Turtles and grief and a hard, hard world.

One afternoon not long ago, Nico called me from the bus stop. I was at the dentist with Scout. “MOM! YOU NEED TO COME HERE RIGHT NOW! I NEED HELP!” “Honey, I’m at the dentist with your sister. What’s wrong?” I tried to swallow the panic. Was he hurt? Being kidnapped? Had he cracked his phone? “No, Mom, you have to come right now! There’s this turtle….wait….I just need to….okay, I’m tucking some of its insides under the shell….MOM. IRead more

Annual Vacation Odyssey! and a Rocky Mountain High

I’ve missed you. I hope you’ve missed me. Would you believe me if I said I spend a percentage of each waking hour wishing my fingers were tapping on a keyboard? Probably not. But it’s the truth. When I say this to Hot Firefighter Husband, he says, Then write! Just write! Do it! and I think, I will! I will write today! Then the oldest child calls from the school nurse’s office because her toe is bleeding and the youngest childRead more

The unfortunate chaos of busy-ness

The Russian spy ship Victor Leonov is not far off the coast of Florida right now, which means if I hop on a cruise this evening we could meet up by lunchtime tomorrow. I mean, not that I’d want to. I’m not a spy or anything OR AM I but apparently the Russians are our friends now, and with all their eavesdropping equipment I feel like somebody on board could help me get to the bottom of why Common Core math evenRead more

A Holiday Round-up for your entertainment

Dear generous readers, The worst thing about being a writer is not writing. When I’m not writing, my waking hours consist of strange and beautiful sentences forming in my head, begging to be eternalized through the stroke of a few keys. They had wanted to name her Astrid, but between the language barrier and her mother’s fledgling literacy, she got stuck with Aspic. She didn’t know it was a bad name until her fourth grade teacher helpfully explained to the class that aspic was alsoRead more

Bernie Sanders came to my house, and he slept under the covers.

Every weekend I visit the rescue dogs at Pet Supermarket as a test of willpower. This is a secret, except sometimes I make one of the children come in case he/she so falls in love with a pup that I HAVE to take it home. This might sound familiar because this is exactly the way we acquired Yobe the Rescue Dog, and afterwards Hot Firefighter Husband made me promise to never ever do that again. I didn’t exactly promise but I conceded thatRead more

I WROTE A BOOK! I WROTE A BOOK! I WROTE A BOOK! Also….I WROTE A BOOK!

I have amazing news for the gazillions of people who’ve told me I should write a book. I HAVE WRITTEN A BOOK. And it’s going to be published. Coming in Spring 2017 to a bookstore near you: The Place of Peace and Crickets: how adoption, heartache, and love built a family Is that the best title ever or what? I could tell you what it means, but then I’d have to kill you. KIDDING. But really. I’m not going to tellRead more

The Canine State of Affairs around here

Damn Gem, our 13-year-old chocolate lab, left us on a cold December Saturday morning. She took her last breath while laying in my lap on the floor of the veterinarian exam room. I had been meaning to take her to the beach one last time. She loved the smell of the ocean; it never failed to fill her old body with the youthfulness we assumed was gone for good. But her illness crept up on us – two days after IRead more

Vacation Chronicles 2015, the prologue. Make some popcorn.

Guess what! We’re in Maine! The annual Vacation Odyssey has begun. But first: I owe you a confirmation that we have indeed added a third canine to the family. In my head right now I’m shouting the Tyrant’s favorite refrain: I’m sorry! It wasn’t my fault! I didn’t do anything wrong! although I’m only a teeny bit sorry, and it was totally my fault, and I guess I did something wrong. Here’s how it went down. Well. You know how I am.Read more

A Stephen King novel unfolds in my kitchen. Also, Dumbo.

We sat down to dinner late the other night, so the Diva ate a single shrimp and said, “May I be excused?” She’s maniacal about her bedtime. Have I mentioned that I adore that child? The single breathing being in the house who takes care of herself? The rest of us started up the usual dinner chaos. I peeled shrimp for the boy, but the girlie peeled them herself, which made her brother jealous, so he told her she was servingRead more

2014 ANNUAL VACATION ODYSSEY, PART I! Snakes and dolls.

Hi guys! Where have I been all your life for the past entire week? RIGHT HERE! But I was in the throes of our ANNUAL VACATION ODYSSEY, which means being busy with the usual assortment of Doritos, tooth fairy failures, and snakes. SNAKES. Before we even left the house. The night before our departure, Buddy the Wonder Dog woke me up to go pee or eat cat poop or stare at me adoringly. I opened the bedroom door to let him out, but he wouldn’tRead more