Five Stages of Grief: Golden Retriever Edition

Tuesday, June 22nd 2021


Golden Retriever Shocked by a Kitten occupying his bed! [2:20]:


When I sent this video to my (13 y/o) son, he wrote:

he went through the 5 stages of grief! denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance! so funny mom.


OK so first of all, the Boy is spot on, as usual.

Secondly, SO spot on!

I mean, I distinctly remember learning about Elisabeth Kubler-Ross while earning my undergraduate degree in psychology. Her groundbreaking 1969 book, “On Death and Dying” is where the “Five Stages” originate.

But that my 13 y/o has implicitly learned and understands these as a matter of course, as a matter of viewing content online and understanding behavior in the world…

Well I just never would have anticipated that.

That is because I am Gen-X(L), I was born before the internet and am helping to raise the next generation who are absolutely immersed and infused with all it has to offer; the good bad and ugly.

So…anyone want to just watch that doggo video again?


Posted in animals, cats, childhood, comedy, evidence they get along, fight, fighting Fascism, forgiveness, Friendship, learning, love, mental health, nature, parenthood, parenting, patience, siblings | Leave a comment

We Are Generation X

June 2021


Even if my daughter says I’m in Generation “XL,” we still got a lot to be proud of.

Survival and adaptation-wise anyway.

Just the fact that the I N T E R N E T –and CELL PHONES– were invented in my life time, BLOWS me away.

Anyway, the Holderness Family depicts it well. Enjoy!


“We Are Gen X” – Original Song [3:32]:





Posted in activism, childhood, Clowning, comedy, family, forgiveness, global inequity, health, history, learning, mental health, music | Leave a comment

At Rise: True

Thursday, June 3rd 2021

AT RISE: Momb is near the door trying to leave the house to for an errand with Boy. Boy is sitting at his desk wearing headphones, looking at his computer screen and tying his shoe in front of an uneaten chicken wing. Dad is in in the kitchen nearby.

Momb: [As if in a zoo.] Look! He’s putting his shoes on while watching something on the computer and maybe eating a chicken wing… all at once!

Boy: [Looks at Momb coyly and speaks sweetly.] Just because you’re stupid doesn’t mean I’m stupid. [Continues tying shoe.]

Momb: Oh I see. [Pauses.] But it does make it more likely.

Boy: True. [Resumes watching computer screen.]




Posted in childhood, comedy, domestic life, family, forgiveness, health, learning, love, mental health, nature, parenthood, parenting, patience, persistence, work-life balance | Leave a comment

Maker Space – aka: Supplise!

Saturday, May 29th 2021



On this day I realized a vision that had been years in the making.

Yes I gather and accumulate a lot of crap.

I also conserve a lot of resources and make a lot of creative and useful things with it.

So here is the corner of my daughter’s bedroom that is now finally our family MAKER SPACE.

All the “supplise!” now have a (clearly labeled) place.

Just in time for summer.

My guess is that you are either a person wondering why you are reading this, or someone who totally gets it.

Either way, there I celebrated it.

Now let the crafts begin!



Posted in activism, art, childhood, Corona Quarantine, domestic life, faith, forgiveness, health, learning, love, making art, marriage, mental health, money, parenting, patience, persistence, tragedy, work-life balance | Leave a comment

Carrot Talk 🥕

Friday, May 28th 2021


2021-05-28 Carrot Talk 🥕 [0:29]:



Posted in art, childhood, Clowning, comedy, family, food, global inequity, health, love, mental health, music, parenthood, parenting, Performing Life, persistence | Leave a comment

Ack! Some Kindness for Your Back

May 2021


I just love the inspiration in this little TikToc.

Pasting it here for reference, and in case anyone out there needs some Lower Back Love!


Posted in activism, art, domestic life, health, learning, love, mental health, music, patience, work-life balance | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Supersoaking the Neighbors

May 18th 2021


After 14 months of pandemic social *distancing,* I’m pleased as punch that the kids persuaded me to take them shopping for “Supersoakers” on this first hot day of the year.


2021-05-18 Supersoaking the Neighbors [0:29]:




Posted in childhood, comedy, Corona Quarantine, fight, forgiveness, Friendship, health, history, love, mental health, nature, parenthood, Vitamin N | Tagged , | 2 Comments


Friday, May 7th 2021

Simply too fun not to share.

(And too short not to watch!)




Posted in activism, art, Black Lives Matter, comedy, Corona Quarantine, fight, history, learning, politics, Religious Hypocrisy, science, social justice, Socialism? | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Gavin’s Animation

May 7th 2021


On this day my son sent me an email from school with this link, titled “My Animation!”


I don’t know how he did it, but I do love it.

Maybe sometime we can add sound.

In the meantime, enjoy the deliberate timing of the little airplane getting stuck for a moment, and THEN exploding.

He said it was very tedious and took a lot of work to arrange every single pixel in every frame and to get the timing exactly how he wanted it.

Just another gem of delight from the wonderful mind of this beautiful young human.

Motherhood is ridiculous but also rewarding.

Love it, Boy!


Momb (o;


Posted in art, childhood, Clowning, comedy, education, learning, making art, mental health, parenthood, persistence, school, science, travel | Leave a comment

Hospital Clowning: The Epidemic’s Epidemic

Wednesday, April 28th 2021

Locked, loaded and sanitized with Dr. Bucket Buster & Doc Skeeter on board.


It’s no wonder I never managed to post about my first day back in person after a pandemic year of performing remotely; it’s the end of my second day back now and I’m pretty wiped.

Today it’s my job to bring the iPad around to patients in the hospital; targeted patients by staff request, one unit at a time. It is a miracle we’re still able to create meaningful connections -and even laughter- over Zoom. Patients’ faces are often behind masks, the view of them is often backlit and hard or even impossible to see, the facilitator (eg: me) is generally there awkwardly holding the iPad in whatever position, and everything is so ubiquitously 2-dimensional and tiny in those little rectangles on the screen. But on the other end of that screen are two trained professional goofballl hospital clowns whose job it is to divine imagination, creation and laughter in that environment; like water in a desert.

Setting foot in Boston Children’s Hospital these days does not have the same magical appeal it used to. It *feels* like a hospital; drab, colorless, downtrodden, ugh. Never in my life have I felt our skills as performers are more needed than now and here.

Add to that the epidemic’s epidemic of kids onboarding because of what is euphamistically called “Behavioral” reasons. That means depression, aggression towards others, self-harm, suicide attempts, victims of domestic abuse and all manner of heartbreak. The Covid-19 has wrecked exponential havoc in the personal lives and healthy development of our KIDS.


In come the clowns and we connect with these absolutely gorgeous, vibrant, beautiful young souls in these conditions; it’s already a tightwire act going into any hospital room because there are always precautions and issues to consider and/or avoid in the first place. Add to that the concept that these kids want to harm themselves, or are surviving gross neglect or harm at the hands of others. It’s a mental juggling act. Our job is of course to conjure creativity around and above the fray, find the actual child inside and entice them to play, be silly, be boss, or whatever else the improvisation may unveil.

Today I will share two visits.


One is a tweenage child (the exact age of my healthy child…) sitting on the floor between an indifferent parent and a hospital-appointed, professional minder. With few words and no smile, the child climbs up onto the bed to abide our visit. They engage and agree and participate with our clowns as they help assess dumb jokes, imagine what kind of mural they should paint on Doc Skeeter’s shed (a dog peeing on a tree…) and prompt a spontaneous fashion show. Sadly the parent sits idle the whole time staring at their phone, ignoring us and their child as if nothing is happening whatsoever. All I can do is give thanks that for those 12 minutes or so we are able to engage this gorgeous child’s imagination and treat them as the important, wonderful and worthy young human being they are. And hope that some outcome can be found involving no more suicide attempts.


On the other hand, here we are later on in the Emergency Department. Yet another young child here for self-harm, depression and “increased aggression.” This time with a bright-eyed mom and a shell-shocked dad. Well, this visit is this kind I almost don’t like to take any credit for because it feels like we hardly did anything but show up. Kiddo is eager for action, ready to PLAY, and deserves all the credit for their successful visit to the point of making OUR day better. Jokes, silliness, hysterical laughter, and also taking control of the iPad in order to “shake” the clowns. Dr. Bucket Buster and Doc Skeeter may have gotten a bigger workout than they intended, flailing around within their Zoom squares as the child manipulates them by turning and shaking the iPad in every direction. I may have left them in that predicament longer than necessary, but when a patient has taken control of the visit, is forgetting everything but abject hilarity… we are absolutely going to lean into the boundaries of how long we can keep that going.


Posted in art, Black Lives Matter, childhood, Clowning, comedy, Corona Quarantine, family, grandparenthood, health, history, homeschool, Hospital Clowning, Laughter League, learning, love, making art, mental health, parenthood, parenting, Performing Life, persistence, school, science, spirituality, tragedy, work | Leave a comment