Kicking 2020 goodbye

The year hasn’t been all bad for us. But I’m definitely ready for it to go away.

I know that things aren’t going to magically be better starting Friday. The loss many of us have experienced this year isn’t something we can just undo. 2021 isn’t going to bring back the loved ones we lost, it isn’t going to magically return everyone’s employment, or make gatherings okay again and masks obsolete, but I do think it will bring us some semblance of hope. Just a smidge. A taste. An amuse-bouche, if you will.

I’m worried the vaccine rollout (no matter how achingly slow it is, atm) will cause people to slack up on their diligence. Many people really aren’t taking this very seriously anyway. They’re fatigued of the new normal. They think wearing their mask is enough.(don’t get me wrong, please wear your mask! but it’s only 70% effective at keeping you safe) They don’t wanna live in isolation even if the temporary change is better for their neighbors. They wear their masks and move about the cabin like they are 100% protected.

I lost 2 friends who were healthy, with no underlying conditions, in their 30s, mask-compliant at all times, but they had to work in the service industry and in education. Where they had to depend on others to be compliant. So when I hear of people who do have underlying issues moving about the cabin as if this is a normal year, it really frustrates me. Our country has failed us. Our government has failed us. And now our fellow citizens are failing us.

But still I hope.

I am thrilled for my healthcare friends who have gotten the vaccine and am so happy to hear some of my educator friends are getting them now, too! I am looking forward to the day when we can all receive the vaccine…and then maybe, just maybe, life in 2021 will start to return to a recognizable normal. Not this new normal we are currently living in. I’m grateful for my bubble and my safety net and my ability to work from home and adapt my normally “outgoing” lifestyle to a more subdued life at home. It’s worth it to keep my family and friends safe. I miss going out, but hell, my bank account is proud of my staying in. My kids know the importance of isolating as much as possible. They’ve adapted well, even if they are a little lonely. It’s a temporary lonely, one that will be over soon, if we can just hang in there.

I still have hope.

I do hope that by Fall of 2021 we will be mostly vaccinated. I hope that people who are refusing the vaccination for reasons that make zero sense, will follow the science behind the development of the vaccines. I hope that the Crybaby-in-Chief will sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up soon. January 20, 2021 soon. 21 days soon.

I hope all the idiots crying about violations of their “freedoms” because of mask wearing will eventually get the help they need to overcome the 4 years of gaslighting that our country has endured. I hope that Georgia turns full blue. I hope that even though Biden wasn’t my first, second, or third choice, that he and Kamala Harris will succeed in undoing much of the harm the great orange one has caused. I hope we can come together to discuss our differences (not including racism. Fuck off with that. That’s not a difference in opinion, that’s a difference in morality). I hope with all hope that Mitch McConnell retires. (ok, that’s more of a giant pie-in-the-sky dream, but maybe when he becomes MINORITY leader McConnell, he’ll stop being such a roadblock)

So yeah, I have hope. But I don’t have ANY expectations. 2020 taught me a hard lesson on that one.

Cheers my friends. Raise a glass of your favorite drink (non-alcoholic is perfectly acceptable) and let’s toast to hope in 2021. I’ll see you on Inauguration Day.


it’s been a while…

Well, 2 years or so to be exact. Have you missed me?

Whoa. What the fuck is going on in this world? Like, Trump got elected in 2016 and our world just kinda started going to shit, didn’t it? Like him or not, there’s no denying the division in America has grown. And gotten louder. Ugh I’m so tired of the noise. The rhetoric. And the downright lies.

A lot has happened in my life these past few years. I’ll start with the highlights.

My youngest kid started and graduated from college. He was supposed to start an international job, but since our esteemed “leader” fucked up our pandemic response (or lack thereof) so he is currently at home, playing video games and reading. He’s being very cautious and isolating so that if and when the job is available again, he can just pack his bags, grab his passport, and fly away.

My oldest kid bought a house, then the pandemic hit and his hours were severely cut and his roommate lost his job…so the Manpanion and I have been doing our best to help him make ends meet. We’re happy to do it because we can, but it’s tough sometimes.

My sweet girl Ruby died this past May. RIP you old crank. I miss you even though you loved to shit on my shoes. We did a final photo shoot for her the week prior to her endgame. Please go forth and see the beautiful photos my dear friend Jeff Fuller-Freeman did for us. Also, call Jeff and hire him for every event you may have in the future. Here’s one of my favorites

The Manpanion and I recently bought a house that we are renovating.

Oh, and we finally voted out the Dictator in Chief, have a woman VP-elect, and finally we have a team of scientists in place to actually start fighting the pandemic.

I’d also like to mention that four years ago, I accidentally predicted the Trump Virus.

The Manpanion called me a witch all weekend. Strangely, I’m ok with that.

But seriously, what the fuck is up with the craziness? People yelling that wearing masks during a pandemic is infringing on their freedoms, (funny, “my body, my choice” applies to face coverings, but not to women seeking fucking medical care) never mind everyone else’s intrinsic right to remain free of your aerosol spatter* during a viral pandemic. (*We’re going to say those are official scientific descriptors even though we know they are not). Governors requiring in person school (I’m looking at you ASA) meanwhile our educators are overworked, underpaid, and exhausted. Not to mention dying…because, you know, PANDEMIC. People crying about “it’s only 1% death rate!” Which is actually 2.5% currently in the US, but whatever. These people are fine with 2.5/100 deaths. Let’s just start grouping Americans together by 100, and then randomly pick off 2 or 3 of them at a time. Maybe we can line them up on 5th Avenue and let Trump shoot them himself. He wouldn’t lose any voters and hey, the results would be the same. Only maybe less painful, because they wouldn’t die by drowning in their own fluids.

I’m a little mad about it, can you tell?

Since when did FOLLOWING SCIENCE and DATA become political? (can we stop saying “believe in science” please?) You follow the science. You don’t have faith in it.

To say I was relieved with a Biden/Harris win is an understatement. I can now breathe easier for my black and brown friends. No, systemic racism isn’t over by any stretch. 70M Americans still voted for a racist. We have a lot of work to do. But at least we have elected 2 people that acknowledge there’s a real problem and has indicated they plan to address it. My queer family and friends are a little safer now. Sure, McConnell pushed through the Handmaid’s Tale lady for the Supreme Court instead of pushing through a stimulus plan to help Americans during a PANDEMIC but you know what? We can’t have everything, I guess. I feel like with Biden/Harris in office, at least we won’t be force into wearing the red capes any time soon. Gilead has been put off for 4 more years. I do hope my queer friends’ marriages and healthcare are still safe. I feel strongly Biden won’t allow that to change if he can help it.

Thank you for listening to me. I just needed to get it all off my chest. I want our country to reunite, to fight racism, to fight fascism (aren’t we all supposed to be ANTIFA?) to help those who need help, to make sure everyone has healthcare and food. That is what would make America great. Not whatever fucked up timeline we actually collided with. Once the pandemic is past, can we put the scientists to work on finding exactly where our real timeline and this awful one crashed into each other? And maybe fix it?

Asking for a Nation.


#fatshamed at the gas station

I won’t lie. I was fat-shamed a great deal growing up. Even when I wasn’t fat. (Apparently in the 80s having hips and tits made one “fat”). It’s hard to overcome, thankfully as an old lady, I’m learning to love myself as is.

Today, I was fat-shamed “COMPLIMENTED” at the gas station.

Me: Minding my own business, pumping my own gas
Obnoxious Asshole (OA): You’re brave for wearing that*.


* “that”

Me: (looks down at “that”) Really? Why?
OA:  I mean, for a woman of your size?
Me:  I don’t understand, can you explain?
OA:  It’s a compliment! I said you look good!
Me:  Did you? Because that’s not what I heard.
OA:  You don’t have to be such a bitch about it.
Me: Don’t I?

Here’s the thing, I need to lose weight. I know I do. But I’m working on loving me for me. Who I am on the inside and accepting who I am on the outside AS I AM now.

So when you call me brave for DARING to show my soft belly, I will shame you by feigning ignorance and force you to explain yourself. And if you can’t explain yourself without getting defensive or “mansplaining” you meant it as a compliment when it clearly wasn’t, then you should consider yourself brave for having opened your trash mouth in my vicinity.

I’m not brave. I’m fierce. And you’re a fucking waste of oxygen.

Sparkle on, bitches.

change is for other people

Long ago, in a far away land called my twenties, I embraced change. I loved it. I lived for it. Change is good! Change is how progress is made. Change is scary but even when you’re terrified, it is almost always for the better. Even when it doesn’t feel like it at first.

Now that I am 20ish years past my twenties..I embrace the idea of change but when I’m faced with the actuality of it…I am pulled into it kicking and screaming. Because with age comes responsibilities…which throws a big kink into my impulsive blind acceptance of change.

Now don’t get me wrong. I still embrace change…sorta. It just takes me longer to adjust to the idea. Old dog–new tricks, I guess. I understand more now why our grandparents were such creatures of habit. The older I get, the more I get it.

But I’m trying so hard to avoid the rut of sameness. Life without change is easy, but oh my god, is it boring!

So I’m embracing change a little bit at a time.  I’ve started meditating. It’s weird…as my brain really doesn’t shut off…but the app I’m using (headspace) tells me that meditating isn’t about shutting off your thoughts, it’s about being at ease with them. Well, that’s an interesting thought in and of itself.

I’ve been regularly exercising again for 2 weeks. I feel SO much better. My resting heart rate two weeks ago was 75-80. Today, it’s 65. My heart doesn’t have to work quite so hard to sit still…and that’s awesome.

I don’t know what small change I’ll be making next. But I do know, I’m not going to be the person who gets so stuck in a rut, that I refuse to change at all. Life is too short to live every day the same.

Embrace the change, bitches! And sparkle on!



sunrise, sunset, and everything in between

I’ve been walking again. Mostly in the mornings but I have managed a few evening/dusk walks as well. It’s interesting how different the soft light is between a sunrise and sunset. The same colors, but with varying ranges. More purples and pinks with light orange in the morning, in the evening, the pinks and purples are almost engulfed in flames as the sun sets.

It’s lovely to compare the differences and just enjoy the moments as they happen. I’ve been walking at Lakewood park a lot lately. The location is a compromise to spend more time with the Manpanion when he is able to join. We’re trying to eek out as much time together that this new normal allows. It’s often difficult, but we manage.  And when we are together, we take advantage of every moment because they are so limited these days.

Side note: being a full time caregiver to a loved one is not an easy task and it will affect you and your circle in ways you can’t anticipate. Communication and understanding are key to getting through it together.  And if you need a counselor to help you with it…then get thee to a counselor stat.  **rainbow stars** the more you know...

In other news, this is a big month for the baby birds! Rader starts his junior year at Hendrix next week. He’s going to be living in the Spanish house this year…which means he can only communicate in Spanish when inside the house! This full immersion will hopefully help him become fluent, especially if he studies abroad in Spain, as he intends to do. And also, Spanish is his minor, so he kinda needs to be able to speak it…

Ian will close on his house at the end of the month. I am so very proud of this kid. He works his butt off to support himself and this is a big step toward full-blown adulting. Not that I recommend adulting as a lifestyle, but sadly, we don’t really get much of a choice, do we?

Paisley girl has settled in and become a part of the family. Floyd is very jealous of all attention given to her, because Floyd is the only one who is allowed to get attention. Ruby pretty much doesn’t care as long as Paisley defers to her in everything. Which she does because everyone defers to the Queen. 20180803_071435.jpg

This is a common pose in our home….

20180812_191653.jpgas is this one….

By the way, there are no dogs allowed on the couch. Just in case you weren’t sure. I’m a stickler for the rules… Clearly.

Enjoy your day, Bitches! And sparkle on!

The senses

When I was a little girl, my favorite sense was touch. I have so many memories associated with touch as a child. Like how the texture of velour or wool would make me recoil. Or how I loved the feel of soft sheets or a cool summer rain. The grass between my toes at home, or the sand when we were at the beach.  Continue reading

Dear Rader #20

Dear Rader,

Well, you’re almost there. You’ve almost made it to the magic age where you can purchase wine for me. What a glorious time to be alive!

In all seriousness, I know I talk about how proud I am of you and your brother. You both are probably sick of hearing it, but you just need to deal with it today.

I spoke of your drive and your dedication to your education and your amazing work ethic last year. That hasn’t changed. Your grades and the fact that you’ve maintained all your scholarships show me that your education is the most important thing in your life right now. I’m glad, because dude, Hendrix ain’t cheap! And the fact that you earn your tuition and living expenses through study is no easy feat. And yes, I am proud of you and grateful that you understand how important this is to your future.


I love how willing you are to humor me when I make you watch movies like ANIMAL HOUSE and how you quickly you realize that many of the phrases we use today originated from the awesome that was the 70s and early 80s. I love that when the Manpanion and I started calling you Lazlo from  REAL GENIUS, you asked to watch that movie so you’d get the reference.

Your sense of humor has always been well beyond your years. I remember watching SNL with you when Will Ferrell was on the cast and you not only understood what made the show so funny, when you didn’t, you asked why. Because you WANTED to understand.

Thank you for being there for me, when I didn’t feel like I had anyone last year. Sometimes you shoulder so much more than you should, but it’s in your nature and it’s why you are you.

Never change, Monkey. You bring color to this life and I will always be forever grateful I got the privilege of being your Mom.


a month of mel history lesson

Just a wee reminder on how the Month of Mel came to be! Sparkle on, bitches!

Bitchin' Fiction: Musings by author Melissa McKenzie / Melissa Francis

Gather ’round the blackboard, boys and girls of the internetwebz. Ms. Melf has a history lesson for you…

Once upon a time, there was a feisty-once-blonde-now-red-head named Melf. Oh wait, that’s a fairytale beginning…this isn’t a fairytale!

2009 was a big year for me. My second book was due in February and in early January, it was barely half written. I started working part-time, was still a full-time mother, and had long ago forgotten what sleep was. I was falling into a very deep depression because my 16 year marriage was falling apart and then in March, I was gonna be 40 years old.

I never worried about being 40 before. Age is a number and I certainly don’t feel that 40 is old. (and can I say, after being carded twice last week, I don’t feel 41 is old either) But with so many life changes happening at once…

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Dear Rader #19

Dear Rader,

Today is your 19th birthday. I like to write you and your brother a letter every year, and this one will be no exception.


I’m incredibly proud of you and your brother. Y’all have weathered some emotional turmoil this year, and even though you both have a little internal bruising, you are stronger for it.

You just finished your first semester in college. Sometimes, it’s hard for me to fathom you’re a grown-ass man. You worked your tail off earning ALL THE SCHOLARSHIPS to pay for college. You worked your tail off earning money to help pay for your trip abroad, your trip to Puerto Rico, and to buy yourself a car. I know adults who don’t have the work ethic you have now. It’s amazing to see you take control of your life, set goals, and work like a junkyard dog to achieve them.

You’ve always been my little individualist and it makes me proud that you’ve had a self-awareness well beyond your age. I’d love to take credit for helping you with that, but I think that you were just born with it. You weren’t a “normal” baby (as if there is such a thing.) You were always so independent, so curious, so willing to ask questions and make jokes and entertain yourself. You hated sleeping in bed with us as a kid, didn’t like cuddling, and spent the ages from 5-10 “hugging” me by poking me with your index fingers and saying “hug, hug.” So now, when you snuggle me on the couch, or hug me with both arms…it is truly special.

I love you, kid. And I’m proud of the man you’re becoming. Carry on.

Love, Momma