Finding Zen in Rebound Dogs

Over seven years ago, when I was at the end of my tether, I started a blog under a pseudonym, Carly G. I wrote it only to vent, to let people learn from my bad choices.  I didn’t think I’d have enough material to keep it going, but as time and life went on, and took turns I didn’t expect, it became my favorite thing to write. I don’t think I’ve written any fiction in at least six months, but I’ve kept my Rebound Dogs blog active.  This author blog has been quiet except for occasional recipes but worry not. I’ve been writing. It’s not fiction but it comes from the heart and is meant to share and to inspire.

This week the book version of the first 98 blog posts was released. HERE is the link.  to Amazon where you can read it all in one book. You can of course always go directly to the site and read for free. The first entry in the book is from May so be sure to check out the new posts. Here’s the Rebound Dogs link. 

Someday maybe I’ll get back to fiction, but for nowcover promo.jpg the happy stuff, the real stuff, the life experiences and observations I write about without a fictional spin are filling my soul.


Random Poetry

I went through an old book of random poetry I wrote years ago and decided to post one of them here. It’s not really based on anything and it’s sad but I still think it’s a nice little vignette. I hope you like it. It’s called:

Visiting Day

Sundays we see Pammy,

We take the commuter train,

The boys and I bring her flowers,

Daisies, always the same.

In their innocence they don’t realize

That her mind has slowly left,

To them she’s still their Mommy,

The visits leave me bereft.

This week she’s made them sun catchers,

Colored strong and bright,

They hold them in their little hands,

Up to the institutional light.


Last week it was bird house,

Before that origami,

Every week they proudly leave

With presents from their Mommy.


And every week I’m sadder,

As her mind slips further on,

I wonder if the boys can tell

How close she is to gone?


We go home on Sunday nights,

We take the commuter train,

The three of us missing Pammy,

Always just the same.

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Ivy’s Growing Up

Sharing this blog from Rebounddogs



Ivy turned sixteen recently. I didn’t anticipate that changing much in our lives, as she will always be my little girl.  But it seems that benchmark has been a real turning point into adulthood for her. A few months before her birthday she had her braces removed. Overnight, she looked grown up. Then she got her driving permit.

But those things didn’t affect “us.”

Then she got a boyfriend. In and of itself, that didn’t make much of a difference, but it drove home to me the realization that someday, someone else is going to be her family.  In two years when she graduates, and I hopefully move to California, she will have every reason to want to stay in Massachusetts, or at least on this side of the country. As she said “My whole life has always been here. Why would I want to move out there?”

For the first time in her life, I’m finally seeing her as her own person, not as an extension of me. That’s a wonderful thing, and healthy, and as Ryan likes say continually, “It’s the natural progression of things.” But it’s a tough pill to swallow.

Today she had some friends over to hang out.  They are newer friends, not the ones she’s known since kindergarten who have seen our house and her room a hundred times.

She cleaned her room all day in preparation. It wasn’t that dirty to start with so I wondered why it took so long. And then I discovered something in the hall closet. Her stuffed animals.

Over the years, most have been donated. The special ones are in plastic bins in the basement. But the very special ones have always stayed in her bedroom. When I saw them, it was a blow.

“Why are these in here?” I yelled, knowing the answer.

“I don’t need them anymore.”


“At all? Do you want me to donate them?” Please say no.

“I guess.”

I pulled out the two that, I’m sorry, I cannot part with. Rolo, the Cabbage Patch doll I got when I was pregnant with Ivy, and Martina, who we got when Ivy was six and going through her Civil Rights phase. She named the doll after Martin Luther King Jr. and for a while the doll sported an, “I have a dream” pin. Those two will be safe in my closet, not the basement and certainly not donated. I’ve seen all three Toy Story movies, and I know what happens in daycare centers.

Finally Ivy’s friends arrived. It was a sunny afternoon and my work was done for the day. I had planned to run to the post office but was dragging my feet. Maybe she’d need me here to make cookies or pick up a pizza. She walked into the room.  “So can you um, go out somewhere or something?”  I didn’t see the harm of my sitting in another room alone on the couch just incase, but the idea she didn’t need me coupled with the fact she wanted  that much privacy…it shows me she’s really growing up and I’ve somehow transformed from mother to awkward roommate.

“I don’t want any  That 70’s Show stuff going on,” I said. I like to think she laughed but it was probably an eye roll. She’s a good kid and I don’t have to worry about her. I guess I never have.

It’s the natural progression of things, this distance. I am at Starbucks for a little while, giving her time to miss me. Right.

Despite her age or independence or the fact that she does not need her stuffed animals anymore, or any of the childhood things she’s outgrown, I will always think of her as my little girl.

From the time she was three until she was five and in kindergarten, she rode the train with me into Boston everyday to her daycare. Even though that was a very unsure time in our lives, when we were beyond broke and I had no idea how our future would pan out, I have to say those were probably the best two years of my life. She was still little enough to carry and bundle under my coat when we walked in snowstorms through the North End. Maybe it was unhealthy that we ate out most nights at the train station because dinner at seven o’clock was too late for both of us, or that it was a rare day we didn’t go to Mike’s Pastry and buy something. It was a special time. And to this day I don’t board the train without thinking of Ivy and our daily trips. I am perpetually proud of her.

When it’s time for Ivy to go to college and move out, it’s not going to be easy but it will be time. I will have California and Ryan waiting for me at the end of my journey and I am eagerly looking forward to that chapter of my life.

I hope that in years to come, whenever Ivy rides a train she thinks of me too.

I will keep her special dolls safe, just incase Ivy has brief lapses into childhood while she’s spreading her wings.

-Carly G.