watch whatever dumb garbage you want

Watch Whatever Dumb Garbage You Want

Far be it from me to argue with well meaning humans encouraging us to use this time to improve our minds by learning a new language or writing a book. That being said, I think you should watch whatever dumb garbage you want. No need for self-improvement, you’re fine just as you are. I mean, if you want to learn a language or write a book, do that. We’re all here just trying to get through. No judgment. Read more

The Cards Have Nothing to Say to You

The Cards Have Nothing to Say to You

If I hear about a trend, it is either dead or made it into the mainstream. I thought tarot readings were mainstream mainly because in the town where I was raised, there was a small white house with a picket fence and a big “Tarot Read Here” sign in the front yard.

But I think each new generation discovers tarot readings in their own way and that speaks to the fluidity of the practice. I had my cards read or done or put on a table in front of me (I’m still not sure what the correct verb is) and after all the shuffling and tapping and arranging the lady leaned over the array then leaned way back, frowned, then laughed.

I had kind of thought the whole thing was a bunch of nonsense but now I was curious.

“What does it say?”


“Does that mean I’m going to die?”

“No, it means the cards have nothing to say to you.”

“Well, that’s rude.”

She only shrugged, gathered up her cards and then we played gin rummy (not with her tarot). She later told me she had never seen anything like it. I asked if she’d been doing it for a few years. She said fifteen.


So I don’t have much to do with tarot or for that matter, horoscope. Since the day I was old enough to read my horoscope it has said some version of, “Most of your problems are in your head, now go clean something.” For fun I will read other horoscopes but then it stops being fun when theirs say things like, “Love is coming, be ready!” or “Take that leap you’ve been thinking of!”

And then a few months ago Felicia got me the cutest set of affirmation cards, called Affirmators. You’re supposed to mix them all up and as you do the mixing you are supposed to close your eyes, take a deep breath and silently ask the cards to give you a message that will benefit you in that moment. Six thinks this is the best thing ever. He announces what he wants, which is usually ice cream or a car (he’s 8) and then plunges in and comes up with the cutest cards that tell him he needs to do less work or be more inspired. He takes these to mean he doesn’t need to do homework or that he should be allowed to watch all the Harry Potter movies.

Over the past few months I have gotten different cards, all of them cheerful urgings to believe in myself and be playful, crap like that. And then, a few weeks ago I got one of the bonus cards. Bonus cards don’t have a cute picture and a pithy message of the of be-nice-to-yourself variety on it. Bonus cards are more serious. It’s a paragraph about doing something you probably don’t want to do. The one I got was Perseverance. It was about how climbing mountains is hard and I should just keep climbing and that people who climb Everest aren’t fueled by inspirational quotes but rather live on lots of “grunting, and crying, and cursing like freakin’ pirates.”

A useful reminder. So in keeping with our habit, I kept my card out on my desk all day and then put it back in the deck the next day. Six and I remember to grab a card about once a week. For three weeks in a row, I got the same card. This is what happens when I deal with anything having to do with tapping into the universe. It turns implacable. What does implacable mean? It means relentless. Unforgiving. Incapable of being talked out of whatever it has talked itself into.

I hung the perseverance card on the fridge and now only Everett talks to the cards. I know when I’m beat.



Are you cringing? The word funner tends to send people off the deep end. But the word runner is fine. And yet beautifuller is a big no.

Why? Something about the way two syllable adjectives pattern. I’m not completely sure.

Welcome to English grammar. It’s really confusing here and lots of super smart people disagree about ideas I don’t understand. Noun phrases still make me cry. So why am I talking about grammar? Read more

Taking Control of Her Mental Health in a Pandemic

Taking Control of Her Mental Health in a Pandemic

Something about the quarantine life unleashed a darkness in Helene Skantzikas. It insidiously snatched joy and plunged her into the depths of hopelessness. Nothing and everything has changed in her life in the last three months: she lives at home with her mother and her son. Same as before, but everything is different.  Read more


This Dance is Hard: Motherhood at the Quarter Century

With Older Son’s 25th birthday quickly approaching, it’s time for me to write up a few things I think I know about motherhood.

I have been a mom for a while, longer than some, not as long as others. 25 years so far. I have two children, one is 24 years old and one is 8 years old. There are no two people I love more in this world or beyond. They have been my great adventure and terror and joy and…well, all the things. They have given me dimensions I would not have developed if it were not for them. I think I am a better person because of them. Read more

Our Lives Will Never Be the Same Without Them

Our Lives Will Never be the Same Without Them

Someone somewhere once said that the death of an old man is not a tragedy. I think what they meant was that even though there is sorrow in the loss, there is no sense of a life unlived or potential unrealized. We mourn but we don’t wonder what could have been. That being said, our lives will never be the same without them. Read more

To Parent or not to Parent

For possibly the first time in human history, people are able to ask themselves if they want to be a parent. Think about that. For thousands of years you had children for reasons out of your control. Your culture, your parents, your place within society dictated whether or not you became a parent. For millions of people, that is still true to this day. But for millions of others, there is a clear choice to be made. Read more

During the COVID-19 Outbreak Don’t Tell Me to Count My Blessings

During the COVID 19 Outbreak Do Not Tell Me to Count My Blessings

If you ask me how I am feeling, I will tell you I am marginally okay.

In the age of a modern day outbreak, I can’t tell you I am well or fine — those platitudes seem to describe a different, more carefree time before Coronavirus insidiously crept into all our heads.

Slowly, freedom has been peeled away. The virus called COVID-19 has become larger, more pervasive and insidious. What was first a series of heartbreaking headlines from distant lands is now lingering right outside my door, so I go inside and hope.

Being safer at home makes it feel dangerous everywhere else. From behind my mask, I can’t smell the sweetness of blooming Wisteria anymore.

Like I said, marginally okay over here. Read more

Romantic Movies Where No One Ends Up Dead

Romantic Movies Where No One Ends Up Dead

There are two types of people in this world. People who are fine with and sometimes even welcome movies where a great romance ends in the death of one or both partners. And then there are people who really hate that.

I am in the second group. And that is okay. Neither group is right or wrong. We are just different. Sometimes we have trouble agreeing on what movie to watch. I say if you are in that situation, watch The Great Race or Auntie Mame. Or just go bowling.

In this time of political upheaval, worldwide pandemics and possible toilet paper shortages, here is a list of Romantic Movies Where No One Ends Up Dead.

You’re welcome. Read more

mothering in the time of covid-19

Mothering in the Time of COVID-19

With the deep concern currently circling the COVID-19 pandemic, we thought we would talk about it. Being a health care provider and a new mother definitely has me feeling conflicted. On one end of the spectrum, my health care side is telling me to relax, continue to wash your hands (something I constantly preached way before any of this came about!), and to remain cautious yet calm. After all, I have seen a lot of sickness, trauma, and chronic health issues in my career. Then I have the mom side of me, wanting to disinfect everything, stay away from all the people, and look deeper into the issue. Welcome to mothering in the time of COVID-19. Read more