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Dear Mother Nature


Dear Mother Nature,

You think you’re so tough…You scream your lightening and stomp your thunder and cry your rain.  But I am sick of it.  I have been holed up in this house while you have spent the last week in your little tantrum and I’m here to tell you I’m done.

Honestly, the conspiracy theorist in me says you are being paid off by the Weed Union, keeping me from my flowerbeds and letting them grow wild.  And by the Laundry Fairy who is a lazy bitch and won’t ever do the loads I leave her.  But I don’t even want to go there. The ramifications of such injustices would be too far reaching for me to calculate and I just want to get out of the house.

So, consider this notice that I’m not taking your shit anymore.   So spit and thunder all you want.  I will be in my yard pulling weeds, trimming edges and pruning plants.  Rain on me…I can take it.


Me 🙂




I think I’m going to make this blog more of a diary than I have in the past.  I’m running into “blocks” too easily and I think I might be taking this whole writing thing too seriously.  It was never meant to be good…just a release for my frustrations, thoughts and wishes.  I’m not positioning my blog to go viral at any point because that takes WAY more work than I’m willing to put into it!  And plus, I’ve got this little side job called parenting and my hobby, real estate.  So blogging won’t be a career, just a vehicle…let’s not take it too seriously.

This past week was frantic and fantastic. I have these 3 guys who have been like brothers to me since High School and I got to hang out with them and some rugrats they’ve collected along the way.  PLUS, one of them just married an amazingly sweet woman who I just adore, so that makes it all the better.  I thought alot this week about why just being around these guys makes me happy and I think its because nothing has changed and I doubt it ever will. The 4 of us have been thru alot in our individual lives from travelling to injury to marriage to divorce to children to losing parents.  We have lost touch and reunited and nothing ever changed…There have been celebrations and consolations: Love and hugs, frustration and tears. But through it all, there is always something funny…and these guys find it and point it out.  So we can laugh through something heartbreaking which some may call inappropriate.  I call it awesome.

In my life I wear many hats: Mom, wife, daughter, Realtor, teacher, mentor, (apparently maid, short order cook, and taxi-driver, too).  And all of those things are part of me, but sometimes being all of those things.I lose sight of what it feels like to just be…me.  The girl that likes hiking and the outdoors, the one who laughs at just about any and everything, the girl who loves a campfire and Sun Country wine coolers.  No worries, just a healthy outlook and hope that “every little thing’s gonna be alright”.  In my everyday life I lose sight of that girl and these guys, just being around them, brings me back there and reminds me who I am and what’s important.  I treasure that.

Of course we can only get together physically about 1-2 times a year and did we get a picture?  No, no…of course not.  Here’s what happened last time we all got together

just a serious picture

…And that was supposed to be the “serious picture…







Here’s actually a really good one of all of us

All 4

….except for the evil, devil eyes….

Anyhoo…my point is I love these guys and after spending time with them, I feel like I’ve pushed a reset button inside me.  I’m refreshed and grounded and can get back to being me.

It was a great week 🙂



It’s the last day of school!  No more pencils, no more books, no more Teacher’s dirty looks!  Zach Tom beach

No more homework fights, no more bedtime nagging, no more tests, no more calls at precisely 8pm from the school computer that states “A Student in your household named Jackass in grade Y was assigned a homework club today” OR “was absent from their 2nd period class”. Honestly, the fact that I know the exact verbiage of that call should explain enough why when I see 921-7000 come up on my caller ID I cringe and have a sudden feeling of want to punch that computer voice in the larynx.

No more listening to excuses for a grade that was obviously well deserved based on the square root of the number of times I was told “we don’t have homework in that class”.  No more “Oh Mom?  I need poster board for tomorrow.  Sorry, I forgot” at 10pm, right after CVS closes and I just settle down on the couch.  No more checking the online grading system incessantly until I’m satisfied my diligent students are on the right track then trusting they have FINALLY learned how important their grades are…only to log back in a week later and find out that is not yet the case. No more emails proclaiming that my teenaged garbage disposals have burned thru another small fortune on their lunch account and I need to replenish their stash.

My teens will skip home from their last finals and talent shows with huge smiles and big plans and book bags full of crap I bought them last Fall that never made it out of their blackhole thing they call a locker, with excitement in their hearts and a head full of plans now that they are FREE from the tyranny of SCHOOL!

Today is a day that I celebrate!  I look forward to the last day of school and the release of these last 9 months of constant pressures and deadlines and rules!  And then as I glow in the warm light that is the summer sun and I drink my coffee for the last time at 6:20 am on my patio (at least until August 19th) I think, oh shit,  It’s summer!

Have you ever played  Where’s Waldo?  Or 20 questions?  Or I spy?  That’s kind of how my summer goes…ever try to find YOUR kid at the pool because he hasn’t answered a call or returned a text in 3 hours (that is a major offense to the 10 commandments of the Marquardt Household.  We will be addressing those in another post).  It’s a game of where’s Waldo!!  Ever try to find out the plans for an evening but the kid will only answer yes or no?  Believe me it takes more than 20 questions to get to the bottom of it!

I want my boys to love summer like I did…the freedom and the friends and the adventures!  But as they get older, I am hoping and praying that they are smarter than I was and that they don’t risk themselves like I did and that they use their time for good and not stupid…unlike I did.  I am also hoping they make good, fun, warm weather memories…like I did.  And that they can sit back, when their kids are teenagers and worry about how they can protect their own kids from doing all that stupid & dangerous (but memorable and SO FUN) stuff that they never should have gotten away with when they were that age.


Worth a second look…


I probably should have posted this again earlier this year what with all the early voting and whatnot, but better on time than early…or is it better later than never???  Whateves…this was one post that has remained true over the last year and I think it deserves a repost.  So here it is:

(D), (R), or (N)?



Take your Medicine!


Numerous studies show laughter truly IS the best medicine!  If you are the scientific, detailed type, here’s the proof.  If you don’t really care why laughing makes you feel better and you just want to laugh, click on the square below and have a few good laughs with some pretty funny people!

via You Know It Happens At Your House Too.

Life is Good


“Life is Good”   I have a friend that repeats that mantra everyday and everywhere she goes to everyone she meets.  Remember I told you about my friends?  About how lucky I am to have the friends I have?  They span my whole life and are amazing people that I love to be around.  If not, read it now here.  In that post I told you about Sue, Lynn & Di who I met when I pledged Delta Zeta in college and how we are a “solid wall that can take anything thrown at us”.  They are amazing women and the best and goofiest of friends.  (You should know by now that I put a very high premium on goofy)

A few years ago, we were dealt some devastating news.  Dianne was diagnosed with brain cancer.  As you can imagine, everything changed at that moment.  Our bond became deeper and more important than it ever was before.  We have put a new focus on getting together and being together and checking in with each other often instead of going months in-between like most adult friendships.  Dianne’s tests and charts have shown amazing things over the last 3 or so years.  The “little friend” as we like to call it, has not taken over her life OR her brain.  Her attitude has been one of positive thinking and abounding gratitude for everything and everyone she has in her life.  She even thanks “my little friend” for giving her the clarity to decide what was truly important so she could focus her life.  THAT’S an amazing woman right there.

Yesterday I received a text from this amazing 5’3″ woman that said her scans were unchanged and blood tests were great!  If you’ve ever been through cancer treatment with a friend or family member or even yourself, you know those words are like angels singing.  Of course I was thrilled so I called her to feel some of her excitement and happiness. And we had the funniest conversation that I appreciate so much and KNOW you will too.  Di said she had trouble multi tasking like she used to…I said, “Yeah, but we ARE in our 40’s.  I’ve noticed the same thing”.  Di said she doesn’t remember things like she used to…I said “Have your read my account of my lost days?”  She laughed.  Di said she finds it hard to focus on one thing for too long…I said “What?  I was doing something else, can you repeat that?”

It was short and sweet but we came to the conclusion that while the tumor is there and most likely always will be, we don’t want to give the little bitch too much credit.  And we ended the conversation with “Well, I don’t remember why I started this conversation…but I gotta run.  I love you”  And I love you too, Di!


The Reluctant Post

I’ve been holding this one in the hopper for a while, not sure if I should post because it feels undone, incomplete and definitely a sensitive subject.  But I think the point of a blog is to get people thinking and talking…and this just might do it.  At least for the 5 of you that read my inconsistent blather…Read on…


Prayers. Positive Vibes. Good Thoughts. Focused energy. Hope.  It’s all the same isn’t it?  I usually stay away from political and religious talk, but I think this one is really neither.  Religion is just a name; a name for a set of beliefs.

I was raised going to church every (well, almost) Sunday and saying Grace before eating.  Christmas Eve Services and Easter Sunday for sure. I was a part of youth group and went to Sunday School.  I learned the Golden Rule and was baptized when I was “ready”.  We weren’t “Bible thumpers” but I was taught (and still believe) that there is a higher power than myself.

I have never met another person that doesn’t agree.  They may call it 10 different things, but really…we all believe in the same basic principals. Don’t we?  Not really having a “religion”, I have been interested in many different practices, such as Reiki, Polarity, The Secret, and about 5 different  organized religions.  At their core, they all say the same thing.  They all say it a bit differently….

  1. Your body is your temple.  Take care of it and the higher power will take care of it too.
  2. Be nice to others. Respect those that came before you.  Learn from everyone and everything.
  3. Think about good things!  Think about how you want your life to be.  Visualize your happiness. (also known as PRAYING)
  4. Get negative, mean, angry, vindictive thoughts out of your head.  Those thoughts grow and will consume the mind that is part of your temple.
  5.  Take time to be quiet.  Not just rest, but time to listen to what is going on in the world, nature, your family, your friends.
  6. Be thankful.  What you have and where you are is because of YOU and your choices.  Be thankful for that. (see also: PRAYING)
  7. Collective thoughts can change the world.  Group prayer, good vibes, positive energy.  This is why we ask people to pray for our friends who are sick or need a lift.  It DOES make a difference.
  8. There are consequences to your actions.

One of the reasons I never talk with people about religion is not only because it is such a divisive issue, but because it is SO personal. Look back at the basic principals I just listed.  None of those are dependent on someone else.  They are all dependent on YOU!  What YOU do and how YOU act.  Whether you choose to follow the stories in the Bible the Torah or the Koran, the basic principals apply to you and only you.  It is the ultimate personal responsibility.

Naturally, humans defend their choices and their belief system.  This leads to arguments over who is wrong and who is right.  Last time I checked, opinions cannot be wrong…FACTS can be wrong, and if opinion is based on wrong facts then opinion can be skewed, or misled.  But an opinion cannot be wrong.

This is why no one has the right to choose your religion for you.  They don’t have the right to criticize your choice or to judge the right-ness or wrong-ness of your beliefs.  It is personal.  It is yours.

See?  Not quite finished.  But I don’t know where else to go with it.  I said what I wanted…I’m done.  Discuss…