Cliff Dwellings

Linking up with Five Minute Friday today!

The theme?

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You know, like “Dwell in the house of the Lord?”

Nope. That’s not the kinda “dwell” we’ll be dealing with here today, folks. But, maybe, a little…

Oh never mind, just read! I never promised you the blog would make SENSE, did I?


When I was a teenager, my parents piled us in their station wagon and we drove through the night to Colorado. For a vacation. For fun, family times.

We did a vacation every year. Most of the time it was to a small cabin down by in the Lake of the Ozarks. There was a lot of fishing and so much swimming in a swimming pool so chlorinated that if we swam at night we glowed on the walk home. That was cool.

Anyhow, this time we were gonna try something new! Colorado! Mountains! Hiking! No catfish!

Needless to say, I hated it. It wasn’t my fault. I was a teenager. I hated everything. That was my job.

Ok, but there was this one part, that involved us going to a park that had cliff dwellings. I don’t remember what tribe, I am sorry to say. It was a lot of climbing around and exploring, and as per my usual lack of enthusiasm, I found it a bit boring. BUT, there was this: Dad made the epic mistake of referring to these wonderful, historic, very important markers of nation’s past and humanity as: (wait for it…)

“Cwiff dwewwings”

I know. You probably had to be there. It’s not very funny, is it? I mean, now after all this time, it isn’t all that amusing.

But to me it still totally cracks me up. My dad and my sister and I, scurrying about all the artifacts, in our best Sylvester the Cat imitation, among all the cwiff dwewwings.

Ok, I tell you that story to tell you this:

I will never forget that vacation. I will never forget the silly laughter. My dad, very John Wayne, very General Patton, has a SUPERB sense of humor (I like to think he got it from me) and I love him. And even though our family vacations were sometimes a bit, uh, like those crucible challenges they put the Navy SEALS through before they can go out and get the bad guys, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Because, when I saw the prompt for this, I was IMMEDIATELY hit up with that memory and also, with such love and warmth.

It’s an honor to have the family that I do. My mom, my dad, my sisters. My brother. It’s an honor to call them family. They are nutball, totally (they don’t get any of that from me. It’s all their fault. They started it.) but I love them.

Now, let me tell you about the time my dad decided to QUIT smoking during a family vacation.

Seared. Into. My Memory.

Dwell: to linger over, emphasize, or ponder in thought, speech, or writing. Dwell on the lovely. Linger over it. Ponder the past. Learn from it, the good and the not so good. I am so grateful.



We go to Colorado every year now. Our children look about as excited as I did, way back when. The tradition continues.


Beware! Bad Language Ahead!

This post is brought to you today because of Mamalode, one of my favorite mom mags!!

But, really? Mamalode has a… *furtive whisper* a potty mouth.


Now, right from the start, I always feel like I gotta apologize for the saucy language, y’all. It’s my mom’s fault.

When I was a kid, my sweet, totally angelic* mother would occasionally TRY, to the best of her abilities, to utter a bad word, and it would go like this:

Mom, frustrated about something:

“Well. This fiddlesticks. This was just working yesterday. I know because I used it.” Deep sigh. Looks around. “Well. This is just unacceptable. I mean… (jiggles handle on whatever it is) this is just really… I just have to say…” Big long silence followed by more sighs.

“Ok, I know it’s NOT ok, to talk like this, and I just am really, really sorry, but I just have to say…”

My sister and I are so poised and anxious for her to blurt it out that the stress is making us swear a lot.  But inwardly, of course.

“I am sorry. I really am. But this just is, well, you know…”


Sniff. “It’s just a *teensy tiny whisper voice” damn nuisance.”

And we can breathe again.

“I am so sorry! I know! Bad language and all! What is the world coming to!” and she grabs a hand towel and starts cleaning something.


I won this award (See below) because I am! I AM! I am a Badass Mom!!

I am just gonna OWN IT! That’s right, Mother Forker!!!

Oh, I am so sorry, I got out of control there. I suddenly have a weird desire to go grab a hand towel and clean something…



Want to know more? Click here.

Thank you, Mamalode! You are the fracking cherry on the flipping cake of my fudgetastic day!

I am curious, what are your favorite non swearing words? Just to add to my repertoire? I need some new ones, badly.

*When my mom reads this? She’s gonna snort and say, “Angelic, my a$$.” I know her.

Five Minute Friday: Lost



I’m looking for my glasses.

My keys.

My children.

The cat.

Oh. My mind.

They are lost.

And in every old purse, basket, stolen moment, dusty corner,

They are not.

Time is lost while looking,

Time is lost while trying

to find my life amidst

tangled ribbons, bits of paper, dusty corners

dangling words.

And in a moment I breathe,

look out a window.  Stop dusting

stop trying, stop looking, looking, pleading

with all the lost ribbons, tears, and dreams

of this leaning house.


Now listen and sing sweetly:

I was lost,

and now I’m found.

Sing the Promise that is also true.

Sing the hymn that ignores time

and dusty corners and

is a glorious ache that is filled for my future

every day.



Lost keys, glasses, tempers.

Cash, daylight, youth.


This is a promise that is always

and also true.



You cannot take anything from me that I care less about, except my life.  Except my life. 





Writing over with Lisa-Jo Baker at Five Minute Friday today:


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*Incidentally, I was looking through my glasses whilst I was looking for them.

I have lost my marbles too, it seems.



Wednesday Winter Morning

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Pardon me… Do you have any NaBloPoMo?

Today’s humdinger of a  blog post prompt (for nutball bloggers): What is your favorite hour of the day?

Ok.  *cracks knuckles*  *scratches head* *notices refrigerator badly needs scrubbing* *contemplates mortality* *considers watching bad television* *wonders if God has read any good blogs lately*

And… Go:

So the best time of the day for me?  5:50 am.  I know.  It’s early, but here’s why:

1.  The house is quiet.  This is miraculous and good.

2.  The house is quiet and still.  It still resembles something from a RealSimple page.  This is mainly because I have not put on my glasses and am still bumping into walls, so I’m not looking too closely.

3.  It’s really really quiet.

4. I can get the first cup of coffee.

5.  I can actually read sentences, from the bible, usually a few in a row, and think about them with no interruptions (see #’s 1-3).  I then get to pray to our gracious Lord whilst NOT having to say things like, “Hold on there Red, Mommy’s praying.  ZIP IT, ok?  I’m talking to Jesus, here.”  This, I know, demonstrates I got some work to to on the whole, erm, “shining a light” thing.

6.  I can run.  No, not away.  Just, run around the block a few times and then, back home. Where it is … (wait for it)


8.  Sometimes I actually get to do pushups with no one else around trying to dog pile me.  Momsie on the floor = tackle Momsie, evidentally.  Added bonus: no one gets to see how I look when I plank.  Which is a blessing, let me tell you.  Even toddlers judge, ya’ll.


Lookit! I’m planking!

9.  I get to have a second cup of actual coffee from the coffee pot. It’s not the first cup, remicrowaved seventeen times.

10. There is a pronounced duration of NO NOISE.

And there’s this thing about the loveliness of a winter morning.  The light is tilted and seems brighter, somehow, as it glints off the frost.  Everything seems clean and still, and as I open the front door for my run, I take a deep breath and-


I lied.  There, I said it. I USED to love 5:50 am.  Y’all, I haven’t had a decent night’s rest since Y2K.  Ok?  My favorite hour of the day? The one where I’m still in bed.

I have children.  I think about sleep and sigh, longingly  with unfiltered nostalgia.  The almost pre-teen, crazed kinda full tilt, 8th grade slow dance again with Purple Rain, Laura Ashley puffed sleeves, and your first love, a pimply kid named Jimmy who chewed pencils,  sort of nostalgia.   I want coma sleep again.  The “it is so ON” kinda sleep.  Drool sleep.  Not one ear open, waiting for the toddler apocolypse kinda half way incorporating the cat in my dreams b/c she keeps gnawing at my leg kinda sleep.

Real, deep, Snow White kinda sleep.  It is the butter on my biscuit, my friends.

Sooooo.  My favorite hour?  The one in which I get to zonk out, solid.   And I know usually that’s at night, but hey, if you can catch a nap while Barney is on, so be it.  Barney does dance into your dreams, however.  Be warned.  Barney’s just creepy enough to be one step and a bad sweater away from Freddy Krueger.

Let’s face it: Screen Shot 2013-11-12 at 8.59.33 PM

Friday is for Funny

In reference to yesterday’s Ode to Mr. Cosby, I thought it would be fitting to post some of his work here.  I had a very hard time finding my favorite because, they all are.  Cosby is a master of the narrative, and he loves children – his heart is so admiring of them, even in all their moments of insanity (see his bit on “Brain Damage” and you’ll get it).

I am also sharing this gem:  my sis and me, 1977.

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The picture is majorly fuzzy, which is good because it hides my overbite.

We were HOT, I tell you.  Hottttt.  No, really, we were sweating our arses off.  My mom was kinda an over-bundler. Christmas Story, anyone?  Maybe that’s a Friday for another.. Friday.

Anyhow, my sister and I, we listened to Cosby on a weekly basis.  We had all his old records (not so old, back then).  We would lie on the floor, chins in our hands, giggling like crazed weasels, and mouthing along.  We have him memorized, from his “Noah” to his “Junior Barnes.”

Enjoy your Friday!  Take some Bill with you, he is a vitamin for the soul.  And yes, I think Jesus would laugh at the last part.  I really do.


G is for Grateful.


Got a phone call this week from a librarian; she reminded me wearily of an audiobook we had checked out over a month ago.  It’s due.  It’s been a month.  Good people return their books on time, missy.

“Oh my word, of course, yes!  I will return it tomorrow.  I am a good person!  I AM!”

Madame Disdainful:  “There’s a two dollar late fee.  Bring cash.”

“Of course!! I’ll bring THREE dollars!  A donation!  I am a good person! Super Good!!”

And the scurrying began to locate The Book.  Also, I needed to locate my self worth because I just do NOT have late fees.  Nary an overdue anything, until, oh, well you know…

I had kids.

There’s just one small problem.  Our house seems to have eaten the audio book.  Um.   And, it’s gonna cost us 72 dollars to replace it.

Holy budget, Batman.


Also, there’s this:

I cannot find our hide-a-key.  It’s somewhere in our house, again. It’s probably snuggling up with the love of its life, the Audio book That Should Have Its Own Payment Plan.


A strange noise has started emanating from my car. Not a really serious sound or anything, no grinding or smoke, so probably nothing.  It just makes the noise (a sort of sputter-wheeze) whenever the car is, you know, running.

Today, I have HAD it.  I am not feeling this, missing key and wonky car.  And YOU,  blingy Audio book that is all upper east side, you just need to stop taunting me with your disappearing act.  I need everything in this house (or parked outside of it) to start BEHAVING now.

I mean NOW.  (The Mom Voice paired with a cocked eyebrow seals it. )

Or… not.

The day passes along and it doesn’t seem that anyone, inanimate or not, is actually listening to me.  Escalade driving, fully loaded Audio book has probably left the premises for the Hamptons.  My keys, rejected and alone, are siding with the car and giving up on life.  And me?

I am Ticked. Off.

Muttering now, and stomping a bit (muttering and stomping do help, mind you), I am cleaning my sons’ closet.  This involves maneuvering around the Jenga game that is Fall Clothes and Some Weird Toy Bits. I am not really sure why I chose to attempt this most frustrating task on the planet when already I have the mental fortitude of someone in a Breaking Bad episode.  The muttering  has increased in volume and realize I am, rather tersely, having a “meeting” with God.  (“Meeting” with the hooked “quotation marks” fingers is the “word” my “husband” and I use with our boys when really, we are, you know, “arguing” or “snarking it out with each other” because “please, stop being such a big fat pain.”)

I get to start the meeting.  And here are some introductory statements:

“You know… I really don’t need this right now.  We are BROKE. Broken down brokety BROKE.  I am TIRED OUT (God listens better when I give him the old caps routine, I am pretty sure.  In fact, I am rather surprised Jesus never attempted caps in the bible.  I mean, come on.  Don’t you think the Sermon on the Mount would have a bit more “umph” with some caps?  Even, dare I say it, BOLD FACE ALL CAPPED ARIAL FONT?  Maybe would have upped your “likes” Jesus; I’m just sayin.)

Back to me.

“I’m TIRED OUT.  This stupid (gasps from the play room.  They heard the “S” word) YES I SAID ‘STUPID‘ CUZ IT’S TRUE.  DON’T EVEN.”  This is followed by some fervent whispering from the train room and loud scooting over to the far side of the room.  I sigh heavily and continue,

“Yes, uh- huh, I said ‘STUPID’ situation with the book and all… come ON.  I can’t work like this!  It’s enough I have to, like, wake UP every morning and maintain, (flurried gesturing now) THIS, and keep two, heck who are we kidding, THREE other human males alive, so can’t we just have a bit of a break from riff-raffy situations like Audio books that are LIVING A BIT BEYOND THEIR MEANS?  Great cupcakes, this is not acceptable.”


A good start, all in all.

I am stuffing my hand in one of my fifteen diaper bags, trying to figure out if for some reason Little Blingy Audio Book maybe now wants kids and so has decided to cuddle up with some stray diapers and a linty paci.  I have, for all intents and purposes, gotten sorely off task and lost my ever-loving mind.  72 DOLLARS ARE LOLLING ABOUT SOMEWHERE IN MY HOUUUUUSE.   I was working up to a full octane Pathetic Festival.

I do have those.  Pathetic Fests.  Next time I’ll advertise better and you can come.  Bring a blanket and hunker down.  They’re intense.  They’re sorta like the Lilith Fair, just as hormonal;  just as angry. *

So it’s at this point in the meeting I find the toy in the diaper bag.  It’s just a red plastic play phone.  I bought it for the blonde one over four years ago.  In fact, it was one of his first toys and he loved it, as did the redhead.  The yellow buttons rang and beeped and buzzed!  It fit just so in their fat fists!  It spoke!

It spoke.

See, the phone had a recording device, and you could press and record.   And then, with a box of Fall clothes falling in over your shoes and your four years later children in the next room bashing at each other with matchbox cars, you can start to cry and laugh.

“Mommah?.  Up?? Up? UP??”

My blonde one, he’s talking to me.  He would flap his arms and laugh, waiting to be flown up in my arms.  I would place his fuzzy head just under my chin, and we would play itsy bitsy spider.  The hands would grasp at me fierce and soft. His feet fit warmly in the palm of my hands.  And he would laugh because my lap, my arms around him, that was all and enough and amazing.  Full.  Grateful.

Full of Grace.

Well.  Thank You.  And You didn’t even have to use all caps.


*Lilith Fair attendees – don’t be mad.  I love the Indigo Girls just as much as you do.