our farce

In 1973, this is how I spent my summer vacation.

The fact that Mommy Dearest and my grandparents were okay with this amuses me because they all ascribed to the belief that if the sun is shining, all god’s children MUST be outside playing…in the sun shining down upon them. This parenting philosophy of course pre-dates the marinate the children in all the sunscreen protection. I know, we didn’t know any better then, Laura. Thankfully, the summer of 1973 was one summer of my childhood where I wasn’t suffering through an often blistering sunburn as a pale, ginger girl outside all day in the bright sunshine often did back in the day. Instead I was learning the lesson that: Never again must America allow an arrogant, elite guard of political adolescents bypass the regular party organization and dictate the terms of a national election.

Here we are now.

Kids, remember when 45’s surrogates spoke of how wrong it would be to elect a president who is under an FBI investigation? Kellyanne Conway. Sarah HuckabeeMarco Rubio, Sean HannityHere we are.

History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.

~ Karl Marx


much LeFou about nothing and something

For my birthday, my darling daughter, Zoë, treated me to Beauty and the Beast; which, Evermore, remains a tale as old as time. And, as we both anticipated, it was as wonderful as we both imagined it would be. Much more, in spite of the supposed gay agenda being forced upon us as some might want us to believe.

Blink and you’ll miss the subtle moments.

Man, if I was This Modest Mom’s kids, I would be crazy pissed that mommy and daddy canceled our promised Disney World Vacation because LeFou is exploring his feelings and it’s not in Jesus’ name…amen! What a big, fat nontroversy. Really.

Kids, go see this movie. Go see it for the lush music and lyrics that is Ashman and Menken that you grew up with watching and re-watching and singing along to as a child…or as the parents of children who drove you crazy demanding to play it over an over and over again on the VCR. It’s a movie, folks. A love story. A fable. A tale as old as time.


homework helper

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, known as West Allegheny Junior High School, I found myself drawing a lot of maps. At least it seemed that way because Mr. Campbell, the geography teacher, always assigned a drawing of each and every country we studied in our classroom tour of Europe. For me, map assignments were easy. I aced maps. I was so good, as a junior high aged kid, that I imagined that I would grow up to be a cartographer – a great cartographer. It would have been really cool, except for the math part. Dammit math!

But forty some years later, my map drawing skills come in handy as I assist my eight grader with his research project.

Just the map, Mom.

Best part was saying Phuket and snickering like a junior high boy.

That’s not how you say it, Mom!

living with the greatest evil

Saint Augustine once said, The greatest evil is physical pain, and all I can say right now is preach on good saint!

I like to imagine that I can handle pain. I mean I have birthed babies with no pain meds on board. I road a bike from Spokane to Coeur d’Alene and back the next day with my right arm in a cast. I’ve run my fair share of half marathons. Come on, surely I am capable to handle a little pain and survive.

But time, spondylosis, and osteoarthritis is telling me otherwise. Forget an exhilarating 5K run to start the day. The same goes for a slow walk around the park just around the corner from The Big Top. Reach for that salad bowl on the top shelf or bend down to tie my shoes guarantees the constant throbbing to amp up to knives stabbing the spinal column, hips and knees. The 20-30 commute to work just might kill you were it not for the salvation of the heated seat in that fun-sized Dory-car. The pain of swollen fingers,, hands, wrists and elbow promises that sleep will be interrupted numerous times through the night…or day for this night shift nurse. Yes, I tell my ortho doctor, I do take THAT much Naprosyn daily – my stomach is fine, for now. Late at night, as I attempt to console a baby born addicted to opiates because of mother’s addiction, I find myself having a better understanding sometimes what that mother must have been living with and trying to erase with prescription and illicit medicating. I’m still Team Baby, but as my back, neck, shoulder and elbow scream in protest while I hold their baby in comfort from their own withdrawal pain, I can imagine wanting to do just about anything to make this pain stop.

I’m working on it with the help of my ortho and pain specialist doctors; but this chronic suffering did not come about overnight so I imagine that relief or adjusting to a new normal that I can live with, work with and play with will take time too. I tell myself that. I tell myself that a lot – every day, every week.

Today though, today was not a good day because that chronic pain is peaking with no relief. I might have ugly cried at least three times – driving home from work this morning, trying to find a comfortable position to sleep this morning and waking up just an hour or so after falling asleep to that same pain. Days like today, and last night at work can be much too much sometimes.

But hurray for a new ball cap representing the fact that I am just a Steeltown girl and that, in spite of the pain, I woke up like this.

You just do it. You force yourself to get up. You force yourself to put one foot before the other, and…you refuse to let it get to you. You fight. You cry. You curse. Then you go about your business of living. That’s how I’ve done it. There’s no other way. ~ Elizabeth Taylor