Where Do the Years Go?

Twenty-nine years and about two hours ago, I gave birth to my oldest after nine hours of labor with absolutely no meds. I was 22 years old.  What did I know?

But this isn’t about me.

It’s about him.  Happy Birthday to You!

Although I emailed him first thing this morning hoping he’d see it, and tried the cell number I know no longer works, I still don’t have the sense that he knows I’m thinking of him and how very fast time gets away from us all. Yes, I just saw him last Sunday, and sure, he came over and put his arm over my shoulders when I stopped in Whole Foods where he works, but still.

When I was 29, he was already six and his brother not quite two years behind. I had big hair.

Not about me. Not about me. Not about me.

But it has to be about me to some extent, doesn’t it? I’m thinking about how things come to pass. How some decisions are made in life with purpose, and others like confetti has been tossed into the wind. Sometimes, I think life feels somewhat like a house with several rooms — each containing aspects of who we once were and how we lived our lives, kept separate from each of those that follow. When I walk past the photographs that line the wall of our staircase and see the differences in the faces within the frames, it seems those people — we — are not the same people. The events in our lives have changed us.

As I think of him today, I unlock each of those rooms and enter, letting the memories wash over me, smiling at many, regretting some, and feeling wistful at most. There is so little I don’t remember. I hang on to it all like it was a gift.

Craig & Me I could write forever about this man whom I swear wanted to live in the Fifties, and what has made him so unique, but I can’t. Not right now. Not today.

Twenty-nine things will give a glimmer of an idea instead…

You picked up a pencil to draw when you were two and never stopped.

You loved Lucy and watched every episode over and over until we thought we’d go nuts.

You love cats. Love. Them. Even though you can’t breathe around them.

You never, ever fought with your brother — well physically, anyway. You did call him some interesting things like “gristle, fat, and lard,” which we now laugh about, including him.

You loved music that we loved so saved us from having to listen to music we were ready to tolerate at best.

You’ve only really asked for one thing, ever. One.

I don’t think you wanted to poke out my eyeballs too badly when I encouraged you to go to the prom with that girl.

Twinkle Eyes Your eyes twinkle when you smile even though they’re so brown I can’t see your pupils.

You have a completely disgusting sense of humor.

You love all things retro and used to wish they were still that way.

You love Corvairs.

You were in that Corvair club with all those old farts, and didn’t you have to bring a casserole or something once? Bwhahahaha!

You tolerated the piano lessons until I stopped them, and then told me years later that you wish you’d stuck it out.

You wear clothes you find that belong to others and it doesn’t matter to you.

You tolerated a job that nearly sucked the life out of you, keeping you from doing what you really wanted to do. I think.

You went to the vet when it was time to let Holis go and helped bury him because I couldn’t.

You cut the molding for the stairs after the MoH and I couldn’t and it took you about three minutes.

You used to disappear for a couple of days and when you got back, tell us you felt like driving to Arizona.

You’re better than you used to be about visiting when you said you would instead of not showing up.

You have always been respectful of me. Well, except the time you didn’t show up for your birthday dinner after you asked me to make it.

You love your gramster.

You burn the candle at both ends and don’t know I know it. I know everything. Really.

You tolerate people and things you wish you didn’t have to — including me.

Great Brother…well, sort of… You’re still nice to your brother.

You’ve always been lovely to the RTR.

You’ve never liked math and ended up studying something that depends on it.  Funny how life works.

You told me long ago that someday you wanted to buy old houses, fix them, and then let people who couldn’t afford houses live in them. I think you were about 11 or 12. And no, I don’t know where you got that idea.

You survived how many schools that I subjected you to? Goodness. A kid shouldn’t be as resilient.

You’ve been friends to people who have taken advantage of you and then you pay for it. Literally. And you just deal with it.

Is that 29?  Did I count correctly?


Dude… This is your Birthday Song. It isn’t very long.

I love you and look forward to seeing you this weekend when I bake my very first gluten-free chocolate birthday cake.


Wordless Wednesday Contrasts

If you haven’t been reading my blog for any length of time, then you need to know that my idea of Wordless Wednesday is to write less than four or five pages in a single post and add photos. That would be today, even though the orange glow of the setting sun on the houses across the street reminds me that this is easily categorized as better late than never.


I have a foodie blog friend who lives in Ohio who often mentions their weather in less than loving terms. Suffice it to say that her description of mornings finding her car door frozen shut have been quite colorful and completely hilarious.

I have been hounding her for photographs of her home town all winter, and yesterday I received them. Oh. My. Goodness. I had a clue because my mom recently moved to upstate New York and has sent me a few, but she isn’t out in her car. No sirree.

So… I ran outside and took a few of my own photos to warm her up. I figured since most of you live in places much more…um…FRIGID than I do, I’d warm you up also.

It has been in the mid-seventies for two days now. Even I like it which is semi-miraculous considering the grumpster I am about Paradise and sunshine.

We slept with our windows open last night, and today?

Today I put on my shorts, went for a walk, and sat down by the beach waiting for the RTR to finish up with his math tutor (news at eleven…) and watched the surfers.

Totally excellent. Dude.

Jeez, Lis… Look what’s blooming in my garden…
I can’t believe you gotta deal with this… Even the damn palm tree next door that houses all the squawking crows was looking gorgeous…
It looks just like Christmas, Lis… Our street is pretty empty, too…
The trees are so perfect, Lis… But the sunset was completely amazing today…
Everything looks like a delicate work of art… Some would say this is spectacular, too…
Your “outside” looks a lot different than mine, Lis… Here’s my view at sunset tonight, February 27th…

Better than Bed: TED & Big Questions

Have you ever heard of TED? It’s a place I’d love to be a fly on the wall — especially this year considering they’ll be addressing “Big Questions.” But the $6,000 price tag is a bit steep.

If you’ve never taken a look at their talks, it’s worth it. There are some amazing topics addressed — that is if you consider avoiding aging amazing, or the idea that great cars are art.

And then there’s this guy — Jonathan Harris. His talk is fascinating. He explains how the software he’s designed essentially captures what we say each day in places like kellementology and attaches them to others who are saying similar things. Does Dubyah know he doesn’t have to spy on us now? It’s all there for the listening.

I know. You knew about this already. Fine. Indulge me.

But have you checked out Universe yourself?It’s amazing. Especially if you watch all of Jonathan Harris’ talk first…

And what else am I supposed to do on a night when the MoH is still at work?


That would be quite the concept, wouldn’t it?

Maybe TED will tackle that as one of the Big Questions.

Is Monday over yet?

I’m at a loss for words today. What that really means is I don’t feel like making the effort to write. Tired, I guess.

I spent the weekend — yes, the entire weekend — engaged in my once monthly baking challenge completely flummoxed. I know. Savor the moment. Wallow in it. Mark it on your calendar, for gawdsakes, and then get over it.

Usually, after I’ve completed each challenge, I hurry to look at the photos, and then get busy on my write-up. Bear in mind this is usually at the last possible minute considering we all agree to post our results on the same day. The last possible minute for me is about midnight when I’ve just finished loading the photos and then can begin searching for others’ results.

Sounds exciting, huh?

Continue reading “Is Monday over yet?”

Friday, Rain in Paradise, and Awards…What could be more perfect?

I’m sitting here just like I so often used to each day, wondering where I should begin. No, not with my writing. That’s rarely an issue because I can just sit down and write most anything I feel like writing. Whether anyone wants to read it is a completely different issue, isn’t it? Sometimes, it’s more of a battle with respect to what tone I want to indulge in, or how many distractions there are on my screen that also vie for my attention. I look at the clock in the upper right corner of my toolbar and am always alarmed at where the time has gone.

Some of my diversions are quite relevant, as they relate to current events that occupy my mind like the debate between Hillary and Obama last night (and I’ll bet you just can’t wait for me to spew about the whole health care issue, right?) Or the outcome of the first round of eliminations on American Noodle (and wasn’t that cut throat the way the first kid went out?). But many of the distractions that delay my writing when I actually get to wallow in Bloggsville now, are anything but. They’re more like pleasant detours involving the people I’ve met along the way for nearly a year now that I’ve been writing at kellementology and in the land of foodies. Very pleasant detours, diversions, and distractions, all.

I’ve been trying to get organized, finding that I don’t use my blogroll in either of my blogs. I know. You’re thinking that a blogroll isn’t for me — it’s more to let everyone else know whom I enjoy reading, and to share a link which helps them in the land of Google and Technorati, and all things virtually searchable or something like that.

So in an attempt to keep in better touch with others, I’ve begun to collect feeds in the reader I chose — Netvibes. I know everyone else seems to use Google Reader, but my affiliation with Google is only through my membership in the Daring Bakers, the ever expanding group (I think there are well over 500 members now…) of loveable foodies with whom I bake once a month. My food blog is hosted by TypePad (which is a network I almost never wander around in for some reason), and this one is my very own, of course. Without my connections to MyBlogLog, Blog Catalog, and more recently, EntreCard (which I haven’t developed a strong opinion about one way or the other), I wouldn’t be very good at keeping up with people. Feh, like I have actually been doing that successfully anyway.

So I’ve changed the settings on my Mac to open to my Netvibes home page and am racking up the feeds. I know you’re snickering right now thinking that I’ve been under some rock and that having recently freed myself, have discovered something that has been around since Al Gore discovered the Internet.

Go ahead an laugh. I can take it.

But the big question is — are YOU in my reader?

Continue reading “Friday, Rain in Paradise, and Awards…What could be more perfect?”

Puttin’ on the ritz. Literally.

IMG_6094.JPG With nearly a week ahead of us and the rarely accurate weatherman’s doom and gloom forecast for the week messing with our heads (not), our jaunt to the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel as a Valentine from the MoH to moi is now officially a memory.

But what a lovely one.

Remember those commercials that one of the cruise lines used to run depicting an average person pumping gas and day dreaming about their experience in temporary splendor? Doesn’t ring any bells? Fine.

Well, that was our weekend at the Ritz. Totally. Amazing. Now, it would have been a bit better if the coffee we stopped for on the way would have had a lid that actually kept the coffee IN the cup instead of dripping down my white shirt, but no problem. I just happened to have a damp towel in the car so I could wipe down the console on the way to keep the valets from actually knowing we were slobs instead of just wondering.

I’d been to the Ritz once before with a group of girlfriends and since then, a make over of more contemporary lines, patterns, and color palate has given the hotel a fresh summery look — so much so that I had trouble remembering it was mid February. You know, with temperatures in the high sixties and low seventies instead of mid-eighties? Sorry. I couldn’t resist. You do understand that I would enjoy having a real winter, right? I know I’ve made that perfectly clear.

But I digress.

So how relaxing was it?

Continue reading “Puttin’ on the ritz. Literally.”

Funny how things work out…

Ahhhhh…the glories of working with enormous corporations that have us all by the short hairs. I’ve been scratching my head today, truly wondering what the hell is going on. Wondering whether someone put a whammy on me, or if my stars aren’t lined up correctly, or my horrorscope was not great today.

Or is it just that as much as giant companies like to project that they provide customer service, and are smiling, helpful, and just love us to death, that they’re just full of horse shit.

For TWO DAYS I have been trying to purchase a new phone for the MoH. Actually, today would be the third. It was to have been a Valentine’s Day present to help him with organization. I’ve been looking at the PDA’s and thinking that the Palm Treo 700wx Smartphone would be just the ticket. He’d have wireless access when clients don’t and his laptop is then not a help. Sounds great, right?

Day One: I ventured to the mall and the Verizon kiosk and asked the young lady if she could help me. (Quite the switch from the normal situation where I have to dodge the salesperson who wants to sell me a phone each time I walk by every other time I’ve happened by in the past…) She clearly hadn’t been working there long, so had to rely upon a young man who was also there. I should have known better. It was my car pool pick up day, and I never, ever thought it would take as long as it did to attempt to purchase a phone. Just call me Pollyanna.


So I needed the MoH’s social security number. Sure. That would be something I carry around. I don’t even carry mine around. Not a great idea in this day and age. So I did call the office to get it and things began to move along until we came to another roadblock. If the PDA was purchased and activated, his cell would no longer work. Picture being at a client’s and not being able to access anyone or anything and not know why. Not quite a Valentine, right? So…

I’d purchase the PDA, and then I’d go back after Valentine’s Day to have it activated, yadda, yadda, yadda.

They didn’t have the Treo I wanted in stock. Coincidentally, however, an associate (why do they call them that?) was soon to arrive and he would have one. Could I please wait?

Continue reading “Funny how things work out…”