Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Today was a day of unplanned downtime, brought on by a feverish Phoenix. Which meant quiet hours catching up with Mr. DVR: Jon Stewart ("I disagree with you, but I'm pretty sure you're not Hitler"), and travel channel, and a sizable chunk finished of a good book.

All the while Phoenix was sleeping beside me on the couch, working on this hairdo, which can only be accomplished through hours of sweaty, feverish toddler sleep coupled with the presence of fuzzy, nest-like baby hair. I give you Opus in Blond:

What are you doing Mom. I just woke up from a 4 hour nap.
And if you think I'm anywhere near ready to shear off this coiffed masterpiece, then you must have missed this emotional brain fart. We shuffled off to the bus stop to collect the kids, and Jadyn assessed the couch situation as soon as she stepped in. Wonderingly, she looked over the collection of phones, remotes, book, snack remnants and stacked comfy pillows: So, this is where you were sitting while we were gone?
(I wonder what that means to her - that we were frozen in time while they were in school?)
Yes, I replied soothingly (with an undertone of "nothing fun happened, you didn't miss anything, please don't stop liking school) and Phoenix was sick the whole morning with a fever, so he slept almost the whole time!
"Oh!" said Jadyn, with a bright smile: "We should have hurried right back home to make him a card!"
They have such faith in their pictures making all right with the world.
"Oh... you definitely should have," I assured her, grinning right back at her twinkly blue eyes.
Stay tuned for more Tales of Mama - she's coming for a visit tomorrow! I can't promise there won't be a guinea chickie in her purse, per my toddler's wishes...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Sunday Creative - Nothing

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field.
I will meet you there. ~Rumi, 1207-1273 AD
Would this field be the presence of nothing, for many a soul?
Without the guideposts of right and wrong where do we sit?
Who will tell us whither we goest and whether we sin
or whether we sit in the palm of grace.

I want to be in that field.
That field so full of grace that there need be no signposts
No markers or words to delineate
Only the idea that through faith we are made whole
Faith in God, man, or simply faith in life everlasting.

Perfect, whole and worthy
And welcome to sit and chat
Of nothing or everything
As the case may be.

-BL, 9-29-10

Thank you for visiting my stab at The Sunday Creative, and today's prompt: Nothing.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hello, my name is denial

Each year, as a season ends and clearance sales begin, I buy my all of my children clothes for the next year. I hang them in the closet, or put them in bins, all organized and ready to pull out of the closet when that next season and size hits. This has worked seamlessly, year after year.
With the recent weather report that Georgia might possibly see temperatures less than 92 this fall, I began to pull out jeans for the kids.
La la la, off I headed to the boys closet to see what I had scored for Phoenix to wear this fall. It's always a treasure hunt, since I will have long forgotten what cute deals were found.
There was my bin, blue & white striped for baby boy, and there were the jeans. Perfect. Several pairs of them, even better.
Only... wait. They looked a bit small, somehow. And familiar.
Oh no. Oh no no no.
Friends, in some misguided sentimental state, I packed away last winter's jeans (18-24 months) and put them in the next-up size bin as though the child was not going to grow. In a year.
There it was, his sweet little sweater that I loved so well. His faded Old Navy jeans that fit so perfectly. Tiny little Phoenix, come back to me!
Memory of having done this thing, come back to me!
This can only mean one thing.
I must be suffering from....
Last Baby Syndrome.
Oh, the pain of it! Oh those last sweet kisses to chubby wrists!
The delicious smell of a bath-fresh tummy! Baby shampoo, thou shalt never leave me.
Feather-wing baby hair, never grow out.
Stubby small toes, never lengthen and become Real Toes.
Small boy...
Not so small anymore, and certainly not that size anymore.
My name is denial.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mama and the Poultry Palace

Are you laughing yet?

Give it a minute.

So, I was looking for Mama this morning. I called her cell, since she's always on the move at crack thirty, and it went straight to voicemail. No answer at her house either, so next up was the shop. No answer, and in fact a peculiar recording on the voicemail.

"Ribbit, ribbit, this is Joan. I've been towed away from my pad..."

Ummm, this would be the recording of my recently deceased grandmother.

I actually hung up and redialed, thinking in some parallel phone world that I had accidentally dialed my grandmother's phone number.

But no, after a second I realized Mom had simply installed my grandmother's old phone at her shop, and had not changed the recording. That's got to be good for business, a frog recording in an interior design business... this would need some follow-up.

Sure enough, Mama called back right away, admitting that the frog recording should not be on. She admitted this from the midst of her newly named Poultry Palace, where she was tending her brood before walking to work.

Did any, or all, of this shock you? And which part - the frog answering, the poultry flock, or the walking to work? It gets better.

Mama has become enamored of guinea hens.

Her lead hen is named Guinea Lynn, and Guinea Lynn has 3 chicks. The Poultry Palace residents were loath to head out and forage for the day, because of some circling hawks. (Smart guineas - I think. Debatable.)

Guinea Lynn is a loud mama bugger. She squawks a lot, which I know from hearing her over the phone. She is particularly loud when broody, laying, and mothering. Which means she is always loud.

As her flock has grown, Mama has been reading up on guineas and their preferences. I know, what riveting material that must be! The latest tidbit, which she shared with me this morning, is about a guinea and a mirror. Some (fortunate? misbegotten? just plain kooky?) guinea farmer came to realize that guinea hens like to look at themselves in a mirror. So guess what is now propped in the Poultry Palace?


Guinea Lynn has been mesmerized (and silenced!) by her own reflection.

Thank you, ye gods of bloggy fodder, for my Mama. She has gone and given her Guinea Lynn a mirror, and wonder of wonders it has shut Guinea Lynn up! Apparently, G.L. pecks at herself and generally enjoys her own company, rather than squawking all the time. We can only hope her 3 chickies (keets, if we care to know) become so vain. And quiet. The quiet part is good.
This mirror-aculous (har-de-har) feat is so entertaining, that my family watches it, enthralled.
The Poultry Palace of Mirrors, coming to a farm near you!
You can bet I'm going to need pictures of this, and I promise to share.

Let's just call this Mama and the Poultry Palace, Part One.

(This one goes out to my Gig, because my word she would have hooted!)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Sunday Creative - Abundance

Great wells of life have poured forward
I am overflowing.
Life abundant, said my friend
We are promised life, and life abundant.
Yet not given explanation of this,
or Clues on Whether or Wherefore or How this cup will fill to our satisfaction.
It will be abundant in every corner, she claims
In every aspect this life offers.
We will feel this life across the spectrum, says abundance.
Challenge, exhilaration.
Grief, bliss.
Tumult, calm.
I am still feeling.
Loving, struggling, aspiring, falling

Thank you for reading, and welcoming me to The Sunday Creative crowd...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

swing batter batter

Just like that, we're a baseball family.
Three times a week, at the field to cheer on the big boy.
Rick stands at the dugout, calling out who's on deck.
I perch on the bottom bleacher, ready to dash after Phoenix.
The girls tromp along the top bleacher, giggling and spitting water at each other.
And Phoenix alternately roams under the bleachers and fires baseballs at the fence. Rattle, rattle goes the fence. Bing! The loud, metallic sound of his ball rocketing into a low sign. As long as the noises continue behind me, I know he has not wandered off.
"Hit da ball! Hit da ball! Got it, got da baseball game! Hah!"

Today was our first game, after 2 weeks of practice.
Cole has said he runs through three emotions: excitement, boredom and nerves. Sounds about right. Last inning, he leads off at bat. He stands still, looking relaxed, with none of the prancing and showiness of the veteran set. His swing is easy and effortless, and always surprises me with its effect. A good solid hit gets him to first, with a big grin. The next batter pops a foul, and there goes Cole, stealing second. Scampering like a little squirrel, without waiting to be told. Another hit, and while the outfielders chase it, Cole rounds third and heads for home. A successful start to fall ball!

It will take commitment, we realize. We will have to be a one-sport-at-a-time family, to do it right. I'm still wrapping my head around the necessary and continual practice, the weekend visits to the batting cage, the call of the concession stand. But there we will be en masse, yelling for Cole and trooping from ballpark to ballpark, enjoying the sun and the fall. Enjoying that slice of americana that is little league.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A little sumpin' sumpin'

I don't know if you have to be southern to know this phrase, but I do know that the "p" in there does not really need to be there. C'mon, you know you're trying to say it just right, so just swallow the last 3 letters and you will have it: a little sumpin' sumpin'... smirk a little too, and it will be perfectly right. (no tutorial needed, Susan ;))

I also know it can mean many different things, from innocent to sultry. As in: I bought you something at the store, guess what's in your lunchbox, guess what's for dinner, guess what mood I'm in...

Today's meaning of a little sumpin' sumpin' is this sweet treat:

Thank you, Amelia! I haven't gotten anything like this before - and was a little wide-eyed... and delighted!

Blog readers tend to be a spiral type. We twirl from one blog to the next, vaguely sure on how we got somewhere - only knowing that it is interesting and fun to spiral through blogland, meeting new people. Amelia, giver of this lil' lady found me through cjane - one of my long-time faves. Here is what she had to say:

6. Borderland: I like to go to her blog and let her talk to me. She is funny and full of enthusiasm and has outstanding guest bloggers!

Well, I'm glad you think so, Amelia - thank you!
And... do you see what I see?! Phoenix got a shout-out! For being an "oustanding guest blogger" no less! Way to go, funky Phoen. I am wondering which one won her over. Was it his very first post? Or this one? That boy...
A good day to get a little sumpin' sumpin'.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Comfort - The Sunday Creative

And take comfort in your connection
Comfort in this moment
Comfort in the heart of the hereafter
That may well be closer than we see

And find solace in wisps of insight
Solace in the click of a well-placed friendship
Solace in the simple
Pleasure of breathing, being.

And be consoled in the knowledge
Of purpose in this walk
Consoled in the journey of the weary traveler
That is never alone.

Comfort, solace, consolation – holy trinity thee
Bathe my soul in your circle.

Today I chose to take part in The Sunday Creative, where little by little we can nurture that inner seed... This week's prompt is comfort. Visit the site to check out all the varieties of creativity.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Wild

Sometimes Alpharetta is wild. As in, wild animals. Peculiarly, for such a tiny backyard, we see our fair share of wildlife. Remember the baby possum in the backyard, that my Mom set out to capture? I just searched for that post, and could not find it. In my mind I recall a picture, a story... wow. Is it getting that bad? Maybe it's on the first site.

Well, this week was worse. Labor Day grilling was planned, and the ribs were seasoned and ready to be grilled. I came downstairs, and instead of seeing Rick relaxing on the deck, grill smoking, I see him scurry by wearing his work gloves and carrying a big stick and a rake.

You must know where my mind went first, when he rushed past and said "You don't even want to know what's going on out here." First I thought, well, yeah I DO, and second I thought: snake nest. If there's ever a bad news scenario involving wildlife, I am always jumping to conclusions about slithery creatures. In a way, it made the word "rat" seem not so bad! See, weigh those two out: snake-big-enough-to-require-big-stick-AND-rake vs rat - not so bad, right?

Only, guess where the rat was living? IN the grill. It had built a nest out of trash and leaves, and Rick saw the trash and thought "Those darn kids, poking their trash into the grill." Then the pile burst apart and a rat started racing around the grill. Ickity-Ick! ICK.

What you really want to know is this, though: did we cook the ribs on that grill? Yes, yes we did. On foil. After scorching it with flame. Flame kills all ick, right? They were the best ever.

I don't think we'll ever close it again. It will probably rust, propped open to prevent further vermin colonization.


Monday, September 6, 2010

World Calling

My not-so-secret obsession is travel shows.
I watch episode after episode when Rick is traveling, and when I am resting with Phoenix, holding his hand every afternoon...
The world is calling and there are destinations from Singapore to Sardinia that I need to see. I think it's only a tinge of how my Dad used to feel - because all throughout my childhood he wanted to sell our house and live on a riverboat. And when he and my Mom finally split up, he traveled constantly, with only his Mitsubishi truck for a home. We called him the Mitsu-gypsy. I am not so unsettled, and love my creature comforts.
And yet...
There it is, less than wanderlust, more than yearning.
The armchair traveler, I am.
Wanting to see the faces, hear the voices and feel the difference.
Two things I have noticed for certain: people the world over drink at all times of the day. There's no beer-thirty, no bother with five o'clock somewhere. Secondly, food in most other countries looks like what it was originally. I mean, the fish have their heads on, eyeballs staring. The suckling pig comes to the table whole, the crickets are fried up legs and all, the snails are presented in the shell.
(I am picky about my food.) A Chinese man said "If you can catch it here, you can eat it." Oh my. How very sanitized and distant we are here!
It is fascinating, but I swear if I see one more clip of Andrew Zimmern eating that snot-looking sea creature, I will lose it.
Good to know he is adventurous, and not typical!
So, where am I going with this expose?
Nowhere, really. Just back to my couch. Maybe it serves as a little explanation for my lazy posting. I can hardly blame Phoenix ALL the time, right?
Blame my travels.
I'm on the road.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Guest Blog: underwear

Yo yo, friends!
I'm back. Mom's passed out from exhaustion somewhere, so I thought I'd fill you in.
Yesterday I yelled for her, from the shower: "Bethalee! Bethalee? (I heard somebody say this name and thought I'd try it - it works great! She answers me with a smile!)
Bethalee?!?!! Bethalee!!!! I wear underwear today. Get me underwear! With a frain on it!"
She said she would. She also said something about keeping them dry, and not wetting the trains. I was outraged. As if. I scowled at her and proclaimed "I not!!" The very idea.
She seemed a little sceptical.
I showed her that I meant what I said, by not coming out of the shower. I said no and I meant it.
That Bethalee. Always tricking me. I try to speak her language, but she's always shifting on me. If I hear the words "Maybe later" one more time... I mean, I tried saying it this morning. I rolled out the "maybe later" when I asked if we could go to the pool.
"We go pool? Later? Maybe later?"
You know what she said?? Tomorrow. Now what the heck does that mean! Maybe not later?
Maybe later, little bit later, tomorrow.
I do not get this.
Help me out.