Sunday, May 31, 2015

All You Can Eat

Yesterday, my nine year old finished her soccer season and I took the four, eight and eleven year old with me to cheer her on, and to the post game victory party at a local chain buffet. They'd never been to this restaurant as I tend to avoid going out to eat with my children except at places that provide meals in paper wrapping accompanied by plastic toys.

My four year old found four year old heaven.  I think she ate three times her weight in fruit from the salad bar, running back every two minutes or so to refill her plastic bowl with honey dew.  After eating more than I thought possible, her sisters introduced her to the entree' table.  Mac-n-cheese, french fries, fried chicken.  "This is the best place in the world." she glowed.  My son discovered the taco bar.  Game over.  A chorus sang the glories of chips.  I mentioned carrots. "Unlimited drinks!" my daughter pointed to her red plastic cup of chocolate milk and straw.

I told myself, it's okay. It's one day.  We sat at opposite ends of a long string of tables, (the adults on one side, the soccer team and siblings on the other) so I watched semi-helplessly as my four year old ran again to the stations and discovered the mother load of desserts.  

Up until now, I'd allowed her discretion. Fruit. No problem. Milk. No biggie. Proteins.  She came back with carrot cake. My suggestion of vegetables heeded, she ran back for cookies.  A waitress came by with a platter of ice cream in cups with gummi bears.  I didn't know this place functioned as a truck stop version of dim sum.   Delighted, she sought out dessert number four before I could get to her.   The waitress thought her so cute, she gave two slices of pumpkin pie.  I thought my daughter might explode if she kept eating.  Other soccer teammates saw her desire to be in the clean plate club and began giving her the desserts they didn't want in their quest to try everything.  Her eyes bulged with gluttonous joy.

She began the dance of the bathroom and so I took her. By now, the waitress had begun clearing the table of the aftermath.  My daughter felt distraught.  Her treasure'd been looted!

She ran to the ice cream machine and sweet talked the waitress into giving her a swirly cone.  She must have sensed she'd pushed her luck, she gave it to me.   I called for our check.  Imprisoned by the need to pay up, she took the opportunity to go back and grab another bowl of fruit and a cookie.  Her brother pushed himself away from the table, bloated with pizza, chicken, cornbread and dessert.  She took his french fries.   "We're going." I announced. It took a few minutes to round up her sisters and brother, all of whom, after protesting fullness, had gone back to the create your own sundae bar for more.  I hate wasting food, but I also wanted us to leave the place before any child reached critical mass.

Pulling her out the doors and into the bright sunlight, she winced at the reality of the world outside the comfort of the buffet table.  "I'm so full." Food drunk, she staggered holding my hands. We drove home, and I thought smugly to myself as all four succumbed to sleep en route, they won't be hungry for dinner.  

As soon as I pulled in the driveway, the four year old woke up.  Her first words?  "Mommmmm?  What's for lunch?"


Friday, May 29, 2015

Eat Sleep Write Friday!

As mentioned yesterday, I currently submit two humor pieces a week to Eat Sleep Write!  

You'll have to click on the link to read as Paul Harvey would say, the rest of the story. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Small Success Thursday

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Getting Back Up and Run

Back in 8th grade, I ran track and even competed in a 3/4th of a mile race. To people like my son, such a short distance seems ridiculous, but for me at the time (and even now), it seemed epic.  Midway through the race the first time I raced, I lay down.   I'd run faster than I ever had before and everyone had lapped me and it all seemed so pointless.  I wouldn't win.  What would it matter if I just walked off the field?

But I remember catching my breath and thinking, it would matter to me.   I've run this far, I'll see it through.  That sort of stubborn this is my hill and these are my beans mentality has seen me through a lot of things, not the least of which is having and trying to raise all these people.

The biggest temptation in writing, is to quit.  The second biggest temptation is to restart.  The third biggest temptation is to persist.

I have felt all three temptations to be sure.   I know this week, I felt myself lying down, catching my breath, wondering if there are more words I need to write, more humor to share, more thoughts that just have to spill out onto the page.

My writing schedule includes currently writing for Eat Sleep Write, submitting to the Catholic Standard on a regular basis, writing a weekly column for, and trying to crank out a decent thousand words five days a week for the six months writing boot camp.  My son runs long distance.  He hopes to be in a half marathon or a whole one in the next year.  He's a cross country runner.   I'm a cross country writer.

The answer is yes.  I'm sorry the blog has been sort of dull lately.   I'll try to get refocused on giving you slice of life humor and occasional spiritual reflection, rather than just links to where I've recently been published.  

For those who don't know, I finished the race. I came in fifth. Granted only five people finished the race, but eight started it.   I still have the yellow ribbon.   Whenever I feel winded and like stopping something I started, I look at it, take a deep breath and get back to work.  

Sunday, May 24, 2015

May Have to Watch This One More Closely....

Hi! I have a post over at Eat Sleep Write today.  Some days I think I'm going out to live life instead of sitting by the computer inventing stories from what happens, and then something like this happens....Hint: Never leave your pizza unattended.

Friday, May 22, 2015

And Now a Word from Someone Sitting in the Nosebleed Section...

No one ever asked me to give my thoughts upon completing college or high school, but given that I've been to three already, and have seventeen more (at least) to go,  I'm taking the opportunity here to give my wisdom on the giving of such speeches so as to help everyone enjoy the day.

I know you think you have brilliant slice of life stories to tell and wisdom to impart.

You think you are this:

But most graduates sitting in the pews are thinking this:

Just a reminder.  Brevity.   Soul of Wit and all that.  

Having offered my advice to future speakers, CONGRATULATIONS WILL!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Virtually Really Like Actually I Know Literally

Every once in a while, society develops a verbal tic.   In the '80's, like became a place holder for every thought that came after, and for all the non thought that also followed.   This year's variant of "Like" is literally.  

When a word becomes THE word, no one remembers the actual meaning of the word, because the actual meaning has been usurped by the new use.   Also, people using the word don't hear themselves using the word, it is muted from their mental memory, only other people use it.

I know because my daughter always tells me, she never uses the word she actually uses, though she'll use literally, literally four times in the course of a given conversation.  My lying ears tell me I'm hearing the word, even though it actually does not work as used.  

So what does literally mean?   It use to mean exact, precisely, truly.  Informally, it has become a means of stressing something as experienced, without being actually true.   So literally now means virtually, or kinda sorta, or ! but still also means actually, in truth, and precisely so.   Through repeated misuse, literally is literally both a synonym and antonym of itself.

Having explained the problem to my daughter, she didn't feel there was an actual problem and told me I really shouldn't like be so literal.      

Monday, May 11, 2015

You Know You're a Mother When....

10) You feel like you slept in when you get up at 7:15 am. 

9) Your six year old shows you how to blow the dandelions so you'll get to have wishes, and you're wishing, please don't let my lawn be nothing but dandelions, but spend the next thirty minutes blowing dandelion seeds anyway.  

8) Cleaning a room, you find a naked barbie that's been "fixed."  Someone painted a yellow swimsuit onto her.  

7) You've become accustomed to eating end bread sandwiches.  

6) Someone asks, "What do you want to do today...." and it takes you a minute to think that way.   

5) You step on the scale, or look in the mirror and catch the grey and think, I earned those.   

4) Before you've felt their heads or they've said anything, you know who's sick.   

3) If you want to eat ice cream alone, you lock the door to your room with the tv on, and then go hide in the laundry room.   

2) You can tell anyone the exact location of shoes, the keys, their favorite shirt, the towels, and what's in the refrigerator defrosting for dinner.  You cannot remember what you ate yesterday, or a sentence from the last book you read.   

1) You feel like you went to bed early if it's before 12 midnight.   

Happy Mother's Day (One day late).   I had to share the computer with the kids getting their homework done.  :)    

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Eat Sleep Write

Memo to me....pain+humility=humor.  I'm sharing my pain as penance for my gullibility. Enjoy this slice of my humble pie over at Eat Sleep Write. 

P.S.  No, I'm not linking to the satirist site because you'll already know it's satire and therefore not possibly be fooled.  

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Peanutbutter & Grace

Today, I have a piece over at a new site, Peanutbutter & Grace.

The family that runs this publishing company have been internet friends for years and they have great stuff if you have a first communion or baptism or godchild to shop for, and want something that allows not just the kid, but the family to deepen their faith.  Check out the rosary devotions with liturgical art, browse, leave a comment.  Thank them for growing a Catholic family ministry to support their own Catholic family and others.   

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!