Losing to Find Freedom


A lot’s been going on since Bro’Ham took over my computer a month ago.

Maybe I should qualify what ‘a lot’ actually means. I’ve been losing. In just about every area of my life, something is being purged to make way for something more expansive.

I lost my desire to palpitate every time The Kid makes a decision. It’s not my life, it’s his life. It’s also not my right or responsibility to judge his choices. At his age, I’d had him and was living at home with my parents, unemployed. His dad and I weren’t on good terms and life sucked. I survived. So will he. And the upside is he didn’t have a kid, so I don’t have to have an awkward conversation with my grandchild when I’m 50 saying s/he can now call me Gram D.

I let go of the notion that The Girl is someone she’s not. I realized that a 16-year-old teenager is not going to always think past her choices. I also realized that if I really want her to understand what owning her choices means, then I have to let her own them. We had that conversation earlier this month. I can only hope that conversation will make her at least think one choice past her immediate impulses. But if not, hey, it’s still her life to live. I can be supportive as she navigates a new set of choices presented to her.

I released the extreme emotional attachment to my mother. That’s a major statement that needs explanation. It happened in two phases. I first realized that I didn’t need to call on her to help me as much as I once did. I’d come into knowing what I know and realized that I already knew the answer and sought her spirit as validation. She stopped showing up for me. At first I was deep in my feelings about that, but I had a moment of clarity: everything I need is inside of me. She knew that and she needed me to know it too. The best lessons are the ones I figure out on my own. It was the first step in the process.

The second phase was releasing the emotional charges of her things that I still possessed. I don’t have a lot. Her wedding rings, a scarf, photo album, cake pans and accessories and some jewelry. Slowly those things weren’t symbols of who she was or remembered, they were just… things. Her spirit was no longer in them. What I came to realize is when she stopped showing up, she also took her energy from those objects. When I saw them with new eyes, I realized a few of them don’t fit who am. I stopped wearing the ring. I packed up the pans with the intention to take them home to my dad along with the photo album. I went through the jewelry and kept what I liked and tossed the rest. The scarf is no longer a staple of my winter gear. It’s actually been demoted to my scarf drawer instead of in its holy place in the front closet. Letting go of the emotional made room to free up my physical space. I will always love and respect my mother for giving me life and the lessons she taught me, but I was finally able to release her and let her go help others.

I purged stuff that didn’t belong in my life anymore. When I say I went through everything, I inspected every sock, earring, lipstick, nail polish, box, colored pencil, book, pair of panties, bras, shirt, skirts, shoes… I think you get it. The upside is it’s going to make packing next week realllll easy. The downside is, um, well, I need to go shopping. All that purging made my closet look like I’ve been struggling for a decade. That’s probably how long it’s been since I did a real clean out though. It’s amazing to see things I once loved now kinda repulsive to me.

I deleted old files in Google Drive and Evernote. Now that was an undertaking. Man…. Not only was I trash at giving documents good names and organizing them in the beginning, I couldn’t even remember why I’d downloaded and saved about 71% of the stuff I deleted. Random pictures of The Hero sleeping. Recipes I’m sure I expected to cook, but now just made me weary reading. DIY sewing projects when all I’ve mastered (and care to master) is making a banging set of curtains and a maxi skirt. Everything else? Gone. Except Triple Chocolate Devil’s Food Cupcakes and Hash Brown and Egg Casserole. They give life.

I stopped participating in friend groups that I didn’t develop. I sat and realized that I’ve been part of other people’s groups of friends, but have never cultivated my own. My Circle of Six was a figment of my imagination. I don’t even have a circle of six. I have a Triangle of Truth. But those three women? I love them and want them to remain my friends for the rest of my days. The frequency with which I talk to all of them is different, but the feeling when I do is the same: they are the sisters I chose. It was a long time coming, but I’m glad it did.

I released this notion that I didn’t deserve to spend on myself. Of all the things in this post, this one may have had the most significant impact on me because it made me look at how I value myself. I go to the spa every other week now to get something done. Last time, I went to get a color consultation on lipstick because I am sick and tired of trial and error and picking some color that, once on me, doesn’t make me feel electric. I allow someone else to cater to me and not feel guilty spending the money to do so.

Along those lines, I let go of this notion to blow all of my disposable income on eating and drinking. As a matter of fact, I try to limit myself to lunch and dinner on Fridays and no more than two hard ciders per day. I’ll be honest though: this really came about as a kind of trial and error. Wine started giving me ridiculous hangovers. Bourbon gave me the mad heart burn. I don’t like beer. So now me and a variety of hard ciders have a nice old time enjoying ourselves. And it frees up money for pampering at my new favorite day spa.

I let go of this idea that there isn’t enough and started making space for truth. Truth is, there are things I just didn’t want to do. I had money. I had time. I didn’t want to do them. Now the reasons I didn’t want to do them were all different, but when I owned that truth, everything else became easy. And I started to see that there was enough money, time, energy to do everything I wanted to do. I had to declare it and work the plan to make it come into fruition.

I let go of my tiny fear box. It started with work. I asked to take on some duties and when I realized that I wouldn’t be able to excel at them with my current knowledge, I freaked out. I got scared. I realized though that every unknown is scary and I can either let the fear cripple me and suck or I can acknowledge it and work on learning. It showed me how to slow down and move one step at a time instead of thinking 274 steps in the future in my head only to find that step 3 changes the whole plan.

I let go of later and focused on what’s happening right now. Because if you’re like me, right now is usually just fine. You’re still breathing and life is still rolling along. When things come up, it’s almost second nature to stop and ask myself ‘Is this affecting me right now though?’ I’m not saying I avoid dealing with things, but like the fear factor above, skipping past right now was causing me a lot of anxiety. The gray was getting real and I was exacerbating small issues into dramatic sagas. Nah.

I gave up my cape. I struggled with this because it’s how I show love. I do things for people. And the one person who gets the lion’s share of my love is The Hero. After 10 years of showing up at platinum level with gold energy though, I burned out. And I started being resentful. It wasn’t his fault. I didn’t ask for help. The thought occurred to me one day that I am not his caretaker, I’m his partner. And partners complement. He can cook and clean better than me (there was some stankness about admitting that to myself). I’m better at organizing our lives though and making sure everything rolls smoothly. I asked for help. He said yes. We’re living life again like it’s golden.

And there’s Honesty’s Protégée. This blog has been everything from mind dump to recipe/DIY repository. I’m not going to make any more statements about what it will be or what I will do. I know that I’ll come here when it feels right. That may be to cook. May be to dump 2,000 words and update you on my life. I don’t know. I hope you stay, but I understand if you don’t.

Until next time.

i am broham


people! ohmygodohmygodohmygod. hi! i took a selfie and even smiled.

my mommy is really busy thinking about a lot of stuff. i don’t know what that stuff is. she still has time to rub on me a whole lot. and she feeds me every day. it’s something white and tiny, something that smells like burnt cows and crunchy stuff. she pours something on it that smells like the stuff she makes in the morning. i think i heard her tell my daddy bacon grease is life. i eat bacon grease is life on my food. it’s delicious.

my dad gives me something salty and crunch from a red bag. it’s crunchy and makes me drink a lot of water, but i like it. he dropped something that looked like leaves on the ground. i ate it. i don’t think i liked it, but it was his food so i figured it was a good idea to eat it because he ate it.

i don’t really know what a week is. i think it’s a bunch of times i go to sleep and wake up. i woke up this morning and went outside. my daddy tried to secure the patio, but i’m smart. i pushed the rocks. i smelled something and i gotta find out what it is. i think it’s another dog. there are two guys down the way that bark every now and then. i left a message for them outside their fence. i want to see who they are. the one sounds big, but he can’t be bigger than my daddy so i’m not scared.

my mommy took me to the park before i went to sleep and woke up the last time. it was fun. some little dog barked at me. little dogs are cute. they bark and bark like they’re big, but they’re not. my mommy made me stay close so that i didn’t run up on him and scare him. he had a brother though who looked bigger. he didn’t bark. he looked annoyed. yapping little brother always has something to say.

my daddy took me to the park too. i don’t know how many sleeps and wake ups ago that was. we had fun too. he let me off the leash. i don’t get off my leash a lot. why? maybe i’m a little curious. sometimes i just like to find what i smell when i’m out walking. soo… it’s possible that i may be a little bit of a runner. i’m getting it together because i want to get off the leash with my mommy. she gets all nervous i’m going to hurt myself. i don’t know where she gets that idea from.

(Editor’s note: Bro’Ham forgot he jumped out the car window while the car was moving. He also dashed out the door and scared the neighborhood kids so much they jumped on cars.)

i got a toy this week. it makes noise and it’s squishy. my mommy kept being a jerk and moving it. she didn’t understand that i put it where i wanted it. she really needs to chill out with the picking up my stuff and moving it. i can’t find it! but then i remember bacon grease is life on my food. it’s been my favorite toy this week. that really hard thing that smells like bison is a real close second. i can chew that and not get in trouble. i guess eating daddy’s shoe strings and trying to find the food in mommy’s bag wasn’t a good idea.

my mommy put me out her room this morning and i heard some sounds and stuff behind the door. when she came out she smelled different. then she went in room where she made me all wet and came out smelling different. i think we’re going somewhere. i gotta go before she asks me why i’ve been barking so much and put me in jail for using her white box.

Righting Wronged Ships


The mantra above is one that I created working with Akua when she was just starting Let’s Pursue You roughly three years ago. It helped me work through a lot of issues around valuing who I am, what I stand for and releasing old stories I believed to be true about myself.

It comes in handy once again. For the last two weeks, I’ve allowed myself to succumb to the whims of life’s tides. There’s a part of me that wants to blame something (Bro’Ham) or someone (The Hero is my favorite scapegoat), but at the end of the day, I believe in ownership.

I sabotaged myself. I spoke being tired, achy, afraid, not good enough into existence and when it showed up and called me Mommy, I was confused and clutching my pearls. For real though?

Yes, for real. See, I have a pretty good mind. When I focus and use it, fantastic things happen. I create. I expand. I feel. I am at peace. When I forget these things and focus on all the small things happening around me, I lose sight of game-changing me. The clouds of smallness roll in and shade my shine.

It manifested here on the blog. I apologize to you for some not-so-stellar posts as of late. I’m going to do better. That may mean that you don’t get to come along for food adventure rides because I’m not cooking anything spectacular this week. As a matter of fact, we’re having plain old spaghetti for about three days, which probably means no food post this week. A funny story may come from me convincing The Hero that he can still eat spaghetti cooked today on Saturday, but sharing a spaghetti sauce recipe that changes with whatever we have on hand seems kinda like cheating. I’m not going to do that.

So I’m righting the ship over here. The Hero mentioned that it’s never that I can’t do something, it’s that I haven’t decided I can and will. So, once again, I’m deciding I can do better starting today. That includes on the blog, in my creative life, self-care and work. In the meantime, I’m going to Google supporting information on leftover shelf life so I don’t have to cook again until Saturday.


Week in Review: February 5, 2017


My weekend ended spending time with The Girl. She was upset that Bro’Ham wasn’t with me this weekend. So she was stank. Which means I had to annoy her alllll weekend.

Wait… it’s the week in review. Let me rewind.

Early this week was tough to put it mildly. I am officially transitioning to a different position and to be honest, it’s scary and exciting. I realize it’s a lot different than what I expected, but different is good. It’s forcing me to break into new ways of thinking and new frontiers. I have to lead an all-day meeting Friday. I am not ready. Not that I haven’t prepared, it’s the scope of the project that I underestimated. It’s huge. The part I thought  I managed is about 15% of the total process. Eye-opening the last 10 days. I know I’ll get it, I just have to be patient getting there. So that’s work.

I thought once my kids were grown, parenting would taper off. Nah. Tuesday through Thursday was hard to get through. Tuesday was the worst. Looking back, I’m proud of myself for moving through it and regaining my calm much faster than I normally do. I dreaded what visiting the kids would entail this weekend, but it turned out fine.

Through that experience, I realized that I had to mourn a phase with The Kid. He’s not The Kid anymore. Well… he’s my kid, but it means something else. This week showed me that parenting never stops, but I can choose how I respond to it. At some point, as parents, we have to let go and see if what we think we put in there worked. What I know is that every one of us figured it out and I really have to give my kid and myself space to allow that to happen.

So that brings us back to the weekend. The Kid had to work so The Girl and I got to spend some time together. We went to lunch (that girl can eat!) and then to the Natural History Museum. I took more pictures, but they all look something like this:


I bet you can guess I got nothing done for the blog this weekend. Instead we started celebrating The Hero’s birthday early on Sunday. Let’s just say that wasn’t my smartest idea having to wake up at 5:30 a.m. Monday. So on that note, I’m off to take a shower and go to bed. Let’s all meet up again Wednesday when I promise I’ll have a recipe. For humans.

Dog Treats and Different Beats


Adopting Bro’Ham and the new administration are running simultaneously with my need to clear space mentally, physically and emotionally. I’ve been in a constant state of flux for almost two weeks. It’s draining and energizing at the same time. My life is taking a new path.

I used to want to be the person that was a catalyst for big change, but I’ve moved away from that. Big is a subjective word. Right now, a big change is making sure that The Kid is sane and safe and that The Girl understands her role as a citizen in one of the most opportunistic countries on the planet before she’s eligible to vote. Big is knowing what’s happening at city council meetings, what bills are moving through the state legislature and how they will affect our civil rights and economic viability. Big is realizing that what’s happening is shrouded in race and there is a lot of work to be done there, but economics plays a major role in creating unity. Big is encouraging people to realize new opportunities instead of expecting ones from the past to return. Big is starting local and fighting for the rights of all people to be financially independent. At the end of the day, it boils down to scarcity: not enough jobs, not enough money, not enough room. Not enough. And not enough is a lie.

These thoughts are sometimes overwhelming, but you know what? Bro’Ham has been very soothing. He doesn’t care about any of this. He cares about us. He’s happy to have a family. His in-the-momentness is relaxing and therapeutic. I can see how pet parents live longer.

So to salute Bro’Ham, I motivated and made the dog treats. I found a simple recipe because I don’t want to introduce too many things to him in case he has allergies. We already had two incidents, so I’m leery. Anyway, the recipe is simple: oats, egg, salt and beef broth. I can live with that, but no snack is complete without bacon in some form. I mean… why even eat it? Bacon grease for the win.

Now I’m sure you know that I had to try the dog treat. Um… it was like eating that Matrix protein. Next time I’ll eat one: the apocalypse. But apparently Bro’Ham was all in. I had to make him go lay down so he’d stop sniffing my hands for treats.

Dog Treats


  • 2½ cups ground oats, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup beef or chicken broth
  • Bacon grease, melted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cookie sheet with foil and generously grease with bacon grease. Set aside.

Add 2 cups oats, salt, broth, and egg to a large mixing bowl. Combine well. Add remaining ½ cup oats and combine.

Knead dough for about 3 minutes. Press to ½” thickness. Cut with cookie cutter or knife and place onto a prepared pan. Drizzle bacon grease over treats.

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container or in the freezer. Thaw to use.

recipe from Add A Pinch


Bro’Ham likes them. At least that’s what I tell myself. I had to feed him three just to get this collage. I think he did it on purpose.


Food Inspiration: Dog Treats Made with Love


Um… so yeah… there’s no recipe. I promise this isn’t click bait. I was really going to make some treats for Bro’Ham until The Hero said that he would hate me for all eternity if I made him any treats with peanut butter. I couldn’t tell if The Hero was disgusted, horrified or downright surprised that I had even considered this. But I didn’t want to leave you hanging, so the photos above are for inspiration.

Now being a Google pro, I did find some dog treats that didn’t have the dreaded peanut butter in them. They did however have some other ingredient I don’t ever want to put in my oven for any living creature: liver. Good gawd! Nixed.

Seeing that I’m somewhere between the Comic Sans bloggers and the uber perfect bloggers with bone cookie cutters, I couldn’t do a half-assed job on my first doggie treats. And sadly enough, it’s The Hero’s and my house so I didn’t have the appropriate meat on hand anyway. After another battle with the dog hair (I WILL win this war!) and a slew of other crap-hitting-the-fan events, I’m too tired to go back to the store to buy it.

I am still not going to buy the bone cookie cutters because I don’t think Bro’Ham really cares about the shape  as long as he can eat it. Plus, he chewed the buttons of our sofa cushions so I may be a little in my feelings right now. As a matter of fact, I’m so in my feelings, that’s why there’s no recipe. Let’s just go with that until Friday.

Week in Review: January 29, 2017

Spoiler alert: this post is about my adventures with Bro’Ham 


I survived a week as a new pet parent! I was so happy that I treated myself to donuts Saturday morning. Man… pets are work. People said it was like having a kid, but It’s more than that. The kid can’t talk back to you. And most don’t get in the way when you’re working on projects trying to get caught up on your blog.

Anyway, Bro’Ham is doing pretty good with ‘sit’ and ‘stay’. I realized some of it was my own fault that he wasn’t listening to me. Last night, The Hero showed me how to walk him so that he isn’t pulling. Changed the whole game. For the first time I didn’t regret having to take him out.

We went to PetsMart this week too. Yeah… so… I didn’t realize:

PetsMart:dogs | Chuck E Cheese:kids

I’m in PetsMart, frazzled that I am the only one with the crazy dog who is spazzing out because he hasn’t seen any other dogs (and all the smells!) since the previous week. My dog turned up and he lightweight turned up the other dogs (as much as their obedience training would allow). Dog party. Unfortunately, those pet parents were not happy about it. Neither was the cashier. And can you believe the only person who helped me was an almost-drunk customer? Needless to say we won’t be going back to that particular PetsMart. I’ll go to Wal-Mart first.

I went to war with the pet hair. To avoid you feeling sorry for me, I’ll spare you the details and tell you that the hair won. And Bro’Ham still has not had a bath. That’s my workout Monday night. I’m going to stay positive and believe that he’ll like not smelling like last week’s funk.

Had our first ‘oh yeah?’ incident. Went out to a birthday celebration and came home to a nice pile of crap. Talk about annoyed. Who wants to clean up dog crap at 1 a.m. after having some drinks? Not. Me. Or The Hero. And then… as I’m discovering the funky gift, The Hero lets Bro’Ham out without a leash. Guess who wants to run off? Saturday night was not cool. Not cool at all.

So I’m hoping that this week feels more normal and I can figure out a schedule that doesn’t leave me sleepy, missing workouts and finishing my posts on time.