To: MOM! Invoice “Form” CJ

Friday, November 15th 2019

Yes I make my children invoice me for their allowance.  And lately I have been dabbling in NOT REMINDING them to invoice me.  So imagine my delight when Dear Daughter runs to me tonight saying, “I don’t know where the invoice pad is so I wrote this one myself!”

(It quickly got wrinkled by a cat sitting upon it.)
                • What: All(owance)
                • How Many:  2 (weeks)
                • How Much:  16.00 (ie; $8/week x 2 weeks)
                • To:  Mom
                • When:  NOW
                • Grand Total Do:  $16.00

Not bad, especially for eight years old!

Then we went to Target and by the time we got there she drew and gave me this:

to: Mom! form: CJ titel: the rose.


Here she is tearing through the FIFTH Harry Potter book, and asking for a teeny tiny microscope, respectively:


When we got home she made these for me and Daddy:

(Mine has a clown face in it.)


All this in a couple short hours with her brother away on a sleepover.

My god I love mine, yet I don’t know how people have –that is, RAISE– more than two kids.


Posted in art, childhood, comedy, domestic life, education, faith, family, health, learning, love, making art, mental health, parenthood, parenting, work-life balance | Tagged | Leave a comment

Daddy & CJ: While I Was Away

November 11th 2019


The twins.


Oh my.   These two.

I knew that left to her own devices, ClaraJane would know exactly how to operate her dad by herself while Gavin and I were away.  The results do not disappoint.

First up, notes before I leave:


Texts while away:


Operate Daddy and How:



And now that we are back, here she is at the bus stop:


Reading (Harry Potter #4) in mosaic camouflage


And because she caught me at school (and because I cannot get enough of her):


And last but not least, DaddyLove:


DLove in cozy shirt with female dog


He may not fit in a single selfie shot, but there are two things I know;

1) He’s got a lovely new cozy shirt there for me to snuggle, and,

2) Some bitch be moving in on my territory!


Posted in animals, childhood, comedy, domestic life, evidence they get along, family, food, health, love, mental health, parenthood, parenting, tea with daddy, travel, work-life balance | Leave a comment

Packages for the Homeless: “Got Empathy?”

Tuesday, November 12th 2019


A woman sits on her possessions under an umbrella in Harvard Square.


Traveling through Harvard Square today, I stop by the homeless guy with all the clever signs outside the Coop.  Today’s reads:  “GO AHEAD, MAKE MY DAY.”

Then I cross the street to give a package to this petite woman sitting under an umbrella on her pile of stuff.  (See photo above.)  Her sign reads, simply:  “Got empathy?” 



Around the corner I stop by a man selling the homeless newspaper.  We get into an animated discussion about local and national politics.  He is especially tuned to local fraud in the Boston Police and abuses of the parole system, as well as the impact of a Republican Administration on Supreme Court appointments.  His name is Clifton and he lets me take his picture.


Clifton sells Spare Change News


Then across from the Unitarian Church where I got married sits a man, IN THE RAIN, smoking a small cigar.  With his cup in one hand and the package I gave him in the other, he holds the cigar between his teeth and says, “Godblessyou.


Man sits against a wall in the rain trying to collect change from passersby


Then I read some of the Spare Change Newspaper for a… change, and am astonished by the breadth of its coverage; from the rehabilitation of child soldiers in Syria, to environmental protection efforts around a river in Bangladesh, to the homeless crisis in San Francisco, to the Americorps program and -not surprisingly- the connection between homelessness and lack of access to healthcare.   Dang, I never recognized it as a legitimate source of journalism before.  Check it out!

Spare Change News


Posted in activism, fighting Fascism, food, Friendship, history, learning, mental health, politics, social justice, Socialism?, spirituality, The Progressive Movement, tragedy, work-life balance | Leave a comment

My Horsey Dad’s Horsey Journal

November 11th 2019

Just before the end of my visit Dad pulls out these beautiful, soulful works of art to show me; a lifetime of notes on dressage training.

Thanks for sharing these with me Dad!


Posted in art, childhood, family, health, history, learning, love, making art, mental health, patience, work-life balance | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Barbarian Versus: Episodes 1, 2 & 3

Sunday, November 10th 2019 – Skyline (Oakland CA)


Gavin “Blade” and Sanjay “Barbarian” prepare for BATTLE.


2019-11-09 Barbarian vs. Blade – Episode 1 [0:24]:


2019-11-10 Barbarian vs. Blade – Episode 2 [0:52]:


2019-11-09 Barbarian vs. Bruce [0:33]:




Watch out, Grandpa knows Kung Fu!



Posted in art, childhood, comedy, cousins, evidence they get along, family, fight, Friendship, grandparenthood, health, learning, love, making art, mental health, nature, parenthood, Performing Life, travel | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Operation Surprise Anita

Thursday, November 7th 2019

On this day, my son and I are somewhat spontaneously flying cross country to my hometown to surprise my dad but mostly my step-mom. She has a big birthday coming up (though we would never be so indiscreet as to mention the number), and I just felt that for maybe ONCE in my life I could try to thank her and let her know I appreciate her for all the UNTOLD amount of work, love and sacrifice she has given of herself -and continues to give- for our family over all these years; for me and especially for my big, dumb ol’ high-needs Dad.

Literally no one knows how she does it. Or -as Dad would say- “Whah?” (Southern for “why?”) And certainly no one knows HOW.

Anyway Anita, I’m sure it will be both a shock and a bit of a stressor to have us show up like this. And I wish I was coming with a host of lmaids and handymen, a chef, a masseuse, a chauffeur and a well-stocked retirement account… all things you so deserve. I’m hoping our meager offerings and a bit of extra company will still convey that I appreciate you. And all you have done and continue to do.

To be continued.




Posted in childhood, domestic life, faith, family, grandparenthood, health, history, love, mental health, money, parenthood, parenting, patience, travel, work, work-life balance | 1 Comment

At Rise: Look at Me

Thursday, November 7th 2019

del bay bridge


AT RISE:  Mom is driving the rental car across the Bay Bridge to Oakland with Boy in the passenger seat.

Boy:  [Stewie Style]  Mom! Hey!  Mum!  Mummy!  Mom!

Mom:  [Turns to looks at Boy.]

Boy:  [Gently slapping her cheek]  KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD!



Stewie Family Guy [0:32]:




Posted in childhood, comedy, faith, family, forgiveness, Friendship, health, love, mental health, parenthood, patience, Performing Life, travel, work-life balance | Tagged | Leave a comment