I’m a late bloomer, a middle-aged mom & sometime writer’painter who also has what I call “the feeding gene.”
For 8 years, I raised my son in a Panama cloud forest, which isn’t quite the same as a rain forest. No movie theater. No skate park. It’s a village, essentially a farming town peppered with gated communities mostly inhabited by retired expats.
My marriage, always tense, survived the first sixteen years (six in Panama), until it didn’t. But I am pro-men, my son loves his dad, and we remain close family and co-parents. Breaking up nearly killed me, but the way I see it is this: if I couldn’t achieve the happiest home, I’ll be damned if I won’t creat the happiest broken home possible. And it is possible!
While in Panama, we built, then had to sell a dream home (thank you, 2008!), purchased a broken down old home that I fondly dubbed”the crack house downtown,” and fixed it up to meet our minimal needs, tried to flip it, then couldn’t. So, we started a restaurant!
Within two years, Big Daddy’s Grill, Boquete, was listed as a select spot in The Lonely Planet, and quickly climbed to No.1 on Trip Advisor .It was great fun, lots of work, and it nearly killed us. Plus, the marriage failed. So we sold in 2014 and so our son, having spent 3rd – 10th grades in the rural mountains, could complete high school in his birth town, Sarasota, Florida.
This is where we are now, in 2019. My ex lives close by on a boat. Our son rents his own flat, and I have a small home where I regularly host family nights for all!
Going back to Panama, in 2008, we were among a true handful of families with few resources for educating our kids and we held each other up through our collective trials and triumphs with strong shoulders and a fair amount of wine.
I have an advanced degree in counseling and school psychology; when people seek out my advice, I tend to fall on a the blunter side of truthfulness. In other words, I’m not here to blow smoke up anyone’s you-know-what. Still, I prefer to think of my opinions more as suggestions based on observations, and I try to keep my delivery soft.
It’s not easy to be a person who speaks up. And it’s not always my choice or my preference. Ever since I can remember, and despite a vast collection of deeply seeded insecurities, I have been an outspoken champion of the unpopular opinion, willing to stand up for the underdog, even when it gets me into trouble. And it does get me into trouble. This has been so since I was very young, and going back to the early 1960s when girls and women were less outspoken, as a rule. Once, when I was ten, I stayed after school to bravely, and somewhat fiercely, confront a grade-school teacher — a man at that — to defend a girl I hardly knew but whom I felt he had severely picked on. I faced him down, all 48 pounds of me, refusing to leave until he heard me out and committed to kinder treatment of her. I missed my bus, risking my mother’s rage, which was slightly terrifying. I don’t know what drove me, but I had to do it.
My views, often simply express an overlooked position, but they are hardly set in stone. I’m oddly contradictory by nature, at once open-minded in the extreme, while surprisingly hard-line on topics such as how children are treated. Still, as unconventional as my views sometimes appear, a thing is only new or radical until everyone is doing it or thinking it.
Step into my web office and let me share with you my own recipes and ideas for easy, healthy eating and a few of my recipes to ease your life.