because doing your taxes (or your kids’) isn’t nearly hard enough


Tax filing season! It’s got to be done, whether I want to or not. FAFSAs have been filed and well, mom and dad’s tax returns are needed to complete that little bit of fun. So receipts and papers are gathered and tax prep program purchased and ready to download…

Four and a half hours later….

still trying to download…

then thirty more minutes pass and there is this.


I seriously wanted to cry.

I did cry just a little.

Who cares about FAFSAs and taxes I know that we will owe and helping the kids file their EZ taxes.

Who the heck cares about any of that?!

This screen makes me want to cry.

My picture files….

My ancient, slower than my granny paced running time laptop with my precious picture files and my writing and, and, and, and…


I shut down the computer, wait a minute or two, or more then restart it and…


Please, oh please, please, please, please….

It takes forever to turn on and start because this laptop is old and decrepit. Hazel wasn’t  even born yet when this laptop was fired up for the first time.


It’s up and running.

I spent the rest of the evening before dinner backing up over 7,000 picture files from 2013 and the first two months of 2014 onto my external hard drive because…priorities, people!

Then after dinner I try one more time to download the tax prep program and…

…twenty minutes later it is downloaded, up and running and ready to prepare the taxes here under the Big Top. And I am a quivering, Jello-like mass of feelings and stress and tears.

So much for a tax prep program that wants me to be comfortable when filing my taxes.

The taxes will have to wait for another day.

just not worth the effort

If you value something, treasure it, love it, want it, you work hard for it to care for it, treasure it, love it. It takes a helluva lot of effort, but then again it doesn’t feel like work at all.

Then there comes the days when you just throw your hands up and scream “F#ck it all! Why even bother?” and pull on the most comfy t-shirt and yoga pants and comfort yourself with the most comforting of comfort food and the NY ER marathon because some days just are not worth the effort. Not at all.

Funny how this got more attention than I have received in days…weeks…months.

It’s the yoga pants I’m sure.

the Mondayest of Mondays

OMG, anyone else feeling like today is more Monday than the average Monday?

Looking at my son this morning as I dropped him off at school I felt like today is the Mondayest of Mondays.

Mountains of laundry, vacuuming and dusting await along with a pile of other projects that must be started or finished. There just isn’t enough coffee on a Monday like today.

where I just said oh feck it and pounded some nails into the walls

We moved into our current Big Top in June 2011 and until today none of my photographs or art hung on the walls…none. Sure there was the very much needed calendar and clock on the wall…and in Jodie’s room are boy bands all over the walls surrounded by dance and school spirit posters…but nothing else was hung. And until we hung that ruler I made for Daniel in the sitting room, I really had no desire to do anything about it. All my treasured photographs and art remained boxed up and stored in the little cupboard under the stairs; which is supposed to be for my grandgirls to hide their toys to play in…after I paint over the hideous, half-assed fuschia chalkboard paint job. I have no clue about that. But yeah, we have had naked rental white walls and after losing the Big Top we built and made into a home, I just could not bring myself to hang my pictures.

I had a lot of good reasons:

  • The interior of this house needs to be painted…properly. I like my landlord a lot. He’s agreeable. He took a chance on us in spite of our sad financial state of affairs when we lost our home. He let us keep our dogs even though he had originally said no to pets. He looks the other way when my grandbabies’ cat, Bagheera comes over to visit. He let me paint the bannister. Yes, he is a pretty decent landlord…who did a craptastic job of patching and repainting the walls in this house. So I told myself that as soon as I had the money…and the time…and the energy I would paint these walls. Of course that would mean climbing a giant ladder for the 20 foot high ceilings in the sitting room and dining room. I look over at my darling husband and he shakes his head no..
  • I had babies and toddlers underfoot a lot. I don’t watch the girls full time anymore but they are still here a lot…almost everyday.
  • the greenhouse that is this house would ruin my treasures for sure.
  • and all kinds of other lame good excuses.

Truth be told I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Michelle pretty much hit the nail on the head (yes, pun intended) when she shared with me that she hasn’t been able to do the same thing in her current home because it would be as if she has set roots in that house…something after a few years she doesn’t want to do…like me, for a lot of reasons.We’re planning on a shared shrink session to delve into these issues of ours.

Losing the original Big Top was hard on me. There was so many different kinds of feelings that held me down in such a way that I could not move to make this house, this rental, into a home. A home for me, for my darling husband, for my children. Of course I was so wrapped and bound up in my depression and grief that I couldn’t see the effect that it has had on my family…

until Abby came downstairs as I hung up the first picture, a lovely print of a field of poppies, and said, “You’re hanging up the pictures! Now it will feel like we’re home!

You know what? She was right.

It was feeling less hollow.

A little more warm and not in that it is as hot as a freaking greenhouse way.

I still want to paint because this is just stupid. Later.

I will say that this pinterest idea really worked out well.

Oh but there is so much more left.

But it’s a start.



all these little things

Home from Ocean City, Maryland, I have been enjoying everyday since Sunday an iced coffee from Starbucks because there was not a single blessed Starbucks in Ocean City. There are many Dunkin Donuts and a place called the Coffee Beanery but they just weren’t the same.

No, really. They definitely were not the same.

So now home at last under the Big Top, I am enjoying a proper non-fat (which is the same thing as skim) iced white mocha and giving thanks.

It’s the little things, you know.

Back in the day when Zoë was but a newborn baby not quite a week old and Hollie was a 6 year old who teetered between being a proud big sister and wishing we could send that baby back, a friend from the church we attended then called me up asking for Hollie for a play day with her son. Hollie and Daniel (yes, his name was Daniel) need a playdate she told me when she picked up Hollie for the day. So while Hollie and her friend, Daniel enjoyed a day of play, I negotiated the balancing of caring for my days old second born with my own self-care, laundry, meal-planning and negotiating sitting on my still black and blue, swollen bottom (hurray for a precipitous vaginal delivery!). At days end, Danielle returned Hollie, along with a meal for the next day’s dinner. As I thanked her over and over again, she brushed it aside sharing her own experience as a brand new mother of two and how overwhelmed she felt when her husband returned to work…even more overwhelmed than after the birth of her first baby. Everyone is there to help with your first, which is wonderful, she continued. But it seemed to her that she was supposed to handle the caring for two small humans after recovering from birthing one of them. Such a small gesture that was probably the BEST baby gift I received to celebrate Zoë…and I received some pretty amazing, generous gifts. But having another mommy, just like me, taking the time to reassure me that my feelings of overwhelming inadequacy was normal and that she was there for me meant so much more.

It’s the little things, you know.

Over the years, as a busy, juggling mother, I have enjoyed very few close relationships with mothers just like me. I just never fit in well with the Bible Study moms, the playground moms, the PTA moms, La Leche League moms, soccer moms, cheer moms and so on. Experience, like that time when that mom prayed her prayer of thanksgiving out loud that she wasn’t me, has taught me for my own sanity and in order to protect my own tender heart, I was better off just keeping it casual. It’s better to be the last person any of them would think of asking out for coffee or including in a girls’ night out than to be hurt…again and again and again and again…

Still what I wouldn’t give to be a part of a circle of girlfriends where I am included in coffee dates or girls’ nights out.

It’s the little things, you know.

If I was I imagine that I would belong and I could laugh and giggle and cry and…when I was having a particularly bad day being a mom, feeling like the worst mom ever, I could trust someone would maybe give me a hug or tell me to hang in there or maybe even ask me if I would like to meet for coffee. Because when you are having a particular bad day being a mother, that is exactly the kind of encouragement you need.

It’s the little things, you know…all these little things.