Monday, January 23, 2012

"I don't wanna be anything other than what I've been tryin' to be lately. . ." ~ that guy. . .the one who sings that song. . .someone tell me his name please :)

I've always been a straight-shooter when it comes to my love/hate relationship with exercise.  Lately, I'm more of a "'round tuit."  But, I threw on my "PLEASE. . .SLOW DOWN" t-shirt this morning in the hopes that what goes 'round comes off eventually.

There are so many fun things going on in my family right now.  It's birthday season - I think we've got a birthday every couple of weeks from now until June.  Big families can be hard to keep up with, but the entertainment is always built-in.

We've also got a wedding in the works.  As the Mother of the Groom, I'm responsible for certain components of the wedding details. . .mainly to smile and nod.    I am not gifted in the world of "foo," and once my suggestion of a taco bar was shut down,  well, I was incensed :)  Not really, I'm delighted to help.  The most important thing is that my son and bonus daughter have a good time in the company of people who love them.  I'm going to be a great mother in law!!  (As the oldest children, you "get" me if Dad abandons ship. . .brace yourselves!)

Of course, I'm excited about the campaign.  I really like the idea that I'll be able to do some good for my community.  Folks keep telling me to prepare myself for the "down" side of politics - and I'm sure those times will come. . .but I think I'm ready to handle the harsher side of jeers.  Let's face it, Motherhood isn't exactly a popularity contest.  :)

I've also got some fun meetings and gatherings and a little TCB going my way this week that I am looking forward to marking off my list.

So, as I sported my day-glo green safety message this morning, exercising and humming that guy's little ditty in my head, I though about all the good stuff in my life.  I felt positive, competent. . .Golden.  And then, I felt like a total nerd for waving at some guy who was NOT my friend in her silver SUV.  Nothing gold can stay!

Have fun!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

When the Wind Blows. . .

"A great wind is blowing, and that gives you either imagination or a headache." ~ Catherine the Great

For several years, I've written a blog called "Teen Talk" for our local Moms Like Me site and newspaper wherein I've aired my family's dirty laundry for all of my hometown and anyone with access to the World Wide Web to see.  It's rather freeing, actually, to know that there are people who take a little peek at your soul and don't think you're nuts. . .or, if they DO think you are nuts, at least you've kind of grown on them.  :) (Yeah, I'm a fan of the smiley face too. . .and the double entendre. . .)

Now that I'm almost bereft of teens about whom to talk (Engine #9 won't be coming around that mountain for about 3 more years. . .however, I believe she's going off the rails some days!) I guess I need to start planning for a future in which my kids aren't the reason I live, breathe and drive all over town.  Dare I suggest it is time, after 24 years of motherhood, for me to begin to consider what I want to be when I grow up?

Not that I haven't always "earned my keep."  There have been times when I knocked on doors in my neighborhood and cleaned houses with two toddlers in-tow.  Later,  I was an assistant in a Montessori school so that my kids could attend for a reduced tuition.   I worked in my father's convenience stores for several years and was able to adjust my schedule to accommodate kids.  After the birth of my 4th child, I started my own Concierge service and delivered cribs, strollers, groceries, flower petals (etc!!) to vacationers at the beach.  That rolled along successfully until Ivan rolled in and blew our beach away.

In the way that doors close and windows open,  about that time my husband's business picked up and he needed my help as a sort of "girl Friday."  I ran errands, handled appointments, I even jumped in and got my hands dirty. . . okay, actually, I just felt like "RocketMom" wearing the backpack blower.

And just to make sure my life was a breeze, a second window opened to homeschooling.  And we shouldn't forget the that I was paid to write my blog and column.  Then there was the extra crispy I picked up with my annual 10-day feather ruffle in the "Chicken Coop" - our name for the ticket booth at the fair.  I've even been a high-end lingere store Model (I kept the line straight for them on Black Friday), I was in Theater for a time (well, the box office of our local performing arts theater) and I was the face of a major cosmetics company (I walked the floor holding a tray-full of samples.)  Hey, the non-parenthetical descriptions look better on a resume!

So now the great wind is blowing me toward City government, and I feel like all of the skills I've acquired along the way have been preparing me for this moment (not the least of which that I've raised three voting-aged children!!)   I am a problem-solver, a hard worker, a negotiator - and don't forget, I also have the patience of a grandma.

It doesn't mean I'm in for smooth sailing. . .sometimes a great wind will give you imagination AND a headache.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I'm a better mother than I am a blogger. . .

I'm back. Oh, it's only been a couple of years or so. . .

I will definitely have to update my "about me" stuff, but here's what we've got going on today. . .

I'm procrastinating writing a bio for my City Council campaign. Yes I am, and yes I did! I know you're laughing, but it's just crazy enough to work. If you've read through a few of my blogs, you can actually see where my "education" into the workings of City government began when I received notice of a code violation and stuck a nasty sign in my yard. It turned out to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship with the friendly folks in the Code Enforcement office. . .and an early step in my education about doing the right thing and looking out for my neighbors. The important life lesson: be willing to listen to the other side of the story.

But what of my children?? Oh, they are all up and at 'em this morning - the two who still live at home still need to clean their rooms and the two who made it over the wall are "fully involved" in life. The oldest son and bonus daughter are raising a child and planning a wedding in March. The oldest daughter is in school and working and also lives on her own. Her younger brother just moved into the 'hood (adulthood!) and, while he remains at home, he is no longer homeschooling - he's working on his diploma at the local college. And the last "last" child is scrounging her way through fourth grade at the elementary school up the road. We'll catch up on all of that soon, dear reader. . .much has changed in my life.

And yet, some things remain the same. I need to get back to work. Hello, my name is Lara and I am a procrastinator. But I guess we all have to be a "pro" at something.

Have fun!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tote My Weary Load. . .

Every morning, 7th Heaven rides her bike to school while I follow along on foot.

When we started this year, she made a new friend who lives between our house and the school. We meet her at the corner, and she rides with us the last two blocks.

As seven-year-olds are not adept at biking while carrying backpacks, I serve not only as an escort, but a pack-mule as well.

This morning, I was trudging along behind the girls, thinking about all the things I have to do today: go through the Declaration of Independence with Halfway Between (10 & 20), a visit to the junior college with the Edge (of 17), paperwork for Hubbalicious, lunch with 7th Heaven and the Second Graders, a laminating project for the teacher. And that should bring me up to Noon.

With two heavy backpacks on my back, I was losing the feeling in my fingers. . .is this what they mean by "toting the weary load?"

At our Momslikeme website, I'd given a pregnant mother who was feeling fat because she'd moved into a size 7 some advice:
"there is always someone for whom your shoes wouldn't be so bad to walk in. . ." I was not attempting to invalidate her feelings - they were her feelings! But I think we all have to stop every now and then and put things in perspective.

Then I started thinking about my oldest son, the firefighter: young, broke, expecting a baby and trying to get through school. He practices running into burning buildings with a hundred pounds of gear on his back! I quickly put my minor dilemma back in it's place.

We all have moments where we feel a little overwhelmed. Instead of complaining, sometimes you just have to hike up your load and keep on moving. And remember that there are people all around you who would consider your load to be pretty light!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Making Up is Hard to Do

We'd met on the back porch for coffee, but had happened to meander back to the bedroom at the same time.

I checked my cell phone to see if anyone had called, he brushed his teeth.

"Here, " he said as he walked around the other side of the bed, "I'll help you make this."

For over two decades, I've been the designated bed-maker. I don't mind it, it's my thing I do. I'm probably the only one in my house who can't stand an unmade bed, it will call to me. . .

"Thanks!" I said, meanwhile thinking to myself, "I love this guy!"

We pulled up sheet, blanket, spread. Then we collected pillows.

"Your pillow's wrong, flip it over please," he gave me "the look," so I explained, "You have to have the seams in the middle so we don't fight."

"That's silly. . ." he responded, but flipped the pillow anyway.

"No, I'm serious. I think that's what happened to my parents: faulty pillow placement!"

"That's just an old wives' tale!" he giggled.

"Well, how do you think I got to be an old wife?!"

Have fun!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Run, Mom, Run!

"Hey, you, over there!
I know about your kind. . .
You're like the Independent Network News on Channel Nine.
Everywhere that you go, no matter where you are at. . .I say, you talk about this and you talk about that!" - Run/DMC

"Hey, Mom. . ." it started as we pulled out of the driveway this morning. We had to deliver some equipment an hour and a half down the road and 7th Heaven had come along for the ride and the promise of a potential stop at "Awful House."

"Hey, Mom. . .I think I'm going to get hash browns. I love hash browns."

"That sounds fine, Sweetie."

"Hey, Mom. . .when you were a child like me, did you love hash browns?"

"Yep. I still like them occasion-"

"Hey, Mom. . .did they have 'The Flintstones' when you were a little girl?"

"Yes, they did. It was my favorite sh-"

"Hey, Mom. . .you know that guy, Barney. . .not like the dinosaur, but the one who hangs out with Fred. . ."

Let's see, 1 1/2 hours there, 1/2 hour to eat, 1 1/2 hours back equals about 210 minutes with a "Hey Mom" once every two minutes. . .105 "Hey Mom" s by my account.

As we approached our final exit, I interrupted her to sing that song to her. She stopped talking and looked at me with her big blue eyes. She took a deep breath.

"Hey, Mom. . .isn't that on Sissy's ipod?"

Forget DMC, I just want to Run!

Have fun!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I'm not a crazy woman, but I play one in an online blog. . .

Some days, it does all of us well to remember the "Serenity Prayer:"

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I can't change
The courage to change the things I can
And the Wisdom to know the difference.

A woman has repeatedly called the city code enforcement because we have a travel trailer and boat in our driveway near the garage, and two long vehicles that block the sidewalk.

When we got the first call, we backed the vehicles up, to where they are almost IN the street, still partially blocking the sidewalk but leaving 6-8 feet in front of them to cross.

The code officer said it was fine, until she called again.

And again.

And again.

Now, they are issuing us a citation because of her complaints. We're trying to find somewhere else to park our boat and trailer, but in the meantime, I made her a sign and posted it in my front yard. I took it down today, because the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was all a matter of perspective. She didn't like her path being blocked on a public sidewalk and I didn't like someone telling me what to do in my own driveway.

I'm not necessarily proud of my ill-mannered outburst, but it sure felt good to get it off of my hormones:

Dear Nosey Busy-body,
We are working diligently to move our vehicles from our own damn property! Despite the fact that dozens of other people in this neighborhood park blocking the sidewalks and those of us with lives simply walk around them, you’ve singled us out for excessive complaint to satisfy your need to blather rather than stepping three feet out of your self-important way. I am sure that, once we have satisfied your nonsensical fixation, you will find someone else to harass with your inane griping. Our only consolation in this matter is that, while you are violating our right to park our legally registered vehicles in our own driveway, you are stuck being a malcontent shrew. Karma is a b---h :)