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The Remedy Specialist...Woman seem to specialize in that! This mind squat is to celebrate all that is "woman"

You are Brilliant

Posted By cheekyredhead on Nov 11, 2009 at 8:29PM

Akeelah and the Bee:      Akeelah: [quoting Marianne Williamson]

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

I love this quote from the Movie: Akeela and the Bee

When we limit ourselves we somehow limit others too?  That is an interesting concept.  How much do we question ourselves about our worthiness?  Probably often every day.  As humans we tend to be very hard on ourselves.  We also have a bad habit of not letting go of pain, wrong doing, and those slights which seem to hurt forever.  Suddenly we see we have a choice.

Choice is a marvelous thing.  We really can choose to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, or fabulous.  There will be those who may disagree and of course they will but they cannot take your brilliance.  They can pretend to ignore that talent.  They can even become filled with envy but it does not lessen your shine unless you allow it to.

I find it easy to look at others and see all those wonderful attributes.  There are two sorts of people.  People who choose to see the best in everyone around them, and those who choose to see the worst.  Perhaps people who are miserable see only a reflection.  It is something which boggles my mind.  Why would anyone choose to see only the worst, expect the worst, and then feel the worst?  I spend a lot of time trying to see the best, hoping, and even nurturing others in hopes to help them see the best. 

As a writer I am an observer and an annotation maker.  It means I look all around and often marvel at what so many miss and then try to unveil the brilliance they secretly hide.  My stories and goofy articles are my attempts to perhaps help others see inside what they often overlook.  It could be emotions, memories, or times in your life long forgotten.  Our memories frame us, are part of us, and sometimes color the view we see of ourselves.

There are times when I am not particularly brilliant, in fact I can be downright dull.  We really are far harder on ourselves than we should be.  We see our imperfections and magnify them, ultimately deciding we are inadequate.  Moving forward while looking backward probably gets us no where, and gives us tons of bruises from running into things.

Life is so short.  I can't bear to watch it in slow motion.  Doesn't seem that when things go awry that they move in slow motion?  I have a theory about that.  I believe our minds slow it down in the hope that we are taking notes so we don't repeat those same mistakes.  The pain is often exquisitely slow and meticulously mean to underline those very important notes we should be taking.

How often in life do we choose to focus only on the pain and ignore the brilliance?  We can't allow the pain to blind us.   Choosing to revel in the light and brilliance is such a better choice.  Shake off those naysayers and start to ignore those whispers of discontent.  They aren't yours unless you decide to own that pain.  Take a deep breath, close your eyes and choose to let go of the darkness.  It will flow from you to escape the light. Exhale...Let that breath go and send that pain and darkness from you.

To quote yet again:  

"We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?"

and I say...of course you are!  I can see it!  Can't you?

Then move forward instead of backwards and grab this promise:

 "We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

Of course our views of God may be vastly different, but we all have one thing in common...we were born to shine.   I look forward to seeing your light, gazing into your brilliance, celebrating your talent, and reveling in your gorgeous and fabulous smiles. 

Your Holiday Story....

Posted By cheekyredhead on Oct 23, 2009 at 1:30PM

We had all had those holidays which stand out in our memories.  It may be a fabulous memory which makes us all warm and fuzzy inside, to be compared to every future memory and be measured by it.  We all have those holiday memories we'd like to forget---like the year both my Mom and my Aunt felt they had to be the one cooking the turkey and my Mom's turkey imploded. (Seriously...it became a heap of bones and the meat sort of disintegrated)


As children we had ideas about sugar plums just as much as we anticipated the tooth fairy...probably more.  Later in life as we married and somehow combined families, and our family traditions changed.  We created new memories together.  We have had that gift we thought was going to rock someone's world which turned out to be as exciting as a flat tire. 


There are those of us that prayed, pleaded, and made deals with God (or whoever else was listening) to just this one time....get that one thing or to be able to give that one great thing which would change our relationship with someone. 


Of course there are also those times when we all thought "What the heck was this person thinking" when we opened a gift which astounded us.  An example of this was someone close to me, her mother-in-law gave her a retractable clothesline one year, a sink hair strainer the next, and it just went even further down hill after that. (I am not  kidding)  And yes, we try to remember holiday seasons are about giving, not receiving....but still "What the heck!"


I suppose I'd like to think that we all hold onto some memories we cherish and find ways to laugh about those which perhaps fell short.  It is not always so easy.  As a young kid my father owned a prosperous business and Christmas was magical--our living room looked like the Sears toy department had exploded in there.  Then when he became a minister, sold his business and gave those funds to the church, and our Christmas changed dramatically. 


How does a 10 year old go from abundance into being thankful for a birthday cake for Jesus and one small gift?  It was hard, which perhaps explains why I am HUGE about Christmas now as an adult, and why my home has a Christmas tree in every room. (yes even bathrooms) 


The lesson I learned at 10 was not an easy one, it shaped my vision of holidays, and gave me new appreciation for what I had, and taught me that it really is about giving.  It did not prepare me for those who can never be pleased no matter how hard you try, whose expectations are so absurd and unobtainable, or worse---never learned about the gift which really comes from the heart. 


This year will probably be the leanest holiday season many Americans have ever had in their lifetimes.  As a nation we are re-evaluating priorities, learning the hard way that credit cards are possibly either works of the devil--or what saves our holiday from being dismal.  I am thinking that many Americans this upcoming holiday season are going to learn about that gift which comes from the heart, embrace it or simply be disappointed by it.  This woman is hoping that they embrace it.


There are a few of us which have already experienced difficult Holidays.  We are the emotional war veterans of lonely holidays, times when we felt guilty about what we couldn't give or felt guilty receiving something decadent.   One thing we all share is our renewed faith that people do give gifts from the heart and we should be open to celebrate each one no matter how small or insignificant anyone else views it.


While I tend to be a bit cheeky and kid around a lot...it has always been the thing which helped me cope with the emotionally difficult times.  I still make a Christmas birthday cake for Jesus, smile while I serve it, and think about how precious that cake was way back then when it was so hard for me to appreciate it.  That cake was simple...we didn't even have frosting.  My cake now is decorated on the top with chocolate chips.....why?  Because some higher power gave us chocolate and I am going to celebrate it!   Why can't Jesus can take credit for chocolate?   Several years back my mother  began making gingerbread men for Christmas...anatomically correct gingerbread men....and YES even a preacher's wife can be cheeky.   (now you know where I get it from)


SO---I am asking you to consider and ponder your Christmas memories and share them with us here.  Sharing a painful one helps you heal...sharing one that was really meaningful makes you appreciate it even more. 


Then...read each other's memories because they will remind you that sharing them with the people close to you is even more important.  This is your dress rehearsal for the upcoming holidays.  I am hoping you will create a gift from the heart and share it with those close to you in the holidays to come.  


And remember....it is okay to be cheeky.   Humor heals.

I refuse to get old.

Posted By cheekyredhead on Sep 25, 2009 at 9:54PM

My best friend tells me that as people age they are supposted to S L O W down.  Why?  I have done the opposite and I believe it keeps me young....well probably younger than most people assume I am,


Recently I was asked to take on some duties at my daughter's school and my husband put his foot down and said NO.   I guess I have trouble saying no to some things.  I like being involved and meeting people.  If I had to stay in a cubicle all day you'd have to peel me from the ceiling.   I know that my husband was right.  I am too involved with so many things and adding another would be crazy.


Between being a mom and wife I manage to squeeze in college, volunteering at a women's shelter, work and an internship as well as writing content for three websites and legislation for the American Legion.... I am thinking......could I possibly add a yoga class?    When right?


Working with patients and seeing dealth as much as life abound everyday, I have learned to look at life as a land of opportunities....and you never know what is around the corner to surprise you.   I watched my grandparents always talk about traveling but never did it....they died in the same microscopic town in Texas where they had lived 95% of their entire lives.  


I found it sad and made a decision that I would not find myself bedridden someday with a whole list of regrets.  Regrets....about the choices we make......rather than the choices we chose not to make.   Faced with difficulties beyond my control there were big rocks in my path but I manage to find my way around them eventually.  I never give up.


An injury stole the medical career I loved for 20 years so I am like many people in America right now---starting over.  I get to reinvent myself.  So I decided to go back to college...but couldn't decide to stay in medicine or go into law....and that is a decision I am still struggling with.  Doing both....I find myself at a point I have to decide between the two.  It is odd to think I'd be stuck in this place...faced with a decision like this when I had always thought I'd be doing the job I loved until I retired.  Now....I wonder if anyone will retire...and I just may be one of those who refuse to retire.   Heck...I may end up in Belize working as a PA and scuba diving everychance I get.


That injury didn't define me.  It was a mixed blessing.  I found myself home with my kids instead of working 60-85 hour weeks.   Sleeping in was a discovery I still revel in and wonder how the heck I survived all those years without it.   When the physicians gave me a list of ALL the things I wouldn't be able to do anymore I cried, got mad, and then preceded to prove them wrong.  For someone who is technically 90% disabled in both arms/hands...I became an avid scuba diver, design stained glass for my husband to make, and became a DIY professional.   At that point I went back to school and so forth.


I do refuse to get old.  That commercial on TV with the song "When I grow up I want to be an old woman"....makes me want to scream.   Yes...I buy and use every anti-aging product I can find less than $50, drink a gallon of water a day, and grew my hair out long.  What does the length of my hair have to do with it?  I grew up in the south where it is a common belief that as a woman ages she also should shorten her hair and wear frumpy clothes.  Sorry...that isn't going to happen here.  Today I told my teenage daughter that when I get old, that if she loves me at all she will demand people think of me as still looking 40 even though I passed that landmark years ago.  Yes....lie to me.


Don't get me wrong.  I know I will get old and wrinkled but that doesn't mean I have to like it.    If I can afford surgery I will have it.   Not for purely selfish reasons but because it is something I can use to fight this to a certain degree.  I know my boundaries though.  I refuse to be a plumped-up, skin stretched to the point you can't smile, plastic barbie doll kind of woman.  At almost 50 I still have all my original parts and aside from getting my nose straightened after a mugger in NY made it turn abruptly to the right, and a tummy-tuck that saved my life.... I am all me. 


How does a tummy-tuck save one's life?  On a lark  they found a particularly bad thing and removed it.....and had they not I would be dead.  See....vanity saved my life so why shouldn't I think of surgery as a good thing?   I never knew how vain I was until I found my first white hair.   Did you know that coloring pure white hair is almost impossible?  Yep.  Thankfully, being a redhead I look like I am getting highlights.  I wonder how long I can pull that off?


All those years of working in the dark has paid off big time.  (Ultrasound techs do it in the dark)   Being the lightest shade of pale possible without being technically  colorless...my skin is fabulous.  I know I am bragging and for goodness sake let me brag...those wrinkles are sneaking around the corner over there!  My sisters both used to tan beautifully while I freckled and peeled.....but now I get the pay-off from lack of sun damage.  I guess some would say I fit the "cougar"  category as my husband is signifantly younger than me....and he has to work to catch up to me.   That makes me smile.  Why shouldn't it?


Some may think I wrote this bragging, bragging blog of bragging more still....to simply brag some more.  If you haven't gotten it yet this has become my "pep" talk.   I will be young.  I won't get old.  I think I can....I think I can...of course I can....please say I can...of course you can.....thanks.  We all are beautiful.  We all are eternally young.   We all are vibrant women.  Yes we are....we are....of course we are.   Repeat our mantra....we are young....we are vibrant....eternallly young....


Oh yeah....Anyone got any tips on spider veins?   I wear high heels everyday..I .refuse to go the way of "comfortable" footwear and discard fashion completely.   Alright...perhaps that is not entirely true...but I do have a heck of a shoe collection.....now about those spider viens...........fess up I need help!

Stupid Questions

Posted By cheekyredhead on Sep 25, 2009 at 1:46PM

We have ALL heard them and I am asking you to share them here.....

And I will start with.................

"What?" or "What!"

Posted By cheekyredhead on Sep 22, 2009 at 11:28PM

As a mom of three teenagers I sometimes wonder if they listen to half of what I say and find myself praying they at least allow some of what they are ignoring to seep into their subconscious.    Anyway that is my life day in and day out…listen to me…pay attention…this is important…. been there right?   

Kids seem to take on parts of our own personalities. When they do, seeing that little piece of yourself in a mannerism, a laugh, or perhaps that one trait you wish they hadn’t grabbed onto and kept as their own; it can just drive you nuts.  On the other hand, it may just make you want to burst out in laughter.

I am going to step out of my comfort zone and admit that I routinely torment my kids.  Not in a painful- going to get arrested sort of way- but in an “OMG tell me you didn’t just do that” kind of thing.  There is a sort of bizarre sort of satisfaction from watching them squirm a little.  I know I am not the only one that has done this to their kids.  Some of us have perfected this little game.  My sister feels it is payback for all the embarrassing things our kids have put us through but I prefer to think of it as simply humor on edge. 

How does one teach teenagers patience?  My father had a unique and exquisitely painful way.  He simply made you wait until the day before you absolutely positively had to have an answer and yes that is torture.   If you pestered him about it the answer was always “No” but if you were patient the answer was almost always “Yes” unless you did something to screw things up for yourself.


Unfortunately I never mastered that one skill regrettably.  Because of this I am tormented daily with all the “Have you decided yet?” pokes at my thin resolve.  It is okay because I have my own arsenal of tools which I use in other ways.  Perhaps my husband and I accidentally on purpose erase the “Robot Chicken” episodes the kids thought they were sneaking around recording behind our back.  The best part is that he and I watch them first and then discuss how funny they were while they are in ear-shot.  The groaning we hear when they discover they are gone is fabulous.

Today was my shining achievement and I am here to brag.  Yep- I am very proud of this one.  My son has this habit of always saying “What?” like he is innocent when it is obvious he isn’t.  It sometimes wears us all thin because we know this is his way of rubbing it in.  He is very sneaky but not clever enough to cover his tracks.  Sometimes he revels in actually getting caught and of course he simply says his signature “What?”

Today he went around all day long saying “What?” only the tone was very different.  I started paying a little more attention and discovered he was following around my daughter insisting that she tell him “what” she had done.  Hmmmm….my Mom radar was going off so I had to know “what” was going on but I knew that with all good things one must wait.  Bedtime I hear him still asking her “what did she do” and all she would say is “You’ll know, it is only a matter of time.”  He groaned.

After about an hour I called my daughter on her cell phone and asked “So what did you do to your brother that has been tormenting him all day?”  She laughed and said, “Nothing.  I just figured if he was going to be going around saying ‘What’ all the time that I’d give him something to really say ‘What’ about.”  Yes!  I love it!  She has been taught by the master.  That girl deserves chocolate.

Courant quilty of plagiarism!

Posted By cheekyredhead on Sep 3, 2009 at 10:21PM

Courant punishes six for blatant plagiarism, including top two editors, Levine and Hazell for permitting wholesale stealing of stories from small competitors

Thursday, September 3, 2009
By George Gombossy

After pretending for weeks that there were no unusual ethics issues in stealing hundreds of stories from small competitors, The Courant announced today that six employees were being punished.

Richard Graziano, the publisher of both The Courant and its sister station Fox 61, told a stunned editorial staff at an impromtu meeting in the what is left of the newsroom at 285 Broad St., that six employees would be disciplined.

Graziano, who has been under attack himself for his ethical lapses, at first refused to tell his staff who would be punished and what the punishment would be.

However, tough Courant reporters peppered him and Jeffrey Levine, the former marketing “guru” and now editor of The Courant and Fox 61, and management finally admitted that Levine and Naedine Hazell, former features editor, now number two editor at the paper, were among the six, CtWatchdog.com has learned.

Interestingly, Levine and Hazell are supposed to be experts on blogging and fair use of Internet material. So what made them believe that they could get away with stealing stories from others?

The worst part though is that Levine could not explain to the staff what they did, why they did it, and what was wrong and what they would do to make things right.

And unfortunately, it came at a time when a great Courant staffer passed away after a courageous battle with cancer.

This was the complete statement that was issued Thursday by The Courant:

Courant Apologizes For Plagiarism
Richard J. Graziano

Hartford Courant CEO, President & Publisher

5:31 PM EDT, September 3, 2009

The Hartford Courant is America’s oldest continuously published newspaper. We’ve been in business for 245 years. We’ve earned a reputation for integrity and we take it very seriously. Throughout our history we have served the community by highlighting wrongdoing and violations of ethics when we find them. It is only right that we focus the same light on ourselves when we are wrong.

So, it’s incumbent upon me as publisher to tell you that we failed to meet our own standards and, as we would with anyone else, we are flagging it, calling it wrong and taking action.

In short, after an extensive internal review, we have determined that over the last several weeks The Courant plagiarized the work of some of our competitors. This was not our intent, but it is in fact what happened. We are taking corrective action to prevent it from happening again. We have also disciplined the individuals involved.

There is nothing more sacred to a newspaper than its credibility. It is my responsibility to point out our ethical violations and tell you that this newspaper’s staff and I are deeply sorry. We apologize to our readers, competitors and advertisers.

The Courant wants to assure its readers and news staff that we vigorously subscribe to strict journalistic ethics and to maintaining and achieving lasting credibility. We know that there is nothing more important to a newspaper.

Richard J. Graziano
CEO, President & Publisher, Hartford Courant
Senior Vice President Tribune Broadcasting
General Manager WTIC/WTXX

So the question I have is whether Graziano has disciplined himself for his ethical lapses, or is he waiting for Tribune to figure out all the stuff he has done.

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 3rd, 2009 at 7:53 pm and is filed under Media. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.




Plenty of Sugar to Share!

Posted By cheekyredhead on Aug 17, 2009 at 11:19PM

Well it looks like we are all getting a make-over and "TeamSugar"
will look WAY different in the very near future.

Change can be a little unsettling for people but usually it works out for the best. Having spent the best part of my day backing up files I had a unique opportunity to look at all the friends I have accumulated and all the wonderful conversations we have had here and hoped that these changes bring us wonderful things!

In case we all get lost (probably not) I definitely didn't want to lose you! Here is the link to my official blog. I post a new edition weekly and sometimes bi-weekly if my schedule permits its it.

You can find me on Facebook...heck everywhere just google me. Gotta warn you, I am not that lady that is "all about yarn" nor am I the porn star that have taken a liking to my alias.

Here is the link to my blog:

cheekyredhead.wordpress.com ....for the good clean fun

Otherwise I'll hope to see you in one of my forums:
"Spoon Full of Sugar" and "Write-On"

I will leave crumbs so you can come find me

Screaming Pippi

Posted By cheekyredhead on Aug 11, 2009 at 11:51PM

I have always been sort of a rebel. When I was little my grandma used to pull me aside to remind me that I am “fabulous” and I would look at her like she was a crazy woman. I was a little bit of homely smacked with freckles and a toothy smile. I was the dorky version of Pippi Long-stocking. Really. What looked cool on Pippi make me look like a circus reject.

As a minister’s child I wore the rejects of every person in our church, openly so they knew how much we appreciated them. I know, there seems to be a slight feeling of resentment in that sentence so you did read it rightly. Of course we appreciated the nice intentions, it was just hard to wear them sometimes and be constantly reminded ”That old thing used to be my favorite dress.” The smile on my face was pinched and painful.

Later on in life I got a job just as soon as I was legally allowed to and half my check went to my parents and the other half I spent on clothes. I was in heaven. Overtime? Sure–that means new shoes. I was one motivated clothes horse in the making. Who knew how obsessed I would become with shoes later in life?

As soon as my grandmother showed me how to sew I was whipping out clothes left and right. I would cut, sew and wear and outfit the same day. I was a clothes obsessed woman. “Fashion” was something I dreamt of. It was my focus in life at the time to look “put together” and make a “fashion statement.” My parents on the other hand were just praying I would stay modest and prim. How does one be modest and prim while being fashionable?

I, of course would have to whack out the path for others to follow. Perhaps I have pioneer blood. Fashionable was something I seemed insistent upon locating or at least discovering. When you are already limited, a budget then seems to add to the challenge. This hayseed was going to be fashionable one way or the other. My parents were very concerned about the “other.”

My parents surprised me right before school started by telling me to take my whole check and go buy myself school clothes. I was sure I heard a herald of angels sing because obviously I was in heaven. All day long I meticulously planned my outing for the next day, mapping out our tiny mini mall in our little town.

The next morning I was out of the house and down there in a flash. They don’t open until 10am? That is absurd! I sat there for three hours and waited; dreaming of a thousand looks of stylish that a silly dork from the country could imagine. I had big hopes for my little paycheck.

My thoughts ran back to the advice in fashion which the most fashionable woman in my life had bestowed upon me. My grandma. I know you didn’t see that one coming did you. A grandma? She was tall, lean and had a smile that beamed. Grandma would pull me aside and offer advice that now just seemed logical but back then it was a revelation. This woman was cool. She could do the splits at age 45!

Fashion according to Grandma: Never wear two prints together. No white before a certain day and no black after. Always wear hose with a skirt. Stick with a solid for bottoms and prints for tops so you have more flexibility. I sat there ticking off the rules in my head, making sure I stayed on course. Number one rule was always “How many ways can you wear this with what you already have?”

When the mall finally opened I froze in my tracks. What if I went in and saw so many beautiful things that I couldn’t make a decision? I gave myself a time limit and told myself not to buy anything at all until I had gone into each store. Wow. Was I wound up tight or what?

I stuck to my plan,checked out each store and then sat in the middle of our tiny mall when my time was up, then considered everything I had saw and tried on. Carefully I put together outfits in my head until I was satisfied and then made my purchases and headed home from my triumphant shopping extravaganza.

Excited to show my parents and bursting with pride I pulled out my purchases as they stood there waiting patiently. Their eyes were filled with shock and disbelief. Why? Because I pulled from the shopping bags one screaming yellow pair of overalls, three striped t-shirts, jeans, and a pair of Nikes that were screaming yellow and green.

They probably thought my fashion statement was somewhere between Mork (From Mork and Mindy) and that Pippi person I disliked so much. My parents were speechless and that is saying a lot. I sat there all animated telling them all the outfits I could make with what I had plus my new pieces. In fact, I was so excited that I missed it when my Dad said “Holy Crap.”

Later I came out of my fashion fog and grew out of these prizes, I handed them down to my younger sister who wore them as proudly as I had. Much to the chagrin of our parents those yellow overalls never fell apart and in fact they seemed impervious to stains and rips. They were blessed by the fashion angels.

Now many MANY years later I think of this fondly and add to it my “Madonna” stage, the time I “just knew” pink and brown were going to be big (I was right), and of course that time I had to have pointy-toed pumps in every color. Never mind that they looked hurt like heck. My Bo-Derek hair-do must be the most noteworthy of all and the most perplexing.

Last month my daughter dyed her beautiful natural auburn hair bright blue, which over auburn translated to green. While I mourned her hair I knew this would pass and sure enough it did. I guess a boyfriend’s Mom telling her is looked bad meant it was truth. Forget about the fact I had already said that.

When I complained to my Mom she smiled and just said, “Well it isn’t some ugly bright yellow pair of overalls.” Seems I will never get away from Pippi.

Essential Motherhood

Posted By cheekyredhead on Aug 6, 2009 at 9:49AM

Bear FunBear FunCan you remember that gentle kicking which caused you to sit and wonder about the infinite possibilities of that life you once carried so close to your heart?

Of course there were the times the kicks became a great source of pain and discomfort and we greatly anticipated the time when our bodies would once again become our own. It was a belief never realized until our children often reached the age of five or so, at a time when we had forgotten ourselves for far too long.

Motherhood does not end; it merely evolves and changes our lives in different ways over time. There was the time we never could go to the bathroom alone, and then the time we sat worried as we sent them to the bathroom alone.

That first day of school was far more traumatic to us than it ever was for our kids. My daughter was up at 3 a.m., fully dressed and insisting it was time to leave for school. Today I have to go in and literally push her out of bed for high school.

I remember the day I sat in my bedroom pouting and saying that famous phrase we all have uttered. It always began with, “When I am a Mom I will never do/say/expect ‘BLANK’ to my kids!” Then, of course, years later I found myself doing or saying exactly what I swore I never would do. Yikes, where did that come from? I called my mother to tell her what I had just said and she laughed. We have all been there.

I remember hearing this threat: “If you keep making that face you will be cross-eyed for life.” As an infant my daughter actually had several surgeries to correct her cross-eyed condition which she was born with. I admit I wondered if she suffered because of the many times I ignored that threat from my mother.

Part of being a mom is perfecting being irrational at times. It is silly but we do tend to blame ourselves for everything—and it often has nothing to actually do with us.

Now I find myself yearning for that child that once was captivated by my stories and demanding all the time I had. She has grown up and it often appears that I am the last person on her agenda.

I know this is normal but it also confirms that I have grown along with her. I am not ready to let go while she cannot wait to be free of me. Do mother birds yearn for their young ones while marveling at how successful they are when they take flight?

I am convinced that they do.

Sitting home in the dark knowing I should go to bed but cannot find sleep there, I find new appreciation for all the times my mother must have sat in the dark while I was out on a date. We know what we did when we were young, daring, and mislead to believe that life would never bring us emotional pain. We want to protect them and keep them from that pain but know without a doubt that very pain will arrive whether we try to prepare them for it or not.

Life does not follow our desires as it takes us on its own unique and bumpy path we never suspect.

Looking in my high school yearbook someone had wrote, “If you love someone set them free, if they return it was meant to be.” Now a mom, I interpret that saying in so many different ways; many I never would have considered so long ago when I was asking friends to write silly things in my yearbook. Wow, it feels like that happened not so long ago.

I remember seeing the great big world and wanting to go feel it, touch it, and become a part of it. Rarely did that vision include my parents. I remind myself how in my own youth I looked beyond parents for possibilities.

Over the past couple of years my mother and I have had some really interesting conversations. We recognized the apprehension and growing pains we felt as our children had grown and pulled away from us. That mother bird knows that the young eventually return to the nest and then eventually builds their very own nest close by.

Life has a way of bringing us back with new eyes to see those that we so often dismissed in our quest for independence and appreciate beyond any definition the impact they had on our life.

My mother and I share stories and laughter. We look at many things together and see possibilities for adventures we never thought possible. Comparing notes and observations we find and appreciate each other’s insight. Life has come full circle and I admire my mom for all the things I once was so critical of.

Now my best friend in the whole world, I find I cannot possibly get enough of her time.

First published April 2009

Buy me a man-I need canned apricots!

Posted By cheekyredhead on Aug 5, 2009 at 12:36PM

Years ago a funny movie came out called “Going South” which depicted what many small towns after the civil war experienced (shortage of men) and how one town had dealt with this issue.

In the movie a woman could “buy” a man which was sentenced to death and marry them. Often these women had no clue what kind of man they were getting as the men were often dragged into town by some law official.

In the movie actress Mary Steenburgen buys actor Jack Nicolson, preventing him from being hung. She had been a spinster with a farm (and a secret goldmine) and looked at him as “labor” instead of a husband.

Her neighbors (many who had also bought a man) let her know that a “woman’s duty” must be done on her side of this arrangement and offered her some advice. One neighbor said, “I lay there and think of canning apricots.” Later in the movie Jack Nicholson shouts at her in front of her neighbors, “I sure did love those canned apricots!”

You may be wondering why I am reminiscing about a movie many people thought was probably not the best work either of these actors had done…but I have to tell you…I remember both my parents howling with laughter at this movie and me-a kid-wondering what could possibly be so funny about “canning apricots.”

Many years later as an adult I called home to discover my parents had changed their answering machine message to “We aren’t here right now so we are probably canning apricots.”

Remembering the movie and this phrase I went out and rented the movie to watch again. I had a mystery I had to solve. I laughed so hard I was tearing up—until I realized my parents were possibly “canning apricots” right that moment. Ewww.

After I married and had kids “canning apricots” became the polite/secret way adults in my family referred to this “activity” in front of kids. I never thought much of it. My kids would ask about it and I’d just say it was some “boring adult activity” they didn’t need to be concerned about.

This summer however, my kids were going through old VCR tapes we were donating to the American Legion for hospitals overseas and they came across “Going South” and decided to watch it. They dragged in the old VCR machine and hooked it up. I came home to see some odd looks on their faces but other than that, nothing which warranted concern.

This morning when my husband and I came downstairs all three of our teenagers yelled “You guys are LOUD when you are in there canning apricots!” and “You didn’t sound like you were bored in there last night!” We all stared at each other for a few seconds of awkwardness and then laughed. My son said, “I will never look at apricots the same.”

It is funny how little saying like that become part of our lives. I wonder if I can get that movie in high def? It seriously is a very funny movie. Our VCR tape of it just left inside a donation bin for some unsuspecting recuperating soldier to view. Perhaps I should have put a warning on it. I don’t want anyone popping stitches over a few “canned apricots.”