Saturday, February 27, 2010


As I was sewing up the dog's bed the other night the words, "whip-stitch", kept repeating in my mind.  I never learned to sew, really.  I don't have the patience or the precision- I like to think that sewing is too confining for my free spirit. 
But that word, whip-stitch kept circling,
   it had to come from somewhere. 
My mind wandered to my mom, she must have planted that word in my memory somehow.  Was it when she sewed, then ripped out every stitch, and re-sewed my 4th grade Halloween costume?  I was Gizmo the Gremlin that year.  It was the first year in a new school and having the perfect, most elaborate costume was absurdly important to me.  I remember hovering at my grandmother's table, just at my mom's elbow, badgering her about when it would be done.  She had to have been frustrated, with me, with the sewing, with the rush at the 11th hour. 
she made sure it was perfect. 
she made sure it was elaborate. 
she made sure I felt special.

I liked spending time with my mom growing up, even if I didn't always  catch on to her hobbies like she had hoped.  She worked hard, so the time we had was precious.  I remember so many things about her likes, her dislikes, her words, her indulgences, her habits...
   like: ice in her coffee; combat boots; always Coke-never Pepsi- in a bottle, or a glass, or with a straw-but never from a can; telephone poles; telephone calls; canning & sweet-hot mustard & freezer jam; peonies; Mod Podge & wreaths & ceramics & cute hanging dishtowels; socks of every color and for every holiday; anything at the checkout counter that says new...

But what the memories I cherish, the ones that I try to hold onto for my own children are...
   things like: My Three Sons & Bewitched at 3 am; Brownies; stepping up for Cheer-Boosters when the cheerleaders were asked to pay their own way; really listening to me when I cornered you (even in the bathroom); making tapioca pudding that takes until midnight; being a 6th grade camp chaperone; phone calls at 7 am when I was in college (much to my roommates chagrin); she would stay up late waiting for me to come home, even when I was just next door...

We don't always agree on politics.  We sometimes disagree on wardrobe.  There has been a time or two when we disagree about hairstyles.  But I know when I need her, she is there. 

I hope this 65th year brings my mom as many special memories as she gives me.  Happy Birthday MOM!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

sage advice

never tell a woman to calm down


respect a little bitty kitty when they have great big claws

Sunday, February 14, 2010

up and down

We started off up the hill.  
No sweat.  It is a hill that for some reason we here in Tri-cities call a mountain. 
Badger Mountain to be exact. 
Mountain- Pshhhh.

At least that is what I thought going into it.
Wonderful friends have said it is no big thing to climb this hill. 
We are up for it.  We are a walk-it-out kind of family.  Piece of cake right?
Ah, yeah- not so much. 
Or maybe that is just it, too many pieces of cake.

Some of us are more motivated than others.
Some of us are in much better shape than others too.
One of us claims he stores 'potential energy' in his thumbs while playing video games 
and that is why he is able to out hike the rest of us.
He even waited patiently for the rest of us to catch up.
More than once.

One of us complained the ENTIRE climb up.  She told us we ruined her day.  She told us in an exasperated tone that she couldn't BELIEVE that we didn't know that THIS mountain scares her to death.  Just the day before we had a very touching conversation about fears.  The kind that makes my heart well up with motherly tenderness.  She told me then that when ever either of us is scared, all we had to do was hold each other's hand and every thing would be alright. Sweet right?  Sweet and rational.  
I tried to remind her of this conversation by asking her, "Nadia my sweet, what do we do when we are scared?" 
 She not-so-quietly responded, "We TERRORIZE them.  Obviously! Because that's what you are doing to ME!!!" 

Terrorize?  Please child! 
My thighs burned. 
My glutes screamed. 
My arm felt like a noodle from half dragging her up the hill.
But I stifled my complaints.  
Instead I used *subtle* gestures to convey my agony to Tony. Is it because I am a good mom? 
I take the high road?  I want to set a good example for her?  
No that wasn't it.
I could only mangage a zip-it gesture because words couldn't squeeze past my gasps for oxygen. 
Amazingly enough her terror was wiped away once she reached the top. 
All of the normal Nadia-joy returned.
The trip down was complaint-free.

Even Margo made a friend. 

On a related note, I am left with a wee question...
How is it that Tony, who walked twice as much as me because of his circling with Margo (another story for another time) is left completely uneffected by the climb?  He was down-right chipper all the way up and all the way down.  I am not trying to argue who works harder, but honestly, Tony sits at a desk all day.  Most of the time with his shoes kicked off and slouched in his chair.  I am on my feet ALL stinkin day.  After this hike, I was wiped.  I lounged on the couch; he dug a trench and cleaned out the birds' make-shift nests.  Today, my tush complains every time I change positions and don't get me started on sitting down or getting back up again.  Much love to our Grandma Sue, but I am hobbeling around like her 80-some year old body on a bad hip.  It didn't phase him. 
Maybe he stores energy in his cheeky-cheeks like Aidan does his thumbs? 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

life is better when...

you get to see that your daughter has friends like these...
you get snuggles like this...
there are a 100 or more pseudo-synchranized 1st graders with hearts a-plenty like these...

when you get cheesy grins like these...
and when you have a Margo like her.