Today would have been my mother’s 93rd birthday

My mother was born March 10, 1929. How weird to be able to be back in the 20’s! In that momentous year, the stock market also crashed, starting The Depression which lasted years. My mother grew up during that time. I think her stories of that time and her thriftiness affected me more than I knew.

When I wrote my book: The Journey Home, I felt I had been there, during The Depression. Some of the things happening in Hawaii I based on the stories of my aunt who had been stationed there as a nurse. The main characters though were no one that I knew and completely a fabrication of my mind. Something about that era though speaks to me and I have many books I’d like to write about that time period.

Mom used to talk about growing up in those years. She was a baby born well after her parents had thought they would have any more children. Grandma claimed she wasn’t an oops-baby, but I have my doubts. Her sister was eleven years older and told her later in life that she had never liked her (nice eh?), in fact, she had resented having to take care of her as the big sister, even hated her at times. Her brothers were nine and seven years older. So, by the time my mother got to high school, they went off to World War II. By the time they came home, expecting to see their little sister, she had all grown up. They didn’t like it in the least.

My grandmother was a farm girl, now living in the big city. The Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa. Now, when I saw the areas where my mother hung out it was much better than the stories she told. The old houses quite fashionable, upscale, and the wealth of the area obvious. My mother was friends with the mayor’s daughter and my grandmother made all her clothes. She was quite the fashionable young woman, despite the fact that they had no money. Grandpa was a professional painter and supported the family that way.

My mother though, she was something special. I always thought of her as a debutante without the coming out ball. She had taste, sophistication, and class. How she ended up with my naturalist father no one could fathom. She said she found him fascinating. He was very intelligent but no common sense. My mother had common sense in spades and I think she passed that on to me (at least I hope). There really is nothing common about common sense. Her intelligence though was something I always took for granted until I got older.

When I was eighteen and halfway through my private college, Mom decided to move to California after her divorce from my father. She asked if I wanted to go with her and as the last few years had been rocky between us, I felt I didn’t really know her (teen years and family drama), I said yeah, quit college, and packed up. Over the next few years, I really got not only to know her, but she became my best friend. Later, as I started up the first of several businesses, she helped me, she also became my co-parent when my own marriage failed.

I remember being at a trade show with her and she was taking an order. The guy insisted on speaking to the owner and she directed him to me. He looked from her fifty-something-year-old self to my twenty-something-year-old self and thought she was pulling something over on him. At twenty-seven I looked about seventeen. I smiled brightly though and my knowledge of my product and what he needed couldn’t be discounted. He became a customer. I loved that moment, she was so proud of me. She was my best friend and my greatest champion.

During the seventeen years we lived together (we had bought a house together when I was nineteen, she had the down-payment and we both made the payments until later I paid the whole thing) and those later years when I got another house and we lived together part-time, Mom got cancer three times.

The first time was with her thyroid and she ended up on Synthroid. Ironically, my first bout with cancer cost me my thyroid because of the radiation therapy and I am now on Synthroid for the rest of my life.

Her second bout with cancer was colon cancer, the kind that is usually fatal. Fortunately, they found it early and did radical surgery (which I don’t think was as necessary to be that invasive) and she hated the results for the rest of her life. Still, she was still here to tell the tale (something I frequently say).

Unfortunately, Mom’s third bout with cancer was brain cancer. This was why when I flirted with that idea with my own tumor these past months, I was panicking. I even asked the doctor, is it possible that something like that is inherited? It isn’t. Mom decided not to tell anyone that she had cancer and by the time I realized something was wrong, it was far too late.

Fortunately, I had a good relationship with her, she spent plenty of time with my sons, and they have fond memories of her as do I.

About a year or two before she died in 2001 we went to Glamour Shots. Originally it was just going to be me and the boys but at the last minute she impulsively came along and I’m so glad she did. We got these gorgeous pictures together and apart and the only formal ones I have of her later in life. For Xmas that year I sent copies to all my siblings and her brothers. Her sister had died many years before from cancer.

Cancer is a terrible thing, especially when it runs in families. I’m lucky, I’ve survived having it and almost having it again (we’ll be watching that). To this day I miss my mom and here on what would have been her ninety-third birthday wish for her sage advice and gentle humor.

I still feel her now and again and have smelt her perfume when there was no reason to be smelling it in my home. She was never physically here and it’s comforting to ‘feel’ her from time to time, knowing she is checking in on me.

Happy Birthday Mom ~ wherever you may be.

My birthday giveaway

On my birthday this year I am planning on giving away 10 books a day for 10 days (my birthday is November 10th).  On my birthday my 100th published work: Vetted Again will be released.  I’m giving this gift to you, my followers, fans, and friends.  You enter here and you can enter EVERY, SINGLE, DAY!  You earn points by sharing it, signing up for my blog, commenting on my blog, as well as my fan page on Facebook!  Share on Twitter, Facebook, with your friends to earn points.  Those with the most points WIN the story of their choice from the following published works.  There is romance, drama, mystery, and intrigue!  From Shorts, to Novellas, to Novels, surely there is SOMETHING for EVERYONE!  You can see them at


27 Years ago TODAY!

How many of you can say you remember what you were doing that many years ago?  I do.  That was a rather rough week.  I was suffering from the flu, in and out of the hospital all week only to go back for more hydration in the form of an I.V. drip.  My doctor was sick of seeing me.

27 years ago today was a Thursday, and I remember it so vividly because of what happened that evening.  Since I’d been so ill, I had to be ‘careful’ about what I ate.  I felt so good that day that I craved lasagna.  A favorite still.  So, we got Stouffers and I got my lasagna.  Well, a few hours later I began to have stomach pains.  Chock it up to too much too soon?  Or should I mention I also happened to be very, very pregnant at the time?  When my husband at the time (Hey, yes I AM a lesbian NOW, but I was young and stupid and trying heterosexuality)….said, how do you tell the difference between flu cramps and being in labor?   Well, I was 23 at the time and I’d already had a baby so of course I knew it all!  That’s what I told him, I would KNOW!  Well, when those flu cramps got five minutes apart, he called the doctor.  I told them, I didn’t mind going into the hospital just as long as I didn’t miss my favorite show which was due on that night.  Those were the days when you had to wait the entire season to see what you missed in one night for a rerun…if you got that!  At the time my favorite show was L.A. Law…hello Susan Dey anyone?2120587  Well, I got my wish.  They got me into a room and I refused to contribute ANYTHING to the delivery of my son until I could watch the entire episode.  How’s that for a devoted fan?

A few hours later I was willing to get that baby out of me and I cooperated.  Not bad!  I think I’ll keep him.  Happy Birthday Andrew!  (He’s given the name I would have been given had I been a boy).  Btw, I’m STILL trying to lose that baby fat!



Forty-Nine FEELS like Fraud!

1Today on what is my forty ninth birthday I’m reflecting (what author doesn’t do a LOT of THAT?)

I mean, it REALLY feels surreal to realize that I’m this age!  Where does that time go?  Forty Nine though SOUNDS like you are faking that you aren’t really in your FIFTIETH birth year (btw, someone wished me a happy fiftieth and I corrected her VERY frostily).

I mean, I could say, I’m 29 and holding…but then I want to know what am I holding?

I could say I’m 29 with 20 years experience, now THAT sounds plausible.

But 49?  When the hell did I get this age?  I don’t consider 49 to be old!  I know I don’t LOOK it! SexyKAnne

I KNOW I’ve been genetically blessed and on a REALLY good day, can pass for my 30’s.  But 49???  How the hell did I grow up?

Well, since I wasn’t supposed to live to see my 35th birthday, I’ll take it! (Do you believe in Miracles).   Each and EVERY year is a blessing.

Yes, I’m older, the body is falling apart, but I am HERE.  I’m writing fabulous stories, none of which would have been published it I hadn’t taken a chance in 2001 on an experiment!  I’m here, I’m queer, and look out at what I plan to STILL accomplish!  Yeah, the body is not in the best shape, but cancer, broken and sprained bones, and illness will plague it!  I’ll be that little ole lady that bitches and moans about the aches and pains, but I’ll do it with a sense of humor and a sparkle in my eye…I’ve earned each and every worn out joint, each and every break, and each and everything that I’ve overcome!  I’m a fighter, I’m here to tell you!

Meanwhile, as I contemplate my FIFTIETH birth year….I’m gonna relish EACH and EVERY day!

And, if you WANT to get me a present?  Please go to my website and buy me a book (for you of course)…and yes, that’s a shameless plug!  Lol!  And, while you are at it? Review