Friday, July 12, 2024

Five on Friday: Wonderful Water

Our next Story Slam is coming up on July 26th. Last month I had my story written a solid three weeks in advance . . . this time I'm having trouble narrowing down my topic. Right now it's a toss up between the following five potential choices:

1. My first time trying to sail a little Sunfish sail boat in Maine with a girl I met there who was also from New Jersey . . . including the hilarity that ensued when our Dads had to "save" us.

2.  Giving birth in a tub. Spoiler: still hurt like hell. Oh and also, this---

They ask you to buy one of these and bring it along.

3. The time I jumped in a pond in February to save my two-year-old.

4. A brief history of our circa 1787 house and the role the water sources here have played. 
(Say you're a history nerd without saying you're a history nerd . . . )

5. Reservoir memories.

Friday, June 14, 2024

Five on Friday: Summer Bucket List

Our 14-year-old has had a giant illustrated poster of her summer bucket list since March. The other day I asked our 16-year-old what was on his list and he really wasn't sure. I was kind of surprised but then when he asked, "What about you?" . . . I realized I didn't have anything either.

Well that's not true. I had one item: drive Giacomo the Vespa somewhere for an overnight trip but I actually did that already a couple of weeks ago.

There must be something else I want to do, right? 

Of course there is. Like:

1. A second overnight trip on Giacomo.

Why not?

2. Get back to my summer diet of fancy salads and seasonal cocktails).

3. More of this:
(inside our spring house)

4. Visit the Black Shed.

5. Plan & take a family vacation with all seven of us. (I mostly want to do the "taking" part but somebody has to plan it. Chop, chop.)

Friday, May 3, 2024

Five on Friday: Nifty Thrifty Fifty: Highlights from a Milestone Birthday

1. A month of celebrating including thrift shopping with a crew and a trip to Pittsburgh to see the alleged adults (okay that was to celebrate son's graduation but it was a joyful trip during my birthday month so it counts).

My actual birthday weekend was AWESOME with not one but TWO opportunities to dress up and go out, including:

2. Drag Queen Bingo the day before my birthday and . . .

3. The Mrs. Roper Romp on my 50th! Chef's kiss.

4. So many thoughtful gifts:

5. Some of them particularly appreciated for a lady of my advanced age . . . 

I had my first overnight hot flashes and wanted a fan to carry around!


Thursday, April 18, 2024

Five on Friday: The Reviews are Rolling In

Since my NJ PBS premiere last week, I've got to say life is . . . pretty much the same aside from the occasional person saying, "I saw your show on PBS."

But that's not the only feedback I've gotten. Some of my favorites:

1. After the viewing party, the 13-year-old (who was a part of this conversation . . . and was chatting with friends during the show so she missed the only part of my story that mentioned her specifically) said: "I actually had fun tonight."

(Yes, I know she really just meant she had fun with her friends . . . but she admitted it to me so that counts for something.)

2. A comment on the NJPBS instagram post of the show's trailer   made by a stranger on  who reveals in their profile that they live with eight cats:

"You had me at I can't believe women do this twice"

3. From the alleged adults out in Pittsburgh, via text:
    (Daughter): I could actually already hit play but I’m waiting  
    (Son) I can’t watch until later I’m mad as hell
    (Daughter) #cried
    (Daughter) I liked hearing Nicole’s :)
    (Son) Man I want to go to a Story Slam
    (Son) That was super cool

4. My friend's online Spanish lessons sometimes spill over into email. She shared this with me:

Me ha encantado, se ha construido una comunidad muy especial entorno a ese café. La historia de Gina con sus hijos y la de la dueña del café en la pandemia me han emocionado. Qué gran lugar ese café con esa comunidad!

5. But this one takes the cake (My friend got this text from her mom):

Friday, April 5, 2024

Five on Friday: What I'll Miss/Not: Teen Sports Edition

As a mother of five with two grown and out on their own, I am very aware of how fleeting these days are. But that doesn't mean I'm going to miss all of it. I know this is true because in my moments of frustration when my kids were younger, other parents would tell me that I'd miss those days and I would argue that I wouldn't.  I can say now with absolute certainty that it's true: I really don't miss all of those days. Babies' snuggles and giggles: yes, Babies taking their dirty diapers off in their cribs: hard no.

Here are my predictions for what I will and will not miss, teen sports edition:

1. These two teen boys constantly talking smack to each other about who's taller, faster and a better athlete: WILL miss. It's silly how frequently they have the same exact arguments but it's in jest and fun banter for me to listen to.

2. The way their sneakers, usually left on our enclosed porch that one must walk through to enter the house, reek: WILL NOT miss. If you haven't ever experienced this stench before I will describe it as not unlike having the olfactory realization that there's a dead animal somewhere in an already stinky barnyard run by a farmer with terrible body odor.

Welcome to our home. Try not to breathe.

3. Getting grass stains out of uniforms: WILL/NOT miss . . . this one's a toss up, because on one hand it's more work for me but on the other hand I really do enjoy the challenge.

4. Sports banquets: WILL NOT.  (Booster club, you do a lovely job. It's not you, it's me.)

5. The three home kids doing sports together: WILL miss.  Currently the 16 & 17-year-olds are student athlete coaches for the 13-year-old's track practices so they are all there together . . . and the 17-year-old drives them. Having them walk in the house chatting about practice is firmly in the "will miss" category . . . especially when there's some smack talk involved.

Friday, March 22, 2024

Five on Friday: Get a Clue . . .

 . . . about perimenopause! (If you say words out loud as you read them, please sing "about perimenopause" like it's a jingle.)

Like fifteen million other women in one hundred eighty countries around the world, I use the Clue app to track my period. I know there was a lot of concern about using such technology after the overturn of Roe v. Wade. but as a grown-ass woman who previously relied on the "uh, I guess it has been a month since I last shed my uterine lining" method of menstrual tracking (and I have plenty "period underwear" to prove it!), that was a chance I was willing to take. 

Menopause is so rarely discussed that I didn't even know what should be known:

Which means that the symptoms widely known as menopause are actually perimenopause. Menopause is one day and the symptoms that follow are postmenopausal. So much to look forward to!

If you're unfamiliar with the Clue app, it has tools to track your moods and sleeping throughout your cycle as well as your pain and flow levels. But it doesn't offer (at least in the free version I use) an appropriate selection for tracking perimenopause. So I would like suggest a new app that's called Get a Clue About Perimenopause (sing it)! It will offer options to track things like:

1. Today was an EATING day! As in non-stop eating. Cannot get full.

2. Closely related: In the entire history of humans and cookies (or other food of your hormones' choice), there has never before been a human that needed cookies (or other food of your hormones' choice) like you did today.

3. Day (drop down choice of 1-38) of the current bloodbath.

This wasn't the only article I found saying it could last up to 38 days.
I found that oddly specific.

4. Insomnia day (drop down choice 1-1,000).

5. Sure it may seem like you've lost multiple pounds of blood and tissue in the recent (drop down choice of 1-38) days of the current bloodbath but you've also GAINED (drop down choice of 1-15) pounds in the same time frame!!

Friday, March 8, 2024

Five on Friday: Facebook Memories

Before there were Texts with the Teens to look back on for oh-so-sweet memories of conversations with my kids (and long after I gave up writing them down in actual paper journals) . . . there were daily memories on Facebook. I am ever glad to have them--I start most days downstairs in the dark by myself with my coffee so I can take a stroll down memory lane with gems like these:

1.  These days he can dress himself so maybe he could fight fires after all.

2. From a family charade night, my son wrote this and I had to act it out:

("dj playing rap")

3.  The world  may never know what this is supposed to mean:

4. This guy now regularly posts pictures & videos of himself both attending & performing at all manner of concerts:

5. But this one will always tug at my heartstrings the most:

Friday, February 23, 2024

Five on Friday: Texts with the Teens

I know I'm not the only one that relies on text messaging to communicate with my teens, even when we're all in the same house. I could lament this is a lack of face-to-face conversation or I could appreciate the fact that it provides me with running commentary, proof that I *did* ask them to do something and endless entertainment that I can refer back to again and again.

Here are some good ones I've gotten recently:

1. Out of nowhere from the 13-year-old:

2. I was watching my 15-year-old son play basketball (what a surprise, I know) and saw him slam into the wall, slide down and lie in a crooked-necked heap on the floor. Right then and there, I texted our chiropractor for an appointment and then sent my son a message to let him know he'd be going the next morning. After the game, he saw it and responded:
(Trust me, this is high praise)
3.  13-year-old, again, trying to convince me to get a puppy:

4. After an allegedly successful thrift shop outing:
(Modern teen problems)

5. What about the 17-year-old, you might ask? Oh don't worry. He texts me plenty, too . .