and so it begins…

summer in the desert

a switch flipped and I have become nocturnal

I haven’t been home for a couple of days

it’s cooler out there in the rest of the world

all day today I have been sluggish



I went for a walk in a total fog

each step a challenge

couldn’t eat

couldn’t do much of anything

I despaired over the to-do list pushed aside

but now the sun is behind the canyon walls

the evening breeze is rustling the leaves of my ash tree

the colors are muted





now I am ready to start my day

Well that’s just fucked up


One of my favorite fragrances in the entire world is blooming russian olive. It’s right up there with fresh lilacs and ocean air.

Turns out, that I am viciously allergic to blooming russian olive and am suffering greatly as the scent wafts into my house. My head is so fucking clogged up that I can barely remember my own name. Everything itches: eyes, nose, throat, scalp, skin, hair follicles.

As my boys would say, I feel like ass.

It makes waking up tough. TAM makes waking up worth it.

But to wake up to this shit…


When I worked at the alternative high school in town, I had a student who was deeply troubled; he had a really rough family life. He was smart and always respectful with me. I’d say that out of all of the teachers there, I was probably the one he opened up to and trusted the most.

He was also the dark brooding type that would have gotten me into a LOT of trouble in high school. But since I was old enough to be his grandma, the brooding was just annoying.

He lived in my town and I often saw him around. Once I watched him make a purchase in front of the local meth factory. He didn’t have a car, he hitchhiked often. I always picked him up when I saw him.

I figured that it was better to stay on the good side of the local crackhead.

And then, he pulled his shit together. Cleaned up his act. Got a job, bought a truck, had a seriuous relationship.

We’d run into each other at the City Market or reach out on Facebook and catch up, maybe once every couple of years.

He has messaged me a few times this week (out of the blue after at least a year) – just saying “hey,” but something felt off and I hadn’t responded.

Periodically, I’ve wondered if he was flirting with me and then I’d brush it off as ridiculous. But I was never 100% sure.

Until this morning’s text:

“Good Morning. Me thinking about your booty is a great thing” followed by some self-satisfied looking emojis.

We can all guess what was happing on his end of things. Morning wood and all.

I feel so violated. I feel nauseous. And shakey. And grossed out. And, and, and…

I feel unsafe. Like someone used me for sex without my permission.

(Nope, not in crisis. I’m okay – just feeling icky. Going to take a shower.)

And of course, as a teacher who thought she’d somehow helped a kid, I feel like a big fat idiot.

I’ve taken all of the appropriate steps to block him, but…

What the fuck?


Celebratory dinner with my child and his girlfriend. They begin their new lives on Monday. I’ve been trying to soak up as much time as possible with them before they go away. I am also trying to make that time good. We have had such rough years, where every interaction ended in conflict, and we have finally turned a corner, so I am not going to fuck it up by starting shit, especially about their father.

I’ve learned my lesson about reacting to his bullshit around the boys

So at dinner, we were reminiscing about something, a time in our lives, and my child conveys what his father has said about a certain situation. The kids were young and they participated in something with lots of their friends and in hindsight, (years later we discover…) some risky shit went on. And it doesn’t matter the subject, or the situation, or the words that their father spoke. The problem is in the message he sent to my children which was,

“That moment was the beginning of the end for me because your mother knowingly put you in danger since she cared more about her friend than she did you.”

  1. I HAD NO IDEA. So “knowingly” is a lie. And he knows that because he didn’t know either. No one knew. I found out 15 years later. If I’d had any idea I would NEVER.
  2. It had nothing to do with friendships and everything to do with what I thought was a great thing for my children.
  3. If he had such a problem with it why didn’t he ever say so? Not. A. Peep. EVER.
  4. If that was “the beginning of the end” why did it take him SEVEN more years to finally do something about it?

And because I am determined to make these last few moments together really good ones, I didn’t say, “Your dad’s a dick,” or anything else along those lines.

But I sure wanted to.

I created enough mess in their lives that needs to be cleaned up. I can’t tackle another mess that he created for me to clean up.

Asshat (Thank you for the word, Susan)

What the fuck?


I have created a little oasis in my yard for the songbirds. I provide food, water, shade, and flowers.

They provide entertainment.

Finches, sparrows, redwing black birds, collared, mourning, and white wing doves.

Cowbirds gurgle while quail chortle and hummingbirds dive-bomb my pink sunglasses.

Towhees, black-headed grosbeaks, kingbirds, blue heron, and a peregrine falcon.

They all make distinct noises which blend together to create a backdrop of music that plays all day and well into the evening.

It is my joy, my serenity, my sanity.

The soundtrack of my life.

Last night there was a newcomer perched on a dead branch of the doves’ favorite tree. I couldn’t see him well – it was dusky and he was just far enough away that I couldn’tdetermine who he was.

I zoomed my camera lens in on him and saw that the 15 or so different bird calls I was hearing in the moment were all coming out of his beak.

He sat on-high chirping, twittering, chortling, cooing…


He alone makes my yard sound like an aviary; the hundreds of other birds are the choir.

I love him.