What's your game, #MarineMom?

About three months ago -- yes three -- I sent my son's gunnery sergeant a pack of Red Bull. Why? Because my son asked me to. Said it would be a nice gesture and the gunny was a good man. So I did as I was told and sent the package. He just received it this week. The US Mail and ships on deployment seem to have some issues. Imagine that.


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Anyway, of course my son begins to get berated for being a suck-up and a brown noser. But the thing is, they want to know my game. The shop actually GOOGLES me to find out my game. Why would *I* send a complete stranger Red Bull? Okay Marines of Evil Eyes -- the reason is -- wait for it...

I. Am. A. Mom!!!!!


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And when I think about any of these men/women on a ship without the niceties of life, I want to send them ALL something nice. Which often happens because when you mail something at the post office to an APO address, they ask you, "Can it go to any Marine?" Ie., if it gets lost, do you want SOMEONE to have it? Naturally, I do.

In my days as a Marine mom, I have learned that if you send sour gummy worms to the Middle East, they will melt into one giant disgusting ball of super worms and will not be appetizing. I have learned that things like peanut packs will be breakfast for weeks and most of all, I have learned that I'm so thrilled my son is with the good men and women of the U.S. Marine Corps.

When he comes home, there will be a wedding and much celebration. So no running games, just a mom trying to pass the time until this deployment ends. I feel honored they Googled me though. LOL


Say no to dark cabinets! #househunting

I've been house hunting lately and there is a terrible new trend that makes avocado-green appliances look like the height of sophistication. That is black cabinets in a kitchen. Who, in the history of humanity, wanted a DARK kitchen? And yet, new builders are adding these ugly things and their "streamlined" modern look to homes everywhere.

No one wants black cabinets. People want light, airy kitchens. Okay, at least I do. Paint them yellow, paint them blue -- the painting is not an issue, but black? I'm not in a trendy hair salon, I'm in my KITCHEN. I did have a kitchen I designed that had black granite on white cabinets and I did love that. But you cannot believe how many homes I've crossed off my list because they have dark cabinets.

I looked at one home that was decorated as if Chip & Joanna Gaines had come in and done their magic. It was fantastic! But the house had bad bones. You can't fix that. No matter how cute you make it. Oh, and it had white cabinets! With butcher block counters that looked fantastic, but would be totally impractical for me. I need a countertop that allows for some mistakes.

I mean, there must be an entire contingency of people who want black cabinets -- I don't know who you are, but I'm coming for you! Stop ruining my house hunt! I'm looking in various states. I'm not sure where I will go yet, but it will allow me to write again and not be the only right-brained person in the near vicinity.

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Speaking of California, some poor store owner in San Francisco got bit by a homeless person. Not an outline-of-teeth-bite, but an entire circle of flesh taken out of this guy's arm and he'll probably be the bad guy for "harming a homeless person's freedom." I hate what San Francisco has become. One of the most beautiful cities in the world and it's destroyed by crazy. Laws exist to make society better. Capiche?

I'm a fourth-generation Californian, my children are fifth, but I'm done. I'm sorry for the states around us that are having to take the influx of Californians, but I promise to better where I go. Really. I won't bite anyone. Now my dog on the other hand...


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A Picture Spurs a Thousand Memories...

I don't remember a lot of my childhood for some odd reason. I think I had a pretty normal upbringing, but for some reason, my memory isn't the best. My best friend in high school is selling her childhood home. Today, she sent me pics of the home staged for sale and a ton of memories just came flooding in from all the time we spent at her house. All the cheerleading practice we had in her backyard staring at ourselves in the sliding glass door (We were young, okay? A little narcissism is par for the course.)

Anyway, she sent this picture and I said, "We spent a lot of time in that mirror trying out our new looks." Our fresh electric-blue eyes liner; our purple mascara to match our cheer sweaters; our giant 80's gel hair; our greasy, glossed-up lips; our enormous shoulder pads that made us look like linebackers. The magic all happened here!

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Then, do you see that little window in the picture? That's the window that we climbed out of to get on the roof and slather ourselves up in oil to get a tan. Well, Laurie got a sunburn, but I got a tan. And we did this a LOT (before the warnings of sunscreen, etc.) until her creepy neighbor was looking at us through binoculars! We made a beeline for the window and he came outside and held his thumb up, "Looking good, girls!"

Ick. That old pervert still grosses me out after all these years. I loved our spot on that roof overlooking the waterfall below. That was high living! And old creeper stole it from us. Now, of course, I wonder how I ever fit through that little window -- but it is pretty cool that I lived in an era where there weren't a billion rules -- and straws were still legal.

I'm sad my memory is wonky because life was pretty darn good. Do you have time in your life you don't remember well?

P.S. On the writing front, no I haven't been writing. Not a book anyway, but I am planning a big move and I hope to get started again soon. I've had some pretty cool signs it's time to start again and I'll begin posting tidbits here. If there's anyone out there, let me know. It's been a long time since I wrote!


My @JimmyBuffett tale of woe -- Oorah!

First off, you should know I tend to get fixated on certain things and not let them go. My son NOT meeting Jimmy Buffett is one of those things I cannot release "into the universe" as they say. My son, also has the ability to "not let things go" and he is not helping in this situation.

A few years ago when my son ws stationed in Okinawa, Jimmy Buffett performed a concert there for the military bases. You should know, not much happens on Oki and it can be a long, boring stint in the military -- away from friends, family and normal "American" life. So who goes ALL the way to Oki to let our servicemen know he's there for them? The fabulous Jimmy Buffett, of course.

My son couldn't go to the concert. He was always working, but Jimmy, being Jimmy, came to the hangar afterwards to meet the guys (& gals) working. My son had just come home after a 14-hour day when he informed me via text message that Jimmy Buffett was in his hangar. I was text SCREAMING -- GET BACK THERE!! You need to meet him. He is legend. Do you understand me? Legend!!

"Mom, I'm bone tired. I cannot put my boots on."

"No, you have to!"

He sends me a picture of the football field-sized walk to the hangar from his barracks.

"You can do it, Jonah! I believe in you!"

Long story short. He didn't do it. And he continues to taunt me with it, every chance he gets. When he went to Vegas with his fiancé's family, they were sitting out by the pool and "Margaritaville" came over the sound system. He sends me a Snapchat with it playing in the background. "Wow, wouldn't it be cool to meet the guy who sings this? I would love to meet the guy who sings this song."

Grrr.

Then, there's a huge "Margaritaville" restaurant there, I get a picture of it. Then, I give him my normal spiel about how "No song has ever made more money than that one. You could have met him." And it starts all over again.

Now it's summer. Jimmy Buffett radio on Sirius is a staple in my car. But I cannot enjoy it the same way. Because my son was too lazy to put his boots back on and march across that field. He failed to understand the momentous flaw in his short-term thinking. Yeah, it was a 14-hour day on his feet, but he's in his early 20's! Come on! So rather than listen to his Mama, he sends me a picture of his coworker who met Jimmy and got him to make the "terminal lance" sign -- which means you're going nowhere in the Marines -- you're staying a Lance Corporal. No offense to his buddy Williams, but I wanted my SON with Jimmy Buffett, you know?

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So now my Jimmy Buffett radio just doesn't fill me with the same joy it once did. There is regret and angst now. : )

On a side note, I have never met my beloved Adam Ant because I worried that it wouldn't go well and then my years of loving him would be destroyed. I never had that fear with Jimmy Buffett. You know he's just a cool dude. I mean with classics like, "The Weather is Here, I Wish you were Beautiful" and "Cheeseburger in Paradise" how could he not be? This guy has generations who have no idea what a 'pop top' is, singing about it.

Maybe when Jonah gets back from deployment -- if he ever wants to get on a boat again, I'll take him and his fiancé on a Parrothead cruise. What do you think?


Raised my sons right -- best analogy ever!

Last night, my youngest son and I went to dinner and he was telling me his girlfriend hadn't seen many movies so he was catching her up this summer. So far, they've seen "Forrest Gump" and a few other classics. Then, he informed me with horror, she's only seen Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Engame Since I've only ever seen Dr. Strange I could not for the life of me understand why this was so shocking.

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He tells me, "Mom, there's an order to the movies and you have to watch them in order or you don't know any of the characters."

"I watched Dr. Strange and it didn't seem like I missed anything. I did learn you have to wait until the end of the credits to see the next movie clip."

He's growing more frustrated as he's trying to explain. Finally, he stops, sucks in a deep breath and says, "Mom, it's like if you tune into Pride and Prejudice when Lydia is getting married and you're expected to understand why we like Mr. Darcy and he isn't a dog."

OOOOOH. Now I get it. And I totally raised my boys right. YAY ME! Obligatory Darcy pic.


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I NEED a new handbag!

Some people LIKE to buy new handbags but I have something more serious going on. It's an addiction -- and let's be clear, I have no desire to go to Handbags Anonymous or fix this addiction, I just want to a new handbag!


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This has been a lifelong thing. My first memory of money is my grandpa bringing me a Navajo suede purse that had feathers dangling off of it. He put a few coins in there and that's my first memory. In college, my rent was $200 and so was my handbag.

I should also mention since I'm a writer and work from home, I tend to dress like a bag lady. No pun intended. T-shirt, jeans, Keds. Hasn't changed since high school. (Works for me, what can I say?) So it's not a fashion statement for me. It just simply brings me joy and it always has.

Every once in a while I get the itch and it's happening now. I'm trying to write today and not think about it, but I've been avoiding this reality for months now. I had to throw my daughter a party. Cha-Ching. I had to buy a new pull-out sofa for my son, cha-ching. I got a new computer because mine finally gave way. Cha-Ching, cha-ching. In other words, I'm not getting a new handbag so I needed to vent. Lucky you!

Maybe I should start a go-fund-me account. LOL. My mother already thinks I need a "real" job, can you imagine if I started begging for a new handbag? I think she's had hers for going on a decade now and I bought it. Being an artist born to a family of practicality is excruciatingly difficult. I know how I SHOULD be. But yeah, I'm not.

I did get a little coin for writing a short story yesterday for a friend who is compiling them. That was nice. But it won't buy me a new handbag. If I was a normal it would, which is only a painful reminder that I am not a normal. WWWHHHYYY???

I'm consoling myself with an iced soy latte. What's your poison that you can't justify to others?


Toy Story 4 Week!!

Toy Story was the first movie I took my firstborn Trey to. Jonah was home with grandma. The movie has meant so much to us over the long haul. We quote from the movie all the time and it's part of the family vernacular. Trey was like Woody -- he had all the wooden toys and built things. Jonah was my Buzz and always was into the motorized cars and robots. So over the years, my love for the movie has only grown and it's one of my favorites.

When Andy went off to college in Toy Story 3 and my boys were off to college, I may have sobbed. So this week, I'm going by myself to see the new Toy Story 4. Trey's an engineer in L.A.; Jonah's a Marine on deployment; Seth is home from college but working constantly and is probably not interested in seeing Toy Story 4 with his mom -- how rude; and Elle has left the state to go to cosmetology school. My job is done here. But that doesn't mean I can't revisit that life once in a while.


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They may all be grown up, but that doesn't mean that I have to be.


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I'm off to the vet for the one furry child who hasn't left me. Though I wish...


90 Day Fiance: The Other Way

Just when you think you can't think more highly of yourself for not being on a reality show, along comes "90 Day Fiance: The Other Way." This is where desperate Americans don't marry for a green card, they set off into lands unknown to marry a foreigner on their own turf. You probably didn't think you needed another franchise of "90 Day Fiance" but you'd be wrong.

First, anchoring our show is Paul and Karine. Now, I'm a huge Paul fan. Ever since he received a blob of him mom's hair before he left for Brazil, I knew this kid was for me. Karine loves stuffed animals and candy and her dad was a cop. Paul has a record and may or may not have set his ex's house on fire. There's some kind of strange charge -- as is the norm on this show. Everyone seems to have a brush with the law, but this doesn't stop them from finding love on the Interweb.


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Now first, as a person who is very careful and probably too cautious, I want to say that I love that people are willing to go to these efforts to find love. I wish they didn't have to, but I'm home watching it alone, so I have to applaud them. They're not letting fear or sometimes, reality enter into the equation and as a romance writer, I can support this. Where would we be if Mr. Darcy didn't ignore his nightmare future mother-in-law and throw caution to the wind? I'm always going to be on Paul and Karine's side because they both worked really hard to make this work. And now they have a baby.

Full disclosure: I have Paul running up the hill on my phone. For some reason, I love this scene and it makes me happy every time I watch it. I can totally identify with, I don't want to have this awkward conversation about my life, so I'm going to run into the jungle and allow you to be robbed at Machete-point. I mean, seriously, where are you going to find this kind of drama?


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A lot of this year's cast is middle-aged women who are going to foreign countries that aren't, shall we say, feminist-centric. Jenny is an older blonde who is headed to India to marry Sumit. If his parents allow it. Judging by how many arranged marriages that I live near here in America, I'm going to say this is going to fly like a lead balloon. First of all, did I mention she's blonde? Ie., not Indian? Well, there's that and there's her age. She's a grandma and he's not yet 30. What could go wrong?


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Laura is 51 and she's flying to Qatar to meet Aladin. This one I don't get. Maybe it's because I have sons, but that dude is too young for you. Who wants to be with a kid? It is just strange to me. I can't find a picture of them. But she's a beautiful woman of 51 and he's...not.

But as I said, I'm on the side of love, so I'm rooting for them. Well, I'm not really rooting for the Mormon guy opening a bar in Ecuador. Mostly because he has to give up his family and his values for his would-be wife. Corey comes from a nice family and Evelin is from a place with no running water and little electricity. That would be fine if I thought she was in love with Corey, but I don't and I think he's going to be sorry. As a mom, I would probably burn his passport so he couldn't go. Just saying.

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There are other couples, but you get the gist. This is quality entertainment. Yes, my son makes fun of me for watching "crap" television, but all I can say is, it's worth it. Thanks TLC.



Manly Milk...

My son is home from college and he drinks a lot of milk. Elle and I went through a quart in maybe two weeks. So I had my AC2 milk that lasts longer and doesn't have lactose. My son looked at the date and said, "What's wrong with this milk? Why does it last so long?"

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"It's easier on your tummy. It doesn't have lactose."

"If you're going to the grocery store," he says, "get me some manly milk."


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Done. We now have manly milk next to the beer in the fridge. My, how things have changed in such a short amount of time. I got rid of three HUGE boxes of shoes, not to mention her mounds of clothes, when Elle left and I had two large boxes of gaming ware come in. It feels a lot bigger around here.

The happy news is that Seth doesn't ask me to make soup at 9:30 p.m. or he won't eat and the dog sleeps later with Seth here coddling her. I have to look at all the good things because I miss my baby girl something fierce.

I am well on my way to finishing my book though, so at least I'm working again. Right? Right.


Southern Charm without T-Rav...

As is well-documented here, I have never liked Thomas Ravenel and I have always seen Katheryn as a victim of her own youth and naiveté. Now that Thomas is gone (accused of some very sordid deeds) the show is fine without him. And I couldn't be happier. We still had to see the clip of Kathryn running pathetically after him on the dock yelling, "Thomas!" Although, even that clip isn't getting as much wear as Austin in his chones. And ewww. We get it, Bravo. It's like, "Shep got a haircut -- cue the Austin in his undies clip."


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Upon news that Kathryn had a liaison with Whitney -- I don't know if this is truth or a producer-created fantasy, but it seems like the latter. That being said, the idea of Whitney in his glasses and nothing more makes me laugh out loud. Getting old is real. That's why you don't belong with women in their 20's.

I love more of Chelsea and I also love that she sees right through the men of Charleston and has moved on with a yachtie from somewhere else. I guess Cameron got the only grown-up in Charleston. I'm not a fan of Naomie without Craig. Yeah, Craig needs to up his game and actually just get up, but Naomie's new choice seems shallow and I worry if she marries him, he will quickly turn into a monster. A monster who has access to drugs that can put you to sleep. Yeah. Not a fan.

Danni deserves the limelight this year. She's played second fiddle for too long. That being said, her "talk" with Kathryn made me so angry. Kathryn just doesn't want to be held accountable and even though she's dating another loser politician with a sex scandal, Danni is just supposed to sit by idly and wait for Kathryn to call. No thanks. I know Kathryn has a lot of issues, but she needs to learn how to have an adult conversation and not just step out every time someone calls her on her garbage.

Anyway, as you can see, I put far too much thought into this show, but there it is for your reading pleasure. Happy Friday y'all!