You know what I hate about Halloween?  No, not the candy.  Really.  That doesn’t bug me that much.  It’s the small pieces of wrapper that drive me insane.  My kids will eat a Snickers one day and even though it comes in ONE wrapper, by the time they’ve devoured the candy, the wrapper is in 16 little pieces all over my house.  Even when they stand over the garbage can, tiny pieces of candy foil end up on the floor because they’ve fluttered right past the damn waste basket.  I don’t get it.  Kids and candy don’t mix in my house.  Not because of the candy but because of the wrappers.  So imagine my excitement when this came across my desk at work.

The Switch Bag is BRILLIANT!  And what’s even better?  Two Reno gals wrote and illustrated it.  These two geniuses are both architects.  When times were slow in their office, they got busy putting together a book to help save my sanity.  The gist is that kids get to keep a couple of pieces of candy but the rest goes out onto the front porch in The Switch Bag.  The next morning, presto, a little gift is in the place of all the candy wrapped in wrappers that would have otherwise ended up all over the floor of my house.  LOVE IT!  And what’s even better… it’s one day!  Unlike its cousin who comes in December and stays the whole damn month, this little super hero comes just once, not to return until the following October.  Did I mention these Reno gals are BRILLIANT!  So hurry, get your copy here:

So come post Halloween, you can actually vacuum your house without ruining our vacuum on those tiny pieces of wrapper.



I was “that mom” this past weekend.  “That mom” who walked sheepishly up to the local haunted house with her elementary school age children in tow. No, I probably shouldn’t be taking them to a haunted house called Frightmare for at least a couple more years. But truth be told, I’ve waited long enough! I love haunted houses. They scare the crap out of me and IT’S GREAT! I’ve been dying for the kids to be old enough to go with me.  Well, I might have jumped that gun just a tad this year. Eva is 10.  Come on! 10!! Domi is 8. Make that 8 and a half! 8 and a half!! My God, how old do they  have to be now-a-days to scare the crap out of your kids??  Back when I was a kid, my Mom took us to the Walnut Creek haunted house starting at 5 and 7. Of course she’s the same woman who took me to see Jaws IN THE MOVIE THEATRE at age 3. Now that’s crazy. My parents didn’t have a child rated filter… for anything. We went everywhere with them. “Hey Honey, I want to go see Jaws tonight.” “Great idea! Throw the kids in the back of the Pinto and let’s go!” So that’s why I had no problem bringing my kids to Frightmare. Yes, I did take note they were the youngest kids there. And yes, I should have heeded the warning when a teenage girl right in front of us got out of line and left. But I really wanted to go! There, I said it. I was the one who wanted to go. Not my kids. I was the driving force behind this Saturday night activity. And I couldn’t wait!! At Frightmare, there are 4 houses you go through. We went into the Black Hole first. It was a mind tripping experience. You walked a plank while the room spins around you. We all wanted to throw up afterward.  Next up… Zombie Farm. Now it gets real people. Real creepy! We entered a run down shanty and all hell broke loose. Zombies popped out from behind doors. A bloody girl zombie with extra long zombie arms played the piano… until she got up and chased after us. Something horrible and bloody happened in the bathroom and every zombie in there went after us. At one point, I lost Eva because she just flat-out started running.  I couldn’t run after her because Domi was now clinging to my leg. And honestly, I was scared to death! Frightmare is a total understatement. This is living hell on Elm Street on Friday the 13th with Jason and Jaws coming after you.  And what’s worse, this house was huge!  We kept turning corner after corner and entering worse and worse torture chambers.  It just wouldn’t end.  Finally, Eva darted left, hit a black curtain and Praise Jesus, we were back in the parking lot.  As we stumbled to safety, I murmured, “I nearly peed my pants.” Domi replied, “Nearly??? I did pee my pants.”  Needless to say, we skipped the last two houses. Frightmare, you killed it this Halloween season!  Nice job!



This past weekend, with the kids in tow, I drove down an unfamiliar ladder of switch-backs that ended in a shooting range in Carson City, Nevada. I was meeting a man I hadn’t seen in 30 years… and I was terrified of him.

The year was 1981. After church, my mom took Jer and me to sign up for the St. Mary’s CYO basketball teams. Jer signed up for the 5th grade team. I looked around for a 3rd grade team. There was only one. The all boys team. I looked up at my mom and shook my head. She looked down at me, shrugged her shoulders and said, “Give it a shot, Wendy.” So I did. I was 9 years old and to be honest, I looked like a boy. At Macy’s, whenever I asked a sales person where the bathroom was, I always got directed to the boys bathroom. So quite honestly, I figured maybe no one would notice I was a girl and I would fit right in. That was until day one of practice. The coach’s name was Bill Picton. He was an ex-marine and we were his new recruits. If you’ve ever seen the movie Great Santini, Coach Picton was our Great Santini. I was terrified of him from that first practice. He had these steel blue eyes that pierced through you with intensity. He yelled and slapped his hands until they were red when we didn’t set the right screen. He made us run endless lines as punishment for not making free throws. Once, when I didn’t block out boldly enough, he blocked me out so hard I flew off my feet. I was a girl playing in a way too tough boys world.  But my parents wouldn’t let me quit.  Bill Picton coached with the same passion he lived his life. With 100 percent of his being, he believed in integrity, hard work, dedication and fundamentals. And if you practiced the way you wanted to live, then you would be successful no matter what. And successful we were. I don’t remember exactly how many wins and losses we had, because those aren’t the things that stick with you later in life. It’s the moral lessons that do. And without warning, Coach Picton instilled in all of us 3rd graders life lessons we still carry with us today. One went on to be a NBA great. Another formed his own company to recruit the best corporate leaders in America. Another had the strength to survive the passing of his beloved dad at a young age and grew up to be an amazing father to 2 beautiful daughters. Sometimes your hardest experiences in life are the ones that teach you the most. Those were our days together on the basketball court.

And last weekend, I was just moments away from seeing Coach Picton.

I pulled up to the shooting range and, even though he was wearing dark glasses, I could tell it was his same steel blue eyes looking back at me. I got out of the car and was enveloped by a warm hug from a man I rarely touched in the three years I played basketball for him. Age had done amazing things for him. Although he still wore a Marines hat, his tone had softened. He was still a coach, helping my son and daughter shoot everything from a A-R 15 to a 40 caliber handgun. But he was a softer, more patient coach. And I got to sit and watch and observe a man who taught me so many lessons at age 10, teach my 9-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son new lessons. It was a beautiful circle completed.

Coach Picton told me one of our other teammates had found him online and sent him a message years ago. It said something like, “I’ve just watched a special on John Wooden’s teams and how special they were.  It reminded me of our team.  Thanks coach for making us the people we are today.” Coach Picton told me this story as he quietly held back tears. They were tears of pride someone can only feel from knowing they truly helped others in this world. Bill Picton’s “others” was a group of 10 year old boys and one girl who had no idea of the treasure who was coaching them. In the words of John Wooden, “Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” Thanks in part to Coach Bill Picton, we all became that… the best we were capable of becoming.  And that’s what defines the world’s best coaches.   














I wear glasses. I didn’t used to. But a year ago something happened that pretty much sealed my fate. I turned 40. Apparently we were created to die at 40 because that’s the age when our wheels start to come off. First the soreness getting out of bed. Next the constant desire to nap between 10am and 3pm. And now this. Glasses. It’s like our bodies are screaming at us, “Hey YOU! Ya, you in the glasses. You should have kicked the bucket by now! Why do you insist upon waking up each morning??” Well, we do. And honestly, when was the last time you listened to your body anyway? But back to the glasses. I have a plan. I’m now working out my eye muscles so in one year from right now, I will be glasses free. Honestly, I think it’s possible. An optometrist once told me to hold up my finger in front of my face, focus on the tip of my finger, then focus on something about 30 feet away, and back to the tip of my finger. Repeat 30 times. So last Monday, I started doing that in my car while sitting at red lights. Up goes my finger, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth go my eyes until the light turns green. I get to rest until the next red light. By Tuesday, I remembered my gynecologist suggesting I start doing kegel exercises. This is to prevent incontinence which is rampant in women IN THEIR 40′S! In fact, I’m one of the few people I know who can still do jumping jacks squirt free. OK, trampolines are out of the question. But jumping jacks are still good. But really, what’s next to go? A good hearty laugh? I’m not willing to lose that ability to LOL and remain dry. So I decided to add kegels to my red light workout routine. I now pull up to a red light, and the workout begins. My finger goes up, my eyes start doing 30 yard sprints and now I squeeze my kegels and hold until the light turns green. I once read in a book you know when you’ve engaged your kegels when you just feel weird. The book is totally spot on! You start to clench those muscles down there and then you feel… well… weird. I can’t put it any better. So there I am, at the 6 red lights between my house and work, working out my eyes and my VaVa. By the time I get to work I’m exhausted!  It truly feels like a full body workout.  My next great idea is to quit my gym.  Seriously, who needs a gym when you have your car.


20130925-213326.jpgDid you hear the AMAZING NEWS????????? Team Oracle USA won the American’s Cup!!!!!!!!!!!! Had you told me that during the last time they raced, I would have said, “Oh neat. What sport are we talking about again?” But this year is different. Because we went to the America’s Cup. We saw it with our own eyes. We cheered for America.  And let me tell you what…nothing’s better than cheering for America! It was a fluke that I took the kids down to San Francisco. Darrin was out of town and we didn’t have any plans so I put everyone in the car and just drove. And the weekend was so great, so easy and so totally doable, I wanted to share it with you all so you can do it too. Ok, here’s what you do.

Get out of bed early Saturday morning. Throw everyone in the car and drive to Truckee. Grab a coffee and pastry at The Coffee Bar at 10120 Jibboom Street. It’s fabulous and a perfect potty stop to make sure you make it the rest of the way. You then drive to Walnut Creek (2 1/2 more hours) where you are staying at the Embassy Suites. It’s important you stay there… I’ll explain why in a moment. Now, you go to downtown WC and shop till you drop.  As you can see, my kids went to town!


Seriously! Walnut Creek is now known as the Rodeo Drive of the north. It has everything. And it’s beautiful. When I grew up in Walnut Creek, we had a Bullocks. Then came Nordstrom… and Neiman Marcus and Tiffany… truly, the list goes on (except for Justice which I think is totally weird and my 9-year-old daughter thinks is totally ridiculous!) And then, you eat. Just take your pick, people. There are more restaurants in Walnut Creek than there are bars in San Sebastián, Spain. Just drive down Main Street and pick the one that looks good to you. There are literally dozens to choose from. If you want old school Walnut Creek, eat at Sunrise Bistro for breakfast ( Enjoy Lark Creek for dinner ( And if you want to check out one of my favorite hangouts for cocktailing stop by Crogan’s ( After a fun night on the town in WC, you’ll head back to Embassy Suites (about 2 miles outside of downtown WC) where you are perfectly situated to catch BART in the morning.  Literally the hotel is in the BART parking lot.  The train schedule is online at  You are actually at the Pleasant Hill Station.  20130925-213314.jpg It looks like this:









 You can also figure out how much your BART fare will be here  For most places in SF from Pleasant Hill it’s $10 round trip per person.  Once on the train, you will go through a long tunnel (which is actually the train going under the water of the bay… that freaked my kids out!) and you will pop out in San Francisco.  We got off at the first stop which is Embarcadero.  This took us to the piers where the America’s Cup was happening.  It also is your stop for Pier 39 if that’s your style.  Get off at Powell if you want Union Square and SF shopping.  We stayed at the races…


meeting the teammates for both New Zealand and Team USA….


and of course chanting USA-USA-USA…


until 3 in the afternoon.  After that, we caught BART, now heading toward Pittsburg/Bay Point, got off at Pleasant Hill and picked up our car and headed east to Reno.  After a stop at Ikeda’s in Auburn, we got home at 8:30.  Really, a perfect get away for a family or just you and your honey.  Even without the American’s Cup, San Francisco is fun to hang out in for a few hours and now that I’ve given you a glimpse of the town I grew up in, I hope you go check out Walnut Creek too.  And hopefully, just hopefully, Oracle Team USA will decide to host the American’s Cup in San Francisco the next go around!  If so, I’ll see you down there!


When Darrin and I married 13 years ago…


we promised to grow old together.


Since when did “growing old” start at age 41??? Don’t people know 40 is the new 20?  Allow me to explain. We recently went to the optometrist for our annual eye exam. That’s your first clue we are becoming geezer.  We went to the doctor together! My grandparents didn’t start doing that until they were 80. And only then because one of them could no longer drive.  But there we were, Pearl and Earl, driving to the eye doctor.

My eye exam went fine. I rested my chin on that thin little bar and said “first, second, horizontal, horizontal, diagonal, yes the red dot is on the house, the last line says k-b-z-o-n-w” … you know the drill. The doctor then typed away at her computer and just like at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, the printer produced a golden ticket that read, “Congratulations! You need reading glasses!!” I was less than thrilled. So the kind doctor walked me out to the room with glasses lining every inch of all four walls and who should be sitting there trying on spectacles? Darrin!!!!!!!! “What are you doing in here?” “I need glasses for when I drive at night. What are YOU doing here?” he smirked. “According to my golden ticket I need reading glasses.” I was so convinced I didn’t really need them, I grabbed the first pair off the wall and bought them.


Well, here we are.


I tried reading my book and dammit! The glasses helped! I should have taken more time picking out my new specs!


Darrin is pretty happy with his new set of eyes as well. So, hate to tell all of my 40-year-old friends, but…


The shit hits the fan in this decade apparently. What happens at 50? Walkers with tennis balls??









I’ve had some interesting grocery shopping in the past week. Sounds pretty boring… but I swear only I could make going to the store a story.


We begin at Petco. I needed to get Donner some better food. A few days ago, Darrin took his quad out to the desert to check his cows and he took Donner with him. She had a great run and was actually exhausted when she got home. Seriously, that means something. My dog is NEVER exhausted. Well, the next day, she couldn’t even get out of bed. She just laid there and looked at my like, “Ah, just take the kids to school.  I’ll just hang back here and lick myself.” So I went to Petco and asked the dog food gal what she recommended for an athletic dog that tends to get sore. She said Blue Wilderness for sure. Perfect. I threw a 24 pound bag in my cart. I also grabbed a $30 scratching post for my cats. As I was checking out, I realized I didn’t ask how much the dog food was but I figured my total bill would be around 50 bucks. So the clerk said, “That will be $93.” “93 DOLLARS???????? I screeched back? How much was that dog food?” “56 dollars, ma’am.” Now, in my head, the conversation continued this way. “What in the hell is in that stuff? Kobe beef? Hand picked organic carrots? Shark fin?????” Instead, out of my mouth came, “OK great, thank you!”

On to the next store. Smith’s grocery store. Now, for those of you who don’t live in Reno and watch me on the nightly news, I will tell you I’m the health reporter for my station. I take it seriously and live a healthy lifestyle to try to set an example. I honestly wear sunglasses and a hat, fake mustache if I could find one, whenever the kids talk me into going to McDonald’s. So imagine my horror when the kids and I were walking around Smiths and Eva eyed Twinkies a few isles down. She literally started running, as if racing in a 40 yard dash, screaming, “Mom…Mooooooom, they have Twiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinkies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” OK, let me explain. When Hostess went belly up, I asked the kids if they’d ever had a 20130916-211126.jpgTwinkie. They said no and I lamented that fact they were probably the only America children who would never eat a Twinkie. Well, my kids are NOT ones to be left behind… for anything… even mashing their face with trans fat. So they begged me to buy a box before they vanished forever. However, all the way cooler moms gobbled them up and Ebay was my last resort. Hell no was I buying a Twinkie on Ebay for $32.50! Sorry kids. The Twinkie Fairy died with the rest of the 2009 economy.  Fast forward to this week and the old saying that Twinkies could outlive cockroaches in a nuclear attack proved true! From the ashes of the still recovering economy rose the Twinkie in all of its golden glory. So I bought a damn box. Eva ate two bites and said, “They’re just OK.  Like I really don’t get what all the fuss is about.” And after taking one bite, Domi started wiping his tongue with a paper towel muttering, “Why is my tongue coated with wax?????” After all that, the Twinkies ended up at my work where they were devoured in 3.4 seconds.


Finally, my last shopping snafu was actually online. I was flipping through Facebook and stopped at Julian Bakery. Paleo Bread it boasted! Sign me up! I cook soooo much living this Paleo lifestyle.  And if someone is going to bake me bread, I’m all for it. So I purchased a coconut and almond loaf. I entered my info, clicked make purchase and then the screening lit up saying “Thank you for your $30 purchase!” WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT??????????? 30 DOLLARS FOR 2 LOAVES OF BREAD? HAVE I LOST MY FRIGGIN’ MIND? Apparently I have.


So let’s recap. In one week, I spent $90 and brough home some dog food, a box of Twinkies and two loaves of bread. Lets just keep that between us.





20130904-220953.jpgYesterday, I told you how I made Sally a cake for her 15th wedding anniversary party. Today, I’m going to tell you how I got said cake TO the party. That’s the story behind the story. The story where I cuss… a lot!

So I made this beautiful cake on a day that was 104 degrees outside. But I knew this! And I had a plan. The night before I was going to bake, I turned the swamp coolers in my house on high. I was going to make my house a gigantic refrigerator. Ok, are you laughing yet? Those of you who know how swamp coolers work are laughing your asses off aren’t you?? Come to find out, swamp coolers work really well, except when the temperatures get into the upper 90′s. I was dealing with 104!!!!!!!! They simply can’t keep up with the heat and so your house remains a steady 80-85 degrees. Not the 65 I was looking for. So as I was frosting the cake, I kept returning it to the freezer for a time SO IT WOULDN’T MELT!

My next challenge became how to get the three tiered cake to the party which was about a 15 minute drive up the Mt. Rose Highway. Not to worry! Again, I had a plan!! About 2 hours before we were to leave, I pulled my car out of the garage, rolled up all the windows and put the air conditioning on high. Now THIS was going to be an icebox. At this point, however, I should let you in on a little secret. My car is 13 years old. And apparently 13 year old cars don’t do too well sitting in 104 degree heat in the sun with the AC on full blast. I know this because moments after the entire family piled into the car to go to the party, Darrin says, “WOAH!!!!!!!! your car is overheating… I have to turn the heater on to try and bring down the temperature.” Now let me set the scene for you. I’m in the front seat holding the bottom cake. Eva is in the back middle holding the middle layer. Domi is sitting next to the window holding the top tier with the sun shining down on him through the car window.   The car wasn’t that cold to begin with and now the heater is going full blast. I’m screaming at Darrin to just drive and chance it, Eva is crying because her cake is starting to melt all over her polka dot dress and Domi is whining he’s now sweating sitting in the sun holding “this dumb cake that’s dripping all over my fingers!!!”

“Listen to me PEOPLE!!!!!! This is Sally’s cake and you aren’t going to move until the damn car cools down just enough to get us up that damn hill!!” And then we sat. And sat. And waited some more. Finally, the temperature gauge dropped enough Darrin thought we could chance it. We pulled out of the driveway, made it to the Mt. Rose Highway and about half way up, Darrin said, “Well, it’s overheating again.”  I screamed, “I don’t give a shit what the car is doing, my cake is melting all over the three of us.  If you don’t get us to that party, this is all our fault!!!!”    With that, he just clenched his teeth, like a good husband should, and barely got the car up the mountain and into the parking lot of the party.  I got out.  Put the cake on the table.  Made sure Sally saw it and the photographer got a picture of it… and I headed sraight to the champagne bar!



Sally and I have been friends since college. So when she called to ask me to make her an anniversary cake I gladly agreed. I was her maid of honor when she and Jason got married 15 years ago. This year, they were going to renew their vows. I thought a nice sheet cake, or maybe I’d get fancy and go for two round cakes stacked on top of each other. Easy! And then came the invitation. Invitation?? Why would she be sending out invitations to our group of friends. Wouldn’t a few phone calls get it done? A mass email maybe? Ok, go big… send an evite. But a paper invitation mailed by the U.S. postal service?  What kind of shin dig is this?? So I called.

“Hey Sal, got your invitation. It’s beautiful. We will of course be there. And by the way, how many people are you inviting?”

“Well, we have about 65 on the list.”

65?????????????? That’s no sheet cake party! “Ok, fun! I’ll talk to you later,” I said as I scrambled off the phone and into my kitchen.

Here’s some history. I love to decorate cakes. It’s my favorite hobby. It’s the only time I use the right side of my brain. I’ve done a battle ship for Domi.


A Spanish mission inspired cake for Eva.


And a Tangled cake for my God Daughter, Kate. (yes, that’s my mom’s hand holding the tower up… as you’re about to read, I’m vertically challenged when it comes to cakes!)


But it’s always just for fun. For small groups… not parties with guests who received mailed invitations!

Sally’s original cake was two layers, square, with hydrangeas on it. So I decided to go three layers, round, with hydrangeas. Similar but different to represent how their lives had changed. I made the batter with my secret weapon. For the frosting, I used store bought buttercream but added coursely chopped Oreos to the bottom layer. The middle layer was chocolate frosting with fresh raspberries mixed in. And the top layer was a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting.


I wanted it to be elegant so I bought this Wiltons pre-decorated icing paper.

 This stuff is AMAZING! I lightly frosted the sides of the cakes and gently applied the pre cut sheets of icing. It worked exactly like it was supposed to!  I added some black ribbon along the bottom of each round as well.  I then bought a pillar from the floral department at Walmart. I stuck more than a dozen white roses into the green floral foam and then placed it in the middle of my bottom round cake. Now here’s where I went wrong. I had 5 cake support dowels I put around the flower pillar thinking this would hold my second level. It wasn’t sturdy enough. I have to figure this out better… maybe for Sally’s 20th anniversary.  For color, I bought an actual hydrangea plant because at the florist, a SINGLE FLOWER was $10. The plant, purchased at Smith’s Grocery Store, was $14 and came with 4 flowers. I used the purplish blue flowers as the cake topper for all three rounds.   And this was the final product:




The third layer, which I didn’t dare put on top of the other two layers, was just for display.  Sally wanted that level to freeze for her year anniversary of her 15th anniversary party. Or more easily put, for her 16th wedding anniversary!  Happy anniversary Sally and Jason!









church imageAs we walked to the news set the other night, I asked Kristen, my friend and co-anchor, “Do you ever cry in church?”  She laughed and said, “I’ll text you the first time I don’t cry in church.”   That made me feel better because last Sunday I had an extemely emotional experience in church and I wanted to know if I was crazy. Kristen assured me I wasn’t.

Last weekend, I ended up kidless on Sunday morning and so took advantage by going to church by myself.  Going to church alone doesn’t bother me.  It’s not like flying solo to a movie.  That does bug me.  But when it comes to church, I actually prefer to go alone.  I didn’t go to my church.  But instead traveled up to Lake Tahoe to visit St. Francis of Assisi. 

In 2004, we baptised our daughter, Eva Diana, at St. Francis.  Since then, it’s always held a special place in my heart.   And now, sitting alone in my pew, I was once again happy to be here.  When Father Bill entered I immediately sat up straighter.  His presence didn’t make me nervous, but rather more alert… like a freshman on the first day of class.  I wanted to truly understand the lesson I was about to hear.  And learn I did.

He asked us all to allow the Holy Spirit into our souls so that we could forgive those who trouble us the most.  The Holy Spirit would guide us in allowing our feelings of ill will to be replaced with love and eventual peace.  And when he said, “We need the power to deal with those that cause us the most pain…” my eyes immediately filled with water.

On December 21st, 2011, my best friend died.  4 days before Christmas.  She would have survived past the new year, but my brother and I gave her permission to go to the other side… and she did… that night.   I thought I was ready. I thought it would be best for her to move on to the next world. But I was wrong.  Living without my mom causes me daily pain.

As I glanced at Father Bill, trying to hide the tears that were now streaming down my face in a river of emotion,  I was horrified to admit the one person causing me the most pain was the one person who would never do anything, ever, to hurt me… my mom.   She would be so sad to know I struggle at the feet of her demise.  But I do.  We are coming up on her two year anniversary of leaving us and I still feel like that lonely kid who was forgotten at school.  I keep looking for her to come around the corner to get me. 

So with a deep breath,  I closed my eyes to allow the Holy Spirit into my core.  I breathed deeply several times to allow the warmth of his being to enter my soul.  And I felt… nothing!  Dammit!  So I sat there some more and waited.  And waited.  By this time my tears were drying up because I was getting irritated.  Where was the Holy Spirit when I really needed it??  I left church feeling a tad disappointed.

On my 40 minute drive home, I looked at they sky, still pale grey with smoke from the fire burning near Yosemite.  I thought how my mom would have complained about all the smoke.  She hated anything but bright sunny days in Reno.  And that thought alone broke me again.  New tears followed the dried stains already on my cheeks.  And this time, I allowed myself to sob.  To release some of the water that filled my emotional bucket.  I allowed myself to be angry.  I allowed myself to climb right up on that pitty chair and have a party.  And then it happened.  As I slowly pulled down into Reno off the Mt. Rose Highway, my tears dried up.  My anger floated away from me.  And a sense of warmth filled my body.  A warmth like I’ve never felt.  A warm blanket enveloping my heart.  And finally… peace. 

The magical spell lasted until I pulled into my driveway.  The chaos of my kids, now back at home, dulled the sense of warmth inside me, but I knew it was still there.  I had released some of the pain of my mom’s death.  I have a long way to go to be out of daily pain, but moments like that, where you connect with the Holy Spirit make me realize I will someday get there.

(note:  My Holy Spirit is the Divine Trinity.  What’s yours?  Is it Mother Earth?  Is it your own belief that doesn’t have a name?  Whatever, or whoever, you pray to, I hope you find peace in your God like I do mine.) 

A book that opened my eyes to the Divine Trinity is called The Shack.  It’s a fictional story, a good read, but man does it have a thought provoking kick to it! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND it: