Category Archives: personal

In case y’all wondered what I look like…

It’s summer in DC. 


As horrible as 2015 was, this year is turning out pretty fantastic so far! The great news is that I’ve finally sold my house. It took more than a year and thousands of dollars worth of repairs to remedy the wreckage caused by the child molester Cooper and that shrew of a wife of his, but it’s over. Done. No more.

In November, the court decided that the Coopers owed me thousands of dollars in back rent and damages. They have ignored all attempts by my attorney to communicate with them and get them to pay the debt they owe, so now, it’s more court appearances to get them to pay. It’s a matter of justice now. They are lying, selfish, repugnant vermin, and even though they know they are responsible for the damages they caused, they refuse to be accountable and honorable. Nothing unexpected.

But that’s OK too. They will get theirs.

I’m finally free of this house. I’m no longer in the red every single month, and now it’s a matter of rebuilding.

With the money I got from the sale, I will at least be able to pay off some debts, and that’s already empowering! I will no longer be spending 80 percent of my income on housing, and we will even be able to put some money in savings each month!

No, I didn’t get rich off this sale. I made enough to pay off some debts and take a vacation, and you know what? I’m OK with this, because last year we couldn’t even afford that. So a vacation will be wonderful this year!

Rebuilding my savings will take a while, but that’s OK too, because I’ve got decades to do that!

l17a85b45-m0xd-w640_h480_q80So, goodbye house! You were a good one. As much as I hated you last year, it wasn’t your fault that you got destroyed by squatting, lying thieves. You were a good home to me and the kids and our dogs and cats. You kept us warm in the winter and cool in the summer. You saw the kids jump on the trampoline in the back yard, the Snowpocalypse of 2009-2010, a dogwood in the front yard, and colorful, quiet sunsets.

Thanks for the memories, house. Here’s hoping the new owners take care of you.

Here’s to a new chapter in all our lives!



We’ve come full circle

I’m sitting here with tears of pride and joy in my eyes.

sarah and meWhen Sarah enlisted in the Marine Corps after high school, I felt this incredible sense of delight and honor! This child, who grew into this proud, independent, strong, secure Marine from the tiny, scared, non-communicative little urchin we adopted when she was just five years old, followed in her parents’ footsteps and made the courageous decision to serve her adopted country – much like I did, and much like her father did.

She didn’t join for a lack of other options. She could have gone to college and partied on like many college students did. But she chose the hard route. She became a Marine, and the sense of absolute pride and exultation I felt was indescribable!

Fast forward a couple of years.

Daniel is now a college student in his second semester at UNC Charlotte. He has joined a fraternity. He’s quickly acclimated to college life, made friends, and learned how to study, write, and analyze and synthesize information. But he wanted more, and he wanted it now.

So today, my youngest child raised his hand and upheld the family tradition of military service. Daniel has enlisted in the Army. He’s the last one – the youngest one – the one who completes this circle his father and I created when we first started this family. He wanted to serve. His last Facebook post says it all.

I remember being a little boy and seeing my parents lace up their boots and walk out the door wearing the United States Army uniform, and thinking how badly I wanted to be just like them. Then I remember seeing my sister wearing the United States Marine Corps uniform for the first time and thinking how proud I am of her. Today, I leave to enlist in the Army and hopefully continue the family tradition of service. Never thought this day would come.

me and dannyDanny went to MEPS this morning and took the oath to serve his country. After taking the ASVAB and going through all the medical exams, he told me in a text message that the best part, other than swearing in, was when the doctor looked over his paperwork and said, “Congratulations, and thank you for serving this great nation!” He told me he almost cried, and that was the most beautiful thing he said today. It shows love, pride, character, and honor.

Yes, he will finish college. He will ship to basic training at Ft. Sill after he completes this semester. He will withdraw for one semester, and return next spring to continue his education, while serving in the Army Reserves.

My only regret is that I couldn’t be there, but there’s no end to my love. I’m beyond honored to be his mom. I’m beyond overjoyed. I’m beyond touched to have inspired this beautiful child and his sister to strive to be the best they can be.

I love you, Danny!

Blowing out 2015

I was looking through my Facebook timeline yesterday – something I rarely do, because mostly, I hang out in closed groups and share news articles – and I was absolutely shocked at how many of my friends have had a really lousy 2015! There have been deaths of loved ones, divorces, money issues, bankruptcies, illnesses… I was amazed to see how many of my friends and loved ones have gone through horrible hardships this year, and while misery sometimes loves company, I’m certainly not even remotely happy at the stresses and tragedies people I love have faced!

A friend of mine mentioned yesterday that he has been seeing fewer homes decorated for the holidays this year. I’m noticing a similar trend. It’s just not as festive as it usually is. Even the malls aren’t as crowded and festive this year. Has it been a bad 2015 for many? It certainly seems to be the case.

The year – by any standard – has been a nightmare. Between the thieving, lying child molester Cooper first stealing my house, and then causing thousands of dollars in damages, several court dates to evict the bastard, unsuccessful efforts to sell the house, the job trials and tribulations, the stress of moving into a smaller place (thanks, Cooper, you miserable, thieving fuck!), and some personal issues still being worked through, this year has been a bitch.

But through all the awful stuff that happened, a few bright points broke through the darkness that brought light and joy to my life. Danny heading off to college and having a wonderful freshman experience. Sarah graduating from the Defense Language Institute. My friends pulling together and helping me pay the legal costs of evicting Cooper and his housewrecking wench from my house. Two incredible friends, who wouldn’t take no for an answer after offering me a loan, and told me to pay it back when I could. A wonderful reader who handed me a new laptop when mine shit the bed earlier this year. My wonderful parents helping me make mortgage and rent payments, so my credit rating wouldn’t be impacted.

And loofisher houseking back at this year, I realized something: Giving makes it better. Kindness makes it better. Acts of kindness blow out the negative and spread light. I had some points on one of my credit cards – quite a few of them, actually given the number of times I had to use it this year to help pay bills – so the other day, I donated those points as cash to a veterans’ association. I also made the first donation I promised to make after leaving some money for legal and collection bills, since I doubt the Coopers are honorable enough to pay for the damages the court has judged them to be responsible for. The Fisher House Foundation has received a $1500 today to help them build a new Fisher House.

Another donation will go to a local homeless charity that also helps homeless veterans – A-SPAN. That will happen probably tomorrow. I’m actually considering splitting this remaining gift between A-SPAN and a charity that helps victims of sexual abuse. Given Cooper’s sex offender status, I thought that was appropriate. I just need to find the charity. When my buddy Amanda started this drive to help us with legal bills, I promised that not a penny of it would go to my mortgage, because the last thing I wanted to do was use money honorable friends gave me to keep the child molesting squatters in my house. I swore I’d rather let it go to foreclosure, and promised to donate anything not used for legal bills (and, of course, fees from GoFundMe and PayPal) to charity. This is the first payment of that promise.

Last night, we were hanging out with some friends at Hard Times Cafe. As we were walking out, a woman came up to us. It was quite obvious she was homeless and had everything she owned, including a whole bunch of plastic bags, in a shopping cart. She came up to us, looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Excuse me. Would any of you be able to buy me a sandwich?” Now, I’m not in the habit of throwing money at people who come up to me on the street, but food for someone who is hungry? That’s another story. Something in me pinged a little. I looked and her and said, “A sandwich? Come on.”

I took her inside, and she sat down at the table. We looked at a menu, and she asked for a barbecue chicken sandwich, some fries, and a root beer. She told me her name was Janice, and that she took a bus to Arlington from DC, because she was hungry and was hoping to find something to eat, as she’s diabetic, and not eating is a no-no. I introduced myself and shook her hand. She was wide-eyed and grateful. I don’t think she expected to get a full meal. Nor do I think she expected anyone to look her in the eyes and shake her hand like a human being. I paid the bill, gave the waitress some extra cash, and told her “Please take care of her. She’s homeless.” Then I walked out.

So why am I telling you this? Because given the number of my friends who have been dealing with an inordinate amount of crap this year, I think it’s time to blow out 2015. I realize we have a couple of weeks left in this horrid year, but you know what? I want to start stomping on it early. I want a head start of positives in 2016. I want to enter 2016 on a high note, not trying to scramble out of the darkness and misery that was this year.

So maybe we have experienced losses this year – both financial and personal – and maybe we aren’t exactly full of holiday cheer. Maybe all we want to do is hide in a corner and weep a bit. Do it. Get 2015 out of your systems, people! Blow it out early, and enter 2016 full of hope and joy! You don’t have to give money. Hell, most of us don’t have it to give. But you can help a clothing, food, or toy drive. You can spend some time to help grade-school kids read better. You can give some career counseling to a young person, help them with their resume, or help them network in their field.

Point is, don’t let 2015 defeat you. Get up and start kicking it in the ass early, and start 2016 stronger and more positive.

Back from Thanksgiving Hiatus

My son came home for Thanksgiving. I miss him daily while he’s in college, but I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to say “goodbye” when he drove off on that misty, chilly Sunday morning. I hadn’t seen him since I helped him move into his dorm in late August, and it seemed impossible that this kid grew another inch and matured another mile during this time!

I have a photo 2012-9-14-RedWineof his 11th birthday celebration framed on my desk. He had moppy ginger hair and a baby face. I can’t help but see that little boy in my clean-cut, somewhat clean-shaven… sort of… young man.

So, I decided to cut my blogging for the week and enjoy the time I had with the kid. We got last minute tickets to the Caps / Jets game, which the Caps won, and which we watched from very cool seats in a suite at Verizon Center. We went to get coffee at the Starbucks where he used to work. We celebrated Thanksgiving with my parents and ate too much food. I’m currently still getting over the food coma!

Now it’s back to work. Back to reality. Back to the problems I left behind for at least a while.

I told Danny this would be a lean holiday this year, and he was beyond understanding. I’m sure Sarah will be as well. I raised my kids to appreciate the love they get and even small gifts that are given with love will be treasured! grimes

Yes, I will have to take the house off the market and hand it over to the bank, because I can no longer afford to pay the mortgage and my rent. I’ve put thousands of dollars into that place, and thanks to that child-molesting scumbag Cooper and his shrew having first stolen, and then wrecked my house, the time to sell it has passed, and I will lose thousands of dollars both in equity and in repairs. But hey… at least I won’t be financially responsible for it any longer. And maybe we can stop living paycheck to paycheck when I won’t have to pay the mortgage in addition to my rent anymore.

Overall, I’ve got a lot to be grateful for. I didn’t do a blog post for Thanksgiving about it, because I didn’t want to think about all the crap that went wrong this year, and then sit around trying to look on the bright side of every single shitty event. Frankly, examining each sore is exhausting, and trying to come up with something positive like a bandage to cover it is even more so. In the end you kind of wind up looking like Rick Grimes after a fight with an abusive spouse.

I’m just grateful to be still alive, still healthy, have a great set of kids and animals, and a balcony where I can sit and sip a glass of wine after work. And oh, boy, I’ve gone through a lot of wine!



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