Christmas 2013

Dear Friends of the 2013 Montgomery Christmas Letter,

Obnoxious right?  WHAT’S UP!!!!  Obviously after a hiatus I got a little carried away on the Christmas card and have declared it the most ridiculous Christmas Card to ever be printed.  I won’t carry it over the top and share how we spent our summer, but it wasn’t on Daufuskie Island.  I won’t feel bad if you use the card to start a fire (or as a dart board), but I am admitting that I would deface it too.  It’s so bad I almost didn’t send it, but it’s been three years and we need to catch up.  Last week the Washington Post published an opinion piece by Lord Voldemort of the Yuletide, about Christmas card depersonalization, and we were all going to hell by sharing our accomplishments or parading images of our miserable family pretending to be happy.

Sharing “A Wonderful Life” with images of our children that one had not personally met caused some to wonder who was even sending the card!  I was like, “Oh Snap! (PG version) That’s my card!  Luckily, ours includes pictures of my new skinny self, John wears a tutu, and I write a letter!” God has finally decided that we had been sucking on lemons for quite some time and cut Team Montgomery some slack in 2013 and I now make a damn awesome sweet tea vodka lemonade.  Maybe it’s because “The Secret” works.  Maybe it was because every time someone asked us to do something we said, “Absolutely!”  and then figured out how to get it done.  Maybe it was because God wants us to plant seeds after we suck on lemons.  But I’m just going to say “Thank You!” and hope you don’t reply, “Bless Your Heart!” (I know what that means and I use it frequently myself).  By pulling myself out of my seven year PPD and up off the copperhead hole, and because of awesome hereditary genetics, I have taken the Scarlet O’Hara approach to life and just worry about things that are outside of my control tomorrow.  I got up off the couch and am working with a personal trainer each morning to develop my keg abs and arm waddle and hope to be thong ready by summer.  Next year’s Christmas Card will be a Kim Kardashian inspired selfie. Due to this goal, I’m a little backed up in the laundry department and house a large sock orphanage due to sheer tricep muscle exhaustion.

Since we last wrote, I quit chugging wine as an official coping strategy for motherhood and entrepreneurship and began beverage replacement therapy with ROCKSTAR and dropped 25 pounds.  I quit looking for a job that didn’t exist, and focused on the marketing of the website for John’s company.  He’s doing great, is busier than ever, and is still my best friend and soul-mate.  He has clients all over the world, and John gets paid to give speeches to entrepreneurs and national conferences all over the US when he’s not locked up in the basement.  I am the self proclaimed Cracker Tiger Mom and now possess an 2013 City Champion team tennis plaque even after my notorious cheating partner landed in the federal pokey after her embezzlement strategy failed.

Speaking of tennis, all three kids (now 13, 11, 9) are playing.  We gave up on basketball, soccer, football, and baseball due to sheer apathy on the boys part.  I don’t care what they believe, video game expertise is the fast track to living in my basement as an adult.  I ensure we are out the door at 7:15 each morning so Jack can get a morning tennis workout in before school and then drop off Jack and a combination of Ashton and Mignonne so they can swat balls until 7:00 each night.  They don’t home school like the rest of the prodigy planning to play the US Open at 18, but it’s all about character building and spending time as a family because I know the clock is ticking.  Just this week one tennis coach called us suggesting it was time to let him give some “focused attention” to Ashton.  How awesome is that!!!  All for $85/hour!!!   I’m certain we are paying mortgages for the coaching staff, but it’s cheaper than rehab, and we have yet to experience our own children declaring their life is over because of a loss.  We are super proud of all three little Montgomery’s, let’s just be clear.   But we also acknowledge that we spend our lives on the gerbil wheel and when they burn out we are going full court press into fencing.  Living the Dream people!  Living The Dream!

It’s all about perspective.  Lucifer, the Giant Schnoodle, became a total blessing once I got over Lille’s eleven day stay of execution during the 2010 Christmas Vacation. “Lucy” is the sweetest dog in the world and loves to show her love by humping short people and small children.  I took control of our relationship after my personally built picket fence for the backyard didn’t contain her.  Invisible Fence stepped up and increased the charge on the yard strong enough to electrocute a horse.  Lucy ate the duct-taped minivan (the documented source of my PPD), so we replaced it with a sexy Volvo.   Lucy rides on the dashboard or sticks her head out the sunroof announcing her arrival, much to the joy of pedestrians and fear of canines relieving themselves. I had only put 37k miles on it driving nine states of the Southern region seeking out genetically modified skilled tennis juniors drinking hormone enhanced milk to keep my children humble, before our environmentally conscious neighbors went all Whole Foods on us with their Obamarama tax credits and began zipping around town in shiny new electric cars that only go 60 miles on a charge.  So, in order to “keep up” with the Feldman’s, Lucy happy on long car rides, and fit the kids and racquet bags too, John said sayonara to my blessed 2000 BMW leaking oil on the garage floor.  You thought he’d buy a Prius?  Hell no, we’d look like circus clowns.  We now own a 19 foot gas bonging extended SUV very popular amongst rappers of the ATL, affording Lucy an entire wing to herself, and have improved the stock price of Shell Oil.  John is too embarrassed to drive it to see clients and contacts, so I am driving the silver 747 around town during my daily bus driver duty route like a well kept woman, and Lucy enjoys heated and cooled seats and her mandatory sunroof. John takes the Volvo to meet clients, and I am still visualizing my future golf cart and wind swept hair.

Because of Lucy, our house is transforming from a fixer upper to a fixed upper.  We’ll welcome company again after the New Year.  It was a very easy decision to install insurance sponsored new hardwood floors when our toilet leaked as Lucy thinks carpet tastes as delicious going down as it does coming up, and she had also eaten the staircase.  We replaced the front door into something stunning when Lucy decided that she didn’t like that she couldn’t see inside, so she used her paw and made a peep hole in the stained glass big enough for her big black wet nose to protrude inside.  We just completely redecorated the family room using someone’s first year college tuition because Lucy really likes the taste of mdf in tables and down-filled pillows and couch cushions, not to mention discovering this taste preference on our “old” down comforter in our bedroom (it’s now poly-filled).  It all started when Lucy experienced “duck” flavored dog food and stopped when she tasted Tabasco.  This summer, John and I installed a dog door for the shetland pony so that she can go in and out without tearing open the screen door because it doesn’t open inward.  Countless home-improvement projects have moved up on the to-do list, but now include a revised outdoor lighting plan as lights were in Lucy’s path while chasing after the UPS driver delivering packages across the street this afternoon.  We also no longer collect webkinz because we are housing a serial killer and her signature is eyeball removal and disembowelment.  A blessing this dog has become!  I don’t understand why the neighbors don’t socialize with us more.

Recently, Ashton broke Mignonne’s iPad. “Someone” came up with the brilliant idea in order to “pay” for the replacement screen, Ashton “Minecraft” Montgomery would work for Montgomery Capital.  John is a little stressed preparing for his newly acquired, highly skilled intern eager to start with the company.  However, John is confident he can manage his staff and spends nights and weekends writing our first training manual entitled “A sixth graders guide to Mergers, Acquisitions, and Corporate Finance.”  It should be a really interesting read, but don’t judge, this is one thing that Cracker Tiger Mom believes will make him “unique” for his white boy college application and pay for our retirement.  For the record, John thinks “the secret” is hogwash, but we have a difference of opinion, and I am sticking to my story (John also thinks the NBA Finals are legit).  Until we unite again in over-sharing beyond Facebook, please enjoy the Merriest of Christmases and the Happiest of New Years.  Here is to the fruit of 2014!

White Girl Problems®

White Girl Problems® It’s not really registered, but it makes it funnier.

Can I believe that I haven’t updated this place in two years?  Shouldn’t come as a surprise, I haven’t sent out my infamous Christmas letter either.  If I am completely honest, I just haven’t been inspired.  Something really shitty happened almost 3 years ago and I am STILL waiting for our legal system to put the dude in jail.  What sucks is that he was like a brother to us.  Another day I shall share that story.  But, hence the silence.

In the meantime, life has been meaningful.  Truly turned around since I escaped to my island on a lifeline.  John’s business finally took off and hasn’t slowed down.  Guess that’s what happens when you just let go.  I never did go back to work.  Maybe it was the Firefly talking, but when the consulting firm called me as I was sitting on the beach with my three kids and the recruiting director told me that the only job they had for me would require 100% travel, instead of throwing myself into the surf, I looked out into the water and saw my three children swimming in the place that they love and surrendered to being a mom.  Never going back to work.  Just going to have to figure out something else to do.

We spent our next summer on our island, finding another house and refrained from really confronting the opportunistic snake that slithered into our summer home.  Our new place was in a better location and right next to Gloria.  This summer we ventured instead on a three week tour of England and the South of France (on a private yacht even).  I now just look at everything as a blessing and am constantly finding myself in situations where the only thing to contribute to the view is my now favorite saying, “This Doesn’t Suck”.  I still can’t wait to go back to my island, except maybe now instead of renting a place, I want my own.

My father is now in full-fledged Alzheimer’s hell, and my mother is barely surviving it.  My husband is doing really well with his business, and my children are are actively pursuing their junior tennis endeavors.  Junior tennis makes me crazy.  I mean, absolutely bat shit crazy.  I feel like it’s me, the white girl, against the world.  And my job is to sit there, track the matches, and pay for it.  One of the things that makes it all worth it is the joy that my children feel when they win a match, or win a tournament, and the entire journey is the quest for the next match victory.  In one year, Jack has played over 100 tennis matches and we have travelled to North Carolina, South Carolina, all over Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, and Kentucky playing in tournaments.  Over 20,000 miles driving.  During those 20,000 miles, Jack and I have become closer.  We spent one weekend driving over six hours each way to Louisville, Kentucky and played “the question” game the entire time.  No radio.  Just questions with honest answers.  No limits.  Me and my 12 year old (at the time).  We’ve also bonded watching Downton Abbey on the iPad in Courtyard Marriotts.  Wouldn’t trade that for the world.

In other achievements, I gave up drinking alcohol for 11 months out of the year (can drink in July) and I lost 20 pounds and look and feel fantastic.  I now drink Rockstar and realize that the suburbs are loaded with functioning alcoholics.  Just sayin’.  Can you give up drinking for 11 months?

A good friend from years ago just posted on my Facebook that I had “white girl problems”.  And I love it.  It puts it all in perspective.  The little things that get in the way of my day being perfect are nothing in comparison to the real world that the majority gets faced with on a daily basis, I get it.  But can’t this White Girl complain?  If we always settle and smile our “bless your heart” grin while pretending that what bull-s&!& someone presents to us as “fair” because we are “lucky” or “blessed”, is that any different than the problems that those that have really crappy circumstances accept as “okay” as well?  No!  I say “Speak Up!”.  Never play victim of circumstance.

It’s no surprise that I am an outspoken woman, but I seriously try my best to blend in.  One thing that has helped me these past two years is to just focus on what is right in my world instead of all the problems that could drown me if I allow them to enter my brain.  The secret?  Sort of.  But really, it’s the internal laughter of my acknowledgement of my White Girl Problems and the acceptance that some stuff doesn’t even matter and just keep looking ahead.

My white girl problems aren’t those of what Urban Dictionary may explain as teenager in the Hamptons with her BMW out of gas.  Well, maybe they are?  But some days I like to just focus on my WGPs in order to not worry about the storm that is brewing, or the loss of my father to Alzheimer’s, or managing the relationship with my sainted mother which is out of control, or worrying about deadbeat clients and if they are ever going to pay their bill.  White Girl Problems® are fun!

Life is great, if you let it in. 

Christmas 2012

First let me say that last year I didn’t bother writing a letter.  It’s not that I didn’t have anything to share, because I did.  It’s because I didn’t have the energy to do so and was surviving this trip by repeating to myself something about the secret and that it wasn’t all a big joke but had meaning and there was some lesson to it all that I was supposed to be learning and so I better concentrate and get with the program and figure it out because the entire journey was one crisis after another and I was over it.  So, that’s not funny.  My Christmas letter is funny, and that’s what I am delivering this year.  Let’s have some fun.

So now that 2011’s missive is covered and thank God that Alzheimer’s is alive and well in my family and I can just forget it ever happened (and some parts of 2010 too), we now are completing 2012.  I will start by saying I entered 2012 with a muffin top that Spanx couldn’t contain and a liver that was so fat that I didn’t feel any effect from a bottle of wine, or two.  I also had run out of my “Xanax” that I had hoarded and needed to fess up to my own secret which was I really enjoyed my glass of wine, be it after dinner, before dinner, or after breakfast.  It’s 5:00 somewhere?  It was time to separate myself from people and the things that were out of my control and reflect on my own decisions and those outcomes.  I stopped the sauce, (not that there is anything wrong with it), and have dropped 25 lbs. and am proudly skinny again.  So, enough about me.  Let me discuss how I’ve tortured my children into being successful since that is what motherhood is REALLY about.

I have come to the conclusion that my children are inherently lazy and would love nothing more than a career living in my basement eating Oreo’s, playing Legos, or the Wii, and the video game of the Devil “Minecraft” but they have to move out and support themselves one day, (and John and Myself by the time we are done paying for them).  Therefore, I have become an Asian woman.  No one is allowed to have a B without being grounded.  They all have to play tennis, and no one has any free time to play video games.  Not even on the weekend.  If they get a B they lose their computer priviledges.  I’m not meaning a B average either.  Nope.  I have dropped the Hammer on my children.  I mean a B on a spelling test, quiz, test, homework assignment.  Both Jack and Minnie have achieved perfection on those silly standardized tests and the report card.  Ashton has potential, but still hasn’t taken me seriously as an Asian woman, and I’m still trying to figure out what nationality I must be in order for him to take it all seriously.  He’s so darn cute, he’s going to be very popular at the Frat house.

The heirs tennis career has consumed our lives this past year because we’ve mastered the education threat and being a Tiger Mom.  So now twice a month “because we can’t have any free time” and “certain things die after 48 hours”, the entire weekend, Montgomery Inc. is travelling across Georgia and now the south playing tennis tournaments.  I am thinking of making a “Montgomery Tour” t-shirt for my kids that says where they’ve played tennis this year (Jekyll Island, Sea Island, Daufuskie Island, Augusta, Athens, New Orleans, Charleston, Savannah, Peachtree City, Rome, Louisville). Jack’s done very well, so well in fact that we’re having to cross state lines to have him move up in his rankings and play the better children.  2013 will place us in Knoxville, Macon, Hilton Head, Mobile, Montgomery, Auburn, & Charlotte by the summer.   Jack’s winning tournaments and playing a lot of kids that are professional “home schoolers”, and multi-nationals, and right there in the mix of it all.  We have an inside joke of “Let’s Go” spoken in a “Western” accent at random times while playing and call our children “Money” while playing which is secret code for “GET THE F’ING BALL BACK OVER THE NET AND STOP MAKING DUMBASS MISTAKES!”.  Money is short for “MoneyBall”.  Minnie has had success as well when we put her in tournaments that work for Jack.  There she is, with her crazy knee socks, fashionista tennis attire, crazy animal hat, speech impediment and one front tooth, out there playing competitvely as an 8 year old against some serious 10 year old that is going to get grounded if they lose.  Minnie draws penguins on the cross over with chalk to keep track of her games won, skipping while she gets there, and chats up several of her Webkinz that she has placed on the bench to keep her company.  It’s all a distracting technique guaranteeing her success as her opponents parents are freaking out on the sidelines as the court is covered with drawings of penguins and seahorses.  She’s won two doubles tournaments and one singles this fall, and made it to the finals or semi finals of several others.  It’s hilarious and absurd all at the same time.

Tiger Mom has laser focus on acceptance into an Ivy League school that has an engineering or sciences program and tennis team.  Or worst case, Washington and Lee…since my experience at Sweet Briar taught me it would have been so much more fun to go there, and Nicky Montgomery’s full scholarship proved it.  Jack’s building his resume and achievements– Principal’s Honor Roll (All A’s), All District Chorus, All State Chorus, Science Olympiad, School Newspaper, and Tennis.  Duke Scholars program has him taking the SAT in January as a seventh grader.  Minnie and Ashton are along for the ride and are benefitting from our mistakes as parents, so it’s much more efficient for them.  Gunner n. – A person who is competitvive, overly ambitious and substantially exceeds minimum requirements.

Living in Gunnerville is driving me crazy and I really feel that this year I’ve taken “nit picking” to a whole new dimension.  Let’s discuss.  LICE.  OMG.  If I could just get through the rest of my elementary school parenting career without having to deal with that ever again, I’d feel blessed.  After twelve weeks (I’m not kidding) of screaming to the school for some relief they FINALLY found patient ZERO in Minnie’s class.  Holy Mary those creatures have caused me to lose weeks of my life.  My children would arrive home from school with me greeting them at the door for inspection prior to entry.  A hitch hiker would have travelled home thinking they were getting a sleep over at my expense, but they had another thing coming.  Dear God, I thought 2011 almost killed me.  Mind you, I survived the challenge SOBER.

Summer of Rapture

When Life hands you lemons, my mom always said, “Make Lemonade”. Fortunately, for me Firefly has invented Sweet Tea Infused Vodka, so I just add a splash to my lemonade and my troubles are numbed.

John’s business has been terribly slow this year, and I find myself calculating cash flows in my head.  I put the decision for Daufuskie this summer in his hands, and of course, he did the right thing by telling our homeowner that we needed some more time to commit.  Unfortunately for me, that meant that a predatory acquaintance snatched up my house before I actually found out that I wasn’t going to be busy this summer with work, and we, the Montgomery clan, were going to be at HOME this summer instead of my fortress surrounded by waves.

Sure, I can handle it, but I don’t have to be happy about it.  In fact this entire year of disappointment, heartbreak, and shock has made me so strong that I feel that nothing surprises me anymore, and frankly, no one can disappoint me either.  Truly, I feel that’s God’s lesson for me.  Reduce my expectations for the world and that way, when a jury of someone’s peers finds them not guilty, (which doesn’t mean innocent I have learned), I in fact, have nothing to say, which indeed causes me to get along well with others.  Also, a little splash of something something helps as well, but I’m digressing.

Gloria has gone to San Francisco for a few weeks, so she has generously offered up her house and I shall dog sit for her along with the three children, and my parents.  John will commute back and forth from the city as his business has picked up and he’s actually really busy.  The kids and I however are so excited to leave that I can’t see past when we have to come back to reality, because I know that I am going to absolutely relish every waking hour upon my island oasis.  Screw getting ready for school – we can do that when we return, which I have no plans or date for that.  I’ve gotten my girlfriend, Paula to call me in passes thru the fifth of August, even though Gloria comes back on the 30th and Paula is gone to Palm Beach until at least the 24th, and I have no idea where I will be, I just figured I could figure it out once I got there.  It’s not like the job market is interested in me, and frankly, I’ve given up even thinking that is a possibility.

So, I, Sinclair Montgomery, Lemonade drinker extraordinaire, am escaping via a lifeline to the island that I love, with the three most important souls on my planet, and just surrendering to the possibility of what is in front of me.

Marketing Morons at Webkinz, Groupon, and Living Social

What Marketing moron at decided that it was corporately responsible to sell Groupon or Living Social banner advertising on so that my daughter could provide her email address?

Dear sirs,
What marketing moron at decided that it was corporately responsible to sell Groupon or Living Social banner advertising with so that my six year old daughter could click on their link and register her email address and provide the city where she lives? What type of Corporate responsibility is Webkinz displaying by providing links to the outside where by 6 year olds can click and give out an email address? Are you kidding me? This morning she received an offer for Microderm abrasion! I tweeted this yesterday, but I’m REALLY angry now. Your website should be a protected environment. We’re allowing our children to be on your website by purchasing a ridiculous animal that has a year long life span, thus a subscription for a safe environment online.
In a reply tweet from @Living Social they let me know that they have “great family deals”. Okay, so I guess that email this morning that suggests she can buy microderm abrasion for $60 (a 52% SAVINGS) is really targeted advertising….sure, we’ll charge you 50% of the revenue we’ve collected because we’re sending your deal out to 50,000,000 registered Webkinz children. Absolutely revolting and predatory.
#Fail on your business.

Secret Millionaire

“Thank the Lord, Our Father and the Human Race.  Never take the last piece of bread, because someone might need it more.”

This week the world gets to turn it’s eyes away from all things Charlie and watch ABC’s Secret Millionaire, which premiers Sunday on ABC.  I see bigger things for Secret Millionaire that I don’t think it sees for itself, and it didn’t see for itself back in 2008 when the reality show was produced on Fox.

Dani Johnson, a 41-year-old mother of 5 is now a millionaire.  She wasn’t always that way.  In fact, according to Dani, she was homeless at 21, and a millionaire by 23.  How in the God’s blessing did she do that?  The show doesn’t say, which, for me, was disappointing, especially since I’m younger, with less kids, and terrified of being homeless, so I’m constantly working with my husband to make his business succeed. I believe that God gives you what you can handle, and I believe in The Secret, which is that individuals attract their life.  You get what you work for and attract.  You only get it if God blesses you with it, you can handle it, or when you are ready.

Dani’s been married for 19 years to the same man, and it all looks like her life turned out just fine, but HOW?  She doesn’t say.  Was it a little bit of luck, prayer, or a multilevel marketing scheme?   We don’t know, so I continue to watch….

Dani gets $40 to buy groceries for the week, and gets to drive an old car and live in a one bedroom dirty apartment for the week.  Here’s my comment on the dirty apartment:  cheap doesn’t mean it has to be dirty.  Poor can be clean.  Just because someone is poor, doesn’t mean they have a dirty house, although I guess if you were moving out of the homeless shelter and into the projects, you’d be moving into a house that someone moved out of and really didn’t need to worry about the deposit being returned.  The show doesn’t really go into Dani’s free time, and I chuckled when they showed her going to bed and closing the door, because she went into the room without a bed…it was my guess that she hopped into the car and checked into the Best Western down the road with the film crew as the bathroom was disgusting and the show didn’t really go into that.


We get to meet sisters Helen Ash and Ellen Turner from the Love Kitchen in Western Heights, TN.  The area is so depressed; there are abandoned houses, schools that have been shut down and not bulldozed, and a lot of people sitting out in their yards in folding chairs.  It’s hot outside.  But Helen and Ellen are so freaking excited and happy, and blessed, and happy, and old, and smiling….did I mention that they are happy?  They provide 2000 meals a week and their fried chicken looks really good.  They have three rules for living.  Thanking the Lord, praising the heavenly father, and the human race.  And never take the last piece of bread, because someone else might need it.  Everyone that goes there to get something to eat is really thankful too.  People that receive charity are thankful.  Ellen Turner is currently in the hospital in critical condition, suffering from pneumonia, so she probably needs a world of prayers right now.

We get to meet The Joy of Music School (Because Inspiration Should Be Free) and Francis Graffeo, the executive director.  This is a beautiful organization, and was inspired by the W.O. Smith School in Nashville, TN as a school that would provide free music lessons to low income children and children of Boys and Girls Clubs of Knoxville.  Dani goes and volunteers in the organization under the guise that she’s working with a documentary crew about volunteerism, by the end of her time with the school, she announces that she’s a millionaire, and donates $40,000.   Francis bursts into tears.

And finally, we get to meet Jennifer Swain, the executive director and mother of 9 for Special Spaces (  Special Spaces renovates bedrooms for kids with life threatening illnesses, but the something bigger is that they are willing to help others start their own charter in order provide the same service in their area.  Jennifer!!!!  This is where my dear Dani should have visited your website, listened to your “3 years and you are old of money”, and given you the Millionaire advice: “You should be paid for your full time job!”  Just because it’s charity doesn’t mean you can’t make a living doing it!  You have created a great charity.  Do you think that the President of Goodwill doesn’t get paid?  Running a charity and volunteering your time are two different concepts.  Dani should have put you in contact with the right people to get you what you need so you can afford to do what you love.  You have an opportunity for a national charity, and it is so much bigger than what you thought possible.

As the credits rolled, it really bothered me seeing Dani announce, “I’m a millionaire” and seeing the lady working in the background at The Love Kitchen’s mouth drop open as she handed them a $20,000 check.  Again, the show doesn’t say how she became a millionaire and the poor lady in the background doesn’t understand it either, so I Googled Dani, and I was right. (  Dani Johnson is an Anthony Robbins type motivational speaker, but a woman.  There is a client quote on her website that states, “I went from having three people in my down line in three months, to having about (33) in 1 and a half months”.  Down line.  MLM.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, the chick is rocking it through business seminars where she injects inspirational speaking ($400) and tapes ($97) into her audience, or for $750/hour, she’ll talk to you on the phone, although her website said she’s too busy these days to talk to you on the phone, but someone else that she has trained can help you out, for the same price. The show really doesn’t go into how she made her millions, but I did.  Again the show can be so much more.

As I was snooping around on her website, I fell upon her blog.  Dani could have blogged about her experience, but she didn’t.  Maybe she will?  What does Dani really think about what she did?  How has it changed her life?  Not the self-promotion part and how her income has now tripled (which will of course get more butts in the seats of her seminars and sell more tapes and currently she’s too busy to talk to you on the phone), but the other part.  The charity part, the giving back part.  She has an organization that she works with called Kings Ransom, so she does give 10% of her revenue to charity, but that’s not my point.  How is she using her connections to pay it forward?  I guess I need to fold some laundry and watch the Oprah episode that she was on.  Let’s see on Monday if there is any life lesson content on her site to promote what she did and how Millionaires should give back, since their money has to come from somewhere….as of this morning, all that is on her website is press for her television appearances.

Nevertheless, the show should give some big company’s marketing department an idea to GET UP AND DO SOMETHING.  If not, let me spell it out for them again, which is where the feedback from Fox’s stab at the show back in 2008 landed.  My idea is this:  prior to the visit by the secret millionaire, large corporate donors (that the millionaire can hook up with or have ABC get to sponsor them) should be ready to help the millionaire fund the organization with all of the supplies and funds that they need to truly do good work.  (The Today Show does it all the time!)  Not only does the millionaire get involved and hand over a personal check, but also, millionaires typically have connections, and connections with lots of money can change the world.  It’s a little bit of extreme makeover home edition, but extreme makeover charity edition… Not only the secret millionaire is volunteering, but the millionaire’s family should be involved too.  Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey, Bloomberg, Facebook’s Zuckerburg, The Catholic Church… could all be resources to provide additional funding – Coke, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ford, UPS, Rooms 2 Go, US Based companies, the VC firms that backed the entrepreneurs, local banks…has anyone contacted their charity organizations?  Oprah loves education…. Charities are beautiful things, as this show does a great job doing.  ABC is a big budget company.  Selling commercials to promote this low budget show, funded by the entrepreneur getting PR for their company or life’s ambition, there just needs to be something bigger for my time, and a little bit more planning.  How much did ABC make off of this?

Side note:  During the Oprah taping, Oprah kicks in $20,000 of Kroger gift cards and $5,000 for new appliances – see, this is what I’m talking about, not just one donation because of promotion of the “show”, but every episode.  Bigger, change their destiny sort of thing, because someone discovered them!

This show is bigger than it knows.

Christmas 2010

“As the World Famous Marion Barry once said, “The Bitch Set Me Up.”

Dear Loved Ones Near and Far,

Well, it’s that time of year again.  The pressure to write this letter almost met it’s maker today.  Damn card doesn’t mention our name.  When life hands you lemons, I drink Lemonade…Sweet Tea Vodka that is.  Sweet Tea affords me a hydrated break from my day, and allows me to plan on how the heck I’m going to move forward towards where I want to be, kind of like yoga, but no sweat.  The letter got out late this year, because, let’s just say, I’m not the ONLY one with issues.   I’m certified drunk as of the printing and sticking, but it’s been one of those days.  A year shouldn’t be measured in the events of one day, but a series of bad days in a year should make a great novel.  You enjoy these annual letters?  Buy my book.  What doesn’t kill us, well, thank God for good wine, Firefly, & the last of my blessed Xanax pills from when my health insurance covered my ear doctor.   What?  I can’t hear you, please don’t yell, but speak clearly in not too deep a voice in my left ear, the right ear is deaf, but rings constantly (confirming my belief in Santa Claus), the pitch is out of tune.   The one bit of advice that I shall drill into the brains of my children is that the only way to survive the “good times & the bad” is to marry your best friend.  It helps if they have a sense of humor, and you find that space between their teeth very, very attractive. John can make me laugh even as tears are streaming down my face just from the sheer disappointment, sadness, and aggravation of it all.   I am so fortunate to have girlfriends that are there to support me (or listen) when I need it, & have the blessing of my family to know that they love you when things seem at their darkest.  But all is not lost, I know & believe in “The Secret” & so we keep moving forward, simply throwing out the garbage placed in our path & keep focusing on the destination.  But, If I call, Pick up & Thank You God for inventing Skinny Tea Vodka (due out for release March 1st, and my local booze shop promises to call me and sell me the first bottle, as we have that type of relationship).

I don’t know what I was thinking, but as the world famous Marion Barry once said, “The Bitch Set Me Up.”  She was so darn small & cute & had the most beautiful hair & she loved to cuddle & I was lulled into this delusional, ill-conceived fantasy that she would cure my latest anxiety.  Actually, about three days into our inviting her into our home after she had just enjoyed my Coach mink slippers for breakfast, I snapped out of my NyQuil induced slumber & wondered what in the H*E* double hockey sticks was I thinking?  If you haven’t noticed by our latest collage of our blissful family looking very tan & at our best, there is a new jet black Giant Schnoodle with no eyes in the mix, we named her “Lucy”, but it was IMMEDIATELY changed to “Lucifer”.  John doesn’t even call her by name, she’s “Sinclair’s Dog”.  In the three months we’ve had her, she has tripled in size (she’s now 50 pounds & shall double again), ruined our carpeting in her sheer apathy to please anyone, eaten our staircase, eaten carpets, wood furniture, upholstered furniture, barbies, legos, hair bows, important documents, catalogs, magazines, mail, school projects, destroyed new (& old) shoes, perfected the art of stealth counter surfing (consuming several pounds of Boar’s Head turkey & raw chicken), can chew through a leash in 3 minutes, and absolutely annoys Lille, although I have caught Lille instigating some roughhousing.   She’s so beautiful, but friends, she’s up to no good & it’s impossible to stare her down, because you can’t see her eyes.  And she’s fast.  You can’t catch her.  She’s like a cross between Tigger, Alf & Satan.  We have enrolled her in dog obedience training, but I’m not optimistic.  Lucy spends most of the class teaching the other dogs how to swipe treats off the table with her skill of paw swiping, much to the shock & awe of the trainer.  Dogs learn by hand gestures, & the bitch can’t see but her paws are as large as baseball gloves.  Five minutes into her first session, she had successfully eaten her leather leash & was harassing the “shorter” dogs.  Yep, she’s officially a Montgomery.   Lucifer’s so obnoxious, when it’s time to go outside, she waits for Lille to get in just the right position so she can hurdle her just as Lille is about to relieve herself.  Lille has taken up residence & constipation under the desk in John’s office where she sleeps & passes gas in her last days with peace & quiet, and folks, as of today, Lille’s days are numbered, literally.

Have no fear though, Jack 10, Ashton 8, & Mignonne 6, continue to live charmed lives.  We kicked off the New Year in New Orleans, and returned to enjoy Mardi Gras with family & friends, and took a trip to Asheville & Chattanooga for fall break.  We trekked back to the Big Easy for a few days over the Christmas Holiday (with the black beast & the old grey dog too), as I hadn’t done enough damage to my liver this year (I’ve been successfully dieting.  Listen up!  Less alcohol + less food = amazing weight loss).  Jack’s tennis team won the 10U city championship in the Spring, and was a finalist in the Fall.  Ashton & Mignonne are also enrolled in the tennis program, although I also admit, under protest.  John & I concur that tennis for our children is probably equivalent to piano lessons for a kid that wants to play the drums, but I don’t know of any scholarship programs for Wii & Lego enthusiasts.  Mignonne has decided that she wants to be an ice skater, but she’ll settle for just going skating with me for now (I’m not signing up for a five a.m. skating lesson!)  Ashton grew out his hair, and I am not sure if it’s the volume of his current lack of hair style, but he’s caught up in height with his brother.  I’d rather get a pap smear than go to the children’s haircut place, and so, well, my children look a bit weathered, but we fit right in on Daufuskie Island when we go.  Mignonne continues to be my sweetest girl in the world and lights up the room & my heart.  She’s the best snuggler in the family and still can’t say her “R’s” so we love to have her say, “Pweetiest Gurl in da Wurld”.  Ashton has turned out to be quite the creative type, and has been known to outsource his homework to his sister, as her handwriting is neater.  According to suburban public school  standards Mignonne is now “gifted” (as are all three of our heirs – go figure).  Jack is ready for a cell phone, but he’s not getting one.

We spent the summer again on Daufuskie, however, I was prohibited from “cooking crab in the house” by our home owner, which caused me to have less frequent, but more productive crabbing with the crab boil operation taking place remotely.  If I was spotted at my favorite spot, a golf spy would notify our house owner in Canada, who would then “follow up” with the gentleman doing house repairs (the house is always under repair), who would stop by to “verify I wasn’t in business” catching me ‘blue crab handed” with a dozen or so of my little friends resting over ice in a bucket on the front porch.  He likes my Gumbo, so I was safe.  I shuttered my deviled crab business before relaunch, and spent my ten weeks of heaven playing tennis, & drinking Sweet Tea (Firefly).  Daufuskie is up in the air as of this letter, as I have accepted an opportunity with a national consulting firm and go undercover on an assignment disguised as a career working mom and start a project with another of my favorite drink manufacturers in January.  I’m hoping to negotiate an arrangement whereby I can “summer on my island”, I didn’t think it would be prudent to bring it up just yet, as it didn’t come up during the interview, and I left my crabbing business off of my resume. I figured they would need to see my amazingness in action away from a dock with a crab net, Miller Lite, sexy boots & 3 kids in tow.

Today turned out to be my greatest challenge of the year, and I am proud to be notorious for “speaking up”.  Lille escaped her funeral today.  I know it is coming, but didn’t think I’d have to edit this years missive at printing time (hence the stupor & the blessing of Firefly & my last Xanax).  I never would have thought that bringing her in for a checkup for a little UTI & dehydration would lead to a nightmare diagnosis of diabetes, pancreatitis, heart murmur, & a failing system the day before Christmas Eve.  Kids were crying, I was bawling, John even teared up.  But, as I explained to my mother when I brought her home (alive) from the vet (everyone was expecting a burial, even Lucy who had enlarged the hole we dug in the back yard for her this afternoon), I just couldn’t put her down when she was wagging her tail & giving me big halitosis sloppy kisses.  We did both have a great time in New Orleans, but we both promised to lay off the sauce again for 2011.  I popped her a Zantac, gave her a rawhide bone & me the last one of my faithful friends.  I pray she survives through the week & Christmas vacation.  Sleep peacefully this holiday season my friends knowing LIFE IS GOOD.  Have sweet dreams as you picture my offspring kicking each other & screaming in the back of the duct taped minivan, Lucy chewing through what is left of the upholstery, and John riding shotgun on his laptop. Lille is alive.

Secret = Your Destination & I know exactly where I’m going.   Everyone can come with me, you just can’t ask any questions.   All is right with my world.

Sincerely yours,  Sinclair & the Rest of the Montgomery’s (John, Jack, Ashton, Mignonne, Lucifer, & Lille.

Target Christmas Shipping Nightmare Continued: Still Can’t Get It Right

Twitter Today:

SuburbanMartyr @SuburbanMartyr has continued to make my Christmas “Not So Merry”.  Now the lost item, which hasn’t been assigned to a carrier, is delayed again.

Ugh.  Got another email this morning from my fan club at


Subject: Your order (#XXXXX)

Date: December 7, 2010 6:25:57 AM EST

To: Sinclair Montgomery <>


Thank you for shopping at

We wanted to let you know that there is a delay with one or more items

in the order you placed on November 30 2010 (Order# XXXX).

Please accept our apologies for this delay.

Order status can change quickly, and it is possible that your order may

even be delivered between the time we send this message and the time that you

read it.  When items in your order are shipped, you will receive an

e-mail confirming the date, contents, and method of your shipment.

Keep in mind that if your order arrives too late, you can refuse delivery or

return it to us for a refund. For instructions on returning an item, please visit

our Returns Center (

For more information, please visit the following Order Update page in

My Account:

If clicking the above link doesn’t work, you can copy and paste the

link into your browser’s address window, or retype it there.

If you used an account to place your order, you can also access this

Order Update page by clicking the My Account button in the upper-right

corner of any page at  Once there, you can make changes

to unshipped orders, cancel unshipped items, track shipped packages,

modify your account settings, and do much more.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this delay.

Thanks for shopping at We hope you’ll visit us again soon.


Online Guest Services

*** This e-mail was sent from a notification-only address that cannot accept incoming e-mail. Please don’t reply to this message. If you have further questions, please visit our online Help section. ***

So, I pick up the phone and call my friends in Mumbai at

Dowan, my new friend, simply tells me that “no problem. Once it delivered to the place where it is going, you just take it to Target and they will credit your account, you refuse delivery.” Again, I say, “It’s an island, and no one is HOME. Once you deliver the package to the island, there is no way that it will get to me by Christmas.” I explain, there is no Target on Daufuskie, and the General Store’s operating hours are questionable.  I ask if he has ever seen the show, “Fantasy Island”.  Crickets….

I asked politely if there was a phone number I could call to the distribution center, or the IT department to put a back office “kill” to the order, and he said, “No, der er no phones der.” Useless.  Waste of Time.

So, I am going to spend my day looking around town for the freaking Galactic Lego Cruiser, ensure that I have it, and then just continue to post negative feedback on their business ratings subscription websites until some ding dong figures this out.

This shall be my second to last order EVER with, and I should have just ordered it from Amazon when it was available, but I had this online only gift card from March that I was trying to use. God help them try to figure out how to reinstate that “credit”….

Then I receive this from my friend, Dowan at

We always strive to provide a high level of service, and we would appreciate your feedback.  Please let us know if we resolved your inquiry.

If yes, click here:

If not, click here:



Online Guest Services

No offense Dowan, but I click “Not”.


Please read your message below. Need to make changes? Click the “Edit” button. If you’re happy with your message, click “Submit.”



E-mail address:


Feedback to

Order ID:



Again, I receive an email saying that my order, which apparently has not been assigned “a carrier” is being delayed, now not expected to be delivered to “THE WRONG ADDRESS” until December 13-20th. I call to hopefully once again have you CANCEL the ORDER so that I can get the item mailed CORRECTLY to my billing address. Your system won’t allow you to fix this once the item has been placed in whatever que it’s in, and apparently, no one can go and find my particular item and fix the address that it is being shipped to (even though the mailing label hasn’t been printed yet, since it hasn’t been assigned a carrier.) This is ABSOLUTELY frustrating. The item is being sent to an address that I don’t reside at, and no one is there to return the item once it is delivered. I dare say that this is my last order from as this is totally unacceptable.

So I am now about to take off my pajamas, and head out to Christmas Shopping Hell, to find a freaking Galactic Space Lego Cruiser for my 10 year old son, absolutely disgusted at the thought that I might not find it and pissed off at that fact that I have to spend $100 on a freaking Lego set, instead of the $50 that I had to fork out of pocket from Target (since I was using my useless “online only $50 gift card).

In other updates in the Suburban Martyr’s life, yesterday I spent 10 hours doing at least 14 loads of laundry, sheets, and towels, since both boys wet the bed and it was our weekly wash day.  I was so over it.  Then I made a delicious Emeril’s recipe of Beef Stroganoff that they all bitched about, except John, his eyes rolled back in his head.  I am about to rock their little world.  Momma has a job interview on Thursday with a National Consulting Firm….yep, I might be going back to work.

I have very mixed feelings about it, but I think my children take a lot of things for granted, and I personally am pretty exhausted from “giving up what I need” to give what we do have to them.  I’m anxious and excited all at the same time.  I really don’t know how it will all work out, because I don’t even have time to do the things I’m supposed to do for John’s business since I’m spending so much time making sure they are all happy and well adjusted children.

It does give me pride, when a girlfriend compliments that fact that my children are so good, and I think to myself, that it’s because I gave up ME for THEM, which when I look at other people’s kids that are terrors, and then look at the parents, I know why.  But, then another girlfriend commented to me that kids take us for granted because they don’t respect us, because they think that all we do all day is watch TV, talk on the phone, and shop, and that who they do respect is their mom that works.  I think, I WORK!  I work for John, for Free.  Not anymore.  If Target can outsource their customer service to Mumbai, then I can outsource motherhood, or at least make a go of it.

Stay tuned….

Target Christmas Shipping Nightmare: Why Target Has Failed me

Twitter Today: has failed me again!  Cant seem to change a shipping address when a package hasn’t left the warehouse.  Fail Target!  Fail!

Poor Jack.  He wrote a beautifully crafted letter to Santa Claus after unsuccessfully winning the Space Police design your own model contest (see picture above) that he knows that his mommy refuses to buy him any more Legos, but he really wanted the Lego Space Police Galatic Enforcer for Christmas.  So, I order it online, from after discovering that there was “Free Shipping” and a temporary price cut, and I had a 50$ online only gift card to use that Ashton had received for a birthday present, but I refused to pay for shipping so I gave him $50, and traded him the gift card last March.

I had a $50 credit to spend at Target, and being that I had this credit, I rationalized the crazy Lego price of $100.99 that it was “50.99” and ordered it, on November 30th.

So, today I open my email (December 3rd) and had sent me a “change notification” to my order, and the only “change” I could tell was that the freaking order was not going to my billing address in the suburbs, but was now going to our Summer Address at Daufuskie Island.  Um, we’re not expected there for 172 more days, but CHRISTMAS IS 22 DAYS AWAY!!!!  I immediately call the Target Online Orders Customer Service Number of 1.800.591.3869 and am put on hold where I wait 25 minutes before….I’m DISCONNECTED.  Then I dial the number again.  Target Online Orders Customer Service Number of 1.800.591.3869.  This time I am on hold for 18 minutes before becoming distracted and hanging up.  I call again.  This time, on hold for 11 minutes.

Patiently inform the customer service dude that my package was being sent to the wrong address, and that I need to let them know that they needed to cancel the order and return it to Target.  He politely, in a very scripted tone, lets me know that I just need to return the package to once I receive it.

Me:  “How can I return the package, if I’m not there to receive it?”

Him:  “When it is delivered, you just need to refuse to accept it”

Me:  “I’m not going to BE there.”

Him:  “Well, then you will need to notify the carrier that he needs to return the package”

Me:  “Who is the carrier”

Him:  “Well, it’s not in the system yet, because it hasn’t been SHIPPED”

Me:  “I am about to start to cry”

Him:  “………I HEAR CRICKETS……..”

Me:  “What am I supposed to do?”

Him:  “You can order another one, and we’ll credit your account if the other item is returned”

DO YOU SEE WHERE I AM GOING WITH THIS EPIC FAIL ON BEHALF OF TARGET.COM?  Certainly, if their system is so highly in sync with the shipping process, that if a customer calls them to notify them NOT to ship the item, then they should NOT ship the item, or if it hasn’t left the warehouse, certainly, they can put a stop on the item and REDIRECT the item to the appropriate address?  You’d think?  Wouldn’t this SAVE TARGET millions of dollars a year in lost inventory, unhappy customers, and future lost business?  COME ON TARGET!  This makes absolutely no sense at all!

So now, I must wait for the item to be returned to Target, and for them to cancel my order and credit my account before I order the item…..which will most likely no longer be on sale, no longer have free shipping, and, oh….be on backorder.


Quick! Come Here! I need help!

Twitter Today:  What the hell was I thinking…

An old friend posted, why do parents always lend their opinion and tell you what to do, when you didn’t ask for their advice?  I replied, “They can’t help themselves from thinking you still need help wiping your own ass.  That would be an interesting response, just pull down your pants, bend over and ask for their help.”

My parents are visiting us as well this week, and I am in the throws of some major decisions that we need to address.  Again, the economy is sucking, but John and I are muddling through it.  However, we did appear to have a huge tax liability that we weren’t expecting, and so we paid it with our credit cards, and so now, for the first time in many years, I am looking at a credit card balance that is more than a new car…bye bye thought of a new car, I just bought one for the secret service…on my credit card.

Waiting to hear when I will start working again, as a consultant for a huge national firm, of course, disguised as a highly paid management consultant instead of  undercover as the Suburban Martyr.  My mother is distressed worrying about how this will all affect Christmas, and my children, but really?  I’ve given up 10 years of my life taking care of everyone, and now God has thrown me a lifeline, and I’m going to grab it, and then figure out how everything else will keep moving afterwards.  I’m fucking drowning and she’s worried about Christmas.

In the meantime while I tread water in this sea of motherhood bliss and cash flow management, I’ve used my internet skills to cause the phone to ring daily for John, and learned my lesson that I shall never take the summer off again from helping him with the business.  The secret is learning from your mistakes, and defining your life to be the one that you want it to be.  I played ostrich, and it backfired.

So my parents have taken Jack, Ashton, and Minnie to the museum today, John has gone to the office, and I’ve got the maids here cleaning, and I am barricaded in my office, losing myself in this blog and the revelation that I haven’t posted in over six months, and what a long six months it has been.  My father is suffering from Alzheimer’s and based of the stress that I’ve been shoveling out of my way, I completely understand where somethings can be blocked from your mind, and how hearing them can make you feel even more numb that how you felt after.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  I refuse to think of all of the crap that has landed on our table in the past year (and I think I need to confess them, but right now, I am not ready), and truly just try to be thankful that I continue to be married to my best friend, and that my children are still not fucked up and still believe in Santa Claus.  Next year though, I know the end is near.  Next year, I am taking my family to New York, and we are going to see the Statue of Liberty and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and then we will have Thanksgiving Dinner at the Palm Restaurant, as keeping with the Montgomery tradition of boycotting Turkey on Thanksgiving Day…

So after I plow off this message, I shall go and utilize my handy dandy rug and carpet cleaner to execute my weekly scrubbing of the carpets that have been ravaged by the new Giant Schnoodle, Lucy, aka Lucifer.  What was I thinking?  I know what I was thinking, it was a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Decision, ill timed, and I was fucking out of Xanax and had no doctor willing to prescribe it to me.  I’ve been popping 5-HTP vitamin and B-12 supplements, but the shit wasn’t working.  I’ve recently discovered that NyQuil works beautifully for sleep disorders, and have also caught John chugging some back before bed as well, so I know this shit is impacting him as well, although I think he’s just doing it to bond, because as he said, “we’ll take anything as long as it’s legal.”

Since August 2, I’m down 23 pounds.  Mostly attributed to stress, but also because I have made a conscience decision not to drown my sorrows in a bottle of Rex Goliath or hide the FireFly in my crystal lite.  The headache the next day really hampers my attempts to be positive, to move forward, and to get something done.  So the crazy schnoodle puppy pees all over the white carpet, and I think, “really?”  John has just disowned the damn dog, and called it, “Sinclair’s Dog”.  Fuck.

Mother Mary Pray for Me.  Also, if you are out there and feel like you want to show your love for me, “visit” some of my sponsors so that I can make some money and pay off my tax disaster…