Sunday, August 29, 2010
More than a couple of years ago, I was heading to friend's house for Thanksgiving dessert with his family. Mom, always the cheerful pie baker, was excited to bake a couple of extra pies for my brothers and myself to take to our friends' celebrations.( I could probably write a couple of blogs about the bad words I learned from dear mom when she was making her homemade pie crusts, but I'll save that for another day.) Anyway, as we slowly heaved our stuffed selves into the cars and got ready to head out in our different directions to continue with our holiday festivities, Mom bestowed each of us with a warm pumpkin pie. Mmmmm.... the smell of pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves drifted around our heads and filled the car. The aroma alone was almost enough to make us forget that we were all more than satisfied with the turkey and stuffing and gravy and potatoes that we had just savored. Mom and Dad gave hugs and kisses and wished us all Happy Thanksgiving, and turned to walk back into the house out of the chilled November air. As we all said our goodbyes and started the cars, Mom came sprinting out to alert us that there was a small issue.
As she was walking back into the house, she'd realized she was missing one of her fake nails. Thinking back she could remember having all 10 up until the point of the pie making. Oh, there shouldn't be a problem...the nail probably didn't melt so could we (whoever was the lucky finder's keepers of this treasure) possibly bring it back to her when it was found?
Silly smiles glued to each of our faces, while we actually tried to reason out what the hell she just said to us, we agreed to return her lost...nail. Glad to hear that there would soon be a happy reunion for her fingernail and it's missing adornment, she scurried back inside the warm house.
My brothers and I looked across the driveway to each other..then to our friends and then slowly we started our separate drives to our different destinations, thankful for friends and family, thankful for the meal we just shared but mostly, thankful for mom's warning and the dumpster found behind the corner convenience store.
I had someone ask me recently if I am ready for this change in our living arrangements. How will family dinners be? Will I miss them? How to answer this? After watching my babies grow into these beautiful young ladies, seeing them each morning upon their awakening and making sure that they were nurtured and nourished physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally each day, will I be, when it's time, be able to let them go?
Of course I will miss them and family dinners? They will be smaller and a teensy bit quieter for sure. But seriously, to my beautiful girls all I can say is: "Buh-Bye Now! Go! Have fun! Learn lots! Don't throw sand! Go have great adventures and come back and tell us about them". After all, isn't this what is supposed to happen? I've been under the impression that our job was to raise them up the best we could, instilling good values, an excellent work ethic, respect for themselves and others and then send them out into this world to do what they will.
My dear friend Skittles is having a hard time letting her two oldest boys go off. Skittles, if you are reading this....JUST BREATHE, Baby! It's all good. You've given the best you could and now you have to have faith. You have to trust in you that you and that dear hubby of yours did a great job and life is meant to be lived. In the mean time, come on down here and hang with me and we'll reminisce about when the kiddos were little back in St. Albans when we would pick strawberries, play in your great big yard and eat your home grown peas and go down to the lake.
P.S. I have put aside change for years to make sure we have bail money for the kids should they need it and if they don't...I am sure we can make good use of that money. (Call me!)
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Well, the good news is that once the girls are in school, the two oldest at college in Boston, there will be much less dinner being made and therefore, much less extra that has to be disposed of, eaten by me. Not wanting to be wasteful, I am in fact being waist-full....and hip-full and butt-full.
Also, I will be spending lots of time at the Y. I love those machines. I love the ones in particular that want my whole history and all of my information to let me know that I will be burning around 500 calories per hour...I just have to enter a couple of little facts about ME. My age...my ...ahem...weight.....blood type, credit card number...mother's maiden name...favorite song....astrological sign. Once all this information is entered in....I just have to GO FOR IT!
At the rate I am going, burning 500 calories per hour....I will only have to do this for, let's do the math....70,000 calories....about 140 hours. Each week has 168 hours of which I should be trying to sleep at least 56 hours. This leaves me with 112 hours a week that I need to fit in my motherly duties, homemaker duties, wifely duties, and those miscellaneous odd jobs that happen to just "pop" up here and there. So if conservatively we say I devote....7 hours a day, 7 days a week to being the mom, wife, homemaker, lawn care specialist, chief cook and bottle washer, that leaves me with approximately about 63 hours free to do miscellaneous things like work out, shower, read, visit with friends. It seems reasonable that if I have 63 free hours in a week, 9 hours 7 days a week, I should be able to find the time to go to the gym and get myself in shape. In fact, if I were to multi-task, say, reading WHILE working out, or visiting with friends at the gym.....I should be able to shrink myself to a smaller version of me in about just over two weeks. That's not including if I actually, dare I say it? DIET?! The possibilities are endless....
Ok, nice dream... but how about going back to the cozy place I like to call REALITY. What is more likely to happen is I will walk with my girlfriends each morning for about an hour and ten minutes (about 5 miles) and then I will go to the Y and devote a couple of hours to the amazing machines they have...So, now we are looking at realistically about 3 hours a day, probably 5 days a week. This changes the equation altogether..I believe now I am looking at sometime next Spring to be down to my initial goal weight. That sounds good to me.
I think I'll go eat a donut while I work out the exact figures.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Bringing her prize home, setting it a shelf in plain sight, she was really getting excited at the promised "golden bronze" she would become. (I should explain here that my good friend Skittles, is not one to move hastily. She is the type of person, content on making the plan and thinking about the outcome but not so anxious to execute said plan.) Anticipation was building and her healthily tanned vision of herself became almost too much to bear until one night, when her dear hubby was working late, she decided it was time. Oh no, not the time to fully commit to the creamy lotion completely covering her body...just the time to do a spot check and see if there was an allergic reaction. No big deal, right?
With kids upstairs asleep, music rocking her house, and White Russian in hand, she carefully read the label and opened the bottle. Taking just a whiff, it smelled nice, like oranges and honeysuckle. Phone rings. She set her prize down and goes to answer to find that hubby is going to be just a tad later than he first thought but please stay up for him. Of course, she will stay up for her fella and off to the kitchen she went making another stronger White Russian since the first one tasted so good and went down so smoothly. (It is here that I should mention Skittles is not much of a drinker.)
Off goes the radio and on goes UMFC (Underwear Models Fight Club) with all of these male underwear models fighting other underwear models over whose britches are the best. Enjoying the show, my dear friend finished the second drink of as easily as the first. Funny how a little adult beverage can boost one's "confidence". Skittles went over to the lotion and started to apply a little bit here and then a little bit there....Oh what the hell! She sat down and rubbed it all over both of her legs, her arms up to her neck and finally her face. Excited to see the results she ran upstairs to check herself out. Maybe it was the lighting but she didn't see any healthy glow. All that money and NOTHING? Harumph!
Back downstairs making a record third WR, she considered the product and how she had applied it. Perhaps she needed to start with her face then neck and arms and finish at her legs..maybe that was what would make the difference. Between sips of her cocktail, she started to apply the lotion in the reverse order of how she had done it before until at last she was satisfied that she had covered all the same areas even better, more thoroughly than the first time. She got caught up in one of those late night infomercials and sat mesmerized until she heard the car door outside alerting her to dearest hubby's return. After an appropriate amount of smooching her sweetheart and concocting a beverage for him, she resumed her position on the couch to see how the paid television promotion turned out. Would all of the food that was placed in the "Super-Duper Baker, Griller, Steamer, Rotisserie Combo" really be cooked in 15 seconds and be able to feed 8 people? How could she walk away from this? She had to know and finally the high-speed host and highly medicated side kick were happy to announce to the viewing audience (as well as the people who were paid to be in the studio and look ridiculously thrilled) the results: Yes, this "Super-Duper Baker, Griller, Steamer, Rotisserie Combo" could really make a full 3 course meal for 8 in 15 seconds! Phew, the suspense had been killing her.
Now that sweet hubby of hers had finished a snack and noticed.... the open bottle of beauty on the kitchen table. As he walked over to his dear one and handed it to her, Skittles realized that she was going to reapply and had gotten side tracked. Or had she already reapplied and just forgotten to put the lid on. Oh well, no matter, she just started reapplying from legs up. Which of course, dear man that he is, hubby saw as an erotic and yet subtle invitation to go "upstairs". And so they did.
At about 9 am the next morning I received a telephone call from Skittles. Seems that there were a couple of life lessons she wanted to share with me. The first being she is not a drinker....what was she thinking having more than one beverage? It is now my job as Skittles friend to remind her that being bored is not the same as being..thirsty. The second tidbit of knowledge she wanted to share was that when self tanning lotion is applied, it goes on with no color at all, making it very important to apply carefully so as not to leave stripes. Just saying... Thirdly, she wanted to let me know that yes, it is important to dress for the self tanning occasion. And then lastly, and most importantly, when applying this type of lotion, remember to wash hands after application so as not to have stained hands.
The visual she gave me was priceless and thankfully for her, she had no pressing plans for the following week. Although Skittles had done her homework and bought an excellent product, she had NOT washed her hands and so they were a dark bronze-y color. Oh don't worry, no one would even notice her hands as they would be much to busy looking at the rest of her. Note: It is not a good idea to wear short sleeves, a watch, long shorts and crew socks when applying this type of product, especially if your goal was to look like you achieved this healthy glow naturally. I suppose because of her relaxed attitude and overzealous application the lines between pale and bronze were indeed well defined.
Like I said, it's a good thing she didn't have plans.
My friend Skittles is a multi-tasker....she has to be since she is a mother of three boys. This day was no different than any other. It started off with Skittles running in different directions getting her sons off to school, helping her husband get ready for work and looking after their pets, all before going to the dentist and running numerous errands around her small Vermont town of Rutland.
In between the boys, the pets, the hubby, she also managed to get a shower, shave her legs, paint her nails and bleach her upper lip. Looking at the time, she realized she needed to run out just then to make it to her dentist appointment on time. She rinsed off her face, put her big fluffy hair in the pony tail and wooosh! out the door she ran.
Dressed in her signature outfit consisting of a white wife beater, jean overalls with one strap hanging down, work boots and reflective aviator glasses, she called her "cop" shades, she made it for her cleaning just in time. After finishing up at the dentists' office, she proceeded with her errands. Walking through her little town making it to the post office, the bank, the pharmacy, the grocery store she soaked up the admiring looks she knew she was getting from others as they too addressed their duties for the day. People seemed attentive and extra friendly offering smiles as she passed them by. Catching a brief glance of her store front window reflection, she knew she still had "it". She was all that and a bag of chips and was more than happy to strut her stuff. Off she went to get herself a bite before driving home to meet the kids as they got home from school. With music blaring and her voice matching it note for note, she titled her mirror down to check herself out one last time as she pulled into the driveway.
This is when she called me. Seems she had misplaced the little plastic utensils that come with the facial bleach and had instead used a knife and bread plate. The chemicals had reacted with the stainless steel knife and had left Skittles with a nice, dark, black line over her lip she had intended to bleach.
It's at this point that she was calling me to find out what to do to get this black mark off of her. She relayed the story to me and recalled in hindsight the "admiring looks" now realizing that they were curious stares.
When we stopped laughing (and crying) long enough, I promised to call some salons and find a solution to her immediate dilemma. Unfortunately for Skittles, the collective response from the professionals I called, besides the disbelief and unbridled laughter, was that my dear friend would have to live with her new beauty mark until the day came that it would eventually wear off.
It was hard to tell her the bad news but I felt confident that she would feel better knowing that she surely couldn't be the only 5-foot nothing, fluffy-blonde haired, wife-beater-jean-overall wearing woman walking the fine streets of Rutland and that surely no one would know it was her behind those shades.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Dear (fill in the blank with daughter's name),
Dad and I have been thinking and talking a lot about the current situation with you and (name of the good-for-nothing-boy your darling daughter who has mistakenly fallen under the spell of). While we trust you, the reason we bring certain subjects up is because we love you and want the best for you and would rather risk getting you angry by asking you certain things…then not asking and having your life affected by something big…We want you to think before you act. We are concerned because we see you cuddling most of the time that you are together. We were young once and realize how young love is but you two always seem to be off by yourselves….Most of the time what we see is you in his lap, him in your lap..or both under an afghan on the couch, and while we appreciate how great that is..there is so much more to a healthy relationship than just canoodling. You have told him you don’t want to have sex…..and yet he pushes…so Dad respectfully spoke to him, after seeing him in your room at 2 am in the morning (which made dad very uncomfortable in his own home), and he then lied to your dad about the sex…..he said “You have nothing to worry about (Mr.Man this little stupid man/boy should be VERY afraid of)”. Dad treated(name of the good-for-nothing-boy..well, you know the rest...) with respect and like a man and (good-for-nothing-boy) looked square in dad’s face and lied….
We realize that no matter what we say it is entirely up to you to live your life and choose your path. We can not and will not tell you who to see, like or love. It is our job to simply help guide you to making good and sound decisions. We are not asking that you do not see (good-for-nothing-boy)..we are asking that you be smart.
That being said, I will be making an appointment for you to go to the doctor and get your self on birth control pills. It’s not a matter of trust anymore. It’s a matter of protecting ourselves and you. You, your father and I have worked too hard to get you to the place that you are at, to risk losing your opportunity to go to college and further your education. Again, it’s not that we don’t trust you, we simply realize how the rush of emotions can sweep you away and we think it better you be safe than sorry. We can discuss when would be convenient for you…
Also, there will be no more snuggling in your room together or upstairs in the attic anymore. We have been accomodating by allowing you and (good-for-nothing-boy) full and free access to the attic, when that space was specifically designed and given to all of our children. We feel that not only is it disrespectful for you to carry on this way in our home, but your responses to our trying to engage in adult conversation with you has been hostile or flip.
Also, while we agree with (good-for-nothing-boy) that spending time with you is worth so much more than $8 an hr, we also feel that in the real world, you two will not be able to spend all of your time together, because unfortunately, that won’t pay the bills. If you are fine working and supporting him that’s fine, but he will not be sitting around here while you do so.
The fact that he didn’t think twice before disrespecting “stay at home” moms, knowing that your mom is a stay at home mom, doesn’t bode well. It is partially because I am a stay at home, that he is so comfortable when he comes to visit. We don’t respect a “stay at our home boyfriend” especially when he chooses to simply hang, or run out and grab a sandwich for himself, while you are working. We feel that we have been incredibly generous in opening both of our homes to (good-for-nothing-boy), including him at our meals, our holidays and almost every weekend. We have taken him out along with us and treated him as family. We have tried to help keep him warm and offered him not only new boots, pjs, socks…but let him borrow your dads things as well. We’ve allowed him to stay to the point where he surely has gotten used to these niceties and has perhaps misunderstood our intentions. While he is pleasant enough, he does not contribute to our family or our quality of life. We are glad that he makes you happy and for that reason, he can visit. But knowing now that he does not respect either your father or me, it is no longer acceptable that he lingers here while you work. From now on, on the days you have to work, he has to go home.
You give him gas money so he can come down and now you have to drive up there….. he doesn’t give a thought to what happens should you break down on the side of the road. We feel that he knew getting into this relationship where we lived. He has chosen to drive down. It’s a shame he doesn’t think it’s fair that he does all the driving…your dad and I think it’s more than fair given how he’s been treated while here. While I am not comfortable with you making the drive, I am not saying you cannot make it but you do need figure out how to pay a portion of the car insurance (trailblazer cost is $989) before you will be able to drive up to (some God forsaken po-dunk town in the middle of NOWHERE).
He wants you to change…..wear these clothes, do you hair this way, don’t talk to, or text, these friends…drive up….what about him loving you exactly as you are, as your dad and I do. What about him digging what he sees when he looks at you instead of trying to alter that image.
He’s trying to get you to do things that you that will only get you into trouble. In essence you are saying to your dad and I that you are willing to throw “our” relationship to the dogs for your relationship with (good-for-nothing-boy). For the record, we have not nor will we ever try to get you to do something that is not good for you. In fact, the opposite is true..we have invested our time, our love, our energy and yes, a lot of financial resources to see to it that you have a world of opportunities to choose from.
Again, we are not asking that you do not see (good-for-nothing-boy). We are simply asking to be treated with the same consideration, decency and respect that we have treated both you and (good-for-nothing-boy) with. If he makes you happy, we are glad and we will continue to be cordial. We will not, however, stand by and make it easy to have your life complicated.
Mom and Dad
P.S. Dad bought a gun....just thought you should know...
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
I am not a writer.
I am a wife.
I am a mom.
I am a soccer coach, a CCD teacher, a substitute, a foster mother, a surrogate mother to a Dutch exchange student, a driving instructor, a home ec teacher, a medical advocate, a chaperone, a chaffeur, a therapist, a nurse.
I am the lady in line at the supermarket who had brought one cart to the cashier and is leaving with two. Oh and by the way, I am using all of those coupons...sorry for the delay and thank you for your patience.
I am the wanna be vegan, sometime vegetarian, closet corned beef and bbq ribs fanatic.
I am the silly woman who walks around in her pjs, coffee in hand, talking to her flowers and the birds and bugs that inhabit her gardens.
I am the lady who somewhere must have some Italian in me because I feel the need to cook for and feed all I meet,("Mangiare, mangiare più"), including all strays - animals or human that wander into my world.
I am the girlfriend who would rather help than ask for help and has on occasion been a know-it-all (I know, you didn't tell me in so many words but I know...) and has expressed my solicited/unsolicited opinion/advice in a overly passionate display.
I know a lot of little things, a master of none but have a terrible memory. Most of my memories come from a scent, a taste, a song. Of course, the songs I remember best are not the hip ones my kids play over and over again but the songs from the 70's when I was a kid.
I dream of being a runner though I move like Fred Flintstone.
I would love to design and sew my own clothes, however, I am "needle & thread" challenged.
I am secretly (ok...maybe not so secretly) a Rockstar! In fact, I fancy myself a hard-ass like Pink with all of her soul and talent but of course, my memory issue has been a road block to my road to stardom.
I would love to have a vineyard and harvest the fruit that will fortify souls and complement meals, and toast weddings and anniversaries but I find I can't drink as I once could. I get a little too loud, a little too silly, ready to sing on the tables. How could I possibly become the winemaker I know I could be if I am unable sample my wares if I can't handle my wares? (Oh, I remember - you swirl, you sniff, you sip, you spit.)
I am an inspirational life coach with stories to move and motivate others who may need a little kick in the rumpus, unfortunately I haven't secured a slot on tv or my own radio spot.
I am sure that there are those out there who could come up with another dozen things I am, good, bad, or ugly. This is just the tip of the iceberg I call "Me".
I AM NOT A WRITER.
Monday, August 16, 2010
The lady wren toils making an intricate nest, with help from the poppa bird. As the daddy bird starts making a "dummy nest", the momma goes out to find a suitable neighborhood for the real nest. Once momma has selected a site, she starts construction sometimes using sticks from the "dummy nest" made by poppa. She finishes the nest quickly usually taking between 3-14 days. Small dry sticks are placed together to form a tall base 4-6" deep. Then mom makes the nest cup which is lined with grass, inner bark, hair, and finally feathers. Comfy, cozy and safe from predators, mom is ready to move on.
So the male wren takes the female wren out for a crazy night of woo-ing...good food, great company, maybe some music and a nice bottle of wine, and a little ...oh wait. (Sorry, that was me). Actually, they sing, their wings quiver when excited, and while woo-ing his gal with his special song, his tail is tilted upward. After this whirlwind courtship this momma wren is ready to set her alarm and wake very early in the morning to pass 1 egg per day up to 8 days. Now, this momma is a small bird and I can't imagine that passing eggs the size of a dime could be comfortable so it makes me wonder if any of the numerous songs she sings is actually a cry out in pain, a "Get this thing out of me!" tune.
With this fine home made, and the eggs laid, it is time for mom to settle in and sit. And sit. And sit in this tiny, albeit very well made nest, with no cable, no phone, no magazines. Oh sure, maybe she did have friends drop by but I never saw a visitor bearing a Bundt cake.
What is she thinking, I wonder? Is she planning their names? Do wrens even name their offspring and if they do, are they names like Nick and Mary or just chirps and sounds? Anyway, there she is consisting on a diet of spiders, beetles, caterpillars and other critters, until the day comes when these little eggs start to wriggle beneath her. A beak followed by 2 over-sized closed eyeballs on a tiny little body that is naked and pink and vulnerable. It's wings being hardly recognizable as something that will eventually make flight possible for this little fellow. Surely only a face a mother could love. The eggs tend to hatch one at a time, versus all at once, making it a "first come, first serve" situation as far as eating is concerned. I wonder how she keeps track since they all look the same to me. Sorry momma.
Both parents take turns feeding these little buggers. It takes about 18 days until their wing feathers are developed enough for flight (also known as fledging) and another 12 days or so to to be fully independent. Off they go, out into the great big world.
When, in this short span of time did she divulge the secrets of life? How did she get them to sit still and stop chirping long enough to listen to flight instructions? What about the ones who complained about the food, "I don't like my worms chewed so much" "Can't we have something other than spiders"? Did she put the naughty ones in the corner? Do nests even have corners?
In any event, ready or not, here they come. A new batch of bright-eyed house wrens flitting about, with little hops in between. The songs start up and the process starts again. At this point, mom may re-nest for another brood or 2. WHAT? Maybe she feels that since she hasn't gotten her figure back she might as well. Who knows? I feel exhausted just thinking about the "I'm not touching you"s she must have heard from all those little semi bald winged creatures she brought forth to this planet.
It is amazing to me that I don't walk around and see tiny little fuzzy wren carcasses strewn about, evidence of their not listening when mom was lecturing. I wonder if she and I were to talk what she would be able to share with me of her mothering skills. How to give life and then let it go off seemingly so easy? Do wrens love? Does it break her heart to see the little ones grow up? I bet it does but I think that she is a "tough love" kind of mom, knowing it's important to let her birdies fly. Even if it were to upset her at the thought of her young ones leaving, she'd never show it. Somehow, in a very short amount of time, nothing like the 18 years I've been given with each of my little birds, she has been able to instill in them what she thinks they need to know. She has given the tools for her babies to use out in the world. And then gently, she nudges each one of them up to the edge of the nest, tells them she loves them (I choose to believe they do love), to go off and have great adventures and then someday, come back and share them with her. Off they go, one by one until she is alone. She looks around at her empty nest and decides what to do next.