No Matter What.

Linking up with Five Minute Friday today.

The theme?


Ok, I am remembering growing up with my father. Here are some thoughts:

John Waynish. Very swaggery.

General Pattonish.  Very STRICT.

Dennis Hopperish.  Little bit on the edge. Like looking into the wonderful abyss of “I Might Snap Today. Do You Feel Lucky?”

Gruff. Not the cuddliest. But Hilarious. Sorta like a teddy bear, with a rifle.

(Yes, Dad, you’re reading this. I know. Don’t worry. It gets better.)

Here is also something:

Whenever I would get in trouble (This was often. Like a regular occurrence. I think I had it penciled in on the calendar for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Sundays optional), Dad would lecture. He would get in my face, and add the Vulcan Death Grip on my elbow to make sure I was listening. Did you know the nerve endings in your elbow really DO link directly to your eardrums? They DO.)

Oh, there was gnashing of teeth and wailing, I tell you.

But, I so remember this, no matter how awful the situation… no matter how much I wanted to squirm away or he wanted me to, as he so often said in total exasperation: “KNOCK THAT @#$% OFF!”

… He would always say this:

“Dana. No matter what you do, or how much trouble you get into (which will be a lot), I will always love you.”

“I love you. No matter what.”

No matter what.

I type that right now and smile. It’s a deep breath. A full sigh of relief. A drink of water when you are so very thirsty. No matter what. I was safe in his universe. I was loved. I am loved.

Seriously. I could go off the deep end, make fun of Fox News, get a huge tattoo, leave my dog at his house for house sitting*, and even (gasp) put a Democrat’s bumper sticker on my car.

I could even relapse. And he would love me.

(And no, don’t worry dad. This post is not some sort of roundabout way of telling you I have done so. The only relapse I have had lately is with my hardcore addiction to Candycorn pumpkins. Halloween crack, I tell you. I can’t quit them.)

My dad probably had NO idea how he was teaching me the most important lesson I am still learning about Christ. It’s been some forty years, and I still hear him say,

“No matter what.”

Thanks, dad.

Thank you for helping me see my Lord as a Father who loves, no matter what.

Thank you, Jesus, for giving me the father I needed. Just the right one for me. And for helping me to see, through him, how you love completely, recklessly, wisely, and all OVER us.



Isn’t that sweet?

And true.

*Ok, I gotta tell the dog story… I left my beloved, neurotic, rather nutball dog, Norman, at mom and dad’s while I went off to a baby shower. I was gone for two hours. TWO. Norman, evidently, didn’t like that (mom and dad were gone too.)

Norman ate their door.

Like, the whole door.

He ate it.

Why? Who the heck knows. He’s a dog. And he never even showed any tummy distress. Lived to see another six years. With a door INSIDE him. And my dad also LET him live. Amazing. Cuz I really figured dad would have to go all Old Yeller on Norman for this little escapade.

Never really gonna live that one down.


This is the post in which I sing at you.

Lots of deep thoughts here… mainly about my ego and my crushing inability to sing.

Bottled is ready for order! Click here to take a look.

Blessings, my peoples!

A Favorite Hero.

Guys guys guys!

I just found a total gem on The Great and Mighty Netflix that I wanted to share with you.

Screenshot 2015-09-29 11.16.31

Ohhhhh my. How I loved this. It’s my FAVORITE. Here’s why:

  1. I grew up on Siskel and Ebert. I LOVE movies. But, as a kid who didn’t get out much – I LOVED watching Siskel and Ebert’s show ABOUT movies even more. I absolutely loved it when they got grumpy with each other. It was affectionate and intense and reminded me of home. :)
  2. Ebert wrote a book called Your Movie Sucks. He really really REALLY hated a lot of movies, and his scathing, hilarious reviews of them ended up as a best seller.


I mean. Look at that FACE.

Here is an example of such prose, when reviewing Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen:

“[The movie] is a horrible experience of unbearable length, briefly punctuated by three or four amusing moments. One of these involves a dog-like robot humping the leg of the heroine. Such are the meager joys.”


3. The director of this documentary, Steve James, also directed one of my all time best, most favorite, winner of all things films: Hoop Dreams.

4. It’s a documentary. Documentaries are my favorite films because they are real. They capture things that are real. I kinda like real. But only when it leaves me with hope and maybe after crying. This did both. I had hope, and I cried. Documentaries can do that, and this one does it well.

5. He fought cancer with dignity and bravery and humor. He is my courageous favorite.

6. And, finally, Ebert is in my special group. He’s one of us. He was in recovery, for over thirty years. This makes him simply more awesome, in every way.

Here is an article that he wrote about his sobriety. It’s also my favorite. It’s awesome and honest and heartfelt and accomplished and has that painfully clear edge to it that so many writers have… It’s my favorite favorite.

My Name is Roger Ebert, and I’m an Alcoholic

So. Did you get the feeling that he might have been one of my favorites?

He was.

Watch Life Itself. If you do, you’re my favorite.

Mr. Ebert, you are my favorite. I give you two thumbs up.

As a Netflix Streamteam blogger, Netflix asks me to watch their fabulousness and them chatter about it. It's a great gig.

As a Netflix Streamteam blogger, Netflix asks me to watch their fabulousness and them chatter about it. It’s a great gig.

State of the Fur Ball Union


I INVENTED the #RBF… (Look it up…)



You will never see my face.

Momsie: Ok, I have gathered you three here today –

Steve: Bob’s not here. She’s still in the closet.

Me: I know, but I figured she might join us later once I bring out the treats.


Steve: Really. Really? You brought this… into our house? So annoying. His only job is following and looking at humans endearingly. Oh, and look, he’s cocking his head and putting one ear up.  This is clearly a sign of psychosis.

Hosmer: I am affable! and nice! That’s the ear! The EAR!

Steve: I will eat your soul.

Hosmer: I can play fetch! Fetch! Watch!!

Steve: Fetch is how they enslave you. Stupid dog.

Hosmer: We don’t use that word! Say sorry! Or not! It’s ok! I love you!

Steve: Ok, now I gotta pull out the big guns and just hiss at you. Make my tail about three times its size. Hold on, this is kinda hard (grunts)

Hosmer! Wow! that is impressive! That thing is like, like! HUGE! I can only wag mine! I love it! I love you!


Me: Ok. I can see we are still not really all that, um, comfortable with each other, but –

Hosmer! I am! I am all comfort all the time! Let me sit on you!

Me: Focus. Anyhow, I just wanted to say that we are a family, all of us.

From the closet: I’m not. I’m not a family. I am too tense to be family.

Me: FOCUS, pets.  The point here is that we need to all try and get along. Steve, stop putting your butt in my face.

Steve: What? It’s effective communication.

Me: It’s passive aggressive, fur ball.

Hosmer: I have no idea what that means! But whatever it is I will never do it! But I will lick my privates while I try to cuddle with you! All night! It’s my love language!

Steve: My love language is sneer.

Closet: Love language is for pansies. I eat love language for breakfast.

Hosmer: Hey! I know! Let’s all get up and move around a bit! My tail is gonna take me into flight anyway… Moving is the best!

Momsie: Ok. I can see this isn’t really getting anywhere…


Steve: *eyeroll* How can we work with this?

Momsie: Well. The clicking toenails thing did take a bit of time to get used to.. but you know? He’s cute.

Steve: I’M cute.

Closet: Not me.  You pick me up and I go all stiff, like one of those taxidermy foxes.


Steve and Closet: For the love.


Steve: Shaddup. Go fetch something. Like my soul.


So far, the state of the union in this house is tense and furry, at least from the feline perspective. The canine side of the house is oblivious and slobbery. And life goes on.

*Obscure movie reference to Monty Python, because the cats are Python fans. Of course.

The dog isn’t. You either “get” Python, or you don’t. He is of the “I don’t get it” tribe. But, you know, he also sniffs your crotch to say hello, so his level of humor is a bit less sophisticated.


I love you! Please walk somewhere so I can follow you!



For those of you in the “I get it” tribe:

“Take out the silly things!!”


Celebrate with Me. Despite Me.

Posting over with Five Minute Friday today, and boy… is today’s theme a good one.

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You know what? God’s funny. He likes to teach me stuff, every once in a while, and generally… well I’m kinda slow… So, usually His method of instruction?


The “whack you upside the head” kind of instruction.

Recently… some of you might have heard… I published a book.

Yep. It’s right here:

Screenshot 2015-08-10 18.08.44

Interested in taking a look at the book? Click here.

I KNOW. It’s very exciting. And now… I am in full throttle marketing… which means I need to do a lot of things: get my blog all up to date with the book (haven’t done), get some more interviews set up (not yet), and write about it (the book) a LOT on the blog so much that I probably annoy all my readers (on the way to that)…

And really? I just wanna take a long nap.

And really also? Sometimes?? When my dear friends tell me, “Hey! I ordered your book! I can’t WAIT TO READ IT!” my very first reaction is that my brain gets a bit wonky and I cringe.

This is what I’m working through: I wrote a book about my recovery, and now it’s OUT THERE and sometimes my friends? I still feel a little bit shy about the whole thing. In fact… I think?? I feel a little bit of shame. Still. After all this.


Shame is NOT a God thing. Shame is straight up Satan’s department.

And you know what? Shame is NOT what this book is about and it is NOT what I am about ANY MORE.

Take THAT, wonky brain!

So, I am writing this post, as quickly as my little stubby fingers will type, to get it out there:


I am an alcoholic in recovery. And for a while there my life was all kinds of crazy. Like batshit crazy (that’s for my Southern friends.) and I then took a big huge breath and wrote this book and am like, unfurling that past crazy on all of y’all that are gonna take the time to read the thing.

And I am CELEBRATING that today! Because… well… It’s a big deal! And I am not drinking today! and the book might help someone else! AND THAT IS THE POINT!

Phew. Just had to get it out there. Thank you for supporting my crazy. It’s a lotta work, I know. Cuz it’s a lotta crazy. BUT IT’S SOBER CRAZY.

YEA! *Happy, celebratory dance*


Thank you, God for the smack upside the head. And thank you, Kate Motaung, for the topic choice. Thank you for reminding me that shame can be turned around. Let it be a calling card to get closer to God, and then let it go. Take shame and turn it inside out, and let it teach you something about claiming God’s love. This makes the great deceiver really, really mad, because he would like you to fixate on the shame and just hunker down in it for a while…

I am taking shame and turning it into Celebration of Him and His promises instead.



Galatians 5:1. Forever.

Beware! Bad Language Ahead!

This post is brought to you today because of Mamalode, one of my favorite mom mags!!

But, really? Mamalode has a… *furtive whisper* a potty mouth.


Now, right from the start, I always feel like I gotta apologize for the saucy language, y’all. It’s my mom’s fault.

When I was a kid, my sweet, totally angelic* mother would occasionally TRY, to the best of her abilities, to utter a bad word, and it would go like this:

Mom, frustrated about something:

“Well. This fiddlesticks. This was just working yesterday. I know because I used it.” Deep sigh. Looks around. “Well. This is just unacceptable. I mean… (jiggles handle on whatever it is) this is just really… I just have to say…” Big long silence followed by more sighs.

“Ok, I know it’s NOT ok, to talk like this, and I just am really, really sorry, but I just have to say…”

My sister and I are so poised and anxious for her to blurt it out that the stress is making us swear a lot.  But inwardly, of course.

“I am sorry. I really am. But this just is, well, you know…”


Sniff. “It’s just a *teensy tiny whisper voice” damn nuisance.”

And we can breathe again.

“I am so sorry! I know! Bad language and all! What is the world coming to!” and she grabs a hand towel and starts cleaning something.


I won this award (See below) because I am! I AM! I am a Badass Mom!!

I am just gonna OWN IT! That’s right, Mother Forker!!!

Oh, I am so sorry, I got out of control there. I suddenly have a weird desire to go grab a hand towel and clean something…



Want to know more? Click here.

Thank you, Mamalode! You are the fracking cherry on the flipping cake of my fudgetastic day!

I am curious, what are your favorite non swearing words? Just to add to my repertoire? I need some new ones, badly.

*When my mom reads this? She’s gonna snort and say, “Angelic, my a$$.” I know her.

This is Marriage.

Long while back I had a friend who told me to read the book Tuesdays with Morrie. It’s a really sweet, sentimental book.

I know. I have really no idea why she suggested it for me.

Anyhow, the premise is this: If you spend time with someone, on a daily basis, you should really, you know, get to know them. Because people are generally awesome. They have stories to tell and lives that are lived, and we should realize how precious time is with them.

I know. It’s really sweet. And very true. And so, I was thinking just this morning how I have this other person who is like HERE like, A LOT and when, really, was the last time I sat down with him and just dug deep into his soul and got to “know” him?

It’s the husband. I’m talking about the husband. FYI. In case you were wondering if I had lost my mind and was talking about Steve the Cat. Or my sons. I do know my sons, but honestly? Deep conversation with my sons doesn’t happen too often because children.

So today! I am posting another installment in my series called:


So, here’s how we talk:

Exhibit One: We are persistent about calcium.


Screenshot 2015-09-08 09.29.43


Exhibit two: We do not freak out about scary stuff. In fact, we don’t freak out at all, we just blithely respond like it’s no big deal, leaving SOME OF US TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH KILLER EVIL STINGER THINGS.

There’s no resentment here. None at all.


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Exhibit Three: We go the extra mile.


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Exhibit Four: We get real. We even use saucy language.

Screenshot 2015-09-08 09.31.06

Exhibit Five: We quote scripture at each other. And by that I mean, HE sends me all these really uplifting, wonderful, LONGGGGGGG texts the bible all OVER the place. And I respond with my favorite verse. Because it’s short.

Screenshot 2015-09-08 09.31.54

Note how he completely ignores my snark and just keeps right on being SO HELPFUL AND SPIRITUAL. AWESOME.


Exhibit Six: We are very very honest. And we understand each other’s needs. Mine are usually about food.



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Exhibit seven: We are always willing to help out. Like when the husband needs to get a refill on a prescription we are more than happy to send pix.  And we are patient.

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And more pix…



Exhibit Eight: We like to enjoy the little things. Like our kid. Dressed like a bat.

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Exhibit Eight:  We are straight up, no snark, here for each other. Even when autocorrect fails. We pray. Especially when we are far away, at Whole Women’s Weekend, dealing with a lot of stuff, and really really just needing an “I love you.”
I always get the “I love you.”

Screenshot 2015-09-10 11.49.36


This is marriage.

BOOM. :)