school has never been the same. It never will be.

I hope you know how mad I was at you and more than that, I hope you know how much you are forgiven.

I hope you know this is making me old and breaking my heart.

I hope you knew...

Friday, June 26, 2015

Marriage Equality and My Kid

It isn't often I put words to paper these days, especially here.  My kids are all bigger. Our worlds are all becoming increasing connected in electronic ways. Most often now, I feel their stories are their own to tell and not mine to put a spin on and deliver to you.

Sometimes life happens in a way that needs to be noted.  Remarked upon even. Today was one of those days.

I never saw it coming.

That's why it's noteworthy.

Do you know what happened today? If you own a single electronic or participate in anything with or around other humans, at least here in America, I'm sure you know.

All marriage became legal and equal.

Now, why is that significant to me?

After all, I am in the standard marriage with kids and have been for a long time. Sure, sure, I have gay friends and whoo hoo, isn't this great for them.

It may seem trivial or sassy to say it like that, but really, let's be honest, unless it's really close to you, you're thinking all, "oh that's so nice" or "now Jerry and Tom can finally get married for real", not really thinking about what you're thinking.

I had the whole thing vaguely on my radar. I do have a child that's come out and declared a status other than hetero. I had it all on my list of current events things to keep an eye on. You know you do that as a parent or an adult, so you can be on your toes for those conversation opportunities with the kids in your life.

Mid-day the ruling announcement hit our home.

I didn't think all that much of it, until I watched my kid.

My kid, had an actual reaction of relief to this ruling.  Relief and joy.

I wouldn't have ever thought it would be such a huge thing to him. I had him pegged as a teenager. Interested only in teenage things and stressed out by only teenage things.

Even as his parent, and maybe this is my flaw alone, I never considered the idea that this was an issue that he worried over or even had anything other than passing feelings or thoughts about.

But today, he was relieved by this ruling. His world literally changed right before his eyes. And in turn, so did mine.

He is a screwball and a true teenager. He is flighty and disorganized and his motivations are all over the scale from none to overachiever. He can be rebellious and defiant and also sweet and insanely funny.

Today. He was wise as he spoke in words that seemed to me beyond his years.

Because I asked, "I am relieved mom. Today I have the freedom to be who I am. I can love whoever I fall in love with and it really will be OK."

"This is a huge day mom, we really are becoming the country we say we are, a country where all people could be equal."

My rambling point is this.

As parents we may have gone through today thinking very little about the ruling and how it impacts us or our kids. I'd say that's really off on our part. We should be recognizing how significantly this changes the world for our kids and the weights and pressures this takes off of them. We say all the time our kids are growing up in a world unlike our own. We usually mean that in all it's negative possibilities. Sometimes we should see it for the good.

For you friends and family against marriage equality, I understand your point of view. I respect you and your opinion. I respect the beliefs you hold that give you those views and opinions.

On the other hand, this is my kid and I love and support him no matter who he loves.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Interesting Friends

"You have interesting friends," The Mr. says often.

It's true. I do. I have interesting friends.

I can't seem to collect the cookie cutter kinds of friends that do all the regular predictable life things. The plain friends who have dramas and crisis in their lives, but somehow they are of the regular sort.

No. Not I. I have interesting friends.

They lead interesting lives.

All the variations of interesting that you can imagine.

Perhaps you can hear The Mr. saying it with all it's different implications.

I'm in my 40's now. I've lived a lot of life, not as much as some, but enough.

I like to think I've had plenty of experiences to make me "worldly" enough. I like to think I'm a little "street wise" or "people wise."

My training and experience in foster parenting took away my naive innocence.

I've had plenty of friends who lived too hard or partied too often.

I've known plenty of birth parents with alcohol and drug abuse issues.

But then again, in this life, you never know what you know, until you know.

I haven't blogged this story because even though it is part of my life, it isn't my story to tell. I haven't blogged it because I have kids old enough and computer savvy enough to read my blog. If they can and do, so could their friends.

I have held back, waiting for the happy ending to come.

I have not lost hope. I have not given up. I have not lost faith.

I am not unrealistic. I am not blind. I am not naive.

We all think we know about addiction and what it does to people, their lives, their families.

We think we know.

I thought I knew.

Addiction is loss. It's chasing down story after story and never finding truth. It's empty. It's sad. It's pathetic and disgusting. It's dread. It's time spent on what has to be cleaned up in it's wake. It's a constant search of public records in an effort to keep track. It's waiting.

Addiction is loss.

 I sat today on my patio and thought about what would have been.

In the last five months we would have lived. Every day living. We would have complained about the end of the school year dramas and demands. We would be complaining right now about the back to school dramas and demands. She would have planted her garden and canned and pickled. We would have hung out on my patio and had coffee while the kids killed each other played together. We would have had ice water and eaten tomatoes at her place while our kids hung out. We would have heckled at the pool while our kids swam. We would have made at least one horrible trip to the zoo, kids going at each other the whole way. We would have traded paperbacks. We would have had a few under the tiki torches. We would have sweated through the kids baseball seasons. We would have cooked together. We would have been constantly in and out of each others homes. She would have planned a party for one of her kids.

Addiction is would have.

Addiction is shocking things losing their shock value.

I always thought I knew about the strength and power and pull of addictions. I thought I knew all about those birth parents that couldn't figure out how to choose their kids over their addictions.

In 5 months, I've called and contacted and met with all the people I possibly could. I've had the confrontations. I've had the "come to Jesus" conversations. I continue to pray. I hope for that happy ending.

But I'm not naive.

My heart is heavy.

I wonder how long would have's will go on. I wonder if fall will come and go. I wonder if the holiday season will happen. I wonder if snow will fall and I will still be keeping tabs through public records and driving the streets looking for the familiar. I wonder if I will be sitting in front of my fire place, wrapped in a blanket, warm under the sparkle of my Christmas tree thinking of would have's.

My heart feels guilt.

There are things I wouldn't have done if I had known.

I don't know how I couldn't have known.

When I do things with my family I have a flash in my mind of her family and I feel guilt. When I take a long hot shower or lay down in my bed, I have guilt. When I go to my fridge and find food or I look at the sky and think what a beautiful day, there is that little tinge. Maybe guilt is the wrong word, and yet, I don't think I know another for it.

Addiction is a thing always just at the edge of the mind, never quite gone.

I still hope on the happy ending.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Summer Dreaming

Oh little blog, you have not been forgotten, there has just simply been too much life living that needs to remain out of print.

Usually, most of my life is something I can write about easily, but sometimes there are things that happen to us that need to remain quiet. There are things with my kids that aren't mine to tell or discuss here. There are friends with life crashing down on them and I am by their side, but still, it isn't mine to chat about here with you.

Instead today, I'll give you a little glimpse of what I hope summer will be.

Hope being the operative word here.

Reality is this. It's 9:AM on the first day of summer break. I've already sent two kids to their rooms.  One kid walked in bird poop. Two more haven't looked up from their screens.

The next part is my split brain. I want two broad and possibly conflicting things for my kids this summer.

I am that person that wants her cake and to eat it too.

My plan is to teach them some lessons or maybe just refreshers. No I don't mean academics and work books. I mean life. So here we go, the short list:

  1. Listen and obey. 
  2. No back talk and/or arguing discussions about what I asked in #1.
  3. Own what you do or don't play the blame game.
  4. Get along with people or no picking fights.
  5. Respect mom when she is writing.

Yes, yes. Pie in the sky really, but I plan to stay focused on the short list for the summer.

Next up, the fun.

I want to shoot for that 70's summer vacation, along with some perks. With a hat tip to Bull Durham...

I believe in the long, lazy days of summer, the sweetness of Popsicle's eaten under trees, scraped knees and mosquito bites. I believe in chlorine public pools, wrinkled fingers and toes and sunburns. Flip flops, s'mores, bare feet and blankets by the fire pit. Stars and lightening bugs. Books and crayons. Barbies and Hot Wheels and dirt and bugs. Laying in the grass with your dog and napping in the sun dapple under the trees.  I believe in wind blown hair, skate boards, bikes and the occasional movie treat. Bubbles and sprinklers and tree swings. Baseball and BBQ's. Fireworks and root beer floats.

Along with all these summer puffy cloud day dreams, we will be working to keep the house cleaned up instead of looking, well, like it does right now, sort of like a Walmart vomited inside all the rooms. We will try not to be overrun by laundry and sports equipment. We will try to keep up with the dishes and maybe not live on paper plates.

On top of that, The Mr. and I will keep at our floor replacement project.  Our home is covered in nasty, old carpet. We are slowly ripping it out and putting in Pergo floors. The project is not terrible to do or horrible for time, but we have a big house with a lot of feet in it, so it's a project indeed.