Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ever Changing Moods

Hello from way back in February!! How crazy can it be that so much time went by at such a fast pace? Here I am looking at the month of April, aka, My Birthday Month, or when the sun opened up and bestowed a greatness to the earth...okay, kidding, kidding. Anyway, the important thing is it is April, not ice and cold February, and all things are full steam ahead! Except for my blogging.

In my ever changing moods, who knew just a little over a year ago, when I started to freak about what to do with my new time on my hands, that I would start a bread business, help the cheerleader on her collegiate path, start another business, Girl With Far Away Eyes, and be forced to come out of denial that college is no longer something off in the future?

Yes, in two months, I will have a graduate. I guess, that technically, she is no longer even the cheerleader. WHAT??? That ship is over and sailed...cue the sobbing. So, she will be the graduate all summer and then what? The Co-Ed?? She is excited to start the next journey and I am excited, too.

Cosmic Charlie is doing very well and I am a month away from farmer's market opening, again, for the season while I still have my gig at the coffee house!

Girl With Far Away Eyes is a little shop within a building of shops/booths. I like to describe it as the girl who likes to have fun, loves to sing, loves a soiree, loves all things fashion, loves music, her head is in the present but part of her loves all things 60s and 70s...it's hip, fun, funky, resale clothing for the fashion minded girl.

The cheerleader cheered her last game and hung up her poms. She got a summer job in a new ice cream shop. She is currently interviewing for a couple of scholarships and counting down the days until she graduates.

College orientation, room assignments, class assignments all await us in June.

The graduation soiree needs to be planned and executed.

I have gone from the Ever Changing Moods girl trying to figure out her next step in life to being the Ever Changing Moods girl with a whole lot of life!

Anyway...I am scarce, I wanted to tell you why, I will understand if you write me off, quit following, erase me. But, I am not leaving. I just don't have the time to blog and I hate when I follow blogs that I love and all of a sudden, you are left hanging, waiting, wondering...so, for now, I say I am on hiatus. But, I am sure when I have that mental breakdown, er, when we take the cheerleader to college, I will be back with a need to sort it all out.

So, if you want to follow my Cosmic Charlie fan page or my soon to be Girl With Far Away Eyes page, on Facebook, I will be there. If not, I will be back when summer ends.

Go out and live your life's motto!! Experience your ever changing moods!! Don't forget to sing loudly while doing it all!! Have a soundtrack for your mind and life.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The End

Well, it isn't really, THE END, but I have hit a point in this crazy senior year, when this song continues to be on replay in my mind. It is almost March, we are still in the winter of the never ending ice storms, snow storms and freeze your butt of cold, and we are beginning to gain momentum to graduation.

In my ever changing moods, I have lived in denial that this time frame would sweep in and capture our lives. How did I go from walking a cute preschooler into her first day of preschool to watching her cheer her last Varsity home game, ever? Who knew that time could move so quickly.

Bittersweet is the perfect term for what a parent feels at this point in time. On one hand, I look at this beautiful, amazing, energetic, argumentative ball of energy that is becoming a woman and I beam with pride! Then, my mind shifts back to newborn days, toddler days, milestones, each year in school, the years that I thought I would pull my hair out, the years that were so happy, and it all gets jumbled up. How did we go from her playing in her bathtub and piling bubbles on her head to the very confident, ready to take on the world girl?

I have seen the changes coming for the past couple of years and it really hit home when she started driving and got her car, last year. She was gaining more independence, and in a sense, so was I. She was shifting gears to move up in her life, more, and I was shifting gears as I had to figure out my new role as mom. Her independence has driven me to my independence in so many ways. It was the year that I got to become moi, again. I no longer needed to hold a hand, wipe a tear, clean up spilled juice. Well, okay, there are other kinds of tears and other kinds of spills, but you get what I am saying. So, I also took back my life, started a business, getting ready to start another buiness, took back my fashion, my music, I am me. I mean, I have been me, my whole life, but my role changed over the years and now I am back.

I feel like we are two women on the brink of upcoming adventures. Her next adventure will be saying hello to college, campus life, a roommate, a possible sorority. It will be like entering into the scary doors of preschool, again, but without her mom. My next adventure will be an open canvas along with my already in progress adventures. It is exciting for both of us and yet scary, mind numbing and tear inducing, for me.

She has become the young woman I had hoped she would. When she was a baby, I would sit and rock her in her Grateful Dead inspired nursery and I would dream of the kind of young woman she would become. Now, I sit, alone, and dream of how I hope the next phase of her life will be and what kind of woman she will become. My job is not ending, I just have to hope that she can carry on with the path that I have set forth for her, without me to constantly guide.

So, as I sit and watch her lasts, right now...her last games, her last cheer competitions, her upcoming last prom, I have to remember that the end is not really the end. The end is just a beginning to new firsts that will eventually end, too, and go on and on. I have learned that life is all beginnings and endings. I guess that is what makes it all so special and why each moment needs to be captured and enjoyed.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Shining Star

I inititally wanted to write this post on Valentine's Day but some sort of illness hit me like a ton of bricks over the weekend and haulted all activity. My plans of making our usual romantic dinner and surprising J with some sort of fun gift all went out the window as I was hugging a tissue box, full of cold and sinus medicine and so stuffy and feverish that nobody wanted to come near me. Instead, I closed myself off in our guest room area with my tissues, bottles of water, non-stop Sex and The City on tv and lots of sleep.

In my ever changing moods I still view Valentine's Day as one of the sweetest times around. Yes, I know, I hear the naysayers all around me calling it a Hallmark Holiday, a media coup to rake in money (and really, would that be so bad for the economy? Making money from love?) Or, that Valentine's Day is for the young or those in sappy relationships. I don't buy into this way of thinking. I think that the day is sweet and I like to celebrate it.

I know that my obsession started way back in Kindergarten when you are told to go home and make a Valentine box. Hmmmmm...new kind of concept but, okay. I remember taking a cereal box and getting started. Some kids used shoe boxes, some used oatmeal cylinder boxes, I used a cereal box. This was in 1970 so I have no idea what kids are doing, now. But, back then, you made really elaborate, colorful boxes. I liked to cover mine in tin foil. Then, I cut out all kinds of pink, red and white paper hearts and glued them all over. I mean, how bad can a holiday be if it uses the color pink? I remember being so proud of my Valentine box and carrying into class on Valentine's Day was almost euphoric. I was an odd kid and these are the things that excited me.

In my class, the teacher had all of us line our decorated boxes up and then we were all to go, in a line, and deposit our cards into the openings of the boxes. Again, I must stress that these were simpler times and everything wasn't fair or politically correct and not everyone emerged as a winner or with a prize. So, back then, you were not required to bring a Valentine for every single classmate. I know, it sounds cruel, but that is how my generation learned to navigate life. The hard cold facts of life. Not everyone won, not everyone was going to receive a Valentine. With that being said, I was a kind hearted kid and did give everyone a Valentine. I am not just saying that to make myself look good. I really did have a soft spot for everyone.

Anyway, you were not permitted to open your Valentine box until you got home. Back then, Kindergarten only last until noon and your mother picked you up so basically, you could start ripping into the box as soon as you got in the car. I chose to wait until I got home and very methodically took out each card. I was a nervous wreck because the amount of cards you received would very well tell you the social standing and where you fit in. I was a wreck. Also, you hoped that maybe the cute boy that helped you build a block house had given you a card.

My first Valentine Box revealed many cards, some with candy in them, some with early attempts as love letters, some asking me to be a best friend. I remember beaming with pride at my first real Valentine's Day.

Sure, after elementary school, you stopped making the pretty boxes and once high school hit, Valentine's Day took on almost a stalker like mission to make sure you even had a boyfriend for Valentine's Day. You could drop them, after, but by gosh...you were going to have a Valentine.

Anyway, I am still a kid when Valentine's Day hits. I love the hearts, the pink colors, the boxes of character cards that will be tucked into whatever kids use, now, and taken home and hopefully looked at as carefully as I looked at my first Valentine cards. It is a day of whimsy, a day of cheesey love songs, a day that makes it seem like love really could rule the world. It is a day that is like a shining star in the dead of winter.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Quicksilver Girl

When I was young, I remember spending afternoons on my grandmother's swing, in her backyard. I have posted about this swing, before, but it's funny how when my mind and soul need comfort, I mentally put myself back on that swing and then mentally have a conversation, in my mind, with my grandmother or grandfather, on that swing.

In my ever changing moods, I do tend to draw from past experiences, past conversations and past comforting times in my life, to pull me through different obstacles of life, now.

The swing was a big, wooden, white swing that my grandfather had built and then he built a little shelter house type of thing for it. You could swing in the sun or rain, it didn't matter. I used to seek out my grandmother when I needed an extra dose of love and an extra dose of snark. She was my go-to for immediate life problems. I was one of her favorite things in the world and she would give me loving, soothing advice and then when I felt all happy and secure, again, she would tell me exactly how to go back and seriously kick ass in the situation. She didn't want me to be a wimp, she would say. She wanted me to stand up, be heard, know when to smile, know when to cry and then know when to turn around and give the person or the situation, a serious dose of me.

If my grandfather was involved in our conversation, he would sit, silently, humming. He was always humming some sort of tune. I think that is where I get my love of singing (although, I cannot carry a tune) and my humming while working. Anyway, he always had the same smile on his face as he listened to us. He loved my grandmother and let her give me her advice. When she was done, he would take up with his advice. He really didn't give advice, though. He was more apt to tell me a story or paint a picture of the type of person he expected me to be, how he wanted me to act in certain situations. He was all about being kind, working hard, being honest, the truth will win, no matter how much the truth may hurt or how much the truth may get you into trouble. He has been my moral compass, for my entire life. When I have chosen times to ignore his advice, it has come back to bite me, kick my arse, and then I think...why didn't I just remain on his path? He taught me to speak kindly, remain hopeful, look your enemy square in the eye and quietly let them know that you are watching them and that in the end, you will win. He hated loud mouthed, braggy, know it alls. He let them go on and on and on and he would just smile and walk away. My grandmother would get all up in that same person's business and tell them that they were not all that and then throw in one of her made up, famous, phrases and walk away. They were definitely the balance in my life.

In the many obstacles that I have faced in life, I have carried out my grandfather's advice and it has never steered me wrong. Inside, I carry my grandmother's advice because I really try not to get into shouting matches with people. For some reason, what worked for her back in the 1960s and 1970s, may be frowned on, today.

I find myself, right now, in a obstacle of life and I had lost all focus on both of their advice strategies. I have let myself run wild with so many emotions that I really never even knew existed in me. Last night, before I went to bed, I had to just sit and give myself the chance to revisit the swing. I had to first, count all that was right in my life. My husband, my daughter, our health, our life, our love. I had to visit the darker side of where this obstacle has come from and the thoughts it was evoking in me. When I put myself on the swing, and mentally put myself with both of my grandparents, I listened to what they would be telling me. I have run the emotions that my grandmother would have run with while forgetting the emotions that my grandfather would tell me to run with. For my own inner peace, I have to draw from him and his ability to stay calm, to stay focused, to stay quietly patient. I have to look that loudmouthed, braggy, know it all in the eyes, and know that in the end, the lice of the world do get exterminated. I have to remember that my grandfather would say, Rome wasn't built in a day, so I need to keep on my tasks until the end is reached and the obstacle can finally be dealt with. He would tell me not to lead with my emotions, but to lead with my hands and my heart, never taking my eyes off of the no good stuff trying to push in. Of course, my grandmother would say to put a nice shade of lipstick on, a cute pair of shoes and go straight up to the louse, and kick them where it counts.

After my mental swing with my grandparents, I now feel that I am better capable of moving ahead. I know that the good does always win, I just wish it didn't take so long to be the winner. I take comfort in knowing that I carry both of them on my shoulders, that I need both of their attitudes to get me through and I will try to hum a little song while I go forward.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Hot Child In The City

Well, February blew in much like every February, here, on Maggie's Farm. Cold, brutal, snowy and then for fun, a really, truly bizarre ice storm. I don't mean a bit of sleety, freezing rain. I mean horrid, horizontally blowing sheets of ice. On the night of the worst of it, the sound of it all blowing into the sides of the house were scary and eerie. And, with cold temps., the ice isn't going anywhere, too soon. But, it's winter, it's expected...it has just been weird. My little car looked like it had been frozen inside of an ice cube. From the road, down my front hill, over my drive and then down my front steps is just thick, thick sheets of ice. No distinction between grass or concrete. We will thaw and then get more winter but the Ice Storm of 2011 has been unreal.

In my ever changing moods, I just made sure that the house was stocked with foods, drinks, coffee and wine. I made sure that my Cosmic Charlie supplies were all in order and did several deep pleas of no power outages and then all that could be done was just wait it out. Our area was on a Level 3 Snow Emergency so cars were not allowed on the roads even if you could chisel out. It is a part of life in the winter weather states. As Jerry would say...nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile.

I decided to just set up camp in one of our tv areas. I had my netbook, never ending coffee by day, flowing wine, by night. I cooked really yummy comfort dinners, made warm breakfasts, made really yummy pots of soup for lunches. For my viewing pleasure, I was going to put in one of my all time fav movies, The Ice Storm, but decided against it since the ending always freaks me out and since we were in the middle of our own storm, didn't want to make myself go insane.

I ended up discovering that the E! channel was offering up marathon blocks of my all time, EVER, fav show...Sex And The City. For a few days in a row. Now, I have the dvds of the show, know each episode by heart, have both movies on dvd but for some reason, the marathons delighted me!!! It took me back to a magical time of tv viewing when each season of this show was greatly anticipated! The girls, the friendships, the fashion....it had it all. It was THE most liberating show, for women, of it's time. When the show debuted, I had a toddler running around and my days were filled with Barney, Rugrats, Allegra...on the Sunday of the SATC debut, I had put the toddler to bed, made sure that J was occupied in his den/pool table room/guy hangout, and I planted myself in front of the tv. I didn't know what to expect but I didn't expect to be lifted to a magical place, each week, of each season. The girls could have been any group of friends...to me, they became my salvation on Sunday nights. J and I always had our date nights on Saturdays and it took me away from toddlerville for a few hours but this show gave me back my sense of freedom, my sense of style, my celebration of girlfriends.

So, to discover that it was on, in mini marathons, during the ice out, made me so happy!! It is like comfort food only it's comfort revisiting of friends/fashion/cocktails/catch phrases and just a chance to fall in love with it, all over again.

I am no longer chasing around a toddler, I have definitely carved my own fashion sense, I can hang with galpals whenever I want and I am liberated from the toddler mom fashion group. Because, back in those days, toddler mom fashion was soooooo meh. This show let me get my dress on, let my hair be crazy, wavy. It encouraged me to buy many, many and many more pairs of shoes...heels..sky high heels...to this day, I love these girls for what they gave to women!

So, this is how I spent The Ice Storm...with old friends that weren't afraid to put it out there, be themselves and look fab while doing so.

Hot Child In The City is one of my FAV episodes of all of them...nothing much happened in the episode but the relationship between Carrie and her young boyfriend is nothing short of hysterical in the ending. And, it brought many hysterical memories of me and my bff from high school. Who knew we were the groundbreaking twins for the show...lol.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

One Hand In My Pocket

It has almost been a year since I started writing on my ever changing moods in my ever changing life. What twists and turns a year will bring you. When I started to explore my new paths I was about to embark on, who knew where I would land.

In my ever changing moods, this past year has taught me the art of patience, to take a leap into unknown waters just to see where the waters will take you, to look fear in the eye and laugh and to never underestimate the power and love of family, of friends and of strangers who end up as friends in unexpected ways.

This has definitely been a year of good and bad, give or take, yin and yang. Although, when is life not all of these mixed bag of goods? I guess that is what builds our character, makes us stronger, makes us appreciate the happy times, teaches us how to cope when things are not so happy, makes us resilient, teaches us to never give up, to seek the truth and may the truthful and just people win out over the oafish cads of the world. So, I have learned that on one hand, things can be very good while on the other hand, yes there is always that other hand, on the other hand, things can be a bit murky.

But, on this path of exploration and experimentation, I have come to realize that we need both hands to look at and show us the light. We need the good with the bad to make us stronger and to appreciate when things are good and when to kick ass if needed. It has taught me to be quietly patient, faithful in the good winning out and to look at fear and not run. Take it, analyze it, run with it and then in the end, chalk it up to the other hand.

I look forward to the next year of blogging and charting my course and living my life looking at both hands of life.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Golden Road

Over the weekend, I was reading all of the fashion blogs that I delve into, daily. I love having a span of time, with nothing else to do, and then lose myself in pictures of fashion and the beauty of the photography that some of my favorite bloggers use.

Here is one of my fav fashion bloggers. I love how she mixes pieces and I think she is just beautiful. She has become the model for Forever 21 and if she ever needed a shopping sidekick, I would want to be first in line to volunteer! She shops in the kind of shops that I like to browse. She doesn't care if something costs only 1.00. A cute find, is a cute find. She mixes high and low end, another one of my fav things to do. She can look like a million bucks, one day, or she can kick it in an outfit of old/vintage/beat up rock star looks....a girl after my own fashion heart.

I loved her recent blog post on vintage shopping in the Haight....I hope to start hitting up these types of shopping trips in my future...

So, just a shout out to wanting to be Her Shopping Assistant...

Or, who knows....own a little space that features eclectic and fab frocks...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Everyday I Write The Book

I was reflecting on myself over the weekend. I mean, what better subject to reflect on, right? Kidding. But, sometimes, everyone needs to take some time to just stop and sort of think about what they are doing, why they are doing it and making sure that all is well and they still love who they are and what they are accomplishing.

In my ever changing moods, I have learned that I am a better person, a better friend, a better president, a better entrepreneur, a better mom, a better wife, if I am at ease and happy with myself. If I find areas of discord or things that are bringing me down, I assess, recharge and put myself back on track. I am not a person who can wallow or sad sack it around for very long. When I find myself going along these paths, I am the first one to kick myself in the arse and put myself back on the road to happiness.

One of the things that will interfer with my moods faster than anything is when my daily routines are messed up. It's not like I am a 90 year old woman that has to have her oatmeal at 5am, sharp. (Not making fun of 90 year old women.) But, I have ways that I like to run my days and it's been like that from the time I was very young. I am heavy on schedules and lists and cringe at the unstructured and messed up day.

I wake up at the same time, each day. I like to get up around 5am. I need to know that I am up at least an hour before the rest of my house. I drink coffee, have computer time, plan my day, pack lunches, make breakfast and everyone is usually out the door by 8am...and then my day begins. The entire house needs to be organized, dishes put away, laundry put away...everything in it's place and then I can move on.

It's the same with my bread business. I have a certain order of breads that make. I know that the coffee house features four varieties for the lunch service. I have to bake them in a certain order. If I baked the herbed breads before the plain breads, I am done. It has be be a certain order. If I am baking rolls AND breads, I have to make the loaves first.

I run my closet and outfit planning in the same way. I have a huge collection of clothing in a huge closet that spills out into the guest suite of my house. Shoes and handbags take up alcove space. To some, it looks like a complete mess. To me, it is exactly as it should be. It's my system and if I try to be all neat and tidy and get tons of fancy bins and containers and fancy hangers, I lose it. I love the disarray of my closet, the scent of my perfume, the colors and textures of it all.

I know that it would seem my closet would be a model after say, Patrick Bateman's in American Pyscho...now that was an organized closet...and then he was a complete madman. I take the complete maddening closet to make me sane and happy. With the rest of my life running like clockwork, I guess I have to have one area that is a free for all.

I am getting ready to launch yet another venture. More info. to come, later, but the ironic part is that it will be a model after my own closet and heart. I just have to laugh because I will have one venture, the bread, that is all about organization and exact planning. So, it makes sense that I need another venture for the other part of my brain. The unorganized part.

So, yes, like this Elvis Costello lyric...Everyday, everyday, everyday...I feel like this is my mantra, each morning, as I set about my routines. I need the balance of the organized so that I can embrace the unorganized part of me, love what I am doing and continue to love me. If half of my life is completely on schedule, everyday is a good day.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Animal House

When I took off back in October and went on blogging hiatus, quite a few things have happened. One of them was that the cheerleader was accepted into her first choice of colleges!!

In my ever changing moods, college seemed like something that would happen much later. In reality, college is happening, right now. Well, all of the work leading up to her actually leaving. But, when the ball dropped to welcome in 2011, my heart skipped a beat because this is now graduation year. College is our next stop.

She seemed to be so confident that she would be accepted that she decided against applying to any of the other colleges we had visited. So, she got her application in, her letters of recommendation, her trascripts and then we waited. A few weeks went by and then one late afternoon, I went to get the mail. I saw the letter from the university in the mailbox. The cheerleader was about to start football cheer practice for the afternoon but I was able to reach her on her cell phone. I told her the letter would be here, waiting. She asked me to open it and read it to her. She had all of her friends and cheerleaders around her and as I read the phrase...We are pleased to inform you...it was nothing but screams, squeals, yelling and tears. She was happy!!

Her choice of university just happens to be my university. So, not only am I a proud mom, I am also overjoyed and hopeful that she will have the same happy experience that I did at the same university. I like that I can mentally picture her future dorm. When she gives me her class schedule, I will know the path across campus she will take to each building. I will be able to "see" her at rush parties for sorority. I will know the football stadium where she will now be cheering on a new team as we bid her high school team, goodbye. I hope that at each turn, there will be a friend like V or V, S or S...some of my best pals in college.

When we attended our final campus visit for Spotlight Days, I told myself that I would not fall in love with the campus, all over again. But, standing on the campus streets, with the sun streaming through the fall leaves, soaking in all of the memories and richness of the history of the school, I looked over at the cheerleader's face. She was beaming with excitement. She and I both knew, at that moment in time, that she would be next to walk the campus beautiful.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 Let the blogging resume!!

Happy New Year, dusting off things at the ole blog...I've been crazy, I've been busy but I have missed my dear blog. Let the games begin in the new year. Love to you all if you are still following!!