Monday, November 28, 2005


My just turned six year old likes the song 1985. I'm not sure who sings it but I'm guessing that some day 10 years from now they'll have a segment on VH1's one hit wonder groups. Anyway, it's hilarious to hear his him sing his interpretation of the song.

He sings "Cici, Madonna, way before your mama there was tu tu and Blondie and shu shu shu shu she TV" when actually it's "Springsteen, Madonna, way before Nirvana there was U2 and Blondie and music still on MTV."

He's been asking me what does cici sing? It's Springsteen, i say. Pink Cadillac.

When I was in high school I had a girlfriend who thought Billy Idol's song, Eyes Without A Face, was Hows About A Date? No joke.

Everyone gets the words mixed up on a song at some point in their singing to the radio career. What was yours?

Friday, November 25, 2005


My neighbors were over yesterday for a wonderfully fun Thanksgiving gathering that included 5 adults and seven kids. Near the end of our enchanted evening my neighbor, Trent, diapers and wipes in hand, asked "Where can I change Liv's diaper?".

"Your house", I replied.

Monday, November 21, 2005

At this moment...

Favorite sounds are:
1. Legos being foraged through in the lego drawers; my kids are being quiet and engaging their minds at the same time.
2. The puppy running through the house.
3. My sons' feet as they hit the floor first thing in the morning.
4. My boys telling me "I love you, Mom".
5. My Jack making up songs while he playing.
6. Hearty, uninhibited laughter, especially from children; it's contagious
7. My Graham, practicing the Piano
8. The Dixie Chicks singing "God Speed"
9. Silence

Favorite smells:
1. Fresh cut Christmas tree
2. Hot Apple Cider
3. The summer air just before a thunderstorm
4. Burning wood emanating from a chimney in the winter

Favorite touches:
1. My boys' hands inside mine.
2. Hugs, from anyone i know and love.
3. Back rubs
4. Foot rubs
5. From my DH - but i won't go there.

Favorite tastes:
1. Chocolate Sin from the Chocolate Fetish
2. Open face portobello Mushroom sandwich from The Corner Kitchen
3. Tofu Scramble from The Early Girl Eatery
4. Vegetable Plate (with a biscuit of course) from Tupelo Honey
5. Highland Gaelic Ale, draught of course, from Barleys Taproom

Favorite sights:
1. My children's smiles
2. The trees that line Kimberly Ave during Autumn
3. Old friends at my door
4. Old friends at their door
5. A starry sky on a clear night
6. The blue ridge mountains at sunset

I'm grateful
1. To be alive
2. For my voice, no matter it's lack of articulation
3. For my family
4. For my friends, who have had to endure me droning on about MIL. There is ALWAYS a story!
5. For Asheville. I can't imagine living anywhere else.
6. For my bum. Thanks to tennis it looks pretty good in my jeans:)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

She Brought Flowers

"Congratulations!" my new friend, Karen, said as she handed me a dozen pink roses. She droppng her son at my son's 6th birthday party; I didn't understand. "It's Lili's idea" she said. I was confused. The only Lili, I knew - barely, had died of pancreatic cancer almost two weeks ago. She recognized that I was lost and went on to say that at Lili's memorial service last week (the one that I missed because I was out of town for a team tennis tournament) someone stood up to tell of Lili giving flowers to the mom when she dropped her son at a birthday party. How beautiful, I thought. Her legacy lives on. It brought tears to my eyes. I was celebrating my son's birthday, one that Lili's own son couldn't attend as he was away for an out of town memorial service. It just didn't seem right. But then I moved on. I "stayed in the moment" of the birthday celebration, soaking it all in. Her husband, just weeks ago, had sent out an email encouraging us all to do the same. So I did.

After the memorial service, we (all of us who volunteered to help this family) received this email from a hospice worker:

Dear Tiffiny and Lili's Team,
You all are magnificent! It was very moving to hear your tributes to Lili..and to see your demonstration of love in action. I only got to know her near the very end and once the team had formed, chose to remain in the background and not overwhelm the family with another stranger. When I met her, I was (of course) struck by her enormous eyes and great physical beauty. When I heard you speak of her, I realized what a remarkable spirit she was/is and why so many of you came together to help her and to celebrate her. It is apparent what a shocking loss you are all experiencing and it is also very clear what a gift Lili was to each of you.
Your team moved with such coordinated grace, making sure that all of her needs were met... and that the boys were lovingly cared for throughout this time. You formed a community that nurtured each of you as well as the family. That was apparent during the service on Saturday...your tenderness toward each other is a wonderful legacy. Throughout your lives, you will remember this journey - walking with each other, holding Lili. Even though it was very difficult and painful, you held her through her dark nights and stayed faithful to the end. You have amazing courage and deep abiding love.
I thank you for coming together. It was so inspiring to walk in the room for our first meeting and see 30 people there! You all are GREAT!! You did this as if you have always done it, as if you have always known how to come together as a community to care for one of your own. You have much to teach the world.
If there is ever anything I can do to support you all, please call me.
Thanks for being on the journey with me, too.
Bright blessings,

She was only 34 years old but so many learned so much from her and her illness, including me. I'm grateful our paths crossed, even though ever so briefly. I am better for it.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Gouchos and Prairie Skirts and Ruffles, Oh My!

Last night I attended a dinner/auction to benefit a local AIDS organization in town. I always skip these events as the cost of the tickets, babysitter plus buying "something to wear" is prohibitive - to me anyway because I'm cheap. However, some good friends treated us to the event, so I only had to shoulder two out of three expenses.

On Thursday I hit an upscale department store for an outfit. I'm not a fashion Diva by any means. I prefer my jeans, button up shirt and my mules to just about anything else, however somewhere between entering the store and taking my next breath it hit me. Oh Todo, I thought, we're not in Asheville anymore. Gouchos and prairie Skirts and Ruffles, oh my! Gouchos and prairie and Ruffles, OH MY!!

Off to see the Wizard, and quick, before the wicked department store turns me into Laura Ingles Wilder or Grandma.

I decided to wear what was in my closet instead, so I only had to pay for the sitter. Told you I was cheap.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

My First Bra

I was 11, in sixth grade, when my mom bought me first bra, a training bra. Why the word training? Not sure, it's not as if wearing a bra could actually cause your body to wake up and say "Hey, there's a bra out there. Time to grow some breasts to fill it!" Believe me, this did NOT happen. As a matter of fact, I was the southeastern president of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee until I had my first child, and then they kicked me out. Mammary madness.

To be sure I didn't need a bra yet but I was at an age where I was trying to shake my tomboy image - I wanted to stop looking like a boy. Yes, I did look like a boy. My mom cut my hair in the same bowl cut she gave my three brothers. I wore mostly Toughskins - remember those from Sears? - and only wore a skirt, not a dress, to church.

I wore that bra right out of the store, like most would only wear a new pair of shoes. Cue Donna Summer because I thought I was hot stuff in my Toughskins and new bra that showed through my cowboy scene t-shirt. My mom and I got into her car at the strip mall. Our next door neighbor walked by with her 14 year old son and my mom got out to speak to them. Here's my chance to be noticed, I thought. I hopped right out and puffed out my chest like a peacock. I don't know why I thought he would notice and even if he did, surely I didn't want him to say, "Hey kid, nice bra", because there were clearly no boobs behind it.

I wore that bra for sixth months straight. It never occurred to me that it should be washed occasionally. Besides, it was evident that my breasts needed more training.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Halloween's Haunt

It was our first Halloween in our "new" home. My neighbors told me to expect 20 or so children. I ran out of my 40 (bags of popcorn) treats within 30 minutes. Luckily, a new(er than me) neighbor came to the rescue with some candy.

My 5 year old almost lost his trick-or-treating privileges, actually he did lose them - for about 15 minutes. He was hitting his older brother and I told him "If it happens again, you will lose your trick-or-treating privileges and I'm not kidding." Didn't take him long to cross that boundary and then he was off to his room yelling and crying. After the crying stopped, I let up, and told him he was just going to miss the first 30 minutes. So he did, with much protest. But finally he relaxed and became a "door man" for the visitors yelling "Popcorn, get your popcorn here". I left him alone on the porch while I finished cleaning the kitchen, still pitching "Popcorn", like he was a baseball stadium vendor. When I returned, I found him telling a couple of kids "only one per family" to which I gently pointed out,"Everyone can have one". No telling how many families he had already rationed. Bet they are thinking,"Great, the new neighbors are cheap." Guess I have him to thank that my treats lasted 30 minutes.

My oldest once lost Easter Egg hunting privileges for hitting his brother. Today my friend, LeeAnne, told me when her daughter was 5, she lost her trick-or-treating privileges for 30 minutes too. It's good to know that I'm not alone here (ie misery loves company). What is it about the Holidays that brings out the worst in (most) kid's behavior?