Playing catch up

Hosted by “Tracy” at “Mother May I,” but the photo-picture below will whizz you right there with one click.

Just call me snap happy.

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I like to think that this tribute to Garfield is directly related to my son’s increased diet. Well……Garfield does have very winning ways.

If you’re looking for something different for Mother’s Day, then how about a “goat?” I just love “Oxfam.”

My daughter is safely back from Science Camp together with the “cartoons.”

If you’re in need of other freebies and giveaways then you could do a lot worse than to nip along to a new site that I recently discovered called “We are THAT family” where you can find a pleasant introduction to the “clan here.”

Please add your name to my two giveaways if you haven’t already as the end of April approaches:-

“here” or “here.”

Meanwhile the “Pi” dishes are still languishing in the kiln up at the studio but any day soon now……so if you don’t want to miss them you may wish to subscribe to my RSS feed at “Etsy” or “twitter,” as I do not blog in real time.

Mom Blogs

Yesterday I was over at 5 Minutes for Special needs Moms “here” at “Five Minutes for Special Needs Mums,” so if you’re willing to subject your blog to a withering “review,” just let us know?


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Wordy Wednesday

5 Minutes for Special Needs

My life may not be a bed of roses:-

but you won’t hear me moaning about autism, or if you do, I’ll just be mumbling into my socks, because I am a natural grumbler, but please don’t compare autism to cancer.

“Boufmom” who blogs over at “Who says 8 is Enough” is hosting a fundraiser for her “chum,” from May 5th to May 12th.

As she says:-

‘We are holding this blog party in honor of Tuesday Whitt, my friend Jess’ beautiful twin daughter who bravely fought and sadly lost her 8 month battle with stage 4 neuroblastoma in January of this year.
We are doing this fundraiser to hopefully raise awareness about this awful disease and to raise money for the Tuesday Fiona Whitt Foundation, where all proceeds go towards pediatric cancer research.’

As “Jess” says:-

‘bereave |bi?r?v|

verb ( be bereaved)

be deprived of a loved one through a profound absence, esp. due to the loved one’s death : the year after they had been bereaved | [as adj. ] ( bereaved) bereaved families | [as plural n. ] ( the bereaved) those who counsel the bereaved.

It’s ok to reach out to us. You are not bothering us. It’s ok if you can’t. If you don’t know what to say, “I’m so sorry you lost Tuesday” , with, or with out a hug, is all we need. It’s ok if you say something and I start to cry. You didn’t cause it. Death caused it. You didn’t “remind” me of her death, because not a second goes by that I am not thinking of her. Aching for her. It’s ok if you see us out and we are smiling and appear to be doing well. At that moment, we probably are doing well. Other moments we are doing so, absolutely, not well. It’s ok if you said the wrong thing or didn’t say the right thing because there is no wrong or right thing to say. There is no wrong or right way to BE when your child dies. There is no right way to do this. We’ll figure it out together.

Thank you for loving us.’

Personally, I cannot even imagine what that would be like.

Whilst it may seem a little daft to start another giveaway even before I’ve finished the first “one,” timing has never been one of my strong suits. There is a family I know who have returned to Ireland who have battled with cancer and won a reprieve so this is a topic quite close to home, yet far away.

So without further ado:-

so here it is…….

……..maybe this one has your name on it, so please consider whether this is something that has touched your life.

Yes, I will bite the bullet and ship worldwide if we don’t go bankrupt first.

We are approaching Mother’s Day in the United States, the second Sunday in May, it may be that you might be able to spare a thought for this “family,” I hope. This giveaway will end on the 12th of May.

Whilst you’re at it, again with Mother’s Day in mind, maybe we can extend a green hand to help families worldwide with “Oxfam America Unwrapped,” as that would be fairly high on my list.

Mom Blogs

If you need some light relief, then head on over to:-

“DJ Kirkby” over at “Chez Aspie” and test your brain power.


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Give me a clue!

Without wishing to blow my own strumpet, I would admit that I have 47 years of experience with men.

Since 49% of the world's population are male, I have found them difficult to avoid.   After many a long year locked up in a convent, for now all to obvious reasons, I found that I was a little short in the feminine wiles department.  As everyone knows, all of life's important life skills may be gleaned from a good book.  Thusly I modeled my behaviour upon the more simpering characters found in Jane Austen's novels.   Although I practiced dutifully, dropping freshly ironed lace handerchieves and the like, on the whole, I found the whole exercise less than successful.  Indeed as I look back, I see these early steps as a foreshadowing of my future life as a laundry victim.

During the intervening years I enjoyed a variety of interesting but fatally flawed relationships.  It took me longer than most to realize, that I was the fatal flaw.   I adopted a new modus operandum, plain speaking.  Things improved almost immediately.

These days I ensure that all interested parties are aware of forthcoming events prior to their arrival.  I am more than happy to facilitate communication by coping off A4 sheets of paper, announcing that my birthday is arriving on such a such date and plastering it all over the house.  Such wanton self promotion is an irritation to my personal psyche but is preferable to the third party misery caused by an oversight.

And it is always an oversight.

***

I do a little victory dance in the kitchen as visual accompaniment to my question, “what day is it tomorrow?”
“Pancake day!”
“Yes. What else?”

I adopt a more enthusiastic dance, more of an Irish Jig.

“Jumpy day?”
“I'm not jumping I'm dancing! Good guess. It's Saturday today. Try again.”

I wiggle and wriggle, my version of Hip Hop wearing my best happy face.

“Er Sunday!”
“Yes! What else?”

I shimmy along the floor boards, a cross between punk rocker and demented chicken.

“Er……….21 days til dah praying mantis is borned!”

I glare at the tick down chart and block their view to that particular visual cue. I gyrate a little more whilst avoiding dizziness as I'm running out of dances, “yes, but what else?”
“Er it is my birthday soon?”
“Good one, but not for another 24 days. What else?”

I'm down to waltz and ballroom dancing.
“Er 32 days until summer holidays!”

I slither over to the other side of the room to block their view to the other tick down chart, and attempt belly dance, “true, but what else!”

I invert my arms from the elbow, to point at me.

“Er…..it is ……..red day?” they offer with a certain degree of uncertainty.

I pout. Here I am doing my very best to help them out, give them 24 hours warning and I am met with a brick wall. Perhaps there are too many visual cues or just the wrong ones? Maybe I should write 'MOTHER' on my forehead? Where is my black sharpie pen anyway? “Mothers day! It's Mother's Day tomorrow! Right?”
“No.”
“No? Oh, is it next week?” I nip over to the calendar to check if I'm being a bit previous, “hmm, yes, I think it is, see, look here?”
“No.”
“No?”
“Er……….maybe it is being a surprise day………tomorrow.”

Pretty much of a surprise day today!


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Let them eat brioche!

I am faced with a moral dilemma of gargantuan proportions. [translation = as well as a minor etiquette issue] Tis the season of school wind down when invitations proliferate. Kindly folk at the school wish to offer thanks to their volunteers and show their appreciation for inadequate services rendered.

I find this a particularly delightful element of the American psyche. British people generally believe that they have a complete monopoly in the polite department, in both quality and quantity. Yet I do not ever remember experiencing such an outpouring of well wishes for minor services. [translation = although things may have changed in that last couple of decades]

One of my favourite authors, “Mr.Bill Bryson” has also remarked, much more eloquently upon these perceived differences.

I now find that in addition to the above, I, as well as all the other mother's, have been invited to attend a 'Mother's Day Celebration' in Junior's class. I am led to believe that the sub-plot to this deal, is cake eating. I have two difficulties here. Firstly, following jaw surgery and an extravagant amount of elastic bands, I am unable to eat solid food. Secondly, even if I were able to eat solid food, 'cake' would not be high on my 'preferred' list of gastronomic delights. [translation = it would come directly after chocolate covered cockroaches] Whilst I am more than happy to bake cakes, decorate cakes and give cakes away, I cannot even recall when I last had occasion to force myself to consume the dratted stuff.

Cake by it's very nature suffers from several fatal flaws. Now don’t get all distracted here, as I know that the ghost of ‘fruit cake’ has descended upon my erstwhile little American pals. Perish the thought! [translation = for reasons that are still not entirely clear to me, just the words ‘fruit cake’ are a cause for gurgles of hilarity on this continent.] Ban the vision of fruit cake and replace with American cake e.g. ‘white cake,’ or pound cake, especially as the latter is available on both continents and is the same. For those who are not bakers, pound cake is not dollar cake here, as the ‘pound’ refers to weight, not the rate of exchange.

The first flaw, is that cake is sweet. This puts it in one of the highest categories of 'loathsome.' Additionally, cake is often smothered in a wide variety of sweet slime. [translation = frosting or icing, or sometimes both if you a truly unlucky] Slime of course takes the prime place on the 'loathsome' scale. [translation = slime and sweet combined, would trump the latter, so truly aversive as to be vomit inducing]

So what is a mother supposed to do in such situations? Refuse the invitation and avoid the whole issue? Attend, but refuse to eat the cake?

Tempted as I am by either or both solutions, I have to swallow my misgivings and attend anyway.

I sit on a chair the size of a Toadstool. To complicate matters still further, all my children are aware that I dislike cake. This particular son, favours chocolate cake with ganache, but never ventures from this preference.

We examine his cake offering. [translation = a muffin the size of Manhattan]
“It is dah big!”
“Indeed it is.”
“It is dah vanilla which is being dah white.” [translation = unnecessary, he is clearly bilingual]
“Too true.”
“Dah frostin is dah pink.”
“Quite so, the very worst colour in the entire universe.”
We continue to gaze at the confectionery piece. [translation = joint attention, a rare and truly under valued quality]
“I am finking.”
“You are? Thank you so much for telling me that! Can you tell me what you are thinking?”
“Dat maybe you are not liking to be eating dis.”
“You are such a thoughtful little chap. Thank you.”
Who would have guessed at the depth of his magnanimous nature? [translation = “Sally- Anne” can keep her dratted marbles]
“What we be doing about dis problem den?”
Self generated problem solving techniques! Be still my beating heart.
“Not a clue. A real toughy! Do you think we should throw ourselves on the floor and scream a bit?”
“No! Dat will not be dah helping. I fink we be needin dah compromise.”
It’s official, ‘compromize’ is now my favourite word, enough to allow a ‘z’ to take preference! What has happened to my child? Who has zapped him? What did they zap him with? [translation = undoubtedly self initiated]
“Maybe……maybe I am eating it for you?”
“Really! You'd do that for me?”
“It will be being dah new food for me I am finking.”
“I cannot believe your bravery, and all for me! Thank you.”

I watch him attempt tentative ‘eating.’ I resist the urge to nibble part of him and content myself with one hand entwined around his middle. He snuggled back onto my lap, his fingers tremble with the paper muffin case. [translation = tactile defensiveness people often hate the texture of paper, especially on highly sensitive little digits] I pull it off for him as he made his attempt and I don’t want to tempt fate. The muffin rests on my palm, a plate.

The tip of his tongue edges out to brush the frosting. He remains like that for some moments before he slowly retracts his tongue. As he does so a little electric current courses through his body and mine, but for different reasons. I break off a piece of the crumb, tiny and hold it for him. We repeat the exercise.

He turns sideways to tuck himself under my chin and wipe his mucky mouth and face on my pristine white T-shirt.

That’s it! I’m finished. [translation = done] Now I can die happy. [translation = all will be well]

Greater love hath no neophobic child, than to eat cake for his mum for Mother's Day. [Or any other day come to think of it]

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