It's kind of awkward that I am saying goodbye to 50-Something Moms Blog before I even turn 50, but I am. Much to the surprise of many of its 800+ (past and present) writers, The Silicon Valley Moms Group
founders announced that all of its blogs, including 50-Something Moms
Blog would be ending at the end of this month. The announcement did
come as a huge shock to many as was evident by the email responses of many of the
SV Moms Group writers but reading the email that we all received
earlier this month, it was clear that this was a very emotional, very
difficult and painful decision. Of course in the beginning, some of us did not accept this
decision too graciously. Change, especially sudden change is hard. It's scary. It's unnerving as we wonder what else is going to happen now that this has happened? It is
the rare person who openly embraces changes like this. I am definitely
not one of those people and I was clearly in the majority of the
writers and bloggers of SV Moms Group who struggled with the shock, surprise and disappointment of the news.
Continue reading "goodbye 50 " »
I had just returned from an amazing vacation cruise
to Alaska with my 80-something mom when I received some very disappointing e-mail news which you probably have read by now: The Silicon Valley Moms web sites are ending.
I felt the floor drop by about two feet. The news caused me to start channeling Elizabeth Kubler-Ross' five stages of grief, memorized eons ago in nursing school:
Stage one: Denial. I don't think I read the e-mail correctly. Surely they are not really ending the websites? Read the e-mail again. That can't be right. Read it one more time.
Stage two: Anger. What! They were still recruiting writers for 50-Something Moms last month! I just started blogging for these guys in April and now its over? I have spent HOURS learning to use their blog format, checking their guidelines, writing and rewriting my submissions, finding a photo source I like etc. and they are ending it? That is just rude.
Stage three: Bargaining. Please let them announce that they are starting something else and that they will still want me to be part of it. I promise I will get my posts done early in the month. I promise I will submit more than my required number of posts to make up for the blogger-slackers. Please let it go on. Please do not let it be ending. Please.
Continue reading "You Say Goodbye and I Say Hello. Hello. Hello? " »
Four days ago, my 89-year-old FIL fell out of bed and hurt his neck and back. Today, my MIL asked me to help take him to the doctor. I couldn't imagine a worse way to spend a day, but naturally you have to say yes. Inheritances are at stake.
My husband is not an only child, but he is the youngest of four, and all his siblings have long ago left Memphis. That has left the responsibility of caring for his elderly parents solely on his shoulders. It's the one guilt I have about Elijah being an only child, that he alone will have to deal with the aging and passing of his parents. Hopefully, by then, he, too, will have a gracious and supportive wife to help him pick up the slack.
Continue reading "A Day in the Life of Caring for Aging Parents " »
I have worked 12 hour night shifts as an RN for the last four years. It was not always a straight night shift schedule but rather a combination of days and nights, switching every three months, from days to nights, then back to days.
I like working nights, enjoying quiet moments with my infant patients and pleasant chats with my co-workers. However, night shift work can play havoc with your sleep cycle. I found the best way to deal with night shift was to go to sleep when I returned home and sleep until I was ready to get up. I would catch naps whenever I felt slightly sleepy. When on night shift, I took a lot of naps, before work and on my days off. Oh yeah, and I drank lots of caffeine whenever I needed to be awake.
Continue reading "Circadian Rhythms" »
For one weekend every summer, June 26-27 this year, the quaint town of Cedarburg, Wisconsin becomes the celebration epicenter for the succulent, mouth watering star of summer: the strawberry. Historic Cedarburg, Wisconsin will be holding what is now their 25th annual Strawberry Festival. The entire town will offer strawberries, and prepare strawberries, in every possible edible way. And 10,000 visitors last year were all the happier for it.
The weekend's activities begin with "The Berry Big Run," a 5k run/walk that begins at 8AM, benefiting BigBrothers/BigSisters of Ozaukee County. After the run, the town's streets are open as a Festival Walk of Art, where artists and vendors from all over the greater Midwest are showcased. There will be artwork, jewelry, music, food courts, boutique style items, handmade toys, and more.
Continue reading "A Weekend of Strawberries " »
I marched up the sandy hill, in what must have been my fifth trip heading back to our rented cabin on Lake Michigan. I was thirsty, my skin an itchy mix of sand and sunscreen, and I was hungry. I sighed loudly, shaking my head with the thought of "this is a vacation?"
As I trudged onward on sand filled watershoes, I could hear the joyous shouts of 5 boys recreating battle scenes on the beach behind me, armed with water cannons. "Sure, " I thought, "of course they're happy. I'm doing all the work, where's my vacation?" I had to laugh at myself, I fell into this trap every year. Every year that we summer on this beach in Michigan, I begin the first day of our vacation, with these types of thoughts.
I quickly remember back to my first vacation as a parent. I naively thought back then, that vacation with family, would mean vacation for me. I wondered why no one had warned me that those days of having things done for me while on a family vacation, were gone. I was now the mother, I was now the one who made it all happen. Who did I think was going to do all the packing, and bed making, and sweeping, and cooking?
Continue reading "A Vacation They'll Remember " »
My sister and I have yard sales together, once or twice a year, and always at her house. I was loading my granddaughter's Fisher-Price toy kitchen into my SUV and my husband objected. "You aren't going to sell Allison's kitchen are you?"
Yes, I was. Our granddaughter Allison doesn't visit us anymore (see Babies and More Babies, May 17, 2010) and if she did, Allison is now nine and not going to be too interested in a little girl's toddler-size toy.
Hanging on to my granddaughter's baby things seems to make me miss her more. I believe her mother may let us see Allison again in the future, but until then, I want to think about the situation as little as possible. I do not want to daily see Allison's things to remind me that she is gone. Also Allison is growing up and in my mind, I have to let her grow up. My husband, on the other hand, takes comfort in seeing Allison's toys and remembering her many visits to our house. We each deal with the loss of Allison's presence in our lives in our own way.
I took the play kitchen to the yard sale.
Continue reading "Letting Go of Toys and Memories" »
Many students go to school in a state other than their own when they head off to college. They may get a jury duty notice from their home state while away, and usually they can postpone jury duty until they graduate without having to ever appear at a courthouse. This is all very reasonable. Then there is Massachusetts.
Massachusetts has 121 institutions for higher education within its relatively small area. To take advantage of a tremendous jury pool it calls students that are citizens of other states, but go to school in Massachusetts, for jury duty. These students are not allowed to postpone it by phone or online or mail. They must spend a day in court and ask the judge to grant a postponement. In the meantime, these kids are also being called for jury duty in their home state!
Continue reading "College Students and Jury Duty" »
My son and I got into a text-argument last night. It started because I happened to see that one of his friends posted a photo of her new hookah on facebook with the status "Come smoke with me!" Later, I got a text from Elijah: "I'm at Ashley's*." So naturally I sent him back a text telling him that I don't know what the hell a 16-year-old girl needs with a hookah, but I did not want him smoking. I believe I might have mentioned locking him in his room and throwing away the key. At first he claimed that he wasn't smoking but soon the digital conversation degenerated into him telling me that it's not addictive and it's mostly water vapor and anyway if her mom is okay with it, why aren't I?
Continue reading "Is Teen Hookah-smoking Okay?" »
Parenting a college-bound student is a tricky business. Trying to combine your emotional and financial support with your child's new found independence can seem nearly impossible. When my daughters went off to college, I wrestled with how to give love and support without them expecting too much.
As a mom, we worry about our kids eating properly, so we send care packages. They come home on break, and you find yourself sending back half of the pantry and refrigerator. You are out shopping and you pick up those little extra things they might need. I have even caught my husband slipping them money “just in case of an emergency.” The girls never fail to phone home when they are short on cash. It is easy for kids to fall in a pattern of expecting us to “foot the bill,” for all of those unexpected expenses.
Both our girls seemed convinced that the money they earn over the summer, lasts forever. Let’s see, $7 an hour for 20-30 hours a week…hmm that’s a fortune. Unfortunately, Mom and Dad end up supplementing this meager amount, well before the school year is over.
Continue reading "Please Send money " »
I hate my kitchen.
Really. And. Truly. It’s the only thing about my house that I genuinely despise.
I live in Silicon
Valley, where the price per square foot is ridiculously off the chart in
comparison with the rest of the country, so even a small dwelling bears a price
tag that would indicate that you must be rich and famous elsewhere.
Like wizened billionaires, my kitchen is unattractive and ugly. It’s small and narrow; two people
have to choreographtheir moves to
stay out of each other’s way. You can’t open the unusually small oven door if
you are getting something out of the refrigerator (fortunately, I don’t have
this conflict often). Functionally, it does what it’s supposed to. There’s a
fridge (actually two since there are six of us), a double oven, and a range top
that’s exactly like the one in Graceland. Yep, I can cook like the King. How
long has that guy been dead, anyway?
Continue reading "If You Can’t Stand the Tile, Stay Out of the Kitchen" »
One of my husband's favorite movies was The Brother from Another Planet. My family and I were completely underwhelmed by it. I love the book A Severed Wasp, by Madeline L'Engle; friends have yawned, "It's okaaay," after reading it. We've all had that happen; we've all recommended something near and dear to our hearts, only to be disappointed by the response of friends and family. So it was with no small amount of trepidation that I took my friend Tee to Montezuma Well, after having told her that I consider it one of my most holy places on earth.
Continue reading "Sacred spaces" »
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