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.


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

Dear Rader #18,

18 years ago today, I was in labor. I didn’t know I was in labor, and I worked a full 8 hours at the daycare, picking up babies, crawling around on the floor, and changing diapers. You weren’t due to arrive for another 3 weeks, so there was no way those regular pains and contractions I was feeling were real.

That night, just as your father was crawling into bed, I said “I think we might need to go to the hospital. They’ve been coming at about 5 minutes apart for a while now–and getting stronger.”

Off we went. We figured it was a false alarm, but hey, better safe than sorry, right?

They admitted me immediately.

At 4:00AM on January 30, after a night full of very strong, very regular contractions coming in at about 2 minutes apart, they just stopped.

The doc came in and examined me at 6:00 and told me I had two choices. I could go home and come back later that night when they would more than likely start again, or he could hook me up to pitocin and we could meet you today.

I believe my words may have been something along the lines of “I’m not going any-fucking-where. Hook me up.” Whatever I said, I’m sure it was colorful. You know me…

Labor with you was fairly easy, even with the pitocin. Now, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t fun. That shit hurts. But my blood pressure didn’t spike like it did with your brother, and I slept a lot. Our friends and family came in and out all day, and about 4:00 that afternoon, the doc was convinced you wouldn’t be here before midnight.

You were. I’m a little fuzzy on your exact time of birth because shit got real not long after 4:00. You brought the pain.

Your AntiJen and Daddy were there through the whole process. There was a sprinkle of cursing among the tears and smiles. You came into the world bellowing like a baboon. You were also over 8 and a half pounds at 3 weeks early, so you never once looked like a newborn.

You took to nursing really quickly, but no matter how much you fed, you were never satisfied. We had to supplement you with cereal in a bottle between nursing times. You plumped up quickly, and at 3 months, you weighed 18 lbs…which is what your brother weighed at 1 year.

Your feet were cubes and you were completely pigeon-toed. You wore a brace with a bar between your feet for a while at about 18 months… you crawled around like a maniac. That brace never slowed you down. Once we removed it, you were like lightning.

We had to duct tape a sign to your back that said something like “If you see me without an adult, I’ve escaped again. Call my mom.” You always had to have a phone number attached to you, because you could NOT be contained.

I understood child leashes after having you.

You’ve been our Monkey Boy from day one. I also loved calling you Rader Tater Puddin’ Pop–mostly because you hated it so. You’ve been a daredevil from the moment you started to walk. I’ll never forget the time I was sitting with your Bobo behind homeplate at a baseball game and we both looked up to see you had climbed the fence in front of us…and you were so high up, we couldn’t reach you. Like I said, lightning fast.

Once you learned to talk, you talked for hours–sometimes for hours to yourself.

You weren’t a cuddler as a child, but now the fact you sit on the couch with me every night after school with your head on my shoulder and tell me about your day makes up for all the times I’d ask you for a hug and you’d hold out 2 fingers and touch each side of my waist or shoulders and say “Hug! Hug!”

As of tomorrow, you can vote. You can join the armed forces and die for our country. Legally, you are emancipated.

But you’ll always be my Rader Tater Puddin’ Pop. My Monkey Boy. My little tub of butter.

I’ve loved watching you grow into a man, and I’m really looking forward to life with you all grown up.

But for one more day, you’re still my baby boy.



Many thanks to Rader’s dad for letting me have this set up in his yard last night.

black and… orange? gold? red?

college collage

This week, my youngest little bird was accepted to Hendrix College and offered $100K in academic scholarships. This doesn’t include the other scholarships he’s applied for.

To say I am overjoyed for him would be an understatement

Last night he found out that he can log in to his Vandy account today after 5:30 pm CST to see if he’s been accepted and how much need-based financial aid he’ll be receiving. (Scholarship information will come later.)

We will hear from Rhodes in January.

I am so nervous for him and so damn excited. I want so badly for Vandy to accept his application, and for the tuition assistance to be good enough along with his scholarships that he can attend. It’s his first choice. Hendrix and Rhodes are neck-n-neck for 2nd. He loved all the schools so much and would be happy attending any of them.

But Vandy felt like his soulmate. You could see it in his eyes as we walked through campus and toured the dorms.

I’m wearing my black and gold today, in hopes for good news tonight.

I feel rather positive that he’ll get in…but there’s always that niggling what if he doesn’t… and you know what? so what what if he doesn’t? He tried. He put forth a great effort and for whatever reason, if he didn’t make the cut–it will make him stronger and more determined to succeed at either Rhodes or Hendrix. But at least he wasn’t afraid to take a chance.

Talking to Rader’s godfather and my best friend Nick this morning he said that when he was afraid to leave for school his dad said “You know what son, I don’t want you to go, but you better get the hell out of here.”

And that right there sums it up perfectly for me. I’ll miss you when you’re gone, but you better fly away little birdie!

Okay, bitches! Keep your fingers crossed for good news! Maybe tonight, I’ll be the mom of an incoming Vanderbilt Freshman!


Scenes from the lake


This weekend was amazing. I can’t remember the last time I felt so relaxed.

Rader and I hung out in the hammock on Saturday. I read, he talked. We had to actually put him on mandatory Quiet Time on the way home last night. Seriously. That kid just yammers on like he’s got something to say. LOL



This Spider is not real. However, you don’t know that when you pass by it. Trust me.




Da Godfodda was our water taxi driver. We enjoyed Saturday afternoon on the lake after the rain moved on.


A rare sighting! El Jefe!



It really was a wonderful weekend. I read. FOR PLEASURE, all weekend long. I can’t remember the last time I did that!! Honestly, if it weren’t for the 2 hour drive there…Laura and Mac would never get rid of us. LOL

I did somehow manage to get eaten alive by chiggers on the entire left side of my body. Ugh.

El Jefe discovered evidence that Anacondas have a lair at Greers Ferry Lake. Giant snake skins…but no snakes to go with them. Because they’re hiding. Watching. Waiting…

I hope your weekend was as magically delicious as ours!

Melf unplugged

The fellas (minus Ian because he’s a working man now) and I will be heading to the lake tomorrow for a full day and night of fun. And then we will rinse and repeat on Sunday. I am so ready for a break.

Which means, I’m unplugging this weekend. Sure I’ll have my phone on me (because I can’t NOT take pictures!!) but I am not gonna be online. Yup. Even Facebook. (maybe) (probably) (possibly) (hopefully) (not much). At. All.

Try not to miss me!

In other internet news… There has been a couple of really fantastic discussions on one of my favorite blogs. If you’re interested in seeing how internet discussion SHOULD work, check out this blog post over at Raising Kids Without Religion.

Actually, there are two pretty great discussions going on right now:

God as a placebo
Children Taking a Different Path

I really enjoy reading the well thought out discussions and the respectful way they are conducted. Religion (and politics) can be such divisive topics that they are rarely discussed without anger and condescension. It is so refreshing to know there are places on the internetz that allow for these discussions without all the child-like behavior. Who knew that could exist? I never leave that website wanting to yell MOM! SOMEONE IS WRONG ON THE INTERNET AGAIN!

Okay my bitches! I leave you with your moment of zen…which will also give you an idea of what I will be doing all weekend long…



My niece Double A.

My niece Double A.

When I was a little girl, my favorite thing to do on the 4th of July was play fairies.

You don’t know how to play 4th of July Fairies? What is wrong with you!?

You light up sparklers for each hand and you “fly” around the field yelling “I’m a fairy!” I taught Double A this game last night, and we spread our fairy sparkle far and wide at the compound. I’m pretty sure it’s still glowing out 3(7)

Ian and Ben and my brother Mike bought ALL THE LOUD FIREWORKS KNOWN TO MAN and we blew shit up for hours. Well, they did. I lasted about 30 minutes. The skeeters like my sweet blood way too much. They apparently don’t even care if I bath in Off or Skin So Soft or Gasoline. It doesn’t matter. The want to suck me dry.  photo 1(9)

For a while, the entire county sounded like we were at war. I thought maybe the British were actually returning…and Paul Revere fell down on his job. But by 11:00, the bang, bang, booms had stopped and the world was quiet again.

I think everyone was excited we weren’t under a burn ban. I can’t remember the last time it sounded like that. I bet it’s been since I was a kid.

OMG. we used to have the best 4th of July celebrations when I was younger. Bonfires, roasted weenies, s’mores and lots of booms and bangs. This would have been the perfect year (weather wise, especially) to have brought back the Compound Celebrations, but with Jefe still down with the plague, it just wouldn’t have been the same. (you know he doesn’t feel well when he didn’t even come outside to blow anything up!)

Today, the kids are coming back to test out the waterproof fireworks in the pond and to blow up old toys. Good grief. We have created monsters! (Monsters of awesome)

I still have some sparklers left, so I shall play fairies one more time.

photo 2(9) photo 3(8) photo 4(2) photo 2(11)

Have a fantabulous weekend, bitches. I will be sparkling and fairying all weekend long. If you need some extra awesome, just stop by the compound. I have plenty to spare!



getting all inside the beauty of my trip. and even better, inside the beauty of #equalrights

FYI, the reference of “inside the beauty” comes from a creeper message on Facebook. We have taken this on as a new turn-of-phrase. And we modify it on occasion. If we get up inside your beauty, you know we mean business.

New message from the Other Inbox: Please to be my friend, pretty lady? You have very much beauty and I want to get inside your beauty.

Check out my pictures on Instagram from our trip to Iowa and Illinois.

The trip was breathtakingly beautiful. Every damn time I looked out the window, it was like looking at a postcard.

El Jefe’s family was amazing. So welcoming and fun.



After Iowa, we spent a lovely day with David and Kyle in Chicago enjoying the hell out of PrideFest.

1010181_10152014715537907_969093930_nYes. That’s Gaymart. The happiest store on earth.

Speaking of PrideFest…YAY SCOTUS! You made the right decision striking down DOMA. All Americans should have equal rights. Marriage is a human right. Period. And frankly, “separate but equal” has never worked…and it is not really equal. So. Let’s all get Gay Married! Okay, I know everything isn’t done yet, but striking down DOMA is a huge step in the right direction.