Category Archives: Katy

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I’m not making a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy reference about the meaning of life. I am simply stating my age, as my daughter is more than happy to remind me nearly daily. Not to say that I am old, because she is also quick to say that she is not saying I’m old, she just knows how old I am, and she has decided she needs to tell me so, every day.

So, when I opened her backpack this morning (I never get around to it on Friday afternoons, particularly not now that it’s May and we are counting down the days to the end of the school year), I was not all that shocked to find an “All About Mom” sheet in there with my age plastered right across the top.

First line: My mom is *blank* years old. Yes, we get it. It’s so cute when they say “13” or “100” or “cupcakes” or whatever. Somewhat less cute when they’re accurate, though.

But, I have to admit there is something rather endearing about first-grade spellings. I know these words come from her heart, and I don’t mean to poke fun, so I am sharing this in the spirit of adorableness, not in the spirit of let’s laugh at my kid’s terrible spelling. She did great, and I understood all of what she was saying (I am her mother, after all), but there are a couple that may be confusing if you’re not me: The best thing I cook (according to my seven year old) is sammy patties, aka salmon patties. And, I am special because I am awesome.

Not a bad way to start the week, that’s for sure.

Enjoy, and Happy Mother’s Day!All About Mom

 


Groceries.

I love grocery shopping. I’m fortunate, I know this. I don’t have to bring my children with me kicking and screaming through the aisles (though, they never really did do that too much). I don’t have to shop on Saturday morning with the masses. I am frugal, but I buy mostly organic when I can, and I am also fortunate to be able to splash out on items if they take my fancy.

I guess that’s partly why I love grocery shopping. Mostly, though, it’s because when I go to the store, I know many of the employees by name, and they know me by name, too.

That feels good. To be known. To be a local. We tend to move around every few years, so for me, it’s important to get routines established early. It helps with settling in. We’ve been in Texas for nearly four years now, though. We have friends here. And we know our way around reasonably well. We’ve traveled locally and can even share personal recommendations with out of towners.

On Monday mornings, I take the kids to school and walk the dog (simultaneously), then get in the car and drive to the store. Once there, I grab my bags and a small cart and make my way to the coffee counter. Joe greets me warmly, and we chat about whatever. Usually about something inconsequential, but there is a narrative that seems to run through our weekly conversations. I thank Joe for my coffee and head over to see Cheryl in the floral department. I don’t often buy flowers, but Cheryl and I will chat for several minutes before I head over to produce. I found out that she’s a Master Gardener, so we talk about plants and her grandkids, and my kids, and just life in general. After I visit with Cheryl, I select my fruits and veggies then head over to the meat counter where Jessie looks up and greets me enthusiastically. He’s got a little grandson that he loves to tell me about, and a while ago I introduced him to my mom, so he always asks after her.

After all that, I wander around and finish my shopping and I’m very nearly always in a great mood. It’s probably partly because the coffee has kicked in, but I think it’s mostly because my inner social butterfly has been satisfied. I feel energized when I get to talk with people as I go about my day.

I know routines can be boring, and grocery shopping can be a chore, but I thrive on routine and personal interactions. I feel thankful that I can have both of those things to start off my week.

What about you? Do you like grocery shopping? Do you prefer anonymity or do you enjoy being a known regular?

 

Photo taken from Whole Foods Market Katy facebook page.

 


Newbie!

Say what you want about the internet…sometimes you actually can find vital information out there!

Today, I wanted to know if the word “newbie” existed in the 1990s. I can’t remember saying it back in high school but I wasn’t much of a gamer then, or now either, actually. I mainly only remember using the terms “psych,” “not,” and ever-so-briefly-because-it-never-took-off-no-matter-how-badly-we-wanted-it-to, “n’t” (you know, an abbreviated form of “not.” Duh! [we tried, Tina, we really did]) So, I did what anyone my age would do, I asked Google. And the very first return was an article titled, “THE ORIGINS OF NEWBIE, NOOB, AND N00B.” (Link provided for the curious.)

Like I said, vital information.

I read the article, and while it’s probably more to my son’s interests, I found the information I was looking for, and I discovered what an insult it is to be called a noob, compared to being referred to as a newb, which is the more playful version of that term. And now you know, too – see you’re no longer a newb.

Anyway, after reading about the evolution of the term newbie, I followed a few more links just to be sure, and they seemed to cement the idea that I could safely use the term “newbie” in a dialog taking place in the 1990s, and still sound era-appropriate.

Whew.

 


Fiction and Politics

A winsome twosome? An unlikely pair? Whichever your view, I’ve been doing some thinking about the results of our recent election, and I am ready to talk about those with you now.

I’ve been playing my thoughts over and over in my mind and I’ve been trying to figure out not only what I think, but also how I want to convey those thoughts. My initial reaction was to post something like, “this space left intentionally blank” on facebook. Clever, but ultimately meaningless. Then, I thought about posting about how I have been following Thumper’s Mother’s principle…I didn’t have anything nice to say, so I didn’t say anything. That didn’t feel quite right either, though I must say that I believe it’s a pretty good principle to reflect on before actually speaking/typing.

I realize that my silence might be misconstrued for complacency or apathy, but that’s not it. I’m overwhelmed. I haven’t wanted to make anyone upset, so I haven’t said anything. I know, it sounds weak. Maybe it is. So…I’m speaking up now.

I’m not happy with the outcome of the election, and that’s putting it mildly (see below re: optimist). I’m sad for our nation and I am particularly concerned for the safety and well-being of my friends and family who are in any way marginalized in our society (I feel like pretty much everyone I know falls into at least one category). I’m concerned for the safety and health of all of us – this feels like uncharted territory and I think we are all at least a little bit scared or apprehensive about what’s going to happen in the weeks, months and years ahead. But, what really is getting to me is the way some people have reacted to the outcome. On any side. Politics, frankly, doesn’t matter at this point. If you’re being cruel, destructive or otherwise causing pain to someone who is not exactly like you or your ideal of what you think an “American” is, and you’re feeling bolstered by the outcome of this election to engage in these types of actions or comments, then shame on you. It’s 100% on YOU. It’s got absolutely nothing to do with who won, who lost, who’s a crybaby, whatever. If you’re using the outcome to justify destructive, violent actions or to cause pain, whether it’s verbally, emotionally, physically, or a combination, you are making poor choices and you are impeding on others’ abilities to live their lives to their fullest. That is wrong. You are in control of your actions and your words, and you are also in control of your clicking finger. If you click “like” or share memes that perpetuate these destructive actions and divisive words, you are contributing to the problem. Nobody else is responsible for your actions or words. Just you.

And you know what? That sucks. I’m an optimist, a glass half-full kind of girl. But lately, I’ve seen so much pain, and fear, and anger, and hate; it’s disconcerting. It’s hard to look at all of that ugliness and still find good, and meaning, and a path to the right side of history. But, there it is, and I had to acknowledge it. Now, it’s time to move through it.

The reason I decided to finally write, and let you all read, my thoughts is because I found a way that I can contribute positively to the conversation. I don’t think I have anything to say that’s going to be profound and change people’s minds, and if you’re reading this, I expect you probably already see things in a way that is similar to me, at least to some extent. If you gave up on reading this when the opening paragraph didn’t immediately reflect the title, then you’re missing out because I’m getting there now.

I titled this fiction and politics. The reason is because fiction draws many of its finest characters and moments from real life, real people and real situations. Sometimes, real life even turns around and reflects the fiction that had been reflecting real life before it. It’s all intertwined. And, it can be beautiful. Think about your favorite stories. Even the most fantastical stories have a foundation in real moments. Real moods, real feelings, real relationships. A friend posted the other day about how someone else had posted about being totally upset by the hero in a story being a bit of a dirtbag. He’s the “good guy,” how could he possibly be a dirtbag and be the good guy? Because, people are more than what we label them. It is easy to fall back on labels when dealing with someone or some idea that you don’t like or don’t agree with. Easy, but not helpful.

You’re a republican? Those elitist liberal leftists! They’re the ones to blame! You’re a democrat? Those backward rightwing conservatives! They’re the ones to blame! 

Finger pointing. Labeling. Placing blame. Not helpful.

We teach our children to see their friends for who they are, not for what they look like or where they come from or what groups they belong to. I think we should remember to do that as adults. From the early stages of this particular election, if I posted about politics, my main point was one of inclusion, and embracing the other. I believe this is still important.

We must build bridges now.

We must find the things we love, like, or can at least tolerate, in each other. Just like most well-written fictional characters have many layers, and many traits – positive and negative – so do real people, and you may not agree entirely with the ideals that someone supports or with their view on certain topics, and here’s the kicker – that’s OK. It really is. I know a lot of my friends and I see many things in a similar way, and that’s great, but I know I have views that they might not agree with, and I’m certain my friends have ideals that don’t reflect my values. That’s ok. We aren’t all cookie cutters or carbon copies of each other, nor should we be.

I’m not suggesting that we gloss over the things that have happened that are wrong, or look past things that we don’t like and just hug everyone because: peace and love, man. People who have made poor choices need to own those choices and make amends. That’s how we fix things. We need to face our challenges and deal with the consequences – good or bad. But, what I’m saying is that simply because someone has different labels than you do, doesn’t mean that they are only a manifestation of those labels. Maybe you know someone who sits across the aisle from you politically, and until a couple months ago, you considered that person a friend. Try to consider that their labels do not define them. Just as your labels do not define you. Find some common ground, and start (or re-start) there.

That’s it. That’s all I’ve got right now. It’s not huge, it’s not profound, but it’s a positive contribution to the conversation. I truly hope people try to find their way back to some sense of harmony so that we can move forward as a unified nation.

And, if you want to speak up, or speak out, or do something for the good of our country, I’ll be there to support you, even if it’s only with a click or a smiley face, for now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Look What They Done to ‘im

In high school, my friend Tina (of The Tina Situation) and I went through a phase of watching the Faces of Death movies (I think it was more like a night or two, rather than an actual phase, but still). I remember sitting in her basement, looking through my fingers to see all these people meet their demise in various tragic, ridiculous, and dare I say staged, ways. One scene that has stuck with me, and has since caused me to learn alligator evasion tactics, was the the one where the man gets blown off course during a sky diving competition and comes down in the gator pit at Gatorama in Florida.  All you see is some thrashing, and you hear the tourist videotaping it exclaim in horror, “Look what they done to ‘im!” *shiver*

Why am I telling you this? Because if you look closely at the sign below, you’ll see it states, “Beware of Alligators & Poisonous Snakes”. Why is this important? Because this sign is repeated every hundred yards or so around the lake where I did my run this weekend.

image

*pause for effect*

Can you imagine what was going on in my head during this run? Scan for escape routes, breathe, run zigzag, don’t show fear, breathe, kick the gator on his snout, breath. 

There are several of these gator lakes and bayous here in Katy, and the majority of the running trails snake (pun intended) their way around them. I should note that at any given time, there are several people using these trails and I have yet to spot a gator, but I doubt that’s going to ease my imagination at all.


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