Monday, September 28, 2009

Taking it to the limit

I took a big step this weekend.

I did something that I have never done before. Something that scared me half to death.

I was a brave little puppy.

What did I do, you ask?

(Continued at Mid-Century Modern Moms)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Weekly Winners: September 20-26

This week, I traveled far, far away -- to an exotic location, in fact, where I shot some amazing waterfalls and lush mountainsides.

Beautiful, isn't it? Oh wait. I lied. This was not Hawaii at all, but a disaster from down the street. If you look carefully at the photo below, it's actually down the street from me, where a broken water main took down a part of the greenbelt. The wall is a normal-sized backyard wall ...

And here is what it looked like at streetside. Fortunately, Wonderhubby came to the rescue and turned off the water. But not before this happened:

For a little more beauty, however, we offer this lovely, dew-sprinkled flower from my yard:

And a little more sprinkles ...

And what would weekly winners at the Planet house be if there weren't cheer photos to share.

Ponytail swish:

Neither of these are my kid, but I love the action of it

How high the sky ...

Now go -->here<-- to Lotus' house to see more Weekly Winners!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Time is on our side

First order of business: A sincere and heartfelt thank you for the hugs and offers of much needed wine and chocolate.

There is nothing like the online community when you need a shoulder to cry on or a co-conspirator to rage at the heavens with.

I really love you guys ...

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

There really is something funny going on in the world, though. And the most obvious creepy indicator is the clock in one of our office meeting rooms.

Every day at 2:02 p.m., the hands on the clock start to move. The big hand sweeps around twice, while the little hand inches forward, and they land at straight-up 4 o'clock.

For 11 minutes, the clock does not move. It sits -- taunting us -- at 4.

Until, at precisely 2:13 in real time, when it springs to life again.

Now the clock hands spin around again, this time at top speed. Around and around and around and around they go until coming to rest again at -- now -- 2:14.

It's creepy. It's weird. And it happens every day.

Like clockwork.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Why do I have to be angry all the time?

I am angry.

Irrationally, totally, irrefutably angry.

For any one reason? No.

For a lot of reasons that just push my buttons and send me off the deep end?

Yeah. That's the ticket.

Most of my reasons are pretty good ones by themselves. Together, though?

Look. out. Mama's gonna blow!

Observe, in no particular order:

1) Roo-girl's cheer coaches have made some -- ahem -- interesting decisions about the competition team that, in my humble opinion, adversely affect my daughter's ability to advance her tumbling skills. They decline to listen to reason or logic.

To add insult to injury, they also decline -- for no good reason other than "that's just the way it is" -- to allow the returning girls to have their national titles embroidered on the backs of their new uniform jackets, the way they had been on the previous ones.

Not allow my baby to show off her accolades because "that's just the way it is"??? Grrrrr.

2) Wonderhubby, for all his wonder'ness, moved forward on a mortgage refinance that I was opposed to. It was a lot of effort for very little gain and resulted in us having to have our property taxes impounded monthly. Can I just say I HATE that??????

I'm working on forgiving him, but every month when I write that check for more than our previous payment, it will remind me. Grrrrr.

3) My mother. My mother is aggravating me in ways that I can barely even think about. Apparently, in the bad-daughter department, I didn't call frequently enough. As a result, when she had to have a second surgery for breast cancer two weeks after the first one, no one let me know.

And I quote: "Those who called were told." Obviously, I failed some sort of test. Grrrrrr.

4) My house is a disaster area of unfinished projects: the backyard (up-ended and unfinished for more than a year, including a concrete pad that is one-third done); a kitchen project that has gone on for several weeks that results in my refrigerator being in my dining room; hardwood floors that are finished but not "finished" (baseboards and doorways); walls that are partially painted.

Can you say ADHD? Grrrrrr.

5) Plus my fantasy football team is sucking it down the tubes.

And that probably aggravates me most of all.

Please send wine.

And chocolate.

Monday, September 21, 2009

And who does Mama teach to mend and tend and fix ...

I believe in God.

I keep a kosher home.

When my children turned 13, each of them in turn became a bar or bat mitzvah -- literally, a son or daughter of the commandment -- and took their places as an "adult" in the Jewish community.

As an adult, I have always belonged to a synagogue and gone to services on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Until now.

This year, I let my temple membership lapse and didn't even purchase tickets (yes, you need tickets) to the holiday services. I continually walked past the envelope of membership information without taking action.

As early as Friday morning (before Rosh Hashanah began at sundown), I still had no plan. Fortunately, my BFF rescued me from my malaise and offered my family a place at her synagogue with her family.

But as I sat in services on Saturday morning, flanked by the Roo-girl and Z-man, I realized one of the sources of my problem.

Tradition -- or, rather, the lack of.

For years, my parents hosted a night-before dinner on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. When that stopped, they hosted post-services lunch on Rosh and a break-the-fast on Yom.

This year, there was none. Some of that was due to my mother's breast cancer diagnosis not being as clean and pretty as we had hoped. She was clearly not up to hosting anything.

But even so, I realized I have nothing in its place. The torch has not passed to another family member, nor have I taken up the challenge myself.

So there was nothing. No dinner. No lunch. No family gathering. And I barely managed to have a place to worship with the two children of mine who still live under my roof.

My childhood and, frankly, adulthood are filled with memories of holiday dinners at first my grandparents and then my parents.

Right now, I despair at the memories -- or lack thereof -- I am making for my children ...

Crossposted at Mid-Century Modern Moms

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Weekly Winners: September 13-19

You can tell it's cheer season when the only shots in my camera are -- ahem -- cheer photos.

Go, Roo-girl!

She's an "H":

Leapin' lizards!

Now go -->here<-- to Lotus' house to see the work of photographers with more varied subject matter!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

L'shana tova

May you enjoy your apples and honey

May you find it easy to give and receive

May you know when to surrender, and do so with grace

May you remember that some people's lives are parched dry ...
and be grateful for the abundance in yours

May you find beauty in unexpected places

May you carry your loads with ease amid sweetness

May you learn and teach well

May you move with as much joy and ease as you can

May your home be filled with fresh air and light

May your tense and angry times be short-lived ...

so that you come back quickly to your comfortable ol' self

May you be startled and delighted by new beginnings

May you find your uniqueness

May you play with friends...

and hear beautiful music

May you come to the surface for air when you need it

And may everything that hurts you also be a little funny

Have a wonderful 5770!!
L'shana tova ...
To a good year for us all.

Hat tip to my IRL friend who sent this to me in an email.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Scenes from a mall

"We have to be home by 9," says the Roo-girl, as we drove to the mall.


"We better be home by 9," says her Evil Mother. "Because if we're not, we've been at the mall waaaaaaay too long."

"My show is on at 9," says the Roo-girl. "I have to watch 'Gossip Girl.' "

"Really," says her Evil Mother.

"Yes," says the Roo-girl. "They're starting college, and I have to be there for every minute!!!!"

"Bwahahahahaha," laughs her Evil Mother.

"And Chuck -- can you believe it, CHUCK!!!!!! -- said 'I love you' to Blair at the end of the last show," says the Roo-girl. "It was a cliffhanger!!!!!"

No, I couldn't believe it either. Imagine. "I love you" as a cliffhanger.

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

We shared a teriyaki chicken bowl. Me with chopsticks, her with a fork.

I picked up -- and promptly dropped -- a chopstickful of rice all over the table.

"Sheesh, I think I'm even messier than you," I said to her. "Hard to believe, but true. But then I am using chopsticks, and you ... "

She waggled her fork at me, meaningfully.

"Evolution, my friend," she smirked. "Evolution."

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

Yes, there is nothing like going to the mall with a 15-year-old girl.

Nothing like the light in her eyes when she finds the perfect t-shirt. The perfect shoes. The perfect jacket.

With mom's perfect credit card.

God, I really am a sucker for that face.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Hey hey, ho ho -- let's get that ball and really go!

Ah, fall.

Well. I mean: Ah, almost fall.

Well. What I REALLY mean is: AHHHH, FOOTBALL!

(Continued at Mid-Century Modern Moms)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Weekly Winners: September 6-12

My photos this week have no theme. They go from the intensely emotional to the extremely ridiculous to the very proud with very few chances to catch my breath in between. So I'm sharing them with you exactly as I experienced them.

A visit to the traveling exhibit of the Vietnam Memorial Wall:

Now that I have tugged at your heartstrings and you have wept along with me, I present the ridiculous part of my week.

I guess they don't TP houses any more:

Yes, someone actually post-it-noted someone else's car ... Crazy!

From the ridiculous to the proud. Football has arrived, and cheer is back in full swing.

Practice, practice, practice:

And then practice, practice, practice:

Getting ready for her very first game as a varsity cheerleader:

Cheer hands:

Be still, my pounding heart:

That little speck of a thing on the right that is NOT ON THE GROUND is my Roo-girl.

Go --->here<--- for more weekly winners at the lovely Lotus' house! Meanwhile, I'm going to take my blood pressure medication and go lie down!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

And so it begins ... again

That's varsity, baby!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Random acts of blondness, part the ninth

We were at my BFF's on Sunday for a little rest, relaxation, jacuzzi'ing, Captain Morgan and cutthroat Scrabble and a lot of double solitaire.

Roo-girl was in fine form, proclaiming herself "here for comedic relief."

And indeed she was, as she bantered with my BFF's son, the Skateboard King.

Skateboard King: Well, aren't you special!

The Roo-girl: Beauty AND brains.

Skateboard King: Yep, you've got it all.

The Roo-girl: A triple threat!!!!

Evil Mother: Bwahahahahahahahahahaa...

The Roo-girl: I'm never going to live that down, am I?

Evil Mother: Nope, never ...

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

In case you missed it, I made my debut at Room 704, the brainchild of Vdog, Kaiser Mommy and Mrs. Flinger, with a review of a lip gloss. I love it when my daughter plays right into my hands.

Check it out!

Monday, September 7, 2009

A mother's sacrifice

There's an old joke that Jewish mothers don't let their baby boys play football or join the military.

Just for the record, none of my three sons played on the gridiron, but all of them -- when they turned 18 -- registered for the Selective Service.

(Continued at Mid-Century Modern Moms)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Weekly Winners: August 30-September 5

This week we celebrated Z-man's birthday with the appropriate -- ahem -- birthday dinner fanfare. And it wouldn't be birthday dinner without the appropriate photo ops.

Drama King meets J-bear's hair:

His words to me: "Could you WARN a guy??" Bwahahahaha!


The embarrassment of the birthday cupcake:

And the requisite group shot:

They are cute, aren't they?

Go --->here<--- for more weekly winners at the lovely Lotus' house!

Friday, September 4, 2009

If you teach a man to fish ...

My mom had surgery this week.

It's definitely breast cancer, but it was caught very, very early. She had a lumpectomy on Wednesday as an outpatient.

She handled it quite well and, by the day after surgery, was only taking Tylenol, rather than the hard stuff.

We're still waiting for the pathology report, which is why -- if you don't know me in real life or on Plurk -- I haven't said much (or anything) about it.

The path report will tell us if the edges were clean and the tale of the lymph nodes (2) that were removed.

In the meantime, we muddle through.

And if you know my family AT ALL, you know that there is humor in all things.

So there we were, sitting in the lobby of the outpatient center. My father, my sister and two of my mom's friends (neither of them are pole-dancing cronies, just fyi).

At one point, there were turkey sandwiches involved -- and enough pickles for us to open our own deli. Oh, and cole slaw. And thousand island dressing.

We smelled delicious.

And of course, there was the obligatory "What to expect from your outpatient surgery experience" brochure.

On page 3 was a description of the center's hospital bracelet color-coding system.

White for the patient's name.

Red for allergies.


I looked at it over my dad's shoulder and laughed.

"It's like the jelly bracelets the kids wear -- and you KNOW what that means, don't you?" I howled.

My dad looked puzzled.

"The girls wear these bracelets, and the color indicates what they're willing to do."

"Do?" he asked.

"Um," I hedged. "They're ... um ... what they're willing to DO."

He didn't miss a beat.

"Where do you find those girls????"

Yep. That's my dad.

He knows what he likes.

And it ain't fish.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Birthday dinner: when my kids say what's on my mind but don't dare speak aloud

Z-man's 20th birthday dinner was everything I could have hoped it could be.

Let's just say ... it was the first time that Drama King had seen J-bear's hair.

He looked at her. He looked at me. He poked at its gluey pointiness.

And then he waited for his moment to do my dirty work.

Drama King: How old are you, J-bear?

J-bear: 19.

Drama King: *turning to Roo and recalling a familiar sibling torment* So it's actually 19 when you will turn into a boy.

Evil Mother: *spits diet soda with lime all over the table*

Rocky: *turning to Z-man* And when you were 19, you turned into a girl.

Z-man: Bwahahahahahahahahahahaaa!!!!

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

We had Italian for dinner, and so there must be the obligatory sausage jokes.

Wonderhubby: The sausage in that pasta has a pretty good bite to it.

Rocky: It's spicy. But it's pretty good.

Drama King: I like spicy sausages ...

Z-man: Oh please.

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

Drama King: To celebrate Z-man's birthday, let's all tell our favorite memories. I'll go first.


Drama King: My favorite memory is from last Thanksgiving, while we were sitting on the steps.

Rocky: Yeah, that's example No. 2 in the handbook "How Not to Come Out to Your Parents."

Wonderhubby: What's No. 1?

Z-man: Text message!

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

Then there was the other obligatory conversation about corn ... and a debate about who originally DID it and who SAID it.

Unfortunately for me, there is written evidence (that I wrote myself) documenting it, so it looks like I either have a photographic memory ... or I'm keeping a journal.

Uh ... yeah.

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