My maternal grandmother was born in Pennsylvania on April 7, 1923. She passed away in her sleep on Monday, July 15, 2019 at the ripe age of 96. She was loved and will be dearly missed by her family. I will think of her often, especially when I’m cooking some of her favorite dishes: piggies (stuffed grape leaves), pierogi, and meatloaf. I’m so glad we had 45 wonderful years together and knowing you are going to your final resting place next to Grandpa softens the blow of losing you.
Never ever in my entire life have I dreamed of visiting Missouri.
And yet, that is exactly what I am doing this week.
My oldest child is graduating from Army Boot Camp at Fort Leonard Wood this week and I am there to watch him graduate and celebrate his success before heading home.
Needless to say, I am not looking forward to traveling on a plane for a day and spending one day at the graduation before heading home.
I don’t know what I am expecting.
Perhaps my little blonde head getting lost amidst a swarm of MAGA hats.
One thing is sure – we won’t be there very long.
My son has made it clear he’s ready to pack up his shit and head home as soon as he possibly can.
If you can believe it, I haven’t seen my son in person since January 1st this year and I miss him terribly.
What is my kid doing to show his appreciation for a mother who travels halfway across the country for 3 days to see him graduate Boot Camp?
He’s signed himself up for a training class.
A MOTORYCLE training class.
And if you know anything about me, you know that I am deathly afraid of motorcycles.
Like I need the added stress of worrying about his youthful ass riding a space rocket among a sea of distracted drivers.
Happy graduation indeed.
These two own my heart. . .
Saturday, I got a little bit tipsy and declared my love for my birth family in EPIC form – with a tear-filled statement I made at my aunt’s barbecue.
As it happened, I was listening to my sister-in-law talk and she was so funny, I just felt overwhelmingly grateful for her and for my whole family who showed up to barbecue with me.
They have my heart, you know.
No, they’re not perfect.
Yes, there’s sometimes conflicts that need to get resolved.
But overall, these people who are my blood relatives?
Well, I’m thankful they’re in my life.
My aunt spent two days prepping and cleaning up for the barbecue at her place and was kind enough to host me.
After the barbecue, I spent the next day at my birth mother’s 60th birthday party where a HUGE group of family and friends showed up to fete her in all her glory.
No one is as funny, kind, and loving as my birth mother and I attribute all of my sweetness and some of my sassiness to her.
I am blessed a million times over to have such wonderful people in my family and I’m so glad I got to spend an entire weekend celebrating them.
I was tired and trying to sleep.
Being eight months pregnant, sleeping was difficult.
Can’t get comfortable.
Can lay on my stomach.
Need to put a pillow between my legs.
I was SUPER tired.
Nevertheless, something kept waking me up.
[HINT: I was in labor]
I’d taken a bunch of castor oil the day before in the hopes of starting labor.
[HINT: It did!]
So I finally got up and decided to go take a bath.
But as I stood in the tub, waiting for it to fill, a little drop of blood came out of me and dissolved into the water.
I called my doctor’s exchange and waited for a call back.
Meanwhile I began to get increasingly uncomfortable.
I decided to head straight to the hospital, without even hearing back from the doctor.
My ex-husband made me sit in a garbage bag on the ride there and it was then that I realized I was in active labor.
I remember clutching the window frame, trying to breathe through the contractions.
I got into the hospital, was put in a room and the nurse decided to check me out.
I was fully dilated.
There I was, pushing my baby out, with no doctor, only a nurse to help me.
It was crazy fast labor.
[HINT: I was only in the hospital for 20 minutes before my son was born.]
The doctor took the stairs and managed to get to me before the baby was born.
And that is how Gavin entered this world.
Once upon a time I was a young pregnant woman closing in on my due date.
My son had mysteriously lost two quadrants of aminiotic fluid during my pregnancy so I was gently informed by my doctor to “Go home. Get your bags. Come straight to the hospital.”
I was a month early but the doctor decided the pregnancy was too risky and so she opted to induce me.
I was quite comfortable, even in active labor, until my water broke.
Then all hell broke loose.
I begged for an epidural.
The anesthesiologist came in, gave me a little test shot of painkillers into my spine and asked, “How do you feel now?”
I looked straight at him and said, “I have to PUSH!”
There was no stopping it.
If someone walked up to me with a million dollars on a platter, and offered it to me but only if I wouldn’t push, I still would have PUSHED.
I asked my ex-husband to turn on some music.
It was then that we discovered we forgot our labor music at home and all we had was the CD that was in the stereo – RESERVOIR DOGS.
PLAY IT ANYWAY!
“Lookin’ back on the track for a little green bag
Got to find just a kind or losin’ my mind
Out of sight in the night, out of sight in the day
Lookin’ back on the track, gonna do it my way”
I’ll never forget that my son Duncan was born after forty-five minutes of labor, while listening to Little Green Bag.
It certainly explains why my eldest son is such a wheeler, dealer, charmer and freewheeler.
He was born listening to Reservoir Dogs.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
I have never been on a cruise.
How I managed to live 45 years of life without taking a cruise, I will never know.
But there you have it.
It could have something to do with the fact that I get sea sickness inside the cabin of a boat.
Granted, the boats I’ve been on have been fishing boats or whale watching boats in choppy water.
And so long as I stand outside, in the cold and the wet, I don’t get sick.
I’m not sure how I’d handle being indoors on a large ship.
But I’m guessing that since I get car sick, I’d also get seasick.
My birthfather and stepmother go on cruises and THEY LOVE THEM.
They even took my aunt on the last cruise they went on as a 50th birthday present.
Honestly, it sounded lovely.
Get on a cruise.
Get fed well.
Drink your weight in booze.
Get off in ports of interest and sightsee.
Get back on the ship and wait for the next port.
Indulge in leisure activities.
Doesn’t it sound divine?
I don’t want to go on a cruise by myself but I’m thinking I may talk my birthfamily into taking a little cruise, just to see if I can handle it.
Yes, I know there’s Dramamine for the motion sickness, but one tablet of that shit and I am LIGHTS OUT.
Who’s with me?
Who wants to go on a cruise?
I took my sons once to a place called Toffee Tree Ranch, in the mountains of Redding in Northern California.
It was a lovely vacation, complete with fishing, hiking, horseback riding, arctic plunges, hot tubbing, games, kittens and dogs, mounds of food and OF COURSE gymkhana.
Any idea what gymkhana is?
It’s when a bunch of tourists run around a dude ranch trying to act like real cowboys by doing things like barrel racing, speed runs, and ultimately, a water fight!
In case you were wondering, yes.
I barrel raced (I tipped over ALL the barrels):
And my boys had a super BIG blast ganging up on me and getting me soaking wet after the competition:
I came across these photos the other day and couldn’t help but be reminded of all the fun I had with my boys when they were little.
How I hope those days are only temporarily on hold and will resume once the awkward teenage years are over.
I’m getting sentimental.
Maybe it’s the remnants of the flu but I find myself a little moody and nostalgic for the old times.
Don’t know what you’ve got, til it’s gone.
I just took a trip to Reno to visit my sister.
We got facials and used the facilities at the Spa Toscano at The Peppermill.
It was ah-mazing!
I actually fell asleep during my facial and woke myself up when I snored.
Yup, I snored in the middle of my facial.
I was obviously SO RELAXED!
In the women’s locker room, there were several spa features:
- A hot tub
- A cold plunge
- A steam room
- A sauna
Personally, I stripped naked and jumped in the hot tub.
I was surprised to see all the other women in swimsuits.
Even a bridal party of seven skinny women did not have the balls to strip naked in the ladies locker room.
Given the opportunity to get naked, I ALWAYS get naked.
In fact, hanging out at the spa made me miss Lupin Lodge in the Santa Cruz mountains, where you can walk around naked as they day you were born in the beautiful sunshine.
My sister and I eventually put on swimsuits and went to the Caldarium (an indoor area with a soaking pool and hot tubs where you can eat and drink).
She soaked in the pool while I hung out in the hot tub.
Afterwards, we got to eat at the Bimini Steakhouse at The Peppermill and I KID YOU NOT, we both ordered the filet mignon and the Australian lobster tail and when our food arrived, there were TWO LOBSTER TAILS FOR EACH OF US.
Too much food to eat, so we basically forced ourselves to eat the lobster tails and took most of our filet mignon home.
A dessert of cherries jubilee, and we were finished with our day of pampering.
Reno might not be the city you think of when you think of a weekend of pampering and relaxation, but I’m here to tell you it is.
I wish you all many snores!
Lately, I’ve been so busy I’ve missed out on some awesome family parties.
My aunt joked that if she wanted me to come to one of her parties, she’d need to make me a hostess with her.
And that’s exactly what she’s done.
My aunt and I are throwing a backyard BBQ summer party in June.
It’s going to be so. much. fun.
The last time we did this was nearly two decades ago and my great-grandmother let us use her home for the party.
What fun we had!
There was a silly string war.
And awesome baby back ribs.
I don’t get to see my birth family as much as I should so I’m dedicating an entire weekend to hanging with my blood.
First, I’ll have my BBQ with my birth father’s side of the family, then a 60th birthday party for my birth mom.
I’m really looking forward to it.
And just because my aunt is the family photographer, here are a couple of pics from previous parties: