Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Ides of March Have Nothing on the Ides of May

I have been eyeing May on the calendar with a mixture of excitement and angst. One the one hand, May brings us a month closer to June, which means we are that much closer to summer and boating and Porch Nights and long nights under starry skies. On the other hand, May is....well....May.

Which, this year, means one thing: The Teenager's graduation.

But, it's not just the graduation that is causing me stress, it's all of the other events that are scheduled for the month:

-Prom, May 3rd

-The Blue and Gold Academic Awards, May 5th

-The National Honor Society cord presentation ceremony, May 6th

-The Senior Sober grad party, May 12th

-The Scholarship Award luncheon at my women's club, May 13th

-Baccalaureate, May 13th

-The Teenager's pre-graduation party, May 17th

-Graduation, May 18th

-The after-graduation luncheon for family and friends, May 18th

-The annual end-of-the-school-year slip'n'slide party, May 22nd

Not to mention the fact that I sort of work full time.

I'm sure I'll get through it all, I just need to focus...on June, when I plan to spend the majority of my time floating on an inflatable raft in the middle of a lake with a cold bottle of wine in my hand.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

And Then It Changed

As predicted, the weather took a turn for the nasty this weekend. That didn't stop us from venturing out to shop for furniture for around the fire pit any more than it stopped the Man-Cub and one of his friends from lighting a fire in the pit and enjoying marshmallows and smores on Friday night.

The weather also didn't stop The Teenager from traveling to Moab for a classic car show with her BFF, Bradlen and his grandparents. And, if you think that I didn't make as many jokes about them all eating off the senior menu as humanly possible, you don't know me at all.

Since the weather was so crappy, I focused on my indoor chores, cleaning and organizing as much as I could force myself to tackle. The house is fifty percent more acceptable for this coming weekend's prom and my anxiety level has ticked down by at least half a notch.

Speaking of that anxiety level, are you aware that May is only, like, four days away?

I'm terrified.

May is sure to be a roller coaster of emotions for me, and, I can predict that much with certainty, because; much like the weather, my emotions are mercurial, following an unpredictable pattern of generalized chaos for which I have no way to plan. I can only hope that I will experience as much joy at my only daughter's graduation as I will experience stress.

That's just the way I'm wired.

On the bright side, May is quickly followed by June, and, I already have a Girl's Weekend planned for June, so, there is much decompression to look forward to in the therapeutic embrace of old friends, wine, and fresh mountain air.

You know, assuming the state doesn't catch on fire again this year.

Oy, vey.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Enjoying It While I Can

The Man-Cub played a double-header today and, thanks to a flexible work schedule, I was free to spend the day watching the games. The weather was absolutely perfect and I managed to get a bit of color on my arms and on the tops of my feet, which, had been casually kicked out of my sandals to allow for the full pre-summer experience.

Of course, tomorrow the forecast calls for rain and cooler temperatures, but, for today, we basked in the sun. Can't ask for more than that.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

And We're Back to Bullet Points

  • Hugh managed to hose down the porch, enabling me to organize the wicker and rockers in anticipation of Graduation.

  • Organizing the porch reminded me that we need to buy furniture for around the fire pit that Hugh built last fall.

  • While I am shopping for outdoor furniture, I might as well pick up the bedding plants and flowers to use in my window boxes on the porch.

  • Once I have the window boxes planted, I should probably turn my attention to The Teenager's graduation party, although, my mom and I talked about it at length last weekend when I was in Mayberry for Easter, so, I'm feeling less stressed over the preparations than I could be.

  • I don't think I previously mentioned that I had been in Mayberry for Easter. So; yeah, I was in Mayberry for Easter.

  • I still haven't eaten any Easter candy. I have developed a wicked addiction to some cinnamon glazed almonds that I found at the Hellmouth. They have more sugar than is probably good for me, but, almonds.

  • I have effectively replaced the vast majority of my wardrobe. During what became a complete closet purge, I discovered an embarrassingly large number of items that I had purchased last year and then never worn because they were too small; the tags were still attached to most of them. Those items fit, now. So, it's like I gained even more new clothing without the expense. You know, if you ignore the part where I basically wasted money on them for a year. Which, I do, because that's how I roll.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Toxic Relationships

Lent officially ended on Saturday at noon. Since then, I have passed up the opportunity to eat chocolate in its various forms, as well as other types of candy, pastries, cookies, cakes, and other sweet items.

I have also refrained from returning to the loving embrace of Diet Pepsi. Why? Because I'm not so sure that sugar and Diet Pepsi are good for me. I know, right? Like, I just got that memo? But, better late than never, right?

So, I'm not saying that I am never going to eat another candy bar or have a fountain drink in a restaurant, but, I am planning to save those indulgences for special occasions and treats, kind of the way they were probably intended to be all along.

Old dog, new tricks. Who would have thought?

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Longest Walk

The Teenager finished her graduation announcements the other night; it was quite an undertaking and I am still impressed that she insisted on doing the job herself, leaving me to do nothing but observe quietly from across the dining room table as she addressed, stuffed, sealed, and stamped each envelope.

She took the job quite seriously, and I watched in quiet awe as she double-checked her meticulously crafted lists; ensuring that she had included an invitation to the party preceding the graduation ceremony in all of the appropriate envelopes and not in the wrong ones.

I stifled a small giggle when she had a momentary brain-fart and failed to realize that 75+10=85, which, was the number of announcements that we had ordered, but, apparently, not the number she had fixed in her brain "We're missing two announcements! We are!" (We weren't).

I laughed out loud when, upon completing the task, she wiggled around in her chair uncomfortably until I suggested that she go ahead and drive the envelopes to the post office and be done with it; she was obviously anxious to have even that final task accomplished.

So, off she went, but, not before expressing her belief that the walk to the post box would be the longest walk of her life, which, caused an immediate slide show of all of the longest walks that I can remember taking in my life to flash through my head....High School graduation, college graduation, the long walk down the church aisle to meet her father at the alter, the walk (or, waddle, if you will) down the hospital corridor on our way to Labor and Delivery the day before she was born, the walk up the school sidewalk on her first day of kindergarten, her tiny hand tucked inside mine....and I couldn't help but think how fortunate I am to be here to watch her take this first longest walk of her life.

I am truly blessed.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


The Man-Cub is heading over the mountain to tour colleges with a group of kids from school and two hapless and brave chaperones.

When I dropped him off at the bus this morning, I happily chirped "Have fun at college!". The smile he gave me as he closed his door tore my heart into two ragged pieces; he is so grown up. And, handsome. When did that happen? How can he be going to tour colleges?

I've only just wrapped my head around the fact that his sister is leaving me; how am I supposed to cope when both of them are gone?

I have seen the future and it involves a completely empty nest.

And I don't like it.

On the bright side (yep, still looking for the silver lining, cuz that's how I roll), did I mention how handsome the Cub has gotten? And, we all know how beautiful The Teenager is (biased, yes, and proud of it).

You know what that means?

Someday, light years from now, my empty nest will be full of gorgeous grandbabies (not any time, soon, Lord, please), and I will turn into the worst example of over-indulgence that the Pod People have ever produced. And, then, all of this won't sting quite so much.

Coping skills! I haz 'em!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

What the Hail?

Yesterday was nice enough for Hugh to do some yard work. Today, we have alternated between rain showers, snow, sleet, and, now, hail.

I'm glad that none of the tulips in my flowerbeds have bothered to bloom yet, because I would sure have hated to see them battered by this weather.

On the bright side, I had plenty of chores to keep me busy indoors, which makes it somewhat easier to resist the urge to use the power washer that Hugh brought home yesterday to clean off the front porch; no sense in washing it down when the rain and wind are just going to mess it up again, anyway.

On the not-so-bright side, this means that I won't actually accomplish that goal since I don't have another free day scheduled until the week after next. Prom is May 3rd and I need a clean porch upon which to force teenagers into happy poses for my picture-taking desires, damnit.

Boo, Mother Nature. Boo.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Gainfully Employed

The Teenager got a job! At a store that sells books, and movies and music and other things that a teenager likes to spend time around; I think it will be a match made in heaven.

Speaking of working (because we were, in a round-about way), I spent the majority of the day on my feet, cleaning the house, organizing my cupboards and closets, and grocery shopping.

When I wasn't on my feet, I was at my desk at the hardware store, counting money and writing checks.

Hugh was also busy today, tilling and fertilizing my garden, mowing the yard, getting the sprinkler system turned back on, and setting up the power washer for me to use tomorrow, when I plan to douse the porch.

The Man-Cub spent his day at a baseball double-header a couple of hours away and The Teenager went to Neighboring City to purchase jewelry for prom.

All in all, I would say that we were a very busy family. Also, my cabinets haven't been this tidy and organized in ages.

I will sleep well tonight.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Another Reason to be Proud

We just found out that The Teenager is being awarded the second scholarship that she applied for. That's two-for-two, in case you are keeping count. Neither scholarship is huge but they will go far in helping us give The Teenager the best education that we can afford.

When I told her the news, The Teenager demanded that we find more scholarships for which she can apply, which cracked me up; it's getting down to the wire on that, I think. But, that doesn't mean we won't do a thorough internet search, just to be certain.

I have mentioned how proud I am of that kid a time or two, right?


Just checking.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Certain Signs of Spring

For the past three days, temperatures have reached into the high 70's, which, for Colorado, is practically tropical.

The daffodils in my flowerbeds have started to bloom and there are green shoots emerging from the base of last year's peony bushes.

I've been wearing open-toed wedges and short skirts, and, today, I sunned myself on the bench outside of my office during my lunch hour.

Spring, has sprung.

The surest sign, though, wouldn't be the return of birds to the feeders outside the kitchen window, although, we have seen an increased number of winged creatures, no; the surest sign of spring is the plethora of cat hair that I am pulling from the backs of my couches, from the bedspreads, from the carpets, and from the corners of every room in the house now that it is shedding season.

On the bright side, their winter coats can't possibly shed for that much longer, see above: plethora of hair. At least, I hope not.

Yep, we're just going to lie here on the table that we aren't allowed to lay on until the birds come to the feeder and then we are going to throw ourselves ineffectively against the window.
We're living the high life over here.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Shoot Me. Shoot Me, Now

I just returned from an almost-two-hour-long meeting of the planning committee for the senior party. Roughly an hour and a half of that meeting was spent listening to the other moms plan the senior sports banquet, next week's spaghetti fundraiser for the band, an FFA event, and, what sounded like someone's daughter's exorcism.

I may be slightly confused about the exorcism. But, otherwise, three-quarters of a very long meeting were spent focusing (in a very haphazard and scattered manner) on events unrelated to the meeting. To say that I found that frustrating is an understatement, I mean, obviously.

On the bright side, I only have three more of those horror shows to sit through before the party, after which, I won't have to deal with this type of situation for at least three years.

I mean; that's how that works, right? I don't have to deal with that again until the Man-Cub is a senior? Yes? Please, for the love of God, say yes.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Im Going to Miss These Kids

Sunday afternoon, I took The Teenager and her friends to the local park to try and capture a group photo worthy of a banner to hang up at their up-coming grad party, and, I'll tell you right now; I failed in that effort. Oh, I got some great pictures, just none that will work for my vision of the banner. Which, means that I will have to try again at a later date.

I'm ok with that, actually. I truly enjoy spending time with these kids, and, when you are surrounded by a group of BIG personalities, you just kind of have to roll with their antics; if  I've learned nothing else about them over the past twelve years or so, I've learned that.

Also, I am going to have to really start making an effort to get to know the girls in the Man-Cub's class, because, as much as I adore The Fearsome Foursome and the rest of the Cub's friends; it is the females of the species who pull together the group activities, and, if I want to have the number-and quality-of pictures of the Cub that I have of his sister; I'm going to need an assist.

So, I see a lot of schmoozing of teenie-boppers in my future. I wonder if adolescent girls still like homemade cookies?

Ha! I know they do.

Monday, April 07, 2014

$4500 Worth of Hardware Later...

The Man-Cub had an eventful day; he got his braces off! Two years and $4500 later, he is the proud owner of a very impressive grill. Now, if he takes a baseball to the face and manages to knock those teeth out, we will have no one to blame but ourselves. I'm pretty sure that's how irony works.

Eh. In the meantime, we will enjoy his handsome face while desperately crossing our fingers against fate.

Also, when he was three and he knocked out all four top teeth, we got used to the look within days, so, we are adaptable (this is the parental equivalent of whistling past a graveyard, just in case you were confused).

Without further delay, I give you the before picture...

And, the after picture...

Our orthodontist was quite pleased with his work and declared the Man-Cub too handsome for his own good. Ok, that was me. But! Who can argue with this face...

His future wife is such a lucky woman, and, she has us to thank for it. Well, for the $4500 grill, anyway.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

You're Doing It Right

The Teenager has spent the past several days stuffing, stamping, and addressing her graduation announcements.

Tomorrow, she has an interview for a job (and I hope I didn't jinx her by mentioning it).

Today, she organized her friends for the group photos that we needed to take for their grad party.

I'm so proud of her maturity and capacity to handle the tasks that she needs to. So proud, in fact, that I think I can forgive her for constantly mentioning the count-down to graduation and the number of days that she has left under my roof.

Well, not really, but I'm trying to be mature as well.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Note to My Future Self

Dear Chelle:

In the interest of protecting your sanity, physical well-being, and emotional balance, I (you, us, whatever) urge you to resist the urge to be lazy when it comes time to pull the vegetation from the garden later this fall.

Trust me (you, us, whatever) when I say; pulling that shit out when it is still somewhat flexible and the soil is somewhat loose will save you many a pulled muscle, angrily muttered curse word, and at least a few tears over trying to pull it out next spring, when the ground is hard and unforgiving and the vegetation has morphed into hard, prickly brambles from Hell.

Me (you, us, whatever)

Friday, April 04, 2014

In Which My Wallet Also Loses Weight

Last week, I finally broke down and ordered new bras. I had known that the bras I am currently wearing had gotten a bit looser, but, it wasn't until I realized that I could ball my hands into fists and fit them in each cup along with my boobs that I made the connection. I'm smart like that.

So, new bras are on their way.

Then, today, my co-worker informed me that we were going shopping; she needed a belt, having recently lost twenty pounds of her own, and, while we were at it, I was going to buy some new jeans since the pair I was currently rocking were, and I quote; "soupy" in the seat.


Yeah, I had no idea, either, so; she had me look over my shoulder while standing in front of a full-length mirror at the store and, apparently, soupy=baggy and stretched-out looking.

Good to know.

So, I grabbed a pair of jeans a size smaller than I was wearing and tried them on. They didn't fit and I ended up purchasing a couple of pairs that are two sizes smaller than the original pair. Which, goes a long way in explaining the soupy appearance of my ass, although, I'm sure the fact that my ass is flat as a pancake contributed.

My ass is still flat, but, my jeans no longer sag and bag, so, yay.

To recap: Boobs, not so big anymore. Ass still flat. Appropriately sized garments procured. Wallet lighter.

The End.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Even Better Than Texting With a Teenager...

...taking a call from teenagers; for example, this conversation that I had with Mikey and the Man-Cub** yesterday:

C:      Hello?

MC:   Hi mom! Can I spend the night at Mikey's?

C:      I guess so.

MC:   Cool! Can I have $20?

C:      I don't have $20. Sorry.

MC:   If I leave a twenty on the counter, will you go to the store and buy me a card for my Xbox?

C:      If you have a twenty, why do you need one from me?

MC:   I just thought I would ask. So, will you get me the card?

C:      No, sorry. I'm not going to the store today.

MC:    Mooooommmmm.....

C:      Sorry, no.

MC:   Ok, hey, Mikey wants to talk to you.

M:      Hi Second Mama!

C:       Hi Second Son!

M:      Do you love me better than First Son?

C:      That depends; what do you want from me?

M:     Nothing.

C:      Then, yes; I love you more.

M:     Thought so!

MC:  That's just mean.

I love those boys.

**Wouldn't Mikey and the Man-Cub be a great name for a boy band? I'm totally suggesting that to the boys. Too bad neither of them can carry a tune...

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Texting With Teenagers: Volume One

Excerpts from actual text conversation between The Teenager and me last night.

TT:  Mom, can I go to a bonfire with Kendal? It's ok with her mom if its ok with you.

C:    No drinking

TT:  No, mom

C:    No sex, or drugs or rock n roll

TT:  Mom, stop it**

C:    Ok, fine, you can have rock n roll


I expected an eye roll but was pleased to see that she felt the need to make sure that I knew it had happened.

This gives me hope for our future communications once she leaves for college.

**The "oh, my gawd!" was implied. Heavily.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

No Foolin'

At today's service group meeting, the recipients of our scholarships were announced and The Teenager's name was among them. To say that I am proud would be a vast understatement.

After the meeting, the chair of the scholarship committee pulled me aside to tell me that The Teenager's essay was the best essay on any of the applications that they received. She said that The Teenager's personality just shined through, setting her essay apart.

Lump in the throat, people. Lump in the throat.

When I told The Teenager about the announcement, she looked at me quizzically and said "Is this an April Fools joke?"

It's no joke, baby.

It's no joke, at all.

Lump. Throat.