Stuff You Shouldn’t Even Begin to Care About

Susan has a post up about a meme that’s going around, and I’m playing along. The rules are, take the picture- no fussing, so fixing it up- just a snapshot of your life, today, as is. No one should care about any of this, but if I had the ability to see these little vignettes from when my mom was little, I was love it- so in the interests of my possible posterity, here’s life at my house today…

#1. Kitchen sink. Don’t touch it- just take a picture. Yes, my sink is full of dishes.

#2. Inside of the refrigerator. Nothing out of the ordinary here…

#3. Favorite shoes.

Well, since I hate shoes and go barefoot at any and all possibility, and I wasn’t going to go outside and take a picture of my feet in the grass with the sprinklers on… I’m granola, but not that granola.

#4. Your closet.

Oh! There’s my SLR cameras!! Seriously, I was looking for them yesterday- and there they are, I see, on the shelf on the left. I didn’t even notice when I took the picture earlier!

#5. Laundry Pile.

It’s a good thing I wasn’t doing this two days ago, cause, man oh man, that pile was up to my waist and the hampers were crawling down the hallway.

#6. What the kids are doing.

Since Abby was still asleep when I took this, and Jeffrey had already doodled off to school, it’s just Beanie, sitting on the couch in the living room, watching Tom and Jerry. You can see his little red head on the couch.

#7. Your favorite room.

Well, here’s the microcosm of the macro- I don’t have a wide enough lens to show the entirety of my disastrous sewing/creating room. But just imagine this shot times 12.

#8. Your toilet.

Ok, really, I did pick my prettiest toilet, but that’s all. This is the toile wallpaper the kids love to pick at. The chalkboard is where we all right little notes to each other. Jeff likes to write “I heart Mom”- but the other day when he was ticked at me, in little tiny letters down in the corner, it says “I love dad, not mom”. He he he.

#9. A fantasy vacation.

Well, I don’t really fantasize about vacations. I do want to take my husband here someday- it’s Wasserburg, in southern Bavaria. I went there alone a few years back for Fasching, and I dearly want to share it with David. It’ll be a long time from now, though.

#10. Self Portrait.

This one has been up before, but there was no way I was taking a pre-shower, in my jammies picture of myself and posting it!

Harold and Maude

Harold and Maude are back! Or, well, it’s probably their children or grandchildren, but still… they’re back! The picture is of Maude- Harold has more azure blue on his hind wings. This afternoon, lulled by the humm of the street-sweeper cleaning our court, and the relative calm before school lets out, I was daydreaming and looking out the back window. As I was idly thinking the lilacs were already starting to pale and fade, but noticing and liking the lushness the hedge fills in as they do- two little yellow butterflies flittered and bobbed through the yard.

Joy lit through me. Harold! Maude! You’re back!

Last summer, shortly after we moved in here, I learned the trees that line the back of our property are a haven for Yellow Swallowtails. They lay their eggs and nest in this particular tree, much to my delight. I have no idea what kind of parents butterflies are, but I adore a yard full of sunshiney wings of happiness.

Butterfly. It’s such a nice word- no matter what language- “butterfly” is just charming. Schmetterling. Mariposa. Papillon. Vlinder. Borboleta. Farfalla. Butterfly. That’s my sappy thought for the day.


This weekend, I tried to cut Jeffrey’s hair. A trip to the barber is out of the (ha!) budget right now, so I dug out the clippers, and convinced him to let me attack his giant red haystack.

What’s that about the best of intentions?

When I turned the clippers on and they made that jarring chunka-chunka noise instead of a smooth humm, that should have been my first clue. But no. I popped Jeff on the bathroom counter, put the longest guard on the chunka-clippers and began to buzz.

Jeffrey immediately began to complain, twitching and hunching and leaning away from me and my evil clippers. The hair was going down his shirt. OK, so I got him a towel. The hair was already downhis shirt. OK, I took his shirt off, and re-smocked him in the towel. I got the towel on backwards, and now he was itchy. OK. Deep breath. Brushing him off with the chunka-clipper included brush thingy, I went back to his hair.

Now he was wiggling, leaning, shrinking and complaining. Going well? nope. But again, I heeded the warning signs not, and plowed on, me and the chunka-clippers. I kept trying to get him to sit up straight, and he kept leaning farther and farther away. I was getting mad, he was getting mad, the clippers had been mad from the get-go.

When he turned his little face, sprinkled with freckles and full of anger at me, I lost my cool. OK, I never had it at all, but that’s when I really dropped my basket. Picking him up and plunking him on the floor, I told him Fine, he could have half a haircut. I didn’t care. It would have been hard to tell who was the six-year old in the room, had you been a fly on the wall.

Obstinate little man he is, he stood his ground, and told me he hated me. I threw the towel at him and told him to get out of the bathroom. Yeah. Finest. Moment. Ever.

We both ended up crying, and I crawled under his quilt in bed, where he was hiding, and we hugged it out. I promised, cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die, I will never, ever, ever, ever give him a haircut again. We agreed that I am, without a doubt, a “poo-poo head hair cutter”. That is a direct quote.

Anyone else have some fine parenting moments? Surely, I am not alone in sucking sometimes at this whole mom thing. Surely…?

Memorial Day

Shuttering up for the long weekend…

Have an enjoyable Memorial Day. If you are interested in doing something for the living serving our country, try this site,– for a daily updated list of servicemen and women in far flung lands who are mighty happy to get a package or letter from home. Just a thought…

Be back on Tuesday. Have a happy weekend!

Ray of Sunshine

Wouldn’t you be so happy to look out your kitchen window and see that? It’s an American Goldfinch, near as I can figure, and I have one little birdy that hangs out in my Linden tree, backed by my now-blooming Lilacs. Every time I catch a glimpse of him nibbling at the birdfood I put out, it makes me smile. Tender mercies.

Day from Hell Adds Cruel Accolades

Whew. So this is what my baby girl’s face looks like this morning. She doesn’t have a cleft, but she sure does have the stitches through the vermilion of her lip up to her nostril.  Same place and everything. What a freakin day.

Let me take you back…

The morning began with Abby dry heaving in her crib, only I didn’t realize it at first- I just thought she was ready to start her day. Nope- as I picked her up, I realized her little body was convulsing. Poor baby! She spent the rest of the morning sucking on popsicles then, barfing them all over me and the family room. Late morning, David picked Bean up at preschool, and brought home some french fries for Bean’s lunch. Abby ate about 5 fries, and, miracle of miracles, they stayed down. Hooray for grease and starch!

Then phone rings, and it’s a childhood friend I haven’t talked to in a few months- we are busy catching up, Bean and Abby are watching Wubsy, and there is no barf in sight. Shreeeeeeeeik!!!! What?! I run in the living room- Abby is sitting on the floor, blood all over her face, and Bean is hiding in the TV cabinet, screaming “I’m sorry Abby! I’m sorry Abby! SORRY!!”- I toss the phone on the couch, yelp to my friend that I HAVE TO GO- scream for David, and start to feel sick as I wipe the blood away to reveal the wicked, red gash of flesh on my daughter’s face.

“David!! DAVID!!!- Get Bean in the car- we have to go to the ER, NOW!!” I scoop her up, grab a kitchen towel, grab the phone, try and call Nana, mis-dial three times in my fluster, tell Nana we are dropping Bean off and we are going to the ER because my daughter…is…bleeding. Of course, all of this is accompanied by the symphony of Abby wailing and Bean screaming “I’m sorry!” (poor Bean- it was an accident- but he was traumatized)

There is a hospital close to where we live, but when we saw the triage nurse, she told us Abby needed plastics to fix this one, otherwise she could have a terrible scar. She sent us downtown to the big children’s hospital- and thank heavens she did. What an amazing place.

The ER at the children’s hospital is wonderful. It’s all just for kids- they take the kids to their rooms in Radio Flyer wagons, they have Little Tykes red cars with IV drip poles mounted to them, there are flat-screen TVs in every room, with tons of DVD’s to choose from.  If an ER can be a good place, they had it in aces.

We had to wait a while, but they put us in a room with Dora and Diego for Abby’s entertainment, and she was calm and distracted. We were waiting for the Peds plastic surgeon to arrive. I’m glad we did. Once she looked at Abby, she told us she would need to knock her out in order to really do a good job and minimize scarring potential. This made me nervous, but I also knew Abby would not want to be 14 and look like Frankenstein’s monster.

Never seen anything so wonderful as that Peds nurse who put Abby’s IV in- tiny hand, tiny vein, tiny needle- one stick, perfect the first time. Give the woman a medal.

When they started the procedure, the SIX nurses in the room let David and I sit in the corner while they all gathered around the bed, each doing something different- there was a tiny blood pressure cuff on her leg, tiny monitors on her back and heart, a tiny pulse-ox on her big toe, and one special nurse, up by Abby’s head, who whispered sweet, comforting words and held small flashing lights for her too see as she nodded off to dream land. Her whole job, I later learned, was to comfort the child. Wow.

I quietly cried the whole time.

When they were done, the doctor told me kids usually come out of the anesthesia better if you talk to them, so I went to her bed and started softly calling her name- Abby… Abby… mama’s here, sweet girl…

She turned her head, groggy and swollen, cracked her eyes, and said “Maaaa-mmmmaaa…,” then looking down, “Daaaaaaad” in the sweetest, drunkest sounding little voice you ever heard. My heart sang, and everyone laughed.

After about an hour, she was alert enough to eat a popsicle, and the nurses said if she kept it down, we were good to go. We got to go.

The cherry on top: Jeffrey went to a friends house after school, arranged from the ER on the last remaining drivels of cell-phone battery. When we picked him up, he had just had dinner, and on the way to the car, he looked a little green, said “Mom, I think I’m gonna…” and promptly hurled in their front bushes.

So, how was your day?

(Many thanks to Mo for posting an update last night- that’s a good friend, who will hack into your blog and tell the world what’s up when you are otherwise engaged! Oh, and Heather O, this is why I never called you back yesterday!)

There’s an impostor in our midst

and it’s me!

Hey, Mo here. Tracy’s a little out of order at the moment, so I totally hacked her account to post for her. Because, well, I’m awesome(that part will be removed in her edit for sure!), and because she really needs some more good vibes and prayers after the day she had. Yes, her inability to get a break has held fast……

We cancelled plans for tomorrow because of the amount of puke Abby was producing today. Oh, the M family word is actually “barf”, my apologies. Strangely enough, the dry heaves her poor little body was producing turned out to be a small miracle, because when they needed to give her anesthesia so that the plastic surgeon could sew up the huge gash in her lip they didn’t have to worry about when she’d last eaten.  8 hours later, mom, dad, and sweet groggy girl were headed home. Just one quick stop to pick up Jeff. On his way to the car he turns and says “Mom, I feel like I’m gonna….” and turned to barf all over the bushes. The most barfingest family on the planet seems to have caught the bug again. This time with a side of stiches….

Kind words, prayers, adoring adoration, sympathy, cheese…I’m pretty sure Tracy will take whatever she can get today. I know you’re up to it, type away

Sesos Con Queso

Lately it seems like my brain is firing on about 2 cylinders. When I go back and look at some of what I’ve written over the years, there were some grand ideas, pulled off with aplomb. I like some of the things I’ve written- only lately, it kind of seems the well has run a little, um, slower.

Have I really used up all my original ideas? Have I said all I need to say in the world? The answer to both those questions in an unqualified “Nope”- but yet, here I sit, dum-de-dum, not much happening in the ol’ noodle. I’ve always understood why artists tend to seek the dramatic and chaotic- it really does make the best art- yet, I really don’t want any more drama or chaos in my life. Does my art suffer for it?

I mean, it’s not like we’re coasting on our laurels or anything- criminy, we’re going on almost 5 months of unemployment, we had a dangerous and scary sidetrip down a dark alley last month, we had a health scare, Beanie is getting an IEP to see why he regularly bursts into flames- and we’re running out of funds sometime soon. And yet, here I sit, dum-de-dumm.

My writing has been lackadaisical, my painting progress has been nil, my sewing is neglected, and I haven’t worked up any new textile designs in almost two years. My old ones are still selling, but I just don’t care all that much.

Having a husband at home all the time has thrown me for a meteoric mental loop. It’s always Saturday around here. Having David at home lets me run errands and have more free time than I’ve had since becoming a mother- but we have no spare money, so I can’t really tackle many projects. The kids routines have been flushed; they are defiant and whiny, and I actually threatened to sell them to the Gypsies this weekend.

Summer is bearing down fast, and I’m quivering in my flip-flops. We’re only holding onto the barest glimmer of a routine, and with school ending in a matter of weeks, I find myself terrified at the idea of having not only all three kids home all summer, but my husband too. Go lock yourself in a room with your entire family for a few days- get back to me on how you feel when you let yourself out.

I fear I may end up resorting to lots an lots of TV for the summer- and that my children will sprout little TV-cords from their behinds, just like ol’ Jimmy Jet and his TV Set. Really, who wants that?

We pretty much skipped spring here, too. It went from the 60’s to the 90’s overnight. No acclimation, no warming up- just winter, then POW, hotter than a cat on a witches brass bra. Or something like that. Grandma isn’t around to ask for funny sayings anymore. I mess them up anyway.

I’ve Created a Monster

It would seem I am not the only cheese-hound in our house. Jeffrey came home from school today, opened the fridge, and immediately exclaimed. “MOM! You went to the CHEESE store!!”

The next words from his mouth- “You went WITHOUT me?!”

Jeffrey and I have a special Cheese Friends handshake- we really do.  And when he saw the telltale wax-lined paper in the icebox, not only did he recognize it- (He is 6!) But he proceeded to examine all the little wax wedges until he found the Regianno Parmigiana chunk. I told him he could have some, and a few minutes later, I found him on the sofa, watching Tom & Jerry, gnawing off the entire wedge.

Do I really want my boy craving and inhaling cheese that’s $30 a pound?? I have created a monster. I’m secretly tickled pink.