And now, for something totally different!

OK,  I slammed my hubby a little too hard on that last post, so in all fairness, I think I should set the record straight on  some of  the GOOD STUFF he’s done!

I’ll start right after we met, just about 13 years ago, because that’s when I  got my first  glimpse of his kind heart.

Two of my daughters were still in high school and living at home.  We had the bad luck to come down with the flu all at the same time. Hubby’s car was broken down and he lived on the west side of town, yet he took two buses to get to our house and take care of us for two days. Major point score!

On our first date, we went to lunch, then we went to some thrift stores–not terribly romantic, but something we both like to do. At one store, I saw a pair of vintage pearl and diamond earrings I just fell in love with. He bought them for me and they became favorites; still are.

Too many incidents to recall them all, but these  stand-out:

Shortly after 9/11, I began to have violent nightmares and dreaded going to bed. He was living here at the time and did his best to keep my spirits up. One night, after a particularly stressful day, I was weepy and restless, dreading sleep again. I got  up to go to the bathroom, and when I got back into bed, he hugged me and I thought I felt something weird.  I turned on the light and he was wearing my sexy, one piece black bathing suit! I laughed so hard, all the gloom went out the window!  He’ll probably cringe at the re-telling of this, but it’s a favorite “good” memory.

More recently:  Last year we had a birthday dinner for my BFF, Mary. We invited some mutual friends to join us. Shortly before dinner, we found out our other friend’s mother was going to join us and it was her birthday too. Without asking me, he took the sheet cake I had bought at Fry’s back to their bakery department and had the decorator add the other woman’s name to the cake. I was amazed that he would even THINK to do something like that.

Just a few months ago: Hubby was picking up some parts for work at a local auto parts store. There was a young couple in there with a little boy about the same age as our grandkids. The little one had found a package of Hot Wheels cars he really wanted. Hubby heard the mom tell him they couldn’t afford them until Dad got paid on Friday. Hubby took the Hot Wheels to the cashier and after paying for them, handed them to the mom.  She protested that he didn’t have to do that. He replied that  “I have a grandson about his age, it’s ok.”

Random acts of kindness make the world a better place.  On THIS,  he does his share!


Me-Tarzan, You-SLAVE!

Do you feel overwhelmed much of the time? Wish your day was 36 hours, not 24? I can relate! Do you feel underappreciated, stressed to the max, and  exhausted most  days? Yep, me too!

Lately,  I have been feeling tons of pressure to be Ms. Perfect, for reasons I’m still contemplating. Mostly at night, when I wonder if I’ve done enough for one day.

It wasn’t always this way: I used to have an “Oh Well, What Gets Done Is Good Enough” attitude. Not now though.  I think I may have gotten a bit spoiled in the three years hubby was off work due to 2 knee surgeries.  Once he was well enough, I just had to ask for help and I got it.

Now, he’s back to work and does very little to help out. I don’t blame him, I totally understand the feeling of working out in the Phoenix heat all day and the toll it takes. Used to do it myself, way back when.  But hello: offering a helping hand would be SUCH a nice gesture! Yes, I am home on summer break, preparing to go back to school in August, but that doesn’t mean I’m the MAID, for gosh sakes! (Besides, I’d look ridiculous in  one of those stupid French maid outfits!)

Is it asking too much to take his coffee cup back into the kitchen when he leaves for work? Or, putting his dirty (black) socks in the BLACK hamper, not the WHITE one?? Or, my personal pet peeve: if you are putting the dumpster on the curb, why not make SURE it’s full first? Especially if you KNOW there’s garbage in the house/garage/yard that needs to go out!  DUH!!!

I know I’m not alone; I have friends and relatives that tell me constantly that their guy doesn’t do enough around the house to help them. Working or not working, if you are a man and you live with a woman, married or not, it’s YOUR mess too!!  This I AM MAN, you are Slave is just plain WRONG!

Is this an ages-old complaint or a product of current societal trends? Sometimes I wonder! In any case, if anyone can figure out how to get me more hours in the day, please let me know….SOON!!!

I’m off to Party City to check out French Maid costumes! 🙂


The World’s Worst Mom?? (Mothers Day Leftovers!)

I recently overheard a young mother exclaiming that she must be “the worst mother in the world” because of something dumb she had done that could have potentially hurt her child.  I tried not to snicker, because I know that we moms have all been there.  Every Mom makes mistakes, it’s part of the learning process!

For instance, when I was a young mom, I was slightly (?) distracted a few times. Once, my car broke down at a McDonald’s late at night with my 6 year old daughter in the back seat. Back then, I knew little about cars except that you put gas in them and drove them. So, not knowing who could rescue me, I accepted a ride home from a  Phoenix police officer who was there having coffee. Naturally, my daughter woke up while I was moving her to his car and wanted to know what  “Mommy did wrong that we have to go home in a police car” !  Thanks to my oldest daughter, Cammy, for reminding me of this incident.

Another time, my husband and I were shopping in Kmart, I had one cart with newborn Katie in it, he supposedly had the other cart with Jenny in it. Evidently, he took her out for reasons only he knew at the time, and thought I  had picked her up. We came across each other in an aisle, looked at each other and said WHERE IS JENNY?   Just a few minutes later, we heard the PA system announce: Will the parents of Jenny please come to the customer service counter?  To this day, we blame each other “for losing Jenny in Kmart”!

Once, when Katie was very small, she was sitting in the yard, intent on something we thought was a toy. Upon closer inspection, we found her EATING TINY ROCKS!  Panicking, I called the doctor who informed me that she would outgrow this habit (called pica) as she got older. Almost on cue, she began eating paper, dust bunnies, bits of toys: anything  BUT food! The doctor was indeed right: she did outgrow it, but the memory of my precious little youngest daughter sitting in the yard eating rocks stayed with me!

Motherhood has brought me to tears many times, close to madness at other times and  to the most exhilarating joy in the world: I would not have traded any of those Mom moments for anything.  Besides, if I hadn’t had the KIDS, I would not have the GRANDKIDS!!

(Bitter) Sweet Freedom!

Today was the official last day of school for me. Saying goodbye to everyone, even though I have only known them a short time, was hard. Going back to school WAS the right decision for me, but I hadn’t anticipated that I might actually MISS school. And I think I will: the routine, the challenge, the anticipation of getting a good grade and the exposure to new things on regular basis. Ah, well, back to the challenges of FISHING and bringing in a record catch! And spending time with the grandkids. And getting housework caught up-to-date. And catching up on SO much stuff!!!

When does the next semester start???  🙂

It’s Raining (BOY) Babies!

Today we welcomed the latest addition to our ever-growing family…my nephew Kris and beautiful wife Casey brought a little baby boy into this world (not yet named!).  He will have two cousins, my new grandson Korben and my niece Jessica’s baby boy, due in July, that are very close in age to him.  I’m enjoying watching all these little boys arrive, especially since I raised three daughters and have never experienced the frog-in-the-pocket, hot -wheels- under -the -pillow or Lego Mania of young boys.  HOWEVER, since I do have four grandsons now, I am getting familiar with little boy antics and I must say, they sure are different from those of little girls! Little girls emulate their mommies and you can keep them occupied for hours with girl things. Little boys: well, they’re just non-stop action and unbridled  enthusiasm. Recently, I spent about four and a half  hours with my two oldest grandsons ( age 7 and 5):  Matthew and Michael. By the time Mom and Dad picked them up, I felt like I had run a marathon! Though I enjoyed every moment of their visit, it took me a good day and a half to recover! Could it be they’re very active, inquisitive little boys or am I just getting too old to frolic like a 5-year-old?

Kris and Casey, the fun is just beginning for you two and I wish you all the best in your parenting “adventures”!

Thank You, Ms. Manners

Got a call the other day from Jenny, my mid kid. She was calling to thank me for teaching her and her sisters manners when they were youngsters. Jenny is currently living in the Baltimore, Md. area while her husband is stationed at a nearby military base. She gets out quite often with my little grandbaby, Avenleigh. Jen tells me she is amazed at the complete lack of manners she’s seen while shopping and dining out.

Mom, people here just don’t say Please and Thank you, she lamented.  I just can’t believe how rude they are!

Well honey I told her, perhaps they’ve just not been brought up that way.

But Mom, isn’t it common sense?

Well, no dear Jen, it is NOT common sense. 

There is rudeness everywhere, it’s not confined to the East Coast or anywhere else.  Please and thank you should be taught from the age a child learns to talk, but alas it isn’t always that way. I guess mine caught on, because I have very polite daughters who  are teaching their children manners as well. My grandsons all know the magic words. And if they forget, they get gentle reminders.

When I was a child, you had better mind your “p’s & q’s” – a phrase that has been interpreted many ways, but in OUR home, it meant you better behave and you better remember your manners.

It was great to hear from my own daughter that she did indeed learn the lesson!


BBut….bbut….. Mommy, I dont wanna be a reporter!!!

I wanna be a WRITER!  Not just a writer, but a GREAT writer! Not a reporter of facts or events or politics or fashion or food or travel….I want to write about what I want to write!

I started writing when I was about 11; then the Beatles came into my world, and I began to write non-stop stories about the Fab Four and which one would someday marry me…Then I grew up (some would debate THAT!) and started writing more mature stuff…poetry, prose and homework! One day I found myself a new mommy with a job and writing went into a suspended state of hibernation…Oh, once in a while, I  would get a burst of creativity and start writing again, but nothing ever came of it because I was too focused on family and career.

Then one day I decided that my mental clarity might not last until I was in the mood to write again, so I better get my feeble brain and more feeble body back to school, sharpen my skills and get with the program.

Several weeks later I found myself sitting in a classroom of kids whose ages were about 1/4 of mine; smart young kids with talent and drive and ambition. I only had ONE thing over them: Life Experience!  So I put on my Big Girl panties and set my goals: learn, write, learn some more, write some more! Get good grades, have a little fun, meet new people, help where I could help and try not to be the Little Old Lady taking up a space someone else could use!

I like to think I’m doing well as my first semester in college draws to a close. I am back to writing on a regular basis, mostly homework, but hey, it’s all good! Next semester, I will be more familiar with the campus, the schedules, the ins and outs of being a student and of course, my new friend, The Mac……..

At least, I sure hope so!

Come on, Summer! I’m  ready and waiting!

Countdown to Spring Break

Spring Break….something  I have not observed in MANY years!

This year, it has special meaning to me, since my return to the academic world in January. I thought that I would treat going back to school like a job: show up every day, do my work, get paid in A’s. Wish it was that easy!  It has proven to be a significant challenge, since my brain is not that supple, spongy cello that you can buy new. It’s more like a dried up sponge, left out in the Arizona sun for too many days: hard to permeate and not very good at picking up anything! I have learned, sure, but I’ve also learned that I’m not as sharp as the 20-somethings in my classes, not as amenable to the routine of HAVING to be somewhere every day and not as sure of myself as I once was. But there IS a bright side to it all: I’ve met some wonderful people in this first half of the semester, I’ve learned that you CAN keep on learning in Life, even if it IS more difficult, and that every road you take WILL have bumps in it.  I’ve learned that I CAN write, although my “style” needs work. I’ve learned that young folk aren’t ALL bad, some are actually a delight to be around. I’ve learned that teachers have patience that I only WISH I possessed: I would have made a LOUSY teacher!  I’ve learned that you can prove the nay-sayers wrong and prove to your supporters that you’ve still got potential.  I’ve learned that a Mac computer can only frighten you if you LET it. I’ve learned that you’re never too old to try something new and if you give it your best shot, you’ve succeeded. Most of all, I’ve learned that I miss FISHING more than I thought I would! The solitude of nature. The thrill of bringing in that big one. The trading of “fish stories” with the other folks out there fishing.  The daydreaming while staring at clouds and looking for objects in their formations. Trying to identify birds and their sounds. And lest I forget: the occasional prairie dog or squirrel that crosses my path.  It’s not JUST about the fishing, it’s about getting out, relaxing, and being active.  I plan to do just that during Spring Break.

OR I might say Heck with it all and go to Rocky Point with all the kids and drink tequila 24/7!!!