Saying Goodbye to Maggie

The most real goodbye is never easy.
It is never quick.
It is never really complete.

We said our mortal goodbyes to Maggie Monday October the 2nd. It was painful but it was due and it was time.

It has been several weeks and I am still saying my own quiet goodbyes.

She went by many names.
Maggie, Magret, Mags, Magna-Doodle. She came to any name I called her if there were bites to be had or ear scratches to be received.

She was a unique sort of companion. When I met her for the first time she insisted we be friends but made clear the boundries.
She cocked her head to side and studied me intently when I spoke to her. Little did I know we would become family and she would become the matriarch of our combined household.

I suspect she knew.
I should have known by the twinkle in her eye.

Her favorite human trick was to “boof” and point with her nose. We were to provide her with whatever she wanted,  be it something or someone. Beer was her favorite but wine from your glass would do.

Until old age set in.

Her desire for the taste of spirits disappeared with her youth and vigor.

Despite being unseated by wrapped boxes with bows she would still be magnetically attracted to the tree and wanted to be as near as possible.

Our first Christmas without her has been most difficult. All the festive paper and all the delighted giggles were unable to drown out the loss.

The tears flowed forcefully and unforgiving this morning as I remembered her. I caught a quick glimpse of the memorial ornament on our beautiful tree and instantly recalled our unique relationship.

She refused my Christmas gift last year and I was so incredibly offended at the time. I recall clearly that she turned her little black nose straight away when I presented her the bakery fresh bone shaped cookie.

She rejected my last gift but she never rejected my affections.

The most important things she gave our family will live on long past her last days.

We have said our goodbye but our Maggie will never be forgotten.

Inspiration where are you?

I often think of writing. I day dream of how therapeutic it is to run my fingers over the keys and have something pour on the screen that is not foreign to my soul. It is not work.  It is not a copy of someone or something else. The words belong to me and me alone. It is my perception of art and mine alone. It is snarky comments and love letters and tales of comic mischief. It is a work of love and passion and inspiration.

So why is it so very hard to connect to the inspiration? My life is certainly not dull. I am part of my very own love story, my offspring challenge my every breath and our travels are nothing if not worthy of a wordy tribute. Yet my collection sits stagnant.

I may seek the answer for as long as the heart seeks the definition of perfection. That ever evasive, constantly changing kaleidoscope of beauty and mercy.

I crave inspiration.

I want to hear the click clack of the keys and see the stark white screen disappear.

So where is it? Where is my muse? Why can’t I just find the magic that makes me move to the nearest electronic and tell my tales? If you’ve found the secret I beg you to share.

I promise not to tell.

Mothers Day in a new light

Today is the first day of May.

Today is the first full month of 2018 that I feel somewhat less lost as a mother, as a daughter and as a woman.

I have grown children, and teenage children, and fur children. I have a wife who I have been accused of treating like a child on occasion. Nobody is perfect, judgmental Judy.

I even have feathered children (I love those little cluckers).

I know, I look way too young to have grown children, thank you for thinking it.

The fact is I do. The oldest are adults, adulting in a grown up world far from my nest.

In case you need a quick refresher note here is a mini version of my sorta-adult life:

A long time ago in a land far away there was a young “know it all teenager” who found herself pregnant and stupid. She married her boyfriend, bought a house with a white picket fence added in a couple dogs and had everything but happiness.

More ridiculous things happened in the middle. Blah, blah, blah …

Fast forward 20 something years and that stupid teenager is a self proclaimed wise(r) woman. She made mistakes. She fell down alot, skinned her knees and nearly broke her neck emotionally and mentally. Eventually that lost girl found her happiness. She distanced herself from her own mother for fouls of a personal nature for years but has since, very recently, found forgiveness. Her grown children are distanced now, not by spite but by miles and sparse communication.

For all of my woes there is a light in distance, there is a summer plan to bring all of my people to the same harmonious place.

By harmony I mean grass and lawn chairs, sipping cold beverages and cheering on a game of corn hole or horse shoes. There will be laughter and loud voices, there will be barking dogs and trash talk. There will be breezes to blow the smoke from the grill.

There will be a stillness inside me finally even in the midst of reunion chaos.

Mothers Day may come in mid May but I am celebrating a little earlier. For the first time in a long time I have something entirely and unexpectedly related to extended family to look forward to.

Something that isn’t a surprise pile of dog poo in the hallway in the middle of the night when I get up to pee.

Something not related to a bag of cheese puffs in the pantry with a single cheesy puff left in the bottom of the bag.

Something uncommonly good to look forward to. Something not at all like a field trip leaving tomorrow at 4 in the morning which I learned about the night before.

Nope. Something really, really good.

Something great is on the horizon. A Happy Mothers Day indeed.



Wild fires, drought and washing our ass in the sink

If you’ve been watching anything in the news you know Western North Carolina is suffering greatly trying to fight wildfires. 

We happen to live right in the area, only on a mountain peak currently not covered in flames. 

We can see the smoke, smell the stench of burnt forest and feel the sadness of mother nature and her creatures great and small mourning the losses. 

With all this happening we are now out of water. Not just drought and mass devastation but dry in a personal well sorta way. 

Not only are we unable to put out a fire we can’t flush toilets. 

The fires have been going on weeks. I felt safe and grateful to be on the outer bands of where fire was currently burning in drought ridden forest. Then came the slow trickle of water which eventually became no water at all over the span of 24 hours. 

We called the neighbor and asked if he had water.

 He said no. 

Explains why he high tailed it out of here that morning. Like most of the home owners up here he has a second house (with running water!) elsewhere. Unfortunately for my little family we are normal people who manage to pay our bills for one house, barely. 

So here we are, one quote down and one to go to see how much it might cost to have running water again. I don’t know what’s scarier, no water or the estimate to have it back again. 

In the meantime we are using microwaved water in camp showers for bathing and flushing with purchased water in gallon milk shaped containers. 

Dishes are disposable or if necessary washed quickly and with as little water as possible. Clothing will be carted to town to wash and my love of bubble baths is put on ice.

 If we had ice. 

You don’t know how much water you need until it doesn’t simply come out of the faucet when you turn a handle. 

My biggest fear isn’t really how to shave my legs or deep condition my hair. I’m put out but will survive split ends and having to make several trips a week to buy bottled water. 

I have to wonder though what happens if we actually have a fire, here, on our mountain. What if it’s a small one but I can’t put it out before it engulfs a mountain top circle of homes? 

I make jokes about washing under a primitive bladder of water and using a basin to wash dishes … but what happens if the worst case scenario is an actual thing. 

I’m terrified. 

Oh the lesbian drama. Secrets of the cheating kind. 

I was casually browsing social media today and realized I hadn’t seen posts from a specifically annoying “friend” lately. I decided to scroll my friends list to see what had changed.

*dramatic pause* It seems I was unfriended! Not only unfriended but blocked. That’s the worst. A title held for stalkers and ex lovers. Not for friends who were once considered “framily” the highest level of friendship. A family bond. 

I want to be super casual and nonchalant about the whole thing. I really do but it bothers me. 

Like really and truly bothers me. 

Here’s why …

A few weeks back a dear friend (at the time) told me something she didn’t want anyone to know about but simply had to confide. Not abnormal at all for girlfriends. 

We all have little secrets. 

Maybe we secretly hate our coworkers voice or maybe we don’t tell our spouses we hate the way they cut their hair. It’s normal. It’s what women do. We gossip and sometimes we are really mean girls. 

However. We never, ever put people we love in terrible positions with potential danger attached. Physical, emotional or mental danger. Never. 

The secret she shared violated almost every taboo. It was in regards to her marriage, her employee / friends marriage and a friendship among the 2 couples. I told her it was a terrifying situation but regardless I would have her back …

 i.e. keep her secret and not be judgemental.

So that’s where my moral compass started spinning. I don’t think dishonesty is ever ok in a marriage.  I don’t think newly wed couples should have a crush outside the marriage.

 Or forever and a year married couples for that matter. If you find yourself swooning and longing for more face time with someone other than your lover you’ve got problems.

It is absolutely not ok to have secret feelings for and continue to be involved with someone outside your union.

 It’s not ok. It’s not acceptable. 

It’s also never acceptable to ask your best friend to allow this to happen and to arrange gatherings which would facilitate time with said crush. 

Who is married. 

To your newlywed employee. 

With that in mind I pulled back from the crazy when it was requested the other couple join us for weekend plans. I felt used. Like a bridge to the land of secrets and lies. 

I declined and canceled all formal plans. I kept my safe distance and continued on with life as it were.

I never mentioned anything about why I didn’t want to entertain the 3rd couple. I didn’t say it was because I couldn’t watch my friend spiral down the rabbit hole with her employees spouse. 

I didn’t say, even though I wanted to, that regardless of love lost and intimacy non existent in her own marriage it didn’t give her or anyone the right to intrude on someone else’s bond.

Someone else’s brand new, only a few months old, fresh ink on the paperwork marriage. 

The same someone else who happened to work for her. 

As an employee. 

Within physical feet, every single day.

I didn’t say anything of this until my friend, my closest thing to family, sent me a scathing note about betrayal of the friendship kind. Accusing me of all people of not communicating and assuming her plans to use me to see more of her crush.

Just … wait. what? I was avoiding her for the same reasons she was accusing me of. She told me I was reflecting. Me? The situation was exactly the opposite. 

She basically told me to get lost. She broke off the friendship in a dramatic and drawn out way only women really can. 

Then she begged me not to tell her wife (our friend as well … framily) and I advised I made a promise and would keep it. I never said anything at all. I could have. I didn’t. 

Now that I am unfriended and blocked … by not only the ex-friend but also the people who were being cheated on (emotionally, which is still cheating. Anything else is purely speculation). Interesting. It’s like a dramatic Lifetime movie made up of all lesbians. 

It makes me wonder why I was unfriended. By people who knew nothing of what was going on right in front of their faces. What had I allegedly done to be blocked? They didn’t know of the situation so they must have been told something untruthful. Likely something really hurtful to get the blocked status. 

Was the truth distorted to cover up the infidelity? Likely. Was I somehow spun into a web of lies without even knowing it? Probably.

Now I ask myself why I am I’m keeping her secret. Isn’t social dictaion that it is free to be told now? While not directly said shouldn’t it be put it into the world to find its way ? 

There may be be no right or wrong. There is certainly no going back. There is no reason for me to break my promises but I don’t have to carry the secret either.

 It has been decided. 

It may never be read but it is written and I can let it go now. 

If I’ve learned nothing else from recent life traumas I’ve learned that there is no point holding onto the things that can not be changed.

 Things that can not be undone.

 To release them is to find peace. 

I sincerly hope that the couples involved each find peace in their own respective relationships. Or at least find the truth and eventually the peace that comes after it. 

Blocking it won’t help. 

The truth is right there in black and white. 

Finding peace. Saying goodbye.

​Someone who was very dear to me as a child and a mentor to me as a young parent passed away this weekend. 

That person who I adored and trusted turned their back to me a few years back when I met and proclaimed love for my now wife. 

It broke my heart.

I had to make a choice, to be part of a family or to make my own. I made my own. 

We never again spoke again.

Never apologized.

Never said goodbye. 

She passed with bad blood between us and it can’t be undone.

Hearts won’t be mended. Debts won’t be paid. 

Words will never be said. 

It is too late to be sad and I am too sad to be mad. I had hope that one day the truth would be as bright and clear as a fresh new morning. 

That day never came.

The day will never come that she will see I am the same I ever was, maybe better for being truly loved. 

I wish she would have known the truth. I wish she had met my one.

I wish I could have whispered final words:

Don’t let ignorance blind you. 

Don’t let hate survive you. 

I hope she found the truth finally. I hope she understood. I hope she found peace. 

I hope that I can find mine. 

What I learned today about people

I work in a people oriented business. It’s a small office and sometimes hard not to become an expert listener with so many stories.

I live in a small town type place. I’m raising my family in a house just big enough, nestled on the top of a mountain surrounded by other houses I can’t see but know exist. I rarely see people come in or out of these dwellings. I prefer my privacy but am kind to those who have shown interest in our presence.

I know people from the community from all walks of life. We have other lesbian friends we identify with. We know couples and singles from varied sexual orientation, religion, race and economic status. I have always been proud to be able to communicate freely, sometimes befriending, people of all walks.

I try to make every encounter as pleasant as possible. People I care for and people I don’t cross my path every single day. Not always in person, sometimes on the road while driving or in my social media feeds as I scroll. Sometimes for my work and sometimes in my personal life. Each an experience yet most not life changing.

There is at no point in my day that I allow my interactions to take on a malicious intent. I do not set out to harm others, or to chip away at whatever happiness they carry with them.

I do  not concern myself with the relationship status or the circle of friends people subscribe.

I do not base my entire interaction on what others may offer me personally.

I strive everyday to better, to be a better person. To love more, to understand more, to teach more. To understand and to grow more.

Each day I learn that other people don’t share the same desire. The same ideas about love and honesty. The same approach to kindness and human decency.

Today I was reminded that some people care only about what you may have to offer them. They care to make themselves look bigger, better, smarter, more loveable. All this without the effort to earn it, without the effort to learn it and live it.

All this to achieve attention with no intention above self interest.

Today I learned that the world has a great deal of deception, of worry, of concern for not the greater good but for self worth.

Today I learned what a fragile thing human emotions are. How deeply words penetrate.

What I learned about people today is that they are capable of love and of hate.

We can all make a choice to be villainous, kindness however is basic human nature.

Manager Blues

Monday to Friday, every morning is the same routine basically; I warily reach for my cell to turn off the alarm and immediately fall lifelessly back into my pillows for a few more minutes of still silence.

It never fails, my body is too tired to get up yet my brain tells me I must.

I have to job to do.

An office to get to.

A desk fish to feed and plants to water.

I have calls to make, emails to write,  questions to answer and decisions to make. I have payroll to approve and discounts to calculate.

I am a manager. I am exhausted. I see more blues than I share.

All the problems are my problem, all the successes my celebrations. I coach, I cry, I beam with pride. I hire them in and I see them out. I teach them and I am taught. I read the written and listen to the spoken. I take notes and assign direction.

Some days I am the star of the show and others I am merely a prop. I am both loved and hated, often in the same day. I am both the hero and the villain.

I see more red than I act.

Their struggles are my struggles. Their tasks my tasks and their challenges ultimately my own. I rise to great each with courage and inspiration, professionalism and seasoned knowledge.

All of these before I see the green at the end of the week.


Parenthood. We are probably doing it wrong.

There is a lot of noise on social media lately about motherhood. Not really about fatherhood, not really calling out the dads. I think there are flows every now and again where we the people get on our platforms and proclaim to the world that they are doing “it” wrong, whatever the new “it” thing happens to be.

Right now it happens to be parenting.

Aimed directly at mothers to be precise.

We have heard about the zoo incident where the young boy climbed into a gorilla pit. The one where seemingly the mother had no eye on her child for the entire time he climbed a fence and other security measures to find himself face to face, in a pit, with a 400 lb gorilla.

While I wasn’t there and I am by no means one to judge another mother I find it extremely frightening that this teeny tot was unsupervised in a public place. Surrounded by strangers and more danger than one could possibly imagine.I am infuriated by this parents lack of concern for where her child was until it was too late. I am appalled other adults must have seen this happening and said nothing. Did nothing. Stood back in judgement? Wonder? Horror?

How does the child escape the watchful eye of a parent?

I will tell you how. Mothers are human too. We are expected to be on a constant watch for our offspring, for potential pain, possible death. While I managed to watch mine for as many years as it takes to basically not fall into a pit at the zoo … I wasn’t exactly perfect.

Pick up any parenting magazine or surf a parenting website and try not to be persuaded to read about the struggle of working parents vs those who stay at home and how hard it is to make a life choice to be either.

Or the blogger who I briefly scanned proclaiming BS on stay at home moms who title themselves super human and their children saints.

I have been on both sides here. When my brood was teeny I stayed at home with them. We budgeted to the last dollar and we never had much but I was home.

Are my children saints because I was there 24/7? No.

Was I some kind of super human for making a choice to stay home? No. I was barely human. Have you seen The Walking Dead? I was the mommy version.

Mostly I was a mess chasing toddlers around in my pajamas from yesterday, wiping faces and picking Cheerios out of my hair. I usually didn’t know what day it was and I didn’t care as long as my family was fed and alive.

Once they were older I worked, I went to school, I got a better job, I found a career and I love it. I can provide things I never had, that they never had, and sometimes that means I work alot of hours.

Do vacations and big screen TV’s make me a better mother? No. If you ask my kids they think I’m pretty cool but that would only be so they can go back to playing video games on the new console.

Are my kids saints because I work to support them? Hell no. They spend alot of time being grounded for not helping with the dishes.

Then there are the celebrity parents on social media. Those with cute little baby pictures on Instagram followed up with attacks on parenting. Everything from when it might be alright to leave your newborn for a dinner out to how to dress a toddler or style their hair. Or those adopted kids to gay parents and how they can possibly be thriving in such an environment.

I received my fair share of parenting advice, lucky for me I could just hang up the phone or close my front door and not hear it if I didn’t want to. Social media seems to have closed that gap. There are plenty of opinions on everything. I have mine too but generally I just scroll on or unfriend or unfollow people who irritate me.

I simply don’t subscribe to those I can not seem to pass by without voicing a negative opinion.

I am well aware nobody wants to me to point out those dirty little kid faces in every photo posted. (please wipe your kids face, seriously)

Do I have cute little food face photos tucked away somewhere to embarrass my kids later? You bet.

The point is parenting is hard enough without someone in your face telling you that you are doing it wrong.

You probably are.

I probably am too.

…. but since nobody handed us a manual with our newborn we have to make it up as we go along. Be a good person. Wipe your kids faces and don’t let them wander off in dangerous places and you will be just fine as a parent.

Try not to judge others out loud and you will be an excellent mother. Kudos.

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil





Enough is enough

It’s just time to say you’ve had enough. 

The point where you’ve clearly reached the edge of sanity.

The moment before you plunge into the abyss of terrible hurtful words aimed straight at the person poking needles in your voodoo doll.

I am pretty sure I’ve reached the point of enough.

It might be taking all my patience, all my skill, all my energy but I have yet to crumble.
I won’t.

I will maintain my composure.

I will not start cracking my knuckles and stretching my neck from side to side.

I will not let visions of red blind me to the reality before me.

I will not let my sighs become screams.

I will remember that life is too short to be mad about the things I can not change and
I will be brave in the face of things I must.

I will know when enough is enough.