the difference between planning life and living life

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
This quote is from Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) a song by John Lennon. Turns out it was originally from an article written for Reader’s Digest by a guy called Allen Saunders.
Only that’s not really the point I making.

My point is that even the best life plans can become waylaid by simply living your life.

As I get back into the routine of my life after a death, and birthdays and as we anticipate Thing G’s graduation and a house full of people, I know I’ll plan. I know I’ll make lists, and organize time, and tasks, and school assignments.
I’ll create my summer schedule. But I also know I’ll drop everything to go do something fun. Or I’ll spend more porch life time on some days than on others. I know important things will pop up.

All my planning, and list making, and organization will aid me in accomplishing what I set out to do, but I’ll have to be flexible. Because sometimes life is what’s happening all around and in between plans and lists.
As I grow and mature as a human, (refusing to put away laundry notwithstanding) I’m learning to accept that things don’t always go my way. (After my childhood, you’d think I’d already mastered that knowledge, but that’s another whole post.)
Things don’t always go my way. But sometimes they go an even better way. That’s why I have to accept that can only execute a portion of what I plan. Because as mad as my planning skills are, the possibility of being surprised by life can be a lovely experience!

Life happens whether or not you’ve penciled it into your book. And for an uptight control freak list lady like me, that’s not always the most comfortable way to function. (Understatement much?)
I’ll continue to plan. I’ll accept what happens, planned or not.
This is my journey through life, if I’m so busy worrying about planning and not being present for what happens, it’s not going to be any good at all.

You know what Ferris said:

Ferris knows what’s up. He had the best skive day in the history of all skive days!

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Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Y’all want to know a secret?

Y’all want to know a secret?
About certain things, I’m lazy as f**k.

When YBW said to me, “You need to capitalize on some sort of ‘floor based’ dressing system.” after I finished laughing, I knew it was time to do something.
Interestingly enough that something was rat myself out to y’all, not put away the laundry.
I love that he was remarking in such a way as to not shame me. He kind of just called it like he saw it and we both laughed. LOTS! I appreciate that he didn’t shame me. I appreciate that he accepts this particular quirk, even though it’s ridiculous.

It would be easy for me to make excuses.
Busy busy.
YBW’s mom died, I’m planning, etc.
YBW’s birthday.
My birthday.
But y’all, it’s not those things. Truthfully, I have no excuse.

I love to wash, dry, and especially fold laundry.
But the putting away?

Meh. I simply cannot be bothered.
Makes no sense, especially with my mad organizational skills.

Mostly I’ll hang up dresses, skirts, sweaters. But everything else just kind of sits there until I get around to putting it away. And sometimes, that takes longer than one might imagine.

But now that YBW called me out, I have two choices.
1) Put away the laundry like a proper human
2) Be stubborn as f**k and let that shit sit there
Y’all check back in to see which I chose.

Who knows?
Perhaps I’ll actually come up with some new ‘floor based’ system that works for me. (Even I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one.)

I’m curious.
What’s your guilty secret when it comes to the way you keep your home?
Let me know in the comments.
And if you’re not as lazy as I am, please make up something. Help a girl out, so I’m not over here feeling like a complete and total loser. K? Thanks!

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

celebrating my birthday with The Kills

Thanks, YBW for the best birthday gift!

The Kills.
I fell for this duo when I heard Sour Cherry for the first time ten years ago.
I get truly excited each time they put out a new record. And when I had the opportunity to see them International Week of the Birthday…? SHUT UP!
Y’all!
It was one hell of a show!
Jamie Hince’s healed hand mastering that guitar, and I could hardly take my eyes off Alison Mosshart slinking around the stage.

Here’s a little of what we saw at the Lincoln Theatre.

Track 2 Ash & Ice 2016

Track 1 Blood Pressures 2011

Track 3 Midnight Boom 2008

7 inch single cover of Saul Williams 2018

Check out the opening act, Dream Wife. YBW really liked these punk rock girls from England!
Track 2 Dream Wife 2018

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

birthday beer


We went to 2 Silos at Farm Brew Live Friday night to celebrate my birthday with our friends Nora and Dale.
This is a new campus for food, beer, music, and fun designed around an old barn here in PWC.

before

after

I was happy to sit out in the warm spring sun and drink beer and hang out with people I love.

Whenever I would run low on beer, (the yummy Virginia Cream Ale) my precious husband would make sure I had another pretty quickly.

There was a band called Dr Fu playing great covers from Lenny Kravitz and Maroon 5, to Queen and Neon Trees. We sang A LOT!


YBW worked on this tower all night, twice the servers came by and tried to take away the cups and were politely told no. I dig this recyclable tribute of celebrating my birthday.
Y’all, the last ten days have been rough. But I’m feeling the full joy of my birthday and being beautifully celebrated by those who love me. International Week of the Birthday is in full swing around here and I’m loving every moment of it!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

herbs, champagne, and a tiara

I woke to fairly heavy rain Sunday morning. And that means these herbs sitting on the porch for nearly two weeks waiting to be planted will simply have to wait another day. We were at the garden center the day before YBW’s mom went into hospital. Our shift in focus was unexpected but necessary, and I’ve been watering the herbs each day in hopes of keeping them happy until they can move to the big containers.

These plants are lemony scented geraniums, lemon balm, lemon grass, basil, lavender, rosemary, and lemon thyme. Used together, they’re meant to deter mosquitoes.
Now if only there was something to scare off the pollen…

Thing G told me he saw on the news we’re having the worst pollen season in several years.
Y’all, I believe it. I’ve not had allergy symptoms this severe since I moved from Virginia to South Carolina twelve years ago. Even though all the furniture and rugs are set up on the porch, it’s nearly unbearable to go out there for all the oak pollen. So while I’m eager to engage in a little porch life, looks like that will wait a bit longer.

I’m hopeful the rain will take care of that today, and I’ll be able to get out there later on this week to do a little planting.
But not tomorrow, because International Week of the Birthday continues with going to see The Kills at The Lincoln Theatre.

Yesterday on my actual birthday, I had breakfast at my favorite little dump diner.
When we returned home, I put on my tiara.

Spent the day watching baseball, and drinking obscene amounts of champagne with YBW, and Meredith and Beau’s Mommy and Daddy. We ate greek food and angel food cake with berries and homemade whipped cream.
I was truly celebrated!
This Mother’s Day I’ve spoken to Thing 1 and received texts and social media posts from Thing 2. I suspect she’ll call at the end of the day like she did yesterday.
YBW and I were planning to go see Infinity War again, but it turns out I napped and woke hungry. So now, I’m going to find him and make a dinner plan.

This late spring pollen won’t be around forever, and soon I’ll get those herbs planted and be ready to porch life my ass off!
I can hardly wait!

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Happy Mother’s Day


I received these bulbs in the mail on Thursday with this precious card:
Happy Mother’s Day from Thing 1 and Husband N. We love you. P.S. Happy Birthday!!!

When I called to thank her, she said, “I’ve been waiting my whole life to send you flowers on Mother’s Day and I finally did!”
Thank you my sweet girl, for the beautiful flowers that will continue to grow and bloom and remind me of your love for many years to come!

Categories: on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

a little pre-birthday fun


The folks at Pi Pizza have a great sense of humor.
I’m pleased to report there were no zombies on F Street yesterday.

YBW and I spent our skive day in DC. A little ‘pre-birthday’ fun for me!
Our first stop was NPG for the Sylvia Plath exhibit.

I loved this little look into her life. Hand written journals, correspondence, family photos, even her beautiful wooden desk top built by her brother, from what was once meant to be a coffin lid. (how apropos)
No exhibition catalog. Sad face Robynbird.

In our wandering, we came across this Diane Arbus exhibition. ‘Diane Arbus: A box of ten photographs’.

The exhibition catalog was nearly a hundred dollars, um, no thanks.

We walked around the corner to nom some pizza.

YBW’s is the bacon, sausage, and mushrooms. Mine is the prosciutto and spinach.

Since we were in town, I wanted to stop at my most favorite of all the Smithsonian, NGA (y’all we’re so lucky to live where we do with access to all this)
I was looking for a specific book (no where to be found) in the Concourse bookshop when I came across this book.

It’s the exhibition catalog for the Sally Mann exhibit
Y’all! Her photos are absolutely awe inspiring!
Bought that book as soon as we left the exhibit!

The first day of International Week of the Birthday was wonderful!
I got to spend it with my sweetheart doing all the nerdy stuff I love!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

celebration of a beautiful life

We laid YBW’s precious mother to rest yesterday with one of the most beautiful funeral services I’ve ever attended.

Her grandsons, Thing C and Thing G, and Nephew J welcomed us all and thanked us for coming to celebrate the life of their grandmother.
Pink and white carnations (her favorite flower) and family photos as far as the eye could see. Friends and family together to celebrate the life of this quiet, lovely woman who raised two kind and loving men.
Both her sons spoke of her with such adoration.
It was one of those rare experiences when every wonderful thing being said about the deceased was the absolute truth. We daughters in law also spoke and here’s what I shared:

“When I set about to find the words I would share as prelude to YBW, I knew it must be somehow related to stars. The first thing that came to mind was lyrics written by Joni Mitchell.

We are stardust, we are golden
We are billion year old carbon
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden

And then I remembered The Little Prince:

All men have stars but they are not the same things for different people.
For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides.
For others they are no more than little lights in the sky.
For others, who are scholars, they are problems.
But all these stars are silent.
You-You alone will have stars as no one else has them.
In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars will be laughing when you look at the sky at night.
You, only you, will have stars that can laugh!
And when your sorrow is comforted (for time soothes all sorrows), you will be content that you have known me.
You will always be my friend.
You will want to laugh with me.

Thing G suggested we need an observatory from which to see the stars and I stopped for a moment. Because he reminded me of a Hebrew word I love.
Mizpah
The original meaning is watchtower.

But, mizpah has a more commonly understood meaning in the modern world:
a strong emotional bond between people, especially those separated by distance, or death

Mizpah is a sacred blessing:
The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.

Think about that for a moment.

Let it fill you completely.

For whatever star dear E is laughing from, we are content to know her, we are always her friends, we will continue to laugh together.
And we have Mizpah, the ancient word of inspiration and protection.”

Thing 2 wrote the following in response to my request for her opinion:

Wow. You could not have written (or quoted) better words. I read it in your voice. I know that it will bring everyone comfort and peace. Those boys and their families/loved ones are blessed to have you in their world.

I think we’re all blessed to share the same world.

After the service, everyone came back to our house where we celebrated each other with love and laughter, and a fair amount of wine. YBW’s and his brother’s friends, our sister in law’s siblings, friends of mine, our neighbors, even Thing C’s closest friends he’s had since middle school.
I feel as though I’ve been going at a full-tilt boogie since Tuesday last. I kept saying, If I can just get through Wednesday.
In this time, we lost a beloved woman. Celebrated YBW’s birthday. Planned and executed a beautiful funeral service. Fed and wined friends and family.
Today after school, I cleaned the mess I couldn’t handle last night. I did dishes. I moved flowers to every possible place in this house. I returned borrowed items.
Tomorrow YBW and I are playing hooky. We’re both going to skive off work to spend the day together in celebration of his birthday Friday last, and mine Saturday two days from now.
As excited as I am to spend the day in DC, honestly, I just kind of want to sleep for a really long time. It’s been a hell of a week and I’m worn slap out.

Categories: death, loss, love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

our revels now are ended

My precious husband has joined me in the least cool club on the planet.
The Orphan Club.
We are adult children with no living parents.
Please send him healing love.

YBW’s darling mother died quietly in her sleep Wednesday afternoon. She was 87 and lived a life full of love and joy. In her last few years, she suffered with CHF (congestive heart failure) and her health declined rapidly in the last six weeks.

Today we went about dealing with the business of death. YBW, his brother and his wife, and I met with the funeral director and cemetery personnel. I used my mad organizational and list making skills to plan and coordinate. It’s my way of being helpful.

Tomorrow is YBW’s birthday.
We’re keeping our plans for dinner with friends in the evening, and celebrating with his boys Saturday afternoon. He deserves to be celebrated in the midst of our grief.

He is brave and strong, even though he doesn’t feel like he is. I watch him. I see what he experiences written on his face, in his body language. He is exhausted. He is anxious. But he is grounded in the love of friends and family. And he is grounded by me.

Our family is feeling quiet in our grief, but the love coming at us is truly overwhelming in the most beautiful way.

I am reminded of Prospero’s words in The Tempest:

You do look, my son, in a moved sort,
As if you were dismayed. Be cheerful, sir.
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.
Yes, indeed.

Categories: love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

mizpah

There is a Hebrew word I absolutely adore.
Mizpah.
It means watchtower.
The biblical example comes from the story of Jacob and Laban, after a bit of drama, the men come to an agreement with God as their only witness. They create a tower of stones to symbolize it.
It was also called Mizpah, because he said, May the LORD keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other.
Genesis 31:49 NIV

Of course, mizpah has a more commonly understood meaning.

The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.
Think about that for a moment.
Let it fill you completely.

Mizpah.
A magnificent and sacred blessing. An ancient word of inspiration and protection. A word that goes beyond the boundaries of social and cultural norms, and of faith. A spiritual symbol of hope and love and peace.

Many of the people I love most live far away from me.
Two of them are my babies. Grown ass women, but always my babies.
Time and distance are irrelevant because of mizpah. We are blessed with the knowledge that we are safe and connected when we are apart because of the strength of our love.
Mizpah gives us the opportunity to actively love without constraints of time and distance, and keeps us all anchored in that love until we are fortunate enough to be in the same physical space.

Those of you whom I love so dearly and deeply, this word is my gift to you. The promise that our love will be safe when we’re apart, and the light to guide us back to one another.
Mizpah.

Categories: love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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