Friday, May 31, 2013

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

Following through on Wednesday's plan to enjoy the day.  I took a long walk, started The Boleyn King
and watched The Jane Austen Book Club.  It was a gift of an afternoon.  I loved the movie.  It made me resolve to reread these classics.  I don't believe I have ever read Persuasion.  I am also enjoying Andersen's novel.  Historical fiction has never been my go to genre, but I do have a strong affinity for those Tudors.  Miss Bit asked for a synopsis and as soon as I said Henry VIII, she went on to fill in the family lineage.  Apparently, she just finished an autobiography of Elizabeth I.

Going for a mid-week matinee with Coach.  We saw The Great Gatsby, and it was better than I expected after some not so favorable reviews.  We both enjoyed it.  He was new to the story despite the fact that he wrote an essay on the novel for a final exam.

This morning as I was drying my hair, I saw a doe in the mirror.  She was wandering around the yard nibbling on bushes and weeds without care or concern.

Car talk.  On the way home from school, T. Bone is most in the mood to share happenings and stories with me.  I ask an occasional question, listen and learn a whole lot about what is going on in his world.

Paninis for a late after game dinner last night.  Even Miss Bit, my anti-sandwich girl, ate one.

T. Bone is really developing as a pitcher.  He has accuracy and control that amazes me and he is working on speed.

The summer schedule is mostly set.  It is a relief to know who needs to be where when, and to see that there is an abundance of time for spontaneity.

Great news for a friend waiting for biopsy results.

A new computer.



Time to do a project with Miss Bit right now.

Happy weekend.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013


The clouds are breaking up and the sun is peaking out for the first time in days.  More inclement weather is in the forecast so I don't have long here if I want to remain dry during my walk.  It just dawned on me that in two weeks my days to myself will no longer be just mine.  And that's all good...great even...but just like changes in season, changes in schedule also take some getting used to for this old dog.  Upon first coming to this annual realization, I thought that I should start getting busy on my burgeoning to do list.  I fantasized momentarily about crossing things off left and right, up and down.  I imagined the relief that would bring. Truthfully, it didn't take but a minute for me to abandon that efficient, arduous plan.  New day : new me.  Change in season : fresh outlook.   I'm coming to terms with what can and what cannot wait.  I'm examining my priorities and focusing on what really matters to them...and also to me.

For the first time in maybe ever we ran out of milk, butter and fresh fruit.  Yesterday at breakfast Miss Bit declared, Mom, you really need to go to the grocery. And then she offered to make me a list. I chuckled with pride.  I was proud because I made time for more important things than shopping lists this weekend.  Things like walks, talks, movies, visits, reading, time together and time to myself.  No one starved.  We all survived.

And I have another true confession.  On Sunday, T. Bone had to pull his tournament jersey out of the dirty laundry.  I know...I know...I'm a terrible Mom .  And guess what else he had to do?  Wear red socks when the rest of the team had on blue.  It's a travesty.  Never your mind, that exactly two pairs of clean navy blue socks were in the laundry basket in his room. It's true : I was behind on laundry and still sound asleep where the boys wisely left me at 6:00 a.m. on a weekend morn.

Coach had the day off yesterday.  We went back and forth on how to spend it just the two of us...a rare occurrence.  He needs new tires.  I need a new camera and computer.  The lawn needs to be fertilized and trimmed.  Flowers need to be planted.  The house needs to be cleaned.  And you've already been apprised on the status of laundry and groceries at Casa Wags.  We decided to take a long walk and then went to the movies in the middle of the day and I didn't feel even a single pang of guilt.  Not one. I'm pretty sure he was guilt-free too.

After my walk today, I will do a little light cleaning, catch up on laundry and do some cooking.  I made a trip to the grocery store last night.  For the record, Miss Bit didn't even notice that she had milk for breakfast again this morning instead of water.  But I'm also going to something I want to do.  I may read.  I might watch a movie.  There's a chance I'll do both.  And do you know what?  I'll be a better me because of it.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

2 day pass

i started the long weekend with a leisurely date with a favorite friend at a favorite spot.
we enjoyed dinner and drinks and uninterrupted conversation.
it was all a luxury : the prosecco, the food, the non-stop time to talk.
then we took a literal trip down memory lane as we drove through our old neighborhood.
it was a nice...really nice...night.

 scallops with artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, tomatoes and fennel.

 it was a glass is half full kind of night.

saturday we hit the ground running...or fielding.
both t. bone and miss bit had ball practice.
the chilly afternoon found us lounging in the den for a movie and a little takeout for lunch.
and then it was time to head to grandma and grandpa's for a bbq.
we all enjoyed the company and the baby back ribs.
miss bit also enjoyed the pool.
she didn't mind that the water was 20 plus degrees warmer than the air.

her lips didn't even turn blue!

sunday we were at the whim of baseball.
games were at the oh so convenient times of 8:30, 12 and 5:45.
but it was worth it and much fun to see such teamwork.
our U12 tournament team won all 3 games and first place.
it was just a little bit exciting.

breakfast of champions after the first win: donuts washed down with hamburgers and hot dogs!

chilling in between games with buster the team mascot...little boys love little dogs maybe as much as baseball!.

my view of my pitcher.

another victory walk.

trophy time.

his eye is on the #1 prize.

monday we woke up to more cold and lots of rain.
t. bone slept in until 11 a.m. and was then out the door to a friend's by 11:30.
miss bit played all day with the friend who spent the night.
coach and i were happy to putz and lounge.
we gathered late afternoon to bbq with friends.
despite the fact that we were back in flannel jammies at the end of the day, the weekend felt very much like an ode to summer.
after all, summer is truly a state of mind.

Monday, May 27, 2013

On My Mind Monday

She’s suffering because she’s chosen to base her personal happiness on things outside of her control.  And as she sits there on the stairs shaking and crying, I can see that she really does get it.  Suffering is no fun.  She doesn’t like it one bit.  She’d rather be happy…What if someone told you that when you were twelve years old?  What if you’d spent your whole life understanding that we have a choice?  And that we can choose freedom simply by committing ourselves to ending suffering.  It doesn’t have to be so hard all the time.

Laura Munson
This Is Not The Story You Think It Is...A Season of Unlikely Happiness

I've been thinking a lot lately about how to empower my sensitive, old-souled, pre-tween daughter.  She feels everything so deeply...the good and the bad.  It weighs heavy on me.  I feel the responsibility that is mine to share words with her and to teach her by example.  I am aware that my actions speak volumes to the mere pages of my words.  As a role model, that is daunting because I too am on the sensitive side so without intention I reinforce her delicate feelings.  Munson's words on this very topic spoke to me.  I know it's so important to show our children that happiness is a choice by continually making that choice day after day even when it seems impossible.  It gives them wings.  We must tell our children to choose happiness and beauty.  They need to know they deserve it.  Sharing that simple wisdom with them gives them roots.  It's what I most want for T. Bone and Miss Bit: roots and wings...and happiness.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Cheap Therapy

I finished Laura Munson's This Is Not The Story You Think It Is the other day and I'm still thinking about it.  The after affect proves that I was both touched and inspired by so much in this memoir despite the myriad of differences between my life and her life.  There are similarities too, and it is the things that we share that gripped me right away. 
We are peers, and I'd like to think we'd be friends if I lived in Montana.  And the thing is, I have this erstwhile secret dream to live in Montana despite my deep, firmly planted Midwestern roots.  I have for years now despite the fact that I've never been there.  I guess that's why I have kept this longing to myself.  How can I justify longing for a place I've never been?  What is the rationalization for this desire to move clear across the country?  I can only say it's an organic, physical desire not an intellectual, practical one.  Not one I can logically explain. 
Our marital relationships are the same age.  I too have known my husband for about twenty years.  We also met in college.  My children are the same ages as her children, so we are at similar intersections on the vastly different roads we've traveled.    My marriage is not in trouble, but I recognize that there are always ways it can be stronger, better.  I can relate to the way dynamics, definitions and dreams change in a partnership.  It's what happens in any long-term relationship if the participants are growing and evolving.  That's a good thing albeit uncomfortable and frightening and frustrating at times too.
And probably the thing that I find most compelling we share is the loss of a parent.  That's happened to many of us I know, and some day it will likely happen to all of us, but I lost my Mom and she lost her Dad at about the same points in our lives.  Pivotal points.  Poignant losses.  

Her messages about choosing happiness, personal responsibility and embracing what we have are the same I strive to live by every day...some better than others.  Presence and ownership are powerful threads in my life.  I agree with one of the reviewers who wrote that anyone in a relationship should read this book, but in case you wrongly choose not to, here are a couple tidbits for you to chew on.
We all have our purposefully unfulfilled dreams…Italy, then had become a symbol of arm’s-length-kept happiness.  A practice, if you will, of self-deprivation.  I didn’t see it this way, of course.  There are times when we’ll do almost everything we can think of to keep our carrots out in front of us and not in our bellies…I began to see how I’d chosen to suffer as a practice that had its payoff: I got to feel like shit.  Moreover, I got to feel sorry for myself.  And victimized by forces outside myself.  In other words, I didn’t have to take responsibility for my happiness.  Happiness was an entity that would come in on the wind, when I so deserved it.

It's easy to fall into the trap of believing we are undeserving.  I believe we need to act the way we want to feel, and also that we teach people how to treat us.
…and I thought this is what they are all talking about – what my therapist calls deliberate living, and what the Buddhists call Right Action, and maybe what the Christians call Divine Intervention.  When you send love, and surrender the rest.

I share these words and surrender the rest.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Grateful Friday

This Week I give thanks for...

T. Bone as Dionysus this week for a Greek God project toga and all.  Unfortunaltely, he refused to be photographed.

Words of wisdom from your children.  If you love what you do it's not work my son told me.  Then he went on to say, If I'm in the MLB, I'm going to love baseball.  If I'm a painter, I'm going to love painting.  I hope that is always the way he feels.

Miss Bit ran the mile in 9:52.  She was dreading it.  It took me back to middle school : the first time we ran the mile in gym class.  I hated it...and I had run plenty of miles before.  There was just something about that track and those 4 laps that were brutalizing.  So Yay!  She's done.

Khaled Hosseini just released a new novel.  And The Mountains Echoed should be in my mailbox in a couple days.  I am thinking about starting a book club again, and I think this would be the perfect kick off novel.

My friend is recovering from surgery and awaiting important news.  I'm going to be most grateful if it is good news.  He's due for some.

I learned how to use the gas grill!  The chicken looked and tasted as if it had been cooked by a master griller if I don't say so myself.

Neighbors who come through for you every time you ask.

Sweet lilacs.

Miss Bit was responsible for 2 RBIs in last night's game.

A weekend of baseball and bbqs.  T. Bone has a tournament all day Sunday.  I am grateful because I missed every one of his games last weekend.  This tournament is much closer.
Summer fruits.  We ate an entire bowl of green grapes in a matter of a day or two.  It's a good thing too because they were like $9!  The nectarines and raspberries are also all gone.

This mother/daughter journal.  I think this will be a great mode of communication between me and Miss Bit.

I finished This Is Not The Story You Think It Is...A Season of Unlikely Happiness
in less than 24 hours so it is safe to surmise that I loved it.  I took from it many nuggets which I may expound upon later, but this is the one that I think about sums it up for me:  It all comes down to this: love and fear.  And love is greater than fear.

I will pick up Katrina Kenison's Magical Journey from the library today for the long weekend although I expect this to be a quick read as well.

Somewhat impromptu plans with my oldest friend for dinner just the two of us tonight.  We don't do this enough even though we could and should.  I am very much looking forward to an evening of uninterrupted girl talk.

A long weekend.

Coach has off Tuesday.  I'm off until Thursday!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What A Difference A Day Makes

My alarm, not my cat, woke me from my dream this morning.  I was in Hawaii.  Except I was at that part of my vacation that seems to present itself over and over again in my dreams.  The part : it is time to leave paradise NOW and I haven't done or seen a thing during my stay.  Subtle wouldn't you say?

Today is damp and chilly.  I'm marinating in the sentiment of what a difference a day makes.  It's always true.  I am wishing I'd taken time to make sun tea yesterday. At least I won't bake along with my rotten bananas when I make bread later.  I was so looking forward to another sweaty, breezy walk around the park today, but instead I'll visit my elliptical in the basement and probably Downton Abbey too.  It no longer seems like a good day to visit the nursery in search of my elusive, yet beloved strepto carpella.  That's fine really because I picked up Laura Munson's This Is Not The Story You Think It Is...from the library yesterday, and I'm a little anxious to get into it.  I haven't lost myself in a good read for a few weeks so I'm due.   But,  universe you must know that I'd much prefer to do so while basking in the rays and sipping my sun tea.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I cannot hold my peace, John Keats;
There never was a spring like this;
It is an echo, that repeats
My last year's song and next year's bliss.

From To John Keats, Poet, at Spring Time
Countee Cullen

Today it's raining pink petals.  Last night as I was waiting to drift off, I heard the distant rumble and roar of thunder.  The clamor didn't keep me awake though.  On the contrary, it lulled me to sleep: a heavy, laden sleep that lasted straight through until the sun started to blaze a trail across my bed and the birds resumed their avian choir although not in that order.  The truth is the birds start squawking and chirping long before the sun seems to be on the rise in the morning.  Last night's fast moving storm is the cause of  today's crab apple deflowering.  Nature is quixotically unforgiving like that...harsh and beautiful at the same time, both severe and soft, granting peace one moment and rendering havoc the next.  There is such tame precision and also such wild abandon everywhere I look.  The mystery of it all eludes me, but not more than it fascinates me.

Well, hello Baltimore Oriole....welcome back little visitor.  Just this morning my girl was telling me she had seen a bright orange bird in a friend's yard so I've been watching for you...scanning the trees that are leafy green explosions in just the last few days.  I am intrigued by the return of migratory birds, and humbled by spring storms, and awed by the way Miss Bit's bleeding heart has gone from a bare stalk to a flowering beauty in one week's time.  There is just quite something about the design of things that gives me pause.

Today I stopped during my walk to smell some fresh blooming lilacs, to watch a bluebird in all his brilliance flit through the treetops, and to spy on a mossy backed turtle on a log.  He was a big big as I've seen in the lagoon.  The breeze is warm and welcoming, but the winds are picking up as the day progresses. My chimes are exuberantly singing.  Big thunderheads are building overhead as cool air meets warmer air.  Tonight there will likely be more rain.

Miss Bit asked me this morning where I would live if I could live anywhere.  Anywhere in the whole wide world.  Her answer was Florida...beside the sea.  Today I would have to say that I would live right here and nowhere else.

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Glimpse

 Early blooms.

 Ponding is snailing today...there's no more escargot in our near future I'm afraid.

Watching these ducklings was sweet that I doubt we'll be dining on roast duck either.

  A little shore stroll...we had the beach mostly to ourselves.

These trees are too tempting to resist.

 Getting up close and personal with Orion made up for every frog and turtle we didn't meet.

The gatekeeper.

 Happy hour...Palomas and potato skins on the patio.

 Backdoor beggars.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

2 day pass

it's sunday afternoon.
i cleaned the whole house, did a mountain of laundry and changed all the sheets and there are still hours of daylight on the horizon.
the pork chops for dinner are already marinating.
all the windows are open and jackson brown just came on pandora.
in case you don't get it...this is pretty much bliss.
miss bit is playing with her friend who came for a sleepover last night and is still here.
i have to keep calling and texting her mom to extend the visit because they are having so much fun.
their continuous giggles let me know just where they are:.up in the crab apple tree in the front, on the trampoline out back, in the playroom in the basement, up in bit's room.
the boys are on their way home from a baseball tournament.
1 win and 1 loss for the day...same as yesterday.
t. bone is not the least bit unhappy because now he can golf with uncle b. bone.
he has a whole new golf wardrobe and some new to him clubs too so he has been crazy to get on the course.
i doubt coach is bothered either because his entire weekend revolved around baseball.
he's plenty passionate about this pastime, but 3 days and nights gets to be a little much even for him.
plus the grass needs to be cut.
yesterday was a shout out of a day too.
miss bit had a baseball practice of her own so we opted out of spectating at the tournament an hour away.
then we went to our favorite place to pond, but it was a little cool and cloudy so the water creatures were scarce.
we lucked out though because the raptors were all out on the trails for photo ops.
we didn't pay the fee for the privilege of photographing the awesome birds of prey, but we were able to hang out with the great horned owl, the barn owl, and the kestrels.
and maybe i was bold enough to take a picture of my favorite...orion.
we headed to the beach to try and catch up with the bald eagle as well, but we just missed him.
to cheer me up, my girl searched the shore for a heart shaped rock.
it's our thing and special.
i don't want to sound weird or anything, but i sort of felt very blessed to be in the close, intimate presence of these birds.
it was way better than the time i met charlie sheen in an airport or saw woody allen on the streets of nyc or was shopping in the same store as joanne woodward, paul neuman and their dogs in new haven, ct.
bit and i came home and worked together to prep for dinner.
we are quite the culinary team.
it's so lovely too because it's moved beyond the it's more work and mess to have her help to the point where i dislike cooking without my incredibly pleasant and helpful sidekick.
she chops, stirs, tastes, cleans...she'll do anything really and with a smile.
my brother and sil showed up while it was still nice enough to sit on the patio with a cocktail and toast a sublime saturday night.
i juiced a pile of ruby reds and a few limes, and made a simple syrup for the sake of the cocktail of the eve: the paloma.
we decided it is a more sophisticated margarita and a make again.
the boys grilled up a true summer smorgasbord.
we rounded out the meal with sweet corn on the cob, a salad and those same homemade onion rings i'm still shamelessly addicted to.
t. bone went to bed without dinner.
after 3 ball games, he was too tired to eat.
this has been the quintessential early summer weekend and it has been such a blessing.
van morrison is on now.
and to think we have a summer's worth of weekends still in cue.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

Miss Bit's prowess on the softball field and what a game well played has done for her love of the game.

Teachers who take the time to make a difference in our kids' lives.  There are so many, but this week we felt and applauded the contributions of the music teachers.  T. Bone's choir director does such a great job encouraging and teaching the kids, and showcasing their talents all while keeping it fun.  This week's program featured mostly pop music like Shakira, Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat.  My favorite was when they sang Blackbird.  I love that song and used to sing it to T. Bone when he was a baby.

A chat with Miss Bit's teacher about placement next year.  I'm thankful that she sees what I see and that we can communicate openly.

No more store bought lunch meat filled with preservatives and sodium.  I baked a turkey breast for sandwiches this week.  It's easier and better in taste, texture and quality.

Yogapris.  It's what Miss Bit calls her capri length yoga pants...duh!

The Great Gatsby is finally in the theaters.  I suspect that the movie will be even more entertaining than Fitzgerald's classic novel.

Finally getting serious with regard to my need for a new camera.  I'm ready to take the plunge.

Smoothies for breakfast.  My favorite is coconut milk, kefir, a banana, 6 or so frozen strawberries, 1/2 a pear, 1 T. chia seeds and 1 T. ground flaxseed.  I think I may start adding kale or spinach too.


My son's confident nature.  I'm thankful that he is secure, yet humble not haughty.  Pretty handsome too!

Open window, middle of the day naps and birdsong wafting through the breeze.

Bluebirds in the park during my walks this week. I understand why they are a symbol of happiness.  I feel it when I see them.

Mother's Day cards made with love from my two.  They each gave me a new cookbook too.

Plans to hike the Audubon with my girl tomorrow morning.  We'll wear old shoes and bring our nets for ponding.

Lots of baseball the next couple days.  The boys have their first tournament team event.

Miss Bit and her friend are outside right now playing catch.  They are on rival teams, but they cheer one another on.

There was a message from Miss Bit's coach on the machine today telling us that she will be honorably mentioned in next week's local newspaper.

It's going to be a beautiful weekend, but it's the perfect damp and chilly night for lounging in my yogapris while I write and enjoy a glass of wine.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Keeping It Real

Apparently both T. Bone and his personal shopper/laundress/stylist missed the memo on wearing a bright colored shirt for last night's choir concert.  Yep, that's my boy in the crisp blinding white golf shirt!  He was one of two out of a hundred plus in such stark attire so he was easy to pick out of the middle school crowd.  What I love about him is that he was completely oblivious to his non-conformity, and then when it was brought to his attention: utterly unflappable.  He is in no short supply of confidence.

If you forgive the fuzziness of this photo and simply observe the body language of these three, you can not mistake the way they feel about missing baseball.  For the hour and a half they were glued to the risers  instead of their bases, Coach was good enough to keep them apprised of scores.  I believe it may have been harder for him to miss the game than the players. Go figure. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Counting Big Littles and Small Blessings

It's only the start of Wednesday and already it has been a busy week, but I'm here in the recent quiet of a newly deserted house with a few precious minutes to spare.  The rest of my family is where they need to be.  I'm in what can only be described as that happy place where the whole of the day ahead presents itself with all its potential.  Aside from the gloaming, this is the best part of every day in my book.

Miss Bit was the first to come down this morning.  She has a field trip to the EAA today and was filled with just a little anticipation.  I don't even think she likes airplanes all that much, but she's excited.  So eager that she was begging me to take her to school at 7:30 when she didn't have to be there until 8:00.  She is likely still a tad on top of the world from her celebrated contributions to her first softball game of the season.  No more outfield for our Bit.  She played short and first and well, and she had a game changing run that the coach and all her teammates gave her much credit for.  It was nice to see her getting the athletic accolades for a change.

T. Bone was happy to sub for a team last night despite the fact that as a substitute he must play outfield and bat last.  He has to miss tonight's game for his spring choir concert.  There's no question where he would rather be, but it is character building to keep commitments and sometimes do things you would rather not do.  Not to mention there are something like half a dozen games slated for this tournament weekend.

I have a funeral to attend this morning.  The elderly father of a friend passed on.  I believe it will be a very different attitude from the visitation I attended Monday.  Laid out in the casket was a 39 year old father of five.  These realities do not add any clarity to my relationship with death and dying, yet there is peace and rest in both cases.  Peace and relief and sadness and regret and maybe even a little joy.  How is that for complex?

A hawk just flew through my yard and dive bombed a chickadee.  No feathers flew.  The little bird narrowly escaped  the talons this time.  He was lucky.  I feel that way every morning when I wake up to the promise of a new day.

Monday, May 13, 2013

2 day pass

the weekend started out slow.
friday was, it was cold and so it was the perfect night for carryout and hanging in.
we were down a child and that made picking out a movie all the easier.
miss bit chose surfer girl and we all enjoyed it...a couple of us for the second time.
then we snuggled side by side in bed and read until sleep called.
saturday the whole fam. worked well together cleaning and shopping and getting ready for evening company.
miss bit is such an eager and willing helper these days.
she chopped all the veggies for the salad except for the dreaded olives and she made perfect balls of cookie dough to be baked later.
then she planted herbs for grandma in cute little pots before it started to hail.
she gets so excited to make someone else feel happy, and could hardly contain herself all weekend to give me my gifts.
i love her generosity and her selfless nature.
the game went on despite the chilly, wet weather.
we enjoyed visiting with grandma and grandpa after at home in the warm, dry house.
they especially enjoyed the asparagus topped with perfectly poached eggs thanks to grandpa who proved that gadgets are really not needed.
i'm telling you that everything tastes so much better when topped with a runny yolk.
sunday church was exactly what i needed.
we had our favorite priest and he made me laugh and cry.
mother's day is bittersweet for me.
more sugar coated for the sweet love of my two than vinegar infused at the missing of my one.
coach and i went for our favorite coffee in a little out of the way neighborhood because it was as much about the vibe as the brew for me yesterday.
the coffeehouse was chill and earthy and organic.
the boys had an afternoon of baseball while me and my girl met some friends for a leisurely lunch.
the little girls ordered big frothy mugs of hot cocoa to warm their insides.
the big girls ordered a couple bordeaux blancs and a plate of escargot.
miss bit decided she would like to try a snail much to my surprise and delight.
she declared it yummy, garlicky and buttery.
now i have someone with whom to eat escargot.
it made me smile because my mom and i were partners in pulmonates back in our day.
crepes rounded out the meal...berry cream and/or ham and gruyere.
the day...the weekend wound down and left me  mostly feeling happy tired.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

On This Week's Menu

On this week's agenda I have two funerals, a softball practice, three ball games and a choir concert.  We are subtracting family dinner.  The only meal I...or rather Coach will be cooking is dinner tonight.  This will be our Mother's Day family celebration so I picked out the menu because I am the Mom, and made a list for him to take to the grocery since he is not the Mom.

Grandma and Grandpa will be joining us for dinner.  We are serving grilled steak, roasted asparagus topped with poached eggs and pancetta, homemade onion rings and a salad. There will be no room for dessert after that meal so I plan to make a batch of candy bar cookies that the kids love.  They always have room for dessert.

The rest of the week will be at the whim of the pantry and freezer and probably the concession stand at the ballpark and I'm totally OK with that.


Some like to say up with the birds.  I'm editing that expression to be up with the cats.  This morning Tigger was bound and determined to wake me at 5:40 a.m.  It's Saturday and yet he succeeded.  Do you know how light it is before 6:00 in the morning even on a grey day?  I do now.

All week I have had to resist the overwhelming pull to stay prone in corpse position all day in my bed.  Then today when I actually have the choice, I choose otherwise.  Here I am.  This is no profound truth, but it gives me reason to reflect.  Tell me I have to do this, to be that and I resist.  Give me autonomy, and suddenly I feel more flexible, more willing to do or be.  I realize I'm not much evolved from my toddler self the more I think about it.

The truth is that I feel like a weight has been lifted off of me in the last 24 hours.  I was holding so much in, hurting, stewing and by simply sharing my burden with Coach, I feel such relief and the start of healing...the return of hope.  Sometimes I forget we're a team.  A good one at that.  I tend to think I have to carry the load alone.  That's just ridiculous because he'd carry the lion share every time, and I know that.

And the hasn't changed.  Not really.  Not much.  It's just my lessened ability to cope has darkened my mood and made the world seem like too much.  No one event or encounter is the sole cause of my gloomy, overwhelmed's many small, ordinary things.  And it is true what they say: what you do every day, matters so much more than what you do once in awhile. I'm a big believer in divine dailiness.  In the extraordinary ordinary.  When the things that usually ground me make me feel burdened, I quickly become untethered.

Despite the fact that I'm more pessimist than Pollyanna, I go to bed every night believing that the next day is a new beginning...a fresh invitation to be better than the person I was the day before.  The realist I am knows that it doesn't always happen that way, but this morning I woke up ready to take the bull by the horns again.  Life is not always easy, but there is good in every day.  Today I'm recommitting to recognizing that good.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

Instagram and Project Life 365.  I'm enjoying the daily photo prompt even if I am an amateur photographer at best and despite the fact that my phone camera is sub par.

Miss Bit loved being a part of the school musical.  She rocked her role as a leather clad Smoothie and I loved hearing her talk of future roles, albeit no solos.  She should sing solos.  She has such a beautiful voice.  I hope she figures that out for herself one day.

 Before the show...



An after performance date for a smoothie with my toughie.  Nanny would love the way she had such attitude in her Harley jacket.  I missed my Mom.  She would have been beside me and beaming in the audience.

An early Mother's Day gift from a friend: a box of fancy, yummy chocolates.

Miss Bit set up her first lemonade stand of the season and she begged me for about 1/2 a second (she's hard to deny) to bake wholemade cookies for the cause.  She only had 3 customers, but that didn't get her down.  Of course not...our friends gave her $5.  Thanks Sweeneys for making her day.  I vowed to stop at any and every lemonade stand I pass this summer.

A ladies luncheon planned for Mother's Day.  Miss Bit and I will join friends at a little French place for crepes and quiche while the boys play ball.

A phone call from a friend I haven't seen or talked to all winter this week.  Talk of getting together soon for a walk or a coffee or maybe both.

T. Bone has found his inner prep.  He is most excited about the blue and white seer sucker shorts I got him and asking for a pair of topsiders.  This from a guy who has been head to toe athletic wear for years!

Spending time with family we don't often see.  They came to town for my Great Aunt's funeral.  She lived to be 100!  T. Bone and Miss Bit enjoyed spending time with their little cousins who are 3 and 5.  Despite the age difference, they all had much fun together all weekend long.

Getting a pedicure this week and then giving Miss Bit one. Pink for me and purple for her.

The furbabies got pedicures too.

A new brush.

I finished Elie Wiesel's Night.  My favorite part was the prologue in which Wiesel's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech was read.

Now I'm on to much lighter material.  I'm reading A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter and listening to Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict.

Honesty and forgiveness.  Heart to hearts.

Waking up before the alarm.

When my kids say, "This breakfast is so yummy!"  They both did this morning.  I made them scrambled eggs and grilled ciabatta.  It's all about the bread.

Making a big batch of soup and sharing it with friends who need a little comfort.

A new pair of Reefs.  One for her and one for me.  Of course, we wear the same size now.  I guess that means I got 2 new pair of sandals.

A lizard on the loose.  BB has gotten braver and bolder.

Peanut isn't scared of thunderstorms or small children anymore even though he is no longer on Prozac.

My orchid continues to thrive. Three ice cubes a week and a sunny southwest exposure have been optimal.

Movie night.  Coach, Miss Bit and I are watching Soul Surfer.  Halfway through the movie and she's only cried twice.  I did not cry when Coach brought me home a grilled cheese despite the fact that all I wanted and ordered was a grilled chicken sandwich.  Sometimes I am not grateful for drive thrus!

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

This past week my skin has been as thin as see through sheer tissue paper.  I feel porous.  I feel fragile. My gossamer shell offers little in the way of protection at a time when I need added armor.  I'm used to these periods of heightened sensitivity and struggle.  I like to think that I'm quite adept at carrying on with life as usual even if it is a little more arduous than agreeable.  I like to think that I am hiding my vulnerability and wearing my game face like I own it even if it is just a mask.

There is one person I fail to fool every time.  Miss Bit is our little empath.  She sees straight through my sunny smiles and happy exclamations.  Are you OK? she asked me countless times this week.  The past few days, she has given me unsolicited full body hugs.  The kind where she wraps her little arms right around me and holds on tight for long minutes.  She's telling me she loves me all the time and that I'm the best mother ever.  She's having trouble again at bedtime.  She fears the separation of sleep.  She lays awake worrying about what happens to us when we die.  She cannot quiet her mind.  She cannot get to that place of peace.

Last night she confessed that she couldn't sleep because she was worrying about what would happen to us if Heaven isn't real.  She said through tears I could hear but not see, "What if when we die we are gone forever?  I don't want to disappear."

I told her that I believe in Heaven because I feel God's presence in my life.  I have felt the company of angels too, I told her, and sometimes when I ask or I especially need them they leave me signs.

I know!  I know!  she said.  I prayed for nights for a sign from Uncle Vic and then I got one.

Really? I wondered all ears.

When we were having lunch at Gloriosos, I saw his Pabst Blue Ribbon and I just knew it was from him.

I was grateful it was too dark in her room for her to make out my smirk.  I was smiling because she's even asking for signs.  And because for as long as my girl knew my Uncle he was drinking 32 ounce sport bottles of Ice Mountain not hops and barley, but he worked for Pabst and threw back his share in the day.  And because she reminds me so much of myself...of the best parts of myself.  She is the best part of me.

Thank you Mom.  I feel so much better.  I'm so glad I talked to you.  I tucked her in and went downstairs to decompress.

That lasted for about 5 minutes.  Then she was back beside me in despair.  Her Dad gave up his place in bed for her and then she slept like a log...the long and deep sleep of the emotionally exhausted.

I woke up many times and was reassured that she was at rest.  Then I prayed myself back to sleep.

After a toast or two to Uncle Vic after his funeral.

Monday, May 6, 2013

On My Mind Monday

This is enTERtaining!  They are super good!

Miss Bit

Watching DWTS with my best girl.  Her best girl is Zendaya.  I am rooting for Kellie Pickler.  I needed a quiet night just the two of us.  I think she needed it too.