It’s that time again… time for me to change up stuff around here. How’dya like that new header?

Pretty fancy-smancy! WK helped me put that together. (Hubs helped with the sizing). I think he did an outstanding job. If I ask him really nice, he might hire out.

Changed out the colors for a more fall look too. I think it’s kinda peaceful.

The Ferris Wheel is a photo I took at the Navy Pier while in Chicago in July. The full sized version was featured earlier this month at Photo Bliss and can be seen in my Flickr Photostream. (I’m way behind in updating the photos there, so I apologize if you’ve already seen most of those. I’ve been lacking motivation lately, but I’ll get to it.)

You may also notice that I changed (again!) my blog comment’s and Twitter avatar. I was getting really tired of seeing that out-of-focus, crossed-eyed pic. So, instead you still get a real photo of me, only one when I was a cute, little blonde imp. (yes, I did say imp… shut up!) WK stuck the photo up in the header too, so if you jump out of your Reader you can see for yourself. (“Oh, yeah… that’s who that is. I wish she’d make up her stinkin’ mind on these avatars.”)

I’ve also cleaned out my sidebar a little. Nothing major, just some tidying up.

So, do you think The Boy has a future in header design?



With this one I am to divulge 10 ‘honest’ things about myself that, hitherto fore, were unknown. It took me a while to come up with this list. Apparently I have already shared way too much about myself at this blog. I had to drag the bottom of the well for this trivia… (it will also be the last one of these I do forever awhile, since anything else I could possibly share would cause me to go into recluse mode and never show my face again in public.)

    1. I weigh 20 pounds more now than at my top preggers weight, it pisses me off, but I really like having big bewbs. I honestly don’t know if I would rather be a size 10 again if I had to give up the size Ds.
    2. I hate for anyone to touch my face. Not sure where that comes from, but I will bite you if you try.
    3. I have always wanted to have someone do a Tarot reading for me, but am afraid of what it would tell me.
    4. If I thought I could make a reasonable income from my photography and/or the jewelry I make, I would quit my day job in a heartbeat.
    5. I keep making noise that I want a second tat, have even found a quote I want inked around my existing Celtic Love knot, but have been reluctant because I’m not 100% certain it says what I want it to say cuz it’s in Gaelic. If anyone can verify the translation to this please leave a comment, so I know it doesn’t really say ‘stupid American b’otch!’

An rud nach maraíonn mé, neartaíonn sé mé

Yeah, I know that’s only five, but really, I’m stumped. I have nothing else I can or want to admit about myself.



Remember me telling you about this kid? The teenaged son of…. a good friend of mine, yes, a friend of mine.

And how this kid maybe, just maybe mind you, maybe went back to school this week. Being that classes started on Monday and all, And, how this may have been a really big deal, because this kid, my friend’s son, may not have been able to attend school for a long time before this.

Well, this kid and all the significant adults making significant decisions with him, thought going back to school was a good idea and that Monday was as good a time as any to try.

And, try he did. This kid got up at the Buttcrack O’Dawn to go to school since classes started at Seven O’Dark in the morning. And he went to classes, classes he had abandoned more than six months ago. And it was hard.

Not because he was scared, or anxious or couldn’t do the work, but because he had got out of practice.

“It was damn hard, Mom.” But, this kid was too nice to talk like that to his mother, so he just thought this, out loud.

And the homework. The OH.MY.GOD. homework had to be done. That first night was a struggle and the boy and I my friend fell back into their old habits of avoidance and parental meltdowns.

That was until a very wise woman bitch slapped the mom for being such a colossal putz, telling her to chill the hell out and let him do this on his own. Succeed or fail, it was his to do.

After that, evening homework was no big thang and done without prompting, without tear, without gnashing of teeth.. and all was good.

Until Friday afternoon when I my friend had to check the kid’s grades online to see if he was indeed doing all his homework, classroom work, et cetera, et cetera.

It must be said that in a previous time, whenever the mom had to do this she would become, literally, physically ill. To the point that the colors blue and red ~ the font colors used to show missing grades and assignments ~ could cause her to throw up a little in her mouth, just a little.

But, because she loves her son, and because he faced down his homework and did what he had to do, this was her burden to bear.

Typing in her son’s student ID and password, those dreaded text tables appeared….

And it was good… and she could take her hand from her mouth, and unclench her fists, and breathe a sigh of relief.

There is still that fear of another shoe dropping, of all of this being too good to be true, of jinxing what some may call hopefulness. But for now, my friend is so very proud of her son.

And he is a little proud of himself.



Something happened yesterday that I didn’t think would for a very long time. I hadn’t even let myself hope that it could. Now, that jinx mojo is raising it’s ugly head, so to avoid it as best as I can, we will speak hypothetically.

This ‘thing’ actually hasn’t really happened yet. If it were to, hypothetically, it would happen Monday, Monday morning to be exact, about the same time that public school around here opens.

Let’s say there was a boy, a teenaged boy who suffered so severely from panic attacks, anxiety and depression, and obsessive behavior that his parents were forced to withdraw him from his hypothetical high school back in February.

Then they hypothetically enrolled him in a homeschool program , taking classes online, where he could make up the work he missed in public school, and hypothetically stay on track to graduate with his peers were he able to one day return to his high school.

The homeschool program was seen as the perfect solution, taking this hypothetical boy out of the stress inducing classroom setting, away from unsympathetic teachers and adminstrators who only made the hypothetical situation worse.

As many hypothetically ideal situations turn out, this was not the panacea the hypothetical parents had hoped for, and the hypothetical boy fell further and further behind.

All the while the boy was visiting a very nice, hypothetical doctor who was able to restore some trust the boy had lost in authority figures. And some progress was made, until as in many good stories, bad luck struck.

The nice, trustworthy hypothetical doctor moved. Not just to a different city, but to a different state. Enter a new hypothetical doctor who changed around hypothetical medications, stopped a few, added a few, and forced the hypothetical teenager and his parents to change how they thought about and reacted to certain hypothetical triggers.

These parents, their son and doctor talked about hypothetically returning to school gradually, over several more months, maybe full time by the first of the year.

Then the hypothetical boy turned 16 and his lifelong desire to drive a car, a car of his own, on his own could not be fulfilled if he was not enrolled and active in a recognized education program. Motivation to return to school was greatly increased. A dangling carrot had materialized in the guise of an official looking, plastic, holographic card issued by the hypothetical DMV.

Weeks went by, hypothetical doctor appointments were attended, a second hypothetical doctor was added to the mix for the teen and his hypothetically overwhelmed mother. Progress was seen, panic attacks occurred less often, stress levels fell, the hypothetical teen was improving and improving quickly. He wanted his license and was willing to do what was asked.

On a recent Friday the boy hypothetically announced he wanted to go back to school, the following Monday. Luckily, the boy and his parents had an appointment that same day with his hypothetical doctor.

While the hypothetical teen’s hypothetical parents had many reservations, the boy’s lead doctor worried that if they let this opportunity slip by, it might not come back again for a long time. Now was the time to try again as a full-time student in a hypothetical full-time school.

That same afternoon, the hypothetical father and his newly motivated son went to visit his hypothetical school in the hopes of finding once helpful, yet hypothetical administrators still preparing for the opening of classes.

Hands were shaken, papers were filled out, promises made, and hypothetical plans drawn. With a lot of hard work and some small measure of luck, hypothetically the boy could still graduate with his peer class. It won’t be easy, but, hypothetically, it could happen.

So, come Monday morning, the hypothetical mother will return to her job, and the  hypothetical father will gather his hypothetical son into the family car and drive him to his hypothetical high school.

With a great deal of newly acquired resolve, hopefully the boy will find high school not so scary now. This is all hypothetical of course.

And, most importantly, you never heard any of this from me!



When I was in high school, at the height of the iconic era of platform heels, peasant blouses and bell bottoms, I was a rebel ~ stylin’ at the cutting edge of clog mania, thermal long-sleeve tees and peg leg jeans ~ 501 Button Fly Levis’.

I wore men’s jeans. At 120lbs, 5′8″ I had no hips and no ass to speak of, but did have an androgynous waistline and long, skinny legs.

As today’s fashions continue their cyclic return to the hippy era, 30 years and 50 pounds later, I now have hips and an ass, but still have that androgynous waistline and long, not-so-skinny legs. It’s difficult, nay, near impossible to find pants that not only fit, but also feel comfortable.

Getting dressed the other day, I absentmindedly slipped on a pair of jeans. Surprised that they fit so well, I took a longer look…. I had on WK’s pants.

My son’s jeans fit me better than my own.

A couple weeks ago I took him shopping for more clothes. At 16yo he’s still growing and out-growing everything.

A new Levi’s store had opened near us recently and he wanted to go there. We picked up a few pairs of pants. He only tried on two of the three jeans, thinking the third pair would undoubtledy fit too.

They didn’t, and have been sitting in the back seat of my car waiting for me to return them to the store.

This morning, I had to wonder… maybe these would fit me as well as the other pair I put on by mistake.

(Turn your head, while I try these on…)

Looks like I’ll be buying my jeans in the young men’s department from now on.

Welcome home 501!



For a long time I have been beating myself up about events and situations that are either out of my control, not my doing, or beyond my ability to change. Still I obsess, still I blame, still I gnash my teeth and beat my breast.

As a mom, as a woman, I also believe that is what most of us are conditioned to do. To take the brunt of blame and fault. Second guess ourselves as wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, lovers. Whether it’s a reasonable assumption or not, we take on the responsibility for all that goes wrong, while neglecting to accept the praise for what goes right.

Slowly I am realizing that these negative convictions are wrong and in no way change events, improve situations or give me superhuman powers.

Lately, reading some of my favorite chick blogs, I’m seeing that this is not a trend that is unique to me. And I am so incredibly sad.

I leave comments trying to bolster them, ‘you’re a fabulous mom,’ or ’stick up for yourself, you deserve so much better,’ or ‘give yourself some slack, you’re only human.’ Or, ‘it’s not your fault.’

All the while never giving myself these same Get Out of Jail Free cards. Never allowing myself to be any thing other than infallible.

We are all stronger than we know, better than we can admit, and more worthy of admiration than we believe.

We all must remember to be as kind, as compassionate, as nurturing of ourselves as we are to each other.

To all my friends ~ moms, wives, sisters, daughters, lovers ~ Be Gentle with yourselves.



I’ve done this before, you know… speak of something of great importance happening only for it to fizzle and never occur. Jinxing.

It happened last summer when Tropical Storm Fay was on a direct path toward us. She was supposed to bring destruction and mayhem, but blew out before causing too much trouble. I did an updating post on her, finally going to bed early when the storm was downgraded to a Depression.

I have the gift. The Gift of Jinx.

Claudette came, rained and left. Of course with Florida being so painfully flat, we had spotty flooding and winds gusts are still 20-30 mph which makes driving a hazard. She was kinda disappointing really.

We’re fine ~ the driveway filled with rain run off at the street end, and the yard is scattered with downed leaves and small twigs. It’s still forecasted to rain (a lot) for the rest of the week, but as for being a Tropical Storm ~ meh, I’ve seen better.

Tropical Storm Ana has already been downgraded to a Depression. This system is expected to continue to slow and degrade in the next few days. Storm Warnings are now only Watches.

Bill is the next worry. Upgraded to a Category 1 Hurricane, Bill has maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. The first major storm of the Atlantic Season and the latest forming, first named hurricane in nearly 40 years (did that make sense?), Bill could grow to a Cat 3 storm (with wind speeds between 111-130 mph) by Wednesday.

Instead of moving toward the northeast as indicated in earlier forecasts, he is tracking toward the northwest… toward Puerto Rico, possibly toward the Florida Gulf Coast?



When I first moved to Florida, the week prior to settling into our temporary condo home, Hurricane Erin (Category 2) had made her mark.

Two months later, only three weeks in our new permanent home, Hurricane Opal arrived… just in time for my birthday. I celebrated my 33rd on the road, fleeing with my family from a Category 4 storm, having grown to a Cat 5 just prior to landfall.

Over the past 14 years we have evacuated from Ivan and Dennis, but stayed for Georges and Gustav. We were flooded by Katrina, but New Orleans was far enough away that the wind damage was not as catastrophic.

This weekend we’re closely watching Tropical Storm Ana which appears to be dissipating, but still threatens to dump some rain, and Bill as it veers off further east away from Florida’s west coast, but Claudette it seems wanted a beach vacation.

The NOAA five-day outlook, as of Sunday around noon, was that Claudette, whether a storm or full-blown hurricane, will make landfall in my backyard sometime late tonight or early Monday. That little black dot resting on the blue line? Yeah, that’s where I live.

Claudette has a bit of intensifying to do to reach hurricane status. A Category 1 storm has to reach maximum sustained winds of 74 mph to be considered a hurricane. As of noon Sunday, she was rated a tropical storm, which exceeds 39 mph sustained winds.

It’s a good thing that I worked this weekend so I could take off Monday. I reiterate I hate crossing this bridge and especially hate the idea of doing it in driving rain and tropical storm/hurricane strength winds.



I spend a great deal of time engaged in daydreaming. One of a few peculiarities left over from my childhood. (A love of rhubarb and bubble baths are a couple other holdovers.)

On my daily morning commute I am a rock star belting out the next greatest, and best song that everyone wants to sing along to.

At work, I’m the next Eudora Welty, penning a celebrated American Classic.

If Ansel Adams was a girl, I would be her standing in the sand with my camera snapping away at the sinking sun.

At night, as the shadows lengthen, the light fades in the corners and I drift off to sleep, I am transported back into time and space to a medieval castle.

I’m not fantasizing about having a bigger house (that would mean more to clean and forget having a housekeeper, I would have to clean before she came, waste of time), or a sports car, or a closet full of new clothes. Material things are so mundane.

My daydreams take me to a whole different plane of existence. I’m not just somewhere else, or some when, I am someone else completely. I can fly, or work great feats of magic. I have a voice that can make angels weep, my words bring people together in perfect harmony.

I have no idea whether this means I want to totally escape from my own life or if it’s normal to pretend to be someone else, even if for only a little while.

(When you daydream, what is your fantasy?)



I can’t keep pretending that everything is okay, that WK is okay, that I am okay.

We’re not, he’s not, I’m not.

I’m empty, I have nothing to say that could possibly describe how completely lost I am right now.

I need some downtime. I have someone now who I can talk to who hopefully will be able to help me deal with all the stress and upheaval in our lives.

I’ll be back later.