Month's End

So here I am at the end of my first month of this project. And I think it’s going pretty well. I’m loving the excuse, or better, the need to write every day. I’m loving the feedback I’m getting. I’m loving what’s floating to the surface and onto the page. And I’m thrilled that I have 11 more months to do this.

Upon reflection of the last month, I’ve pushed my own writing envelope further than ever before. Mostly in the act of sharing it with you, but also in forcing myself to sit every day and put into words whatever the day holds. Whether that be through looking backwards at what the past has taught me or relating my uncertain, passionate, crazy and joyful days.

But what I really want to know is what you’d like to read about. Do you have certain topics you wish I’d write about? Would you like to see more pictures included in the posts, to illustrate, to make my words more tangible? Is there something I’ve touched on that you’d like to hear more of the story? Would you like to hear more postulations about the future?

I’m asking because I want to keep moving. I want to keep challenging myself. I figured that if I made it through my first month, being brave enough to share whatever was most important that day, that I could do, write, anything. So here I am, 31 days into this and I’m exhilarated, emboldened and excited to see what comes next.

On this journey I’ve embarked upon, I’m grateful for the opportunity to share it with you. I’m grateful for the ability to create more history that will ground me, keeping me real and immersed. How often do we give ourselves the chance to recreate ourselves? How often do we allow ourselves to be so utterly honest that we find ourselves flying?

So, bring on the requests dear readers! I’m looking forward to the next chapters of this path I’ve chosen. Working, loving, sharing, breathing, believing, writing. Getting to bring you along with me is an added bonus, for which I’m thoroughly grateful. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds.


Mojo Boots

I bought a pair of black ankle boots yesterday. With heels. And pointy toes. I haven’t bought myself a new pair of shoes in a long time, let alone a pair with heels. They were a screaming deal, but mostly when I put them on, they made me feel something I’ve not felt in a long time. Sassy. And beautiful. And tall.

When I was in high school, I used to buy shoes as a stress reliever. I had upwards of 200 pairs of shoes at one point. I was a pretty stressed out teenager. But as I went through college and beyond that number got paired down slowly but surely. When I had The Boy, I had two pairs of shoes. I finally got talked into getting a couple more pair, but they were comfy, able to chase the kids shoes.

But yesterday, for some reason, I went to the mall when I still had some time left before I had to pick up the kids. And I was wandering through stores emblazoned with huge, red clearance signs and I found myself in the shoe section. So I looked around and found these boots. And the minute I had them on my feet I knew they had to be mine. So, on a whim, I bought them.

And ever since then I’ve felt more like me than I have in a very long time. And I cannot even begin to tell you how good that feels. To be able to walk across the parking lot with my head held high, my shoulders pushed back, a flirty smile playing at the edges of my mouth.

I feel alive and real and sexy today. Like I really can do anything and succeed anywhere. Like maybe, just maybe, I really do belong somewhere, if only in my own head. And it gives me hope that my mojo isn’t as far gone as I thought. That maybe it’s been lying just below the surface, waiting for me to get a clue and reveal it once more.

Whatever it is, I’m cherishing it. And if I had known these boots were the answer, I’d have found them years ago.


Confession Time

Ok, it’s confession time. It’s good for the soul right?

After not smoking for more than 6 years, I started smoking again when my husband left for hurricane catastrophe duty in Texas more than 4 months ago. It started as mostly a way for me to get a minute to myself, outside, with no kids. But since then I’ve remembered just how much I really like to smoke. I’m going to have to quit soon, because, well, I just have to. But I think I’ll have to stop drinking coffee again and replace it with walking on a treadmill or something.

I’m totally addicted to Facebook. It’s seriously like crack. Or chocolate. Or sex. Or…

My Christmas decorations are still up and I have yet to send out cards, pictures, my in-laws’ presents, my niece’s present, or thank you notes. Hell, I still haven’t sent out thank you notes from The Boy’s birthday back in September!

I’d really like to go live in a cave, or a remote log cabin, or somewhere equally as removed from society and my daily life right now. At least until I get my shit put back together in a more day-to-day kind of way.

There are some songs that I adore, like this one by Muse right now, that I simply cannot get loud enough.

I check the visitor counter on this blog way more than is healthy.

Right now, I’d be totally happy if I could only put apples, cheese and red beers in my mouth and nothing else.

I haven’t seen a dentist in about 10 years. I hate going to the dentist.

I still get butterflies in my stomach when I think about certain experiences and people in my past.

I don’t recycle and I drive a big SUV. I really do love the earth, I promise!

I still write checks to pay bills.

I have a very hard time doing homework with The Boy. He gets all unfocussed and I get all impatient and it’s just not pretty.

I really don’t like our chocolate Lab. She’s obnoxious and annoying and if she just disappeared tomorrow, I would not be sad. Yes, I’m a bad person.



Over the past year or so, I’ve had four car accident dreams. They are a little unsettling as I’m sure you can imagine.

The first dream was of me and the kids driving into town and suddenly we were going off the road, down a fairly steep hill and the car was beginning to roll. It was at this point in the dream that everything slowed down and I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “Oh my God, this is really happening.” Then I woke up. The spookiest thing about it was that I know exactly where on the road it happened, along the highway that I drive almost every single day.

The second dream was on the same highway, but in town this time, and I watched a huge accident happen in front of me mostly involving construction trucks. They spilled concrete, metal and equipment all over the road. And I knew I had to find a way through it otherwise the other cars behind me would slam me right into it. But I couldn’t figure it out and slam me they did. My car was shoved underneath one of the large trucks. A long metal spike came through the windshield and stopped just a millimeter shy of my throat.

The third I was driving on the Navajo Dam road in New Mexico and was, again, suddenly going off the road and I had to choose between going into the water or going down the very steep and very far down side of the dam. I chose the water because I thought we’d have a better chance of survival with a shorter drop.

The fourth, which was last night, was simply me having a head on collision with a shiny, silver Mercedes. He just wouldn’t move out of the way and I had nowhere else to go. At 55 miles an hour. I woke up when I realized that the air bag had failed.

I don’t know what these dreams mean or why I keep having them. But given my love for driving, I find them a bit disturbing. Or maybe they don’t mean anything and they’re just an extension of my crazy. Any ideas?


Blue Sky, Again

I think that I’m starting to understand that as I go along on this journey that every so often my mind pitches full out, throw itself down on the floor, screaming at the top of its lungs, temper tantrums. These fits usually manifest with me being extraordinarily hard on myself and being a wee bit dramatic. I get caught up in the past mostly. Hammering myself up and down for mistakes made, for hearts broken and days ruined.

I’ve been stuck in this particular quagmire for the last few days. One of my teachers told me once that these mental temper tantrums are evidence of growth. Because the mind is trying to hold onto relevancy for all its worth. But in reality it’s already obsolete. And it knows it. Which is why it throws everything and the kitchen sink at me. In an effort to break me again. To make me rely upon its tricks and veils.

I guess there is part of me that has always known this. I managed to figure out that my pattern with panic attacks was that they were always the worst right before I made some big break through or change in my life. And I thought that knowing this, realizing the falsehood of the crap my mind throws at me, would make it easier to just shrug it off. Look at the memories and emotions it dredges up and giggle at the very ridiculousness of the situation.

And sometimes it is. Sometimes I can get the distance to look at it all and know that it’s just a ruse. But occasionally, I get too tired or burned out with the kiddos and I lose all perspective. And I get sucked into the emotional quicksand that is my mind. And before I know it I’m up to my chin with self pity and demonization. And holy cow does that suck.

I’m no fun to be around when that happens. And being a mom becomes even harder. Hell brushing my teeth feels like a monumental feat of triumph. But then the clouds clear and I remember that it’s all illusion. And I can bask, again, in the clear blue sky.


Mackinac Part 2

I spent the second half of my summer on Mackinac Island driving tours. Halfway through the season, a couple of tour guides had to leave. So between being short-handed and all of the barn managers wanting to get rid of the girl amongst them, I was drafted to drive tours. Now when I say drive, I mean driving a horse drawn tour carriage of course.

I spent the first week of my new assignment riding shotgun to other tour guides who had been doing this all season so that I could learn the spiel. I tried to drag this part out for as long as possible. Anything to not have to actually interact with the tourists themselves. I wasn’t worried about driving the buggy, that was easy. It was delivering the exact same speech 20+ times a day to varying degrees of success that had me daunted. Some carriages were full of happy, laughing people willing to at least giggle at every little worn joke I threw at them. But more than I care to remember were full of tourists taking a tour simply because they were tired of walking and could care less what I was prattling on about.

Overall it was a good experience. I was thrilled when I didn’t have to do it anymore and would have gladly gone back to the barns and all of their ribbing, heaving of heavy tack and stacking of hay bales at any time. But I fell into a rhythm with giving tours that I never had with the barn work. My days passed relatively quickly and easily. I fell in love with my team of horses and even managed to secure a truce with all the barn men. By the end of the summer we had a healthy respect for each other.

The whole experience made me expand outward. Dilate my being so to speak. And I fell in love with the island itself. Once you get past all of the tourist trap crap, it’s such a beautiful place with such amazing history. Plus on one 8.2 mile round island you can find 27 bars and 19 fudge shops, what more could you ask for?



In an effort to ground me, I think, my mom came up with the idea that I go to work on Mackinac Island in Michigan the summer after my senior year in high school. I sent in my application, fully expecting to receive a nice letter of regret. Instead I was on the phone talking to the hiring director and booking plane tickets a couple of weeks later. It all happened very fast. And I got caught up in the sweeping current of it, the spontaneity of it all. The possibility of success.

I didn’t have anything holding me in place. Except for my first love. I would be leaving him for the summer, but I truly believed that we were strong enough to last three months of separation. He was strong enough, but I wasn’t.

My mom flew out there with me, to help me get settled. She left the day before I was to start work. I was fine when she left. The day I was supposed to go to orientation, I stayed in bed instead. Sobbing. Unable to do anything or face anyone. I was quite simply paralyzed with homesickness and fear.

The day after, I went and apologized for not showing up and reported for duty. The first half of the summer I would spend working in the taxi barn. I was the first and only woman to work in any of the three horse barns. And they never let me forget it. It was the hardest work I’ve ever done. At the beginning of the summer I had so much trouble lifting all the tack, but by the end I was tossing 50lb harnesses like they were paper. I became one of the boys and I loved it.

I reveled in my new found strength. I was lonely and tired for most of the summer. But I was also more exhilarated than I had been maybe ever. I learned to stand on my own two feet. I learned to enjoy my own company. I discovered wells of strength and bravery within me that I had no idea were there. And I came home a stranger to those I’d left behind.


Feel the Real

“Do not fault yourself for how you feel. Accept that you must only fault yourself for ignoring how you feel.” – H aka my own personal Master Yoda

I’m on a bit of a journey right now. Have been for the last several months actually. I think it all started when I decided to take a work sabbatical the beginning of this past summer to just focus on the kids. I found myself really pulling inward, contracting. I went from spread thin between work, friends and kids to pretty much just kids. And me. What I found was that buried beneath the life I had tried to create for myself here, was a lot of unfinished business.

That unfinished business has arisen in a variety of forms. Mostly in me being crazy. But also through starting to write more in the last 6 months than I’ve written in the last 6 years and having far fewer social interactions, but the ones I do have are so much more honest. For better or for worse. At least they’re honest. I’m not such a good chit-chatter anymore and small talk escapes me almost completely. But I’m re-finding my voice. And that is a gift.

It’s been hard. Hard on everyone around me. Hard on my friends to have me disappear and then reappear crazy. Hard on my kids to have me being so inconsistent. Hard on my husband to not know where I am or what I’m working on in my head. Hard on me because I have to just keep walking, feeling and breathing. And when you’re bogged down in guilt or anger or even overwhelming joy, it’s hard to keep moving.

The guilt has been huge. For past, present and foreseen future transgressions. Which is where H’s quote from above comes in. He and a couple of other friends keep reminding me that it is worse to consciously choose to stay in the coma in which I’ve been. That I do indeed already possess the courage it will take for me to choose to be happy. And that, most importantly and hardest for me to believe, that I deserve to be truly, utterly and simply happy.


A Little Slice of Crazy

This is me giving momentary voice to my own personal brand of crazy today…

Therapist: So how are we feeling today?

Me: Pretty fucking crazy, you?

T: Well, you know I’m not what we’re here to talk about. Tell me more about this crazy.

Me: Well, let’s see. I feel like I am going a million miles an hour and having to wait for the rest of the world to catch up is making me slightly homicidal. My mind is full of color and words and racing thoughts and wishes. But mostly I think my crazy is coming from the fact that I’m realizing that I’ve spent the past many years living with one foot on the throat of my true voice and the other on the accelerator. Racing to suffocate myself. Hence, the pretty fucking crazy.

T: How about you tell me about how this feeling makes you feel?

Me: How does it make me feel? How do you think it makes me feel? CRAZY! It’s one of those words, like fuck, that can be used in a thousand different contexts. Like waking from a coma and finding out that you could have woken up at any time, but didn’t know that you could. So you’ve spent all this time withering away in this stupid hospital. Waiting. And then you finally wake up and you’re filled with all this crazy because you wasted all this time. Waiting. And now there’s so much to see and do and make up for, but you have to do it all set to this predetermined pace that makes sense to the rest of the world. And all that does is make the pretty fucking crazy person, pretty fucking mad.

T: I see. So what you’re really saying then is that you’re feeling anger?

Me: Hell yes I’m angry! I’m angry and put out and fed up. Angry that there are rules to be followed. Put out that no one else took a big fucking shovel to my head to wake me up sooner. Fed up with accepting standing still.

T: Well, I think we’ve made good progress today. How are you feeling now?

Me: Still fucking crazy, you?



I made the front page of my college newspaper within 1 week of stepping foot on campus. I went to a very small, liberal arts college in Nebraska. The Dean of Admissions was an old camp counselor of mine and agreed to overlook the whole high school dropout thing if I promised to buckle down and actually be a student. I agreed and off to college I went.

The campus was beautiful. The people were so nice. And they had no idea what to do with me when I got there. I arrived in this small Midwestern town with my radio blaring and my car completely covered in bumper stickers in an array of colorful proclamations. I was tattooed, pierced, cussed like a sailor, was a vegetarian and my attire was the furthest thing from conventional that you could imagine.

I was approached before the end of freshman orientation by a writer for the newspaper asking if he could do a story on me. I was completely flabbergasted. Me? Why? I wasn’t interesting. In fact the big city I had just come from had all but rendered me invisible in my absolute plainness. He wanted to know why I had picked this college, how many tattoos I had, how many piercings I had, oh and do I know what I’m going to major in? It was actually pretty funny after I got over the embarrassment.

And it sort of set the tone for my tenure there. I spent four years trying to figure out where I fit. I made some amazing friends, most of which I still keep in touch with. I learned more than I ever would have thought would fit in my brain. I worked my ass off. I played hard. I explored and fell in love with the Midwest. I learned to be brave in whole new ways.

But even at the end of my time there, the majority of the people still didn’t know what to do with me. Still gawked at my brazen mouth and opinions. I stood out on my graduation day just as starkly as I did on my orientation day. It was a glorious and lonely distinction.


My Sweet Boy

After I picked The Boy up from school yesterday, this is a conversation we had while in the car on the way home:

TB: "I know who I'm going to marry."
ME: "Oh really? Who?"
TB: "Well, I know who I am going to marry, but boys can't marry boys can they?"
ME: "As long as you love someone and want to be with them forever, you can marry whoever you want."
TB: "Oh, well then I want to marry K. I like him. And I love him. So I'm going to marry him."
ME: "Ok, well it's good to know that you know that already."

As you can imagine this story brought up several reactions in me. The first was, my goodness my boy is sweet! The second was, I kind of hope he doesn’t tell K this as I’m not sure how he would react and I really don’t want my Boy to lose a friend. And admittedly, the third was a little bit of motherly relief. Relief that if this little snippet of conversation was a sign of things to come that I wouldn’t have to deal with skanky girls following my blue-eyed Boy home. And yes, I know that boys can be skanky and catty as well. But he’s my first born and as a mom, I guess I’d rather deal with boys in muscle shirts than girls in micro-mini’s.

I probably should have dealt with the whole thing better. But I wasn’t sure how to tackle the whole idea of him not sharing this idea with K. I mean how do you tell the sweetest boy that he should just keep all his love to himself? Doesn’t that sound just a little bit cruel?

But I do worry about him and his sweetness. I’ve always worried about him and his sweetness. Ever since he would go up to other kids on the playground and say “My am The Boy. Please you play with me?” And the other kids would laugh and run away. He doesn’t understand cruelty. And I don’t want him to. But how do I protect him from something he doesn’t know when it comes looking for him?


Inauguration Day

**I’m going to do a little something different today and use the inaugural poem by Elizabeth Alexander as a framework for my daily 365. Only my words will count towards the daily word count total.**

Praise song for the day.
Each day we go about our business, walking past each other, catching each others' eyes or not, about to speak or speaking. All about us is noise. All about us is noise and bramble, thorn and din, each one of our ancestors on our tongues. Someone is stitching up a hem, darning a hole in a uniform, patching a tire, repairing the things in need of repair.
Someone is trying to make music somewhere with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

I had to remind myself to step out of my morning routine. To sit down with my daughter and watch the inauguration today. My brain, hell bent on keep track of my to-do list, kept chattering at me “You can watch this later, DVR it if you must,” “You can read the speeches and such tonight after the kids go to bed,” “You don’t really need to watch this.” After about 15 minutes I sat down, turned on NBC and watched the inauguration. It’s amazing to me how I could let my mind talk me out of watching such an historic event. In favor of laundry or dishes or anything.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky; A teacher says, "Take out your pencils. Begin."

And I wonder, how will I ever explain to The Boy and The Girl, ages 5 and 2, why this man, speaking on the TV, has made Mama cry. How can I present this day to them in such a way that they will understand its glory and triumph?

We encounter each other in words, words spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed; words to consider, reconsider.
We cross dirt roads and highways that mark the will of someone and then others who said, "I need to see what's on the other side; I know there's something better down the road."
We need to find a place where we are safe; We walk into that which we cannot yet see.

I’ve never really been able to put into adequate words why I am so passionate about this country and its politics. Its history and rhyme and reason. But I am. I could point to 9/11 or to the outgoing president as cause for my recently lackluster view points or to the war or the economy for my apathetic response to world events. But at the end of the day, none of that is to blame or covers my pull back from participation. They are all just scapegoats in the face of packing it all in for self-preservation.

Say it plain, that many have died for this day. Sing the names of the dead who brought us here, who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, picked the cotton and the lettuce, built brick by brick the glittering edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of.
Praise song for struggle; praise song for the day. Praise song for every hand-lettered sign; The figuring it out at kitchen tables.

Trying to create a life within the echo of tragedy, fear and disaster. Trying to protect my children from pain. Trying to protect us all from judgment. But you can’t hide from an echo. It surrounds you with its ethereal voice and drowns out everything else until it’s had its say. So you have to figure out how to keep yourself and your family safe while having the courage to listen. Try to figure out how to be brave enough to learn, so that you can teach your children not only how to survive, but how to prosper.

Some live by "Love thy neighbor as thy self."
Others by first do no harm, or take no more than you need.
What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.
In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.
On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp -- praise song for walking forward in that light.

So that you can teach them how to love. Simply. Beautifully.


Day from Hell

I was awoken this morning by my bed vibrating. And not in a good way. When I looked out our front window, I was greeted by a hulking tractor digging up the street in front of our house and water spewing everywhere.

Not long after that, I realized that we had no water. No shower. No flushing of toilets. No water for the dogs. No coffee.

The kids had today off of school, so I had planned on taking them to the zoo. So we all got dressed. I used the tiny bit of water that was left in our Brita pitcher to brush my teeth. Put on a hat and some perfume.

Then The Girl started screaming. After fifteen minutes of that I got her calm enough to get out of her that her head hurt. I gave her some Tylenol and we were out the door.

On the way, I got us through the worst part of traffic, I thought, and was still valiantly trying to just laugh it all off. Tee hee, what an interesting morning! Ha ha see I’m laughing about this! And then The Girl started screaming again and proceeded to vomit all over herself.

Then we ran into the MLK Jr. Day parade. Literally. Still hell bent for the zoo. I finally made it to the zoo parking lot. Only to be greeted by the entire population of Denver. All at the zoo. There was zero parking. With my car reeking of throw up, my Girl whimpering and my Boy asking questions just to listen to the sound of his own voice I looked.

We went to Target instead to get The Girl vomit-free clothing. Bagged the idea of the zoo and started looking for somewhere to eat lunch. I texted a friend, hoping for some sympathy and maybe a hug and instead got completely blown off. It’s really not fair that I was angry with him. He was at work after all. But that’s pretty much how the whole day has been, unfair. Want to run away screaming, pull my hair out and go get ridiculously drunk unfair.

This too shall pass. The day has to end. Eventually.


High School Drop Out

I dropped out of high school. My senior year. I only needed one class to graduate. And I just quit. I told myself it was because of the teacher of that one class. She was a raging bitch with a major chip on her shoulder who had flat out told me that there was nothing I could do to pass her class. So I simply walked out. In reality though I think I quit because I was just done. For most of high school the only thing that got me out of bed was the opportunity to be involved in the drama department. And my senior year, that really kicked into high gear. I got to student direct the school musical first semester and then essentially have my pick of roles in the play second semester.

But the rest of it? Just didn’t matter to me anymore. My boyfriend at the time was the star goalie of the lacrosse team so I went to all the games and the parties on the weekends. Drama and my social life were the only reasons to even step foot on campus. So I found myself sneaking around the old school so that I could tailor make my days. Mostly hiding in the drama department, occasionally sneaking a smoke out the back doors.

It didn’t really sink in that I was a high school drop out until the rest of my friends graduated. I went to the ceremony to support them and about half way through the proceedings it dawned on me that I would not ever get to do this. That my parents wouldn’t ever get to take the requisite picture of me in my cheesy cap and gown holding my diploma. There would be no bragging about my GPA or what colleges I had been accepted to.

I never went back to high school so to speak. I took a summer school class a year after I should have graduated and got those last three credits. I never requested a copy of my diploma or anything. The simple knowledge that it was done was enough. And I wouldn’t trade the memories of that senior year for anything.



I love my girlfriends. I had the chance today to get together with a group of women, about half of whom I’ve not seen in at least 7 years, if not more like 10. Some were sorority sisters, some old friends from college. We laughed like I’ve not laughed in a long time and drank Bellini’s and Mimosa’s. We told stories, both old and new. We relived our glory days and our yesterdays. It was wonderful. It’s been a long time since I’ve had the opportunity to be with so many women with whom I have history.

It’s a funny thing. Having history with people. Sometimes that history can be tainted with heartbreak or guilt, but for me, most of the time it just serves to ground me in my friendship with some amazing people. People who have seen both the best and the worst of me. People that have seen me triumph and fall flat on my face. People that I’ve cheered, and yes, sometimes jeered. But mostly, people that I’ve loved.

That’s probably the thing I miss most about where I live now. Even though I’ve met wonderful people here, and even though I’ve now lived here for 7 years, there isn’t a lot of history to my friendships here. Certainly not like the history I have with one of my oldest and dearest friends T. I’ve known her for 20 years. My history with her is riddled with hope and joy, loss and pain, months and sometimes years of losing touch, lots of laughter and tears, lots of cocktails and red beers and lots and lots of history.

History. It’s such a tangible force for me. Whenever I get to see T, I know automatically, almost reflexively, that I can say and or do anything and not only will she not judge me, but she’ll just get it. When I went to Paris and went to the Louvre, the sculptures and paintings mostly served to ground me in my humanity. Every time I go to the mountains and marvel at the age of the rock beneath my feet, it ties me to the earth. History, with people, with things, makes me real.


Girls who Love Horses

I used to be an eventer. That is, I used to train and show horses. I started riding horses when I was in 5th or 6th grade and was very serious about it until about my sophomore year in high school. I stopped for a couple of reasons. The first was that I was sold a horse by some people that I deeply trusted when they knew full well that he had a degenerative bone disease. I felt so utterly betrayed that I couldn’t ride anymore. What sealed the deal was being a full-fledged teenager.

It’s a pity actually because it was something that I was very good at and that I really loved. But the breaking of my trust really soured the whole experience for me.

My first horse was Magnum. He was an AQHA registered Quarter horse. When I bought him, he was very green and pretty much only saddle broke. When I sold him a few years later, and only because I had grown 6 inches in a summer and you could see half of my legs underneath him, he was a serious eventing horse and very well trained.

He was a character, Magnum. He had a polka dot on his nose. He would follow me around without a halter on. He would stop, in front of the judges, and scratch his nose on his leg. Every time. I’m pretty sure he did it just because he thought it was funny. He and I learned a lot from each other. I still miss him every time I think about him.

My second and last horse, Dancer, the one with the disease, was a Thoroughbred/Quarter horse mix. He was also completely green. He was tall and graceful and gorgeous. He was to be my grand prix jumping horse. And he probably would have been if I hadn’t had to retire him to pasture at the horrendously premature age of 6.

I miss riding. I miss the feeling of sailing over a jump, the closest I’ll ever be to flying I’m sure. I miss the bond of horse and rider. But mostly I miss the work. Working together to be better together and individually.


Motherhood Worries

When I was pregnant with my first, the most common thing out of my mouth when asked if I was ready was, “I can’t believe that I’m about to be the adult in the phrase ‘Use only with adult supervision.’” I was worried about not being good at it. I was worried that my problem solving abilities wouldn’t be up to par. That I would be completely stymied by this little bundle of joy.

When The Boy arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my instincts clicked. And instead of anxiety and fear upon his arrival, all he brought with him was peace. Peace in having found a purpose that was meant just for me. Peace in knowing that I could take care of this little being using only my body. Peace in being a mother.

The same peace followed when The Girl came on the scene. The same level of confidence.

As they’ve both gotten older however, that confidence has taken a couple of hits and some sucker punches. There are a multitude of “World’s Worst Mother” moments between the two of them and even more decisions and choices that I question daily.

Like today when The Boy tried to slam a door in my face; I pushed back against it and it wound up hitting him in the mouth. And knocking out his first tooth. I was horrified that this milestone got taken away from him because of me. Instead of his first tooth coming out on its own as it should, amid wonder and excitement, it was a bloody mess.

Or the fact that just about every word out of the The Girl’s mouth comes with a whine and whimper. Because she’s my baby, have I unwittingly encouraged this behavior? Have I somehow taught her that crying is the best way to get my attention?

When I started this motherhood journey I was convinced that I had found my life’s work. I was also convinced that the peace would last right along with the confidence. And while I still believe that this is indeed what I was meant to do, I just have to wonder sometimes whether I’m good at it.



I love graffiti. I’m not a huge fan of tagging necessarily, although those who can look at tags and immediately see words and the order they are supposed to go in amaze me. But I really love graffiti. I love the art of it, I love that it can give breath to a city’s soul, I love that it’s something that’s done under cover of night.

When I was a senior in high school and my mom insisted that I get senior pictures taken, I agreed with the condition that I pick the locations. So we went down to LoDo in Denver (the LoDo of my youth, not the yuppie haven it’s become) and took pictures under and around the 20th St. Viaduct (which, incidentally, no longer exists).

There was an old train yard around there as well, so all of my pictures were taken either next to huge walls adorned with graffiti or bright yellow abandoned train cars mottled with rust. It was so much more fun than I ever thought it would be and they turned out perfectly. There was something brilliant about how the bold colors of the graffiti and the train cars balanced against my shyness in front of the camera.

We have train tracks very close to our house now and I get stopped for trains on a regular basis and it seems like the amount of graffiti has decreased while tagging has increased. I wonder what that’s about. Maybe tighter security? Or more graffiti artists finding an audience in less “underground” avenues? I don’t know, but I miss the big pieces on the side of train cars.

If I had one ounce of artistic ability in me, I think I would have been a graffiti artist. I would have loved creeping around at night armed with spray paint and the audacity to inflict my art upon my city. Swirling colors in life size city soul prints.

I know. I’m a bit cheesy today. I’ve just got this totally irrational attachment to graffiti. Part admiration, part envy. It’s just such a free art form. Unencumbered by conventional restraints. And in my current rebellion against convention, it just makes me happy.



This is one of those messy days I predicted. One of the ones where I’d rather just get through the day instead of writing about it. Where I’d just rather this day go down in history instead of in words.

When I woke up this morning I thought this day would be one of productivity and ease. The Girl started preschool for real today and The Boy was in school, so I had an entire almost 90 minutes to myself this morning in the overlap of their class schedules. I tried to write then, in the peace and quiet, and failed. So I just used the time to catch up on email and listen to music. It was nice, but went by way too fast.

I had hoped to clean the kitchen, get caught up on laundry, pay bills and a myriad of other things today. Instead, it’s been a screaming day. I’ve had varied success in keeping the screaming in my head alone. The children have been at each other all afternoon, so I’ll admit, there has been more screaming out loud than I would have liked.

And the screaming in my head has gone on, unabated, throughout the day. It’s been a day where everything in my being is rebelling against the conventional daily grind. A day where I’m having a hard time being a mom. It almost feels like I have a toddler in my head with its temper tantrums and self-absorption.

The constant screaming also serves, however, to make everything else in the day seem so much louder and all around intrusive. I keep finding myself shushing the dogs, the kids and the TV and anything else that is making noise.

So I don’t have much in the way of introspection, wisdom or humor to share today. It’s hard to think around this screaming. It’s hard to do much of anything around this screaming. But hopefully a good night’s sleep will silence the banshee and I’ll be back in prime form tomorrow. Ready to regale you with stories worth the time you spend here. Ready to keep walking and keep working. Ready to be me and everything that comes with it.


Sweet Paris

I spent a semester in Germany while I was in college and while I was there, I had the opportunity to go to Paris for the weekend with a friend who knew the city and spoke French, so it was a no brainer. It was the most amazing whirlwind experience I’ve ever had. I don’t think I slept at all. There was so much to see and it all had to be seen, regardless of daylight, in about 72 hours.

One of my favorite things though was drinking a bottle of wine under the Eiffel Tower at about 2am. The friend who had taken me, G, told me a story that has stuck with me about the man who built the Eiffel Tower and how by the time he finished the monolithic project, he was sick at the sight of it. So every day after its completion, he ate his lunch in the only place in the city where you can’t see the Eiffel Tower. Directly underneath it.

Now mind you, I’ve never done my homework to see if this story was indeed true, but at this point I don’t much care. I just love the story. And I love that the view of the Eiffel Tower from directly underneath it, is still my favorite way to see the landmark. It’s a memory that always brings a smile to my face.

Most people cluck their tongues at me for not having been able to ride to the top, to see the city of Paris from its best vantage point. But given my terror of heights, there was no way I was riding to the top of that sucker anyway, even if we had made it there during business hours.

No I prefer to remember it, looking straight up, the lights around glowing almost blue with the spider web effect of the buttresses making me dizzy. Or maybe that was the wine. Whatever. Even though it’s been more than 10 years since I was there, I have that image permanently etched into my memory.

And it’s a memory I cherish. For the friends that were with me. For the absolute joy of finding myself in Paris.


Blah, blah, blah, mur, mur, mur

I have a headache. More of a migraine really. So I’ve no idea what to write about today. Well, tonight now. And as I predicted, today would be a day that I would much rather just go to bed than write these 365 words of blah, blah, blah and mur, mur, mur.

But I never back down from a challenge. So here I am writing. And I’m watching the tail end of The Golden Globe Awards. I love to watch award shows. I love to see all the gorgeous dresses and exuberant jewelry. The outlandish shoes and sparkling smiles. Although I gotta say this whole return of the mustache thing is marring some of my favorite faces, much to my chagrin.

The only thing that is a constant frustration for me with award shows is that inevitably, most of the movies that gain recognition are movies that I have little or no desire to see. Except this year. I really want to see almost all of the movies that are up for awards. The only real exception is the Woody Allen one, but that’s mostly just me and my aversion to just about all things Woody Allen.

What I really love about award shows though is that even though it’s easy to get blinded by the bling and glamour, every once in a while you get to see a glimpse of who these people really are. Their humor or their absolute shock at being picked over someone like Meryl Streep. And my most favorite, the occasional peek at an actor’s completely unabashed adoration of what they do.

And holy shit, check out Mickey Rourke!

Anyway, I just love the glamour of it all. I think there’s a part of me that’s always wanted to be glamorous. But I just don’t have it in me. I’m not all that graceful, especially not in heels. And I cuss like a sailor. My laugh is too loud and I love to eat too much. Satin does nothing for my hips and I just can’t pull off having big ol’ rocks around my neck.

But it might be fun to walk the red carpet. Someday. In flats. And jeans.



I’ve always been a big believer in vices. I know, that sounds bad. But it’s true. I’ve honestly always believed that everyone’s gotta have a vice or two. Keeps us sane. Gives us permission to indulge in guilty pleasures without taking it to excess.

You name it and I’ve claimed it at some time. Everything from drugs and sex to sweets and movies. I love to smoke, drink martinis, stay up too late and dance until dawn. I’d see five movies a day if I could or spend the day in bed.

Here’s the thing though, I guess they’re called vices for a reason. To give you something to hide behind, to beg you to take them to excess. And I almost always did. Take them to excess.

It’s kind of a twofold pleasure I guess. There’s the pleasure that comes from the actual indulgence and then there is the absolute joy that comes in knowing that I’m doing something that I maybe shouldn’t. Probably shouldn’t. Definitely shouldn’t. But I do it anyway, because I like to indulge, I like to obscure reality a bit and I love to do what I’m not supposed to.

It’s not even just that I like to break the rules, although I do. It’s more that I like to do things my way. Even when it doesn’t work, which happens more than I’d like to admit. I’m really not a big fan of being told what to do. Shocking I know.

And I find myself wholly unrepentant. Except for the morning after. I usually wake up the next morning filled with a crushing wave of guilt. And questions. What did I say? Did I do anything stupid? Was this latest burst of rebellion really all that necessary? Or just a self indulgent act of adolescence?

It’s a fine line to walk. Balancing between the potential for self-destruction and the quest for liberation from convention. It’s the human condition to some extent I suppose. Attempting to find your place in the world, based on your own personal rules while still keeping in mind responsibilities and obligations. The philosophical argument of a lifetime.

Or maybe that’s all bullshit. Vices. Are. Bad. ?


Fear of Heights

I am terrified of heights. Like, start hyperventilating, totally frozen with fear on the second step of a ladder terrified of heights.

It’s the strangest thing really, because there is no rhyme or reason to it. It’s not like I fell out of a high tree or even off of a ladder or anything as a child. It has just always been there. I tried for a while to desensitize myself to the fear by purposely choosing activities like rock climbing. I went with a large group of friends that I trusted implicitly, all very accomplished rock climbers. I was calm through the putting on of the harness, and calm even through one of them free climbing up to show me a good route. But when my hands, and then my feet, actually touched that rock and were no longer touching the ground, I completely freaked out. I think I made it about 15 feet off the ground before I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I burst into loud, wracking sobs the minute my feet were back safely on the ground.

That was the last time that I tried to just “get over it.”

It’s always been a strange thing to me that I have such a tremendous fear of something that has no source. It’s usually pretty easy for me to diagnose where such things come from and then to either just accept them or take necessary action to change them.

But I’ve not ever been able to do that with my fear of heights. And then it expanded itself to include an equally debilitating fear of bridges. Which has even less basis. It’s all very frustrating really.

Being a native Coloradoan I’ve always wanted to get into the outdoorsy stuff – the rock climbing, mountain climbing, snowboarding, etc. But it’s hard to do right by my birthplace when I can’t even drive up mountain passes without panicking and the thought of being in a ski lift makes me want to run away screaming.

I guess maybe I’m just not accustomed to accepting my limitations. I’m usually a push through it, figure out a way around it kinda gal. But there’s a first for everything.



I have a vivid memory of when I was younger and it was Easter. I can’t remember exactly how old I was, young enough to still believe in the Easter Bunny, but old enough that I can remember this. My mom had taken me to an Easter egg hunt in the lawn outside the May D&F in Cherry Creek. There were so many children there. All dressed up in their Easter finery. And we were all waiting for the hunt to begin. We must’ve waited for an hour or more. And I distinctly remember my mom looking down at me and saying, “You must be the most patient child ever known to man!”

The comment took me off guard, mostly because I didn’t really know that there was any other option but to be patient. I looked around at all of the other children and most were whining, or crying or running around with irate parents in tow. I had simply just been standing there, staring off into space, waiting for the event to begin.

There are a lot of other memories I have where my mom would comment on my level of patience and I remember always feeling the same way, that it was unremarkable. What else was I going to do? Throw a fit and then stand in line some more? It was just easier to wait quietly.

But now, at the ripe age of 32, I’m fairly certain that I used up all of my patience when I was younger. Because I now have very little. I love surprises, but I hate waiting for them to happen. Even when I was in high school and wanted to be a drama teacher, I knew I’d never make it because I quite simply didn’t have the patience it took to wait for students to grasp something.

Every time I’m vibrating with anticipation over something that is still days or weeks away or waiting for my son to put his shoes on, my dad’s voice makes its way into my consciousness: “Patience is a virtue,” “Practice makes perfect.” Ah, the mantras of my youth! Some things never change though, those words still make me crazy.


Sensory Integration

I told a friend many years ago that I didn’t like the sound of snow underfoot. But ever since I said that I’ve been trying to figure out why. The sound itself isn’t necessarily what offends. But then I was walking on the deck last night, in the snow, and it suddenly dawned on me. It’s just so loud. It doesn’t matter how gingerly I put my foot down, the crunch of snow is just so loud. There’s nothing I can do to alter that.

And it got me to thinking about sound in general. How I react to certain sounds. How even though I’m not a huge fan of living so close to Fort Carson, that I love the sound of the bombs in the background when they are playing war games.

How much I detest listening to my dogs drink water or lick their paws. That my biggest all time pet peeve is listening to someone chew with their mouth open. That one can kill a whole conversation for me.

Or that there is a very specific gunshot sound effect that brings a smile to my face every time I hear it. I love the sound of tires squealing and I love the sound of waves crashing on a beach, but I don’t really get the appeal of listening to a calm stream trickle down a mountain.

How much I love listening to insanely loud music or how much I love the sound of fingers tapping on a keyboard. Or that one of my most favorite sounds in the world is listening to someone laughing to themselves, especially when I’m not privy to the joke.

I don’t think it will ever cease to amaze me how much the sensual environment I am in affects me. That my senses can serve as catalyst for a perfect evening or executioner to the simplest of experiences.

How interesting it is that silence and deafening noise can bring me to the same soothing place of peace. That it’s the quality of the sound, not the quantity of it.

It’s all just a matter of perspective I suppose. Utterly subjective and, within that subjectivity, utterly subject to change.


Pedal to the Metal

All I wanted to do today was drive. Really fast. Listening to really loud music.

I think it must be a genetic thing as some of my earliest memories are of my mom putting me in the car and us just driving. Sometimes for as short as minutes and sometimes for hours. Up into the mountains, around town, around the neighborhood.

When I got my driver’s license, it was a practice that I picked up almost immediately. The need to drive and drive and drive. To move through the night with my speakers blaring Jane’s Addiction, Ani DiFranco, Depeche Mode, The Cure, and so many others. It seemed the only time that the world was going faster than I was. It was the only time that I could get my heart and mind to slow down.

I remember many nights growing up where I’d be home by my required curfew and then sneak back out just to go driving. Usually on the highway so that I could push the car in rhythm with the music instead of my pace being dictated by stop lights.

I think those have been the two biggest casualties of having kids. I hardly ever just drive anymore and I certainly almost never get to listen to loud music. When I was a kid and my mom and I would go on our long drives, I was always quiet, just content to watch the scenery go by. My children, on the other hand, are much chattier than I’ve ever been, so it makes it hard to do with them, unless they are asleep and then I’m hard pressed to get off at the exit I’m aiming for instead of just continuing on to the nearest border.

I love to drive. I love that I can move fluidly from lane to lane based on my own momentary cadence. I love that I can sing at the top of my lungs without fear or holding back. I love that I can explore based on whim instead of to do list. I love how the world looks as it flies past at any speed. I love the freedom. I just really love to drive.


Afflicted with Consumption

Have you ever been so totally consumed by a story, or a book, or a movie that you lose all objectivity? I can get like that. I know you’re not surprised.

My dad handed me The Hobbit when I was about 11 years old. It took me a while to get through, but I did it and I was hooked. Then, with great pleasure, he handed me his leather-bound, collector’s edition of The Lord of the Rings. It took me even longer to get through. I’m not sure I got it. And it took me even longer to pick back up, more than 10 years as a matter of fact. But when I did, it was consuming. I didn’t want to put it down. In fact I read all three books several times over the course of a year. The magic and sheer and undying hope had me utterly hooked.

Since my son is old enough to really start getting into superheroes, I’m sort of the same way. I just get all attached to the characters like they belong to me. The Boy and I had a routine for a while with The X-Men that we would watch all the episodes together, since they were new to both of us.

I was more than mildly afflicted by the Harry Potter series.

Then my mom turned me on to the Twilight series. And I’m fully entrenched, in the absolute devotion and love inherent in the characters and story. Well, and there’s Edward.

I was 10 when the movie Labyrinth came out. I vividly remember coming home from the theater and lying on my trampoline staring up at the sky, fervently wishing that the Goblin King would come and take me away. I still find myself wishing that occasionally.

I’ve always been attracted, and then consumed, by fairytales and magic of all sorts. Almost looking to it as a philosophy on life. That if I believed hard enough, those fairytales would come true. But at the same time refusing to be the damsel in distress. So what do you do when you want the knight in shining armor to save you, but you’re busy slaying the dragon?



Doing the one word progression yesterday with dearest H had me remembering today when I was younger and set about my first foray into word play.

I’ve always been drawn to words and in awe of people who can use them to tell stories, or express emotion in some profound way. My first real awareness of words came through song I think. Some of my earliest, and best, memories are of sitting in the back of my parents’ car listening to music on whatever road trip we happened to be on at any given time. The Beatles, The Who, Dire Straits, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones and Creedence Clearwater Revival were the ones I looked forward to most.

As I got a bit older I used to fall asleep every night listening to the small radio my parents had given me one Christmas. When I was in elementary school and fully immersed in my first real crush, I knew that there were things I wanted to say to this boy and had no idea where to begin. As I lay, balancing on the edge of sleep, one night listening to the Top 40 Countdown, an idea struck me.

The next day I sat with paper and pen and my radio listening for the words that were being crooned so effortlessly by bands and singers that I could not put together myself. What I ended up with was a love letter comprised of lyrics from my favorite songs. I signed my name to the end and gave it to the boy sheepishly.

He didn’t really get it of course. Who would at the ripe age of 9 or 10? I just remember feeling like I had finally figured out a way to convey my feelings to this boy who made my heart race. It didn’t really matter if they were borrowed or stolen words or lines. I had constructed them in such a way that delivered a potent message of early adoration.

I still look to my favorite songs to detail my emotion when I am without the perfect sentiment. It’s an amazing thing to hear someone else sing your love, or heartbreak, anger or joy.


One Word Progression

Long ago, one of my oldest and dearest friends and I would use one word progression, taking turns one word at a time, to create something together that we’d probably never come near alone. So today, we tripped down memory lane and came up with this:

Open no possible doorways lock fast as light grounded.
Feral words fly from joyful cages while fed.
Divine questions worship themselves.
Pasty flat lines shudder clear rising dreams.
Felted shadows creep beneath velvet sacrifice.
Triumphant evening whispers and flutters around distant regrets as determined dawn decides to yet again break.
Sheer trust folds along fault lines.
The golden mean sun casts unabashed courses of discipline.
You, me and God.
Matter, energy revolve simply.
Foundations above the highest failure forget silhouettes created by darkness.
Eloquent gestures bemoan silent but untouchable strategies.
Insulate your dreams against your wishes to cast away.
Daydreams at night show convoluted blankets.
Encapsulate astronauts within your orbit.
Lame circumstances demand gaudy distractions.
Beautiful missives allow small curves like comets and shooting smiles.
Growth is vital to the death of death.
Philosophies of love rings turn deeper and stain the surfaces of our destiny, but words prefer to be spoken aloud.
Birth again portrays birth.
Sketches in truth decline with the passing fancies as they long to fly again.
Blisters form when love denies nothing.
Fame was awesome.
When you puzzle over pieces of life, the best way to put it together is through sorting green days from black.
The next phase in passion is lust with your illegal neighbor.
Alas and unfortunately, there are no sure ways to heal tomorrow.
Shivers’ warm touch is glorified through skeptics of travelling home.
Why doesn’t the girl sing from hymns written with the blood of Christ, Jesus.
Soft projectiles zoom sloppily towards their fortress of thatched platitudes.
Theatrical baskets shroud holy lands named for the prophets of guile and irony.
Right actions describe their motives as unwitting colleagues in crime and legend, but are wrong about most recollections.
My pansy told stories from the sleepy olden couch full of memories and trollops.
Unformed ideas can become yet truly believed and depended upon.
In the end, we sum it up.


I Am Nothing

There’s a space that comes after a long period of denial. A vast, open space that is love and peace. There is a moment that comes where there is nothing but gratitude. And grace. Thanks for the gift of time and space to come to a place of absolute recognition.

I realized today that beyond the conventions of modern day life that I do not need to tie myself to one identity. I do not need to tether myself to convention, or force myself to exist in a shoe box.

That my spirit is outside the confines of definition. That I already exist in that which I have sought for, for so long. That my very being is love and peace and my only job is to exist within that vastness. What a gift! Such freedom and wonder…

Here’s a story to ponder:

There is an old sage that comes into a fancy party and sits himself, without being beckoned, at the head of the table. The host looks at his lack of refinery and says to him “Who are you that you would sit in such a place of power? Are you the governor of this place?” The sage responds, “No, I’m more than that.” The host says, “Well if you are more than that, are you the Prime Minister of this country?” The sage responds simply, “No, I’m more than that.” The host incredulously says, “What then, you are the king?” “No, I’m more than that,” says the sage. The host looks at him in wonder and says “No one has more power than the king except God!” The sage says “I’m not God, I’m more than that.” “Nothing is more powerful than God!” exclaims the host. “Well then, I am nothing.”

That’s me. Right now. I am nothing. And the bliss of that realization is the most freeing and awesome thing I’ve ever felt. To be able to embrace the darkness that has been in me since birth as my true self instead of something to be shoved down or fixed, is the greatest gift I’ve ever received. I’m looking forward to practicing my being. I’m looking forward to sharing my being.



I’m tired of making New Year’s resolutions. I get all attached to these very specific goals that I spend weeks thinking about, phrasing just so. And then all they do is serve as fodder for self flagellation as the year goes on and life takes over and veers me from my previously carefully constructed course. So I’m trying a different approach this year. Instead of setting goals for myself, I’m setting a challenge for myself. Which is where you and this new blog come in. As I’m sure you can infer from the title, I’m going to write exactly 365 words everyday for exactly 365 days.

The easiest part of this challenge will be putting pen to paper or fingers to keys as the case may be. My daily life is hectic, unpredictable and crazy enough to provide more than enough material for 365 measly words a day. The real challenge for me is going to be have the courage to share it with you, even when it’s messy, even when I know my words don’t make sense and especially when I’d rather just go to bed than talk to one more person about my own personal daily grind.

The secondary challenge is going to be staying present enough in every day that I can learn from this courage and from the sharing of my life with the people I love and maybe even some strangers.

I’ve been trying to plan this for weeks. Figure out what tone I want to set. If I can just write stream of consciousness everyday or if I should be more professional about that. Is it ok to share the really hard days along with the everyday days? Or should I just focus on being eloquent and how the words fit together rather than what they’re actually saying.

I’ve decided that for now, I’m going to let my courage do the talking and let the rest fall as it may. I’ve made peace with the fact that my words won’t always be what I want them to be and they won’t always make sense. But they will always number 365. Go ahead, you can count them. See you tomorrow.