Category: Family

I am not a chatty ball of energy

There are so many things you can do to waste time when you have so many other much more important things waiting to be done. Like take a goofy quiz. And that’s exactly what I decided to do this morning.

I took the Zimbio quiz- Which TV mom are you?  As is usually the case with these quizzes, I was wishing for the option to write in my own answer. It goes without saying that I wasn’t expecting a perfect match.

And my TV mom alter ego is-

zimbio tv mom quiz
Image Credit-Zimbio

Soooo, although I love Lorelai Gilmore of Gilmore Girls fame, I don’t see myself as being much like her. I would love to have her quick wit and fit body. And owning an inn sounds like fun. Stars Hollow is my dream home town. How could it not be?? What other town has its very own troubadour? Also, Lorelai seems much more confident and fearless than I am!

While Rory is a dream child, I would definitely keep my own. They are as quick with the quips as Rory, which they inherited from their father. And although they are not Ivy League scholars, they are successful and awesome people in their own right! Yes, they are very dear to me so I would want to keep them!

Curious what my results would be elsewhere, I searched for other quizzes about TV moms. My answers varied from Marge Simpson (The Simpsons) to Tami Taylor (Friday Night Lights).

Marge Simpson- Endowed with the patience of a saint, you know for a fact that that pious dimwit Flanders has nothing on you! Now, things might not always go your way, but you’re the voice of reason in chaos and your disapproving groan has no doubt saved lives! Brainfall

Tami Taylor- You’re not only the most rational head in your family, but you’re one for the community as well. You’re deep commitment to your family outshines everything you do, which is why you believe in putting up a united front with your partner when it comes to handling your children. You believe that raising children is a partnership — a push-pull where both partners have their chance to shine. In the wise words of Tami Taylor, “You’re gonna win or you’re gonna lose. Either way the sun’s still gonna come up tomorrow morning.” Popsugar

I guess it could have been worse, right? And giving it more thought, I concluded that Lorelai was a loving mom who would do anything for her child and that’s definitely not a bad thing. Besides, while in the middle of my Gilmore Girls binge watching, she has delivered some memorable quotes-

  • “We’re almost there & nowhere near it. All that matters is that we’re going!” (Lorelai)
  • “I need caffeine. Whatever form you’ve got. I haven’t had any all day. I’ll drink it, shoot it, eat it, snort it, whatever form it’s in. Gimme.” (Lorelai)
  • “My life stinks. Hey, let’s look into each other’s eyes and say, ‘I wish I were you’ at the exactly same time…..maybe we’ll pull a ‘Freaky Friday’ ” (Lorelai)
  • “As long as everything is exactly the way I want it, I’m totally flexible.” (Lorelai)
  • “I’m not broke. Maybe just a little chipped.” (Lorelai)

While it’s been nice dreaming about drinking coffee and dashing off witty one-liners, it’s time for me to get back to those pesky little things that are still waiting to be done around the house.

Have you ever gotten a wacky result or one so eerily accurate it gives you chills when taking those silly quizzes? Come on- you must taken at least one quiz! Everyone does, right?

Take care!



This Little Chair of Mine

rocking chair
My rocking chair

When I was only a year old, my parents gave me this rocking chair for Christmas. They had saved up enough S&H Green Stamps to order it from the Ideabook, aka the S&H catalog. If you aren’t familiar with the idea, here is how it worked. A person received green stamps when they checked out at the grocery store. They would then save these stamps in a stamp book and when they filled the book, they could redeem them for merchandise ordered through the Ideabook.

This rocking chair quickly became the chair of choice when we were growing up. It’s not really suited for anyone over 50 pounds but that didn’t matter to us. If one of us walked into the living room and all the seats were taken, or we were only stopping in for a short time, we took to sitting in my little chair. Suffice it to say, our bottoms quickly became too big to squeeze into it so we made do and perched on top. I’m not sure which one of us, me or my siblings, came upon the idea to turn the chair around and straddle it, resting on the arms, but whoever did it first was a genius…. at least in our eyes. That position extended the chair’s use long beyond its time and as young adults we continued to use it as a sitting place until my niece came along and used it correctly.

For some unknown reason, my rocking chair never made it to my possession when I had my children. My niece, nephews and children enjoyed it over at Grandma’s house. And this little chair just kept chugging along. To the best of my knowledge it never required repairs or strengthening, which is nothing short of a miracle considering the workout received from two generations of children/young adults.

And then without any fanfare, one day my parents brought my chair to my house for my grandchildren to enjoy. My dad had spruced it up with a fresh coat of paint. For whatever reason, little Beej was not amused by this chair in the least. We all sat watching  his reaction with anticipation. I know it was an emotional moment for my parents- to see my grandson sitting in the rocking chair they had gotten for their first born child all those years ago. I imagine at that time they didn’t even consider that the chair would still be standing strong or that they would live to see their great-grandchild rocking in it.

But Beej had other thoughts on the matter. He stood three feet away from the offensive chair, and believe me- there was no doubt that this chair offended him greatly! He glared at it and pointed, making it clear that the chair must leave. I’m sure it wasn’t the response my parents had expected and they left trying to mask their disappointment. As is Beej’s nature, he does things in his own time and within a few weeks he was settling in his new chair, dragging it all over the house and rocking every place he could find. A year later it is his go to chair and we find it pulled up to his desk, his toy kitchen and the ottoman he likes to use a table.

It fills my heart with the warm fuzzies when I think of my little chair being part of my grandchildren’s lives and who knows? Maybe even my great grandchildren!

Happy Saturday!




Spit Spot

mary poppins
My childhood copy of Mary Poppins

There is a new Mary Poppins movie coming out in December and it’s causing much excitement in our house.  I can’t remember which came first for me, the movie or the book. One thing is certain- both were on the scene for a few years before I either saw the movie or read the book. My book shows a copyright date of 1962, two years before the movie that is referred to on the book jacket was released.


I remember reading the book many times and seeing the movie many times over the years and although books made into movies can be annoying for a book lover, I never had any complaints about this one.

“Anything can happen if you let it.” -Mary Poppins

Whether it was in movie or book form, I’ve loved Mary Poppins for as long as I can remember. I had paper dolls, which I actually still have somewhere in my possession packed away for safe keeping.

If you aren’t familiar with paper dolls, they were dolls in paper form. (( know, duh!) You bought a book, similar to a coloring book or magazine, and the pages were filled with clothes with tabs on them that you dressed the paper dolls in. The paper dolls were usually on the cover- made of a heavier paper stock, so they wouldn’t get damaged from play.

Some came with the outfits perforated, making it much easier to remove them from the page. The ones that were not perforated needed to be cut out by hand. When I was too young to cut them out myself, I remember sitting next to my mother, impatiently waiting for her to cut out each piece outfit. I’m sure I drove my mother crazy, hovering around and asking if the next dress was cut out yet. I loved those paper dolls and spent many happy hours re-enacting the movie and adding adventures of my own!

“First of all, I would like to make one thing clear: I never explain anything.” -Mary Poppins

There were so many fun scenes and songs in the original movie and I had a hard time deciding which to share. When I settled on Step in Time, a song performed by the chimney sweeps and led by Bert, played by the very talented Dick Van Dyke, I was hard pressed to find a video clip that I liked. Then I stumbled onto this one, which while including the song and dance number, is actually an interview with the key people responsible for its creation.

I found this video to be an interesting look behind the scenes. I knew that Dick Van Dyke did not have formal dance training but it’s when you see some of the moves that you can fully appreciate his natural talent. Add to this the fact that he was around 37ish years old moving like that is pretty impressive! I admit that trying to recreate the scene left me worn out with my legs tangled in knots!

While watching the movie with 9 year old CJ and 3 year old Beej recently, the following exchange between Bert and the children struck me in a way that I hadn’t given much thought before.

You know, begging you pardon, but the one who my heart goes out for is your father. There he is in that cold, heartless bank day after day, hemmed in by mounds of cold, heartless money. I don’t like to see any living thing caged up.

Father in a cage?

They makes cages in all sizes and shapes, you know. Bank-shaped some of ’em, carpets and all.

There might be some people who think that Mary Poppins is dated but I find it to be timeless. After all, I look around and see so many parents who are so busy with their own lives, whether it’s careers or causes, that they sometimes forget about their own Janes and Michaels.

My little (okay, at the age of 9, CJ is not quite as little anymore) guys loved the movie. In a world of super heroes and fast paced, action packed movies, I wasn’t sure how it would float. Needless to say, it was a winner. In fact, not long after watching it, CJ referred to the following joke, which appealed to his 9 year old sense of humor. I won’t be including the punchline…..just because.

“Speaking of names, I know a man with a wooden leg named Smith.”

We look forward to the release of Mary Poppins Returns, and while it might be nice to have Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke reprise their roles as Mary and Bert, I’m not sure it would have the same energy with them at the ages of 83 and 92. Anyway, Mary Poppins is magical so I wouldn’t expect her to age.

On a slightly ironic Mary Poppins themed note, my car’s CD player is on its last legs and there are five CD’s trapped inside. Of those five, currently only one will play and that’s, you guessed it- the Mary Poppins soundtrack.

I’ll leave you with a quote from the wonderful Mary Poppins author and a “Spit spot. And off we go!”

“I cannot summon up inspiration; I myself am summoned.” -P.L Travers

“Why are we here?”

Little Beej is three going on thirty. We were eating breakfast and the question came from nowhere. For a brief second, I forgot who had asked the question and just focused on those words. “Why are we here?”

This is something I’ve been struggling with for over a year now. When my life took a slight major detour last year, it took me awhile to adjust. Overnight (literally), everything changed. My grandsons, CJ and Beej, began staying with us when my son was at work. Since he works 24 hour shifts, this included two nights sleeping over and two mornings getting ready for school or the day, for each shift. Suddenly homework, baths, and extra-curricular activities were part of our daily lives again. My husband and I were back in the trenches.

We went into this phase believing it was just that- a phase. If anyone had asked us, I doubt either of us would have said that we might be doing this for the next ten years or so. And yet, as each month passed, what was supposed to be temporary was feeling more and more permanent. Planning time for meetings or friends became tricky and although I put a top priority on those meetings…. other things were set on a shelf. I found it hard to find time to blog, write, read, spend time with my friends, take time for myself.

The situation truly was what it was and is what it is. My son cannot help it and I know that if we all didn’t believe that this is the best we can do, we would not be doing it. Those little boys needed stability, routine, and love. They needed to know that when Daddy was at work, everything remained the same as it was when he was home. Yes, a person can hire nannie, use day care, babysitters, whatever, but what these boys needed (and continue to need) was a sense of family and love. Those other alternatives could never replace the nurturing they desperately need.

Knowing that I was doing what was best for the boys did not always lessen negative feelings. The feelings weren’t directed at the kids or my son. I tried to get a handle on them and just shove them out into the great beyond. But I was resentful and angry. I was watching my life slip away, bit by bit. Raising my own kids, I had struggled to find my identity separate from that of MOM. In this new role, although it was completely 100% mom-like, I wasn’t Mom. I was in a different place- one that I did not expect to be. I was helping my son raise his children. I am a grandparent helping raise her grandchildren. And I’ve found that it’s not as new of a thing as one might think!

The small part of me that seething asked, “How did we get here?” and “Who’s to blame?” I can assure you that this train of thought did not serve any purpose other than to help negativity grow. Luckily, Beej would snuggle up to me and all of that bad stuff would evaporate. I was always reminded of why I was here.

And somewhere along the way, we all adjusted to this new normal. I accepted that things might not change and this might be the next ten years of my life. With the help of my parents and an especially awesome best friend, I was (and am) able to see all the positive things this is bringing into my life and the boys’ lives and my son’s life…. And that’s the why of it. Not that negative stuff.

Helping CJ and Beej understand the why is a bit more difficult and will take time. Until that time, we are taking it day by day.

And in answer to Beej’s question, well, he was just wondering why we had come to Michigan for the day. That answer was an easy one- “To get a break and have fun!”

It was much easier to answer than yesterday’s question- “What is a plug made out of?”

Have a great day!


Happy Grandparents Day!

bw hands40 years ago, give or take a few days, Grandparents Day came to be. It’s self explanatory. It’s simply a day to honor grandparents. It’s not a big holiday. I doubt I’ll get any special recognition today and I’m not looking for it. That’s the funny thing about being a grandparent. The reward is in the being.

“Grandchildren are loving reminders of what we’re really here for.” -Janet Lanese

The other day while I was in the pick up line at school waiting for Beej to be released….yes, little Beej is in preschool now!… I got out of my car and came around to stand on the sidewalk. The man who had been leaning against the van in front of me in line took a few steps closer and commented on the weather. After a few moments of weather chit chat, he asked who I was waiting for. I told him it was my 3 year old grandson and he nodded, telling me he was also waiting for a 3 year old grandson. He went on to share that his kids dropped the grandkids off on their way to work and he drove them all to school. We found out that we both have 9 year old grandsons and wondered if they might be in the same class. (They are not.) It was a short, nothing to write home about, exchange but it was nice. It reminded me of days long ago when I stood outside another school waiting for my own kids come out, talking with other moms. Things have changed in the last 20 years. Way back (haha) grandparents showed up for concerts and graduations. Now they are as present in the school setting as parents! I’m hoping my “grandpa” friend is there when I pick up Beej on Tuesday. I’ve found that the moms prefer to sit in their cars until they see their child walking out. Although it might age me, I prefer the old way- standing outside chatting- and if it has to be with a grandpa, so be it!

“Grandchildren are the dots that connect the lines from generation to generation.” -Lois Wyre

Last week due to 48 hour shifts and a wedding, CJ and Beej spent 5 days straight with us. On day five, they went home with Daddy. That evening my son, Michael, sent the following text- “CJ will be calling you from our house phone.”

Minutes later I answered my phone, unsure what I was going to hear. Quickly dispensing with formalities, CJ said, “I just wanted to call to tell you goodnight.”

It seemed curious. Quite out of the ordinary. But I asked how his day went- “Fine”, asked if he was happy to be back home- “Yes”, and finally went into what has come to be our regular “closing” remarks when we leave each other. “Okay, well, you’ll spend tonight, tomorrow and the next night at your house and then Daddy will drop you off at school each day. On Friday, I’ll pick you up and you’ll spend the night here with me. I love you! Goodnight!” This has become custom because the schedule is not always regular and I hope to give CJ a sense of security in knowing what’s happening when. He seems to respond well to it.

A follow up conversation with Daddy filled me in on the reason behind the unexpected phone call. After five days with the grandparents here, CJ had struggled with settling in at home with Dad’s rules. He had pushed every boundary could find and a few he didn’t know were there. Now, let’s make one thing clear. Dad’s rules and Nonna’s rules are very similar. Due to the amount of time the boys spend here, we don’t have the luxury of spoiling them in the typical grandparent ways. And out of me and my husband, I’m the bad guy, the enforcer, the meanie.

CJ is not an easy kid to get close to and we have our ups and down, he and I. Then something like this happens- when he calls me because he needs that touchstone- and it’s the most precious gift he can give me. His trust.

“If your baby is ‘beautiful and perfect, never cries or fusses, sleeps on schedule and burps on demand, an angel all the time,’ you’re the grandma.” -Teresa Bloomingdale

With so many more grandparents helping their children raise their perhaps this day needs to pack more of a punch but given the spirit in which it was created, I’m sure that, like me, most grandparents get such joy from being with their little ones that there is no other gift that could be more precious.

Happy Grandparents Day!

Happy Sunday!




One year ago, I encountered this detour. I wasn’t sure if it was temporary or long-term. I thought I was prepared for anything. And although I like to think I rose to the challenge, I tend to beat myself up so I find it hard to shove the struggles aside and focus on the successes.

Separate from all of us finding a new normal that comes with its own stops and starts and bumps and bruises, we were pitched a few curve balls. Beej took three and a half to an entire new level. Two family members were hit with health issues that derailed everyone. Life hit us from all sides and we did our best. I did my best.
I don’t know what the next year holds but I’m as ready as one can be. My goals are to carve out time for myself and scheduled time to write- two separate but very important things.
More to come…

Dandelion Fuzz

corner 1


My plans for the fall have come to a halt. Or maybe just had to be revised. Due to circumstances beyond his control, my son finds himself needing some assistance in caring for CJ (almost 8) and Beej (approaching 3). Working a 24 on/48 off shift means that he needs more than just “keep an eye on the kids for a few hours” help. It requires at least two overnights and now that school has begun, on the average of three mornings getting CJ ready and off to school and then picked up and homework duty.

Cross Traffic Does Not Stop

Crossing the road both figuratively and literally can be quite tricky. I’m dealing with two children, who are quite precious to me, and although I know them almost as well as I knew their dad at these ages, I just never know what we will find around the…

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