Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Goodnight Moon

Four years ago on a beautiful sun filled  February Saturday morning King Ralph and I drove D to SEMO for a music school audition. D had always known she'd wanted to teach. The question was just what did she want to teach. In her inner tug-of-war I merely suggested that music filled her. It is her heart. That she might be happiest teaching what she loves best. Music. Singing. 

It's hard to believe that D will be coming home from college in three weeks. While she won't graduate in May, she will have completed the first of her two majors: Vocal Performance. In the Fall she will student teach near home and complete her second major: Vocal Music Education. D will graduate in December. 

As hard as it is for King Ralph and I to grasp our baby has been away for four years, it is harder for D. She can't totally comprehend how fast the past four years went by. She fully embraced college. She was involved in campus organizations. She made friends, lots of friends. She became more accepting than she already was of different cultures and life choices. A trait that will serve her well in the classroom. She was devoted to and achieved academic excellence. She grew into a more radiant intelligent lady. 

This past Sunday D invited her family and friends to a most beautiful and angelic senior recital. For one hour and twenty minutes D sang to an audience of family, friends, sorority sisters and her college professors. She sang in French, Czech, Russian, German...and that was all before the intermission. While King Ralph has claimed his favorite piece to be E l'uccelino by Puccini, mine was Goodnight Moon by Eric Whitacre.
Yes, the children's book Goodnight Moon. It was a symbolic nod to the end of her college campus days. It was beautiful in story and voice. A touch of serene beauty was added with her music school friend accompanying the song with the cello. It was peaceful and soul filling. It made many of us cry. The good feel-it-in-your-heart cry.

How do you top that? 

You don't. 

Simply say. 

Thank you. 
          (Vocal and Piano Professors) 

And. 

Goodnight Moon. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

I Think They Secretly Like When I Can't Talk

I keep saying how ready I am for summer break, and I am, but really I just want it to be Mother's Day weekend. We haven't take "The Wanderlust" out of storage since we returned from Spring Break. Sigh. We have a Mother's Day trip planned which makes me happy. Camping is what I ask for each year. "The Wanderlust" just knows how to relax me. How to make me let my hair down so to speak and kick it back. It also brings us together as a family on that weekend. I love family time. 

Last Wednesday morning I woke without a voice. Well, I had a voice, but barely. When I did talk (whisper) heads turned. As the day went on the strain of using what little vocal power I had was giving me a dull headache. I tried clearing my throat with small forced coughs...ha, just made my throat red and raw feeling. I refrained from using the intercom and stuck with the phone. Even that was a strain. But you know I'm the kind of employee that believes I have a duty to perform, that people depend on me. I either have to be in the hospital or my head over the toilet bowl to justify staying home. By the time I got home I flopped on my bed exhausted and napped for two hours. 

D called to give me unsolicited, but welcomed, vocal cord care instructions. Then suggested my lack of voice could be stress induced. Hmmmm between work and her...quite possibly could be stressed induced. However, I'm thinking pollen. 

D is in the final days of college campus life. The four great years she has experienced and the hard to leave woe is tugging at her heart strings. Adulting on the cusp of life for her is scary. I've pretty much gotten the brunt of her moods and stress. I don't always nod and smile and offer some June Cleaver-esque advice. I pretty much go with a light dose of Joan Crawford. Keeping it real folks! It's good there's that little thing called unconditional love or we'd be grasping each other around the necks. With each passing day D checks something off her stress list. By 4pm on Sunday the stress pot's boil settled to a low simmer. Hopefully today a sense of relief and accomplishment was felt deep in her soul. (Story to follow in the coming days.)

I am now on day five of no voice. My good friend says when my voice is rested and I can manage to talk that I sound like Mickey Mouse. Like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Mickey. She insisted I say "hot dog" to her kids to prove she is indeed correct in characterizing me. Her kids laughed agreeing with their mother. Whatever! I just want my voice back!! And my college child to hop off the stress bus! 

I guess we all could us a little "Wanderlust" in our lives. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Mother of the Year

There is no denying M's devotion to her career. She loves teaching! Her long hours in and out of the classroom preparing lessons is evident. She leaves early in the morning, comes home late and devotes Sunday to the coming weeks preparations. 

While she loves teaching and stressing the importance of cleanliness in her kitchen classroom her bathroom is another story! I harp and hound her endlessly that the bathroom isn't "her" space. That it is in fact community use space. Not to mention I own the bathroom...just on loan to her for the better part of 24 years. Today I had enough! With M gone house sitting I rolled up my sleeves and went work--scrubbing toothbrush in hand. As I delved into the cleaning of the shower I was convinced M has a side job creating hair pieces for Hans Wiemann. The never ending hair ball....

An hour and half later the bathroom is bright and sparkly. It looks good. Smells good. No hair ball in sight. But I left a love note on the mirror as my parting gift. Because that's what a good "roommate" who cleans your bathroom should do.

Next time you bump into M be sure to say, "M you have the best (roommate) mom in the world!" 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

I. Am. Blessed.

I'm totally ready for summer! Summer break to be exact!! I haven't been this stressed at work in four years.  I rely heavily on my weekends to bring me peace and joy. And the weekends lately haven't failed me! 

Last Friday night the annual trivia team rose to the thorn. We finally after 7 years of teaming at this same trivia achieved 1st place. What we know is not to be over shadowed by what we learned...that Pringles potato chips, no matter the flavor, are gross! 

Since Spring Break I've been busy with Make-A-Wish. I had known for a while that I needed to find something to add to my life that could offset the negativity that my job encompasses. There's something about a child's frailty to put perspective to life. So ya, this year my job is stress laced, but....  Helping to see a child's one wish come true, well that is the perspective of life I need! It does something for the heart...my heart. Fills my heart with joy and puts a smile on my face. And yes, even a happy tear in my eye. 

Last weekend my wish granter friend and I hosted a send-off party for a little guy who's wish was to go to Disney World. He was so excited with just the travel basket we created for him. If a basket of gold fish crackers, trail mix, Frittos, Reese's peanut butter cups, travel bingo and a personalzed T-shirt over joyed our wish kid, we can only imagine what he must be feeling this week as his wish plays out. 

This past Friday I had the day off work. I cleaned house and shopped for D's recital dress (omg college is near its end). On Saturday M and I started our morning with a coffee date and the 5k Wish Walk for Make-A-Wish, as members of team Noah's Crew.
M filled in for my original partner, King Ralph. We teased M that her big shirt was for big wishes.
Then after we got our exercise on and over with I mowed the lawn, prepared foods for a belated birthday BBQ for Princess A and her Prince Charming. We dyed eggs--because you're never to old to dye eggs.

On Easter morning we all gathered in the dining room at 8am for breakfast, where I broke out my Royal Albert bone china tea/coffee cup-plate sets. 
We feasted on quiche and ham and fruit and coffee cake. Like the best, most simple coffee cake ever!  

CINNAMON BUN CAKE 

1 pkg yellow butter cake mix 
4 eggs
6 Tbs softened butter
1 cup sour cream 

Mix ingredients all together. 

In separate bowl mix 
1 cup brown sugar 
2 Tbs cinnamon 

Preheat oven to 350* 
Sprinkle some cinnamon mixture on the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan. Layer cake batter and cinnamon mixture (make 2 layers), ending with cinnamon mixture. Bake 25-30 minutes. Let cool, then ice 

In bowl combine 
2 cups powder sugar 
1/4 cup milk 
1 teaspoon vanilla 

Then the six of us went to church and filled a pew. 
There's something about Jesus that helps me ready myself for rough weeks.

Sooooo...Monday, ready or not here I come!