Thursday, November 13, 2008
and after 6.5 months of lying on her side for 15 minutes every two hours because of this and after a sleepless night of contractions,
this girl had her first baby.
And she fell most deeply in love. She stared at that baby boy well into the night, and when the nurses wanted to take him away for tests, she followed them to make sure he wasn't switched, or dropped, or lost.
She wanted to name him Brian or Kevin, because those were her most favorite boy names. But the baby's father thought those names were too wimpy. His suggestions were Perry, or Louis, or Thomas or Robert, historic family names. She named him Bobby, not Robert, and not after her dad like everyone thought, but secretly after her 6th grade teacher, who was more like a dad to her anyway... and after Bobby Sherman.
Now, on November 13th 2008, at 4:10 a.m., after searching through boxes in the basement for two hours, that girl, 27 years later, can't find her first baby's baby book. She found two other baby books, and several dozen photo albums, and boxes and boxes of pictures not in albums.
She found this
And then she looked at the clock and saw that it was 6:30 a.m., and realized she had a very long day ahead of her, and that Bobby-fest would have to become a two-part blog post.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
OK, well you can't get much patriotic-er than the very FIRST Veteran's Day.... I give you the Civil War Veterans!
Friday, November 7, 2008
I thought I'd share one of the things that makes me giggle. When I open the cupboard at work every morning to get a cup of coffee - this is what I see:
Do you notice that every mug is the same? All of the plates are on one shelf and the bowls on another. Notice the naughty older mugs of an inferior design are relegated to their own shelf, not to intermingle with the superior newer mugs.
Notice how each one of the cups' handles are turned the very same way....
I stand back for a minute and shake my head as I sip my coffee. It makes me giggle, but in a strange way, it also brings me peace.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
1. I have been to Hawaii four times
2. I have hitchhiked across the country
3. I had a monkey as a pet
4. I was a radio announcer
Put your guesses in the comments, or steal this and play along on your own site!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
It was a little weird, voting as we did in a church. I don't want to think too hard about the whole separation of church and state thing. Downtown Dad and I are good neighbors, and honest people with a spiritual belief, but save for weddings, funerals and the odd election, we rarely darken the door of religious establishments.
We tried, back in the early nineties, dutifully taking the kids to services and Sunday School, singing the hymns, sometimes in silly voices to keep their attention. One hymn we always looked forward to was the Eastertime favorite, an African American spiritual called Were You There When They Crucified My Lord. Downtown Dad would wait for the chorus, a repeat of the title, followed by a long "whoooa- oh- oh -oh" then a dramatic "sometimes, it causes me to tremble... tremble" and he'd sing it in an Elmer Fudd voice - slightly off key, replacing the r's with w's, and exaggerating the vibrato, making the tremble sound more like "twem-bo." Cracked us up, every time. But besides a few moments of levity, for the most part we solemnly recited the prayers, we fellowshipped and amened in our own voices right along with the rest of the congregation. But try as we might to lead by example, the politics and pervasive evil of a few "christians" drove us and our children away.
One of the last times we were in a church was for the funeral of one of our son Bobby's friends. It was a very sad circumstance, he had been a very popular young man, and there was a huge turnout from the community. Bobby, as a pallbearer, sat in the front row, and DD and I a few rows back. One of the hymns, I noticed, was "Were You There" uh oh....
OK, I have to ask, have you ever been in a situation where it is absolutely inappropriate to laugh, and something happens, that really isn't funny to anyone around you, but you laugh anyway, and not a small giggle - I'm talking a laugh that rumbles up from your belly, a boisterous crowd of laughs elbowing their way through your chest, and up your throat and then tumble out your mouth in loud snorting, guffaw, usually followed by hiccups? No? Yeah, me neither. And it never happend to DD, or Bobby sitting in the front row either.
...And when the organ music started, Downtown Dad did NOT sing that song in his Elmer Fudd voice....
Oh yes he DID!
Monday, November 3, 2008
Bee Dancer says:
"I'm relatively new to blogging, & I'm sure this has come up before, but I'd really like to know WHY you blog. Tell me how you got started or why you got started and why you keep it up. Plus there's a photo requirement: Post a picture of the one person/place/thing that most symbolizes the town or area where you live."At first I thought this wouldn't be much more than a one line answer - Why do I blog? Why, to write about me of course. ME, ME. ME! But then I thought deeper about it, and I realized that while that's somewhat true, a blog is much more than just a need to be narccisstic. A blog, my blog is several things to me. It is:
1) A Forum. I love to write, I love to express my ideas, I love the give and take, the zingers and one liners that get tossed back and forth in the comments sections. To me posting on your own blog is like writing an article, but much less scary than submitting it to a magazine. Some would say more anonymous, but with comments, there is always the possibility of getting some
2) A Social Network. I ask you, where else can you
3) A Barometer. Even though I stay away from
4) A Mirror. It is incredibly freeing to read that others struggle with some of the same issues I struggle with. The same messy houses, the same conflicts with coworkers, kids, husbands, the same struggle for blogging topics. And at 2:30 A.M., it's nice to know there are others, fingers poised on the keys, faces illuminated by the blue glow of their computer, staring at a blinking cursor with no earthly idea what to write.
5) A Sanctuary. I admit it. When I have a deadline, or something icky I don't want to do - I like to take a little mental vacation and visit some of my imaginary friends.
6) A Leveler. It is humbling when someone takes the time to not only read, but comment on something you have posted. It makes me work at posting something interesting, thoughtful and well written, knowing that you never know who is going to read your blog.
7) A Challenge. In all honesty, I guess I started blogging as practice. A way to begin the discipline of writing each and every day. I challenge myself to write something I hope is not only interesting, but I like to put a positive twist on everything I write. And as I'm sure you can agree, that right there is the challenge.
8) An Inspiration. Long before I got up the nerve to start my own blog, I read blogs. I scanned at first, but then began to get to know these imaginary people, and I started to read more deeply. I laughed at what I read and cried at what I read and wanted to write hilarious stories and gut wrenching accounts, and achingly true confessions just like the ones I was reading from you guys every day.
So - those are my reasons for Blogging - go waggle your tail around to all the other Fun Monday participants and see what they have to say!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
So what do I spend my morning with?
I got a new phone that can do all of the things that my old phone only hinted and teased at being able to do. It opens up a whole new world of possibilities for me. Its just a phone, I know, but for the first time, I've had to read the instruction books (plural) that came with it.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
I've come to really enjoy the weekly grocery trip. I try to make it a challenge to
buy store brands save money, and still buy enough food to feed a hungry herd of ravenous teenagers varying amount of people on a given day, but yet only enough so that it will fit into my 1980's refrigerator.
One of the things that has helped me over the years was the accidental find of this cookbook;
Each week has a shopping list. There are seven dinner menus each week with recipes using those ingredients. The first couple of nights require cooking or baking, but the rest of the menus build off of the leftovers generated by the meals earlier in the week. Some of them are
I've been using this poor tattered book for 10 years now. I should probably purchase a new one - maybe hard bound instead of paperback this time. The good news is that there are some available on Amazon!
Friday, October 31, 2008
In 2007, for the same company party, a girlfriend and I went as Garth and Wayne from Wayne's World. I was Garth... thankfully, no pictures exist of that, although I did scare the bejiggers out of my son by showing up unexpectedly at the front door.
This year, I didn't dress up. Instead, I answered the door for the trick or treaters who opted NOT to go to the mall, then, I threw on my MHS2UK Parent Wildcat jacket and joined a group of "theatre moms" to go see High School Musical 3. Because, once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat!
It was great fun to get together again after spending all of last year promoting, and fundraising and sending our kids to the Fringe Festival to perform the stage version.
"High School Musical,
Who Says We Have To Let It Go?
It’s The Best Part We’ve Ever Known, Step Into The Future!
We’ll Hold On to,
High School Musical, Lets Celebrate Where We Come From,
With Friends Who’ve been There All Along, Just Like,
Our High School, High School Musical!"
(coming to a theatre near you.... High School Musical 911...)
Sunday, October 26, 2008
... or, maybe this....
If you're old like me and have a really good memory you might even think this....
When it comes to Mother's in Law, I've had an abundance of
Marie was feisty, cute, petite, swore like a sailor, drank gin straight and smoked Marlboro menthols. She bought me tacky little gifts like rhinestone necklaces and sequined cigarette cases. I adored her. She was the quintessential late 70's California liberated woman, running her husband's automotive business, like she ran her home - fast and loose. When I think of her I can't help but remember the time we went camping and water skiing at Lake Nacimiento. She wore her brand new one piece bathing suit - browns and tans, in a subtle variegated pattern - it looked great on her. And it wasn't just us, her family who thought so, people came up to our campsite from all over the lake to say, "nice bathing suit." She basked in the attention for a while, then jumped into the boat to take her turn on the skis. As we watched Marie in the distance, shooting roosters, and waving like a beauty queen in a parade, it suddenly became clear why her suit made her so popular. The browns and tans were arranged in such a way as to make it look like Marie was skiing naked! When we (none to tactfully) told her what we thought we saw, she grabbed her Kodak Instamatic, tossed it to me and went right back out to do it again. I got the shot, but back in the day, we used to have to get our rolls of film developed, and by the time that roll came back from the drugstore, my marriage to her son was over. I don't think she ever knew her son hit me, or that he had not yet come out of the closet - but that's a blog for another time.
Dottie, Bobby's grandmother, was almost the exact opposite of Marie. A large square-jawed, sturdy woman with an horsey laugh. She didn't smoke, but she drank hard liquor, and in 1980, though she would use an automatic washing machine, she still hung her wash outside to dry, even during frigid New Jersey winters. She gave me sensible things like towels and perfume at Christmas, the same things I used to give my grandmother. She worked as a bookkeeper for two gentlemen who had been interred at Auschwitz, with the tattooed numbers on their arms to prove it. She raised 5 kids in a three bedroom farm house from the 1800s. I tried, I really did, to keep in touch with her after the divorce, but distance and allegiances overshadowed both our efforts.
Helen, who has the same name as my own mother, is a piece of work. And I say that with love, with awe, and reverence, and with a little bit of fear. If ever there was a personification of the term force to be reckoned with, it would be Helen. There is not, nor has there ever been a situation in her life, or the lives of her kids, that she could not handle. You may think that sounds overbearing, but amazingly, she never comes across that way. She was married at 18, widowed at 21, remarried, and divorced within a couple more years. She then proceeded to raise 5 kids in 1950's Iowa as a single mom while earning a degree in art and creating her own art on the side. She has nine grand kids, three great grand kids, and countless adoring fans. She doesn't drink or smoke, but she is still fun - sometimes more fun than I can handle! Helen has weathered the storms of her children's and grand children's various life events, from tracking down and reuniting a daughter in law with her birth mother, to arranging, hosting and assuring 100% attendance at several family reunions, to making by hand, amazing wedding dresses. She is a breast cancer survivor, married now to Grandpa Terry, living in Branson, MO and she amazes us every day. A recent example of Helen's amazing-ness would be, this summer when she played host to Kelsie and two of her girlfriends. At an age when teenage girls typically shun the older generation, the high point of Kelsie's summer this year was spending two weeks at Gramma's house.
Mothers in law may be the butt of a lot of jokes, for some, the source of heartache or frustration, but I think you can see why I think MY mother-in-law is AWESOME!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
You may put your integrity under the microscope today. We all have very deep convictions that we would never let go of. But society puts pressure on us, and it's not always easy to live in perfect harmony with your ideals. The question you ask yourself today is just how much you are willing to change your most heartfelt beliefs in order to live in society. Do you have the courage of your convictions?
Turns out, I was never in a situation where I had to change any heartfelt beliefs. At the end of the day, my ideals and I were still in perfect harmony. But I wondered, what situation would present itself that would cause me to question my beliefs? What would have to occur for me to have to muster courage to defend my convictions? I'm still trying to come up with an answer.
Whatever your sign, how much are YOU willing to change YOUR heartfelt beliefs? Do YOU have the courage of YOUR convictions?
Thursday, October 23, 2008
You Are a Life Blogger!
Your blog is the story of your life - a living diary.
If it happens, you blog it. And you make it as entertaining as possible.
You may be guilty of over-sharing a bit on your blog, but you can't help it.
Your life is truly an open book. Or in this case, an open blog!
I got this from Grandy over at Functional Schmuntional. She is celebrating her 200th post with a Grandy-ose Contest. All you have to do is comment!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I have Downtown Dad to thank for that ample lable. But in his defense, it has nothing to do with my
As is and always has been his custom, Downtown Dad was at a City Council meeting, and when the meeting was over, as is and always has been their custom, the esteemed gentlemen repaired to a local
The building I worked in was connected to City Hall, and the next day, I was greeted ever increasingly with "Hello Pork Chop" and a wink. Even after Downtown Dad explained the story to me, I fielded their good natured jabs with a self conscious grin and a backward glance, hoping it wasn't really my butt they were calling pork. The people in on the joke seemed to grow exponentially until just about everyone I knew called me Pork Chop. I knew I'd have to learn to live with the name while watching the 4th of July parade later that year. Those same City Councilmen came riding along on their float and when they saw me, they all yelled in unison, "Hi Pork Chop!"
That oft repeated addage "A child who is loved has many names" is very true. Sure, there are the mean kids who have that uncanny nack of finding your greatest insecurity and giving it a name. Pork Chop sure isn't a name I would have picked for myself, and I certainly wouldn't want it in quotes between my first and last name on my headstone! But it has turned into a term of endearment over the years, and I wouldn't trade the memories that brought it about for the world!
What do the people you love call you? What is the story behind that name? Do you have different nicknames in different circles? Do you have a petname for someone? Tell me your story in the comments.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I'm trying NOT to buy my lunches, since now that I have a steady paycheck, we are putting an extra effort into paying off the credit card debt that I racked up while NOT making any money as a Realtor. I sat down at a table with some of the girls, to drink my free office coffee, and eat my purloined yogurt. One of them, the married-but-we-choose-not-to-have-kids one, was leisurely munching her homemade sandwich, and homemade cookies drinking her pop prominently labeled with her name, while reading the paper. She came across one of those financial advice columns titled "Do I Need A Bankruptcy Attorney?" and she asked us,
"I'm sorry but, how is it even possible for a person to rack up $100,000 in credit card debt?"
I briefly stopped licking the inside of the yogurt cup, and said simply, "Kids."
When confronted by her blank stare, I added, "ex-spouses debt."
When she still didn't seem to understand, I whispered conspiratorily, "borrowing from Peter to pay Paul."
This she seemed to understand, but only partially.
"But, Why?" she asked.
I patted her young hand, and in doing so, palmed the remaining uneaten quarter of her sandwich. "Well, when your kid pays for his college education with a credit card, on which you are the co-signor, and then defaults on it, and when your kids need not only school clothes, but costumes, uniforms, participation fees, and the occasional birthday gift, when your utility bills triple, and when a two paycheck household is reduced to one paycheck… let's just say those credit card offers come in mighty handy."
I popped the pilfered morsel into my mouth as she rolled her eyes smugly. "But you'd still pay off the balance every month, wouldn't you, I mean doesn't every one?"
"You would," I said taking a slurp from her unattended pop can, if you could afford it. But sometimes, you have to make the minimum payment, for a long time. And sometimes," I added, emptying the crumbs from a discarded bag of chips directly into my mouth, "you can't even afford to do that! Sometimes, you have to take a cash advance from one (or two or three) of those credit cards you can't make payments on, just to make the payments on other credit cards. That's what we call borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. Pretty soon, you're digging through your mail searching frantically for a note from a Peter, one of those offers with the checks attached, so you can pay a Paul, or make the house payment. And God forbid something doesn't go wrong with your car, or the washing machine doesn't give out, or the water heater, but it does, and then you have to run back to Peter and say, just one more man, just this one more time, I swear! I'm not buying boats, or expensive clothes, I'm just trying to raise good kids! And he gives you the money, but the interest rate is gonna be 25% and you say fine, because you know that next month there wont be so many extra expenses, but next month there are. The price of gas has gone up, and your kid needs braces, and your mom's 80th birthday is coming up and we're all going to chip in to buy her a trip, which turns out to be way more expensive than you were told because your older sister never comes through with the money even though she promises you she will. And your husband gets a raise and you think you start to see a light at the end of the tunnel and then he says 'hey, let's go out to dinner and celebrate' and what else can you say but 'well, OK' because you haven't gotten up the nerve to tell him that Peter, the loanshark is threatening to break your kneecaps if you can't come up with the money you owe by next week. And your poor blissfully unaware husband orders steak and buys an expensive bottle of wine and says 'thanks hon, for doing such a great job with the finances - I know it's been a little tricky now and then.' And then you drink the wine and realize that well, we've got our health, so cheers to that. And you realize that things aren't really all that bad after all."
"I still don't get it." said the married-but-we-choose-not-to-have-kids one, as she got up to leave. "If we somehow got that rediculously far in debt, my husband would never take me out to dinner, and we certainly wouldn't order wine..."
All I could do was shake my head, and polish off the cookies she left behind.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sarah says this:
"I would like you to take your camera (or your artistic talents!) on a day tour with you. I want to know where you go, what you get up to on a “normal” day (disclaimer - it doesn’t have to be “normal”!)All the details you would consider boring! You are free to make your Fun Monday posts as long or as short as you’d like!"
Well Sarah, this is Sunday and here's what usually happens on Sundays in Lala Land:
Chako gets a little bit extra from a can because underneath all that hair, he's skin and bones!
Zoey has to eat downstairs separately because she gets a measured amount since she tends to gain weight when we don't watch what she eats.
Time for a cup of coffee
With my favorite Casablanca mug
and French Vanilla Coffee Mate
Its a good thing the dogs got me up - I might have missed CBS Sunday Morning! What is Sunday without Charles Kurault?
Coffee and the paper
Now that everyone else is up the birds want to get a little exercise too
And now a nice bowl of Cheerios for me
don't forget to brush my teeth
a quick check of email
Well, I've been putting it off for long enough, Ugh... laundry
At least I can watch TV on the big screen while I iron!
Jeez, is it lunchtime already? My how time flies when you're having fun!
A lovely grilled swiss cheese on rye with jalapeno jelly and apple slices- just for me!
Laundry folded and ready to put away
Now it's time to go to the grocery store. Can't forget my list (written on my old Realtor notepads)
Can't forget the reusable shopping bags
Sometimes three bags just isn't enough!
Here's our lovely fall/harvest decor. The golden leaves were Mother Natures addition!
Jarrod helps to carry in the groceries - What a good boy!
Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy and corn - a typical Midwestern Sunday dinner
Dinner at the table, what a nice way to end the day....