Do me proud

It seems like only yesterday my oldest son was sleeping peacefully in his crib, wearing footie pajamas.

But clearly more time has passed because last week, THIS happened. . .

That’s right, my oldest son Duncan graduated high school as part of the Class of 2017.

It was a real eye opener for me.

The time has clearly flown by. I thought I had forever to raise this little baby into a man and now I blink and he’s turned into someone I’m proud to call my son.

Hard to believe.

It makes me want to go up to parents of young children and tell them, “Cherish this time. It goes by SO FAST.”

Unlike some parents, I do not feel the slightest bit of reluctance to see my baby fly the nest.

Instead, I feel like flinging my arms open wide and urging him to “Go! Spread your wings!”

In other words, “PAY YOUR BILLS!”

Yes folks, I kinda feel happy to pass all those bills from me to him – the telephone, the car insurance, the lunch money, etc.

Maybe I’d feel differently if I had a daughter.

Maybe I’d feel more protective.

I literally handed my son $500 and two boxes of condoms and said, “Adios love bug! Do me proud.”

Hawaiian Vacation

In a few short weeks, my sister, my two boys and I will be heading to Hawaii for a week long vacation in the sun.

The last time we went to Hawaii, my boys got in a knock down, drag out fight and broke a glass table in the condo we were staying at.

I was livid!

This time, I think we’ll do a lot better.

My sister and I make strange travel partners.

I like to do things and she likes to chill.

Ironically, that makes us perfect for each other.

I get her off the beach and out of the condo and off doing things.

She gets me to relax and take it easy.

We strike a nice balance.

This time around we are going to:

  1. Swim with dolphins
  2. Visit Pearl Harbor

And that’s it folks. That’s all we have planned.

Of course were looking into:

  1. ATV tour of the jungle
  2. A luau
  3. A submarine ride

So there might be a little more excitement coming our way.

Two unscheduled things I do want to do are:

  1. Eat shrimp off a shrimp truck in North Shore
  2. Find really good shaved ice

I’m not sure exactly how I’m going to achieve all this, but I’ll tell you one thing :

I’M NOT GOING TO BE BLOGGING!

I’m taking a blogging vacay!

RIP Wendy

Well, it’s taken me a week to get to the point where I feel ready to blog about it.

My dog Wendy was put to sleep last Friday, May 19th.

I adopted her from the Tri Valley Animal Shelter when she was three years old and she was a TOTAL MESS OF A DOG.

She was crate trained but nothing else.

She was so wild that trainers advised me not to leave my two young boys alone with her.

I didn’t know what I was getting in to. All I knew was that I’d lost my precious Mac a few weeks earlier in a deadly car accident on Highway 80 and I needed to bring a new dog into my life.

Of course, Wendy looked JUST LIKE MAC.

I spent $25 buying Wendy from the shelter and $5000 training her.

The trainers at Cooperhaus Kennels worked wonders with her, to the point that I could recall her with just the sound of my voice.

Over the years, she mellowed but she still maintained a little wild streak.

She never learned how to kiss until the very end, she always wanted to nibble.

Her favorite game was keep away, she never learned to fetch.

On a hot, sunny day in California, Wendy was laid to rest surrounded by her loved ones.

Birds chirped overhead and you could practically see the smile on Wendy’s face as she soaked in all the attention she was getting.

She was so enthralled with all the love bestowed on her, she refused to go to sleep after the vet gave her the sedative.

After waiting patiently for 10 minutes, the vet gave Wendy another shot to make her fall asleep.

Wendy got 10 extra minutes of love due to her stubbornness and her enjoyment of all the attention she was getting.

With two shots of sedative in her Wendy fell fast asleep.

And then the last shot was administered which stopped her fierce, beating heart.

Losing Wendy was difficult.

My dogs have always been an extension of the son I lost to cancer in 1998.

Their presence in my life symbolizes hope, unconditional love, and the bond between a parent and a “child.”

I have been blessed as Wendy’s caretaker, to have been given nearly 9 years with this AMAZING dog and I will hold onto all the precious memories I have of her.

I love you Wendy.

 

Privacy

Yesterday my privacy was violated.

Someone logged into my Facebook account and looked at pictures that were supposed to be private.

Ones that I had filtered from the public and friends.

Not nude pics, but close to nude pics.

Tasteful I thought.

This person then got upset and offended and proceeded to tell my mother that I needed an intervention. That I was out of control.

Nudity bothers me less than the average American. In that respect, I am less mainstream and more on the fringe.

My mother then proceeded to unload on me all her imagined “sexual trespasses” that I had “committed” in her mind.

According to her, I sleep with every man I go on a date with.

This is ironic. I can point to many men I’ve dated way more than just one time who I have never slept with.

I do the best I can to share intimacies with men who I feel have the possibility of developing into something more.

In some cases, I am right – like with Luke and Jay – and I wind up in 18 month relationships.

In other cases, I am wrong – like with The Israeli – and I wind up ghosted with a face full of cum.

I rarely spend the night and I don’t have sex at my house.

These are the rules I have.

As a 43 year old woman, I don’t think I need to justify my sex life to my parents and it’s a shame that they are all up in my business about it.

It hurts that someone felt the need to spy on me, but what hurts more is knowing that my parents have a flawed and skewed image of me in their heads.

According to my mother, I am a slut.

Sigh.

That woman has never been comfortable with my sexuality.

There is no great insight I have here.

I’m rather confused and hurt about the whole experience.

And it’s ironic that all this is happening at a time in my life when I’m focused less on dating and more on friendships.

Yes, you read that right.

I’m settling down.

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day is coming up and I am lucky enough to have two mothers.

Sherri, who gave birth to me, and Alice, who raised me.

For years while I was growing up, I would think of my birthmom on Mother’s Day and wonder if she was thinking of me as well.

And she was.

There are other important women in my life who I celebrate on Mother’s Day.

My Grandma is 94 years old.

I remember her cooking special meals for me when I visited her in Pennsylvania – pierogis, meatloaf, anise cookies, and piggies (stuffed cabbage).

Her recipes will always be my comfort food.

I also think of my sister, Lisa, on Mother’s Day.

Although she only has fur babies, she is the closest thing my boys have to a second mother and her role in our family is very important.

Also, there’s my Aunt Stacey, my cousin Jennifer, and my niece Bella, who I love and admire greatly. They are real warrior princesses and I’ll love them forever for accepting me into the family when times were rough.

Finally, I think of Barbara, my dear friend.

Her mother has passed away and so my heart goes out to her on Mother’s Day when I know she acutely feels the loss of her mom.

Of course, it’s impossible to think about Mother’s Day without thinking about the two young men who made me a mother in the first place – my sons Duncan and Gavin.

What incredible young men they are growing up to be and I find myself in awe of their spirit and zest for life.

They are, by far, the best things to ever happen to me and I thank the universe on a daily basis for allowing me to be their mother.

So on this Mother’s Day, I’m sending out my love to all the mother’s out there and all their beautiful children.

That includes YOU!

When you drink with your sister

Start with a mini bottle of Champagne Pink Pop. Pick it out in a pink bottle thinking it’s pink. Discover it’s not pink and be disappointed. Try champagne and be even more disappointed. Add orange juice to make it drinkable.

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Try OREgasmic Ale by Rogue Farms, because it’s supposed to be OREgasmic. Discover OREgasmic beer tastes like dirty feet and pot ash. Definitely not orgasmic. Be disappointed.

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Try cheap stacked wine which comes in its own glass. Have low expectations. Have low expectations met. Feel foolish for trying wine which comes with a pull off lid.

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Try Blood Orange Mimosa. Suspect it’s a headache in a bottle with a screw top lid, but love it anyway.  Make your sister drink most of it after dosing it with vodka.

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 Graduate to bonafide liquor – making really strong mai tai and screwdriver. Decide to hop in the hot tub naked. Have to hang foot out of hot tub because of new foot tattoo (which effing HURTS). Have sister yell at you when you accidentally dip it in the water. Feel sheepish. Snap selfie anyway.

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UPDATE:  Get RAGING cellulitis (skin infection) from dipping foot in hot tub.  Deal with your sister’s “I-told-you-so’s.”  On antibiotics.  Feel even more sheepish.

Mac

Some of you know the story of Mac, the incredible white German shepherd my ex-husband rescued for me when we lost our oldest son to cancer.

That dog brought me back to life and saved me when I was at my lowest, deepest point of suffering.

Mac died when he fell out my truck window onto Highway 80 when the boys and I were coming home from a camping trip.

I remember watching him fall in my rearview mirror and also seeing my 60 pound, 7 year old son desperately trying to hold on to him.

I thought that perhaps my son was falling out the window too.

You can’t imagine the horror I experienced.

My son stayed safely in the car but sadly, Mac was killed while getting off the freeway (10 years to the day after my oldest son died).

We’d just finished up a LOVELY vacation at the Yuba River with my Uncle Donald, Aunt Stacey, and my cousins Jennifer, Travis, Bella, Matt, and Nick.

It was amazing.

Today, I was reminded that when it was my turn to swing on the rope and fall 8 feet into the water, I was chicken.

I didn’t want to jump.

And Mac stood by my side and waited with me while I worked up the courage. . .

And JUMPED!

And only after I jumped did he follow suit and jump in with me.

He was an amazing dog.

And I feel lucky that I somehow managed to take this picture of him THE VERY MORNING OF THE DAY HE DIED.

The last picture I ever took of him.

And I’d like to think that in the afterlife, he is playing in the water, in the sun, surrounded by family.

I love you Mac.  You are not forgotten!

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Family Photo Time

It’s time again for my annual family photo and I’m so happy that this year the lovely Yvonne will be taking our picture.

She’s already given me GREAT advice about what to wear, bring, etc.

The trick, as always, is getting my boys there.

The first time I did this to them they gave me a hard time about it.

The second time went smoother.

And this time, I think it’ll be even easier.

In true motherly fashion, I have GUILT TRIPPED my boys into taking the photo.

I reminded them: MOTHER’S DAY IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER. . .

Truth be told, I wish my boys were a little more helpful and participatory when it comes to helping out and doing things.

This past weekend, Yvonne held a party for her late husband and close to 60 people showed up to remember him fondly.

Yvonne is also mother to two boys and they showed up and helped out and were basically incredible.

It made me a little wistful thinking of my own boys.

Hopefully they will mature into men who are more helpful and supportive. Hopefully I’ve laid the right groundwork and it’s just a matter of time until I see them mature into the fine young men I know they can be.

But for now it’s all about video games, and cars, and animals, and avoiding me.

Sigh.

So here are the outfits my boys and I are wearing for our photoshoot – pastel green, blues, and purples for us. Should be BEAUTIFUL!

We’re going to Natural Bridges in Santa Cruz to take our photos.

 

Mac and Wendy

My son Douglas died of cancer in 1998.  He was a newborn who developed sacrococcogeal teratoma in utero and his little heart couldn’t keep up with the blood supply demands of the tumor and he passed away September 22nd.

Concerned about my deep, profound grief, my ex-husband adopted a little white german shepherd puppy for me and we named him Mac.

Mac brought me back to life.  He was my dog, thoroughly bonded and I could let him off leash and he would follow me around like we were tethered together.

On the 10 year anniversary of Douglas’ death, Mac fell out of my truck window on Highway 80, was hit by a car, and killed.

People thought I should be comforted that this all happened on September 22nd.

I found no solace in the thought that this was all part of God’s design.

In my grief, I adopted a new white german shepherd – named Wendy.

Wendy was three years old and a total disaster.

I adopted her for $25 – no questions asked.  I spent $5000+ training her.

We called her our Wild and Wicked Wendy!

Wendy is now 11 years old.

Her back legs don’t work so well.

In fact, they barely work at all.

She doesn’t seem to be in pain.  She just can’t move around very well.

I know what’s coming up and it’s going to be SO HARD FOR ME TO LET WENDY GO.

She is also an extension of my son and so long as I have her, I still have a little piece of him left with me.

So spare a thought for Wendy, if you can.  She could use some good thoughts sent her way.

So could I.

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End of an era

djI wasn’t ready to hear it.

I know my son is almost 18 and that this was EVENTUALLY going to happen, but it still took me by surprise.

“Go get me a box of condoms.”

What!?

Holy cow!

Really?!

It looks like my 17 year old is going to GET INTIMATE with a woman and my job as his mom is to give him the precious little advice I can sneak in while he’s letting me talk about IT.

“Make sure you get a yes,” I say.

And “be sure there’s no alcohol involved.”

Oh wow.

“I know,” he replies.

“We never speak of this again,” he tells me.

Okay.

I actually feel happy that he’s trusted me enough to ask in the first place, but still. . .

. . . end of an era.