Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Little Guy!

Today my little guy turned 13. Wowza! I'm in awe of my little spook. I've never known anyone to be so comfortable in their skin. His cup is consistently way more than half full. And, well, I absolutely love and adore him. Lucky, lucky, lucky me, lucky us.

We just got home from three hours of trick-or-treating. My little guy was an awesome football clown (think rodeo clown on a football field) and I rocked it as Pippi Longstocking, totally my childhood idol. We're exhausted and utterly and completely blissed out.

Happy birthday, little dude! Thanks for choosing me to be your mom! You are so incredibly loved!

Sunday, October 30, 2011


When I was a kid I found the concept of being friends with other girls who were more than a year or two different than my own age an impossibility. The thought of an actual adult woman being my friend, well, no way. It was beyond my scope of imagination. I'm so grateful that I am no longer limited by something so insignificant as years upon this earth. The wisdom and life experience and all that my friends share with me and each other is awe-worthy. We're a lovely field of flowers, all of us, women and girls. We grow side by side and are more beautiful by virtue of those who surround us.

To all my women friends, ages 0-90, "cheers" to us!

Love, hugs, and kisses....

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Technology Bytes

We took all technology away from our kiddos and the most amazing thing has happened. No surprise actually. Big guy has been on multiple bike rides and has been hanging out with real, live friends. I've hardly seen him today.  Little guy spent the day skateboarding and unicycling with friends. But...what was totally awesome was when my little guy and two friends hung out in the front yard working on getting a dead limb out of a tree.  It's been up there for several years, ever since a strong wind storm snapped a large branch from the top and it fell into a "Y" branch and there it has stayed...and stayed. Those little guys (OK, they're all just about my height or bigger, so not so little) strategized, schemed, gathered tools, and worked as an incredible team. Logs and boards flew through the air, sometimes hitting their mark, sometimes going astray. They all looked out for each other and made sure no one was in harm's way. Large pots were brought over to serve as stools for added height. And, finally, our extension pole with a saw on the end was requested. My little guy worked and worked and worked and finally, after much anticipation, that limb fell. It landed vertically and promptly fell toward him and being the agile little dude that he is, he jumped aside just in time. The weary, but ever-so-happy team congratulated themselves. They were fully aware of their awesomeness. And me? Lucky me, I got to sit inside and spy on the whole adventure. Made my day!

If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger.
~Frank Lloyd Wright

Friday, October 28, 2011

Too Many Balls in the Air

Went out to dinner tonight and the waiter guy did something that always has me nervous. He didn't write ANYTHING down when he was taking our order. And we did that confusing thing, asking lots of questions during our order, adding things, talking over each other (OK, actually it was me talking over Dave, I'm always the interrupter). The waiter walked away, seemingly confident, but as always when this happens, I couldn't relax while I waited to see what totally "opposite day" order was going to be placed in front of me. I did a really bad job of small talk, casting frequent glances in the direction of the waiter.

Me? I can't make it to the refrigerator and know why I'm there. I find myself in the laundry room only to remember that I really wanted some yogurt. I have to write down why I'm going to the school office so I don't end up just turning around and heading back to my room empty-handed (Man, when I was in a portable I wasted SO much time because of this...long walk there and back and then back again when I figured it out).

Well, happy ending. Our orders were perfect, of course. I'm thinking that next time, just for my sanity, I'll write our orders down and give them to the waitperson. Yeah, then I can make some decent conversation while we wait.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Under where?

Way too often I've been accused of having a twelve-year-old boy's sense of humor.  It's true.  I do find bodily functions, both accidental and intentional, to be hilarious.  I love awkwardness and I've been known to laugh to the point of crying watching that Johnny Knoxville cable show, you know the one.

Today as I left work I ran full force into twelve-year-old boy humor.  As I walked my bike down the sidewalk I saw a kid dancing around the stop sign pole.  I got closer and I recognized him AND he's only wearing boxer shorts!  Two boys were sitting their skateboards laughing hysterically.  I knew one of them.  He's been to my house several times, and yes, he's twelve.

"Gee, did X lose a bet or something?" I asked.  You know, I figured why the heck NOT ask, right?

They jumped...pretty sure they weren't expecting anyone to walk by, much less a teacher at the school AND one of their friend's mom.

"Um, no, I just told him I'd give him something if he did it."

"Hmmmm..."  I had to keep walking.  Didn't want them to know how funny I found the whole situation.  I crossed paths with X as he walked toward his buds, still in his boxer shorts, carrying his clothes in one arm.

"Hey, X, how's it going?"

"Fine."  He flashed me a smile that definitely should've been more sheepish.

When I got home I relayed the afternoon's events to my little guy.

"Oh, yeah, they're always doing stuff like that.  You know [an anonymous convenience store] has that sign on their door that says NO SHIRT, NO SHOES, NO SERVICE?"  He was clearly gearing up to his "even better" story.

"No, I've never noticed it."  Gee, what was coming next?

"Well, they wore their shoes and their shirts but went in wearing their boxer shorts."  Man, he was beaming with pride for his peeps.  "Not me, mom, I never did it," he quickly added.

Pretty sure I don't want him to know that I'd be beaming with a little pride myself if he had. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"Junk" in my Trunk

Watching, well sort of watching (to the best of my ability), my kid's football game, sitting most comfortably in a stadium chair I picked up from my neighbors' curb. Lucky for me I pass their house pretty much every day and usually more than once. They put out anything and everything out there and I'm all about snatching it up. Our outdoor furniture, lamps, some boots, a treadmill, and much, much's all mine now! They're on to me, though. A couple of weeks ago they actually drove over and knocked on our door to give us stuff directly! Major score, too, as it was two beautiful antique tables and four matching chairs. We LOVE their hand-me-downs and as long as they're putting stuff out on the curb, I refuse to grow up and completely provide for myself.

And, gosh, I'm getting positively tingly about the upcoming bulky pickup. South Austin Swap Meet bliss! We can all put out on the curb stuff that didn't work out from last time's.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bravery Shravery

Outside tonight watching my kid set a new personal best record for distance unicycling.  Yeah, he totally did it.  A neighbor (a young mother) came out and told me, "You're so brave as a mother!"

I manage to stop myself before I say, "Oh, you just wait."  But, I'm thinking, "Me?  The brave one?"  I mean really, gosh, I'm just going on the crazy ride with my kid.  HE's the brave one.  He's had five broken bones (enough to justify this crafty mom making a mobile out of his cast is now proudly hanging in his bedroom) and I think, at last count, eight visits to the E.R.  And this doesn't count all the free visits to the E.R. Doc who lives across the street.  Let's just take a moment to be thankful for his home shopping decision!

No, I'm not brave, I'm just seriously broken in.  There's hardly anything my kid can do that will make me gasp with worry or fear.  It's serious fun watching him do it to other people, though.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Tale of Three Tails

Tails 1 and 2
We think Pug killed Skippy tonight. You know, our awesome purring cat and the super cool squirrel that Dave loves so. From the looks of it, it was quick. When I left the house to get the big guy from driver's ed, Pug was lying beside Skippy, both on their stomachs, both with tails behind them. The looked like inter-species BFFs...except for the "one of them is dead because the other one killed it" thing.

Tail 3
I hit Thrift Town tonight before big guy's class let out. I've been on an unsuccessful quest for a leather belt that allows for changing out the buckle. I ended up not finding one (again!), but still ended up getting 4 things. I got in line behind a young couple. Couldn't see much of him because he was all covered up. Gangsta winter hat (it's 88 degrees out) and sunglasses (we were inside). OK, saying that makes me aware that I'm so not their age any more. The young woman was lovely, and was rockin' some of those thick tribal earrings (the old lady in me thinks, boy, she'll regret those big holes someday, but truly, today, they really worked in an awesome way on her), she had the most amazing legs, long and lean, and she had a tic-tac-toe grid scarred into her thigh. But, yeah, somehow she pulled that off, too. She turned abruptly, for some reason, and something hit me. It was a tail she had clipped to her belt loop. And, I'll be darned, she made that totally work, too. The store was playing Blondie's "The Tide is High" and I decided I'd check out the other characters who were in line with me. The lady behind me was singing along softly, I dug that. Me? Yeah, I was swaying in rhythm ever so slightly.

"That's an OLD song," the lovely young, tribal earinged, tic-tac-toe scarred chick said.

I smiled to myself and sent her some purely gentle thoughts and lovely wishes for when she's "old".

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sweeten the Kitty

You know by now we're bonkers over our dog, Scout. But, we're also head-over-heels, madly in love with our orange tabby, Pug. We have this crazy habit of using him as a pillow, and he has this wacky tolerance of just letting us do it. I've been doing some experimenting with him. If you lay your head on him (full weight), he starts purring. It's soft at first and then he starts revving his motor up. When I add scratching his purr accelerates. If I scratch in two spots he starts a cooing sound, like a dove, along with his purring. If I scratch in two spots, one being his chest and the other being the spot just above his tail, he adds a third sound taking on an amazing didgeridoo-like composition. Now, if you keep going he's likely to explode in a tail-twiching, claw-swatting frenzy. But, if you're patient, and give him consistent breaks, you can play that wacky cat like, I dunno, maybe an accordion.  Maybe....

Oh, and I'm not sure what the furry little dude thought of this painting, visually, but he sure did love taking a nap on top of it. When I couldn't find it I thought I'd lost it!

Let's just say he found this image comfortable.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dinner Date

Every once in a while I get the opportunity to hang with my big guy one-to-one. Little guy is off with friends for the day and night and Dave's off working. So, big guy and I got to have a "date" (though he'd admonish me for saying that). We went out to dinner, just the two of us. I declared it a "no talking about his school/homework/grades" night. So, we just had a lovely conversation about anything and everything else over delicious Mexican food. What a fantastic night. I felt I had a glimpse into the man he's becoming. And what a wonderful man he'll be!

Friday, October 21, 2011

I'da thought you'd hear me coming!

So I've had my Prius since 2007. I love it, by the way. I average over 45 mpg in the city, consistently. And, yes, I'm the annoying Prius driver who drives exactly the speed limit and totally can't get why you feel the need to zoom around me and flip me off as you pass, speeding I must add. Sigh.... Anyway, I'm not writing to brag about my car or complain about any other driver.

This morning I was driving at 6:30 to take my kid to football practice. I was taking a different route that Dave had recommended, one that should help me avoid sitting at red lights (you know, the kind you sit at forever and there is no traffic on the other street so no point in waiting and waiting). Well, in my four years of Prius ownership I've NEVER had a problem with its Prius-ness...until today. I'm driving down one of our sweet neighborhood streets and come upon a man relieving himself in a yard, and he was facing my way! Ay yi yi!!! Now I get why the Prius is a gang members first choice for a silent drive by. Maybe people really can't hear you coming. This guy sure didn't.

I looked over at my kid and wondered aloud, "Did you just see what I saw?!?!"

[heavy breathing] The kind you have when you're deep in sleep and you've fully covered yourself with the plaid blanket that your mom so nicely heated in the drier before you left the house.

Whew! Glad that was for my eyes only. OK, maybe "glad" isn't exactly the right word.

Oh, and I did not have to sit at one single red light the entire way! That part made me woo hoo happy!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Going out on a Limb

Gee, hormones and hunger make for some pretty fierce snarkiness. My little guy earned a walk home rather than a ride home for being, well, to put it in terms he uses, a "turd". So, when this happened, of course he calls me. I admit it, I'm more of a softy and he has me pegged. Well, I told him he should choose to enjoy his walk as I'm sure he earned it. Then I found out that his phone was probably dying and I felt nervous about him walking alone and being unreachable. Weird, really, because I wandered everywhere, all day long as a kiddo and was only reachable by gong...yes, mom would stand in the middle of the street and bang a gong to get us home. Very effective method, my fellow parents. Extremely audible AND totally embarrassing. Got me home quick. Anyway, back to my kid. So, I tried calling him to see where he was and no answer. The phone had died. I'm twitchy by nature, so I had to go looking. I drove through Zilker Park on Barton Springs and didn't see him anywhere. I turned around weaved myself through the park. Just as I was about to exit I saw a kid in the distance. Khaki shorts, over-sized red jacket, yellow and black jester hat, and a HUGE freakin' limb that must've been over 10 feet long. I pull up near him and he approached the car...beaming! I guess he chose to enjoy his walk as I'd recommended.

"Can I take it home?"


"Can't we let it stick out the windows?"


"Can we put it on top of the car?"

"The only way you're going to get to keep that stick is to carry it home. You choose."

He turned around and threw the stick to the ground, mumbling. I'm guessing something along the lines of, "You're a turd."

Yeah, well, all I have to say is that if it takes a turd to love a turd, I will happily be a turd.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

First Sleep, then Steep

I am such a creature of habit and I love, love, love a ritual. Every night when I go to bed I swear I'm thinking about the two or three cups of hot tea I'll get to make in the morning. I'm probably borderline obsessed with it. I love everything about the tea making ritual. The choosing of one of the three favorite mugs I have, the heating of the water, the steeping of the tea, the addition of rice milk (yes, rice milk), and the first sip...divine.

I have to admit that I have a 2:05 PM ritual, too. It's right after I dismiss my amazing students and my planning period begins. I go to my classroom fridge, get a can of fizzy water and pop that tab. It has such an adult beverage vibe about it...except I haven't had any alcohol in years (yes, years - there are very good reasons for this)...and when I did I certainly never had it out of a can. It's kind of fun to pretend, though, I must say.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lookin' Good!

I kind of love a rite of passage that doesn't involve me directly.  I get to sit back and simply take pleasure in the whole thing.  Little guy is on the football team at school and they're supposed to look rather spiffy tomorrow because it's homecoming.  So, Dave's been giving him tie tying lessons.  It's been a "help me"/"get away" experience.  And it's been really freakin' funny.  After a training session, Dave gave him a couple minute break to work on it and then went back in to help.  "Let's see if he's managed to choke himself with it yet," as he breezed by me.  Luckily little guy's a quick study and had it figured out.  And, gosh, as much as I don't like the button down/tie look, I have to say he's devilishly handsome!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Drivers Ed

My big guy started drivers education tonight.  For him it's not been a priority at all.  He's been 16 for five months so we figured it was finally time (actually, I have to give full credit Dave for this).

I totally remember drivers ed.  It was wacky because I was a young 15 year old, having to get my license ASAP because both of my grandmothers were very ill and potentially dieing.  My parents thought they'd have to both travel to Ohio/California and that would leave me and my brother responsible for ourselves.  Would've been OK except that I wasn't going to the high school that was half a block from our house, no, I was going to a private school across town.  Hence the need for me to be able to drive myself.  In retrospect I feel a little guilty that I don't remember my grandmothers being ill at all.  I guess the fact that I was going to get a hardship license overwhelmed all else.  What can I say?  A 15 year old has priorities!

Aside from the fact that the creepy teacher convinced me that he "needed" to rest his hand on my right thigh as I drove so he could feel how much tension I was putting on the pedals, it was perfect.

Oh, and both my grandmothers recovered and were with us for years after.

Best wishes to my big dude for many, many, many years of safe driving!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

To Puff or not to Puff

I've had one of those days where you feel slightly puny, figure you might as well eat all day so your body has fuel to fight whatever is ailin' ya, and then you just end up feeling puny AND puffy. Sigh...

My dog, Scout, is the best friend you could ever have on a sicky day. She's totally available for any snuggling needs that might come up. When she's not taking care of us, she's totally devoted to this wacky little blue octopus (we should really call it a quintopus as she's lovingly gnawed off three of its tentacles). After I puffified myself today, we decided that Scout was too puffy, too. Yup, time to shave the poodle. She is freakishly cooperative, "Sit...Down...Bang!" Dead poodle on the kitchen floor ready for a trim. I shaved half of her and then tagged Dave to do the rest.

"Give her a mohawk!" my kid declares...a little too late.  Maybe next time.

For now, I'll enjoy watching her blissfully run around the house like a little kid who just got out of the bath.  "I'm nakey, I'm nakey, woo hoooooo!!"

"before"...go with it, pretend with me, OK?


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Yeah, I'm Nuts

I really do wait patiently during the day for something funny or strange or simply amazing to happen so I can write about it. Well something did happen today, but one of my children, who shall remain nameless, has forbidden me from blogging or facebooking about it. They threatened to hack into my account (not hard as I'm always logged in) and do some "damage". Well, since that has only happened once before...something along the lines of "My mom is pooping and it stinks!", and you must know I was horribly devastated by that...I of course do not want a repeat. So, the story must go untold. Sigh....

But, every time I think about what I should write about, peanut butter pops into my head! Yeah, I dunno.  It's not the nasty sugary Jif or Peter Pan kind, no way. And not even the smooth natural kind. Nope, it's the NUTTY natural kind. You know, the kind you have to laboriously stir when you first open it to mix the oil in and then you have to keep it in the fridge. Well, I'm obsessed with nutty peanut butter these days. I had two heaping spoonfuls today and, let me tell you, I took way too much pleasure in it. I've actually been making wacky deals with myself. "First do that load of dishes, then nutty peanut butter." "First hang this load of laundry on the line, then nutty peanut butter."  "First clean the ceiling fans, then nutty peanut butter."  I am so on it! Those two spoonfuls got us a pretty clean house today! :-)

Friday, October 14, 2011


We were driving to Whole Foods to have dinner tonight and were in traffic beside someone who was waving a groupon printout to the passenger in the car. I was thinking, "Hey, cool, we're off to use one of our coupons, too!"

The man was also using sign language to say something to his passenger. We were in the left turn lane and our light turned red. He was in the lane going through the intersection and his light was green. He pulled up to the crosswalk and stopped. We heard a crash as a few cars back someone rear-ended the car in front of them. The fellow who was signing realized that the light was green and proceeded through the intersection. He had no idea of the set of events he may have just put into motion. Anyway, totally not his fault that someone got rear-ended...we all know we're responsible for keeping a safe distance behind the car in front of us, but it made me think of a couple of things. First, the small things that we do that, totally unbeknownst to us, have an effect on others. Second, the things that we simply don't notice...lights being green and not red, car ahead slowing down even though traffic should flow because there's a green light, and on and on.

I think it would be fascinating to track the trajectory of our actions, just to see where they lead and what becomes of them. I'm betting it'd be a lot like playing "Telephone" and the endings, positive, neutral, and negative, would surprise us all.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Bite Sized Dream

In for my monthly blood draw today. Tourniquet on, light tapping of the veins, huge smile spreading across the phlebotomist's face.

"You have great veins," she said. I swear I thought she was going to start drooling, and growing fangs. "Sometimes I have to just look and look and look (and dig?!?!) and never find a vein," she continued. I cringe a little. "Yours are just right there," touching my vein again.

"Uh, thanks...I work out." Seriously, I said that. I mean really, what are you supposed to say when someone compliments your veins?

She pulled the tubes out and the butterfly needle thingie and lay them on the counter. Gloves on, one more vein tap, just for fun I suppose, as it was clearly totally popped out. She picked up the needle, I closed my eyes, and...

...and I'm Sookie Stackouse, hangin' with the lovely Eric Northman, and he was
quite hungry, of course, and...

"Snap" the tourniquet was pulled off. I take over holding the gauze and she wraps blue tape around my arm.

"Have a great day!" she says as I get up.

"You, too! Thanks!" I walk out the lab door.

I'm really glad I was a phlebotomist's dream patient. Kind of made my day.

As for my dream, I'll pick up where I left off during next month's draw.

Hey, a girl's gotta make a funky situation positive, right?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What's that you say?

Sat behind a woman at my kid's football game tonight.  She had her hair in a braid down the back and her ears poked out really, really, really far!  "You go, girl" I thought, as only someone with the same issue can do.

Well, half the issue, to be totally honest.  Me?  I'm asymmetrical...go figure.  My parents were always aware of my lopsided issue.  They even considered having my left ear surgically tacked back.  I'm quite sure that waiting for my hair to grow in over my ears (almost three long years!) caused them much undue stress.  Once my hair grew in, the secret was forever they thought.

In high school I started cutting my hair incrementally shorter and shorter and shorter until ZOOIIINNNNGGGGG!  Out popped my wacky left ear!  Who knew (aside from my parents of course)?!?!  Now, I'd had short hair as a kiddo, too, but upon looking back at photos, my left ear was always safely covered.  Even the god awful mullet that my mom gave me for much of my childhood kept it under wraps (you have to admit it was awful, right mom?).  Well, once you actually use clippers on your head and there's only a millimeter or so of hair there, there are no more secrets.  Every chicken pock, bump, and gash my head had ever endured was painfully obvious.  And that ear!  Yes, that ear.  Well, did I choose to keep it on the down low with a carefully placed bandanna?  No I did not.  I proceeded to get that left ear, my own personal satellite dish, pierced 9 more times (I had to do my own piercings...Piercing Pagoda in the mall was decidedly not interested).  The gold loops I wore in it were akin to skylights at a grand opening.

Now, all but 4 of my piercings have completely closed.  My hair is long and able to easily provide coverage.  But, I mostly wear my hair in pig tails, proudly showing that amazing receiver of sounds, large and small.  Check it out.  I think it's pretty awesome!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Saying my name...a how to guide :-)

Really now, I have no right to complain. I can only blame myself, after all. I mean I was given a perfectly typical name by my parents, "Monique"...OK, yeah, not so typical. But, man, oh man, when I picked out my own nickname I had no idea how much of a challenge I was setting up for folks. I know, I know...collective groan as people think, "Oh, god, Kali's going to tell the "naming herself" story, AGAIN." No, I won't unless you contact me and really, really want to hear it. :-)

So, it's always been hard for Texans to pronounce my name correctly. Even right after I introduce myself, they Texanize it and suddenly my name rhymes with "alley". Huh? And now with "Callie" being a very popular name, hearing my name pronounced correctly is practically hopeless.

OK, I admit it, it's a pet peeve of mine. But, on a scale of one to ten, it's about a two. It really and truly doesn't bug me much. I used to correct everyone, but now I just figure it's an excuse to say, "Oh, I had no idea you were talking to me when you asked that that be done."

"So how do you say it correctly?" you ask.

Well, you can use my husband's trick (my fave!):
"Kali-Wally-Sis-Boom-Bali-Hot-Tamale" Notice all the helpful rhyming there.

Or, the tricks my elementary school buds used:
"Kali Flower" (you know, like the white veggie we all avoided as kids)
"Collie Dog" (wasn't my favorite at the time, but it's grown on me)
"Kali want a cracker?" (very nice, very piratey)

So, there ya go...easy breezy coconut squeezy!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Weirdness in the Hood

So thankful for no H.O.A 'round these parts. Driving into the neighborhood the other night. "NOT PREGNANT, I CAN HELP!" the sign on the pole reads, phone number at the bottom, of course. Took a couple of reads to really get it. Yeah, me giggling. And then we see two of those enormously tall bikes, the ones that would take me a ladder to climb up on, all lit up, cruising down the street. Passing the HUGE beautifully painted star that used to be part of the Toys R Us sign that now lives in a neighbor's front yard. And on and on and on! Man, I am so lucky to live where such consistent evidence of Austin's weirdness is displayed...all the can't miss it!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

You say frog, I jump!

So I get a text this morning from one of my favorite people on this planet (and I'm super lucky that she's my neighbor, too!).

"Do you have a cookie for me?"

I'm thinking, "Well, you know me, of course I do!"

So I text her back, "You betcha! I'll be right over."

I load up a plate with cookies and head right over, excited to hang out with this awesome lady. I knock on the front door and wait...nothing. I go around back and knock and wait...nothing. I open the door and announce that I'm there...nothing. I leave the cookies on her drier, pet her lovely dog on the head, and go back home. Hmmmmmmm.

As I'm walking across the street I attempt to text her back. My steps are halting because I, most definitely, cannot walk and text at the same time. Not a chance!

"They're on your drier." I finally get typed in the phone and press send.

I talk to Dave about how interesting it was that she hadn't come to the door, ah well.

"Knock! Knock! Knock!" I go to our door and it's my lovely friend!

OK, scoop...she had texted me by mistake. She had meant to text someone else with a "K" name. Being me, and, especially being over-40-with-vision-issues me, I get it. I am the queen of sending texts to the wrong recipients.

So, anyway, now everyone knows that if they request cookies, I jump into action! Starting a new batch right now. Text me while they're hot!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Tail Waggin' Good!

Went to my dad's house today. As we were going around the last turn we saw a young deer. It was playfully dragging an oak tree know, just for fun. A squirrel ran by and the fawn walked over to it and put its nose right to the squirrel's nose. I expected some Disney music to start playing! The fawn crossed the street in front of us and scampered up the hill that borders my dad's place. As we drove up the steep driveway, a dark brown, almost black, deer stood at the top and watched us. She slowly walked to the yard and the little fawn scampered up to her and aggressively started nursing. That little deer was SO EXCITED! I didn't know deer wagged their tails, but this little one's was wagging furiously! Reminded me of the excitement my own little nurslings displayed when they latched on after waiting (not so patiently). They didn't have tails to wag, obviously, but they wiggled their arms and legs, made the most hilariously lovely sounds of gratitude, and were clearly beside themselves with glee. There's nothing better.


What an honor it is to have my original art work for sale in such a beautiful shop!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Avocation and Vocation

My all time favorite teacher, who happened to be both of my children's kindergarten teacher, used to share with me, often, that she was the luckiest person ever as her avocation was the same as her vocation. She loved, loved, loved her job, and she loved, loved, loved those kiddos and everything about them! At the time I was so appreciative and in awe of her but also thought, "Gosh, you need a hobby!" I can't claim to anywhere near her amazing league, but I do get it now. There is something so incredibly amazing about the wonder of young kiddos. Their enthusiasm is contagious! And while I definitely do have hobbies, I can't resist a conversation with a 3 or 4 year old when the opportunity comes up. Actually I love talking to kids of all ages, they simply amaze me. Babies? Not so much my's OK, Dave's totally into babies (and puppies), so I let him cover me there. So, I'm very lucky to get paid to do what I do, which is, basically, having conversations with 3 and 4 year olds all day long! I get to pepper it with 5-11 year old chats sporadically, too, which rocks! At the end of the week I feel a bit like the flower I's a tiring gig, ya know. But it is so very wonderful and I almost cried today when one of my students did something simply amazing. Give me a weekend to recharge with my family, friends, and painting, and I've got all new petals and am ready to rock.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Man Cave Envy

I have some serious Man Cave envy going tonight. We've got one here, and, admittedly, it also serves as Dave's office, but it's so fine! I go there every time I need to scan my paintings and I just don't want to leave. It's not plush, by any means, but it's SO quiet, the hum of the A/C is gently soothing, the chair is really comfy, and, best of all, the only hormones in the joint are mine. Sometimes I sit out there extra long and wonder when someone might notice. Yeah, no one ends up missing me, but they do notice they're hungry which cues them to go lookin' for mama.

So, yes, it's fabulous out there, but if I had my druthers, I really I think I'd rather have a Woman Table. I like being in the middle of the action. I like to have my stuff all spread out. Mostly I'd love to leave my projects out when I'm in the middle of them. I kind of even like being available if someone needs me...kind of.

A girl can dream....

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Thank you, Steve Jobs

It takes a particular kind of vision to see that beauty truly is important in our lives. The beauty that inspires us to be more creative, to be more passionate, to love what we are doing even more deeply. I think of so many of the tools I use each day...knives, flashlights, ovens, phones, computers.... I know that when I use a knife that has a certain shape to its handle that is the perfect blend of functionality and beauty, I'm inspired to prepare something amazing. When I type on my MacBook Pro, I'm inspired to write more, and I have so much fun doing it. I even love doing laundry because my machine is so darn pretty! Seriously, there's just something about it. I think about when I see ancient tools from an archeological find that are amazing and lovely and so carefully designed and constructed. I'm quite sure the act of creating and using these tools brought these ancient peoples closer to their gods. Our culture forgets this in so many areas and I think it's a loss to us as a whole. I feel really lucky to have had Apples and Macs in my life since I was a child. I think my family or I have owned virtually every product that Steve Jobs ever helped design and develop...including the NeXT computer. I'm hugely thankful for the beauty and inspiration he brought to this world. A true visionary.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hello, can you see me?

Went to a middle school football game tonight, and thank ya lordy, there was no pressure to watch the game because my kid was playing in the band tonight. Hooray for me! While I'm incapable of watching a football game for more than a second or two, I have super powers when it comes to watching the band play. Eyes on the musicians, foot tapping, saying "Hey!" during the "Hey Song", stomping at the right time during "We will Rock You". As I left the game I walked up to my kid to tell him we were leaving and he acted like I was wearing a clown hat and a shirt with his photo on it proclaiming myself to be his mom (a threat I've often made). He managed to totally disregard me, say "bye" under his breath as he waved me off, and rolled his eyes way beyond the top of his head. Yeah, next time I'm definitely going to wear an outfit that will make him notice me because clearly he didn't see me.

Monday, October 3, 2011


So, I'm growing out my bangs. Actually, it's taking up most of my spare time these days. As I lack basic girliness skills, I have utterly no idea what to do with the mess gracing my forehead these days. This evening I tried a cute bobby pin clip to hold them back. After making dinner and then a HUGE batch of cookies, Dave asks me about my new "hair style", his forehead crinkled, nose squinched, lip clearly revealing repulsion.

"What?" I ask, "I thought it was cute." I walk over to the mirror to see what what so ghastly, and, ugh! Yeah, really, really bad. I looked straight-up crazy, my pigtails cockeyed, bangs rebelling, escaping the clip in frizzy tufts. My look "improved" by my use of reading glasses to more clearly examine my reflection. Hmmmm...Halloween costume idea is starting to form as tickles in the back of my mind. I tuck some of the loose strands back in the clip and reassure Dave that, "THIS is what I meant to have it look like." He nods, a little nervous, face askew, and walks away.

Me? I'm beaming on the inside...and fully aware that come morning I'll experiment with some hair do-dad, and will, once again, never make it out of the house with it in. Instead I'll opt for the same bangs-covering-my-eyes look I embraced in high school.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Middle

Sometimes the only way to make peace between two boys is to be the meat in the middle of the sandwich. OK, being me, not meat, perhaps jelly or cheese. Anyway, a six-foot long couch isn't enough room if your surging with testosterone and have a serious case of the wiggles. Insert mom in the middle and suddenly it's a snuggle fest, leaning in to me, unconsciously caressing my arm. Delicious. of them realizes that I'm typing this blog entry...about them! Fingers reaching toward the delete key, hands grabbing at me as I make my escape. Jeepers!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Disturbance in the Force

The carts at IKEA kind of freak me out. There's something about the wheel action that always makes me feel like I'm drifting around the store, holding tightly to the bar, fighting for control, never quite able to get it. And, gee, everyone else pushing those carts around looks calm and composed. Must be a personal issue.

Most days I'm able to keep my dumb blondness in check, but I think the IKEA carts cause a disturbance in the force. I consider myself to be of average intelligence, certainly bright enough, able to problem solve on the fly, but yeesh, those blond roots, when my brain's force field is compromised, will tangle and intertwine with the gray matter, their grip tight. As I worked my way around the store I almost ran in to an older gentleman with a walker, I texted a friend when I meant to text my husband, I accidentally put my phone in the back of my car when I was unloading stuff...and proceeded to have a mini-Kali-style freakout about "losing my phone"...drove all the way back around and through the parking lot (IKEA does not make that easy) to check the crazy-evil cart I had used to see if I had left it in there, then found it in my car and worked my way out to the highway again. Somewhere in all that I dumped the contents of my purse out on the passenger seat in a way I remember seeing my mom do a lot when she was searching for something.  Oy, messy!

The further I got from IKEA and their wacky carts, the disturbance in the force abated, the dumb blond roots loosened their grip. Whew!

Luckily the effects had totally worn off by the time I arrived at a friend's housewarming party...they had no idea what chaos they had narrowly escaped.

I painted this for my friend's game closet in her brand new home...
the most amazingly organized game closet ever!