The Luna Diaries, Episode 2 – Matrix Kitty

September 19, 2015 Leave a comment

Life with a kitten is trying.  When we brought Luna home, she literally could barely walk.  She fell down a lot and toddled around adorably.  However, within mere weeks, she learned the sheer joy of pouncing and leaping upon all the things and so the reign of Matrix Kitty began.

Things Luna has learned about pouncing and leaping:

  1. Cheese will take only so much of this nonsense before he body slams her and bites her throat.
  2. Pouncing on invisible items results in general ridicule.
  3. Penny does not fight back.

Babykitty may be young, but she’s no dummy.  She most often chooses the path of least resistance and straight up bullies my poor dog.

Let me explain about Penny.  She’s a creature of peace and love.  When Luna first arrived, Penny immediately adopted her and cuddled and snuggled with the poor helpless little creature.  She has lived with cats her whole life, but she has never before encountered the terrifying chaos of life with a kitten.  I can’t begin to imagine the confusion that is her life as this tiny little fluffball chases her around the house, trying to bite her ears.

Luna’s special attacks:

  1. The Matrix – a specialty move that involved leaping over Penny’s head, flipping off of her back and then launching a full attack upon the pug butt.
  2. The Dusty Rhodes – an impressive flying leap off of furniture (or the top rope, if you will) onto Penny as she walks by, unsuspecting.
  3. The Ninja – The sneak attack in which Luna materializes out of thin air to bite Penny’s fat rolls
  4. The Speedbag – Wherein Luna corners Penny and launches herself at her face, repeatedly, with an unmatched speed.

IMG_20150828_184445 (1)

Meanwhile, Penny just endures each attack with a scampering run and a very worried look.  While I feel for the poor dog, I can’t help but be entertained by a three-month-old kitten terrorizing a thirty pound pug.  I do have to give her props, though.  Even though Luna really deserves a solid dog smack, Penny still loves her, even allowing her to take a single green bean off her dinner plate every night and even sharing the occasional nap.  I can’t decide if she’s just the sweetest-tempered dog on the planet or if Cheese has convinced her that cats are, in fact, superior and to be feared.

The latter seems most likely.

Cheese the Fearsome

Cheese the Fearsome

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The Case of the Absent Toaster

August 29, 2015 Leave a comment

Recently, I bought some Pop Tarts.  This is not a thing I normally do, because I don’t consider them, in all their sugary, artificial, carbo-loaded glory, to be a proper breakfast.  However, it was the first week of school and I got them as a treat for my kids, further proving that I am not a heartless monster.  During the reign of Pop Tarts in the house, I finally noticed something that has been happening quietly for years.

People don’t toast Pop Tarts anymore.


Did you gasp?  No, probably not, because you probably don’t toast your Pop Tarts, either.  What is wrong with the world today?  Pop Tarts are meant to be toasted.  They are actually called “toaster pastries.”  They are not called, “unwrap and eat raw and cold directly from the box.”  Have you ever looked up Pop Tarts on Wikipedia?  I have, and I’m here to tell you that “toast” and/or “toaster” appears eighteen times in the entry.  Eighteen times!  And you know who toasts them?  Me.  Just me.

Everywhere I can find a Pop Tart, I find a person eating that Pop Tart raw.  (I know it’s not technically raw, but when something that’s meant to be cooked, and isn’t, what do you call it?)  My coworkers eat them raw, my husband eats them raw.  I actually don’t know if my own children have ever tasted a Pop Tart that was toasted.

I, for one, have never taken one bite out of a raw Pop Tart.  They’re supposed to be cooked, and cook them I shall.  The best part of a Pop Tart is the toasty goodness.  You have to earn your stripes when they pop out of the toaster registering approximately 583 degrees.  You have to work for that Pop Tart; you have to want it. Then when it cools, the edges are all brown and toasty (they don’t call food golden brown and delicious for nothing) and the insides are all gooey and melty and the pastry kind of slides around on it.  Which is much less disgusting than it sounds like.  Why are you all cheating yourselves out of this exquisite Pop Tart experience??  You want a quick and easy snack on the go?  You want it wrapped in foil and masquerading as breakfast food?

You, friend, are looking for a granola bar.


The Unforgivable

August 29, 2015 Leave a comment

I have reached a stage in my life where I feel I need to grow.  As a person, as a Christian and as ME.  In order to grow, I have some wounds that need to heal.  They’re old and festering and angry.  And the only way I can heal them is to forgive.

Okay, so, long story short, I have a thing to forgive.  It is the one thing in my life that I have never been able to move past.  The mere thought of it now cuts as deep as it did when it happened.  Even writing so vaguely about it has triggered a rush of adrenaline.  Right now, my vision is clouded, my heart is racing and my hands are shaking ever so slightly.  My family was grievously wounded by the actions of one person.  It tore us into little pieces and, years later, we are still putting everything back together.  This person is living his life.  We struggle every day to live ours.  It’s unfair.  It’s not right.  And, yet, in order to heal myself, I have to forgive him.

Now, this challenges the concept of forgiveness that I have long believed.  I always thought to forgive meant to forget.  To excuse one’s actions.  To give someone another chance.  To forgive someone felt like a big eraser in which you just pretend that nothing ever happened.  Forgiveness felt like a gift to the person who had wronged you.  That makes forgiveness belong to people far more evolved than I am.  A gift for someone who hurt you.  That’s ridiculous.

I’m much older now, and a little wiser, and I have a different understanding of forgiveness.  Forgiveness is not for the person who harmed us.  Truth be told, he’s never asked for it and I cannot imagine that he cares, one way or another.  It’s for me.  I don’t need to forgive and forget.  I need to forgive and move on.


How to forgive.  I have to tell you that I’m not sure.  It’s easy to forgive the little stuff.  Even the medium stuff.  But the big stuff?  How do you say, “You willfully destroyed all things that I hold dear and you aren’t even sorry, but I forgive you?”  That’s a tough one, and I’m struggling.  So, while I’m no expert on this, I’m wrapping my mind around it the only way I can.

  • I do not know the motivations of any other person on this planet.  I don’t know why, I will probably never know why and, deep down, I don’t care why.  But there was a reason.  There was more to the story than I will ever know and I need to accept that people’s moral compasses often do not line up with mine.
  • Whatever happened, it’s over.  Forgiveness does not mean inviting pain into your life.  It means moving away from the hurt.  I forgive you for hurting me, maybe for no other reason that to eject you from my life entirely.
  • Forgiveness is about me.  Withholding it is a reflection of my character, not a measurement of the action against me.  I do not choose to be an unforgiving person.
  • Anger is exhausting and the only one it’s hurting is me.  I am weary and I deserve peace.
  • I serve a just God and I believe, in the end, each of us will get what we deserve.


This is what I’m working on.  It’s a work in progress.  If there’s such a thing as a forgiveness switch, mine must be out-of-order.  It’s pretty hard work, but I believe it will be worth it.  For me.  Because I do not deserve to carry the crushing pain of a grudge around.  I deserve to be free.


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Lean Into It

August 24, 2015 Leave a comment

As I may have mentioned previously, the good Lord did not see fit to bless me with grace.  I suffer a number of minor injuries.  I stub toes, I burn myself in the kitchen, I trip, run into walls, and most of the inanimate objects around me are harboring some unexplained grudge and are out to get me.

As a result of my daily fumbles in life, I have developed a philosophy about pain.  It works for the exquisite torture of a pinky toe broken against a vacuum cleaner, but it also works for the big pains in life.  The pain of loss, grief, worry and fear.  Just lean into it and let it hurt.

Let me explain.  You trip on something and stub your toe.  You immediately draw in your breath and stop breathing.  Time stands still as every muscle tenses up against the pain.  And even though you put up your every defense against it, it hurts anyway.  I mean, come on.  You have been wounded.  It’s going to hurt.  You can’t stop the pain from coming.  You can’t protect yourself from it.  You are going to hurt one way or another, so you may as well breathe while you’re hurting, am I right?

It might sound silly, but it’s effective.  You have to train your mind to accept the pain when it comes.  You have to learn not to fight it.  We are all going to get hurt sometimes and it’s our natural instinct to push it away.  Because, well, it sucks.  No one wants to hurt.  But it’s going to happen and once it happens, you can’t stop it.  You just have to feel it.  And then it will go away.  And you will be okay again.

Just breathe.  You toe will stop hurting.  Your heart will stop breaking.  Your soul will become calm.  The pain will pass, but the more you fight it, the more furious it is.  Just relax and understand that we have to feel the pain to recognize the joy when it returns.  Just let it hurt for a minute and then you will be okay.


**Really, really important exception……if you are suffering from depression, think you might be depressed, or are consistently sad and/or hopeless, then you are not suffering from a normal pain that will pass.  You have a condition that cannot go untreated.  There is help for you, you need it, and, most importantly, you deserve it.  Please don’t suffer in silence. 

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My Breakfast Prejudice

August 22, 2015 Leave a comment

I have this peculiarity about food.

I’ll pause for a moment while you recover from the shock of learning that I have a peculiarity.

It’s about breakfast.  Specifically, what’s okay to eat for breakfast.  More specifically, what’s not okay for breakfast.  Even more specifically, chocolate.  Is not okay.  Chocolate is not okay for breakfast.

I know that I stand alone on this.  There is a bevy of breakfast items just full chocolate.  You’ve got the cocoa puffs, Pop Tarts, granola bars, Belvita…

I have to stop here for a second.  Do you know about these Belvita things?  I know it’s some kind of breakfast cookie that is supposedly quite healthy, but what I cannot wrap my mind around is that there is some marketing team out there who chose to give this product a name that sounds way too much like “Velveeta.”  There is currently a commercial running that starts out saying something like “I had Belvita for breakfast,” and no matter how many times I hear it, I hear “I had Velveeta for breakfast” and I gag.  That just killed any chance of me ever buying this product.

Anyway, chocolate breakfasts.  Even if you disregard all the packaged products, there’s still a huge variety out there.  Muffins, donuts, chocolate waffles, chocolate chip pancakes, crepes, and even, and I swear this is a real thing, chocolate banana bread.  So, okay, I guess society has embraced this early morning chocolate thing, but I’m not buying it.  If you want something sweet around these parts, you had better hope you can find it in a yogurt or a bowl of cereal.

Now, now, before anyone calls the authorities, I have been known to, on occasion, offer a chocolate something to my children in the morning.  Chocolate banana smoothies sometimes, a very occasional box of Cocoa Pebbles, sometimes a donut.  On very, very, special occasions, when the planets are in alignment and the dog didn’t spend the previous night sleeping on my head, I may offer hot cocoa.  But for the most part, find some Cheerios or eat a bagel, but woe betide the poor soul who asks for a chocolate muffin in this house.


I’m not a chocolate hater; I actually love it much more than is good for me.  I don’t have any bad chocolate breakfast experiences, unless I have repressed them.  It’s just simply not right.  I recently saw an article about the benefits of eating chocolate at breakfast  I didn’t even read it, friends, but it was clearly full of lies and half-truths.  Look, my mother told me, as I’m certain yours told you, that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  You can’t have chocolate for the most important freaking meal of the day!  It’s absurd!  When I was a kid, I got oatmeal for breakfast.  Does instant oatmeal contain enough sugar to give a Hershey bar diabetes?  Perhaps, but that’s neither here nor there.  The point is, oatmeal is a breakfast food.  Candy, most decidedly, is not.

I rest my case.


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August 21, 2015 Leave a comment

Sometimes I am overwhelmed.  Every day, I do the things that people need.  I do them because I love those people, or because someone is paying me a salary to do them. or just because it feels like the right thing to do.  I do things because I choose to, and I wouldn’t change that.  But sometimes, it feels like I’ve given so much of myself to everyone else that there’s just nothing left for me.  I’ve expended so much energy having everyone else’s back that I forgot to make sure someone had mine.  I am just tired.

There will be a person or two who read this and reach for their phones to call, text or otherwise message me to find out what has happened and/or what is going on in my life to make me feel this way.  The answer is nothing.  I am just tired.  I am overwhelmed.  I am a little discouraged.  I am counting my blessings, but I am also counting the days until those blessings require a little less of me.

I cannot be the only person who has moments like these.  Why don’t we talk about them?  Why do we pretend everything is fine, when we’re really, miserably sad, even over nothing, even when we know it’s a bad day that will pass?  Why must we feel so alone and so wrong when everything in life feels like a sad, sorry shadow of what you had hoped it would be?

I know I am blessed.  Even on my worst day, I know that.  But life is hard sometimes, and not always when you expect it to be.  Sometimes it’s just an average Wednesday and it’s all you can do to pull yourself out of bed and start a normal day.  Because it all just feels like a waste of time, and who cares, anyway?

You’ve had that happen, right?

So I pray.  I pray for guidance and for patience and for the endurance to wait out the storm.  This, too, shall pass.  But in the meantime, I just have to feel what I feel.  That’s really all any of us can do.  The hardest part isn’t feeling the feels, the hard part is hiding them.  So I’m just not doing it anymore.

Friends, I’m having a rough week.  Not because of anything, just because it’s been a tough week.  That happens sometimes.  I am cranky, I’m irritable, and tonight I cried because I didn’t make it to the grocery store.  I can’t explain that at all, but it is what it is.  I do no one any favors by pretending it’s fine.  Because we all have these weeks sometimes.  We all feel the darkness pass over us for no reason sometimes.  Because you can’t appreciate the warmth of the sun on your skin if you’ve never shivered in a storm.


So I am thankful that my storms are small and insignificant.  I’m thankful that they pass quickly.  But they still come.  And that’s okay.  Things that are easy aren’t usually worth having and lessons were never learned from the easy times.  If I were happy and content all the time, then I’d probably be inclined to stop moving forward.  And if it sometimes feels like I’m moving through quicksand, well, then, take baby steps, one day at a time, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.  And all that jazz.

Hang in there, friends.  We’ll feel better after a good night’s sleep.

Creepy Charlie

August 15, 2015 2 comments

I have a confession to make.  I LOVE yard work.  I just love it.  There’s just something so definite and satisfying about edging the sidewalk just so, or nipping those annoying little branches that insist upon poking out of the hedge.  It’s much nicer than, say, mopping a floor, which will become dirty again almost before it dries.  I can clean up the yard and count on it to look good for at least a week.

What I don’t love about it…there are scary things out there.  Ticks, for instance.  Ticks are horrifying.  I can’t even pull a tick off of a person, they scare me so bad.  Once, when my daughter was a toddler, Hubs was out-of-town so I was playing single mom.  I found a tick on her and literally had to call my brother-in-law and ask him to come over and get it off of her.  I found a tick on myself once when I was alone.  I immediately drove to my sister’s business establishment and ran in the door screeching, get it off, get it off!  Okay, maybe it wasn’t quite that dramatic, but still.  You know those things can literally kill you, right?  And the only reliable way to kill them is with fire.  So, yeah.  They’re out there.

Much for that reason, I avoid the very back section of my back yard.  Right behind our fence is a wooded area that threatens to encroach with all of its ticky goodness.  Because it’s so shaded, grass doesn’t grow, so I can mostly ignore it.  I run the mower back there once a month or so to knock down the ground cover that grows so snakes can’t hide in there.  Saw a snake back there once and nearly burned the house down and/or moved, but I digress.

So today, as I was mowing, I thought I’d go hit that ivy with the mower and keep things under control.  As I entered no man’s land, I noticed something odd on the ground.  These thick vines were growing across my yard.  They literally looked like someone had laid cables across the yard.  Now, what foolishness is this?

wpid-wp-1439684393095.jpegI’m not going to lie to you.  These things scare me.  They are just so strange.  I’ve really never seen anything like it.  And there are so many!  They are growing toward our shed and also toward the house and this leads me to believe that they are trying to get me.

Look, I am a rational adult and I know that what I should do is get my heavy-duty garden clippers, cut them, pull them up and be done with it.  But, also, I am a rational adult who has read everything Stephen King has ever written.  You think I’m going to cut those suckers?  What if they bleed?  What if that wakes them from their hibernation and they wrap me up and pull me into the chasm that is sure to open up beside my grill?  What if they can’t be killed and I just make them angry??  You can’t just go around taking chances like that.  I mentioned it to both Hubs and Cutie and at least one of them rolled their eyes at me.  Fools, I say.

I did a quick Google search and it seems that it may be something called Creeping Charlie.  Friends, that name does not provide me comfort.  First, it’s creeping up on me.  Second, it has a person’s name.  No sir, no way, I am not messing with that.  Unless Hubs decides to address this situation, our house may soon look like this.


If you guys don’t hear from me for a while, would someone please check on me?  I’m pretty sure Charlie’s intentions are not pure.