Friday, April 30, 2010

I love my kids... really! I do!

Holy Crap!
Time sure flies when you're not paying attention, doesn't it?

Well, I WAS paying attention, but then we had all that WEATHER... you know, snow and then rain and then cold with rain... and then BAM!

My wisteria is blooming, the cherry blossoms have blanketed the yard with their special layer of pink snow-like litter, and rose buds- YES! rosebuds- are starting to puff up and turn a lovely rosy hue on the bushes in the front garden.

When did this happen?
You know what this means, right?

Spring will be coming to an end soon. And when it does, what comes next?

You guessed it!

SUMMER!


WooHoo!


What? Are you fricking nuts?
Then the kids will be home... ALL DAY LONG... staring at you and following you saying "I'm Bored" and " There's Nothing To Do"!

Oh joy... just shoot me now... or send me some info on summer camps... maybe boot camp to teach them how to listen to their Mom???

Maury Povich... HELP!!!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice... NEW TRANSLATION: Leather and Lace and Black Make-up on Her Face...

I have a daughter.

Actually, I have 3 of them but I have one who is not yet grown, and therefore, is not yet SOMETHING.

You know, a 'When I Grow Up I Want To Be'- fill in the blank, aged daughter.

There is GoodMom. She is exactly that, and so much more.
She is GoodMedicalAssistant.
She is GoodWife.
She is GoodDaughter.
She has found her 'When I Grow Up I Want To Be...' and is GOOD at it!

There is SmartGirl.
She is SmartCollegeGraduate.
She is SmartScienceDegree.
She is SmartWorldTraveler.
She has found her 'When I Grow Up I Want To Be...'
Hopefully, it will find SmartGirl soon.
Being 'Out of Work' SmartGirl is DEFINITELY not what she wants to be at all!

Then there is BratChild.
When she grows up she wants to be a photographer.
Not just ANY photographer... a Wild Life Photographer.
Or the kind that does weddings and photo shoots for models... you know, they're the same, right?
Or she wants to be a Vet. The one that heals animals, not the kind that was in the war.
At least she knows the difference.

So.
I have a daughter.
Who can be anything she wants to be.
She just has to figure out what that is.
And my job is to finance her on her journey to discovery.

Why can't she want to be the cleaning lady, or the sanitation worker, or the mail carrier?

Cuz I can give her plenty of 'practice' for those jobs...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

From One Mother to Another... this job is HARD!

I am trying.

Really. I am.

Oh, what am I trying?

Well, to do better, be better, stop expecting my kids to actually listen to me when I talk.... take your pick!

Seriously, I want to know where the ON/OFF switch to a teens brain is located.
Or maybe, I just need to find the VOLUME button and turn the receiver up.

I know my mouth is moving and the sound is coming out, but the kids... they just turn and walk away.

As a parent WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?

Can't send them to bed hungry.
Can't take their books away from them.
Can't threaten them with bodily harm to make them listen.

What is a parent to do?

Yeah, that's what I thought.

You got nothing too...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Hurrier I go... The Behinder I Get!

Yes... I am behind.

In more ways than one, I have to add reluctantly, but truthfully.

My last blog post was a week ago.

I KNOW!
Shame on me!

And, I don't even have a really good excuse, except that... no that's not a good one at all.

Never mind.

Secondly, I have gone terribly astray with this weight loss thing.
When I say I am getting behinder, I really mean my behind is, well, unfortunately, still there.

Oh, I have been walking several days a week.

I NEED to do more.

I have been eating more fresh foods like salads and vegetables.

OBVIOUSLY, I need to do better.

I have been procrastinating.

I KNOW!
It's unbelievable, but true!

I NEED to paint the dining room and breakfast room.
I NEED to put the new trim around the coat closet, pantry and linen closet doors.
I NEED to get those cobwebs up in the corners of the family room... well, someone needs to get them!
I NEED to get my house on the market and get it SOLD!

Instead I have read lots of interesting novels, expanded my repertoire of authors, as it were; paid some bills, fretted about how to pay a lot more; and deprived myself of much needed sleep worrying about the things that I have not done or have been worried about ( those things I listed already are the problems!) so that it's all I can do to get up and do the minimum required chores and activities each day.

And thus...

The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.

Anyone know a painter that comes cheap?
I mean like, will work for food?

Yes! I can so cook... my kids just don't like real food, that's all.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What do you get when you cross good food and a who-dunnit? A really, really good book, that's what!

I read a book last week.

Actually, I read a bunch of books last week.

The first one I read was a murder mystery by Diane Mott Davidson. The really neat thing about the main character is that she is a caterer.

AND she incudes her recipes for the yummy food she makes in the story IN THE BOOK!

Like Sweetheart Sandwich cookies, Chocoholic cookies, Killer Pancakes, Cinnamon Griddle Scones... and even Jake's Dog Biscuits-- yes they ARE for dogs!

I quickly realized this was a series, that of course, I had started reading totally out of order... but the characters are so well written that you quickly get caught up on the who, where, and when of the story, even if you have not read any of the previous ones.

So I read:
Tough Cookie
Sticks & Scones
Killer Pancake
Cereal Murders
Dying For Chocolate
The Main Corpse

And I HIGHLY recommend them all...

And the recipes!

And yes, for those who NEED lowfat, there are some recipes for that kind of food too...

I even tried them and didn't die so...

Read, Eat, Enjoy!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Everything Old is New Again... Well, Maybe not Everything, right?

What do you think?

About the New Look for this Blog?

I know what you think about World Peace( every body wants some), starving kids on TV (can we get some of the food to the starving kids in Appalachia... nothing against Ethiopia, just saying...), the current state of affairs (the country's, not yours... so get over it already!).

I was thinking that each month seems to have a color. You know, like February is all Red because of Valentine's Day. And March is Green like the Eggs & Ham and beer on St. Patrick's Day. Then my personal Favorite... October with Orange and Black being all Halloween-y.

I know, March is GREEN and it's April now so... I guess the color for April would be Yellow? Daffodils and pansies and crocus are yellow and bloom all this month... but then so do Hyacinths, Grecian windflowers and pansies... all of which come in pinks, purples and white.

Giving a color to each month is hard and could cause wide-spread panic if one is not careful, you know? ( all that color-coordinating for sales and merchandising... What a headache if that got started... oh, but wait... it already is.)

Perhaps giving the Season a color is better. It sure would take less colors and have less possibility of repeating a color while stomping on some poor little month's feelings in the process.

So, that observation made... by me as one of those things that just goes thru my head when I'm trying to do something else, like sleep...

Spring is in Full Swing here at Holly Haven (I think that might be a bit too Rehab-ish for my property, you know?) and Green is now the blog color of the Season.

I hope you like it, cuz, well, it's already done.

Green with envy, green around the gills, Go Green...

See... Green IS popular!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Ides of ... April?

Today is that ever-so-wonderful day so many look forward to each year.

Yeppers! Today is Tax Day!

You have exactly 21 hours to get your tax return completed, signed and post-marked.

If you are among the lucky (read those living on a tight budget all year long just so they have some money for vacation or home-improvements) and will be getting a refund...

Woo-Hoo for You!

Just don't hold your breath waiting for it... I'm talking to you, the one who e-filed so you THINK you'll get it faster?
Nope, still gonna be 4 weeks... if you're lucky! (you should have filed 4 weeks ago, then you'd have it now!)

And you... the ones who, ahem, owe... well, better get that shoe-string budget started because Mr. IRS will be expecting the first installment any second now... along will all the rest of it before you even have the time to earn it.
(legally that is)

So, once again this auspicious day has come around... full of the promise of Spring, and sun and ulcers and heart palpitations and insomnia and...

Ahhhh... April!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Public Service Announcement... Nope, this isn't one, but perhaps it should be!

< Imagine a really cute baby picture here...my kids are too cute and I didn't want to make others jealous by posting one of them here ... so picture your own cutie instead!>


Out of the mouths of babes... or so the saying goes, right?

Well, I think it needs to be amended to 'Out of the mouths of Husbands!'

I know they mean well, husbands that is, but all too often they just say the WRONG thing!

"Honey, that dress only makes you look a little like my Mom."
What?!
YIKES!

Or how about the ever popular...

"I know you're tired, you can just lay there..."
Ummm.
HELLO!???
I Don't Think So!

And my favorite...

"The kids cleaned the (insert where ever in your home is THE MESSIEST at that exact moment in time) so you don't have to"

Seriously?
Seriously!

Do men go blind, bald and deaf at the age of 40?
I mean, is it a genetic trait that is triggered right about the time we REALLY need some help with the yard, housework and Teen-Angst run amok in our lives?

Because that is exactly when the most ridiculous words come out of a husband's mouth.
Really.

This post is totally informational...

So, for all those newly weds, and those about to jump into wedded bliss (is that an oxymoron or what?)...

Take a good, long look at your dad, and Mr. Right's dad, and don't say no one ever warned ya...

Cuz, Yep! I just did!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sometimes you just have to say it out loud...

Prayer of a Soldier in France

Joyce Kilmer (1886–1918)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Written while in France working in Intelligence, and although NOT assigned to active duty on the front line, he stood with the First Battalion at the Battle of Ourcq and gave the greatest sacrifice... himself to save others.
He was awarded the Croix de Guerre for his bravery.

This poem makes me think not only of what THAT must have been like, but Jesus' walk, carrying the Cross to his final destination, and the Sacrifice he was willing to make.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MY shoulders ache beneath my pack
(Lie easier, Cross, upon His back).

I march with feet that burn and smart
(Tread, Holy Feet, upon my heart).

Men shout at me who may not speak
(They scourged Thy back and smote Thy cheek).

I may not lift a hand to clear
My eyes of salty drops that sear.

(Then shall my fickle soul forget
Thy Agony of Bloody Sweat?)

My rifle hand is stiff and numb
(From Thy pierced palm red rivers come).

Lord, Thou didst suffer more for me
Than all the hosts of land and sea.

So let me render back again
This millionth of Thy gift. Amen.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I get so tired of the blaming and finger-pointing, don't you... From the Politcians I mean, not my kids.

"Free at last, Free at last! Thank God Almighty, We Are Free At Last!"

These words were spoken by Martin Luther King, Jr, a very long time ago.
Or not so very long ago, depending on who you are, where you've been and where you're going.

MLK said these words August 1963. These words were the finale of his "I Have A Dream" speech, given on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

I was not yet born.
That's how long ago it was.

My children, and those of their generation, were not born.
That's how long ago it was.

My Mother and Father lived in the DC area in 1963.
My Father was caught in the Civil Rights riots of 1964 in DC, luckily making it home, without injury.
That's how long ago it wasn't.

Only a generation ago this Man, this Martin Luther King Jr, this Dreamer, this Righter of Wrongs...

Only a generation removed from this time and place ago, the world dreamed with this man, of a better place, of a better life, of a better time...

And in only a single generation, that Dream has gone dormant, the carrying out of it has gone terribly wrong...

Gangs and those who feel 'entititled' because of their race, color or creed, have made living a better life harder for everyone...

To live the Dream, to make the World a Better Place, to be the People that MLK saw we could become...

I guess some of us are going to have to try harder...
And some of us need to start trying.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Poet and Hero... something to Think about
'Trees' by Joyce Kilmer





I THINK that I shall never see
A Poem as lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet Earth's flowing breast.

A tree who looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray.

A tree who may in Summer wear
A nest of Robins in her hair.

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

I love this poem.
My mother quoted it to me when I was about 8, I think, and it stuck.
When I got older I wanted to know more about this Joyce Kilmer person, so I struck out to see what I could find.

Joyce Kilmer is a MAN, Yep! He was actually in WWl and was a decorated Hero having been given the French Croix de Guerre for bravery. He was a member of the earliest intelligence corps and died in battle protecting the men serving with him.

He had worked for Wagner & Funk's as an editor for their dictionary, and for The New York Times.
He was born, and grew up in, New Jersey. He was successful; had a wife and children.

And was considered the Premier American Catholic Poet alive when he enlisted in the military at the age of 30.

I HOPE that I should never have to see,
Men as brave and God-Loving as he...

But I am glad they exist, and that they are first and foremost Men of Intelligence, Honor and Love for their Families and Their Faith...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Just a little note....


National Cherry Blossom Festival Wash, DC


Dear Mr. Weatherman,

I apologize.

I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me for being so boorish and short-tempered with you regarding the inclement weather you provided, that was so obviously intended for someone else, during the latter winter months.

I can only say that knowing how much I dislike the Wintery Mix, I was terribly upset that you bombarded me instead of the person who had requested it.
(and finding out that you were filling orders for other women was heart-breaking)

The last few days of Spring Sunshine, however, have begun to make up for your previous faux pas.

I hope this trend continues, and perhaps, in time, I will once again be able to put my faith and trust in you.

Until then, I will accept your peace offering of this warm and temperate weather as the olive branch it represents.


Sincerely,

Me.

PS- not to be too picky, but would it be possible for you to do SOMETHING about the Pollen Count?

It's wreaking havoc on my sinuses....

Thanks ever so much!

Me- again.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

What's In A Name?.... Apparently Everything!

My family has finally read some of my posts.

I have no idea if they like what I write or not, but I do know they DO NOT like the names I have given them.

So from this day forward GirlChild will be SmartGirl... she is a college graduate after all, and TeenGirl will be known as BratChild, which IS what I call her here at home most days anyway.

So, my family now consists of HeMan Hubby, GoodMom and her daughter FancyPants, SmartGirl, ManBoy, TeenBoy, BratChild and TweenBoy, who I should probably find a better name for since he will soon be a teen too... I am sure one will find it's way to him naturally in the near future anyway.

Names, those titles and descriptive adjectives that are given to us as children, will follow throughout our lives. Somehow this just doesn't seem fair.
How do our parents, or those giving the names, know what we will be like when we grow up.

Maybe a girl named Blanche will grow up to have dark hair and eyes and be a really grumpy person... Blanche- meaning white or fair of hair and face- would just not fit at all.

A lawyer named Honey? A doctor named Windy? Or grown people with names like Moon and Six and Apple? Who would take these people seriously, other than the Hollywood crowd?

HeMan Hubby wanted me to seriously consider naming TweenBoy, Six.
Why? you may ask. Because he is the 6th child. I vetoed this from the start only to find that NOW TweenBoy thinks that would be a cool name!
But then, he is only 11, so what does he know of the world of grownups with strange names?

My name is one I have strongly disliked my whole life. But, when compared to the other choice my parent's had on the table, I'll keep the one I got, Thank You Very Much!

My children's given names were something I put a lot of thought into. They had to have good or positive meanings, they had to be names that sounded professional, on the off chance one of my kids became a doctor or lawyer or college professor, and they had to fit with the heritage of our families.

Owing to all that my children have somewhat unusual names, but not made up or farfetched. They have names that are found throughout history and in the bible. They have names that represent the various countries of origin found on our Family Tree- or in some cases Family Wreath, but that's the West Virginia side, mostly.

As children, some of them did not like their names, but as they have gotten older, they do.

Of this I am glad, as it took a very long time to come up with them in the first place, and because in every one of my children the positive qualities of the meanings of their names is actually present in them.

Did the name influence the child, or was the child destined to be what he or she is all along?

I have no idea, but the tradition of finding the right name with just the right meaning continued in our family with the naming of FancyPants.
Her parents struggled with finding just the right combination of sounds, syllables and meanings to give their firstborn child.

In the end, the name is perfect, as is the little girl.

What's in a name?

Apparently, everything!

(Just ask my sister!)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's not about a game, it's about life... and how to live it the right way... God, I hope I get it right!


One of the reasons I started blogging, this blog in particular, is that I wanted to try to find ME. Not ME the Mom, or ME the nurse, or wife or PTA president or volunteer or jewelry maker or crochet designer or mad bird-breeder lady...

But ME... who I am and what makes me tick.

That's tick, not get ticked-off.

I watched a lot of TV last week, being as I was laid out on the couch in agony from my back and all. There's not a lot of good TV going on during the day, I don't care how many channels you have!

But, I did manage to get 'The Blindside', or rather when GirlChild called from the Wal-Mart where I had sent her to pick up a few things so we wouldn't starve to death, and reminded me that it was now available, along with 'New Moon', and how she knew I wanted to get both of them and since she was there, and using my money anyway, shouldn't she just pick them up too?

Well of course she should! And she did. And I watched 'The Blindside'.

And I LOVE that woman! The Mom in that movie is the woman I want to be. No, she is the person I want to be. Forget gender or race or bank balance. I want to be that good, and kind and, just plain strong and self-assured.

I love Sandra Bullock and boy-howdy , did they pick a winner in her as the leading lady, Leigh Anne Tuohy.

Okay- I know what you are saying. It's a movie about football... Yeah.It is.
But no, it's really not. Just about football that is.

It's about faith and family and unconditional love... and keeping promises.
It's about being there because you said you would, because you gave your word and that's the most valuable thing a person can give.

I know I joke around A LOT about things my family does or things I do, or wish I'd done. But in this I am most sincere.

I want to be like Leigh Anne Tuohy.

And I want the Leigh Anne Tuohy's of the world to out-number the rest of the population.

I figure, if I dreaming, I might as well dream big....

And well, You can't much bigger than Michael Oher... or his Momma, Leigh Anne Tuohy.

Oh, and just because I live in the Baltimore area, please do not think I am a Ravens fan... I am a Michael Oher and a Redskin fan...

Like I said... I dream BIG...
Go Skins!

Oh- and here is the letter I would have sent Ms. Tuohy if I knew how to get one to her...

Dear Ms. Tuohy,

Thank You for being You.
Thank You for caring about others, and teaching your children to do the same.
And thank your husband for understanding you and who you are and need to be.

From the bottom of my heart and with everything I have, I thank you for the example you set in living the life you do.

I wish you and your family all the best in everything... And even though I am a Redskin fan I watch Michael ( and the Ravens) because I think he is one awesome and very lucky guy... and he is an awesome football player.

Sincerely,

Dawn @ Dawning