Monday, July 31, 2006

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Mommy can you hear me?

Yesterday I took the B-girl to the ear, nose and throat doctor (the tonsils and adnoids will be coming out). Something occurred at the doctor's office that has been happening just about everywhere we go lately.

B-girl had to have some X-rays taken of her throat so the nurses took her into the X-ray room. When they came back the nurse said," Her voice is so soft and sweet, I could barely hear her."

Whose voice was that? I asked, not even thinking of my sometimes extremely loud daughter.

"Why your daughter's of course," the nurse said.

My instinct was to reply "yeah, it doesn't sound like that at home" but I try not to embarrass my daughter if I can help it.

So sitting back in the room, I said "we're you talking in your baby voice again?"

"Yes" she said, "i was kinda scared."

My six-year-old daughter has this baby-speak that she turns on at times. Sometimes when she meets people for the first time she will talk to them in this cute little voice that sounds like she is three or four, with the vocabulary of a six year old which makes it even cuter to the people who hear the sweetest little voice, perhaps in the world.

The sweetest little voice has a way of scaring me because she can be talking in that cute little way and within seconds launch into her six year old bratty voice, giving me some kind of sound-sensitive switching gears reaction.

At times I have told her not to "talk in a baby voice" in front of people and she will stop. Other times she keeps up the charade because she knows people just love her teeny, tiny little voice.

One time she said," This is the only voice I have mom" and the mother with us seemed frustrated that I was trying to force my child to talk differently.

This teeny, tiny baby voice is normally whipped out when she is scared (like the x-ray) or asking for something, like candy.

My mother falls for this voice hook, line and sinker.

I have asked my mother not to indulge the child when she sounds like she is three, but my mother, in typical fashion, ignores me because she thinks the voice is so cute and reminiscent of the time when the child was pure innocence.

The kid tries to use this voice on me, but to no avail. She knows that she has a better chance of getting what she wants from me by asking politely like a young girl should, but there are those out there who don't know her quite as well. Her family and close friends are onto this, but she still tries with them from time to time.

Then there are the suckers out there who have never met her before and have somethings she wants. And those suckers and their suckers are soon parted.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Mr. and Mrs. Heavensent

It happened the other day when I went to pick the B-girl up from her daytime dance camp. One of her friends in dance class is a friend the same age from school. At school events and summer parties I have been sitting with the girl's parents because they are so friendly and likeable.

After dance was over the mother said, "Would you like to drop the B-girl off to play at our house around three? I am off today."

"But you have three children already," I said.

"Yes and they all love to play, one more isn't going to hurt," she said.

"I guess I could," I said. "I could run some errands and then pick her up at five," I said.

"Pick up her at at six" the mom said. "The kids will just be getting into full-swing at five."

"Yeah that way you will have some time for yourself," the dad said (yes the dad said this I told you these are really nice people) . The mom continued. "It's got to be hard to be a single mom."

I immediately thought about this woman. She has three children under the age of six, she is attending nursing school and she works. Now she is thinking about me. What kind of people have I stumbled onto here? This couple is offering to take care of my daughter so I will have time for myself. And I trust them. (Trust is key) Let me think...

"Okay then see you at three!, " I said before they had a chance to change their minds..

Contemplating the afternoon was new for me. The words "time for yourself resonated through the far reaches of my mind. The idea seemed almost foreign to me now.

I was planning what to do with the free time. I needed to go to the bank and dry cleaners. This is great, I thought, I won't have to score those lollipops from the cashiers for my daughter who nudges me with the old "get me a treat" elbow every time we go to these places. If I stop at the store to pick up a few things I don't even have to look at the toy aisle and that will save me a few bucks. I can look at things in the store with both eyes because one doesn't have to be on the kid at all times. I could go to my favoirte coffee shop, the one my child refers to as "boring".

The whole concept of this woman caring for my daughter so I could "have some time to myself" blew me away. Wait a minute, I must be dreaming. It couldn't be possible...could it? A nice person is doing something nice for no reason except to be nice. What the? That afternoon I kept asking the daughter

"Are you going to your friend's house this afternoon?"

"Yes, mom we have to be there at three and I don't want to be late." The B-girl is never late for anything that involves dancing, playing or ice-cream.

At three we were there. I went in to say hello. The B-girl took off to her friend's bedroom and I realized she would be fine. The nice couple had my cell phone number so if anything should come up they would call, so I left.

I ran a few errands, went to the store for my mom, grabbed a cup of coffee and read the newspaper at the coffee shop...In total quiet. Two people I knew came in so I chatted for a while.

When I went back to pick the B-girl up she had played up a storm and enjoyed dinner with her friends. I said thank you and we said goodbye. The friend's mom said I if ever need to bring B-girl by to have some time alone to give them a call". I smiled, said thank you and we went on our way.

I thought to myself how nice these people are and how lucky I am to know them. I wondered if I had three kids if I would be the same way. No absolutely not, but why? I surmised it is the age difference. I figure she is in her twenties. I remember those days. I could stay up all night and proceed to work with no problems. Ah to be young again!

B girl said she wanted to go back there again and I reminded her that her friend is having a birthday party soon and we would be going there in a couple weeks. I know that I won't ask these people to babysit because they already have enough on their plate, but it's nice to know there is some back up living around the corner, just in case.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The freakin' bloggin blockade

Hey guys, just a quick note to let you know I am still here. I could not access my blog for some reason.

For a while I thought the great Blogger editor decided I would not be allowed access. I could log in and post comments but I could not access my own page. I knew something was going wrong when I published the last post. I was trying to upload photos and Blogger kept telling me they were uploaded and they were never there! I don't know if the problem is my computer or Blogger.

Anyway, it appears that I am back. Do these things happen to anybody else? Based on my history of luck, or lack thereof, I am guessing not!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The age of innocence (with style)

Took B-girl to the park by the river yesterday. She had a blast. She never ceases to amaze me, sweet only child o' mine. This park has three different play areas. She goes to one plays a while and says

"Mom let's go over by the red slide because there is no one to play with here and I need a friend."

B-girl makes "friends" everywhere. Sometimes she find out their names, other times not.

We went over the red playscape. She plays a while, scopes out the situation. No girls. She goes right up to this boy about her age and says, "Hey do you want to play hide and go seek tag?"

He says yes and they play together for a long while before he has to go.

We go to another swingset and she befriends a three-year-old girl who with whom she plays on the slide and then swings. She loves to be the big kid.

Out for a walk on the pier and she makes new friends. She walks right up to these kids fishing and says "Did you catch a fish?" They show her their little fishes and I talk with one of the moms.

On the way home we stop for Slurpees (of course) and in the store she sees one of the girls who was fishing earlier. She says "Hey I know you Hi". I give her time to talk for a minute and we say goodbye.

I think back to when I was a kid. My mom took me to parks when I was little. Occasionally I would talk to a kid I did not know, but not very often. I had my own circle in the neighborhood and pretty much stuck with them. I had no where near the capacity to make friends (and still don't) that my six-year-old daughter does today.

What amazes me is her grasp on her kiddie world. When I was a kid we knew nothing and pretty much skipped and jumped our way through life. My mom was at home (I'm just sayin!) and my exposure was limited.

Her world is so much more sophisticated...

She already has her own log in and favorites on the computer. They include Disney, Starfall (a great resource for learning to read) Nick and some others. I had a little toy typewriter that actually typed. All the kids were amazed and it was the only one on the block.

When she is older she will do her homework on the computer. We actually had to go to the library and stay there because you could not take encyclopedias home.

B-girl insists on picking out her own clothes (only I must approve of them, especially the waist on the jeans when we can find one). My mother picked out my clothes and I wore them regardless of whether or not I liked them, although she would insist that she did a better job than I do now (maybe).

B-girl loves shoes and has too many. I had school shoes, dress shoes and gym shoes.

B-girl was a flower girl in my friend Dottie's wedding. I did not join a wedding party until my last year of college.

B-girl has a pink TV with a DVD player and cable in her room. She enjoys PBS kids, Disney and sometimes Nick. I had a little black and white TV with antenna that only got reception on clear days and I had to get up to turn the channel (B-girls thinks that is funny). We had no cable in our house until after I graduated high school.

B-girl has a social life. She has dance classes and school events during the school year. There are many birthday parties throughout the year. She sometimes asks for a cell phone and I just shake my head. I do let her make the occasional phone call to one of her friends. My entire social life consisted of the kids on our block and in the summer we stayed OUTSIDE ALL DAY LONG. We stayed outside till the streetlights came on and then went inside where there was no air conditioning.

B-girl has a great extended family. My brother, sister-in-law, nieces and their husbands give her a lot of attention and quite often. I saw my mom's family at graduations, weddings and funerals and my dad's was strewn across the country. We saw my Dad's family in the summer because every year when I was little my vacation was the same--going to my grandparents in West Virginia (Dad's parents). We would stop in Ohio to pick up one of my cousins so I would have a friend. B-girl and I are planning a trip to Disney next year. Next week I am taking her on a get-away. We will stay at a hotel that has five indoor pools.

Last year was kindergarten and B-girl had homework, spelling tests and math problems. My kindergarten consisted of play, sleep, eat and play.

B-girl plants flowers in the spring and takes care of them all summer long. We picked fruit off the apple tree in the neighbor's yard (when he wasn't on guard) and ran to our clubhouse with the goods.

Is her world that much different from mine? Yes! Will she be okay in her world? Yes. Will she ever know mine? No, although I try to inform her every day. She mostly laughs.

Is one world better than the other? No, they are very different, but they do have a common denominator--lots of love.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

An Affair to Remember

Do I even have to tell you how much you mean to me after all this time?

I hooked up with you when I was only eighteen and we have been going strong ever since.

I so look forward to the times we spend together...

Stolen moments before the kid wakes up.
The luncheon rendevous that send my heart a flutter.
Candlelight dinners just you and me.
Casually running into each other in restaurants or at Starbucks.

And, what about the jolts to far-away lands?

Kona Hawaiian
Australian Skybury
the French cafes
that Jamaican Blue Mountain that keeps beckoning me back.

As long as I live I will never forget...

our steamy fireside nights
or sunny days and the icy coldness at the pool.

What about the time I drove what seemed like forever in the middle of the night only to find you in that little cantina? How happy I was to see you there!

I appreciate how you go out of your routine to satisfy my sweet desires...

Blueberry Jam
Pumpkin Spice and Candy Cane

You must know by now my feelings for you are 100 percent pure.

Oh Coffee, dear, dear Coffee,

My partner tried and true.

You and I will live together in heavenly bliss

Until death do us part.

P.S. Meet me tomorrow for breakfast blend at Tiffany's.
History Revisited and Apparently Rewritten

Last weekend I went to my Godchild's graduation party. His mother, my long-time friend Pam, grew up in the house next door to mine. We are nothing alike, but somehow our frienship has endured through the decades.

My friend was relieved that the party went off without a hitch (except when the swim team broke the trampoline).

Long after midnight when the masses had left, a few of us broke down the buffet in the garage and put away the tables and chairs. We left one table for the six of us to sit around once we were done.

All the kids were in the house and Pam's newer friends, who are mothers of my godchild's friends, wanted to hear a little bit about our lives growing up. We talked for a long time about our childhoods, our neighborhood and the characters in it. As it turns out, however, our recollections of some events were really quite different.

Pam...She was the wild child.
Me...I most certainly was not!

(I thought about how Pam's curfew was much later than mine and she had many, many boyfriends before I was even allowed to date but I did not say it to the group).

Pam...Her parents had to send her to private shcool in jr. high.
Me...I begged and pleaded with my parents to go there, but I joined you in high school!

Pam...Yeah, and she was always hanging around the hallways with guys.
Me...I was the editor of the school paper and a member of youth in government. Those were interviews and strategy meetings.

Pam...She decided to go to Michigan State because there were forty thousand students and half of them were boys.
Me...I went there because it was the only accredited school in Mich. for my field and my parents refused to consider Columbia.

Pam...On New Year's Eve my ex-husband and I would go out with her and somebody different every year.
Me...But I was looking for love in all the wrong places.

Me...Please excuse me, I need to use the washroom.

I proceeded toward the house giving my friend the old head nod with two twists, which means get in here now or there is going to be trouble.

Pam came into the kitchen where I was stewing.

Me...Listen old friend, we seem to be having some trouble in taking this trip down memory lane.
Pam...Why is there a problem?
Me...Well yeah, nothing happened the way you just described it.

Pam...Some of it did and besides I am just trying to make the girls laugh. I got so jealous when you were sitting with them earlier and I heard all of you cracking up. I had to entertain my family and it wasn't pretty. Now I am just having some fun. Besides, how many times have you joked with me around your friends?

Me...You wild child!
Pam...Yes, it's true but don't tell these fine ladies.

That's the funny thing about friends who are friends forever. You may not always agree on the history, but it's comforting to know it's there.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Those Summer Days...

Summer has filled her veins with light and her heart is washed with noon.

C. Day Lewis

Sunday, July 16, 2006

"When the world gets in my face.

I say Have a Nice Day.

Have a Nice Day!"

---Bon Jovi

STill crushin' on Jon after all these years!

(sorry I haven't posted. Lost power for 12 hours. Check back)

How to Embarass Your Mother-Daughter before Noon

My mother is 79. She had me when she was 36. That's why my brother is 17 years older than me and my nieces are closer to my age. It's also why I am confused. My mom wasn't expecting any more grandchildren when I decided to keep with tradition and have my child at 37. These days my mother thinks my daughter is a vision of loveliness and my daughter thinks grandma is the tops. The two of them together are sometimes more than I can handle. And, there are times when my daughter hears too much.

For instance, my daughter has been within earshot when my mom says things to me like "you're fading" which is code for "apply make-up immediately". When my hair looks like it does right now (I need my roots done) she usually delivers her all-time favorite "You look like the washwoman from Trinidad".

Now, for reasons not mentioned here, I have no doubt that my Mother loves me deeply, so I let this little stuff roll off my back as if I am a well-oiled duck.

My Mom is a woman who knows what she wants---only what she wants is scatterd across southeastern Michigan. She gets vegetables at one market, meats from her favorite butcher and bread from another place.

Yesterday, in 98 degrees of heat, I picked mom up to take her to her plural stores. As usual B-girl is along for the ride. Mom gets in the car, sighs and immediately says "What are you going to do about your hair?... you have two parties to go to this weekend."

I say "what do you want me to do?" knowing full well I have not the time, nor the inclination, to get to the hair dresser before my godchild's (Tim's) graduation party that evening.

She says "I want you to look in the mirror because I don't think you have looked in the mirror lately." I proceeed to look into the tiny rear-view mirror of my SUV and say "look mom I have a system...if I brush this piece to the left, fluff it up right here and soak it down with hair spray I can hide my roots all weekend and get to the hairdresser next week."

"And how many parties do you have next week?" she asks.
"None" I say quietly contemplating the notion that she may have just made a good point.

Through the years I have learned to handle myself in these situations. When she makes her move, I punt, so I followed-up with "You know, the family was talking about going to a Tigers game but I hear the tickets have been sold out lately." Diversion tactics are my lifeblood.

Okay I think to myself, I have four places to go today in horrrible heat. I can do this. Afterall, I had an energy bar on the way over.

Stop one took the longest for there was much to get in the way of fresh fruit and vegetables. I pick up a veggie tray for my godchild's graduation party, and we drop it by my friend Pam's house which was stop 2. Mission accomplished!

During the driving time I pursue the lighter side of life--topics like Tim's graduation party, my sister-in-law's birthday celebration the next day and the shiny, happy people we just met in the meat store. Stop three is now a mere memory.

Stop four, much easier--they wait in the car while I run in for the bread. That's just the pause I need to refresh. All systems go, stop four is done and I am on the way back to drop mom off...nearly home free.

Out the freakin blue (I think, I'm not quite sure because they were left alone in the car for seven and half minutes) my six-year-old daughter decides to engage in her own observations.

(B-Girl) "Mom, I'm thinking you were a dork when you were a kid."
(Me ) "No, I wasn't. I was a cool kid, but what would make you say that? "
(B-Gir) "Well, your hair, your clothes and specially your shoes."
(Me) "Are you saying that because Grandma said I need to have my hair done?"
(B-Girl) "No, I have been thinking it for a long time."
(Me) "Mom, you were there, tell her I wasn't a dork."
(Grandma) "No honey, your mama wasn't a dork, at least she wasn't a dork when I picked out her shoes, bought her clothes and did her hair. "
(B-girl) laughs out loud.
(Grandma) laughs out loud.
(Me) "The next person who mentions my hair is walking home. "
(Grandma) "We can talk later honey."
(Me) "There is no more time for talkin' on this bus."

We proceed to have a busy day. Shopping, dropping, loading. unloading.

Later in the afternoon, back at home, my daughter and I change clothes and get ready to go to the graduation party.

"How do I look?" I ask hesitatingly.
My daughter says "Pretty mom, very nice".

I smile and say thanks, hoping against all hope she is being sincere
and not just telling me
something she knows
I need to hear today.

Friday, July 14, 2006


So, in December I was recruited by a Healthcare System to work in the Marketing Department as Media Relations Supervisor. Suddenly I was making a lot more money with great benefits. Things were skipping along.

In February, the director of the department announced that the system had lost an estimated 80 million projected revenue. They were down from last year and that meant staffing cuts. (I will write another story about their supposed cuts later).

Nobody knew anything but we knew there was a D-Day. That day was the last Tuesday in April. I had a feeling that since I was so new to the job, mine would be one of the positions eliminated. On that Monday I deleted my contacts, because when you are in media relations your contacts are everything. I left my unfinished work on the computer to be nice. I didn't want the colleague who took over my projects to have difficulty. I had never been laid-off work before so I really did not know what to expect. This is how it when down...

At 11:00 my boss (who is seven feet tall) came in and asked me to go down to the 4th floor meeting room (we worked on the sixth). It was then I knew.

We get to the meeting room and he and I are the only ones there. He gives me a piece of paper that says something like "as of today your position has been eliminated and this is strictly a budget decision, no reflection or your performance,yadda yadda, yadda".

He gives me a another piece of paper to sign, tells me I have to pack up my personal things and leave the premises. And if I want to get paid for the week I will show up at the Dearborn Ramada where I will undergo some "career counseling". Now, the guy is crying real tears and I am not, so I say "why are you crying"? He says "this is just so hard for me." I say "Yeah it's hard alright".

I return to my office where someone has placed about 20 boxes for my use. I had only been there four months, so I only needed one. I asked if I could say goodbye to the three people I liked and they said no. I was escorted to my vehicle.

54 of us were "let go" that day. I saw people wheeling out plants so large I knew they had worked there a long time. There were people crying everywhere.

The next day I show up bright and early for my "Life Seminar". This is a big thing in Detroit now. Southeastern Michigan loses so many jobs that there are these management consultants that the big companies hire to help employees "exit". They are really there to help the exiting employees avoid purchasing semi-automatic weapons.

We were broken up into three groups, secretaries and laborers, administrative workers, and supervisor and directors. I was in the latter. There were only four directors and supervisors. There were really supposed to be 12 but the others did not attend.

Hmm, I said. There are bagels and coffee, a free lunch (there really is no such thing) and a nice room. No deadlines, no boss. Not bad.

Enter stage left... Stella...Stella the Life Coach of Right Management... I am not making these names up. Stella is very tall but only weighs about 87 pounds. Stella is anorexic and I am a big girl but you never judge a book by its cover right?

I thought of Stella recently when my niece, Sara, compared the fireworks to an iceberg, because ironically during my training session, Stella compared a job search to an iceberg.
She even made a little drawing on the board. You see the stuff you can see is Monster jobs, newspaper ads, etc. But the stuff underneath that is really where the great opportunities are in networking and e-mailing people you know.

On the first day the lady in charge of the information office for highly contagious diseases (like Bird Flu) had a meltdown. She began crying and saying how the company had broken her heart. She left to go to the bathroom and never came back. That left me with two very nice people, Roxanne the human resources specialist and a soft-spoken Indian fellow who was the director of architecture. Yes that's right my former company chose to let go of the employee who designed and built all their new buildings and high-tech facilities. Roxanne had been there for 20 years and the architect was one year away from 30.

Stella was stern. Her breaks were only fifteen minutes and lunch was exactly an hour. I took a longer lunch with my friends from the other classes. Their coaches let them stay in the restaurant a little longer. What could Stella do fire me?

The first day was a rap session. The two people with me had been there for a total of 50 years. They had a lot to say. Then Stella wanted me to talk. "I really don't have much to say" I said. "I was only there for four months."

Stella says that we really need to talk about my feelings before she can move on.

"I am comfortably numb" I say. On that note she takes me out into the lobby.

Stella "I really need for you to open up about this. This is a big change in your life."
Me "No it isn't I am in public relations and by nature of the field we move around a lot. It goes with the career."
Stella "No not your job. What's on the inside".
Me "What's on the inside? I wish I wasn't here".
Stella "Now that's the kind of honesty I am talking about let's go back to the group and share." (Stella obviously missed my point).

Back in group.

Stella "I have talked with K and she is ready to open up."
Me "I wish I wasn't here."
Stella "Roxanne what do you think about that."
Roxanne "I wish I wasn't here either."
I don't have to tell you that Roxanne and I became friends after she said that. We still keep in touch.

For two more days Stella proceeded to teach us how to write our resumes (like we didn't know) and how to turn all our " negative energy into positive results". She taught us how to "blow our own trumpets" and "jog our memories about our accomplishments" .

Sometimes I would yell "Stella" like Brando just to break up the monotony and make my new friends laugh. Every time I did Stella would say "Gee, I haven't heard that one before, now let's move on."

She taught us how to define our objectives and seize opportunities. She taught us the power of networking. She taught us how to interview and close a salary negotiation.

She spent three days teaching us everything we already knew, and the company paid her to do it.

On the last morning I was walking into the hotel and I heard Stella screaming (in a non-monotonous tone) into her cell phone at her husband. We got to the door at the same time and she looked at me embarrassed and said," My husband just never listens to me."

It was too easy, I didn't say it, although I thought about saying it.
I just smiled and went in to get my coffee and bagel.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Toys R All Over The Place

Toys. My kid has too many of them. Yes it is my fault (and others) and now I am paying for it. We have a two bedroom townhouse and she has toys in every room. First they were only in her room. Then she wanted her little kitchen next to mine so when I was in the kitchen she could cook at her little station (which she has outgrown and never uses). The dollhouse and a box of toys have the livingroom. The stuffed (almost life-size) giraffe has somehow ended up in my bedroom and I don't know why. It really doesn't match my decor. I think I should give it to my mom because she loves animal prints!

Now the B-Girl has too many toys and that is one thing, but she is six now and I expect her to pick her toys up when she is done with them. Will she? No. And now, I am at my wit's end because we are driving each other crazy. Crazy I tell you. I have been laid-off work and I am used to working. I have worked full-time for more than fifteen years, so I am probably off balance. Brooke thinks since I am not working her summer should go like this and it pretty much has so far.

in her thoughts...

I stay up late and wake up late.
When I get up I watch cartoons while my mom cooks me a breadkfast that I won't eat.
We get dressed and go....
My mom is my chauffer and she will take me to the mall or park or swimming or to my grandma's house (where I have more toys).
We will come home late, my mom will give me a bath and I will be too tired to pick up my toys.

Now my mother has suggested whatever doesn't get picked up goes into the trash. I have taken this advice before. Brooke, being six going on 12, has convinced herself that I will buy her new if I happen to throw them away. This proabably has occurred before I just can't remember details.

In May I took most of her birthday present toys away and put them up in the closet because I kept stepping on them and it hurt. She has yet to realize they are there. That is how many toys this kid has!

My latest attempt has been to use the pool. There is a pool here and I tell her she cannot swim until her room is picked up. She gives me every excuse and she knows that I want her to have daily excercise so she waits it out. And here we are right now. It is 12:43 in the afternoon and B has done none of the things I have asked of her.

(This is where I stopped typing because she came down the stairs crying).

Okay, I just told her I am blogging my troubles to the world about her not picking up her toys and she has decided to put her dollhouse away right now. I think it is working because I told her Aunt Pat and Aunt Sara would see this. She is pouting but seems to be doing it!

Hmm. It appears that she understands the concept of the blog and does not want friends and family to find out about the B-girl I live with, which is not the girl they see. Oddly, she seems concerned about her public persona.

I think I have accidentally hit on something here. Perhaps this is my next approach. Pick up your toys or I am going to post a blog!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

If ...

If I could be an unfailingly patient mom.

If I could be a more understanding daughter.

If I could get proper exercise and follow a healthy diet.

If I could stick to a budget that does not include going to Starbucks and eating out.

If I could be a better friend.

If I could discover my true self.

If I could experience an awakening that will change my life.

If I could reach the full potential my creator has already established for me...

Oh what a magnificent person I could be!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Have Some Common Courtesy...Please

After three grueling days at Summerfest I have to ask where have all the common courtesies of humankind gone? Granted, the masses for the most part were tolerable but I have a few problems with a few people and you know who you are!

To the lady I had to chase down because while walking by us you reached down and actually had the audacity to steal a glow light that belonged to a six year old...For your own health and safety you to need to remember that every time you steal something from a little kid, the mother bear is going to come running after you.

To the lady who asked me a million times if we were in line for the ride...No we were just standing there in the hot sun to bake!

To the guy who kept using the F word in front of the kids...Do you talk to your mother like that?

To the middle-aged women dressed like strippers...There's an age when you need to start covering that up, and you passed it about ten years ago.

To the guy operating the kiddie coaster...Please find another occupation that doesn't involve child safety.

To the kids who kept asking me if I had extra ride tickets or a dollar to spare...Go get it from your own parents!

To the close-talking lady who kept putting her face way too far into my personal space...Didn't you notice I backed up 100 feet up during our conversation?

To the kids on skateboards
in a crowded midway...You can't just roll over people and expect to get away with it.

To the man spitting every two seconds, can you spit where there are no people around?

To the woman blowing smoke in my kid's face...I think we both know I was about to break the tip off when you put it out.

Is it too much to ask that when we gather for an annual event that draws over 100,000 people we show each other a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T? Where have all the mannerly people gone?

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Fun at the Fest.

B-girl had a major rockin' time at the T-town Summer Festival. Hey KellBell, we missed you at Family Day on Saturday!

Here's the thing about the fireworks on Fri....I love them but my daughter could care less about them. For her it is an opportunity to socialize, which means talk, talk, talk. She sat down on the blankets with the gang and didn't even look up in the sky. She's been hangin' with Aunt Sara too long!

On Sat. B-girl ran in the kid's fun run at 8:30 in the morning. She was a bit disappointed because she came in toward the end. I think she did great just running in the thing after staying up past midnight for fireworks the night before. It took us over an hour to drive three miles home Fri night. B-girl was too keyed up to fall asleep right away, but she did manage to get up Sat. bright and early to go to the run. After the run, Radio Disney sonsored some kids games. I had a sore ankle but still managed to enter the three--legged race with her. We placed right in the middle of the pack. Hey I didn't fall so it was a success!

After that we ran into three other friends and their daughters, who B knows from dance, so we took the girls to the carnival rides. (B-girl runs into more people she knows than I do). What a blast we had! There's a little tear in my eye that the festival has ended, but my body couldn't take any more punishment. Ah, the joys of summer...

Friday, July 07, 2006

See You There!

I promise this blog will get more philosophical...after the T-town Summer Festival ends and I am done with my stories about it. You know by now how much I love a good festival so here's the schedule...

(kellbell you know where to meet)

Family Day and Carnival


Warning..this is not a festival for the weak. I cannot guarantee your physical survival or psychological well-being if you dare to attend this madness.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Things that make for

a great summer


Watching my daughter have the time of her life every time she goes swimming.

Fresh fruits and vegetables.

Flowers--any kind. They are all beautiful blooms with their pinks, purples, reds, whites and yellows.

Firecracker Popsicles...They are made out of soft ice. Not the faux "American" brand. The two should never be confused.

Going to the park.

A Slurpee on a hot, hot day. You can get diet Slurpees too now! I prefer the Classic Coke which brings me to...

A cold Coke in a glass bottle. Nothing like it! I am old enough to remember how much better soda or "pop" tasted coming out of real glass. Occasionally in the summer, as a treat, I buy those little glass bottles of Coke. It's the real thing.

Playing outside with the B-girl. I never really wanted to give up playing outside...Now I get to do it without the ridicule.


Long days. I enjoy them to the fullest because I know that before too long I will be going to work in the dark and coming home from work in the dark (and cold).

Iced cappuccino.

Watching the B-girl catch fireflies.

Nights when the full moon lights everything up. Sometimes I drive B-Girl to the park to see the moonlight reflect off the water.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Parting is such shock and sorrow.

I live in an apartment. It is a nice apartment with an upstairs, a basement and a patio (I prefer to call it a veranda). I moved in here the winter of 2003 and the first people I spoke to were my next-door neighbors Charlie and Angela. Nice young working couple, no kids.

The first thing Charlie said to me was, "if you ever have any trouble, just pound on the wall and I'll come over". Very reassuring. They are very quiet neighbors too. The kind of people you want to live next door to forever. They are friendly people. They would say hello and pay attention to the B-girl, who would talk their ears off.

When two drunk guys mistook my patio furniture for their own and decided to have a party at my place, it was Charlie who called the authorities. When I broke my ankle and had to get a cast, it was Angela who graciously left the best parking space for me even though she got home first.

So last week I notice Charlie and Angela are taking things out of their apartment and loading up a truck. My heart sank. I immediately ran outside and said "This isn't what I think it is, is it?" Angela says yes in a tone that sounded like she was sorry to be the one to break the news to me.

Now I knew this would happen eventually. When I moved in here they told me they were looking at houses and condos. I knew it was a matter of time. After a couple of years passed, I thought they might have changed their minds. Not so, on June 30 of last week they moved to a new condo in Woodhaven. Well, all I can say is that their new neighbors in Woodhaven sure are lucky.

This morning I awoke to the noises that caused the fear of the unknown to grip my gut. The work guys are next door and they are cleaning and painting and putting in new carpet. You know what that leads to...

New next-door neighbors will be coming! It is inevitable. And what it can do to the psyche--you know there's something coming that can affect your life and you can do nothing to stop it. The thought of new neighbors makes me shudder. Pray for me friends!

Now I am by nature an apartment dweller. I really should live in New York because I don't like to drive either. I have been known to take the bus downtown (because Detroit has no subway system) and leave my car home. Now that I have B-girl I am considering a move to a house. I had a house when I lived down south and there are many advantages. I will not be getting a house tomorrow however. So for now I have to hope and pray. Experience has taught me about the possibilities.

I have lived in eight different apartments (that includes college years). I have had the good neighbors, the nosy neighbors, the weird neighbors, the chatty neighbors, the life is a daily party neighbors and the you're gonna be my new best friend whether you want to or not, otherwise known as the stalking neighbor.

My dear daughter is unaware of the potential storm brewing here. I can only hope that this apartment next door stays empty until a regular person comes along.

For now I have the workmen banging away, which is fine by me, because I know that when the banging stops--well that's just the quiet before the storm. Who knows? I may get lucky, avoid the storm and go straight into smooth sailing.

Yeah right, what are the chances of that happening?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

From Sea to Shining Sea

From the beginning of time there have been wars.

Because of the sacrifice of others
we are able to enjoy our freedom and our families.

Thank God for his divine hand on America.

--Jacquie Lawson

Monday, July 03, 2006

This Parenting Thing Is No Walk in the Park

It seems like I am always tired. I have a six-year-old coupled with weight issues, which makes me really tired. Many of you already know I am a "festival aficionado" and the Taylor Summer Festival is near. I signed B-girl up for the Kid's Fun Run. They are going to jog around the pond once and then enjoy a free breakfast. It's not really a race, but competitiveness runs deep through the veins in my family. To me, the idea of B-Girl running with the other kids was cute. Yeah well, I sometimes create my own bliss, but reality has a way of intervening.

My daughter being as strong-willed as everyone else in this family, insists that I drive her to the park just about every day so she can "train" for this event. She has her favorite shoes. She has her favorite running shorts. She actually has a step timer that she got from an Oakwood Rep. at some other community event.

So we went to the park again today. I was doing my usual yelling of "hey wait up you can't run around the park by yourself, you're going to have to jog in place until I get there...Alright that's it not one more step or I won't be able to see you."

Now she had gone so far around the path that I could barely make her out. She was running in place with her arm up. I was squinting but the sun was in my eyes and I really couldn't make out what I thought was her cute little stretching exercises to stay loose while I was huffing and puffing my way to her.

I noticed some kids laughing as I went by but paid no attention. As I rounded the corner I could see her more clearly. As I got closer I thought this arm movement could be one of her many new dance moves. Then I came within full sight and realized there was no stretching involved. She was running in place and holding her fingers up to her forehead in the shape of an "L" as if to say "LOO HOO HOOS ZER".

I suddenly realized why the teenagers were still laughing. In a fit of ridiculousness I yell "you take those fingers off your forehead right now young lady!" More laughter. She continued to stay way ahead of me and turning back now and again to wryly place her little tiny L on her forehead.

When we got back to the truck she says to me "I think I'm gonna win this thing,"

I say "Well let's hope so, cause if you don't"...

I didn't say anything else I simply smiled, put the "L" to my forehead and turned toward the back seat so she could see me...clearly.
The results are in and the carpet burns

I told myself I wasn't going to do that is, but I decided to go ahead and give it a go. I did not want to blog because, more often than not, I am paid to write during the day...That's a story for another day.

So, here I am a low maintenance forty-something single mom with a high-maintenance six-year-old daughter. We remind me of the the "odd couple". Now my daughter "B-girl" (as I call her because she likes to dance and keeps trying to learn break dance moves at her tender age) has many excuses for not picking up her toys. Tonight was a good example. She had markers, crayons and books all over the floor and wanted to move on to her building blocks. I told her that in order to go on to her next project she would have to first pick up the other things off the floor. Now, I have had this conversation many times before. Usually there is some injury or time element involved. These excuses are the reasons she cannot move one inch of her body to pick something up and put it away. Of course she can move to play, it's just the putting away that causes her to become catatonic. The usual excuses are...
  • My leg hurts
  • I hurt my hand
  • I am too tired
  • I have a headache (apparently women learn this one at birth).
  • Mom, it will take too long and then I will have to go to bed.

Tonight's was new. Tonight it was "Mom, every time I pick up those crayons I get carpet burns and they really hurt." I had to turn away to smile because I give her credit for creativity. After a bit of argument she picked them up and moved on to building great cities with her blocks. After it was all over I carefully inspected her to make sure there were no carpet burns created by her busy day. When she finally got in bed I gave her her favorite stuffed animal "Elly" the elephant and the daughter says to me "I love Elly more than any of my other animals." I reply "he loves you too." She says "the test results came back today and Elly is a girl". Glad that's been settled.