Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thursday's Thoughts

Nope, there is no great saga or interesting reason I have been away so long - just a simple case of life. I have missed reading greatly and may even have a few interesting and (hopefully) amusing posts to share.

In the meantime, here are some thoughts I have been kicking around.

~ Do the squirrels know when a teen is practicing with a new permit? It seems the ultimate game of chicken to dart in and out of the road while a 15 year-old is practicing her skills, but they do it daily. Maybe they are betting and the pay-out of nuts increases with the odds?

~ Just because the population here doubles in winter, the crowds shopping on the weekends should not be increased exponentially. What are they doing Mon-Fri while I'm at work and they are on vacation/retired that keeps them from buying groceries and socks while the stores are empty?

~ Sushi and buffalo wings have something in common: I never know how many pieces to order of either. I mean seriously, isn't sushi really more of an appetizer than a meal?

~ How is it that an hour in the evening gives me so much time to complete a task, but an hour in the morning is barely adequate to dress and prep 3 people for school?

~ When your child is having a melt-down and you know it's because she is hungry, are you still required by parenting rules to use consequences, or can you just stick a pack of peanut butter crackers in her hand and cuddle her on the couch?

~ Thinking of crackers, could I get a grant for peanut butter crackers to hand out to students when they are drifting out of focus in class?

Ok, enough with the thinking - I'm headed off to read some wonderful blogs! See you soon!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Girls, Guns, and Bonding

It's Fatherhood Friday! It will be worth your time to click the link and read some great posts written by dads and moms at dadblogs. (of course you can read and comment here first)

Have you ever seen City Slickers? You remember, the movie about hilarious male-bonding? Well, in it there is a conversation when Billy Crystal talks about how he remembers baseball stats because that was something he shared with his dad. This never made a whole lot of sense to me. Intellectually I grasped the concept, but it just didn't resonate. As a result, I always assumed it was a gender thing. I mean, jeez, I talked to my dad all the time. We did things together, we even went to baseball games, and I didn't need to know stats, . So, for all these years it was labeled "guy thing" in my head. Until this Christmas.

This year the crowning gift from my husband was a 12gauge Winchester shotgun. (it's a country thing) I had been asking for one for 3 years, since I went skeet shooting with my dad in Michigan. (finally the stars aligned, Hubby got a great deal, and I got my gun complete with trigger lock) Admittedly I was a bit intimidated. It is one thing to hold a gun in a field designed for shooting and quite another to hold one in your living room.

After all the presents had been opened and once the kids were settled in with their gifts, I was able to call my dad to offer holiday wishes. The conversation turned to gifts and I was able to tell my dad about my new gun. It was at this point that a whole new world of conversation opened between us. There was more than the usual interest, there was excitement and speculation. He wanted to know the make and model, which hubby had told me so I could be somewhat "gun literate." We talked about gun models and styles, as well as all things shooting. My father, a business man from Chicago, shared a whole new person with me. One I had glimpsed when he "took his girls shooting" a few summers past. We now officially have conversation fodder that is exclusive of kids, work, and current events. A whole new ball game, and I don't have to learn any stats!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Shy People Need Dogs

Once upon a time there was a family who lived in a lovely brownstone style 2-flat. The mother of this family loved to talk and visit, but sadly she was shy. She knew that neighbors had recently taken possession of the home below her, and they even had children. It seemed like a perfect friendship in waiting. But, oh the sad little mother could not figure out how to move beyond the common courtesies into a conversation.

Enter the dog, Mopsy. Weighing in at a full 5 lbs. Mopsy new no nervousness. She had no fear and was also very curious about the new neighbors. Using the back stairs as her personal playground Mopsy got to know the neighbors very well. She had no compunctions about making herself at home, cleaning any crumbs from the floor, or looking for a quick pet on her way to take care of business. Of course, the shy mother was mortified by the manners of her dog and apologized profusely. Thankfully the little mother downstairs had a great heart and an open door policy to little mopsy dogs, (which makes perfect sense since she had a home full of bush weasels).

In this manner the two mothers became dear friends as well as neighbors. This wonderful circumstance should have made the shy mother less so, but that was not the case. Fast forward many years.

Shy mother now lives in a different state and neighbors with a boy live next door. The boys play and the parents exchange courtesies, and small-talk for a few YEARS. There is a fence between properties and Mopsy has passed-on. There are 2 dogs in both families. But only shy mother has the dog that won't quit. Undeterred by fence or gate, shy mother's dog, Oliver,  has seen the need for a nudge.

He climbs the gate to visit the neighbors when they are out. The men collude and decide to build wood gates. They make trips to home supply stores, make plans, buy materials, and build gates. Oliver seeing that his scheming may come to an end, learns to climb the fence between the yards. He frolics with the neighbor dogs and visits with the family. All of this togetherness, leads the moms to talk and visit as well. Before you know it, the neighbor family comes to the shy home for a New Years bonfire. Of course Oliver is basking in the glory of his accomplishment, and no sooner is he garnering all the attention then the neighbor dogs manage to wiggle under/through the fence. Soon the party of people turns into an all-out dog party. The dogs visit, go inside to have a sniff and seem to be sharing a knowing smile that says, "where would these humans be without us?"

Monday, January 4, 2010

Monday Moring Recap

Maybe this will be the motivation I need to write with regularity on a Monday morning. Maybe not. Who knows? But it is a new year so, I am all for trying new things. This will be thoughts and doings from the previous week. In this case 2 weeks of vacation, that sadly end today.

~ Christmas gifts for toddlers: In all honesty my nephew, 19 months, spent the greater part of Christmas morning playing in the wrapping paper and boxes. Ahh, if only that could last. By the 29th my son was telling me he had done all of his craft-gifts and was bored.

~ Do go to major theme parks the week before Christmas. Everyone is too busy preparing for the holidays and the parks are largely empty. Of course that means you have to be ready...or write off a day of prep (which we did)

~ Do NOT go to theme parks the week after Christmas. I knew better, but went anyway - ughhh. Lines everywhere make for a tired mother.

~ Knowing that a movie is going to be great and having it live up to your expectations is amazing. It was finally my turn to see Avatar (Teen's 3rd time - Hubby and Boy had already been). I was totally blown-away.

~ Be careful of color choice in food. I made a stew with sweet potatoes and carrots and was told by Boy that there was just too much orange in his dinner, so he couldn't eat it. (wasn't a big hit with anyone else either) Oh-well feast day for the dogs.

~ Temperature is all relative. Growing-up the thermostat was set at 68 in the day and 66 at night. In Sunnyville it has become quite chilly and I have been bumping the thermostat up until it rests at 70 in the day. Still chilly! So, bundle-up and have a great week!

Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Decade

It dawned on me that today I have been alive in 5 different decades. Huh? Can't be right, I mean jeez I am not even 40, but there it is. It is a brand new decade. A fresh beginning that isn't plagued by Y2K paranoia. More meaningful than a typical year change to some, and a chance for all to take stock, evaluate shortcomings, and make adjustments.

The 70's offered the challenge of bad clothing. Oh, sure there were worse things in the world, war in Vietnam, a country torn apart, and gas lines. My small little life new little to nothing about such things and in looking at the snapshots it appears my biggest challenge was clothing.

The 80's a time of plenty or maxed credit for many Americans. Computers were taking hold and labs were even set-up in schools. Of course hardly anyone could operate one, but that seems academic. Nuclear war with Russia was a worry, and mixed with the computers of the time you got War Games. In addition to fashion shortcomings of the decade and I had them all from preppy to leg warmers to punk there was that pesky challenge of adolescence and living in your own skin.

The 90's offered much to many. The information age took hold by way of cable news channels and computers that everyone could use. There was still war and strife, but Russia became a friend and the Middle East became an enemy. By the mid-90's I couldn't care less about clothes and the big deciding factor in what to wear had more to do with whether or not it would show spit-up than if it was fashionable or even "me".This was the decade that blessed me with the love of my life and ushered us both into all the challenges of parenthood.

The aughts. If the information age took hold in the 90's it began drowning us in the recent decade. There is still war and strife. But these are tempered with the joy of listening to children (now outnumbering us 3 to 2) laugh, teens gossip, and kids scheme. As I end this decade I look at my wardrobe and find I am still fashion challenged, but happily am quite comfortable in the skin (and jeans) I'm in.

Wishing you all a Joyous and Peaceful New Year!