The Only Things I’m Certain About

I’m certain about death and taxes, love and life, rainbow sprinkles and mashed potatoes.

I’m certain about death and taxes, love and life, rainbow sprinkles and mashed potatoes, and that I was handmade and homemade and home-grown to be a mama, writer, photographer. And I’m certain I’m even-tempered, but only as even-tempered as someone who is HIGHLY sensitive to the changes and the shifts, the tastes and the smells, the FEELS… oh, the FEELS – like fingernails lightly down your back, or staring into space for five minutes after an evocative episode of This is Us.

Ok, they’re ALL evocative. For me, it’s the doctor character. And William. Sweet, sweet William.

I’m certain about legacies.

Sometimes I feel it coming – these changing tides – even while they’re still being born and unfolding, and I have to type fast before they implode. Or I have to race to a computer or phone before I explode. Today is a mix, like sun and clouds.

I’m certain about loss and grief, but not about the paths they take. I’m certain we have to rise up to move through paths and waves, and probably not as seamlessly as we’d like. Life’s greatest challenge. I once wrote a piece about grief that has since disappeared, but I think of it every now and then. Since I can’t get it back, I can rewrite it and give it to you right here and now. So let’s ride the waves together. FTSF Topic: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes ..”


I once wrote that grief is like “the princess is in another castle” theme from Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. games.


Just when you have confronted demons, fought valiantly, been sucked through warp zones, and fought on in endless pursuit of fireballs, feathers, mushrooms, and frog suits, you arrive at the castle level to fight the next big bad buy. And you do it, and you do it in style. You fight so hard and so well, only to be rewarded with a simple message printed across the screen.

Super Mario Brothers

So then you leave to enter a brand new world – full of brand new demons, and one brand new big bad guy at the end of the castle at the end of this world. You defeat the brand new bad guy, only to be greeted with the same disappointing message.

When does it end? Where is your reward? Where is your princess?

personal blogging

Eventually in the game, you get to the real end, you defeat the final bad guy, and you get your princess. For keeps, this time. It doesn’t work that way in real life, although we certainly do have our rewards – like learning to unlock new layers and worlds within your own heart and mind. And finding yourself to be stronger and smarter than you ever thought possible.

The problem is that grief doesn’t have a set endpoint – there is no final big bad guy you can defeat, and then expect to never be challenged again. You will most likely continue to unlock new levels and worlds – through warp zones and not – collecting gold coins and stars, new weapons and new rewards, only to find yourself once again at the doors of a gated fortress.

It’s disorienting, isn’t it?


My life has been full of such fortresses. After my father passed away suddenly from a heart attack when I was just about four-years-old, there was that first night without him. And then there were subsequent nights of resisting but having to let my sister and my mom out of my sight during day to day life. There were the weekdays that I waited for him to come home from work. There was the year following his death which I have mostly blacked out from memory. Therapy. A fear of loud noises.

A new home, a new dad and new siblings. A new school – the start of kindergarten.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

When I thought I was past a lot of my anxiety and grief, there were new challenges in young adulthood – going to college and falling in love. Moving several times. Becoming a mom to a girl who looked like me. And to a boy who reminded me of me.

A challenging time for me was being pregnant with Des – a baby due right around my father’s birthday. It wasn’t until Scarlet approached her fourth birthday that I began a new grieving process. My father had passed away three weeks before my fourth birthday, so I breathed a huge sigh of relief when that day passed, and we sailed through her fourth birthday party happily and whole. I then had a calmness I hadn’t thought possible, until a new trigger revealed itself – signing her up for kindergarten. I showed up on the first day of registration, as the first parent there, and my heart was pounding in my throat and my chest was constricting. How could I be back here – so far and so grown, but still shaking at the thoughts of change?

We defeated that bad guy, and now it’s Des’ turn for kindergarten.

Where is my next castle/challenge/bad guy? I don’t know what it will be and how it will hit me. I know I will probably live my life with challenges, but hopefully with gaining new skills, weapons and tools too. Moving through, as I also move on.

I’ll live my life fully and effectively, until I get the next message – “Great job, but your princess is still in another castle, and probably always will be.” And then I’ll stop, reassess my tool belt, add new weapons, and learn to move through.

This brand new world, until the next one comes along.

This week’s Finish the Sentence Friday topic is “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

Come link up with your spin on the matter: HERE.

What are you certain about?

Edible, Incredible Easter Tic Tac Toe

Looking for an incredible and edible activity, #recipe, and #craft for #Easter? This Tic Tac Toe game will delight all ages, and it's delicious to eat too!

It was another weekend for the record books, I say!

It’s funny to me that in New England we lament the late start of spring, even though as far as I know, it’s never been consistently warm in March and April! Never! Granted, I’ve only been here eight years so feel free to argue with me and I’ll probably like it, but March has never come in like a lion and out like a lamb. Maybe April does? I remember 70 and 80 degree days in March and April, but they were never here to stay. That said, I need to stop complaining and go sit under a Seasonal Affective Disorder lamp or something. We have one for the chickens. Did you know we’re getting baby chicks this week?

Juniper will be thrilled.

tic tac toe

And did you know that this upcoming week is the “best week of our lives”? We made a list:

1 – Monday marks my TEN YEAR anniversary of leaving my home state of New Jersey.
2 – Tuesday is our annual Passover Seder at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.
3 – Thursday is Cassidy’s birthday, and Scarlet’s teacher’s birthday!
4 – Our baby chickens are being born on Monday and will arrive to us by Wednesday or Thursday.
5 – This is the first week of our favorite Village Green Ice Cream being open! (we went on Saturday!)

ice cream

Village Green Ice Cream

6 – Des has Good Friday off of school and Scarlet has a half day.
7 – She made baby chick crafts to pass out to her classmates!
8 – Scarlet is getting an amazing TeePee Tent this week. I’ll write about it in-depth!
9 – New Doctor Who on Saturday night!
10 – EASTER!!

Easter Tic Tac Toe

As a special note, I don’t make light of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I think many of us struggle with it to some degree, and I’m someone who would be happiest if it was sunny 365 days a year, and we got our rain during romantic overnight hours.

I get what I call “Cloud Rage”. Where we live, we can have a lot of gloomy, cloudy, cold, rainy days in a row. That was last week. We all jump upon the first day in the weather forecast that predicts any sun at all. Often, the weather forecast will change during that day and keep pushing back the predicted sunshine. Even though today (Sunday) dawned bright and sunny, Saturday was one of those days that was supposed to be sunny and was rather overcast, windy, and cold. We still had fun:

The baby chickens in Des’ classroom went to a permanent owner (who happens to sell LulaRoe and I went to her house yesterday), but we completed the unit on hatching chickens with a “field trip” visit to a farm Saturday morning.

It was fun, but cold and windy. The sun came out a bit later, and then ALL DAY today! I took a solo morning road trip to South Deerfield to get the kids’ Easter baskets done, because I remember hitting Target on Easter Eve the last two years and finding the shelves completely picked through. That will not be happening this year! They are not getting anything from any big stores, in fact. This afternoon we raked the yard until I got a blister, and then it was a mix of relaxation and work.

Let Spring come, I say. And may you all have a beautiful start to the week.


Easter Tic Tac Toe


Graham Crackers, 6 squares
Wilton Candy Melts Pouch, green and pink
M &M’s Candy


  1. Heat the candy melt pouches according to package directions.
  2. Using your candy pouches, pipe a tic tac toe grid on each graham cracker square.
  3. Let set for about 10 minutes or until the chocolate hardens.
  4. These little game boards are ready to use. Grab a friend, take some candy pieces and start a game. You win if you get three in a row!!
  5. Have Fun!

Looking for an incredible and edible activity, #recipe, and #craft for #Easter? This Tic Tac Toe game will delight all ages, and it's delicious to eat too!