Sunday, November 13, 2011


A Poet of Math

A muse of numbers
Figures and symbols that
have meaning for a select crowd
Striking phobia chords in others

Subject to interpretation
see in it what you want to see
But in math
 you need proof

Elegance in the algorithm
the Everests are in the theorems
and the peaks sometimes elusive

A stanza of comfort
when all the columns add up
all the symbols make sense and
you feel as if you touched infinity.

Why in the incalculable meanderings
of this world did the lines intersect
in such a way that
made a problem unsolvable?

We scratch our heads
get out the erasers
try to do it better, make the corrections
and pray we get it right this time.

 I dedicate this to a fine math professor Robert Whitton. His life and talents changed the lives of many. A car struck him on a dark and rainy evening. He passed away on Friday. He will be missed. Be careful out there. I mean it.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Will I ever learn? or Harvest 2011

After last year's wondercrop, I wanted to burn my gloves. Then spring came and I got caught up in the excitement of the planting frenzy. It wasn't that bad last year...was it? I decided to keep it simple this year and I only planted three tomato plants, two squash and about 20 onions. You are looking at all I got from all of the plants. A friend of mine who watered for me while I was gone in July says she got one tomato about the size of a small plum. I tried harder to attract bees this year. I pollenated the zucchini. I planted a coneflower. I endured my daily attack of mosquitos. I am starting to understand the mass use of chemicals in the food growing business...I am not happy about it but I understand it. It is just harder than it looks to grow things well. Although my next door neighbor's garden was busting at the seams...After some observation, she gets more sun. I chopped up my little onions and had them in a taco. Viva la jardin...

Friday, October 21, 2011


Multi-tasking I am the first one to admit that I love working on a project at home when the washer and the dryer and the dishwasher are going too. It just feels like I am getting four things done at once. Women seem to be good at multi-tasking. I think this stems from a long history of having to take care of children and doing any and everything else that goes along with that. Babies were strapped on with a cloth or animal skin while the women cleaned carcasses or boned fish or swept the dwelling... When a friend recently told me about how she cleans the shower while she is taking one (I do that too) and wonders if the fumes are bad for her (I wonder that too, every time...) I didn’t feel like such a lunatic. I think I am in good company. Studies show that multi-tasking doesn’t really pay off, but most women I know are constantly multi-tasking: putting on make-up and driving, talking on the phone and driving, digging out a pacie from a four cubic foot diaper bag that is in the floorboard of the back seat and then, with amazing accuracy and a move that would impress Stretch Armstrong, successfully shoving it in the babies mouth and driving...writing lists while in the bathroom, listening to audiobooks while doing housework (I really like this one...); trying to write a blog while making a schedule in my head of all that I need to get done tomorrow. Men (I generalize) do not seem to multi-task as much. They seem to have the ability to block out a lot of stuff and approach life in a more linear fashion. Does it go back to the days of survival and hunting for food and not resting until you had conquered the beast? And while the hunt was on the women figured out how to strap animal skins to their feet to clean out the cave, while nursing their babies and stirring a pot of water they fetched from the river and seasoned with the herbs and berries they picked... I wish I would become better at being in the current moment and tasting it for what it is worth. I miss a lot of things in my daily thrashing. I wish for more linear moments. Something to work on. Coming soon: The Harvest of 2011 or "Will I Ever Learn..."

Friday, September 9, 2011

Not a Saint, Maybe a Poet, Definitely Crazy

Something compelled me to pursuit a full-time job. Oh, maybe something to the effect that I am not getting any younger, I have no retirement plan and it’s time for a shake down. Well, I got it. I am working full-time in a self-contained classroom composed of autistic children. They are amazing beings. I personally am wired in an odd way with the MS business and all, but I can only imagine what the electrical impulses look like in their brains. It is fascinating and frustrating all at the same time. You see the manifestations of their misfirings in everything from trying to hit you because they can’t express their frustrations and pains, or by screaming because they cannot move from doing one thing to another without utter chaos in their minds. The chaos pours out as bad behavior in their bodies and sometimes you have to be quick to not get the brunt of their feelings. I have never been more physically and mentally exhausted from a job. I hope I can keep going. I am already attached to the kids and wonder how each day will go and hope for the best. As a parent of a child who is mildly “on the spectrum” I understand how hard it is to see the future for these fragile little people, because first, you have to get through today, or the next thirty seconds. We hope for the best and for a tolerant world that will support and embrace these unique children. The crazy part is dealing with the bureaucracy of a big school system and the struggles of the teachers to mesh as much as possible with the mainstream. With no planning period and no actual breaks at all, the days are long (esp. since they are 45 min longer than last year) and beyond comprehension in terms of physical output. Currently, the district is trying to figure out how to measure these teachers in the “Pay for Performance” metric. Too bad sweat equity isn’t quantifiable in this case. If anyone is still out there, thank you for reading!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What not to iron?

Hmm? What's an iron?

Oh yeah, that electric monster that you fill with water and curse at while you run it's hot body across, whatever... Maybe you can help me add to this list of things to iron/not to iron...

What to Iron and what not to Iron

Do not iron:

Your clothes while they are on your body
Waffles (unless it’s a waffle iron)
any food
Bed sheets, who cares and who has the time?
Sequins or beads
The sticky parts of a graphic tee

Do iron:

What you plan to wear for an interview
Your kids clothes so they don’t look like orphans
To impress your date, yes you might have to iron jeans

Have professionals iron:

Your hair
Shirts that you wear with suits (although if you are smart you will buy the wrinkle free...)
Tablecloths (if you actually own such a thing)
Draperies/curtains (unless they are super easy)

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Good Boys

The Good Boys
As the NBA finals approached and the Dallas Mavericks began their cardiac therapy for all their fans, I began a chant in my mind, a little prayer.  A voice kept saying in my head “The Good will win, the Good will win!”  They powered back from behind many times and when they made it into the finals, I began to worry (a little) that Miami would be too tough and I didn’t wish any “badness” to happen to Miami, I just felt that the Good Boys deserved to win.  Miami set an uncomfortable tone from the beginning as they built their powerhouse team. But when they celebrated their season before it even began, I thought it was like opening a bad can of sardines. It smelled terrible and started their season with the entire rest of the NBA mad at them.  They were gloating before they had any right to do so, and I know a little of that bad mojo stayed with them to the end. Dallas played their hearts out and earned the championship.  It showed the Heat that you can’t win a championship just by buying some of the best players.
I have been a Mavs fan for thirty years.  Since I was two.. ha ha... so when the final buzzer sounded on that Sunday night I found myself in tears at the realization that they had done it!  They solidly won their place in NBA history.  I can’t imagine that you could find a team with more heart than the Dallas Mavericks.  The real fans have always believed and hoped and dreamed that this day would come. 
In the early 80‘s, my sister worked for the Hyatt Corporation in Dallas and helped do the set up for the meeting where papers were signed and the Mavericks officially became a part of the NBA.  The Mavs offices still have photos of that event on the walls.  At the centerpiece of the ‘signing table’ was a basketball that belonged to my young nieces and had been scooped up by my creative sister from her garage that morning.  The Mavs owners, the Carters, took the ball from the centerpiece as a memento of the occasion and the Mavs office later sent my sister a new ball, signed by the whole team!!
I don’t usually write about sports, but this has been a wild and fun ride. Thank you Dallas Mavericks!  The whole country (with the exception of Miami..) was rooting for you!

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Fabric

I am a fabric junky, but I don't sew. I have a whole bin of swatches, samples and snips that beg me to do something with them and I am not sure I ever will.  I can spend hours looking at fabric and dreaming of sofas, chairs, bedrooms, pillows, curtains..... I would need multiple houses to use all that I see that I love...
I have hauled a few of my pieces out for school projects for the kids and I really did cover my dining room chairs myself, so I am not completely incapable of doing something with fabric as long as it involves a staple gun.  My love of fabric began as a child. My mom is an amazing seamstress. She's made countless items for my three sisters and me.  When I was old enough to shop on my own, I often wandered in fabric shops, fell in love with a piece and had to have Mom make something for me.  I knew I was lucky.  I don't know how she had the time. She worked full time and kept the house neat as a pin, made all desserts from scratch and cooked 99 percent of our meals.   I think that sewing was her escape.  She would be absorbed in a project and looked forward to the evening hours after the dishes were washed and put away and we were all tucked in, so she could tackle the zipper or piece the bodice to the skirt.  I knew early in my life the difference between dotted-swiss and pique, wool from wool gabardine, cotton from polyester.  It is no wonder I obsess about fabrics.  I could use a little more success in the use of fabric.  I took a sewing class once, made a skirt, wore the skirt once and threw it out. It was not a good experience.  I bought a sewing machine about three years ago and it sits in the bottom of my closet, waiting for me.  I will try another class one day, maybe I will turn my fabric fetish into a cool hobby or something.  Maybe there is a sewing camp for sewing class drop outs!! I might need some more fabric...

The colors and textures that I love about fabrics are a lot like the quilt of friends and family I have who constantly support me and care for me. I have had a less than stellar month for lots of reasons (I have MS and for the first time in five years it has been causing me some aggravation), but I have had some great kindness and love poured out on me and I am so grateful for all of it.  The healing and the recovery is impossible without it.  The meds can't do what you do for me.

In gratitude and until I write again, be well.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Our lives are quite busy most of the time.  Not much time for sitting still unless it is forced upon us, like when you have to be completely still for an MRI.  I am struck by the thought of how very little time is spent being still and listening to one’s own thoughts. I did this during a recent MRI. Through the first round of brain pictures, the technician did not plug my headphones in and I was forced to think of things to distract my body and mind from all the clunking and shrieking going on inside the tube.  Some people freak out at the thought of this confinement. Even without any official claustrophobia I felt a little twitchy. I have decided that spending small amounts of time on one’s own thoughts is enough.  If I could only focus on happy things that would be grand, but the noise in my head about applying for jobs, not feeling qualified for anything but chief laundress and poet (not very lucrative), what I’m going to make for dinner after spending two hours with a child that desperately needs help with homework, wondering if I’ll have time to take a walk for exercise to stay healthy/lose weight/fight my high cholesterol....  In this day of techno-bombardment, infotainment,  nonstop news and analysis, our thoughts take a beating and sometimes I use the rest of the world’s misery to help me drown out some of my own.   The noise of the mundane, perpetual neuroses that drone on in my ears is too much to take sometimes. Other times my own mess is quite preferable to the tumult of the world’s chaos.  Why can’t everything just be still for a moment?
My 85 year old mother has more stillness now than she’s ever had in her life. It sounds like it might be nice but it isn’t really. She played basketball into her forties, rode roller coasters into her fifties, wore high-heeled shoes into her sixties.  She is still keeping house after living in the same house over 50 years.  She knows every square inch of it and could easily get around blindfolded.  She can hear the dust land.  Dirt and trash set off a sonar-like sensor that drives her crazy because she wants to make it all go away.  Her arthritis keeps her from being able to do the deep dark cleaning she used to do, but by golly her house is far cleaner than most and she does what she can everyday.  Use it or lose it.  Doing something is far better than doing nothing when your choices get reduced by what life throws at you.  Don’t dare try to do any of it for her though or she might rip you a new one...Aging hurts. Dust hurts when you can’t do anything about it.   Your knees my not let you kneel, or you hands may not have the strength to scrub. You can feel the dust falling on you, around you and after cataract surgery with the lens replacement you can see it all better than you ever could. How maddening.  
No one wants the dust to settle. Not really.  Our usefulness gives us purpose.  Sometimes the more challenges we face, the harder we try to prove we can still jump the hurdles, in full make-up and high heels. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Soles Without Soul

Really??? Really??!!!  I made fun of the secret French fashion society a few blogs ago but maybe I ought to sling a few arrows in the direction of Italy. As I see this year’s Idolettes  tromp down the stairway from heaven in their mega-platform, stiletto-heeled boots/loafers/pumps/sandals/golf shoes while singing and holding a microphone as they plunge toward terra firma at the bottom, it makes me nervous.  I think they should earn special awards for not falling to their deaths or maybe gift cards to podiatry establishments. I guess they look “hot” in the fashion stilts to someone. Do men really like seeing women wobble around like toddlers taking tiny little steps...oh.. I guess they do.  Sort of a vulnerable angle or something.  I remember my Dad saying once that women did not look as attractive in flat shoes (my Dad the fashion guru - umm not really.)  

I am such a wimp when it comes to heels.  I lost all balance and good equilibrium in the postpartum fog.  This doesn’t seem to affect many young mothers that I see running around town in their crazytall shoes carrying a forty pound diaper bag and a baby carrier loaded down with an adorable infant who has no idea that at any moment the whole magilla could go sprawling in all directions.  Many pick fashion over comfort and safety. Maybe they are truly as Herculean as they appear.  I am just sayin.... the idea of balancing on some tiny point, (and no you can’t convince me that platforms are comfy either at that height) makes me think they might as well let the foot doctor have direct access to their checking accounts. 
I am a shoe freak as much as the next girl, but count me out on this trend. I think they belong in the Museum of Interesting Shoes. Art, yes. Footwear, no.

Friday, March 11, 2011


To give up or not to give up? That is the question. I rather like the idea of Lent and the practice of doing something different in my daily life’s routine--something that jolts my world a bit and makes me think about sacrifice.

I never really thought about sacrifice until I had children, but then I knew that if I had to throw myself in front of a bus to save them, I would, without hesitation. Moms sacrifice a good bit of themselves in the process of rearing a healthy brood. Let’s start with the body. I know that my doughy road-mapped belly will never feel comfortable in a two-piece swimsuit again (not that I ever did...). During pregnancy I did not lose one hair from my head or at least it was not noticeable, but right after childbirth and really ever since I shed like a darn sheepdog. After having children my equilibrium completely changed and made it impossible for me to ride a merry-go-round or even on a regular swing.. I feel like I am going to hurl on the simplest of rides. This is a bummer because I used to love all the wild stuff at Six Flags and could ride just about anything, jump off and turn around and ride again. I see the effects of aging in me much more than I see them in my husband (and we’re the same age) - my hair has more gray, my face is more obviously wrinkling, neck sagging etc. Let’s move on to the mind before I jump out the window... :-)

Now, what was I going to talk about? Give me a minute, I know it will come to me. Have you seen my keys? Where is the #!$*!@# cell phone, oh, for Pete’s sake, I just had my glasses... I think we have an over-accumulation of mindtrash - full of email, texts, phone calls, junk mail, schoolwork, workwork, guilt, the fighting off guilt, worrying about what you need to do next while doing two things currently... Who has the capacity to know where the kids shoes are? or where you can find a pen that writes or the match to all the socks??? It’s too much. Moms and Dads sacrifice time, self-interests, pursuits of dreams, souls? ( maybe the uber-moms...). I struggle with guilt when I pursuit things just for me... I am working on that.

I didn’t go into detail about our recent trip to DC, but the event was so enriching and enjoyable - even with 140 fifth graders! Sacrifice permeates the very mortar of all the buildings, memorials, and monuments there. Bells toll for all the people in our history who worked for something great, some high ideal, for the sake of all people.
I am always overwhelmed with patriotism when I visit that city. On our last day in DC, our school presented a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at the Arlington National Cemetery. Even the hardest of hearts had tears at this reverent ceremony. I ran out of tissues and sleeves as the trumpeter played Taps. The young guards that pace and protect that space 24/7 know about sacrifice, as do the families and friends of all that are represented by the white stone markers.

It seems a little anti-climactic to give up chocolate, silly to sacrifice soda... doesn’t seem to have a great deal of meaning in the grand scheme of things. It’s not like defending a people’s freedom or throwing yourself on a grenade but maybe the little sacrifices are supposed to remind me of the bigger ones.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Why have one dress when you could have six?

Long time no post! I have been eaten up with the planning for and going on a fifth grade school trip with my daughter to Washington, DC. I'll do a post about that soon. It was fantastic. Every time I am in DC I think - How can we afford all this majesty for the little taxes that we pay? We have a great Capitol and a great country of which to be proud...more on all that later.

This is a little bit about the Oscar show last night. Our Oscar party included beer, pretzels, pita chips and was in my basement fun room and only my husband and I were invited :-) . When we lived in LA, our downstairs neighbor worked for a PR company that represented a nominee and on the big day, a lovely stretch limo arrived at our front steps and swept my neighbor off to the festivities... I was a little jealous.

I don't really care much about the whole thing. I am usually lucky if I have seen even one of the nominated films for best picture...this year I had seen two of them! Woooo Hoooo! I love it that we record it and start watching about an hour after it's actually begun. We skip through all the boring commercials, speeches, etc. Go girl to Anne Hathaway with her gorgeous display of designer gowns and for doing the twist in the funky beaded/fringed one! The blue one made me think of a shiny cigarette lighter and looked stiff and uncomfortable.....but it's not about the comfort. I am impressed at her ability to walk around in the shoes!! I couldn't beI think it is funny that at the end of the evening I could not tell you if James Franco had any wardrobe changes. I did notice that presenters were made to coordinate/compliment each other almost to the point of wearing the same tux just different ties... The women looked lovely as usual but too many people wore fleshy-blah-toned gowns that washed them all out. They all got the memo that beige/platinum/white-ish colors were "the thing" this year. It didn't work for any of them. The big jewelry designers were all on the same page too... so many people were wearing giant emeralds on their necks, ears and hands. I guess the emerald miners have a "deal" with someone to promote this neglected mineral.

At least no one seemed to have the spray-painted tan this year. I wonder what's happened to Charlize...she must have had a rough year.

Anyway, the only awards I really cared about were best actor and best picture and the only non-Pixar movie I have seen in the last two years WON!!
Without a doubt, The King's Speech was one of the best movies I have seen in years and years. It ranks up there with Shawshank Redemption and To Kill a Mockingbird. If you haven't had a chance to see it, make plans and go! Also, if you missed Toys Story III (the only other movie I saw this year..) I recommend that one too! Just remember to take a hanky. I have not found any woman, man or child that didn't shed tears in this one...

Cheers to you! I hope Spring has sprung where you are...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Shrinkage or Blimpage

In the borrowed cadence of a Longfellow poem, “Our consumables are shrinking, our consumables are shrinking!” To arms, to arms... The world of packaged goods wages a war on our pea-sized consumer brains on a regular basis. Packages shrink, or come in gigantic quantities or mini or fun sizes... Sheesh! and the hope is that we are not paying attention. Most of the time we don’t notice that a sauce that used to be in an 8 oz can is now 6 ounces. Instead of getting a half gallon of ice cream, a slightly smaller version appears for the same price as the larger one. I guess companies don’t want to raise their prices too much as their costs increase or maybe they really just want to make more profits off of less product. Companies have to make money, I don’t fault them for it, I just wish we could know when the packages change size. Some products come in different sizes depending on where you shop. You can get the MEGA cereals at the big giant stores and the dinky-sized things at convenience stores and have them cost about the same price... A “FanceeShmanzie” grocery store opened nearby and my food bills went through the roof. Oh, they play relaxing music, have clean floors, and take the stuff out of your cart, etc. and they are the closest store to my house, but they never offer to take the precious goodies out to the car for you unless you are at least an octogenarian... I digress. We pay a premium for convenience and still don’t necessarily get the level of service one would expect.

The sneaky aspect of the size changes drives me crazy. The stores try to help by labeling the price per unit so you can really compare the costs, but the print is so small you often have to look hard to find this and if you - um don’t bring your glasses to the store you are SOL. It all happens in such a subtle way that we hardly notice, and I don’t hear any organized marches or consumer advocate groups complaining. It just happens and we, the sheep of the United States and other places too (we don’t have the market on stupid completely cornered), continue to plod along like domestic zombies up and down the aisles, throwing things into the cart.

The toilet paper market really chaps my behind ( :-) ). Seriously, you can buy a gazillion tiny rolls that vanish into thin air in about five seconds or a six pack of ginormous rolls for the same price that don’t fit on a standard holder (whose stroke of brilliance was that??~!) Companies constantly repackage stuff, I mean really, it’s hard to make tp very exciting so they just make it confusing... If you buy a mop and don’t buy a ton of replacement mopheads, when you go to buy a mophead they will all be redesigned and won’t fit your existing mop and you will have to buy a new mop.
As much as it drives me crazy, this process employs people and keeps the mop business from going down the drain... okay that was bad.

Anyway, my most recent madness was when I saw some yummy Haagen Daas on sale and went to toss a few pints into the cart... and they weren’t pints. Here are some ideas for selling this new “Not quite a pint.” “Now fewer calories!!” “Less fat!”” “Reduced sugar!“ “Go ahead eat the whole thing, you won’t even feel it!!” “Now, easier to carry!”

If you have any examples of this in your world, I’d love to hear about them.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Laundry of Barf

This is not an easy or pleasant topic but one in which I have had a refresher (not the right word here) course this week. I totally take for granted “normal” weeks when we generate about 8 loads of laundry. I did six yesterday and five so far today, all related to the cleaning up of barf. I do not claim to be an expert and I know plenty of people who would have to punt and not be able to deal with it without adding to the barfdom... I know people who throw stuff out rather than try to clean it, but eventually you would run out of towels and sheets and blankets and who can really afford to do that? I don’t deny that I have opted to throw a few things out that were seemingly beyond help. This is a sad day in the life of a laundress and, of course, it’s worse for the poor baby whose generating all of it.

I know I would rather be sick for weeks with a cold than have one day of the “stomach bug.” I remember being so scared of it when I was little. In second grade I was on a field trip to hear the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at the Fair Park Music Hall. This was a huge deal. We rode the giant city buses to get there and we were all dressed up and feeling so weird that we were so far away from home, etc. without our parents... I was fine until about half way through the concert. My stomach started to knot like a boy scout’s rope. I was cooped-up in the the middle of an aisle and began to sweat like a marathon runner. I made it to the end of what seemed like the longest song in the history of the universe, and even survived the bus ride back to school (although I don’t know how I did...). I made it into the school building and then lost it all in the front entrance. It was colossal...and I was completely embarrassed. I was mildly relieved that it had not happened in the classroom. It is truly awful to be known as a barf queen at school.

When one of our daughters was four, she was so sick, she had to be in the hospital for four days to combat the dehydration. That was terrifying for everyone. It can be very serious. I am so relieved that we are seeing some improvement in the current situation.

Surviving. That’s what we are doing. And building our immune system. And laundry skills.

Thank goodness God gave me a strong stomach. Be well where you are, and may you not ever become the expert of the Laundry of Barf.

Tip: I highly recommend keeping some “Nature’s Miracle” around. It gets out all kinds of the worst stains, it’s enzyme-based and can be found in pet stores.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fashion, oui? non?

I just feel a need to rant a little bit. I have often wondered who dictates the fashion narratives that spread like wildfire in the fashion industry. I know for a fact that there is a world color society that decides what colors will be “hot” - Did you know that lime green is the new black?? or that Purple is the new Red?? Be prepared for some serious orange this summer...phooey. I think there is a secret society in France where people meet in a dark room, everyone is smoking. They are all wearing tight-fitting black clothes. And it goes like this:


“Euh.. vhaht vhill it be dzees year?”


“I aahm dsinking dzaaht we go vhitt feesh net hoze in rose colors and dzee teeeeniest mini-sskirtz. Dzee crazy Amehrican women vill bite any sthing vee place on dzee hook, oui?”

“Oui! (laughing and drawing a puff of smoke from his cigarette holder...Cruella deVille style..) and I sink dzaaat we make dzee schooze 25 centimeters!(10 inches) Dzee chiropractors and podiatrists should send us royalteezz. Oui?? (laughing more..)


“Oui! Vee have gotten dzem to wvear everysing from clown balloon pants in dzee 80’s (laughing hysterically now...) animal prints in dzee summer time, jumpsuits - that’s the best one ever -- you have to get sans des vetements/ nue/ naked to go to the lieu!! Vee half dzee best job in dzee whole world, like puppet masters.. We tell dzeehm and dzey do it!! Euh...... let’s do beaded underwear... (laughing more still) sooooooooo bumpy..... (hhhhahhahahahahhahh)

And then the beaded underwear are shown in magazines being worn by severe- looking 12 year olds who are freakishly 6 feet tall and malnourished. They sport the fishnet hosiery and mini-skirts and “the look,” all too soon, appears at PTA meetings and church bazaars and everyone says wow that’s sooo disgusting... how can they wear such trendy clothes.. My personal favorite was /is the thong panties that stick out above lowriding pants/jeans. I almost raced up to a young person (back in the late nineties when this stuff first appeared - she had the low jeans and no undies...) and said “hey, your cheeks are showing! You might want to pull down your shirt....” and my girlfriend stopped me and said it was a hot trend. I just can’t imagine deliberately doing the plumber! And then the trend creeps down to children’s clothing and the preschoolers I teach can’t play on the floor with dolls or blocks without flashing their sweet little moons to the world. And don’t get me started on the padded training bras for young girls.. really...

I haven’t really tried to keep up in a long time. I don’t mean to give up on looking good, but some things don’t really look good on anyone (jeggings). I guess I am getting old...but still, I refuse to shop at Chico’s, and you won’t find me in 8 inch heels. I pity the fools that have to keep up with trends. Women are so gullible. Look at the volume of the women’s department compared to the men’s in any store. Women’s stuff takes up 75% and men get about 25% of the floor space. If women learned to be satisfied in their own skin, demand clothes that fit in the neck, sleeve-length and pant length and stopped jumping to each latest thingama-jig that was shown to us... well, the world economy would collapse and what would we do with all that time we’d save?? So just keep making up the trends you weird Frenchies, and we’ll keep figuring out ways to make it and buy it as cheaply as possible. I can hear them laughing....

Au revoir.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Day

Snow day

Snow makes the ugliest patch of dirt
look like the garden of Eden
laughing and squealing
all the day long as
the most perfect hill at the end of the lane
looks like the traffic on an interstate of toboggans and sleds.

In the night glow of the snow
the world looks like a blue desert
with deciduous trees draped in marshmallow fluff
cars do a slow dance, no twirls please
rooms lined with dripping clothes and tired bodies
fires and bellies stoked for the night.

Note: Where ever you are, I hope you are safe and warm. Coming soon.. The WHEEE of Wii.

Monday, January 3, 2011

And then there's January

I feel a little “January” today. My house is a wreck from the unfurling of all the Christmas stuff we brought back from our family trek across the country. My laundry is somewhere between dirty and clean. The cookies, what’s left of them, all taste like each other because they ended up in the same tin and they are destined for the trash, um, soon.
All the Christmas decor is still up and glaring at me to get back into the boxes, although I usually wait until Epiphany, so I am not in a huge hurry on that. But I don’t really want to leave the holidays. I want to wallow in them. Roll around in the paper and ribbon. Feel the excitement of my children, play with the new toys, revel in the love of family and good meals and good times.

I got something for Christmas that I have wished for every year for the last nine years--new family portraits. I mean everyone, my parents, who are in their late 80‘s, all my sisters and their families, AND on a different day, all of my husband’s family, siblings and kids. This isn’t easy considering that some of us travel from far away, some of us have to make adjustments to work schedules, some of us are on break from college life and might enjoy sleeping in... I am so grateful to everyone who lit the sparks in each family to get this monumental task done. The last time my family sat for a photo was 17 years ago, long before our two children were born. There was much grumbling from many directions, but we got together, laughed a ton, got it done and then celebrated with a nice dinner. I could do without all the gifting and hype of the holidays but I could never do without that feeling of warmth and comfort of our families. I know not everyone is blessed with this Norman Rockwellian aura and, believe me, we have our bumps and plenty of drama. As I sit in the quiet of my house, with the kids back in school already, a thousand miles from all that love, but I still feel it, and I want to hold on to it before I rush into the new year. So maybe I’ll go pour a glass of milk and down a few more of those cookies... Happy New Year to you!