Should We Stay or Should We Go🎶🎶🎶

Okay.  So, I know it’s been a day or two since my last post 😉 and I wasn’t actually planning a post today ‘cuz it’s crazy busy for us right now, but…who the hell could resist?

Not I.

You all know how much I like a good ‘saga’  😂 😭 😓

Especially about cars.  Or moving.  Or houses.  Or other Shit-N-Stuff.


So…after all the blood, sweat, and tears, we shed before, during, and after, moving into our current home, we are considering selling.

Yup…2 years, 6 months in, picking up and moving again is actually being considered.

Nutz! 😵   Looney!  😱   Coocoo for Cocoa Puffs! 🐒


Two reasons really.

The first, to be closer to my recently transplanted Mom, who is, apparently, one of those lucky people I’ve heard about when it comes to adventures in moving.  Her pack and move went smoothly.  Her house behaved when she moved in and didn’t reach out and break her leg or rain down through her light fixtures from the floor above.


Remember my crying lights?

She has made a beautiful home for herself…and is quite content to remain where she is.  But, we are finding that even a mere 20 minute/10 mile distance, is 15 minutes too far!

{Hmmm, note to self…A Drive Too Far…Book?  Movie?  Copyright infringement?  Carry on self…}

The second, as important as the first, is because our beautiful Ms. Sadie needs a place to safely run and play in her own backyard, and we cannot give that to her.


Because we cannot fence it in 😲


Bureaucratic Bullshit 🚧

We have a gorgeous back yard…

Northfield in the fall

What…don’t believe that’s mine?

What—everrrrrrrrrrrr  👀

Forget the mountains then.

Oh for Pete’s sake…take out the barn if it bothers ya!

Okay Okay (ya picky bitches), take out the fence, the trees, the other barn, and the rolling field in the background and you’ve got my yard.


Anyhoo….because Virginia’s disclosure laws are a  j o k e, not one of the half dozen professionals involved in buying real estate, not to mention the previous owner, felt it necessary to inform us that this lot is one of the highest impacted lots in the neighborhood, rendering our little slice of Eden…all but USELESS.


There is a 60′ (yes, that is SIXTY) gas company easement from the back of the property towards the house and runs the entire width of the tad over a 1/3 acre lot.  From our way of thinking, that should have been mentioned by SOMEONE in the 2 month buying/closing process yeah?


Add to that 60′ another 20′ for the build line which runs from the structure towards the back of the yard, making the total depth/width of what we cannot add to, plant on, or change in a way that would impede….a whopping 80′.

EIGHTY #$#$%#$ FEET  😖 😭 😕

Even though the gas company could work with us on a fee based waiver, they won’t.

But Wait!  There’s More  (oh goody)

There are also easements from the county that cannot be waivered.

One is a 16′ drainage easement, running back to front, the entire length of the property, but it’s on the side property line, so we didn’t give that one much thought.  At the time.  Not until we had to.  And we had to when we wanted to put a storage shed out there.  On the side.  Away from the gas easement.  Ya know, close to the garage and stuff.

Ummmm….Not gonna happen  🚫

Then {and I chuckle here} there is that all too common, everybody else must have one…FLOOD DAM FAULT LINE!  OR FAULT DAM FLOOD LINE!  OR DAM FLOOD FAULT LINE!  OR SOME DAMNED LINE GOING DIAGONALLY THROUGH THE ENTIRE BACK YARD!!

You got one, right?  And you?  And you, and you?  And you over there?  Everybody?  ‘Cause I’m thinking it’s so damned prolific as to be down right common-place.  Like we all got grass so why point out the grass?  Ain’t that why I’ve never heard of this effin’ thing?  Ain’t it?

What the hell is happening?????????????  😱

The only friggin floods that I have ever heard of around here….were inside my damned house and that fault line didn’t help one daggone bit!!  (el squat-o)

Did I say this made me chuckle?

I lied  😫

Of course, we wouldn’t do it if we didn’t think we’d get a decent enough return to buy another.  The market is good right now, the rates are still low, people may be looking to get into a place before the next school year….all good things right?

So I ask you…

🎶 Should we stay or should we go 🎶

(sorry, I can’t help singing it…lol)

Oh geez…after all that, I forgot to mention why I even began this post.  While we muse over the possibility of listing (we’re about 98% there to be honest), we figured we’d do what we always do in this situation…invest more blood, sweat, and tears, not to mention 💰, into getting our imperfect 🏠 perfect so the next 👸 of the newly perfected 🏰 won’t have to lift a friggin’ finger or spend an effn’ dime!

‘Cause that’s how we role…we Hernandezeseses (Hernadezi?)

We buy, we fix, we do……..and we move.  So we can then…buy old and broken, fix to new and pretty, sell to others who don’t have to do a damned thing…just so we can buy old and broken, fix to new and pretty….blah de blah de blah!

In that vein…
We have had the fireplace that hasn’t worked since the day after we moved in, fixed.
We had the Jacuzzi tub’s leaky-ass faucets that we haven’t touched since the first time we went to use it and didn’t because it leaked, repaired.
We’re giving our wood floors a facelift so they don’t offend the next matriarch with their little Sadie scratches.
We’re resurfacing our pinkish, post-form, laminate countertops that somehow were good enough for me, but certainly will put off today’s savvy buyers looking for the trendier granite because ‘It’s so shiiiiny’.

And I’ve saved the best for last…

and the hardest for me…

the die-hard DIY’er:

Hiring someone to do what I do, and do well is tough. But time, old shoulders, bad, up close & personal, eyesight, added to my increased lack o’ patience, has dictated that this time around…we must bite the proverbial and hire a pro.

You all know me and my history with hiring professionals.

Though you know I pride myself in doing my due diligence, you also know it has gotten my leg broken, my house flooded, my toothbrush packed with the toilet brush, and my car dying at 70 MPH on Interstate 91 in New Haven.

Shall we agree that you know this Wonder Woman of Wacky Workmen?

Okay then…we’re off.

We hired a ‘Pro” to paint the interior of our 4BR, 3BA home, top to bottom, head to toe, and everything in between.  The references were stellar. The estimate reasonable. The time frame – 7 days. Perfect.

That should have been my first clue!

When. Will. I. Learn?

Nothing is perfect, nor apparently, what it seems!

I’m getting ahead of myself…let’s see.  To be pro-active, we removed all wall décor, switch plates, outlet covers, electronics, all items in/on/around furniture, packed everything in boxes, moved all furniture to middle of rooms to be covered, placed all non-necessary furnishings, boxes, small items, etc., in the garage, took up all rugs, and basically had the house ‘paint-ready’ for the start date.  Oh, and we moved into my mother’s to give them free reign to only have to cover stuff once and not worry about finishing one room at a time.  The house was theirs.  They had to do nothing but cover, patch, sand, and paint.

Two painters began on Monday the 6th.  The owner’s son who is taking over the business, and his side kick with 25 years under his belt, cut-in and first coat, guy.

Come Saturday, the 11th, one was left and the other one gone.  I fired the side-kick for lack of production and sloppy work.  His smoke breaks alone used half his hours and all of his work needed to be re-done.

He blamed the paint.  I blamed the painter.  I win.

Boom!  You’re outta here! 

I was told he would be replaced with a more professional side kick, but as of today, the 17th, there is still but one.

Mr Painter Man

Who I call IMA

IMA fix it – IMA gonna do it – IMA be here late tomorra – IMA sorry – IMA IMA IMA

By end of business today, there will have been a total of 11 painting days.

Know what’s done?  Hah…stop that laughing.  Wanna know?


This is still my downstairs…11 days later

Know what else?

There are 3 walls upstairs that need to be redone.  But I told IMA to save that for dessert cause I needed his ass downstairs in the kitchen!  I’ve got a counter top being redone on MONDAY!!

I even returned the remaining 6 gallons of my accent color, a beautiful Crushed Oregano green, for IMA because he keeps blaming the paint…I changed my design for him!


Does this color scare you?  It’s on my front door, which I painted, without trouble

 What the hell is wrong with me???  IMA STUPID!

Know what I’m doing right now?

😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 etc etc etc

Why bother going through all of this some might ask.  Especially when my house always looks good whether trendy or not.  Always up to date, clean, and comfy.  Homey!

Because Lord knows, today’s modern and discerning buyer would no doubt, walk into a home with red in the kitchen and yellow in the living room; green in the bathroom and a cloud painted blue sky ceiling in the bonus room, would run screaming into the street for the horror!

None of which I put on the walls but was perfectly fine with it until the day I decided to change it.

Boy oh Boy…we can’t expect someone else to think that way now can we?

Or so the real estate professionals tell me. After all, this is only the 6th house we will have sold, so how would I know anything about what sells and what doesn’t?

So…next week, it’ll be Mr. Painter-man who best have my kitchen done by tomorrow (or else ) and the counter-top crew.  That, should be an interesting day  😂

🎶 🎶 We Should’a Stayed and Let Him Go 🎶 🎶


Knock Knock

we tread this earth, green and brown

finite years of life’s countdown

crawl, walk, run, and play

skip, hop, swoon, and sway

egg to fetus to baby, child

adolescence, puberty, then teenage wild

twenties, thirties, forties, more

the time clock ticks but keeps the score

we laugh and cry in joy and sorrow

always thinking there is a tomorrow

killing, dying, violence, abuse

intolerance, slander, what’s the use?

our finite time we waste with hate

malice, gossip, lies that bait

“I am right and you are wrong”

“You don’t matter, move along”

look to the right, look to the left

pick a side or better yet

just put on the blinders; through that tunnel look

where peripheral’s just a word used in books

and open wide; be sure to swallow

what’s left un-sown from minds gone fallow

what’s wrong with us??  we’re going back

to when right was white and wrong was black

to fists and rocks and shoot to kill

our ‘sticks & stones’ now break things at will

when did debate become the place

to harass, harangue, inflame the base?

so trump’s a troll and cruz a liar?

clinton and sanders fantasy cryers?

don’t prove it – just say it – it’s all the same right?

who cares for the truth when what matters is the fight

well I for one am sorry for my nation

we’ll reap what we’re sowing and I fear our creation

we live in a country where anything goes

our music and tv; our poetry and prose

clothing, vehicles, make up, and hair

tattoos and nose rings are everywhere

why is it not for our politics and life choices?

why now are fear and hate the loud voices?

not just of the people, but of those that govern

bottom up to top down, we act like a coven

of witches and bitches and wizards and dicks

if you believe it we’re all screwed, no matter the pick

I’m not naive – nothing I do will matter

I’ll be just as covered in the end with blood spatter

but for me, it’s the end of hate speech

I have my opinions and they’re not there to preach

you do what you want to or have to, for sure

but stop at MY threshold and knock on my door

if I let you in, then I’m saying I’ll listen

I may not agree, but a friend you’ll be christened

up and until or IF you decide

that I need a lesson in choosing sides

do you remember that threshold you crossed?

well head back that way…you’re outta here ol’ hoss!

More or Less is More of Less…only MoreSo

Civilization at the end of 2015

• Our Phones – Wireless
• Cooking – Fireless
• Cars – Keyless
• Food – Fatless
• Tires –Tubeless
• Dress – Sleeveless
• Youth – Jobless
• Leaders – Shameless
• Relationships – Meaningless
• Attitudes – Careless
• Babies – Fatherless
• Feelings – Heartless
• Education – Valueless
• Children – Mannerless
• Country – Godless


Government is – CLUELESS

And our Politicians are – WORTHLESS

I am scared – Shitless!

Ain’t it just – PRICELESS?


Mommy Dearest

I’ll go out on a limb here and say for most of us, being a parent is, quite literally, the hardest job we’ve ever had or ever will. And, at the same time, it’s the richest, most fulfilling, most rewarding contribution to our own lives and always will be.  alex

One of the most surprising aspects of parenthood’s lifelong journey is finding out that one split second is all it takes for you to come to know the best and worst of being a parent…the span of that second is the distance between loving another being so much it hurts, to wishing you’d gotten a dog instead!  True dat  🙂


But in looking at this most difficult most rewarding dichotomy, it’s not so hard to understand when you consider first, our tendency to place the highest value on that which was hardest won, and second, our amazing capacity for forgiveness (as parents at least).

But what is it that takes parents to the depths of the difficult to the heights of reward when it comes to loving our children? How do we survive the splintering of our brains in a thousand directions trying to figure them out, yet tarnishes the love in our hearts never?

I don’t question the reward; I think it’s obvious. I do, however, ponder the difficult. Is it because we love too much?  Is it that even possible?

I don’t believe so…

However, could it be that we love too much for too long?  Is that it?  Does parental love need to be doled out in stages or degrees?  Or fit into categories in order to not overload these little overlords once they come into their own?

So what (you ask) are these stages/degrees/categories you ask?

I’m a little cuss who can’t (and don’t want to) function without you so love me, love me more, love me most!

I’m a teenager so love me lots, and with patience, but for God’s sake, don’t let my friends see it!

I’m a young adult now so love me from a distance, but not too far ’cause I may need the car!

I’ve met someone and we’re going to get married.  Can ya help, can ya pay, can we have it there? (ps Mom and Dad…you’re gonna love him/her!)

I’m going to have a baby so love me, love me most, and love me now ’cause we’re going to need babysitters! (ps Mom and Dad…you’re gonna love it!)

Mom? Dad? I’ve never felt this way before…I love this kid so much my heart hurts!
(ps honey…we know!)

And so on…..

The short answer to the too much / too long question is…yes, okay, maybe, a little bit. But we parents come to this conclusion naturally I think. We instinctively know (or learn soon enough if our instincts are not as honed as they will be), which stage or category we’re dealing with or which degree of parental love to douse them with, simply by living it. Organic knowledge.  We just have to choose to go with it.

Does that stop us from loving the same soul-deep way we did when they were newborn?

No.  Perhaps it does in theirs though.  For a time.

I know that they love us the same way we do them…in the beginning.  Outside of themselves, we are their world. Their universe. Their moon and their stars, and they are ours.

Parents and kids grow up together.  That’s a given.  No matter if you’re 18 or 45 when you have your children, you have to grow up with them to be able to give and receive all that these little selves need, and later, need to share.

We may grow up more with our first.  Then again, it may just be that we grow up differently with the next one or two or three.

But…if we’ve played our hands well, we are love.  All of it.  Every stage, every degree, every category is of the love, by the love, for the love.  And they are right there with us.

Completely (in the beginning)

Mostly (in the middle)

Until (still in the middle but getting further towards the…the…well shit…not the end, but you know what I mean right?)

Until…they find out there are more people to love and to be loved by; more stars to shine the light of love on their heads and in their hearts; more room in their world for other loves.

As it has always been.  As it was with our own parents to be sure.  Just another way of experiencing the circle of life.


Our children are loved as only a child can be loved and they in turn, love as only a child can love. The universe is secure.

As time goes on, they thrive and grow in that forever, universe-spanning, parental love and love them right back. But as they continue to grow, they s l o w l y  recognize that their world is expanding to include the many, many different kinds of love; each addition a glimmering star to their universe thus far.

But their recognition is as single-minded as their love for us was in the beginning. When they venture out from underneath the love-cloaked expanse of their parental universe, they don’t at once realize that their hearts are big enough to add new loves without setting aside old ones.

Our time will come again (usually around the time the grand-kids show up!), but as parents, it’s only natural that we do feel the initial loss of that connection when our love is no longer the moon and the stars in our child’s heart.


Facing this fact head-on is hard, but absolutely necessary.

For our own well-being as well as theirs.

If we don’t, we run the risk of pushing them further out into the expanse by clinging too close, depending too much on their always being there, pining away for their childhood days when they aren’t there, regretting what we didn’t do, or forgetting what we did. Even romanticizing the harder times and not counting our blessings.

We all can probably think of a parent in our experience who has done, or does, this. Think back to the last time you witnessed a parent who cannot let go and re-live what you felt. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling.

I’m certainly not completely innocent of it still.  I sometimes catch myself feeling guilty for not being ‘that mother’. The one who always can, always will, never says no, never says can’t. Who wouldn’t want to be considered ‘the perfect mom’?  But that’s not perfection. It’s limiting to both your life and those of your children.

However, even knowing I am not (and never could be) that mother…(nor is their Dad ‘that guy’) it nevertheless hurts (and in the dark of night, makes me wonder if they’ll still love me enough to ask again- I know, just silly ) to know that we are the ones disappointing our children.

But we get over it because we know we are good parents who have raised good people.  We all deal with disappointments in our relationships.  We have difficult conversations followed by deafening silences.  But we’ve loved each other long enough and well enough to know what’s really important.

So there is hope. Once we’ve matured enough in our parenthood to realize this fact of life, we can recapture that sense of oneness, specialness, absolute love not felt anywhere but in your parents’ heart of hearts.  It is, after all, our hearts that need to make preparations for the day when our children learn there is a love flow-chart.  This will fluctuate during their life spans, but it will always show a solid heart-red line for us.  Mom and Dad.  Steady as she goes.  What more could we hope for?

And an added benefit to this stage of parental maturity is…we can (and hopefully do) look back at our own parents with a new appreciation for all they’ve done, all they’ve been through, and all we’ve learned from them without even knowing it.  Score!

Cheers and happy parenting (and I mean that!)

Dearest Mommy

Dedicated to my Mother and Father and to my Sons
I’m proud to be one of your stars

Is there a Q in Creation?

Hello Hello!

And Happy New Year!

It’s been almost 3 months since I last laid fingers on this spot and quite frankly, I’m stumped as to why.  It’s not as though nothing has been going on in my life; not like I couldn’t have found something to regale you with.  But I didn’t, so there it is.  What to do, what to do?

My Quandry

It’s me and not what’s going on in my life, that is the…

queller of quills that once quivered in quickness as they quilted quality quarters in the quest of her quair; chock-full of the queenly and quintessentially queer, the quacky and quaggy and quixotically quaint.

It is me and me alone who can say…

quiescence remains in this quaffer’s quaich. What’s quashing that quorum of quarrels, quibs, and quips that querimoniously queue up in the quar of my gray- matter quag; quit of its quant?

As it is also me, the once…

quartermaster, now turned querulous quester, who is lost in quassation.  A quat, a quidam, a word-quean, bereft of her quean-dom; whose quiritation quickens toward quotidian.








Hence the exercise in the little used and under appreciated


A little warm up to get the juices flowing.



For if this does not work…

I’m off to the Zees


Is there a Z word for HELLA-NO?

[I looked it up]


Wish me luck  🙂



How to Lose Friends and Gain an Ulcer – A Play in Two Acts

A small family – Bob, Barb, Billy, and Bubba Brown
A family friend – Cruella
Out of town friends of that friend – Dave, Deb, and Darlin’ Drinkwine
A local family member of those out of town friends of that friend – Sissy

Mom – Mom

Cruella introduces Bob and Barb to Dave and Deb, who seem very nice and they appear to a lot in common with each other. They are around the same age, married, and both have families.

Whenever Dave, Deb, and Darlin’ are visiting Cruella and/or Sissy, they make a point of getting together with Bob and Barb and the kids, and as time passes, these two families become friends in their own right.

Act I: The Plan

Setting the Scene:
The Drinkwines, living in the northeast, are finding it difficult to make ends meet what with the cost of living so high up there, even though they both have jobs. So, they contemplate making a move to the more economically friendly south to raise their quality of life as well as their child. They talk about this with Cruella, Sissy, and their new southern friends, the Browns.

All think it a good idea, provided the out of town family can find jobs and housing.

Enter the main protagonists:
a.k.a. The Drinkwines)
Upon hearing the positive responses for their idea, our protagonists decide to put this plan into motion immediately because, hey, there’s no time like the present, right?

Dave – “Honey, let’s do this! Let’s do this now. We don’t need to wait, we’re drowning up here.”
Deb – “Oh I wish we could. We could give Darlin’ so much more down there than we can up here. But Dave, we don’t have jobs. We don’t have a place to live. We don’t have money to make a move like this.”
Dave – “I know, but God will provide, I’m sure of it. We can quit our jobs, and just do it!”
Deb – “Maybe we can ask Cruella if we can stay with her?”
Dave – “Great idea honey. Let’s call and find out.”

We hear a telephone ringing in the background

Cruella – “Hello?”
Deb – “Cruella? Hi, it’s me Deb. Listen, you know what Dave and I were talking to you all about? Moving down there so it would be easier to make a living?”

Deb listens as Cruella responds.

Deb – “Thanks, we think so too. Well, Dave and I were talking, and we don’t want to wait. We want to just take the bull by the horns and do it! But the thing is…um, hang on, I’m gonna put Dave on the phone. Okay? Don’t hang up, be right back.”

Meanwhile, we see Deb motioning to Dave to take the phone, but he shakes his head violently and waves his hands mouthing “no no no”

Deb – “Oh well, I can’t find him. Anyway, what we wanted to ask is if you can manage it, could we stay with you while we look for work and a place to live? What? Oh, well, Dave said we’d just quit our jobs up here and that way we’d have more time to look for work there. Huh? Yes, I know, but we really don’t want to take all that time. I mean, what if it goes into winter and then we’re stuck here until after the snow melts?”
Cruella – “Listen hun, I know what you’re saying, and if I could I would; in a heartbeat!  But I don’t think I’d have the room (lie #1). What with you and Dave needing a room, and baby Darlin’ being so young and needing so much attention at this age, you’d need someone to care for her too and I just don’t have the time (lie #2) or energy (lie #3…she takes pills for that) to be able to help.”
Deb – “Un huh, yeah, I guess that’s true. Well, if I said I’d wait to look for work so I could stay with Darlin’ while Dave looks? Would that make a difference? I know we wouldn’t have much money to help, but I could help in other ways.”
Cruella – “Oh sweetie, I wish I could, but I just can’t. What about Sissy? She’s your sister, can she help?”
Deb – “I thought of that, but she’s in a one bedroom apartment and can’t afford to have us there anyway. She’s single and doesn’t make that much money. Do you think if we asked Bob and Barb they could help?”
Cruella – “I don’t see why not! They are good church going, God fearing people…how could they say no? I mean, I have to, but they are so much nicer than me. I don’t mean that I’m not nice (which she is…not nice), it’s just that I have to say no and they don’t really have a reason to [and I’ve taken advantage of them on numerous occaissions, so I know], so I don’t think they would. Their house is bigger than mine (lie #4), they make more money than me ’cause they get (‘extra’) ya know, what with work plus government money for his disability. You want me to ask them for you?”
Deb – “Oh would you? If you ask them first, or maybe just tell them we’re going to call them to ask a favor even? That way, they won’t be surprised when we call. (Deb listens) Okay, good. Thanks. Just let me know when you do, then we will. Thanks Cruella. Bye.”

We hear Deb recall the conversation to Dave, and Dave gives her a big thumb’s up.

As Act I ends and II begins, we see that Cruella has ‘mentioned in passing’ to Barb at church the next Sunday, that Deb told her she was gonna call Barb soon because she said she had something her and Dave wanted to talk with her and Bob about.  Naturally, Barb was curious and asked what it was about, but true to her (deceitful) nature, Cruella just shrugged and said she didn’t know but she thinks maybe Deb and Dave just miss them so much maybe they want to plan a get together?

Very little time passes and Deb does in fact call Barb.  From Cruella’s!  Seems the Drinkwines felt their chances of success were greater if they spoke with the Browns in person rather than over the phone.  We all know it’s much harder to say no face to face after all.  And they were right…Bob and Barb could no more have said no to their new friends in their time of need, than they could have said no to one of their own.  It’s just not in their nature.

The Drinkwines presented their case to the Browns just as Deb had presented it to Cruella.  They emphasized the points that they would help cover the added expense by contributing towards the extra food, utilities, water, etc. and that once Dave found a new job, they’d be in a great position to find a home and they could all live happily ever after.  Happily ever after.  Family get-togethers, cookouts, holidays, watching the kids grow up together…you know…happily ever after!

Act II:  The Invasion of Normalcy

Setting the Scene:
We begin the second act after the Drinkwines have quit their jobs, said goodbye to their northern family, packed all they own into their vehicles (and subsequently into the Brown’s garage), and moved in with the Browns…

In the two months since the invasion, the Brown’s happy home has become a battlefield of bitter silence. Bob has had a set back and is on short term disability from work.  He is staring at what could be a life changing surgery, while trying to manage the added stress and financial strain of carrying living costs for 3 extra people on a percentage of his normal pay, with medical issues that never go away.

Barb is taking care of 100% of Bob’s needs, cooking more, cleaning more, struggling more with trying to stretch one dollar into five without taking away from her family to give to another’s. She’s Trying to make it all work with what she has, but is having a hard time of it.  A buck is a buck is a buck.  No way around that fact.  And the Browns are outta bucks.  How is this possible?  The inconvenient truth is…our protagonists have not quite lived up to their end of the bargain. This is where we continue…

Bob – “Babe, I’m sorry my being out of work is making this so much harder.  The last thing you need too, is taking care of me 24/7. I really don’t know what to do.  I’ve sold the last of my collection.  There’s nothing else to sell. I didn’t think it would be this hard.”
Barb – “I know honey. We need to talk to them. They said they’d help with the extra costs, but we’ve gotten nothing! They said they were going to look for work, but how do you do that when you sleep until 1:00 in the afternoon? Sometimes, it’s 3:00 for God’s sake!”
Bob – “I know. I see it too. But what are we supposed to do? We know they aren’t making any money. We know they’ve applied for assistance, but in the meantime, we are drowning!”
Barb – “Tell me about it. I’m the one doing the bills. I know what we don’t have. I also know I can’t buy groceries again on a CREDIT CARD! I just can’t. We need to talk to them.”
Bob – “Okay. I will. I’ll talk to them.”
Barb – “Thanks, but don’t wait too long. We really do need some help.”

Two weeks go by

Barb – “Hey Mom. Sorry, but I just need to vent. You know all about the situation here, and I just don’t know who to talk to anymore. Bob was supposed to talk to them, but he hasn’t and I know it’s hard to do, but we’re drowning here. I don’t know what to do.”
Mom – “Listen, what you two have done is a very nice thing. You’ve opened your hearts and home to people who needed help. But honestly? Did they have to quit their jobs BEFORE they had new ones? Did they think they could move in and live with you for months on end until they could save money enough, provided they DO find jobs, to move into their own place? What were you guys thinking?”
Barb – “We didn’t think long term. I mean, they said they’d help and we believed they would. They are so nice. But Mom, it’s a disaster. And the stress is coming between me and Bob and even little Billy is feeling it.”
Mom – “All I can tell you is you both need to talk to them. It’s hard, I know, but you have to. You need to explain that you need them to help financially and you also need to have a time limit for how long this can go on. And…if it were me, I’d invite little miss Cruella into the conversation, since I suspect it was HER idea to begin with!”
Barb – “Mom, Cruella said she doesn’t have the room.”

We don’t need to hear it to know what Mom is thinking

Mom – “Can you and Bob talk to them today? Get it out in the open at least? They need to know what’s happening in your family so they can do whatever they can to help.”
Barb – “Um, no. Not today. Not ’til next week.”
Mom– “What? Why the hell not? And why wait another week?”
Barb – “Well, they have gone back up north for a week.”
Mom – “Are you joking? They don’t have money to help you but have money to travel back up there? For a week? And didn’t you tell me they just had a party? At YOUR house? Without asking your permission first? Really honey…what more is it going to take for you and Bob to see that you are being taken advantage of?”
Barb – “I don’t know. I don’t think they are doing it to be mean or anything. I just think they don’t think about what it looks like to us or what we feel about it.”
Mom – “Well why the hell should they? They are doing all of this and you guys aren’t saying a word! You said she had a sister there…why can’t they stay with her? Oh wait, don’t tell me…no money and no room. Right. Just like little miss Cruella. Okay…well, I think when they get back, you need to have this out. Don’t wait.”
Barb – “I know. And we will.”

Another Two weeks go by

Barb – “Hey Mom. How’s it going?”
Mom – “Good. You? Have you talked to them yet? Are things easier? Getting help? Sorry for all the questions.”
Barb – “No, it’s okay. No, we haven’t yet. Dave has had an interview and tested for a job and it looks like it may be a go, but it’s a process. We won’t know for a bit.”
Mom – “Okaaaay…so what does that mean exactly? A process? Does he have the job or not? Are they helping you financially at least? Are they down to one shower a day each or is it still two? What?”
Barb – Okay look, this is the thing. They are still sleeping ’til the afternoon. They still take two showers each, a day. They are getting food stamps, so have given me a little for food. And yes and no on the job. I don’t know, I think he has it, but he has to wait for the process. That’s all I know. It’s a municipal job, so there’s a process. And, in the meantime, he goes back up north sometimes, to work a week here and there for money. They are leaving again today, she’s going with him, for the week. I don’t’s a mess.”
Mom – “Good grief. Are you kidding me with the going back and forth? Answer me this…if he can go from here to there to work, assuming they stay with family up there…why the hell can’t he do that from there then? Use the INTERNET to find work down here like a lot of people do?  Work up there, stay with family, and save enough to move the way normal people move? I do NOT understand why they quit and moved to live off strangers instead of doing exactly what he is ALREADY doing! I just don’t get it. And I don’t get the two of you. Can you not SEE they are taking advantage of you?”

We don’t see it, but can see the steam coming out of Mom’s ears!

Barb – “I know. I know. It’s just so hard to say that to them. I just want my house back. My family back. My sanity back.”
Mom – “Well? Get it back!!! Talk to them. BEFORE they leave, so they can take their shit with them. You’ve done more than most, but this was not supposed to be forever! What about he holiday season that’s coming? You supposed to host their families? Or are you just supposed to be their base camp while they travel around visiting their own?”

We can hear Barb’s frustrated sigh’s and obvious distress in the background.

Barb – “I don’t know what to do.”
Mom – “What does Bob say?”
Barb – “Not much.”
Mom – “Great. Well honey, I didn’t mean to put more stress on you, but you both know what you have to do. My suggestion is for you to take those giant cajones I know you have and put them to use! Speak up for yourselves. You can do it nicely, just as you opened your home that way, or you can let it fester until nice is a thing of the past. Do it now before it’s too late.”

Obviously, no one would end a play there…and I’m not, because it’s an on-going saga with people I know.  The reason I put it out there, in this way and to this point is…I’d like to know

What Would You Do?

It’s hard (but not) to put myself in these people’s shoes.  As an outsider, a venting friend to their vented Mom, I agree with Mom’s view here.  They need to speak up and speak now or forever hold their peace, because people do what we allow them to do!

However, I also feel for the Browns  because I’m the same when it comes to uncomfortable confrontations.  So, I can offer no advice if I’m using myself as an example.

Someone, somewhere, out there, may have some advice on how to approach this for people who, like the Browns, cannot bring themselves to be hurtful  (as perceived by them, not by anyone else I imagine) to a family in need, but also a family that is taking advantage of the very thing that makes the the Browns who they are.

Can ya feel it?

I’m having fun following my newest and most wonderful blogging friend – MLou’s Photography Blog – and for a bit of Tuesday fun, I’ve seen that she enjoys posting in what is called “Tuesdays of Texture” as hosted by Narami at De Monte Y Mar

I wanted to join in on this one as it gives us a chance to look at photos from a different perspective…how they feel vs how they look.  I dig it!

Here are some of mine, but I tell ya, it was hard to choose becasue there are…

So Many Textures – So Little Time!

please, feel free to click on the gallery for full size images  🙂

SOMEONE has to be the Grownup!

This is where they’ll be this time tomorrow…


Would YOU say no?

No, didn’t think so.

Headed to one of my favorite places so Mom can spend time with the ‘girls’…friends of a certain age who haven’t ‘laughed like they used to’ for more than 20 years…think they’ll have fun?


Yeah…me too.

Hopefully I’ll come back with stories to tell and photos to share…along with a sunburn.

Outer Banks…the Mother Duck’rs are coming…you ready?

I Was a Toddler-age Tosspot

Yes, I confess.
By the time I was 3, I was hooked on the ol’ brew.
(And, apparently, I passed that on to my eldest. Though, I preferred a bottle)
Observez Vous…

Gee, thanks Mom!

Gee, thanks Mom!

Actually, I was more hooked on Dad…I was his toddlin’ sidekick in mighty whitey tights!  Anything he did, I wanted to do. Anywhere he was, I wanted to be.  Not so unusual for little girls to consider their Dads their first love and first superhero.

Always ready to catch me

Always ready to catch me

Book Two 37 (2)Book Two 75Roy, Grands, Rhonda (2)



There again too…I guess boys are of the same mind.  Like father like sons?
You betcha!
Good VT Stock





oldies 11 - Copy (2) - Copyoldies 11 - Copyoldies 11 - Copy (2)





This is how the story goes…

Once upon a time, in a little town far, far away, there was a little girl who lived with her father, mother, and 3 brothers. That’s her below…the twinklin’ toddler in her mighty whities…
rhondaThe budding housewifeMother got to my hair again

Her father was a hard-working man; working 2, sometimes 3 jobs to make ends meet.  And her Mother was not your ‘typical for the times’ housewife either.

Isn't she pretty?

Isn’t she pretty?

Because, busy as she was, having had 4 kids in 5 years, she still held a full-time job outside the home.

But, this was also a time when families lived close together, daycare centers were non-existent, and family was relied upon to pitch in where they could. (Glad it was you, Gram)

Now, seeing as these were hard-working folk, what little free time there was, was catch-up time, family time, friends time. Picnic parties, horseshoes, reunions, celebrations…but all the time, busy!
Picnic at PartlowsBook Four 12Island Pondroy and chickie 35th cake

But…let’s not forget the biggie…working on cars in the yard.

That all-american male’s favorite pastime.  Grease-monkeyin’ in the driveway.
Am I right?

So anyway, this is how a toddlin’ sidekick to her Daddy’s Superman, gets her tights in a twist…

A typical weekend afternoon, circa 1963…

The boys tinkerin’ in the driveway with the women folk fixin’ victuals and watchin’ babies inside.
A regular tune ‘er up, tink’er up, smoke’em up, drink’em up, Sa’day afternoon.
Rev her up..sounds good!
Close her up…hit the dirt for a test run.
No need for cleanin’up, we’re comin’ right back.

Ya with me?  Good.

To continue…

The boys are gone.
The women are inside with (8 of the usual 9) the kids.
One smarty pants little toddler decided she missed her Daddy and went outside looking for him.
She calls for him.
No answer.
She can’t see him.
But wait…there…in the driveway.
“What’s that?” she wonders in her terrible-three tiny little brain.
“Can it be?” she asks herself
“Why, I think it’s a Daddy bottle and ooooooh, he left it for me!” silently gigglin in delight she was
“I love a good Daddy bottle. It’s so much more yummy than my ucky ol’ boring one.” she hmmphs at the thought.
She looks around.
No one.
She listens keenly for any sound that would suggest Mommy was coming to take her Daddy bottle away.
“Yay” she thinks as she’s already on the move, toddlin’ toward that dark brown delight she knows is filled with liquid gold.
She stretches those short and chubbies just far enough to grab the neck of that father-forgotten treasure, tips it to her lips like the bottle pro she is…and chug-a-lugs.

That was the last thing I remember prior to waking up in the hospital God knows how much time later.

You see, the brew I knew and thought of as Dad’s liquid gold, was what I now call, liquid fire.

As was the custom then…and I’ve seen it again and again in the years since…these man-boys would use beer bottles as containers for gasoline when working on their carburetors. They were always plentiful, usually empty, so why buy a gas can when a beer bottle will do?

Exactly! Logic boys….logic!

The madness that followed can quite easily be imagined…and remember, this was an itsy bitsy town.
I don’t remember much of the ensuing chaos…but have heard the details often.

The boys returned to find my Mother holding me in a panic.
No other vehicle.
No hospital nor ambulance within 8 miles and 13 minutes (rural roads ya know).
And a non-breathing child turning colors no human should be.
Parents and me in the car.
Dad driving hell-bent for leather, Mom holding me.
My head out the window like a dog.
I do remember being told NOT to throw up.
I do remember having zero conscious thoughts at this time.
Arrive at the hospital alive, though I was told I didn’t take a single breath, as well as my Mother being told that it’s a miracle I didn’t vomit, for that would have been the end of my life as I knew it.
I do remember too, waking in a crib-bed with a top (?), like a cage, feeling trapped.
But, when I could, I remember looking out the window and seeing my Memere’s house and it made me feel better.

 Now, all of us that are parents, know this irrefutable fact:

You CANNOT turn you back on a toddler
Even for a second.
Because one second is one second TOO LONG!

But…I think we can all agree…it happens.

Shit happens!

beer cap

This Bud’s for Anyone but ME!

“Misogynistic MINI Mechanics” or “WHOA…Them Dudes Make a Shit-ton of Dough!

After 3 weeks, I leave the Great Frozen North (a.k.a. The Northeast Kingdom) Friday, on the journey south to reclaim Mini Me and head home to Virginia on Saturday.

The hotel room near the dealership is booked so I can arrive at the service door bright and early Saturday morning to pick her up.

Speaking of the dealership…I was in contact with them today, as I had asked them to do an ‘extended’ test drive to make sure she was sound, knowing I was leaving for Virginia directly from picking her up.

Word back from the Wrench Wench was…

“The test drive went really well, the Mini’s purring, but one of her high beams is out.”

“Which one?” I ask

“Driver’s side high beam” she replies

“Really? I had that replaced in July” I remind her, since she has all the service records.

“Maybe the other dealership used an aftermarket bulb” suggested she.

“Not sure what you mean by aftermarket bulb Marissa. Last I checked, the bulbs were not MINI specific. As far as I can tell from the receipt, they installed a Sylvania 9008, which seems to be the standard.”

“Do you want us to fix it? If you do, I can order the bulb today and it will be here tomorrow.”

“Order it?  You don’t HAVE one?  What would that cost me Marissa?”


“To replace a bulb????”

“The cost of the bulb is $13.96 plus tax. Labor to install is $69.13. And, if you had it replaced at a dealership last time, maybe they would offer a warranty on the bulb?”

“Marissa, the cost to replace that same bulb in July was $36 complete. I think charging $69 just to install a bulb is MORE than UNREASONABLE! I’m not sure why your quote is so high, but would appreciate if you could work with me on the price (not to mention, between me and the warranty company, you just got paid 8,600 bucks!”

” I can’t really speak for other dealer’s pricing. All dealerships vary around the country usually because of state differences.”

“Well, I think I’ll pass on your installing a replacement bulb and I’ll take care of it when I get home.”

Sing along with me?

I dream of Mini with the bright gold lights

Yeah, you’d think so wouldn’t you?

I’m really not convinced this entire scenario would have played out the same way had I, been a bloke and not a sheila.

Even a sheila as mouthy as me.

Who’s to know for sure.

All I do know, is that come Saturday morning…I’m back behind the wheel, headed home.

And depending on how fast I dare to drive until I know Mini Me is with me or against me…

14 or so hours later (I’m taking the road less traveled home), I’ll be in my own bed, snugglin’ with my Sadie, and scratching my husband.



Oh wait…In my own bed, scratching my Sadie and snugglin’ my husband.

Either way…I’ll be at a Ford dealership the day after.

Depend on it!

I’ll let ya know how it goes.