My MeMae

“Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.” ~ Mary Elizabeth Frye

MeMae, Aunt Sarah, Mom [center], and Uncle Gid pose for a holiday photo.

MeMae, Aunt Sarah, Mom [center], and Uncle Gid pose for a holiday photo.

My world shattered on December 16th, 1996 when MeMae passed away.  I’ll never forget mom calling me into the playroom that terrible night.  Fresh out of the bathtub I still had my towel wrapped around me.  The room started to spin like I was on a Tilt-A-Whirl while simultaneously shifting as if there was an earthquake.  All I could do was curl into the fetal position and sob.

I miss her so.  What I wouldn’t do for my kids to know the incredible woman that was MeMae.  Sometimes I transport myself back to childhood memories with her– and insert my own children into scene.  She would absolutely adore them.

Not too many people manage to leave this earth on the same day they came into it.  But my beloved grandmother did just that.  I like to think of her coming full circle at the end of a very fulfilling life.

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,


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JiLTED [part 3]

Many moons ago I launched a successful online magazine.  Motherhood put the kibosh on that.  A few years ago there was a resuscitation attempt which produced a preview issue and then fizzled.  Throughout all of this people have asked me to revive JiLTED.  Due to increased demand I’m making one last effort, my third and final try.  Without your help this magazine will be nothing– because I cannot do it alone– and your contributions sustain the product.  So if you want JiLTED then churn out those articles.  Nothing would make me happier than restoring the magazine to its former successes….and then surpassing those.  I know it can be done.


thirdtimeYou have two weeks to work your magic.  And what a perfect excuse if you’re not feeling a holiday event– retire to your chambers and produce something fabulous!

Write about whatever interests you.  Give yourself a voice.  Tell us your opinions.  Whether its a political editorial or a collection of your favorite recipes, there is a place for it in our pages.  We welcome photography, musicians, and other art too.


Please email me at with any questions or to request a contributor’s packet.

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,


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Grab beer, inflate slide, make exit

Yet another night of insomnia.  At this point I’ve become quasi-nocturnal.  ‘Quasi’ because one can only sleep so much during the day with two children.  Slumber is overrated.

Steven Slater, my hero.

Steven Slater

Does anyone else remember Steven Slater?  Four years ago Mister Slater found himself having a diva tantrum breakdown aboard the JetBlue aircraft on which he was a flight attendant.  His theatrical antics and memorable departure makes him one of my personal heroes.  Not only did he grab a beer before deplaning– he unleashed the inflatable emergency slide and exited the aircraft with pizzazz.

What is it about flying that brings out the worst in people?  A Korean air executive’s meltdown over a bag of nuts [how dare they not be served on a plate?!] ended with her resignation.  Everyone secretly wants to behave badly like these two.  They’re just waiting for the appropriate venue.  Like an airplane.

romanovThis morning I finished The Family Romanov:  Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming.  Fantastic read.  I highly recommend it to anyone interested in Russia, history, royals, or just a good– true– story.

Though I’ve never had the privilege of meeting one in person, the concept of the ‘Russian mail order bride’ runs rampant in American society.  I’m not judging– everyone knows I’m in awe of those fortunate enough to be born in the Motherland.  But I wonder if there is such a thing as a mail order husband from Russia.  Do those exist?  Where can I get one?

Who wouldn't want to associate with the Sloane-A Lisa?

Who wouldn’t want to associate with the Sloane-A Lisa?

Thank you to my wonderful friends who refuse to let me wallow in my sadness.  Bethany, Amber, and Sal were kind enough to get me out of the house.  In addition to providing companionship, along with listening ears and sage advice, they made me feel valued.  I need my solitude to grieve but I cannot get too far lost in myself.

Do you Skimm?  If not I suggest you get started.  Their words summarize it best:  “theSkimm is the daily e-mail newsletter that gives you everything you need to start your day.  We do the reading for you– across subject lines and party lines– and break it down with fresh editorial content.”  I love waking up to their succinct news briefs in my inbox.  It enables me to know what’s going on in the world so I have more time to explore important sources such as TMZ the things that interest me.

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,





Posted in Bethany, California, Da Real Homiez, Danielle- partner in crime, Friends, Grief, Mother Russia, Reading | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hugs and cheese

I love you.  I’m sorry you’re struggling.  Imagine hugs and cheese.” ~ Brandi

queenbI implore you to make a donation to the Brandi Crook Funeral Fund. Every little bit helps.  In lieu of any sort of holiday gift please contribute to this fund.  It would mean the world to her family and me.  Please.

Brandi cherished her role as mother [Raven (17); Timmy (19); and Elizabeth (25)’s two small children with her husband, Andrew] and grandmother.  She was a dear friend, daughter, sister, colleague, inspiration– so much to so many.  Let’s give her the celebration of life she deserves.

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,


Posted in * R. i. P. *, Brandi, California, Da Real Homiez, Death, Grief | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

You left a mark on me

“I see myself as a huge fiery comet, a shooting star.  Everyone stops, points up, and gasps ‘Oh look at that!’  Then– whoosh, and I’m gone…and they’ll never see anything like it ever again…and they won’t be able to forget me– ever.” ~ Jim Morrison

Raven hair, red lips, perfection. My gorgeous friend.

Raven hair, red lips, perfection. My gorgeous friend.

Mercifully I go into a state of shock when I lose people I love.  I cannot even begin to write the eloquent tribute Brandi Crook deserves– but I will– and I hope it will capture the essence of her unforgettable spirit.  My sapio companion.  The woman who always had a riveting read and a licentious lesson.  The woman who introduced me to all things MOOSE and Russell Brand.  The woman who refused to stand for injustice and never hesitated to speak her mind. branditextI’ve made the heart wrenching decision not to go to San Luis Obispo in the near future. As much as I want to be there I must look out for myself– and I know my dear friend would understand.  Brandi, I love you.  Instead of heading west at this time I plan on getting a tattoo worthy of this incredible woman, making donations to SLO Food Bank & Women’s Shelter of SLO, and perhaps a few other tricks up my sleeve.

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,


Posted in * R. i. P. *, Brandi, California, Da Real Homiez, Grief, Words of Wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

*R.i.P.* Brandi Crook

“Sometimes it makes me sad, though…Brandi being gone.  I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged.  Their feathers are just too bright.  And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice.  But still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they’re gone.  I guess I just miss my friend.” ~ The Shawshank Redemption

brandicollageNo words.  Can’t breathe.  My darling Brandi passed away unexpectedly yesterday in California.  It feels like my heart has been ripped out of my chest.  I can’t formulate speech right now….all I can say is that Brandi saved my life and now she’s my angel.  Prayers and healing energy for her children [Elizabeth, Timmy, & Raven] and everyone else reeling from this incomprehensible loss.  Godspeed, Brandi.  Thank you for existing.

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect [and a shattered soul],




Posted in * R. i. P. *, Brandi, California, Da Real Homiez, Grief | Tagged | 1 Comment

Belated giving of thanks

  A short list of things for which I am thankful: family; friends; Neshoba; a roof over my head; food in my belly; all the luxuries I don’t need; being alive; and the fact that I have a clear head with which to fully appreciate all of these blessings. 
However, I need to work on my gratitude the other 364 days a year. I must not become complacent and take these things for granted. May you all have a wonderful– and safe– holiday.IMG_0091fam2
Thanksgiving was decidedly low key this year.  We hosted the festivities which included Theresa; Gary; Hailey; Kinsey; Jordon; Ayden; Aunt Sarah; Uncle Tommy; Oliver; and Kat.  I hate that Gideon, Carly, and their boys had a previous engagement– Maris and Tasha were greatly missed as well– but there’s always Christmas.  Which is happening in three and a half weeks.  Gulp.

A certain amount of stress inevitably accompanies hosting.  Between the frantic cleaning, meticulously presented food, and clashing personalities it can be a bit much.  I chose to disengage as much as possible and savor every second with my children.  Watching Adam embrace his role as a big brother warmed my heart.  Tatum absolutely adores him and they’re enjoying each other’s company as playmates.  Can you believe I helped make these little people?!

adam1I avoid Black Friday shopping like the plague.  Instead, we went to Roosters [because my six year old needs more than just a haircut– he requires a men’s grooming center] where Ms. Lenore gave Adam a new ‘do.  Doesn’t he look handsome?  As much as we loved his shaggy mop of hair it was starting to interfere with his vision.  He tends to let his locks get long because he is not a fan of the closely cropped mane.  I’ll save the buzz cut story for another day.

tatumMy daughter is so stinking cute I can’t stand it.  Currently she’s going through a Mommy phase.  One of her favorite things to do is watch ‘baby Tay Tay’ videos on YouTube.  She insists on holding the phone and is mesmerized by seeing herself as an infant.  After seeing a video in which I burped her, she bolted upright in her crib and informed me that Baby, her doll, needed a good burping before bed.  Two minutes of vigorous patting later she produced a successful burp [complete with sound effects] and was ready for sleep.

Simply being mother to these two marvelous children fulfills me in ways I never imagined.  Helping them on their life journey is the responsibility for which I am most grateful. 

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,


Posted in Adam, Aunt Sarah, Blessings, California, Cousins, Family, Friends, Holidays, Kids, Maris- my soul sister, Mother Theresa, Motherhood, My Parents, Tasha, Tatum, YouTube | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment