From giving thanks to giving the finger?

It’s snowing in my office.

Some people must have gotten the wrong end of the turkey over the holiday. By Monday, they were in full road-rage mode. First, I pulled across a lane I thought was one way. An older “gentleman” in a Camry was far enough away to not hit me. Yet, he reacted like I sunk his battleship. Then, he took both hands off the wheel and gave me two, one-finger salutes. Really? One’s good. When I went to meet my client, he came in flustered after calling 911 because some dude jumped out of his car and came after him, fists flying. Whaa? In my mind, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” plays through the drama. I’m staying in my office today. Forget that.



1- Yesterday morning, Liv sobbed in the car: “You’re different since cancer. I miss you.” Holy crap, what do I do with that? Yeah, I’m different. Maybe you didn’t get upset during cancer and you’re getting upset now, I said. “That’s because I didn’t want you to DIE!” she screamed. Maybe it’s safer for her to cry about it now that I’m okay? I quickly slipped into Man Mode. “Let’s fix this,” I said. “We’ll have one mommy-daughter date every week.” She lightened up. To show her I meant it, I bought movie tickets and left a handmade card in her room expressing that we are going to do that starting this week. How is this a positive? Look what she drew on the card.

2- My friend Nicole, who is part of the Abernethy Cancer Mom Dream Team, is going in for surgery this week. So she’s one surgery away from finished! Please send positive her way. She’s a total spitfire, but still! Every positive thought helps.

3- I am looking so hot right now. I’ve got pink eye and a sinus infection. Hot AND sexy. After hitting the disease lottery, this is such small change it almost feels like a relief. Hot damn, I’m getting normal stuff now.





It’s hot mess Wednesday

Was there a random weirdo moon out last night? We all woke up out of sorts. Brian and I jumped Steven’s case over his lackluster lunch-eating skills. Liv woke up whimpering and dissolved in a steady string of tears over the same subject. I started to get jumped up about the morning until I saw a bicyclist had been hit by a FedEx truck on Broadway. Suddenly, any problem I thought I had disappeared. All day, I’ve been hoping both people are okay. I would be devastated if I hurt someone in a car or any other way really. Deep breath. Keep moving.


1- Doctor #1: All clear. Everything looks good. Awesome.

2- Doctor #2: What do you mean you’re not taking that medication? I’m going to light up Doctor #3. But still, everything looks good.

3- While at Doctor #2, I ran into Doctor #1’s business partner/surgeon, who is apparently going through treatment. Cancer will pick anyone anytime, even a professional who helps people defeat cancer daily. She looked fab. Suck it, Weird Cancer Guy.

4- Bonus positive: This guy walks up to the table next to be at Starbucks. It’s empty except for some trash the lady before him left. He looks at me and says: “Is this table reserved, or did somebody just leave a mess?” That’s my new line to use at the kitchen table from now on. Feel free to baffle your children with restaurant words in a home environment.

It’s Tribute Thursday: Here’s to Xena the Warrior Princess


Something overcame me in the fall of last year. I couldn’t stop thinking about my dream dog. The thing is, I didn’t even want a dog. I wanted this dog. Ever since I met a bull terrier  named Plait in Copenhagen in the ‘80s, I had been obsessed with those pointy dogs. So I started looking online and couldn’t stop until I found Xena, the Warrior Princess. She had produced 20 puppies and needed to retire. I was ready to retire after one. Her first re-home didn’t work out since Warrior Princess eats chickens. When we went to meet her, Xena stuck her cone head in my purse, then sat on my lap. That was it. Soon after, cancer struck, and she knew it. That dog stayed by my side through every minute of treatment. Now that cancer’s over, she shacks up with everyone else! Seriously? I have to have a fatal disease to rank special attention around here? Thanks to Christine, Xena’s original mommy, for loving her so much and taking such good care of her. Thanks, Xena, for taking care of me.


1- Now that Livvie has officially gone to Disney, I can say my dad’s famous words: “Every day can’t be Disney World, you little creeps!” I’ll probably leave the creep part out. Livvie came home toting souvenirs for us all and stories. Thank you, C, L and E for taking Liv with you! Lucky girl.

Fresh from Disney with a lighted ice cube. Everyone needs glowing cubes.
Honey, I Shrunk Carol Burnett into the Little Mermaid!


2- My pal David had successful surgery on his back. Quick, send him positive Frisbees that he won’t need any more surgery and that his excruciating pain is over.


3- Stumbled across the best radio station ever – 107.1 It’s all local all the time. We’ve got some serious music talent in this town.

Live from Meltdown City

With all the grumpiness around here, you could say things are getting back to normal. The kids each blew their tops this weekend. Brian and I started a cleanse, which is making us crazy hungry like all the time. But, hey, I dropped four pounds since Monday. Does a pizza weigh four pounds? Imagine if I starved like this all the time. Actually, you’re supposed to ply tons of fruits and vegetables in your pie hole all day, but you only stay satiated for about five minutes. Meanwhile, with work, kids’ schedules, speaking, blah blah, my multi-tasking skills are suffering. Yesterday, I caught a quesadilla on fire. It looked like a little Kilauea coming out of the oven with tiny molten flames licking at the air. I would have let it burn, too, because it looked so cool. But then I heard, “Mom!” from a hungry Steven yelling at me about his afterschool snack inferno. He ate it anyway. Low standards pay off every time. The next morning, I made a new cuisine: Blackened Waffle. No recipe required, just set the toaster to ten. Or 11, if you’re into Spinal Tap.


1-  Watching a baker slap dough into French bread at Ste. Honorare is fascinating. Oh no! Now the baker is talking to a customer about how great the food is in Portland. As in, you should move to Portland just for the food. Just the place for me right now. The bread is in the oven getting all gooey hot in the middle, golden brown and crunchy on the outside. Help me.

2-  Brian and I went for tea yesterday. Not coffee. On a cleanse, you can’t have coffee yo. Weekly meetings are a practice we decided to keep doing. We compared perceptions about stuff we’re noticing – that the kids are at cruising speed into tween territory.

3-  Livvie and I went to City Target yesterday looking for Halloween costume ideas. She’s gone from wanting to be a panda to a rainbow. Steven and I went to see Gravity in 3D IMAX. None of the actors had to barf, which I was really happy seeing. I’m tired of seeing people hurl on TV and movies. I sure as hell don’t want to see barf in three dimensions.

4-  BONUS POSITIVE! Just discovered this blog that’s tearing up the internet. I LOVE how the “Ninja” mom handled the ultimate in-store meltdown situation:

All-new levels of wiped

Every time Brian goes out of town for a length of time, I bow down to single parents everywhere. How do you do everything, be everything, all the time? It’s been that kind of week. My car won’t get out of park. Unless you’re making out, it’s not a useful situation. Somehow, we’ve all gotten out of the house…daily. Even the dog’s out of sorts. Today I caught Lazy Dog standing on a side table like a show dog. Meanwhile, her skin allergies are raging. The house is a mess. Blah blah. But still, all of this has only produced a sore neck and stress headache. I heard myself telling my acupuncturist Tracie how happy I am to have normal pain.


1- Check up with radiology/oncologist today. So far, looking good. Really loved seeing everybody at Good Sam radiology. They took such great care of me.

2- Work is still coming in. In another post, I said I got new work. That doesn’t mean full-time employment, mind you. I’m still a freelance copywriter/brand strategist. So that means I am always looking for work from clients who don’t take the word “free” literally.

3- Brian’s coming home tomorrow, yes he is!

Sirens and surprises


The other day, we talked about disaster management. Where would we meet if we had a fire, earthquake or volcanic eruption (from an actual volcano up the street, yo. Not from me!) What to do if a fire broke out in our house? Livvie said: “Stop, drop and roll.” First, we pointed out that you actually have to be on fire to make stop, drop and roll work. Then, we advised that anyone who does that in our house will get impaled on Craftsman furniture. Next up, we sounded the carbon monoxide alarm and fire alarm so the kids would know what to sleep through. Apparently, kids sleep right through alarms. Not Steven. The poor guy was up all night because he kept hearing the alarms in his head. They make an alarm you can use to record your own voice on it. Wha? My kids don’t listen to my voice on a good day. My bud Trina had the best plan ever – record messages about cake and ice cream! Mine would sound like this: “Attention, Sturkie children! An ice cream truck has overturned on Harrison Street. All children must eat the ice cream before it melts…stat!” Just see how fast they fly out of the house then.

1- Brian took me out on a date…with all my friends. He totally surprised me. So nice to have a genuine grown-up night out. I SO would have dressed nicer if I had any clue.

2- Livvie decided to stop riding horses. I got so upset about that until the real reason hit me: Riding horses is our thing. She doesn’t want to do our thing anymore. It feels like a break up. She said: “But Mom, you have to try new things.” She’s right. So I’m going to take her spot and get back on a horse.

3- The kids will get to bed soon so I can get me Breaking Bad on!

The best birthday ever

Thanks to the medical staff, modern medicine and the swell of friends who lifted us up and over cancer that lurked under the water, I got to have another bday.


1- I am seriously happy to have another birthday. Not sure why bday cards are so whiny. No one gave me one of those.

2- I get to say: Clean your room! A lot.

3- I get to keep going.