another member joins the adult orphan club

The last couple of weeks have been chaos for our family.
Husband N’s mother died unexpectedly two weeks ago Saturday.
My daughter, her husband, and their daughter were heartbroken.
YBW and I were heartbroken.
I can’t tell you how precious a woman she was or how much she will be missed.
Husband N lost his dad in the mid aughts so he’s recently joined the terrible club of adult orphans.

He’s and only child with an enormous extended family.
Fortunately, the majority of this extended family was able to help and support him as he figured out what he needed to do.
He came to YBW and me for emotional support and guidance.
He and Thing 1 came to YBW and me for practical support and childcare.

My hear hurts for my son in law who lost his own momma. For my daughter who lost a truly wonderful mother in law. For Baby K who lost her Nana.

I could not have asked for a better (other) grandmother with whom to share my granddaughter. Nana was as kind and loving a woman as you’d ever want to meet. She had a childlike sense of joy and saw the good in everyone. She was always eager to share time, stories, photos, and love between herself, Baby K, and me. She never behaved as though she felt a way about Baby K spending more time with us. Even when we were all together and Baby K would sort of default to me and I would encourage her to ask or show or tell or whatever Nana, she never had her feelings hurt.
She was simply joyful to be all together.

I’m grateful my daughter had a mother in law who loved her so completely, who became another momma to her. I’m grateful Baby K had a Nana who loved her so completely. Who was eager and willing to share the grandmother spotlight with such an open heart.

I hope I can provide that same sort of love for Husband N. I’ll never be his Momma, but I can be another momma for him. One that loves him so completely he feels comforted in his loss.

Y’all, my family is hurting.
But we’re figuring it out together.
We have memories and share stories.
We have laughter and tears.
Mostly we have love.

I’d be so grateful if you’d be willing to hold my daughter’s family in your hearts as they find their way grieving, handling the business of death, and adapting to this new way of being.

Categories: death, loss | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

a tune for Tuesday vol 170

This song is some curious amalgamation of an enormous heart hug and a roundhouse kick to your soul and I am so here for it!

Here’s Unconditional I (Lookout Kid) from Arcade Fire.
Let me know what you think.

Please listen responsibly.

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a tune for Tuesday vol 169

I’ve never been the biggest Panic! at the Disco fan, but this song though!

Check out Viva Las Vengeance and let me know what you think.

I don’t wanna be a diva I just wanna be free

Please listen responsibly.

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a tune for Tuesday vol 168

I love this song, y’all!

I love the lyrics.
I love the funk element.
I love the way it makes me want to move.

Check out Settling by Ripe and let me know what you think.

Please listen responsibly.

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Baby K weekend – August 2022

Last Baby K weekend of summer was chock full!

We woke up Friday morning and sent Papa off to work before we went to Target and Bards Alley.
Early Saturday morning we went to Roer’s Zoofari (formerly known as Reston Zoo). We chose this instead of the National Zoo because it’s so much more interactive for younger kids.
And let me tell you, our grandgirl interacted with all manner of wildlife that day!


We started in the butterfly garden.
Where she worked tirelessly (as tirelessly as a three year old can work) to ‘catch’ a butterfly on her stick. (the sticks were long cotton swabs dipped in red powerade)
While she didn’t actually ‘catch’ a butterfly, both Papa and Birdie were able to coax one on, then Baby K got to hold those sticks.

In the barnyard Baby K fed goats and petted a wallaby.

The largest goat stole the cup of carrots right out of her hand.


According to Baby K “the wallaby not very soft”.

We went on the safari (a tram that drives through the part of the park where the llamas, deer, bison, cows, and water buffalo hang out) so we could feed the deer and llamas. She wasn’t entirely impressed…

But she was impressed by the camel.

That girl was hell bent to get on that camel!
She was so brave!
Though not quite brave enough to go by herself.
(Thing 2 says, “Sometimes you need some Birdie backup”)

Interacting with wildlife is exhausting work, y’all.

Sunday morning I trimmed her hair.
We played with blocks.
“Let’s build a playground for the dinosaurs!”

The triceratops spent most of his time destroying the structures as quickly as we could build them. “He say BASH! BASH! BASH! Birdie”

She found the old tobacco can full of buttons.
“We are pirates! This our button treasure! Arrgh!”

My brother, cousins and I played with these buttons at our grandmother’s house when we were kids.

Time with our grandgirl is always an adventure and I’m so grateful to have this time with her.

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directed by James Burrows

I just read a memoir, Directed by James Burrows.
You know his shows…
If you love (or like, or even just watched) any of them it’s an interesting read.
If you don’t it’s still an interesting read.

I remember my dad loving Taxi and Cheers.

I was seven when Taxi began and twelve when it ended. I remember being smart enough to understand how good it was, but young enough that most of it went over my head. I remember not getting Latka at all. I remember wondering why Louie was always so dang mad about stuff. I remember thinking there was something about Reverend Jim that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I remember being fascinated by Carol Kane’s voice. I remember not getting why it was funny but oh my goodness, did I love to sit with my dad and listen to him laugh.

By the time Cheers came on I was eleven so I was a teeny bit more savvy than I’d been at the start of Taxi. I remember feeling somewhat ambivalent to begin with. I remember wondering why Coach was so dumb. I remember wondering why we couldn’t see Sam play baseball instead of be in the bar. I remember liking Norm from the first episode. Carla was mean in a way I understood and could almost relate to. Diane was snooty and I didn’t like that. And I could not even with that damn mailman! Yet I continued watching. I grew up with the people in the place ‘where everybody knows your name’. That show helped shape my sense of humor through my teenage years and into my early twenties. I especially remember laughing with my dad as the jokes landed for both of us.

When Will and Grace premiered, I was a twenty-seven year old mom of two young daughters.
I didn’t watch this show with my dad.
But I did watch it religiously.
It remains one of my most favorite shows of all time.
Will, Grace, Karen, and Jack are selfish and flawed, but their love for each other is real. And because they love each other, we loved them too.
I didn’t love the three season reboot as much as I loved the original eight, but I gotta tell you I was so damn excited when it came back I could hardly contain myself!

Obviously Jimmy Burrows directed many more shows…but these are the three that are most special to me.

If you look at these shows you’ll find they all have the same underlying theme.
Your family is the people you choose.
Those people in that garage were a family.
Those people in that bar were a family.
Those people in 9C were a family.

Blood doesn’t make a family.
Acceptance makes a family.
A magical combination of compassion and selfishness makes a family.
Choice makes a family.
Love makes a family.

The ability to choose your family is one of the universe’s most precious gifts.
I encourage you to choose wisely.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

a tune for Tuesday vol 167

This movie stayed in my heart for weeks.
I love Elvis. Always have, always will.
The soundtrack is honestly overwhelming…in the best way.

This is Maneskin with If I Can Dream.
Let me know what you think.

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

mind your business

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This is what my brain feels like.

Ever since June twenty-fourth I’ve struggled to make sense of the world around me, but mostly I feel like that shit-show up there.

Look, I understand there are differing opinions regarding abortion. I’m not opening this up for differing opinions to hate on each other. This has been so heavy in my heart and I’m trying to make sense of it. I’ve journaled. I’ve had conversations with people I trust, people who’s opinions differ and are similar to my own.
But I’m still struggling with how to wrap my brain around it.

Is abortion always the answer?
I don’t believe so, but how could I possibly know what’s the answer for another woman?
Is it up to me to decide what’s the answer for another woman?
Absolutely not.
And here’s why: It’s none of my fucking business what’s the answer for another woman.

Unless you’re the one that’s pregnant mind your business.
That’s the bit that matters most.

What I believe is different than what she believes is different than what he believes is different than what you believe.
And no one wants (nor should they have) to live their lives according to another’s beliefs.

I believe in the right to choose.
But for me pro choice isn’t always pro abortion.
For me pro choice means it doesn’t matter what I believe about abortion, it’s not up to me to make decisions about what an another woman can or cannot do with her own body.

What’s happening in this country is more than negating bodily autonomy from (approximately) 170 million women. So many of whom already lack access to appropriate medical care.
It is an attack on women.
It is an attack on girls.

Abortion is a hot button topic. I get it.
No one will change their mind.
No one will choose to see the other side of the debate.
But that isn’t the point.
The point is each of us must do the ultimate kindness and mind our own damn business.

(This was me trusting y’all and it’s still not quite what I hoped to get out. I’ll be over here continuing to sort out how to feel. Let me know what you think but please don’t come at me. Abide no hatred.)

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

grateful for a brain reset

This summer felt weird.
Almost like it didn’t really start until we came home from Thing 2’s at the end of June.
Then I blinked and July ended.
Now it’s all gearing up to get ready to go back to school.

I find myself searching for something just out of reach…
Perhaps I’ll focus on what was worth celebrating.
Perhaps a little brain reset?

I’m looking at all things for which I am grateful.
What better brain reset could there possibly be?

This is what I’m grateful for in May:
four negative COVID tests
YBW being only a little bit sick
Amber (she does my hair)
Jessica being here
Nicole and Jon being here
Baby K finally meeting (and loving) Nicole
two of my three alternative health care providers
Essie Willow in the Wind

What I’m grateful for in June:
LAST DAY OF SCHOOL (Dobby is a free elf)
celebrating at two graduation parties
Essie Aruba Blue
Baby K weekend
a day at Nats park with my darling nephew
an unexpected Holly day
finally being at home with Thing 2 and Boyfriend M
new ink
celebrating Josie at her surprise birthday party
one of my three alternative health care providers

What I’m grateful for in July:
celebrating twenty-five years of Thing 2
an extra long Baby K weekend
Democracy jeans
Six at the National and cocktails at Round Robin with Thing 1

dinner with Nora and Dale
Essie Spice it Up
a Bards Alley trip with Baby K in which she discovered kaleidoscopes
Thing 1 creating the perfect labels for my pantry containers with her Cricut
two of my three alternative health care providers

I’m chock full of gratitude this summer for:
being able to read so many books
fresh peaches
time on the roof terrace

a new grill
tequila
brewing some damn fine iced tea

Even though things are weighing heavily on my brain and heart, I’ve got so much to be grateful for!
I hope y’all’s summer has you chock full of gratitude too.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

didja miss me?

When Thing 2 was in second grade her teacher went on maternity leave. The substitute teacher was a man with precious little personality.
Seriously, we parents had many a conversation that went a bit like, WTF is up with this dude?
Anyway…
Thing 2 had been home sick and upon returning to school, she burst through the door and announced, “DIDJA MISS ME!?! (possibly like this)

Cut to Thing 2 getting off the bus that afternoon as I stand at the end of our driveway: *recounts story (may or may not have done the move)* and says, Momma! (all indignant-like) Everyone cheered except Mr M. (may or may not have stomped her foot here) He didn’t even look up!
My daughter was so fucking offended by the audacity of this teacher to be underwhelmed at her return.

I share this story because as I began to write, I thought (in Thing 2’s seven year old voice) Didja miss me!?!
I gotta say I missed y’all.
If you missed me too, thanks.
If you didn’t, no worries, I’m not offended by your audacity to be underwhelmed at my return.

I find myself missing writing.
I find myself lacking the desire to say anything.

So here’s a quick recap of what’s up in my world since we last spoke…
YBW tested positive for COVID the day before Mother’s Day. He was feverish and achy for about three days but once his fever broke he was simply congested and had a weird lingering cough.
International Week of the Birthday began on Mother’s Day, so needless to say, there wasn’t much to celebrate.
School finally ended the middle of June. It was a tricky school year and I wasn’t sad to see the end of it.
Spent a (hotter than balls) day at Nats Park with our darling nephew.
We went to visit Thing 2 and Boyfriend M in late June. Finally getting to be in their new home!
I got new ink.

Of course, the normal stuff: loads of Baby K time, read fourteen books, bubbly day with Holly, farmer’s market mornings…

I feel like I’ve had so much on my mind, so many awful and lovely little fish swimming around in my brain. I don’t feel like I’ve been able to chronicle any of it, I just had to live it.
Thoughts hatching all over the place, and thoughts refusing to hatch.

And you know, that’s OK.
Perhaps I needed a brain break.
I feel like I’m ready to come back swingin’.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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