Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Take a Breather

December is a busy time, no? It is unavoidable.

Therefore, I feel I have earned the right to re-post a long-ago post that only two people read (according to my comments from January).

I have chosen this particular post because Thanksgiving just slipped right by with all of its reverence for gratitude. Now, we enter into a precious season (Hanukah, Christmas, New Year’s) that can easily be over-shadowed by long to-do lists, exhausting lines and crowded stores, and a fear that you’re just not going to be able to get it all done.

This post reminds me of what’s really important.

I Choose Us


It’s all about family. As I get older, I realize this more and more. The most important thing in life is all about relationships and the connections you have with the significant people in your life. No matter what is going on in my life, no matter the things I have or don’t have, no matter the health I am in, life is always a little better with the people I love close to me. There is nothing more important.

There used to be a time when it was very important to me to go out and be part of the “social scene.” That has become unimportant to me, and it amazes me to think back to when I looked forward to being at places that were loud, crowded, and hoppin’. I would get bored and complain if my husband wanted to be somewhere SITTING and chatting. Nowadays, if my husband and I actually have a rare opportunity to go out without Parker, the only kind of place I would want to go would be a place to sit and sip wine and talk and connect with my husband and friends. And when I go out, I want to be home and in my bed between 10:00 and 11:00 pm (which would already be past my bedtime). The fact that I prefer to go somewhere to SIT is on my list of reasons I know I am getting older (along with using the word “hoppin” and buying a one piece swimsuit and cover up skirt).

Before having Parker, I thought we’d be the glamorous couple that has a very regular babysitter and still gets gussied up to go out a couple times a month. I thought, “We won’t have to change our lifestyle THAT much.”

Well, I honestly quite enjoy going out to dinner as a family and going home to watch a Pixar movie (isn’t Pixar great?!). If I’m being very truthful, planning a night out for Richard and me without Parker still makes me anxious.

So, the bottom line is, given the choice, I choose Friday night family movie nights. I choose take-out Chinese and wine at home. I choose going to the restaurants with good kids’ menus. I choose Saturday morning play dates with my friend and her children. I choose to make the people in my life my priority. I choose us.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Get These People Out of My House


I had a chance this week to watch the movie Motherhood with Uma Thurman. This is obviously not a review of this movie, as it is not even considered a new release, but it was a new release in my world.

Boy, could I relate to that movie, as I’m sure many of you out there can. Sure, there were many differences between her life and mine, but so many experiences and thoughts she had rang true.

For example, here I am, in a rush, literally sweating as I frantically grab (what I hope to be) an hour for writing. Moments ago, I was hanging laundry, putting away groceries, and Putting Things In The Right Place (a never-ending chore), when all of a sudden I heard golden words:

“Come on, Parker, get your shoes on!” Richard, my husband, shouted out.

“Whatchya gonna do?” I asked.

“We’re going to go to Home Depot!” He said.

“Parker go witch you!” Parker shouted.

Yessssss, I think. I will stop everything and WRITE. I can be among others when I write, but it is best if I am alone.

“Let mommy help you change your pants and get your shoes on,” Richard says (which means he is asking that I change Parker and put his shoes on).

“Yes! Come here, Parker! Let’s get changed,” I say, glad to help.

“NOO! No change! Stay home with mommy!” Parker shouts.

“NO!” I shriek in quick response, “You go with Daddy, you ride the tractor!” I continue.

“Maybe there’ll be M&M’s for good boys,” Richard adds.

“Yes,” I try to hold onto whatever I can to keep my moment for writing that is dangling over a precipitous edge. “Parker, you get changed, you get M&M’s!”

“M&M’s!” Parker shouts. He comes right to me and lays down for his change.

Oh, thank god. I think. Get them out the door. I mean, I love them and all, but geez.

And, here I am, writing. In bed. Sunset. 4:30 pm. Glass of wine at the bedside. Silence.

I’m off to dive back into my character for a while and work on my novel. Love to you all.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Highlights of Our Thanksgiving

Round here, it's been all about family. And fun. Hope you've been having a taste of the same thing!






Monday, November 22, 2010

Forget Turkey and Stuffing, I'll have Pennies and Dimes!

Does anyone else out there find it disturbing that The Internet can either tell you that everything is going to be alright, or in the next page load, that death is imminent and the emergency room is calling your name?

So many people caution against using The Internet for medical advice, but it is hard to resist when you have a burning question about, for example, your child eating a penny.

I am happy to say this did not happen on my watch. My son “might have” eaten a penny the other night while my husband was watching him. Now, do not be upset with my husband. He is a good, dear father, and those pennies are tantalizing things, I hear, to the average two year old.

My husband told me yesterday, “I think Parker ate a penny last night.”

“Are you serious?!” I asked looking down at Parker. What does this mean? I thought.

My husband goes on to say, “He was playing with his piggy bank, and then I heard him make some kind of coughing, choking sound in his throat, but he looked fine. I didn’t see anything happen. Then, I asked him, ‘Parker, did you eat a penny?’ and Parker said, ‘Yes.’”

I just stood there with my mouth open and looked down again at Parker. Parker just looked up at me.

My husband went on, “He had a poo this morning and there was nothing in it.”

I couldn’t get to the computer fast enough. But, tell me, why do I go to The Internet when I KNOW that some sites will say, “Not to worry!” and other sites will say (in so many words), “Death is imminent!”

We don’t even know for sure if he actually swallowed the penny.

Most of the respectable sites said it could take a few days for the penny to pass without any incident. There would be other signs if it was lodged somewhere dangerously in the body somewhere. So, it is a waiting game, if it exists.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A LIttle Abandon Goes a Long Way


This post was inspired by The Red Dress Club's Red Writing Hood prompt to write a story based on a song...

A Little Abandon Goes a Long Way

“WOOO HOOO!” wailed my brother as he raced down the top of our roof on my scooter. He flew through the air while I held my breath, and he landed in our pool.

My brother’s best friend, Garrett, was jumping up and down in excitement. “Yeah!” he shouted and jumped in the pool after my brother.

It was the summer of 1988, and my brother and his best friend were like two misfits looking for trouble wherever they could, especially while stuck at home in the summertime, and our parents worked.

Although, nothing would have kept them stuck at home. They pretty much did whatever they wanted to do.

I was in awe of them, particularly when they took my scooter and rode it off our rooftop and into our pool.

I was twelve years old, and I was so pitifully UNCOOL in my desire to be liked by them. They were a Very Cool Age of fifteen.

They, of course, hated me. And the fact that I was The Younger Sister, hanging on every word. Following every footstep really did not afford me any points in The Cool Department.

I was just glad to have them around, just for a little bit. They were usually off, like I said, getting into any trouble they could. Increasing the number of gray hairs on my parents’ heads. This added to the already sometimes stressful household of a father who was a recovering alcoholic and a mother trying to keep it all together and working very hard at it.

Ignoring the stress of the adults, a lot of focus was placed on my brother and the trouble he was getting into.

I learned to worry about everyone around me at a very young age.

…………

My parents came home from work, tired and tired of the heat. I kept my mouth shut about the scooter on the roof because I knew what was really good for me.

My brother and Garrett called everyone to the family room.

“Come here, Come here! We want to show you something!” they shouted.

We all came to the family room and sat on the couch, not sure what to expect.

“We’ve been practicing something and you’ve got to see it!” they said as they got a record ready on our player.

My parents and I were silent. Obviously my brother and Garrett were getting ready for a performance. This was a little uncharacteristic for them. This would display a vulnerable side, something they were not used to in The World of Cool. We were tense as we waited for what they had planned.

They took their places. My brother acted as “drums.” Garrett acted as “guitar.” (Nothing better than air instruments, right?) They both sang…er, lip synched.

As the music began, it evoked a slow and sad kind of feeling. Wistful, emotional…

“On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair…” the song began.

My brother and Garrett were impressively accurate with their timing – in their lip synching and in the movements of their instruments. My parents and I all smiled and had our mouths open, at the same time.

Eventually, we started moving our bodies to the music a bit, showing our appreciation. We all shared in the moment. Even my brother and Garrett could tell we were impressed. This increased their confidence with the performance, and the pure emotion and movement they gave to it was…beautiful.

The song did its crescendo into the more aggressive guitar and drums in the instrumental last half of the song, and the energy in the room was of pure fun.

Finally, a moment, a break from all the exhaustion, from the heat of our day-to-day.

The misfits got something right. And they knew it. They ended their song with great emotion and gusto, and we exploded into applause and adoration for the uncanny performance.

There would be many more times and other nights that we would demand, “Do it again!” And, they would. Perfecting their timing every time. And, we would marvel at the joy it brought to us, at the moments we were all brought together by something.

In those moments, we were a family. All of us. (Even Garrett – absolutely. Shortly thereafter, he would live full-time with my family for years.) Nothing pressing on us, no needs to chase or fill. Only a little fun. Only a little music…

“…And still those voices are calling from far away,
Wake you up in the middle of the night
Just to hear them say...

Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face
They livin’ it up at the Hotel California
What a nice surprise, bring your alibis…”

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Head in the Clouds



Wishing, and hoping, and dreaming...

You can find Wordless Wednesday at Live and Love Out Loud.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Let's Have Some Monday Mayhem


Today's meme questions from Monday Mayhem are just Silly PONDERISM Questions fill in the blank style.

1. I used to eat a lot of (pizza rolls) until I learned that (I cannot stop after 20).

2• There are two kinds of pedestrians: the (they-must-want-to-die-pedestrians)and the (the-world-is-my-playground pedestrians).

3• Life is (full of surprises).

4• Healthy is (hard to do for more than 3 days in a row).

5• The only difference between being stuck in a rut and a grave is (that at least in a grave new worms come and go all the time).

6• Health nuts are (afraid to live dangerously).

7• Have you noticed since everyone has a camcorder these days no one talks about (the unexpected and thrilling surprise of a newly released sex tape) like they used to?

8• Whenever I feel blue, I (remind myself that it could be worse).

9• All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It (can turn hot and cold whenever it wants and doesn’t need to blame it on PMS).

10• In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people (have only themselves to blame).

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Promises

This piece is inspired by The Red Dress Club to write about this picture from Easy Street Prompts:


The two friends, Josie and Sarah, walked into the bar, feeling comfort in its darkness. It was a familiar place to the girls – a favorite haunt. The music from the jukebox was mixed with edgy, alternative rock and classic rock. Sometimes a band played, but not that night. The ceiling was low and there were many little rooms and spaces – corners to hide in if that’s what you wanted. Before heading to their favorite room, the pool table room, where most of the guys were, they approached the bar for their first shot and a drink. Getting to a certain level of non-feeling was first on the list.

As soon as the edges were dulled just a little bit, they walked into the pool room, looking for friends, looking for attention, looking for some fun. They saw some people they knew, joined their group, and began talking and laughing, intentionally acting in a way to liven up the party.

Josie scanned the room, always looking and waiting for the next thing, when her eyes came upon an old woman she had seen before.

“That old woman looks like she’s been ridden hard and put away wet a few too many times!” the guy next to Josie shouted in her ear.

Josie smiled, giving the guy approval, but inside she thought, What the fuck is that supposed to mean, you idiot?

The old woman sat away from the crowd at a table by herself. Her long gray hair lay across her back in thick strings. She was overweight and a bit…dirty…weathered…it was hard to tell but easy to assume she hadn’t seen a shower in a while.

Every time Josie saw the old woman, always in different bars in the little town, she had a deck of tarot cards with her. She gave readings to people for tips, Josie assumed, but she hardly ever saw anyone sitting with her. The old woman usually sat alone, feeling her cards, turning them over, looking at them.

“What’r’ye gon’ do, go get a reading?!” another guy asked Josie, close enough to give Josie a whiff of his breath.

Josie didn’t say a word and just started walking over to the old woman. She had always been intrigued about psychic readings, surely not every self-proclaimed psychic was a kook? She was a little scared by the information she could be given – would she have a fatal illness, would she always be lonely, would she never make anything of herself at all? And the worst fear - would all her dark secrets be exposed? Would she stand before the supposedly all-knowing person hot with shame and be judged for the sins of her past?

Well, this night, she had had enough to drink to not care. She felt no fear. She wanted to test this old woman out. Find out about her future. What dreams could be attained? What promises could be made?

“She’s going to tell you that you’ll DIE TONIGHT in a horrible car wreck,” screamed one of the guys behind Josie. “Don’t do it, Josie, you don’t want to hear THE TRUTH! Bwa, HA, HA, HA, HA!!” The idiot continued.

Josie approached the table and sat down. The old woman looked up at her and smiled.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday Tirade


Babes Rockin Mami does a Tuesday Tirade, and I think I’ll join her.

One of my favorite sayings is, “Never underestimate the power of stupidity in a large group of people.” It’s like, when a big, huge group gets together, sometimes individual brains are forgotten and one giant stupid brain takes over.

Take, for example, Daylight “Savings” time.

There are so many things wrong with this unnecessary event that we willingly allow to royally fuck up our systems. Many people seem to agree with me. Many people want to jump off the crazy train called, “Hey! Let’s all change our clocks an hour and see what happens!” Unless, these people just nod their head in agreement at me, wondering when I’ll stop complaining.

If so many people have suggested that this event be eliminated, if Arizona and Hawaii have the wherewithal to JUST NOT PARTICIPATE, then why do we keep doing it?

Here are some things I’d like to point out about Daylight Savings Time that particularly irk me:

-In the Fall, there is no “savings” on the daylight. We get home at 4:00 pm and it starts getting dark. Yet, whoopity-do, it is light at 5:00 am. Gee, thank god for that.

-You might as well go bang your head against a wall if you want to hear over and over for weeks on end in the Spring how tired everyone is because of their lost hour of sleep.

-I have come to terms with the fact that my toddler son will now wake up on the weekend at 7:00 instead of a more lovely 8:00 – whatever. But, it is really annoying to deal with all the grumpiness and downright evil that can come from my son when he is so hungry and doesn’t understand why we are not eating dinner at 4:45 pm. Last night, I tried to give him a snack, to no avail. He sat at the dinner table and demanded that it is dinner time. It was 4:15.

-All babies, toddlers, and children’s bodies do not know what the hell is going on. If you are a parent or work with children in any way, this is Very Annoying. For everyone involved.

-My snacking increases as I squirrel away like a hibernating bear in the dark early evening, waiting for dinner time to come.

-Once we are all adjusted and have left the hell of Daylight Savings Time behind us, we will do it all over again in the Spring, but, wait, that one is EVEN WORSE. We all lose an hour. You know, in the interest of Daylight “SAVINGS.”

How is that smart? For what REAL purpose does this serve? If there is a real purpose (I have done research, people. Trust me, there is no real purpose), then is all of this worth it? Why do we let it continue on? What kind of legislation needs to be started? For crying out loud…

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Snippets – Poop and Goats



Sunday Snippets is hosted by Pure Unadulterated Softthistle, and it is just the right thing for Sunday afternoon. I’m in the mood for sharing some fun and favorite things about my little maniac as of late!

One morning while we were getting ready for work, our lovely cat puked on the bathroom floor. We were rushing around, unable to attend to it right away. Parker came toddling in, pointed straight at the cat puke in an accusatory manner, shouted, “Ook!”

“Yes, yucky! Don’t touch! Dobby threw up!” We shouted.

Parker looked at us, “Poop sneeze!”

Yes. Poop sneeze.

……………………

The Husband was doing dishes after dinner. Parker walked up to him. Richard looked down and said, “Did you poo poo?”

“No!” Parker replied.

“Oh, then what is that horrible smell?” my husband asked.

…(a long pause)… “Poo?” Parker answered in a high, slight voice.

……………………

When we were trick-or-treating, there was a teenager dressed as a scary looking ghost type thing, sitting outside of a house. Presumably, to scare people as they walked by. He looked almost fake. At first we thought it was only a decoration.

I stood there, frowning and shaking my head. “I don’t like it when people do things that are scary to the little ones. My gawd, look at this thing. I hope Parker doesn’t have nightmares!” I complained.

“It’s fine; he’ll be fine,” Richard said as we approached.

Parker slowly and carefully walked by the thing as though he was scared.

I stood there, giving the thing a dirty look, like, “You better not scare my little guy, you fucker.”

At that point, I could see the chest move up and down. It really was a real person! Were they annoyed with me, was I making them squirm, were they trying not to laugh?? I instantly felt weird about standing there, staring at him, realizing that this whole time he was listening to me.

We went walking away after Parker got his candy at the front door, and now we have never heard the end of the scary goat (translation: ghost).

“A goat! A goat is chasing us!” Parker will scream once in a while.

Thanks a lot goat fucker.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Write Like No One is Looking Over Your Shoulder"


My greatest strength is my greatest weakness. I think too much.

I have been sparked with excitement about NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month); however, it really stresses me out as well. I had never heard of this event until just a couple of weeks ago.

Originally, I was planning on really starting to work on a fiction novel and polish my blog material into a “mom memoir.” My plan was to have exactly one and a half of these things done by the end of next year.

Then I hear about NaNoWriMo, and my heart is all a-flutter. I think, “I must do it!” Then, I think, “I cannot.” (One thing is for sure, I will now always remember that November is one of the months with only 30 days.)

Here is what I’ve decided. I want to begin that novel now. I want it to be fiction. I will not be able to write the required 1,700+ words per day, but I will block out time for writing toward my novel starting now. Two days ago I wrote 1,500 words! This is great, this is wonderful, I am fulfilling my life’s purpose.

However, I am having a hard time nailing down my character, getting to know this person, and make her live and breathe. This is probably due to the fact that I cannot stop writing from my own experiences. I certainly want to draw from my own experiences, but I did not originally intend to write ONLY from my own experiences.

It seems that in trying to “get to know” my character, I am still only trying to get to know myself.

And my mind? It won’t stop. I am constantly thinking and pondering and wondering about this character.

What does she look like?

How is she different from me?

What does she learn?

What problems does she face?

I would also prefer to have a “premise” figured out. What do I want my readers to feel? What do I want my readers to learn?

I am so indecisive about it all, and it swirls around my head like a million question marks. I am fretting.

This is not the purpose of NaNoWriMo, in which you must not edit and only write like mad for 30 days. I am also haunted by a quote from Writing Down the Bones, “Write like no one is looking over your shoulder.”

All that spews forth is….me, and not a fiction character. Do I go with it? Do I force a fiction piece?

I know. I hear you out there. Just write.

(So…Any ideas or answers for me?)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Meet Me on Monday


Welcome to Meet Me on Monday, sponsored by Java.

She writes, “Blogging is a funny thing...we tell our most intimate thoughts for all to read and yet most of the time I find myself sitting and wondering, ‘who is this person!?’ I know them...but yet I don't know them! I want to know who the person is behind all those words so I thought of a great way for all of us to "meet" each other!”

Every Sunday five get to know you questions will be posted that you can copy and paste into your own Monday post and we can all learn a little more about each and every one of us!!

Questions:

1. Have you ever been on a cruise?

No, I haven’t and I’m not sure if I would like it. The last couple of friends of mine that have gone on cruises complained about dizziness for so long afterward, I was ready to hit them on the head to see if that helped. I’d like to just lie on the beach in Mexico, thank you.

2. What is your favorite way to eat eggs?

Depends on my mood. I love eggs! I love to make omelets for dinner. Ask my husband, I make a mean omelet. I love fried eggs, and I love fried egg sandwiches. Scrambled is just fine as well, and sometimes a little cheese sprinkled in does the trick. Hard boiled eggs are a good snack. Well, I guess I just haven’t ever met an egg that I didn’t like.

3. What is your favorite reading material?

A book I get lost in. I have a varied taste in books. The most recent book I got lost in was The Heights by Peter Hedges. Currently I am reading Augusten Burroughs latest book of short stories. I don’t know how many stories that man has in him, but keep them coming.

4. Name all the pets that you have ever had?

Childhood – Honey (cocker spaniel)

Kepper (I don’t know what that dog was)

Janette (cat)

Socks (A gerbil, which I accidentally killed while cleaning out his cage. I left him in the garage while I cleaned the cage. We lived in Phoenix. The garage was raging hot. Didn’t take very long for the poor guy to meet his demise.)

Carroll (My most beloved childhood pet. My male cat named Carroll. He was Janette’s son.)

Ubu (Our golden retriever)

Adulthood – Gweniviere (A stray cat I took in during college and kept in my dorm.)

Currently living – Dobby (Our empty-headed, silly cat)

Matt (Also known as Matt Baby. Our fish.)

5. Were you ever a girl/boy scout?

I was a girl scout, and I discovered that it just wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. The girls were mostly mean, the den mother’s or whatever they call them were mean, there were too many rules, the outfits were ugly, and it was hard work walking the streets trying to sell cookies. I wasn’t a girl scout for very long.