She’s crafty!

Yesterday was art day for my sister and I.

First we had a delicious vegan breakfast at Grate Full Gardens in downtown Reno.

Then we went to the Nevada Art Museum and stared at art.

This was outside and made me think of Burning Man:

We were so INSPIRED by the art we saw we decided to try our own hand at it and went to Clay Canvas to paint pottery.

I started with a small blank platter.

I added a little paint and voila. . . a nice cheese platter for my mom:

What amused me about the whole painting process is that my sister and I picked up a bottle of wine to sip and enjoy while we were painting.

Right next door to The Clay Canvas is a restaurant that sells bottles of wine to go.

It’s a match made in heaven.

So we got our bottle of wine, slipped it into a brown baggie, and opened it at the pottery store.

Since we didn’t have cups, I grabbed two dixie cups.

Classy, eh?

Well, the hostess at the clay store OBVIOUSLY thought this was insane, because she came to us while we were sipping out dixie cups and she handed us two clear plastic cups.

I mean, it’s okay to drink wine while you paint, but could you please drink your wine out of a proper cup?

That’s my sister and I – always classing up a joint!

Mamma Mia!

I’m in Reno and it’s FUCKING hot.

It reminds me that in just a few days, I’ll be sitting in the heat in the Black Rock Desert while I enjoy myself at Burning Man.

At least right now I can go into an air conditioned movie theater and watch a film.

Which is EXACTLY what I did. . .

I saw Mamma Mia 2 with my sister Lisa and I BAWLED MY BLOODY EYES OUT!

I must’ve cried at least a half dozen times.

We’re not talking about the kind of crying where your eyes fill up with tears and you have to dab at them to keep from crying.

No, we’re talking FULL ON UGLY KARDASHIAN CRYING where you sob audibly in the theater and wipe your nose and your eyes with the same tissue, oblivious to the fact you’re getting snot ALL OVER YOUR FACE.

That’s the kind of crying I did.

And when Donna finally appeared in the film. . . well, all I can say is that I get emotional even now (three hours later) thinking how lucky we are the Meryl Streep is still alive.

Thank God!

Of course I can’t even look at a Swedish flag without thinking of (and missing) my Swede, so the scenes with Bill only served to make me miss him more.

But here I am, back at my sister’s house, enjoying a gin and tonic with blood oranges, all puffy eyed and runny nose.

It’s been a while since I had a good cry.

Death March

My sister heard a rumor in Reno (from a friend) that Angora Lake is an exceptional place to visit.

So instead of going to Donner Lake like we usually do, we drove 2 hours down a narrow one-lane dirt road, to get to the PARKING LOT for Angora Lake.

We were told it just a short hike to Angora Lake.

And indeed, it was a “short” hike.


My sister and I would walk a hundred feet, and stop to catch our breath.

The altitude combined with our lack of exercise made it a GRUELING hike.

I’m not even clear why we made it except that we drove ALL THIS WAY to see a lake and we were damn sure we were going to see a lake.

When we got there, we ordered sandwiches and fresh made lemonade.

But sitting outside eating our sandwiches, the hornets wouldn’t leave us alone and my sister didn’t have her epi pen with her.

So it too was less than ideal.

Finally, we managed to grab some shade, lay out our towels, and relax around what was a truly BEAUTIFUL alpine lake.

Ten minutes later, thunder could be heard. And dark clouds were blowing in.

Not wanting to get caught in a thunderstorm, we packed up our belongings and headed back down to our car.

The only saving factor in the whole ordeal is that my son Duncan chose to hang with UNR friends and so he wasn’t there to bitch and moan about our situation.

I’m certain he would have been quite vocal.

We made it to our car, but my sister’s legs were rubber bands from the hike downhill so I drove us all the way home. . . down narrow dirt roads, through forests ravaged by fire, through all the South Lake Tahoe CONSTRUCTION traffic, and finally home to Reno.

Oh yeah, did I mention the critters in these parts carry the BUBONIC PLAGUE?!

Yes, that’s right.


We stayed away.

Happy hiking!

Hunker Down!

The first thing you need to know about rafting with your two teenage sons is that THEY ARE GOING TO GET YOU SOAKING WET WITH RIVER WATER!

NEVER hand a water cannon to a teenager unless you accept that you’re going to get doused with ice cold Truckee River water.

I knew this going in and so when my oldest son Duncan started spraying me with the water cannon, I was not surprised.

It was SO HOT, it actually felt good.

We traveled down the river, sometimes lazily, sometimes paddling with force.

We hit A LOT OF ROCKS and my sister Lisa popped out of the raft.

Her lower body was in the raft but her upper body was leaning back into the river.

I jumped up and tried to pull her back in.

She was holding on to me and as I was pulling her in, she started to slip.

All the sunblock on her hands and arms made her slippery.

We were also laughing REALLY HARD, which didn’t help matters.

But we were also moving and soon we realized if she didn’t get back into the raft, she was going to be under water.

Then it wasn’t quite so funny.

Lisa let go of me and slipped into the shallow river, stood up, and climbed back in.

We laughed.

But for a second, we both had been scared.

The rafting continued.

We still hit ALL THE ROCKS IN THE RIVER and got hung up a few times but in the end, we made it down to the pick up point.

Tons of fun, if you ask me!

I do

My cousin is engaged.

This is not new news.

This is OLD news.

Because he got engaged MONTHS ago but I have yet to write about it.

You see, my cousin is a very thoughtful man and he hired a company to record the entire proposal.

It brings tears to my eyes every time I watch the video.

And I’ve seen it at least a dozen times.

Each viewing gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling inside.


Something is right in this world which brought Nick and Katie together.

They are two BEAUTIFUL people, inside and out, and they will have a beautiful family someday, if they choose.

The reason why I’m writing this post is not to say that I believe in love.

Because I do.

Or because I love my cousin.

Which I do.


I’m writing this post because today I made a reservation at the wedding hotel.

Me in a king bed ALL BY MYSELF.

And just once, even though I will have tons of family there, I just don’t want to be alone.

I don’t want to be that woman anymore.

The one who shows up single and gets stuck sitting next to the only single guy at the wedding who is a Trump supporter which depresses me and drives me to drink unusual amounts of wine until I get silly, dance the chicken dance with my family, and have to go back to my hotel early to sleep it off leaving me with a wicked headache in the morning.


Okay, so that’s the WORST CASE SCENARIO.

And truthfully, my cousin Jennifer would probably never sit me next to a Trump supporter (unless he’s family J )

But just this once, let an appropriate solution present itself to me so that I’m not flying solo at the wedding.



Allergic to Hawaii

“Wake up!  You need to take your son to urgent care!”

That’s what I woke up to my first day in Hawaii.

“It looks like he has pink eye!”

My sister is a nurse, and when she declares something health-related, I listen.

But where is there Urgent Care on the island of O’ahu?

I quickly do a search on my phone, make a call, and load up Gavin in my rental car for inspection at Urgent Care.

I look at myself in the rear view mirror and discover something surprising. . .

My eye is swollen too!

A lot!

Aren’t we a pair.

So we go to Urgent Care and wait for it to open, busying ourselves with iced coffee we bought at a nearby coffee stand.

Then Gavin points it out.

Closed on Sundays.

And (of course) it’s Sunday.



The lid is red, but the eyeball is nice and normal.

Probably NOT pink eye.

“What do you say we give it a day and see what happens?” I ask him.

He agrees, but will my sister.

Luckily Lisa agreed too, but asked for us both to pick up and take some Benadryl.

So we did.

And wouldn’t you know it. . . like magic, our swollen eyes took a chill pill and started to relax and look normal.

I believe it was my birthfather who upon seeing our swollen eye picture on Facebook coined the phrase, “YOU’RE ALLERGIC TO HAWAII!”

And indeed, it appeared that we were.

And then I peed my pants

Elton JohnThe first thing you need to know about my trip to Tahoe to see Elton John is that I am in my early 40s. And although I didn’t realize it at the time I was buying the tickets, that makes me a little young for Elton’s demographic.

When I pointed this out to my sister, the man sitting in front of us said, “I heard that,” and gave us a scowl.

The second thing you need to know is that even BEFORE WE HAD DINNER at a nearby restaurant, my sister and I polished off a fifth of vodka. Yum yum! Thank you very much. We had a nice buzz going which is why we had two glasses of wine each with dinner.

Yeah, I know. You can see where this is headed already.

So we had dinner and drinks and then called a cab to take us to Harvey’s to see Elton John.

My sister had ordered two stadium seats for this event specifically and she told me, “Make sure we don’t forget them.”

Yes, I’m sure you can see where this is going.

While we each drank 4 Lagunitas Sumpin Sumpin beers, Elton John performed:

  • Bitch (which Lisa and I agreed was Gavin’s theme song)
  • Benny and the Jets
  • Goodbye Norman Jean
  • All the Young Girls
  • Levon
  • Tiny Dancer
  • Love
  • Daniel
  • Philadelphia Freedom
  • Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
  • Rocket Man
  • I Guess That’s why They Call it the Blues

And then I got too drunk to actually write anything else down that makes an iota of sense to me now.

But THE BEST PART was how Lisa and I got home.

We actually were so drunk and turned around we couldn’t find our hotel a mere 4 blocks away so we HOPPED INTO A PRIVATE CAR WITH A COMPLETE STRANGER and my sister paid him $40 to drive us 4 blocks to our hotel.

BUT THERE’S MORE…. I had to go to the bathroom so bad, I peed a little in my pants when we were in his car.


I peed my pants.

Nice, eh?

What a night!

Wearing Wasabi

ImageThe sign at the all-you-can-eat sushi bar said that if you order more food than you can eat, you will be charged the a-la-carte price for your sushi.

This weighed heavily on our minds as my sister and I surveyed our table filled with sushi. We were stuffed to the gills and were trying to figure out how to make 20 extra pieces of sushi disappear.

Oh my god, could we do it?!

Being the honest sibling, I just started eating sushi… doing my best to just chew and swallow and not think about how full I already was.

But Lisa, being a little more clever and deceptive, opted to take a different approach.


The waitress came by to check on our progress.  I noticed sushi peeking out of my sister’s cleavage. As the waitress spoke to us, Lisa’s eyes were getting bigger and bigger.  The waitress left.

“What’s wrong,” I asked.

“Listen, we’ve got to get out of here so I can get rid of this sushi. The wasabi is BURNING MY BOOBS!”

Unsolicited advice

I have a 19 year old son.

He doesn’t work.

He doesn’t go to school.

What he does do is come into my room after work to tell me to delete my Instagram photos and/or make my account private.

“Why can’t you be a NORMAL mom,” he whines.

“You should go to work, come home, have a cocktail, and STAY AT HOME,” he tells me.

Fat chance.

This is the same son who showed me a video of him and four of his friends pointing assault rifles at each other in a sort of Looney Toons showdown saying, “Survival of the fittest, mom.”

Yeah, I don’t think I’m going to take life advice from a kid who thinks that pointing a gun at his friends is an acceptable form of entertainment and VIDEORECORDS THE WHOLE THING.

The elevator isn’t reaching the top floor, methinks.

Don’t get me wrong, I love him to pieces.

He’s a snuggly, charming, and entertaining son who tells me every day that he loves me.

He’s just got a ways to go before I’ll think of him as a man instead of a boy.

And I’m not taking life advice from a kid who thinks that living life in the mainstream is the only proper and correct way to live a life.

I prefer to stay off the beaten path, thank you very much!

This mama’s going to do things her own way.

The things we do for our kids

I’m not a BIG fan of guns.

TBH, they scare the shit out of me.

I had a boyfriend who collected guns and he made me pick up and handle all his guns in the hopes that I’d get comfortable with handling them.

I never got comfortable.

He took me to gun ranges to shoot hand guns.

We used shot guns to blast skeet apart.

I still never got used to guns.

In fact, when I’m around people who are firing guns, the compression waves I feel in my chest when each bullet is fired, is alarming to me.

This is the preface I give you BEFORE I let you know that I BOUGHT A GROUPON TO LET MY 19-YEAR OLD SON SHOOT A MACHINE GUN IN NEVADA during our summer vacation.

He will absolutely ADORE it.

I will be secretly cringing in a corner.

But what makes the boy happy makes me happy, eventually.

And this is what he likes.