The naked truth and sweet baby Jezzus

True story.

Affer a very, very long (albeit lovely) day of work, errands and life in general, I made my way upstairs to my bedroom to climb out of my clothes and into my jammie’s.

I stripped down to the skin God gave me, and stood for a moment to take a deep breath, when the thunderous sound of feet racing up the stairs was followed immediately by my door bursting open as I faced it wearing only surprise.

Two of my children exploded into the room.
We all screamed (for different reasons I imagine) and my daughter shoved her brother out into the hall, locked the door and fell onto my bed laughing and yelling at the banished boy.

They were arguing over who was my favorite. No lie.

They were arguing over who was my FAVORITE and they chose THAT particular moment to settle the debate.

Apparently my daughter had made grandiose claims tp her brother that I had texted to her earlier that SHE was the most favored.

Their arguing continued in my bedroom while I stood naked, completely NAKED. And stunned. And NAKED.


Did I mention that I was naked? Because I was. VERY NAKED. And yet they persisted in debating at full volume, the standing each had in my heart.

The heart inside my very naked body.

This may come as a surprise to some.of you but It is very hard to maintain a sense of dignity and decorum in this household under the best of circumstances.

“GET OUT!” I yelled into the vacuum of my children’s attention.


My daughter scrambled off the bed and out the door, slamming it behind her while the two of them continued to argue about who I loved best.

Finally my son called loudly through the chaos


That was it. I snapped.


I heard my son say quietly to my daughter as they retreated:

“See? I TOLD you it wasn’t you. It’s Jeezuz.”

And now for a drink. A strong one. But first, CLOTHES.

Utterly unprepared and okayish with it

I’m at peace. Ish. At peace-ish. Despite not being remotely prepared for this holiday, I let go of the remnants of control I held onto and gave in. I surrendered and curled up in my bed, sleeping and healing for the past week.

That was both a solid and responsible decision health wise, and an incredibly foolish one the week before the holidays.

My doctor and family are equally surprised by my unprecedented show of good judgment, and my UPS driver is worried I’m seeing someone else.

I had a low moment texting with a friend, and complained that I still needed to start my holiday shopping. My friend who does not celebrate really much of anything sent back “Holiday shopping? What’s that?” So I explained:

“Holiday shopping is when you make a list of all of the people in your life that you want to disappoint, and you take that list to stores crowded with people carrying lists of people that THEY want to disappoint, and you elbow your way through them as you shove the one remaining cart with the stuck wheel through aisles of useless or too expensive stuff.

You cry off and on and eat loose purse candy to keep your blood sugar from plummeting you into mindless violent outbursts. You load your faulty wheeled cart full of items you are certain wont fit/last/be compatible/be to their taste and try very hard not to throw things in the direction of the speaker nearest you, the one playing the chipmunks Christmas song, the song that curdles your blood.

You peel every layer of clothing off while still maintaining a level of decency and decorum worthy of family venues because it’s a thousand degrees in the store. That’s to be expected. You are, in fact, in Hell. Hell is hot. You should have recalled this and dressed appropriately.

Once your cart is too heavy to shove, you turn it around and drag it tracktor style towards a checkout. Once piled on the conveyor belt you proceed to extract the kidney you think is least likely to survive your kids college years, and then auction it off to cover the tab at the register.

If the kidney is a no go, be prepared to trade your car in. Most cashiers are college kids too and have low enough standards in transportation options that they’ll probably be foolish enough to take your steel and plastic bumper car as payment for your stuff. Let them.

If you shop the same day I shop just know it will be combination snow/raining making it almost impossible to shove-drag your cart to your car all the way at the back of the lot. It’s always a combination snow/raining when I shop. Even in July. Dont ask. It just is

When you finally get it all home and into your kitchen where you absolutely WILL give up and drop the stuff, grab the big soup bowl from the cupboard and fill that baby to the top with your cooking wine. Sit right down on the floor and empty that soup bowl with the last of your loose purse candy. That’s your dinner. The family can feed itself.

And that, my friend, is holiday shopping.

Wrapping? Now that’s a blog into itself.


Well if you don’t know me by now…lemme show you, but first pour a glass of bourbon, take a nice deep breath and bend over. I’m gonna use the whole hand. (*a working title)

That’s a a long title. Even for me. But honestly, if you’ve read my stuff before you can tell the kid next to you to buckle up and enjoy the ride.

Or tuck and roll if you dont. Your choice. It’s been a bumpy ride and I feel like really letting it out on the corners and I’m not gonna hit the breaks. Not today Satan.

I’ve been at war with my insurance company for months. It seems the treatment and the procedure I have every several months when I cant take the pain levels, the ones that have been used for over twenty years, this they now categorize as “experimental”, denied three appeals, and suggested my SPINE SPECIALIST (who absolutely will NOT) perform a delightful treatment wherein nerves at the base of my spine (but dont worry, only SOME nerves) are BURNED. Yeah, you read that right. And no, there is no great success rate, and no I’m not batcap crazy OR going to allow it.

A fourth physician’s appeal prevailed this morning, so everyone take a nice deep breath and a solid four fingers of Old Grandads along with me.

It’s a new policy and I’ve used language with people at the other end of my phone you’d blush hearing. To be fair, you don’t need to have stood next to me to have been privy. You could have been several states over by the second month and fiftieth phone argument and been gasping and clutching your pearl’s. Better? Good, we’re not stopping here so pee quickly and use the hand sanitizer.

I have fibromyalgia. Had it for years. During flareups I get swelling around the nerve bundles at the base of my spine. It’s…uncomfortable, to be ladylike, and makes my legs wonky and my feet idiotic.

I’ve seen all the best Boston has to offer over the years, and we have all agreed that if it can’t kill me, I can work with it. And I work the ever living hell out of it.

As my father says, “If everyone threw their problems into the middle of the room to get rid of them, they’d grab their own back and be thankful once they saw what else was out there “.

He’s right, and I am. Thankful.

Now while I’m full of gratitude and all, if any one of you tell me to try a supplement, or special diet, or fancy dance that will cure me because you know a guy who’s friend had a plumber who’s wife had a client who’s kid was part of a study that studied people who aren’t doctors or scientists and they once held a symposium on “fibromyalgia” and it magically went away, l swear on all that’s holy and righteous in this world I’ll kick you in the damn teeth and wear the ones that fall out on a necklace.

Today my favorite doctor’s office manager called his favorite patient. That’s me, I’m his favorite. See prior blogs and say hello to the others there wondering how in hell their search engine interpreted their request for free kittens for Christmas as #closertocrazy. Slap on a name tag, there are a lot of you.

Today I got the call to come in for the procedure (the one that works, not the one they used during the inquisition) and once again I was led to a room and left unsupervised.

You read that right. I’m alone in his office, waiting to be taken in and shot in the ass (well, between my dimples of venus…) multiple times. Alone in an office just full of fun things and not a person to slap my hand away and remind me I am someone’s mother. And it’s taking a while.

This doctor will never learn….


How far wings and wishes take me

My favorite girl and I were both in need of a reset. It’s been a challenging several months for both of our bodies and both of our spirits needed a holiday refresh.

I’m blessed to have good friends who encouraged us to be impulsive and to come away and be wrapped up in the cheer of the seasonal beauty, all the sights, and the warmth of excellent company and conversation.

We boarded a bus out of Worcester and slept our way to the big apple, carrying only what we needed in backpacks (a wildly impressive fete for anyone who knows either of us), and wandered around Rockefeller Center, Saint Patrick’s cathedral, and Times Square, crashing at an old friends apartment just walking distance from it all.

We dined on pizza and thick slices of cheesecake, and burgers so huge and delicious I still picture it when I close my eyes. Not a single meal was sensible, restrained, or regretted.

We noshed and talked with old friends, took pictures, window shopped, and joined unexpectedly in a street performance on our way to the metro. “We need a mom for this” a guy yelled as he walked over and grabbed my arm, pulling me into the circle. So yeah, great, I’m the obvious mom in the crowd now, but I got to be part of the show so kiss my mom butt.

Tomorrow my favorite girl and I are meeting up with more dear friends for lunch, visiting the Cathedral of St John the Divine, and seeing “Chicago” at the incredible invitation of these amazing people I’m blessed to call part of my tribe.

Saturday morning we’ll hop a bus and sleep our way home and carry these memories for a lifetime.

I’m trying to stop waiting for the “right time”, “the best time”, or even good weather to do new things, to go new places, to be braver than I have been in the past.

It’s time to spread my wings, even if they feel weary and worn. Especially when they feel weary and worn. It’s time to just jump and see how far these wings and my wishes will take me.

All day

Im not doing a single practical thing this weekend. Im staying right here in bed with my dogs, sleeping and snuggling.

I haven’t started Christmas shopping yet. My house is a mess. There are dishes in the sink, piles of laundry to be washed, decorations to be put up, and a gym down the street that has my face on a milk carton at the front desk in the hope that someone has seen me.

There are more pillows in this bed than occupants. The blankets (and there are many) are haphazardly and diagonally thrown on. Yesterday’s clothes are piled on the dresser where I hastily discarded them yesterday morning after work.

Im staying right here in bed with my dogs, sleeping and snuggling. Everything else can wait another day and the rest of the world will spin just fine on its own.

Trapped in middle school

I have a 13 year old brain that insists on taking everything it hears or reads and twisting it into something inappropriate to the exhaustion of my friends.

One friend in particular texted me to make sure I got home from my overnight shift safely after this last snowstorm, only to have a barrage of one liners hurled relentlessly back. You know who you are and 13 year old me is STILL not sorry.

That was quality humor coming from someone who hadn’t slept yet, although to be fair, I’d have made the same jokes fully rested. My brain is after all, clearly stuck in adolescence.

A: God, I’m itching to take my 4wd out but I’m gonna get my front and rear differential serviced before I do.

Me: Why not get your “oil changed” while you’re at it, if you know what I mean…

A: Ha ha yes Ell, I know what you mean. Everyone knows what you mean.

Me: Do they?

A: Yes. Go to bed!

Me: Why? Are you going to “lube your chassis”?

A: smh

Me: Are you gonna get your tires “rotated”? “Clear the exhaust”? “Top off your tank”? ”

A: Seriously, you need help

Me: You do have a lot of “junk in your trunk”. I’m not criticizing, I have a lot of junk in my trunk I too.

A: omg

Me: I have more. I can go all day. They dont get any better but I’m still rather pleased with myself…

A: Why am I friends with you??? Get sleep and when you wake up, please be done with middle school 😂

Me: We both know I cant do that.


My chickens have been working their way through the pumpkins on the porch, so when I got home from work this morning I filled them with feed and lugged them over to the coop.

The goats were yelling for their breakfast while I was feeding the chickens and ducks, so I dragged and dropped a stuffed pumpkin into their area to give them something to QUIETLY check out.

Yelling goats do not endear you to your neighbors at ANY time of the day, but at 8am? You’re risking eggs from your own coop being thrown at your house….

The goats went berserk over the treat.
Gabriel is literally stuffing his face while Cookie, Charlie, and Honey knock each other out of the way for prime access to the goodies.

It’s like watching myself alone with the leftover Halloween candy. Best just back away from me till it’s gone, and when I’m done I will absolutely have gooey stuff all over my face.


Just cant help myself

Jeeze I’m tired. Yeah. Too tired to even eat my feelings, and you know I love to eat my feelings I dragged my tired tush (no small fete since it’s no small tush) around work having only 2 1/2 hours of sleep in the last two days, and one 20 minute nap on the heated driver’s seat of my parked and idling car in the lot on my 3am break.

Yes, yes I know, I know. You have my word I’ll take my nap game back into the building from now on since midnight hospital lot car naps absolutely feel like the start to a Steven King novel even to reckless and weary me.

Also, I had fitful dreams of being narcammed by well meaning good samaritan fellow employees, mistaking my napping for something else entirely.

I stopped home long enough to grab three eager dogs who took the time to mark my reappearance in their lives by rolling happily around the wet grass in the rain befor jumping into the car to accompany me to my spine guy’s office.

Their damp puppy breath and wet fur fogged up the inside of the car as I drove, heat blasting in an attempt to counter it so I could see where I was going.

I parked, assured the dogs I’d be back soon, and dragged my dumb leg across the parking lot to the main entrance. The right side gets dumb and stupid and unreliable when my pain levels are high, the reason for this visit. A rainy day means empty spots are allllll the way at the back.


I stood before the confused receptionist, rubbing what felt like grains of sand out of my sleepless eyes as she tapped at the keyboard and muttered

“Im so sorry we don’t seem to have you on our schedule…”

And it hit me. I realized why: I was at the wrong doctors office. My bone guy. The one who fixed one knee and two shoulders. One of the shoulders twice, a month a part. He’s a big fan of me. I’m buying him a boat, one surgery at a time.

I had to run back out to the car full of wet dogs and haul ass with steamed up windows to my spine guy, a difficult thing to manage at the moment in my state. But I managed it. Like a BOSS. even one minute early. BOOM.

Now usually I play this little game with my spine guy while I wait. I try to take as many pictures with the things in his office as possible while I wait. He is aware of this. He’s caught me several times now, mid pose with various spine models, masks and equipment.

I call it an incentive program. For him to hurry the hell up and not keep me waiting too long. Unless he wants to be featured an hour later in one of my posts. Which he has. Four times now.

But today, today I was too tired and aching for hijinks. I sat there quietly ignoring my dumb leg and other dumb parts of me and waited.

Five whole minutes.

And then something shiny caught my eye…..

For the record, my doctor walked in DURING this picture and had the decency to restrain his reaction to shaking his head while I finished, put the thing back on his counter and sat down.

I pushed my hair back from my face, folded my hands on my lap, and smiled.

“You cant help yourself, can you?” Was all he said.


A fowl season for pumpkins

I couldn’t help myself. I’ve been shackled to the house and my bed and my couch for a few days, easing through this flareup.

I sat curled on a lawn chair wrapped in a soft blanket and watched my ever curious chickens scoping out my pumpkins, waiting for me to go inside so they could begin their usual carnage of my seasonal displays.

I watched them with amusement as they abandoned all self control and attacked the beautiful and peace loving gourds.
The puppies arrived on scene too late to chase them off.

I snapped a few pix and then, after they wandered contentedly towards the coop for the evening, grabbed a couple of acorns and small sticks and a leaf to complete the “fowl” tableau left behind by my chicks.

I am ridiculously pleased with myself. One does need to amuse one’s self in times such as these.


However it’s wrapped

Today I am surrendering . Sometimes you have to surrender to yourself and that’s hard to do. You can see sunshine through your window but moving hurts. You want to take a walk but your legs aren’t cooperating and your insides are on fire. You sleep and sleep but fatigue hangs onto your bones.

Invisible diseases are just that, invisible to others, and even sometimes to yourself. You go along at a mighty pace, strong and fast, and then it takes you by surprise. Ninja style. Flareups come out of the blue. So you have to surrender to the day and honor where you are.

If the body needs it, the body gets it. Healing has it’s own timetable and cant happen if you fight it. So be good to yourself. Let go and try to clear your mind of the things you needed or wanted to get done. Everything can wait or someone can help. Tomorrow is another day. Maybe next week is where the new day is. Honor the process and nurture yourself.

Life is a gift, however its wrapped up.