Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Great Purge

I watched the show hoarders when it first came out and I decided I needed to purge my house

OFTEN. I'd like to say its a system but really what happens is when I can't shut my pajama drawer,

and I have clothes  in my closet from the 80s I sigh and come to the realization that no, I'll

never wear that again and out it goes. I even got rid of my wedding dress.

 I always donate all clothes to Heart and Hand Thrift because they will actually GIVE stuff to needy

folks instead of charging them for it and with enough notice they will even come pick things up!

One of my rules is anything stained or worn out or yukky goes straight in the trash.

Seriously nobody wants that white shirt with the coffee stain on the boob that won't come out even

if it IS Donna Karan. I don't even want it why would I give that away? Even the dog wont wear it.

I am embarrassed to say I have given away clothes with the labels still on them because I JUST

KNEW I was going to wear that blue and green striped dress/cover up with the glow in the dark

sequined light up palm trees to a pool party someday, there I'd sit with my impeccably self tanned (

cause brown fats better than white fat ya know) legs crossed my hair slicked into a chic messy braid

with fabulous earrings, sandals, a umbrella cocktail in my hand at someones fancy night time pool


Or I just knew I was going to lose 20 pounds and be able to fit into those cute jeans with the jeweled

trim that I bought because they were on sale and I fit into them for five minutes last year after the

stomach flu. Nope. Some people say oh but they are GREAT MOTIVATORS to lose some lbs. Not

for me. I just open the door and they are a sparkly butt reminder of how a year later I STILL haven't

lost enough to get them back on. OUT THEY GO! They will delight some other big butted gal who

likes sparkly shit on her voluptuous rear.

So I kind of get a little crazy this year because we have accumulated so many Christmas decorations.

My friend who just moved in with her boyfriend awhile back and had a baby told me she does not

have much in the way of Christmas stuff so I said "Hey I will give you some stuff to use next year!"

I'm thinking I will have a chance to clean out and organize all the decor and put it into

tubs with labels so I at least have some idea where things are for next year. I tell Larry yesterday

when he gets home to please take Conor and go to the attic and put ALL THE CHRISTMAS stuff in

the dining room so I can work on it. He says "All of it? Are you sure?' I'm all "Did I stutter yes all of

it do it now before it gets too dark and you can't see anything." ( our attic light is not working that's

another fix it project) so up he goes. Here's what I hear,

Larry: Come on Conor Mom wants all the Christmas stuff outta the attic.

Conor: What? You mean all the stuff I just put up there two weeks ago?

Larry: Yes and all the other stuff too.

Conor: NO WHY?!

Larry: (In what sounds like a Scottish accent) BECAUSE SHAY SAYED SUE DEW EAT NAOW.

Conor: Oh my GOD.  I could hear his eyes rolling from downstairs.

But they do.

All to the first floor in the dining room.

I went in there this AM and saw all the boxes and tubs and table full of stuff.

I turned around and went straight to the kitchen where I wiped down all the cabinets, cooked myself

breakfast, did all the dishes, folded three baskets of laundry, rearranged the plasticware and put all

lids on, paid the bills online, wrote two letters, did more laundry, looked at facebook, made the bed,

scrubbed all three toilets, ate lunch, did more dishes.

Larry came home for lunch.

We talked about the project.

He says "Are you scared?" I'm like "ARE YOU KIDDING HAVE YOU SEEN IT IN THERE?" He

laughs and says "I was scared when I started the wall plaster repair project upstairs but its almost

finished." I said "I'm going to work on it a little at a time." Its the process. The process is what I'm

scared of.

I will go in with a timer. I will work for thirty minutes at least. I will do it every day. But today I'm

just going to pretend like we don't even have a dining room.

Dammit wheres the timer!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Cause Moms need other Moms

Yesterday night ( as my son used to call it) was pretty wild. I broke from my norm of dance off with my pillow and blanky by ten o " clock,  do you know where your children are to go party at my friends house.

I got there and was met at the door by MC ponytail mom, Boom Boom blanket boy, and DJ fat black cat. The chef of the evening was preparing a buffet to die for of Chicken in the round, Bacon and cheese encrusted Pomme De Terre, Steak Hache, boheme of Hummus and crudites, and a delightful cocktail with lime.

Seriously I can make it all sound pretty fancy. it was actually chicken nuggets, potato skins, hamburgers and hummus with carrots and Lime a Rita.

I thanked Chef for dinner and he said "Well it wasn't much and I said "Well I didn't have to cook or clean up which makes it really awesome!"

 Boom Boom blanket boy got upset with his mom because she told him no more video games ( good for you mom), and stuck with her guns when he went through the 5 stages of loss and grief.

Denial- "No Mom I need to play just one more level."

Bargaining- "Mom five more minutes, OK five more seconds, one more level, please please please?"

 Anger-  "MOM your breaking my heart."

 *This bitty kid reminds me of my 16 year old who does the EXACT SAME THING,  you guys I may have crumpled on that one. I did feel really sorry for his mom who had a look on her face that said, "I'm tired and your hurting my feelings." Even though she didn't even know she had it.

Depression consisted of groaning, growling, and laying under his blanket when his Dad came over and squashed him into a baby ball until he started laughing.

Ponytail Mom and I  went back to the bedroom where she was sorting through her clothes for summer storage, donations to Suited for Success or Goodwill.

It only looked like a closet intervention.

We covered everything from "How old is too old to make a big career change" * never if you can.

"Who used to be married to who and what happened", * it was a long time ago and everyone is  happy now.

"Why its important for kids to see Moms have happiness and prosperity in their job" *Because if you are going to work do something you enjoy and make money.

 AND "Whats the difference between a Tunic and a Dress"  Apparently 40% off in the store.

All the while I was thinking about hard it is sometimes when your kids say stuff that hurts your feelings even when they are still in footie Jammie's like blanket boy, words hurt. Even though your the grown up, even though you know better,  even with all that...Some days its harder than others.

 So I took a deep breath and told her "You deserve respect. He hurt your feelings and he should apologize, he can't do better if he doesn't know." She said "I know,  I will tell him." And I put my arms around her and I said "I know he's your baby and you love him, but your MY BABY."

Because sometimes it just comes to the point where mothers have to mother each other.

 Because we all second guess ourselves, we are all wondering,

 "How much is acting out because they are tired or hungry or just being a pain in the ass."

"Am I the only one who feels this way?"

"I wouldn't change being a Mom but Damn I AM TIE RED and this shits hard."

"I need a hug because I just do."

Later blanket boy did come in. My friend got down in the floor with him and they talked and he apologized and kissed her and talked about S'mores, and wheres my shoes, and I love you.

And I looked at her and thought "I'm really proud of you good job Mom, good job."

Monday, January 4, 2016

Trial By Fire

It has been awhile since I visited with you all.  The last 4 months have been a blur of settling my Dads affairs ( hopefully fingers crossed nothing comes out of the woodwork), getting Conor settled into his Freshman year of High School ( Dear God where did the time go?), working at the Spa ( busy is ALWAYS good), and trying to get my house in order.

I was struggling for awhile. I quit working out,  I gained weight, I didn't eat as well as I should, and I just felt so overwhelmed with anxiety and FEAR.

I put on a good front. A busy front. A happy, laughing, smiling front.

But it seemed like as time went on I was petrified that something else was going to happen and I would fall apart. Just fall apart like a old crumbly wall.

And stuff did happen. Big stuff. Stress full grown up you have to adult stuff. Oh I had the fear in my head for sure. IN mY HEAD. And I was listening to those dastardly inner voices  "You will not be able to handle it." Things are not going to come together like you need them to." And worst of all, "You will fail."

But the day I had to go to Conor's school for a meeting with his teachers about his 504 plan I went in looked in the mirror and said "This is your kid YOU are his advocate, you will just keep insisting until it gets done." So I did. PPPPPPPPPPoker face poker face as Lady Gaga says. I just kept saying over and over what he needed like a robot. or the Charlie Brown teacher. Of course we have to stay on top of it to make sure things are getting done. But that dragon was managed...

Then we had something happen and really really needed to buy a car. I had never had a big purchase in my name. EVER. Terrifying. How will I know what to buy, what if I get a lemon, what if I can't get financed? Then the Credit union has all these hoops I had to jump through. Bring in these papers, send us this and this and this. GAH. So I get preapproved go to buy the car and its more than my loan. SO more finagling. I was sitting there second guessing myself the entire time. Prepared to have to do the walk of shame because I had not figured in the extra expenses. But as I sat there I thought , "Whats the worst thing, you don't get the car and so what?  You get a different one later."
The sales rep called the credit union and pulled some strings and got the extra expenses covered.
Dragon managed.

So that night I sit watching Game of Thrones. My favorite Khaleesi is in a pickle. Surrounded on all sides by destruction. No way out, fear all over her face. But then out of the blue, her wildest scariest Dragon swoops over, the one you don't know if its going to love you or eat you.  The one she failed to train and make bend to her will. It comes swooping down, gets beaten up, but flies her off into the sky.

That's what my life lessons the last year have been like. Frightening, terrifying, heart breaking, amazing, no knowing whats going to happen, hanging on by the fingernails and then getting caught up, looking down, getting some perspective, feeling the fear, embracing it, letting it be. Learning.

Always Always learning.

Here's to riding the Dragon.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Lamb Fries and Bittersweet Goodbyes 

Fourth of July weekend I took my 15 year old son to San Jose to see my Dad in the Nursing Home where he lived. My father Darrel managed to sit up in his wheelchair two days in a row, frail, hooked to the ventilator, unable to speak but able to write. We had two good days and the last day before home he was sick and so we sat by his bed in that hot little room holding hands and saying everything we had to say, knowing it was the last time we would see each other. On July 23rd my Father passed away from a severe infection. 

I heard someplace that grief is just love squaring off against its lifelong enemy which is death. And love is always up to the job. The rituals of life and death and love always involve food. All my Dads friends had a big party at Smittys bar in Sausalito where he had worked most of his adult life as a bartender. Lots of stories and laughter and tears like a family reunion. And tables and tables of food. All were welcome, even a scruffy little skateboarder hanging outside the bar got fed and more food sent home with him. My husband Larry and son Conor and I were not able to go. But we decided to have our own walk down memory lane and celebrate by going to all of my dads favorite places he loved when he'd come to visit.  SO we started our own food tour.

First stop was a Friday night at La Catrina a great Mexican Place where we had Beans and rice, tacos and enchiladas, tamales, Jalapeno relish, handmade flour tortillas and Mexican Coke.  Once we took my Dad to a brand new hipster  mexican fusion place on one visit. That night after we got home Conor who was a little guy, threw up EVERYTHING he had eaten in his bed and on himself. Larry cleaned the bed up and as Dad held him under the armpits dangled over the tub and I sprayed him off with the shower attachent my Dad says, "Mmmhmm thats why I always stick with the peasant food. You know what I mean, beans, rice, tamales... That fancy mexican
stuff you can keep it. I want a plate of south side workin mans mexican food. I mean the kind where you point to the menu cause you dont know how to say it."

The next Sunday we got up early and went to The Classen Grill. It was fried eggs, home fries, biscuits and gravy and chicken fried steak. My Dad swore he could not get a decent Chicken Fried Steak except here. We actually lived for a long time really close to this place, within walking distance. My Dad loved having his own time with Conor so when he'd visit we would go to work and leave the two of them home. One morning they went for there for breakfast and for lunch too. When they got back Dad got locked out, the alarm was going off, the police came, and somehow between him and four year old Conor they convinced the alarm company and the police they were not burglarizing the house just trying to get in for nap time. Dad told Conor, "We don't need to tell your folks about all this OK? Especially going to Classen Grill twice in one day. Your Mom will yell at me about eating fried stuff all day." Conor didnt tell. He didn't tell until that morning when we were having our food tour breakfast.
That kid keeps a secret better than his ole mom ever could.

On Monday it was Bedlam Barbecue where we had ribs, cowboy beans, potato salad, and laughing. We laughed about how every time we came something happened like one time the woodsmoke was so strong even the Iced Tea tasted like it. Dad said they did have BBQ in California but you had to drive all the way to Oakland, not only was it an hour away, you might get mugged on your way in the door. Not like here where you had BBQ all over town and even the tea was smoky, not that he was complaining mind you, he'd never gripe about BBQ.

Always on my Dads last night in town we would got to Cattlemens Cafe in Cowtown. For 14 years we always sat in a booth, we always had the same waiter a dark haired man named Jon, and Dad always told Conor "Did you know George Bush ate here?, to which Conor would always reply, "Yep Papa D you tell me every time."
Jon would come to the table and say "Welcome back Mr. Papka, would you like to start with lamb fries?" 
From the time Conor could chew he always split a plate of them with his Papa D. So we had to have those. Our last hurrah to my Dad, the only person we ever ate those with, and I'm crying as I write this. Because we can eat them again, but it will never be the same.... 

Last time in OKC with Papa D 2011

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sons of Anarchy VS the Flowerdy Purse

I was sitting in the ER at the hospital waiting to hear about my friend who had a pretty good bump on her head and was getting looked at. The parking Lot was full of all kinds of motorcycles. The lounge had groups of bikers in and out. Some of them were  "Bikers for Christ" wearing a vest or a shirt with the logo on the back. Some of them were in what you would expect. Lots of boots, denim vests with the sleeves cut off and giant patches with the club name on the back,  bandannas on their heads, kinda like Sons of Anarchy, only more worn out more "real" less Hollywood. There were a few women,  mostly sitting together comforting each other but not staying long,  not hanging out like the guys. Sitting in a chair across from me all alone was a unshaven crew cut fellow, next to the phone chargers with his plugged in. He was wearing a "Prospect" patch.

As I understand it ( and don't quote me on this it may be much more involved but since I'm not in a Biker Club and not well acquainted with the politics and rules except for what I have heard or seen on TV a  "Prospect" is usually someone who is in the process of becoming a member, kind of like the go to for the club. He hasn't "earned" his membership yet. So in other words he does all the stuff nobody else wants to do.

Now let me digress for a moment. I have not had tons of encounters with bikers. And most of the ones I have met were "retired" and had regular jobs. Really sweet intelligent guys who were a lot more Hello Angel than Hells Angels if you know what I mean. I'm sure there are some really bad, bad ones. But I have been lucky enough to not encounter any.

 I did meet one when my car got a flat tire and a biker stopped and changed it for me and then made sure I got to the tire place to get it repaired. He asked for my phone number and I told him I had a boyfriend and he said "OK call me if you get tired  of him." winked and rode away like a knight in dirty leathers. So I guess I have a secret fondness for them because of that one big fella and his being a gentleman.

Well I'm sitting there biker watching trying to figure out whats happened and the Prospect catches my eye. We smile at each other and I ask if I can plug my phone into the public hospital charger next to him and he says sure. I put it on the rack and then this happens.

Prospect:" That's sure a big purse."

Me: "It sure is. ( Its actually not as big as most of my friends but you know to the untrained eye it probably looks like a suitcase.) You wanna borrow it?"

Prospect: "Ha no I gotta bike bag to keep all my tools, I got everything in there you need. I'm a prospect so if someone needs it I gotta have it, tools, nuts and bolts, superglue, even socks." ( He was proud of this which I thought showed a go getter attitude on his part.)

Me:" You sure you don't wanna borrow it, the flowers would bring out your feminine side."

Prospect: Laughs,  "No Ma am I better not carry a flowerdy bag."

So we sat in the uncomfortable plastic seats of the hospital and shared a moment.

Just two people, charging our phones, people watching , and hoping our somebodies were OK.

Me with my flowerdy purse, him with his biker bag.

Hospitals, the great equalizer....

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Searching for "The Best Dog in the World." from 2005

Tuesday July 5, 2006

I am a 43 year old woman with a 5 year old son who has the energy level of the EverReady Bunny.

He gets sick of trying to explain to me how to play rescue heroes, hot lava jumping, and placating him with book readings in all the different voices which is not satisfying him either.
He is bored playing alone and has started asking me for a baby which i am not too enthusiastic about most of the time.

So I got the idea ( mostly because of my own fond remembrances of my past with dogs while growing up)  to possibly find him a dog. I approach the subject with my husband who wants to remind me that we had an agreement to wait til the oldest cat in the world has passed on to get a dog. I bring up the fact that she is now in her eleventy millionth year of life and senile their is no sign that she will be passing on soon. so if we wait our boy may well be into college before he gets a dog.

This conversation is taking place in the car where our boy mentions he wants a brother to play with so could we PLEASE get married again and have a baby? It makes sense in a way at least in his little mind because that's the usual procession of things. My husband looks at me with his mouth and lips pursed trying not to spit diet Coke out of his nose as i try to explain it all to the fellow in the back seat but finally give up and whisper to husband "Its about the dog...'

So I enlist the help of my best girl who is a HUGE dog lover and we begin with the help of the boy to wear Dad out, or down as you will.

Its a short trip, but he finally relents and offers up the terms of the deal which may be renegotiated at any time according to him.

1. No Yappers or dogs under 30 pounds. No taco bell dogs, or teacup or anything that's under 30 pounds because they are just to small, like a bug.

2. No dogs that are notorious for snapping, escaping, or higher energy than our boy as if that's possible.

3. No breeds that are high strung or runners that will be really clever back yard jail breakers and run away like a beagle, or a hound.

4. No gold miners, no chain saws, no unhousebroken or so smart they can use the cell phone to call in a order of steaks to be delivered.

5. No car chasers, cat harassers, or that pull your arm out of socket during walks.

6. No dogs who think that the midnight bark from Lady and the Tramp should last 24 hours a day simply because someone the next block over started it.

My dreams of a teeny ball of fluff in my designer bag are out the window....

Queen of starting over #More than the gym

Oh the pool how she beckoned. 90 plus degrees outside and that cool blue water, cutting though it,
doing laps like Diana Nyad in the ocean. It was so refreshing to dive in. But the vision of a calm lap pool is gone. Its more like kid Olympics. Marco Polo, diving under water for dropped toys, trying to balance on the water board, more playing, playing, playing.  Cannon Balls, splashing, lots of fresh air, lots of sunshine. I was so exhausted I could barely keep my head up to get undressed for bed that night.

So I'm learning Fitness can be more than the gym.

It can be putting on dance music and boogie buttin around the house like a wild monkey hula dancer til I can barely breath.

It can be swimming with a bunch of crazy kids having a great time like your 11 again.

It can be fixing that flat tire on my bike Gypsy and getting her roadworthy so I can ride next week.

It can be so much more you just have to keep yourself open.

Because its all about getting moving, and staying moving, and honoring what it brings out.

Sometimes it brings out all the anger and I swing those ropes til my arms can't lift them again.

Sometimes its frustration at things I can't control but I CAN control and focus on stepping up and stepping down, stepping up and stepping down, during my Cross Fit.

Sometimes its a workout where I just don't have any energy left and I just sit in the car on the way home and cry because I'm so exhausted and all the sadness I have bottled up comes out.

Sometimes its that quiet smile and satisfaction at having done something. that I
did it JUST FOR ME.