Just a few Life Lessons.


On the porch this morning, I stared at the blank pages of my journal. Tons of thoughts swirling around in my head, none of them coherent enough to put on paper. It’s been like this for months. Like a drain clogged with frustration, anger, questions. Searching for the peace that passes all understanding and finding a big fat glob of confusion.

Today I’ve decided to take captive those brain cloggers and dump them behind me and just move forward. Easier said than done?

Tomorrow Russell, Shawn, and I head to Radford. So excited to see The Girl after three months of hell Summer. Just fyi…it is nasty and humid on The Porch again as I am writing this and I realized that this weather has been contributing to my ugly state of mind. Like how ridiculous to give the weather…or a season…that much power!

So we move Brett into his new teeny weeny one bedroom apartment tomorrow. He had enough of roommates for three years and this last year was a doozie. What kind of person removes his name from the utilities so he doesn’t have to pay them while he lives there? Now they all lose out on their apartment deposit to pay the utilities and Brett wasn’t even there the last four months that the utilities weren’t paid.

Life lessons. A momma’s outrage doesn’t override the life lesson of some people. Thankfully, most people aren’t like that loser guy.

Life lessons. Deciding to move forward when you just want to stick around and fight a losing battle. Coming to the realization that people aren’t always going to act the way you would act. Accepting that there are times that people, even family, aren’t going to give you what you need or want and sometimes, will just decide to dislike you or hate you without reason. (If this rings familiar with a few of you that I have been talking with/texting with the last two days…I’m looking at you AND me.)

Life lessons. Learning to forgive the unforgiveable. Stepping around the mess instead of wading through and getting pulled into the muck. Choosing to turn away for the sake of peace and love, instead of fighting back. Focusing on the good things, the good people, the good times, the goodness and letting all of the other bs go.

Learning from the people purposely placed in your life. Seeking and accepting and implementing their wise and experienced counsel.

Not to allow yourself to be a doormat for people and their junk. But to be adult enough to just move on. Realizing that what goes around, comes around. Not for the sake of retaliation and revenge, but because that is just how life works.

And while I began this laundry list of life lessons with Brett in mind, really…it is a note to self.




Mad Max: A Tale of a Puppy.

AKA…what it is like owning a street-wise German Shepherd Dog/Labrador Retriever mix puppy.

I was at the beach for girls (and babies) weekend, and never suspected a thing.

We had recently been accepted to foster Golden Retrievers. Following the loss of our beloved Goldie, Jack, we thought maybe we would get lucky and do another failed foster. *failed foster: when you “foster” a dog and end up adopting it yourself*. Sarah’s behavior on our ride home from the beach was, in hindsight, suspect, but it had been a long ride home in driving rain with lots of screaming. Mine. Because of her driving. But that is totally normal for us. I try to keep my head down and keep busy with crocheting.

So walking to the carport door, opening it and seeing a dog crate in the dining room wasn’t such a shock as seeing the little black puppy hurling toward me and greeting me wee-wee of joy all over my feet and the floor. Sarah and My Man were quite pleased with themselves that I was completely unaware.


Max…Day 1. Cute, sweet and seemingly innocent.

It’s been downhill from there.

Apparently, this pup had been found running the back roads of North Carolina. How they ever caught him is beyond me. He is a runner and the more you chase him, the more fun he has running from you. They probably used cat food. Because he loves it. Just one more reason for the kitties to hate him.

It’s been awhile since we had a puppy in the house. But not long enough for My Man to have completely and totally forgotten every single thing he ever knew about raising and training a puppy. But, he has. As Sarah says, “MOM. It’s like he has never owned a puppy before!” Sad, but true.


Trying to chew my shoe…while it is on my foot.

There is a reason GSD’s are affectionately (ahem) known as “German Shredders”. I had forgotten this small character trait. Max quickly reminded us as item after item after item was shredded as soon as we turned our backs. Well, not OUR backs…Russell’s back. None of these mishaps have occurred under MY watch. Labs are wicked chewers as well. Max happily shreds pillows and dog beds, and chews up shoes and chair legs on a regular basis. He totally disregards the 3,945 chewies, bones, toys, and chew sticks spread around the house and in his crate. My favorite son-in-law found this out when Max chewed up one of their dog beds in a matter of two minutes while he was in the bathroom.


There is only one reason that Max is still with us. GSD’s are notorious Velcro-dogs. Goldies are known for this also. Jack was the best at Velcro of any dog we have ever known. Max is smaller and shorter (he’s around 53 pounds right now and probably won’t get much bigger) and is often difficult to see. He sits at or on our feet every time we stop for even a second. We trip over him 35 times a day because he lies down right in our path when we stop at the kitchen sink; the washing machine; the bathroom sink. He has tried to climb into the shower with each of us. And has finally, begrudgingly, settled for spreading out on the bathroom mats, every one of which is white. He is solid black. You might ask yourself…or me…why I don’t just go out and by all black bathroom mats. BECAUSE. It’s the principal of the thing. (That and the fact that I wouldn’t notice the black fur as much and I would totally ignore washing the mats every other day like I do now.) There is nothing worse than stepping out of the shower onto the bathroom mat and a blob of black fur sticking to the bottom of your feet. It’s just gross.


In the lap of his favorite person.

Currently, I am sitting on the porch and Max is gathering every stick in the back yard and trying to pull them up the stairs and onto the deck. One problem: he has already pulled up all the smaller sticks to the deck and now there are only limbs in the yard. It’s been very entertaining. For both of us.

Sarah took him for a week of “puppy camp”. She gave him back after three days and basically told us he is not the dog for us old folks; has too much energy; needs a ton of exercise; and is as hard-headed as they come.

Challenge accepted.

This is perfect timing, really. The weather is beginning to cooperate with my fall weather needs and, to be perfectly honest, I’m about 7 years behind in getting back to my fighting weight and physical condition.


Stay tuned for more life with Max updates. Assuming he is still around. Did I mention that cleaning out the kitty litter boxes is his favorite snack?




The first full week of August is coming to an end. And while the weather has been more than tolerable, I can’t help but be suspicious of August’s weather intentions. I think the three H’s are still up August’s sleeve: Hot, Humid, and Hell-like. There is a reason, other than the end of swim team that folks bug out of the DC area during the month of August. It’s unbearable, stagnant, and icky (a technical weather term). When the kids were young, we would spend long days at the nearly empty pool and return in the evenings to play and sup on pizza and subs. I do miss those sweet times of August. And the school supply shopping…I definitely miss that. But that’s about it.

Beach - pexels

After suffering through the sleepless, sticky, hazy nights of August, I lie in bed and whisper, September… the stuff that puffy dreams are made of. School is in session and parents are suspiciously happy. I can almost feel the cool ocean breeze and hear the crashing waves. September means beach time and renewal. Way more so than January 1, I feel like everything is new and alive. The heat begins to ease and mornings on The Porch require socks on feet and a hoodie. I feel motivated. I feel alive.

Fall Forest pexels

And God knows I need it this September. As I ease back into writing and blogging and sharing life, I plan to touch upon some of the junk that has that I have allowed to consume my time and spirit. Not for sympathy or for shock value. For love. I think we often feel we are the only one. The only one who hurts. The only one who gets angry. The only one who worries. The only one who suffers lost. The only one who can’t get their butt out of the bed in the morning to do what she knows she should do, but continues to do what she knows she shouldn’t do. The only one who fails.

And counter to that, I think we need to share our successes! Our attaboys…er girls. Our victories, tiny or huge, that make us get back on that horse again after being tossed into the junk (or after jumping willingly into the junk). The met goals. The stumbling blocks overcome. The win of just going for a walk around the block. And sometimes, just keeping the “I didn’t kill anyone today” streak alive.

And just to prove the truth of what I wrote this morning, the small victory of sitting down and writing again and then the agony of defeat getting ready for work…


Me no love.

I think it is important to share. (Says the woman who didn’t let her children see her cry until she was 45 years old and you can imagine the freak out they experienced when she finally did.) The same woman who can credit a small handful of absolutely amazing women who showed her how to really do life. To share life. To pick each other back up after life tosses you to the dirt. To give each other a swift kick in the bum as needed and please-may-I-have-another.

I was a girl who locked herself in her closet with a flashlight, pillow, and book to avoid talking to anyone, but have always unloaded it all onto paper. Not necessarily for public consumption. Maybe I have always been a secret talker who just didn’t believe anyone wanted to hear what I had to say? Maybe I still feel that way.

So, I thank you…the five of you (up from three!) who regularly respond to my posts and encourage me to keep on talking.

You will probably regret it.