Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mental health day

It is a rainy day. The lake is enveloped with leaden, gray clouds which are drenching us with much needed rain.

Lightning flashes illuminate the granite skies and the boom of thunder echoes ponderously through the air.

I am pleased. I awoke at 5:00 am with a pounding headache (the weather?) and since I have no plans at all for the day, I am looking forward to a quiet day nestled snugly inside my cozy home.

I have a book to read. The laundry is, for once, all caught up. Perhaps I'll take a nap. Maybe I'll watch the raindrops falling on the placid surface of the lake. 

Today, happiness is a rainy day.
It is the sound of raindrops pattering on the roof.
It is the feeling of tranquility that an empty schedule and a rainy day can bring to a harried mother.
Today, happiness is quiet solitude, a cup of tea, a good book and a cat to snuggle in my lap.  
Today is Mommy's mental health day.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday

The best thing about gray, windy, blustery days is....
having this pair stop by for a visit.

Even if they are a bit camera shy...

and perhaps a tad anti-social.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Yep, nothing, sorta, I dunno

I wonder...are all teenage boys as incredibly frustrating and exasperating as mine?

Do other teenage boys sneak (food, cell phones, computer)? Do they lie about trivial, ridiculous things (cleaning his bedroom, eating breakfast)? Are they sometimes angry or moody for no reason? Do other teenage boys do their homework but never turn it in? Do they forget to study for tests? Do they occasionally act as though they despise their parents?

I am perplexed. I am frustrated. I'm at my wit's end.

My sweet, precious little boy has, seemingly overnight, turned into a stranger. A tall, hairy, hormonal stranger with a weird sense of humor. A stranger who resembles me a bit in looks, but revels in his intractable defiance and impudence. 

His priorities seem to be girls, food, his cell phone and fishing. He considers our ironclad rules (good grades, keep your room clean) to be mere suggestions which he can and does ignore at will. When we respond to this intransigence with restrictions, he becomes petulant and surly or completely withdrawn.

This teenage boy, whom I love dearly, has turned into a stranger who speaks a different language. I feel as though every word I speak to him goes in one ear and out the other. I am chagrined and mortified. Often, I feel like a failure as a mother.

I other mothers feel this disconnect with their own child? Do they feel frustrated and flustered? Do they feel like failures? Do they wonder whether to laugh or cry at all the drama and teenaged angst? (Sometimes I cry and then I laugh. Other times, I laugh and then I cry. Sometimes I just open a bottle of wine.)

Click above if you'd like to know what a typical conversation with my son sounds like (although I'm very grateful that he doesn't have a piercing!)

Oy vey!

Monday, March 28, 2011


We had a quiet weekend here at Casa VK. All of us were dreading the final stretch of school and all of the craziness that that entails and we were relishing the last couple of days of a mellow and relaxing spring break. Mr. Wonderful did a bit of yard work, I planted herbs and cooked, The Boy had friends over to fish and The Princess also had a friend come over to hang out.

Yesterday afternoon, when I was leaving to pick the kids up from youth group, I saw a huge bird in the tree outside our bedroom. I couldn't tell if it was an eagle or an osprey but I ran inside to fetch my camera and try to get a shot. Naturally, as soon as I had my camera in hand the uncooperative feather-brain flew off.

When I picked the kids up, I was telling them about the bird I saw. I asked The Boy to look at my camera so he could tell me what it was...his bird (and fish and airplane, etc. etc.) identification skills are far superior to mine.

The Boy picked up my camera and turned it on. He looked at the screen and then he turned to me with extreme pity in his eyes and said ruefully, "Mom...those are doves." Then he sighed. He thought dementia had set in for his poor old mom.

I had forgotten that as I was walking to the car, cursing the nincompoop, bashful Osprey/Eagle, I saw two doves sitting in our Crepe Myrtle tree (who didn't mind me or my camera at all!) and had taken a photo.

"No!", I giggled, "Go back further!"

He scrolled back a bit further and saw the pictures and informed me that it was an Osprey.

Then he began laughing. He gasped, in between chuckles, "Whew! I thought you had LOST it, Mom!" The Princess thought this was hilarious and began giggling and howling in mirth. 

Ah well....maybe you had to be there.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Princess is home!

The Princess is home from her Spring Break trip! Hooray!

Welcome Home, Princess! Did you have fun?
Yes Ma'am!

Tell me about your friend "C", who invited you to tag along on their family trip. 
She's pretty and funny and just a lot of fun to be around. And she is always really, really nice! We had fun together.

How was the drive up?
But we had fun, anyway.
We waved at people in the other cars...but they didn't wave back. We read magazines and listed to our ipods. 
You went to Spartanburg first, because her brother was doing a BMW driving course? Tell me about Spartanburg.
Well...when we got to the hotel, we were a little punchy from being in the car for so long! 
And then the next day we went and explored Greenville, which is a pretty cool town. It reminded me of Europe, kinda, because there were little shops and people would live above the shops. And also, most people seemed to be walking around instead of driving. And also, there was a waterfall downtown.
We also went to the BMW Museum.

After leaving Spartanburg, you spent a couple of days in Asheville, NC. What did you do there?
We went to The Biltmore House. It was BIG! 

There were really pretty gardens. The person who designed the gardens also designed Central Park in NY. The flowers were amazing!

I really like that picture of the bicycle - what made you take it?
I don't know, really, It just looked cool and I liked it!

What else did you do while you were in North Carolina?
We went to the mountains, and it was cold! Brrrrrrr........
We saw more waterfalls.

And clouds!

I really liked the mountains.
Except for the cold part!

What else did you do?
Then we drove to the Dillard House in northern Georgia, which was SO cool! C and I played tennis for a little while and the lunch was AMAZING. I've never seen so much food in my life!

And then!! They had a little farm/zoo in the back!
There was a llama!

His name was Cha-ching. But I thought that was a stupid name, so I called him Carl. He looks like a Carl, don't you think?

He's so cute, isn't he? Carl was my favorite!

There was also a pony who kept making this face whenever he wanted you to feed him. Which was ALL the time.

And there was a rooster, who was SO annoying.

There were baby goats too! They were only a couple of days old, and they were the cutest things ever. 

Mom, can I have a pet goat?


How about a pet Llama?



What was your favorite part of your trip?
I suppose I can't say the Llama? Hmmm....either the Biltmore House or the mountains. And the waterfalls. Plus, spending time with C. She's awesome.

Well, I am so happy you're home...I missed you!
Aawww. I'm glad to be home and I missed you too!

So...have you written your thank you note yet?

I mean...I'm going to go do that right now!

I love you, sweetie!
I love you too, Mom.

Are you sure I can't get a Llama? They're so cute!

Go write your thank you note.
Yes ma'am.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A story about a moronic dog and a dead snake

Once upon a time (just the other day) when a handsome prince (The Boy) was mowing the lawn, he ran over a snake. It was an accident...he truly didn't see it in time to swerve. He was a good prince and would never kill an innocent creature...even a snake.

A few hours later, Lucy, the royal, idiotic canine, came prancing in the house with her tail held high and a smug look on her face. She was grinning (she really was!) Within a few seconds, the reek of decay had permeated the castle. The beautiful and wise queen (Me!) was gagging from the foul stench that wafted from the happily oblivious, stinky pooch.

The handsome prince took the moronic dog outside and set off to investigate. The dead snake was gone. They could only assume that the stupid canine had rolled on it before she ate it.

(I know...Gross!)

The prince took the smelly dog outside to bath her while the queen aired the royal household out and sprayed Febreeze everywhere and tried to banish the evil, malodorous stench.

The prince bathed her twice. He lathered her with shampoo and let it sit on her for 10 minutes before rinsing the soap out. 

She still reeked.

The wise and wonderful queen finally decided to try a magical concoction. She mixed 50% vinegar and 50% water. They washed the pooch again and then rinsed her in the magical vinegar mixture and let it dry on her.

It worked! Hooray!

Now the castle smells like a pickle factory rather than a slaughterhouse.

(OK, not smelled like vinegar for a few hours and then it faded. But even if it hadn't, trust me, it was a HUGE improvement over the nasty, funky smell of dead snake.)

And they all lived happily ever after. Well, except for the snake, of course....

The End

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mommie Dearest's Words of Wisdom

When one has been nagging asking one's teenager to do certain things and one is perpetually ignored, it behooves one to become inventive.

If, for example, one wanted one's teenage son to mop the floor where the messy dog had slopped water...

Or if, perhaps, one wanted one's teenage son to finally empty the dishwasher...

Or if, perchance, one wished one's teenaged son to begin doing the online assignment one had been nagging urging one's son to complete for several days...

One might consider trying a carrot and stick approach...

(Just as a completely random example...having a friend over to go fishing)


There is no substitute.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ten (happy) things on Tuesday

I awoke this morning feeling cheerful and's why:

1. It is spring break, which means I have been sleeping until 8:00 every morning...which means I am rested and serene!

2. It makes me happy to wake up to a freshly brewed, perfect cup of coffee, thanks to this...
3. The bright and cheerful bunch of daffodils...

 and tulips, which cheer me up and make me smile every time I look at them.

4. My Kindle
5. Mr herb garden...I love being able to pick fresh basil, dill, rosemary and chives when I am cooking...

 and the stepping stone I found for the garden last week also makes me smile.
6. The intoxicating aroma of the incredibly fragrant orange blossoms, which captivates me every time I step outside...

7. The box of goodies from Lush which arrived last week - including my all time favorite, Dream Cream. Aahhh.....

8. Walking past my absolute favorite of my sunrise pictures, now framed and hanging on the wall....

9. Watching the antics of the amazingly hued cardinals as they frolic in the Crepe Myrtle trees...perhaps they're building a nest? Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a good picture because they kept hiding amongst the foliage. 

10. My silly son who, when he saw me snapping pictures of things that made me happy, grabbed this bottle and said with a droll smirk, "Don't forget THIS, Mom!"

(PS...he was joking!! Really!)

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