Saturday, October 16, 2010

Enjoy the Moment

Today was a day filled with soccer.  The sun was shining.  The wind was blowing.  Parents, grandparents, and siblings lined the fields.

Little Man was the first to play today.  It was mid-morning and the fields were still damp from last night's rain.  The sky was bright blue with just a few stray clouds.  Gusts of cold wind blew red, orange, and yellow leaves past me in a perfectly choreographed dance before falling gracefully to the ground to be discovered by curious child hands.

I sat curled up in my furry fleece, shades over my eyes, warm toddler on my lap, watching Little Man tear up and down the field in relentless pursuit of the black and white ball.  He scored effortlessly, high-fiving his coaches and jumping for joy with arms outstretched.

He's good.  I am proud.

One hour later, Big Girl played her game under a warmer autumn sun.  Despite the occasional moments of pure warmth, the strong, chilly wind gusts would not let us forget what was in store for us.  Old Man Winter grows impatient - we'll soon be feeling his wrath.  The slight scratchiness I felt in my throat as I sat watching Big Girl run with her teammates reminded me of past winters and the agony of flu, cold, gray days and cabin fever.  Knowing what is just around the corner, I treasure Fall's comfortable weather and vibrant colors that much more.

Sitting there today in my skimpy folding chair I began to dread the very thought of Winter's imminence.  I wondered how I could possibly make it through all those cold, dark days when....

....the scent of steaming, hot, pumpkin-spice flavored, caffeinated goodness wafted my way and I was back in the moment.

I love my hubby.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Five Question Friday

I'm participating in a blog hop over at My Little Life today. Stop by, link up and discover some great bloggers!

1. What do you listen to while driving?
Why, that's easy!  Lots and lots and lots of whining. :)

2. What is your least favorite thing about Fall?
When it's over and the dark, dreary days of Winter begin.  I really can't think of one thing about Fall that I don't like.  It's my favorite season.

3. What does your dream house look like, inside and out?
 I love Mediterranean style homes!  My dream home would look a lot like this:
The front:
My bedroom:
My kitchen:

My backyard:

4. Would you ever own a minivan?
I do own a minivan and I totally rock it like nobody's business.  Rust, chipped paint, fingerprinted windows and all!

5. Do you wash new clothes before wearing them?
I never did (well, except the obvious - swimsuits and undergarments) but I may reconsider after reading this:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I Could Never Be A....

In response to Mama Kat's weekly Writer's Workshop prompt, Describe a job you absolutely would never want to do, I decided to compile a TOP 10 No-Way-Could-I-Ever-Do-These-Jobs list:

10.) Funeral Director
I have a hard enough time just attending an open-casket funeral.  And I have seen one too many horror movies to endure a job where you spend your day surrounded by dead people.  After a while, I might even imagine that they are talking to me.  No thanks.

9.) Dog Walker
One word: poop
I clean enough of that already as a mommy to 3 humans and 1 canine.  No thanks.

But if the dogs are potty trained, I might reconsider.

8.) Lifeguard
I won't sink like a brick in the water; I can swim enough to save my own life.  But, the rest of you are ON.YOUR.OWN.  No thanks.

7.) Theme Park Ride Operator
I enjoy the thrill of a good roller coaster too much to spend my work day watching other people have all the fun.  No thanks.

6.) Road Kill Scraper
Yes, there are people that do this for a living.  Our roadways would be a messy and dangerous place without these brave folks.  But,...ewwww, not for me.  No thanks.

5.) Bomb Disarmer
Waayyyy too much pressure.  I'm all for meeting goals and deadlines, but when it means getting blown to smithereens when the clock runs down to 00:00....No thanks.  I'd rather live another day to try again.

4.) Barista: a person who prepares and serves espresso-based coffee drinks.
I would much rather drink it, than serve it.  If I did work as a barista, I would look more like this:

than this:
No thanks.

3.) Sommelier: a trained and knowledgeable wine professional who specializes in all aspects of wine service as well as food and wine matching.
I would rather drink it, than recommend that others drink it.  If I did work as a sommelier, I would look more like this:
than this:
No thanks.

2.) Professional Clown
Please, is there anything scarier in this world?  Not a fan of clowns.  Never was, never will be, never want to be one.  No thanks.

1.) Mime
I consider myself to be a bit on the shy, quiet side, but a mime I could never be.  Also, mimes are almost as scary as clowns.  Almost.  No thanks.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Girl vs. Grill

Let me start out by saying, I LOOOVVEE grilled food.  I could eat grilled food through all year long, in 95 degree heat and in crazy cold weather, just as long as I am not the one doing the grilling.

Not that I can't grill.  My last few meet-ups with my grill were really VERY SUCCESSFUL and turned out some PERFECTLY COOKED chicken, pork chops and veggies.  And after each one of these successful meet-ups with the grill, I made sure hubby knew just how skilled his dear domestic diva is in the art of outdoor cooking [in an "in-your-face," "I can grill better than you" sort of way].

I was still riding high on my AWESOMENESS when I fired up the grill yesterday evening.  Hubby wasn't home yet, the kids were playing together peacefully, there were 4 porterhouse steaks in the fridge waiting to be grilled to juicy perfection, so I decided to get a head start on dinner and impress the hubby with yet another display of my incredible grill skills.

I imagined him pulling into the neighborhood after an exhausting day at work, sniffing the fragrant air out his driver's side window as the car rolled into the driveway.  "What's that? Steak?" he would say to his rumbling tummy.  "My wife really can do it all!  I'm the luckiest hubby in the world." 

He'd follow his nose all the way up the stairs, into the kitchen where he would be greeted by a glass of merlot and a plate of juicy, meaty goodness.  He would stop between each bite to tell me again and again that I am, indeed, a much better griller than he can ever be!

Here's what really happened.

I delicately arranged $40 worth of porterhouse steaks on my pre-heated grill, set the heat to med-high, because you need to start them out high to get those nice grill marks and sear in all the juices. 

Mmmmm.....that's what I'm talking about.

Everything was on track; kids were still happy, dog was sleeping in the corner of the kitchen, side dishes were coming right along.

Sniff, sniff.  "What's that smell?"

I peeked out on the deck.

"Just a little smoke.  Happens when hubby grills too, and the steaks are always fine.  No problem."

Thirty seconds later....

"Okay, that's an awful lot of black smoke.  Is that a flame I see?  600 degrees is a little high, no?  Oh, okay, higher than 600 now.  WTF!!" 

Commence running-around-like-a-chicken-with-my-head-cut-off sequence.

I continued my useless little freak-out session for what felt like 2 hours, meanwhile the black smoke cloud is looking like something out of LOST...

...AND I can CLEARLY see orange flames ever-so-slightly emerging from the small holes on the sides of the grill.

"Okay, um, what do I do?  Shut off the gas tank, of course!"


"Okay, now set all the heat dials to OFF."


"There, that should do it.  Now I just wait for the black smoke and flames to settle down.  No problem.  Disaster averted!"

Not so much.

The black smoke was canvasing the entire deck area and spreading into the neighbor's back yards and the heat was continuing to rise!  My next instinct was to call hubby, but the one time I am in crisis, I can't reach him.  Figures. 

"Am I having a 9-1-1 moment here?  Screw it!  I'm calling 9-1-1!"

As I waited for an eternity for the 9-1-1 operator to pick up, I paced into the house, back out on the deck...back and forth, back and forth.  I was positively LOONY by this point!  The kids were sticking their curious little heads out the slider door as I shielded them and shoved them back inside the house.  They were entertained by the whole ordeal.  By the looks on their faces, they could have easily been watching an episode of "Sponge Bob," not a dangerous grill fire.

I was finally talking to the 9-1-1 operator who brought my down from completely batty to a reasonable level of sanity.  She asked me repeatedly if she should send the fire department - it's my call.  I declined the offer - I didn't want to be known as the crazy grill fire lady in the neighborhood.  Instead, I asked her to stay on the line with me until the temperature gauge moved into the safe zone and the flames died down.  Just having 9-1-1 on alert made me feel better. 

It turns out I did everything right.  Except, now we had nothing for dinner.

I joked with the operator,"Guess we're having take out tonight!"

After re-hashing the entire terrifying experience to hubby, he looked at me and said, "Why didn't you just wait until I got home?"

And there it is. 

My oven and I will be best friends again.  I'm leaving the grilling to the man of the house for a while.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Welcome home, Princess!

Princess Sophia is returning to the homestead today after a one week vacation at the Grandparents Resort.  It has been a very quiet and relatively mess-free week here at home without my little three-year-old tornado blowing through the house.  The older siblings, Prince John (5 yrs old) and Princess Alexa (9 yrs old) were on their best behavior all week; arguments were kept at a minimum, toys were put away after use and there was a general sense of peace in our little universe that rarely exists when all three children are together under one roof.

Their grandma has a lot more free time these days after retiring this past Spring.  She came up with the idea for the all-expenses paid, mini-vacations to the Grandparents Resort.  The children love it because they get one-on-one time with their beloved grandparents and mommy loves it because she gets a week to breathe and hear herself think.

Upon their return, the children always look more grown up to me.  It is a whole week, after all.  A lot can change in a little person during one week. 

I appreciated the respite, but I have to admit, I miss the Princess and I'm looking forward to planting 1,000 kisses on these irresistible toddler cheeks.

Welcome home, Princess!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"Nobody Puts Baby In A Corner"

Who can forget that line?

I was 13 years old when this movie came out, struggling with prepubescent awkwardness and unfamiliar feelings coming from uncharted places.  Dirty Dancing came along at an ideal time in my life, to answer all my questions....and then some.

It was one of the first movies I went to see alone with a friend, detached from the the parental units.  I'm sure we told our folks we'd be seeing the positively benign flick "Ernest Goes To Camp" or something along those lines.  If I were foolish enough to even utter the words DIRTY DANCING, I would have been locked in my bedroom for a month, TV set ripped out of the wall, all my Teen Beat magazines confiscated, eating meals that were shoved through a teeny slot in the door.

It started out innocently enough; wholesome, little rich girl embarks on a summer vacation with mom, pop and big sister to a family resort in the mountains.  Girl partakes in shuffleboard, canasta and ballroom dancing lessons by day and fine dining in the resort restaurant by night.  Then it's off to bed in the quaint little family cabin. 

Only, the girl, aka Baby, could not sleep one night and she decided to go exploring.  While her family slept peacefully dreaming of golf and and the perfect breakfast danish that was awaiting them the following day, Baby discovered an area of the resort that was not advertised in the brochure.  

The moment Baby carried her watermelon into that dark, sweaty, smoke-filled room packed with the glistening, scantily-clad bodies of the resort's "dancers," I nearly choked on my over-salted movie theater popcorn.  My heart rate quickened and pounded in my ears.

I was captivated by the display of raw sexuality; bodies pressing up against each other, rubbing and thrashing in a primal mating dance.  The look on Baby's face says it all.

When I walked out of the theater that night, I was already playing back every scene of the movie in my mind.  It was all I could think about for weeks!

It is still one of my favorite movies to this day and yes, I can recite it word for word while I watch it.

Thank you, Dirty Dancing, for introducing me to my adolescence and for the unforgettable good-girl, bad-boy love story!


This post was inspired by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop in response to Prompt #3:
What was it about that movie? Describe A movie you once had memorized.

Mama's Losin'It