Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday, Again...

Sometimes we all feel like we are on the hamster wheel of time. We get up, get coffee and get on with the day. Falling face first into the unmade bed at the end of the day caps it all off.

Why are we so tired? Especially after a weekend of endless fun?

I still have Christmas gifts to return. Summer camp to book. Bills to pay and a hefty clean up from too much fun on the weekend.

Monday starts off foggy and clears throughout the week. Yes, this post is really the same old whining about Monday post that I write all of the time.

I was going to go for a walk with a friend and we ended up drinking coffee instead. That is the essence of Mondays. I am not out saving or organizing the world, I am sitting on my butt and drinking coffee and putting away wine glasses from a weekend fondue dinner.

What did I learn this weekend? Poire William, Don Julio 1942 and Williams Selyem make for interesting dinner conversation. We asked a question about who we might like to add for interesting dinner guests. Here is the short list: Hannibal Lecter, Lolita, Mary Poppins, and a Hobbit to name a few.

Next weekend we see The Who in concert. I wonder what I learn next weekend?

Maybe Mondays are good just to ponder and clean? In fact, it seems like a buffer day between play and work. I will really get things done tomorrow.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Giving My Plant Extensions: The Brown Thumb Approach

About a year ago, I asked our gardener to create a planter of plants for my dining room. We were hosting a dinner for my husband and I was trying to get everything looking beautiful. I rationalized the expense because I would not have to buy a cut flower arrangement that would just end up dying anyway.

I am not a green thumb. Black thumb is more accurate. Even if I was raised on a farm, no hereditary DNA was passed on to me that remotely suggests I'm related to a long line of farmers. Maybe I was adopted? Found on the doorstep?

Here I am a year later. It's birthday time, and that planter is only a third alive. Instead of lush and green, the leaves are sparse, yellow and brown. I thought about calling the gardner, but wait!

I was at Michael's craft store and what did I find in the fake plant section? Why, fake plants of course. Now you can say artificial, but let's not mince words, these are fake plastic plants.

Ladies, I have friends who get hair extensions. Why can't I put in plant extensions? And that is what I did, see below!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Cottage Vacation?

How fast can you say oxymoron. A cottage vacation is the only kind of vacation where you work harder on vacation than you do at home....that is especially if you are the mom in the scenario.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner--made by me!  Laundry done while you wait!  My best offering?  Location services.  I am a Location Services master.  Are you missing a mitten or a sock?  I can find that baby for you faster than you can say "These two don't match!"  Ahhh, but it doesn't matter, it is the cottage.

Yes, at the cottage you can choose to brush or not to brush (I am talking about hair, though I suppose if you don't tell me, it could be your teeth).  At the cottage you can wear clothing that does not match, but dress for maximum comfort and coziness.  At the cottage you can ignore all texts and emails.  Why you might ask?  We don't have WIFI, cable modems or Ethernet.

You can chop wood and build a fire.  You can make a dinner out of Kraft Dinner and leftover ham by mixing them together.  Yes, that would never fly at home, but at the cottage, somehow it is magically all right.  You can go for days without a true bath, especially in the summer, yes, those folks call it "Lake Hair."

There is no make up required.  There are no dress codes.  Even at the local store curlers and pajama bottoms are fabulously spotted on a regular basis.  There really are no standards of acceptable beauty.  No one is talking about the stylist for so and so at the Oscars.  No one is talking about botox.

Yet, meanwhile back in the kitchen, that is where you'll mostly find me.  There is probably a dip in the floor in my 3 foot triangle that goes from fridge to stove to dishwasher.  And yes, having a dishwasher is the best thing ever.  This is especially true when you are serving dinners of 10-14 people nightly.

In the deep woods of the cottage vacation you can make your teenage children watch movies like "The Exotic Marigold Hotel."  After the screening, Ruth declared that in addition to G, PG and R there needed to be an O rating.  An O rating that means "old people movie."  Yes, if the movie was made for old people it should be rated O so that the younger folks should know what they are in store for.

On these movie nights you can also have popcorn from our air popper that spews popcorn kernels all over the room.  Only about half of the kernels pop, and of those kernels only about half land in the bowl.  Yes, I am popcorn popper and clean up crew on my cottage vacation.

Last but not least, on the cottage vacation, you can have epic games of Risk.  This is the one moment when the moms can sneak off and leave the fathers and kids arguing about breaking treaties and cheating.  I grab my glass of wine or cup of tea, and stare into space.  Of course I uncorked the wine or brewed the tea, but I don't have to be playing referee for that one brief moment.

Oh, while we are on the subject of referee, that is another cottage vacation job that is pretty all consuming.  When your three kids see each other in passing most of the time, when the change to full time sibling cohabitation, there is a lot of refereeing.  There is a lot of laughing, but there is a lot of refereeing.

On the cottage vacation, when I get up early, and enjoy a peaceful morning with my coffee, then I am truly on vacation.  In the olden days, when the kids were younger, we used to put them to bed early to have this delightful quiet time.  Now, I am the one putting myself to bed early and getting up while all is still quiet.  I drink my coffee, then I start doing the dishes that are leftover from the bedtime snacks and it all begins again.