Champagne disaster

For working 10 events in 10 days, including weekends, I received a fat paycheck, a blanket, flowers AND a bottle of expensive French champagne.

I told my mom about the champagne and said, “We will drink it together for Valentine’s Day.”

She agreed.

Valentine’s Day rolls around and at 5 pm I remembered the champagne, sitting in a gift bag on the floor of my room.

“Mom, I forgot to chill the champagne,” I lamented.

“We’ll put it in the freezer.  It’ll be fine,” she told me.

“But I don’t want to drink it if it’s not properly chilled,” I continued.

“It’ll be fine,” she said.

Whatever.

An hour and a half later, we’re sitting down to eat and I take the champagne out of the freezer.

It still feels like it’s at room temperature.

I hand it to her and complain about the temperature.

She ASSURES me it’s fine.

So I open it.

BIG MISTAKE!

The champagne was not chilled.

Wah!

But WTF, I’m not going to waste good French champagne, so I pour a glass and start drinking it.

My mom takes her champagne flute, fills it 75% full with low-sugar cranberry juice, then tops it off with champagne.

I just stayed quiet.

But inside I was LAUGHING!

Only my mother would pollute expensive French champagne with low calorie fruit juice!

Private Duncan

My son messaged me via SnapChat on Sunday.

It was the first time I’d seen him since he left on January 2nd for boot camp in Missouri.

He has NO IDEA how much I miss him.

The only thing that comforts me is that he really seems to be enjoying himself.

I mean sure, he complains when he has to work out in -15 degree weather.  And when he’s chosen to clean up the range (that must mean policing all the brass).

But he’s SUPER EXCITED that he’s qualified as a sharp shooter.

And he seems to like his bunk mates, all of whom have been given wild nicknames like Shrek and Measles.

So without further adieu, I present to you my son, Private Duncan:

I love this kid to pieces, let me tell you.

Now that he’s thinking of joining the Army full-time, I’m more than a little nervous that he’ll be in harms way and that I won’t see him as much as I want to.

If only our kids knew how much we worry about their futures.

But the kid is happy.

And that’s what really matters.

I miss him though.

Heaven

A small detail you may not know about me:

I live with my blind father.

He lost his eyesight maybe 10 years ago and requires a lot of help and assistance – for meals, activities, house chores, etc.

Needless to say, my mom bears the brunt of most of the work, but I help out where I can.

But it’s A LOT of work.

So last weekend, my sister and I flew my mom to Reno (where my sister lives) for a weekend away.

We were also celebrating my mom’s 75th birthday!

We slept in.  Helped with setting up some furniture for my son (who will be attending UNR in the fall and living with my sister), had an awesome meal at a lovely restaurant, and just generally relaxed.

It was heaven!

One thing we did, which we LOVE to do, was paint pottery.

I still have pottery I made in grade school during Mr. Fairman’s art class – a mug with a big bulbous nose which holds pens for me.

Here are the pieces we painted:

Honestly, I had a wonderful time.

And considering that I left Reno to host 10 events in 10 days at work, I needed the R&R.

I had a great time with my mom and my sister.

I think too often I take their presence in my life for granted and it was nice to slow down a bit and focus on them for a weekend.

Retro Cool

The other day, my son (the one who barely speaks to me) came down the steps, looked me straight in the eye and said, ‘I want to learn to knit.”

Well.

First of all, I’m not surprised.

He’s a crafty kid and good with his hands – of course he’d be interested in something like knitting.

Secondly, I had an A HA parenting moment.

I can knit!

Not well, mind you.

But I’ve made a few beanies in my life and they were decent enough to give away.

At least, I hope.

So I taught my son how to knit.

Then. . . my nephew comes home and tells me he’s learning the piano.

And my mom says, ‘Auntie Michelle can play piano.  Michelle, show him ‘Heart and Soul’.”

Now, you can’t really teach an 8-year old how to play ‘Heart and Soul’ from memory.

There’s syncopation. Rhythm. Timing.

I gave up after two tries.

But, you know when you were younger and your parents were forcing you to play piano and you wondered when, in your future life, were you going to need this skill, WELL I’M HERE TO TELL YOU. . .

Now!

Never knew I’d need to know piano and knitting to bond with my lovely family, but I’LL TAKE IT!

I am retro cool!

Girls Weekend

My mom turned 75 at the beginning of January.

We had a party, complete with presents, cake, and candles.

But my sister and I wanted to do something more.

We want to spend time with her.

Create memories.

Give her a break from working for our (blind) father, who can be a handful most of the time.

So we bought her a plane ticket to Reno and she will be flying with me to visit my sister there.

Just a Girls Weekend.

No boys.

There are absolutely no plans.

Sleep in late.

Watch chick flicks.

Eat nice meals.

That’s about it.

With all the heath issues my mom has got going on, I’m happy to have some time to spend with her making memories.

Laughing.

Sipping wine.

It’s so easy to let time slip by and forget what’s important in this world.

My mom and my sister.

LOVE!

One happy momma

I GOT A LETTER FROM DUNCAN!

Yes I did!

In it, he admitted that the first two days were hard – very little sleep and lots of travel and work.

Hence the crap photo of him looking all forlorn and unhappy.

That did not sit well with me.

I’ve been wondering how he’s doing and I’m happy to report he’s doing okay.

He’s made friends and it sounds like he’s having fun, even if he is working hard every day.

This from a kid who is used to sleeping until 2 pm. . .

I’ve been advised that the “currency” that is used in boot camp is mint lozenges.

They’re the only thing allowed by leadership.

So guess what I did?

I went out and bought like a BILLION mint lozenges for Duncan.

The problem is, I can’t send them to him yet.

I STILL don’t have an address for the shipment.

But when he gives it to me, for sure I will be packing and sending him a care package with everything he could possible DREAM of needing at Boot Camp – shampoo, body wash, mint lozenges, candy bars, and family pictures.

Speaking of pictures, I’m DYING to see what he looks like now with his head shaved.

And in uniform.

You know us ladies love a man in uniform.

Relief

My son texted me from Arizona, midway on his trip to Missouri.

He looked ABSOLUTELY MISERABLE and as a mother, I wanted to get on a plane and make it all better for him.

Of course, there was nothing I could do.

Then, a few text messages.

One thing was clear, he was NOT HAPPY.

He was EXHAUSTED and BORED, waiting in the airport for his connecting flight to Missouri.

I began to worry about how he would handle boot camp, something clearly challenging for even the most mature of candidates.

Would he get enough sleep?

Food?

Camaraderie?

Would he physically excel or would it prove to be too challenging?

These are the thoughts that raced through my mind.

And not being able to hear from him?

Well, that made it all WORSE and I’m not going to lie.

I had trouble sleeping.

Then yesterday, a phone call from him.

And one that didn’t start with him saying to me, “GET ME OUT OF HERE!”

So I’ve relaxed, a little.

It’s not exactly what this momma bear needs to be happy again, but it provided a little needed relief.

Heaven help military families.

I’m just realizing now how hard it can be.

Glorious Holidays

I had eighteen days off over the holidays.

You may wonder, what does a person do with almost three whole weeks off?

Well, the answer is I SLEPT.

I slept A LOT.

I also visited friends during the holidays.

I played Cards Against Humanity and I laughed until I need my pants (but just a little).

What can I say, I’ve given birth three times and my sphincter just isn’t what it used to be.

Sigh.

I also spent a lot of time watching NCIS.

I’m up to season 8 in a 16 season TV series.

Sadly, I didn’t get to see The Swede.

But this is the way things go when you live 5,327 miles apart.

I did EXACTLY what I said and I binge watched TV while quilting.

And guess what?

I made THIS!

I spent some good quality time with my boys before I said goodbye to my oldest son as he left for Army boot camp in Missouri.

My youngest son got his driver’s license.

I sat naked in a hot tub and soaked under the stars.

Sure, I was alone but oh, well.

That’s someone else’s loss 😉

It was a GLORIOUS holiday and one I will treasure forever.

Sad Day

On January 2, my eldest son Duncan left for the Army National Guard.

I can tell you this, I was prepared to say bon voyage to my son.

It’s part of him growing up and becoming a man.

What I was unprepared for was the silence.

I don’t get to hear from him every day.

His life is changing in leaps and bounds and I’m not there for it.

And that makes me sad.

The good news is, he has a pal with him at boot camp:

So at least he has some support for what he’s going through.

Still, I miss my son and I really wish I could be a part of the changes he’s going through right now.

I took a picture of him optimistically headed for the bus, ready to commit to serving his country:

There’s no denying it.

I am ONE SAD MOMMA.