Yo, MAP, Where You Been??

I took a sabbatical from writing.

And I have better posture for doing it. Mom will be happy.

The last year I have had many many changes and life events going on. Some were AWESOME and a few were some that will make your hair grey.

That’s life honey, not for sissies.

The ONE THING that I have learned is the old saying:


I know, cliché, but it’s freekin true.

Sooo, in the last year or so I learned some things:

  • I don’t lose weight when I am stressed therefore I will never get divorced because the Divorce Diet will not get me a new man.
  • I will NEVER EVER rescue another dog with the REMOTEST DNA of Chihuahua in it.
  • Do NOT buy the cheap pads. Poise all the way!
  • When your parents become hard of hearing, it’s really not that bad. Except for the TV that I can hear from Florida. And the yelling.
  • When you travel especially overseas, you really only need 2 pairs of black pants, Uggs, ortho inserts, a camera, a jacket and deodorant.
  • Centre Court Wimbledon IS all that and a bag of chips. Or a glass of Pimms. Oh, and don’t make fun of the “Ugly English Old Dude” sitting next to you. He just may be the president of the All England Club…



wimbledon (7 of 9)
Amazing Serena @rustystirrupphotography


  • I totally fan girled over this beautiful young husband I met at an AirBNB we stayed at in England who’s best friends with Andrew Lincoln. THAT was embarrassing….


UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - OCTOBER 02: Andrew Lincoln arrives at AMC's "The Walking Dead" Season 5 Premiere held at AMC Universal City Walk on October 2, 2014 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

  • The correct pronunciation of the word HAM in Spanish is ‘hambon’ NOT ‘jambone’.
  • I love Guatemala.

    Me and Shari on an avocado, coffee and children's mission on Lake Atitlan
    Me and Shari on an avocado, coffee and children’s mission on Lake Atitlan
  • I still dig through  and buy dead’s people’s stuff (estate sales)
  • My mom is seriously a trooper – we took her on a pass (not recommended) to Amsterdam and Germany this past spring. Surprise! There are very few escalators in European train stations.
  • I started my own skin care franchise. Yep, you heard me right the first time. E-commerce all the way baby, work from home and can still junk, travel and write. Because the former three can’t pay all the bills. And I get to dress up nice again, go to a couple of meetings, a convention, and meet some pretty awesome, normal, and driven women. And the product works.Docs



I’ve also learned about patience, love, forgiveness, prayer, charity, dignity and hope.

And I guess those were my most important lessons this year!


Welcome to EATcopalypse 2014!

The Southeast got over 4 inches. The Northeast is bracing for up to 14 inches. All diet centers have closed for the time being. No meetings, weigh ins, consultations. Some gyms are open. Power is a issue all over the Eastern US. Yet, grocery stores have been wiped out. Especially prior to these storms. We will NOT go hungry.

It’s not Snowcopalypse 2014, its EATcopalypse 2014!

And this is one of two pantries we have....
And this is one of two pantries we have….

Why do these storms make us think we will run out of food? It’s not like we, as a society, really keep bare pantries.  And bread and milk? Funny, the gluten free posts have stopped on my timeline. Even Wheat Belly has taken a break.

Working out? Those of you who find it necessary to tell us about your long walk/run in the wind and snow, just watch this:


God is good. It’s dangerous out there folks…

In my household, the eat-a-thon began Tuesday.  So far we have gone through a package of Oreos, tortilla chips, jar of salsa, a dozen cranberry orange muffins, hot dogs, popcorn, sodas, lemonade (and vodka), red wine, beer, salad, steak and chicken, potatoes, Frosted Flakes, trail mix, cheese, chicken salad from Costco, and more.

And there are only three of us.

Even the dogs are eating more. I’ve gone through two regular bags of dog food since Monday – all they wanna do is eat-aside from the fact that they ARE playing in the snow, making it yellow, and then napping on my leather couch.

It’s like we just can’t be trapped at home and do regular things, oh, like read, have conversations, play games, knit, clean. Nooooo, we eat and cook, cook and eat. The first flake on Tuesday had me pre-heating the oven to 350 for no reason at all.

See, told you I was hungry....
See, told you I was hungry….

It’s like we are food zombies. We aren’t looking for another person to eat (well, desperate times, desperate measures remember that book, Alive??? scary) we are throwing all good eating habits out the window and digging in. The minute we hear there’s no school, to stay off the roads, we hunker down. Pre-heat our ovens, start that soup, open that wine.

What does hunker mean anyway????


intransitive verb ˈhəŋ-kər

: to lower your body to the ground by bending your legs


Full Definition of HUNKER

1:  crouch, squat —usually used with down
2:  to settle in or dig in for a sustained period —used with down <hunker down for a good long wait — New Yorker>

Origin of HUNKER

probably akin to Middle Dutch hucken, huken to squat, Middle Low German hōken to squat, peddle, Old Norse hūka to squat

First Known Use: 1720

It’s an instinctual survival mechanism. Because you know, if we get stranded, we can live off that fat for a week or two.

Hunker down people, this muffin’s gonna keep me alive!


That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I can justify anything…

I love sharing–you can LIKE me on Facebook right up there to the right and also get me in your inbox by adding your email to my subscription list! Thanks

Before You Bring Them Home…Our Rescue Stories

This is Bubba. He loves the insides of pillows….

You’ve seen the posts. You’ve quickly changed the channel when the first lines of “In the arms of an angel…” start playing. You avoid going to Petsmart on weekends so as not to see their faces in those crates, looking for their furrever home.

This family has adopted over 4 canine rescues and 4 feline. Or, rather, this girl and her daughter with the word maternal need tattooed on our foreheads.

I have seen many of my friends and neighbors posting and thinking about rescues this month and I want to tell you our stories, and give you some guidance on these animals. Because, once you make a commitment, you need to honor it with your best intentions. Because it is HARD. None of these rescues have been easy.

Our experiences vary, and we have had to re-home two of our dogs.

And I will be honest. Because you know that’s how I roll.

BC and I grew up in households with animals, but not rescues. In the 60s and 70s that just wasn’t the thing. We both grew up with puppies bought from breeders, BC had an Irish Wolfhound (in the Florida heat, naturally) that I still think he loved more than any of the things I’ve brought home in the 25 years of our marriage, including me. I mean, he has a pewter plate with her photo on it. Still, in his office.

My family brought home poodles and Cocker Spaniels (before they got psycho) and one chocolate poodle we called Chipper that came from an Italian deli in New Jersey. Of course, he was the best and ended up with our maid in Newark. That is another story of my family with animals, but I digress.

Katie and Scraps
Katie and Scraps

A year in to our marriage, I fell in love with Jack Russells. This was before they got popular. I ended up with a bat-eared runt of a JR and we named him Scraps and he was by far the best dog we have ever had. Over time, as puppies became commodities in pet stores and breeders got greedy the amount of abandoned, abused and neglected animals have risen in our country. Therefore our humane societies, pounds and rescue organizations have become overwhelmed with these animals.

Our first rescue was a female Jack Russell named Cookie. What a cutie! 8 months old, black and white, looking like an Oreo and full of life. We added her to our then brood of two other male JRTs. Within a couple of days, she became intensely bonded to our daughter, then 8. Which was fine, except, there wasn’t a friend of hers that this dog didn’t do a sneak attack on and bite on the butt or upper thigh. It was weird. You couldn’t predict when it was going to happen. We took her to training classes. We did everything they said. We kept her outside when someone came to the door because she would go berserk when the doorbell rang. She became increasingly dominant over our senior Scraps and harassed him constantly (see, the female always seeks out the weaker, even in the dog world). We had to make a decision. She was becoming a liability. So after a careful search and process, we adopted her out to an older couple with no animals. Best decision ever. It was a hard one, and I felt terrible breaking that commitment to her but it was the right thing for her and our family.


Our next was a tuxedo kitten Katie named Kiwi. He was, by far, the coolest cat in the hood. Easy going and very talkative, he was the master of his domain, but ruled quietly. Then came a kitten Katie found in the Kohl’s parking lot and Simba joined the household. They both gave the Jack Russell’s wide berth and were easy. Except that they wanted to live outside. And after time, both split for various reasons that we don’t know and I was done with indoor/outdoor cats.


In 2006, and  a weak moment on a Golden Retriever rescue sight I spotted this adorable 6 month old huge white fluff ball that was a Great Pyrenees. We drove an hour south to a neighborhood near the airport and picked up this 50 pound, drooling, scared sweet girl and brought her home. The rescue said that she had been in an apartment and that the owners had no idea she would grow so fast and turned her in. But after getting home and reading the veterinary report from when she was turned in, it looked more like she was from a puppy mill situation. Mainly because we crated her in one of those big nice metal crates when we left the house and when we got home it was just about completely destroyed by a panicked 50 pound skinny Pyrenees. I have found that these organizations aren’t always totally honest when you ask them where they got the dog. And this has been across the board. They are well-meaning folks but I think if they gave you the real story sometimes you would run screaming in the other direction.

Rosie was smart, easy, loving and trustworthy but it took her at the very minimum 6 months to finally let down and become herself. At which point we found out that she was an incessant barker. Not at the doorbell, but at just about EVERY thing else in the world. I knew this breed barked but holy god was this unreal. I read where someone said that a Great Pyrenees would bark at a butterfly fart. They were right. After four years and antagonizing our neighbors, BC had a high school friend with 5 acres in northern Florida that took her. She is still there, happy as a pig in shit and we get videos and pictures regularly on her progress. That was a hard decision to make but it was the best one. The tension in our household from her barking was not fun, nor was it for our neighbors. Moral of this story-do not get a Great Pyrenees and expect it to fit in easily in a suburban neighborhood. Also, make sure you have a high fence. They like to roam…

Take me home.....sucker....
Take me home…..sucker….

Then came Willie. Boy, was he a pro at the rescue place, all rolling over and licking my face and acting all wonderful. This little terrier had been re-homed twice. I know why. He is a terror. With a Napoleon complex and an insatiable need to be the boss of everyone and every thing in the household. Only 14 pounds of scruffieness, this little guy can take down a Great Dane in 20 seconds given the chance. As usual , the first 30 days were the honeymoon period. At day 31, he decided the cats and the other dogs must either go or bow down to his awesomeness. He growls in his sleep. We have had him 3 years now, love him and found that doggie Valium works great on a rescue that has been bounced around many times.

3 weeks ago, 18 got a bug up her butt and brought home a Huskie/Shepherd mix named Bubba. BC wasn’t particularly excited about him.  He kept saying, NO MORE RESCUES unless they are puppies. This guy is 1 1/2. From a supposed hoarding/neglect situation, which I tend to believe. Shy at first, in the 3 weeks he’s been here, he has fit in well, gives Willie a wide berth and was house trained in a day or two. He is has also totally bonded to 18 and follows her everywhere. He did come with worms, hence he is underweight, but at this 3 week point, I have seen him wake up to his environment more and am convinced he is going to be a great dog.

At the vet, I have worms...
At the vet, I have worms…

We do have 2 more cats, Bob and Smudge who are indoor guys-I would rather put up with the littler box than the distress of worrying about an outdoor cat not coming home. It sucks. Trust me. There is a reason the cat rescues want you to keep them inside. Besides, once I found Litter Genie, it changed my world….

A rare quiet moment...
A rare quiet moment…

So here’s the deal on rescues from a normal person (well, that’s debatable). It is a wonderful and helpful way to acquire a family pet. But realize that you are making a decision that needs to be well thought out. Most of the times, when we seek a puppy from a breeder or such we do tons of research. Many times this rescue is an emotional decision on a Saturday when on the previous day you had no intention of having a pet. The rescue folks work many hours on their own time and nickel to save these animals. They also don’t want to see this animal in this situation again. Realize that this dog will take about 2-4 weeks or more to become themselves again. In the crowded situations at the adoption day they may not be the way they are going to be when you get them home. Spend time with it, take it for a walk, if you can, bring your other dog from home (if you have one) to meet them before you take them home (I did this each time and am glad I did). It takes a little more time but it’s worth it.

We’ve had successes and failures. Make sure you have a backup plan if the animal doesn’t work out. It’s not fair to them or you if the fit is not right. Remember they more than likely have had a pretty awful beginning and will take time to love and trust. Patience is really important. That first month is the same as a let-down period – I swear animals also get PTSD.

Love and patience will work. And firm leadership in the household and some training.

And they will love you forever.

Good luck!


I love sharing-sign up to get me in your inbox right up there on the right! Let me know if you have rescued and how it worked out!