Monday, November 30, 2009

the jetsons

oh boy! i'm getting my blogs mixed up...i hope i can find them all in cyberspace...and put them all wth liz...madison,ct. walking the dogs.....lizzytish, lizandbif......all i wanted was a little blog and it seems they've taken on a life of there own. i feel like i'm spinning into the world of jane jetson....i'll be back ....if i can find my own blog again!

just another mono monday

monday after thanksgiving....our mono girl is still home in to the doctor for another appointment. it 's amazing to think it was just a week ago that we found out the diagnosis mono.....and almost a week since our trip to the emergency room with grace barely able to swallow.

once again, murphy's law with mr. murphy out of town. very scary for does amaze me to think of how graceful i can be under stress... all for the sake of children. i'm the first to get on a roll and tell a story about how our life goes.....but when it's time for business it gets done.

throughout our journey, this last week, we all feel grateful that the sickness taking it's toll on grace is just a passing sickness and we can move through it. as we sat at the children's hospital last week, in the quiet hours of early morning in the emergency room, i had to pause and be thankful for all of our blessings and good health...despite the pain of our daughter at this moment.

i've stopped myself many times in the last week to think about the gift of health that we may take for granted....until something shakes us up enough to appreciate how amazing our bodies much we are able to do without even thinking. the emergency room at children's hospital really helps to put things in perspective. especially at thanksgiving. i've sent lots of prayers to families with more troubles than mono....and more than a thanksgiving turkey to think about.

throughout the last week, still exhausted and run down, we've all had alot to think about.....not just the family thanksgiving dinner that we missed....but our nutrition, our sleep, our quiet, our exercise....and the balance of our lives. this has been a warning sign for us all to listen to our bodies and take care of them and take care by treating our bodies with respect.

for me, i know it's time to live on more than a bowl of cereal and coffee for breakfast.... and a peanut butter and jelly or yogurt for lunch.....and who knows what for dinner. it's time to really work at the balance.....moderation.....and peace.

o.k. this morning, i've chosen to just sit....drink my coffee...write a little....and get started with the phone calls, making doctor appointments, cancelling dentist appointments (really, what dentist wants a girl with mono, tonsillitis and strept throat in his chair....especially to poke around in her mouth....YUK) ....put away laundry, vacuum, empty the dishwasher, walk the dogs, administer some medicine. i think i'm so grateful, starting the week out with a girl who's on her way back to her blessed good health, that i'll have a little bounce in my step. did i mention that i'm grateful.

this week, we may get back to normal.....whatever our normal is....and we know, our normal is just being a little kooky! and that's our normal. so, whatever your normal is....enjoy it!

by the way, i'm tired....but, i don't have mono.....i'm just a mom.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

just tell GOD your plans

today is thanksgiving....we will not be gathering with all of the relatives to give thanks...we will be at home with the 2 kids, 2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 fish. not because that is our plan but because that's what has been planned for us. this is when i think of the quote, "just tell GOD your plans, if you want to make him laugh!"

bif and i had a fun little getaway to new york city last weekend. after a busy weekend, bif left for a sales meeting....a sales meeting scheduled every year at this time.....6 hours away.

after a sunday filled with phone calls to the doctor...the plan was to take grace, our daughter, to the doctor, first thing monday morning!
and after my husband left on his 6 hour drive, my son left on his school bus, we were off to the doctor....oh, would take some time to wake my exhausted daughter.......after many attempts, she pushed herself to get out of bed.

one way to decipher just how sick your teen is......if they can't bare to have the radio on in the car! not even with the volume very must be off! that is a tell tale sign........another is...when a fourteen year old girl doesn't even want to brush her "bed head"!

after the doctor confirming mononucleosis, "mono", we were off to get this girl back to bed. then my mission began...i had to bring the doctor's note to school, bring the prescription for antibiotics to the drug store, buy lots of juice, popsicles and ice cream and pick the up the filled prescription, hurry it home to fill in to the get her feeling just a bit better...or as good as she can feel for now.

sleep is the major cure for this exhaustion based sickness....and sleep we all will get...tonight, my son and i will also get to sleep early after a weekend of late nights...

checking on grace many times before my bedtime, she was in alot of discomfort.....hardly swallowing her juice...and getting to sleep off and on.

i worried and went to sleep. i woke up to her crying my name. i went in to be with her, she wanted me to rest beside her. she was was i.

a bit later, after a foggy sleep, she was having some difficulty breathing since her tonsils and glands were so enlarged! it was then that i knew i had to call the doctor "on call". he agreed that this was something of a real concern and suggested i take my patient to the emergency room. i called my husband to wake him in his hotel room to let him know the plan....and to share my worry....and to think through what to do about our sleeping son.

it was almost 4 o'clock in the morning....why wake him? would it be alarming to wake him and let him know his sister had to go to emergency? would it be upsetting to be woken up and left alone to wonder? would it complicate the plans to leave immediately? the answer was yes, yes and yes.

we left for the emergency room, quietly and inwardly worrying about our sweet daughter, so scared and sick and hurting. the doctors checked her and helped her swelling temporarily....they wanted us to continue to the children's hospital at yale...they were concerned for such distress and swelling.

off we went...oh wait...we needed to fill the gas tank after such a hectic weekend. better than running on fumes....the way my body felt at 4 in the morning.

at children's hospital, we had doctors waiting and prepared to see our patient....with many doctors in to assess her, grace and i were relieved to know they would take care of her and send us home.....

after seeing doctors and residents and doctors assistants, nurses and nurse practitioners and security guards and valet parking attendants, one nicer than the next...... we were sent home...both of us relieved.

while we were at the hospital, we both gave thanks that we were there for just a temporary illness and we were thankful for all of the skilled professionals that were there to take care....all with a smile and kind words to us both.

my husband called to check in, once we were home and had some words of wisdom to share (never welcomed when he is long distance suggesting).......he quickly realized that...

this was the third tuesday before thanksgiving that i had been to the emergency room with a child while the husband was at his sales meeting 6 hours away...."murphy's law" goes into effect when mr. murphy is away....once again.......2 broken arms and one mono...other broken bones were just during run of the mill business travel.

our thanksgiving plans have changed again....we're pretty adaptable....we'll stay home and watch the parade and some movies and maybe even order out! while grace sleeps.......she doen't eat turkey anyway!

just tell "GOD" your plans and make him laugh! no matter what, we still give thanks .....for family and friends....and everyone else who get us through the "murphy's law" moments.

Monday, November 23, 2009

sipping lemonade through a straw.....

the big weekend for the parents was planned! the kids were going to stay with their aunt, uncle and cousin....and at a later date, the cousin would come to stay with us so the parents could get away too. our kids, 14 and 13...their kid....5!'s a stretch! but we knew we'd all find a way! our kids, exhausted from a week of exams and late nights. their kid, charged on five year old energy! everything is exciting when you're five! nothing is exciting when you're fourteen or thirteen! when you're the parents ready for the're ready to getaway whether you're exhausted or energized! especially, when someone, almost anyone wants to work out a plan......not that it happens very often.....we'll try our best to work it out....just to have a little time together...away....anywhere!

ahhhhh! although, we barely had time to talk to each other about the plans, we were excited to get the time alone! we had a few ideas...we knew we had to leave the kids late on friday at the "cousin's house" and work were a necessity. we had two whole nights to go long as we were back to pick them up on sunday afternoon! a dream come least, for us and the five year old!

we talked about going to the city and all of the possibilities of where we could stay and what we could many choices in the city we love!

we talked about going to the shore, considering some places we had never been....we talked of relaxing and riding bikes and walking on the beach and eating matter where .....we always love the beach...any beach!

ahhhhh! two whole nights for a little getaway! time for us! and time for the cousin's mom and dad to get away later in the year. everyone wins!

okay, a week before, our daughter brought a flyer home from said, "awards dinner....sunday 1-5" guessed to five....on SUNDAY...our second day of our getaway.

how could we not go to our daughter's awards dinner...even if it was scheduled for four hours, the sunday before thanksgiving...on our planned or not so planned getaway! of course, their was no was our daughter and she worked hard in her chosen sport. the big question was...why did they have to plan it on OUR weekend.

how could we cancel our weekend that had been postponed time after time? we could not cancel. we thought of an old teacher i quote often...she said, "a.y.t.c." ......that means "adapt yourself to circumstances" parents, we're used to that motto! we would march on! we continued planning....for one night.

still grateful, we decision had been made for us...the city was our best opportunity...geopgraphically! we always love the's always new! we would use our time wisely!

we made the plans....we would leave connecticut after school and drop the kids off two hours away at their cousin's house....and proceed joyously to the city, only one hour away!

oops! that day, my husband called and said he would meet me and the kids at their cousin's house! he was at an would be better use of time to meet......

the kids got home and packed...we drove in traffic...we arrived very late, because of the packing and the traffic!....and the bathroom stop....never fails!

we got to the house...we were all so happy to see each other, we almost forgot to leave. we got to the city at about eleven o'clock at night.....night life was just beginning...we weren't sure if we could make it through dinner. we walked around and got a bit energized.....chose a great restaurant and had a lovely dinner. we walked and walked some more. we went to sleep!

we woke up on saturday to central park and fifth avenue and madison avenue and grand central station and the new york public library and walking and walking and plans....except frequenting every starbucks for caffeine charge
! we did whatever we felt like doing! moment by moment, agreeing to enjoy the moments! no destinations...just walking! what a great day and night!

after our dinner, we enjoyed a long drive home...listening to OUR radio station! we arrived to pick the kids up at about eleven o'clock! thanks to flexibility of our family!

our kids were treated to dinner and midnight bowling anda pro basketball game and dinner and a movie .....they had a bigger agenda than us! after much chatter and shared enthusiasm (probably because we were collecting our children!), we said our good byes and thank yous .....and we'll see you for thanksgiving......and drove home....yes, in two cars for two o'clock in the morning....exhausted and recharged at the same time!

we woke up, had coffee and some talk....we went to a wonderful and fun awards dinner....we were tired...our kids were tired....our daughter was especially tired...exhausted....very exhausted and sick....she had swollen glands, sore throat and stuffy nose....and she was weak and warm.....

we called the doctor. we asked some questions. we went to sleep.

we woke up. we went to the doctor with our exhausted daughter....too tired...never enough sllep for any of us.....the doctor looked at our fourteen year old....asked many questions...checked her some more.......did some tests......


we were home from the doctor for only minutes when i got a phone call......"mono?" she did she know? no one knew but the doctor, my daughter and me!

FACEBOOK! now, at least 900 people were notified at once....once my daughter got upstairs to her ipod! her quiet notify her world!

and her cousin's mom!...on facebook...she read this on facebook....about our fourteen year old that just spent 30 plus hours with her five year old!

a fourteen year old and a five year old, who shared lemonade by sipping through a straw!

can a five year old get mono? ....and will we still be invited for thanksgiving?

remember when and ..........

since school got out last summer, our kids have had crazy hours...lotsa fun and outdoors...sun and sailing...friends and family...and not enough sleep. school days began and still it seemed that no one got enough sleep, including the parents! it seems the later our kids go to sleep, the later we go to sleep....not because we want to keep an eye on them, but because we just want to have some low key, peaceful moments. and we do have lots of fun with them....although they'd rather be with their friends!

i remember when... we read books before bedtime and laughed out loud and cuddled and kissed!
now...we give a quick kiss goodnight if we're lucky!
i remember when... i came to school for any school event and they smiled and hugged me!
now.....they roll there eyes if i'm in the parking lot!
i remember when....i waited at the bus stop and cought falling leaves and played shadow tag, brought sports equipment to play
with while the kids waited for the bus!
now....i can't even walk the dogs down the street in the opposite direction!
i remember when...they came home from school and had a snack at the kitchen table and told me stories about school friends,
teachers, busdrivers and homework!
now...they come home, say "hi", grab a snack, and run upstairs to "chill" with their ipod!
i remember when...they called on the phone to ask permission for lots of stuff
now, they text me instead of call!

and now they're busy turning themselves into who they're going to be! it's kind of scarey and kind of exciting to see who they are! they really haven't changed that size...yes!

and now they're busy being who they are in the moment! and that really doesn't include us....and sometimes it does!
they really haven't changed independence ...yes!

and now they're busy trying new things, seeing new people and broadening their scope!
they really haven't changed much....making choices on their own...yes!

and now they're very proud of their growing ways!
they really haven't changed much....doing things their way, right or wrong!

and as parents, we're still really proud of their accomplishments, big and small! they are slowly moving away to gain some more independence......we'll try to keep letting go...even if it tugs at our hearts! they'll probably be rolling their eyes at us for a while longer.....we'll keep tuning our sense of humor! they're growing up right before our eyes....we'll still keep our eyes on them! they're still pushing and pulling at us......

and we'll always be there to give them a smile and a hugand our love!...with their eyes rolling or not!
we really haven' changed much!

they are funny people and we really like who they are, even if they're not so sure yet!
they are pretty smart and we like who they are, even if they're not so sure yet!
they are really interesting and have a great point of view, even if they're not so sure yet!
they are really great to be around....sometimes....even if WE'RE not so sure yet!

we just keep trying to be our best, so they can be their best!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"don't say blog"

a few years back, "memorabilia" was an unacceptable word to my son. he was about 9 or so when the word became disturbing. i'm not sure when it began. maybe it was the year we drove from connecticut to ohio for a wonderful family thanksgiving. it was a very long drive. our kids are road a road trip like that was not a concern. of course a road trip today is not what it used to be "back in the day", a phrase that also was found bothersome. i will agree the four words did get a bit overused. family road trips for our kids are just a bit different than our days of "are we there yet?" the question still comes up from time to time but not like "the old days". "the old days" are really just a few of years ago. maybe only about one car ago for some families....maybe during the minivan days rather than the new s.u.v. days.

growing up, our family trips were mostly about jumping into the car, that was the only car in the family.... turning on the radio to a station that our parents enjoyed .....driving to the gas station, having the attendant (a man) fill the car up with gasoline......regular, because that's all they had....he checked the oil....washed the wind shield, paying cash, saying "thank you".......calling him by name because of a long time relationship......because he was the owner , because his name was embroidered on his shirt near the embroidered name of the gas station ....and, maybe talk to him about the trip while looking at a paper folded map that took a rocket scientist to fold up after wrestling it across our lap and trying to find the roads that helped us coordinate our travel and then we could drive away. we had no seat belts, we at where we wanted .... if we sat at all....sometimes, in a station wagon, we could go to"the way back" and lie down....maybe with two other kids...with sleeping bags and pillows and lots of hard luggage. if we voted on it, the"way back" window could roll down so we could have all kinds of wind blowing through the car....only, we might not be able to hear the radio since we didn't have stereo speakers throughout the car....and that was o.k., because the music could be a bit tinny anyway! we could sing along to the license plate bingo.... count the cadillacs.... look for the different states on the license plates.,.... usually with generic state plates, not so many personalized plates or plates with our cause of choice ..... wave to the people in other cars or just look out the window! sometimes we even each other. we read the clocks on our watches, not digital. we had no air conditioning. we each had to lock our doors individually or not at all. we had to roll the windows up and down with the window crank....and sit.

our trips now are just a bit different. some cars can be started remotely.....we all get into the car..... adjust the seats to our level of comfort...... the driver locks the doors automatically....sometimes with childproof locks.....sometimes the back window won't go down all the way, just as a opposed to us hanging our arms and heads out the windows like golden retrievers. we may also choose to have the sunroof open automatically and if it's sunny, we can open the sun glass compartment overhead while it opens. today, we have a choice of air warmers all individually adjusted. we must buckle up....or the car will beep incessantly until we do...our right rear door may be "ajar"....the driver has the mirrors adjusted electronically, depending on who is driving......the radio may be a.m., f.m, cassette tape or c.d., which we keep stored in the compartment between the seats, maybe next to the cold bottles of water being kept cold by a mini-fridge....or satellite radio, with hundreds more stations to allow us to know the local weather half way across the country, should you care. if interested in some reading, a book can be read to c.d. or cassette. if we choose our own books, we can use our ipods or individual c.d. players. OR, we can each watch a d.v.d. individually or together. when we load the car, the "rear lift gate" will open by pushing a button on our "key fob"...that is after we have used it to unlock the doors....and hopefully, we haven't touched the button that sounds the car alarm to alert all that there is a burglary involved......even if we're in a bucolic setting that is in our own driveway. oh, and before we leave, we may set the g.p.s. to get us to our destination by the fastest route, shortest distance or by avoiding toll roads....and it will talk to us and tell us what to do and quite literally, tell us "where to go".

on one recent car trip, we counted up the different "screens" in our car....

4 ipods with music, movies and t.v. shows down loaded
1 g.p.s
1 d.v.d player
1 blackberry with internet availability
1 laptop computer with the world at our fingertips, including d.v.d..... until the battery wears out.
3 cell phones with camera and video and music
3 digital cameras with video recorders

-----screens for a family of 4...the 2 dogs, 2 cats and 2 fish stay home
-----we have a-------bike rack for 4 bikes
-----we have roof racks for the 2 kayaks or 1 canoe
-----if we choose, we can use the car top cargo holder on top of the car
-----and we have a trailer for the sailboat

if their was just a bit more room and we could find healthy food in drive-thrus, we could probably live in the car.
roof over our heads, warmth, food and sleep.

soooooo, it was the 2 day thanksgiving trip to ohio that the trouble with "memorabilia" may have been because we dragged our pre-teens kicking and screaming, almost literally... out of the car.......where they were perfectly content, with all of their accoutrements, .... to stop at the "i love lucy" museum, at my request, with all of the memorabilia that made my heart sing! i grew up with "i love lucy"! no one cared about "i love lucy", no one loved her like me. after all, she was in black and white.... that's another story. i know the word "memorabilia" sealed the deal!

now they are teens..... now they know i'm writing my blog....guess what? .....they don't think that a mom should write a blog....they are concerned that my blog is about's not really about's about ME....and what goes on in my little world! i love writing, i love telling stories and i love our kids. who could give me more to write about than my kids, who don't like me to talk about blogging. they say to each other, "uh-oh, mom's gonna write about you in her blog!"....they say to my husband, "dad, tell mom that she's to old to have a blog" they say to me, "what could a mom have to say on a blog?"....and like "memorabilia, they protest,"don't say blog".

i am embarrassing...i am a mom....they are our teenagers...that's the way it's supposed to be...i do tell them that there is so much more embarrassment to come......this may just be the tip of the husband and i are sure they'll be more....and, with a nick name like "little mary mixup", i KNOW there's more to come!

i say"blah, blah, blah, blahGGGGG"! until a wwk ago, i thought it was called a blog because of the blah blah blah of it

i'm still learning the world of blogging.... know these are long and i'm so's just that it's my life.....and i love it.

by the way, I LOVE OUR KIDS! everyday is different and that's the best part!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

eating bon bons...

my kids go off to school on the bus and they come home on the bus. they really have no idea what i do during the long as i'm here when they get home, they don't usually think to question my whereabouts. they're teenagers.

a few years ago, some of their friend's moms had gone back to work part time and kids were more impressed with the kids who had moms who worked at the gap or polo than the moms who were single moms or doctors juggling it was the discount! it meant more loot! at the time, they said, "mom, you should get a job. ya know...DO something! other moms are getting jobs....why don't YOU get a job at polo?"

within a week of those comments, if i was running late, arriving home in the afternoon after them, they demanded to know, "where are you?......"MOM! you're never come you're NEVER home
recently, i had to visit my orthepedic surgeon for a follow up visit after a few months of weekly visits to physical therapy....twice a week to physical therapy....30 minutes away...for a problem with my shoulder that had been treated with cortisone after an accident. the therapy began to seem ...well, redundant. i spent hours coming and going and pushing and pulling and pressing. when meeting with my doctor, at our regular scheduled appointment, we exchanged pleasantries, talked a bit about the physical therapist...his name was brad...we were on a first name basis. the doctor and i paused...there was an awkward silence...i broke the silence...i couldn't bear it another minute!

i said in a whisper, " i think we have to end our relationship." the room grew small. the doctor, visibly upset, said, "really? but, why?" "it's not me, it's you", i responded uncomfortably. "i want what's best for you", he said. sadly, he prodded, "how can you feel this way? we've only just begun" ( i could have sworn i heard karen carpenter singing in the backround).....i nodded...."well, you've been wonderful...we've had something very special...a time i'll never forget".....he continued, "are you sure you want to go off on your own?".....i had to break it to him...right then and there. i had had enough. i had to blurt it out....."you've been taking up too much of my time".....that was when he asked the painful question. "why? what do you all day?"

"what do i do all day?" i asked indignantly. moments later, i responded, " well," i was fumbling to find the right words
i, i, ummmm......well, i have kids.".......he asked how many. "two" i said......."how old are they?"....i mumbled, "thirteen and fourteen."......................he was unimpressed.....he was an older man, with grown children, who had obviously multitasked while earning multiple degrees at harvard and yale and other ivys....and birthed multiple children...and continued careers while birthing the babies....(got the picture?) very unimpressed.

"do you work?" he asked. i answered his questions defensively, "well, no....but, i do my artwork, i volunteer, i do lots of things" i groped, "ummm, i have to walk the dogs...we have two."....."and i go to pilates classes." he kept it up...more of these questions! "how many times a week do you go to these pilates classes?" ..........." i try to go at least once a week. that is unless i have a long dog walk or another appointment......i continued pondering the questions. "well, i know i'm busy...."....."actually, there doesn't seem to be enough time in the day to get everything done"....."sometimes, my husband cooks dinner because i'm so busy!"

finally, i was driven to tell him.........the truth............"i don't know how my days fill up, i don't know what i do, specifically."........"i mean, it's not like i'm sitting home all day EATING BON BONS!" that was it....i cracked under the pressure! i couldn't take another minute."

i walked to the door. i turned towards the doctor. before i walked out the door, i said, "and by the way, you're geographically undesireable!"

it was over. i was, what did i do the rest of the day?


Monday, November 16, 2009

two roads diverged in a.....

two roads diverged in a connecticut state land trust. that is where i found myself today...with our two golden retrievers. surprisingly, i found the entrance to the trail posted with connecticut state signs noting the temporary closing of our woods so that trees could be cut down in order to "save the whales" oops!....i mean "free tibet"...."go green" or perhaps the opposite.

a funny thing about posted signs...they always pique my curiosity....they make the college girl in me sing out....they make life seem just a bit more adventurous. o.k., my life as a mom, out walking dogs in's not like my outward bound trip, but it's cause for a little variety. back in my 20 something life in new york city, a young executive, a bunch of other 20 somethings from our company would walk up madison avenue to our respective little (and i mean minuscule, but that's another story!) apartments. we began to try to live life in the fast lane by always crossing with the green lights, forcing a different route each day. in the city, that is a road less traveled, seeing different people, places and things everyday. it led us to many serendipitous worlds and i've pretty much stuck with the roads less travelled ever since! i have ended up in some little marymixups, but mostly i've had a lot of fun.

so, today was no different....or shall i say different, as usual?? daisy and posie and i began walking on our very familiar trail where we found giant trees cut down and already piled up in a huge log pile. we were all interested in the chaos of "our" was very muddy with tracks of the enemy...the trucks! deep, ruddy, muddy, soupy and random...that's the way it was. we continued on the path to see only one man in a pickup truck poking around in his toolbox. no one official. i act like it's "our" woods and he barely questioned us. now that i think of it, he could have been an axe murderer...he was in the right place to carry one without looking out of place but wait!....there goes my"headline head" or my "scary world" bif teases me about.

o.k.! i got a little off the path of my story.....i do that sometimes! we trudged over the river and through the woods.... i mean over some streams that were overflowing from the weekend rain and through the woods that could barely be called that due to all of the trees that were strewn all about, covering what trails we could follow. oh...follow the path...that's the point!....soon into our walk, there was no sign of a path....just me, daisy and posey to follow our noses for direction...only, their noses were more attuned to the deer poo and scurrying chipmunks along the way.

we had to find our way without the trails...quite the adventure in rural connecticut! our 30 minute walk grew to almost an hour and a half! we scrambled through brambles and pricker bushes and moss covered rocks in swampy areas....we wound up going north instead of south and west instead of north. it was beautiful and challenging and peaceful until....i slipped and slid off the mossy rocks and splashed in the swampy, mushy, muddy water squishing in my sneakers and soaking my clean jeans...up to my felt like my elbows. did i mention i'm more of a beach babe than a woodsy granola cruncher?

and then the fun began, once we whirled our way towards home. i spotted our neighbor's house...they back on the state land...they have chickens....we all have a mutual golden retriever admiration society....theirs and ours....they may still have a bunny...but, that was not my concern! so i wouldn't scare them showing up unannounced rising up like the swamp sister from the south, i called to let them know of our approach.

i glanced up through the branches caught in my hair and noticed the chickens, not behind the fence, but roaming the yard. that was when i first saw daisy, like a gazelle, fly through the air in quest of a chicken....i ran, i screamed at daisy to stop, our friends chased the chickens and daisy, all while posey sat politely by my side, on her leash!

the hen, apparently non-flustered jumped and took flight as daisy raced from behind...the hen made it over the stone wall that did not deter daisy....thank goodness henny penny made it back to the hen house safe and sound. for a few brief moments, i felt as though the sky was falling! we walked up the long driveway, escorted by our friend...out of breath....laughing nervously at the happenstance of taking the road less traveled. and that has made all the difference.

by the way, for our afternoon walk, we went to the beach!
thus ending another random day of little marymixup

liz.........................eggs for breakfast tomorrow?

"TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. "
— Robert Frost

Sunday, November 15, 2009

some days are like that....

sometimes life is great...things all fall into place so magic.sometimes NOT. when it all seems so upside down, backwards and i seem to be in a spiraling vortex of negative events, i just have to give in to the fact that life is not always.....a box of chocolates! some days are just like that. in an hour or in a day, things can change. but, once the waves start coming in swirling and pounding me, i have to just ride the wave out....even if i'm tumbled in the surf, i just have to ride it out. i've tried fighting the flow. it seems that i expend so much energy flailing and fighting the flow that i end up like a beached whale on the shore. now, i try my best. that's all i can do. mostly, it works!

i remember, way back when, when our kids were very small....i called an old friend...i cried and asked her how she did she even got out of the house with little babies when everything was so upside down. she gave me the best advice that i can remember in all of my days of motherhood. she said, "when the day is really bad, just let it be bad, give into it and get over will change!"

that advice, so simple, comes to me again and again. for myself and for our kids. how do we help them through the tough times? we try to tell them life will get better...we want so badly to help! sadly, they don't want to hear it. i don't really like to hear it from someone else either. after some pathetic suggestions from a mom, usually they seem to work through it on their own. keeping my mouth shut and zipped up is not my forte...i try. everyone has their own way of working things out.

sometimes, i just have to live moment by moment and hope that things will change!

sometimes, a sense of humor can save me! sometimes, i can see my life as a cartoon.....sometimes i live the cartoon.

another gift of advice came from my mother-in-law (actually, my mother-in-law is a gift....we like each other!) cold, saturday in february,home alone with our 2 pre-schoolers, i stepped out of the shower, ready to start the day and.....i could NOT turn the water off! i may be pretty scrappy in a pinch or in a crisis, but plumbing was a bit intimidating! my husband, on a business trip, happened to call to check in.....only, there was a glitch....he was on the other side of the globe, in hong kong! i was panicked...trying to sound calm...but, begging for a clue....a quick fix...just so the bathroom would not be in the dining room upon his return! he tried to talk me through it...sending me to the basement to follow the search of a red handle! nope! help. in desperation, i called my father-in-law, an hour away, to ask for help....same red knob! thankfully, both he and my mother-in -law race to the rescue. i'm still not sure why i didn't think to call a plumber. i was still a remedial homeowner.

once my father-in-law got out his tools, life changed....the steambath was over!

that was the day my mother-in-law gave me this advice...."murphy's law usually comes into play, when mr. murphy is away on a business trip!" and....that was only the beginning of murphy's law and mr. murphy. only now, i give in to murphy....because
he pretty much makes a regular appearance in my life cartoon.

only weeks after my second baby was born, we were all standing outside on a hot, summer day as my mother started to drive away and head back to her own life.....she had been with us while waiting an extra week for baby #2, lived with us for the excitement of baby #1 and baby #2....lived through the moments of a new mom trying to learn the new balance of sharing the love and keeping everyone she drove off, she sang these words out her car window....."someone's gotta cry!"....but, no!, i thought.....i can do this....i can work this all out.....after many tears own, of course...i gave in to my mother's sing song..."someone's gotta cry" didn't make it any easier, but i did hear her voice in my head into their toddler years! advice taken as a gift, once again.

the greatest gifts seem to come when you least expect's just noticing the little things...they add up. somedays, words of goodness may only come from strangers...i'll take them!

other wonderful words i hold dear to my heart today came from a little old lady dressed up in her sunday finest with dated high heels,colorful coat, hat, gloves,and lotsa lipstick and cheeks painted pink.....we had just left church, feeling as though we had finished a mania marathon... we had already been up for hours and our sunday was just beginning....we were tired and in need of coffee....we were frazzled parents, for sure..........and this sweet little old lady we had never before met, smiled at us all and said, " look at you! you have a million dollar family! a beautiful girl and a beautiful boy!" our kids were just babies, we felt like the old lady who lived in a shoe, we were packed in our little condo, saving our money to buy a house,....we were unsure about where to live and wondering when it would be our turn........and the little old lady appeared like an angel! she snapped us back to what really mattered.....we had come full circle ....we were grateful again.....i still think of her to this day!

some days are like that!


Monday, November 9, 2009

and away we go!

here we are...back at home! 2 weekends in a row ....away visiting friends! spontaneous and fun! just getting out of the house was the tricky part....clean the house, do the laundry, pack the bags, have the kids pack their bags, clear out the car, pack the car and the bikes, walk the dogs, call for dog sitter, clear dishes from the sink, ........and away we go! oh we're running so late...hope we catch the ferry! wait...hope we have enough gas to get to the boat...NOT....stop for gas .....just long enough to miss the boat!

on the way home, the same! last weekend, it was all for 24 hours...just cuz we weren't prepared to move on the spontaneity like we used to....somehow that has gotten way more complicated.

life is simpler and way more complicated all at the same time? how is it possible....too tired to, i'll get back tomorrow.

thinking about how to get my blog to be as creative as i dream it to be! i have big dreams.

i really want to share stories....and pictures and lots of the creative parts of my days that make me happy...i want to share....but i have to find out how.....

i love, there should be inspire.

i love,....

i love crafts with purpose, not just "lovin' hands of home" like my mother called the tacky stuff....

hopefully, this will turn into a place to foster creativity....

otherwise, it will be a place to commit me to an a.d.d. therapy program for life....i think it's too late for that.....but, if i let the a.d.d. rip, this is a blog that may not be too boring!

i do hope to figure this and white and just little mary mix up stories just aren't enough....i want to share lots!

hope you 'll like it and as i grow, hope you'll help me to learn! photos will randomly appear...layout, hopefully, will change....colors will get more interesting....readers will enjoy this as much as i do !

this is a very exciting start to some creativity in a new direction...this is me trying to stick with it! even if it's just for me! creating is what makes me happy!

see you soon and hope it will be a place where we'll get to share fun and stories and creations of all kinds!!!

and away we go!


Thursday, November 5, 2009

give us this day, our daily bread.....

people sometimes say "the lord giveth and the lord taketh away"....i guess they know posey, our three year old, golden retreiver.

we were so happy to buy a gorgeous bread loaf, with garlic...we planned to take it home, cut it in half and use it to create our own pizza. we carried the groceries in from the car, unpacked them and put them away. that is, put them away, except for the beautiful bakery bread.


yup! you guessed it! posey said her prayers...

and we're off !

i get the call...the wake up call! biff called.... to WAKE me up wake me up...... to wake the kids .up for school. it's thursday and biff is out of town, calling from a hotel, miles away. he KNOWS...he knows me....he knows what can happen....he knows what can happen to me....he knows about my late night rendevous with "seinfeld" on t.v.....he knows it's a temptation for me to see our friends on seinfeld.

not everyone got caught up on the show that started back in the 90' know, way
back in the 1900's...the turn of the century. BEFORE the millenium...

biff and i were starting a family...we didn't get out much. the folks on seinfeld felt like our friends...they talked about "nothing". it was set in the 90's. we could relate...we were married and it gave us alot to laugh about....especially our own single lives!

we felt like we lived that in the 80's.... single,talk, about nothing, with some of our best friends....right out of college, living in the city, lots of friends, lots of time on our hands....we weren't very established in our we did what any shallow, self consumed 20 something would about ourselves, where to go, what to do, how to get there, who to include, who not to include, how much it would cost and who we might meet.

maybe if i had come along a few years later, i may have been running and going to the gym instead of shopping and going to brunch...those of us who graduated college in the 80's lived a totally different life than the sensitive, new age grads of the 90's....joining the peace corp, taking outward bound trips, focusing on giving back...instead of taking! the 80's was alot about taking, getting, wanting, expecting.....kind of a studio 54 whirlwind, glitzy, shallow and focused on the outward appearances! a bunch of us, who lived for fun and worked to pay for it....
just like the banks and car manufacturers of today! oh wait, it may have been caused by our thinking in the 80's....more, more more, there's always more.....i even worked for a bank that gave more and more and more ....for mortgages! oops!
i hope i wasn't the cause of the bank troubles

SOOOOO, all of that rambling to finally admit that i did stay up too late last night, woke up when biff, the alarm clock, called... i hung up the phone and promptly fell back to sleep....and then,

aaahhhhhhh! WAKE UP! i was trying to "casually" alarm my children....not acknowledging that i was the cause of the alarm....i was hoping they wouldn't smell my fear. after all, i am the mother, responsible and trustworthy, capable of getting them up on time for the bus....NOT! not today! my heart was aflutter as i screamed, raced dowwnstairs, whipped out the lunches, ran out the door, revved up the car, and READY!

wait...i had to wait for the kids...1st was ready and 2nd was not....1st was hysterical, no "grace under pressure" for her...i put the car in reverse, raced down the driveway, drove f1st child to school.

i zigged and zagged and zoomed up the driveway to pick up 2nd! he too, was a tad off balance....socks and sneakers stumbling to the car....and we're off....

through all of these school years, i've really worked so hard to keep their lives peaceful and orderly......chaos wasn't in the plan....late night seinfeld wasn't either!

good news...biff's home! back up alarm clock! we work well as a tag team.....

peace in your home! i'll try too!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

oh what a beautiful morning!.....UNTIL......

as the song goes...oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day.......and it's true! Until i start trying to wake my kids for school! how did this happen! they have been going to school since they were three years old.we had the preschool years .... always on time. actually, grace's very first day of preschool, all dressed up in her turtleneck, kilt, tights and maryjanes, we arrived at the happy yellow school......on time...JUST A DAY EARLY! "yay! we did it!...this was our practice day!" she was three and she believed me.

during grace and t.j.'s montessori years, we always got to school on time, actually before the rush.....not as much for the kids as for the mom. as it turns out, i'm the one who needed to get there on time, for the schedule and the peace. life is simpler when we're not rushing....for me! getting there on time is great! once again, remedial motherhood struck! ...when reading the christmas break schedule, i noted that the vacation was through january 6th....i just didn't know that included january 6th! so, we had another practice .....and made the best of our day! getting there early can be a problem if you're not creative! anyway, kids love to be first....and they were!

the school bus years were fun filled mornings and afternoons! scooters and bikes and balls for boys and clutch for moms and dads.... dogs and cats on the "school bus rock" on the corner. the bus ride was a social time, fun for all! not to be missed!

this year, with an eighth and ninth grader, my husband does a kind and gentle wake i've always done....UNTIL now....these bodies.... covered with comforters, in a comatose like state....sleepy voices, apparently not awake....
one day biff asked our ninth grader if she knew what day it was....she said, "fuzzy"...that was an indication that there was more poking and prodding.

biff was off to work..

today, kind and gentle would not be the case.....i asked grace if she knew where she goes to school.... she gave me the wrong answer and covered her ears with a very large stuffed bunny! this, from the girl, who used to wake up, run to our room and ask for the mornings schedule and wanted to make muffins at the crack of dawn! t.j. claimed to have had NOT a wink of sleep!

i had my coffee....poked and prodded....called with the "sweet mother voice" and shouted from the bottom of the stairs....called out the minutes UNTIL the bus! somehow, i let it all go, knowing they NEED the sleep....i drove them to school. nobody wakes up like they used to....... the joy of the schoolbus isn't the same..... enthusiasm is "history"......i speak a "foreign language" is a "math lesson" no one likes to hear about, "english" has changed a out loud...brb=be right back....lunch is still the same for grace....a lifetime of peanut butter on ritz! if only the rest of adolescence was as simple as peanut butter.

i remember waking up in high mom, calling my name again and again.... i would always say, "I'm UP!" an actress, so believeable.....i bought more moments...."ahhhhhh", sleep......UNTIL i heard the footsteps...clunk. clunk. clunk.........i would jump up and pretend i was up and getting ready.....

so everything is different and everything is still the same....

the good news is that it still is a beautiful matter how mixed up it gets! by the way, i'm exhausted!

Monday, November 2, 2009

today i try to write my blog BUT........

first of all, i finally figured out how to get to the blog! oh, i could get to the blog, it's just that i couldn't open it to put some words in it! on the way, though, something exciting happened that i didn't expect! another blogger put a comment! that was so exciting and apparently it changed my whole computer karma! i was sitting here, at biff's computer, for about an hour....this is true...i kept moving around trying to find out where to add a new post and poof! inspirational comment appeared!

computer literacy may be just around the corner for me.....and perhaps the whole technological world may be my next world to attempt. you see, biff, my technologically adept husband has been an GROAN! this is true....and my children have been enabling too.....i think the children may like me where they have me, walking around in a paper and pen world! they prefer it that way...if i become less challenged, they will have less time on their tools of choice.

it has been an uphill battle for me. i take it a day at a time! actually, i'm only equipped to handle this tech stuff for about a minute at a time...i've had many failed's not that i haven't tried....i swear. it's just that i slip back to my pen and pencil so effortlessly....and oh, that has been my tech of choice since the 70' made all troubles disappear...with just one dial and the high of a problems faded away and any loneliness disappeared!

the dial tone was just the beginning....back then, the actual picking up of the receiver, shiny, black and so weighty...with that long coiled cord that reached all the way to the other room. at that point, i was able to fill my soul with the wait, the ringing and the joy of the pick up at the other end! it didn't stop there! it was mandatory to speak to the person at the other end of the line....even if only to properly introduce myself and ask for a friend....that was the tip of the iceberg. the party who answered, had to acknowledge me and my voice, maybe utter a few words, ask me to hold on, listen to that party walk down the hall or to another room and either call to the recipient or YELL LOUDLY....actually WAIT...a few seconds or even minutes and listen for the next sound to indicate if the news would be positive or negative.
positive was a score for my team! the friend would be "right there" or i would have to "hold on"....negative might be something like," she's not home. can she call you back?"....and hearing "she can't come to the phone right now, she'll call you right back." would still be music to my ears and i would wait like christmas morning with the same anticipation!
oh, and the upset to call someone and have a busy signal.....that meant calling again and again, if it was worth the bother to dial again. and it was a big decision to determine whether it was worth the wait....i think many a fine opportunity was missed due to the busy signal! even then, there was no choice but to hang up and perhaps, try again later. sometimes, it grew more complicated....if there was a possibility of getting a call returned, and i had made the decision to go out before the connection, then it was up to me whether or not to leave a message with someone at home to give a message to the caller......i think that's where the game telephone began!
it was a very definitive "NO", if a friend was not home and maybe, a message would be delivered or maybe not. after all, leaving a message was strictly dependent on who took the message. i still have flashbacks to some of the siblings who took the messages through the years. some older brothers would tease and say, "maybe, maybe not.", others were unable to write the information down correctly and that's before anyone had a clue about dyslexia. way back then, the numbers had to be exact, a number did not appear on the screen with the name. oh WAIT! there was NO screen.
in some houses, messages were written on church bulletins, envelopes and scrap paper, never to be seen again.



today, i still have the telephone situation worked out pretty well. that is because of the latent addiction. it is a false sense of connection...everyone is a t my fingertips....all of my people right there if i need wonderful as having everyone in the college dorm, awake at all hours!
even if i have had approximately 8 cell phones, primarily because of water damage. i do not use the term "water damage" lightly. i get this technological information from the ultimate of all techno people....the man/woman in a knit shirt with verizon printed on it. i have quite the relationship with these "technicians"....i have been through some pretty dire cicumstances with them..these "techs", the emergency doctors of the cell phone world, i hold them in high esteem and realize how valuable they are to us....unless they have the unfortunate task of notifying us of "loss" or "inoperable" or "damage beyond repair". it is then that they become useless to me...i am ashamed to say...i lose respect for them...and consider them to be a part of the verizon bureacracy....not even going the extra mile, with c.p.r. or some sort of extravagant measure....they give up....and no one likes a quitter. especially, when my "whole world is in his hands" and i mean my WHOLE cell phone contains MY people!

that is only the cell phone in the techno world....biff and the kids are enablers, except they are "tough love" when it comes to me and my phone damages. it was just last week that i had to give up on a phone. it was a hand me down from biff...and old (1year old)...a jalopy in the kids world. the phone before that had it's last rites in our family room. it was then, that the family gathered around me to tell me that they just didn't think i could handle a new phone just yet...after all, the wounds were still open....i needed time. i knew the day would come that i would be back at verizon to pick out a new and shiny phone, with the color of my choice...maybe even a phone with some other techno treats! the horror on my childrens faces! they reprimanded me, "mom, you have had that hand me down for less than 4 months and look at the condition it's are not responsible enough to have an i-phone or blackberry!".....this, from the children that carry their own cell phones and i touches. TOUGH LOVE! biff and the kids sat me down and shared many feelings....they were ordering my new phone on e-bay, slightly used, no internet.

oh, i've gone way to far...this is all so personal. if i can touch just one person, by hearing my story, then it will have been worth bearing my sole.

as required, i took one typing class in 9th made me a nervouse wreck...all of those fingers on the keys, the bells ringing and the teacher timing us was way too much pressure......and the teacher bursting out,"powder puff pinkie!"....her enthusiasm was genuine! mine was not. although, she had a nervous breakdown that semester and i didn't!

computer class was also a requirement in college. it was junior year. we learned about the computer in a traditional classroom, with NO computers. the computers were in the cafeteria building. across the street. we had to go to the computer lab after dinner. that computer, the size of a car, was hard to warm up to. the teacher had wall eye and that didn't help either.

so many attempts were made to help me adjust to the computer age....too many to list.

i still remember biff's mom teaching me "cut" and "paste". that was almost 20 years ago and i'm still so proud when i do it!

i remember when "e-mail" was installed at work and at home...i was suspicious. and still to this day, i do not count e-mail as a personal connection...nope, not for me.
sitting at a desktop, laptop or blackberry will never give me the intonation, the eye contact and reaction that i enjoy! whatever floats your boat!

i have entered the facebook world, kin of begrudgingly....and guess what!! i invite the world to go there. it is very impersonal and very personal all at once! and lots of friends and family use it...i think it actually helps connect the generations in families......yet a teenager used to make mistakes with family and a few friends and now the mistakes are with thousands to see....not so sure about that....but, i do friend the kids, their friends, my friends, family and so on and so on.......................

about technology .....just in the last 2 years, i have dropped one 3 month old laptop, broken 2 new cameras (within waranty, 3 phones, one desktop went to the big white light above ................that doesn't even count the dvd player, the wii player, the digital clock/c.d.player/ with sounds of nature, the ipod, the 5 c.d. changer in the car, the d.v.d. player in the car, the serius radio in the car, the seat heaters, the electric rear view mirror, the electric side view mirrors, the electric rear door opener............................. STOP THE WORLD AND LET ME CATCH UP!

but how can i catch up? my enablers, who shall remain anonymous, always try to teach me....and they are the same ones who want to take away my mouse and the downward spiral begins!

did i mention, my mom, the one who named me little mary mix up, used to have biff call her.....even from hong give her a wake up desperate situations.....because she never learned how to set her plain, old fashioned, circa 1980 alarm clock!

did i mention, that because my mom had just received a new cordless phone, and didn't know how to work it...she hung up the phone on us.... the night we got engaged....we had used our last change in a pay phone....the one with the quarters.....we laughed and saved our story til we got home!

did i mention, we bought my mom a cell phone....we returned it.

did i mention, my mom had one of those "help, i've fallen and i can't get up" techno-necklaces.....the local police department knew her because of so many mistaken alarms!

i think you get the picture!

my blog is just the beginning! if i can just find out how to get to it, i'll keep writing!


hip hip hooray!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

"Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever blowing, through one's head. "
-Mark Twain

okay, can you believe the quote i just recieved in my outward bound e-mail.....did mark twain know me? WHOOSH!