Monthly Archives: June 2014

role reversals….


The other night, following a workout with my husband, I stopped at my friend Christine’s home, hoping to stay only long enough to harvest some lettuce she had grown in the community garden we share; in her backyard. Instead of staying only long enough to harvest the lettuce, Christine and I began to chat-catching up on our busy summer plans, while simultaneously picking weeds; which threatened to overrun the garden. When the light from the day had finally faded and we were no longer able to discern weeds from garden plants, we decided to carry our conversation over to her picnic table and continue our laugh fueled conversations.

While seated at the picnic table I received a text from my doll….and the ensuing hysterical conversation took place.

to read panels in order it's stacked up and down:  1 3  2 4

to read panels in order it’s stacked up and down:
1 3
2 4

“Holy Moly Marsh, you’re in big trouble!” Christine said as the texts came in. “Apparently so…” I said and laughed some more. A short time later, we said our goodnight’s and I left for home, lettuce in hand.






a second non date….?


Since the start of summer, the days of my children being awake before noon have been very few and far between. Tuesday the boy surprised me by being awake before I left for work. “Why are you up?” I asked. “Because this is what time I woke up”. He replied matter of factly. “Oh…” I said and continued on. “Don’t worry Momma, this is just an anomaly…I plan to go back to sleeping in for the remainder of the summer. “Okay…” I said with a chuckle and continued on my way.


Early Wednesday morning while at work, my cell phone rang, from an unfamiliar number. Usually when this happens, I let the call go to voice mail, but decided to answer the phone instead.  “Hello” I said. “Um , boy?” the female voice on the other end said.  My heart leaped as I responded, “Uh, no, this is his Mom. Is this A?”  “Oh, um yes, is the boy there?” She asked. “I’m sorry, this is my cell phone and I’m at work…” I replied. “Oh…” she returned. “Can I have him call you?” I offered. “Well I was wondering if he would be interested, uh, I mean if its okay with you that is…” She stumbled and I held my breath while she spoke. “…if the boy would like to accompany me to a Fourth of July party…” OH MY GOD!!! My mind supplied. “…with my family” she finished. “Well, is the party on the fourth?” I asked feeling quite dumb. “Actually no it’s on the second…” She replied and then added, “The party is at the Village Park Country Club”.  “OH. MY…!!” My mind supplied again.

In the background, I could hear  her mother coaching her on the details when I realized, I was accepting a date for my son, instead allowing him the opportunity to do so himself; so I stopped the call. “Listen sweetheart, I’ll have the boy call you, so he can accept your invitation…and we’ll work out the details then, alright?” “Okay…thank you” she replied and we disconnected the call.


In case you have a hard time understanding the above sentence,  immediately upon hanging up from her, I called my husband at work, to tell him of the boy’s invitation. His reply was more practical and reasonable…”You need to find out what the dress code is at the country club and the boy needs a hair cut too!”  “Yeah yeah, that will work itself out…” I said. “I don’t understand why you’re so excited. The boy hasn’t even said yes yet” The hubby remarked. “He will say yes-he misses talking with her…I mean they ate lunch and talked every day-AND besides, this has nothing to do with her being a girl…” (though the fact that she is makes this all the more interesting) “this has more to do with the fact he has a friend-who will get  him out of our house for a few hours!!” I explained.


I waited a few hours before calling the boy-I wanted to tell him personally-not leave a message on the answering machine. Yet when I arrived home for the day several hours later, when I asked if he had called her back, the doll replied, “No he hasn’t. You really need to call her too.” “Mom, the doll has been heckling me all day to call A…” The boy complained. “Um, who told the doll about the invitation…?” I replied and his reply was simply a smirk and grunt to himself. “Regardless what your answer, you need to call her back and let her know…” I said handing him his cell phone. Nodding his head in agreement he dialed her number and accepted her request. After allowing me the opportunity to talk with A’s mom and work out the details, I handed him back the phone to say goodbye to her…

Which took over an hour to do.

Yep he missed her.



drops of jupiter….


Kids get weird ideas at times and for lack of better understanding, or filter; say things which make you wonder what planet they are really from. The old mean rhyme “Boys are from Mars-to get more candy bars; Girls are from Jupiter to get more stupider…” has me wondering if both come from Jupiter-judging by what comes out of their mouths.

We decided once we arrived at the amusement parks, Grammy would have a better chance of seeing the entire park if she set aside her pride and rode around  in a wheel chair all day. Though she didn’t like the idea at first, she realized 94 degree heat along with 60% humidity fueled days, wasn’t conducive for her to walk around an 840 acre park.  So the boy, volunteered to push his Grandmother along, every where we went-which made us all nervous. Whenever he accompanies me to the grocery store, he likes to be in command of the cart. The problem is, he lacks “spacial” control. In other words, he runs into people-namely me. Of course the trend continued. “Sorry!” “Sorry!”  “Oh, Sorry…” Was the boy’s mantra that day, as he tried to navigate his Grandmother through the crowds.

125Conversely, the boy who currently weighs 220 lbs and stands 6’1″ tall, also found pushing his grandmother along rather tedious at times-as he expended more energy than he would have liked. His large frame required more liquid nourishment than originally thought and he began to have a melt down-literally. “Mom can we please go home?” “Go home? Are you kidding me?” I asked. “It’s too hot..I need to cool off…” He explained. His sister looked upon her brother and said, “It’s fine with me if he leaves…” “Bay, come over here let me get your picture…” I said hoping the water splashing off the Universal sign at the entry to their main park, would help cool him off. “Mom, this won’t help!! I’m ready to go, please?” We all looked at him and said “No”.

Then the boy came to a rather startling conclusion and declared “I want to go on vacation…” We all stopped and looked at him. After a moment his father said, “You’re on vacation now…” “No I’m not…” the boy began, “This is work” “What?” his father asked incredulously. “This is a labor of love….” “Not to me!!” the boy replied, disgusted we were moving farther into the park-away from the exit.

Thankfully a short time later, we found a water kiosk and took a break. The boy was given a flavored drink with electrolytes, along with an additional bottle of water.  After a while, my fun loving bay returned. “Sorry about complaining so much while I was in my fugue state, Momma” He later explained. “You’re what state?” I replied. “Fugue…it’s an altered state of consciousness where people move around and speak but may not be fully aware they are doing so” He defined.

“So that’s your excuse?” I asked. “And I’m sticking to it…” He replied with a smile and a pat to my shoulder.

Wizards and witches…okay!


DSC01396“Mom, welcome to my world….this is where I live in my mind….” The doll, wearing a big smile explained as we walked in front of Hogwart’s School of Wizardry, last week in Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure theme park. To say the doll was excited is an understatement. How excited was she?  As we stood at the threshold to the park, she hurriedly slapped my arm, with both hands, trying to tamp down her happiness.  When we reached the courtyard of Hogwarts, the doll transformed into the nicest, most excited girl on the planet. Why she was complimentary to everyone…save her brother.

The courtyard was packed with other excited Wizards and Witches-which by the way, the doll corrected me on. “So you want to be a wizard like Harry and Hermione right?” I asked “No, mom, only boys can be wizards…girls are witches” she explained. I was actually quite surprised by all the people (young and old) standing in line to get their pictures taken, using the school mock up as their backdrop. Who knew Harry Potter was such a phenomenon?

Our first stop, thanks to Grammy; was to get a taste of butter beer-which tastes like butter scotch soda. The foam on top is rich and sweet-almost too rich for some (me) but we all enjoyed our drinks, nonetheless. A little later on the doll and I waited in an ginormous line (45 minute wait) to ride Harry Potter’s Forbidden Journey. IMG_0157What helped make the wait time bearable, besides cleverly situated fans hung throughout; the line snaked through replicated sets from the movie…with even some visits from Harry, Hermione and Ron; to help pass the time. In fact one of our favorite moments was when Ron’s spell accidentally made it snow and real snow fell down upon us. My favorite moment however, came from the ride itself when a very large (fake) spider became more acquainted with the doll. I don’t think I have ever laughed harder, listening to her scream. When we emerged from the ride, the look upon the doll’s face was priceless. She was indeed home and in her element.

Now if we could only find a way to make our home more her element…without getting rid of the boy…or her dad or me…or Grammy too…


Not another picture!!!


Last week we took a quick vacation down to the Orlando, FL area and entertained ourselves at Sea World,  Aquatica water park and last but not least, Universal studios/Island of adventures. As we were exiting one of the parks, a little girl yelled to her mother in frustration, “Not another picture!?!” Which brought giggles to the doll and I almost immediately. Looking back at me she said, “Mom, did you hear that little girl? I feel her pain….” Acting appalled, I lifted my right hand to my heart and mockingly said, “Doll, how you hurt your mother…” before we both burst into laughter.

We both understood what that girl was saying and have been placed in similar circumstances… Vacations are inherently designed to create the best opportunities for picture taking–effectively sealing those memories in tight, digital forms to help you remember later. Then add trips to theme parks and all bets are off. When the kids were younger, standing next to one another for a photo op was nothing; nowadays its akin to bringing heads of states from warring countries together. God forbid they have touch in any way shape or form.  IMG_0133Note the doll’s face when I asked the kids to pose on the bridge heading into Hogwarts castle… I think the doll’s exact words to her brother were “Don’t Touch Me” which she says with quite regularity even when he’s standing ten feet away from her.


How about this shot.  I liked how the kids worked this one out….IMG_0049they stood on opposite ends-as far away from one another as possible, but still remained in the shot together… They even look pleasant too…

But my favorite picture from the parks is a selfie…taken right before a roller coaster ride-catching everyone off guard. “Momma seriously you need to stop with the photo taking….” The boy said to me. “Perhaps…when my cell phone dies…” I replied and he groaned. But then I’ll have my Ipod and the actual camera to use….” I said and smiled. “Come to think of it baby, I think the only way to get away from the camera is to move out or get used to it…” Coming up behind me and placing me into a bear hug he replied, “I potentially only have three more years at home with you and dad….I guess I’ll just have to get used to it until then…”



be careful what you wish for…


Over the weekend, a particularly funny video began circulating on Facebook; which celebrated a girl’s first period. The daughter, so freaked out that she hadn’t “started” yet decided to fake it-coloring one of her pads with red nail polish. All was fine and good until her mother caught wind and decided to punish her daughter for lying, by throwing her a “moon” party…in celebration of her first cycle. When the video first came to my attention, I laughed aloud and then made the doll watch the second viewing with me. She was not amused… first. “Thank goodness you can’t do that for me….” She said… “Your lucky this video didn’t come out earlier…” I replied and we both smirked.

Since then she and I have had a good time laughing about the video…”Mom that is so weird…” she has said. “Yes, but entertainingly funny…” I’ve replied and then we’ve  both taken different quips from the video and said them to her dad-which brought more laughs from his bewilderment.  Yes, people, laughing about the awkwardness of someone’s period can be fun–except when it’s not. I can remember thinking two years ago, “hurry up and start!” hoping then she would stop being mean for one week a month. Well I got my wish, only now she’s mean, moody and a whole bunch of other unmentionables every day of the month. Differentiating the week is near impossible…..

The boy unfortunately is on the doll’s short list of people to really dislike. “I’m going to murder him” she recently divulged. Though to his credit, he goes out his way to push her, much to our chagrin. “Couldn’t the two of you give your dad and I a present and pretend to like each other for a day?” “That’s asking for the impossible mom” Her dad and I are up there too, along with  anyone who isn’t twelve or one of her girl friends.”You don’t understand…” “What? I’m a girl for goodness sake, of course I understand…” You see they’re going through hell together-so they can laugh and discuss the weirdness of the situation-while we are left to suffer with the knowledge we know that she knows she should be nicer, but isn’t.

“Doll….in ten years we may not be around…how are you going to look back on this time and see yourself…? As a bitch…because you have been to ALL OF US or as nice girl with a few bad days thrown in? Think about it…will you end up ashamed of your behavior or able to look back fondly? THINK ABOUT IT!!”

“What. ever. mom.”




The experience…


“Hi there! My name’s Mary Lou! How are you? Where are ya’ll from? I’m originally from Springfield, Illinois and he’s from Napier, Indiana. We’re Midwesterners too-we lived in Chicago for six years and Buffalo for 13 so we know the snow belt crowd!” Said the very helpful and engaging woman in the car next to us. “We drove about three hours to be here…” She explained. Peering into our rented van she asked “You wanna know what my two sons said when we asked if they wanted to join us?” She said directing her attention toward the doll. Barely looking up to acknowledge someone speaking to her, the doll took out an ear bud and listened… “They said why would you want us to listen to that man your so weird about?” Mary Lou finished. The doll looked pointedly at me and said “Exactly!!” before putting the earbud back into place and ignoring us once more.

“I think it has been about 31 years since I’ve been to the drive-in” I said to my husband, recalling that old memory. “My friends and I went to see the movie “Porky’s” which seemed fitting as one of us lost out virrr…” I stopped myself from saying when the boy innocently asked “What did they lose?” Looking back at him I replied “I wasn’t speaking to you..” Embarrassed he overhead. “What? I was just curious…” The boy argued while I replied “Mind your own business boy” and then tried to ignore him.

Having no real information about when the show would start we arrived wayyyy wayyyy too early. Ordinarily we would have packed plenty of bug spray, beverages and chairs for outside viewing. Instead we were
relegated to viewing from the van-which turned out not to be all that bad of a deal; considering the sound system at the venue was less than desirable, while the car stereo speakers worked great.

We sang along to all which Jimmy Buffett performed; even seat danced when necessary. We honked our horn (with the rest of the crowd) when the drive-in we were at, was given a special shout out by JB himself and enjoyed the ambiance around us. Jimmy and the Coral Reefer band entertained for almost two hours, playing all the oldies but goodies along the way. Mary Lou at one point shouted over to us “What’s your favorite Buffett song?” We were dumbfounded and didn’t reply. We couldn’t pin point just one…there are just too many to choose from. She took a cue from our bewilderment and smiled, a knowing smile then went back to singing along with the rest of us.

We watched through one encore then decided to hit the road. Hearing the last strands of Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw mashed with Its Five O’Clock Somewhere was enough to carry us, our hour and a half drive back. Sated by the music and glad to have a nice memory from the experience.

“Why is the car moving?” The doll asked concerned. “Because we’re leaving…” I said. “It’s over?” She asked again. “Haven’t you been paying attention?” Her Grandmother asked. “No. I’ve been reading…” The doll replied. “Yes, but you must have known the music had stopped…” Grammy said. “How would I know? I was listening to my own music” she said pointing at the headphone coil hanging from her ears. “Classic!!” The boy said while the rest of us laughed. The doll meanwhile displayed a less than happy face to us; replaced the earbud then went back to ignoring us altogether.