Spring is here!

First let me say I’m stunned that it’s been over six months since my last post. Time has a way of rushing past when you’re busy with family, work, life and a little bit of play. And those of you raising a grandchild know just how little ‘play time’ we grandparents get some times! Writing seems to be a luxury these days but one I feel I need to get back to.
So, here I am again.

Spring is here!

At least the calendar says so but the torrential downpours of the past days are a bit over the top to quantify the “Spring showers bring flowers” adage. Many people in our state have been dealing with flooded basements, yards, cars, roads and trying to cope with the mess left behind by the “Ark” waters.
I’m quite grateful we weren’t subjected to any of the above and keep those that were in my prayers; hoping they have good flood insurance!
We’ve been teased, when the rains did subside, with wonderful temps that lure thoughts of warmer weather, tulips, yard work, cardinals calling, blue jays squawking and all the things that remind one of the change of seasons.
The biggest of which is daylight savings time! Those longer daylight hours at the end of each day are the best and most significant sign for me that the Mother Nature is tucking away her winter blankets of snow and dressing up in more colorful garb of sunshine and flowers.
Time to start planning a bigger veggie garden this year and think about getting the pool up and ready again.

I think I’ll leave the second one to the Spouse. 🙂

Happy Wednesday all! it’s good to be back.

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M&M’s – Menopause and Memory

Menopausal Madness

Menopausal Madness


At 56 I’m officially ‘post menopausal’. Prior to that I was menopausal, pre-menopausal and peri-menopausal. With all those pause-als I should have known there was more to this life transition than what my elders and GYN were telling me.
I believe the word “pause” is a not so subtle warning to women of what to expect when a once quick, sharp memory takes a nosedive. In it’s place comes the long……….pause. It arrives frequently and usually without warning. The word is there, right there on the tip of your tongue, teasing your brain and playing hide and seek with your dusty word retrieval skills. Sometimes you can even see it in your mind’s eye, but articulate it? Nope. At least not without a struggle. Of course it always happens when you’re trying to engage in a conversation with the hope of an intelligent exchange. Or conversing with a co worker, friend or spouse and want desperately to make a point or at least impart a coherent thought!
Lapses in memory are a part of the aging process therefore it’s to be expected. I accept that. What is unacceptable is why I can see a coffee table in my mind but end up calling it the thing-a-ma-jig because I can’t recall the name of the damn thing! The frustration rises with every passing second until at last the light bulb goes off and I can speak the illusive noun.
Names are another topic. I’ve always prided myself on being able to recall a person’s name. Now? I confess I’ve resorted to calling most men ‘honey’, which they don’t seem to mind especially if they’re over 70. And women are gracious and accepting of a warm smile and a “so nice to see you again!” said with great sincerity. Oh. And if she’s over 45, I get that little smile of knowing in return.

It’s a sistah thang.

Happy Saturday!

Snow Day Mondays

winter-09-016Snow days are the best. Kids cheer when the announcement comes  and so do we who are so lucky as to be employed in an arena where snow days are possible. And snow days on Monday are the bomb! An instant three day weekend; a shortened work week. Ah such bliss in the midst of snow, freezing temperatures and Spring too far off in the distance for my taste, despite having put February behind us. And today, March came in like a lion.

Snow days bring no schedules to follow, no deadlines to meet, no work to get done.  I suppose one could clean the bathtub or rearrange the linen closet but why waste a good snow day on that! How about lazing on the couch with the leftover Sunday Globe? In your pj’s? All day?  Playing Scrabble online…for hours? Flipping through old family photo albums? Baking cookies? (diet be damned) Sipping plum tea with a biscotti on the side? Watching the kids pummeling each other with snowballs? How about any and all of the above?

Oh and did I mention the Spouse shoveled us out so I didn’t even have to go outside and brave the very elements that offered up an extra day of rest.

I’m a lucky woman. Yes siree.

Happy snow day Monday all!

Time is not on my side


Contrary to the lyrics of the Rolling Stones hit, “time is on my side, yes it is”, there are many days when I wish for 28 hours instead of 24.
Here’s the schedule for the end of our day, not even factoring in the eight plus hours prior.  Bet there’s a familiar them here for you as well.

After a full workday, I pick up the Grand Prince from after school care, which for me is in the same building I’m employed. That’s a huge plus. Next it’s off to run a few errands, maybe pick up something from the market. If it’s not a karate class day or a tennis lesson then we finish up and head home. Upon arriving we greet the menage of animals and then doff the winter attire to appropriate places and tackle the backpack. Homework, notices from school, permission slips, all to be signed, read or filed on the fridge. Next it’s homework and a snack. I’m very fortunate he’s a conscientious kid and one who enjoys learning, so there’s very little balking about getting homework done. The GP is very on target about snacks too and what’s okay and what’s ‘are you kidding me before dinner!?” sort of snacks.
I start tossing in a load of laundry or swapping one to the dryer while answering questions about spelling, grammar or math (Gods, I hate the math part and beg for the Spouse to handle that. Yes, I’m math phobic). Usually the Spouse is home before me and starts dinner. I’m in love with him all over again every day for that!. While dinner cooks, the GP must do 15 to 20 minutes of silent reading and I get the same time to check email, scan the newspaper, sort the mail and reconnect with the Spouse to share the days events. Multitasking? Parents have done it for decades without a fancy title.
After we share dinner and discussions of our day, it’s time for cleanup, load the dishwasher and a shower for the Prince. While the grandson sings in the shower, I get clothes ready for the next day and pack lunches and/or snacks and remind him over the din of singing and splashing to make sure homework is safely tucked in the backpack.
Toothbrushing and pajamas come next, a little television and/or snuggle time and in a blink of an eye, the clock strikes eight and it’s up to bed and a story. I have managed a few breaths in between. I love you’s are exchanged as are hugs and sweet dreams wishes. All within a three hour time span. Whew!
When coworkers at our lunch table excitedly rehash their favorite episodes of Scrubs, CSI:Miami or Law and Order I nod, smile and listen; totally and blissfully clueless.

I’m asleep by 9:30.

Happy Thursday!

School Days


Despite the summer temperatures, my brain whispers “Fall”. Why? Because it’s September and back to school time. I still get those pre school butterflies as memories of sweaters, new shoes and backpacks find themselves occupying my mind. My grandson (a.k.a. the Grand Prince) began his third year at our neighborhood elementary school last week. I believe we were both ready for him to begin, having crammed in vacations, educational day trips, play dates, numerous barbecues with family and friends, a few birthday parties, pool parties and a smattering of lazy, couch potato days, the latter of which was deemed a necessity by moi simply to take a breath; all between mid June and August 31st. Whew! No wonder we were starving for a little structure and schedules!

Returning to school takes some preparation, even for the ‘seasoned’ parent and child. There will be new clothes, shoes, backpacks and lunch boxes to buy. Perhaps finishing up that last book on the summer reading list and reorganizing the child’s desk to reflect the transition from ‘catch all’ to workspace. This is also a good time to sort through your child’s summer or fall clothes and deliver the no-way-this-fits-pile to your local consignment shop.

School supplies must fit into your budget as well. Teachers will usually send home a welcome letter to their students with a list of needed supplies as well as any donations much needed and appreciated for the classroom. For your older children, it’s best to wait until school begins to accommodate the requirements of more than one teacher. The Marilyn Manson or High School Musical three ring binder your child just had to have would be frowned upon when a plain white one was required.

Those lazy days of summer when sleeping past the alarm wasn’t a worry is now a very big deal. We all relax our schedules over the summer break and getting back on track for the fall transition can be a bit of a struggle. I always begin a good week to ten days before the official start of school by regulating bedtime. As with any new routine it’s not always well received, however, simply talking about the need for rest and the exciting new year ahead prepares children and allows them the ‘buy in’. I give the Grand Prince a little wiggle room with bedtime (“okay bud, you choose. 7:45? or 8:00?) I know, it’s a no brainer and he’s only 7 and can tell time but the key is HE gets to choose instead of me or the Spouse dictating a time.

The same goes for setting the morning alarm. Give yourself and your child the time you need in the mornings for breakfast, personal hygiene routines, dressing etc.
It’s crucial if, like me, you’re simply not a morning person or you can’t form a complete sentence without three cups of coffee under your belt. The Grand Prince takes his shower the night prior, decides on the day’s attire, gets his backpack ready with paperwork and snacks and hung on the newel post while I set a place for breakfast. The less you have to squeeze into your morning, the smoother it goes for everyone.

And on that first day of school, provided your child’s not horrified at the idea of being seen with you as their friends look on, you can get a hug, a smile and a “see you after school!” as they exit the car and into the world of academia, happy and ready to meet the day.

Me Time

beach timeOne of the things I and most parents put aside is ‘me’ time. There’s always an excuse as to why we can’t read a book, go for a walk, exercise, take a night out, (a whole weekend!? forget it!) or simply pamper ourselves in whatever ways help us to relax. Yes we all know we should schedule time for ourselves; we all watch Oprah and Dr. Phil who herald the importance of taking care of ourselves first, make YOU a priority they say, but it’s the other shoulds that never cease whispering in our ear that keep us too busy.
Should clean that closet.
Should finish that yard work.
Should visit Aunt Sheila.
Should get the dog to the vet.
Should catch up on those emails!
We should ourselves into biting off way too much of the proverbial chore pie and usually end up cranky, irritable and tired; hungry for an hour of …nothing. And unfortunately our children and significant others sometimes bare the brunt of our good intentions.

With the shift into the Fall routine in our house, I claim Sunday afternoons. The morning is spent first with a later rise than usual, followed by time with the Grand Prince and a special breakfast of some sort. Fried dough brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with powdered sugar and cinnamon. My doctor doesn’t read this blog so I toss cholesterol concerns to the wind. Next, we sort out the Sunday paper. Comics to the GP. Front page and sports to the Spouse and I begin with the North Weekly section. As the pre game hour of Sunday football begins around noon, my darling of a husband takes to the kitchen and simmers, roasts, bakes and stews the most delectable comfort foods to be enjoyed for supper that evening; all done in between quarters and during half time of the game. He cooks and cusses at Brady (always out of earshot of course) and does the male bonding thing of football fundamentals with the GP.

Meanwhile, I blissfully write, read, nap, email, play Rise of Atlantis (my current computer game obsession. Hey, I’m on Journey 7!) listen to music or whatever strikes my fancy. Now many would argue this isn’t real me time, however I beg to differ. Yes, I could go out for a walk, or a bike ride, or shopping, or visit a friend, or get a pedicure and on occasion I do some of those things. But if me time becomes stressful due to the very definition of it, then it’s no longer ME time. See? Makes perfect sense.
I’ve learned not to overextend me time into a frenetic foray of events that only serves to exhaust me more and leave me feeling like I should relax.

The Grand Prince is learning this important lesson too. When I asked him recently about signing up for fall soccer, rationalizing we could fit it in on Saturdays since karate and tennis were after school activities, he paused and looked at me very thoughtfully and said, “Nan, I have enough things to go to all ready. I’m gonna skip soccer this year.”

Out of the mouths of babes.