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.

Booking It

Better get these on the books before I get bored and start … handfishing with hillbillies. Not really. I don’t hang with hillbillies. And my relationship with fish involves cooking and a fork. But I digress …

Just read, am reading, will read:

  • The Other Tudors, Henry VIII’s Mistresses and Bastards by Philippa Jones. My obsession with all things Henry continues. Jones was/is a historian, and a good one at that. Each page is so full of information, I might finish when I’m 75, but this is a good book.
  • An Available Man by Hilma Wolitzer. The story of a 62-year-old widower thrust back into the world of women. Not a snore. This is a  good read and full of surprises. Brava, Hilma!
  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo. At my bedside, ready to read next. Great reviews for this “jaw-dropping” portrait of modern India.
  • Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. Stylish portrait of the higher life in 1930s New York. Still reading … really like the narrator but the lifestyle makes me want to go to AA and the characters make me sad.
  • The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons 
  • Gone With A Handsomer Man by Michael Lee West. Have always been a huge MLW fan; this would be my least favorite of all her book. Whining.
  • Rules for Virgins by Amy Tan. This one is a Kindle Single – a 40-page story that may or may not be part of future book. Shanghai. 1912. Former courtesan advising aspiring one. Fascinating.

Later.

Free Falling

Free falling. There are those times when you find yourself in a free fall. Gravity, disguised as circumstances, exhaustion, or emotions, just knocks your feet right out from under you. And you are free falling.

It’s not so much about the fall, itself, but that you stop it. This is NOT the time to go with the flow.

Catastrophizing, whining, blaming … these are not options but negative motivators (oxymoron?) that build nasty momentum. So, how do you stop the fall?

First, reach out. Grab some strong arms to hug you, seek loving ears to listen.

My very wise friend, Renee, would say, “Shift“. Look at what “pushed” you, shift your perceptions, and find the lesson. Emotions are fickle, not to be trusted”. Ms. Shay would say, “It’s all about will – your will, your choice – and you have abundant, positive choices.”

And then, the rest is up to me … or you. It always is. When I am in a free fall, it is often precipitated by control. Me trying to control anything, everything. And when anything, everything feels like I am herding cats, “tilting at windmills”, and bouncing off the same brick wall repeatedly, I know to stop. Just stop and listen.

Then, and only then, I hear Renee and Ms. Shay. And the Big Voice saying, “You are NOT on a crazy train that’s going off the rails. You didn’t buy that ticket. Simmer down.” And I’m no longer falling, but standing up, sorta straight. And remembering verses that are warm and fuzzy at the very least – to me:

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find relief and ease and refreshment and blessed quiet for your souls. For My yoke is useful – not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant, and My burden is light and easily borne.” (Matthew 11:28-30, Amplified Bible)

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? (Mary Oliver)

Then I know that comfort, so momentarily elusive, will come.

And I begin again.

——————————-

*Big Voice would not be Ozzy Osbourne. But I do like “Crazy Train

Self-Medicating with Words

I will go to great lengths to make a day that feels “less than” feel “more than”. Today, I’m rolling around in the following quotes:

  • “If you think you are too small to make a difference, you’ve never been in a tent with a mosquito.” Regina Brett
  • “What motivates you more: a correction or a compliment?” Jenny Dintzler
  • “Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” Goethe
  • “A belief has no power other than what you give it.”
  • “Happiness happens when you least inspect it.”
  • “Stay open all hours for miracles.”
  • “We are born at peace.”
  • “Happiness doesn’t always make you happy.” Gretchen Rubin
  • “It is better to sleep on what you intend doing than to stay awake over what you’ve done.”
  • “I’ll sing for my supper but I won’t audition.” Kaminsky & Penney
  • “Change happens slowly, then all at once.”
  • “What looks like an anchor may be wings.”
  • “Instead of treating people the way you want to be treated, treat people the way they want to be treated.” Regina Brett
  • “None of us have a crystal ball. We may feel like things are hard and we are stuck with a lemon today. But tomorrow could bring many beautiful things if our hearts are open and willing.” Divorced Girl/Vibrant Nation
  • “If you see a red flag, don’t try to make it magenta. What you see is the way it is. Believe it and act accordingly.” Magnolia Miller
  • “The best test of a person’s character is how he/she treats those with less power … the way you act when you can’t be held accountable, how you treat those who can do nothing for you.”
  • “All you need is love.” The Beatles

Now.

Later.

Now and 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.

I Don’t Drink Outside My Zip Code

Isn’t that the best line ever? My friend, Demona, threw that down when we were discussing where to have dinner.

Topics for today include: Books, Movies, and Finds. Off we go:

Loving the WordFoto App

Books and Movies

One of the books I recently read was The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. Historical fiction about Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley. I’ve read everything about F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald during that crazy time; it was nice to get a different perspective. And I’m damn glad I did because …. two weeks later, I saw Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. Had I not read that book, I wouldn’t have “gotten” all the nuances in the movie.  Book – good; Movie – not so much. I’ve also read Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan; really liked it until last chapter. Next up: The Man in the Rockefeller Suit by Mark Seal, Joy for Beginners by Erica Bauermeister, and Wait for Me! Memoirs by Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire.

Finds

If you are anywhere near Oxford, Mississippi, do stop by Bottletree Bakery. Everything in that place looks delicious; everything I managed to cram in my mouth was delicious. Find yourself in Houston? Head right over to ….

Yum!

I swear, Relish has the very best Blueberry Cookie I’ve ever eaten. The hummus is amazing as well.

On the shoe front, a group of us stumbled upon the most comfortable sandals in the entire world in Charleston, S.C. The Charleston Shoe Co. and sister store, Savannah Shoe Co., sell these babies in an abundance of styles. Because they use a bunch of elastic and rubber soles, I could wear them every day. And, one of the sales women told me they can go in the washing machine. Won’t happen at my house because I am on a laundry strike, but you can do whatever you want.

Can't help myself

*It has been said you cannot stick your tongue out and look at the ceiling simultaneously (tendons say “no”).

You just tried it AND you can do it.

I know, because I did.

Idiots all.

Later.