A belated ode to the Queen Mum

I know that Mom’s Day was yesterday, and was well celebrated, but today, in searching for a blog topic on my favorite idea generator, this little bit popped up onto my screen:

“What happened in your mother’s life when she was exactly the same age you are now?”

So I thought about it. And then thought to myself…whooooa.

My mom’s life at age *mumblefortyonemumble* was quite a bit different than mine.

And by quite a bit, I mean a LOT.

Let’s see. Well, for one thing…mom and dad were juggling three kids aged thirteen, ten and six at the time.

For the record, when I imagine what that must have been like, let me just say…GAH!

On the fun side, back then we used to go bombing around the wilds of New Mexico in an 1972 blue and white Chevy Blazer (“Karen, get out and lock in the hubs!”). My dad was big on road trips.

The back seat was bench style. I’d cram in the middle between my brother and sister.

Mom would pack up a lunch of cold fried chicken with all the sides and we’d head up to Cuba, New Mexico, in the Jemez mountains, to spend the day.

It was on one of these trips that the now infamous piñon nut up the nose incident took place…I’ll spare you the details.

We’d spread a blanket under a tall, shady tree and eat. After lunch we’d all head off in different directions to explore.

Dad would bring a portion of his vast gun collection and each kid would take turns learning how to load and shoot every one. Our target was an old, soft tree that had been felled by lightening.

It was important to him that we weren’t scared of any of the guns kept in the house, and we weren’t curious about them either. We knew what they were and what they were for, and were very respectful of them.

Yes, I was shooting guns at the age of six. It was big, huge fun!

Mom wasn’t much for shooting. She’d participate sometimes, but mostly she’d be off to the side keeping a wary eye on us.

It had to about that time in my mom’s life, too, when we were taking a hike up in at our Cuba property. My mom, who was always looking down at the ground in search of a geode, instead found herself a genuine arrow head.

No, not one of those you find in a tchotchke shop in Arizona.

A real, honest to goodness, genuinely used by an actual Native American, arrowhead. The land we were on was once the hunting grounds of the Jicarilla Apache, among others.

Let’s see…what else was going on in mom’s life at that time….

She cooked dinner every night. Homemade tortillas and venison burrito meat were faves. (At the time, I would balk and get weird about eating Bambi meat. But in honesty, it tasted pretty good. Ssssh, don’t tell mom, okay?)

She volunteered as a librarian at my elementary school so she could be out of the house, but still around for her kids. She was running my sister and me to our ballet and tap lessons. She would proofread my homework, too.

A career secretary (now known as an executive assistant), she was hell on a typo or misspelled word.

Back then, life at our home wasn’t always perfect. It wasn’t always bad either.

So at the age I am now, Mom was managing a constantly in motion family focusing on kids and husband and work and home and putting a lot of effort into her days.

Me, I focus on work, my still fairly new husband, and spoiling my overindulged pets.

You know…in comparison…I have it pretty easy. And I owe my fairly easy, happy life to my mom. She worked hard so that her kid’s lives could be better than hers had been at the same age.

And in that, dear mom, you are a resounding success!

Thank you!

P.S. to mom: I’m sorry we couldn’t be together on Mom’s Day this year like last year. I hope my stinky brother** took good care of you this year. I’ll bet he didn’t give you a hand crafted present like I did last year.

I’m still your favorite…right? Right?

** (because all boys are stinky)

Damnit! I’m a purist!

Hey! What in the seven kinds of sam hell is wrong with my goldfish crackers?!?!?!

What are those cracker lumps? Did my goldfish swim near a nuclear reactor? WTF?

Basketball shapes? BASKETBALL SHAPES!?!?!?!?


Aw fer crissakes, Dwayne, keep your gear out of my snack food!

I don’t like nobody messing with my goldfish. I like ’em just like they is.

And also…


Uphill challenge of the week



*Limber up*

I have a challenge ahead of me today.

A challenge that is not for the weak at heart, mind or body.

I must prepare my body with deep warming up exercises.

I must focus and prepare my mind for the calm.


Yes. I must be steady. Balanced. Yet, with catlike reflexes.

This will be my greatest challenge in some time.

Later today…for three hours, I am babysitting a one-month-old baby.

: Cue scary music! :

One of my dearest friends, who is very grateful to have finally given birth to that watermelon sitting on her bladder, has been able to quickly get her little one onto a nice schedule.

And so da mama is going to get her hair cut and colored today. Yes, she’s *ever* so happy to be able to color her hair again (as you know, you’re not supposed to do that when pregnant).

So I was all too happy to say yes when asked to come sit with the tiny princess.

But I’m no stranger to this game. I’ve got godkids and twin nephews and lots and lots of friends with kids.

I know what deep waters I’m wading into.

While I’m confident I know what to do…I’m also pretty sure I can’t plop kibble in the bowl then walk away to go read a book like I do with The Feline.

And so…wish me godspeed on this very dangerous yet important mission!

More blogtastic random fun

Well, the dearth of good ideas continues.

So instead of a random word today, I found a random blog topic generator.

Ok, so here’s my assignment: “When I’m on top of the world…”

Well. So. Yeah.

Ok, here we go, a trickle of an idea, like rain on a dry riverbed.

Yep, here we go.

A memory.

When I was a kid, my folks owned land in Cuba, New Mexico. If you don’t know where that is, go toward Jemez, and keep going.

The piece of land was rather undeveloped, up in the mountains, bumpy washed out dirt roads that required four wheel drive to get there. But get there we did.

Lots of camping in that Apache Pop Up Trailer I’ve spoken of before on these pages.

Good stuff. Cold fried chicken and marshmallows toasted over a piñon wood fire. Very pretty and truly the beauty of the mountains of New Mexico.

Inevitably, we’d go hiking, plucking small cactus balls off pants legs the whole way. We’d do our best to hike to the very top of a pretty decent sized hill, then we’d sit on the ground and rest, eating gorp (for you young uns, that’s what they used to call trail mix).

Being a brat, I’d always pick out the M&M’s and raisins and leave the rest.

My mom, dad, brother, sister and I would sit and take in the view of the valley floor below, feel the wind across the sweaty brow, eat the gorp, and then, being the goofball I’m so proud to be, I’d usually begin a rousing chorus of…

Wait for it…

I’m on the
top of the world looking
down on creation
And the only explanation I can fiiiiiiiiind
Is the love that I’ve found
ever since you’ve been around
Your love’s put me at the top of the world

(How much do I love The Carpenters?)

So, when I’m on top of the world……I sing. Badly.

There you have it!

(had to recycle that image. I love it so.)

Image is of Latvian mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca and a pretty extensive web search could not net me the attribution on this photo. I found photos from that same event on the European Commission page which allows for the use of photos with attribution.

When reality reaches up and grabs you by the throat

I have a milestone birthday coming up in May. It is an age I’m not sure I’m happy about being.

Ok, fine, I have to get old. Everyone does it (barring the alternative, of course). I’m ok with it.

Until I’m reminded clearly and plainly how old and out of it I am.

It began, this past weekend, with the shopping excursion to procure new jeans (see previous post for my thoughts on that). While out and about, I wandered into a store called Anchor Blue.

I’d seen an article in a trashy gossip magazine last week while at the dentist’s office about “the best jeans.” There was a pair of Anchor Blue jeans featured that looked like I’d be happy with them.

So. Anchor Blue. I’d seen the store but had never actually been inside before.

Well. If you go to the webpage (linked above) you’ll see several fresh, dewey-faced CHILDREN on the splash page, showing you just how cool and beautiful YOU can be if you wear their clothing.

Walking into the store, I practically coughed dust and picked cryptkeeper tendrils from my person as I looked around and the clerks looked at me.

I did, actually, pick out a few pairs of jeans to try on, none of them the fabulous pair I’d seen in the magazine, of course.

So, yes, happily, the jeans I’d picked fit me. Well. Sort of. I mean, I could get them on and button them.

But to look in the mirror, you could see clearly where the jeans ended (below my hipbones) and my (evidently) granny panties continued on.

Now, I don’t wear old lady briefs (yet)…what I wear are respectable cotton bikini chones. But in the spotlight of Logan’s Run (In case you missed that film, everyone is executed at age 30), my respectable bikini yonderwear appear to be practically up to my ribcage (just below what they must believe to be my sagging boobs).

I may as well give over to the white belt and Velcro shoes ferchrissakes!

So I gave up on those jeans, but continued to look around the store. I checked out accessories.

They had quite the assortment of Che Guevara-style caps for the ladies. I want to look like an Argentinean communist revolutionary why again?

I looked at skirts. I have this little cloth that I use to clean my glasses. That cloth is larger than these “skirts.” Even if I could get a lens cloth skirt to fit me…no, it’s too terrible, I can’t even go there.

Fine. Thus ended my shopping trip.

Sunday rolled around and The Good Man and I traveled up to Muir Beach to meet with some friends. “Take a walk,” they said. Oh, sure, yes! A walk on a sunny day would be nice. Maybe even help me work off some calories in hopes of wearing that lens cloth to dinner!

These folks are all about my same age…well, TGM and his best friend are a year younger. And the best friend’s wife is a couple years younger still. Ok, so I’m the matron of the bunch, what of it?

So we walk on the beach a bit and then decide to hike a trail. Fun!

An uphill trail.


So evidently that one-year age difference between TGM’s and me is a huge gap, because all of my friends scampered up the hill while I was in the back gasping for air and feeling my thighs wobbling.

Now, the other lady in our group is in knockout shape, I forgive her. But TGM and his buddy have no excuse. They billy-goated they way up the hill with ease, leaving me with hands on knees feeling like I was going to puke.

I was further insulted when a tiny fourteen year-old dog named Chester paced me, turned and ran halfway back down the hill to greet his people, then turned around and paced me again.

His legs are three inches long!

Damn you Chester!

Now it is Monday and my legs hurt. My lungs still burn a little and I’m faced with my group of fifteen employees, not a ONE of them over the age of 30.

I remember 30. That was a good year. My thirties…yes, a fine decade. *sigh*