Thursday, May 17, 2012

Along Came a Spider

A really huge, like three foot long spider!  God how I hate spiders.  I hate them in an I-feel-your-pain-Miss-Muffet kind of way.  Especially when one comes crawling out from under my pajamas and across my bed as I am flinging off my bra and reaching for said jammies. 

I'm not sure which was scarier for the family; my blood curdling scream as I threw my bra across the bedroom and went running down the hall (yes, wearing only my own crossed arms for cover), or the sight of the ginormous black spider racing across the bed.  The husband came running to slay the beast, which was fabulous because flinging my bra at it did precious little get the situation under control.  Truthfully, the bra has seen better days, so control is not something it excels at anyway.

My screams begat screams from the boy child, which begat screams from the husband as he hollered for something substantial to swat at the oh-my-God-how-long-are-those-legs-on-that-enormous-wow-is-that-a-brown-recluse-good-God-it's-ugly arachnid. It took a few good swats to kill that sucker. Of course, to add to the ick and shiver factor, the husband put the dead spider in a plastic bag so he can drop it by our exterminator's tomorrow to find out what kind it is.   I'll tell you what kind it is - it's the kind that bit me last night and now it's dead, dead, dead and gone. 

Now that I've seen the corpse, and made the incredibly misguided decision to look up spider identification websites (ooh, is that a pun?), it might be a restless night in bed. I hope it was a loner. Cancel the curds and whey and bring on the red wine.

Guess I'll just have to tuffet out.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Kind of Mother

Okay, so there are a few mothers out there who really shouldn't be allowed to parent; like the woman who's two-year old keeps wandering the streets of the Aloha area.  Of course, I don't know the whole story, so I shouldn't judge - although I did judge.

However, there are other mothers out there who make conscious, and yet unconventional parenting decisions that teach life long lessons and create the very best memories.  They are my sisters in crime.

You are a sister (or brother - cuz dads can be equally renegade) in crime if you have ever:

  • Served dessert before dinner because you might not have room for it later!
  • Declared your own snow day when there is snow on the ground and your kid is ecstatic, but the school district is run by people who have forgotten that children aren't small adults  and sometimes business can wait - just a day.
  • Are not afraid to admit to your kids when you messed up and made a mistake and make fun of yourself.
  • Have let your kid sleep in and go to school late after a family celebration, because those moments with family can't be made up later, but school work can (sorry teacher friends, but it's true ain't it?)
  • Let your child wear the same hoodie to school for almost two years even though there are holes in the sleeves and you worry that people think you don't have any clothes for your child, but it makes him feel comfortable and he loves it because his uncle gave it him, so you grab it and wash it at night from time to time so it's ready to wear in the morning. (So if you're wondering - he does have other clothes, really!)
  • Encourage your kid to take a break after school and go OUTSIDE to play with the neighbors, even though that means the homework will be done later.  Vitamin D is easier to come by in daylight, right? And it's really great to kiss your kid's sweaty forehead and see the pink in his cheeks.  It reminds us of the old days when we were kids!
  • Let them wear their hair in their eyes, or business up front and party in the back, or spiked up, or colored purple, pink, green or black, or however they want to wear it because, after all, it's on THEIR head not yours.
  • Introduced them to the Brit coms - even if the humor is a little blue at times - because it's damn good dialogue and writing. 
  • Let them bake 'tinted' bread - like a purple baguette!
  • Taught your kid to add by playing blackjack - especially if you explain to them how to split two aces and double-down. 

My mom is my inspiration for the self-declared snow day.  When I was in high school, we had a few inches of snow that would usually shut things down, but we had a party-pooper for a superintendent (I think it might be part of the job description - "must be willing to suck the joy out of miraculous acts of nature for school-age children").  Anyway, several friends came over to our house in the morning to say they were 'skipping' school.  I never skipped school - repeat never - and I am not joking.  I was 'that' straight and narrow kind of kid.  I was both appalled and jealous, but stressed out because I needed to get them out of our house so I could get to school.  My mom looked at me and said, "You're not going to school today. I'm excusing you"  I argued - I HAD to go to school - we all HAD to go to school.

Mom taught me to lighten up and look at the big picture.  One day was not going to ruin my education, and yet I can remember that day better than most, thanks to my renegade mom. 

This year I got to do the same for my son, and we had a great day!

I learned from the best; my kind of mother.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mending Hearts

In honor of my mother and her struggles with heart disease and stroke, I am encouraging women to take charge of their heart health.

Take care of yourself - you are the heart of the family.  Visit these sites to make sure the beat goes on.

Women Heart

Heart Healthy Women

Go Red for Women

Mayo Clinic


That's all for tonight.  One of the keys to heart health is rest, and I will be getting some tonight. I love you mama - be strong.

Monday, May 14, 2012

You Better Sit Down for This

Fair warning, this is a stream of consciousness free-write tonight. Read, while seated, at your own risk.

Okay, so maybe it's not really true that there is a ban on texting and walking. The real problem, as always is jaywalking and carelessness - although texting can certainly contribute to carelessness, it's not the only cause.

Personally, I'd rather try to negotiate around people texting and walking than people with earpieces walking and talking.  I find the talkers unnerving because they are looking straight ahead - usually in my direction and I can't tell you the number of times I have answered someone who wasn't talking to me.  HATE THAT.

Texting isn't the issue, the real issue is multitasking and not being in the moment.  Face it - we don't have time for MOMENTS!  We need to make use of every last bit of time we have to get everything done on our to do lists for the sake of saying we did.

We favor breadth as opposed to depth. 

Truthfully, hearkening back to the days of depth won't really fix the distracted walking problem. There are still those who read and walk, daydream and walk, proselytize and walk, eat and walk, even talk to a real life person and walk.

Perhaps we should have walking 'rest stops', around the city? 

Oh wait - I think we already have those.  They are called coffee shops.

So step off, grab a cup of coffee and take a load off.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Son Shined Today

On this Mother's Day, there was no breakfast in bed, no big jewelry present, no champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries. No one cleaned my house or weeded my yard (well we did a wee bit), or sent me to a spa for massage or pedicure.

No boo-hoos here though. I did get a blueberry scone this morning. My son wanted to try to make them, but my husband had the good sense to go purchase my favorite one instead - while said son was still snoozing.  Sometimes a mess in the kitchen isn't a gift - even if it is the thought that counts.

What I did get was a lot of sweet, relaxed time with the reason I get to celebrate this day.  Oh sure, we did a bit of yard work, but pulling weeds wasn't exactly the celebration I was looking for, and truthfully we completely suck at yard work. Instead, I pulled out a chair and we sat under the shade of the magnolia tree and talked.  He sat on my lap and cuddled up while we laughed and talked about how much we both dislike weeding. We cut some lilacs and took them to our neighbor who acts as bonus grandma, and then went back to the shade of our tree.

Another neighbor was out walking while her family was attempting to make her waffles for breakfast; it was now well after noon. She'd been out walking for two hours and answering a few calls like "where's the cornstarch?", and "do we have to mix the eggs separately?"  While we were talking she said, "maybe I should go and rescue them?"  Just then her phone rang again and her husband told her "the cereal is ready whenever you want to come and eat it."  We all laughed.  It's the effort that counts anyway.

This made my son and I hungry and we went inside for a sandwich.  Just as I was heading into the kitchen, my son stopped me.  "NO!" he said, "I'm going to make YOU a sandwich today." We sat and ate our sandwiches and he cleared the plates.  We decided our weeding was done for the day and just kicked back and relaxed until dinner time.

No, it wasn't a big, flashy celebration with big ticket trinkets or lavish indulgences, but I had the best gift of all; time with the very reason I get to come running when I hear him call "Mom!"

And a nice glass of red wine to end the evening didn't hurt either...

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Poem - just because

I spent the afternoon with my parents for an early Mother's Day celebration, as seems to be my pattern, I am writing just before the posting deadline.

So tonight in honor of our weekend weather here in Portland, I offer you this short poem that reminds me weather or not - I have the power to create.


Take the sun.
In solitude I light a fire
To warm myself.
Strong enough to sizzle.

Photo courtesy of - beautiful screen savers and wallpaper art! I'll be using this one.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Live It!

I have been told the 50s are nifty. Nifty, eh?  Hmm. Well, my 40s were pretty good – better than my 30s, which were significantly less angst ridden than my 20s, so I’m hopeful that the trend continues.

Nifty however is not a word that makes me quiver with anticipation. Nifty brings to mind the other 50s – an era of sock hops and June Cleaver, and well all nice stuff, but not exactly my chosen path.

My path seems to be less predictable with a trajectory that refuses to be boxed in to a pattern. Each decade has had up years and down years, as well as years that kind of flat-lined; the ‘licking of the wounds’ years.

So far the best thing about entering the 50s is that I am becoming a woman who is more interested in all the possibilities life offers than in what people may think of me if I pursue those possibilities. Yet, the urge to embrace my boldness is sometimes curtailed by a bit more reticence, not out of fear of what others may think, but just a bit of fear that wasn’t there before.

It must be overcome. I have seen people who are fearful their whole lives, and I’ve seen people who begin to be ruled by fear with each passing year. The more fearful seem to pay rapt attention to the news allowing pessimism and suspicion to become their mode of operation. Learning new things is not even a consideration as their worlds close in on them and they hunker down and batten down the hatches. It isn’t living – it stagnating – while waiting to die.

I can’t live that way and won’t live that way. I would rather approach life with the words of Mark Twain ringing in my ear: “It’s better to wear out than to rust out.”

I’m going to use it all up on living.