Sunday, August 31, 2014

Safe in my Lilith Fair Care

Remember Lilith Fair?
I heard Sarah McLachlan tried to revive it a few years back and it failed. The thought made me sad. I still love listening to Sarah even though one of her songs is overplayed on a pet rescue commercial. I've seen her in concert several times and I've always found her music lovely and poignant.

The festival took place only three years. 1997, 1998, and 1999. My Bella went with a group of girls and some mothers in 97 and Bella, Lorenzo, and I went with a couple of other mothers and their daughters along with a few of their friends in 98 and 99.

It was an enjoyable festival! All that good music in one place always makes me happy. And taking your daughters for an event as this was bonding and memorable.

I remember the festivals as mostly just that. Lots of mothers with their daughters, lots of young women, lots of lesbians, and a few dazed and confused men wandering around wondering why this wasn't working out as an opportunity for them. Those guys made me laugh always the hardest.

At that time in our lives, the girls and I lived with their daddy in a small town so I clearly remember them experiencing an alternative type of lifestyle they hadn't seen before. That was good as well. Believe me, I worried a bit during their young years that we were doing them a disservice living in such a rather sheltered place. I shouldn't have worried - they both moved on to be very enlightened young women in spite of that. Hooray for education.

Although maybe there was a bit too much enlightenment on one of the trips.

We had decided as a group to stay overnight close to the festival so we could get a jump in the morning staking out a good spot to enjoy the music.

We were checked into a chain hotel where we ate dinner, split up into three rooms with one mom in each room.

I remember the hotel having decks that opened out onto an atrium where there was an indoor pool and lounge chairs in this huge space. We had fed the girls, told them to put on their suits, and enjoy the pool as the other two moms and I (one was my very best friend Reechie and the other her sister) pulled out our adult beverages and relaxed in the lounge chairs to watch the girls swimming.

We were talking, drinking, and giggling for quite a while and as the three of us loved to do, talking up a storm. I can yak and somehow always find myself with women of this same love. Quel surprise!

I was gazing over at the swimming pool and glanced up at one of the many TV screens they had placed all around the atrium. Because for goodness sakes, obviously we cannot just entertain ourselves without TV yes? Don't get me started on that.

So . . . I glanced up at one of the screens that were showing the same thing on all of the screens and I thought to myself, "Is that a breast I just saw?"

Oh dear.

I keep watching.

Yes, that is a breast. And a naked butt of a well-built man. Oh - there's another butt. And some more breasts.

It finally dawns on me with a thud that somehow, the channel has been changed to one of those soft-porn stations and this is showing all over the atrium probably 30+ times over.

I jump up with my unsteady legs and hightail it down the long hall in my wedge sandals to quickly let the front desk know what is going on in the atrium.

I can hear my two fellow mommas laughing uproariously!

All I can think of is that a couple of other mommas trusted me with their precious daughters and I'm letting them watch porn!
Lorenzo and Bella bottom right

I wobble back to our chairs, sit down, take a long pull from my margarita, and say, "We shall never speak of this." Which, of course, was a huge lie. I've spoken of it a million times.

Grande surprise.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The First Haircut

Spud was born with an inordinate amount of hair. Rather thick for a brand new baby. Oh - I think they're called "newborns".


It didn't fall out like some newborn hair does. Some got rubbed off in the back when he was tiny tiny from all the back-positioning that happens with babies now.

But the first hair he was born with has stayed.

Bella and he participated in a series of University of Minnesota studies and for one of them she had to give them a lock of Spud's hair and (I think) nail clippings. So they could measure . . . measure . . . oh I forget what they were going to measure. Great fun though. Geekness runs deep in this family and this kind of stuff outweighs just about everything else. Yes!

When Bella mentioned that she and The Big B were going to take Spud for his first haircut I begged to be an annoying part with my camera. All in I think I took 81 shots. Hoooya!

Which I was. Annoying that is.
Now he looks like a little man. My adorable little potato.

Hang on all my hooches. Fall is approaching - can you feel it? I will be so sorry to let go of this perfect summer.

How you doin'?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

"You Are a Bitch!" "No, That's Just My Face."

I have resting-bitch-face. I didn't know this was a thing. I knew something was wrong with my face (easy there . . .) a long time ago, but until I actually saw this phrase I didn't know what to call it!

It catches me off guard at times. I'm happily in, say, Target. Shopping, putting crap in my cart, wandering around in the office supply area (obsessed), or looking for 3 oz cups for the bathroom (where the hell are they anyway??) when I catch sight of my face in an unexpected mirror.

Aaah! There is my face. Frowning. Brow wrinkled. Mouth turned down. It always catches me off guard. I look closer into the mirror. There it is. The face. The face I'm presenting. What is going on? I'm happy in this moment. I'm wandering and thinking and shopping. Why the face?

I look again. I adjust my posture. I relax my face. I put on a pleasant expression. Now I look more like I feel. What is going on?

I think it's partly an introverted thing. Introverts get entirely lost in their own thoughts. Lost and unaware. The awareness that is lost expresses itself across the face. Resting Bitch Face. I think it's that simple.

Gah - I get headaches sometimes worrying about shit like this. Self-awareness woman!

I found this fantastic article about introverts on that I could have written. 

Originally found here.

Things You Should Know About Introverts

1) We need to recharge alone. This right here is the cusp of the entire introvert vs extrovert debate (if there is one, anyway) – Introverts need to be alone to recharge. We tend to get completely worn out by socializing. This is basically what it means to be an introvert.

2) We don’t hate being around people, but we probably hate crowds. I love being with people, but if you drop me into a large crowd I instantly feel like I’m alone and invisible. I try to avoid situations where I feel that way, so I may decline your open invitation to some random event. It doesn’t mean I don’t like to be around you, it just means I like to have more control over my surroundings.

3) We don’t mind silence. I can sit beside you in silence and not think we are having a bad time. This is especially true on road trips and can be a little confounding to true extroverts. For this reason, I especially like going to the movies where it is already considered rude to chat. Rule for dealing with introverts – don’t tell me I’m “too quiet.” I hate that. Sorry I’m making you uncomfortable, but you really don’t get to decide how much I have to talk.

4) Just because we are introverted doesn’t mean we are shy. Introvert and shy are actually two different things.

5) We can turn on an extroverted personality when necessary, but it is especially draining. I have no problem getting up in front of a group of people and giving a talk. I don’t even get nervous by a question and answer period. But, here is the thing, I will need major recharge time afterwards and I won’t be able to keep up this extroverted illusion all day. I can turn it on to dazzle a crowd, but if you take me out for lunch afterwards, I’ll probably just listen to you talk. I am an excellent listener.

6) We aren’t judging you. Did I get quiet? Do I have a mean look on my face? I’m not judging you; I’m just wrapped up in my thoughts with my bitchy-resting-face on. I might have even forgotten you were there. Sorry, just poke me. I didn’t do it on purpose.

7) We secretly love it when you cancel plans. I like being with you, but finding out I suddenly don’t need to be “on” and it wasn’t actually me that backed out? – priceless! Don’t worry if you have to cancel, I’m probably thrilled to be able to stay in my pajamas.

8) We can get very wrapped up in our own thoughts. My inner monologue is epic. When you have a strong monologue constantly running in the background, it is pretty easy to settle-in and listen for a while. I have to work through things in my head before I proceed, so I usually need a few minutes. When I’m ready to move forward though, I am 100 percent on top of it!

9) We can be pretty bad at connecting. You know when you have had a really bad day and you just want to call up a friend and chat? Yeah, I’m bad at that. I tend to wait for extroverts to reach out and include me, so when the time comes that I need support, I can be a bit lost.

10) We don’t like to hang around. That time after an event or meeting ends and stragglers hang around to talk – yeah, I know this is the perfect time to make more plans, connect with new people, and get involved with future projects, but I really really really hate this. I’m probably already checking my phone in my car before you have even picked up your purse. Small talk with strangers is my kryptonite.

11) We have strong opinions. Just because I have difficulty sharing them sometimes doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions. Give me an extra minute to compose my thoughts and I will continue to push myself to speak up sooner. It is a give and take here.

Monday, August 4, 2014

When I Look at You

We went camping with the young uns last summer.

When I was dating my wasband we discovered, through a friend, a place deep in some acreage owned by a paper mill. You couldn't have stumbled on it if you were trying. We're talking deep, deep in the woods. On a little, charming river.

I was probably 20 or 21 the first time I went up there. We had a large group of friends and we all settled into yearly trips up to this magical place. Three to four times a year minimally.

Wasband and I started out in a small tent, then graduated to a camper that sits in a truck bed. Oh the luxury of a real bed! And a sink to do dishes in. And a stove. But I digress.

We would bring all of our toys up there because there are literally miles and miles of trails and seldom-used roads for dirt biking, dune buggies, and 4-wheelers. I was the only girl that had a dirt bike, but I was so horrible at it that I rarely went out with the boys. Instead, I would putt around the trails on my own and had such a blast I can't even tell you. I loved my version of dirt biking. Once in a rare while the boys would take pity on my and let me ride along. I'd struggle to keep up and I remember one of our friends, Jeff, would always make sure I was in sight.

Wasband also had a dune buggy he had made out of a Ford Lincoln chassis (I think it was a Ford Lincoln - it was from a huge car anyway) and we would pile on that and race around wreaking havoc and sprinkling fun-dust all over that place. For miles and miles.

We were very young and very much the partiers as some 20-somethings are. Lots of laughing, drinking, and just general shenanigans as you can imagine.

The group began aging. Wasband and I got married, then got pregnant. I remember hopping in and out of the truck camper with my 8-month belly. You just figure out a way to do the things you need to do somehow. I would sit in one of those tri-fold chairs with the foot part elevated a bit so I could rest my swollen ankles and somehow squeezed my large belly into that small over-the-cab bed.

The next year we had a nine-month old baby to bring with us. We have photos of Bella sitting in a playpen with a little visor on her head. Looking at us with her old-soul eyes. We would throw her into the overhead bed and board her in so she couldn't roll out of the bed in her sleep.
She would peek out of the small window and watch us at the campfire while we were talking, drinking, laughing. We would see her little face and say, "Sleepy-byes Bella! Go sleepy-byes!" Her little head would disappear, but I'd soon spot it again. She would eventually fall asleep listening to our silliness.

We kept camping. Lorenzo was born into the same deal. Eventually we bought a large, old, Winnebago and squeezed that thing down the winding, never-ending trail that led to our campsite.

We would take family trips there. I vividly remember once camping with all of our friends and then we stayed on for another week or so and camped just the four of us. Lorenzo was so little that she was still running around with a pacifier, lovingly called her "fire" by her adorable self, and a bonnet on her head.
I don't know why, but the chipmunks loved her pacifiers and if we left one out on the table when we went to bed they would scamper onto the table and STEAL them! Lorenzo would bellow in the morning, "Meemunks took my fire!! Momma! Meemunks took my fire!" I can see her little body running around the campsite shaking her finger. I still wonder why those damn chipmunks were so in love with Lorenzo's pacifiers!? So funny to think about. Tears are squirting out of my eyes just a little bit right now just having this memory.

Family camping. We never could quite afford Disney World or flying anywhere for that matter, but family camping was the highlight of every summer for us as a young family.

What could have been better?
Apologies - all photos were taken from prints that I shot with my camera. No scanner.  :(