Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I’m giving some serious thought to starting a club. Actually club might not be quite accurate; really it would be more like a movement, if you will. A conglomeration of resources for mothers everywhere involving identifying those mysterious substances that find their way into our homes, onto our children’s clothes, and become embedded in the fabric and carpeting of our cars. We could have a group help system in place and a database of possible culprits. Something like logging onto the Internet and using Google.com to search out information. We’ll call our website, “What the heck is THAT.com”. Moms from around the country, or even the world, would join and post pictures and descriptions of various substances, identifying what they can, and what they used to clean those substances up. I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking this information would be invaluable. If Crime Scene Investigators can identify a smidge of the tiniest proportions left behind at a crime scene, then surely we moms can identify and share with others, those unknown splotches, smears, and crumbs left behind by the fruits of our wombs.

Case in point: I went to bed last night, quite ill with a cold, and woke up around one in the morning. I sleepily wandered into the kitchen for a glass of water, passing the living room on my trek. As I passed by the previously clean coffee table and area rug, I realized that someone had been eating in there long after I’d gone to bed. The evidence before me was a copious amount of very fine, light brown, crumbs all over one end of the coffee table, and all over the area rug beneath it. A quick glance around, and I spotted further evidence left by inexperienced “criminals” who obviously weren’t very good at covering their tracks. I was able to identify the substance without the aid of DNA collection tests, microscopes, or even a finger print kit. I was also able to identify the culprit himself due to the placement of said crumbs in the living room. My sleuthing skills really weren’t even much challenged in this instance, regardless of the fact that I was ill, half asleep, and quite unhappy at being awake. In the space of about 10 seconds, I identified what were graham cracker crumbs, as evidenced by the package left out on the kitchen counter, and the suspect in this case, which wound up being my husband as all the crumbs were located in proximity to his recliner. Sherlock Holmes I may not be, but a reasonably good detective nonetheless.

While this example was a relatively easy investigation, others are not so simple. My database idea might just come in handy then. We moms are notoriously good at figuring out the various puzzles and intricacies of our households. Usually just a sniff, or a feel, or at times even a taste and we’ve nailed it without the assistance of the area CSI unit. We could call ourselves MSI’s, Mom Scene Investigators. We not only find the lost things, and kiss the boo-boos, but we are a whiz at figuring out the what and who when it comes to stains and messes. Can’t touch us! We’re moms and we have our ways.

Witty quip of the day: Despite what your children tell you, "Not me" is not a real person living in your basement who takes all the blame for any and all things having gone wrong.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Like me, are you a slave to perfectionism? Do you cringe at the sight of cabinet doors left open, or drawers closed ‘almost’ all the way, or dining chairs either pushed in unevenly or not pushed in at all? How about throw pillows on each end of the sofa, does it drive you nuts if they aren’t placed in the right order and organized by color? I remember watching Sleeping with the Enemy with my husband, and watching as Julia Roberts opened the kitchen cabinet and began to frantically straighten the cans so that all the labels were facing out. I looked at my husband and said, “What’s wrong with that? That’s how our cabinets are.” His look of amusement was perplexing. I simply cannot STAND to not have canned and boxed items be organized by type and have all the labels facing out. How else do you find something when you need it?

I do realize that there’s probably a fine line between perfectionism and OCD, however I prefer to think of it as organization. I like my towels folded just so, my books and movies all facing the same direction, balance when it comes to decorating (meaning if there are two candlesticks at one end of the mantel, there must be two candlesticks on the other end to match), and everyone should simply do it MY way! My family however, tends to think I’m nuts and usually just smile and nod, responding with “Okay, mom, whatever you say.” Patronization isn’t an attractive trait by the way, then again neither is perfectionism.

Over the years I’ve had learned a few things the hard way. If I insist on perfectionism, my family resents me and won’t do things the way I wanted them done anyway, then I expend valuable energy being angry. This makes no sense. I get angry at them for doing things differently than the way I want them done instead of being reasonable and compromising. It’s difficult to admit, but I’ve behaved like a shrew. Then, a few years ago I ran across a notion on Flylady.net that’s amazingly apropos. Are you ready for this? Housework done imperfectly still blesses our family (paraphrased). Let that one roll around in your perfectionist brain a bit. Wow.

While I will never stop expecting my family to pick up after themselves, I’ve discovered that a day at the river with my kids is exponentially more rewarding than a day of driving them to drink while I bark orders at them like so many slaves, to complete tasks they have no hope of completing to my satisfaction. I’ve discovered that no one will stroke out if there’s a bit of dust on the TV and that I’m capable of closing a drawer and straightening cans to my liking without berating my family into submission. There’s this rumor circulating around my house that they might actually LIKE me now. Who knew?

Witty quip of the day: Sometimes... when you hold out for everything, you walk away with nothing. ~From the television show Ally McBeal

Friday, July 17, 2009

Age is ONLY a number.

For most of us girls the general concept of aging doesn’t bother us. When we sit back and examine our lives we girls aren’t all that worried about getting older. Right and I’ve got some swampland in Arizona with your name on it too. Come on now ladies aging scares us almost as much as say, one of our kids coming through the door with a broken arm. It’s nearly as frightening as our spouses on the wrong side of age 50, pulling into the driveway in a cherry-red Corvette.

Getting older for women means fun and exciting things like the after 30 arm jiggle, the 40 year old butt-slid-down-our-thighs, and the post 50 crows-feet extravaganza that paid no mind to the promises of that “miracle” cream at $60 a tube. Despite what we see on late night infomercials and in magazines, there are no cures for getting older. Perhaps that’s why we women spend millions of dollars per year on cosmetics, laser procedures, miracle creams, Botox, face lifts, and collagen injections. No matter the cost, we are beyond gullible when it comes to the anti-aging industry.

Being the helper and the giver that I am, I’m here to offer a few suggestions that while simplistic, might just make this aging process a little less traumatic on us all.

1. No matter his age, don’t let your husband keep that cherry red Corvette. It’s only going to cause your neighbors to bombard you with well meaning questions such as, “Oh sweetie is there something wrong with his penis?” Buy him a boat instead, that way when he’s sulking over the loss of the sports car, he’ll be doing something constructive like fishing for his dinner since you likely won’t be cooking for him again any time soon.

2. You CAN have your chocolate and eat it too. I’ve never met a hot flash that couldn’t at least be comforted with a great piece of chocolate. It may not cool you down, but by God the very heat you’re projecting will melt that sweetness just like butter the moment it hits your tongue!

3. Remember girls: any movement is better than no movement. So don’t run out and join the gym if you aren’t planning on having Vinnie-the state bodybuilding champ, train you. Instead, get outside and take that dog for a walk. Grab your kid’s iPod and rock out while you walk the neighborhood. You will look to all like you are engrossed in your healthy undertaking when you’re checking out the neighbors to see who’s doing what with whom. If you can, take notes, makes for more accurate re-telling later.

4. Lastly, some common sense. Throw out that expensive face cream in favor of something chemical and preservative free, with a little SPF for protection. Drink your water, filtered from the tap is just fine. Enjoy your coffee, but ditch the soda. Limit your sun exposure, don’t smoke, and try not to eat anything that isn’t either grown or raised organically. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, why would you put it in your body? It’s the only one you’ve got! Try not to poison it.

I’m in no way suggesting that you hug a tree, lick a rock, or even buy a pair of Birkenstocks, and by all means, please continue to shave. I am however, suggesting you use the sense you were given and let age happen. Time will pass whether you fight it or not, so why not have some fun instead?

Witty quip of the day: Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many. ~Author Unknown