Friday, October 29, 2010

A Change in the Music

My youngest son recently decided to change my name without telling me. 

My name, of course, for the last eleven years of his life has been "Mommy". 

He now calls me "Mom". 

I realize that he is getting older, and it is probably TIME.

But, it just sounds so . . . WEIRD.

Partly, because he speaks it very quick and short, much like an 8th note in music -
barely enunciating the "o", as in . . ."mm",
   versus a quarter note, including the "o", as in . . . "mom" .

I'm not sure WHY he says it like that.

Maybe he thinks if he says it quickly, I won't notice the change.

If that were the case, however, you would think he would say "mo-om",
   to make up for the second syllable, as a musical half note would.   

Maybe I will start saying his name like an eighth note, as well. 

I will call him "Sm", instead of "Sam".

He probably won't notice, but it will fun finding out.    



I'm doin' a silly celebration dance!

Why? It's plain to see.

25 viewers, I now have on my blog.

On my journey to . . . "Becoming Me" !

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween Haikus

HAIKU - a major form of Japanese verse, written in 17 syllables divided into 3 lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables,
and employing highly evocative allusions and comparisons, often on the subject of  nature or one of      the seasons. (


Aliens, monsters,

and vampires, oh my! Watch out,

all you princesses.

Cold, wet, runny nose

I can't feel my toes.  Must fill

bag with more candy.   

Darkness sneaks in, Ghouls

creep in, knocking on soul's doors.

Craving sweet candy.   

Darkness falls. Moonbeams

and candlelit walkways raise.

Childhood emerges.


Waiting for darkness. Little

ghost asks, "Is it time?"

Dark night, candlelight.

A hand to hold, in case. Trick-

or- treat.  Sweet embrace.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"The Path to Success - A Journey On A Bulletin Board"

Years ago, when the kids were very young,
                               I started to write stories for children. 

Though I always felt I had a "knack" for writing,
     it was not something that I felt I could openly SHARE.

Maybe it was because I did not think people would believe in me.

Maybe it was because I did not believe in MYSELF.

Anyhow, over the years, I have had moments of courage (or insanity)
     when I would lift a small corner of my carefully protected world,
and offer (to my close circle of trusted friends and family) a quick peek.  

The first story I shared was with my sister.

It was a lyrical, COMICAL poem titled, "Rush, Rush Day".    

I did not tell her that I wrote it,
               as I wanted her to read it with unclouded eyes.

     "What did you think of that poem I sent you?" I asked.

     "I thought it was GREAT!  I forwarded it to my friends," said she.

     "You (gulp) . . . WHAT?" I asked.   

MANY years later . . . 

I attended an SCBWI conference (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators),
     and gathered up the courage to submit my first story. 

Choosing which one to send was a difficult process,
     and I consulted with the experts - my kids.

I don't remember how long it was before I         received the rejection letter . . .

It was dated August 1, 2008, and I posted it to my bulletin board,
     NOT as a reminder of my failure, but as a symbol of success.

     and I received some valuable feedback.  

I jumped over the first hurdle, crossed the first bridge,
     and I am on my way down the path to . . .


I am in the process of sending out my second story,
     and I would not have the courage to do so, if I had not sent the first.

Might I receive another rejection letter?  


BUT, I am absolutely, positively IN this. 

I believe in myself; I believe in my stories.

And, my bulletin board is quite LARGE,
                             with plenty of room for more rejection letters.

Eventually, the reward will be a letter of acceptance,
     and I will proudly pin it on top of the others,
knowing what it took me to get there.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

" The Truth Will Set You Free ? "

“If you truly want honesty,
     don't ask questions you don't really want the answer to”

                                                                       ~ Proverb quotes


My youngest son pulled a muscle in his ribs, and my back right fender was hit by a car in the parking lot.


One had nothing to do with the other.

My son woke up, complaining about pain in his ribs, so I decided to take him to the pediatrician.   

The good news was that it was just a pulled muscle, although, still quite painful to him.

As we approached our car in the parking lot, a man walked up to me and said,

     "I was just about to leave a note.  My car hit your rear bumper."

I immediately checked it out.  It wasn't too bad, but enough to leave a small scar. 

I thanked him for his honesty. 

     "At first, when I saw you walk up to me," I said, "I thought you looked familiar."

I turned to my son and said,

     "Doesn't he remind you of............................."

     "Tom Cruise?" interrupted the man. 

     "Yes (even thought he didn't)!  And everyone confuses ME with Julia Roberts," I responded. 

We laughed together, and then he said,

     "Well, I was going to say..........................well, your son is standing right there............ so I won't." 

HUH ?  HUH.  HUH? 

I wonder what he was going to say? 

Especially since I looked like I had just rolled out of bed, thrown on some clothes that had been lying on the floor from the night before, and my hair - a sloppy mess. 

Oh, the possibilities in my mind were limitless. 

My son and I got in the car, and as we drove away, we discussed how much we admired the man's honesty.

     "Yeah," my son said, "and I wonder who he thought you looked like?"

I do have his phone number, I thought.  Do I dare ask?


Think I'll go home and take a shower, instead. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The "No Mess" Mess

No parent ever wants to hear these words:

     "Mom, I need to show you something."

My youngest son did not say "I WANT to show you something",
                                         or "COOL!  Look at THIS!  Check this out!"

He said, "I NEED to show you something". 

That USUALLY means it's something I don't really WANT to see. 

I was immediately on guard.

"WHAAAaaaaat?" I asked, like a lazy teenager that had just been asked to get out of bed at the early hour of ...................10 a.m. 

"I need to show you something in the bathroom," he said, " It's BIG."


Again, wanting to show me something BIG in the BATHROOM? 
NOT something I want to hear about or deal with on a Sunday morning (or ANY morning, for that matter), especially, not before I've had my coffee.

I mean, did the toilet overflow, and there is sewage all over the bathroom floor? 

Did someone vomit?

Is there a dead rodent involved?

I don't REALLY want to know. 

"Just TELL me what it is," I responded.  "I don't WANT to come look."

I braced myself for the response. 

"There's............a hole.  A BIG hole.  In the door," he said. 

A hole?  That's IT ?  No sewage?  No vomit?  No dead rodent? No bad smell? NO MESS?

"Okay," I responded, " I will come take a look at it after I've had my coffee.  Thanks for telling me." 

I can handle a hole. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Splash of Color on an Autumn Day

It was a beautiful October day.

Two friends, and (for the next couple of hours) untroubled souls. 

We tossed the dog and my camera in the convertible, and hit the road - wherever the road should take us. 

          "I have a place in mind," said my friend.

 Apparently, he knew where the road would take us.        

          "I know of a nice little winery," he stated. 

Drag me out in the beautiful Virginia countryside
and force me to drink wine ? ? ? 

I think NOT ! ! !

BUT, I went anyways.
The air was crisp; the sun - warm, on my face. 
I closed my eyes, soaking in the last of the late Autumn rays  that would soon be overcome
by clouds of pre-winter gray.               

Turning off the highway, we followed the sign that read "Corcoran Winery",
          gravel kicking up behind us along the winding, dirt road,
          and made a left onto Corky's Farm Lane. 

Perfectly witty and appropriate, I thought.   

As the wind blew back my hair, we came upon a clearing -
          an enclave of newly built homes; a misplaced suburban community. 

We would find out later on that these were homes to the Corcoran Winery "family".  

Around the corner and up the hill, we followed along the fence line.

Grape vines danced in the fields to the left,

          and an old, rustic barn stood staunch, to the right.

We pulled the car into the perfect spot, and sauntered down the drive.

In contrast to the modern construction of the homes that first greeted us,
          the tasting room was housed in a small, unstately structure, more characteristic of
          the country setting in which it sat.

The front yard was dressed with garden tables and chairs -
a welcome introduction to the charming front porch. 

As I grabbed the handle and walked in the front door,
          I could feel the history of the 1750's restored log cabin. 

Oh, the stories this old dwelling could tell. 

Once inside, I was transformed back to an earlier time, yet, with modern day faces. 

It felt both welcoming and familiar. 

We were greeted with smiles and warmth - even the dog. 
          Though small enough to tuck under our arms, we are not always sure how he will be received.

          Here, there was no pause. 

There were two tasting rooms - one in the front, and one in the back,
          where the bathroom was located, as well. 
That was my first stop before moving onto the wine. 
On my way out, my friend introduced me to Jim Corcoran, one of the owners of a husband and wife team,
          who graciously offered a friendly handshake.   

Stephanie was our host for the next hour, walking us through each taste -
                   full of knowledge and a very down-to-earth style. 
Any pretentiousness that may have been carried through the front door,
          was immediately dissolved by the warm spirits - of both the wine and the people.

We ordered two glasses of red, cheese and crackers............and a bottle "to go",
          and found a nice table for two outside.

While I was drawn to the peaceful setting of the beautiful pond, lined with willow trees and 
          picnic benches on the backside of the house,
I chose one of the wrought iron tables out front, where I could see all of the "comings and goings". 

We engaged in pleasant conversation with a few of the other patrons as they passed by,  and watched others as they walked in and out, arriving in cars, pick-up trucks, and motorcycles.
There were friends, families, couples, and other dogs - each here to enjoy and get away from it all. 
I was just about to go inside and order another glass of wine, when Jim came out with a bottle to share.           

He pulled up a chair, and over a glass of Cabernet Franc, we enjoyed getting to know one another.  
It was just a snapshot view,
          but enough to see the real flavors, and colors, and shape. 

We talked about the winery, and we talked about life.

As he raised his hands up, arms wide, looking from one side of his property to the other, he said,

     "It's not so much about the wine, as it is about THIS.  Bringing people together. The wine is just an excuse."

I think he is onto something, there. 

As we sat talking, he welcomed three other people to our table -
          friends from the past and present.
All of us, who were of different ages and backgrounds, sat together and enjoyed a glass of wine,
          as if we had known each other for years.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end,
          and responsibilities at home were knocking on our door. 

It was time to leave......................................... but not without a souvenir.

It had been quite windy all afternoon. 
In fact, in between sips of wine and conversations,
          I spent a good part of the time trying to keep from blowing away. 

In the midst of a conversation with Jim, the wind literally lifted my glass off the table,

          sending it air bound,

                    landing several feet away,

          but not before leaving a splash of color all over my white t-shirt,

                              as well as my dog's white "coat".

Jim felt terrible, but we were BOTH laughing.

What else was there to do? 

It was quite impressive, actually. 

And besides, it was JUST a shirt. 

How is that in comparison to the glorious afternoon we had all just shared?

It was worth it. 

Did the stain come out?  Not totally.

But I know that when I go back to visit my new friends at Corcoran Winery,
          if they do not remember me by name or by face,
and if they do not remember the wonderful conversations that we had,
          they will at least remember me by my purple colored ......................left breast.  

Maybe I will just show up wearing the same t-shirt.




Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Missing Pin

It was my daughter's Homecoming Dance. 

My only responsibility that day was to show up at the "host house" for pictures, with her date's boutonniere in hand.

I picked up the boutonniere from the florist, and arrived at the "gig" a few minutes early -
shortly before 6:00, which is a good thing,
because the street number my daughter had given me


I had been told 3110, and though the numbers on the street ranged from 3000 to 3015, there was NO "3010".

One thing reliable about teenagers, though - they rarely show up on time. 

I parked my car along the street, until gradually, a caravan of cars arrived, migrating toward house # 3013. 

I believe my daughter finally arrived around 6:30.

I walked down the long driveway to meet her, and entered the large, two story foyer, into the sea of homecoming dresses, neck ties....................and moms.   

Soon after, my daughter's date walked up to greet her, and I handed over the boutonniere. 

About a minute later...........
"Um, Mom?" my daughter asked, "There is no pin." 

I reached over to inspect the tiny, delicate, orchid, turning it around and around,
as if the next time I turned it, the pin would suddenly appear out of the green stemmed camouflage.

"Huh."  I said.  "There is definitely no pin."

I looked at my daughter's date and said,

" My guess is that you are not too terribly upset by this."

He received my comment with laughter and a smile. 

Easy going and a sense of humor, I thought.  That's good.

I reached over to his jacket pocket, and positioned the flower so that it was peeking out, just enough. 

"This will do for pictures.  After that, you can do with it whatever you'd like,"
                                                                                           I told him.


Both my daughter and her date seemed perfectly satisfied.   

After all, amidst all of the teenage drama that coincides with Homecoming night
 (not to mention, some of the  "MOM" drama), 
a missing boutonniere is nothing more than showing up for pictures a few minutes late.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dinner and a Movie.............and a Trip to Indonesia

This past Friday night, my very close, very special Dutch friend took me out for a wonderful Indonesian meal.  He is half Indonesian, but with his steel blue eyes, carried by his large 6'2" frame, you would not know it to look at him.

Indonesian food is comfort food to him, and he has shared it with me enough times now, that it has become MY comfort food, as well.

In fact, on this chilly October night, after a downer of a week, Indonesian food was MY choice, and he was was happy to come along.

For those of you who have never had Indonesian food, we are talking succulent meats -
either satay on a stick, or stewed in hearty sauces
such as peanut, curry, or sweet soy,
along with perfectly cooked sauteed vegetables, such as beans and  potatoes,
stewed in the same heavenly sauces.  
Hard boiled eggs, like you have never eaten,
seafood - fish, shrimp, clams, and such,
and for the vegetarian, the best tofu I have ever had. 

My friend likes a side of pickled vegetables - cucumber, carrots, cauliflower. 

I was never a fan of pickled vegetables before, but these are the perfect combination of sweet and sour and "crunch", as well as the perfect accompaniment to the spicy sauces, providing a balance to my taste buds.

Oh, the flavors, the textures, the combinations - all surrounding a bed of perfectly cooked, perfectly comforting hot, steamed rice.

Yes, I used the word "perfect" a lot, and that is why Indonesian food is my favorite comfort food, as well.

After dinner, by sheer coincidence, we saw the movie, "Eat, Pray, Love".  I had read the book, long ago, and it was showing at the nearby low budget theatre.

As many of you already know, Indonesia is the setting for a good part of the film.

After eating the wonderfully flavorful, pleasing to the palate - Indonesian meal,
then visiting the picturesque countryside on the big screen - taking in all of its visual glory,
I was ready to pack my bags and buy a ticket.  

"Want to go to Indonesia?" my friend asked, at the end of the evening.

"I'm already there!" was my response.      


Friday, October 15, 2010

Fifteen Minutes in a Flower Shop

I was having a bad day - feeling a bit low, before I opened the door to the shop.
Beautiful flowers strewn about in a magical, organized fashion, and unique gifts for the romantic or whimsical, at heart. 

The room was filled with color, light, and warmth. 

Suddenly, I was lifted, and life felt good. 

Standing in line, I met a new neighbor in front of me, and caught up with an old friend, standing behind. 

We were all there for the same reason - Homecoming Dance.  

Corsages and Boutonnieres. 

The shop was bustling with last minute customers. 

Mostly moms and one adorable teenage boy who wanted three roses - red, pink, yellow. 

I guess he was trying to cover all of the bases.    

As I walked toward the exit, there was a charming little decorative jack-o-lantern that caught my eye, and I thought about buying. 

Instead, I smiled at it, then opened the door - leaving quite a bit more refreshed than before I arrived.

Fifteen minutes in a flower shop completely changed my mood. 

Isn't life great ?           

photo credit, Leslie Morrissette

Quote of the Day, and BOY am I feeling this.

Courage means flying in the face of criticism,
relying on yourself,
being willing to accept and learn from the consequences of all your choices.

It means believing enough in yourself and in living your life as you choose so that you cut the strings whose ends other people hold and use to pull you in contrary directions.

 -Wayne Dyer

Rebel Yell

I used to love going to amusement parks, but somewhere during my metamorphosis into adulthood, I lost the desire.

Maybe a spell was cast over me one night, by the evil Wicked Witch of the West, whose sister, the Wicked Witch of the East had been killed, falling out (or pushed out) of a roller coaster.

Maybe not.

Maybe childbirth had something to do with it. Something happens to your equilibrium during that process.

Very likely.

While I am convinced that explains why I do not care for the rides that spin you around in circles, what about the roller coasters?

I used to love roller coaster.

Back to the "Wicked Witch of the West" theory.

Or, maybe it is just that they do not make roller coasters like they used to.

In the quest to make them bigger, badder, faster.............................they have simply (in my opinion) become "less fun" .

I think I am onto something, here.

I remember, years ago, when I went on one of the new, wooden roller coasters. My head was not high enough to rest comfortably in the "head rest", and the entire ride, my head was being jerked around like some politician making promises left and right, that he knows he can't keep.

Like trying to follow a politician, the ride was not "fun", and I had a horrible head-ache, afterward.

Since then, I am simply not impressed by any of the shiny, new roller coasters.

I am, however, still devoted to my three favorite roller coasters of all time:

Rebel Yell (Kings Dominion), Lochness Monster (Busch Gardens), and Space Mountain (Disney World).

Like a faithful pet, they never let me down.

My boys and I were recently at Kings Dominion.

While my kids tried to tempt me to ride such roller coasters as the Ricochet, the Dominator,
and the Intimidator,

the only roller coaster that I was interested in riding was my old friend the Rebel Yell.

As we stood in line, the anticipation was building. I could feel my nerves, like I was riding it for the very first time.

I could see the expressions of fear and excitement on the faces of the people in front of us, as they loaded into the roller coaster cars and strapped themselves in.

Then, the sounds of the claps and cheers as they approached the gate at the end of the ride - wind blown hair, rose colored cheeks, and eyes widened with exhilaration.

"That was awesome!" was a commonly heard statement.

Finally, it was our turn.

We stepped into our seats, buckled our safety belts, and pulled the shoulder harness over our heads.

As we ascended up to the top of the first, big hill, I said to my friend, who was sitting next to me,

"The only thing that would make this roller coaster better, is if they played Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell" song along with it."

That would be "totally awesome". 

Just then, we reached the top of the sky, curved over the top of the hill and....................................................................................STRAIGHT DOWN, baby!

FAST, STEEP, SCREAMING WITH FEAR AND UNBRIDLED DELIGHT, SPEED.......................................................................... ELATION.

The man sitting in front of me had a permanent smile on his face during the entire ride, as did I - one continuous thrilling hill after another.

Pulling out of the final tunnel, and up to the exit area, we were clapping and cheering, with our wind blown hair, rose colored cheeks, and eyes wide with exhilaration.

My son and his friend both said in unison, "THAT WAS AWESOME!"

How thrilled I was that my 11 year old and his friend were just as impressed by the old Rebel Yell as I was at their age, and still am.

We moved onto the next roller coaster, and as I stood in the waiting area near the exit, I overheard some teenagers discussing their next ride.

"We HAVE to go on the Rebel Yell. That is my mom's favorite roller coaster."

I stood there and smiled.

Warning:  The following video contains profanity.  But THIS guy is funny! 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Being Green

Hi, my name is Leslie.

I drink green beverages from Starbucks and I use an electric lawn mower.

The green beverage is an Iced Green Tea Nonfat Latte - Unsweetened.

I think I might possibly be the only one who orders this particular drink - me and a friend, whom I introduced it to.   

I don't even remember how it started. 

I think I wanted a green tea latte one day, but was in the mood for something cold to satisfy my thirst, so I decided to order it on ice, and .........................................................................................VOILA! 


People ask me all the time,

" What IS that you're drinking? " 

After all, it IS a suspicious looking green drink. 

It's particularly amusing to see the reactions of some of the Starbucks employees, when I place my order. 

Their faces become all twisted and distorted,
like in one of those carnival mirrors,
and their eyebrows raise to a point,
disappearing in the creases of their foreheads.

They don't say anything, as if they THINK they are being discrete,
                                         but I know what they are thinking -

     "What the  ^*#^  did she just order? ! !"

......and when they call the order over to the barista,

instead of a statement, it is in the form of a question. 

Remember doing that in school? 

The teacher would present a problem and, feeling unsure and insecure, the answer would be in the form of question.

Teacher :  "Leslie, give me the the product of 12 and 9."

Me :          "One hundred and..........................eight ? "

Starbucks "order taker" (to barista) :  " Venti green tea iced nonfat latte, unsweetened ? ? ? "

........and they say it really slow, too.

          "V-e-n-t-i     G-r-e-e-n     t-e-a     i-c-e-d     n-o-n-f-a-t     l-a-t-t-e  
                                                          u-n-s-w-e-e-t-e-n-e-d     ?  ?  ? "

The funniest question was asked the other day, by a man who over-heard my order.

 " How do you get a nonfat green tea?  Isn't tea already nonfat? "   

He obviously was just a rookie.  I explained to him that the nonfat part comes from the latte - skim milk instead of whole.

As for the lawn mower............................

When I signed the lease on my house over two years ago, I was determined to mow my own lawn,
but I absolutely CANNOT tolerate the fumes that result from gas powered lawn tools,
and I also liked the idea of being environmentally conscious, so I dragged a friend along with me,
and went to the local Home Depot, in search of the


It was relatively easy to make a selection,
for there weren't many to choose from,
and, like the Starbucks employees,
the Home Depot employee who pointed them out to me was laughing on the inside -

 I am sure of it. 

That made no difference to me.

I took my mower out of the box, and introduced myself, and we have been together, ever since.

As with any new relationship, it took a few times around the "yard" before we could find our "groove" and feel comfortable with one another.     

Figuring out the perfect path, while finagling with the extension chord, was a bit tricky, at first.  I was not used to this.   

BUT, my mower is ...................

  1. Quiet
  2. It does the job
  3. And it doesn't smell bad.

What more can a girl ask for?

AND it's a lot like vacuuming, and I have had a lot of experience with vacuuming, over the years.

When I tell people that I have an electric lawn mower, I usually get the same reaction -

"REALLY ? ? ? "

I am SURE that my neighbor (across the way) - the one that was THRILLED about the holiday lights still garmenting my house in the month of quite entertained by my lawn mowing skills,
             as I lasso the extension chord around trees and over bushes. 

He pays people to mow his grass.

I have bonded with them, over the last couple of years, as occasionally,
                                                                     our lawn mowing days meet up.

We smile and nod to one another - one lawn mower to another. 

Of course, in the time that it takes me to unwind the extension chord and plug it in,
they are done mowing, and off to their next job.

But that's okay.

There is satisfaction in mowing my own yard with my own electric mower.

I think I will go order myself a "Venti Iced Green Tea Nonfat Latte, Unsweetened",  
                                                  and then, mow the grass. 

Like Kermit the Frog, it's not always easy being green.......................

                                     BUT TOTALLY WORTH IT.            

photo credit, Leslie Morrissette

Friday, October 8, 2010

Top 10 . . . . . make that 11 . . . . . make that 12 . . . . . Reasons to be Grateful Today

 Feeling a bit cynical?               Maybe this will help.

I am Grateful for . . . . .

1) the blaring truck sirens that woke me, causing me to jump out of my skin,
                 an hour earlier than my alarm.  By the time my alarm went off,
                                I was WIDE AWAKE.

2) the two $5.00 bills in my wallet.  That is MIRACULOUS.
                    My son needed change for a $10.00.  
      Otherwise, he would be the only one NOT wearing blue jeans to school. 

3) the car behind me who sat on his horn, when the car in front of me 
                 was blocking the turn lane.  I HATE it when people do that,
                       and I really wasn't in the mood to use mine.   

4) the sun visor in my car.
              If only I was a bit taller.

5)  coffee (period)

6)  the call from my son, after he forgot to bring something to school.   
         I love making extra trips.

7)  this beautiful, sunny, warm day. 
       Now I have absolutely NO excuse not to get out there
                              and mow the lawn.
8)  Kashi Pumpkin Spice Flax Crunchy Granola Bar. 
      But what I really wanted was a McDonald's Egg McMuffin.

9)  the padding in between my ass and this hard,
                                   wooden chair.

10 )  the large zit that appeared a few nights ago,
                     confusing MY face for some teenager's. 

11)  forgetting to put the recycling out by the curb.
         Now I have to wait another week, and I love to see how much
           plastic and aluminum "can" spill out of the container, onto the street.     

12 )  the giant acorn that slammed against the window
         just now, sending me into orbit.
                       As I am peeling myself off the ceiling, 
          I can see the guilty squirrel running away with a smirk on his face.    

          Now, I must go mow the lawn.   

photo credit, Leslie Morrissette



Thursday, October 7, 2010

So, I was doing really well with my daily blogs, but sometimes life throws you a curve ball, and today was one of those days. 

Divorce can be such a complicated and difficult thing, and even when you think your life is finally moving forward, something happens.........................................and there you are again, feeling back where you started.   

Hurting people is the hardest part.  People that you love. 

But, what do you do when it feels the only choice is making yourself happy, for the first time in a very long time, or making the person that you love happy, knowing that it will make you feel very sad ?

Will I always have to live my life in two separate worlds ?

Difficult questions, I know. 

Tonight, I go to bed with a very heavy heart, only hoping that tomorrow I will be one step closer to the answers.     

Good night. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"Second Choice" Ice Cream


And speaking of boy (s), I dragged them along with me to the grocery store to pick-up a few things: 

bread, granola bars, dish soap.

On the way to the check-out line, I froze in my tracks.

     "I NEED TO BE BAD," I said.                I may have even said it out loud.

Something chocolaty and sweet, and salty, with a crunch, on a stick......................YES ! ! !


I practically floated toward the frozen foods and desserts aisle, and quickly

scanned past the labels,

designs, and colors of all the other ice cream treats, until I found ..................

  "the one that I was looking for".


Vanilla & MILK chocolate
Vanilla & MILK chocolate WITH almonds
Vanilla & DARK chocolate (NO almonds)
Coffee & Almond crunch
MILK chocolate & DARK chocolate



Depleted, disappointed.................sad.   

I had to come up with a "second choice", but nothing could compare. 

I finally settled for a coffee ice cream "something-or-other" with dark chocolate chips - no stick.

I would have to eat it in a bowl........................with a spoon.      

On the way home, I said to my boys,

      " I cannot BELIEVE that in that ENTIRE STORE, in that

             ENTIRE AISLE of ICE CREAM, they did NOT HAVE

             what I was LOOKING for !  

         The exact TASTE, the exact FLAVOR, the exact COMBINATION ! 

         In that ENTIRE AISLE................ ENTIRE STORE ! ! ! "

There was a moment of pause, and then my youngest son said,

     " Would you like me to call the 'Sweet' Therapist?
                         Or make a formal complaint to the grocery store? " 

                                  " YES! " I replied.

Then, I went inside and scooped my "second choice" ice-cream into a bowl,
                                         and ate it with a spoon. 


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pigeon or the Statue - A Different Interpretation

"Accept that some days you are the pigeon and some days the statue."

~Dilbert (Scott Adams)~

Believe it or not, I was not familiar with this phrase, until a friend of mine recently used it. 

Since then (of course), I have heard it a multitude of times.

You know how THAT works.

The funny thing is that I completely misinterpreted the message.  

You see, I saw the statue as someone who is standing still - unable to make progress,  

and the pigeon as someone who is able to move freely, and get things done.     

 I have been living my life by this philosophy for years, 

never realizing there was a complimentary poetic quote, validating my thinking,

even if it WAS only MY interpretation.     

I simply had my days when I knew that I was going to accomplish things,
 and my days when I knew that I was not. 

"How exciting, that I can now label my days "statue" days,

or "pigeon" days !" I thought.   

Today I am having a "statue" day. 

That does not mean that I am accomplishing NOTHING.  

Anyone who is a MOM knows that, unless you are laid up in a hospital bed - that is just not possible.  

It simply means that I am not going to impress myself today. 

I am not going to accomplish MORE than what I was expecting to,

      and maybe not as much as I had hoped.   

In the past, on a good "statue" day,  

I would become frustrated, and ask myself the following questions:

    "Why can't I feel more motivated today?" 

"Why can't I accomplish more?" 

"Why don't I have more energy?" 

But, that did not change the fact that I was still a statue.  

There is something very liberating about knowing when you are a statue or a pigeon. 

The days when I feel like a statue, I simply accept it, knowing that it will pass,

and hope that I will accomplish more tomorrow.

The days when I feel like a pigeon -

I embrace, and can be capable of performing amazing

tasks.............."in a single bound."  

Today I am a statue,

and I find it ironic that I am writing about it,

 because (feeling like a statue, as I am),

I did not think that I would be able to come up with a single thought. 

And now I will go cook dinner,

 but don't expect to be impressed,

 for I am having a statue day.   

While I have been set straight about the correct message behind the quote  

- if you are the pigeon, you shit on people, and if you are the statue, you are being "shat" upon - 

I think I prefer MY version better. 

Besides, otherwise, I wouldn't be able to share this story.

What a shame that would be.   

Monday, October 4, 2010


I said to my friend,

     "It's cold and wet outside."

     "Better than no weather at all," he responded.

And, he was right.  

Better to feel the sharp edge of the brisk air,
          and the damp harshness of the cold rain . . . 
                   than to feel nothing at all.

Leslie Morrissette, photo credit

Saturday, October 2, 2010

WHAT "birthday lunch" ?

My 14 year old son and I went to dinner with my parents at a fabulous Italian restaurant that I used to frequent quite often. 

Both my parents and I commented that it had been a long time since we had been there.

     "At least a year," said my dad. 

My 14 year old (with the younger, fresher memory) disagreed.

  "You, me, and Grandma were here for lunch for Grandma's birthday," he said. 

My mom's birthday was in March, which would have been 6 months ago. 

  "We were?" my mom and I both asked, simultaneously.

My son looked at us like we were crazy.

     "I'm sure he's right, " said my mom, laughing.

     "Oh, I'm not doubting it, " I said, " But I got NOTHIN.  NO recollection."

My mom and I stared at each other, blankly, as we both tried to will the memory upon us.     

March.  Dolce Vita.  Lunch.  Birthday. 

     "NOPE!  Nothin," I surrendered.

My mom and I just laughed, as my dad sat confused, and my son just looked at us like there was something terribly wrong. 

My question is, "My parents, though still quite sharp (they will appreciate that), are in their  70's, but what's MY excuse ?"

I think I'll blame it on parenthood, and have another sip of wine.   

So, even though my SON remembers, it's HIS fault that I CAN'T !  ; )    




Sitting at the allergist with my 14 year old,
   during our Saturday morning ritual (allergy shots),
a man walked in with 3 boys, approximately 12, 7, and 1.

The waiting room was full,
and they were forced to sit on the same bench -
   their bodies touching and rubbing up against one another.

All I could think was, there is no WAY that my kids could sit there like that, and behave.

Sure enough, the one-year old started to get restless,
   so the dad took him outside, leaving the older boys alone.

For a few minutes, they sat there, still behaving themselves.

I was impressed.

Until . . .

   the younger one started to wiggle and fidget,
testing the patience of his big brother.

Taking pleasure at big brother's reaction,
   he wiggled and fidgeted even more.

And, even more . . . still.

Until, suddenly . . .

   big brother SMACKED him one.

Now THAT looks familiar, I smirked.      

Friday, October 1, 2010

Church Street

On this beautiful, Friday morning, after two days of torrential downpours, my youngest son and I were mulling about on Church Street.  He had a doctor's appointment not far from there, and we needed to kill some time.

I drove past a consignment shop that piqued my interest, so I made a u-turn in that direction, and parked the car.  My son was very patient with me, as I took a quick look around inside, then I suggested that we walk around for a bit. 

Church Street is located in the very upscale area of Vienna, Virginia, running perpendicular to the Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail, and is lined with small, unique shops and restaurants.
Just a block away from a very busy, heavily traveled thoroughfare, the street is a nice little welcoming surprise. 

Walking along with my son, I realized that I had never SEEN Church Street before. 
I had driven THROUGH it many times - a quick "drive by", on my way to somewhere else. 
Walking the sidewalk allowed me the time to pay attention and really "take in" all of the shops. 

As I mentioned, it was a beautiful day.  The sun was shining down brightly, enveloping us with warmth, as we walked beneath the periwinkle colored sky.  The welcome whisper of a breeze was cool and invigorating, making me feel alive and energetic.          

We did not walk long, however, when my son asked,

       "Can we turn around and go back now?  This is boring."

 MOMENT SPOILER.  ( Can you hear the needle (on the record) scratch? )

Understanding his age, and appreciating the patience that he had shown me, I obliged his request.

Instead of walking back the way that we came, however, we took a "shortcut", and walked along the backs of the shops, giving us a different perspective. 

Along the way, we came across a cute little gazebo, decorated with a bench and an old, "fire engine red" water pump, with a matching metal bucket, dangling beneath.
My son walked over to it, and grabbed the iron lever, pulling it up and down, to confirm that it no longer served a "usable" purpose; rather, a charming decoration, and a reminder from the past.

As I watched him, I was distracted by what sounded like an abrupt knocking on a window, and realized that we were in the backyard of someone's house.
An understandable mistake, given that, from the back, it looked no different than the other shops and restaurants.

My son did not hear the rapping on the glass, but I casually motioned for us to move along, finding humor in the situation.

We turned the next corner, and our car came within sight.  It seemed to be smiling in the warmth of the sun. 

As we crossed the parking lot, something bumped against our feet - giant, unidentifiable nuts.
Were my grandmother still alive, she would have been able to point to the exact tree, from which they had fallen.  Several had been run over by cars, creating unique designs on the pavement.

I could now identify the noise that I had heard earlier, when I first drove into the lot.  It had sounded like popping glass, underneath my tires.

In size, I would compare the nuts to those giant super balls in the red colored souvenir machines at the grocery store.  When I was a kid, they sold for $.50.  The small super balls sold for $.25.
I used to love putting my quarters in the machine and hearing that clacking sound, as I turned the knob  around and around, then, putting my hand out to collect my prize at the bottom of the tiny, chrome colored chute.

Unlike superballs, these nuts were not made out of rubber. 

Though, apparently, they DO bounce.

My son (the soccer player) began to dribble one around. 
Then, he gave it a good hard kick, where it flew to the end of the driveway, and bounced .............................................................................................right into a passing car.

     "OH SHIT!" was the expression on both of our faces.

We held our breath, as the car braked for a long second..........................................................................................then continued on its way.

Did I mention that this is a very upscale area? 
My childish, tomboy, "not a child of rich parents" instinct...................... was to run. 

As we opened the doors to our "nice enough, but not a BMW" vehicle, I realized that we had (unintentionally) committed two crimes within our 45 minute visit on Church Street -

                                        Trespassing and Vandalism.

I inconspicuously backed out of my parking spot, then PEELED out of the lot, setting my autopilot for Annandale, where maybe we would be safe.

Okay.  Maybe I exaggerated about that last part.  I didn't REALLY peel out of the lot, but it sounds good, doesn't it?