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My Humble Opinion

Emily Post is Dead…..

Entertaining, My Humble Opinion, Royal Ramblings!, Uncategorized

Whatever happened to Emily Post?  Back in the day- (and I realize “the day” was a while back, and things have changed) society lived by a set of rules, known as etiquette.  The rules for how we conducted ourselves was large. About 2 or 3 inches thick as I recall.  There were details in it that didn’t really make a rats ass of difference in most people’s lives.  How to properly seat people at a dinner party.  Leaving a calling card when visiting.  When and how to use obscure pieces of flatware.  Those things probably won’t change our lives, at least life in todays’ society one bit.

But, there are still some rules of etiquette that SHOULD and could be implemented.

I probably entertain more than any 10 women put together. And I am amazed each and every time that an invitation goes out, just how rude people can be. (Sorry, just have to call it like it is!) I do realize that many people don’t entertain in their homes, and may not realize the amount of work that goes into it. Perhaps THAT is the excuse.  WHATEVER the excuse, I’d like to share 10 easy rules for being a guest in someone’s home, which just may get you invited back.

  1. RSVP.

Just take the time to RSVP for the love of God!  It’s not that difficult!  I absolutely can’t believe the people who never respond in any way.  No yes, no no, no maybe!  Come on people!  If you don’t want to go, can’t stand the host, would rather pull lint out of your belly-button, or lice off of your significant other-  JUST LET THE PERSON WHO ASKED YOU KNOW YOU WON’T BE THERE.  No. A simple no.  Nowadays, other than a wedding invitation, most of your invitations can be responded to via email, response to evite, or via text.  JUST TAKE A FRICKIN’ MINUTE TO LET THE HOST OR HOSTESS KNOW YOUR INTENTIONS!

The “Maybe” response……. I understand the Maybe response- if your daughter is due to give birth sometime the 3rd week of January, so your response is “As long as we aren’t on our way to Nebraska, due to Janie’s impending birth.” That’s a good reason for a maybe.  Absolutely.  It’s the “maybe’s” that make the hostess feel like you are just waiting to see if something better comes up which really piss me off.  Look, if you can’t give a definite YES, I’d like to be there, because you really DON’T want to be there, give a resounding NO, and move on. If you have to see what your work schedule is, and they don’t let you know until the Tuesday of the event…… OK on that.  But just maybe, a maybe that, once again looks like you are waiting to see if possibly Angelina Jolie is going to invite you over for drinks, but… if she doesn’t, you might show up are rude….. just plain rude…..

I think that California is particularly prone to this. Everyone wants to wait until the last moment to commit, fearing they might miss something better.  As Bon Qui Qui would say. RUDE!

I recently had a big party for my 60th birthday.  I rented a room, had a band, and had it catered.  I BEGGED people, via Evite to just let me know whether or not they were coming.  In the end, there were 60 people who never responded one way or the other.  That could be up to 120 people who may- or may not be there.  Kind of a BIG difference when you are paying to cater something.

I entertain enough to know what the average response rate is, and I had my numbers within 5 people of who actually DID attend. But SERIOUSLY?  If I didn’t entertain on almost a weekly basis, I wouldn’t have had any idea how many people to tell the caterer to plan on.

2. HOSTESS GIFTS

A girl can only use SO much wine!

I think it is really thoughtful when people bring a hostess gift for the hostess.  You definitely deserve Kudos for the thoughtfulness.  Can I give you a hint on what NOT to bring for said hostess gift.  2 items I suggest you forget about bringing to a hostess. (Keep in mind- I’m the girl who has held about 10 events in the past 3 months).  PLEASE, rethink the bottle of wine, and cut flowers.  At one of my housewarming parties a few years ago I received over 30 bottles of wine.  As a single woman who rarely drinks wine, and then, only white wine ( and, I’ll admit it- shit white wine at that), there was not a chance I was going to ever drink that much wine, not to mention, be able to store it.  Can I just say…… IT IS UNIMAGINATIVE!  It’s boring.  It’s the easy way out, and most likely, it’s wine some other unimaginative, boring person gave YOU!  Come up with something that the hostess might really be able to use.  It’s simple. It’s more fun.  And it says you really care.

The other item to stop bringing…… cut flowers that need to be put in a vase.  The last thing in the world a hostess has time to do when a slew of people are walking in her door is figure out where a damned vase that will fit your flowers is! AND, if her cupboard where vases are stored is where my vase cupboard has been in all my previous homes, it is 6 feet up, above the oven, and they are stacked in there in such a way that opening it may be life threatening.  DON’T DO THIS TO THE WOMAN WHO JUST MADE YOU A MEAL!  Either bring a plant that is in a ready-to-go container, a flowering plant or flowers in a vase.  Don’t add stress to the woman who just put this event together. It’s stressful to figure out what to do with a bouquet of flowers when so much is going on!

A potted plant is a great gift! A hostess doesn’t have to find a vase, take time to arrange it, and can plop it down and carry on!

You might wonder, what in the world you are supposed to being a hostess if not wine and flowers? Bring something seasonal.  An ornament or decoration if it’s the holiday season.  A pretty fall accessory. An orchid or other flowering plant which can be set down and dealt with later.  If you know the hostess has a passion for something, bring something that speaks to that.  A friend recently brought the cutest little mug set to a party I gave. One said “The Queen of Damn Near Everything.”  The other “The King of Whatever’s Left.” Something for both Don and I, that said she’d thought about it!  Another friend brought a lovely orchid.  For about 8 weeks, I had blooms that made me think of her. Neither cost more that most bottles of wine, I’m sure! But they spoke volumes to me when I received them.

This was a hostess gift that showed me the giver KNEW me, and took time to bring something fitting my tastes and quirks!

3. DON’T BRING A GUEST WITHOUT TELLING THE HOST

I am probably the most “more the merrier” person in the world.  Unless I’m putting on an event that can only have a specific number of people for a good reason, I always say “bring whoever you want.”  HOWEVER, if you do that, can you PLEASE clue the hostess in that someone she may not know will be arriving?

On more than one occasion I have been in my home at a party and see someone I don’t know, enjoying food and drink.  It is very awkward to walk up to a person in your home, and inquire who they are, and how they got there!  It’s really not that tough to clue the hostess in that you have brought a friend, and introduce you, or to tell her your friend may be stopping by. COME ON PEOPLE- should we have to tell you this shit?

4. DON’T WHINE IF YOU AREN’T INVITED TO SOMETHING.

As a host or hostess, we can’t invite ALL of the people ALL of the time.  I have had numerous occasions where, at a smaller gathering I haven’t invited someone that might come to other gatherings I have.  When you are having a sit-down luncheon for example, only a certain number of people can fit at the table.

DON’T BE THE PERSON WHO GETS ALL BUTT HURT BECAUSE YOU WEREN’T INVITED!

I can’t begin to tell you the many times I’ve seen people getting all up in arms because someone had an event and they weren’t invited to go!  GET OVER IT!  We aren’t in 3rd grade.  We can’t always invite every damned person we know, AND….. I’ll bet those of you who get all butt hurt NEVER INVITE THOSE SAME PEOPLE TO YOUR HOUSE! It’s always the ones who want to be invited to every damned thing who never invite others to their house! They typically don’t entertain, yet they WANT to be entertained!

Take a look at your social skills people!  Are you being a good guest?  Taking time to RSVP? Inviting your favorite hostess to your house now and then? Remember your mother’s old saying, “To have a good friend you need to BE a good friend!”

We are all adults here.  Let’s look back at some of Emily Posts rules, and take a bit of time to follow some of them.  You will be glad you did!  (And so will the hostess who invited you!)

Creepy Christmas Carols

Comedy, My Humble Opinion, Royal Ramblings!, Uncategorized, You Can't Make This Shit Up!

I fully understand that most of our Christmas Carols were written quite some time ago – and standards of what is acceptable have changed dramatically during that time.  Am I the only one who shudders when you hear some of those “old classics?” Many are not only “politically incorrect” they are “socially incorrect.”

Think about it.  In We Wish You a Merry Christmas– a bunch of strangers walk up to your door, and start singing outside.  When you open the door, they demand “figgy pudding” (and God only knows what the hell THAT foul sounding concoction is).  Then this intrusive bunch of strangers says they “won’t go until they get some.”  It’s like spontaneous trick-or-treating of sorts, but you have no idea that this rude bunch was going to show up- and you are supposed to be Johnny-on-the-spot with some damned  figgy pudding! Or maybe, it would better be called Martha-Stewart-on-the-spot! ( I’d doubt that even Martha would have figgy pudding whipped up, ready for carolers! And – I’d also bet, you don’t just show up ringing the bell at Martha’s house unannounced!) I can’t imagine too many of us would be ready to welcome a large group of strangers into our home unannounced and feed them dessert!

Where was Santa when the bullying was taking place?

Then of course, the one that really makes my blood boil.  The ultimate “it’s OK to bully someone” song.  Rudolph The Red Nose Raindeer. Rudolph, the poor little raindeer with the big red nose.  This poor little guy is different from the other “kids” and gets teased, made fun of and ostracized from raindeer society.

The big guy in the red suit obviously knows this bullying is going on, and he doesn’t do anything to stop it either.  But then- alas- when there is a USE for poor little Rudolph- he is called upon and becomes the hero of the raindeer hierarchy. Am I the only one who is pissed off by this little song?  Come on- why didn’t anyone stick up for little Rudolph earlier in this little ditty?  Fuck you Dasher and Dancer, Donder and Blitzen, and all your other little raindeer bully friends………And shame on you Santa and Mrs. Claus for letting the bullying happen in the first place.

How about Santa Claus is Coming to Town.  Again, Creepy!  He “Sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake.”  This sounds more like Stalker Santa than not,  in my book! Picture some fat old guy hovering about in your bedroom,  looking over you when you are a small child asleep in your room.  Uh………. no thanks! I’m not going there  for just  a few little presents under the tree Santa….. I have my standards!

Oh my goodness- another song that is very odd when you think it through.  I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.  What’s it do to a little kid to see his slutty mommy screwing around under the same roof where daddy lives?  What’s THAT say to a developing little psyche? Mommy is kissing AND tickling the chubby old guy, and this kids sneaks in and sees the whole scene! Right under the same roof where daddy was probably the sole breadwinner in those days! I have a feeling that once daddy gets told mommy is screwing around with another guy, this kid is going to find out it isn’t so “funny” after all!

The guy in this song just doesn’t get the word NO!

The REALLY creepy song?  What I call the original “date rape” song.  Baby It’s Cold Outside. This woman CLEARLY states numerous times she wants to leave, and he insists she stays.She says “I really must go, the answer is no.”  Still he insists she stay- saying there are no cabs outside, because it’s cold!   Whatever happened to that saying- “No means no?” Not only does he keep insisting she stay, but it sounds like he slipped a rufie into her drink! She says, “What’s in this drink?” CREEPY!  CREEPY!  Mr. Date Rape himself is the star of this little ballad!

“Say, WHAT’S in this drink? (Maybe a rufie?)

Santa Baby takes “gold digging” to a new standard!  Work it sister, and get the old geezer to buy you diamonds, furs and cars! There is a GREAT standard to teach the kids!  Money can’t buy you happiness, but using those womanly curves can get you the goods!

The list goes on and on…… this is just the tip of the Creepy Christmas Carol lyrics.

My last comment on Christmas Carols…….. I know I have a number of screws loose, but am I the only person who gets creeped out whenever Karen Carpenters songs come on? I don’t know WHAT it is, but the whole time she is singing my mind plays a constant loop of “dead woman singing.”  I don’t think that when Whitney Houston songs come on, or Nat King Cole, or Bing Crosby- or any number of other artist who have gone on to the big gates in the sky….. but Karen Carpenter songs cause damage to my brain, because that is all I can think of……. Dead woman singing.  I know, someone should have me committed…….. put away for a long time so I don’t do further damage to myself or those around me.

My mind tends to go to places the average Joe, or Josephine wouldn’t begin to imagine.

A little PS to this article…. Do you remember the song Grandma Got Run Over by a Raindeer?  Well, check out the following YouTube link!   It gives some real credibility to that song!

I’m Not A Zen Girl!

Fabulous After 50, Health = Happiness!, My Humble Opinion, Uncategorized, You Can't Make This Shit Up!

Meditation- I give it about 3 seconds til I hit the “crazy” button!

Dancing is the New Meditation

I have heard for decades that the best way to relax and achieve inner harmony is to meditate.  You can’t live in Southern California without have a hundred people tell you “it’s the way to go.” I call BS on that!  Don’t get me wrong.  If you meditate, and it works for you, more power to you!  I”ll even give you an “Om” to go.

It’s just that meditation, to me is the greatest and easiest way to stress out I have ever tried.  I’ve tried it more than a handful of times.  And here is exactly what happens.  I sit in this place I’ve decided to be quiet in and cleanse my mind.  In approximately 30 seconds a committee shows up in my head. The committee is loud.  It’s raucous.  They all begin to talk, taunt and tease.  I suddenly am filled with thoughts of all of the “productive” things I could be doing.  Should be doing.  Need to get done.  I think of things with work that I have been putting off.  I think of things I could be writing for my blog, rather than just sitting here, wasting time.  I think of things that need to be done in my house. How many things I need to organize. The closets that could use cleaning, the drawers that need sorting.  I think of things that WILL need to be done for work, my house, my blog in the near future.  I think about places I could go for travel and enjoyment, and want to look those things up on the internet RIGHT THEN.

I begin to think about things that really bug me.  Things that have bothered me for awhile. Things I didn’t even  KNOW bothered me.  Now I start to get REALLY irritated at the things that I didn’t even know were bothering me.

Any small problem in my life can take on gargantuan proportions when I sit down to meditate. They suddenly become overwhelming.

Meditation = STRESS For My Brain!

While attempting to meditate I start to think about things I have recently seen on Facebook that I thought were really profound.  Or really cute. Or really irritating.   You know the things I’m referring to- the political posts that differ from your opinion.  The people that voice their totally inane and negative opinions on someone’s post, which were TOTALLY unnecessary.  The more I am supposed to “empty my mind” the more that comes in to crowd it, and  my blood pressure goes up.  Which is, I think the direct opposite of the point of meditating.

All of this brain hyperactivity  can be accomplished in record time.  I’m sure I’ve just spent at LEAST three hours in the process, and when I look at the clock, I’ll be damned, five minutes haven’t even passed! God bless you if this meditation thing calms you down. It just stresses the hell out of me!

The same people who like to meditate, enjoy Yoga. Don’t even get me going on that one!  If I’m going to spend an hour in an exercise class, I want to feel like it’s doing something for my body. I can’t get through half a yoga class without wanting to laugh at the absurd positions (which don’t seem to be building any sort of muscle that I can tell). I want to giggle at the silly names they call them. And for some reason, the people in Yoga class are just too damned serious about the whole thing.  It becomes a religious activity for them, it seems.  Forget Yoga…..I much prefer to do a few crunches, hold a plank, lift a few weights, or Zumba my way to cardio health.  In Zumba you can’t help but have a happy attitude! Why- because DANCE MOVES are happening there!

Screw meditating! I’m just NOT a Zen girl!

I’m Not a Zen Girl!

I guess the cat is out of the bag.  I’m not a Zen girl.  My idea of relaxing is planning a party, figuring out my next event, or dancing.  Dancing is my “drug of choice.”

When I went through a divorce about 8 years ago, I decided to take up dancing.  It was something I’d always wanted to learn, and it was the first thing I set my mind to when I knew the marriage was over.  Now THERE is a stress reliever! There is a blood pressure reducer!  And, like meditation and yoga combined- it’s GREAT for your body!  Within a few months, although I was out every evening and enjoying a few drinks, I looked better than I had in years!  I lost weight and toned up, without dieting or even TRYING!

Dancing- My “Drug of Choice!”

When you dance, the committees can’t be in your head, because you are too busy following the lead of your partner.  You can’t think about the problems you’ve got going on, what needs to be done at home, what is going on with work.  There is only one focus.  Dancing.  What the next move is, where your partner and your body are going to lead you.

For me, dancing gives me all the benefits of meditation, and then some.

If sitting in a quiet room, making your mind blank works for you, then go for it!

Just PLEASE don’t try telling me that it’s a stress reliever!  Not for my A type of personality!  Thirty minutes of meditation a day would probably put me in the grave within the first month!

No matter what problems I have in life, after a few hours dancing I feel refreshed, at peace and in tune with my body and soul.

Dancing video, Kingston Mines (This is a little video my daughter shot of Don & I when we were all in Chicago this summer.  I realize the video is dark, and I apologize!  If you get to Chicago, this place is worth visiting!)

 

Ta Ta for the Titties, Too Much for Me!

Comedy, Fabulous After 50, My Humble Opinion, Raves & Rotten Reviews, styles, Uncategorized, You Can't Make This Shit Up!

TaDa for the TaTa’s…..

I don’t care what kind of sweat be a drippin’ down your boobs. No one needs to look like this!

So here I am, just strolling through Facebook. The first “down time” I’ve had in almost 2 weeks, and I thought I’d check out what is going on in the world of my Facebook friends, when suddenly I come across this ad for the Ta Ta Towel.  I had to stop, take a gander, then look into this further.

Uh, no. Not for me. So sorry!

If you aren’t yet familiar with the Ta Ta Towel, it is basically a hammock, made out of a towel to hang your titties in. In other words, an “Over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder.”  (That’s what I would have called this invention, if, indeed, I had invented it….. which I didn’t, because I didn’t know there was even a need for it.)  Evidently, a number of big breasted women seem to sweat under their boobs while getting themselves ready to go out into the world for the day.  Hence, the “Ta Ta Towel” was invented. It is described on their sites as “The perfect accessory to any set of boobs.” I prefer a diamond necklace as my boobs perfect little accessory.  Call me a snob.

No one should be going out in public like this. Sorry! If you wonder why you can’t get a date, maybe it’s because you are out in clothing that just wouldn’t flatter ANYONE! Not to mention, those titties are gonna go a floppin’ out, you can just about count on that!

Solutions for Sweaty Boobs

Perhaps I’m a skeptic, and perhaps it’s because my rather ample boobs don’t seem to have this weeping sweatage problem…….. but did anyone ever think of a simple little robe?  I have a cute little leopard number, which is nice and cool in our oh-so-hot summer weather, and I throw that on when I’m getting ready for the day. (Unless the weather is cool, then I throw on a warmer robe. But in either case, I don’t need a special over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder.)  My simple little robe seems to do the trick for me.

I did a little further research on the Ta Ta, and found they have a facebook page, a number of “reviews” on the item, and, evidently, some different colors and patterns that the Ta Ta might be ordered in.

I’m a Sucker, I’ll Admit It!

I’ll admit, I’m usually a sucker for everything that comes my way, and promises to solve a problem.  I’ve tried the “Skinny Coffee.”  About $30.00 later, and a few weeks of coffee that had some suspect white specs in it later…… not an ounce was lost. I also fell prey to the curlers that promised to give me ringlet type of curls fast and easy……. wait for the video on this one folks.  You’ll be glad you did. (As soon as I figure out how the hell to make said video).  The black mud looking mask……… don’t ask.

This time, however, I did not fall prey to ordering the Over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder.  Why you may ask?  When even the model looks frumpy and dumpy in it, I know that no one in my house, including me, needs to see this shit.  In addition, they retail for $45.00!  Are they kidding me?  Come on. REALLY Ta Ta?  Had this thing been $10.00, maybe even $15.00, I would have been tempted to buy one, just for shits and giggles, and to share with the likes of you who read this blog.  But seriously?  $45.00?  Holy crap!  I am in itinerant “second hand” shopper.  My nicest dresses and evening gowns don’t even cost me $45.00!  Am I going to buy a boob sweat sopper and spend that much?  Not on your life Sam! No way!  I could buy at least 4 or 5 new dresses for that amount of money, and they are going to be one HELL of a lot more fun and flattering than this gizmo!

I suppose I could do a “Go Fund Me” page, so that people could contribute to me purchasing the Ta Ta, but I’m saving that route for something really big and important, like a face lift or tummy tuck sometime down the line.  You’ve got to plan these things out to get the most “bang for your buck” you know!

Ta Ta Towel s just not me!

I have to say, the Ta Ta Towel just doesn’t speak to me! Just give me a little “seasonal” robe! Cozy in the winter, cool in the summer! Is it too much work to try to look a bit reasonable, even at home?

Meanwhile, I’ll just use one of my cute little robes to hold the boulders while I’m getting ready for the day. And thank my lucky little stars that my boobs don’t sweat.  Life is good here at the Queen’s castle!

If you think that you just can’t live without a Ta Ta Towel, here is a bit more information on this nifty invention!

Tsk, Tsk, TSA!

My Humble Opinion, Royal Ramblings!, Serious Shit, Travel and Adventure, Uncategorized, You Can't Make This Shit Up!

If you’ve done much traveling over the past few years, I’m sure you have experienced opening your suitcase to find a white card, about 3 1/2″ x 8 1/2″  to inform you that TSA has done a “safety inspection” of your suitcase.  I have had it happen.  On more than one occasion. (The picture below shows the lovely little form they leave in your suitcase. If you’ve been so lucky to have your bag inspected you will recognize this.)

TSA Safety Inspection…….You may note that nowhere does this say that TSA has been given permission to go on a “search and destroy mission.” Only that they may inspect your items………https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening

I’m the first person to vote for taking necessary precautions to keep our country, airports and aircraft safe.  By all means. I’m sure there is not another American who would want to see a repeat of the awful events of 911.

But the people at TSA obviously have no regard for your items in your suitcase, or how they handle them.

Explain to me this—- does an inspection of your bag result  in your bag looking like it was ransacked by orangutans in the jungle searching for bananas?  Or perhaps an 8 year old frantically searching for his iPad so he can play his favorite video game?  Do you remember the old luggage commercial, where they had an ape throw the suitcase out of the airplane, then stomp on it a number of times to prove its durability?  Evidently, the same apes are still employed at the airport, only they now work for TSA.  Someone told them that the bananas are stored at the bottom of each suitcase, and if they look hard enough, they may find them!

That is the condition my bag has been left on in  more than one occasion.  We just flew up to San Jose, a short 1 hour flight.  My bag was just slightly larger than a carry on size, and I had all my makeup, lotions and potions in it, so of course I checked it.  (Anyone who has traveled with me knows the makeup bag is about 18 pounds alone.  So I’m a bit high maintenance, what can I say?)

When we arrived at our destination, I quickly needed to change for a meeting we were attending.  I opened my bag, to find everything in it jumbled about.  This particular bag is very deep on both sides of the zipper, so there is a zippered panel which separates both sides to keep everything neat. On the bottom side of the bag is an elastic thingy that clips to keep your hanging clothes in place.  The zipped separator was undone, as was the elastic thingy. (In case you are wondering, elastic thingy is the technical term for this apparatus. Just sayin’….)

Believe it or not, this had previously been a neatly packed suitcase. When I opened it, the strapping was undone, the zipper compartment on the other side was undone, and my clothes spilled EVERYwhere when I opened it up. SERIOUSLY TSA? Is this REALLY the way to do things?

I was a little shocked, because I knew this was not how I left things when I packed my bag just a few hours before.  Then it began to hit me………. I’ll bet TSA has had their grubby little hands in my suitcase……… SURE ENOUGH!  There was that telltale white notification.. “Notice of baggage inspection.” While telling that TSA is required by law to inspect all bags, and that some bags are opened and inspected, it’s the second paragraph which is interesting.  The notification states, as follows: During the inspection, your bag and its contents may have been searched for prohibited items.  At the completion of the inspection, the contents were returned to your bag.”

Seriously TSA?

Nowhere in that statement do I see it stating that the contents will be thrown into a giant mixer, tossed around for 15 minutes then thrown back into the bag by gorillas.

The strangest and most disturbing time TSA “hit” my suitcase was a few years ago, when I was……. uh….. single, and going to meet a male friend (OK, a “friend with benefits” if you must).  I opened my suitcase to find it totally in disarray, as described above……. with one exception.  Evidently, Mr. TSA wanted to give his vote on his favorite garments in the suitcase.  In so doing, although he had destroyed the folding and organization of everything in the suitcase, he had layed out, EVER SO CAREFULLY, my red bustier, matching panties, garter,stockings and matching shoes!  COME ON YOU FUCKING PERV!  Really?  You have to riffle through and destroy all of my clothes in the name of “national security” and can’t take a moment to check the suitcase’s contents carefully— YET you have time to lay my lingerie out in a nice little “Flat Stanley” type of ensemble on top of everything, right along with the  card?  Seems to be going a bit far, don’t you think?

It doesn’t end there though. He had even gone so far as to go into my cosmetics bag and get out the lube and condoms. SERIOUSLY?????? They were also laid out with the outfit.

Nice touch TSA!

Nice touch TSA! Not only did he lay out his favorite outfit, but he went so far as to go into my cosmetic bag and take OUT the KY and put it with the outfit! I think he had a hard time deciding between the gold shoes and the red shoes with this outfit, so he gave me the option of deciding!

I even took the time to snap a picture of it, and send it off to TSA.  Never did get a response.  They probably have the photo of my red lingerie ensemble up in the men’s john there, with TSA agents wacking off to it daily!

My advice to you is to be careful what you pack. You just may provide the fodder for some TSA perv to get his jollys at work that day!

PS…….. Don is convinced that my publishing this article will result in me no longer getting the “TSA Pass” when I travel.  I somehow get it every time I go through the airport.  I don’t think enough people really read my shit that TSA is going to put me on the “most wanted” list at the airport.

 

 

“Having our Say”… Don’t Miss It!

My Humble Opinion, Plays, Productions & Concerts, Raves & Rotten Reviews, Uncategorized

The play has been extended by a week! You can see here how authentic the 2 performers look as the Delany Sisters, in Having Our Say, The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years! Don’t miss it! Get there by June 18th!

“Having Our Say, The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years”

I had the pleasure of seeing “Having Our Say, The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years”, at the New Village Arts Theatre in Carlsbad just a few days ago.  It is toward the end of the run, but you still have time to get there and see it. Luckily, they just extended the close by a week, and it is now playing through June 18th. I encourage you to RUN…don’t walk to get yourself to this inspiring production.  You will be happy that you did!

You may remember when the Delany Sisters’ book came out a number a years ago.  Their book came out in 1993,(although, if you had asked me, I would have guessed it being published about 5 years ago.  THAT is how out of touch I am with the passage of time!) It told about their life as daughters of a former slave, and the changes they had seen throughout their 100 years.  When the book came out it was on the best seller’s list for over 100 weeks, and was quite a sensation. It’s no wonder that it was, if the play is any indication of what made the book so interesting and well received. That book has had over 93 editions of it published, since it first came out.

New Village Arts Theater

If you have not had the pleasure of attending a performance at this charming, small, local theater, this is your opportunity.  The venue is small enough (under 250 seats) that there literally is not a bad seat in the house.  With only 6 rows, and as wide as the stage, you feel a part of each production there.

For “The Delany Sisters'” the set is perfect and well thought out.  You feel as though you have entered Sadie and Bessie’s home, and are sitting down “for a visit.”  Every detail of the set is done to perfection, right down to the floor, which appears to be hardwood, but on closer inspection looks like it was handpainted, line by line, right down to the knots in the wood, by a talented set artist.

The whole play is done in the same set, by only 2 actresses, Silvia M’Lafi Thompson, playing “Bessie” Delany, and Milena (Sellers) Phillips, playing “Sadie” Delany.  Although they have donned gray wigs, and clothing appropriate for ladies of a VERY mature age, they didn’t go with lines and makeup to pull off the part.  Instead, the two use the skill of moving their bodies, and facial expressions in a way that portrays the 2 older ladies, and they do it to perfection!

Listening to a conversation between 2 people on stage for over 2 hours could be monotonus and might be likely to put you to sleep, but not when the discussion is a lesson steeped in our country’s history, and executed by such skilled performers. There is just enough humor and spicy conversation added in to keep you alert and waiting for the next story to develop.

Both sisters definitely have different personalities, which are obvious from the start.  As Bessie, herself puts it so aptly, “Sadie is sugar and I’m the spice.”

In one of the scenes, the two women are carrying on their discussion while preparing their deceased father’s favorite meal, in honor of his birthday. They are cooking up macaroni and cheese and ambrosia, all of which looked so delicious we had to go out after the play and grab a bite to eat! The set kitchen reminded me ever so much of my own grandmother’s kitchen that I had a pang, remembering wistfully the times back in Illinois when, as a child, I would watch her cook, as she told me stories about her own life.

Program front, from the play

The front of the program from Having Our Say, The Delany Sisters First 100 Years. Lucky for YOU, the run has been extended!

Reliving History, Spicy Stories and All!

One of the more interesting – and spicy stories, was that their grandmother and grandfather were never able to marry, due to the fact that their grandmother was 1/4 black, and their grandfather was white.  Because of her having a bit of black blood, they were unable to marry, so their grandfather built a home right next to his, with a path they could go back and forth on to be together.  The church wanted to kick their grandmother out, but the pastor stuck up for her saying that in her heart they were a committed couple, it was only the law that prohibited them from marriage.

Jim Crow laws, prejudice, strength, humor and courage are all portrayed in this story of two women, both over 100 years old, who had lived together their whole lives.  When discussing the fact that neither had ever married,  they chuckle that this is possibly the reason for their longevity! They stated that they never married, so they never had husbands to worry them to death!

After seeing this intriguing play, I am inspired to get the book and read each and every detail of the stories shared.  I’m sure there is a depth to the history and stories  which is skimmed over in the play.

Again, I encourage you to Run… don’t Walk, and get yourself to this provocative production, while there is still time.  While you are there, you may want to purchase season tickets, because I have found  the quality of plays at this theater are always top notch.  You will want to come back, and soon!

Ticket info

New Village Arts is located at 2787 State Street, Carlsbad CA 92008

Please Flush The Toilet!

Comedy, Mimsy Whimsy, My Humble Opinion, Pet Peeves, Royal Ramblings!, Serious Shit, You Can't Make This Shit Up!

Excuse me, can you please just flush the damned toilet?

Pet Peeves

Pet Peeves, we all have them.  Sometimes, they are legit.  Sometimes, you are just plain fucking crazy.  MY pet peeves are all reasonable.  Anyone and everyone would agree with them, I’m certain.

Park on Freemont

I love the  humor on the sign in the ladies room at this restaurant (Park on Fremont in Las Vegas)!  So many signs in restrooms are ridiculous and boring…and say the same ol’ shit you’ve read 100 times!  If we don’t know by now we need to wash our hands, I think it’s just plain too damned late!

The one that is my #1 Pet Peeve-leaving the toilet, toilet seat or toilet stall a mess.  Listen bitches, when you walk out of a public restroom, before you leave the stall, look back, and make sure that anything you left in or ON  the toilet is gone once you flush.  It SEEMS like such an easy thing to me.  I do it, and never once have I been worn out from the effort. I actually don’t even remember a time I had to take a nap immediately after due to the stress of such tough work. I make sure the toilet paper has flushed, the pee-pee and pooh-pooh have flushed, ass gaskets have gone down the toilet, and no drips are on the seat.  It’s a pretty simple task, in my estimation……

Bathroom Sign

Seriously, should we have to have a sign to tell people this shit? It seems simple enough to figure out, doesn’t it?

Why, oh why, oh why then is it that about 3 times out of 4, I walk into a stall to find one or more of the above mentioned gross situations,  in or on a toilet???? COME ON LADIES!  I’m willing to bet that at home, these same women don’t have huge wads of toilet paper building up in their toilets!  They’d have a fit if their husband left a single drip of urine on the toilet seat. And yet, it’s OK for me to walk in the stall they just walked out of and deal with their filth!

 

The one that REALLY frost my ass is the person who uses an ass gasket (the little paper thing that is supposed to keep you from getting some sort of life-threatening disease) and leaves it on the toilet when they walk out. The tissue thin paper has now soaked up the water/urine/whatever from the toilet being flushed, so that while THEY have chosen not to touch a dry toilet seat previously, they have left a sopping tissue and urine soaked toilet seat for the next victim using the same stall.………

I wish this was a rare occurance, but unfortunately, it just isn’t! Come on- why do I now have to handle YOUR ass gasket?

What About the Golden Rule?

Who the hell thinks this shit is A-OK?  What about the golden rule?  I really don’t understand the thought process of these women, but there evidently are  a huge shit-load of you out there!  I’ve been known on occasion to call someone out when they have just evacuated and left this sort of mess.  “Excuse me, would you like to finish the flushing and wiping process from the toilet you just walked out of?”  Typically, all I have gotten in response is a rude look, as I decide to use another stall.

And, while we are on this shitty topic- how many people REALLY need a reminder, every damned time we are in a toilet, that all that is supposed to go into the toilet is toilet paper?  I honestly think I’ve seen the request made any number of different ways: cute, pleading, bitchy, formally, silly.  All, however said, basically say the same thing- Don’t put anything that didn’t come out of your body naturally, or was used to wipe the same part down the toilet.  Simple.  Seems simple.  Seems uber simple. Can’t we just be told this once in life, and have the information stick?  Evidently there are a lot of people out there breaking this common sense rule too, or they wouldn’t be reminding us of it every time we shut the stall door.  SERIOUSLY?  Come on people, this isn’t fucking rocket science!

Bathroom signs

Again, this isn’t rocket science. Is there any female who hasn’t figured this one out by the time they are 12 years old- and may really need to USE feminine products?

Singapore Does Things Right!  Big Brother, And Sister, Are Watching!

I don’t know if you are privy to this, but in Singapore, you can place someone under citizens arrest if they don’t flush the toilet and leave the stall properly clean and tidy.  I’d add one more layer to that rule, and make them clean the whole damn bathroom.  With their tongues.  I realize, I’m a tough task-master, but anyone who knows me, knows that I just don’t abide rudeness well.  They would remember if they did THAT shit, I’m sure.

This is the type of Bathroom PSA I appreciate. Ones that remind me what to flush and not flush seem redundant…..Club Fox has it right!

Toilets would be flushed.  Ass gaskets would be flushed down the toilet completely and neatly.  Urine drips and God forbid, blood drops would be wiped up, and the wiping tissue placed neatly where it belonged.

A word of advice, should our bathroom useage cross paths….beware, if I’m in the bathroom, and you leave it gross, and I happen to be the one walking in as you walk out….I’m calling you out in front of everyone, so be ready!

Bathroom performance sign

This is painted on the wall of Peggy Sue’s Diner in Yermo- on the way to Las Vegas. Kind of cute. I love it when bathrooms have clever signs in their bathrooms or on the door to tell whether it is a men’s room or women’s room!

If I had a Hammer…..

Giving Back, My Humble Opinion, Royal Ramblings!, Serious Shit, Uncategorized

The famous “pink safety hat” that Habitat gives out to the women who raise over $500.00 for the Women’s Build Day.  SD Habitat for Humanity

Many of you remember the old song, “If I Had a Hammer.”  After working with Habitat for Humanity Women’s Build for a day, helping to build a home for a local San Diego family, I’d definitely finish the line by saying, “I’d replace it with a nail gun or a power drill!”  Hitting nails in the old fashioned way is just not all that easy, nor all that fun!  There is a VERY good reason why, when you walk past a construction site you hear the clacking of nail guns and the whir of power drills. They are one HUGE leap up in productivity from the old fashioned pounding in of the 8 penny or the 16 penny!

Of course, there is plenty-good reason why they don’t give us once-in-a-lifetime types of volunteers nail guns.  Because society would be full of one eyed previous volunteer type people wandering around!  As it was, it was damned good we were all wearing hard hats at this event!  More than one of us was hit in the head by dropped hammers, pieces of wood and other debris!

I have wanted to help with a Habitat for Humanity build for years.   I never really knew how to go about it, until the opportunity presented itself a few weeks back.  A friend of mine from a networking group I belong to put out the word that she was trying to put together a team of women for a local build day.  I immediately jumped at the chance, even though I was already committed to another volunteer opportunity that evening.  I knew I might be bone tired for my volunteer ushering with some friends, but I wasn’t going to miss this chance.

Part 1 of volunteering for the build is you need to raise a minimum of $300.00. Raising money for these types of volunteer events used to be pretty easy.  Now that there is some sort of MS walk, Breastcancer walk, Brain Cancer walk, Alzheimers event or other needy-cause event nearly every weekend, I find it’s much harder to raise funds.  I volunteer for these events 5-10 times a year, and you can only put your hand out so many times before people just don’t even notice any more.  Therefore, raising the $300.00 in about 5 weeks wasn’t as easy as I had hoped! I knew that if needed I could donate whatever hadn’t been raised.  And my man also offered to put up anything needed, so it wasn’t going to be a deal breaker on participating in the event. The biggest chunk of donations came in over the last couple of days. We only had to kick in about $100.00 total.

Our team at 7 AM, meeting at a Starbucks to caravan down to our build site, in the Logan Heights area of San Diego. Left to Right: Darcy Wolfe, Tonya Dubrish, Lisa O’Hearn, Kim Lombardi,  Patti Phillips, Hadley Wood

The morning of the build, Saturday, May 20 was bright and sunny. Our team met up at a Starbuck’s coffee, located near where most of us lived, so that we could caravan down to Logan Heights, where the build was to take place.  We had 2 cars, because I needed to find a YMCA to shower and change at immediately after our build, to go on to event #2!  All 5 of us grabbed a coffee and piled into 2 cars to get to the build site before 8:30 AM.

The minute we arrived, we were given our tee shirts and those who had raised over $500.00 were given pink hard hats or a pink tool belt- their choice.  I was feeling a little jealous that I had neighter, but, what’s a girl to do?

There were coffee, drinks, croissants and bagels to help ourselves to, until the kickoff announcements took place.  We were all chomping at the bit to get the building started.

The site we worked on will eventually be 11 homes for low income families.  They are attached- 4 or so to a building, and our assigned unit was Unit #1, a handicapped friendly unit. (Not sure how that’s going to work, as all of the bedrooms are upstairs, but this is not my monkey, and not my circus.)

We all grabbed hammers, tool belts, safety glasses and hardhats and were assigned our 2 male “supers” for the day.  And away we went……   One of the first things I noticed was that hammering a nail is just wasn’t as freaking easy as I had thought it would be.  Then I was told, we didn’t have big enough hammers, go outside and find some bigger hammers.  Unfortunately, no one had mentioned that the buckets held 2 sizes of hammers when we chose our tools, and the big ones seemed to be gone.  I was sent to ask Dale, one of the long timers who works on all the local Habitat builds, where to get a larger hammer.  After investigating, Dale let me know that none of the large hammers were still available, and after promising I could be trusted with his own personal, FAVORITE hammer, he entrusted me with it.

Patti & Dale- Habitat for Humanity Build

Here I am with Dale at the Habitat for Humanity Build. He let me use his “big tool” that day, and let me tell you- size DOES matter! Don’t let them kid you!

Let me tell you something.  Size does matter!  Hitting in a nail with Dale’s big tool was 100% easier than it was with the previous hammer.  But now I had to shlep 2 hammers, because I had a pinky swear with Dale that I would not use his hammer to pull out any bent nails.  A girl has to live up to her word, so one hammer to put the nails in, one to take them out.  (Yes, sometimes the nails just seem to have a mind of their own, and decide to give this wet-noodle performance.  they have to go.)

And not to brag, but this lefty found out that she’s ambidexerous when it comes to wielding a hammer!  Yep, I can use the left, the right, or when needed BOTH hands to get the job done.  My abilities just never cease to amaze me!

I got to use a power saw to cut a few of the beams, and we quickly came to realize how damned heavy a 24 foot beam is!  Holy Shit, lift a few of those puppies in place and you know you’ve lifted something.

My first try with a power saw. And dammit, I want one of my very own now!

Our team of women was great. There wasn’t one whinner or wimp amongst them! Everyone worked the whole day, the only complaint was that we wanted a shorter lunch hour, and wished we could have worked a bit longer!  Team “Carlsbad Cares” rocked it, I must say!

Patti & Kim at lunch. We took a bit of razzing from our team, because neither one of us had removed our safety helmets or safety goggles while we were eating! Hey- we are professionals here, people!

It got hotter than hell out there by afternoon, I must say!  I have a newfound appreciation and respect for construction workers now, no way around it!  Geez, when you are up on scaffolding and you are so hot you think for a minute you might faint, it’s not fun!

H4h nails

I took a bit of razing about the fact that my nails matched the hard hats, and tool belts exactly. Only trouble was- I didn’t earn the pretty things! I need to raise more funds next year! The Queen needs to be decked out!

The most surprising part of the day was when we found out that this job site will take Habitat about 2 years to complete!  I had no idea that the jobs take that long. There is a good chance that we might be back here working on the same project for next year’s build! I am going to find out how I can do another day on this building.  I would love to see it when it is closer to being completed, and perhaps do some of the finish work or painting!

On site, along with breakfast and lunch, there are volunteers who give each volunteer a 10 minute chair massage.  Believe me, those were much appreciated by all! I didn’t realize that I had a few sore arm muscles from hammering, until she started to work them out of me!

At each build day there is a playhouse which is constructed and given out to different community places.  The wood is pre-cut, so it is basically assembled and painted.  This is the one that one of the teams put together. It turned out really cute!

The playhouse which was created by one of the teams on our build day. Just darling! It will go to a local playground, school or boys and girls club.

I was UBER impressed, when at the morning kick off they announced the person and team who had raised the most money for the event.  A darling, trim blonde, Kay Grimes had raised over $7200.00 and her team, “The Riveters raised over $17,000 between them.

 

Kay Grimes

Kay Grimes was the top individual fundraiser for our build day! I have to say, I was REALLY jealous of the pink tool box she got as an award! I think that looked like it was “made for a queen”— don’t you?

I was curious as to how this team got together, and how they raised such a phenomenal amount.  Kay shared with me that their team leader, Kelly Mercado, put together a group of friends who all work in the building industry.  Kay said that raising the amount she did had actually been easy.  Here is a quote from her email to me about her fundraising.  “There’s no great secret to my fundraising, actually.  My job puts me in a position the people (1) open my emails, (2) read them, and (3) want to make me happy.  That’s it in a nutshell, so I don’t have any amazing tips, other than always being very appreciative of those who support me.”

The Rivetors Team

The Rivetors! Top fundraising team! Here they are, enjoying a beer at the end of the build day! You go girls! (You’ve gotta love the girl who has tennies matching the t-shirts!

It’s great that Kay and her team both had the support they did. I’m sure a big part of the support was because of relationships Kay and her friends have cultivated in their communities. It is good to hear that our local building industry is so supportive of the Habitat endeavors.  I know that most of the supplies were donated to this site, quite a lot of them by Home Depot and Lowes.  I am looking forward to seeing Kay, The Rivetors and all of the other friends I made this year, again at next year’s event.  I know that I will be there!

So, my friends, please consider donating to the cause next year when I put out the plea for donations for this event.  It’s certainly a worthwhile event.  Not a hand out to a family, but a hand up.  The families that are able to purchase the homes give 250 hours each to the building of a Habitat home. They have some skin in the game, and they are able to achieve the great American Dream- home ownership!

The Stuff America Is Made Of!

My Humble Opinion, Raves & Rotten Reviews, Royal Ramblings!, Travel and Adventure, Uncategorized, You Can't Make This Shit Up!

Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner

Peggy Sue Sign

You have probably seen it many times if you have driven to Vegas! It is a classic out in the middle of no where! It truly is “The Stuff America is Made Of!”

If you’ve driven to Las Vegas from San Diego, you’ve seen this little gem.  I’ve driven past it untold dozens of times, but never stopped in.  In the middle of absolutely NO WHERE, Yermo to be precise, is Peggy Sue’s Diner.  The stuff America is made of.  Or WAS made of at one time.

“Happy Days” Revisited

Peggy Sue, Betty Boop

When you walk through the door, this is what greets you. Well only the Betty Boop part of this picture. Usually I am not actually there to greet people!

When you step through the door it’s like stepping back in history.  Its “Happy Days” revisited.   Back to a day when America was wholesome, when families were intact. A time when mom’s job was to stay at home and take care of the kids, and no one had to worry if some psycho was going to go into their child’s classroom and open fire.  That innocent time in America is where you are transported the moment you step through the door of Peggy Sue’s diner.  50’s music is playing.  The walls are lined, top to bottom with memorabilia from days gone by, old concert and movie posters and photos of every  movie star you can imagine, some from years ago, some more recent.  You could literally spend hours looking at this bit history from the 50’s and 60’s in our great country.

As you enter, you are greeted with a life sized statue of Betty Boop.  When you step into the original part of the restaurant, the diner portion, you’ll see a waitress wearing a turquoise and pink uniform, reminiscent of the old diner waitresses, right down to the bobby socks.  She’ll tell you, in a friendly voice to “follow the yellow brick road” and seat yourself wherever you’d like.  Sure enough, as you look down you’ll see a path of yellow linoleum running right through the middle of the floor.

Bursting With Pies, Fries and Other Treats!

Peggy Sue Pie case

There are two pie cases filled with fresh baked pies. The servers are always running top speed to take care of the customers!

As you pass through the diner portion there are two cases filled with freshly baked pies.  I remember those same style of pie cases from my local childhood restaurants in the Midwest.

Is it hokey?  Sure it is.  But somehow, you can’t help but feel happy.  Once you sit down, you will also find a menu resplendent with food from days gone by.  Burgers, fries  and shakes, of course.  Also, from “back in the day”- Meatloaf, Liver and Onions (bacon and extra $1.29), and chicken fried steak.  On the pink menu (what other color could it POSSIBLY be?) is the story of how Peggy Sue’s came to be.

Elvis, Shelley and Patti

We HAD to pose in front of Elvis! The trip wouldn’t be complete without Elvis! After all, doesn’t Elvis simblify “The Stuff America is Made Of?”

Service With a Smile!

Our waitress, Shelley (sorry you PC people, but back in the day, that’s what they were called, and in Peggy Sue’s you ARE back in the day) looked like she could have been on board at Peggy Sue’s for the past 30 or 40 years, but as it turned out, she is actually pretty new to the place, under two years.  She took care of us the way you’d expect.  Efficiently, friendly and with time for a kind word and conversation, not to mention, she took time for a picture with Elvis and me!

Peggy Sue's bathroom

This is in Peggy Sue’s ladies room! It gave me a bit of a start when I first walked in!

As soon as we were seated, I had to take a trip into the ladies room and met with a brief shock!  I rushed through the door, and did a quick doubletake!  There was a gentleman, standing at a urinal doing his business!  I quickly realized that it was simply a mannequin in front of a painted urinal! Peggy Sue had pulled a fast one on me, and it gave me a chuckle.  Once again, corny, but good ol’ fashioned fun.  Painted next to the sinks was a sign that requested you “remain seated throughout the performance.” Another corny, but wholesome joke.

Our food came, and it proved to be far more than we needed.  Don started out with a chocolate shake,  then moved on to a burger and fries. I ordered something that I seldom see on a menu any more, but do love- Liver and Onions.  Again, something that takes me back to days gone by!  I enjoyed it thoroughly!

You Can Shop Til You Drop!

Peggy Sues Memorabilia Store

Collections of all sorts are found here- Wizard of Oz, Betty Boop, Marily Monroe, Coca-Cola, Elvis……. You name it, you can find it!

Not to be missed is their gift shop, another trip down memory lane.  Coca-cola memorabilia, every  of bottled soda you can imagine, Wizard of Oz collections, tin lunchboxes, Marilyn Monroe knick-knacks, 8×10 photos of old time stars, you name it!  Fun to peruse.  My treasure for the day?  Don got me a wineglass that says “Queen Bee” on it!

Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew!

Diner-Sour Park

Diner-Sour Park was an experience! Kids would love it! There was a pond with dozens of turtles in addition to the dinasour sculptures.

Exit the back door of the gift shop and you move on to another chapter in the kitschy “American Tourist” scene known as Peggy Sue’s.  They have their own “Diner-saur Park.”  An area with metal dinosaur and King Kong sculptures, a water fall and a pond with seemingly hundreds of turtles swimming around (two in the process of mating while we were taking our little tour,  I might add!) Hokey, Smarmy……. The stuff that kids never forget when you are on vacation and let them take a few minutes to enjoy.

Dino- Sour Park @ Peggy Sue's

This tall sculpture is part of the park behind Peggy-Sue’s.

Will I stop at Peggy Sue’s again?  You bet your sweet ass I will.  It will probably become a part of my “Vegas drive ritual!”  I’m just sorry that I never discovered it when we took my kids to Vegas the many times we made the drive.  Their dad’s family ran diners, and this would have been a bit of history they would have loved.

Check it out the next time you drive to Vegas.  You’ll be glad you took the time.

 

You Did the Best You Knew How!

Mothering 101, My Humble Opinion, Royal Ramblings!, Serious Shit, Uncategorized
Kids & Patti 1991

My kids and me, 1991 Gotta love my clothing and hair selection!  Every Day is Mother’s Day!

Mom, You Aren’t Perfect

It’s the eve of Mother’s Day.  A holiday that touches every one of us in some way, no matter our religion, our age or our status.  If we aren’t a mother ourselves, every one of us had a mother.  Our mother may or may not be alive. Some mothers did a better job of it than others. We may have a close relationship with our mother, or we may not have a relationship at all with them, but when Mother’s Day rolls around, we are all aware of it, no matter what the situation is.

A few days ago, I saw a facebook post about Mother’s Day which struck me, as it spoke to my “mother’s heart”, and I decided to share it. I have been amazed at how many of my friends shared it, and how many of THEIR friends have continued to share it.  I was also stunned at how many people took the time to comment on the post, and actually thank me for posting.  One “friend of a friend” actually posted that he was amazed at how many people cut and pasted this sentiment, and asked if our society can’t think for themselves, and come up with their own unique sentiments, posts and feelings.  Her response to him was that sometimes, someone else can articulate better than we can, and that this piece speaks our feelings as a mother rather profoundly.

The Best Gift

I’ll share the original post, before I go on with my own thought on Motherhood and Mother’s Day:

“Every year my children ask me the same question. After thinking about it, I decided I’d give them my real answer:

What do I want for Mother’s Day? I want you. I want you to keep coming around, I want you to ask me questions, ask my advice, tell me your problems, ask for my opinion, ask for my help. I want you to come over and rant about your problems, rant about life, whatever. Tell me about your job and your worries.

I want you to continue sharing your life with me. Come over and laugh with me, or laugh at me, I don’t care. Hearing you laugh is music to me.

I spent the better part of my life raising you the best way I knew how. Now, give me time to sit back and admire my work.

Raid my refrigerator, help yourself, I really don’t mind. In fact, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I want you to spend your money making a better life for yourself, I have the things I need. I want to see you happy and healthy. When you ask me what I want for Mother’s Day, I say “nothing” because you’ve already been giving me my gift all year. I want you.
If you feel the same way, feel free to copy and paste… I did!  ❤️❤️”

If you are a mom, I’m sure you can fully understand the sentiment that was in this post.  We don’t want “things” from our kids. We want THEM, their time, their presence, their love.

Jane Clark, Patti Phillips mom.

My mom, Jane Clark. What a great woman! Gone far too young.  She left us when I was only 22 years old.

A few years ago, when my firstborn was small, I met a woman in a Mommy and Me group who had a beautiful necklace.  On a simple disc was inscribed, “Always remember, you did the best you knew how at the time.”  When I asked her about it, she told me that when her first daughter was born, her mother presented the necklace to her at the hospital.

“This is the best parenting advice I can give you,” her mother said.  “It’s inevitable that throughout your parenting years you’ll look back and wonder if you did the right thing, if you should have done things differently.  This is what you need to always remember.  Don’t be too tough on yourself.  You did the best you knew how at the time.”

I’ve never forgotten that necklace. Never forgotten that sage piece of advice her mother gave her.  By the time I had my son, my firstborn, my mother had been gone  over 6 years.  She wasn’t around to give me her advice, so I adopted that wise woman’s advice to her daughter as my own belief.

50['s party 1994

My son and me at Our 50’s Party 1994.  One of my favorite things other than motherhood, is dressing in costume!

What mom did it perfectly?  Who hasn’t thought of things they could have done better, done differently or not done at all?  They say that with age comes wisdom, and when we look back, we sometimes shake our heads in wonder that we all made it quite as far as we did in life, without the whole damn thing unraveling and coming to a stop.

50's paty

Alyse & me at our 50’s party 1994.  I had fun making our skirts for this party!

But for the most part, unless we are some sort of abusive, drug addicted, psychopathic nut-case, we probably did a pretty darned good job of it. There is not doubt in my mind, we did the best we knew how at the time.

The thing we don’t have control of, so often, is our children. Years ago, I would speak to groups of young moms, and my advice to them was to not take too much credit for how their children turn out, whether they turn out stellar pillars of society, or at the bottom of the societal heap.  Unfortunately, this is the truth in the matter.  I’m sure that if you dissected any number of families, whether you looked at the immediate family of a Nobel Peace Prize winner, a president, a top athlete…….or you looked at the family of Jack the Ripper, a mass murderer or Hitler…….. if any of those people had siblings, some of them turned out average, some of them turned out well, and one sibling was outstanding and became famous.  Whether that “achievement” they were known for is for the good or the bad, those parents raised their children all with the same basic set of rules, the same parenting skills and the same environment.  Therefore, we can’t take too much credit- good or bad, for how they turned out.

I have two of my own “natural” children, and have raised many stepchildren throughout my lifetime (and some of that is another story for another day……).  The relationships I have with my daughter and my son are two very different ones.  I’m not nearly as close to my son as I’d like to be.  Why?  I wish I could say. My daughter and I are very close.  Is it that they were raised differently?  No.  Would I like it to be different?  Yes.  Just as the facebook post says, I’d love to have my kids in my life on a daily basis.

The Choice Becomes Your Children’s

The discussion my man and I repeat over and over about our relationships with our grown children is that we have to do the best we can.  We reach out.  We extend the invitation to join us in our lives, at events, in our home. We extend those invitations with love, sincerity and a desire to spend time with the people we helped create. What those adult children choose to do from THEIR end is their choice.

What I DO know, is that, as the sage piece of advice stated, I did the best I knew how at the time.  My best may have not been the best ever done in the world.  But, it also is far from the worst.  I happen to think I did a pretty damn good job of it a good amount of the time.  That’s all we’ve got to give. Our best.

Meanwhile, I get to spend Mother’s Day with my family this year.  The plan is for all of my “ducklings” to be together for the day, my own two, and my step-daughter who I had the privilege of raising for many of her years.  And that, for me, is the best Mother’s Day present a mom could ask for.

And by the way, if you want to share the Facebook post that inspired this on your page, feel free.  If you want to share this whole darned article on your FB page, I’d be honored.

If you are a mom, Happy Mother’s Day to you.  Thanks for doing the best you knew how.