The Backwoods

Where we teeter between our love of modern convenience and the yearning for something long past; a world where neighbors knew your name and a “Friend Request” was eye contact and a smile.

Keepsakes Or Crap

Keepsakes Or Crap?

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I’ve collected much junk over the years. Some of it worth keeping around, some of it only here because I can’t bring myself to drop it in the trash. Once you’ve carried something around with you for thirty years, moving from house to house, state to state, you wonder what the point would be in […]

House Rules

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House Rules 1. If it’s not yours…don’t touch it. 2. Remove your shoes at the door.  Not directly in front of the door…off to the side. 3. If the bathroom door is locked, knocking repeatedly will not make it open any faster. 4. Do not use “fair” to describe what something is not.  It is […]

Give Us Your Tired

Give Us Your Tired, Your Poor…Your Legal Citizens…

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I see it plastered across Facebook all the time… “Our Homeless Go Without Food….Children without proper clothing…Veterans without proper benefits….Help the U.S.A first!”.  I see it over and over as people pass heartfelt pleas of re-posted propaganda across the internet… as if copy and paste is going to save the world one right click at […]

Last Kiss

Last Kiss

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As I sit here, one Hershey’s Kiss away from a coma, I’d like to express a special thanks to the makers of processed sugar for all you’ve done. I, a faithful servant, nay, slave, to your colossal power, would bow at your greatness if I thought I could get back up.  I’d like to thank […]

Trial Sized Tot

Trial Sized Tot Takes Down Teen

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Last year my fifteen year old son, Billy, made me a grandmother. Not in the “Oh, for the love of God, why ME,” way that my parents must have felt when I was knocked up at sixteen…but in the form of a computerized plastic doll assigned him by his health teacher. Three days of simulated […]

Waking to OCD

Waking To OCD

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I woke this morning to the sound of the clothes dryer flopping a belt around and round.  Rolled over.  5:26 a.m.  What the….I stuck my head out the bedroom door to find Mya folding laundry on the couch. “It’s five in the frickin’ morning…what the heck are you doing?” “Laundry,” she said, as if it […]

Feeding A Small Country

Feeding A Small Country

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As we piled the groceries onto the conveyor I could see in the cashier’s eyes that he wished we’d gone to another line.  Seven gallons of milk, ten loaves of bread, six boxes of waffles and two jugs of peanut butter the size of a small Volkswagen…and that was just the beginning. “Is this tax-exempt?” […]

More Family Less Candy

More Family…Less Candy….Easter, 2011

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    Hit the cabin in the hills this weekend with six kids, not a bad way to spend Easter.  Less candy…more Family. Sixteen miles up the dirt road and only passed one rig coming out, gotta love that kind of seclusion.  We arrived to find more mud and less snow than we thought, and […]

Letter To Spouse

A Letter To My Spouse

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I was thinking about us today.  Remembering those years when you had hair and I had a waistline.  Back when we sat, feet to feet on the couch, scheming our next adventure late into the night.  It was a time when it all seemed doable and barriers were more like speed bumps than impossibilities. When, […]

Court Kids

Court Kids

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This afternoon I got to drive an hour south to take my two smallest boys to their basketball game.  And by “got” I mean “had” since by three o’clock this afternoon I’d already put more than 100 miles on the van and was barely moving on five hours of sleep and a double dose of […]



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She stood at the counter, baggy jeans hanging from thin hips, hooded sweatshirt tight across her swollen belly. A tight faced DMV worker on the other side of the counter stared at her.  A tiny girl clung to her leg. I took a number, hoisted baby Destini onto my lap and sat in the row […]

I'm Not Sick

I’m Not Sick

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For six months the flu has been hovering over my body like Winnie The Pooh’s black cloud, just waiting to descend when I’m most vulnerable.  Two nights ago it hit me like a brick wall colliding with a gnat and within thirty minutes I felt it overtake my body.   Splat.  (I’m the gnat.) I waited […]


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  Near St. Mary’s, Alaska I once interviewed an elderly Alaskan Native couple in the process of approving their adoption of their grandchildren. I asked a question I often ask of a potential adoptive parent, as part of getting to know them. “When you were a child, what did you do for fun?” The weathered […]

Twenty Words Of Wisdom To My Teens

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1.        Yes, your freshman year counts towards your GPA for college entrance.  Screw it up and you’ll work for crap wages your whole life. 2.        No means NO.  In every possible circumstance.  3.        Join every sport, every club, every after school activity no matter what the cost.  It’s cheaper than bail. 4.        Repeat after me: […]