Thursday, April 30, 2009

Perhaps I should grow up too

I have been pretty torqued.

(Wow, I really LOVE that word -- torqued. What an awesome word.)

Anyway, yeah, I've been torqued about the Mother's Day situation. In a nutshell, Wonderhubby and I will not be singing at our traditional Mother's Day restaurant gig for the first time in about six years.

I started writing out all the reasons why, but I deleted it all. I realized that I sounded petulant and whiney, and I thought that was unbecoming.

That I was BETTER than that.

Except I'm not.

I AM petulant and whiney.

And irritated.

And cranky.


And basically feeling like a put-out 12-year-old who can't have her cake and eat it too.

Sigh. We never do get over ourselves, do we?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Reasons why I am totally keeping him

Me: I'm ready to go; I just have to put some makeup on.

Him: Why? You look beautiful to me ...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

(singing harmony along with a Carrie Underwood song on the radio)

Him: They should have gotten YOU to sing backup for her. You're much better than that person.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

(via text) We're screwed. My sister is having Mother's Day brunch.
(Note: this means that our usual singing gig on Mother's Day is seriously muffed up.)

Him: Better let (our buddy) know. That sucks.

Me: You gonna sing or go to my sister's?

Him: I will do what you think is best for us.

He's mine. You can't have him.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Parlez-vous problem-solving?

The Roo-girl is struggling.

She hasn't struggled with school work since the end of third grade, when we discovered the cause of some of her issues. With that problem addressed, her middle school grades were all-star and she learned to love the feel of academic success.

But high school has been a different affair.

(Continued at Mid-Century Modern Moms)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Weekly Winners: April 19-25

This was a red-letter weekend in my blogging career. The first time I met an actual blog friend in real life!

Ok, let me back up. On Saturday we went to "The First Seventh Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational" -- a goofy thing, really. But we had a reason for going there.

Not just for the grilled cheese sandwiches ...

... although Wonderhubby really enjoyed them.

And so did the Roo-girl.

But the real reason was this:

That is me on the right with Rachel of A Southern Fairy Tale. She was here by the grace of Kraft (you know, like in "Singles") to blog about the grilled cheese fest.

Even the Roo-girl met her first blogger. No, we were very careful not to let it slip that I blog. Just that she is a friend whose blog I read. Sneaky, eh?

We took the train to the festival. I loved the colors and angles of this shot:

And the message of this one:

And I leave you with this image, shot by not by me, but by Wonderhubby. It is, of course, the promise of a better tomorrow.

Go --->here<--- for more weekly winners.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Haiku Friday: the anniversary edition

Haiku Friday

April twenty-fourth
will forever be the day
when we remember ...

... that precious moment
when we pledged to each other
and joined our two lives.

Six years have flown by,
and yet it seems like always.
My love and my heart.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Their sister is an only child?

This has been a fairly contemplative week.

We have pondered our mortality.

And rum balls.

As a result, the Roo-girl has had a major yen to look at pictures. Pictures of her as a baby, pictures of me, pictures of her brothers.

She pestered me endlessly Monday night to go into the creepy, dark, spidery garage and dig out a box of photos from years ago.

We spread the photos all over my bed, and she gently picked through them.

There were baby pictures. Toddler photos. Elementary school shots.

Mostly of Drummer, Drama King and Z-man.

Some of me and an ex-husband. Some of my parents.

She pulled out some that she wanted for herself.

This one:

Aspen, 1986
And this one:

Mother/daughter 1976
And this one:

Drummer and Drama King, 1985

"But there are none of me," she whined.

I know, I answered. There are other boxes.

"Can we look for them soon?"

Yes, of course.

"But where ARE the photos of me?"

Omigod, Roo-girl, your photos are ALL. OVER. THIS. ROOM.

I walked over the bookcase ... and the mantle ... and my nightstand.


And here:

And here:

And she burst out laughing.

"I AM your favorite," she crowed. "I just KNEW it!!!"

I laughed too.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Yo ho ho and a bottle of ... something

"Do you think I'm someone who would do drugs?"

Well, THAT question came out of the blue.

Actually it came out of a darkened car, as the Roo-girl and I were driving to the mall last night.

There actually was some context for it as she told me how many of her friends had Facebook statuses yesterday (April 20) that said, "It's 4-20. Guess what I'm doing."

And then she rolled her eyes and said, "Like I care. I've never done that stuff, and I don't intend to."

She went on: "You know me. Do you think I'm someone who would do drugs?"

I was a little unsure how to answer. Quite frankly, I didn't just fall off the turnip truck. I know that parents don't ALWAYS know what their kids are doing, and I know that kids will experiment -- or more -- behind our backs. And frankly, I know what my generation did behind OUR parents' backs.

So I attempted to waffle.

"Well, I would HOPE you wouldn't."

"Oh, seriously, Mom, not what you hope, but what you think."


"I've never done drugs, and I've never smoked, and I've never had alcohol."


"Pfffffft," she said. "The most alcoholic thing I've ever had was ..."

Wait for it.

"... A rum ball!"

She really does make me laugh.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Holding on

On Friday, we went to the funeral for an amazing woman.

It was the Roo-girl's first ever funeral, and she was nervous about it. She was concerned that there would be an open casket. She was concerned that it would be awful.

Her literal concerns were mostly unfounded. But my mommy Spidey senses were tingling furiously.

(Continued at Mid-Century Modern Moms)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Weekly Winners: April 12-18

The flowers that bloom in the spring, tra-la ...

Nothing you could say can tear me away from my guy ...

The hands that rock my world:

Brake dancing:

Itty bitty teeny turtle:

J-bear brought home yet ANOTHER creature of the water.
Actually there are two of them -- and when they get big enough,
they'll be added to the loooooove shack.

The tortoise and the mouse?

Go --->here<--- for more weekly winners.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Haiku Friday: the that's-no-bull edition

Haiku Friday

Passover's done, but
I still must tell the greatest
story ever told.

Moses was on the
mountain, receiving the 10
commandments from God.

Below, the people
were restless -- he had been gone
for a real long time.

They did not believe
Moses would ever return.
They grumbled a lot.

They begged Aaron to
make them a god they could see.
They didn't believe.

When Aaron gave in,
he collected all their gold
and melted it down.

From their gold, he made
a calf for them to worship.
*shrug* We used spray paint.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My mother, the pole dancer (part 2)

Yeah, there is more. There's ALWAYS more.

When it comes to pole-dancing grandmas, how can you ever get enough?

To recap, my mother is 79. She pole-dances. It scares me.

So, it's Passover, and most of the seder dinner crowd has gone from my parents' house. My children, husband and I remain. (We always do -- otherwise, who would put the extra chairs down in the basement and take the leaves out of the dining room table? We all have our jobs.)

Anyway, we're sitting around in the family room. For some reason, my mother gets a bright idea.

"Oh, Roo-girl," she says cheerfully. "I need to show you my shoes!"

Um, ok. So we're all expecting some kind of expensive designer something-or-other that is typical of my mother and would undoubtedly make my daughter drool.

But instead, she brings out a flannel drawstring bag.

Which she ceremoniously un-drawstrings ...

And opens ...

And pulls out a pair of shoes.

Not any shoes, mind you. CFM shoes. For pole-dancing.

Yes, those are the actual shoes, on my mother's actual feet

But wait!!

What is that pink thing that just fell out of the bag and onto the floor?

"Oh," says my mother, without batting an eye. "That's my G-string."

*blink blink blink*

YOUR WHAT??????????

Drummer Man looks up from his magazine and arches one eyebrow.

"I got a couple of singles," he says, with that trademark deadpan delivery.

None of us will ever be the same.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The circle of life

I'm a little lost.

I have funny stories to tell from Passover, but it just seems 27 ways of wrong to tell them today.

Today, when the Spohrs are saying goodbye to their precious Maddie ...

... and when my sister-in-law is saying goodbye to her precious mother.

A woman who, not even a week ago, sat at my left hand at Seder dinner.

And laughed until Manischewitz wine came out of her nose and tears ran down her cheeks when my brother read his part of the Passover service in a spontaneous and spot-on imitation of her late husband, complete with thick Eastern European accent.

A woman who, a mere 48 hours later, had a massive stroke and who, yesterday, was taken off life support.

Jewish law and tradition dictate that we bury our dead quickly. Which we will do.

And then life will go on.

But there will be two holes in my heart. One for a special baby I didn't know, and one for a special woman I did.

I will miss them both.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Strapped for ideas

This is my daughter. She is a beautiful young woman, if I may say so.

But there is something about this photo that irritates the living daylights out of me. Can you find it?

(Continued at Mid-Century Modern Moms)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Weekly Winners: April 5-11

This past week, we began the celebration of Passover, leading to the perfect opportunity to shoot pictures of the kids without them object TOO much.

But first, we take a moment for a brief plea for sympathy.

Put this at a precarious angle in a crowded cabinet ...

Add a total klutz, and you get this:

Yes, it's most likely broken, and no, I didn't see a doctor.
I have taped it to its next-door neighbor and moved on.
Hobbling a little, but moving on nevertheless ...

Ok, we can go to more pleasant subjects now.

Drummer Man tickles the ivories:

Behind bars:

A two-fer ... the happy couple:

My girlie-girl:

Go --->here<--- for more weekly winners.

And then, go here ... or here ... or here to donate to the March of Dimes or to help the Spohr family, following the sudden and tragic loss of the beautiful Maddie.

And then hug your kids. They are precious.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Compote happens

Tonight is the first night of Passover, and in honor of the holiday season, I am reprinting one of my favorite posts -- the story of matzah and my colon. Or, as we refer to it at this time of year, my semi-colon.

This is a difficult week for those of us of the Jewish persuasion -- of which I count myself a member.

It's Passover -- truly a lovely holiday that is all about the celebration of freedom from slavery.

I love this holiday. I love the traditions. I love the two nights of seder dinners with their traditional foods. I love the way the foods are meant to represent parts of the story -- the charoset (the mortar of the bricks the Jews made for the pharaohs of ancient Egypt), the bitter herb (representing the bitterness of slavery), the matzah (the unleavened bread that the Jews took on their flight from Egypt because they couldn't wait for the bread to rise).

Yes, I love it all.

Well, almost all.

I hope it's OK if I tell you a little secret:


Matzah really IS the bread of our affliction.

Or, to put it another way: Holy Moses! I am so freakin' constipated!!!!!

Ah, matzah, I love you, but you do not love me.

There is nothing that binds us Jews together like the traditional solidifying of our intestinal tract into a concrete block.

And please, let's not talk about the after-effects of my favorite take-to-work-during-Passover lunch: melted cheese on a matzah.

That sound you heard was my colon grinding to a halt.

Now, when I was a small child and going to seders at the home of the family matriarch (my paternal grandmother -- and you BETTER not cross this woman ... and I'm serious, young lady!), there was always something that puzzled me about the meal.

She always served this nauseating fruit compote thing for dessert.

All us kids would stare at it in horror and try to pass it off to the person to our right. Uh, no thanks, Grandma. Really! I couldn't eat another bite!

Right nasty it was, all pale and slimy-looking in a bowl.

But it wasn't until years later that I had an epiphanous moment.

It was stewed fruit, people. Apricots, peaches and PRUNES!

My grandma knew even way back then the importance of this traditional phrase:

"Let my people GO!!!!!!!!!!"

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

How I turned sloth into a parenting success

I'm messy.

Sorry, it's true.

I did not get the cleaning gene, and I'm perfectly capable of stepping around the clutter without picking it up.

I also hate laundry.

With a passion. A white-hot passion.

And so when it comes to doing the laundry, I stall.

And stall.

Eventually, the Roo-girl figured out that it was easier to do her own laundry. That way, she could have WHAT she needed WHEN she needed, and she didn't have to wait until I got around to it. (When you're 14 and you have to figure out the perfect outfit every day for school, this becomes a very important consideration.)

Let's back up a second. I want to make sure you actually heard what I said:

The Roo-girl does her own laundry.


But wait! There's more!

When she gets ready to do her laundry, she always pokes her head into the master suite.

"Do you guys have laundry to do? I'm doing mine, and I don't have a full load."

Let us have a moment of silence while that sinks in.

In case you missed it, here it is in a nutshell:


My work here is done.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The times, they are a-boring

Holy cow, I'm boring.

Seriously. I'm B.O.R.I.N.G.

However, before you say, "Oh poor Janet. I hope something interesting comes along," let me explain.

(Continued at Mid-Century Modern Moms)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Weekly Winners: March 29-April 5

So, what's the buzz?

Well, you can tell it's April because ...

... the crape myrtles are blooming

You know you wanna ...

... hit the pinata ...
There is a reason for this pinata thingy. I can't tell you yet.
But I will say that it will be TOTALLY worth it!
(And I am a TOTALLY sick individual.)

The championship backpack:

Yes, they're No. 1 -- national champs at last!

The face of a champion:

Go --->here<--- for more weekly winners.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Haiku Friday: the let us pass over edition

Haiku Friday

It's that time of year
when we bring out the matzah.
But this year it's more.

Next week is seder.
We'll meet at the home of the
pole-dancing grandma ...

That's not the best part.
It's the first time that Rocky
will meet the whole fam.

Yes, my son's boyfriend
will meet my homophobic
brother-in-law -- HA!

A dining-room full
of hilarious tension.
Can you say fodder????

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Dream state

I have a recurring dream.

The circumstances are always different, but the underlying theme is always the same.

I'm supposed to be somewhere, and I'm not ready to go, and time is ticking away, and I'm supposed to pack -- or get dressed -- and a deadline looms. And I'm stressing ... and worrying ...

And then I wake up.

Every. single. time.

It's a stress dream, this I know. My version of the "public speaking in your underwear" or "showing up for the final and knowing you have no clue what class you are taking" dreams.

Sometimes I'm in a hotel and I know my plane takes off at 6 a.m. and it's 5:30 and I'm not even packed and ... oops.

Sometimes I'm in a dorm room and I'm leaving college to go home and I haven't packed up my stuff and my plane leaves in an hour and ... oops.

Sometimes I am supposed to be on stage with my chorus and I don't have my makeup and our call time is minutes from now and ... oops.

That was the dream I had the other night. We just came off of competition season for my chorus. In my dream, I knew I had to be onstage in 30 minutes, about 90 miles from home.

And I was still in my bedroom, looking for my mascara.

Somehow, though, I ended up in the auditorium, all dressed and made up, but as I rushed inside, the chorus had already taken the stage. I sat in the audience and sobbed.

And somehow, sitting next to me was my director, even though she actually would have been on stage directing my chorus mates.

In my dream, she put her arm around my shoulders and told me, "It's ok, you missed this one, but it's ok, don't worry."

If that had been real life, she would have ripped me a new orifice in my derriere for missing the performance, but never mind that part.

The important part -- in my opinion -- was this:

The dream was completed. I was late, I missed my deadlines, I was upset and beating myself up, but I didn't die and I was told that "it was ok."

What is different since the last time I had this dream?

I left the newspaper business. I left the stress behind. I found something that makes me happy.

And I brought closure to my recurring nightmare.

Ahhh. Life is good.
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