Tag Archives: ties-that-bind

Though Seasons May Change

I am starting to realize that changes in Life are a mixed bag. Some changes are simple and require nothing but an acknowledgement before one moves on: a change in hairstyle, the falling of leaves, etc. Some changes come as mixed blessings, and though part of the change is bad, invariably it enhances the good.

The other night I sat down to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas. It has been a tradition in our home since before kidlets came along.

A-Charlie-Brown-Christmas-tu

I love Peanuts™. Growing up in Puerto Rico, it was a BIG DEAL when their specials came on (had maybe three channels, and cartoons were not their forte). It became an even bigger deal after I learned English. They are timeless, and ageless as well. But this last time I came to the realization that I sat there, alone. And it wasn’t the first time I sat alone to enjoy a family tradition. Kids are growing up and away, becoming on their own, Hubby is stationed away so our youngest can remain in this school district, and youngest is busy with band and theater and myriad other activities. One would think that leaves me time to write, but actually the opposite is true. I can’t find the motivation to write fluff when it feels like loneliness is weighing down on my heart. Some days the absolute silence in the house reminds me of how the kids used to fight hammer and tongs and me screaming for them to SHUT IT. Now I wish I had that opportunity again, just to let them fight it out Coliseum style.

I can’t wait for Christmas 🙂

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It’s Sunday, and I Should Be Cleaning but I Just Found Some Spray Paint and It Needs to Be Used

There has been a lot of upheaval in the house in the past two weeks. Consequently I have found lots and lots of paperwork that is A) worthless, 2) expired, and/or iii) in need of shredding. And y’all know what that means, right? It means I get to ignore it for a few days until I can come up with a plan that does not involve a lightsaber or conflagration. The HOA frowns on both. Until then, I need to start cleaning and reorganizing so I can rearrange furniture and free up space in the garage.

Some people keep their dining set in their garage, right?

Anyway, as I was cleaning up craft stuff in the garage, I came across a can of gold spray paint. Originally I had bought it to paint some wine bottles and decorate them in a country glam style for Christmas. And then I remembered my future SIL redid her guest bedroom and just needs some gold glam in it, so I’ll be using it on something today. Because a can of paint is a great reason to not do the bathrooms today, don’t you know.

So today I plan on writing (check), cleaning (a bit), shopping (for food), cooking, (for two), and painting (for fun). School starts tomorrow for Little One, so it’s important that I have a flexible schedule today in case she needs me during an absolute meltdown. And in case she needs to go through several wardrobe changes in preparation for the all-important First Day™.

*first meltdown has occurred*

Now that that’s over, we can continue to have a normal day.

Ish. 😀


Soldiering On

Yesterday, we took Son to his parental units’ alma mater. He has chosen to follow in his dad’s and his late uncle’s footsteps: joining the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets. Already he has made new friends and reconnected with old ones. He has learned many traditions and aspires to be the quintessential Aggie. I have no doubts about his abilities and his aptitude. Anyone who enjoys calculus and argues physics will succeed in his chosen field. And being a member of the Corps cuts down on your laundry chores, so there’s that.

As an Aggie, I’m totally psyched to have one of my kids share in my scholastic experiences. As a mom, I’m terrified. Oh, I’m not afraid of something happening to him or of him doing some boneheaded stunt. That’s bound to happen anyway. But I do fear him growing apart from his family. I know the time will come when he makes his way in the world. I’m just hoping that happens after he graduates and goes into the military. At least I get to see him some weekends, so the loss isn’t so acute.

But today is a dark day compared to yesterday. Today, Hubby leaves for his new position in Washington, D.C. I keep telling myself it won’t be as bad as Iraq or Egypt, since we will be at least in the same country and only one time zone difference. Even after experiencing deployments before, this still leaves a hole in my heart, knowing he won’t be walking through the door to the bark of the dogs, or enjoy his video game (don’t worry, he took the console and games with him), or watch a B movie after a long day at work. My family of five is down to two for now, and it feels so lonely in this house without them.

But that’s what we do. We go on and adapt and hold down the fort until our loved ones return. I can only hope and pray that they will adapt faster than I will, because I can’t be there to help them through it. Already I am counting the days until Christmas when we can be together again, fighting over the the last of the doughnuts and waiting for dinner to be served while watching Christmas movies. Until then, I can only be there in spirit, and through Skype 🙂


Relax, There’s Vodka For That

This is the last week of school, y’all.

I am not looking forward to the summer like most people are. Son is graduating and getting ready for college. And that means my anxiety is growing as the apron strings get cut once again. For someone who has big plans for an empty nest, I sure have issues when the chicks decide to leave it. I admit it was difficult to get used to Eldest’s departure for the military. Now with Son’s impending departure for college, I am left behind with one chick, and she isn’t the most amiable towards my melodramatic angst.

I think her exact words were, “Get over it.”

Sigh….. It will be difficult but I am sure I will get over it eventually. It’s not like I am constantly checking up on Eldest. So what if I know her work schedule and know when she should be in her barracks? I’m her mom, so I can’t be charged with stalking, right? This parenting thing is hard, learn-as-you-go and sometimes thankless, but they never tell you that all you go through is a piece of cake compared to them leaving you. At least Son will be able to come home for some weekends and holidays so the break will be slow, like ripping a bandage or twisting thumbscrews.

I did mention my melodramatic angst, right?

I know my parents are laughing at me. Come to think of it, so is my sister. And most of my friends. I know this isn’t as bad as I make it out to be, and it definitely isn’t the end of the world. It’s a new beginning, and I just hope and pray that each one is ready to face the world alone. My apron strings are being cut and Hubby tells me they can’t be sewed back on.

But there is always Velcro™!! 😀


How I Spent My Week Away From the Internet

Yes, I had a very good reason for being away. Eldest completed her classes and was now PCS’ing from the East Coast to the West Coast.

By minivan.

Which we, her parents, drove out in to pick her up, and to bring her home, and to take her to her next duty station. I have two words for y’all:

Never. Again.

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the trip. Most of the trip to the East was very scenic, and some of it was downright wonderful. I got to see the U.S.S. Alabama from the bridge (had no time to stop), Lake Charles’ Hell Bridge (as I like to call it) and the Atchafalaya Basin, and the beautiful Magnolias of Mississippi. The trip out is a favorite of mine as well. I love driving the desolate areas of I-10 in Texas. I really do. New Mexico had awesome signs about watching out for snakes among other animalia as well as plenty of hot air balloons dotting the sky. Arizona had the misfortune of putting up with us experiencing a flat tire, but all in all it was a good drive.

Until I-8. I thought I-10 in Texas was desolate. That strip of highway made I-10 look like a booming metropolis. I asked the tow truck driver how people lived in such a desolate area and he said, “Very carefully.” Not soon enough we waved buh-bye to AZ and greeted California, which went from sand dunes, to rocky mountains to more mountains, to BOOM!!! cities. Seriously, we went around a curve and suddenly there was actual population clustered everywhere. And driving everywhere. For a state that frowns on emissions, it sure had a lot of drivers expelling it. Soon enough we arrived in San Diego….. and found out we were too early to check in. No matter, because we had a good friend waiting for us, none other than XBradTC, who was kind enough to meet us and show us a bit of San Diego before he had to leave for his home. I saw the Midway and enjoyed the views of the bay even though it was 66* F, which in my terms is parka weather, and enjoyed a fabulous dinner overlooking the water and a rather cloudy sunset which didn’t detract from its beauty. Aside from finally meeting XBrad, the best part was the gift he bestowed upon me:

vader kids book

I’m not sure if he is saying I am a princess, or if he is referring to my parenting style. Either way I was very touched to receive it, and I fully admit to laughing out loud while reading it at the coffee shop. Yes, people looked at me funny and I didn’t care. It was a wonderful day spent in a wonderful city and far too short. I can’t wait to visit Eldest again and take some time to see more of the West Coast.

But I will fly out next time 😀


What. A. Week.

I swear, every time I sat down to write something would take me away. I may not have much to say but I still want to type it out.

First, our trip to Eldest’s graduation was full of surprises. I had no idea that cold could possibly get colder, or that wind could get any windier. It was so cold and windy, the graduates were given outerwear and we had to wait for their leaders to collect their coats prior to commencement and at the end. Afterwards we enjoyed our crowded stay inside the NEX as we watched sn*w falling. Once we could make our way to the vehicle, our new sailor expressed her wishes for the day. My taste for coffee was challenged when we took her to Starbucks. She was dying for a fix, and I was dying for actual coffee which I didn’t find thus I had to settle for hot chocolate. Then my geography knowledge was challenged when I found myself willing to drive to Wisconsin. No, we didn’t stop for any cheese. But we did stop to take a picture with the sign. After that, we made our way to a mall where she could have another Starbucks fix and wander around, whereupon my shopping gene was challenged and kept under strict control. The following day we were fortunate enough to spend a few hours at the airport with her as well, before our flights departed, ours for home, and hers for her duty station. And through all of this, she is ecstatic to have her phone back.

Second, ever had to make a diorama? Remember the fun you had making a three dimensional scene? Me neither. Little One had to make a stage set to SCALE for her tech theater class. When I say to scale, I mean everything had to be measured and built from scratch. No cheating at the hobby shop. Her assignment was to detail a living room in a 1970’s mansion. Break out the velvet sofas and gold brocade walls, right? Good thing I had all that stuff in my craft room. No, not actual gaudy wallpaper but gold paint and velvet I had in spades. Then came the hard part: making furniture. If I never see another piece of cardboard it will be too soon. Unless it’s a box from the Lolita website. Then it’s ok.

Third, nothing like trying to organize Thanksgiving get-together while still in the middle of home improvements. Luckily all that will be over by next week. Especially if I can convince my sister Reno Queen to change out a couple of light fixtures. If she has time, that is. Otherwise I will deal with unsightly holes in the ceiling and candlelight, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

But the highlight of the week belongs to Son, who was named a National Merit Commended Scholar, earning him a scholarship due to his incredibly high score on the PSAT/ NMSQT. The first of many accolades to come for the brainiac, I’m sure. If only he would get his driver’s license….

So, that’s this week’s wrap-up from gloomy South Texas. We are headed for a massive amount of rain,which means I need to get in gear and do all the grocery shopping before that happens. I’m not fool enough to go out during a rainstorm. Flash flooding always, ALWAYS wins. Also, I don’t particularly care for the wet-cat-through-hedge look.

Have a great Friday 🙂


I’m Not Old Enough For This

I am a bit freaked out today. Today marks a turning point in my life, and as much as I wished to be ready for it, I don’t think I am. No, nothing bad has happened. Everyone is in good health and accounted for. Also, I have my vehicle back so I am once again mobile, as in mom taxi. No, I am simply overwhelmed by the fact that today is my Eldest’s 19th birthday.

woman crying

WHAT HAPPENED????

It was just a while ago that she was catching lizards and geckos outside. Wait, that was literally two or three days ago. But I still remember her coming to me and asking for a pony tail, and picking out her “on”*. I still remember her asking for her sippy cup. I remember going Easter egg hunting and finding ladybugs to catch instead. I remember her crawling into bed with us when she heard thunder. Now she runs outside to take photographs of rain clouds and lightning. It wasn’t too long ago that she was asking for my help in shopping. Now she drives herself and gets whatever she needs.

*sobbing uncontrollably*

I’m not old enough for this. She was the first to make me a mother, and the first to make her way into the world. Her path to adulthood has not been without mistakes, but she has learned from those pitfalls and in that she has shown a maturity that is beyond her years. My baby is growing up, and all I can do is kick her out of the nest encourage her to fly.

I’m not old enough for this. But I do have to accept it. I take comfort in the fact that I will always be her momma. She may think I am a fuddy duddy and don’t know what I’m talking about right now, but just wait. She will face up to my wisdom soon enough 😉

*An “on” is a pony tail holder or hair clip. When they were little, I would hold one up to the girls and ask, “Do you want this on?” They understood “on” to be the name of the item. And they do call them by that to this day 🙂


Family Reunion, Binding Since 1809

No, not since 1809. I’m pretty sure the reunions began in the 20th century. Still, Hubby’s family has hosted a reunion since well before I joined it, so it has that going for it. I think. Anyway, this past weekend was especially fun, since my sister-in-law came down for a visit and attended it as well.

family reunion

It was fun, but also very bittersweet. The group was smaller, and some were older, and others gone on. Remembering them was especially hard for some of us that had not attended the reunion in the past few years, but it was also a chance to make resolutions to not let time go by and try to keep in touch with extended family. It was also a chance to learn new things.

The EPA has only 200 armed agents in its Criminal Division.

Play-Doh™ colors fade after a few months.

One is never too old for Play-Doh™.

Lemon pound cake is the equivalent of crack.

First dibs is totally legal.

Memories become sweeter with time.

But most important, Time never stops for anyone. I still live with the regret of waiting to connect with someone because “there’s always next year”. Yes, next year is sure to come, but one isn’t guaranteed the chance. Don’t wait to do tomorrow what you can do today.

Unless it’s the dishes. There’s paper plates for that 🙂


Two For Twenty

Today is a very special day. Hubby and I are celebrating our 20th anniversary.

Time has been kind to us. I would love to think I still look the same as I did waaaaaaaaaaaay back in 1985 when we met, but I am realistic enough to know the gray came with the children. He still looks pretty much the same as he did back then. Probably has a portrait hidden away somewhere. All I know is he looks distinguished, and I look gray and wrinkly.

But no matter. I earned those wrinkles from all the laughter he has given me. I earned the gray from all the worry from which he tried so hard to shield me. Sure, the kids had a hand in it, but they weren’t the ones in the line of fire. Unless I was the one doing the firing. Anyway, for twenty years we have been supporting each other, and though it hasn’t always been a 50-50 proposition, the rewards have been beyond anything I could have imagined. Sometimes smooth, and sometimes rocky, nevertheless it has been wonderful.

And I am so grateful for it.

hubby-n-wife

Here’s to forty more, at least. But in reality we are shooting for at least 47, because we want to be around when Halley’s Comet shows up again. That may be a long shot, but we have the Solar Eclipse in 2017 to go see for our 23rd anniversary, so we have that going for us.

What can I say? We are geeks and proud of it 😀


Thursday Never List

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. Bar NONE!!

Unless you are a parent. Then it’s a double-edged sword.

Don’t get me wrong. I love seeing the kids’ faces when they open their gifts. It’s so sweet to see the surprise and hear the “SQUEEE!!”, no matter how big or small the gift. But we parents learn a lesson soon after the first couple of Christmases about gift giving for the kids. Obviously the gifts should be age appropriate. No one disputes that wisdom. But there are some gifts one should never give children. You are asking for trouble.

play doh drill and fillToys to Never Buy for Children

#5– Play Doh Dentist

Just the thought of hearing the whirr of that drill is enough to get people climbing the walls.

#4– Underwear

There are two outcomes from this gift: tears, or wearing on the head like a superhero mask. I’m not sure which is worse.

#3– Expensive or Heirloom Jewelry

You don’t want a kid using Grandma’s rosary as a helicopter rotor.

#2– Musical Instruments

An eight-year-old with a drum set. Enough said.

#1– Any Repetitive Noisemaker

I know that sounds vague, but one can include trains, whistles, popguns, and whoopie cushions in this category, to name a few. Eventually, your need for peace will outweigh any desire to make sure the child is happy, and will result in a Godzilla-like rampage.

I hope y’all had a wonderful Christmas in relative peace and harmony. If not, I hope your Godzilla imitation was caught on video 😉

Hat tip: roamingfirehydrant!!