Fourth of July thoughts on country

Fourteen years and 86 days ago, Army Sgt. Keith Matthew Maupin went missing in Iraq when his fuel convoy was attacked by Iraqi soldiers. Soon after, Arab television stations aired footage of him kneeling in front of his captors, and subsequent video appeared to show them shooting him to death. Four years later, acting on a tip, the U.S. military found his remains, and his devastated parents were able to finally bring their boy home. To show respect for Sgt. Maupin,Read more

Before I understood what’s important

The Christmas of 1991, Bob and I were living together in an oceanfront condo in Melbourne Beach which we couldn’t afford. But did you hear me say oceanfront? We weren’t yet married, and although I was 27 years old, I wasn’t yet an adult. We didn’t have much money, but we had more than we do now because KIDS. I was working for the Vero Beach Press-Journal, and scheduled to work Christmas Day. Bob had been a copy editor atRead more

‘Tis the season to FREAK OUT, right? Or is it just me….

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Are you stressed to the max? Is it Facebook? I blame Facebook. If I see one more post about loving families doing holiday whatever together, I’m going to plug myself into the tree lights. It’s not that I don’t WANT to be all festive and jolly, but between homework and shopping and feeling guilty because my house doesn’t look like a glittery tinsel factory, I really just want to lie down for a day or a week.  I thinkRead more

As the New Year approaches.

Eleven days with no writing? Imagine the tips of my fingers all soft from not pecking keys, and my creative brain jumbled with unexpressed thoughts. It’s totes true. But most palpable is the rising sense of panic, the fear that my ability to string words together is as sunk as a concrete-laden body. And add to that the fear that I’ve disappointed you, Generous Readers. In reality, I know you’ve been busy baking cookies, right? And storing away your Elf onRead more

The Spirit of Christmas, Part 2

You know how sometimes your kid locks himself in a room and starts turning the circuit breakers on and off? It’s not for the faint of heart. But it’s slightly redeeming the next day when he flips out at me trying to catch a lizard in the house because IT’S A LIVING BREATHING THING, MOM, DON’T KILL IT DON’T KILL IT DON’T KILL IT. Like I would. I love lizards! Small ones. In such instances, an urgency shapes his thoughts to the pointRead more

The spirit of Christmas, Part 1.

If a dog eats a treasured piece of artwork, but leaves only the cardboard mounting so that you’re unsure which treasured piece of art has been eaten, was it really very treasured? Let’s go with no. I might feel differently after the evidence morphs into colorful logs of poop. At least Damn Gem didn’t eat any hidden Christmas presents. I know this for a fact because I haven’t purchased any. Oh, Christmas. Can you remind me again of the reason for the season?Read more

#MOMFAILS, child by child

Yesterday morning I accidentally gave the Pterodactyl a melatonin with his vitamins. Those pill bottles all look alike. You know what melatonin is, right? The chemical in your body that makes you sleepy? Well. He didn’t cause any trouble in school. If he was even conscious. He later told me he fell asleep on the bus. He normally gets a melatonin at night to help him drift into slumber, which keeps him from obsessing about everything that could go wrong theRead more

Post-Thanksgiving gratitude list, or non-gratitude list.

TRUTH: I became less grateful as the week progressed. Is that bad? Don’t answer that. I know it’s bad. But listen, you know how stressful the holidays can be. Actually, it’s not the holidays, really, it’s my expectations of the holidays. They don’t even have to be perfect, but fukkit, is it too much to ask that I not have to drag my son to the car when it’s time to head out to our Thanksgiving dinner? Can I have a singleRead more

GRATITUDE: Have a swig before you dive back into the crazy.

Several people I know keep a gratitude journal, and claim it’s life-altering. And, you know, I’m all about life-altering, so I often think it’s something I should try. Do you know what a gratitude journal is? Have you even heard of Oprah? She introduced the concept to the masses on her show years ago – the idea is to keep a daily written log of things for which you’re grateful. I’ve resisted this habit because I don’t want to add anotherRead more

Ash Wednesday, Adam and Eve, and dirt.

Last month, Hot Firefighter Husband tried to eat super-healthy. He counted calories and downloaded food apps onto his phone, and wouldn’t even drink with me. I was all, what? Are you trying to ruin my life? One day I bought him some ice cream and held it under his nose after dinner until he ate it. Then we were both happy. This story might sound familiar. That’s because it’s essentially the tale of Adam and Eve. Man is good, womanRead more