Not bad for a fat girl


Ten Things You Didn’t Know About My Mother

In keeping with the ten things theme, here are a few interesting (to me anyway) bits of information about my mother.

1. Her first job was at Sears folding underwear. To this day she doesn’t shop at Sears. I think she holds a grudge.

2. Her parents, hardworking immigrants, gave her a car at age sixteen.

il_570xN.454621398_fkrz3. My mother took care of my father’s medical practice’s business side from home. She also filled in at the office when needed. She even had a cute white uniform for the job.

4. My mother used to be a sun worshipper. Did I mention that my dad was a dermatologist?

5. My mother used to be late for everything. I was always the last kid to be picked up from things. Now she’s habitually early. Weird.

6. My mother enjoys taking her 5 grandchildren out to lunch. I think it’s because she steals their french fries.

7. My mother’s favorite mug features a photo of my son and my niece when they were quite small. She drinks hot water from it. I’m not kidding.

8. My mother LOVES Zumba.

9. My mother has always had the most beautiful gardens, beginning when she was a young bride with a tiny yard.

10. My mother refused to give up on my father in the last years of his life, when he was terribly sick. She hired around the clock help, put a hospital bed in the family room, and wouldn’t hear a word about placing him in a nursing home. “He took care of me my whole life, now I’m taking care of him,” she would tell people.  I never realized how strong she was until then.


Three Month Challenge Check In

ReportCardRoughly three months ago I had my 47th birthday and decided to give myself some challenges for my 47th year. Some of them are coming along quite nicely, and others have yet to begin. Here’s a quick overview of how things are going for two reasons. First of all, there’s accountability. If I announce what I’m doing (or not doing) I’m more likely to progress toward my goals. Secondly, I want to give myself a push in the right direction. I have to revisit the goals to get them fresh in my mind again. Hopefully this won’t sting too much. I’ve included several links to posts that address particular goals, so feel free to poke around and read some.

1.  Get at least one piece of writing published, in print, not via internet- not yet, but I am published in an online magazine, so it’s a start

2. Commit to eating home cooked meals at least four times a week (eMeals is helping with this one, check them out!)– sometimes yes, often no

3. Leave the house in plenty of time to not rush every morning– this one has been going really great

4. Read 47 booksI’m only at nine (not including books I read to my students), but I’m off this week, so that number should go up! Check the facebook page for my reads.

5. Start a writing group – yes, but not the way I originally thought. I’m doing a writing group with kids. I also belong to a group, so starting a new one right now doesn’t seem to make sense.

6. Reconnect with old friends – I’m attending my college reunion next week, and there’s already talk a a high school reunion for next year. That conversation has gotten me back in touch with some friends from long ago.

7. Take my meds everyday until I no longer need them– Check! I finally figured out a method that works for me and never miss them now.

8. Use the treadmill at least once a week (hey, you have to start somewhere!)– honestly, no. More than before, but still not once a week.

9. Try Zumba (even though I have two left feet)– not yet

10. Finish the charity quilt on my sewing table- mortified to admit, but also not yet

11. Finish one UFO (unfinished object) per month (this would mostly be quilts) – uh, no

12. Eat more fruityes! I more or less like fruit now and have some almost every day.

13. Eat more vegetables – doing ok on this one, could do much better

14. Drink less soda-I was but now I’m not. Time to refocus on this one.

15. Teach my son to drive (eeeeeeek!)- not yet

16. Take the dog to the dog park at least once a week – not yet ( it’s been too flipping HOT)

17. Finish the office to make it a nice place to work (clear out clutter and organize) – and again, not yet (I’m seeing a pattern, gulp)

18. Donate unused items (just dropped off a bunch of items today but there’s more to get rid of) this is ongoing but we could use another round

19. Leave work at a reasonable hour each day – most of the time I do

20. Limit pinterest addiction (it’s embarrassing, really) – I rarely go on Pinterest unless I’m looking for something specific. I don’t surf it though.

21. Keep on blogging! At least once a week share thoughts, ideas, challenges, triumphs, etc through this forum – YES!

22. Learn how to be a better blogger (and a more widely read blogger) – learning slowly but surely

23. Learn to box, really, I want pink boxing gloves and something to hit – I’ve started

24. Try to improve sleep habits – working on this one

25.  Save up for a really cool family vacation -working on this one

26. Try to listen to my teenager better instead of just talking at him – this one is so so so hard

27. Talk to mom more – a couple of times a week

28. Discover more of my state (there are tons of hidden treasures I’ve never seen -not yet

29. Take more photos on my actual camera instead of my phone – working on this one

30. Learn some new aspects of the job I’ve been doing for a long time – working on this one too

31. Figure out some additional ways to get income into the household – I have two additional income opportunities I didn’t have three months ago, and the possibility of a third one

32. Take better care of my car (it has over 100,000 miles and it has to last!) I did make it wait a while for its last oil change…

33. Fit better in my clothesYES

34. Lighten up mentally! – YES

35. Surprise my sweetheart with a weekend away – not yet

36. Girls only day trip- probably in November

37. Climb that stupid mountain- haven’t even tried yet

38. Read magazines, then recycle (so hard to part with some of them, and no, I’m NOT a hoarder)- zero progress on this one (maybe I do have a few hoarder tendencies)

39. Push my limits in all ways –I could do better

40. Don’t forget to be kind, to myself and others – most of the time, yes

41. Look good in THOSE jeans again – not yet

42. Give myself a reason to replace my sneakers at this time next year – I better put some more miles on them

43. Sing even if I’m not great at it – yes, but mainly when nobody but the dog is around

44. Do more with less – doing pretty well with this

45. Get things done right away when possible- I suck at this, but I have been paying bills early

46. Have fun – I do

47. Enjoy life – ditto

Well, clearly I have some work to do, but on the flip side I’ve made a lot of positive strides in the past three months. I’m not disappointed by what I’ve learned through this little exercise. I know that these are achievable goals, and given a positive attitude and determination, I’m sure the next check in will show even more progress toward completing them.


Daily Passion Prompt 1: Failure is NOT an Option


What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Now how is that for a big question? I’ve decided to give Dean Bocari’s daily passion prompts a go. I know I won’t do them every day, but they will be posted for the next 39 days, so the challenge is there. I may be a bit challenge happy at the moment.

backgammon-precision-dice-dark-red_primaryBack to the question at hand. What would I do if I knew I could not fail? How to even go about conceiving of such a situation? My immediate thoughts go to my son and raising him to be the kind of man that he ought to be. What could I do to help ensure his future success? Maybe I could take a small investment and parlay it into a small fortune of the type that might pay for a top notch education? If I couldn’t fail, I might as well do my “investing” in Vegas and have a whale of a time doing it, too. But financial security is no guarantee of success.

Having the money for an upper echelon education doesn’t prepare one for its rigors. Money can’t teach a strong work ethic, tenacity, creativity, risk taking, and people skills. In fact, in my experience, it’s those strengths that allow people to acquire financial gains. Let’s face it, money is the effect, not the cause of strong character traits. So while I would love to amass a small fortune, just to take the edge off a little, it isn’t my goal in and of itself.

40Instead of a focus on pure financial gain, I would want my “can’t fail” risk to involve personal growth that would serve as an example to said son, while having the delightful benefit of providing the aforementioned nest egg. So what it comes down to is this, if I knew I couldn’t fail I would take a year off from my current career and focus on living a creative life. I would write and sew and paint. I would hike and swim and travel. I would create poetry, take photos, and visit theaters near and far. I would get healthy once and for all, experimenting with new recipes, hiking new trails, and learning to use my body in new ways. Maybe I would dance or box or do yoga. Perhaps I would try Zumba or white water rafting. During that year I would record my experiences and my thoughts on them. Then I would publish that memoir. Naturally Oprah would love it, and it would become an instant best seller.

Oh I know, the world can live without my self-absorbed prattling, but there are moments, flashes really, when I feel like I have something important to say. Sometimes I’m able to get it down in the way I imagine, and other times I’m not, but I still like to believe that there is an audience for me. There are others like me fighting the battles I’m fighting, reinventing themselves every day, and challenging themselves to be their best. If I knew I couldn’t fail, I would be honored to walk among them and be their champion.