Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June Inventory

Reading The Life and Death of Sophie Stark.  I picked it up from the library last night and got right into it.  I also started The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry last week.  So far, both seem to be well-written, entertaining reads.  Lily and I are still working on The Mockingjay proving that as bedtimes get later, before bed reading isn't happening.  Last week I read Still Alice and I loved it.  I felt that the way it was written so subtly conveyed what she was going through.  As readers we were given glimpses into Alice's decline and it was haunting.  It could have been a longer, more detailed story, but I appreciated the careful editing of just enough information to invest in these characters.

Wondering how we are already into the third week of summer vacation and a day away from July.

Noticing that time has a way of revealing to us what truly matters.

Watching or trying to watch the third season of Orange is the New Black, but there hasn't been much time for television these days or nights.  Soon the last season of Homeland will be available on dvd and I'm anxious for that too.  Also the baby red squirrels who are oblivious to the cats as they play chase all over the yard.

Listening to Stevie Wonder.  Also Motown.  I made Jess a cd of the music from the musical we'll be seeing next weekend for her birthday.  Rickie Lee Jones' new album which Coach burned for me in advance of her upcoming show.

Eating lots of leftovers when we have them.  Or sandwiches.  And late.  Too late.

Drinking the first batch of iced tea this summer.

Feeling pretty chill.  Almost like I got this even though this is different every single day.

Wanting the kitchen fairy to appear to tell me exactly what to do with our remodel.  We're thinking of looking at a house a couple blocks away that has been completely remodeled.  I like the kitchen and Coach likes the pool.  Clearly, we're confused.

Wearing my hair in a messy bun every day and thinking that maybe I need to chop off a few inches.  Flip flops and only flip flops.

Hoping that we are granted a glorious day Saturday because we'll have a yard full of family and friends for a graduation/4th of July fiesta.

Thinking my cats are trans species.  Seriously they behave more like dogs.

Enjoying that my kids are preparing meals and cooking more for themselves these days.  Of course, the breakfast smoothie Lily made yesterday contained raspberries plucked from our neighbor's bushes unbeknownst to her (she wouldn't have minded) and vanilla custard instead of kefir or almond milk, but she made it.  Teddy made a pepperoni panini for lunch after golf yesterday because there was no other lunch meat. He said it was tasty.  Of course, he forgot to clean the press, but he fed himself so yea.

Loving sleeping until I wake up, having all the windows open, a new to me Stevie Wonder ballad he sang the other night called Send One Your Love, pesto, party planning, and these words: It is not joy that makes us grateful, but gratitude that makes us joyful.

Monday, June 29, 2015

On My Mind Monday

You are the sunshine of my life
That's why I'll always be around,
You are the apple of my eye,
Forever you'll stay in my heart
I feel like this is the beginning,
Though I've loved you for a million years,
And if I thought our love was ending,
I'd find myself drowning in my own tears, whoa oh oh ah
You are the sunshine of my life,
That's why I'll always stay around, mmm mmm yeah yeah

You are the apple of my eye,

Forever you'll stay in my heart

You must have known that I was lonely,
Because you came to my rescue,
And I know that this must be heaven,
How could so much love be inside of you?
Whoa oh oh oh
You are the sunshine of my life, yeah,
That's why I'll always stay around,
You are the apple of my eye,
Forever you'll stay in my heart.


two day pass

i'm not sure what we did to deserve this sublime stretch of days.
we enjoyed everything about this weekend.
friday we all went our separate ways:
coach to summerfest with friends, ted to help his grandpa on a paving project, lily to a softball party, and i took jess to dinner for her birthday.
we enjoyed the beautiful night and cafe centro.
especially the prosciutto grilled asparagus on top of baby greens dressed in a lemon vinaigrette.
we stopped for two night caps on the way home because we I was trying to find my friend a hot and worthy man.
to be con't.

saturday i went to fetch t. bone for his final regular season little league game.
cue the kleenex.
pictured below is his last time on the mound.
that was a s-t-r-i-k-e!

his fans showed up and so did the tigers...
they played to win.

i expected to be a little more nostalgic, but the boys were so upbeat after they won the battle
that the happiness was infectious.
i didn't even get teary.
for that teddy owes me.

he bid adieu to these fields he's been playing on since he was just a little shaver.
this has been his second home.

lily planned to go home with grandma and grandpa to swim and hot tub.
teddy went to a friend's to celebrate their #1 season.
coach and i went back to summerfest with my brother and sister-in-law for a little stevie wonder.

actually, there's nothing little about stevie wonder.
he has a larger than life personality and his voice is limitless.
his energy is palpable especially when your brother and sil score tickets 6 rows from stevie.
the first time i saw him perform 7 years ago i thought it would also be my last.
i decided it would be my last.
maybe i even took a vow.
it was the last concert i attended with my mom, and while it was a beautiful, joyful night, those kind of nights were running out for us.
i just didn't know that i could sit in the audience and hold it together while he sang you are the sunshine of my life ever again.
that's always been my mom's song.
but time heals, and i felt like being there again might smooth some bumps and fill a few cracks.
and i was right.
he saved that song for his encore and as hard as it was to hear it without her,
it would have been worse not to hear it at all.
ala better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all.
it was another beautiful night and i felt that my mom was pleased that her children were carrying on a tradition that started in the 70's in her orange honda civic: singing along with stevie.
it was also amazing to get to experience this with my husband.
i'm pretty sure he's an even bigger stevie fan now.
you can not be in his audience and not be changed for better and forever.
i'm still smiling.
feeling the chi.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

Naps.  Never in my adult life have a been a napper, but there is something so refreshing about nodding off after a long day with a book in hand and a breeze on my face for 20 or 30 minutes.

Two days off every week.  A weekend in the middle of the week is a luxury.

Despite the snark of my rock star rant, I have found my summer groove.  My days off work/on kids this week had an easy ebb flow to them.  We were all happy: at times engaged and others free and unconsumed.

Ann Taylor linen tees.

Road trip planning.  Yellowstone here we come!  

John Mayer circa 2001.  

The new email call back ap.  Now if they can only create one for my mouth.

Recycling.  Finding beauty in broken things like shards of glass plates turned into works of garden art.

Dinner al fresco and fresh pesto pasta.

Lily landed her first job and tended to her charges with complete enthusiasm.  She is saving her earnings to buy her own computer.

Today Ted is working for my Dad.  They are resealing his driveway.  My Dad bought 20 five gallon containers of tar.  He can spend his hard earned pay on some new golf shirts since that's what he plans to do the rest of the summer.

Rainbow cats.

This post. It's sad and so true.

T. Bone and Miss Bit played baseball together in the yard for a long stretch the other day.  Of course, I had to force strongly suggest it, but once they got into it, they had a good time, and she even let him coach her a little.

A birthday dinner with Jess tonight and a gift I am most excited to give her.

Happy Birthday Friend!

Today my much younger, but just as wise friend is celebrating a milestone birthday.  All you need to know is that it ends in zero.  I'm beyond blessed to have Jessica in my life and I realize my luck several times a day. Everyone should have a friend as loyal and true and interesting as Jessica.  And she's smart and fun too!

When we met many years ago and she was just a teenager, I never could have imagined that she would become the sister I always wanted, another daughter to my mother, or an aunt to my children.  She is family in the best sense of the word.  To think how far we have traveled from sharing stories of MAC towel boys, horny owls and fly by the night friends to stories of the loves of our lives, our  hopes, dreams and darkest fears realized.

The thing is that the best moments are better when shared with friends, and the worst are bearable when you have a buoy.  We have championed and we have bolstered.  We have laughed and we have cried.  We've done our fair share of listening without judgement and in total confidence.  She's become a much better secret keeper with age I'll have you know.  We've also talked a blue streak.  In fact, we usually talk every day at least once about anything and everything.

She's my confidante, my memory (she never forgets a thing), and my voice of reason.  She's always quick to come to my rescue, join me for a spontaneous celebration or show up for a serious talk.  Our friendship is just easy...natural...real.  We don't keep score or keep secrets.  We don't hold back or hold grudges.  At the end of the day, we just want what is best for one another.

At the beginning of this new year, I am wishing Jessica a decade of the most beautiful, meaningful gifts: a happy heart, a healthy body and a peaceful spirit. No one is more deserving of ten years of treasures than Jessica.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Just Call Me Bono

I feel like a rock star.  This week I'm slaying summer.  It's seems impossible to believe that last week I was looking at the 12 weeks in my purview with equal parts anxiety and dread.  Voila!  Here I am this week the Polyanna of the warmer months.  This week I'm all bring it on, yes, you bet, sure, why not, who cares.  It is the very definition of flip of the switch, and yes I'm considering the benefits of medication for my manic moods.

The past couple days, I have been on my game.  I've been getting up before the kids so I can have the peaceful entry into the new day I so need, a strong cuppa and also maybe 10 or 20 minutes on my computer without anyone peering over my shoulder awaiting his or her turn.  What's mine is their's so why fight it.

I made a batch of homemade blueberry muffins for breakfast this morning.  I didn't pick the berries myself, but I should have.  Let me add that to the summer bucket list.  I served them warm and let them eat as many as they wanted reminding myself that when the kids sleep until 11:00, they wake up extra hungry.

When they queried after lunch at 1:00, I was so happy to serve her a plate of pesto pasta and him eggs and toast.  It makes me feel good to know that if I ever lose my job, I can probably find one as a short order cook.  I really should thank my kids for the ongoing professional development.  Plus cleaning the kitchen 6 times a day keeps me out of trouble too!

When his friend in Ireland had to sign off Mine Craft to go to bed and he clearly had nothing to do, I was so happy to suggest he text a friend in real life to golf with, hand him the $20 fee, and wait by the phone for his call to be picked up.  I didn't mind it one bit when I got there and had to wait 10 minutes while they finished their putting challenge because I am at their beck and call.  I'm pretty sure I could get a job driving for Uber if I ever lose the one I have too.  Thanks kids for the chauffeur experience as well! I owe you!

I love arts and crafts projects so when Lily asked to do one, it was my pleasure to gather, set up and then clean up all the supplies when she was done creating.  She had the urge to jump on the trampoline and I aim to please.  You know those creatives...they are charmingly impulsive.

I've said yes to every Popsicle request, haven't harped on their aversion to reading, and I've acted like I didn't even see their unmade beds, baskets of folded laundry waiting to be put away or wilting flowers they promised to water. I've pried my eyes open with toothpicks to read to her when it's way past my bedtime because I was up 5 hours before her, and woken at 3:00 every morning to take out his headphones and turn out his light even though then I am wide awake for the dawn avian chorus.  I love books and birds so who am I to complain.

This morning I got up early before work to bake them cinnamon buns, make sure baseball uniforms were clean and pressed and set the day's itinerary.  When I left the note for Sam, I felt a more giddy than guilty that today he gets to be Jim Morrison or Axl Rose.  My set is over.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

two day pass

1.  Celebrating most of the men in my life on Father's Day.  I am a lucky sister, daughter, mother and wife (from left to right).  Not present is my amazing father-in-law!

2.  A baseball tournament.  Ted battled as pitcher.  Two wins on Saturday and an almost win...a should have won on Sunday.  The sweet part was that the loss meant we could spontaneously enjoy the rest of the picture perfect day at my Dad's with family and wings.

3.  Lily is the best fan in the stands.  The team was ahead almost the whole game and then down in the 6th inning by one run.  She told Coach to have a huddle and give the boys a pep talk.  He did.

4.  My two smiling despite the loss.

5.  Peanut has perfected chilling.

6.  Lily got a job.  She is absolutely over the moon to be a canine supervisor.  Maddie and Louis seem pleased as well.

7.  Fresh produce is one of the things I love most about summer.  Crispy shallots and green beans is a meal unto itself.

8.  Watermelon is one of the things she loves most.  She ate almost a quarter of one.

9.  Yes, that's my 15 year old son driving a Porsche.  Oh, brother!

10. Driving home Sunday at 9 o'clock on the longest day of the year.  Still twilight.  Magic.

11. Boys will be boys.  Father's Day entertainment was a little shooting competition in my Dad's woods.  Nothing alive though.