Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Madness

Yes, it's Monday. It comes every seven days. Somehow, I haven't been able to get it to stop. I keep trying, but Monday faithfully shows up. Ahhhhh, Monday, if there is ANYthing in life I can count upon, it is you.

And with the usual Monday Madness came Book Club.We just finished The Kitchen House, a gripping tale with the right amount of sunlight to give you hope to hang on to the end. I really liked it. But even better? My Book Club Company. We had a wonderful evening. A night where I got to be just Melissa. Which is really nice when you are a musician and have a job where you interact with people a lot. You don't always allow yourself to be as transparent as you would like to be. 

Which got me to thinking about Friday night. Friday night I went to a dinner celebrating Karen's birthday. She took her closest "sister friends" out to dinner. (The Melting Pot was unbelievable! Although, my clothing smelled horrendous afterwards. Completely worth it!)

Two nights in the last 96 hours where I got to just let my hair down, not worry about much and not have to think about things. It's amazing what that can do for a girl, even with the Madness that was today (teaching, groceries, cleaning, dinner, lunch and breakfast prep, getting a wayward math student to school early, etc.)

Make time this week to just be you. Just be. Just indulge- in mind cleaning head-space cleaning breathing time. You'll come away feeling refreshed, alive, and remembering who you are. Best three hours you can spend. Consider it an investment- not only for you, but for those around you. After you come back, you are a better version of yourself, more patient, smiling and ready to deal with the Madness that is Monday.

Plan it. It won't get done any other way. It's hard at first, but I can promise you, you will be glad you did.

Yours, looking at next week's schedule to plan some ME time,


Wednesday, September 19, 2012


My kids don’t know how to lick a bowl clean. Apparently I never taught them. But isn’t something like that just in their DNA? That’s not learned behavior, that’s instinct. PICT0054

This is a picture of me at about age 7. Even at this age, making cupcakes, I KNEW that when it came time to lick the bowl, there would not be a speck of batter left. My mom could put that bowl away without washing it and nobody would know the difference! (Don’t worry, she wouldn’t do that, but still…she could!)

But today, the unthinkable happened. I made cupcakes for my friend and neighbor for her birthday and asked one of my sons if he wanted to lick the bowl. He jumped at the chance, of course. (Oh, and I don’t want to hear any lectures on how I’m not supposed to let them eat batter because of salmonella. I’ve been eating it for years and I’m fine!) He used a spoon, then he went to using his fingers, and then…oh, it’s too horrible to say.


I was so stunned, I couldn’t even move to go stop him. Why didn’t he go to the last step and use the spatula? Have I been remiss in my motherly duties and failed to teach him the proper techniques of bowl licking? (But again I ask, aren’t these lessons just KNOWN? Must they be TAUGHT?)

I don’t know if I’m more sad that he failed or more sad that I could have had that last finger-full of batter!


Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday Madness- Brush With Terror?

When my friend sent me this email, I knew I needed to share it. Humorous and poignant all at the same time. Welcome guest blogger... Tricia Bartig!

Family night. We went to the mall. Ate at Cheesecake Factory. J1 was exhausted and had a headache and Hubby didn't feel good either. So J2 and I headed to the Timothy Green movie in the mall theater after paying the bill. Hubs and J1 headed home. When the movie was about to start there was a belabored video about reporting suspicious behavior and identifying where all the exits were. That creeped me out!  
I remembered the massacre at the movie theater in July. I knew that was the reason for the video. (I never felt unsafe in a movie theater until that moment. And it wasn't my imagination. I'm in shock that this is what our country has come to. People are so psychotic in our nation, you just don't know when or where the next senseless mass killing is going to occur. 
Anyway, 3/4 of the way through the movie we started hearing sirens vaguely in the distance. At first I thought it was back ground noise in the movie. When I realized it wasn't apart of the sound track I realized it was noise bleeding in from out side the walls of our theater. Was it the movie next door? I realized that the entire mall was going off in alarms except in the theater. How many minutes had it been? I had kicked my boots off a half hour ago, I began to tremble inside. Slipping my boots on and looking around, it seemed few had noticed. I grabbed J2' s hand; he heard the noise too. I instructed him we were leaving and for the first time in his entire life he was as compliant as a lamb!   
We edged our way past the sitting people in the aisle the way you imagine edging the ledge of a high building. And that's how I felt, like my world could topple any moment. My head was pounding! One other couple popped up after me.  With J2 in hand I didn't stop to wonder if I was being dramatic and over reacting. The rest of the audience barely seemed to notice. As we steadily walked to the hall the open lobby ahead was empty except for some movie employees clustered on the red carpet in the vast center wearing all black. One young woman who acted like she may have some authority urgently said to a blond  girl, also wearing black, " Tell them to all leave calmly and walk to the escalators and head for the mall exit doors. Eyes wide, the blond RAN past me and J2. I quickened our pace to the escalators. As we hit the top of the moving staircase a young man dressed like the other employees was running up the opposite escalator stairs to our level with a walky- talky in his hand with a scared look on his face. Oh crap! What is it, I'm wondering? A fire? A terrorist attack? Some other disillusioned , entitled, American thinking it would make sense to mow down a bunch of people because his life sucks? 
Below I see a mostly empty 2 levels of mall except for a handful of clusters of people obediently evacuating,  acting calmly (Text book! Or was it more like zombies? ) and moving toward the glass sliding door to the dark, cool outdoors. Through the glass I see a couple hundred people congregated on the concrete under the street lights waiting around to see what's going on- teenagers festively sitting on what shouldn't be sat on and standing on what shouldn't be stood on, with a few curious adults waiting around. I don't want to be a bad example but I start to walk-jog with J2 firm in my grip. As the alarms continued to blair I could smell a strange smell  that made my throat dry. I instruct J2 to cover his face with his shirt. I do the same with my knit shrug, knowing the DANG Thing won't help me against biological warfare anyway! (This is a stupid thought process I know, but nonetheless, It's what I thought!) We got through the doors in a real life race and to the Jeep. J2 and I high tailed it home as fire truck sirens and lights were headed in . Other emergency vehicles  had already arrived at the south end of the mall pulsing their red and blue lights against the walls. 
So far we have not heard what went on there. And it is probably nothing more than a kitchen fire. Like some lanky teen, giant hole in the ear, fast food cook's rubber slap watch falling into the chicken fryer! =)   
But I will say that I've thought about what I would feel about my life had my worst nightmares come true. It crystalized pretty quickly. First, there isn't anything I regret like I thought I did. I have given my all to my kids. Imperfectly, but passionately. I have faced my fears, not given up on my dreams, spoken the truth and loved till it hurts. I have enjoyed the best of life and pursued the process of forgiving the worst of it. And I discovered I have no questions because I already know the One who has all the answers. We'll see if I hear in the news tomorrow what happened. If not, I will be forced to concoct my own dramatic Hollywood worthy conclusions!  If it is a fry cook, I hope he gets fired for scaring the hell out of me ! =) 

PS- We later discovered it was a water pressure malfunction that was causing the fire alarm/sprinkler system to go off. So Fry Cook, we'll save your hangin' for another day. :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


I know a woman named Gayle who told me an amazing story the other day, and she said I could share it with you. I love this story. It warms my heart.

Gayle has a great group of friends. In the world of “haves” and “have-nots,” her friends are “haves” and while Gayle is far from being a “have-not,” she doesn’t have as much as her friends. I haven’t known Gayle long, but I can guess that this didn’t mean squat to either her or to her friends!

A couple of weeks ago Gayle and her family went on a long overdue and much needed vacation. While they were gone, 40 of her closest friends invaded her home and did a TOTAL MAKE-OVER. I’m not talking about just cleaning it up. They bought all new furniture, painted all the rooms, cleaned it top to bottom, organized everything and decorated it like a professional had been hired. Then they waited until almost midnight when the family got home to yell “SURPRISE!!!!!” as they came in from their vacation.

Can you imagine??????

Here’s the thing: not only was Gayle amazed at how much work went into remaking her home, and not only was she completely floored by the love she felt from her friends that they would go to the effort and expense to do all of this for her and her family, but she’s come out of this a changed woman.

She’s realized that these 40 people think she’s pretty special, so she must be! All of this love and support has given her confidence and strength she didn’t realize she had. She’s walking taller, smiling bigger and feeling GREAT about herself. And who wouldn’t? She’s feeling the arms of 40 people around her every minute of every day. That’s gotta lift a person up!

Here’s to you, Gayle!



Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday Madness- The Day After

So Thursday evening was my nephew's rehearsal and dinner. Friday evening was my niece's rehearsal and dinner. Saturday, my nephew's wedding. Sunday, my niece's wedding.

I've gained no less than seven pounds. I'm sure of it.

And I did not go running this morning because I'm a little bit exhausted. But if anyone has any leftover wedding cake, I'm game, because that's the best cake there is! 

Just don't tell my thighs. Or my waist. Or Karen, because I don't want her to tell me how many calories I've consumed in the last four days. 

Yours, trying to keep it to myself,


Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Funny- I May Be Scrappy....

Helllloooooo Faithful Readers! 

So good to be back. Thanks for the break. I could tell I needed it. And I could tell it was time to return. I was beginning to have so much to write about. YAY!

I have a nephew that is getting married this weekend. Last night was the rehearsal and dinner. It seems the more time passes, the more I realize how precious each moment is. Last night was no exception. It was a wonderful evening, celebrating the impending nuptials and remembering when he was "only so tall". And then I learned the bachelor party was to be that evening. 

My "Auntie" antennae went up. As did the other auntie's who was seated with me. We looked at each other and decided a conversation was vital. SHE wasted no time. She called the best man over. He took a seat next to me. 

The best man is fairly big. About twice my size and half my age. (Good night! Did I REALLY just type that?) So I looked up and looked him squarely in the eye and began the interrogation. 

It's tonight? Yes.
Plans are made? Yes.
Designated driver? Yes.
The plans are??? Everything is within walking distance of the hotel room.
Our numbers are in his phone and you know how to access it just in case? Yes, ma'am, I do. 

It was at this point I looked him dead in the eye with The Auntie Look. I put my hand on his face so he would have no where to turn.

"Best Man," I said, "I love my nephew very much. You understand that right?"

"Yes I do," he replied. A look of trepidation came over his face.

"You will take good care of him?"

"Yes ma'am," he stated firmly.

"Good," I said quietly. "Because I just want you to know, that if anything stupid happens tonight, if one hair on his head is messed up, if he's hurt in any way, I will come find you, Best Man. And I. will. kick. your. #$!. Are we clear?"

The drop in his jaw and the look in his eyes let me know my point was crystal clear.My nephew is fully intact today. Recovering, but fully intact.

And that, my friends, is what the aunties do. :) My mission here is complete.

Yours, of to my niece's rehearsal and dinner,


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I’m HOW old???

Remember when we were kids and we thought 40 was old? And 50 was ancient? Forget about 60 and beyond. That’s just close to death’s door, right? Um, NO, not anymore!

Last week I turned f-f-fifty. Ugh, I can’t even say it. But although it SOUNDS old, it somehow doesn’t LOOK old. At least not on me or anyone I know around my age. Maybe I’m just kidding myself, but I swear 50 used to look older.

So even though I HATE the thought of being half a century old, I feel great, I look pretty darn good (according to my hubby) and I have a whole lot to be thankful for at this point in my life. What more could I want?

So take back that stinkin’ AARP card…I’m not ready for you yet!