Archive for the 'Daily Living' Category

God Bless Daylight Savings Time…

Holy Mother of Poindexter… It’s 643am and I have both kids dressed, fed and ready to leave for school.  Since we are 45minutes ahead of schedule I figured I would write to praise this lovely time of year when we all are gifted an hour of time.  It’s a lovely little trick we play on our bodies - we wrangle time, we lasso it, stab it with a steely sword and tell time that it is our bitch.  Yes.  I am feeling like Protagoras was right -  man is the measure of all things this morning - strutting around my kitchen all groomed and ready to face the world before the chime of 7am.

Well, I’m off to be the time bending consort of my universe.. I know for sure that, at least for the next week, I’m bound to be on time for my life. For once.

Posted in Lifestyles, Daily Living | 1 Comment »

Autumnal Bliss and Frolicky Tots

Somehow I scored a weekend off of work and was able to have a much needed date day/night with my son.  Saturday we started the day off right with several very impressive estate sales and yard sales.  I know, that seems like something only mommy might enjoy.  But, you’re wrong.  Dead wrong.  My six year old son has turned into quite a rumamge sale junkie - and he is a much better bargainer than I am.  He has the whole sweet, innocent “how much for this teddy bear - it will be my first teddy bear - sniffle, sniffle” that I can’t pull off and usually manages to get everything for next to nothing.

We then spent the afternoon at a birthday party where we painted pumpkins, drank hot chocolate, painted our faces and played in the most gorgeous weather I have seen in Nashville this year.  We ate chocolate cake and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches like there was no tomorrow.

After our happy gallivanting at the park, we headed home - wind chapped cheeks and rosy nosed - to get cleaned up for our fancy dinner date at Margot (one of the best places to eat in town).  We put on our most comfortable clothes - and still managed to look classy as penguins.  We settled into our cozy, candle lit table - ordered sprite and wine (respectively, for him and me) and enjoyed the best meal and the best company ever.

Originally, I had made the reservations for me and John.  Alas, as is usual, we could not acquire (nor afford) a babysitter - so I figured, why not take a date (an equally romantic date) with my son.  I have to tell you - it was one of the best days in my life.

Then on Sunday the whole crew carved pumpkins on our front porch, took long walks collecting leaves, fed geese and ducks in the park, made french toast, played in the backyard and had an all around beautiful day.  If it sounds idylic and magnificent - it’s because it was…

And, I’m happy to report - the ants have settled in (quite nicely, might I add).. We watched them for some time yesterday getting their new home properly set up.  They are fascinating creatures - they collect the dead, bury them, help each other carry heavy loads.. They each have their place and they each have their task.  They rest when it is time and they work (hard!) when it is time.  Something to be admired in any creature.
God, I love autumn and renewal and work and play and feeling purposeful in life.. There is no time like this time of the year.

Posted in Daily Living, Healthy Living, Mental Health | No Comments »

Mail Order Ants

We got them.. The moment my son has been waiting for for weeks! Uncle Milton’s Ant Farm Company finally sent us our tube of ants. Tube of ants? When I opened the box, I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was certainly a little more than disturbed by the vile that the ants were crammed in, all half frozen from the recent winter weather we have been having. That would explain the note on the outside of the box: “It is perfectly natural for some ants to arrive dead”. Natural? God. I suppose it is natural to die if you have been shoved into a test tube with a hundred other ants to, then, die. But it begs the question, just how natural is it for a hundred ants to be reemed into a test tube together?

So, we read the directions. Apparently, if the ants get in a tizzy, you should just put them in the refrigerator or freezer for some time to calm then down. What? Ok. So, my throw-paint-on-$8000 fur coats- animal right-activist days are behind me but, I was starting to feel more than just sadness for these little guys who were showing great signs of stress and fear. I watched one actually try to bite the head off another who was taking up more room in the little test tube than he should have been - all shoved in there together just to be later shoved into a small ant “community” to pretend they were working for purpose instead of just working so they wouldn’t be killed or die from boredom or starvation.. It was ant holocaust. Horrifying.

I started to plea with Joseph - let’s just free them in the back yard! Let’s have an ant emancipation! Let’s find a home for them out side and let them do the work they were meant to do! Of course, this kind of mentality doesn’t appeal to a six year old. He had waited four weeks for these suckers and, damn it, he was going to shove them in a little ant box and watch them work - come hell or high water.

So, today we awoke to several dead ants and a slew of uninterested ants sitting around this ant “camp” basically just waiting to die. When we picked up the box that they are “living” in, they became quite agitated. My husband suggested we put them in the freezer but I said no. I figure maybe their rage might make them feel alive - and seeing them angry seems more their nature than sitting around like couch potatoes. Humans are weird. We yearn to see the beauty in nature yet, we manage to do a fair job of taking most of the beauty away. Sorry to be on a soapbox but it kind of pissed me off. A lot. Maybe someone should put me in a refrigerator for a few minutes………..

Posted in Daily Living | 1 Comment »

True Love…

They can’t keep their hands off each other and their faces are so close that they must be breathing in only each other’s breath.. kisses in the middle of a crowded breakfast nook where everyone is racing to get to work and they sit, locked solidly into each other’s space, unaware of anything and everything that surrounds them.. he touches the tip of her nose.. she flips the fine hair falling over his eyes.. he hasn’t looked away since he sat down.. when she gets up to refill her coffee, he stares out of the window, short of breath because the air isn’t as breathable without her sitting in front of him.. he loves the way she chews.. sips.. blinks.. everything about her he absorb into his skin, into every fiber of his being, and he wants more.. you can see it in his eyes.. he wants everything about her. and she holds back just enough to keep that yearning in him greater than the satisfaction..

Where will they be in five years? Will they fall into a rhythm of everyday passions, like so many of us do with our true loves - the sweet little nudges of love, instead of overwhelming gusts of desire and need?? Will it end in a fight, her wanting all of her CDs back and him wanting the bike that he bought her back? Will they tell sneering stories about one another to their friends and future lovers? What will come of that unpenatrable desire?

Were we ever like that in our beginnings? It’s hard to remember. It’s hard to recall.

I know it existed but when? And do I necesarrily miss that? I can’t say I do. With those feelings come a very exhausting turmoil. I like our cozy comfort. I like our ease with one another. I like breathing my own air - and every once in awhile, when we are cuddled in close under our sheets on a cold night, breathing in his. I’m sure, at their young phase of love that our marriage looks idle and passionless. They probably can’t imagine the joy that comes with our ease. But one day they will. One day, they might be lucky enough to see the loveliness that comes with waking someone up with a cup of coffee every morning… watching your children sleep.. talking about home loans.. picking out paint colors for your dining room.. I guess it only makes sense to those who have it. And aren’t we lucky.

Posted in Relationships, Marriage, Daily Living | No Comments »

Check it Out..

I usually find myself snubbing any book that is associated with the Oprah Book Club.  I can’t tell you why, I just know that the whole Oprah stamp on the cover irritates me and would make me embarrassed to have it in my house.  And even though I was an avid Toni Morrison reader prior to Ms. Winfrey’s obsession with her, I now stash them all on the bottom of my bookshelf for fear that someone will see them and think that I am a girl who can’t pick out her own fine literature.  I know.  This makes me a snob.  I can’t help it. 

And then my mother in law comes into town and leaves “The Secret Life of Bees” on my little wooden treasure chest of books.  I resented her.  How could she leave this talk show prompted propaganda in my house?  I mean, really.

Then, three days ago, just on a bored note - I picked the book up.  I haven’t been able to put it down since.  If you are looking for an elegantly written and nudgingly poignant book about growing up and being in the south you must read this book.  My only gripe with it is that is somewhat a female 1960’s version of Huck Finn and his travels with Jim - white girl on an adventure with her black housekeeper and surrogate mother.  Nonetheless, it is a great story about overcoming and redemption and renewal and rebirth. 

Alright, alright.. Perhaps Oprah’s on to something..

Posted in Daily Living, Writing | No Comments »

There are Some Things That a Girl Will Never Understand..

….. like why it is entertaining and fun for a boy to see what it’s like to pee in an air conditioning vent. 

Yesterday I awoke to a smell that reminded me of the day I went to the state fair and had to use the port-a-potty and the blue juice down below me in the pot was noxious enough for me to get dizzy… I wandered into the bathroom, nose hard at work, scooped up the throw rugs and started spraying my little heart out.  Not even the clorox could get the smell to subside.  I mopped.  I wiped.  I maniacally stuck my nose far closer to the toilet than I should have.  But then, I realized the smell was leading me toward the air vent.  But why?  That would be silly.  There is no way there could be urine in the air vent.  I mean, come on!  That would be just wrong.

So, I left my husband a note and told him that since it was more than likely because of the aimless boys in the house that it was up to him and the other fella in the house to find it and take care of it while I was at work.  Indeed.  I came home to my husband’s long and confused face.  “So, apparently, the boy peed straight into the air vent.”  Before I could get “what the hell???” out of my mouth he was quasi-defending the boy as if this were some sort of rite of passage for all six year olds.  Huh?  “But, husband of mine, why would he want to pee in the air vent?” - silence.  More silence.  “I guess he was just wondering if he could - I once peed in a potted plant in our kitchen.  I think I was seven though.”  Ummmm.  Ok.  What?  Is the “though” in that statement some sort of recognition that our son is advanced for doing this at a mere six years old???  Having a son has thrown me for a loop on several occasions but this takes the cake.

Now I am on a hunt for some home remedy to dilute the urine that apparently is lurking in my bathroom air vent - no amount of air freshener is going to suffice.  Anybody? Anybody? 

Posted in Behavior Issues, Daily Living | 4 Comments »

Finding Your Crew..

It’s that time of the month again - noooo, not that time of the month… The time of the month where, apparently, everything falls apart for a couple of days.  Nap time is warfare.  Bedtime is worse.  Mealtimes are a combination of food throwing by the youngest and complaining by the eldest.  I have heard “no!” come out of both of my children’s mouths more in the last two days than I have ever heard in my entire life.  I need a drink and it isn’t even noon.

So, since the drink is out of the question at least until tonight, I instead took a long walk with a girlfriend of mine (whose kids are, of course, the pinnacle of grace and politeness and obedience - by comparison I am sure my daughter, who was literally getting in my face and screaming at me like a drill sergeant, looked like sybil) and that helped immensely.  Joy has three daughters herself and is quite helpful when it comes to just talking things out and giving advice and sharing ideas.  It made me thankful that I have a support system, which I didn’t have not so long ago.  And, not a lot of women do.  Joy and I were lucky enough to stumble upon each other three years ago, both single mothers and needing lots of love and comraderie.  We bonded almost immediately.  Most mothers, though, have to go seeking it out.  Sometimes throug the kids’ school.. Sometimes through bookclubs.. And, sometimes, through the usually uber-social and occasionally frightening Playgroup.  For a rather intense and quasi-hilarious look at the inner working of Nashville’s mother/child groups check out this article.  It was about playgroups and this women’s particular experience with it in Nashville.  I was actually the E.Nashville mother she mentions in the article.  We had a lovely time and even though she pokes a little fun at my ‘hood - you know, whatever - it made for damn good reading and therein that humor is a thread of truth.  The intense/hilarious part is the reaction by the Green Hills mothers whom she also mentioned in the article.  Most of us are just struggling to find our support systems and friends whom we can trust and confide in about our deepest mothering emotions and the author didn’t find it there - actually, quite the opposite.  Apparently, the ladies in Green Hills are combatively protective about their image to the rest of Nashville because they reacted in a freakishly frightening way (lots of foul language and grotesquely incorrect grammar) because Lindsey (the woman who wrote the article) didn’t feel comfortable at their group.  Unfortunately, they failed to see that it was one woman’s take on how hard it is to find something as necessary and simple as what I was lucky enough to have this morning with my friend Joy.  And, unfortunately for them, they came off looking like the last group of people you would want to expose your most sensitive side to (being a mother is personal - why on earth would you want to open that up to these people?) OR expose your children to.  I just found the whole thing shocking. And funny. So, for any of my readers out there, I hope you have better experiences finding a group of your own - a place where you feel you can be human and not be judge. Or cussed at for not fitting in. 

Posted in Parenting, Daily Living | No Comments »

A Coke and a Smile.. or a degenerative bone disease.. you pick.

Another reason to rethink your diet ladies.. Just read that, apparently, Coke (Pepsi, included) has been linked to high rates of Osteoporosis.. Apparently the phosphoric acid in both Pepsi Cola and Coke is the culprit (who would of thought something that could burn a hole through rust could be bad for you??).

Researchers now believe that cola consumption is linked with a loss in bone mineral density in women.

Cola consumption (4 colas a week or more) was linked to a lower bone mineral density in three hip sites (but not the spine) - and the association was only with colas and not other carbonated beverages.

Presumably here we are talking about any drink with phosphoric acid in it (i.e. Pepsi Cola and Coca-cola).

aaaaaaand, more…….

Traditionally, the bone deficiency disease osteoporosis (literally “porous bones”) has been seen mostly in post-menopausal women, particularly those who did not build high bone density in youth, typically due to insufficient calcium intake. Some researchers have observed a positive correlation between soft-drink consumption and increased risk of osteoporosis in young women, which is now also seen in increasing prevalence in men of late middle age.

Phosphoric acid, used in many soft drinks (primarily so in cola drinks), was initially suspected. It has been claimed that an excess of phosphorus may lead to poor bone density. However medical research indicates that exactly the opposite is the case; as one might expect from the simple application of Le Châtelier’s principle, it is low phosphate intake which increases the risk of osteoporosis, while high phosphate intake reduces it.[2]

Other chemicals such as caffeine (also a significant component of popular common cola drinks) were also suspected as possible contributors to low bone density, due to the known effect of caffeine on calciuria. However other studies have shown that not only does phosphoric acid in colas have no such effect, but the caffeine has only a temporary effect which is later reversed. The authors of this study suggest that any correlation between osteoporosis and soft drink consumption is probably due to displacement of dairy products from the diet.[3]. (Another possible confounding factor may be an association between high soft drink consumption and sedentary lifestyle

Sorry, that was a mouthful.. but well worth the read.. So, it’s a little contrary to our earlier bit of information but I think the fact alone that colas have entered the discussion at all, either because of phosphorus or for caffeine should be a good indicator that they shouldn’t be at all included in a healthy diet.  I think I will just kind of mosey my way around the caffeine bit and focus mainly on getting the phosphoric acid out of my diet.. I’m not strong enough to omit coffee from my life just yet - but I think I won’t have any problem avoiding the former reason…


Posted in Daily Living, Healthy Living, Osteoporosis | No Comments »

Autumn’s Arrival… and mine…

I can remember long hours sitting in my room, all alone, listening to album after album after album… From the age of six or seven until I was well into my adult years I was infatuated with music… I would wear out my parents old 45s.  I would try to capture the raspy click of each turn of the needle softly scratching its way across the vinyl onto a tape so that I could play it in the car on my way to guitar practice.  This was how I spent my childhood…  hours spent sitting on my daddy’s knee, oversized headphones on my head, blonde hair tucked underneath while goodbye yellow brick road played and my daddy explained to me why the piano was more powerful than a guitar in rock and roll.. every long drive there would be a quiz and a reward for who, between my brother and myself, could guess which beatle was singing.. it was the way my father raised us.. with all the creativity that the military managed to suppress in him, he never let his passion for good music go.  and he made sure that it was as much a part of our upbringing as brushing your teeth and making our beds everyday.. because, what’s the good of having clean teeth if you can’t sing a good rock and roll tune, right? 

Yet, somehow, with all the business of starting a family and finding jobs that paid us enough to eat, I put it aside, making room for sleep and work and all the other business of life.  too tired.. too busy.. too distracted.. Sure, music is always around.. Our radio is always on - something good is always available for the wanting ears.. My kids adore it.. But I stopped listening.. I didn’t feel a thing.. Until today.  I put Goodbye Yellow Brick Road on and, like a flash, it got me.  It got me like it used to get me.  The whole CD.. It just took over..  Watching my son in the backseat singing all the words helped - it got him too, it always gets him.  Am I making any sense here?  I guess what I am saying is, a part of me is waking up again.  Mabye it’s the beautiful autumn that is shaking me up.. This weather always stirs some madness in me that makes me feel fuller than I can handle some times..  But part of me that had to rest for a few years so that I could take care of some serious stuff is tired of sitting on the sidelines.  I’m back.  Me.  I’m finally back….. whew..

Posted in Daily Living, Mental Environment, Healthy Living | No Comments »

354 Days

That’s how long I have until the terrible twos are officially over.  Pray that they end sooner than that because, I really don’t know if we’ll make it.

I did have some relief yesterday after our horrifying excursion to the Green Hills Mall.  My mom is visiting and she likes to shop.  A lot. For those of you non-Nashvillians, let me just sum up the Green Hills Mall by saying it is the complete antithesis of Wal-Mart and has the exact adverse reaction on me. The sheer smell of the wealthy, botox injected freaks makes me undeniably nervous and grumpy.  Some days I can enjoy it for all that it is and isn’t - some days I am mature enough to consider it all as good material for the art that I will one day make again.  Yesterday, though, was not one of those days.  Apparently, it was Uberbitch day and my two year old was not welcomed.  Nor was I for that matter, but I have gotten used to that - I don’t look the green hills mall part and I’m pretty sure I hadn’t washed my hair that day.. A big no no.  It was just a ridiculously awful day and I wasn’t in the mood for anything even remotely challenging.

So, anyway, my relief came when we arrived home and my mom pulled out The Little Mermaid that she had bought my daughter the night before at Target (did I mention that she like to shop?).  Much to my chagrin (I have a thing with the Disney princesses.. I’d kick all of their whiney, drippy, overly accentuated asses if only given the chance) - my daughter was thrilled.  But it didn’t last long.. no no no.. It didn’t last long.  Within ten minutes she was begging (begging!) me to take it off saying “hate mrrrmaid.. hate mrrrmaid!”.  I still can’t figure out what upset her about it, but all she had to do was ask once.  My grin was ear to ear the rest of the night.  Of course, my mom was miffed.  She can’t understand why I can’t just let the kids have all the candy and television/movies that they want.  She thinks I am slighting them because I want them to think a little higher up the food chain than I was taught to.  Poo, I say.  She hates Ariel, all on her own!  I had nothing to do with that.  Of course, she writes it off to early brainwashing - basically, I may as well have removed her uterus as far as my mom is concerned.  GASP! What kind of girl doesn’t adore the Disney Princesses?  Mine.  mine mine mine….

Posted in Lifestyles, Daily Living, Mental Environment | No Comments »

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