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.

The New Year.

New year, you're saying? Ashley, it's March. Yes, but on the Ashley calendar, March = New Year. I return to life when daylight savings begins (although having ACTUAL SUNLIGHT is helpful, Kansas). Add March Madness plus opening day = all is well in the world. And for the last 10 years or so, my Marches have been marked by milestones.

By | 2018-03-30T08:25:06-06:00 March 29th, 2018|Uncategorized|3 Comments

If a grandma falls in the forest.

It’s been a year since she died but I still see reminders of Grandma every day. Mostly in the handmade pieces of her that live in my house. Needlepoint tea towels. Quilts. Afghans. Crocheted hand towels. {Want to hear what a horrible person I am? Once, Grandma was helping me with garage sale prep and she came across a box

By | 2018-03-21T09:32:36-06:00 March 20th, 2018|Uncategorized|3 Comments

Tidings of discomfort and joy.

Self-discovery is an inconsiderate bitch. Y’all know I hate winter; it’s no secret (I can hear you: “yes, the cold, the dark, you hate, we got it, enough already”). But at one point recently during one of those zero degree days, I had a harsh realization. And it hurt more than the -15 wind chill. I was brooding for the

By | 2018-02-20T20:04:54-06:00 February 19th, 2018|Uncategorized|2 Comments

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 | 2017-12-20T22:51:31-06:00 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 | 2017-12-14T00:09:26-06:00 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 | 2017-11-29T21:11:29-06:00 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 | 2017-11-22T19:07:28-06:00 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 | 2017-11-14T12:10:05-06:00 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 | 2017-11-07T10:23:28-06:00 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 | 2017-10-30T22:24:44-06:00 October 30th, 2017|Uncategorized|2 Comments