November 17, 2011

Halloween...

Did everyone have a good frightful Halloween this year?  Was it filled with ghoulies and ghosties or faeries and follies?  I love Halloween and always look forward to the new memories Miracle makes with her cousins while out going door to door.  Halloween is my favorite, but Miracle does go with her dad and that is something they share together... for now.

Growing up, I just loved trick-or-treating with all our neighborhood friends. For the life of me I can’t remember any of my childhood costumes in any sort of detail except one. Is that a bit odd? I think it’s almost freakish since the one I remember pretty vividly was that of a clown. Clowns freak me out… and I’m not entirely sure why.

I remember my best childhood friend, Kathy, helped me with this costume. I don’t know where we got all the pieces, but I was able to put together a wig, big clown shoes and an outfit that we dug out of her closet. I don’t know why I remember digging through her closet, but voila! There it was; the perfect costume. Again, I’m not sure why I even remember that.

My brothers and I had a blast going through our whole neighborhood, dragging our parents behind. I’m not sure it was actually both our parents as I know one had to stay home to hand out the candy. It was probably my dad that would go with us.

I can just recall the excitement of going door to door with the, at first, cheesy little plastic orange pumpkin that seemingly cut my hand each time I reached in to pull out a piece of candy. I was elated when I finally graduated to being able to handle trick-or-treating with a pillowcase. Sadly, by the time I hit that milestone I was too old to be trick-or-treating and there were hardly any crowds left anyway. Going around the neighborhood was such fun and Halloween has always remained as my favorite “holiday”.

When I was 16, I worked at Miller’s Outpost in South Coast Plaza. The home of Levi 501 jeans and bandanas!! The crew I worked with was such a fun group of “kids”… except Joe, the moody manager. The year I was 16 my mom put together the most awesome gown for my Bride of Frankenstein costume. We used a white sheet, some cotton for the shoulder pads and some strips of tattered sheet for the gauze arm wrappings. I teased out my long curly hair up into a rat’s nest of great Halloween coif! We sprayed some version of a lightning bolt stripe up the sides of it and called it a costume! With the makeup and the black nail polish, that was by far the best costume I ever had (at least that I can remember. Please revisit paragraph one RE: memory loss).

Remember the scare in the early 80s of the poisons in the candy and razorblades in the apples? THAT changed Halloween forever. Gone were the homemade popcorn balls and the fun cookies (that ended up crumpled in the pile of goodies anyway, ne’r to be eaten).

Actually, according to Wikipedia.org (“the truth” tee hee hee), apart from one incident—actually an act of premeditated murder by a trick-or-treater's father—there have been no recorded incidents of deliberately poisoned candy during Halloween or any similar occasion. Okay, solves that myth.

What were your little grommets dressed up as as? What were YOU dressed up as? It was a super foggy Halloween morning today, but ended up with nice, clear skies for the evening… Clear enough to see the ghosts shimmering in and out of the shadows.  Clear enough for the Zombies to be able to see you and shuffle to your direction.

MMmmooooooAAAHHHhhhhaaaaaaHHHHHAAAAAA!!!

October 25, 2011

The Single Mommy Money Pit... "the dog"

Will it EVER get any financially easier??? 

Right when, within 24-hours of uttering the words to my dad, "wow, I've been able to actually save up a little money and have a wee bit of a cushion", do I no sooner have to shell out more money to the vet... YET AGAIN!

After spending oodles and oodles of money that I don't have over the summer for a new medicine regiment and "special" dog food.  Having to float some bills.  Having to creatively smart grocery shop (yes, as always anyway!!!).  Not being able to replace the two pairs of shoes that I HAVE to wear over and over and over and over again that are on the verge of disintegrating before my eyes.  Having to shell out yet more money for the public school Miracle goes to that needs donations and PTO and fund raisers and....

Poor Boomer, my little knight of a furry four-legged beacon of utter unconditional love!!!

He had a bout of  :: ahem ::  diarrhea for about four days.  He was eating and drinking and being his usual flexible, I-don't-want-to-worry-or-inconvenience-anyone self.  I took "a sample" to the vet where he proceeded to tell me that he had no parasites... but, then that would mean no money for him!   So, of course, we need to take a course of action with i/d Prescription food for gastrointestinal issues, then a pill for the diarrhea and a pill for something or other else. 

Well, because I am who I am, I went for it.  And, yes, that was after I broke down in the vet's office yammering about the money I spent over the summer and how I'm really struggling to make it.  I REALLY am!!! 

And then I look down at that honey colored furry friend of mine with the golden brown eyes.  "It's okay, mommy" he seemed to say.  "It's okay, mommy, cuz it's always okay.  It always works out."

God, I love that dog!!!  My heart fills with the warmth of the blood gushing and rushing around when I look at that face!  That handsome little knight of a furry four-legged beacon of utter unconditional love face!!!



October 10, 2011

From the Earth...

... through the eyes of an eightyear-old.

Miracle took the leftover wrapping paper that was old and crinkled, flipped it over and drew this picture that we hung up on the wall as we don't have any artwork up there. 

I love what she came up with....

video

... the brain!!

October 4, 2011

Sierra vs Sierra Sidewinder

Okay, this is some funny stuff.  Miracle (Sierra) was about five years old when she FIRST rode this ride.  THIS is the video of that first time.  She was so scared and I thought I would never get her on it again.  After this first ride, she wanted to go on it again and again and AGAIN!

To this day, this is one of her favorite rides and this video makes us both laugh to tears almost.  Actually, my mom says this ride is a form of child abuse.   I just LOVE how she starts out so excited, happy and carefree!  She has no idea what she is actually in for.

But, all joking aside I had to film this video from the DVD/TV so it's definitely not as good as the original.  You should get the idea!

October 3, 2011

Boys vs Men

I really liked the below snippet that I read... re-read and then had to steal, of course, to share.

It gives me some great ponderence-ness to this.  The blurb should be self-explanatory, really.

Sharing....

Boys ask questions ---- Men give answers!!!

Boys play house ---- Men build homes!!!

Boys shack up ---- Men get married!!!

Boys make babies ---- Men raise children!!!
             
A man will raise his and someone else's!!!

Boys invent excuses for failure --- Men produce strategies for success!!!

Boys look for somebody to take care of them --- Men look for someone to take care of!!!

Boys seek popularity --- Men demand respect and know how to give it!

#41 of the top 50 blogs in: single parent

Well, this is an unprecedented level from me in the world of miscellaneous trivial accomplishments....

My singlemommyrants is number 41 of 50 blogs...  See, see?  And I only have two followers. 

Yay for me....  Hahahah!

June 14, 2011

A Dog's Purpose? (from a 6-year-old)

Okay, fine! Here's the second and last one for today... again, copied from an email a friend sent me. Seems to be so true.

So, of course, you have to take these with a grain of salt... like, this really happened, but it makes for a nice read and makes you think a bit.

**************

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker’s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.

Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ''I know why.''

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.

He said, ''People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?''

The six-year-old continued,''Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.''

Live simply.
Love generously.
Care deeply.
Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

ENJOY EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY!

The blind girl...

I read this again today. It was sent by a friend and it makes you kind of stop and think...

There was a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind. She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her. She told her boyfriend, "If I could only see the world, I will marry you."

One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages came off, she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend.

He asked her, "Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?"

The girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. She hadn't expected that. The thought of looking at them the rest of her life led her to refuse to marry him.

Her boyfriend left in tears and days later wrote a note to her saying:

"Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before they were yours, they were mine."

This is how the human brain often works when our status changes. Only a very few remember what life was like before, and who was always by their side in the most painful situations.

Life Is a Gift.

-- Today before you say an unkind word, think of someone who can't speak.

-- Before you complain about the taste of your food, think of someone who has nothing to eat.

-- Before you complain about your husband or wife, think of someone who's crying out to GOD for a companion.

-- Today before you complain about life, think of someone who went too early to heaven.

-- Before whining about the distance you drive, think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.

-- When you are tired and complain about your job, think of the unemployed, the disabled, and those who wish they had your job.

-- And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down, put a smile on your face and think: you're alive and still around.

June 6, 2011

"Is my mommy dead?"

I guess you really don't know how much your kids know of something until they start asking questions.  Some things just aren't talked about that often.  Finding that right time, or that right way to talk about touchy subjects is a difficult thing to do. 

We were all on our way to a bar-b-que this weekend and I was talking to my nephew's friend about how she is half Native American like Miracle is.  It was a very interesting conversation as you wouldn't guess in a million years that she has anything other than Anglo-Saxon in her blood.  She just seems to tan easily.  That's the only giveaway and even then, you'd have to really notice it.

So... Miracle shoots me this question from the back seat, ever so randomly:

"Is my mommy dead?"

Well, of course, that threw me for a HUGE loop and I had to pause to figure out what to say.  Making a little light of it I said "no, I'm right here driving the car".  Silence.  Then I asked what she meant and if there was something she really wanted to know.  Silence.

We have always been honest and open around her about her adoption and have answered her very few questions over the past few years, but this one came from so far in left field!  I asked her if she meant her birthmom and she responded with a tiny reply of confirmation.

Of course, I don't know if the woman is alive or dead, incarcerated or not, living here or back on the reservation... or living in a van down by the river (thanks, Chris Farley!).  Sometimes I wish I did know, but with her history it would be nearly impossible to find her.  Even if I had a social security number, that would be one of about 50 they found that she had.  But, I digress!

One thing Miracle did ask me in the car that gave me a bit of a twang in my heart was that if it would be okay if she could see her.  I gave her the canned answer of "not right now", but if she wanted to when she was older she would definitely have my permission.  She then asked if I could be there with her.  Well, there went that heart twang again.  I told her that I would definitely be there with her if she wanted me to be.

I love that little girl of mine!!!

April 18, 2011

On being bullied....

Bullying is sad, pathetic, angering, debilitating and just down right nasty!  It's unbelievable what has been reported in the news about teen bullying and just bullying in general.

Three very good friends have experienced bullying through their young kids.  From the beginning of time, kids have been "not so nice" so, this isn't new and I'm not just having a "revelation" or an "epiphany"!!  About a couple years ago I was "reunited" with the name of a gradeshool bully and her cohort that ABSOLUTELY tortured me and made me afraid to be on the playground alone.  It wasn't until very recently that I was told of some Kharmic payback news that, yes, made be feel a little better. 

With this news also came memories of other gradeschool events and other classmates opened up and shared with me their own memories of being bullied...

I'll never forget in about second grade.  There was a girl named LeeAnn.  LeeAnn was a very quiet and shy child, but she was also "slow".  As kids we all just knew that she was different, but never really understood why.  With a lot in life, kids are not privvy to the details of such things.   LeeAnn lived in my housing tract about four streets over and none of the kids would cross in front of her house because her mom was "a witch".  Yes, in modern society those folklores of strange people that may not fit the norm are labeled very creatively.  Poor LeeAnn was teased in school... immensely and relentlessly.  Gaggles of kids are good individually, but when you get them together, they become a mob -- a sometimes very sinister mob.  How they transform like that is still beyond me to this day.

One day in class LeeAnn had a seizure.  It was bad.  Well, witnessing that for most would be horrific and terrifying.  For some of us it really was, but sadly for others it was just another door that opened up to give license to tease poor LeeAnn even more.

All I can really remember during that short period in class was someone running to get the teacher from somewhere else in teacherland outside our room, a group of kids standing there staring in sheer horror and other kids laughing.  I'll never forget, and I don't even know how this came into my little seven year old brain, that I put my foot under LeeAnn's head to keep it from bouncing repeatedly on the floor as foam was coming out of her mouth and her eyes rolling up into her head.  Thinking now, I should have wanted to run out the door, arms flailing!
I don't remember how much time after that day had passed.  She was out of school for awhile.  At one point my friend and I were determined to get to know LeeAnn.  Along with a really good group of my close friends, we never partook in the events of breaking LeeAnn down and bullying her.  We tried to become more than just classmates to her.  We went to her home and played, baked cookies and stuck up for her when the other kids grew their horns around her. 

And then she vanished.  She and her family moved away to I have no idea where.  LeeAnn never really warmed up to us 100%.  I think it was out of trust, or MIStrust as the case may be, but also maybe a little because my friend and I started to get bullied.  I'll never really know.

I didn't care....  Thinking back I think I just wanted to let her know that we weren't all bad.

March 8, 2011

Mardi Gras = FAT Tuesday

I sooooo love New Orleans, or as the locals say it "Nawlins".  I love the flavor, the feel, the idea of New Orleans.  There is so much to do and so much to see right in the French Quarter that you needn't go far for a good time. 

I guess I have such a connection to New Orleans maybe and mostly because my Grandma was born there.... in 1895.  My grandma died just five years before the new millennium in 1995.  Talk about a long life of changes and experiences and family and babies!!!  I can't even count how many cousins I have... first, second, third and probably even fourth.  My Grandma was 44 when my mother was born and that made her the 13th!!

My Grandpa was born in or around 1878 in Louisiana also.  I believe he was born in Baton Rouge.  What a gentle "giant" he was.  While Grandma was about 4' 10", Grandpa was at least 7' tall!  Well, as a child it sure seemed that way, but in reality he was about 6' to 6' 2".  He had the most beautiful cool, blue eyes!  Those eyes, or very close variations of them, are sort of the trademark of the Benoit family.  Sadly, I didn't get those eyes, BUT I did get the "Benoit Butt".  Okay, at least you can tell I'm related to an extent.

I used to love to talk to Grandma about being a little girl in "Looziana".  I loved hearing her accent with the softness of her voice.  She rarely raised her voice at us that I can remember, but when she did you knew she meant business.  She'd threaten that she would either shoot us in the pants and make us whistle or would tell us to go play out on the Boulevard (that would be Bellflower Blvd. to be exact).  Right across the street from here....


This is the house that we were at so often.  For Christmas Eve, the family would get together and there would be an easy 200 people eating homemade Gumbo... the BEST Gumbo on the planet! I have so many wonderful memories there as so many kids do of their grandparents' house.  I have to credit the memories to the fact that there were ALWAYS aunts, uncles and cousins galore!!!  You were never alone. 

But I completely digressed here...

I always wanted to go to Mardi Gras, but would NEVER go against Grandma's wishes.  She always told me to never go to New Orleans during Mardi Gras.  It was too dangerous.  "There's too many bad things that happen", she would say.  Whether she was right or wrong at the time, I heeded her warnings and just never went.

I may never get the courage or the gumption to go... just plain out of respect, I guess.

I have, however, been to New Orleans enough times to know that I like it and know that a part of myself was borne of the city.  Both my parents are from Louisiana as well as all of my mom's immediate family.  The state just calls out to me somehow. 

So, aside from walking down my little memory lane with me, I wanted to wish everyone a very happy Mardi Gras and hope you get all the hethenisms out of yourself today.

There's a thing I've dreamed of all my life, and I'll be damned if it don't look like it's about to come true—to be King of the Zulu's parade. After that, I'll be ready to die.

Louis Armstrong, Time magazine, February 21, 1949

February 18, 2011

Rockin' the hair!

I just love some of the hairstyles Miracle has had...  It's been a fun journey thus far!




Yes, even dirty camping at the Joshua Tree Music Festival hair...






She always has to adorn her crown with something!

Dancing Queen

One of the many hour and a half combouts



I'm sure there is much more to come on the Miracle Hair Menu of her life!!

February 16, 2011

Dream Chronicles...

I love dreams!  I love to try and figure them out and talk to others about their dreams and what they think they mean.  This morning I slept through my alarm, but as I'm waking from my sleep state, this is what I was seeing.

I was at a new single parent meetup and I didn't know anyone there.  Miracle and I, who seemed to be about 10 years old, were there late.  This meetup was for parents that are a bit more "natural" or "granola"... treehuggers.  This is something that is up my alley, but that's for another post.

So, I'm in the family room/dining room area of this condo and there isn't any furniture or pictures!  Kind of weird, right?  People are mulling about and were outside in the back area.  One of the daughters who looked to be about seven (with a pacifier in her mouth of all things) came in from the back through the curtains that covered the sliding glass door.  Mind you, everything was granola colored... the carpet, the walls and this humongous curtain that covered the entire wall. 

She comes in saying that we were late.  How could we be late?  Why were we late?  Don't we know it's rude to be late???  I looked away from her and then back and she was about sixteen!!  She proceeded to repeat these questions about us being late as if it were her mantra.  I finally blurted out that I had to feed the dog!!!

I listened in on this conversation these two men were having.  As one of them turned to look at me he had Harry Potter glasses drawn on his face!  He, too, was dressed in very granola colored clothing.  His friend never turned to look at me, but I don't know who the first guy is or even the shape shifting girl with the pacifier!

So I proceed to tell Miracle, who is nowhere in sight, that we need to leave.  We have to leave because we are late....

.... and then I woke up!

February 14, 2011

My wee Fashionista

I don't know why I never really thought of this before today, but a coworker suggested I create a blog of Miracle's fashion "creations".  Usually on the weekends I give her freedom to express herself, within reason, through the combination of colors, styles, and textures of her clothing.

From time to time I shall post these creations as I think they are a  wonderful extension of HER and what she is about with her own unique personality.

Being Valentine's Day, I thought I would post the first one.  Yesterday she asked if she could get all dressed up for Valentine's Day.  Even though I told her it wasn't Valentine's Day yet, she was adamant about getting all dressed up.  She obviously had some ideas brewing in her little head.

This is her official Valentine's Day creation....

January 20, 2011

No Place Like the Right Time

Here's another ditty that I just so love to hear. I love Donna the Buffalo. Tara Nevins just has one of those voices and their lyrics are always good.

Crooked fence, chicken yard
Life can be simple and still be hard
Oh my head it hurts my eyes
The world's getting bigger as it shrinks in size

You walked by out of the blue
I never expected to be loved by you
I always thought the most of you
Now we're sittin' and we're drinkin' too

Chorus:
There's no place I can find
There's no place, no place like the right time
There's no place I can find
There's no place, no place like the right time

There's a dish that I'm not passing
Yours is a love that is everlasting
You give to the world, you give to yourself
When you're giving your best to somebody else

Bridge:
World keeps turning but I don't know why
Blackbirds singing on a country wire
White steam rising off the blackest tar
Who ever thought we'd ever come this far

Jet stream riding as the clock strikes three
Tea for two hone, tea at three
Ask me your question it'll set you free
All wound up on bended knee



... and as I'm posting this one, my other song comes on from Railroad Earth.

What appropriate timing!!!