Monthly Archives: June 2010

Wish I Was Here

But I’m not.

I’m home. Entertaining house guests. For a week.

They arrived last Thursday and I’m struggling to keep up with: housework, email, laundry, grocery shopping, my sanity, my sister (but then, she’s a marathon runner and I’m not) and most importantly, this blog.

So I’m taking a short hiatus from writing. (I see you secretly jumping up and down. It’s ok. I’m right there with you.) I’m hoping to be able to still peek in on you all but crafting posts just isn’t in the cards for the next few days.

If you’re new here, welcome. There are plenty of posts below to satisfy your curiosity.

If you’re semi-regular? Now you can catch up on all the stellar posts you missed.

If you’re a regular? Take a rest. Put your feet up. Play a quick game of Bejewelled. You’ve earned a break from my inane babble.

Thanks for understanding. See you in a few!

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20 Comments

Filed under off topic

Mr. Spam? Thanks. But I’m Gainfully Employed. Just A Question. How Is It YOU Have A Job?

“I open your site and I saw you quite correctly wrote in your site and seeing your site I impressed from u site Employers say they are impressed by job candidates who have excellent communication skills, good grooming habits, and relevant work experience.”

First of all, thank you for visiting, Mr. Spam. I’m always happy to see a new tick on my visits counter.

And you noticed that I “correctly wrote in”  my site? Yes, really, it’s quite simple. I open up WordPress. Click new post and begin typing away. With fairly good grammar and impeccable spelling, thanks to the spell check feature. I even use punctuation!

U impressed? And u think employers would be impressed with me, too? Why, I’m blushing. Who knew that I might be impressing anyone? And I’m not even in the market for a job. I don’t remember filling out any online applications lately.

But you noticed that I have “excellent communication skills?” Why, thank you. I’m blushing again. I do try. It’s why I practice here, at my blog, a few days a week.

And my relevant work experience? Well, you’re right. I was a high school teacher of both literature and math for 13 years. I’ve worked in the restaurant industry – even shared ownership of a small coffee house. I’ve worked in human resources and coached swimming. And now? The job of a lifetime. I’m a stay-at-home mom and loving every single minute of it. Well, not every minute, but most minutes. And that’s what counts. Right?

Now, here’s where I’m stymied.

You’re impressed with my good grooming habits.

As I sit here in t-shirt and pj shorts, with brushed teeth and my hair up in a clip (I haven’t even washed my face yet) – you’re impressed? Are your standards low or am I really in the top of my class when it comes to grooming? I mean, I can’t see (or smell) my fellow bloggers. If they’re like me, they’re lucky to get a shower once a day or a pedicure once in a blue moon.

Or are you big brother (I have a brother-in-law who actually believes this kind of stuff) with cameras strategically placed in my home? You speak as if you know me. I will look at my heating vents or my children’s stuffed animals or knick knacks on the bookshelves in a whole new way.

And while I’m flattered with your impressions of me – and my site and my hygiene – I wonder how you were able to secure YOUR job.

Here’s a little hint. Spell check and grammar check? They’re your friends.

29 Comments

Filed under funny

!!! (Without the cute little !!! tags)

It’s been quite a week. Wait, make that month. Soccer camp. Dreaded trip to Michigan. Little league baseball games. A teen without a car. Committee meetings (I’m a serial volunteer.)

Kids underfoot. All. The. Time.

And me? Designated driver (or car provider) for the activities of three children. Designated entertainer for all moments in-between.

I love this !!! project. I need this !!! project. But I’m so intimidated by the cute little !!! tags others use for their pics that I just left them off this week. I need to work on crafting my own. Until then, plain pictures must suffice.

My !!! moments this week include:

Hydrangea. They just say summer to me. We have three bushes in our landscape and I’m always finagling to make room for more.

My youngest son’s photo skills…on THIS pic. The one he took just before this one? Of my cleavage. No, you can’t see it. It was deleted immediately.

My youngest son’s self-portrait. Oh, he cracks me up!

 

My daughter and her best friend, with all their laughter and silliness and fun! Pure !!!

!!! to you all! If I had a group pic of my dear readers, you’d be in this collage, too! Thanks for everything this week. Your love was felt and treasured.

There you have it. My !!! for this week. For more !!! visit Momalom or Bad Mommy Moments.

20 Comments

Filed under The !!!

When Father’s Day Is A Fat Hen’s Day

(Warning: Possible downer post below. I say possible because I’m not sure how I’ll end this. I’m not feeling hugely optimistic and upbeat, learning some kind of lesson through it all. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to see a bright, beautiful rainbow at the end of this post. I truly have no idea where this post is going to lead me. All I know is I feel crummy in this moment.)

I’m writing this on Father’s Day night. But not posting it for a few days. I want the fun and the good thoughts and the raves about all the dads out there to die down. I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade.

Don’t get me wrong. The Father’s Day we had, together as a family (kids and me and my husband) was awesome. We went hiking. We ate at my husband’s favorite German restaurant. We came home and he napped. Then, it was off to Tai Chi class. It was the perfect day for him. And I’m so glad.

But my phone call with my own father, 1000 miles away. Lackluster. Awkward. And sad.

The very first Father’s Day gift I ever remember giving him was a card. A card I had made. Out of construction paper and crayons. And he laughed. “Fat Hen’s Day? What in the world is Fat Hen’s Day?” I was probably about 7 or 8. With the penmanship of a 7 or 8 year old. I was crushed. I had worked hard on that card. So there was a space between the t and h of father. So my r dipped down a little and looked more like an n. He didn’t have to laugh. And it didn’t have to be part of the family jokes in the years to come. “Hey, isn’t Fat Hen’s Day coming up?”

Reflecting on this early memory? It feels a little out of place. I have so many happy, fun, loving memories of my father. He was silly. He loved puns. He could always make us laugh. But my Fat Hen’s Day card? In that moment, I was the butt of the joke. And it didn’t feel good.

And then there was last year.

I have always given my parents something, some kind of gift for Mother’s and Father’s day. My husband would just call and sometimes send a card to his parents. It wasn’t until we were married that he (and by that, I mean I) started sending a little gift. His parents were always so appreciative.

There was always a twinge of expectation with my own parents. And last year was no exception.

My dad, a voracious reader, would appreciate a gift card to Barnes and Noble, right? Of course right. (You can’t buy my dad a book because invariably, he’s already read it.) When I called him on Father’s Day, he thanked me for the gift card and said, “Yeah, I’ll be able to buy a…..newspaper with it.” And laughed. Money was tight for us. I couldn’t afford a lavish gift that year. I sat there stunned. And then defended my gift, suggesting some latest new releases (in hardcover) that he’d be able to purchase with his card. My heart sank. I’d disappointed him again.

This year I didn’t send a gift. I sent a card. I called. And he spent the conversation sharing with me all the things my sisters were doing for him. The gifts received. Blah, blah, blah. I barely listened. I’m tired of feeling hurt.

He and I used to have a close relationship. Well, a closer relationship. A relationship my mother was always so very jealous of. And so, my mother has come between us and we barely have a relationship at all.

When the conversation came to a close I said, “Well, I hope you have a great day, Dad. I love you!” And he said, “Thanks for calling.”

Click.

No “I love you, too.”

I suppose that was my sting for this year.

(And because I can’t possibly end on that sad note I’ll share with you a favorite clip from Bill Cosby. One of my dad’s favorite comedians – and one we thought my dad resembled: sense of humor, facial expressions. I could use a little giggle right about now.)

31 Comments

Filed under family, Lessons Learned

And The Winner Is……

Thanks to those of you who participated in the commencement speech challenge. It was fun to participate and so much fun to read your speeches. Please, if you haven’t already, take the time to read the following:

Stacia at Fluffy Bunnies – So clever. She wrote it in haiku and called it “Stomp and Circumstance!”

Gale at Ten Dollar Thoughts – Straight shootin’ advice that is so very practical and real. I love her line:  “Work on playing to your strengths and working around your weaknesses.”

Faemom at Faemom – She claims she is not wise. I beg to differ. More practical advice with a shot of wit thrown in for good measure. She cracked me up with: “Every one is afraid. It’s facing that fear that makes us brave. Unless you hear horror music playing in the background; then I would run. But not upstairs.”

Kate at Watercoloring on the Table – In list form, she gives advice everyone should listen to. She ended it beautifully with the line: “The path you plan now is so much less interesting then what lies ahead.”

And the winner is……

Faemom!

And now the bad news. Or is it good news? The prize I had planned is all sold out and there are currently no plans to make more. And it was for such a great cause. I was really bummed. To encourage more sales, thus benefiting the Gulf Restoration Network, please click the picture below and then click your t-shirt size. Or check out their other great products.

So I had to find another prize. I went to my “go to” site for really great gifts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Store online. Since we’re all writers here, I thought a journal would be appropriate. Faemom is receiving the following Vera Brushed Blossoms journal:

So yay Fae! Yay Threadless for selling out of your Gulf Restoration Network t-shirts! (Well, sort of “yay” since I wanted one and now can’t get one but “yay” for all you others who were able to snag one) And yay to everyone who participated, read the entries, commented and visited my amazing Blog World neighbors. You’re the best writing/reading buddies a gal could ask for!

6 Comments

Filed under Be-Causes, Lessons Learned

The Title Of My Commencement Address? Sixty-Nine.

(Taking Mary Schmich up on her commencement speech challenge given years ago, here is my speech. Can’t wait to read yours!)

Sixty-nine.

Are you giggling? Are you shifting in your seat uncomfortably? Are you looking around, wondering why some of your fellow graduates are twittering?

A private, or not-so-private joke. In the classroom, whenever I’d say “Turn to page 69” or “The answer is 69” giggles always erupted. I’d nod, or smile feebly and say, with a twinge of sarcasm, “Yes, that’s a new one on me! You got me there!”

But that didn’t matter. You still thought you were the first class to laugh. You still thought you were the first to get the joke. You still thought I had no idea what you were giggling about.

And here we are, on your graduation day.

Giggling about sixty-nine.

Why is the Year of the Four Emperors so funny? 69 AD. The year that Galba, Otho, Vitellius and finally Vespasian ruled the Roman Empire after Nero’s suicide. A time of great turmoil, anarchy and unrest.

Sixty-nine. The atomic number of Thulium. A rare metal. Used for radiation.

Psalm 69. “I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait.” How many of you felt waiting for exam grades to be posted.

Jared Allen. Jersey number 69. Defensive End for the Minnesota Vikings.

69%. Just under a passing grade at many schools.

Rotate this amazing number 180 degrees and it’s still 69.

So many ways to view a simple number. A year. A jersey number. A prayer.

My view. Your view. The person-next-to-you’s view. As individual and unique as a fingerprint.

You were all taught the same material. You all studied the same things. But you each took away from it something that is unique to you and your experiences. After learning it, you each applied it in different ways. Some created advantage with the material. Some disregarded it. And others let it get the best of them.

You will leave this institution and go on to do other things. Notice that I didn’t say “better” things. Because some of you won’t. Some of you will choose not to use the tools provided. You will rest on your laurels and wonder why the guy next to you has it so good. You will sit back and view life in a limited way.

The choice is yours. You can choose to do great things. You can choose to better yourself and your surroundings. You can choose to view things differently. You can choose to create good in your life.

It’s all in the way you look at things.

If you take away one thing from your educational experience let it be the ability to look at things in a new way. A better way. A more enlightened way.

A glyph for the zodiac sign of Cancer. A percentage. ’69 – The year of Woodstock.

Now when you hear the number 69 it will have more than one definition for you. You will be reminded to view things from a different angle. You might challenge yourself to discover more definitions for the number 69.

And you might giggle. Because you know something the next guy doesn’t.

It can be our private joke.

(Thanks to SubWow at Absense of Alternatives  for pointing me in the direction of this awesome cause and the prize for this week’s commencement address challenge! Simply link your speech in the comments section of this post and one of my darling children will randomly draw a name/speech from a hat. Good luck and thanks for playing!)

33 Comments

Filed under Ponderings, Soapbox

Everyone Could Use A Little !!!

My friends at Bad Mommy Moments and Momalom have come up with a post idea that just tickles and stirs my soul.

Recognizing the !!! in our lives.

They call it “Intentional Happiness.” I call it brilliant!

The kids are home for the summer. I love my kids. I adore them. But underfoot 24/7? Driving me batty. Thank goodness for soccer camp. Three hours of !!!

I love to cook. I’m not a trained professional. Because my mother hated to cook, I’m self-taught. And because I’m cheap frugal, I don’t have a Kitchen Aid mixer or Cuisinart Food Processor. Sure, they’re on my wish list but who knows when I’ll break down and buy them. And my husband knows this. He knows I hesitate to buy myself anything or splurge on something frivolous.He saw me eyeing this…

…at Williams Sonoma. A salt-cellar. Whenever I use it, I feel like a chef. It feels decadent and fun. And I remember his sweet gesture.

Some call it a bribe. I call it dessert.

But never before dinner.

And dinner with Indiana Jones? The perfect !!!

 

(Don’t forget about our commencement speech challenge on Friday. To learn more click here!  And I discovered the prize on subWow’s blog Absence of Alternatives. Cool shirt and a great cause! See you Friday!)

28 Comments

Filed under The !!!