Insert Motivational Quote Here:


*Taps mic*

Hello? Hi. Hi there. I’m Dana. Your motivational speaker. So….  How’s everybody doing today?

I’m here today to tell you more about The FABULOUSNESS THAT IS NOVEMBER and light a fire under that tired-out soul of yours.

If, that is, your soul is actually tired. Perhaps it’s all shiny and ok. Mine was not, so here I am.

This morning I walked the dog and and did some sort of nonsense called Fitness Blender, where sweet and annoyingly chipper Kelli tells me to squat, and I squat. Sometimes she adds kicks to the squats and this makes me feel all flair-ish, so there’s that.

The weather was cool and foggy and I BLASTED this song while I walked sweet Hosmer. All rather simple things.

But I have to tell you, Hosmer was so GRATEFUL for a walk. (He’s grateful for anything, really. My days with him are a regular immersion in furry gratitude. Case in point: He is currently sitting on my feet looking at me with such adoration he basically has become his own emoji.)


Picture is blurry because dog moving. He keeps trying to come in to lick me.

Also, I have worked on THIS:


This is not life shattering, I know. Every month, I get out my felt tip pens (all the pretty colors!) and I plan my month. I used to color code it for children and adults and all… but then I realized pretty much all of it sorta morphed into all children all the time, because they consume my life, so I just use colors that make me happy.

Also, I draw turkeys really badly.

But, I guess what I’m trying to say is… (*clears throat, attempts highly motivational voice*)


Oh wait. No, other way around. (*clears voice again, all the while realizing that motivational speaking might not be my jam*)

If you fail to plan… you can plan.. to fail? Right? That’s it, right?


We’re only on day 2, people. Progress, not perfection.funny-pictures-cat-does-not-think-plan-will-fail.jpg


It’s the Dog’s Fault.


Linking up with Five Minute Friday today.

The theme?

Screenshot 2016-02-19 13.36.24

I blame it all on the dog.

We were walking along, all flippy tailed and in step with Mercy Me’s “Shake.” I’m whistling. It’s a sunny, bright afternoon. And then, the dog really messed it all up.

Pun. Intended.

He went for the double poop.

Have you ever tried to talk a dog out of pooping? It doesn’t work. And also, this makes my dog, I guess, feel all nervous which seems to have a really gut wrenching (did it again) effect on his lower intestine.

“ONE bag, dog. I brought ONE bag. This is a double poop. This is just unacceptable.”

We were late to pickup my boys from school because my dog is a pooping machine.

I ran (with very penitent dog) to the school and I spotted him, Red. Standing by his teacher. I knew the look. He had worry, buried behind his eyes, and was trying to look brave, but the look was solidly there.

This all happened over seven months ago, and I just can’t forget that face. He spotted me, scooting in with Mr. Dumpsalot, and his eyes widened into a smile. And he ran to me.

“MOM MOM Mom motherrr mom MOMMMM.” He runs into my stomach. Dog promptly wraps entire length of leash around both our legs. I hug him tight.

Blonde catches up with us, and since he is in the first grade now, he never worried. He is a pro. He is old school, school. He doesn’t worry if mom is late because he knows she will always be there.

Red was new at this, and I could tell it was bugging him. And then, he fit his hand into mine and we started home.

“I am so sorry I was late, honey. Hosmer had some … issues.”


“We had to basically fence off and clean up a two block radius. The dog can GO, I tell you.”

“Yep. I know that’s true.”

“I mean, it was epic. I needed a Hazmat suit. It was- Oh honey? You’re crying.”

His little mouth had slowly turned down, as if both ends of his smile were pulled down with strings.  His eyes were on his shoes and large, warm tears splashed on my knees as I crouched down in front of him.

“I waited and waited! Everyone else left. They all left. And I thought,” big shuddering breath, “I thought you FORGOTTED ME!”

I hugged him tight. And then, I said,

“Honey. I can’t forget about you. That would be… that would be like… how could I forget you? It would be like if my heart was outside my body – I couldn’t forget about that…”

This is one of those times that going for a deep, and rather visually icky, metaphor here was a mistake. Big mistake. Huge.



Now, he was tired. It was the beginning of the year; he was all new to this, but my goodness, he was really sad and upset and I felt? Well,

I kinda felt like my heart was outside of my body.

Which it is. Metaphor aside. My sweet boys go into that school and I sometimes watch them walk into those doors and think, “You are my heart.”


For future reference:

  1. I always bring TWO bags. Sometimes THREE.
  2. Hugs and popsicles help for a snack after crying.

Out of small packages come… big things?



Words’ Worth




Well, you know how it begins.


Once upon a time, there was a girl.

She was pretty ordinary. Kind of nutty.  Had her moments of brilliance.  Had her moments of shame.  She was nothing too extraordinary, in any way.

Pretty much your run of the mill girl.  As far as girls go.

She was a teacher, a runner, a friend to a few very great people, and an owner of a truly remarkable dog named Norman.


It is good to interject here that she loves and adores this dog and she believes, firmly, that he will be at the gate of heaven when she kicks it. He’ll be waiting there for her, thwacking his tail back and forth, so that his whole hind quarters waggle, just so you know.


There were some days when her nights seemed extra long.  When all the feelings she had piled up on her insides and she had no idea in holy heck how to untangle any of them.  There was a skip in her brain that kept hiccuping over itself, like a bruised record needle.  And so, she drank a glass or two of wine, and that smoothed out almost all the issues.

Until, of course, it didn’t.  She kept up appearances, though, because run of the millers know how to do that.  She kept her hair smooth, job intact, all records were clean.  All doctor appointments were kept.  Church on Sunday.  Coffee with friends.  That sort of thing.  Despair, though, wrapped around her shoulders during all the in between times.  It clung on in the mornings, after lunch.  Sometimes before lunch.  It was all around.  The despair was still there even though these really big and wonderful things had happened to her.  Her sweet love had married her.  Her darling boys were born.  Her life was a portrait.  It made her more sad, even, to realize how tangled up she was, despite the beauty all around her.

The part that really befuddled her is that she thought she was so much smarter than all of this addiction stuff.   But yet, she had decided to step squarely on that land mine anyhow.  And then when she tried, again and again, to stop stepping on the landmine, she found that she couldn’t.  It was maddening.  She was a “just pull yourself up by your bootstraps!” kind of girl.  She should be able to do this.

This went on for a million years.

She felt foolish.  And sad.  She worried a lot (more than even her normal quotient, which was all the time) that her church, her friends, would see her treading water amidst the wreckage, paddle up in a life raft and shout out: “You there!  You! The drowning one!  We need to ask first:  Are you a fool? Because if you are, we can’t help you.”

Here’s what happened instead: Her husband, and her friends, and her church paddled up and said: “Are you a fool?  Well.  Aren’t we all.  Get in.”

So, she quit drinking.  Actually, she didn’t quit.  She gave up, and she allowed her sweet God who loved her very very much to take charge.

And she went to meetings.  And she prayed and prayed. And sometimes she sat in her laundry room, weeping, saying, “God grant me the serenity, please.  PLEASE, God.”

And she kept going, through big fat failures, and pain, and joyful days that gave her hope that maybe all this sobriety stuff was possible, really possible, and even maybe just worth it, after all.

During it all she wrote like crazy, because, she liked to do so.  She had to.  It unlocked her heart a bit, to write.  It unraveled things, smoothed them out, like linens in a drawer, all crisp and white, ready for use when the guests come.

And then, she decided to enter a contest with her words. And she got an award.  And then, an article was accepted.  And another one. Another award was given.   And there was something in all of this that straight up fed her soul.  The clicking of the keys in the late night hours, it was her best lullaby.  She would wake up, when it was still dark outside and the birds were just starting to sleepily chirp awake, and she would be casting out words and drawing them back again, working, working on her nets of sentences and ideas.

She still does this.  5:15 a.m, the words wake her up.

And I guess, she just wanted to say thank you.

I guess I just wanted to say, thank you.

Thank you for reading.

Words cannot express how grateful I am.

But I won’t ever stop trying to write them.

No one will ever replace Norman.  But this creature? He is a doggie (Norman variety) with cat fur on.  He gives me joy.

No one will ever replace Norman. But this creature? He is a doggie (Norman variety) with cat fur on. He gives me joy.