One Day, Just Like That, She Was Gone….

I have been sitting here trying to figure out how to come to terms with some awful news I received this week. It’s taken me a few days to process it, actually. We all get this news, every so often. No single person on this earth is ever immune.

Most often we are on the supporting side, having not known them, personally. We tell our friends our condolences, and that they lived a good life… The usual statements of hoping we make them feel better, knowing that really only time and distance can do that. So we are just “there” to lend a hand or a hug.

My long time friend Lucy left this world on the 18th of February. My Sister in Arms, and one of my dear friends. I met her many years ago when we were young, silly women who had big goals and dreams to help “save” the world. Or at the very least, the infertility of others. She was a Surrogate Mom, like me. Our surro children are grown now, or nearly grown, and our worlds evolved and have moved on from those days.

We stayed friend, because we had a lot of lifes moments in common. We talked about those moments sometimes, or more often wrote to each other about them. Over the years as we both became busy with our lives and moved several times, we stopped talking on the phone, and began to mostly communicate through email, messenger and Facebook.  It’s life’s funny irony, and we are all guilty of it. She had the biggest laugh that made you always laugh and smile with her.  I missed so many opportunities to hear her laugh, I regret that. And one piece of this awful tragedy that I hope to change.

Lucy was just 46 in September. Almost two years younger than I am, but wiser than most… life had forged her to be that way early on. When I was going through my divorce, she was there. A lot of my friends stepped back, staying passive and out of the “icky” thing that is divorce. But not Lucy, she was there, she listened and she loved me through it. Never once did she make me feel bad about it.  She gave good advice and I admired her ability to give it.  You see, Lucy had polished her ability to be no nonsense, and tell you things that you NEEDED to hear, not WANTED to. I will miss her honest, straight forward advice, that kind of advice is rare. She went through her own divorce just after mine, and I was able to thankfully return some of her advice to her. Probably not as well… but I did my best to try. She was also there to cheer me when I met and was remarried. We were friends, so of course celebrated births and joys as well.

Lucy was an amazing photographer, and landed her dream job at Disney. She was also an accomplished make up artist and performer. One of my favorite things she did was blow stuff up! For a while she worked as a Pyrotechnic Technician and lit off firework displays. Lets just say she was one Bad-Ass Chick. I have missed her photos, and hearing about some of her adventures as lately she’s had some health problems.

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I don’t know how well I an honoring this woman. My friend… there is just so much to her that would take forever to put down here. So many memories, so much laughter. So many lessons. Silly stuff,  like our Surro Moms weekends in Palm Springs. Lucy gave me my first taste of Amaretto and it was GOOD, I don’t think I have had Amaretto since then, honestly? I think I need to order one next time I am out, for Lucy.

Those long hours of talking about life, and all the things girls can talk about for hours. One particular night I remember, we all sat around in our PJ’s complaining about back aches and shoulder pain, most of us females can relate to, from having to wear a bra.  We evolved into the hysterical, pig snorting, pee your pants, kind of laughter as we all tried each others discarded bras’ on our heads!   Theses gab-fests and shenanigans would go on through the wee hours of the morning, because in truth, that’s what happens when  Mom’s are given freedom for the weekend from their usual responsibility and rituals. Those were great times, and I will forever cherish those memories and the friendships that were forged then and are still strong today.

Some of us Surro Moms still gather, not as often as we would like, as life has moved us all in various directions. When we do, we slip right back into that natural rhythm of old friends. We laugh, we eat, and sip wine  in our PJ’s. We talk about our dreams, our failures and we laugh, and love each other, unconditionally.

I have always said, I did not give a gift being a surrogate mother four times that was the cost. Instead, I received the greatest gift of all. I met amazing women that have since become my very best friends. Sadly, on the 18th we all lost one of our own and my heart is hurting. As are all those who were blessed to know her.

Please feel free to share some of your best memories of Lucy below.

My heart goes out to her family, her Dad, Sister, Daughters and Grandchildren.

Farewell, Lucy…. thank you for being you, and for being my friend.  I will truly miss you.


Classic Case of Jitters

I am having surgery tomorrow morning. One of those kinds of “women” surgeries we often face in our midlife. I have a good Doctor, and I will be at a good hospital, so I shouldn’t be worried, right??

Ha! Easier said than done for someone who has classic anxiety. I know, I know… I have kept myself so busy this past week that I have really not thought too much about it. Today I spent cleaning, and getting prepared. I just hope my surgeon had a nice relaxing, quiet weekend! Lot’s of rest, lost of studying my case.

This is my first moment actually sitting today to think about it… and…. there goes the mind. I wish I could have a glass of wine. Or a bottle…. but no food, or drinking wine is allowed. So I am left to over analyze and consider all the various ways things can go wrong. I am not proud, I am just being honest. I doubt I am the only one, right?

Anyway, I could use some good thoughts…. mostly to keep my mind out of the “what if’s” area….. it’s so unproductive. WHY do we do that to ourselves??

So, I suppose I will see you on the flip side. Unless something happens, then I won’t…. but I won’t even know! LOL  Otherwise I get to look forward to some R&R while my husband is forced to cook for a few days.

I should just go make some tacos, it’s more productive and less stressful ….. 🌮🌮

Finding A New Groove

I’ll admit, I have been in a funk for a while now. Here I am, a woman in my mid to upper 40’s.. (ahem, 47!! How the heck did that happen so fast?!)

Aside from the fact that I am hurdling like a burning meteor towards the big FIVE-O, I am still trying to build myself into who I am intended to become. Let’s just say, I am a work in progress. Are not we all? That is what the true meaning of life is about, I suppose. Becoming who we are meant to be. I wonder, if once we finally figure it out is that while we are about to die? This is not a totally depressing thought, really…. Life is about the adventure, the unknowing of what is to be…. the wonder, and wandering of it all.

I used to write so much more than I do now. I somehow, over the past few years, lost my motivation. Maybe I felt limited in subject matter and what I am allowed to write about in my life without upsetting some, or offending others. Maybe I was just to busy? Maybe I was distracted by scrolling other people’s lives on social media? I know social media has sucked the life out of a lot of us, and compacted our thoughts to highlight reels, soundbites, and funny cat Memes.

In truth, it’s probably a mixture of everything stated above.  Writing has always been about feeling and expression for me. I just didn’t “feel like it” for those years.

Sure, I have a lot of subject matter I could write about. But, I struggle with what is appropriate? What can I safely express these days? I am at a point in life that I don’t crave conflict. I also don’t want to intentionally upset or offend others. SO, I stuff my thoughts, my feelings, my observations, my emotions…. you know, my voice. Instead, I do a lot of observing of others…. that in itself is a lot I could write about, Lord knows!

Life has handed me some personal challenges. Health, family, raising kids, you know, the usual stuff “dreams” are made of. Some dreams, as we know, can also be nightmares. I do my best to take it day by day, like everyone else. Trying to remember we ALL have this kind of stuff. Best to get on with living and not focus on it all too much. Be kind, good, polite…. that sort of thing we are taught to say/ think/feel.

We live in a society that tells us we always need to be happy, it’s the goal,  after all. That we have to  see only the positive, the good. Ever the optimist! But, this is only one of the human emotions we are subjected to, what about the others?

We are all made so imperfectly perfect.. that’s the kicker. Society has programmed us to ignore the raging elephant in the room, even if it is crashing around, breaking stuff and destroying our lives. IT’s OK, go to your “safe room”…  We are not supposed to talk about our feelings because it might make someone else uncomfortable, removing them from their zen…. it’s always about what others feel, not about owning and acknowledging our own feelings too.

Look, we are supposed to constantly be cheerful! The world is supposed to always be safe and kind…

So, we sit, we smile and we sip our wine. “What we focus on we find”, after all.

We are all pretending! Lets be clear, no one is or should be happy all the time. We throw up our lives on Fakebook, but are we really showing a good rounded perspective of our lives? Of course not! We show the highlight reels, it’s more pleasant, upbeat and positive. We want to pretend to have a life that everyone envies. It’s what’s expected. Sure, we all have those highlights with ups, because for the most part, life is grand! But it’s not always a picnic, so how should we learn to cope? Life is not supposed to work that way (like a highlight reel). We have to grow, and go through difficult “stuff” to become better people. It’s how we learn to genuinely appreciate the good stuff.  It’s perfectly OK when we are not OK every moment.

I wonder as I scroll through Fakebook and Insta-gratification, seeing all the highlights if this isn’t harming our emotional well-being, in the long run? I feel so lonely when I see my friends and family doing things while I am home, scrolling. I am not living in real life, but instead through a screen. That concerns me.  Fortunately, I can identify this feeling in myself and step away. I have stepped away considerably, and I feel better. More focused, more happy. I have more time. I often put my phone in another room. I don’t miss it at all, in fact it is a relief. Especially lately with all the polarizing posts. I fear, no one can agree to get along, even in disagreement. All this turmoil takes its toll on us. That, in addition to seeing just the highlight reels… it’s all too much. I have made a conscious effort. I know I spend less time and can track it better now that I have a new phone that tracks screen time.

I don’t think this is how we are supposed to live as humans. This is not true interconnection or meaningful communication. It is a social network, but it’s not socializing. I do appreciate some aspects, especially living removed from my family and friends. I enjoy it to keep up with everyone, see their kids, grandkids, dogs, etc… I really DO enjoy those highlight reels, to a degree. I am just saying there is more to life. I miss coffee with neighbors, laughing and talking about our days, with friends in “real life”. Remember those days??? Am I the only one who misses those?

Anyway, I am rambling…. I tend to do that!

I am really going to try to express myself more through writing.. Be it good, or bad. Fair warning!!! The first step is already started, I am trying to spend less time scrolling others highlight reels on social media.  I want to write more and spend more time in the moment of experiencing my own life. I originally started blogging back in 2004 as a way to journal my thoughts. I have made some lifelong friends IRL through that expression. They are stuck with me… and we each got to know one another well through our writings. The good, the bad and the ugly….. but that’s what it is about, right?!

I still am unsure where I want to take this blog space? We have enough blogs about cooking, being happy, spirituality and taking care of ourselves. I guess, I will just do what I used to do, and write about what “is”…. sometimes it will be fantastic. Other times it might be sad, angry, amusing, or offensive….. but it will all be me.

I wonder, where do I begin?

I am a wandering….

Just remember…

“Not all who wander are lost” J.R.R. Tolken


What’s Today Again?

Oh. Yes, today is Friday. I almost forgot!
That’s the current state of my existence. Working from home can have that affect on a person. Each day can sometimes seem to merge into the next. I don’t mean that in a bad way, because I don’t. I am just trying to grasp my new routine. My new schedule, or lack there of. When you work for yourself, you tend to work on and off all the time. Morning sometimes, afternoons, evenings, weekends. It all blends. Basically I work when I want.

Who knows exactly what I mean?

So far I have figured out that I should never work in my PJ’s, but I am almost always with bare feet!

I also find that everyone thinks that when you work from home that you’re not actually working so they expect you’re always available to do their stuff or just hang out. Ummm… NO, I can’t always do that.

YES, I can be flexible and work around things because I do create my own schedule… but… what is that again? I don’t know… still trying to figure it all out? Any and all tips would be appreciated for those of you, like me, who work from home. What works for you? What doesn’t? Comment below.

By the way, writing this is me, procrastinating from actually doing some follow ups.. and, you know.. actual work! I also procrastinate by doing laundry, cleaning out a closet, dusting…checking my Facebook feed… my email… my dogs water bowl… I have to admit my house is pretty “on point” these days!

OK… back to the business of conducting business. .  (but first I better browse for a graphic to fit this post… )

Oh, and for those of you still stuck in the weekly office grind…    TGIF!!!

Yes, I think its time for me to hang it up for the afternoon as well.. all this procrastination has taken it’s toll! “Phew”

Life Happens Fast at 45


It seems I just turned 45 last week! But, as it stands I am in the fleeting weeks of being this phenomenal age. It’s like the baseball player running the bases. I’ve rounded 3rd and I just started sliding into “home”.. or in this case 46.

I don’t mind being this age. I actually like it, in fact. I am finally at a point of this human existence where I am older and wiser, but I will never be this young again, so I savor it. I can take what I have learned thus far and apply it to doing things better next time. Sure, there is always work to do on myself but, I am getting there. I have had almost 46 revolutions around the Sun to figure a lot of things out. But there is also still so much to learn.

Here are 45 things I have learned so far, or at least have a pretty decent grasp on. Others I am working to achieve mastery of, or in some cases to just accept.
1. I don’t care if you like me. I have to like me, and I do. 

2. I will always be OK. Up to this point, I have survived even my “worst day”.

3. Bread and sugar make me fat . Fat can make me thin… go figure?

4. Marriage is about a willingness to sacrifice for love, and doing the work.

5. Loved ones won’t always be there, so appreciate them.

6. Dogs make everything in my life better.

7. If there is one thing that stays constant it’s CHANGE. Don’t fear it. Embrace it.

8. Worrying isn’t productive and just causes me to loose sleep.

9. Grandkids are so much more fun than kids.

10. I realize now that I actually LIKE exercise.

11. I am not afraid to get older, it’s a privilege denied many.

12. Life is short. I try to make sure to laugh at at least one thing every day.

13. I have straight hair, deal with it! 

14. Music works better than Prozac for me. 

15. I love travel. I was born with Wanderlust. 

16. Drinking from straws can give me “smokers lines”.

17. I can not, will not, live without SPF of 50+.

18. Friendships are more precious than gold. 

19. It’s important to LET SHIT GO. 

20. Confidence is the sexiest thing I can wear next to a smile.

21. I am what I eat… so I eat wisely. Food is really “thy medicine”.

22. People are entitled to their own opinion. They don’t have to agree with mine.

23. Walk away from drama or the people who stir it up, it just isn’t worth it.

24. I love a smart man.  I find that the most attractive quality in my husband.

25. Life is too short to drink shitty wine, or eat bad chocolate. 

26. Meditation is hard for me. But, I try to do it anyway.

27. I can’t do pushups. It hurts my shoulder.

28. I listen to my instinct. It’s seldom, if ever, wrong.

29. I always know when someone lies to me. I might or might not call them on it.

30. I am stubborn. A classic Taurus, in every way.

31. I love New Mexican Food, and Albuquerque, NM. 

32. I am an Empath. It’s a good and bad thing.

33. Kids grow up quickly, and Grandchildren quicker.

34. I still can’t use super glue properly. It’s better that I don’t.

35. I am good at Physics, but not a Math-leate.

36. I don’t learn when I take notes.

37. I have an irrational fear of windmills, clowns and all rodents.

38. I am not afraid of snakes or spiders.

39. I don’t tan, I freckle. 

40. I don’t do bullshit very well. Zero patience for it, in fact. 

41. Dog’s feet smell like corn chips. 

42. I do what I love, it makes working less like “work”. 

43. Dancing makes everything better.

44. Asking for what I want is OK and not selfish.

45. It’s OK to say NO. 

I could go on… but this sums things up pretty nicely. I am looking forward to my 46th year! I am anticipating the the new experiences and hopefully will learn a thing or two. A year from now I can look back once more and reflect on the experience of being 46, and marvel at the personal growth I gain along the way.

Growth is better than just getting “old”.

So hang on, life went fast at 45… I can only imagine 46 will go even faster.

We Used To Be Three


Today is National Sibling Day. Honestly, until the invention and popularity of Facebook, I never knew such a day existed on April 10th. Up until two years ago I didn’t really contemplate its meaning to the fullest. I might have put a quick picture up and tagged my sister and brother in it, but more so out of “trend” and less out of meaning.

That all changed in 2015. I lost my baby brother, he was only 38. I was not prepared for the sudden void this loss has created. That’s not how things are supposed to be. He’s the youngest, I had always planned that he was going to be there for me, for everyone until we were very old.  I took him completely for granted, and I know this now.

The last time we were together, as Three, was on his birthday in July 2014. I was up visiting my home town so we gathered together, made peach cobbler and took a road trip to visit our Mom. My brother, so graciously agreed to do this INSTEAD of going out on the lake with friends for a BBQ, and beers. I honestly am not sure I would have done the same back then? What is FUN about seeing your ailing mother, and hanging with your two boring sisters ON YOUR BIRTHDAY?

As luck would have it, we got caught in the WORST traffic jam of the areas recent history. We were stuck for about 3 hours on our ride home. That ride should have taken 30 minutes, on average. At that point I think we all three were ready for the “sibling together time” to end. But, we made the best of it and survived not only a visit with my Mom, but the car ride home. We said our goodbyes and that was that.

Little did I know…..

Now looking back that most inconvenient time of being stuck is so very precious. More precious than gold. It was the last time I saw my brother. The profile of his face in the darkness with the tail lights of all the cars stopped is burned into my memory forever. It was the last time we had normal, light hearted together time as three. It was the last time I would complain about needing to pee so bad… while he sat there patient and quietly laughing at me, making the best to it.  That was him, the gentle giant. He didn’t seem bothered at all having spent his birthday this way. I will always appreciate him for that.

On the night of March 14th, 2015 my brother drove his car off the end of a road hit and went over a dirt berm (Dukes of Hazard Style). His car cleared a creek, and tumbled and rolled for more than half the length of a football field (approximately 1500 feet) according to the report. His death was not labeled Suicide but we know it was. It was a road he knew well as he drove it at least once a day it was just near his house. He left an encrypted note. There were people who saw him racing up and down the road just before the accident. I suppose he had to get up the nerve to do something like that. Those same witnesses held his hand as he said took his last breath. I am thankful he was not alone, because the idea of that for me is unbearable. I don’t talk much about that night and have never written it down in words. This is the first time and it’s hard.

There are no words to describe how this kind of loss feels. There is no way to prepare for it.  Only those who have experienced it know. The rest, I pray will never know. It took counseling and time to even start to live with it as I have. There were days when I beat myself up wondering, could I have known? Could I have said something to change his mind? What was he thinking? What was he going through that was so bad he would do such a thing? The list goes on… and on. The truth is, I will never know. I will never understand. That’s OK I am not supposed to and now I work on trying to accept that. I still cry and have my moments. It’s normal, grieving is a process.

I never fully understood how much I loved my brother until he was gone. As a kid he always annoyed me by following me around, or teasing me. I was a protective sister, even beat up an older neighborhood boy because he picked on my brother.  I felt like I was his third Mom. My sister and I were always tasked with babysitting and keeping him safe. I assure you, it was a chore, he was an incredibly busy child!

As an adult he had his own life, but when we did get together I was always marveled by his open mind. He knew so much about so many things! I admired him for that and miss the conversations we could have on any subject. He never made me feel stupid when I brought up things that were “far out”.  He had a generosity and a caring nature to be there and do anything for others. He was always a giver, never a taker. I see that now. He was not materialistic in any way. His greatest riches were his children, his dog and his music.


He was so talented, and felt everything intensely. His music that he wrote tells how much he loved, felt and expirenced this world during his time here. It also wrote of his pain. He loved so deeply but never found that right person to reciprocate or give love back. His music was beautiful and poetic. My brother and I both write to cope. I write poems (and occasional blogs like this), he wrote poems with music. Same outlet different styles. We are very much alike.

So now on this day of siblings it is just the two of us, my sister and I. I don’t take her for granted, or at least I try not to. I am also still fortunate to have both of my parents so I try not to take them for granted either. When I can, I truly appreciate the time I have with them. It is hard as I live her in Arizona and they are all in Northern California.

I retired from working for corporate America in January and now work for myself. So one of my intentions with creating this life was so that I could get home to see my family, parents and siblings more often. I just got home last week from a trip home. It was a good visit. Its a priority for me now. I can not longer expect them to always be there, I know better.

So I guess what I am trying to say is on this National Sibling Day let your brother, or sister know that you love them. While you are at it, if you are blessed like me, call your Mom, or Dad too. Because, you just never know.




Venturing Into the Blogging Waters Again

The past few days have been full of melancholy for my old 360 days. It got me to thinking of all the lasting and genuine friendships I have created from that time. I remember those writing days as dangerous, exhilarating and terrifying all rolled into about 4 years or so when that site was alive and well.

Maybe it was the time in my life of personal growth? I had just hit the ripe age of 34. And as we know, our 30’s are when we start to figure some things out. Or maybe it was the new adventure of the online world and “meeting” people from all walks of life? It’s hard to say, and likely a combination of all things for me.  I still look back on that time with great fondness. Such an adventure!

So much has changed since those 360 days, most for the best.  I even have a new name. I am now “Mrs. Simon”.  I am pretty sure I have spent the last decade learning to accept and embrace change! It’s inevitable after all.  Now that I am in my mid 40’s I have a pretty good handle on who I am. And I can say for the most part I am very comfortable in my skin.


So here I am, venturing into brand new waters putting fingers to key strokes again. We will see where this takes me. I have always been a writer. Who knows, maybe I will eventually get around to publishing some of my poetry? I have gobs.. just sitting there waiting for the next step.

Writing is good therapy. I will keep this short, and see where this takes me.

Yes, I admit, this feels good.

It’s good to be back.