How I Learned to Drive.

I almost walked straight to church that afternoon, but I’d left my Bible at home. When I turned left onto the street across from the Dairy Queen, I saw 20 cars parked in our driveway, (there were probably only 3 or 4 cars – this is where I tell on myself for exaggerating) I actually had to stop myself from saying “gosh-darnit”.

You see, in order to get to my bedroom, I’d have to first make my way through the living room, past the kitchen, take a sharp left through the family room, down the hallway, past the bathroom, to the last room on the right (you could take a shortcut through the utility room, but there would be more turns involved). In other words, there was a lot of house that I had to McGiver my way through without encountering my older brother, or one of his pothead friends.

When I walked through the front door that day, they were all there; 20 faces (probably more like 6 or 7) staring at me with their squinty eyes; including my brother. If I remember right, I’m pretty sure that I gave them the “talk to the hand” hand, and kept on going. The friends didn’t do much to harass me, other than laugh their asses off while my brother sang the “Wipey-Bugstin” song at the top of his lungs.

Wipey Bustin was the nickname that my brothers gave me long ago.
There were variations such as;
Waaa-Hitney (to which I’d shout “THE ‘H’ IS SILENT!”)
But the name that started it all was Wipey Bugstin, and Tony had composed a theme song that he would sing to me whenever he saw me walk through the door.

(To the tune of the Hallelujah Chorus)
Wiiiiii-pey Bugstin!
Wiiiiiipey Bugstin,
Wipey-Bugstin, Wipey-Bugstin,
Wip-eeey Bugggstinnnnn!

I could still hear him singing clear in my bedroom, on the other side of the house, and I remember wishing that they would all just get a life. I changed my clothes real quick, grabbed my NIV Bible (with my full name engraved on the front), stopped in the kitchen long enough to cut a giant, fresh from the oven brownie, (right from the middle of the pan, just to peeve my brother off even more) and took a gigantic bite. I carefully folded the remainder of my brownie inside a paper towel and made my way to the door.

One of my brother’s friend was blocking the front door, and I was like, “MOVE!” and then he was like, “what’s the password?”
– Nope, wrong password…
– Nope, wrong again…
I remember yelling at my brother to make his stupid friend move, but by then all of his friends thought it was a big game and encircled all around me so that I was completely blocked in. I yelled at my brother to help me, and Tony pushed through the crowd and was like, “Ok guys, knock it off” but no one was backing off. Everyone was moving in closer, and I started to feel very threatened. I remember reaching back toward the desk, trying to find something that I could hit them with to make them stop because I didn’t think that I could hit them hard enough with my fists. I grabbed the first thing that I found, and without thinking I swung it straight over my head as hard as I could.


(Thhhwwwack is the sound of a metal golfing wedge hitting a human forearm at an alarming speed.)


(Plunnnkkk is the sound of one arm bone popping on top of the other.)


(The sound of my brother screaming at the top of his lungs while holding his limp arm.)


(The sound of my brother’s friends sobering up and realizing that they’d better get the hell out of there while they still had their balls.)

Within two minutes, every single one of Tony’s friends had peeled out of our driveway, while I started hysterically chanting, “Oh my gosh Tony, oh my gosh, oh no, oh gosh…”

Tony interrupted me to say, “Do you know how to drive yet Whippy?”

I was crying by then, so between sobs I said, “I’m 15 so…sort of?”

T: “Oh shit, ok, well fuck, I guess I’m going to have to teach you to drive because I need you to take me to the hospital.”

Me: “Should I call 911?”

T: “Oh god no, fuck no, help me get to my truck…Whippy stop crying and get in the fucking truck! Wait…what’s on your teeth?”

Me: “My teeth?”

T: “Did you eat any brownies?

Me: “No…well yeah…don’t be mad!”

Tony was practically shaking me when he said, “How much? How much of those brownies did you eat?”

I started sobbing again, “Now is not really the best time to make fun of me for cheating on my diet!”

Tony: “Shit, ok, so you don’t know how to drive, AND you are about to be really fucking stoned.”

Me: “Huh?”

Tony: “Those were pot brownies, you dumbass!”

Me: “Oh my gosh, are you serious? I’ve never been stoned before, what do I do? Should I hide somewhere? Should I put earphones on? I never meant for any of this to happen, I was only trying to get to church and now I’ve just been sinning like crazzzzzy!”

Tony laughed and said, “Oh fuck, this is going to be hilarious.”

These were the facts:

1) My brother’s arm was broken.
2) I was the one who broke it.
3) I had to get my brother to the hospital.
4) I didn’t know how to drive.
5) The brownies had marijuana in them.
6) I was going to be very late for church.

Of course Tony’s truck had a manual transmission, so not only did I need to real quick learn how to drive, but I had to real quick learn how to drive a stick shift.

What my brother said, “So you have to use your left foot to hold the clutch down, and your right foot controls the gas and the brakes, and you have to use the stick shift to change the gears, and you have to release the clutch at the same time that you hit the gas but you have to do it at just the right time or otherwise you’ll kill the engine.”

What I heard was, “Wa wa, wa wa wa wa…wa wa wa wa wa…”

The result: We violently lurched the 5 miles between our house and the hospital while my brother yelled things like, “Release the clutch! Hit the gas! Change the gear! My arm hurts, FUCK! You are killing my truck! You are fucking killing my truck! My bone is going to pop out of my fucking arm!” At the same time I shouted things like, “I’m doing the best that I can! Maybe we should stop and pray! Did we bring any snacks? Do you know how to make blueberry pancakes? Are my teeth getting longer?!”

We made it to the hospital that day, but don’t ask me how, because it really had to have been some sort of miracle. When we walked up to the front desk, the first thing that the nurse asked was, “what happened?”

Tony looked at me, and I looked at him, and we both had big eyes like, “why didn’t we rehearse this??”

Tony quickly said, “I fell.”

Me: “Yeah, he fell.”

Tony: “It was a golfing accident.”

Me: “Yeah, he slipped and fell on a golf club.”

The nurse asked for our Mom’s phone number, but Tony quickly informed her that he was over 18, so they didn’t have to get Mom’s permission in order to begin examining his wounds. She gave us a funny look that said, “what in the world have these kids gotten themselves into” before she checked Tony into an examination room. I told Tony that I would wait in the waiting room, but he told me to come with him. Actually what he said was, “It is too dangerous for you to be on your own in your condition.” I think that he was worried that I would start chewing on the waiting room furniture if I didn’t find a snack soon.

We sat in the examination room in silence; Tony sat on the table and held his limp arm with his healthy arm, while I sat on the chair beside him and counted all of the tiles on the floor and the cracks in the ceiling. We could hear the radio from the Nurse’s station, and the song that was playing was “Perfect” by Fairground Attraction.

It was one of those songs that you couldn’t help but sing along to and laugh about how cheesy it was at the same time, so we both started to sing, “It’s got to be-e-e-e-e-e-e perfect, it’s got to be-e-e-e-e-e-e worth it…” Tony then decided to take the song a step further by changing it to “Wipe-e-e-e-e-e-e-e Bug-stin, Wipe-e-e-e-e-e-e-e Bug-stin…” and I couldn’t help but laugh. I looked him straight in the eye after he was finished singing my new theme song, and I got choked up when I told him how sorry I was. He responded by saying, “As many times as I broke your arms and nose, sprained your ankles and knocked a few of your teeth out, I would say that I definitely had it coming.” I said, “yeah, but those were all accidents.” He said, “well so was this, right? Or did you mean to almost kill me? Do you have any of that brownie left, by the way?”

I dug into my coat pocket, and sure enough there was at least half of a brownie there. He said, “you could make it up to me by sharing some of that brownie.” I handed it to him, and he split it in half. He offered the other half to me, but I told him that I just couldn’t bear to make Jesus any madder at me than He already was. Tony shook his head and said, “Jeez Wipey, you really need to lighten up! I’m no expert, but isn’t Jesus supposed to forgive you or some shit like that?” I said, “Well yeah, as long as you repent for your sins…” Tony said, “So eat the brownie and then tell God that you feel bad and you’re fucking sorry.” I sighed, looked at the gooey chocolate goodness that I held in my hand, and went ahead and ate my share of the brownie. It was delicious.

The doctor walked in as we were still chewing, and he said, “So what happened here?” We both just looked at each other with big eyes until Tony said, “Wipey Bugstin tried to kill me…” The doctor said, “Excuse me? Wipey who…?” We both almost fell out of our chairs laughing, and once we calmed down enough to speak, Tony said, “I just fell” to which I added, “on a golf club.” The doctor took one look at Tony’s injured arm and said, “Wow, that was one heckuva fall!” Tony said, “it was one heckuva golf club.”

The doctor looked over at me, and I’m sure I had the guiltiest look on my face. He asked me if I saw what happened, and my mouth opened but no sound came out. Before he had a chance to ask me anything else, Tony said, “Hey Whit, why don’t you go give Mom a call so that she can come pick us up.” The doctor looked relieved and said, “Oh I see, you guys are siblings!” I nodded, pointed at Tony and myself and said, “Yep, we’re brothers!” Tony burst out laughing. The doctor looked confused, like he wanted to say something else, but instead he just shrugged and said, “Ok then, well let’s go ahead and get an x-ray and we’ll go from there.”

They began to leave the room, so I followed behind them until the doctor pointed to the nurse’s station and told me that I could use the phone in there. I nodded and began to head in that direction until Tony said, “Wait, there is one more thing that I have to tell you.” I turned toward him just in time to see him flipping me the bird with his good hand, and to that gesture I replied, “I love you too.”

By the time I had walked over to the nurse’s station I had forgotten why I was there. The nurse said, “can I help you?” and I said, “Yes, um…do you have any snacks that I can borrow?”

Small Talk

Whenever I am in the Valley visiting my Mom, I generally expect to run into someone that I know when I am out in public so I try to look presentable and prepare myself for awkward small talk as much as possible, and so I was not even surprised when I saw Julie in the reception room after the Christmas recital that night.

I had actually seen her a little while back, at our 20 year high school reunion, but we never really had a chance to talk. Julie and I had grown up together in Sedro-Woolley, and we had attended the same church for a number of years.  She and I had had several mutual friends but were never really close friends with each other.

There was a short moment in time, during the first few months of ninth grade, when Julie and I sat on the floor in the hallway together everyday during lunch.  Neither of us ate lunch; me because I was terrified of getting diarrhea and not being able to hold it until I got home from school, and I’m not sure why Julie didn’t eat lunch because I never asked her.  We spent 30 uninterrupted minutes together everyday, but we never shared secrets. We told jokes and funny stories and laughed a lot, but I can’t say that we really knew anything about each other.

I had not seen Julie since high school, and the only thing that I could remember about that night at the reunion was when a few of us were standing around talking, and for some reason I felt the need to ask her, “Are you happy?”  She responded by laughing and saying, “Um yeah, I mean…yeah.”

The awkwardness should have ended there, but I felt the need to take it a step further by saying, “You can totally tell me if you’re not happy.”

Her stunned expression told me, “Go home Whitney, you are drunk.”

Fast forward to the night of the Christmas recital.  I could tell by the way that she was hiding behind the punch bowl that she was just as uncomfortable to be there as I was.  It is on occasions such as these when I can see Dave Button coming out in my DNA, because where most people would have just pretended that they had not seen each other in order to avoid an awkward encounter, I walked straight over to her and made her give me a hug.  The feigned expression of joy on her face told me that she was not as happy to see me as I was to see her, and yet for some reason I continued to prolong the torture.

“How are you? How have you been?” I asked her.  She stammered, “Good, I’m good! How are you? Are you good?”  I reassured her that I was good as well, and then we stood there in silence for an uncomfortable length of time; like a good twenty seconds.  She had turned to look for her kids, and I could tell that she was about to bolt, so I just turned to her and said sincerely, “Hey wait, let’s chat for a minute.  I really wanted to catch up with you at the reunion, but there were so many people there, and I had had way too much to drink, so tell me what you’ve been up to!”

As Julie began to tell me a few things about her life, I could not help but wander off in thought.  It seemed as though she was exactly the same as she was in high school, which meant that she was most likely still a very conservative christian.  I had lost a lot of friends when I “came out” and I knew that she was still friends with some of those who had turned their backs on me many years ago.  When I asked her who she is still friends with from high school, she named the one person who was my arch-nemesis, and that is when I blacked out a little bit.  I am pretty sure that I have a little PTSD when it comes to being in church, and being around “churchy” people, and for some reason it makes me feel the need to act as inappropriately as possible.

First I asked her if she was going to the church that the Christmas recital was being held in, and she said that she wasn’t, but that she had some friends who had kids that were in the choir.  I told her that that’s why I was there as well, because one of my best friends had 2 boys that were in the choir as well, so I was there to show my support.  Actually what I said was, “I hope my friend knows what a good friend I am to come to this thing because I really hate going to shit like this.”

Then I asked her if she had fun at the 20 year reunion, and she was like, “Yeah, it was pretty fun to see everyone.”  When she asked me the same question, I replied, “Oh man, it was a blast!  A bunch of us stayed for the after-party at the casino, and then Katie, Matthew and I went to the high school tennis courts and climbed over (I crawled under) the fence and just laid in the middle of the football field laughing, and telling stories, and acting all crazy.”

Julie’s response was, “Wow, a bunch of 40 year olds at the tennis courts, that must have been a sight!  We aren’t really as cool as we used to be, you know.”

I said, “Hey, speak for yourself!  We are totally just as cool, and in fact I think that we are even cooler now than we were back then.  Also, we’re not 40 quite yet.”

As we were talking I noticed a little girl running around, and I thought that she looked really familiar.  I asked Julie, “Hey, isn’t that Jessica’s little girl?”  Julie looked at her and just shrugged her shoulders.  I said, “I’m pretty sure that is Jessica’s kid, oh yeah now I see Jessica’s wife over there, but I don’t think that Jessica is here.”

Julie appeared shocked when she said, “Jessica’s…WIFE?!”

Me: “Yeah, Jessica’s wife; didn’t you know that Jessica is a lesbian?”  Julie started to stammer a bit, and it made me wonder if she somehow missed the memo that I am a lesbian as well.

I saw my friends walking into the reception area and I waved for them to come over.  I told Julie, “Hey, let me introduce you to my friends who invited me here.”  Julie looked like she was about to make a run for it, but Brianna and Willie walked over before she had a chance to make her exit.

I said, “Hey guys, this is one of my old friends from high school, Julie; and Julie, these are my great friends, Brianna and Willie!”

They all shook hands, and I could tell that Brianna was wracking her brain trying to remember if I’ve told her any Julie stories, and so I went on to say, “Julie and I went to the same church back in high school.”  Brianna gave me a knowing smile and was like, “Oh yeah, cool!”  I explained to Julie that Brianna and Willie and I all met in college.

Julie said, “It is actually kind of crazy that I ran into you tonight, Whitney, because lately I have been running into all sorts of people from my past, and it is kind of fun to remember the good old days.”

I said, “I know what you mean!  Last year one of my friends from Australia came to visit me in Seattle, and it was like a real full-circle kind of experience.  It has been so long since I lived in Australia that it sort of feels like it was a dream or something, you know?”

Julie said, “You lived in Australia?”

Me: “Yeah, I was a missionary there for several years right out of high school.”

Julie: “Oh that’s really cool!”

There are so many positive directions that the conversation could have gone from there, but instead I chose to just let the following words fall out of my mouth:

“Yeah, it was an amazing experience. It was so great to see my Aussie friend again, and we had a great time up until I got drunk and asked him if I could borrow some sperm…”

Brianna and Willie both burst out laughing, and Julie just looked at me with giant eyes and said, “What did you just say?  Did you say ‘sperm’?”

Until I had witnessed the shock and horror on Julie’s face, I hadn’t considered that it was probably not the best environment to be using words like “drunk” and “sperm”.   I mean, it was a Christmas recital after all, and more specifically it was a Christmas recital at a conservative church in a very small town.  I wanted to explain myself to Julie by telling her that I might still want to have a baby, and if I had a baby it would have to be through artificial insemination or adoption due to my sexual orientation, and if I had to choose a donor then my Aussie friend would be the perfect choice, but he might feel like it was a terrible sin to bring a child into the world to be raised by a couple of chubby lesbians, so he probably wasn’t the best person for me to ask, but I did not have time to explain any of this because Julie had literally made a run for it.

I looked at Brianna and Willie who were both practically crying because they were laughing so hard, and I asked them, “Oh my God, why didn’t you stop me from saying all that?!?!”

Brianna was like, “How were we supposed to know that you were going to go there??  I mean, we really had no idea…”

I said, “She probably thinks that I’m a sex crazed alcoholic!”

Brianna said, “Well…aren’t you?”

I said, “Shut your face, Bri!  I guess I just forgot that we didn’t all move away from the Valley and become horrible people.  Oh, and by the way, I hope that you appreciate me coming to this recital thing because you know I hate going to shit like this.”

Brianna said, “You know we appreciate it.”

I said, “Good, because this is all your fault.  Now can we please go home and drink beer like normal people?”

Me on a Monday.

The following is my advice to anyone who may be wondering how they could possibly be, as awesome as me, on a Monday:

For most accurate results, it is best to first stay awake all night long…

As many of you already know, I am currently the Care Manager for a sweet elderly lady in Seattle, named Ethel.  We have had an extremely difficult time filling a couple of the night shifts, so I have volunteered to work Sunday nights as a caregiver.  Ethel is very excited that I’m staying the night with her now, and unfortunately for both of us her excitement has translated into insomnia.

Ethel’s insomnia seems to stem from her constant need to have me to sit next to her bed and hold her hand, massage her legs, massage her arms, massage her feet, reposition her in the bed, adjust her pillows, remove her covers because she’s too hot, add more covers because she’s too cold, etc.  There were a few times last night when she felt a little guilty because she knew how tired I was, and to my relief she would say, “Oh Winnie, you really should go get some rest.  You must be so tired.  Please go get some rest Winnie…”

But as luck would have it, I would no sooner have made myself comfortable on the couch again before I would hear her call out from her bedroom, “I miss you, Winnie!  I miss you!  I miss you TOO MUCH!!”

I have experienced this many times over my 12+ years, working as a Caregiver, and I can attest that it is both a blessing and a curse to be loved so dearly and so exuberantly by an elderly person who suffers from dementia.  While on one hand they love you so much that they are concerned for your comfort and safety (“You really need your rest, Winnie…”), they soon forget (dementia) how much time has passed between them telling you to get some rest and you actually resting (approximately 30-45 seconds), and in that short span of time the anxiety that they may never see you again sets in (“I miss you too much”), and at that point nothing becomes more important than coming up with any excuse to see you once more (“legs ache, tummy aches, shoulder aches, too hot/cold”), and therefore your life becomes an exhausting/endearing sort of living hell.

Then at around 3am they look at you with so much love in their eyes that it almost makes you feel uncomfortable, and their sad eyes well up with tears, and they say, “You are so nice, Winnie.  You are the nicest person I have ever met.  You are the nicest person IN THE ENTIRE WORLD!” and then your heart melts a little, and you just smile and continue to hold their hand until they start to nod off, and then you attempt to tiptoe out of the room…

“Winnie, Winnie!  Winnie, WHERE ARE YOU?  Oh thank God!  Thank God, Winnie!  I had a dream that you left me and I never saw you again!  But you’re HERE!  God Bless You.  God Bless You, Winnie…”

After very little sleep and several cups of coffee, proceed to begin walking the first of 6 dogs…

I left Ethel’s apartment at noon so that I could begin the dog walking festivities for the day.  Since I was already on Dixie’s side of town (Dixie is a Golden-Doodle) I picked her up first, and as always she was over-the-moon-happy to see me walk through her front door.  She was briefly disappointed that her boyfriend Nash (my yellow lab) wasn’t with me today, but she still enjoyed herself immensely during our long walk around the neighborhood.  Had our walk ended without any diversions, this particular Monday may have been much like any other.  But since Dixie had been such a good girl on our walk, and since we had the north end of Madison Park to ourselves (other than the fellow mowing the lawn), and since she was missing her boyfriend Nash so much, I decided that Dixie deserved a little off-leash time at the park.

Dixie was ecstatic to be off of her leash, and she rejoiced by sprinting back and forth along the waterfront as fast as her long Golden-Doodle legs would carry her.  When she paused just long enough to hunch awkwardly over a tall patch of grass, I groaned to myself that “of course she has to poop at the very bottom of the hill ugh” and reluctantly got the poop bag ready to clean up her mess for the second time that day.

It works best if you don’t pay any attention to where you are going and just focus on the poop and the poop bag and the task at hand…

On about my second or third step, I felt the earth give way under my feet, and I realized much too late that the bright green grass covering the steep hill toward the lake was merely an optical illusion.  There was no way to know (other than the fact that it had rained all night) that beneath the springtime glow of the glistening blades of grass at Madison Park, there lived a thick basin of slick, slimy, yucky, quick-sand-like-mud.  Before I could even find time to spew out a curse word, my two feet shot out from under me and my rear end was quickly transformed into what can only be described as a butt-sled.  As I tobogganed halfway down the hill, Dixie came bounding toward me and I hollered out to her to “get out of the way!  Save yourself, Dixie!!”

When my joy ride finally came to a stop, Dixie tried to resuscitate me by slobbering all over my face.  “Great, just great” was all I managed to say before I began the process of picking my aching bones off of the ground.

When you think that things couldn’t possibly get any worse, think again…

Not to be deterred from the mission at hand, I found the poop bag that I’d thrown in the air during the whole hoopla, made a quick assessment as to the percentage of my body that was saturated in mud, (my butt, calves, arms, hands, shoes, and I could not help but notice that the mud had actually found its way DOWN my pants and made a home in certain crevices) before I began my descent down the hill once again.

I had no sooner taken a step forward with my right foot before, once again, I became a victim of the menacing, slippery-slope, and this time I completed my journey down the hill, entirely on the right side of my body.  I had mud in my armpit, on the side of my face, in my right ear, and all through the right side of my hair.  Dixie, being my noble companion and all, decided to come and lay down beside me (white dog laying in the mud, great, just great) and lick the mud off of the side of my face.

Between these two falls, I had actually managed to dislodge a significant portion of earth. 

Once I was able to look back at my tobogganing pathway, I was horrified to see that there was a stretch of about eight feet of exposed soil, with a large mound of grass and dandelions piled up at the end.  When I went to pull my pants back up (they had practically fallen off of me by then) I actually had to pull a bunch of grass and dandelion stems out of my crack, and that was when I said to Dixie, “Seriously?  I mean…SERIOUSLY?  F*#KINGSH*TBALLS!!!”

The lawn mowing guy (ie; Sole Witness) must have 0bserved my acrobatic skills from afar, because I noticed that I no longer heard the engine running.  I looked over at him and waved (with my clean arm) to reassure him that I was okay.  He hollered out, “Sure you’re OK, ma’am?” and I just waved him off again with my muddy arm.

By then I had practically landed on the poop-pile’s front door, and I thanked my lucky stars that I didn’t just slide right through it.  Of course, since Dixie was frightened by my elegant trip down the hill, she was unable to complete the process of pooping.  In other words the whole disastrous slip’n’sliding incident, all of which began because I was trying to be a good citizen and pick up after my dog; it all of it had happened in VAIN!  While continuing my cursing rampage under my breath, I picked up Dixie’s little tiny turd-nugget with the poop bag, tied it up, put Dixie back on her leash, and we set off for home.

Remember, I STILL HAD TO WALK FIVE MORE DOGS after this fiasco!  In PUBLIC no less…

Fortunately, since I had stayed the night with Ethel, I did have a pair of pajama bottoms that I could change into, so I quickly weighed out the pros and cons of which would be worse; to walk all around Seattle in a pair of pajama bottoms, or to walk all around Seattle looking like a swamp person who may have possibly crapped themselves?

I opted to go 90’s grunge-style and tie my raincoat around my waist for the rest of the day. 


By the time I had finished walking all of the dogs that day, I thought that I might die from exhaustion.  I drove home as fast as I could, parked my car halfway in the yard, and plowed my way downstairs, to the coziest couch on the entire planet.  I kicked off my muddy shoes, but didn’t even bother to change clothes before I collapsed onto my favorite part of the sectional and shouted, “Hallelujah!”

My yellow lab, Nash, is not allowed to sit on the furniture, but when I looked over at him and saw his adorable brown eyes looking at me with more love than I could ever possibly deserve, I couldn’t resist him.  I said, “come on up, little buddy” and in less than a second Nash had positioned himself entirely on top of me so that he could close his eyes while he enthusiastically licked my neck and face.

My phone started ringing.  It was Ethel…

(Keep in mind that Ethel has a caregiver there with her 24/7, so she is never alone.)

Me:  “Hello?”

Ethel:  “Winnie?  Are you there, Winnie?”

Me:  “I’m here, Ethel, how are you?”

Ethel began to cry:  “Not too good.  I’m not too good at all, Winnie…”

Me:  “Uh oh, are you feeling kind of crummy again?”

Ethel:  (sobbing) “I feel so BAD, and I MISS YOU SO MUCH, WINNIE!”

Me:  “I’m sorry that you’re missing me so much.  I’m sure that you caregiver is taking excellent care of you though, right?”

Ethel:  “Well…I suppose.”

Me:  “Maybe she needs to give you some medicine to help you feel better?”

Ethel:  (sobbing again) “I don’t need medicine, I need YOU!  The only thing that will make me feel better is YOU, WINNIE!”

Me:  “Well I’m not able to come and visit you tonight Ethel, because I am really tired, but I can talk to you on the phone for a little while.  Do you think that might help?”

Ethel:  “I guess so…but it’s NOT THE SAME!”

Me:  “Hey, guess what, Ethel?  Guess who is sitting on my lap right now?”

Ethel:  (sobbing sounds)

Me:  “Nash was so happy to see me when I came home, that he just had to lay on top of me and lick my whole neck and face!”

Ethel:  “Oh…WINNIE!  (whimpering sounds) I WISH I COULD DO THAT!”

Oh boy…



Aunt J (ie; God + Gram and Gramps) vs. Gays

You will need to refer back to a previous blog titled, “The Gayest Valentine’s Day Ever!! Literally” for better context.


Dear Whitney,

I haven’t heard from you so I am getting concerned.

You continue to be in my prayers daily. You are such a pretty and talented girl, Whitney.

Because I love you, your life is important to me, as well as it is most important to God, Grandma and Grandpa.

I have been studying the book of Romans and wanted to share Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”. I have memorized that scripture and with Jesus’ help apply it to my own life.

I love you,

Aunt J


Hi Aunt J,

I have not responded, because I don’t even know where to start. Obviously, I never “came out” to you, because I knew that you would not approve, and honestly I was afraid of losing you, and of losing Dad, and unfortunately it would seem as though I have already lost you both. Just like that.

My sexuality would actually be enough to make you no longer consider me a part of your family, and I think that that is absolutely disgraceful, to tell you the truth. I am still the same person. I still have the same heart. My sexuality does not change one thing about the person that I am, nor the person that God created me to be.

Dad told me that you have already looked into disinheriting me, and I just want you to know that I couldn’t care LESS about your money. What I care about is to be loved. To be loved by the people who God entrusted to be my family. What I care about is being loved for who I am, regardless of (what you would consider) my faults. I love all of my family, regardless of their faults, because there is not one of us who is without fault.

There are so many things that I can say, but the only thing that I really want to say to you is this:

If you are going to say that you love me, then you need to love me for who I am. Your “love” should not be conditional on who you would prefer me to be. I love you, Aunt J. I love you even though we disagree on this issue. I love you even though we would be likely to disagree on every single issue that I can possibly think of. You are my family, and I will always love you because I am extremely loyal to my friends and family. I love you because I do believe that Grandma and Grandpa would want for us to love and to be loving to each other. If you are going to say that you love me, then you need to love me in the way that God instructed us to love one another:

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 – “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

I would love to have a close relationship with you, Aunt J, but the only way that that will ever be possible is if we can simply agree to disagree. I am not trying to change your mind on this issue, because I know that that is not possible, just as I know that it is not possible for you to change my mind either. I am in a loving, committed relationship with an extremely loving and compassionate woman, and I will be marrying her sometime in the near future.

Dad and I are working on rebuilding our relationship, and I would love it if you and I could do the same. But I am not interested in arguing about this topic, and if that is all that you continue to be interested in then it will be impossible for us to move forward.

The ball is in your court.



P.S – The reason that I got fired up enough (and brave enough) to write to you tonight, is because of the recent scandal involving World Vision. The following is what I recently posted on my Facebook page regarding this issue:

There are some “Christians” who are actually proud of themselves for withdrawing their sponsorship to dying children, because they feel so strongly that gay Christians should not be allowed to work for World Vision. Really people? REALLY?? Do you REALLY think that this is what God would want you to do? Do you really think that a loving God would desire for innocent children punished for these petty theological disagreements? COME ON PEOPLE!! WAKE UP AND LOOK AT HOW SHAMEFUL AND DISGRACEFUL YOUR MORAL HIGH-GROUND LOOKS TO A STARVING CHILD! This makes me so sick to my stomach that I can hardly stand it.

I posted a link to the following article as well:

When Evangelicals Turn Against Children to Spite Me


My Dear Whitney,

I can’t begin to tell you how saddened I am.

You have not lost either your Dad or me. You have unfortunately turned your back on us. I do not think you consider us to be a part of your family and, yes, that is disgraceful. God did not create you to be Gay. He created you to love Him and the truths in his word and with his help to live by them.

You have changed, Whitney. The Whitney I knew never would have done anything to hurt Grandma or Grandpa who loved you and did so much for you. If they were here today they would do everything they could to help you reject a lifestyle that God calls an abomination.

You need to re-read 1 Cor. 13:4-8. The Gay lifestyle is not kind and it does dishonor others and it is easily angered and it does not rejoice in the truth. It does fail!.

Because I love you Whitney and believe in Jesus as my Lord and Saviour I must always do as He teaches “Love that which is God, Abhor that which is evil.” The Gay lifestyle is evil.

Yes, it is important that we always love each other and keep in touch. I too do not want to argue. We need only to look to God’s word. Please read Romans 1:26-27 and I Cor. 6:9-11. Our thinking must always be based on what He thinks by the teachings in His word.

Right now your Dad, Uncle R and I are broken hearted but we will always continue to pray that you will turn away from a lifestyle that is not pleasing to God.

The ball is in your court.

Always look to Jesus.

I Love you,

Aunt J


Aunt J,

Please do not contact me again until you can be loving. I do not deserve to be treated in this way, and I will not tolerate it.

I do not accept you speaking on behalf of Grandma and Grandpa. You speak for yourself and no one else. I had a close relationship between Grandma and Grandpa that you know nothing about. They loved me with their whole hearts and nothing would, or ever will change that.

And you also DO NOT speak for God. I have a relationship with God that you know nothing about.

So from now on, if and when you speak to me, remember that you are speaking for YOURSELF and NO ONE else.

– Whitney


IMG_1545Does anyone have a pair of Falcon gloves that I can borrow? Or maybe a suit of armor?

My kitten, Lucy-Furr, has suddenly become a Rastafarian. She has a strip of dreadlocks all the way down the middle of her back that sticks up and makes her look like she’s got porcupine quills, and even with Rea holding her down while I try to brush her, and vise versa, she scratches and bites us so bad that we scream in pain, and there is blood everywhere, and her eyes turn black, and she whispers something through the air between her blood-tipped-fangs that sounds almost like she’s saying “I’m going to kill you all in your sleep…”

For all of these reasons and more; her porcupine-looking-dreadlocks remain, and I’m finding myself wondering if I may need to hire an experienced exorcist priest to come and remove the demons from this so-called-kitten.

No disrespect, but this shit is beyond the Kitten Whisperer’s expertise.


Help us!

No, seriously.


Dear God, please…


This is the only way that Rea and I can communicate with the outside world, because fortunately for us, Lucy-Furr has never learned how to read. She has us trapped in the basement, and when Nash tried to save us from her earlier, she simply backhanded him with her left paw, and he flew threw the air, bounded off of the wall, and was knocked unconscious. She laughed afterwards like a maniac and I may have peed a little.

If anyone could please come over and try to entice her away from us with a trail of Meow Mix (laced with Vicodin) I would surely appreciate it.

There is Still at Least One use for a Landline.

IMG_1453My Mom told me that the other day she couldn’t find her cell phone, so she used her land-line phone to call Auntie Verna.

Auntie V:  “Hello?”

Mom:  “Yeah, I can’t find my cell phone, so I was wondering if you could call me so I can hear it ringing?”

Auntie V:  “Which phone are you calling me from?”

Mom:  “The one in the kitchen…”

Auntie V:  “Why didn’t you just call your cell phone with that phone then, dumbass?”

Mom:  “Oh. I hadn’t even thought of that…”

After she told me the story, I shook my head and asked her, “Mom, do you sometimes even amaze yourself?”

Mom grinned and said, “Yeah.”

The Impromtu Family Reunion at Subway.

1979680_10152227791645862_1644103267_nMom and I ran into my Dad at the Subway on Cook Road yesterday.  We had stopped there for dinner on the way to a play in Bellingham, and while we were eating, low and behold, in walks Dave Button!
Mom gave him the other half of her sandwich, but she complained about it later when she didn’t have anything to snack on.  Dad tried to steal half of my sandwich as well, but I called him out on it as he was trying to shove it in his pocket.
Me:  “What if Mom and I weren’t here tonight?  Would you have starved?”
Dad:  “No, I would’ve taken a bite of someone else’s sandwich…”
Me:  “That’s not even funny, because you probably would!”
Dad:  “You wouldn’t believe how much food people waste!  I’m just doing my part to help the environment.”
Of course I also teased him about his hair hat that makes him look like he has doll hair on the top of his head.  I asked him why he even bought such a hideous hat, and he said, “What do you mean, ‘why’?  I’m losing my hair and I have a snaggle tooth.  When you get to be my age and start losing your teeth and your hair, then you will understand.  The top of my head gets cold!”
Me:  “First of all, most women don’t get bald spots on top of their heads, and even if I ever do, I still would never wear a hat with doll-hair on it!  I would wear my Seahawks beanie to cover my bald spot, and to keep my head warm, and where is your Seahawks beanie by the way?  I would also purchase dentures that fit my mouth; if and when I begin to lose my teeth.  I wouldn’t be like George Washington and carve a new tooth out of wood.”
As if on cue, Dad took his partial denture out of his mouth at the table, in order to remove a piece of lettuce.  With one of his front teeth missing out of his mouth he said, “I don’t wear dentures; I wear a partial and it fits my mouth fine…”
Mom and I cracked up.
Me:  “Dad, you just said yourself that you have a ‘snaggle-tooth’ and the one tooth that is a snaggle-tooth, is the only tooth in your mouth that isn’t real.  It’s bigger than your other teeth!  Did you get it in Mexico or something?  Did you steal it off of a horse?”
Dad, still missing one of his front teeth, replied, “Jeesh!  We’ve got a feisty one here tonight, Margaret…”
Mom:  “You have to be careful with what you say to Whitney, because everything you say can and will be used against you on her blog.”
Dad:  “I’ve seen some of the blogs that she’s written about you, and they’re not very flattering.  They’re not all true, are they…?”
Mom grinned sheepishly:  “Well…yes.”
Dad laughed:  “I guess you can’t blame her for writing about it then, huh?”
Mom shrugged and smiled.
Me:  “Mom you secretly love it.  I’ve practically made you famous!”
Mom:  “Yeah, famous for farting.”
Dad:  “Ladies don’t pass gas.  You don’t really pass gas that much, do you Margaret.?”
Again Mom grinned sheepishly:  “Well…yes.”
Dad and I cracked up.
When I showed Mom and Dad the pictures on my phone, Mom said, “Oh god, why didn’t you tell me how awful my hair looked!”
Dad said, “My hair looks GREAT!”
Me:  “Dad, seriously?  It looks like Davy Crocket made a coonskin cap out of possum roadkill, and now you are proudly displaying it on top of your head.”
Dad:  “My customers love it!  They say that it gives me character.”
Me:  “Dad, you ARE a Character!  You don’t need anything to give you MORE character.”
Dad:  “Well that’s about the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me!”
Me:  “Do your cats get frightened when they see you wearing your hair-hat?  They might think that you will make a hat out of them next…”
Dad:  “Have you met our new cat, Sammy?  She’s so cute!”
Me:  “You mean the one that you make me talk to over the phone?  The one that you spayed twice?”
Mom:  “You spayed her twice?!  How in the world did that happen?!”
Dad:  “Well I didn’t do it on purpose.  We adopted her, and we didn’t know that she was already spayed, so she ended up getting spay-ded twice.  Poor little thing.  She was so upset about it.”
Me:  “Of course she was upset!  She got spay-ded twice!  How would you feel if you got spay-ded twice, huh?  Never mind, don’t answer that question…”
Dad:  “Since I am a male I would have gotten neutered, and I wouldn’t have enjoyed it one bit!  You should be glad I wasn’t neutered, because where would you be right now if I had been neutered, huh?”
Me:  “…and that’s the part of the conversation that I was hoping to avoid.”
Dad:  “You should be nice to your Mom and I, because without us, where would you be…?  Also, don’t forget that you still break the record for being the youngest person to ever float down the river.  How old was she, Margaret?”
Mom:  “6 weeks.”
Dad:  “Wow, 6 weeks old.  How did you grow up so fast, Whit?”
Me:  “It’s amazing that I grew up at all, considering that you dangled me over the side of the raft when I was 6 weeks old, just like how the Crocodile Hunter dangled his baby over a giant crocodile and made everyone get all up in an uproar!”
Dad:  “I never dangled you over the side of the raft, and I sure as heck never dangled you over a crocodile!  I held you in one of those backpacks on my chest, and everyone just couldn’t believe how cute you were!  Margaret, do you remember when you were pregnant with Whitney and we all got hit by a semi truck…?”
Mom:  “How could I ever forget that?  My water broke just a few days later and I almost lost her!”
Me:  “Dad, I heard that after the crash, you got out of the Checker and your shoulder was obviously dislocated, and even though Mom kept asking you if you were okay, you just kept insisting that you were just fine.  Then you walked a couple of steps and fainted right into the ditch.”
Dad:  “I never fainted; I’m a man!  Besides, I don’t remember fainting…”
Me:  “Of course you don’t remember it; you were passed out!”
Dad:  “Well if I remember right, the semi truck had actually crashed into the side of the Checker, and parked itself on top of my mother-in-law’s feet.  You would pass out too if you saw your mother-in-law stuck under a semi truck!”
Me:  “I’m sure that you’re right about that.”
In the end, it was a very sweet little visit, and it was nice to see my Mom and Dad together and enjoying each others company.  I have absolutely no photos of the 3 of us together, and now (thanks to one of the Subway employees who was nice enough to snap a few pics for us) I have a photo that sums the 3 of us up pretty perfectly:
Dad giving the ‘thumbs up’ in his crazy hat with doll hair sticking out of the top.  Mom sporting a sweet smile while proudly wearing her Native sweatshirt.  And me, standing between the two of them, looking a little bit like both of them, with a smile that says, “I still don’t understand how the 2 of these people ever got together and made a baby, but they did, and now that I’m a (somewhat normal) grownup I get to tease the crap out of both of them, and it’s glorious!”
And that, my friends, is called Sweet Revenge…
(Go ahead and try dangling me over the side of the raft now, Dave Button!)