Category Archives: Women

Heroes & Angels

On July 18th one of my heroes passed away.  My Grandmother June Gimse was 90 years old and had suffered several strokes that took her memory from her, so her passing wasn’t totally unexpected but somehow it was.

I never thought she could die.  In my head Grandma is larger than life.  Maybe that’s why it’s taken me so long to put anything about her down on paper.  Everything I say or write seems so pale and inadequate to the task of describing her or my love for her.

Grandma enchanted me.  I think that’s the closest I can come to an accurate description.  Don’t get me wrong, I have not created in my mind a revisionist perfect person.  Far from it.  She was remarkable in the way that she was perfectly imperfect.

This photo of her angel is an awesome illustration of what I mean. Notice anything different about this angel?  I took this angel home when we moved Grandma into the nursing home.  A small memento that I could keep near Angel Photome to remind me everyday of Grandma. But something about it bugged me. Every day. What was it?

Then one night I saw what was bothering me. Her wings.  They’re upside down.

Grandma had apparently broken the angel’s wings off (or maybe it was one of the grand-kids who did it-I may never know) and she repaired it. The fact that they’re upside down is just so her. It’s fixed. No, it’s not perfect but life is not perfect. Something that Grandma knew so well.

Grandma faced so many set backs in life. Her husband died leaving her with 3 young girls to raise. A father-in-law who owned her home who tried to take the home away from her. No education or skills. And a world that told her to give up her girls because there was no way she could raise them on her own. Everywhere she turned someone was telling her, “You can’t succeed.”

This is why she is my hero. She worked several menial jobs to earn money while she put herself through college so she could become an accountant.  She took her father-in-law to court to keep her home and won.  She kept her girls with her and raised them all.

This was not the life she had envisioned, but she never pitied herself. She never lost her faith in God. She never lost her sense of humor, of love, and of compassion. When she got knocked down, she would rise. If the world threw another curve her direction she would meet the challenge the best she could.  Her favorite song was Keep On The Sunny Side and she lived it.

Grandma didn’t believe things couldn’t be done.  There was always a way. It may not be the best way or the most perfect way, but she would find way. She went after what she wanted in this life.

She inspires me. Her strength in the face of what to me is unimaginable circumstances is the thing that legends are made of, or heroes are born from.

Her angel watches over me everyday and reminds me that life isn’t always perfect. So put your wings on anyway you can and get to living with what you have.

I love you Grandma.


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Because I Have A Kid

If I was not a mom I would never leave my house.  Half of you just rolled your eyes and thought this statement was hyperbole but it’s not.  Ask my husband.  Ask my sister.  They will tell you I can be completely content to be a hermit (the fact that I have a husband is still a minor miracle to me but don’t tell him I think he’s special).


BC (before child), I was happy to spend an entire weekend in the house without human contact living with just my characters for company.  But now I’m have this little person with me all the time (seriously like a limpet all the time!) who isn’t content to be alone.  She has friends.  I marvel at this because when I was a kid I didn’t.  She’s a mystery to me in that way (notice the way I kind worked in my radio show title – you should check it out here).


So when she came along I had to force myself to go out and talk to people. Put her in classes.  Take her to girl scouts. You know – be a mom!


Well, it change me.  A lot.  I am not the same person I was seven years ago.  I know what you’re thinking there is no way I changed that much and that I must fundamentally be the same person.  No I am not.


I talk to people now.  That doesn’t sound like a big deal but I never talked to anyone I didn’t know seven years ago.  Even if I did know you I would have had to know you for a couple years before really feeling comfortable enough with you to speak.  


Not any more.


Now I will talk to anyone about anything and it’s wonderful.  I now have so many opportunities coming my way because I am no longer afraid to talk to people.  Heck seven years ago me hosting a talk show speaking to best selling authors would have been an joke to me.  I would have thought yeah right that’s going to happen.  I couldn’t have opened my mouth let alone asked these people things. Now I have a talk show (seriously you should check it out here) and I have spoken to bestselling authors including Sandra Brown, Hank Phillipi Ryan Iris Johansen and JA Jance. Can you believe it?! Because I still can’t. But I am very grateful!


I marvel at how far I’ve come in such a short time. And I directly attribute all of this to the birth of my daughter. She has taken me outside my comfort zone on many occasions and I have to admit, I am better off for it.



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Finding Balance – Give Me A Break

Lately I’ve been thinking about the term balance.  Probably because I have A LOT on my plate right now and I keep being asked, “How do you have time for this?”  This being whatever new thing I’ve taken on at the moment.

Somehow I find the time, but I think the people who are watching me do the things I do assume that I have found balance.  Nope.  Because there is no such thing.  At least not in the “happily giving all things equal weight and successfully making everyone happy.”  That is just bullshit.  And I have to call it that because there is no other word, so for those of you easily offended go read someone else.


Balance does not exist.  I do not have balance and I will not pretend that I do.  I live in chaos.  Managed and ordered chaos but it is still chaos.


The trick is knowing which part of the chaos needs my attention in the moment.  Not wants my attention – NEEDS my attention.  I will stop what I’m doing when I sense a growing need arise and I will devote undivided attention.  This is not balance and it’s not juggling weights, it’s simply putting one weight down and picking up another.


Magically, everything that NEEDS to get done, get’s done.  A lot of the “want to get done” has to fall away.  The funny thing is most of the stuff I let fall away are things that other’s have added to my “to do” list because they have a want.  As mad as it makes you to read this I am not sorry.


There are so many hours in the day and I need to spend what time I have living the life I intend instead of a life of inertia.  For those of you who look at me and see someone in balance, lithely dancing on the edge of a cliff – Ha, ha! I fooled you!  For those of you who see me as a hot mess clinging to the edge for all I’m worth – I’ve made peace with that image.  If I ever do find balance I promise I’ll let you know the secret.  For now, I’m happy holding on for dear life.

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