I write this in the moment. As a blogger in this day this is not the way this should be written. Perhaps I have had a drink too many. Perhaps I should have paused before hitting the keys. Perhaps I should have even taken a moment to consider where I was.

My Husband is sad. My children are sad. I am sad. why? Because Papa is dying. Because Mama is sad her babies are returning to where they are in this world that is not here. And one just brought in “cheese bites” that are so disgusting I might have to cleanse my palate with another vodka.

Moments are opportunities and I blew a big one today, HOORAY for marriage as Mike made the recovery and we made our family of 7 moments. Not because we had to but because I wanted them. I adore my Husband for making it happen and my family for taking the cues. #hugskissesluvyamenatit




I bought my first InkWell Press planner from Office Depot in 2017 when the At-A-Glance I had used for many years in the format I preferred was no longer available. Well, that was a shift…

I appreciate that InkWell Press is woman-owned and owned by a woman in my own state – Asheville! I could get my planning fix and support a fellow femme and my state. Bonuses all day! Thank you, Tonya Dalton, for making that possible.

As a natural planner, I need these pieces of paper. They make me happy. And more productive. And mostly on time and in the correct place. Mostly, they make me happy.

When I bought my 2019 InkWell planner directly from the InkWell site, I also bought a few extras like the Daily Docket similar to what I had been downloading from online for years and even using with students!

Then Tonya announced her upcoming book The Joy of Missing Out (JOMO). The book title alone signs to me. I am confident there is not a single other human on the planet that enjoys deleting commitments from her calendar more than me. Not making-excuses enjoyment, I mean legit-isn’t-happening enjoyment. Like today when my second child announced she was coming home from college for the evening. I had a dinner date with a girlfriend but canceled because I was not missing my daughter’s rare appearance. Sure. I did miss not seeing my friend but I did not mind deleting the commitment from my calendar. Staying home makes me happy. Happy. Happy. HAPPY!


So I pre-ordered JOMO on August 18 set for an October 1 release. The excitement! The anticipation! Tonya’s classes, challenges, videos – all of which I had already enjoyed and enjoyed during my wait made me almost salivate with excitement. Not. Even. Joking. Ask Kelly and Tara.

Then JOMO arrived late on October 1. Ironically the same day I was speaking to our local city council and preparing to leave for a wedding and about thirty other priorities. So I decided to wait and read JOMO at the coast the week before the wedding.

The vehicle was packed, the kids in the back, and I made sure JOMO was on the front passenger’s seat beside me ready for me to soak it up with the sun and waves.

Then I JOMO-ed JOMO.

I did not know how desperately my brain and body and soul needed to stop. I did nothing but the basic cooking and housekeeping and then some fiction reading and knitting for five straight days. I needed to enJOY MISSING OUT. And so I did. I decompressed, not even opening my datebook until the end of the week to mark down a lunch made with JSi.

And so I returned to the chaos of a home turned upside down and dusty and cold from a renovation but oh-so-grateful it is safe and secure while friends in Hopetown and Ocracoke are still making sense of Hurricane Dorian. I made the most of the first two re-entry days getting things cleaned and in order the best I can all while listening to the unpleasant sounds of progress.

In order to enJOY MISSING OUT on the banging and smacking of the renovation, I moved by displaced living room chair into my bedroom and set a space where I could shut the doors and play music and drown out the noise. The kids know the door is “open” even though it is closed and they are happy for my new space.


And that’s the story of how I JOMO-ed JOMO. I enJOYED MISSING OUT by not feeling like I *had* to read this book immediately. I took time to get well so I could give the book and its message the time and consideration it deserved.

And now it is time… Time to begin The Joy of Missing Out. Grateful.


PS – there are no “affiliate links” here. Just alotta links.

My first FabFitFun unboxing with Rebekah Anne and Laura Lea and shout outs to Leslie and Kelly and inspiration from That’s Inappropriate and Juggling The Jenkins.

Just a hoot!

Being sick sucks hairy monkey balls.

Six Word Saturday

Beaufort and flying never get old.

Six Word Saturday

When I met my Husband, he had a young throw away shepherd lab mix named Hydro. I had a rescue greyhound still using his track name, Bojack.

Bojack was diagnosed with cancer a month before we were expecting our first child. He died 2-1/2 months after Reade was born. Hydro continued on.

We moved (aka gloriously camped) into a house we were still building, birthed two more children, were adopted by a lot of cats and some horses, and then Rocky came into our world. That was eleven years and two more children ago.

Rocky is a Louisiana Catahoula mix. We knew his mama and she was 100% Catahoula. Rocky, at 6mo old, was going to be thrown away to the shelter. So we brought him home.

Hydro trained up Rocky on where to hunt, how to herd children and horses, and where the best spots on the bed and the floor were. About two years later at nearly 16yo, Hydro took a very peaceful natural last breath here at South of the Fork.

Gretel, our only sought after dog – a miniature schnauzer, made her debut a few years later and a year later another throw away shepherd lab puppy, Daisy, made her way to us.

It became Rocky’s role to now train the girls up to do the work he took over from Hydro. He is a good teacher. They are lousy learners.

Blonde Daisy, Speckled Rocky, Silver Gretel

Rocky is now getting tired. He has been in renal failure for two years. He has to wear a “male wrap” inside. It rarely is wet anymore because his body just is not working like it once did. He is winding down.

I plopped myself in the floor the other night and and just loved on him and got up briefly to take this photo wondering if it might be the last of his photos. Whether it is or not, what an awesome dog.

Sweet Rocky

UPDATE: Six days after I wrote this post, Rocky passed away. It was Imbolc which I think is a fitting time for a creature to leave this space. We thought we were prepared for his passing, but there are still so many tears. So many tears. This was his last photo from Tuesday afternoon, about 12 hours before he struggled through his last breath. We’ll Meet Again.

Today is her last swim champs. ❤️

Six Word Saturday

Insomnia is a real thing. Fortunately I only experience this demon under three conditions:

evening before menses,

after extreme successes,

when my Husband is out of town.

This time was a lovely combination of all three; the first and third being obvious and the second being the tremendous success I had in finally completing the Last Task about 8p. The Last Task not being the enchiladas.

I read and visited with the youngest child. I tidied the kitchen. I enjoyed two vodkas in celebration of my success. I knitted by the fire. I took melatonin. I took valerian. I flipped through a catalog. I played sudoku. I took more melatonin. I took more valerian. It was still only 1034p. So I kept playing sudoku. Not well.

At this point all three dogs and one child were in the bed. In an effort to move a limb I reloaded the fire with wood.

Reaching for more melatonin and thinking about how a little snack at 2a would be delicious, I decided on a pretzel. I turned to the kitchen pantry and *ding*ding*ding* there in all its dimmed kitchen light glory was the nespresso machine gifted to us Christmas before last. And immediately I wanted coffee.

Grateful for our opportunities and my thriftiness, I slipped an espresso cup from its copper wire support still sticky from the yellow Maxx for the minimum clearance tag ($2 for the set of four, thank you very much), and added to it a dash of amaretto, filled it with a decaf ristretto from the gifted machine, and topped it with a wee splash of coffee liqueur. Coffee, liquor. Pretty damn dreamy at 2a on a Wednesday with a full day behind me and full day ahead of me.

So I took this photo in the event this experiment panned out. And I think it did. I do not recall the clock passing 221a. But then again, maybe it was the fresh 25F air breathed in when bringing in firewood. No less, I am grateful.

Truth is I suck at food blogging yet I am an excellent cook. I promise. Ask my Husband and kids. I suck at taking pictures but I can cook all day for them with great success.

No less, I tried something new.

When my Husband is out of town, I loosen the nutrition belt and this week that meant a "5 ingredient Enchilada" for the kids.

It was a HUGE success. Such an anticipated success that I took this photo thinking "I'll blog these and the final product if they like them."


They liked them but apparently I am a quitter.

So here's the recipe via my Pinterest board "Non-FMD Dinners." But I could not stop. I had uncooked ground turkey leftover so I used about a pound of that. I had a pound of ground Neese's (that's pork sausage for those not in the South) and I used about a half of that. No beef at all in these 5 ingredient enchiladas.

The non-beef turkey and pork mix looked sad as it browned in the skillet, so I added about a half palm full of Frontier's organic Taco seasoning to it. I did that knowing I was adding the rest of a jar of Green Mountain Gringo Mild Salsa which is amply tasteful but that turkey and pork just looked so sad.

(NOTE: As I blog this from my phone because I am too tired from sitting at my desktop [see last paragraph] the previous paragraph appears in a gargantuan font. I do not know why. I suck at blogging in general. Not just food blogging.)

Now here is what is ridonkulous. I made enchilada sauce from scratch. These were 5-ingredient enchiladas, remember? I've made this sauce before. But this time I actually tried NOT to make it. I tried Aldi. No red enchilada sauce. I tried Harris Teeter. No red enchilada sauce. And then I was a total quitter. It was easier to make the enchilada sauce from scratch from ingredients I keep at home than to go into the other two groceries I would pass on my way home. Therefor me this the lone photo I have...

The final result? Gone. No photo. Kids ate it. They ate it all. ALL. Maybe it had something to do with my effort to use what we had so that meant only 7 flour tortillas and only 4 of the 5 kids at home and no adults eating, but still. I have no finished product photo.

So there. I suck as a food blogger but am a decent cook.

You know what I did do, though? Something TOTALLY out of my comfort zone. I finally, after 2-1/2 years knocked out a website. It's not perfect, but it is done. And I am proud even if it is from a template. God bless the the template makers. I mean that. You are valued and appreciated.

I did cry while I worked on this. They were not tears of joy. They were tears of frustration, anger, resentment. But I pushed through. This is not a natural skill for all. I am much more comfortable birthing at home or discussing natural law with teens or scooping horse stalls or soaking chicken behinds or even turning 5 ingredient enchiladas into 20-something ingredient enchiladas.

(Note: The preceding is in some odd font with no explanation as to why. I suck at blogging. Is what it is.)

Raleighwood never disappoints for good music.

Six Word Saturday