Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A New Year's Resolution Gift

Egads. March 27. Forgive me.

It's been too long. How have you been?

I had a jumpstart to begin writing again, which is why I'm back. I've thought about it plenty of times before, but haven't found the words or ideas.

Today, I met them. In the yarn aisle of Michael's craft store.

I was cruising through with Baby (who's now two - egads again), with a few gift cards smoldering some holes in my pocket, when I looked up to see the aisle blocked ahead of me. There was a middle-aged woman, helping an older woman in a wheelchair look for some colors. Between them and us was an older gentlemen, whom I presumed to be the woman's husband.

He started making faces at Baby, who I had pulled back from the verge of a nap to squeeze in this errand. Needless to say, he wasn't his usual outgoing, charming self, but the gentleman pulled him out of it.

"Are you a good boy for your mama?" the man asked.

"Most of the time," I laughed. "He has his moments, though, but mostly, he's pretty good."

"They are," he replied. "I should know. I have nine of 'em. She's one of the younger ones, over there," gesturing toward the woman in the aisle.

He went on to say that he walks three miles each and every day - "weather permitting" - and has been married for 62 of his 88 years. Exercise is the key, he said.

And one other thing.

"62 years?" I whistled. "And you're still talking to each other?"

"I'll tell you a secret," he said, eyes twinkling. "There have been fights, wild times. But whenever you find yourself in a fight, before you go to bed at night, you lean over and tell the other person, 'I'm sorry.' And you give'em a peck on the cheek. It will work wonders, I promise."

If those aren't lessons to send directly to your heart, and live by, I don't what would be. May the angel who directed our paths to cross grant he and his wife another 62 happy years.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Noise, noise, noise!

If these words sound familiar to you, it's probably because you, too, have seen "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas."

Lately, the Grinch's line about the racket from toys keeps striking me as applicable to the overload of information we're all facing.

I love social media, and am a self-proclaimed all around media geek. But lately, it's become too much.

I'm on Twitter, and really like it, both for my reporting and just keeping up on the world. But between that, and Facebook, and LinkedIn, and the blogs I read for work, and the words I consume for work ... well, at the end of the day, my brain feels like plain ol' mush.

I find I'm more tired that usual, and mentally tired at that. Like the very act of picking up the phone seems difficult, and that I crave time to zone out more.

For example, when my dear husband was interested in hearing about my day last night after I got home late from an event, I found myself increasingly annoyed that he wouldn't let me just watch "ER" (yes, I'm one of the seven or so people who still watch it. Sue me.).

I turned it off, but I can't help but think I might not be so apt to lose myself in fictional emergency rooms and would be more engaging to talk to if I wasn't glued to a constant stream of information all day.

I say all this with no solution, of course, but as an observation. It's a way that media is changing, evolving, and it won't go back. We'll all figure out how to manage it in our own way. But for me, right now, it just all sounds way too noisy, and it's drowning out the sound of my real, and important, life.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Home safe

I usually debate whether or not to pick up calls that come up as "Private Number" on the caller ID. Especially since they're usually trying to sell me some sort of extended rebate.

On Saturday, I'm glad I took a chance. C. was calling from Nome, AK to say that a weather window which was quickly closing sent him and his crew packing early. He'd be flying from Anchorage Sunday.

Excellent, I thought. What good news.

And then there was this little matter of an erupting volcano (other than the one he normally lives with).

Thankfully, the smart pilots of his plane boarded everyone 20 minutes early, and got the heck outta Dodge (or Anchorage) just in time. He's happily snoozing (along with the cat and the dog) next to me. And we're all very glad to have him home safe and sound.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

So far, so good

... there's still plenty of wine left.

C. landed safely aboard the ship, and promises via e-mail that he has tales to tell of riding a four by four in -20 degree weather, holding on for dear life on the way out to the puddlejumper. He spent some time in a village of 600 people, one that has been largely self-sufficient for much of the 20th century. And the helicopter ride to the ship was "way cool."

Meanwhile, back in not-almost-Russia, things are going OK. Baby is working with Mama on negotiations, and short of few deal breakers (yes, you must get your diapered-butt out of your baby easy chair and actually sit in your high chair if you want your dinner), we've been working together well.

I spoke at an event tonight of women business owners (thanks to some able assistance from my friend Meg, who is an awesome, I repeat, awesome babysitter), which was both fun and humbling. Except for when she sent me a text message asking what color Stout, our cat is. And that she may have just dragged a strange cat into our house. Maybe. (She didn't. It was Stout the Adventurer, who had braved the wilds known as our back porch.)

But I digress.

The humbling part: Two of the women I was speaking with had husbands who recently returned from being deployed to Iraq. While I may fret and joke about how hard my 10 day stint may be, it ain't nothing compared to that. My hat's off to you, ladies.

Monday, March 16, 2009


So I banished him to Siberia.

Well, not exactly. Today, my dear C took off for the Arctic.

Yes, the Arctic. Really, who gets to say that?

He's off on an Arctic research cruise, which involves three flights, and then a helicopter to a ship just shy of somewhere in the Bering Sea.

Yes, he will actually be able to see Russia from his house.

As for me, this marks the first time Baby and I will be going it alone for a whole 10 days.

Nervous, you ask? Whatever should I be nervous about? How bad could handling an active 18 month old be?

Exactly. I appreciate you not answering that.

So we begin day one. I'll be keeping the wine bottle count here, so be sure to tune in frequently to see how I'm "handling" things.

Current wine count: One glass. (OK, a really big glass. Work with me here.)

A lifting of the fog

Sheesh, I can be dark.

Such is what happens when these couple of demons I do battle with from time to time get sneaky, conspire together, and decide to gang up on me.

But thankfully, I've gotten my wind back after their sneak smack in the gut, and am feeling better.

Thanks for bearing with me, all. Now, back to our normally scheduled chaos of mommyhood.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Maybe it's the weather. Or maybe I've mysteriously lapsed back into the seventh grade. Or it could be that haze that I usually can outrun has caught up with me as it does from time to time.

Whatever it is, I'm feeling so inexplicably sad and lonely right now. With no good reason to, mind you. But it's the kind of thing when you keep checking e-mail, or looking at your phone, just in case there might be a message. Any message, but particularly one from someone you haven't heard from in a long time, or who just had to call to say how great you were. And each time, you look away, disappointed.

It's a lot like those junior high years, where a message scrawled by your mom on a notepad that so and so called - or worse, no note at all - could make or break your day.

The vast number of communications methods that can you mock you with their silence is worse now though, and if it's this way for a grown woman, I can only imagine being 13 again. Rejection for me was limited to staring relentlessly at the French phone in my room, willing it to ring. Now, kids can be snubbed on Facebook, on Twitter, by e-mail, by text message. And worse, there's no hoping that maybe they were just too busy to call. All those status updates proclaim otherwise.

As for me, I'll push through the haze, probably much in the same way I did back in seventh grade: sometimes sloppily, sometimes gracefully, and mostly stubbornly, all while listening to too much 1980's music. And eventually, I'll make that French phone ring.