Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Best Part Of My Day

The best part of  my day is not the alarm clock ringing, but it is that first sip of coffee.

The best part of my day is not heading out to work, but it is coming home afterwards.

The best part of my day is not cooking dinner, but it is sitting down to eat a meal as a family.

The best part of my day is not doing laundry, but it is hearing my daughter's thanks for clean clothes.

The best part of my day is not getting into a cold bed, but it is snuggling up with my husband for warmth.

It turns out many of the things I don't enjoy so much, are what makes the things I do enjoy possible!

This post inspired by prompt # 5 at Mama's Losin' It!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

If I Walk To Work Today

If I walk to work today,  I'm going to need to have dry hair.
To have nice (non frizzed) hair, I need to let it air dry.
To let it air dry, I've got to have time because it takes forever.
While it's taking forever, I will drink another cup of coffee.
While I'm drinking another cup of coffee, I will think I have time to write.
While I'm writing, I will realize I only have 12 minutes before I have to leave for work.
With only 12 minutes left, my hair is still damp and my work clothes un-ironed.
And that's when I decide, if I walk to work today, I am going to be late!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Music Makes The Memory

I've recently had a night alone and the chance to listen to my music (classic country) for as long and as loud as I wanted and it ended on a high note with Jim Reeves crooning "He'll Have To Go," and me positively melting at the sound of his voice.

The next day I heard what I currently consider to be the epitome of country music songs, Waylon Jennings singing the theme song to The Dukes of Hazard, "Good Ol' Boys," because it mentions key ingredients to the perfect country song: fast cars, law breaking, good old boys, and Mama.  I may have been a huge fan of the show as a kid, and like any good self respecting child of the 80's, I tried to get in and out of the car just through a rolled down window.....when my parents weren't looking.  They wouldn't have approved of any hood sliding Duke Boy antics.

I thought a lot about how music helps make and shape a memory.  Those certain songs that will always bring to mind a certain moment, that will never fail to evoke a memory, a feeling, that you fall into with welcome arms.

Today in church, we sang some lovely modern choruses and the congregation's uplifted voices made a joyful noise.  But when the leader threw in a curve ball, a song out of norm with what we expected, you could hear the difference.

Voices got louder, stronger, more vibrant.  People wiped away tears and there was a strong sense of 'this song takes me back'.....

The song?

Jesus Loves Me.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who felt my throat tighten, my eyes burn with tears, as I sang those familiar words. It was Sunday School, back when faith was innocent and unquestioned, when saying "Jesus loves me this I know," was what I really knew, no doubts, no worries, no hesitation.

I have savored that feeling all day long.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


I've lost and I've gained
I've loved and I've hated
I've forgived and forgiven

I've tried and I've trued
I've blessed and I've cursed
I've given and I've taken

Life's scale has a balance
It's part Karma, part luck
Part blessings and wishes
With hard knock lessons
Thrown in for good measure

I've lost, but I've gained.

Inspired by prompt #2 at Mama's Losing It!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What's Under The Porch?

What's under the porch?  I have no idea.  But based on the dogs behavior, it is something monstrous.  Positively horrendous.  Absolutely soul sucking scary. 

Their beagle baying and regular dog snarling, with several hurt dog yips thrown in was enough to have me set down my cold pizza lunch and run outside to see what was going on, ready to take on rude kids throwing rocks or big guys threatening to kill them (both things that have happened) but when I saw them digging a hole to get under the porch, I lost my nerve.

In my experience with things that live under the house, they are usually four legged and have beady eyes and prehensile tails and like to crawl out from underneath, push open cupboard doors and wander around kitchens in the middle of the night.  True story and one my kids used to beg my Mom to tell over and over again.  It never failed to give them shivers when she described hearing something scratching away through the wall.

So when I saw the girls doing this, I got nervous.

Nothing good is going to come of this.  Either they are going to dig a hole and get under the porch and 1) find the scary beast that is nesting under or 2) get stuck and need me to open the crawl space cover and pray that they will follow the sound of my voice to freedom.

Neither option sounded good.  So I did the next best thing, dressed in work clothes and heels, to block that hole.  But with something not too dirty and gross.  I had to get back to work in a few minutes.  This is when my innate laziness comes in handy, and the Christmas tree I had barely managed to drag out of the house and off the porch was ready to be used in anti hole digging duty.

It too the girls about a minute to figure out they could 1) crawl under the top because it wasn't bushy and actually didn't block anything and 2) squeeze under the porch rail and drop down beside the tree and continue digging.

I'm going to call it good enough for now.  It's dark when I get home after work, and dark before I leave each morning, and darkness does not lend itself to convenient monster routing!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Saved By A Cookie Clump

The open bag of frosted animal cookies yelled my name as I poured myself an afternoon cup of coffee.  There, in the office break room, among old Christmas candy and stale tortilla chips, a bag of pink and white perfection.

One little cookie with my coffee sounded good.  It is so small.  So tiny.  It wouldn't count for anything at all.

So I reached my hand in to pull one out, and encountered a large cookie clump.  Not a single single cookie, for my questing hand.  Just one ball of weirdness.

I had a fleeting wonder as to how or why they froze together like that.  Heat?  Moisture?  Age?

Whatever it was, it saved me.  I skipped the cookie and peeled an orange.  Not quite as perfectly paired as a cookie and coffee would have been, but it had the benefit of not being a clump of anything!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Mom It Up

So there we were, just the two of us, me in the living room laughing so much I couldn't catch my breath as I watched a DVR'd "New Girl," and my daughter on the computer tumbling her way through the million trillion blogs she follows, when I gasped and wiped tears from my eyes and wheezed to her, "He ate poop!  Did you hear that?"

And she said, "Yes, Mom, I heard that, I can hear you laughing, and I also heard a really scary noise in the kitchen or laundry room."

I am so far gone with my funny bone, I'm almost broken, and can't stop laughing, but I manage to ask between laughs, "What kind of scary noise?"

"The kind a thing might make as it scraps its claw down a window screen."

Of course!  What else kind of scary noise would she hear, but a for sure monster related one?

I get up, still laughing, pause my show, laughing all the way, slip my feet into my work flats and wipe my eyes and momentarily think I need something to hold in my hands that could be used for whacking purposes, but the living room yields nothing but pillows and blankets and stacks and stacks of books, so I try to quiet my laughter and Mom up and approach the kitchen with stealth.

As much stealth as a hooked on laughing woman can.

I sober up a little as I cautiously peek around the corner.  Nothing.  I look in the dog crates and in the one cupboard our dogs have been inside of off and on for a week, all the time acting like they can scent something mouse like in it, but when I look (then and now) it's just the crockpot and some past their prime potatoes.  I look around the fridge and even scan the ceiling (bats, don't you know) and then I venture into the laundry room.  Nothing new there, either, but the bag of fake fur my daughter got for her Halloween werewolf costume is just showing enough fur from under some shoes that it could be a tail of something horrible, just enough like a tail to make my heart hiccup before I recognized it as fake fur I wish she'd return to her friend.

Whatever that scary noise was, it didn't repeat itself and there was no evidence of what could have made it, but that didn't stop me from locking the dog door much earlier than usually.

I Mom'd it up and went looking for the scary noise....but that does not mean I want to actually deal with a thing in the house that makes a scary noise!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Fashion No-No

I have a very clear memory of being in kindergarten, and my Mom telling me pink and red do not go together, they clash, and I have lived my life by that rule.  It didn't hurt that I'm not actually a fan of pink, so the chances of me having a plethora of pink shirts or pants to wear with red shirts or pants was very slim....actually it is at a zero chance since I do not own pink or red pants of any kind.

But wouldn't a pair of red pedal pushers be the bomb?  I'll add it to my dream shopping list....

Last night as I was reading a book, my feet propped up and warm socks on my feet, I thought, "I love my new socks."

And then I thought, "If I'd looked at these socks 5 years ago I never would have got them.  Too ugly."

They are a mix of dark red and bright red, white and pink, stripes and polka dots, and it looks like two different socks collided in the sock factory and decided to just be one.  

I like them.  Am I turning into a crazy pattern sock lady?  Maybe.  But I should point out the bright red and the pink dots don't actually come into contact.  So I'm still living by that one fashion rule!

Monday, January 6, 2014

What I've Learned

There was a moment last year that I wasn't sure if I had any right to write about love.  I felt like I didn't understand it, or rather, I had misunderstood it, and I was holding a map with the ins and outs and ups and downs and twists and turns done in invisible ink.  Unreadable, unknowable, unfathomable.

But the thing is, I do know love.  It's not just about the good times, the hand holding, the love notes, the moments when eyes meet and communicate without words.  It's during the hard times, when things aren't right or good or likable, when love steps up and keeps loving, that's real.  It's drawing a firm line in the sand, taking away the candy for dinner and giving broccoli instead, putting on sensible shoes and walking a few miles on a rocky trail.

I've learned what love is; I've learned that I have an incredible capacity to love and to forgive and to keep working towards the good times.  And I've learned that it is worth it, this journey of love that started the moment I was born, learned at my Mother's knee, and given so freely to my husband, children, and family.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Word For 2014

I'm going to let you all in on a secret.

2013 kind of kicked my butt.  Kicked it, helped me regain my feet, then kicked me again.

It was a rough year.  I could sit back, worried, watchful, waiting for another shoe to drop (seriously, how many shoeless feet does Life have?) as this new year springs forward.

I could, but I won't.  I can't.

This year, I choose Joy.  I choose to see a good thing in every day.  I choose to let those other things, those grumbling, piercing, hurtful things fall away and in the their place, I choose a joyful moment to savor and treasure.

At my daughter's encouragement, yesterday we sat down and made our memory jars.  Our goal is to write down one good thing, one dollop of joy, from every day this year.  I said I wasn't sure I could find one thing to write about every day.  Like today, for instance, the funeral of an old family friend: where is the joy in today?
It turns out it was eating tuna melts and apple slices for dinner with my daughter.  It was holding my niece and amazing her with my mad drawing skills.  It was opening a new book and getting sucked in with the very first line.  It was a roll of new packing tape.  It was brand new fluffy Christmas socks to warm my cold toes.

I think my problem will be choosing which one thing to write about!

This post inspired by prompt #2 at Mama's Losin' It!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

First Insights In The New Year

Walking the dogs this morning, I saw two office chairs abandoned in a parking lot.  I wonder what shenanigans they were up to last night?

I saw a toothbrush in a driveway. I bet someone is sorely missing that right now.

I saw about 100 birds sitting on a string of telephone wires, the sidewalk below them a minefield of fresh droppings.  We didn't run, but we walked fast and escaped clean.

And then we were home, and coffee was waiting and a clean-ish house and a peaceful moment.

It's a good start to this New Year.