Musing

Fall Funk

water rain wet drops

Y’all, I’m not gonna lie. I’m having a super hard time coming up with inspiration for the blog the last couple of weeks.  I have had a serious case of the “blahs” and I’m just not feeling it.  I wouldn’t call it depression.  It’s more like a funk.  I have no doubt the weather has something to do with it. This September and now October has been the wettest on record for Texas and we’ve also experienced record cold.  Frankly, we are having January for Fall.  It’s so strange to see green leaves on trees and yet its 48 degrees outside.  I know our plight is nothing compared to what the Florida Panhandle and coastal North Carolina are dealing with.  I have close friends in both places dealing with the aftermath and it’s horrible. I’m just not mentally prepared for the cold and rain – not yet.

Over the years, I’ve discovered I’m very affected by the weather.  That sounds like such an old person thing to say.  When I re-read that sentence I immediately hear the old folks of my youth bitching about their bursitis acting up and how their arthritis is twinging which means rain is coming.  See what I mean? It’s an old person sentence. Young people don’t give two shits about the weather and yet I do. Full disclosure, I also watch the 10 p.m. news. Yep, that’s also an old person move and yet I can’t help myself. I know I can get news from the internet. I usually do but I love the local tv news.  Does this love of talking about the weather and watching the local news make me an old soul or just an old person in training?

Back to this weather, I know I’m not the only one completely over it.  My kids are dying to get out and really enjoy the outdoors as is my dog.  While we’re at it, let’s talk about how this weather is affecting everyone. This stupid weather is making people drive even dumber than they already do.  There are wrecks all over town and we have streets actually falling apart because of all the water.  This stupid weather has made the school carpool lane enough to make you want to commit murder or at least yell obscenities out your window at a few people. This stupid weather has made it impossible for me to fully decorate my yard for Halloween. Speaking of Halloween, this crap better clear up for the big night. There’s nothing worse than slogging through the rain or answering the door when it’s pouring down. Don’t give me that ‘just set a bowl of candy out on the doorstep” crap. You know as well as I do some greedy kid is just going to take it all and not the three piece max like your cute little Pinterest sign says.

P.S. – If you’re reading this and you have Twitter, do you think we can get #Thisstupidweather to trend?  Is that even a thing anymore?

P.P.S. – Y’all, I’m serious, I need some inspiration. Everything I can think of is political or bitching about something. I’m striving for lighthearted. With midterm elections looming, I don’t want to go political. It’s just too negative and anything I write will be like preaching to a choir or teaching a pig to sing – both are fruitless.  So, I welcome your ideas.

 

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Motherhood/Parenting, Random, Uncategorized

Homecoming

75a7cf508587495cafa7cf790d089863As of last weekend, all the high schools in my area have finished with homecoming festivities; and I am very thankful.  No, it’s not because all the nice restaurants were a madhouse and you couldn’t find a decent cocktail dress within a 100-mile radius. It’s because I can finally go to any grocery store with a floral department or Hobby Lobby and not see the photos like the one attached to this post.

Today’s topic is going to get me de-friended by my Texas bestie but really y’all this is something I will never get used to no matter how long I live in this state.  Now I get that the traditional thing is to give a girl a corsage or flower of some sort before going to a formal dance/homecoming/prom but these Texas mums have moved beyond a flower.  I’m attaching a link here to something I found the other day. It’s a blog post about 50 Gigantic Homecoming Mums everyone has to see.  These things are truly ridiculous.  They are like a car wreck you just can’t take your eyes off of.  High schoolers turn these mums into a competition of sorts – who’s mum is bigger, tackier, has more flair and do-dads, etc.  And let me tell you, these things aren’t cheap.  A small mum is easy $100 with the average mum costing $200-$300.  It’s insanity.

For years I have mentally told myself we have to move away from Texas before my kids get in high school. Now, with high school fast approaching, I’m starting to get worried because we have no prospects for a move. I wonder, will my son have to help foot the bill for this monstrosity? Will my daughter expect to get one of these fugly things and will subsequently want to hang it on her bedroom wall after Homecoming like her peers? I’ve already started campaigning for a move to Florida. It’s about the only Southeastern state we haven’t lived in.

Photo Disclaimer –  I don’t know those girls or the school they attend. I did a Google search for Texas Mums and this was the first one that popped up. Apparently, it came from Pinterest. Whatever, if you find this post and you know these girls and want me to take it down just message me and let me know.

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Motherhood/Parenting

Scared

Not a lot scares me. I will try pretty much anything once.  I squash my own bugs.  I do my own stunts.  Of course, I’m apprehensive about some things.  I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t feel that way from time to time.  Yet, I only have two real genuine fears.  The first is dying young like my mother.  I’m afraid I won’t get to see my children into adulthood; that I won’t get to see them become decent people and productive members of society.  My second fear builds off the first.  I’m afraid for the safety and security of those I love, especially my children.  I’m afraid something will happen so that they will not reach their full potential.  That second fear has many addendums to it. The fear they will be injured or killed. The fear they will make poor life choices. The fear of war or global societal collapse that would prevent my kids from reaching their goals in life.

Over the past few years, I have added yet another addendum to that second fear.  I fear for my son and how society is and will treat him because of his gender. Over the last 20 years and certainly over the last year, it seems like being born male is the worst thing that can happen.  Our society seems to have a bullseye on anything and everything that has to do with being male.  As a mother of a boy and a girl, I am not okay with this.  I expect, no scratch that, I DEMAND, both of my kids, regardless of their sex, get a fair shake at life.  I have been wrestling with this topic since I started this blog last November.  I have a lot to say on the issue. So much to say that I’ve written at least 10 blog entries only to delete each one and start again.  I have done research, gathered quotes, read other blogs and think pieces and I still couldn’t find the right words.  Then I read an article posted on the Today Show Facebook feed that said everything I wanted to say but somehow could not. I applaud the author, Nadine Bubeck, for having the guts and voice to speak out and say what needs to be said.  I’m begging everyone with a child to read what she wrote.

Regardless of political or social leanings, if we truly want equality for EVERYONE we have to stop building up one gender/race/orientation/etc. and tearing down the other. Didn’t we learn this stuff in kindergarten?  Be nice, treat everyone with respect and clean up your own mess?  It shouldn’t be that hard people.

 

 

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Musing

Just Stuff

img_1781Why are we as humans so hung up on stuff? Why do we get sentimental over inanimate objects – things that can neither truly receive or give love? Why do we attach human emotions to those objects? Yeah, I came out of the gate swinging with some big heavy questions didn’t I? The reason for all this deep thought and questioning comes from a recent experience with a loveseat.

Like most newlyweds, my hubs and I had a lot of hand-me-down furniture in the first couple of years we were married.  A couple of pieces included a living room set that belonged to my parents. It was a horrible, cigarette smoke smelling, early 90s Williamsburg blue plaid that fit perfectly with my Mother’s Country/Folk art motif. In other words, it was awful even with a cover over it.  After a couple of years of marriage, we went to Bassett Furniture and bought our own set which matched our person style – very traditional.  The hubs bitched the entire time we were picking out fabrics and signing contracts about how much it was costing us. In truth, compared to our annual salary, we were spending a crazy amount of money for this furniture.  He even threw down the gauntlet by stating, “This furniture better last 20 years like my parent’s sofa. If it doesn’t then it’s overpriced crap.”  I rolled my eyes and basically told him this furniture won’t last that long. It can’t because new furniture isn’t made to last.

That set, purchased in 1998, has since been put through the wringer.  It has seen multiple moves, pets, children and more spills than I can count.  A few pieces have been replaced over the years with cheap pieces that only lasted a year or two, but the loveseat remained.  Make no mistake, this piece is not in good shape.  The seat cushions are threadbare on both sides. The back cushions have come unsewn from the back of the couch and just the other day I noticed the arm fabric is coming unstitched from the frame.  The springs are totally shot and if you lift up the cushions you’ll find a board so that when you sit your butt doesn’t hit the floor. It’s an eyesore. And, yet, I can’t manage to part with it. Much like the van from a few months ago, this loveseat represents so much more than a place to sit and watch tv.  It’s one of the first grown-up purchases the hubs and I made as a couple. It’s the place we watched countless family movies.  It’s the place where we cuddled with the kids when they were small and sometimes now when they let us.  It’s my dog’s favorite bed even though I know we shouldn’t allow him on the furniture.  It’s been part of a pillow fort and an occasional bed.  Ironically, the loveseat technically lasted 20 years just like my Mother in Law’s old couch. It has been well loved. And, yes, the photo for this blog is a picture of the 20 year old loveseat.

As one can imagine, it was very nervous when we entered a Basset store a few weeks ago.  I knew it was time. We had to do something. I’ve seen nicer furniture in frat houses compared to what we currently have.  We picked out a lovely couch, loveseat, and chair.  The set is due to be delivered at the end of this week or first of next. Once again our living room will look like grownups actually live here instead of broke college kids. But, I’m dreading hauling that old loveseat down to the curb. Even though I know it’s ‘just stuff’ that holds no real value its the memories with that ‘stuff’ that gets me every time. I guess I’m just too sentimental for my own good when it comes to certain ‘stuff’.

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Motherhood/Parenting, Uncategorized

Extracurricular Shuffle

img_1748Y’all, I’ve seen a sign that the end is near. No, I’m not talking wildfires, floods, and earthquakes. I actually saw parenthood from my Mother’s point of view – which is a bonafide miracle.  I saw her point of view last night as I sat on a hot as Satan’s balls metal bleacher in calf-high grass watching my son play middle school football. My Mother refused to let me participate in any extracurricular activities. She had every excuse in the world from “We can’t afford it.” to “The Girl Scout leader is a whore who sleeps with all the Dads.”  Yes, that last quote is true. She actually told me that when I begged to be a Brownie. I desperately wanted to wear that cute little uniform complete with knee-high socks and beanie and sell (i.e. eat) those delicious cookies. As I got older, I realized all of her reasons were just excuses.  If I had really wanted to do it, we could have swung the instrument rental or registration fee.  The fact of the matter was my Mother was selfish and lazy.  She didn’t want to cart me 20 minutes across town to a game, practice or meeting. She didn’t want to sacrifice money for her cute clothes so I could have some god awful hot pink tutu that I wore once on a stage and immediately went into the toy box.

When I was old enough to understand, I vowed if I had kids that had the talent or ambition to play sports or an instrument or whatever, I would move heaven and earth to let them have the opportunity.  And, the opportunities they have had.  Between my son and my daughter, they have done soccer, t-ball, swimming, football, basketball, art, theater, golf, dance, gymnastics, horseback riding, band, choir, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and I’m probably forgetting a few more things.  Some of these endeavors have lasted for years while others only lasted a season. I have spent more hours shuttling children from one place to another and sitting on the sidelines or in waiting areas for various lessons to wrap up than I even want to think about.  We have spent enough for a few nice vacations on instrument rental, extra training camps, and hot pink tutus.  We have heard the dreaded, “I don’t want to do _____ anymore. Can I quit at the end of this season?” So yeah, last night as sweat rolled down the back of my legs and the white trash lady behind me rang a cowbell the size of her face everytime our team made a touchdown, I completely understood my Mother’s point of view.

Look, I know I have it easy. I only have two kids and neither of them is at the top of their chosen activity.  I have a cousin with four daughters who all play multiple sports.  I have friends that do elite or select kid sports.  You know, the teams where the kids are recruited like professional athletes and travel all over the state or region for games. These families are never at home. They can’t remember what home looks like.  They barely have time for school and jobs before they are on to the next game.  I actually texted one of those friends last night and told her she’s a saint for being an elite sports mom because I don’t know that I could do it.  Maybe if my kids had really remarkable talent, I would sacrifice and make it happen for them but I don’t know. That’s one of those instances where I’d have to be in that position to accurately make that call.

Tonight, when I sit on a well worn couch trying to read a book while waiting for my daughter to get out of ballet class, I will remind myself I am doing what I always said I would for my kids. I’ll be thankful for an hour that I get to sit on my butt and practically do nothing.  And, I’ll mentally pat myself on the back for not being a selfish twit by allowing my kids the opportunities I never had. But, I swear if that lady sits behind me at another football game and rings that damn cowbell in my ear one more time I may have to snatch it from her and knock her across the face with it.

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Musing, Rants

Self Help

imagesI like to listen to books on audio and podcasts while I workout and do mundane chores.  It helps pass the time and I generally gain some knowledge or it gets the gears turning in my head and thus inspires a blog.  Here lately, I’ve noticed many of the podcasts I’m listening to have a self-help quotient to them.  I don’t think they are aiming to do that, I think it just happens organically.  Now that I think of it, I’ve noticed a bump in the self-help phenomenon everywhere – Facebook posts, Youtube channels, even just text conversations with friends about the latest self-help book.  It’s worse than New Year’s resolutions. It seems everyone is on a kick to make themselves into a better version of themselves.

I have nothing against bettering oneself.  One must do a certain amount of bettering oneself just to sustain – like eating right and getting enough sleep and exercise.  But, as of late, it seems like nothing is good enough.  It almost seems like we are encouraged to find something wrong and fix it.  This isn’t just our looks – that has been going on for generations. I see it more and more with personality traits and behavior.  There seems to be a desire to slap a label on everything and everybody and then once the problem is labeled it must be addressed.

For example, if someone had demanding parents which turned that person into a super overachiever that person is them somehow flawed. When did being a Type A perfectionist become flawed and how is that a problem?  Let’s say a person happens to be the last born in the family and a natural entertainer.  Why is it now a bad thing to be a natural born entertainer or a pleaser or a fixer?  One podcast I listen to is a husband and wife team. The husband in this duo has a medical condition – ADHD.  I love listening to him because I also have ADHD. It’s like I’m listening to myself only with a deep voice. The duo recently had some family therapist on the show telling the man how despite years of learning coping mechanisms so that he can better function in the “normal non ADHD world” he is still broken and he needs to change.  It was taking every ounce of self-control I had not to start yelling out loud back to the podcast.  Why does he need to change?  I understand how hard it is to keep one’s shit together with ADHD. I understand how life with a perfectionist can be hard to live with.  I get that being around the entertainer can be exhausting for those who just want to chill. But, having those traits do not make a person broken or in need of change.  If a person is happy with themselves and a functioning member of society why do they need to change in order to make others happy?  Where would our world be without the innovators, the free thinkers, and the overachievers? In today’s spirit of inclusion, why can’t we embrace that some people have certain strengths and weaknesses that others don’t possess? I can’t help but wonder if this is the modern version of the search for the meaning of life or is this our way of evolving?  Are we so interested in making everyone the same that if you aren’t the same you must be broken?

Photo Credit: Lifted off the internet. No copyright infringement intended. Blood/turnip. I’m broke and do this for free. Don’t sue me just ask me to take it down if it’s yours.

 

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Musing

Man Down

img_1750I’ve found one of the shittiest parts of getting older is watching the heroes and icons of your childhood get older and subsequently die.  Much like half of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, I just read where Burt Reynolds has passed away. Two of my earliest childhood memories involves Burt Reynolds.

The first memory is sort of foggy. I remember my Mother talking about seeing Burt while he filmed a scene from a movie across the street from her work in Nashville, TN. If I’m not mistaken, the movie was W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings. She went on and on about how handsome he was.

The other memory is crystal clear.  My Mother took me with her to see Smokey and the Bandit at the local movie theater.  It was a night time showing. I was about three years old and it was way past my bedtime. In fact, I think I fell asleep shortly after this incident, but I digress.  It was during intermission. Yes, they still had them back then. And, we were standing in line for the ladies room. All of these women in line were going on and on about how good looking Burt was. I mean just really oohing and ahhing.  My Mother pipes up with, “Can you believe he wears a rug?”  Well, I immediately want to know what a rug is so I start asking, “Momma, what’s a rug.”  And. I. Won’t. Shut. Up. Of course, my mother thinks it’s a good idea to ignore her inquisitive child. I’m pretty sure that was a bad move on her part considering I wouldn’t stop asking.  After 30 seconds or maybe 5 minutes of me asking, “Momma, what’s a rug?”, she finally yells, “It’s a toupee.  A man wig.”  I remember thinking that was the stupidest thing I had ever heard. And, then I couldn’t stop envisioning him taking off said wig and putting it on one of those little white styrofoam heads.  It still boggles the mind.  The funniest part of the whole thing is that Burt admitted to the toupee.  God bless him.  He was real about being vain and a skirt chaser and a bit of an asshole.  And yet, the people from that era still loved him despite his flaws.

I think I will pop in Smokey and the Bandit tonight after dinner.  My oldest loves the movie as much as I do.  I waited until he was older than three to let him watch it.   And, just like my Mother, I’ve informed my kids that Burt is wearing a “rug”.

Photo Credit: I totally lifted this photo off of Facebook. Everyone I know has this photo on their page right now. I don’t know why every news outlet picked it to attached to their story but whatever.  No copyright infringement. I’m not making any money off this thing. Blood. Turnip. I’m broke. If you took it and you want me to take it down let me know.

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