from the heart


Valentine’s Day has come and gone. Love it or loathe it, it remains a part of the month of February and here under the Big Top we kind of like it because…

you give a little and receive a lot. At least that is Daniel’s perspective of this love day.

As for us, Bill and me, we decided to stay home, enjoy a special dinner, a nice bottle of wine and perhaps a movie.

Then I fell ill with what most definitely was a Man Cold…a Man Cold to end all Man Colds because as soon as my darling husband came home from work Thursday evening I took to my sick bed and there I stayed until Sunday morning. What can I say, fever, body aches, sore throat, headache and that just-hit-by-a-MackTruck feeling might drive anyone to their sick bed especially when your darling husband is home for a four day weekend and you know that he does indeed “got this“. And so I did take to my sick bed…

…with Zelda by my side. Nursing me back to health as she curled up next to me and slept for literally hours; so my darling husband assured me. Such a good little kitty she is to sacrifice as she did.

Valentine’s Day brought beautiful tulips and Christina’s Cupcakes and a delicious dinner (that I scarcely could enjoy with my burning, aching throat) plus much pampering by my darling husband but the best gift had to be this.

I know he didn’t want to get this. He made it clear that he did not want to when I asked him but, for me, because I asked and because the flu pandemic here in this Valley has been bad…healthy people are dying and the flu season  has a few more months to go even if experts think the worst is overthe same experts didn’t expect it to be this bad in the first place. Still, Happy Valentine’s Day to me, my darling husband went and got himself a flu shot…and a savings coupon from Safeway too.

The tulips I adore…as I do every year.

The tri-tip dinner he prepared I know was delicious even if I couldn’t enjoy it .

The pampering all weekend was so appreciated.

The flu shot…well, knowing that he really didn’t want to do this but to do it anyway…to do it completelyfor me…to me that was the best gift. A gift straight from his heart because yes, we often do things that we really don’t want to do for those we love the most.

I am so lucky…so damn lucky. This weekend I truly appreciate that.

taken down, packed up, like a boss


It’s official. The kids are back to school…hurray, hurray, hurray. The final, frenzied dance competition season is just about to begin. The Rockefeller Christmas Tree is officially down and being milled and readied for “green lumber” for Habitat for Humanity.And, The Big Top Christmas Crazy is down and packed away for another year. Yes, including the Big Tree…unlike last year, when it stayed up until the beginning of March because me have elves to help pack this holiday crazy up and put away?

Oh honey, please! I have help putting this all away like I have help putting it all up. They are clowns, not elves, living here under the Big Top.

So with a burst of energy and the desire to beat my personal best with my new Fitbit, I got all of it, including the big tree, packed up in one afternoon.

Like a boss!

Oh and I logged over 20,000 steps.

Again, like a boss!

Meanwhile, poor Zelda is mourning the fact that I packed away all of her fabulous toys. I forgot how much kitty cats love the Christmas crazy.

 

magical still


Presents wrapped and ready under the tree.

Gingerbread house constructed.

Without this guy’s help.

Because these elves pretty much told him he couldn’t help if he was going to act like a foreman…true story.

Then it was time to get nestled all snug in beds because, you know, Christmas Day won’t come until morning.

It’s magical, still!“, he declared.

Yeah it is.

Thank you again, lovely Aimee, for the inspiration.

But that which we discover Christmas morning is not what makes it magical. No, it’s the kisses

and hugs.

Conversations.

Laughter, so much laughter.

Family time and so much more.

That’s what makes Christmas magical still.

 

I just might be doing this right


Seen today on my Facebook timeline…

As a child I always was made to feel bad by other kids who got tons of stuff for Christmas. They were spoiled and had no concept of the meaning of Christmas, whether religious or otherwise. My mom always gave each of us three gifts “because that’s what Jesus got”. Obviously I am not religious, however I agree wholeheartedly that it’s not about gift getting. Or bragging about what you were able to buy your kids to add to the piles of stuff they don’t need that they already have.

Hollie Austa Jacques

Just so you know I’m thinking that some parts of this mom-gig I am doing right. Yeah, I am.

Someone put a big, red bow on this for me please. My Christmas made right here!

Merry Christmas to all!


photo by Matthew James Photographers

When your brother hands you f-bombs


On the day where you find yourself feeling a lot sad and melancholy missing your younger brother gone for the last nine years your youngest brother will call you. You let the call go to voice mail because at the time that he is calling you you are driving up 99 heading home from a very long day at Children’s Hospital Central California with your son. You’re full of Christmas goodwill and love and kindness because singing along to great Christmas music while driving for a few hours fills you up with so much goodwill, love and kindness so you tell yourself you will call him back as soon as you get home. Sure, the last time he spoke to you on the phone it was horrible but it’s Christmas. He’s probably full of the same goodwill, love and kindness you tell yourself.

Um, no.

He might have been as he did say that he was just trying to call me to offer his wishes for a Merry Fucking Christmas, Asshole! I guess my not answering the phone immediately killed it for him.

I am a horrible, horrible person…because I didn’t answer the phone which means I think I’m better than him and I’m a cunt and the worst Christian woman on the planet ever. Even worse I was apparently in tahn, er town, Pittsburgh that is and NOT at Children’s Hospital with my son. I was so says Billy and of course he is right he tells me. I was in Pittsburgh talking shit about him to some skycap…at least that is what my brother tells me. Honestly, how could I not know that I was in Pittsburgh when I thought that I was in Madera. No, he’s not drunk and he is not crazy…he is adrenalyzed. Oh and he is 46-fucking years old and I guess that is my fault too. But he still loves me…he told me so after each time he told me how worthless and useless and disgusting I really am.

Gawd he is practically a clone of Mommy Dearest and the way she has talked to me for the last 50 years or so. Someone has to fill those god forsaken shoes I guess because as long as I have breath in my body and am taking up space on the planet I need to always know what a wasted piece of disappointing crap I am to each and every single member of my family.

Whatever.

My dear, darling, angry, clearly ill brother I refuse to let you hurt me. Well, okay, you have hurt me as you and the rest of the crazy toxic family does in a way that no one else ever could. Still I refuse to let you destroy me or poison my holidays. It’s hard work this year to have Christmas peace, goodwill, love and cheer but I still refuse to let you steal the joy that is mine. You have no right to do so.

  • I have great kids and a pretty fine husband. Billy-boy, you can’t even begin to imagine the amount of toxicity they can wash away…yours…Mom’s.
  • The Steelers won yesterday and the ‘Niners killed it tonight at their last regular season game at the ‘stick.
  • I am blessed with some pretty amazing, dear friends who although are miles and miles and miles away are always there for me when I am at my lowest of low.
  • Today one such friend blessed me with totally unexpected, generous kindness.
  •  As long and as stressful as our visit to Valley Children’s was for Daniel and me it was good…even if it was the day before Christmas Eve.
  • I am running again. Sure I’m running very slow…VERY slow and not very far but after MONTHS of chronic pain and painfully slow recovery I am running again. This morning’s 2½ mile run was perfect.
  • The glass of Merlot I am about to pour promises to be delicious.

You can not steal my joy, little brother. Not at all.

Merry Christmas to you too, Billy!