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

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

Shark teeth and pimples, and the attachment disorder. We’ve got it all.

“Mom, what is this?” said the Pterodactyl, pointing to a spot below his bottom lip. “It hurts.” I looked. “It’s a pimple,” I said. “WHAT? WHY DO I HAVE A PIMPLE?” “Well, maybe because you’re growing up. Maybe you’re getting close to puberty,” I mused, although in hindsight, it probably resulted from not bathing. I offered to pop it for him, because that’s what I do, even it could lead to an infection and partial amputation of his entire chin. I’m a risk-taker.Read 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

Things missing from my life right now

1   Dad. Fifty-four years ago today, my parents were wed, thereby paving the way for my very existence. Within a two-week period, Dad graduated from college, married my mom, was commissioned into the U.S. Navy, and moved to Norfolk for his first ship assignment. I miss his ability to get things done. 2   My rearview mirror.  I drive my father’s 2001 GMC Yukon. He called it the Burb, because it’s like a fake Suburban. The other day HotRead more

Courage in unlikely places, or the boy surprises me.

Water parks aren’t my thing. Jiggling expanses of flesh, melding bodily fluids, the ever-present wafting odors of aerosol sunscreen and chlorine……I’d rather a root canal, any day. Still, every summer I make the trek to our local concrete watering hole because the kids love it, which makes them very low-maintenance for at least a couple of hours. I usually find a spot in the shade and gape at the assortment of bad ink. How do you decide whether your tattoo of Jesus’ headRead more

Buddy the Wonder Dog and I face off with a restaurant manager. We win.

When Buddy the Wonder Dog isn’t being a furry anxiety anecdote for my son, he and I are a team. We go everywhere together – grocery shopping, to the library, to the gym, and to Ulta in search of the Diva’s special brand of hair conditioner, sold for the price of a month’s worth of organic grass-fed beef. Buddy almost always wears his service vest when we’re out. By law it’s not required, but it helps business managers understand that Buddy is aRead 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 lot of interesting information, sometimes called an UPDATE.

“You need to update your peeps about how the manuscript is coming,” said Hot Firefighter Husband. Or he might have said, “You need to update your peeps about how the grass is growing.” The answer is pretty much the same either way, metaphorically speaking: there are some really bright patches of color mixed in with a bunch of dollar weed, and depending on the weather, it might all blend together into a nice little lawn. What? I just made thatRead more