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Friday, November 30, 2007

in conclusion

candle
The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.

Thomas Moore

****

We had turkey last night, with all the fixings. Greg had returned from the first of many trips this month - we cranked up the Christmas tunes, the kids squabbled over who should *get to* set the table.

Lexi wondered aloud which version of Happy X-Mas (War is Over) she liked better: Sarah McLachlan or Melissa Etheridge. (Poor John & Yoko.)

Zack practiced what he had learned in his Mandarin Chinese class, through a toothless grin.

We laughed and we joked and we enjoyed each other's company.

Blessed comes to mind.

*****
I'm off to the beach this weekend with some of my favorite people - yes, a girls' weekend away before Christmas. Scandalous!

I'll be back to posting by Monday. Let's keep in touch, ok?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

woman in mirror is bigger than she appears

It was 19 degrees when we piled into two cars and headed to church with my in-laws last December. There was some quiet grousing, but we all humored my mother-in-law - she wanted to introduce us to her friends.

After the services, a woman stopped us and wanted to know if we were visitors. My MIL did the honors, giving the nod to my SIL and her daughter, and me.

[Now it's important to note, at this point, that I am two years younger than Greg's sister and her daughter is in college.]

The woman grinned and announced - why, God only knows - that she had thought I was the mother of this enormous family. Me. Freshly 36. The matriarch of what, 7 kids between 5 and 38.

I stood stunned and a little hurt, waiting for her to say something to soften the blow. To say she was teasing. To pass me the crack pipe.

Instead, she said it three more times, adding something about my height.

There's no denying I married the tallest person in Greg's family; I am 5'9". I've been tempted to swing my MIL around, give her a airplane ride, but I keep my dark amazon warrior thoughts to myself. I've often felt awkward and clumsy around his petite family; I've been careful to protect my lanky girl from thoughtless comments about her size.

(It is not easy when Lexi could most likely share clothes with her Grandma at age 9.)

I saw Lexi standing there, in the foyer, overhearing this exchange. I made some crack about Yetis and excused myself, my eyes stinging.

My MIL tried to smooth things over, said something about how the Miltons have always been small people, and her friend probably just wasn't used to seeing such big Miltons.

Which is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.

Glorious women come in all shapes and sizes. Her friend was just rude.


*****
I boo-hooed on Greg's shoulder that afternoon; my feelings were hurt. He had me laughing in no time. This woman had implied I was 80+ years old because I was tall. How could I take that seriously? He sweet talked me until I felt better again, until I remembered I am big in all the ways that matter: generous and vast and full.
_____

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

dumb punks in the park

I was feeling rather spright last night - it may have had something to do with my 'nap'. Or maybe it was the tea. Whatever it was, I felt better by evening.

So, I dropped Lexi off for choir practice and headed to one of my favorite urban parks, to take pictures of the ginormous Christmas tree. I had just stepped out of my car and took 2 shots - bad shots - when two guys came out of the darkness, hollering at me.

Apparently Paranoid Perp and his sidekick, Reeks O'Booze, didn't appreciate my portrait session and demanded that I erase the pictures I was taking of them. I couldn't decide if I should be scared or just irritated, but I reassured them that I was after a picture of the tree.

sad christmas tree shot
They continued their tough talk, that I was lucky this time and I probably am. But for a brief moment, hopped up on tea and very well rested, I felt like grabbing the twits by the ear. Sending them to the naughty bench or putting their drugs in time-out.

(Nanny 911 for wannabe gangstas.)

But I went on my merry way, with a lousy shot and achy head.

Something tells me you've got to be pretty lost and frightened, standing in the cold beneath that enormous tree, to be scared of a camera flash.


*****
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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

flashback: James & Kati Kim

I woke up around 4 this morning, achy and sick. I'm down with something, and I've been sleeping most the day away, folding in some bad TV.

I think I'm suffering from deja vu; one year ago, the Kim family went missing just a few hours south from here, lost on a snowy road. One year ago, I was sick and sleepy and I would wake up just to hear the news as it came in: the search, Kati and the girls being rescued, and finally, when they recovered James's body.

This story just sticks with me and doesn't let me go.

*****
I may not come a calling today. I'm pretty incoherent. I'll catch up with you all soon.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I'm spelling it out: abc meme, just for you

We have now reached the last week of nablopomo and I am chock full of meme, thanks in large part to the kindness of Ms. Flutter, a writer I admire. (That's your cue to go visit her. Scat.)

Here's the deal:
The rules: list a word that describes you for every letter of the alphabet. Offer as much or as little explanation as you wish. Please keep the words positive (for example, don’t use “fat” for F or “lame” for L), and feel free to get creative. Tag as many or as few people as you wish. Link back to your tagger and forward to your taggees.

amused, easily
bouyant
calm
diligent
earnest
friendly
goofy (just ask Greg)
hairy (have you seen my eyebrows?)
intense
jabberer
kind
lisa
milton (should really go with messy)
no-nonsense kinda girl
obstinate
private (really I am, despite my bloggy ways)
quick to flirt with babies
resilient
sassy
tenacious
umbrella-lacking (contrary to the movies, we in the NW do not clutch a umbrella everywhere we go or talk about the rain all the time)
vegan baking (vegans have made my egg allergy much more bearable)
wheeler woman
the letter I saddled my girl with because I love odd letters
yoga, baby
zachary

Would you like to sing along with Elmo? Practice your alphabet too? (It's a little like writing affirmations.)

Katydidnot, Stephanie, Natalie, Adventures in Baby Fat & Kimberly: you're up next. (It won't hurt.) If you want to join us, please do. I'm terrible at tagging because I am also INDECISIVE.

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

absolution

I've been feeling a little humbuggy. A little weary about Christmas, the days following Thanksgiving. I think it has to do with the HYPE and the GUILT and the I HAVE TO DO IT RIGHT sensations I had as I pulled out my decorations.

I'm running behind, according to my self imposed rules. My cards aren't done; I can't decide if I want to make some, or do a picture card, like I usually do. I didn't make my booze yet.

It seems like my festivities have become forced, contrived and I don't want it to be that way.

So I am letting myself off the hook. I'm looking over my list of to dos, and slicing the items that make my inner banshee screech me tired and whiny.

Do you need some relief in the guilt department? Well, I've got a little something for you too my dear.



Maybe you need to hang out with the oompa loompas, or Johnny Depp. Maybe you need to say 'no' to yet another worthy, but exhausting night out. Another volunteer project.

I say let some of it go. Join me. It's feels good.

(But, I get the chocolate.)

*****

*Morgan Spurlock came by my church this morning to promote his new documentary: What Would Jesus Buy? (It was a surprise to me too. He said it was his first interview at a church.) It's playing at the Cinema 21 this week, if you live in the Portland area. It just might be what the doctor ordered.

*****
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Saturday, November 24, 2007

riddles

The morning begins with numbers, 6:18 to be exact. No minute creeps by here, not on Zack's watch. He is the keeper of the clocks, the calendars, the numbers.

(I should keep a box of toothpicks handy, to entertain guests.)

When he's not talking digits, he's working on other promising skills, like tuning me out.

(Some might suggest this is his path to husbandry.)

I just can't help but wonder: If you need an itinerary, if you need order, why not listen the first time? But he'd rather take the hard way out, the road that leads straight to that grumpy ol' troll (the one that lives under the bridge).

So around we go: he needles me for answers to questions I used too many words covering just minutes before.

You're jealous, no?

Friday, November 23, 2007

down with black friday; let's meme a while

CamiKaos and JCK have given me the pass today. (I am out of NaBloPoMo steam...) Prepare to be meme-ified...

First the rules:

*Link to the person(s) who tagged you and post the rules on your blog...

*Share 7 random/weird things about yourself...

*Tag 7 people at the end of your post and include links to their sites...

*Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog...

Easy peasy; let's go.

1. I didn't learn to cook until I had Alexis at 27, and even then, it was questionable. (This used to freak my Grandma out; how could I keep a man without culinary skills?) Now I love to pour over cookbooks, try new things.

2. I still use the microwave from time to time, take shortcuts. I love the way macaroni noodles form in the bowl, standing up in a circle. (I'm keeping with the weird.)

3. One of my friends from Borders gave me an Olivia the Piglet window cling decal 5 years ago; it has been in my rear window ever since. Olivia always makes me smile.

4. I was a Sandy Mt. Festival princess, representing my age group on a court comprised of 5 generations, in 1989. If you ever make it to the festival in Sandy, Oregon - look my picture up. I'm the one with the permed long hair and light blue curtain dress. I know you will be tempted to mock me now. Please do it behind my back.

5. I still haven't read Harry.

6. I think listening to David Sedaris on CD cures many ills.

7. The only purchase I am considering on this black Friday: a Brian Setzer Christmas album. I can't decide if I want Boogie Woogie Christmas or Dig That Crazy Christmas.

Yay. I did it. Now it's your turn: if you are feeling meme-y, let me know and play along. I'll give you linky-love. (Did I just say linky-love? I need to step away from the computer...)

****
A-lister took me up.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

gobble gobble

This week our street has been lined with cars, families coming to visit the elderly women in the residential care home across the street.

Fresh-faced college students, pull up, radios blaring. Older men shuffle on the sidewalk, courting their ailing wives. Little kids romp in the yard.

Soon our Christmas lights will be drowned out with flashing red lights, pouring into my bedroom window at midnight.

Ambulances become frequent, unwelcomed guests during the winter.

But today, the busy street fills me with hope.

May you be blessed and surrounded by the ones you love today.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

law & order

Sunday afternoon, I embraced my desire to clean out rooms and sent the kids downstairs so I could be alone with my David Sedaris CD. To know me is to know I tend towards the sloppy side, so when the mood strikes, I work hard to clear out the junk, languishing under beds, hidden in boxes.

Lexi knows I am not to be trusted during these sweeps; frankenballoons are at risk. She hovers nearby, whispering to Zack to hide his stash before I hit his room.

Soon they are digging through the goodwill box, offering up closing arguments.

It's just better when they are banished, making messes somewhere else.

I came downstairs to start dinner to this:
Seems there have been some shady activity in the toy box, and the interrogations had been going on for hours. Skipie (yes, that's how her boston terrier spells her name) was blaming Mickey Mouse, but Zack said he would just have to lawyer up, because his rodent was no flunkey.

They turned, saw me there on the stairs, with the hijacked toys behind my back. I knew then there was no way this was going to end well for me.

My court date is scheduled for next week.
*****

Monday, November 19, 2007

foraging

Hi there. Mama Milton is broadcasting live today, from her friendly neighborhood grocery store. Many of you may be asking: How is that possible? Can she really push a cart, wield a list and caress her laptop, all at the same time?

Probably not. She probably shouldn't. I guess we're all going to have to use our imaginaaaation to get through this post. *wink, wink*

So I arrived here moments ago, and already I am regretting this expedition, along with the 87.5634% of the greater Portland population that appears to be here with me. It's elbow to elbow and...

Oh wait. I found some cheery folks, and it appears...that they are having a family reunion on aisle 9. How creative! And thoughtful too! Now if I can just scootch by them I might be able to...Oh my, they are a big family; look how far they...

[The Emergency Petty Alert system would like to remind Lisa that she just wrote about kindness, mere hours ago. This is only a test. In the event of true snark, someone is bound to remind her that she chose to go to the store, days before Thanksgiving, not that it will help. She's bound to claim her kids can't survive on Halloween castoffs alone. /test]

Where were we? That's right, I was practicing recon missions, leaving my cart while I duck and weave for items, one thing at a time.

Soy milk, almond milk, cow's milk...Eggs, egg replacer, tofu

(Life with allergies is never boring...)

Ah, what a cute baby. What's that you're saying little guy? 'Look at your hand?'

Or is he saying: 'Mama, look at that man?' It's a toss up. (I bet you can guess which one I prefer.)

Well, that's all I've got for today. Please tune in again next week, when I tackle: 10 reasons why the mall is not your friend.
*****

Sunday, November 18, 2007

cradled in kindness

I was picking up loose papers one night when I came across it: an innocent calendar for some club and a sketch of a girl, complete with horns and a booger, hanging on the edge of her nose. I could still read the title, the girl's name. I shuddered.

She denied it was her handwriting. She denied she drew the picture. She may be telling the truth.

But it landed in my house; she erased the words. Lexi was party to making fun of a classmate.

I didn't freak out or call for an intervention. I know nine year-old girls can be cruel, but it still stung. She has always been kind, kinder than most.

She outed her friend as the one who drew the picture and justified it because this new girl was haughty and terrible. Thought she was better than everybody else.

I reminded her of her first day at her current school, when she transferred the week before Christmas. A small boy had poked her wrist with a pencil each day, because she was new. I found the holes in her white blouse first; she never would give up his name.

She lowered her head. She was ashamed. I never raised my voice, let her see how rattled I had become. I just asked her to consider how being cruel changes who you are, even when someone may deserve it. Could she understand that?

She squirmed in her chair. She tried to understand. I hope it sunk in because it is easy to jump on the mean girl express. I hope my words, my actions, sink in.

+++++
Stephanie and I went to see Lars and the Real Girl yesterday. The movie made me uncomfortable and at times, made me laugh as one might expect as the protagonist goes through his life with a anatomically correct, life-size doll.

But what stuck, stayed with me all night: the gentleness, kindness of strangers in the film. Sure, I imagine the fictional characters snickered privately at Lars's expense, but they showed him respect, gave him space to work through his delusion.

I wonder if a Real Boy Lars would be embraced in my town, cradled. Because I imagine we all know people on the fringe who could use a warm smile. Some encouragement.

I sat in my bed, after Greg had nodded off and wept for a bit; for the times I've been too quick to judge, and the times I've felt misunderstood.

I woke up puffy-eyed, a little raw.

My heart, stretched.
+++++

Saturday, November 17, 2007

wailing

We were prepped and ready. I bought caffeine-free goodies. I got my hair trimmed. I was mentally prepared. I had made arrangments for Snickers the hamster.

I was ready to spend Thanksgiving with Greg's family, a 5 hour sojourn south to their llama ranch. And Thursday is my mother-in-law's birthday too, so I was feeling smug. I'd be a rock star this time. We would be there, with bells on, and she would shine upon me and my good daughter-in-law status.

It came crashing down when Greg called the dog kennel - this week - and guess what? It is full. I could point out that we've had these plans for a while so I don't know why he put it off. He could point out that I could have been in charge of the arrangements, and gee, he's been working hard. We could fight. But we won't.

Instead we will be the bad kids, a source of disappointment and listen to the kids lose it when we tell them we've postponed the trip until the beginning of January.

[If we remember to call the kennel.]

So here I sit, gearing up for the sobfest to come. Tween girls can wail forrrreeeeevvvvveeeerrrr - the perfect soundtrack to a dreary Saturday afternoon.

(I should mention that I am stealing away with Bad Mom around noon. Ahh, sweet escape...)
******

Friday, November 16, 2007

my favorite things: the flame edition

Derfwad Manor put up a challenge: let's list a few of our favorite things. I started making a list, checked it twice and saw a theme developing...I have a thing for orange. MyChelle's Incredible Pumpkin Peel: It smells like heaven, contains no crazy chemicals and helps fade those unsightly red marks, post- 'you've got to be kidding me, I'm an adult for heaven's sake' breakouts. Not that I know anything about that.


Fall leaves: I could walk everyday, rain or shine, if I am greeted by these lovelies.



Mmmmm, sweet potato fries: Burgerville (in the mighty NW) sells 'em but I like to make them myself, in my oven. It makes me think they are low calorie and I'm all about having some illusions at this point. I like mine with BBQ sauce or hummus. And they are soft and easy to eat so they get an A+.


Now, strictly speaking this is not orange. I've taught my kids that referring to red locks as 'orange' is rude, and dangerous. Them are fighting words. But look at this little girl. I love her hair. I've been awestuck and envious of redheads since grade school. It began with my bff in grade school, Kelly, and haunts me to this day: Marcia Cross and Julianne Moore come to mind.


Field of pumpkins: It's the last time (I think) this season you'll have to hear me go ga-ga over these gourds.


Vegan Carrot Cake Rice Cream: No eggs! Tastes great! In my freezer, right now.
Just kidding.

*****
What about you? Sing with me now: These are a few of my favorite things...

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

being a couch potato has its perks

The wind has been whipping through the gorge, knocking branches down and squelching my plans to go for a long walk today. I could brave the gym, but my workout partner is packing for Disneyland, and going alone just stinks. Without distractions, I am bound to stare at the clock the entire time, suffering a slow death.

Today is a perfect day for yoga.

[I brought along some fine actors, to aid in the reenactment.]
pink barbie
(Pink-haired Barbie was a total diva; she was fired. I'm sure I'll be hearing from her union.)


I pulled out my mat. Put on a DVD and....
eagle
yogini
(I don't recall smiling.)


oops

whoa, whoa, aaaaagggghhhhh

corpse pose
fell to the ground.

Oops.

Zack + Dusting with Pledge = Treacherous Yoga Studio

I have a new strategy for tomorrow:

my kind of exercise

I think stretching my fingers over the remote has got to count for something.

*****

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

evicted

evicted

(Ah shucks, it's wordless wednesday. Check it out.)

[I updated MtMS today, too. I'm still a little ranty over this esophagus thing.]

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

cheaper than therapy

There's no use denying it: I was nervous. I checked in at the registration desk, slapped a name tag on and went into the bathroom, to practice some deep breathing. To knock some sense into myself. I kept thinking about the last writing seminar I took, before this blog, when Lexi was in diapers. The 'instructor' held up abstract pictures of car bumpers, headlights, and we were to churn out something worth reading aloud under florescent lights. I spent the 20 allotted minutes, looking out the window, imagining the real teacher was stranded on the side of the road, leaving us with this bozo. But this line of thought was frowned on, so I wrote my piece, stumbled through it and tossed the community college catalogue when I got home.

I had given up on writing, put it aside for years and here I found myself, trying again.

I closed my eyes, feigned calm. I opened them to a rape hot line poster on the back of the stall door. It didn't help.

I made my way to the auditorium, and within minutes I was confronted with the question most bloggers struggle with: So, are you a writer?

*****

I find mentioning my blog creates furrowed brows, the glazed over glance once reserved for people who play D&D in basements or stand in line with their mothers to pal around with Simon Cowell. I know, to some, it breeds contempt and ridicule, yet, this is what I write.

I think I could take it further, stir up some good gossip 'round here if I talked about how therapeutic blogging has been for me, how reading other women's sites fills a hole I've been shoveling to cover since I became a Mom. I know how that sounds, me huddled with my laptop, 'hanging out' with my imaginary friends. Yet it feels right, and I am thankful every time I open my google reader and see you, lit up to greet me.


*****
Now that my youngest is in first grade, conversation turns towards work, what might I like to do now. I always had Big Plans, to return to some management position. I loved working, used to work like a madwoman. Maybe I was.


I want to shrug; say I don't know. But lately I've been letting the truth drip from my lips: I want to write fiction, I want to see a novel through.
I now how it sounds, but anymore, I just don't care.
*****

Monday, November 12, 2007

grateful tidbits, #2

  • *Lexi, curled up next to me with a book. I understand her in the quiet; she is still and calm.
  • *Zack racing to open the door for a woman with a baby, without prompting. There's a proud grin on his face.
  • *Witnessing a PTA father's face light up when his daughter comes in the room. He waits patiently for her to acknowledge him, and gives her a nod.
  • *Kissing on my 2 year-old nephew's neck. He doesn't shoo me, not yet. Aunt Sissy comes out 'Aunt Didsy'.
  • *Laying in bed, after 7 am (!), with Greg, jabbering - making up for all the days he is out of town. The kids finally pounce on us and the day begins.

pinot

Saturday, November 10, 2007

picture day

Upon hearing it was time for a family picture - for my Mom's Christmas cards - my face slammed the bedroom door, and began sulking to Howard Jones, producing a 1986 zit to end all zits. The Valedictorian of Acne, tall and proud and ready to deliver a speech.
Drat!
Why don't you take a gander at these while I go powder/spackle my nose?



Christmas 2005




Christmas 2006
*****

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better safe

About a year ago, I noticed this strange brown mark on Lexi's neck. Like a birthmark, that arrives in 3rd grade. It had a funny shape, crouched in the soft part between her clavicle bones. I studied it for a while, worried. I googled and panicked and took her straight to the doctor.

Living with a chronic condition had made me paranoid. I knew I was paranoid, but couldn't stop myself. I think Cobain was right.

Dr. Generous came in and took a look. She dug through her drawer, her back to me. I cringed, picturing a biopsy, a trip to the hospital. Crazy. Crazy. Motherhood nightmares. Until the doctor turned to me and laughed. The cure? Rubbing alcohol, to buff away the congealed dirt patch. Her neck was dirty. Dirty.

Talk about feeling chagrined.

Dr. Generous tried to soften the blow. I mean, I had just spent $15 and my mental health for someone to wash my daughter's neck. She said it's an uncomfortable place to scrub, that I shouldn't be chasing my kids around with a washcloth at this stage. She made me laugh. She shouted down the hall to the nurse, something about how she was a miracle worker.

We left feeling sheepish, Lexi was ashamed. I stopped her in the parking lot and looked her in the eye. It's better to laugh with the doctor than to wait. Better to listen to your body. Better to take care of yourself.

And then I teased her about her filthy, sweaty neck and took her for ice-cream.
*****

Friday, November 09, 2007

the DIY holiday

Remember how I alluded to homemade, DIY gift ideas for the holiday season ahead? Sure you do. I think it was a teaser, early in this NaBloPoMo venture. And time is breathing down our necks, and I've failed to deliver. The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving really are ideal for making gifts, but I don't know about you, but we are experiencing a Germ Invasion. So, I'm cramming.





Christmas, 1974
Papa Bill, Lori, Grandad, Nana, Mom, Dad

Mama Milton, before she was a mama

and the scary, yet lovingly homemade yellow polyester doll

Growing up, money was tight - especially when we were little. My Mom improvised, made most of our gifts, last minute. Now that I have kids, it pains me that she spent her birthday, Christmas eve, creating gifts for us. Even life-size jaundice dolls. I can't lie - she did scare me a bit, not that I let on. If someone else made, let's say, unpleasant commentary about things my mama made for me they risked seeing my unpleasant side; I've found eye jabbing is quite an effective tool in teaching manners.


I didn't get the seamstress gene, so I leave you today with a booze recipe - I'm not sure what that says about me. But Limoncello is stylish and fun and if you want to make it (and I do! I do!) you've got to jump on it now. Or pretty close to now.



{It'd make a lovely gift for New Year's Eve too.}

*****Mama Milton's DIY idea #1: Slow Travel Italy's recipe for Limoncello*****

*****

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

whipping girl

I was painting shutters this afternoon under the careful eye of the Man in Charge, the boy-child out of school early in what appears to be a disturbing trend of half-days. He prodded, he gave advice, he questioned if I had asked for Daddy's approval before picking up the paintbrush.

I wanted to 'clarify' my equal status with Daddy, remind him who brought him into the world and well, threaten to take him out again but I paused. The school bus house isn't going to paint itself; the rain cometh. I couldn't stop to call attention to all the blogs I read amazing things I do each and every day.

Lexi was too busy bashing a soccer ball against the garage door to inspect my work. She gets mad, she kicks the ball. She feels restless, she kicks the ball. I think she is working out some issues.
I like to call it instant voodoo.
__________
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st. helens

Wordless Wednesday
{PS: I heard the bells last night. I feel better today.}
*****

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

it's still a wonderful life, just a bad day

Our story begins in mid-progress. The screen is black and two disembodied voices discuss the going's on down below, here on our big blue marble. Let's listen in...
Franklin: Hey, did you call? I was out of range, missed it.
Joseph: Looks like we need you to work your magic again, dude.

[These angelic beings are west coast spirits. They say 'dude' and 'man'. It comes with the territory.]

Franklin: Is that cat Britney shaving her head again? Because she's totally gonna lose her kids...
Joseph: Nah, it's just...
Franklin: Please tell me it's not that election year. I hate November.
Joseph: No, man. It's this blogger, Mama Milton. She's sick and discouraged - things just aren't vibing for her, and worse yet she hasn't posted today.
Franklin: And it's November...Isn't she doing the NaWriNoMo?
Joseph: She wimped out.
Franklin: So all she has to do is post?
Joseph:Yep.
Franklin: Dude. What's her problem?
Joseph: She's bummed out after her visit with the doc today and her kids are driving her bats. I think it started when her kid started getting up so early.
Franklin: I think he got up in the night too. She finally gave up and slept in his Incredibles bed.
Joseph: And the girl. She's getting a mouth on her.
Franklin: She better hide the clippers.
Joseph: I hear ya.
Franklin: So, what's she doing now?
Joseph: She's looking through a recipe book and listening to Love & Logic - at the same time. She's quite stubborn.
Franklin: What's she mumbling anyway?
Joseph: I think she's telling herself that tomorrow is another day, that it will seem better after she sleeps on it.
Franklin: Should we call in Clarence?
Joseph: I think she'll pull through. Besides, I think he'd annoy the snot outta her.
Franklin: We'll just keep an eye on her, just in case.
Joseph: Good night, little blogger chick.
Franklin: Sweet dreams, mama dude.
Mama Milton locks up and moseys up the stairs, to rest her weary head and watch House.
She's in the mood for a little snark.
_______

Monday, November 05, 2007

grateful tidbits

  • *Zack says: "For crying out loud" and "Dagnabit", decades too late.

  • *A decked out 'Jack Sparrow', strutting down the road, reading a book on Halloween.

  • *Watching Stephanie propel herself out of a theatre seat, cirque soleil style.

  • *A young woman, swaying to a hymn; it chokes me up. I don't know why.

  • *Chatting with my Mom this morning; it's hard to catch her on the phone these days.

  • *Another sunny fall day, another chance to walk around the lake. Pushing a stroller uphill is a workout...how could I forget?


Saturday, November 03, 2007

it's not easy being green

So our best man/friend married a beautiful blonde I'll call Lisa, because that's her name. I try my very best, calling on the Lord, to not harbor jealous feelings when I am around her but she does not make it easy. She is gloriously organized, in her home and I'm pretty sure, in her brain. I think she came this way, along with other features like Sweet 2.0 and CraftyScript.

I do my best to hide my insecurity and search for lipstick that compliments my olive complexion.

They are coming over today for football and lunch. It will look a little like this: Greg and Cam will hoot and holler while I will fawn over their baby girl, Sage.

It's tough for me to be calm. I want to impress her. I want my house to be perfect, but it's not. I opted out of cleaning last night - I saw Dan in Real Life with my best girlfriends. A much needed night out.

I look around this morning and have decided my house in not that bad. It's warm and inviting and I can't wait to smooch on that baby, see our friends. I think I'll do one last sweep, baby-proof the debris, call it good.

Fall 2007 is shaping up to be my plunge into lowered expectations, caring less. I can't decide if this is good news, but after decades of striving, this calmness, this letting go feels amazing.

So I'm off to church, and full of wonder, doing the mental limbo. How low should I go?
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don't play well with others

Zack and I sat in my subaru, passing an hour last night, waiting for Lexi's troop. They were clearly running late, but we expected them to arrive at any moment, so there we were - Zack was toasted, wanting to go home and I was wishing he could be home, in bed and I could write today's post because I had something brilliant to say. Words lost in the dark. I should have scribbled under streetlight, but instead I played inane car games with a grumpy first grader.

That reminds me: I hate playing games. I hate board games, card games, darts, et cetera, but I fake my way in polite society because Greg has made it clear to me that everyone else in the world loves them, it's how normal people live. (I feel like Dexter.) I think there are others, others that secretly think winning plastic property is dumb, apathetic to pool and sports. We've just been properly shamed into silence.

But I pass, as a Mom - I make it work. My kids flash their big brown eyes, pleas for just one more game of Sorry. Who am I deprive them the joy of sending my red dooleybob back home?

On Friday, Zack started drawing nooses, getting ready to play hangman. He must have anticipated me begging off, me saying just this once before dinner. Above the scaffold, in big letters it said: DO IT! And then he did his best Ben Stiller impression, raising his eyebrows, trying out an accent.

And if they want to entertain me, bribe me, that's just fine. A sporty person might even call that a win-win situation, but I wouldn't know anything about that.

Friday, November 02, 2007

appearances

Greg came home minutes after we pulled in last night, ready to grab some dinner down the road. I invite these moments, a break from cooking. But then I looked down at myself - I was still in my grubby workout clothes, unkempt hair, no makeup. Mama Milton was looking sau-cy. I had to laugh because until recently, I never stepped out the door unless I had makeup on, and my hair was fixed. I didn't even take a break, when I had babes in diapers or in the depths of depression, postpartum. No, I was manic makeup mom - too afraid to not keep up appearances.

Now granted, I probably need makeup more than ever but I just can't justify slabbing on the goo if I'm going to sweat it off anyway at the gym or if I am sitting here cozy with my beloved computer, or scrubbing a toilet.

It's just not as important to me as it used to be. I'd like to think it's because I've grown lazier become enlightened. (It's Friday; throw me a bone.)

I recently went to a baby shower, straight from the gym. All the ladies looked lovely, in their fall skirts and cute tights. I donned a cap and hoped I didn't stink. I felt a little self-conscious, a little exposed sitting at the table. But I turned my attention to the conversation at hand - I had kept my gym date/therapy session and made this special occasion, after getting the kids off to school all before 10 am. My heart was full, I'd accomplished a lot. The only thing missing was my vanity.

So, last night, I changed quickly, ran a brush through my hair. I turned the corner and caught Greg grimacing.

"What?" My confidence plunging.

Then he gestured to Zack, in a pair of old sweats and bright green froggie boots

"Tell me he didn't wear that to school today."

I just shrugged and smiled.

Because of course he did. You better believe it.
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