Friday, May 28, 2004

Memorial Day Weekend

The family is going camping this weekend.  I'm so excited, I love camping.... the smell of an open campfire, the sounds of birds in the morning, coffee under the stars at night.  There's nothing like it.  Really.... there is nothing like it.  My camping trips with the family have never turned out like that. 

It usually begins with a 4 hour packing fiasco, during which time ALL of the necessities are forgetten and only things that are of absolutely no use in the woods actually make it into the back of the pick up.  We will end up running even later because we will have to stop by the store to replace the expensive flashlights we bought for this trip but lost.... with the cheap $1.50 ones that come with their own 30 minute batteries.  The trip up the hill will be total terror!  The kids fuss if someone touches them, they fuss if someone sings the same song they are singing, they fuss if someone looks at them wrong.  They fuss all the way there!  The radio will die out about mid-way and then the kids will start fussing about my husband's choice of music.  Last summer it was the greatest hits of the Carpenters.  Even I started fussing when he put in the 2nd volumn.

I always help the kids pack, and I always make sure they have clean underwear and socks to change into.  I don't know what happens to these items of clothing because they NEVER make it to the camp grounds.  I usually end up donating a pair of my socks just to keep the funk to a minimum.  Ever been in a warm tent that has a couple pairs of socks that had been reused for 2 days in a row?  When you camp out your feet can be in shoes for 18 hours at a time... oh my gosh!  And to wear the same socks for 2 days in a row...  Last year I went into the boys then but had to leave because the stench was so bad.  I literally could not breath in that tent!  My eyes were watering so bad I couldn't even see.  I don't think the kids were asleep when they were in there, I think they were actually unconcious by the smell, I am sure of that!  Those socks went straight into the trash as casualties of the camp-out.  Don't know why they don't just make disposable socks, I would be their best customer.

I won't be going up until tomorrow being as I have to work tonight.  Steve will be taking the kids up this afternoon.  I pretend to be disappointed in not being able to go up with them, but I'm not fooling my husband.  I made a huge pot of chicken chili for them to take up with them.  They will eat it for supper.  Hopefully it will be out of their systems before I go up tomorrow.  If not, none of them will be sharing the tipi with me, especially if we get a fire going in there.  Don't want that tipi blasting off into space.

Guess I better get started on the list of things that we should take with us but probably won't.  I think I'm more excited about having the house to myself tonight than I am about camping.  Woooo hooo!  This is so great!


Thursday, May 27, 2004

Concert Review Styx and Frampton

Went to the Styx/Peter Frampton concert last night in Denver.  The opening number was a group called Nelson.  Never heard of them before.  These two blonde haired guys walked out on stage with accoustic guitars.  I thought they were the 'mmm bop' boys for a moment.  Turns out they are the sons of Ricky Nelson, remember him?  They were really pretty good, kind of like Bon Jovi without a back-up band. 

Peter Frampton was next on the line-up.  I wasn't a huge Frampton fan, but I appreciated his talent and was really looking forward to being able to rub this concert in my brother's face because he WAS a huge Frampton fan at one time.  So I wait as the band comes out.  The crowd was cheering as these old rock-n-rollers come out.  Gotta say for old guys, these guys are in pretty good shape.  Some guy comes out with a really cool guitar and I just know I am looking at Frampton's guitar!  What an honor, I would love to be the one who gets to carry Peter Frampton's guitar onto the stage.  The guy is obviously in awe as well cos he looks around then turns back and starts to walk back... And then he started to play the guitar and the crowd started to cheer... except for me who was sitting there totally lost.  Who was that guy and why was he playing Frampton's guitar?  Then it slowly dawned on me and and I turned to my husband.  "He's bald!  Peter Frampton is bald!"  All through the next two songs I sat there breaking my stunned silence only to reiterate 'He's bald!'.  Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being bald, but the only images I had of Frampton was with a big bush of hair and this guy probably had more hair on his eyebrows than he did on the top of his head.  Someone could have warned me!  I gotta say though, once the shock wore off I was treated to an awesome performance.  That man still has it.  And he's funny to boot!

Styx was and always will be fantastic.  For a short while I was back in high school, screaming like a groupie, which was okay because everyone else around me was too.  The audience was an odd mixture of young and old.  There was one couple in front of us that looked they were in their 60's and had been dragged there by their children.  The guy had this look on his face that said 'Didn't like them then and I don't like themnow.'  They left early.  Not me, I screamed through the last song.  I feel sorry for the rap-generation because as I listened to the bands that I loved 25 years ago playing live, I know that these rap bands of today will never have that longevity.  My sons will probably never be able to go to a live concert of their old high school favorites when they're in their 40's.  How sad!  My band may be bald but they still can rock!


Tuesday, May 25, 2004


I went through childbirth 5 times.  You would think that by the fifth time it would have gotten easier, but that was not the case.  All it did was prepare me for what was to come.  During my first delivery I had no idea what to expect and could only take it as it came.  When the contractions began for the fifth pregnancy I suddenly remembered... 'Oh yeah, this hurts!'  Unfortunately by that time is was too late for a condom.

One thing that did get better were the babies themselves.  I had never seen a newborn human before and when they held up my first born I remember being horrified by the hairy, purple and red screaming creature covered with blood and white goo.  I demanded to know what was wrong with it but all the doctors and nurses just smiled and said it was a beautiful healthy boy.  It was like a scene from Rosemary's Baby!  It wasn't until he was cleaned up and clothed that I began to see his human traits.

When they announced that my fifth child was a girl I was once again horrified and asked if they were sure.  I already had a 3 year old daughter at home and had learned enough to know that I did not want another one in the house.  Apparently everyone else felt the same because none of the other mothers in the maternity ward would trade with me.

After 5 children I called it quits and had my husband neutered. Childbirth was a painful yet fulfilling experience.  When I looked down at a peacefully sleeping baby there was never any question that it was all worth it.  Now that those babies have grown up I am beginning to have a change of heart.  Thats okay though, revenge will be mine in the form of my grandchildren!

Monday, May 24, 2004

The Treadmill

This is a picture of our treadmill.  My husband bought it 2 years ago to help us get into shape and lose weight.  I think the ferret has been on it more times than I have.  As you can see it makes a great clothes rack, with a little spot below to store shoes.  What I like best about the treadmill is that theres a drink holder there where I can set my beer while I'm exercizing! 

Monday Morning Musing

One day while sitting at the dinner table my son belched loudly.  The other kids immediately started fussing to which he replied "Better to burp and taste it than to fart and waste it."  and my husband wondered in digust where the kids got that kind of thinking.  All fingers immediately pointed to me and I immediately pretended to be interested in the cold brussel sprout on my plate..

"And she also said if you swallow bubblegum and fart you will blow a bubble out your butt"  my older daughter chirped.

"Its a lie" the youngest added, shooting me an accusing look.

My husband just sat there with his arms crossed, shaking his head at me.  You can bet I got one of his 'you have to set a good example for the children' lectures after the kids went to bed.

My husband is a great father and a wonderful husband, but sometimes I think he takes this parenting thing way too seriously.  His parents divorced when he was a baby so he didn't have a father role-model.  For instance, I've always tossed spaghetti noodles onto the ceiling to test their doneness and have passed this remedy onto my children... He, however thinks the whole thing is disgusting.   He walked in on us a couple of months ago while we were preparing a pot of spaghetti and stood there talking for a few minutes, all the while a long noodle was hanging down off the ceiling right above his head.  Fortunately the noodles were done, so the tester stuck fast until he left the room.  I dread the thought of what would have happened if the noodle had fallen onto his head!  My son immediately jumped up and pulled it down before his father returned.  I guess its good that my husband is there to give the kids a more matter-of-fact view on life, because goodness knows what would happen if the kids all turned out to be like me!


Sunday, May 23, 2004

A Letter from the President

I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who has been stopping by and leaving me such wonderful comments.  The stories you read here are true, only the names have been changed to protect the guilty.  I have been married to the same man for the past 20 years although he has tried to break free a couple of times.  We have 3 boys and 2 girls (the 'other brother' doesn't count), and they are a constant source of joy and frustration not to mention the main characters for most of my stories here.

One of the comments stated that I was a mess.  Well, yes, I am!   I truely do hate cleaning the house, and I would really rather just go out and buy new socks than to wash and sort dirty ones.  My gardening skills are limited to sprouting eyes on potatoes and mold on left-overs.  Plants cry when I approach.  I swear my grass moved over to the neighbor's yard because one day it was there, all nice and green, and the next day, POOF, it was gone!  I have some kind of weed growing now, its kind of like a vine or something that is slowly taking over the front yard.  I'm actually starting to like it, I mean, its almost the same color of grass and it hides the dirt.

I've noticed that I have 2 kinds of reactions to my journal so far.  There are those who read my stories and laugh out loud (or giggle quietly if its late at night like it is for me now), and then there are those who read it and think  "So whats so funny about that, I do it all the time?".  Either way I really appreciate the comments.  Thank you!

The Dirty Dish Fairy came while I was at work today.  I came home and the counters were clear.  So was the table.  I think it might be new but I'm not sure... its been such a long time since I've seen the table top.  My husband was busy outside as well.  He got out the lawnmower and mowed the dirt in the front yard.   He meant well so I didn't fuss about him running over my dandilions by the mailbox.   It was just kind of nice having flowers in the yard for a while.  Oh well, I guess I can stick some plastic poinsettia's in the planters by the window for a splash of color.  Nothing like a jump start on yard decorations for Christmas.

Friday, May 21, 2004


This is my bobble-head.  He is a fortune teller, and a very good one too.  AND he's solar which is good since I am now recycling and conserving!  Every day I ask him what to expect in the hours to come.  Will it be a good day?  Will it rain?  Will I ever find my glasses?  And every day he aswered with a gentle nod of his head in a tick-tock fashion.  So I ask him today's question.  Will I become rich?  The bobble-head nods his head yes... or is he shaking it no?  Okay, lets try another one... Will I meet a tall dark stranger?  Once again he nods yes, but shakes his head no.  Huh?  Then I realize, he means yes AND no.  My husband is tall, no.  My husband is dark, yes.  My husband is a stranger?  Well, I do always say he's getting stranger and stranger as the years go by.  WOW!  That little bobble-head is good!  Even better than Miss Cleo, and cheaper too!  And I understand then what the answer to my 'will I become rich' question was... the bobble-head had obviously seen my paystub and was laughing!  Ouch!  Correct again, but that one hurt!


A lot of people recycle these days.  I notice their little color coded tubs out on the curbside every week along with their trash.  My trash collectors don't recycle, they say its too expensive so I must hire another company to come and pick up my recyclables.  How funny that in some places you actually get paid to recycle... and here I would have to pay.

But thats okay, I do my share.  I'm very diligent about recycling 2 things.  First of all, I recycle air.  That is directly beneficial to the ecology.  I breath in and then I breath out in a never-ending cycle.  The earth helps me and I in turn help the earth.

Secondly, I recycle my paycheck which is more of an economic benefit, but it benefits the country none the less.  I go to work, providing needed services to my customers.  The customer pays my company which pays me.  I then take my earnings and spend it on either my company, or another... but I keep the cycle going.  I don't break the cycle by tucking the money away in an account so that no one can benefit.  There are many selfish, or just innocently ignorant people who sit back in their big houses or cushy offices who never recycle their money, and I don't hold that against them.  Recycling isn't for everyone, but I will proudly do my part!

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Last Day of Vacation

Well, this is it, the last day of school for the kids, which means my vacation is over.  In fact it is over at noon, when they get out for the summer.  The house is already showing signs of abuse, backpacks and old assignments are laying around, don't know why the kids keep them in their lockers and desks all year and knowing that they'll never need them again... they bring them home!  Why?  Are there no trashcans in the school?  And judging by their collection of pencils, pens and crayons I will probably never have to invest in writing implements again.  I'm thinking theres enough to supply a school in Iraq for a year, that might be a nice charitable contribution. 

Another reason I dread summer is that I was really getting off easy not having to worry about lunch for the kids.  For $1.50 for the girls and $2.00 for the big boys they got a decent meal.  Theres no way I can feed them lunch on $7 a day and please them.  At school they get those chicken flavored cardboard nuggets and they say 'Yeah!', but when I serve them they wrinkle their noses and ask what ELSE is for lunch.  And where did they get the idea that every meal has to be followed by a dessert?  This summer if they want dessert they can have a spoonful of jelly!

I'm soooo sad right now.  There's only 3 1/2 hours left before mayhem and those last peaceful hours of freedom will be spent at work.  So this is really it.  Once I walk out the door its over. Alas, and woe is me!

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

The other brother.

I used to tell my boys that if they were bad  I'd make them wear purple pajamas and send them to the Bad Boy Place with their other brother.  Don't know why I said purple pj's, it was just the first thing that came to my mind.  What was funny though was the look on their faces when I'd mention the 'other brother'.  All this time they had thought there was only 3 boys, and in all honesty there were only 3 but they were too scared to ask about the 'other brother', they just figured that he was bad so he went to the Bad Boy Place in purple pj's.  I know it was rotten of me, and I should have been sent to the Bad Mommy Place wearing chartruse pajamas, but it worked soooo well for about a year or so.  I finally confessed to them that there was no other brother, and its a re-occuring joke in the house now, but you'll never catch any of those boys in purple pajamas!

Tuesday, May 18, 2004


These are my two little girls.  They are beautiful, but only to look at.  They are both going through pre-pms and if this is just the beginning, I'm really, REALLY scared!  If it wasn't against the law I'd get them married off and out of my house before PMS begins.

  The kids were outside this evening when I returned home from work, they were digging there on the side of the shed.  I hollered out and asked what they were doing.  My oldest girl Becca replied 'We're burying a hole'.  Now I was sure I had heard incorrectly so I asked again and she repeated again that she was burying a hole.  I repeated it back and she gave me one of those exasperated looks that kids give their parents when they think the grown up is just too stupid to understand.  "As in putting the dirt back in!" she said with a roll of her eyes.  Well, now you know why I call her my dark blonde!  She is also the one who super-glued her lips together.  I actually liked her better that way and left her like that while I went to work.  She has followed in the family tradition of hunting and pulled in the largest turkey last year.

My youngest is the source of many of my laughs and frustrations.  She eats beetles just to gross out the others, she once tried to sell herself for $5 so she could buy a mobile of the planets, and has a temper that makes the bedroom scene in the Exosist look like Romper Room. Rocky has a big heart for animals, but while she is not yet a hunter like her sister, she will get in there and help cleaning any game that the rest of the family brings home.  Her favorite defense when ever she gets into trouble is "I can't help it, I have short term memory!"

Yep, these are my girls, and my mother's revenge.  I guess it could be worse, I could have really prissy daughters but no, I have tomboys just like myself.  I'm sorry mom, really I am.  Please say I wasn't this bad!!! 

How to catch a Quayle... Weekend assignment

(this is an assignment for another journal... a little late, but I was a lousy student, old habits die hard.)

My most memorable celebrity encounter.... thats an easy one.  Dan Quayle, the then Vice President of the United states! This was back in 90 I believe.  He was in town for a big Troop Support Ralley, so I loaded the boys up and went to see him at Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina.  It was nice, and believe it or not, he actually gave a very nice, intelligent speech.  Afterwards, he got down off of the stage and walked around the hangar shaking everyone's hands.  I had my youngest son in my arms, and the other two boys were hanging on to me.  I leaned over when Mr. Quayle walked by and held out my hand.  I admire that he actually made eye contact when he shook my hand and greeted me with a smile.  Most politicians are too busy looking around to make eye contact. 

Unfortunately for Mr. Quayle that eye contact was his big mistake and as he moved away he lurched forward.  The black-suited Secret Service guys scrambled into defense positions, theirs hands poised for action as they surrounded the Vice President.  He had stumbled but not fallen.  Still there was an immediate frenzy of action.  I freaked then too because I realized that my middle son Zack was missing!  Then, to my dismay I realized what had happened.... The Vice President had tripped over my son!  I grabbed Zack from between the barrier of Secret Service legs and pulled him to my side and hoping I could melt into the crowd before anyone saw.  To this day I don't know that any of them realized what had really happened, and even if they did, I doubt that they would admit that a 3 year old had broken their perimeter.  Zack gets a kick out of it though, something about almost knocking a politician on his face brings a grin to his face!

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Just sitting here in the morning, enjoying the quiet.  This is the last week of school, which means MY vacation is about over!  My kids are not very house-friendly and every summer they completely demolish what little spring cleaning was ever done.  My oldest boy has temporarily moved back home, but I don't foresee him spending much time actually physically 'IN' the house, so the house is at the mercy of his 4 siblings.  I'm scared, very scared!  One summer they let the neighbor kids in the yard and someone stuck the waterhose in the vent to the fireplace on the chimney and flooded the den.  Another summer I found a scorched Barbie in a fishbowl in the garage.  I still don't know the whole story about that, I don't think I want to! 

Not only will there be kids loose in my house for the next 3 months, there will be kids everywhere at work!  Millions of them.  Their moms are freaking out just like I am, so they'll send them to the store to get them out of the house.  Gee, thanks a lot moms!  Kids at home, kids at work... the only grown-ups getting a vacation are the teachers!  And the ones I know personally are so wicked... they actually smirk when they wish me a happy summer. 

Oh well, its just 3 months, nothing a bunch of coffee in the morning and tequila in the evening won't take care of.   4 more days of peace.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

The Mud Brothers (just a dummy-test)

Just testing to see exactly how computer ignorant I really am.  Been whacking keyboards for over 5 years with AOL and I'm hoping that I've learned more than the fact that it takes at least a mens size 11 steeltoe Brahma to reboot a frozen computer, and contrary to Tom and Jerry, a computer mouse does not like coffee!

Anyhow, I'm trying to upload a picture without that little boxy thing, wish me luck.  These two handsome young men are my older boys after mud racing the go-cart on Mother's Day weekend.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Dirty Dish Fairy

Got up this morning and hurried to the kitchen with anticipation, but my excitement immediately turned to disappointment.  The Dirty Dish Fairy had once again skipped my house.  Last night's dinner dishes decorated the counter and sink, pots and pans still on the stovetop.  I sank into the nearest chair and stared in disbelief.  How could this be, why am I always forgotten?  My friends and neighbors wake up to clean counters and sparkling dishes, but not I!  Did I do something wrong to make the Dirty Dish Fairy hate me so?  I've noticed that on occasion my offerings of left-overs have been devoured, but the dirty dishes remain.  Sadly I must accept the fact that the Dirty Dish Fairy no longer loves me.  Thats okay, I still have the Dirty Laundry Fairy!

Thursday, May 13, 2004


Just got out of the shower and as I turned around infront of the mirror something scared me!  I shouted in surprise, and I kid you not, I actually looked behind myself to see if someone else was there, because there was no way that big lump was me!

My bathroom mirror now has a disclaimer on it that reads:

WARNING:  Objects may appear larger than they really are!

Wednesday, May 12, 2004


My mom gave me a recipe for homemade bubble solution that can be mixed up by the gallon using Joy dish detergent, glycerin and water.  I mixed up a bunch for the kids and stored it in a plastic milk jug out in the garage.

Sometime later the kids were all complaining about the lemonade and how it tasted like soap.  I was totally baffled because I didn't recall buying or making any lemonade.  I went to the frige and there was the gallon jug of bubble solution!  Steve later admitted that he found it in the garage and thought I had left it there by accident so he put it in the refrigerator with the other juice.  It was lemon scented so nobody thought anything was wrong until they took a swig!  They didn't realize it was soap until I told them, they just thought it was bad lemonade!  Well, they all had the cleanest mouths in town that night!

Here Kitty!

My kids have always wanted a cat, but we have not had one since leaving Germany.  One late summer evening the whole family was outside our house talking with friends when the younger kids ran over and excitedly informed me that there was a 'kitty' in the back yard.  I just smiled and continued with my conversation and the kids took off to the back yard again.  Our yard was completely fenced in so we didn't worry about them being in the back while we were in the front.  We could hear the laughter and giggling and were not in the least bit worried.  Besides we knew all the cats in the neighborhood and they were all friends of ours who would stop by on BBQ nights for scraps.

The laughter in the back continued for quite a while.  We could hear the children running from one side of the yard to the other, up the hill and down.  At first I was amazed that the cat was humoring them for so long, but decided that after about 45 minutes the poor creature was probably worn out so I called the kids to the front.

"But mommy, the kitty!" they protested.  That poor cat was probably so frazzled by now that if they did catch it, it would probably scratch the heck out of the kids, so I sent them into the house to clean up for bed.

It was about 2am when I was awaken by an awful smell.  Our window was wide open and the overpowering, suffocating scent of a skunk filled the air.  Gagging, I shut the window, but sleep was out of the question.  A skunk in the neighborhood?  Impossible!  As I lay in bed, trying to filter the smell by breathing through my pillow, I felt a growning suspicion.  As soon as the children woke up I ran to their room.

'What did the kitty look like?'  I asked, 'What color was it?'


I found our Division of Wildlife Hunters Ed book and opened it to the animal identification section.  "Show me the kitty" I instructed my youngest son.  He casually turned the pages then pointed to a color sketch.  "Kitty!" my daughter squealed with excitement.  "Kitty" was a skunk!

Why that creature didn't spray them that night while they chased it across the yard for almost an hour I'll never know. It would take a full day for the air around the house to clear, butI never complained about the smell because I knew it could have been worse, much worse!  And yes, the kids got a quick course on how skunks are not kitties, and why we should not chase them!

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

The Night of the Bat

While living in Ansbach we occupied the 4th floor of a leased housing apartment complex.  The apartment was very spacious and I loved it except for the fact that there were no window screens or security bars on the windows.  In the hot summer, without airconditioning, we were forced to open the windows, leaving our apartment open to anything that flew.  Never having lived in anything higher than a 2 story house, I quickly learned that mosquitoes can either fly as high as a 4 story window, or know how to use the elevator.  Either way they made me into an All-U-Can-Eat buffet all summer.  And there was something about the mosquitoes there that left festering welts bigger than my boobs!

My second summer there found me very pregnant.  I was seeing a German doctor, a wonderful gentleman who wasn't one bit concerned that I had gained 35 pounds by my 8th month.  He gave me a due date of August 19.

August 19, 1989  4:30 am.  I wake suddenly.  Before I know whats happening Steve swears, sits up and tosses something across the room.  I hear the cat yeow just before a crash against the wall.  I just know Steve has killed the cat, but why?  Something swoops by my face.  Steve hollers and jumps up.  The cat has recovered from the loss of one of his lives and is back on the bed, hissing and howling, claws raking me through the sheet.  Is it a moth?  I ask.  That ain't no moth!  Steve says.  BAT!

So Steve gets this great idea.... use the bats sonar to guide it to the window!  The bat has the advantage in the dark so
Steve turns on the light, then stands on the bed, holding up the sheet to create a barrier for the bats sonar to bounce off of.  When I finally get over the shock I just took in the scene and laughed!  There was Steve, naked as the day he was born, holding up the sheet and running around the room after the tiny flying creature while Pondo the inbred farm cat was jumping off of all of the furniture like a rabid animal, and all infront of the wide open window, lights blaring, for the whole neighborhood to see!
Between Steve and Pondo, the bat was eventually pursuaded to vacate the premises... either that or it didn't like the scenery!  Either way, it left.  Steve and Pondo collapsed on thebed like conquering heros.  I just sat there laughing so hard I put myself into labor.  Arthur Lyle was born later that day.  Now, when ever I see a bat I am reminded of that night, and it always brings a smile to my face.  I secretly believe Steve is really creeped out by bats, but how can I be afraid of something that brings back such halarious memories?

Wednesday, May 5, 2004

500 hits!

Woooo Hoooo!  500 hits!  Okay, 478 were from me, but man that looks nice on the counter!

Tuesday, May 4, 2004

Domestic Sculptures

Its my day off again and here I sit, contemplating the day's agenda.  It starts off with a cup of coffee, reheated this morning because I still have left-overs from yesterday's 2nd pot...

I think today I will work on art.  My house is full of domestic sculptures... tall abstract towers of dishes painted with various hues and textures of meals-gone-by, and woven mounds of clothes that dare you to scratch-n-sniff to determine the age of that particular piece.

Tuesday, that is the day that the gallery sends a truck over to pick up some of my older works.  I'll just set them out on the curbside for him to transport to the great Landfill Showcase.  Sometimes he refuses to let me part with a particular piece of art and he will shake his head and set it back down on the curb and drive off.  I appreciate his concern but I have no further use for the art and I just disguise it for next weeks pickup. 

I look at the desk infront of me and smile at the eclectic collection of works in progress.  Maybe I'll concentrate on them instead.  The sculptures can wait until the weekend. 

Sunday, May 2, 2004

Graceful Aging

People are always telling me that I look good for my age, especially after having 5 kids.  I look at them and gasp!  Goodness, if 'this' is good, just how old do they think I am?  My hair is down to my butt, which is much lower nowdays than it used to be, but not to worry, because my sagging boobs keep me balanced and a-semetrical.  I have a new joint in my neck, its called my double-chin.  I am proud of the fact that while the underside of my arms wave back everytime I raise them, I've not yet been knocked out by the swinging relaxed muscle mass.  My friends are constantly bugging me about my 36" long whitehairs, but when my daughter innocently declares that I have 'blonde hair', I have to agree with her.  Am I old?  Not at all, I'm 'Experienced'!  Heck, if I were a car, I'd be a classic!

Saturday, May 1, 2004

Mother's Day

I was just sitting here thinking about Mother's Day, which is right around the corner (hint hint!)  and all the wonderful memories I have collected over the years.  Now Mother's Day never used to be a big deal in my house.  My husband was not raised in a very celebrating type of family due to finances so he just never really saw the importance in giving gifts for any occasion, and when he did, they were often gifts purchased for practical reasons rather than sentiment.  The first mother's day gift I can remember was my first microwave... and I was already the mother of 4! 

He's gotten much better now.  I receive gifts for every other occasion, if I get a birthday present this year, chances are he'll forget next year.  Last mother's day he outright asked me what I wanted and later that day he purchased a beautiful pocket watch for me... the kind that you can see through to the clock-works inside!

The best gift came a few years ago, and completely took me by surprise.  I was told to sleep in.  It was 10 am before I was let out, and allowed to sit at a fully set brunch table.  After a wonderful breakfast I was given a large flat package wrapped in brown paper.  The children had decorated it with drawings and mother's day wishes.  It was beautiful.  I carefully untaped it so I could save the paper.  What I found inside made me cry.

Many years ago, while in high school, I was instructed to make a batik, which is a picture made from dye and wax.  I had won an art contest before for this type of art work, so I put my heart into this piece in hopes of winning again.  The first piece had been abstract and half hearted, but it had won, so I was sure that the new piece... won I was putting my heart and soul into, would surely do as well if not better.  I was wrong and the landscape didn't even make honorable mention in the school, let alone make it to the national contest.

I kept the piece of cloth folded up and in a box of junk that I carried from house to house after I married.  Occasionally while going through the box I would recall the disappointment, but the cloth remained in the box... Until our last move, when my husband discovered it again.  And just before Mother's Day he took it to the frame shop and had them frame it.

So he gave me a piece of my own art work, big deal right?  Right!  His gesture showed to me that he understood what I had put into that piece of art and how important it had been to me at the time.  And because it was important to me, it became important to him.  And that is part of what makes that big knuckle head so special to me.

Now, my favorite gift from the kids has to be from our first year in North Carolina.  We had just move there and still had boxes laying around the house.  My oldest boy who was probably just 5 or 6 at the time, wanted to give me a gift for mother's day other than the plant he had brought home from school... so he went outside with his little brother to find me a present.  I called them into the house a short while later.  They got awfully quite in the livingroom/dining room so I went to check on them.  I heard them scurry around but they were innocently sitting at their little table when I walked in.  That immediately made me suspicious, but before I could say a word, something caught my eye.  I walked over to the box that I had seen a movement and picked up a glove sitting on the top.  And out popped two toads!  I screamed with surprise... I'm not afraid of them, but I wasn't exactly expecting these bug-eyed creatures to jump out of the glove!

My boys cried with disappointment and I spent the next hour reasuring them that I loved their mother's day present, and that just because I was putting them back outside, they would always be my special pets!  Of course I had to name them first, and after that we called every toad we found in the yard by their names.  The boys never seemed to notice that Huck and Tom were constantly changing size and color!