Found On Road ….

Think I was going to say, “dead”? Nah. I was a bit horrified to find I hadn’t plugged in here for a very long time; not horrified enough to hit the keyboard, obviously. As I try to catch up with my “friends” here, I’ve got to cut to the chase and let my thoughts for the last year go ….

  1. Mantra for this year: I can do better. This has nothing to do with social status and everything to do with my personality flaws. To misquote John Wayne, “If you don’t like something, don’t bitch. Get off your butt and do something about it.” It would be much cooler had I quoted something from Jay Z, but I’ll leave that to my brilliant young friend, Megan Silianoff.
  2. Brilliant young friend mentioned above has written an amazing memoir, 99 Problems But A Baby Ain’t One. Young and memoir don’t usually add up to much, but this one has been over the river and through the woods of shit, remaining sassy and upbeat, emerging victorious on the other side. Her blog is greetingsfromtexas.com. We met at Cheeky Vintage, quite possibly the very best vintage store this side of the moon.
  3. Country Music: have been a hater all my life but have changed my mind this year. Not going so far as to say I can stand any of that twangy crap but as I’ve been listening I realized the songs, whether giddy or sad, are honest. Honest is good and I can understand what the singer is saying. Shit, that sounds like an old bag which I am most certainly not. Shit. Anywho,  one song, “I Pray for You” by Jaron and The Long Road to Love, which must have been written after a breakup. It is so mean in a good way – things you’ve most certainly thought but never said out loud. No haters – I didn’t write it.
  4. Professor Dreamy joined the fam last month and we are all happy. He could truly teach men how to love a woman. Joyful, joyful.

Dashing. Laugh as much as possible. The photo below features is my friend, Nga; she needs a razor intervention.

image

Later.

Iz

Here Comes Bride, There Goes Kidney

Really and Not Really!

My youngest, McPaddie, is getting married! Her fiancé is an awesome man; we are all beyond excited. That means we are having a wedding! YIKES.

Fortunately, the big event is a year away. Haven’t broached subject of budget with her dad. While he is totally on board, he has no clue what weddings cost. I’m thinking he’s thinking $7. Am totally Scarlett O’Hara about having that conversation with him. Must contact EMS unit to have on hand when I grow a pair and spit it out. “Tomorrow is another day”.

Meanwhile, this mission requires MAJOR CREATIVITY. A few of the thoughts that have crossed my mind at 3:00 am every morning:

  • Sell a kidney (no, think that’s against the law)
  • Numerous bikini car washes (force future bridesmaids into slave labor)
  • Bake sales (one cookie = $1000)
  • Stand on busy street corner with sign (nope; too hot and I work every day)
  • Call BRAVO and ask Andy Cohen to make a reality series for us (so not happening)
  • Start a new trend: the drive-by wedding (just kidding)

Obviously, I need your help! If you have any ideas – puh-leeze throw them out here. Before throwing, please note: they won’t elope, we will do our best and honor what the bride wants on budget, we know it’s about the ceremony, not the flash.

*We are Southern. That means the weddings in these parts = church ceremony and reception. Reception includes buffet, mucho alcohol, and a great band so you dance your ass off. Just so you know. Oh, and photography. Just blew left side of brain.

You have your assignment. Am off to search for loose change.

Later.

Grateful

When my eldest was in preschool, her class did a project for Parent Night. Each child was told to draw a picture of what they were grateful for and the teacher would write their explanation underneath. The “grateful proclamations” were posted up and down the halls. As parents entered the building, there were the sweet drawings. Most of the artwork featured Mommy, Daddy, Siblings, and Pets. Searching for what Miss Peach was grateful for, I noticed a clump of parents around one drawing. Ah, there it was. My daughter was grateful for fried chicken. Just another proud moment.

While I find fried chicken tasty, I am grateful for:

  • My daughters, my parents, my sister
  • A roof over my head and food in the pantry
  • Friends, especially those “heart” friends I would do anything for and I know that feeling is reciprocal
  • My sweet little dog who loves me and never leaves my side … or feet, which can be a problem but he means well
  • The good mornings that follow bad nights
  • Freedom
  • Inspiration
  • The knowledge that I am not in charge of the universe. Breathe in, breathe out.  On those days when I feel I can’t handle another broken something, when I doubt I can put one foot in front of the other, when the forest is so dense and scary and thick I couldn’t find a tree if I walked right into it, there is comfort in the breathe. Peace comes eventually. And I remember the world doesn’t spin on my axis. Thank God.
  • A job I enjoy so much it doesn’t feel like a job
  • The ability to make a difference, however small, for the better
  • Hugs. There is nothing as comforting and necessary for the soul as the human touch. Many people are “starving” for this. So simple, so easy to give. And oh so easy to receive.

Later.

When Size Does and Doesn’t Matter

Large/Small. Fat/Thin. Ecstatic/Not so much. There are circumstances when size is mas importante, there are times when it matters not.

Size Matters

  • Size of bank account when paying bills.
  • Size of shoes – stuffing a size 8 into a size 7 and hobbling around = OUCH!
  • Size of the sky – city dwellers have a reduced view; if you look at the night sky anywhere in far West Texas, the stars begin at the ground and are so profuse, the sky part is minimal. This would be good for the soul. And beyond beautiful.
  • Size of airline seats – unless you are 11 years old, a long flight in steerage  the cheap seats can propel you right into a hip replacement. Practicing fetal position before boarding helps a bit. Plus, I think the airlines should put labels on the arm rests; even though they are as big as a clothes pin, which one belongs to which seat? Really! First-class and business travelers, feel our pain! Not really, you paid not to. Trade seats?
  • Size of parking spots – please don’t park a honking land yacht in a space marked “Compact Cars”. There is nothing compact about a Suburban or a Monster Truck. Except maybe the ashtray and I don’t think they make those anymore.
  • Size of heart, spiritually speaking – can it ever be big enough? Methinks not.
  • Size of smile – a big one goes a long way.

Size Doesn’t Matter (to me)

  • Size of your bank account – not my business. Keeping eyes on own paper.
  • Size of clothing – numbers make me crazy; if it fits, wear it; if not, give it away. Sizes seem to make a lot of people feel bad about themselves. Just stupid numbers, people!
  • Size of shelter – matters not a whit.Protection from the elements.What does matter is making that shelter a home. Favorite quote: “People who are homeless are not social inadequates. They are people without a home.” I think home can be wherever you are.

Mushing.

See ya.

Later.

Nuts, We Are All Nuts

The other day my friend told me that everyone … and I mean everyone … is nuts. If that isn’t a given, I don’t know what is. The most important point here is – be very careful and picky about who you choose as your bowl mates. There are many varieties of nuts. Discernment is a very important tool. So is a garbage can. While on the topic of nuts …..

  • Why, in the name of God, would you write/record a breakup song about a POS who dumped you and call it, “Someone Like You“? I love Adele, I think the melody of the song is the best; what I don’t get it is … if your Significant Other treated you horribly, why would you want someone like that? Haters … don’t need an explanation, this is just an observation. Why not a song that says, “Someone Who Is Nothing Like You In Any Way At All Because You Are The Worst Person Ever“?
  • Don’t ever change!” If you went to high school and had a yearbook, I’ll bet you that’s written somewhere inside. It was just a phrase. Unfortunately, there are people who chose to believe this and haven’t. Changed. Deliver me.
  • My mother is studying the last book of the Bible, Revelations, written by the Apostle John. Last week, she told her Bible Study group that she believed John was taking LSD when he wrote it because Revelations is incomprehensible. She may be onto something but I don’t think they had LSD back then … maybe some mushrooms ….. maybe she’s on LSD.

Must go plan intervention. Or not.

Later.

Stop Being A Mother?

I am a mother.

Mercifully, I still have my own mother in a time when the majority of my friends have lost theirs. My mom and I have most certainly had our differences over the years. Big emphasis on differences. But she’s still my mom, and I know that she has always done the best she could to be a good mother. And no matter what my age, I will always be her child.

Many times, I’ve wanted to yell and scream at her, especially when she tells me what I should and shouldn’t do. But I’ve lived long enough to know that she just wants to help, and what sounds hurtful and critical is not meant that way at all. She wants to be relevant in my life, she wants me to be the best person I can be. So, I must let my interpretations of what I think she is saying fall through my mental sieve, and love her. It’s just the way it works for me. Time and experience, wasted anger and rage, have taught me to be the daughter of the woman who would give her life for me. At the end of the day, it’s all about respect. And the fact that my dad would probably whoop the living hell out of me, even at this late stage of the game, if I treated her with any disrespect.

My two daughters are the two best people I know. We get sideways sometimes. I’ll have an issue with one, and after exhausting the topic and getting nowhere, I’ll talk to the other about what I can do – or not do. Mothers are like that; we want our chicks to thrive in the best possible circumstances. And I’ve made more than my share of mistakes, unwarranted comments and offered advice has been misunderstood as hurtful criticism. This part of the mother job is the hardest. And that is an understatement.

Both of my daughters are adults. They are living adult lives. Yesterday, my youngest daughter and I got into it via text; she lives in another city and is making big decisions about the next few years of her life. I wanted to find out where she was in the decision process. Long story short – it ended badly. My opinions weren’t wanted, and I made it worse by pushing and pushing and pushing. Driving home from work, I felt like my skin was going to fall off, I was boiling inside. She was the one who, as a toddler, would press her face against the window and cry hysterically when I had to leave for work. She was the one who would throw up whenever I left town. But she’s an adult now. I forgot.

I’d invited my eldest daughter over for dinner last night. I was still in a swivet when I got home and the story of the day spilled out. She said, “Mom, you’ve got to let her go.” I’d never thought about it that way, but she’s right. The lessons always come from the most surprising places … and circumstances.

So, no matter what, I will always be here for both of them. For the tearful phone calls, for the requests for advice, to feed them when they are hungry, hug them when they are sad, laugh with them when we are amused, help them whenever necessary. Yes, I have to let them go. Hard but doable. This “freeing” process is going to take much discipline on my part. But I’m going to give it my best. I’m quite clear what letting them go doesn’t mean.

I will never stop being their mother. No matter what. Ever.

Be happy. Your choice.

Later.

Eleven Things I Know Are True

*Never get to blog anymore so when that one fine moment presents itself, I’m in. Which may explain why my posts are lengthy – want to get all these thoughts down because I don’t know when I’ll get back again. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I miss my friends in blogville. But the bills must be paid.

————————————————————————————————————————————————–

  1. Laughing feels so good.
  2. It’s ok to cry.
  3. Author Regina Brett says, “Everyone is important to someone.” I think she’s right.
  4. Sometimes I struggle with my age – even though it is only a number; I’m perpetually 27 but lately my bod had been issuing ugly reminders that I’m not … knees screaming about all the running and aerobics, back screeching about ridiculous yoga positions, arms bitching about carrying heavy stuff. My daughters gave me a Wii for Christmas. They said I couldn’t possibly do the Michael Jackson dance videos. Game on, I did them and got the high scores. No matter that I pulled a calf muscle. The look on their faces when they found out was worth the limp.
  5. It’s fun having hair. Mine is now long enough to put up in a crazy mess on top of my head. I LOVE that. Sort of weird – why grow hair out to put up. Because I can.
  6. Have mentally tossed a lot of people out of my lifeboat this year. Maybe a touch passive-aggressive, but the swimmers have no clue they’ve lost their spots, which is why they are gone in the first place. Duh.
  7. I love surprises! Today, two different adorables left me valentines and treats! Am I lucky or what?
  8. I can live with the fact that my daughters, on some level, will never forgive me for divorcing their dad. It is what it is. And that’s ok. At the risk of beating a very popular dead horse, I have to put on my oxygen mask first in order to help anyone else.
  9. Faith. Faith can be a real bugaboo for me. There are some things I know, and no noise can knock me off course. Other questions seemingly have no answers and comfort doesn’t exist. So I have to find that quiet place and hang there for a while.
  10. Work is good for me. Am so grateful to be working in crazy wonderful environments.
  11. Just finished cooking Valentine’s feast for my choice of best Valentine’s date in a long time … my eldest daughter! It will be great … as long as we don’t discuss politics, religion, money, furniture, or the future. Awesome.

This is lame and random. I am tired. Will return with ridiculous stories of real life adventures, sooner than later.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Be happy. Your choice.

Heimliching My Dog and Other Stuff

Bear with me here – haven’t posted in so long, my fingers are rusty. But let’s do get down to business nonsense.

So, my dog will not re-enter the house without my giving him a treat. My bad and he’s a fatso as a result. But I digress. Several weeks ago, I provided the requisite treat to get his fat self back in the house. The treat was rather large. Several minutes later, I noticed him walking in circles, mouth open, ears down … choking. Somewhere, I’d read something about someone giving the Heimlich Maneuver to their animal. So I got my arms around him, did HM and out popped the offender. He was so happy, he went straight into Liberace mode.

Himself, after donning his faux fur stole

Hairy Stuff

So, my hair is longer than it’s been in 22 years. Big whoop, you say. Well, it’s working for me in two ways. First, my “do” is so patently different from my former “pixie”, I can go almost anywhere undetected. Really, people I’ve known since I was 12 don’t recognize me. So great for covert operations and dodging people I can’t possibly be nice to. Second, men like hair. Who knew? I’ve grown my hair out because I wanted to, period. But it is hilarious how many men talk to me. This is not a vanity thing; when you are a certain age, the eyes aren’t what they once were and I think they are just now figuring out I’m not a boy. Je suis tout étonné.

Need some awesome White Elephant gifts? I did and boy, did I hit the jackpot at Dollar Tree. Got 12 separate hair extension situations (a bevy of colors) for $12; my friends will be delighted.

Fab hair extensions, complete with braided bandeau

Old Photos

My mom keeps giving me old family photos. Here’s the latest – it’s really a dear mother/child shot.

My grandmother and mother - love

Books

Am working through a load of pages. My book club is reading “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand. Having a bit of a time getting into it. Other pages I’m turning:

  • Big White Panties by Dale Alderman – sort of amusing but no classic
  • Stupid and Contagious by Caprice Crane – she’s pretty funny
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer – loved this even though it broke my heart

Bargains

Two words:  Dollar Store. No, you can’t buy everything there, but you can save some bucks. Aside from hair extensions, these spots are the best for wrapping paper, gift sacks, tissue, dental floss and weirdo stuff from childhood. Have also found an online shopping secret … check out websites you purchase from; they often featured unadvertised discounts – like 30-40% off. Experts say the discounts will only get deeper. Just so you know.

Ok, gotta mush.

Be happy – it’s a choice.

Later.

A Three Hour Tour and Other Stuff

Helloooooooo!

In the Good Grief category of the day, we have my sister, cruises, and the saying, “Some people never learn.”

The first time she went on a cruise, it was a day-long affair. The festive ship advertised bountiful buffets and gambling amid a luxurious environment. The boat would sail out in the morning and return at sunset. The ticket price was crazy low (huge red flag but she must be colorblind). She and her husband boarded the ship and took off for a lovely – and possibly profitable (if you think gambling is profitable; see red flag above) –  day at sea. Cutting to the chase: it was beyond Gilligan’s worst nightmare. The accommodations were anything but lovely. Once aboard, it was a hostage situation. After the boat limped, chugged, and coughed its way out to sea, the engine blew. Along with the engine, so goes air-conditioning, ice cubes, and electricity. The pig trough buffet featured the irresistible combination of boiled toilet paper cabbage and a pan of old weenies. Yum! Every ounce of alcohol was served at room temperature and the supply was deleted after one hour. A male passenger died in the middle of this; the staff lovingly placed him on a pleather sofa in the center of the galley and threw a sheet over him. All the passengers were herded inside where they remained while the piece of shit war canoe was towed into port. Which took hours. My sister is still convinced the man died from a combination of cabbage, weenies, and body odor. All the passengers had plenty of time to contemplate this as they were in one room with him, the weenies, and the body odor for hours. Lord ‘A Mercy, what was the lesson here? Well, she didn’t learn it.

My mother called yesterday to report my sister and her husband boarded a cruise ship in Miami on Monday. She is the eternal optimist and he is a not the husband she “cruised” with before. A wonderful week of beautiful seas … in the Bahamas. Woo Hoo –  the same place that is being destroyed by Hurricane Irene right this minute. My parents and I are not worried one minute. Surely the ship was diverted. If she survived the first experience, this will be a walk in the park. Although she has an international phone, my mom has not heard from her. Maybe they are in Germany. How do you say, “whatever” in German?

Under the Thank You and Godspeed tab, I’ve placed Steve Jobs. I want to personally thank you for quite literally changing the world for the better and hope the rest of your days are the best of your days.

BE HAPPY! It’s a choice, you know.

Later.