Miss Madison’s Hostile Takeover

Miss Madison here. With the Skipah 3,000 miles away mingling with other dads, someone has to pick up the slack at keeping the electric meter buzzing by powering a laptop. I guess that someone is me. We’ve survived so far, although the dog is missing her frequent trips outside with her dad. My walk timetable doesn’t live up to her standards, and I’ve been getting some dirty looks, plus she’s taking it out on the poor Barbie dolls and toy trucks. (What did Barbie ever do to you, Karma, that I had to find you torturing her when I got out of the shower this morning by removing her hair piece by piece and also her left arm?!)

Thank goodness I have my own superhero to protect me while Gary’s away!

Seriously though, we miss having Gary around with his humor and cooking skills and math homework checking abilities. I’m on my own this weekend on many important tasks including finishing a science project (due Monday!), building a three layer cardboard castle to collect valentines (due Tuesday), and creating unique valentines to wow the local preschoolers and fourth-graders. On top of that, I have to arrange Saturday to pick up the riding lawn mower I scored at an estate sale (Thanks, Cheryl for lending your husband and his truck!) and arrange to take my late mom’s dog Sophie to her new home in New Albany after that. (Thanks, Jenn!) Busy weekend to be flying solo!

Gary’s going to look great driving this around the yard! (I don’t mow.)

Sophie is going to love her new home!

I value my sleep, in fact it is one of my favorite hobbies, so I hate weekends where I don’t get to sleep in either day, but maybe there will be time for a quick nap. Maybe you loyal readers are curious about who this Miss Madison character is and what her other hobbies are, maybe you’re not, but I’m going to tell you more about me anyway. Let’s see, where to start…well, I am a history nerd and proud of it. One of the things I love about Gary is his curiosity to learn more about topics when presented with the opportunity. We share a passion to explore new places and see and learn where history was made. (Stay tuned for the epic summer family trip I am planning to Washington DC, Philadelphia, and New Jersey. Wait, who plans a trip to New Jersey on purpose?! Bear with me, you’ll find out later!)


I have a few other interests and hobbies besides history. I love to read and collect books, I love to study art history and visit art museums, I love to tap dance (including Irish dance which I did in college). I enjoy photography. This passion started with a study abroad trip to Paris to take photography classes back in my college days. I like to play and coach volleyball. I love to be near water, like lakes or the ocean. I love magazines, especially home and decorating ones. I like to redesign and redecorate spaces in my home (if only I had the money to cross every home improvement project off my list). I love to plan trips and birthday parties. I planned a 35-day trip two years ago and many other travels over the years. Most of all, I love spending time with my kids just hanging out at home or pursuing new experiences and adventures.


Some of my faults include…nothing. I’m perfect. Just kidding! As Gary would tell you, I have a number of “unique character quirks” that drive him crazy! I like things to be very organized, and as he points out frequently, I like to be in control and have things my way. I don’t like to be touched by other people’s feet (including my own kids), and I cry too much sometimes. It’s been a rough couple months in my world. I thought being blindsided by divorce and infidelity was the worst thing that had ever happened to me, but it does not compare at all to unexpectedly losing my mom. I know a lot of you loyal readers reached out to me during that time, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. My mom was a big part of my life, and I saw her on a daily basis. After my divorce, she helped me get through and build myself back up and in the process became my best friend. She understood me and the things I had to go through better than anyone else in the world. I’m having a hard time adjusting to a world without her in it. It makes me angry and sad all at once, because it’s not fair. It wasn’t her time yet. She should have had many more years to enjoy retirement, travel with my dad, and enjoy time with her children and grandchildren. Damn you, cancer!


Sorry this post turned dark, but that is what happens to my mood and thoughts daily right now as I adjust to this new norm. I realized that we get complacent, but life throws us curveballs when we least expect it. I know change is ultimately good for us, but sometimes it is hard. My mom’s death, my engagement to Gary, and my dreams to work for myself someday have motivated me to assess what’s important and what’s not and how to not get too comfortable with the status quo. I have a lot of dreams, and I also have a lot of support from Gary and the rest of my family. I hope to push myself forward and make my mom proud.


Time to use a patented Skipah about it for now, I have to get Turtle Man to bed so we can get up early to pick up a lawn mower and drop off a dog. Miss Madison Jr. was invited to a slumber party, so Turtle Man and I are spending our evening watching the movie Cars on TV and truck videos on YouTube. (I will never understand their appeal. Search for “Truck videos for children,” and you’ll see what I mean!) And maybe I’ll have time to sneak in another post before the Skipah gets home to take back the reins!

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  6. A little hostility is good for all of us, isn’t it?

  7. Great to learn more about the woman that succumbed to the charms of the Skipah and you are a good writer in your own right, Miss Madison. Congratulations on the engagement and scoring the riding lawnmower. You might want to stay out of the way while Gary learns to use it. Also so very sorry about the loss of your Mom. I lost my mother to cancer nearly 10 years ago and though it has gotten easier I still miss her so much. My heart goes out to you during these early stages of grief. I’m glad you can write about it.

  8. I am also a history nerd, and dislike being touched by feet!

    I was very sorry to hear about your mom, Katie. I read what Gary said about her, and she sounded like a wonderful and very strong woman.

  9. You did a great job with the takeover! I’m so very sorry about your Mom.

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  14. Sorry to hear about your mother. My Uncle died from Cancer of the neck, back and lungs. It was not pretty. My boyfriend mother had breast cancer. She now is suffering from the onslaught of dementia.

  15. Nice meeting you Madison….and sorry about your mother.
    Cancer took my wife almost 4 years ago and everyday feels like it just happened. It’s natural to feel the way you do and there is no set answer as to when you’ll feel somewhat normal. If it happens,it happens….
    Thank you for sharing your story.

  16. Great post Miss Madison! I’m so sorry to hear about your mom and I can only imagine the pain that you’re in. You’re such an inspiration on how to parent, be a child and be a fiancee all while working. Your strength is amazing and I look forward to hearing more from you.

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  18. Great to get a look behind the curtain and see who really runs the Realm. Gary may remember my experience with a similar mower but I’ll offer it up here as well…don’t use it on hills when the ground is wet. Trust me. Looking forward to the visit in my neck o’ the woods. We in Philly do plan trips to New Jersey on purpose for one reason… when the ocean is involved. We have gambling now so Jersey lost out on the only other possible reason…:)

  19. It was so nice to get to know you better! I think you two are so perfect for each other. I’m so sorry for the loss of your mom and best friend–unfair indeed 🙁 Thanks for taking care of the blog while Gary is in SD! I’m originally from there and still live in California. He seems to really love the place. I told him it’s a nice place to visit, but too expensive to live there, so don’t worry about moving the SoCal anytime soon 🙂

  20. I’m sure Gary will love his new ride on mower! 😊 Are you not tempted to have a go yourself? Not mowing necessarily but just having a whizz around your garden?

  21. Great post and so nice to meet you in person, so to speak!

  22. No one is ever prepared when a loved one subcomes to the evil word of cancer!
    She suffers from no pain now. Probably gazing down at you while you are planning your upcoming wedding! She has the easy part, no jittery nerves remembering which foot to start down the aisle with, all she has to do is watch and smile down on you guys!

  23. Wonderful to hear from you! Your post made me smile and made my heart hurt for you.
    So sorry about the loss of your Mom, but yes as others have said, be easy on yourself! It will take time, you will feel up one minute and down the next. but you will make it through! My thoughts and prayers are with you!
    Snuggle with your little Superhero and realize that even in the darkest days, life still has GOOD In it!
    Have a great week-end and hopefully you do get a chance at the reins again 🙂

  24. Glad to see you posting again. It’s always fun to see your take on life. And it takes time to move past the death of a parent, it’s ok to be sad and be angry at the same time (is that sangry?)

  25. Wow, with all you have on your plate, time will fly fast and Skipah will be back to mow before you know it! Awesome superhero by the way!

  26. I hate all feet too even mine lol..chill just thinking about it. Life does throw us change when we least expect it, sorry for your loss. Nice to read about the brains in this operation:)

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