Summertime.

I love summertime. It makes me happy in so many ways. I love the heat and the sun, the long days, being outside, and working in my garden. I love having adventures with loved ones, being out on the water, or just walking along the Puget Sound, finding shells and pitching rocks. I love driving […]

An Open Letter to Siblings, From Caregivers.

Family history and dynamics can be brutal. We know that, for whatever reason, you weren’t able to care for our parent and we were. We understand that you may also have been too busy/ill/occupied to help us with our parents’ care so we thought it was best to just go ahead and do what was […]

Jos-Tens of Thousands of Dollars.

I graduated high school approximately 127 years ago so I have only faint memories of the process leading up through senior year to graduation. I never really expected to have to think about it again – including how to navigate through it – because I don’t have children. I do, of course, have my step-daughter, Vee, […]

The Last Voyage.

You know how it is, when you find yourself in the middle of some task or event, and you realize right in the middle of it that, not only have you never done anything like this before, but it is a completely surreal experience? I found myself doing just such a task two weeks ago, […]

Spy Girls.

The birth of Agent V – Spy Girl, and her arch-nemesis, Mr. X, was a fluke; a complete accident brought about from the convergence of a Happy Meal toy, several Japanese cartoon and video characters, and a desperate need, on my part, to come up with something that would entertain V when she was seven […]

A Rose by Any Other Name…

V came to me the other day and informed me that she wants to change her last name. She knows I chose my own name and she wanted to know what the procedure was for doing it, and how one picked a name that would harmoniously go with one’s first name, which is, of course, […]

At the Corner of Crazy and Codependent.

This really counts as a follow up to my post, “Emotional Survivalist,” because the two subjects are so related – unhealthy ways of being in relationship that I am really good at! Nobody knows exactly who coined the word, “codependent,” but Melody Beattie brought it into common usage in the seventies. It was originally used […]

Emotional Survivalism.

I am an emotional survivalist. I am not making preparations for the end-times, don’t live in a bunker, and don’t hoard canned food and batteries. What makes me a survivalist is my historic ability to live on the barest minimum of emotional nourishment. I have a history of taking whatever small amounts of love, support, […]

Driving Lessons.

As a step-mom, you have to be careful not to overstep your boundaries with the real mom; life is a constant negotiation, with strategic planning taking place around many things. V’s mom emigrated here with her mother from the Ukraine; she has her priorities and perspectives and they don’t often match anyone else’s. She and […]

How Caregiving Ends.

I’m sitting in Dad’s room, watching him sleep, as I have so often. The twitching from his Parkinson’s has gotten worse and his body is in almost-constant motion. It looks uncomfortable. The room is small, just a bed and his recliner, so seating is limited. I’m currently perched on his wheelchair, which is fine – I’m […]