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.

The Love Letter

My Grandfather

This wonderful man wrote me a letter when I was four days old.

“My Dearest Little One –

Please forgive a fond Grandfather for the delay in welcoming you into our family and accept this letter as a small token of my love and affection for you.

First of all, let me congratulate you on your excellent choice of parents, and always be assured that they are rare people indeed. I have known your dear Mother since she drew her first breath of life and in all the passing years, the love I hold for her has mellowed and increased with the passage of time. Your Father is the newest member of the family, but he has earned a place in our hearts by just being himself and loving your Mother with all his heart. As for your Grandmother and me, well, we are just plain run-of-the-mill Grandparents, and we solemnly promise to spoil you and jump at your every beck and call.

I haven’t had the opportunity to be with you yet, but you can bet your Sunday boots that I am looking forward to that time with the greatest anticipation. I shall probably cause you some discomfort with all my foolishness, but just don’t be too harsh on me as all Grandfathers are just a bit silly at times. My chest has increased at least 10 inches since you were born and I’m sure it will continue to do so as I compare you with all the other inferior grandbabies of my friends. You must not feel any conceit, but I am sure there is no other little girl in the world quite like you, and you must always accept this position with charming grace.

Once again, let me tell you how welcome you are and how much I love you even though we haven’t met. I am counting the hours until I can hold you in my arms. The name I sign at the conclusion of this letter is a first for me, and it brings an overwhelming feeling of pride to do so. Give my best to your Mother and Daddy and save a little bit of your love for your –

Granddad -“

“You Make My Hair Hurt”

My friend uses that expression. She also says, “Colder than a Norwegian well digger’s ying yang”, to indicate a “chilly environment”.

She would not use that phrase here and now, where it is 300-degrees in the shade at dusk. It is hotter than a Acapulco hotel room with naugahyde bedspreads and a broken air conditioner. The same friend and I know how hot that is. After dining on a lovely rotten fish dinner the night before, we were sick as dogs. Hurling ourselves off our second floor balcony to end our misery was not an option. Because we were stuck to our naugahyde bedspreads. I’m thinking that these coverlets were quite efficient for the staff; just hose off the dead people, throw the corpses out, and remake the beds, lickety split.

  I love colorful phrases although I don’t necessarily like to live them. On that note, I’ve been  culling through my files, looking for other expressions thrown around in these parts. Sharing:

    • “Your ass is grass and I’m the lawn mower. (Someone is in solid trouble)
    • “Sweating like a whore in church.”
    • “I’m so hungry, I could eat a frozen dog.” (Back off, PETA, it’s just a phrase hungry drunk people use)
    • “My cow died last night so I don’t need your bull.”
    • “Don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things.”
    • “He’s trouble looking for a place to happen.”
    • “Well, the people in hell want ice water.” (You won’t be getting whatever it is you want)
    • “Crazier than an outhouse mouse.”
    • “That would gag a maggot.” (See naugahyde bedspread/corpses)
    • “I may have been born at night, but not last night.”
    • “It’s time for a “Come to Jesus” meeting.” (I was invited to many of those; not religious events)
    • “Earth is full. Go home.”

I’ll leave you with one piece of advice:  naugahyde is NOT your friend.  Off to sit in the fridge and chill.

Later.

Underwear Fail, Tribal Insanity, and Some Other Stuff

Today I am blaming EVERYTHING on Sean Kingston. For the life of me, I can’t get that 911 song out of my head. Nor can I get the lyrics right. I thought he was singing, “Someone call 911, Shortie’s on fire on the dance floor”. Looked lyrics up and they are, “Somebody call 911, Shawty fire burning on the dance floor”. What the hell is a “Shawty“? So I had to google that as well; a shawty is a “fine woman”. Hating on that whole situation. But let me share some more.

Underwear Fail  Seated around a restaurant dinner table with mixed company, this was the convo:

Bare Bottom: “I have to go put on some underpants. I forgot I didn’t have any on.”

Me: “YOU DON’T HAVE UNDERWEAR ON? DON’T CALL THEM “UNDERPANTS”; THOSE ARE FOR MEN. WHERE IS YOUR UNDERWEAR?”

Bare Bottom: Left’em in the car hours ago. Just bought some around the corner. Where’s the restroom?”

Just like that – stomping around a windy city for hours, in a dress and no panties – and it takes 5 hours to figure it out?  That, my friends, is typical dinner conversation around these parts. Would say we are a pack of toothless, inbred  hillbillies if not for my mother’s recent convos.

Mama Says – After reminding me what my middle name was (not that I asked), she said “Five of our family members signed the Magna Carta“. Ok, so we might be toothless and inbred. When I went to visit my Dad today, she said, in this order, “Get a job. Your hair needs a trim. I’m exhausted.” Well, hello to you, too, Mrs. Happy Pants. I make myself scarce and go find my Dad.

Daddy Says – Let me give you a little “dad” info. Mine speaks in quotes, a lot. “She looks like 40 miles of bad road”, “That dog won’t hunt”, and “I am NOT a rich man” frequently pepper many a chat. When I saw him today, he was stoned out of his gourd, but he did ask me the same question he asks me every day. I’ve told him the long-winded answer. Every day. Except today. “What is the graduate doing?”. My answer – one word. “Plastics.” Which made perfect sense to him after a Vicodin cocktail. Thinking about all his ‘isms made me think of some other ‘isms my friends use.

Friends Say – The ones that come to mind include Jeez o’peep, Lawd A’Mercy, Reeeeeeally?, and one I’ve yet to figure out, “F*^k me running”. Could that be the same as “Cool Running”? Don’t know, can’t get a bead on that visual. Then I remembered what we would say in middle school when mad at one another. Start low, end high. “Get so mad, would ‘ya? Yes, I will, thank ‘ya”. Somehow, this stroll down short memory lane reminded me of what I just read.

WHAT I JUST READ

  • WHY DOES A PSYCHIC HAVE TO ASK YOUR NAME?”
  • “HOW CAN YOU TELL WHEN YOU ARE OUT OF INVISIBLE INK?”
  • “WHY IS THE NEEDLE STERILIZED FOR A LETHAL INJECTION?”
  • “SILLY CYCLIST … STEROIDS ARE FOR BALLPLAYERS!”

Wow.I am scaring myself. Would go find an adult refreshment but, whoops, ex-housekeeper drained liquor cabinet. Instead, I’ll just go all optimistic here!  Winner, Winner! It’s a Charlie Sheen day! Now where is that Dragon Blood?

Later. Maybe. Probably.

Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got A Lovely ……

 

If you are easily offended, please do not read this post; come back another day. You have been warned. 🙂

Got an email a couple of weeks ago that promised to make me laugh. All I had to do was watch the You Tube video. It features part of a BBC show, apparently about the Brown family. When the title is, “Mrs. Brown Gets A Bikini Wax“. I love British humor; despite the fact that “bikini wax” in the title is a bit much, of course I looked it up and watched. And laughed my self silly. Should you need a good laugh and are a bit twisty, please watch it to the very end. You can find it here:

I’m a link loser so just go straight to You Tube and type in the show title. Oh, don’t complain, like that’s a bunch of trouble.

Speaking of losing, since I have taken on the odious chore of cleaning my house, I have found lots of surprises. Each day I discover something amiss. Today, it was the shower door.  Most of the time, I shower downstairs. My shower exerts as much pressure as a new-born baby. But I was in a hurry. Have worn glasses for about a month. Looked at the shower door, which is all glass, as I got in. It had been cleaned with a Brillo pad and looks like a cat with metal claws went into a glass-slashing frenzy. Who in their right mind would do that?

Delving into my kitchen cabinets, I found all sorts of cutlery and dishes that were obviously removed from the dishwasher and put away – but the dishwasher was never used. GROSS.

Later, I went to my liquor cabinet. Never go there unless I’m having company … and happy pills treat me much better than moonshine. When I opened the door, I saw a slew of empty bottles: tequila, scotch, bourbon, gin, vodka. Of course, my first thought went to my girls. Wrong. They are of age and live elsewhere. Who in the world drained all the liquor bottles?

I pondered these mysteries while walking Cooper earlier. And ran into my friend, E. We chatted and I complained about house cleaning, glass slashing and the missing adult beverage material. She gave me a look that said, “HELLO!” I always wondered why my former house helper had a hard time getting to her car at the end of the day. And that also explains the glass door mess, the dishwasher that wasn’t allowed to do its job, and all the gouges in my walls and woodwork.  There was a cocktail party, attended by one, every week at mi casa. God knows, house cleaning is wretched, but get drunk after work, like everybody else.

Dumber than a bag of hammers, I am was. I once was blind but now I have glasses. Which I accidentally wore into the shower today. Whatev.

Off to bed now as I must get up at three a.m. to attend the Royal Wedding. I wonder if Mrs. Brown was invited?

 Nighty Noodles.

Later.

*Not a peep from Ms. DeGeneres … yet. 😦

House of Horrors: Home Improvement Hell

There are two words – just two – that can put fear in the heart of men and women:  home improvement. The worst situations we bring upon ourselves always sound so innocent. You have been warned.

 Today, home improvement means cleaning up the house. But it was not always so. About 10-12 moons ago,  a fragrant combo of potato peelings, coffee grounds, chopped onion and a massive amount of water erupted from my washing machine, via the garbage disposal. Don’t ask. The “flood” did a bit of damage. After a flurry of Rhodes Scholars, insurance adjusters, brain surgeons,  leak detectives, structural engineers, and plumbers tramped through our territory, it was determined that a broken pipe under the kitchen would require some repair and redo. Duh.

Thus began the hostage situation starring my family. At the time, I had a husband and two young children – but they went to work and school – leaving me to deal with the service gods. There are two words to keep in mind when waiting on the fixers: chain reaction.

A couldn’t do his job until B arrived, but he was having lunch with C, who was real mad at D. Now D was the plumber appointed by the insurance company to start this hair ball rolling. He had a little home-based business (out of a city two hours away) and his Mama did all his phone answerin’ and fetchin’. please turn up Deliverance banjo tune as loud as possible>.

D wreaked havoc all over our property, digging sink holes, disappearing into them, and fist-fighting with his team of stooges plumberettes over missing tools. But he did accidentally fix the leak. Leaving the house torn to shreds with debris everywhere.

The parade of magicians thus began their march. The “professionals”, the fixer-uppers who swore they’d make the house “real purty”. I looked into the dazed and confused eyes of every repairman who entered my house and asked the question, “How long will this project take?”. The answer was always the same, “A year or so”. Kill me first.

Our house had always had a mind of its own, deciding when and how hard to hit our bank account. In order to collect the insurance money to fix the house, we had to lower the backyard four inches. Grass begone. Giant mud pie. Don’t ask. There was a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow so we did it. I said, “Don’t ask”. Emergency phone call for unlimited amounts of anti-anxiety meds.

When remodeling, the journeyman working on the house know more about you than your gynecologist, parents, and the government combined. Because they live with you. The husband, kids, and I were relegated to one king sized bed(temporary living room) and one bathroom (the pee-and-tea which doubled as kitchen). Call me a curmudgeon, but the warm, fuzzy experience of enjoying that first cup of coffee in the morning is considerably diminished when surrounded by cold tile and a toilet. Am obviously not cut out for a real prison stint.

When the kids would ask if friends could come over, I had a cheery reply. “Sure, if you all want to sit in the middle of my bed and stare at each other.” Nipped in bud.

When you redo the homestead – paint, floors, lighting – your old furniture no longer works with the new and improved interior. My then-husband only uttered one phrase during the entire debacle … “How much is all this going to cost?”. He lost all battles and the war, leaving him a shell of a man. Made of sterner stuff, I pressed on.

I did try to cut a few corners. Wrong move. I hired my own upholsterer to recover the sofa. When it was returned three months later, I sat on it and closed my eyes. It felt like I was sitting in an airport lobby. The cushions were as soft as a basket of stale sandwiches. <very sad face>

After a year of this nonsense, “the perfect thing” kept cropping up, extending our deadline. I’d thrown in the towel by this time, directing all questions to A, B, C, D, or his Momma. Would have lived under a bridge during this nightmare, but all bridge property was already occupied by home improvement hostages.

Believe it or not, I’ve made this long story short. If you want a divorce, no privacy whatsoever for eternity, and like to be heavily medicated, then by all means, consider home improvement. For the rest of you considering a “redo”, DON’T GO THERE. Really. You’re welcome.

 

Later.

Brain Floats

Have to admit, my brain is floating around more than usual today. Sharing:

My precious -and- very talented – friend, Meg, officially launches lesueur interiors this evening. She has a beautiful website and blog. Check her out at www.lesueurinteriors.com. You won’t be disappointed, you will be inspired! Champagne all around!

Is it just me or should Gleeks be campaigning for Justin Timberlake to appear on Glee? He looks very much like he could be related to Matthew Morrison, “Mr. Schuster”. And he can sing. Just sayin’. (Obviously from photo, I’m not the first to think of these two together; but I saw the photo after I thought this, so there!)

 

I was in Whole Foods the other day when I was struck with a notion. It’s a cool place, I shop there, maybe I should apply for a job. As there are plenty of attractive female employees there, it occurred to me I might be able to cop a job if I grew a beard and had some piercings. Ears already pierced! Beard not a good look. Meh! Before I could wallow in self-pity, a young woman walked in the store. She looked like this:

 

The drawing resembles what would be called the “fat” version of the woman I saw. First, I felt like crying for her as she was beyond anorexic and that is such a horrid disease. If I had to estimate, she might have weighed 75 pounds and stood about 5’6″. As I left, I said a prayer that Whole Foods had heart paddles in case hers said, “I quit” in the vegetable aisle. (Am very familiar with anorexia so no rants, please.) Then I was reminded of my former husband. He could qualify as a manorexic but it’s from extreme exercising. He was a triathelete when we first married and I told him then he looked like Jesus hanging on the cross. A couple of weeks ago, he came by to pick up my youngest daughter and her boyfriend. When I saw him, I said, “Good grief, former husband, eat some food!” Then being the bossy pants I am, I told daughter and beau to take him to the gas station and put the air hose in his mouth until he filled out a bit. Yikes!

Flipping totally over to the other side of the coin, I’ll leave you with a recipe that sounds so gross and is so yummy. I preface this with the fact that I don’t eat anything like this on a yearly basis, but you gotta go crazy sometimes! Really, the mixture of these ingredients will repulse, but the finished product will be gobbled up. Promise!

Tamales and Chicken A La King

12 Johnson’s Colorado tamales

2 cans Swanson’s Chicken A La King

1 12oz can evaporated milk

1 4oz can chopped green chiles

grated cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 350-degrees. Grease 9×13 pan. Unwrap tamales and place on bottom of pan. Mix chicken, chiles, and milk. Pour over tamales. Cover top with generous amount of cheddar cheese. Cook for 45 minutes or until bubbly.

Hook’em.

Later.