I am enjoying my current circumstances. My work situation is lighter, fewer part time jobs. I get more time with my family. More time to chill. Even when I’m at work, it isn’t filled with stress. It’s quite manageable. In fact, I’m even off my blood pressure medication.

I could be doing tons of crazy stuff with this new time, and I have done stuff (marching band, build ventriloquist dummies). But my current favorite, in this dead of winter, is to do nothing. And not feel guilty while doing nothing. Nor do I think about “all the stuff I should be doing”. It feels great.

I have had time to think about the past few years, process the many changes, events. And have started thinking about the stuff I want to do in my life. Older and Younger Sons are teenagers. As I have always done, I am loving the stage they are in, but I am also very aware that time is fleeting. What do I do when they are off to college?

Now it’s not like it’s tomorrow…but I’m exploring what I still like, what I no longer like and can let go of, and what I still want to do, learn, try.

It’s pretty neato.


This was our eighth year seeing A Christmas Carol performed as a one-man show by Gerald Charles Dickens, great, great grandson of you can guess. It is a fantastic show every time we see it. Mr. Dickens performs all the characters and each one is different, and they even hold conversations. His performance is brilliance. Physically, vocally, emotionally. I literally laugh and cry each year.

This has been a tradition since Bearpaw first gave us tickets in 2011. He saw the play in 2010 and thought we would enjoy it. Clearly we do. A Christmas Carol is in my top three Christmas tales, and I love having shared this live, theatrical experience with my sons. Thank you again, Mr. Dickens!


Bear getting an autograph…

And these are some of my favorite pictures of the boys with Bearpaw. They were taken in 2014, the last time we saw it with Bearpaw.

And even though I always miss Bearpaw a little bit more at this time of year, I celebrate his memory when I remember to “Come in and know me better, man”.


That’s how long it took to get home tonight. I was frustrated because the traffic lady initially said 295 North, because it until recently was 95 North changing to 295 South. But the powers-that-be “fixed” it. The traffic folks are still getting used to it.

Eventually I heard how the accident had clogged up at least four major roads. There was nothing to do but be patient, and leave enough space between the car in front of me, but not too much (or cars would just keep cutting in). It is stressful driving.

I hate driving to begin with. 18 years ago, for eight years, I mostly telecommuted and I was very happy. For the past ten years I have had to deal with driving. And with a commute that isn’t the longest, but it has several spots that make me stressed (to the point of crying).

And it steals so much of my time.


That’s a nice dinner with my family. A massage. A movie. A nap. A load of laundry washed, dried, folded, and put away.


Worrying that someone will rear-end me. That something will go wrong with my car and I’ll back up traffic even more.

So I listen to my 80s music, sing really loud, and try to enjoy that. And not think about how much I need to pee.


For as much as I was inconvenienced, it was really nothing comparatively speaking.


I saw one of the cars getting loaded onto the tow truck. I’ve seen that amount of damage before and that time only one person survived to live a very different life. But Bearpaw didn’t walk away. And I wonder if a family is getting the same news I got three years ago.


People’s lives changed forever tonight.


I still don’t like driving, events like this shake me up for several days. But I got home. I got to use the bathroom. I am spending time with my family.

I hope everyone was okay, or at least fixable.


Where have I been?

Two words… marching band

He’s a handsome Red Devil 😈!

So Older Son asked for a Dr. Spencer Reid bag for his backpack this year. He is probably our favorite character on Criminal Minds.

Dr. Reid and his bag

I had to deflect a few times because he didn’t know he was getting it for his birthday, but now that he has turned 15 (how the #@$@&&#$$ did that happen?), he has opened it. Heck, he’s already filled it with his school supplies.

We love Dr. Reid. We love that our sons see him as a role model. Matthew Gray Gubler’s portrayal of the character is one to which my sons can easily relate. He’s super smart (probably written a bit smarter than my guys), he’s true to himself, and through that, he has confidence. There are worse options for a role model.

Neither of my sons have an eidetic memory, and I know at least one of them won’t go into criminal forensics. But I do know one plans on a PhD (the proud owner of the Dr. Reid bag) and wouldn’t be surprised if Younger Son ends up with a PhD too.

All of that is lovely and relatable for my two sons, but I think they may have another connection that is even stronger.

Dr. Reid has a mom who has schizophrenia too. Not a lot of characters on television or in the movies align that well with my sons’ lives.

Jane Lynch does an amazing portrayal of Diana Reid. The relationship of mother & son has grown to be wonderfully detailed. It offers a glimpse into caring for a parent who has a mental illness and the complexities that go along with it.

I hope I don’t follow the same path as the character, but I suppose it doesn’t hurt for the boys to realize I might need some help when I’m older, depending on how good my mind stays (or doesn’t). Obviously, Hubby will help too, and mostly I hope I stay basically as I am now, but…

So thank you to Gubler & Lynch for creating and portraying our “normal” in mainstream entertainment. And for a really neat bag.

Older Son with bag and a hint about his PhD.

@gublernation @janemarielynch

And thank you for being in C. Guest’s movies, Ms. Lynch!

This is not a political post. This is a learn-about-your-nation’s-flag post.


Did you also know there are different types of flags and different times to fly them?


Fort McHenry has a lot of neat history on this.


Dogtor Quincy

Today brought sadness. The world’s sweetest, greatest therapy dogtor died.

Dr. Quincy’s therapy dog portrait

Dr. Quincy lost his sister, Bella, earlier this year. She had retired from her therapy work several years ago, but still occasionally went with Dr. Quincy to visit folks on a personal level.

Me & Bella, Halloween 2015

Shortly after Bella passed, Dr. Quincy’s mom drove west to pick up his new baby brother. Lots of people helped his mom do that because she helps so many people.

Dr. Welby, resident

Dr. Welby (technically still a resident since he still has to finish taking his board exams) is adorable. Dr. Quincy had been sharing stories about his baby brother.

The kid just won him over because he’s so sweet and a natural for therapy work.

Dr. Quincy training the resident Dr. Welby

Dr. Quincy could see that Welby will be a great dogtor one day.

Dr. Quincy wrote on his Facebook page that he got to go to work this past Wednesday. But that today he woke up and didn’t feel well. Sadly, the vets discovered an aggressive cancer had caused his spleen to burst. His mom would never let him suffer, not after how much he comforted others. And while I know his mom’s heart was aching, Dr. Quincy passed peacefully at home surrounded by his mom and loved ones.

This is terribly sad news and I have been crying for two hours. I said to Hubby, why can’t I stop crying?

And then Dr. Quincy comforted me again, even in his passing. I read many, many posts on both his personal and professional Facebook pages. Post after post sharing the positive love and impact he had on person after person. Photos of velvety ears, EBRs (emergency belly rubs), and that sweet, smiling, drooly face above his tie and stethoscope.

Dr. Quincy at work

I’m not the only asking why I am crying. And I realized that while Dr. Quincy wasn’t my dog, he filled my heart regularly with love and happiness, a positive presence in my news feed to counter all the snark and divisive posts. A giant gentle reminder that kindness does so much good and spreads better than anything else.

And tonight, hundreds, thousands of people are being touched with sadness at the loss of this gentle giant. Dr. Q brought so many together, from all walks of life, all sides of anything with sides, and helped us be what we are supposed to be. Humans caring about each other.

And that’s why so many are crying at this sad news. But Dr. Quincy comforted me again as I read all of the posts paying tribute to him, sharing memories of him, and seeing other therapy dogs changing their profile pictures to a photo of him to honor his work.

Halloween 2015

Dr. Quincy’s mom is such a beautiful person. She is humble, caring, giving. She will deflect attention given to her role in Dr. Quincy’s medical practice, claiming she just drives him. Her compassion is something I aspire to. Her heart is so big that it must be aching horribly this evening. My heart aches for her.

Yet…I bet if I could peek into her window I would see her training Dr. Welby, looking at pictures of her beloved Bella and Quincy, and thinking to herself, we’ll be back to visiting the hospital as soon as Dr. Welby passes his board exams.

Welby in his mom’s lap

I know as she reads all of the posts, and remembers all of the love Dr. Quincy spread around the world (and I’m not exaggerating) she will be comforted by Dr. Quincy’s memory. And perhaps as she gives Welby an EBR, or rubs his velvety ears, Welby will continue the training Quincy helped him begin. Welby will bring comfort to his mom as she needs it. And Bella and Quincy will smile watching from above.

Me & Dr. Quincy

Photos from my collection and Dr. Quincy’s Facebook pages.

1 year apart

We are in the 27-days when the boys are only one year (and 11 months) apart in age. So I have a 14- & a 13- year-old in the house. Yes, that much teenage boy in my house.

Messy bedrooms, weird hours, food bill through the roof. And I am the dumbest person on Earth-I know NOTHING according to my sweet boys.

It doesn’t help that they are both 5 or 6 inches taller than me.

And I confess-Hubby buys me secret food and I hide it in my bedroom to make sure I get to have it. Otherwise I won’t get any. To borrow from Ross, I grew up with Monica. If you didn’t eat fast, you didn’t eat.

I love my sons. They make me crazy, laugh, tired, and thankful.


Power of books


A simple sign

This sign is simple and declares a simple act of kindness. #positivity