Archive for the 'Daily Living' Category

Just Realized…

I have lots of friends.  I do.  And I love them all.  I have just realized - or maybe accepted - that I don’t fit in.  And I never will.

Last night I went to a clothing swap - everyone brings a bag or box of clothes/shoes that you don’t want and you, well, swap.  I sat admiring all the beautiful women whom I was in the presence of.  They all had style and invested a lot of very successful time in their image.  I admired them.  Truly some of the most beautiful women I will probably every meet.  And not beautiful in the traditional sense - I mean like great hair, vintage style, half sleeve tattooed beautiful.  They have thought a lot about the way they look.  A lot.  And, they have still managed to stay interesting and intelligent.  I felt like I was thirteen again.  Akward and like I wanted to melt into the wall so that no one would notice me.  As a usually very confident and secure woman, this took me greatly by suprise. 

I have gotten used to the fact that I don’t have time or money to really invest in my “image”.  I never really wanted an “image” and never really thought too much about gettting an “image”.  I have always been the kind of girl who rolls out of bed, brushes her teeth, and throws on whatever is closest and cleanest.  I mean, Einstein had five pairs of the same pants and five pairs of the same shoes and five pairs of the same shirt and wore them, interchangable, every day because he was too busy thinking and problem solving to worry about what to wear.  That sounds so brilliant and luxurious to me.  But, you know what?  I don’t want to be that girl anymore.  I want to look like I care about the way I feel about myself.  Because I feel good about myself. 

And, of course, as I reason all this out - I start to realize that I do portray myself as I am.  To be anything other than this - this girl who is so engaged in the act of living that she doesn’t care what she is wearing - is right too.  Right?  But it looks so fun to be cute!

Jesus.  Weren’t identity calamities supposed to subside sometime before the age twenty?? 

Posted in Lifestyles, Daily Living | No Comments »

Stuffed

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  I woke up this morning feeling, still, massively engorged..  I don’t think I will eat for the rest of the week.

My son made fantastic place settings for all of us. I arranged some beautiful autumnal flowers.  And, if I do say so myself, I outdid myself this year with the food.  Quite possibly the best mashed potatoes I have ever made. 

This was the first year we stayed home - we will be doing it again for Christmas.  Usually we traipse off to Florida to visit our family and let the kids catch up with their cousins.  But not this year.  We decided, against all guilt that my mother was setting up against me, that we were going to relax for a change. And, more importantly, let the kids relax for a change. I don’t want to spend our holidays couped up in a car for eight hours anymore.  Of course, while my mom says she understands, she still can’t help but lay it on - and thick. The guilt.. Ohhhh, the guilt.

But, I withstood.  And, this year, we quite possibly had the best Thanksgiving ever. 

Posted in Daily Living, Vacation and Travel | No Comments »

You Don’t Gots ta Burn ya Bra… but……

It never hurts to think a little bit and make small efforts towards the change you want to see in the world.

It’s fair to say that having kids trumps anybody’s (man or woman) intense involvement in social issues.  Yes, we all think about them - and chances are we really want more of a change once we have kids.  But, where we find the time to get out there and rally and volunteer and make phone calls…. I hate to say it, but, in the parenting circles it’s a lot of talk about how much we want things to change but not a lot of action.

I came across this website and it is one that I visit daily now.  Mothers Movement ONline is a resource for social justice issue - and parents that want to stay active despite their time constraints.  Just reading the articles keeps me abreast to some issues that I feel like I have lost involvement in - hopefully, once the kids are older I will not be so seperate from causes and issues that I will be able to jump head first into them when my children are more independent and I have more hours in the day.

I urge any of you out there that feel like you have had to put your inherent activist/social justice interest on hold (rightfully so - social justice begins with good parenting and a loving home.. what we do every day as parents is, truly, at the core of social justice) to keep up with this site - if not every day, at least once a week… It is, at the very least, a way for you to stay aware and make thoughtful, every day decisions. 

Posted in Daily Living, Social Justice | No Comments »

I’ve Been to Paradise, But I’ve Never Been to Me…

There’s a little show in Nashville that travels from venue to venue.. It’s called Guilty Pleasures..  Basically, it’s a group of artists and musicians who organize a one night show (usually every two to three months) and several predetermined people get up and perform the one song that they would never want the world to know they adore..  you know, their Guilty Pleasure…

So, I don’t forsee that I will be performing at this BUT it has raised the question - if I were to perform at this blessed event, which song would I sing?  Ooooooh, the possibilities..

1. any Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians song..  I know they are high on the cheese factor, but I adore all of them.

2.  Islands in the Stream.. You got it - Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers..

3. Any Elton John song from the 80s.. they were so bad, yet they felt sooooo good.

4. Then there’s my unyielding love for anything from the wretched days of disco.. I’ve been to Paradise is definately #1 on that list…

I’m sure there are many more but these are my top 4 guilty pleasures of all time..

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Same as It Ever Was…

Well, we made it through our weekends of identity searching.. Of course, I had no idea that we were searching for identities this weekend but, something along those lines happened.  Joseph discovered that he really doesn’t care about football (even though he was completely stoked about it as he left Friday) or tailgating (whew!!) and I discovered that, given enough time in the day, I become unyeildingly productive and return to my inherent artistic temperments. 

If you have children, find a way to be alone for a weekend.  I did my share of going out and catching up with friends (until 4am!.. god what was I thinking?  I’m not 20 anymore.. I was in much pain the next morning).. But the best part were those moments when I was completely alone.  I relished every moment.  I highly recommend it.

Aside from the obvious self reconnection that can occur from such a weekend there are also huge (huge!) benefits to your marriage.  I missed my husband. A lot.  He missed me.  A lot.  We have been (ahem.. literally..) inseperable since he got home.  Again, I highly recommend it. 

And, today, we’re back to the grind.  There is laundry to do, articles to write, magazines to edit, baths to give, dogs to walk, bills to pay…. But we do it, today, with renewed energy and admiration for ourselves and one another.  All that just from one little weekend away from it all.  It’s enough to keep you going for a long time to come. 

Posted in Daily Living, Healthy Living | No Comments »

A Little Something For Whatever Ails Ya…

We are all slowly coming down with the flu.  Normally, one of us gets it and then passes it around the house. But, yesterday, all four of us started feeling that ache, that lethargy, that sleepy, cranky feeling.  That fluey feeling.  So, today, we all cozy up to my son’s famous homemade soup and some Sesame Street.  The cable guy came yesterday and we finally succumbed to introducing a television into our home.  Man.  Right now, with my ickiness sticking to me like the nastiest funk ever, I love love love television.  Love it. Love it. Love it.

My son’s soup is both a too-cold-to-play-outside tradition as well as an everyone is sick tradition.  He picks out the ingrediants from the fridge and cupboard and washes them and tells me how much to cut.  He is a pretty fine cook - he understands how to balance out flavors.  So - thought I’d pass along our family tradition of kid-made soup.  Our recipe usually goes a little something like this:

Two onions - sauteed in oil and a little butter in big soup pan

Add carrots, celery, mushroom, and whatever else suits your kid

Sautee all together (I usually add a little white cooking wine & garlic…)

Add vegetable broth and cut up potatoes and sweet potatoes

Boil until some of the potatoes are falling apart and then add one more cup of cubed potatoes and cook until those are just soft enough (this makes for a thicker broth - the first potatoes will serve as the thickener - while still being able to have some nice chunkier potatoes to enjoy)

Season to taste - my son loves to add a little bit of everything which, sometimes, makes the soup taste like the spice cabinet, but whatever.

This soup thing always makes our crappy days a lot nicer.  Thought I’d share. 

Posted in Health, Cooking, Daily Living, Cold and Flu Remedies | No Comments »

6 Wasted Hours of My Life…

2 1/2 Hours spent bouncing to (and consequentially, from) the airport - thinking I was on my way to Gainsville, Florida to visit my best friend.  I got up at 5am and headed there with Travelocity itinerary in hand.  I was feeling footloose and fancy free - even at 530am - as I drove down I40.  “Highway to the Danger Zone” even made a cameo on my radio and I couldn’t help but turn it up and marvel at the wonder that is Kenny Loggins.  I get to the airport, park in long term parking, trudge through the cold rain and make it to the counter - rosy cheeks, shining grin and ready to check my bag. Carl, my friendly Delta clerk, can’t find my name in the computer. “Oh.  I said.  Well, Carl, here’s my itinerary.  Better check again.  Thanks”.  He looks at the schedule on my paper.  He looks at the computer.  He looks at my crumpled paper again.  “Uhhh. Honey.  The reservations on your itinerary say DECEMBER 9th-11th.  It’s November”.  Fuck Travelocity, I thought.  Bastards.. How dare THEY screw up my plans!  I cursed them all that day.  After several glasses of wine with friends that night - I finally had to face the fact that in my haste to snag a good deal on the website, I adsent mindedly was punching in dates on the little calender icon in December, not November. Score one for the beast of absent minded mommyhood.  Gah.

1 hour 47 minutes spent watching The Break Up.  Can I just say, I now will live the rest of my life with a complete understanding of why Brad Pitt divorced Jennifer Aniston.  If it wasn’t for her weird oversized head on a smaller than life body frame, it was most certainly for her lack of judgement with movie scripts.  One of the worst movies I have ever seen.  I thought that Vince Vaughn could keep the whole thing together, but alas, he was misguided.  I can forgive him this once and hope that in the future, even if he is trying to get into a girl’s pants, he will refrain from making a movie so foul.

1 hour 32 minutes spent watching Nacho Libre. It had its good moments.  I love Jack Black but, all in all, it was one I could have done without.  The “Nickolodean Kids” advertisements and trailers before the movie should have clued me in to the target audience. 

I hope your weekend was a little more successful.  I did get to go to a birthday party and it was nice to hang out with the kids without having to rush out to work or run errands.  But, those 6 hours - I want ‘em back.

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Birthday.. Birthday…

Yesterday was my 29th Birthday.

You would think that I would have some great declaration to make… some new awakening..  Usually, my birthdays are, indeed, indicative of such self-reflective type behavior.  Not this year.  This year, I seemed to resign to the fact that, at a certain point in one’s life, it truly does just become “another day”.

My dad always said that about his birthday.  “Happy birthday daddy! How do you feel?”.  Always the same reply: “just another day”… Though, the older he got it would occassionally be replaced with “better than the alternative”.  I always thought it was a horrible way to behave on your birthday.

As I crept toward my last birthday in my 20s, I thought that there would be some life altering declaration of how I forsaw the rest of my life playing out - some big resolution of sorts.  But the day came.  It went.  There was no spiritual climax.  There wasn’t even a twinge of resentment toward my waning youth.  The only thing I felt was relief that, up to now, I had not made any really significant mistakes or blunders in my life that might put my future plans asunder.  All in all, I felt just glad that another year was under my belt - and under my belt quite successfully (or, at the least, without damage).

The truth is, I look forward to getting older.  I don’t know if this makes me lame but I feel like being older has always suited me better.  I am not, by nature, a youthful person.  I have, even since a very young age, been odd among my peers.  I have never been one to party till I dropped.  I never really found the thrill in life threatening ventures.  I just like to sit and think. I like to take naps and make hot tea on cold nights.  I enjoy long walks to stretch my legs and going to the pond to feed the geese.  I guess, the closer to 30 I get, the more relieved I feel because I finally get to be the age I feel.  I missed three phone calls last night.  They all left messages saying “Yeah, you must be out having one hell of a time!  LIVE IT UP!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY”  or other such customary tidings on one’s birthday.  Really, I was curled up in bed at 9pm, big book on my lap and my husband next to me snoring.  And it was the only place I wanted to be.  My birthday wish is for many more years of this.

Ps.  There are two jokers sitting next to me at the coffeehouse I am sitting in.  Old men.. One of them just said “do you think the Pope says ‘Holy Shit’ when he is in the vatican bathroom?”.

Yes.  To be older is to be better.

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Sunny Sunny Friday!

Today has been a bag full of FUN! My son has fall break and we are livin’ it up!

We are taking walks, cleaning out the car, planting “gardens” (he doesn’t seem to care that it’s too cold for anything to grow so, why should I?) and just enjoying each other immensely.

There are so many things I should be doing today (cleaning, sorting through bills, laundry, grocery shopping, making phone calls..) but I can’t fight this feeling of wanting to be out there, hands in the dirt with my son. Today is a day for living it - and not just talking about it.

SO - I’m off! I hope all of you have a great weekend and we’ll see you Monday!!

Cheers!

PS. John Updike is giving a lecture tomorrow at our downtown library. I am THRILLED! One of my heroes and one of the only living literary legends left - right here in Nashville. Can’t wait. Can’t wait. Tune in soon for how inspiring (I’m sure) his mere presence will be.

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It’s Just a Song.. I know.

There’s a Ray Charles song that I can remember my grandmother singing when I was a girl. Everytime I hear it, I can picture her singing it - it is so vivid I can remember the sound and pitch of her voice and the way she smelled and the way she would sing half in spanish….. 

When my mom came to visit, we were playing the Ray Charles CD and when the song came on - my mom teared up and said that it was her mom’s favorite song.  She was crying only because she missed her mom - she died when I was ten and it was a pretty traumatic event for all of us as she was a huge part of our lives. 

Today, it made me cry as I listened to it taking my son to school.  I didn’t cry because I miss her, which I do.  I stopped crying about missing her when I had my kids.  I realized that I didn’t have to miss her - she was everpresent and I could feel it.  Hard to explain unless you have had someone close to you die. 

No, I cried because the song is confirmation of my deepest suspicions that she was unhappy in many aspects in her life.  Her marriage was a mess.  Her choices in life didn’t work out the way she thought.  There was a marriage before my grandfather that resulted in the pregnancy of my aunt.  Her first husband wanted nothing to do with the child or the pregnancy and he abandoned her.  Which is when she met and married, at a full five months pregnant, my grandfather.  He was as good to her as he could be and I love my grandfather, despite all of his mistakes, huge personality flaws and adultery. The song is “I can’t stop loving you” - which is a heartbreaking ballad in itself.  The fact that my strongest memory is of my grandmother incessently playing and singing it breaks my heart. 

I cried because I want more for her life.  I want her to have a chance to relive all of those incidents and accidents and not be resigned to swallow it down with a forced, martyred smile on her face.  I want to picture her strong and capable, not degected and a victim of her slim choices, as many women of her time were.  She loved us with all of her being - and all that love that she poured out onto everyone, I’m afraid, was never returned to her from the men in her life.  And, being in the marriage I am - one that is beautifully composed of respect, admiration, pride and passion, I feel nothing but sadness that she never had that.  Because she deserved to feel all of it - she deserved to have more.  I want more for her.  But it is too late.

And, then, I look at my daughter - and myself - and I think that it can’t be too late.  We are how her life becomes rectified.  I know she is watching me - the choices I make, the way I will show my daughter how to be better than I could ever be, the way my daughter and I will expect more from any relationship that we forge in our lives, and the way we will remember her for all that she was and all that she couldn’t find the strength or support to be.  And I know she is proud.  But I am sad.  And, I don’t know that her sadness will ever be washed out of my heart. 

Posted in Relationships, Grief and Loss, Daily Living | 1 Comment »

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