Friday, April 30, 2010


In a strange turn of events -- okay, it's movie night at school . . . for a cool $50 both my kids can go back to school and watch a movie in their same classrooms with the same classmates and teachers they see everyday.  To say I didn't see the allure is an understatement, but feeling like we can't say no to everything AND knowing the money goes to a good cause, I said yes.

And now I say:  Yipppeeeee!

Because it just occurred to me that my husband and I will be having dinner alone tonight for the first time in ages.

It's a beautiful night.

Steaks on the grill . . .

Potatoes, too.

And mushrooms.

A little wine . . .

And time to eat . . .

And no one to warn.

And . . .

Gotta go!

Get your minds out of the gutter, we have to pick them up at 7:00!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Photo Tag

My pal, Mumsy, over at Raw Thoughts and Feelings has tagged me in the very popular photo tag that has been going around lately.

This is amazingly generous and kind of her since she knows I am not a photographer by any means.  If you want to see beautiful photos, visit her blog.  If you want to feel better about your picture-taking abilities, stay right here.

As I've watched this tag move through the blogs I follow, I have been amazed at the beautiful photos people have just languishing in their computer files.

Mine is not beautiful.  At least not to the distinguishing photographer or photography enthusiast.  But it is beautiful to me.

It's a picture I snapped as my precious little boy crossed the street all by himself for the very first time.

10th photo in 1st file

He was so excited and so proud of himself.

And I was proud of him, too, but I couldn't help thinking about my grandmother's axiom, "Every step they take is a step away from you."


As far as tagging anyone else, I believe almost everyone I know who would be certain to do this sort of thing has already done it, so I will not tag anyone directly, but if you would like to join in and have not yet been tagged, please add your link in the comments or email me and I will list your blog here.

Thanks, again, Mumsy. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Home Again

Sometimes I marvel at the effects of the internet on our lives today.  Sometimes, in my darker moments, I question whether the relationships we make on the internet are as real as we believe.  Events in my life over the past few weeks have removed that doubt and shown me that cyber-friendships can be as real as those in the flesh.

Thank you all for the kindness and support shared in your comments to my last post.  I was away from home and reeling.  I logged on here and posted what was in my heart, and you didn't let me down and responded.  And I realized I wasn't as far away from home as I thought.

As I said in the last post, my parents' rejection shakes me to my core.  As much as I reject their concept of me, part of me cannot shake it completely, and it remains as my own doubt about my character, my heart, and my worth.

When you stepped up with understanding and reassurance and even shared some of your own painful experiences, it meant the world to me.

I'm back home now.  Both with my cyber-friends and my real family.  And I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Do you have anyone in your life whom you constantly seem to disappoint?

Someone whom you love, but are filled with anxiety and uncertainty around? 

Someone who is supposed to love you and claim they do, but they reject you at the slightest provocation?

Someone who can rock you to your core when you feel the weight of their true feelings about you?

It sears my soul to say that, for me, these people are my parents. 
I love them. I do. And I'm sure they would say the same about me. But . . .

My parents are complicated people, as am I. It just appears that we are not compatible. They find hurt in so many things I do and say and, honestly, I'm not sure why. I'm not a mean person.  They see such uglines in things that I do innocently or absent mindedly. They seem to see and revel in the very worst of me, which is certainly present, to be sure.

It has been the biggest struggle of my life, my relationship with my parents. How can it be that I don't recognize the reflection of myself that I see in my parents' eyes? Can they really be that wrong about me?

Aren't parents genetically engineered to see the best in their children? 

Perhaps I am the mean and difficult and nasty person they believe I am. Is that possible? Might I be that person without knowing it?  Is it that no one else sees the real me? Or is afraid to be honest with me?

When you have difficulties on such a deep level with your parents, it blurs your self identity. It makes you question who you are right down to your soul. It makes you distrust yourself in all things.

I'm 40 years old now. I have my own family to focus on; my children to raise. It's time I stand in my own shoes and know who I am. And I do.

Until I mix my parents . . . and then the earth seems to shift beneath my feet . . .

and nothing is sound.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I'm Leavin' . . .

 So I'm going on a little trip this weekend.

Would you believe I haven't been on a plane in 5 years?

When did I get so boring?

Actually, I'm not boring. Ido lots of things. And travel. By car.  Kids and pets will do that to you.  But this weekend, I'm going all by myself . . . like a big girl.  On a jet plane.

And I don't mind telling you, I'm a little nervous.

How is it, the older I get, the more of a baby I become?  

I really hope I don't grab the hand of who ever is next to me and squeeze it for dear life as is my usual ritual upon takeoff. My husband never minds.

So . . . you're rid of me for a couple of days.

I'll be back next week to see what you're all up to.

Until then . . . whatever you do . . . don't talk about me.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

More Good News

My friend had her surgery yesterday.

All tumors were removed in the shortest time in the range estimated.

Prognosis is good.

Recovery, long.

I think that's a deal she will be happy to make.

Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers.  This is the best possible outcome, so I firmly believe they helped.

Have a happy, healthy day.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

And The Clucks Have It!


Chickens remain legal in my city!

It was a beautiful thing to watch. It was a unanimous decision. All five council members spoke and once they had finished, our argument had been reiterated and agreed with in total and our petty neighbors had been scolded.

The defeated neighbor left the meeting room in a huff before he could congratulate us.


Thanks to all who lent their support along the way.  It certainly helped propel us.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Chicken Fight: Final Round

Well, tonight's the night . . . but not in the way Rod Stewart meant.

Tonight is the night the City Council will debate and vote on the proposed chicken ban in our city. 

All letters have been filed.

Petitions have been foraged.  (okay, maybe not foraged, but I suspect the signors are not real)

Pleas have been made.

I have to tell you. . . we have really debated even going.  I don't know how much longer I can be nice and sit there and stand in line to pretend to beg humbly to do what I want on my own darned property. 

It is not against the law.

It is not hurting anyone.   

And who are these five people who may decide that it is anyway?! 

I feel a Norma Ray moment coming on if they don't knock it off soon.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Thank You, Marydon

 Friends are like rainbows, they're
bright, beautiful, and you feel
a smile when they appear.

Yesterday, my new friend, Marydon at Blushing Rose gathered bloggers in our area for a lovely luncheon and gathering.  I felt so spoiled by her gracious hostessing -- tea, china, beautiful surroundings, and wonderful company.  I met some extraordinary women whom I look forward to getting to know better.  What an extraordinary gift. 

(More details to follow once I get my pictures loaded.)

But I could not delay in saying . . . Thank you, Marydon.

Friday, April 16, 2010

All Complaints Heard Here

My posts this week have been weak, I know.  I have been struggling for much good to expand on.  Not to say that there is no good, but I can't seem to get it to take up as much space in my mind as all my gripes.

So I address my post today to the complaint department.  Feel free to add.  Once they have all been compiled, I will print them out and flush them down the toilet . . . that is where most complaints end up, isn't it?

1.  I bought the paint weeks ago.  I gathered the supplies.  They have been sitting in the mudroom all this time . . . why has the mudroom still not painted itself?

2.  Why is my littlest chicken the loudest, and why does she sound like a seagull?  I think she knows it irritates the already irritated neighbors, which I can respect, actually.

3.  How am I supposed to feel about the kid I have been chauffeuring to school and back all week, the one who put the hole in my kitchen wall, the one who slapped my son at school yesterday?  I know he is worried about his mother, but still??

4.  Why are my parents so weird?  No.  Seriously.

5.  Why can't my husband read my mind?  I suspect he can, but chooses not to.   

6.  And why did Boston Rob get voted off Survivor so early?

7.  Why is the nature camp I wanted to sign my son up for this summer already booked?  No one seems to know what they're doing tomorrow, so how did this one week in July fill up so fast?

8.  How is it my kids are growing up so fast?  What happened to those toddler days and why can't I have a do-over?

9.  Why are they always out of the raspberry white tea I like at the grocery store?

10.  And why do I have to carry all these annoying little cards on my key chain in order to get a fair price at grocery stores now?  Doesn't the fact that I took the time to visit their establishment count for anything anymore?

11.  Why can't the post office give people packing tape if they need it?  Honestly.  Do you ever leave the post office without muttering under your breath?

12.  What is that mark on the wall in my kitchen and how did it get up so high?

13.  Why do my dogs insist on eating birdseed?

14.  And how do I keep my little dog from ransacking the grill in order to lick the grease tray?

15.  Why do people call my cell phone if my home phone is busy?

16.  Why are greeting cards so expensive, and why is it required that we send them?

17.  Why, when I turn the heat on in the van, does the a/c come on and why must I run said a/c in order for the heat to work in the back?  Do you know how terrible this is?

18.  Who puts all this stuff all over my house, and when are they going to pick it up?

19.  Why is my son always out of socks, but there are never any in the laundry?

20.  Why am I stuck in this rut and so weighed down by small things lately?

Alright, that about covers it . . . most of it, anyway . . .

What did I miss?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Knit Spring

I'm really in no better mood than I was yesterday, so I will take mercy upon you all and divert attention away from myself.

I have such a fun knitting project for you!

Look at this sweet thing:

And this:

These are knit!  Felted nests.  Does it get any better?

It is a free pattern available at the designer's blog (I love this name):  After I Finish This Row . . . .  She is a wonderfully creative woman who needs to be encouraged to keep her blog current.  (That means:  she doesn't post often enough for me!)

I have made several of these nests, and it is so much fun.  (I have no pictures because of other issues that I will spare you from for the moment.)  I bought one skein of feltable brown wool and then poured all my scraps into a bowl.  (I keep them in a coffee can all year and then put them out for the birds during nest-building season.)  Always knit with the brown, but grab spare scraps and remnants and knit them in here and there as you go along.  It is so addicting and fun!  (When I get my camera downloading abilities back, I will regale you with photos of all my creations so far.)  I've even made one for my little Lester.  She has no idea what to make of it because it looks nothing like a typical, pitiful mourning dove's nest -- but nothing but the best for my girl!

  You don't know about my Lester?  Click here.

I've been having so much fun, honing my dpn skills, and using up some of those newly-useful scraps.  So pop on over to After I Finish This Row if you're interested.  

You're welcome!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


So I'm watching some classmates of my son's this afternoon.

They are a raucous couple, by my standards anyway.

I've had to put away a little noise maker that usually hangs on my refrigerator because one would not stop activating it and then running around the house until it stops.

The other let the dogs in when I didn't want him to.

Then I heard what I thought was the house falling in while I was out of the kitchen. I come in to see a chair over turned, one kid on the floor, and a hole in the wall. !!! My care and concern wore off quite quickly when he refused to answer me or let me help him up and then laughed when I pointed out the whole in the drywall.

And they've only been here a half an hour!



They've gone now, but not before trying to make one of our chickens jump off the roof of the coop, throwing tennis balls into my son's pond, and (accidentally) kicking the dogs' water bowl over in the kitchen. 

I ended up yelling and forcing them to sit on the couch and watch Bewitched reruns.  That'll teach 'em! 

And I'm signed up to do this all week!! 

They're staying at the school aftercare program until it's time to take them home tomorrow.  That's crazy.

Sure makes my kids look pretty good . . . for today, anyway.

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

People place candles and lay flowers in front of the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, Poland, Saturday, April 10, 2010, as news broke out about Polish President's Lech Kaczynski death. Polish presidential plane with Kaczynski and wife on board crashed near the airport in Smolensk, western Russia, early morning Saturday, killing all passengers.
AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski

Former Polish President Lech Walesa reacts during a Mass dedicated to the victims of the presidential plane crash in Gdansk, Poland, Sunday, April 11, 2010.
AP Photo/Krzysztof Mystkowski

A man's reaction is reflected in a glass covering the photo of the late Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria that was displayed at the Poland Consulate in St. Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, April 11, 2010. The sign under the photo informs about a week of official mourning declared in Poland. Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife and some of the country's most prominent military and civilian leaders died Saturday along with dozens of others when the presidential plane crashed as it came in for a landing in thick fog near Smolensk in western Russia.
AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sunshine and Darkness

Well, as you can see, I survived the water park.  Despite water being definitely not my thing, nothing makes me happier than watching my son have fun . . . so a good time was had by all.

I received this lovely Sunshine Award from Donna at Brywood Needleworks.  She is a very talented woman with a sassy side, and I really enjoy her blog. 

I really want to thank Donna for this award because it comes at such a special time.   

It is a dark, gray day around my neighborhood -- inside and out. 

My friend was supposed to be in surgery today, having those brain tumors removed. 

Yesterday, the surgeon cancelled her surgery due to his own family emergency.  What it takes for a surgeon to cancel such a critical surgery, I surely don't know, but it must be something terrible.  The surgery has been postponed a week.

Last night, she had another stroke.  She is struggling more by the day.

If you're the praying kind, or a vibe-sending kind, or a positive thought-er . . . please do your thing.  Her name is Jacqueline. 


Friday, April 9, 2010

Spring Brakes

When you're a parent, you do things for your children.


Whatever they need, you do. You're a parent.

Me, I'm a mom.

I would lay down my life for my children.

You know I would.

There is no sacrifice too large for my children.

I have been pregnant. I've watched my feet swell beyond my own recognition. I went months without eating any salt. (Oh, yeah? Try it for, like, 4 hours.) I endured hours of labor only to submit to a c-section in the end.

There were sleepless nights of rocking and lullabying, and kicking and flailing (no, not me).

There are the adventures with food. Things they like, things they don't and whatever ramifications thereafter flow.

I don't think I have to mention the soiled diapers . . . and pants . . . and socks . . .

There are the nightmares.

And the first days of school.

The fevers. The scrapes and bumps. The stitches.

Hours spent watching shows starring purple dinosaurs, green grouches, and animated rabbits

And round-the-clock, on-demand psycho-therapy regarding the delusion of monsters existing under the bed.

But all those pale in comparison to what I am being asked to endure today.



This may be it for me today.

As you may know, it is spring break in our little kingdom. We did the usual things, Easter, picnic, playground, shopping, cleaning rooms (yes, it's not all beer & skittles, even when you're 9).

But we planned something special for these last few days of spring break.

A water park.

Not just any waterpark.

Great Wolf Lodge.

If you're not familiar with Great Wolf Lodge, allow me to elaborate:

Indoor waterpark.

Six story water slide.

Wave pools.

Splash mountain.

And much, much more.

That's right? Who needs sleep? Who needs food? When you can just swim and splash and swim some more.

I watched with horror as my son pulled a robe that caused a pail to overturn and dump water onto an unsuspecting boy on the level beneath him.

I sat forward, ready to jump up and save my son from the certain pummeling he richly deserved.

But the unsuspecting victim just wiped the water from his eyes, laughed, and went on his way.


Surely, they are not my kind.

This is my kind:

I hate the water.

I don't like water on my face.

I get mad.

My maiden voyage on an innertube in the wading pool ended with me grabbing for my husband and screaming (between gulps of water), "Help me! I hate you! HELP ME!!"

I got water up my nose and, obviously, on my face.

(Think back to yesterday. Remember that weird little moment in the afternoon when the sun was suddenly covered over by a black cloud and a strong, mean breeze blew through? Yah, t'was me.)

I have a new strategy today.

You. See how you're protecting me? Here I sit with my cherry mocha from the in-house Starbucks, still in my pajamas.

Nice and dry.

The kids and my husband have already gone ahead to the waterpark.

Interestingly, no one implored me quite as passionately to join them this morning.

Too bad.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Spring Time in Washington, D.C.  Cherry Blossom Peak Bloom.

Monday, April 5, 2010

7 Things You Don't Know About Me

That wonderful Penny at The Hen House gave me this lovely award. She is a delight, and it would do you good to go visit her blog, if you haven't before.

Now then, with this award comes the duty to tell you 7 things about myself that you don't already know.

Here goes:

1.  I worked part of one summer as a carnie ("carnival worker" for you more refined types) . . . even ran the ferris wheel myself a couple of times.  That requires more thinking than you would think as ferris wheels must be balanced correctly to run smoothly and safely.  The ferris wheel operator guestimates each rider's weight as they board.     

 2.  I took piano lessons for 10 years, beginning when I was a child.  When I moved out on my own, there wasn't a piano, and I didn't play for 10 years.  Since acquiring my own piano again, I have only played twice in 12 years.  Silly, I know, and must be changed.

3.  When the accompanying tune is played at a baseball game, I yell "Charge!!!" louder than anyone near me, usually causing people to look my way.  I consider it an homage to my father who always sat on the first-base side and taught us to cheer for our team with all our hearts.

4.  I hate beets.  No changing my mind.

5.  I once held Vic Damone's hand.  Nevermind that I was 9 and my grandmother was pushing me up to the front of the stage through hoards of little old ladies with their hands weakly extended.  And that I had no idea who he was at the time.

6.  I moved out the minute I graduated from high school.  I put myself through undergraduate school while I worked full time . . . it took me 7 years.  By the time I went to law school, my husband and I were a team, still have the law school loan scars, though.   

7.  I have a fear of water and never did learn to swim.  Every childhood summer of mine was ruined by the swimming lessons my mother forced me to take to no avail..  To this day, the smell of the chlorine in an indoor pool turns my stomach.

 (not me)

So there you have it.   

My thanks, again, to Penny

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