Thursday, May 30, 2013

Catnip, Creativity, and a Neon Cathedral.

Random Post.  Just a few things that I am watching, reading, listening to, and loving...

This woman. She is me, and she is you. She is your sister, your best friend, that woman who you see every day at school dropoff. She just writes it better than most of us. My friend Julie told me about her weeks ago, and I could not find her book , no matter how hard I looked on Amazon. Her blog fell into my lap, pure serendipity, and I cannot stop reading her words. (Oh, and I was looking for the wrong book on Amazon. Oopsie.).

 Macklemore. This guy is pure creativity, poetry, and hard truths, all with catchy hooks. Get beyond the poppin'tags and listen to Same Love and Neon Cathedral. Wow....

Brene Brown. Vulnerability. This is a hard one, but important. I tend to prefer tucking in and protecting to being open and vulnerable, but Brene Brown is spot on.

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My friend. And really, her cats are this deadly. Two words. Catnip. Melatonin.

All right, peeps. These are my loves today. Peace and love and mushy patience.  XOXOXO

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My mushroom fix...

This may look like I am storing someone's liver in a Mason Jar (Hello, Drunk Pinterest...), but it is nothing quite that morbid. Nope. This is the Mushroom, the beginning of the magic of Kombucha. Sterilized glass, raw organic sugar, black tea, spring water, and this...

Mother, SCOBY, or Mushroom- Pure magic!

Closeup of the Magic....

It is on my countertop and I am quite sure that the monkeys will try to scare each other with it, or double dog dare the other one to touch it. It goes into the tea tomorrow, and then sits in a dark timeout corner for seven to ten days to grow and ferment. Then, hmmmm. A little lavender, some pineapple juice, or chia- who knows?

Thank you, Derek and J9! And Bruce, for scooping it into my jar with only a slight shudder...

Monday, May 27, 2013


Memorial Day.

I am not going to lie. I spend the weekend getting plenty of sleep, barbecuing, enjoying killer Margaritas (Who knew the best margarita recipe ever would come from a geneticist from Jersey?!), buying flowers, riding my bike, and enjoying the third day off in a row. I do. I enjoy every minute of it, and I am not going to sit here and say that I don't enjoy all of these things to try and prove that I am more of a Patriot than someone else.


(Come on- you know me. You knew a 'however' was coming).

However, my weekend has been interspersed with thoughts of those who have fought for freedom. My Pepa- Memorial Day always brings memories of going and putting flowers and tokens of love on gravestones. Memories of his war stories- I thought he was bigger than life, but in reality he was still a teenager, sent to fight. Memories of some of his serious stories and of some of his funny stories- one of when he was in the chow hall with his friend Tiny (I saw pictures of Tiny, and this name was definitely an ironic one). They were eating lunch, when planes started flying overhead, dropping bombs. Everyone flew into ditches and trenches, but Tiny managed to roll in with my Pepa, his lunch still in hand.

I think of my friends who have been deployed numerous times, and come back changed forever from what they have seen. I think of my friends who have seen their spouses deploy time after time, and yet they carry on every day because this is also their service to their country. I think of the sacrifices and worries and hurts that I hear about every day- more sacrifices than I will ever make. I think of the veterans I know, who have scars both physical and psychological- my friends who left limbs and peace of mind behind.

So I appreciate and love every moment of my three day weekend. And I am more grateful than words can express to every veteran for what they do so that we can enjoy our days. I am grateful today, and I will be grateful every day, which is how it should be.

That being said, hug a veteran. Listen to your grandpa's stories- not a lot of our WWII veterans around. Buy coffee or a meal for someone in uniform. Give a little love to your friend whose spouse is on their third deployment.  Appreciate every time you get to speak or vote or educate your daughter- someone paid for that right with their life.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013



At a recent gathering of women, there was one woman whom I did not know. I started talking to her because she was just standing off to the side.

Asked her if she had kids. Yes. Close to Timesboy's age. Asked where they went to school. The school  that we tried last year for the monkey and pulled him out of because it was such a milquetoast experience. I didn't say this because everyone is different and we all have different experiences. She then asked me where Timesboy went, and when I told her, she wrinkled her nose and said she wouldn't put her kids there. Dumbass me, I was curious.

Why? Oh, because they dumb the curriculum down there so much in comparison to the school her kids go to and all of the other schools in our state. At which point, I tried the mature "Wow, that is really interesting because we have not had that experience at all. Timesboy has had a wonderful experience and is doing great in the GT program with his learning."

Cue to Douchecanoe to stop talking.

She did not get it. "Oh, the GT program there isn't even the regular program at other schools."

Really? So, even though a lot of school board member's kids and grandkids go this school, it is subpar in an excellent school district? The GT program is subpar for my fourth-grader who is testing in the 99.5% percentile on state tests and doing 7th grade math for fun?

Another cue to Douchecanoe to stop talking.

She did not get it. "Oh, I don't mean anything by it. I think they just dumb it down because of all of the poor people there."


No more cues to Douchecanoe. Some people are just assholes, no matter how many rhinestones and crosses they slather on. Funny thing is, this person owns a business in the same small town that she was slamming right and left. I think I would rather pull my pubes out with tweezers than support her business.

After wanting to smack my head against the wall in frustration, I realized that I love the little town that she was slamming. I adore the little school and am continuously in awe of how amazing all of our teachers and staff are. And even though I may live in a poor town and send my monkey to an "inferior" school (Yep, that word was actually used), I much prefer that to being a Douchecanoe.

I also obviously like the word Douchecanoe. Thanks for the highbrow vocab, Bloggess and RedheadWriting. :-)

Poor Peace and Love, Buttercups. XOXO

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ten year old wisdom.

Happy Spring! Or Summer. Whatever, I will take it!

Upside Down? This is how we roll, peeps.
"What do you want for your birthday, my man?"

"Stocks. Maybe a little Microsoft. A little Echostar. And Home Depot. Oh, and I want a riding lawnmower. Stocks and a riding lawn mower, okay?"

Silence. What do you say to those requests for the big ELEVENTH birthday?

"So you get to stay home for a few hours today by yourself? What are you going to do?"

"Vacuum a little. Scoop a little dog poop. Maybe some laundry."

Silence. Then, a hopeful and proud "really???"

Snort. "No, mom. More like Spongebob and cookies. But I will shower."

Monday, May 13, 2013


Slog- V.
         1. to work or progress with a slow, heavy pace. Plod.
         2. to work diligently for long hours.

This. This was me tonight.

About a month ago, I pulled my hamstring. Sheer stupidity, and I knew the exact moment that I did it. I ignored this, tried to tell myself that it was just a sore muscle, but I knew exactly what I did.

Cue the countless trips to the chiropractor-doctor-massage therapist. Throw in numerous ice packs and some wicked menthol-eucalyptus-magical ingredient salve. All of this, and I still hurt.

I normally have a very high tolerance for pain, or a high pain threshold, if we must dip into semantics. I can give birth with nary a tylenol in sight. I can have four impacted wisdom teeth removed, with only a local anesthetic and some classical music to distract me. Stitches- I take mine with no anesthetic, thank you very much.

This hamstring has been a different story.

I hurt. Twenty-four seven. I hurt when I sit, when I stand, when I sleep. Mostly a low-level buzzing ache, but with a wallop of knock-me-sideways hurts just often enough to keep me on my toes. (Literally, keep me on my toes, because this takes some of the pressure off of my hamstring. Go figure....) I have become a whiny woman who complains about my arse hurting to anyone within hearing distance. I have become the kind of woman who walks around wearing Eau de Icy Hot, with an ice pack attached to my backside.

This fact annoys me more than Jimmy John commercials.

So, tonight, I ran. Or slogged. My time was embarrassing, but I did it. Three and a half measly miles, with my hamstring hollering the entire time. I may have told her to shut it- she protests whether I stay still or move, so I might as well move. My other muscles were loving me. My calves were stinging. My quads were aching. My lungs were burning. My feet were anticipating aching.

I did it. My hamstring does not hurt any more than the normal at this point, but I did come right home to an ice pack and Old Lady Salve. Any pain that I feel in my hamstring cannot best how good the rest of me feels from my slog. I may well return for more tomorrow.

Kind of like life, if I over-think it while on the trail. Even when it hurts, you move forward. Might as well move, because you are going to hurt either way. Why not be moving forward, in that case?

Peace and Menthol Rubs and sore muscles moving forward, my friends. XOXOXO

Happy Monday!

Happiness is...

A wickedly weird sunburn from six hours on a motorcycle yesterday. And NOT on the back of one ;-) Party tip- don't push your sleeves up while wearing gloves and a leather bracelet cuff in six hours of sun with not enough sunscreen. The four inch swath of red is hard to explain.

The best ribs ever for Mother's Day. And Kale. And More Kale.

Flowers in every nook and cranny, signaling that spring is here. Or summer. Whichever.

Watching my monkey ride his newish Specialized around as I sit on the front porch with my coffee.

Taking Superteen to school with curlers in my hair. I saw one dad laugh out loud, so it was worth it.

Mother's Day Card...

Stalkerazzi listening to his secret recordings of me. Oomph.

Superteen, giving me the look.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Motherhood is a Team Sport

Facebook and Hallmark and Pinterest have really raised the bar on Mother's Day. Cards that sing, rose petals leading to spa treatments at home, hand tinted portraits of the children posing as the words Happy Mother's Day. Platinum rings cast with children's fingerprints for the non- Angelina Jolie mamas amongst us who cannot quite handle putting the latitude and longitude of each child's birthplace on our bodies. Mother's Day brunches done up in a delightful Lilly Pulitzer theme, complete with homemade sodas encased in Lilly Pulitzer prints to match the tablecloth and treats.

This stuff is all a big fat lie. Motherhood is not the perfect floral print wrapped around organic fair trade coconut macaroons. Motherhood is terrible and wonderful and joyful and painful, wrapped up in your favorite shirt that has snot and glitter paint permanently affixed to it. Motherhood is staying up all night with a colicky baby or a croupy toddler, drenched in sweat and tears because you don't  know how to survive on thirty minutes of sleep. Motherhood is hurting when your child experiences bullying or rejection- wanting to go Mama Lion and roaring against the perpetrators even though you should not.

Motherhood is watching your toddler sleep peacefully at night, their chest rising and falling so regularly and miraculously that you can scarcely believe it. Motherhood is catching your teen sneaking out at night, and marveling at their stupidity and lack of forethought. Motherhood is teaching your preschooler the joy of books, whether they choose Curious George or Captain Underpants. Motherhood is nagging your high schooler to study study study so that they have the most choices at their fingertips.

Motherhood is wishing they would wear more deodorant and less kohl eyeliner and bathe more and watch less TV and choose the kale over the Pop Tarts. Motherhood is wishing they would hear you about flossing. Motherhood is ADHD times a hundred, trying to make sure that you are raising PEOPLE who will make their way in this world. Motherhood is hearing your mother's words come out of your mouth, and realizing she was onto something.

Motherhood is learning to hang on tight, while letting go. Motherhood is letting go of the story you wrote for your children so that they might write their own. Motherhood is recognizing the wisdom of all of the other mamas, grandmas, sisters, aunties, and friends. Motherhood is recognizing yourself as both a mother and as a daughter, and recognizing this in your mama also. Motherhood is loving them always and forever, no matter what, even when they are pretty darn unloveable.

Motherhood is a messy miracle. Turn away from your Pinterest and all of the advertisements and expectations that are foisted upon us. Call your mama and thank her for loving you when you were completely unloveable. Call your mema and thank her for the patience of a saint and for all of the chocolate pies. Call your sister and tell her you think she is a fabulous mama. Call or text or Facebook your friends and tell them thank you for being in the thick of things with you- this mama business is a team sport. Hug your kids tight. And realize that the best Mother's Day gift may not come in a baby blue box, but it might be hand drawn on notebook paper.

Peace and love and mush, my mama friends! XOXOXO

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Two wheels and a wailing hamstring.

In like a lion, out like a lamb. My arse.

Not a lion or a lamb, just a gratuitous Lucky Humperdink shot...

If I possessed a magic wand to erase both March and April from my thirty-ninth year, I would so use that bad boy to wipe those two months from my memory. Eight weeks of trauma and drama, more tears than I thought I could shed. Countless loveys telling me that I look like shit, albeit in a loving way. Sleepless nights, worrying and scurrying, and feeling helpless because I cannot help those who don't want to be helped. Anger and exhaustion and fear, knowing that my love is not enough to pull someone up. Throw in a wicked cold, a pulled hamstring, the inability to run more than a few hundred feet without my hamstring kicking my arse ( no, literally, seizing up and kicking my arse into stopping that incessant attempt at movement), a couple of biopsies, enough whining in my noggin for a lifetime, and I have been right on the dark edge of despondency.

I hate whiny people. Seriously, I hate people who revel in telling you about their gout and corns and hinky step-cousin and bad childhood. I loathe the people who gain their identity from how things happen to them. And yet, here I am. Whiny and just a step shy of telling the intertubes about my fallopian tubes, family trauma and Redneck-Sopranos upbringing.

So I switched gears this weekend. Literally switched gears.  With this finicky girl.

Notice she is named Pretty Girl, Not Nice Girl with a Smooth Shift...

Call it a bucket list check, but I took a class. To refresh what it feels like to ride a motorcycle. Sixteen hours of counter-weighting and swerving and tight turns and stopping on a dime. FYI, Pretty Girl had the shittiest shifting I could have imagined, and she was pretty herky jerky. And by the end of the class, on a windy, drizzly thirty degree day, I was as herky jerky as Pretty Girl was. So much so that I am going back this weekend for a bit more punishment/joy.

Pretty Girl was kind of a mean girl, but she reminded me how much I like feeling free. When I was shifting up and pulling the throttle, I actually forgot about my hamstring screaming at me and all of the heaviness that  awaits me. I was in the 'right here, right now', with no room to think about anything but the two wheels underneath me.

This might be a love affair. If my hamstring will stop the incessant wailing.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Go to the nest.

I have no reason for this picture, except that I love it. My friend has these HUGE antique flashcards in her office, and I have this urge to be like the bad step-cousin and mentally put a tag on them in case she gets lost in a Paraguayan jungle or the such. This would be highly inappropriate, so I just enjoy them in her charming office.

Go to the nest, peeps. And stay away from our May storm, Achilles. Yep, our storm named Achilles...

Life moves fast

I used to have reservoirs just a few steps from my wee cottage's front door. Full of bears, squirrels, deer, foxes, and a few animals I ...