Oreo Mission

I drag my kids to the grocery store all of the time, especially Vivian who is not in school. Buying food each week goes with the territory of being at home with the kids. Lately I have been sick of the grocery store. Shopping and decision-making has felt like a chore because I have been in a food rut. Going up and down the same aisles, buying and cooking the same meals. Blah. Blah.

Over the weekend I decided to make a change, and I pulled a recipe from my recipe box. I felt a little better while I shopped on Sunday afternoon. I pushed the overloaded, heavy cart to the check-out without as much loathing because of the new ingredients I placed on the conveyor belt. The chicken and basil and penne pasta and sun-dried tomato dressing lifted my spirits. The promise of a new meal in the lineup.

This afternoon after picking up Vivian from a friend’s house, I asked her what she’d like to do before it was time to pick up Lance from school. She said, “I’d like to stop at Wegman’s and buy Oreos.” I hesitated because this request was out of the blue and something I have never done. And then I thought, Why yes let’s stop at Wegman’s and buy Oreos. “And milk,” she added and started singing, Milk and cookies, milk and cookies yummy in my tummy, an old Kindermusik ballad.

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What to blog?

My mom and I spent the weekend in New York City together for Mother’s Day. Rain spewed down from the sky the entire car ride, aside from when we were in the Lincoln Tunnel. By the time we checked into our hotel it was pouring. That evening, clad with our umbrellas, we ventured out for dinner and a show. After the show we wandered through Times Square. Every time I go to New York City there is something different in the air. A different feel. A different time of year. A different purpose. A different objective. A different person(s). A different weather forecast, as was such with the rain.

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Motivation to blog

Greetings Readers!

Nothing motivates you to write a blog post quite like the receipt of an automatic renewal charge on your credit card to remind you that you are actually paying for your domain name and extra storage space on your blog for posting words, pictures, videos, and songs.

For this reason, and more importantly for my love of writing and creating, today I offer you simple words, a picture, a video, and a song to reward you for the time you spent with me.

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Writing right along

Greetings!

A few readers (all two of you) recently asked me why I haven’t been writing on my blog. As Christmas approaches and 2016 winds down, I thought I’d take a minute to give a brief update on what’s-a-happen’ in my writerly life.

First off, lack of voice on my blog does not mean I haven’t been writing. Quite the contrary. I joined two writing groups in State College, and in November I went to a monthly meeting as part of another group. Exciting and flourishing times for my pen. I am concentrating primarily on writing creative nonfiction in the first-person. True stories are what bring us together, offer hope, and help us understand each other.

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Swimmingly well

I took my son to swimming lessons this morning. He did well enough. He still won’t go underwater willingly, but he is bobbing, jumping into the shallow end, and even acting jovial in the water with the others kids, unlike the first day. My daughter and I sat together as we have for the past week and a half. Today she snuggled into my lap for most of the time. The day was going swimmingly well, but it was early.

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When my son’s lesson was over we hopped into the car and ate lunch on the way to a theater downtown to see a movie sponsored by the local library. Our spirits were high as we settled into our chairs and sat back to watch the show. At one point I found my daughter snuggled into my lap, for the second time that day, during a scary part. I held her close and put my arm around my son. He snuggled across the arm rest into my chest. All I could think about during the happy and turbulent parts of the movie was how much I love my kids.  The day was going swimmingly well.

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What didn’t make me happy about my day

Last fall I came up with a ritual that my husband and I could do with our kids during dinner every night. I called it, “What made me happy about my day.” While eating we would all go around the table and share one thing that made us happy about our day. The point was to highlight and focus on the good in our lives.

Before long this ritual was commonplace and we would take turns going first, making family dinners that much more communal. When we had guests we invited them into our happy circle.

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On Halloween night 2

In our neck of the woods, trick-or-treat was Thursday evening.

That information is a precursor into the really annoying talking pumpkin we own that sings a song that goes like this…

I’m out of my skull on Halloween.

I’ll find a way to make you scream.

I’ll be everywhere on Halloween.

I’ll find you and I’ll scare you.

Ahahaha (evil laugh).

That’s right.

On Halloween night.

On Halloween night.

On Halloweeeeeeen.

Ahahahahahahaha (evil laugh).

I’ve written about it before, which begs the title On Halloween night 2. Not exactly like a horror movie, but more like a happy mommy remembrance, like the lyrics, all over again.

That pumpkin has claimed his place as the “it” toy that my kids and their friends are going to remember from Halloween. That creepy voice that they love and get scared of all at the same time. That voice that played nonstop tonight in the already noisy background of multiple families joined together in camaraderie.

Kids, costumes, chili, cornbread, homemade wine, candy, friendship and fun beckoned my door tonight. Buckets of candy chased nine kids into our home after an evening of trick-or-treating.

I found a half eaten lollypop under the couch and few Snickers bars in my daughter’s toy baby cradle as I cleaned up long after the guests had gone and my kids were in bed. On both accounts, I smiled.

My husband wore the same clown wig he’s been wearing for a few years, and I wore my, now traditional, cat mask. As a parent, it was one of those nights that I wonder who had more fun — us or the kids?

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Now the day is over. The annoying talking pumpkin, the spider candelabra, and the decorations are all put away until next year. The kitchen is clean; the house is quiet.

When my kids wake up, the magic will be gone. Their candy has been secretly screened (by me!), yet their buckets are in the same position they left them. They will feel enough ownership to remember the magic, yet a controlled (I hope) desire to make it last.

Tomorrow we will lounge in our pajamas and watch movies and know that another spooky night has graced our doorstep.

Happy Halloween, even if a few days early for most!