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.

How I do Valentine’s Day

boysI have two teenage sons – ages 15 and 17.

They are at an age now where they are keenly aware of what is cool and what isn’t.

Dodge Chargers? Cool.

Bieber hair? Not cool.

College football? Cool.

Valentine’s Day? Not cool.

They happen to be the two most important men in my life and since I have no one to celebrate a ROMANTIC Valentine’s Day with, I opt to celebrate a FAMILIAL Valentine’s Day with them.

I’m sure they’d rather I not, but I am a Type-A overachiever and I can’t let a holiday go by without celebrating the SHIT out of it.

Therefore, MILK AND HONEY CAKERY.

av11They make Anti-Valentine’s Day cookies and deliver them before Valentine’s Day.

I just ordered a dozen as a gift from me to my spawn.

I just love the sentiments on the cookies:

  • U STINK
  • NEXT
  • GAG
  • NOPE

They’re absolutely perfect for giving to my way-too-cool-for-you teenage sons who actually groan at the idea of me giving them a Valentine’s Day gift (that isn’t cash).

Last year though, they stuffed their pockets with the cookies and gave them to their friends.

Because apparently it’s cool to insult your buddies.

And just for clarification, I did not receive any discount for writing this blog and will not receive a kickback if you buy any cookies.

I just happen to think MILK AND HONEY CAKERY is awesome and I have to share.

Dysfunction

My boys complain year round about how weird our family is.

  • A blind grandfather who is cranky pretty much 24-7.
  • A grandmother hooked on caregiving and babies.
  • A single mom struggling to figure out life and balance her social life with her family life.

From my sons’ vantage points, we look like cartoon people, with magnified faults and very little to admire.

I try to explain to my boys that EVERY FAMILY is DYSFUNCTIONAL in it’s own way.

They live our family day in and day out so they get to know all our flaws.

Of course their friends’ families seem stable and functional. Those are families they only VISIT from time to time so they never see the weird inner working of those families.

Eventually, as you grow up and out of teenage angst, I think you come to VALUE your weird family members in all their DYSFUCTIONAL glory because you start to see the good qualities they possess as well.

For instance, my dad may be a cranky blind man but he is the most generous man when it comes to his friends and family. He’s always up to buy you dinner or share a glass of wine with you. Nothing makes him happier than hearing his grandson’s’ laughter.

And my mom, though she may have an unusual obsession with taking care of little ones also is the FIRST ONE who will get in line to help you with a GRUELING TASK – like cleaning up after a party or straightening up your house.

And me? We’ll I might do odd things like go to Burning Man and wear costumes, but I will always go the extra mile for my friends and family, when they need a little help.

The trick is, and I think my sons miss this ENTIRELY, that you have to focus on all the positive things about your family when there are negative things you can focus on as well.

No one is perfect.

But if I had to be born and do it all over again, I’d choose the exact same people to go through life with as I had this go round.

Reunited!

When I was 22 years old, I met my birthmother.

I called her on the phone and for the first time she answered.

She had the most beautiful voice I’d ever heard and I knew someone with a voice that kind would NEVER be mean to me.

So I told her who I was and asked if now was a good time to talk.

The rest is history.

In 17 months, I will have known my birthfamily LONGER than I haven’t known them.

I find this a strangely reassuring milestone.

It’s as if I went away for a little while, or took a long vacation, only to return.

I have three families now – mine, my birthmother’s and my birthfather’s.

Try juggling holiday commitments when you’ve got three families.

[ASIDE: If I was married, it would be EVEN HARDER].

Two weeks ago, I made the trek to Santa Rosa to visit my birthfamily and I had a really great time.

My birthmom and I got to hang out and chat before the rest of the family showed up.

I talked to my sister, who was so nice I can’t help but think there’s potential for a real relationship to develop.

We shared a meal before I drove for three grueling hours (it normally only takes two) during a deluge where even my wipers on hyper speed couldn’t keep up with the rain.

And just cuz I love them BUCKETS, I’m posting a pic we took that day. . . in all our clever goofiness.

We’re in DISGUISE!

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When you blog

write2-copyIt’s funny.

At least *I* think it’s funny.

You see, I’m a blogger so everything I experience is an opportunity to write something about it:

  • Kissing ex boyfriends in RVs at SoulFire.
  • Taking a dip in the hot tubs with men of questionable repute.
  • Peeing my pants in a onesie costume because I couldn’t get it off in time.
  • Puking down the side of Krunch’s car post-party.

It’s all fodder for the blog. Even the stuff that makes me look like a nut case.

Sometimes I wonder how my friends and family REALLY feel about this blog.

Oh, of course to my face they like it and encourage me to write.

But really, deep down, how do they feel about being WRITTEN ABOUT and READING THE INTIMATE DETAILS OF MY LIFE.

There’s a saying among us writers:

If a writer falls in love with you, you never die.

write1There’s another saying though and it goes something like this:

Don’t piss off a writer. We’ll DESCRIBE you.

IMG_9378Truthfully, I don’t get mad very often so there’s infrequent roasting of people on my blog.

[Sorry, mom. Don’t read this part.]

The last good roast was The Israeli who liked facials but got it in my eye and all over my hair thereby pissing me off.

I had SPECIFICALLY TOLD HIM NOT TO GET IT IN MY HAIR!

Turns out, there are some sexual activities I don’t like.

And some Israelis.

But ENOUGH about him.

I just want to publically thank all my friends and family who put up with me and this tacky blog – whether I’ve given you a nickname or not.

Every time I write about my friends and family, I do it with love and respect and of course a HUGE dose of courage that they’ll be okay with what I write.

Thanks to them for putting up with me.

It takes a huge amount of humor.

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It’s not a birthday party unless someone brings a bag of dicks. . .

img_0649My Pyrate themed birthday party took place on Saturday.

And let me tell you, I was SHOCKED at how many people showed up.

I expected maybe 6. Ten, if I was lucky.

But in the end a whopping 24 showed up.

We went from one table of 8 to 6 tables filled with people.

And everyone was in pyrate garb!

 

img_0644Marina and Todd img_0643Me and Cynthia

 

It was TRULY EXTRAORDINARY!

I got my dance on at The Spot and Cardiff Lounge, restoring my dance sensibility ever since the Blue Dance Nazi took it from me at Decompression SF (full story is HERE).

I’m not a fabulous dancer, but I enjoy dancing. However, you should’ve seen my birthmom dancing, SHE WAS HAVING A GREAT TIME!

I heard over and over again all night how wonderful my mom is, how incredible my mom is, how funny my mom is.

Everybody LOVED her.

I think it’s safe to say she stole the show.

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Mom and Scott, dancing.

My sister was there, looking beautiful and composed as always, prompting several comments about how we look nothing alike (my sister is half Filipino while I am all cracker).

Barbara was there, in an AMAZING corset, and all night long people mistook her for me. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – Barbara looks like my little sister.

My brother and sister-in-law showed up to fete me and it was nice to hang out with them for a bit without the littles distracting us.

And Scott, my birthday twin, came all the way from Napa to celebrate “our” birthday. It’s always great to see old friends and I’ve known Scott since I was in preschool.

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Scott and I

So many more friends came and made it festive – Marina and Todd, MP (who gave me an awesome birthday card and present), Cynthia (who dances like a goddess), Kari and Brian (who just got engaged in Italy), Kevin (who let me grab his ass a little), Dante (who let me grab more than just his ass), Steve, Mark and Ariana (who make such a handsome couple), Brad (who had the BEST pirate accessory, a gold earring), Hoot (who was tons of fun to dance with), Bad Boy, Miss S, Kimberly (who gave me a bottle of Zaya rum), and Twisty.

In the end, a good time was had by all, even if we all became a little deaf dancing at the Cardiff Lounge in front of the speakers.

But the best, most funniest moment of the night was when Cynthia gave me a bag of little rubber dicks as a gift.

That’s right.

I got a bag of dicks for my birthday!

img_0640Blowing out the ENORMOUS candle! img_0642Kevin and me
img_0650Me and Dante (Steve and Hoot in the background) Me and Barbara
img_0634Brad and me img_0631Conga line!
img_0627Cynthia, Steve, and Twisty img_0626Brad and my sister Leilani
img_0624Birthday “twins” Scott and Michelle img_0620The newly engaged!

 

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