Ramblin Christian Gypsy

Literary whimsy. Dedicated poetic observer.


Attention my Alabama friends.

Please help me find someone who would love and keep this adorable boy forever, yes? 
"This is Buster! He is currently being fostered at Bama Bully Rescue under the name Barron (https://www.facebook.com/BamaBullyRescue). 

Buster/Barron was brought in to a local veterinary clinic, where he was near death. He had been starved, and showed signs of abuse, particularly, dog fighting. He was heartworm positive. He stayed at the clinic a few weeks, and all the techicians fell in love with him! 

He had put on a little weight, and was getting a little healthier! One day, the city that had been paying for his stay said they had found a home for him! Sadly, they didn’t, and he wound up in Elmore County Humane Society. Luckily, a few days later, Bama Bully Rescue picked him up! They treated his heartworms, and had him fostered out to a home for months. 

He gets along with cats, but would do best being the only dog, in a home without small children, as he gets scared with someone getting in his face and screaming. He has gained a few extra pounds, and will not hesitate to dip into the cat food bowl if it’s where he can get to it! He is waiting for his forever home, and has a TON of love to give! Please apply today to give this beautiful, sweet boy a home!”



I called Scarlett over to tell her about her Dr. Fless. She needed a hug and said, “I liked him so much.” 

That was a good doctor. He actually cared. I cringe when all the online articles immediately feel the need to tell us about his notorious kid.

Many times Dr. Paul Fleiss would meet us at his office at zero dark thirty of any holiday weekend and keep tabs of Scarlett’s tricky condition. She would develop scary asthma so fast and her oxymeter numbers would be so bad that conventional advice would have had you driving straight to the hospital. 

She was two and I was shooting Desperate Housewives and had to leave her at the hospital with Misti, Elizabeth Oliveros and Evelyn Parra to go to work. The hospital wouldn’t let Scarlett play with any of the toys because even though we all knew it was asthma it was technically an undiagnosed lung illness because she hadn’t had three separate incidents. Those were the hospital rules. Scarlett saw the room of toys and was pitching a fit to make them her own. And her rage made the asthma worse, and then they wanted an IV and that made things even more unbearably stressful. I hated the hospital.

So I left someone there at Cedars Sinai with her, sent someone else to Target to buy new things because that’s what you do, and a third someone to our house to collect favorite things then I went to work not knowing if she’d be released that day. All the while I was taking 16 phone calls from Kirk working in NY who was frantic for new information on his hospitalized baby. 

During the next few years I would call him and tell him her numbers and say, “Meet me at the office, I’ll be there as soon as I get dressed.” And he’d come and give her care and me advice. And we’d make conversation while the horrible sound of the nebulizer puffed out its’ magical modern medicinal thing. 

It just so horribly happened that a few weeks earlier Dr. Fleiss had lost his adult son in a drowning accident off the coast of Kona. The loss was fresh and painful and I noticed how he’d aged a decade since I’d last seen him. HIs shoulders carried a yoke of heartache. The burden of having lost a child.

"I’m so sorry." I said. And I touched his shoulder. I asked if there was anything I could do? Errands or anything I could buy that could bring him a thimble full of joy. He quickly said, "Coffee..I like coffee." Then he told me what kind. What brand. Which kind of bean. And then asked me to bring the whole bean because he liked to grind it himself." Then he smiled. And I brought it, the coffee, the next day. And here today I’m having my coffee and thinking of him with a lump in my throat that won’t go away. 

Here’s to you, Dr. Fleiss. And thanks for telling me I was a great Mom. That was extra nice. LIke you. RIP.



At the vet’s today they decided Dutchy’s swollen paw pad is responding to medication but they’ve now added antibiotics. Not quite sure why we didn’t do that in the first place.

When the doctor asked how else things were going with puppy, I said, “Well he’s really good but…

Mommy’sMommy. That’s My Name. Want My Autograph.

Putting myself on tape today because casting for a new show has refused to see me. They no longer believe I can play early thirties. 

Blast you, Imdb, with all your information just clickety-click seconds away. 

Today’s verse I’ll share is Roman’s 1:22 “Professing themselves to be wise they became fools.” 

Who do I call to tell them that Lucille Ball was 40 when she STARTED shooting I Love Lucy? 

And if this post doesn’t shame them into rethinking the error of their ways, then perhaps they’ll be so charmed into giving me job on straight offer after seeing these darling pictures of my Granddaughter. 


Painfully learned, but strategy has never been my strongest suit.


Fatty And Skinny Had A Race. Right Around Acevedo’s Place.

I agreed to go for a run with Scarlett. I didn’t really know I was signing up to pay for war crimes committed in my as yet unknown past lives. 

She would holler at me to “C’mon you don’t wanna keep that flab you showed me last night, DO YOU?!” This was said waaaaay too loud for my comfort and always strategically when others were passing by. But to think she was done was just naive. Here she came again…”You want Daddy to see you in a bikini and say you’re hot, don’t you? I don’t think he’d say that now, DO YOU??!” 

Ok that was just mean.

Some woman did a gatorade spit-take, she was laughing so hard.

But the end all, be all, was her pulling a cheese stick out of her pocket and running backwards in front of me waving it like a carrot to a lazy donkey lure. “C’mon Mommy, I Know You WANT THE CHEESE….RUN FASTER!”

I wanted to push her down. And hard. But I couldn’t catch her.

By the time we made it home, I was laughing, and crying, and I think I wet my pants. Whether or not I am resultantly any thinner…..well that remains to be seen. 


Road Home.

Right about the time I took this picture I was reminded of the fact that we lost my Dad 7 years ago today.

Might be that I was looking at a similarly handsome, charming, tricky at times, lover of sports who can/could command everyone’s attention on whatever stage they choose/chose.

I was gonna ask Kirk to take me by the cemetery but I get so upset at the thought of him and Grandma and Grandpa’s bodies lying in the cold ground.

And I know I KNOW, they’re not there but just the cruel logistics of it all that gets to me and I try to limit my snotted, sobbing jags around Scarlett.

So as we drove down highway 59 I was increasingly mindful that I was going further and further away from where he wasn’t. 

Interestingly enough it was Utah, some 15 hours later, that seemed the best place to cry about it. 

I guess where real grief lives, time and space is just a gluey layer of continuum that the heart just doesn’t understand. Well at least not mine.

It’s The Crooked Magic That Always Seems To Find Me.


How To Save Money On Wedding Flowers

After blaming my horribly bipolar angry, swearing at me when he sees me, neighbor… 
Turns out a certain raccoon is to blame for picking all these beautiful Hibiscus blooms off this plant.  I caught him in the naughty act at two in the morning when the dogs were going crazy.
I peeked out the front door’s window and there he was looking for all the world like a masked, furry-bandit-bridesmaid with his bouquet of stolen blooms. 

He looked me full in the windowed face before turning and plodding away dragging his big bottom behind him.  Not sorry at all.  In no particular hurry.  Off to find a vase. I can only suppose.


Actress Killed. Dozens Mourn.

At Starbucks today a group of German tourists turned into extreme Desperate Housewives fans the second my daughter and I walked through the door. They screamed, jumped up, fell over, got up, then fanned their flushed faces and with shaking hands wanted to take pictures. It was pretty intense. 

I chatted for a bit with the one who had a command of the English language but disallowed them taking pictures of Scarlett. Why I dunno when anyone with a camera at the Grove takes her picture all the time. I guess it just seemed the thing to do. If you can’t control it you can’t control it. But if someone asks, “no” seems a good answer when it applies. 

When walking back to the car Scarlett smoothed my back with her one hand goes, in a high sing-song “there, there” voice, “See Mommy some people really like you.”

I could have sagged under such condescending counsel. But I decided to rather think on what she got right. And ruminate on how to fix my life with that information.

If German tourists and then perhaps my dogs, could produce a show, then Gentle Reader, we’d be on to something. Because those people really like me.

We’ll call the show, “ACTRESS KILLED. DOZENS MOURN!”

Payday Isn’t Always On Friday.

At the vet’s today they decided Dutchy’s swollen paw pad is responding to medication but they’ve now added antibiotics. Not quite sure why we didn’t do that in the first place.

When the doctor asked how else things were going with puppy, I said, “Well he’s really good but he will pee on Scarlett’s pillow, blanket or rug or her favorite clothes even if we’re not watching him. Otherwise he’ll always go outside. What’s up with that?”

Dr. Kim thought for a minute then goes, “Would he be mad at her for anything?” We all looked to Scarlett while shrugging and hemming and hawing.

Scarlett got super flustered and spoke like her freedom depended on it. “Sometimes when we play, I poke him in the nose and he snarls at me but I’m just playing. And sometimes it happens a lot.”

We all smirked and Dr. Kim suggested that maybe Dutchy is mad at her and that’s why he acts out with/on her stuff. 

On the drive home Scarlett wailed into her elbow while we kept handing her tissues. 

Dutchy stared out the window in his huge cone like a conquering Pharaoh. 

Might have been all his pain meds but I swear I saw him snicker, then all sotto voce like he muttered, “I got choo, suckah.”


Kitschy Christmas in August.

Scarlett’s making her Christmas list. Yes I know it’s August. And I brought this, plus the following to her attention, “Sweetheart let Daddy get off the plane for a day or two before you bombard him with a gift list for Christmas.”

She shot me a sour look and goes, “This has nothing to do with Daddy it’s for Santa.” Then she made her eyes real big and went back to her work like she could scarcely believe my naiviete and the lengths her patience had to go to deal with the likes of me. 

Then I rolled my own eyes and walked the other way. We are dueling schools learned at the acting feet of Alyssa Milano, circa Who’s The Boss years. 


Fine as Frog’s Hair.

I’ve adopted my bossy and vintage Southern accent that I had to learn for YaYa Sisterhood. I plan to use it for the duration of my trip. Much to Kirk’s chagrin. 

Being in NOLA has altered me entirely. I’m walking around in a slip. In public. Carrying a beverage, minding the children, and flirting with my husband. 

Kirk noted that a have an instant Southern switch that he never new about. 

I said “Puerto Rican, p
lease. It’s not like you have to show a kitten how to play with yarn.”

Easter’s So Nice. I Have It Twice. еще раз

I’ve been standing at my open closet considering what to wear to Russian Easter services tomorrow night with Luba, Natalie, Daniel and Scarlett. 

I like so many things about this ritual. I specially like that these three children have known each other since their first months on this earth and no matter how long they’re parted they always react like long lost and much loved cousins when seeing each other again. 

Then I like the way the Orthodox priest always cracks a giggling grin under that long gray beard when he blesses the children with the holy water as they shriek in delight like they’ve been thrown in the pool on a hot summer day.

I really like struggling through my intermediate Russian in the Russian community where I’ll go tomorrow to buy the Easter cake for my basket to receive the blessing. And how I try to pretend that the frosted bread is as tasty as it looks. Because it is not. 

I like the dimly lit church and the icons and the thousands of candles. I try to read the archaic cyrillic and fail miserably. I buy plastic totems with saints on them to stuff into my pockets because they remind me of St. Petersburg. 

I like how it’s always a challenge to find the right head scarf and negotiate the appropriate amount of bangs that should be shown. Too much hair shown and you’ve missed the point of a head covering. Cover it all up and you look Muslim. But mostly I like laughing at Luba who has been known to cover her head with an old baby diaper or burp cloth. 

I like that I look like a cute peasant with my scarf tied under my chin. And that the last image I see of myself in the mirror always reminds me of my favorite joke. 

"My uncle asked if I wanted to go pheasant hunting."

"I’m all, that’s disgusting, can’t you just let them pick their potatoes in peace." 

Happy Easter. 


Христос воскрес
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.
He leadeth me beside the still waters. 
He restoreth my soul. 
He leadeth me in the path of righteousness for his name sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil.
For thou art with me. 
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table for me in the presence of my enemies.
Thou anointest my head with oil.
My cup runneth over. 
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me
all the days of my life.
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.

He leadeth me beside the still waters. 

He restoreth my soul. 

He leadeth me in the path of righteousness for his name sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil.

For thou art with me. 

Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table for me in the presence of my enemies.

Thou anointest my head with oil.

My cup runneth over. 

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me

all the days of my life.

And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Hocus Pocus Hair

Little known fact about me is that I naturally sport an Irish orphan’s fro. It’s like cobwebs of wool on my head. And while a lot of the tendrils curl, most of them kink. They have minds of their angry own and seldom listen to reason without the intervention of extreme heat or chemicals. 

So back in the day, I had this hair and my sister had that Farrah Fawcett blonde “do” so desirable in the 70’s and 80’s. This was when the world wasn’t so technically savvy about hair and the only blow dryers available to the public were of wimpy wattage and came with a Barbie like toy comb attached at the end. 

My Norwegian Mother with similar beautiful, flaxen hair like Heidi’s, had no idea how to coif her younger daughter’s head. When she’d try to get it under control and take a brush to it the results were humiliating and disastrous.

The hair would literally raise from my shoulders like a golum of cotton candy under a witch’s spell. I still remember the look on my Mom’s face.  She tried to cover her reaction, God bless her, by reaching for a quick rubber band to tie it off and then she’d add a festive ribbon in there for good cheery measure. I guess hoping against hope to direct people’s attention first to the ribbon and then to the tragic hair of her child.

I knew my hair totally sucked and so did my sister. And while for the most part I knew she loved me and we shared hours of play together and hand holding camaraderie, she would weaponize this knowledge at her strategic convenience. It was a kind of evil that older siblings everywhere employ,  I’ve come to realize. 

Whenever she needed to break my spirit quickly she went for the hair. In her defense I was an incorrigible little sister full of sass and have forgotten the exact ridiculous behavior that caused her to bring down the wrath of “Yeah…well everybody thinks your hair is weird!” And with that, my world would start spinning and I was bested. Because it was true. I’d run to my room to sob my eyes out and plan my revenge on the world of straight haired people. 

I remember once announcing that my head hurt. My Dad goes, “Your hair looks like your head hurts.” And we all laughed because funny is funny. And that was funny.

Cut to today when those silly hair woes are like a story about somebody else that I know really well. 

Options that are chemical, options that are all technique, and others still that are magic pieces that clip, or are sewn in to hide the truth. And while I’ll accept their gift of illusion I don’t claim to buy into their promise. That of long silky hair that is sexy. Because if your man can’t grab handfuls of your hair to draw you closer to him because it’ll pull your extensions out, well that’s like a picture of a meal you can never eat. And what good is that? It’s not sexy. I’ve decided. It’s just illusion. Very disparate situations.

Kirk says I look like an entirely different person when I wear my muppet hair. It’s also Elizabethan hair. Or consumptive nineteenth century poetess’ hair. Let’s call it “character hair” and be done with it. 

I know where it is and I can always get it when I need it. When it suits my purpose. An off and off binary switch. For the one girl who’s very, very good. And for the other one who’s horrid. But as for who’s my favorite? They’re twins of mine that I love equally, as a Mother should.