Panorama of San Bernardino

Friday, December 27, 2019

Hello new year! I’m your.....

It’s a new year, well almost.

This year, I hosted Christmas. It was so much work. But worth it. We cleaned the house from top to bottom and decorated. The table settings with homemade placemats crafted by myself with glue, stockings and glitter turned out perfect.

Add in my mammoth, slow cooked prime rib eye roast and a karaoke machine and you have a party. Other than a mean shih tzu (Frodo-who believes every Christmas needs a Grinch) who terrorized the partygoers, it was a blast. Oh and there’s a rumor someone hogged the karaoke machine but it’s lies, all lies.

That said, next year we’re going to Hawaii or Fiji.

Putting Christmas aside, New Year’s Eve is pretty much my favorite holiday (other than Halloween). It is a great excuse to get sparkly and tipsy. Too things I’m very good at.

Some people say New Year’s Eve is a letdown, but that’s just an excuse for people who don’t know how to plan. This year, per the usual, we will be at an 80’s party in Las fucking Vegas. I will be sipping on all you can drink drinks and listening to the new wave tunage of the best decade ever.

And yeah, I will be sparkly.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

It’s a Mantz Christmas

As you all know, my dad loved Christmas.

Dad would start with the Christmas music in November. Then the decorations. Red, blue and green outdoors. On every tree and bush. On the eves. An old fashioned Santa and Frosty in the front yard. One year, I think he put reindeers on the roof.

Indoors, silver and gold tinsel was everywhere. The tree shimmered with it. His singing bird in the tree was my favorite.

Next, Dad would start practicing making homemade donuts and then, planning his Christmas feast. Of course, there was always his shiny ham, a turkey, stuffing, mash, cranberries and what he called ambrosia fruit salad.

I am not even half as graceful at celebrating Christmas as my dad was. I find it stressful, and I get grumpy and overwhelmed.

This year, we are hosting after taking a break for a few years. But, I feel as if I can’t catch up. Work is crazier than usual. I haven’t cleaned the house and we are leaving for our anniversary weekend.

Worst of all, I work Christmas Eve. Last night, I had a meltdown over it all. I complained and nagged hubby to help me more in a torrent of rants.

What I need to remember, and maybe this blog is my way of reminding myself, is that Christmas is not over commercialized sparkly perfection.

To my dad, Christmas was tinsel thrown sideways. Presents wrapped a bit haphazardly. A chirping bird in a silver ball in a tree. Those homemade sugar donuts. His glazed ham. And Charlie Brown, and Rudolph on the television.

Most of all, Dad would make Christmas fun. Magical. And perhaps, that’s the secret. I need to let go and celebrate family.

And maybe, I need to get a chirping bird.

Friday, December 13, 2019


Swimming used to be my passion. In high school, with all of the chaos at home, I would escape into the water. I swam back stroke and freestyle. Although I was never the best swimmer on the team, we had people that went to Nationals, I was passionate about it. Our pool at Chaffey High School was so damn cold, not heated like the richies at Claremont High, and our coach Nora was rough around the edges. But it was fun. I enjoyed the competition. Standing in a swimsuit shivering on the block, then the whistle or shot to go!

When I quit swim team my junior year of high school, my mental health went downhill. I was drinking and smoking. Too young to gamble, I was mirroring my father in the only ways I could.

Nowadays, I try to limit my drinking to one day a week. I don’t always succeed.

And now I’m underwater once again at work.

In over a decade, it has never been this busy. I’m organized, and some might say neurotic about deadlines and my to do list. I get the work done. I’m in court three days a week, prepping days before, reading my incompetency reports, and writing for the Riverside Lawyer Magazine. I have numerous incompetency trials ahead of me in January and I’m prepping those too.

I come home from work and fall asleep. My hubby was mad last night, and said, “You can’t fall asleep, it’s only seven!”

But I did.

I keep telling myself, this too shall pass, and it will. It has to. Right?