Going on an Adventure

Don’t ask me why but I’ve been having a horrible time figuring out how to tell you…

I’m headed off to a land far far away for a spell!

Les Eiffel Tour, Paris, photo courtesy of Michelle Pirreira. jenniferdouwes.wordpress.com

Les Eiffel Tour, Paris, photo courtesy of Michelle Pirreira. jenniferdouwes.wordpress.com

This is an exciting time and I hope to share pics with y’all here. You do your part: keep your eyes peeled, and I’ll do mine: swing by with pics here and there. It will be awhile until I’ll have “normal” posts for you, I fear. You’ll survive, right?

See you on the others side!


I’m the kind of girl who needs A and B to connect. Then, when we have that handled, B to C, C to D and beyond. You know, all the way to Z.

So when things don’t connect? I go a little nutty. Angst, discombobulation, the whole 9 yards.

Things are not connecting right now. Remember tinker toys and that satisfying pop when you pulled them apart and put them together? I’m missing that right now. Yes, it’s my own damn fault. But, where’s the pop?

Oh yeah, I know. It’s you. When my friends insist on getting together, no matter my resolve to say “No.” Then?

Then… “Pop!”

Even though my happenstance is really self afflicted, even though I am full of self-recrimination and all that jazz. Even though. I want to see my friends and hang out with them. They lift me out of my doldrums and give me a break from reality. There is nothing like leaving your life behind for an hour, two, five.

This is what you are for me. Pure, unadulterated “Pop.”

Thanks for that :-).


Parenting Rant

I wrote this a few weeks ago, but was afraid to share it. After re-reading it, I think some of y’all might appreciate it.

Enjoy :-).


Having a mommy moment here. Please excuse me while I run screaming naked down the street – from my daughters.

Let’s go back in time. I’m a young’n. My first baby is two-years-old. I’m lying on my side on the floor, utterly drained. Who knew how exhausted a stay at home mom could get? And she toddles over to me. That’s Bunny Wabbit for the record. She leans over on her tiny sausage legs and puts her hands on my cheeks and kisses me. Her smile is amazing, filled with trust and love. My heart is swollen ten times it’s size. I’m in love.

Fast forward fourteen years. There are two girls now. Both teens (or damn close to it.) And Bunny Wabbit? She’s almost my height. Looks a lot like a petit version of me, but exotic, and stunning. I’m still lying on the floor (metaphorically speaking,) still a sahm, still exhausted. Oh what a ride it’s been.

You see, I went into this parenting thing with stars in my eyes. Really? I think it was hormones, but who’s counting? I love these teenagers to pieces. What parent doesn’t love their babies, even if it’s furry children we’re talking about. Love them, sure. Life didn’t really get interesting, fun, or well, worth living until they came along. My own furry babies, a ferret, and two cats, weren’t enough for me to nurture so I had these biological children – on purpose. I keep reminding myself this. We were in active baby making mode both times.

Now here we are, seventeen plus years since I started this parenting nightmare adventure and I think you might need to put me in a mental health facility if one of them snarks at me one more time. Or rolls their eyes, just so.

Here’s a confession for you: I go through these phases when I won’t even look at Facebook because of the parent bragging going on. Yes I know you have beautiful, talented, wonderful, perfect children. I’ve met them. I’m proud of your kids too. So yay you! But, wait a minute here. Why doesn’t anyone share the downside too? Why do I have to break down in tears in front of the schools receptionist before I hear the black side of this parenting thing? That so many of you know what I’m going through, and yet won’t admit it?

Why, I ask, do we hide it? It’s hard. Really really hard shit and it should NOT be a secret that this is a very real, very scary side of having young ones.

Perhaps it would deter others from having children – is that the reason? Is it because we think it reflects on our parenting style? Our poor moral cloth? Being there are so many of us in so many different life situations raising our kids so many different ways and we all have the same issues – I think that really it’s only mildly a parenting issue. I’d say more so a teenager (insert age here) issue.


So this whole “challenge” has me sharing my story like the sad sahm that I am with just about anyone who questions my weird antics. From Target clerks wondering why I’m buying two alarm clocks (to add to the one that’s already in BW’s bedroom – the chica will NOT get out of bed in the morning,) to anyone who will listen.

So there I was, sharing my child’s – well, for lack of a better phrase “growing pains” with a guy I went to school with twenty-seven years ago, over Panera yumminess. He could relate, shared his own story, gave me a pep talk of sorts: “They’ll come out of it, one of these days.” This made me feel a trifle better. Then of course the receptionist crying right along with me saying, “Oh honey, it will get better.” She survived it. Is surviving it. She shared her story as well. That helped a ton.

Then I get a text from Little Bear at school. Bad morning this was. Both of the kids snarking and grumping at me. The basic gist of the text? “Mamma I don’t feel good. Sorry I was mean to you this morning. Can I come home?” My heart melts. Mamma. She called me mamma. Sigh.

Then bed time comes and BW has found the alarm clocks I’ve hidden throughout her room beneath the clothes she strews about. They’ve been unplugged and stowed where they won’t bother her. I of course, being the mother on a verge of a nervous breakdown, have a mommy tantrum. And does she bate me this time, like usual?

Nope. She does the thing she’s so very good at, the thing that’s part of the core of her being. She hugs me. Apologizes. Tells me she’ll try harder not to bate me anymore. Tears, love, heart growing, all that shit.

Damn those kids.

They can even ruin a perfectly good kid rant blog.

And Then There Was Sun

Look at that! There’s sun outside! Don’t let the folks fool you. The Seattle area really does get sun… sometimes.

I’m doing really well with all of the sunny sunshine and the fluffy clouds in the sky. Not to mention that the vast majority of my stress is in the background right now. I can get up in the morning, even bounce out of bed, like I did when I was a kid. Woo hoo!

I use the word kid loosely, just so you know. I think my childhood didn’t end until I was like, oh, 39? I’m pretty sure I’ve entered my teen years. Not sure how long THAT will last. Hopefully ‘til I’m 80. I’m too young to grow up ;-).

Back on topic! Sorry.

The bouncing out of bed thing stopped somewhere around kid two. Psh. It happens. Yes there are boring dumb medical reasons for this decidedly stupid change. Also the silly medical reason I’m all perky-ish is drab and uninteresting as well. And I’m over talking about that kind of thing so I’m moving on :-). What? I never told you? Sorry. It really is too dull for words.

The part I do feel like talking about: the external influences to my down-ness. It’s not clear what I was thinking when I agreed to join groups and communities and convention committees when I was mourning the loss of my mamma. Perhaps I thought busy is better? Idle hands are the work of the devil, right? Not so. I find myself misbehaving far more when I’m busy. He he.

Anyhow! I don’t have answers for how I’m going to learn to say no. I want to do it all! But the side effects of doing all-of-the-stuff are many: Basically, I’ve turned into a toddler again. I have a short attention span, a short temper, I’m the grumpiest of grumps, my communication skills tanked, I’ve acquired the put-your-foot-in-your-mouth syndrome, AND my children are running amok. So THAT’s what stress looks like! Huh.

So fix it I must.

When, you ask? I’m trying to schedule it in, really I am! Get off my back! Ha.

My writing was put on the backest of burners for a month and a half. Partially because I’m wicked-bad at being a single parent and The Husband was gone or working too much for a month. Partially because of Norwescon (which was hella fun – why didn’t I see you there?) and then there are taxes. Taxes, in short are the bane of my existence. Time to find a new tax person, as I blame our guy on my issues this year. Sadness.

I’m back to writing and it’s going very well. And I’m being goaded to get off of my high horse and publish a damn novel already, so that is certainly driving me forward. Then there are opportunities cropping up left and right that because of my lack of time to work on my manuscript(s) I have not been able to take advantage of. Time to fix that.

On a side note: I love love love my beta readers. Editing is not an easy skill and I’m proud to know my peeps. Also I learned that my own editing skills have improved ten-fold and think it’s making my writing easier to work with. At least from what I can tell. Yay for new skills!

Incase its crossed your mind: Go ahead and tell me if you want to be a beta reader. My stuff: novel length women’s fiction with tons of sex: WARNING! lol. Sometimes I have a horror or thriller short story. Those require a certain kind of reader too. What I’m finding is that you can’t have enough readers. So chime in!

Okay! I think that’s all for now. Thanking my lucky stars for the sun out there. Hoping you too, wherever you are, have at least 81 degree weather this week, like us.

Caramel Covered Ghost Hunt

My brain is like caramel right now. Thick, rapidly cooling, salted caramel. Which incidentally is what I used to keep me awake on my drive home from the ghost hunt I went on last night. I had a salted caramel lollipop that was fantabulous. This, along with dancing like a crazy bird, kept my eyelids propped open long enough to get me home alive and safe at roughly 5:30 a.m. this morning.

I want to point out that my kid decided this means her papa and I are party-animals, being other parents come home earlier that we do. Shrug. She might be right.

We were up in Stanwood at a quaint tavern and hotel. For those unfamiliar, Stanwood is about a two-hour drive from where I live. Alright, alright, I’m totally exaggerating. It’s only one-hour. But it was the longest one-hour drive of my freaking life, what with horrible rain on the way there, and being oh so tired on the way back. But it was all worth it.

Back to the ghost hunt. We got there early for a little Stanwood tour. The first thing I saw was a cool bar that used to be a fire station:


We had hoped to visit an antique shop that is reported to be haunted, but, that didn’t pan out. Instead, we hung out and had a nice time waiting for the beautiful (and tall!!) tavern crowd to depart and leave us with our ghosts. Finally, amid many a slurred shout and drunken song that wafted up to us from outside the hotel, we attempted our first go-through.

After awhile the happy people went where ever it is that you go on a Saturday night when you’re too tipsy to drive, and we were left to our research. We were very careful to make sure all of our investigation was done in small groups, as to not overwhelm the area under inspection. There were some special experiments that I’m curious to see the results of.

All in all we had a great time, a successful investigation, and a safe drive home by all. It will be great to hear the outcome of everyone’s EVP’s, videos and photos.

Funny how this works; writing this blog cleared my brain quite a bit. I’d say it’s more like salted caramel sauce now ;-). Mmm. That sounds good doesn’t it?