Friday, September 26, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Buy WHAT for your Soul???

"If two loaves be your Daily Dole, then sell one and buy hyacinths for your soul..." ---from an old metal sign in my backyard

Today, I went shopping for new walking shoes. My old ones were handmedowns from one of my daughters, and had rubbed a huge blister (that popped en route home) yesterday during one of my 4-mile treks.

I don't have sexy legs and feet (I hope to acquire those someday when I ascend into Heaven. Oh, yes, and full, round bosoms). I wear shoes that are low to the ground and "safe" and ones that do
not draw attention to my less-than-perfect calves and toes.

I truly intended to buy new walking shoes. Walking is one of the reasons I have kept my weight down for the past 2 years....Rob had given me great confirmation regarding this purchase....I Really meant to buy the Practical and Comfortable....

But today....Today there were some very lovely red patent leather round-toed heels that jumped off the shelf in the shoe store and onto my feet in a most disturbing manner. They made me walk with my chin held high and my breasts thrust forward. I had a confidence and an arrogant attitude that I didn't recognize. They shone up at me from the basket as I eased them off my feet. and as I rounded the corner, another surprise greeted me. Purple heels with peekaboo toes. Purple. Spike heels. On sale.

So, today, instead of spending $30 on walking shoes, I spent the money on the impractical. The frivolous. The UNcomfortable. Shoes of a color I have never had before. Bright shiny red and brilliant rich purple. Because they did so much for my soul, you see. Very much like the aromatic scent of hyacinths in the spring.

My mother died 13 years ago this very day. I don't think I ever saw her wear flat shoes in the 43 years I knew her. But today, just for a moment, I think I caught the scent of her perfume.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mom! Hey, MOMMMM

I hear this a lot. Not so much from my own children anymore, for they have flown our nest and are Moms in their own rights.

But I hear it. Children everywhere call out that phrase. "Mom! Look at ME!" "Mom! Watch this!" "Mom! S/he broke my (fillintheblank)!" "Mom!" "Mommmm!" "Hey, Mom!!!"

There is a point in all our lives when we want our moms to see and be a part of everything. Of course, then comes age 12 or so, and they would like it if Mom became a hazy figure. SOME of the need for Mom's approval sweeps in and out over the next few years, and moms relish the (albeit brief) attention that before had so annoyed them prior to puberty.

There's also that age when the children know a lot more than mom, and, once again neither really likes the other for a while. It is a portal thru which we must all pass.

But allinall, Moms are a necessary part of becoming who we are. They infiltrate their children's very being and soul, and they place markers thruout their psyche that affects them for a lifetime. They give us a template, and most of us match it, good or bad. Some of us take what we like, and forget what we need to forget (my Animal Behaviorist friend calls this "being like Teflon").

I had a friend once who was so angry at her mom because she never said anything that was quotable.

Now. Once you've read that sentence, think back to SOMEthing that you've said in the past 24 hrs that your Mom told you. I thought everyone quoted their moms, that her words always came back to you at the moment that you needed it. Like the clean underwear thang, or as long as you have a smile on your face and your hair is brushed who cares if you are wearing the latest fashion? Or, your face is gonna freeze that way. Or, there are children in China who are starving (name three...--that response'll get your face slapped). Or even, you cannot fit that whole thang in your mouth.

My mom left us with a lot of quotes, in addition to the old standbys aforementioned. She told us to always pass on the Good. She told us to be a lady if it killed us. She told us that as long as we had manners, we could eat and drink with kings. We could get glad in the same pants we got mad in. We were praised for "going the second mile" (putting the liner in the trash can after we empty it). We were chastized if we did not take exquisite care of our hands. We never ate chicken salad (she had this "thing" about spoiled food). And we were told if we got pregnant before marriage, she'd jump off the Mississippi Bridge.

She cheated at cards. She carried a pistol in her purse. She wore 6-inch spike heels every day. She had her hair done professionally every week. She got up every morning at 5 am to fix our daddy's breakfast. She danced. She sang off-key. She believed in God.

I am sure that my daughters can add a few sentences regarding "quotable moments" from their mom. They actually did listen to me when I thought I was screaming to the wind. I have heard them tell their children some of the exact same things I told them. So, the eye rolling and the heavy sighs continue on to the next generation of children hearing these quotes.

I am fifty-six. Fifty-six and a half, really. My mom died when I was forty-three. I have lived a very good life and have even jumped a few minor hurdles. I'd like my mom to see what I've done. I'd like for her to look at how I've grown and what I've become. I'd like to be able to say Mom! Hey, MOMMMMM!

Guess we never really outgrow that.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Emeril's Essence

I bought some of this stuff today. Emeril's Essence. It's a salty seasoning with a bit of a hot bite to it. Emeril yells out on his show, "BAM!" when he uses it. I'm thinking I can duplicate it, but for right now, at $2.50 for a large-sized bottle, I'm pretty happy with what it does to me....It's a good product. Goes well with Tequila....Well, actually sprinkled on crackers that you eat when you drink Tequila....

Do I Love You the Best? Favoritism Parenting

Do I love you the best? Of course I do. YOU are my very favorite. Some parents have it "easy" because they have one of each....Therefore, they can say, "You are my favorite little girl," and "You are my favorite little boy." I never had that "luxury." So I told both girls they were my favorite.

Truer words were never spoken. And most parents would understand.

Both girls, born from the same parents, nurtured in the same womb, victims of the same net income and parental humor, consumers of the same diet, attending the same church and schools-----they turned out as different as night is to day and both quite lovely and unique and funny.

So, yeh....I love you the best. I've never met two people whom I would love to count as my dearest friends more than you. I admire you, marvel at you, and get hysterically tickled at you more than anyone else on this planet (well, maybe your Dad ranks a little bit higher, but, then, he's got a few legs up---so to speak---on you).

After my Mom died, I realized that my brother and sister both thought that they were her favorite. Not so! I was! Certainly she loved ME, the baby chile, most like her, the most. We were intimate. We knew each others thoughts and we enjoyed the same activities and believed almost the same beliefs, religiously. She marveled at all that I did and everything I accomplished. No WAY she loved Sherry or Nic more! But they believed the very same thing as I did.

This "realization" made me think that Mom had a very special "gift" of convincing each of us that we were most important in her life......Now I know that it was not a gift at all. It was just her way of delighting in us----in each of us. It was how she lived out her mothering.

So, yeh....Don't be thinking I am an exceptional woman because I can convey to each of you your importance to me...

Nope. It's just how I enjoy you! I love your creativity--you make bows, fashion jewelry, dig ponds, sew baby clothes, design homes, heal wounds, find new ways to teach your children. I love your spirituality, your heart for mission, and your desire to serve. I love your humor and your patience and your positive approach to Life. AND, you are doing all this on a Limited Budget and with literally no help from anyone else. It all belongs to you and the Creator who probably had a blast making you!

Friday, September 5, 2008

It is dusk...Sitting outside on the deck w/locusts singing. There's a football game at the high school, several miles away, and I can hear the announcer. Water garden fountains are singing. I see flickers of lightening bugs as the sun gets more pale in the sky. Dogs are discovering new things in the backyard and coming in every once in a while to "check in." I have the citronella lamps burning. The air is cool but not clammy, and I am trying to talk Rob into spending the night out here, sleeping on our foam mats.

I love this place. It's been Home for 28 years, and the land around our house has seen so many changes and metamorphoses. The swing set no longer stands with flat swings and a glider. It houses a dog agility jump and a Little Tykes baby swing. And a couple of pretty windchimes. The "rosebed" is replaced by a large oak tree that came up in its mulch many years ago. Shade, now. All shade. The trees have taken over the full sun area, and the challenge has been to find shade-loving plants to place underneath them. There's benches and stepping stones with angels and old galvanized buckets, rotary telephones, a manual Underwood typewriter, huge granite stones, concrete angels, an old bathtub, even an old bathroom sink. And, of course, there's the iron couldron that came from Aunt Jewel's. Lemon thyme cascades out of it, and nearby is an old iron stove that I burn stray sticks in when the weather gets cold. It's a yard put together for 3 decades by a woman who is so crazy, there are not words to contain who she is. She just Is.

And she knows every square inch of this yard. Arranges rocks in new paths and borders, but no one notices the change except her. The fish in the watergarden know her voice, and come to the top of the pool with open mouths, asking.She scoops the dog poo. She tucks brushed-out Collie fur into tree branches for the birds' nests. She transplants a wild daisy and checks for ripe figs and red tomatoes. She plays keepaway with the dogs and chase the vinca vine with the cats. She curls up in the hammock and sees the shapes in the clouds....

I look at me sometimes in wonderment at all the small things I am and can be. I am encircled by contentment, undeserved contentment.
And I am so grateful that my body and most of my mind appreciate these things.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

James, our "middle Collie."

This is Baden, my oldest Collie. Running Agility a couple of years ago at the Collie National Specialty in NC.

Inventory of Destruction

Inventory of the things that Prosper has torn up in the past 24 hours:

2 bottles of Dog Shampoo (bath outside yesterday, and before I could pick up everything....)
1 fine-toothed comb (left on the grooming table on the deck)
1 numbered-edition book, Dog Tales (we were outside this morning entertaining some of Rob's bicycle friends, and Prosper was being So GOOD inside, waiting for us at the glass door....)
1 empty Triscuit box kyped out of Recycle
1 pink stuffed poodle (sorry, Aint Sherry)
1 fairly empty cottage cheese container (this was Authorized, just thought I'd put it in)
He "tasted" Rob's glasses he left on the night stand, but left no marks (I heard a small crunch sound and jumped up real fast)

WHAT was I THINKING, getting one of these Barksdale boyz????? I call myself a fairly good "manager" and Try to keep stuff up off the floor....But he FINDS things! He goes into my closet and gets my shoes (I have bifold closet doors, and he OPENS them). He just walked in right now with one of my plastic headbands....He's just as willing to trade or even give it up happily (he is SUCH a happy boy!) as carry it around. And I am SO glad that he will pick things up---but----arrrruuuughhhh!!! This "free-thinking" stuff is a LOT to keep up with!

I remember when we were at Barbara's, picking him out, and how Thrilled I was that he brought back that wadded up piece of paper----directly back to me.....I was SO excited! WHAT was I Thinking????

Prosper Can Jump!

Today was a continuation of "Spa Day" bec we got rained out yesterday. I had set the grooming table up on the deck, and proceeded to dremel nails. Baden is 11. He needs help getting up on the table, and when Rob is here, he lifts him easily. James literally glides up on the table, and enjoys each facet of grooming immensely.

Prosper has always needed help getting up on the table....I ask for "paws up!", he props his forepaws on the table, then I boost his bootie up.

Of course NO dog is allowed to jump off the table by himself. Mom gets REEEEEAL mad and growls and fusses a LOT if that ever happens (and sometimes it does, when there's another dog chasing a leaf or something important).

But Today....TODAY, my liddle wolf cub JUMPED UP on the table All By Himself!!! Just, boinnng! and he was standing on the table!!! NEVER thought this would ever happen! Oh! I was so thrilled and yelled and praised and whooped-te-dood! Then I placed him down on the deck again, and he jumped right up again! Not even with a cookie bribe---he just DID it!!!

Of course, I had to go get Rob and show him, and Prosper bounced right up onto the table. Wow!!! And this is NOT a low grooming table. It is as tall as my dining room table..........What was I THINKING? WHAT was I THINKING??? Omigosh, I am in Big Trouble....

Please tell me Barksdale boyz don't jump up on the diningroom tables....