Sunday, December 31, 2006
A new year is upon us. Time for my traditions, packing up static stuff for donation, wrapping up loose ends, unfinished projects, blah blah dee yada yada.
My favorite tradition after I get all the chores done that make me feel new and clean and clear and minimal and right-great-straight to start, is to close my eyes and place my open palms on my chest and picture first the faces who brought me here. And. Not only their faces. My Mama's smile, my Dad's hands, my Grandparents' . . . . .my ohhhh here we go. They each have their own signatures.
Here's a pic of my handsome husband, his brother, and our nephew (handsome husband's sister's son). This picture makes me feel -uh- something like pride but with humility mixed in - whaddya call that??? I don't know what it is but it's just the pleasure of having been a member of something for such a long period of time that makes me feel as if I know every loving thing about everyone. Even though clearly I don't. It was taken by my brother in law on my back deck and I swoon every time I gaze at it. I don't look at it. I gaaaaaaze at it. I have a hard time believing it because this person in the middle was a couple of months old when I came into the picture. I rocked him, I babysat him, and now HIS child is MY son's buddy. Wowzers. I was a great aunt years and years before I was a Mom. Did he have a baby early or did I have my babies late??? YES. That's the answer to THAT question.
I can't think of anything critically urgently spiritually transiently important that will begin in 2007. Perhaps it means I can't think or either it means there may be nothing particularly spectacular about the year 2007, but what's spectacular is inherent in our family, our head, our heart, our lives, our loves, our homes. I dunno. Maybe I'll use less butter. Walk more. Smile more. Spend less (nahhhhhh......). WHUTever. After many years the resolutions begin to all sound so evermore like babble, same ol' babble dee gook. Resolutions, lists, call 'em what you will. You know yourself. You know how you react to 'em. Do it so you succeed, man. Write your script.
Aaaaaand speaking of new ones, Happy New Year to us all. Black eyed peas and greens tomorrow, and a day of rest. There'll be a fire in the fireplace, games with the kids, maybe a leisurely ride in the country. The first day of the new year should be spent as we hope the entire year shall go, and so my tomorrow will be spent with my family, and in touch with my friends.
Monday, December 18, 2006
I'm happy now. Reporting. I like this format better, and even if I didn't, it would stay for awhile. I can't fiddle with it any more.
Formatting is EASY PEASY NOW!!! WAY TO GO PEOPLES!!
Here's a little pic of my baby asking the girl behind him in the Santa line to hold hands.
While we're on the can't like it jag, I'll just mention that I'm not liking these folks going out in the freezing cold wilderness for sport. I don't CARE if they're experienced mountain climber whatever they are's, I demand they all stop. Can't we all get the HINT now that so many have lost lives in the cold? If we have the wanderlust for this sport is there a virtual one that would suffice please? Geezle pete.
That's all I have not to like at this moment. Otherwise I'm good.
One thing I found out this weekend I doooo like verra verra much. Grapefruit juice and vodka. Thank you sister-in-law.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
When I was a kid I used to spend time with my Grandmother, who was interested in both fashion and politics. This presented a lethal combination in the day and even now mockeries are made but I digress and digress a little more I must for I just remembered something my cousin that my cousin gave me shared with me awhile back. I'll get back to my primary point in a minute. Mebbe more.
I have always enjoyed beautifying my surroundings for when my family's home environment is pleasing to the eye, attention given to the specifics, the details, and the function of our home and the rooms in it, it becomes a comfortable, peaceful place to be. Same thing works for fashion and since I live with three male humans, I dress them in much the same way . . . pleasing to the eye, attention given to the specifics, the details, and their function so they can be comfortable and peaceful. Purty darned simple, it's not rocket science, but the point is there's no reason NOT to look good, and there's no reason your home shouldn't look good eeder.
Now back to cousin, who's an interior decorator. She'd been telling her husband that YES, decorating the house WAS necessary and then she ran across an article. Oooooh, yeah. Proof. The article said that kids who are raised in homes that are decorated, that have color on the walls, that have art in the homes, that have a parent who is in tune to the aesthetic presence of the home do better in school, are more interested in extra curricular activities, are more connected socially, and are more prone to be self-starters.
Been more than a minute but back to Grandmother. She had subscriptions to every fashion magazine of the day, and every news magazine as well. A small footstool in her living room held a foot high stack of magazines and defied to be touched lest the mountain of mags slide off the side like lava. There was another stack on the brick hearth, another one in the front bedroom in the nightstand, and yet another in the . . . er, . . ok the bathroom. So.
While scouring through every single one of these rags to find pics of current fashion, I unwittingly learned more than I ever dreamed or wanted to know about politics. Well there it is. And in the meanwhile I just developed a lifelong yearning to look at Jacqueline Kennedy. I can't call her Onassis, sorry. Doesn't work for me. Anyway Grandmother had books about the family, about her, about her doings while she was in the White House. I had the magnifying glass out, man. I was looking at her necklines. Her sleeve length. Skirt length. Heel height. Her pearls, her hats, her gloves, the way she stood, and especially the way that she put her left hand on top of yours when she shook your hand.
Over the years there have been seven thousand and one movies made of the Kennedys' lives, scandals, family secrets, assasinations, and political journeys, and I have watched them ALL for one - OK two - reasons. A. so I could see the obligatory shot of the yard football in khakis, and 2. so I could see that many beautiful people in one family.
Well this week while my boys had strep and I was stuck at home, I was going through old photographs of my parents and my handsome husband's parents. And guess what? My eyes began to glaze over. I laid them all out in front of me at one time and I made a decision right then and there. Sometimes it takes until you're forty seven years old to realize that you have what you've been looking at dreamily all your life.
Our parents are drop-dead gorgeous people. I've always known it independently of each other, but when you put them all together, they're almost too pretty to look at at once.
My sister is beautiful, my brother is a huge hunky athlete. They're both tall, lanky, gorgeous people. On top of that they're both smart as whips. . . and they're smart in such different WAYS, too!
My sister-in-law is an enormously talented writer and storyteller and can pick up many musical instruments and just begin to play. My brother-in-law is a civil engineer that builds the most important bridges in the city of Atlanta and he's a handsome devil too (looks exACTLY like my hubby). My handsome husband can play a half dozen musical instruments too, has forgotten more information about just anything you would want to ask him than I'll ever know.
Many of the above have made the most beautiful babies you'll ever see. They're polite, they mind, they're successful in school, they're motivated, kind, continue to enjoy being with family as they grow into their teens and adulthood . .
Nope. The Kennedys have nothin' on this family. Look at the stock we came from! I don't know what I did to get to be a part of my family and a part of handsome husband's but I'm here baby and I'm enjoying it.
Now I just have to perfect the Jackie wave.
Monday, December 11, 2006
This was taken on a playground in Denver, Colorado, where we went to get him
Santa and boys Christmas 2004. The pic above is Uncle Lee Lee and #1 son Christmas 2001. My brother became Uncle Lee Lee, we don't know why. #1 son named him that when he was 20 months old. His name's Dan. This is one of my favorite shots, and one of #1 son's favorite spots to be.
My sister in law, the very one that kvetched last week about my Christmas shopping being completed at such an early date, is the life of the Christmas eve party for handsome husband's family. My boys have googlezillion family traditions they cherish but one of the most fun is when Aunt Donna grabs them along with all their cousins and makes them her cohorts in crime as she recites 'Twas the Night Before Christmas', right just exactly pre prior to immediately before present opening time. Aunt Donna's no dummy. You get complete cooperation . . . . before. . . . gift opening time.
Aunt Donna is a master storyteller and a great southern writer. The talent in this family that my husband gave me is most amazing and worthy of a blog entry of its own, and lest I stray too far from my original story here, I'll leave that subject and go back to 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' and Aunt Donna and the Cousins. Ayter-lay on the ahlent-tay *wink* *wink*. Another day.
Now then where was I...... oh yeah. So several years ago, my kids were about ohhhhhh six and 22 months, and it's Christmas Eve, and Aunt Donna (as always) has procured some sort of fabulously silly headgear for she and the cousins to wear while relating their story. Then she passes out candy canes to each. Jingle bells maybe, things just keep coming out of a bag with Aunt Donna for the kids to wear or hold so I get the years confused unless I look at a pic. Anyway the picture can't get any more perfect - cause you KNOW these children are the most beautiful in the world already, and here they stand between the fireplace and the Christmas tree, pretty as a picture, ready to recite a Christmas poem that the older ones at least almost know by heart, they've been doing it for so many years with their Aunt. So here we go:
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.
And Mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap.
When out on the roof there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutter, and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
gave the lustre of midday to objects below,
when, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles, his coursers they came,
and he whistled and shouted and called them by name:
"Now Dasher! Now Dancer!
Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid!
On, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch!
To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away!
Dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky
so up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes--how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
and the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
and filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, 'ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"
OKAY. It's a LONNNNNNNNNNG poem, and in the particular verse that begins with AS DRY LEAVES THAT BEFORE THE WILD HURRICANE FLY, (you'll notice that's six verses in - seven if you count the calling of the reindeer), Aunt Donna's tongue got twisted in the MOST unfortunate spot and the house-top became the whore house.
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky
so up to the whore house the coursers they flew,
with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
Makes you wonder about the kinda toys, doan it. Hmm.
Aaaaaaaanyhoosie, that's a favorite Christmas memory for the adults. Went right over the kids' heads, but I'm looking forward to the day my boys are old enough to share it with them.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Yes maam. I do - thank you - go to bed saying man this is too good to be true. I should do it more often so thank you for the reminder. And I'm so glad you mentioned this because I've been thinking about this very subject for quite some time. Seems I always write about good things - er - well - maybe MOST of the time. It's more fun. BUT. You know there's always a big but.
Every so often however I think about ol' Kathy Lee Gifford. Anybody remember her? 'Member how she always made out like her life was soooo perfect and everything was so great? THEN it all went ten toes up in a BIG. BAD. WAY. Well truly she boils up in the back of my mind in a terribly twisted way more often than I wish, not for the reason you might think, but because I just want THE WORLD AT LARGE to know the reason I write about the good stuff is because it's more uplifting and more fun. . . .also very much because I always believe no one wants to hear the ook about me because everyone has their own ook. No one even like their own ook. WHY would they want to listen to mine??? READ mine? This is what I've discovered about myself. It's not a KLG-esque-ism-ittude. SO. In the interest of the aforementioned, let me share with you the following horrible-grotesque-esses regarding yours truly:*
- My house generally does not get cleaned if my children want me to play with them (I could use any number of other, less substantial excuses but let's go with that one).
- I will skip a trip to the grocery store to stay home and organize something cuz it makes me feel better. (That's sick.)
- I am not a flexible person. I'm working on it, but not very hard. I try, but not very often.
- I think I know lots more than I really do. On the other hand I know what I don't know. I do know, yes, it's a paradox. Welcome to my husband's world, bless his heart.
- I'm not willing to even try to learn some things. There are lots of brick walls in my noggin. It's a darn shame. Again. Welcome to my husband's world, bless his heart.
- I have a short fuse, I overthink everything, and I expect way too much from everyone, including and especially myself. I am working on that. HARD.
- I still don't like it when my Mama tells me what to do. I'm forty seven. WHAT a baby.
So. I hope to always share the wonderful things just because they are so wonderful, not because our lives are so perfect. I hope they bring about the responses like my friend Doo had. Those responses give me a bump in the butt too. Yes I should go to bed every single night saying exactly that Doo.
DEAR LORD I HAVE A WONDERFUL LIFE AND IT IS JUST FUN!!!
* I won't share those of my family members. THAT's truly grotesque.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
"What're you doin'?" says she.
"Putting gift tags on Christmas presents."
"Putting gift tags on Christmas presents. You goober. *sigh* I have to go. I have real work to do."
That's not what she said, but that's what I heard when she said whattheheckevershesaid. It was the tone. I heard it, yes I did. There were different words, but THAT's what she said. Hmmmph. I know because I have heard the same thing come out of other people's brains, and some actually say it from their lips, too. Yes. I do my shopping early. And that's all I have to say about THAT.
So I got off the phone with sister in law and composed a broadcast email to the parents of Jr. Mint's preschool classmates, for whom I am the PAH-TAY Mom. (This, for those of you who are not cool enough to know, is what used to be called Room Mom.) We are doing a group donation to MUST ministries. Rather than each family donating a pair of mittens or socks which is what they're doing church/preschool wide, we're putting a twist on it, compiling our donations and purchasing an entire coat/hat/mitten/sock SET, letting the children compose a letter to the receiving child and enclose it in the box, wrap it, then take it down to the tree themselves and place it underneath. As I looked at this coat I got so dirt cheap at Old Navy (they're on SUCH great sales this time of the year.....) I thought well, what could it possibly hurt to stick a toy in each pocket. . . .) hee hee. Who has to know?
Now then. Went out to meet #1 son today at the bus, which stops to let him off directly in front of the house. Jr. Mint goes out with me and runs the front yard while we wait. Laps. Gets the wiggles out. So right as we see the bus coming, he heads straight for me from across the front yard and hollers MOM!!! So I turn around and look his way and darned if he doesn't tuck that head and those shoulders one shoulder lower like a FOOTball player!! I was skeert. Did I move to protect myself from being plowed??? I DID just have surgery on the shoulder, and my joints are arthritic past my years, but if I moved he was likely to go straight on out into the street. Apparently I was the break. So. When you're a Mom you stay. I prepared. I planted my feet. I bent my knees. I protected my . . er, I got ready. Five feet short he plants his right foot, stops for effect, raises his head, brings his arms straight out to the sides palms to the sky as if in a production number, grins and says, "GOTCHAAAAAAA!"
When my muscles finally relaxed, Jr. Mint was hugging me and laughing and #1 son's bus had stopped to let him off. When he hugs he grabs my pants, it never fails that he always pulls them down an inch or two before I can grab them and pull them back up and make him stop. One of these days he's going to pull them off before I can react. I just knew today would be the day - right there in front of 65 elementary school kids - friends of #1 son's, no less. How much worse could it be? Gotta get him to quit doing that. I guess I would've just turned around and said "GOTCHAAAAAA!" What else can you do???