Friday, March 22, 2013

: ) ; 0 ; ) : 0

I’m cranky today
It started because this morning, I realized my sweater and shirt that should not have been put in the dryer were put in the dryer

Nothing aggravates me more than when that happens…except emoticons in business emails
So I’m driving to work and the guy in front of me comes to an almost complete stop and starts driving a steady 20 mph in a 35 mph zone while on his phone, smoking, drinking coffee and I’m pretty sure driving a stick – and the guy behind me was going 45 mph and I’m pretty sure, I could feel his breath on my neck

I stopped at the dry cleaner on my way in to work – I am out of town next week for work and needed a shirt and pair of pants cleaned (which by the way the thought of being away from Lucy and Sean puts a lump in my throat – I’ve never ever ever in her whole life been away from Lucy – grrrrrr)
The lettering on the window says SAME DAY SERVICE in big ass letters – just what I need since I leave Sunday

I walk in and stand at the counter for a minute or so until someone comes out to help me
He asks me for my number, I give it to him and he types it into his computer

You no in here
I know, I say, I’ve never been here before

You new?

New in that I’ve never been here…yes I reply
He sighs

I repeat my number

I say my name

He repeats it wrong
I spell it

He repeats it back and spells it wrong
I correct him

He sighs
I sigh

I keep glancing at the clock
I ask when can I pick the clothes up?

Wednesday......?........I was hoping a bit sooner than that….I trail off

Ok, then Wednesday morning….
Uh, I was kind of hoping for today

No can do says the little Chinese guy

No – No can do – Wednesday

No – no can do – Wednesday
But your window says SAME DAY SERVICE

I turn and point
Yeah he says

So can I pick the clothes up today?


Ok see here’s the thing, I need the clothes for Sunday
You should have drop off Tuesday then

I stare at him in stunned silence
He stares back

I sigh, and drop my head
Ok, he says Tuesday

How about tomorrow morning? I ask
He shakes his head and walks away

I stand there for a second because I’m not sure what’s happening
He does not return

I wait another minute
He still does not come back

I turn to leave
I push open the door and he yells

OK OK – we clean – we clean - tomorrow – you pick up tomorrow
I turn around

Are you sure I ask?
Yeah Yeah fine – I clean – you get tomorrow

Ok thanks I mumble as I hand over my clothes
I’m pretty sure he’ll either burn or shrink them on purpose

It took everything in my power not to pull into Dunkin Donuts and order two chocolate butternut crunch donuts – that’s how cranky I am
But I’ve lost 24 lbs since I started going back to Weight Watchers 7 weeks ago so I kept driving and  made my final left hand turn and as I drove the last two miles to the office, I got even more pissed as I replayed in my a conversation I had with a co-worker yesterday

I walk into the office and figure the safest thing to do is close my door – just take a few minutes to regroup
But instead, I listen to the twittering and whispers of why my door is closed – how about none of your business? For all you know, my cat died and I’ having an emotional breakdown in here

And no, Herbert Sherbet who came to live with us two weeks ago did not die – he is however still in the hospital and has been for over a week – very depressing
And then I got crankier when I went to set up a computer for a new guy starting Monday and figured out the new IT Group we hired did not configure it the way I asked – I thought four emails explaining it would do the trick but clearly, I minced words

So I called them
And the guy, though nice enough, speaks so slowly I actually feel my will to live being sucked out of me with each syllable

So we finally resolve the issue
Only to have me review the quotes they sent me for two other machines and again, not what we discussed

So I send off another email
And you want to know how I feel about business emails? They should never, under any circumstance, EVER contain any emoticons…..EVER…please do not EVER send me an email with emoticons – I will add you to my blocked list

Seriously, a business email with am emoticon – you think a smiley face emoticon is going to make me forget how you just screwed up two quotes I’ve been waiting for? You really think the mug of frothy beer at the end of your sentence reminding me hey! At least it’s Friday! is going to make me forget I’ve asked you to re-do the same thing 4 times and you still are screwing it up –
It’s not – it will not make me forget

Ok well, there

That’s that, I think I feel better
My door is closed (I could care less what anyone out there wants to say), my music is turned up and my list of what needs to be done before I leave today is long but doable…

And I’ll pick up my dry cleaning in the morning..........
..............and then go buy a new sweater and shirt

 Maria the Mum




Thursday, March 21, 2013

I Can't....But I Can....

A few weeks ago, Mama Kat had a prompt in her Pretty MuchWorld Famous Writer’s Workshop which was
List 10 Random things I know how to do

I studied this one for awhile because I figured out of all the prompts, it would be the easiest and given that I’ve not written much lately, I figured a list was a good place to start
Plus, a list always seems to get my creative juices flowing again……okay, maybe that word creative is a bit too strong for me…..let’s just use writing juices

Anyway, I sat with a blank piece of paper and waited for the ten things to come to me…..
Nothing came to mind

So I thought well, if I add numbers, something will come to me, I just need someplace to start

Nothing came to me
So I thought well, what if I pick 5 things that are work related, 5 things that are “Mom” related, surely I can do that

Then I ended up with this
1. Sales tax reports….really a gem of a talent
2. OSHA Logs….what better way to start a conversation at a party
3. Analysis of job costing and profitability….hold me back, I’m on fire
4. That’s it? I can only come up with 3 things?
5. Please don’t tell the Owners I only came up with three things
6. I can recite Where the Wild Things Are from memory…again, has come in handy during a lull in conversation at a party
7. I can fix dinner, play kickety kick ball and make lunches for the next day all at the same time…so what if dinner is burned and I forgot to make my own lunch and I accidentally kicked the ball into the cat
8. I can…..I only know how to do two things – and really, reciting Where the Wild Things Are and doing three things at once are not even really knowing how to do things
9. Shit, are they gonna take my daughter away because I don’t know how to do anything
10. I have no talents, I have no skills, I have no hobbies….I totally suck  

That list by the way took me a better part of an hour
So then I thought surely I am not giving myself the credit I deserve…maybe if I rule out the things I can’t do, the things I can do will come to light

So I typed

10 Things I Can’t Do in an Effort to Figure Out 10 Things I Can Do

And then I typed

And stared at it
And came up with

1. I can’t whistle
2. I can’t wink
3. I can’t tie a square knot
4. I can’t identify an animal based on its tracks (unless it’s a dinosaur and then I only know it’s a dinosaur because well, it would be really big)
5. I can’t speak or read another language
6. I can’t read music
7. I can’t spell (ok of course I can spell, but I don’t spell well – not that I’m not smart or anything, or that I can’t read or write – which clearly I can – but I’m a terrible speller)
So I really shouldn’t say I can’t spell because that is so misleading – I’m taking can’t spell off the list
8. I can’t always pronounce certain names….especially while reading so I just make names up – and if I meet a real person whose name I can’t pronounce, I just call them Bob…to their face….or Sue…and then say something like oh, I’m sorry, I’m awful with names
9. I can’t play Cribbage, adding in my head was way too stressful
10. I can’t tell you the capital of all 50 states or name all the Presidents
11. I can’t understand the metric system for the life of me (I know this looks like 11 but really its 10 as I threw number 7 out)

So that was my list
Then I realized it got me no closer to figuring out 10 Things I Know How to Do
So I left the post in draft status and moved on – which is code for sunk deeper into my writing drought

Plus, I was all down on myself about my inability to come up with ten things I can do – and that the list of things I can’t do is sort of sad…like someone might read it and be all like this poor woman….she should be on one of those makeover reality shows…they could totally help her…and this list could be the sob story that gets her on…..
 A couple more prompts came and went and I did nothing

And then this week’s prompt included….Ten Things You Don’t Know How to Do

I got this I thought, I already warmed myself up a couple weeks ago – I’m ready to write!
And then I re-read the list above and seriously considered contacting my cousin Nina who produces reality shows to see if she could in fact get me on a makeover show because if that list is not a sob story, I don’t know what is

But then I decided no, I can do this
I can turn this frown upside!
I can make lemonade from these lemons!
I can make a rainbow out of this – it is after all Year ofthe Rainbow

So I pulled up my unpublished post and started over:
10 Things I Can’t Do in an Effort to Figure Out 10 Things I Can Do

1. Change a flat tire – I have no idea how to change a flat tire

I’m not even sure I’d know if my tire was flat…..

As a matter of fact, there’s not much I can fix – I can hang a picture fairly centered and straight, I know left loosey right tighty if the table gets wobbly…but it pretty much stops there

But I’ll tell you what I can do, I can call Triple A quicker than you can recall what Triple A stands for…I can call someone to fix what I can’t because I know my limitations and have no problem admitting to them

2. I can’t knit, sew or crochet – and not for lack of trying; I’ve tried all three and I stink at all 3

When I tried to crotchet, my fingers got tangled up, when I tried to knit, I kept dropping the yarn (I think it’s called dropping a stitch…or was it a knot?) and when I tried to sew, well, let’s just say I sewed myself to what I was working on and had to call my landlady Mary to come down and help me get un-sewed….

But I’ll tell you what I can do – appreciate, admire and treasure a handmade gift – one that was crotched, sewn or knit – I think those are the best gifts to receive – and I treasure and adore everyone I have ever received and every one that has ever been given to Lucy

3. I can’t paint, draw, or color inside the lines – and I have no idea what the difference between impressionist and well, pick another whateverist or whateverisms when it comes to art and I don’t know the difference

But I’ll tell you what I can do – fall asleep in the fields of an Andrew Wyeth Painting, pick the Island Roses of Jamie Wyeth, relive a battle in a William Turner, feel like I know the Daughters OF Edward D. Boit by John Singer Sargent personally and I’ve been fishing with Winslow Homer

4. I can’t sing or dance at all – and when I say at all I mean in grade school, Mr Walker asked me to lip synch and when I got the lead in the high school musical, Mrs Strout had me speak my singing parts

And dancing? I make Elaine from Seinfeld look like Martha Graham

But I’ll tell you what I can do – I can sing all the words to Call Me Maybe with Lucy at the top of our lungs in the car on the way home

We dance in the living room until we fall over from being dizzy

I can sing along with the Fresh Beat Band and the Backyardigans – and I know the theme song to Martha Speaks

5. I don’t know how to play a musical instrument – not even Lucy’s silly kitty piano keyboard thing she got for Christmas which by the way has a color coated music book....I can’t even follow along with that

But I’ll tell you what I can do - I can appreciate the Boston Pops – most especially at Christmas and on the 4th of July – nothing is as uplifting, moving and inspiring as the Pops at Christmas and the 4th of July

I can appreciate the Symphony and classical music – it’s amazing when you think of how long these pieces have held up  

John Williams is my all time favorite - his scores make me shiver, laugh, cry and look behind me for a boulder or below me for a shark

Country Music makes me tap my feet, rap makes me head bob, 80’s music makes me chair dance and folk music makes me mellow and tells me a story at the same time

6. I can’t cook a five course meal – I’m not even sure I can name what the five courses are supposed to be – I get confused on what fork I should use

But I’ll tell you what I can do – I can invite you down for dinner, give you a home cooked meal from the heart that will stick to your ribs, make you loosen your belt, ask for seconds and then ask for some to take home

I’ll make you a dessert that you think is decadent and make you want to lick your plate (and I’ll encourage you do so)

Actually, I’ll serve you three desserts but I know how hard it can be to pick – you’ll taste all three – just a little piece! And then I’ll send you home with three bigger pieces for “tomorrow”

I can open my home, hearth and heart to you and make you feel comfortable, cozy, satisfied and loved

And even better, I could care less if you don’t use a coaster, spill something down the front of you and far be it from me to judge of you do in fact lick your plate

7. I can’t make a bed with hospital corners – or make a bed you could bounce a quarter on 

I can’t even fold a fitted sheet properly - I sort of just stuff it into itself and then hide it underneath
the flat sheet and the towels in the laundry basket – my hope is by the time I get around to putting it away, it will be flattened enough to fit in the linen closet

Who are we kidding, I don’t even make the bed – Sean does

And the house is always messy – just ask my husband

Don’t get me wrong, it’s clean but it’s always cluttered – piles of Lucy’s artwork on the table, half read magazines on the arm of the chair, piles of books in random places, bags of who knows what from the Dollar Store for Lucy’s Birthday Party and a pile of mail that is at least two weeks old

But I’ll tell you what I can do– I can offer up our extra bedroom to anyone in need – in town for a business, a quick visit so you can see Boston for the first time, you have to catch an early flight out of Logan – or you get in on a late flight – sure, you can stay with us – and my husband who would do anything for anyone because he is that generous will even pick you up and drop you off no matter the time

And we’ll make you breakfast, pack you a lunch and snacks for your day out,

We’ll even give you a guided tour or simply hand you a key to the house and tell you to come and go as you please

We’ll even DVR your favorite shows for you – and then watch them with you even if we’re not fans

I can make you feel welcome

8. I can’t seem to filter my thoughts – that is I sometimes lack a social filter – what I mean is sometimes I say things that are offensive to people – and then I get accused of being narrow minded or worse, of being a conservative (oh the horror!)

It’s not that I don’t think before I speak, because I do – like I would never look at you and say Hey, that’s a nice outfit…does it come in your size?

But you know what I can do – say what I think and feel – I can be honest about it – and I can own what I say

I can be true to myself, to my values, to my morals and my beliefs

9. I can’t pick out what wine to go with dinner or talk about the beer brewing process nor can I have a discussion with you about which whiskey is the best – yes, even after all my years of beer and whiskey drinking, I did not care how it was made just that it was in fact made

I can’t speak with authority on art, literature, movies, music, history, politics, religion or current events

As a matter of fact. I can’t claim to be an expert in anything

But you know what I can do – learn from those around me and not feel the need to be the smartest person in the room

And even when I realize I am the smartest person in the room, I won’t use it to make you feel like an idiot (go ahead, keep calling it DowntownAbbey, no one will mind)

I can be humble when I need to be, I can be gracious if the situation calls for it and I can be an expert when called upon – but I won’t flaunt it or use it to make anyone feel less important, smart or knowledgeable than they think they are

10. And finally, I seriously can’t whistle – makes Sean laugh every time I try – Lucy whistles better than I can

But you know what I can do – snap my fingers – that’s gotta count for something – and I can curl and roll my tongue – and make my eyeballs wiggle…okay I feel like I just crossed a line there – eyeball wiggling is weird…….

Look at that......
Two posts in one....................
I won’t even charge you extra for this one………………

Maria the Mum

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Whatcha eatin'?

So we're at Church last Sunday

Lucy decides she wants to go up with me while I receive Communion

Before I accept the Host, the Priest reaches down, makes the sign of the cross on Lucy's forehead and murmurs a blessing

Lucy looks up at him and says


He hesitates just a moment, looks from her to me and then back down to her again and seems to smile and chuckle at the same time

He looks back to me and I bow my head, accept the Host and steer Lucy back down the outer aisle towards our pew

As we're walking back, Lucy slows down, turns around and asks

Mumma, what did he give you to eat?

I place my finger on my lips in an effort to shush Lucy and sort of nudge her along

She turns around again and stops

But Mumma, what did he give you to eat?

It was the Host Lucy I say with a nudge

The what Mumma?

The Host, come on honey, keep moving

Lucy comes to a complete stop and stands her ground with her hands on her hips

But Mumma! What's a host?

I bend down and scoop her up

It's the body of Christ honey

You mean Jesus Mumma?

Yes honey

Lucy leans back so I can see her whole face
She lays her hands on my cheeks and asks loudly enough for everyone in a three foot radius of us to hear

Mumma! You just ate Baby Jesus?!?!?

Maria the Mum