About Laura

With five kids, one with special needs, a handsome son-in-law, a perfect grandchild (seriously, aren't ALL grandchildren perfect??), a even handsomer husband, my career as a NICU RN....what else would I be doing but juggling?

walk with me

Fall Break is over but we had to get in just one more fun adventure because I promised.

Walk with me, I asked my clowns and most of them said yes. Stupid work responsibilities getting in the way for the rest to join me! Then again, work is good. Can I just say how proud I am of the strong work ethic my kids have? I can! Abby wanted to be with us. I wanted Abby to be with us for this adventure. But those procrastinators who filed extensions last April 15 for their income tax filings OF COURSE wait until the NEXT deadline to finally file which means Abby’s office is busy and Abby must work.

Next time, Abby. Next time I walk with you. I promise.

Meanwhile, this adventure today is here.

Walk with me, I asked them.

Sure, they said.

At this point they had no idea that our walk would be about 3.5 miles long.

Oops!

Seriously, if I told them I doubt they would have agreed, adventure or no.

And so we walked…

And stopped.

and looked…

and looked because it was a the kind of beautiful day that you just can not let slip away.

Walking just past the first tower, Hazel grabs a hold of my hand just a little bit tighter shouting, “Mima, we’re up so high! It’s kind of scary.

Exactly what you want to say to your acrophobic and agoraphobic Mima who is struggling mightily with anxiety when she is 220 feet above the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

It is kind of scary,” I agree. “I’m scared. I’m definitely scared.”

You are?

“Oh yes. But I know that I can do this. I look up at the towers and I hold your hand and I know that I can walk across this beautiful bridge on this beautiful day.”

Me too, Mima.”

And then she runs on ahead because OMG we are almost done!!!

Perfect day.

Perfect 3.5 mile walk.

Perfect Fall Break adventure in our own backyard.

CHecking this adventure off of my to-do list.

 

photo bomb

When there is so much to say…so much to share…so many opinions to opine whilst standing on my soapbox what does one do when they are jet-lagged from your husband’s best friend’s big Texas wedding weekend (which is actually five days and three cities because it’s Texas) and exhausted even more from a big Fall Break adventure and trying to find the time to get the workplace mandatory education done? Do you put down words, lots of words and phrases and parts of speech?

You could.

You should.

You don’t.

Sorry.

I am just too tired.

But I have pictures.

Just imagine it’s a slideshow in my living room with snacks being served.

BYOB of course.

GREAT barbecue because it is Texas and appetizers that are sliced white bread and barbecue sauce next to a plate of dill pickle slices and sliced white onions. But oh the barbecue!

It’s not a wedding unless there is one small disaster or two. The father of the groom suffered a mild heart attack at the rehearsal dinner. No, he didn’t get to eat any barbecue. Yes, he is fine, thank goodness. Thunderstorms roll in just as the wedding is ready to commence. Yes, it’s going to be a great wedding day!

It was.

This hotel, The Drury Plaza Hotel Riverwalk, that used to be a bank is absolutely stunning! And service…amazing!

Good morning San Antonio! As we sat down to enjoy Texas morning sunshine and breakfast, this rolled in VERY quickly. Oh, and yes, that is the view from our room.

But a little more than an hour later, sunshine and blue skies were back. It was a perfect day along the Riverwalk.

Bill found what he wants to do when he retires.

And we found where I will meet him for cocktails after he is done entertaining the tourists.

Heading home, we met Bella, who works at the San Antonio International Airport. Really! Her job is to meet, greet and generally making departing and arriving passengers happy. She is very good at her job.

Home! Jet-lagged! Back to reality and errands and laundry and mandatory ed about Ebola and personal protective equipment. Missed faces like these and the hugs that come with them which is what gives me the energy to get some things accomplished.

Which is good because today I worked a little bit on some anxiety and fears and checking off this adventure on my to-do list.

 

play it again: a season of sowing

Originally published October 14, 2012

Fall has finally arrived here in the Central Valley. Last week the temps were in the 90’s or more but over the weekend, slowly but surely, there was a cooling trend until finally there was but a trickle of rain by the end of the week.

It was about time! That’s all I can say!

But Fall here in the Central Valley often finds me feeling a little down and a little homesick. Sure there are pumpkins galore and a fabulous corn maze. The vineyards and orchards are being harvested and the grapes are being crushed. It all creates the most amazing, fruity, almost syrupy smell as I drive around. But the colors are so pale, so anemic compared to back home. I was reminded of that seeing friends posts of Fall color on their Facebook walls.

I wish I took this shot! I wish I was there to take in this incredible view! Alas, but no. This image is from my dear friend, Sue’s Facebook wall. Like me, she longs for the vibrant colors like these that can only be seen back East. Nothing out here in Cali compares. Sorry.

So instead of trying to find Autumn color in an area where everything pretty much is brown, I decided to sow a little with a nod to Edwin Teale.

For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.

Next to the glorious colors of Fall that I miss so much from back home, I love the colors of Spring, especially when the daffodils and tulips break through the frozen ground amongst the melting snow with their blooms. I can’t wait to see the colors that these will bring come next Spring here around the Big Top.

This week’s Focus 52 prompt is Autumn Color.

play it again: discovering the heart of the ocean

Originally published October 13, 2011

A boy and girl from differing social backgrounds meet during the ill-fated maiden voyage of RMS Titanic…

And now my fifth circus clown discovers Titanic. We are right on schedule too as he is around the same age as his four sisters before him watched this epic story as told by James Cameron. For the girls it was the star-crossed lovers story that lured them in. For Daniel it is the fact that Jack Dawson is cool…oh, and when the ship sank. THAT was really cool!

My favorite part watching it with him?

When he turns to me and states, “You know this really happened, Mom. There really was a Titanic and it is at the bottom of the ocean.” That’s my favorite part, my favorite part each time I have watched it with each of my circus clowns for their very first time.

Of course this means that my Little Man is growing up. Up next in the horizon up ahead, god help me, puberty.

play it again: sorting and searching

Originally published October 12, 2008

While many are panicking as they pull their money out of banks and the stock market, my darling daughter #4, Jodie, is ready to put her little stash in the bank. Yes-sirree! The faith of one 12 year old is going to restore everyone’s confidence and end this financial clusterfuck for us all, gosh darn it all to heck! Jodie earned a little over $60 tap dancing her little heart out on a street corner at the Manteca Pumpkin Fair and rather than attempt to blow it all in one place, she decided that perhaps she should SAVE it.

Is this really my child?

Seriously, I was glad to see that she was listening to my words of wisdom rather than my years and years of poor financial action or perhaps she was making this decision based on the pile of bad money management in my personal history. Either way, I couldn’t help but be proud of her decision. She does have savings that we established when she was still a little carpet crawler but it is safely and quietly growing in a credit union account in the Bay Area. One of these days, I tell myself, I will move it closer to home but there is always something else to juggle. In the meantime, Jodie wants to open up her own personal savings account at a bank just down the street. In her perky, golden-blonde goodness she imagines her stopping there after school to add even more money to it when she gets it so she can save, save, save and watch her money grow, grow, grow.

See? I told you she will restore America’s financial confidence.

After a little discussion, I agree this is a good idea for the money she earned and suggest that we go together to the bank and open up her own personal savings account. All I need to do is get her social security card and off we can go.

Easy-peasy.

Not so easy-peasy.

I have the three youngest children’s social security cards filed safely away. The only problem is I can’t exactly remember where they are filed safely away. The obvious, logical place would be my filing cabinet where I have filed “important” paperwork like past income tax forms, my continuing education certificates, the kids’ birth certificates, Daniel’s adoption papers and medical records, insurance policies and other stuff like that. But I am not necessarily a logical, obvious kind of person. Still I am stubbornly certain that those cards HAVE to be in there so there I was this past week, sorting through my files piece by piece trying to find those cards.

During my process I come across one important document that I kind of forgot about…but actually I haven’t. A four-page Traffic Collision Report # 01-054-0734 of the incident that occurred February 23, 2001 at 1615 hours on Camden Avenue just 51.6 feet north of Merrill Loop. Party #1 had no driver’s license number, was 4 ft 5 in tall and was perceived (incorrectly) to be 80 pounds. The report also states that she was 9 years old which was also incorrect. She was 8. She was traveling east on Camden Avenue (it runs north to south) at an undetermined speed. Party #2 did have a driver’s license, was a foot and a half taller and twice the recorded weight of party #1. He was also more than 50 years older. He was traveling north on Camden at an estimated 35 mph. the report goes on for three more pages with detailed illustrations of the point of impact and the 95 feet of tire skid marks up to the point of impact on Camden Avenue. The three witnesses’ accounts completely support the evidence in the street: the skid marks, the stopped flatbed truck with the one ton trench digger secured on the flatbed, the crumpled, battered and bloodied body of the 80 pound 50 pound, 4 ft 5 in tall, 8 year old body of my daughter Zoë and the banged up razor scooter lying curbside.

The sorting and searching of my files stop as I slowly re-read and re-live every detail of that horrible, horrible afternoon. I feel my breath catching and my heart pounding as I scan each and every line of Officer # 3495’s carefully printed and typed report. More than 8 years, 12 inches and approximately 60 pounds later I still haven’t forgotten. I will never forget. How could I possibly forget? I just have it filed away very neatly in my file cabinet…and in my heart and in my mind.

I never did find the social security cards. I stopped searching. After my little afternoon of recollection, my heart just wasn’t in it, I guess. I know they are somewhere, safely filed away and they will turn up right around the time I receive the replacement cards I requested.