Monday, October 29, 2012

2 day pass

it's true the weekend was a long one at casa wags.
it's also true that it wasn't long enough.
i was a little unwilling to let go of this last weekend of october.
it was filled with all the right stuff and then some.
there was fun and good food shared with family and friends.
friday we went to the movies.
that's one of my favorite things to do on a fall afternoon.
chasing mavericks it was...mostly by default, but it was a surprise hit with the kids and their friends.
one tearfully touched mama too.
it delivered heart and soul and surfing.
later we turned our pumpkins into jack o' lanterns at a kick off the weekend party.
then we bought more for home.
forget the drought....we have a patch's worth of ideas to bring to fruition.
miss bit patiently carved more than one masterpiece all by herself.
thanks to her efforts, we're stocked up on seeds for snacking perhaps until spring.
and candy too.
trick or treat was yesterday.
it was the first time the kids went alone.
well, alone with cousins visiting for the weekend and friends.
the costume-clad posed for the obligatory pre-trek photo and came home only when their bags and buckets were full to overflowing.
all six kids dumped their sweet loot on the family room floor and the bartering began.
from what i'm told, trading is even more epic the procuring the candy in the first place.
they took a break long enough to fill up on a halloween themed spread i had such fun planning and preparing.
coach, aka chili king, made the perfect pot of stoup for the over 12 crowd.
all ages enjoyed the caramel apple cupcakes.
what's not to love about a salty sweet treat?
t. bone played his last football game of the season as qb.
the knights were victorious.
plenty of football was played in the yard and on the trampoline too.
grandmas, grandpas, uncles, cousins and friends went home yesterday eve.
for the first time all weekend we were just the four of us.
we sighed. smiled and snuggled in to watch a movie on a sunday night...all tired, but not wanting the weekend to come to an end quite yet.
it'll be another short week here as we welcome november and head north for a fall getaway early friday.
november's no october, but i love our eleventh month only a little less than our tenth.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Generation Z

I was talking with my friend the other day about Generation Z and the way they are growing up...the values they don't have and the expectations they do.  Sometimes I feel sad for them and also scared for their future.  I don't blame them.  No, I think their Gen Xer parents are to blame.  How can the Me Generation possibly raise children who are not not self-centered, self-promoting and micro-minded?

My kids are Zers.  So are their friends.  They have nice friends who have nice parents.  Some nice, but not so nice.  Like nice on the outside, but not the inside.  There is no authenticity in the niceness.  You see there is a sense of competitiveness and there are airs of importance and agendas I don't remember coming into the equation between myself and my childhood friends.

Kids just don't seem to be kids anymore.  And what maddens me most  is that I hear so many parents lament how they grow up too fast and, yet they buy them the latest phones and pay for unlimited texting.  I hear people say how they don't appreciate what they have, and then they turn right around and buy them everything they want.  I hear, "They're too busy," but guess who signs them up and pays for all the extracurriculars?  They complain that there is too much homework and that tests are too frequent and difficult, and then they are indignant that their children aren't being challenged.  They plan and navigate every facet of their children's lives giving new meaning to living vicariously.  They get involved immediately when there are conflicts, and are always quick to find fault with the teacher, the coach, the friend.     

This is a blanket statement about an entire generation and their parents.  I know there are many families who still live by and teach good old fashioned values and personal responsibility.  I know there are because I know them.  They are my friends. These are the people I choose to be friends with.  We seem to be in the minority.

If I sound a little haughty here, I'll own it.  I am.  I am because I believe in the way we are raising our children even though I'll be the first to admit that it's hard to be in the minority.  And let me just say that my kids are not deprived, but they're not indulged either.  So many of their peers are indulged.  That sometimes makes my kids feel deprived.  As a parent, I truly want to give them everything I can and do everything I can and always say 'yes,' but I believe that not giving in to these desires is the best gift of all.  They appreciate every treat, outing and vacation. They don't expect them or take them for granted.  They say 'thank you' after a meal either home cooked or enjoyed out, and after receiving a gift big or small.  They say it and they mean it.  They know they are fortunate.

I think we could do much more to help them appreciate how fortunate we are.

My friend told me a story that I cannot stop thinking about.  She shared how her priest spoke of being on a mission trip in the Dominican Republic where people are living in unbelievable poverty, yet trying to raise money for the children of Africa. They don't have shoes for their feet, they don't know where their next meal will come from, when it rains they get soaked because their housing is inadequate, and yet they give.  They give to others what they need.  Isn't that the purest form of generosity?  I'm ashamed to admit that I do not do that.  I don't think I could.  I think of how so many consumers rush out to buy the latest Apple this or that, to get the newest model car, the latest video game or gadget, and I truly wonder what kind of happiness is derived from these things.  I question is it ever enough?  I cannot see the good.  I cannot shake the feeling that how we live now...our actions toward one another and this earth today...has the greatest impact on young, impressionable children who will be our future.  I just don't think we're living by a very good example, and that is not OK.    

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I'm finally here.  It' the start of a long weekend after a surprisingly slow moving short week.  Fall conferences are the culprit.  Although it is more reminiscent of summer the past couple days, than crisp and fall-like.  This morning it is already 65 and the mercury will keep rising into the 70s by afternoon. Of course, then it is supposed to drop 30 degrees, but we just won't talk about that now.  The cats are once again perched in front of the wide open patio doors instead of curled up tight on warm and fuzzy afghans. I predict they'll be back to sleeping all yin yang before dark.

Today feels like a long coveted gift. The bow on top is the beautiful morning I have all to myself.  The kids have a half day of school.  Then I will spend the afternoon alone with Miss Bit.  T. Bone is busy with friends.  Me and my girl have plans to take a hike.  The only question is where.  I like dilemmas like that.  It's one of our favorite things to do together and it goes without saying that she is one of my favorite people, but I'll say it anyway.

It also goes without saying that I love October, but again...I'll say it anyway.  I struggle with being blissed out over it one moment and then rueful the next because each moment of autumn adored means one less in cue.  I know it's against everything I know to be true and strive to make truth, but it just is.  I commit daily to live in the moment, but that simple  promise is sometimes the hardest one to keep.  It's often elusive, but then something will remind me to be. here. now.  It might be the crane in flight along the parkway or the way the last remaining leaves shimmer in the sunlight.  It may be the sudden poignancy of the lyrics from a song I've listened to countless times, or the striking relevance of a poem I haven't read in a long time.  Whatever it is that beholds me doesn't much matter.  It can be subtlest of nuances, the minutest of details that expose my neglect of here where I am.

It's trite, but true that the only moment we have is the moment at hand.  The past is gone and done and the future may never come, but this moment is for the living.  On down days, this reality can feel like too much.  Today is not one of those days.  Today be. here. now feels like an invitation not a sentence.  Today be. here. now comes with wings instead of chains.

Monday, October 22, 2012

two day pass

my weekend started in the best way possible...earlier than expected.
those extra few hours led to a much needed nap in my quiet house.
i woke up refreshed and ready to take on a little retail therapy with my favorite co-shopper.
miss bit splurged on these "reading" glasses and warm, fuzzy owl gloves.
she was smitten enough to spend 4 week's allowance.
the glasses have already lost their novelty and the gloves are just lost.
i'm glad i got this picture to use as proof of the error of frivolous spending.

i thought our best purchase was a piping hot pizza for dinner.
and the best thing we saw were our old, good friends who we do not usually just bump into when we are out and about.
after t. bone and his buddy left for basketball, the house was quiet once again.
i picked up a book and pretty much read whenever i had a free moment over the weekend.
motherland was just the right kind of mindless entertainment with which to end the heavy week.
yet i cannot say that i'd recommend it.
it sucked me in like bad reality t.v.
it was entertaining, but i cannot say i am any better for having read it.
better as in enlightened or inspired or more thoughtful. 

saturday morning greeted us as lovely as ever.
we were happy to soak in the sun and spectate from the stands for our qb.
the game was close, but ultimately was won by the other team.
any disappointment t. bone felt was quickly mitigated by an afternoon date to golf with his uncle.
and another pizza dinner.
we played beatles rock band for dessert.
i'm no john, paul, ringo or george, but i make a good groupie.

after sunday school, the kids went golfing with grandma and grandpa on another gift of an afternoon.
miss bit actually hit some balls this time, but she still thought driving the cart was more fun.
with her handicap, grandma won this rematch with t. bone, but it was close.
i think they're both hoping they can meet on the links again before the snow flies.
coach took advantage of the beautiful day and the now near bare trees to tackle the leaves.
i made family dinner in honor of sunday and our anniversary.
the roast beef, mashed potatoes and squash tasted good even if it was more like grilling weather outside.
17 years ago we had flurries.
go figure.
i also had a big pot of stock simmering all day so the house smelled cozy good.
this morning we woke up to cooler temperatures and rain in the forecast.
chicken noodle soup will taste even better tonight thanks to the gloomy day.

this is a short week due to teacher conferences.
it's also going to in the 70s for a couple days.
it will be perfect indian summer weather for a hike and much pumpkin carving.
only 3 days to go.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Happy 17th Anniversary to my #1

I met Coach my first day in the dorms.  We lived on the same floor and I dated one of his friends so we saw quite a lot of one another.  At a Frisby House reunion, we shared our first kiss.  That was September of my senior year.  By February we were exclusively dating and planning a spring break/graduation celebration vacation to Hawaii.  Before the end of the year, we were planning to move in together and then we were planning a wedding. I cannot think of anyone else I'd want to be here (or there) with.  It hasn't always been easy, but it has always been worth it.  I know how blessed I am to love him and to know he loves me.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

Laughs.  My girl recently questioned what inning it was while on the sidelines of her brother's football game.  He wondered if I had ever eaten pod suckers aka pot stickers.  Much of Jerry Seinfeld's performance was lol. "You don't drink coffee, you have coffee," Seinfeld said. "Have is a big word. You have sex. You have surgery. You have second thoughts."  .

Tears.  She has been paging through old albums this week which explains all of her questions about when she was a baby.  She brought one out the other night when Coach and I were relaxing into the evening.  Together we paged through it.  She started to cry after taking in so many pictures of Nanny.  I cried too.

Words.  The stacks on the tables beside my bed and my reading spots are growing taller.  I'm reading a parenting book and Rubin's Happiness Project alone, and also Where the Red Fern Grows out loud with Miss Bit.  I finished listening to The Other Boleyn Girl, and I enjoyed it although it did amble on.  I suppose that may be owing to the fact that the outcome is a well-documented historical fact.  Now I am well into Bobby and Jackie and feeling even more incredulous than ever that people actually worship the Kennedy family to this day.  They were not particularly good people.  In fact, I am drawing so many similarities between those Kennedy boys and that Tudor Henry VIII.  I suppose that's not surprising given the fact that they are put on pedestals as America's royalty.  Camelot Shamelot.  It is eye opening to the extent the media can shape personas and leave lasting legacies that are not accurate representations.  I've also gotten a few comments on my posts this week from other bloggers I have admired and enjoyed from afar.  I finally felt compelled to leave them messages and then they stopped by in return.  I've been blogging here for a long time, but I have never embraced the commenting and connecting.  I didn't really get it.  Now I am starting to.

Nourishment.  I finally made caramel apples for after school snack this week.  They are easy peasy and just much better than the store bought versions.  I also made a batch of pumpkin donut muffins.  They reminded me of the donuts we would get at the pumpkin farm with my dad each year.  Those we washed down with warm apple cider.  My muffin went perfectly with a cup of coffee.  I also made shepherd's pie to the delight of my whole family.  I use ground turkey and only a little cream.  It's an easy, tasty, healthy one dish dinner.  Voila!  I have a few  new to me cookbooks I checked out from the library and they are inspiring me as I think about next week's menu.

Peace.  It's been superb sleeping weather.  I've been sleeping soundly night after night.  Then when I wake I feel content with these fall mornings.  They feel, smell and look good too.  I feel good and smell good in return.  As for looking good, let's just say it's a work in never ending process and after a late night with Jess last night, today not so much.  I left work early this afternoon so I could take a nap.  It was the perfect day for crawling back into bed.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

It's not that it goes too fast, it's just that it goes at all.

I had a dream about my Mom early this morning.  I've been dreaming about her more than ever.  It's a relief in that she looks alive and healthy, but it's emotionally draining because I am always cognizant of the fact that our time is limited and she is going to die soon.  The details of my morning's dream are already sketchy, but the sadness that overcame me is is lingering and palpable.  I woke with tears in my eyes and an ache in my heart. It hurts just as bad as it did four years ago when we first had to swallow, "There's nothing more we can do."  Everyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one speaks of those moments when life as normal is cruising on by, and then suddenly the realization that a mother or father or child or spouse or sibling really is gone sets in again.  They are gone.  They are gone forever.  Life is many things, but not normal.  This happens to me all the time. Just the other day I picked up the phone to call my Mom about something insignificant.  I got as far a 964 before reality stopped me.  I sat stunned for a minute unable to move a muscle as if I'd been turned to stone.  I can't call her anymore.  Ouch.  Ever.  Ouch.  I put the phone down and just started speaking.  We don't need a phone to connect us these days.

We are getting up in the dark now most mornings.  It took even longer for it to feel like day this morning because it is a quintessential fall day: grey and gloomy...lazy to be recreated.  Last night's rain is to blame for the sea of leaves that now covers the ground.  The muted sky makes their vibrant colors all the more kaleidoscopic.  Yesterday's 70s have moved on and it is in back in the more seasonal 50s.  This is the best kind of fall day.

On my way to work this morning, I thought about how I love driving along the lake especially on mornings like this.    Lake Michigan looks vast and deep and cold.  It makes me me feel small, and yet a part of something bigger.  From my view, it is infinite, but I know there is another shore on the other side of the wavy water.  It reminds me that I have a body, but I am a soul.  I like to think I'm vast and deep like the lake, but I'm anything but cold in my car.  I'm singing along on automatic to a Jack Johnson CD.  The words don't even register until I hear myself sing....It's not that it goes too fast, it's just that it goes at all.  I rewind it at least a half dozen times.  Today, that pretty much says it all.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October Morning


O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes' sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already burn with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost-
For the grapes' sake along the wall.

- Robert Frost

I'm sitting here at my kitchen table where I usually write.  Today I'm distracted.  The view out my window is getting all my attention as it should.  Little Red is on a serious strawberry mission.  He's determined to singlehandedly stash away each and every hull and pith.  He's racing along the edge of the yard to the stump where I placed his breakfast earlier.  He chooses one, takes a nibble and retraces his steps to the cover of the trio of pines in the far corner.

There are more leaves on the ground now than on the trees.  With each gust, very mild and gentle today, more lose hold of their branches.  Watching them swirl and sail to the ground is bittersweet.  They are spectacular in their descent, but the change in scenery is no subtle reminder that we are now more than half way through my favorite month.

Sunday I saw a robin.  Monday a bluebird.  I cannot explain why they are so far north so close to winter.  Miss Bit is even happy there are no frogs to net when we visit a pond.  She knows that means they are tucked safely under the mud until spring. The young bucks we surprised on our walk in the woods last week were locking horns.  It is time for the rut.  Miss Bit finds a bug in the house and sets it free outside.  I don't have the heart to tell her that soon their little lives will end one way or another.    

I'm always beguiled by October days.  At Frost's command, I'm beginning the hours of this day slow and also willing the day to seem less brief.  And hear this October - Slow, Slow!  

Monday, October 15, 2012

On My Mind Monday

It had only to do with how it felt to be in the wild.  With what it was like to walk for miles for no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets.  The experience was powerful and fundamental.  It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way.
          Cheryl Strayed, Wild: from Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail 

I finally finished Wild last night.  The beginning and the middle of the memoir had the most impact on me.  There were passages in the book I literally found painful to read.  Strayed's loneliness...her aloneness... gripped me page after page.  I could feel it.  Once she began to reap the rewards of her pilgrimage, I found myself awed by her strength and courage. We all have wounds from losses, regrets, wrongs and hardships.  We all have the power to heal them too.  Scars fade over time, but hopefully the lessons learned in enduring them continue to inform us about how to live our one wild and precious life today, tomorrow and every day after.  I was inspired by Wild.  Moved not to take my own 1100 mile sojourn, but to find my inner warrior and stay the ever changing often challenging course.

Tonight I started to read Where the Red Fern Grows.  It's T. Bone's favorite novel.  He reads it at least once a year and he's been asking me to read it just once in my lifetime.  I'm guilty from saying soon for so long.  Well, not any more.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

two day pass

it is really sunday night?
it's never easy to bid adieu to a weekend good and full.
indeed, the past couple days were full of goodness.
the kids were out and about on friday.
that gave coach and i the green light for an end of week walk on the beautiful fall eve.
the best part was coming home and curling up with a few books, a couple cats and a glass of wine.
the rain arrived overnight as promised, which normally makes me girlishly giddy.
it was gray, gloomy and getting wetter by the minute.
that didn't stop miss bit and i from joining aunt jess and friends for an early morning 5k.
we put on our fashionable garbage bags ponchos, grabbed umbrellas and logged our 3.2 miles.
my girl...she only complained a little about our pace and also the rain.
oh the rain!
yet i'm pretty certain our stop for bagels on the way home made up for any and all sogginess.
little did we know we would spend the better part of the day wet and water logged.
not even gale force winds or torrential rains could have kept us from cheering on our resident quarterback.
the knights kicked some you know what and t. bone, coaches and teammates were all happy with his first game as the qb.
of course they were, it was their first win in 2 years.
bit and i baked a cake in honor of the occasion and also in honor of the rainy day.
the flavor was pumpkin chip in honor of october...the best month.
a rich chocolate ganache didn't find its way on top until after the cake was half gone.
we had to ready to leave for reserves and a night on the town with my brother and sil.
the occasion was a belated birthday celebration.
dinner was at a local gastropub.
the fare was small plates of clams and calamari, pork belly, duck crepes and an assortment of charcuterie.
dessert was jerry seinfeld before a sold out show.
he was still funny after all these years.
nothing was off limits from our daily coffee habits to our sedentary lifestyles or our marriages.
coach found the women are from mars men are from venus moments awfully funny and i still have no idea why.
after the show we enjoyed a little night life from the 23rd floor of a downtown hotel.
we sipped martinis with names like the good life and savior faire and listened to live music from a duo that took on everyone from fleetwood mac to madonna.
sunday we were back downtown for sunday school and church in that order much to t. bone's dismay.
after a night out there was no way we were making it to early church.
i'm so glad we didn't just submit to the desire to sleep in or sweat hence skipping church altogether.
i needed to be there.
i can already feel that i'm starting this week from a position of more strength and clarity.
that is a definite blessing.
the rest of our day was busy.
t. bone went to a friend's and miss bit had friends over.
coach and i were all work and that was all good.
then we finished and uncle m. joined us for a delicious fajita dinner with all the fixings.
the boys are all 3 still downstairs watching football.
miss bit is in bed with a cool washcloth over her brow desperately trying to fall asleep.
i'm fighting to stay awake so i can finish writing here and then read the last 3 pages of my book.
i hope for a good and long night's sleep for one and all.
until next week.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Happiness Is...

Happiness is a warm blanket and so much more.

In the spirit of the new Peanuts movie due to be released in 2015, and the particularly good week I am having...

Happiness is:

Going to the library to pick up a parenting book, only to find that The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin has also arrived, and Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose is on the shelf of MP3s just waiting for me.

A parking spot at lunch time in front of the store that sells my favorite tuna with peas.

Realizing I'll never be a food photographer, but knowing I'll keep on taking pictures of what we eat.

A week's worth of comfort food (chicken Parmesan, beef stew, homemade mac & cheese) for leftover Thursday night.  Making everyone happy.

The way the cats follow the sun and one another throughout the house all day...the chill in the air has prompted them to stay close once again.

A visit to the audubon after school and before rain today...walking and talking with my girl just enjoying each other and the two young bucks playing in the ravine around us.

My boy is slated to start as QB in this week's football game and he's a little beside himself.  He's worked hard.  I'm happy for him.

Plans to see an area high school's performance of Peter Pan with Miss Bit in a few weeks and maybe some girlfriends too.

The colors all around me although mostly on the ground now thanks to the wind this week.

A mug of hot tea in the afternoon.

T. Bone teaching himself  a riff from Banana Pancakes this week and getting excited to start guitar lessons again soon.

Finding the best Golden Delicious apples yet this season: tart, yet sweet and crisp.

Squirrels sleeping with their tails wrapped over them...their own fur blankets.

Halloween treats and decorations and parties and crafts.

Indian summer.  It was warm enough this week to golf in shorts again.

Heart to hearts with my kids.  With him about not always getting what we want (i phone or any phone for that matter).  With her about not wishing life away, and instead finding the good in today - the only day we have.

Peanut butter toast with honey.

Pretty journals, colorful fine point sharpies, stacks of books and inspirational bookmarks.

A hot shower and good smelling soap.  These days it's eucalyptus.  Next is lavendar.

Cozy jammies, warm hoodies, fuzzy sweaters,  and fun ponchos.

Planning parties.  Soon it will be time for my annual Soup N' Sip soiree.

Debates.  T. Bone sat and watched a good part of lastnight's VP exchange.  My eleven year old self would have been gossiping on the phone with girlfriends about boys not at all interested in politics.

Music especially in the morning. 

8 hours of sleep.

Getting up before the alarm.

2 days off.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Day of Remembrance

I'm feeling nostalgic this morning.  I know it's really not unusual for me to go all sentimental on any old fall day, but today this wistfulness is making itself known in every way possible.  It's tugging at my tender heartstrings and making me pause to properly remember these tokens that are taking me back in time and place.

The smell of cinnamon buns baking away this morning took me back to my elementary school days.  My Mom dropped me at the home of family friends every morning on her way to work.  The S. family lived in a huge, pretty, white house just blocks from the school we all attended and miles from my home.  Sometimes I'd arrive when it was still dark out and the children would be asleep.  From where I would sit pretending to read in the den or the living room or the library, I'd hear their house come alive and smell those cinnamon buns perking up in the oven.  At that point my bowl of Corn Flakes or Cream of Wheat was no longer cutting it, but I would never accept one of those rolls no matter how desperately I wanted one or how many times I was kindly asked.  I couldn't.  I wouldn't.  I couldn't because there were five hungry kids in that family and never enough to satisfy all their mouths without another taker.  I wouldn't because what I really craved was my Mom to be able to make cinnamon rolls for me in our own house before school.  Somehow the very idea of enjoying their hot breakfast made me feel like a traitor.  I'm taken aback that at my daughter's age, I was already assimilating complex feelings and emotions with regard to how my family was different than others and it made me feel fiercely protective.  Truth be told, I still cannot choke down one of those cinnamon rolls from a can, but occasionally I buy them.  When I do, I always think of the S. family, and I do so fondly.  They were good people, with a warm house and warmer hearts.  T. Bone and Miss Bit like these impostors, but they definitely prefer my homemade version.  My kids get a hot, home cooked breakfast most mornings because I didn't.  I know they appreciate it.  I appreciate that I am able to do this for them, and I appreciate the sacrifices my Mom had to make as a single, working parent to provide for us.  I guess I have a rather complex relationship with cinnamon rolls.

After T. Bone scarfed down three and got all his vocabulary words right for today's quiz, I kissed the top of his head (the body part always offered) and went to wake Miss Bit.  I tripped over the pile of clothes we purged from her closet last night.  A pile I couldn't bear to actually rid of right away.  Now that...that is melancholy.  The differences between the give and keep piles are evidence of years passing.  Cool has replaced cute without a doubt.  She's just lucky that she's truly outgrown most of it.  I think she did appease me today by wearing one of my old favorites...a dress with matching leggings.  Gasp! A dress!  I refrained from telling her she looked cute.   

Since it's 40 degrees out, I went looking for a hat.  The first one I grabbed was one of my Mom's.  Her Irish hat.  I put it on. Come to think of it, Miss Bit did tell me I look cute.  Apparently, cute is OK for me, but not for her. Come to think of it, the hat looked cute on my Mom too.  I can picture her in it...her brown, thick hair flowing out beneath it as she sits on the back of a motorcycle in her driveway ready for adventure.  I think it was a day just like today: cool, crisp and colorful.   And I see her wearing it again sitting on the deck at Powell Lake.  It's summer.  It's hot and humid, but she's cold and she has no hair.  She waves to us as we go off on the boat.  There will be no more adventures for her and we are all trying to come to terms with this.  Obviously, I'm still trying to come to terms with this.

I relent that it is just going to be one of those days, and I haven't even left the house yet.  Today I resign to wear my thin skin as if it's body protecting armor because I know it does my heart and soul good to reminisce.

Monday, October 8, 2012

On My Mind Monday

Of all the things I'd been skeptical about, I didn't feel skeptical about this: the wilderness had a clarity that included me.

Cheryl Strayed, Wild

I'm reading Wild right now.  It's taking me awhile, which says nothing of the memoir and everything about my state of mind.  I'm lacking clarity with regard to my place and my purpose in this world.  This simple sentence was one of those aha moments.  The kind where I read something and I know a light has just turned on in my head to illuminate me from within.  The kind that has me absolutely certain I met these words at the right time.  Like just when I needed them.  I have been having a hard time being with my thoughts.  That makes it difficult to write.  Not writing makes it difficult to be me.  I have been struggling to quiet the chaos that is my mind.  That makes it hard to read.  What I have been finding some solace and certain peace in is watching the world around me and simply saying, thank you.  Saying thank you out loud for the world to hear.  I'm putting that grateful energy out there hoping that someone somewhere will sense it and send it forth on its way.

There is such an incredible sense of order in nature.  We look at it and we see the untamed earth...but the wilderness is more predictable than we think.  The sun always rises and sets with precision.  The tide ebbs and flows with the moon on the wax or wane.  Mountain snow cover becomes spring streams.  The leaves change color with certainty this time each year. 

Thank you.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

two day pass

after being gone the past two weekends, it was sure nice to be home for a change.
and there was quite a change...a change in the air.
it looked, smelled and felt like the end of fall...not the beginning.
i'm still coming to terms with exactly how i feel about that.
in the meantime, i didn't balk when coach turned on the heat, i dressed in layers and i shopped for the makings for a week's worth of comfort food as well as miss bit's halloween costume.
she wants to be an 80s girl.
it became clear that she didn't really know exactly what an 80s girl was.
she does now.
the recurring themes of the weekend were pizza and football.
friday we celebrated the weekend and nanny with family over her favorite and our favorite cheesy pizza.
the next day the kids made their own pies with friends.
the crust missed coach who was away with the boys to cheer on the badgers for the day.
after t. bone's football game, we gathered at our neighbors for a little go bucky too.
it turns out that our hostess used to work for our other favorite pizza parlor and so she shared some tasty secrets.
sunday school started while we were away on vacation so while the kids were in class, we resumed our much loved tradition of walking along the lake and through mostly deserted downtown streets.
the lakefront was crowded with marathon runners.
t. bone decided to pass on the pro game of the day to golf with his uncle.
it was only 48 degrees, but it wasn't snowing.
the two of them looked so stylish in their matching khaki pants and navy blue cotton sweaters.
twins...two peas in a pod.
coach took a break from blowing leaves to accompany bit and i to a matinee.
it was her choice...and a good one.
she happily sat between her mom and dad and held the popcorn for us all to share.
together coach and i made dinner...t. bone's request tonight.
coach is not only the crust guy, but the crepe guy too.
i should have really watched his technique, but i was too busy making a cheese sauce and whipping cream, which were not served together.
next time i'll pay attention...cuz' there will be a next time since these are that good.
now coach is watching his tivoed packer game in the family room, t. bone is doing his homework at the kitchen table since he already knows that they lose and miss bit is beside me as i type watching cupcake wars on the i pad.
peanut and tigger are the smart ones.
they're already snuggled up in bed for the night.
i'm going to join them.