Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: The Beauty of Friendship

Don't forget to check out more Wordless Wednesday posts by clicking on the title of this post.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The loss of a friend

Sorry I haven't been posting but my home computer has been down and I just don't have it in me to 'text' in my posts. Not that good.

Last week I lost a friend. He wasn't a close friend but he was some one from my past who was a part of my circle. He, like me, was 39 years old. He died of a heart attack. Natural causes. I'm not ready for the 'natural cause' deaths to start occurring.
I was one of the drama kids in high school. Hung out with the skate rats. Went to the 'cool' clubs. Have seen more than my fair share of shows in small, dim, dank rooms whose floors felt like they were going to collapse under the weight and movement of the mosh pit. (Hang in there, I have a point) It was a crowd that tended to attract people with more than a few issues. Obviously we weren't all self-hurting manic depressives but you could be assured that at least 1/3 of the people in the room had snuck their mom's sleeping pills out of the house at least once or knew what a single razor blade felt like as it slid across your skin.
I am as prepared as one can be to lose friends to suicide, accidental drug overdoses, stupid sex acts... But natural causes? I've lost friends to idiot drunk drivers, illness, eating disorders... But natural causes? My Grandparents died of 'natural causes'. OLD people die in their sleep of 'natural causes'. We're not old yet...
Of course, I'm probably old to the high school and college kids that I work with. Heck, even some of my 'mom' friends probably don't consider me a spring chicken... Just remember that age can catch up with you before you know it.
Life is full of surprises. Hug some one. Compliment a stranger. Forgive a past transgression or at least let it go. Don't forget to say 'I love you' or even 'I like you'. It's the little things that help knock down any opportunity for regrets.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate you.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Crafty Tuesday: Look Ma! I did somethin'

Here it is My Crafty Tuesday Submission. I love making these boxes and need to get on the ball and get some more made! I will be making one for a friend who won a contest I held on my FaceBook group page entitled Craft-Tacular. You should check it out if you're interested!

I have been using dominoes as a 'knob' to pull the lid open but I've also started using these great puddle stones. Not sure that's what they're called but that's what they make me think of. I love playing with the papers and seeing what combinations I can come up with. A lot of the time I won't even like how something is turning out and then all of a sudden I'll add one more thing and then that does it.

I think I'd like to try to make a cigar box guitar one of these days. I think that project will make me even more glad than I already am that I have a handy hubby.

Happy Crafty Tuesday!

A walk in the Park

I want to start walking again. I feel better when I do it. I even eat better after I walk. What better time to start than while my five-year-old is at pre-k? The weather is beautiful. I know the perfect park.
So... I drop Clyde off at school and Claudia, my precious curly headed 2-year-old, and I head to a park that has a mile long loop. I start on the side AWAY from the playground. I'm not a complete idiot. I strap her into her stroller... Which, by the way is a pink, just a bit sturdier version of an umbrella stroller. I like it but I'm about 4 inches too tall for it. When we purchased that stroller my husband decided we should get rid of our big clunky stroller to clear some space. I agreed. Not my best decision. She goes in fine. I have brought along her travel size Magna-Doodle to keep her occupied. She's doin' great. There are some horses near by. We're listening to birds. My heart rate is up but not too high. I'm making good time. All is right with the world.
Then IT comes into sight. The playground. No biggie. It's about 3/4 of a mile from where we started. I can let her play and do some stretching. I explain to my angelic little girl that we will play for a little bit and then get back in the stroller and continue our walk. 'OTay Mommy' this sweet little doll says to me. We play for about 15 minutes and I say, "OK Claudia, It's time to get back in our stroller". I mean that is how I explained things right? She had said 'OTay'. Apparently it wasn't time to get back in the stroller.
I tried bribing her with Yo Gabba Gabba. My girl's a junkie with a hard habit. Yo Gabba Gabba ALWAYS wins out, well, almost always. It wasn't gonna work today. I say, 'just a couple more minutes then'. This is met with a dimpled grin and a look of love, OK, so there was more than just a hint of the 'ha, ha, ha, ha, I won' look in her eyes but I'm the one telling the story and love is what I choose to believe. A few minutes pass. We need to get going.
I go to pick her up and she does the flop. I swear she must have been a passive protester in a past life. She can become dead weight at the drop of a hat. I tell her I'm going to spin her, which I do but then I try to get her into her little pink stroller. You know the ones. The ones that tip at every opportunity . The ones that are not meant to hold a tall 2-year-old who is ready for a fight. I manage to coerce her in and get her strapped. I'm back on my way. Feeling good, ignoring the screams of protest.
Then, she figures it out. By pushing down with her feet she can stop the stroller. She's twisting around yelling 'Tarry me Mommy, Tarry me'. I'm not gonna give in. I am the adult. She is a small child. I (like to pretend) have the upper hand. I am the boss. I reach down and give her a small swat. I don't spank as a rule but I needed to get her turned around so I can tighten the straps before she figures out how to slide her legs out. I continue to push and she continues to drag her feet.
I explain to her that we are almost to the car and she needs to behave. As you know, that ALWAYS works. Finally I let her out. I tell her she can walk. Welp, she doesn't want to walk. She places herself firmly in front of me and won't let go of my legs. I inform her that she can walk OR ride in the stroller. The cries of 'TARRY ME' are getting louder. I cave. I pick her up. She's heavy AND I still need to push the stroller that I'm too tall for. I convince her that she can push the stroller. This works for about 2 seconds before it hits her that she's been duped. More screaming. More deep breathing on my part. I'm ready to scream at the cute firemen out for a run 'Tarry Me' or at least ask them about their child drop-off policy but I don't. I stay relatively calm. I pick her back up.
Now, my daughter sucks on the back of her hand and plays with her belly button to soothe herself. It is at this point in the walk she starts to decide that I need to cradle her so that she can do both of these things. Keep in mind I'm still pushing the stroller. I swear the car is getting farther away by the second. I talk her into riding on my shoulders. I throw my keys in the stroller seat. She notices this and needs down. She goes to the front of the stroller, picks up my keys, hands them to me and climbs in. She won't let me strap her but at this point I don't care. Finally, I am at my car.
My darling snookums, my lovey dovey does not want out of her stroller... She wants to do another lap. I think not.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A little bit of fiction....

Would you continue with a story that started like this:

Have you ever closed your eyes and caught a glimpse of what you thought was a face or swore that some one was standing right behind you? You may have even heard your name whispered in the distance only to turn and find no one there. Well, he's there and he has stolen my best friend. He may not realize it but I will be getting her back.

Be honest and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: When the Co-eds are Away the Kids Will Play

A friend and I used spring break as an excuse to go 'Campus Hiking' with the kids at UT Arlington.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Just as long as she doesn't look up to a racist, bombmaker that kicks dogs

This is my youngest brat. My only daughter. Of course, my oldest is my only son but... You know what I mean. She's only two but I'm already wondering who it is she will look up to as she gets older. I want her to have strong female influences as well as male. FGor this post I'm gonna focus on the female side.

I work at a bookstore and have read TWILIGHT. Bella, the leading lady, is sort of the OPPOSITE of what I'm lookin' for for Claudia. Now there is another series of books by Rosemary Clement-Moore whose lead, Maggie O'Quinn, is a good fit. She's quirky and independent. A little insecure and way sarcastic. She is sort of what I see my little 'angel' becoming. Maybe without the psychic visions and such but still.

I'm also fortunate to have a good base of girl friends. I have friends are stay-at-home moms who home school, friends that are students, friends that work in just about every imaginable field: artists, zoo keepers, teachers, nurses, cashiers, managers, administrative assistants, small business owners, race car drivers, writers, photographers, actors, directors, professors, costumers, etc. I have friends who are Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Atheist. I have friends who are soft-spoken and those that don't let you get a word in edge-wise. Maybe she'll latch on to one of them as a role model.

Then there's my mom. She's MY role model. She works, has been married for 40 years to the same man, raised five kids... None of whom have done any prison time to my knowledge... She speaks her mind but knows when to keep her cool. She is my 'go to' person for EVERYTHING. Claudia could do worse than her grandma as a role model.

Truthfully there aren't a lot of celebrities that I would like her to obsess over and want to emulate. Katie Couric maybe, she seems harmless enough. I think Neicey Nash seems pretty cool too. Katherine Hepburn's not a bad choice but unless Claudia gets scripted by the writers for Gilmore Girls I don't see that happening. Of course there's always Eleanor Roosevelt, Sacagewea, Mother Theresa (She's always a big hit with the kids). I'm not really into sports so I don't know a lot about female athletes... There are the likes of Diane Arbus, Annie Leibowitz, Frida Kahlo but I think they'd be better looked at for their art and not necessarily their personal lives.

I'm fairly certain that there will come a time when she's not gonna care what I think are good choices for her but I will try to get into that little head of hers as much as I can now. I may have some luck. My five-year-old son has informed me that he's 'a big fan of Lincoln's. Oh, and Barrack Obama'. Neither of those are bad choices. He could idolize Darth Vader or something.
I guess for now I'll just be happy that she is a big fan of Yo Gabba Gabba and ICarly and KNOWS that, no matter what anyone says, she can do whatever the big kids can do.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thursday's Writers' Workshop: My passions

This week one of Mama Kat's prompts was to write about five things that you are passionate about.
Let's give it a try:

I will leave out the obvious like my kids, my husband, my parents etc...

1) Probably one of the things that really gets me going is getting books into the hands of kids. I had read somewhere that in most low-income homes the kids may never own a book. I just couldn't believe it. I started by just recommending to my friends and family that they donate kids books to the Not-Forgotten-Boxes or other charities at Christmas time. Working for Barnes and Noble allows me to enlist the help of others in doing this. We have a book drive every Christmas and donate the books to the local mission. Each kid who goes through the Mission's 'Christmas Store' gets a book. I would eventually like to form a non-profit that gets books into the hands of young people under the age of 21 who are having their OWN kids. I have done a talk at a local high school with some other moms and a librarian (also a mom) about the importance of reading to your kids. Coming up I will be helping with a story-time and craft for a group of Burmese refugees.

2) Crafting is one of passions as well. It is one of my therapeutic outlets. I find that by creating things I can relieve my stress and desire to eat! Unfortunately I don't make enough time for myself to do this. I would like to start making a reasonable amount of money doing it at some point. For that I will really need to work on my organizational skills, which are currently none.

3) Drunk driving. I know that EVERYONE is against drunk driving... In theory. I lost one of my bestest buds to a drunk driver who, all these years later, has still not apologized to her parents as far as I know. I think that punishments should be way stricter and I have been known to call the police from my cell when I see some one on the road with a drink in their hand. Don't toast me with your beer can because I will be taking your license plate number!

4) I guess photography is a passion. I LOVE to take pictures. I would photo document every aspect of my life every day if I could. I received my first camera for Christmas when I was only seven years old. I used to tape pictures from National Geographic on my walls and pretend that I took them. I went through a phase of wanting to photograph for THRASHER or publicity photos for bands. I thought Annie Leibowitz had a pretty cake gig. I went to Ohio State for photography but never finished. I would love to do more with photography but lack the confidence I once had.

5) And yet one more... writing. It's just something I've always done. i go in periods where I do more of it than others. I have a book in my head that has been there for years. My goal this year is to get it all fleshed out. It's sort of blocking me from doing more writing. I think that it comes as a surprise to some people that I can write and write pretty well. I once asked a friend if I could read her something. I told her that I really wanted her opinion because I knew she would be honest. She sighed and told me she'd have to tell me the truth. I assured her that that was what I wanted. I figured she'd been down this road before. I finished reading to her. Nothing. Silence. I got nervous. I guessed it probably did suck. Finally she said 'I didn't know you could do that'. Apparently she had liked it.

So there are five things that I'm passionate about. There are more like road safety for bicyclists, helmets on ALL kids, making sure kids are in the proper seat in the car, respect for everyone... The list goes on.

Thanks for reading.

Mama's Losin' It

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Our friend the Blue Heron

Not sure if this is really a blue heron but that is what my son has always called this guy

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Crafty Tuesday: Notes from a slacker

Pay attention to the cute kids! Ignore the fact that I've done nothing crafty this week...
Aren't the kids cute... Look at the children... Oooo...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Would you ever...

Just heard that some one I know was watching the children of some friends. One of the little girls had hair hanging in her face. Without said little girl's mother knowing much less OKing, the babysitter CUT THE LITTLE GIRL'S HAIR. It was bothering the babysitter.
Yep, you heard it correctly. Needless to say she is no longer allowed to watch the little girl in question. I can see if the girl had gotten a huge piece of gum in her hair or something so horribly tangled in it that there was no other way to get it out. Keep in mind that this person, who has her own children, has no haircutting skills. I've seen the results of her kitchen cuts. Not great.
What would you do if this were your kid? Would you ever do this to some one in your care? Come on be honest. I'll only judge you a little! :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Writer's Workshop Thursday: You're so vain

I chose the "you're so vain I bet you think this blog is about you" starter for Thursday's Writer's Workshop. I went ahead and just did some free writing to see where the old brain would take me and this was what I got...

It was one of those conversations that you just know you should walk away from. Do not engage. Smile, nod, say it was nice to see you again and walk away. Unfortunately, when alcohol is added, I tend to get stubborn. I had run into an ex at a bar when I was visiting my folks.It started congenially enough. We said hi. He bought me a beer… which was no where near my first for the evening. Things were fine. I kept a bar stool’s distance from him.>And then it started. He moved closer,“So, you married some one who looks a lot like me ya know.”
“Wh… uh… I…. What the hell are you talking about?” Rarely was I at a loss for words but this had truly taken me by surprise.
“Your husband, he looks a lot like me.”
“No he doesn’t”.
“Yeah, he does”
“How do you figure?”
“We both have dark hair”
“As does more than half of the world’s population”
“We’re both tall”
“You’re maybe 5’ 10” He’s 6’ 9” “
“I’m six foot”
“Then so am I, apparently”
“What color are his eyes?”
Really? I was gonna sit through this? Apparently because I kept answering his questions.
“They’re hazel”
“That’s just a fancy word for brown.”
“No it’s not.”
“Ask anyone, we look a like. You have married my doppelganger.”I turned to my best friend who was just sitting there, keeping her mouth shut, letting me suffer.
“Do you think he and Stu look a like?”
“Not even a little.” She said loud enough for him to hear over the bar noise.
“Of course she’d say that. She’s gonna take your side. She doesn’t want to embarrass you.”
“It’s not a side. You don’t look like my husband. At. ALL.”
“If you say so. I just think you should know that I am also married now so you should get over me.”
“Thanks, I’ll work on that.” I mumbled as he walked away.
At that my friend Joe walked over laughing.
“What’s so funny?”
“Oh, I just made an ass of myself.” Nothing new where Joe was concerned.
“What did ya do now?” I asked
“Oh, I just bought some un-known girl a beer because I thought she was you.”
“Poor girl,” I said. Then curiosity got the better of me. “Where?”
He pointed and as I looked over to see who my twin was the ex leaned over and gave her a big wet kiss.
Who’s not over who?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Don't mess with this bee

Here is my Wordless Wednesday submission for this week. The top one may be my favorite picture ever of my daughter.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Crafty Tuesday: ALREADY?

I was actually crafty this week. I finished up two frames for a friend. They didn't come out as I had planned but I think they are OK. The one that actually has 'nurses' on it I left the faces blank so they could add a picture of their own face or a friends if they wanted.
The box was for a little girl's fifth birthday. I just saw her mom today and she was very happy with it. I'm glad. I'm not sure if you do this or not but, whenever I make something and some one tells me they love it I just assume they think that's the polite response!
I tend to put off my craft projects if there is something else that needs to be done but then, I don't do that thing either (my bathroom is gross) so I've decided to stop putting it off and just do it! Look at me... I'm a shoe ad. :)
Hope you all have a craft filled week!