When The Girls Go South

I’ve been spending time playing with paint, paper and scissors which will play hell with my upcoming deadline. Because Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest aren’t big enough Time Sucks in my life.

So before I throw myself into a Writing on Deadline Frenzy, here’s what I’ve been working on. It was inspired by a column about the not-so-subtle body changes that occur for women at midlife.

It’s really starting to piss me off.

Like the day you no longer need Victoria’s Sexy Secret Embrace Bra. Because when the girls start their trek to your personal southern hemisphere, you’ll need Victoria’s new Mid-Life Bra, sporting secret dual hydraulic jacks. And sadly, you’ll never be able to pull off that Madonna bra again.

Coming Clean

ratherroar than clean 001 copy

As my mother and I watched TV one night in the early 70s, I never suspected that the Flip Wilson Show would change my life. As we tuned in and adjusted the foil-covered rabbit ears, the fuzzy image on screen became clear. It was Helen Reddy belting out I Am Woman, the anthem that encouraged a newly empowered generation of females to roar. My mother watched, transfixed. When Helen stopped singing, my mother stood up and let out a barbaric yawp of her own. “I’m going to college,” she announced and left the room presumably to burn a bra before matriculating.

Watching mom navigate being a full-time student while also being a full-time parent and wife, I learned a lot of things. I learned how to entertain myself when she dragged me to her classes because the babysitter bailed. I learned that in the name of time management you have to set priorities. Given all she had to do, it’s no surprise that teaching me how to clean was never very high on mom’s to-do list. Thus began my blissful oblivion to dirt. [Read more…]

Mommy Needs A Drink – Part Deux

My Friday?  Surgery to fix Older Boy’s broken nose.  Check.  Doctor visit to examine Younger Boy’s ankle in cast – referral to orthopedic surgeon. Check.  The Husband, who also blew out a calf muscle last week playing basketball with Younger Boy, down for the count with stomach flu. Check.

Mommy needs a drink.

Only I am warped enough to make my bruised, bandaged and possibly  hurling family sit down and pose for what might become our Christmas photo.  And looky, Mommy found a drink!

Mommy’s day is getting better.

this is wrong on so many levels

Ain’t That The Truth

Fotoshop by Adobé from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.

This is a brilliant video by Jesse Rosten. Love, love, love it.

A new look, a new home

A Real Mother has a new home.  Stay tuned for big changes.

It’s Here!

Sometimes you just get Huck Finned into doing something.  And in this case, I’m glad I did.  Because really, who gets to laugh for two solid months at their job?

Huck, I mean my boss and General Manager of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Nick Ehli, asked if I was interested in working on a project compiling police reports for a book along with reporter Jodi Hausen.  “It’ll be fun,” he assured me.

And you know what? It was. [Read more…]

A New Name

Entering a new decade next week calls for big changes. So I’ll start with my poor, ignored blog.  Mom, Interrupted is now A Real Mother.

I know I’m A Real Mother.  I suspect there are a lot more out there.

Now maybe for a new look?

Sock it to Me

With the kids finally back to school, the pressing question during the morning rush is “Mom, where are my socks?” One of my house rules is – if you don’t put it in the laundry basket, it doesn’t get washed. I wash your dirty clothes, I’m not going to look for them too.  I bought plenty of socks before school started.  So I have to admit, I got a little puzzled over the mysterious disappearance of socks on a regular basis.  At first I blamed the washer for eating them.  But upon closer inspection, I have discovered where the blame truly lies. In support of my theory, I present Mom’s Exhibit A – a sockumentary, if you will.
no great surprise here
I suppose it’s thoughtful, really. I don’t have to bend over to pick them up.
I have to admit, I’m curious.
And then, I hit the motherlode: Younger Boy, you are TOTALLY busted.

It’s Golden Baby!

The big day in 1960

Some events are so big, so noteworthy that they deserve not only a blog post but a column to commemorate the occasion. I am speaking, of course, of the major milestone reached by my parents this month – 50 years of marriage.

So here’s the column I wrote in honor of their Golden Anniversary:

It’s June and that means brides everywhere are recovering from herniated discs from schlepping around bridal magazines that have the same gross weight as a Ford Fusion. They offer advice on every facet of your special day, even if it requires selling a kidney or two and channeling your inner-bridezilla to get it. While they do guide you through every detail to design the perfect setting for exchanging your I Dos, these publications noticeably lack information on that Happily Ever After part, which is infinitely more challenging than deciding between Amazon Roses or Calla Lilies.

I’m curious about what it takes to make it to that Till Death Do Us Part finish line. After marking twenty-two years of wedded bliss this month, I can offer this pearl of matrimonial wisdom: moving up the death part is not a good option even though some nights at 3 a.m. I’ve entertained the thought. While it’s true that 99.9% of the time, The Husband is an all-round great guy and my true soulmate. But when he snores, I want to kill him.

So for guidance I looked to my very own parents who will reach a major milestone this week – 50 years of marriage. But since less than 5% of couples will reach this landmark, I thought my folks might be the best source of information on the subject.

I decided to take this on as a little research project, to observe just what it takes to be able to spend a half-century together. Would the answer be eHarmony-like personality traits, shared interests or a sense of humor? Would it boil down to never forgetting a birthday or anniversary? Was it the liberal use of those two little words, “I’m sorry,” that are often so very hard to say?

On their most recent visit; I observed my parents with the objective detachment of a laboratory scientist. I watched how they interacted. I listened to their conversations. In one week of surreptitious surveillance, I determined the key to their lifetime together could indeed be boiled down to two words: hearing loss.

My dad’s been partially deaf since his Army days. Although he’s always had hearing aids, he found them annoying and turned them off most of the time. And now, as the parent of a teenager, I completely understand why Dad abandoned them altogether when I entered adolescence. So in fifty years, he’s been blissfully unaware of most of what Mom has ever said.

But now that Mom is a little hard of hearing too, their exchanges have gone to a bizarre new level. And it’s pretty clear to even the most casual observer that the conversations they think they are having are substantially more interesting than the ones that are taking place in reality.

They discussed food and sports: Mom: Can you believe that call by those referees? Dad: Yes, I’d love some cheese. They spoke of movies and the drive home. Dad: What did you think of that documentary on the Alamo? Mom: You’re right, that traffic was really stop-and-go. And then I heard the conversation that really put everything into perspective for me: Dad (laughing): What would you think if I got a tattoo? Mom (getting up to give him a peck on the cheek): Oh honey, I love you too.

Which, of course, really says it all.

Mom and Dad have helped me understand their secret to marital longevity. And thanks to them, I think I’ve discovered the two words that will help me make it to the fifty year mark with The Husband: ear plugs.

*On my recent visit home, Mom shared yet another one of their bizarre conversations with me. My dad said, “I can’t believe Denise will be 50 this year.” Mom apparently yelled, arguably so he could hear her, “It wasn’t a shotgun wedding, Ronnie!” (and I didn’t observe any firearms – or baby bump for that matter – in the wedding pictures). And Mom is correct, I’ll be 49.

Under Construction

I am learning that reconstructing your computer life after a serious crash is a lot more work than I imagined.

Moral of the story, kids, back up your computer.  Really.

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