Sunday Reads: Open House Open Thread 


Good Morning.

I hope you bear with me today, because I am a mess. My Ma goes into surgery on Tuesday…many of you know that this surgery is her only hope because she is unable to continue with the chemotherapy treatments. Her body just cannot handle the onslaught of drugs, and with her compromised liver, this surgery takes on an even greater risk.

I’ve shared that photograph above so many times. I can’t help it. I love that picture. It is my mom, in flat-out defiance of the rules…smoking in a non-smoking zone. She is wearing a Make Your Move t-shirt while my brother, who does not look to enthusiastic (actually he looks a bit pissed and fed up) …my brother is there standing next to her.

It was taken in the late 70s at a Dr. Hook concert at the Tampa Fair Grounds. I can remember this concert vividly, because later that evening, my mom ended up getting a huge splinter stuck in her ass from the bleachers. Let’s just say she looked more like my brother Denny by the end of the night.

I’ve told this story before, I feel like we are a family, and today we are having a little open house. Stop by and visit my mama before she has her surgery…just in case.



But that is what is really happening today.

I got up early to make the escachata (you know the Sicilian style pizza). We are having Italian sausage and cheesecake. Come by after 3:30…this afternoon. Ma is sleeping now, I hear her snoring. I swear it is like preparing for some pre-surgery wake.

I don’t know… the Prozac ain’t going to be enough today.

My fingers smell like the anchovies that I’ve cut up for the black olive and roasted garlic pizza. There is so many smells I associate with memories of my childhood, this is one that doesn’t really have any connection…yet. Because you see, even though I am 47 years old, I am still a child. My mom is still here to help me. She is still around to clean up after me as I slice up those anchovies, and the onions and black olives. She washes the knives and bowls for me as I peel the garlic. She makes me a cup of coffee, and she rinsed out the cup. Mama is still there for me.

Even now, when I am having a bad migraine, she comes to see how I am doing. She is sick most of the time herself…but she is there for me.

So today we have this open house, my mom is sleeping, resting up before the show begins. And I am sitting waiting for the pizza dough to rise…my mind is blank. It is pounding. Not a void, that would be welcoming. It is blank with worry.

I still want to be a child come Wednesday. Does that make any sense? I’m 47 and I don’t want to grow up. I still want my mom there to make me a cup of coffee and wash out my bowl. Because it means more than rinsing out a cup… there is something to that supportive understanding that is part of an identity. I don’t want to lose my mom. And I am really scared.


Today is an open thread, feel free to post what you want below. Here are a few links to get you started:


KKK rally in Charlottesville outnumbered by counterprotesters –

Lindsey Graham Lashes Out at Trump Over Inaction on Russian Interference: ‘Undercutting Our Democracy’ | Mediaite

Top Dem rejects Russian cyber partnership: ‘We might as well mail our ballot boxes to Moscow’ | TheHill

Miriam Marx Allen, daughter of Groucho Marx who turned his letters into a revealing life story, dies – LA Times

Well, see you all later, if I can get around…probably won’t be until late tonight.

30 Comments on “Sunday Reads: Open House Open Thread ”

  1. RonStill4Hills says:

    Thanks for sharing. You are not alone.

    Love and good wishes…

  2. NW Luna says:

    Thinking of you, JJ, and your mom. Hope all goes well.

  3. Much much love to you and her. ❤

  4. Pat Johnson says:

    Such a tender post in tribute to your Mom. You are one of the lucky ones who have had the love and support of a parent which is evident in the words you choose when speaking of “Ma”.

    Also amazing how much you, she and Bebe resemble one another. Beauty throughout the generations.

    Hold tight.

  5. Enheduanna says:

    JJ – Your Ma is a real beauty! And so are you…

    I hope your Ma gets well soon!

  6. dakinikat says:

    What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of Donald Trump?”

    That’s the open-ended question a Quinnipiac poll asked Americans recently. The No. 1 answer: “idiot.”

    Have you seen anything since then that would move the needle away from “idiot”? Or from “ignorant” (the ninth most frequent answer), or “stupid” (12th)? He doesn’t know what’s in the Senate’s health care bill. He’s not reading his intelligence briefings. He’s watching more Fox News than your cranky uncle. His behavior seems engineered to provoke responses like, “Can you believe what an idiot/ignoramus/stupid person Trump is?”

  7. dakinikat says:

  8. Enheduanna says:

    JJ – there is a History Channel special tonight about Amelia Earhardt that looks interesting – maybe a good show to keep your mind off things. There is a picture that could possibly be of her in the Marshall Islands in Japanese custody.

  9. Mary Luke says:

    Your Mom is beautiful and your brother’s look is priceless. I wish you the best on Tuesday.

  10. bostonboomer says:

    JJ, What a beautiful tribute to a special person. All my love to you, your mom and your family.

    • joanelle says:

      JJ, thanks for sharing your love for your mom it’s us. I will hold only good thoughts for her, and you on Tuesday. Feel the love that is here for both of you.

  11. Sweet Sue says:

    Wishing and praying for the best possible outcome for you mom, JJ.
    Keep writing-escape into writing, because you’re very talented and eloquent.
    Luck and love.

  12. bostonboomer says:


  13. quixote says:

    Just seconding everyone here. May the wind be at your Ma’s back. Hold tight.

    And, God yes, keep writing. You are so talented. I’ve read stuff in the New Yorker that could learn from you.

  14. Riverbird says:

    I’ll be thinking about you and your Ma, JJ.

  15. dakinikat says:

    Looks like the only walls we’ll be building are to the Trump Family Wing of Leavenworth:

  16. Minkoff Minx says:

    Thank you everyone for all your kind thoughts, I guess I should be more positive…but I’m just so frightened. Y’all mean so much to me, I rely on this support system of friends to keep me standing.

    • quixote says:

      I’m sure all of us wish we could actually DO something useful. And as for you, you shouldn’t do anything besides what you’re doing. It *is* horrible and scary. That’s not you having a bad attitude! You’re still standing. You’re doing fine. This kind of time is the worst. The waiting, not-knowing. All I can say from life experiences is that it’s the worst.

      Thoughts are with you.

  17. roofingbird says:

    I wish the breath of words could lift the sky for you.

  18. ANonOMouse says:

    Thinking of you and mom sweet JJ. Peace & Love to you both, Mouse