Monday, November 29, 2010

turkey-day traditions.

thanksgiving is my husband's favorite holiday.
why? because we spend it
in a pocket of just us
here at home.

no extended family.
no extensive expenditures.
just us.

the morning consists of
sleeping late,
watching the [dvr'd] macy's parade,
& eating whataburger taquitos.

during the afternoon,
i concoct some microcosm of most folks'
thanksgiving day feast:
this time around,
a turkey roast,
smashed sweet potato bake,
green beans with walnuts,
pillsbury biscuits.

marie callendar's provided
the pecan pie for hank & me,
a slice of pumpkin for the big girl,
a slice of apple for the little boy.

a cold snap blew through,
so by evening, it really felt like
the holiday season had begun.

we watched the 1994 remake of
miracle on 34th street, which
we hadn't realized was produced & written by
the late, great john hughes.
i love the 1947 original, but
this version is also good
all on its own.

just fyi,
this house believes.

so bring on the jingling.
ring-ting-tingling, too.

our holiday tunes are cued up &
we're ready.

image source:

Monday, November 15, 2010

top ten gratitudes.

monday morning
ten days 'til thanksgiving
perfect opportunity to share gratitudes.

1. despite ridge-y fingernails,
wacky hormones & other
signposts of aging,
my good health.

2. lavender essential oil.

3. rolling cold fronts.

4. a little autumn color here & there.

5. a clean[ish] house.

6. almost all laundry folded & put away
[for about ten minutes].

7. christmas music [i know, i know, too early.
but it makes me happy!].

8. good stuff coming in the mail.

9. an approaching girlfriend weekend. woot!

10. my kids arguing over who gets to snuggle with me.

so, what are you feeling the love for today??

image source: felt shmelt @ etsy

Friday, November 12, 2010


We think we are raising them,
but they are raising us,
teaching us new flight patterns
day by day
& pushing us to be better
than we think we are.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

etsy whooooo??

a few weeks ago, big girl turned
"twelve-teen," as my mother always called it,
& she wanted her birthday party
to feature an owl theme.

[we always do themes at our house;
last february, little boy celebrated
turning seven with a pig party,
complete with pink snouts & little curling-ribbon tails!]

well, birthday express doesn't have
owl-themed party paraphernalia, so
i turned to, the e-marketplace
for handmade goods.

& wow, did etsy deliver!

immediate caveat:
our homemade invitations [above] were actually
from paper source [not etsy-associated];
an owl placecards paper-piecing kit
i simply put together & stuck onto
squares of colored cardstock.

i wrote the invite language into a word doc text box,
prettified the formatting, printed, cut out,
& stuck it onto the back. it read:

~ for our friend [name, so it was personalized] ~
please come to our hootenanny
celebrating [big girl]’s twelve-teenth birthday!!
sunday, october 24th, 2010
5 - 7 p.m.
the cards’ home @
[street address]
~ little critters to pet ~ owlish games to play ~
~ pizza supper to eat ~ good times to enjoy ~
~ plus, cake! ~
please rsvp – we want to know whoooo’s coming …
[number] or
it’s gonna be a hoot – don’t let it fly by!

here's what the table looked like all decorated.
orange & green are her favorite colors,
so i went with a brightly autumnal color way.

the centerpiece [at top] is mostly what i typically have
out on the table, with some owlish accents added:
white cakeplate with jim shore seasonal angel &
two little jack-o-lantern votives
+ orange-with-pale-blue-dots bookend owl
by i sew lucky, a la etsy -
one of big girl's favorite birthday gifts -
& a melty-bead owl from michael's
made by one of our kids a while ago.

we served fruit salad [ocean bowl, right rear]
& veggies with dip or hummus [fiestaware, left rear].
later, we ordered pizza for the main course.

but the piece de resistance definitely were the owl cake pops,
courtesy of sarandipity sweets @ etsy.

they came through usps from atlanta, expertly packaged
with disposable coldpacks & thermal bubble wrap,
each individually wrapped & tied with
a little polka-dotted ribbon. not one so much as cracked.

such attention to detail
[can you see the teensy candy beaks & feets?],
& full of the moistest, chocolatiest cake

stuck into colored dixie cups
full of "harvest blend" plain m&m's,
they were a huge hit.

here are some of the goodie bags,
assembled by me, decorated by little boy/brother.
he did an awesome job making sure
every owl bag had its own expression/personality -
wackadoodle owl, sad owl, sleepy owl,
singing owl [my favorite], chubby owl.

he was so, so happy to help
with some part of the party,
& big girl/sister was actually happy with his work,
which thrilled him even more.

the goodies within the bags included
tootsie pops [remember the 70s commercial
with the owl who discovers how many licks
it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop?],
dark-chocolate molded owl pops
c/o mandie's candies via etsy
[gobbled up too quickly for photo procurement],
& a handful of other treats,

along with these darling owl-themed
scrabble-tile necklaces,
a different design for every guest,
by global pendants from - you guessed it -

big girl said all her friends wore their
new owl jewelry to school the next day.

she loved her etsy-assisted owl party,
& i love her.

& yes, i heart etsy.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

pink prevention.

a final think pink entry:
from dr. oz's ultimate guide
to preventing breast cancer.

1. get a routine mammogram.
pay no attention to the media debate;
studies show mammograms reduce breast-cancer
death rates by an average of 30%.

2. eat for breast health.
foods proven to help protect you from breast cancer
include green tea, olive oil, garlic,
cruciferous veggies, seaweed & tumeric.

3. get your d on.
ample vitamin d can help reduce breast-cancer
risk by half. eat salmon, sardines & dairy,
& soak up 15-20 minutes of sunshine daily.

4. fight inflammation.
take two aspirin or ibuprofen a week
to reduce your risk of breast cancer by about 25%.

image source: belladerm medspa

Monday, November 8, 2010

my son is gay, too. or he's not.

rosie o'donnell read the following blog post out loud
on her satellite radio show [rosie radio] today.

& as the mom of a little boy
who has mostly girl friends,
whose favorite toy story character is jessie the cowgirl,
& who draws big red lips on everything
from jack o'lanterns to snowmen,
er, snowpeople,

i felt on listening to this
both a little ashamed
& profoundly inspired.

this is the mom i want to be for him.

& i do fairly well.
but this has inspired me to
do better.
be braver. more open-hearted. even more accepting
of who he is & who will become.

it's an amazing piece from a blog called
nerdy apple bottom [cop's wife does not remain silent].

the post is titled "my son is gay."

Or he’s not. I don’t care. He is still my son. And he is 5. And I am his mother. And if you have a problem with anything mentioned above, I don’t want to know you.

I have gone back and forth on whether I wanted to post something more in-depth about my sweet boy and his choice of Halloween costume. Or more specifically, the reactions to it. I figure if I’m still irked by it a few days later, I may as well go ahead and post my thoughts.

Here are the facts that lead up to my rant:

My son is 5 and goes to a church preschool.
He has loved Scooby Doo since developing the ability and attention span to sit still long enough to watch it.
Halloween is a holiday and its main focus is wearing a costume.
My son’s school had the kids dress up, do a little parade, and then change out of costumes for the rest of the party.
Boo’s best friend is a little girl
Boo has an older sister
Boo spends most of his time with me.
I am a woman.
I am Boo’s mother, not you.
So a few weeks before Halloween, Boo decides he wants to be Daphne from Scooby Doo, along with his best friend E. He had dressed as Scooby a couple of years ago. I was hesitant to make the purchase, not because it was a cross gendered situation, but because 5 year olds have a tendency to change their minds. After requesting a couple of more times, I said sure and placed the order. He flipped out when it arrived. It was perfect.

Then as we got closer to the actual day, he stared to hem and haw about it. After some discussion it comes out that he is afraid people will laugh at him. I pointed out that some people will because it is a cute and clever costume. He insists their laughter would be of the ‘making fun’ kind. I blow it off. Seriously, who would make fun of a child in costume?

And then the big day arrives. We get dressed up. We drop Squirt at his preschool and head over to his. Boo doesn’t want to get out of the car. He’s afraid of what people will say and do to him. I convince him to go inside. He halts at the door. He’s visibly nervous. I chalk it up to him being a bit of a worrier in general. Seriously, WHO WOULD MAKE FUN OF A CHILD IN A COSTUME ON HALLOWEEN? So he walks in. And there were several friends of mine that knew what he was wearing that smiled and waved and gave him high-fives. We walk down the hall to where his classroom is.

And that’s where things went wrong. Two mothers went wide-eyed and made faces as if they smelled decomp. And I realize that my son is seeing the same thing I am. So I say, “Doesn’t he look great?” And Mom A says in disgust, “Did he ask to be that?!” I say that he sure did as Halloween is the time of year that you can be whatever it is that you want to be. They continue with their nosy, probing questions as to how that was an option and didn’t I try to talk him out of it. Mom B mostly just stood there in shock and dismay.

And then Mom C approaches. She had been in the main room, saw us walk in, and followed us down the hall to let me know her thoughts. And they were that I should never have ‘allowed’ this and thank God it wasn’t next year when he was in Kindergarten since I would have had to put my foot down and ‘forbidden’ it. To which I calmly replied that I would do no such thing and couldn’t imagine what she was talking about. She continued on and on about how mean children could be and how he would be ridiculed.

My response to that: The only people that seem to have a problem with it is their mothers.

Another mom pointed out that high schools often have Spirit Days where girls dress like boys and vice versa. I mentioned Powderpuff Games where football players dress like cheerleaders and vice versa. Or every frat boy ever in college (Mom A said that her husband was a frat boy and NEVER dressed like a woman.)

But here’s the point, it is none of your damn business.

If you think that me allowing my son to be a female character for Halloween is somehow going to ‘make’ him gay then you are an idiot. Firstly, what a ridiculous concept. Secondly, if my son is gay, OK. I will love him no less. Thirdly, I am not worried that your son will grow up to be an actual ninja so back off.

If my daughter had dressed as Batman, no one would have thought twice about it. No one.

But it also was heartbreaking to me that my sweet, kind-hearted five year old was right to be worried. He knew that there were people like A, B, and C. And he, at 5, was concerned about how they would perceive him and what would happen to him.

Just as it was heartbreaking to those parents that have lost their children recently due to bullying. IT IS NOT OK TO BULLY. Even if you wrap it up in a bow and call it ‘concern.’ Those women were trying to bully me. And my son. MY son.

It is obvious that I neither abuse nor neglect my children. They are not perfect, but they are learning how to navigate this big, and sometimes cruel, world. I hate that my son had to learn this lesson while standing in front of allegedly Christian women. I hate that those women thought those thoughts, and worse felt comfortable saying them out loud. I hate that ‘pink’ is still called a girl color and that my baby has to be so brave if he wants to be Daphne for Halloween.

And all I hope for my kids, and yours, and those of Moms ABC, are that they are happy. If a set of purple sparkly tights and a velvety dress is what makes my baby happy one night, then so be it. If he wants to carry a purse, or marry a man, or paint fingernails with his best girlfriend, then ok. My job as his mother is not to stifle that man that he will be, but to help him along his way. Mine is not to dictate what is ‘normal’ and what is not, but to help him become a good person.

I hope I am doing that.

And my little man worked that costume like no other. He rocked that wig, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

in this month of thanks-giving,
i'm grateful for you, boo's mama.
you rocked your blog, & it might just
change some minds/hearts/lives.

image source:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

we can walk. & we did.

we walked for the cure
& against breast cancer

the komen race for the cure
works rather hard to feel like a party.
& part of it is a well-deserved
celebration for survivors.

& it was fun to be one wave
among a sea of pink,
flowing between shores of
cheerleaders & water-offerers & mascots.

but part of it is a well-deserved
memorial for the ones who didn't survive.

& it was touching & wrenching to see the
"i walk in memory of" signs
safety-pinned to so, so many t-shirts.

a man walking in memory of his wife.

a group where every member
was wearing three or four signs.

a young mother with kids alongside,
wearing the bright pink tee
that indicates she herself is
a survivor, with a sign on her back
that reads "mom."

our whole little family walked
with my jazzercise team.
lucky 13 of us in all,
including 2 longtime survivors,
& 1 fresh from chemo,
beginning six weeks of radiation
tomorrow morning.

& we missed our fellow jazzerciser
& dear friend irmtraud,
& talked about her fierce will to live
& how she fought tooth & nail
to the very, very end last february.

& my kids walked beside me,
one holding each hand,
for much of the 3.1 miles.

& i felt proud.
& i felt joyful.
& i felt mournful.
& i felt worried.
& i felt blessed.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

a huge shout-out to
my amazingly generous family & friends,
who gave $600 to support me & the cause.
above & beyond, as ever.
thank you.

image source: rosi & grace, our oak hill jazzercise team - via me.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

celebrate the everyday - november.

it's november, 2010. how will you celebrate being a woman?

november 10national young readers' day
read to a youngster today.

november 13 world kindness day
think kind thoughts. do kind deeds. be kind you.

november 15america recycles day/i love to write day
use recycled paper to write a love letter.

november 18use less stuff day
begin by buying less stuff this season.

november 20national adoption day
adopt a child, a pet, a new perspective.

november 21world hello day/full moon [the beaver/frosty moon]
say 'jambo!' to the full moon!

november 25 - thanksgiving/international day for the elimination of violence against women
be grateful for your own safety or survival.

november 27national day of listening
help a loved one tell their story.

remember, where there is connection, there is power.
where there is power, there is hope for change. for ourselves, & for our world.
we are all connected. we are all powerful.

until my next post, be well, be happy & be hopeful.

image source:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

welcome, november.

october is over ... *phew.*
the election is over ... *hmph.*
the holidays are upon us ... like it or not.

& i'm feeling appropriately grateful.

for our first gray, blustery,
hint-of-winter day.

too much of this is depressing.
but a day or two is perfect for
hunkering down at home.

lit a candle.
brewed up a chai latte.
put on my "thanksgiving" ipod playlist.
did a little online xmas shopping.

now blogging. then working.

i'm blessed.

image source: compendium.