a stager throwing in the books?

Not so long ago – not so far away there was once this handsome man who insisted encouraged me to take a design course/staging.   That man is my husband.  I love him for the kind words he uses as to describe my taste in decorating.   But there was a slight detail he left out while insisting encouraging me to sign up for the next course study in Interior Decorating 101.  When my realtor husband has a listing with a new client…..he would no longer hire that “good eye” for decorating if the home should, [lets say] needs a little less European flair or to remove the Italian bronze statue of Saint Romulus who greets you at the front entrance gate.  The gallery of the children starting from zero grade until the last era of college.   Or the sports emporium of every athlete you ever gotten an autograph from.  He typically hires a stager if I don’t accompany him to the new listing.   And in the world of marketing real estate comes photography for your best images online and on those brightly stated brochures.   The hired professional photographer at times has his or her own stager.     Mostly it’s up to the individual agent to make that call.   Football Superstar doesn’t slack off when marketing a home.    He goes in winning the game.  And this is where I entered the game.    Over the past few years I’ve gone with him to assist in removing clutter from a garage, switching out the six foot Oriental vase for something softer or less chunky to allow the natural light of room to flow.   Nothing beats natural lighting when it comes to a large single family home or urban townhome. But when I became his “bad guy” for what needed to go and what could stay and what is tacky or what was slightly a questionable color on the walls to what is head on perfect……I needed to visit these homes which are sometimes owner occupied without the protection of my ex-football lineman.  Meaning I needed a piece of paper stating I was qualified to do so.   Congratulations you are now a certified Interior Designer/Stager/Therapist/Home Destructor.

At first I was like – sign me up!   I’ve always loved interior design.  And perhaps I learned from watching my mother early on.   My mother would change out our home(s) my entire life with her.   My father had a good eye for color, but it was my mother who would pick and chose the fabric, the shade and the texture of wood and textile.   French Provincial whites and blues where her “it thing”.   I never knew what French Provinicial furniture was until we were instruced to never put a glass on the Distressed Pecan French Provincial style dining room table!   [still makes me giggle]     Beginning with my first city apartment I felt excited to always change up a room.  And though in the early 1980’s  primitive country home was in, I found a modern twist of this and that was always fun to incorporate into a room.

My styles have changed as my homes did.  Depending on where I lived [city, suburbia or country] made a huge impact on my home design.  My taste could take me to 1800 style prarie home or a civil war relic.   I once drenched myself in primitive antiques – the rustic the better.   I have also visited the fresh air garden theme where most of my bedroom looked like something out of Smith and Hawken.   Talk about over the top boxwood wreaths!   I would say over the past eight years my style has been industrial meets vintage and cottage charm visits once in a while.   I loved each home we lived in, but I honestly feel the townhome we have now is probably the brightest.  I go ga-ga over natural light – bright and I mean bright wide windows where every bit of sunshine flows in no matter which direction the sun decides to move.   I prefer natural colors on my walls.   Creams and tans.   Wood floors.  Stone or brick walls.   Porcelain tile.   And with having a canvas like this to work from gives me the opportunity to add whatever shades and textures I feel comfortable for my home – most importantly my family.   Not to mention easy clean up for pets or the occasional coffee spill.    What does all this have to do with my piece of paper indicating I’m capable of staging your home?    Nothing except everything!

In my brain there’s Modern Refinement, Industrial, Comtemporary, Continental, European Traditional, Classic, Comtemporary Urban [different from Comtemporary], Historic, French, French Provincial, French Market, Italian, Moroccan and Coastal.  Then there’s lighting by Sea Gull Lighting, Hinkley, Quoizel, Feiss, Monte Carlo, Kichler……the list goes on.   And they are not all found at Lowe’s or Home Depot.   [go figure]

Am I really capable of staging your home?   No.  Why?  Because I don’t like what you may like.  And because my [brain] won’t allow myself to go into the depths of your very liking!  I try to remove all interior from my inner self before walking through a home.  Be the mediator not the decorator.   Meet in the middle.  Stay focuses on the client and not the fact the living room walls look as if Crayola sent preschoolers in to paint.   Remember Football Superstar says off white, natural color paint on the walls open up the potential buyers mind to all possiblities.   But there I stand stuck feeling as if I have the worst wedgie because I can’t say two simple words to these clients.  Oh. Yuck.

This is why I stopped recording the very channels I loved to watch late night before falling asleep.   Fixer Upper is my go to one and only favorite.  I love Joanna, however I must say before they became the adorable fixeruppers on TV, we were selling industrial meets cottage meets antique meets artsy at my shop years ago.   So why can’t I go back to years ago and meet the needs of these clients as I did when we had Gettysburg tourist stop and shop at Simple Dimple?   What’s blocking my mind from the free flow artisit talent I once dallied up on the walls of my cottage shop?  What’s blocking me from pulling out that wedgie and saying ” lets begin with painting your walls…all of them…yes…all of them”.  What’s blocking me from saying “let’s begin with taking down the  safari photos – yes all fifty 8×10’s.  I love animals….but your home can not be a museum for Animal Planet during these next few days [or weeks] while your home is on the market”.   Enough said.   [all said with an industrial size smile]

My canvas.  Your home.  We need to begin with a blank canvas.  And I will eliminate any doubts that your home can look the way I want it to   all potential buyers can and will see their future home.   Enough said.        


It’s time to call #1-800-PODSTORAGE

So my books have been thrown placed aside for now.   My last online study course is at the end of May.   I could drive into DC but I’ll just take it from the comfort of my industrial/French market/vintage/coastal decorated home.  I’ll not throw in the towel rack yet.     Besides….it’s saving my husband from paying $375 just for a consultation to have a home “reviewed” before the actual staging takes place.   I’ll work for Pirate’s Booty and my water front lake or beach trips.   I believe that’s pretty fair in trading spaces!

just enough fresh color with a touch of coastal living  ~ PS…ignore the creepy man in the doorway – this photo is from a movie scene – believe it or not in my book – it almost took me six months to realize there was a person in this pic!




I can’t get enough use from an industrial basket ~ simply simple!


not too shabby!



I can’t. I just can’t do this one.


crisp. light. dreamy. don’t leave out something masculine!



and if there’s a brick wall…..you’ll have to resuscitate me! hash tag….love brick. hash tag…..adore brick. hash tag…..brick collector!



Oh, dear readers….thanks for listening reading!  I will pull myself together!   If not for payment in Pirate’s Booty….then for you!   [[wink]]


Momma Daisy*




I have been wanting to post for some time now.  But my fingers stopped me from typing on the black keys that add the words coming from my tiny brain.  My tiny brain that holds so much.   So many words.   And those of you who know me personally – I have many words to share while in a conversation.    As careful as I may be on social media of what I share, care to share, my opinions or views – I have been collecting thoughts and words of others these past few months.  And one of these topics has been the sexual harassment slash sexual abuse slash celebrity outburst slash, slash, slash.

Allow me to begin with #metoo.    Though this hashtag was started out of support – I learned just last week that in some cases of rape or domestic violence and sexual harassment women are not wanting to have support via social media.   Women are wanting the physical support group where victims are face to face.  I was puzzled at first.    I was one of  many women who lived in a relationship of abuse.   It seems like a lifetime ago and it was.  It is such a good feeling having the relief of not having to relive pain and anger.   Why don’t I support via social media?   Because I don’t feel supporting with a hashtag is enough.  And I won’t post anything so personal on Facebook.      (okay so I basically use the internet to voice my thoughts and opinions)

If we are to heal from what society is  selling us – then why don’t we speak?   Why are we not raising our children to be kinder?   Why are we not guiding our children to be patient?    Respectful?    Selfless?     Our sons and daughters.   Instead of giving them opportunities to hashtag their way through their emotions – speak about it.  And support those who fight the struggle.   Because it’s real.

Another topic of conversation was with my friend Yvonne.   We talked about what my Middle Schooler has been sharing with me as she interacts with her peers in PE.   Apple finds it difficult to understand that kids who are “friends” can find it in their hearts to call one another “autistic”. I can only imagine what she was feeling as her peers behaved so wrongly.   Last year Apple was part of a “Buddy” program that partnered  fifth grade students with an ASD student from a neighboring program.  This hurt as she knows for some of the students she got to know last year – it’s a daily struggle.    As she cried in the car, my only wish was to wipe away all the painful visions and voices my daughter witnessed in PE.   As I shared with Yvonne, neither one of us needed to say a word.   I knew what her heart was feeling.   Protecting a young son in a society where we have lost civility.

As a mother spoke during a Holiday PTA meeting, she boasted on how lucky we are to live in such a perfect area.   We’re far from perfect.   But when the average income is three figures, and a neighboring suburbia has their landscaping “sprayed” green for aesthetics – my head begins to fill with the what is and what ifs.    Our perfect urban-suburban communities with their farm to table restaurants and NFL players giving our communities a touch of coolness (not really) having DC as our backyard with a new metro line coming – how could this not be the perfect area?

We may have greener lawns – but our grass isn’t any greener.    We still have homelessness.  But yet no one wants to see it.   Just three miles towards Dulles International Airport is a camp.   It’s hidden under the bypass.     You will see tents set up just as you pass through the Virginia Avenue tunnel into DC.

A single mother who I see each morning as we walk our kids to school opened up about what takes place during her night shift in the ER.    Suicide.  Overdoses.   The brokenness of humans.   Brokenness of society.    As an intake supervisor she begins to wonder if society has a chance to heal.  To redeem itself.   We talk more about our children.   It’s not a gloom and doom conversation – but it’s real.    I walked back to my home with our pup trying to think of a way to stop this whatever this is.   Enough.   Enough is enough.

It wasn’t until this afternoon as I waited for Apple to get out of school that I decided to write.   Actually it was directly after my phone conversation ended with a friend who lives in PA.

So as I sit here hitting the black keys on my laptop – my mind begins to re-play the latest conversations with some of the strongest women I know.  I’ve was given sight to their thoughts and views.   Strengths and weaknesses.     And they too say #enough .










when Comedy isn’t Funny anymore

This is not a political post rant.     But perhaps it very well could be due to the nature of my rant post.

During my monthly mom’s group – attendance was low.   End of school events as well as picture perfect weather led some of the women to more exciting things on Thursday afternoon.   Topics varied from school calendar changes (still wish King’s Dominion rule -ruled) to teachers permitting phones in classrooms (insert frown) to the Kathy Griffin disaster.

I’m not a Kathy Griffin fan, never was.  Maybe it’s because she is so loud.  Like some of the other women comedians that have that raw gruff mannerism and voices.  I love humor.  I’ve always found silliness to be the best comic.  (can you say Seinfeld)  I enjoy a good comedy – movie or TV show.  But lately for me I’ve found comic relief has lost it’s silly.  The “fun humor” has disappeared.    Comedy has lost its funny.

When I watched the news clip of Ms. Griffin, at first I wasn’t sure what she was holding in her hand…..what was it suppose to be.   Until I hit the rewind button on my remote.  What. Just. Happened?     This is not a Democratic or Republican response to what I witnessed.   It’s not a Independent or Libertarian response.   My response to what I watched – then read – then listened again via radio felt almost as if someone got it wrong.  Ms. Griffin was hacked.   She wouldn’t have gone there.    Holding a “decapitated” head of any President is wrong.  WRONG.    And please don’t remind me of what happened to Mr. Obama while he was in office…I remember quite well the nasty images.

As my group discussed this image that Mr. Trump’s young son apparently saw either on the news, social media…..   does it even matter how he saw it……     my question was/is to those who are throwing this out like a wet napkin…..    how and when did comedy become so angry and hateful.   Tearing people down has become the new comedy.  Yes, poking fun at people has been stand up comedy dating back to the 1900’s if not earlier.   But raw unfiltered anger and disgrace.   Violence.  Isn’t this the same lesson we are trying to teach our young children of tomorrow to not place upon others?     Does the word Bully ring a bell?     And let us not forget the gruesome images of the men having swords at their heads – the orange jump suits – the images.

Is this what is truly in their hearts?

But allow me to back up to [us] adults.   We have invited this style into our homes.  We applaud the humor that pokes and jabs and stabs.  The kind that may hurt.  Does hurt.   We forget that poking and jabbing a person as an adult may just be one too many pokes and jabs.   Words.   Vicious painful words.   Why have we invited this sense of humor into our lives?   When did we give permission to attack an innocent kid?  I may not agree with Mr. Trump.  I may not even care for the man.   But do I wish him dead?   Am I filling the same cup of ignorance and hatred that he may have filled, and served to those he hurt?   What about Ms. Griffin?   Am I drinking from her Kool-Aid dispenser.   God, I hope not.

No.  I’m not.

I was surrounded by Asian-Indian, Black, Caucasian, and a very proud Bostonian.   As we sat in silence thinking about what [we] adults permitted to brew in our bubbles…..our safe havens…..our lives…..one by one…..we began to cry silently.     I love my bubble.   My community.  My friends who support one another.   I have a pretty wonderful life.  I’m blessed.   And I’m happy.

Perhaps those who find their comic relief  to humiliate are finding their happiness in the dark depths.   And I feel very sad for them.     This isn’t a jab or poke at Ms. Griffin and Mr. Trump.    This is for all of us who find dark humor to be the new normal comic relief.

A very kind and wise Assistant Principal told a group of third graders;   “sticks and stones may break bones, but words do hurt…..they hurt inside your heart.”

And I’ll end here.


I was not going to post on this topic.  Actually my husband tried to encourage me not to think anymore about what has become the social media sensation.   I’ve stayed clear of this mega mess of a political campaign.    What an embarrassment.   Deep deep down inside my core I felt many emotions.   These two are the best we as Americans can elect to represent the parties?     I guess so.


Moving on to the present.   So perhaps you may or may not have voted.   Perhaps you did and your vote was a dream come true.  Perhaps you voted and you felt stuck between a rock and another rock.   Or perhaps you didn’t vote at all.    I voted.   As I walked into the voting center with my tail between my legs I was nervous and scared.   I was wishing I could just walk out and not be seen.   Football Superstar felt strongly we go in and vote, and though he disliked (I’m not going to really say what he said) the two academy awarded nominees…..he voted.    As I penned in my choice (I so wanted to pen in my pups name) I felt nauseated.    Football Superstar drove me home and went to pick up my favorite coffee cafe’s pick – of -the-week.  And it didn’t begin with the letter C or T.      We then talked for awhile before he headed to the office.


Jumping over the game board.   We, the Americans have a new Commander in Chief.   We are swarmed with social media banter and criticism.  With a glittery touch of celebration.

I’ve not celebrated nor am I swarming you on social media with my views.   They are mine and will remain mine – forever and ever.      What I will share with you – (and this is where I probably should rethink posting this post)  is when did celebrities become our value system?      When did an actress or actor become the role model in our homes?   In our children’s lives?     Sure, celebrities hold a higher ground when it comes to raising their voices – and giving charity support – and maybe at times making sense.   But when did we begin to worship these folks of fame?       I’m not talking about the young girl crush either.  I’m talking about cheering on and Tweeting back or yelling back and being down right nasty – you said this and he said that and she is this…..


Allow me to tell you something about BULLYING.   That raw word flows both up and down the stream.   With Ms. Streep speaking out (no I didn’t watch the show) against Bullying and Trump Tweeting back I felt as if I was sitting in the center of a Middle School classroom during the morning news.    If I could see both Streep and Trump, I would ask them to come spend time (not an hour or just a day) a very long time in a school that is blanketed with hate and bullying.   Who’s the adult here?     And we….Americans feed into this sh*t!

I’m going to just say it…..Mr. Trump didn’t start hate.   It was already in their hearts.  Does he never stop with the radical immature comments and behavior – no.    Will he?  I don’t know.    Does Ms. Streep think that her good natured speach the other evening heal what has been done in Chicago?   In North Carolina?    Does she?   I don’t know.

What I do know is I’ve had it with the tennis match of nasty and who has the better behavior.   I’ve heard worse come from her mouth.   I’m about over what comes out of his mouth.

Hate is in the hearts before it surfaces.   Do some have a following – of course.  But no matter what hate is in the heart before it surfaces.   Don’t fall in the traps of social media and the fabricated stories that are there for our entertainment.    Spend time with any social worker or school counselor and their files are piling up.    They know first hand what bullying and hate is – what it does to children.    Celebrities can help in many ways – but they can also create the damage.

Why are we not trying to be the better?    Why does it take a man like Trump, or a woman like Streep or a group of protesters to raise America to it’s potential?

I need to be the role model for my daughters.   Not her.  Not you.   Not them.   I will work the best to my ability to show them what it means to be kind, value what you have, love who you are and don’t allow hate to win.    Words can be tricky.   Be careful of what you do with your words.    And who you celebrate.

Oh, only if I could speak directly to Mr. Trump and Ms. Streep….. I’d love to tell them to Shu…..UP!      Get up off your expensive deary-reary’s and do what your mouth isn’t doing.

Football Superstar just read over this and said “let it go”.   So I decided to sing it “let it go – let it go”.

*disclosure:   Public service announcement – before I’m deleted or become the back end of social media – this was not to bully Trump or Streep.   They were used as tools.    Okay, well maybe not tools, but examples.  Okay, maybe not examples….yeah, I guess they were targets of my post.      * I had a dream last night that I ran up on the stairs of the Capitol building before inauguration began – I grabbed the microphone and as I started to speak – my voice was that of an auctioneer.     I was auctioning off things I had no idea were at an inauguration.   *


The end.




ranting and its songs

Rant – verb.   To speak loudly or shout at length in a wild, impassioned way.

I’m about to rant.     But it’s not your momma’s ordinary rant.

Song – noun.   A short poem or words set to music.

There are songs floating like a butterfly in my head.


As much as I promised myself that I would not allow the opinion of others to affect my own worldly view, this past week my promise was broken.   I’m not exactly sure how the conversation even began.  But one thing I do know is there were several topics floating around the pool deck while those who were doing exactly what I should have been doing – that’s right – floating inside the pool ignoring the words that have become like toxin.

Instead of floating around the pool on Apple’s pink striped noodle [I so appreciate her reminding me to take the noodle as she heads to school and I head to the pool] I sat desperately trying to focus on my summer read – Just Beyond the Clouds – when a mom decided to openly discuss the gorilla incident and after fifteen minutes of listening it turned to Donald Trump which then turned to free health care which then turned to ordering lunch from Delhi 6.  My head was spinning. And I’m not sure if it was due to the direct sunlight without my sunglasses [forgot them, but got the noodle] or the conversations taking place while truly, honestly, sincerely spoken here – we were to be organizing end of year events.   I was volunteered by an acquaintance, whom will remain nameless.

I’m sure most of you – no make that all of you have been listening to the news, reading your news feed, finding it posted on Facebook or like me….sitting poolside having several different topics spewed out in one direction within 22 minutes.   Exactly 22 minutes.

So my rant if you will, became more like a recording studio in my brain that just couldn’t turn off the topics being discussed.  Or argued whined about.

*Harambe. The massive silverback gorilla who was shot by a zookeeper after a child fell-climbed-slithered down-slipped-somehow this young child ended up in the gorilla outdoor exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo.    I was not there.   I’m not exactly sure CNN found the most reliable sources for interviewing.   I was not there.  I’m not going to blame anyone because I am not a zoo official, I’m not a key witness to the incident.  I am not the parent of this young boy.   I’m thankful I wasn’t placed in the situation as the zoo officials were when making the life or death decision to save this childs life.   We were not there.               I was not there.   I wouldn’t want to be in this child’s mothers shoes.   Because all over the world we’ve placed the child second.

The song “Take a Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes” by swingsetmomma’s came to my mind.  Okay, okay…so maybe it’s not the best song to describe this horrible situation – but the verse “just imagine walking in someone else’s shoes” pretty much summed it up.

I’m just thankful the little boy is fine.  And this is coming from someone who followed PETA for many years.  I’ve matured some since those days….some.

*Donald Trump.   OhMyGosh!   I’m SO over hearing about his nastiness, his wealth and his private jet.  His wives and his children.   I don’t like him.  I don’t like his long ties either.  They are ugly.    But as the moms were discussing the latest on Hilary and the Trumpster, the song “Born in the USA” came to my mind.  I had a silent giggle.   I’ve seen Bruce too many times back in the day – and I’ve seen him in Atlantic City directly where the Trumpster built his empire in NJ.    Sorry Bruce, you’re getting a little old and rusty, as is the Trumpster.   America is great.   I’m happy.   Sorry you’re not.

*footnote:  Bono isn’t walking around shouting at either party.  Take note entertainers who are all talk and rusty.

*Muhammad Ali.   I grew up hearing his name in our home.    My father enjoyed boxing, only because my uncle was a boxer.  Mr. Ali didn’t really mean anything to me….I just knew about him.  He was a great athlete.  He worked on making changes.   He had a soft adoring voice.   And there was a song about him with lyrics “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee“.   That’s exactly what floated through my head as conversations swirled like the crystal blue water in the pool.    Another private giggle.

I did not order from Delhi 6.  I decided at that moment…it was a perfect time for me to slither off of the noodle like a slippery eel, and return to my pink polka-dot beach towel to finally pick up my good summer read and do just that.   That was my “momma daisy time to myself day” and I wasn’t going to waste my time planning a meeting to have another meeting

I read and in my mind I heard Ruth B singing “Lost Boy“.   “usually hanging out with Peter Pan, and when we’re bored we play in the woods, always on the run from Captain Hook….”

America is great!









The Gap

Typically I keep quiet when it comes to my political opinions.   I don’t want to judge anyone.  I don’t want to dissect anyone’s choice of party.   It’s my choice, just as it is yours.  But now something in me has changed.  I can’t just sit back and listen to grown men and a woman turn hate into more hate.   And yes, they are all guilty of playing this game.   A very unfair and unwanted game that has entered my life.  It’s all around us.   Living outside the doorstep of our nations capital has placed us in the center ring for political mayhem.

The candidate I prefer is no longer.   My second choice is not looking too good either.   The candidate[s] who lead both parties are exactly whom I would suspend if I were playing the lead in an administrators role.   We refuse to allow bullying in our schools – yet we applaud and roar with pride when a voice projects hate.


When I first noticed the above photo – I couldn’t help but notice the gap between the two people.  As the one person reaches for the other, I hear two things:  “we can do this together”  and “you won’t fail”.  

You can’t see what race these people are.  You don’t know their religious views.  You don’t know their ages.    But what I see is two people working together.   No matter what views they may agree or disagree on.

Is this what we have come to, a nation that brings people together in their communities, cities, work places, schools and homes promoting battle of the fittest?  The most wealthy?  The most arrogant?    Lies?

I know before you tell me politics have always been a world series of lies and twisted truths.  Secrets and wealth.   But you can’t ignore the voices.  Growing up I don’t and can’t remember any candidate swearing on stage and using adjectives to describe their body parts.   My father who is 89 years old supported my memory.   He agrees that this campaign season is one he would rather forget.

I think about my children.   Especially our youngest.   She is beginning to question the integrity and the morals of each candidate.  Apple herself had her own candidate she favored.   As her fourth grade class cast their “votes”,  I found it interesting on whom she voted for, and why she chose this particular candidate.   His respectful tone.   His kind smile.  [that one!]  He was smart and had class.  {{!}}     College Daughter has a totally different opinion and sees the world through a different color lens.  And not rose colored, but at this time in her life – the only color she can see and that is “what’s best for me today, not really worried about tomorrow” color.     [go ahead and laugh, I am]

Football Superstar and I are not planning a move to Canada.  However, my mother was a quarter French Canadian and we have a lovely host daughter, Niki, living in Vancouver this year until she returns to her homeland of the Czech Republic.    It would be wonderful to spend more time with Niki!

I thought perhaps a warm sunny – year round island would be a wonderful place to raise our social butterfly daughter. [meaning she would dry up from not talking]   Apple could sell sea shells and braided bracelets by the beach to tourist.    Football Superstar and I could live in a self made hut like those on Gilligan’s Island.   We could live off of coastal fishing and love.

Reality is something must change.   I refuse to breed hate with more hate.   And just to be clear….this is my opinion, my rant.   In churches and in the work place.  In our schools and in our communities.    How is it that we are to lecture and place ” free zones” on our youth today when we have adults who are running for the most important position in the United States behaving in such a way – the exact behavior we are trying to stop.   Do we build up walls?   Do we knock people down with hate?      As a woman, I don’t want my daughters to have a presidential role model who doesn’t respect others.  As a mother, I don’t want my daughters to think being successful is about playing the game.

Have I thought about exercising my right as an American not to vote?     Yes.   Should I not show up at the polls?  No.   It’s not setting an example for my children, and I personally wouldn’t feel right about myself.   But I am tormented by the idea of both.   Vote.  Not vote.     I have a gap.

My father came here as an immigrant child of two immigrant parents.    I have very little family here in the states.  I do have some family members who are of a different race.    I have a child from a different country.    I have friends who I love dearly who are not of my faith.    I am not hate.


Kind words are short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.      ~Mother Teresa








SOS School Supply Shopping


It’s less than two weeks before our Apple heads back to school.   She can barely contain her excitement.  Who will be her fourth grade teacher she wonders?!   Who will be in her class?   Hopefully, her sweet group of friends who all share the same volume of giggles and innocence.  But if they are not together in this new school year adventure….Apple will no doubt meet new friends to add to her cluster of sweethearts.

College Daughter heads back this week.  After her summer gig in NC, she is ready [so she tells us] to head back to Virginia Tech for her sophomore year of education.  It can’t seem possible that summer is almost coming to a close.   Am I the only momma out here that doesn’t want summer to end….and school to begin?!    Our trip to Target yesterday answered my question.

It was pandemonium. But we managed the crowded store with afternoon shoppers.  It wasn’t the moms-in-masses that made me want to call out SOS….or send up the flare for a rescue…. it was the shopping list for our own 4th grade class that made me feel like I was doomed to stay on Gilligan’s Island.

I know in years past, my own classroom supply list never looked so difficult.  The basics.  You know, the basic colors, and sharpened pencils.  Basic notebooks and binders.  Folders and crayons.  Markers and highlighters.  I love my Sharpie brand items, so I always added to my list #2 Black Sharpies – fine point.   But today, there were choices beyond what I could have ever imagined in the world of ink.   Number two or four.  Not just fine point – but extra fine point.  Bold.  And that was just in the ink department!   I know my eyes went crossed when it came to the pencils.  Listed on our school supply paper – #2 Dixon Oriole soft/sharpened black core soft wood.  There were dozens of #2 Dixon…but no Oriole/soft core/black core/…licorice flavored…..

We have three packs of #2 Dixon’s from last school year, they will go in the fancy new purple, blue and pink backpack.  Along with four College Ruled 1-subject notebooks, two 1/4 inch binders, two composition notebooks [reminds me of my Catholic school days!] and one pack 80 sheet replacement paper – standard line rule.

Pencils – colored.  Phew!  Basic 10 count.  Got it!  

Twistables.  I do love using Twistables while crafting with Apple.  However, our list asked for one pack – 8 countprimary colors.   I’m going to call the CEO of Crayola.  Mini Twistables.  Wave Twistables.  Rainbow Twistables, which isn’t that the same as Wave Twistables?    Extreme Color Twistables.   Twistables Slick-Sticks?!  And for those little hands, Twistables Chubby.   I was exhausted just looking at Crayola.   It reminds me of Lucky Charms cereal.   I like the original magically delicious green clovers and yellow moons.

After we found the yellow and pink highlighters – large -flat tip…..we broke into a happy dance, yes while at Target, because we completed another round of school supply shopping!    I’m off Gilligan’s Island and we drove over to Pet Valu so we could purchase September’s specialty kibble – hairball formula.  While we were shopping for our sweet kitty, we found two puppy toys and a barrier gate [on sale] for our future furbaby.   Oh, and then we found the island of Chick-fil-a so why not indulge in a tasty creamy treat!   That was not on the school supply list – but it sure was yummy!

SOS to all the other moms out there school supply shopping…..I’m here for you!

postcards …. call it nostalgia

My sister loves Hawaii.
Keepin' it in the family.
Keepin’ it in the family.
Ireland, Atlantic City NJ, Miami, NYC & Bahama’s just to name a few.

What happened to postcards?   Why is it we don’t send them anymore?

That’s a question.   Answer it please.   I’m stuck on postcards!    Have been since I was a young girl.

We’ve gone from sending those special greetings in the mail from our favorite places to instagramming photos within seconds from our favorite places.

I do like instagram.  But there is something special while waiting for that 5×6 inch greeting to show up in the mailbox.  It’s like waiting to open up the stocking-stuffers at Christmastime.  You just never know what’s inside the stocking.  In this case – you just never know what the scenery will be on the front of this special greeting – personally sent to you!

Saludos!   pozdravy!   Salutations!  Greetings!   Wish You Were Here!

Maybe the picturesque card shows the exact area where your family or friend just visited.  Perhaps it’s from an island off the West Indies, or the white sandy beaches of Antiqua.  Maybe it’s the Pocono Mountains, where they just went hiking and found their serenity.  Or sanity.   Maybe they sent you a postcard from the Blue Ridge Mountains, and on the front of the postcard is a black bear.  And when you flip the card over to read their short, but informative greeting – it says “just like the bear we saw while hiking”!    [That’s when you sigh, and feel good about your decision for skipping that trip]

I have postcards saved from relatives who visited Italy, Ireland, England and Japan.  I have postcards from friends who sailed the ocean blue and sent postcards while in port.  I have postcards from local beaches and our Nations Capital.  And even a postcard from the same state I lived in for years.  My oldest daughter while on her 5th grade field trip brought home a postcard from Hershey’s Chocolate World, PA!

Postcards are nostalgic.  They capture the era of yesteryear, but have a timeless feel.  [to me]

Friends were leaving for Germany, and then Japan to visit family.  I shouted out “don’t forget to send us a postcard”….when I got the look of – huh?  Postcards?   Do they even make them anymore?

Whaaa?    Of course they do!

I received some beautiful photos of the kids and their grandparents.  But in two weeks not a single postcard.

I tease Mirmiam about not getting a postcard in the mail.  How I ran to my mailbox with the anticipation of finding a beautiful card showing Stuttgart, Germany or the Sankeien Gardens of Japan.  She laughs and hands me her new coffee shop business card.  Actually she hands me two.

So if you are traveling abroad, or just heading local….I’ll be looking in my mailbox.   [wink]


my nakedness

Now that I got your attention….

Allow me to explain what this means.   A few weeks ago, I was waiting for Apple to come out from school.  I typically arrive 15 minutes before the bell rings.   It was a hot [humid] day, and I remember thinking before I left the house earlier in the day – no foundation today.   With temps in the 90’s, I do not like the feeling that I’m trapped behind make-up.   No matter how wonderful Neutrogena is for my skin type – with its SPF 20, non drying, 8 hour shine control….it wasn’t smeared on my face on this hot and hazy day.   I had a little mascara applied to my lashes and of course my eye brow enhancer.  [not sure why I bother with the brow enhancer…my brows were pencil thin from birth]

This young beautiful mom was standing in arms reach – talking to her youngest toddler romping around the grassy hill beside the trail that leads to our elementary school.   Her little one was adorable and as she played windmill…she would bounce into my legs and go back to her impersonation of a windmill.  The mother apologized, which led to us having a conversation.  How long have you lived here….how many children do you have….where do you tan….do you use exfoliation….. WHAT?!

Apparently, at my age – I should be doing it all.  This isn’t new news to me.   We live in an area where  on every corner [almost every corner]  you can find a Starbucks, a dentist, fitness center and cool sculpting center.  Not to mention the many plastic surgeons and dermatologist waiting anxiously to rid you of any flaws.   If I wanted heart-shaped knees, I could have that too.   Or is that heart-shaped lips?    Regardless of what is offered out here for women, I kindly informed this mother of three that having any alterations done isn’t on my “bucket list”.   You know…a bucket list for we old people.   She knew what a bucket list was.  She has one started.   [sigh]   Eyebrow tattooing was mentioned to me by a makeup artist last year while I was searching for an eye shadow brush.  There are a plethora of brushes at cosmetic counters.   This kind professional certainly guided me to find the right brush….but she lost me at the eyebrow tattoo thing.   All I could think of ….what if my pencil thin eyebrows turned out like Morticia Adams.

After a few moments of feeling my conversation was heading towards the moment of …..  you really should consider …….  I decided to do my own impersonation of a windmill with her little toddler and allow the topic of me enjoying my nakedness be abandoned.   That’s where I left this conversation.  I politely informed this young beautiful mommy that I enjoy my nakedness. Let me correct myself….my face enjoys its nakedness.   My face appreciates the break of not having Bobbi Brown or Revlon smeared and painted just for the sake of [my own] vanity.     I don’t mind having my skin age “as is”.  I embrace who I am.   I want to show my daughters what loving yourself truly means.  I’ve done my share of skin abuse back in the day.   Tanning with baby oil, and pure cocoanut oils.  Not wearing a hat or sunglasses to protect my skin and eyes.  I don’t look like I was raised in the Florida Everglades, but I can see evidence of being a sun worshiper.   Different story today – I lather up the sunscreen and wear a floppy sun hat.  Apple is smothered in Bull Frog and Sport SP 50.

Now I know what my mother was trying to lecture for years.  My mother wore her summer fashion like no other – and I never understood [carelessly not listening] why my mother would lather her ivory skin in sun block, wear her fashionable black and white polka dot swim suit, large black shades and a straw hat with a matching polka dot brim to only sit under a beach umbrella!   She looked fabulous then….and so did her skin at the age of 84.

Embrace you beauty and allow your face to go naked.