Muscle Groups

Oh, hello there, friend.  How have you been?

So busy.

How are you doing?

So tired.

What’s new with you?

Same old, same old.


I often feel like I’m living the life of a celebrity.  A jet-setting, paparazzi-hounded, silver-spoon-in-my-mouth rock star who spends my days doing exotic and exciting things, all while getting pampered and reminded how vital I am to society on the whole.

Oh wait.  Back that up and reverse it.  I’m so bored and tired that I got confused.  I am a stay at home mom.  None of those things applies.  I need a nap.  And a maid.  And some mental stimulation.

I would like to thank the Academy, my fans, and especially my family.  They make me feel important every single day.

I would like to thank the Academy and my fans, but mostly I want to thank my family for making me feel special and important every single day.

The 2013-2014 school year is about to cross the finish line and everybody is throwing stuff at the velcro wall in hopes that something – anything – will stick.  Let’s have a party!  Let’s have a Field Day!  Let’s have a concert, a recital, and double-elimination playoffs!  And please bring four cans of pineapple juice, two tablecloths, a photo of your child holding a sign that says something nice about his teacher, a pair of black Adidas soccer socks, a Bat Mitzvah card, a couple of boy birthday gifts, and a white dress.  And lots and lots of checks.

Meanwhile… my body is rebelling against me.  It grew too many babies from scratch and I am now falling apart so I was secretly convinced that I was dying from my core.  I finally broke down and went to the doctor.  He said he can rebuild me, so there is hope.  I was very excited to think he meant I will be like the Bionic Woman, but there may have been some kind of doctor/patient disconnect.  I guess we’ll see.

And to top it all off, I haven’t even been able grip anything with my hands this past week, let alone type, because I spent three hours last Wednesday power washing my driveway with an unloved machine I borrowed from my brother-in-law, Chuck (Sister B’s husband).  It had a broken wheel hub when I picked it up, and by the time I finally got it working (with the help of my friendly and helpful neighborhood stay-at-home-dad), it had two.  It was bouncing around so much that all of the hoses eventually busted off and sprayed wildly around my yard.  I was covered in mud and dirt and grit and whatever it was I was cleaning off the concrete.  It was like actively pumping gas all morning.  The job wasn’t done but at least I had cleaned the Junior/ Senior Wars “artwork” off of my driveway.  My fine motor skills were collateral damage for almost a week.

In summary, I seem to have lost my mind, my core, and my texting abilities/ pincer grip.  Being the supportive husband that he is, Sheepdog said that he knows a hand exercise to help me work on the latter.  My doctor is fixing my body, so I guess that just leaves my sanity.  And I think that’s probably overrated anyway.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…




This is Not a Post About Resolutions

Well, with the “winter break” (Ha!  Raise your hand if you actually feel any kind of post-vacation bliss right about now.  Nobody?  Me neither.  How about if I ask who feels “winter broken?”  Yep… me too.) drawing to a close, things are starting to get back to “normal” around here.

I fully acknowledge the overuse of quotation marks in that opening statement.  Cut me some slack as I ease back into this writing thing.

Sheepdog is spending more time at the office, the teenagers are slowly backing off from sleeping during business hours more than nighttime ones, and the littles are walking around like zombies, muttering “I’m hungry” and “I’m sooooooo bored” even after they have eaten us out of house and home and played their way through every single clamshell case and blister package that found its way under our Christmas tree.

What?  Those were legitimate quotes.  Compulsory marks do not count.

So, after just ONE MORE DAY of winter break, Sheepdog will go to work and the kids will go to school and I will…  I will…


What will I do?  What will I do?  What will I do?

What will I do?

There are no more decorations to put up or take down.  There are no more presents to buy or wrap or deliver (well, Kid A does have her 18th birthday coming up in a few days, but how do you even begin to wrap a tattoo?).  There are no more goodies to make or bake or eat.  There are no more envelopes to address and cards to mail, no more trips to pack for (or unpack from), no more holiday parties to plan or attend.  It’s like November and December are 100-mile-an-hour months in a BMW hard-top convertible (sometimes with the top down…BRRRR, Green Bay!) – fun but fast.  Then in January you can’t go over 50 m.p.h. because you are driving around in one of those exclusively electric cars, like a Nissan Leaf.

Seriously, what will I do?


Fortunately, there is always something to do around here.  Mostly, there are chores… shopping for, preparing, and cleaning up after meals, laundry, cleaning out closets and the garage to make room for our holiday haul.  Then there’s the driving… lots and lots and lots of driving.  And sometimes I have to take care of sick kids.  And following the hustle and bustle of November and December, I now have to add “pay many, many bills,” “exercise,” and then “exercise some more because you sure didn’t ever say ‘no’ to the shrimp fondue or the wine, dummy” to my To-Do ASAP list.

All legitimate quotes, dammit.

So, I have all of the boring, repetitive stuff, but I also have some fun stuff coming up too.  I plan on being really committed to my attempts at writing a book this year.  I started in November during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), which challenges people to write over 50,000 words during the month, using inspirational quotes and emails and a really unrealistic timeline.  I wrote a chapter (a good one!) during the first few days, but nobody showed up at my front door to rough me up or chase me if I didn’t keep it up, so then I did the other things first that were higher on my priority list.  Seriously, who has time to flesh out the back story of a secondary, yet pivotal, character while they are simultaneously basting a turkey and making cranberry sauce from actual cranberries and agave nectar for 30 people?

"Ain't nobody got time for that." - Sweet Brown

“Ain’t nobody got time for that.” – Sweet Brown

But I do have time to continue to keep up this blog and occasionally write chapters of a book that has been knocking around in my head for years.  Especially during January.

And then there is my workout routine, which over the years has been spotty at best, and non-existent if I’m being realistic.  I have two workout speeds… maniacal and eating raw cookie batter when nobody is watching.  Acknowledging that unhealthy discrepancy, and the fact that I have been blessed with an extremely responsive overall body type, I have decided that 2014 is going to be the year for me to stop making excuses and screwing around and I am going to get healthy.  Even if nobody chases me.

When I go to Atlanta Blood Services to donate platelets, my body can produce three bags at one time.  Every time.  No kidding.  And that is apparently not a normal thing.  I am freakishly strong.  I once moved a couch and a love seat from the living room on the main floor down to the playroom in the basement all by myself.  And then I carried two ginormous leather chairs up the stairs.  I grew five healthy babies from scratch in this body (with a little starter help from Sheepdog, of course), and helped them grow even stronger and healthier by breastfeeding them.  And a year after I had Kid E, I did P90X and I was legitimately rocking a bikini on the beach.  I just got lazy and let things slide after that.  And that’s just wasteful.

Well, no more.  No more sliding, no more excuses, no more cookie batter.  Santa brought me P90X3 and I’m going to go push play.  Right after I finish this post and fold the laundry.

I’m just keeping it “real,” folks.

OK, I’m done with the quotation marks now.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

Who’s The Boss?

I feel like I just gave birth.  I am disoriented and exhausted and a little bit sweaty, but I am on a crazy adrenaline high at the same time.  I haven’t slept in days.  I am excited and scared, confident and unsure.

But it is all for good reason… I had an actual writing deadline.  Yep.  Someone asked me to contribute to a local magazine and I just submitted my first article.

First, allow me point out a few things.  From the time I was fourteen and I got my first paying gig at Mister Donut (yes, I woke up at 4:30 a.m. for the 5 o’clock shift and I chanted “It’s time to make the doughnuts” as I put on my uniform and rode my 3-speed to work in the dark) until May 18, 2001, (the day that Kid C was born and the same day that I retired from my last job as a law office manager), I had legitimate bosses who told me what to do, reviewed and oversaw my productivity, and held me generally accountable in exchange for a paycheck.  Since that day more than ten years ago, I have been my own boss.  And while that means I bring home no bacon, it also means that I can pretty much do whatever I want, whenever I want to do it.

Now I could go off on the tangent about stay-at-home moms and the work it takes to run a household and raise a family and the shopping and cooking and cleaning and laundry and child care and shuttling kids around and how much you would have to pay if you hired someone for each of those jobs.  I read somewhere once that the figure was more than $500,000 a year when you calculate it like that.  I mean no disrespect to my fellow stay-at-home moms, but that’s whacked.  It’s definitely some fuzzy math and does not account for the fact that some days I could still be in my pajamas at 3:38 in the afternoon, but as long as I got the kids off the bus and I finally folded the load of whites that has been sitting in the dryer for days and I whipped up something that maybe resembles “dinner,” I did my work for the day.  Now, I don’t do it like that every day.  My point is that it is really nice to be able to slack off every once in a while and not have The Man looking over my shoulder all the time.  And Sheepdog knows better than to complain when I occasionally phone it in.

So, back to the writing thing.  I was asked to write something for a publication that goes out to wealthier neighborhoods in the Atlanta suburbs six times a year.  They don’t have a budget to pay me, but they can give my blog a shout out.  I was/ am extremely excited about it.  After a few e-mails back and forth I learned that I had a week to put together my first article.  It was a little fast, but I was convinced it would be no problem.  Man, was I wrong.

It just sits there blank, taunting me.

I have been writing this blog since March and I enjoy it very much.  In the beginning I forced myself to write every weekday because I had a compulsion to do so.  When the family schedule revved up I chose to write less often, even though I always had ideas whirling around in my head.  I had stories coming out of me that would almost write themselves.  I didn’t always have the spare time to write, but if I didn’t post it was no big deal.  This magazine thing is different.  I have actual deadlines.  For the blog I always had something to write about.  For the article I could think of nothing.  I must have started more than ten different stories and wasn’t happy with any of them.

Plus, I get an editor.  Somebody who is telling me to write in complete sentences, use proper grammar and spell check.  Someone who is not only going to read my writing, but review it and then critique it.  A “boss,” if you will.  No, I’m not handling it well at all.

What if I am no good at it?  What if I can’t find my voice?  What if people don’t like me or my writing?  Sheepdog keeps laughing at me.  He says it is good for me as a writer to have feedback (so true) and good for me as a person to be held accountable (also true).  He reminded me that it would take time to make the adjustments but I would probably figure it all out and have conquered my fears and uncertainty by the third article, maybe sooner.

On the day of the deadline I sat down at my computer and I cleared my head (as much as I can clear my head when all of the kids are home from school for a teacher workday) and opened my blog software program.  And the funny thing was that I just started to type, and it felt good.

Now I am still waiting for the editor to get back to me with notes and I’m sure I’ll struggle with getting back on the horse of accepting constructive criticism, but I look forward to learning and growing and listening to what my new boss has to say about my work.

But I’ll tell you right now – Sheepdog and the kids had better not complain about what I’m serving for dinner tonight.  I don’t get paid enough for that.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…