Saturday, August 10, 2013


I was seventeen years old when we met. (Feel free to head to another page if you've heard this story before. It's one I love to tell, so I probably have written it already.) I was a cashier at a fancy-schmancy grocery store here in town, he was the assistant manager of the bakery/deli. I always looked for him when I was coming in to work, making sure to pass by the deli to see if he was there. If I saw him behind the counter, I'd get a little thrill. If I didn't see him behind the counter, I'd look in the break room to see if his HUGE insulated QT cup was there because that meant he was around, somewhere. If I didn't see that, I'd be a bit disappointed. That meant it would be a slightly more boring day at work. No flirting over the deli counter. No tugging on his braid when I walked past him. No "facing up" the baby food jars because they were right across from the deli and I could furtively watch him work and hope that he would talk to me. No having him slip gummy bears to me over the half wall that separated my favorite cashier station from the deli. No buying chicken salad on my break just so I could see him smile at me. 

He was older than I was, by a lot; seven years, to be exact. I was a senior in high school and dating a boy who I genuinely thought I was going to marry. Yet I flirted, shamelessly, with this deli guy. When I stopped working at the grocery store, I would periodically go back to say hi, sometimes finding him outside in the alley, reading on his break, sometimes just flirting (shamelessly) over the top of the deli case. One night I arrived just before closing and he asked me if I could give him a ride home. I said I would, and he invited me behind the counter to wait while he finished bagging up all the leftover cookies. He then proceeded to drop an entire tray of cookies on the floor, which made me laugh and start to tease him. He stepped close and kissed me. My knees, oh how they were weak.

I gave him a ride home that night, and, you might say, the rest is history. Lots and lots of history, lots and lots of changes in both of us. A wedding, five cats, five dogs (not all at the same time!), five cars, three residences, one mortgage, two (fantastic!) kids, some tears, lots of laughter (more laughter than tears!) and seventeen years later and I'm so glad he picked me. My knees still get weak, I still get a little thrill when I see him. He truly is my other half. And, oh, how I love him.

Happy 17th anniversary, Ched.

All dressed up and heading off to my 20th high school reunion.

Thursday, August 08, 2013


Reilly has spent most of the summer in Atlanta with my cousin and her husband, helping out with their three little girls. Apart from a little bit of home sickness at the beginning, she has fared well. When we go and get her, she will have been gone almost 6 weeks and I'm discovering that, although it's been nice to have NO ARGUING in the house, I'm really beginning to miss her. I can't wait to hug her neck!

Two days after we return from picking her up (a short 12 hour drive! Woot!) we will begin our 9th year of home schooling. How is it that we've been doing this for this long? Dang! Sometimes, I feel excited about this year because we're not involved in any type of co-op, which means there's no place that we have to be on any regular basis. This excited feeling is sometimes overtaken by panic because WE'RE NOT DOING ANY TYPE OF CO-OP THIS YEAR AND I'M ALL ON MY OWN AND I DON'T HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT I'M DOING AND WHO GAVE ME PERMISSION TO DO THIS, ANYWAY?
Yeah, it's a fun ride, lemme tell you!
It'll work out. It always does.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

I Am, Apparently, a Slave Driver

New summer thing here: making The Kids do chores each day.
I know, I know...some of my friends who are vying for The Perfect Parent Award have been having their kids do chores since they were toddlers. Those people probably have funny, adorable stories of their little dumplin' wobbling around with a dustpan and broom, diaper sagging, sweeping the kitchen in a darling, haphazard way. Or standing on a chair at the sink, elbow deep in dish suds at the age of five. Or alphabetizing the movies and CD's and arranging the books in order of genre when they were seven. And to those parents I give a high five. You. Rock.
I don't.
Not sure why I've waited this long, but I have.
Well, kind of. We've worked up to this slowly, I guess. Declan has been feeding the dog for years, and they both know to clear their places after dinner and wash their dishes. (Our fabulous dishwasher pooped out on us about a year ago and we've not ponied up the dough to fix it. Dish washing by hand, FTW!) They pretty much make their own lunch each day because, frankly, after a morning of doing school with them, I'm ready for some PLEASE BE IN THE OTHER ROOM time by the time lunch rolls around. They now have to vacuum their own rooms after they clean them.
The BIG thing was that 2013 was the beginning of The Kids Do Their Own Laundry, which was really genius! They each have a laundry day where they wash, dry, and fold their own stuff, and I'm left with only The Grownups laundry to wash, dry and...well...set on our bed till it gets moved to the dresser and then folded a few days later.
But this summer I decided that they needed to do more. Have more responsibility. Learn new skills. Plus, this leaves ME more time to sit on the sofa and eat bon-bons and watch mindless television. :)
I kid! I kid! I don't eat bon-bons! I prefer graham crackers and milk!
So, here's how it works:
Way Number 1: On the white board in the school room, I will write a list of things that need to be done. Then, they will come in and take turns choosing one or two, depending on how long the list is, and they have until the end of the day to get it done. Pretty simple! (I pick up the slack if the list is an uneven number.)
Way Number 2: On the white board, I write what each child needs to do for the day. For example, today Reilly has to finish her laundry from yesterday and pick up and vacuum her room. Declan has to pick up and vacuum his room and dust his room.
I've not heard too much weeping and gnashing of far. I will say that, on Monday, Reilly had the audacity to ask me, "Well, what will YOU be doing?" *insert fairly snotty, almost-13-year-old voice*. I promptly launched into a looooong list of the things that I would be doing, which led to her eyes to rolling so far back into their sockets I thought they'd never return to normal. There might have also been some sighing on her part. I don't know. I tuned her out.
Anyway, we'll see how this goes!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Changes...They May Be A'Comin!

I've been thinking about something lately. 
See, I started this blog as The Karate Mom waaay back when I was actually taking karate. I had advanced to the rank of purple belt, which means my next test would have been for third degree brown, which is farther than I ever thought I would go. I had sparred many, many people, competed, broken lots of boards, broken concrete, participated in many karate demos, and had lots of fun. Then, I decided that I was ready to have my Thursday nights back to myself. It has been about three years since I quit and I've not once regretted that decision.
So, I'm not The Karate Mom any more.
I have become, however, an avid rollerblader. Since receiving my beloved skates as a Valentine's day present from Troy, I have probably put two hundred miles on them. I own safety gear...because that's smart! Pebbles can really sneak up on you! (And OUCH when they do!) I actually own an extra set of axles, and have had to rotate my wheels because of wear. This is something I DO! A lot!
And when I'm skating, things happen: funny things, poignant things, silly things, things that make me angry or thoughtful or that make me laugh. I see things and hear things and experience things, and sometimes I want to share them.
So I'm thinking of changing the blog from The Karate Mom to Insights From Inlines. Or Reflections From Rollerblades. Or Ruminations on Riverside. Or A Funny Thing Happened as I Skated On the River...wait, that last one might be too long. Then using this as a place to share the things I think about.
What do you think?
Have you died of boredom yet?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Oh, The Places I'll Go

Yeah, that really doesn't have any bearing on anything I'm about to say, but it's running through my head right now and it seemed like maybe getting it OUT of my head will free me from it.
Or something.
I don't know.
It seemed like a good title.
So, where have I been going lately...let me think.
Well, I went to the Mom & Me camp out with Declan this past Saturday, despite the fact that all week long, the weather men kept saying that SEVERE WEATHER was going to hit on Friday and last all day Saturday. I don't know if this happens where YOU live, but here in Oklahoma, it's not uncommon for the weather men to predict SEVER WEATHER or HUGE SNOWSTORMS or SOMETHING BIG LIKE THAT and then nothing happens, so I pretty much ignored them. (Friday weather was perfectly clear, BTW!) This led to us heading out to camp on Saturday morning, setting up our tents in sprinkles, getting rained on off and on all day, and then packing up our two tents and some sopping gear at 6:30 on Saturday evening, in a torrential downpour, after nearly getting blown off the path by what felt like a mini-tornado as we walked (sprinted!) up to dinner. Fun times, fun times, let me tell you. I kept telling him, "Hey, it's an adventure!" I also told him that the lesson that we learned from all of this was that if the weather men predict SEVERE WEATHER and we're going to camp out, just plan to stay for the day. Just in case they're right.

This morning, I went for coffee with a friend of mine, which was fun. I think that the biggest milestone that we're at right now is that I can leave The Kids to do schoolwork at home while I run errands...or have coffee with a friend!...and they actually DO their work!

Right now, speaking of school, I'm going to go and give Declan his spelling test. Have a great day, y'all! I know I plan to!

Saturday, September 08, 2012

My Future Plans

Here's something you may not know about me: when The Kids are out of the house, I want to begin to build and furnish an extremely detailed doll house. My vision, actually, is that it would be a four or six room apartment house, with each apartment having a very distinct owner. The old lady's apartment would have doilies on the backs of the arm chairs and probably a tea service sitting on the antique coffee table. Maybe a tiny bottle of Maalox or some itty bitty false teeth in a glass beside the bed. There would be a  young couple's apartment, possibly with a baby crib in the corner and some toys scattered about. I see a bachelor pad, complete with dirty clothes and pizza boxes strewn about and a BIG T.V. dominating the scene. There could also be a student's apartment with thick (well, thick by doll house standards!) textbooks on the table and tiny cans of Red Bull.
I have had this vision since walking into a miniature shop in Colorado on our honeymoon, sixteen years ago, and I can see it as clearly today as I did back then. I just hope that I get to do it some day!
(This is what got me to thinking about all of this this particular morning! The Blogess's Haunted Dollhouse)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Supey POD

The Kids are currently in Colorado with
Troy's dad and stepmom, which is quite a change. All told, by the time we go and pick them up, they will have been gone two and a half weeks! Before they left, Reilly said something about how she was going to miss Schmoopy, which is one of probably a dozen nicknames for the cat. (Supey us his REAL name, and it's short for SuperCat.) So I told her that I would email her pictures of Supey, and have done so, faithfully! I decided if share a few here, since they really kind of capture how weird cats really are.
This one was on the first day after they left. Supey was up on Deco's top bunk, just like he owned the place!