Sunday, January 31, 2010

You never know what you have til it's gone... or something REALLY close to that

The coffee pot is broken.

There's 8 inches of snow on the ground.

It's cold!

The coffee pot is broken!

Mr.Coffee is not my friend. If he were, he would not have stopped working for me on a cold, snowy day in January.

Apparently Mr. Coffee is a tempermental employee. He has only been working for me since Thanksgiving, when the previous Mr. Coffee quit.

That Mr. Coffee worked for me for just over a year. I was sad to see that Mr. Coffee go, but for a 14.99 one time paycheck to him, I thought a year wasn't too bad.

Especially with the high volume of work he was expected to perform. Coffee at the ready nearly 24/7.

The new Mr. Coffee evidently could not handle the stress of the job. Only 3 months into it and he quit. His heating element died.

I wonder if that is like a heart attack for a Mr. Coffee?

It's a good thing we only paid 9.99 for him.

Unlike the 400.00 Italian coffee/cappucino maker that I LOVED...
It only lasted 3 years and when I tried to get it fixed I found there are no repair shops within a 2 hour drive of my home.

Cafe' Duomo is sitting, unused but not forgotten, in the basement.

And I am making coffee the hard way.
Grounds into the basket.
Boiling water PAINSTAKINGLY poured over the grounds to dribble ever so SLOWLY into the carafe.

Fingertips are now burned and scalded, but there is coffee. It's not the best coffee but....

It's coffee and that's all that matters!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Because my daughter says I never write about her... Now I do

Today is Saturday.

In our house Saturday's used to mean getting up early to get the kids off to football or baseball or soccer games, followed by a day of rushing from one field to another, all over the county.

Now that fall sports are over Saturday has become a day of rest and relaxation.

Sleeping in and lounging in PJ's until... well whenever. After months of constant activity-filled weekends it seems almost sloth-like to sit on the sofa, with laptop in hand, watching The Weather Channel, while snow spirals to the ground outside our windows.

Of course there are activities and committments the kids have to their youth groups, but they do not have the urgency and high emotional investment that the wins and losses of sports hold.

For my grown daughter, Saturdays play an entirely different role.

For her they are a respite from the hectic Monday through Friday work week pace. Much earned days of rest to spend playing with FancyPants, her daughter and my granddaughter, now 7 months old.

As all GOOD moms know, staying home with your kids is not enough. Or so the media and other GOOD moms are more than happy to point out to new moms. Thus the creation of Gymboree and KinderMusic and such.

Because of this need to be THE BEST MOM and provide EVERYTHING for FancyPants, last Saturday was spent at Gymboree. Much laughing, playing and dancing ensued and both FancyPants and her mom had a wonderful time. This is all good. The aftermath, however, was not. FancyPants loved the music, the high-level activity and the other kids. So obviously, being the GOOD Mom that she is, my daughter wanted to find out how to make this a Saturday ritual.

The cost is, in my humble opinion, a bit much. For the cost of a week's groceries for their family of 3, they can have a monthly membership that gets 4 Saturday "Classes" and allows them to come to any and all OPEN GYM times.

Sounds great.

But, with both parents working full-time through the week, use of the OPEN GYM is not really an option. Times during the day while at work can't be used, and who wants to dash home, inhale dinner and rush out in the cold winter night to hit the open time with a kid who, more likely than not, will be looking for her bed about the time they get there?

Even knowing this, GoodMom, looked at the family budget to see where she could cut back to make room for the additional expense, and failing to find enough leeway, was left feeling guilty and like she is not the GoodMom that she really is.

FancyPants is crawling, standing, laughing, singing and reaching every milestone ahead of schedule. She is healthy and well-adjusted. She is beautiful- which she gets from my side since she looks exactly like her mother and her aunts.

In other words, SHE IS THRIVING!

Why then do these young parents feel guilt and pressure to persue these extracurricular activities?

Gymboree and KinderMusic and Karate for Kids are new enterprises. Whole generations have gone before, lived and survived without attending one single open gym or dance class.

For me the decision is simple, if you cannot afford it, you don't need it.

For GoodMom, it's not so black and white. If she cannot afford it, she feels that she is not being GoodMom. While sacrificing other things in the budget will make her feel like GoodMom again, it will make her anxious and stressed daily.

Which all of us OLD MOMS know will only make things worse.

I feel for GoodMom and FancyPants. I mean, who wouldn't want to spend Saturdays playing, laughing and singing...

But Wait!

They already do all of those things! They just do them in the privacy and warm comfort of their own home. On their own time. In their own way.

And honestly, these are the memories that FancyPants will carry with her... not of the Gym or the Music Class... but of the time spent with GoodMom.

Singing, Laughing and Loving... in their own special way, in their own special time.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why do I have to make dinner if I'M not even hungry? Oh yeah, I'm the Mom so it's my job...

Dinner. Supper. The Evening Meal.

What ever you call it, it's the most important meal of the day.

And do you know why?

It signals the end of the day. The time when homework and housework will soon be over. That time when baths and fresh jammies mean that BEDTIME is almost here!

Every parent longs for this time of day. The time that starts with dinner on the table and ends with a good night kiss and a hug and LIGHTS OUT!

Ahhhh. Dinner time. Supper time. Time for the Evening Meal.

Sounds like Heaven to me!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I'm Frumpy, Not Photogenic! The pictures say it all... and then some

I need a make over.
Not Want.

I live in sweats and cotton T's.
I love feeling comfortable and cozy on a cold winter day.
And, they hide a multitude of sins. Meaning the dimply thighs, love handles and flabby arms.

In my mind's eye I have a muscular athletic build.
Then I walk by a mirror, or see a photo taken without my permission (something that is expressly forbidden) and I think,' Who the Hell is that?'
And always it's when I THOUGHT I was looking pretty good.

NOPE! apparently I thought WRONG!


BTW- that's me in the orange top... awful. I. Know.

My sister once told me I always had such a great wardrobe, when I was thinner.
And she's right.

How do I know?

I still have those clothes hanging in my closet.
And they are exactly the way I see myself dressing.
(see the younger, thinner, hipper me in this pic?)

Except for this one little thing.
They're several sizes too small. And outdated. And most likley dry-rotted.

Bad hair, raggedy clothes, umpty-umm many pounds too many on the scale...


I NEED a makeover, BAD!

Stacey. Clinton. Jenny Craig? Anybody?


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

If I ignore my family, will they go away? Probably not... figures.

I look around me everyday.
What do I see?
I see my children, my husband, the things that make a house a home?

There are THINGS in my house and in my life that seem so important, but as time goes by I can't recall exactly why.

The china tea cup from one of my grandmothers; the bedroom set from the other. A scrap yarn afghan my husband has had for years; odd letters and report cards accumulated over the years for each of the kids.

Are these the sum of the whole? Are they the things that represent US?
Who we are?
Would we still be the people we are without all these things?

These are questions I find myself asking- well, my self- as I clear out the clutter of a lifetime. I think about the memories the things in our lives carry and how, in some cases, cannot be remembered without.

I have thrown out, and given away, more things than I can ever recall, and there are still many more to go.

But, in clearing out the clutter, I have also found many things that are more than just things. They are pieces of our family history, of the people gone but not ever forgotten.

These things I will keep and pass on to my children and grandchildren as they have been passed on to me.

To clutter up their lives... so one day they can sit in the middle of it all and feel the over-whelming responsibility from those who came before... and realize that they too can get out of dealing with it by passing it on!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I used to try really hard to be like Martha Stewart... then she went to jail

Simple Pleasures.... sounds like an adult toy store according to my husband.

To me it sounds like the little things that make life worth while.

Like being the only one up, early on a Saturday morning, to watch the sun rise in the cold, misty air.

Like having your son give you a hug goodnight, just because he felt like it.

Like the smell of freshly brewed coffee wafting into your bedroom just as you are waking.
(that one is an almost never for me, but sometimes, like when the sky is falling or an apocolypse is imminent, HeMan Hubby makes coffee for me)

Like the kids cleaning the bathroom when they are finished brushing their teeth (ok first they have to ACTUALLY brush their teeth but you get the gist)

Like the laundry finding it's way into the proper dressers and closets without intervention from me (again that almost never ever happens, but on the Once-In-a-Blue-Moon that it does... It's wonderful!)

Like having a family that loves one another and let's it show.... you know like when they play poker and only throw the pennies at each other because the quarters hurt too much. Or when they only swat each other on the back of the head when they REALLY mean it...

Those are some of my Simple Pleasures...

I'm not sure Martha Stewart would agree with me...

But as her Simple Pleasure is that she gets to wake everyday in her own home, instead of a jail cell...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Time in a bottle, All this time, Time is on your side... well, yeah if it's in a bottle it is! Sometimes music says it all


Where does it go? Where does it come from? Why is there never enough?

I have lived a life constantly being pulled in one direction or another...usually at the same time.
I cannot even begin to estimate the number of times when I was expected to be at the ball field (most likely 2),a PTA meeting, napping for a night shift and picking one of the kids up from work at the exact same time. This was a common schedule 6 or 7 nights a week. Weekends were even more hectic, if you can believe it!

To help destress and find time... well, not really find it as once it's gone that's it, it's gone. But to allow myself some down time and hopefully, help my health, I have cut the PTA, bible study or book club, the kids sports activities and reduced my work schedule over the last year.

Have I found time? Made time? Had time to myself?

YES I have.

But, I have also found myself feeling less motivated, like I am not accomplishing what I should,maybe even less focused than I used to.

Yes, the stress is less, but other stresses have stepped up to take their place. And without the constant running, running, running pace of my previous schedule I find it hard to stay on track.

I keep telling myself I need to do laundry, the dishes, make dinner, pay bills... you get the idea. And I do a load of laundry, the dishes in the sink at that moment, the dinner ...well, kids gotta eat so it has to get done! And the bills... yes I pay the ones that HAVE to get paid when they need it, but the rest? They will still be there tomorrow, or Friday or next Monday. Oh, don't get me wrong. I do pay them, I just don't feel pressed to pay them if I can do something else, like read a good book or go to lunch with a friend or have a root canal.

So, should I go back to the hectic and crazy pace I used to live? Is that the only way I can function and get everything done... in a rush under duress?

Or we could add a few more hours to each day. Or a few more days to each week. Or another month or two... but they have to be summer months.

Or, maybe I could spend more time on the internet. Maybe find some older gentleman, with money,alone in the world, in need of a companion to leave his money to... Hmmmm, that just might work.

Or, I could have my family pitch in with the house work. The little things that keep the family up and running that would let me keep the time I so desperately need.

Oh, wait... I must have been thinking of some other family.

I don't have an Aunt Bea and our last name is NOT Partridge but...

Hey, it could happen! And some strange rich old dude might leave me a million bucks on the 8th day of the week--- Repeataday. (you know, the day between Saturday and Sunday in the new week)

I may not have much, but I still have enough left for Dreaming!

Friday, January 15, 2010

I want my kids to be productive members of society... is that too much to ask? Apparently...


I have some.

Actually I have 6.

Of the 6 that I gave birth to, have loved and nurtured, have given up part of my life for, 5 still live at home.

One is 25. She's between jobs after a year teaching overseas. She needs somewhere to use as a home base until she finds a new gig stateside. I get that. She needs a job so she can move on, until then, she's at home.
With me.
And the other 4.

Another of the Still. AT. HOME. crew is 20. He WAS in college, but found partying was not conducive to one's academic career. Me work 3 jobs, him party and miss exams... This was a problem...
He is now employed full time.
His plan is to work his way through school. Yay him!
MY PLAN is that he move out and make his own way in the world, VERY SOON! YAY ME!

THE OTHERS are in middle school.

Teens and Tweens are such wonderful creatures. Or they would be, if they belonged to someone else.
But they are mine and, well, I'm stuck with them.

The Boys, 14 and 11, share a large room. They do not share much else.

Or at least they hadn't until recently.
They started playing the same video games and music.

Then, they started keeping their room neater than usual.

I'm not sure if they're using this tactic to keep me out of their room so I-

1) won't nag about dirty socks hanging from ceiling fans, or

2) won't find the burn mark in the carpet, broken window pane, stack of moldy dishes in the laundry hamper... any, or all, of these is highly likely.

I stand in the open door, see the nearly made bed and the stack of school books and binders, on and next to the shared desk, and imagine they are actually trying to make me happy.

Rose-Colored Glasses anyone?

Last, but not least, is a 12 year old girl-child.

She THINKS she is grown up enough to do as she pleases.

Luckily, for her, it pleases her to keep her room clean, make her bed and do her own laundry...

This pleases me, so I let her be. Most of the time.

Unfortunately, it also pleases her to wear black eye liner and mascara that would give Elvira- Mistress of the Dark a run for her money.
(picture courtesy

It also pleases her to draw and write on, not only her arms and hands, but her jeans as well. Then she tears them !

These things do not please me. I give her some leeway to express her individuality.
But, permanent marker signatures and hieroglyphics on $40.00 jeans... seriously, why?

I have to choose my battles carefully... it's the only way we will both live until she is old enough to move out.

The eye make-up she swears she isn't wearing... okay she looks like a raccoon, but really?

She'll figure that out soon enough.

Trashing her clothes?
She wants to wear a comic strip and rags, who am I to repress creativity?

She'll realize that being creative and unique comes with a price...

As soon as she gets the bill... $40.00 a pair PLUS alterations...

This will be a battle worth having... Ahhhhh, the joys of parenthood strike again!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I Am Not Confused! I just don't remember it exactly the same way every one else does...right?


What does this sound like to YOU?

I'm coming To America Mega Disasters All You Can Eat Paradise

or this one?

Jagged Edge Top 20 Swingers

Watching the scrolling TV guide on cable is really really hard. You have to read the name of the show in the tiny slot, then the next and the next. All while trying to remember the name of the show, the time and the channel... so what you remember is something like this:

The Bad Girls Follow that Food Chill Out
Handy Manny Mike and Mike After Dark

No wonder I can never remember what is on or what I wanted to actually watch!

AND, now I think I might be hungry. I wonder what Bad Girls eat in Paradise?
Or a little bit in the MOOD... Handy Manny After Dark?

Is it a food show or smut or a B-horror flick? Or, is it something else entirely?

I'm afraid to actually change the channel.

I might miss some really important news. Cuz I'm pretty sure what I am seeing here is some sort of code. For what ? I have no friggin clue, but I won't find out if I change the channel so ...

Beverly Hillbillies Local Guide; Most Extreme Mr. Woodcock...

I will keep watching, and waiting because I KNOW the seemingly random programming is not what it seems... people who plan these things go to a lot of trouble to make it LOOK random and MAN! are they good, or what?

Conspiracy? Could be... Secret Messages to someone, somewhere...HMMMMM?

Unless I am totally off base and have been reading too many Who-Dunnit stories, watching too many episodes of Law & Order (but there are like, 100 versions on every channel known to man, so that is not my fault. That too is a conspiracy to make us all learn about lawyers and crooks so when we get arrested we know the rules)... sorry, tangent moment.

But you have to admit, reading the TV Guide scrolling list certainly can be entertaining... and confusing...

Now what channel was that Naked NASCAR Birthday special on?

Monday, January 11, 2010

I Love the Smell of Roses... just gotta take the time to find them!

Today was my birthday- well technically it still is, but I will be heading to bed soon so in my mind it's about over.

Anyway, I work nights so I have to catch sleep in the mornings, unless something else is going on I need to do like... go to the cancer center with a family friend for moral support.

Or go to the Motor Vehicle Administration to get my license renewed because today is the day it expires.

Or go to the bank to deposit my paycheck, where I find out the bank's computer system crashed so I have absolutely NO ACCESS to any of my money until ... well, they have no idea when.

Or go to the car wash, where I get a totally awesome FREE Car wash! The kind with the hot wax and under-carriage sealant and rust proofing stuff... which was great!

Birthday's are not something we really DO in our house. No big parties or presents. We usually make the birthday person's favorite meal and cake and have a family dinner.
Since there are so many people in our family- Me, HeMan Hubby plus 6 kids and some spouses/significant others... well I guess it is a party when the family is together!

So HeMan Hubby brought me roses- both red and orange, a red velvet cake AND a real present. Wrapped. In. Christmas paper! But it was a real gift... I got ... a sandwich maker!
I did ask for one so it's a good present, unlike the time I got the bissell green machine so I could clean the carpet spots where the dog got sick... ummm, Gee Thanks Hon! Just what I wanted, something that makes it easier for me to DO HOUSEWORK!

Today turned out to be a pretty good day. Maybe I'll do it again... next year should be soon enough.

Although I still will not be old enough to fill out the forms that I got from AARP reminding me that I NEED their insurance at THIS TIME IN MY LIFE... HELLO? I AM NOT 50... yet.

I wonder if they have been watching me and I look like I'm 50? Or there is another person out there using my name who is 50? And if there is someone using my name, are they gonna clean up my credit for me?

And one last question...

WHY are my kids making me watch The Secret Life of an American Teenager when it's my birthday?
New birthday rule... Birthday person gets to control the remote... starting as soon as I wake up!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Just when you think your kids don't need you, they do! (Just don't tell THEM!)

It's another Saturday Night and I ain't got nobody... Ain't got no money and I just got paid...

I know that is the line in a song, but I just can't remember what the song is... go figure!

Well, it IS Saturday night and here I sit watching a Hallmark movie ( so far no one has died, oops! Never mind Martin somebody-or-other just did).
Anyway, sitting here watching a movie,the adult-like kids are out with friends, the tweens just went to bed and HeMan Hubby went to bed over an hour ago feeling pretty lousy.

So it's just me and the TV and the laptop sitting here enjoying some peace and quiet, and I got to thinking that it's almost too quiet.

I know, I know... Too Quiet? Whoever heard of such a thing? Surely not I. But in reality my kids are all somewhere between AdultLike and TweenYears, with friends and lives that do not always include parents. This got me to thinking that in the very near future an evening of TV and the laptop without bickering kids, barking dog and footsteps trumping up and down the stairs, followed by doors closed just a tad too loudly... well, soon those won't be a part of my daily life at all.

As much as I THINK I HATE the noise and complaining and even the times when the kids prefer Dad to Mom, not having those loud, boisterous and often hormonal people running wild though the house would be worse than anything I can imagine.

When I think of the future, when they are all off living their own lives, I think of holidays and birthdays spent here at home, but maybe they won't be here. Maybe they will have their own traditions and special things they do at their homes. Maybe they won't come around to see Mom and Dad like I think they will, or rather, like I want them to.

Maybe they will have full-filled lives with children and spouses who love them and take care of them. Maybe they will be upright productive members of society that will make me proud every day just by being who they are.

And maybe, just maybe, they will be living in my basement with their 4 kids and spouse, eating my food and using up all of my hot water, making lots of noise, breaking my dishes and using my vehicles to get to the unemployment office to pick up their checks...

Okay, maybe I need to soak up this quiet Saturday night with my TV movie and my laptop, because this memory just might come in handy when all those extra people are mooching off me and making my life a living hell...

Oh! The Joys of Being a Parent... I wonder if those positive life subliminal message tapes would work if I started piping them through the ductwork???

Hmmmmm, Maybe!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Are We There Yet? and other things kids ask when you're driving a car...

Yes- the title is exactly what I am posting about today.

I decided to make a list of the things my kids have asked me while I was driving, usually on a 6-lane highway, in rush-hour traffic... which is akin to driving in a NASCAR race and all the other drivers are chimpanzees!

(The names have been ommitted to protect the stupid...some of the answers are given, some, well if you really want to know email me! )

1) Mom, do YOU know what a BJ is?

2) It is SAFE SEX, right?

3) Where do babies come from? ... No- HOW DO THEY GET THERE?

4) If we get married now [insert boyfriend name] says we can live in [govt housing] for a couple hundred a month, and if we have a baby a year [the govt] will pay us to take care of them, and I will work [at part time dead end job] while he stays home with the kids and goes to college
at night because [the govt] will pay for it all... what do you think?

My answer- WTF? Are freaking kidding me! Your life plan is to live off of honest, hard-working
people who are barely getting by ... LIKE ME! And to have babies with [this guy]?

Her answer- ummm... I guess it doesn't sound as good that way.
(No, I did not pull over and beat some sense into her with my very heavy purse... but it was tempting!)

5) I don't think he was cheating with her, do You?

My answer- He was naked on the sofa with a girl who was half naked and you believe they were just 'watching tv'?

Her answer- well, ummm, no I guess not when you put it that way.
( no I did not pull over and beat her with my purse... and yes, she did eventually stop seeing him)

6) Mommy, why is my Pee-Pee hard when I wake up? (from 4 yo son)

My answer- I don't have one so I have no idea... go ask Daddy!

7) It's my room, why can't I have sex there if I want to??? (over 18 child still living in MY house so MY rules!)

My answer- If I can't then neither can you!

8) Which one of us kids do you love most?

My answer- I can't choose... I love you each for your own differences and personalities... although sometimes I don't LIKE any of you!

9) OMG MOM! Do you still do it? I mean Your'e OLD!!!!

My answer- you won't be getting any older if you do not shut up now...

10) WHY do I have to go to college?

followed by

11) Why isn't cutting grass a real job?

No answer was required. The cutting stare was enough to stop this entire conversation and it was never revisited again... Thank You WITCHY MOM face!

These are but a few of the more memorable questions my children have asked in their attempt to gain knowledge, or to cause me to wreck the vehicle and die... either one works.

The Joys of parenthood...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I lied. So shoot me. Nevermind, no shooting. Unless it is with a camera...Oh Hell! Don't do that either... I promise not to lie again... ever!

I know I said I am NOT GOING TO WORRY ABOUT MY WEIGHT this year... but I lied. I admit it, I got on the scale, just curious to see how much the holidays affected me...


Well, I saw my rear in the bedroom mirror when I got dressed yesterday and it is as BIG AS A BUICK!

And not the now Buicks either. I'm talking the 1970's ones- the ones that were called BOATS because they were so HUGE!

Yep- I have a butt the size of a BUICK and my thighs have become entities unto themselves... I have never had 'inner' thigh problems... outer thigh, hips, waist, but not inner thigh... OMG! I have old lady thighs... or maybe I have elephantiasis... that MUST be it... but my elephantiasis is concentrated in the rear and thigh area...

I eat healthy and I exercise- really I do!

I came down stairs to the kitchen and put on coffee. I went down stairs to the laundry room. I came back upstairs to the kitchen. I went back up stairs to the bedroom. On the upstairs runs I was carrying the freshly laundered clothes and you know, that exercise stuff works cux it was LIGHTER than it was when I carried it down!

I admit I did some lunges too... I did 8 cuz all the exercise gurus say to do 8 reps, and man were my thighs burning after those 8... then I realized they meant to do 8 reps of 8... Ummm , according to my math that is like 64? lunges... why didn't they just say DO 64 LUNGES in the first place?

So, I did 48... I figure I gotta work my way up to the 64. Then I went down stairs to get the laundry. Guess that means I really got a work out?

Okay- give me a break! I was just traumatized by seeing a buick-sized butt in my bedroom... and it was on ME!

So back to the scale... I only got on it to see just how much a buick weighs... and now I know... about the same as a whale.. ok a new-born whale... or me right before I gave birth to my youngest child- 11 YEARS AGO!

Note to self:
1) buy more salad fixins
2) eat more yogurt and oatmeal
3) snack on carrot sticks(sans dressing)
4) throw away the Gosh Darn Scale! ( or at least put it somewhere I never go like...the gym!)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Can your Brain get full? Is there a limit to how much you can learn? Ever seen some of the people at Wal-Mart.. You know, I think the answer's YES!

( I must insert a disclamier here... do not YELL at me for making my observation above... I too have a branch or two on the family tree from West Va... actually their tree looks more like a wreath...Remember this is AMERICA and we still have freedom of speech, for now at least)

I have never tried counting the books I have read in a year.
If I did a quick mental calculation I would haveto say I have read well over 200... I read 8 books in the last 10 days alone!
I do go weeks without reading anything, then will read, like a book a day, for several months.

The other night I actually, suddenly, came to a point where I could not read another word. I was in the middle of a sentence and I just could not read any more! No emails, no blogs, no magazines... nothing. It was like my brain was full and my eyes were too tired... weird, right?

I think my brain just got too full... that must have been it... right?
Or I have a brain tumor, or alzheimer's or some terrible unknown illness... worse than the one I already have?

Oh Yay Me!
SO... if you don't see a post from me for a few days it's probably because the aneurism killed me, or because I just could not process any more thoughts due to the alzheimer's... or because I do have a life and sometimes I have to actually do stuff in that life!

Probably that last one, but hey, never hurts to be prepared now, does it?

Just ask all those Boy Scouts out there... it IS their Motto after all.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

It's a Wonderful Life.... Or it Could be if...

I'm not telling you what to do but....

Move Your Money Video

I'm just saying there might be a better way to make things better!

How do you know the experiment is a success if no one has ever done it before? Just because you say so...?

Today I had a 'light-bulb' moment... one of the 'A-Hah!'kind Oprah talks about having.

What was my A-Hah moment about you may ask....

Reba McIntire, that's what, er, who. Up early because the pain in my joints would not allow me to linger in bed any longer without bursting into know the whole 20 degrees without the wind chill, but the wind is whipping around at 35 miles an hour so the air coming in the cracks around the doors( btw the weather stripping at Lowe's that says it keeps out cold air LIES) is more like 0 degrees, let's just say it's not conducive to comfort when you have rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia...

Anyway, out of bed with coffee in hand, I manage to shuffle to the family room leather sofa- which MUST have an afghan on it or else it's as cold as the wind coming in those door cracks- I scan through all 1000 cable channels trying to find something to watch early on a Sunday morning... you all know there isn't much, well aside from the obligatory 10 minutes of Televagelist's yelling at you to dig into your pockets and thank the lord with a cash donation to some church or the other...I stumbled across A&EHD Bio. And Boy Howdy! Am I glad I did cuz while watching that show I had my 'AHah' moment...

I have an Idol... okay, not an idol, maybe a hero, no that's not exactly the right word either... I have someone that I would like to be like... a Role Model I guess you would say.
The Bio was about Reba and watching her evolve into the personality that she is today, over-coming Nay-Sayers in the 80's who thought she was too out there with her red hair and southern twang, the tragedy of losing her entire band to a freakish plane crash in 1991, holding her head high when the media said she would never be a credible actress when she made Tremors and then, later the hit show 'REBA'. This is one TENACIOUS SPITFIRE OF A WOMAN!

And when I grow up I want to be just like her... I want to be strong and secure in who I am.
I want to have a faith that is unshakable in the face of adversity.
I want to have a love in my life that will never falter or let me down, one that will put me up when I am down and keep my head where it belongs... in the clouds or at the kitchen table over kid's homework...
I want to be able to look back at my life and honestly say... 'I was true to myself, my ideals and lived a life I am proud of'- I am paraphrasing what she said at the end of the BIO episode but that was the gist of it...
I want to be That Girl!

Not that I am ever remotely like Reba in any way at all... I am so NOT a size 0, I have blonde-ish hair and blue eyes that are, well, like everyone else's... I have a family with children who so DO NOT listen to what I say and talk back frequently leaving me shaking my head and wondering who exactly is the boss in the house anyway?

So my light bulb moment may not sound like much to you, but to me it's a turning point. I have never had a singer or actor or famous person that I wanted to be like or idolize. Sure I like Annie Lenox and Cyndi Lauper and Sinead O'Connor ( yes, I came of age in the 80's, don't laugh!)- but I would not say that I want to be like them. I just like them... Sandra Bullock and Julia Roberts? Love the stuff they do, and admire them as people- actresses making family life and professional life work without putting the personal stuff out there for the world to tear down... but I never wanted to be like them either.

I think the pull for me of Reba McIntire is her classic style and elegance. Whether she is onstage or portraying Lucy in a crazy skit or coping with tragedy and loss on the 6 o'clock news, she has a grace and beauty that just isn't the norm these days in Hollywood or Nashville and THAT is the thing that I want to have.

Ummm, when I grow up? Yeah, I am 40-something and have 6 kids and a husband and a mortgage and a life that seems to whirl around me like I am sitting in the eye of a hurricane...

Is it too late to trade this one in for another one? Probably is, right?

Figures, just my luck I FINALLY find someone I want to be like when I grow up and... it's too late!
Or is it... it's never too late to make positive changes in your life, is it?
WWRD, or What Would Reba Do? She would jump in with both feet and stand her ground, make decisions based on what is right and what she believes in... Hey wait... I have been doing that for years!

Maybe, just maybe, Reba has been taking after me all these years... I have over-come adversity, tragedy and loss... I've held my head high, lived my life without compromising my values and ideals...

Wow- I AM REBA MCINTIRE's ROLE MODEL! Who woulda thunk it?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Health, Wealth and the Pursuit of...

In a moment of nostalgia (also called brain freeze or early onset alzheimer's) I read through my blog posts- from the beginning to now.

And I have to admit that I have absolutely NO MEMORY of writing half of them. If not that they are about my family, and in my writing style, I would swear I had never seen or read them before today.

It was because of the SITS site Sharefest Saturday... you go thru and find your favorite post and share the link on The Secret is in the Sauce.
I actually found several that I like now that I have gone back... Feng-Shui Me is a pretty good one... that I almost remember writing!

What does that tell me... well, for one thing it tells me that I need to read my previous posts more often so they at least seem familiar.

For another, it tells me that I have not had a very good track record with taking time for myself to blog and look at my life and actually ENJOY my life.

Why do I say this?

Because I started Blogging in 2007! I mean, that was 3 years ago! I had NO IDEA I had been attempting to do this soul-searching, journalling crap for this long.

Maybe that's because I did not make myself a priority before this year. Maybe it is the very fact that I have been blogging for this long without realizing so much time was slipping by between posts that I have been able to find my voice now.

If I had not had the experiences in Life an Love that came before now, then I could not be who and what I am now... makes sense that my writing voice would not be the one I now have without my earlier attempts.

So- if you have gotten this far in this post, and you don't have anything else to do for the next, oh say, 5 minutes, take a look at some of my beginning posts. You may be entertained, or just plain scared ... either way, it is a response and that is what a writer wants... the reader to feel something.

I see some growth as a person in my posts, and I see where I have become more like myself in my writing... and in my life. Expressing my feelings, thoughts and random craziness by blogging has made me more comfortable with being myself...with coming out of my shell in the real world as well.

So WATCH OUT WORLD... one of these days I am gonna let myself go and WOW... that is gonna be one really Wild day!

Well, as long as someone makes sure I don't get arrested or anything ... then it could be a really BAD one...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Old Movies are a lot like life, the heros get maimed, mutilated or dead... but you just can't stop watching them!

I know a lot of people had friends in to celebrate the coming of the New Age-2010. Their New Year's Eve was similar to mine, with the exception that our parties actually only include me, He-Man hubby and our children. Since 3 of them, plus their significant others, chose to spend the evening out with their younger, and much hipper friends, there was only Tween-Boy, Tween-Girl and Teen-Boy to ring in the New Year with us. A couple of movies- the animated kind- and some virgin margaritas and a ton of steamed shrimp later... well my 12:05 date with my pillow couldn't come fast enough!

I actually stayed up past my bedtime watching 'Anther Thin Man' on TCM, with Myrna Loy and William Powell. Unfortunately, my evening ended before the next Thin Man movie, "Shadow of the Thin Man' came on at 2am. For those wondering, I absolutely LOVE the Thin Man movies, and just about any other 1930/1940 era black and white. The clothes, the stars, the manners and implied sex, blood and dasterdly doings... That's what ART is about. Giving you enough info to stimulate your imagination to run wild! And believe me, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, James Cagny, Mickey Rooney... they all brought so much CHARACTER to their characters without all the special effects to ruin it.

So my new year begins with me blogging, while watching 'The Stratton Story',
and old Jimmy Stewart movie about baseball player Monty Stratton, while eating a cinnamon bun and drinking coffee. I have heard that what you do on New Year's Day sets the tone for the coming year. Yes, this is how I will be spending this one, pretty much, anyway. I will have to fit the occasional shift at work in, and some house hold chores like laundry and cooking, and probably some time with the kids over homework or at one of their extra-curricular activities... but otherwise this is as good as it gets.

I know some might say I need to aim higher, but I have decided to join the rest of the country and down-size and stream-line my life. So sitting on my sofa, laptop in hand, watching a black and white movie, drinking coffee is what I'll be doing this year.

Figure it will save a ton on gas and spending money since I won't be engaging in RETAIL THERAPY.
And who knows, maybe I will become famous and develop a cult following, like The Bloggess. Or maybe I will finish the book I started and get it published, or maybe I will just gain about a thousand pounds and lose touch with reality. But I will be happy while I do, and that after all, is what REALLY counts, isn't it?

To Everyone Everywhere...a very HAPPY New Year!