Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Joe is 16 Today

   With Joe, still waters run deep. He quietly goes through life doing his thing without much fanfare. Since he doesn't share anything deeply personal or even remotely private with me, I'm left with my observations and a powerful maternal intuition to figure him out.
    Joe is shy about his accomplishments and never toots his own horn so I'll toot it for him. Having played drums for several years, the boy can play a mean set. I'm told by the musicians at the music store that he's the best student they have. The kid is also very good at Jiu Jitsu and kickboxing. Safety Man tells me that our son is a natural at his sport, taking on much bigger, older and more experienced opponents. Grappling with men that far outweigh him with bulk and experience should be intimidating but Joe practises what he's been taught and earns respect  from these big guys.
   It's clear that when it comes to school he's not there to prove anything to us or his teachers. When he was in the 1st grade, I tried hard to persuade him to compete in the school's spelling bee because of his perfect test scores all year. He would have mopped the floor with the other six year old kids and made this mama proud. But no, he refused to spend anymore time at school then what was necessary. Blue ribbons be damned. He does what he needs to do to keep us, his parents content and off his back. He knows that good grades are his ticket to ride - That is to drive - so he's doing very well at the moment.

    My pride in Joe really swells when I watch him with the little ones in the family. He'll sacrifice whatever electronic device he's playing with and hang out with the little buggers when they come jumping. I can barely stand it when I see little four year old Lucy crawl into his lap and lay her head on his shoulders in church. His smile is made from somewhere deep in his soul.
    I want to be very clear on this next point. There's no question that this child of mine is his fathers son. Snidely, I call him "Mini Me", because they drive me bat crazy sometimes. Whenever SM and I have a "difference of opinion", the kid feels free to weigh in. Here's an example:                                           
                                              Me: Let's have chicken for dinner on Sunday.
                                              SM: We just had chicken.
                                              Me: That was turkey.
                                              Joe: Poultry. It's the same thing.
    When SM is away from home, Joe will quickly ask when he'll be returning. He's always checking on his dad. There are disputes between the two of them, don't let me lead you astray, but Joe LOVES his dad and knows how blessed he is to have a father who's very in tune with teenage boys especially when it comes to vulgar bodily functions.

    I mentioned that Joe plays drums but no commentary on him can be complete without mentioning finger drumming. Oh man! He can find a beat anywhere, anytime on/with anything. In the car he beats his hands on his legs. In church he taps his fingers on his head. At the table he taps out a beat under his chair...... you understand, don't you? At least twice a day, everyday, I say pleadingly - Joe, will you please stop tapping. I will miss him terribly when he heads off to college in two short years and will be equally happy to share his prolific tapping talent with others.

    As I wrap up this bragfest, I  need to add a few other attributes that describe my first born. He's funny, kind, very good at impressions (especially British) and appreciative. He doesn't ask for much. Oh! and one more important thing. He bugs his sister like a pro. I bet he'd say that this is what he does best. I know Lily would agree.
   I hope I did a good job sharing my observations with you. He is one hell of a good kid and I love him to pieces.
                                 Happy birthday, Joe and please drive safely.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Photo Shop and Ansel Adams

Let's face it folks, there's people like me who can take a picture, doctor it up and make it look nice then there's Ansel Adams. A master!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

There are advantages to being snowed in.

1. After my shower this morning I dressed myself in old sweats, an old T shirt, and old comfy socks. And I dared not to put on a bit of make up. Sure I startled myself when I inadvertently glanced in the mirror but it's well worth the scare even if I do look very old.
I thought I'd have a long list of advantages but my mind has suddenly drawn a blank. Now my thoughts are wandering into unknown territory, turning very ugly indeed. I'm thinking I should be productive and clean my cabinets, organize the pantry and dust out the cobwebs lurking in my corners. Slowly, I'm realizing there's no escape. Is this what it feels like to go insane?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Whose idea was this?

     I, too, drove the go-cart. There's no evidence of this because I can't take a picture of myself.  I put the metal to pedal (or is it - pedal to the metal or petal to the medal?) and skidded around the corral a few times as the donkeys stood confused and frightened in the northern corner. Don't worry, you! We were very safe. Safety Man gave us goggles and made sure we were securely belted in.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Does my butt look big in this moo moo?

My Aunt Betty introduced me to moo moo's when I was but a wee child. It's all I remember her wearing. It may be all she could wear, unfortunately. So it's not surprising that I felt ...well.....matronly buying this garment yesterday. After succumbing to pure gluttony during the holidays and finally finishing off a deliciously rich peppermint fudge ice cream cake last weekend I was drawn to the freedom only a moo moo could give me. My children and Safety man weren't sure what to make of it. What is it?, they asked when I proudly strolled into the kitchen after my bubble bath. I told them it was fancy lounge wear and pretended it was fabulous.  
P.S. It's a "one size fits all". I love that.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Some Good Books

In my Good Books section I've listed two books that I thought were exceptional - Mink River and Unbroken. Below are a couple of reviews if you're interested.


In addition to these remarkable stories, I'm recommending an author who writes mysteries. I found that after the hectic holidays it's been refreshing to plunge into light weight, intriguing mysteries. I'm currently on my third by L.R. Wright - The Suspect, A Touch of Panic and Strangers Among Us.

Happy reading.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Maximilian David Jones

I drove my nephew's son, Max, who is the oldest of the nine cousins, to our house after Kindergarten recently. Here's a snipet of our conversation:

Me: What was the best part of your day, Max?
Max: It was music class. We acted out Peter and the Wolf. I was the wolf. My best friend, Justin was the duck. The wolf eats the duck. (Pause) I told Justin that I'd be the duck next time, so we both get eaten. I like Justin but he stares a lot with his mouth half open.....like my dad.
Me: Your dad stares with his mouth half open?
Max: Yea. He does. (Nodding his head enthusiastically) I say - Daaaad! You're doing it again! You're staring with your mouth half open. My dad says he's thinking when he does that. I believe him. I believe everything my dad says.
Me: As you should, Max. As you should.
Special note: Max's mom & dad have 3 kids who are 5 (Max), 4 (Lucy) and almost 3 (Harvey). I'd be staring with my mouth half open, too.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

It's Beautiful Here This Morning

Even my perfect dog, Kicks, is enjoying what today brings to us.