Monthly Archives: May 2012

Monday Musings

We had a good week-end at the Carpool House.  My friend K came over Friday afternoon and we closed out the week with a glass of wine on the front porch, catching up with each other and enjoying the beautiful weather.  We’ve had this ritual for over five years now and that hour has become almost a benediction to the week for us.  We hate to miss it.

Saturday was opening day for the neighborhood pool so we spent a few hours there in the afternoon and I sweet-talked Craig into getting in the water so I wouldn’t have to and they all froze their patooties off while I basked in the sunshine and started working on the base tan that I’ll regret when I’m 70.

Sunday started out happily with cards and poems and flowers and a peaceful drive to church (a miracle!) but the shine wore off when I made La Cocina de Mama Greta the lunch choice.  The boys were nervous because they had never been there before and then a little miffed that nuggets, burgers, and fries were nowhere to be found on the menu.

Tommy said that somehow I’d managed to turn Mother’s Day into Soul Crushing Day. 

So glad I could oblige.

He wasn’t the only one struggling with my choice.  I had to keep Craig from going off the ledge because every picture in the place was crooked and it was making him twitchy.

Travis was also a little wrapped around the axle because he had heard me order in Spanish and to him that somehow meant that his pancakes and eggs and bacon wouldn’t turn out to be English.

It did make me a little sad that my decision resulted in nothing being bright and shiny and you’d think that after almost thirteen years of parenting I would know better but Craig cheered me up when he told me that after lunch he’d take me to pick out cushions for our patio furniture as a Mother’s Day gift.

Hooray for a sensitive husband who knows shopping is a love language. 

We went to Lowe’s and Home Depot where I didn’t find anything thrilling and we were headed to Target to check out their selection but on the way we passed World Market and pulled in on a whim and found a ton of stuff that was cute, colorful, and conveniently on sale.

And then I spent the rest of the afternoon sitting outside on the back deck, away from a ferocious case of sibling squabbling that had erupted inside enjoying the quiet and doing an occasional load of laundry here and there to remind me that every day is Mother’s Day.

I hope your weekend was just as lovely.

Have a nice day.


Five on Friday: iPhone Style

1. My Interwebs is down and the “hold the button and hope something new happens when everything comes back up” strategy didn’t work.

And it’s not a router problem, NotNed and Douggie, because my other wireless devices are working.

Since it will be several hours before my in-house tech support is available (T’s bus doesn’t get home til 3), I am phoning it in this morning.

I am also regretting not cutting my fingernails down to the nub because the typos that are showing up as I fat-finger text are bordering on the ridiculous.

2. On the good news front, my father-in-law had successful heart surgery this week and he is on the slow mend. Craig went to be with him and got to spend some quality nuclear family time with his folks and sister without spousal or feral offspring interference. We are hoping that his dad will sufficiently and thoroughly exasperate the hospital staff by the weekend so he can go home and rest in peace.

But not the dirt kind of rest.

The easy chair and the remote kind.

3. My employers have offered me a full-time job. Again. Even though I told them thanks, but no thanks. I am not settled in my response. I very often think “No way!” but then I waffle. In this economy, nothing is guaranteed. And then I think “Are you crazy? You’d never get to take off and traipse across America like you do!” And then I think “maybe I could negotiate” and then my head starts to hurt from all the thinking so I stop.

4. In an attempt to shake things up and get out of my conservative rut, I had our very-visible-from-indoors back deck painted a color I now regret.

Similarly, but without the long-term consequences, I also regretted painted my toes pink after years of wearing OPI’s Route Beer Float brown.

Sometimes, it’s good to stick with your old ways.

5. But not always. Because in the last few weeks my world has opened to new friends and a new way of experiencing my hometown and it has made me feel settled in a good way. (As settled as this gypsy spirit will ever be, anyway.)

I like where I am today. On a warm, sunny porch, my work done for the week, a healthy family, and a 3G connection that will tide me over til the school bus shows up.

Life is good.

Have a nice day.

I have no title.

If you’ll allow one second of fangirl shallowness this morning, did everyone see the Castle season finale last night?


I’m a HUGE fan of the show and this season has been a little on the frustrating side what with the “he’s ready/not ready to tell her, she’s ready/not ready to hear it” routine but after last night, all is well in my pretend TV world and though the summer hiatus will be very horridly extremely exceedingly long, at least it’ll be happy.

Speaking of happy, I’ve had some fun days at the house. Blog life has been a little sparse because May tends to be the busiest month of my year but the busy hasn’t been all work and no play.  I’ve had some new experiences such as frying chicken on the bone in a cast iron skillet for the first and last time (what a mess!), wearing a new clothing style (the cold shoulder top – jury’s still out), and seeing my first post-50-year-old woman with pink hair (just say no).

Though I will give her points for matching the hair with the pants and purse.

I saw the Pink Lady when I met Kellie for lunch last Friday at Guglhupf Bakery.  I had saved my calories ALL WEEK just for that occasion because history has taught me that excessive carbohydrates tend to make an appearance anytime she and I are together and sure enough, this encounter didn’t disappoint.

Three guesses as to who chose the salad as the side option and who went with the all-brown option.


I don’t know why we even bothered to eat lunch because we were really there for dessert.  Guglhupf has some ah-mazing pastries and seeing the rows of available options in the display case kind of overwhelmed me when it came time to make my selection.

So I did what you already know I did.  I got a little bit of everything.

It was for the children, people, FOR THE CHILDREN.

Speaking of children, mine have started ignoring me.  Last night after a yummy supper (I’m not above cooking my way into their hearts) they wandered to their respective rooms and didn’t even come downstairs to get their goodnight hug and kiss when it was time to go to bed.  It makes me a little wistful that they don’t want to hang out with me as much as they used to. I know it’s the age and not because they don’t love me (they are sweet, sweet boys and affectionate, loving, and respectful toward me) and I can remember wanting to be alone in my room when I was a young teenager so that I could daydream, write angsty things in my journal and belt out ABBA songs into my hairbrush microphone, but I’m hoping that this phase is relatively short-lived and they will emerge from their hiding spot soon and once again hang out with me in the kitchen so that all is right in my world.

Sounds like I may need to go back to Guglhupf and buy more cookies.

Have a nice day.


Over the week-end I received an email from Beka, a long-time blog reader and self-professed Chick-fil-A addict from north of the Mason-Dixon line letting me know she’d be in town this week for a conference and hoping we could get together for a cup of coffee.  After checking out to make sure there were no outstanding warrants or TRO’s against her…  As I am never one to turn down an opportunity to get out of the house, I was happy to accept her invitation and we met Monday morning at Jubala, a little coffee joint that’s one of my favorite places to hang in town.


After settling at an outside table with our pitchers o’ joe, we started talking about the usual important topics like blogging, shopping and food (she had Southern fried chicken and okra for the first time the night before – I was so proud) but within a short time the conversation veered to Bigger Things and the deeper we got, the more I was convinced that this encounter was not going to be an ordinary moment in my day but an extraordinary one because this girl wasn’t just any girl, people.

She was a younger version of myself.

If my younger self were petite, had beautiful hair, and knew how to effortlessly wear a scarf.

You know, twins.

I recognized in her the same gypsy spirit that lives in me.  I saw a wanderer, a wonder-er, a purpose-seeker, not in a way that implies aimlessness, but a thinker and dreamer who sees the world out in front of her and wants to experience it all and learn and grow and live and wring every bit out of this beautiful gift of life we’ve been given. I looked in her eyes and through them I saw my own twenties,  remembering the feelings of trepidation and excitement and adventure as this big old blank canvas sat in front of me, waiting for the brush strokes.

And then, as I am wont to do when faced with this sort of situation, I picked up the biggest paintbrush I could find and went all Oprah on her.

I became obsessed with giving this beautiful young woman (who is totally going to make it in life, by the way, MARK MY WORDS) every little piece of advice that as a now-40-something I felt like I needed to hear at her age.  To follow her heart, to trust her instincts, to never stop trying new things, to keep learning, to invest in community.

Y’all, I turned the fire hose on her.

Bless her heart, that is not what she signed up for.

But this exchange was a catharsis of sorts for CPQ – a chance to pour into my mini-me something that I wish I’d had at that age – courage, confidence, faith, and maybe just a little bit of moxie.  The funny thing is?  Beka doesn’t need it.  She’s got it all in spades. It shines all over her face.  But in telling her all these things while practically looking in the mirror, it was a lesson to me – that God uses the circumstances and experiences of our lives, big or small, to reveal the strengths that He’s already given us and that we have just to discover.  I could see it in her life just as though it were mine and it was so confirming  to trace through her how God’s hand has ever been on me at all times – as a young woman just like Beka starting out and now as an older (but to be clear, NOT OLD) woman still making her way.

I came away from our time together with a fresh perspective on God’s equipping and a stronger trust that He is able to complete whatever work He’s begun. And without sounding psycho and like I’m the one with the temporary restraining order, I’ve also come away with the urge to adopt Beka as the baby sister I always wanted.  I’m so excited to watch what God’s going to do with her as she follows His leading.  Her blog is titled beka stays (and if you click on the link, it tells why) but I think she’s going to have to change it pretty soon.  I look at her and all I can think about is what God is whispering in her ear and what I’m chanting in my head as she steps into this crazy thing called life.

“Go, Beka, go.”

Have a nice day.