an unraveling

Midlife is not a crisis. Midlife is an unraveling.

Midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close and whispers in your ear: it’s time. All of the pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go. Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armour could you secure all the things you needed to feel worthy and lovable, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever. Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. The time has come to let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are.

~ Brene Brown

Not my words, yet these are literally thoughts that spin in my mind as I get up in the morning and try to stretch limbs that ache and protest just a little in a way that they have never before. They are words I hear within my inner dialogue as I wash my face and appraise lines that are named after years of stress, worry, smiles, laughter and so much living. This is midlife I tell myself…this is my midlife I say out loud as I see my reflection smiling back at me in the morning light.

No makeup, dirty hair, morning light filter and I am just fine. This is midlife.

just another bitch with an opinion, basically

When a man gives his opinion, he’s a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she’s a bitch.
― Bette Davis

Since the first debate last Monday, I have wanted to say so much…as has pretty much everyone else…and I thank every one who has flooded social media with all that you have wanted to say. Not that anything any one of us has to say is going to change any one voter’s mind as to who they are going to vote for. Of course I am assuming that there is really no undecided voter out there. If you are with her; you are with her. If you are all about a principled candidate to lead one of the global leading nations, yet has no clue as to what is going on globally; you are going to stand on those principles…even if his own running mate concedes Hillary Clinton is the most qualified. You might be supporting Jill Stein…sorry, I’m trying to understand that choice but I just can not. But you do you. Perhaps you are for Trump…and I swear I try really, really, really hard not to make assumptions…really I do, even if there are so many reasons why one might question the reasoning of a Trump supporter. We all are standing by our man or woman and I know there is nothing any of us can say that will change the resolve of the other.

So be it but god help us all too.

The biggest thing on my mind after the debate was the reality of what it is like to be a woman or a girl in this world right now in two thousand sixteen..


I remember one of my first parent-teacher conferences as a young mother. Hollie’s teacher began with enthusiasm explaining to me that it was easy to tell that my child was the first born because she always took charge making sure classmates knew what they should be doing at any given time.

Yeah. she can be pretty bossy sometimes.

No. No she is not bossy. She is a natural leader.

as first born children often are like 28 of the 44 US Presidents, and Gary Johnson and Hillary Clinton. And that, boys and girls was the first of many moments where I realized that I might imagine me a feminist raising my daughters to be feminists except I really had much to learn and understand…and I have thanks to raising up four amazing, smart, capable women who just so happen to be my daughters.

As mother to these women, watching them and their friends grow up through the years, I have come to see that they are not bossy. They are indeed so much more than how they might be dressed, how they wear their hair or whether or not they smile.

Whether we intended or not, like their mother (and perhaps generations of ancestors before them) they have mastered the art of looking interested when a dumb man is talking. Every single woman at some point in her life..and probably at a lot of points, and most probably on a daily basis has been forced to quietly sit and just accept that a man is yelling at her, or being wrong toward her or any other nonsensical thing that we as a society of women just accept is our lot in life in order to advance in school, in work and sometimes just to survive.

As women we learn that our appearance is a big factor in how the world sees us. From the time we are just girls, we learn that how we are dressed has an effect on pretty much everyone. Our dress distracts. Our dress labels us. Whether good or bad the question often ends being but what was she wearing even when one is running for President.

We are told to smile because when we smile we are prettier and the implication that appearing attractive to men is one of our responsibilities. Then there’s the humbling of being told the correct way to feel because we should always be happy! Except when we shouldn’t smile because we are being condescending and smug; which is absolutely not attractive…not. at. all.

And our voices…raise our voice we are shrill, bitchy and not feminine at all.

Don’t forget, we also can be too fat or too skinny.

In my lifetime we have indeed come a long way, baby, but this election season smacks us in the face every day that its a long, long road still.

teach them well

You know when you have those conversations with your child about respect for authority, for those who are called to Protect and Serve their community…and those who protect and serve this community 70 or more miles from their own homes because the pay scale and benefits are better? Every opportunity you have, you teach them that they are our helpers and they are here to protect and help us when we are in trouble and all we really need to remember is to always follow their instructions doing exactly what they tell us to do and we have nothing ever to worry about (as long as we have done nothing wrong) because they are here to protect us and serve us. They deserve our honor, our respect, our trust as they bravely serve us and protect us and we talk about this with our kids, all the time…

I know, Mom. What about my friends J and A and my friend R?

What about them?

Well, J and A are Mexican and R is Black and…well, on the news…


On the news…


What then do you say?

I mean, you remind your son not all Cops and not all Brown people and not all Black people…

And you see your White Privilege right there  glaring at you because you are not having the same conversation with your teenaged son as J’s mom, or A’s mom or R’s mom is having right now.

Of course you are not.

But right now what we really need to worry about are professional athletes expressing their First Amendment Rights as American citizens in a way that in our humble opinion is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Teach them.

Teach them well.

They will teach you too.

I’m not going to answer any questions today and it’s no offense to you guys. I think the state of things in the world today is very interesting. I think you have players that are trying to take a stand and trying to be aware of social issue and try to make a stand an increase people’s awareness and put a spotlight on it and they’re being ignored. Whether they’re taking a knee or whether they’re locking arms, they’re trying to bring people together and unite them for a cause. I think the last couple days a couple more guys have gotten shot and killed in the middle of the street. More videos have come out of guys getting killed, and I think people are still missing the point. The reason these guys are kneeling, the reason we’re locking arms is to bring people together to make people aware that this is not right. It’s not right for people to get killed in the street.

I do a lot of community service. I go out there and try to help kids and try to encourage them to be better and to aspire to more. And when you tell a kid, “When you’re dealing with police, just put your hands up and comply with everything,” and there’s still a chance of them getting shot and no repercussions for anyone, that’s an unfortunate time to be living. It’s an unfortunate place to be in. There’s not a lot you can tell a kid. There’s not a lot you can try to inspire… a person when you say, “We need black fathers to be in the community to stay their for your kids,” but they’re getting killed in the street for nothing, for putting their hands on their cars. And I think that’s the unfortunate part, that’s the unfortunate place that we’re living in. And something needs to be done. And so when a guy takes a knee, you can ignore it. You can say he’s not being patriotic, he’s not honoring the flag. I’m doing none of those things. I’m saying, straight up, this is wrong and we need to do something. So thank you guys, have a blessed day.

~ Richard Sherman, cornerback, Seattle Seahawks

from PokemonGo to the Holocaust to living in tents

When it comes to raising our children, we all have goals along with our wishes and hopes and dreams for our children. Mine is very much influenced by my upbringing and past, as well as current relationships with some family members.

To my family who follows my blog, yes, this part might be about you…then again, you might be wrong in assuming so.

As a mother, one of the biggest things I wanted to nurture in my five was to think for themselves…forge their own opinions…express those thoughts and opinions. I wanted them all to know that their thoughts are their own and are definitely okay, in fact, they are perfect because they are theirs. I also wanted them to understand that they are well within their right as a thinking person to express what they are thinking…even if it disagreed with someone else’s…even if it was Mom or Dad’s. Especially if they disagreed with Mom or Dad. Of course there was the proviso that they must be respectful and kind because it’s Mom or Dad, or their friends, or their teachers, or any other thinking human being because I was also trying to instill in them the importance of, well, The Golden Rule. Be kind. Be respectful. Anyone who truly knows me would likely understand why this was important for me to have for my children. Yes, yes, yes, this has made my parenting adventure rather challenging because my five are fierce and very much strong-willed; kind of like their Mom and Dad.

Yes, Hollie, we were cursed as children too.

But, in spite of the years of challenges, I like that my five are fierce and I like that they can think for themselves and can and do, almost all the time, express their thoughts and their opinions.

In the news recently was the request for people to stop playing PokemonGo in The Holocaust Museum. “Playing the game is not appropriate in the museum, which is a memorial to the victims of Nazism,” Andrew Hollinger, the museum’s communications director, told The Post. “We are trying to find out if we can get the museum excluded from the game.”

What’s The Holocaust, Mom?

And so began a conversation with my 14 year old about what The Holocaust is and what happened to more than 6 million people just because of their religion or ethnicity or sexual orientation at that time and he interrupts me drawing a comparison to a certain candidate. His thoughts. His thoughts based on what he sees and hears and reads all around him. His thoughts expressed. I shared his thoughts (no names mentioned) with friends and family on Facebook just like that because, wow, that. My son’s thoughts. Thus began commentary and conversation, as we often do on Facebook and other social media platforms; which, in my opinion, is more than okay. Agree, disagree, more than okay. Just be kind…on my personal space because we absolutely, positively can agree to disagree on pretty much anything as long as we are at the very least respectful. Don’t believe me? Ask my darling husband. Well, except that he believes Pepsi to be a superior soft drink over Coke. Oh my darling husband!

Take note here, don’t blast my Facebook wall telling me Coke is not better because it is. Okay, fine, you can. Just be kind. I might not agree with you but that doesn’t mean that I have been decieved or tooled by the media because, I promise you, I am absolutely smarter than that…so are my Fierce Five. We don’t have to agree. We both can look at one another’s opinions on just about anything and think to ourself, what the actual fuck?…I do it literally ALL THE TIME looking at some postings of some family and friends on Facebook and then I move on because BABIES! KITTENS! AMAZING VACATION PHOTOS! FUNNY VIDEOS! And I move on because we don’t HAVE to feel the same way about current events or who we believe will make America great again. And yes, this is a beautiful thing for me and for the beauty of America where we can still think freely!...Isn’t that ironic?

in the neighborhood and beyond

Doesn’t it seem like just last week we were shocked, sad, mad and talking about another horrible act of foreign or domestic terror? Oh yeah. We were just talking about such an abominable thing.

Yes, all the big heavy sighs now; and again with all the hashtags of #prayforFrance, #prayforNice, #BlueLivesMatter, #BlackLivesMatter, #AllLivesMatter along with our thoughts and prayers. Helpless we feel and for most of us this is all we feel like we can do. Well, except for discussing it all on social media.

Thanks to local farmer, comedian, writer, self-proclaimed 40-year old entitled boob, Chris Teicheira, I signed on to a local neighborhood watch page on Facebook…for keeping Manteca safe…and for the lookie-loo, popcorn snacking entertainment. Uh, thanks, Chris? Actually there is some good that comes from this group on occasion…when there isn’t bitching and moaning about the right to or not to shoot off all the illegal fireworks all the time, or all problems in Manteca are because of the homeless, and the entitled boobery, as Chris so aptly described. Under the guise of social media anonymity, which is not anonymous at all y’all, a lot of neighbors in my Family City are basically looking like entitled boobs.

Another heavy sigh.

In the wake of so much going on in the news, a local resident felt lead to initiate a peaceful call to action; which was well within her right under the First Amendment of our Constitution. She planned all in the right way and it reportedly went off without a hitch. Of course the discussion last night and throughout today on the Family City neighborhood watch page focused much on the Black Lives Matter peaceful march throughout our city. So much ugly discussion y’all. I see you. I see you all.

Perhaps after the deaths of police officers in Baton Rouge yesterday during yet another act of terror at the hand of yet another lone, angry asshole, it might not have been the right time for such a peaceful protest. Then again, when would be the right time, really? From my armchair overnight at work, it seemed that it was a peaceful assembly focused on the BLM movement but also very sensitive to the murders of police officers just doing their job protecting and serving their community. It was a respectful gathering of more than 50 people of all colors and ethnicities making a quiet statement.

I see nothing wrong here.

Well, except for this reality.

Another day…

We all need to do better. We all need to be kinder. We all need to be all of this to all.

We don’t need inflammatory rhetoric. We don’t need careless accusations thrown around to score political points or to advance an agenda…Only we can prove, through words and through deeds, that we will not be divided, and we’re going to have to keep on doing it again and again and again. That’s how this country gets united…Around the clock news cycles and social media sometimes amplify these divisions, That is why it is so important that everyone: regardless of race or political party or profession, regardless of what organizations you’re a part of, everyone right now focus on words and actions that can unite this country rather than divide it further.

Barack Obama

Cleveland, Philadelphia, Manteca, America, the World…respect, kindness for all…please.