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Cheese and Rice!  I have managed to sad myself right into depression.  But, I’m not having it!  Nope.  Enough. 

If I had to analyze myself, I would say my mood of late has been a culmination of several pretty big events.

1) My Nannie, who was a HUGE bright loving light in my childhood, turned 90 on the 23rd.  My mom went over to England to surprise her and to celebrate her birthday.  I have to face the very real fact that the odds are I will never see my Nannie again. 

2)  Nic turns 18 next month.  I’ve done post after post on how I feel about that (click on the ‘Motherhood’ category). 

3) I think I’m having a mini-midlife meltdown.  (My first clue might have been when I dyed my hair from natural blonde to brown.)

While I am grateful for everything I have, and blessed beyond my wildest dreams when it comes to friends, family and those most important things that cannot be bought, I worry. 

I worry that I have no savings, no retirement plan, no health insurance to turn to with my very real health issues. Very easily interpreted by an imaginative mind into: I have no future.

4) I’m beat!  Seriously tuckered out.  It’s been a hell of a few years! 

I stopped drinking, asked for a divorce, got the divorce, was almost homeless, was unemployed, moved, got a job, got my smile back and started a blog to share it all.  Throughout all of that I’ve dealt with my heart condition, my lung disease and penny by penny, caught up with past due bills and by the grace of God – I made it! 

But jeez – sometimes a nap is in order after such exertion. 😉

5) The tooth.  This will be the last time I mention it. (Until I get it pulled, then I’m all up in your eyes with a post about that) But being physically knocked off my perch was the final straw for this camels back. 

But here’s the thing –

  • Not once have I wanted to drink through any of this. 
  • My Nannie is alive and amazing
  • My son is here – and we have an outstanding relationship
  • I am not hungry. (OK, I’m a little bit hungry lol, but I have food, just can’t chew)
  • I am not homeless
  • I can afford my medicine
  • I woke up this morning
  • the bills ARE paid
  • I have an appointment to handle the tooth

I have got to focus on the positive, because God hasn’t let me down yet.

So what the heck am I doing not using that smile?


I’m glad I blogged about how I was feeling at the time though.  I hope that maybe someone who feels like I felt, but wouldn’t say what I said – knows that there is ALWAYS the choice to decide to be happy anyway.

I am grateful.  I am loved.  I am human.  And I’m going to have times when I feel overwhelmed – and those times will teach me how to be stronger, without putting armor on.  I have learned to reach out.  I have learned I don’t have to put on my wonder woman cape.  I am enough. 

I’ve done an awesome job of climbing over obstacles, and even though my muscles are a bit sore (I really should stretch before all that climbing), it’s so great to get to the other side.

Out of the dark, up and over into the light of my loved ones. 


(Oh, and poor Teddy, getting dragged into such a somber post.  I owe him his own.  He’s been through a LOT with me.)

A Necessary Truancy

“Is this Amanda?”


“I have your son in the health office – he says he has a headache and is nauseous”.

(refrain from asking if she means to imply he’s making others feel sick, you grammar nazi!  Besides, there are now two definitions for ‘nauseous’)

“Would you like to speak to him?”

Yes please.

Nic get’s on the phone. 

Me: What’s going on?

Nic: I don’t want to be here – I’m having a really bad day”.

I’m seeing this in my head:

And this too:


Honesty really racks up the points in my book.  Honesty will earn you respect, and today earned me using my lunch to leave work, drive to his school and collect him. 

I didn’t need the details yet, he told the truth and from the tone of his voice I got it. 

Sometimes, we just want to go home.  We’re done.  We want comforting and to be surrounded by comfort. 

I pulled up to the school and sprung him.  I got the scoop about what possibly could have ruined his day in the whole hour and 20 minutes he was there.  I won’t share the details – that’s not fair to him, but suffice it to say – he was in fact having a pretty crappy day.

Yes, he needs to learn to ‘decide to be happy’ to ‘soldier on in the face of adversity’ and to ‘not take things so personally’.  But he’s 17. I’m in my 40’s and am still honing those skills.

When you’re a teenager, sometimes it does feel like your entire world is crumbling down around you, and you just want a time-out. 

I am SO very grateful that my son can be honest with me.  Oh, I know.  I’m not so naive as to believe that he tells me everything, and nor should he.  But when it really counts – we’re close enough that he trusts he can tell me the truth and not regret doing so.

Our ride from his school to our house was filled with conversation, observations, lessons and advice.  Of course I stressed the importance of not missing anymore school – about not letting people ruin his day.  That he can’t run away from every problem. About resentments – how futile they are.  Metaphors flowed.  “Nic, resenting them is like taking poison and expecting them to die!”  Concerns were soothed, smiles were exchanged and I felt so very blessed.

No.  He’s not my little boy anymore.  No,  I can’t save him from the world.   But today I could give him a chance to regroup.  To feel loved.  To take a breath and collect his thoughts and I could take a rare opportunity to share some wisdom and experience with him.

When my grandson or granddaughter calls him years from now having a bad day, I hope he picks them up.  Figuratively and literally.  And I’m pretty sure he will.  Because this young man who I am so lucky to call my son – is a kind-hearted, sensitive, funny, bright, loving soul.

All that being said, if he hadn’t told the truth, his butt would have stayed at school. 😉

“See you when I get back when you get back”

Every weekday.

6:00 a.m. Alarm goes off.

6:10 a.m. Take breakfast in to my sleeping teen.

6:15 a.m. Sit outside with my first cup of coffee and look up at the stars.  (Is that a satellite or a plane? What is that?)

6:30 a.m. Teen has eaten and arisen and is checking his Facebook with 10 minutes left to get ready for school.

6:40 a.m. I see my son out the backdoor, give him a quick hug and he says those words to me. “See you when I get back when you get back”.

I stand on the back porch and wave.  It’s dark outside, so I’m mostly waving at my sons shadowy outline – and it waves back.  When I can’t see him anymore I go into the house to grab another cup of coffee and watch some more news before getting ready.

7:00 a.m. Get ready myself.

I mentioned yesterday to a friend that I feel like I’m stuck in the movie ‘Groundhog Day’ lately.  And I do.  But, this morning routine I’ll keep.

This morning routine means.

6:00 a.m. I am still alive, and I have my hearing

6:10 a.m. We have food and my son is safe

6:15 a.m. Serenity

6:30 a.m. The electric and internet bill is paid

6:40 a.m. My son still hugs me, still talks to me …

7:00 a.m. Blessed to have a job to get ready for!




Morning Rain

It’s raining in the desert.

It sprinkled last night – and my son wrote this on his Facebook status:

“If tofu absorbs the flavor of what ever its cooked with, than Im going to cook it in the rain and if it tastes as half as good as it smells, Im going to dine on the gods food ;D”


It does smell amazing out there!  And I love the thunder …

I sat outside while it was gently sprinkling and sipped my coffee and had such a HUGE wave of gratitude wash over me.

I was pondering recent events and appreciating the scenery and for a sudden second, KNEW all of my needs were, and would be met.

I was aware in one moment of time of how beautiful life is, how blessed I am for my friends and family and that everything is going to be alright.

Little God whisper?  Maybe.  Seems like a great way to start the day to me!

Good morning world! 

“There are no bad days!” (breathe, repeat, breathe, repeat!)

I am a firm believer that if I wake up, it’s already a great day!

A day is what you make of it.  However, sometimes, no matter how hard you try, other people and/or events can suck the positive energy right out of you.

As much as happiness is contagious, so is tension and frustration.

My day started out almost comically when my coffee maker decided it was time to head to the giant coffee bean in the sky.  I guess even appliances evacuate themselves in an undignified manner in their final moments, as my counter and kitchen floor can attest to.

Twice I mopped up the contents of the gasping machine (the second time after I believed I had ‘fixed’ it).

No worries.  I’ll buy instant coffee when I get groceries tomorrow (I told myself) and besides, how blessed am I to even get to go grocery shopping?? (I told myself).

Off to work.

I love what I do.  I do it well.  I even went in early to put up some fun October decor!

Went downhill from there.  At one point, I’m pretty sure even the freshly hung inflatable spider and bat wanted to turn the fishing line they’re suspended from into a noose.

This will be at least the third post I mention my adversity to confrontation.  I found myself in a very uncomfortable situation without the words or whereabouts to defend myself today.

The source of this uncomfortable situation repeatedly scurries off and spins a tale devoid of facts in my favor.

Now, while I have a lot of faith, fear does creep in from time to time.  I live paycheck to paycheck.  I work my arse off at a full-time job and a part-time weekend job and I DO fear losing them.

It was only 2 years ago that I was very near to being homeless and had next to nothing in the pantry.

I have gratitude. For breathing, having shelter, utilities and food.

I’d really like to keep those things.

So I think this particular ‘concern’ (ok, yeah, it’s an outright fear) is sort of healthy.  I mean, I don’t spend every waking moment thinking ‘oh my God – what if I lose my job!’, but when things get hairy, I worry.

If a door is going to close, it would be great to have a heads up.  Because it’s not me I’m worried about – it’s being able to provide the necessities for my little family.

But we don’t get a ‘heads up’, do we?  Life doesn’t work that way.  (Cue George Michael, “Gotta have faith…” thanks George, can I borrow your coffee maker while we’re at it?)

So I drive home.  I’m driving and trying oh so hard to shake off the fear.  Trying to appreciate the scenery, trying to cheer up and I’m remembering that God hasn’t let me down yet.

I pull up to the fence.  And the front door opens.  Out pokes my son’s head, he smiles and waves.  The dog wiggles out the door and stands at the fence wagging her tail.

And I KNOW today is not a bad day.  They’re in it.

Life is so very beautiful.  I’m so glad I was invited.

Post Script – I’m about to hit ‘publish’ and my son calls – he’s ok, but my car is not.  BREATHE, BREATHE, BREATHE.  😦