Bearded Man-Child 🧔

Green-blue eyes sparkle with mischievousness as freckled arms wrap around me, a wiry tawny beard jabs my hair, and my body stiffens. 

“Hug me,” he demands.

 I pat his arm with one hand. 

“That’s not a hug,” he scoffs. “Both hands.”

My arms hang loosely around him as he declares, “You suck at giving hugs.”

I snorted. “I’d give better hugs if you didn’t shit yourself every time you hugged me.”

That’s just a snippet of one of the conversations my eighteen-year-old son and I have. He hugs at home, leaving silent-but-deadly presents that linger like a dead carcass on the side of the road on a mid-July afternoon. He thinks it’s hilarious. I don’t. 

But to be fair – he gets it honest.

My dad’s the epitome of professionalism when he’s at work. The man is a hazard with any tools, can’t change a tire, struggles tying on a fishing lure. He can, however, leave a trail of deadly fumes in his wake. Something he enjoys doing in his own home as he passes by an unexpecting victim. 

My son learned from the expert crop duster, dropping gas like farmers drop pesticides. But when you fight your way out of the fumes, the bearded man-child has a softer side.

Professional Crop Dusters

He called me yesterday morning asking if I wanted anything to eat. I wasn’t even hungry, but I ordered a sausage biscuit. If my kid offers to pick me up something to eat, and he’s paying for it, I’m ordering something. I don’t care if I vomit afterward. He doesn’t usually buy me breakfast.

Maybe it’s because he walks across the stage this week. Maybe the spokes are turning in his brain, and he’s realizing life’s about to change. He’s no longer a toddler who can hold my hand as he stumbles through life. It’s his life. His choices. There will be mistakes. There will be failures. There will be disappointment. There will be tears. There will be storms. But in the midst of all that, he has an anchor. He has his family.

One thing I’ve tried to instill in my son is that family is forever. There will be people who walk into his life that he thinks will always be there, and they’ll eventually fade out of his life. But… he will always have a home to go to. He will always have an ear to listen to his woes. He will always have his family. When chaos ensues, we will be his anchor.

Today, I’ve been rambling around my house, straightening up, cleaning anything that catches my eye. Pictures hang on my walls. Pictures of my son as a toddler, as a child, as a teenager, as a bearded man-child. Tears prick the back of my eyelids. I scrub the granite countertop, avoiding his face smiling at me through the years.

He’ll walk across the stage tonight, grab the diploma held out to him, and he’ll slide the green-gold tassel dangling from his cap from one side to the other. I’ll paint my face, adding a dash of blush, eyeliner, mascara, knowing that I’ll not make it through the ceremony without crying.

I’ve barely avoided crying as I’ve walked around my home. The ghost of memories cling to every corner, hang from every wall.

Today… I’m a wreck. Tonight… I’ll still be a wreck.

Part of my heart, part of my hopes and dreams, part of my soul is venturing into the world. May he spread his wings and soar. May he fight for the impossible and make it possible. May he stand for what he believes in, even if it means standing alone. May he find joy, love, and peace as he branches off on his own.

More than anything, may he always find his way home.

~Tiff~

To My Son on Graduation Day

It’s hard to believe it’s here already. Graduation. When I first held you, eighteen years seemed so far away. Then, I blinked and my baby boy turned into a full-bearded young man.

Parenting doesn’t mean perfect. I didn’t always get everything right. But one thing I did get right was you. Even at nineteen-years-old and scared out of my mind, I never regretted having you. I regretted my choices that would negatively impact you. My boy. My innocent child. I was young, dumb, and didn’t have a clue. Until you were placed into my arms.

I am the woman I am today because of you. One look into your eyes lit a fire inside my soul. I wanted more for you than I wanted for myself. I stopped walking down deadend streets. I reflected on my actions. On my life. And I changed. For you. Because of you.

 Love doesn’t mean perfect, baby. It’s a flawed, beautiful thing wrapped in emotional highs and lows. But family is everything. When it feels like everything you’ve worked for is crashing down around you, your family will be there to hold you up. They will be your rock. Your encouragement. Family first. Always.

Don’t be afraid to chase your dreams. Don’t be afraid to fail. But most of all, don’t be afraid to love. If I fail at everything else in life, I will take my last breath knowing that I never failed at loving you or your brother.

 I have so many hopes for you. But no matter what path you take, no matter how many times you stumble, I will be here to cheer you on or pick you up. Love you. Always and forever.

Baby Blues (J’s Song)

            ~❤️ Mama~

 

🤬Quitting Chocolate🍫

My partner in crime, my incognito redneck husband, decided to quit smoking. Great, right? Suuure, it is. Don’t let Sharon – AKA the optimism fairy – fool you. It sounds great. Fantabulous, even. But this chick isn’t holding her breath. Not this time. Sharon’s gonna have to sprinkle her optimism fairy dust on some other fool. ✨

As he’s splayed out on the recliner, peering down his phone while he lines up his next shot on some game he’s playing, he casually mentions he hasn’t smoked in three days. My mind races as I do a play-by-play of the last few days, and I can’t recall him rambling to the front porch light one up. Maybe he hasn’t smoked in a few days. But instead of encouraging him, I snorted in disbelief. 

I didn’t mean to… the sh*t just came out. Before you write me off, just stay with me for a minute. 

Several years ago, the man quit smoking and hadn’t smoked a single cigarette for two weeks, then he told me he needed to wean off of them instead of quitting cold turkey. You wanna know what happened? He weaned right back on them. He made up for the two weeks he didn’t smoke in one day. Not. Even. Kidding.

Anyway, he glances over at me, and the honest fairy 🧚‍♀️, Ruth, flutters on my shoulder, whispering in my ear, and the hard, ugly truth vomits from my mouth. Fairies are evil little b*tches. Don’t listen to them. Ever.

My sexy, patient husband listens to me as I smile sweetly at him, and I point out the cold, hard facts from the past. That’s right, gents. Us women, we remember everything… until the last breath rattles from our body. Tread lightly.

Two weeks pass, and the man still hasn’t smoked a cigarette. He hasn’t been a grumbling bear tearing through the house as the nicotine withdrawals hit him. I’m a bit shocked, and I now tell him how proud I am of his accomplishment. He mentions buying himself something as a reward, which I whole-heartedly agree to. He discusses how much money we’re saving a year, what others things we can buy or go do with the cost savings, and I’m beaming at him, nodding my head, eyes are sparkly and sh*t. Then he drops the mother luvin’ bomb on me…

Think of how much money we’d save if you gave up chocolate.

I blink once. 

Twice. 

My smile falters as I scan his face. This fool is serious. I stomped one foot like an angry toddler as I told him it’d never happen. I need chocolate. Hormones are angry, vicious monsters that need to be fed from time to time. It’s safer for everyone in our household.

He held up his hands, backed up a step, and agreed.

His life almost ended, and he knew it. Smart man.

Y’all didn’t read the title and really think I was quitting 🍫, did you? Blasphemy. It shall never happen. Ever. BFFs for life.

~Tiff~

Gremlin Wars

If you’ve been following my blog for a minute, you know I’m stuck in a house filled with testosterone. I’m flying solo. When you’re the only estrogen in the house, you have to do some dirty sh*t to survive. For example, when the eldest gremlin is annoying me and is being a straight up dick, I tell him I’m flowin’ hard as I shove my hand down my underwear, pull it out and attempt to wipe it on him. Sounds disgusting, right? It absofuckinglutely is. That’s the point. His @$$ got up and moved. He left me alone. My hand might’ve smelled a little fishy, might’ve been tinged pink, but I had peace and quiet. #winning

After the eldest gremlin’s shenanigan’s this past week, I’ve turned up my game. B*tch ain’t gonna know what hit him. I’m struttin’ around like, What? You wanna take a shitty picture of me and draw a motherf*ckn dick in front of my face? That’s cool. I got you.

After I came up with brilliant idea to shave my feminine area, keep whatever came off, and sprinkle that sh*t like fairy dust over him while he’s asleep, I’ve used that sh*t to mess with his head. Here’s a snippet of the first conversation:

In the last picture, he’s trying to figure out if I’m telling the truth or not. Doesn’t matter. It’s in his head, and every time he finds one of his wiry beard hairs in his bed, the thought’s gonna cross his mind that it might be from his momma’s nether regions. Bwah ha ha. Get some, punk.

This morning, I’ve been busy. I’ve been in meetings. I have a job. I don’t get to look at my cell phone every second of the day. This fool has been sending me text messages to call the school to let him check out.

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Boy, please. 

This morning’s conversation for your reading pleasure:

Needless to say, I didn’t call the school. 

The moral of this blog is… Don’t f*ck with your momma, bruh. She’s ruthless. #GremlinWars #MommasGotGame #FairyDust

~Tiff~

Glam On

Growing up, I had a rockin’ Grams who had a bright, beautiful soul that radiated kindness. She was unabashedly who she was, and she accepted people for who they were. There are so many instances that I remember her going into a store, seeing an employee who was having a bad day, and she made it her mission to cheer them up. Her bright blue eyes twinkled, she smiled, and her cheerful British accent floated throughout the store. She could call someone a dickhead and make it sound nice. She was an unconventional grandma, but she was absolute perfection.

 It wasn’t abnormal for her to tease a family member and call them a ‘bloody bastard’, which would be appalling by some community standards, but it incited laughter and love. She was the one person that we could all go to, leave our souls bared, and she would love us regardless of how many poor decisions we made. That’s love in its purest form. 

As human beings, we put so many restrictions on others around us – how they should act, what they should say, what they shouldn’t say, how they should look, how they shouldn’t look – and it’s absolutely exhausting. I’m at the point in my life where I’m stripping away the layers of who everyone else thinks I should be or need to be. I’m going to do me. Be me. Accept it… or leave it. 

 I live in a small community, and yes, there are a few people with small minds. But… there’s a whole lotta good people, and sometimes, it is easy to let those few small minds cast stones that stick with us for longer than they should. I personally believe that if someone is gay, transgender, or… whatever they are, they should be treated the same as everyone else. They are not pariahs or outcasts. If a young girl isn’t married, and she has a kid, it isn’t the end of the world, and she doesn’t need criticism and judgement. She needs encouragement and love. If there’s a mixed kid, they don’t need to be ostracized or made to feel like they are less simply due to their skin tone. Their mom and dad are free to love each other – regardless of what race they are. When you see a kid’s surname, do not write them off, and label them based on the actions of other people in their family. See past all the bias. Just live and love. It’s that simple. 

I also don’t believe women should cater to men simply because they feel obligated to. We are no longer staying at home and solely taking care of our families. We are in the workforce, and bringing home the bacon, so why should we have to cook and serve a man? It’s just not in me, y’all. My gram’s blood runs thick in my veins, and I just can’t do it. My marriage is a partnership, and I have a sexy @$$ husband who isn’t afraid to wash clothes or load the dishwasher. You want to get laid by your wife? Keep the roses, and wash the mother*ckn dishes, bruh. 

#micdrop

I’m choosing to live my life according to my own rules. My grams was unconventional, but she was freakin’ awesome, and she’s glammin’ her angel wings. Now, I have one of the last voicemails she left me embedded in a sign on my wall. I can listen to it by simply scanning the QR code. How freakin’ cool is that?

To those feeling suffocated… stop being oppressed by people who will never be part of your life, anyway. Be you. Do you. You’re beautiful. You’re enough. If you’ve experienced feeling judged or have been treated inferior, feel free to drop into the comment section. I’d love to hear about other people’s experiences.

And, if you need some awesome jewelry to go with your bad@$$ self, check out Unique Twist Jewelry here:

https://uniquetwistjewelry.com

~Tiff~

Gremlin Shenanigans

Y’all… my son, eldest gremlin, might die before he graduates. I’m in the midst of one of the hardest weeks of my MBA, creating book pitches, finessing query letters, yada, yada… you get the point. And this fool straight up takes a pic of me in my shittiest form – no makeup, hair all f*cked up, double chin’s pronounced, and my face – IDK what that look is. To make matters worse, he doodles on it and sends it to my mother*ckn sister who shares it with my mom… and this is the text I receive:

Sexy, huh? Jerk.

Anyway, that was the gift I was given after taking time out of my busy day to move the savings account out of my name and solely into his, and getting a checking account opened in his name. He has checks and a debit card now… sh*t’s getting real up in here. On the ride home, I was telling him he needed to keep some of the money saved to where if his car needs tire or breaks down, he can cover it. Momma’s not paying for repairs. Momma’s not covering overdraft fees, either. Welcome to #adulting.

After seeing the picture, I’m tempted to shave my feminine area, keep whatever comes off, wait until he’s asleep, and sprinkle that sh*t like fairy dust. *Boom* He thinks he’s got jokes. Momma’s been around a minute, and that b*tch plays dirty.

Game on.

~Tiff~

Game on.

~Tiff~

Holy Sh*tballs

Yesterday, writers were submitting pitches on Twitter with the hopes that an agent / agency liked their tweet. It aligns a writer’s manuscript with an interested agent versus having to research hundreds of agents to see which ones would like your story. I was up early… too early, and I scheduled my pitches to hit at certain times throughout the day. Then, I started my normal workday.

Mid-morning, I took a break, stalked the Twitter feed, and I had a like on my pitch. I clicked on it, expecting to find someone other than an agent / agency had liked it.

It. Was. An. Agency. 

Almost hyperventilated. I took a few deep breaths… then I stalked them. Creepy, right? IDGAF. I legit read every word written on their site. As I determined they were an actual, reputable agency, I sat back, glanced over at my dog, and my heart stopped. His mouth’s open and closing, no sound’s escaping, and there’s terror in his dark eyes as he stares at me. He’s choking.

I jumped up, dropped my laptop, picked him up. I’m looking into his mouth, I don’t see anything, but he can’t breathe. A million thoughts fly through my mind. How do I help him? What do I need to do?

 I turn him upside down, pull him back up, look into his mouth, and swipe my finger from one side to the next to see if I can feel anything and dislodge it. Nada, and… he still can’t breathe. I compress his abdomen. Nothing’s working. 

Seconds feel like minutes.

My dog’s going to die in my arms. Looking at me for help. To save him. And… I’m flaking. I place him on the ground between my legs, pound between his shoulder blades. Mascara’s straight runnin’ down my face, blending in with my snot. I didn’t care. Nothing else mattered. Nothing but him.

Then, I hear him gasp. His chest expands as he takes a breath, and I motherf*ckn ball like a baby. I pull him to me, hugging him. Afraid to let go. We sat there on the floor. More than a human and a dog. We’re a family. And I almost lost him.

Today, I saved a member of my family. That’s all that matters.

The rest of the afternoon belonged to him – car rides & snuggles with Papa. Life is good.

~Tiff~

Optimism Fairy BS

Sometimes, I make really dumb decisions. I blame it on the optimism fairy that sits on my shoulder whispering about rainbows, sunshine, chocolate cake… you know, all the stuff you want to hear. So, I eat the freakin’ cake, which is delicious while I am eating the entire thing. Then, I walk into the bathroom, stare at the tiny black object that is going to flash red numbers at me, and I knew I shouldn’t have listened to her. Once again, she sucked me in, and I caved. #easilypersuadedwithchocolate

            Most of the time, it’s just little things I can frown about, mumble a few choice words on, then press forward. Not this time. Nope.

            The optimism fairy, that I’ve named Sharon, had the bright idea to let my eighteen-year-old son stay home alone at my house for three days. You won’t have to board the dogs, she said. He can take care of them, she said. Easy task, she said. He’s an adult, she said. And, what did I do? I listened to Sharon. 

            After being gone a few days, I opened my door, and the smell smacked me in the face. I gagged. Almost vomited. I dropped my bags on the porch, and tip-toed in, afraid of what I might step in. Sure enough… there’s dried puddles of piss on my dining room floor. A blanket with dog feces on it. A big red stain is smiling at me from my kitchen table. There are dried dog feces on my living room floor.

            Sounds like a lovely way to arrive home after being on the road for over nine hours, right? Oh, it gets worse. I walk down the hall, peek my head in my youngest son’s room and there is dog shit on his motherf*n bed. Like, what, the what? Seriously? I lost my shit, which I thought went well with the theme of my new home design.

            My eighteen-year-old arrived home a little while later, and my eyes were buggin’, y’all. My arms were flailing, I was stomping my feet to put emphasis on my words, and I saw red. My husband… he was the smartest one in the house. He kept his head down, avoided eye contact, and stayed quiet. 

            My child… this wannabe adult… made excuses.

Bearded man-child / Gremlin

            “It must’ve happened within the last three hours,” he said. “It wasn’t like that when I left this morning.”

            My head snapped, and a storm of words flew from my mouth, lashing at him. The dog piss was caked on my floor. That doesn’t happen in a few hours.

            Well, fuckity-fuck-fuck-fuck, Sharon, and her fairy optimism. If you have an optimism fairy, please be aware that the b*tch will burn you at times, and you will go down in flames… or you just might swim in the smell of dog urine and feces. 

            Just sayin’!

~Tiffany~

Shattered Dreams

There’s a voice within each of us that feeds us negative thoughts. Maybe I’m not good enough. Maybe I’ll never meet my goals. Maybe I’ll never turn my dreams into reality.The same sentences whisper over and over, turning optimism into dust as pessimism takes control.

It’s not the voices and opinions of others that shake you. That weighs you down. Those are not the ones that make you pause. Instead, it is the one that sounds eerily like your own that takes a hammer to your dreams, and it can be immobilizing at times. Fear of never doing enough… never being enough… of failing…

Whenever you finish something that contains a portion of your heart and soul, there’s a fear of rejection. You want to hug it to you, keep it hidden for fear of what others will think. It takes courage to push it out into the world, hoping that this time, it will be enough.

Chasing dreams takes work. It takes perseverance. There will be doors that will never open simply because it wasn’t time for them to open. You must put in the work, effort and leave your heart lying on the table. You need to use every moment of defeat as a springboard to hit it even harder the next time. Learn from your mistakes and find strength in those hard life lessons. Eat defeat and make that shit taste like cake. Chocolate cake. Strawberry cake. Whatever tickles your fancy.

Many dreams are shattered simply due to people listening to their own negative voices. Put that b*tch where she belongs.

Lock her up.

Gag her.

Extinguish her.

You are enough. I am enough. Dreams are meant to be chased, so tie up your shoelaces, and run after them. The only person stopping you is…you.

Tiff

Write On

Listen, y’all, have been in a little bit of a funk over the last few weeks. The cold – it slices right through me, and I just want to burrow under a blanket while ignoring the outside world. Don’t get me wrong. I like people. Ok, ok … stop laughing. I’ll change the sentence. I like most people. With that being said, I’m just not one of those folks that adores winter and dreams in snowflakes. Spring and summer are my jelly. Yeah, equivalent to blackberry jelly. If you haven’t had decent blackberry jelly, I’ll send a prayer your way. You haven’t lived until that sweet deliciousness has hit your tongue. Just sayin’.

Even though I’m wrapping myself in a million soft, fuzzy blankets with hideous designs and staying mostly inside, I am still managing to click away on the keyboard. I’m still sending queries out for my latest novel. It’s not a fast process. It’s a slow, methodical process. Being in a corporate environment where everything is moving at lightning speed, I can imagine what literary agents face every time they open their inbox, and personally, I don’t envy them. It has to be tough because every rejection they send out is dashing someone’s dream and quite possibly ruining their day.

As a writer, I try not to let the querying process get to me. For the literary agents, a rejection isn’t sent out to hurt someone. It’s just a business and they can’t accept every query they receive. Use those rejections as a motivator to learn more and become even better. Life is a journey, y’all. We need to continue to learn from our mistakes and grow as human beings.

I have also officially started outlining my next novel, so I probably won’t be sleeping as well until I have it completely hammered out. Once it’s in my head, it takes over. So, I plan on being done with the outline over the next month, then finish my first draft by June. For me, it helps to have a goal. Once I start writing, I keep a running record of what my wordcount is each day. I try to range between 1,200 and 1,500 per day, but I don’t beat myself up if one day is shorter or if I miss a day because I know there will be days where my brain is like a brand new machine and I’m churning out more than my goal.

If you’re feeling deflated as a rejection enters your inbox, don’t let it get you down. Chin up, ladies and gents, and write on. Greatness rises from rejections.

~Tiff~

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