Category Archives: The Kids

Stuff that will mortify Jackson and Elena enough to scream, “Delete this!” This section is also for the progress of my nieces, nephews, godchildren, and all the other awesome kids that are in my life.

Snow Day

The kids have a snow day today.

They got up late, brought their cereal downstairs, and began watching their new DVD of “Police Squad.”

As I listen to their raucous laughter, my kill-joy instincts kick in: Clean your rooms. Study for your mid-terms. Go out and shovel.

But this time I don’t start barking these orders. Instead, I make myself a cup of coffee and take in all the noise.

In two years, my son will be in college and the house will no longer have impromptu concerts or be this chaotic. As I schedule college visits and pay college test registration fees, I can feel my reign ending. Do I want to spend my last two years ruling like a tyrant?


But on this snow day, as I make my way to the basement to load another basket of laundry, I stop and laugh with them…who can resist Leslie Nielsen?

Chasing Dreams

Del, the kids, and I play “Apartment Dwellers” in a short film called, “Aemorraghe,” which is showing at Eternal Con‘s Film Festival at 3:40pm, this Saturday, June 14th.  How cool is that?

Patrick Devaney, the writer and director, is a friend from elementary school.  When he was 14, he read a mini-graphic novel by Caza that was published in Heavy Metal magazine.  Patrick spent the next 30 years writing, getting necessary permissions, and finally making “Aemorraghe,” the film of his dreams.

We were on the set for one day and it was an awesome experience to see all the different pieces of the movie –the set, the actors, the crew, the makeup process, the costumes, and the filming of the scenes.  The cast and crew were so friendly.  They even fed us lunch.

We watched the film for the first time at the Macabre Faire Film Festival in January.  It was amazing to see the whole story come together.  It was inspiring to see a friend succeed and achieve his dream.

Even though the post may seem like a shameless movie promotion, I do have a point to all this…

Jackson and Elena (my kids) are around the same age as Patrick was when he began dreaming of making this story into a movie.

By working really hard at something he loved, Patrick found a way to make it happen.  I’m sure there were bumps along the road and that he had other day jobs to support him while he was chasing this dream.  But it’s a great example to the kids (and me) that dreams can come true.

Aemorraghe is making its way to film festivals around the US and parts of Canada.  I hope you’ll be able to catch it.  Here’s Trailer 1 and Trailer 2.

This is the year to create, adjust, work hard and chase our dreams 🙂






My little girl — who (at 5’7″) is not so little anymore — has been so helpful to me these past two months that I wanted to give her a shoutout.

Elena had a rough start.  Her uncle nicknamed her “Terramoto” because whenever she left his house, it looked like an earthquake had struck.  Once, at a party, I found a woman prying a checkbook from Elena’s fingers, saying “you must NEVER go into a woman’s purse.”  In preschool, one mother referred to Elena as a “hot mess.”

Elena as Lava Girl in preschool.
Elena as Lava Girl in preschool.

There’s always a fine line of how wild to let her be.  But, thankfully, she really has turned things around.

She’s a good student, who plays soccer, basketball, and the upright bass.

Elena with her "High Honor Roll with Distinction" awards.
Elena with her “High Honor Roll with Distinction” awards.

Most importantly, Elena is my biggest blog supporter.

She is my copy editor.  She spots typos and gives me input on the rough patches–and by rough patches, I mean stuff she doesn’t want the world to know 🙂

She is my workout partner.  She always reminds me that we have to do our “30-Day Ab Challenge” sets.  She probably gets a kick out of watching her 45-year-old mom strain to do situps.   Day 1 provided an evening full of laughs.

She is my backup happy item for my #100happydays project on Instagram.  So far she’s in about 25% of the pictures.

She is my gardening assistant.  This past weekend, she worked all morning putting down mulch.  For now, she doesn’t seem to mind all the micromanaging I do.  But sometimes her smile is so wide, I wonder if she’s really cursing me out in her head.

Elena worked all morning and put down about 8 bags of mulch.
Elena worked all morning and put down about 8 bags of mulch.

Is it the calm before the storm?  I hear that teen girls can be rough.   Elena is 12 years old.

I’m going to enjoy all of this while it lasts. This one’s for you, Happy Peaches.

Elena and me ready for her grandfather's high school reunion ball. (May 2014)
Elena and me ready for her grandfather’s high school reunion ball. (May 2014)