Category Archives: Family

Dental Damns…

We are past the first hurtle. My son has survived having his wisdom teeth extracted and now has to just get through the next five days on a restricted diet of soft foods. Currently he is having ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

It may have been exhausting, but at least the hardest part is over. Now to survive the days with the benefits of top-notch pain killers. (Norco is the way to go. Sadly, only the kid is receiving them.) But, I am reaping the benefits of a narcotically stunned teenager filled to the gills with bowls of Super Scoop ice cream with a chocolate sauce chaser.

The even better news is that the two family members who have been teetering on the brink of existence in separate hospitals have now recovered enough to be discharged. Huzzah! Let everyone rejoice the homecomings!

And to anyone who was hoping the title of this piece was somehow a salacious intro to a naughty confession, my apologies. I’m sorry to disappoint your prurient desires.

Hell’s Home Kitchen – Napalm Edition

I recently read a few other bloggers’ trials and tribulations in the kitchen–HERE and again HERE and this made me reflect on some of my worst disasters.

Please enjoy my retrospective and recollections of thymes past.

*****

Continue reading Hell’s Home Kitchen – Napalm Edition

Happiness in a Box

I was given a quest this week to buy crayons. No problem, right? As my favorite character from The Big Bang Theory might have put it: “Easy-peasy, oh so breezy.”

This simple task turned out to be a lot more difficult than expected.

***

Continue reading Happiness in a Box

When the Pumpkin Hits the Fan…

<<<STRESS>>>

Everybody has it. It’s the energy that fuels life. If you don’t have enough stress, you probably would have been eaten by something furry back in prehistoric times to keep you from reproducing your laid-back DNA. Stress kept you on your toes back then.

Nowadays, however, it tends to be a corrosive that eats away at your central nervous system unless you learn to deal with it in someway. Today was a test of my emergency stress management responses. You may have handled things differently–probably averting the same crises with ease. But, I defy you to read the following and not at least have a little sympathy for a mom who just wanted to read a book.

***

Continue reading When the Pumpkin Hits the Fan…

A Boy, A Book, and the Gulf Between Them

Forgive me, this is a hard post to write and I’d like to do justice to both the joys and the sorrows in their turn. It is a post about discoveries and magical thinking–the good and the bad involved in both. This is about a book–and a boy who will probably never read it. I would separate them, but the two things are inextricably linked for me. It would be like dividing the sun from the moon.

Be warned, as it is written on ancient maps past the edge of the known world: Here be dragons!

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Continue reading A Boy, A Book, and the Gulf Between Them

Artful Creations of Pain and Vision

Through a friend, I was invited to join fellow service women in an community-based artistic endeavor of a most mysterious kind–one with the thrill of possibly ending up shellacked and put on display!

How could I say “No” to that?

Continue reading Artful Creations of Pain and Vision

Mission GISH-Possible

What have I been up to, you ask?

Oh, not much.

Just…

….GISH….

For the past week I have been making bizarre requests from friends, neighbors (one of whom questioned why I needed an ax and should she be worried, the other who handed me one with no questions) and completely perplexed, but nice strangers.

I’ve traveled for supplies, stumps, wings and more, keeping safe-distance practices during our unusual interactions, all in pursuit of a life beyond the ordinary.

It always starts with a small idea…and then it steamrolls into a massive production. GISH keeps me hopping for days on end until, suddenly, it’s all over and all that is left are the memories.

And the photos.

Let me share them with you now. (Brace yourselves, if you’ve never experienced unbridled GISH, perhaps you’d best be near the fainting couch or have your salts handy?)

Here we go….

Continue reading Mission GISH-Possible

Walking Buck Creek Trail

There was no plan before we left.

We just took off together—as if lured by sirens singing.

Beneath the stars, you steered me to the places that you love,

made mysterious by the flare of rockets red glaring.

Through the cemetery and down the hill

To where the waters waited,

And the path was still and free of people.

We walked along Buck Creek Trail that Fourth of July.

Chasing fireworks just out of reach.

The flash bang of concussions meeting us in the dark.

As slick, silent waters slid past a fallen tree.

Fireflies flickered, semaphore signals, beneath a gibbous moon.

When I was younger, I thought it was called a ‘Gibbon’ moon.

I couldn’t help but wonder…

Do monkeys dance bathed by lunar luminescence thinking it is day?

Or does the Man in the Moon wear a simian grin?

My, how that mischievous moon loomed large.

A low-hanging pendulum ticking in the tree tops.

Playing peek-a-boo behind Earth’s shadow

While the jealous sun searched for its hidden lover.

And as we walked through the humid musk

Of night smells and sulfur from plentiful explosions.

Every inhalation left an acrid taste upon the tongue.

Around each curve we anticipated the next cascade to come.

But we never quite caught the pattern of their detonation.

Overhead, we spied

…A glimpse.

…A spark.

A flickering emanation—a sky lantern floating.

The softness of a scene unmarred until…

BANG!

Followed by an emptiness–ears still ringing.

Eyes straining for a light in the dark.

Then the skies rained down with jeweled profusions.

The distant constellations twinkling in the smokey aftermath.

When the pyrotechnics paused

We waited…wondering…

“Was that it? The last one?”

But no.

A serpentine hiss trailed an invisible propulsion

Launching upward, arcing toward the vault of heaven.

Earthbound, we held our breath in anticipation…

Will it wax with radiance, or fizzle, wither, and die?

Or will it flower, hanging time itself upon a belt of sky?

Silver sparks streak, descend.

Causing seizures of joy in small children.

Cascades of tinsel dripped down from a dark blue heaven.

You laughed and pulled me forward through the night

Following an ever-moving horizon.

You never caught them—the manmade stars you chased.

But then, that was never your goal.

You wandered the night in search of adventure.

Lured by a golden monkey moon winking down at us,

As if imparting a cosmic joke before we departed.

Back through the cemetery we went

Where the little chapel hides in hedgerows

Sparklers briefly crowning the trees in red, white, and blue tiaras.

And there was no tomorrow yet to fear.

There was only the night and the steps we took beneath a silvery moon.

While the fire flies danced to a tune only they could hear…

…in the dark

…on the path

…along Buck Creek Trail.

Back to a Future Past…

I’ve been afraid to state an opinion.

Afraid to rock a precariously tiny boat on very troubled seas.

A friend recently suggested I “Woman up” or, in essence, to stop being a coward.

So here goes:

I am truly terrified of COVID-19. Everything I’ve read convinces me this is a plague of biblical proportions. And that’s saying something coming from an agnostic!

But even more than a highly contagious disease, I am afraid to lose friendships because of COVID-19. So afraid, that I have not asked people to wear masks when I’m in close proximity. Even though I have worn mine in my yard…while by myself…while weeding.

I desperately cling to friendships, even when the cling-ee isn’t that keen on tolerating the stranglehold I have on them. I have lost friendships before. I will likely lose friendships again. Possibly over this. And I truly hate the thought.

I have been a coward; and I’m going to try very hard to stop. But even contemplating telling my friends my position, I’m feeling a welling, choking sensation I haven’t felt for years.

TIME TRAVEL SEGUE–NO, NOT THAT KIND OF SEGUEA BACK TO THE PAST KIND:

I had a job once at a place we’ll aptly refer to asDeepHell University.” It was in the fundraising department. I had a very challenging boss who, in her defense, had a very weird secretary. Me. I was the secretary.

(TRUE CONFESSION: I accidentally read a highly personal email from one of her friends when the I.T. guys accidentally linked my new email to my boss’s mail system–and I read it…and replied to it…at length…because I literally did not understand what the internet was and how it differed from emails.) This happened the very first day I worked there, but the boss forgave me. Kind of.

We managed a rocky half-year of an increasingly challenging relationship. This boss made me nervous. Like cat-on-a-hot-plate-in-a-room-full-of-rabid-pit-bulls, nervous. I took everything she said as criticism or complaints. I felt stupid, clumsy, and unsuited to the job. Everything I heard sounded like blame and hostility. I became so nervous I would plot a course around the entire department in hopes of avoiding seeing her. (Her office was right next to me, but around a corner.) It got so bad, I started doing a thing. A thing I did NOT know I was doing. I started holding my breath. I passed out several times before finally wising up and seeking professional help. I’m lucky I didn’t give myself permanent brain damage via concussion or oxygen deprivation. I have never been so grateful to be fired from a job in my life.

BACK TO THE FUTURE…MEANING THE CURRENT OR PRESENT DAY:

So, if you see me, and I keep a six foot distance from you while you are unmasked, do not be surprised and try not to take offense. Please understand, I am not judging anyone. I am not trying to make any kind of political statement. I’m just trying to make the best choice I can in a very bad time in our world.

I’m supposed to see family tomorrow. They prefer to go maskless. (Apparently they didn’t have the same fantasies about becoming Zorro I did as a child.) I really want to see them but I’m also a ticking time bomb of terror–albeit one with a love of alliteration. It tears my heart in two when I’m faced with this dilemma. I don’t want to be considered a nagging worrywart. And yet, if the wart fits…

So I’m asking them to move the get together into the backyard. And crossing my fingers that I am not dropped from future invitations of this kind–especially seeing as I organized this one. But my family has forgiven flakier behavior than this. [More on this topic in another blog post. I’ve confessed enough for one day. It’s best to spread the crazy out a little bit at a time.]

I’d like to think someday we’ll be safer and these extreme measures won’t be necessary. But that future isn’t here yet. (I’m feeling an overwhelming need to throw in another Back to the Future reference, but I’m coming up blank. You’ll just have to picture me driving a Deloreann and wearing a white, fright wig.)

And for those of you too young to get that reference, here’s a YouTube clip. (Proving I am slightly more technologically capable than my younger self.)

Back to The Future Present Tense–Plague Edition

Do you hate me now?

If you knew that, by catching COVID-19 there is no one who can watch my son, would that make a difference? Any sign of even a cold nowadays, and I lose all the help that comes into my home throughout the week. Help that keeps me from going bat-guano crazy. If I really caught COVID, I would be on my own, struggling to take care of a special needs child and afraid to ask anyone to help because I just couldn’t risk exposing somebody else to the disease.

So I will wear a mask. I will try to stay a six foot distance away. And I will not hold my breath waiting for others to understand. I am scared. For all of us!

In parting, I ask you, my viewing audience:

What would you do if you had to choose between friends…and safety?

What would you choose?

…a question that tempts me to include the following:

….And then this happened

Last night I tried to write a blog post. I was struggling to put into words how I feel about the situation in Minneapolis. The anger that permeates all the news regarding race in our country. The helplessness to change anything.

And then I went upstairs to check on my son and was reminded of WHY you never leave him alone for any reason…

This happened because I told him I was going to cut his hair the next day.

I often wonder whether my son is actually listening to me.

Now I know.

He is listening with a vengeance.

And a plan.

Below is a link on Facebook to my reaction to his styling techniques.

If you are struggling to get through depression or the continuing of Covid-19 isolation, or you could just use a laugh, it is my gift to you.

Also, you won’t be feeling so bad about your own hairstyles now, will you?

I just can’t stop laughing every time I watch this.
How can you NOT love this face!