Filed under: family | Tags: baby boogers, booger sucker, motherhood, not my mother
In the months that Lula spent inside my belly swimming knots into her cord, my brain played out myriad scenarios to help me practice not becoming my mother.
Some were easy lessons on what to avoid: A super wiggly kindergartner needs her hair done before school and you are exhausted from staying up all night scrubbing floors because the creek dog ate some chicken bones while on the lam after the backyard gate was left open yesterday.
How to handle it? Simple: Do not burn her forehead with the curling iron to teach her to sit still while you’re curling her hair. Who curls a kindergartner’s hair before school anyway?
The more difficult scenarios will take the rest of my days to sort out: How do you raise a daughter with an appreciation of fairy tales and happy endings while gifting her the ability to live independently of Prince Charming and weather, even welcome, the storms of life?
My mom will always struggle with deep, stinging bitterness over the implosion of her happily ever after, giving up on Prince Charming entirely and stubbornly refusing to step out into the sunshine. With all the manic scenario practice from gestation to first birthday, my husband surely worries where I’m going to land when the hormones begin to settle.
Along this winding path, one tiny, seemingly innocuous scenario slipped through the cracks. It first presented in the weeks after Lula was born, hoarding my focus and drowning out the chaos of survival parenting.
My frazzled husband tugged on his delicious curly locks and implored me to notice the beagle baying by the fireplace because a raccoon had taken residence in the chimney. When that failed he bribed me with plates of deliciousness, leading me by the hand to a table set with green chile tamale casserole in an attempt to break the spell.
These fleeting distractions pulled me away for only a few minutes at a time before the shadow caught me again.
It was for her own good.
I distinctly remember my mother inflicting this on my newborn sister all those years ago. Mom would grab the green gooey mass in one perfect shot and then soothe my sister with a reassuring, “All better now.”
Mine is an exact replica of the tool she used–the same blue bulb, so precise and swift. Even a pinky fingernail does the trick in a pinch. The big globby ones are the most satisfying and I’ll usually show her the results with pride. “See what Mommy got out of your nose?”
She’ll giggle as she steals the blue bulb from my hand, stick it in her nose, and hand it back to me with glee.
Maybe just this once, being like my mom is not so bad.
Filed under: family | Tags: baby, birth, lula, miscarriage, pixielove, pregnant
It’s been a long while since I’ve written anything here. I make no promises of posting with any regularity in the future. I’ve come to accept that I will be an on-again, off-again kind of presence. That’s just the way it is.
So where have I been?
Not long after my last post, my dear companion Max passed on to whatever beautiful realm exists beyond the veil. I still miss him to this day…all the love and warmth and snuggling and soft, sweet kitty belly. So much love to you, dear Max.
Shortly after losing Max, we got pregnant and then lost our baby at 12 weeks. It was a pretty dark winter for us in 2009.
And then the new year came and 2010 brought us much joy and love with the birth of our beautiful daughter, Lula. Every day is a new adventure and if you have children, you understand the off-again nature of my bloggings.
So, I’m back. You’re all caught up. And now maybe I’ll have some fun things to tell you in the days to come.
Filed under: sabbatical | Tags: burns, creek dog townes, jack the beagle, kk tilley, Max, nap, pixielove, sabbatical
I’m having a hard time leaving the house at this point…it’s so cozy in the upstairs lounge where I have guitar, satellite TV, interwebs, three cats, two dogs, and a patch of warm sunshine just begging for me to nap.
I was forced out this morning only because the animals were hungrily stalking me through the house until I remembered they did not have food.
Creek Dog Townes ran and hid when I said, “Walk?” Burns and Max peacefully napped together on the bed. And Jack the Beagle had no interest in my lunch.
I gotta get outta here!
Filed under: sabbatical | Tags: cat, jack the beagle, kk tilley, Max, mooyah, pancho, pixielove, purple martin, red bud island, sabbatical, tom cat
Yesterday was my first real day on sabbatical and boy, did I have grand plans:
- Get up early with Pancho and exercise
- Change name at social security administration
- Enjoy grand park adventure with dogs
- Frame paintings purchased on honeymoon over a year ago
- Rid house of kim-chi and bulgalbi cookout smells
- Overachieve on songwriting class homework
- Write best one-line book summary ever
- Rock out on guitar
- Make most delicious homemade bread
What was I thinking? Pancho wakes up at the crack of dawn.
Here’s my real day:
- Wake up at 7:30am and Facebook for one hour
- Try to take the dogs for a walk only to discover Pancho took leashes to work
- Maintain safe driving to Red Bud Island while Jack the Beagle stands on back of seat and pants in ear
- Try to pay the housekeeper only to discover Pancho absconded with cash
- Pick up Pancho for lunch at Mooyah
- Drop off paintings and return Pancho to work
- Go back to Pancho’s work to pick up cash I forgot
- Eavesdrop on domestic squabble between birds squatting in Purple Martin house
- Photograph Max Cat, my dear sabbatical companion who sleeps in the dirty laundry basket as I write.
Not what I’d planned, but wonderfully free.
Filed under: family, sabbatical | Tags: austin, bbq, bibimbap, booh, booze, bulgogi, crazy mamasita, family, kimchi, korean bbq, lockhart, maria maria, pancho, pixielove, surfer girl
Midway through the weekend, I realized that all we do when people come to town is eat. Well, that’s not true. Apparently we drink a lot too.
This weekend, we entertained the multigenerational troika of my sister (Booh), my mom (Crazy Mamasita), and my niece (Surfer Girl).
Back when she was married, Booh used to hate Austin and all of my “hippie hole in the wall dives.” Now that she’s free again she loves all the hidden dark places of Austin and comes to visit all the time. Strike that; she comes to visit all the time because her new non-beaufriend is located here…but we’ll let that slide for now.
Crazy Mamasita usually pulls into town with a truck full of groceries and random gifts, which once included an oversized book about kittens. She’s nearing 70-years-old and can barely sip a margarita before she’s dancing with shovels and telling dirty jokes.
Seven years ago, Surfer Girl visited Texas and we took her to play miniature golf. She was ten. Now she’s all growed up and works in a surf shop in Hawaii…and sharing a glass of wine with her mom on high school graduation day suggested that Surfer Girl liked to get her drink on. What?
The booze pushing started Friday evening at Maria Maria, where Crazy Mamasita pushed her margarita to Surfer Girl saying, “you drinky” and then freaked out when I told her she would go to jail for boozing up a minor. We didn’t last for the live music that evening; Booh and Non-Beaufriend stopped for whiskey and cigarettes on the way home and Surfer Girl and I caught the end of Pride and Prejudice on TV. Crazy Mamasita passed out on the couch.
Pancho and I vowed that Saturday would be a better day of entertainment for Surfer Girl. Auditorium Shores was blazing hot and our guests had never heard of Stevie Ray Vaughn, so I took them on a drive-by tour of UT campus on our way to the Korean grocery store. ‘Cuz what every teenage girl wants to see in a new town is how well-stocked the Korean grocery is, right?
After two sips of her hibiscus margarita at Vivo, Crazy Mamasita went to work preparing a full Korean feast…bulgalbi, bi bim bap, and fresh kimchi. Oh my. My house still smells of charred bulgalbi (Korean BBQ ribs) and kimchi.
Sunday was our day of redemption. A quick jaunt to Lockhart for Smitty’s BBQ gave Surfer Girl the true Texas BBQ experience…and a send-off celebration with big-as-your-face cupcakes on SoCo ended the weekend just right.
Wow…it’s been a while since I’ve written anything. Too much pen-and-paper writing along with lots of ridiculous TV.
In just a few hours I’ll be walking out the door of my office, heading straight to a four-week sabbatical that will find me living like a lady of leisure for the month of June. Can I get a woot-woot?
I’ll be enjoying the glorious sunshine in Austin in June…roaming the dog parks with Jack The Beagle and his trusty companion, Creek Dog Townes…sipping homemade ginger-chili-vodka…writing bits and pieces of my sci-fi story about The Pixie of Doom…making up songs and playing guitar…clean-sweeping the house…hosting a film crew shooting on location at my house…and whatever other ridiculousness I can think up.
So for the next month, look for updates on my Grand Sabbatical Adventure here at PixieDust!
Filed under: life | Tags: arborist, austin, king tilley, kk tilley, mau-mau, pancho, pixielove, red oak, tree, woodpecker
Today’s word of the day was “mau-mau” which means to intimidate by hostile confrontation or threats. I feel like I’ve been mau-maued today.
This morning, Pancho left for work about 20 minutes ahead of me. Nothing out of the ordinary.
When I walked out on my way to work, there was a strange orange zippy car parked in front of the house. Inside my head, I noted how rude the neighbors were.
As I turned the corner toward the driveway, I noticed my husband’s car still parked next to mine. Strange since he’d left quite a while back.
As I walked past his car, I noticed his briefcase on the ground next to the rear tire. Hmm.Things were not looking good.
I called his cell to see what was going on; I heard it ringing nearby and panicked. My husband had been kidnapped!
And then he answered. From the backyard. Where he was standing with the city arborist who owned the orange zippy car.
They were discussing the imminent removal of my dear old red oak tree. Conspirators.
If I hadn’t caught them scheming in the backyard, I would have come home to a giant hole in my skyline where my glorious old red oak tree sheltered countless birds and squirrels. A girl needs some warning about these things!
The red oak died of oak wilt within the last year, so I knew the day was coming. We were holding out to allow the baby squirrels and birds to leave it. I suppose that time has come.
I will miss the red headed woodpecker that dines on the red oak’s insect inhabitants every morning. And the expansive canopy of branches, even though it’s final leaves fell last fall.
Farewell, my lovely tree.
(If you look carefully, you’ll see the woodpecker on the middle trunk of the tree next to a knot where he likes to feast.)