Hurling Jello

If only my jello looked like this!

If only my jello looked like this!


You knew it was bound to happen, right? After all, it wouldn’t be fair to leave you hanging with just a list of the 5 Best Things About Being in the Hospital.  And, given the fact…

I’m. Still. Here.

…with nothing to do but read, write, play Criminal Case on FB, watch really bad television, and give The Man the stink eye when he shows up to have ‘lunch with me’ and brings a sandwich and FRENCH FRIES for himself, knowing I can’t have even one!  Whaaaatever. Karma is a bitch, and she’s my BFF. So there.

Anyway, I’ve decided to comprise a list of The Worst Things About Being in the Hospital. Notice there’s not a number attached, as I really can’t say how long this list will be. I’ve been here 6 days now. Could take a lil’ bit. So, pour a glass of wine or grab a fruity cocktail, maybe some chips & guacamole…or one of the other 8,472,931 edible things I can’t have…sit back, relax and enjoy!

In no particularly order, I present to you my idea of the worst parts about the forced hiatus from my life. Ta-da!!!

Food and Beverage Commercials- Believe me, I understand the power of advertising, but have you ever noticed how many commercials on television are food/beverage related? Probably not, because unless you are in the hospital on a liquid diet, you can choose (or not) to have anything that happens to flash on that screen. At first, I thought I was just sensitive to it, because I’m starving. Uh…no. I counted them. During one commercial break, there were 5 spots: one for chocolate, one for burgers, one for chips, one for Jello (isn’t that ironic?) and one for Applebee’s. I let the last one slide, because my friend Maribeth is the star 🙂 The last time my nurse came in to check on me and ask if I needed anything, I told her she could call the networks and politely instruct them to temporarily suspend the run of any and all food/beverage/restaurant commercials until I get sprung from this joint. She giggled.

I was dead serious.

Vampires- I know, I know…phlebotomists. Yes…I respect the need for them in the hospital. After all they are specialists at what they do. However, it doesn’t make me loathe their 4am, needle-wielding,  wake-up calls any less. Perhaps if all of them looked like Robert Pattinson, or the guys from True Blood, I would be less grumpy about the visits. Okay, that’s a lie. Anyone that wakes me up just to stick me, drain me, and leave me is never received with open arms regardless of the time of day. Oh, and overall…their bedside manner SUCKS.

Noises- There are more than half a dozen separate sounds I can hear at the moment: my IV pump, the air conditioner (very noisy), the nurses relaying chart information, the lady next door yelling “Somebody help me, I gotta get up!” (I think she may be in the wrong unit, if catch my drift), the hospital PA system announcing a “Code Pink” (it’s a drill, I asked),  an alarm on one of the elderly patients’ beds that plays the tune of “Old MacDonald” incessantly and various other beeps, bells and dings. It’s maddening….even with my DOOR SHUT. I will admit to the temptation of actually recording it. After all, The Man does post-production sound effects for film, and this stuff would be GOLDEN to have in his sound library. Then I remembered about the french fries.

Sheets and Pillows- Now before you go thinking I’m some diva, requiring Eygptian cotton, 5000 thread count (do those even exist?) sheets, and goose down pillows like the ones at a 5-star hotel….don’t. Totally not me. I followed The Dead in college and am perfectly happy sleeping in a tent with an air mattress, covered with a COTTON SHEET and a pillow that just doesn’t run from its pillowcase. The pillows here are covered in plastic, and I understand why…but I don’t have to like them, do I? The only thing that irritates me more than having my bed linens wrinkly and in a bunch is feeling little ‘pills’ on them. It happens on…you guessed it…50/50 poly-cotton blend fabric. And wouldn’t you know it….the place designed to keep me bedridden and resting uses these sheets! For the love of all things holy….that’s why 100%, no-iron, cotton percale sheets exist. Get a clue, hospital admin people.

Bathing- I’ve been here 5 nights and 6 days now, and had 2 showers. All the days in between, I smelled like a dirty hippie. You know why? Because bathing myself with basically one arm is almost impossible. You see, I have this pesky IV in my left arm and they put it right in the bend of my elbow (big fat, juicy vein there) so I can’t bend my arm. Plus, to take a shower it has to be wrapped in plastic and made waterproof with tape that MacGyer would die to have in his tool pouch. Medical tape is the first cousin to Duct Tape, I believe. Seriously. And forget about washing my hair. Just couldn’t happen. So what do you think is at the top of my “To Do List” once I get out?

Peeing every 20 minutes- Since I was beyond dehydrated when I came in, I’ve had constant fluids running through me the entire time. And between The Liquid Diet (see next item on list) and the fluids, I haven’t peed this much since I was preggo with Sweet Pea. Up and down, up and down. Every 20 to 30 minutes. It’s exhausting, and painful, given the nature of my illness.  Again, I understand the benefits, but I thought I was supposed to rest here. Hello, catheter anyone?

The Liquid Diet- Remember how I talked about loving Jello in this post?  Well, you can forget all that BS. Because I’ve got a bit of strength back now, and I’m fairly certain the next tray that comes through my door sporting a fancy little plastic dish full of that translucent, colorful shit is going to be hurled at the wall. That goes for its equally nasty friend gelato too. Maybe I can say I was redecorating, and I thought the walls needed some modern “artwork” 🙂

Luigi, please go back to chasing Mario, will ya?

Luigi, stick with your partner Mario and go back to your day job, will ya?

***On a serious note though, the MOST EXCRUCIATING thing about being here is missing The Beans. The hospital will not allow the littles to come up and visit. Sugar Bean barely made the age requirement herself, and only came once, on Saturday for about 15 minutes. I think seeing me here spooked her and I didn’t press her to come back. If all goes well, I’ll be out this afternoon, have my babies in my arms and go back to life as usual in a few days. Okay, maybe not ‘as usual’, since that got me here in the first place. I’ll be making some adjustments so I can continue to entertain y’all with the adventures of my life from anywhere but here!


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On top of Forgiveness Mountain

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

Pretty bottles of poison, huh? Actually, I don’t know what the heck is in them, but given the nature of this post, and the quote I’m borrowing from  I’m just gonna stick with the assumption they have poison in them. Besides, one of them has a skull on it, and another has a pentagram. That can’t be a good sign. So there.

“Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for someone else to die.”

Honestly, that’s the best advice/reason I’ve ever seen about forgiveness, because grudges are toxic…even lethal…substances we carry around. They consume our insides and warp our sense of reality. And with 3 Beans and The Man to take care of, I’m already teetering on the verge of insanity most days anyway, so I’ll pass on the help. Thanks. Admittedly, I’ve fallen victim to grudge holding. Hell, I’ve dragged my family into it, and I’m not proud of that, to say the least. Sometimes being human really is an impossibly heavy cross to bear. 

Anyway, back to forgiveness.

Mama always told me, “Look for the good in people, even if you have to use a magnifying glass once in a while.” Pretty sage advice, I believe. She also taught me to be forgiving and compassionate, with the knowledge that nobody is perfect. Especially me. Despite the handful of times I mentioned previously…when I fell into the grudge trenches, grabbing those within my reach on the way down…I’ve always been generously forgiving. Sometimes to a fault. It also takes A LOT to make me angry enough to cut someone out of my life to the point of holding a grudge. And by a lot, I mean major betrayal, heaps of heartache, or life-altering actions….over an extended period. Usually. But I do have a breaking point, and it has happened. The good news is, as I’ve gathered life experience, resulting in more gray hair than I want, I’ve also developed a keener eye for people with agendas. Thus, resulting in a tighter circle full of loyal people whom I would trust with the lives of myself and family, rather than energy vampires who suck the life out of me or threaten to wreck what I’ve got going on. Must be true….wisdom comes with age, huh?

For the past few years, our little tribe has been on a seemingly never-ending hike over some very rough terrain. Let’s see…there has been betrayal by friends and/or trusted business associates, job related shake-ups, financial destruction/rebuilding, addiction and recovery, not one but two family moves, and the deaths of two beloved family pets. Clearly, our plates have overflowed with a variety of things. And that’s just the general Cliff Notes summary. Plenty of other less devastating, yet still significant hurdles have presented themselves along the way as well. But, in the spirit of my mama, and her wish to always focus on the good, and avoid shrouding the entire span of time in darkness, I will direct you to some positive times. Like thisthis and this. And this. OH… and this, of course. But, suffice to say, we’ve learned enough life lessons in the past 8 years to keep The Beans’ (along with their children & grands) karma cards free of a balance for quite a while. Just about the only things we haven’t had to endure are divorce and the terminal illness or loss of a family member. God-forbid any of those happen!! Seriously. I know The One in Charge thinks I’m a bad-ass already, as evidenced by the weight of what I’ve carried in the past. So I’d prefer not to be reminded again just yet. All good for now, and honestly…I could use a rest.

Did you hear that? (please say yes)

Fortunately, it seems that prayer has been heard, although I’m understandably hesitant to hold my breath, or sigh in relief just yet. I mean, you never know…right? However, I am happy to report….as we waded through the muddy water, and slid down slippery slopes into deep valleys at times…we also managed to simultaneously climb a mountain called FORGIVENESS. Mostly of those who betrayed us and of each other, but especially of ourselves. Oh and the view from atop, looking down at the distance we’ve traveled is a marvelous one indeed. The words “I FORGIVE YOU” have never felt so powerful and freeing as they do in my life today. I’ve said them before, but the sound of that phrase now is the equivalent of harp strings plucked by angels’ fingers. Oh, and the bottles of poison? They have been emptied, their contents replaced with the liquid of GRATITUDE. As the saying goes…“To err is human; to forgive is divine”. So so true. I’m proud of how much The Man and I have grown–as people–and the resilience we’ve had in the face of all sorts of things. The Beans will be stronger and smarter as the result of it, I hope.

And more appreciative.

And kinder.

But most of all, more….



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Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed by Glennon Melton




Let me start by saying, I’ve waited on this book from the moment I stumbled across, exactly one year, and 86 days ago. Which, ironically, is before the author found out she would be writing the book in the first place. Or at least before she told us Monkees. So, to say I was excited when TLC Book Tours asked me to review it, ON ITS BIRTHDAY, is a gross understatement. Oh, and when I figured out that request involved getting an Advance Reader’s Edition copy, directly from the publisher, Scribner Books…well, I peed a little. Okay, a lot. Then I told all my friends…or anyone who would listen. So this is a big deal for me folks, because I am about to give y’all my 2 cents on  Carry On, WarriorThoughts on Life Unarmed, the first book written by my girl crush blogging idol, Glennon Doyle Melton. A woman who has, unknowingly, changed my life.

Glennon Doyle Melton

Glennon Doyle Melton


I’ve read the book twice already.

Back to back, in fact. It’s that good.

Lucky for me, the copy I pre-ordered before I was asked to review it will be here today, because the second time through, I read with a yellow highlighter in my hand, marking all my favorite passages along the way. Now it looks like SpongeBob Squarepants puked in it. Of course, that’s the copy I will be taking with me to be autographed when I meet Glennon in a couple of weeks on her in real life book tour  for this magnificent baby. I can hardly wait!

Now, those of you who already follow Momastery, and no doubt, love Glennon as much as I, are aware of what a gifted storyteller she is, and what this book is all about… Love Wins. We Can Do Hard Things. Life is Brutiful. For those who aren’t familiar, (Hello? Where have you been?) it’s a collection of essays on facing life’s challenges– relationships, parenting, faith, addictions, fears–told with such authenticity, humor, forgiveness and bravery, you’ll no doubt find yourself nodding in agreement and/or recognition more than a few times. For me, page after glorious page delivered a shiny new gem, I not only identified with, but heard myself telling in my own voice. It’s almost as if she crawled inside my head and dipped her pen into the inkwell of my brain. I’ve read hundreds of books in my 41 years, and I can honestly say this is the very first time that every single word my eyes fell upon resonated so deeply I cried…at the sheer realization that someone ‘really gets me’. Funny that it’s a virtual stranger, huh? But really, she’s not. If you look closely enough, parts of her are inside all of us, and to quote another Monkee mantra: We Belong To Each Other.

So there.

Anyway, I could gush like Old Faithful, going on forever, because when I’m passionate about something…I can’t shut up. But I’ll save you from that, and simply make a suggestion with a promise:

Read the book. You will not be sorry.

Oh, and when you do…because I have faith in at least your curiosity getting the best of you and compelling you to follow my advice…here are some of MY favorite essays from the book (in no particular order):


Lucky Seven

In Case of Emergency

A Mountain I’m Willing to Die On

Don’t Carpe Diem


On Profanity

Every essay in the last section of the book, appropriately titled “Letting Go” 

Now, to make this easier for you, I’m allowed to give away ONE COPY of Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed  to a very lucky winner, compliments of TLC Book Tours and Scribner Books. So here are the rules. Pay close attention, because there will be a couple of hoops to jump through to qualify:

1. You must go over to my Facebook page and ‘Like’ it.

2. You must leave a comment there that says either, “Love Wins, We Can Do Hard Things, or We Belong to Each Other”. Of course, feel free to comment here too…but just to show me some love 🙂

The contest will close on Friday, April 5th at 12am, PST. From the official entries on The Calibamamom FB Page, a winner will be chosen at random, announced here and there,  and notified via email, within a few days of the closing of the contest. 

TLC Book Tours

TLC Book Tours


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They asked. So I answered.



All my new kindred bloggy souls asked, so I allowed my ‘loose at both ends and tied in the middle” tongue to take the wheel for this post. Might be a train wreck. Hard to watch, but impossible to look away from 🙂 Anyway, here are the results. So grab a cocktail, and get comfy. This train has many cars…..

1) What’s your worst drunken episode of adult life? If I could remember, I probably wasn’t that drunk now was I?

2) What’s something you’re obsessed with? Going to DMB concerts. I’ve been to an obscene number of shows, and don’t plan on stopping. Until I die, or he stops playing.

3) What hidden/odd talent do you have? I can say my ABC’s backwards faster than most people can say theirs forwards. I also have an uncanny ability for finding 4-leafed clovers. True story. I have 100’s of them.

4) Do you have any irrational fears and what are they? Yes. I am horrified of water that I can’t see through. This includes oceans, lakes, etc. The fear of what is down there is a complete pain in the ass, because I would love to learn how to surf and to sail.

5) Why do you blog? I use it as therapy. I’ve always kept a journal, but I think my writing is entertaining sometimes, and I’m a sharer 🙂

6) If you could have a super power (x-ray vision, invisibility, etc) what would it be and why? It’s a toss-up between Teleportation and Invisibility. Because I like to travel, but I also enjoy walking around naked.


8) Which TV/movie character best resembles your personality? a combination of Penny Lane (Kate Hudson) in “Almost Famous”, Melanie Carmichael (Reese Witherspoon) in Sweet Home Alabama, and Leanne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) inThe Blind Side“.

9) What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? Pumping gas at my daddy’s filling station when I was in junior high school.

10) If your readers met you in person, what would surprise them most about you? How tiny I am. I’m only 5’1″. But my personality is really tall…lol.

11) What is your most embarrassing parenting fail? My Oldest figured out how to unbuckle her car seat when she was 2, and would randomly unstrap herself while we were driving. So I took her to get a different one that had been rated as the hardest one to get out of. In the parking lot of Babies R Us, I installed the new seat, not noticing my keys had dropped out of my pocket onto the seat of the car. Apparently, I put my knee on the remote and locked the car, without realizing it. Once she was strapped in, I closed the door and went to get in the driver’s door only to find it locked. Of course she couldn’t open it, because she didn’t know how to unbuckle herself. THANK GOD I had my cellphone in my pocket, because I had to call AAA to come and open the door. It started raining while I was standing outside the car, so by the time the guy arrived, I was soaking wet, panicked and crying…..all the while my Sugar Bean was waving at me, giggling and giving me a thumbs up for her new seat. Brilliant.

12) What’s the worst date you’ve ever had? There was a guy in high school who kept asking me out, and I finally agreed. He picked me up and took me to a pizza place where they screwed up our order, he realized he forgot his wallet, and then we got in the car to leave and it wouldn’t start. He had to call his mom to come and get us. Worst. Date. Ever. 

13) How I lost my virginity? To the high school sweetheart, but not exactly in a scenario I envisioned. It DID NOT involve the backseat of a car, I assure you of that, but inexperience does make for good comedy, and excellent blog fodder, right? (Oh, and it was not the guy mentioned in #12. He never even got a second date) 

14) What is your weirdest phobia?  Poisonous sea snakes.

15) Is there someone you wish you could apologize to? Yes, as a matter of fact there is.

16) What’s your guilty pleasure? Watching “Married to Jonas”.

17) If you could commit a crime, and absolutely get away with it, what would you commit and why? Rigging the lottery. Do I really need to answer the ‘why’?

18) What historical figure would you most like to spend the day getting pedicures, day-drinking and talking about boys with? Marilyn Monroe

19) Is there anyone you are secretly jealous of? Yes, but it comes and goes.

20) Do you and your mate have a “Hall Pass” list? Yes, we do.

21) If you could be a contestant on a game show, which one would it be? I have been on Pyramid, That’s The Question and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? I would like to be on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, The Amazing Race, or Survivor. 

22) Have you ever been caught ‘doing the deed’? If so, by whom? Almost…by one of my daughters.

23) What’s one accomplishment in life you are the most proud of? Besides becoming a mother, helping organize this.

24) Have you ever met a celebrity? I live in Los Angeles, and The Man works in the Industry. So, yes. Many of them. But they are all people like you and me with bigger paychecks and a job they love 🙂

25) Which skeeves you out the most: vomit, poop, snot or pubic hair? None of the above. Not squeamish at all.

26) What’s the grossest thing you’ve found in your food? not a strand of hair….but a WAD of it. 

27) Most embarrassing thing you’ve done while meeting someone famous. Spilled a tray of champagne on them.

28) What do you want on your tombstone? (The actual stone, not the pizza) She was a force of nature with an old soul, who loved with her whole heart.

Okay, y’all know enough. Go do something productive with the information, will ya?


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