peachyteachy

For realsies

For Mild-Mannered Rap Daddies (and Moms) September 8, 2013

Filed under: family,humor,music,parenting — peachyteachy @ 10:52 am
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I am a little bit embarrassed at how charmed I am by this.  If you are extremely cool, you may want to go Keurig yourself while the rest of us are saying, “YO. What?” under our breaths.

 

Messy Mother’s Day May 12, 2013

Filed under: family,flowers,gardening,life,parenting — peachyteachy @ 9:44 am
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Five years ago, on May 12, it was also Mother’s Day.  It had been a lovely day with my kids, and I had spoken that afternoon with my 80-something mom, who was on what she was determined would be a temporary stay at a nursing home.  Her voice had been so raspy that it was difficult to understand her.  We had talked about the upcoming commencement when I would celebrate the completion of my master’s degree.  She had spoken of sharing with the nurses the photo I had sent of my then four-year-old son.

That night, I was awakened by a phone call telling me that she had passed away.

Obviously, Mother’s Day is bittersweet for me.  It’s also complicated.

Thanks to my mom for all of the important things that she taught me to do and be.  Mom shared with me her passion and respect for the natural world.  I love the plants in my gardens like my offspring,  I feed birds, and I refuse to use pesticides.  I am a rabid recycler.  I apologize, however, for not saving every piece of used aluminum foil.

At least as importantly, I give my thanks for the lessons in how not to be.  Overcooked macaroni, asparagus, and most everything else led me to a determination to teach myself  to cook! Mom burned the bottoms out of enough pans to fill the quota for the both of us.  However, Mom could turn out a mean apple pie (and raspberry, and blueberry), and so she gets credit for the fact that I can make pie crust from scratch.

I also learned from my mom how important it would be to take responsibility and apologize to my children when I screwed up—not because she modeled this, or told me to, but because she didn’t.  I cannot remember my mother ever saying to me that she had been wrong about something.  What pressure to put on oneself.  This sort of coping strategy was typical of how my mother masked her considerable fear.  I resented it when I was younger, gained compassion later as I worked to be mindful of my own fearful behaviors, and slowly learned to make different choices than she had.  Sadly, the fear that my mother clung to also acted as a cloud, a protective barrier, through which I could never clearly see.  Some healing, I have discovered, has to be done after someone has gone.

Mother’s Day, then, is messy.  But it is full of love, and I will cut lilacs and bring them in (I picked Mom a bouquet on every Mother’s Day that I spent with her. She preferred these treasures from our yard above the more perfect, less heartfelt arrangements that florists charged an arm and a leg for).    Thanks to my mom, for all of it.

image source: elizabethpatch.com

 

Minecraft Invasion of the Brownies Mod February 24, 2013

Fudgy Chocolate Brownies

http://img4-2.realsimple.timeinc.net/images/1010/Brownies_300.jpg

Real Simple Fudgy Chocolate Brownies

My kid is cyber-whining because he wants me to pay money to sign up for a server that will enable him (theoretically) to play a Hunger Games mod on Minecraft! It is hellish.

I have already lost 90% of my readership with that first sentence.

And I will proceed to piss off those Minecraft folks who wind up here via a search. I should probably be censoring my language because the average age of Minecraft users is nine.

He has already used my YouTube/gmail account to ask people stuff that I don’t want anyone thinking that I would ask (no, he doesn’t know my password)! Talk about a damned slippery slope! You KNOW those responders will not be censoring their language to protect young sensibilities.

Combine this onslaught of “Please, Mommy” with the fact that it is Sunday, which means that tomorrow is Monday, which means—that which must not be spoken—let’s face it; there are few alternatives that can compete with the making of the brownie.

Yes, it’s a band-aid.  Yes, it has potentially detrimental side effects. But think of the antioxidants! Or don’t; I don’t care. I made the brownies.   They are helping. I am not over-indulging, and I am not taking prescription medications either (a miracle, that).  I linked you to the recipe.  There’s my charitable act for the day (except for you Lenten Chocolate Giver-Uppers).

Just for the record, I shall not be spending diddly squat on a Minecraft server until one of those little paper number tickets brings it on home to mama.

 

Nerf Ops February 21, 2013

Filed under: humor,life,parenting — peachyteachy @ 1:37 pm
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The crew awaiting intruders

I am three hours deep into an eight-year-0ld boy playdate.  2.9 hours of that time have been dedicated to intense, high volume combat play using nerf weapons and a wooden rubber band gun.

Overheard: “I just want to see what will happen if I shoot you in the balls.”

How about a nice chocolate covered cherry, boys? Candy diversionary tactics rarely fail—except when they decide to demolish the chocolate covered cherry in order to examine and possibly remove said stone fruit.  At least our guest is not a charter member of the Brotherhood of The Three Food Choices (“I eat only white bread, American cheese, and organic kiwi fruit.”).

I would get all supermom on them and break out a craft project, but my wisdom and prior experience tells me that I would spend twenty minutes getting it ready and cleaning it up, while they would create masterpieces for exactly thirty seconds, then shoot the creations with nerf darts and rubber bands.

Later, after Playmageddon, I have to go and ransom my car from the garage. I had what I hope is a terrible dream where the mechanic said “Fifteen hundred.” Ouch.

Still, I can’t complain. It’s winter break and it beats working.

Oh, hell. Someone just said “super glue.”

 

Good Luck Merry December 24, 2012

Filed under: family,holiday,life,parenting — peachyteachy @ 5:26 pm

Pretty peaceful here, right now.  We don’t have Christmas Eve obligations, and so I don’t have to cook like crazy.  I am making a pot of chili for dinner! Rebel on the loose! Seven fishes can be eaten by seven million other folks–I’m not Italian, anyway, and fish has been known to make me hurl.

I enjoyed being out for some last minute items early this morning, and I have been reflecting on how different things are, here and now, from the way they were when I was growing up.  I’m not referring to world events or periodic apocalypses.  More personal than that.

When I was a kid, we had many Christmases when there really wasn’t much of anything to speak of in the way of presents. And if you are expecting me to affirm that it didn’t matter; that we were together and we had each other and that was enough, well, I am going to disappoint you.  Did I love the cookie baking and the tree and the carols? Yes, I truly did.  I carry on these traditions joyfully today. But the fact is that I was not a virtuous enough child not to notice that, when I called my friend early in the afternoon on Christmas day, there were some major gaps between her description of what she had received, and mine.  For example, one particularly lean year, I received an Avon rose-scented cologne in a glass container that looked like a plaid dress.  And that’s it. I said ‘Thank you,” and of course I was oblivious to how difficult that must have been for my parents.  I resented the fact that my mother believed for a second that it would be a good idea to spend what she had to spend on something so completely removed from anything that I would have liked or chosen.  I kind of thought that she actually liked it.  I was thrilled when it smashed to bits some months later, although it smelled God-awful in my bedroom for awhile.

I have, not surprisingly, made it a point to work hard to make Christmas abundant for my kids.  It is pretty small scale compared with what lots of folks do, but even if I have to wrap little things in big packages, it all feels special and we have a lovely time together with lots of laughs.  My younger son is aware of the fact that things are pretty tight these days.  He said, “Mommy, I wouldn’t want you to get me a Wii U–I wouldn’t want you to spend that money on me.”

For two years after my mom passed, we found a bird nest in our Christmas tree.  It is said to bring good luck. I feel that it connects me with my mom, and those nests are part of decorating the tree each year.  I do feel lucky.  She did the best she could.

Me too.

 

Uninvited Guests—and I Don’t Mean Insects November 14, 2012

Tomorrow marks round two of parent-teacher conferences!  My goal is to have even more parents show up than I had last week! You may be dusting off the Teacher of the Year trophy, but don’t get too excited.  I had exactly one live parent show up last week.  I’m feeling pretty confident, considering the fact that I will have even more time tomorrow, including evening hours.

On another “It’s super to be a teacher” note, sometimes we run into former students.  It’s heartwarming, often. Less frequently, it’s a little bit terrifying.  For instance, when you are out in the neighborhood, walking the dog with the kid, and you hear someone saying your name, a la “I know that not Ms. Peachy! I know that not Ms. Peachy!” At this point, conversation is unavoidable. In your own neighborhood. And when you realize that the kid is a student who had frequented the office and some alternative “programs” due to years-long history of crazy violent behavior, that’s an extra special moment.  But not the most special moment.

The MOST special moment is the next day when someone knocks on  your door, and it’s–you guessed it– the kid.  Asking to play with your much younger kid, and listing video games that he wonders whether your kid plays. Def Blood? Ultimate Murder 2013? “Ummm, no, I don’t let him play violent games.” This, I say out loud, while my interior monologue goes something like this, “HELL, no, my son cannot come out and play with you, nor will he EVER be allowed to be inside any house to play any video game with you. And who the hell told you which house I live in, and you are a suspected sociopath, so, hey, it’s so nice to see you, but BUH-BYE!” I have decided that, if he pops in again, I will confide in him that I am a witch, and ask him if he would like to learn some spells.  If he says yes, I will go all crazy-eyed and let go a cackle, and offer him some mealworms for a snack.

It’s good to have a plan.

 

Hospitality Man-The New Face of Star Wars August 25, 2012

"Hospitality Man"

Hospitality Man wishes he was Han Solo.

Our dog, Bob Marley (no relation to that heart-wrenching retriever that made someone a successful writer awhile  back), used to enjoy chewing stuff.  A lot.  Isn’t that cute and unusual? No, I know.  Settle down.  The mildly interesting angle that I want to share with you here is how she had a preference for certain items. Yeah, Bob Marley is a girl dog.

Bob Marley did have a varied diet, and took to heart the nutritionists’ admonition to all of us that we should Eat a Rainbow Every Day!  What a sunny reminder to help us back into Oz when we veer off into the brown-and-beige-based food groups, such as oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (transformed to healthier Rainbow Eating by the strategic addition of M & Ms), mashed potatoes, and the breads in all their glory.  Bob Marley managed it by eating toys, especially Legos (always the coolest ones from the expensive kits, not the basic bricks) and action figures.  Star Wars action figures.  She could be surrounded by toys all over the floor, and she would be cheerfully chewing away on a Storm Trooper, not blinking an eye when you came in the room.   Many tears were shed, you can be sure.  The number one super fave, though, was the Clone Troopers–the ones from the animated series that we Star Wars purists poo-poo as illegitimate.  Like Cheez Wiz, it should be written “Star Warz the Clone Warz.”

None of that pure Star Wars propaganda holds any sway with my son.  “There’s too much conversation in the original Star Wars.  There’s more action in the prequels and in the Clone Wars,” he blithely states, while my older son and I gouge our eyes out with Lego light sabers that have missed the Bob Marley scourge.  Yeah, we have kept a lot of the damaged troopers, so the action figure collection in this house might not be suitable for younger viewers.

As a matter of fact, we came across one of the amputees this morning.  Grisly.  As you can see, both legs just clean gone.  “Does this guy play as the wounded one?” I asked (see  Ambling and Rambling’s Stupid Questions for more like this).

“Yeah, he’s Hospitality Man.  Cuz he has to go to the hospital so much.”

Hospitality Man.  Defiantly hospitable. Coming soon to a theater near you.

 

 
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