Saturday, May 31, 2014

No Excuses

I am one stubborn chick sometimes. Before I know it I have crossed over into the Terrible Twos, do it myself!, you'renotthebossofme! zone. Even when I have painted myself into a corner I have been known to set my jaw and enter into an epic staredown that would frighten off Super Nanny and send every last one of the Avengers running for their lily-livered lives. I learned young to access my warrior facet. This is not part of my charm. I have learned better how to choose battle-worthy topics and situations. Things roll more easily off my shoulders without becoming snagged on the chip embedded there. I have learned the lessons of apology and forgiveness and extending benefit of the doubt. I do know for certain I am not the center of the universe. I can thank my sons and motherhood in general for teaching me this most essential lesson. But sometimes I fail. Paradoxically, when I fail in a big way, it is with the matters that are most dear to me. I am a work in progress. I am much better at getting out of my own way and allowing things to unfold as they will and to shut off my overthink tendencies. So to one person in particular this morning, I'm sorry for being an idiot.

Some Mornings... just have to drink your coffee from the blue and white cup with the bird on it. This morning was such a morning.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Good Life

In the fall of 1999 I attended a lecture at South Dakota State University and found myself in the same room as a legendary woman. When Dr. Maya Angelou entered from stage right I was astonished at how tall she was. From the balcony her six feet of height seemed even taller. Even though she depended on a cane to stabilize her gait she carried herself in a regal and confident manner. And the voice. Clear. Precise. Riveting. A writer, actress, educator and activist. And I was sitting in the front row of the balcony completely enraptured by her stories. I was saddened to learn that she died this morning. She has left for us a legacy of words in books and poetry and plays that will continue to touch the lives and minds of so many. These words in particular are in my head tonight:

Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.

Indeed it does, Dr. Angelou, indeed it does.

Birthday Boy

Twenty-two years ago today, much later today, just before midnight in fact, I made your acquaintance for the very first time. I remain convinced that we are twins born thirty-five years apart. I enter as evidence the above photo of Reid in second grade and me in third grade. A most festivous natal day to you, my beamish boy. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Dear Mom

Four years ago today you left this Earth. But I still feel your presence sometimes. Like when I look at my feet. Seems odd but my feet have always been miniatures of yours and my bunions that appeared by the time I was five years old remind me of you. I wear your silver bracelet often. I'm actually wearing it right now. I love how it takes on the warmth from my skin and seems to mold to the curve of my wrist. I kept one of your nightgowns and it is folded neatly in my pajamas drawer. I will probably never wear it but I like knowing that it's there. Some of your ashes reside on the second shelf of the middle bookcase in the family room in the Edna Valley chardonnay bottle. Also displayed there are photos of you and a rosemaled wooden dipper. I wish I could have been there for you more the last few years of your life. I don't know that it would have made any difference but I remain grateful to Martine and her devotion to you and the time and help she so willingly gave. I'm certain she was a much better daughter than I would have been. The mother/daughter relationship is a complex and often difficult one, interlaced with many emotions. We weathered some mighty tempests, you and I, but I believe we came to an understanding in the end. My wish for you now is that you are in a better and happier place than the one you left behind. You live on in the hearts of many in a larger-than-life way. And it feels as though you have stealthily breezed through the room whenever I catch the scent of Estee Lauder perfume in the air. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Tummies Here

When you must open a bottle of wine to make dinner, I always say you should use a drinkable one. Garlic lime chicken requires a slightly sweet white wine so tonight I used Blufeld Riesling. On the side we have steamed broccoli and basmati rice simmered with onion in chicken broth. As I am fond of saying, I enjoy cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food. And this evening I did just that. I also put some in the cook. Which was me. But I waited to quaff until I was finished with the sharp knife portion of the prep. Safety first.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Towel Day Magic

So Effing Right, Mr. Adams

"Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all." Douglas Adams

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The First Time Around

Good lord they were young! It is January of 1955, children, and these very attractive people are my parents. About to tie the knot they were. They would do this again in 1980 only to get divorced a second time. In between they would have four children and live in six states at numerous addresses. I expect they hadn't a clue at this point what they would put each other through before they gave up on each other entirely. This is how I like to remember them. The calm before the storm.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Holy Guacamole!

This short is just so darn clever. As far as I can see, the only flaw is that there is no garlic in this guac. Maybe because there is no game piece or ball that resembles a head of garlic. But cloves of garlic look a little like tiny boomerangs. If you squint and look sideways. Maybe not. 

Single Sentence Post

After looking back at this post and noting the captions of the last two photos, I can only say that I regret I did not see plants or birds bearing the names Ted, Marshall and Barney when I made the rounds of my awakening yard last week. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Reading is Sexy Part Deux

All I can say is, if everyone followed the instructions from Mr. Waters, there would probably be no need for birth control.

Sunday, May 18, 2014


Baby ferns!

Edgar wishes the lamiastrum would fill in already. He's shy.




Like Mother, Like Son

Reid cracks me up. It's when he does things like this that I know he is, indeed, my child.

I Want Patience and I Want it Now!

Well. I always was a rip-the-band-aid-off and get it over with kind of girl. Slow and agonizing just isn't my style. Neither is the suffering in silence approach while I try to hold it all in. Despite my Norwegian half I'm not much of a stoic. The crazed Scots/Cajun side seems to rule every time. I truly do wish I was capable of a happier medium, less extreme way of going about things. There are many shades of temperament betwixt the far ends of any spectrum. Rationally I know this. But emotionally there is an immediacy that demands expression. I know from experience that this does not always go well. But often my frank and open nature is admired and appreciated by the people around me. I'd rather be easy on you. In the end it would be a whole lot easier on me as well. When Frank Costanza flails his arms and shouts out serenity, now! I totally get it.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Calling Madame Babushka

In high school I was the go-to actress in the drama club for any sort of skit. I was bound, of course, by school rules. Meaning I was expected to refrain from using foul language and the wearing of risque costumes. I also had to be careful about extemporaneous use of god references and inappropriate gestures. Meaning that my creative nature was squashed down into a teeny, tiny box. They seriously cramped my writing and performance style. I still managed to have fun despite these drastic limitations. Scrawled on the back of the photo is a note identifying this gypsy-reading-a-basketball* character as being invoked in a campaign skit for a classmate who was running for student council president. I don't remember if she won. 

*I remember it being a basketball, but the son has remarked that it doesn't bear the characteristic markings of a basketball. So maybe it's a balloon. Or one of those red bouncy balls that were used in the PE class ritualistic punishment called dodgeball. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ignorance is Bliss Dept.

Social media is such a weird thing. I know something now that I didn't know ten minutes ago. And I have no way of knowing how significant this development is. It's really none of my business. Except that it's everybody's business given the venue. So. I'm going to breathe. And not freak out. Because eventually I will know what this all means. With any luck, in the immortal words of Mr. Natural, don't mean shit will be the answer.


Looking forward to a day of strapping on my wrist braces and grippy gloves to haul some ungainly pieces of furniture out to the garage. With the son's help, naturally. He also gets to mow the lawn. He is not particularly cheerful about this day's activities. I say to him, it's all about pacing and being careful and avoiding injury. If I'm not whining, you don't get to either. He replies, there is no transitive property of whining. I give him the mom-look. He has had his rant, I have given a scolding. It's so odd how we understand each other. Mother and son d├ętente has been achieved early today.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Reading is Sexy

This quote, attributed to Janis Ian, has been making the rounds on Facebook. Interestingly enough, I met a most intriguing man at a Barnes & Noble just last month. I had already bought the book I was perusing but he bought drinks and food later. I have to say things worked out in everyone's favor. I'm reblogging because I am in full support of this becoming a cultural norm.

And this little gem from John Waters. I don't know about you, but as far as I'm concerned, books have always been cool. And intelligent, well-read men can be very sexy indeed. Don't get me started on writers.

Eleven Things I Really Like About You

1. You love your kids, probably more than anything else in the world.

2. You bake oatmeal scotchie cookies.

3. You open the car door for me. Without fail. Every single time.

4. You list these four things as Professional Skills... Humor. Kissing. Sarcasm. Writing.

5. You don't just wait for your turn to talk, you listen.

6. You are incredibly sexy in all your rumpled splendor.

7. You own what you are.

8. Your gorgeous, extremely blue eyes.

9. In reference to #4, that you are most excellent at all four of your listed Professional Skills.

10. Your irresistible blend of fearlessness, kindness, candor, intelligence and warmth.

11. Your fish hook tattoo.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Daughters of My Heart

The way it worked out is that I gave birth to boys. Who have grown up into very wonderful young men. And it's not that it wasn't enough to mother sons, I never really felt as though something was missing due to the fact that I didn't produce a girlchild. There was no let's have another baby so we can give having a girl one more shot. So I must have known deep down that eventually I would have daughters of a sort. And it ends up that I have Michael and Reid to thank for bringing this miracle about. I call them the daughters of my heart. I had nothing to do with their births or upbringings. They came into my life all grown up and fully themselves and I am so grateful for their friendship. I hesitate to mention any by name for fear I will leave someone out! But I must name my dear daughter-in-law Liz who I have had the pleasure of calling my Darling Dilly for three years now. And AndiBean and Andrea and Brittney. Then there are my friends who generously share the company of their daughters with me. And a couple of wonderful nieces who are now mothers themselves. I feel so very blessed to have so many smart, beautiful and talented young women in my life. They bring me gifts of laughter and youthful energy and trust me with their burdens and sometimes ask for my advice. So on this Mother's Day when motherhood is lauded I'm turning the tables a bit and praising the daughters of my heart. Never doubt that your Mama C loves you. So happy that you are a part of my life.

MomDay in Photos

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Doldrums Diversion

It's feeling chilly and I can't quite say why. Maybe it's just my brain rushing to fill in the (imagined?) gaps. Though I know it's neither fair nor reasonable to fill in gaps, imagined or actual, with my experiences based on other men. Other men. Other men relegated to the past for good reason. Maybe it's just that the glow has faded from three weeks ago. Driving for three hours through sleet on roads heaped with rutted slush was nerve-wracking to be sure. But upon arrival at my destination the rain stopped and the sun broke through the clouds. An accurate weather report as well as an accurate metaphor describing the next few hours. So pardon me while I drag my dragging ass out to the garage. Where I shall sweep and clean and organize away the dregs that winter left behind. And hope that the physical activity has a similar effect on the emotional and spiritual ennui I am steeped in.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

This Week, This Month

After years of short shrift, at last this most neglected portion of the human feminine anatomy not only gets its day, it gets its own entire week. It can be no coincidence that we celebrate such a week during this month. While I won't comment on whether mine is getting the attention it needs, I am happy to report that it is most indeed fully functional. For which I am grateful. That is all. Go back to what you were doing. Celebrate May in a way you find most fitting.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Best Wedding Ever

Please meet my friends Stephanie and Chris. Today they are celebrating their first wedding anniversary. Which means that one year ago they were throwing simply the best wedding ever. I have never before attended nuptials where the guests passed by the bar on the way in and were offered a drink. I know, right? I said yes to a Blue Moon Belgian White and seated myself. It seems the bride and groom availed themselves in the beverage department as well. Drinking a toast to yourselves. Right away. The guests lifted their glasses right along with them. What fun!

Don't even begin to think that Steph and Chris went the way of your standard wedding vows. Instead they told the story of how they met and fell in love. When Girl lives in The States and Boy lives in Wales and they defy the odds against their meeting at all by finding each other in a chat room on a favorite band's website, this is the stuff movies are made of. I don't know about you, but it makes me believe in romance and grand gestures and leaps of faith all over again. Oh, and that's their friend Scott officiating. 

The newly married couple making their way down the aisle. Now it's time for food and more beer and dancing. 

And there is no dancing quite like the dancing that is danced in matching shoes. Matching shoes! My heart flutters.

When you kiss under a stuffed boar's head in a medieval-themed local bar, I would say that you are destined for a long and happy life together. In summary, the best wedding ever is defined by adult beverages available for consumption during the ceremony, matching shoes for the Bride and Groom, and a sense of fun and joy that uplifts what is also a solemn occasion. Oh. One more little thing. When I feel a bit jaded about the possibilities of finding love again myself, Steph and Chris's experience reminds me that it does happen. I wish them the happiest of anniversaries with many more to come.

Scuridae Morbiditus

There is a dead squirrel in my back yard. It lies just off the corner of the deck in plain view from the patio door. The cats continue to watch it despite the fact that it has not moved in over twenty-four hours. I am grateful for three things as far as this dead squirrel is concerned. Firstly, that it is not a skunk. Secondly, that the weather is cool so it does not swell and fester and possibly explode. Thirdly and finally, that tomorrow is garbage day.

ILY Audrey Hepburn

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Open Letter to Mother Nature

Pleeeeaaaaase say that flannel jammies season is over! Give us a sign! Like, say, an overnight temp in the 60's? I would appreciate it so very much.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Sans Pantalon!

Welcome to National No Pants Day. This day is celebrated on the first Friday in May. Please mark your calendars accordingly. I am pleased to report that I have been in compliance since midnight.


Thinking of you warms my heart, feeds my soul and makes me feel less alone.

Can't Sleep

The thing is, I'm not testing you. I'm not throwing shit at you to see what sticks and what doesn't. If I want to know something, I'll ask you directly. What I'm feeling right now is a little overwhelming and I don't know what to do with all of it. My thought process is a little convoluted at times so it may seem like I am, but I'm not into playing games. Sometimes I'm like a dog with a bone. I worry away at a thing for hours before I can let it go and bury it. But that's no guarantee I won't dig it up again and worry away at it some more. I'm a complex, work-in-progress human. Generally I don't make the same mistake twice. Where's the fun in that. Did I have a point? Oh, yeah. I wouldn't be a very good Buddhist because I have a tendency to throw myself headlong into things one hundred percent. I don't hold back. I can be stubborn and demanding and sometimes moody. But there's so much good stuff here, too. When I care, I care deeply. I'm working on patience, that most elusive of virtues, it comes more easily to me now. It's my nature to be generous and open and not judge. I'm funny and passionate and creative, sometimes all at the same time. Like I told you, I'm not easy. But I'm worth the effort. All I want is the time to discover you completely, whenever that happens.

Thursday, May 1, 2014