things said to me.

Over the last 20 years.

How do you run with all of that extra cargo? (due to the extra weight that I have gained as a middle aged woman).

I’m sorry…. Didn’t they tell you? Your baby didn’t have a heartbeat. (Talking about my ultrasound, said while in the waiting room, in a room full of expectant mothers).

“I’ve been told that you’re a bitch to work with.”

Why did you dress your son in that?! (When my son was a month old).

(Overseen text message, from a so-called friend) “Has Miller had a breakdown yet?” (Said at his first concert… when my son had sound and sensory issues).

Upon telling friends about the finish time of my FIRST half marathon….. Which was well beyond the “accepted” time of a half marathon finish…… “SOLID!!!” (accompanied by laughs and wide eyes).

Me: “Can I talk to you about something?”

Him: “YES”

Me: “I’ve been having this pain down here… (holds my abdomen, meaning uterus/female parts area).

Him: Me too…… 

Your son looks like the fat kid from The Outlot!!!!!

You should go to my gym (pats my fat abomen).

Please. Remember that we are all doing the best that we can. I understand the need to put down others to build yourself up. But words have a lasting effect.


to love and to let go.

Having pets is hard. Emotionally. Physically. Financially. And when you have to say goodbye, that’s the worst.

A few years ago, my twin sister had to give up her cat. She had to move into an apartment and was only allowed to keep one pet. At the time she had a small dog, Audrey, and Cringer, the all black, surly kitty. Of course I agreed to take Cringy in, not knowing how it would affect my other two cats. It didn’t matter. Cringer needed a loving home.

At first we kept Cringer isolated. She was scared and irritated. My other two cats were well established in our home and were not fans of us bringing someone new home. After a few months, it all worked out. Cringer demonstrated her dominance, just like we expected. Queen of the kitchen island.

I have had cats my entire life. I know that they have distinct personalities based on their appearance. I know that cats of a certain age have predisposed tendencies to certain health issues. I am fine with all of it. Right now, one of my cats is diabetic (Don Draper) and requires a shot of insulin twice a day, the other one needs thyroid medication in pill form (Ming), twice a day. It’s fun (ha). And expensive. 

And then there was Cringer (named after the tiger from the He-Man cartoons…. Google it… a drunk story was involved during the naming process). I had known Cringer since my sister captured her from the mean streets of Tempe, Arizona. Cringer had an attitude, and she knew it. And we all loved her for it. She despised kisses on the head. Always wanted food. Always wanted to lick your hands and then rub her face on your newly kitten slobbered hands. She always wanted attention. But on her own terms. The perfect definition of a cat.

During the summer of 2021, we noticed that Cringer’s health was slowly declining. She became lethargic. She was losing weight. She wasn’t as interested in food anymore. We knew that her days were numbered, but we didn’t realize how bad she had become. 

Which brings me to our current pet situation. At the end of July, my family took a trip to Zion and Bryce Canyon in Utah. During our trip, I kept on getting notifications from our driveway Ring camera. I noticed an animal running around frantically. At first I thought that it was a coyote but then I realized that it was a dog. Someone’s dog had gotten loose and it was tired and thirsty and hungry. My friend who was staying at my house at the time gave the dog food, water and shade. She then took the dog to a local vet to see if it had a microchip. The dog was unchipped and without a collar. Your typical covid pet dropoff at the end of a dead end street. People are assholes.

We returned home from our trip to a new dog. My lab/border collie mix was at the dog sitter’s house during our time away, so it was a new situation for everyone. We posted everywhere about this beautiful, female husky. No one claimed her. Being pet lovers and rescuers, we decided to keep her.

A few weeks after we took husky girl in, Cringer’s health got worse. We took her to our regular vet and we were quickly advised to take her in to a 24/hour medical care facility. I was in denial. I knew that Cringer was a fighter. I knew that she would get better and that we would be able to take her home within a few days.

That’s not what happened. Cringer was an elderly kitty, extremely underweight and had a blockage in her bowels. She wasn’t able to eat and pass anything through. We were devastated. We never thought that she wouldn’t be able to make it through. Her age and weight made it impossible to sedate her and perform surgery. So on Saturday, August 21st, we said goodbye to the surly, loving kitty from Tempe. We love you Cringer.


A week later, I went outside to take the trash to the garbage container in our side yard. When I reached the front door, I heard barking, growling and snarling, followed by a long, low meow. I came inside and found the husky dragging Ming by the neck across our kitchen floor. Ming was lethargic and having trouble breathing. I immediately scooped her up and took her to the closest emergency veterinarian. It was scary. She was having a hard time breathing and her third eyelid was up (done when cats are in distress). I was afraid that she would not make it. 

Ming is a fighter. Ming was a just a baby kitten when she was rescued off the street in Tustin. When we found her she had mites, mange, worms and her whiskers were all burnt off. We have no idea where her mother was. Being the badass kitten that she is, she made it through. Bruised organs, bullae and some open wounds on her legs. We took her home after a day and a half. She is thriving and makes it known that she needs cat snacks 24/7. Which we promptly give her. 

Which brings me to the husky girl. We know that the cat attack was not her fault. She is a husky and has a high prey drive. We know that she did not have the best life before she found us. She was not chipped, spayed or potty trained. Someone obviously thought that a husky puppy was a cute, good idea at the beginning of 2020, but then soon realized that it takes time, money and patience to take care of a pet. Their loss is our gain. 

We named the husky Zion, because that’s where we were when she was found. Thank you to whoever gave her up, because now she has a loving home. Thank you to my friend, Allison, for taking care of her before we came home. And thank you to Cringer, who gave us happiness, even for a couple of years. 

ENDNOTE: If you do not have the time, patience or finances (or are willing to give up some of your finances) to having a pet, don’t do it. Pets are a responsibility. They NEED us. They cannot survive without us. Pets are family and do not deserve to live in a cage or outdoors (i.e. an “outside dog”….. This is bullshit). And they will make your life so much better if you give them compassion. 

the back half.


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As I sit in the back half of my 40s, I realize that I have been pretty unkind to myself over the years. Especially when it comes to my body. I’m not saying or thinking anything that anyone my age or older doesn’t already know of course. But I’m trying to take more mental notes in order to be more accepting of how I look these days. 

I need to change the way that I look at “aging” in general. Instead of dwelling on the fact that I seem to have rolls and lumps here and there that I can’t seem to get rid of, I need to realize that I have made mistakes with what I’ve decided to eat (and drink… IPAs, I’m looking at you). And that’s ok. I get the opportunity to make better choices. Instead of focusing on how slow my running pace has become, I need to be happy that I still have the ability to get out there and run. Instead of focusing on my poor eyesight and hearing, I should focus on the fact that I have health insurance and I can get the care that I need to aid these minor inconveniences. I need to work out to make my body happy and to strengthen it and insure that I live longer, not to make me more appealing to look at (because in all actuality, I shouldn’t really care if people like the way that I look or not). 

Human bodies are kinda cool. We have the ability to take nutrients out of food, heal our cells and grow a person inside ourselves, all without thinking. Our brains can process sounds and sights and language and smells. 

I often recall Dr. Masaru Emoto’s “Water Experiment” publications entitled “Messages From Water 1 & 2” and  “The Hidden Messages in Water”. The gist of his thoughts are…. 60% of our bodies are made up of water. In his findings, “he found that water from clear springs and water that has been exposed to loving words shows brilliant, complex, and colorful snowflake patterns. In contrast, polluted water, or water exposed to negative thoughts, forms incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with dull colors.” * I know, I know, some of you might think that all of it is just a bunch of hoo ha. But could you imagine, that if we are made up of mostly water, and if we treated ourselves more kindly, think of the positive implications it could have. 

Okay, enough of my middle aged ramblings. Happy 2021. And Happy Birthday to my twin this month.

*excerpt taken from

that (one) time that i was a jerk.

So. It’s been approximately seven weeks since we were all told that we’d be “Safer at Home”. My son started online schooling (like the rest of the country) on March 18th and some time during that week, before it was mandatory to wear face masks in any public place, I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things. It was a funny situation, the “haves and the have-nots”.  Kind of like the Sneeches with Stars. Walking through the aisles of the grocery store, I found that I did not want to look the masked customers in the eye for fear of somehow being judged for not wearing a mask. I did not even own a mask and I did not know where to get one. The “six foot rule” was in place so I was trying to abide by that but there were still some other rules that I did not know about. Like “we can’t bag your groceries but you can bag them yourself” and some other places will just place your items in your cart and you can bag them yourself elsewhere. ***

Anyway, I found all of my items and I had my reusable bags all ready to go. I stepped into a lane and my first mistake was to not abide by the “SIX FOOT RULE”. I started to move forward to place my items on the belt when I was reprimanded by the cashier. I stayed back. I waited until I was called (allowed) forward. I placed my items on the belt and was reminded (actually told for the first time) that I was not allowed to have the bagger use my reusable bags for my items but I could bag my items myself. I was told this piece of information with what I regarded as an attitude. My ego took over and I assumed that I was being given attitude because I was not wearing a mask. The bagger was not wearing a mask either but she also seemed to be giving me attitude. At this point I was getting annoyed by their combined b!tchiness. I started to slam things down and I was acting bitchy myself (which I hated). I paid for my items and bagged them myself. I snatched the receipt from the cashier’s hand not because I was annoyed, but because when I grabbed for it the first time I missed it (I’m clumsy) and I was afraid to come into contact with her hand! With my snatchy grab, the bagger lady scoffed at me and I rushed out. I was frustrated, I felt bad because of my actions and I felt like “is this what shopping has become?”. 

After I got home, I thought about submitting an online survey to report the behaviors of the cashier and the bagger. I also wondered if maybe they were giving me attitude because they thought that I was above bagging my own groceries (which I secretly LOVE to do). I gave it a few days and decided not to say anything. Then I thought about going back to the store to apologize in person. I also did not have the guts to do this. 

Sorry for the long post (speaking to myself in the future) but I want to say one more thing…… I instinctively want to believe, like/love everyone. It makes me sad when others are mean to me without what I perceive as a “good reason”. I give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I am too trusting. I am too gullible.  I am too naive to think that people actually like me sometimes. Which, it’s ok if they don’t. I know that I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. And I let myself down when I respond with anything but kindness to someone when my ego gets in the way. Sometimes I forget that a lot of times, peoples’ actions have nothing to do with me. 

I have since acquired a mask and I wear it every time I shop. I maintain six feet and I bag my own things.

This post is for newdadintraining who gives me neverending $hit about not posting things that I consider my online diary for when I am older.

*** A law was passed in the State of California outlawing the use of plastic shopping bags, because we are all Earthloving folk out here. So I use and have a $hitload of reusable bags stashed in my trunk. Thank you Surf City Marathon/Half Marathon for giving me one to use year after year. My sister, who lives in Arizona, makes fun of my “no plastic bag using state” and I’m jealous of her never ending supply of bags for scooping litter boxes.

in limbo.

Do you ever feel like you’re just waiting… waiting for the show to start. Waiting for the gears to turn. For things to be set into motion.

Or maybe things are already in motion and you just need to ride the wave. You aren’t in control sometimes and you just need to go along with whatever it is you’re going through.  Even when it sucks. Because the universe said so. Because it was meant for you to go through, and try as you might, you couldn’t stop it.

Do you ever feel like you’re here to help people out… to show them what NOT to do.  To give them examples of how life works so that maybe one more person won’t have to go through the trauma.

Do you ever feel like “I can’t wait to see what the outcome of all of this will be”… and even though going through the trench and the muck and jumping over all of the hurdles sucks, you’re actually somewhat excited to see how it will all turn out. But you’re scared too. The fear is always there. You’re anxious and scared and depressed about all of it.

But that’s what makes us human, right?

And sometimes it all really just sucks.

… the world of yesterday …


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If anyone knows me, they know that I love Disney. My obsession began when I was a senior in high school when my class had the opportunity to travel to Walt Disney World.  I have always loved art classes and I was constantly drawing and creating floor plans all throughout my school years, so naturally I was drawn to animation. I immediately fell in love with MGM Studios and the animation exhibits that they had on display.  I can remember seeing cels for the animated version of Beauty and the Beast. Chip and Mrs. Potts and all of the other characters. Also at that time, Aladdin had not yet been released and I can remember the parks talking about the story and the characters of that film.  I couldn’t wait to see the real thing.

When I got home from that trip I immediately sent a letter (yes, back in the days before email) to Walt Disney Studios Imagineering.  They gave me detailed instructions on how I could join their team and an application to apply. I can remember how excited I was to get that letter from Glendale, California. It seemed like such a faraway place at the time.

You now know that I never fulfilled my dream of becoming an animator for Walt Disney and instead pursued a career in architecture.  Although it did get me to Southern California, architecture never satisfied my love for all things Disney.

Flash forward to 2011. I was lucky enough to purchase my first Disney Annual Pass. I was in love. Over the next several years I would annoy everyone with my daily posts from the parks (I feel certain that I had a lot of people “unfollow” me during that time).  Lots of times I would just grab a coffee and sit in front of the castle, or sit in those chairs on the porch on Main Street. I felt like I had found my “place”. One of the real reasons that I loved going to the Disneyland Resort properties? I loved to be around all of those families having fun and making memories.  I would watch people laugh and smile and I loved the energy surrounding that. I even became friends with a lot of Cast Members that I would see daily and I still keep in touch with them. And I still get chills as I pass underneath the train bridges into the park.

Some days I wish I could go back to “the world of yesterday” and fill out that application. I wonder where I’d be now if I did?



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When you make a mistake, how long does it take for others to forgive you?  How long does it take for you to forgive yourself? Do you forget about them easily? Do you learn from them? Or do you repeat them until you learn you lesson?

Some days I just want to scream and say ENOUGH! I GET IT!  But my brain is damaged.  I force myself to relive my past mistakes.  I replay the images over and over in my mind and think about what I should have done differently.  I torture myself with the feelings of failure and disappointment. And that’s what mistakes feel like to me.  Failure.

I don’t know why I torture myself.  Life is hard enough. I constantly beat myself up about what I’ve done wrong.  Don Miguel Ruiz says that “True justice is paying only once for each mistake. True injustice is paying more than once for each mistake.” says “….we [still] reject ourselves and others for not being perfect. We suffer guilt, shame, and fear. We try harder. We hide, we pretend, and we still fail. Even more heartbreaking, we pay countless times for each mistake we make. We don’t just acknowledge them, learn, and move on. There is no forgiveness. We relive each error and suffer anew each time we remember or are reminded of it. And we and society have excellent memories for such things.

Everyone is fighting their own battles.  I guess that I just choose to continue my battles in my head.  I’m jealous of those who can live life and say “no regrets”.  Because I have lots of them.



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I have no idea who I am anymore.  Whoever said “Motherhood Changes You”, boy they weren’t kidding.  I’ve changed so much over the last 12 years.

For one, my body.  It will never be the same.  I fear that I’ll always be thick around the middle (….. I know, I know, beer is really to blame……).  All women experience the same things though.  Larger feet. Expanded rib cage. Wider hips. My freaking organs were all mashed together.  My bladder isn’t the same. One arm is stronger than the other from carrying that awkward freaking clip in infant car seat thing.  And you know that we all put it in the shopping cart where we weren’t supposed to.

Let’s talk about the mental changes now.  My brain runs non. Stop. Like, I have to be constantly multitasking at all times or else I feel restless.  I know that I was like that in the architecture world, but now it’s like, exponential.  Before, I used to be talking on the phone, while drafting a floor plan while looking up files on a health department submittal.  Now, I’m thinking about the socks that I have to buy my son with sensory processing disorder while loading the dishwasher and filling up the water filter reservoir and making a grilled cheese.  And in the background I hear the washer finish its cycle so then it’s thinking ahead to the clothes that I need to iron and fold and put away……

Most days I feel like I’m on a merry go round and I can’t get off.

And then there’s my taste in movies.  I used to love gory horror flicks. I used to love Quentin Tarantino movies.  Now that my brain automatically goes to CATASTROPHIC MODE, I can’t stand to watch people get maimed, hurt, killed or otherwise.  ESPECIALLY if kids are involved. I’m not saying that I have to watch only romantic comedies or dramas or anything.  I just can’t shut the mom/protector part of my brain off.

Now that I’ve been nothing but a mom for almost 12 years, I don’t know who I am anymore.  I kinda feel like I’ve lost my identity.  Like, what do I even like anymore? What am I doing?  Whatever it is, I’m sure that I’m doing it wrong and will cause my adult child to endure years of therapy. I honestly have no idea what I’m doing.  And I’m so sick of being clueless. But I guess that that’s a part of motherhood too.

So here I am, middle aged and still trying to find myself.  

Thank you, for getting me off to a new start.

the sisterhood of the screening.




And certainly no place for modesty.

This is a mammogram appointment.

I was lucky enough to have my annual mammogram appointment last week. I realize that without a doctor’s written order, you can’t get one covered under your insurance. If you’re lucky enough to have insurance. I didn’t get one last year. With packing and moving and the end of the school year coming to a close, I let it lapse. But with a history of breast cancer in my family, I decided that it would be a good idea if I went this year. It’s not that I avoid it, it’s just uncomfortable.  

The holding room looks like this: women of all ages, all races, all in blue hospital gowns that open to the front. We’re all nervous. We’re all wondering what our results will be. We’re all women brought together by one cause. To stamp out breast cancer.

Cancer doesn’t care what color or race you are, or what sex you identify with. Cancer doesn’t care if you drive a Range Rover or a Scion. Cancer doesn’t care of you live on Lido Island or Wheeling Island. But we can all come together and get our screenings done. We are all equal in the eyes of cancer.

i want to fall in love……


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(photo credit:

…… with running again.

It’s been so long since I’ve gone on a run.  It’s been so long since I’ve gone on a run and actually liked it.  It’s been even longer since I went on a run and loved it.

I remember how I used to feel while running.  I remember the freedom that I felt. The energy that I had.  The belief that anything was possible. How thankful that I was for everything in my life.

I remember the runners highs that I used to get.  I remember the buzzing feeling that I would get at the starting line of a race.  The feeling of accomplishment as I crossed the finish line.

And now I don’t know how to get back there.  I feel like I’m lost. And now that I’ve gained so much weight, I feel like I’m going to be starting all over again.  And that’s pretty damn depressing.

I think the thing that’s holding me back is the fact that I’m so damn slow.  I mean, I was slow back when I was actually IN shape.  Now that I roughly resemble a pear with stubby legs I’ll really be embarrassed by my pace.

I’ve always said…. When people ask you what your finish time is, or what your pace is (and they will)  …… always lie.  It’s been my experience that when you’re slow and you actually tell people what your pace is, they remind you of how lame and mind numbingly slow you are with their responses.  

So I guess you could say that it’s the opinions of others that’s holding me back from being a better version of myself.  Which is stupid.

How do I get past this?  How do I start over? Again?  Without being embarrassed? How do I not care what my runner friends think?

I want to find myself again.