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.

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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.

Hilarious Kids on Hores and History

Teacher/Daughter entertained us the other evening with an email she’d received. It was a third-grader’s “essay”titled, “I Like Hores“. Sharing ….

“I like hores. Hores have other hores friends. Hores like carots. You wouldn’t think they coud but they can put their legs strait up. Hores make you feel good. My dad wants a hores but my mom says no. When I am 16 or 20 I Will buy my own hores.”

This reminded me of something I read 15 years ago. Richard Lederer put together a compilation of history essays written by kids. The entire piece was/is wet-your-pants material. In an effort to keep you high and dry, I’ll just repeat my favorites:

  • “The Greeks had myths. A myth is a female moth.”
  • Regarding the Olympic Games – “….Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled the biscuits, and threw the java.”
  • “Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock.”
  • “Joan of Arc was burnt to a steak.”
  • “Martin Luther … died a horrible death, being excommunicated by a bull.”
  • “Henry VIII found walking difficult because he had an abbess on his knee.”
  • “Queen Victoria was the longest queen. She sat on a thorn for 63 years.”
  • “Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper.”
  • “… George Washington had big balls and everyone enjoyed them.”
  • “Abraham Lincoln became America’s greatest Precedent. His mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin he built with his own hands.”
  • “Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin discovered electricity by rubbing two cats backwards…Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.”

Ha Ha Ha! Have a great day!

Later.

Milestone Playlist in Three-Part Harmony

This is a story in three-part harmony.

Drove to Austin listening to my current favorite playlist.  My youngest, McPaddie, was graduating from UT. My solo road trip was extra fun because I could sing at the top of my lungs. SWEET. This morning, I jumped in the car, turned on the tunes, and headed home. SWEET and SALTY. What a difference 24 hours make.

One: BeforeWoke up yesterday morning at Austin Ann‘s peace haven. Something is off – oh, haven’t had coffee yet. Drink my body weight in java, read Nora Ephron‘s, “I Feel Bad About My Neck” from cover to cover. Jump in shower to wash off oompa loompa tan and get all gussied up for the Big Event. The second I see Ann, I tear up. Her baby just graduated from UGA, my baby will have a diploma in a couple of hours. It was a mom moment. Lots of deep breathing.  Fairy Godmother, Poob, arrived, we put our high hoofs on and off we went.

Two: During –  Met up with Miss Peach (eldest daughter) and her dad at the venue. Each school has a commencement ceremony; we were in an enormous venue for The School of Communications.

Yep, we were going to be there for hours. Poob‘s daughter graduated from Stanford; Oprah gave the commencement speech. We were anxious to find out who we would be listening to. Opened the program and OMG. The address was being given by a guy who dated one of our friends in high school and was engaged to another friend after college. I immediately sent a text to both women: Craig Dubow is the SPEAKER!” Furious texts flew back and forth between Austin, Houston, and Fredericksburg. I mean, he does have cred – Chairman and CEO of Gannet Co., Inc. Whatev. We had most excellent seats and McPaddie was front row. She walked, we screamed, and two-and-1/2 hours later we hooked our horns,  sang, “The Eyes of Texas”, and piled out into the Texas heat. Pictures taken all around amidst a throng of other picture takers. My graduate was one happy camper. Another mom moment – proud. Off we went for drinks at the W, very cool. Then Skywalker, the graduate’s fab love muffin, met us at Eddie V‘s for dinner. All great fun, saw the world, including friends we’d gone to UT with. Poob and I left the younger ones at that point; we’d been in graduation mode for 12 hours and it was closing time – for us. This morning, we left Ann with smooches, had a bite with the grad, hugs and smooches all around, and we headed in three different directions.

Three: After – Driving out of Austin for the umpteenth time, I turned up the tunes and pressed the pedal to the metal. But this time, it was different. My oldest has a big life in our home town. The youngest isn’t coming home. They are both amazing. We’ve all experienced a milestone. Listening to the music, tears started falling out of my eyes. Happy, proud, sweet tears mixed with some salty, sentimental mom water. Deep breathing. Nothing is impossible. Life is good. Mysterious, but good.

The Playlist, in no particular order

  • “Raise Your Glass” – Pink
  • “Don’t Stop Believing” – Journey
  • “Gimme Shelter”– The Rolling Stones
  • “Stronger” – Glee Cast
  • “Sweet Child O’ Mine” – Guns N’Roses
  • “Heads Will Roll” – Yeah Yeah Yeah’s
  • “Born This Way”– Lady GaGa
  • Dueling Guitars” – August Rush movie
  • Defying Gravity” – Idina Menzel and Lea Michele
  • On The Floor”Jennifer Lopez with Pitbull
  • Someone Like You” – Adele
  • “Learn To Fly” – Foo Fighters
  • “Sweet Home Alabama” – Lynyrd Skynrd
  • “Shout It Out Loud” – KISS
  • “Daughter” – Loudon Wainwright III
  • Mercy” – Duffy
  • “I Was Made To Love Her” – Stevie Wonder
  • “Hallelujah” – Jeff Buckley

As for the three-part harmony ……..

Peach, McPaddie, Cita/iz

 “A daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart.”

Blessed two times over, I am.

Later.

When Life Gives You Lemons, Throw ‘Em Back

 

It’s not all lemonade and lollipops around here; sometimes it’s a sauerkraut and  Draino martini situation. That would be the last 24-hours. Despite my insane determination to maintain inner composure and be happy no matter what, my cup almost boiled over.

  • Took eldest daughter to dinner last night to celebrate her birthday. We had a nice time. During dinner, a friend and his daughter walked past our table; I had to say his name to get his attention. He said he didn’t recognize me because I am always reinventing myself. My reply, “Yep, me and Madonna.” WTH? Maybe it’s because the last time I saw him, I had shorter hair and a job.

 

  • Mi Madre called as I was running errands earlier. She wanted to let me know “what’s going on”. She probably needed to vent, but it was one misery after another. When she came up for air, I asked her if there was anything positive? NO! Wow. No matter how many times this happens, I don’t know how EVERYTHING can always be wrong. I can’t live there. Yikes.

 

  • Get a text from youngest daughter. She’d planned on driving four hours to one city, run a half-marathon, drive five hours home, attend Day 6 of her sister’s birthday festival, stay over for Mother’s Day lunch, then drive three hours back to school. We’re talking one weekend here. Her text said she realized she couldn’t do all that and I complimented her on being smart, not to mention, safe.

 

  • My friend calls and the conversation gets around to her sucky job. She said, “I think I want to quit and be like you, but I don’t have your bankroll.” Surely she meant “bedroll” cause that’s the only roll I have. I just said, “YE GODS, WOMAN, DO YOU KNOW OF WHAT YOU SPEAK?”. Then my cell phone went dead from lack of juice. Whew.

 

  • Get an email from younger daughter stating she could drive all over the state and would be doing so. Emailed back, “PLEASE RECONSIDER – NOT SAFE! I then text eldest daughter about Mother’s Day brunch and that her sister’s plans were not a good idea.

 

  • Get a rancid phone call from eldest daughter. I love her with all my heart, but she has a bit of a stubborn streak. She’s a teacher and probably had a rotten day.  The only words I was able to understand from that spew was that I had assassinated her character(?). I could tell she was just getting started so I did what I always do when this happens; say “I love you” and hang up. No one speaks to me that way, especially my children. I mean, if God wants to talk, I’m all ears but that ain’t happening either. That I know of.

So now comes the part where you just know I am going to throw myself off the roof or at least wallow like a pig in a self-pity pool. SURPRISE! I’ve got fresh sheets on my bed, a sweet little dog that follows me wherever I go, food in my stomach, and a roof over my head. That trumps any and all of the day’s crapola.

Later.

Tomorrow will be a better day. Indeed! Right?

It’s Monday: Weekend Insanity Report & Advice Request

I just don’t know what to think. So I’ll just toss it all out there, as usual.

She’s A Bad Mama Jama

In my opinion. This morning, on Good Morning America, there was a story about little boys entering beauty pageants. Apparently, the toddler tiara set is now composed of 10% boy entrants. OK. But I was appalled when one of the boy pageant mothers said, “I can turn my little boys into girls. These are the girls I never had.” This is, to me, a prime example of why some women should never give birth.

Evening of Insanity

That would be last Saturday night. Am not being critical as I was right in the middle of the madness. Actually caused some of it. In my last post, I introduced the electronic yodeling pickle. I call him “Canute” as he is manufactured in Canada. I keep him by the phone; when telemarketers call, they are treated to a concert. I packed Canute along with some adult beverages before we headed out to a gathering Saturday night. Upon our arrival, I introduced the innocent but very talented pickle to other guests. Poor Canute. Before he even got one yodel out, his image was desecrated. “He looks like a green, bumpy d***0 <very personal people pleaser>. And given a new handle, The YoDo. Ridiculous. Improper. Obviously engaged in highly intellectual pursuits, Zorba and ParTay decided to use Canute for prank phone calls. Yes, these can still be done and yes, we stopped maturing at 13. I haven’t laughed that hard in about two weeks. Can’t repeat any more of conversations about Canute but you can be sure that the phrase, “in a pickle” was tossed about in a most unsavory fashion.

At the same event, The Prince asked me why I had so many “blog” comrades who are Brits, Aussies, and South Africans. Well, duh. First and foremost, they are brilliant. And write well. And are hilarious. Then I became thoughtful and realized yet another connection. I have Brit blood. I am obsessed with that medieval bad boy, Henry VIII. My ancestors include Lady Jane Grey, whose nine-day reign as Queen of England ended in yet another headless situation. Which could explain personal insanity, flightiness, and inability to focus on anything (including this topic) for more than two seconds. As well as unwanted comments about my behavior as that of “a chicken with its head cut off”. It is Queen Izzie, y’all. Which has nothing to do with original question.

Latest Search Engine Terms

The terms used to find me are just getting weirder.

  • Car fell off parking garage (obviously an insurance inquiry)
  • Skirt came off my head (not in the habit of wearing my skirt on my head but could happen under the right circumstances….)
  • Plastic panties (mind out of gutter, people)
  • Parking garage facial (hmmmm…no, too bizarre to consider)
  • Chief wiggle eye gluer (can’t fix this … try o-p-h-t-h-a-l-m-o-l-o-g-i-s-t)
  • My boss tucked my blouse in for me (tmi, ever heard of “sexual harassment suits”? Wear one.)

 Enough mischief for a Monday.  Which brings up another question. (Promise to take ADHD meds immediately after this). Ok, new business is a direct result of a blog friends’ suggestion. So, I need some more advice. Regarding marketing. For those late to party, I am selling candles. Great candles.  Am just rolling this out, am still in infancy stage, so my marketing plans has been to contact a few people a week. This has resulted in a nice start on my candle makers retirement fund. The introduction must be handled this way, so she and I can see just how much we can do. Now it is holiday season, people spend more money. Good time to bring out new but not accurate for ongoing sales prediction. My product is under market price. That’s my story and I’m bewildered where/what goes next. Any advice most appreciated.

Later. and merci…

Tight Screws, Cracked Codes, Man Cues, & Stupid News

Good grief! Current events and what passes for “news” are making my brain limp. Er, flatline.

 

 Just Precious

Forgive me for starting out on the hygiene aisle, but this situation is out of hand. A few weeks ago, I got a brightly colored box in the mail. I LOVE surprises. Or did until this one. It was from Kotex; a little gift box of green, yellow, pink, and blue feminine hygiene products. I don’t know about you, but my privacy is color-blind and this was the most stupid advertising I’d ever seen. Until yesterday. I was watching television and a commercial came on. “Mother Nature” and a perky young woman were having a Tampax tiff. Perky woman shut MN down when she proclaimed her “feminine hygiene” product was “cute”. These companies paid the big bucks for advertising. Note to both enterprises: Your Stupid is showing.

 

Teen Text Codes “cracked” on GMA

In an effort to inform and enlighten parents everywhere, “Good Morning America” did a segment explaining just what some cell texts hieroglyphics really mean. I’m sure I’m the worst parent ever, but I’ve never pried the cell phone from either daughter in order to read their texts. That would require surgery as the phones are permanently implanted atop their right hands and I have no interest in that sort of endeavor. Nevertheless, here’s what I learned:

  • cu46 = see you for sex (really?)
  • gnoc = get naked on camera (I think not)
  • 53x = sex (raging hormones, always a problem)
  • wtgfa% = want to go for a drink? (and the drinking age is?)
  • doc = drug of choice (the more things change … blah, blah

 

Wedlock/Deadlock

Writer Bernadette Anat did some asking around on behalf of Glamour and MSN.com regarding “What 12 Things Smart Women Know About Men“; I found two I thought were spot on and not absolute “duhs”. Those are”Be picky” and “Be friends”. On second thought, duh.

Staying on topic, I located a factoid at yahoo.com/answers; it seems the U.S. average age for couples to marry is 25 for women, 27 for men. I was 27 when I married the first time; the jury is still out whether I’ll attempt that again. Marriage, not 27. Then I read about this woman in Taipei. She’s hired a wedding planner and her big bash is set and ready to happen soon. She is marrying herself! The highlight of this rather sad tale was the brilliant anonymous comment that followed …“I give it three months”.

Morons with Money 

A human(?) recently paid $302,500 for a Barbie doll at a New York auction. You must be so proud of yourself. Really, throwing down serious change for a doll when people are starving in … America! Jackwagon. 

 

 

 Political correctness is slowly but surely imprisoning the American population. Those two words sound innocent and proper to me. They are anything but. Freedom doesn’t exist in a place where you must carefully edit your speech and actions, where you can be punished for your opinions. I get that extreme cases require extreme measures. When these measures also apply to Average Joe and Jane, you and me, resulting in loss (job, money, brain cells), then we have a BIG OLD PROBLEM. I’d find a way to fix this if I were smarter, but if you have a good idea, count me in.

Enough!

Later.