The Groove That’s in my Heart

Most of my days begin with a song.
This morning I sang the Growing Pains theme song, in an attempt to get my daughter to pull back the tangle of bedding, pillows and stuffed animals that she refers to as her nest, so that she could “Show me that smile again.

I got nailed with a plush unicorn long before I made it to, “As long as we got each other.”

Undeterred, I shuffled on down the hall,
“The Low oord, told Mommy, to go and toast your Bagels bagels,

Bay gulls! Made Of! … Hickory Barky barky….”

I know you’ll be suprised to find out that I don’t really have much of a music background.

I hopped the fence to take piano lessons from a talented neighbor mama, when I was a little kid.
Piano was a great instrument to start with.   You learn treble and bass clef, which is helpful for transitioning to lots of other instruments, but not viola.

I started playing the viola, when I was in 4th grade.  That went on clear through high school, even though sometimes I wasn’t really playing.  When I graduated, I still needed my stand partner, my bff Carrie Beth, to tune it for me.
I definitely was not the best viola player ever, but I loved the people there.

I think the viola is the only alto clef instrument, unless you’re willing to play one of those yucky band instruments, that you have to put your mouth on, but remember, the alto clef is just there to mess with you anyway.

As an adult I picked up the guitar.
Although, I haven’t really picked it up in the last decade…

This week I’ve been working on a little song.
It’s about my most habitual prayer, so of course, it’s a country song.

You can just free style the melody, but I’ll share the lyrics with you.

They go a little like this…

Give me a green light Je-esus,
I think, I didn’t leave too soon
Told my kids to pack, while I tripped on my cat
Gotta fish my keys out of juice.

(sometimes there’s a second verse…)

Maybe need just one re-ed light
Need to write a message on this card,
Dig through purse, eat a frozen burrito
And stop the wrestling in this carrrr.

Maybe I’ll just stick to painting and non-musical writing.

I so wish that my most unceasing prayers were noble and inspiring,
but if I’m honest, green lights probably fill an embarrassingly large slice of that pie chart.


Thanksgiving Peeps

Since November is the season of thankfulness,                                                                 I’ve tried to give that some thought lately.

Of course, I’m thankful for all the normal stuff; Jesus, my kids, hub, yogurt and so forth. I’m sure my food related list alone could go on for days. And then there’s books and favorite shows… plus all the traditional, Thansgivingy stuff like the cornucopia, pre-Black Friday carb loading… pretty much everything, except cinnamon brooms.

One thing that’s always close to the top of my list, but tied with coffee, is my besties, my homies and all of my Be Fri…es.

I feel blessed and lucky to have the friends that I do.

I have original besties, some of which I picked up in or before kindergarten and still managed to hang on to through high school graduation. These people know my family.                                                                                                                           They know that this poster…  

used to hang in my room, that it was covering a Michael W. Smith poster,             and that that was probably a lateral move in cheesiness.

I have college besties, that are also dear and special folks… I know that those friendships sharpened me, even though a lot of what I remember just makes me laugh… like the time I gave one of my college besties a big hug, not expecting our ponytails to then be hooked together, or when I tossed a grape to a bestie who assured me that she could catch it in her mouth… which led to a Heimlich maneuver, grape launch worthy of a sitcom, at least on the Disney channel.

Now, I even have grown up besties; my church ladies, neighborhood mamas and PTA peeps encourage me daily.   They bring a joy to my journey that I couldn’t get by without.

and let’s see, best for last, 2 besties who share 1/2 my dna, but don’t have wide hips or poor math skills,                                                                                                     my awesome brothers!

I’m sure that if you’re an only child reading this, you probably could list a whole lotta reasons that being an only is the coolest.  I wouldn’t know. I have two older brothers, and I kind of dig coming in third in that lineup.


I’m sure that I’m a lot more thankful for my brothers now that I’m a grown up… and we all have dishwashers, and don’t live together, than I was as a kid… early in my writing career, when I penned the woeful tale of Beccarella and the Evil Non-Step Brothers, an unpublished short story that was very well received  by the other children in my third grade class on read aloud day.

My brothers might have called the window seats and made me ride on the hump in the back of our buick… mostly always, maybe buried my Cabbage Patch Kid up to its little head, so that it did look like she was growing in the garden, and possibly put my ceiling fan on high, shut it off at the wall and loaded the blades with My Little Ponies and Strawberry Shortcake mini figurines.            Whose didn’t?!

I think I learned to hold my own pretty well, and it turns out that I didn’t mind being pigeon holed into always being Daisy Duke or Princess Leia.  I might not have gotten to always choose which channel we watched, like I would have if I’d been an only, but I got two lifelong besties, who could give me a kidney, if I ever needed it…

… and I did get the big room!

Working It

So, I don’t have a job, per se.
What I mean is, I’m a stay in bed, er at home, mom

and I love my not job.

Like most actual jobs, it’s not a good fit for everybody and it comes with it’s own list of Frequently Asked Questions.

One question I get is “Do you miss them being littles?”
It always makes me smile.

The answer is a clear, “Yes, I do/don’t” because, like so much of our lives, it’s a mixed bag.
I LOVED reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom… but now I get to read The Hobbit, which is also pretty cool.

Every phase of my mama time so far has had some great stuff, some not so great stuff, and lots of funny business.

As for that Toddler to Preschool MOPS phase, with my littles, here is what I do/don’t miss…

#1  hub and I looking like Dan and Rosanne, it was not a fitness phase for us

#2  irrational conversations with phrases like, “Not take my baby (an actual dead bird) , No No Nooooooo!”

#3  unexpectedly running into mystery moisture …or mystery sticky business, ewwwwww

#4  watching PBS Kids- My kids might not remember lyrics like, “The soft G… and the hard G…   Come together….  in words like Garbage.”  but they’re burned into my brain.  Also, I loved hearing my 4 year old say, “sissy did say sorry, but I’m dubious”

#5  meeting Dr. Nose, this is the name that one of my tots gave to an E.N.T. who helped us out of a bad situation with a gummy vitamin

#6  feeling like a human kleenex

#7  sending e-mails to my hub at work, that contained colorful snippets about my day like, “you’ll never guess what flew out when I unloaded the dryer?!  Unless you guessed a turd, in that case, give yourself a high-five.”

#8  toddler party aftermath – crushed juice boxes strewn all over the lawn and traumatized kitty…

(Ferris is less conflicted about missing our baby days.)

#9  trying to clean the chunder out of a five point harness

#10  acting like zoo animals with my toddler at kindermuzik, when I just wasn’t feeling it…  or trying to cajole my toddler into being polite to the kindermuzik lady, “come on camper, elephants don’t go boneless on the floor like that…  and kick their moms.  Who is my baby elephant?”

okay, so I did have a lot of fun with my funny littles, but they’re more fun now and looking back, I’m just excited that they can bathe themselves and all that goodness.

Good…ish House Keeping

Halloween has come and gone, but this house is looking spookier than ever.

If this is the boat you’re in, Welcome Aboard!
Now, put the plastic pumpkin down, whatever you’re looking for has probably already been inhaled by tiny sugared up pillagers.

So, Post-Weekend/Halloween Home Re-Set…

First, put something in your crock pot.
Whatever you can reach. This is because later, when you need food, cooking will not be possible.
You need a meat product, some liquid and some spices.
Whatever comes out, you can serve over rice later.

Now that that’s going, you plugged it in, right? It’s time to open up a lil’ can of Let’s-Make-This-Dump-Shine-Like-The-Top-of-the-Chrysler-Building!
I like to start with an extra cup of coffee…
you can stir in a Fun Size Milky Way, it’s more fun that way.

Find yourself a timer. How long do you have to throw at this? 20 minutes works for good-ish, 10 minutes is just ish.
Also, I think a sound track helps. I have been using Rusted Root’s Send Me On My Way for dishes, and upbeat Bob Dylan songs for laundry, but you can find what works for you.
You may need to get psyched up first with a classic, like Eye of the Tiger, (visualize your personal cleaning montage) or you could reword the lyrics to Lose Yourself, by Eminem

There are no M & M’s left! Stay with me!

Okay, During house reset, Do not get the phone, more likely than not it’s just Newt Gingrich anyway.
Let it go.

I think we’re ready now, awwyeah!

Grab a plastic Thank You bag. You can keep it on your wrist for unexpected candy wrappers and general refuse [ref-yoos], while you’re doing the run around, i.e. putting things where they go and restoring order to your home. This might take a few songs, so pump up the jam.

Then, get the dishes knocked out, hopefully one song.
Next, put dirty clothes in washer and sort clothes coming out of dryer into baskets dedicated to each member of your household.
Go get your vacuum and use it to pick up any rogue dust bunnies in your high traffic areas.dust_bunnies_02

Check your bathrooms for any unsightly yucky business and vacuum the dusty layer off the back of your toilet.
Finally, look at the awesome work you have done, and see that it is good.

If you’re working full time, are ill or have kids under five in the house with you, this plan can easily be modified;
when you see your husband’s car pull in, get out your vacuum.
Place it somewhere noticeable. This signals productivity, however imperceptible, and that calls for take out.