Gitzo Tyre, 1996-2014


Gitzo “Shmozer” Tyre, went home to be with her creator on Saturday, May 24, 2014. She was 17 years old.

Originally adopted under the guise of  “protection”, she never met a stranger, or bit anyone in anger, although she had been known to accidentally nip a finger in her eagerness to devour a treat.

While home was her favorite place to be, she traveled extensively throughout the South. She experienced the feel of sand on her paws on the beach at St. Simon’s Island, ran under the Spanish moss in historic Savannah, heard the rumblings of the coal train in Virginia, and chased squirrels in the Tennessee mountains. She camped on the shores of Lake Allatoona, rode in a boat and on a 4-wheeler, and once spent a night being a good girl and not barking in a “no-pets allowed” hotel along I-75.

Gitzo didn’t like to show off, but she would, when pressed, sit and shake, lie down, and “get busy.” And although she came from humble beginnings, she embodied everything lovely and good in her species. No finer dog ever graced the lawn at Westminster.

She was loyal and kind, gentle and long-suffering with children, and she was loved by everyone who knew her, but especially her canine friend, Freeda, and her human family, Lisa, JD and Rachel.

She will be missed.


Gitzo was laid to rest in Tennessee, next to cousins Bad Jack, Molly, and Lucy in the family cemetery.


“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or ask the birds of the air, and they will tell you. Speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea tell you. Every one of these knows that the hand of the Lord has done this. The life of every creature and the breath of all people are in God’s hand.” (NCV) Job 12:7-10


Lifestyles of the Tyred and Fatigued

Sorry that this blog is short, Kittens, but my life is a non-stop party right now. It started at 4:30 a.m. when I got up to find my dog in an indelicate situation that required I replace all of her bedding and give her a bath. Fun way to start the day! Then it was off to the screened-in-porch to write, back to the office to work, then out to pick up Moon’s bff for a day of basketball and bridge!

Of course I was figuring that while they were playing, I’d get some work done and my house cleaned, but it was not to be. I’m trying to ENGAGE more, so every time Moon asked if I’d shoot hoops or throw the softball I said YES. Because it was 112 degrees today, the girls decided that in addition to our Summer Camp fun, we should go to the lake. And in an effort to ENGAGE more, I said YES. Which is how I found myself at Lake Allatoona with a couple of girls and a van full of sand.

Normally I’d make JD go, but he was busy proving his love to me by working on the lawn, the pool, and a raised bed for veggies! I can’t help it that my love language is service, but it is. And I feel very loved for the time being but tomorrow is still up for debate.

After the lake, we went to WalMart, home to eat, played 4 boards of bridge, and THEN I finally got around to finishing my work. If you think that I have it easy, spending my days at the lake, trust me, tomorrow will make up for it. I have meetings at 9:30, 10:30, 1:00 and 7:00 p.m. Apparently no one has heard of the internet. Or conference calling.

So now I’m going to try and sneak off to bed before anyone else tries to ENGAGE with me. Especially Gitzo.



The Title Goes Here

I’ve had a full day. FYI, don’t confuse “full” with interesting. JD had a job this morning  and left the house at 4:30 AM! I woke up briefly when he left, but managed to go to sleep again. Alas, only for an hour and by 5:30 I was wide awake. I hadn’t read my bible in awhile so I got that out, but it didn’t help, I was still wide awake. 🙂

I finally got up and showered and took Moon to school, then it was off to work, shop, blah, blah, blah until I finally walked through the door at 4:30. Because it was BRIDGE CAMP, Moon’s bff came over and we played a few rounds, but our time was cut short because JD was taunting Moon. “A card played, is a card LAID!” When she started to get upset, (she WAS getting set, after all) he started mocking her! This from the man who doesn’t want to play bridge because everyone is so grumpy. Luckily, I had a plan B.

Over the weekend, I went to yard sale and scored a basketball goal. On Saturday, I ran to Walmart and got a basketball, and feeling in a sporting mood, also grabbed softballs, a bat, 2 gloves and some golf balls. Bridge camp will be turning into Summer Camp soon and I don’t want a bunch of bored kids lounging on my couch. That’s MY spot, amiright?

So after bridge, I showed Moon and SlimJim a few moves, made a few baskets, you know, BALLER stuff. The girls had a riot! Mainly laughing at me, but still. We also threw softballs around, and JD showed the girls how to hold a golf club. It was all VERY fun. With bridge, all of the new sporting equipment, and the corn-hole game we bought a few weeks ago, the girls should be entertained all summer. And by “summer”, I mean I hope we make it through Memorial Day.

Perfect Weekend

Kittens, I just experienced the best weekend ever. I did only one thing – write. I didn’t clean the house, or cook a meal, or go anywhere. It was heaven.

I started by taking part of the day off on Friday. While Moon was at school, and JD was running around doing errands, I moved my laptop out to the screened-in porch. I’d already printed out my entire manuscript, WITH EDITOR NOTES, so all I needed was to grab a blanket and some pillows, and I was set. I sat outside for 3 hours making revisions. Did I mention it as heaven?

On Saturday, JD dropped Moon off at the horse barn. She had volunteered to help at the horse show they were holding, and we thought it would be a good idea to let her do it alone. I’m all about empowering my daughter to be independent especially when it means I can lay on the couch in my pj’s. While she was gone, I continued my string of doing nothing except writing by sitting on the porch for another SIX hours. I know what you’re thinking. Just how bad WAS my first draft? Really bad, apparently because I still wasn’t finished.

Sunday, we all skipped church because Jesus loves us anyway and it was raining. While the rest of the family snuggled in front of the tv, I SAT ON THE PORCH AND WROTE. I’m happy to announce that after 3 days and hours and hours of revision, I’m half way done! Yay, me.

In addition to all of the awesome writing I got done, I also managed to get the stray cat that visits to eat a can of sardines. It’s not as easy as it sounds, since every time I come close, he runs and hides in the woods. A couple of weeks ago I left him some tuna, and a few days ago, he left a dead squirrel on my doorstep. We’re making progress, slow and maybe gross progress, but progress all the same.

It’s a lot like revision.

Moron Test Kitchen, Baby A Edition

Baby A came over this afternoon for a few hours, and because I’m known for my stellar cooking skills, asked if we could make a cake.  I wasn’t sure if I had the right ingredients for what she had in mind, but I pulled out a cookbook I’d bought from Moon’s school and found something called, “Chewy Cake”. Perfect.

Here’s what you need:

2 cups brown sugar, 1 stick butter, 2 eggs, 2 cups self-rising flour, 1 tsp. vanilla and 1 cup chopped pecans.

Because I’m me, I played fast and loose with the ingredients. First, cream butter and sugar together. I didn’t have a full 2 cups of brown sugar and because I live in a post-racial kitchen, threw in some white sugar to compensate. You’ll be happy to know that they were very sweet with each other. 🙂

Next, cream the eggs into the mixture. And by “cream”, I mean mix, not “milk”. Then add your flour, vanilla and nuts. I didn’t have a full cup of nuts but I’ve seen the word “optional” in front of “nuts” in enough recipes to know that they are not essential.

The recipe didn’t say to grease the baking dish, but I had some of that flour/butter spray and thought it might be a good idea. It also didn’t say anything about sprinkles, but Baby A is 3 and if we’re making a cake, it darn well better have SPRINKLES.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.


She was quite proud.


The outside was crispy like a cookie and the inside was gooey and chewy like a delicious, brownie. I don’t have any pictures from after we cut it because it disappeared in a flash. Even Moon who hates everything ate 2 helpings.

Moron Test Grade – A! It was simple and made from things most people keep in their cabinets. It’s an easy way to make a cake when the kids come visit.

Aunt Grade? – A super Plus, amiright Kittens?


When Will It All End??

P90X3 has almost killed us. Day Two was a half hour of wheezing, jumping, groaning and sweating – and that was just me trying to put on the sports bra! It was so bad, at one point I started to look forward to going to WORK. A sure sign of oxygen deprivation, amiright Kittens?

In other things I want to end news, Middle School sucks. There are only 7 more days left and I’ve already decided to skip at least one of them. I mean, to let MOON skip one of them. I don’t know what to think about a world that doesn’t embrace a cute, 12-year old girl who can quote from all 6 Star Wars movies. I think Moon should wish them all a happy summer vacation on Planet Alderaan, BOOM!

Granted, Moon is at a disadvantage with having me as a parent. Sunday, after our shopping spree, I was lamenting how much we spent. Moon said, “Duh, Mom. We were shopping at TARGET.” Oh. Yeah.

Today, Moon’s off to compete in the Olympics in the Corn Hole toss. I don’t know whether I want her to do well or not. Being successful at Corn Hole, is that a good thing? I can’t keep up with Middle School trends. In my day, it was much simpler. If you could skate, play dodge ball, and owned a pair of Tretorn’s you were good to go.



Thank God it’s over for at least one of us.

Leading from My Bed

I think God wants me to be a leader. I know this because some higher power keeps orchestrating ways for me to go to leadership conferences. A few years ago, I went to one in Texas. It didn’t exactly go well, since at one point my friend and I got called out by the speaker for laughing, but we weren’t actually ASKED to leave so that’s a plus. You can imagine that I wasn’t thrilled to find myself going to another one on Friday, but I managed to make it through the whole thing without being yelled out once. Progress! I learned a few things like, “Good leaders listen,” and “Good leaders lead.” Okay, that first one was helpful, but I’m pretty sure I could have come up with that second one. Anyway, the point is that I’m ready to lead. All I need now is a follower.

While I was learning how to lead non-existent followers, JD was at Moon’s school speaking to her social studies class about Germany. He made a presentation and everything. I only have his and Moon’s word for it, but apparently, he ROCKED, despite his total disregard for my advice to wear lederhosen.

Saturday I did something totally radical and stayed home all day to clean my house. It was the first time in forever that we didn’t have weekend plans and you’ll be happy to know that I’ve remedied that and will be running fervently around until August 14th. You know what happens when you have down time? Your friends Bratt and Kit come by and challenge you to do P90X for 3 months and you’re all like, “Oh, I’ll do P90X for 3 months, just WATCH ME.” You lose your mind.

Sunday was Mother’s Day, my day to do NOTHING, so that’s what I did. Other than get up and do P90X, die, get revived, shower and attempt to wash my hair even though my arms were noodles, go to church, then Target to buy yoga mats and buy Moon some new clothes before falling into bed exhausted and afraid of the next 89 days.

I hope my new followers are prepared to run some errands.





Early Morning Post

Today I’m actually doing something I keep meaning to do. Every night I fall into bed exhausted and think, I’ll just get up in the morning and blog, but then morning comes and, life. But I’m just refusing to get out of bed until this post is done. I am dedicated to you!

Yesterday was more running around from place to place with the added benefit of having Moon along. She missed school Monday because she was sick, and Tuesday because she was sick of school. Middle-school is rough, people, that’s all I’m going to say. Except that I am thankful that I had my cousin Ginger with me while I was going through it. (The truth be told, Ginger STILL acts as my buffer. I don’t go to any events in my hometown that involve people I went to school with unless she’s there with me!)

While I let Moon lay in bed with a fever and watch TV on Monday, I wasn’t going to let her do that while fake sick. So she went with me on errands, sat beside me while I worked, and basically got to experience life as a middle-aged, mid-level employee. I don’t think she’ll want to miss school again for a while.

While we were hanging out, she mentioned that the school Olympics were next week and she’d signed up for two sports – Crabwalk Soccer and Corn-Hole Toss. Okay. I figured summer was upon us and we could use some outdoor entertainment, so we went to Target and bought her a corn-hole game. A girl’s got to practice for the Olympics, amiright? Just as we walked in the door, my “boss” called and said he’d like us to meet him and some folks for dinner. I’m always up for  free food, but figured Moon had had her limit on middle-age fun, so I called her BFF to see if she could come hang. Yes, she could, but they were across town. I grabbed Moon and away we went AGAIN. I put Moon and her new corn-hole game out on the curb, then raced back across town for dinner, then went home and let the dogs outside, then went BACK for Moon. She was excited to show me that she’d spent the last two hours putting her game together ALL BY HERSELF.

I’m glad one of us had a productive day.


Let me just say that the highlight of my day today was my trip to WalMart and that visit included me bumping my cart into a woman, a checkout line that suddenly quit working, and a new checkout line that had to stop while the receipt tape was changed. But I DID see my brother there, so that was fun.

I ran there to grab a few quick things for dinner. Moon woke up this morning with a fever, so I worked from home, and between her and Gitzo, I got almost nothing done. My house was a wreck and I didn’t really want to have clean the kitchen, THEN cook, then clean the kitchen again. Who DOES that?

At least my weekend was good. CPS managed to raise 94 THOUSAND dollars at the Walk on Saturday. Even though the goal was $100,000.00 I’d call it a success. Goals are notorious for being set too high, amiright Kittens? I am not going to quibble over such a small percentage. I often only achieve 70, maybe 80% of my goals and look at me – a part-time blogger!

Friday night before the Walk, I told Moon she could have a friend over. Saturday, by the time I’d finished getting everything back to the Center and helped count the money, I was too tired to take her friend home. Weekender, anyone? Because two 12 year old girls who are hyped up on soda and no sleep are just the BEST. By the time it was over, I was gently reminding them that school would be out soon and they wouldn’t see each other for a very LONG time, and they were seriously okay with that.

This is the part where I tell you how much weight I’ve gained since I stopped juicing, then go on to mention my NEW diet, but I’m too tired. So just know it’s going to be EPIC. And by “epic”, I mean I’ll be lucky to get to 70% of my goal.