Monday, November 19, 2012

Grocery Shopping Diaries

Some traditions are just not sound. Like my tradition of shopping for my Thanksgiving menu on the eve of Thanksgiving. I like to wait till the very last minute for things.  This adds excitement to my life. This allows me to avoid things like bungie jumping. It's my extreme sport...procrastinating.

I'm sorry to say, I have passed this trait along to at least one of my children.
You know who you are....
I may have passed on my talent for misplacing things...or completely losing them. And, I'm sorry to say, the same child got this little gem too.
You know who you are.....
But, it is also why none of my children ever got in trouble for forgetting their lunch, or losing their coat.
It happens to the best of us. (but, mostly me...)

But, I digress...

So, THIS year things will be different. I decide to break it up a bit, and at least get the turkey a few days before so I am not stuck buying the 300 pound frozen mutant turkey (because the extra large ones are the only ones left) which leaves no time for it to defrost. Even in this age of global warming. It goes into the oven cold and stays there until it's little button pops up...and we are all starving...

Nope, this year will be different..

Before I leave for the grocery store my daughter hands me a wad of coupons. This is her new hobby, saving money. I like it.

I get my cart and I'm feeling pretty good about having two whole days before the big one! I go straight to the meat department. It's not the three or four lonely looking turkeys in a big almost empty case that I'm used to seeing, the ones who may not be the main attraction in a families Thanksgiving meal.(while all the other foods on the menu are considered merely "sides".) The ones who may have sacrificed their lives only to become  the sale item in the next weeks flyer. These turkeys are stacked two deep...all across the case.
I choose the one that I feel like wants to come home with doesn't have a head, but, I believe it winks at me....;)

Now, I can people watch..and listen to conversations while I cruse the isles. Like the earthy looking father who turns to his son who is about 7 and says "How bout I saute the spinach in garlic...." and the son replies "YES!!" That child probably has NO idea what a Twinkie is...or was.( May it rest in peace....forever)

My favorite was a mother daughter team. A young mom with a cart so full she must have surely left her  other two (or ten)  children at home. Her young daughter, probably about 5 was carefully pushing her baby bother in a stroller behind her mother. We were going down the isles in opposite directions so we would pass each other for many loops around several isles. I would always speak to the little girl when we got to a new isle..and it started to become sort-of funny when we would turn and see each other at either end of the next isle...and I would hear her say to her mother "there is the nice lady".
And, that's what I want to be...

Meanwhile, I am fascinated by these coupons. Two of them are just like checks. Kroger checks. Free money.  One check for two dollars and one for three. Five free dollars. Ok. I'll take it. Thank you Kroger. If I didn't have so many other things to be thankful for, I could at least be thankful for these:) I use all the coupons. I'm surely saving money....I have no list..but, my cart is filling up. I decide its time to go home. After all, I really DO need to make a list and come back tomorrow night, to get the things I actually need for my Thanksgiving meal.

I'm at the check out. I unload my groceries. I happen to look behind me and notice that the folks in my line only have a few items.. holding them in the little baskets like handbags. I turn to the check out girl and say " this an express line?" She says it is, but, not to worry about it. I have way more than 20 items. (it's the coupons fault...)  I'm not the "nice lady" anymore...(where is my little girl to tell them?) I'm the obnoxious "the rules don't apply to me lady". ugh. Now, I have express lane guilt. I start to bag my own items while she rings them up. I start to wonder about the check I just deposited. It's not the most reliable check...and did I get it in before 2? No, I didn't. Oh good am I going to pay for this Zillion dollar bill? I need Barack Obama now! :) But, all is well. Miracles happen. I say I'm sorry to the people in my line. I feel forgiven.

I have my turkey. And, I get to go back tomorrow and do it all again. It's a wonderful life..:)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Joy In The Morning

Before I even opened my eyes this morning, I laid there wondering why I had taken this day off.
Oh! It must be my massage day! I'm sure it was a Wednesday. I made the appointment while I was driving, and I MEANT to write it down later..but, surely I would remember a massage appointment. ( I mean,  it's hardly like remembering a dentist or mammogram appointment...)
So, I lay there thinking that soon, I will be going from one bed to another...a heated one, in a candle lit room. Zen spa music...
But, I'm not sure. I better call. "No," she tells me, "It's two weeks from today" I secretly hope she will add "But, I just happened to have this morning free if you would like to reschedule"......only in my dreams. So, I have a little morning adjustment.

I hear Aidan in the kitchen. He is working on  his Monster Truck line up and adding jumps. He gives me joy in the morning.
The bus is late, which I LOVE because then it's THEM and not us..which is usually the sad case. I have no idea why is takes so much longer to get Aidan ready and out the door and down to the bottom of our driveway then I remember it taking getting my three children ready, lunched packed and a half hour drive to school ahead of us..but, it does. Aidan's mornings are a bit of a production. But, now we have time to play with the neighbors dogs. I usually don't borrow things from my neighbors..except their pets..
The dog decides it will take Aidan's mitten. I don't blame was cold out there.

Aidan lifts up his mitten-less hand. Good thing his mother is there and can run after the dog. Because, I don't like to run in the morning..or at any other time...
Alpha dogs runs up to me and proudly shows me the mitten..and then he is off again! He is as proud of the boys mitten as a big fat juicy bone.
The bus is really late! Thank goodness, because now we are actually trespassing. But, Amie makes contact with the dog, and gently eases the mitten from his fangs.

And...that's what I call Joy In The Morning:)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Work It

Work. It defines us. We become what we do. We become a nurse, or a teacher a hair stylist, at least for the time we are operating in those professions. Some titles last forever. Like Mom. I'm not sure one can fully prepare and study enough for that title. That job requires on the job training! Our classes become life itself. This mostly happens in the kitchen and the laundry room. It's a blessing if you can work from your home for this job because the magic happens when you least expect it and it's nice if you can be there to see the reveal.

And, after a few years, the title comes with an upgrade. If you are fortunate, you can become a "Grand" mom. This is where the fun begins because you can be a little more loosey-goosey about things. You're not really in charge of things like how much sugar is in a particular cereal or if their clothes match. A Grandmother can go for walks and runs and trips to the library and bakery and then drop them off to the responsible people and go take a nap. Grandmothers are tired! We don't have to change the diapers or give the baths or brush the teeth but, of course we do....because it's all Grand.

I guess my first job was my yearly summer lemonade stand with my brother. But, that was back  when women (and little want-to-be women) only made 77 cents per dollar compared to  their brother. hmm...

I've been thinking a lot about work lately as my present job may or may not have legs to stand on. I love the women I work with and I will never forget this owner! That women is a trip! And one day I will write about her and change her name to protect the innocent and keep her out of jail.

I have my favorite customers. Like the sweet man who came in while his wife was in labor needing a "push present". This is an idea obviously invented by some spectacular woman. I mean, you need a present when you have to push that hard! But, if I were the man, I would hold up that present at the end of the bed so when the pusher is screaming "YOU did this to me!"he can remind her it will be well worth it.

Then, there was the customer who bought gifts for dead people. Yes, you read that right. Now, there is a gift that won't be re-gifted. Just don't expect a thank-you note. ( I personally wrapped that gift with extra care. I don't want any dead people mad at me...)

And, most recently, the man who came in to buy his wife her travel gift. Yes, you read that one right too. You see, when one travels, one needs a little the plane won't crash. Yep. This woman has her husband convinced that she needs a little piece of jewelry as a good luck charm before she boards a plane. (got to love his woman) We only found this information out as the gift almost didn't arrive in time...but, thankfully it came the day she travel! Phew!

Once again...the women at OAW making people happy (the customer is always right, no matter how weird)  and saving peoples lives!

All in a days work...........

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Parallel Worlds

Since coming to grips with Aidan condition, I have started to see the world divided into what I  call "the seemingly normal" and the "not so seemingly normal" worlds. They are much like parallel worlds, extending in the same direction but, not necessarily meeting.

 Families of special needs children seem to be visiting places most seemingly normal families do not. Like the waiting room of a neurologist office.

 In the seemingly normal world, if you just blink for a second, you may not see the special needs children around.

I see them because I'm in the "not so normal" world.

I visited this not so normal world today while taking Aidan to OT at the Professional Therapies office.  I opened the door and there sat a young girl on the floor. Her parents sat in the chairs behind her. She was watching a man put together a wheelchair. He was a friendly, cheerful man. (Good thing, I suppose, if your job is delivering and assembling wheelchairs for children.)  It was cobalt blue with purple trim. She was very excited! We said hello and Aidan was fascinated with the sight of the chair. He loves anything with wheels and seeing it built right before his very eyes was pretty spectacular. (A little like a live episode of Bob The Builder:)

The  parents were saying encouraging things to their daughter - like what a good job she did picking out her new chair, while Bob The Builder was educating the parents on the features of the chair. The wheels didn't need air: they would never go flat. She could grow with the chair and he pointed out the sliding back. When he was finished, she climbed into it and took it for a shy spin around the room. Aidan gave her the thumbs up.:) We all smiled at this precious little girl wearing a bow clipped to her hair almost the size of her head. Meanwhile, Bob (because I name strangers) went back out to his van   and brought back in bathtub chair, and the instructions continued. This family seemed fairly comfortable in this not so normal world. Positive at least...accepting at most. These were exceptional parents. This child must require a lot of care.

"To maintain a joyful family - each member of the family must become, in a special way, the servant of the others." ~Pope John Paul 11

Everyone in the room (in this not so normal world) had a story and probably had experienced the five stages of grief after receiving the diagnosis of their loved one.

 Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

In walks the next family. This man's substantial size filled the door frame -  a man with tangible authority. One little girl hanging on to his neck, another little girls hand swallowed up in his. These girls had their own personal body guard - add in the dad factor, and watch out!  If I were to give him a name, it probably wouldn't have been Bob The Builder. Unless it was something like "Bob The Imma Gunna Build You A New Nose If You Touch My Babies." He settled one little daughter into a chair and got her started on her homework all while holding the other daughter in his arms.
 Her wheelchair must have been back in the car.....

"Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I will show you someone who has overcome adversity." ~Lou Holtz

Sometimes, families with special needs children seem to count up the minuses. What they can't do. Aidan can't talk, use a straw, blow bubbles and every meal is a choking hazard. These other children can't walk. What foods must be banned, which activities the children can't take part in. The minuses can add up! But then there are the victories, the new signs learned for words not spoken and the new wheelchairs and bath chairs which help to make things just a little more normal. And, the wonderful people that come into our lives to help.
This is Aidan signing BIG! to his speech teacher. (I think that is one of his favorite signs..that and FAST:)  This picture taken from  room with a two-way mirror. What would we have done without these wonderful people from the Radford Speech and Hearing Clinic?

No one signs up for this. It's painful to see the ones you love struggle. Everyone wants to feel normal and fit in.

(Well, unless it's me and I am sitting in Cracker Barrel...I don't want to fit in there for years and years and years;)

"A day without laughter, is a day wasted." ~ Charlie Chaplin

So, we make the best of it and press on...finding laughter where we can. We persevere.

"Perseverance is not a long race. It's many short races, one after another."

I can probably handle short races, even if they are one after another.

And as Aidan likes to hear:"Gentlemen, start your engines!"

I think we can do this...(with a couple pit stops:)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Are you listening?

I love a good conversation and I  don't have to actually be a participant! I'm a pretty good eavesdropper, especially in restaurants.

Sometimes you just can't help yourself. Sometimes the sheer proximity of the tables just beg for a good eavesdropping session. There is a little restaurant in town called Gilles that has a few tables with simply a beam separating the two. I mean, you're practically rubbing elbows with the person at the other table so it's a little bit like sitting at one big Thanksgiving meal and you may as well just turn to them and ask them to please pass the potatoes. (or in Gillies case, the tofu)

One morning my daughter and I were there and sat at one of these tables. Two cute college boys were on the other side..or literally at our table, which ever way you want to look at it. Your choices are to pretend they are invisible, or just go ahead and say hello and ask who's turn is it to take the check:) So, I say hello, and comment on how delicious his Banana Walnut French toast looks. He calls the server over and asks for another plate and cuts of a corner of it and hands it to me. I'm glad I didn't decide to go with the invisible option because as my daughter was dying of embarrassment, I was licking whipped cream off my fingers.......

But, onto todays eavesdropping adventure. Oh, I had the best seat in the house! The table behind me was a lovely young mother with her daughter who was probably about ten. They must have had an appointment and were stopping to have lunch before she took her back to school. The mother was asking insightful questions and every chance she could get she would say something incredibly supportive and positive. "Oh, you will be good at that!"  "It's just new to you, you will get the hang of it in time, you learn quickly." "I love being able to spend time with you." Her daughter was eating her sandwich, but, her mother was feeding her soul. Planting seeds to grow a confident, secure young lady. Sweet words, even to my listening ears...

"A mother's treasure is her daughter."~ Catherine Pulsifer

Oh, but then there was the table across from me. Four older women who were letting their grandma-ness shine. These women didn't care about keeping color in their hair, they obviously didn't care about their figures or the latest fashion. No sign of compensatory dressing at that table.  I mean, their necks were showing!  They were having a great time! And, then the gifts came out. It was a grandma's shower. One woman had several grandchildren who were well into their teenage years, and then came a surprise baby! This grandmother didn't have any diapers or bibs or baby toys left at her house, so her friends showered her with these items. I love these women. I can't stand it any longer.  I'm feeling brave and plucky, so on my pretend trip to the bathroom, I stop and talk to them and tell them how much I have enjoyed watching them. I just wanted to pull up a chair and join this hen party! One said "Can you tell we have been friends for a long time?" Oh, yes I could tell.

"Constant use had not worn ragged the fabric of their friendship." ~Dorothy Parker

Tonight, I am wondering what these women have seen each other through. Probably divorces, deaths, loves, happy occasions and tears.

"Women wear their tears like jewelry."~ Author Unknown.

One thing I do know:  Women are stronger because we have each other. We are braver than we think. We are fiercely protective of those we love. We stay sane because we cook. One of the women needed to get going because it was her turn to host her dinner group.

"When men reach their sixties and retire, some go to pieces. Women go right on cooking." ~Gale Sheehy

It's good to be a woman.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


I wonder if my favorite grumpy teenage boy missed my normal cheerful "Good Morning!"? Aidan is sick so I ran out to the bus to let them know he wouldn't be riding. I could see him through the darkened window and I stood on my tip-toes, waved and mouthed "Good Morning!" I'm pretty sure I saw him roll his eyes and say "OH GOD!!!" (his  normal response....I think he is warming up to me...:)

The last time I saw him, he said "WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING ON THE BUS!" Apparently, there is some writing on the bus steps that may or may not say for riders only. I may or may not have ever seen it. I don't always see everything clearly, which sometimes results in roadkill.  I pretend I don't  need glasses and anyway, I'm pretty sure it doesn't apply to grandmothers:) I just hop right on the bus with Aidan and since Busboy (name has been changed to protect the innocent) is the only other rider, I feel it would be rude not to say Good Morning.  Something tells me Busboy is not a morning person......

It occurred to me the other day that when I go out to the bus that early, I don't have any make-up on. It's just me, a-la my yoga pants. Maybe "OH GOD!! " is just a normal reaction to a frightening situation...poor Busboy. Maybe I'm not making the best first impression..

My daughter thinks I should just leave him alone. Ignore him, let him live in his own little world. But, he's in my world now. He rides the bus with my grandson. The small bus. He's on my radar now...and I'm praying for him.

I see my daughters point. One of the aides on the bus has been with him since he was Aidan's age and he seems to have yet to warm up to her and refers to her (and the bus driver) as an OLD HAG!
She says he probably just sees me like that.

Excuse me?!
Perish the thought!

I'm on a mission now! (and it's NOT Mission Impossible) Just to get a little smile from him, or maybe even a hello. I just want him to know he is not invisible. I'll keep trying.

I have had a few suggestions: slide him a wrapped red life savor. Give him a box of cookies: (Girl Scout cookies;) both good ideas.

I'm thinking I may ask him to come hang out with us sometime. We could teach him a little sign language and he and Aidan could chat on the bus. There's a pretty big age difference between he and Aidan, but, age doesn't really matter.

I find that I say that to myself  a lot lately. You know, the whole 50 is the new 40. Or 39. I really liked 37. Yep, that's it. 50 is the new 37.

Anyway, Busboy may be a hard nut to crack. (a nod to my squirrely friends) But, has rejection ever stopped me? NO! I just pick up the gadzillion pieces and move on! :) 

 I don't think he's on the wrong bus. Our paths have crossed now. We are in each others lives. Just a few seats down, but going in the same direction. So to speak.

I don't know why he has landed on my heart like this. I feel a little badly for him. It can't be much fun having to ride a bus with a Kindergardener and two old hags. (hehe) And then there's me saying good morning when he obviously has his earphones in. I wonder if he has many friends in the High School. Life may not be easy for Busboy.

If you see a yellow bus maybe it will remind you of Busboy...and maybe you can say a prayer.

Because "where two or more are gathered"........

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

To Live By The Girl Scout Law

This morning I woke up remembering a funny thing: The Girl Scout Promise. I have no idea why this popped into my head. But, I'm pretty impressed I remembered it when I can't even remember a name when I really should. Like the name of my new nephew in-law. His name is Ed, but, I call him Gary...see how that works?

Anyway, hold up three fingers and say it with me:

On my honor I will try:
To serve God and my country
To help people at all times
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

Oh, how I loved being a Girl Scout, going to the meetings and earning a badge. I remember picking out where I wanted my mother to sew it on my sash..unless of course it was a sewing badge..then you better sew it on yourself I guess, or what was the point?

And of course selling the cookies! Back then, we went door to door. I can hardly believe my mother let me do that..but, there I was all dressed up in my official uniform ready for commerce. (Commerce as a service of course. )

I was pretty good at selling the cookies. I often had to order extra cases to sell. I remember my brother would ask me to go with him to collect for his paper route. (I never remember asking him to help me sell cookies I obediently stood next to him while he knocked on the doors and asked for payment and hoped for a tip. I think I held a tip jar...I don't really remember any of those tips coming my
Oh well, I was busy serving my God and my Country and helping people at all my brother.

I was as proud of my sash as every Miss America must be of hers. But, I was never the Miss America type. My sash would  have read something like "Miss Awkward Human Being".  I was just glad I looked good in green and tried hard to live by the Girl Scout Law, which I do not know by heart..but let's review:

I will do my best to be honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do,
and to respect myself and others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout. 

Sounds like a great way to live a life. I'm glad I woke up this morning remembering what it was like being a Girl Scout. I hope she lives big in me today. 
It makes me want a cookie:) 

Friday, August 31, 2012

Here Kitty Kitty

Things are progressing nicely with my homeless cat and me. He recently confessed that if he could do things over again...he would have left his Tomcat ways sooner and settled down to a nice quiet little life  with me. That's a pretty sweet sentiment for a street-wise cat like mine. (Are women always trying to tame the wild beast?) We seem to understand each other. We speak the same language. Meow.

I give him his space. He leaves me presents.

He likes my cooking. I just go ahead and let him believe that I make everything from scratch. He pictures me in the kitchen (which he has never seen, he respects my boundaries) where I lovingly bake the salmon while the scallops are sauteing and the rice is steaming. I wear my little kitten slippers....

I mix it all together and gingerly roll it out with my wooden rolling pin and then cut it into smallish  shapes like fish and mice ~ something a Tomcat would like to sink his teeth into.  I pop it in the oven to bake until it resembles something much like Frisky's Seafood Sensation.

Which it is..

I hide the bag.

Some people may call this dishonest..
I prefer..mysterious.

I never ask where he has been. He stopped asking to come into the house.

Recently, when I was shopping in TJ Maxx. I found myself looking at handsome cat food bowls.
Up until then, it was only tupperware for my man. I made the purchase. I invested in the relationship.

I guess we are an official couple. Pretty soon, we will be watching The Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy together every night. I'll keep the glass clean so he will have a clear view through the window.

We're perfect for each other..

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Little Things Long Remembered

We went outside to wait for the bus. We hear it first, then see it turn the corner onto our street. Aidan is super excited! I can't believe this day has come.

He boards and picks a seat. He has the choice of them all because he is the lone rider on the bus. He doesn't seem to mind.

The aide on the bus in a gentle man. He looks like every one's grandfather and he smiles at Aidan and buckles him in his seat.
We tell Aidan to enjoy the bus ride, to have fun at school, to be nice, to be kind..all the things that he already is... and we tell him we will see him after school.
Amie and I stand in our driveway and see that the bus driver is waving to us..I think she is trying to tell us not to worry, that he will be fine..he is in good hands. I know this to be true, only because we prayed over him this morning and put him in the right hands. Trusting God to hold his hand..that the grip will be tight..that he won't let him fall.

But,  I'm cynical
I'm doubtful
I need proof.
So, I ask for an extra measure of faith.
And He is faithful.

I'm glad our future is hidden from us. The Lord breaks our lives up into days..because it's all we can handle. With a rest before the next. I would never have never imagined that five years ago when Aidan was born, that we would be putting him on a public school bus (the little bus, with the aide) with two complete strangers.

Aidan is non-verbal, and he has low muscle tone in his mouth with makes him drool so he wears bandannas to help keep him dry and make it  not as noticeable. It makes him different. I worry that he will be teased, misunderstood and not easily excepted.

The schools Open House was not a great start. Everything seemed to fall apart.  Among other things, I  was sorry not to see Aidan's desk and cubby labeled.

And then I starting adding my own labels.
I labeled the teacher: Burned-out.
I labeled the school: Unorganized.

She who scatters thorns, should not go barefoot.

But, then the school called a meeting. Eleven of us, the school nurse, the special ed teacher, two speech therapist, two of Aidan's aides, the principal, a student teacher and his teacher, Amie and myself.(oh, and maybe that was Jesus as a fly on the wall..or that sweet aroma in the room, or maybe He was that peace that dropped into my heart)  We had a chance to verbalize our concerns and meet the people who would have daily contact with Aidan.

At one point, while the speech therapist was showing the others the system Aidan would be using, I raised my head from my note pad and looked at the faces around the table.

Team Aidan.

All these people would be working together to make sure Aidan had every opportunity to learn (in his own unique way) right along with the others. To have the same expectations and possibilities as the others.

Team Aidan. And then I did what I hate to do...cry in public. There was no stopping it. I was all at once, so very thankful for the help I saw sitting around that table. Someone got up and brought me a box of tissues. I think I signed "thank-you'..and I think they understood.

I can't wait to see Aidan when he gets home (On the little yellow school bus of course:) and hear what his fingers tell me about his day. I'm hoping to see the word "fun" "happy" and .......please Lord, "friends".

I better make room on the IS kindergarten you know:)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Lofty Ambitions

For the moment, I am  turning aside from my loft ambitions to prosaic details. But, only for as long as it takes, then making a sharp turn back to my road of ambitious plans.

I have the next three days off. I guess I could call this a mini vacation. And what will I do with this mini vacation? Stay home and clean my house!

It's an exciting life! (don't be jealous:)

It will take the vast majority of time to clean out my closet. My shoes spill out into my room like I remember my little Barbie shoes looking when I would dump them out onto the floor to find the perfect pair for her going to the Ball dress.

The obsession started early. Adam blamed Eve..I blame Barbie.

I think I just need a system to organize the spillage. My daughter thinks I need a Goodwill bag....
How is it we are related?! She gets by with owning about four pair of shoes and is mostly happy in a pair of tennis shoes. With all my shoes, I'm not sure I even own a pair of tennis shoes. (or maybe they are just buried under that pile in the corner...)

And what's a mini vacation with out all that delicious vacation-y food! Today, I plan to make an entire meal from my Pintrest Cookbook Board.

Aw...Pintrest...My guilty pleasure, my time buster, my way to relax and get inspired! All my little boards of interest~with the names I lovingly gave to them at birth:)

Pintrest inspires the teacher,the designer, the cook and pastry chef in me. Pintrest makes me feel like I could coordinate anyone's wedding. It makes believe I could plan the theme, design the centerpieces, bake the cake and make the wedding favors. Not to mention capturing the day with the most creative photo's..worthy of a re-pin:)

Good thing I am happy being a professional bow-tie-er-on-er:)

Well, the timer just went off and that means my Mandarin Orange Cake is ready. I have The Best Danged Beef Pot Roast bubbling in the crock pot.(with the addition of the secret ingredient: 1 individual size serving of applesauce...strange I know...we shall see...)
Next will come Zucchini Oven Fries, Garlic Parmesan Knots and Corn Salad. All thanks to my fellow contributors of Pintrest.

I have been waiting for a mini vacation to do this!

I suppose I may have to visit my Work Out Board after today...that is of course if I ever find those tennis shoes....

Happy Pinning!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

When Life's A Blur

.                      .
 First it was my legs, now it's my eyes. Actually, my eyes have been going for some time now, I just chose to ignore it. I'm  good at that.
I became aware of  it while trying to order from the frozen yogurt menu. I noticed that when older people start to lose their hearing, they smile and nod a lot, and just act like they can understand the conversation. I looked at the menu board smiling, pretending to read it, nodding and wondering what kinds of exotic flavors I might be missing...then I'd say "Chocolate please." Surely chocolate is up there.

Chocolate, it has never failed me.

The opthamologist said: "This is the line the DMV is concerned about." Silence. What line? I can't read one letter, not one. Um...I look over at my handbag where my license is tucked away. Is she going to request that I hand it over immediately? Is THAT why things are so slow over at the DMV? Are they constantly being called over to the local Opthamologist's office to confiscate licenses from little old ladies? Is this an example of the public and private sectors working together?

She turns a nob. "Is this better?" ~Oh yes! MUCH better! She moves it again.."How about now?" Perfect! There is hope for me! I can't believe they are letting me drive away from here...
I'm a menace to society. And, I am definitely a menace to wildlife..

My tires have had some major contact  with the local squirrels lately. I imagine dozens of them picketing my entrance into the Pearly Gates...holding little signs that read: "SQUIRREL KILLER!" Or  "HEY! CAN'T A SQUIRREL JUST CROSS A ROAD?"
I say "But, I couldn't  SEE you! I thought you were just rodent, I mean bumps in the road..I mean, you FELT like bumps.." (little squirrely bumps...) I wonder if my recent eye exam can be my defense? Better bring a note from the doctor just incase...

There is a woman at the eye doctor's whose job  is to help you find the perfect frames. She looks at the shape of my face and my coloring. She pulls several frames from the displays. I sit in front of the pile and try one on after another. The excitement does not build. I pull my hair up into a faux bun and put the pair on that I believe will make me look like Sarah Palin. It's lost in translation. She says: "Um, I have a few in the back I would like to try." Oh no, they have a stockpile in the back for problem eye doctor appointment me.

But, then I start to get a little excited! It feels like being in Chinatown when they bring you into the back, back room..where they store all the really exciting fake Louis Vuittons! She says: "I like these on you. They give your face a lift."

Whoa...she's good! This woman knows the buzz word for women my age. Almost every undergarment and all of my cosmetic products have the word "lift" in them. I point to another pair. "Do these give my face a lift?"( Because they are half the  price :)

It took me two seconds flat to pick out my cute Kate Spade sunglass frames that they will use with my prescription. I will wear those to drive durning the day. Who cares what I wear to see driving at night. It's dark! I mean, I don't exactly have a red carpet lifestyle..heck, I don't even take vacations! A vacation to me is sitting in a coffee shop and reading about people who take vacations and who need things like "safe words":)

Sometimes I imagine Jesus sitting in my passenger seat. But, he has to love me with two eyes OR four eyes. I like to tell Jesus how I would run things if I were he:) Sometimes, I remind him to put his seatbelt on...then I remember whom I'm talking ! ..:)

I tell him all my puny problems, just in case he has been busy. I mean, it IS an election year. Then, I unload the big problems. I tell him I feel a bit like a target. I can feel the arrows whizzing past me. Sometimes I take a hit. But, one has yet to hit the Bullseye...the one that would take me out. I am thankful for that. Thankyoujesus.

I look over at him and say: "This body you gave me is failing me Jesus." He says: "You won't need it  much longer. It's not your real home anyway." be free of this body...

 Actually, I am asking Jesus for some pretty big things. But, they are not things that require the visual.   They sort of fall into the range of "walking by faith, and not by sight." I am asking for things one cannot see in the natural. I believe it to be so.  These are the kind of prayers my Lord likes. "Blessed are they that have not seen, yet they believe."

I am looking forward to seeing this prayer answered. But, even more, I am looking forward to hearing it....straight out of Aidan's mouth.

I believe it to be so.

I just got a call that one of my pair of  glasses is ready for pick up. One of the nurses said: " I bet you can't see the leaves on the trees." No, I guess I can't. I see a brown trunk, and a  green mass around it. I think I must see the world like a lovely Monet painting. No wonder I love the Fall so much. It's just one beautiful color bleeding into the next.

I wonder if I want to leave my blur of a life. But, then there is the license thing....and of course the whole squirrel thing....

I know I don't see images on the TV well. Maybe after I get my glasses, I will watch one of my favorite movies. Maybe Brad Pitt is just an average ordinary looking guy..........nawh........:)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Cracker Barrel Lady

Every time I eat at the Cracker Barrel I ask myself the same question: " When does THAT happen?"
When do women decided to cut off all of their hair?  When do they decide to let it grow into that silvery, I mean gray color? When is it ok to wear palm trees on your pants. When does your waist grow all the way up until it's right under your breasts. Or is it that the breasts are meeting it halfway?

Age, the time when you start repeating yourself.

I read that Cracker Barrel keeps the restaurant chilly so people won't stay so long. I'm pretty sure they are talking about old people. Old people hate to be cold. I think they should let them stay at least as long as it takes them to walk to their tables! Walking with those walkers with the tennis balls on one end, where the cracks in the floor are like speed bumps slowing their process even more. Old people look both ways before crossing a room....

And you start repeating yourself.

An interesting thing happened at the grocery store the other night. I had to squat down to get something from the lower shelf. I realized for a moment, that I couldn't easily get up. I looked around for a Navy Seal for assistance. No one..not even a Boy Scout but, at least I didn't have an audience.

I wondered why my legs couldn't do their job. It is my legs job to get me vertical. It looked as though  they were going to need my hands for  assistance. I was embarrassed for my legs.

 My hands had other jobs to do. Like fold into little balls so I could shake my puny fists at horrible drivers. One little finger on a hand can speak volumes when one is too lady like to use the word. I am actually learning to use my hands to speak a whole new language with my grandson. My hands are busy.

But, I used one to reach up to hold onto the shelf above and the other to push myself from the floor. I was grateful it worked and I didn't have to hear over the loud speaker.."Old lady down on isle 3!"  If my legs can't do their job, what's next?  Oh dear, the walker with the tennis balls? The Cracker Barrel Lady is entering my body. Soon, the throw pillows on my bed will be hot water bottles.

And you start repeating yourself

Today is Monday. Boot Camp Monday. I'm getting these legs in shape. My elliptical has decided to give me a second chance and has taken his ad off Craiglist. He likes a challenge.

And, I will not be visiting Cracker Barrel anytime soon;)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


My daughter makes coffee in the middle of then night. Don't ask me why. Last night, in her sleep coffee drinking mode, she must have missed her cup because there was a little of the vanilla syrup she uses in her coffee forming a perfect little puddle on the counter.

I wouldn't have even seen it, if it wasn't for all the little black dots surrounding it.


Ants. How do they know? How, from their little ant hills outside, do they know that if they come to my door, (after all, it does say "Welcome")  take a left, and to the right of the sink, they will find a delicious little puddle of sweet sticky vanilla flavored syrup?

They really didn't have to make the steep climb up to the counter. They could have feasted on all the little cracker/cereal crumbs that Aidan left as an offering on the floor. Maybe that was the fore course.

But, they were determined to get to the good stuff. "Onward marching soldiers!" Their leader must have said.."Keep your eye on the goal...we are almost to the land of milk and honey syrup..I can smell it!" And, they follow, because ants work together like that.

What foresight and industry little ants have; those feeble little creatures who help each other and carry one another burdens. Who, like thirsty animals in the african dessert , take their chance that a crocodile may at  any time burst through the water as they sip the cool liquid. Just as I hover above them with my paper towel......

My daughters favorite verse as a child was Proverbs 6:6. I read this version this morning:

"Take a lesson from the ants you lazybones, learn from their ways and become wise"

There is a lot to learn from the little ant. How funny of God to tell us to look to the ant for wisdom.
Oh to be wise, to learn the wisdom of it, and become wiser still.

I think I'll be like an ant today. And find the sweet side of life.
Oh to be an ant~see ya at the puddle!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Spice Of Life

Last night my co-workers and I sat around a big table in a noisy sushi bar to say good-bye to our fearless leader. She has a wonderful opportunity ahead of her so there is reason to celebrate, but at the same time, it's hard to see her go. We will miss her..and all she added to our five-some.

We all started working together in a beautiful little independently owned gift/home decor store. We all loved it there. Loved the beauty of the store, the customers, the products we sold and we grew to love each other. We are from all different walks of life, different ages, but something special started to happen. We spilled out our lives to each other. And, with five women sharing details of their lives, there is enough material there to write a pretty exciting about Fifty Shades......

But, our little store closed. I remember sitting around another table, clicking our wine glasses and saying a sort-of good-bye to each other and promising to stay in touch. And we did stay in touch, because we all ended  up getting jobs together in another little store just a few doors down. Like some kind of group  hire.

So, there we were, our little work family, just in a different house. When does THAT ever happen? We are usually stuck with our families. This time, it was in a good way. The kind of stuck like when you are on vacation and the flights are all canceled and you have to stay in paradise for an extra day. Ok. Or when the plane is too crowed and you are asked if you would mind being bummed up to first class. Ok.

NOT like the kind of stuck like in a traffic jam..and you just know your car is going to over heat, and you have to go potty. One time, when I live in California, I was stuck in a traffic jam. If there is an accident anywhere near the Bay Bridge, you better be prepared to be stuck. I will never forget when the door of the car in front of me opened and a women got out, squatted and ....went potty. I couldn't believe my eyes, but I couldn't blame her..she had a beautiful car..can't tinkle in THAT. And, beautiful clothes...can't show up somewhere with a urine stain, not to mention the smell. Especially if she had eaten asparagus the night before...hehe. After I had children, I decided that all women should store a diaper in the glove box. Just in case.

Last night, as I thought about the five of us. I  decided that we were like a spice rack. We added flavor to each others life. Since I am writing this and I get to pick my spice, I chose Ginger. Why not? When I was young and watched Gilligan's Island I used to ask myself if I would rather be sweet Mary Anne, or the spicy Ginger. Ginger wore evening gowns everyday...I realized that's all she had packed on that fated trip...that started from that tropic port, aboard that tiny ship..a three hour tour...a three hour tour:) But, I feel like that would probably have been what she preferred. Her life's uniform. But, no, I was a Mary Anne. So, now I want to be Ginger:)

Joyce would definitely be salt. There is a woman who has your back! One of the most generous thoughtful women I have ever known. The salt of the earth.

Anna, she would be cinnamon. Cinnamon is apart of everything sweet. Everyone likes cinnamon. Everyone loves Anna.

Catherine, now she's rare. Beautiful, humble, quietly living her life doing fantastic things. She has written two books. I just know I will see her on Amazon...I just KNOW it. Catherine would be saffron. It's  hard to find the real thing, but when you find know it.

Ashley, the woman we were celebrating....sweet incredible Ashley. The one  who rose to the top to become our store manager in just a short time..just like the cream that she is:) It was wonderful seeing her talents come into the forefront. In a blink of an eye, she had everything organized, clean  and beautiful. Her absence will be a complete loss to the store. The owner still hasn't come out of the gas about losing her.
 Ashely, she would have to be Allspice. There just isn't anything she can't do. I admire her, and will never forget her.

Oh,  what a sweet family, the kind to be stuck a good way.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Outlaw Women

                           "All the women I know feel a little like outlaws."~Marilyn French.   

They lay on the grass face up to the California sun. Barefooted..always. They soak up the sun. They plan their lives. They will have a double wedding. They will have children at the same time. A boy first, then a girl. They promise to be friends forever and promise never to forget each other....and they don't.

They grow up They make their own rules. They become family when their own families fail them. They give each other crazy ideas, and dare them and double dare them. They are fearless. They stay out too late~but adventures take time.

They are strong for each other when the losses come. And they come. Loved ones lost. Hearts break into a million little pieces. They patch each other up..but are too young and unprepared.

Life goes on. Babies are born. A life's purpose. They grow into adulthood on different coasts.

The news travels, of the loss of my outlaw friend. But, I remember our childhood game..the pin prick, we mix our blood...and promise to always remember.

Monday, July 2, 2012

When The Wind Blows....

When the wind blows, you lose some things. Like trees..and electricity. It's been several days now since we have had electricity. People are starting to feel the this person:)

But, some interesting things have happened, and it has reminded me of a story:

A ship lost at sea for  many days suddenly sighted a friendly vessel. From the mast of the unfortunate vessel was seen a signal: "Water, water! We die of thirst." The answer from the friendly vessel at once came back: "Cast your bucket where you are." A second time, the signal, "Water, send us water!" went up from the distressed vessel. And was answered: "Cast down your bucket where you are." A third and fourth signal for water was answered: "Cast your bucket where you are." The captain of the distressed vessel, at last heeding the injunction, cast down his bucket and it came up full of fresh, sparkling water from the mouth of the Amazon River.

Sometimes, when we need help, we find it right were we are. Neighbors are looking out for each other, offering their refrigerators and freezers, showers and cool air. Churches are set up to provide water, Gatorade and snacks. The conversations in coffee shops and bakeries (you can see where I have been spending my time) turns to who has electricity and what the time table is for others to expect it.

When I cast my bucket down where I am..l like what I am pulling up. It's refreshing. I like seeing the basic goodness in people.

But, I'm thinking I can only be good for so long...:) I miss having electricity. I don't like sweating inside my house when I haven't even been on my elliptical. Maybe our neighborhood is "too nice". I don't see any power company trucks in our area..maybe we aren't complaining enough. Maybe I need to find a woman is who in full blown menopause and ask her to become our leader:)

The heat is playing tricks on my mind. I'm a bit foggy headed. You know those moments when you go about looking for your glasses and they are on your head? Or, when you are looking all over for your phone and realize it is on your ear? This morning I couldn't find my bra. I look down and  realize it is right where it is supposed to be, and doing a mighty fine job at it if I do say so myself.

When and if I get my power turned back on:

I will really enjoy seeing my refrigerator filled up again. I will love listening to music in my kitchen and get the homey feeling I get when I prepare a meal. I won't even mind doing the dishes. I will LOVE taking a hot shower and getting out and feeling cold!

Maybe I will not complain as much after I open my electric bill. Maybe I may even decide to turn off my air-conditioning and enjoy a natural sauna. Maybe I will take a cold shower for fun, and let my hair air dry....................................................Maybe:)

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Small Wonder

A good day starts like this: I'm the first to wake up. I tip toe into the kitchen and quietly make a cup of coffee. The goal is to make it back into my bed without waking anyone. I sip my hot coffee while I read, write or listen to a favorite podcast. After a bit, I hear little footsteps walking down the hallway. I hear a knock at my door (because he is polite like that:) I ask "who IS it?" The door bursts open. I say "Aidan Lee Thomas! Get in this bed!" He runs to my bed and climbs in. I count his toes. Whew, all ten toes made it through the night:)

Then, we play my version of This Little Piggy. The first little piggy goes to the market. (The Fresh Market ~like his Ahma:) The next little piggy has a lot to do and decides to stay home. One little piggy is feasting on roast beef, while the next is apparently fasting.  The baby piggy is so filled with happiness that he shouts for joy all the way home! I weeeee,weeeee, weeeee...up Aidan's legs, across his tummy, around his head and then slow down to trace the shape of a heart on his chest. Home.

Today is not so good. There is something wrong with Aidan. He stumbles when he walks. Sometimes, when he is sitting playing with a car or a train, he falls over - falls over while sitting, that can't be good. We have an appointment today with his neurologist. It could be his medicine dosage. That would be the good news. We can fix that. Or it could be something else. I don't want to even think about what came up when I Google the symptoms.

I have been praying for Aidan's healing. This is a test of faith. Some of the questions on this test go like this:

Q. Does God hear my prayers?

My answers come from the Psalms.
"The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry."
"He answered their prayers because they trusted in Him."
"The Lord  has heard my cry for mercy, the Lord accepts my prayer."

Q. How will we know what the right treatment is for Aidan?

My answer comes from Isaiah.
"Whether you turn to the right or turn to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying "This is the way.....walk in it."

And, there are some things that I just know.
I know He has a plan. To prosper us, to give us a hope and future.
That from the ends of the earth (or at the end of me) I can call to Him when  my heart is faint. He will lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.

Sometimes I wonder why things are the way they are. But, it's a small wonder, because I know that I am to "give thanks in all circumstances."
What does the Lord require of me?
To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with my God.

This is a test I hope to pass.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Do You Feel Lucky?

I just deposited a check into an ATM. It was a new machine. There were no envelopes, no place to put my name, my account number, my address, all the information I believe is necessary to insure that  this checks gets into MY account. It just wants me to insert the check into the slot. Naked.

I'm not so sure about this. I wrote this check to myself from another account. I don't have the best handwriting. I was expecting an envelope where I could clarify things. Like the amount. This check needs to go into my account..Kelli with an i. How in the world is this machine going to be able to read my scribble?

I bite my lip and say out loud (because I am not above talking to inanimate objects) "I'm not sure I trust you". I hear it saying "Don't worry baby, you can trust me, I have everything under control, just sit back and relax and don't you worry your pretty little head about it." I slip the check into the slot.

An amount comes up on the screen. "Is this the correct amount?" I can't believe it! It read my handwriting! It understands me! I start to believe it doesn't just want me  for my

This is pretty darn exciting. I feel like I just gambled or something! I had a friend who, when we went out to eat would say to our server ..."Are you a gambler? Do you take risks?" It was always fun to see their expressions. Then he would make the offer:  "Double or nothing~heads or tails...You win, I double my tip, I win, I leave zero tip..and I mean zero, but, you should know that I am a very good tipper" They think about it for a, a good tip would insure at least a 20%  - a sure thing. Or do they take the risk..and possibly get a 40% or even more  on what was usually a pretty large tab to begin with? I liked the brave ones.

Wonder what's next? On-line banking? One never knows what this dinosaur might do...I mean, look, I'm blogging:)  Unbelievable.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Who's Your Daddy?

I just read an email from Juliet. She said I sounded interesting. She said she came across a picture of me and liked it so much, she downloaded it. She said I seemed like a man she would like to get to know. 

 Kelli can be a man's name...and also a dogs. When I was young, there was a dog in the neighborhood named Kelly. As cute as it was, no girl likes to share her name with a dog. In elementary school there was a boy in my grade named Kelly. (horror)  But he spelled it with a "Y" in boY. 

My mom told me she spelled my named with an "i" because it was the feminine version. One time, on a middle school field trip, they were dividing the girls into their cabins. My name was never called. What seemed like hours later, they realized they had put me in the boys cabin. Yep, that's every middle schools girls be mistaken for a boy. So much for Kelli with an "i". I started to wear more pink. Pretty sure there was a training bra in there somewhere. Maybe that's where my obsession with heels started.

But, I digress...

Juliet, Juliet, Juliet! Wonder what manly man traits you find so attractive and  "interesting" in me? I do have that one annoying, but very manly chin hair. I don't think I have a mustache...better start waxing just in case. I wouldn't be able to change your flat tire or fix things around the house. I don't make enough money to keep you in a fashion you would find "interesting". I COULD cook you a delicious steak. hm..maybe we would have some things in common,  This could open new doors! Closet doors! Maybe I will ask for your picture....and of course your shoe size:)

Juliet wants to know if we could meet sometime. She doesn't want me to make her wait and "suffer". I'm just the kind of man she  has been waiting for. 

Ever since I shopped for heath insurance on line, I have been getting a lot of spam-o-licous E-mail. Do I need a car loan? Would I like any higher education? Would I like my penis enhanced? (Maybe Juliet got wind of this.........) 

Juliet, I'm not the man you think I am. I am Kelli~ with an "i'. 

But, you can call me Butch. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Ties That Bind

A visit to the hospital last night prompts me to write about friends. Girlfriends.  I have always loved the sound of that word.

This particular friend was in the hospital because her female organs decided to take a break. They all decided to lay down. They had helped with the birth of five children, and they were tired! She is all patched up now and she said she is thankful she could keep all her parts:) I know how she feels.

She said a very interesting thing last night. She had been reading about how our organs have a "memory".  She wanted to keep her uterus, it remembered her children. I have thought about that for the last several hours. Maybe that is why when a doctor once told me he would just "take the uterus, because I didn't need it anymore" gave me such a heart pain. Take my uterus? .....I didn't need it? ...but, it remembered my children.

I have know this group of women going on three decades. Durning my friends hospital stay, I learned about the death of my other friends mother. Three decades allows plenty of time to see each other through childbirth, divorces, the death of a spouse and parents, remarriages and the ups and downs of our lives. The good, bad and the oh so ugly.

Some say friendship is an art. I guess that means it could be up for interpretation. It's definitely valuable, a treasure and an investment. We have made deposits and withdraws into and from each others lives for many years. The dividends are sweet.

"My friends are my estate"~ Emily Dickinson

These are the ties that bind. We are coming full circle.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Talking Pants

My yoga pants have been complaining. They say the only thing I do in them is clean. We vacuum together, do the dishes, scrub the bathtub and wash the windows. I remind them that occasionally (very occasionally) I take them for a ride on the elliptical. But, they are not impressed.  They feel that they are being undervalued, under  appreciated and that they have not been allowed to live up to their full potential.

They want to see the inside of a yoga studio. They want to do something called the Downward Dog. Or is it the Upward Dog?  I say "Why don't we just GET a dog, and I'll wear you while I walk it"~I think they growl at me......

So, I do a little research. Blacksburg is full of Yoga studios. It seems like everyone and their dog is taking yoga:) I feel like I would actually be pretty good at some of the positions! Like the Corpse Pose. I believe I do this extremely well every night...right after work. I lay on my bed fully dressed and assume the Corse Pose. Sometimes I stay in this position into the wee hours of the night. When I wake up in the morning I'm grateful it is just a yoga pose and not the real thing.

Some of these pose's just should not be done in public. Like the Happy Baby Pose. No way I'm doing that pose unless the class is called "Yoga By Candle Light" ...and I take it while on another state. No one I know is snapping THAT picture and tagging me in it:)

They say the goal of Yoga is improving health. I need that. I also read that it aides in physical, mental and spiritual discipline. I need all that too... But, what I really need to do right now is mop my kitchen floor..because it makes sounds when I walk on it. It's probably trying to tell me something.

Now, where are my Yoga pants?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day~The Mom Diaires

Mother's Day~The Mom Diaries:  She's beautiful, the kind that starts from inside and wiggles out into a  sparkle. She's come to the age where she pretty much just asks for what she wants. A good week before Mother's Day she asks:  "Kelli, have you picked out my mushy Mother's Day card?" ...Yes, mom, Mush..with a little sap poured on, not to mention the sprinkles. This woman LOVES cards, and she sends lovely ones, beautifully written and worded. She says correspondence is her hobby~send stamps:)

She cramped my teenage style: No fashionable hoop earrings for me!  Why? They made you look like a Gypsy! No dating boys with motorcycles,who wore leather or had tattoos. Women should never drink martini's. They got you drunk..and then, well who knows what could happen! I couldn't work at the local A&W. Those girls wore short shorts and rolled out on skates to car windows to take hamburger orders from animals!

Yep...those girls probably wore hoop earrings, had boyfriends with motorcycles and drank martini's. Dirty ones.

She taught me manners. And, to my embarrassment, she taught them to my friends too. If she walked in the room where boys were sitting....they weren't sitting for long. You stood when a woman walked into the room. But, many of them, later in life, told me how much they appreciated the things she taught them. I did not have the cool mom who acted like one of us. It was not cool at the time, but I forgive her:)

And, honestly, I could comfortably eat with the Queen of England. Her table manners have nothing on mine. Why? Because my mom taught me...and it gave me confidence. Would I prefer to eat with my fingers? Yes, but thats another story.

It's Mother's Day and I'm feeling very blessed. I'm her favorite..and I think she made the right choice.

It's Mother's Day and I'm feeling very blessed.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Strong In The Broken Places

"The world breaks everyone and afterward makes you strong at the broken places"~Ernest Hemingway.

Tonight is Aidan's Kindergarden orientation. So here we go. It will be the world of special ed. This morning I am forcing myself to read about Polymicrogyria and IEP's and  special education laws. It's all hugely depressing to me. But I have to know what the heck I'm talking about. I have to help Aidan get what he needs.  It's my broken place.

When I am home with all seems sort-of normal to me. His non-verbal communication, and having to wipe his mouth 100 times a day. It's when I get out in public that his issues become painfully obvious to me. Children might say "why is he drooling"..or "why is his shirt wet"'s notice that he isn't talking and the question comes: "How old is he?" I say five.  It sinks in...five, and not talking.

When he was two, three and even's said things like "he will talk when he is ready"'s a nice encouraging thing to say. But, at five, knowing mothers know. And they carefully and kindly ask: "What's the diagnosis?~and that's when a young mom and this grandmother link eyes and hearts. Because it is every parent/grandparents nightmare...a diagnosis. It's my broken place.

I'm interested in all the talk about the recent Amendment in North Carolina, but then again not really. State by state, let them decide.  If we all agreed we would live in some kind of Utopia. I want to live in a Utopia where children can talk..and see and hear and walk. I don't care who anyone marries or who they sleep with, I have a grandson that doesn't talk. But, that is just my own selfish world.

Ugh, yesterday I lost electricity, but today is my dark day. Yesterday I lost power, today I feel like all the power is sucked out of me.

I read this quote this morning:
[We] see the face of God within the disabled. Their presence is a sign of God, who has chosen [quoting St. Paul] 'the foolish in order to confound the strong, the proud and the so-called wise of our world.' And so those we see as weak or marginalized are, in fact, the most worthy and powerful among us: they bring us closer to God." -- Jean Vanier, 

I definitely need a power source today. Hm...maybe Aidan and I need to go get a yogurt to celebrate his Kindergarden orientation....someone needs some sprinkles. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

To Elliptical or Not to Elliptical...

I woke up this morning to no electricity. It sort-of throws me off. My day has changed. Not only can I not make coffee..I find I have a lot of extra time on my hands.

I can't vacuum or throw in a load of laundry or do the dishes that magically appear in the sink durning the night. I like the quietness of my house. No news on, or radio~ just the sound of Aidan playing with his cars at the kitchen table. I do not like the silent treatment my Kuerig is giving me, but, I don't take it personally. I even think about the things I can't do but probably wouldn't do even if I had iron.

 It looks  like we are having cereal for breakfast, or maybe cheese and, even the Ben and Jerry's is looking like a very practical option. No electricity required for THAT! Hey, I will even eat it straight from the carton as to not dirty up a bowl.

Spoonful after spoonful and all this extra time on my occurs to me that I COULD get on my elliptical. Just a fleeting thought, that I try to ignore. Heck, I have been ignoring the whole room it occupies for weeks! I just walk by thinking hm..wonder what's in THAT room. But, it's hard to miss. It sits in the middle of the room like a piece of featured art. Any decorator would have to say I was using it as my "focal point." The only thing it's missing is a spot light shinning down.

It's been so long that I'm a bit embarrassed about it. I find myself thinking about donning a pair of dark  glasses and a big floppy hat and going incognito~ wondering if I could fool my favorite inanimate object. But, then I imagine it saying "My you seem very familiar...and yet, maybe not. You are much heavier, you obviously couldn't possibly own an elliptical. And, to tell you the truth, you look like the kind of person who would eat Ben and Jerry's  for breakfast......"

So, what do I do? Get in the car and go to my favorite coffee shop.  I wave to the power company people and I think I  smile...a no coffee smile. I think one side turns up. I give them the PLEEASE hurry my life depends on them getting their job done. I think they feel my pain. Or maybe they just don't like working in the rain. first cup of coffee...and it's 2pm. Life is good.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Allowance Cop

It is PAINFUL writing this check for my traffic violation. But, that's the point, it's a fine for my disobedience~a civil penalty. And, it's hitting me where it spending money. Ouch.

The lesson is learned. I am being very careful now. No more rolling through stop signs. I am making sure  I can legally turn on the red and when I see a police officer I point to my seatbelt and give him the thumbs up! I am Mrs. Barney Fife. "The LAW is the LAW!" :)

This is much more effective than if the police officer just gave me a "time-out". "Ma'am, please pull over to the curb and think about what you have done." Like  having to stand in a corner with a dunce hat on. Maybe they could put a bright orange traffic cone atop the car to add to the punishment by public humiliation...people slowly driving by to see who the poor soul was. (another reason to tint the windows: Black car, black windows = shady behavior)

But, no..I get enough thinking time while the officer is in the car behind me writing the ticket. How much is it going to be? Will he decide to give me a break? Wonder how his marriage is..did he just have a fight with his wife?..oh, I'm road kill.... And after the fact, they always tell me to have a nice day. And, I always say thank-you, which makes for a very civilized spanking.

Never wanting a lesson to be lost, it occurs to me that this type lesson may be valuable with an allowance. If Aidan knew he could get $5.00 a week, but ends up with 96 cents due to incurring fines for jobs not done...hmm I think I'm on to something.

Isn't it great how one generation can pass on valuable life lessons to the next? Just call me the Allowance Cop.....and have a nice day.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Another Nest.

I have another little bird, but he lives in another nest. He was a gift from one mother's heart to the other. The one act, healing an emptiness in each. A plan so lovingly designed by the Lord that I stand back in awe, or fall on my knees in worship. Beauty for ashes. Out of chaos, a purpose.

I send this little one  heart whispers. I picture them traveling through the night sky, slipping through his window, spreading across his little chest and dropping into his heart. A love beat. Things I want him to know.  I whisper that I love him. Life whispers, so I listen closely just in case he whispers back.

Baby bird.

When I ask Aidan for a kiss, he tilts his head back and opens his mouth..wide. Just like a baby bird waiting for his mama to fill it with tasty worms. I kiss him somewhere between his nose and upper lip. Aidan has Polymicrogyria. It's rarely heard of..because it's rare.

Aidan often reminds me of a little bird. With the way he gives little birdie kisses and shakes his tail feather. He's a rare bird so it makes him different and special. When I feel other children are being unkind or cruel to about a game of Angry Bird, that's me. Little piggies better watch out for this Grandma bird. It makes me want to pull him into the shelter of my wing. I want to build Aidan a fluffy nest, surrounded by barbwire. But, for how long? Who is going to push him out of this nest? Not me. But, I don't have to because that is Mama birds job. Thank-God. And, she will prepare him and know when the time is right. And scripture says: "Do not worry, look at the birds of the air. They do not sow or reap or store away in barns...your heavenly father feeds them." Surely God has a plan for this baby bird.

Two of my favorite sounds in the early morning are the birds chirping it up with each outside my bedroom window and Aidan's little pitter-patter of this feet walking down the hall to knock on my door, climb in my bed and give me little birdie kisses. It's tweet to my heart.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Quietly blogging...

Why do people blog? I know why people READ blogs. It's a peek into someones life. It's all the inside information..spilling out onto paper..or a computer screen. What is inside peoples hearts and minds? Read a few blogs and soon, you may feel like you actually know the person. I check into see what they are cooking up in the kitchen, what new products they have discovered or what is going on in their family/personal lives. Those are my favorite bloggers~ the truth tellers.

Sometimes it feels like stumbling across someones diary. Should I really be reading this? It's so personal. Did you just mean to bare your soul like that? ~Thank-you.

I thought that if I ever came up with a name I liked for a blog, I would start one. This morning the phrase "Quietly Blogging" jumped into my head. I liked it. Uh, Oh. ~So here I am, quietly blogging. To myself, and anyone else that may like to peek into my diary. Let's have some fun:) ..and shhhh..this is a quiet blog.