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Showing posts from April, 2011

Hit me with your best shot.

Being any member of a step family makes for a particular brand of difficulty. Interfamily cliques tend to form: Him/Her, Her/Hers, Him/His, Them, Them/Them. Paranoia ensues.
In desperation, I once bought (and even read) a How To survive in a step family. The most helpful tidbit offered was, essentially, the golden rule. Well now, if it was as easy as all that, we probably wouldn't have step families, would we? Actually, in my stronger and less selfish moments, said tidbit has been a guiding light. However, the concept of considering others first gets muddled when it comes to my children's needs. When the Lioness appears, I am helpless. She will instinctively protect her cubs and consequences be damned. I believe God is in that instinct, too, so I find myself asking what exactly would Jesus do if he found His children being mistreated or slighted. This brings me round to Him paying it all and all to Him I owe and I am humbled. Again, I am forced to consider how His Grace is en…

My team is red hot.

If you wanna find out how true your friend is, you are gonna have to get real. You are gonna have to make yourself completely vulnerable. Eventually.
Otherwise, you can't be trusted.

I'll dip my toe in a little first, to be sure it's not freezing. I don't like to be uncozy and this is the part when I usually withdraw because IcouldprobablyjustdowithoutafterallIhavemadeitthisfarjustfine. But, I conspire against myself for now because a) I am stepping out and b) I always have Lovin' Man to catch me. So, bit by unattractive bit, there I am, in my bathing suit. Under fitting room lights. It's brutal, this chance I'm taking. I am not safe yet, but, it may turn out okay. I will have horrid anxiety that lasts all night on a few separate occasions but it doesn't mean anything. It's only fear getting tricksy. I may drive Lovin' Man crazy because How complicated can this be? I don't have the distraction of guitars and cars to keep things in check. T…

My grass is green enough.

Somewhere among the way, I made a mistake. Or two. And the rest of the authority figures in the lives of my children just may have made a couple. As a result, here is a house full of flawed, imperfect people. Considering the sources, why am I continually surprised at continual imperfections in my offspring?

Moms can get brutal:
She can't possibly understand because she has that a fancy car and stuff.
She doesn't know because she only has two.
Or three.
She is out of the loop.
Staying at home is 24/7.
That's gonna bite her back one day.
But we have some special needs.
It's easier for her because she doesn't have to work and mustn't that be nice?
She has family to help her.
She only has girls.
Her husband does half of it.
She doesn't have to deal with all these spoiling grandmas.
Her kids are older so she can reason with them.
It's simpler over there because there's less estrogen.
She has babies and isn't that simple?

Nevertheless, when expose…

These things that never argue with me.

The roses came with the house. Red, pink, coral, melon and yellow. I felt an obligation for their upkeep as the former matriarch of this home had legendarily cared for them for some 40 years. I never met her as her passing resulted in the selling of her home to us. Nevertheless, I felt compelled to honor her memory by loving on her plants. Mainly because I didn't want her children to drive by their childhood home and miss The Way It Was.

Much energy went into the roses the first spring and it paid off. They were glorious. It's just that, I secretly began resenting them. Although lovely, roses can be very demanding as was told me by a master gardener doing a library workshop:
"Hun, do as much as you enjoy. When they become a chore, you are doing too much," said she.


Welcome lilies, purple cones, misbehaving dahlias, some hostas, blue chrysanthemums, black eyed susans and zinnias.

Gaining siblings has enhanced the beauty of Mrs. Janet's roses.


Further ways in which I find myself being Not That Good Of A Person:

• I refused to cook during a recent power outtage although we have a gas stove and candles.

• I continue to procrastinate with the mopping.

• I harbor resentment.

• I gave These People too much credit when I know full well they're not to be trusted.

• I hate fast food but I ate it anyway.

• I started a book without finishing another.

• I should be in better shape 'cause I'm just not that old.

• I can't bear to get as real as I would like to think I am.

I see a little bitty gull.

'Tis a fascinating thing to watch a daughter grow. A New Kind of beauty. Graceful. High strung. Pillow fluffing. A tiny woman. She's fantastically amazing.

My understanding of her is innate and easy after struggling for ages to understand a house full of little boys. I always made it harder than it should've been and my heart was too soft. I don't know what it is to be a man - I only know to love them. A woman needs a different sort of strength which I instinctively will into my daughter even while secretly admiring the way she wields her femininity. She instinctively manages all the men in her life, bending them to her will. She's lovely, true. But, more so, the magic of her femininity is raw guilelessness.

I lost touch with mine until I met her. So I watch and learn. Relunctantly, I step in to save her from herself. These moments jog my memory and I remember why I gave up that power.

10 things to love about a teenaged son.

• He is clever.

• He is handsome.

• He is constantly creating.

• He reminds me of Peter Pan.

• He makes fun.

• He keeps me young by trying to make me old.

• His mind is fantastical.

• He does not want to see me cry.

• He is irresistible even though I am angry with him.

• He is a constant reminder that His Grace is enough.

I can say bitchy but you can't.

Lovin' Man left for work just before dinner time. "Work" means a guitar, a head set and a group of European tourists set for a southern States cultural experience. Well, maybe they're Australians. I was watching a doc with my high maintenance boy about online predators because we needed to get a few things straight. Being not that good of a person AND it being my birthday week and all, I forwent dinner preparation and got bbq. Tops. Because they're tops in barbeque, see?

Grumpy and/or foul for the majority of the evening despite a swing in the garden with the new Yann Martel, I really let 'em have it. The following is a list of grievances:

• There are those among us who swipe office supplies. Repeatedly.

• There are those among us incapable of properly cleaning floors.

• There are only 2 among us who are capable of pushing in the dining room chairs.

• There are those among us who use the gardening soil that was meant for blue chrysanthemums.

• There are those…

Some fine picture books

Working at the library would've been a dream job for a 16 year old me if it hadn't been for the pesky patrons which kept me from reading all the books I wanted. They had me shelving in the kid's section. That's how I became a connoisseur of children's books. 

Dream job for 40 year old me would be a children's book writer. Or editor. Or agent. Or picker.

I spent lots of time perusing, buying and reading picture books to my babies and toddlers. 

How sweet it was to be loved by them...

Guess How Much I Love You by Anita Jeram

Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion

If You Give A Pig A Pancake by Laura Numeroff

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle

The Day Fletcher Was Hatched by Wende Devlin

Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag

All books by Judith Viorst.

How does your garden grow?

Thirty Nine
a temporal soothing of financial woes; a Disney vacation; a homeschooling uneasiness;  the early summer loss of someone meaningful; spiritual frustration;
a marriage spring; middle aged realizations;
a brief respite from High Maintenance Boy anxiety;
lovely blue Chryxanthemums;
a Letting Go with a side of Surrender; an unbeatable retreat; a renewed friendship or two; a Beaming With Pride moment or Two; a bout with humility; Lovin' Man longing; ridiculous despairing; a most Delightful in Recent Memory Christmas and a Migraine New Year; hesitation; Dog Love; and frontal lobe deficiencies.
Let the latter rest in the latter moments of Thirty Nine.

There must be some way outta here.

How will I ever go to sleep in this strange hotel room I am sharing with 3 other moms? I took some Benadryl and everything. Traveling always seems more fun when you are planning than while it is actually happening (except Disney World/Land, which never disappoints).

Case in point(s):

• Lousy traveling eating habits = an unhappy tummy.

• Hotel floor fear. (How do I know what previous feet were up to?)

• Hotel beds cannot be sat upon unless the comforter is pulled back to reveal freshly laundered sheets. Then, only in pajamas and not Street Clothes. (Traveling companions wouldn't understand the importance of this and I am alone in my neurotic misery that even 17 years of raising boys cannot undo.)

• Last one down for the night = triggered childhood memories of sleepless nights at slumber parties.

• Endless quests for decent water and/or tea make me grumpy.

• Excessive social interaction = anxiety attacks (apparently).
Fact: I called Lovin' Man at 9:30 last night and asked hi…

"Geeks that cry keep jobs." - Temple Grandin

I got to sit across from Temple Grandin at Paula Deen's in Harrah's Tunica. I had the opportunity to meet her but I lost my nerve. I am regretful. I did squeeze into group photo with her. The next morning I attended her seminar. She spoke for about 1.5 hours but I could've listened for twice that long. She is utterly fascinating. She broke open the mystery of autistics and now they're out and about, getting stuff done.

She kept saying how she turned her anger into crying. That saved her from Social Outcastdom. The rest is history.

Read, listen, youtube and watch Temple Grandin. Because she's fantastically amazing.

Don't turn blind eyes, moms. Your boy ain't too good.

Just because someone exploits herself does not mean it's cool to exploit her, too. It's not just that she someone's daughter, mother, sister but she has the same Creator as the son, father, brother that is googling her breasts. Epidemic and pervasive, the worst moral threat changes the rules. Families crumble; faith dies; innocence is extinct.

We are out of control.

It is painful for mothers to recognize - completely opposed to what we are about. Your baby boy is as red blooded as the rest AND he has nothing to lose yet. Perspective is not among his advantages.

Many have fallen and lost: families, careers, ministries, love. His momma cradled him in her arms and she grieves. Pride believes those men fell because they just weren't that good of a person.

Do whatever you have to do to protect your nest.

Pornography + Problem = Jesus is the Way Maker.

This is what a cat will do for you.

I have a system for laundry. I fold it up and leave it on the table in people's spots. The theory is this: One must remove one's neatly folded and stacked laundry before one can eat. I still nag but, in theory, it's a good system. Other systems include stacking small, bumpy items on the top of the pile so as to make a less appealing nesting site for our old lady cat. She enjoys freshly, folded laundry nests. Old lady cats might be smarter than me. Clearly, it's Not That Good Of A System.

Other nuisances perpetrated by cats include: walking on piano keys in the middle of the night, meowing outside Food Lady's window right as she gets cozy, litter boxes, claw sharpening on the Good Couch, claw sharpening on the door frame, jumping on counters during meal preparation, refusal to eat dog food even though the dogs are perfectly content to eat cat food and random hissing at fellow cats causing a ripple effect among all present pets. Possibly the most annoying act is whe…