• My Words

    In Memory of Grandma Buster

    My Grandma Buster, Janice Malstrom Dumas, passed away today. It wasn’t unexpected. I don’t think many of us expected her to stay long after my grandpa passed away fifteen days ago. They’d been married for 65 years and 8 months and raised five kids together in their little home on Amber Lane, in a house that holds many of my childhood memories. Growing up, my brother and I had Grandma and Grandpa Bear and Grandma and Grandpa Buster. The identifiers were the names of the dogs that lived at each house. My grandmothers were very different people. Grandma Buster was an observer who would spoil you quietly. Grandma Bear was…

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    My Many Colored Days: Celebrating Dr. Seuss

    Every March 2nd we celebrate Read Across America Day, otherwise known as Dr. Seuss Day. Theodor Seuss Geisel was born March 2, 1904 and went on to become one of the most beloved children’s authors of our time. His stories are known for their quirkiness and whimsy, and the distint cartoonish style in which he brought his characters to life. His professional career, under the pen-name of Dr. Seuss, took off in 1927. Originally, he worked as an illustrator, and political cartoonist, before publishing his first children’s book. That first title, published in 1937, was And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street. The book’s Seuss-ian rythm was…

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    Fairy Tales

    I wrote this last year as a blog post for a crisis center I used to volunteer for. You can find the original, unedited version at www.imalive.com, and a good resource for mental health crisis as well. For this little blog, I cleaned it up slightly to celebrate that tomorrow, February 26th, is National Fairy Tale Day. I love me a good fairy tale. Stella and her Djinn are characters I want to play with more, but for now I encourage you all to write a little fairy tale of your own and celebrate tomorrow. (Apologies for the formatting. The preview does not look like the published version no matter…

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    Grandpa’s Gibson

    Many of my childhood days were spent at a little green house on a dead end street called Mecham Lane. It took me a while to figure out the little green house on Mecham Lane belonged to the Mechams. I’d always known them as Grandma and Grandpa Grape. And since my other grandparents were Grandma and Grandpa Dumas and Grandma and Grandpa Evans, then certainly Grape would have been their last name. But it wasn’t and they weren’t the Grapes. They were Thelma and Rulon Mecham, and they were my great grandparents. The little green house of Thelma and Rulon Mecham was a place of magic when I was a child. There…

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    Goodbye 2017, Welcome 2018!

    2017 started out seemingly determined to take me down. January of this year started with getting my son into residential treatment for drug addiction. We got him into one, only to have him walk away a few days later. He was hospitalized a few days after that, and then walked away again. We struggled to find other options. In February, while a heavy snowstorm was settling over our valley, we gave him the choice of going back to treatment or finding somewhere else to live. He chose to leave. I have never experienced a heartbreak like I did that night. There is nothing natural as a mom to tell your…

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    Crazy Cat Lady; The Queen and Her People

    After our abusive roommate moved out my son didn’t wait long to ask for another cat. An August evening in 2003 I gave in, and we went to the local Humane Society instead of karate class to pick out a new cat. Being a shelter there were dozens of cats and kittens for us to look at but Alexandre zeroed in on three in particular, and I knew we were in trouble. Again.  His choices were split between a tiny, black and white tuxedo kitten in a cage by herself, and two sickly looking brothers with goopy eyes. The brothers were ruled out because I was not willing to take…

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    Crazy Cat Lady; The Roommate

    The story of my second cat starts, of all places, at an all-night scrapbooking party in the fall of 2002. Me, my cousin, Hayley, and two friends, Piper and Mary, signed up for the girls night at a local hotel. The event offered dinner, all night access to a banquet room, and some free scrapbooking supplies. Our group also smuggled in some liquor. Except for Hayley, who was not only underage for drinking, but also hopped up on cold meds already. We were having a good time, even though we weren’t the most popular table, but that’s another story. A few hours in, Hayley decided she needed to go to the…

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    Crazy Cat Lady; The Early Years.

    When I was sixteen a ferrel cat that stalked around my grandparents neighborhood had a litter of kittens in their wood shed. Momma Cat was a grey short hair with bright yellow eyes, a broken tail that turned at an angle, and a hot temper. I asked my parents if I could have one of the kittens when they got old enough. I was 16, working a part time job, and promised I would take care of all of the kitten’s s vet bills and needs.  My dad, never a cat fan, said nine magic words and unknowingly set a challenge.      “If you can catch one, you can have…

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    Crazy Cat Lady; Part One

    Last night was Book Club night. Part of our conversation was about the book we’d read, part of it was about other topics. One other topic was a recently adopted one-eyed cat. This conversation moved on to the three cats I’ve owned and the circumstances that brought each of them into my life.I realized that each of my crazy cats has a story that deserves to be told, so I will be posting them here. Starting tomorrow you can come back and start with cat number one – Sebastian – a ferral grey Main Coon kitten who won my heart and has the distinction of being the first and only…

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    I’m just a Short, Little Ball of Emotions

    Writing has always been more than just telling stories. I love to tell a story, but I’ve also used it to keep from falling apart. Getting the pain gathered onto a page is a cathartic way to force them out of my heart. Sometimes I worry about “oversharing” with the emotional side of my writing, but then days like today come up and I decide it must be.