Thursday, June 27, 2013

'Cause that's friends are s'posed to do....

So, here's the gig.  Most of you know that I'm turning 40 on Monday (and if you didn't know, well, you know now).  And if you've been within earshot, you know that it's been tough for me for some reasons that I can't articulate very well but they can best be summed up with the following points:

- I don't think I 'act' 40.

- I haven't done everything that I've wanted to do.

- My bucket list consists of things like "wake up on time without running to the bathroom at 5:30 without having a toddler hanging off one leg and another child emerging from the living room wondering if I could help her find the batteries because they rolled under the couch" and other things like 'actually shave your legs without missing a spot or finding said spot when you're walking into work by the hair blowing in the breeze'. 

- I'm not ready to get rid of my stupid ironic tee-shirts. 

- I don't wanna eat prunes.

- I wanna splash in puddles if I want to, damnit.

- I wanna be able to like One Direction and sing along because I know the lyrics, double dog damnit.

- Waving sparklers should count as daily allotted exercise, okay?

- Ice cream is acceptable for breakfast, right?

Okay, I guess my point is that I have a hard time conforming to 'society's' idea of what a 40 year old woman should look and act like. 

Thank god for my friends. 

They are my voice of reason. 

I've whined and bitched and pissed and moan about this birthday like no other and they've all come up with all of the reasons why I shouldn't hate it and maybe I should embrace all things that 40 is instead of what it isn't.  They reminded me that we achieve things like inner grace and we've learned how to make peace with all of the demons we had in our teens and twenties.  These beautiful voices of reason reminded me that I'm allowed to define who I am, what I do, how I react, and how I feel about everything in my world. 

These women, near and faraway, reminded me that it's okay to want/need/do all of the above and still not get carded for booze because I look 'mature'.  (Quit laughing, 'cause I know you are)

So for you, here's my *Hugs* and *kisses* courtesy of Mr. Bruno Mars:

I love you all, dearly.  And look forward to laughing, drinking wine, and singing with you on Saturday night.  Let's ring this thing in like it's 1999, bishes. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

This awful, beautiful life....

So while I was nibbling away on my ham sammie today at lunch, I stumbled across this article about parenting and blogging and how the trend lately is to relish your imperfections to the nth degree and that there is a level of pride at being really bad at being a parent.  The blogger who wrote about this trend also pointed out that while she's not perfect, she is however, trying to be the best mom she can be and more often than not, it's not terrible.  She also said about how she hopes that some day her children find her blog and that they cringe over the loving way that she talks about them.

Honestly, my first thought was 'WHOA, that shit goes on?  People WANT to be awful at parenting?'  and then I thought, 'I'm never ever perfect but I can't imagine my life without these people in it.'

All of it got me thinking, obviously, and more often than not it leads me over here to share things (and yes, I know I haven't been doing it overmuch lately but I'm trying to turn over another new leaf....hush, it might work this time).

And really my thoughts boil down to this:  I want my kids to know I love 'em. 

I write on my kid's facebook to drive him nuts (mostly because I can) partly and the other part is just my way of saying "HI, I'm thinking of you right now, gooberbutt".  

I, too, want them to read these words some day and think 'OMG MOM SHUDDUP' because they're so damned embarrassed by how proud I am of them. 

Don't get me wrong.  There are days when I literally cringe over the shit that comes out of my kids' mouths. 

Don't believe me?  Come sit by us on the bleachers during a baseball game and hand over a ring pop to either of my girls and they'll spill their guts, hanging me out to dry without a second thought. 

Like that they eat spaghetti-o's more than should be allowed or that sometimes they've literally got one pair of underwear left in the drawer before Mom hauls all of their dirty clothes to the laundry room.  Or how Mom cleaned out their big brother's room cussing a blue streak and that they heard some new words that day. 

Oy vey.

But sometime in the distant future I do hope they come across me talking how I got a little misty-eyed when the boy and I drove home from a ball game and sang Jack & Diane, laughing pretty hard when I jacked up the lyrics, and smile a little.

Or maybe they can remember the night when Sadie and I were lying in bed - head to toe - and I noticed a sore on her foot where she had had a splinter for awhile and didn't want to say anything, but we toughed it out, got it out, and hugged it out. 

Or maybe they can remember sitting up on Sunday nights after everyone was in bed and watching Hallmark movies and sobbing our eyes out. 

Or maybe they'll remember having a fever for a week straight and we went to the ER and Mom sat there all night and maybe she was scared to death but she didn't say a word except that it'd be okay. 

Yeah, because I want them to know that I'm not the best Mom in the world.  I'll never do some things right but I'd like to think I get it right some times and that maybe no one is going to love them quite like I do (or their Dad does). 

And I also want them to know that my life wouldn't be nearly as wonderful as it would be without them, hands down, bar none.  I wouldn't be as brave without them.  I wouldn't have found my voice without them.  I wouldn't be as loving without them.  I wouldn't be me at all without them. 

So, I hope this embarrasses them when they read it some day and they'll just shake their heads and say "Oh, Mom, you silly....goose."

I mean, honestly, by the time they get around to reading this, the hubs and I might be living in a cabin in the woods because the zombie apocalypse has occurred and we needed to get the hell outta dodge.  And maybe they'll be in the cabin next to us.  ;)

In closing, I leave you Darryl Worley's tribute to .... life: 

My fave lyrics out of it: 

I laid in bed that night and thought about the day
And how my life is like a roller coaster ride
The ups and downs and crazy turns along the way
It'll throw you off if you don't hold on tight
You can't really smile until you've shed some tears
I could die today or I might live on for years

I love this crazy, tragic,
Sometimes almost magic,
Awful, beautiful life

P.S.  I promise to get to the 40th birthday business....just not today. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

The life of a River Rat....

Somewhere on the Iowa River this weekend, the hubs & I decided to have our own homegrown shindig for my *gulp* fortieth birthday.  But, I'm going to forgo that subject just yet.  Don't worry, we'll come back to it. 

First though, I wanna include these photos from Saturday.  We don't often get to go out overmuch and the hubs gave me the option of lunch & a movie or a day on the river.  As much as I wanted to see the Star Trek movie, I wanted a day out on the river more. 

We had a drought in our region last year and didn't get out in the boat hardly at all and I really missed it.  I'm not the best fisherman but I can sit in my chair, drink a beer or three, and chat away like it's my job when the occasion calls for it. 

Here's the view that greeted us as we loaded up into the sand pits to take off into the river on Saturday morning:

When we moved here back in 2000, little did I know how very much I'd come to enjoy my days out on the water.  I grew up in a small river town but nothing like this.  Being on the river, in a boat, is such a social thing in addition to fishing, running bank poles, and so much more.  And as long as I've been married, we've had a boat and a motor.  It hasn't always been the brightest, fastest, or best but it's always been fun. 

I can still remember playing a game of horseshoes on a sandbar one sunny afternoon and we had gotten a babysitter and the hubs ran back into town to pick Arik up.  And when they rounded the last corner towards the sandbar, Arik was in the front seat (gorgeous little three-year-old) and completely sound asleep. 

There's something comforting about being on the water.  Or relaxing.  One or the other.  Either way, you can crank your radio or not, fish or not, or just roll along with the current and just watch the world. 

With all of the flooding this year, it's been a little dicey getting on the river and sometimes access hasn't been available or advised but it's been slowly dissipating and here we are in the back water off of the Iowa River.

We saw eagles, swallows nests, touched a couple bridges that you normally can't reach, and chit-chatted with some friends.

That's the other thing.  River folks are the best folks, seriously.  You need an extra life vest?  Sure, someone's got one lying around.  Your kid is hankering for some Sprite?  Yup, got an extra in the cooler over here.  Who forgot the sunscreen?  We've got some in our bag.  And god forbid you have motor troubles, but if you do, help is a phone call away.

I love the days when you turn the bend and see five or six boats anchored down on the sandbar somewhere and you pull in and bury the nose of the boat into the sand and kill the motor.

Time passes differently on the water.  It can be slower or faster depending on the level of joy you've got going on at any one given time.  It can be quiet and relaxing or it can be loud and crazy like any other get together around town.

But it's always going to be one of my fave places to go and get away.

(We'll revisit my 40th bday partay in the next blog post ;) )

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sometimes, it takes a village....

The hubs & I were talking this morning. 

We do that a lot. 

Talk, when we have the chance that is. 

When you've got three other people running roughshod over your life & your home, sometimes it's really difficult to get a word in edgewise.  But, either way, we were talking about the boy's baseball game last night which led into a talk about parents and then onto our youngest daughter's graduation and then onto the middle daughter. 

(as I write this my two girls are swatting at each other:  One with her graduation cap from pre-school graduation and the other with a dishtowel as she's taking an untimely break from drying the dishes and putting them away)

But all of this talk of parents, teachers, loved ones, etc got me thinking about how it truly does take a village to raise our kids.  And while we're not always so receptive to certain 'teachers' in their lives (Ie their peers, the media, social networks, disgruntled/pessimistic influences), there are lessons with every person they encounter.

This past week our youngest graduated from preschool and had a major dental procedure done.  She came through both with flying colors but not without a few bumps and bruises.  People asked, people were concerned.

Our middle child, who doesn't always have life's easiest row to hoe (she's the quintessential middle child, honestly, and boy do we have our days) and has had a tough week, but there are people who give her rides home from school and listen to her.  I can't say how awesome it is to have this woman listen to my daughter and be a great influence on her and that she cares to listen.  It's amazing.

The boy.   That kid.  He's getting bigger and older and his problems aren't something I can put bacitracin on along with a band aid and shoo him on his way anymore.  But, he has people around him who listen and enable him in the best ways.

I guess my point is, sometimes throughout life I've closed myself off to people because it was easier to insulate myself against experiences that I didn't want to be in.  There are negative and hurtful people that don't want anything but you to be unhappy too.

But in the past year, I've found a group of women who have done nothing but remind what it is like to be part of a 'village'. 

They engaged, they were present, they listen, they share, and they make my heart feel better about having a group of friends that I can go to with problems whether they be something as small as learning how to make cinnamon rolls or something as frustrating as parenting teenagers.  They make me laugh when I don't wanna laugh.  They make me smile.  They make me cry.  They share things; their secrets, their fears, their joys, their sorrows.

And they remind me that with all of the bad things out there, there is so much good to be had too.  We just have to have the courage to let all of it in.  The good and the bad.

I don't want my kids to miss out on some awesome people because they were too afraid to try, ya know?  This is their time and this is their 'village' and while it's not always the best one, it's still a good one. 

I'll leave you with something I heard not too long ago while I was lying on the couch watching a movie with my daughters and it brought a tear to my eye. 

From the movie Lilo & Stitch:  "This is my Family.  It's little and it's broken, but still good.  Yeah, good."

Just remember, it doesn't have to be perfect.  It just has to be good. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Month of Sundays....

Okay, thanks to my buddy, Nick on FB, and my real life gal pal, C, I'm back in the saddle again tonight.  I know it's been a month of Sundays since I've sat down and wrote anything to all of you and for that, I apologize.  I'd love to say that it's because of this and that or the other but mostly it's because I sit down and look at this little blank space and I'm not always sure what to say.

So *deep breath* I'll just say what's on my mind right now this second.

Sunday nights.

Growing up with my grandparents, Sunday nights were for staying in, popping popcorn, heating up frozen pizza, and watching TV.

Over the last 30 years, not much has changed in my life for Sunday nights.

They're still that night for regrouping and packing your lunch.

Taking a bath and shaving your legs.

It's for painting little girl's toenails.

It's for reminding the boy that he should pack up all his baseball stuff NOW and not three hours from now when I'm ready to go to bed and don't feel like washing this or that in the middle of the night thank you very much, sir.

It's for walking around in a pink chenille robe - even though it's hot outside - because your husband has the thermostat set to 'meat locker'.

It's for setting cream cheese out on the counter so you can make that 'really cool apple dip' for the kiddos to have for snacks during the week.

It's for making that mental grocery list in your head because you're gonna stop after work tomorrow night because gas just recently starting costing an arm, a leg, a thigh, and the rights to your first born.

It's for letting the dog out to go do his business and stopping to admire the mums you planted a week ago.  And to smile at the pumpkin vines because they finally quit looking like that pasty kid in the back of the class who sniffs glue and looks at his own boogers.

It's for looking under the couch because someone dropped the remote and the batteries rolled under the couch and you'd love to go to the kitchen drawer and get some more instead of hefting up the couch but someone left the empty battery container and didn't say a word to anyone about it and dear god, we have to watch powerpuff girls right this second (seriously?  Up yours, Buttercup)(sidenote:  Jude hates it when I call her Butterfart) before my head implodes, you heft up the couch and find nine-thousand-four-hundred and sixty-two hair ties and two fishsticks, nine pencils and two batteries. 

It's for thinking about a friend who had a horrid week and saying a quiet prayer of peace for her.

It's for thinking about how blessed I am.

It's for wondering if I have clean underwear for tomorrow and then remember that I'm the one in charge of the laundry and if I don't then I have no one to blame but me.  Or Kenny.  I'll blame Kenny.

It's for watching the National Weather Service Radar and wondering if I'm going to sleep before midnight.  Although, I'm sipping on a glass of iced tea anyway, so consulting the magic 8 ball here and thinking 'odds do not look good'.

 It's for snuggling down with a new book.

It's for those twenty 'just-one-more' hugs & kisses.

It's for the boy smacking the trim around the door and saying 'Night, Mom' before he takes the steps two-at-a-time.

It's for pizza, popcorn, and apples.

It's time for reflection.

And soon, it'll be time for bed. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Blogging, this isn't how you do it....

Ever have one of those days where you want to call & talk to a friend but you just have too much to say and instead you think you'll email only you're not quite sure where exactly to begin so you think you'll just text her a quick 'hi & love u' but you get sidetracked because the dog barfs on the living floor just about the same time that you smell the distinct odor of something burning in the oven?


Dang.  Only me then. 

What I'm trying so inelegantly to say is that sometimes I can be a horrifically fair-weather blogger.  If I've got too much going on (if only ever in my mind) then I tend to internalize until it's safe to peek out from  underneath my shell. 

So, what have I been doing with my time?

A little writing and a little reading. 

I've finished reading Nora Roberts new book, The Witness.  As always, it was super speedy and easy on my brain.  I love Nora.  She may not be the best writer in the world but her commercial success speaks for itself.  And 99% of the time, I love the characters that she creates.  So definitely two thumbs up on this book. 

The hubs and I watched Zero Dark Thirty last night.  And while it sits at 2-1/2 hours long, I don't remember it feeling like 280 minutes long.  It was fast-paced and intriguing, of course.  I know it was a dramatization of the events surrounding Osama Bin Laden's death.  But the culmination of it in the middle of the night, was just one small step in a huge journey.  And movie or no, it was interesting to see how they got from point A to point Z. 

We've been dealing with some very full creeks and rivers around here this week so it's very nice to see the sun shining and the temps warming up the windowsills and the concrete.  I've got little girls who wanna use up the sidewalk chalk and a boy who has a new basketball hoop. 

Also, I can't really say a lot about the Boston Marathon bombings other than that the families of the victims are in my heart and in my prayers and I pray for the bomber, too.  I can't help that part of me.  It's who I am. 

Alright.  I have some kitchen chairs to finish covering and a life to be living.  I will check in with you kool kats on the flipside.  Take it easy this week.  Be kind to each other.  No, strike that.  Be excellent to each other. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

You're my kryptonite....

....Oh my god.

Okay, first thing is first:  So sorry it's been so long since I've written anything down here. 

I'd like to say that it's because I've just busier than a one-armed coat hanger and partly, that's true.  But mostly, I just haven't been feeling it. 

Or maybe it's been because I've been feeling too much. 

And those feelings are fun things like being overwhelmed and drowning in my own thoughts.  And when that happens, dear friends, I duck and cover.

It's not a particular dignified coping mechanism, but it's mine. 

I think one of the most difficult things about blogging or writing is keeping momentum and to keep on trudging through even when you don't feel particularly awesome about anything.  Let me also say that I'm thankful for my daily blessings of my hubby and kiddos as I would be on the corner of no and where without them.  But, there are times as momma and a woman, where I'm just plain old fashioned burnt out. 

So in the interest of sanity, it's best to step away from the keyboard sometimes because not every thought I have in my head needs documented and there are times where you just gotta breathe without the crushing need to write it down.

I'd love to say that I've been painting our kitchen and bathroom and it's just because I'm working on a plan for our garden but that would be a big fat lie.  So, in the spirit of keeping it real, I will tell you that I've been reading oodles, snuggling with my short folks some, laughing with the teen, checking in with the step-d and just muddling through until Spring pokes its head up outta the ground manifesting as daffodils, tulips, and forsythia.

It's been a long winter, pals.

Time for some sunshine.  

For now, I'd like to:

- Go for a long walk by myself.

- Plan a garden with Sadie.

- Talk to Jude more about her views on the world (Seriously, anytime you need a reality break, talk to a five year old about the state of the union.  There is nothing in the world that will put your life into perspective than a kid).

- Play some MarioKart with the boy.  I've got an orange turtle shell with your name on it, dude.

- Go out for dinner with step-daughter and enjoy her laugh.  She and Sadie have the same laugh (ie. when they're truly happy, they laugh like a drunken sailor.  It's a thing of beauty, folks). 

- Get out in that flat bottom boat with that guy of mine with nothing but time and the admirable ambition of drowning some worms.

What's on your Springtime agenda? 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Girl Who Writes....

I wish with all my heart that I knew who I could attribute this to, but alas, I do not.  I've linked the source at the bottom.  I don't know if some of you remember, but not too long ago, there was an essay going around by Rosemarie Urquico entitled 'Date a Girl Who Reads' that I posted on my blog in late 2011.  I just came across this one tonight.

She succinctly puts how I feel about writing (although, I am happily married) and what it's like to grow up being 'the girl who writes...'

Date a girl who writes.

Date a girl who may never wear completely clean clothes, because of coffee stains and ink spills. She’ll have many problems with her closet space, and her laptop is never boring because there are so many words, so many worlds that she’s cluttered amidst the space. Tabs open filled with obscure and popular music. Interesting factoids about Catherine the Great, and the immortality of jellyfish. Laugh it off when she tells you that she forgot to clean her room, that her clothes are lost among the binders so it’ll take her longer to get ready, that her shoes hidden under the mountain of broken Bic pens and the refurbished laptop that she’s saved for ever since she was twelve. 
Kiss her under the lamppost, when it’s raining. Tell her your definition of love.
Find a girl who writes. You’ll know that she has a sense of humor, a sense of empathy and kindness, and that she will dream up worlds, universes for you. She’s the one with the faintest of shadows underneath her eyelids, the one who smells of coffee and Coca-cola and jasmine green tea. You see that girl hunched over a notebook. That’s the writer. With her fingers occasionally smudged with charcoal, with ink that will travel onto your hands when you interlock your fingers with her’s. She will never stop, churning out adventures, of traitors and heroes. Darkness and light. Fear and love. That’s the writer. She can never resist filling a blank page with words, whatever the color of the page is.
She’s the girl reading while waiting for her coffee and tea. She’s the quiet girl with her music turned up loud (or impossibly quiet), separating the two of you by an ocean of crescendos and decrescendos as she’s thinking of the perfect words. If you take a peek at her cup, the tea or coffee’s already cold. She’s already forgotten it.
Use a pick-up line with her if she doesn’t look too busy.
If she raises her head, offer to buy her another cup of coffee. Or of tea. She’ll repay you with stories. If she closes her laptop, give her your critique of Tolstoy, and your best theories of Hannibal and the Crossing. Tell her your characters, your dreams, and ask if she gotten through her first novel.
It is hard to date a girl who writes. But be patient with her. Give her books for her birthday, pretty notebooks for Christmas and for anniversaries, moleskins and bookmarks and many, many books. Give her the gift of words, for writers are talkative people, and they are verbose in their thanks. Let her know that you’re behind her every step of the way, for the lines between fiction and reality are fluid.
She’ll give you a chance.
Don’t lie to her. She’ll understand the syntax behind your words. She’ll be disappointed by your lies, but a girl who writes will understand. She’ll understand that sometimes even the greatest heroes fail, and that happy endings take time, both in fiction and reality. She’s realistic. A girl who writes isn’t impatient; she will understand your flaws. She will cherish them, because a girl who writes will understand plot. She’ll understand that endings happen for better or for worst.
A girl who writes will not expect perfection from you. Her narratives are rich, her characters are multifaceted because of interesting flaws. She’ll understand that a good book does not have perfect characters; villains and tragic flaws are the salt of books. She’ll understand trouble, because it spices up her story. No author wants an invincible hero; the girl who writes will understand that you are only human.
Be her compatriot, be her darling, her love, her dream, her world.
If you find a girl who writes, keep her close. If you find her at two AM, typing furiously, the neon gaze of the light illuminating her furrowed forehead, place a blanket gently on her so that she does not catch a chill. Make her a pot of tea, and sit with her. You may lose her to her world for a few moments, but she will come back to you, brimming with treasure. You will believe in her every single time, the two of you illuminated only by the computer screen, but invincible in the darkness.
She is your Shahrazad. When you are afraid of the dark, she will guide you, her words turning into lanterns, turning into lights and stars and candles that will guide you through your darkest times. She’ll be the one to save you.
She’ll whisk you away on a hot air balloon, and you will be smitten with her. She’s mischievous, frisky, yet she’s quiet and when she has to kill off a lovely character, when she cries, hold her and tell her that it will be alright. 
You will propose to her. Maybe on a boat in the ocean, maybe in a little cottage in the Appalachian Mountains. Maybe in New York City. Maybe Chicago. Baltimore. Maybe outside her publisher’s office. Because she’s radiant, wherever she goes. Maybe even outside of a cinema where the two of you kiss in the rain. She’ll say that it is overused and clichéd, but the glint in her eyes will tell you that she appreciates it all the same.
You will smile hard as she talks a mile a second, and your heart will skip a beat when she holds your hand and she will write stories of your lives together. She’ll hold you close and whisper secrets into your ears. She’s lovely, remember that. She’s self made and she’s brilliant. Her names for the children might be terrible, but you’ll be okay with that. A girl who writes will tell your children fantastical stories.
Because that is the best part about a girl who writes. She has imagination and she has courage, and it will be enough. She’ll save you in the oceans of her dreams, and she’ll be your catharsis and your 11:11. She’ll be your firebird and she’ll be your knight, and she’ll become your world, in the curve of her smile, in the hazel of her eye the half-dimple on her face, the words that are pouring out of her, a torrent, a wave, a crescendo - so many sensations that you will be left breathless by a girl who writes.
Maybe she’s not the best at grammar, but that is okay.
Date a girl who writes because you deserve it. She’s witty, she’s empathetic, enigmatic at times and she’s lovely. She’s got the most colorful life. She may be living in NYC or she may be living in a small cottage. Date a girl who writes because a girl who writes reads.
A girl who writes will understand reality. She’ll be infuriating at times, and maybe sometimes you will hate her. Sometimes she will hate you too. But a girl who writes understands human nature, and she will understand that you are weak. She will not leave on the Midnight Train the first moment that things go sour. She will understand that real life isn’t like a story, because while she works in stories, she lives in reality. 
Date a girl who writes. 
Because there is nothing better then a girl who writes.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Mojo JoJo

Okay if you've parented little girls any time in the last decade, you know who I'm talking about when I say Mojo JoJo.  If not, here he is in all his shining glory:


That's right.  He's a cartoon character.  Mojo was introduced to the mainstream world through the creators of the Powerpuff Girls.  And while Bubbles, Blossom, and Buttercup drive me bugnuts (oh the alliteration), Mojo jumps to mind every single time someone utters the word Mojo. 

To speak plainly, I insert the word 'Jojo' in my head every time after I hear the word Mojo. 

Silly, right?

And you know what?  Writers can be silly, by nature.  They can also be foolish, dreamy, bleary-eyed, and hopeful. 

But the one thing a writer can never be is without ideas. 

There are always stories formulating in their head.  There are always words they are reaching for. 

I can overhear a conversation on the commuter bus and I have a story off and running before I walk down that last step on my way into work. 

Or I can watch my children playing together in the back yard and I'm taken back to the time where I ran wild with my girl cousins during the Summers of my youth. 

The scent of vanilla reminds me of slathering the stuff all over in order to avoid mosquitos and chiggers on my small arms and legs before running out the back door of grandparent's house to let the wooden door smack loudly against the frame as I ran pel-mel towards adventure. 

Burying my nose in the pages of a book reminds me of my little yellow flashlight and late nights reading under my sheets, heart hammering at every creek and shift of our old house. 

Listening to Waylon Jennings reminds me of falling asleep atop of a blue suitcase in the back of a white Nova with the windows down and my bangs dancing across my forehead as the sunshine warmed the world behind my eyelids.  

One of the best things of being a writer, and reader, is that you have a passport to the future and the past. 

You get to travel far away or to stay as close as your favorite blanket fort. 

You get to experience the life of super hero, their arch nemesis, or a little red-haired girl falling in love with a boy who teased and taunted her throughout childhood until she broke a slate over his head.

Movies are great and so is television but the world I've always loved is the one where my Mojo Jojo resides:  My imagination. 

In there I get to be a domestic goddess who makes trifles and has frozen appetizers on hand for guests who happen to drop by.  (in reality I have fish sticks and Coors Light if you wanna bop by my back door and say hullo)  Or I can still be that little girl who wanted to be a veterinarian and fix all of the broken animals or Pocahontas or Laura Ingalls or to ride off on a unicorn with Charles Wallace Murry.  Or I get to be the barista with all of the best coffee drinks.  Or the owner of the local small bookshop where people congregate to knit and bitch.  Or I'm the mom that makes things from scratch, sews her kids clothes, and organizes the best birthday parties around. 

Don't get me wrong, I love stepping back out in reality.  Because there I, too, get to be the plucky heroine when I pop Barbie's head back on when she's accidentally been decapitated or when I drop off an iced coffee drink to my teen while he's working or when I manage to find the hubby's missing left shoe. 

It's all about perception, folks.

Inside our heads and outside of bodies lies all of the inspiration in the world if we go looking for it. 

So, pray tell, what inspires you?  Do tell. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I've always depended on the kindness of strangers...

So the next few weeks you might have to bear with me as I'm going through Tammy's class and working out some of my lessons/homework.  Today was about letting stories brew or formulate giving way to ideas that make my life what it is.

There are a few things that make me take paper and pen in hand, but more often than not it's people.  People fascinate me on so many levels because we're all such a different breed of cat.  We all have a story to tell and I've yet to come across a boring story.

I can still remember the day when I came out of the hospital where I was working well over ten years ago to see an old man sitting on a bench.  I was longing for some quiet and I had a book tucked under my arm to keep me company.  As I sat there the older man began to talk.  He'd been in the service for years and had married his childhood sweetheart.  She was upstairs, he said.  I don't remember what floor she was on, but it was apparent by his face that whatever was going on with her wasn't all that good.

So I sat.

And I listened.

He told me about being married to your sweetheart and it wasn't always what it was cracked up to be but overall things were 'good' he said.  And now they were here.

I remember saying I would pray for them and him patting my hand as he eased up off the bench as only people with creeky bones and weary hearts can do and he nodded and told me 'you just do that'.

I did, for the record.

And I imagine she passed away not long after that, but his story has stuck with me some thirteen years later.

I meet people like that.  They tell me about skillets that they wanna buy when we're in line at Wal-Mart.  Or just like the other day when I was talking to a woman who had three skeins of Red Heart yarn on the conveyer alongside the other every day items that make up a household grocery list.

"Knit or Crochet?" I asked.

She turned and grinned at me informing me that she crocheted.  We chatted about how I wanted to teach my daughter, nine-year old Sadie who was then helping to load the cart, and she nodded sharply and said it'd be better for her than all those 'danged video games they've got nowadays'.

Her hair was grey and she had rimless glasses on with gold arms that when they reached back to hook over her ears got lost in short salt and pepper hair.

She then told me, as she was loading grey plastic bags up in her cart, that after her husband had died a mutual acquaintance of theirs had knitted this woman a prayer shall.

"I didn't know her all that well.  It just meant more that way, I think."

She paused after running her debit card through the machine and smiling at the young cashier.

"You take care of them and good luck learning to crochet."

I saw her in the parking lot minutes later and as she backed out of the spot in her white and grey Dodge, I thought how very lucky I am sometimes to have these people pop up into my life every now and again and remind me that I'm lucky.

Not because I'm happily married with a living spouse and healthy children.  I know I'm lucky to have all of those things.  I'm lucky to be employed not only in a place that I love and work for people that I love, I'm just plain old fashioned fortunate to be working.

But I'm reminded every now and again that people are more than what they seem, that they have these amazing tales inside of them and even if they're only meant to be shared at the check out of Wal-Mart....they're still meant to be shared.

Now, one last story before I go.

There was a small child we got to visit when I first started at the hospital doing medical transcription.  For the sake of anonymity, I can't repeat his name but I can remember it to this day.  We had been typing reports for these small folks for weeks and it broke my heart sometimes to know that some of these kids had not only been in here for weeks they'd been in there for MONTHS on end.  I was frightened to death, as a mother, to walk into the NICU and PICU.  I thought 'God, this has to be the saddest place on earth.'

Let me now state for the record:  I was wrong.  Really really wrong.

That place is one of the happiest places in the world.  There are music therapists.  There are loving hands amidst all of that tubing and wires and machines.  There are people who care on-duty 24/7.

Now, we're going through the Peds ICU, being given a tour by the department head (who is a lovely person) and we're stopped by one of the small kids that we'd been writing about.  He'd been there for months - almost a year at the time - and you'd never know it.  He was .... for lack of a better word, ornery.  He made us laugh - this group of women that I was with - out loud more than once, let me tell you.

And when we left he hollered at us, "Ladies, come back!  I have video games."

Goodness sakes, I bet that kid was a handful for his momma.

I know he passed away some time later.  But, kiddo, again, you made an impression on me.

My granny always said she liked kids and dogs.  I like to think that she said that because both of those things can measure character better than any rorschach test in the world.  If my kids or dog doesn't like someone, there's gotta be a reason for it.  (Or they're packing gummy bears or a pastrami on rye in a not so concealed spot on their person)

So, maybe by sharing this story, you'll chat to the next person in line when you're in Wal-Mart or you'll stop to give a second glance to an old person sitting on a bench.  Just because it's not your story, doesn't mean it's not worth hearing....or telling.  

Thursday, February 7, 2013

My Ideal Reader....

Author's Note: This is part of an assignment for the writing course that I'm taking through Tammy Strobel of Rowdy Kittens fame.

The lesson for today was asking who we think our idea reader is.  The following is what I believe my ideal reader would be (and also what kind of reader I know I am):

I don't think I have an ideal reader per se.  More than anything I appreciate and wish for engaged readers.  I would hope and wish for people to share their experiences or find something that I've written resonates within them or for them.  Recently I had a younger woman whom I've been friends with online for a few years - so she is well acquainted with me and my daily life - tell me that she has hope for herself in years to come when she has a family that she won't need to channel Martha Stewart with her home nor Julia Child in order to feed her family....

...that's what I want for a reader. 

I don't want a sycophantic ego-boosting cheerleader but ... just engaged I would say. 

I'm that type of reader, too.  I guess I want the real deal with what's going on.  It's not that I don't think that people really 'live that way' (ie Martha Stewart) but the things that keep me coming back are when you share your recipes of your favorite that Granny Miller made or that killer dip that someone brought to your Super Bowl party or that your kid-spouse-dog needs to be house in the garage-crawl space for the time being because they're chapping your hiney. 

I want the knitting patterns.

I want the short stories about your Aunt who is no longer with us, God rest her soul.

I want your favorite Summer memories. 

I want to find the hope and promise where maybe there wasn't any before.

And I hope any reader that finds their way here can find all of this and maybe some more, too. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


 Well, I had planned to write about a whole other topic, but I thought I'd write about the original one that intended for when I had planned this in my head on the commute home tonight.

(and Yes, I realize that made absolutely no sense....and if it did, come sit by me...I have cookies for my fellow crazies) 

My commute can roughly last anywhere from forty-five minutes to an hour in the morning and the same going home in the evening.  While jamming out to my fave tunes on the radio (I can tell you my presets and if you're in the neighborhood please to be checking them out, too:  92.3, 99.7, 102.9, 104.5, 106.7 and 107.1.  They're all awwwwesome), I make a mental list of things that might need to get done in the evening or sometimes I let my mind wander about a story that I'm writing or what I should write my next blog post about.  It's a great time to just formulate.  Sometimes it's a word that the DJ says or a lyric to a song playing on the radio that inspires whatever I'm going to be writing about. 

Today, there wasn't anything tripping my proverbial trigger, musicwise, but I kept coming back to the small list of things I had 'to do' when I got home.  The past few weeks, I've been adopting some new habits that have been working out pretty danged well for me.  While I'm going to assume that a lot of you folks already do these, I sure didn't before.  Here's a small sample of what I've been up to:


1.  Going to bed by 10:30.  That means lights out, kindle off, prayers said, and closing my eyes with my head on the pillow.  I've also tried to allot at least 20 minutes or more for reading on my kindle, too.  I've been rereading through The Wrinkle in Time series and am on the very last book (my fave, I think, in the triology) and loving every second of it!  The benefits of this going to bed at a decent hour are monumental.  I feel better in the morning, more rested, and happier. 


2.  Making my lunch the night before.  Okay, so I definitely know that a lot of you are super diligent about this and I have never ever been.  But, for the last two weeks solid, I've been packing my lunch in Sadie's super cute Hello Kitty lunchbox.  I can only imagine what my fellow Cambus passenger's think about my lunch tote lovingly embroidered with 'Sadie' on it and the iconic kitty, too.  Oh well, I wear Converse often and red skinny jeans.  That pink bag don't look too out of place when I'm carrying it. 


3.  The 15 minute Chez Hez Fix-All.  This has been INVALUABLE to my sanity.  I've spent roughly 15-30 minutes checking each room and picking up odds and ends and putting them away often enlisting the children who have left this or that lying around and having them tote it off to their room or wherever its 'home' is.  This, again, has helped me out so much.  I don't walk into clutter when I get home or at least it's not as terrible as it has been in the past and keeps things supremely manageable.  Included in this little scenario is me tossing in a load of laundry and also folding a load of laundry and putting it away (or handing it off to the offspring to be put away).  (and yes, I also put my clothes out for the next day, too.  Lead by example, I say.  ;) )

4.  Bedtime routines for short folks.  This includes getting jammies on, putting clothes out for the next day, locating mittens and hats and boots to ready for the a.m., and to brush their teeth.  Again, lifesaver 101.  Jude still bucks the whole bedtime or sleeping in her room but I've usually got her wore down by at least 9:30 now and this is PROGRESS. 

(Fonzie says haaaaaaaaayyy, two thumbs up to that, Hez)

By doing these four small things my life has changed in ways I can't even begin to describe, but let me explain.

No, wait, let me sum up.  (Another pop-culture reference.  Twenty points to Gryffindor if you can name where this is from)

After these folks are in bed, I've got some me time that has nothing to do with laundry or cleaning or arguing or anything but whatever I wanna fill it up with.  If I wanna waste an hour and play Zuma Blitz, I can.  If I wanna read on the Kindle, I can. 

So, Heather, you're thinking, why the Marvin the Martian cartoon up top, right?  Well, I think there oughta be some sorta cheering section/gold star allotment/earth shattering KABOOM that I've finally figured this out.

Obviously, I'm a special snowflake that needs positive reinforcement. 

(I'll just assume that y'all are rolling your eyes right now while whispering 'bless her heart'.)

I know that a lot of folks have figured this out some time ago and that I'm not winning any trophies or awards for getting my shizz together, but I can honestly say that it feels damned good. 

Now, check back with me in two weeks to see if I'm curled up in the fetal position somewhere surrounded by sandwich wrappers and laundry up to my eyeballs.

Okay, pals, your turn.  What're you doing right now?  Working on those resolutions?  Snowshoeing? Snow skiing?  Watching ball games?  What're you doing with your wintertime?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

It comes back around....

Currently, I'm eating some lasagna and bitty garlic breads while pondering my day. 

Earlier today after venturing into the Voldemarts to get some groceries (honestly, it was closer than traipsing across town to go to Aldi's - where we normally grocery get) my teen tried talking me into going to McDonald's.  Now, lessee, it was lunchtime (a little after Noon) and the line for the drive through was EPIC - or so I spied across the way - and there was no way I was going to spend more time in public (repeat after me PUBLICK PUUUUUUBLICK) than strictly necessary.

I love people and loathe them in equal measure.  I believe that a lot of people are inherently good and I love 'em for it.  On the flip side there are some very simple folks that drive me looney tunes (and not the fun daffy duck kind if you pick up what I'm putting down). 

So, a quandry.

The boy - THE TEEN, Heather, THE TEEN - offered to buy lunch.

I offered Wendy's as a compromise. 

We rolled on over there after Jude's nineteenth request for chicken nuggets and put in our order.  Driving up to the pay window, we were greeted by DeShawn who told us our total.  I held out my hand waiting for Arik to pony up the dough and laughing told our young cashier that I was making the boy pay. 

Laughing as he took the twenty, DeShawn looked at Arik, "It's all good.  It comes back around, man."

I busted out laughing, took the change, and told young DeShawn to have a good day. 

Arik had no idea what DeShawn was talking about and I tried to explain to him in a roundabout way that being good to your mom has a way of being paid back ten-fold.  Moms just roll that way. 

It made me smile long after I drove away and quite some time after that junior bacon cheeseburger was long tone too. 

Good things really do have a way of coming back around.  Maybe not the way we think they should, but they still do.

It's like finding a friendly face in the middle of the plumbing aisle at Lowe's last night.  A really nice older gentleman took me around to find the hoses I was looking for that we needed for the washer.  And then also, chatted along with me as we walked over to the dryer vent pipes.  I told him that I would've been lost for quite some time without his help and thanks so much.  He quipped that they usually try to shoo everyone out before nine.  Again, I laughed.

It really is the best medicine for all that ails you. 

Oh I'm all for sad music and Steel Magnolias when life hands you a sack of shit for a day, but sometimes there's just something about sharing a laugh with a stranger.

In both of those situations, I was flustered (today, after chasing Jude around the bulk of wal-mart with the chant of MOMMA LOOK MOMMA LOOK MOMMA LOOK ringing in my ears; yesterday, trying to walk through the plumbing aisle without a penis is intimidating as eff) and a little short on patience. 

And along came a laugh just when I needed one.

So, today, smile at someone in the grocery aisle.  Joke around with your cashier.  Tell someone that the yarn they're picking out is beautiful. 

Take two seconds and make someone else's day.

I'd like to thank DeShawn for making mine.

Bless your heart, kid. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

You know what?

Chicken butt.


I had to say it. 

It's blustery and cold out there today.

Exhibit A:

I stayed home with the kiddos today as commuting was just not in the cards with all of the SNOW and then all of the BLOWING of the snow. 

I thought we might settle into the day and make some cookies maybe if we felt like it. 

Evidently my energy levels were bigger than I thought as I spent the day cleaning. 

I took apart the dryer and cleaned out the lint trap.  I found a bunch of change, six pounds of lint, and a marble.  How that rascally bugger got in there, but there it was.  After that, it was cleaning baseboards and door jambs in the kitchen and dining room.  There's almost nothing better than looking around and all of those finger prints, hand prints, little bits of gunk are gone, long gone.  Plus, it makes the house smell nice.  And plus plus, germs be gone.  

You know what would be a million dollar idea?  Self-cleaning baseboards.  It's true. 

In other news:  I've been rereading A Wrinkle in Time and have moved onto A Wind in the Door.  It's a great way to pass the time on these winter nights when the wind is raging outside and it's nice and toasty indoors. 

I also made up a crock pot of cowboy beans that filled everyone's bellies. 

Cowboy beans, you ask?  Well lemme tell you allllll about it.  It's the best one dish meal ever.  Plus it's an awesome rib-sticking meal in the middle of winter.

I used 1 can of Baked Beans, 1 can of Butter Beans, 1 can of pinto beans, and 2 cans of chili beans (in their sauce).  I rinsed off the Butter Beans and Pinto beans.  Then, I tossed all of them into the crock pot on low while I browned 1 -1/2 pounds ground beef.  I also added about 1/4 cup brown sugar (use more or less according to taste), 2 tbsp yellow mustard, and 1 cup of French dressing.  I also added about 3 tbsp minced onion (dry).  When the ground beef has been browned, add it to the crock pot.  I set it on low for 4 hours.  Serve with cornbread or if you're like me (sekritly 12), serve with wavy plain potato chips for dipping.

I think everyone liked it and I'm just happy that I have some leftovers for lunch tomorrow.  Woot.  Win-win.  

After a nice hot bath, I'm gonna play a quick game of Zuma Blitz and do some reading I think.

So, question time:  How do you pass the time indoors during the long winter months?  Games?  Hobbies?  Cooking/Baking?

Do. Tell. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

She listens like Spring and she talks like June....

Tomorrow my middle baby will be nine years old.


Count 'em, nine years old.

I still cannot believe it actually.

She believes in the power of Pink.

She makes greeting cards with pop-out hearts.

She leaves post-it notes in my purse that says I heart you Mom (or leaves post-its in her dad's lunchbox too)

She loves Junie B. Jones.

She loves her sisters...a lot.

She doesn't care for her brother overmuch.

She loves playing Angry Birds.

She loves cupcakes.

She loves lipgloss.

She wants her own kitten.

She's curious about crickets and grasshoppers but hates spiders with a passion.

She's getting taller every single day.

She believes that more is definitely better.

She loves listening to my ipod and singing along quietly.

She loves to rock in her chair, or on the couch, or in her bed....or anywhere really.

She loves riding shotgun.

She can spring up out of bed and be ready in two minutes.

She loves to swim and can do it for hours on end.

She has freckles.

She loves nail polish.

She goes by Sadie, Shoog, or Tink. 

....And she's only going to be nine for one short year.  I hope it's her best one yet. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Long Winter...

So, yesterday we did a wee bit of baking and this past weekend I've been deep cleaning in the bathroom and in the mudroom. 

Coffee Cake

One of my secret passions is rearranging things.  I love taking bits of our furniture and moving them this way and that to make them fill out a room maybe a bit better than they did before.  The thing I've been doing lately though is completely removing pieces of furniture (usually small ones).  One thing I figured out over time is that our small house is full of furniture that do not necessarily fit our lifestyle or just don't serve any purpose other than to stand around and catch dust. 

Part of the reason I'm doing this (deep cleaning, etc) is to get out all of the germs that have been bunking in with us this past week (Jude & I were down with Influenza - NO FUN) and the other part is to remind me why I loved this little house when we moved into it. 


Our house is well over 100 years old and has plaster walls and beautiful molding around the windows, strange little doorway arches and a galley style kitchen.  You can tell what part of the house was the 'original' farmhouse (dining room, kitchen, and our bedroom) partly because when we tore back the carpet that was in the (now) dining room, you could see where the old wood stove had sat on the wood floors. 


Part of my problem with 'decorating' is realizing that my 'taste' is so not in line with a lot of people's desire for contemporary things.  I have metal cupboards in my kitchen from the 50s....and I love 'em, okay?  I have industrial lino in my mudroom that I uncovered (again, carpet) that I adore too with it's bits of brown flecks in it (altho, it's peeling up in spots and I need to get something else in there but for now, it's perfect for me).  I love our uneven hardwood floors.  I love the high ceilings.  I love the built in china hutch in the kitchen (altho one of the panes of glass is broken - I'm thinking of knocking out the others and putting chicken wire behind them). 

But mostly, I love these faces that I share my home with:


(This was taken during half-time of the Iowa Men's Basketball Game....GO HAWKS!)

They kinda make all of everything that I do worth it. 

So tell me, guys:  What do you LOVE about where you live?  Or what do you want to change?  What couldn't you live without? 

Window Too

Talk to me. :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tuning out the static....


Do you guys remember sitting in front of your boombox trying to make your radio station tune in just right?  A titch this way or a skosh that way and it was fuzz and static and when you're trying to record your fave song off of the radio, you didn't want static did you?  So you'd sit cross-legged on the floor, leaning forward, tongue sticking out of the left side of your mouth concentrating for all of your might to get that dial just ever so.

And then right there for a second, you found it.

You've already got in a blank cassette tape and you hit the button marked 'Record'.

Smiling, you lean back and enjoy your success.

(In reality:  You've bootlegged music off of the radio. But back in the 80s and 90s, this was a very grey area of the entertainment industry.  So we'll just gloss over that little fact, shall we?)

As I've gotten older, I've noticed a certain comfort level settling into my bones much easier than it used to.  Even when I try new things that I'm nervous about, there's still a level of certainty that no matter the outcome, I'll be okay even if I don't excel at it right away.

In other words:  I've got my blank tape and I'm filling that 90 minute Side A with the songs for the soundtrack of my life.

It's just trying to tune into the actual music gets harder and harder while I try to turn the dial this way and that, fine tuning. 

One of my biggest down falls is that I am a social medium addict.  I love staying in tune and in touch with things going on all over the world.  I've got Facebook, Twitter, LiveJournal, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, a Blog, a writer's account website, Ravelry, goodreads, etc.

Can you see where I might overwhelm myself with too much?

If these things had all existed when I was a teen, I never would've gotten any sleep let alone studying and eating.  I'd have been a proper Facebook and Twitter addict.

I would've followed the antics of my favorite boy band, New Kids on the Block, like a true stalker and maybe, just maybe, worked up enough gumption to finally tweet Joey McIntyre on my birthday just to hopefully get a birthday wish back from him.

Now, maybe you can see that while these tools are handy and help keep in touch with people in my life, they're also 'static'. 

In an effort to be a better me or the best 'Heather' that I can be (without apologies thank you very much), I'm going to see if I can enforce 'time-outs' with my social mediums.  I've been thumbing through Gretchen Rudin's The Happiness Project and it came to me loud and clear that there are certain goals that I have and I will never get them accomplished if I continue to dole out my time with these things.  It's not that I don't appreciate the relationships that I've re-established because of them.  No, that's not it.  I just want to re-establish a relationship with me. 

So, in the next few weeks, if I seem quiet, that would be why. 

Plus, I've got the whole Side B of that tape to fill up just yet.  Can't wait to see what I put on it. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Anglophile, I am one.

Well it's been a snotty few days at Chez Hez.  Not necessarily because of the weather and mostly because I've been down and out with the Crud of 2013.  Everyone I know has had it.  So, I shouldn't feel special or anything but being surrounded by a half-used up roll of toilet paper and tiny wads of tissue on my bed is not particularly dignified....but I think I'm on the uphill swing and have only sneezed 40 some odd times this morning. 

I hate sneezing. 


So, the title of my blog:  Anglophile.

I was expressing my excitement via gchat to my pal, Candice, about my new Union Jack tee shirt that had arrived from Etsy yesterday and she laughed calling me a proper anglophile.  Not recognizing that word, I promptly toggled over and opened a new tab on Firefox.  Typing the word into google (freaking love Google), I was soon given the meaning of the this new vocabulary word.  Essentially, it means a person who is fascinated by all things 'English/British'. 


That's me alright.  That's me in a nutshell.

After telling her that she's not allowed to bandy about words that I don't know, I tried to think/remember where my fascination began. 

I couldn't, of course.

It's always just kind of....been there.

I've loved the Beatles and can't remember when I didn't.

I've always had a fascination for the British Royals.  I remember finding out that Princess Diana and I shared a birthday (not the year thank you very much) and thinking just how very cool that was.  (I was a kid.  Gimme a break.  I had no idea at the time of what she was going through behind those palace doors)

And the older I got, the more this interest increased.

Harry Potter came along and again my interest in all things British soared.  There were new words to learn (ie. In Brit speak, sweaters = jumpers; trash cans = bins; brilliant = awesome; etc, etc) and after having made a few virtual friends from across the pond, I could honestly say I was properly hooked.


I don't honestly know.

It'd probably take me at least three hours on the therapist's couch to figure out why I think British things are 'cool'.  I just do.

It's the same way I think Irish things are cool, too (but I think that has to do more with my their accents are hella awesome). 

I wanna tromp around in a small village in my wellies with a fisherman's sweater to keep me warm and drink a pint of Guinness with my Mom while a musician plays in the corner and a fire crackles with life.  (It's a stereotype, okay? But it's my dream so let me keep it, yeah?)

You can tell I've put some thought into that, right?

I also wanna do the Literary Pub Crawl in Dublin.

My bucket list on pinterest is full of all things Irish and Uk related places that I'd love to visit/to see sometime in my life.  (Please, disregard that peeing in every ocean.  I thought that was just too hilarious to pass up)

And God willing (along with a little old-fashioned Heather-ingenuity) it might be possible.

Some day.

Just not today.

Until then, I'll keep listening to my Brit faves (Adele, Ed Sheeran, The Beatles, and yes, even One Direction), following the happenings of the next generation of the Royals (Harry, Wills, Kate, and Andrew's girls), wear my union jack tee shirt, and see if I can ever properly get through a glass of Guinness (I keep trying).  

Is there something you're fascinated with and have no earthly reason why?  What are the places on your bucket list that you'd like to visit?  How do you take your coffee and/or tea?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Well, here we are.  In a whole new year. 

Go us, right?

2013 holds possibilities untold for all of us and while that seems overwhelming sometimes, it also seems nice.  (I know it's a poor word choice and maybe not as bold when breaking down 365 days that can change your world and/or your life but it's a kind word and maybe it's an easy word, too)

Resolution can also mean bringing things to a close.

What a cool way to start out a year, yes?

Letting go of the things we need to let go of.  Bringing the important things to the forefront.

How neat is that?

I've never once pretended to have all the answers for the whats and whys and wherefores of my life's happenings but, I will never pretend to be a bystander in my own show (aka my life).  So while I meander along my path this year, kicking gently at the smooth rocks under my feet, I hope to share it with you. 

And in turn, I hope you share your journey with me.  I don't care if it's as insignificant as you got out of bed today.  Because, let's be honest, some days that IS the hardest thing. 

Okay, let's get to the resolutions part of this gig:

1.  I promise to share, at least once every other week, an essay of sorts.  That's 26 posts about my life, past & present.  I can't promise thought provoking, but I can promise to entertain.  HAHAHHA

2.  I promise that I will be as honest as kindness allows me to be.  I will always be honest with myself but sometimes in that vein of self-discovery, I have to set aside other 'characters' in my life in the interest of anonymity.  (aka no one wants to see themselves portrayed in a negative light even in a meagerly read blog post)

3.  My bathroom.  I promise to paint that damn room, recaulk the shower, get a new shower curtain, and finish tiling the damn floor.  This year it will be done.

4.  Reading.  I promise to read more and share what I'm reading and why.  Look at it as 'Hez's book Club'.  Which means it won't be nearly as impressive as Oprah, but you might find something that you like.  (I'm currently reading 'You Had Me at Hello' by Mhairi McFarlane' on a rec from my pal.)(I also pilfered this resolution from the very same pal.  *waves hi to Candice*)

5.  Classes.  I'm signing up for one in the Spring on Creative Writing.  I promise to tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly of the life of being an errant student looking at this side of 40.  We'll see how that goes. ;)

6.  I promise to speak kinder this year.  As a Cancer, you will never doubt about what is going on inside my head and I realize sometimes that I'm not the most tactful about saying what is on my mind/heart.  This year, I vow to think more before I speak.  (This mostly has to do with my children and spouse....I'm not always the nicest person in the world and these people are the ones I should be kindest to and I would do well to remember that)

7.  Get back on the exercise train.  I will be the first to admit that I don't do well with 'groups'.  I did bootcamp last year as a favor to a friend and found myself enjoying it because it's a great physical release for all of the things going on in my life (life of a busy mom, writer, rockstar) but I also found that I enjoy that 'me' time, too.  While I would supplement our classes with long walks around the local walking trails with me, my nike's and my ipod, I was like the proverbial pig in poop.  Aka it made me happy.  I promise to get back to that this year in one form or another. 

8.  Organized.  This year I promise to integrate more structure in my life.  I enjoy 'winging it' as much as the next girl and being a mother, you have to know how to roll with the punches but even the basic things such as brushing teeth, combing hair, and washing faces first thing in the morning are things that I fight with my children about constantly.  It's like they're these little animals in the petting zoo before the gates open and everyone is running around trying to pretty them up at the last second.  I hate running first thing in the a.m.  It gives me grey hair and wrinkles.  I'd like less of those, please. 

So, there it is.  In a nutshell, the things that 2013 will bring....or I hope I will bring to 2013.

Anything weighing in on what you'd like to accomplish for the year ahead?

P.S.  I'm going to try and teach Sadie the basics for knitting this afternoon.  Wish me luck!