Thursday, May 26, 2011

It's Just Her Persona

...has left the building. No, I'm not talking about Elvis. I'm talking about the Emporess of the media, Oprah. This week the waves have been all atwitter with her last show. Blogs have been written. Facebook postings have been updated. I even have one friend who wrote as her FB statusthat she got all misty-eyed watching the last episode. All of America is deeply saddened they won't be able to watch her - daily.

OK, almost of America. (Deep breath and getting ready for the vegetable throwing). Because I am not. Don't get me wrong. I don't hate her. I don't even dislike her. I really do admire her. This woman has overcome so much in her life. Poverty and abuse I can not even imagine. How she rose above it with grace and determination is the story that inspires us all.

In addition, she has given back... and so freely. Whether it be founding a girls' school in Africa or her "Oprah's Favorite Things" shows. This woman is a giver. And passionate at that!

So what is my issue? What is it that bothers me? What makes me an "Oprah Scrooge"?

I think it is what Oprah - or her persona - has become. Oprah suggests a book and it immediately becomes a bestseller. Oprah endorses a candidate and the world follows her lead. Oprah decides "meat is murder" (Remember the Texas beef debacle?) and it becomes national news - for weeks. Watch out if Oprah disagrees or passionately condemns you... You can hang it up in the eyes of public opinion. Even her new cable network's letters spell OWN. That seems a bit egocentric of her people in my book. (I know they stand for Oprah Winfrey Network, but come on.) I'm now waiting for the gospel according to Oprah to come out. I'm sure it will top the charts. I find it bizarre and a little frightening.

But perhaps all of the hoopla is our fault, not hers. And I feel that we do this to so many famous people. We put them on pedestals. We listen to everything they say. (And if we don't... well then we should!) We bestow on them the power to create and influence the many decisions we as Americans make - whether they are accountable or not. We build them up to be almost God-like. We blind ourselves to the fact that in the whole scheme of life, they are just like us.

And so I'm sorry Oprah. But I think she, herself, just may agree... At least a little.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

If the Rug Fits

MWF ISO a rug that fits!

Please help me out here. For the past four years, I have been aching for an oriental rug for the foyer. Our beautiful, yet naked foyer... Sigh. This anniversary, Mike has offered one as an anniversary gift! Mouth drops! Whoo Hoo! Score!

The only problem is that our foyer has odd dimensions: 12' x 7'8". Very difficult to find a rug that would appear to work. However, I'm thinking that an 8' x 5' just might. Today, I lay the few newspapers we had and beach towels down in said dimensions to get a feel. I think I'm ok with it, but need some more feedback. The picture is taken from the living room where you can see the edge of the rug in there.

What do you think? Could it work?

Thanks for your expertise and thoughts!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I've Struck Out...

It's 8:34 and I have escaped... to the tub. Probably too much information, but I have filled the tub to the rim with Thymes Eucalyptus bubble bath and my glass to the rim with my Crystal Lite Cosmo.

I have escaped. Not from my husband. Not from my children. Not from the kitchen that more than likely needs to be cleaned. I am escaping from baseball season. We are in the beginning of the playoffs...

For some of you, it is soccer. Others, it is lacrosse. And it's not that we don't love our children - or even the sport itself. Every year, I can't wait for the season to begin. But now we are TIRED. We are tired of the driving back and forth and back and forth and back and forth to practices and games and practices and games... And you know what I'm talking about. It's at least four nights a week.

If you could see my color-coded calendar, you would see that S (green) and J (yellow) are all over the place. My color (pink) and family events (blue) are so sparse one might wonder if we even exist.

Now, I know that I am complaining. And your calendar, I'm sure, looks the same way. We have only one sport per child andI feel our lives are so scheduled. But I really want to be able to do is just go on a walk with my family around the neighborhood. I want to have a sit down dinner with a meal that didn't come out of a stir fry or skillet pasta bag. I want my husband and me to watch the boys throw the ball to each other and do tricks on their skateboards in the cul-de-sac. I want nothing to do. And not just for me, but for my family. Am I so wrong?

Maybe I could get credit if I just bought one of these for the backyard?

Friday, May 13, 2011

So I Think I Can Dance

I am definitely a white girl. I used to think I had pretty good rhythm. In my younger years, I loved to go dancing with my friends. In the mid 90s, there was this awesome bar in Five Points called Nightworks. They played seventies music, and we had the most fun dancing to "Rubberband Man", "The PiƱa Colada Song", and all those cool ABBA tunes. We felt so retro... (It was also there that I was introduced to that poison called Goldschlager, but that's another story.) Oh how we loved that place!

Fast forward to 2011. I have taken a few Zumba classes and feel so ridiculous. I obviously have gotten "whiter" with age. My hips don't gyrate as they should. So I stick with my treadmill and my trainer, a twenty-two year old who calls me ma'am and tells me all about his college escapades. (Those stories are the main reason I work-out. They are oh so entertaining!)

But I still love to dance. So I resign myself to my kitchen. I have made the best evah "mixed tape" of 90s tunes and one-hit wonders of the day... Pearl Jam, Sponge, Marcy Playground, Live, Spacehog, The Verve, Blind Melon, The Breeders, Smash Mouth, Sister Hazel, Blues Traveler, The Mighty Bosstones - to name a few. (You may not recognize some of the bands, but I promise you'd know the songs in a heartbeat!)

I hook my iPad up to the Bose radio... fix myself a cocktail... and crank it up. What therapy! And this is...

Of course it embarrasses and confuses S and J, but that makes it all the more fun!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Most Favorite Poem... Ever

My Mom is the Best
by J

My mother is good.
My mother is nice.
Whenever I am with her everything is alright.
I love my mom more than anything.
She is as sweet as a lollipop.
She is as smart as an owl.
She is my favorite person on earth.
She is My Mom!

And yes, when he crawled in my bed this morning
and read this to me,
I did tear up...

Friday, May 6, 2011

Recipes Our Mothers Love

This is the week I dread: the week before standardized testing. It's the week we cram and review all we have taught the past year. In a word: stress. But this year I decided that we needed a little diversion, and being the week before Mother's Day, we had a wonderful opportunity to work on our gift.

The past few years, I have culminated a poetry unit with the children writing a multi-stanza poem honoring their mother. It always gets rave reviews, but this year I was inspired by Lindsey at All Things Bright and Beautiful. Lindsey is a first year teacher and blogged about her students creating a class recipe book. I told her I loved the idea and that I was going to "steal" it... And so I did! For Mother's Day!

The children all brought recipes from home, telling their moms that they needed one for a math project on measurement. (Well, they were telling the truth in a round-about way!) They loved the secret and the surprise they had in store for their moms. The day the recipes were due, they literally stormed my desk with "Look! Look! Look at my recipe!" They later rewrote the directions in paragraph form, using sequencing and transition words (i.e. first, next, then, meanwhile, last, etc.) so as to cover state Language arts standards. We also discussed units of measurement - Go math standards! (And don't you know I used the paragraph as a writing grade?!)

They had such fun typing their recipes out, illustrating the pages, and sharing them with the class. And what great recipes! After making 25 copies (You know I had to have one!), I passed them out to the kids. I think they turned out too cute!

Of course I had to add my own recipe Golden Day Banana Bread...

Happy Mother's Day Weekend!

Monday, May 2, 2011

My Favorite One of All

To quote a part of my last post, William and Kate's wedding did this: "For at least two to three hours, all of the world had a hope in love and a promise of what is true and good the world..." Here is the picture I think captures this sentiment best.

How happy they look! Look at how the Duke is leaning towards the Duchess, his arm is reaching behind her, obviously on her back. Her hand is on his knee. Cute Honorable Margarita Armstrong-Jones is just pleased as punch. (I'm guessing she's waiting on those jelly beans the photographer promised the children!) And my favorite, my sons' page boy alter egos, Master William Lowther-Pinkerton (so like J mugging for the camera!) and Master Tom Pettifer (like elder son S ever so studdly posing).

I would imagine the newlyweds have this picture displayed prominently in their new home. Quite possibly on an end or bedside table in 8x10 glory.

And I'd bet they smile every time they see it... I do.