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Summer Conversations With a Teenage Boy

7 Aug

I don’t mean to be a bother

it’s just that I think

I saw something move under your bed.

It might have been a sock monster,

Springing sui generis perhaps.

More likely the result of sympatric speciation

between the socks and mold spores,

now feeding on sunflower shells dropped down the crack

between your mattress and the wall.

I know. You didn’t notice, being very busy and all.

I’m going… oh, but if I may bring up

the issue of the drinking glasses?

On precursory glance I estimate seeing perhaps a half-dozen of them,

and not to be alarmist, but one appears to be growing a fur coat

or a new strain of penicillin, which would be quite a find.

I hate to hinder science.

Nonetheless, I would prefer the glasses be placed in the dishwasher.

Sanitized for our protection.

Again, I know you’re  extremely busy.

Get to it when you can.

Lastly, I truly rue to mention,

but your closet door seems to be bowing outward

as if it were a womb for some alien life form trying to claw out

I don’t want to speculate recklessly,

but it could have something to do with the fact

that you last did laundry sometime in June

if my admittedly rough calculations are correct.

Perhaps you could get on that eventually.

No rush at all, but apropos of nothing..

I’ve changed the wi-fi password.

You may have it when your room is clean.

Holiday KISSes

26 Dec

Scene: lunch with my parents, the day after Christmas.

My Dad: Hey, I got a new turntable the other day so I could play some of my old albums, and I found one of your KISS records.

Me: Haha! (Joking) Was it hidden inside one of your Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass albums so mom wouldn’t find it and throw it out when she read the KISS stood for “Knights in Satan’s Service?”

My Dad: Well, actually…


Moral of this story? It may take 30 years, but you really never pull one over on your parents. I am so grounded.

The State Park Offering Free Fish Pedicures

12 Jun

There’s been a lot of buzz about “fish pedicures” recently, the trendy beauty practice where you stick your feet in a tub of tiny carp and let them nibble off your old, dead skin. I know, right? It sounds super fun for you AND the fish. Unfortunately, they’re banned in Texas.

Unless, that is, you go to Pedernales Falls State Park. Then, you can get one for free.

Just plop yourself down on a rock down by the swimming hole, stick your feet in, and wait for the fish.

See? Fish pedicure. Although, my daughter was pretty much a weenie about it.

Ok, maybe you have to do your own polish.

But a trip to Pedernales Falls State Park also offers excellent fitness options.

Like stair-climbing…

And stair climbing.

And did I mention stair-climbing?

After the exciting fish pedicure and workout, you can also enjoy the natural beauty of the park. The water isn’t running high, right now, but the falls themselves are still pretty, and there’s plenty of opportunities for swimming and floating. On our summer checklist of “visit as many state parks as we can, this one gets a “visit again” rating — although we will wait until it’s not 100 degrees in the shade because everything work seeing is down at least 5 flights of stairs.

Rainbow Bright

9 Sep

My lovely girl turns 14 this weekend.

Sunday. September 11.

She turned 4 the day terrorists attacked our country, and every year since her celebrations have been under the cloud of the horrible events of that day.

When she started school, the morning routine was for every birthday child to be called to the principal’s office and get a special birthday pencil. Except on September 11, when opted for a moment of silence instead.

Certainly these remembrances are important and appropriate.  But it still kind of sucks to be a kindergartener waiting for your big birthday pencil moment that never comes.

So this weekend, as the 10-year tributes blanket the country, we are headed out to the coast to camp on the beach. We’ll hunt shells instead of watch TV, build sand castles instead of seeing towers fall. It’s not that we don’t care, but we will honor those lost by seeking peace and joy.

But before we head out, we are eating some birthday cake, and celebrating the girl who brings color and joy to our lives every single day.  Even on September 11.


My rainbow cake rendition is a little lopsided the leaning tower of Cake-za. But the surprise when she cut into it was awesome. I hope this weekend, you and yours are also surprised by rainbows in the middle of storms

 If you want to make the cake, you can see a way better version of it here at Whisk Kid

Fish Tales

18 Jul

Ever since he joined our family a couple of years ago, my son has been talking about fishing.

He knows a lot about fishing. He loves fishing. He’s been fishing a ton of times.

We are so not a fishing family. I love the outdoors, but  we are a look for shells, go for a hike, watch birds, look for wildlife and try to take pictures kind of family.

But this summer, I told the kids I would take them camping. And if my son the professional angler wanted to renew his love of fishing, he could get a pole and give it a try.

So, we went pole shopping. He grabbed one off the rack, sparkly and red and impressive.

“I need this one!”

It was $400. And didn’t even have a reel on it.

“Um, dude, this says it’s for marlin, shark and tuna.”

“That’s what I want to catch! Epic!”

Since we were in fact, going to a freshwater lake where he could fish off a pier, I explained the chances of catching sharks were fairly low. We settled on a rod and reel combo at about a tenth of the price of his dream rod. This one was sparkly blue, and the master angler was fine with it.

I, however, was having some doubts about his alleged fishing knowledge.

These doubts were compounded when we got to the lake.

The kid who “knew a lot about fishing” could not get the string out of the reel or a hook on the string. And had long since tossed his instruction manual.

Fortunately, a friendly grandpa was around to give us a fishing 101 clinic. He showed my son how to tie on a hook, how to work the reel, where to put on his bobber and weights.

Then, it was time for the worms. The professional angler opened the box.

“Uh, mom? Can you put them on my hook?”


“They’re too wiggly.”

Sometimes, when you’re a mom, you do things you never expected to do.

Like impaling giant worms onto a fishing hook. By the way, you can’t just get them on there once. You have to thread them on in a little worm ball of torture. I whispered silent apologies and tried to act like this was something I dealt with every day.

The master fisherman dropped the hook into the water with great excitement. And brought it up to check on it with great excitement. And repeated this process about a dozen times until I said “JUST LEAVE IT THERE!”

Then… a tug.

All of 3 inches long, but a fish! On his line!

“My first fish!” he  announced.

Great celebration ensued until it was time to let it go. The great fisherman was not interested in touching the fish to get it off the hook.

So, again, I pretended this was something I did every day. Grabbed the wriggling fish, got the hook out, slid it back into the lake. Tried not to think about the worm guts and fish blood on my hands.

“I love fishing,” announced my son. “Can you get another worm on there?”

When Pigs Fly

12 Feb

She balances delicately, one foot not quite touching the ground, ready for takeoff.

Mother-daughter alchemy has spun balloons, toilet paper rolls, plaster strips and the end of a Sonic cup into something altogether unworldy.

A flying pig.

Tomorrow, we shall paint her purple with silver sparkly wings.

Thirteen is not easy. Not for you, not for me. Rough waters bubbling with independence and  new worries and hormones, oh my Lord, the hormones.

But perhaps, in the midst of everything, you will remember that this Saturday night, we giggled and told stories, and carefully wrapped plaster straps around balloons.

And together, created something impossibly wonderful.

The Poo Promenade

5 Feb

A dance inspired by the joys of pet ownership. Practiced since pioneer times.

Saddle up, ye kiddies and gather ’round,

For the most exciting dance in town.

All winter long, the dogs have gone,

Pooping, pooping all day long.

In the backyard cold and brown,

Leaving landmines on the ground.

Yee haw!

So grab two bags from H.E.B.

And everybody follow me.

Dip to the right, pick one up!

Dip to the left, pick one up.

Fresh ones we call Stanley Steamers,

Dried  ones look like squirrel femurs.

Dip to the left, dip to the right.

Bag those poops ’til the ground’s in sight.

Yee haw!

I know you think this is a bore,

But dadgum it, I do all the chores.

Now it’s your time to mine some poo,

Come on and sing, and mind your shoes.

Dip to the left, pick one up.

Dip to the right, pick one up.

At least a Jack Russell is the source.

It’d be much worse if we had a horse.

Yee haw!

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