Monday, November 25, 2013

Wisdom . . . at 32

I have been remiss.

I have not thanked my Lord for all the things I have been blessed with.  At 32 I did not thank the Lord enough for the insights He bestowed upon me.

Now, it has been 12 – uh, oh! – 14 years since I was 32 years old, but I don’t mean Wisdom at 32 years of age. 

32 means so much more.

I thank God for the wisdom he gave me to allow myself 32 seconds “just for me” at the end of my shower. 
I turn the cold water down, just a smidgen, so that the warm water suddenly feels hot.  Right before it –ooo!—feels like a spa steam shower.  32 seconds to clear my mind and think only of how good the hot water feels on my shoulders.

I thank God for the wisdom that he gave me to allow myself 32 seconds of prep in my car, after my seatbelt is fastened, so that I can multi-task on my way to my next destination.  I use these 32 seconds to text my spouse (on my way!—I use a shortcut on my phone that allows me to only type “mmmm” to get that message out there. 

I hit send then I shake up my bottle of nailpolish (I love the sound of the mixing beads hitting the glass bottle—and I’m still in search of PINK-A-BOO nailpolish.  For now, I am settling for Sheer Pink by Revlon.)  I slap on a coat of this lighter-than-pink nailpolish, start the car and I’m off!

I thank God that He gave me the wisdom to set my DVR to record one minute early and one minute late because Comcast seems to be off by 30 (dare I say 32, maybe?) seconds and I used to always miss the last punch line in a sitcom.

At 32 I don’t think I had ever sweated under my arms.  I just never sweated there.  I also never grew hair under my arms.  (TMI?)  I did not thank God for these things. 

Now, at the lovely stage of life I am in, just 32 minutes of housework and mothering can cause me to break into a sweat under my arms. 
And any day I expect to raise my arms to put on my bra only to discover that there’s a forest growing under there.  (Thank you, God, for not bringing that fantasy to life.)

And now that I’m 14+years past 32, 32 degrees is no longer warm.  I can’t get by with wearing only mittens to work and leaving my coat in the car.  Now, I find myself wearing my long wool coat to football games in September, when the temperature drops to 60.

This stage of my life has also blessed me with the ability to lose 32 hairs out of my head every time I comb my hair.
But don’t worry….
I seem to find new hairs to replace them:
in my black mustache,
a 1-inch black hair that appears (I swear!) out of nowhere under my chin,
a ¾ inch black hair that grows out of the middle of a mole on my left wrist.  I never see it as it grows.  It just shows up during work hours at that length every now and then.

At 32 I could function on 4 hours of sleep. 

At 46, I need a 32 minute nap every 2 hours.

At 32 I wasn’t thankful enough for the people I was surrounded by at work.

Now, I am increasingly surrounded by newly graduated 20-somethings who think that 32 is “old age,” and that an education can replace life experience.  (Hey! just wait ‘til you’re 14 years passed 32 you people who don't even know how to use a typewriter!!)

At 32, I didn’t thank God for a regular period.  For the years when every 32 days my open-ended sentence got punctuated.

Now, I am blessed with monthly surprises: 
   Surprise!  No period this month.
   Surprise!  Three light days this month.
   Surprise!  You’ll need to go to the bathroom 32 times today.
   Surprise!  Psych!  That wasn’t really your period starting.
And best of all:
   Surprise!  . . .this is only the beginning!

Well…since it’s taken me about 32 minutes to put my thoughts down I’ll go try to get 32 winks!
Good night!

And thank you, Lord!

Monday, September 9, 2013


I am a procrastinator. 
But I do not tolerate this trait in others very well.

All weekend I planned to do something FUNLike make cards.
Instead, I spent hours cleaning my DVR (aka, watching TV), and a good chunk of time playing a video game on my phone (Joey would laugh!).

And at 10:15 last night, after I decided to clean the kitchen counters (yes, the floor is still gross), I thought to myself, “Wow!  You still have a good three hours to make cards. 

At 11:30 I was still sitting in front of the TV.  I got hooked on Mad Men last week, and my addiction was strong.

Finally I turned off the TV and went to bed.  George decided to sleep in my room since it has the air conditioner.  Around 12:30 we turned the air off, and I fell asleep.

I awoke at 5:40 to a raging downpour, that continued until 8:07.  At 5:41 I double-check my alarm settings and went back to sleep.  Wrapped in the knowledge that the roof was not leaking, as it had during the last storm when Kent swore it was due to a backed up rain gutter.  The silence lulled me to sleep, along with the distant rolling thunder.

I awoke at 6:40, 6:44, 7:00, and finally at 7:10 I told George it was time to get up.

I proceeded to the bathroom to put on makeup since I didn’t want to carry make up in my bag to work.  Trying to simplify.
Trying to lessen the weight in my bag.
Trying to actually GET ready for work BEFORE I arrive at work.

Oh, who’s kidding who?
I was trying to make room for my bag of Snyder’s Pretzel sticks, which I am currently addicted to.

Knowing the rain was going to be an issue, I switched from my smaller bag (a thank you gift from a gal at work) to my normal larger-than-a-flat-screen-t-v bag. 

But after carrying the small bag for a few days, the large bag seemed extra roomy.

A certain indication that I need to take more stuff with me to work.

So I load up my bag with at least fifty water color pencils, an acrylic block, a sunflower stamp, paint brushes, a permanent ink pad, two pens, two markers.  And a pencil. 

Then I went back for my “only a mother can love it” wood mount rubber stamp that consists of
A rooster
Standing on a lamb
Standing on a pig who is
Standing on a cow.

I love this stamp. 

I also throw in a bottle of bacon bits, a 2-cup jar of homemade potato soup, an extra pantiliner, sinus and allergy medicine.

At this point, I am hot.

I remove my short-sleeved suit jacket because I know that it will easily slip across my large bag as I race through the downpour and dash (ok, trudge) across the parking lots to get to my building.  Once I get there, of course.

So I’m in the bathroom putting on my makeup. 
Yyyyeaaahhh, I should have spent 7 minutes this weekend bleaching my mustache.
Hind sight, and all that.

I’m working on my eyeliner.  I use an eyebrow pencil for eyeliner. 
I don’t know why.
But this morning it is dull.
But the sharpener is buried in the bottom of my large bag,
In the bottom of the box that contains 50+ colored pencils.
So I use the eyeliner pencil as-is, and clean it up with a Qtip. 
(Note to self: you only have four of these left.  It’s almost time to buy some more.)

I then begin to apply some Oil of Olay with sunscreen because the skies will surely clear up and I will surely want to spend my lunch hour walking in the park rather than at my desk with the rubberstamps and other crafty things in my purse. 

I mean, let’s face it.  We all knew the likelihood of my actually USING the items I put in my bag was slim.

As I put away the Oil of Olay I hear a drip drip drip.
In the ceiling.

In two places.


We had a problem in the bathroom once before with a leak, when it actually started leaking onto the floor.  So there’s nothing I can do about it except remember to tell Kent to call our landlord Mr. Wilson, and be thankful that we do not own the house.  This is why we rent. 

And I make a mental note to remind Kent to mention the----------

“….Mom there’s a leak!” George calls from the bedroom.

I sigh.

I told Kent about that before.
I’m shaking my head, but finish putting on my powder foundation (it really covered that red blotchy area where I have deep frown—I mean concentration – lines) when I can’t believe my ears.

Am I hearing that correctly?

I go to the bedroom.

And my ears did not deceive.


Now, given that there’s a literal downpour outside, what is inside is less severe.
Except that is only because it is being slowed by shingles, tar paper, plywood, insulation, and dry wall.

I know all this because of HGTV.

And I think:
I Told You So!!
Why didn’t you listen to me?
Why can’t you take care of something when the problem starts?
Why didn’t you do this
Why didn’t you do that?
Why is there a huge box of MAIL, surely filled with important bills to be paid and junk mail to open, sitting in the corner of my bedroom---on KENT’s side!!??

Upon closer inspection I see that there are three leaks in the bedroom, and I try to position the large tote, using a kitchen chair, strategically so that it catches all the water.

It’s impossible.

I thank God that I
And put away
The Towels.

But it’s Kent’s problem now.  I have to get ready for work.

I finish my makeup.
(How is it possible that a white dog hair can imbed itself among my eyelashes while I am sleeping?  It takes four tries to get it out.)

I’m wearing a new shirt today.

It’s too small.

But it will look great under a jacket. 

It’s more Vanessa than Margie in color.
But I saw it a week or so ago at Walmart.  Only one.  Someone obviously returned it to ours after purchasing it at another walmart store.  It’s a size 20 (misses).  I’m a 2X 3X 4X or so (womens), but I took it as providential when it was still at WalMart on Saturday when I went and since it was only $9.87 I bought it.  It has lovely buttons all the way down the back of the shirt…..  It’ll be fine under my jacket, as long as I don’t plan to do anything that requires my arms to be over my head, at which point the shirt will raise and I’m pretty sure people will see my bra.

“Misses” must be shorter than “Women”.

Kent comes home.
I fill him in on the rain leaks, including the new one around the back door.

I resist, really hard, the urge to say I told you so.
I deserve an academy award.

I put on my ultra nice short trench coat, tie the belt, put on my bag, grab the dvds so I can return Mad Men (hoping they get season six SOON), pick up the umbrella, kiss the husband, say goodbye to the dog, and I’m out the door.

Kent said I needed gas.
That I might need it before I get to work.

The attached picture is what greeted me this morning.

I’m sitting on the hill in Jonesville praying I’ll coast to the gas station that is at the bottom of the hill.
But I am not too concerned because I know from playing my video game “Hill Climber” that the momentum from my vehicle going downhill will get me up the small incline to the gas station. 

I get gas.
And a 2liter of Pepsi.
I’m going to need it.

I get to work.
It stops raining.
I gather my bag and Pepsi, lock the doors, double-check I have my keys, get to my office, share the story about the gas with some of my co-workers.

Hang up my coat.

Pull down the sleeves of my new shirt since they are too tight and ride up.  They’re more like capped sleeves.

I go to put on my jacket
….it’s right at home where I left it.

Happy Muuunday to Me.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Aunt Polly

My Aunt Polly died in December.  We miss her.
Every day.

When she was eating chips or cheetos or pretzels, and she was finished for a while (cause with a group the size of our family, we never stop eating for very long), she'd fold the bag over.  Just once.

That is so cool.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Sigh…I love baseball.  .

This article brought back fond memories of my now eleven-year-old’s tee-ball league.

My son was born with baseball skills.  He could pitch on target at the age of three.  People used to pull over on the side of the road to watch him pitch to his grandpa; he’d be at it for hours at a time.  At age four we moved to a new neighborhood and a stranger pulled into our driveway one day to ask if George was going to play ball.  I knew nothing about the ball league, and the kind stranger (a coach) assured me that even though the deadline for signing up had long since passed, I should contact the village office right away.  …and be sure to give his name as The Coach.

All this to say that I was SHOCKED at our first tee-ball practice.  But not as shocked as my son was.  There he was wearing his well-worn mitt in the infield, down in his stance waiting for the first batter to hit the ball.

The batter hit the ball, all right.  And it went about five feet.

But what left George and I dumbstruck was that ALL the rest of the team, despite some were playing in the outfield, RAN to get the ball at the same time.  At the same time!!  (They literally looked like chickens at feeding time.  Years later, that is still how I refer to the peewee league.)

And to rub salt in the wound—they didn’t keep score!!!  And they were allowed like TEN STRIKES. 

It was more than we could comprehend.  There I was sitting in the stands with a score book, and all the other parents were just there to encourage the fun.  Craziness!!!

Throughout the season George would ask me through the fence for the score, and when I responded honestly the other parents would give me “that look.”  But I didn’t care.  Their kids were squatted in right field digging for worms and tossing dirt in the air.  My son was not allowed to play in the dirt—and never wanted to.  Our motto was always, “If the Tigers can’t do it on the field or in the dugout, neither will we.”

Last year George was drafted by an unknown team, full of first-time players.  They won only two games.  Despite the agony of defeat, it was a good lesson.  A very good lesson…for this mom.

But I whisper a prayer every now and then that the call I get about this year’s draft is from a familiar voice.