400 Pounds

“One doesn’t merely fall into the sport of cooking salsa. It is an art. It is a finely tuned process. It is a high stakes game in which the winner takes all and the losers…Well, the losers gets burnt. And in this game of tomatoes and jalapenos- I am goddamn salsa royalty.” -Lindsay Brown

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Preliminary Efforts 101- Space, time and foresight are required in order to create a quality product.

There I was looking smack dab down a row of 96 flourishing plants that needed to be harvested before nightfall. The Frosts were coming and when it came to those guys who knows what the damages could be. So we got to picking. Me and my partner that is.

That's her on the right. Good looking lady for a partner in crime I'd say.
That’s her on the right. Good looking lady for a partner in crime I’d say.

It was her place that we grew the goods. Her soil. Her water. Her plot. My plants though. When I started the 100 and some plants back in the early spring I didn’t think they would all take off.

But it must have been my year (or maybe just the opposite) because every g-darn seed I put in dirt sprouted and ended up producing 30 plus tomatoes. I kept those buggers at my place for as long as I could but that kind of heat takes a toll on a guy. Every day they would grow more and more and more…and more. And more. Soon the small space I had allotted was overgrown with Toms. I needed to find a new location. And fast.

This is how Partner and I came into business together.

We hauled all 100 and some plants out to her farm in one trip. There they would be safe from the grubby fingers of the notorious Clammy-Hand Kid Clan.

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These were 2 youngsters who roamed my side of town. They were known for their devastating effects on anything delicate. A single stroke from the Clammy-Hand Kid Clan and anything treasurable to you would end up being nothing but a pile of stinking rubble. It was too dangerous at my house. I could not provide enough protection for the plants. They had to go.

The transportation of the product was touchy. The roads still had a thin layer of ice on them and the cargo was precious.

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However between the two of us, we finished the job. I realized then that this ‘ol broad might just be a good partner to have after all. She had the know-how and I had the brawns. I could already tell- we were going to make an invincible team.

Growing 101- To produce produce to full capacity, water is a key ingredient.

The sun beat down hot for those 3 months. It was all we could do to keep the plants from shriveling up into nothingness from the extreme heat provided by the season. The air was dry and little to no rain was provided from the heavens. Just another test, it seemed, from the big Salsa Maker in the sky.

It was one particular day that I made my rounds over to our makeshift plot that I saw something that will heinously engrave into my mind’s eye forevermore.

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My plants, my once beautiful plants looked as though they had been smooched by the kiss of death. Every jagged green leaf as far as the eye could see was withered and blasphemous to the eye.

My first instinct was to give my babies some water. “THEY NEED WATER!” I screamed with fervour yet no one was around to hear my cries. Nor was there a water source in the general vicinity. I had to construct a plan. And fast.

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The plan in question was entirely to meticulous and in-depth to get into right now but let me tell you with the help of Partner we quenched those plants of their awful thirst and we did it good.

It took near half a day, but in the end, with aching backs and tear streaked faces we accomplished our task. The plants only growing closer and dearer to our hearts.

Harvesting 101- it sucks.

When Partner called me late that night to tell me she had caught wind that the Frosts were on their way to her neck of the woods my heart pulsated a few too many times. I had seen before what the Frosts were capable of and it wasn’t a pretty picture.

The Toms were still all green. How nice it would have been to let them ripen on the vine. A dream that would never come to fruition (pun completely intended). We had to get them out of there. Green tomatoes would be a hell of a lot better than the putrid mushy black things they`d be transformed into if the fucking Frosts got their dastardly grips around them. We needed to harvest. And fast.

The next day it began. Partner and I picked. We picked the Cherry’s, the Beefsteak, the Roma’s and the odd varieties we couldn’t put our finger on. We picked until our fingers bled. We hauled and we covered so that the green tomatoes would soon ripen into their sought out red.

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In the end we saved over 400 pounds of Toms from the Frosts. And that is something to feel good about.

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Cooking 101- with an abundant supply of raw product ones demand will rise considerably.

What the hell were we supposed to do with 400 hundred fucking pounds of tomatoes? I played with the idea of consuming it all as raw product but knew after considerable trial and error that was not going to fly.

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Partner showed up at my house one early morning with provisions and we spent the day cooking- her the teacher, I the pupil. There was some difference of opinions on how to carry out the process but in the end she won. She always wins.

It only took one day to get me hooked. There I was swimming in a sea of tomatoes- green, yellow, orange, and yes some even ripened red. I had more raw product than I could handle.

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But I knew as well as my red stained hands I would try my damnedest to use it before having to freeze my precious Toms. A tiptoeing knowledge that eventually these little green globes of deliciousness would end up rotting was constantly on the outer edge of my mind, so I needed to make use of them. And fast.

Partner and I went separate ways at this time. I was elbows deep in the experimental phase of salsa creation whereas she preferred the cookbook method. It had been fun while it lasted, but it was time for me to spread my wings. I needed to venture out in this big ‘ol salsa world alone and now was the time to do it.

With each newfangled batch I made a creeping sensation that I could do better would come over me. Piquancy was my forte and I would go to the ends of the earth to get that perfect spice in my salsa. I carried out trials with different peppers, resulting in nearly losing an eyeball and having to dip my face in a shallow dish of milk for several hours to heal my burning membranes.

There has been up’s and downs in this salsa making business but I will never give in. I have discovered it must be my lot in life to find the perfect blend of tomatoes, peppers and onions to create the tastiest salsa ever made.

And so help me God, I will.

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Sweet Caroline

As Jamie and I stood in line at our towns community center waiting to sign the babes up for the wonderful new after-school activity of gymnastics I daydreamed of Lars becoming a world class Olympic gymnast. This was our first experience with extra curricular progams and the possibilities seemed endless! It wasn’t until I did the math in my head and realized that we would be dishing out 400 bones for ten measly classes that I began to wonder if a gymnast would be such a lucrative career anyways…But on second thought, at that rate, I’m sure it is!

However because I’m a parent and this is what we do I sucked it up, wrote a cheque and before I knew it the kids and I were walking into their very first class.

Sophie’s class was first and ran for an hour. I figured Lars and I could handle sitting through it so we decided to stay and watch. I figured wrong.

The poor kid was so bored he began talking in tongues to the other parents who sat around us. There he was using a strange and perplexing dialect as he belted out the SpongeBob Squarepants theme song. There were some solemn looks of concern from the fellow Moms who sat nearest us. I had come unprepared and as a newbie after-school program Mom this was my first learning lesson.

I managed to keep him quiet and calm for the last half an hour by telling him a story I was making up off the top of my head. The first time in- well, ever- that my wacky story telling abilities have come in handy. As I was spouting off non-sensible gibberish about Pokémon and Sonic the Hedgehog I mentally made note that I would HAVE to take Sophie home for his hour and half class that was next.

There was only one glitch in my otherwise perfect escape plan. As I nudged Lars to go up to the front of the gymnasium to meet his teacher he looked at me with the same weary look I’ve seen every morning I drop him off at his kindergarten class. Nervousness.

Tears began to well up in his eyes and his feet become amazingly cemented to the spot in which he stood. The crazy, outgoing and oh so funny kid who I had just been dealing with moments ago vanished. In his stead there was a meek little boy who was clearly overwhelmed. In a wavering voice as he pushed back tears with the palms of his hands he whispered, “Mama please don’t leave me. I want you to watch.”

Well I sure as hell don’t have a heart filled with malice so “No” was not an option. As the words ventured into my earlobe I knew immediately the next hour and a half was going to be tricky.

What I had- A little girl who as soon as she leapt off the gym floor was asking to leave, saying she was starving to death and SO BORED.

What I did not have- snacks, toys, a purse with odds and ends in it. Anything really.

I could see the expert after school program Mom’s looking at me and shaking their head as Sophie lay on the floor screaming 5 minutes into our stay. And in all honesty I would have probably Mom-judged me too.

I was ready to throw the towel in and ditch the kid for a cocktail when a woman approached me. She slyly gave me a few toys she had stashed in her purse and a sweet that looked as though it had been living there for a while. But it wasn’t my place to be picky- we all know the saying.

I gave the goods to the girl and she immediately settled. I turned my glance towards the woman once more and it was as if she had an omnipotent glow about her. She was my saviour. My After school program saviour.

After introducing myself and thanking her a-probably-creepy amount of times she told me her name was Caroline. It was about that time Sophie started acting up and Caroline dug in her purse of goodies to pull out a sparkly pipe cleaner for my girl to play with. A DAMN PIPE CLEANER! This woman is amazing! It took everything in me not to start serenading my new friend with the lyrics to “Sweet Caroline”.

After class I thanked Caroline again and assured her I would come more prepared next time. She just shrugged and humbly laughed then added, “It happens to all of us!”

I realized then that if more of us Moms were willing to lend a helping hand like Caroline rather than judge and criticize, this parenting thing would be a whole lot easier and less stressful. I know that next time I see a fellow parent struggling I will be one of the first people to offer assistance.

Seeking The Oomph

 

 

Today I want to write about my Oomph. Now don’t get ahead of yourself people, “Oomph” isn’t some weirdo code word for my lady parts or some other uncomfortable thing that I would probably write about. No, “Oomph” is something much more important.

I once thought my Oomph was the crazy and ridiculous things I would do in the spur of the moment to attract any kind of attention I could. The actions that would make a passerby take a second look. The way I dressed or the insane misadventures I would get myself into.  Now that I am older (and I hope a bit wiser) I know this to be untrue.

I have been asked so many times in my life why I write. Why do I stay up far past bedtime to write an article or wake up before the sun rises to complete a poem that came to me in the wee hours of the morning?

Each time I reply with a similarly equal answer- because I have to.

I write for myself. I write for the calm, for the challenge, the emotions it brings and the inner solitude those emotions create. I write to exercise my imagination. I write to achieve the goals that constantly float in my always wandering mind.

Secondly I write for the voice- a singing in the depths of my soul. It resides in a place deep down, a place that is cramped and lonely. Recently I’ve come to the understanding I must set this voice free of that place. I want this voice to be heard because it has many beautiful, funny, heartfelt, and glorious things to say. I’ve hid it away for so many years because I was afraid of criticism and censorship. And undoubtedly some will hate the words this voice will warble- but now as confidence washes over me, that will only make me sing louder.

I write for the one person who actually hears the words.

Sometimes I will scroll through Facebook, the newspaper, WordPress and find an article that in that exact moment catches my eye and after reading it I feel somehow changed. This is the beauty of the written word, and it is truly magnificent. To be moved in such a way by the prose that a complete stranger wrote is utterly outstanding! If anything I write- past, present or future- can claim these types of feelings in even one other human being I will feel prosperous in my endeavour as a writer. 

And finally I write for my children. Yes I may write embarrassing tales of their not-so-easy potty training days and the weird and wonderful things that they say and do on a daily basis but they give me such great material how can I resist?

In all honesty I owe my so-far writing career to them. Those beautiful little beings inspired me to begin writing again after a long and saddening dry spell. They were the ones who allowed me to once again find my true Oomph. And for that, I’m not sure I can ever repay them.  

But I can say this much, I will do everything in my power to help Lars and Sophie discover their own niche. The thing that energizes and uplifts them into the people they were always meant to be.

Whether it is mountain climbing, accounting, miming, marine biology, or something I cannot even fathom within the limitations of my own mind. I will do all that is in my power to help them achieve it.

But this is no great feat it is simply called parenting.

I want them to know that following a dream is never a wasted undertaking. There will be trials to overcome and tribulations to conquer, but if the dream is something worth chasing anything can be attained.

I want my children to understand the importance of finding oneself. To venture into unknown territory, despite the misgivings and naysayers. To acknowledge that standing still for the sake of fear has never fared well for anyone.

I hope to teach them how to summon up the audacity to take a leap of faith. The boldness to walk blindly into a room when one has nowhere else to go but onward. Because this kind of hunger rejuvenates the soul. It feeds that small part of our mind that propels us.

It’s called Oomph; and it is what transforms us into the beautiful individuals we are.

What I desire most for these beautiful little people in my life is that they are both given the opportunity to discover theirs and live with that passion favourably for the rest of their days.  

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WALMART- the conflicting emotions of the first days of school

Well my friends the title of this post says it all.

There are three types of parents frantically running around Walmart right now. I’m serious right now, as we speak.

These individuals are as stated:

A) The veteran parents who have already been through the kindergarten first day of school bit.

The parents who are excited for this upcoming school year.

The parents who are happily void of any sentimentality whatsoever. 

These are the people who are scooting from the school supply aisle to the kids shoe department with a demented smile plastered upon their face in anticipation for the upcoming year.

 

They know the joys of child free days and they are not afraid to show you their delight.

They are the parents who understand that full school days equal insane amounts of productivity. 

Full school days mean clean homes…Well, cleaner homes for longer periods of time!

Side note- RIP Mr. Williams, you will be forever missed.

Or possibly even a peaceful coffee date with friends.

And of course we cannot forget the most important reason to get excited for the children’s leave to school…

The prospect to engage in the elusive mid-day quickie. 

2) Unfortunately we can’t all be blissfully contented with the idea of our babes venturing into the new and quite frankly frightening world of school. 

The second group of Walmart patrons I speak of do not have the excited bounce in their step as the first group did.

No these folk are the sentimental bastards.

The thought of their little Jimmy/Joni going off and growing up is literally tearing them apart inside. They mope their way towards the snack aisle to find some peanut free fare with a dejected look strewn heavily across their face.   

They know is it ridiculous to be getting so emotional over something they knew was coming for the last five years…But it is just so hard to pull it together. 

Because the first day of school means one thing…Those sweet little muffins that they once swaddled into those perfectly delectable baby bundles are growing up…

Into gross, smelly, sticky (and not sticky in the adorable child way), back-talking teenagers. 

And it is infuriating and terrifying all at the same time. 

There is nothing we can do to save this second group.

We can only stand idly by as they struggle through their torture alone.

 

C) Finally the last group. These are the people who are not so cut and dry as the previous two groups.

They are the conflicted.

They peruse the department store aimlessly with an inner turmoil that eats slowly away at them.

Always moving. Always changing. 

Of course on the one hand they can completely see group A’s point of view. There are definite perks to all day absences of the little humans. 

But…On the flip side, they can understand group 2’s dilemma as well.

Those tiny walking, talking, rocking humanoids are the fruit of their loins! 

And sometimes it is hard to accept they are growing up.

Because nothing good can come from them growing up, right? 

wait…what?

Whatever the case the battle within group C whirls as they double check the school supply list that is grasped tightly in their left hand. 

At one point a single tear rolls down the cheek of a father passing by a rack of infant jumpers…

At another a woman in the produce section shouts out in a burst of unbridled joy, “Yes I am free on Monday Morning! ITS SEPTEMBER HALLELUJAH PRAISE THE LORD!”

And so you see, it is a crazy time at the local one stop shop. There are those who are happy, sad, conflicted and yes also very confused. 

What a thought provoking time to be an observer of the human condition. 

Nope…No moral to this post. 

Speaking Out- To The Girls

 

 

For as long as I can remember I have been a “tip-toer”- silently skirting around all of the awkward and unpleasant moments of the past. I figured that if I didn’t acknowledge those sometimes dark memories then at some point they would become, in a sense erased.

But I realized somewhere along the line that all of the misshaped adventures that I’ve endured over the years have in reality brought me to this magnificent place I am today.

Everything does indeed happen for a reason- it must.

So why fight it? Why feign ignorance to the idiocy that was your past? Why discredit the embarrassment? Why remove the pain?

All of it, no matter how harsh or weird or uncomfortable it was has contributed to a much bigger picture. Piece by piece, it has built you into the person you are today.

And this is a beautiful gift.

Not something to use as a crutch, but somthing to commemorate. Something to appreciate.

I wrote this piece for the girls. The girls who still shudder at the bad memories of the past. The ones who hold on to the hurtful commentary from years ago. I wrote this for myself, my daughter, my mother and every other woman whom I care so deeply about. I wrote it for the girls I have yet to meet, the girls I may never meet.

I wrote it for every woman, because no woman deserves to be disappointed by her past. It is a beautiful thing, and I want every girl young and old to know that.

So with that said, “Cheers to the girls.”

 

A Humble Request from your Friendly neighborhood Blogging Mama

“Hate is an epidemic that is quickly stifling out the good and virtuous characteristics of existence; the faucets I should have never strayed away from. It divides families. It causes chaos. It asphyxiates creativity and suppresses exploration.”

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Hello Friends!
 
Above is an excerpt from a recent post I’ve had published with an online magazine called Elephant Journal. It is accompanied by many more scrumptiously tantalizing words as well as a Spoken Word poetry piece I’d love to share with you all. 
 
I wrote this piece in hopes of changing my own perspective. I realized I did not want my kids to follow in my footstep and have hatred and malice on the forefronts of their life. I didn’t want to see them hating on people for no apparent reason, or simply to ‘fit in’. But I knew I would have to change my own ways before instilling in them this philosophy- because self admittedly I used to thrive on all of these kinds of bad feelings. So I began writing about the aspects I would like to see changed within myself…And low and behold it began make an impact. 
 
I sent my finished work to Elephant Journal (as their overall philosophy is much to the same degree as what I speak about in this article) and they quickly decided to post it to their site. I was SO EXCITED! Now it is up and running, but I still have the grueling job of getting it out there for people to read! 
 
So I am reaching out to you, my friends, to pop on over by following the link below and take a look at my work. 
 
If you enjoy it please go ahead and share on your Facebook and/or Twitter account (if you have one) or any other social media site you prefer. The more publicity I receive on this post the better, so would you help a Mama out pretty please? And if you have somebody specifically you think would enjoy the piece please feel free to reblog! 
 
 
And Thanks a million!! 
 
Over and out for now,
The Blogging Mama!!!
 
 
 

 

Giving up the Nostalgic Mama Bit

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Recently I’ve noticed a shift in mine and my son’s relationship. It seems that the days of couch cuddles and kissy monster attacks are fading while fist bumps and high fives are quick on the rise. Justly so this realization is getting me a bit down.

I remember the first time Lars (at the time- age 2) cut his arm on some debris he found on the deck. The bright red blood that trickled down his forearm was enough to give me a nervous breakdown. Like most kids he didn’t feel the hurt until he saw that blood and then it somehow turned into complete and utter agony! I bandaged him while holding my own worry at bay. I hugged his little body close to mine, showing him I will always been there. And at the time, he embraced the gesture affectionately.

Nowadays when the kid gets a cut or scrape he screams bloody murder for about 10 seconds and when I go to hug him (the magical thing I used to do to take away the pain) he pushes me away and says, “I just need a Band-Aid Mom!” In a voice that makes me want to throw my own tantrum.

I try not to take offense.

“He is not my baby anymore, let him grow, let him be a kid.” This is the mantra I continue to tell myself but still have a difficult time coming to terms with. A small part of me wants to swaddle that 5 year old body into his Lego Movie duvet cover and rock him back and forth until I force the kid into submission.

“Mama knows best Larsy”…Is the heinously creepy sing-song slogan that emerges in my head each time I think of this scenario. It then occurs to me that I am not a psycho path and should indeed just let my son mature at this horribly speedy rate.

So like every other frenzied mother on the face of this earth, I have bit my tongue and stood idly by while my baby boy transforms into a- well- boy, before my eyes.

A few days ago Jamie and I took the children to the water park. The main attraction was the enormous waves that filled the pool at designated times. Sophie being the freaky dare devil she is hopped straight onto Daddy’s back and off they went into deeper waters to brave the surfs.

Lars on the other hand has always been a bit more reserved when it comes to the unknown. So he and I hung back in the shallow waters still enjoying the mammoth whitecaps that came upon us.

At one point I noticed that his adorable little feet were having a very hard time staying anchored to the pools floor so I stealthily made my way towards him and grabbed his hand. He must have not noticed at first because he allowed our embrace to stick for a few seconds before vehemently pulling away saying, “Mom! I can do it.” Again in the same voice which makes me want to curl up into the fetal position with a twitchy eye while bawling in a fit about it ‘just not being fair’. Or something to the same extent.

But instead I held it together and let go of his sweet little hand (or ‘hany’ as I use to call it before he was too cool to care about what I called his limbs).

Because as parents we all have to let go at some point or another. Even when we really really don’t want to. And although we may have to do this to appease our growing children, it does not mean we have to stop looking out for them.

It was this thought that crossed my mind when I watched a huge wave come up on my 5 year old son and completely engulf his entire body, knocking him over beneath the water. Without thinking I reached my hand down to find his and pulled him up.

The boy looked at me once he stopped sputtering out water and said, “Thanks Mama, I owe you one.” And I laughed and hugged him and he hugged me back.

Although it is inevitable that he will mature and grow, this is nothing to be sad about. It is something to rejoice! He is becoming a spectacular young man, with a brilliant personality. He is becoming his own person and isn’t that what this parenting thing is all about?

Maybe it is time for me to change my focus. Instead of becoming overly nostalgic -because a little nostalgia is good for the soul- for moments past I will look forward to the memories that have not yet been made.

While resting easy knowing that no matter how old they get, every once in a while the kids may just need a helping hand from their loving mama.

Peeling Back The Layers

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible. ― Frank Zappa

It is inevitable in life to experience moments of despair. Moments when we wonder how to possibly move forward. There will be times when hope is distant. So distant that not even that faraway place that houses all the fantastical things in our mind can hold it. We will search and search for anything that resembles a glimmer of the optimism we once had, but to no avail.

We will feel defeated, overwhelmed and whitewashed. Playing back the events in our brain of how we came to be in this appalling place, but never quite being able to put a finger on it.

 

THE EDGE, there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. ― Hunter S. Thompson

 

Our neighbors, friends, and family will be perusing around happily and we only wish we could get a taste of how that feels. It is as though something has come along and eagerly sucked out the very spirit that is us.

And we want it back.

We want that life-force of crazed happiness back in our soul. We want to once again walk into a room jam-packed full of people and not give a flying fuck about what any one person thinks of us. We want to feel the breeze of confidence over our bare throat as we hold our head up high.

 

If you wanna fly you got to give up the shit that weighs you down. ― Toni Morrison

 

And one day we will realize it is all a matter of perspective.

We will succeed because we yearn to. We will smile because our beautiful lips crave it. We will laugh for the pure joy of it and cry to relieve the soul in that same instant. We will find the hope to move forward because it is the only perceivable direction to go.

Self-discovery can be messy. It takes peeling back the layers of hard truths to get to know the person we truly want to be. It means removing the old ‘safe ways’ and going out on a limb once in a while. It involves learning how to embrace adversity  rather than cowering from it.  To onlookers the process may seem ugly. Too candid, too barefaced and perhaps distasteful to some. But with each layer we remove our soul becomes lighter, freer and uncluttered.

The future belongs to the few of us still willing to get our hands dirty. ― Roland Tiangco

 

We will begin to smile not only sometimes but all of the time. We will remove the bad moments of the past because we are knowledgeable enough to understand that these retentions only hold us back in a prison of resentment and mistrust.

We will begin to fully comprehend that nourishing the relationships that give back to us is more important than wrestling with the ones that only gobble up all of our magnificent energy. And we can now decipher which of the relationships in our lives fit into these two categories. We realize that many things are simpler than what we’ve made them out to be in the past.

And finally, we can appreciate this simplicity.

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music. ― Friedrich Nietzsche

To The Girls

Cheers!

Here’s to the tears that roll down her wasted face

To those droplets of fear and pain and life and loss

That release into a torrent stream of uncertainty.

Here’s to the notes of self-doubt

When a “more important” voice interrupts hers.

To cries of insecurity,

For all the times she’s been called too skinny or too fat

Here’s to whispers of diffidence

From when she discovered that criticism was a real thing.

To every god damn teacher who told her

It wasn’t realistic to follow her dreams.

To every freaky dude in dim light hiding in a club corner-

Grabbing her ass while telling her she’s only ‘kind of’ pretty

To the boyfriends; the not-yet-men

Who once said she could never do better than them.

To the rumor creators- the truth takers

The breakers of promises and trust

Here’s to it all!

To the moments of wonder,

To the moments of what if.

To the difference between

Comfort and bliss.

Here’s to the pipedreams

Those shapeless ideas

Which floated gently into her psyche

Later realizing…They were insanely unlikely.

To being called flighty!

Here’s to every individual who has made her feel

Uncomfortably. Subtly depriving her

Of that usual bubbly redundancy.

To everyone who has fucked her up

To those who have destructively sucked her dry

To all the moments that have gone awry

Cheers to the fall.

Cheers to crawling dejectedly out from the hole she fell into

Cheers to tears of embarrassment and fear

Cheers to the sadness…That somehow brought her here

Because objectively- she now sees, she is where she needs to be.

And she is here because of those dicks in dim lit bars

The scars from rude remarks

The determination from being told NO

The ridiculous saying ‘bro’s before hoes’

She is here thanks to the sideways glances

And most of all the nervous laughter, she began to hear

When deciding their opinions- Didn’t. Fucking. Matter.

And all too soon the old vision shattered

And then it happened-

Happy, Free, Welcome, Pleased

She arrived here

And I cannot think of anything greater to deserve

Cheers

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The Bashing Has Got To Stop

“Oh my god if I ever look like that, just put me out of my misery and shoot me.”

“It’s a rare land whale, seldom seen in such parts.”

“It is just disgusting, how can they even let themselves get to that point?”

This is the conversation I half listened to as I watched my none-the-wiser children play joyfully at the beach park.

Let’s not beat around the bush here, we all have judged at one time or another. Whether it be the fat lady at the beach, the skinny albino looking kid who has no friends at school or the old woman who lives next door and always talks to her cat like he is an infant child. If we’ve seen it then more than likely we’ve talked about it to someone else in a mocking nature.

But what I hope happens to me also is true for every other person who has impulsively judged another. Although I may have participated in the gossip game and unkind dialogue, in my heart of hearts there is a struggle surfacing. And it is this struggle that I hope will begin to make an irreversible change in the way we treat others.

This person who is clearly in ear shot of our mindless jibber jabber has feelings too. They are a human being no different than me. What gives me the right to judge them so brazenly? And what would happen if the tables were turned on me?

“Oh my god did you see the ego on that one? Betcha it needs some serious stroking! How pathetic.”

“That is downright the ugliest personality I’ve ever seen.”

“What personality? No wonder she compensates with selfies and selfishness.”

It is entirely possible. And yet still in this day and age it is the people with the physical differences that don’t match up to todays ‘beauty standards’ that have to listen to the off colored comments and rude innuendos.

I am sick of it and want no part of it any longer. Now when I see this type of banter from near and far all it makes me think of is how unhappy these people must be with themselves. So much to the point that they pick apart complete strangers for no other reason than to provide a small bit of self-satisfaction- “At least I am better than them.”

I decided to walk away from the conversation completely. Maybe I should have said something to them. Maybe I should have stood up for their objective mark.

I admit, I didn’t.

Instead I walked over to the kids playing on the jungle gym. I watched as children of all sorts weaved in and out of their play.

Kids with missing front teeth, kids with straggly hair (that was Sophie), little kids, big kids, kids of different skin colors and kids who didn’t speak English. And the entire time I watched these children interacting not one of them at one point ever leaned cattily over to another and said, “I can’t believe we are playing with ‘ol freckles, like can you say ew?” or, “Please just shoot me if I ever look like that kid who has no front teeth.”

Yeah, sounds pretty ridiculous coming from a child right?! This is how we sound when we come down on others who do not add up to our aesthetic tastes.

Children have become the roles models and we the pupils in life’s lesson plan on how we should treat our fellow human being.

And there is a disastrous yet subtle element brewing in this equation. That is that the children don’t know they are the role models. They still believe that our actions and words never fail. They never falter. These children will see us behaving in this sick and twisted way towards our neighbors, friends, the stranger walking ahead of us and soon it will become a learnt behavior. Some say that children are the worst for being cruel and mean. I would rebut that with the idea that those children must have learned the unkind behavior from somewhere and usually that somewhere stems from home.

One day our beautiful babes who today play catch with the overweight kid or talk openly with the child about her prosthetic arm will be the ones sniggering behind their backs. A meanness will surface in them and we will wonder where it came from. We will wonder where our lovely little sally went. Where our polite and courteous Gordy has gone.

And we will only have ourselves to blame.

I’ve heard it called ‘fat bashing’ but in reality it is simply marginalization due to difference. And for the sake of this next generation and all those to follow it has got to end. Now.

An Inner Makeover

As the stark white stucco ceiling stares down at me this morning I feel somehow changed. The kids giggle vigorously in the rooms adjacent to mine as notes of “mama” drifts about.  Husband sleeps soundly next to me, his lips are parted in the most tranquil kind of way. He takes even breaths in and out, in and out. Beautiful is the word I want to use to describe this moment. Beautiful and ending.

Soon the children will barge into the bedroom asking for cereal and bananas. Soon the crisp morning air will turn into a clammy heat. And soon I will be thrust back into the fast paced life of parenthood. But for now I will take in this moment to lay here and reflect. I won’t worry about the day to come, I will be mindful of this lovely moment in time that I’ve been given.  

Recently I’ve carried myself in a very unflattering way, I wholeheartedly admit this. I have been on this health kick. I’m eating properly, no longer fueling my body with processed junk. I’ve quit smoking. I’ve thrown away my scale because I choose not to have my emotions run rampant over a number. I’ve been making positive changes physically, but somehow have neglected to look inward to the places that sometimes need the most care.  

In the last few weeks I look at myself and see these positive changes and it makes me ecstatic. Yet now as I lay here in my bed reflecting back upon myself I cringe at the way I have treated the people I love. Boasting of my superiority over not obsessing with scales and weight. Arrogantly spitting swagger about how much I love my ‘new self’. I have gone as far as saying some truly ignorant and downright mean things to someone I love dearly. Possibly hurting them irreversibly only to feed my need for attention and drama.

And it makes me wonder, is it possible to love yourself too much? Possibly I’ve hyper inflated my ego just enough to tarnish the sanctity of the soul. Confidence has never been a thing I’ve had in bushels so perchance this newfound self-assurance is just a delusion I’ve made myself believe through repetition and recurrence.

In any case I can see the ugliness of self-absorption submerging through this seemingly healthy body. And I don’t like it.

The kids have now made their way to the bedroom. They cuddle in between Jamie and I, and are surprisingly quiet as I am overcome with a gratifying air in the room. These moments of clarification usually come at the least expected times. They come without warning. They come bearing hard truths that we do not want to face. They come to explain all the things we desperately seek but previously did not have the courage to except.

I am thankful to have had this moment. It will help me become the person I want to be. Because I want to be humble, and reserved, and know when to express my feelings in my work rather than aggressing those around me. I want to know when to ignore the remarks of others. How to let go of negativity and not dwell on moments of the past. I want to be accountable for my actions. I want to be better.

“Mama, can you get us some cereal?” Lars asks me, stopping the tears of revelation that are welling up in my eyes.

“And a ‘nana!?”  Sophie adds in with anticipation.

“Yeah guys, let’s go get some breakfast.” I say as the three of us quietly hobble out of the bed.

I will continue on this journey of healthy living, because in truth it does make me feel great and there is no crime in that. But I will also begin thinking of the inner health of my mind and soul- knowing these entities are just as important as the body.

This life may not be a perfect one, but it is ours. By making these positive changes I will be trailblazing a path of mindfulness and good for my children to follow in. And that idea fills me with a happiness that in unexplainable.

And I will start by happily pouring a bowl of cereal and ‘nana’s for my two wonderful children.

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4 Embarrassing Moments I will never get back

Today I would like to give you, my lovely readers, just 4 (out of thousands) of embarrassing moments my children can never take back; reminding you that you are certainly not alone in this thing we call parenthood.

 

1)      Sophie and I were in a public restroom at the beach recently.  After she relieved herself I told her to stand to the side so I could sit down to do my business.

 

(Before I go on let me add this was a rather busy bathroom which was packed tight with listening ears.)

 

As I hovered myself over the toilet she looks at my bum, then at my face…Then at my bum again. She then yells out and I mean YELLS in the most compromising kind of way, “Mama, your butt is too big for this potty, is that why you don’t sit down?”

 

 

 

2)      I am not one to pass gas in front of just anyone, heck, my best friends of 15 years have seldom heard me do the deed. It personally just feels icky (for lack of a better term) and I prefer to keep my business to the solitude of a washroom or secluded area.

 

However, there are moments when your stomach is in a retched knot of gassiness and you know that the small and innocent act of passing gas will make you feel a million times better.

 

The kids and I were in the grocery store- I am in such stated predicament, so I began looking for a discreet locale to…well…release. It was then that Sophie took off in a run for no apparent reason. It was then that I grabbed Lars and hobbled awkwardly after her. It was then that I desperately tried to ‘hold it in’, yet found myself completely unsuccessful in that plight.

 

Let me paint you a picture- me running, butt clenched in futility, screaming at my child in a disturbingly demonic voice to, “Stop, stop where you are!” All the while I am exhaling loud puffs of pong from my rear. People are looking. People are pointing.  

 

And to add insult to injury Lars begins laughing hysterically asking, “Why are you farting so much Mom?”

 

 

3)      I love dresses, they are cool and their flow is simply perfect for the balmy summertime weather. What they are not perfect for is going on walks with the kids. Unfortunately this little nugget of information came to me a little too late.

 

The day was a scorcher but the kids wanted to go for a walk to the park. I slapped some sunscreen on them, their hats and shoes and we were ready to roll. I decided a nice long walk would get them good and tired so we opted for one of the further parks from our home. We arrived, they played and all was good.

 

As we were walking back I could see the fatigue in the children, especially little Sophie as she was trailing behind us considerably. It would not be long before she was dragging herself by fingertips along the black asphalt path we trudged.

 

So I grabbed my babe by the arms and swung her up onto my back. We walked for a bit and several times snickering skateboarders would roll past us laughing their juvenile raunchy laugh. I was beginning to wonder what the hell was so funny when I caught a brisk draft floating in and around an area in which the wind usually does not grace.

 

Turns out the girl’s foot had slipped under the hem of my dress as I lifted her up revealing my backside for all of the path’s patrons to see. On the bright side, I got a bit of a tan on an otherwise pretty pasty zone.

 

 

4)      Over winter the kids and I did a lot of swimming at the pool. On one occasion, after swimming as we were getting changed in the change-rooms I unintentionally flashed everyone in the joint…Almost full frontal. Let’s just say ‘full enough’ frontal.  

 

This is what you get when you dress your children first and leave the struggle of removing your sticky clingy one-piece that is not nearly as flattering when peeling down your body for last.  Your 3 year old daughter will indeed get bored of watching your undertaking and decide to fling open the door to the stall. 

 

There I was standing half naked and in shock to a room full of women and children, rolls of belly jelly hanging over the bottom half of suit that was still sucking in my lower portions (I’d like to say thankfully, but I’m not sure if ‘thankful’ would be the word for it)

 

At that moment I was a deer in the headlights and all I could do was stand there trusting I was not the only woman that had ever been duly embarrassed by their unaware offspring.

 

30…Things…About approaching 30 and settling down

 

1)      Your confidence is blooming- hell you’ve been on this earth for nearly 30 years! Why has it taken this long to start coming into your own? Regardless though, you are jacked about it! Go out there and strut your stuff you sexy thang!

2)      Your taste pallet is evolving- maybe you’ve always loved food, or maybe you haven’t. The point is now you are officially a grownup; not a 20-something but a real live adult. And you should try new things such as different foods. And you realize that new stuff actually can be interesting and fun.

3)      Your body is thanking you- Remember the days of living off nothing but beer and corn chips? Yeah me too. I miss those days with a fond envy. But alas they are gone. Now are the days of exercising for an hour each morning and replacing big macs for Greek yogurt. And however much this new mature lifestyle saddens you from time to time- your body is ecstatic about it.

4)      A new appreciation for old friends- You’ve always known how much your bestie has meant to you- yet now as you both approach this new chapter in life you find yourself becoming disgustingly nostalgic about all of the ‘good times’ (idiotic times) you and your friends have been through.

5)      Your idea of fun has changed immensely- In your early twenties you couldn’t wait to get out there and party all night at the hottest most jam-packed clubs. You wanted to be enveloped between other people’s sweaty bods on that dance floor and get your groove on. Now the entire concept of the club scene disgusts you. You have much better things to do with your precious time these days. Which brings me to my next point…

 

6)      You find yourself reverting back to your prepubescent self- Rather than clubbing, drinking till dawn and literally partying your ass off you see much more fulfillment in hunkering down with a big bowl of popcorn (sodium free and low fat) and watching your favorite movie. Which just happens to be the Lego movie…

7)      You have become the thing you hated most- I can vaguely remember a time when I would politely nod my head and smile an obviously fake smile when having been put through the absolute agony of listening to other people tell me stories about their children. In current days I do exactly this for a fucking living. WHAT HAVE I BECOME!?

8)      Your appreciation for the finer things ripens- In your teens and early twenties did you ever give a flying fuck about the beauty of a field of wildflowers? Did you ever stop on the side of the road to take a picture of the perfect sunset? NO of course you didn’t because you had places to go and people to see! Nowadays you seem to have all the time in the world to appreciate these once seemingly insignificant things of life.

9)      You poop regular- enough said. You. Poop. Regular.

10)   You have become either a better dancer…Or you simply don’t care anymore- When you do go out, whether it be for a wedding or some other type of mature festivity you rock your bod (only almost 30’s will probably get that last reference) on the dance floor and you don’t care who sees it!

11)   You chop your hair off- Maybe it is just me but in my experience of being and hanging out with almost 30’s there is a lot and I mean A LOT of talk about chopping the hair off because it makes us look younger. Or more respectable…There is a plethora of reasons why so just get on board with it people.

12)   SEX- Sex used to be this steamy sort of topic; chalk full of naughtiness and faux pas. Just talking about it was the ultimate turn on.

Now sex is a 7 minute midday quickie on the bathroom counter because it is the only room in the house that has a locking door.

This takes place while the children’s fingers creep eerily under that door whilst asking, “Whatcha doing in there guys?” from the other side.

And in correlation with above point…

13)   The words ‘let me take the kids for the night’ from your friends and family becomes the sweetest thing you’ve ever heard- That’s right, those few simple words make all the difference in this almost 30 and settling down life. It means a nice romantic night of couch cuddles and YouTube binging, going out for dinner and realizing you are drunk after three singles. Or, if you’re really looking to get crazy doing some much needed deep cleaning (this sounds dirtier than I intended it too, I literally mean deep cleaning the house) which is much easier without the little ones.

14)   You are astounded when an episode of Friends comes on in which you haven’t seen- you then shed a tear of happiness for the anticipation that exceeds all other possible emotions in that exact moment.

15)   You no longer feel as though you may puke in job interviews- I suppose this ties in with #1 and your confidence. But in your mature and wise ‘old’ age your coolness in your chosen career is so astounding that you actually begin to interview your potential employer. This results in one of two outcomes. You get the job right there on the spot due to your spectacular self-assurance or they escort you out of the building and politely ask you not to return.

16)  Sayings like “Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.” ~Chili Davis, begin making way too much sense to you.

17)  Removing the couch cushion covers and vehemently washing them while muttering curses towards the seemingly disgusting other human beings whom share your home becomes a monthly tradition- And it sucks.

18)  You tell yourself that you will speak your mind from now on- You immediately feel guilty for speaking your mind and hurting peoples feelings.

19)  You continue to jump blindly on board with internet fads- Possibly this is a vain attempt to seem younger but with each ‘naked face selfie’  ‘ending fat bashing campaign’ or other like topics you find yourself hoping right on board.

You later realize it is all a bunch of ridiculous bullshit and try to erase all evidence of your participation. Which you forget is impossible because it is “on the line”.

 

20)  You mockingly say things like “Is that what the young folk are doing these days?”- But it is not as funny since on some level you are actually wondering if in fact that is what the young folk are doing these days.

21)  It frightens you to see all of your favorite childhood shows on Teletoon Retro- And yet you have this odd pride that swells within you that your child would rather watch these shows than the crap they come up with nowadays.

22)  You find yourself getting odd looks of contrition when using words like “Super-duper” “Sweet” “That’s wizard” or “No doubt” amongst the younger crowd- But you feel lost without these turn of phrases as you surely cannot use the lingo these youngsters are using. So instead you resort to this…

 

23)  You have begun eating the heel of the loaf of bread- And thoroughly enjoy all the nutrients you are getting from that crusty goodness.

24)  You tell people you only have a Facebook to ‘keep up’ with everybody from high school- In other words to creep on your ex’s and see how much better you are doing than everyone else.

25)  You stop deliberating so much about what others think of you and start caring more about what you think of yourself- Oh no this post is taking a sentimental turn for the worse!

26)  You become a know-it-all despite how much you’ve always loathed this breed of person.

27)  You become obsessed, and I mean obsessed with OITNB- I just had to throw this in there…Like seriously…Best show ever!

28)  Things you once found hilarious, you now find dreadful- Things like Family Guy, You-Tube vids of people falling and crashing into things (I’m pretty sure I’m watching people dying or getting seriously injured here…Remind me how this is funny?) Or young children (particularly your own) reciting Tampax commercials- how is that much TV viewing even possible?

29)  Crying over children’s movies- I don’t mean to lament over this Lego Movie but COME ON! It’s just the best moral to a children’s flick I’ve seen since the friggen Fox and the Hound! OH GOOD GOD I’VE STARTED CRYING JUST THINKING ABOUT IT!!!

30)  And finally- The dismaying realization that it was not nearly as difficult as expected to write a list of thirty…erm, things about approaching 30. It was actually quite easy. A little too easy…

I supposed that proves it; 30 is just around the corner.

And we are all more than ready for it.

Husband finally retaliates after two years of blog posts are written about him…

Yes in all reality Mr. Brown is often the butt of my blog posts. In my defense it is because I love the guy so much and never really stop thinking about him. 

But it makes sense that after this long of having posts written about you, you would eventually write a rebuttal statement. So for all of you Blogging Mama readers- here is my husbands note of retaliation in regards to all the shit I write about this man I love so dearly! 

(And no, I am not angry about this…I almost peed my pants laughing over the lip syncing thing….I honestly had no idea!) 

***

6 POTENTIALLY EMBARRASSING REASONS I LOVE MY WIFE!

This is a “blog” dedicated to my incredibly talented author wife, I love you…

Please don’t be offended.

Lindsay and I have been married for nearly three years, we’ve been together for many more, and, depending on how she takes the next few paragraphs I assume for a lifetime ahead as well.

Like most relationships it’s a give and take and forgives kind of thing, a constant learning curve. But I am not here to discuss marital life, I am not here to talk about the distresses of being a parent, no, I am here to take the roll of the talented hands of my wife and confess to paper the things that make me laugh, the things that make me think, and the things that make me love and adore her more everyday!

                These are the things that are not spoken to open ears, in fact these are the things that are shunned to topic even behind closed and locked doors. Of course I am speaking of the inevitable and potentially embarrassing larks that make us all similar in that human fashion. Each one of these notable topics are relatable by most- if not all couples, and I am sure are interpreted in quite different thought processes. Nevertheless these are the things that I have come to accept and build love for my wife upon.

 

SLEEP TALKING

We’ve all been there, whether it’s an over indulged friend rambling angry nothings on your couch, or your seemingly possessed sibling wandering the kitchen for sustenance in the midst of the night, and eerie as it might come across, it’s funny!  It’s not a frequent occurrence in my house, but more often than not Lindsay will head for bed long before I do, giving me an unintentionally better chance of witnessing this humorous event. 

                Lindsay is an excellent mother, in fact, “the finest I have ever known”. Day after day she deals with tears, snot and the occasional blood and takes it as a blessing, but somehow I get the impression that she holds a lot in.

Why do I say that you ask?

Well there’s just something comical about an adult woman dealing out a punishment to a five year old boy who is actually snoring across the hall in the next room.

 

OCD

Not that my wife literally has OCD but come on guys what loving wife and mother isn’t the epitome of this disorder? I know what you’re thinking, this does not fit the discussion, and well it’s not quite so black and white. You see, my wife is like any of us human beings, most of the time if no one is looking we just plain “don’t give a shit” and that’s ok! There is a difference between clean and tidy, and Lindsay works her ass off for a clean house. But with two small kids if you worry about the tidiness you’ll go insane!

                So what makes me smile is when company is coming over, even the neighbors or a relative of the family, it’s as though the queen herself is on her way! I’m sure she realizes that most of these people have had children of their own and probably don’t care so long as the wine is flowing when they arrive. But like I said it must be something maternal that brings this along.

For myself at the time it’s quite distressing. It’s not shock from the ‘mise en place’ Nazi that has just submerged from my wife that bothers me, it’s that for some peculiar reason I cannot seem to help. I can ask, I can observe and try to aid, but to no avail.

I’m not sure if its stubbornness or …. Whatever it is there’s something about frantic Lindsay that really does it for me…. Which brings me to the next point….

AWKWARD TOPICS

Every wife loves to bring up the time their spouse made a fool of himself, and let’s face it, these things happen more than enough to be brought up. I’m not talking about women with other women, that’s not a topic I want to cover here!

Instead I mean the horrible gut turning feeling when your partner begins to bring up what she feels is the most universally accepted kinds of hilarity, you know the sort, the kind that brings your mind towards punching small kittens to stop you from breaking into tears in front of your peers…Don’t shake your head just keep reading.

I’ll admit, I may have a slight drinking problem- or rather a problem once drinking…. Oh boy… I get a little… rapey towards my wife. Yeah, rapey.

I don’t mean prison time offensive, I just get excited, I love my wife alright, quit judging!

And really, I don’t think she really minds, unless we are in public, she usually has something to say about that. Having said that, most of the time I’m pretty good about waiting till we get home (from what I remember).

Yet it still seems to be a fundamental conversation starter for her, nothing like getting the ball rolling while mine do too.

Common I’m not the only one!  You’re the one reading a blog post by a ‘rapey’ alright!

SLEEP TALKING II             

Alright, enough with that!

I know we spoke of sleep talking earlier; ironically there is a similar phenomenon that occurs whilst in the slumber of our chambers. This is not spoken voice in the conventional scene yet somehow it seems to create a mood in the room. If you haven’t figured it out, I’m talking about passing gas, or perhaps more amusingly acceptable “farting”. 

I refer to it as sleep talking only because it sparks conversation. I’m not sure if it’s over tiredness or simply the child in me finding humor in the simple day to day bodily functions and its odd sounds. There is nothing harder than trying to keep a straight face and not embarrass your half conscious spouse having woken them up from laughing.

LIP SYNCING

So here’s a peculiar one, Lindsay and I make an effort to take advantage of what time we get together, this of course means verbal communication, or talking. I say that in such a way because it literally involves things like eye contact, reaffirming head nods or hand gestures, even taking things as far to affirmatively repeating the previously stated objective… don’t kid yourself, you know exactly what I’m talking about!

But all jokes aside, I do enjoy our discussions, so this is where it gets weird.

I think it might be something all girls do, but usually just with pop sensations…

She lip syncs nearly everything I say during a conversation!?! And she has no idea she is doing it! Let me tell you a bit about that- you don’t get used to it, its strange right? And it’s not that it bothers me, but it’s noticeable… for sure. It only really gets awkward when I start re-lip syncing the same words watching her lips move and kind of forget who’s speaking….

THE DREADED ‘I TOLD YOU SO’

Now I know I am not alone with this one! Even ‘American Dad’ had an episode dedicated to the fowl concept. But unlike the comedy parody, this is no joke. I’m not sure if it’s bred into us, if we feel insecure about our partner gaining a one up on us or we simply just can’t be wrong. Whatever the case there are no nails sharp enough to drag across a chalk board that could compare to the slap in the ears when that short quip is uttered. Let’s face it though, it should happen more than it does, evidence of a loving wife is the less she says it when you begin to embrace for it, conjuring excuses and alternate reasoning’s for what had just transpired. ‘For the love of god I cannot let her get that fragment sentence in’ is all that races through the mind.

                Unfortunately, like I said before, we are all human and I am dealt another blow; as the patch of ceiling I was informed to tape now is smudged with paint; or the coffee table that would surly hold with some duct tape has now collapsed, or the credit card I cancelled somehow becomes a necessity, or the seemingly innocent notion of training my son to ride a bike without any training equipment had led to an injury, or allowing one of our infants to frolic without pants could lead to a mess, or involving our kids directly in kitchen work could lead to someone getting very hurt (me). I could go on but the tears are making it hard to type.

 

 

These are not things that I discredit my wife for, nor do I love her any less, in fact these are the things that make me love her so much more. These are just six of the many frustrating antics that remind me how great the simplicity of it all can be. One may say these are terrible things to speak of but for me, if I can relay these things on paper, laugh and know that I love her more than anything else in the world and know that she could write this same reversed topic into an encyclopedia reminds me that this is a life worth living; especially with my beautiful and talented wife and mother of my children.

I love you Lindsay Rae!

 

049

Speaking Out- For The Haters

lyndzeerae27:

I’m feeling a little brain dead lately my friends, so for now I will re-post this piece. Definitely my favorite Spoken Word I’ve done thus far…Maybe if I listen to it long enough I will get some inspiration for something great- And I can actually give you something new to feast your beautiful eyes on :)

Originally posted on The Blogging Mama:

I want to talk today

About judgment and hate

But my words come out

Unrelated and lame

Deflated, outdated, jaded

And maimed.

I want to talk about

Creating a day

Where we can forget

Hatred, discrimination and blame

But I realize today, that I cannot preach

Of issues like this I am not worthy to teach

Hypocrisy sullies  my world-weary reach

Since I too am a hater; my words have been breached.

I’m a hater of teens with their tits hanging out

Worried my own girl will take this same route

I’m hating on Photoshop and all of its tricks

Altering bods for just a quick fix

I hate the debates of vaccinations and kids

Stressed from the sickness

That once we had rid

I find hatred in media

Hatin’ on fakes

Pre-teen idols

Teaching my kids

To be flakes.

I’m hatin’ on Miley and of course on the Biebs

View original 300 more words

My 3 year old’s remedy for when you look like Sh*t

“Mama!” The sound of the word hits my frontal lobe like a sledgehammer drumming into fine china. I slowly turn my head towards the small child who is standing over me with snot hanging precariously from her left nostril. I can see that the substance is about to leave the smooth surface of the girls upper lip and drip directly onto my forehead…Yet I make no move to save myself.

Instead I will just let it happen.

Sophie has been deemed sick with an upper respiratory infection called Croup. Which I found out is a common infection being spread right now. The half day of researching I did told me this, after learning of this infliction from the family doctor. I was informed it would most likely heal itself, so here we are at home waiting for this thing to hit the road.

Somehow in the middle of it all I came down with a cold. Stuffy head, snotty nose, sore throat; the whole shebang. Maybe it is an offset of this Croup thing, I can’t be sure though since I cannot summon myself off the couch to Google whether or not adults can catch it.

I’m pretty sure it is a common cold, which brings me to my next query…

How is it that I- a 28 year old woman who has endured pneumonia, invasive procedures not to mention many a flu bug- is handling this cold so much worse than my fragile little human being who has only been on this earth for three short years and come down with this fairly serious respiratory infection?

There she is playing Barbie’s on the living room floor. The pure energy that exudes from her astounds me. She laughs wildly as ken doll falls head over teakettle off the makeshift cliff that has been constructed out of deconstructed cardboard boxes. The only hint of her sickness is the glazed over look in her eye, and the occasional barking cough.

She is not bed ridden. She is not fevered. And she is not shivering from cold sweats.

All things that are boundlessly peppering me as of this very moment.

20 minutes ago I felt as though I was going to keel over and die. 10 minutes ago I found myself lying on the couch wondering what it in fact felt like to die…Maybe I thought, I am going through the motions right here and now. I am dying.

This is something I was actually considering as I ignored the snot that dribbled out of my nose and onto the corner of my mouth. Now, I swap between a heavy blanket and nothing at all covering me…The deciding factor you ask? Well that would be whether or not I am sweating due to the extreme heat wave that has struck down upon this house or the sudden shakes from the fever chills I am experiencing intermittently.

Finally the girl’s slimy trail of mucus has landed on my brow and I look deeply into those eyes that hover over me. “Mama!” She says the words again- and again I wonder why she is able to function so easily when I am just surviving in this personal hell right now. My head begins to pound which tells me I am due for another round of Advil Cold & Flu. I don’t want to answer her, but I know that eventually I must; or else deal with the horrific yelps of an unattended three year old.

“Yes Sophie?” I manage to whisper at the child while wiping away all of the phlegm that has accumulated on and around my face from various origins.

The little girl begins to place her hand on my forehead, reminiscent of the way I usually check her temperature. She then starts stroking my hair in soothing circular movements. For a moment I forget it is my kid lulling me into this calm and close my eyes to give in to the niceness of it all. It is then when she says to me, “Mama, you look SICK!”

“Yeah I don’t feel good babe. How are you feeling?” I ask trying to still play the attentive mother.

“Mama you no worry ‘bout me. You way worse.” She says in her endearing three year old inflection.

And maybe it was an overdose of the Advil, or the butt-kicking cold, plausibly it was all of the snot- but I immediately start to bawl. “No Sophie, you are the one who is sick! I’m not sick- you are!”

I know it is time to give in and just let the illness take over when the girl says to me, “Mama, you look like ‘sit’ go to sleep.”

“Yeah babe,” I reply between snivels, “I feel like ‘sit’ I think I will take your advice on this one.”

10 Things You Need To Know Before Falling In Love With a Cook

1)      Zero tolerance of picky eaters- Whether it be your mutual friends or the offspring you will eventually procreate, your significant other will be no soft sally to the fact the people around you are turning their nose up to food.

You may hear terms from your cooking cohort like, “People around here just don’t know what good food is.” “All people want is burgers, how am I supposed to show my creativity with that?!” and my personal favorite, “Pub food is literally the bane of my existence.”

2)      Branded a poor shlum- Get used to people, branding you and your chef as the ‘poor ones’ because as everyone seems to know- there is absolutely no money in the cooking industry…Even though food is literally everywhere.

3)      That awkward over the shoulder glare- When whipping up a delectable meal for your cheffy, be prepared to constantly be watched. Whilst chopping veggies note the look of pure horror your lover has as they cringe at your less than perfect knife skills. Brace yourself for more than one ‘tip’ on what tastes blend nicely together and always allot time for the kitchen safety rules talk.

4)      Food sanitation deliberation- God forbid you leave the turkey out to thaw overnight…You will be chastised for weeks about the unsanitary awfulness that is you and your personal food prep skills. Always keep close at heart ‘first in first out’ rule and remember when stacking raw meats chicken is ALWAYS on the bottom. If any of these rules are forgotten you will likely never be allowed in your own kitchen again.

Which in all honesty wouldn’t be so terrible in the first place.

5)      “I just hate stupid people!!”- Upon falling in love with your chef you will quickly find out how absolutely idiotic other human beings in his/her preferred industry are.

Specifically, how if business owners would just listen to every single word that your S.O. was saying their business would no doubt flourish. Which brings me to the evening ritual of getting off work in an absolute rage, storming in the door and engaging in an hour bitch fest about how stupid people are.

How those stupid people infuriate your spouse so much and WHY OH WHY can’t everyone just listen to everything that he/she says about the culinary arts because they are undoubtedly right 100 percent of the time.

6)      The Servers-  There is always the constant reminder in the back of your mind that your S.O. is spending everyday with super-hot servers. In your head you think of your chef being an opinionated and arduous Gordon Ramsey , suave Jamie Oliver or suggestive Rachel Ray and all the boys and girls in the front house smitten over the edgy, rough, and oh so sexy chef.

But in all reality he/she is actually the guy in the back that is yelling fanatically due to extreme temperatures, dinging the bell a thousand times to try and get the attention of the servers you are so worried about, losing their cool over a missing case of chicken wings or making unfortunate sexual jokes that no one expect his/her fellow cooks find funny.

All in all, you probably don’t have anything to worry about.

7)      The potty mouth- Maybe it is not just this profession, but in my experience cooks have the dirtiest mouths I have ever heard. If your partner is in fact of this vocation get use to the F-bomb flying free whenever the individual in question has the slightest need for the term. Also open your mind to jokes of a homosexual nature (and do not become over concerned when first hearing this, it is in your chefs DNA to conjure up these dirty witticisms.)

Get on board with the potty mouth, because it most likely isn’t going anywhere.

8)      “So does he always cook you the most delicious food?”- If you are the significant other of a chef you know this question well. Anytime you tell another human being that you are married to a professional cook they ask this infamous query and you are left to explain in an annoyed inflection that when your love is actually home at dinner time (which is an extremely rare occasion in the first place), cooking is usually not on thier list of to-do’s.

9)      Sayonara Mother’s day and Valentine’s day- The two busiest days in the restaurant business. Either get used to celebrating these occasions on a different date or not at all, because you aren’t seeing hide nor hair of your spouse in the 24 hours that surround these two hallmark holidays.

10)   For that matter say farewell to weekend BBQ’s and summer vacations- For the life of a cook summer is not a time for rest and relaxation. It means scorching hot temperatures in tiny kitchens, white out chit conditions, ornery drunks that want midnight fare and women who think everything should be gluten free in order for them to look great in their new bikini. Which means bye bye summer fun, hello grueling work conditions.

After reading this list of horrible and dreadful realities of loving a chef I’m sure you are asking yourself why? Why would anyone subject themselves to that occupation or for that matter, be with someone in that occupation?

Well I can’t speak for every spouse of a chef but my reasoning for loving a cook is that he is following his dreams.

I am serious.

No one in their right mind would do that kind of work if they didn’t love it. Of that I am quite positive. And I give my hubby chef a great amount of kudos to do what he loves and work towards a dream he has had for so very long.

All images courtesy of Google Image

Killer Crows and Diarrhea- The Worst Combo Imaginable

I’ve dabbled in the art of jogging for years now, but never committed myself long enough to get any kind of great form or stamina. But now that I no longer am a smoker I decided to delve back in, and become the jogger I’ve always wanted to be.

This time I promised myself I would stick with it through thick and thin.

The first few days went great. I did although realize I am not at my physical peak so instead of actual jogging I would ease myself into it with a fast paced walk. This seemed to suffice.

It was on the fourth day I ran into some problems. A flock of vicious demon birds, that the common folk refer to as crows, attacked me as I sped walked down their street. I was not aware that these feathered fuckers were territorial, but it didn’t take long after they began stalking and swooping me to figure it out.

What I can say about the black beasts is that they forced me out of my walking comfort zone and into the run I needed to engage to escape their terrifying talons and boisterous beaks.

I realized then, that I can run. I am actually a pretty great runner when need be.

I didn’t let the crows get to me though, the next morning I got up and started out again with a positive outlook and cheery smile. I had been running rather than fast paced walking and that brought my confidence as a newbie jogger up considerably. I was passing other joggers and giving the ol’ good morning nod and a smile. I was feeling victorious- I was sure that not even a bastard bird could bring me down at this point.

Everything was coming up Lindsay.

I was a decent ways away from my house when it hit me. That stomach churning, gut wrenching, intestine twisting feeling…I had to poop.

And it was not one of those easy to hold in until you get back to the house kind of BM’s, it was a- clearly you have some sort of flu bug because your rectum feels like it is about to projectile vomit kind of BM.

It is 5:30 in the morning because in usual circumstances I am a morning person, and love the fresh smell of morning dew when I fast pace walk. Unfortunately at this ungodly hour, there are no public restrooms open and I am in the middle of town, a good 20 minutes from home.

I turn around briskly, I’m going to be okay. I hop into a run but quickly realize that running is a terrible idea; only worsening the need to vacate my bowels. I resume my fast paced walk while clenching my buttocks so tight I celebrate in the fact I am getting a glutes workout in as well.

Now when I pass other joggers I only give them a quick sideways glance- I cannot focus on anything at this time, other than keeping what I can only assume is explosive diarrhea, in my body until I receive a toilet.

A cold sweat has covered the entirety of my epidermis, although this is not from the workout I’ve just pandered to. My heart pounds, my head aches, and the constant reminder that I have to shit pulsates in my throbbing nether region.

My eyes fog over with tears from the thought of vacating my bowels here on Main Street. Oh the humiliation it would cause!

I know it has gotten perilous when I start scoping out trees and discreet corners to relieve my crying out colon…But In the small part of my brain that is still thinking rationally I know that I must not poo on public property like a dog. I don’t even have a bag with me.

I finally make it to the path behind my house. I am on the home stretch now and if only I can hold…It…In…A…Little…Longer…

It is not until now that the pain of having to rid myself of the fecal is so intense I have to stop dead in my tracks. There is a town worker driving alongside the road watering the hanging baskets that dangle off the lamp posts. She is looking at me with an odd sort of stare. She slowly approaches me as I am doubled over desperately trying to hold in the shit that will soon start slowly trickling out of my sphincter.

She begins to say something but my blinders are on and all I am seeing is HOME. I uncurl myself and carry on, giving the worker a quick wave to shoo her away from me and my current predicament. I walk with surprising vigor as I now move upon two stiff unbending legs. At this point I am frightened that any loosey goosey crusade will give way to the torrent stream of diarrhea that I am so desperately trying to hold in.  Tears spill over my eyelids as another wave of stomach cramp comes on and my face contorts into a mash of astonishment and disbelief that this is actually happening to me.

As I reach the last stretch of the path I see the one thing that may actually make me full out discharge here and now. The crows. They are waiting for me. Blocking that last bit of path I must fast pace walk to get to my much needed locale of the bathroom.

They begin squawking at me. They begin swooping lower and lower with each dive made- I assume they are trying to outdo each other. Or attempting to ward me off with some kind of warrior crow pouncing ritual.

I realize that it is either me or them. If I let them get to me I will surely shit my pants, and if I try to find another route home I will surely shit my pants.

I MUST go through them.

So I make a run for it.

And as I sit safely on my toilet a single tear of joy dribbles down my cheek in celebration of not soiling myself on my run/fast paced walk home. I have not been scared away from running, only become more aware of the dangers that face the jogger each morning. And I will continue on, because as I said before, this is through thick and thin.

But I may just wait a few days until this flu bug passes.

Gossip- A New Realization

 

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Have you ever walked into a room to find the occupants go deadly silent whilst looking around awkwardly at each other, clearly trying to destroy the residual natter that has all too soon become painfully obvious was about you?

Let’s face it, it has happened to all of us at least once. More than once for me. But I suppose that’s karma for a self-admitted gossiper. I’m not bragging about this fact, I’m just stating it for what it is- a fact.  In the past I have found myself hanging lovingly off each dirty secret told about another and chomping at the bit to get out in this big bad world and spread my new-found treasure-talk to anyone who will pin their ears back to listen.

Oh how I loved the gossip, it was like a sick addiction that sustained my confidence and held all of my insecurities at bay. Because really, if others had these ridiculous, embarrassing, dreadfully sad and unfortunate things happening to them that I could talk about behind their backs then it constantly seemed like my life was doing okay.

Odd reasoning I suppose now that I take a broader look at it, but the psyche wants what it wants- who am I to argue?

So I didn’t, and my consuming and spreading of chatter and chinwag continued- only growing more fierce and gruesome with each tale spewed from my murky little mouth. I got out of control. People knew me for my gossiping ways and believe me when I tell you that that is not a pretty light to be in.

My closest friends would want to tell me something but would have to endure a painstakingly long preface of promises that I wouldn’t repeat what I was about to hear. (Longer I can assure you than the norm for such conversations.) Two different family members on two different occasions came to me for advice but before explaining their plight to me said the exact same words, “Linds, you are great to talk to but you have such a big mouth…So you have to swear you won’t say anything about this to anyone…”

I would notice my kids overhearing my blather, listening intently to the cruel words I would say in regards to names they surely knew. My husband began to ignore me when I would speak out in my hogwash ways. Me, oblivious to the fact that he had no urge to listen to the drivel coming out of my mouth, just getting my kicks in alleviating the need to talk about another human being.

I began eavesdropping in on conversations to get a juicy tidbit of info that could later be evacuated into my circle of people. Or I would straight up butt into conversations asking who in fact ‘we’ are talking about.

It was a few months ago when I began to notice a shift. This shift came in such a monumental way but at the time seemed small and insignificant. Now I could not be more relived of it.

I walked into a room and upon entering received the deadly silence. The individuals who sat there looked at me in their guilty yet feigning innocence kind of way but I knew what was happening instantly. I played it cool, pretended I forgot something I left almost as quickly as I entered.

I went in that room wanting to share some piece of delicious chatter about something or other but as I left the urge to info-spit had left me.

Over the next few months I began to note things a little more closely. Things like a friend walking in on an argument between my husband and I…And I wondered if that would be the next rumour to feed the streets of our small town. Or running into an acquaintance at the grocery store and noting their glance at my thighs and I imagined the words, “God Lindsay Brown has got fat these days…” flooding over the lips of the people I once called friend.

It finally occurred to me that if I can talk so easily about others, why wouldn’t they be doing so about me too?

I can’t say that I have completely stopped gossiping, and I won’t try to come up with excuses as to why. But I can tell you that I am making a conscience effort to control these evil conversational ways. I have come to this point in my life that I realize it simply isn’t worth it. If I have something to say, that must be said, I will say it to your face. Everything else, the things that mean less than nothing, I will keep to myself.

Because these days, I would like to think, I have much better things to talk about than how fat whatshername has got. These days, I would like to think I have become a lot more intelligent than that.