Seasons by GrandMomopoly Beth

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I Love All the Seasons

In my neck of the woods, we  are blessed to have 4 distinct seasons annually. Although we never get very hot in the summer for any length of time, never gets very cold or have much snow in the winter, Fall is almost always gorgeous  with what we call ” Indian Summer”  and then there is spring. The most  guaranteed  type of weather is rain, and it can come consistently or inconsistently in all seasons. But, it makes for a glorious green landscape.

As school buses are beginning to pass my house and the cooler evenings require a blanket as I sit on the deck, I began thinking about my life and my seasons.

I graduated from High school in the 60’s ( YES  the 1960’s),  met my husband in the 60’s  and  lived through the beginning of the Women’s Lib movement and the social significance of it all. It changed how society looked at women, how men looked at women  (well maybe not how they LOOKED at women but how they needed to relate to women)  and how women viewed themselves. A very confusing time for us all.

 

As a woman, I was told  “YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL”.  You deserve it and you should have it all. But no one told us what  ALL  was.

This old commercial song was the mantra of who a woman should be in those days

” I can put the wash on the line; Feed the kids, get dressed

Pass out the kisses; and get to work by 5 to 9..

I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan

And NEVER, NEVER, NEVER let you forget you’re a man

Cause… I’m a woman”

Well, I tried this and didn’t feel like I had it all… I was just really , really tired. And more confused.

This generation of this song might have different words but the meaning is still the same. You should do it all  NOW. Train for physical competitions, decorate your house like Pinterest, Cook everything from scratch, entertain, keep up with your friends,  have perfect children, have the perfect  marriage….and women are just really, really tired, stressed, anxious and insecure.

I want to assure you that you can have it all… but it doesn’t have to be all at the same time.

This month my oldest son turned 39. That means he graduated from high school 20 years ago. The reality is, more of  my life span is lived without children in my home than with children in my home.

I have been married 41 years, lived 63 years  and had children living in my home for 25 of those years measuring from the birth of my first child until the last one left for college.

Through all of this, I realized that life, also has seasons.

A season to be a newlywed lover.

A season to have little children, babies and toddlers

A season for grade school

A season for teenagers

A season to be an empty nester

Then a season to live my own life,  pursue my interests, travel, develop friendships anew.

The season of Grandparenting is Fantastic!!!

 

I had a full time job, running a business thru all of those seasons so I know how tough it is to enjoy  the lack of sleep and the emotions of it all. But I feel, it is so important not to rush the current season into the next. I am one of those women who stop young Mothers in the grocery store and tell them to enjoy their young ones as time moves so fast.

Be encouraged. You will be young enough to run that marathon, (the older you are the better the chance that you will Boston Qualify) get that  second degree, (or first), start a business,  learn a new skill, take painting classes, to follow your dream… maybe not  this season.. maybe not next, but life  is long and short at the same time.

Enjoy this season, give it your all, make memories for both you and your families, take care of your health, ask for help. So next season you will be able to look back with joy and gratitude and laugh!!! You will look back and see you made a difference.

Make a bucket list, make a priority list, make plans. Live  purposefully in each season,  so when you look back at your life from my age,  you have created the life you dreamed. Your children, family and profession are what you desired.  Each season builds on the last one.  Where would a hot summer be without the rainy spring?

And… It will rain. Both expectedly and unexpectedly.  I have lived long enough to realize that the thunder and lightning  do not last forever  even when I can’t see the clouds parting at all, and it is hard. I have also lived long enough to see the glorious green landscape that rains brings..

This is your season of your life. Live it with courage and confidence knowing you were created for this time in history and that  you can have it all in due season.

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Obituary for a Chicken

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Henrietta the Chicken

Born probably about 4 years ago- Died August 26th 2012

Henrietta, at least I think your name was Henrietta. I can’t really remember what I named you all when we moved in last year. But I’m pretty sure you were my favorite and I would have clearly named my favorite chicken Henrietta.

She was a loving chicken. If a chicken can be loving. She was the most vocal, anyway, when the 4 of them accidentally got locked out of their coop on their weekly afternoons in the yard. She was always the most friendly of the ladies, and would walk up to a child sitting on the ground and peck at their sweet little hands sending some of them running to their mothers in tears.

Henrietta passed away at the hands of our bird dog, Roscoe. While staying the weekend, my Well Intentioned Mother In Law let Henrietta out  of her coop at the same time as Roscoe Dog was out in the yard. Roscoe, being a born bird dog and a well bread English Springer Spaniel took her life somehow. I don’t know, I wasn’t even home.

She was found by my Well Intentioned Mother In Law and laid to rest under a cardboard box in the yard until my husband got home to move her to her final resting place, the garbage can. Luckily for her, it had recently been trash day so the garbage can was empty and clean.

Henrietta gave us months worth of delicious farm fresh eggs in the year we have known her. At least I’m pretty sure she did. They all lay their eggs in the same nesting box ,but I’m sure she contributed. She was my favorite after all.

Our first Eggs & Hazel in her Spica
Summer 2011

Henrietta is survived by the other three chickens out in the coop, all whom have names that I can’t remember.

RIP Henrietta.

Words Matter. Learn the good ones.

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Drink, drank, drunk.

Swim, swam, swum,

There, their, they’re.

I love words and words matter so chose your words wisely.

Words can wound and words can heal.

Words can build you up or words can tear you down.

Words can make you cry or….

Word can make you laugh!

I love words. Little words, big words, and the way you can put words together.

words, words, beautiful words

I suppose I’ve always loved words because I’ve always been good at them. The same way someone with a penchant towards math, like Winnie from The Wonder Years, has always loved numbers. My abilities with numbers is laughable, in fact, it is one of our longest running family jokes. That and how Mom always burnt the last waffle on Sunday mornings.

I  regurarly find myself irritated with the people who have to use a cuss word to make every point they have. Seriously folks,  most of you are smart so get a bigger vocabulary!

All that said, I finally became a good parent• and bought my first flashcards for my children.

Big Words Flashcards

I’ve always felt myself to be Abnoramous. And my love of these Big Words flashcards may just prove that.  I find these big words to be Mellifluous and humorous, especially coming from a child’s mouth. Right now the most humrous words coming from my youngests mouths are the words Frog and Croc. To hear what they sound like when she says them ,take the r out of frog and add a ck and just take the r out of croc.

This morning as the neighbors rooter Ululated, I Preambled over to the coffee table and found my daughters preparing for their daily Shenanagins. With any luck, I will raise myself a few Loquacious children. They laughed at each others various Onomatopoeia, “Buzzz” “Bop” “Bang”. Not wanting to Lollygag, I Skedaddled over to the coffee pot for my morning coffee then returned to the Smorgasbord of big words splayed out in the living room. I laughed and basked in this strange joy words bring me.

Inspired by the words I was looking at I set about to write a piece about words. I’ve had to stop numorous times to take care of my Cantankerous little lady and stopping to Mollycoddle them, if only for a few minutes.

I don’t want to be a Nincompoop or a Rapscallion, or Persnickety for that matter, but I have now finished this post using all but six of the Splendiferous words in the Big Words Flashcards box.

To buy your own box and cause a Kerfuffle writing your own big words blog go to KnockKnockStuff.

Make that all but five.

Words matter. So learn the good ones!

• The term Good Parent should be read dripping with sarcasm. I find most flash cards HogWash and and am not at all Hoity-Toity about early education. Love your children, talk to them often, read to them regularly, play with them daily and they will learn what they need to learn by the time they go to Kindergarten.

A Letter to My Daughter by Tina Fey

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 Today I am yoga sore, my bank account is shopped out, my belly is sore from laughing, and my heart is filled with joy and memories and inside jokes from our girls only, no kids, no husbands, no sleeping, all female family reunion.
I am also spending the day wading through all of the  “Mommy’s Home Meltdowns”. So while I recover and download photos here is one of my favoritse to from the incomparable Tina Fey. Follow the funny lady on twitter here https://twitter.com/TinaFey123
                                                  A Letter to my Daughter by Tina Fey
First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.
May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the the Beauty.
When the Crystal Meth is offered,
May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half
And stick with Beer.
Guide her, protect her
When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the nearby subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock N’ Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.
Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance.
Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes
And not have to wear high heels.
What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.
May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.
Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen.
Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long,
For Childhood is short — a Tiger Flower blooming
Magenta for one day —
And Adulthood is long and Dry-Humping in Cars will wait.
O Lord, break the Internet forever,
That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers
And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.
And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister,
Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends,
For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.
And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord,
That I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 a.m., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.
“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck.
“My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental note to call me. And she will forget.
But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.
Amen.

We are Women, Hear us Laugh

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We are women, hear us laugh

We are family, hear us fight

We are sister, hear us whisper

We are sister in laws, see us unite

We are cousins, see us look alike

We are mothers, hear us pray

We are friends, see us hug

We are family, see us love

We are women, see us strong

Live, Laugh, Love and be Family.

Start traditions.

Keep traditions.

Laugh until you cry.

Cry until you laugh.

Text your best friend.

Honor your husband.

Call your mother.

Respect your Father.

Email your Mother-In -Law

Visit your Grandmother.

Let it be known, that we are Women, hear us laugh, see us strong and watch us rule the world one diaper change at a time.

Women are hard on Women by GrandMomopolyBeth

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We Women ….are hard on each other

I am always amazed at the relationships between women,  they all appear to be difficult. Mothers and daughters;  sisters;  girlfriends; sport teammates; classmates;  later on co- workers;  Mother-in-laws  and especially ex- girlfriends of our significant other.

What is it about us, as a gender? I often wonder..

Why are we so hard on each other?

Young women are particularly hard on each other. By Young, I mean anyone under the age of 90. My 89 year old Mother-in-law says  she is still learning and trying to figure it all out

I watch young  women  comparing their looks to the magazines, criticizing each other  in very subtle ways  like  ” Oh really, Ben is not crawling yet?  Joey was crawling  at a much earlier age.”  or  ”  I think your child is  must be hyperactive. Look how he can’t keep still!!!”  ( the answer to THAT one,  when I got it, is “That’s because he is a BOY, and you only have girls!!)

The Face book thing, drives me nuts… Everyone  has the most perfect marriage, the best behaved kids,  and their husband  is over the top romantic, swoops into the house at the end of the day with flowers,   praising you for all you have accomplished during the day  and wanting to take over the cooking and child care.

Believe me, I know the truth. I have been married for 41 years. To the same man!!

Just for the record, if you did post regularly on your wall about your fights, and his faults and how bad His mother is, I would unfriend you immediately!!!! Facebook is public and not an appropriate venue for such personal venting and husband bashing.

Back to my original question.. Why ARE we so hard on each other?

1. Because we are so hard on ourselves

2. Women are petty by nature

3.We all operate out of our own hurts/pain

4.We are very hard on ourselves for not being perfect

5.We are created to be emotional beings so feel very deeply

6.Most, by nature are people pleasers

7.Living up to our own expectations is nearly impossible, let alone living up to others’

8. Not to mention the control issues,  as each of us needs to be in control of so much of our lives

So, we criticize,(ourselves and each other) we cry easily, we yell at our kids when they embarrass us and remind us we are not perfect Mothers, we yell at our husbands when really we just want to be held, we pick at each other’s family. And we are tired.

How can I change this? One of my favorite saying is ” BE the change you want to see in the world.”

What is my role, I can only change myself  so how do I start?

Years ago, I realized that most people do not intentionally try to hurt my feelings, so I decided that on purpose  I would not allow my feeling to get hurt.(Better at that sometimes than others)

I can be more accepting of individuality,  more  generous with honest appreciation and praise, less critical of myself and others and CELEBRATE  each other.              photo.JPG

In the celebration vein… This weekend the First Annual Celebration of the Women in our family will be taking place. My fabulous Daughter in law and Daughter have helped makes plans, that I don’t even know about. The Evite  says, ” A weekend for women only, no kids, lots of laughing, game playing, little sleeping, wine drinking, river walking, movie watching, food eating, team competing  Olympics.The sleep deprived  generation vs  the  rested and mostly retired!”

Live, Laugh, Love and be Family

Celebrating the beautiful individual woman each has been created to be!!!

May we each realize  how perfect and good we really are.

.

The change begins with me.

GrandMomopoly Beth

Never ONLY a Mother

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I started running again and it made me feel empowered.

Running made me start writing again, and it made me feel creative.

Writing made me start singing again, and it made me feel happy.

For all of the boundless blessings motherhood brings, its tendency for being all consuming can leave a lady feeling surprisingly empty, lonely and bored. For the record, I wouldn’t give up motherhood for anything in this world nor would I give up my opportunity to stay home and raise them for anything in the world.  Daily, I am grateful for both.

Growing up I always wanted to be a mother. This is my dream job, and within all jobs there are some things that suck sometimes. For me its been the bordom. I find myself missing my old mind, I used to think about things and solve problems when I was in the career world. Now I think about diapers and dinners, tantrums and time outs, laundry and more laundry. When my husband gets home from work I feel like I have nothing interesting to talk about, because how many times can I tell him  that I went to Story Time and the grocery store.

So I started reading.  Really reading, a lot of reading. Reading made me feel engaged in something outside of my own world and hinted that I could think again. That I could think while still working here, at my dream job, filled with diapers and those precious dimples.

Reading reminded me of who I used to be and I used to run. So I started running again, and let me tell anyone out there who has not yet had a baby, the books that say you can start running again at 8 weeks postpartum are misleading! Some women can, this woman could not. My body felt like it was going to fall apart for months after giving birth to my second child and I couldn’t start really running or training until after she turned one.

Turns out, I could still run. I could still run far and I could still run fast. Running made me feel empowered and confident and competitive and that was fun.

Running reminded me that I am still me. Still Sarah, and Sarah had always loved to write. So I started to write again and that writing made me feel creative.

Writing for me is just what ‘they’ say it is, not as much of a want as it is a need. A need to write the sentences and the paragraphs that fill your head, regardless of  whether or not anyone actually reads them.

Feeling empowered and creative, I found myself singing in the shower. I come from a musical family where music and singing have been a part of my life since its conception. One thing I know about myself, is that when I find myself singing I’m in a good place.  I laughed out loud and thought to myself running made me feel empowered, writing made me feel creative and singing made me feel happy.

In my attempt to be the best mother I can be, to hold onto my children with all of my might I let go of too much of myself.  I got bored and lonely amidst the joy of living out my dream of being a stay at home mom.

The moral of my story is this. If you want to be a mother become one and soak up every ounce of your children. Enjoy their unique little selves to the umteenth degree. And when it sucks and you are exhausted and bored remember that thats ok . Feel free to remember that Motherhood is not all that you are. You are still everything that you were before plus everything you are as a mother. Now you are also a mother, never only a mother.

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