Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real: Almost Summer Edition

I've decided to do this week's installment in chronological order, rather than in standard PHFR format. Today's weather is too gorgeously perfect for me to waste time thinking about how to arrange my photos

*And speaking of weather: I think it would interest Auntie Leila and her minions to know that I have the AC off, the windows open and fans in windows on the eastern side of the house. It works on days like today when it's dry and not like the inside of someone's mouth. It's glorious, in fact. But the minute the humidity rises, we're sealing the house up again and cranking the central air down to 68 degrees!


A package in the mail!  Two of them!  For ME!  I love getting mail, especially things that have to be opened with sharp kitchen knives!

I ordered a copy of my favorite poem book.  My mom has this book.  It was a gift from my aunt in the late '70s and Mom used to read to us from it every night before bed.  Her copy is now falling apart and held together by rubber bands.

Last winter I found it on Amazon and gave a copy to each of my sisters for Christmas but forgot to get one for myself.  And a few weeks ago I was shopping on Amazon again and suddenly remembered it so I ordered one.  I was lucky enough to find a vintage copy in brand new condition.  I love old books; they smell and feel so different from new ones.


This is what I was shopping for when I remembered the book of poems: a new duvet cover for spring and summer.  I have a lovely flannel duvet cover that Mom made for me out of flat sheets but I only use it during the colder six months of the year.  In April I pack it away and bring out the thin cotton cover.  Only last year, we finally busted a hole in the one we've had for years (it wasn't really "we", it was "him" who did the busting).  And I went shopping all over for a new one and had to settle on one I hate because it was serviceable and inexpensive.

Real--Real Ugly and Stupid

It may not seem all that bad (despite the poorly made bed in the above shot), but trust me.  It's got an ugly grid pattern on it, it's the wrong color blue, being more of a toothpaste kind of color than the pale blue I was hoping for, and it is somehow seriously misshaped, bunching on the bottom and never laying right!  I hate it and my hatred for it has continued to grow since I bought it and when I saw the new cover for only $20 I snapped it up!  It's very thin which is kind of nice because it's for warmer weather.  It may not last more than two years, but for $20 I won't cry very much when The Viking kicks a hole in this one, too.

See?  Pretty!

I'm not usually into stripes this bold (and, keep in mind, this was another quick bed-making morning) but, this time, I rather like it.  And, no, my patterns don't all match exactly, but I like it that way.  And now I don't hate the way my bed looks!  All for $20!  Yay!

A Series of Happy and Funny

Pool's open!  Today was one of those days I wish we had a deck around it so I could sit out there with them and dip my toes in and read magazines.

She floated around like Cleopatra on her barge with her book and Popsicle.  And, no, the book didn't fall in!

Calvin popped up and scared me while I was trying to get another shot...

He's not trying to punch her; he's Mr. Universe!

"Entering the pool now, competing for the United States in the Men's Water Dancing event..."

Me and Calvin, playing Sea World...(Also, look, Ma, no cavities!)

Good boy!

She finally abandoned the school book for texting, despite my warnings that if that phone fell into the pool, she wouldn't be getting another one and it would be life without a phone for her.

And now another dose of unpleasant reality (at least for me):

Real *sigh*

Senior portraits.  Already.  She hasn't even passed her Junior year yet.  This is all happening way too fast...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real: Late May Interlude Edition

round button chicken
Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~ Every Thursday at Like Mother Like Daughter
Yay! Prom is over! No more crazy running around, collapsing into bed, exhausted and sore, each night, cheating my family out of real meals--no, wait, that IS still happening!

I went from one crazily busy event directly into another. Memorial Day is Monday and my college roommate (and one of my dearest friends) and her five lovely daughters are coming for an overnight! And I suddenly understood what Auntie Leila meant long ago when she said that the need for deep cleaning will make itself known to you! At the time I thought, "Well, THAT'S not helpful," but now I get it!

Friends are coming to live with us for 24 hours! They're going to see into corners and under beds! It's time to Deep Clean!

And then, somehow, I thought it would be "fun" to invite a few more people over so my dearest friends can all meet each other. I do love "matchmaking" with my friends, colliding my different friend worlds. But I don't love trying to prepare my house for hosting 21 people. Yikes. And I am no hostess, bear that in mind.

Anyway, so things are nuts here. But you could eat off of the baseboards in the living room so that's something.

But, PROM! Redheaded Snippet looked like a dream, if I say so myself:


We were tearing around like headless chickens right up until the deadline (when we had to meet at the boyfriend's house) and didn't get very many close-up shots.  And half of the ones we got were fuzzy.  But we were on time and our girl looked sensational!

The school hosted what they call a Promenade which is, basically, where everyone going to the prom shows up at the school first, lines up, has their name announced and prances down a makeshift runway so everyone assembled can check out their duds and their date.  I would have totally skipped that if they did it in my day. But it's the thing to do now so off we went.


Redheaded Snippet caused a small stir, a la Cinderella, because it was her boyfriend's prom at his school and so no one knew who she was.  We actually heard a few people whispering, "Who is she?  Whose daughter is that?  She looks so beautiful!"

At the risk of saturating this post with prom pics, I added this one because it's my favorite.  She looks so grown up and poised.  And he looks like the cat that ate the canary.  He wore that look the entire time (well, except for the moment she walked through the door when he looked like his heart had dropped into his shoes).

Happy and Funny

I just had to include this one.  We were invited down to the shore the day after the prom by Snippet's boyfriend's family.  We spent a gorgeous day relaxing on the beach and capped it off by watching the sunset on the bay.  While there, the boyfriend found a dead horseshoe crab and presented it to Redheaded Snippet as a token of his affection because of how she's so pretty.  This shot was taken during his presentation speech.    He then proceeded to chase her all over the beach with it while she shrieked her head off.  I just had to include it because they both look so darn happy.


Calvin, bored and finding ways to amuse himself at Applebee's while Redheaded Snippet gives Gram a play-by-play of how AMAZING Prom was!  Maybe this is the kind of thing that is only funny to me, his mother.  Oh well, 'tis MY BLOG!

And now for a harsh dose of reality:

Brace yourselves:

Real (twenty years ago, that is...)

Yup, that's me in the dress at Homecoming with The Viking, twenty years ago!  You should have seen The Viking shudder when Redheaded Snippet first came down the stairs with that dress on!  In this photo I'm only four years older than she is right now and this was just a few months before we were engaged.  Poor man, poor, poor man...

Now, wait for's reality...

AAAAAAUUUUUUUGGGGGGHHHHH!  No, really, I kid.  The Viking and I are at that age where we keep reminding each other that we used to dream of growing old together and now we're living our dream.  And, especially in this day and age, eighteen years of marriage to the same man, the boy who rocked your world and became the love of your life, is something to be more than contented about!

Where have you found contentment (or more) this week?  Tell us all about it!  You'll be glad you did!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real: Mothers Edition

round button chicken
Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~ Every Thursday at Like Mother Like Daughter
This week's edition is brought to you by two moms, though one is just pretending:

First off, the music is gone!  Sheesh, it was really getting on MY nerves and I'm the one who selected it and put it there.  My apologies.

Second, because it needs to be mentioned as it's rattling around in my brain and won't stop until I do, the last of the purchases in preparation for the prom (say that three times fast):


Which to choose, which to choose?  We felt the one on the left (her right) was more suitable, but it's actually a necklace that will need to be converted.  The one(s) on the right (her left, just to be extra confusing) are a set of three that aren't quite as suitable but they're actually honest-to-goodness bracelets.  So we bought them both (all?) just so we have a back-up plan.  And I've kept the receipt, of course...


I pretty much despise Mothers' Day.  It's just a day with many painful memories and has become fraught with anxiety for me.  So it's a very low-key event at our house.  No gifts, no flowers, no hoopla.  But this year Redheaded Snippet did give me a gift: she played Mama and did my work for the day.  I was made to relax all day long, and was even unceremoniously shooed out of the kitchen at one point, while she did the cleaning and cooking I usually do.  She made the dinner as seen above.

Lasagne.  With meat.  From scratch.  Well, she didn't make the noodles, so perhaps it can't be considered strictly homemade, but she did everything else herself.  It was dang tasty, too!  She thought it was too savory, but everyone else thought it was wonderful!  And it was wonderful not having to cook or clean up!  I thoroughly enjoyed myself.


I think Calvin thoroughly enjoyed himself as well.  This is pretty much the face I get whenever I point a camera in his direction.

Pay no attention to the disembodied "practice" head in the background!

I would imagine this needs some explaining for it is truly weird.  Cooking and cleaning in my place wasn't the only Mama role-playing Redheaded Snippet did this week.  She has a project for her Psych class that requires her and a male partner to "become parents".  They had to "create" a baby, create a birth story and bring the baby and photo documentation of the "birth" to class.  So she and a friend teamed up and made "Molly" by using software that morphed images of their faces into that of a baby girl.  I'll explain the lightning bolt on the forehead in a moment but I bet you're probably way ahead of me there if you read the same books I do...

This is the story they decided on: Molly was left on their doorstep a la Harry Potter, hence the lightning bolt tattoo.  This is the "discovery" of their wee foundling (like a photographer would ever be on hand for such an event).

"Do you have something to tell me?"
"It's not MINE!"

This project is pretty involved.  They "bought" a house today and Redheaded Snippet actually spent 20 minutes telling me about its three bedrooms, basement, family room, deck and the amount of the mortgage.  It was a really weird conversation to have with one's sixteen-year-old daughter, actually.  Now they're "working on their budget" and next they're "buying" a car.  And they have to take the "baby" on outings and take photos.  Snippet's "Baby Daddy" (a term I don't think I will ever type out again--icky!) is even going to get his minister father to simulate a baptism for them so they can include those photos in their portfolio!  I think that's kind of hilarious.


And, finally, this is what it looks like when the reality of how exhausting it is to be Mama settles on a teen-aged girl.  I've never seen that look on her face at dinner before, but I recognized it immediately because it's usually on mine!  She was one tired but grateful young lady that night!  I got a big hug and a long thank you before she went to bed.  Sweet, sweet thing...she'll make a great mother someday when the time comes for the real thing!

Where have you found contentment this week?  It may take a little practice to recognize it, but I bet it's there!  Come join us!