mind games


It had to happen one day. I think it happens to everyone, or it will. I thought I was still too young for it, I hoped I was still too young, but I’ve run out of time.
I’ve lost my mind.
It happened somewhere towards the end of last week. I can’t pin point the exact moment, but the clues are all there.
It might be due to all the new information I have been attempting to stuff into my brain lately. I honestly feel like one of those soft sided suitcases that you jump up and down on, sit on, have your friend lay on, and grunt openly while you stuff that last pair of pants from the Gap into. The zipper is holding on by it’s teeth as you cautiously roll it over to the security line, hoping a praying they don’t choose your bag to ‘randomly search’ because you are sure you will be arrested for attempting to bring an explosive device on an aircraft. Yeah, that’s my brain.
Unfortunately, my brain doesn’t have a zipper, so it’s more like stuffing marshmallows into your mouth. You may get a lot in, but eventually you are going to gag and they will all come shooting out across the table. Mind blown.
In the interest of educating my readers, I will tell you the symptoms, so you will know what to watch for.
The first symptom was made evident Saturday night while I sat listening(seat dancing) to Rick Springfield in concert. The man looks AH-mazing for 64, Seriously?? He may even look better now than 20 years ago. There you go, first sign of dementia. I was sitting, listening, letting my mind numb with the beat, when I suddenly remembered having the revelation of a lifetime just the day before. I had been at a writer’s conference and the speaker had shared some thing that had caused me to write down the best ideas and plot builders ever. I had been so excited, I could still remember the words I had written. They were going to spur the best book yet! Except….it never happened. I had slept in til 10:30 or so, and had dreamed it all. It was so real in my mind, I was panicked when I realized the careful notes I had taken, were still on that pad of paper in my dream.
The second symptom came last night as I went to Groupon to check the times for the awesome event I had bought tickets for this week. I had scored 6 tickets to be in the audience at The Voice. I was totally stoked, and wanted to make sure I had the times right and location and all that business. I looked on Groupon…..no evidence of me having purchased said tickets. I did a search of Groupon…no evidence of there ever having been tickets to the event. This one I knew happened because I had called my sister about it last week. Unless, I dreamed that call….My mind was seriously starting to trip at this point. Was I really so sleep deprived that I was living a second life whenever I finally hit the pillow? Possibly great book fodder, but rather anxiety induced thoughts.
There had to be payment proof if I had actually purchased something, right?? I checked my Paypal account. Nothing. Panic rising. I went straight to my bank account. Rather large purchase amount to Groupon….could it be??? I called the number.
The sweet girl on the other end told me she could see the vouchers on her end….why couldn’t I see them? Was I still sleeping?
Apparently, there is a difference in some websites depending on how you view them. My ‘smart phone’ isn’t so smart. It can’t see Groupon vouchers that ‘aren’t available until July 23rd.” Holy crap. I could see them when I looked on my laptop.
I know it may seem like a little thing, losing your mind, but I’ve grown rather fond of mine. I mean, in my squishy little mind, I understand most everything, and all my jokes are funny. I really need to hold onto it…..cause I said so.

Photo credit: http://www.crystalskins.co.uk btw, please don’t google monkey brains…it’s not pretty…..

Book Review : Relative Evil

relative evil cover


It is very cool to read a book that was written by someone you know. It is even cooler when the book turns out to be fantastic. This is the case with Relative Evil by Debra Erfert. Deb is a super fun person with that special quirky sense of humor that makes me love her. At retreat last week, she would come up behind me and act weird. After reading her book, I’m glad I didn’t read it before retreat or I would have been scared of her!

If you are looking for a good, clean, suspenseful story that will keep you reading til your eyes are dried open and your fingers are sore from gripping the book so hard, Relative Evil is the one for you.

Debra has taken a sweet, girl-next-door-writer and turned her into a superstar writer that is fighting for her life amid family drama. The books pages demand to be turned quickly as your pulse races through the intense situations as well as the almost steamy encounters.

I loved this book and highly recommend it! I hope Debra writes more stories like these. I’m sure this one was “inspired”, but there are probably many more lurking in the back of her mind or, hiding under the driver’s seat in her Jeep, Cause I said so.

cause it lame



My writers’ retreat was really great last weekend. I honestly haven’t had much time to write in the last….year. I did a lot of school, student teaching, mothering, and actual teaching. Writing was put past the back burner on that little shelf behind the stove. I don’t actually have a shelf behind my stove, but if I did, that is where my writing would have been sitting.

I love to write. Its kind of like letting a little water out of a too full waterbed. My head is a lot more comfortable when I let a little bit of stuff out in the form of writing. Okay, maybe that visual didn’t work, but I already used a bit zit analogy in my memoirs book so…didn’t want to over do that. (coming soon!)

At retreat I really figured out how to write. I mean, I know HOW to write, I’m talking about how to get the muses to line up and play nice. Like any other earth shattering discovery, it was something I already knew. I discovered that if I would read my scriptures at night, for a long time, then again in the morning to start my day, I would have a clear mind and be able to get stuff out. I also discovered that when I ran out of ideas, it happens, if I would just go outside and walk, it would all make sense again.

This is the method I used last weekend when I finished two books and wrote half my memoir book. I’m pretty sure my mems will be a best seller just based on the title. NO, I’m not going to spoil it here, but you will be the first to know when it is ready for beta readers. I love my beta readers, they are wonderful!  I will tell you this….my mems will be similar to my blog, except with fewer spelling errors, more made up facts, and definitely more dirt on my sisters. They never read my blog so, serves them right!!

Now I have to pull up my big girl pants and write actual facts on my project for school. Can I get an actual definition of what a ‘fact’ is please? I mean, is it like…if three people believe it, it can be a fact? I certainly hope so….cause I said so.

Look! A chicken!


I had a good friend in Florida that made me laugh. She was a tough chick, ex military, but she had turned in her khakis for burp cloths and baby wipes. She was a super great mom, and managed to decorate her house with things she found in dumpsters. You might cringe that that visual, but her house was really cute and classy. I could make a house look like the inside of Goodwill, after shopping at PotteryBarn.

One of the things this friend and I really had in common was our ability to get distracted easily. We would be in the depths of a very serious conversation about food storage or the latest parenting techniques and would suddenly find ourselves talking about something completely different. One day, as we stood in front of my house talking, I suddenly turned and almost shouted “Woodpecker!” For once, the conversation stopped dead. We looked at each other and dissolved in laughter. There actually was a woodpecker, and a very large one.

Since then, I have continued to perfect the art of conversation jumping to where it is now. Sometimes I think I should teach classes on this particular subject, but then I realize it would have to start out as a class about something completely different.

On the way up to my writers retreat this week, I found myself in a heated conversation with another crazy writer. We were bouncing through topics like nobody’s business. At one point, I had to just breath and acknowledge our amazing skills by shouting “Look! A chicken!” This, of course, it the universal code for, “I can’t stick to one topic!” My writer friend totally got the reference and we continued, with an even greater respect for each other.

I’m pretty sure the white knuckles I noticed on the driver were due to the winding road, and not to the warp speed of our conversation, but I could be wrong….cause I said so.



Photo credit: http://www.pelotes.jea.com

Puppy Porn



Before you get your tights in a wad over this blog title, let me explain a few things. 

When my husband was still alive, he did not appreciate home improvement shows. He still may not like them, but I’m not totally sure what stations they get in heaven. I, on the other hand, love watching these “totally realistic” transformations of rooms, homes, etc. I have always loved creating and art and doing things with my hands, so to see other people do that and make amazing things just excites me. 

One of my favorite shows for the past few years was Design Star. It was a bit like American Idol in that it featured 10-12 designers competing for their own show. Each week the designers would be presented with a challenge to decorate a room or house or shack…or whatever. They had very limited time and money to make something that was not only beautiful, but also unique and showed their personal flair. Someone must have told HGTV that I cancelled my cable this spring because they cancelled the show. I guess it was all for me.

The reason I bring up the home improvement shows and my husbands dislike for them is that he called them ‘women’s porn.’ I know that is totally stereotyping but, that is what he called them. He explained by saying it was something women/homemakers lusted after but could never really have. Therefore, porn. I could see his point, but….secretly I believed I could really have those amazing homes and I could miraculously “do it myself.” 

We all have those things in life that we just pine for. Things we think we MUST have, but really….we are never going to get. I’d really love to have a smooth, strong, feminine yet sexy jawline. I could pay for it….but I am pretty sure I would need to change my cheekbones after doing that and after the cheekbones, my nose would totally stick out. Pretty soon I would be Micheala Jackson, person of unknown facial origins. I’ll keep my jaw, and all that goes with it, because it’s who I am. Like it or not.

My dog begs for things she thinks she wants. She will sit and stare at you, watching you slowly lift food to your mouth, without blinking. She can sit and stare for hours. It’s annoying, mostly because if I break in and give her a bite….she will spit it on the floor most times. She must have it…but she doesn’t really want it.

I’m taking a good look at my life, for a few moments, and trying to see what I really want. What am I lusting after? Is there anything I really must have that I don’t? I think I’m pretty content. Although, if they brought my designing show back….I might break into the neighbor’s house to watch it….maybe….cause I said so. 


Photo credit: Facebook Josh Johnson AKA Sparkle Josh

Spill over




I’m typing this with my eyes at half mast. I suppose it is a good thing I can type blind. I am just a tad beyond tired tonight. It was a busy day.

I started the day by putting my workout clothes on. You might think I was headed to the gym but, you would be wrong. I actually laid in bed an extra two hours, dreaming about being at the gym and riding my bike and doing all sorts of ‘athletic stuff’ before I got out of bed. I considered that my warm up for the day. The workout clothes were an attempt to make my body tone and tighten, even though I was no where near the gym.

What I did do, was clean my back yard. It wasn’t bad, considering I’ve had workers over for a couple weeks now getting things planted, pool built, pavers put in…etc. The part I had to clean was just getting the trash out of there, and sweeping a huge area of pavers and sidewalk. Sounds easy til the blisters start popping open on your hands. I learned something….gloves are great for preventing blisters if you put them on BEFORE you get the blisters. They didn’t help much after the fact.

I also learned that even when I tell myself it is early, it won’t take long, my hat will shade everything…..sunscreen is still a good idea in June in Arizona. Duh.  Needless to say, by the time I actually got in the pool around noon, I was already burned.

I wasn’t the only one that kicked off day one of the new pool with a sunburn. Spawn #1 followed suit. The others that swam didn’t get burned, but one came out with a bloody knee and burn marks under her arm (?), and another with a bloody nose.

I’m pretty sure the pool usage will mellow out after a few days or weeks. I even think our skin will lighten to a ‘less that lobster ‘pink soon. I never thought I would want a pool in my back yard, but here I am…pool owner. It scares the heeby geebies out of me! But watching all the kids jumping, splashing, laughing, and playing together…it’s totally worth it. All I want is for my kids to be happy, safe, and around me as much as possible. I’d say the pool was the right choice from the menu.

Cause I said so.


Photo credit: http://www.partymom.ca

Nacho, nacho man…




I had some really good Mexican food today. I had to drive past BFE and over the border of the fabled land of Chandler, but it was worth it. I was invited to a special, hush-hush meeting by my director. I was under the impression it was a training meeting, but it was more of an “all you can eat” kind of meeting. I can’t complain, even though my stomach is. 

I am a little picky about Mexican food. I grew up in the Southwest, so I have had my fair share of ‘authentic’ Mexican food. That being said, the really good stuff is in Texas. I know, some of you food conniseurs may argue that “Tex-Mex”is not really Mexican food. I will counter that argument with the strong opinion that, “who cares, it tastes better.” 

I’ve always said a Mexican restaurant can be judged on it’s quality before you ever get your meal. The chips and salsa are the real evidence. If your server brings you a bowl of cold, stale chips with salsa that is basically tomato sauce with cilantro….leave. Don’t even bother to order. The good restaurants will have warm, homemade chips and various flavors of salsa/hot sauce. I know there is a difference between salsa and hot sauce but I like saying salsa better so, that’s what I call it all. 

This particular restaurant had not only two three different salsas, it also had two different types of chips. One bowl was filled with the store bought red, yellow and blue corn chips. This bowl was basically ignored by everyone at my table. The other chips came on a plate with cheese sprinkled on them. They were authentic fried tortillas. Flour tortillas. They made my heart sing a little (and my tummy cry a lot). 

In my previous life, Mexican food was the staple of my family’s diet. We ate beans, cheese, tortilla chips, nachos, burritos, tacos…..pretty much anything that fit under the Mexican food category, every day. Every now and then I’d put my crazy hat on and cook some pasta, but that was rare. I remember looking in the fridge before cooking dinner and if I didn’t see cheese….I didn’t know what to do.

Things have changed. I don’t eat cheese. Beans make my tummy hurt. Corn makes me feel bloated. Sour cream turns my insides sour. Its a sad new life I lead. As I sat at the table today at lunch, looking at all these fantastic Mexican dishes, I remembered days past. I remembered diving into a mountain of macho nachos at Amigos in Florida. I remember moaning through a plate of Brian’s famous nachos. I even remember dipping crazy things like apples into nacho cheese at the Melting Pot. Ah, the good old days.

I’ve moved on to bigger, better things in this life. Now my crazy indulgence is ruffle chips with ranch dip or a whole veggie tray all to myself. It may sound a bit lame, old, or mature, but….that is where I’ve come to.  Sure, I can go crazy and eat a plate full of salsa, queso goodness, or even my spicy chicken leftovers that sat in my hot car for three hours if I want to. I can do whatever I want, cuz I’m a big girl. 

In the end, the boss of me is my stomach. Do what I want, but the consequences are always there. The party is over and it’s time to hunt for my friends Ginger, Peppermint and Licorice. Tummy tamers, stat. Tomorrow I will eat only good food…..cause I said so.


Photo Credit: http://www.cheeseburger.com

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