I don’t write much lately, life’s been busy. Today though, I want to remember one of my pets. Oy. 

Several years ago I was on the hunt for a little dog. I think I was looking for a maltese but I can’t for the life of me remember why. Back home, in the north Georgia mountains where my father grew up, was a family whose ‘maltese’ was pregnant and puppies were to be born soon. I drove over there with my Dad for a different reason and stopped by to see the puppies. I picked out the runt of the litter. He was so small compared to the others that I said that I’d take him if he survived, but if he didn’t I’d take a different one. He survived. I picked him up several weeks later and we drove back to North Carolina. This tiny little thing stole my heart.

I have had several dogs over the years, I’ve loved each one. Dogs have always been a part of my life. Having pets in the home requires a bit of work but they are always happy to greet you and don’t usually complain about their food. They snuggle, and rub, and beg but they are always full of love. Oy was no different.

Over the years, I had another child, got a few more dogs, and Oy managed to always stake his claim. He slept with me each night. We would argue over whether he got to burry under the covers or not. A lot of times when I had just changed my sheets I’d lie there with my arms pinning the sheets down so he wouldn’t get under. Eventually I would fall asleep and he’d win. He’d always win. He’d burry down to the very bottom by my feet and then work his way back up, doing a full circle of the bed. It wasn’t always easy to sleep with him but if I didn’t I wouldn’t sleep at all. If I ‘forgot’ to let him in the room, invariably just after I start to drift off to sleep, I’d hear this tiny little scratching on my door. If I didn’t budge, it would become more insistent until he would ultimately begin yipping and working himself into a frenzy. He would win, always. I was well trained.

These are my pillows. He looks quite comfortable.

Oy was named from the dog like character in the Stephen King series The Dark Tower. He looked a lot like a rat, wasn’t even close to maltese, and weighed in at a max of eight pounds. His hair was unrully, part fur and part hair; looking a lot like he’d stuck his tail in a light socket. He abhorred anyone trying to clip his nails, ultimately peeing on at least one vet tech before the task was accomplished. He didn’t mind showers, instead he’d sulkily walk into the shower knowing he had no choice. When I describe him I often refer to the rat character in Mutant Ninja Turtles. Oy was unique, so ugly he was cute.

My pillow, my blanket, my bed…

The past year he’s been showing his age more. He’d wake up in the middle of the night to get a drink, always waking me to let him down and back up into the bed. He’d get up early to go outside, and when he came back in he’d want to lie down and sleep away the rest of the morning. We’d get into arguments with me holding him in bed hoping he’d just go back to sleep so I wouldn’t have to get up yet again. He’d win, always.

To say that Oy died prematurely the other night is a stretch. He was beginning to have the look of a walking zomby due to his age. His death was still a shock because I somehow thought I could avoid it with him. I know that’s not possible, but I was so used to having him around. I sleep better now because he’s not there waking me up, but I wish that weren’t so. I miss him. I still wait for him sometimes by the door, thinking he’s just on his way and taking his time. I still look for him before getting into bed. I know this will pass. 

Oy was a great little shit of a dog. I’m honored that I was able to share my life with him. 

thanks for reading,



#MeToo movement, Kavanaugh, and more…

I’ve been sitting by quietly taking in all of the fuss over our latest Supreme Court Judge. Here is a good man who may or may not have been too ‘feely uppy’ on a girl when he was younger. I’m not making excuses for guys who want to sneak a feel or even try to. That is definitely wrong. But here’s my question?? Who hasn’t had a stray grope? Who out there hasn’t had a guy try something unwanted at least once? Heck! I had a girl walk by me in middle school, squeeze both my breasts, say ‘yup, they’re real’ and keep on walking. I was dumfounded but I didn’t go and cry to someone. I had an eighty plus year old man grab me behind the back with one arm and grab my breast (I was 40 then) with the other, again shocking me. Is it right? NO. But am I going to go and try to destroy his life for it? No.

What else? My daughter’s great-aunt decided to reach around me and check my milk supply while I was just chatting. She said I was doing a good job too! Dumfounded again… I’ve had more than my share of a guy putting his hand on my ass, or hugging me close against my will. Did I go around and holler, ‘me too’ for these?? No! These unwanted touches, squeezes, hugs, grabs, you name it… they weren’t rape. They didn’t leave marks on me. They weren’t right but they taught me to set limits. The kid who pulled my pants down when I was 13? The uncle who felt me up as a child? Yes, wrong. But Jeez! We don’t need to go around and cry wolf for all of the little touches that guys and gals are trying to get in. We don’t want others to go through what we’ve really been through. We don’t want people to laugh us away when we say we’ve been raped or beaten. We want people to listen.

If we get all in a fuss over some guy taking a quick feel or even grinding on us against our will, do you think anyone will listen when we report them pushing us down, tearing our clothes off, and forcing themselves inside of us all while we scream?? No, they won’t listen. The boy who cried wolf ended up being eaten by one. Let us not cry wolf, instead let us speak with dignity, honesty, and respect.

The ‘me too’ movement is a good idea. It helps people learn that women can have limits. That women can say no. It helps men too. It helps them understand that no actually means no. But when we act as if the smallest of crimes is the same as the worst then we are not helping anyone. We’re looking like a bunch of foolish children. If I ever have to speak my past, I want people to believe what I have to say is worth listening too.  We need to act like women, stand tall, speak truth, and learn how to say no.

thank you for reading,


ps. if you want to know my story check out my book:


Updates on Life – New Job Soon

I’ve been doing something constantly for at least five years, when I started back at school. I had to study, study, study. Then I graduated and had to study some more for my board exams. Once those were passed it was time to get serious about finding a job. Always something pulling me forward. Then, all of a sudden, I had a job and no reason to study. I didn’t know what to do with myself. For a day or two I couldn’t even figure out how to get out of bed at a decent hour.

What kind of person am I that I just sit and do nothing all day? I was stuck. And I started to think. I started to realize I could relax and breathe a few minutes here and there. I started to realize the world wasn’t going to explode if I just took a break. It was a weird feeling.

Finally, I looked around, took a shower, got dressed and did something. At first it was a walk with one of the dogs. Then it was working on my garden out front. After awhile I went back inside and cleaned up my mess. I kept thinking, “what do I want my life to look like?” “I finally have the opportunity to create a life I love, what do I want it to be like?” These were hard questions.

I discovered I am actually living a life that I love. I already love my life and the people in it. I already have the things that I need. I’m not going hungry, not homeless, not even slightly bad off. I worked hard to get where I am and now I didn’t know what to do.

What exactly do you do when you don’t actually have to do anything? I read, I called friends, I went out, I went sailing, I lived. I continue to live and cherish each day and moment that I am still breathing. My time with ‘no requirements’ is quickly coming to an end. It was nice but it wasn’t exactly right. Monday I begin working and that will bring new challenges, new things to learn, new people to meet, new places to go. I’m excited and a little bit wary. But I do know one thing. I will continue to love my life for this is my life now, no one else’s. Sure I will report to others once again, but this time on my terms.

Is this what freedom truly is? I can’t wait to find out what I learn next!

thank you for reading,


Be Grateful

Over the years I’ve always tended toward gratitude. This morning, though, I wanted to list some of the things for which I am grateful. Being grateful even during times of trial is one of the ways people like me survive our trials. I remind myself that time is short and that ‘this’ trial shall also pass should I just keep on keeping on.

What am I grateful for? My kids. My health.  My sight. My ability to breathe. The house I live in, the roof that does not leak, the heat in the winter, and air conditioning in the summers. The fall air this morning. The ability to awaken from a deep slumber into a soft bed with a warm blanket.

I’m grateful for the sunburn I got from sailing, for if I hadn’t then I wouldn’t be reminded of sailing daily as it heals. I’m grateful for having dropped my computer in the river, for if I hadn’t then I wouldn’t have been able to recognize the miracles of being able to pull it from the depths of the water despite not seeing it, the fact that it currently works after only a few days of drying. I would have missed the miracle of a God caring enough about me that even the little things count to Him.

I’m grateful for being snuggled by my dogs. Of my geriatric dogs still enjoying their time with me. I’m grateful for coffee. For having enough food to never go hungry. For enough money to pay my bills, even if it’s not all of the bills covered it is enough to maintain a house over my children’s heads. I’m grateful for bills, for without these I might forget that life is a journey.

I’m grateful for soaps that smell like flowers, for books that make me cry, for friends that make me laugh, and for shoes that keep my feet from hurting.

I’m grateful for my mother who forced me to start taking Juice Plus so many years ago, who gave me her business so that I could continue it, who trusted me with her legacy regardless of how I determined to go.

I’m grateful for school, for the opportunity it provided for me to excel, to grow, to mature. I’m grateful it was hard, for if it had been easy I would have never learned that I could accomplish something so difficult. I’m grateful for the patience my teachers had, for the friends I gained despite myself, for the books that crowd my bookshelves, for the notes that crowd my brain.

I could go on. I have discovered that being grateful in the small things helps me to see through the hard things. I am grateful for you, my reader, for without you I might have not found my voice.

thank you for reading,


Life continues and another loved one is included…

I decided to allow my eldest to read my book. I needed to explain things that would allow her to come to her own decisions without making the same mistakes I had. I wanted to give her the gift of my experiences. And she wanted to know what I wrote. I allowed her.

Once I handed over the book, I felt a little bit frightened. I wanted to take it back but I let it be. She read it quietly, I never saw her with it until she was about half way through. She seemed to be doing well. The second half of my book is a bit more difficult for me than the first, yet I wasn’t going to take it from her. I just didn’t know quite what to expect. Love? Hate?

I didn’t know which way it would fall when she learned more about me, my secrets, my past. Today she took my book to work. She came home early. Tears. Sobs. My heart was breaking as I held her. She let me hold her as we both stood and cried. I knew it would be difficult. I was right. She is strong enough and she needs to know.

I’m an open book now. Literally. Our relationship is strengthening more than I could imagine. I regret she hasn’t finished the book yet, there’s more terrible things to come before things turn around. However, we’ve both decided she should continue reading it at home.

This was yet another step for me facing my fears. I love my children like I love myself. They will be better for having a mom like me. My how I’ve changed over the last couple of years! I once said I loved only my kids, not myself. I once thought I should die so they could have a better mom.

When I started all of this I never imagined I’d be the person I have become. I never imagined I would be able to hold my head high and yet have the past that I have. How can this be? I surprise even me.

thank you for reading,


July… Where did you go?

This month has FLOWN by! I can hardly believe the year is already more than half over. I’ve spent my spare moments job hunting, but the main things about this month were that I was not home. My daughter added it up to discover that I was only at home for 8 days this July. 8 days. Wow! The rest of this month was spent doing “good” things.

I had signed up with Boy Scouts as a female leader on a coed high adventure in South Florida over a year ago. Two weeks in the keys, with one on a boat, didn’t sound bad at the time. And truly? It was fun. BUT… I was gone from home. I missed my babies. I lost time that could have been used for looking for a job. Sure, it’s good to volunteer, to help others. I love helping with scouts. I wanted to go, I just didn’t know it was going to be only a part of what I did this month.

Prior to leaving for S Florida, my kids decided we should go family camping. I said yes to that as well. I mean, who wouldn’t? Your kids actually want you to spend the weekend with you, and you get to be outside camping? I love spending time with them and I definitely wanted them to know that I love them enough to run away with them. Definitely worth the time! But… That was less than a week before leaving… I was beginning to feel stressed back then and it was only the 3rd!

Then!!! Because I am the one in the family who is unemployed at the moment… (job interview in the morning and another the next day, wish me luck!)… I was the lucky one to be “free” to fly to Nevada in order to meet my brother and drive with him and his things back to NC. Great idea, moving him closer. He’s lived away from the rest of the family for about 18 years now. It’ll be great having him local… I said yes, again. I got back home from S Florida on a Thursday night and then left for Nevada the following Tuesday. I then spent the next three days helping him pack and load his things, and the following three days driving home… I got home yesterday morning at 1 am…

Three wonderful trips, for wonderful reasons, that I would never mind doing if it weren’t for the fact they were all in a single month. What have I learned? 1 – I still have a difficult time saying “no”. 2 – I have definitely improved my self-care to the point that even though I was exceedingly stressed (there were several incredibly difficult circumstances with each of the trips), I was still able to keep a clear mind and a calm tongue for most of it. 3 – I still need to yell once in a while, 4 – I deserve to be taken care of, 5 – I need to keep myself on the list or else I’m not going to make it.  There’s probably more but it was at least a small comfort realizing I could take a breath and redirect my thoughts preventing me from saying terrible things just because I was tired and sore.

I hope your month went well.

thank you for reading,


Job Hunting (still…)

The job hunt continues. I’m a pharmacist now, finished my licensure exams. I was hoping I’d find a job right away. Yet, there’s that part of me that longs for some time for peace, time away from the crazy. I need a job. I need to pay bills, to work, to provide for my family.

I’ve been to a couple of interviews already. Had a few no’s, and waiting to hear back from others. What do I want to do? Where do I want to work? Do I want to work in a hospital? With pediatrics? What about with cancer patients? Do I want retail? There are so many choices! But… it ultimately depends on who is hiring.

I live near two different pharmacy schools. This area is saturated already. It seems I may have to drive to get a decent job. I don’t mind, I like the time alone in the car. I use my car as a way to recharge my mind. I listen to inspirational speakers, learn about the way the brain works. I use time in the car to remind me that I am human, to build myself a better way of taking care of myself.

The problem? I want to be with my children. I still have two that are young, but all four still need me some. How will my family adjust to me working full-time? How will we make it work with me gone so long each day? I know many women who work, and I worry about sounding like I’m whining. I don’t mind working, I enjoy it. I dislike leaving my children for so long. Could I somehow take my youngest with me? So many things!

I remind myself to take care of myself. I remind myself to trust that the future will be good. I remind myself that every challenge to date has gone in my favor and this one will as well. I just have to remember to breathe, and it’ll be okay.

thank you for reading,