Ashes to Ashes

Ashes to ashes and pumpkins to mush,

smashing them in makes a garden so lush.

Wait until spring and I’ll show you a thing

that grew from the dirt where a jack-o was hurt.

Shoveled and scattered and otherwise battered,

ashes to ashes and pumpkins to mush.

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Happy November!


Sunday Show

No written post this morning.

Just the
Day Twenty-Eight 2010 Pumpkin Demise
and a few other pix for you until later or tomorrow.

Have a great Sunday!

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Holiday Wait

The little boy broke more stuff today.

I snapped at him.

I cried some more.


Hate myself for not just letting it roll off my back.

He’s really excited about Christmas.  He has been bouncing off the walls all day.  He wants to hang EVERYTHING on the tree and he wants to do EVERYTHING himself, including things he really can’t or shouldn’t do.


I have less patience this week than I ought to.

And such guilt.

Husband and I got to talking over dinner with some friends about how much waiting kids have to do at the holidays.

While the grown-ups get together and cook and eat and exchange pleasantries, the kids wait.  And wait.  And wait some more.

I think my son does a lot of waiting.

I think my son does a lot of waiting for something he is sure will be exciting.  Instead he gets more waiting, nothing too exciting and a mom who snaps.  And maybe a vague sense that the snapping has something to do with him.

I think my son probably doesn’t understand why grown-ups take so damn long to do everything and when they do it, they don’t have the same joy about it that he does.  I think my son deserves a mom who isn’t tired.  A mom who finds that same joy and shares it with him as well and as often as he shares it with her.

I try to be that mom.  I do.  I really do.  I don’t think I am though.

My son is so hopeful.  I hate that I can rob that from him with impatience or delay or fatigue or a quick temper.  He deserves more.

Tomorrow, I will try to give him more.

Day Twenty-Seven 2010 Pumpkin Demise

I took some of these photos in the morning and some just before dusk today.

The later pix are softer, even downright fuzzy, for some reason.

I don’t know if I chose the wrong camera setting or if it was just dark clouds in the late afternoon sky that made the difference.

I decided to include the later pix anyway since there are a few cute ones of the boy and his chocolate mouth.


Oh, and just in case any of you are worried, I will not be showing you the demise of those other squash on a daily basis.

Happy Saturday!

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P.S.  My oldest cat barfed in three places on the floor behind me as I was typing this.  🙄


Wounded, But The Shooter Is Sweet

Sometimes I am wounded to the core by my son’s disdain for my singing.

I can’t stand it.

I don’t have a bad voice and I love to sing.

He won’t let me.

I feel stifled.

And sometimes I feel wounded to the core by his annoyance with books.

Granted, there are occasions on which he actually enjoys them and will let me read him a page or two.  He might even read a sentence himself, but those occasions are exceptional.

In general, my kid doesn’t like to look at books.


I come from a family of book lovers.  A family of book collectors.  And a house full of music.


Now I am ordered not to sing, not to read, not to be.

My heart breaks over this on a daily basis.

And it feels like a slight to my father, the one who mastered a love of books and beautiful song.

I know a conversation with my dad today would only reveal a man determined to appreciate the strengths of a boy.  My dad would caution me to overlook these minor and probably temporary let-downs.  Of course, I always heed that imagined advice, but the whole of it makes me very sad anyway.

Just now, the little boy and I were in the guest room, stripping the bed after Grandma’s visit.  He was singing, humming really, with his lips forming a perfect “o” and his little head tilted upward, like the children at the end of A Charlie Brown Christmas.

I thought I would try to engage him with a book from the t.v. special, complete with music and lyrics for two of the songs.

He saw Snoopy and the other characters on the page and seemed very interested, so I showed him a second Charlie Brown book.

He sat on the floor, turned the pages himself, pointed at Snoopy and was smiling and happy.

Then he started singing Jingle Bells.

I produced a board book with the music and lyrics for that song too.

But then I made the fatal error.

I decided to sing the words and point to the notes so he could follow along.

He lost his mind.

“No read a book.  No read a book!  No sing!  No read a book!  Mama, no sing!”

I tried to calm him down.

Too late.

He took the item nearest him – the dust jacket for the Peanuts book – and ripped it in half.

It made me mad.  It really did.  With all the fury of impatient generations behind it.

I ordered him out of the guest room and closed the door and now I sit here pouring out the emotion just to get it gone.

Because I know the little boy loves music. I KNOW he does.

And I know he will come to love books.

But in this moment, I am overwhelmed with his disdain for my love of them both.

Overwhelmed.  Sad.  Stricken with grief for the unfairness of time and loss and death and the mismatch of generations.

I miss my dad.

I just miss my dad.

And I wish I had let my mother sing.

Now it’s 7:00 p.m.  The little boy is clean and dry, snug in his room, and headed for dreamland.

He closed the door to the bathroom during his shower tonight and got the place as steamy as a sauna.

When I popped up to check on him, the steam poured out and engulfed me.

Through the fog of it, I found him standing on the edge of the wet tub pointing a full bottle of water straight at the light fixture.  I shudder to think what hazardous scheme had hatched itself inside his busy brain.  Sheesh!

I have ridden a roller coaster of emotions today, partly fueled by sleeping only four hours last night and partly fueled by the little boy’s destructive nature.

He broke things today.

I replaced them or I fixed them or decided I didn’t need them.  I cried a few times and just kept going.

I went to Pier One and Trader Joe’s and Petco and Von’s.  I came home, I took down Thanksgiving and put up Christmas.

The boy was excited to help with three trees, two garlands, and a wreath.  Husband hung a cheery string of outdoor lights and inflated a silly two-foot Santa on the front lawn.  We ate Thanksgiving food all over again and I chopped up the decorative gourds to scatter in the corner near the ever-flattening pumpkins.

What a day.

Now I’m going over to my new couch to sit next to my sweet husband to watch something with Bruce Willis in it.  Anything with Bruce Willis in it, please.


And out.

Day Twenty-Six 2010 Pumpkin Demise

I was enchanted by a beautiful hummingbird in the yard today.  Now THAT was a photographic challenge.  Didn’t get any really great shots of him, but it was wonderful to watch.


Oh, I almost forgot…

Happy Friday!

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Day Twenty-Five 2010 Pumpkin Demise

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The little boy is eating a bowl of goldfish crackers with a blob of frosting as a dip.  I know, I know, mom of the year.  Shhhh, I’m trying to block out your thoughts on that.

It’s really cold today. Well, cold for San Diego anyway.  It’s 42 degrees outside and it feels like 42½ in the house.  Brrrrr.

We just spent a few minutes on the patio, taking the day’s pictures and blowing some giant bubbles.

The boy headed out there in a thin pair of shorts and a tee shirt at first.  The temperature was my ally in finally convincing him to try on his new Mario pj pants instead.

He picked out the whole set online with me, but has adamantly, inexplicably, consistently refused to wear them.  So frustrating for the money-spending-doesn’t-have-time-to-go-back-to-the-mall mom.

They’re exactly the same as all his other pj’s, with the exception that they actually fit him and all of the others are now too small.  Sigh.  Some kind of autism thing.  Or kid thing.  Maybe he saw a bug on them or maybe Mario scares him now or something.  I’ll never know.

But today, he’s wearing them.  Victory!

I have been chiseling away at the mountain of stuff I need to clean up, put away, alter, hang, take down, sort, re-paint, etc. before the holidays.  It’s slow going.  I was on my feet a lot yesterday, but I feel like the house looks the same and now my foot hurts more.  Damn foot.  Heel, really.  It’s mostly the heel.

It’s hard to feel productive when most of the day is dedicated to figuring out the boy, following him around and cleaning up whatever he leaves in his bubbly little wake.  The upstairs bathroom floor is a battleground I’ve yet to conquer and I’m dreading it more and more.  It’s pee territory, you know?  His aim gets better every day, but he still misses a lot.  Sigh.  Life with a boy.

Our schedule is full today.  And somewhere in it, I’ve got to squeeze out time for coloring the hair.  Getting kind a gray and scary up there and Halloween is over.

Speaking of Halloween, the pumpkins are really flattening out.  I’ve decided that on November 30, if Mother Nature hasn’t beat me to it, I’m going to chop them to bits with our sharpest shovel.  Won’t that be fun?  Those of you with an aversion to the pictures of their demise should be elated by this decision.  I’m sort of melancholy about it myself, but resigned to it just the same.

Here they are, with a few pix of the little boy too.


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P.S. I hope you aren’t tired of the pictures of our red camelia.  I am intrigued with its progress.  Roses show themselves so much faster.  The camelia takes its time and seems to like the cooler temperatures.  I love looking to see how much more pink is there each day.  I am so hopeful that this plant will survive in our yard and get bigger each year.  The last camelia we had was in a pot and it finally just gave up.  They are such pretty flowers when they’re healthy and I have always wanted to grow them.


Day Fourteen 2010 Pumpkin Demise etc.


And a few extras to ease your eyes.

Enjoy the slideshow or
click to enlarge the mini pix below it – your choice!

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Happy Sunday!



My son’s school is a few miles from our house, on the outskirts of an undeveloped chunk of land.

When I drive away from there in the morning, I am frequently the only vehicle in the area.

Today, there was another car.  And it was black and white.

I know I put my foot on the brake when I turned right at the corner, but the cop said I never came to a full stop.

Probably true, but you know my car issues with the boy.  I’m conditioned to keep moving.

And on a basically deserted street, surrounded by open fields and unfinished roads?

Yeah, I’m probably going to take the corner, if no one protests.

When I was pulled over, I had my headset on and was talking to my friend’s husband on the phone.

Oddly enough, he was telling me about his own strange experience on the road today.

I had to cut him short.

Note to Joel:  I still need the end of that story.

The worst part about this was the embarrassment of trying to find my paperwork in the cavernous pit I call a purse.

I apologized for that about seven times.  I don’t think the cop was too impressed with me.

Note to self:  clean out the freaking purse.  And the car too, for that matter.  I felt those police eyes on the half eaten HoHos in my son’s drink holder.

He gave me the ticket and walked back to his cruiser.

I sat and contemplated whether or not I had my thoughts collected enough to drive off without further incident.

I did and I left.

I called my friend and gave her the details her husband didn’t have.

She was just as mortified as I when I told her about the fine, a whopping $450 dollars.  Right before Christmas.  Ugh.

Note to everyone: don’t roll through right turns in California unless you’re sure the light is green, because you can’t afford it.

After we hung up, I got a little teary and started down the self-loathing-I’m-such-a-loser spiral.

I haven’t been pulled over in maybe ten years.  (Not legitimately anyway, but that’s another annoying story.)

Husband wouldn’t answer his work number for a few more minutes, so I called another friend and tried to reach my brother too.

Neither were available to hear my woes.

Left with no vent, I pulled myself back from the whole thing a bit and tried to figure out what about it made me feel so stupid.

I concluded it was the state of my purse and car much more than my failure to stop at the light.

Maybe that’s a self-indulgent concern, but it’s the truth.

I was embarrassed by my portable chaos, in much the same way I am embarrassed for anyone to see the daily state of my home.

I’ll be tidying up for the holidays, of course, but now I’ve got $450 reasons to change my habits for good.

Do you think it’s a coincidence that one of my son’s vocabulary words this week is “slob?”

Don’t answer that.

Now, get a load of Jack.

Day Ten 2010 Pumpkin Demise

Happy Wednesday!