Big Tex Forever.

September 29, 2015

Oh, how we love the great State Fair of Texas.  And I'm glad we could get a picture in which we memorialize a total stranger in a Hawaiian shirt who also is, clearly, can't you tell, reflectively thrilled with his State Fair experience.  Maybe we'll name him Bob. And then maybe I'll cry some more while I sit with my family on the grass at the great State Fair of Texas and listen to the Marine Drum & Bugle Corps and remember some of what is oh so right with our country and our world.  These moments spent are some of...

Read More

Back In The Water.

September 28, 2015

  "Back in the water, ma'am," she said in her thickly accented broken English as she bent over my feet and worked to uncover what looked like actual skin instead of my impossibly tough heels that have come from a lifetime predilection for bare feet. Brian had given me a gift certificate for a manicure and pedicure for Mother's Day (in the middle of May) that I was finally using last week (at the end of September, because that's how I roll).  I decided to ignore everything else I needed to do because I have been struggling on and off for a...

Read More

Second Opinion {#suicideprevention}

September 23, 2015

{In recognition of the fact that September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and in solidarity with family and friends who have inherited the pain of a suicide, I re-post this post I wrote a year and a half ago after the suicide of a much-beloved, much-accomplished remarkable kid.  It would honor me if you would not only read it but also share it far and wide in the hopes it might help prevent a similar tragedy.} *************************************** February 2, 2014 Four words crossed a sign, one of those electronic billboards that changes wording every few seconds.  I glanced up and saw the words,...

Read More

96 Hours Until …

September 21, 2015

Four days.  96 hours.  Much can happen in an itty bitty time span like that. Our cats could finally go to the mattresses (you're welcome, Brian, for the Godfather reference) once and for all in some sort of Feline Gladiator Ring. Our dogs, who are currently Barking At Nothing, could finally learn to differentiate between the threat level of (a) a Masked Man Wielding a Machete and a Blowtorch While Charging Our Front Door and (b) a squirrel with the IQ of a gnat (is that redundant?) racing up and down the same tree in the far corner of a neighbor's yard for...

Read More

The King Cobra In Dreamland

September 15, 2015

So I had this dream last night.  It was charming, really.  Super restful.  It involved a nine-foot-long king cobra.  In my house. Almost makes me want to sleep again.  Never. In the dream, I was in our house, which actually wasn't our house; it was my folks' house.  But it wasn't the house where they've lived for more than twenty years, at least not as it actually looks.  It was that house mixed with the one where I grew up ...

Read More

Neck Scruff Is Underrated

September 14, 2015

So we have this new kitten.  His name is Bruce.  Despite his big, important, macho-sounding name, he has a tender, sweet face.  And he's small and darling.  I mean really, really darling. As long as he's sleeping. Which is never long enough. It's also never when we are sleeping. And it's especially not when I am (a) cooking (b) typing (c) folding laundry (d) breathing. We have two other cats - as well as two dogs who weigh a combined 250 pounds and 40 fish who weigh a combined 3 pounds - all of which means, clearly, that we are clinically insane. Our other cats are very happy....

Read More

Never Forget.

September 11, 2015

The children.  I always think of the children. And the spouses.  I think of them, too. Not just the children and the spouses of the ones who were in the Towers or on the planes in NYC, D.C., and Pennsylvania, but also the children and the spouses of the first responders. There's a picture going around that has the turnout gear of the same number of firemen as those who died on 9/11/2001.  It's a powerful picture.  So powerful. What's even more heavy-hitting is that every. single. pile of turnout gear - while it represents a single firefighter who died - actually represents far...

Read More

Dear Mr. Car Seat Thief

September 10, 2015

Dear Person Who Stole My Car Seats Last Night - While I don't know exactly what time between 8:30 last night and 6:30 this morning you decided to 'relieve' me of my third-row car seats in my GMC Yukon, I do know that you were probably somewhat alarmed to see that you got more than you bargained for, what with the ground-in fruit snacks that look like Paint Blobs Gone Rogue and the 4th-grade math homework sheets.  Did you take a moment to check my daughter's work and make sure she got all the answers right? I will say that our daughter's...

Read More

Grow Deep

September 9, 2015

      My precious littles, The pictures don’t lie: You’re growing up. I see it. Your bodies are growing, yes, but so are your minds, your spirits, your personalities. Sometimes my heart pulls on me a bit when I see how much you’ve grown. Sometimes that pulling even comes out my eyes. I know y’all growing is an inevitable part of you getting older, and I’m so, so proud of the individuals you are and that you are becoming. But do you know what kind of growing I really want for you littles? The part that is not a given – you have to work at...

Read More

He Calls Me Madalena.

September 8, 2015

In the Atlantic Ocean, there is an island. It’s not a huge island; it’s not a tiny island. It’s just an island with a name that most don’t know, even some who live on it. The island is Hispaniola. It is the geographical site of Haiti and the Dominican Republic and the home of the collective 21 million plus people who live there. That island has seen greatness and growth and miracles. It has also seen crippling poverty, widespread disease, devastating earthquakes, and fierce storms like category 5 hurricanes with 19-foot tidal waves. But the storm I encountered on our family’s first-ever family...

Read More