Friday, May 30, 2014

On Living With Teens Who's Days Continue Even After You've Gone To Bed. It's Always Interesting To Peek Into The Kitchen Trash Can In The Morning And Piece Together The Parts Of The Evening We May Have Missed. Apparently Last Night Involved Brownies.

Some of the transitions we've been forced to make made as parents are incredible when you really think about them.  It used to be that the whole house had to be cleaned up, locked up, and I would need to personally witness the sleeping faces of my sweet babies before I could even consider heading to bed myself.

Last night I crept up the stairs holding my cup of chamomile tea around 11:00 and looked over my shoulder at the children in my kitchen.  I saw JD laying on the island wearing only his lacrosse shorts.  Eliza and a friend were drawing a Colorado flag on his chest and mixing up some henna to cover their outline.  A male friend of theirs was standing nearby, chatting with the girls and swinging his car keys on one of those lariats they all carry narrowly missing our cabinets with every circle he made.  The floor was strewn with lacrosse equipment, flip flops, soccer sweats and a damp towel (cause of wetness, undetermined).  As I reached the top stair, the doorbell rang and, from the sound of it, at least two more people entered our home.  They were not using their inside voices.

So that's it.  Summer nights with teenagers.  I drifted off to a light sleep, but let's be honest, it's impossible to really hit a serious REM stage under those conditions.  Even though we're not reading bedtime stories and enjoying bath time, I still won't give up total consciousness until the kids have closed up the house and come in to say goodnight.  Now that I think about it, the nighttime routine is basically the same except our roles are somewhat reversed:  I'm being tucked in now.  I'll still get up from time to time to peek in at their sweet sleeping faces, but it's usually around 2:00 in the morning, and as I step into their rooms to make my way to their beds I make every effort not to fixate on the fact that nearly every inch of their floors are covered with clothes I swear I just washed.  I'm just glad they're safe and sound.  That's all that really matters.

I'm wearing this.

We'll be at a lacrosse game this evening, so jeans are in order.  Of course, based on the forecast, this entire look may be covered with a raincoat at game time.  "Can't get enough of watching sports in the rain," she said with a forced enthusiasm.

gratitude:  having a home the kids like to hang out in, Geoff's cancelled trip for next week, new sport adventures, my voice returning

thanks and love.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

In Keeping With My Tradition Of Mostly Writing About Whatever Happens To Be On My Mind, We Delve Into The Fascinating Topic Of Laundry Today. I Guess I'm Still Riding The High From Finding A Pair Of Socks For Geoff Before He Left For The Airport This Morning During A Frantic Search Through A Load That Had Been Moved From The Dryer, To A Chair, Then To The Couch And Included Those Microfiber Clothes That Every Single Sock Sticks To Like Velcro. It Was Quite A Moment.

I do all the laundry for our family.  We're not one of those households that require the kids to start doing their own washing once they hit the teen years or enter high school.  While I admire those of you that can confidently hoist that responsibility on your kids, my children will be total laundry rookies when they head to college.  And I'm okay with that.

Personally, I can't imagine the chaos that would ensue if we were all in charge of cleaning only our own clothes.  I guarantee we'd all want to do our loads at the exact same time.  We could make a schedule, I suppose, but schedules work for us for about two weeks.  It's nothing I'm proud of but how many chore charts and reading logs do we need to start and never finish before we realize that's just not who we are?

Plus, we have those high-capacity machines and I push them to their limits (trust me, there is always room for another pair of jeans in there).  It would seem like wasted space if we were each tossing in cute little bunches of clothing.  Our loads are worthy of a weight belt or at least a regular reminder to lift with your legs.

And I don't really mind doing the laundry.  It's not like I have to haul the clothes down to the river and beat them on a rock to get them clean.  Basically I sort them by color (which is somewhat soothing in an OCD kind of way), toss them in the machine and press a few buttons.  No big deal.  I think modern laundering is almost a celebration of how far we've come technologically as a people.  Folding the clothes, however, is another story.  How about some advancements there, inventor-types?

I'm wearing this.

I just don't have it in me to try to photograph myself today, so clothes on the floor it is.

And on a waaaaaaayyyy more meaningful note, I'd like to acknowledge the passing of the incredible Maya Angelou.  She has been one of my favorite poets for over 25 years.  I went to a reading she did at the University of Colorado when I was in graduate school there and I feel so lucky to have heard her live.  While her writing is undeniably beautiful and powerful, hearing her read her poems in person, with her unique tone and cadence, was magic.  Here is one of my very favorite pieces of hers:

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size 
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips, 
The stride of my step, 
The curl of my lips. 
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman, 
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please, 
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees. 
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees. 
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes, 
And the flash of my teeth, 
The swing in my waist, 
And the joy in my feet. 
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered 
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them, 
They say they still can't see. 
I say,
It's in the arch of my back, 
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed. 
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud. 
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels, 
The bend of my hair, 
The palm of my hand, 
The need for my care. 
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.
—Maya Angelou

gratitude:  the smell of summer, Maya Angelou's writing, lilacs, the end of the school year

thanks and love.

Friday, May 23, 2014

We're Headed To A Lacrosse Tournament This Weekend And I Have A Terrible Case Of Laryngitis. I Hope The Players Will Be Able To Function Without The Insightful Tips I Provide From The Sidelines. I'm Always Amazed That Having Never Played Lacrosse Before I Seem To Know Exactly What They Need To Be Doing On The Field.

We have these two doves hanging around our house lately.  As I understand it, they partner for life and I've seen real proof that they are truly committed to each other.  The other day one of them ran into a window on our house.  The bird was instantly knocked unconscious and fell hard into the garden.  The other dove landed next to the bad flier and tried to get it up again, nudging it with its beak, but to no avail.  Eliza peeked out the window to see what happened and must have startled the bird because it picked up its unconscious friend with its claws and flew to the base of a nearby tree for some privacy.  We checked back later and both of them were gone.  I've since seen the two feeding in our yard again and I'm sure the unconscious bird has no idea what happened.  The other bird appears relieved that its partner survived the accident, but I've also seen it just watching its friend with a faraway look in its eyes.  Eventually it just shakes its head and starts back pecking the ground for food.  I guess it's all part of being bonded for life.

On that note, I'd like to wish my darling Geoffrey a very Happy Anniversary this weekend.  If you ever flew into a window I'd whisk you away to recover under a tree and I can only hope you'd do the same for me.  I love you!

I'm wearing this.

I was looking for something that would transition seamlessly from a three-hour car ride to an FAC with a few team parents.  Boyfriend jeans and gladiator sandals seem to fill the bill.  Whenever do they not?

gratitude:  green landscapes, new cars, serendipity, long weekends

thanks and love.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I Need Glasses (Duh), But I Also Need A Pet. I Gave The Bunnies That Nibble Our Grass A Dirty Look When I Saw Them Eating In Our Neighbor's Yard. They Didn't Seem To Care.

Just a quick post today.  No time.  What I thought would be a lunch today has turned into a morning coffee and even if I'd wanted to plan ahead and write something last night, it would have been impossible as I was at the end of year high school soccer banquet where I ate a very carb-centric buffet dinner and squinted at a heartwarming video from the back of the room trying in vain to make out a shape on the screen that resembled my daughter.

And also from the #aremyglassesreadyyet? file, I was pulling into our neighborhood yesterday and saw the most adorable little animal at the side of the street.  It had a cute round head and short, floppy ears.  It even seemed to be playing in the grass, adding to its adorableness.  Was it a big prairie dog?  A small bear?  As I got closer, I saw that it was actually a brown paper bag that moved when the wind blew.  It was disappointing, to say the least.

I'm wearing this.

I don't know.  It's flowers and a sweater because it's cloudy, but not that cold.  It's jeans and sandals because it's wet, but not all the time.  Stylewise this weather is less than fun.

gratitude:  rain, Allegra, catching up, JD's homemade biscuits

thanks and love.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Recycling Day In Our Neighborhood Always Makes Me Feel Weird. Everyone Else Has A Single Plastic Trash Can And We Have That Plus Two Full Bins, Multiple Cardboard Boxes, And Extra Bags Of Stuff On Top. When They Pour It In The Truck The Sound Of Glass Bottles Is Deafening. I Want To Yell "We Entertained And Online Shopped These Past Couple Weeks!" But Then I Realize Probably No One Is Paying Attention To Our Recycling So I Don't.

Mondays don't look pretty over here.  Especially this close to the end of the school year.  Rather than drill sergeant my way through the weekend, I tend to just let it be.  People are constantly coming and going, balls are being thrown and kicked, food prepared and consumed, fire pits lit, blankets carted to the out of doors, papers written, assignments completed, projects forgotten at home that require last minute drop offs, and household tasks started and sometimes finished, sometimes not.   It looks chaotic because it is.  Sometimes I think I could do (maybe should do?) a better job of just keeping things in line, but if I did, I'd just spend my entire weekend tidying and reminding and scurrying and that just doesn't sound like how I want to spend my time.

So when Monday rolls around I try to regain control.  At least the illusion of control for only a few short hours.  And this being the last Monday of the school year it has dawned on me that we're entering basically a three month long weekend.  Our  school year rhythm will leave us next week and we'll be without our academic calendar-imposed structure.  I'm working to develop a healthy mindset to prevent the "it's all closing in on me" feeling you get when you feel you've lost control of the place you call home and you just need A MOMENT.

I'm going to live as if we're spending the next few months in a vacation house on the beach somewhere.  And that's basically what it'll be like here at home minus the ocean and noting there will, in fact, be regular work going on.  But even when you're staying in a vacation home, you still have to keep on top of things - like laundry, groceries, general tidiness, etc.  Somehow though, those tasks seem less annoying when you're vacationing.  So I'm shifting my brain to vacation mode.

Our pace will change, but since we must remain functional as a group, I'll consciously loosen my grip without completely letting go.  And when I do have to dive deeper into family management/organization/bossing around, I'll do it with a more laid back attitude (God willing).  I want us to enjoy this time - as our kids get older every minute just seems so incredibly precious - and I don't want to be a shrew.  I also don't want our kids to look back on their childhood and imagine they lived in constant chaos so I'll endeavor to find balance.  Sometimes I may have to do it with the help of a white noise recording of waves crashing on the beach (there's an app for that) and sometimes perhaps with a wine spritzer or two (heavy on the wine).

But always, always with so much gratitude because these are very special times.  Let us not forget.

I'm wearing this:

It's hot and I've committed myself to getting our raised beds functioning ASAP so I'll be playing farmer today.  Last year we planted pumpkins too late and ended up with only two and they we're pathetic - I think I saw a robin actually pick one of them up and fly away.  It was humiliating.

gratitude:  Advil, group texts between the family, online shopping for Geoff, evenings together

thanks and love.

Friday, May 16, 2014

It Was Time For A New Pair Of Glasses. I've Been Using A Really Old Pair For Years And They Are So Scratched That I Can't Look Through Them Straight On. I Have To Turn My Head And Look Out The Side Of The Lens Since That's The Only Part That's Still Clear. It's Very Hard To Drive That Way And If You're Watching A Movie, The Person Next To You Always Thinks You're About To Say Something To Them.

So I went to the eye doctor yesterday.  That whole thing is just a weird experience.  I always somehow flash back to watching Little House on the Prairie when Mary started losing her sight, so I'm typically on edge, worried they may come back and tell me that due to my recent bout with Scarlet Fever my sight is ruined forever.  Except I never had Scarlet Fever, that was Mary,  I'm just old and would like to watch 30 Rock reruns on TV without squinting.

The doctor gave me a quick starter exam to see if I could pass a driver's test without glasses.  I cannot.  In fact, he asked if I had someone who could drive me around until I could see better (I couldn't tell if he was kidding).  I said no, and that I drive all day every day with very little problem because I drive mostly to all the same places and I have almost everything memorized so I don't really need to see that well at all.  Also that I have been living with bad and uncorrected vision so long now that I think my other senses have become heightened as a result.  He was not comforted by my answer.

My son has been playing lacrosse for almost four years and I have yet to actually see a lacrosse ball during a game, but I'm perfectly almost able to figure out what is happening on the field by watching what the players are doing.  When players clump together there is probably a ball on the ground they all want.  When the net in the goal moves that is usually a goal and I cheer.  Not seeing very well has actually made me more alert.  I hope I don't get soft when my new glasses come in.

I did, in fact, get some new glasses.  The doctor actually told his assistant to not let me leave without picking out a pair - based on my eye test results he was probably legally bound to do so.  Now I'm a little anxious for my new spectacles to arrive.  I've kind of enjoyed not seeing things too closely, like when I'd catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror - I do feel sometimes ignorance is bliss, especially when it comes to an awareness of my own facial aging.

However, I'm very much looking forward to reaffirming that trees do, in fact, have many separate leaves hanging from their branches and, enjoying the ability to read the names of upcoming streets so I no longer have to count the number of exits to find my way home off C-470.

I'm wearing this.

This look feels a little south of the border, so a margarita may be in order this evening.  We have an over-abundance of tequila after Cinco de Mayo and I'm looking for ways to put it to good use.

gratitude:  Fridays, time with Geoff and the kids, patio sitting, Pandora

thanks and love.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

So This Is My Blog's Version Of Behind The Music On VH1 Except I'm Not A Glamorous Rock Star Chatting About Recording My Last Album, I'm A Curly-Haired 40-Something In Pajama Pants Writing About My Writing While Trying To Get Banana Bread Crumbs Out Of My Keyboard.

The lovely Jodi Pyle of has asked me to participate in a blog hop (no, it's not a dance although I can't stop thinking about American Bandstand when I hear the term) about How I Write.  Bloggers are sharing some insights about their process and then tagging two others to share what they do on their own blogs.   I was extremely honored that Jodi tagged me because she's a great writer - a friend of Geoff's from college (Go Ravens, right?) that I've met through blogging.  Jodi's writing is beautiful.  Sometimes it's funny, sometimes nostalgic - but, it always makes me think and wish I could put words together as beautifully as she does.

Here are my answers to the questions on the How I Write blog hop.  On the edge of your seat, aren't you?

What am I working on?
Not eating so much bread, my posture and keeping our house plants alive.  But if you're interested in what I'm working on in the realm of writing, it's basically just my blog.  I also help edit some of what Geoff is working on and I write articles occasionally for one of his client's newsletters.  Recently, I penned a fascinating piece on a singer in a German choral group in Connecticut.

How does my writing differ from others of its genre?
Not sure.  I read a lot of blogs, but not very many like mine.  Mostly I'm into design or fashion blogs and some of them are really well written while others just make me realize that I will not be wearing overalls this season (I'd like to add that if you can remember Dexys Midnight Runners singing Come On Eileen you should NOT even consider wearing overalls).

I guess what may make my writing different is the perspective I bring.  Positively Minutiae is really just a glimpse a few days a week into the life of a mom of teenagers in her mid-forties who likes wine, has a sense of humor, does yoga, tries to look cute on a budget, adores her family, battles an addiction to candles, works to roll with the changes life brings, is consciously grateful and has lived through a pigeon infestation.

Why do I write what I do?
Because I'm too old to get a job writing for Saturday Night Live.  Also, because I want people to see that having a perspective of love, humor, acceptance and gratitude makes for a good life.  No matter what the universe throws at you.

How does my writing process work?
Quickly.  Because I come from an advertising background, I work fast.  I don't really plan ahead too much about what I'm going to write because I want my posts to have an unrefined freshness to them and also because I'm a bad planner.  I sit down at the island in our kitchen on Monday, Wednesday and Friday after the kids have all taken off for school and write.  It doesn't take me long to pen a post, maybe an hour or so, then I'll take a break for yoga and a shower.  Once clean and as energetically centered as I'm going to get for the day, I edit or completely rewrite what I'd written earlier.

I always include a picture of what I'm wearing (because clothes are fun) and it's the picture taking that sucks up most of my time.  My husband, Geoff, travels a lot so often I have to take my own pictures and I've been trying to use the timer on the real camera instead of photographing my clothes on the floor (which feels weird) or taking a selfie (which feels like I'm trying to be the 'cool mom').  Once I have a photo that kind of doesn't make me look like I'm having a stroke, I add it to my blog and hit 'Publish'.  Of course later, as I'm driving to the grocery store or back from lacrosse, I'll think of something I could have written that would have been 500 times better than what I'd actually posted.

So there's that.  Perhaps more than you wanted to know, but at least I'm not writing about how messy my house is right now.

Now I need to tag two other writers in the hope they'll share insight to their own process as well.  Thing is, I don't know a lot of other bloggers.  Although I do know a lot of other writers and really, really good writers at that.  Some I've known since high school - we had one heck of a Language Arts department - and others I've meet in college, work, am related to by marriage and/or blood, etc.  I'll just pick two because those are the rules but one I'm picking doesn't have a blog so he'll have to get creative.

Laura deMoye of Bucklebuttonzip.  A dear friend since high school I've reconnected with over the years through Facebook.  She writes a fashion blog that also includes other interesting tidbits about food and travel.  She's a lovely writer and has amazing style.

Mike Merschel.  Also from high school.  He's a legit writer at a BIG newspaper in Texas.  I love his writing - I regularly read his Facebook posts out loud to my family.  Not sure in what form he'll choose or even if he'll be able to take up the How I Write challenge, but he's creative so I'm sure he'll come up with something.

I'm wearing this:

I'm wearing booties today because I've decided to go sleeveless and when there is snow on the ground I think you choose exposed toes or arms.  Plus, I removed some red polish from my toes and somehow it's discolored the skin on my feet (even after a shower) and now they look inflamed.   I'd rather not have to explain that to people.

gratitude:  not having to come up with something to write about today, melting snow, yogic breathing,  coffee

thanks and love.

Monday, May 12, 2014

My Second Stitch Fix Delivery Was 100% What I Needed. They Were So On The Mark That It Wouldn't Have Shocked Me A Bit If They Also Went Ahead And Made Me An Appointment For Highlights And Provided A Few Numbers For Housecleaners In The Area.

So the delivery came on Friday.  I had just returned from completing the drop-off leg of our lacrosse carpool which, if you've ever driven 14-year-old boys home after a sporting event, is a far more appealing task than the take-home shift.  It was perfect.  I was settling in for the evening, and it was officially happy hour, so I cheerfully availed myself a cocktail before I opened my wonderful Stitch Fix box.  This is what came.

First, the Pamplona blouse.
I love this blue.  And the scallops on the bottom remind me of ocean waves which, as a landlocked beach lover, pleases me a great deal.  This is what I'm wearing today:

I've paired it with some boyfriend jeans, a short sleeve cardigan and booties today since it's snowing even though it's May 12.   I'm shaking my fist at you Winter!

Now we have the Aiya blouse.
This is totally in my comfort zone.  I have about 7,368 white or off-white blouses, tops and t-shirts and there is still room for more, in my opinion.  This one feels very boho because of the cut and the eyelet detail.  Me likey.

And the Tara blouse.
I loves me an ethnic print and I am loving this color too.  It's a perfect pinky-coral.  It will look even better once I get some sun (or some self tanner) on my bod.  My daughter even asked if she could borrow this top, so I feel pretty cool.

Also the Isaac floral print blouse.
Now floral prints have been all the rage for a couple years now and I've really wanted one, but I've been unhappy with the colors or prints I've found.  They seem kind of garish, in my opinion, or a little too hipster calico.  Not this little top.  The color in it is amazing and the print is an edgy sort of traditional - kind of like Pippa Middleton.  I deem thee my Pippa top.  Cheerio!

And finally, the boyfriend jeans as seen in our first image.  Remember?
The lovely Stitch Fix stylist who put my box of joy together went to my Pinterest page and cleverly noticed I'd pinned a lot of looks with boyfriend jeans, so she threw a pair in the box.  It was like she'd read my mind or something.  I have a pair of boyfriend jeans that I wear all the time, but I've never felt all that happy with them.  The fit has always seemed weird and the finish was sort of blah.  Now I have new pair that fits great and has just the right amount of vintage fading.  Thank you Allison!

So there's that.  Round two of Stitch Fix and I kept everything in the box.  Well played, Stitch Fix.  Can't wait for June!

gratitude:  pretty new tops, the Pilates Summer Series, rest, brown rice

thanks and love.

Friday, May 9, 2014

I'm Fighting A Different Kind Of Mommy War. It's Me Vs. Mother Nature And I May Have To Tap Out.

I'll be spending Mother's Day watching JD in his lacrosse playoff games.  And, in an ironic twist, the forecast in Denver for Mother's Day includes the possibility of 3 - 4 inches of snow.  Wheee!

This calls for multiple layers and potentially some day drinking to stay warm.   But, you know what?  I wouldn't change it for anything.  It just reminds me how lucky I am to be a mom (and how lucky I am that we didn't get the 8 o'clock game).

It's a quick post today because a) I don't write my posts ahead of time and b) I'm taking Eliza to the doctor to see if indeed, she has been playing soccer on a broken foot for the past couple months - makes you feel like Mother of the Year to have the doctor confirm that you've let your child play sports while broken.  Sigh.

Happy Mother's Day!!

I'm wearing this:

The blazer juxtaposes the gladiator sandal making for, in my opinion, a more interesting look.  Business on top, party on the bottom.  Or something like that.

gratitude:  being a mom, youth sports, yearbooks, just life

thanks and love.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I Don't Appreciate Hanna Andersson Leaving Me On Their Mailing List. Every Time One Of Their Catalogs Comes In The Mail I Feel A Little Nostalgic For The Days When Eliza Wore Leggings And Dresses Together And JD's T-Shirts Had Dump Trucks On Them Instead Of The Foo Fighters.

What with Mother's Day fast approaching, I've taken to observing just how my particular mothering mission is going as of late.  It is, without a doubt, the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.  Motherhood, I mean.  But I've noticed that the job changes a bit over time and morphs into different shapes as the years pass.  I find I'm at an interesting place right now as a parent of teens.

I've likened parenting, in my mind recently, to working with a rock band.  In the early years, we're the manager.  We book the gigs (aka: playdates, lessons, etc.), we direct the costuming choices, we advise them on what kind of album their audience would like and make sure they have the best producers working on their behalf.  By the time they're teenagers though, a transition has occurred behind the scenes.

Turns out the band suddenly decided to try managing itself and, whether or not we agree or were prepared for this move, we still want to be a part of the show.  We love this band and would do anything for them, of course.  So we accept the job of roadie.  Now our job is to switch out guitars during performances, handle sound checks, tape down chords so no one trips over anything while they belt out their hits and then pack it all up on the bus for the next stop.  We stay in the dark, unlit corners of the stage while the lights shine down on the performers.  But we're always there for them, waiting for their call, wearing rolls of duct tape around our waist and proudly sporting a t-shirt from the band's last tour.

Recently, my role as mom/roadie has caused me to spend more money on hospital-grade gauze pads and a variety of antibacterial creams and sprays than I did on three nights of dinner this week.  You see, JD has taken to longboarding as of late.  It's all the rage.  Anyway, as much as we'd like to refuse to let him fly down streets on a surfboard with wheels, Geoff and I let him do it.  With a lot of rules.  But while I won't deny him this adventure, I will make darn sure I can care for him should the asphalt get a little too close to his precious skin.  He is, at this point, 10% scab.  Squirting some Polysporin and taping a yard of gauze around his forearm makes me feel like I'm helping out and have a place to shine.  And kind of makes me gag a little too.

With Eliza, it's girl stuff right now.  She isn't a carbon copy of me, thank God.  I love her strength and independence.  But, when I hear her talking to friends, I get the sense she'd like to know more about things like makeup, what to wear, and hairstyles that don't include a messy bun.  I want to help my baby, of course, but passing this info along to her as her mother is a recipe for disaster.  I don't know much about that stuff in the first place and getting style advice from your mom (no matter how cool she may think she is, ahem) is less than inspiring.  So, I found a wingman for the job in Youtube.  I now casually refer her to videos from Seventeen magazine's Youtube channel, then occasionally purchase a few of the items used in said videos.  I'm helping her, but not in a 'Follow me!' kind of way.  I'm just here to make both useful information and tinted moisturizers readily available.

I'm certainly not perfect in the role of roadie and not always happy about my morphing responsibilities.  I liked managing the band, to be honest.  But, I love my kids with all my heart and I'm doing my best to accept my shifting control.  My duties may alter from time to time, but what doesn't change is the overwhelming love I have for my babies and the complete feeling of gratitude I have for getting to be their mom.  I'm a roadie now, but I can see I'm on my way to groupie status in the future.  I'll take it.  I just hope they'll at least give me a shout out in the liner notes.

I'm wearing this.

I'm having an 'at-home' day.  Which means, I need to clean some stuff.  So I'm going with what I consider a functional lounge look.  Loose linen pants are the best for days when you think you could get by wearing pajama pants all day, but would actually like to avoid looking like you have the flu.  

gratitude:  light humidity, the word hyperbole, pink peonies, dinner at the kitchen table

thanks and love.

Monday, May 5, 2014

We Celebrated Cinco de Mayo On Our Patio This Weekend. There Were Beergaritas, Pizza, Fried Chicken And A Particular Type Of Cheese That Was Soaked In Balsamic Vinegar. The Steely Dan Station On Pandora Accompanied Our Festivities. We Clearly Elude Definition.

We recycle.  Often our recycling bin is filled with old magazines, boxes from online shopping deliveries, empty yogurt and hummus containers, and wine bottles - which, for better or worse, offers a pretty good look inside the High House, really.  Besides recycling, I like to use natural cleansers and paper products as much as possible.  Although, I refuse to use natural paper towels because I require at least some kind of absorbency from my paper towels and have yet to find a 'natural' product that works any better than a piece of Kleenex.  And 'natural' toilet paper makes a fistful of leaves sound appealing...if you catch my drift.

Anyway, I like the feeling I get from using natural products or things made from recycled stuff.  Even if it costs a bit more, I think it's worth it.  But as much as I like the feeling of making conscious choices that are good for Mother Earth I don't like being guilted into it, and that's why I'm so put off by our coffee filters.

We ran out of filters the other day - I'd been telling myself I needed to pick up a new box of them but, of course, forgot to do it until one morning we were faced with having to McGyver a filter out of a paper towel.  That day at the store I wanted to pick up a new box and thought to look for a good natural brand, not just the brown version of the Melita filters we'd used in the past.  I found some 'natural' filters, but almost didn't buy them because they annoyed me so much.

The name of this particular brand is "If You Care."  Gag me.  It's so passive aggressive.  As a parent of teens, I fight the urge every day to use guilt to get my kids to do what I want them to do, but I hold off because it's not nice to guilt trip people and I don't want to be responsible for lengthy therapy sessions for them when they get older.   So there I am, an environmentally conscious mother of teens who fights the desire to use passive aggression when parenting, just trying to find some responsible coffee filters, and what do I get?  A massive guilt trip is what.   I bought the filters, but it didn't make me happy.

I think maybe they should come up with a new company name for these paper products like:  "Because you make great choices" or "Because you get it" or even, "Because you're cooler than people who don't recycle".  These are just a few options they could consider because this little passive aggressive approach makes me want to rebel and just buy the bleached white filters already.  That'll show 'em.

I'm wearing this:

It's a subtle nod to Cinco de Mayo.  Just noticed this outfit matches my house.  Bonus?

For Meatless Monday, we're doing black bean quesadillas and a huge salad with a creamy salsa dressing.  Corona with lime?  Possibly.

gratitude:  busy weekends, quick ab workouts, lots of water, sleep

thanks and love.

Friday, May 2, 2014

We Had Sodium-Free Bacon With Our Breakfast For Dinner Last Night And I Now I Know For Certain That Sodium Is The Only Thing That Makes Bacon Tasty.

I read somewhere that one way to motivate yourself to finish household tasks like laundry, etc. is to give yourself a treat after you finish a project.  The article I read suggested having a glass of wine after folding a load of clothes.  Of course, I don't know who wrote this, but I do about 120 loads every week and that level of wine consumption is a bit much, even for me.   I don't have a sweet tooth, so treating myself to chocolate or something, is far from inspiring.  And online shopping gets very expensive and doesn't provide instant gratification - so I save that prize for things like taking in the Goodwill, or Thursdays.

So yesterday, I used one of my all time favorite guilty pleasures to pull me through the task of cleaning all our kitchen cabinets.  Young adult fiction.  I used to carry a lot of shame around with me because of my fondness for this kind of storytelling, but I'm finding it healthy to just come clean on my addiction.  I blame my habit, partially, on the popularity of tablets and readers.  Once I had my first Kindle, it didn't take me long to realize I could read anything without shame because no one ever saw the cover of my book.  No one would know if I felt compelled to re-read the Lightening Thief series.  It's been quite a blessing, really.  And because this type of literature requires very little time or effort to read I can blow through an entire series in under 24 hours, thanks to the brilliant 1-Click order option from Amazon.

My last contact with young adult fiction was the Divergent series.  I loved it.  This time though, I wanted something shameless, something I couldn't possibly read without the anonymity of my iPad - so I chose the Selection series.  What caught my attention was the description of it on Amazon - it was called a combination of the Hunger Games, the Bachelor, and Cinderella.  How could I resist?  It was wonderful and ridiculous and totally entertaining - all taking place, of course, in a classic young adult fictional setting, the dystopian future.  Just what I needed to get me through the painful realization that getting white cabinets in the kitchen may have been a big, fat mistake and that Magic Erasers do weird things to your fingertips after a few hours of constant contact.

Unfortunately, as I crawled into bed last night to wrap up my read-a-thon, I learned the third book in the series won't be out until next week.  You can imagine my disappointment.

I'm wearing this:

I love the looseness of the drapey pant and the longer t-shirt.  It feels very relaxed, but pulled together.  This would look equally nice with some gladiators or low boots as well, but I wanted to try these new shoes instead.  I will throw on shorts for some time in the garden today, but due to my recent lack of sun exposure, I've spared you that visual.  You're welcome.

gratitude:  a warm, sunny weekend, outdoor lacrosse in the afternoon, Dad's new show, Geoff's return

thanks and love.