family

Alpha Parent

I am right in one area of my life. The kid. He hates that. But I was the alpha in his life and alphas are always spot on because we wrestle with them in the trenches of life. I like messy. I am messy. I understand messy, I gre up messy. The hubs is not messy. Nope, neat, tidy, and is now the swooper buddy. My term. He can do no wrong. I do everything wrong. It’s ok, because I am right.

But right causes conflict. I push and he pulls. I know this but I continue because yup you got it, I am right. The alpha parent (very new age labeling, thank you very much) has gone through the twists and turns, and we have had a few. I watched, listened, cried, drove all over town looking for him, took him to the ends of my world and back again. I blame myself. Everyday. For everything. Insert therapist. Nope. Our bond is too strong. It is just my cross to bear. The kid will feel this one day with his little, because he is the alpha and he has my heart and very effed up mind. Sorry. But not. This feeling while miserable at times is wonderful. It is a connection throughout time and space that no one can break.

But I am still right. I will never stop cheering until he finds his voice outside of the arena of “dad” which is truly his finest moment.

caregiver, family, life

My Gal…

My mom made tough choices. Really tough ones and she missed my good stuff. The bike riding, the losing of teeth, homework, dinners, etc. All of it. It must have been hard, actually miserable, but she had to choose my stability. So she went one way and I went another. She missed motherhood or did she give the ultimate satisfaction of motherhood. I don’t ask. It’s in the past. I am ok and right now I am the mom of my mom. It’s ok. The memories I build with her now will be my forever memories.

My Miss Brenda the most social bee in The Woodmark, no longer likes to participate in “things.” So on Sundays we go crafting. It’s fun. Everyone likes me. Today, I got high-fives from those that could. Soon, they will be on my Christmas card list. They call me “Brenda’s daughter.” It’s fine, names are overrated. Either Miss Teacher, Brenda’s daughter, Senators wife or my faves mom and grandma. I think my husband still uses my name. I don’t listen. Ever.

So, I am learning. I can’t change her. I tried. So I might as well join her, literally. If this is our time, to be at a craft table, is our time. So be it. But be on the lookout as I think I am giving wood frames and birdhouses for Christmas while creating memories of a lifetime!

life, Uncategorized

A Very Serious Chat About My Dishwasher…

If you balk at this title. Move on. This is not an essay for anyone that grew up washing their clothes in a creek with homemade detergent. Also, please move on if you believe that the dishwasher is killing our planet through energy use or excessive water waste. Never heard anyone complain of the latter. But in today’s crazy world, they are out there lurking, waiting, and ready for their moment to bring their secret cult mainstream to take down my favorite appliance. Probably yours as well, if you are still reading this rambling. As for those that carried water, took rocks to their clothes, or cooked by firewood. Bless you. But we have nothing in common. Nothing.

I like hotels, room-service, spas, and the option of five-star restaurants. I did not grow up this way, but I caught on early. My first hotel experience was during a camping trip in July in Mammoth, California. It snowed. While, I survived the night in my tent. The white stuff and I were not friends. A strange foreign feeling took over my body, later to be identified as frostbite, OK. Cold. But it felt worse. From this absolute horror a diva was born. I began to scream and demand breakfast in my sleeping bag and crying to leave the experience of white fluff with a tinge of freeze. I kept muttering hotel, hotel, hotel until my limp body was carried into the car. No. But I was a pain in the a** Who did I become? My absolute discomfort brought out a monster and earned a trip to the local Mammoth hotel.

Now, we are talking. A magical place where food can be delivered with a smile, as my mother had stopped smiling hours ago. I am sure it was the frostbite and not my tantrums. Nevertheless, I found others who would cater to my ways and I was happy to use all their services. That was the beginning of the end.

Now, in my real world I do not live in a hotel, albeit I could. Our first together home was in Northern California was 400 square feet, our laundry was serviced and delivered, our apartment was cleaned by a sweet weekly maid, bellman and concierge were available 24-7, and all other amenities including a driving service for those who worked in San Francisco. City and back everyday. No driving. No parking. Pure heaven. When the hubs decided we needed more room, for less of a price tag, I cried for days.

Fast forward thirty-three years. I would live in the city with a view and amenities galore. The hubs likes this thing called land. In this trade-off, he won. But I have every gadget to make life concierge friendly. My favorite is my dishwasher. A trusted friend. Truth be told, I never load it correctly, and am not a fan of unloading it, but the concept of hiding dirty dishes and pressing a few buttons to give you the clean sanitized feel is priceless. So, while I do not miss any other kitchen appliance on our yearly camp excursion. I miss my dishwasher. It is a true necessity and an often an overlooked friend of the kitchen. My best friend. Truth be told, she could stand an upgrade. I am just not telling her yet. She would be crushed.

family, life, thirty

Not Just A Day!

It’s a big day. Nope, a huge day. It is an insert expletive type of day, using any chosen expletive to emphasize wonderful. I like the one that rhymes with duck, but I do have a potty mouth. There are truly no words. Hence, the rocky start. Perhaps the middle and ending, as well. Just a great big warning label but I will try to get my wording together. However, no promises.

He was born at a normal weight and length, which was a blessing. I have epilepsy and he was a calculated risk. I had to gain an insane amount of weight to ensure his weight. Not sure, about this correlation, but I had weekly weigh-ins, and little did we know this was to be around his corner. After his birth we found out about his eating disorder. He was failing to thrive and by the time my pediatrician (one on the best, truly) believed the situation we where whisked into Standford Hospital where my Nanny walked me through an emergency baptism. We did not think we were leaving with our baby. We were petrified. So baptize I did. This was our first brush with the fear of losing him. After this point we became helicopter parents, to the extreme.

The kid had/has a stubborn streak and is the ultimate survivor. While, in the recovery stages we went to OT, PT, and feeding therapy. We did not need all of this but we did it all to make sure after failing to thrive nothing else was lacking or needed attention. He was the most popular kids at Standford, he was their rockstar. He had a smile that was killer, laughed, when not eating, easily, and loved people. He is smart and strong. He graduated out of all programs quickly. Which was wonderful but sad, as it was our playtime with other sanitized children. The one thing the kid could not be around is germy kids, in case of catching the slightest cold, as it would stop his growth. Every ounce was important. We could not be in a playgroup, or have little people contact, until on that weight chart. We were best buddies, more than the average mom/son duo. Daily he depended on me not just for the average kids food and play but to keep him alive. By eleven months the kid made it on the chart, the tube was removed, and our nightly pump feeds a thing of the past. Life as a normal kid could begin. Whatever that meant.

We meandered through the meaning of normality, and overall had success as a family unit. The kid was that kid who had it all…until his back began to fail. The failure is genetic and hastened by sports. The kid was physically talented. Now, we coped. We are a strong bunch and he is the strongest human I know. Truly. But a few scares between the countless surgeries plus a stroll on wild side that became rather dicey. This was not just a scare. It was a gamble with life. Most days, I fought back tears. Life went on. Kinda. Change only comes for those that want change. So we waited. He chose to see the light. I thank God nightly. Our kid who has fought for life since birth, chose life.

Actually, he excelled. Again. He pulled out of the darkness with his cheering section applauding every step. The hubs and I were obnoxious but when you fear the alternative you become obnoxious. I did not care. Still don’t. I am his biggest fan. It started with the baptism by fire with my Nanny coaching me. Afterwards, between the tears, I said. “Keep fighting and to never give up.” He heard me. He has listened to me for thirty years. Not liking me at all times, but loving me and listening. Try phlebotomy school. Did, and done. Try EMT. Did, and done. He was great and loved it…and would have gone farther. But, that damn back. The kid had a few more surgeries. He is now bionic. Now, he is just dad. Let’s hear it for them. Insert applause. Truly made for this life. Again, thank you God for giving him these skills. This is his life and world. His buddy flourishes due to their daily stay at home ways. But one day, when ready, he will venture back into the world. Perhaps, using his photography skills. The hubs and I know he would be a hit. But throughout his fight for life, his self-confidence has taken a hit. So, not quite ready, but he is listening. Kinda. Most importantly, he is alive and we are all celebrating thirty along with his best friend, aka goggle boy, who adores his daddy.

So, today is much more than just a birthday. It is a miracle in every way possible. From his birth, fighting early health battles, his back, and fighting some dark demons to now seeing the light through the youngest of goggle eyes. Happy Birthday!

life

Father’s Day Stories

The title is basic, but with the deadline looming, this is all I got. I know this will not be a hallmark moment but I celebrate each father in my life through story. Each story is real and sums up their skills at the fathering stuff and what they have taught me along the way about being truly fantastic dads and a better human. I love them all!

I am going in order. First, my grandfather. Yes, deceased, but not to be forgotten. He helped raise me. Long story and not the point. He was a former NYPD Police Officer. Quiet. Very. My grandmother was the talker of the two. My grandfather had true kindness in his soul. Never was there a day that he was rude, to anyone. Ever. The slow driver. It was OK, we are not in a rush. The cocky athlete (at night he worked at the Arizona Coliseum). They were rude because they were tired or lost a big game. A “customer” of the public library not returning his greetings, by day he was security at the Phoenix Public Library. They did not hear him. He thought the best of people, always. In return, he was everyone’s favorite, everywhere. My best moments with my grandfather were at the deli, we went weekly. The deli guy always gave him extra of anything he wanted. He always asked for extra bagels, because of my grandmothers daily bagel habit. He got it, plus I got a wink and the shhh sign, as he piled in extra pastrami, a salad, or corned beef into his slim personal order for his weekly lunches. The deli guy knew he took two lunches a day, to get through his day shift and night shift, and if there was not enough deli, he would get leftovers. Grandma, was not a good cook. The deli guy saved him. My grandfather would have not accepted the gesture and always acted surprised with the extras when my grandmother calculated the bag. It worked. He always thought of others first, and spent everything he had on them. He was the best overall human and I miss him daily. I would like to say he taught me true kindness, and self-sacrifice. He did. Along with the art of a great nap. He could sleep anywhere at anytime. There are stories of him sleeping through his subway stops. Right there with you grandpa, sans the subway. You would be proud of my napping skills and the kindness and patience I use daily in my classroom. Thank you for raising me and being the best role model a kid could have! Happy Father’s Day!

My dad. He is a book, by himself. Let’s just say his stories are his to share, not mine. I met my dad later in life as my parents divorced in my early years. Throughout the years I would visit once or twice a year. But always for Christmas. My favorite memory was our car rides. To the store, to a family members house, on an errand…wherever. I loved driving with him. We would talk, but most of the time, I would just listen. As I was more fascinated with the stories of his life and filling in the pieces about my own. One Christmas, he told me were taking a detour as we headed back to the house from some shopping. He did not say where we were going but it was not in a neighborhood near the house. He got quiet as he drove and launched into a story about the drunk homeless and how they had buddies to protect them. He knew where we were going from the purposeful turns and from the response he received when he got out of the car. He gave each group of guys $100 bucks. We found three groups that night. They greeted him, took the money, and blessed him. Each time he got back in the car, he was quiet. After we could find no more. He said, “That will help them for a couple days. I hope they eventually see the light and get help.” My dad taught me the good, bad, and the ugly about life through his own stories and how each of us has the power to write our own story. Change our story. Or, if a chapter is a bit bumpy, we have our own power to smooth out the ending. If we are willing to work. Thank you, dad for teaching me about all the rough times. You gave me hidden skills that I use daily in this crazy world. Happy Father’s Day!

My hubs. He gave me our one and only. The kid who is turning thirty. So the adult. KWL was born with an eating challenge and this was tough on us mentally, physically, and financially, in the early years. The hubs sat me down in our first long-term hospital visit and simply said. “We will beat this. We will not give up. You will get tougher and rise to any occasion and I will make sure we can afford it all.” Which we couldn’t. So our journey began, in the children’s playroom, at Stanford Hospital. It was the last tear I shed, in public. Feeding tube, piece of cake. Financial testing and new job. Done. Fancy feeding machine. Thank you Amex. The best tubes money could buy. Done. A triple order of them. Done, as the kid ripped out his monthly tubes every single day. Done and ouch. In hindsight, tube ripping should have been a sign to his eventual stubbornness, but I was busy. We continued the ripping and sinking for six months. He was tube free at nine months and by twelve months he had made the weight chart. By three, he was scoring goals in little person soccer and by four no weight issues were noted on his chart. When he walked onto the field he was the tiniest soccer player, catcher, and toughest pitcher that other parents ignored, he would be that bench kid. Nope. I just kept saying keep your head up and stay focused. The kid never doubted me and the hubs kept cheering us on and supporting my own daily doubts and fears. The kid scored the goals, caught the balls, and threw harder than boys twice his age. He never bragged. Dad never bragged. I bragged for both of them. Someone had to do it! Instead, he helped the underdogs. Always. On the side he would race the slower kids to help their speed, kick balls with the middlefield kids, who preferred butterflies, and played catch with anyone even if they kept dropping the ball. At baseball one day, he put his arm around a kid and said, “You will get it, just keep your head up and stay focused.” I cried. Take that sports moms. Never sat out a game. Ever, and told dad about every moment and never begrudged him not being there at a game. He knew where he was and both of us accepted that reality. So when a speech challenge arose, private therapy, and private schools were supplied a la dad and his long hours at the office. When the kid was “found” by a tennis coach, he fell in love with the sport, and it became his sport. The hubs made it happen, as he was a great dad. His role was not to be at home. He got sidelined and missed the big stuff so he could provide for us financially, as our life as parents took a turn upon birth. Feeding machines and Stanford therapy ain’t cheap. So choices were made and the hubs gave us the gift of ability. None of this came from me, it was the hubs, working his a** off so he could provide. You can argue he missed the best of times, but I disagree, he coached me through the worst and had an overview of it all along the way. Now, he gets to fully enjoy being a grandfather and that is a double joy for him and a thrill for me to watch! Happy Father’s Day!

The kid. I know your first thought… biased. Nope. I call it like I see it. A Sugar-coated life is not my style. Obviously, I became a grandmother. Cue the trumpets. I was made for this life. But oddly, I was nervous to see my son as a father. Walking into my first glimpse of their journey is drilled in my head forever. He was sitting in the hospital room just cradling the nugget. Mom, “This is your grandson.” I shook my head to acknowledge the statement, and said. “Yes, more importantly this is your son.” We giggled, cried, and kept smiling at the perfection. He went onto explaining the skin to skin process, taught me how to diaper by showing off his diaper technique, and then I held him, the kid by my side. No longer my little boy. A dad. And three years later these two have formed a bond for life. Dad is the protector from all things bad and scary, the park dad, the swim dad, the everything dad. He is what a little boy could ever want, and need. I love to listen to the kids stories of the nugget doing something new or extra cute, or playing at the nuggets park, a visit to great-grandma, going to speech, or even a grocery store outing is an adventure for my boys. Anything and everything is told to me with a glimmer in his eyes that is so precious. Now, the kid has given up a full-time life outside of the home, for physical reasons, but that means he was given the golden opportunity to be just dad. A true gift. And just a dad he is not. He is so much more. He has taught me to truly trust in who I have raised and reap the joy from this grandparent gig. He’s got this. Kid, you have been blessed with the gentleness of your great-grandfather, the empathy and compassion of your grandfather, and the toughness of your father. You will pass all of this on in your own way and in your time. I can’t way to watch! Happy Father’s Day!

So, to my pops, hubs, and the kid. Look at your kids, hold them dear, and try to remember every moment fondly, even when they are not. Especially, to the newest member of the dad clan, when you find your mind dulling or you are scraping playdough off the dining table for the umpteenth time. These times will pass and you will miss playdough. I do.

Happy Father’s Day!

fitness, grey hair, life

Big News.

But I can’t tell. Story of my life. The end.

No, but I tell you something much more interesting and a little off color. Gotcha. I have my Grandmother’s rear-end. I am PG. You were expecting a**. Not gonna happen. I always have had this caboose, it was just smaller pre-50’s. Not pretty. Hers was like that reality show family without the designer excess and no plastic enhancing. But it looked right. Always did. Now mine is also all mine, but the look is something to hide. Truly, no real pride, just a fact that I am trying to remove it. Quickly.

My grandmother, always complained she was overweight. She was 5’1″ and maybe 105 pounds. All in her caboose. But she looked awesome even before the rear-end was in vogue. To her that’s all she saw and she hated it just like we all hate our parts that are imperfect. Now she would be a rockstar. Which she was. In her own plastic covered couch, eat burned chicken kind of way. But her love was enormous and made up for her peculiarities. Did I mention she had zero wrinkles? Zero. She loved that about herself. It made the less perfect tolerable and she would glow when others guessed her age, usually far younger than her reality.

She was her own gal. Never met anyone like her. I miss her daily. I remember telling her goodbye and that it was OK to go and hangout with grandpa…but it wasn’t. Well, it was. Kinda. She had dementia and in the final stages it was bad. She left a few days after I told her to go…it was time. But I miss her, her terrible cooking, and how she always took a half of a bagel in her purse for after dinner treat, no matter the restaurant star level, the bagel was in tow. She had the other half that morning. Always. She took her own tea bags as well, and consistently asked me if the waiter would be mad that she just wanted hot water for dessert. Every single dinner outing. The same questions and the same begging. “Tracy, Sam (grandfather) he will see me with my tea and bagel, order something for dessert.” I obliged so the waiters stayed away. No one ever cared. If the waiter was lucky they were treated to her reason for bringing her own carbs and tea to the game. To keep them simple she even told the story in sequence and very quick to the point and if they asked it went something like this:

1. No sugar did she ever eat accept for her one bagel a day and her one apple or orange. Never more. Ever!

2. These were Jewish bagels. Not regular bagels and she would argue the difference.

3. Her tea was better than any restaurants. It was Lipton, but why fight. She also thought she would be charged. Again, agreeing was easier.

My grandfather and I would truly try to keep this story under wraps as we understood how crazy it sounded, but how happy it made her. More than anything it was her way to save a buck or two. She grew up with thirteen brothers and sisters. They packed their snacks if they were lucky enough to go to the movies. Packing was ingrained in her from a young age. So as for the rear. It did not come from her one bagel a day habit. She was just blessed and she was, but next to that famous reality show family, I have never seen anyone more obsessed with their tuchus.

So, where is this headed. Back to the beginning, I suppose. Big news, and a rear to shrink, quickly. But if my grandmother were still alive she would take my hand and reassure me that I am perfect and quickly distract me with a complaint about her day, as it was really Sylvia’s world, and we were just part of it.

Love you Grandma!

life, retirement, travel

Breakfast is NOT a Frozen Burrito…Or the Many Lessons Learned on the Road

1. Food. Travel in any form takes on different eating patterns but road tripping is an art! The first realization that sitting in a car makes you hungry or bored hungry. That is bad and the layout of gas station markets lures you to carbs and sugar. You must hunt and put blinders on. Have a focus list and go. Water, power bars, pre-popped popcorn, almonds, and sugar-free candy if needed. This worked for the first day and my little smug self was so flaunting my food list, steps, and this simplicity until we had an oops moment with the car. Bring on the donuts. Yes, bagged food followed. So in reality. Plan to eat, overeat, not give a damn, and just adjust when you get out of the car. Or fly.

2. Exercise. Considering the day is spent sitting. Movement is key. Currently, I am writing and doing a Peloton meditation so I do not jump outside of my skin due to boredom. It counts. Everything counts on these long days. Walking around a gas station, stopping at a side road museum, anything. The movement of body or mind is key as you got the time. Oh, so much time, and of course wearing a smart watch that adds a fun guilt trip with every alert to my needed movement times was a brilliant move. I went from moving at every stop like a crazy woman to raising my hand, shaking it while cursing and going back to my Netflix. But it did register my simple movement. Guilt conquered.

3. Hotels. Kinda. Depending on the size of the town there is little choice and they tend to be overrated on Expedia. Our four star home away from home was more of a one. But nonetheless I just kept chanting eight hours, eight hours, eight hours in monk like fashion. My husband snored away so there was no worry of him calling the nearest pysch ward. I learned quickly that time will elapse whether you sleep or not and you will be back in the car. So some sleep is great. The morning buffet advertised to the weary traveller is nothing short of frightening so beware you might get the option of a frozen burrito or a pancake machine. We were. So, just run towards your nearest bagged food option. But in case you wondered what a pancake machine is, I tested it, you are welcome. Life presented me a pancake machine. Of course, I am going to press the buttons. Duh. The machine is a large double decker toaster oven looking contraption, that allows you to plug in your desired amount of pancakes, on an outside keypad. Once entered it goes through the teachnical process of warming frozen circles up. Once the machine detects the food it warms the little round bites of fluff. Here comes the magical moment, they were spit out at you for you to catch in our choice of paperware of the day, a bowl. Yup. I had to try, buttons pressed bowl ready like a catcher behind a mound, I laughed, a maniacal laugh that if heard in this small town would have not only gained looks but perhaps a sheriff’s visit. Please note the lobby was empty. As they were still frozen. I tossed them. No one was looking at my rudeness and waste but there we no re-entering directions for uncooked pancakes. So no choice. I highly suggest you try one if you find the opportunity. Entertainment at it’s finest. Our last night on the road, I booked a real hotel. I could not deal with roadside Schitt Creeks one more night. I kept hearing the characters voices. It was unsettling. Cue pysch ward.

4. Know your audience. As we entered Nara Vista New Mexico my husband thought he would be cute and make a play on words between Nara and Napa. He got a look. He sings country. I watch Schitts Creek and he still has never heard of it…really! Your driving companion can’t change, you just have to accept, move on, make light of, or ignore. There is no changing the over 50 crew. None. So if you get in a car for a trip scan your crew, note their shortcomings, and count the days. I recommend meditation, netflix, your music, or feigning sleep. The last one did not work. He knew. Damn.

5. Attire. So let’s review. You will eat crap, stay in scary roadside haunts, allow every minor fault of your partner to drive you crazy and be so tired at the end of the day that your movement is minimal. Sounds heavenly. But I had one ace up my sleeve. Super stylish travel clothes. Yup. Take that road. Livingston for the win. Yeah, no. I packed all of my clothes for the trip in my bag a week before we left never thinking that these were my clothes for just the trip not the car trip. A couple days before my husband sat me down and explained the road travel bag concept of just taking in a small bag every night to the hotel. Just essentials. Sleeping. Getting up early and hurling yourself back into the car for the next day was the process laid before me leaving no time for “cute.” I cried. No prep time. Just brush your teeth and go. Ugh. This coupled with my last days of school I found myself hurling everything I hate into a backpack and calling it good. So yes, I looked like hell. Skipped makeup, wore socks with sandals for comfort, and wore clothes I would not wear outside my own home. But was I comfy. Yes. So, maybe it was a win. There are few photos of human life during these days. Nope. Accept my husbands cruel attempts of finding humor in my suffering. Deleted. All, while monk like chanting of thirty-three years, thirty-three years…

So, was it all bad. No. If you let go of your roadtrip fantasy looks, eating, nightly room choices in very small towns. You saw America and breweries and wineries for days. Fruit wine, anyone? Aside from all of the craziness I saw America. The farming America that works hard, votes with their pocket books, is kind, holds doors (all the time), apologizes for cursing, does not believe happiness is always attached to a university degree but is tied to family values, carrying on the farm and name, and saving not spending on every new latest fad. They are a special breed. I just take-in their life with a bit of jealousy but knowing that I was raised as a city girl who values everything they feel is unnecessary. My hope from this peek into Americana is that I now truly understand our fancy ways are truly in the minority and real life is dotted all across the United States in strings of small towns only varying by region, state, size, and local economic and farming opportunities. We the city folk, while blessed with opportunities, we often feel we are the majority of thinkers, movers, shakers, and biggest complainers. Our way is right. Period. Thus forgetting who we lean upon for everything that we consume in daily life. They are the real America. So, if you dare go on a drive and take-in the beauty, wonder, small town ways. Have a few small town conversations. It will bring you peace and insight. Just once. Then fly.

echelon, fitness, goals, granparent life, Peloton

Progress Not Perfection

About a year ago I went on a hike. A short hike. Barely an incline. I almost died. I had to sit about five times, I cursed like a sailor, and requested that my car be brought up the hill (as my friend called it). To me it was akin to Mount Everest. My embarrassing moments were just that embarrassing. Staring at the finish line aka parking lot while just feet away seemed like miles.

Fast tracking to the end of this terror I made it to the car and cried all the way home. Not out of pain but the reality of how I let myself become a blob with no ability to walk a few miles upward.

Once upon a time I was in shape. The wedding. Check. After the wedding. Check. Pregnancy. Check. After pregnancy. Check. My son’s first eighteen years due to the country club life and the machines I had at my disposal. Check. Then real life hit. A few life issues mixed in with mid-life. Everytime I started the walk down the block, the online barre or pilates classes. I stopped. Made excuses and felt pure guilt at not being able to cross the line of consistency.

Covid-19 brought many of us to our fitness, social, emotional, or financial needs. For me I knew if I did not do something I would look like a parades floating balloon. Perhaps it was the social media perfection pictures that flashed at me during the daily boredom and scrolling hours or all the blogs of fifty somethings that look thirty. Whatever it was. It clicked. Onward to my echelon/peloton life.

The first seventy-three rides were of the twenty minute variety mixed with HITT, Tabata, pop and the low key variety. Today, I made a move. I went to thirty minutes. I did it. I survived and I will continue until I can go to forty-five minutes with the weekly goal of an hour. My goal is lofty but it will be achieved.

So, my shape is improving for me and my family, especially my grand-nugget who will never see his grandmother poop out at a park. Any park. Even one with great big mouse ears. Does my shape represent thirty at fifty-seven, no. But I am getting closer and feeling great about it!

granparent life, life

Hugs and Stuff

Tomorrow is my hubs birthday. I could shower him with praise, but I am not. He will not notice and frankly what could I say that I do not tell him every single day. Nothing. Besides let’s leave the saccharine sappiness where it belongs, to the young who are newly in love. We have something better than the drippings of sweet love and adoration. After thirty-two years together we got the prize of prizes…A grandchild.

A sweet two year old that we hover over, kiss boo boos, drink countless cups of pretend tea, spoil, sock money away for his future, and swoon when we are hugged, reaches for our hands, or during this last visit he asked us to get in the car with him…as home was not his current desire. His sweetness ❤ reminds us of our kid long ago. Who, like all of us has outgrown the sweet innocence we all eat up to feed our needy souls. The unfortunate reality of adulthood is that it robs us of the carefree love and kindness that the youth have in spades and the addition of grandchildren remind us again of our roots and our true needs. But I digress.

Back to the title…Today, the hubs turns 56 and today we celebrate with a socially distant football extravaganza. The real party, however, was a few days ago when we had a couple hours of uninterrupted playtime, hugs, cuddles, and little person banter. Plus our big bonus is always watching the kid be a dad. The best dad and his calling as his inner-child and sweetness comes pouring out again just as they did years ago. These are moments we wish we could bottle and was the hubs true birthday moment. So no matter what I buy, bake, or arrange birthdays are never the same anymore without his buddy.

Happy 56 Grandpa!

education

The Blame Game

We are in a situation where everyone wants to blame another for the mess we are in created by a crazy virus that came without a road map. It just hit. Created mayhem and death. The nation shutdown. We have reacted, over-reacted, under-reacted or something in between based on your political spectrum, age group, or if loved ones were involved. Now, six months later, we are still in this reactionary mode but we are no longer “in this together.” In fact we are a society at war with itself. The masks are an issue, the opening or closing of anything is an issue, and a society on a brink of economic collapse using monopoly money to survive is an issues but not the biggest. The largest divide is the daily spinning of the wheel education plan of the moment. There are no answers for anyone so the randomness of a game show spin is a method I could get behind at this point and can be done multiple times a day just to continue to confuse parents, teachers, and the kids playing along.

On the wheel, we have many options all supposedly scientifically backed by either the CDC, WHO, or any alphabet soup education group which bases its data on some factor other than the reality of kids don’t get this crap. Now, they can carry. Ah, the true problem, the adults. Ok, I am one and in the classroom, so I get it, but we have had six months and now more federal dollars for a variety of PPE, technology, and other stuffs to sanitize at a hospital level on a daily basis. So, what is the issue? The answer is quite simple, it is the gut reactions felt by humans in crisis and the politics and red tape churning and throwing up additional barriers along the way. Simple but complicated on many levels. So we keep spinning, creating, and finding winning modes of education that will ease the fear, fit political agendas, and have shears big enough to cut through the tape.

The wheel itself is divided into many parts. I will now take you through the popular spinning wins so the parent in you can see that the teacher in me is just as frustrated and hopefully we can form an alliance instead of a divide.