Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ho Ho Ho!

I leaave on my fabulous Caribbean vacation Friday.  Was hoping to post pictures of me pool side, drink in hand (slathered in sunscreen) but it turns out that one is required to donate a pint of blood every time one wishes to access the internet on board this particular cruise line, so sadly, those posts will have to wait a week.

Thus, this is my last pre-Christmas post, so wishing you all a VERY VERY VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Leaning in

I ran with my bestest running buddy this morning.  This is always good catch up time (her kids, my kids, her job, my job, life, etc.) and of course the topic turned to the recent tragedy.  "Ugh," she said "I told everyone not to talk to me about it, I turned the television off, I'm not reading all the posts, I just can't deal."  I think this is not an uncommon reaction.  Especially today, as the names of the victims are posted on the front page of the New York Times, and the fact that the kids were all 6 and 7 is unavoidable etched in black and white.   You start to think about it, and read the details, and it very quickly gets to be too much, so you just stop thinking about it altogether.  Everyone deals in different ways, but I have to wonder if insulating yourself from it is "dealing."  Can avoiding be a real form of dealing?  I have no idea.

A few weeks ago I was with another friend, who was telling me about her horse, and an issue he's having with his neck.  She has a chiropractor who is working with the animal to try to sort it out.  Her horse gets horsie-massage to try to loosen the tightness up.  She said the the horse really seems to like it and that when the chiropractor really starts digging around in there that the horse leans in to it, as if he knows that it's a helpful kind of a hurt. 

My thought (today), is that on some level, we have to lean in to things that hurt in order to work them out.  Both individually and as a community.  I too, am avoiding the Facebook posts.  Gun control, mental health resources, security....everyone has, on some level, a valid opinion.  The right answer must be in the sum of the parts somewhere.  I don't know what it is. 

This woman's blog post, though, about her own challenges with her son who has a mental illness, was both heartbreaking and insightful and worth reading (if you're in the mood for leaning in, that is):

Friday, December 14, 2012


How do we avoid these horrible tragedies? 

It's one thing to take your own life, it's another to take a whole bus load of innocent children with you.

So hard to wrap your head around it. 

Some kids at the school my kids attend created a video for an anti bullying contest.  It's sweet, but some of the other videos that were submitted really tear you up.

The video they created is here:

If you select submission gallery, you can see the rest.

Fun with scalpels

I got to hang out with the orthopaedic surgeons today.  Kind of fun!

Scrubs are not that flattering, so I realized how SKINNY the Grey's Anatomy actors have to be in real life.  Hmmmpf!

Thursday, December 13, 2012


I think I've mentioned that my daughter was accepted into college.  I wrote the deposit check yesterday.  It's a done deal.  This prompted me to say the words to her (that I do not say nearly enough) "I'm SO proud of you!"   Because truly, I am.  I assumed she would get in, but that shouldn't mitigate the accomplishment. 

I realized the other day that I have achieved an amazing milestone.  My daughter appears to some degree, how hard it is for me to be her mother. 

I chose those words carefully.  Because, it's not just that it's hard to be a mother, or hard to be her mother, but it's the combination of those two things that takes the real effort.

For you visual thinkers, the Venn diagram would consist of a circle on the left called "Just getting through the day with my own self created bullshit" and the circle on the right would be called "Motherhood" and the very tiny sliver in the middle would be the sweet spot.

This, of course, makes me appreciate my own mother more.  (Which I didn't think was possible because my mother is pretty phenomenal.)

She sends me pictures like this after she has decorated for Christmas:

And she sends me emails like this one today (a group email, obviously, in which I was included:

I had to send you all this. We just noticed an eagle off Weeks wetland who had just caught a large duck with quite a bit of white -- probably a bufflehead, but it was pretty big (could it have been a goldeneye?) Anyway, it was too heavy for him to lift off again, so we watched him "swim" it over to shore, where he is now feasting (with his mate on a nearby post waiting his or her turn.) Feathers everywhere. Just quick I-phone pics and the cropped one is pretty blurry (wish you and your camera had been nearby, Peter!) but hopefully you can get the idea. It was pretty amazing to watch the eagle doing the breaststroke with its wings! It had to stop a couple of times to rest, but finally made it.
Just a typical morning on Fisherman Bay!

Have a good day, everyone!

Accompanied by this photo:

See the eagle in the water there, just about the edge of the roof???

I am convinced that birds everywhere (or at least in this remote corner of the world) are better off because my mother is out there keeping an eye on everything.  Her own flock doesn't require quite as much tending any she has time to devote to this local feathered one.

And that's what mothers do.  We try to notice the unusual and amazing things our children do....we do our best to capture it with whatever tools we have at our disposal, and then we share it, with pride, with anyone who will listen.  That's the stuff in the sweet spot. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Holiday Stress

The only less restful thing than preparing for the holiday is preparing to TRAVEL for the holiday. HOLY CRAP:

Decisions I have to make (because I am a crazy person):

How many people do I put on payroll as a back up in case the dog sitter (who is not actually sitting, but who will have to come to the house twice a day to feed/water/pee) doesn't show??? Do I put my sister in law AND the neighbor girls? Or just the neighbor girls? Do I tell the dog sitter that I've hired back up because I don't want him to be surprised or offended or don't I, in case he decides "eff it, the neighbor girls are doing it anyway?"

Since we won't be home on Xmas, and we can't pack presents in our luggage, I still feel like I need to do SOMETHING to mark the occasion, so I have packed stockings (though not our real ones, because god forbid we lose those) so I have "stand in" stockings (and 3m hooks, because otherwise how would we hang them in our room.  Seriously, this is the level of minutea that clogs my brain on a daily basis.) what do I now buy to go in the stockings? Little things, but not food, because the luggage may end up in the hot sun waiting for us, but something that is "trip related" so it is meaningful, but I also don't want to spend MORE money than I already have, but I don't want to pack cheesy stupid crap.  Can I just fill them with sunscreen and Dramamine?  Too impersonal? 

What the EFF does one wear on a cruise? I have the evenings nailed down (two full length gowns, 10 cocktail dresses and two suits and two tuxedos later (yes, seriously, and the requisite footwear).....) but considering the decreasing free space in my suitcase (oh because I also bought Santa hats for everyone because how awesome will it be to take a family photo on the BEACH on Christmas in our Santa hats (only I had to buy one for EVERYONE, so now I'm packing 10 Santa hats in my suitcase) do I pack shorts? I'm so fat nothing fits, so I don't have any cute capris or anything, (plus I hate capris) so do I just pack jeans? My bathing suit doesn't fit, I haven't shaved north of my knees in so long I'm afraid to look, and I have a black toenail that is falling off (thank you running....I can't seem to lose weight with all these miles but I'm really going through the toenails!)  It's going to be unavoidably warm in the Caribbean. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.......

I took boxes to the UPS store to mail for Xmas today, and collectively, the cost to pack and mail exceeded the value of the gifts (not really, but almost) so of course now I'm driving around town with a trunk full of denial that I don't know how to pack and ship but need to figure out a plan for before, what....tomorrow?

I need a Valium.

Friday, December 7, 2012

An oldie but a goodie

As I mentioned, I rarely go back and look at my own blog posts.  This will become a problem with encroaching senility, and I may begin to subject you all to the same post over and over again because I just THINK it's original when it's not.

However, being reminded about this one, I re-read it, and, gratifyingly, it's all still true.  (Both about my characterization, and the friend I use as the example).

So, here's to ALL of the trophy wives I know.  Again!

Had lunch with my friend Jen today. Sometimes I talk and she listens, sometimes she talks, and I listen and sometimes, like today, we both talk at the same time, which seems to work for us, but probably drives people around us completely W*I*L*D. (And that's fine...go eat your tuna salad sandwich somewhere else then!)

She too, needs another wife in her life, to help her maintain the myriad commitments on her plate and that got me thinking about the whole concept of Trophy Wives. (I refer you to wikipedia if you must brush up on the term...

I'd like to refute the blonde bombshell/big boobed hanger-on image of yore, however, and suggest a more relevant conceptualization.  Not to date myself, but I think that a true trophy wife can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and .......well, if you know the reference, then you know the rest.

For example, take my friend Jen.

Jen is smart (and not just, "let me help you with your Algebra homework, honey" smart...she is PhD- tada....your mice now have an extra chromosome and i've taught them how to knit-kind of smart) and funny (blow soda out of my nose - question my standards of continence laughing at her kind of funny) and kind (stays up til 4 a.m. crafting a homemade Scooby Doo cake for her 4 year old kid kind).

Moreover, she holds down a big time, stressful, required 4 years of post-bac, 7 years of apprenticeship training kind of a job where she saves people's lives and gets to say pithy things like "yeah, that patient was in DKA and the frigging intern had her set for discharge" that make the rest of us mortals go "oooh" and "aaaaah" and prompted me to list her as my #1 emergency contact in case I have a heart attack or get a splinter or something.

So, in addition to her crazy, time consuming, life force sucking career, she is this cuddly mommy person to her children.  She buys her own groceries and washes everyone's clothes and cooks things from scratch. She squeezes in the occasional date night with her hubby (with whom she still really likes to hang out). She spends her few free weekends digging holes for new plants in her yard, and carting her kids to sporting events, or holding down the fort so that her husband can do the same.

She reads, and writes, and stays abreast of current events. She swims and she runs (not because she's being chased, but because the thought of running 26.2 again is always just slightly on the periphery of her potential radar) and she has gaggles of friends over for cookouts and girl's nights.

Is she nuts? You bet! Over committed? Duh! Does she need an au-pair or a Mary Poppins in her life? Hell yes! But she's normal, and nice, and not a bitch, and does all these things, for all these people without ever making me feel like I'm inferior. She can laugh at me and then turn around and laugh at herself in the same breath, singlehandedly validating and destroying both of our neuroses in one fell swoop.

It is THIS woman, and so many more just like her that I know, who is the TRUE trophy wife. This isn't one of those cheesy gold painted plastic trophies that ends up on a shelf. No, this is the sterling silver cup that ends up being your favorite Pilsner mug.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


My youngest, at age 7(ish)

My youngest, at age 13

My youngest last Saturday, a week before his 16th birthday

I love this kid more than air.  He is the nicest, smartest, funniest boy I have ever met.  How lucky am I?  It's amazing. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

The beauty of blogging

(to finish a conversation I started this weekend....)

The beauty of blogging is that you don't HAVE to DO anything in any particular way!

It's like an etch-a-sketch.  You draw something.  Everyone gets to look at it.  You can change your mind, shake it up, draw it again.

I have a LOT of blog posts that I've started and never finished.  They're all just benignly blinking at me from the post "queue" every time I log in.

I write to think.  It's how I personally process things.  If the 5 of you dedicated followers drifted off and never read my posts again, I don't think it would impact my desire to write at all.  I do it for me, not any of you.

HOWEVER, there is something about the possibility of an audience, that makes me think it through a little more than I would otherwise, I suspect.  I take the time to check spelling and grammar.

There is no wrong or right way to blog.  Just write something, or take a photo and begin posting.  That's it!  It slowly takes on a life of its own.  Or not.  I've amazed, sometimes, to realize that I've now been blogging for years.  It has just become a habitual outlet that I enjoy, so the desire to keep it up is completely and totally selfish.  I feel no pressure, I have to agenda.

There are a number of platforms.  I found this one a little confusing, and I've tweaked it a bit over the years.  If I were interested in really getting it "out there" I'd probably tweak a little more, create some widgets, blah blah blah.   Being fairly non-techie, though, this tool was fairly intuitive.

So.  Just start.  That's it!  Just start.