Monday, April 02, 2018


As I have nearly every morning for the last seven years, I drove to the corner store to get my coffee and Diet Dr. Pepper refill.

As I was leaving, my eye was caught by a bag of toys sitting outside the Goodwill. Instead of making an immediate left, I continued on past the Goodwill to take a closer look. The bag was open and I saw blonde hair.

I just looked and started to drive home and thought it was sad and unsure as to why it really caught my eye (other than the Toy Story theory).

I decided to go back and take a picture.

I knew I'd look like a fool sitting on the sidewalk outside the Goodwill taking the photo. It was Saturday morning and the Mexican Food restaurant next door to the Goodwill was hopping with customers for brunch. I decided that I was artist and I didn't care.

That's right. An artist. With my iphone.

I didn't bother getting my real camera. I was pulled back by the theme running in my head.

So, I drive through the school parking lot and head back, coffee in hand, to the Goodwill.

I park and leave the engine running. I run out, sit down and take a few pictures hoping my artistic interpretation came through.

It didn't really but I'm posting it anyway.

It probably didn't turn out the way I wanted because I was nervous throwing myself on the sidewalk in front of people as I haven't done that type of thing in awhile. I was also too lazy to run it through Photoshop.

But there it is. Someone during the middle of the night, or perhaps early because Goodwill was still closed, threw a bag of unwanted and unloved toys on the ground in front of Goodwill.

They couldn't even get it on the sidewalk. It's thrown on the rocks.

Some of you know from reading my past stories that I have a thing about giving stuff away. Every damn scrap of paper is sentimental to me. Every button, every army man (Toy Story theory), every Bob the Builder shirt, every THING that was ever handled by my children is a physical reminder to me. I have to remind myself every single damn time that I don't need those items to remind me of my children.

I have to let go. I have my brain, the enormous amount of scrapbooks and this blog to remind me of every little step my children took in their lives. Sure, I don't always write. Sometimes I can't.

I have my children to remind me! How stupid of me to get so weird about "stuff".

I also have to stop identifying myself as ONLY a mother. I am more than that.

This blonde doll that was stuffed and suffocating and no longer needed or loved was in this bag with other items that were no longer valued by someone.

I pictured the other toys in the bag pushing this blonde doll to the top of the bag, saying, "You're better than this. You are not appreciated anymore here. You must escape this bag and find yourself a new place where you are appreciated and loved".

At first she fought. She was in a new place and not at home. She wanted to curl into the fetal position and give up. She did that for a couple hours but with all the toys encouraging her to find herself and love herself she decided to accept the support of the other toys.

Slowly, she allowed herself to be scooted up, up, up and out of the cramped and suffocating bag.  She saw the sky and began to realize her enormous possibilities of what her future could hold. She began to get excited and she began to love herself and accept the situation she was in.

Was she vengeful or angry? No.

Sher realized that while she was sad, she could be satisfied with the past journey she had been on and was thankful for all that she had learned and gained and loved.

and so as the sun came up, she closed her eyes and waited in anticipation of what the future would hold...

And that's just me driving past a bag of toys on the ground.

Imagine what it's like when something real happens. I'll just need to be more confident.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Isle of Flightless Birds

I will fly with no hope, no fear
And the ground taunts my wings
Plummet as I sing, plummet as I sing

Thursday, March 01, 2018

The Audience

Every day since the middle of November
The audience sits and watches every move I make
There is nothing I can do about the audience
There is nothing the audience can do about me
It just sits there and judges
Every Day
Every Night

Tuesday, June 06, 2017


Geez what a DAY!

I got a call from Jay's callbox at 6:30 this morning. Usually when someone calls that early I know it's urgent.

So, I call to listen in to the messages and there are actually 2 messages. The first one is someone that needs some toad training. They called at 4:22 PM yesterday. The 2nd call was the same person and at first I was like, "Geez! Give me a break! I'll call you in a minute!", but they were frantic because now there were toads in their pool and their dog was going insane trying to get to them.

I can't reach Jay (if you know Jay, you know this is normal) and I know he's not going there anytime soon because he's in Pinal today doing Euth evaluations. I don't know if he has any toads yet.

I call these people back and they're telling me that they've called 6 or 7 places and no one will get the toads and they don't know what to do with it and the Sheriff said they couldn't shoot them but gave them Jay's phone number and they really need someone to get the toads now......

They sounded so desperate and I decided that I would go get the toads but warned them it would take me an hour to get there because they live so fucking far away. They were fine with that. They were appreciative and thankful.

So, not even knowing if Jay has toads and not knowing for sure if these are really Colorado River Toads I decide I'm waking the kids up and we're going. It totally screwed up my day but I said to myself, "It's our first summer adventure."

Both kids are asleep in bed. That took a few minutes to get them up and moving. I didn't even have to bribe them with anything. That's how half asleep they were.

Trent grabs the rubber gloves and we're off to Walmart to buy a bucket. Before we leave, I ask Trent to get a screwdriver so we can poke holes in the lid.

20 minutes later, we're standing in the parking lot of Walmart at the trunk of our mini van with a screwdriver stabbing holes in the lid of big, blue bucket.

40 minutes after that, we pull up to our location.

The lady comes out and lets us in the backyard. She tells me they're in the pool skimmer. She's looking a little nervous.

Trent and I don our gloves and I take the lid off the skimmer. I immediately slam it back down in place and look at her and say, "Those are really big!"

and they were!

They took up the entire interior of the skimmer!!!!

Even after I slammed the lid on the skimmer and hearing my reaction, Trent goes in next for the grab. The toad starts making noises and then Trent's hand recoils without a toad and he says, "Oh, they're still together!"

Yes, the toads were mating. And they weren't going to stop just because we were there.

Or because we wanted them out of the skimmer.

Now that we both know what we're dealing with, I tell Trent to get the bucket ready. We gotta look cool in front of this lady. I don't want her to know this is our first time retrieving a toad(s) from a pool skimmer. I think Kat is standing on the other side of the pool, trembling.

Trent puts the bucket next to the skimmer, I reach in and grab the male (obviously because he's smaller and has his arms wrapped around the larger, good looking toad). He immediately starts making his weird noises but he's not letting go.

and this time, I'm not either.

I pick him up, he keeps his firm grip on her and they both go in the bucket.

15 minutes later, I finally reach Jay on the phone. He says he doesn't have any toads and I say, "You do now!".

The last thing Jay says to me is, "Don't let them die. Feed 'em crickets."

17 minutes later, we pull up at Petsmart. Kat can't even go inside because the thought of crickets is making her squeal and her body is contorting in ways I've never seen.

She doesn't like it 5 minutes later when I throw a bag of 25 crickets at her.

No, I didn't really do that but I thought about it.

At home, I get a big rock to put in the bucket for the happy crickets to live on before they are eaten.

We arrange the bucket in the back of my scrapbook room. The lady at Petsmart said that the crickets couldn't live in the bag for long and that I could just put them all in the bucket at once.

So, that's what I did.

I opened the lid and the toads were still mating. Ok. Whatever.

I dump the crickets on their rock island. Some jump onto the toads. Some decide to end their life on their terms and jump off the rock into the water. Some are already dead. 

Good thing I didn't wait long before releasing them. 

Even though Kat is whining about having to go shopping for workout clothes, I have to take Manny to the vet. He needs shots. He's late and I can't wait another day. Kat will have to wait.

Manny won't enter the vet's office. I have to pick him up and carry him in.

Before I can even get to the counter, I feel something hot on my stomach. I look at another customer and ask, "Did he just pee on me?"

"Yes, and he still is",  was her reply.

I know if I leave now, Manny wins. So, I stay.

I go to the bathroom and wipe off as much as I can. However, it's on my shirt, my shorts, rolled down my leg and is in my socks and shoes.

I try and find a seat and I wait.

2 hours later, I'm home and I check on the toads. They're still mating and every single god damn cricket is dead, floating in the water. 

What the hell? I felt like I just threw away $3.50. I was pissed. Kat wants to go shopping NOW!

Will they eat dead crickets? What do I do? I try looking for answers on Google.

I try calling Jay. No answer. Doesn't return texts.

I take a shower and I take Kat to Walmart because she needs new workout clothes TODAY! NOW! THIS VERY SECOND! And if you were paying any attention to this story, you knew in the first five minutes that I am no good at saying, "NO!"

90 minutes later, we're back and I check on the toads. They're STILL MATING.

I'm feeling really sorry for the female toad. I want to pull him off of her and give her a break. I'm feeling suffocated. I'm finding it hard to breathe.

So I try calling Jay again. No answer. I text him. No return text. I try looking for answers on Google.

I ask Trent to get his gloves on because at the very least, we're going to clean the dead crickets out of the bucket and get them fresh water. It can't be good for any living thing to have dead things floating in the same water they're mating in, right?

Ewww, infection.

Outside in the sunshine, I pull the lid off and once again, I gasp in horror.

It's not because the crickets look a little bloated at this point.
It's not because the toads are STILL MATING. (give it up already, will you?)

It's because there are strings and strings of black eggs everywhere.

Now I'm the one that's frantic because I don't know what I'm supposed to do with these baby toads. I don't want to be the one to make this decision.

I can't pour them out into the gravel because I know damn well we'll have a rainstorm and these babies will turn into tadpoles, then toads and terrorize every neighbor dog we have.

I can't throw them away. They're living creatures.

5 minutes later, I've made my decision and I have separated the toads and given the female a 20 second break from her annoying mate. I can see in her eyes that she is relieved and thankful I did this for her. I felt a toad fist pump would have been possible if the whiny male would have just shut up for a second but he didn't.

I put them back in the bucket and gave them fresh water and a clean rock. The male wastes no time wrapping his slimy arms around her. I think I see her shudder in disgust.

I leave to take Kat to her workout.

90 minutes later, we're back and I check on the toads. They're still at it. And there are more eggs.

And now at this point, Jay's phone isn't even ringing. It goes straight to his voice mail. He knows.

..and who shoots toads anyway?

Thursday, May 25, 2017

178 days

Well, here we go again. Each year I do this and it gets tougher and tougher.

I started last night by insisting that the kids find the shirts they wore on the first day of school. For such a simple task, there was a lot of eye rolling, grunts and stomping.

Blaming, too. Lots of blaming.

Eventually, oh, about 20 minutes later, both kids came into the kitchen, each extending an arm with a wrinkled black t-shirt clutched in their fists. These were the shirts they wore on first day of school 178 days ago.

"Are they clean?"

"Clean enough" was the response.

Very good. Be prepared to wear your shirts and get pictures taken. That means, Trent, do not sneak into the shower until I have your photo.


This morning.

Kat is already up.

Trent is still in bed. "TRENT! You have 2 minutes to get your shirt on and outside. You knew this was coming."

More grumbling.
More loud noises.
More "GEEZ!"
More "STUPID!"

Ok! Smile!

"I'm going in."

"No Trent. You're not. We can stay out here forever. Don't care.

More grumbling.
More loud noises.
More "GEEZ!"
More "STUPID!"

I take a few snaps. This is all they'll give me. So, you tell me. Is the first picture from today or 178 days ago?

I'm going in.
Fine, Trent.

More grumbling.
More loud noises.
More "GEEZ!"
More "STUPID!"

Trent in 10, Kat in 7th.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


I'm so tired. It's the day before the last day of school. My daughter is bringing over the grand kids.

Did I mention I was tired?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

1 star = aweome

I must have missed the email from Norton Family that the subscription was up. It expired 3/25.

That means my kids have been alone on the internet for almost 2 months.

I did a quick "random phone check" and luckily I found nothing.

Not being so thrilled with Norton, I started looking around at other products. I didn't want to spend long doing it because I wanted something on the kids' phones immediately.

I wanted something that monitored time, monitored Chrome, Google photos and private messages in social media. I learned the hard way that some apps like Skype and Instagram have private messaging and is NOT monitored by Norton. Google photos seems to be a free for all (but at least at Norton I they tell me what they're searching for) and NOTHING on Chrome is monitored but it does tell me when they get on Chrome.

24 hours later I went back to Norton and renewed my subscription. I couldn't find anything that did all of that and since everyone already had Norton on their phone, I just did renewed.

I was looking at the number of stars on the Norton Family app and noticed that they had way more 1 star reviews than any other. Why? Were other people having the same issues? It only has a 2.8 review!??

I go to read some of the reviews and find this:

It seems that so many of these 1 star reviews are from kids that have it installed.

That means it must work better than I thought.

I signed up for another year.

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