...random thoughts, opinions and secrets on children... aging... cooking... crafts... nature...divorce...second chances...
and whatever else I deem curious...
~Copyright 2017. Hootie~

Monday, May 26, 2008

A Good Nap...in my napping place...

Power napping is a great pick-me-up for most mom's. It seems like our days are never ending. We work 24/7, regardless of what we do or how old our children get. When you become a mom there is an unwritten requirement that says you must now be available to all every second of your life. Thanks to technology, we are too! Just yesterday I received a phone call from my youngest telling me she was walking home from her friend's house. Good information to know, but...the friend lives about 15 houses away, in our neighborhood, and my kid was gone a whole total of maybe 10 minutes.

My goal in life is not to be a "helicopter" parent. I do love my kids and I enjoy doing things for them and with them, but I DO NOT want to be tied to them forever at the hip! I enjoy a little time to myself now and then. I want them to grow, flourish and be secure, independent souls. They have my permission. I still long for those days my husband and I had when we were first married: picnics, movies, adventures with just him and me...and the S** word too. Uninterrupted S** word time.  

But, for now I am still very much "on call".  So, I power nap when I need it.  Unlike my cat, I cannot sleep just anywhere.  I need to climb onto the couch and shut my eyes for my nap.  I listen to classical music and drift off.   

A solid 15 minutes on a nice comfortable spot can make a world of difference for everyone.  I bet if you tried it for a week you'd be hooked and agree too.  

Jack's napping place.  I think he's dreaming of catnip, watching the birds and food.  

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Imelda Marcos, Erma Bombeck and Martha Stewart...who is your twin?

I have heard that each of us has a twin somewhere in the world. What do these three names have in common? For one thing they are all interesting ladies. For another thing, they remind me of ladies I know...

Imelda was born into a family with humble beginnings. She became a beauty queen and an educated lady then, later the first woman of her country. But what do we recall when we hear her name? Shoes. What a collection she had! She did her part to help out the economy.

Erma was a humorist and great writer. I remember my parents introducing me to her writings...probably in Reader's Digests or other periodicals. I don't remember for whom Erma wrote. I do recall owning some of her books though and watching a sitcom titled after one of them, The Grass is Always Greener, and a movie after another, Please Don't Eat the Daisies. I enjoyed her work because I felt it was insightful and made me feel more adult-like. Such wisdom, I agreed with it and understood it! She made me happy when I read what she wrote.

Martha, minus the jailbird stuff, is able to take common things and transform them into beauty. She is crafty, confident, a sweet knowledgeable how-to-do-something resource, incredible cook and someone who rarely sleeps.

Do you know who you remind someone of? I wonder what my unrelated twin is like.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Flowers, a Fairy Door...and Breakfast

Mother's Day in my household is usually very similar to every other day. My children are teenagers and not parents, thank goodness, so they don't truly understand what it means to be a mom or a dad. I am NOT my husbands mother either. He and I have never celebrated any holiday by showering the other with gifts. For one thing, all our money is just that...our money. So buying a gift just spends our money. Which is fine, but not necessary to show the other that we love and care about them.

We try to celebrate Mother's and Father's Day by having our children focus on thinking of that particular parent. And to have them spend their money...not ours. Neither of my teenagers have jobs, therefore, my expectations are realistic. Typically I receive homemade cards, which I prefer over store bought ones, from them...it makes them think and put forth some effort. Sometimes the cards I receive are elaborate, other times they are very simple. For me, a perfect Mother's Day is just being able to be with my family: no arguments (tough for a teen to do) and no major plans.

This year I received the above treasures. On Saturday, My daughter went back to her former elementary school for a festival they were having and she bought me a Mayapple. Technically she used my money, she was suppose to run with me in the previously mentioned Cancer Challenge but found herself torn between being with her friends and being with me. I told her choosing her friends was a good choice but she would need to make sure she spent money at the festival, not just hang out. She did spend the money I sent with her. She brought home the Mayapple, planted it in an old flower pot (that she painted from years past) and made me a card. Perfect!

After my run, my son and I went to B&N for a book fair his Science Olympiad team was benefiting from. As we were ready to purchase our books, and my son knows I LOVE books, he looked at me and questioned if there was anything he could get me for Mother's Day. Now, I know his cash flow is non-existent. I said he could take one of the books I was purchasing, have his teammates wrap it, donate a few bucks their way and that would be great. He didn't like my idea...he obviously wanted to make the total purchase himself. Later that day, my son asked his dad to take him shopping. The flowers in the vase are from him. Another perfect gift! I so rarely get flowers! Very thoughtful and within his budget.

The Fairy Door is something my husband found and the kids gave me. It is way cool! It will adorn our new house, which is in the woods, very near where the fairies and gnomes reside. The door can be hung outside or in and meant to welcome wee visitors. I can't wait to move!
On Monday morning, I dined with four friends on a post-Mother's Day breakfast. Only mom's were invited for a reason. I enjoy all my friends company but wanted to pamper these ladies because they are great mom's and I suspect their households are a lot like mine - usually they are taken for granted. Our being taken for granted isn't a bad thing, we all have the same understanding...our kids are kids and we aren't our husbands mother! I wanted a morning where we could all celebrate ourselves. So we did! I set the table with my special china and best silver. We drank and ate: mimosas, coffee, cinnamon scones, fruit and an egg casserole, and chatted the whole time. I had made miniature carrot cake cupcakes, but forgot to get those out! It was so nice to be able to share the morning with other mom's I admire. I enjoyed my Monday so much that I hope to make it an annual event.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My 100th Post!

Flowers are so symbolic. They represent hope and new life each year as they spring forth from from the ground or brown branches.

I love flowers of all kinds, but Lilacs hold a special place in my heart. When I was very young we had a few huge lilac bushes next to our house in Miller. I remember sitting on the ground with my best girl friend, Mary Ellen Warren, and stringing the flowers from lilacs and making our own leis. The leis were of various sizes and we'd place them around our necks, on our heads, on the cat, on our dolls and hang them around the yard. We'd dance around pretending to be fairies from the woods sparking new life where we'd go.

When I moved into my current house, my FIL gave me a stick with roots stuck in a bucket of water. He was given a lilac starter, for me, from one of his neighbors! I pampered that stick! I fed it root stimulator and then fertilizer. I discovered that lilacs need to be trimmed only just after they have bloomed...if you trim them in the fall you will clip off all the buds of next springs flowers. Each spring I would patiently wait to see the blooms of my labor, and to smell their intoxicating sweetness. This year I had more then enough blooms to clip and bring inside my house.

Each day my lilacs bloom I confess, I step outside and nuzzle my nose into those tiny purple blossoms. I close my eyes as I inhale and picture a little girl dancing around the yard with flowers on her head.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Challenges..."Don't Quit!" Attitudes

My gym shoes have a new look!

My red laces show my tie to cancer. This weekend, on Saturday, I will run/walk a 5K with my daughter. It is the first Coach Hep Indiana Cancer Challenge here in Bloomington. Here's the link: http://www.coachhepcancerchallenge.org/index.html

from the website: "IU Football Coach Terry Hoeppner faced every obstacle, even brain cancer, with a positive, "Don't Quit" attitude.

Help us as we apply Coach Hep's determined optimism to funding cancer research and treatment right here in Indiana. Sign up now for the first annual Coach Hep Indiana Cancer Challenge on Saturday, May 10 in Bloomington, Indiana.

You can run, walk or ride a bike. And when you register, you'll be helping to support the IU Simon Cancer Center and Olcott Center for Cancer Education.

If you can’t participate in a Challenge event, help out in another way. Donate online, volunteer or become a sponsor."

Having personal experience with a loss due to brain cancer, I know how much - or really, how little - is known in this field. Helping fund cancer research is a small thing I can do to help make a difference.

I'll run/walk because my mom can't. Maybe my few dollars donated to research can find ways to help others beat GBM.


Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Game...R U a player?

It's a control thing.  

'I don't care' is the attitude that wins.  If there is a winner.  

What matters to you?  Do you care?  Do you really care about others?  Or do you only care about the bubble of space that surrounds you?  Do you expect others to tell you how wonderful you are?  When was the last time that you really listened to someone else and told them you were happy for them and really meant it?  What are you proud of?  What defines you as a person?  What do you touch with your life?    

"God only gives them to you for a little while."  I heard this saying out of frustration many times about my own children.  It was my mom's way of telling me not to get too attached.    

My mom was a manipulator.  She made me feel like I was a worthless individual.  Don't get me wrong, I do think she loved me and I know in the end that she did...if I really believe she knew I was with her at the end of her life here on Earth.   But she took every opportunity to "put me in my place".    My dad died in the summer of 1985.  I spent my days watching my sister, who was five and my nights working at a drive-in restaurant.  My mom worked days, as did my brother, and then they were home at night to watch the baby.  What did I do during the days?  Well, I was a 21 year old free baby sitter.  We played, went to the pool, hung out, napped, sun bathed, kept the house, got dinner ready...

My mother's depression and jealousy got the best of her before I went back to school that fall.  By the end of the summer I was told I was hated because I was (1) thin, (2) tan, and (3) looked like my father.  Those comments went straight to my heart...I was grieving too.  My catholic guilt and my mothers comments and thoughts went so deep into my soul that I still can't release them.  My mom reinforced her thoughts with her actions and comments consistently over the years.  

She made me feel guilty for going off to college - something she never had the opportunity to do.  I felt so guilty in fact, that I didn't want to make her feel bad about her not going to college and I skipped my graduation ceremonies.  My MIL insisted on having a little party for me...which my mom attended.  

Growing up I attended so many family weddings that it was common knowledge that as a girl, your wedding party MUST include all of your family.  When my sister got married, both my brother and I were not included.  My daughter was, but that was it.  A hair appointment was even scheduled for her and I was expected to bring her to it...but no appointment for me.  My mom had only one child.   I was a second class citizen, scum of the earth, how dare I not bow at her feet?  Which brings me to the game.  

The game is this:  Who can go the longest without calling?  

As the "matriarch" my brother and I were expected to always make the call.  It was to go on our phone bill - no free minutes at that time.  We were expected to call and listen to what was going on in the lives of those we moved away from.  Barely were we asked what was going on with us.  And rarely were we remembered outside of our birthdays...there was an unwritten rule that we would be called on that day out of obligation.  

Sometimes as much as six weeks could go by without my mom calling either of us.  My brother and I kept in touch.  We knew how long it was between each others calls.  Usually I would give in and make the call.  I wasn't as strong as my brother in that regard.  Almost always it was the same response too, "Oh, I was just getting ready to call you."  Yeah, right.  

And when the rare times came that our mother would call us...she always sounded the same there too...depressed and or sick.  Whoa-is-me sounding.  Disappointed sounding that we were enjoying life and being successful.  Gosh, God didn't give us to her forever.  We grew to be incredible adults and she was a part of it...the early years...but she couldn't celebrate us, the fine adults we became.  We were not her carbon copies.  She failed in that regard with her first two, but found success in her third.  

Don't be fooled, #3...you are so much like her.  It's not really your fault though.  You just weren't given the opportunity to spread your wings and fly solo until just recently.  You were never pushed out of the nest.    Maybe you'll become your own person...free of her negativeness...time will tell.  You have some work to do though because some of the things you've done in the past few years are hard to get over.  #1 and #2 will try to remember that you are a product of your environment.  Unfortunately you'll get little sympathy from us...products of OUR environment.    

I do have wonderful memories of my mom.  There were incredible, giving things she did.  She was so beautiful and capable, inside and out.  But I have hurtful memories too.  If I only had those good memories I don't think I would be the person that I am today.  I am sorry for my mom that she never had the opportunity to rejoice in the good of the first two people she raised.  No one is perfect...but we are really good!  

My goal as a parent is to NOT play the phone, or any soul hurting game with my children.  In life though, I think we all are players in one way or another.  

Winning The Game...

Mom's last call:  Click on the link on left side of blog to hear. Deleted: Only on my phone now...

Once a month or so I get a reminder on my cell phone that I have an old message.  I can pretend that she is making the last call once again, and that I won.  

Truthfully, it wasn't much longer after this call before the brain cancer really set in and I was unsure if she remembered who I was.  It is so nice to actually hear her say she loves me.  Kind of weird, I know.  Validation.  It's what I needed from her.  

The tears flow freely now... I still miss her.  

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Wasn't going to go...but...

Well, I wasn't going to go to the Barack Obama rally that happened last night here in town.  I was all set to listen on-line to the live speech.  Then, 6:20pm rolled around, my son was pretty much done with his homework and his friend called and said, "Are we going?"  

By 7pm  the boys and I were in the hall, seated and into the moment.  Senator Obama's speech was suppose to be at 8:30.  At first I thought maybe I would be the odd man out as a still slightly skeptical voter sitting there ready to hear what the Senator had to say.  I was surprised how much like me the folks around me seemed to be.  I think all the fanatical folks were really down close...they had been waiting for hours for their spots.  The more realistic, thinkers didn't care where they sat.  We were there to HEAR the words and be in the moment.  

Truly it is time for a change.  I don't know how anyone could listen to Senator Obama and NOT feel like he connects with you.  He definitely oozes hope.  I like that.