S C R A T C H
I can only imagine the thousandth mark I am creating on our wood floor as I pull, scoot and swivel my giant Hannah Rocker across the living room. I park it perpendicular to the chair, where Jeff is fully relaxed and lounging. I flop my knees across the arm of his chair and my bare feet and legs land in his lap.
He cuts his eyes at me but continues to focus on the movie.
My feet flap back and forth as I beg,
GENTLE AND MEEK WOMAN, I am not.
A gaggle of teen boys pour into my house, displaying evidence of a fun evening at a muddy festival.
I have read books and seen movies about those perfect mothers that can clean mud off clothes, so my lips spew the words,
"Put your clothes in this basket and I'll wash them for you."
As my brain goes wide-eyed, with shock, and throws an angry laugh,
"What do you know about cleaning mud out of nice clothes?"
HELOISE WOMAN, I am not.
But I am stubborn and determined....
A friend invites me to a "girl's night out" of mani/pedis, girl talk, wine and massages.
I hold my tongue as it struggles to say,
"You just described my hell."
I politely decline and wish for an evening of bourbon or scotch in a small boat, watching the sunset on a lake, listening to Frank Sinatra, with my legs flopped over the side, toes digging an anchor into the muddy bank.
GLAMOUR MAGAZINE WOMAN, I am not.
Although I might give up toes-in-the-dirt, if I could walk around like Salma Hayek!
I need to get a Jedi that walks a few steps ahead of me, waving his hand as he uses his Jedi mind trick, "this is not the woman you are looking for."
I really don't like "laying out".
I feel I am wasting productive time and I don't like the look of damaged skin.
I am constantly outside on the weekends and during my activities I let the sun gently kiss my skin with color.
there are a couple of days each year that I slather on the SPF 145, spread out a towel directly on the ground, and let my muscles relax with the heat of the sun.
The ground is the perfect firmness for my body to settle and spread like an ill formed jello released from its mold.
The sun is the perfect warmth to encourage my muscles to let go of their ropes they keep a tight grip and pull on, 24 hours a day.
The nature noises are perfect for a sleep my body begs for daily.
This holiday weekend, I have used a few hours of spa time.
...... In between grilling with the boys
HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND
view from my blanket
It is summer!
Max graduated from Middle School, today. Thankfully, I did not have to pretend that I cared about the other 8th graders and their families, at a boring school assembly.
At the request of the entire graduating 8th grade class at Ziegenhorn Academy, we held graduation at Mellow Mushroom.
The 8th grade class had their own pizza...
And the Ziegenhorn Academy School Board, Administration, and Staff had her own.......platter
We even had the new Junior class of Ziegenhorn Academy.
I present to you the new Junior and Freshmen classes of Ziegenhorn Academy!
Ziegenhorn Academy is now officially only a Highschool.
We enjoyed our young students that have now moved on...
............Rest of staff not pictured
Woke up with an intense migraine.
One that messes with my brain.
Can't remember words, confusion in following simple steps....
So when I picked up breakfast for the office, I was focused on getting the order right and forgot the jellies and mustard, that the men obviously NEED to complete their biscuit consumption.
The amazing feat I accomplished of arriving on time, dressed, with the correct biscuit order, and a semi-pleasant......
well, at least QUIET disposition....
BUT the fact that I forgot the condiments, WAS noticed and instead of forgiving the disoriented and forgetful individual, playful jabs were on the menu for the day.
I "played" irritable MAZ quite well, which was received with amusement.
As the day lengthened, I started a pity party for myself and increased my stress over life and my plans for the weekend...
Figuring out some chemistry so I can do my job as a teacher....
Cleaning the house, so I can do my job as a wife and mom
And running so I can be a good citizen
I was finally alone in my part of the office. Stupid immature feelings started to well up......
Along with tears....
That is when Mr. Funny appeared behind me. I turned around angry he was interrupting my pity party.
"You shouldn't have forgot the mustard!"
My self-loathing found a new victim.
I imagined myself remembering the ding dang mustard.
And yes, the cursing is necessary.
You parents that are wired like me.....clean organized and cannot function in chaos..... would have said the same thing, or at least thought it!
I am currently standing in my propped open front door because it is SERIOUSLY that bad!
Max meets me at the door almost everyday when I come home from work. He unlocks the door and permits me to come in, after I am forced to do a dance on the front porch. This brings me simultaneous great joy and mild irritation.
Today he opens the door, after I do a difficult running man, with my 45 pound office/backpack hanging off one shoulder.
A horrendous thick wall of stench pushed me back onto the porch as if it was escaping from its own nastiness!
"Ugh! Oh my gosh! What is that smell?"
I look around for the hole in the wall where the boys must have uncovered a rotting death......no hole, no body....
MAX's grin fell off his face and his brow furrowed, "yeah, I don't know what it is, we've been smelling it all day."
I swallowed the words, "it didn't alarm you that an autopsy room has migrated into this house?"
I turned the corner into the kitchen and beheld the sight of an overflowing garbage....
WHAT THE HELL !!!!
WHY DIDNT YOU GUYS TAKE THE GARBAGE OUT?
"Oh. I thought it was the fish tank."
Home all day and couldn't detect the source.
I'm in the house 1/2 a second....
Well, I did clean out the refrigerator last night and threw out old food, and should have taken or had them take it out last night.
But that's not the point....
I stared at the 16 foot long toe board molding. I needed 4, fifty inch long pieces. When I realized staring at the problem was not going to solve it, I searched the Home Depot aisle for help.
A cart was located nearby and it's markings told me I could use their saw-on-a-string, to cut the molding to size. I searched the aisles again....
Knowing that I could never accomplish this task, I slid the molding out of its storage. As I swung it to place on the cutting cart, I was careful to whack all the other boards on the aisle, causing a mild panic breathing attack.
Once the molding was placed on the cutting area, I grabbed the saw-on-a-string and began to move it back and forth on the solid hard non-cuttable, molding. I searched the aisles, no one. No answer to my problem.
I started to realize that my lack of upper body strength combined with lack of height, was creating a helpless disaster.
"Do you need some help?"
Another patron of Home Depot was grinning, in pity, at me. This man with tattooed biceps busting out of a super small t-shirt, gently took the saw and began to cut.
He left for a minute and returned with a bigger saw.
"Here you go", he handed me the pieces. Not wanting to waste his effort, I replied, "thanks. I need 3 more."
As he finished his last cut he said, "no offense, but you would have been here all day, doing this yourself."
I laughed, "no offense taken!"
"Are you one of those women that thinks she is able to do it all?"
"Um, well....yes. I was ABLE to look pityful enough to get you to do this for me!" "Thanks again!"
He laughed and turned to look down at me. "Well, I'm easy, but I'm not cheap!"
I looked up at him. "Good. I'm cheap, but I'm not easy!"
As he placed the pieces in my cart, he said, "You are hilarious, ma'am"
Ma'am....sigh....I hate that word.
And so began my very good Mother's Day weekend.
Crawling through the dirt and weeds
(I do not do yard work with grace and femininity),
I found a bit of my sons sense of humor...
Exhausted from my activity filled day, I asked my sons to join me at a drive-in double feature, Spider-Man 2 and Captain America 2.
The second movie did not even start until midnight. I surprisingly stayed awake and enjoyed both movies.
But what made me the happiest, was the evening in general.
Wrapped in a quilt, I let my body rest. The tension began to loosen as the breeze chilled the heat of the day.
The moon and stars decorated a perfect night. In other circumstances, it would have been a romantic evening but it truly was a rare, peaceful time to enjoy being a mom.
Even though the movies were not over until 2AM, Jack kept his commitment to sing in early service. He was gone when I woke, but he had left me a message.
I later found out that he had actually stayed up until 4, molding me a keepsake that I feared I would never have again, being that my babies are now young men.
Max gave me iTunes gift card and Jeff ordered me some Woot earrings.
Perfect for me.... Didn't break the wallet....and they are blue like the sky before a storm.
My favorite little girl made me a card and made my already joyful Sunday morning, even better.
Instead of staying in my Sunday best, I changed into comfort and met my parents for lunch.
After parading around the restaurant and greeting my friends in their Sunday best, I noticed a wardrobe mishap.
"Margaret, I can see your size from behind"
Jack laughed at my mothers wording...
My top was inside out, seams and tags a flappin for all to see.
I spent the rest of the afternoon mowing the weeds and dust in my happy place.
Ending the day showered, in my robe, and relaxing in my chair by 5pm.
The plan was for me to arrive in time for the weigh-in and lunch, get pictures with the fishermen and our signage, and meet and greet.
What happened was.....
Heading out on my 3 hour 30 minute trip, I receive a phone call. It was made clear to me that I mistakenly planned to arrive at noon, but the desire was for me to arrive at 11.
The first hour of my journey was completed in 45 minutes.....fast and safe.
The next hour of my journey completely stressed me out.
Several small towns.
Stretches of highway with a speed limit of 30.
And out of nowhere, this landed in front of me.
Once I quit shaking and imagining me hitting the pterodactyl, totaling my car..... this stared at me.
She calmly watched me steer wide to get around her.
Then I dodged several turtles, much like this one...
The last leg of my journey was gorgeous and had the same effect on my stomach as a roller coaster.
My 3 1/2 hour tour took just under 3 hours.
I noted my time traveling skill and as I topped the last hill, I prepared to view the large marina, signs, tables full of lunch, and spectators.
As a tumbleweed flew across a field, I viewed what I guessed was the setting for Stephen King's next book.
I checked my cell phone. No service. No incoming or outgoing calls.
"Kin aye hulp ewe..."
I peered around the tree.
An old lady, in her pajamas, poured a pot of coffee on the dock as she sucked her teeth (must be her way of dental hygiene), waiting for me to reply.
I watched the sludge seep between the cracks to the fish below, wishing she had offered me a cup first.
I figured I was in the wrong location.
As I asked her questions, she retrieved a garden hose and washed the coffee off the dock. I focused on the puzzle as to why she just didn't take two more steps and pour the coffee directly into the lake.
She answered my questions and I realized I WAS in the correct place, so now I worried that my marketing day had turned into a survival adventure.
An hour later, the event organizers arrived. A feeling of calm started to form but was quickly peeled off when the leader asked me, "are we in the right place? Are we eating here? Where is the food?"
The next two hours were chaotic and, luckily for me, my physical response is forever archived and possibly will be distributed in future media...
Pleasant facial expression
Every evening, when I water our flowers and veggies, I tiptoe, duck and walk 5 miles out of the way to avoid the mama bird that built her nest in my small tree at the side of my house.
Since we murdered a baby that belonged to a different mama bird that built HER nest in a tall bush on my fence line.....
I am trying to leave the other 3 mama birds alone, so they don't seek revenge.
(Apparently we have passionate and fertile birds in our backyard...lots of nesting and egg laying)
I LOVE the Hitchcock movie, The Birds, but I don't desire to live it.
This evening, I was pleasantly surprised by the birth of our pepper!
And adding to this excitement, I noticed our side tree mama bird was gone.
"It's about to be Mother's Day, and you left your eggs. Bad mama!" I softly said as
I crept closer and discovered a new life...ugly but new...
I looked around to see where the mom had gone. Typical of moms these days...."needing a break from the babies".
I took a chance and crept closer.
I was mesmerized by the ugly Jim Henson Creature. Then a second baby popped her head up to compete for attention.
I looked around and that lousy mama was nowhere to be found. No doubt she had gone out for time alone.
"You loser mama!", I mumbled as I pulled a crate over to stand on for a closer picture. "You selfish woman. Be with your babies..." I continued to talk out loud.
From the corner of my eye I saw an angry flight pattern hurling toward me as I heard a scream of warning....
In slow motion I turned my head toward the spiraling meteor of a mad mama bird....
S M A C K
I jumped down from my intrusive perch.
As I darted my head every which way, I spotted the mama bird on the limb above her nest, mouth full of worms..
"Ok, Mama, but let me tell you....you are quick to anger. But I'm glad to see you are taking care of it all."
As I investigated my head wound complete with instant headache, I wondered if my new neighbor was on the other side of the fence, witnessing my pride before my fall.
He heard it all.
Now I am the crazy neighbor.
I am obviously known for my contagious smile. There is not a time that I am NOT smiling.
Like in the famous picture the day I birthed a huge baby, without drugs, and then shared my lunch with my toddler....
Or the joy of trick-or-treating after an exciting day teaching and running the school haunted house....
Or enjoying my son's birthday surprise...
So I am confused at the comment I received today.
I got a new windshield on my car.
I love my car and don't really have any complaints.
BUT the windows do not have a tint. I don't own prescription sunglasses, so the glare on a sunny day is taxing.....
the squinting, the headaches....
The "glass man" escorted me to my car to present the finished product.
I immediately noticed a glorious difference and I was overcome with glee..
He pointed to my new windshield, "I gave you an upgrade. It's tinted."
Then he walked me over to the old windshield. "See, you don't have any tint on your windows."
"I know!" I replied.
He grinned, "shhhhhh. Don't tell! The ticket said tint, so I gave it to you, no extra charge."
I was so happy, I could not believe it!
The guy stared at me. "You aren't happy?"
"I'm WAY happy! It gets so hot in the summer and the sun is so bright it gives me a headache!"
"You are that happy?"
"YES! Thank you, very much!"
"Wow, I wonder what makes you smile..."
"I AM smiling!"
Then, from the other side of the car, the man washing and detailing the other cars yells, "see if this makes you smile! I'm hosing the mud off your tires!"
This was turning into the best day ever!
I had recently been muddin and worked hard washing my car on Sunday, but I couldn't get the mud off my tires..
I don't know why they could not see what this famous first day on earth picture shows...
that I was born with a smile
As I leaned further under the giant azalea bush, to trim the bottom branches, I heard a -crunch- POP -crack-
I crawled out from under the bush to investigate the searing pain in my hand. I thought I had stuck my hand in a hornets nest and I wondered how I would get them all off my fingers...
My fingers looked odd as they gripped the clippers. Even though the pain was making my eyes water, my hand looked and felt as if it belonged to someone else. I used my other hand to pry the clippers away from my now "robotic, frozen" fingers.
Two of my fingers completely gave up on all fine motor skills for the rest of the day.
Apparently, an injury from 3 years ago has decided to beg for attention......
But that is another story....
My fingers are stuck in this position:
Simple, brainless yard work, dishes, writing, texting, grocery shopping-while talking on the phone, and turning the key in the ignition.....turned into careful and thoughtful planning of modified movements.
This self prescribed occupational therapy reminded me of my first love, special education.
I would eat, sleep and breathe ideas of how to modify and teach living skills to my students.
Even though it stressed me out....
Even though it made me sad to work, while my boys were little....
Even though I could never turn my brain off and leave work at school.....
I was using all my gifts.
I was good.
After two years of therapy, with one of my students, he was able to hold his eating utensil and help feed himself.
I will never forget the morning he fed himself a spoonful of tuna mush.
About once a week, his mother would send tuna. I can't stand the smell of tuna and since his food had to be blended, it contained a mixture. I started calling it tuna mush. I would harass him and complain about the tuna, knowing it was his favorite. His eyes would light up and he would moan with glee. He, like most of my students, was nonverbal and blind.. BUT that did not keep them from playing, tricking, and joking with me.
He raised his spoon to his mouth and licked the tuna off. The success was so thrilling that he spit a chunk into my face. I responded with overwhelming joy morphing into MAZ-Gross-Out.
My students loved to gross me out!
He squealed and laughed and flung his arms until we were both covered in that nasty tuna.
I hugged him (it was so necessary to be tactile!) and cheered and gagged.
I cleaned him and moved him into an activity, then I turned my face from him and cried.
Two years he worked to feed himself one lick of tuna mush.
It was one of the best days of my life!