Monday, March 28, 2011

Twinkies

I volunteered at my son's school today to discuss the book "Bridge to Terabithia"
     (specifically, the topic of "bullying") with a group of sixth graders. 

To add to the experience, I brought along a snack directly related to the book - TWINKIES.

EVERY kid likes TWINKIES, I thought.  

To my surprise, three out of the six students in my group had
     NEVER TRIED A TWINKIE.  

HARD TO BELIEVE ! ! !

And, in that moment, as I passed around the
"sugary sweet, cream filled, loaded with preservatives, sponge cakes" to the group,
     I felt a little bit guilty.

This could be the beginning of a life-long relationship with Twinkies, I thought.   

SO, the OPPOSITE of what First Lady, Michelle Obama would be doing.  

It was too late, though. 

They peeled the wrappers off, and dove right in - sinking their teeth into the soft, Twinkie goodness.

      "So, what do you think of Twinkies?  Good?"  I asked the group.

With mouths full, eyes rolling backwards, and heads nodding up and down,
     it was a definite non-verbal, unanimous,

     "YES!"

Maybe they won't tell their parents, I thought.

After handing out three more, I had one, lone Twinkie left. 


I eyed the Twinkie, thinking to myself,

     I haven't had one of those in YEARS.  One little Twinkie won't hurt.

I peeled back the wrapper, and sank my teeth into the soft, Twinkie goodness.

     "Yum," I said.

Just as good as I remembered.


Lesson learned?    

I can understand why the character in "Bridge to Terabithea" 
     was so upset when that bully took her Twinkie ! ! ! ! ! !



 












 

   




 




Friday, March 25, 2011

Happy Mommy

Sitting in traffic yesterday,
     I noticed the license plate in the lane next to me read, 

HPY MOMY.  

I have had the "license plate discussion" before.  

I choose not to have a personalized plate for a number of reasons.

One, is that I choose to remain anonymous.

Should I happen to make some idiot move in traffic
     (not that I ever do - I am an EXCELLENT driver),
I do not want to be easily identified, later on.  

"Look, there's that *#^! that cut me off in traffic yesterday!"  

Another reason is that, a license plate can make a statement that holds you accountable.  

For example, the license plate that I mentioned - 

HPY MOMY.

I am going with the assumption that it means "Happy Mommy".  

While I am no longer a "mommy", and have moved onto "mom-hood",
     I have had many a mommy day (as well as "mom" days) when I was NOT happy.  

ESPECIALLY, in the car - 

dropped toys or pacifiers that are out of reach, diaper blow-outs, car seat temper tantrums,

"I'm hungry!", sibling fights, "Are we there YET?", not enough logged in hours of sleep,  

spilled juice, spilled fishy crackers,

And, WORST of all ( I think most of you will agree) -  CAR SICKNESS.    

That being said, I have had many happy mommy and mom days, as well,
     and I would not trade the job for anything in the world.      

But, I would imagine that, if someone were to pull up next to my car
     (during one of my typical mommy days),
they would have been just as likely to have seen me with one of my
"Calgon, please take me away!" faces,
as they would have been to have seen me singing happily along to one of the
     "Barney, the Purple Dinosaur" songs.

Curious, I pulled up next to the HPY MOMY to see if she looked . . . . . . HAPPY. 

She wasn't smiling, however, she looked pretty peaceful,
     with her Starbucks coffee cup in her hands. 

It was difficult to tell with her tinted windows, but 
     I don't think there were any children in the car with her. 
It was around mid-day, and they were probably all at school or daycare.      

That explains it.  
  
Of course, I could be wrong.

Maybe the license plate meant "Hippie Mommy".

In which case, she probably was "Happy".  

Though, she was driving a Ford Expedition,
     which is not what I would imagine a "hippie mommy" to be driving.  

I think I will stick to my "Happy Mommy" assumption,
     and continue to drive as "anonymous".

I wouldn't want to falsely advertise my mood. 












Thursday, March 24, 2011

Happy Thursday To You

The words just aren't coming to me this week,
     so I will take this opportunity to share words that were written by someone else.   

This is from one of my favorite characters, from one of my favorite series of childrens books.

As an adult, looking back on her character,
     I can understand why I loved Frances so much.  


Friday, March 18, 2011

Pet Peeves


Pet Peeves.

 Everyone has them.  

Something that annoys you to the point of throwing something, 
          breaking something, or throwing something at someone ELSE.

I was reminded of one of my "pet peeves" last night.

It woke me up, somewhere around the 4:00 hour.

That LICKING sound that is barely audible, but enough so, to drive me INSANE!

I am, of course, referring to my dog, Charlie (speaking of pets).

He likes to lick.   

He licks himself, he licks his blanket, he licks the carpet, he licks his people.

This very second, in fact, he is licking my purse, that is lying on the floor next to me.   

Lick, lick, lick, lick, LICK!

STOP IT, CHARLIE!!!

He is giving me that same look that my children give me when they think I am being unreasonable.

Another one of my pet peeves, that has nothing to do with pets
   
     . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . is TEXTING.  

It is not so much the ACT of texting, as it is the LOCATION OF THE EXERCISE.  

This morning, after I was already feeling irritable
     (due to my lack of sleep), 
I treated myself to a trip to Starbucks.

The "licking dog" was with me, so I opted for the drive-thru.

The line was fairly long, and I was in no hurry,
     but the lady in front of me was not paying attention,
leaving large  G     A     P     S   between her and the car in front of her.

SHE WAS TOO BUSY TEXTING.  

After not moving up the first time, I mumbled to myself.

The second time, I mumbled to my dog.

The third time, I envisioned myself shouting out my window,

     " STOP TEXTING AND MOVE UP! "  

                                        . . . . . . . or something like that.  

Instead, I tapped on the horn.

Just a little "wake-up and pay attention" tap.

Not the "LAYING ON THE HORN BECAUSE YOU ARE DRIVING ME INSANE" tap.

She slowly moved up, then went back to her texting.

    THAT was effective, I thought.

The line moved up again.

And, AGAIN  . . . . . . . . . .she stayed put. 

TOO BUSY TEXTING.    

Right when I had my hand on the door handle, ready to walk up and confront her
...............................she moved up to the pick-up window.

While I will admit, I was slightly relieved ( the thought of a confrontation
     made me less than comfortable ),
 I was also disappointed, because I wanted her to know what an annoyance she had been.

 Instead, I settled for an imaginary conversation, inside my head.



She moved on, unphased, and it was my turn at the window.

I picked up my grande, skim latte, and placed it in the cup holder of my car.
 


As I turned my head to thank the Starbucks employee,      

        the "dog who likes to lick"

                . . . . . . . licked the lid to my coffee.

CHAR - LIE  ! ! ! 

Oh well.

He's a dog.

At least HE has an excuse. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Elbows

I would be SO HAPPY
     if I could just have ONE DAY . . . . . . . . . . .

when my elbows would not get in the way.

They are constantly BANGING into things -

     the soap holder in the shower, the frame of a doorway. . . . . . .

the WALL!

. . . . . . . leaving me with bruises, and shouting all kinds of expletives.

( Damn!  Shit!  F#^*  !!! )
 

I'm a bit attached to my elbows and,
     even though they ARE funny looking -

pointy, and knobby, and wrinkly,

I would not wish them away.

I DO recognize their value.

My arms would not bend as well, without them.  


I just wish they wouldn't get in the way!









Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Free Will?

Over the weekend, I saw the movie, The Adjustment Bureau, which brings up the age old question - 

 Do we have free will, or are our lives predetermined? 

The message that I walked away with,
     is that our lives are, indeed, predetermined, 

HOWEVER, 

we DO have free will to change our paths,
     if we believe strongly enough in something to do so. 

The question is - 

     How hard are you willing to fight for it?

     How much courage do you have? 

And,  ultimately - 

     How strongly do you believe in whatever it is 
          that could change your path..........................forever?   

     Are you willing to lose those things that,
          while they may not have brought you any of the answers
     or the happiness that you have been searching for,
     have been a constant in your life - reliable, and "always there"?

It is easy to continue following the same path,
     taking very little risk, in the process,
but the reality is that, very often, those "constants" in your life . . . . .  are just an illusion. 

The bigger question is -

     Are you leading an AUTHENTIC life?

          A life that you believe in?

               A life where you feel like you "fit" into the picture?

     A life where you are surrounded by people with whom you believe in,
          and they, in turn, believe in you?    

Something to think about . . . . . . . . on a Tuesday afternoon. 









 

 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Soccer Mom

Last night,
as I sat down with 3 awesome ladies to discuss the logistics of getting our sons
from points A, B,C, D, E, and F, to points G, H, and J, 3 DAYS A WEEK, 
while, somehow, managing time for them to do homework, eat dinner,and sleep 
I realized: 
I AM A SOCCER MOM.  

My kids have been playing soccer for YEARS, so technically,
I have been a soccer mom (in denial) for YEARS.

And, when I say "in denial", it is not because I have anything against soccer.

On the contrary, it has been a very positive influence in the lives of my children,
especially, my youngest son, who is quite passionate about the sport.
I thoroughly enjoy watching him and his teammates play.

It is just that the term "Soccer Mom" seems to diminish the "Mom" definition down to just one job duty. It would be like calling an Office Manager a Pencil Provider,
or a Day Care Provider a Babysitter, or a . . . well, you get the point.  

After realizing, however, that it takes a 3 hour meeting (and a few alcoholic beverages),
and 4 people to figure out and organize 3 nights of soccer practices to drive 6 boys to and from practice,for a total of 6 hours a week, NOT TO MENTION the weekend soccer games and tournaments,WHILE ALSO managing the activities of the other children in the household,
managing "the household", and maintaining the general sanity of the family unit . . .

< DEEP BREATH >

I have officially become . . .

A SOCCER MOM. 





 










Monday, March 7, 2011

Poetic Breakfast

A few drops of Olive oil, and butter (just a smidgen),

     joining together in a hot pan - 
crackling beneath the egg,  freshly dropped from its
delicate, brown shell.   

One piece of perfectly shaped, whole wheat bread -
     toasted, and butter-teased, 
adorned with sweet basil, and carefully placed beneath
the gentle, soft yolk. 

Soaking up the flavors - 
     an infusion of white,
and yellow.......................and green,
all the way down to the
crispy bottomed
brown.  

The olive oil, the butter,
the egg, the basil,
the toast.

Yum.

Breakfast.  










Friday, March 4, 2011

Middle School

My youngest child is in the sixth grade, which means next year, he will officially be in "middle school".

Ugh.  

If I scrunch up my face and squeeze my brain hard enough,
     I can recall a few good memories from that time,
but mostly, I HATED middle school.

My teachers were all OLD.
I think they were born at the school. 
And, they did not seem to like us "middle school-aged creatures" very much. 

I don't remember learning ANYTHING,
     other than how to stay afloat and survive how to be "that age".   

Last night, I attended my son's middle school orientation.
Many words were spoken,
     but the ones that resonated the most were when the principal said something like -

     ".............and they go from being children to being expected to act like little adults."

As my friend sitting next to me said,

     "and THIS is supposed to be making us feel BETTER?",

I thought to myself,

THAT  is EXACTLY how I felt, as a seventh grader.


I wasn't READY to leave the age when life was still innocent and fun -  
     when I did not have to worry about how to do my hair,
whether or not to wear make-up, how to walk, who to hang out with,
     or what other people think!

I just wanted to.....................

     "ride my horse, play kickball, 
     and hang out with my best friend, David Lineberry.  
The End." 

Like Buzz Lightyear, from Toy Story, however,
      I felt like someone had mistakenly plucked me out of my childhood with a GIANT CLAW,
dropping me into some horrible dream.

I wouldn't say, however, that I was completely unprepared.

Somewhere towards the end of my sixth grade year,   
     I was using the bathroom mirror to aid in adjusting the barrettes in my hair,
when one of the "popular" girls walked up and told me that my hair was pretty.

     "It IS???"  I responded, 
as if that thought had never crossed my mind (which it probably hadn't).     

To this day, I am still not sure if she was sincere, or if she was somehow making fun of me.

I caught that same girl in the bathroom that same year............... "practicing" her walk.


Yes.  

She had a "walk".  

Well, more of a "strut", really.   


It was in the sixth grade, when girls were starting to feather their hair,
     wear make-up, grow boobs,
and practice their walk.......................

     that I was faced with the reality that I was no longer just a "kid".

I WAS A GIRL.   

So, when I entered the seventh grade, I started trying to think like a "girl",
    and not the "tomboy" that I had always been,
which did not involve much thinking, at all.  



I talked my parents into investing in contact lenses and
     allowing me to get my hair feathered.
I liked it, but it meant getting up early to take a shower every morning,
so that I could spend the hour necessary to blow dry it,
                                                                                      curl it,
                                                                                               AND
                                                                                                     style it.

 Definitely much more labor intensive than snapping in two barrettes. 

I experimented with clothing.
Designer jeans were all the rage, but it took a few pair before I could find the right ones.
I still remember Jaimie Sabo making fun of me, one day,
     for wearing jeans that were too baggy.
He also made fun of me in the sixth grade for wearing a training bra.

The SIXTH GRADE!!!!!!

I never wore those jeans again.

I was short, but Jaimie Sabo was shorter than me.
To this day, I don't know why I was intimidated by him.
If I could, I would go back to that moment and say something to him.
Something smart and witty.   
Something that would leave him standing, speechless, in the middle of the hallway,
     alone, with nothing but his stupidity, embarrassment, and short height.    


Wait a minute.  

That would mean going back to middle school.  

Scratch that thought.

As I said, I don't know why I was so intimidated by him.
I did not intimidate easily, as I would soon find out........................   


One day, I was walking home from school with my very good friend, Yvette Buot.
Her house was not very far from the school, and I would frequently go home with her.
She and her family were Phillipino,
     and I still remember the wonderful aromas from her mom's cooking.
She fed me my first fried bananas - still a favorite of mine, to this day.

Anyways, some eighth grade girls were walking on the other side of the street.
I believe there were three of them,
     though, I only remember the names of two -  

     Patty and Elaine. 

Yvette and I were just happily, innocently walking along,
     when the girls yelled over to us from across the street.

     "SEVVIES!" they hollered. 

I don't remember if they said it once, or multiple times, but I do remember thinking to myself,
     "Okay.  I'll play along."   

     "EIGHT BALLS!"  I hollered back.

That didn't go over well.

They immediately started walking towards us, in a very threatening manner,
    insisting that I take those words back.
Honestly, even in my seventh grade brain, I thought the entire scenario was ridiculous.

"You called me a sevvy.  I called you an Eight Ball.
                                Game's over.  Move on!" I thought to myself. 

But, now, they were in my face, and threatening my space,
     and all I knew was that I was NOT going to let these bullies intimidate me.

     "Take it back, or I'm going to punch you in the face!" one of them said.

I don't remember saying anything at all, but I KNEW that I was not going to take it back.
The question was whether or not they were as tough as their words.

WHICH, THEY WERE.  
 
Patty was the scariest looking, but Elaine is the one who threw the punch.

Next thing I remember, I was at Yvette's house, on the phone with my mom.

What is it about a mom's voice? 

Up until that moment, I had held myself together, but the minute I heard her voice,
     the emotions began to trickle over.     

I shared this story with my son, not too long ago.
He kind of stared at me in disbelief.
I think it is difficult for children to imagine that their moms were once kids, too.
Hence, the expression, "You don't understand! You don't know what it's like!"

There is no doubt in my mind that growing up today is MUCH more difficult
     than it was when I was a kid.
However, I have no reason to think that my son's experience in middle school
    will be as unpleasant as mine was.

That being said, I still wish he could hold onto his innocence for a little while longer.   

I never had anymore issues with Patty and Elaine.
I believe they were suspended from school for a period of time,
     and I never talked to them again.

Would I have done anything differently?
    
Knowing what I know NOW, I would have just ignored them from the start.

But................................. I didn't know. 

I was just a kid.  



  

























 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Strawberry Milk


As a child, I enjoyed spending time with my grandmother.
She would sit and play cards with me for HOURS.

I still remember the expression on her face
every time that she picked the Old Maid from my hands.
Oh, how I would laugh! 


My grandmother and I both liked to draw.
We would set up the tv trays in the living room,
     using them as easels to hold up our sketch pads.

I remember imagining that we were sitting outside, somewhere in Paris.

I remember thinking that all adults must be good at drawing.

She was especially good at drawing trees and flowers.  
I liked to draw animals.
Especially, horses, dogs, and for some reason, barn owls. 

My grandmother did not own a car, and never had a driver's license.
When she lived in her house in Arlington,  Virginia,
     we would sometimes take the bus or the taxi cab to run errands.
I loved doing this with my grandmother.  
Mostly, the trips involved going to the bank, and going shopping.  
It didn't really matter where we went.
To me, it felt like such an adventure.

To this day, whenever I take the bus or a taxi cab, it feels that way.       

My grandmother loved to cook.
Everything she cooked was delicious.
I remember the sound of the "pop, pop!" in the frying pan,
     as she stood in her apron, at the stove -
filling the house with the smells of "yumminess".

My grandmother liked strawberries.
I liked strawberries, too.
Using a small knife, she would cut them up into bit-sized pieces,
     carefully letting them drop into two bowls - one for me, and one for her.  
She would pour milk over the top, creating a small stream around the bottom.  
Then, using a tiny spoon, she would sprinkle the berries with sugar.  

Together, we would eat our "snow-capped" mountain of strawberries.

When every last bite was gone,
     there would always be a surprise left at the bottom of the bowl.

Painted pink, from the berries, and sweetened with sugar.......................

     "Strawberry milk!"  I would say. 

And, picking up my bowl, with my two, child-sized hands,
     I would tip it into my mouth, and slurp up

every

                    last
                                         drop. 


































Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bra Shopping

For the men who read my blog, please excuse me for a moment,
     while I discuss something that only applies to women.

Well..........................mostly women. 

I BOUGHT A BRA ONLINE AND IT FITS!!!!!

Yes.

It's true.

I, like most women I know, HATE to go bra shopping.

Several years ago,
after watching an Oprah show that revolutionized the way that women shopped for bras
(or, at least, made us realize that we were, apparently, all wearing the wrong bra size),
I found a "bra boutique" that specialized in bras,
and though I paid WAY too much (in my opinion) for a glamorized piece of elastic,
it was worth it to me to have ONE PLACE that I knew I could count on
for elastic that fit properly.

I, also, discovered miracle panties at this boutique.
"One Size Fits All", they insisted.
You may be familiar with the brand, Hanky Pankies.
Difficult to believe that any panties could be "one size fits all",
but when Kelly Rippa from Regis and Kelly (who is a size 00) admitted to wearing them,
I became a believer.
I am quite certain that Kelly Rippa (size 00),
and I (NOT a size 00) do NOT wear the same size "anything".

Except for Hanky Pankies.  

Like I said, "MIRACLE PANTIES".  

Anyways.......................

Was it possible?

A place where I could buy bras AND panties (that FIT) ??????????????


Well, like all things that are too good to be true, guess what happened.

They, apparently, became too big for their britches (or brassieres),
so they "enhanced" their size (taking over the vacant space next door). 
A few years later, however,
their size became too much weight for them to bear (as apposed to "bare"), 
and they were forced to make "cuts", which eventually led to a major "reduction".

All that was left behind was a sign on the door that read, "Vacant".     

I have never had a problem with mine being "too big".

Quite the opposite, actually.  

Anyhow.............................

Back to square one for a place to buy bras and panties.

I held onto the ones that I had for as long as I could.

Unfortunately, I own a dog.

Need I say more?

You dog owners know what I am talking about.
Especially, FEMALE dog owners.   

 (Please don't take that personal.)

 MOST dogs like to eat, well, lots of things, including...............................panties.

Disgusting, I know, but it is the truth.  

So, after destroying several pair ..........................

(by the way, I am not quite sure why they call it a "pair" or "pairs" of underwear, when,
     as far as I know, people only wear one at a time),

.........................I went to the internet for help.

I stumbled upon a website called BareNecessities.com.

No taxes.

No shipping charges.

And, their Hanky Pankies were several dollars cheaper than where I bought them before.
Even more so, if you bought them in packs of five.................. which I did.

I placed my order, and within four days, they were delivered to my doorstep,
along with a coupon for 10% off of my next purchase.  

I was quite impressed.

So impressed, in fact, that I used my coupon less than a month later.

Yes.  I ordered a bra.

BIG RISK, I know, without trying it on.

Made by SPANX (a well known, reputable brand), the description read

"Bra-llelujah!, 

and 

"As seen on Good Morning America"

I am a big fan of Good Morning America.  How could I go wrong?

I took the leap and ordered the bra, trying not to get my hopes up,
despite the amazing marketing ploy.  

I placed the order last Friday, and my package came in today.

The first thing I did was try on the bra, and............................. 

BRA-LLELUJAH! 

IT FIT!

My new favorite bra boutique is now just a few taps on the keyboard away,

     which makes buying a piece of glamorized elastic........................a snap!






www.bareneccesities.com