About Ashley

Ringleader, rule breaker, bullshit hunter, cancer survivor. On a mission to live a regret-free life. Milagro is my home base and front line. Donuts and peanut butter, but not together.

Current conditions.

It's December 20th and if you're wondering how we're doing around here, let me fill you in. We have a new water feature in the spa. Isn't it lovely? It's been almost as fun as that time we had the foul smell just in time for Valentine's Day. Ah, the joys of a 95-year-old building. Our computers continue to be

By | 2017-12-20T22:51:31+00:00 December 20th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Current conditions.


Have you ever been personally Yelped? I have. Let me tell you how it feels: not great. I know I'm supposed to be way more on top of Milagro's "web reputation" than this, but last week I was poking around our search results and realized we had more Yelp reviews than before. So I clicked. And there it was. Oh,

By | 2017-12-14T00:09:26+00:00 December 13th, 2017|Uncategorized|4 Comments

All they want for Christmas is you.

Mom and Dad Smith One of my favorite memories from when Smitty and I first started dating was visiting his parents' house at Christmastime, somewhere around 1994/95/96. Mom Smith knows how to Christmas - the decor, the baking, all of it. But what stands out in my head (or my ears, rather) is Dad Smith in the lower

By | 2017-11-29T21:11:29+00:00 November 29th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on All they want for Christmas is you.

Life sucks and thank you.

Yesterday I was writing a long list to share here of things for which I'm insanely grateful - my heated mattress pad, doggie drinking fountains at the park, sunshine, pillow socks, Smitty, Taco Via, etc. But the corner of my mind was crowded with people I know and people I love who are spending this holiday (for the first time

By | 2017-11-22T19:07:28+00:00 November 22nd, 2017|Uncategorized|7 Comments

It’s complicated.

I can specifically remember the beginning of the end. I wouldn't call what we had a long term relationship. In some ways, I had just been trying it on for size. It didn't feel natural or authentic. And more often than it made me feel good, it made me feel awful. It was bound to end. Bitterly. Then one day

By | 2017-11-14T12:10:05+00:00 November 14th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on It’s complicated.

Going acorn-free.

The season has changed and we've moved from Ocho's favorite (cicada season) to Rio's favorite (acorn season). During cicada season, Ocho looks forward to our walks as an all-you-can-eat buffet of crunchy and/or crispy deliciousness. Her order of preference is: live (bonus points if she gets to catch them out of the air) shells (so light and airy) dead (not

By | 2017-11-07T10:23:28+00:00 November 7th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Going acorn-free.

Comparing scars.

Last week, we welcomed to Milagro a new guest who walked slowly and with a noticeable limp. On her get-to-know-you form, she answered our question "For what are you most grateful?" with one simple sentence: "The chemo seems to have worked." When I was in cancer treatment at 31, two acquaintances near my age also received diagnoses. They did not

By | 2017-10-30T22:24:44+00:00 October 30th, 2017|Uncategorized|2 Comments

I probably shouldn’t write anymore. Like ever.

Sit back and let me tell you a story about how enlightened I am. Last month I wrote this cute little piece about how my Jeep (aka The War Rig) taught me a valuable lesson about attentiveness. At this point, you're gonna wanna go back and read it if you haven't already. Don't worry....I'll wait... Ready for the punchline? This

By | 2017-10-23T23:21:30+00:00 October 23rd, 2017|Uncategorized|3 Comments

On flipping birds and forty.

After her mom died in February, Joann found some comfort in returning to her own crafty roots. She's a crochet wizard, but decided to try her hand at beading. Mostly earrings. The detailed focus was therapeutic. After some compliments from friends, she put a few pairs on Etsy. It took no less than eleven days for a stranger across the

By | 2017-09-25T21:08:18+00:00 September 25th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on On flipping birds and forty.

Bullet blogging.

Since I haven't been around here much, I thought it may be useful to catch you all up on some goings on for the last few months. I'm inventing a new thing called Bullet Blogging which I think is like bullet journaling but I'm not really sure because I've only heard the phrase but don't really know what it is.

By | 2017-09-19T21:52:14+00:00 September 19th, 2017|Uncategorized|2 Comments