If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer...
If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!

- Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Salvation is in a Book

A week of daily guilt trips from my mother has taken my mood into a deep down sing. Between loathing myself for not having that human trait that weeps in death, and drowning in every tortured childhood memory conjured by my mother’s constant attacks on my lack of empathy; I am treading the waters of my little universe with my nose barely above the thrashing waves. For my husband and child, I get up in the morning, I shower and dress, I even eat; but my soul is not in one moment of it. The sour childhood I so desperately evaded, has found my diminutive hiding place; and now lurks at my doorstep, preparing to expose all that I am not. My only repose, a book, a novel set in another time, in another place, free from all that rummages through my tattered mind. Thank the holy one for the literary accomplishments of so many, for without them; I would die.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ashes to Ashes

The disapproving tone of my mother’s voice this morning aggravates me. Expecting some insightfully spiritual comment from her daughter, my mother pauses for me to adsorb the news of her father-in-law’s death. I, of course, disappoint her. Any other topic of discussion, I have something to say, something perceptive, thought provoking, even motivational; but with the mere mention of death, I shut my pie hole.

Empathy typically comes easy to me, I cry over every sappy movie, commercial, and Hallmark card that come my way; but my view of death is so pragmatic that I just cannot relate. Fact, death is a part of life. You live, therefore you must die. Period, end of story. Now don’t get me wrong, the death of a child or a young parent, always rocks my view of death. But when a man has lived for nine decades filled with all the opportunity life had to offer him, and spit in the face of such grand opportunity; I do not feel the need to mourn; especially when the man was a complete a-hole.

My mother and step-father married when I was twenty-two. Although a good man, whom I greatly respect and adore, my step-dad did not raise me; nor did his parents have much to do with me. I’ve met my “step-grandfather” only twice…the first time, at my parents’ wedding, the old coot had several disgusting comments about how he’d like to enjoy my young body. Then, several years later, six weeks after giving birth to my son, he’s only concern was what a shame it was that I had gotten so fat since the last time he’d seen me. Yea, this guy leaving the world just tears me to pieces.

Okay, I should not be so disrespectful. But why is it that when a person dies, a person who cheated on his loving wife, spent more time and money with a bottle than any of his 10 children, and every vile word he ever vomited into the atmosphere caused more hurt than good, suddenly all is forgiven, and the guy gets to become a saint?

When I asked my mother to express my condolences to my step-dad (good or bad person, he was his dad), she suggested that I call and leave him a message myself- it will mean more to him. Okay, that may be; but when my Dad passed away twelve years ago, where was my personal message. Step-dad never called me, just told my mother he disapproved of my grieving methods (another story for another day.) Or hey, how about two weeks ago, when we found out hubby’s grandfather (who was a world renowned veterinarian) passed away, where was our personal message or condolence card?

Now, my mom, who despised the old fart and has been praying for his death for years, is disappointed in my lack of mournful sorrow? What ever!

Friday, March 20, 2009


Okay, so obviously I am lazy...where the hell have I been? Sorry, the past two weeks have been wicked crazy and I fell off the radar. But now I'm back, and grumpier than ever! So many people have aggravated me in the past week, I am overwhelmed by deciding where to begin!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Black Ice

I’m not certain weather I should laugh or cry about the bizarre exchange I had with my neighbor last night. It was late, the temperature had dropped well into the teens, and melted snow and slush had turned into solid ice across our parking lot (it’s a whole other story, but having recently moved from TN to NC, we have yet to buy a house and we’re living in an apartment.) Anyway, a few minutes after I take the trash out, I step back outside to walk my dogs. Just as I step out, my young, rather handsome college age neighbor steps out with his trash in tow. Having just minutes earlier completed the same chore, and almost busting my boodie on the cold hard ground; I warn my neighbor to be careful walking across the parking lot, “it’s a solid sheet of black-ice.” Thinking I have been friendly, I feel like a deer caught in heads lights when the young man (oh, did I forget to mention, he’s black-African American-what ever is PC now) turns to me and says, “Mam, I’m not certain what you mean by the term, black, but thanks anyway.” Huh? OMG! Ignore that fact that he just called me “mam”; did he just assume I was making some kind of racial slur?

As I walk back in my door, thinking I have made some horrible racist comment by mistake; I hear a black male reporter on the news discussing the black ice that has blanketed our city’s roadways. Huh? Knowing me better than anyone, of course my hubby thinks this is the funniest thing ever, and enjoys every minute of taunting me each time a news reporter mentions black ice. But this was not funny!

Anyone who has ever spent any time with me would know, I am not a racist; for that matter, I am not a sexist, ageist, or any other kind of ist. I love people, all kinds of interesting people, especially those who have experienced a very different life than my own. Other than the morons of the world who go around trying to ruin the good times for the rest of us (murders, rapists, terrorists, racists, etc.), I am all about differences.

So to my Dear Hot Neighbor,
I am not a racist! If I were 10 years younger, and single; I would be on you like melted butter in a hot frying pan. Google the term “black ice”, it is a weather term, an AC DC album, a Gatoraide flavor, a hip-hop group, a computer program, and even the name of a few blogs; it however is not a racial slur! Oh! And by the way, unless you are five years old, I am NOT old enough to be referred to as, mam!

Italian Pot Roast

Allow me to begin this post by stressing that I CAN NOT cook. Any recipe mentioned on this blog will have come from another source, and I will always give credit when I know where it came from. Despite my culinary deficiencies, I love to cook and especially enjoy sharing a really good recipe. And you know, if I can recreate the recipe; then it must be easy!

My little man really enjoyed helping me create last evening's family meal, it was super simple and most yummy...

This was the perfect end to a cold, snowy day. Using the slow cooker method, my house smelled amazing all afternoon.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Nothing clever to rant about today, just snow...glorious, sparkly snow. Other than a few dustings, I have not experienced an authentic snow fall in over a decade. When we moved from South East Tennessee towards the northern regions of North Carolina, one of my deepest wishes was for a real winter. To my great disappointment, my new friends informed me early on that our city seems to always get bypassed by any winter precipitation. But today, my new home state did not disappoint! When we headed off to bed, fingers crossed for a blizzard, the biggest flakes I have ever seen covered our evening sky. By morning, the sun's reflection off of the 6 inches of breath taking snow glittered the ground.

Although my little man has seen snow fall, and even seen a few light dustings; he has never played in enough snow to build a snowman (oops, snow"girl"- little man is obsessed with girls right now), make snow angels, or have a snowball fight. Today was filled with the best kind of firsts; we finally got our "real" winter! The eight-year-old in me could not be happier, or stop looking out the window to confirm it is still there!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Shack by Wm. Paul Young

Recouping from the flu has one (and only one) benefit; the perfect excuse to snuggle in with a book and read an entire day away. Friday evening, when I purchased The Shack by Wm. Paul Young, I had an urge to purchase a second novel. Somehow, I new I would devour this paperback long before I had a chance to get back to the book store. Unfortunately, I resisted the urge for an additional purchase; and now I sit on a rainy Sunday morning, coffee mug full, reading glasses on, and nothing but a few parenting magazines to lose myself in today. Booo.

From the moment my darling friend, with whom I often trade books, discouraged me from reading this heart wrenching story; I gravitated toward The Shack every time I recently stepped into a book shop. Although my friend could not force herself to complete this read, I could not put the book down. Other than food and potty breaks, my Saturday was spent solely consuming this literary collision of faith and fiction.

Young quickly grabbed my attention in the Forward with his descriptions of “Mack”, the voice of the story. Young obviously loves this character, maybe even reveals a bit of himself within the painfully joyous expedition we endure with Mack. As a mother of a beautiful blonde-haired, blued-eyed six year old, my heart ached through the tragedy that triggers Mack’s explosion of frustration and resentment towards God. Young’s descriptions of a parent’s worst nightmares coming to fruition in Mack’s life is so tangible, so “real” it was difficult to remind myself, this is fiction. Convinced this must have been where my friend stopped reading, great was the temptation to not allow my mind to be engulfed by the agony Mack endures as a grieving parent, and put the book down. (At this point, my husband is looking at me like I am a crazy person, tears pouring from my eyes.) But, the story would not release me from its grips; I dove in head first not surfacing for air until I had devoured every word.

At this point, allow me to stress just how NOT religious I am. Although my conversations with god are plentiful (as are all of my conversations with anyone within ear shot,) I do not subscribe to or restrict myself to any specific theology. Certain my spiritual life will become a recurring theme in this blog, we shall discuss this at a later date; but I will encourage anyone who questions their faith (admit it, we all question and you’re lying to yourself if you think otherwise) to read this book. It’s a beautifully tragic story that will break your heart and heal your soul.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Got the flu? STAY HOME!

When my son mentioned the student teacher in his classroom went home ill one day last week, I thought little about it. Two days later when she returned to school, I politely inquired as to how she felt…”horrible” was her answer. With an intense focus on my to-do list for the day, I again did not stop to think about her germ invaded presence in my child’s life. Certainly she would not return to a classroom filled with six-year-olds if she were contagious with the flu. I did not think about this ill instructor-to-be until two days into a family trip (400 miles from home) when my little guy woke-up at 3am with a scorching fever and choking on the congestion pouring into his little chest. At that moment, I wanted nothing more than to ring that childless woman’s neck!

Seven days later, we are home with the flu (me & the kiddo) and pneumonia (the kiddo.) Four other children in little man’s class are home too, invaded by Mrs. Jackson’s nasty germs. Why do people, especially non-mommies, do this? This is not a first year college student; this is her last semester before graduation. This time next year, she will be a teacher. She has spent the past four years interning in various schools, how is it that she never realized or no one has explained to her that when a teacher gets the flu, she should stay home?

For any child, the flu can be dangerous; but for my son, it can be deadly. Asthmatic, his respiratory system is permanently compromised; in a matter of a day, a tiny bit of congestion can turn into pneumonia. This is the second time in four months that my son has come in contact with a virus in his classroom that has turned into pneumonia for him.

Who do I blame? Who do I fuss at to make this stop? Is it the teacher’s fault for coming to school ill? She has to make an income too. Does the fault lye with the other parents who send their fever consumed children to school because they too have to earn an income? Who do I scream at for putting my son’s life in jeopardy, because their buck is obviously more important than a child’s health?

After returning home from the pediatrician yesterday, I emailed little man’s teacher in the hopes of politely persuading her to disinfect her classroom. Her response? “The flu is going around the entire school like wild fire.” Okay, so douse your room so that it too doesn’t go up in a flame of germs. Duh. No wonder one forth of her classroom has been out this week with the flu. So, you think that if I show-up at school Monday morning with a case of bleach, she’ll get the point?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Biggest Loser Baby Belly Envy

As an over-weight stay-at-home-mommy, you would think that while watching NBC’s The Biggest Loser, my fat boodie would be cheering on a fav contestant. I am not. My eyes are not following the ever slimming bod of Tara, who I very much want to win and hope she creates the beautiful body to match her beaming personality. No, my gaze is planted solely on host Allison Sweeney’s ever expanding baby filled belly. Yes, I know she’s already given birth to baby girl Megan Hope way back in early January; but I can not pry my envious eyes away from her. My thirty-five year old eggs are aching to be fertilized!!!!

Just over a year ago, I gave my hubby the dumbest back-firing ultimatum…knock me up by my thirty-fifth birthday, or get those nads nipped. Neither occurred. On the contrary, my demand only provided a year of tears (me) and defensive arguments (him.) You see, our first and only child is six; he should have had a sibling long ago. That had been the plan, but somewhere along the way, my man decided one was enough. As the oldest of two children, he does not get the desperate desire an only child (me) has for a sibling (the four-year-old in me still clings to the hope that my mother, post-hysterectomy, will finally decide to give me a little brother.) Having yet to bury a parent, he just does not understand how lonely it is to stand by a father’s grave and know no one else in this world understands what it was like to be my parents’ child. Knowing someday, our son will bury us and stand alone by our graves breaks my heart. Okay, that and I’m dying to be pregnant and have yet another snotty, whining nose to wipe.

Not a late period goes by that I am not down on my knees bargaining with the holy guy that this month will be the month that in a moment of overwhelming passion, hubby didn’t pull out quite fast enough, and I will finally be the mom of two. Please God, Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Zeus, someone, anyone bless my hubby with super sperm whose sole mission is to create a mini-me.

P.S. Mr. President, I voted for you. I wish you the greatest success an American President has ever known; but could you please shut up and return me to my regularly scheduled programming? I was so not finished cheering on Tara or ogling Ally’s belly!

June, Martha, and Joan

By describing myself as a mediocre mother, in no way am I insinuating that there are not moments of mommy brilliance in my days; on the contrary, I often channel June and Martha with the best of them; but there are times, Ms. Crawford whispers enthusiastically in my ear. My child is clean, healthy, fed, well educated, and gets more time and attention from me than many children get from their moms; but in the hair pulling moments when I am sleep deprived, aggravated, and franticly bored with my mundane existence, I just want the little booger to leave me alone!

Welcome to my confessions of a mediocre mom! Who am I? No one, just some kid’s mom who needs to vent openly and honestly about this wild rollercoaster ride called motherhood. Don’t get me wrong, I love my son more than words could ever begin to describe. My life revolves around obsessing over his every waking moment. Is he happy, healthy, and challenged enough or too much? Is he in the right school, do I feed him enough veggies? Do I hug him enough or coddle too much? OMG! The continuously neurotic chatter in my mind never stops. Please join me on this fabulous journey; laugh with me, cry with me, and hopefully realize that June, Martha, and Joan all were mediocre at best, okay a bit nutty too; but then aren’t we all?