last cup of coffee

Last morning sitting on the deck watching the sun rise over the mountains.

Last morning with the frogs and red-winged blackbirds.

Last morning listening to the wind in the ponderosa.

Last day of using tree stumps as deck furniture.

Last day of hanging my laundry all over the house and yard to dry.

Last day of listening to my neighbor make really weird noises with his dog.

Last day of worrying about getting my driveway plowed.

Yes, I worry about that every single day, even in the summer; March 2019 traumatized me.

Last day of being a Mancos resident.

Last day with PO Box 843.

Last day of cool mountain breezes.

Last day in the brown leather recliner – it fits better in this house than in my storage unit.

Last day of Netflix.

Last day of banging my head on the sloped ceiling.

Last fire in the woodstove.

Last day with my bully rufous hummingbird.

Last of the spinach out of my garden.

Last climb up my sketchy stairs.

In this home, I have recovered from a (brutal) breakup.

I have walked by my son’s side as he faced 16 years in prison.

I have collapsed with relief when the judge didn’t send him away.

I have revived long lost friendships – both near and far.

I have shared intimate secrets with amazing women on this deck.

I have cried, sobbed, wept myself dry.

I lived in the living room while my innards healed.

I lost my father while living here.

I fell in love in this home.

I’ve had a lot of sex in this house.

My children have come to consider this their home away from home.

Elvis has worn a path across the yard by chasing the fucking tennis ball fifty-two-thousand times.

I’ve been pulled out of the snow in my driveway at least fifty-two-thousand times.

I broke my foot in this yard – that involved Elvis and a skunk.

I’ve killed countless mice – including the one that drowned in my bucket of cleaning water yesterday.

I’ve slept under the stars here on the same deck that was covered in 6 feet of snow last winter.

I have clocked thousands of hours in phone time with my Mommy.

I came here lost. I found my soul again. My heart.

I have loved every second of being here, even when I wasn’t enjoying myself.

This has been my most cherished home. Never, ever, have I wished that I lived elsewhere.

And as difficult as it is to leave, to part with my insular little world, I’m ready to close the door on this 3 1/2 year chapter of my life.

It’s time for something new.

Goodbye old friend.

My gratitude is boundless.

A piece of my heart will always remain.


Today is my last real day in the cabin. Tomorrow my family shows up to help me move all of my shit to either storage or the new home.

I’ve done most of the packing already; moved more, much more, of my belongings than I have remaining. The thing about packing is that it doesn’t leave time to just be; to stop and look around absorbing as much as I can of the goodness and serenity that this home has provided for me.

I’m so focused on the future, on the new place, that it detracts from the sorrow that comes with leaving a home that has been my refuge.

This cabin caught me when I was falling faster than the speed of sound. I was so lost and damaged and broken when I moved in.

Really, to be honest, when other people moved me in while I crumbled.

The day I moved out of my last home, the home that we shared together – MXB and my sons – was one of the saddest days I have ever survived.

My children helped then, but they too were broken. We were lost and scared and floundering. Tomorrow they will again help, but it will be with lighter hearts.

3 1/2 years ago when I moved, I was literally climbing over MXB’s shit that he left in the house when he bailed. Every time I carried boxes through the garage, I had to maneuver around his couch, his two freezers full of animals that he had killed, his ammo reloading table that he built and never used.

At one point that day, just to add insult to injury, she (the friend that was no longer a friend because she was the new love of his life) showed up on the ranch to drop something off for another resident. It was the first time I’d seen her since she blew up my world.

And on that painful, agonizingly heartbreaking day, she tore me a new asshole. She self-righteously shredded the last little bits of my soul.

Still not sure how her betrayal got twisted into being my fault, but she made me pay.

I lost my home, my friends, my sanity. My son almost died…and this cabin caught me. Healed me. Quieted my mind and gave my heart the space to repair, to become whole again.

It became my sanctuary.

These 800 square feet, my east wall of windows that brought the mountain peaks into my living room – made them my constant companions, the leather recliner in front of the woodstove, my deck under the stars: these are the bits of the cabin that gently held me while I clawed my way out of my pit of despair.

I can’t begin to count the hours spent curled up under a blanket in the chair, next to the fire, staring at the view, sporting the green hoodie that belonged to my dead best friend.

Deep, all-consuming, unadulterated, crippling grief.

In the early cabin days, every time I pulled into my driveway I thought, “Thank god I have this place.”

Each day since then, as I began to feel sane again, to feel happiness and joy and gratitude, I have said, over and over, “I love my home.”

As excited as I am to move to the desert and have a new adventure, I feel as if I am being kicked out of the nest.

And..I am ready. I’ve recovered.

I have changed. I am a different person than the one who took up residence here all of those years ago.

There is no way to survive what my family has been through without changing, without becoming new.

Or at least revised.

At Outward Bound we had a belief that we imparted upon our students…

‘Outward bound’ is a term that applies to ships – as a boat sails out of its safe harbor into the open seas, it is said to be outward bound. As we dragged kids up mountains and encouraged them to learn new life skills, we reminded them that their Outward Bound course really began when they got on the bus to return to the big wide world – taking with them all of the skills, knowledge, and self-awareness that they gained while with me for a month in the wilderness.

Tomorrow, I am outward bound.


my son, my heart

I took my boy to see my new home.

There’s an apothecary chest that comes with the house.

If you aren’t up on antiques, an apothecary chest is the single most useless piece of furniture to have in your home.

Super cool if you have enough space to own large pieces of furniture that have no practical purpose.

This particular one takes up an entire bedroom wall. It’s the size of a dresser and it has drawers.

FIFTY of them.

All about one square inch.

What the fuck do you put in fifty minuscule drawers?

One pair of earrings in each?

One bra or panty?

Then, out of the mouth of my babe…

“Your rock collection, Mom.”

That’s my boy.




May 20, 2020

I look at the date on my phone and think, “Hmmmm May 20th, that’s a thing, right?”

Oh yeah…

Today would be my 25th wedding anniversary.

Twenty-five years ago I made one of the biggest mistakes of my entire life.

I knew it. I stood in my parents’ room, in white, thinking, “What the fuck am I about to do?”

And, “Too late now – you can’t back out with everyone standing out there waiting for a wedding.”

So down the aisle I walked.

I grew up with a gal who, when walking down the aisle for her first wedding, thought to herself, “This is wrong. I shouldn’t be doing this.”

And a couple of years later she embraced the fact that she was a lesbian, divorced her husband, and eventually met a woman with whom she has created a beautiful family, thus validating her initial gut instinct on the day of her hetero-nuptuals.

So when I had that feeling on May 20, 1995, I thought, “Am I doing the same thing?”

“Nah. I’m not a lesbian. Must just be the jitters.”

I may not be gay, but my guts were screaming at me just the same.

May 20 was my friend’s son’s due date, but he was born on the 26th.

May 20th is another friends’ son’s birthday.

May 20th, 2009 was the day that my husband of 14 years told me that he no longer loved me…after we had bad anniversary sex…

that ended up with me being pregnant…

and him telling me, “Don’t think I’ll stick around just because you’re having another baby.”

Fortunately (heartbreakingly) that baby chose to not stick around.

May 20th, 2010 saw me in group divorce court (because that’s how they do it here) with two of my closest friends whose soon to be ex-husbands sat across the courtroom with my soon to be ex.

It’s a day, a date, that brings forth many memories. Not all bad. For example, there were so many years that he wasn’t home for our anniversary because of work.

Those were some fantastic May 20th’s.

And there was May 20th, 2011, when I woke up, saw the calendar, and said aloud, “THANK FUCKING GOD I’M NOT MARRIED ANY MORE.”

On this pseudo-momentous day, I take pause to consider all things connected with the end of May. I see how much I have grown. I see that my life has become so much better. More full.

I appreciate that I am no longer in an abusive relationship.

I have peace about my choices 25 years ago – a state of mind that I have worked hard to achieve. I have forgiven that young starry-eyed gal who fell for the bigger-than-life mountaineer.

I have come to understand my choices then, my choices since then, and my choices now. I see and appreciate how the decisions I made then brought me to where I am in this exact moment, and I can’t help but be grateful.

Grateful that I am here.

And most importantly, if I had not made poor choices 25 years ago, I would not have my amazing sons.

So no matter how bad it all was, I got them. Which makes it all worthwhile.

So today I will celebrate my life. My boys. My joy.

Happy Anniversary to me.


So unfair

I have worked my ass off all day packing and going through files that brought back a lot of painful memories.

Divorce. Forclosure. Accident. Dad’s will.

Big day.

A lot of tears.

Around 9 pm I finally stopped. I dished up a big bowl of pistachio ice cream with chocolate syrup, grabbed the nail polish, and settled in to do a bit of binge-watching.

I deserved it. I worked hard today. On all levels.

Time to relax.

Maybe if I do, I’ll be able to sleep tonight.

That would be novel.

I sat in the recliner until I had melted into it just like butter.

Now, time for bed.

I turned off the light in the kitchen and as I grabbed my water glass to head upstairs I was suddenly crippled by what felt like a hot knife stabbing into my pinkie toe.

On the floor. Not quite screaming, “what the fuck what the fuck what the fuck?!?!?!?!?!?”

All I could think about was the glass that I broke today. But wait, I did that outside.

I crawled into the bathroom because I figured that would be the easiest place for someone to clean up after I bled out and died.

Except there was no blood.

The pain began to seriously amp up. I was beginning to hyperventilate and get dizzy. Nauseous. Wobbly.

Do I call TAM? Do I call an ambulance?


I grabbed the hand mirror out from under the sink so I could get a look at the underside of my foot, and crawled back out to the couch and bright light.

I stopped at the kitchen sink to run cold water on my little toe for a few minutes. It relieved the pain while the water was running but I couldn’t do that all night.

It instantly exploded in excruciating agony.

I sat down with the mirror, looked, studied, and found the answer…

I got stung by a wasp.

Inside. At night. On the kitchen floor. In my pj’s. On my way to bed.

Now, my entire body is tingling, my foot itches, and it’s swelling. And burning.

And I’m wide awake.


11:11 pm

Once again, I am wide awake.

I am no longer fighting it. I am fully giving in to my circadian rhythms, which, apparently, I have been fighting against for most of my life in attempting to lead a normal life on a normal up-during-the-day sleep-at-night kind of schedule.

I get up at a decent hour – usually by 7:30. Super productive in the morning, until about 2 pm and then I crash hard. So now I nap for about an hour each day. I wake up, get going, and am productive and alert until 9 pm when I snuggle into bed and fall right to sleep.

And get right back up at 11pm for at least another hour.

It’s weird but it works. For me.

It’s not as easy when you share a bed with someone. He’s a farmer with a sunup to sundown schedule.

I am neither a morning person nor an evening gal.

We always go to sleep together, but then I am back up roaming around the house in the dark, snuggling on the couch with one or the other of the dogs.

Sometimes I read a book. Sometimes I play Scrabble on the computer. Sometimes I lie quietly, feet tucked underneath my accomodating couch mate until my system slows down and I can return to bed.

Always, I go outside for at least a few minutes.

His house or mine, we both have quiet, dark nights.

A million stars. The mountains lit up by the full moon. The desert wind blowing cold in my face. Dreamy snow floating down to hide away the pastures for the winter. The steady beat of the side rolls, “ch ch ch ch ch ch ch…”

I can feel the moisture in the air but it’s too dark to see the plumes of water in the brisk nighttime blackness.

I’ve come to love my late-night parties of one.

It feels private and almost secretive and somewhat other worldly and decadent and spiritual. I believe that I am connecting to myself in ways that I don’t during the daylight hours.

It is so peaceful. And even though I realize that part of why I am not sleeping during these hours could be the same reason that I now grind my teeth all night, (admittedly I might be a tad bit stressed), these hours are not about angst. This is what my body has wanted for the last 54 years.

But I don’t actually feel as if my mind is spinning and keeping me up. No, it’s calm and peace and quiet and solitude, all under the cover of the night, when the rest of the world is still asleep.

It feels slightly naughty.

I’m okay, we’re okay…I hope

After my last, sad post, I had so many friends and friends of friends reach out to share their stories and their grief. This sharing (although I’m terrible about replying) brings peace by reminding me that I am not alone. I read, reread, and sit with every comment because it creates a connection with the goodness that we all have in hearts and souls.

A one sentence Facebook comment, just the words “me too,” brings me out of my darkness and restores a bit of faith in humanity.

I had one beautiful soul ask me if I was suicidal. I assured her that I am not. The thing that keeps me from going there is the fact that I have 3 boys who need a mama.

Which is exactly why I get so sad and so afraid. There are millions of us who need our mamas or papas or sons, daughters, grandparents, friends. Every single person who gets sick belongs to someone; someone is worried about their health; someone will grieve if they die.

This fact alone should be unifying us during this time, not dividing us.

My writing provides relief for me. I get to pour out my feelings, blather on about me, me, me, and then receive lots of love from around the world.

There are so many that don’t have anything like this. Not everyone has a forum to vent, unload, share. They are sitting in their own fear, alone. And those people are also not receiving the same amount of love and support that I am because they are completely isolated.

Not everyone has the privileges that I do during this pandemic. I have a beautiful home in which to isolate. I’m an isolator by nature so this is actually a much-needed respite from the input overload that I normally experience. But unfortunately, this is not the case for those who need more sustained human connection.

I have a partner who I love, who makes this quietude a sweet time for connecting on a deeper level. We have jobs. We have dogs. Our dogs have jobs; they are on prairie dog patrol. So far, my family and friends are all healthy.

I don’t yet need a haircut.

And yet I know that this could all change in the blink of an eye. I don’t take a second of my ease for granted. Each and every one of us is so very vulnerable. I don’t know a single person who hasn’t, at some moment, thought, “I could die.”

That’s a sobering thought. Even more frightening when “I” expands into “my mom, my son, my best friend.”

My hope is that my writing, while selfishly bringing me relief, shall bring others a sense of connection and community – especially those who feel out of touch with their fellow humans.

Consider this a virtual hug.






My heart is so heavy. I am totally out of sorts. I am sad – a deep, weighted sadness that made my morning walk on the Farm seem like too much effort and relieved none of the grief.

I’ve been okay up until now. I’ve rather enjoyed the bubble that TAM and I have created for our quarantine. It’s so peaceful that it’s hard to imagine the world as anything else.

We’ve spent so many hours watching the earth come alive with the spring, with human beings out of the way. The fecundity of his farm has led me to believe that we will all be fine.

Look at how filled with vitality the world is; we’ll totally bounce back.

Then, yesterday, everything lined up to create the perfect storm in my heart.

I realized what a shit show we are living in.

I get it (finally) that there is a new normal – that things are changing in ways that I could never have imagined.

Our reality of masks and fear and animosity and anger and grief and loss and loneliness and sickness and often, hostility crushed me.

And I am not bouncing back today.

It feels like a black cloud is moving in. Depression. The kind of depression that settles in like a weighted blanket, creating inertia and making it hard to breathe.

I am afraid.

I am afraid of getting sick and dying. I’m selfish that way. And of course, I pray that none of my own will get terribly sick, but that’s not what this fear is about.

This is a deep-seated dismay that we are living a dystopian nightmare – at least it feels like one. I hate seeing what is happening amongst the people in our world, in my county.

I am afraid of what people are doing to each other. I imagine that this, this unkind, harsh, lonely world is our new normal.

I am saddened that this is the world that my children are living in when they are at the age when they should be out having adventures.

I hurt that I can’t hug and love on my children.

I often think that I will miss these days of quietude with TAM, that I will some day wish for this slow pace to return.

Up until yesterday I believed that this was a temporary blip, but my optimism has been torn away and I feel lost.

I feel safe when I am with my pack, the dogs and TAM, but I have none of those feelings when I go to Walmart.

I feel unsafe when I see my community beginning to attack each other rather than working together.

Lord of the Flies on Facebook.

It distresses me when a store clerk intentionally disrespects my boundaries just to prove a point.

I am devastated when I hear my neighbors saying that they wish the Navajo grocery shoppers would stay on the rez.

Bigotry and hostility abound.

We are lost and floundering and afraid and at risk.

There is not one single person on this planet not being affected by this virus.

And as much as everyone prophesizes about what it will all look like when this is over, we don’t know.

We have no fucking clue.

And that is so unsettling it shakes me to my core.