Spring Hopes: Eternal

Here in Minnesota it’s what we wait for all winter long, it’s the light at the end of the cold, snowy tunnel.


According to the calendar it officially begins on March 20th, but in Minnesota, it begins on the first day people start wearing shorts. Which was this past week. So much pasty flesh! I even saw my first topless runner. I wanted to stop him and ask “my god, man, it’s 60 degrees. Wtf do you do when it’s 85 and humid? Pull the skin from your bones?”

Now, there is an unspoken agreement among most who live here: you must love spring. No substitutions, no exceptions. You have to not only love it, but it helps if you celebrate it and also you probably should mention it to every person you interact with throughout your day!


“Did ya see it’s gonna be close to 80 later this week?”


I get it! Really, I do. Winter is a harsh and defeating time for those of us who, for whatever reason, call this chunk of the United States home. 

We staunch the flow of despair and desolation with the holidays but round about the second week of January it really hits us. There is no escaping it. Well, obviously for many there is a way to escape- vacations, winter homes, indoor water parks, etc. But for a good number of us, we are stuck. Physically and mentally embedded in the frozen banks of ice and snow. 

This year I decided to try Dry January and in an effort to not botch that I kind of took my hermit game to a new level. Sub level, you could call it. I just stayed in, except to go sourcing for inventory a few times a week. I holed up and to be totally honest with you, it wasn’t so bad! I missed seeing human faces and sliding into restaurant booths and general socializing but also, I kind of didn’t. 

Taking that month to just reset was one of my better ideas. And I plan on trying it again next January. 

PS: the whole dry thing worked, too. Still is in fact. More on that later I guess.

But after January comes February! Which typically has 28 days but this year had approximately 208. 

This was the third snowiest winter in Minnesota, and we have been known to get blizzards in April so it’s not official yet. In fact it’s really supposed to hit 80 here this week but I see snowflakes on next week’s forecast. Again I wonder who lives here intentionally? 

Anyway. Spring hits fast and like the goober next door who is already using his gd leaf blower for an hour every morning, I am trying my best to summon up hope for a new season. A season without snow and windchill. But, it’s hard.

I know a lot of my hesitation to embrace all things spring can be traced to the whole body image/low self esteem stuff. The thought of coming out from under the layers of clothing and camouflage is daunting to those of us who cringe at the thought of hot sun and sweat. It’s getting better as I get older, it’s true when people say you just don’t give a shit about what others think and for real, it’s kinda glorious. Old habits die hard, though. So fretting about my freckled, spotted batwing arms being seen by others still occupies some brain space. 

It’s not just that, though. If you’ve read stuff here in the past, or had the rare opportunity to sit down and chat with me (LOL for real at that one) you know that I’m a tender hearted animal lover. I brake for squirrels and turtles and leaves that look like animals. It’s how I’ve always been and it seems to be intensifying as time marches on. 

Maybe it’s because of the aforementioned feeding of the backyard critters? I get bags of peanuts, seeds and corn a few times a month and throw them out back for the neighborhood animals. They come up to the patio door now and wait. Sometimes they crawl up the screen looking for the cuckoo human who calls them sweeties and babies. I started naming a few of them, and as insane as that sounds I’m not going to delete that. Batty is my favorite. This squirrel lost most of their tail at some point and they look like a chonky gray wombat running around out there. So that’s how Batty got their name. Regina is the mean one. 

With springtime comes animal activity and so many babies. And also increased sightings of smushed creatures on the roads. Roadkill has always made me sad but over the past couple of years it’s become a source of anxiety for me. I start to go down some morbid tunnels of thought, like “do they suffer” and “what if that one was still alive, maybe I should go see”. And then I get angry at people for hitting them. It’s a weird spiral thing and yes, it’s being discussed in therapy which helps, but it’s still hard. 

Don’t get me started on the turtles, okay? 

So yes, as a Minnesotan, I agree to be happy that spring has sprung. I concur that this winter was brutal and never ending and depressing. 

But I also have the toxic trait of being able to find the dark even in a daylight savings scenario. And so there is dread mixed in with the relief. As I eye up the t-shirts in the drawers, as I think about finding my capri length leggings, as I tromp through my new yard looking for signs of life where the ferns and hosta grow…I also brace myself for this season’s collateral damage. 

It’s a work in progress, folks. Maybe this spring will be different. Maybe I’ll be different! 

Hope really does spring eternal, doesn’t it?

Oooh Batty is outside. Gotta go. Until next time, friends ❤


Not All Divorced Parents Can Be Like Demi and Bruce- here’s why


Yep, I’m still divorced and I still have big feelings about it!

One of these days, mayhap in my next life, I will learn to just stay the hell out of the comments. Comment sections are such a weird deep dive into the collective mentality of our fellow humans, aren’t they? Aside from confirming my fear that we are headed into a real world Idiocracy, they give us a glimpse into the minds of strangers. 

If you are familiar with this blog, or have read any of my rants on Facebook or Instagram, you know that the subject of co-parenting is a hot one for me. It’s something that isn’t on my mind 24/7. But when I make the mistake of tiptoeing into the comments on posts or articles about divorced parents who have managed to not only remain amicable but who have gone one step further and become one big blended happy family, it’s trigger time. 

Some would say that I’m super defensive about this topic, and they aren’t wrong. I am really defensive about it. With good reason. 

Take a look at the collage of comments up at the top. This is standard fare on just about any public presentation of a divorced couple who have remained friendly. 

What is the underlying (and not so underlying) message that is being delivered here? I’ll give you a few examples:

  • You are not parenting right if you aren’t friends with your ex
  • You are not a real family if you aren’t friends with your ex
  • You are harming your children if you aren’t friends with your ex
  • You are not a good role model if you aren’t friends with your ex

And that’s just a few. There are also those who believe anyone who doesn’t co-parent like Bruce and Demi, or any other couple who stay friends, is bitter. Angry. Immature. Grudgy. Unable to “let go”. 

Honestly I could go on and on, lol. And I have. Over and over, in this blog, of course, and to this day I still make the mistake of jumping in and offering a different perspective, an explanation as to why not all of us can be buddies with the other parent (or steps) of our children. I’m an optimist at heart and sometimes so unbelievably naive that I think people might listen. 

Even here, I’m preaching to the choir. 

But you know what? I’m gonna stand here on this rickety pulpit and keep on preaching. 

Because the Divorce Club is unfortunately always open, and always accepting new members. Every single day, another marriage or relationship disintegrates and leaves two freshly cleaved parents wondering how in the hell they’re going to manage.

Imagine that you’re one of these newbies and you’re still reeling and maybe in shock and you are justifiably angry or sad or terrified. And then you see comments like those above and wonder, “What the hell is wrong with me?”

Darlings. There is nothing wrong with you. And that’s why I will never shut up about this.

Let’s start with the obvious, shall we? What’s the biggest factor in these fairytale co-parenting scenarios? No power imbalance. It’s that simple. 

Did Bruce and Demi, or Gwyneth and Chris, or Glennon and her ex (sorry G I can’t remember his name) or literally any other rich & famous couple who post their kumbaya moments on social media ever have a moment where one half of the couple feared for their survival? 

Nope. Not even for a split second did Demi wonder how she was going to care for her girls. Gwyneth didn’t even consider how she was going to afford a home. Glennon’s ex might have been scared for a sec, lol. But I’m sure he was given a very comfortable and fair settlement. Glennon is nice like that.

When there is no imbalance of power, when one half of the couple doesn’t have an insanely unfair financial advantage over the other one, it’s easier to accept the dissolution and to put on a happy face for the cameras and for the world at large. 

We can call it Divorce Privilege maybe? The definition of privilege is “a special right, advantage or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group”. I know that word has been beaten into the ground lately but hey, if the expensive shoe fits… 


Yep. There are! I know some of them! And I’m so so happy that they are able to make that arrangement work. It’s really nice to see. 

It’s not possible for everyone, though. For many reasons. And not all of those reasons have dollar signs attached to them.

In my situation, which is really the only one I’m qualified to discuss, it was a matter of self respect. 

My ex, and the mistress he ended up marrying, lied to me. Over and over and over. He abused his power in our relationship. He denied support to our children. He hid money, he played dirty, he cried poor behind the wheel of a shiny new car and while renovating one house and spending nearly a million on another one. They mocked my appearance. They made fun of my attempts to fix things. They broke me. 

The damage he did to my mental health, and ultimately, to our children, was a classic example of the imbalance of power that I keep referring to here. I had nothing. I was a stay at home mom without a degree or any formal training in a marketable skill. All I had was a spouse and his income and his retirement and his…everything. 

Even now, a thousand or so years later, the ripples from our split cause some little earthquakes. It’s in no way as obvious or awful as it was in the early years, but they are still around. Shaking things up every once in a while. 

When we first divorced, we did try to stay friendly. For the kids. When he finally began taking the children for his parenting time, we’d chat in the driveway or by the front door. We would exchange civil emails or texts. 

That was before all of his shenanigans came to light. And that was before I knew that I was worth more.

That was before he quit paying child support, before I lost that front door and that driveway. Before I found out what it felt like to not have the means to feed my kids.

That was when I decided to establish and enforce some lines in the sand. BOUNDARIES, baby. Boundaries are so so good and so so healthy. Not only in situations of divorce and coparenting but in literally every other relationship there is. Boundaries can make the difference between giving yourself an ulcer and allowing yourself to heal. 

I look at it this way: if one of my besties decided to take a massive shit on me one day, and tried to ruin me, and tried to make my survival and the survival of my kids precarious…dude. Our friendship would be over. And not just over, it would be doused in gasoline, lit on fire and then buried in a shallow, unmarked grave.

You don’t have to be friends with someone who has hurt you. 

And I really don’t believe that my boundaries and lack of a buddy relationship with my ex and wife no. 2 did any harm to our kids. 

I believe that it actually modeled healthy behavior, self respect and empowerment. Especially for my daughter but now that my boys are grown, I can see that they also learned from my example. 

There are moments when I think about future scenarios, like weddings and grandkids, where our nice little compartmentalized worlds may collide. I’m confident that when these situations present themselves, I’ll do the right thing. Which is panic, worry and sweat. And then the nice mask will be donned and those beautiful boundaries will hold me up. 

Having boundaries doesn’t mean being an asshole (says the woman who has blogged about her divorce for years lol). It means protecting yourself from harm or distress. Physical and mental, financial and emotional. 

If Big Daddy and I had Bruce and Demi money, I’m sure things would have turned out differently. I have no idea if one or both of them cheated on the other, or if there was massive betrayal, or if one of them made the other one feel like a worthless piece of dung. Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t. But I am absolutely sure that neither one ever worried about the survival and care of their babies. 

As I’ve said repeatedly and on many different platforms: If you are able to do the blended family co-parenting one-big-happy thing, that’s WONDERFUL. It’s admirable and it’s certainly good for your kids.

It’s just not the only way to do it. And the fact that some folks can do it doesn’t mean folks who can’t are doing it wrong. It’s just a different way.

Different does not equal wrong. It’s just another way to be.

And now I’m going to be working on a new boundary. Involving comment sections. 

I wish you all peace, in whatever way you can find it. I finally have mine and it’s good.


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