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Return to Pooh Corner

Does anyone remember this song? I was driving my son to school yesterday and it came on. I have no idea why, as I was listening to a playlist of Eddie Money, John Cougar, etc. Anyway here came Kenny Loggins singing about counting all the bees in the hive and chasing clouds away. It made me very nostalgic. I looked in the rearview mirror at my son and pondered the thought that he doesn’t even know he’s young. Well yeah, he knows what youth stops you from doing. You can’t drive a car, you can’t stay at home and not go to school, you can’t not eat healthy. But he has little clue as to what it affords you…being chauffeured, only worrying what assignments are due the next day, chasing the clouds if he really wanted to. Youth is definitely wasted on the young! What I wouldn’t have given to stay home and be concerned over nothing. No bills, no need for money, no what to make for dinner. It’s fleeting, but he won’t get that until 20 years down the road and a silly song comes on the radio to remind him. 🙂

Along with EVERYTHING else I’ve got juggling in mid-air, I’m onto my next fundraising craft. I don’t think I posted the fabric keychains, but they’ve been a huge hit. I’m almost sold out. I have another shipment of metal fasteners arriving to get more made. But in the meanwhile, I’ve begun a new project. Tissue holders for your bag. They are SUPER easy and fast. And so many possibilities with color schemes. They are a great stash buster, especially when you chain sew them. I’m working on another quilt, too. Did I even post pics of the other one? This one is smaller, and it’s cowboy theme. So cute. I’ll for sure post a picture when I’m finished.

Book 3 of Sarah is getting so good! I hate to tease, but it’s going to end with a bang! I have no ideas for a cover yet. So many choices. Sometimes I wish I’d gone with a couple on the others, but who would the guy be? Hmm…. I can’t help myself sometimes. Who would you want to see Sarah ride into the sunset with?

Hey, did you know it’s breast cancer awareness month? Isn’t it crazy how each month is something different? It also happens to be Down Syndrome awareness month, too. Along with getting my education tackled for this one, I’m thinking about immersing myself in Mandarin. Why not? I’ve got so much time on my hands, right?

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Where Has All the Happiness Gone?

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter holiday. Mine was great. I cooked for everyone–as is the new tradition. I give my mother a much needed break from the muss and fuss. My turkey turned out like crap. And I even woke at the bloody crack of daylight to put it on–sautĂ©ing carrots, celery, and onion…gently thrusting some garlic and broth in for good measure. Thrusting? Really? All for it to taste like the rear end of something killed on the side of the road, after cooking for almost 7 hours. (not that I would know literally what that would taste like.) But there was a ham to fall back on. Thanks for bringing it, Barbie!

And then there was the panic of the dessert. The pound cake, upon reading the recipe the morning of, was discovered not to be the one I envisioned. Not really sure what the original vision was… So off to the store I went. And bought items for chocolate cream pies. Nope, never made one in my life. I’m just not a pie person. Luckily they turned out well. Made everyone forget about the lousy turkey!

Then there was the egg hunt. Ah, the traditional go-and-find-the-golden-egg hunt. Has anyone met my youngest son? The one who is certain the entire world is against him? Well needless to say, he wasn’t the one who found the golden egg. Instead it was the 13 year old cousin. In which he desperately hates now. And hates the inventor of said traditional egg hunt. And eggs…and easter baskets, and for all I know the air in which we breathe. My mother, of course, told him to come over to her, and she tucked a golden egg inside his hand. Just to inform anyone who isn’t at my home during the annual egg hunt–the golden egg has a $20 bill inside. And now my youngest is happy. Still not liking the cousin, because well, she cheated finding that egg, but he can go on and never spend that money now. That’s right…he finds a million things to want, but letting go of the dough is a whole other story.

So on to the title of my post. I was just visiting Facebook. Don’t do it, it’s a trap. You can get sucked in quite quickly. The next thing you know, it’s past your bedtime and now you know what everyone’s doing, done, or going to save as a recipe and never make in their life. But you know, they’re sharing it so it saves on their feed. Ok. Anyway, tonight I got so much more than that. I got a play-by-play of an elderly man getting gunned down on Easter day, a video of one of the innocent children dying from the chemical bomb Syria suffered a few weeks ago, and a baby girl left in a locked van while police knocked out a window to get to her. Ahhhhh……. where is all the happy? I’ll gladly take pictures of what Aunt Noreen’s dinner plate looked like tonight. No matter how disgusting that cabbage looked. And cousin Rita’s feet as she takes a crooked picture of her pool water. Enough with the reality. It’s too depressing. I had to scroll faster than ever tonight, just to get the images out of my mind.

Find your happy place, people! Stop polluting the airways with the horrors of reality. Show a shimmer of kindness. Show some little furry animal getting rescued, a baby trying peas for the first time, a flower growing from an abandoned old pot. Whatever. Just please stop posting the bad and ugly signs of our times. That was a bit unlike me, wasn’t it? So demanding. Maybe I’m just tired. Or my wrist is absolutely killing me. I think I have a pinched nerve. Yeah, blame my plea for happiness on the pinched nerve. What’s come over me with all my ranting?

Well, happy thoughts for now. I’m going to ice a wrist. Have a great week!

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So Tired

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This has/is going to be a very tiring week. My daughter is in a play, and although she stays after, dances, and acts…I’ve done my share in the background. Late pick ups, taking dinner before practice, attending meetings for cupcake sales, etc. And so the final days approach. Tomorrow is the big day–the first of four performances. I picked concessions to help out. So I’ll be there, right along with her. I’m trying not to focus on how late my days are going to be. I’m trying to find the positive. The fact she’s doing what she loves, and soon it’ll all be a memory. Right now, though, I’m whipped.

So we’re putting a hold on my birthday. It’s sort of during the day that she performs her play twice. Twice. On my birthday. Oh well, what’s a birthday when you get past the age of 10 anyway? I guess 18 was sweet, and 21 was sublime. But what now? The biggies…50,60,70, if I’m lucky. Birthdays are just another day. You get the, ‘well, well, well, today’s your birthday’, then nothing else. Although my son offered to make me a cake. It’ll be a first. He’s been cooking a lot lately. And I’m sure a cake would be the next logical step after achieving success in frying bacon and scrambling an egg. I hope I don’t stand in the kitchen and try to do it myself. 🙂

Did I mention I’m doing some major landscaping Friday? Yep. Because shlepping cupcakes, working at my day job, and performing all my other chores isn’t enough! I’m looking forward to some dirt and mulch, nonetheless. It’s those little things. Find them, cultivate them, and enjoy. As for my enjoyment, I’ll try to find it among the chaos and tiredness.

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And that just happened

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Don’t let the picture fool ya!

So I’m sitting outside my daughter’s school, waiting for play practice to get out, and my car begins freaking out. The locks begin clicking…the lights come on and go out, dim, and become brighter. I’m like ‘what’s going on?’ Within seconds, all goes black. “Are you freaking kidding me?”

Before the parking lot is abandoned, I go to a nearby car and kindly ask the woman if she has jumper cables. I know what you’re thinking…that girl has mad jumper cable skills. Ooh quite the contrary. Girl has no clue when it comes to the transfer of battery power via red and black cables.  So surprisingly she has this nifty emergency bag (she’s not once had a need for probably) and inside is a set of tiny little cables. Bingo. “Now I’ll just call a boy”, I said. “Better yet”, she replied…”I’ll try to go and find a boy”.

Short version of lesson is…why don’t they have a class, given in school, before anyone is allowed to graduate and demonstrate the fine art of “emergency situations and how to adapt”. Changing a tire knowledge would be nice…building a porch would stand out as a great category. Or, how about repairing a leaking faucet. I don’t know about you, but it would be a great change to not have to depend on someone else for things I could know myself, given the proper education. I mean once I’m out in the big bad world, finding a person with a set of unusable cables is about the best I can do. 😩

On to the hair situation. I left you last time with the cliffhanger of my short hair…will it grow, is it growing, am I wearing wigs? Well, I’ve been shampooing with biotin enhanced stuff, eating biotin gummies, massaging my scalp every chance I get, and yanking on the ends at least five time a day. Results…nada, nothing, not an inch. I will say though, it is a bit liberating. Sort of like a boy. Never does it fall into my eyes, blow in the wind, or get tangled after washing. I’m going to miss this little hot mess one day…oh, let it be tomorrow!

In other news of my oldest child…he’s the one in college. Fresh from the feathered nest of home. Where I cooked for, cleaned for, and washed for. Not to mention, sometimes thought for. Not all the time. He is eighteen, after all. But I was shocked to hear news today of him taking on a job without even the slightest text, tweet, or message to me to ask my opinion. I mean it was only last week he wanted me to look at a screen shot of his throat to give advice on seeing a doctor. His FIRST job? Say what? Who cares…he took it. Still no call..*crickets*

Moving on to a health note: My throat is extremely sore. Maybe I got whatever he sent me over in the picture. 🙂 No, seriously…it’s been hurting since the weekend. I powered up and took gads of vitamins. Which I think only trapped the junk in pockets of the throat lining. I’m not unable to breathe, but something just ain’t right. I couldn’t even sing to my power hour of happy songs playlist, on the way to work today. bummer.

One last thing to mention…smallest child came home without a coat. Okay, so it’s in the 40’s here–32 degrees in the mornings. He’s been out sick with a fever for the past 3 days. 3 days! And all because he went out to recess last week and stepped in the saturated playground, thus getting his socks, shoes, and pants drenched in muddy water. Yes! He was able to squish all the day long in water, thus not grabbing the attention of his award winning teacher. How does this happen? So today, after 3 days out for a virus/asthma induced sickness (by way of soaked shoes), his coat came up M.I.A. When asked if he wore it for recess, of course the answer was no. He couldn’t find it. So where is it? And why didn’t someone…oh, I don’t know…like a teacher ask this important question and not let anyone leave the class until it was found. Inquiring minds will never know. I’m off to find a makeshift coat for tomorrow.

Until next time. 🙂

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Never Ceasing to Surprise Me

shockedI used to begin my days by logging into Yahoo news and reading all the horrific tales of people. I stopped. I had to. I found that for the next couple hours, while the images were still fresh in my head, I couldn’t focus. Or was it that all I did was focus on the bad…the ugly… and the wrong that people did to one another. But just like everything that’s bad, there’s also good. I was reaffirmed with this knowledge this very morning.

Okay, so it snared me. That stupid news blinked up on my screen while I was waiting to check something on the internet. The caption read something like ‘Slender Man Girl’ confesses to insanity. Really? Slender Man. Who could pass up reading this. And the picture of the adolescent was striking my attention too. She looked like three-fourths of the girls I see trailing out of the school when I wait to pick up my daughter from drama practice. She wore glasses, a tee shirt, and had a typical teenage look. Although something was troubling in her eyes. So I clicked to read it. Why oh why would I do that? Now the story will haunt me. Along with another one that snared me yesterday about a slain boy and two coaches. I thought all day about what happened there. The investigation continues on that one. I’ll try not to check up on it. No promises.

Anyway, the girl along with her friend, both 12 years old, invited another little girl to a birthday party then took her to the park the next morning and stabbed her 19 times. And my daughter wonders why I won’t let her go on sleepovers at other parents houses! Ha, read the stories, baby girl. Or don’t. They will scar you for life. Are you for real? I think I was still playing with Barbies at 12. But whatever. I’m pretty sure Barbies are online or something by now. The reason they killed her, the article read, is because they were pledging themselves as proxies for a ficticious character online, called Slender Man. The dude doesn’t even exist! What are people thinking? What is in their warped minds? And how is it that no one else sees the danger before something goes insanely wrong? The little girl lived, by the way. And now the two teens are being charged as adults because their crime was premeditated and violet. Lives, time, and innocence lost.

While my head is still reeling from imagining the poor little 12 year old pulling herself through the park with 19 stab wounds, I come across an amazing story of another tween. This one is on stage, getting ready to perform for the first time in front of hundreds of people–Simon included. She’s on that show the X-Factor, or something or other. Anyway, she says her name is Grace and she’s written a song. Then she continues by strumming her little ukulele and singing about childhood. She sings about being lost. And it was quite innocent. Nothing like some kids sing about on the radio about things I know they know nothing about–like broken hearts and desire. What could they know? They’re fifteen and sixteen? But this little girl was refreshing. She was shy, yet confident. She said she believed in miracles and it would be one if she made it to the next level. I’m happy to report she did!

So there you have it. Three 12 year old children. Two searching for sacrificial kills to please an imaginary internet character, and one rising star, believing in miracles. People will never cease to surprise me. Even young ones.

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Thoughts about Fear and Failure

fearyI believe fear is the absence of faith. Therefore, I try my best not to have fear. But let’s face it, we all have fear. Even if it’s in small doses. It keeps us to the brighter lit paths, home instead of out past midnight, and inside the jeeps on an African safari instead out strutting with the big cats.

Fear of failure is another example.

My friend, you know…the one who’s going through some tough times? Well, it hit her today of the concept, what would she do if she knew she wouldn’t fail. I witnessed the bright light go on above her head. It wasn’t as big of a moment for me because I used to ask myself that question all the time. But lately I haven’t. So I thought a moment. It is indeed a powerful question. What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail? Hmmm…let’s take a moment, shall we? What came to your mind first?

The first thing that came to mine was skydiving. Wouldn’t it be the biggest rush ever? Wouldn’t you just die, jumping out of a plane…staring at the earth…wind whipping by you. As you fell!! I get butterflies just imaging it. Yep, I’d skydive. It’s just not practical in my world. It’s not as if planes come by my front door, asking every morning to give me a lift. It takes seeking out.

Maybe later.

I do act on this whole faith over fear thing, though. On a smaller scale. I mean, what can really hurt you for trying something? Asking for someone’s help…that you don’t even know. Looking at houses in a different state, feeling quite spirited about picking up and moving from all you ever knew? Quitting a job that you don’t necessarily love, and find that it’s depleting you? All the while not having the funds in the bank to support such a decision! That’s faith, baby! Faith that it’ll all work out. Okay, so that was a larger scale, wasn’t it?

Of course, you have to be urged to do something so bold. I don’t simply cry in my cereal that I hate my job and therefore will leave. I get nudges that it isn’t right. It doesn’t complete me. And when I act on faith, I feel such an enormous relief. It’s almost as if the inner peace I experience is confirmation that ‘hey, you did right!’

Skydiving? I’m still waiting on a nudge…from a bulldozer…in the direction of the airfield…where four instructors hook onto me and each have 3 parachutes a piece. Just in case my nudge was a little off that day! 🙂

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Squandering

Squandering1I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who is guilty of this. Nothing was more evident than the last day of our vacation, of how we squandered our time there all week. Sure, we did a little of this and a little of that. But, mostly we wasted a lot of our time trying to figure out and all vote on what to do. I’ve got that age gap of children where the fifteen year old wanted to stay inside on a device and the seven year old wanted to go the pool. My twelve year old daughter would jump from “I’m bored, let’s go do something”, to going to the beach and thirty minutes later saying, “Why can’t we just go home? Is this what we’re going to be doing every day?”

So, on the last day of our precious time in Seabrook, we woke up early, got breakfast out of the way, took a bicycle ride around the pond, spent four hours on the beach, enjoyed a picnic, walked around and shopped at the little town, watched a concert, and rode to the pool to find it was closed due to rain. Why did it take until Friday to realize our time was running out and we needed to enjoy every minute of it? Isn’t that life?

Every time my mother would gift me a pricey candle, I’d smile, inhale the fragrance until I was woozy, then stick it in my darkened closet to forget about. When she’d buy me expensive body cream, I’d take the tip of my finger and wipe the little paper under the lid and dab my wrists…once a month. (Come to think of it, my mother is the only one who indulges me with the nice stuff:)!

Why do I feel bad for burning the extravagant candles and using the expensive sheets on my bed? It isn’t as though they’re getting better with age, or I’m taking them back for a refund. Why do I save it? For what? It’s a big problem of mine. I notice it’s the little things, too. If I like a certain food, I wait and eat it last. Sometimes I’m too full to enjoy it when it’s time to eat it.

I’ve done it with opportunities, as well. I suppose we all think we’re immortal. That’s how we get through the day, I suppose. If you think about how temporary everything is, we’d question why we go through the hard work. Nevertheless, I’ve held back in the past, thinking there was time, thinking I’d have the chance at a later date. Guess what? Time passes and so does chances. They’re like rainbows. If you wait too long after the rain’s stopped to go outside and see it,  the rainbow fades.

Seize the moment, eat the food while it’s still hot and you’re hungry, sleep on the five hundred count sheets while wearing your most expensive body cream. And, light that candle while it still has that irresistible aroma. Time moves quickly and waits for no one. I only wish we’d had spent every day of our vacation like the last one. Literally.

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Time to Move On

imageI received my son’s senior pictures in the mail yesterday. Just writing the words and remembering the sinking in my stomach when I looked at each of them, makes me want to cry. This is the little boy, the same little boy I see when I look at them, who wore Harry Potter glasses, carrying a green bucket of toys around, with a binky in his mouth and one in his other pudgy little hand. The same little boy I could hear ask me why I didn’t hug him as much as his younger brother. Boy, life takes no prisoners. You want to play the game, you must be ready to land on every spot it takes you. Don’t get me wrong, I’m over the top happy and appreciative that he’s come this far in life. Not only arrived here, but came with flying colors. He’s an ‘A’ student, the most gentle, and kind person I know for his age, he is humble, he knows exactly what he wants to do in life, and he asks for very little of me. And, now this is his last year at home with me as my boy.

After next year he’ll be packed up and ready for college. Let’s face it, they never come back the same. They’ve lived on their own for too long to feel they belong in the gang the way it used to be. My nest will be eternally mangled; roughed up, not resembling the original feathered heap it once was. I’ll look back in my rearview mirror and not see him. Oh, the thought kills me!

Change like this sucks. I don’t do well with it. The other day I’m on the phone with my third boy’s nurse and she’s telling me that once he turns nine he needs a different medicine than what I’ve always given him. I tell her that we’ll cross that bridge when it comes time. She asks, “isn’t he nine?” I retorted back, “he just turned eight. For goodness sakes, I was there. We had a party.” She then tells me that she’s looking at his chart and it says he’s nine. I scoff, telling her that she has a messed up chart. Then, she asks what year he was born. I tell her most confidently, “2006.” She quietly says, “That makes him nine.” I hold on to the counter I’m standing beside and it sinks in, Oh no, he is nine! WTH?

Time waits for no one, my friend. Sure, you’re glad when the dreaded binky isn’t the lifeline to your toddler, your son stops biting random children, and your other one can watch a movie without having the bladder of a peapod. But, when they look at you behind the wheel of a car and wave goodbye, what are you supposed to do then? Sit home and feel like there goes the last eighteen years of your life? Pray the world doesn’t chew him up and spit him out? Hope he doesn’t come home with a nasty girlfriend who suddenly knows his likes and dislikes better than you? Or, doesn’t come home at all because he’s got better plans?

I suppose I’ll just take a deep breath and enjoy this last year, hoping and praying it all turns out that he does make it through; that he does get to go to college; that he begins living his own life. That he gets the chance to live his dreams.

I might need a support group for this:)

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Questioning What’s Important

99I confess, I’m a thinker. Sometimes more than other times. It doesn’t have to be me that’s going through a life altering event to make me think about mortality. I could read a news story, hear about an accident, or see a friend on Facebook going through something horrific. Which is why I’ve cut out my daily news watching all together. I can’t take the reality of life and all the sadness that comes along with it. Put me in a Ziploc bag of Utopia and denial, and seal it shut:)

Anyway, I was driving to work yesterday and a monster thought came and tapped me on the shoulder. Is this important? Driving to work to make desserts? I know, right? Come on, someone has to do it. So, who? Someone who doesn’t get that that’s not important? Someone who needs the money it pays to afford them something they want? I don’t know, it just seemed so meaningless. Especially when you heard a classmate the same age as you just died from cancer, leaving behind a son and husband. Or, that a couple died Sunday afternoon while taking a joy ride on their motorcycle. Dessert? Really?

I know we can’t all think this way, otherwise, none of the tedious tasks would ever get completed. Someone has to live like tomorrow is coming and with it comes the daily grind. But, isn’t life too juicy, too full of potential, to just drive somewhere and make desserts? Shouldn’t I be doing something more important? Like what? I love writing. That’s what makes me happy, makes me inhale and exhale with a smile on my face. But, isn’t that silly, too? You could be facing down life altering events at any moment, and suddenly you catch yourself wondering if your book is going to be a best seller? Is anything important?

Basically, I think I might need a vacation. Spend some time staring into the ocean, knowing that all that matters in that split second is that all I have is that split second. And, for that moment, everything is perfect. Because in a few short days, I’m just driving to make the Cannoli’s.

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Knowing Your Passion

Bright-IdeaI believe we are all born with a passion; something that comes already hardwired into our being that gravitates us toward something in particular.

Others do not believe this. (That’s okay, they just haven’t tapped into theirs yet!)

Case in point, me. When I was younger, I spent my spare time writing stories. I actually purchased blank journals and filled the pages with my characters and musings. I was fortunate enough to be the editor of our high school poetry collection book. I loved anything that had to do with literature, writing, or reading. So, why did I grow up and become something else? Life, I guess. I got married just short of finishing college, had a baby, fell into a job, had another baby, and before I knew it, that passion for writing got suffocated by all the other things happening in my life. I like to imagine that it just went dormant. Like a rose does in the winter. Boy, was my winter long!

So, here I am, some years later. I have my posse of semi-grown children, my same job that’s become non-challenging in every way, and my passion that has somehow floated back to the surface. Spring has sprung! Since the early signs of the new season, I’ve taken time and written a few books. Have I enjoyed it? I can’t tell you enough how much I’ve enjoyed it. They say time flies when you’re having fun. Well, I feel like only minutes have passed for these last two years. I’ve never felt so complete.

On the other side of the coin, I have friends who feel as if they have no passion for anything. They could merely work anywhere doing anything (within reason) and feel no different. Nothing pulls them, nothing drives them. How unfortunate. I’m not sure they would feel this way if they’d allow themselves to examine what exited them as children. That was the time when they could reflect on what attracted them. That’s when they knew themselves the best. Youth is a haven for endless possibilities. It seems as adults we have to wait until we’re unconscious to rekindle our passion. Researches say that the best ideas come to us while we’re asleep. I guess it’s because we’re at our most relaxed, with no outside distractions.

I suppose I was willing to forge ahead with doing what I was doing, had I not been tugged at by an inner voice to write again. It’s amazing, too, the stories I read about how some people find their passions very late in life and how much happier they are for having done so. And, after realizing it, they can see in their past how they’d missed or even denied the signs. I’ve run into some people lately and have told them of my new direction in life and I’m amazed how each one, independently, have told me they’re not surprised by it. It seems I had mentioned to them how I loved to write, at one time or another, in our friendship. I was astonished! I never knew I had been leaving breadcrumbs for myself to find my true passion in life.

I guess I can consider myself blessed. I know what I love to do and I’m able to do it. Some stay lost their whole lives in not being able to see what it is they were born with a passion to do. Or, is it that they’re not willing to take a risk and step out of their comfort zone and do it?