Monday, April 29, 2013


Transparent LanguageCleaning out flower pots and buckets and other containers takes me to my mom.

Each year we had the same ritual.  She had a set number of containers - we didn't add - why change what works. 

She always had that talent.  The ability to know what was "enough"...what worked and what she could handle.  I wish I had that talent.  I'm a bit more of a dreamer, perhaps, and I'm continually blessed with or plagued with visions.  I have big dreams. 

Not of the vacation home in Hawaii variety, but dreams borne out of seeing life in combinatinos and colors and seeing new use for old things.  It means I've never lived in a home, since being married, that felt "finished".  I think a finished home is a place of contentment.  Where the residents walk in and sort of sigh and sink in. 

I don't have that.  Never have.  I hope I do when I'm finally too old to act on my dreams.

My mom always planted geraniums.

Always salmon pink.

Never red.  Never magenta.  Never white.

Salmon pink.

In grey wooden "buckets".  Always at the front porch.

Never the patio.

Never the sidewalk.

The geraniums were expected.  And I'd walk the garden center with her ogling the yellow flowers.  The purple pansies (I had a thing for pansies).  I dreamt of a rainbow.

We bought geraniums.  Salmon pink geraniums.

She will be gone 9 years next week.  It will be time to plant things.  I will plant salmon pink geraniums in wooden "buckets" on my front porch.  I will walk past them all summer and feel a little contentment.  And I won't dream of rainbows of color - I'll be smiling over my salmon pink geraniums.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Oh Friday! (A/K/A This Week Has Kicked My Butt)

Transparent LanguageIt's been a week.  Wow.  Not bad.  Not awesome.  Just.  Wow.

  • Memorizing is really important.  Especially when you still have the facilities to do it.  So that means, when you're young take advantage of it.  And, parents, that means it's your job to push those little ones along.  This week my children had to recite what they've memorized in front of various adults of various (authoritative) positions.  They were a little disappointed when the process was done and they realized that the other kids got away with not memorizing.  Life lesson learned there.  Sadly.

  • Spring is really hard weather to dress in.  I don't mean I'd rather be naked in the Spring, but rather that in Michigan it's such a mixed bag it's just a mess for the fashionable.  Even for the unfashionable.  Waders, down jacket, cropped pants and T Shirt anyone?

  • Adults can be really sweet to children.  I think some don't even realize that one kind word - one shared joke - one (even small) compliment can lift a child's spirit beyond the moon.

  • Adults can be really mean to children.  And it's worse when an adult really wants to be mean to a child's PARENTS but isn't bold enough to do that so they take it out on the child.  Nasty.  Immature.  Hard to explain.

  • My children constant surprise me.  I've been doing this parenting thing for 18 years.  I still don't go a week without a surprise in some form.  Thankfully it's not longer of the "ooh - what's in that diaper?" variety....but still...surprises.  Good AND bad.  I suppose it would be horribly boring without the surprises.  I suppose.

  • Lots of women lose weight because they are either afraid they will lose their husband or because they plan on losing their husband when the weight is gone.  Vanity is a bugger.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Whole Brownies

Our favorite brownies.  No little doughboy involved (we try not to call one another names around here).  Betty Crocker isn't in the house.  And Duncan Hines?  He's a stranger.

We call them "whole" because the ingredients are just that.  No additives or preservatives.

I'm not saying they're fat free.  Or carb free.  Or gluten free.  They're just "extras" free.  And by "extras" I mean things with long complicated names our bodies don't really need to function.

And so I give you our favorite....

Whole Brownies

2 sticks butter (butter, folks...not margarine)
1 1/4 c sugar
4 eggs

(soften the butter and whip this together)

1t baking powder
1t salt
1 1/2 c unsweetened cocoa

(add to the other ingredients and whip)

2 squares of unsweetened chocolate which have been softened

(whip it.  whip it good.)

1 1/4 c unbleached flour

(final whip)

Spread into 9x13 which has been lightly greased.  Bake in a 350 oven for about 30 minutes.

I'm no food photographer so trust me - the photo does not do the food justice!  Our version is a bit cake-like.  to get a gooey version eliminate an egg (or two).

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Six on Sunday

Transparent LanguageDuring the early years of Facebook - back when people had a Xanga and knew how to use it - and sometimes even via email....people used to send around surveys.  Under the guise of getting to know people, maybe partly because we like talking about ourselves?  Whatever the reason I remember them well.  Not like I remember lyrics to important 80s songs, but I do still remember them.

So for Sunday - six random survey selections:

  1. What's the last thing you ate?  White chicken chili.
  2. The last person you talked to on the phone?  My dad.
  3. Favorite holiday?  It's probably Thanksgiving followed closely by Christmas.
  4. Can you do a headstand not touching the wall?  Ugh.  Yes.  But don't make me.  The older I get the more migraine-inducing that would be. 
  5. Who would you like to see right now?  My mom.
  6. Are you still friends with people from kindergarten?  Well considering my age....I think it's pretty impressive that I'd count kindergarten friends on the list of people I could easily chat with if I ran into them.  I don't know if that counts as 'friends', but they certainly would not be strangers to me even now.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

I'll tell you what I want what I really really want...

Transparent LanguageSometimes I'm pretty sure it's the only child in me.  I think a shrink would also say it's because of me being a motherless daughter.  But what I really would love to experience is the kind of friendship or loyalty wherein someone is righteously angered or offended because of a wrong that has happened to our family.

And I want it to be to the extent that they actually stand up for us.

That it maybe even effects their relationship with the offender.

I want to experience someone on our side that is more than just lip service.

I have dreams.  Dare I say "fantasies" of friends (plural even - I go crazy in my dream life) of people confronting someone after an offense and the shaming of the offender.  It's not right or pure or noble, but it's the stuff of my fantasy life.  I want to see slinking away.  Often it involves my children or husband - I want to see them at the top of the heap at the end of the dream.  A hypothetical slap in the face.  The righting of wrongs.  The salvation of reputations.  The pecking order as I think it should be.

That's what I really really want.