Weighing In

At the beginning of this year I joined Weight Watchers for the fourth time. The first time I joined I did meetings but it didn’t work because I was still drinking and there are a crap ton of calories in a bottle (or two) of wine every night. Add to that the empty calories consumed once my inhibitions were lowered and I might as well have flushed the monthly payment to WW down the proverbial toilet.

The second and third time I joined I did the online version of WW which was moderately successful. I lost about 10 lbs. each time and then gave up and gained it back.


So at the beginning of the year I decided to give it one last college try. Oprah had just invested in WW and was all over TV hawking the company and vowing to lose weight with me. Since she’s had such success with losing weight and keeping it off (yes…that WAS sarcasm) I figured I was bound to be successful right? Of course!

I signed up online and decided that if I was going to do it I would need some accountability so I signed up for the package that included in-person meetings. I dusted off my food scale and became familiar with my new app and jumped into the pool.

And was pleasantly surprised.

First of all, after a gazillion years they changed the way the points are calculated. Instead of Points or Points Plus, now they have Smart Points. In a nutshell, it forces you to eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables and protein and low in refined sugars and other carbohydrates. Since all the research says that’s just about the healthiest eating plan going, I saw that as a positive. Not everyone was feeling that way however – apparently there were a LOT of pissed off people when they found out that their “snacks” that used to fit into their plan were now loaded with points. The thing I was always discouraged by when it came to WW was that they let you eat pretty much anything you wanted as long as you stayed within your points allowance. That meant that you could have chips or candy or a loaf of bread (don’t judge) as long as you were within the points. There was no education about how to eat better to sustain the weight loss, just a focus on the weight loss itself. It just rubbed me the wrong way.

Now there’s a focus on eating healthy for life and actually learning what is good for your body and what isn’t. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll lose more weight or any weight at all for that matter but at least you can’t get away with stuffing your face with crap and then wonder why you gain all your weight back as soon as you move to maintenance or go off plan.

Next was a new meeting format. The old meetings had a leader in the front of the room with a tired flipchart trying to teach about the week’s topic. Could be tips for getting through vacation or how to lower the caloric intake of BBQ foods but it was mostly a talking head telling you what to do. Now they’re run more like AA meetings. Everyone sits in a circle and talks about their week and the leader is more a moderator than teacher. Since I’ve BEEN to AA meetings that really resonated with me. I felt immediately comfortable and even shared a few times! That’s a miracle for this introvert.

Between the end of January and the end of April I dropped 15 lbs. It was slow, about 1 – 1.5 lbs. per week but it was consistent and the more weight I lost the more committed I became to the program. That is, until work got crazy and I started traveling…that’s when it went to hell in a hand basket. Since April I have struggled to get back to my meetings and even cancelled my membership for about a month, convinced that after the crazy time at work ended I’d be able to continue the weight loss all by myself. Because…you know…I have been SOOOOO successful with that in the past.

HA! Oh…sorry. That made coffee come out of my nose.

I realized pretty quickly that, like most things in my life that require discipline, I was going to continue to need help. Blessedly and with diligence I have maintained the original 15 lb. loss but I knew that if I didn’t do something, that wasn’t going to last much longer. I signed BACK up and began to, half-heartedly at best, track my food again. It’s not hard for God’s sake. The app makes it simple stupid. What’s hard is committing to counting the chips I eat for a snack each night and saying no to that afternoon cup of Dunkin coffee with real cream and sugar (10 points!)

Now I find myself at a cross-roads.

1. Do I fully commit and jump back into meetings and regular exercise and hope that I begin actually losing again?

2. Do I wait until the end of September when our feeding frenzy of a busy season is officially over (just in time for the Holidays to roll around)?

3. Or do I accept this new place my body has found and learn to be happy?

Since numbers two and three made me snort with laughter and my co-workers are now looking at me – I’d say it’s number one.


I See You

I was in San Francisco last week for work. Long time readers know how much I freaking love that city. The weather (fyi – It’s cold there in the summer – go figure), the people, the sights/sounds…just everything. What I don’t really love is the homeless. The homeless here are an entity unto themselves. San Francisco seems to have an unusually large portion of homeless who have mental health issues. I guess it’s the weather that brings them and has them stay. They mumble to themselves and each other and anyone else who they think is listening. They walk naked down the street. They smoke crack in the doorways and alleys. They are everywhere.

And they make me uncomfortable.

Every city has its homeless population. I grew up in and around Washington, D.C. which has a large homeless population. They live on the streets and sleep on the grates in the sidewalks and roads and, in the winter, the city scrambles to keep them from freezing to death. It doesn’t always work but at least they try. The population of homeless here in Charlotte is a lot smaller than that of D.C. or San Francisco. They are also not as aggressive as those in larger cities. Maybe it’s because the city is so much smaller or maybe it’s southern manners. Whatever it is, it’s a little less uncomfortable here.

But it’s still uncomfortable.

Over the years, I, like a lot of others I know, appear to have become desensitized to them. I know not to give them money but, if they’ll let me, I’ve been known to buy them food. I ignore them if they shout obscenities at me when I walk by. I’ll step over them or detour around them but seldom do I make eye contact, smile or even nod. Mostly I just cast my eyes downward and keep walking, seemingly oblivious to their situation. I assure you that could not be farther from what’s actually going on inside of me.

This post isn’t meant to debate what’s going on in our cities and why these people are subsisting on the streets. That’s an entire dissertation and a simple post would not begin to scratch the surface of this issue. The only thing it was meant to do was to say to that population…

…I see you.

Even when I walk down the street and fail to make eye contact…I see you. When you yell at me or try to engage me in conversation and I keep walking…I see you. When you ask for money and I say no…I see you. When you ask for food and I offer to buy you some and you say never mind and curse me…I see you. When you stand with your children and beg and I DO give you money…I see you.

I see you but I don’t engage you. I don’t engage you not because I think I’m better than you because, let’s face it, we’re probably all just a paycheck away from being right where you are; I don’t engage you or make eye contact or even acknowledge you because it’s painful.

It’s painful for me to see you struggle with your reality. It reminds me of my grandfather who was locked away for being senile and brings to mind the fact that my own mental health can be tenuous at times. It’s painful for me to see you succumb to your addictions because I know how difficult it can be to battle those particular demons. It’s painful for me to see your poverty because I know, in a country this rich, there should not be poverty on this level. At the same time it’s painful for me to know and understand that you may have chosen this life and not want to lead a conventional existence because I know how beautiful life can be under the right circumstances.

So I cast my eyes away.

But I see you.


It’s Back to School Time!

It’s that time of year again! The kids are preparing to go back to school! I always loved having my kids home for the summer but even I will confess to being unreasonably happy when, just when I wanted to kill them and bury them in the back yard, school started again. They were truly saved by the bell. Get it? See what I did there? Don’t judge.

Anyway, it always reminded me of when I would go back to school. We didn’t have much money so clothing shopping might have included one outfit and a new pair of shoes…maybe; but what I always got was a new book back (long before the days of backpacks) and school supplies. Oh how I loved the possibilities that were indicative of a clean, untouched notebook, some sharpened #2 pencils and crayons that still had a point. I would pack everything neatly and then check and recheck the list to be sure I was ready.

Even shopping for my own kids thrilled me – maybe a little too much but again…don’t judge. For the ones in public school, which were the boys, I would drag them shopping for clothes and shoes and then we would go for school supplies. See, they loved the supply shopping as much as I did so I had to bribe them with it to get them shopping for clothes. A mama’s got to do what a mama’s got to do. They would go up and down the aisles at Staples and Target looking at their lists and picking out their things. Pens, pencils (mechanical now), erasures, notebooks, folders and…of course…backpacks. A new backpack was the most important thing on the list. It was what everyone would see first. It didn’t necessarily have to be expensive but it HAD to be right. I was always very patient but I was really glad when they were old enough that we could order online.

By now I’m sure you know where I’m going with this. Not all kids get to have this experience. Some families can afford or don’t care (unfortunately this is true in some cases) to equip their kids properly for school. It was hard enough for me to be “less fortunate” than some of my classmates but it would have been almost unbearable to have to start school and borrow things like paper and pencils from the teacher. It would have infinitely more painful for me, due to life’s circumstances, to have to send my children to school unprepared. I can’t imagine that pain.

Every year my friend, Paige Davis from “Trading Spaces” and the Broadway productions of “Chicago” and “Beauty and the Beast” to name a few, lends her celebrity to Operation Backpack, an organization that strives to ensure that no child starts school without the proper supplies. If you are so inclined, you can read more about the organization here and donate to Paige’s campaign here and she’s written a lovely post on her own blog which you can read here.

To quote Martha Stewart, “It’s a good thing.”


The Power of Shame

Long time readers of this (and all the other blogs I have had) know that I’ve done a lot of work on shame the last couple of years. Shame is extremely powerful and I had no idea the impact it was having on my life until relatively recently. Given the way I grew up I should have known all along that it was destructive but nope…that particular emotion never occurred to me. I mean seriously, all my neuroses and not once did I think to pinpoint shame as one of the culprits? What the what? I mean, it’s not shame’s fault that I am where I am in my head/life, but it IS a reflection of how I grew up. Be careful what you say to your kids people…this old poem hung in all of my children’s rooms when they were little to remind me.

Dorothy Law Nolte
If a child lives with criticism,
he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility,
he learns to fight.
If a child lives with fear,
he learns to be apprehensive.

If a child lives with pity,
he learns to feel sorry for himself.

If a child lives with ridicule,
he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with jealousy,
he learns what envy is.

If a child lives with shame,
he learns to feel guilty.

If a child lives with encouragement,
he learns to be confident.
If a child lives with tolerance,
he learns to be patient.

If a child lives with praise,
he learns to be appreciative.

If a child lives with acceptance,
he learns to love.

If a child lives with approval,
he learns to like himself.

If a child lives with recognition,
he learns that it is good to have a goal.

If a child lives with sharing,
he learns about generosity.

If a child lives with honesty and fairness,
he learns what truth and justice are.

If a child lives with security,
he learns to have faith in himself and in those about him.

If a child lives with friendliness,
he learns that the world is a nice place in which to live.

If you live with serenity,
your child will live with peace of mind.
With what is your child living?

What that should say is that if a child lives with shame they will feel “less than”, but that’s another post entirely.

My niece is going through something similar right now and I’m trying to coach her through it. She is dating a new man and mentioned in passing that she hasn’t told him about her mother yet because she is ashamed. (FACEPALM) Of course I explained that she had absolutely nothing of which to be ashamed. She was a child and the actions she witnessed were those of her mother and not her; but as we all know it’s easy to hear but not so easy to believe. Even at my advanced age, something as simple as a smell or a passing comment can make me feel ashamed. The memories come rushing back and I’m in that spot all over again, face hot, tears stinging the corners of my eyes, shame filling every portion of my being. Feeling less than.

I sent her a copy of Brene’ Brown’s book, “The Gifts of Imperfection” which honestly CHANGED MY LIFE (along with a year of therapy) and made her promise to read it. In the book, Brene’ says…

“Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough.” ~ Brené Brown

Lately, due to some shake ups and changes at work (which btw is normal in my industry) I’m feeling insecure and vulnerable. I hate feeling vulnerable. When I start feeling this way, THAT’s when the shame memories and feelings begin to creep in. I’m sitting here this morning preparing for a new assignment and having a moment of personal panic when BAM! one of those memories pops into my head and for no reason at all I want to hide. I’ve learned not to hide. I’ve learned to invite them in and serve them tea. To sit with them and feel whatever I feel. Not to rush them but rather, let them sip the tea slowly and then, when finished, I can show them to the door. (It’s an exercise I learned in therapy and it really, REALLY works for me.) Instead of fighting something that is so much a part of me I embrace it like I would my children. I let it be whatever it is. In this way I’m able to find a little peace.

Sometimes however, the shame is stubborn and doesn’t want to leave. Sometimes it insists on hanging out and pecking at me like the vulture that it is. Brene’ says that the only sure way to get rid of shame is to shine a light on it and send it running like cockroaches when you turn on the kitchen light (that last part was me…she’s got much more class). To share it with someone empathetic and realize that I won’t die once it’s out of my head. People will not go running into the streets screaming. The town folk will not show up at the door with pitchforks in the dead of night to drive me away. More often than not, after sharing something that is shameful I hear two of the most beautiful words in the English language. Me too.

“If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.” ~ Brené Brown
I would love to be that person for my niece but I’m her “mom” so whatever I say falls on deaf ears. She dismisses my comments with a, “But you have to say that because you love me”. So I suggested she start a blog. I suggested she start reading blogs (she has no idea I have one). I told her that the blogging community is one of the most empathetic, embracing and loving communities she will ever find. There’s no shame. There’s no need to hide. There is acceptance. I don’t know if she’ll do it or not (or attend Al-Anon which I also suggested) but I can at least try and guide her in the right direction. Perhaps she’ll find some healing before she’s the ripe old age of 55.


WW and Sleep Numbers

My daughter and her kids (kids…HA…one starts college in the fall, one is a rising senior and her son has grown 4 inches since I saw him a Christmas and sounds like James Earl Jones when he speaks…sigh) came to visit this weekend and they were just what I needed to recharge my batteries and get in some much needed hugs. My daughter and I chatted about Weight Watchers which she joined in April and which I joined last March. Unlike me, who stopped my membership in late May, she has continued and to date has dropped 30 pounds. She looks phenomenal.

And I am totally jealous.

We laughed because I said that I had only lost 15 lbs. in approximately the same amount of time and that I hated her. To be fair I have kept it off since quitting amid my craziest work time of the year filled with catering and evening events so there’s that. (Lame, I know.) It was also serendipitous that she showed up looking so good because I was just telling the hubs last week that it was time for me to get back to meetings, eating well and tracking. So on Saturday night I signed up again.

Then I proceeded to eat my face off.

Saturday, Sunday and even Monday (I had the day off) consisted of nothing but sugar, sugar and more sugar in my belly. We had a vanilla pound cake brought home on Friday…breakfast, snack, lunch. There were chocolate chip cookies in the cabinet that the hubs keeps to nosh on (because HE can moderate)…snack and lunch and snack. And lest you think I didn’t eat ANYTHING healthy I had dinner on Saturday night which is this buffalo chicken pasta casserole that is to die for and I had seconds. I never have seconds. And come to think of it, it really isn’t THAT healthy since I used regular pasta and full fat cheese. Then yesterday I ate a pint of Ben & Jerry’s…all by myself.

I’m paying for all that poor eating.  I have felt like crap these last few days. Sluggish. Headachy. Aches and pains. Just plain yucky. It happens when I fill my body with poison. But when I eat well I feel…well…WELL. So off we go. We’ll see where it takes me but at least I’ll be eating well and have some accountability. Plus the app is really cool.

Any of you ever slept on a Sleep Number bed? I have – twice. Once I was drunk so who knows how I slept but once I was dead sober and I can honestly say it was the best night’s sleep I have ever had. It was about 5 or so years ago but I’ve never forgotten how good I felt the next morning. Now it’s time for the hubs and me to buy a new mattress. We’ve been nursing ours along for the last two years or so with toppers and sleeping on the actual hard side of the mattress but now my hips are killing me at night (side sleeper) and I’m just not sleeping well so we’ve begun shopping.

Before I move on, I’d like to say that I hate mattress shopping. I’d rather shop for bathing suits and jeans than shop for mattresses. They are ALL over priced. The industry is rigged so that it is impossible to comparison shop and there is no way that 30 seconds on a mattress is going to tell you whether or not you’ll be able to sleep. In a word or three?  It sucks ass.

Anyway, we’re looking at a couple of options.

Casper mattresses – These are foam mattresses that come in a box, delivered to your door. We’ve toyed with the idea of a memory foam mattress for years after enjoying a memory foam topper on our bed which neither of us thought we would since they can be hot and we sleep COLD. Casper has some cooling technology that is supposed to eliminate some of that. Bottom line is that they are affordable at $950 for a king size mattress and, and this is the best part, you can sleep on it for 120 days and if you don’t like it, they will come to your home and take it away and refund your money. No questions asked. That is a sweet deal. If any of you have any info on these mattresses I’d love to hear it.
The Original Mattress Company – Here in the Carolinas we have this mattress company that physically makes all their mattresses right here. Plus, most of their mattresses are two sided which means they can be flipped and rotated which, if you’re older than dirt like I am, you remember from back in the day. It prolongs the life of the mattress and keeps you sleeping like you did when it was new. They are also quite affordable. We purchased a set for each of our twins this year and the oldest at home purchased a set for himself in the spring. A king sized, mid-range set (box springs included) runs between $900 and $1200. Still very affordable in mattress land BUT, once you’ve taken delivery you own the mattress. They have an exchange policy but honestly it’s not really worth the paper on which it’s written. With this option, we’d better be sure we freaking LOVE this mattress before we leave the store.
The Sleep Number Bed – Like I said…best night’s sleep ever. We spent 90 minutes with this sales lady and I’m sure she thinks we’re coming back to buy this mattress but let me be clear here, while they have a semi-affordable version of a mattress at about $2200 for a king size, the version she wanted us to go home with was…wait for it…OVER $8000!!! And that wasn’t even top of the line! The best of the best was over $14,000! She kept stressing that this was a 25 year purchase and that we’d never have to buy another mattress. No kidding! In 25 years I’ll be 80 and the hubs will be 93! We’ll be lucky if we can FIND the bed much less sleep in it!

I’m not sure which option we’ll choose but you can bet your sweet ass it won’t be an $8000 bed.


Did ya ever have one of those days?

Barbados cottage

Today has been one of those days when I dream of cashing it all in and running a rum cart on the beaches of Barbados.

Except I don’t drink.

And I burn.

BUT – some days…

From time to time, especially when stress is at its peak, I sit back and wonder what my life would be like if I sold everything I own and moved to an island to live in a hut with one bedroom, a hotplate, an outdoor shower and one indoor bathroom.  No phone, no lights, no motorcar.  Not a single luxury.  You know, like Robinson Crusoe…as primitive as can be.


I mean just imagine it.  A tiny little cottage, inland of course – away from the hurricanes, with very few earthly belongings.  No debt.  Markets with fresh food everyday.  Bikes to get around on or public transportation.   I could waitress or work in a market or a library or even teach in an island school.  The hubs could tend bar or just putter around the house.  We could get to know each other again without Fox News getting in the way.  No commute to suck 90 minutes out of each week day.  Yoga on the beach at dawn.  Asleep when the sun goes down.  REAL conversation or NO conversation – whatever works.

Barbados market

Oh my GOD!  I might not ever have to wear a bra again!!!

Okay…let’s not get crazy.  No one is seeing me without a bra.

Or makeup.

Uh-oh…I’m going to need to bring my makeup.  And my shoes…I’ll need some of my shoes.  And my handbags…can’t go anywhere without them.

We are going to need a slightly bigger house.  Where is my family going to stay if we only have a small cottage?  So two, maybe three bedrooms.  Okay four…I’ll need four bedrooms.  With four bedrooms we’re going to need more bathrooms.  One bathroom for all those people will NOT work.  So at least two bathrooms…and a powder room.  Yeah, a powder room too.

Since I’m bringing my makeup I’m going to need a way to get more if I run out.  That means we’ll need internet service.  If we get internet we might as well bundle it with satellite TV – that will be good for the kids.  And if we have internet and TV we might as well throw in some cell phones right?  That way we can Facetime with the kids and the grands when they aren’t visiting our island paradise.

Damn…I’m going to need a better paying job.

Well, crap…I might as well just stay put.

Wait…what just happened?




Bye Felecia…I mean Facebook

I signed off of Facebook this week…for good.  I’ve taken breaks before only to hear the siren call of grandkids’ pictures, recipes, decorating tips and updates on old high school friends that have me running back to that little blue square on my phone.  Once I’ve clicked it I’m hooked and before I know it I’m clicking Like and commenting on cat videos.

Okay…maybe not the last one but you get the idea.

For about a year now I’ve noticed an alarming trend among my “friends” of which I’ve been turning a blind eye.  Comments and stories shared and reactions to media have become more and more vicious and ugly.  It’s not that I don’t agree with their views, because sometimes I actually do agree with their opinion, it’s the vitriol with which they choose to share it.

For example, the other day, when the FBI decided not to pursue prosecution of Hillary, my friend posted this, “Hillary is a cunt.”

Wait…you kiss your grandchildren with that mouth?

And before you all say anything I am fully aware that on this blog I am a big, fat potty mouth; but, and this is a big but, my grandchildren do not read this blog and even if they did, they would not know it was me.  And this was just a taste of what I’ve read over that last year or so.  People who I thought held an open mind about things have been gay bashing, racial profiling, unfriending each other and glorifying others and I’m left with one thought…

What.  The.  Fuck.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like Hillary Clinton any more than I liked her misogynistic husband.  Her ambition frightens me and I’m very disappointed that when my gender finally gets a shot at the Oval, it’s her.  But I am not going to reduce my debates to Trump like name calling (I don’t like him either – I will be writing in Condoleezza Rice this fall – not even kidding about that) preferring instead to simply discuss the reason why I do not think she’ll be a good president.  You know…discuss the issues – her views on healthcare and the budget.  The fact that she used a personal server to send confidential, government correspondence.  The fact that her plans for the economy are going to tax the living hell out of me and, once again, they’ll be more pork in that legislation than in all of the Mid-West of the U.S.

Issues people.

Then my other friend, who never said a PEEP about Orlando or Philandro chooses instead to post a highly one sided article about the police shooting in Dallas and comment, “This shit has got to stop.”  Ya think?  It needs to stop for everyone!  Not just the ones with which you side.  Shootings and anger and hate and rage have got to stop for EVERYONE.  Why do people believe they can reduce an issue as complicated and divisive as what’s going on with the police and African Americans (not just males…it’s happens to women too) to a tiny little paragraph chock full of anger, resentment and ugliness?  Tell me…what in the WORLD is that going to do?  If you’re angry, no matter what your views, CALL YOUR CONGRESSMAN, MEET WITH YOUR LOCAL POLICE, MEET WITH YOUR DISTRICT ATTORNEY…DO something!  We all have opinions on these matters and Facebook CAN be a place in which to vent and/or debate but hate is hate is hate is hate no matter which app it hides behind.  It’s ugly.  It’s damaging.  It serves no purpose.

Some people have asked me to reconsider and just unfriend those who offend but for me, it’s not enough.  It’s almost gotten to the point that after I scroll through my feed (over which, thanks to Mr. Zuckerberg I no longer have any control) I feel like I need a shower.  People have every right to say whatever they want on their Facebook feed and, like the old saying goes, I’ll defend to the death their right to say it – but I don’t have to read it.  I don’t have to get my heart broken.  I don’t have to walk away from my computer even more depressed and disillusioned that I was before I sat down.

So I’m finished.  What’s scary is how much I miss it and how often I pick up my phone and look for the little blue app with the big F on it but my son, who signed off a couple of years ago, says that will go away after awhile.  I still have Instagram to get pics of the grands and I’m trying to learn Snapchat (that sentence alone makes me feel OLD) so I’ll get my fix of social media but for now I’m going old school.  I’ll use my phone for what phones should be used for…

…watching porn.😉




Staying Home

image1 (1)

In April we decided that we should put our house on the market since housing prices in my area were rising and maybe, JUST MAYBE, after nine long years we were right side up in our mortgage. We started working on all the things that needed to be done but that we just couldn’t seem to ever find time to do. Cleaning and decluttering things like closets and laundry rooms. Finally cleaning out the garage. Painting the upstairs bedrooms and hall bathroom. Finishing the pergola and deck out back. When we held our open house in early May our home sparkled like when it was new and had those touches that a well-cared for and well-loved home has.

That’s when the doubts began creeping in.

I know this happens a lot. When you put your house on the market you do all the things you always wanted to do to the house and then when it’s all finally complete – you fall in love with your house all over again. Still I was convinced we needed to downsize and get a new house. I looked and looked and saw some amazing homes but I failed to fall in love. I honestly could not find anything on the market that I loved more than the home we already had. Add to that the fact that because everyone and their brother decided to sell at the same time and you have an answer to the question, “Why didn’t we get any offers?” Lots of showings. Lots of great feedback. No offers. We were priced right…I keep a close eye on that, but no offers. Hmmm…why? But I knew why. I knew the real answer. The real answer was that we weren’t supposed to move. The universe wasn’t ready for us to leave this house.

That’s not as creepy as it sounds. It’s not an Amityville thing…it’s a spiritual thing. About 20 years ago the hubs and I decided to put our house (a different house) on the market and look for a bigger home. We had four little boys and my mom had just moved in with us and we were cramped. All I could think was that if we were cramped now when they were all little munchkins, what in the world was it going to be like when they were all six feet tall with size 12 feet? So we put the house on the market, found another house and put a contingent contract on it and…


Not only did we not get an offer, we didn’t even get a showing! After 90 days we cancelled the other contract, took the house off the market and called it a day. Five years later we found my dream home on Maryland’s Eastern Shore that I HAD to have. We put a contract on that house (non-contingent…what?) and put ours on the market.

It sold in 48 hours. No open house. Showings while we were home. Multiple offers. It was crazy.

And it was meant to be.

So while I was having my doubts I kept thinking that maybe God or the Universe or whatever didn’t want us to move. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. As per usual during my morning prayers in the shower I asked God to send me a sign.

That Saturday my husband went upstairs to take a shower and I went to run errands. Two hours later I came home and went into the garage…where it was raining. Yes, it was raining IN my garage. After about 20 seconds of investigation we discovered that the hubs left the water running in the sink (with the stopper in) and didn’t know it. My bedroom carpet was a swimming pool. We immediately began moving furniture and pulling up carpet and padding. It was all sopping wet. We got fans going on the sub floor and removed the dry wall and insulation from the garage ceiling. Then I made two phone calls. One to the insurance company (thank God it was covered) and one to the realtor putting everything on hold.

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At first I was distraught…how in the world would I get this fixed so we could get the house sold? Then I thought…hmmm…I’m getting new carpet. I’ll take that as a sign!

Just like that a weight came off my shoulders and a peace came over me (selling your house is stressful!) The hubs and I decided to stay and I couldn’t be happier. This may not be the house I would have picked out when we moved to this area (the hubs and the kids picked it out) and there may be things I’d still like to improve about it (new appliances and countertops) but there’s one thing it is that no other house out there is…

…it’s home.


Coming Home…For Free

Okay I’ve been away long enough.  I feel like writing again.  I haven’t a clue what I’m going to say or how often but I know I need to write.  Here’s what I do know…managing and paying and updating my own site is a giant pain in the ass (for me anyway).  I much prefer the site that does it all for me FOR FREE.  I’ll post it with the little “.wordpress.com” suffix if it means that everything is updated and pretty and I don’t have to do shit.

Now that’s my kind of writing.

Plus I’m fickle.  I like to change colors and fonts and pictures and doing that on my old paid site was just too much effort.  I’m a point and click kind of girl not a coding, html, website kind of girl.  Simple, you know?

So here I am.  I don’t know who will be out here to read or even care but my writing was never about that anyway.  It’s always just been about clearing my mind and sorting through issues.  The fact that I made some lifelong amazing friends along the way is just a really, REALLY awesome perk.  I hope I get back to that point but even if I don’t I NEED to process here.

Let’s see where this goes.  It’s good to be home.


Little Sherry

little me

This is my favorite picture of myself of all time.  Even as a child I loved it. I loved the smile and the happiness the picture conveyed.  It still makes me happy.

One of the suggestions from the therapist to help me deal with, well, everything we’ve tackled thus far, has been to nurture or parent “Little Sherry”.  To bring to mind myself as a child and speak to her in the way and manner that I would speak to my own children.  I’m not sure why this has not only proven to be effective but has also been successful in touching my heart which, as long time readers know, is not an easy thing to do.

It’s allowed me to begin to love and forgive myself without looking in the mirror and saying, “I love you Sherry.  You are kind and beautiful and gosh darn it, you deserve it,”  (That’s a very old Saturday Night Live bit…sorry.) which feels disingenuous and downright silly to me.  I’ve been able to embrace this exercise I guess because I’m dealing with a child and not a fully grown adult who shouldn’t need this kind of care (in my screwed up head anyway).   The only word that comes to mind for me is profound.

When I began, Little Sherry always came to me with her head bowed and her hands over her face in shame.  I didn’t fight it.  I pictured us, side by side on the porch steps of a beach cottage, staring out at the ocean early in the morning.  No words were exchanged.  We just sat, together, watching the waves.  Eventually she would drop her hands to her lap and occasionally let me hold her little hand.

Now and then I’m able to offer kind words like, “It’s okay.  You’re a wonderful little girl and you deserve all the kindness and love the world has to give.”  I’m not sure how much I believe it yet but I think I might be getting through to her.  Hopefully I’m not too far behind.

On thing is certain, every time we sit together I cry.  Not boo-hoo with snot and an ugly face, but tears in my eyes that sometimes slide down my cheeks.  There’s just a deep sense of sadness that overwhelms me.  In fact, it feels exactly the same as when my children are in pain from one of life’s bumps and I can no longer fix it with a Buzz Lightyear Band-Aid and a kiss.  I have to just be there for them, guide the a little, and hope the scars don’t run too deep.  Life on life’s terms.

She still won’t look me in the eye and I haven’t been able to hold her yet but I think we’re getting there.  Sometimes I think I’ve lost my fucking mind imagining all of this…until I sit down to do it or it just comes over me.  Then I know that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.