Katie, Bar The Door!

I’ve been off the grid for four days with NO Wifi or TV!

DA FUH? Who does that? Thank Jesus and all things holy for 4g or I would have gone rat shit crazy on some people. I was able to do some things with my iphone, but was way more disconnected than I’m comfortable with – in other words – I missed you!

Now I’m back and BUSTING. I’m about to unleash everything that’s been pent up in my head for the past five days, hence the title of this post. Enjoy.


Literally while on the road I find out via twitter that Inion N. Mathair are spotlighting me on their blog this week! I was gobsmacked (been waiting to use that word)! They are an infinitely talented mother/daughter writing duo who’ve been a HUGE support to me since the very beginning, and who’ve taught me what it means to be a supportive blogger. Please do yourself a favor and explore their wonderful blog, and even better, their books! Nightwalkers: The Secret of Jessup.
From the Dark and Twisted Mind of Inion N. Mathair.
The Perfect 7.


Both boys were late to school a week or so ago because my 6yo had a last minute outfit dilemma (HAD to wear his red converse which had no laces). Each day when they get home I have to sign their binders which have detailed entries from their school day. That afternoon, this is what I found in my 9yo’s binder when I went to sign it:

tarty dangit

makin’ the family proud


Remember two weeks ago when I went to the art reception and the hubs got me the awesome necklace, but it had to be shipped to me? Here it is. I love its simplicity. It’s a greyish green. Falls just under my collarbone.

birthday necklace



Okay, so this was the annual girls trip I do with my mom and three aunts. Last year was in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. This year we stayed somewhat local and visited Ingram, Texas (just outside of Fredericksburg for those of you familiar with the area). The leaves are just starting to change here so it was beautiful. I always forget how pretty the Hill Country is with all the picturesque small towns, dreamy rivers, and enormous trees that stop me in my tracks and take my breath away. And you know, you KNOW, there were so many laughs. It got down-right crazy more than a few times. There are only three of us who drink, and managed to cash five bottles of wine over the weekend.

*A selection of photos for your viewing pleasure*






Replica of Stonehenge


My climbing tree


In the branches


view from up here

SO, I got talked into (bullied) being the test kayak to go down a very narrow (choked with roots and branches) neck of the lake (stagnant water shit hole) to see if it connected to an adjacent fishing pond. It didn’t. On the way to discovering the dead end, I managed to knock the low lying, dead branches onto myself and my kayak, along with about five hundred (okay a dozen) spiders. The area was so narrow I couldn’t turn my kayak around so I had to stand up and turn around to row the other way back out, subsequently knocking more branches – and spiders – onto my kayak, my shirt, and my hair. During this, two of my aunts were hanging back in another boat saying things like, “You’re doing great!” and “You’re so good at this!”


I wasn’t freaking out about the spiders. Much. I mean, I was squealing and stuff, but that’s all. UNTIL….I glanced over and there’s this freakin’ huge one right next to me coming straight for my shirt – then I just knew they were all over me and I did some sort of Bugs Bunny – Cirque de Solei freak out that I’ll never be able to repeat or explain, and like a cat I flew straight outta my seat and ended up on the end of the kayak balancing on my fingers and toes, but somehow, someway, stayed in the boat. My aunts rowed over and started killing spiders until I felt sure there were none left. I then collected my oar that I’d hurled into the water during my  acrobatic maneuver, brushed myself off, and gracefully rowed back to shore as if nothing happened. I’m resilient like that, however, I’ve officially retired as guinea pig.


pre-spider invasion

MY amazing family managed to organize and cook the most incredible Thanksgiving meal in our condo. We celebrated early so we wouldn’t have to all travel twice this month to be together. As usual, they give me jobs like: bring wine. This is wise because I clearly don’t have the skills to pull off what they did. In case you’re wondering, the effins were perfect.


WE went to Fredericksburg’s trade days on Saturday, and while very eclectic and fun, my favorite find was a particular booth that gave me an endless source of amusement while terrorizing friends via text and twitter:



Does my hair look okay?

IF you’ve ever read my comment section after a post about my family, you’ve seen what’s lacking (comments from them!) and put it together that they don’t read my blog. That’s because they don’t know about it. I’ve often been tempted to tell them. I think they’d be mildly horrified, but mostly tickled and proud. I’ll share an enormous secret with you: They don’t even know I write.

Oh, they know I do Nanowrimo, but that’s because it was introduced to me by one of my cousins, so we talk about it amongst family. But they don’t know I belong to writing groups, or have a blog, or have written a novel for Pete’s sake! I’m one of those people who’s pretty private (I know, seems ironic given the blog) and am more comfortable doing something behind the scenes (in case I fail) and then announcing it when I’ve succeeded.

I need autonomy first.

I’m the only granddaughter/niece in the family, so I look to them, study them as women, and often wonder who I take after most. Each of them artistic, strong, giving, talented, smart, organized, unorganized, funny as shit, dynamic, amazing women. This weekend I realized for the first time something that made me very proud. I’m not like one of them. I’m like all of them.

But there’s this one facet of my being that’s unique to me. This enormous, yet fragile writer part. I envision publishing one day and surprising them, letting them into this sliver of my world. Someday it will make sense to them why I’m always staring off into space. Or why I’m so busy doing….what? What the hell does she do in her free time?

Someday they’ll know I’m a writer.

And then I’ll know it too.

Do you keep your blog secret from anyone? Do you think you’re most like one person in particular in your family, or a mixture? I love your comments!


  1. Extremely thankful there are no pictures of the spiders. Thank you very much for that. Sounds like a wonderful, albeit quite off the grid, couple of days. Love the pic of the boot on the fence post. Which doll head did you purchase – or should I say heads. They are certainly attractive and something anyone would LOVE in their stocking? Yes your hair looks great.
    So nobody knows you’re sharing the effin secrets? Yowza. I think it’s grand one can take secret photos with our phones. Of course they don’t know you write. They don’t even know you’re taking pics!
    Welcome home Wanda. Oops Katie. Dang. B.
    PS – Hope he wasn’t too, too Tarty.


    1. Oh, I didn’t dare buy a doll head…they will steal your soul with their eyes. I only took photos. And no photos of the spiders, I don’t have that kind of poise. I mean, I can stay in the boat….but I can’t stay in the boat and snap photographs!

      I share stories that everyone tells everybody…no secrets. And I’m careful not to show faces in photos, and no real names. Since they don’t know about the blog, I owe them that respect. I have several dozen pics from the trip I didn’t share on the blog because they’re in them! I hope one day when they read the posts about them they are honored by how I’ve represented the family. And I hope they laugh! 🙂


  2. I can’t even summarize how much I laughed at this post, which came to a dead halt and turned into a shriek for fear of my life when I saw that doll head. For real? That was so creepy!


  3. Your photos, your story, the way you describe it all…so, so beautifully gorgeous. I’m glad you had such a wonderful time.

    If you wake up in the morning and all you wanna do is write, you a WRITER, girl!

    And you write so, so well. It’s an enormous, perhaps fragile, but amazing, talented, marvellous part of you. And I can’t think that your family will be anything but thrilled with your talent and the care you take with your craft.


    1. You are so sweet. I already said that tonight, but I’m sayin’ it again. I just read this and it just gets me right in the heart. You didn’t have to say any of this, but you took the time and you did, and that’s why you’re Lizzi and everyone loves you. Thank you so very much. You know, I read that post Kate wrote about social media friends being real, and was totally thinking of you the whole time.


        1. Thank you, my dear. You know that means the world to me.

          Btw, sort of off subject, but is “favourite” an English spelling? That’s the second time I’ve seen that tonight. Also, honour rather than honor. Is that English?

          Also, holy shit have you slept and are up again already?? I haven’t even gone to bed since last time you were on line! I need to get some sleep. Good lord, it’s late. I feel dizzy.


    1. That tree was on the property where we were staying this past weekend. I walked around until I found the perfect one. It was awesome. I WISH I had one like that at our house! but we do have some nice ones about a block away. Someday, when the kids are grown, we will live in a tree house and then I’ll never have to leave my tree. 🙂

      I’m sorry your tree was cut down. 😦 That’s such a bummer. Let’s pretend it was made into books for children who appreciated them and learned to read and love stories, and then grew up to be amazing writers.


        1. do you guys have treehouse masters (the show on animal planet/discovery) over there? http://animal.discovery.com/tv-shows/treehouse-masters
          It’s awesome! You should see the tree houses they build! You don’t have to worry about getting your groceries up there, or plumbing, or anything! Now, I prefer a more rustic approach…but if I was actually living there full time I would want plumbing and such so I’d go all out. Woop! I have a tree house board on Pinterest. I’m dead serious about it. Totally gonna live in a tree someday. You watch. I’ll invite you over. We’ll have tea and read books. 🙂


  4. Spiders are the one thing I’m terrified of! I would have been out of that kayak!!! Much rather be with a snake in dirty water than a spider! What fun girl’s trip though 🙂


    1. See? I don’t get that logic. You’d rather be in the water with a snake than on dry land with a spider…where you can run from them? And most spiders don’t bite. A water snake slides against your skin, and probably bites, and if it does, it’s poisonous as shit. If there had been a snake in my kayak I would’ve done a triple lux into the top of the nearest tree. And I’m not really that scared of snakes either, but you can’t squish one with your fingers, and if threatened they’re certainly more likely to bite. GAH. I’m getting all oogly again!


  5. Do I keep my blog secret? Um…if I ever actually post something, it will not be shared with my circle, and I have a nome de plume even though I’m light years away from publishing. I totally get the whole privacy thing and why. I’m so glad you got a piece of each of your family. The finished product is a masterpiece. Glad you had a good trip.


    1. Thanks. 🙂
      You don’t even have to post with a masterpiece blog name like that. I wish I had known the *clever, funny blog name rule* when I was making my mine. I don’t know that I’d ever read another blog when I was making mine! That’s my one regret. I guess I can always change it, though. BUT YOU TOOK THE BEST ONE SO I’M SCREWED NOW, AREN’T I?


  6. Aw, Beth, this is marvelous.
    Inion N Mathair stopped my blog from yours just yesterday. I hopped over, and right there at the top was your mug! From what I’ve read so far, I am going to thoroughly enjoy their blog.
    Your son is awesome. Conscious of his attire AND doesn’t like being late. He’ll make a good husband someday. 🙂
    That trip sounds like so much fun. I would like to climb that tree and just spend time with your quirky, fun family.
    I didn’t tell anyone I knew about my blog for well over a year. The only reason I finally told anyone was because my dad wouldn’t get off my back about getting on Facebook. Once my dad knew, it was all over. My cover was blown and he wouldn’t stop talking about it. Keep it a secret as long as you want. I have no doubt your family will be proud of you, but it’s not about them.


    1. Oh, cool, I’m so glad you checked out their blog! They are so awesome!

      I’m very relieved I’m hearing from others who either keep/kept their blog secret, too, or understand my reasoning. I was actually a little afraid to write that! Whew! Thank you.


  7. OMG I would have fallen out of the boat killing the spiders because spiders!! SPIDERS!!! I’d have gone into the nasty river likely filled with snakes and other nasties…shudder. The photos are amazing!!! Amazing. Glad you’re back!!!


    1. Glad you like the photos… I was worried cuz they were all taken by my phone! Can you believe it? I hardly can! I forgot my camera at home….grrrr. But they all turned out really nice from my phone, I’m impressed!


  8. OK, #1, I LOOOOOOOOOVE the TX Hill Country. My parents live in Kerrville, which you are bound to be aware of if you were in Ingram and Fredericksburg. I grew up in another part of TX, but the Hill Country is the best part. It’s beautiful, but it’s kind of an acquired-taste beautiful, I sometimes think, so I’m glad you admired it.

    Secondly, I completely understand that privacy thing. I, too, wanted to keep my blog a secret, but I told my immediate family, knowing they’d get their feelings hurt if I didn’t. Then, I recently discovered all my aunts and uncles know about it, which made me feel incredibly vulnerable. But then I got the nicest email from an aunt about how much she enjoyed reading it, and I was on cloud nine the rest of the day. Compliments can be scarce in my family, but when they appear, you know they’re genuine.


    1. YES! We shopped in Kerrville the last day, and of course, drove through it nearly everyday. That’s a sweet little town. Tiny, but sweet. It really is a quaint, beautiful area, especially in the Fall. My Mom used to live in Canyon Lake, but now is in San Marcos. I have Aunts in Bulverde, Luling, and Dallas.

      I’m relieved to hear others have kept their blogs secret! That’s sweet about your aunt. I just love that. I think I would feel too vulnerable if my whole family knew about the blog right now. It would paralyze my writing, I’m afraid. Things are perfect right now. When it’s time for them to know, I think my gut will tell me. Thanks for sharing your story, Sarah, and for reading! XO


  9. NO ONE KNOWS YOU ARE A WRITER? Sister, you need to fess up. You are obviously amazing and they will be so proud of you! And….spiders in boat= water with me. Nice job staying in the boat. And my very favourite part of this whole post is the doll heads. Fabulous!


    1. I know, I know. But I think I’ll know when the time is right. I’m afraid it would paralyze my writing (on the blog) if they knew now. I’m getting there….

      OMG…the doll heads are so wrong they’re freakin’ fantastic, amirite?

      as for staying in the boat, all I can say is thank god for years of yoga.


  10. 1. Your son is awesome. My daughter’s most used phrase is “dang it.”
    2. Love the necklace.
    3.Spiders are creepy, but not nearly as creepy as a table full of doll heads.
    4. I can’t imagine my blog being a secret, but I certainly understand why you don’t tell your family about yours. How awesome will that be when you present them with your brand new published novel – you will blow their mind!


    1. DANA! You were in my dream last night! I can barely remember it now…but I saw you in a bookstore and was all, are you Dana from kiss my list? and you were all, yeah, are you Beth? and then we laughed and hugged, and our husbands were there going WTF? And we were all, it’s a blogger thing. And I think I told you to post about it and be sure and say I’m much prettier in person. Lol. *sigh*

      ANYway, thanks for reading. Doll heads are awesomely awful, but you can’t look them in the eyes (unless through a camera lens) or they’ll steal your soul. Common knowledge. And you don’t ever take them home. But photos are okay, especially if you’re going to terrorize your friends with them.


  11. Spiders, creepy doll heads, and proclaiming myself a writer? This is a very scary blog post!!! 🙂 It is not easy to (proudly) live the writerly life. At least I don’t think so. I’ve got that writerly over thinking brain that can turn a perfectly good writing day into a sucky one. I’ve never blogged anonymously. Some days I wish for it, as there are things I edit from my posts because I suddenly think of someone who may read it. Although if there’s something I really, really want to blog about, but am afraid of who may or may not be reading, then I find a way to turn it into fiction. 🙂
    “Dang it.” Love that.


    1. Yeah, I think I’ve got it pretty good at the moment. I can write anything I want and not have to get those glares from certain family members – lol.
      Oh, I like that….make it fiction! Hmm, that actually gives me an idea. Thanks!


  12. That trips looks amazing! Beautiful pictures. The first time I was in a kayak, I tipped about a 100 times, and that is WITHOUT spiders. You are a champion!
    I LOVE the cReEpY dollhead exhibit! WOW! Thanks for sharing.
    I know what you mean about privacy with your blog, (though after after about 5 posts I don’t think anyone in my family reads mine at all.)


    1. I swear, it was shear panic and years of yoga. Otherwise I would’ve been in the water fer sher. Wasn’t my first time in a kayak, either. More like my 101st.

      Your blog is SO fun, though…how could they not read??? 🙂


  13. Love that necklace as well as those gorgeous photos! And my only family member who used to read my blog was my mom…she was my biggest fan.:) She passed away back in April and although she rarely commented on the blog itself, she always sent me separate emails giving me her opinion (and mostly praise) about my latest post. I miss those emails from her a lot. However, on the other hand, it’s kind of free-ing to me now to know that no one else in my family reads my blog — except for my sons sometimes, but they are usually checking to make sure I don’t write anything embarrassing about them!


  14. Oh, that’s such a precious memory about your mom. I’m so sorry for your loss. How sweet that she’d email you.

    I imagine it is freeing to some extent now…..except for your sons reading from time-to-time, haha!


  15. Dolls are creepy period! Being without wifi and tv for four days is even creepier!

    Most people do know I have a blog. Except for most coworkers. They don’t need to know about my debauchery!

    Also, you ARE a writer.


  16. Yeah, I imagine it would be very necessary to keep one’s blog secret from coworkers! My husband doesn’t even tell his coworkers about my blog…wisely so. Periodically, another mom from my kid’s school will find out about it, and while I’m partially excited, I also get a little nervous! I mean, I know my content isn’t rated R or anything, but some people can be such tight wads, ya know?

    **Thanks…giving you a big, giant bear hug. 🙂


  17. Oh my gosh, I love the agenda entry from your son. That is hilarious.
    Also, I like that your Thanksgiving task is to bring the wine– I occupy pretty much this exact same role in my family (glad the effins were delish!)

    And to your questions: Yep, I hide it. From pretty much everyone. No one in my family knows I have a blog (they have no idea just how nuts my life is) and only 2 of my friends know– Sars, and Shleisel, whom I write about because they are my partners in all this madness. My boyfriend knows because he has to listen to me whine or stress about anything WordPress related (“Wah! Why can’t I figure out how to change this thing? I hate everything!”)

    I know what you mean about the whole “I’ll tell you that I write after I’m wildly successful” but I do worry about what that will mean as far as people knowing all of these things about me… I like to be incredibly candid and open and not sugar coat things when I’m writing, because I feel that people deserve honesty but……………… that could be upsetting to the family relations, to say the least! Who knows… I’ll cross that bridge IF I get there 😉

    Glad the trip was great! Welcome back to the world of technology!


    1. So glad you stopped by! I adore your blog!
      I’m more freaked out by “clicky” critters, like beetles or those awful flying roaches. If that’s what had been falling on me I would have flipped the boat for sure!


  18. Your 9yo’s binder entry is hilarious! I could never keep my writing success from my family and friends, in fact, I’ll bet they wish I’d shut up about it, already.


  19. I hate it when I get so far behind on my reading! I started reading this one the other day and had to get up to go and didn’t get back until now 😦
    I’m so glad you had a good time with your family..your tweets that night were hilarious! Poor you, off the grid!
    As for the spiders and creepy doll heads…ugh and ugh! The only thing that would make that doll head creepier is if the spiders were actually crawling out of the eyes and mouth.
    I don’t tell anyone about my blog either. My husband know but doesn’t read it. He actually thinks its great, says he knows I’d be a great writer if I ever got down to it.
    I prefer to keep it to myself.
    But you should shout from the rooftops, goofball! When you’re ready of course!


    1. Really? No one knows about your blog? I’m actually surprised by that! But it makes me feel better at the same time. My husband tries to keep up with my blog. I think he’s very proud, but at the same time I think he reads while wincing sometimes….ha! He knows I’m gonna be “me” and supports that, but he’s also sort of like Ricky shaking his head at Lucy, and I’m giving him that innocent look, like, what?


  20. I wouldn’t get in a kayak at gunpoint.

    Doll heads? WHYYYYYY? They are beyond creepy. Amy @BananaWheels needs to see those.

    I would suppose you’re grateful your son only wrote “dang it”?

    THANK GOD the effins were all you hoped they would be.

    Want the necklace.

    If you come to Eureka Springs again, you’d better call me. I’m not that far away….


    1. Amy is the bomb. Only just found her and I think she’s hysterical!

      doll heads BECAUSE they are so awful they’re awesome. How can anything that’s that wrong not be right, Dyanne? There are rules though. You can’t look at them in the eyes unless through a camera lens. And you CANNOT take them home. They will steal your soul.

      You live by Eureka Springs??? STFU! We go every. single. year! My husband does a triathlon each June and we all go…last 3 years and it’s already planned for ’14! could it be??? Could I actually meet a blogger IRL?????

      My 9yo wrote dang it and I am grateful but not surprised. My 6yo would’ve written FUCK. Actually, he didn’t even care he was tardy. But if he had he would’ve dropped an F-bomb.

      I ate so much effins it’s still visible in my thighs.


  21. What a trip – five of you ladies together?! I think that’s awesome (except for the spiders part. I’d have ended up in the water for sure!) But, in some ways, I think you’re smart to keep the writing a secret… it can raise too many questions, sometimes. My family know that I write and blog. Whether they will ever be interested enough to read it is another story. But I think if they were, I’d have thought twice about telling them…


    1. Thank you for saying my decision to keep my blog a secret is smart. I hope it is and it doesn’t backfire on me! It’s out of necessity, really. I think it would paralyze my writing if they read my blog. But I try to honor them in case they ever do read it.

      Your writing/blog is so exceptional and wonderful, I hope your family reads it someday and is incredibly proud of you for it!


  22. Hmm, we may have a lot in common. Love to kayak. Hate spiders. Also have family members who don’t know I write. Some do. But the ones that DO are the reason it’s so limited. Oh, the stories I could tell! …but if they read them? ahh, no.

    I like the book The Bloggess mentioned she needs to write, for the “real stories”. It will be called: Now That They’re All Dead. Yeah. So I’ll be blogging from the nursing home, apparently. Stay tuned–those will be the good stories, if I can remember them.

    (Note to self: Write all stories now. Save on disk and make a time capsule/memo for when I’m 70 that says “publish stories NOW”)

    I hear ya, about having family not knowing that you write, especially when one is spending a lot of (actual and mental) time writing. Kind of a weird place to be.


    1. LOL I love the idea of a, “Now that they’re dead” book! Brilliant. Even though my family doesn’t know about the blog, I’m still careful with THEIR info, just in case they ever do find out about it. I never write about them unless it’s in a good way that they’d be proud of, you know? But stories about myself I’m pretty open with. Maybe too much. haha. Although there have been some stories I’ve specifically chosen to share on other blogs. More serious ones, or ones even too crazy for this blog. You could consider that option if there was ever something you really wanted to write but didn’t want it on your blog.

      so cool that you like kayaking! I wish had a chance to do it more often. We have a kayak, but really only use it in the summer at our local lake, (which is an hour away). I think if I had easier access, I would kayak every day.


      1. I. LOVE. to kayak. We go in the summer when we camp, and I love it. Right up til the hour trip is over and it’s time to PADDLE BACK to where we started… agh

        I’m the same way–If I mention family, I want it to be in a way that, if they ever stumbled on it, they’d hopefully smile at what I wrote. Because there’d be nothing worse than waiting for that email or text that says, “So. I read your blog. Call me.” /:O

        Hence, there are a lot of stories I remember, and then…ah– no, maybe not.


  23. Just clicked here from this week’s TToT. Not that anybody cares about a comment THIS far away from the post, but. Yes, I kept my blog totally secret. Still mostly do. Partly, it was because I was still teaching and didn’t want it out there for students, parents, etc. (Not that it’s even remotely inappropriate.) The Hub and my mom and sister were the only ones who knew, and one friend. Now I think two other relatives know about it, but I doubt they read it. AT some point soon, it may all come out in the wash, as they say. We shall see.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I always care about comments no matter how far back they are! Thanks for clicking over here. Yeah, like you said, it’ll all come out in the wash. I never wrote anything that would disrespect or embarrass anybody in my family or otherwise, so I’m proud of my blog. That being said, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’d still keep it secret until I was ready. It was really the only way for me to be true to myself and write without looking over my shoulder, so to speak.

    Liked by 1 person

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