Archive for the ‘love’ Category
After last week’s exhausting news developments, I decided I need a break. Remember when I declared Motherhoot a happy shiny place? Full of fluffy clouds and cuddly bunnies? Pictures of kittens and puppies? Well, I meant to declare that at some point. Then I got a little activist going. Health At Every Size. Reproductive. Women’s. Environment. Justice.
I don’t know about you, but I need a break from the media. I have gotten obsessed. I am spending good emotional energy worrying about things that I cannot change. At least not in the big picture. I will do my best to change my little part of the world, but I need a break from saving everyone.
So I’m cutting myself off from the news. It’s going to be hard since I have a ritual of going through the Yahoo news articles. Sharing and commenting, and ingesting the drama from all over the world from things happening to other people.
It’s time to center myself. Take a deep breath and look for the fluffy things again. Cheery, happy things.
Oh, I also considered kicking my Facebook game addiction at the same time. Then I figured out my head would explode so I’m delaying that. Can you send me some Bubble Witch Saga lives, please?!
Recently, I read a letter seeking advice from the girl next door in Men’s Health. A man was confused because his wife said she needed no special plans for their upcoming anniversary and he wasn’t sure she meant it. Of course the girl next door set him straight–and told him that his wife didn’t mean it. After all, women don’t need to communicate clearly what they need from their partners and in their relationships!
Ladies, this is the crap we have to stop doing. We cannot go around chanting “no means no” and then expecting the people around us to know when we really mean “yes.”
If you are an adult women in an adult-type relationship, stop playing games. Making your partner guess what you mean is a trip to disaster lane. You’re mature enough to be married? You’re mature enough to say what’s on your mind. Really, there are few things you can say that will scare off a partner.
I’m not saying men have carte blanche to do what they please. Don’t misunderstand me. In any sexual situation, no does mean no. And no man should attempt to read anything else into the statement. But women do have a responsibility also. By communicating clearly and concisely, your needs will be known and hopefully met.
As for the wife not requiring special anniversary plans, I completely understand. Being the most unromantic female in America, I require nothing special on an anniversary. At this point, I’m just in awe as the years pass by, proud of Jim and I for amassing quite a few. I don’t want candy or flowers. A trip or some jewelry, maybe. I mean, I got a Dremel for my birthday/Mother’s Day and was pleased!
I am concerned that a column in a men’s magazine written by a woman (hopefully that part is true!) goes about perpetuating stereotypes of manipulative women who need to be coy about their needs. What is wrong about not needing a special anniversary celebration? Is it not female enough? Not committed enough? Why couldn’t the advice simply have been: well, she said she needs nothing, so she needs nothing. The End.
It’s 2013 and the time for games are over. As women we are fighting for the futures of ourselves, our daughters, our granddaughters, and every female around us. As women’s rights are being chipped away and cowardly men feel the need to wrest some control over their spinning worlds, we need to stand strong and confident. Every time you act coy and let your man guess what you want, another ultrasound wand is stuck up another vagina to prevent an abortion. Because women don’t really know what they want and the men need to make sure we know what we’re doing!
Stop playing games and learn to speak up. If you don’t know how or you need some encouragement, let me know. I’m here to help you!
I keep reading the same messages this week about living life now. Right now. Not tomorrow. Not when the sun shines. Or you lose the weight. Or your hair is perfect. Or the stars, planet, and clouds all align. But Right. Now. This instant. No more waiting for perfect…because sometimes perfect never comes.
Check out Jeanette DePatie (A.K.A. The Fat Chick) here.
Check out Kath from Fat Heffalump here.
Most of all, watch this video–the whole thing–for the most inspiring young man ever, Zach Sobiech.
In a world where we’re constantly being told we don’t measure up. That we aren’t thin enough or beautiful enough. Where even Disney is getting into the business of body shaming by taking a beloved girl character and turning her into a vamp. It’s nice to come across a woman who has her priorities straight and her dreams for her daugher seem healthy.
When Jaime Moore’s daughter turned five, she wanted a special photography session to mark the momentous occasion. She didn’t dress the young girl in evening wear or dress her like a Julie Roberts character. Instead, she dressed Emma as real-life heroines.
I love this! (Yet another reason to wish for daughters…)
Who are the heroines? Real women who changed the world of women for the better: Susan B. Anthony, Amelia Earhart, Coco Chanel, Jane Goodall, and Helen Keller. What a list!
Isn’t it nice in the age of dance moms, real housewives, and faux celebrities to have actual women who have actual accomplishments recognized in such a positive way? What a gift Moore has given her daughter!
Who would you like to dress up as? Are their heroines Moore should add?
Lately, I’ve been caught up believing that everyone but me has The Perfect Family. While my family is inundated with problems and angst, other parents tweet their children’s unending stream of age-advanced adorable chatter. Other parents let us know that each of their children has an iPhone and an iPod…and they’re all under 10. The news features stories about tweens who raise funds for deadly illnesses.
Intellectually, I know there is no perfect family. They don’t exist. Each and every family is plagued with something negative. It’s how life works.
Some parents adore their children and abhor each other. Some parents aren’t really happy being parents. Some couples want children and don’t have any. Some families have great relationships with each other, but are forced to live in a car.
That’s why I think bloggers should have an absolute truth day. Weekly–okay monthly–we should vow to share something negative that happened in our homes and how we handled it. We could even open it up for suggestions how others would have handled it.
But I know that won’t happen. For the same reason I enjoy a movie or a book with a happy ending; because I don’t want to focus on the negative or it’s aftermath.
Maybe this is why comedians are often the unhappiest of people. At least that’s the word on the street. They’ve just learned to hide the bad by covering it up with laughter.
But if anyone thinks an absolute truth day would be helpful, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. Maybe sometimes it’s just right to address the bad along with the good. Because that’s how life works.
I live in an area of disposable architecture. I must be the only one in the suburbs of Chicago who prefers an aging bungalow to a mass produced McMansion. Because all the houses with character are being torn down and being replaced with something with much less character and charm.
I don’t live in a house with charm. It’s one of about three models in our subdivision. It’s a nice house. It gets the job done, but there are no quirky built-ins or decorative wood work. There was no history here when we moved it; any that exists was created by us.
Growing up I knew a house with character. I was fortunate enough to live next door to my neighborhood’s “haunted house.” It was an eerie, hulking structure. No one lived in it when I was a child, but we played there nearly every day.
The giant pine tree was so big that the interior was a perfect play house. I can still remember the smell of pine sap and remember being covered in it as we tried climbing.
The redbud tree had a perfect branch for sitting in while reading. And if that wasn’t comfortable enough, the large, deep front porch provided a great place for lolling in the shade on a hot summer day. Adding to the mystery of the house was an old bathtub, still enclosed in packing materials. Why was it there? Why was it never installed?
The yard was full of mysterious things. Beautiful peonies dotted the yard in the summer. Bridal wreath bushes provided more rooms for secret meetings as well as head dressings for when we played bride.
The back porch was rickety and dangerous, nothing like the front porch. But we braved it occasionally to peek through the glass to see what was within. We knew from the open windows in front that there was still furniture and pictures hanging. From the back porch we could see the dining table. A side window revealed an ancient erector set, built into some contraption.
When I was in high school, someone moved in and I was able to make friends with him. Now I had access to the inner sanctum! The house had an old, dusty smell. It wasn’t unpleasant. It spoke of abandon and despair, but also of people who loved it enough to have someone in to clean even while it was lreft behind.
The kitchen held mysterious appliances (now I knew it was an early dishwasher!) and gorgeous built-ins that still held dishes and glassware. Old bathrooms contained grooming products from the ladies who formerly lived there. I know there were women because their clothes still hung in bedroom closets. Ancient toys sat unused and unappreciated in other bedrooms.
Up in the attic, paintings from an artist associated with the house were stacked ten deep. Abstract canvases abandoned with everything else.
I loved the house.
The last time I was in it, it was in such disrepair, I knew it wasn’t long before it was gone. I could see no hope in the plaster and lath walls that let in sunlight. I imagined the snow and rain gaining access to the interior, slowly rotting it away. Maybe like the dreams of the people who once lived there and who abandoned it and all their belongings?!
But I was wrong. I learned that the house had been sold. My first reaction was that it would be torn down. No! It is being lovingly restored by an instructor at Fort Hays State University. He and his students have plans for the structure and they’ve already made progress! It is being chronicled here at http://west17th.tumblr.com.
I am delighted. No, it will never be my house. But it isn’t going to be destroyed. I hope you have as much fun as I am watching the secrets of the house being revealed (this blog is how I found out the sink contraption was a dishwasher!) and the changes being made. In this day of disposable buildings, it is pleasing to find someone willing to re-capture the beauty of a once grand home.
Check out west17 and let me know what you think. What I could have done with the place…
In case you missed it, some time during the Inauguration festivities over the past weekend…wait for it…Michelle Obama rolled her eyes during a meal. There’s plenty of speculation about the source of the eye roll, with many wondering if it was John Boehner.
I’m a fan of Michelle Obama (except for her childhood obesity campaign that I think hurts more than helps). She seems very real to me. More real than some plastic first ladies of the past.
Michelle smiles and talks and walks and apparently works out. I know about the working out part because when the media isn’t speculating about her eye rolling, they are talking about her powerful arms. Oh, and now she’s made bangs official!
But right now we’re talking about the eye rolling.
Let’s give the woman a break. She’s a mother with teenaged daughters. She has a powerful, important husband and is constantly on stage. Some times she is going to slip.
I don’t think the eye roll had anything directly to do with John Boehner.* I know the political pundits are hoping Boehner said something like, “my guns are bigger than your guns” to taunt President Obama during lunch. Some are hoping he said something about his political action committee being bigger or that women can’t get pregnant during rape because their stress hormones prevent it. Of course they want something this licentious! Imagine the scandal! Imagine the headlines! Stop the presses!
I offer this, however: The Boys were talking about Boy Stuff and Michelle had had enough. I think any of these topics, eventually, garner an eye roll from even the most doting wife:
Or maybe one of The Boys is a member of the bad joke club. I know this is the source of most of my eye rolling when it comes to Jim. Sure the jokes were funny the first one hundred times, but after that I would roll my eyes even in front of President Obama if Jim told one of his punny jokes or offered his much-repeated wisdom on horse’s asses.
We are told that eye rolling is one of the worst things for your marriage. Especially if you sigh and spin while doing it. OK, I made some of that up. But seriously, eye rolling is a big no-no.
Unless it’s for a serious offense like the ones listed above. Married people cannot be perfect all the time. And eye rolling seems pretty tame compared to some of the things human beings can do to one another.
Poor Michelle Obama. Let down your guard and all the world begins to comment. I bet she can’t wait for the next four years to be over.
*For the record, I think John Boeher probably excels at the “I’m not touching you game” and wouldn’t hesitate to play it at a political dinner.
How the heck did it get to be mid-January already? The year is 1/24 over, people! It’s time for a resolution check-in!
Except I don’t do resolutions. I don’t do goals. But this year I got the idea to have a word of the year. (I can’t remember which writer I got this from, but if you do, let me know!) And my word is love.
I think that if we approach the world in general with an attitude of love, we can make a difference in a lot of lives. This means being cognizant of how we treat the people around us: family, friends, acquaintances, people who serve us, etc. Sometimes we’re good with our treatment of one group of people but not so great with others. I want to treat everyone with love.
Love can be shown through politeness and helpfulness. It can be shown with genuine interest and caring. It can be shown with a smile or a kind thought in passing. Compliments show love when given genuinely. Love can make a chore bearable. I hate dusting. But if I think about how I am taking care of things I love (the furniture and knick knacks I choose to have in my home) and the people I love (by giving them a clean, pleasant living environment) it makes dusting a nice chore to engage in.
When I mentioned my word for the year, someone else told me how they have a word of the month. I think I can add some extra words to my year.
We live in such negative times with such societal, environmental, and economical unrest that we should do what we can to make our little corners of the world nicer places to be in. It’s a word. It’s an attitude. It’s a change.
If you choose a word for the year, what will it be? How will you live your word? What will you do with it?
You might remember when I declared myself a brave brave woman because I went completely grey. I stayed that way for over a year. The thing is, that while I had two patches of cool white hair, the rest of my hair was the color of corrugated pipe. Have you ever ever heard someone declare they ever wanted to look like corrugated pipe?!
Of course not! Mottled grey is not an attractive nor becoming color on anyone.
I had to switch hair dressers when the last one took liberties with my hair cut. Yup, she looked at the proposed picture and instead cut my hair into the requisite old-lady short pixie cut. Which was fine a year earlier when I wanted the color cut off. But as a real-life pay money and pretend to like it hair cut? No way!
So I slunk off to South Elgin to visit a stylist recommended by Kelly and her daughters. But she no longer worked there and instead, I was gifted Bobby Berry, The Hair Whisperer. This guy knows his stuff.
I let him give me a few hair cuts. The second one he asked, “what are we going to do about this color?” I was strong. I resisted.
But I started thinking. Because it just wasn’t working for me. Maybe if I had great hair that was all white it would be different. But, you know, corrugated pipe…
Last time I said, “color me” and we went with a nice color. Jim’s face when he saw it was priceless–and worth having it done. Apparently my husband is also not a fan of corrugated pipe grey. But he’s to nice to say anything! Gotta love him!
This time I gave him carte blanche with the cut and went a little darker and funkier with the color. Oh, yeah, red is back! I love it! The color and the cut are both perfect!
And, Bobby Berry…he declared me a “big ball of fabulous!” I’m so keeping him! And he loves nuns!