Saturday, January 30, 2010

"What I hear, I forget. What I see, I remember. What I do, I know."
-Chinese Proverb

"we're gonna need a bigger couch"

this is a pic of my mom with grace and t.j......young at heart and forever in my heart.....she's the one who gave me my nickname little mary mixup!  

the above link shows littlemarymixup, a cartoon from the 1920s.  i think it's funny that it appears after littlemarymixup blog on google.  a friendly follower mentioned this to me.  we were talking about my blog and how i got the name littlemarymixup.....really because that's the nickname my mom had for me....especially when those little mix ups occurred.

one thing, i know, my mom had to have a sense of humor to live with my dad, my brothers and i.  i'm grateful for that gift.  she may have realized she would need it to get through her "life with liz", as biff calls it.

i loved to go through my mom's jewelry box.  it was so sparkly and colorful and fun.  i loved the latch.  i loved the big mirror inside. i loved the loot.  that may be where i gained an appreciation for getting all dolled up, for no occasion .....just for my own pleasure.
i used to try on the jewelry....taking it on and off....posing with it all before a mirror.  i loved the glam!  i guess it may not have been such a good idea to wear alot of it down to polliwog pond.  my mom always said she'd love to dredge that pond out someday to see how much of her jewelry box landed in there!  she laughed.  now that kind of sense of humor could get you through alot!

i thought it was a name she made up.  now, i think she must have had this name from the cartoons of the days of childhood.  of course!  that was her era....she was born in 1924.  no wonder why she loved my mix ups.  or maybe, it's because of her that i learned to have a sense of humor about my life!  certainly, my life has been alot more fun sharing the stories for my whole life rather than pouting about them.this info. below is also from dan marksteins, toonopedia
… existence, in part at least, to the fact that cartoonist Robert Moore Brinkerhoff, in his mid-30s when he created her, had no little girls of his own. Invited in 1917 to create a comic for The New York World (the paper that later debuted Keeping up with the Joneses and Caspar Milquetoast), Brinkerhoff, a newspaper illustrator who had never before contemplated doing comics, surveyed the scene and found a niche that wasn't filled — and that would also provide a sort of daughter substitute for him. Little Mary Mixup is what he came up with. Before long, she was being distributed nationwide by United Feature Syndicate, whose best-known stars are Nancy, Li'l Abner and Charlie Brown.
now, i wonder if that's why i think in thought balloons.  my cartoon world that runs through my head in those awkward situations or mixups.  thankfully, i'm married to someone who has music playing in his head at all times.  wait!  don't call the white coats until i finish my story.

funny enough, my mom also told me that all of my pictures (she called them "artwork" about love unconditionally... "ART" ...she really believed in me!  perhaps, a bit unrealistically....i mean, i'm creative...i'm an artist, i'm not an artiste')..... all of my"artwork" always had a sunshine in the "work"......i always have had a bit of an optimistic outlook....that is, when i'm not behaving like chicken little for my little childrearing foibles and perceived foibles. "uh oh!" i'm always saying,"what if"..."i should have made them...."

i seem to think that my whole world, this family that i live with, has ups and downs or mistakes or failures  because of me....something i have done or said along the way.  oh, that's healthy!  i try to be the best mom in the world.. i really do!  and i recognize that it is an impossible wor anyone to do the job just right...just perfectly.  oh, i have a sense of humor about it!  thankfully!  but for a brief and horrible moment, the is thought process, or unthoughtful process is that i think i am almighty and powerful in our world....not for the good.  for the bad....if something goes wrong, it must because i haven't taught the kids or i have done something to have created the situation.  o.k. that's healthy thinking.

opposite of someone egotistical? or is it?  to think that the good or great the kids have or biff? it's great i'm so happy for their individual achievements.  but if something goes off track for anyone under this roof....even a dog..... i somehow cans twist and turn any little thing to have been because of me.  imagine the power i have.  just one little person in this's mine all mine!  the good is theirs...the bad, oh, it must be something i've done.   hmmmmmm.  can anyone say therapy?  maybe they should just wheel in a nice comfy couch right now.  i'd better make room because if it is my fault, we're all gonna need one...a great big couch! i'm thinking of jaws  "we're gonna need a bigger boat."
only i'm thinking, "we're gonna need a bigger couch!"

Why Try To Change Me Now? '59 (Frank Sinatra)

how cool is life. a very special person posted this for's frank singing ...... it's perfect for littlemarymixup! a mellow frank meets littlemarymixup......also of's the year i was born. wait...don't start counting on your fingers now. i'm proud of every little age line i have....and i hoope i grow up to be like lots of great people in my life.....with a way youngeer sprit than their age. i like it that way and that's the way i'll have it! don't judge the age thing....if you're lucky you'll get to be this age too! i say that enthusiastically! pretty feisty at this age, huh?

Crazy Heart Movie Trailer

for two hours!

after school today, grace asked to have some friends over before the basketball game.  i said yes....they could bake some cupcakes.  it was becoming code for facebook.  they would come at five o'clock.  then i would take them to the game.  at the time, i considered going with the family, knowing they would each go off with their friends. that idea changed when the phone rang.

t.j. was off to a friend's house.  i stopped in to talk to max's mom.  she was happy to have t.j. for dinner...she was having her book club in for dinner, they had been reading a book about india........her husband was bringing take-out ordred from and indian restaurant!  t.j. smiled and enthusiastically told max's mom that he liked indian food.

wow! i thought...what a good kid.  just last week, i had been to an indian restaurant for a friends was the birthday girl's choice.  i told the kids about the menu.  they both feigned a near death experience.  frustrated by their antics, i left the room, ready for more living life in the pasta aisle.

not to rain on my own parade....i'dlike to get back to that moment.....that joyful moment.....when i looked at the cute boy of mine....13 1/2 ......maybe taller than me....still sweet and loving....except for when he can't stand me or may vocabulary.

he loves me or should i say he tolerates me as a teen.  or maybe, because he tolerates me one smidge more than his sister, i take that as effusive show of loving.  i'll take any morsel that they toss me at this moment in time.  t.j. just does not...DOES my vocabulary.....i say things like:
i have to write my blog.
hot dog is a hot diggety dog.
sneakers are sneaks.
computer thingy.
woolly wool for his hair when it's not buzzed.
surfer dude hair, when it's summer  blonde and curly.
so much more!  i can't think of them...i'll have to pop them in as they pop into my day.  belive me, i could fill a page.  oh, and don't even think of me singing.....or telling them when a song was really big in my life.  when i go back in time....telling him a story from college or my 20s, he just goes all dazed and bleary eyed....he humors me for a moment....but truly, just a moment.
he also has been the one to tell me that i don't dicipline the dogs properly.  he also says that i'm not assertive enough with the dogs.

just last week, i was painting the vanity that i had mosaic-ed....a great project.....i had on's january, i know.....but, since i'm running low on clothes to drip paint on, i thought it was rather clever of me to wear shorts.....i mean, the paint would come off my legs.....eventually....after 20 or thirty showers.  no, really.  it was water based. i was o.k. he walked in the door from school, and before his backpack hit the floor, he said,"ya wanna put some clothes on mom?"....go figure.  you'd think he'd be used to me after 13 1/2 years.

so there was my boy, polite as ever....i know he has been's just such a treat to see him perform in front of others, because i am not always graced with such politeness used so willingly!  there was my boy smiling about indian food.  there was my boy, with another mother, just so happy to hear someone think of the of any advance.  no wonder why his face lit up!

on my way home, i drove through our little village and realized both kids would be out.  our kids are moving into a new teen nice for nice to be that age....isn't life good.

as i sat at a red light, in front of our little movie theatre, i thought,"hey! how nice for nice to be this age.....isn't life good.............................biff and i can have a date!"

i love a date. any date....a booksore date....a beach date...a walk with the dogs date.....a starbucks date.....a bike riding date...... a dinner date......goodness, a deli date.......a movie date.......

"that's it!  we'll go to a movie"  let me call biff.  yup!  he was happy to go to a too.  life is good.

picked up pony tailed teens.....lots of laughter, whispers, singing, tory telling and giggling......we dropped them off and watched them all run, pony tails swinging, into the sports building.
bye bye!

and we're off! weeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  we're off!  imagine...they are teens...they can't wait to have a little independence.  they can't wait to be out of earshot of us.....they can't wait to be free!

weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  we were free...for 2 hours!

without the cupcakes!

the birthday girl woke up this morning, a school day, to her snuggie and new camera.....and other is good.  the week goes on!  grace's birthday certainly has been fun for all of us. after school. she asked our neighbors to come over for cupcakes with the 4  year old she babysits and his little baby brother, 15 months old.  grace also had 2 friends make cupcakes.  everyone came for cupcakes.

the cake mix that i bought was whipped up the moment i said that the oven had been repaired.  that was monday.  rick, my appliance repairman had been here.  he knew that i needed that oven to bake a birthday cake or cupcakes!  even rick knew the birthday reverence we had at our house.

rick and i go way back...our relationship began with a glitch in the washing machine.  he came to save was no big deal to was just unfortunate that i got tossed under the dryer!  luckily, the washing machine trouble only took one quick visit.  that's when he told us that the load had been too full and some little doo hickety broke off.  oops? who might have overfilled the washer?

rick had won biff over when he praised biff for his wonderful self control involving the washing machine.  rick was delighted that biff had not touched the washing machine in order to look into the problem.  rick had no idea how lucky he was.  biff has been taking things, any thing, apart since he recieved a pocket watch at age 9.  he loved the pocket watch so much that he had to take it apart to see what made it work. wow!

i should be thankful that biff is handy like that. actually, biff himself  comes in handy.  i know i've mentioned how great he is with the christmas tree....he cuts the tree down on the coldest and dampest or snowiest nights, puts it on the car, ties it on, drives us all home and carries it to the house and puts it in the stand!  and he's happy and proud to get the job done.  this is not something that i was familiar with.

  and it stays up.....that was worth marrying him just for that.  he knows i say this.  he also knows i was scarred living in a family with more charlie brown christmas stories than shoul be legal.  many a tear of mine has been shed over a christmas tree.....i wanted to live in a hallmark commercial but instead i felt like our family trees always had a glitch.  sorry, i digress.

biff and rick had a wonderful relationship from the first date/ my expense.  they had fun discussing my laundry issues.  my mom didn't spend much time teaching me  laundry techniques....i've learned the hard way. i had to learn it on the streets.   i've learned alot from friends.

when grace was born, my friend karen told me all about stain stick.  she had her baby just months before.  my friend susan had a great cleaning knack and she taught me about chlorox and when to use it.  by the time i had 2 babies, the laundry seemed to multiply.  most likely, grace wearing different clothes every hour based on her need for fancy dress up or bathing suits to coordinate with her snow suits had something to do with quantity.  at some point, i pleaded with my friend cathy....."please tell me what you do to get all of the laundry folded and how do you get stuff so clean?" .....and that was she gave me the laundry tip of my life.  "tide with bleach," she said. "and i buy all white socks...just white!"  and i wondered how my life had grown so complicated.  for one thing, i knew that the end of the "socks of the month" was near.

so, i have learned alot over the years. any morsel of a suggestion?  i'll take it. just put your info. into the comments.  it's never too late.  of course, a little laundry insecurity hasn't been all bad....biff was great about helping me.  especially, in our first apartment....our cute little mary tyler moore apartment on the 3rd floor of a victorian house....3 floors up....stairs.....with laundry in the basement.....3 floors down plus stairs to  the basement......then up, up, up, up!  as wonderful as our little tree house was, i called our basement "the dungeon."  it was a bit dark and dingy.....and to me a bit scary.  he made some major hauls to "the dungeon."

now, here's the thing.....rick actually installed the new oven piece.  the one that was supposed to be white.  after many attempts to get the white.........finding out that they no longer made longer had any white in stock, i am happy to that we are the proud yet quirky of a newly installed black panel........that's on a white oven....after months of using it as an island, a bookshelf and a plant stand........the piece we settled with is black.......there was no choice.  it looks fabulous!  keep in mind, our standards aren't that high.

so biff, rick and i live happily ever after until....our white refrigerator has an issue....and by then, they probably won't even sell the plain old fashioned white.....the whole world will be stainless....with no magnets on refrigerators.....anywhere in the universe.....but our kitchy kitchen.

when rick left the house that day....we had tears in our eyes!  we had been together, living through this anguish together.....we lived through 2 ovens together....we!  it was over.
we thought it was over....until the dogs barked.....rick was back at the door within minutes!  he couldn't bare to be away!  he was back! ..............he left his toolbox he was so filled with emotion. 

so, on that big celebrate....grace made cupcakes after school .......2 days before her birthday!  we had all of that time with no was time for a celebration.  t.j., grace and i had cupcakes!

so, sure enough on grace's real birthday, wednesday......grace wanted the world in to have birthday cupcakes.  something we've done forever.....inviting all of the kids who live nearby!  only.....wait.....alot of families have moved away....nothing personal, i hope.  so, rather than immediately after the bus, we would have some friends in after four o'clock.

t.j. tolerated this well, considering the mix has fewer boys these days... fewer kids we have to improvise by  importing friends.....and for the birthday girl, it was her friends.

and what do girls do when they get together?  laugh, giggle and share.......facebook time together.  oh, have times changed!  so, fun times were had for all in front of a computer screen.  laughter emanated through the house.  no cupcake essence wafting through this home!  just peals of laughter.

the cupcakes couldn't be made without the mix.  we had no mix!  the cake mix had been used up.  so had the icing....on the oven celebration.  what's a mom to do?

this is when i'm at my best thinking moment!  elli was expected to stop by.  just then, grace asked me to call her mom.  i called her cell to check in.  hallelujah!  they were in the car.....on there way to stop and shop....they would be here after a quick stop!  that was a wonderful moment.  i if they would buy some cake mix and icing for me!  for the birthday girl!
not every mom would be comfortable asking this of another mom.....especially one that has very high cooking in a chef!   i'm pretty honest about my domestic dilemmas and this is no surprise to elli's mom.  she came through for me....she delivered elli and the cake mix.  they came to the door and happily gave the yellow cake mix and pink icing to grace, as her gift!  it had been on was a happy moment for us all!

we talked. the girls laughed. we talked some more.  the girls laughed all day.   t.j. had male bonding with the boys on x-box.  life was good.  elli's mom and i talked so long that the little boys from down the street arrived with heir mom and dad.  they had just eaten dinner!  they had big smiles and gifts for our little lady.  babies in the house!  weeeeeeee!

wait, we promised them cupcakes.....we hadn't made the cupcakes.  i asked grace and the girls to mix up the batter and get them started.  it's just one of those things that grace does when friends come over....make something.....cookies.....cakes.....lemonade stands.....always something to keep us jumping.  only today, she put it off.  facebook was the leader of the world.....nothing could break them away.

so, elli's mom left when she realized the time.  elli remained.....with grace and kate......and t.j. playing x-box.....and the 2 little boys and their mom and dad.  that's when biff got home.  what fun we all had.  only, no cupcakes.

it's a sad day for me when i have broken a promise to a 4 year old.  little jack woke up that morning talking about caroline's birthday.  he told his mom that he wasn't going to school......because it was grace's birthday!  he must have known my family history with birthdays.  he waited for the right time to come for cupcakes.....he even brought grace a present!

it was bait and switch.  the time flew by while we all shared some stories.......they had to was his bedtime....with no possibility of a cupcake in sight....the girls were still at the computer.  we had to send jack off with cookies and milk.  he was happy..... but it was no cupcake.  now, we'll have to have a day with make up cupcakes.

with the kitchen finally quiet, the girls came out to the kitchen to make the cupcakes.  as the cupcakes baked, kate's dad came to the door to pick her up.  he came in the kitchen to chat while she got ready.....i mean, she had to be torn away from the facebook fun.  we stood and talked for awhile.  we laughed about the oven and the kitchen.  he owned a kitchen business!  we almost had a new kitchen by the time he left.  although, i just wouldn't be able to part with that oven....not yet!

well, no cupcakes for kate.  she was whisked away into the night with no cupcake...the reason she had been celebrate with the birthday girl.  then, it was time for us to drive elli home.  you guessed it.  no cupcake....and they bought the mix!

so, we all had a great day.....birthdays are even if we had to wait for the cupcakes!