Sunday, February 22, 2015

High School Musical

Back 100 years ago when I was getting ready to enter high school, all I worried about was if I could scrounge up some cool clothes to wear.

It wasn't like I was heading into the great unknown. The kids in my school were the same ones I'd met through my siblings, in Kindergarten or at the Little League field or at church. 

Flash forward to Alison Reed who shadowed at 6 different high schools before applying to three. Accepted at two of the three, she's been holding her breath and probably even praying for the third to come in. The day before we were prepared to accept her second choice, she got the letter from Herron saying a spot had opened and did she still want to attend.

She squealed. She danced. She jumped for joy.

And then we had to sit down and do the tough evaluation of the two schools because while she got to weigh in, the decision still rested with the Captain and me.

Man was that a tough evaluation. And I'm still fretting over it. What if we made the wrong call?

Parenthood is hard when you get that squirmy bundle home terrified you'll do something wrong. It doesn't get easier. Or at least it hasn't. No one ever told me you had to make so many damn decisions!!!

The good new is, we have a plan. High school. How did this happen? 

In other news, my Book Club book included a time when our heroine had to fix squirrel, rabbit and whatever else her foster father dragged out of the woods. I'm host, and I'm threatening to fix squirrel stew. 

After Ali's latest victorious volleyball game, we stopped off to buy a FitBit (if I join Jeff in the endeavor, we'll save money on insurance) and to cash in some Victoria's Secret cards. I bought a pretty exercise bra and Jeff was scoffing that no one would ever see it because I usually have a tee-shirt as part of my work out ensemble.

Jeff was scoffing that it didn't matter how pretty it is, no one will ever see it.

"Well if anyone does, it should be you," came the voice from the back.

She's gotten a little bossy lately, this teenager of ours.  

She was getting ready for YAT yesterday. They want the kids to wear yoga pants and tights, clothes they can dance and move in flexibly.  She had on a pair of cute tights and a top and asked for an outfit check.  My rule for her and tights, though, is that she has to cover her butt either with shorts, skirt or long top.

I reminded her of the rule and next thing I know, she's wearing jeans. Apparently she has no shorts or shirt that fits with the tights.

I commiserated a bit with her wardrobe holes but said, "You know, honey, it's all about the bass."

I'd planned to follow that up with "Cover the base and there won't be any treble."

Before I could be so witty, she put up her hand and said, "Stop. Just stop. Don't ever say that sentence again Mom. Really."

She's also trying to block me from using the hashtag symbol. She'd texted me a cartoon showing a guy being booted from a car with a caption: "When someone plays country music in the car."

I'd posted about it, reminding her that I'd made her Ramen, threatening to turn up the volume and adding #INGRATE.

Apparently pop culture appreciation has a time limit.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

So I have something to say...

I'm over the haters today. 

Maybe I'm all caught up in the memories of 2-14-98, but I'm kind of tired of people bitching about 50 Shades, Kanye, and whatever else is the crank-of-the-day. Life's too short, people.

Surely there's some one, some thing, some event that will make you smile today.  Rather than focus on what you DON'T have, how about you focus on something you DO have?

I'll help you out with a few examples:

My little niece Kaitlin was in a horrific crash and we thought we would lose her. She's now in a physical rehab place with a wonderful rep. she's patched together with metal and stitches and staples and while it's a hard road ahead of her, she has all her parts and they will probably work again. Of course her mother hasn't showered in about a month and a half, so there's that. But really, more positives than negatives.

Fifty Shades of Grey isn't Shakespeare. I'm pretty sure it never pretended to be. Who cares?! Unless you're in that 5th grade class that got the Search Word, you don't have to see it/read it/know about it. This is still America, folks. And I'm just a little curious about how many global best sellers you've written lately. It's a story. Get over yourselves.

I'm lucky to have a job that I almost always love. I love the line of work I'm in and I love most of the people I work with. One of my favorite coworkers just left, and I'll miss him. But he'll do great work in his new job and we're friends. It's up to us to keep in touch. This  year, I'm going to focus on renewing those friendships that mean so much to me, old and new. I have awesome friends. I need to tell them that more often.

So Kanye pulled another Kanye. Is Beck or Taylor Swift your personal friend? (I'd ask about Kanye but I don't think he has friends.) If you don't know these people, why are you wasting energy on that interaction? When Kanye tries to take YOUR moment in the sun, go get him. I'll help. Until then, give it the attention it deserves. (FYI: that 5 minutes has passed.)  

Alison is just about to start high school and I'm grateful we've almost escaped junior high without seriously awful stuff happening. I know there's a ton of terrible drama and opportunities just waiting for Ali to become a juvenile delinquent. But she spent yesterday afternoon making really complicated French macaroons for Jeff and me for Valentine's Day. She made treats for Nancy's family when they first arrived at the hospital. She is a good person. We are blessed to have her. Sure, I'm trying to shed 10 pounds and fancy, hand-made cookies won't help. I'll spend her 3-hour YAT class next door at the Downtown Y. #Choices

I know people get sick of happy pictures especially when the depiction is something you want but don't have. It took me a long time to get to Captain Reed and like all real romances, there've been some thorns in our bouquet. But the blooms are amazing and every time I see these shots, I remember how happy and lucky I am. 

Cheers to the lovers! Hang in there, those of you who have yet to seal the deal. It's out there. 

So suck it, haters. I have no time for you today.

Sunday, February 1, 2015


Anyone who knows me would be a little surprised to hear me ask for prayers for anyone. I tend to trust more in medical personnel than the power of prayer or channeling energy or whatever mystical, take-it-on-faith kind of fix.

And I’m not asking now. Unless it's something you do and especially if you have a good connection. However, it seems my entire home town is praying that my niece Kaitlin Jones survives the car crash that happened in the early morning last Tuesday. She’s 19.

Whenever I think of Kait, I think first of a black and white photo that I cannot find for all that’s holy. She’s probably 5 or 6, sitting in the back of a pickup truck with one elbow propped up on a knee, her chin cupped in her hand. She’s looking straight into the camera. Her blond hair is cut in a short bob, bangs brushing her eyes.

To me, that’s Kait. Confident. Straight on. Queen of whatever castle she wants to claim.

There’s lots more, of course. She’s 19. A grown-up in the eyes of the law.  If you’re friends with anyone on Facebook who knows her, you’ve learned a lot about how much positive energy she’s brought to those around her.

My Facebook feed alone would explain why those who feel connected to a higher power are asking for your prayers. They’re convinced it’s what’s allowed her to survive so far the injuries that include brain trauma and fractures to her face, her back, her ribs, an arm, a leg, an ankle.

I’m more inclined to credit the trauma unit and ICU staff at Methodist Hospital. Sinner that I am, I can’t get past the idea that if God would take the time to keep her alive, he might have spent his time better by keeping her from the crash in the first place. 

But I’m not questioning their faith or even discounting it. Whatever brings her back to us whole and healthy and still possessing the spirit in that photo I can’t find is alright in my book. So if you’re one of the faithful, please add her to your list.

If you’re not, just think a good thought or two if you have a moment. If you know anyone in health care or emergency response, please tell them how grateful we all are for their help.

And speaking of those who help: it’s been a while since I attended Shakamak schools. In my small town, you go to school with the same kids K-12 and many of the teachers there did the same thing or taught your sister. In Kait’s case, all her aunts and uncles on both sides, too.  Kait’s mom, my sister Nancy, teaches 6th grade there.

The teachers there are lining up to grade the papers of Nancy’s kids now being schooled by subs. Folks at Nancy's church -- heck maybe every church is town, are talking about how else they can help, sending food and money and love

This is the good part of being from a small town. I’m grateful to all of the folks who are doing what they can for Nancy and Dennis. Keep it up, please.