I don’t know what it is about this week, this month. Around Thanksgiving I was looking forward to Christmas, and now that it has arrived, not so much. I’m ready to go into hermit mode. I am tired of the kids asking for things that they *know* I can’t afford. Yes, me, not Santa. I’m not sure if my daughter still believes in Santa, but she certainly believes in her Amazon Wish List.

And Josh! Since being in Vegas he has called for money, more money (ok, it’s so he can buy Christmas gifts for everyone else but he could have put *SOME* effort into earning his allowance!) my external HDD or lots of DVDs to burn stuff from my brother, and FINALLY, once to find out if I was coming tonight. And could I bring … I forget what. Joy hasn’t bothered to call once, but that’s ok. She’s 6 and I don’t recall wanting to talk to my parents when I was with my grandmother either.

I guess the true source of my sense of Grinchiness is my complete and utter inability to pull this one out of my ass. There have been a few years where it was tight, or impossible, but I have always been crafty and resourceful. This year I am drawing a complete blank. My kids are freaking materialistic and I’m not sure when that happened. And the fact that I can’t think of a single thing to get them, galls me. They used to be so easy to shop for, especially after we instituted the “3 Gifts Rule” — which doesn’t completely apply since they get gobs of gifts from everyone else in the family.

I know there has been one other Christmas where I felt “this is the worst Christmas ever”, but I don’t think I felt this sad, dejected, and upset at myself and the world. That makes this one officially “The Worst Christmas Ever”. And no amount of chilly weather or Christmas songs will make me change my mind.



Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and [dull] November:
All the rest have thirty-one,
but silly old February spoils the fun.

Every time the 30th of September rolls around, this poem, learned in 5th grade, pops into my head.

It’s been quite the month. And maybe I am more agrarian than I like to admit, or simply tied into the school year eternally, but this has always seemed the beginning of the year for me. A change in the weather (supposedly), a new school year, new things to look forward to, the end of summer, etc.

I write this late at night and wonder where this year has gone. Part of me wants to write a “Year in Review” type post because this past year has been fraught with changes. Tim got a new job, we moved to CA, separated, I got a good job, I lost a good job, I got a better job, the kids started new school careers, Joy in Kinder and now 1st, Josh finished Junior High and is now a freshman. So many milestones covered in one short period.

I’ve had a lot of personal growth and some set-backs too. Not sure if I am quite willing, let alone able, to share them here. I only shared with one friend because she promised to keep my response confidential. It helps that she doesn’t really know or talk to any of my other friends 🙂 And we both hate gossip with a passion.

That’s another thing. In the last year I have come to know who my friends are, those who love me in spite of my faults, and those who would rather curse me and drop me like a hot potato because of my faults. And I’m making lots of new ones. I have discovered that good friendships are more healing and more beneficial to my spirit right now than any romantic relationship.

I’m learning to accept that I am human, not Wonder Woman like I like to think. In the past year I have learned that it’s ok to ask for help, and someone, sometimes quite a few someones will step up when you need them the most and expect it the least. I’ve learned that I am more fragile than I ever imagined myself to be, and trying to find the strength that others see in me.

And the roadtrips! I love roadtrips now. They have given me time to reflect, or just have fun. If you ever want to stretch yourself, or take the time to get to know yourself, take a roadtrip. Enjoy the journey, don’t focus on the destination or on getting there as fast as you can. You’ll miss out on too much.

Josh and Mike on Grad day

Mike and Josh at Graduation. I never thought I would see this day.

Joy on Grad day
Joy and her Kinder teacher.
Josh Graduating

8th Grade Graduation *sniff*

Jes and Nette

Me & Jes, roadtrip up to Portland. 12/2007

sunrise in the grapevine

Roadtrip - Portland to Cali - 12/2007

Miguel and me on my birthday

Me & Miguel at Kabuki in Pasadena - 8/2008

Jason and Me on my birthday

Me & Jason after dancing a bit at the 35er -8/2008

Bravo mini reunion

Mini- Bravo reunion. Represeted classes '93-'96


Tabby and Me

Tabbie & Me at the 35er (it was my birthday) 8/2008

Los Angeles Hiking Meetup Group

Los Angeles Hiking Club


In fact, I do believe it’s time for another one. Here’s to the beginning of a brand new year.


Well, Labor Day has come and gone. And the last week of summer has been exciting to say the least. Well, some parts of it were exciting. I got a good tip on a gymnastics studio in Huntington Beach and Joy did a free lesson. As you can see, she LOVED it. I bought her a leotard (which she lived in for 2 days) and signed her up for classes. Not sure when they start as she will be the 3rd girl in a brand new class.

In a previous post I showed you how well she has come along in her skateboarding. At the beginning of summer she could barely scoot along. Then she was introduced to a cruiser. Now she can zig-zag, do hills (sort of, hops off if she goes too fast), and can confidently tackle the skatepark. That was a field trip with daycamp. I have the feeling that as soon as she can swim without floaties or a life-jacket she’s going to ask for a surfboard. It’s the next logical step. I’m a bit relieved that she wants a cruiser more than a regular skateboard. You can’t do tricks on a cruiser. 🙂


Ok, so he wasn’t in a window. He was at the pound. Or as they are called today, the spcaLA. We looked at some Chihuahua mixes at the Seal Beach Animal Shelter, but they didn’t like Josh. Well, the one that I liked and that got along with Zoe didn’t like Josh. We visited Buddy a few times at the spcaLA shelter, first me and Josh, then Joy, Zoe, me and Josh. We kind of did it backwards, but not our fault! They were incredibly busy, short-staffed, and hence a little disorganized. But anyway! I wish I had taken pictures of Zoe and Buddy’s first introduction. They played really well together, and for an old man, he certainly can keep up with the young pup. The staff seemed fairly impressed at how well everyone, kids included, got along. And so, we brought him home. 

Jensen - a terrier mixJosh was a little disappointed that we didn’t get the terrier mix that he wanted , but I think he’s adjusted to life with Buddy, a much quieter and cuddlier dog than Zoe.  So if you think Jensen there is a cutie, he’s still available, waiting for a forever home.





Advantages to adopting an older dog:

  • Really likes to cuddle without being in your face
  • Already house and crate trained
  • Calmer
  • Can teach younger dogs a thing or 2.


  • gets a little grumpy when he doesn’t want to play anymore
  • likes to pee on EVERYTHING while on a walk, though that might be because he’s male
  • Humps Zoe constantly, though we finally realized that she can hold her own and it’s a dominance thing

I know this has become more a photoblog lately and less of random profound thoughts than it used to be (feel free to laugh :D). Lately I just haven’t had the energy to be a blogger, let alone a writer, and I rarely blog the things going on in my private life, since most of my readers already know what’s going on (or now how to IM and/or e-mail to get the real scoop). Suffice it to say that I have been SUPER stressed out lately and distracted by RL when not depressed by it.

So … I want to thank all the people who have stood by me, encouraged me, verbally slapped some sense into me, and walked with me through some very dark valleys this past year. I am EXTREMELY grateful. And would appreciate it if I could prevail on you just a little longer, because I think it’s going to get infinitely worse before it gets better. You guys have been a real blessing to me, and if I haven’t before, I’m publicly declaring my thanks and love right here.

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So my brother has asked to use my van to move from Vegas to Grand Junction, CO, which may just have a population smaller than that of Salem, OR (I’ve had my fill of small towns in the middle of nowhere, thank-you-very-much), but according to his MySpace blog, he needs this move. Problem, … well, let’s just say that big sis is a sap and a Good Samaritan at heart … usually. He asked to use my van carte blanche, but I don’t think I want to do that. Hence, the road trip. Ah well, the last one did me good. At least it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be.

Time to get another load of laundry started and then I am walking Zoe to Joy’s school and back.

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