and after six years

And now six years later, these two seem to remain just as impossibly, perfectly meant to be as the day they pledged to be together to infinity and beyond.

Infinity and the beyond that is making a life and a home together for the two of them and their impossibly, perfectly, wonderful daughters. It’s not all smoke and mirrors y’all. These two have worked hard together and we can’t help but be proud of all the adventures to infinity and beyond that they have made. They have grown up together coming through many adventures…some wonderful and some that would knock the wind out of you. Still they live, love and thrive.

Yeah, we’re also a little jealous of how perfectly gorgeous they continue to be.

Happy anniversary Hollie and Ben!

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?

hopelessly devoted

As I am writing this, I am watching our dog, Betty…AKA Betty with the Good Hair, following my darling husband all around The Big Top.






Tonight she has a good excuse because in spite of the fact that she is wearing her Thundershirt and has taken some doggy Xanax , she is stressed. Thank you every single Fourth of July Yahoo out there pre-gaming as they set off their illegal fireworks. ‘Merica! You do you, you quasi-patriotic yahoos.

If she wasn’t so stressed out she would still be by his side right now. Curled up at his feet. Likely sleeping; but with one eye open at the ready to jump up and do whatever my darling husband wants…go for a walk…get a doggy treat…go for a walk…perform her one trick…go for a walk…the possibilities are practically endless and she must be ready.

She’s devoted.

Hopelessly devoted.

I call her Betty with the Good Hair waiting for my darling husband to get the Lemonade reference because how could anyone NOT. Betty loves my darling husband. She adores him. She will use her amazing herding skills to herd me out of the way because she loves him THAT much. It is then that I flash my wedding ring and hiss he has been mine for more than 33 years years and he still is, Betty with the Good Hair! And don’t forget, I have opposable thumbs!

My darling husband chuckles.

But when it comes to absolute, complete, total devotion, perhaps Betty with the Good Hair has me beat.

I love my darling husband and I do look forward to his coming home at the end of the day; but you won’t find me where she is…waiting…pretty much all day…waiting for Bill to come home at the end of the day. She judges me if I am not as stressed as she can be if he is even just 20 minutes late because of traffic. She will pace and pause looking at the door and pace some more and whine a little and look at me with judging eyes that almost shriek, Don’t you care that he is late??? Why are you not even a little bit worried???

Sometimes I’ll answer back reminding her of the fact that I have opposable thumbs…that can text our man.


do you wanna build a pantry?

The dust is settling…actually there seems to be much less dust uptown away from the orchards, dairy farms, pumpkin fields and major thoroughfares here at the new Big Top. But yes, the dust is settling somewhat here; and it remains quiet uptown, save for the trains which one can hear anywhere here in Manteca. Boxes are quickly being unpacked and our home is feeling much more like our home. I can park the Dory car in the garage because my darling husband loves me and wants me to be happy which means organizing the garage so that I can park my car in the garage. It’s the little things y’all.

My darling husband walks into the house from the garage feeling very accomplished as he smiles and says:

You know, I’m really liking this quirky little house.

Yes, The Big Top is a little bit quirky being the 80s built house that she is. I thought we did a great job downsizing until we moved our downsized circus into this 600 square feet smaller Big Top. This circus of mine literally has too much stuff still! So we adjust and adapt and downsize a bit more…and we discover that yes, we are liking this quirky little home of ours as we make it our own.

Well, except for the reality that there is literally NO STORAGE in this kitchen; like no storage at all! And so, for the first time ever for us, we find ourselves exploring IKEA and finding what we believe the perfect pantry and shelves to meet our circus needs. And because the only other alternative is our pantry foods stored in boxes, we make our very first IKEA purchase.

We might be unicorns.

Friends laugh and tease us with the horror of putting together anything purhased from IKEA. My darling husband is not phased recalling all the disposable and not so disposable furniture and Barbie dream houses he has assembled for this circus over the last three decades. This will not be hard, he laughs.


Three giant boxes full of all kinds of IKEA fun. This might take awhile.

There might have been moments of self doubt and what the fresh hell is this piece and why??? But I press on with my handy little IKEA tool thingy along with a Phillips screwdriver and a level and my youngest daughter, my son and my darling husband.

There was quite a bit of sweat…no tears…no cursing, which might be a miracle…voices were raised once or twice or a few times more.  But eight hours later…


Yeah, we are feeling pretty accomplished right now because IKEA assembling badge achieved.


And yes, we are really liking this quirky little house that is our Big Top.

Want to know the key to a long-lasting relationship? Don’t go with your loved one to Ikea. One psychologist says the stress of a visit to the popular furniture store can cause serious friction between couples, whether it’s disputes over what to buy or spats while you assemble the items that you bought there.

Juan Williams

romantic, sexy 33rd anniversary celebrations: a how to guide

Nothing screams romance and sexy time anniversary celebrations than…

picking up boxes and packing materials at the neighborhood Home Depot…

and taking down all the photographs and art and knick knacks…

and packing up all the things…

because yes, The Big Top is moving and moving The Big Top is most certainly no easy undertaking…with these circus clowns???

Are you kidding???

Celebrating 33 years together with a weekend getaway or wine tasting or `a day at the beach or even a kitchen remodel is just so unoriginal.

Honey please!

Celebrating 33 years married together, my darling husband and I spend together organizing and cleaning and packing and preparing to move all the things because, yes, the Big Top is officially moving across town by next weekend. And because we are moving and we are celebrating our wedding anniversary, of course there is wine…wine in Solo cups because we have been packing up all the things.

New discovery: a really good Cabernet paired with a perfectly grilled rib eye is absolutely delicious in a Solo cup because, yes, you have packed all the wine glasses, bar ware, Mason jars, coffee mugs….the more you know.

So here’s to thirty three wonderful, crazy, exhausting, maddening years and to making more memories under the new Big Top.