I rescued a male Chinese Crested Powderpuff last March, my first male dog. I am a fur baby momma, no human children. I have always had female dogs, Harlow my 5lb Chihuahua is a dream dog, pee-pad friendly, never misses the mark. 

Along comes Chaplin. Nickname “Dennis the Menace”. He is all boy and won my heart immediately with the hug he gave me when first I picked him up. Love at first sight. He came home with me that day. My first son!

Now to my conundrum, Chaplin knows to “potty” outside. Harlow decides for herself if she wants to go out or sleep in and use her pad. I understand how that could be a little confusing for Chaplin. He is so sweet and tries hard to mimic his “big” sister most notably If he can’t wake me up for an emergency walk.  Hence the problem.  

Little boys tend to miss the mark so to speak.  He hits the pee-pad for the most part but as with all men as the stream slows the mark is harder to hit. As I was blotting my little mans miss this morning I noticed something on the “people” potty that made me smile. Big human boys tend to miss the mark too!

So although I do not have human boys to compare in my little observation, I do have a husband. I am pretty sure that boys big and small, animals and human alike have the same rather annoying habit.  Missing the mark when it comes to using the potty.

I know this seems off topic for me but having to clean up “misses” first thing in the morning can be rather depressing.  Maybe I’m not as off topic as I thought –  It is a different kind of depressing I will admit.  More fractional, you know that short time you feel sad.  I mean who wants to wipe up pee first thing in the morning?  As I say to my husband “it geeks me out.”  

What is the answer to this urinary problem?  I have no idea.  Tell my husband to slow down, reprimand him when he misses? Wait that would be Chaplin.  Oh my I really am confused, I love my boys.

Alas, I guess like the age old “put the toilet seat down” argument all couples seem to have at some point in their relationship, my missed mark issue will have to go in the “a woman’s work is never done” file.  




I stepped out of my box on my last post “Political Obsurdities”.  Needless to say I did not get many likes and no comments.  Not that I live for likes or comments but I worked hard on that post, damn hard.  I thought I had written an op-ed that would make people think. The cricketts were thinking. 

Strangely, today was a bad head day for me.  I have not “depression” sobbed in a minute and was taken aback when I did.  Am I so entwined in what words I put to paper, so to speak, and the reception received that I will let my whole being be affected?  I would be in good company if I did.  Writing is one of the top 10 professions in which people are most likely to suffer from depression, according to US website health.com.

A 2009 article published by the Association for Psychological Science revealed research that showed a definitive link between creativity and the neuregulin 1 gene, which is also closely associated with psychosis. 

Having hailed from a family with a long history of mental dis-ease — among them bipolar disorder, nervous disorders, anxiety, depression and bulimia nervosa — I fit the bill.  As did this list of a few of my favorite writers who I now feel are part of my dysfunctional family.

1. Sylvia Plath

Plath was known, among friends and colleagues, for her frequent mood swings, tendencies toward impulsivity and a mercurial temperament. She was easily plunged into dejection by even the smallest rejection or perceived failure. 

I am hopeful that when I find my writing voice as she found hers I will survive in tact what she could not. 

2. Leo Tolstoy

Noticeable signs of depression didn’t strike Tolstoy until middle age, but the illness came on with a vengeance. The author considered becoming celibate, questioned his religious beliefs and began giving away his possessions so that he could live like a peasant.

Studies show that both those in the creative arts and those with depressive disorder spend an inordinate amount of time contemplating their own distress. I can relate. 

3. Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf had her first bout with depression at the age of 15.  She battled it throughout her life. Her creativity was frequently compromised by intermittent mood swings punctuated by sleeplessness, migraines and auditory and visual hallucinations.    

 I have Ms. Woolf beat by a year. I suffered my first anxiety attack and pursuing bout of depression at 14. Thank God I do not have auditory or visual hallucinations.  But still I had no idea what the f**k was going on. Nor that I would be writing about it these many years later.

4. Ernest Hemingway

Depression, borderline and narcissistic personality traits, bipolar disorder and, later, psychosis created Hemingway’s personal hell. Hemingway self-medicated, used alcohol, engaged  in risk-taking sportsmanship activities and wrote to cope. 

The author’s mental and physical health deteriorated so rapidly during the last years of his life — primarily due to alcoholism — that he finally accepted electroshock treatments in 1960.

I relate to Hemingway in a personal way. I am a child of electroshock therapy, my mother received electroshock treatments in the early 60’s, while unknowingly pregnant with me. 

 It is undeniable that many prominent writers and poets of the last several centuries have suffered from mental dis-ease. In the words of Lord Byron, “We of the craft are all crazy. Some are affected by gaiety, others by melancholy, but all are more or less touched.”

I tend to agree.  




The abortion rights issue was once again front and center as the GOP held up the confirmation of Loretta Lynch as Attorney General until anti-abortion verbiage could be included in the Human Trafficking Bill.

It chaffs my ass that the confirmation of the first African American woman to hold the office of Attorney General was held up for anti-abortion measures in a Human Trafficking Bill.  This is a dichotomy as well as antihetical to the intellectual integrity of the bill itself. 

Let’s distill this incongruency down to its legitimate core, lets personalize it- if it were your sister, your daughter, your mother or friend who had been forced into sexual slavery eventually rescued and along with physical and emotional trauma – suffered the indignity of having become pregnant as a result of her captivity.  What would be your thoughts and beliefs then?  I believe that most of us, rather than politicize the policy, would come to the understanding that abortion services should be made readily available to these women at their choice.

The language was included clearing the way for Ms. Lynchs’ confirmation.  Tuesday’s deal allowed all sides to claim victory: Republicans for ensuring money for medical procedures is subject to the existing abortion restriction, the “Hyde Amendment,” and Democrats for establishing that the Hyde restriction isn’t expanded to new money sources.  Tuesday’s agreement provides survivors of human trafficking with immediate access to needed health care services.

It  is unfortunate that abortion was once again politisized holding hostage the confirmation of a United States Attorney General as well as the safety and well being of Human Trafficking survivors.  I know it’s politics but it is obsurd.

Human Trafficking and a woman’s right to choose are not a Republican or a Democratic issue. They certainly are not issues that should have held up Loretta Lynchs’ confirmation.  They are global issues and at its core….personal issues.



Enjoying the afterglow from the conference I was thinking how perfect it had all been. Being who I am there had to be a hiccup or my journey would not have been complete.

I had just finished breakfast with Trina, one of my new friends from the convention. She suggested we go to the front of the hotel and take pictures. Great idea, or so I thought.

After Trina took a few depressing shots of me you know the photos you look at and scream inwardly “I do not look like that!” It was my turn to return the favor. 

She handed me her phone to use for the shots, I proceeded to take a picture when I realized I needed to back up a bit. Then the fun began. Don’t ask how, next thing I knew  I was unceremoniously heading down. Concrete and rocks racing toward me. I braced for a direct blow with the sidewalk not seeing the cactus growing all around.

It felt like time slowed during my fall.  The cactus I had taken with me on the way down decided to leave me with a present for my way back up. The infamous Glochids.  I had never heard of them before but I will not forget.

I landed, hand bleeding, hurting from the off kilter cartwheel which I seemed to fall into. Then the tears start. At this point from sheer humiliation. 

I was scared as I have had surgery on both hands and a new knee that just turned a year old. My mind was trying to do a mental check on these rather tenuous body parts. Sore and sprained I sat sobbing while Trina ran to get help. Finally ice came along with an emergency kit that, thankfully, included tweezers.

Trina helped me remove the obvious Glochids from hands and feet. At this point I am still on the ground.  I moved to get up when I realized I was covered in little insidious Glochids. Each step was painful, they were everywhere.

It seems those who have lived in the Southwest for a period of time are familiar with the cactus’ best defense and have different methods of removal.  Trina suggested I shower and take a credit card to scrape the Glochids away.  I followed her advice which seemed to get rid of most.

The rest of the afternoon was spent finding Glochids. I would feel one between my toes, or sit and have to stand right back up to go remove the stray Glochid from my ass. I had to throw my pants away, they were covered in the monstrous little bastards.

I survived my introduction to one of the southwests best kept secrets, made my flight home and so far today have only found two of the little suckers.  

Sprained and sore I sit reminiscing about the conference all fabulous until my unforgettable exit from the party.




Press Publish outdid themselves! The Phoenix Conference was blog heaven. Well worth the price of admission.  

Starting Friday afternoon with the meet and greet at the Clarendon Hotel we were introduced to the ever helpful “Happiness Engineers” patient to the bone, every blue shirt you encountered was there to help and make you feel comfortable.  The meet and greet ended promptly at 7:00 which was to be a recurring theme, timeliness.

 The event was held at the Heard Museum a mere minutes from the Clarendon, I was impressed by the beauty and layout of the venue.  Upon arrival we were directed to a breakfast layout extraordinaire.  Another theme which was to be consistent.  The food and drink which were readily available all day.

 The introduction started at 8:50 and the entire day ran like clockwork.  Each speaker was alloted between 15 and 30 minutes with a Q & A after each. Everywhere you turned Happiness Engineers in their blue shirts were there and more than willing to help.  Every speaker was well prepared bringing their own blend of wit and experience to the stage and the audience was appreciative of all.

I spent much time at the “Happiness Bar” which was just that without alcohol.  The ever helpful blue shirts sat at tables in shifts and helped with anything and everything you could ask.  I can now proudly add a link! I know Blogging U101, what can I say I am techno-challenged.  One of my goals for this conference was to make sure my theme looked right for my blog content and to understand that which until yesterday had been beyond my comprehension.  This and more was achieved at the Happiness Bar.

Lunch was served buffet style and laid out under umbrellaed tables on the lawn, lovely.  Nothing had been overlooked to the point of “labelled” tables ie social media, crafts, photography so even the shyest of attendees could find a table with likeminded bloggers and have something to talk about over lunch.

The conference ended with closing statements and comments at 5:00.  Like clockwork this day wound down.  I for one with be back next year and the year after.  The commraderie, knolwledge, and new friends made for happy memories of Press Publish Phoenix 2015.  Thank you Press Publish and all involved for what I hope will become a yearly event for the WordPress Community.        



I am typing as I prepare to dash out the door for the WordPress Conference.  I am so glad to be here.  Happy I came.  I was hesitant to attend as for the last four years I had let my health and depression define me.  My husband said “Marlene you are going to this conference. You are still that independent woman I married 5 years ago.  You don’t see her, I do.”  He was right.  I had let fear take over my life.  After meeting and interacting with so many wonderful fellow bloggers at the mixer last night I can feel the old Marlene starting to shine through.  Thrilled she’s back.  I could say she never left she was hibernating.  Time to wake up, smell the coffee and enjoy life.  As I have said before I only get to do this once, it’s not a dress rehearsal.  I let five years pass me by in a haze of not caring.  For now, right this minute, I am back and running out the door to do something for myself.  Learn, meet people and have fun.  Woohoo!!!!




“Live to live” my shrink said to me.  I had relayed my story about the surgeon who removed my gallbladder telling me my liver was enlarged which can cause you to drop dead. I have a fear of death, I was having a “moment ” in her office. We are all going to drop dead at some point she retorted.  You have to live to live.  I totally understood.  You are not living if you are worried about dying. It was an aha moment for me.  What do you think?