Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Toe Rings

Every summer I get a toe ring.  I wear it on the toe next to my big toe on my left foot.

This tradition started about 14 years ago.  I figured if a $5 toe ring helped me hang on to my youth, well, it was worth it.

Each year, there would be a new toe ring.  Toe rings find you - you can look for one and really want one. But when you are in some musty souvenir shop at the beach, well, that's the one you have to have.  It found you.

My first one - I say it was from Don Henley - I was still married.  Carolyn and I had just been to his concert at Red Rocks. I found it in a gift shop in Morrison, CO.

The toe ring is worn until real shoes have to be worn.  Then it actually gets annoying - either that or the shoes get annoying.

Sometimes they fall off.  They disappear.  Sometimes a cute guy buys you one and it serves as a "reminder of love".  Much like a teenage promise ring.  Only a summer love ring.  Or a short term ring.  Or a reminder of the one guy whom never had the guts to actually buy you a toe ring.  He knew it meant so much more than it really being just a $5 toe ring.

The year I "ran off to Hawaii in the winter" - well, I bought a toe ring.  Sterling silver.  At a toe ring store.  A store completely dedicated to toe rings.  This toe ring cost me $40.  There was one in there that cost $1500.

I joked that I would take that as my wedding ring one day.  Just an exchange of toe rings.

My $40 toe ring - I put on that March and wore it all last summer.  I also wore it this past summer.  At one point this summer, I tried to take it off.  It was bent.  My feet were swollen.  It wouldn't come off.

Yesterday, it slipped right off.  I guess summer is officially over.  My love for Hawaii and the summer is not over.  Just the ending of a season.

One day, I'll get my permanent toe ring.  The only ring I've ever really wanted.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sneaking In

Thursday night, Nolan's hockey team was participating in a fundraiser.  Selling programs at the professional hockey game.

The great thing about this, is that 100% of the money raised by selling the programs goes directly to the team.  So, if you are in Denver and buy a sports program (I think they are three dollars) - the team gets all that money.  This fundraiser usually raises about $1000 towards team expenses.  Think travel costs, paying extras for the coaches, etc.  

Each family has to pay "team fees'.  This is in addition to the club costs, equipment cost, all other costs.  It usually runs about $400 per family.  By participating in fundraisers, it lowers the total cost per family.

I'm all about the fundraisers - rather than just paying the money.  Especially the ones where the kids have to participate too.  

This year, there was also a "50/50 raffle" at the game.  50% of the proceeds from the tickets go to some lucky winner - 50% of the proceeds go to Colorado Youth Sports.  Since this is a "raffle" - it's actually considered gambling, so us parents had to sell the tickets.  

3 for $5
10 for $10
40 for $20

I was assigned the restaurant on the club level.  A bit boring, but fun still.  The best part was the break between 1st and 2nd period.  Everyone came out of their seats.  Out of their boxes.  Everyone had had a couple beers.  It was fun. 

A great group of guys from Detroit bought $80 worth of tickets.  It was their first time in Denver.  They loved our city. They wanted to tell us how great our city is.  I really hope one of them won.  They were fun.  One guy in another group, so wanted to ask me out.  If he would have asked, I would have gone.  Bravery always gets points in my book.

The kids were done.  The adults were done half way through second period.  I left the club level (which has security at all the entrances) to take back my equipment.  I turn it in, Turn the money in and go find Nolan.

The pot was worth $5000 - Some lucky winner walked away with $2500.

Everyone was gathering, so they could escort us out.  You see, we didn't have seats.  We were supposed to leave.  Key word being, well SUPPOSED.  

"Hey Nolan, want to go watch the rest of the game at the restaurant?".  "Sure" he replies.  "Okay, we have to leave the group, before they escort us out.  The two of us go to the restaurant.  

The restaurant was crowded.  Standing room only.  The game was sold out.  The second period ends.

"Hey, want to see if we can sneak on to the club level? I was talking to one of the ladies watching the elevator, maybe she will let us in".  "Okay", he replies.  After all, he is my son.

We get to the club level - only we came off a different elevator.  There was an elderly lady working at security.  She says, "Do you have your tickets".  "No" I replied.  "We were working the 50/50 raffle at the restaurant" "Oh, go ahead, the restaurant is that way" - letting us in.  Truthfully, I went to ask and just see if she would let us back in.  Only, I didn't need to keep explaining.  She just let us in. 

We smile as we head down the hall towards the restaurant on club level.  Giggling the whole way.

Watching the huge jumbo-tron - standing in between two sets of box seats - it was still the break between periods. I probably don't even need to tell the next part.  If you've been reading the blog, you know what happens.  

One of the guys in the box seats had bought tickets from me.  I said "Are you going to invite us in?".  

We watched the third period from the box seats.  There was free food and drinks.  We thought that might have been taking it too far.

Our team lost.  Against their biggest rival.  That's okay. 

As we walked back to the car - and raced elevator against the stairs (he took the stairs, I took the elevator) - we tied.  We laughed.  

"That was a LOT of fun" Yes.  Yes it was.

So when I have to come get you because you and your friend are kicked out some place for sneaking in, well, I'll understand.  You won't be in trouble either.  As I know where you learned how to sneak in.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Modern Technology

I read this great article this morning on how TEXTING is ruining relationships for teenagers.  Great article.  I would even go so far as to say texting, Instagram, SnapChat, IM and e-mail's - well, they have changed the way we behave in relationships.

Some of it good.  Some of it bad.  Instant communication is great for little stuff.  Just landed.  I'm done.  Can't wait to see you.  Pictures of what I'm doing.

This morning I was completely on board with the article.  (click on TEXTING above and it will take you to the article).  Completely agreed with the entire article.  We spend too much time NOT communicating verbally.  Technology has made our lives easier - easier to avoid.

What ever happened to a good old fashioned phone call?  Say hi!  Just CALL the person.

I sent this article to a couple of friends - we have teenage kids - we could all appreciate the perspective.  Also, as a single woman, it's easier to depend on text versus verbal communication.

A magical thing happened then happened this afternoon.

We found out Lily did a photo shoot for a swimwear/snow wear line. Duncan picked up his phone and called her.  They talked for a while.  He put on her on speaker.

Nolan had fallen asleep on the couch.  The Duncan and Lily relationship is so natural - they are truly brother and sister.  There are no worries about "what do I say?" "will he think I'm weird?"  "will she think I'm weird".  Well, she might have a few of those worries, but on this end - Duncan loves her like he loves Nolan.  Duncan starts lecturing her about the pictures she posts, they talk about her crushes - it was a conversation of friendship.

The funny thing is that I know Nolan wanted to talk to her too.  But they still 'like' each other, only they pretend not too - so the communication thing gets a bit harder.

THEN, another magical thing happened.  Duncan decided to "Facetime" Lily - this is much like Skype where you can actually see the person.  So, Lily and Duncan can actually see each other.  Nolan could make his cameo appearance without being too nervous.  Lily could make gestures not to tell Nolan what she was doing.  As we all know they both still do like each other.  You know, like each other.

And then???

She joined us for dinner.  I hear her tell her mom "I can't do that right now, I'm having dinner with the McIntosh's".  We set her a spot at the table and all had dinner.  Laughing.  Going through our Good Thing, Bad Thing, Funny Thing.  Missing our dinners/breakfasts on the island

Yes, there were a few awkward moments. There were giggles and smiles.  All from many many miles apart.

As with everything, moderation......

Monday, October 14, 2013

Must have got lost

As a recruiter, I view many resumes.  Several years ago, I ran across this resume.  The guy had attended and graduated from a good university.  Had been very involved.  Got a good job.  Then suddenly, he was driving a truck.  

I couldn't tell you his name, or what city he lives in, but I remember thinking "at what point did his life make a turn and he was now a cross country truck driver?"  He wasn't a fit for the position.  I never spoke to him.  But still to this day, I think of him.  Did he always want to drive a truck - then the finally decided to do it?  Did something happen and it was the only job he could find?  For the longest time, I thought he had gotten lost on his career path.  

My ex-husband is a great guy.  He's a great father.  Yes, we annoy each other and we are different people, but in the "bones" of our relationship - he's good.  We had a good marriage.  We have beautiful sons.  I use to tell people all the time - WE just got lost.  The things that were supposed to be important, became less important to me.  I wanted different thing than I wanted before.  We got lost.  Or maybe I got lost.

The song from the J. Giles Band always makes me think of my marriage:

Well, I must of got lost, I must of got lost
I must of got lost somewhere down the line

 Now, I think, maybe that truck driver had it okay.  I'm going with the theory, he always wanted to be a truck driver - he only went the way society wanted him to go.  Maybe he had finally lived his dream.

When the boys were little, we were driving home from preschool.  There was a man standing on the corner holding a sign.  Nolan was still in a car seat.  In fact, I know Duncan was still in at least a booster seat too.   They asked me about the man on the corner and why he was holding up a sign.

I went into this politically correct speech:

Sometimes we make bad choices in life.  And it leads us to bad places.
Sometimes we are hard on our luck and need others to help us.

Figuring I had covered a couple of scenarios, not judged, but given the boys enough information.

I don't remember which one said this.  They don't remember the conversation.  But, one of them said,
No, I think he's just lost.    I replied "What?"  "He's holding up a sign asking for directions."

Yes, my dear, sometimes we are just lost.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  We all get lost.  Sometimes, we just need to ask directions.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Richard Parker

The movie/book "The Life of Pi" is about a family whom owns a zoo.  You either have to rent the movie or read the book, because I'm not telling you here what it is/isn't about.

I will tell you one part.

The family bought a white tiger.  When they bought it from this owner, in the line where it states:  "Tiger Name", he wrote "Richard Parker".  The line where it said, "Owners Name", well, he wrote the Tigers name.  The family thought it was funny.  Cute.  Humorous.  They liked it, so they called the tiger "Richard Parker"

My sons and I love that idea.  In fact, we now call our cat "Richard Parker".  We still call him by the name we have called him for the last 9 years, but we also call him Richard Parker.  He's a cat.  Truthfully, he doesn't come to his name anyway.  What is the difference?

Let me tell you the difference;

Someone comes to your house, you now don't quite know what to tell people your cat is named.
Those pesky security questions?  (What is the name of your pet??)  Are we supposed to put down the name we call him or Richard Parker?

Childhood memories?  "Oh, I had a cat named XXXX until I was about 14.  Then I had a cat name Richard Parker." - Oh, by the way, it was the same cat.  After all, I do know families that name the family pet the same name, generation after generation - why can't one pet have a different name?

Of course this is on top of my children's already confused childhood....

After all, their life was just fine.  Then their mom went and quit her corporate job, she owned a small company, then things calmed down.  Well, for bit, then next thing you knew she was talking about becoming a Macadamia Nut farmer in Hawaii and the cat got a new name.

Who re-names their cat????

Sunday, October 6, 2013


I've always collected quotes.  Funny though, I don't ever write down their origin.  Whom says it is not as important to me as WHAT is said.  Or maybe what I hear.

When I can't think of stories to tell, I'm just going to share quotes - then usually they will cause me to remember stories.

  • My life is filled with a supreme cast of characters, I'm just unsure of the plot
  • I'm stuck between poor me and "why didn't I do it"
  • Life doesn't always turn out the way you wished it would or hoped it could.  Sometimes it turns out even better
  • I don't need a commitment, I need preferential treatment.
  • If I knew it was going to be a trial run, I wouldn't have tried so hard
  • When the storm is over, is it happiness or just relief?
  • You owe me a break-up - I'll break up with her for you, if you break up with him for me.
  • I don't think love and fame can live in the same place.
  • You know you love someone when you know you want them to be happy - even if their happiness doesn't include you.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The faces of Eve

There was some 70's made for TV movie I kinda sorta remember.  Okay.  Not really.  I remember the premise of what I think was a movie in the 70's - this woman was classified as schizophrenic and had 12 (or some different number, but this my memory) and different "people living inside her".  Someone later told me, they weren't literally living inside her, but as a child, you don't know these things.

I don't think I watched the movie.  Just watched bits and pieces of it. This movie scared me to death. Yes, mental illness (that is not what I'm bringing  up today)is a very sad disease, but we all have different "personalities" whom live within us.

I tend to classify my "inner being" into three groups:

  • Hockey Mom
  • Career Woman
  • Gypsy Girl

I know I speak of these three women often.  Often giving one control at a time.  Thinking one of them needs to be in charge.  After all, doesn't SOMEONE around here need to be in charge???

Today though, I was participating in an arts & crafts project for a mud run I'm helping promote.  In fact, I was in the taping of a promotional video that will run on the web for this company.  Oh yeah, I've done a few TV/web spots before.  Oh, we got to make the T-shirts.  I learned a really cool way to take a T-shirt and make it into something fun and even fitting.  I was SO excited.  In fact, I think this is the cutest thing I've ever made.  (BTW, yes, it's totally lost on the boys)

So wait, where does this "woman" fit in?  Not really the hockey mom, definitely not the Career Woman, maybe a bit of the gypsy girl.  If I wasnt careful though, the Career Woman would try to make this into a money making thing versus just enjoying doing a project.

Then I started thinking....... "When am I really my happiest?"

The answer:  not what you are thinking.  Let's see, there is:
  • Martha Stewart - oh yes, I love to make things - my photo books, my picture frames with sea glass that I collected glued around the edges, my kids childhood theme birthday parties, the trip to Disneyland when Santa brought the trip.  
  • The athlete -  Running in the middle of Greece, swimming in the ocean, skiing on the backside of Vail, helping someone else cross a finish line for the first time. Being in shape.
  • The spokesperson - Need me to promote something for you?  I'm the person you can send on stage, in front of a camera, hula hooping on the news.
  • Mom - not just a hockey mom, but the fun mom.  The one whom had the neighborhood house for years.  The one whom has fun with all the kids, but still gets grumpy and irritated.
  • Girlfriend - incredible friends - both male and female.  Secrets of bunches.  Holder of hearts, alibis and stories. 
  • Vail Girl - Oh, you have to ask her about those stories.  Not a bad place to spend your thirties.
  • Lover - to those whom love me.  Or whom I love.  Loved.
  • Neighbor - for those needing anything.
  • Traveler - seeing the world one block at a time.
  • Adventurer - that nothing is a simple as "taking a trip", but making it an adventure for not only myself, but others too.
  • Business Owner - when I don't want to recruit or work, it's the Business Owner I blame, but it's not her fault I have to work.  Working is a function of something she has to do.  I'm also not against her profession - after all, she provides freedom and flexibility.  So, when I'm mad at her I need to realize it's not her fault.
  • The Writer - quite honestly, I forgot to include her at first.  She hasn't yet gained her voice - or maybe it's her sea legs......  She's still young.  Maybe she will replace one of the other personalities - or compliment.
All these things don't define me.  They are all me.  

What I realized is, when I'm my happiest, I'm feeding them all.  Just for a moment every day.  A little bit of balance.  A little bit of discipline.  One step at a time. 

Of course, some of the personalities are stronger than the others.  It's during those times we have to let that one be charge.  The rest just need to remember, she can't stay in charge - it messes up the whole function of our being - meaning me and all my "personalities".

I wonder if that movie would be so scary now?  Maybe, I need to make my version of the movie......It could be over Deux.  It's about time.....