Mother

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When I think about all the words associated with my post title, I am gobsmacked.
Loving, true, comfort, wisdom, nurture, beautiful, understanding, compassion, forgiveness, beauty, home, food, safety, empathetic to a fault, funny, cranky and sometimes (but not often) tongue-tied.
There’s much more but the above will do for now.

I go every year to buy my wife a Mother’s Day card that will suit her.
I’ve come to the obvious conclusion that said card does not exist.
And I refuse to pay for the awful a/f  #hallmark prose that means little to nothing.
So I come here to my little corner of the sky to post my thoughts on what she means to me and our three girls.

Pamela,

On this Mother’s Day,
please know that you are loved.
And You are cherished.
And You are the glue that keeps this family together.
When we’re lost, you show us the way.
When we’re down, you cheer us on.
When we’re confused, you show us light.
When we’re tired, you offer us your own tired shoulders.
Today is a wonderful day to let you know how truly blessed we are.
Happy Mother’s Day.
We love you like crazy.

~m

ps. 3 Mom’s in the above photo!

 

 

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Fast Forward for Papa

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*I found this post in my queue from a few baby steps/years back

When I became a grandfather I knew that my life as I knew it would change;
nothing drastic as in a ‘we need a bigger house’ way, but in smaller and somewhat expected ways.
And my life has changed.
My living room now has toys galore, kids books, a ‘Little Tikes’ a maniacal cow with a head that lifts up where you put coloured balls in to make the cow go ‘mooooo’ as it plays a crazy version of ‘The Farmer in the Dell’.
What the hell is a ‘dell’ anyway? (Adele? I know who she is)
I’ve fallen deeply in love with this little cupcake and she doesn’t even speak yet.
She does make some wonderful (and weird) sounds these days and I’ve proudly introduced her to the raspberry.
On occasion, she does that quite well.
And I am impressed.
Although I did hope for a bit less raspberry drool. (We call her ‘Droolia’)
And she loves when I do my impression of the Swedish Chef from Sesame Street, with his ‘Boort, boort, boort’ signature voice.
She crinkles her face and she quite simply melts my heart.
I was watching her sleeping on Father’s Day (in her stroller) and wondered if maybe she could change the world someday.
Maybe I’ll never know.
Funny thing is is that babies grow up to be daughters and sons and sometimes they surprise you.
I’ve been surprised (or not so surprised) three times now.

(Fast Forward 2 years)

I went to take Meryl (pictured above) home after watching her for an afternoon.
She no sooner gets buckled up in her car seat when she says, “Hey, Papa, how about some music?” I oblige and smile, knowing that my granddaughter is slowly growing up.
I put on Sara Bareilles “King of Anything” and she starts bopping her head.
It’s all good. For now, anyway. And her taste in music is pretty cool.

(Rewind 5 months)

It’s Christmas Day and I’m watching football with the boys (Jonathan, Aaron and Yukon).
There’s one present left to open for the ‘already’ grandparents and I don’t even notice the opening.
I hear a happy scream (is that possible?) and ultimately find out that I’m going to be a “Papa V.2”.  (long story)
AND as it turns out, it’s going to be another little girl. I’m surrounded by women and truth be told, I love it. I love cooking for them, writing songs for them and watching them grow into incredibly wonderful and intensely caring people.
My daughters are amazing.
With another granddaughter on the way, I’m wondering if I have enough love to give to another little girl. Truth is that my heart will always have room for more.
But for now, the current love of my life is below.
Meryl Grace . . .

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~m

 

Smoke, Lies and the Nanny State and . . .

Just wanted to put up yet another “thank you” post for being so damn generous with your comments.
I wanted to make my way around the “bloghorn” but will never do it all tonight.
I’m only human.

A few notes of interest, if you look to my side bar you will see a little jpeg of Joe Jackson (musician).
If you click it, it will open Adobe Reader on your computer (assuming you have it installed), and download his essay as a .pdf file.
I don’t comment much about smoking on the blog but I feel Jackson’s essay should be read by smokers and non-smokers alike.
I think it’s absolutely brilliant.
You may feel differently.
I’m not going to address my stance on smoking right now.
Just know that I smoke.
And I enjoy it.
And I pay exorbitant and unscrupulous taxes because of my habit (which is absolute bullshit).
To the US government, tax something else for a change, for cripes sake.
Just imagine if the government started taxing Budweiser and Happy Meals the way they tax tobacco these days.
Would people be a bit angry?
Think about it.
Click on the philosopher above to visit Jackson’s website.
There’s some great stuff to be found there.

And now for something completely different;

Last week, I woke up in the middle of the night after falling asleep early and came downstairs to the sound of ‘beep-beep-beep-beep’.
My wife was laying on the couch pointing the cordless phone at the TV and pressing the “call button” on and off.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Trying to turn this friggin’ thing down,” she said.

“You can’t do that with the phone, dear, ” I said, as I took the phone out of her hand, turned off the TV and guided her upstairs to bed.
Ah, sleepyheads can be funny sometimes.
I think she may have called China a few times though.
Check out the Jackson video below.
Classic Joe.

~m

12 things my daughters have taught me

Having three girls, there are things that as a man you just know, or don’t know.
I’ve been thinking about this for sometime and have come up with a list of things they’ve taught me.
Sometimes it’s just observing their bizarre womanly ways and sometimes I get a hands-on lesson.

  • I can spot a Vera Bradley handbag from 100 paces. (yeah, I know. Scary)
  • Orlando Bloom is hot, but Jensen Ackles (Supernatural) is way hotter.
  • Folding laundry is quite natural now except when it comes to folding a bra.
  • “I love you, Daddy,” loosely translated means, “I need something and you will get it for me.”
  • Girls can be downright nasty to each other.
  • Nothing dries tears quicker than a trip to Hollister.
  • They know the ins and outs of Itunes way better than I do.
  • They can use the T9 word when texting on their cell enabling them to send me the “Gettysburg Address” in less time than it takes me to text the word, “Ok” and hit send.
  • There are countless stars in the sky, but every one has its place.
  • Never honestly comment on a new hairstyle. Just say, “It looks very nice.”
  • Not all facial moisturizers are created equal.
  • Patience. (4 women getting ready to go out for a Saturday evening is excruciating)

Look for a future post and update.
Learning about women is an ongoing process and I’m still a beginning student, apt but beginning.

~m

Not a chance . . .

“I think I may be beginning to disappear.” – Fiona (Away from Her)

Last night was a deeply emotional night for me.
For the longest time I’ve put off watching a movie called Away from Her
based on the Alice Munro short story called, “The Bear Came Over the Mountain”, a tragic but uplifting tale of a husband and wife of 50 years coming to grips with Alzheimer’s Disease.
It was all too familiar territory for me and I knew instinctively why I hadn’t seen it in the theater.
Sometimes I hate when I’m right.

The internal walls I’d previously built for emotional protection were deteriorating rapidly, waiting patiently to be torn down.
New and stronger walls were waiting in the wings.
Seeing yourself in virtually every scene of a movie is a powerful (and devastating) experience and something has to give.
My already shaky walls began crumbling before my very eyes.
Seemingly insignificant scenes were like storms in the night, moments of illumination exposing moments of denial, the mind’s premeditated closing of the eyes.
I was watching my mother and father on the screen as years of pent up heartbreak gently poured out of me.
And truth be told, it felt like prayer, a long forgotten Hail Mary . . .
I’ve written much about my mother’s many moments of clarity, the small gifts I believe are given to us from up above.
The last minute of the movie contains such a moment, an incredibly beautiful moment.
I could only sit and watch the credits roll by,
letting this “thing” happen, if that makes any sense.
I apologized to my wife for being so weepy.
She hugged me as I knew she would and said, “I understand. It’s okay.”
All the ancient walls inside me came crashing down and as of this morning I’ve already begun new construction, my Extreme Internal Makeover, if you will.
This post isn’t so much about my tears or my outward showing of intense emotion.
It’s about the willingness to ultimately set some of my shadows free.
And so far, it’s all good.
You’ll have to watch the movie to understand the significance of the post title.
I’m not giving anything away . . .
~m

So Much

Like me, so much like me
you are oceans deep, my silent little girl

A face that’s like a saving grace; it’s a prayer I will always pray
I know you as well as I know my overly complex self,
and I am forever in love with you
as I was 18 years ago

@8:11am . . .

If these words turn you crimson, then so be it, that makes you real
You are my hurricane on the water, my own personal blizzard of ’90
And you’re like me, sometimes so much like me
And just maybe
that’s a small, good thing

Happy 18th birthday, Jenna
You are a true diamond in the rough
Gráim thú . . .

~Dad

And she likes John Mayer . . .

Game of the Century

You didn’t think you’d get away without something about my Patriots, did you?
I’m not going to jinx them by saying the game will be a blowout or that Eli Manning will choke or that Tom Coughlin will gag on his Motorola headset microphone.
No, I’d never say that.
I will however say, how cool is Gisele?
I can see why Brady loves this woman.
I saw this picture online and immediately fell in love.
Pretty face, awesome smile, flat tummy, blue jeans, blonde hair, and a Boston Red Sox shirt.
How in God’s name do you improve on that?
You just can’t.
Whatever happens, I pray it’s a great game.
And I pray the Patriots silence, for one and for all, those that say the G-Men will prevail.
G-Men? Sounds like a transsexual metal band.
On the menu? Chili, shrimp cocktail, chips and dip, Guinness, cigars . . .

Wanted to take care of a tag as well.
I’m not a big tag guy but Deanna has asked and I’m delivering.
She’s a favorite commenter here at S&M and has a nice blog herself.
Without further ado . . .

Name seven famous people you’ve met (or weird facts about yourself)

I’m going with the famous people but there’s more than seven so I thought I would just list them. I would usually be a bit more creative and tell you a bit about each encounter but I’ve been riding too many single level trains this week making writing virtually impossible.
In no particular order here’s my personal list of “brushes with greatness” . . .

Robert Cray, Billy Joel, John Hiatt, Peter Cetera, Joe Cocker, Steven Tyler, Joe Sample, Steve Gadd (Musicians)
Lenny Clarke, “Bobcat” Goldwaith (Comedians)
Carlos Fuente, Litto Gomez, Rocky Patel, George Padron (Cigar makers)
Dwight Evans, Rich Gedman (Boston Red Sox)
Stephen King (author)
Ethel Kennedy (non-classifiable for many reasons. There may be a future post on Ethel)

There are more but I’ll stop there.
Google any name an prepare to be amazed.
I’ll be far away from the blog for the rest of the weekend.
Have a great Super Sunday, folks.
Talk to all of you next week.
I pray to God I’m smiling.

later gators,

~m

Pamela’s Dirty Snowballs

I can’t say enough about these little rascals.
You just can’t stop eating them.
And I’m sure you don’t believe me.
So make a batch and let me know.
These bastards are way worse than a bag of Lay’s Potato Chips in terms of compulsive “eatability”.

1/4 pound butter (none of that “can’t believe it’s not butter” shit ~m)
1 package chopped dates
(buy decent chopped dates in plastic containers, like the ones they sell at the deli. Not sure how much is in a package or plastic container, but I usually just use one container or box. Make sure you get the chopped dates, not the whole dates, and if they have sugar on them that’s alright.)
1 egg beaten

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups Rice Krispies

1 cup chopped walnuts

2 bags coconut
(I usually double this recipe when I make themgood advice, ~m)

Put first five ingredients in a large pot on the stove (spaghetti pot), melt and bring to a low boil.
You should stay close and stir quite often so it won’t burn.
Once it is all melted and it comes to a low boil (it will take awhile, you will see the mixture start to bubble), you can turn off the heat and move the pot to a pot holder or another burner and add the Rice Krispies and nuts and stir until it is combined.
You then lay out wax paper and cover it with shredded coconut.
You want the mixture to still be warm so the coconut sticks to the ball.
(God, I love this recipe ~m)
Roll them into balls about the size of meatballs.
You can actually make them as big or small as you like.
(I usually use rubber gloves when I make them because it seems easier to me because the mixture is so sticky, but you don’t have to be.)
Roll the balls in the coconut and push the coconut onto the ball.
Sometimes this is frustrating because it seems like the coconut is not sticking so well, but you can always sprinkle the leftover coconut on top of the snowballs when you are finished making them.
You can either put them on a plate or in a container and sprinkle the remainder of the coconut on top.
Put them in Christmas tins and sprinkle the leftover coconut on top.
They are not hard to make, just very messy.
Enjoy, folks.
Merry Christmas!

~p