Category Archives: Life & Laughter

What a Mom Wants

daffodils“Hey, mom! What do you want for Mother’s Day?” Well, that’s a loaded question! I want lots of stuff, none of which is for sale. I want —and this may not be representative of mothers everywhere:

  • world peace
  • my children to be happy adults with fulfilling jobs and who find love with a special someone
  • my pre-baby body back  ( This will require serious cash. )
  • a lifetime supply of shoulder massages
  • healthy children
  • the return of my once calm and stress-free personality ( they refuse to believe that I was once easy-going )

When I had 4 little ones running around ( now I have 4 driving around— I don’t know which is more frightening) —all I really wanted for Mother’s Day was peace and quiet! Back then, I wanted to be alone. I can’t be the only one, right? Right? As the years passed, the kiddos wanted to DO SOMETHING on Mother’s Day. Translation: Take us somewhere fun where you can pretend to have fun with us. Now, however, the children are grown and honor me by making an appearance. They bring cards, flowers, Starbucks, gift certificates, and often cook me dinner. We might watch a favorite movie together or play Scrabble. (Scrabble gets vicious at our house!) What they don’t understand is that I don’t need a gift nor do I need them to show up on that particular day. Why?  Because they give me gifts all year long. True gifts. Gifts that make mom proud! What’s a True Mom Gift?

A True Mom Gift is when one of them:
  • takes time out of their busy schedule to help me with something that require many hours
  • washes my car without asking
  • calls to tell me “You were right about [ add wisdom or advice here  ].”
  • says “I miss you”
  • lands a job/is admitted to college/gets an A/graduates/buys a house
  • does the right thing
  • is a considerate, thoughtful adult
  • is respectful and kind (even if I’m throwing a hissy fit about something)
  • does something nice for one of their siblings
  • says something nice about one of their siblings
  • gives me a hug for no reason
  • brings Starbucks without asking
  • laughs at my jokes
  • tells me my blog cracks them up
  • reveals that they admire me
  • shares a secret
  • offers to make dinner
  • makes a surprise visit
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not opposed to nor would I ever turn down a gift card or present,
so just in case…

gift certificate   Related Posts: Mom MusingsTeenage DaughtersLondon CallingSnack Happy Son Goes to CostcoSequestration at my houseFirst HouseProm poemTeenagers are useful; blog ender 2

Teenage Daughters

Daughters are special–any mother will agree. There is a feminine bond that develops–eventually. A kinship of womanly wiles and woes that are shared over the decades–hopefully.

Most of us are familiar with the saying: A son is your son until he takes a wife, a daughter is your daughter for the rest of your life.

This unique bond takes many years to develop, growing and thriving if nurtured.

S 2jpgWhen our daughters are toddlers, we put them in ruffles and bows–our little real-live dress-up dolls. They don’t complain too much at that age.

Elementary age daughters make us remember our own childhoods. Soccer practice, softball, riding lessons, dance lessons–my daughters had a wide variety– I was a modern mom! And modern moms understand the many ways that sports teaches a girl important skills and life lessons.

Next comes the pre-teen gawky years. Our daughters feel the need to be different than mom, to establish their own identity. This is where the trouble begins.

The early teen years are the most challenging–at least, that seems to be the general consensus.

Our daughters experiment with make up ( heavy black eyeliner, green eye shadow) and hair color.

Expect:
  •  temper tantrums
  • moodiness
  • door slammming
  • glaring

and that’s just from mom!

The teenage years are when a mom shows her daughter the ‘art of pimple concealment’ and commiserates when she complains that her hair sticks to lip gloss. We sympathize when ‘that time of the month’ comes at the worst possible time. We agree whole heartedly that “boys are stupid” and explain the tragic consequences of washing jeans with lipstick still in the pocket.

We may demonstrate age-old flirting techniques, like the classic hair flip, but more than likely we’ll send them back to their room for an outfit change. “You are not going to school in that!”

True story: My 15-yr old and I were walking through Macy’s one afternoon when an older woman stopped us to say how much we resembled one another.

I turned to my daughter. “I look beautiful!”
“I’m hideous!” she cried, ending her good mood for the day.

S 1By the time our daughters are 17, and if we are really, really lucky, they have outgrown the “I hate mom”  stage… I don’t know , maybe it has something to do with their needing vast sums of money for all those senior activities!

Finally, we can:
  • have fun at the make up counter and give one another honest opinions about a new product
  • laugh in the dressing room without anyone taking offense ( “That outfit is awful,mom”)
  • dish about “boys” and how their minds think ( or don’t )
  • discuss the importance of finding fabulous shoes we can still walk in
  • promise to share a darling evening bag
  • convince each other of the need for yet another new fangled curling iron
  • both agree that Johnny Dep is hot!

Oh sure, my daughters don’t always listen to me! (Although my oldest noted the other day that everything I ever told her was 100% correct.)

All that female bonding aside, there are a few serious consequences of having a teen daughter in the house.Things go missing!

Important female things!

  • expensive hair treatments
  • hair bands or barrettes
  •  teasing comb
  • nail polish and anything related to nail care
  • cotton balls ( Hubby still has no idea why a woman uses so many)
  • razors ( I buy a pack of 100 at Costco–the pack is good for about 2 months!)
  • bronzer
  • perfume
  • make-up brushes (“Buy some for me or I’ll keep using yours!”)
  • clothes ( if you’re both about the same size)

Truth be told, daughters make us appreciate our own mothers!

Daughters do wonderful things. Not the wonderful things you expected them to do. Different things. Astonishing things. Better than you ever dreamed.–Marion C. Garrett

There’s nothing wrong with teenagers that reasoning with them won’t aggravate.–Author Unknown

A daughter is a new beginning
A daughter is your excuse for making a doll’s house,
A daughter is an awful reminder of the way you behaved at fourteen.
A daughter is the person to whom all that dusty stuff in the attic belongs.
A daughter is the person you thought you would stop worrying about when she hit twenty-one. 
But who is still worrying you silly at forty-five.–Pam Brown

 

An end note: Both daughters will ask why I selected “that” photo!

Related Posts: Mom MusingsLondon Calling; Snack Happy Son Goes to CostcoSequestration at my houseFirst HouseProm poemTeenagers are useful;

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Snack-happy Son Goes to Costco

“I’m off to Costco! Any requests?”  I shout from the  family room.
Thump-thump-thump. Footsteps tread down the stairs.
“I’m goin’ with you, mom,” teen son informs me.
My eyes narrow, instantly suspicious. “Why?”
“I’m hungry. There’s no food in this house!”

 

Definition for no food: lack of munchies, microwaveable  fast food, and/or cans of chili.
Note: Vegetables, fruit, pasta, rice, and frozen meat products are available in refrigerator/freezer.

I hand son the keys and tell him to drive. Mmmm…it  will be nice for someone to push the 2-ton cart and load the heavy boxes into the car’s trunk.

Warning: Do not take a hungry teenager to Costco! Especially a ravenous son!

Our Costco conversation:

“We need another one,”  he says, pointing to the 8-pack in my hand.
“I am not buying 20 dollars worth of canned chili!”
“It’s my daily snack!” he hoists three 8-packs into the cart. “How ’bout these?”

He pulls a 12-pack of over-priced vegetable & fruit individual serving-size smoothies from cold storage. “I take these to class! Sis drinks them too! We need 2 cases.” Into the cart they go. “I’m so glad I came. You never get the good stuff.”

Good stuff= over-priced processed food/drink.

The packages and multi-packs are stacked high in the cart. My inner calculator has long since crashed. (10…20…15…12…14…oh, forget it.)

Son at costcoAt the register, he gleefully sets the grub on the conveyor belt. “I’m starving! Can I stop at the food court for lunch?”

As if spending a zillion dollars on food wasn’t enough, we wheel the cart to the snack bar outside where he orders a gigantic sandwich.

The Good: He loaded and unloaded our haul. And put the food in the cupboards.

The Bad: He bought a calorie-laden smoothie for me. I had to drink it.

The Ugly: My pantry is filled with cans of chili.

Related Posts: Sequestration at my houseQueen of T.PWanted: Food FairyImpatient Me: Life in the Fast Lane; Mom’s Smoke Signals

London Calling


buckingham guard While mom slogs away
editing 2nd novel, writing 3rd, & teaching, most-fortunate 1st daughter is enjoying an all-expense paid trip to England and Paris! ( courtesy of beneficent grandma)
So direct from fabulous, oh-so-chic London, 1st daughter kidnapped my blog to provide some jet-setting insight!
london street viewOMG! Public transport! Amazing! It’s essential here and no matter your social class or neighborhood, everyone uses it. Hands down, the oyster card is the best way for getting around London. Buy it weekly (£35) – and you can use it on any subway or bus. Also, everything is super clean and well- managed. I definitely recommend the public transportation for seeing the city.
 
london bridgeThe Fashion! Londoners certainly like variety! It was 55 degrees and you will see shorts and flip flops or fur vests. And scarves. Lots of scarves. And flat shoes–hellloooo, US buyers! Bring in some fashion forward flats for us on-the-move girls.
While doing the tourist sightseeing thing, I  also checked out the locals. The current looks:
  •  blazer with boyfriend jeans, bright flats mixed with bright patterned scarf–notice mine in the photo?
  •  jean shorts with tights and some wedge booties
  •  almost anything goes.  
  • The H& M in London is to die! (Mom, send more $$. LOL)                                                                                      Whatever they wear, the Brits rock their ensembles with confidence.
 
s w beerEveryone warned me how expensive Europe is–because of the exchange rate— but I find the prices are on par with those in the states. I don’t feel like I’m paying the astronomical fees that everyone was talking about.
 
Exchange rates: Do not go to your local bank before the trip. They over charge for the exchange. Local London banks compete with better exchange rates. You end up saving much more. I bought another glass of beer with my savings!
Thanks for letting me takeover your blog, mom. Can’t wait for Paris!

Multi-tasking Flunky

Confessions of a Multi-tasking Flunky

Carpe latte3Life moves at warp speed. Multi-tasking skills are required to keep up with everything! Writing-Blogging-Teaching, the hours dash by in a frantic blur.

I try to multi-task, but end up making more work for myself.  Frequent do-overs are required, which is sooo not efficient! I can’t be the only one who fails at effective multi-tasking, right?

Here’s a quick list of dumb stuff I do while thinking-plotting-talking- writing-blogging- texting- posting-tweeting-creating.

  • Applying hand lotion before walking out the door–oops! Can’t turn the doorknob!
  • Not checking to see if reading glasses are in my purse before leaving the house—nah, I didn’t need to read anything today.
  • Putting a meal in the oven only to forget about it while completing other tasks. “What’s burning?” Aw, damn!
  • Never remembering if I closed the garage door and looping the neighborhood to find out.
  • Forgetting to include the email attachment before hitting SEND.
  • Leaving the grocery list at home. (A photographic memory would come in handy.)
  • Neglecting to hit SEND on a text, then wondering why the recipient didn’t reply.
  • Forgetting to gas the car after work, which means filling it at 6 am.
  • Asking someone a question and not listening to the answer.
  • Looking for reading glasses—that are on my head.
  • Taking leftovers home, shoving them in the fridge, and never eating them.
  • Writing to-do lists and promptly misplacing them.
  • Putting a load of clothes in the wash and leaving it there for days.
  • Misplacing the cell phone. I wonder if there is Clapper app I could install?
  • Neglecting to transfer the important items when changing my purse–like my house key.
  • Never tightening the lid on the water bottle. This is the most expensive misstep of all because the technology goes for a refreshing dip and Apple gets more of my money.

Hubby and kiddos could probably add a few others—and they tried—but my snippy-sassy reply just sent them running!

Related Posts: Random Realities

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Student Translations

We’ve all read the “She Says…She Means…” funnies that make their way around the email and Facebook circuit–and they’re always good for a laugh.

Here’s my teacher-student version.

students say1

student says 22

student says 33

Related Posts:Job Skills vs Personality Traits; On-line Job ApplicationsSchool Answering Message; Senioritis

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Accessory Anxiety

accessoriesDressing for work in the wee hours of the morning might be easier if it were not for accessory anxiety.

One day it just happens! You realize you own more accessories than is manageable!

Accessories include:

  • Belts: Styles range from  wide, extra wide, skinny, hip, and waist. Sizes range from feelin’ skinny to  feelin’ chubby.
  • Scarves: Wrinkled, eternity, fringed, silk, long, extra long, and winter,
  • Necklaces: Oddly enough—or perhaps predictably—the perfect ( goes with everything) length remains allusive. Necklace styles: Refined, gold, silver, chunky, ethnic, elegant, casual, and art-festival find.
  • Rings: Cheap, funky, semi-precious, and precious
  • Bracelets: Cheap, funky, semi-precious, and precious
  • Watches: Yeah! I wear the same one everyday.

All this variety leaves me scrambling in the morning. Or dithering before going out. Or making last minutes selections before an event.

“What are you doing?” Hubby asks from the living room while checking his watch.
“I can’t find the right necklace for this outfit.”
“Just put on anything!”

The Horror!

Men just understand! Women have many clothing “looks” and different necklines with which to contend.

Hubby has 3 style options.
1. career
2. casual
3. work-out

Except for the work-out gear, his wardrobe is accessory-free! ( I’m fairly certain a water bottle and an energy chew are NOT accessories.)

I try to explain the problem but Hubby’s eyes just glaze over—like mine when he talks sports.

Different tops require different “looks.”  Jeans with a designer low-cut t-shirt require a different necklace than a peasant skirt and blouse. Duh!

A necklace hanging under my top looks dumb. If it’s too short, it leaves a big empty skin space between shirt and neck.

Accessories must coordinate. Must complement the outfit! Should add visual interest—I think it’s on page 58 of the Vogue Bible.

“Just wear the necklace I bought you for your birthday,” Hubby says.
“That’s a modern piece, these pants have a funky vibe.” 
“You make your life too complicated!” Hubby says as I hold different necklaces up to the outfit. “Just wear the same one all the time!”
“Excellent idea!” I respond. “I will cancel the 499  ESPN channels we pay extra for every month. One sports channel should be enough!”

One…two…three seconds pass.

“I think the real problem, honey, is that you don’t have enough accessories!”

Note: Photo is NOT representative of my accessory collection–I’m still looking for a suitable tiara.

Related Posts:Spring Cleaning; Spring Cleaning #2Closet Craziness; Surviving My PurseOde to StilettosDenim DistressPerfect School Bag; Drawer of Misfit CosmeticsWardrobe Malfunctions

Click  Amazon link for novels.

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Junk Mail

junkmail“Bring in the wheelbarrow, honey!”                                    “Why?” Hubby manages to turn his head away from whatever critical sports game is on ESPN.              “It’s time to sort through the junk mail!”                                            “Oh, that!” He waves his hand at the mountain of mail atop the table in the foyer.

A one week’s accumulation. 

One week!

Save the trees! I think flipping through the paper pyramid.

This week’s cache:

  •  Catalogs from stores I’ve never heard of
  • Catalogs from the big department stores (OK, I’ll peak at the glossy Nordstrom Summer Spectacular)
  • Flyers for Buy 1/Get1 or ½  Off or Tuesday Kids Eat Free
  • Just Sold! Real estate flyers with smiling agents
  • Faux handwritten letters from someone who claims they want to buy my house
  • Sheets of paper advertising a variety of services
  • Reminders that a Good Will pick-up is scheduled in our neighborhood next week
  • Announcements for the Biggest Sale of the Year
  • Invitations for credit cards

How am I suppose to find the REAL mail? You know…the paper invoices for all those bills I pay on-line?

Wait? What’s this? Another parking ticket?  My older children seem to acquire these with alarming frequency. “But I didn’t know it was a no-parking space!  I’m broke until payday! I’ll pay you back. Promise!”

Too many years ago–when I was in high school– our teachers told us that sophisticated technology advances would mean an end to our reliance on paper.

No more books! They said. The trees will be safe! The Rain forest will thrive.

They were partly right! Except it didn’t quite work out that way did it?

I still receive printed materials! I continue to print important documents from the computer. I still purchase physical copies of books. I still get receipts!

In fact, as an author, I find nothing helps with rewrites, edits, and proof reading more than a PAPER copy!

I’m beginning to suspect the computer generates more paper waste.

But back to junk mail!

As if the junk mail stuffed in my mailbox–and let’s not even talk about all the business cards, flyers, and pamphlets left on my doorstep–wasn’t enough to go through, now I have email junk mail to contend with!

How much junk mail do you get in your inbox? Don’t get me started!

“All done!” I smack my hands together after the chore.

“You didn’t throw away the pizza coupon, did you? I was saving that one.” Hubby says while aiming the remote at the TV. “Hon?”

Related Posts: Closet Craziness; Surviving My PurseOde to Stilettos; Girlie to-do list #1Girlie to-do list #2Sequestration at my house; Mom’s Smoke Signals

Senioritis

gradThis general malaise is a pandemic condition that begins in November of a student’s senior year in high school. Symptoms increase as the school year progresses.

Symptoms include: Occasional bursts of euphoria, lackadaisical attitudes, and frequent absences.

The following is a list of additional maladies associated with senioritis:

  • Acceptancepanic: Anxiety about university acceptance. Frequent checking of email is common.
  • DitchDayitis: Entire senior student body decides by consensus to be truant for no reason whatsoever. In California, these days coincide with warm and sunny beach weather.
  • Lastopathy: As in “this is the last pep rally/play/concert/test.” Photos for instagram, snapchat, and Facebook posting is rampant.
  • Promectasia:  Enormous dilation of significance regarding any and all individuals/clothes/events/actions related to prom.
  • Promrrhoea: All speech is limited to upcoming prom activities.
  • Commonsensectomy: A student’s voluntary self-removal of an iota of the common sense needed to finish their senior year without detentions/suspensions/referrals and other disciplinary actions
  • Gradelepsy:  An attack/seizure of realization that their grade is lower than anticipated. These attacks always occur exactly one week prior to the end of the semester. Tears, pleading, begging, whining and parent phone calls are byproducts.
  • Real-lifephobia: Fear of leaving overly-accommodating and compassionate school environment to enter cruel realities of real world.
  • Polymajorism: Belief that student can explore many majors in college until they find one they like and still graduate in 4 years.
  • Pseudoassignmentism: Asking teachers to create assignments for the sheer purpose of raising your grade. ( see gradelepsy)
  • Cashoma: Belief that every single relative will send cash upon receiving your graduation announcement.
  • Nomoneygnosis: Cruel realization that parents do not possess funds needed to send you to college across state lines, to study abroad, or to pay for dorm housing.

Related Posts: Job Skills vs Personality Traits; On-line Job Applications; School Answering Message

 

Hubby Plants a Garden

IMG_0407  I know trouble is brewing when Hubby walks outside and stares at the backyard.

“This summer I will  grow crops and we shall feast,” he states. 

FYI: The backyard is 1/2 the size of a tennis court.

Crops?  Did he mean a garden?

“Yes, yes,” I agree, wondering if he just watched a movie about medieval times. “And I shall quit my toil as scribe to peasant apprentices to weave the cloth.”
“I’m serious!” He wanders about the yard.
“Have you ever planted a garden before?”
“It’s in the blood of my people.” Manly chest thump.
“You told me ‘your people’ descended from Spanish royalty.”
“We were great landowners.”

Whatever.

So what does a helpful and supportive wife do? I purchase a few gardening books—big ones—with lots of pretty color photos. Very comprehensive. The happy farmer on the book cover holds a beautiful basket brimming with organic vegetables.

The books sit on the coffee table and collect dust.

“It’s March,” I inform hubby one fine sunny day.  “When were you going to till the soil? Or for that matter, buy some top soil?”

“There’s plenty of dirt in the back yard.”

Yeah, hard-packed dirt—not soil suitable for growing vegetables.

Therein ensues an argument about the benefits of building a raised bed or digging up the rocky dirt.

garden 3Flash forward a few weeks later—raised bed garden is built and chicken wire is installed around to protect ‘crops’ from jaws of hungry 10- lb pooch.

The next step? Planting—except Hubby comes back from the store with SEEDS!

“Are you crazy?” I ask. (Actually, I believe I use a more colorful choice of words.)

Flash forward again after only a few seeds have sprouted…Hubby returns to store for plants.

“Get plants with vegetables already on them!” I shout as he drives away.

 The Harvest:
  • tomatoes ( a lot)
  • zucchini  ( a zillion)
  • 4 tiny strawberries  (we believe the dog enjoyed most of them)
  • a few wee eggplants
  • lettuce for about 3 salads
The rosemary is out of control!

The rosemary is out of control!

I veritable feast!

Hubby’s a carnivore. I really hope he doesn’t decide to raise cattle.

Note: Top photo is NOT our garden, but the backyard of my son’s grandfather-in-law. Now, he’s got CROPS!

Related Posts:Hubby goes to starbucksHubby helps in the kitchenHubby uses the car’s navigation system; Hubby goes to Costco

 

 

Click  Amazon link for novels.

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Lost Years

sam“Mom, do remember when I cut my first tooth?”
Nope.
“Hey Mom, how old was I when I took my first steps?”
Um…don’t recall.
“Yo Ma,  do you remember when we buried my pet lizard?”
You had a pet lizard?

My children call it senility ( for which I am far too young). I have a different name for the harrowing years when there were 4 young children running around the house.

The Lost Years!

The children were not lost–and that was no small feat, mind you–but there is a period of about 5 years ( maybe more) when I simply have very little memory of…anything.

Four children will do that to you!

Although…I do recall the following:
1. changing diaper after diaper after diaper after diaper after.. ad infinitum
2. endless loads of laundry
3. screaming and crying from the back seat ( kiddos)
4. screaming and crying from the front seat ( me)
5. puke and mucus ( good times)
6. running frantically through Target looking for the “one that got away”
7. hearing “clean-up in isle 7” and knowing which child was responsible
8. grocery shopping with 2 in the cart, one in a front pack, and “oh,crap, where’s the oldest?” ( see #6)
9. watching every Disney movie so many times the songs and characters continue to haunt my dreams.
10. my bare feet stepping on plastic army men/Barbie shoes/ Legos/ action figures ( difficult to see when one is carrying a mountain of laundry)
11. helping with homework while simultaneously nursing and making dinner
12. brightly colored plastic things in every room of the house
13. not dining out  because someone couldn’t sit down for more than 5 minutes at a time
14. driving to activity after activity after activity after activity after…”to infinity and beyond”
15. taking 10-15 minutes to harness, buckle, snap everyone into a car seat ( there was always a troublemaker who employed the evasive back-arching move)

 

“But Mom, don’t you remember the good times?” They ask after I rattle off the list of my fondest ( cough, cough ) memories.

Oh, sure! I lie. Lots of good times!  But I have much better times now that you’re older.

The oldest is lucky! My brain wasn’t so mushy with him. I even kept a baby book, wrote in it diligently,chronicled every tooth, cute word, adorable behavior– for the first year.

Then sis came along.  I bought a baby book for her, too.  It has: 1) an ultra sound photo; 2) a shower invitation; 2) hospital newborn footprint; and 4) a 3rd grade photo.

Children 3 and 4 have no baby book. So sad.

Sometimes when all the kiddos are together they like to drag out the photo album. Taking photos  wasn’t so simple then. One needed a camera..and film..and the film had to be developed. I’m surprised we have so many photos ( they enhance memory).

The time went by so fast! One day they’re in diapers and the next…

“Hey mom, who’s gonna change your diapers when you get old?”
You are!

The looks they give me?  Priceless! 

Related Posts:

Sushi Devotee

sushi1The whole family loves sushi! Raw fish. Seaweed. Rice. Crisp veggies! Udon soup. What’s not to love?  The local sushi place is nearby and quite good. I tell Hubby it’s our job as Americans to promote small businesses, so we eat there once a week.

When the kiddos deign to join us, we request a table, but when it’s just me and Hubby, nothing beats a seat at the sushi bar.

A few sushi bar musings:

  • The sushi chef becomes your new best friend! And he really likes you if you order him a quail egg shooter.
  • I wonder what the sushi chef’s real name is–cuz it ain’t Bruce!
  • We’re more likely to try a new roll if the person next to us is eating it.
  • Any item with the word volcano in it has to be good.
  • Two types of people hang out at the sushi bar.                                                             1. Those who talk and laugh with the strangers sitting next to them.                                       2. Those who give dirty looks. ( get a table, grouchy people )
sushi 2Case in point: I asked the woman with a plate of green slimy stuff, “Which seaweed salad is that? It looks delicious!”                                       She looked up, did one of those side- way eye rolls, and resumed eating. A total blow-off  or “dis” as my students say.

 

  • The slice of the sushi roll is always too big for one (normal) sized mouth.
  • What are the sushi chefs really yelling about?
  • Just how big of a rice bin is under the counter? I have yet to see it refilled.
  • We’ll eat anything if it’s rolled in rice and resembles a work of art!
  • Hubby orders an embarrassing amount of food.
  • I eat less because it’s difficult to shovel food in your mouth with chopsticks. (Hubby asks for a fork–the horror!)
  • There’s something very dainty and refined about picking up a single grain of rice with chopsticks.
  • It’s great fun to take a sushi virgin and  watch them eat the “avocodo” (aka: wasabi).
  • All chopsticks can NOT be broken apart.
  • They never give you enough edamame
  • Edamame doubles as pea shooters.
  • I’m a ginger junkie.

Do you have any sushi musings or stories to share?

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Spring Cleaning #2

toomanyclothes2The closet!  That small space where more stuff is jammed inside than any other room in the house. Occasionally, InStyle magazine will feature celebrity closets—a crystal chandelier-ed, fabulously lite, color-coordinated space the size of my garage—but I just turn the page (OK, maybe I take the briefest peek). The ceiling-high rows of Manalos, Louboutins, and Pradas just bring tears to my modest income eyes!

And yet I have learned ONE thing from those glossy pages: The essentials of closet organization. Unfortunately, I don’t have too much room to work with—Hubby’s insists on hanging up his trousers and shirts—which leaves me with one option: A Spring Closet Purge.

Spring Cleaning #1 lists the closet cleaning essentials so I won’t repeat.

The most difficult part of the task? Defining the vision of yourself!  I see a gorgeous, refined, elegant Donna Karan draped woman with effortless style holding a glass of wine. My hair is shiny and smooth; make-up, flawless.

That’s the dream, anyway.

The reality is a woman who scrambles out of bed at 5 am to get to work by 7. Returns nine hours later—grocery bags in hand—to write novels while burning dinner.

Reality: More coffee than wine. Harried expression. Worn off makeup. Yoga pants & t-shirt.

The impossible closet task: Clothes to purge:
  • require intensive coordination time because some pants only look good with certain top and shoes.
  • show signs of shrinkage because I swear clothes do that when they sit in the closet for any length of time. Right?
  • don’t match anything. At. All.
  • have holes–except jeans—you pay extra for denim with holes.
  • any garment that doesn’t make you feel fabulous. OK, I admit, this is the most challenging part. Pick a day when you’re feeling mildly fabulous.
Several piles lay on the floor.
  • give away
  • throw away
  • one day I’ll fit back into these—hey, it’s happened before!
  • repair—hems, buttons etc.
  • need daughters’ opinions. They’re always brutally honest.
  • a plastic-wire-felt mountain of hangers.

State of the closet?  The wooden rod no longer sags with the weight of the unwearable!   Was that a breeze I felt?  I see the corner! Ah! That’s where the scarf disappeared! Light shines over the clothes! Birds sing! All is right with the world!

I vow to make better/smarter clothing purchases and feel better knowing that anything I grab will be wearable.

And although I still don’t look like the woman of my dreams—because I can’t afford Donna Karan—at least I made my life a little less stressful in the morning.

My heroes!

My heroes!

Related  Posts: Random Realities: Fashionista Fanatic; Mom Musings

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Spring Cleaning

What a mess--I vow to be brutal!

What a mess–I vow to be brutal!

Spring Cleaning! Some tackle the garage. Some vacuum behind every cushion on the couch, or wipe the blinds, or clean the drapes. Seems like an awful lot of work.

My idea of spring cleaning? My closet! Discarding the frayed, the old, the too tight, and the what-was-I-thinking?  Oh, and sorting shoes!

I don’t know-maybe it’s me-–but if my clothes are in order perhaps I will:
  • leave the house faster in the morning
  • feel perfectly put together with minimal effort
  • find the outfit I’m looking for in 1/2 the time
  • throw less tantrums in the closet

Estimated closet spring cleaning time:  2 days

Here’s the supplies I need:
  • Plastic bin for the  “one day I’ll fit back into these expensive clothes”
  • Large plastic bag for give-away items
  • Large plastic bin for thrift store
  • coffee
  • courage
  • resolve
  • one honest daughter to say, “That’s soooo old lady, mom. Toss it!”
Day #1:  Shoes: They’re easy to sort. 
Shoes tossed:
  • have nicked heels
  • are worn at the toe
  • have heels so poorly designed I look drunk when walking
  • give me blisters ( too tight)
  • are so loose I walk out of them
  • are no longer my style
  • might be cute but are not comfortable for any length of time
  • squeak
  • jingle loudly from the poorly-placed decorative hardware
While staring at the pile and reviewing the shoes that survived the purge, I have a minor epiphany. The course of one’s life is revealed in shoe purchases.
I tossed:
  • Uber-pointy, wobbly stilettos because I’m not dating anymore.
  • Flat ballerinas with no arch support because my day is long and involves walking and standing.
  • Any footwear that is remotely uncomfortable because hurting feet equals grumpy girl.
  • Any shoe with a square toe because Stacy & Clinton of What Not to Wear fame would be horrified.
  • Any shoe with a chunky heel because it screams “old lady.”

What’s left of my fabulous shoes collection? Too many black shoes! And no where near enough expensive fashion-forward shoes! ACK!

Time to go shoe-shopping. Maybe spring cleaning isn’t so bad after all.

Tomorrow: Purging the clothes!

Related links: Random Realities; Mom Musings; Fashionista Fanatic

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Drawer of Misfit Cosmetics

lipstick
They lay in the darkness, live in the gloom
of the least-used drawer in the spare bathroom.
The make-up I purchased but never wore
and never returned to the beauty store.

 

Lipsticks so garishly pink
when I bought it, did I pause to think?
Lipsticks a ghastly shade of red
had me resembling the walking dead.

 

A few dozen shades of foundation
like I’m hosting the United Nations.
Eyeliner too crumbly, too stiff, or too thick
for eyes that say Cleopatra or hot biker chick.

 

Blush that’s too pink, too orange, or brown
these must have been really marked way down.
Gaudy give-away eye shadows that sparkle and gleam
now only useful for a party at Halloween.

 

Turquoise mascara and sparkle lotion
garish hues for some drag queen’s potion.
It should all just get thrown into the trash,
don’t know why I keep this ugly make-up stash.

 

So I say goodbye and close the drawer
vowing to never, never buy any more.
Earth tones, neutrals, and subtle stains
A look that stays between the insane and mundane!

 

Related Posts: Fashionista Fanatic
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