Category Archives: Life & Laughter

The Shape of Crazy

crazyWriting, by its very nature, requires a bit—OK, a whole universe of Crazy! And, yes, Crazy is capitalized because it’s an entity—without form or substance—yet decidedly a force. In fact, all creative tasks are imbued with Crazy.

Crazy takes many forms, many shapes.

What shape is your CRAZY?

Line

line

Akin to 2 sides of Star Wars’ The Force, crossing the line is an indication you’ve entered the Crazy Side. You probably know exactly where the line is too, don’t you?

 

Circle

circular reasoning

Are you really Crazy? Or is Crazy your normal? If it’s your normal how can it be Crazy?
Crazy Circular logic is sooooo fun!

 

Pyramid

pyramid

The ancients claimed it was a mystical shape, the apex being Crazy Heaven. Although you are usually firmly planted at its earthly base, you know creative paradise is only achieved with pointed Crazy.

 

Gyre

gyre

It’s a swirling mass pulling you in. Like William Blake’s poem “The Second Coming” when “mere anarchy is loosed upon“ your work you behave like a “rough beast” as “things fall apart” around you. It’s all good though. Right?

 

Star

star

It is your guide in the darkness and your cosmic twinkling light of imagination. As long as your creative star doesn’t burn out you’re in artistic heaven.

 

Cross

cross

Both your salvation and crucifixion,
it’s a thorny agony resulting in your greatest creative triumph.

 

Hourglass

hourglass

You control your Crazy, allowing a finite time to pour genius into your work.

 

Mandala

mandala1

Patterns imbued with shapes, the mandala is a tool for entering a Zen-like meditative state. Your Crazy is a planned and purposeful pathway, one in which you are in complete control. Namaste.

 

Merkabah

merkabah

An age-old sacred geometry imbued with mystical powers, this Crazy mixes religion, mindfulness, intent, and wisdom to release your divine Crazy within.

 

Double Helix

DNA_Double_Helix

The shape of life, your Crazy begets more Crazy and is an intrinsic part of your DNA, the strands linking your complex thought processes.

 

So, what shape is your Crazy?

 

Related posts: Readin’ & Writing; Life & Laughter

Family Bonding & Life Skills

paintingAs a mom to four grown children, I found that there were a few tasks—important tasks– I neglected to teach them before sending them into the cold cruel world. Why is that, you ask?

Moms and dads are busy. It’s often easier and faster for parents to do a task ourselves than taking the time to teach our children. So for some real family bonding time, grab your kiddo and show them how to do all those little tasks that are required in the adult world.

Warning: Princes and princesses can skip this blog. These following tasks can be handled by one of your minions.

Useful everyday skills pre-adults should learn:

  • Cook something. Pasta, scrambled eggs, steak, their favorite meal, something! Fast food is expensive and most young adults struggle financially. My oldest three can cook almost anything, the youngest never learned.
  • Bake a cake. Either from box or scratch. One of my fondest mommy moments was when my daughter made me a birthday cake.
  • Clear a jammed or stuck garbage disposal. ( Goes with learning to cook ). One twist of that wee L-shaped doodad ( allen wrench) solves the problem.
  • Understand basic cooking terminology. Sear, caramelize, reduce, baste, marinate, saute, simmer, mince, knead, etc. Oh, can someone puleeze teach my hubby?
  • Wash clothes and remove basic stains ( like grease, grass, blood, or red wine). My children have been doing their own laundry since middle school. A real sanity saver. Of course, don’t forget to add the Full Load rule. “No, you cannot wash one pair of jeans unless you’re paying the water bill.”
  • Iron a shirt—spray starch optional.
  • Sew on a button.
  • Hem pants/skirt. Granted, some fabrics or styles require an expert but knowing the basics is a money-saving skill.
  • Write a thank you and condolence letter.
  • Locate the shut off valves both inside and outside the house. Knowing about the valve on the wall at the bottom of the toilet might help future overflow problems.
  • Replace the toilet flange and other parts. When the kids’ toilet broke, I bought a basic toilet repair kit, tossed it to my 16-yr old and said, “fix it.” An hour later, he had replaced all the tank’s insides and strode around the house saying, “I. Am. Plumber!”
  • Change the heating and air conditioning filter.
  • Pump gas, replace windshield wiper fluid /wiper blades, check tire pressure/oil.
  • Mow the lawn.
  • Grow/plant something. Herbs, vegetables,flowers—no, not marijuana.
  • Prune a bush and tree.
  • Paint a room and all that goes with it. Brushes, rollers, taping, paint types, and clean-up.
  • Patch a wall. Because everyone like to get their renter’s deposit back!
  • Change a fuse.
  • Reset the circuit breaker.
  • Make an appointment on the phone.
  • Tip. Smart phones make it easy to calculate.
  • Assemble something—because ‘some assembly required’ demands patience and practice. Second son never had to assemble anything until 1st son moved out. After purchasing 2 pieces of ‘some assembly required’ furniture, I left the boxes with 2nd son and walked away. If you can read, you can follow directions, right? A few trips to the garage for tools and a “What if I have leftover parts?” question later, I had a bookcase and an end table. ( Yes, they are still standing.)
  • Clean an oven, sink, toilet.
  • Polish shoes. Two words: Job interview
  • Start/build a fire in the fireplace or fire pit.

I’m sure I left out a few tasks, so feel free to comment so I can include them!

Related Posts: Mom Musings & Hubby Funnies

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Ranch Weddings

field of flowersI attended a wedding at a ranch in the middle of almost nowhere. (Nowhere: suburbanite’s definition for “this town has no Starbucks”)

This wedding was different from all the others I attended  because—aside from the bride’s family ranch/farm location at Weiser Family Farms— it was my son’s wedding.

Here’s a few ranch wedding do’s.

  • Wear flat shoes ( or cowboy boots) for walking in the uneven fields
  • bring sunglasses
  • bring wrap/shawl ( or man with jacket) for cooler evening temperature
  • be prepared to dance to rock-a -billy
  • toss unused or warm drinks into the field behind you
  • appreciate the sunset
  • gaze up the magnificent  stars above
  • don’t get so drunk your “short cut” through the fields ends in the next county
  • have enough amps for the all the power you’ll need  ( band, food, lighting, sound system)
  • go for a ride around the farm on the bicycle bus
  • if you’re mom to the groom, bring a hanky
  • (advice from sibs) don’t look at mom when she’s crying or you will start to cry
  • don’t do anything behind the barn you wouldn’t want the guests to know about

971438_10151811312984286_1785057523_nThanks to impeccable planning, first class LA chefs,gourmet wedding menu a live band, and all the little extras that went into the ceremony and reception, the wedding was both a visual, gastronomic,  and emotional delight.Ian & Stefi's wedding

 

 

 

 

 

Mom n Ian

 


 

 

 

Ian n Stef

Didn’t

LZMarie logo
Didn’t wake up early, kept pressing snooze
can’t find nothin’ to wear, didn’t have the right shoes
didn’t remember to defrost dinner for tonight
didn’t remember to turn off
the back porch light.

 

Didn’t eat a good breakfast, pack a bagel for the drive,
didn’t brew my coffee, stop at Starbucks–it’s no lie.
Pass a slowpoke on the freeway, but get stuck behind a truck
gonna be late for work,
of all the dumb luck.

 

Swerve into the parking space, check the rearview mirror to be sure
Notice I forgot my earrings, before running out the door.
Flop down on the anti-ergonomic chair, watch the inbox explode
With questions, demands, and concerns.
One is written in code.

 

Didn’t tackle the pile of work that’s 3-days late
Sip on my latte, while my mind endures a psychological debate.
Dribble coffee on my blouse, while with technology I fight
Didn’t find the problem,
Cuz the computer’s always right.

 

Inhale  my sandwich, didn’t taste it at all
while workin’ through lunch and didn’t return a call.
I need..I want…I forgot…Do you have?
Are frequent  questions
That aren’t all that bad.

 

Didn’t finish all the work I thought should get done
Didn’t make any plans tonight to have a little fun.
Didn’t have time to find a wee slice of  Zen
Didn’t have time to clean, cook, sew, or mend.

 

Didn’t do this.
Didn’t do that.
Too much to do,
Ain’t that a fact!

 

Related Links: More Bad Poetry

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Homey Grown

WARNING: Hubby kidnapped my computer so he could “write” a blog.

Hubby’s writing is limited to emails, specs, payroll checks, and signing birthday cards, so I was very suspicious.

Here’s a censored version of our ever-so-friendly conversation.

Hubby: I’m writing a blog.
Me: You don’t have a blog.
Hubby: I’ll use yours.
Me: What will you write?
Hubby: Write? YOU’RE the writer! I’m just gonna post photos.

 

(I know what your thinking–that’s what Facebook is for.)

Me: Of what?
Hubby: The vegetables and fruit that I grow versus the stuff you buy at the market.  I’m calling it HOMEGROWN vs HOMEY-GROWN.

 

So…direct from HOMEY FARMS.

 

Homegrown Apple

Homegrown Apple

Homey-Grown

Homey-Grown

 

 

 

 

Home grown peach

Home grown peach

 

Homey-Grown peach

Homey-Grown peach

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homegrown lemon

Homegrown lemon

 

Homey-Grown lemon

Homey-Grown lemon

 

 

 

 

 

Homegrown pepper

Homegrown pepper

 

Homey-Grown pepper

Homey-Grown pepper

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home grown zucchini

Home grown zucchini

 

Homey Grown zuccini

Homey Grown zucchini

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related links: Hubby Funnies

Home Goods

a summer of symbolism continues…

A man’s home is his/her castle. It’s also chock full of symbolic accessories and items. So before purchasing anything for the domicile, be mindful of its symbolism.

home symbols 1

home symbol2

home symbol 3

I teach literary analysis ( must pay the bills) and remind my students to look closely at the symbolism in a novel. Why did the author include that fruit? Or name the character Neil? Why is the protagonist sitting under a pear tree? Why is her dress blue? Before jumping to any symbolic conclusions however, we look at the symbol in context of setting, history, and culture.

Related Links: Symbols & more symbols

Mom’s Obstacle Course

sarcasm
Wake up in the morning, ready to go
got lots to do, can’t start off  slow.
With only twenty-four hours
I’m gonna need some super powers!

 

Race downstairs, laundry in my arms
before I even hear the sound of the alarm.
Throw the pile of duds in the washing machine,
but forgot the shirt that was stained green.

 

Before returning upstairs, I spy a package nearby
so I scope it up with a very loud sigh.
Toss it in kid’s room, then stand in the hall.
Wonder why I was up here–oh! bugger all!
Jog downstairs, now what was I doing?
guess I better start the coffee to brewing.
Pour a cup of coffee, eat a bite of toast
oops, maybe I better defrost that roast.

 

Look for the crock pot, see the dog food instead
fill the pooch’s bowl so she can be fed.
Would like to read the recipe for tonight’s meal
but can’t locate my glasses, what an ordeal!
Find ’em atop a stack of mail,
get a paper cut and break a nail.
Nothin’ like sorting through bills
for good times and a  financial  thrill!

 

Laundry, errands, cleaning, and chores
with so much to do, I’m never bored.
Leaping and skipping from task to task
never remember what I did last.
I’m a multi-tasking flunky, who needs to cut back.
Errands and chores are nothin’ but overachiever’s crack!
Must take some time to enjoy a healthy fruit snack.

 

The day is over, I still have lots to do
tomorrow’s another day of chore deja vu.

 

Related Links: Link to Bad Poetry; Link to Mom Musings

Twitter Speak

tweeting stylesJPGThis author-teacher-mom has learned lots of gooseful info since leaving the nest with the first tweet almost 3 years ago.

Between reading blogs on tweetiquette, following the do’s and don’ts, and using some good ol’ common sense learning eggsactly how to fly on Twitter is easy.

I’m no expert—far from it—but it didn’t take long to figure out the basic content and tweeting styles.

In the spirit of bird lingo,and in no particular order, here’s my list of tweet types :

  • trill: A quick succession of tweets within a minute. Many trills land you in the dreaded Twitter Jail.
  • caw:  Similar to calling someone out, only you @ someone famous ( or twitter famous) just to get noticed
  • cackle:  @-ing a long list of people
  • quack: Tweeting lies
  • warble: The like-my-page, buy-my-book, read-my-blog  DM
  • cluck:  Expressing disapproval about some event that pisses you off
  • chirp: A cheerful quick tweet of less than 140 spaces
  • cock a doodle doo: Pornographic tweet
  • chirrup: Like a hiccup… you sent tweet unfinished or with a typo ( not your fault of course, it’s  auto correct )
  • squawk: A continuous barrage of self-promoting
  • peep: Impact a newbie makes when tweeting/RTing to all 4 of their followers
  • flock: Your favorite tweeps
  • gaggle: Plethora of  abbreviated words make tweet incomprehensible
  • pecker: (noun) Follower tweeting explicit X-rated photos ( see cock a doodle doo )
  • gobble: Purchasing fake followers
  • hoot: Throwing a question out to Twitter to see who responds.

My apologies if there’s already a Twitter-approved word for one of these. Is a tweet type missing? Share your name for it!

See you in Twitterverse!

Related Links: Job Skills vs Personality Traits; On-line Job Applications

 

Attack of the Clutter

rabbitsStuff–knick knacks, doodads, duplicates, gadgets, equipment, gear, junk–multiplies like rabbits! Before you know it–BAM–you’ve got clutter!

One day you look around the casa and think, Yikes! Working and writing have left no time to manage the clutter that accumulates in our house. Unchecked, the clutter begins to nest in bookcases, crawl over tables, and breed in baskets!

Stuff-terminator to the rescue! Mom! Seems Mom has a low threshold for clutter these days! Mom’s got more important things to do than rearrange stuff!  Plus, Mom’s brain can’t breathe with the accumulation!

The clutter straw that broke the mama camel’s back happened the other day.

I watched our neighbors move out of their house.  It took them days and days and uhaultruckloads and u-hauls…and a garage sale. People drove up to the house all morning long rifling through the piles and piles of STUFF in the driveway and garage. They had a lot of stuff. A 3-car garage with no room for a car–that’s how much stuff!

If you’ve ever moved you know how much stuff we accumulate over the years. And as you’re packing all that stuff, you might have wondered, do I really need this?  Do I like this vase? How many potholders do I need? Why the hell do I have a dancing stuffed turtle?  Why am I keeping this hideous pot? How did I end up with so many mismatched sets of sheets?

Sometimes it takes watching someone move out of their home to realize the time has come to de-clutter your own house! I vow to be ruthless!

The task will be daunting! There’s no way it can be done in a day! I go from room to room, peer into closets, open drawers, stare into the depths of the cupboards. Where did all this SHIT come from?

“What are you doing?” asks Hubby.
“I need to get rid of all the clutter. I don’t want to move all this shit!”
“Are we moving? Are YOU moving?” He looks a bit concerned.
“Did you see how much crap the neighbors have?” I point in the general direction.
“Oh, yeah. Makes you realize you much useless stuff you buy.”  He blocks the door with his body. “My office is fine. Don’t come in here!”
I smile sweetly–he has to leave sometime–but I don’t remind him of this fact,

 

After a thorough assessment of the house, I decide to maybe…maybe tackle one room at a time. And one closet in particular may take days. One thing for certain, this task is best done in stealth mode. No teens begging me to keep a dust-covered stuffed animal in the back of their closet.  No Hubby trying to second-guess my give-away/trash choices.

 I vow to  rid the house of anything 
  • I deem ugly ( vases, decor, knickknacks)
  • haven’t used in years
  • unusable, unwearable, unfixable
  • no longer my style

Zen! I want my house to be a bastion of Zen!  Wish me luck!

Related Posts:Spring Cleaning; :Closet Craziness; Spring Cleaning #2

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Edith Hamilton

Edith HamiltonThis week’s spotlight on Fab Female Friday is a scholar and one of the foremost women Classicists. (That’s one who has studied the Greek/Roman Greats like Sophocles, Euripides, Aeschylus, Ovid, and Homer.) (And you think your thoughts are deep?!)

Her book, Mythology, is never far from my side. (Actually, I have more than 10 copies–the large print font being the preferred edition)  I rifled through my well-worn, marked-up pages while writing the Merkabah Series, as well as referring to it for my historical fiction, The Emperor’s Assassin.

Edith Hamilton was born August 12, 1867 in Germany to a wealthy and educated family. She grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana where Dad home schooled his 3 daughters in Latin, Greek, French, and German.

As befit her status, Dad sent her to Miss Porter’s Finishing School, where the ovidheadmistress believed young ladies should NOT go on to college. Not thwarted by inferior college preparation, Edith took a year to study before taking the rigorous Bryn Mawr entrance exams.

After earning her B.A and M.A. she attended the University of Leipzig. Here, she was told she could listen to the lectures but NOT participate in any discussions! University of Munich was not much better, and Edith never earned her doctoral degree.

In 1896, she returned to the states, securing a position as head mistress at Bryn Mawr’s school for Girls in Baltimore, notable because it was the first college prep school for girls in the US.

sophoclesEdith was known for eloquence in speech and writing. Her persuasive and scholarly understanding demystified the Greek’s view of tragedy and fate for many.

The Greek Way was published in 1930 when she was 62 yrs-old.

Mythology, the quintessential guide to ancient classic lore—a favorite of colleges and highMythology schools— was published in 1942.

According to Doris Fielding Reid, her lifelong partner, Edith enjoyed reading murder mysteries for pleasure!

In 1957, King Paul of Greece named her an honorary citizen of Athens!

Edith died on May 31, 1963 in Washington DC.

Edith Hamilton: Scholar. Head mistress. Author. Classicist.

Forget TV: Pick up a copy of Mythology and delight in the misadventures of the most immortal heroes of our time!

Related posts: Fabulous Females
Related Links:  Rock Your WritingSymbolism & more symbols;
Click  Amazon link for novels.

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Swimsuit Sorrows

“You got mail from Victoria’s Secret!” I shout to my daughter as I wave a small envelope.
She bounds down the stairs and swipes it from my hands. “Oh! It’s my new bikini!”

Bikini? I’m holding a small flat envelope in my hands.

She rips open the paper and pulls out…..
2 dots and a dash.
“Adorable, right?” she says holding up the pink body floss.

I owned such a swimsuit like that once. I remember it clearly. It was a red and white tiger striped bandeau style with teeny tiny bottoms.

Damn, I looked good in that swimsuit.

“You look sad.” Sweet daughter says. 
“I’m just having swimsuit flashbacks–remembering when I could wear bikinis like that.”
She looks skeptical.
“I need a new swimsuit–go shopping with me.”
“No way, mom. You’re gonna get in the dressing room and start ranting and raving about swimsuit designers. Then you’re gonna complain that you can’t work, write, blog, cook, blah blah and still spend 3 hours at the gym.”
“I’ll buy you Starbucks.”
“OK.”

Hubby walks by. “I’ll come bikini shopping with you.”

“Don’t let him come, mom. He thinks you look good in everything!” 

Here’s a sampling of my daughter’s remarks  at the department store.

“The flower print is too big.”
“The stripes are going the wrong way.”
“Hideous.”
“That’s too pink.”
“You really need a tan.”
“Not in public.”
“Too old lady.”
“You’re joking, right?”
“That’s really retro. You need red lips–you don’t look good with red lips.”
“Too Vegas.”
“It doesn’t look good from this angle.” ( she’s looking straight at me)
“Maybe if you did some stomach crunches.”
“Maybe we should just find a great sarong–so you can cover it all up.”

 

We finally find a figure-enhancing swimsuit that doesn’t look half bad.

“I’m sorry, mom,” daughter says as we sip our coffees. “When you get rich, you can hire a personal trainer and chef, and just focus on you.”

I give her hug. “OK.”

Mmmm…focus on me.  Sounds good, but instead of going to the gym, I would much rather take a painting class…

Related links :Multi-tasking Flunky; Gracious LivingJunk MailCloset Craziness; Surviving My PurseOde to Stilettos; Girlie to-do list #1Girlie to-do list #2Sequestration at my houseMom’s Smoke Signals

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5th Amendment–Family Style

shshshTaking the 5th!

Pleading the 5th amendment is useful if you’re a politico or scapegoat or tipster sitting in the Hot Seat!

While driving to work, I listened as the radio broadcast a government employee invoking the 5th and I thought, “Well, that came in handy.”

In case you were absent the day they taught the 5th amendment in school:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation

Too bad we can’t invoke the right in work situations or in our personal lives.

Imagine how much we could get away with!

  • Mom: Who broke the vase? Kiddo: I take the 5th.
  • Dad: Who filled the vodka bottle with water?  Teen: My government teacher says I can plead the 5th so I don’t  incriminate myself.
  • Wife: Why didn’t you remember our anniversary?  Hubby: Taking the 5th and calling to make dinner reservations right now.
  • Boss: Why did the client go to our competitor? Employee: I invoke the protective rights of the  5th amendment while I call the HR department
  • Teacher: Why didn’t you turn in the assignment on time? Student: Not only do I take the 5th, I’m telling my mom you’re prying into my personal life.
  • Mom: Why did you pee in the house?   Dog: Woof.

Of course, the moment someone pleads the 5th amendment, we know or assume the person might just as well have shouted:

guilty

 

But wait, you say. It’s wrong to assume guilt–that’s not what the amendment was written for at all!  One thing is certain: Something funky is going on!

I stay far away from all political discussions (on my blog at least);

however, as any parent can attest, a child who doggedly remains silent–and is NOT the guilty party–is really covering for someone else! Usually a sibling or friend! Which in Parentland requires a long lecture and cajoling to tell “the truth.”

We still don’t know which kiddo filled the vodka bottle with water. *sigh* Maybe one day.

Good thing the home is not a court room!

What do you think? If someone pleads the 5th, nolo contendre ( I refuse to agree or deny), or remains silent on an issue what is your instinctive response?

Related Links:  Multi-tasking FlunkyJunk MailCloset CrazinessSequestration at my houseMom’s Smoke Signals; Gracious Living

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Empty Nest

empty nestThe last child graduated from high school. A mile stone! Not for my daughter–we expected her to graduate–but for mom.

“Are you sad?” asks Hubby. “Your baby is moving out and going to college.”

Sad? Um…

My life has been consumed with children for many years. Children that I had to:

  • cook for
  • nag at
  • scold
  • drive around
  • be exasperated by
  • worry about
  • give money to
  • catch in lies
  • make emergency runs to wherever ( school, game, hospital, work, friend)

Sad?  Not so much.. I do feel some relief.

Hubby gives me a worried look. “Most moms are sad when the last one leaves home.”

Why aren’t I sad? His statement gives me a fair amount of angst!

And then it hits me!  The children have worn me out! After 27 years of kiddos, Mom is just plum tuckered out! Wiped out! Run-down!

27 years of mom…mom…mom…mom…mom ( young parents, that summons never ends).

Mom needs a few years to recuperate before grandchildren start arriving.

terminatorAnd it’s not like they’re really gone! Like the Terminator who says, “I’ll be back,” this is only the end of Season 1 of Life with Children.

Maybe years ago, before the advent to social media and techno-everything, parents probably felt  the empty nest syndrome more profoundly.

Texting, Instagram, Facebook mean the umbilical cord is still attached—-a cyber-umbilical cord! Of course, if they de-friend me that’s a different story!

Quick true story:
Mom: Why did you defriend me on Facebook?
Son: I don’t want you to see what I’m doing!
Mom: Oh, but you have no problem letting a future employer see your shenanigans?
Son: Oh! Hadn’t thought of that! OK, look, I’m re-friending you right now. **mutters under breath, damn**

And I’m 100% certain that the above bulleted points NEVER  end for a mom–I mean, that’s what mom’s do, right?

So, what’s really changed?

I still receive their parking tickets, mail, jury summons, W2’s, and junk mail. They still come in, head straight for the fridge, and forage for snack food.

“I think we should turn the front bedroom into my office or maybe an exercise room,” I say to Hubby after graduation.

“I can see you’re all choked up!” Hubby scratches his chin in wonder.

The nest may be empty, my little birdies flown the coop, but the time has come for this old chick to spread her wings and fly.

And it’s time for my hatchlings to be catching their own worms!

Related Posts:Multi-tasking Flunky; Gracious Living; Junk MailCloset Craziness; Surviving My PurseOde to Stilettos; Girlie to-do list #1Girlie to-do list #2Sequestration at my houseMom’s Smoke Signals

 

Gracious Living

fruit waterLiving simply. Gracious living. Pinterest Perfect! Many a magazine and website are devoted to making your home environment a joy to behold.

A good idea. In theory!

I can do that, I think while drooling  over the Pinterest Pretties and magazine spreads.

Ha! My attempts never hit the mark.

  • Glass pitchers of sparkling water filled with strawberries and cucumber–not so pretty with old fruit
  •  Cupcakes with a fluffy swirl of icing and beautiful garnishment at the top–require a steady decorating hand and the perfect consistancy of frosting
  • Sumptuous beds with mounds of luxurious ( and perfectly placed ) pillows–looks  like a crazy lady threw the pillows on mine
  • A plate of artfully presented food–wasted on hungry hubby
  • A whimsical and verdant garden–too much time to maintain
  • a vase of colorful tulips–mine droop (unattractively) after a day

All that eye candy!

It’s a sickness, gazing upon a snapshot of some artfully-enhanced item. Someone should stop me!

Why?  Because coveting all that Pretty  just makes me realize how plain my everyday life is . I know…whine whine…1st World Problem.

Maybe it’s just me, but in today’s world when many of us race through life at rocket speed, juggle jobs, kiddos, and home—who has time for that? I just end up feeling pressured to make everything look whimsical and stunning! I know I would enjoy it–although the hubby could care less.

teaMany women, especially if they tend to be empathic, tend to need those little niceties in their life. Sight, sound, touch, scent–the beauty is a joy in which we revel.

The aroma of our lotions must make us smile, coffee smells divine in a pretty mug, and a cake tastes better if its wondrously decorated.

On occasion, I remind myself to take life a little slower, take joy in simple pleasures…take time to admire a single bloom in a vase, enjoy a cup of tea in an antique porcelain tea cup, delight in the lingering scent of an aromatic candle.

I have the best intentions—I do—but Time flies!

Working moms are lucky to inhale a cup of morning coffee—let alone bask in its aroma and enjoy the froth in a picturesque mug. Stay at home moms fare no better—toddlers and babies need constant attention.

“Mom, stop and smell the roses,” my daughter says.

Oh sure—she didn’t  drive to the nursery, buy the plant, nag husband to plant the bush, dig the hole, fertilizer and water the plant, and—well, you get the picture.

After a particularly shiny-pretty-fanciful Pinterest photo  I vow–yet again– to indulge in some gracious living.

I promise to:

  • have a bouquet of flowers for my desk (at work)
  • drink my morning coffee from a  beautiful mug
  • take time to make the dinner look Pinterest Perfect
  • sit in the backyard, sip fresh mint tea, and watch the clouds
  • fill my home with fresh flowers
  • throw out all the ugly freebie mugs
  • drink wine from my best wine glass

lemonaidOne day, I tell myself, one day when I have nothing pressing to do. Ironically enough, now that I have a few of the resources and spare cash for some lifestyle upgrades, I don’t have the time!

My solution? I stick a sprig of rosemary in my lemonade. Delicious!

 

Related Links: Mom  Musings

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Mom Power

Experienced Mom lesson #2

By the time the children are teenagers and older, most moms feel fairly confident in their mom skills. They should. After 20 years or so, moms have heard it all, seen it all, and “been there, done that.”

If I hear a new mom complaining or wondering about some small child woe, I pipe right in with all the wisdom of my 20+ years of mothering.

New moms might not like hearing the truth, but hey! I’m just trying to help!

mom10jpgHere’s what I’ve learned so far ( and I know I have a whole lot more learning ahead when my children have children of their own.)

  • Every stain can be removed! The question is how long are you willing to work at it?
  • You must learn to multi-task or nothing will ever get done
  • If there’s a sharp corner in your home a toddler will fall into it.
  • Don’t buy white-upholstered furniture.
  • Always have enough gas in the car to drive to the emergency room.
  • Don’t tell siblings to “love each other.” They’ll just rebel. Allow that feeling to grow on its own. It may take many years.
  • Work on perfecting “The Look” while they are very young. It serves a mother well when children need to be reprimanded/warned quietly in public.
  • You cannot treat your children equally because they are different. The exception: When they are younger you MUST buy each the exact same number of Christmas gifts. When they are older—beware! They will add up $$$ amounts in their head.
  • If children are permitted to get away with sassing, disobedience, & disrespect when they are 2-yrs old—it will be virtually impossible to change the learned behavior when they hit their teens. What’s “cute” when they’re little will prove disastrous when  older.
  • Don’t cave in to food demands.You’ll only create picky eaters.
  • Children lie. Teenagers lie. Young adults lie.
  • Moms need to lie to their children sometimes.
  • Learn the body language indicators each child has when they lie.  NEVER tell them how you know. NEVER.
  • Children learn from what you DO and how you ACT. Every day. Every hour. Every second. That means you must be a role model. (Scary, right?)
  • Being the “mean mom” takes courage and will break your heart but you have to do it.
  • Be prepared to be hated.
  • Your child shouldn’t be your friend until they are an adult.
  • Don’t  think that boys are “this way” and girls are “that way.” Personality determines traits more than gender.
  • Teach children to do things for themselves.
  • Make them do a chore/task over until they get it right! Not completing the task or doing it poorly is just their way of getting out of it in the future.
  • Don’t do their homework for them. As a teacher, I can assure you that your child was   taught the skill in class before it was assigned as homework. Maybe next time they’ll pay attention.
  • Let your child experience failure. Failure is necessary in life—without it we would never learn anything.
  • Use humor when possible.
  • Pick your battles carefully.
  • Teenagers will go to great lengths to get a rise out of you. Don’t fall for it. Green hair? Whatever.
  • Don’t argue with them. A broken rule has consequences. End of discussion.
  • Give lots of hugs.
  • Use humor. Frequently.

Remember, you may not see the rewards for being the best mom you can be for many years.

Any experienced mom wisdom you’d like to share?

Related Posts: Mom Musings

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