The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

Automobile Auditions, Car Callbacks, and My Parathyroid January 20, 2020

Hello all! It’s been quite a while!  Although I can’t exactly remember what all news I have talked about in my most recent posts (which really aren’t recent at all, if the truth be known) there is virtually nothing in my life that is the same. My kids are all legal adults now. In fact, Daughter S and Daughter J are 26 years old, and J is married with a baby!! (Sadly, the hubby, whom I will refer to hereafter as Dufus Jr., is not my favorite person in the world.) It’s a long, complicated, and sad story, but suffice it to say I would not be broken-hearted if he were to get abducted by aliens or kidnapped by a traveling circus. The most difficult part is that they live with me. The situation drives me bananas on the daily, but they say necessity is the mother of… something or other. Just kidding. I know it’s ‘invention.’ The only thing I find myself trying to invent around here are ways to make him disappear without a trace, but I am pretty sure that will never happen.


Anyway. I didn’t start this post to complain about Dufus Jr. Another really weird thing in my life is that The Boy has moved out. He is living with my baby sister a couple hours away from here and it’s really bizarre not having him around. I miss him a lot. He’s been my reason for living for so long and now he has finished his school, and is trying to make his way in the world. Thankfully he has my little sister and her husband, who are taking good care of him. It’s not like I have to worry about him too much. Or at all, really, but I do it anyway. I’m a mom- it’s what I am supposed to do!

So what do I do with my free time now that I’m not focused on keeping The Boy alive? Did I mention there is a baby?! Yes! My sweet little grandgirl whom I will refer to as The Squirrel. (I know that’s a silly nickname. I just called her that one night and it stuck.) She is my heart and soul. She is ten months old now and she is the most precious thing I have ever seen. So when I am not at work, I’m hanging out with The Squirrel, letting her crawl all over me while I am flopped on the bed scrolling Fb or watching Netflix. She is amazing and smart and perfect, except for a tiny little hair fetish she seems to have where her favorite thing in the world is to pull on my hair or hold it in her hand while she sucks her thumb or takes her bottle.


I’m still teaching, amazingly enough. There are days I think I am not so bad and days I think I am the worst teacher in the history of the Universe, but they continue to keep me around, so I will keep doing my level best.


On the theatre front, I haven’t been able to do anything since last summer. I was in our summer show, which was “Annie Get Your Gun,” but I haven’t been able to do anything since.  For most of us in community theatre, we go through seasons. There are times in our lives when we can give it a lot of attention and other times when our attention is required elsewhere. Right now I am going through a season when I am needed at home to help with my sweet grandgirl.

I still love it though, and sometimes I fall into fantasizing about it, which is where the title of tonight’s post comes from.  I had to drive up to a nearby (sort of) city for a doctor appointment today and on my way home I was listening to my iTunes and singing along at the top of my lungs, and about every other song was one I would imagine auditioning for a show with, picturing myself onstage, wishing I were better than I am, pushing my range to its limits in both directions, and just generally having a good time. They are doing “Hello, Dolly” right now and I would have loved to have been in it, but not only do I have to help watch the Squirrel in the evenings, I also have school stuff that could need to be done. Granted, I rarely do any school work at home, but you never know.


Now the parathyroid part of tonight’s title is what the appointment was about. I had some blood work done the other day for my one-year follow up on my weight loss surgery. (By the way, I have lost 106 pounds since September 2018. It should be more, but I am a bad rule-follower.)  Anyhoo, my blood work showed elevation of my calcium and parathyroid hormone AND a little bit on my  Vitamin D, so my doctor sent me to an endocrinologist.  He wants me to adjust my Vitamin D, take some more labs at the end of March, see him again in mid-April, and if it still seems to warrant attention, he will refer me to an endocrinology surgeon, who will, after doing some studies, most likely want to take my parathyroid gland or glands out. Rest assured this does not thrill me. I have spent the last year trying to dig out from under the medical bills that have piled up as a result of my weight loss surgery. Alas, I have realized that if you have medical insurance, you will ALWAYS have outstanding medical bills because they will always keep finding things that need fixed!


Oh well. I am extremely thankful to have insurance through my job, and to have been able to have my weight loss surgery and to know that if I have anything else that goes wrong, I will be able to have it taken care of.  That’s always a blessing.


Well, I guess that’s about all the news that is news. I’ll try to think of more entertaining things to write about and post here more often.


Until next time,










Big Dreams and Near Horizons April 30, 2018

Hello all!  This has been a crazy year and I have really fallen off the habit of updating this blog.  With any luck, maybe I can improve upon that.  Let’s see.  Where to start?


One of the biggest things that has been going on has actually just concluded.  Last night was the final performance of the final show of the season for my local community theatre, and * I * was the director!  The show was called Ripcord.  It was about two little old ladies who live in a senior center and share a room.  One of them is bitter and jaded and cranky, and the other is perpetually perky, chirpy and talkative.  The cranky one wants the room to herself (of course) and the perky one just wants the bed by the window.  They decide to make a bet.  If Cranky Abby can make Chirpy Marilyn mad, she wins.  If Marilyn can make Abby scared, she wins.  They begin to pull all kinds of pranks on each other to win the bet and achieve their ends.  It’s a wonderful script, and it was a wonderful show.


The experience started with auditions back in mid-March and ended last night with the final performance and set strike (arguably the least enjoyable part of community theatre, or any theatre, from what I understand).  I was blessed to be able to cast a bunch of really talented people, and also had some VERY talented set designers and light designers.  They helped me out every step of the way and I couldn’t have done it without them.


I expected to be emotional at the end.  You know, to cry during the final bows of the closing performance, but I didn’t.  The only time I cried was actually the second night, when they had had an exceptional performance and a great audience, and I cried during one pivotal scene and during the final bows that night.  Last night, all I felt was pride and relief.  People keep asking me if I’m going to do it again, and even though there were moments when I said “NEVER AGAIN!” I will probably end up doing it if the right show comes along.  I expect that to take a long time though, and I would really like to try to be back ON stage again first.  Right now, though, I feel too fat and unattractive to be onstage, and I don’t plan to audition again until I lose more than a few pounds, which leads me to one of the next big things I have hopefully coming up this year.


Since I returned to teaching, I found out that our insurance covers weight loss surgery.  I have been contemplating doing that for a long time now.  Within the next month I am planning to start the process toward surgery and will hopefully be having the procedure done in September or sometime in the fall.  I’m not sure which procedure it will be; it all depends on what the doctor recommends.  In the meantime, I have something REALLY special to look forward to, and it is one of the biggest dreams I have had for many years.


The Boy and I are going to Alaska!  Yes, indeedy, we have a vacation planned to Alaska in June.  I haven’t been back since I worked there in the summer of 2015 (one of my most amazing adventures EVER!) and now that I will have some free time in the summer, I’ve saved some funds and I’m taking at least ONE of my kids and showing him the most beautiful and awesome place in the world!  I’m SO looking forward to it.  I can’t wait to show him the places I went and the things I got to do.  I’m just really praying we have a great time.  I have so much planned!


That is, of course, all depending on surviving the last few weeks of school.  I totally expect to be fine, but these final days of the school year will be challenging.  The kids get restless, the schedule gets busy and packed with interruptions, and the days get hotter.  I know I won’t have too many difficulties, and if I do, at least I have some big things to look forward to, and one big thing to look back on, and hopefully that will keep my head above water.


With that, I need to get back to lesson planning.  So many things to anticipate, it’s hard to keep my focus, but the only way to get to where I want to go is to pass through where I am.


Until next time,



Teaching, Directing, And Other New Adventures July 22, 2017

Hello all!  What a hot, hot day here in my world.  So much has been going on lately, it’s quite crazy.


First of all, I think I have probably posted before about going back to college, getting my degree after 30, my one year of teaching, the tornado, the house fire, how difficult it all was, and how I survived and grew stronger, but I didn’t really think I’d ever be able to teach again?  Well… I wouldn’t have believed it, but the Universe had other plans.  An opportunity arose, I seized it, and now I am the new 10th grade English teacher at my hometown high school!!  It’s almost miraculous, honestly.  I would probably never have gotten the chance without the help of a couple of amazing women and outstanding teachers, my friends D.B and D.J.  Between the two of them, they made me aware of the opportunity, encouraged me to go for it, prepared me for it, put in good words for me, and are helping make my first year back in about nine years easier by leaving a road map of lesson plans and complete units for me to use.  I am excited and nervous, and scared and thrilled and determined and ready.  I just pray so hard that I do a good job and make a difference in my students’ lives!!


Theatre things are also cooking along like crazy.  I am now not only on the Board of Directors for the theatre, I’m the VP.  That in itself would be amazing for me, but on top of that, in their wisdom or insanity, I’m never sure which, my fellow board members voted to allow me to direct a show in the next season!  I’ll be directing a small cast play in March and April, called Ripcord by David Lindsay-Abaire. I am so, so looking forward to it, and I am so amazed and thrilled they gave me a chance.  In other news, the theatre is doing Oklahoma! this summer.  It has already opened and has five performances left.  I am planning to see it tonight and I’m sure it will be wonderful.


Theatre is bittersweet for me now, in a lot of ways. It is one of those places where the faces stay the same but the relationships ebb and flow, and someone you felt close to in one show may feel like a stranger in the next.  Or you may feel you fit in, and then feel like a stranger peeping in the window of your own living room.  I miss certain people who used to be part of it all, and I miss feeling like I am close to the heart of it.  Oddly, I became VP and immediate began to struggle with my enthusiasm for it, in the face of changing friendships and allegiances.  But I suspect that’s normal.


I’m really looking forward to tonight, though.  As I said, the theatre is doing Oklahoma! this summer and my mom and I are taking my 90 year old grandfather.  I think he will very much enjoy the show.  I was supposed to be shadowing the director on this one, learning and preparing for my directorial debut, but after I got the school job, everything else in my mind just kind of jumped into the backseat and I gradually faded out of the show.


Also, my son has had a rough summer.  He did some summer school, which he hated, but he has also been struggling with his moods and emotions, and it has been difficult.  We struggle on a daily basis to be able to see his path and his future, and it is… well, difficult.  He is just not your average bear, and we have a hard time knowing what to do with him.


Clearly I have a million things occupying my mind, so much so that sometimes, like now, when I want to be able to SAY something, my brain is nothing but drowsiness and white noise.  OH!  I have also been doing my best to plan another trip back to Alaska, AKA The Mother Ship.  If all goes well in school this year and I am rehired for next year, I am taking The Boy and myself, and we are going to the Great Northern Frontier, and we are going to have many, many adventures.  No matter what!


I think maybe that’s all for now.  I’m going to do my best to write more often here.  Maybe I’ll find something worth saying.


Until Next Time,



Guess I’d Better Get On the Ball! January 29, 2015

Soon to be Home Away From Home!

Soon to be Home Away From Home!

Hello ALL!!!  I have really got to learn how to do shorter updates here, more frequently.  There are so many times that something runs through my head and I’ll think, “Oh, that would be a great blog entry” or “I really have something to say about that, I should blog it” but then time gets away and I don’t.  The other day I wanted to talk about how much I love it when things happen like my son being pretty cranky on the way to school and then something reminding him about one of his favorite songs from the show I’m in right now for Ardmore Little Theater, and he starts singing it under his breath, and then we both do the whistling part, and then by the time he gets to school, he gets out of the car and says “Thank you for making my attitude better.”  I really like that.


Or how one of my huge-est, most unbelievable dreams is coming true and I’m going to Alaska in three months to work at a tourism job (Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge) All. Summer. Long!  More on that later.


But for right now I wanted to talk about my list of 101 Things to Do in 2015.  I wrote this shortly after New Years Day as a road map for the year and a reminder of things I wanted to accomplish.  I didn’t actually make it to 101 things, though.  I got stuck at about 89.  But here’s what I have so far:


101 Things to Do in 2015

1.  Get The Boy’s CDIB card and tribal citizenship

2. Make 2 new photo albums every month

3. Build bookshelves in the garage

4. Vacation Work in Alaska

5. Climb a mountain

6. Hang pictures around my house

7. Make theatre scrapbooks

8. Get Daughter S. to the doctor

9. Visit the Chickasaw Fitness Center

10. Use my grill

11. Haul off the junk on the north side of the house

12. Clean out garage

13. Really organize garage.

14.  Get new car

15. Feed a homeless person

16. Start and finish major writing project

17. Study philosophy (or philosophers)

18. Begin re-decorating house

19.  Price new carpet

20. Get a massage

21. Visit an Oklahoma tourist attraction

22. Take a solo road trip

23. Attend a writing conference

24. Build a yard shed

25. Give a random person $20

26. Continue taking voice lessons

27. Learn a song in another language

28. Send a card to Grandpa every month

29. Read 5 classic novels I’ve never read

30. Read 20 new books randomly recommended by someone

31. Exercise

32. Walk a 5K

33. Run a 5K

34. Try caviar

35. Read through the entire Bible

36. Memorize a psalm as a poem

37. Build a fire pit

38. Have/host an ALT party

39. Get a NEW dishwasher and microwave

40. Get a good yard sale couch and loveseat

41. Grow a plant and keep it alive (maybe a bonsai)

42. Attend a Mass

43. Attend a cultural event in Ardmore

44. Learn to cook again

45. Family game night once/mo.

46. Car headlight fixed

47. Road trip with each kid solo

48. Get to know The Niece

49. Random gifts (Dad, Mom, Sisters, Bros-in-law)

50. Get Charleston pics framed

51. Postcards to 3 cousins every month

52. Walk on a beach

53. Babysit for a friend so they can have a date night

54. Sign up for health insurance (Done)

55. Cure my toenail fungus

56. Special beauty treatment once a week

57. Teach Daughter S. to cook

58. Teach The Boy how to tie a necktie

59. Teach Daughter J. something important

60. Learn to make candles like Grammy did

61. Take makeup lessons from Elisa

62. Develop a character

63. Track WW 6 days out of every week

64. Road trip with all 3 kids

65. Buy The Boy a nice dresser

66. Try cotton candy grapes

67. Stage manage again

68. Attend an Open Mic Night

69. Sing with Community Chorale

70. Have Christmas presents bought by Thanksgiving

71. Clean and organize kitchen

72. Help build a Habitat house

73. Visit an art gallery

74. Write a love story that doesn’t have a happy ending

75. Learn to change a tire.  Actually do it.

76. Ride Amtrak to Dallas or OKC for a day

77. Offer to carry a baby for my sister and her husband

78. Buy a new Christmas tree

79. Wear a colored wig for a day

80. Use my PiYo mat and routines 2x/wk

81. Play in the rain

82. Rent paddleboat at Lake Murray Lodge

83. Transition TGOC to TN

84. Play ball with The Boy 2x/wk

85. Pay bills on time

86. Vote

87. Bury a dog (I only added this to the list after I actually had to do it in early Jan.)

88. Clean and organize bathroom and keep it

89. Be in a play (Done)

90. Learn to love myself for real

91. Go to one of those Wine and Art things (where everybody paints the same painting)

92. Raft the Chulitna river

93. Ride an ATV on a bear-watching adventure

94. Paddle a kayak on Byers Lake

95. Visit a place called Devil’s Canyon

96. Visit an Alaskan sled dog kennel

97. Float the Talkeetna river

98. Ride in a plane that lands on a glacier

99. Catch a salmon

100. Make a new friend

101. Live Out Loud with a Capital L


So there we have it.  That’s my plan for the year. Those last few completed my list after I spent this morning looking at the CruiseTour excursions offered from my lodge location where I’ll be working in Alaska.  Employees get discounts.  I hope they’re good discounts, because otherwise I’m going to spend every dime I make up there!  I’m sure I will be starting yet ANOTHER blog, detailing my Alaskan adventures.  I can’t wait to get started.


Until next time,



Apologies: Another Opportunity to Grow October 3, 2014

Hello all.  This is a follow up to my last entry.


My last post hurt my friend.  I didn’t mean it to, but it did.  I failed to point out a few important facts.


I didn’t mention that she was not beating me out for these roles on purpose, trying to take them from me for no good reason.  I failed to point out that she began taking music lessons literally before I was born.  I failed to point out that she has been involved in theater and music since she was in high school, that she has done community theater off and on for years, that she has a degree in music, that she has taught music and acting every day of her career, and that she has yearned to be onstage her entire life.  I posted her picture of her in her first breakout role with ALT because I am proud of how awesome she is.  Despite the fact that I have held my talents and abilities up against hers and found them lacking through my own ridiculous insecure nature, I am proud of her.  She’s amazing to have as a friend.  She gets applause when she merely walks in to audition.  She is loving and kind and friendly and caring, and she’s a wonderful person.  Nothing in my previous post was meant to imply anything different.  She has wanted to be onstage like this her entire life.


I have only been involved in community theater for a year and a half.  I auditioned mainly on a whim a year ago, but I have always wanted to sing.  All I ever wanted to do as a kid was to sing and be a mom.  I used to stand in my bedroom for hours, singing along with cassette tapes of my favorite singers, pretending I was giving a concert.  The acting thing I have always thought would be fun, but I always felt like I would never be able to actually make anybody believe I was a different character, so I never tried to do it before.


My last post wasn’t really at all about her. It wasn’t meant to be, anyway. It was about me and how I have to decide how to deal with not getting what I want and how to know where to go with the knowledge that I am not as good as I want to be. It was about me dealing with a newly discovered issue, (as if I didn’t have enough already) and trying to figure out what to do about it. She just happened to be the person who cast the spotlight on the lesson. If it were one of our other much more experienced theater friends rather than my best friend, it wouldn’t be nearly as obvious that it was something I needed to realize and learn.


And I also realized, amazingly, I have never felt like I was in direct competition with anybody, much less someone who was my best friend. And it’s not like it is a direct competition between me and her, but the reality is this theater thing is somewhat of a competition and I’ve never really even been in ANY competition. I’ve never been in sports or really done anything that was individually competitive like this.  It’s just that I’m new to competition on the whole.


I’m really, really sorry, Mama T.  I’m new to all of this, and it’s no excuse, but I’m on the right track now.  Forgive me.  Love you bunches!

Until next time,




The Year Behind, The Year Ahead… December 31, 2013


Path (Photo credit: Guerito)

Hello all!  I have neglected my beloved blog for a couple of months now, and I do apologize.  I plan to do better with that in the future.  More on that shortly.  So!  It’s New Year’s Eve.  The Big One.  The last hoorah, as it were.  People everywhere are posting their year in review, and I am a total bandwagon-hopper, so here’s mine.  Enjoy!


For starters, in 2013, nobody died.  Not in my family, at least.  Last year my father lost his mother and his baby sister in the same damn year.  It was pretty bad.  Thankfully this year, we have not lost any close family members.


My weight loss efforts, on the other hand, suffered an untimely demise.  Well, maybe not entirely.  I have sort of continued to half-heartedly fight the battle of the bulge, but overall this year, I am up by 10 pounds since this time last year.


Ah, the children.  Yes, of course.  From the beginning of this blog, my kiddos and their progress in life have been a continuing topic of discussion, and they are actually doing pretty well.  Daughter S. is taking college courses, and passing them, and although she is in a temporary lull with regard to having clarity on what she wants to do with her life and how she wants to do it, I think in general, she is in good shape.  Daughter J. is in a period of great growth and striving toward what she wants.  She has a job and a boyfriend and plans for her future.  Next on her list: she wants to learn to drive, and she wants to get married.  THAT particular goal of hers is going to require a lot of work and planning for her to be able to have independence, given her and her boyfriend’s developmental limitations.  Also a lot of therapy for ME, to be able to handle such an event.


The Boy deserves his own paragraph.  After struggling his last few years in public school, we home-schooled last year, and this year we found him a small, private Christian school which uses a homeschool curriculum, and he seems to be growing and making progress and fitting in quite well.  He still has difficulties expressing himself appropriately when he gets really mad, (and he often gets mad for the most incomprehensible of reasons) but when it comes to the expression part, who doesn’t?!  Anyway.  His physical growth and changes in the past year are somewhat mind-blowing to me.  He has outgrown his sisters, his feet are bigger than mine, and I feel pretty certain by this time next year he will be taller than me as well.  NOT looking forward to that, I’ll just be honest.  He will be 13 in May.  For now I will just enjoy not having any teenagers in the house! (The girls turned 20 on November 29.)


And where do we even begin with my own personal progress in 2013?  It has been a year of stretching my horizons and trying new things.  I took a solo vacation for the first time in my life, and traveled to Charleston, SC to spend a weekend with a bunch of people I didn’t know, and it turned out AMAZING.  Even before that, though, I did the unthinkable.  I auditioned for community theater.  I got up on a stage and sang for a bunch of people I didn’t know, and just like the Charleston trip, it was an amazing thing for me.  I was cast in the Ardmore Little Theatre production of Les Miserables and made so many new friends.  It was literally a life-changing decision when I dug up from somewhere deep inside me the bravery to actually get up on that stage and try out


If you have been reading me throughout this entire community theater journey, you will know that I also developed a major crush on someone from the theater, which followed me from June through December.  Unfortunately, the person about whom I was obsessing did not think I was special in the same way that I thought he was special.  Right about the time I got clear on that, he decided that one of my best friends was special in that way instead.  And after watching me pine for this person for six months, his sudden attention to her made her decide she thought he was special in that way, too.  That is one of the reasons I haven’t written much here lately.  On a scale of 1 to 10, this infatuation was a 15, so it has taken me some time to begin to heal from all of that.  But I am, finally.  I have had no other choice but to forgive, and my friend and I are still friends.  Possibly better friends than before.  At least, I hope so.


Before all of this romantic drama happened, the theater journey continued with a leading role in a play that was making its world debut on our stage, which was something I NEVER thought I could do.  Wow.  I never thought I could act, and it turns out, I am not too bad at it.  It helps that the character I was playing was very close to my own personality, so I may not actually be as good an actress as I like to think, but we won’t dwell on that. 🙂   The journey is scheduled to continue as, a week from tonight, I audition for the next ALT production, Young Frankenstein.  I only hope for a chorus part in that one as well.


To wind up the year, I have been conducting a personal test in the last week or two.  After all the drama with my friend and The Crush hit the fan, I deactivated my Facebook temporarily.  As you will know if you have read me much, Facebook was one of my major outlets, the primary way I connect with people, but I decided it was best if I take a break.  I had said I would probably reactivate it after the New Year, but we’ll see.


This is getting long, so very briefly, my hopes for 2014:  just happiness.  Beyond that, I’m open.


My GOALS, on the other hand, are a whole other story.  I want to renew my Weight Watchers efforts with enough dedication and determination that I will remain on the downward slide with regard to scale numbers, and be under 200lbs by this time next year.  I want to steal one of my little sister’s goals and make it a point to connect more with my family.  I want to start saving for my Long Dreamed Of Trip to Alaska for my 45th birthday (which isn’t until 2017!).  And finally, I might just write a book.  My poetry got a lot of attention in 2013, and I hope to draw on some connections I made from that, and maybe let it take me somewhere.


Above all, I am going to TRY to live in the moment.  Wherever I am, I am going to be intensely focused on being there.  Enjoying where I am, what I am doing, and WHO I am with.  I am not going to be wishing I could be somewhere else or with someone else (read: a romantic relationship).  I am going to focus on trying to be myself, love myself, and perhaps in 2014, finally grow up.  The following are two quotes I want to try to live by in 2014:

If it’s not challenging you, it’s not changing you.


Life is a result of the choices you make.  If you don’t like your life, start making better choices.



Until next time,



As Someone Once Said… I HAVE RETURNED! October 11, 2013


This was the beach area of the resort where we stayed.

Hello all!  Ok, I’m not sure if anyone ever actually said that or not.  I have heard it all my life and never bothered to look it up.  Oh, right.  Soo not the point.  Sorry.  What I MEANT to say was that I am HOME from The Blathering 2013!  Charleston! Ocean Breezes! (Gulf breezes, anyway.) Palmettos, and their identically named bugs! So many other single words with exclamation points I could throw in there that nobody would get unless they were present!  (Note:  this is going to turn out to be more of a trip report than a recap and so might run a little long.)


It was fun.  Really, really fun.  I started out a little iffy.  My mom drove me to the airport in Dallas.  (Love Field, if you’re interested.) We spent what felt like a lifetime stuck in traffic, couldn’t FIND the airport, but finally got a clue by calling the airport for directions.  You GUYS! I know.  I have a smart phone.  Yellow case and all.  But seriously.  My battery sucks itself down like cheap wine and for some reason my maps app is completely not at all clear to me.  I don’t know how to make it work right. (which explains why I had to be escorted halfway back to my departure point at the end of the weekend, but more on that later.)


So we finally got to the airport, Mom booted me out at the curb, I heaved my suitcase out of the back of the truck (yes, we were in a pickup truck.  Southern, ya’ll.)  I checked in, checked my bag, got to security.  Took off all my shoes and junk, stuffed everything in a tray, fed it through the machine, walked through the scanner, and when I walked to the end of the table to get my tray, it’s not there.  It’s been pulled to the side with another tray, and right in front of me, I see and hear two security guys get all nervous and wide-eyed-looking at each other, and then one of them speaks into an electronic gadget and from across the room I hear a shriek:  “ALL STOP!!” and literally everyone in the immediate area freezes.  Just freezes.  Security people are swooping in from everywhere and discussions are held in Serious Undertone and apparently there are images with no corresponding bags.  Or something.  Whatever it is, it takes them a good solid ten minutes to figure it out, they have to scan my bag through another machine, and eventually I am sent on my way with thanks for my patience.  Patience, HA!  If they could have taken a blood pressure reading on me, they would not have thought I was so patient.


So I threw my stuff back in the bag, stomped back into my shoes, ran to find a monitor, sprinted up the stairs, trotted toward my assigned gate, and… missed my boarding group.  I had been in Group A but they were almost through B before I got there.  Nevertheless, I got a seat, next to a nice looking lady who, THANKFULLY, had chosen to sit in the middle seat, her traveling companion being in the window seat.  So I sat, and tried to compose myself.  Posted to Facebook:  “On the plane. Taking off in a few. BP in the stratosphere. Prayers appreciated! Love to all….”  During takeoff I was thinking about how they say there are no atheists in foxholes, and I thought it’s surprising that they can’t say that about airplanes too.  When you really think about it, it’s kind of amazing.  How does something that big and heavy get up in the air? And stay up?  Yeah, I know, it has to do with physics or something.  So anyway, I prayed when we took off, and it was fine, as I knew it would be, but then… I got a little emotional.  Something about the ‘traveling by myself’ thing, which I was doing for the first time.  It was exciting and fun, but also a little sad.  I wished I could be going somewhere with a Significant Other.  I thought about the people I like from the theater and wondered what it would be like if I were going on a trip with someone like that.  About off-color jokes and funny remarks they would whisper in my ear as we took off, to keep me from being nervous.  About the things we would enjoy experiencing together in a new city.  I wondered if I would ever have that.  So yeah, maybe a bit selfish, but that is where my thoughts were at the time.


BUT.  Not to get too off track with the story here, (or is it way too late for that?) I made it through the quick flight to Houston, was late getting to the gate for the next leg, but thankfully, one of my roommates was on the same flight and had made it there in a more timely manner and was saving me a seat. (Thanks, S.E.G.!)  She texted me and posted to the Fb group, and I was in the tunnel trying to get to the plane, and she was super relieved to have that piece of information!  So I made it onboard and we hugged and proceeded to chat.  Lord, I felt sorry for the people around us, y’all.  I am pretty sure we were silent for approximately 30 seconds total of that entire flight.


But we made it to Charleston, claimed our luggage, met the girl who was picking us up, and the other girl who was riding with us (Erin! Arwen!)  and made it to the hotel.  It was pretty funny immediately- the girls from cooler climates were like, “Ohmygod it’s so hot!” and us Southern girls were like, “Wow, this is so nice!”



My room made me happy! So. Yellow!!

But we got to the resort, checked in, rested in our room, which was happy and yellow!  We explored outside, walked on the dock.  Our other roommate (Ginger!) arrived at some point in there and we headed downtown for exploring and supper.  I really enjoyed walking around downtown Charleston.  So many interesting things to see and street names I had mostly heard in Gone With The Wind and its spinoffs.  We ended up having dinner at the Charleston Crab House, which was really good.  I had already abandoned all intention of even pretending to be on Weight Watchers that weekend, and my first food in Charleston was a seafood linguini alfredo drenched in cheese. I know.  But it was super good.  Our table was on the rooftop, which would become another theme on the trip.  We spent a lot of time on rooftops.  Apparently it’s a thing.


This was my first dinner in Charleston- taken at sunset from the roof of the Charleston Crab House.


After dinner we walked, and walked, and walked, which was good, but tiring.  Some of us were supposed to do a ghost tour later that evening, and several of the potential tourists were too pooped by the time the tour finally rolled around.  But we did our fair share of walking, stumbled across a TV series being filmed, (sources report it was the series, Reckless. ?) and finally joined the other group before some of us took off on the ghost tour.  I was developing blisters on my feet by this time, but the ghost tour was enjoyable.  It was a little hokey, but fun.  The tour guide clearly spent hours looking in the mirror practicing his wide-eyed spooky face and voice, but it was fun.  I didn’t find out until a few days after returning home that all that walking had netted me 8 (EIGHT!) WW activity points on my ActiveLink monitor.  Go, me!


After that there was a rooftop bar, a chatty cab lady, and a collapse into bed.  Next morning was brunch at Eli’s Table (where I had grits for the first time- they were awesome).  Things kind of begin to run together at this point, but there was a lot of walking around downtown, souvenir buying, fudge eating, water taxi riding, salami sitting, sailor hats, glow glasses, bowling balls, buzzy beverages, weddings, drunk douche-y wedding guests, popsicles, pineapple fountains, more souvenir buying, doughnuts, Shrimp and Grits, and yellow.  Lots of talk about yellow.  That’s just me.  I have a feeling that some of the girls I hung out with will immediately think of me every time they hear the word yellow from now until eternity.


This is apparently one of the big attractions of Waterfront Park.


I hadn’t managed to find time to do any of the tours I had hoped to do other than the ghost tour, but I woke up early enough on Sunday to go down to the resort dock and watch the sunrise and try to spend some time in reflection and contemplation.  I tried, I really did, but I couldn’t really get my brain to shut down.  But here is one of the pictures I took of that time.



On Sunday after the Farewell Doughnuts, when we got ready to leave it was hard to figure out what everyone wanted to do, but we ended up just going downtown and finding lunch at a nice place called Lowcountry Bistro.  That was where the Shrimp and Grits came in, complete with fried green tomatoes on top.  They were wonderful, and apparently they are yet another Southern Thing I had no idea about, but I really enjoyed them.  When lunch was finished, I needed to go pick up my suitcase from one of the girls’ hotel, (Jess!) and catch a cab to the airport, and bless their hearts, those girls had to practically walk halfway back to the hotel with me to make sure I was pointed in the right direction.  So serious, y’all, I am so bad with directions there should be medical treatment for it.  A pill, an injection, hypnotic therapy, something!


My overall impression was this:  it was a great weekend full of fun new things, new people, and adventures.  I can see how these ladies look forward to being together again each year, and how this becomes the one big getaway of the year for some of them.  I had a hard time joining in and being part of the group at first.  That’s just me- I can talk forever, but I’m shy.  I like to sit back and watch and listen at first.  The first day or two after I got home, I kept thinking it was fun enough, but not something I would probably do again, just because it seemed extravagant and expensive to go spend a long weekend with a bunch of folks I really don’t know that well and sit there feeling shy and awkward and worrying that they will think I’m a snob.  Most of them were younger and still had small kiddos, and I just wasn’t in the same place in life as a lot of them.  And yet…there were similar experiences- pregnancy loss, marriage issues, complicated relationships, crossroads of faith and religion.  I ended up having really great conversations with some of these ladies about these things and more, and now as I write this, I’m thinking I would love to go back again.   The next event will be in Seattle in 2014, and if things work out right, I really do think I would do it all again.


So thanks again to all the wonderful ladies I met, those I talked to and those I didn’t, but especially to my roommates and those who took me under their wings.  You made it a great experience, and I hope to see you again someday.


Ginger, Tara, Sonya and myself (far left), Saturday night dinner at The Alley.


Until next time,



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