Monday, June 25, 2018

Mommy and The Brain

Last night I heard myself say, "Why am I even here?". I was frustrated that no one was listening. 

But I'm a mom. There are at least a few million meme's out there about no one listening to Moms until they (insert "funny" emotional/physical/verbal explosion here) right? You've seen them. And moms across the world nod and smile to themselves while they click {Like}, or click a heart in solidarity of sisterhood. "I'm here for you Sister! We stand strong together in our frustration of being ignored, unappreciated and mostly invisible." 

But are we really standing together? 

Are we really supporting one another by laughing at the problem. I guess sometimes we are. Because at times we feel like all we can do is laugh, or we'll dissolve into oblivion. 

But is appreciating the problem the same as supporting? I don't know. I'm asking. 

There is a part of me that is glad the memes are there, I guess. Because yeah, I feel a little less alone knowing that I'm not the only invisible Mom out there. 

But I am the only invisible Mom in here, and it's lonely as shit.

That being said, you may notice my last blog post is dated over two years ago. Where have I been? What have I been doing?

Depends on who you ask, I guess.

But I'll give you my side. 

I've been right here. And yet, at the same time I've been very lost and afraid and not here at all.

I have anxiety, depression, and debilitating attention deficit disorder. Yes, there are funny memes about all of these as well. Depending on the day I may raise my eyebrows, smirk, click {Like} and move on, or I won't even have the energy/desire/will to do that.

I've retreated into a scary and dark place, all the while trying to smile and show up to volunteer shifts and put on a happy and strong face at school events and meetings. When I can muster the strength to emerge, its terrifying and exhausting and I come running home to hide again. 

But I'm on medication, and some days I'm OK. Some days I can handle doing the laundry, making a pot of coffee, watching the news. Other days I can't, so I must have done something wrong to cause this adverse reaction. I'm ON medication. It's supposed to work. I just have to wait another day. I'm sure it will work tomorrow. I'll feel OK tomorrow. I can do it tomorrow. I can catch up, make it all better and do it all ... tomorrow.

Two years of tomorrows have come and gone. I've lost friends, jobs, hobbies, interests, and most recently, almost our house and dog. 

If you've experienced it or studied it, anxiety and depression can have marvelous reactions to medication. There are many many kinds of medications out there, but they all require a build-up of the medication to become effective. It's not like a Tylenol where you take it and in 30-45 minutes you feel better. They don't work like that. And again, every BODY is different. What works for you may not be what works for your cousin, but what does work for your cousin could be what works for your neighbor. Finding the right medication can take years because of the amount of time needed to wait for the dosage to regulate and for your chemistry to react to it. But if it doesn't work, then you have to wean off of it in order to start another one. We're told to wait about 6 weeks to feel the full effect of a new medication. Two weeks weaning off of one that may not have worked, six more weeks waiting to see if this new one works... repeat. Again. Then again. Then maybe we feel a slight change. And we've been in the dark for so long that this glimmer of hope, this tiny spark, has allowed us to hope. There might be something here, so lets not change this one, lets ride it out a little longer. Up the dosage, make other small lifestyle changes, it may really work.

Two years of waiting for that spark to come again. It was there. It was right there. That one day I could honest to God smile at something that brought me joy. Or was it a day? Was it really a dream? Was it really there at all? Was I just so tired of not feeling good that I imagined I did in an effort to MAKE myself feel better?

My Aunt died last month. She too suffered from depression and anxiety, but she was always so full of light and a magical sparkle that when she began to slip away, I retreated from her. I stopped emailing her, stopped answering the phone when she called, and couldn't bring myself to call her  back when she left voicemails asking to talk to her "Little Carter", even though I was taller that her by the time I was 10. I kept thinking she was the light and magic that forever made everything OK, so if her light was going out, there was no way I could bear to see it, hear it, acknowledge it. She'd get better, then I could lean on her again. But she didn't get better. She got worse. She drank vodka all day, and her sweet little body just couldn't process the chemicals any longer and it shut down. Her brothers, my father and uncle, tried to grab her on the way down, but she was too tired to hold on. 

Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain both committed suicide recently, making news headlines around the world. We again are reminded that depression, anxiety and other forms of mental illness are all around us. Fame, money, notoriety, fancy clothes, Oscars and Emmy's, and/or starring roles in movies and TV shows don't make us immune. Pictures of Robin Williams are back in the news as well.

Aunt Sister's suicide was slow and painful and not mainstream news, but it was enough for me to realize the medicine I've been waiting to kick in again and show me that spark that I saw that one day may not be the right one for me after all.

I had made a few appointments with my Dr to discuss my medications, but something would come up and I'd cancel my appointment and forget to reschedule. A few weeks before Aunt Sister died, she "missed" an appointment too. By the time she went to the Dr, it was ultimately too late. I don't know what exactly happened, but I know she went back home with what I understand to be "anti convulsion" medication, and her estranged husband was to be by her side to administer them if/when needed. There are bits and pieces of the following week that I was told, but not sure what all is real, or third party interpretation, or purely made-up. But regardless, I called my Dr, made an appointment and WENT. 

Over the past two weeks I have been weaning off of my "old" medication and this morning I started my "new" one. It will be a few weeks before I can tell if anything is better, but I can tell already that coming off of the old one has improved things already.  And I'm able to write again. I'm here, in front of my computer spilling my guts on what I think and feel.

Also within those two weeks, a friend invited me over out of the blue. "Lets go get drinks, or grab lunch, or just come over for s'mores", she said. Then she told me she'd noticed I'd been withdrawn for the past two YEARS. She hadn't thought I wanted to talk about it, so she'd left me alone, but saw something I posted on FB and realized I was ready to talk, so she jumped back in with two feet. 

WHAT?!?! I'm NOT invisible? There is someone who gives a shit?!?! What? How? When? Where? I'm so confused. I've been living in this hole, not letting anyone in, pushing everyone away, thinking no one cared or noticed I was gone, and low and behold, someone was standing there at the gate waiting for the the whole time.

I mentioned to another friend that this friend had said she'd noticed me withdrawing over the past two years, and this second friend said, "Yes! I've seen that too!" Again ... WHAT?!?! ANOTHER friend has missed me? How could this be? I was sure no one cared. Sure of it. But ... nope. They were right here the whole time. One literally Right. Next. Door. 

Friday, April 1, 2016


Yesterday, Patrick and I finally took the Pilot to the local Honda dealer to get the recalled airbag replaced.  This is a true (Lord, I wish it were a joke) account of our morning at Honda Koons of Manassas.

First of all, getting into the dealership is a miraculous feat unto itself. The only way to get into it from the main road is via a driveway/road that is not only not labeled, but one of three unlabeled "drives" within a few yards of one another in a strip of road about a quarter of a mile long located between a large intersection, a gas station, and the on-ramps to one of the biggest highways leading into Washington DC.

Then, upon getting into the area of the dealership, there is no exterior signage directing you towards the "Service Department". So I park in the Customer Parking spot in the front and get out of the car. A man sees me pull up and park, and damn near pees himself trying to get to me. A woman, alone, in a Honda Pilot pulling up to a Honda dealership! Bless his heart, he was seeing dollar signs and commission galore. A repeat customer! A woman! She'll buy from me and pay anything I want as long as I have the right color and a cup holder for her Starbucks! That's all women care about when buying a car.

So, Mr. BIG SMILE comes out, walks over to me while I'm getting out. I smile and say, "Hi. I have an appointment to get my airbag replaced."

Poor thing is so deflated all he can manage is a slight eye-roll (I think he was trying to suppress it but it was so strong, a little just had to squeak out) and to indicate with a head tilt and finger point over his shoulder before uttering something about me needing to go around back.  I smile and thank him and start to get back in the car. Mind you, I have my purse, my water bottle, and my coffee all with me, which I'm now juggling to get back in the car with me without spilling. As I'm doing this, not only does he not offer to help or at least hold the door for me, but he actually says, "Or I would love to sell you a brand new one." To which I laughed, snorted actually, and said, "Yeah! I'm sure you would!" Then he reaches into his pocket and pulls out his business card to hand me.  AS I'M ALREADY JUGGLING THREE THINGS AND MY CAR DOOR THAT'S CLOSING BECAUSE OF THE SLIGHT INCLINE IN THE PARKING LOT. Jackweasle then stands there holding out his card as I manage to get back in without spilling anything, and reopen my door so I can take his card.

So ... back in the car, Patrick has parked the Jeep and gets in the Pilot with me and we drive around to the unmarked service area where there are three bay doors each with signage saying to pull up and door will automatically open.  OK. That's nice, but does that pertain to me? Is that info for the mechanics? The customers? The Almighty? I can't tell. There are also no signs saying "Service/Repair Parking Customers" or anything of the like. So I find one parking spot, pull in, park, get my purse, water bottle, and coffee, and get back out of the pilot. Use the human-access main door to enter said Service area. We were very sweetly greeted by the service staff. I said that I was here to get the airbag replaced, and they said to pull on up to the bay door, it will open, and I can pull in to get checked in.


Wouldn't it have been kind to have this written on a sign outside? Maybe?

So ... I get back in the car, again juggling my purse, my water, my coffee, OH, AND MY KEYS this time, because I was thinking I was going to give my keys to the mechanic to drive my car into the bay to do the repairs.

I drive up to the first of the three bay doors. It opens just like it said it would. I drive in and then over to the two men directing me to the second lane. Now I think ... do I pick everything up again? Is this the last place I need to put my car? Do I need to do my own replacement too? Upon getting out, there is a man standing with my husband with a clip board getting the final information. He's very nice and seems very willing to help ... my husband. I lost count, but I do believe it was at least three times during the entire process that my sweet husband said, "Ask her. It's her car." to which seemingly shocked and awed the people there. WHAT?!?! A woman who OWNS a car? How is this even possible?

So, the back and forth of what all we needed done, asking Patrick, me answering, asking Patrick again, me answering until he had all his notes completed and we thanked them and walked through the office into the show room to take a look a the newest Honda lineup.

Quick back-story on me ... the first car I ever bought with my own money was an '88 Accord. Before that I had an '81 Accord that was my first love. Named Arthur (after Arthur Dent of Hitchhikers Guide) when my mom bent the fender when it was originally her car. Arthur then became mine, and I'm not sure there will ever be a love affair as pure as my love for Arthur. In fact, I fully believe the spirit of Arthur is in every car I own. Arthur is my protective chariot. He cares for me, protects me and now my babies with me, and I protect him. OK ... so, that being said, There was a time when I could tell you the year of the Honda by the body style.

Even further back in the back story, before I was driving Original Arthur, I had a VW Karmann Ghia with severe electrical malfunctions. I got the Chilton and rewired the entire car by myself.  I'm not new to car ownership or repair. If I could get a Bondo scented perfume, I'd probably wear it.

Out of the seven cars I can claim to have been "mine" in the past 30 years, two were VW (a bug before the Ghia), then my '81 Accord, then my '88 accord, then a brand new (my first and only brand new car EVER) 2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport, then back to a Honda (Odyssey this time), and finally to my current love, my 2006 Honda Pilot.

So again, I hope I have somewhat established that I love Honda's. I know Honda's. My family, as a collective, have owned and currently own more Honda's than I feel like trying to count right now.

This brings us back up to yesterday's story. Thank you for sticking with me through that side-bar.

We walk through the office and into the showroom to see the new Honda Lineup.

There are only four or five cars in the show room. No big deal, Honda's are wicked popular I know they are snapped up as soon as they are available. So we look at the cars in the showroom, then venture outside to see if we can find a new Ridgeline or Pilot.

And yes, we were like chum to the sales sharks in the showroom. Polite smiles and "We're just waiting for our Pilot's airbag to be replaced" seemed to happily calm the feeding frenzy inside.

Outside we go. Another salesman materializes at our side and he asks what he can help us with. I told him I wanted to see the new Pilot or the new Ridgeline. He very nicely told us that they didn't have any Pilots, that they only get three a month, and they are sold practically as soon as they are on the lot. He could order one for us (umhum, I'm sure you could) or we could call to see when the next shipment would be in and we could come look then. About the Ridgeline, we're told that he's "just as much in the dark about that as we are" again instilling much confidence in your product knowledge.

No no ... it gets better. Each time "I" ask him about a vehicle, he looks at Patrick to answer. I then decided to really floor him and I asked him if Honda was in the process of making another convertible. He honestly looks like I've spoken Swahili. He repeats the word ... "Convertible"  as if trying to process it's meaning. Then says, "No. But we have the new Civics." (long pause ...) I think I must have blinked a few times and then given him an "oh, bless your sweet heart" look because he looked down at the ground and said, "Yeah, but they aren't convertibles."  Patrick turned around to not laugh, but the sales man wasn't discouraged! I wanted to be sure we knew that he knew what he was talking about! "Oh, but Honda IS coming out with an alternative fuel cell car!" This was directed at Patrick again, because, what the Hell would "I" know about alternative fuel cells. In unison, Patrick and I say, "Oh, OK. That's cool." And ... No lie, sweet sales man says, "Yeah. It's called ... um ... the civic LX-P ... Oh, no, wait, that's not it, it's um .. the ... awe man, I can't remember."

So we smile real big again and say we're going to just wander around and look at what's on the lot.

Pickin's were pretty slim out on the lot. Again, understandable with Honda's resale records/statistics. This dealership is attached to a GMC dealer too, and the used cars share the same lot, so we moseyed on over to the other side of the lot looking here and there at a few random selections. not impressed, we head back towards the Jeep to go run errands etc while the Pilot is being repaired.

We notice a Jeep Wrangler with a sticker in the window about all of it's stats, but no price. Like clockwork, another salesman materializes and asks if we need any help. I ask about the price of the Wrangler, and he sweetly smiles and walks over to the vehicle to look at the sticker, because clearly I'm too dumb to be able to read it. But what is this? There is no price on it. He whips out his handy tablet and does some very important scurrying, then looks puzzled and tells us that it's not in their database yet.  "OK. No problem. Thanks anyway." we say. He instantly perks up, like he's just completely had the past three minutes of his life erased from his mind and cheerfully says, "OK! Let me know if you have any questions!"

Patrick and I stifle our laugh as we thank him again, turn and head back to our Cherokee to leave. We look at each other and laugh about the fact that no one on the entire lot could answer any questions we had.

The mechanic doing the work on my baby called to double check what else we wanted him to look at (our key fobs needed things and I wanted to check on updating the GPS) and he told me that a headlamp was out and the brakes needed to be replaced soon. He was VERY nice. I OK'd the headlight replacement and thanked him for the update on the brakes but said not now. He told me i needed to get online to buy the GPS update from Honda directly. Lastly, he told me about the $180.00 replacement charge for the fob, and after I recovered from the guttural explosion of expletives that spewed from me, I told him that wasn't necessary. He then very sweetly offered to take the working parts from one and put them into the other to make one key and fob that worked instead of two that don't. I asked about the charge for that, and he said he'd do it no charge. WOOHOO! Thank you Chris from Koons!

I finally get the call from Chris from Koons letting me know my baby is all set, and we go pick him up. Arthur 5, not Chris. The airbag replacement was a recall, so no cost to us, the headlamp was about $20.00, the labor was about $10.00, so for about $30.00 I have a new airbag that won't send shards of plastic and metal into my jugular upon impact, a working key and fob, and both headlights. OH! AND a complementary car wash!  Not too shabby, I'd say.

So all-in-all, I'm very pleased with the service and work performed at Koons Honda Manassas. And really the sales team gave me a great story to tell, so I thank them too. Had I been in the market to buy, this story would not be so lighthearted, as I would still be fuming over the lack of product knowledge, but as it stands now, a nice morning spent with My Honey and my sweet Arthur is happily awaiting our next adventure.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

New things in the Home Store


I've spent a few hours today adding new things to The Saucy Dish Home Store.

I can't tell you how much fun its been making, creating, and designing things for the store, for my friends, and for my family.  And there are still more goodies to come. I'm working on some lamps, more wearable goods, and that's just the beginning.

If there is anything specific you would like to see in the shop, or in your own home, let me know. I love custom orders, love making things, and love making people happy.

Let me know what you think. I appreciate the feedback.

Thanks ... and stay saucy.

PS ... A sneak peak of new things to come...

Friday, March 4, 2016

Stadium Blankets

Here's a sneak peak of my Honey's New York Giants Stadium Blanket. 

This yarn is A-Mazing!! Super soft and a little shimmery. But still really manly, of course. Machine washable and dryable so beer, mustard, cheese-whiz, and/or anything else that gets dropped on it, spilled on it, or that it gets dropped in or stepped on can all come clean in the wash. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

New Year, New Look, New Things


I've been a little quiet as of late, but that's only because I had a lot of things brewing. But now, I'm very excited to introduce the new blog design and new added features!

Notice the tabs at the top of the page.

"The Saucy Dish Home Collection"
This is where I'll post all of the one of a kind items that are officially for sale.

"What I'm Making Now"
This is a collection of the things I have in process, ideas I'm finalizing, and things that will soon be in The Home Collection.

See something in the Home Collection or What I'm Making Now that you kinda love, but wish it was a little different? Then check out...

"Customizable For YOUR Home"
Here you can request the exact same items you see in the "Home Collection", or "What I'm Making Now" but then change it up based on your style, taste, size, colors, or other design requests. And ... see something on Pinterest that you love but don't have the time/energy/patience to make? Send it to me and I'll see if it's something I can make for you.

In the coming weeks/months, expect to see a lot more items being added. I'm hoping to get a Shopify store connected to both the blog here and to my Facebook page. If you're not already one of my Facebook followers, please take a quick second to "Like" The Saucy Dish on Facebook. And then, while you're there, you could be a doll and click the share button and let your friends and family know about the fun new things going on here at The Saucy Dish too.

OK ... so, as much as I love hanging out and talking, I need to go get back to the shop to make more things, design more things, and take pictures of the things that you need in your home/office/life too.

Thursday, October 22, 2015


Armageddon is one of those movies that just about every time it comes on TV, I have to watch.

It's almost a guilty pleasure. I have a Bachelors in English with a concentration in film and media studies. Really all that means is that I learned how to write movie reviews. But it also gives me the ability to turn my nose up at movies that cause brain damage to those who watch them and to raise my eyebrows in wonder when I find someone else who loves Jean-Pierre Jeunet films or anything from Miramax. If I hear that James Horner composed the score, I'm a little more interested in seeing the picture. So for me to love a full blown special effects driven movie feels almost like I'm breaking the rules. 

Here is the link to the IMDB page where you can real the official credintials. Who's in it, who made it, which awards it won, so I'm not going to go into all that. I'm just going to tell you why I love it.

First of all, it's the cast. And, yes, I know I JUST said I wasn't going to talk about the cast, but I meant I wasn't going to talk about them in the, "9 time academy award nominated blah blah blah" sense. But I mean, COME ON! Bruce Willis, Ben Aflfleck, Billy Bob Thornton, Steve Buscemi, and Liv Tyler. 

Her role (Tyler's) in particular struck me. I fully believed that she loved her daddy (Willis) and honey (Affleck) tremendously, and I still cry right along with her in that one scene. If you've seen it you know what I mean. If you haven't seen it yet, I don't want to give it away, but my Lord, I ball like a baby every time. I fully believed that all the other rough-necks in the drilling crew loved her like a daughter too. This group of actors was such a fantastic blend of smarts, pretty, funny, and sincere. I bet they had a blast filming it. They look like a group that probably spent a lot of time goofing off and being silly while on set.

The special effects are cool, I guess. I'm not all that into big explosion scenes in multi million dollar blockbusters. I mean, they are cool to watch, and in a high energy movie like this or in Independence Day when the aliens are blowing up landmarks they are awesome and add to the story, but it's not the type of movie I'm going to jump to watch and if there are just explosions and damage to personal and/or public property for no real reason, that's not my bag. I prefer the homemade low-budget effects. Original Star Wars, Tremors, Monty Python, you know, back when making a movie was fun and you got to hold a camera and chase your employees in giant costumes on a hand made wagon being pulled behind a jeep. Which of course no one would do now because that's dangerous and someone could get hurt.

On a personal level, the movie holds a special place in my heart. I watched it once with my now husband and a fraternity brother of his in his room on his teeniney tv and when the "Leaving On A Jet Plane" scene came on we all sang along at the top of our lungs, flopped all over each other in a big pile laughing and singing very badly and way off key and being silly. 

Armageddon is a movie with a very good combination of love story and action making it appealing to a larger fan base. In addition to that, the love story is both a romantic love and a family love. So it's not all boobies and bombs at all. The relationships appeal to my feminin side, but I also enjoy the macho "let's go blow shit up to save the world" part too. 

At this point, of course, I should go into the dichotomy of this and the juxtaposition of that, the protagonist and antagonist, the struggles, the obstacles overcome. Or I should point out certain screen shots, fades, editing, cinematography, zooms, pans, etc. 

But no. Not here. Not with Armageddon. It's just fun to watch and I don't feel the need to dissect it and turn it into a choreographed essay-like document I would have submitted 15 years ago with footnotes, a cover page, and a side of anxiety over whether or not my works sited page was formatted correctly. 

So, with all that said, and for the reasons described above, I'll say it again. Armageddon is one of those movies that just about every time it comes on TV, I have to watch.