Category Archives: Family

The Blue Light & Mrs. Holier Than Thou

I do not know where I am going with this post.  There are a lot of things swimming in my murky brain.

One, my face is on fire after being Blue Lighted by Dr. Skin’s medical cohort. This, in theory, is to bring all of my pre-cancers to the surface in one fell swoop.  Sadly, champagne is not served while one’s face is cooking in the equivalent of a facial MRI machine while wearing too small swim goggles.  Get on that, Dr. Skin.  She had her face done yesterday so she should know!  While in her office, I wondered if she was aware that the abstract artwork on the wall was that of a female nude? With a pair of too small swim goggles dangling daintly off the woman’s left hand?  Now I’ve probably ruined/improved the experience for everyone.

Secondly, I am solidly in the desert with Jesus right now.  It’s arid.

Thirdly, when thinking of the blue light, I also absurdly think of Adam Curlykale (not his real name).  Adam is a young man who, after surviving cancer, decided to tattoo his entire body.  According to this article, he only has two spots left to ink in.

I have written several times about tattoos on this blog, mostly pertaining to my friend Viking Queen.  I have lost touch with Viking Queen but think of her often.  She was my entree into the world of tats.

Thing 1 also pointed out some interesting facts about tats when she briefly worked for an organ donor NGO.  In that organization (but not all) donors with tats are excluded from donating organs.  So, for that matter, are most people over the age of 50.  At that NGO, the only viable parts would be corneas and unblemished (aged) skin.  Not worth checking the box on my driver’s license for me!

Also, the Red Cross limits blood donations for those who have been recently tattooed, some forever.  Read this article here.  These are the places in America that DO NOT REGULATE tattoos: District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah and Wyoming.   Well, no wonder.   I was precluded from donating blood in the US for five years because I had lived in a many a virulent, disease laden country.  Oh, for the expat life once again!  What if I had lived overseas AND had a tattoo?

It has also come to light that residual tattoo ink lodges in your lymph nodes, the infection clearing houses of the body.  Click here to read more about this fascinating subject.

I have spent a lot of time around a lot of yogis with lots and lots of ink displayed across their bodies.   Some of it is nonsensical, ridiculous, and ugly.  Some is artistic, sobering, and empowering.   But I guarantee, guarantee, that none of them (yogis!) thought about the health implications!  Which, frankly, stuns me.  I have an allergic reaction to henna tattoos so you know I can only imagine what cadmium would do to my skin ….

Finally, no judgment if you have a tattoo.  If you are my age, your skin is sagging already and a tattoo might perk it up!  Why not?  Live large!  No one wants your skin anyway!  I am clinging to the patches of mine that are healthy.  All my messages to the Universe are writ large on my blog and t-shirts and that’s enough for me and my truth for today.

Apologies for not editing.  It’s (TRUTHFULLY)  been one of the longest weeks of my life.  Shalom!







Filed under Family, Life, yoga

The Irish Good Bye

Recently, my family was at a party and some of the guests left without saying good bye.  My Things snorted and said, “Well, that was an Irish good bye.”  I had never heard the phrase.  While watching the TV series Schitt’s Creek yesterday, one of the characters mentioned  the  “French exit”.  It turns out they are the same thing.  Americans implicate the Irish and the Canadians and Brits finger the French.

Per Urban Dictionary, “the irish [sic] exit refers to the departure from any event without telling any friends, associates or acquaintances that one is leaving. It is almost always the result of being very inebriated/intoxicated.”  Here is a good article on this topic as well as the very millenial form of separation called “ghosting”.

In the case of the above noted party, intoxication was not the reason.
In other news, my DNA per revealed that I am about 29% Irish,  27% British, 33% Scandinavian, and the rest is Western European, including 6% Iberian Peninsula.  There was no German, which was odd because I was always told I was also German.  This later Iberian dollop did not show up in my father’s DNA, so we have to surmise it came from The Radish (sadly, she did not spit in her tube before passing away).  My Aunt SuSu had no Iberian Peninsula in her DNA.  Raftbuddy sent me this interesting article explaining why siblings get such varied DNA.  So, sisters, order your kits and let’s see who is the most Irish and who’s the most Iberian!    The truth will out!
I trust that none of my readers pulled an Irish exit yesterday!  My father, Big Mike, made my mother’s corned beef recipe, key lime pie, and soda bread.  You cannot believe what a fantastic, nourishing feast that was.  The potatoes, sadly, never made it to the party.  The Truth be told, I forgot to bring them.  The cabbage, however, was not missed.
Question for you:  Have you ever pulled an Irish goodbye and if so, what were the circumstances?  TELL THE TRUTH.


Filed under Family, Fine Dining, Holidays, Life, Misunderstandings, Parenting

Never Going Back to Malaysia

As today is St. Patrick’s Day, I reread my posts from the past on this day and truthfully, they were pretty darn good.  I really need not say more except that I have totally forgotten the face of my duende and need to find another one, this time perhaps in the yoga studio.   And I never heard the crazy drunken wedding song because I left the marathon festivities in the early evening.

Since snakes have featured heavily here over the past week, I am sharing  this article/video with you.  It is not for the faint of heart.  I cannot explain this behavior.  Thank you, St. Patrick, for ridding an entire country of them.

Congrats to my Irish sisters – MCVWasHere has run her 20th half marathon and MoodRingMomma has another Dawg in the house!


Filed under Family, Holidays, Life, Misunderstandings, Spanish vocabulary

Gentle Man

Tomorrow will be my father-in-law’s 80th birthday so I am taking this time to remind the world that gentlemen and gentle men do exist.  Perhaps not in public office, but out in the real world.    The Headmaster uplifts us all with his literary references, love of puns, and general quick wit.    As a former boarding school headmaster, he has parented thousands of young souls (primarily women),  guiding futures,  molding characters, and getting up in the middle of the night to attend to those wracked with teen angst.

The Headmaster embodies the fruit of the spirit:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control.  How lucky am I to be married to the literal fruit of the Headmaster???  The acorn, apple, and fig  don’t fall far from the tree.

Men today would do us all a favor by taking a page from the Headmaster’s play book.  An expert dishwasher loader and unloader, the Headmaster washes his own clothes, holds doors open for women (some of us still like that), and proffers glasses of wine or whiskey at all the right moments.  He would rather save his dog’s life than his own.   And, he can carry quite the tune.  The Headmaster has been married to the love of his life for nearly 57 years.  Truth be told, it is hard to find a gentler man.

So cheers to an admirable, honorable, and noble man.  Long may he live!  We will be toasting and roasting him tonight!



Filed under Birthdays, Family, Life

All About Eve


The truth is that no one really likes reading about the truth.  The truth may be that the truth is a very hard Lenten project.

This morning upon exiting yoga I received this string of texts.  I would screen shot them for you but then you would know the names of my daughters.  Although the group text included all family members, Thing 2 apparently declined to comment (where is he???).  In any event, when I was responding to the string of texts, I had not been able to download the photo.   So this was what I got:

Thing 1:  holy CRAP this was in our pool patio!!!!!!

Thing 3:  oh my gosh….DISGUSTING!

T1:  i’m worried now about going out there/letting the animals out!!!!

T3: try to find the snake.  it had to get in there somehow.

T1: hell  no, not while I’m alone

T3: don’t let the animals out

T1: i’ll wait for mom to come home

T3: Right.  But when Mom or Dad is home

T1:  should we call animal control?  how do we deal with this?  it looks like its 4 plus feet long

EPP/Mom:  I can’t download it but you know I am not going out if there’s a snake

T3: that’s gross.  lock the cat door to mom and dads room

T1:  how big would you say it is??? the bowl is like 5 inches in diameter

At this point, I returned home.  I am not just sure what Thing 1 thought I was going to do about the snake.  She explained that she’d already called animal control – in Florida you must subcontract a snake wrangler.  As we debated this, I took a closer look at the aforementioned snakeskin minus its inhabitant just as the doorbell rang.   Cue the Sheriff.  Chagrined, I explained to him that it was a …


T3:  ???


T3:  dunce award


Mr.U/Dad:  Good Lord.

Thing 1 had failed to tell me that she called 911 to report the snake/snakeskin.    Apparently the local sheriff’s office is supposed to deal with minor animal services.  Local contractors presumably are the ones hired to deal with situations like this near our house two days ago:


What is the lesson here?  Sometimes the truth is just a damned dirty piece of crochet.  Perhaps Eve forgot to put her contacts in that morning?  Maybe we need to investigate a little more carefully before getting our knickers in a twist?   It was cold last night …. hardly the time for a long, skinny snake to be shedding its skin.  At least now we know who to call….

I have been dining out on this all day ….  many thanks to Gypsy Jords for making the crochet pet leash/snake/not snake and my favorite self-Caviezel (pleases refer to much earlier posts) of all time.  My mother is laughing SO HARD in Heaven.  SO HARD.  There are snakes in the desert during Lent but sometimes they are just a good yarn.


Filed under Family, Life, Misunderstandings

A Mother’s Truth (Sally’s)

One might say that I am a hoarder.  There is a slight truth to this.  I listened very carefully to my grandmother’s stories of deprivation during the Great Depression.  Laura Ingalls Wilder’s stories of scarcity also impacted my worldview, not to mention Apocalyptic fiction.

Readers may, however, recall that one of my memory verses for my pilgrimage in 2014 was to “travel lightly”.  I STILL have not achieved this but continue to work at it.  The garage cleaning in Arkansas, my home/not home, is underway and the pile for the Salvation Army is growing.  I am channeling my mother and taking no prisoners.  Out it goes!

Having said that, I have toted around the globe lots of old correspondence.   Whilst rifling through a box of letters, I came across these concluding paragraphs in a letter from my mother Sally, written July 29, 1992 to me and my sisters.   I am sharing it with you so you can share with your daughters too.  I am almost the age my mother was when she wrote this letter.  I don’t think I’ll be able to catch up to her on the wisdom front.

“I would like to say that I have found the secret of getting my act together.  But I have always found that just when I smell the sweet smell of success, splat the rules have changed.  LIfe is a quilt of patches and they all go into the whole.  I am not looking forward to the patches of elderly poor health or widowhood.  I guess you will have to help me with that.

My little piece of advice:

Cook dinner, pick up the living room, have a spiritual life (you girls are probably praying more than you think you are, have a sense of humor, don’t nag, forget trying to change your spouse, don’t let your spouse brow beat you.  Slovenliness is bad.  Talk [during] your dinner.  Do something creative.  Exercise.  If your spouse balances the check book, leave the house.  Shit will happen.  Big shit will happen.  If you feel too bad call a friend and ask  for help.  Call a sister and ask for help.  Know that the shit will more than likely make you stronger.  Remember you are special, but you are no better than anyone else. Also remember that getting through hard times together does strengthen your marital relationship.  Don’t forget the good things husbands do for you.  Find your own friends.  I think that Is it.  Oh yes, eat five vegetables and fruits daily.

I love you girls so much.

Good bye dear hearts,



Now it that isn’t the truth, I don’t know what is.






Filed under Family, Life, Parenting, Uncluttering

Birthday Song


The Radish & Her Baby Princess

The Radish and Her Baby Princess


Many thanks to all of my family, friends, and internet companions for your well wishes on my birthday.  As many of you know, it was also my dearly beloved mother’s birthday as well.  I had nine months to prepare for the day and I used every one of them.  There has not been one day in which I have forgotten that she is no longer on this earthly plane.  Not one day.  But in the end, it had nothing to do with me, really.  It had everything to do with YOU, dear reader, and my mother.  Instead of a day of intense sorrow, there was peace and joy.

Let me explain for those of you interested enough to keep reading.  Warning:  Jesus will be involved.

As I wrote earlier in the year, my mother Sally’s word for 2017 was REJOICE.  She only had two weeks on earth to work on that word but apparently it was enough.  My words for 2017 were HOPE and RESTORE.  Honestly, though, I adopted and focused on my mother’s word and by so doing, hope and restoration followed.

Let me explain, for those of you interested enough to keep reading.

As I also wrote earlier in the year, my Reading Brain and my Prayer Brain were adversely affected by my mother’s untimely passing.  For the first time ever in my life, reading brought little solace.  The Bible (gasp!), bible studies, People magazine, House Beautiful, fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, the news held no appeal.  A voracious reader, my appetite was gone.  GONE.  My Prayer Brain was even worse.  Meandering.  Directionless (at a time when Direction is most urgently needed!  We need a job!  Health!  Peace!  Stability! Focus!).  Distressing.  What to do???

Let me explain, for those interested.

On Friday night I attended a pipe organ concert at our church in St. Augustine with my father,  Big Mike.  The organist, Ken Cowan, play from memory eight complicated compositions.  You have no idea how amazing this musical contortionist was [an grammatical edit is needed here but see above paragraph].  One of the pieces had what Mr. Cowan described as a “fugue”.  After the concert, I asked my father what the musical term “fugue” meant.  Musically illiterate,  I could think only of the word “trance” .  Naturally, my father gave me the definition almost verbatim from Merriam-Webster:


  • a :a musical composition in which one or two themes are repeated or imitated by successively entering voices and contrapuntally developed in a continuous interweaving of the voice parts The organist played a four-voiced fugue.

b :something that resembles a fugue especially in interweaving repetitive elements

My interpretation was close to the secondary definition:

  • 2
  • :a disturbed state of consciousness in which the one affected seems to perform acts in full awareness but upon recovery cannot recollect the acts performed

This is as approximate a description of the last nine months of my year, a “fugue”.  Between the moments of total functionality and quasi-normalcy, there have been many other moments of which I have zero recollection.  I have done some pretty random things, like become a certified yoga instructor.  (Say what?  Yep. I still can’t explain it to myself.)  Point, counterpoint, enter a voice or two, sing high, sing low sweet chariot.

Let me explain.

Yesterday after receiving my annual birthday blessing, I had an epiphany or three:

1) My mother came to church with me and even went so far as to engineer the liturgy for the day:  Phillippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord; and again, I say rejoice!” and Psalm 23, “He restores my soul …”.   While The Word in its totality has not fed me this year, the words REJOICE, HOPE, AND RESTORE have.

2) Jesus is the last person to care that I am not on my prayer game – there is no condemnation in Christ. [Romans 8:1].  Thanks, Jesus, for once again getting me off the hook.

3) Music, the language of angels, has soothed me.  To quote Eric Church, I have had “a record year.”  Mr. Church, Motown, and hippy dippy trippy yoga music have nourished my soul instead of books.

Finally, I took such great comfort in knowing that so many of you were hoping and praying I had a great day that I ACTUALLY DID!  YOU LIFTED ME UP FROM WHEREVER YOU WERE AND I THANK YOU.  I FELT THE LOVE!  THERE’S A PAIR OF WINGS WAITING FOR YOU IN HEAVEN.  Sunrise at the beach, a nap after, back to the beach for some vitamin Sea and D, a pitcher of beer with Stevie Ray Vaughn’s Pride and Joy at Finn’s rooftop bar, and dinner with my extended Florida family = birthday bliss.  Kudos to Mr. Understanding for bringing me coffee every morning of Birthday Week.  And if, in my fugue,  I have forgotten to thank you for a kind note or act, please forgive me!  It was not my intention. For those who perhaps have been in a fugue of their own, don’t worry!  I get it now.


Filed under Birthdays, Family, Fine Dining, Life, Parenting, Reading, Religion