Pixie Dust


The Blue Bulb
November 13, 2011, 5:05 pm
Filed under: family | Tags: , , ,

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.



Back Again
August 12, 2011, 6:04 pm
Filed under: family | Tags: , , , , ,

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.



All We Ever Do Is Eat

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.



The Beagle Brigade
May 3, 2008, 9:13 pm
Filed under: family, life | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Jackson Browne…Jack Attack…Pooty McStinker…Poots…Jackolantern…they all call up the same crazy dog that we adopted last year: Jack the Beagle.

During our adventure at Eeyore’s Birthday last weekend (where Jack saw his first horses and a macaw–all at the same time…and learned the joys of baying to the beats in the drum circles), we met a lady who organizes the Austin Beagle Brigade. I imagined chaos with loud, howling beagle dogs running around like my Jack…clearly, I had to see this in person.

Jack loves to ride in the car. He thinks anyplace the car takes you is the park. Sometimes, the parks are pretty bad (like when we go to the post office, or our old duplex that we’re renovating). And sometimes, they are awesome (like Red Bud or Auditorium Shores or Onion Creek). Regardless, a trip in the car is exciting for Jack.

First, there’s the joy inside the house as he sees that we’re not going to work. Then, there’s the race to get to the car first. He can’t bear to think that Townes might get his window seat. Pancho and I always carry earplugs for the ride…poor Townes smiles and hopes we get there quickly. So much anticipation and excitement for our little Jack, and then…he doesn’t even play with the other beagles. He doesn’t like being separated from Townes.
It turns our our guy was the loudest in the group, and he eventually took on one good chase with the beagles, running all over the park baying at the group. When he wasn’t baying, he was climbing in the laps of onlookers…he thinks he’s a small lap dog even though he’s 50 pounds.

Our Jack…you gotta love him.



Santa’s Joint
December 25, 2004, 10:49 am
Filed under: family | Tags: , , , , , ,

Christmas this year was all about change, with a mixture of laughter and tears that left me slightly unsatisfied, yet happy and fat.

For the first time in at least a decade, we didn’t spend Christmas Eve at my dad & stepmom’s house opening Santa gifts. In Christmases of old, we sisters would make the trek to our parents’ house in the burbs to indulge in a feast of cold cut sandwiches and open the crazy gifts delivered early by the jolly fat man.

Every year, Santa brings us little individual packages containing the same gifts for each of us that have to be unwrapped by all at the same time. The ritual goes something like this:

“Let’s open the Kleenex!” calls out Disney, my step-sister who interns for Mickey in Orlando. We all dig through the stack of gifts to find the little rectangular package and tear it open to confirm that yes, indeed, it is Kleenex. Next come the calendars, then socks, then underwear…of course, we get great gifts too, but it’s the Santa gifts that provide entertainment for the whole family.

This year, Elvis (my boyfriend) got to participate for the first time…and brought his own brand of entertainment to the family. Early into the Santa process, I realized that Elvis needed to experience Santa before he could ever truly be part of the family. So I dug a small item out of the pile and handed it to him. He examined the tiny tissue-wrapped trinket with confusion, laughed and asked, “What is it? A joint?”

Leave it to my boyfriend to make a drug reference about the Santa Chapstick at his first Christmas with my family. No, really Dad, he’s not a pothead…just a drunk.Another big change–Mom and Dad celebrated the holidays with us at the same gathering for the first time since they divorced almost 20 years ago. My sister hosted us at her new house out in the boonies north of Frisco (who knew there were any homesteads that far north). It wasn’t too bad…just a little competition between the moms to see who could tell more stories about Dad and boss everyone around the most.
For the most part, it was a relatively bloodless holiday.

It also happens that Disney shares her birthday with Jesus Cristo, so the evening portions of our holiday celebrations are typically spent devouring strawberry cake (yes, pink cake and pink frosting) despite the 4 helpings of holiday potluck and samplings of all 6 pies just a few hours before.

This year, the excitement was not so much the number of candles on her cake, but more about the tiny little matchbook used to light the candles. At first glance, it seemed innocent enough…but the slogan “Any jail, any bail” really caught my eye. We opened the matchbook (because you have to open a matchbook with a slogan like that) and found a poem on the inside that detailed the journey of needles, pills and booze on “THE ROAD TO HELL.” Not bad for a family gathering…makes you kinda wonder who brought that one into the house and why they had it in the first place.