birthday #newmagic

Your darling husband is turning 51 and you really want to gather the family circus to do something fun with him when what do your wandering eyes see but an old (not really old)  magical friend is coming to town with new magic to share.



Our family circus first met Alex Ramon when he was performing at the “Zingmaster” for Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey presents Zing Zang Zoom Circus. Like every one else, we truly were mesmerized as he made an elephant disappear, levitated members of the audience and transformed a man into a tiger right before our very eyes. But more importantly, we never forgot our conversations backstage before the show where he shared with us his love and enthusiasm for magic and the opportunity to come back to his home in the Bay Area and perform. Three years later, Jodie and I ran into him in Tahoe where he had been performing in his long-running show, Illusion Fusion, at the Horizon. It was there that my darling daughter literally ripped Alex’s heart into pieces which he magically (of course) pieced back together. With the closing of the Horizon Casino this past Spring came the opportunity for Alex to go on tour with NEW MAGIC with first stops in Northern California because you can go home again.

With only one performance in Modesto today, six members of our circus were guests of Alex’s including my darling husband, the birthday boy…

…who perhaps was a little too enthusiastic in locking Alex in shackles leaving marks on his wrist. “He said put them on tight.“, Bill argues.

Yes, he did. Still Alex got out of those shackles…several times.

#NewMagic is absolutely fun, family-friendly, audience participation entertainment that will not fail to hold you spellbound as you watch illusions performed that make you truly wonder if this is real or a dream.

Northern California readers be sure to catch Alex and the lovely, Meghan in the next few weeks at Vacaville on July 27, Livermore on August 10, and Marin on August 17.





I promise you that you will be as mesmerized as we were this afternoon. After the show most definitely take the time to stop and say hello to Alex as he is waiting after the show to say hello to you too.

Be sure to tell him the Scarborough Family Circus sent you.

The above review of #NewMagic is my own opinion. I received no compensation other than tickets for my family and me to attend the show. My thanks to Alex Ramon and Gallo Center for the Performing Arts for the hospitality and the magic today.

boom, boom, boom, even brighter than the moon, ‘murica and all that sh!t

I really don’t care what you all might think but I hate the 4th of July.


No, not sorry.

I miss my brother. Today is his birthday. He should be here. But he’s not. Yeah, it’s been ten years, I know.


Grief is weird like that. It changes shape, but it never ends. Birthdays are hard. Birthdays are real hard. You bury your brother much too young then maybe you’ll understand. On second thought, I hope that you never do understand.

Thank goodness for my circus. They might not totally get the tears, the melancholy I feel when everyone else is waving the flags at the parades or boating and drinking or barbeque-ing or the blowing up fireworks because it’s ‘murica. But they do love me. They do care. That’s for real. We all should be so lucky to be surrounded like I was today…even when I was alone, sitting in my car at the car wash crying. I had this to come home to.


When I look to the sky something tells me you’re here with me
And you make everything alright
And when I feel like I’m lost something tells me you’re here with me
And I can always find my way when you are here


ask the pro

Planning a wedding? Need to know all that you need to know about flower girl duties? You’ve got to ask a pro.

Hazel Faye is that pro having flower girl-ed at her Mommy and Daddy’s wedding.

and for her mommy’s life-long bestest friend where she not only tossed those petals like nobody’s business but also offered the sagest of advice for the bride.

But you better hurry because her wedding calendar is filling up fast as she tries on flower girl dresses for the next wedding that she’ll be in.

Have no fear, beautiful bride to be, she’s got this.

family meeting

There is quite possibly nothing more stressful than introducing a new boyfriend or girlfriend to your family.

Am I right?

Playing Cards Against Humanity has to be probably the best way to break the ice. Yes, I do believe this is the best way to meet one another. I did enjoy meeting Zoë’s new boyfriend and getting to know my sister, Ange’s just a little bit better. Thank goodness Ange and Matt travel with their own set of Cards Against Humanity.

Anyone needing gift ideas for Christmas or my birthday, I want this game for my very own. Remember, I have a lot of kids who just might be bringing home significant others to meet the family someday. I have to be ready.

yes, I’m grateful

Because the opportunity becomes more and more rare now that 4 of my 5 children are considered by the world to be grown-assed adults, anytime I have the five clowns in one place and appearing to be somewhat put-together (hair and makeup for the girls) I must take their picture of the five of them together.

They know.

They usually are prepared.

So that when I grab my camera and say, “Kids! Get together, please.“, they quickly do. The children of the mamarazzi are pros at indulging their camera-armed mama this way.

How else would I be able to get a shot like this?

I look at it and I can’t help but feeling a lot of love. This. This is good. Oh, and I have the best, damn looking family!

True story.

I want to say I am blessed. I feel like I am blessed. Quite a few people tell me that I am blessed when I share this picture on Facebook because I just have to share the most recent picture of all five of my kids together because the last one of all five of them together is from over a year ago! Five beautiful, smiling, healthy people I call my children, how could I not consider myself blessed?

But I hesitate just a little.

I recently read a piece written by Scott Dannemiller that basically calls out Christians for the over-use of the word blessed, especially in reference to the material good fortune that some enjoy. No, I am by no means a good Christian at all…anymore. I haven’t been to church for over five years for so many reasons. Still I too consider myself to be “blessed”

  • that my husband is working regularly…finally
  • for when I get to work and am not cancelled because of low census and my per diem by choice status
  • for the home that we have…the white-walls, rental property that we call home. It’s likely that we will never, ever be home owners again but, be it ever so humble, we have a home
  • for my car, my 8 year old car…at least we have one reliable vehicle that the circus living under this Big Top can count on.
  • for so, so many material goods that we have to enjoy and play with here under the Big Top.
  • for a stocked pantry, refrigerator and freezer even if the clowns living here still wail that THERE’S NOTHING TO EAT!!!

Sometimes it feels like we don’t have much and that we are far from prosperous but the reality is that we are so rich, so much more rich than so many literally anywhere else in the world or even down by Library Park here in Manteca.

Yes, we are bles…wait a minute! Dannemiller has a point, a very good point. What makes me more special than those who don’t have a home, a car, a job, a stocked pantry and refrigerator with not-so delicious-good stuff to eat?


Nothing at all.

Read his essay.

Think about it.

But kids are not material. No, of course not. Still my kids are all pretty happy, healthy, beautiful, smart and talented individuals. It might be easy to say that yes, I am blessed.


So I am more blessed than the friend who is struggling just to get pregnant and has suffered multiple pregnancy losses? God loves me more? Seriously? Me?!

Three of my children have literally come thisclose to death but to imply that we are blessed because they didn’t die insults dear friends of ours who have buried their babies, their precious children. Not a day goes by where I don’t give thanks that Zoë pretty much walked away from getting hit by that truck. Watching Jodie dance I almost always cry thinking what could have happened five years ago. And Daniel…my life, my passion, my career is caring for tiny babies born with slim odds of survival and positive outcomes and mine is one of the positive ones, one of the truly lucky ones…I HAVE to be thankful for that. I am! Every day! I am so very thankful! But to say that I am blessed, that my children are would imply that God favors us more than my friend whose son who woke one morning with a raging headache and was dead by dinner time from meningococcal meningitis…or my dear friend who is grieving as the anniversary of her preemie baby’s death at age 6 months while still in the NICU is approaching.

I seriously doubt God loves me or my children more than them. Trust me, I am by no means more faithful nor more Christ-like.


I am not blessed.

But I am fortunate…lucky…so damn lucky.

I am grateful.