Gilmore Girls: What Lorelai and I have in Common


In anticipation of the new Gilmore Girls starting soon, I’m re-watching the classic Gilmore Girls (GG).  Binge watching, actually – it’s pretty addictive.  And it’s eerie how much my life is like Lorelai’s, and how similar Sally is to Rory.

  1. My friend Kevin Kumquat is grumpy like Luke and almost as ruggedly handsome. Will we get together and subsequently break up?  Stay tuned!
  2. My daughter and I are best friends and I tell her about every date. (I also tell you, but I tell her first.)
  3. Sally and I are HILARIOUS together.
  4. I avoid my father and step-mother like Lorelai avoids her parents. There are some pretty big differences: the Gilmores are high society and my parents are more redneck (born and raised in Louisiana, but thoroughly Texan).
  5. Emily Gilmore wants to be part of her daughter’s life, and my step-mother has over-stepped the line a few times trying to be part of mine. For example, she told Facebook that she was my mother, despite the fact that she had only been married to my dad for a year and I already have a mother.  Thank God we don’t have Friday night dinners; Christmas dinner is often enough for me.
  6. Penny Pineapple, my daughter’s fiancée, looks a bit like Dean (Rory’s 1st boyfriend). If you squint.  For real.  They’re both while with short brown hair—practically twins.
  7. I’m a gorgeous single mom, just like Lorelai. Ok, so I’m half her height and my eyes are green to her blue—besides that, we could be sisters.  (Just squint if you can’t see it.)
  8. My daughter is BRILLIANT, like Rory. Nope, MORE brilliant!  Rory made a 4.0 in high school?  HA!  Sally made closer to 5.0, because her Advanced Placement classes grade on a 5-point scale.  Rory is a journalism major in college?  HA!  My daughter is double-majoring in Astronomy and Physics!
  9. We’re all a bit competitive (see #8).
  10. We both went to community college at night to get degrees, followed by a ceremony where our parents attended and were disappointed. My ceremony included a group who were getting their GEDs, including several teens who sat in front of me and giggled the entire time.  The. Entire. Time.
  11. I don’t like to cook. I can cook, and I will cook, but I must prefer using the microwave or going out, like Lorelai.
  12. I was a teenager when I had my first kid, just like Lorelai. (Although I was 19.5, not 16, and married.  Details!)
  13. We’re both sarcastic as hell. No, really, we are.


  1. If I ate like Lorelai, I’d look like Ms. Patty!
  2. Lorelai can eat anything, while I can eat practically nothing. I have food intolerances: gluten, garlic, soy, dairy, etc.  Thank God I can drink wine and eat cheese, otherwise I’d waste away!  Seriously, thank God for wine!  Actually, I think Lorelai would agree with me on this one.
  3. Lorelai lives in a small town, while I live in the Big City. Counter-intuitively, she knows more of her neighbors than I do.
  4. She’s the Owner of an Inn, while I’m a mechanical engineer. Slight differences.
  5. She’s fictional and I’m real, so I win!


PS Next week: Why I love dating younger men!

Sassy Sally proposes to Pretty Penny



Sally bent down on one knee, holding up the ring box.  Her blue eyes were glowing sapphires in the shade under the trees.

Penny’s mouth gaped for a moment, taking in the scene.  Hot and sweaty from the hike up the mountain, she had stopped to take a break and gaze out over the beautiful view; she had not anticipated this.

Wordlessly, she reached into her pocket, pulling out a similar ring box.  She fell to one knee and held it up, imitating Sally’s posture.

They looked into each other’s eyes, matching sapphires frozen for a moment in time.  Then they started laughing.

“I’m asking you to marry me!” Sally said.

“Well, I’m asking you, too!” Penny answered.

“I asked first, so you answer first!” Sally insisted.

Penny rolled her eyes and leaned over to kiss her girlfriend.

“No!  Answer me first!” Sally again insisted.

“Um, don’t ya think it’s pretty obvious?” Penny replied.

“Say it!” Sassy Sally said saucily.

“Yes!  Alright?  Yes, I want to marry you!” Penny said, exasperated.

Sally rewarded her fiancée with a kiss.  “That wasn’t so hard now, was it?  And I say, ‘yes’ to you, too!”

The Real Story

That’s not how it really happened, but that’s how I had envisioned it.  After all, Sally had teased Penny for months, letting her know that she (Sally) was ready for a ring.

For example, at the mall, Sally said, “Oh look!  There’s a jewelry store!  Let’s go look at rings.”

Penny would look the other way and pretend not to hear, or point at something in another store.  “Oh look, shirts!”

Penny always wore solid color, basic button ups or t-shirts.  It’s safe to say that she isn’t a big shopper.  Sally actually forced her to try on some shirts which had patterns on them, which was way outside Penny’s comfort zone, but she dutifully tried on the shirts, anyway.

Another time, when we were chilling at home, this convo happened.

“I have a Pinterest with all my wedding ideas,” Sally had told me.

“WTF?!  I don’t even have a Pinterest account,” I answered.  “Does Penny know about this?”

“Yes,” Sally said.  “I started it so that she’d pick out the right ring, when the time came.  It also has bridesmaid dresses, and my wedding colors, and…”

I stared at the alien sitting next to me, the alien who had almost certainly taken over my daughter’s body.  Unless it was a doppelganger, and my daughter’s real body was locked in a closet somewhere.  Although some myths state that the doppelganger uses the bones of the person, in which case there wouldn’t be a body to find.

Later, I casually questioned Penny about her feelings on the topic.  “Are you going to pop the question?  Are you even gonna ask her parents’ permission first?”  (For the record, I think asking the parents is old fashioned and I didn’t really expect to be asked.  I was just giving Penny shit.)

“I’ve told Sally,” she said, with what sounded like long-suffering patience, “that when the time is right, it will be a surprise.  But it has to be a surprise.

My daughter is a lot like her mother (and yes, that’s me), in that patience is not her strongest virtue.  So I wasn’t extremely surprised when we had this phone conversation.

“Mom, I spent a little money—not too much, I promise—and I bought Penny a ring.  I’m going to propose to her when we’re on our romantic vacation in Colorado in two weeks!” Sally said, bursting with excitement.  I could see her big grin and how she jumped up and down, even over the phone.

How it went down

Sally and Penny spent the morning hiking around Engineer Mountain, until they were tuckered out.  They drove to lunch, then back to the hotel to wash the mountain dust and sweat away.

“What do you want to do?” Sally asked.

“I dunno, I don’t want to move very much, I’m sore!” Penny said.

“Ok, I know what to do!” Sally said.  See, Sally (like her mother), is a planner.  Plus, she’d been on enough hiking trips with me to know that this moment would arrive, so she pulled a wrapped box out of a drawer in the dresser where she had hidden it.  “Open your present!”

“What’s this?” Penny said, opening it to find the Lego tie fighter kit.  “This is great!”

The ladies took turns putting the pieces together, following the instructions, until they were down to the last piece: the windshield.

“Where is it?” Sally asked innocently, hiding it in her pocket.  “Oh, here it is, under the bed!”  She pulled out a ring box, and told Penny, “You’re my missing piece!”

And she said yes!


Congratulations to the newly engaged couple, Sally Strawberry and Penny Pineapple!  They plan to be engaged for three years, allowing Sally time to graduate with her undergrad degree.  Since both ladies are so very patient and…

I can’t even finish that sentence.


We put the Fun in Dysfunctional Family


“Stop looking at my daughter’s ass!” I playfully admonished Penny Pineapple, Sally’s girlfriend (2 years and counting).

“I wasn’t…” she began, then amended her words to, “I can’t help it.  Look at the pants she’s wearing!”

Sally stuck out her derriere in her sassy way.  Though her pants were plain black, not the gaudy pattern that I expected.  However, they were tight spandex yoga pants.


I was watching Doctor Who when the ladies arrived from Austin, and paused it.  Strangely enough, one of the characters on the screen looked exactly like Penny in her tank top and baseball cap.  We had to take a picture!  The really strange thing is, Penny rarely wears tank tops, so it was very strange that she happened to wear one that day.

Not able to argue with Penny, I changed the subject.  “Sally, look at this article,” I smiled as I handed her the magazine.

Excited, because Science is Cool!, she took the magazine.  Smiling at me, she put on a academic air and read, “Mitigating Structural Steel Corrosion Protects Decorative Façade of the Historic Elks Veteran Memorial.”  Only, upon reaching the word “Elk” she dropped the magazine.  The flat look that she gave me could not stop the laughter from rising within me and exploding out.

Mitigating Structural Steel Article

And THAT is what it’s like to hang out with me, Sally, and Penny on a Friday night.

Saturday mornings are pretty dysfunctional, too.  Last month, I made pancakes and invited Sally to sit down at the table.

“Do they have chocolate chips?” she asked.  When I said yes, she practically leaped across the room to the table.  Sitting down on the chair I offered, she gave a shocked look when a crinkle and a squeak came from the chair.

“Stand up!” I told her, grinning, and pulled out the furry pink pig dog toy that was hidden there.  She had given me the toy as a present, referencing a couple of private jokes (which I could try to explain, but might not make any sense at all, if you had not been there).


I put my little hat on the pig and he looked very sharp.

Sally was shocked that I had gotten one over on her.  She crinkled the toy, squeaked its nose, and delightful told me, “Yo face!”

“Let’s get Penny!” I said.

And we did!  Unfortunately, Penny is somewhat deaf, so she didn’t realize what was happening.  So it was much more fun a few minutes later to play the same prank on Jack!

The pig traveled with us to Utah earlier in the summer, where he hid under Sally’s pillow.  Later, I found him under a rug in the living room.  I have a feeling that the little guy is going to bounce around a lot in the next year or more.  He’s a lot more fun than Elkton, who just hangs out looking cool.  Since Sally is off away at college now, I send her a picture now and then, to let her know that he misses her.

For anyone who is curious, I am not posting a pic of my daughter’s ass!



Elkton John


Penny & Sally ~ Aren’t they cute?!


Health Magazine had this quote in it*, and I had to share it with my daughter.  ‘MERICA!

(2014.  I’m behind on my reading.)


Zion Vacation Summary



“We hiked all the way up here, to Angel’s Landing, 1,488 feet,” Corvus tells me.  “That’s where we couldn’t walk any more, and had to use the chain to climb up the rocks.”

Standing at the Visitor Center looking at a topological map of Zion National Park, I almost fainted.  “I definitely got further than I expected, and if you had shown me this map before we went up, I wouldn’t have done it!” I tell him.  “Still, it was fun.  I put to use some of the moves that I learned rock climbing in the gym.”

Sally and I packed A LOT into our one week vacation, including:

One of my good friends has two wolves in a small town south of Dallas, so I took Sally to meet them today.  She LOVED the experience!  Personally, I think they look like big dogs.

I have about a hundred pictures, but Corvus has about a thousand.  Here are just a few.  WOW, looks like we’ve been photoshopped into post cards!  What an amazing adventure!

I managed to prank Sally, but not very well.  She had bought me a dog toy that crinkles, like it has a plastic bag inside.  “Crinkle crinkle” is an old private joke from our Grand Canyon Road Trip (2012), which I could explain but it wouldn’t make sense—it’s one of those “You Had To Be There” jokes.  Anywho, she had given me the dog toy as a gag gift about a month ago.  So I took it to Utah, put it under her pillow, and waited for her to lean back.

Instead, she picked up her pillow to move it.  Who the hell does that?!  Sheesh!  But the dog toy still had the desired effect: she looked at me with wide eyes and laughed hysterically.  We spent several minutes having our usual conversation (again, I could explain it, but…):

“CRINKLE CRINKLE!” she says.

“Yo face!” I say.

“Crinkle!” she says.

“Yo mama!” I tell her.  This makes very little sense when a mother says it to her daughter, which makes us crack up laughing.  And THIS is just one more reason that I love traveling with my little girl: we make each other laugh.

Corvus stopped trying to understand us, and just sat back and smiled.

I explained one conversation by telling him, “I’ve dated a few different guys named Mike: a workaholic, a plumber, a mayor…”

Corvus said, “You need to make this into a rhyme, like ‘This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home.’  Instead, you’ve have, ‘This little Mikey was a workaholic, this little Mikey fixed toilets.  This little Mikey was a mayor, this little Mikey…’”

I DIED laughing.  I’ll finish that fine poetry and post it another day.



Seeing this picture, I think, “I’m a badass!” and then follow that up with, “What the hell was I thinking?!  I could have slipped and died!!” followed by, “Damn, my ass looks GREAT!”

Zion Adventure


VACATION STARTS TODAY!  Sally, Corvus Tomatillo and I are starting our journey tomorrow.  PUDDING!!

Here’s the agenda:


Sally & I have breakfast with my father, stepmother, and Jack (who is now living with my dad, i.e. his grandfather).  Dad is going to drive us to the airport so that I don’t have to pay $20/day to leave my car at DFW.  Or is it $40?  Anyhow, it really adds up, so I’m grateful to have family that lives nearby.  At those rates, I can buy us all breakfast and still come out ahead!  It helps that Dad likes to eat at IHOP and use his senior citizen discount.  If he preferred the Gaylord Texan, then I might be better off paying for parking.

From DFW, Sally & I will fly to Sin City.  She’s never been, so she’s keen on visiting M&M World.  Her exact words were, “Oh Mommy, can we visit the M&M store?  Please please please mommy I’ve never been.”

Since I’m wrapped about her little finger (a life-long affliction), I answered, “Sure!  Let’s fly in early enough that we can walk The Strip and you can get a feel for Vegas.”  Subsequent planning has shown that Vegas is better at night: more shows, the lights are on, the freaks are out.  Eh, so, Sally will get to see Vegas by daylight; she can come back for her bachelorette party for the night life.  Her bachelorette party in the far, far, distant future.  Now I’m freaking out!

There is a magic show at 1 p.m., but I’m not sure if we can make that and see the sights.  We only have four hours.  But then, a show in Vegas would be pretty cool.  One hotel offers free circus acts from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; we’ll stop by there if we have time.

After four hours of walking the Strip with our luggage (any advice on where we could stash it?), Corvus will pick us up and take us to Zion.  He lives in Tucson, so Vegas is on the way for him (sorta) and only an hour and a half from Zion.  We’ll stop for groceries so that we can do picnic lunches and grab wine—I’m not sure if that’s his plan, but it’s definitely mine!  The corkscrew is already packed!  After all, I’ll be earning the wine by burning all those calories hiking.

We’ll spend Wednesday hiking at Zion, Thursday hiking at Bryce Canyon (a short 1.5 hr drive away), then decide where we want to return on Friday.  Then Saturday, we’ll be coming home.  My sister (Mrs. Cherry) will pick us up from the airport and we’ll have dinner with her & her family.  Strawberries & Cherries at one meal – what a treat!

Can’t wait to share our adventures with you!  There will be a plethora of pics!  And probably more inside jokes – I have a prank planned for Sally, but SHHHH!!! Don’t tell her!


PS Ed, my tenant, will be at the house, so any would-be burglars can forget it.  He’s an armed and dangerous red-headed Texan – don’t even try it!  Seriously, he dresses as the Joker so often, I think he’s becoming the character.  It’s so serious, he won’t date a girl unless she looks like Harley Quinn.

PSS I’m so excited right now, I’m screaming like a 12-year-old girl!  WOOOOT!

The Wedding (ch. 19) and Expecting (ch. 20)


“Why do you get a Best Man, but I don’t get a Best Woman?” I said.  “Dixie is going to be my Best Woman.  After all, she was there for our first real date—not counting bowling—so she ought to be part of the wedding party.”

“Wait, if boot scootin’ was our first date, then does that mean that bowling doesn’t count at all?  Then we didn’t meet on a blind date?” Logan asks playfully.

I sigh.  “We met on a blind date, just like my parents and grandparents,” I clarify.  “But we really didn’t start DATING until months later.  Don’t you think?”

Logan smiles and pulls me close for a kiss.  “Yes, dear,” he says.

“That’s right, you practice saying that,” I say with a smile.

“Is your dad going to walk you down the aisle?” he asks.

“Yes.  I was so nervous when I asked him—this being my second wedding and all—but he said, Whatever makes you happy.  Isn’t that awesome?” I say, smiling wider.  “Oh!  And he’s going to wear his Air Force uniform with all his medals!”

“He’s a good man,” Logan says, kissing me again.

“Stop it!” I say, pushing him away.  “The preacher will be here any minute for the rehearsal.”

“Hey, you’d better be nice to me!  I found Our Song, and I’ll only tell you if you quit abusing me,” he says.

“Oh, tell me tell me tell me!” I say, jumping up and down.  “We’ve only been looking for one for FOREVER!”

“Donna Lewis – I love you, always forever,” Logan says, and kisses me again, before God and everybody.



Dixie was my Best Woman.





Chapter 20 ~ Expecting


“You can only have boys or girls,” Betty Jo tells me.  “I had 3 boys.  My other son has 3 girls.  That’s how it works in our family: you can have one or the other, but not both.”

I laugh.  “My mother had two boys.  Then she told my father, I want a little girl born on my birthday.  Here I am, born just three days after her 30th birthday!”  I rub my pregnant belly.  “Logan and I ordered a little girl, so that our boys would have a little sister.  Mark my words, she is a girl.”

“Have you picked out a name yet?” Betty Jo asks.

“No, I want something that starts with a J, so that we can have Lana and Logan and Jack and Jill?  Not Jill, but something that starts with a J, so that we have the alliteration.  Jasmine is my favorite, because then we can call her Jazzy, but Logan thinks that sounds like a Disney princess.  I want something uncommon; there were always 5 Lana’s in every class at school, I want our little girl to have a more unique name.”

“Sally,” Logan answers.  “I already talked to Lana’s mom and Dixie, and they’re both on board.”

“WHAT?!” I shriek.  “No!  Sally is waaaaay too common a name.  And it doesn’t start with J!”

“What about the middle name?” Betty Jo asks, ignoring me.

“Sally Ann Westmoreland,” he answers.

“Um, no.  If her first name MUST be Sally—and I’m not sure that it will be—then her middle name should be Marie.  Sally Marie Westmoreland just sounds better,” I announce.  “Her initials will be SMW.  That’s an awesome, powerful set of initials.”

“Sally Ann Westmoreland has a nice ring to it,” Betty Jo tells her son.  “I like it.”

“SAW?  Her initials will be a tool?” I ask.

“Like, I saw you standing over there, and you’re beautiful!” Logan answers with a smile.

I huff and fold my arms.  I give him my meanest, We’ll Discuss This Later, look, but he ignores me.

“Hey, Little Girl!  Your parents met in a strip club!” Logan tells her.

“Stop!” I say, and push him.  “Don’t teach her that!”

He laughs and continues, ignoring me, “And your Mom gets very jealous when she sees me with other women.” Sly smile.  “Because she loves me very much.  And I love her, too.”

And we all live happily ever after.



How I Met Your Father” is the fictionalized account of how I met and fell in love with my second husband.  I wrote it to remember what it’s like to be in a good relationship and fall in love; and I wrote it for Jack and Sally, so that they can remember how they are very much loved.  ❤



Baby’s First Kiss ~ Happy Mother’s Day 2016


My sister, the future Mrs. Cherry, kisses the top of my newborn’s son’s head.

“NO!” I say.  “That’s my baby!  I should get the first kiss!”

I should also be holding my baby, but Mom and Sister had been waiting at the hospital for over an hour while I was in recovery from the c-section.  I had to have a c-section because that baby had been sitting straight up with his thumb in his mouth, stubbornly saying, “I’m staying here!  If you want me out, you’ll have to come and get me!”

So the doctor had no choice but to forcibly remove the tenant from my womb.

After the surgery, as I was in a room trying to shake off the effects of the anesthesia, Mom and Sister stood in the hall looking at the babies in the nursery.  Well, staring at one baby in particular: Baby Jack, who howled in rage at being pried from his comfortable home, but who eventually gave up and settled down to sleep.

His biological father was there, too, but since he doesn’t add anything and disappeared soon after, let’s just say that he was there.  Somewhere in the background, with his chest swelled up like he’d done something extraordinary.

When I am first wheeled into my hospital room, Mom and Sister aren’t concerned about me.  After all, the doctors and nurses have been taking care of me all day; I must be fine, otherwise they wouldn’t leave me in my room.  At least, I hope this what they were thinking; something tells me that they weren’t thinking about me at all!  “Where’s the baby?  Call the nurse and get her to bring the baby,” Mom demands.

“Hi, uh, oh, ok,” I mumble, still groggy from the pain killers.  I ring for the nurse, who came in with a big smile on her face, then ran to fetch the baby.

When she returns, she stood between me and the rolling baby holder (bassinette?).  “Now, this hospital has a number of procedures to ensure that you and your baby are safe.  See this badge?  This is a special badge that only nurses in the natal care unit have.  Don’t give your baby to anyone unless you see that they have this badge.  Got it?”

I nod and reach for my baby.

The nurse ignored me and continued, “Good.  Now, you have a patient bracelet which…blah blah blah…the baby has a bracelet on his ankle and they match…blah blah blah.  Security, hospital policies, and procedures…”

OMG was this nurse ever going to SHUT UP AND GIVE ME MY BABY?!  Did she really think that I was listening?!

FINALLY the woman finished her speech and placed the baby gently in my arms.  Before my eyes could focus on my little bundle of joy, he was gone.  Mom held him, cooing at him, and sat down in the rocking chair to rock him.  Sister looked over her shoulder and waited at least 5 minutes before asking for a turn.  At the 10 or 15 minute mark, Mom relented and handed the child over.

Sister bent down and kissed the baby’s forehead.

MY baby’s forehead.  My baby, who I hadn’t gotten to hold yet, and she was kissing him—his first kiss!

“Nooooooo!” I said, but it was too late.  So when the baby needed his diaper changed, I invoked my rights, “It’s his first diaper change and I’m going to do it!”

My mom and sister exchanged looks like I was crazy.  No one was going to fight over that privilege, but by God, I proudly changed that first diaper.

Ya, let me tell you, changing a diaper doesn’t compare to planting a kiss on a baby’s forehead.  They are quite literally at opposite ends of the spectrum—or, in this case, the baby.  I definitely got the wrong end of that deal!

Baby Number 2


Jules (me!) and Baby Sally (Not my best look)


Mom and Baby Sally, 1997

So when I had my second child, I planted a kiss on her forehead immediately.  “There!” I announced to the room, which held her father Alan, my mother, and my sister, “I kissed her first!”

Alan shifted his feet and looked away.  I glared at him.  He had gone with the baby from the operating room, where the doctors were sewing me after my second c-section.  Which means that he had been with the baby for over an hour, out of my sight.  Which means that he might have…nope!  I kissed her first!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there, whether they planted the first kiss or not!  Happy Mother’s Day, Mrs. Cherry!  Happy Mother’s Day, Mom, I love you!!  ❤ ❤ ❤



PS Tomorrow, Chapters 19 and 20, the conclusion of “How I Met Your Father.”