Friday, December 22, 2017

Favorite Word: Julebukker

In a clever combination of what, as an American, I would describe as a mash-up between Halloween and Christmas, the Scandinavian folk sort of trick-or-treat while singing Christmas carols.

This celebration has made way to the U.S., and in those Scandinavian pockets of our country, it is alive & well! (ALASKA!)

Yes, there are treats.
Yes, there are costumes & disguises.
Yes, there's mythology.
Yes, there's Christianity.
Yes, there's a goat.

Yes, grandma gets run over by a reindeer....everywhere.

Wikipedia Page

God Jul!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Birthday 79

I ❤️ Dove Promises.

I ❤️ my dad.

Today is his birthday. 🎂

Today, I opened a Dove chocolate and this was the message inside the purple foil wrapper:

Here are a couple of my favorite quotes by my dad:
  1. Incisions, incisions. (Tough Decisions)
  2. That one fid dit. (Hollywood Gin)
  3. I love you a bushel & a peck & a hug around the neck!
Love and miss you, Dad. Happy birthday!

Friday, August 04, 2017

Jerry Jones HOF Speech Game

Listening to Jake, George and Razor (the Courage Boys JV), Jake came up with a list of words, stories and phrases that Jerry Jones might say in his NFL Hall of Fame speech tomorrow night. Here's the list so you can either drink, play bingo, or create whatever game pleases you and yours:

  • Mia's Restaurant/Dallas Mexican Restaurant
  • Relative to
  • As it should be
  • Trite (I'm adding cliche)
  • I say that in jest
  • Arkansas/Razorbacks/Hog call
  • Candidly
  • In my mind
  • I'm a risk taker
  • Any phrase pertaining to the oil industry (i.e. wildcatter, glory hole)
  • Respite
  • I'm smilin' when I say that
  • John Madden story
  • Cutting up credit card story
  • Meeting a player at the airport (Haley)
  • High character
  • The Triplets
  • Romo regret
  • Broyles story
  • Jimmy "Jump Up" Johnson
  • Some reference to winning a fourth Super Bowl during his tenure
Jake is asking for more suggestions via Twitter. You can follow him at @NotJackKemp.
Let me know what you did and how it turned out!

Congratulations, Mr. Jones & the Jones family! Thank you for all you've done for the City of Dallas, the Dallas Cowboys (including the brand) and the NFL.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

TMI Tuesday: This or That?

Choose what you most desire or would like to have or try....

1. Pilates or HIIT? Why?

  • Pilates - because IDKWTH HIIT is.

2. Spouse or significant other-lover?

  • Significant other-luvah!

3. Go clubbing or entertain friends at home?

  • Entertain at home, however, there IS an option or two between home and getyourfreakon and that's a live patio concert at a great venue.

4. Maybach sedan or Mercedes G-class SUV

  • The SUV, I guess.

5. Soccer or Golf?

  • Golf. I have a fantasy of being a world-class golfer, but I can't math enough.

6. Basketball or baseball?

  • Basketball.

7. Monster or Red bull? Why?

  • Monster because I fear Red Bull; and the only flavor of Monster I like is the Mocha.

8. Office with a view or work at home?

  • Work at home!

9. Early bird or night owl?

  • Night Owl ::: hoot :::

10. Boyfriend or Girlfriend?

  • Boyfriend.

11. Ice cream or gelato?

  • Ice Cream > GeLOLato

12. Silver or gold?

  • Silver (or white gold)

Bonus: Money or fame? Why?
  • Money. I can probably share it with those in need way more than fame bringing attention to a cause.


How to play TMI Tuesday: Copy the above TMI Tuesday questions to your webspace (i.e., a blog). Answer the questions there, then leave a comment below, on this blog post, so we’ll all know where to read your responses. Please don’t forget to link to tmituesdayblog from your website!

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Moving: An Attempt at Empathy

As THEY say, "Home is where the heart is".

As a kid, I moved around depending on where the Army sent my father. My family would arrive at a destination, we'd move in, get familiar with the schools, teachers, and various surroundings. Each new-turned-old destination was the same process: pack, process out of school (whatever that entailed), move, travel via plane or automobile, visit friends and family if the opportunity arose, arrive at next assignment, unpack, in-process for school, meet a new teacher, see faces of names unknown, get familiar with a new routine. The very words are rather clinical, no?

(Today, as I type this, I'm wondering if the generic physical structure of a house built on base helped our 'home' feel notsohomey so it was easier in some subconscious way to depart.) 

I'm in Texas now -- most of my life; I consider myself Texan*. I've planted roots and they have grown deep. My tree stretches as far west as El Paso, as far east as the piney woods past Winnsboro, as far north as Midland and Amarillo and as far south as Corpus Christi. The home I bought in the DFW area, I lived in for 10 years. There is a sense of HOME. Might be the aging, the life experience and wisdom gained, but I enjoy what I've seeded and 

During the mediation of my marriage dissolution, I walked away from any ownership of our home that we shared for 10 years. While I have sentimental ties to it, I was able to move out with relatively little look-back. Toward the end of my stay there, so many negative experiences occurred and the house itself didn't *feel* like home; it had physically changed to something resembling a clash of prison and half-assed DIY.

That's MY perspective. 

When I left Number Two ("NT"), I actually, physically, LEFT. I moved The Girls and I into an apartment. This is the first, real move they experienced. Now, NT has a new home & will be selling the only home those kiddos've ever known. I imagine they are pretty shaken.

By the time I was 16, the age of My Eldest, I had lived on two continents, moved five or six times in at least three states (Dad tried to get stationed in Texas as much as possible). When I was 11, MLO's age, I was living in Hawaii, surrounded by families I didn't know, in a culture I'd never seen or heard of, on a rock far away from the mainland. Thankfully, for the most part, I didn't have a hard time adjusting to new places and faces. My brother did, somewhat. My Girls -- I really don't know how they feel about their two moves from one house. I wonder if they even know how they feel? I worry, you know, about how this will fuck them up or make them better people.

I DO believe that roots are important, valuable, needed. I also believe change is unavoidable and though roots run deep, there is no reason to fear the winds of change, because we are seeds, fruit-bearing beings. No matter where you are, you can plant roots and build a forest in this world.

* Not the oil-wealthy, gun totin', horse ridin', look-at-everyone-as-a-conservative-or-we-are-enemies, boots for kicks, twangy southern drawl tawkin', bible-thumpin' kind; NOR the kind that plays for the NFL franchise in Houston.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A Little Catch-Up

Hello friends (and Foes)!

I've had a deep desire to blog, to write, to confess, open up, bare all. I've just been so overwhelmed by all the happenings of the last two years -- overwhelmed to the point of feeling STUCK. Paralyzed. Immobile. Tormented inside, but zombie-like externally. 

I decided tonight to just sort of -- stream of consciousness -- not start anywhere in particular or lead in one direction or another; rather just type stuff and see where the journey takes me.

The biggest news is me being a new me. How'd that happen? What does that mean? Well.... it means I severed the chains of narcissism and have been in a bit of PTSD rehab. I don't like thinking of myself as a victim, per se; it is what it is. Counseling is a wonderful, WONDERFUL tool for coping with unhealthy emotions and situations. 

Most of my adult life, I've been pretty self-aware and have desired, daily, to become a better version of myself than the time that is now a part of the past. That self-awareness, albeit powerful, can be burdensome. I knew I felt stuck and why but could not DO. I ended up pretty much spiraling and spinning in whichever way the wind took me.

All this is pretty generic-speak, broad and non-definitive, huh?

About two years ago, I left my marriage. The weeks after I left, I was terrified for my life. There was a significant change in the man to whom I was married. I observed a devout Catholic become a Christian Extremist. Gun collecting -- all kinds, even an AR-15. Ammo hoarding. Money being spent, but not knowing from where it came. And the freeze-dried meals in bucketloads -- piled in the garage. The political and religious rants were oftener and oftener and mostly didn't make sense to most who were in earshot (exception: the like-minded heard him loud & clear). The angry escalations and confrontations were happening too regularly. He attended that "free speech" even in Garland, you know, that Mohammed art exhibit. He wears it like a badge of honor. Our friends and even his own family, as well as our church friends, would ask me if I'm okay, and "what's going on with him??". They were talking to *me*; not him. His interaction with our oldest daughter became more and more toxic. Our interpersonal relationship devolved and was highly toxic, too. Incident by incident, question by question, bullet by bullet, gun by gun, rant by rant, I grew more and more fearful. This is picture of a person who you hear about in the news that "just snaps". I was afraid he would kill me. I worried about the safety of our kids. I also worried about their emotional development. 

This all sounds a bit dramatic, sure. But it's My World.  I'm sure he would say very different things and that is His World. 

Before that, though, there had been many scars left by deep, deep wounds we incurred by the other. Neither of us are perfect; I had my share of infidelity. I withdrew. I avoided. So many things that I did wrong. I asked his forgiveness, he granted it -- in words only.

I took our kids and snuck out of the house. As a result of my sudden departure -- the narcissist to whom I was married went ballstothewall fight mode. Part of his strategy included printing off and analyzing this entire blog, pulling phrases and entries out of context, twisting them to make me appear devilish, selfish, incompetent, uninvolved.  (This explains my dormancy.)

He lied! under oath! in a court of law, and his family did too. All these God-fearing, rules-following Catholic Church Attendants picked blood over Bible. To this day, I still shake my head, incredulously. Our Daughters -- wow -- what they don't know, and shouldn't know -- not until they're ready as adults. (They might read this blog, and that's okay; I am not saying anything untrue or disrespectful. It's not pretty, this is true. But it most certainly isn't petty.)

The lies, smears, misrepresentations, manipulations, emotional abuse, false accusations, verbal diarrhea and general hate for me that manifested in so many unexpected ways, nearly crushed my spirit. Nearly.

Along this journey Out of Marriage Number Two, were some committed, loyal, keepitreal friends and family that helped bolster me. I have handwritten a list of all the people who helped sneak me out of my house, kept me safe, helped me set up a new home from almost nothing. These are friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, church friends (ACTS!), therapists, pharmacists (ha!), court support, community programs, strangers.... I tear up typing about it now. I'm so humbled.

It took most of these two years to finalize the divorce. My Girls are exceptionally adjusted and know that they are allowed to be mad at me, feel sad, vent, enjoy, be joyful -- the whole of being human -- with me. We've had some pretty honest discussions, age-appropriately, about the past and the now. In writing is the only way Number Two and I are allowed to communicate, and that is even tense most of the time. I'm learning to set boundaries, be mindful and intentional, less reactive. It gets a bit easier each opportunity but there is no way I will say I see a light at the end of the tunnel, which is a bit tragic for our kids, who just want their mom and dad to sit next to each other at graduation.

A long exhale, a smile on my heart, experiencing something new. I now have an amazing man in my life. I look forward to our time together, but, as he knows, I'm in no mindset for commitment. I just want to learn the new kind of love I am experiencing. Patiently.

I look around where I live today and I smile. I have joy and a bit more peace. I am still anxious when interacting with Number Two and I have incurred quite a bit of legal debt, but I wouldn't change anything I did or where I am today. I wouldn't even change the marriage. I trust that process, you know. That's what I do.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Our Bucket Lists

I recently asked The Girls what they would have on their Bucket List. The three of us quickly jotted down a few things. Here's what we have (so far):


Got to every country in the world

Go to every state in the U.S.

Go to the National Museum of History

Meet One Direction (including Zayn)

Go to the Super Bowl

Join the FBI



Get a puppy

Go to France

Go to Egypt

Meet a Biologist

Go the Four Corners

Learn to draw Anime

Get a Master's Degree (or at least a degree)


See an NFL game at Lambeau Field in the winter

See Duke basketball play at Cameron - Coach K Court

Take the Amtrak train on a trip

Tandem skydive

Zip line

Finish my undergraduate degree

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy MOMster's Day

You can have your flowers, chocolates, brunches and day to yourselves. I am the recipient of the best MOMster's Day gift: a self-created Happy Mother's Day gift from MLO:

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Me Too

Sometimes you just want to take your teddy bear into the pool and drift away from all your troubles.

~~ Posted by Ramona Humane-Society on Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sunday, March 12, 2017

SoOOoOooOoooOOoO We Got Cats

And let me tell ya, they're the cats meows! They're the cats pajamas! They're swell!

Meet Gabe and Finn. They're five month old brothers. We bought brothers for Sisters. MLO and My Eldest are - how do you sayyy? -- OMGWTFBBQPON!ES over them!

Half-stache on the left, that's Gabe. No-stache on the right, Finn.

These boys were adopted.

I don't know what I'm doing. I've hated cats most of my whole life. I mean the kind of hate just shy of "I wouldn't care if I ran over one". I, like so many others, thought of them as too independent, aloof, mean, moody, and on and on.

The Girls were begging for cats since we didn't have any pets. They've been asking for over a year now. I've hesitated because of several reason to include the extra financial burden, the fact that when we leave town, we'd have to think about the cat(s), I wasn't ready for the extra responsibility (we have enough going on as it is....). The most important hesitation: I am allergic to some cats.

It was a Sunday.

I was picking My Eldest up from work, which is a couple doors down from a Petco.

MLO was with me, of course. As per usual, she asked if she could go inside and look at the cats. My Eldest saw a beta fish display as soon as we walked in and asked if we could get a fish. I said, "sure, why not?", thinking that having a fish will subside the begging for a cat.

MLO was looking at the cats and comes to ask us to look at them with her. On the way to the adoption area, were box turtles. My Eldest asked if we could get that instead of a fish. I told her we'd need to find out the cost, and if I could afford it, we could. I used to have box turtles named Simon and Lana, so I had no objection to this relatively maintenance-free "pet". The three of us go looking for a sales associate, conveniently right past the cat adoption area! (Imagine that?!)

Y'all, these two cats - brothers - were snuggled like a yin & yang in one round bed. Gabe had his whole arm over Finn as if they were huddled together. IT WAS SO HONEY SWEET! I said, "ohmygosh, they are SO CUTE! Whoever adopts them needs to keep them together!". I think I sealed my fate right then and there.

Hanging on the cage next to them were personality description cards that also included their names and ages. The girls read them and each cat's personality matched up with each girl's personality. Oh the squealing and begging that followed was amazingly peerpressure-ish and I caved! I closed my eyes, said, "self, let's be impulsive! Don't think. Just DO!". These two girls were soooo happy! One thing swiftly lead to another and another and I was calling the adoption facility, setting up appointments and asking questions, calculating cost. 

Luckily, I know several cat owners and knew I could rely on them for help. The three of us are new to cat ownership and I just didn't want to screw anything up (like you see on Jackson Galaxy's My Cat from Hell). AND, the best news of all -- I was not allergic to these cats! Yay!

It's been a couple weeks and we couldn't be happier. Once we got them out from under the couch, snuggled them a lotlot, they are bonding with us. 

I love these cats.

I love having them.

I love learning about them.

I love that My Daughters are so immensely happy to have them!

Stay tuned....I'm sure there will be more cat tales!


Thursday, March 09, 2017

Number Nine, It's Time

Le sad sigh....

He's been around for about a third of my life. I've been around for his WHOLE life! Fourteen years, Tony Romo has been the quarterback of the (MY) Dallas Cowboys. He and I have watched each other grow professionally and personally. It's been a heckuva ride!

Le second sad sigh.....

Where do I think he'll end up, if he continues to play professional football? Denver is my gut feeling. Houston would be next. In fact, I'd love to see Houston get Romo! 

Dear Texans,
It's okay to admit you made a very expensive mistake. 
The Weirdly Loyal Fans of the Jerry Jones Ownership Era of the Dallas Cowboys (we should know...)

My heart of hearts wants him to retire from playing football. I have an admiration and respect for NFL players who retire from the same team they started with -- never leaving. I love the reciprocal loyalty in that relationship that exists behind the business of the NFL. This feeling is also a bit selfish on my part because I've felt betrayal by the likes of Emmitt Smith (who should NOT have been allowed to retire as a Cowboy after what he said about the Cowboys when he was on the Cardinals). 

But my heart of my heart of hearts wants him to win a Super Bowl first. Wait -- if he's playing for Washington, Philadelphia or the New York Football Giants -- I don't want that. Pretty much any other team, I approve -- go for it Number Nine!

Back to retiring....  Tones Romes has a young family that's expanding, has enough money to rule Texas, he's revered in Dallas, has a place in the community, is very well connected to football and the Dallas Cowboys organization. After taking some time off, I can see him easily transition to front office or even coaching. The guy is athletically gifted in basketball and golf -- play all day! He is an exceptional craftsman baker "actor" -- CROWNIES! Maybe he could go into "acting" like Peyton Manning has (a million commercials & the occasional skit on late night television shows). 

It's a sad day for me, as a lifelong Cowboys fan. In fact, I think I'm more sad today than I was when Number Eight, Troy Aikman, retired. 

Le third sad sigh....

Tony -- do well, be well. Much love.

Now it's time for me to make a meatball sandwich.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Life Lesson #1 for 2017: Detergents Matter

December 31, 2016, I was pretty sick. I guess it was a 24 hour bug or something.

I managed to stir out of bed to run the kiddos to the store so they could pick up a couple things, one being dishwasher detergent (I've caved. I don't mind hand washing, but the dishwasher is a friend now. Life happens, things change, y'know.).

The Three of Us get home & the Little One places a pod in the dishwasher & starts it.

I fall back asleep for a bit.

My Eldest, she's making lunch & as the oven beeps, she steps into a watery kitchen floor. I hear her gripe so I get out of bed & sure enough, there's dishwasher overflow. The garbage disposal has erupted foodgoop, there are frothy bubbles in the sink & a slow-stream finding its way along the tile caulking.

Eldest stops the dishwasher & I tell her to flip the switch to the garbage disposal. She does as I go fetch towels to soak up the waterfloor. I come back and spread out the towels; each of us using our feet to dancemop. Eldest says, "You're so brave!" I guess she thought it was a pretty big deal to run the garbage disposal? *laughing*

We finish the clean up and start the dishwasher again. It finishes its job & we are all merry again.

As I fade back to sleep, I thought it was weird that there was so much froth in the sink.


Today, I awaken and sluggishly start picking up around the house. I venture to the kitchen to do dishes, empty the dishwasher. I open the dishwasher door and wow it smells AMAZING! And the dishes were SO CLEAN; I mean, like, superextrasparklyclean!

My thoughts: Gosh, this smells like laundry! What scent is this?

It rushes in: OMGOSH, did they buy LAUNDRY detergent instead of dishwashing detergent?!

I open the cabinet and sure enough, it was laundry detergent! ha!

At least they're clean. :)


Dear Daughters: Be careful about the type of detergent you pick & how you use it. :P

Dear Me: I guess we have a Plan C?


Happy New Year, All!