Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Today is an auction, consisting of one original piece of artwork.

This unique piece of art was handcrafted from the finest molding clay.
It was inspired by a 5th grade unit on famous artists, and was produced by the budding talent I call my son. Clearly his education is on the right track. To somewhere. I offer you this piece today, because as my online friends, you deserve to get in on the ground floor. You deserve the first chance to own... this. This... This...

Well, let's just start the bidding.

And the bidding starts at...

Go ahead, bid! I'll put it right in the mail.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Trickery and such

Yesterday and today, having been preceded by Gray Day, were Color Days. These were days in which I tried to use psychological tricks on myself. Never believe you can't trick yourself! Everybody has some sand for their head, it's just a matter of how deep.
I started by tricking myself into wearing lovely spring colors. You cannot wear a beautiful lavender shirt with silver (not gray!) designs, and cute cap sleeves, and feel that wintry mood.
Nor can you wear hot pink on the following day, and feel out of sorts. Well sure, you can sort of feel sort of out of sorts...
But this is not that post. This is a trick post. Or, a post about using trickery. I'm not even sure which anymore, I've been so misled.
See?? That's what I'm warning you about. Be careful with psychology.
After donning the proper mood-changing clothing, I then went on to shop for a new swimsuit.
I know!! Counter-intuitive, right? I mean, when you're feeling down, the first thing you should do is shop for swimwear, or at least jeans. Yah!
And, while you're shopping for swimwear, be sure you have not had any sort of tanning procedure performed on your skin prior to Shopping Day. You want to dream about how great you will look once you've Gotten Some Color.
Still with me? OK. Next is crucial, in the psychology department.
When the saleslady asks you, humble shopper trying on swimwear in the cold depths of February: "So, are you going on vacation?!?"
Just say yes. Oh yes, yes - that's why I need this SO cute suit on this very day, ma'am.
Never explain the trickery business, and how you are in the midst of fooling your own self, and my it is working because I feel better already! I could be going on vacation, couldn't I! I mean, where would I go? (here's the easy part, this part is just called daydreaming, get some) Just last year I was shopping for the anniversary trip to Puerto Rico, and this year? Well, something may come my way and I will be ready.
The best part of all this business? When you set out to trick yourself into having a great day, you might just end up with the cutest swimsuit you have ever owned.
And that's a trick I can live with.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Shades of gray

When I'm running low on energy and feeling unmotivated, I like to think on the good times. Oh, the good times of last week, last month! When the energy was high and the projects were rolling! Oh the good times of just yesterday, when the...
Yep. One day to the next, ain't it the truth. Being a woman is a never-ending roller coaster, and I am thinking that the loop-de-loops keep morphing and changing.

Today is gray and I am suddenly tired of it. Tired of my seven gray shirts, in shades from lavender gray to blue gray to almost-black gray. Tired of my three gray dresses, my two gray shoes and even my gray earrings. Tired of the previously cozy gray days, good for reading and drinking tea and sundry indoor activities. My wintry gray color love affair has grown cold. This is a sign. You know it, and I know it. We need S-U-N.

Today I was particularly frustrated with the new gray cropping up in my hair. It made me want to call my grandmother up post-haste, tell her about it all outraged and hear her say "Oh Bethy, you know not!!" She would be just as disbelieving, and perfectly ready to soothe my beast with sweet murmurings. Not the least of which would be her forgetfulness of my age. I think I am stuck in my twenties, for her. So, after I tell her about the hair, I should go on and tell her "Mamaw, I am 35!" And then I get to hear it again, because there can never be enough of that phrase, and she delivers it so readily.... "Oh Bethy, you KNOW not!"
In fact, other than hearing her southern voice twine out the words "butter beans" as though they could melt in your mouth, her Bethy phrase is the best.

I have learned the hard way, not to bemoan any gray hairs to my mom. It goes like this, every time: "Mom! I am 35 and I am getting so many grays!"
Mom: "What?! I never had gray hair at that age!"
Me: (internally) You traitor!
Me, for real: "Yeah, yeah, you never had twins or a Phoenix either. Goodbye."

Gray days, gray days, all the better for calling a grandmother or a best friend, planning out how to attack the grays, and getting on out into the sun. I sense it peeking out, even now...

Monday, February 20, 2012

In my sights

I came across a few things, and thought you might enjoy some of them.
Sometimes I find things in my house that are bemusing, confusing or downright amusing.
Here is a taste of all three.
For example, this obituary, by Isabella
"Nugget Lear, a great Spirt (spirit) Memory of Nugget, Love Isabella"
(Nugget, should you wonder, was a zhu-zhu pet. I cannot attest to the greatness of his Spirt. I can only say that I may have cursed him, when I came across him in the night, while checking on the girls. He *was* a noisy Spirt.)

Next we have stick man. There are actually a few of these. I came across (and by "came across" I mean "tripped over") the first two, tucked in blankets at night, beside the girls' beds. Stick man appears in the darnedest places, and loses limbs with regularity. I may be responsible for a missing stick man or two.

This one I like to call Left Behind: The Apple Series

Someone ate the core and all. What The Crusher can't see, The Crusher can't be held responsible for.

The End.
Happy President's Day!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I came to you

I came to you to write a song
from the meatiest part of my heart
(you know that part that dwells on first moments
and proposals and soul-searching glances)
I came to you with memories and words
and plans to mark the date
With all good intent to Be the Romantic Wife!
as glimpsed on a title as I whizzed through the market
and then snorted, smirked and moved on.
Vacillating between corny ideas and Real Winners,
that take more intent and focus than I have to work with.
I came to you with a smile
and the sure knowledge that we were no longer in kansas
as evidenced by a house overrun with small people
From a girl with stars in her eyes
to a woman with stars in her pocket
Now I can come to you simply
as Me.
Rest your eyes on these faces of love, my love.
And I'll come to you with no more words.

the one and only firstborn
don't you hug me
don't you kiss me
we have "boatiques" like daddy!
a daddy and his girl

Thursday, February 9, 2012


I spoke of you today
of your passion
for spiritual discovery
Your spark
and your light
that was my sun.
I spoke of you
with intensity
and without tears
A red-letter moment.
And it is only now
in the re-telling and remembering
that the tears prick
and my swollen heart admits
the anomaly.

BL 2/9/12
The end of this month marks five years since my Dad went on to be wherever He Be.
It is the first year that this month has not been cold and lonely, though I still have my moments...
And while I am happy to speak of him and keep my composure, there is a part of me that will almost miss the wild abandon of fresh grief. For in the freshness is a closeness, as though the walls are torn down and the one we miss quite possibly stands watching. Here be dragons screams the voice of self-preservation, and yet stirring that pain like newly-turned earth can become a lifelong hobby. Here's to planting seeds in that earth.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Today's Mysteries

Sunny monday, sunny Monday, all is well, all is well.
Only wait, it's Tuesday, hey. That's how things are going with me lately. A day late and a dollar short. (Hey Mom!)
We were back to normal, healthy and well today, and for me that meant back to school and my first grade reading duties.
I sat in the media center, in a quiet corner with two girls. One tentatively snuggled into my side, and every now and then would quickly touch my hand. I read on happily, watching her little moves. She finally couldn't hold it in any longer: "It's like you're everybody's mom!"
I grinned at her conspiratorially and said "That's what is fun about this!"
This girl is a bright one, and since the ones I work with are usually in need of help, I don't see her often. But her name came up at our house not long ago...
"Mom? I wanted to tell you that Drew has diabetes, and I want to know what diabetes is," said Jadyn. The word was pronounced in an exaggerated whisper, as though it were one of those Not Nice Names the kids have been asked not to use. It may be the first time that request has been heeded, and it made me giggle. For all the times their voices have rung out in public, and been shushed - a breakthrough!
Kids are born little heathens, and we only can only try to civilize them. With varied results.
Last night was International Night at the school. We raced around the world collecting passport stamps from all the countries represented. I tried some food stuffs that were tasty and/or interesting and/or peculiar. The kids tried all the drinks, which were various sodas from other countries. The pineapple soda from Jamaica was tasty, but the soda from an Amazonian rainforest berry of Brazil - Yum-o. My Lovely Colombian, Brazilian & Indian mom friends were there, representing their countries in traditional dress, and working booths. That's dedication. I wondered to myself, what would I wear for traditional southern American dress? A calico dress? Daisy dukes?
What do you think?
Two things about 1st graders that crack me up:
1. They are always so surprised to see their friends - at a school function. Like, hey! Look! It's so-and-so, can you believe it?
2. They are so excited to see the USA booth. Like, hey! Look! It's our country, we live there! And they even have our flag!
Two mysteries of life that amaze the 7 year old mind.
Let's all have an amazing week, hmm? It's Tuesday, you know...

Friday, February 3, 2012

If you give another girl...

...an early pick-up due to "headache," she will want a repeat of what you did with Girl 1 the day before. (how did I see this coming? :))
And do I really need to recount that? No. No I do not.
Let's just go straight to the ice cream part and call it a day.
The warning has been issued: any school clinic calls that I receive had better be accompanied by a fever and/or verifiable illness. (Sure, I said it that nicely!) I mean, it was only 4 days of sick (or WERE they?) kids. Anyone can handle that, and an out-of-town husband! WhatamI a wimp?
Yes I am. (tearfully wailing)
I have administered, in the past 5 days, the appropriate remedy for fever, cough, headache, neck ache, stomach ache, knee ache, bottom ache, hiney ache, thigh ache, ankle ache and one rash ache that should probably be seen by a professional. Seriously.
If it's a-aching, it's in my house. (Only 2 of those were my aches. Nope. Not the knee ache! Guess again!)
Let's move on!

Soon you will see how I channel serenity in the midst of illness-inspired chaos. Soon, I say. Soon! I'm finishing the last of a project. Because when the aches hit, it is not calgon that takes me away. And it is certainly not a bout of cleaning. (Though the lysol does come out by the time the second child is down.)
No, no, I gird my sanity with thoughts of basicgrey craft papers and inspiring rub-ons.
Don't you?! Please, please, calm down, rub-ons are not what you may or may not be thinking. Unless you're thinking a desk, a popsicle stick and some applied pressure. Gotcha! You were thinking that!
These rub-ons say sweet nothings like Dare to dream, Believe in yourself, happiness, cherish and giggle. Too sweet, too sweet, you will see, you will see.
Until then, I bid you adieu, and promise you I will acknowledge Happy Friday with the self-administering of a dose of the appropriate medicine.
Happy Friday kids... now everybody sleep through the night!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

If you give a girl...

...a pass to stay home with a mild tummy ache, she will want to go to Target.
When you go to Target, she will want to buy some new jeans. And some cute magnets.
If you say yes to the jeans and magnets, she will want to get some angel hair pasta for dinner.
If you say yes to the pasta, she will ask (pleasepleaseplease) for the wuggle pets that are on sale.
If you say okay to the wuggle pets, she will ask for a treat at the checkout. When she has the treat in hand (and mouth), she will feel up to going into Costco with you next.
While you are in Costco, she will want her favorite crab dip (as her tummy is now only aching a little). Once the crab dip is in the cart, she will stop to look at hello kitty swimsuits. She will ask for two of them, but settle for one very cute ruffly one. On the way to the checkout, she will ask for a frozen yogurt (as her tummy is now perfectly fine). Once she has the swimsuit, the crab dip and the frozen yogurt in hand, she will want to go straight home.
And when you keep a girl at home for the day, it costs a lot of money.