Monthly Archives: March 2012

Measuring Life One Inning at a Time…

I spent the weekend at a baseball tournament way north of our home and missed several things in the process including the time to write this blog! I missed a really nice St. Patrick’s Day party hosted by friends, another close
friend’s Bat mitzvah, and I haven’t had a moment alone with my husband (otherwise known as coach) in I don’t know how long.

I know these times with the kids won’t last forever and I’m cherishing them as much as I can. Is our life crazy right now? Sure is. Will these be the times I look back on and miss the most? I already know the answer to that is YES! Has my daughter grown up at the baseball field? Yep, and she can entertain herself anywhere.

Two of the three coaches on my son’s baseball team are father’s whose sons are in their twenty’s. They coached their sons all the way through middle school and then were animated spectators during the high school years. Now that their kids are off to college and beyond, they are back coaching my son’s team and loving every minute of it. It is great to have non-dad coaches and their enthusiasm and love of the game rubs off on the boys. We are having a ton of fun, even if it does interfere with normal life.

So, what about the Women Unplugged readers…what do you do now that you know you’ll miss later?  If your chicks have already flown the coop, what do you miss the most? I think I’ll be surprised by your answers!

Chewing Gum: A Dieter’s Best Friend

I’m battling the sagging middle.  And not just the one in my work-in-progress.  I’m talking about middle age and all the junk that goes with it.  Well, mostly the extra 15 pounds of junk clinging to my middle.  Where did it come from?  Strike that.  I know exactly where it came from.

I have a confession to make:  I’m a bit of a stress eater.  Okay, I’m a big stress eater.  Candy, cookies, cupcakes; you name it, I want it.  Especially when I’m writing.  While other writers spend their “mind breaks” (translation:  writer’s block) surfing the internet or stalking their old high school boyfriend via Facebook, I’m pulling out the mixer and baking up a batch of Toll House Cookies.  Not for me. Of course not.  I’ll send them to my son at college.

Public Disclaimer:  Before my son rat’s me out, I have sent him cookies this year.  Twice.  The others were of such an inferior quality that I had to get rid of them.  I’m just not saying how.

I do exercise.  But these last few months haven’t been that productive what with a hinky disc in my back and now the fiberglass claw I have to wear on my broken wrist.  I manage three miles in 40 minutes each day on the treadmill, but that hasn’t been enough to combat my hibernating metabolism.

So I’ve resorted to drastic measures:  I’m dieting.  Yes, I’ve returned to the land of weights, measures, and counting points.  Weight Watchers is effective.  And, a lot more fun now that I have an iPhone.  So far this month, I’ve lost 5 lbs.  Okay, it’s not really lost.  That five pounds is actually sitting on the candy aisle at my grocery store in the form of a five pound bag of M&M’s, but I’m resisting temptation.  So far.

And I owe it all to chewing gum.  Now while I write, I chomp on a big ol’ wad of gum.  Hey, at least my jaw is getting a workout.  And my dentist need not worry, it’s sugarless and the whitening kind.  Yeah, I know, pathetic, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

What’s your favorite snack when you write?


Today I have been on the planet for… 45 years.

Forty five years. Wow.  I remember when that was a hundred years away.

My daughter is seventeen, and I remember seventeen.  I REMEMBER seventeen and many things about that age that I hope my daughter won’t be remembering when she’s my age.  Then again, if I take my mommy hat off for a minute, I hope she does.  I want her to do the crazy things she’ll sit around a fire telling stories about later, I just don’t want to know she’s doing them.

I remember turning nineteen when that was the drinking age in Texas…for five whole months.  Then it changed to 21 and I had to be a baby using fake id’s again…um…I mean, I had to stay home again.

I remember leaving home at twenty and moving 300 miles away…learning about what big cities were like.  I remember having my daughter at 27, moving back home at 32, trying to open a bookstore at 35, going back to crunching numbers behind a desk at 37, and getting remarried at 39.

Where on earth did all the time go?  Suddenly that arbitrary age that seemed a century away is lying on me like a blanket, with aching muscles and not quite so taut skin.  Highlights and lowlights that cover up more gray than I care to admit.

But that’s okay.  I’m still here.  And still kickin’.  I’m blessed and happy to be here to see another year!!  Tonight will be Mexican food gorging, and ice cream cake.  Because it’s all about the ice cream cake.

Now I need to go see what my seventeen year old is doing…  🙂

The Cotillion Ball

Last night was my daughter’s spring ball with her cotillion group.  What is cotillion, you ask?  Manners class.  Dance class.  The formal training to whip our youth into shape. 🙂

I only know of this organization because as a youth, I was forced to attend myself.  My first year was in ninth grade and I didn’t know a soul.  The cotillion teacher happened to be a close friend of my Aunt Jan, a grand cotillion mistress herself, so having my brothers, sister and I join the club seemed to be a no-brainer.  For everyone else but us, that is!  You want me to dance with boys?  Boys I don’t even know?

Ugh.  The horror!  But alas, I must confess, I am forever grateful.  As an adult, this training has served me well.  Through the years there has been occasion where I was glad to know how to follow a man’s moves on the dance floor without looking the fool.  I was glad to be able to reply “yes” when the handsome fellow asked me to dance.  Cha-cha?  Of course I cha-cha!  Who doesn’t?

My daughter is now in middle school and like her parent before her, is forced to attend cotillion.  Do I have to go?  I hate it!

Yes, dear.  Once a month, it’s not going to kill you.  You’ll thank me later.  Good thing I can wait.  The child is not happy, though you couldn’t tell from this image, now can you?

And all of the young ladies looked divine, especially when escorted by their equally fine clad young gentlemen!

The attire for this ball was quite formal, with a black and white theme.  T he boys rented tuxedos and the girls secured beautiful ball gowns.  Most are probably bridesmaid dresses or prom wear, but it was fun to dress up.  Even my child will admit to that.

Next month?  They’ll have a fifties swing-fling. Not sure why we’re still stuck on the fifties.  That worked for my parents–they lived the music!  But me?  I have no poodle skirt stuffed into the back of my closet.  No saddle shoes or hair bows.  Hmph.  Perhaps I’ll be making my way to the thrift store.

Because it is fun.  Just to prove it, the cotillion headmistress allowed her third year students to line dance.

A kid’s gotta have some fun, right?  Absolutely!  Dulls the pain and convinces them to come back next year! 

Actually, once these kids get the hang of ballroom dancing, they tend to enjoy it.  Oddly enough, especially the boys. 🙂

Poor Daddy…  (Get your hands off my daughter.)  But he, too, will survive.  Besides, everything is more fun when you have friends with you, right?  Our grand scheme for next year’s grand ball?

Enlist some friends to sign up for cotillion, of course!  How about you?  Ever endure the dreaded cotillion ball?

Death and Birthdays

Yeah, I know, weird title for a blog post.  But March 3rd was my mother’s birthday.  She would have been 87 years old.

And now I’ll reveal something that may cause you to really think I’m whacked.  She died in January 2008 and every March 3rd I send her a Jacquie Lawson e-card for her birthday and I write everything I’d like to tell her if she were alive.

I tell her about my husband’s job, my son Dylan getting to be 6-feet 2-inches tall and going to college in September, about Allessandra’s great grades and her wonderful personality, about our two chocolate labs Annabella and Jack who she was so fond of, and of course I let her in on the news that I became an author – yippee- and wish she could have been around for the pub date.

So, everyone asks me, “Where do you send the e-card, Patti?  Hello?”  Well, I send it to my e-mail address and then archive it in the file labeled “mom”.  That’s easy, eh?  For some reason it makes me feel like I’ve communicated with her more than if I go to the cemetery and talk to her ashes, you know?

What do you do on the day of your loved ones’ birthdays?

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