Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
However, in the days which have followed, it has gotten funnier. It's humor has "cured" if you will. The lines from the movie have made their way into our daily activities and created wonderfully fresh mirth.
This leads me to another thought. This was the first movie we've seen in forever, so I think King and I need to watch more funny movies in 2009. We need to laugh more. We get stuck in such a routine and wallow in our misery, and I think more than ever, '09 will be a year that we will need to lighten up and giggle more.
On a separate note, come see me in my new pad.... Cell 3 of The Nuthouse. I'll be the one wearing the always fashionable all-white ensemble. We'll be ever so comfy in my room with padded walls and floor.
Eden: any place of complete bliss and delight and peace
Christmas vacation: a time of complete stillness, peace, and delight.... until which point the children get tired of being trapped in the house due to a rainy late December. At that point, things quickly digress.
Hell: The place of eternal punishment, inflicting guilt and suffering; fiery and painful; extreme torment; a cause of difficulty and suffering
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Even better is that when we get home, I checked and King has that same exact feature on his alarm clock. We've been sleepin' like cavemen, baby!
Also, this year I sent out a Christmas letter. I know, I know. There is nothing more obnoxious than reading about someone else's kids and how wonderful they are, right? Yeah, I know. Now people can take a turn and read about my wonderful children. Turnabout is fair play and all.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I typed them and printed them and cut them into strips. Each child has his/her own font. Then I made them into a paper chain and put them on our tree. It only goes halfway down, but I think each year I will get them to add more to it so that eventually it will cover the whole tree.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
12:45 - gave son a haircut (way overdue)
1:00 - all went to see son play basketball (they got clobbered, but he played well)
3:00 - cleaned a pile of clutter off dining room table
4:00 - got ready for Mass (son was altar serving for the very first time tonight)
5:00 - sat with a new friend and her three beautiful children at Mass.. her hubby just went to the Middle East until June... she's due with her fourth child in April. God bless her and give her strength.
6:30 - drop oldest at a friend's house
7:00 - have dinner with a couple (also new-ish friends) and laughed our rears off
11:00 - thanking God for such a faith-filled, fun-filled, friend-filled day before bed.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Tonight, however, will be catch up night. There are a zillion things that could be done, but none of them have to be done, so we are going to shut off all forms of entertainment - radio, tv, computer, phone - and spend time in scripture looking at God's beautiful plan for our salvation.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
OH, and somebody please teach me how to say NO!!!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Note the time of this post. *sigh* Three nights running.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
About four years ago, we were in a parish that we loved. We had much admiration and respect for our pastor; in return he made us feel appreciated by asking us to turn up our level of stewardship by sharing our leadership talents (that we didn't even know we had!!!). We saw that we could be disciples and share the Gospel with those around us. We garnered confidence as Christians and stronger Catholics. Our spiritual well-being was healthy.
The parish is a very historic church built in the mid 1800's, is sheer heaven. There is almost no other way to describe it. You walk in and all your senses are delighted. The woodwork, the marble, the lingering smell of incense, the quiet reverence - all, plus the enveloping sense of Christ's presence in the Eucharist in the tabernacle, it's just an overwhelmingly beautiful experience. We were part of that heaven on Earth for 11 years.
We had the opportunity to visit our old parish this weekend. As I knelt to pray after communion I wondered why I still was having a hard time getting used to where we are now. "I had such a mountain-top experience, Lord, why can't I have that now?" I long for that spiritual high, near ecstasy, I had then. Then I heard what surely was the voice of God asking, "What do you know, scripturally, about mountain-top experiences?" Well, let's see. Moses had one. The Ten Commandments were given to him to share with the Israelites. The other I thought of right off the bat was Peter, James, and John's experience on the mountain during the Transfiguration of Christ.
Now I was being asked what these mountain-top experiences DID for Moses, Peter, James, and John? How did it change their course? How did it impact their lives? Did it give them a renewed zeal to bring God's message to others? Of course it did. It also gave them a well of strength to draw from when their journey became a little dry.
I was quite thankful for the visit to our old church. It was great to see our old parish family, soak in all of that goodness, to remember the mountain-top we used to be upon, to hear God's voice, and to draw water from the well of our past experience.
I hope I won't go as long as Mother Teresa, but at least for now, I see it for what it is and how God wants me to use it.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Before my trip out on retail heaven... or hell (depending on which side of the cash register you are on and/or if you have Dr. Scholl's gel shoe inserts) I was not in the mood for the holidays. I had been sick at Thanksgiving, there has been too much going on, I haven't been generous enough with my time to properly prepare my soul for the Advent season, much less Christmas . Beyond "going through the motions".... it's more like I was stuck in a wheel and being dragged behind the dadgum wagon.
However, black Friday fixed all that. Most of yesterday I was shopping for my favorite people.... they are people I don't know.... unnamed family members on the Angel Tree at church. Each year I pick out one angel for each kid we have. I try to choose things for these children which I would get for my own kids. I never fail to have a misty-eyed moment when I close my eyes and pray that they will enjoy the things I so carefully select for their Special Morning.
Turns out it was much-needed, intense, break-out-the-paddles-type retail therapy for someone who really needed to get a "move on" when it comes to getting ready for celebrating Our Savior's birth.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
ugh. I swear! I have not been able to do anything for the past couple of weeks for one reason or another. I had wanted this week/weekend to be all about getting out and about, going to the gym, etc.
Y'all 'scuse me, I gotta .......
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Now, I am also fighting a bad cold. So, I'm sick.
Fast forward to an hour ago, when the little kids were going nuts because it was bedtime and they were past due for rest as well. His royal highness, number 4 was wailing because I wouldn't let him read a book, and the usually good-natured number 5 was screaming her head off because.... well, I have no idea what set her off. Then I was just "sick 'n tired'.
Sick 'n tired AND sick, and tired. Two phrases that sound the same but have different meanings.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I have stocked the cabinet with Smarties. She giggles whenever I get them down and tell her how proud I am that she went potty. The cutest thing about this whole potty training experience is that she calls her rewards "marcies".
New cowboy boots and a big pile of leaves to play in. Other than a pumpkin pie in the oven, what could be any better about this time of year?
Our family has so much to be thankful for. King and I are looking so forward to next week: kids being out of school, time spent together with no constraints on our time...
What are some things your family is enjoying/thankful for this season?
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
So, pan the camera to my green-with-envy three year old who is also suffering from a major case of I-need-a-serious-napitis. He is like a Looney Tune character as I see the look of "oh, yeah, that's a good idea" run across his face and *whoosh* off he darts upstairs. A couple of minutes later, he comes downstairs just crushed, crying, then screaming, "Mamma, help me find a ballet, I mean, bala-lay outfit."
For nearly 20 minutes he hoots and hollers about how he wants to go to bala-lay and how I need to find him an outfit like his friend's. At one point, the pressure was so intense, that my hand, no doubt haunted by the spirit of Billy Elliot, started to reach for the phone to call and see if they took 3-year old all-boy dancers in cowboy boots. Then the thought of my son in tights snapped me back into reality and I very carefully started weaving a white lie: "Well honey, actually, bala-lay class is only for girls, there aren't really boys in her class. But if you want, I can show you some bala-lay or the next time your friend is over, we can ask her to show you some of her dances."
Satisfied with that answer, Cindy Lou Who, er.. I mean Number 4 toddled off to his bed for naptime. Whew! I dodged the bala-lay bullet and during his naptime, I even got Whoville a little spiffed up.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
As a teaser for those of you who have shopped the bazaar... not only am I doing the scarves again (in case there is anyone left in the world who doesn't have one), but also, these neat travel coffee mug things. They are so cool. The women who are organizing the sale bought some really neat, fun fabrics, and I am monogramming them with common letters. I have one here as a sample and each piece of fabric I finish, I pop into the mug and put the lid on to get the full effect. Very cool.
If you want to get an idea of what I am talking about, google "monogrammed coffee mugs". Ours won't be nearly as expensive. Sadly, there is a limited quantity.
Friday, November 7, 2008
So, this morning my option was Curves with no shower afterward (PU!!), or shower only. I opted to bathe.
Whilst in said shower, I was thinking about the million and one things to do today. Got out, blow-dried hair.
"Hrm... must need another haircut, my hair is not doing what I am trying to make it do."
After I get downstairs, it seems as though my hair is getting "heavier" by the minute. What in the world?!?!?
DUH! I forgot to shampoo it.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
When I was watching the massive crowds celebrate "The One" (these are Oprah Winfrey's words, not mine) being chosen, and just after I gagged watching Jesse Jackson's tear-stained cheeks (which he would not wipe, something which drove me to distraction, and which made me even more repulsed because it made it look insincere) I saw that "hope" that each of those people had voted for.
The black Americans in that crowd really do believe in Obama. They may not have a clue as to anything he believes in, but they believe in his ability to lead the nation. I saw a joy that was deeper than just "we won". This led me to realize how much it meant to them that he win. I saw in their joy the need to prove that they can "give birth" to a leader for our United States.
It's no secret that I disagree about him being the right man for the job, but taking my opinion out of the formula, he remains their hope. No matter how flawed their reasoning or how much these voters lack knowledge about their candidate, the fact remains that they are excited about this opportunity.
I just hope that he can live up to their expectations. I hope he makes them proud and doesn't let them down. I hope he really takes this role seriously as so many did before him. (OK, so not Bill Clinton, but prolly the rest of them.) IF he turns out to be good for America, (and not weaken her to the point that she is unrecognizable) and IF he can do more good for race relations (God, please protect him from being assassinated!), then he will set a fairly good precedent.
Though I am mostly skeptical, I must create this bright, shiny facet to focus on over the next four years. My children are depending on me to help them feel safe and secure. Their peace of mind depends on how I cope with what may come. I can't let them down. I am their hope.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
So, I shall stick to the mantra that always gets me through rough spots, "all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well." St. Julian of Norwich
Monday, November 3, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
So, today is number 3's birthday. She is an extremely bright and cheerful girl who loves animals and is an encyclopedia when it comes to animal trivia. I knew the day she was born, 9 years ago now, that she was a very clever girl. When the nurse placed her in my arms and she looked up at me with both eyes and checked me out for the first time, chills literally ran up my spine and I looked up at King and said, "We've just been outsmarted. This one is brilliant." I can't explain how I knew. I just did.
Ennyhoo, back to the present. So "Fluffy" as my kids call her, gets here yesterday and the kids are all over her like ants attacking a picnic. Number three asks if she had any "lip chap" in her purse. Of course she does, she's a grandma, right? So they take a dive into Fluffy's purse.
"What's more fun than a grandmother's purse?" my mom quips laughingly.
Without missing a beat, said birthday girl says, "Her wallet."
Yep. Clever, clever girl.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Also, as told to me by a very good friend who never wants me to say her name for fear she will fall down another flight of stairs: "Um. I hate to tell you this, but, they come in pairs."
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
There are a constant attack of projects to get done for a stay-at-home mother of 5. Laundry always. Kitchen for the millionth time. The floors which somehow are never clean. The list goes on and on ad nauseum.
However, I do recognize that there needs to be a balance. Until I find it, I beg God's mercy. Tonight, for example, we were supposed to have the time to pray the Rosary together. I locked my keys in the car at the dance studio and the kids are getting ready for bed. *sigh* King and I will be praying together on the way to unlock my car I guess.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Any of you ever done anything like this? The closest thing I've done as far as playing with "good bacteria in the kitchen" is making homemade yogurt.
Anybody want to try it with me? C'mon, It'll be fun. I'll even get King to grill out some kielbasa.
With dance being a twice-a-week event, and fiddle being right after school on Thursdays - on the OTHER side of town, I am stretched just about as far as I want to be stretched.
Ok, I know I sound like a babyhead. Whine over.
I just simply don't have what it takes to correct her. I know that is probably child abuse, or neglect at best, setting her up for embarrassment later down the road... I don't care. It is just plain adorable. Who knows, she may even know it is really called chap stick.
When she was a wee thing (3 - 4ish) she called a knife a "life". Finally I told her once that although the correct word for said object was "knife", I preferred her to keep calling it a "life" at least while she was at home.
I know. Go ahead. Call DFCS.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
OK, girls (insert stern look here) don't make me get out the bullwhip! We simply cannot rename our group to "Driving Ourselves to Failure Whilst on the Way to the Ice Cream Store".
Monday, October 13, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
I was intrigued to read this about urban legends. I remember believing some of those early emails, especially the one about the underground black market of internal organs. Nowadays, I'll decide by the subject title. If something sounds too good or too wacky to be true, I just delete it. Wouldn't it be nice if everyone followed those same rules? There'd be a lot less spam, I'll tell ya.
Recently, I received an email entitled "Are these the end times?" The email portrayed Obama as the anti-Christ and tried to "prove" that we are in the end times. Look, whether he IS or ISN'T the anti-Christ, if it is the end times people, then so be it. There "ain't" a damn thing we can do if we are in the end times. Get right with God and there's nothing to worry about.
I have a friend who had a yard sale today and was planning on selling the entire contents of her home so that she and her husband could move to NC where she will be closer to the mountains. She is putting all her trust in her belief that we are getting ready to see the end of the world. Scripture has told her to escape to a cave. As nutty as it sounds, I gotta love her for who she is. She's convicted. She's one of my dearest friends and always will be. I'm not going to sit in judgement of her decisions. I am just going to pray that she will somehow be comforted by Christ's peace, no matter where she is living. What else is there to do?
I have another acquaintance who tends to go overboard on this type of urban legend/rumor stuff. A real "the sky is falling" type of personality. Paralyzed with fear. Perhaps I've said this before on my blog, perhaps not, but it bears repeating. In the Catholic Mass, during the consecration of the Eucharist, the priest prays the words: ".....and protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ." Can it be any more clear than that? If we pray this in earnest every Sunday (and every time in between that we attend Mass), are we doubting that God will deliver on that request? No, He will protect us from anxiety for as long as we allow it.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
At lunch today, for example, it came to pass that I had baby food carrots all over me, the floor, the oven door and cooktop, the lower cabinets, and oddly enough, the upper cabinets - so far up that I couldn't even reach to clean them without the aid of a stepstool. All due to just the right "land" when a container of Gerber pureed carrots went *splat* onto the floor. Wanna know the most ironic thing of all? The container was still more than halfway filled - no lie!
After crying out to God aloud and getting everything wiped up, as I was eating my now cold soup (I know, poor me, right?) I kept thinking about a time not too far off in the future when I will be free from all stresses of these four walls.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Number 2's game (football - God's favorite sport) started at 7:45. We were able to get there right after the first couple of plays. The score was already 6 to 6! He plays on both offense and defense. The game was 20 - 20 at the end of the game, so they went into overtime. His team scored a field goal, but the other team was the first to score a goal. Even though they lost, it was a pleasure to watch those boys play. Might be a chance he broke his finger though. eek.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
So, when I got home I told King that he might want to check me for ticks (an inside joke which probably needs no explanation). Number 3, without missing a beat, says, "Yeah, and I can check you for tocks."
We got home and I had to absolutely sit on my hands until we went for a ride.
Number 1 babysat for us while King and I went for a ride. Going up those hills was killer, but fairly easy with the gears. (I've never understood the concept of bike gears until today.) I got a fantastic workout and now I wish I could be biking right this very moment.
Lemmie just say, coming back down the big hill is WAY more fun than the way up! Whooo hooooo!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
This is a list I am going to try to add to each day. Feel free to join me in sidestepping chaos and clinging to the little things that keep us going throughout each and every moment. Also, help me to remember that this is a list of non-material things which go mostly unnoticed so that I don't get too lofty.
- clean sheets
- the way the sunlight dances in a child's hair
- laundry dried outside
- seeing leaves fall from trees in Autumn
- the sound of wind chimes from the distance
- a genuine smile
- birds playing in a puddle of water
- having the kids and hubby home all at the same time
Oops, baby's awake..... more to follow as time permits.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Here are the highlights from my special day:
- handmade kid cards
- sweet card from King, who worked from home all day today (reassuring having him here even though he is downstairs in his office)
- two e-cards from special people
- lunch with King and a great friend (the one who likes to fall downstairs and whom shall remain nameless)
- hearing my mother and my favorite sister sing happy birthday on my answering machine
- Bonefish Grille gift cards from a friend with a really keen sense of gift giving
- got to go to Curves this morning....
- AND "le grande gym" this evening where I jogged 1/2 mile on the treadmill
Monday, September 22, 2008
world's gone crazy
hold me back
what am i doin'?
no one knows
the stress i feel
kids are crazy
"you must obey,
my dear child"
weight loss stalled
what was the plot?
hard to focus
hurts a lot
world is crumbling
must try to see
what blessings abound
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
King noticed that clothes were spilling out of his chest of drawers a couple of weeks back and I've been trying to get the time to go through it all, weeding out what doesn't fit and refolding what does fit.
This afternoon, he finished his homework early and I handed him an empty laundry basket and told him to clean out his drawers (muah ha ha ha). He brought it back overflowing with stuff. He tried on every single thing and we filled a big garbage bag full of stuff.
At present he has NO jeans, NO dress pants, a ton of shorts, and another ton of long sleeve t shirts.
I smell a road trip to da Gootwheel!
She smiled a humble smile, said "thank you", then hugged me.
And then, in her truly blonde fashion, she looked at me, and smiled a vacuous smile and said, "You smell good."
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
"Dey gonna gwow, Mommy." Through a bite of cheese sandwich, he added, "Big beanstalk."
"Oh yeah?" I mused, "Well, are you going to climb the beanstalk and see the giant?"
"Nope, I gonna see Jesus."
Sunday, September 14, 2008
We got the two littl'ns down for their naps and we piled up in the bed. I got as close to him as possible (with clothes on that is) and snoozed while he read the current National Review. As a result, my "batteries" are fully charged and my spirits are elevated.
Y'know, somebody should make a law about not working on Sundays. (heh heh) Ennyhoo, I hope you had some down time that recharged your batteries, too! If not, schedule some soon - it is well worth it.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
A cousin, an aunt, and a sister of mine (the one that is my favorite) are all in an email dialogue about our political choices. Sadly, the cousin is one of those on the other guy's team. Although he is displaying liberal tendencies, he swears he is not gay. And he does NOT eat quiche, and he is allergic to pink. Just be careful not to take away his Starbucks coffee in the morning, ok? ;o)
Ennyhoo, as I wrote in my last email: The thing that scares me the most about a future with "President Obama" is not his inexperience, his stance on taxes/big government, or the fact that he seems slicker'n owlshit. Its the "unknown". We don't really know this guy. He has not been in public office long at all. Face it, whether the media downplays it or not, the dude runs with some really scary characters. Violent friends. Some who talk a big game, others who actually do violent things. I think a race war - unlike anything Rodney King could get us out of with his wise, yet crack-induced words - is a distinct possibility.
I am glad I don't live in Atlanta or Chicago or Detroit (Well, I am anyway for the fact that I despise a big city, but for the sake of this argument as well.) because Lord help us all if the man is assassinated in office. Riots and conspiracy theories will be more rampant than a case of head lice going through a class of first graders.
I wasn't a McCain supporter during the initial stages of this game (as in before the primaries), but I do think he picked a very strong VP candidate in Sarah Palin. Aside from the whole race war thing, I feel very confident in McCain's ability to make sound decisions.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
It never fails. Though the following is a hypothetical situation, something like it has happened more often than I'd like to remember.
So there I am in full soapbox mode about something I feel strongly about and lo and behold, someone I thought I knew well is standing in the opposing team's dugout. Perhaps not too vocal in his or her opinions, but dressed out in full uniform. Gulp. I immediately go from soapbox mode to crawl under a rock and hide mode.
"Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth!"
Thursday, September 4, 2008
I have been so busy the past month, I haven't been alert enough to pay attention to the sun and how it sits on its axis. And, in fact, it has been so wonderfully rainy the past two weeks, that we've hardly seen the sun at all. (I am hoping to hear that all the rain has brought up the level of the nearby lakes.)
But, in case it hasn't happened already this year, today could certainly be the day. This morning brought a few more of the senses (sight and touch) on board to herald the impending fall season. Though humid, it was cool.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
.... offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. "Your body is a gift not only from Me to you, but to Me from you. Take care of it. Respect it. Treat it with extra special care. It is a holy place. Treat it as such. Remember the Ark of the Covenant? Your body is that special."
Do not conform yourselves to this age. In other words God says, "You ain't gonna be a teenage forever. Not 25. Not 30. Not 40. You are going to keep getting older and older. The sooner you face it and embrace it, the easier it will be for you to hear My Voice."
...be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God. Or, "At each age I have a new assignment for you. Ever changing. Keep up or take notes, people."
....what is good and pleasing and perfect. "Did I mention that there will be a test on this at the end of class? Do your very best. At all times. I do not grade on a curve."
Though I was distracted I realized that God sent me this wonderfully-created soul in the form of a three year old. God's creations are good. Which means, therefore, that my distracted mind must be a good thing. I was left trying to see the good in being distracted.
What could be good about that I asked the Lord?
The answer: As a result of not being able to completely sit through Mass, I have an overwhelming desire to be closer to the Lord and to hear His word. To be with Him in the Eucharist. To thank Him for the awesome sacrifice.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
He and I packed his little lunchbox and put a change of clothes in his backpack, "just in case". It was so neat to see his enormous smile as we pulled up. Bless his heart, I know he gets bored here with me ALL of the time. This will give his sweet little brain a break from these four walls and challenge his mind a little more than I do.
A friend swears I am going to miss him. And I know she is right, but more so I am happy for him. This way he will have scheduled "outside play times" which don't get put off because of baby sister's nap schedule, the mosquito factory in our backyard, or countless other stupid blockades.
So, here I am. Baby is asleep. All is quiet. Where do I start?
Sunday, August 24, 2008
This morning I awoke with a case of the angry eyebrows. Couldn't seem to shake them. Wonder why that is? Some days I am on top of the world. Some days EVERYTHING rubs me the wrong way. Very often the angry eyebrow day correlates with trying to get out of the door for Mass. What's up with that? Thank God, by the time we get to the part of the Lord's Prayer (if it hasn't already gone by then) and "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us" I can feel them lifting off and flying away.
What about you? What gives you a case of the angry eyebrows?
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Oh, and just in case you need a mental image of what a funkaerobics class may look like... think Paula Abdul music video choreography.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
I remember King telling me that when he was a teen, the one and only time he chose to backtalk his mother, he was left with a hand print across his cheek. Too severe? Maybe. Maybe not. I can guarantee you he never did it again.
The reason for my plea is purely selfish. I do not want my future sons-in-law to speak to my daughters the way they speak to your wives. My husband and I have set the bar for our kids as to how marriage is supposed to be. King and I speak with respect and love to one another 99.9% of the time. (0.01% = we are human, after all!)
That, and it will avoid an embarrassing situation for them later down the road. Because I can promise you, I have huge mother grizzly bear potential.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
I had to keep thinking, "Nothing tastes as good as skinny. Nothing tastes as good as healthy."
I couldn't even look at that chocolate dessert that looked like some bubbling, gooey, chocolaty goodness. Well, maybe I did peek, but I swear, I didn't taste it.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
The fact that I am an old, fat, uncoordinated white woman was rubbed in my face too many times for me to count.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Things went fairly well, all told. There was a great deal of down time, but we also were able to get out of Dodge for a couple of trips.
Yesterday was the first day of school. They "took off" bright and early and are swiftly approaching their "cruising altitude" for the new academic year. I am loving the fact that we now have a routine going, and we have direction. Whew!
The pilot has turned off the seat belt sign and you are free to move about the cabin.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
It is an accessory to only the world's most intense cardio workout. A belly dance scarf.
"Big gym" offers belly dance cardio classes. One of my workout cohorts and I decided it might be fun to try our hand...er.. make that our abdomen at a class on Saturday.
If you took ALL the workouts I have done for the past month - both cardio and strength training - and rolled them all together in a big ol' bundle and held it up against this hour-long belly dance class, they couldn't hold a candle to it.
I am telling you, there is not one muscle I did not use. This is no exaggeration, my hair was soaking wet! I was able to walk to the car to leave the gym afterward, but by the time I got home I crawled to the front door.
One lady said at the beginning of class that it was addictive. Yeah. Right. Masochist!
But you know what? Within an hour of being home from it, as tired and sore and worn out as I was, I was also so excited to get such an incredible workout that I got in my car and went and bought a noisy belly dance coin scarf, one nearly identical to the one in the picture. I can't wait to go back!
And, King? Well, let's just say that he thinks it is a really good idea.
ps- next up: Funkaerobics! Call 911 and tell them to bring the paddles and a stretcher!!
Friday, August 8, 2008
The night before, the hotel where I worked offered our extended family the meeting rooms at no cost. We all gathered and spent time together. Some of us still had unstoppable tears, others (mostly my uncles - men, who perhaps don't let people see themselves cry) were playing cards. "Hmmfph, how could they be playing cards at a time like this?!?" I wondered. One cousin had recently gotten married and had brought her wedding photo album. Looking back on it, I know that she was trying to help lift the mood of the room, share her joy. But, still reeling from the pain of knowing my father would never meet my future fiance, nor walk me down the aisle, all I could think about was my own misery. I became over-the-top emotional.
We had a two hour drive from "the new town" to "the old town" which is where the cemetery plots my parents owned were. I barely remember being on the highway. Such a blur. I do remember thinking, "How could people in the rest of the world go on about their daily lives? Why does life have to keep moving?" I was impressed, briefly, at how people pulled over for the procession behind the funeral home vehicles. Not enough salve to begin to touch the open wound of losing my sweet Dad though.
The (very) small church where we had been parishioners for many many years was filling up. Mom, Liz, and I formed a line in the narthex and greeted well-wishers, old friends and extended family whom we had not seen in a long time. My father was a very well respected member of the community in the "old town". He had been involved in a lot in the nearly 20 years we'd lived there among which was youth league and high school football. He also helped to get a group home built, which helped transition high-functioning people with mental retardation from institutional settings into the community. My heart wanted to be overjoyed to see these long lost friends, but the sadness prevailed.
Despite the fact that my father had not converted to Catholicism (yet.. though he was attending Mass each week with my sister) he had a Catholic funeral Mass. The priest who celebrated was a very close friend of the family. I have no idea if that was within the "rules" or not, but that's neither here nor there. "On Eagle's Wings" was sung. I wept. To this day, I cannot hear that song without getting choked up. Can't even whisper its lyrics.
I was dreading the graveside service. I figured it would be the most horrific part of it. Final. As the funeral procession slowly entered the cemetery, my heart started racing, dread took up residence over my head, my hands were sweaty. I didn't want to be there.
After the prayers were said as well as the goodbyes to the people who had taken time out of their busy days to share this moment with us, the cemetery workers began lowering the casket into the ground. I felt a gentle breeze in the air. It felt good against my numb, tear-stained face. The same cousin, who had unknowingly been so callous the day before stood there beside me. It was just the two of us. I have no idea where anyone else was, nor was I aware of what they were doing. The downward motion of the casket, the breeze, and my cousin.
"He's in a better place now." Hers were simple words. I have no idea if she elaborated or not. The one sentence is all I heard, all I recall.... and the peace which followed. I gulped a huge lungful of air. I could feel the first twinges of healing.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
My parents had just moved. We had lived in the same small town in NC for nearly 20 years, but Dad got a new job. So my first time driving home from college (Auburn) to western NC was odd. I was driving to a place I'd never been before. My new home. But, I had no idea how to get there.
Once off the interstate, I had to call to get directions. My Dad figured out where I was and drove to meet me and I followed him to the new house.
Wow. Steep driveway. Nice house. Different than anything I'd ever lived in, but, still very traditional.
That summer I spent trying to get my bedroom decorated. I got a part time job as a hostess at the local hotel's restaurant. I met a couple of people who were around my same age and although we never hung around together outside of work, it was fun to joke around with them during work.
One night my sister and I were staying up late watching some movie on tv. I don't even remember what it was. I do, however, remember one of the commercials - a public service announcement. It was about the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. What to look for, when to seek medical attention. I took the information in and tucked it away to use "someday".
The next day ("someday") dawned. Our family - Mom, Dad, Liz and I, spent the day together just goofing, relaxing, playing games. We were planning on grilling out that night. I had a "first date" that night and the guy was going to come over and eat steaks with us.
Early in the afternoon, Dad mentioned that he must have pulled a muscle in his chest. "It feels tight," was his explanation. Remembering the PSA I had seen the night before, I said, "Hey, Dad, maybe you should go get seen at the ER, you could be having a heart attack." And I proceeded to regurgitate the information I had learned from the commercial.
"Nah, I've had this before. It'll go away. Your Mom and I are going to lie down for a bit. Take a little nap." Time passes.
We are all busily preparing for grilling out. I remember the steaks were top notch. We were all looking forward to a delicious meal and I was really looking forward to my parents meeting Tony. He was a good-ol-boy who had grown up in the small town in which we now lived. The son of a farmer. I could imagine him on a tractor. He had a really nice smile.
Doorbell rings. I am still upstairs. Putting on mascara. I hear my Mom answer the door and I holler down the stairs "be right there!" Tony introduces himself to Mom and Dad and the two guys decide to go out and light the grill. I hear the back storm door close.
Then I hear Tony's voice telling my Mom to call 911.
I turned to my sister and said, "Dad is having a heart attack."
I ran downstairs and Tony and I performed CPR. I remember the sound of the air coming back out of his mouth. Don't leave sweet Daddy.
The EMTs got on the scene some time later - seemed to be days - and though they did the paddle thing several times, gave him heparin (I think that's right) shots. They loaded him into the ambulance and drove - slowly inched along - to the hospital where they took him into the ER and did more of the same.
The doctor came in to tell us that they did everything they could for as long as they could and his heart never responded. He said we could go back there and spend as much time as we wanted to.
I remember walking in and just staring. My sweet Daddy. Lifeless. "Ok, Dad, this isn't funny. Please suck in a huge lung full of air and do that silly face and say tah-dah." (He loved to do magic tricks.) The EMTs had to remove his shirt to do the paddle things and I noticed that all the blood had pooled along his back. Now I knew it wasn't a magic trick. My insides were screaming, "NOOOO" and my legs were weak. Before we left, my Mom asked a nurse to help her remove the wedding band that had been there more than 20 years.
We lingered as long as we could and then in silence drove home. We had not eaten dinner. We stared at the uncooked steaks that we had been looking so forward to. None of us were hungry. We stood there in the kitchen and wept. After awhile, weary from the day, and knowing the next few days were going to be an unwelcome whirlwind of activity we climbed the stairs and prepared for bed. None of us wanted to be alone. I wondered, "How could Mom get into bed? The same one she and Dad had just taken an afternoon siesta in just a few short hours ago? Would she be scared? Lonely? Frightened?"
For some odd reason, I had to shave my legs that night and I remember sitting on the edge of the tub, my teardrops mingling with the water swishing around the drain. My sweet Daddy. He'll never meet the boy I am to marry. He will never bounce his grandchildren on his knee, never tell them jokes and delight in their laughter, he will never do magic tricks for them - not even the infamous watch-my-balled-up-napkin-disappear-after-dinner trick - or the even more famous trick: Pull My Finger.
After finally climbing into bed I prayed. I remember learning recently that we must praise God in all things. Not just praise the good stuff and bitch about the bad stuff. All things. "Lord, I have no idea why you decided to take my sweet Daddy home today. You must have a reason. I know that I cannot even begin to see the bigger picture. Thank you, Lord, for keeping him safe and please continue to protect us and get us through this nightmare. Perhaps in time, Lord, I may use this experience to help someone else who might be going through the same thing."
Twenty years ago. Seems like yesterday. Seems like forever.
But, when I don't eat a slice of cheesecake, or anything else bad for that matter AND I work out like crazy for a whole month, even (!), I won't budge an ounce.
I suppose it is fairly obvious that I optimistically stepped on the scale this morning and whatever loss I had last week has been found this week. I swear! I am really starting to lose the plot. I am so tired of spoon feeding the "you are building muscle, replacing the fat" pablum to myself, that I could just throw up. I can understand that excuse applying to the first week or two of exercise, but after nearly a month of it. Pffft.
So, downtrodden and smarting from the brick abrasion on my forehead, I am forced to suck it up and keep going. I'll keep waddling in that gym with my Churchillian girth and repeat to myself "Never give in. Never give in."
"....this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy." excerpt from a speech given on October 29, 1941 at Harrow School
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
With an occasional setback (accidental and/or otherwise) number 4 is doing very well with his potty training. Once or twice, he stole the baby's paci and went and hid and did what he used to do in his unders. I had to just throw them away. Hopefully it made enough of an impression that his Thomas underwear went into the trash so that it won't happen again.
The three oldest kids are enjoying a few days away with cousins before school starts next week.
King and I down to two kids for a bit. Amazing. We want to do so much, but know the time will slip by.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
My apologies to other fruits if this statement hurts their little feelings, but face it, kiwi fruit is gorgeous. Originally named Chinese Gooseberry, they were introduced to New Zealand in the 50's where someone thought they might rename it. Just like Miss Mortenson changed her name to Marilyn Monroe, a clever little man from Auckland gave her a new moniker: Kiwifruit. Gorgeous.
So, suffice it to say I am floating a little above the ground today.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
but it's no joke. We're having a blast together, three friends and I. We are managing to do gradually increasing amounts of cardio followed by at least an hour of strength training.
Usually we go at night, after those of us who have kids with a bedtime get the little monsters settled down.
We are amazed, in all honesty, how much fun it is to have a big "girl party" that doesn't involve male strippers or alcoholic drinks! Although we do muse about such things. We laugh nearly non-stop and often involve (disturb?) others around us.
It is fun to watch the faces of the poor women who venture into the Ladies Only room, unsuspecting creatures that they are. One, a black woman with gorgeous dark chocolate, velvety-soft looking skin, beautifully coiffed hair, lipstick, and the perfect figure, was going at a fairly good clip on the treadmill when all of a sudden she disappeared. Doubled over with laughter at our shenanigans she was.... good thing she was holding on!
Ennyhoo, we have named our journey "Laughing Ourselves Skinny". Look for us on the Comedy Club circuit.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
I have decided to go after 9 when the kids are settling down and King is at home to watch over their slumber. Last week I was able to go four times, and I just got to go again tonight. I decided after I did my "routine" in the ladies only room, that I would venture out into the large room with people who are already in shape and try out some for-serious-people-only ab machines. I went to the front desk and asked someone to show me how to do them.
OH. MY. GOD.
"What do you mean?"
I knew I was taking a chance asking her, since I don't know if she had ever heard the term "moral of the story".
So I asked the question another way, "What can we take away from this movie and apply to our lives..... what to you think was the REAL thing that saved the future of the universe?"
"Love." She continued, "Like, I don't think it was really the girl's teardrop that saved the universe. But probably the love that made the teardrop."
I'll sit down and shut up now.
Did I mention she plays the violin?
Monday, July 21, 2008
When we got downstairs, I went on a website that describes all the characters from Thomas and Friends. Then, I really got goosebumps, this boy is GOOD at his new-found "fortune telling" gig. Here are the descriptions of the three of us (now that we are trains):
Mavis - Mavis is a feisty young diesel engine. She is high-spirited, often doing things without thinking about their consequences. Her lack of experience often leads her into trouble, but she's smart and learns from her mistakes. She has a lot to learn about trucks, but, with Toby's help, she is learning to be a Really Useful Engine.
Skarloey (though pronounced Scullery by a 2 year old) - This bright red engine is dedicated to doing his job well and is always eager to work.
Diesel - Diesel is a devious diesel engine, who is always scheming and ever ready to stir up trouble.
Mavis Skarloey Diesel
Friday, July 18, 2008
Even though it wasn't the fancy schmancy nuclear stress test, doc says all is well.
(Be sure to remind me of that when you call me but we are both temporarily deafened by the ear-splitting screams of #4, won't you?)
Thursday, July 17, 2008
To this day, if you mention the word picnic to my mom, she will no doubt tell you about the only time she planned one for my brother, my sister and I. She packed homemade fried chicken, biscuits, slaw, potato salad, etc. and loaded up the family and drove to a park for a picnic. (And she was NO June Cleaver, so this was a big deal!) In her mind it was going to be sheer perfection. No sooner had we gotten there than the gentle spring zephyr turned into gale force winds. The sun was still shining beautifully, but the wind was formidable! Mom swears the crust was blown off the chicken! The memory of this picnic to her is just plain disaster. Sad, really, because I remember what fun it was to be on a picnic (our only) with my family.
I love taking my family on picnics. The funny thing is they mostly are disastrous not unlike the one and only from my childhood. Take today for example. We were planning to go to the Science Center but it was very close to lunchtime, so I stopped and got us McD's salads. We head to the Science Center and find a gorgeous parking spot in the shade. All the picnic tables are empty and shaded. There is a gentle breeze. The perfect day. As we launch into our salads, remarking to one another about how beautiful the day is, we began to feel raindrops. There was not a cloud in the sky, so I figured it was just one of those freaky things that wouldn't last long. We kept feeling drops, but it was still a mystery as to where they were coming from (I thought at one point we were unknowing participants in a Science Center hidden camera experiment) until we noticed that the raindrops were actually soapy and there was the faintest smell of Clorox. Turns out the Science Center, connected to a 15 story apartment building, was being pressure washed today. Even though the pressure washer dude was ALL the way at the VERY TIPPY TOP, those soapy, bleach-laden droplets were raining down onto our lunch. Into our drinks. Onto our shirts.
I was livid.
Then I remembered "The Picnic" and I had to laugh.
Hopefully my children will remember it fondly and with the humor God must have intended. Unlike my Mom, I will not swear off picnics, but I will try to continue to approach them with the attitude that we are together as a family and this will make a GREAT story one day.
So, what about you? Do you have any picnic disaster stories?
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
When I am asked the same question I pause, roll my eyes and say, "It's going!" I am mentally comparing this summer to last when we did lots of neat things like visiting a glass-blower studio, going to a cheese factory, walking around historic Old Salem in NC, etc. We haven't done as much this year. I sort of feel guilty about not being a better "activities director".
Thirty years ago or so, summers for my sister and I were low-key. We were responsible for our own fun many times, unless we were visiting family. We would begin each summer by spending a week camping at the lake with the whole fam-damily- like I'm talking extended family even! Then we'd be adopted for several days by each of our dad's sisters (he has 4) and then finish the time off by spending a week at my grandparents'. I can remember swimming, going to Stone Mountain for the light show, and one aunt even got me art lessons because she somehow knew that I loved art. But the most fun of all was being with our cousins. During the rest of the year, we were 6 hours away, but during the summertime, we got to spend lots and lots of time with our very favorite people.
So, when I look at the summer of 2008, it's no wonder my kids give a resounding thumbs up. They have gotten to spend a time with each of their cousins and are planning a couple more in a week or two. And, my job as Family Activity Director is probably a fairly secure position.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
- tomato aspic - made with shrimp, green onions, avocado, carrot shreds, capers, and celery
- spinach soup
- Heroin chicken (named so because it is addictive!)
And for the rest of the family:
- corn on the cob
- sliced tomatoes
- Heroin chicken
- cream cheese and cucumber sammiches
Monday, July 7, 2008
He replied, "Dumpty".
Close enough. It was Humpty Dumpty to be exact. And he was sitting precariously on the edge of a wall, arms outstretched to show the action which was just about to take place.
"What's he getting ready to do?" I inquired.
Friday, June 27, 2008
As beautiful as my front loader washer and dryer set is, frankly, I hate it. In any given load of laundry, there is no uniform "good smell". You will have one article of clothing that smells great and one that is sour. Then the rest are somewhere in between. With smoke and mirrors, the "earth-friendly powers that be" have convinced us that you can get clothes clean with little to no water and relatively little detergent.
Because of my keener than normal sense of smell, I have noticed that other people must have "energy efficient" washers as well. I have never before smelled so many people whose clothes aren't so fresh...er.. or should I say have taken on the odor of the "new fresh". My sister tells me that they now sell packets of stuff for your washer that deodorize it. Why? I never had to do that with my old washer, may it rest in peace. Growing up, my mother's washer never had to be deodorized.
One of the things I love living in the world during this time is the fact that we can bathe on a frequent basis. We don't have to wait a year, having to heed the "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater" warning. We can bathe once a day or more if we so choose.
But, now with this altered definition of clean, this different take on the concept of freshness, we may as well sleep late and become more energy efficient selves. I'm thinking about the greasy-haired hippie look. Perhaps nappy dreadlocks. Oh, and I'll be sure not to forget my soured Bohemian-gypsy skirt and mildewed hemp shirt.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
A is for age: 40
B is for burger of choice: Fuddruckers is alright, so is Back Yard Burgers
C is for what kind of car you drive: GMC Yukon XL (and when it is completely filled with gasoline, I am behind the wheel of a weapon of mass destruction!)
D is for your dog's name: no longer had a dog, but used to.... her name was Beanie (short for Beatrice)
E is for essential item you use everyday: hair dryer (otherwise my hair is quite flat)
F is for favorite TV show at the moment: n/a Although I am looking forward to the return of 24 as well as the next season of Criminal Minds (even though I don't like it as well without Mandy Patinkin)
G is for favorite game: football; to play: Balderdash, Pictionary
H is for Home State: born in AL, grew up in NC, now call Jawja home
I is for instruments you play: Catholic mother guilt
J is for favorite juice: orange juice if I have eggs to go along with it, otherwise, cran-grape
K is for whose butt you'd like to kick: why can't K be something different? In fact, how about Kisses... as in Hersheys
L is for last restaurant at which you ate: Ryan's
M is for your favorite Muppet: does it have to be from the actual Muppet show? If so, I like Professor Honeydew's assistant, Beaker
N is for the number of piercings: ears only
O is for overnight hospital stays: five (as in when I had the kids)
P is for people you are with today: see "O" as well as King and a friend who rescued me from the tire place (and also hurt her ankle after a fall which was caused by my putting her name in my blog after she asked me not to)
Q is for what you do with your quiet time: if it is quiet, I am usually nodding off
R is for biggest regret: not being more physically active as a teen
S is for status: married 16 years
T is for time you woke up today: 6:15 then got out of bed at 6:30
U is for what you consider unique about yourself: quirky sense of humor (I think in Far Side cartoons)
V is for vegetable you love: I have a current love affair with eggplant
W is for worst habit: the need to be right
X is for x-rays you've had: got one on my hand when I sewed through my finger with the sewing machine and then jerked back after it went in... needed to make sure there was no part of the needle still in there.
Y is for yummy food you ate today: #2 made me a very delicious omelette this morning, that sweet boy!
Z is for zodiac sign: Libra