I am beyond excited to be traveling to Virginia to visit my son and daughter-in-love! This will be our first trip to Virginia and I cannot wait to see my kiddos, tour the area and also check out Washington D.C. That said, I have to admit, I am a tad bit anxious about our travel. Our road trip will be approximately an 11 hour road trip (longer, since we will have to have stops)...ouch! Let me explain, I love, love, love to travel and yes, I love, love, love my hubs...well, most of the time; however, we do not make great traveling companions.
Just thinking about spending that much time in an automobile together makes me glad that I have a prescription for anxiety. I am a firm believer that most divorces could be avoided if couples traveled separately to their destinations and designated a meeting point.
They say opposites attract and they do; 32 years of marriage proves that theory. However, opposites do not travel well together as our differences are quite prominent when on the road. Here are a few examples, maybe you can relate?
When it comes to finances, I am conservative and he is a spendthrift. There is just something about a road trip that makes him believe he is Diamond Jim Brady.
Our drivings styles are totally different. I have yet to understand the reasoning of being in the wrong lane "until you get closer" mindset. Of course, when the exit is .05 miles on the right, we are always in the far left lane and wa-la, the fussing begins because the traffic won't let him merge. On the flip side of the coin, my continuous "I told you 20 minutes ago to get over", doesn't quite seem to help.
Hub's loves to pass, but thinks you should pass at the speed limit (which may be the legal way, but nevertheless); me, I prefer to pass fast and be done with it. Hanging out side by side with a semi is just not my cup-o-tea. He tends to cut the passing thing a little to close for my comfort and he seems to get exasperated with my outbursts of "WATCH IT, THERE'S A CAR COMING UP!" He proceeds to yell, "STOP IT! DON'T DO THAT!"
Music is another hot button. A musician hears the instruments and a writer hears the words. He likes to listen to rock tunes from the 80's and 90's and I like country. As a side note, he doesn't quite understand my ability to know all of the words and sing along, and yes, I know I can't sing, but I like to do it anyway. I prefer listening to the radio and I scan and scan which drives him to the point of saying, "just pick a station and stick with it." He prefers to play downloaded music from his phone, knowing that I can't sing to instrumentals.
Sometimes we do not have music playing and we will talk. The problem with this is that it usually revolves about work and that is not productive.
I will try and blog and/or vlog along the way. Sure hope we're on speaking terms when we arrive....and more importantly when we return home!
Sounds of youthful yelling, laughing and running around the neighborhood have ceased, traffic is buzzing and social media is eerily silent during the day. This can only mean one thing …. a new school year is in session!
Social media popularity has taken First Day of School photo rituals to a whole new level. Viewing all of the pictures, I can’t help but feel a bit nostalgic reminiscing about my own kids’ and their “first day of school moments”.
Sitting here at my computer (yes, a real computer, not a phone), thousands of memories flood my mind and appear as a time warp of sorts, somewhere between yesterday and eternity.
Some of the things I miss:
And yes, there things I do NOT miss:
As a card carrying member of the Empty Nest Club, I want to remind young parents of a few things:
Save and/or print your photos. In the event your favorite social media site disappears, a computer virus wipes your files or your handy dandy smart phone dies, your photos, along with your memories, will be gone...FOREVER!
Last but not least, always use caution when posting pictures on any social media site! Social media is a great way to share your photos, but it isn't private!
Wishing all of you and your children a safe, happy and productive Back to School day!
Labor Day, for the expectant mom, is the truest definition of hard labor
Family planning is particularly popular among many young couples intent on making their mark on the world, starting careers and having their proverbial baby ducks in a row BEFORE starting a family; however, whether “trying” or proclaiming “whoops”, recognize it's the same boat, so sit back and hang on tight because the next nine months will be a bit bumpy. You heard me, lift your head from your porcelain paradise!
Initially, the giddy excitement of knowing that you are the vessel that carries another life is overwhelming. The desire to learn everything about this nine-month journey is exceptionally strong, and soon-to-be moms endeavor to read every book and article written about this expedition. Detailed explanations are sought about mood swings, delivery and everything in-between.
Excitement abounds for first time, soon to be moms; not-so-much for moms who are expecting their second, or third bundle of joy.
As a new mom, I was totally unprepared for the responsibility I was about to accept. In retrospect, I am certain I would have benefited from a guideline to follow; thus the reason for the following list.
Daily if possible! For the next four to seven years, it will be necessary to tote a bag full of items everywhere you go. This bag will contain a variety of items (bottles, pacifiers, diapers, baby oil, baby lotion, wet wipes, toys, coloring books, rattles, baby nose aspirator and so on) based on the child’s age. Also keep in mind that it will be a long time before you will be able to enjoy a dinner out without saying the following statements:
Never set an alarm clock. This will be the last time you get to sleep all night for……well, I’m not sure, I’m still waiting.
Not necessary, might as well let it go. It’s time to begin getting used to your new motif anyway.
Seriously….get over it. Living in your new baby world, you will soon discover that romance is not even listed in the top ten as “I Love You is quickly replaced by “Hey, You Awake?
WHILE WAITING FOR LABOR DAY
LABOR DAY ARRIVES
It will seem like an eternity awaiting the arrival of your bundle of joy. Soon you'll attend birthing classes that will make labor sound bearable. (It's a lie!) The phrase, “you will feel discomfort” had to have been written by a man. Discomfort, DISCOMFORT; try anguish, torment, agony or torture, but DISCOMFORT my #?#@#!
Natural childbirth is popular until experienced. Think about it, were you using natural birth control (if so, how'd that work out for you?) My advice, for what it's worth, is to begin asking for drugs before you really even need them to ensure that you avoid being told, “I’m sorry, it’s too late.”
Last but not least, recognize that your spouse has absolutely no clue what to do, what is happening or what to say. He will make totally insensitive comments, so brace yourself.
Hubby: Do you want to watch TV to take your mind off things?
Me: Do you want to retain the shape of a TV?
Hubby: Just breathe.
Me: Great advice Einstein, the one thing I didn’t have to think about.
Me: I am focusing, on the PAIN!
Hubby: It’s almost over.
Me: Yea, right, that’s what you said 6 hours ago!
Hubby: I love you.
Me: Yea, yea, like that’ll ever work again.
Hubby: I see the head.
Me: Well, Hot Diggity Dog
Me: You’ll think push when I push you out of this fourth floor window
Hubby: The doctor is on his way
Me: Here or does he have another golf game?
Hubby: Do you want some crushed ice?
Me: Yea, stick a block under my fist and I’ll crush it!
When everything is said and done, you will have experienced the ultimate human achievement and will take home with you a beautiful, dependent little life that has absolutely no regard for your fatigue, hunger or emotional state. Ironically, if you are a successful parent, this beautiful, dependent little life will grow into a teenager that has absolutely no regard for your fatigue, hunger or emotional state.
Happy Labor Day!
There are moments in time when a single, ordinary comment can send a person into a complete tailspin and this was one of those days!
It was just an ordinary day, just an ordinary comment and just one little word that changed my perspective. At the time, my children were very young and I was employed part-time.
Although I don't remember where I was, at the time, I do remember the question and my respone that day. My response forced me to step back and take a second look at how I viewed myself.
So...what do you do?
I’m just a mom.
Later that day, that single phrase hit me like a ton of bricks! Just a Mom! JUST a Mom! What was the matter with me? Did I really say that! Yes, I work part-time and I AM a Mom; a BUSY Mom; a TIRED Mom, and often a FRUSTRATED Mom, but JUST a Mom?
Where did that come from? I mean really, is someone JUST a Doctor, JUST a Lawyer, JUST a Nuclear Scientist? Oh, well, I digress. Why on earth would I use the word JUST to describe my career, my destiny...my life?
When one accepts the role of Mom, it is the most important job in the world; therefore, how dare I, or anyone else, demean the status of such a vital position? A Mom’s day begins before anyone else awakes and ends long after everyone else has retired for the evening.
A Mom’s responsibilities are endless. Breakfasts must be prepared (even cereal, after-all, someone has to get the bowls out and pour the milk), pack lunches, do the laundry (every day), ensure the kids leave the house “appropriately” dressed for school, teeth are brushed (can’t assume), hair is combed and see that the kiddos arrive at daycare, school or the bus...on time!
Then it's time for the mom, who is employed outside of the home, to hurry and get ready for work, hoping her shoes match (who among us hasn’t arrived with two different shoes of similar styles) and double checking the seams on clothing (you know you have worn that blouse inside out before). For the Mom who is not employed outside of the home, the routine of household responsibilities must be tackled.
Whether employed outside of the home or not, Mom inevitably has to pick up dirty clothes that have been left wherever they were removed as children and some spouses have difficulty seeing things on the floor. They look at it, walk over it, around it or even through it, but will never pick it up.
Meals, whether baked, fried, crock-potted or micro-waved must be prepared, dishes have to be washed or loaded into the dishwasher, carpets require vacuuming, linoleum demands to be swept and pre-fabricated furniture will not dust itself.
Multi-tasking is a must when juggling homework, after-school activities, ball games and band practice. A Mom may not be a doctor in real life, but definitely plays one at home. A Mom’s responsibilities never end from doctor appointments and picking up a sick child at school to dropping off forgotten homework and paying household bills. Oh let us not forget the responsibility of ensuring that the last roll of toilet paper or all of the shampoo has not been used.
There is JUST one simple moral to this story; a Mom works full-time, regardless of "employment" status from a world view. As a Mom, you are never JUST a Mom! A Moms work is hard, heartbreaking at times and the pay is lousy. Being a Mom encompasses many things, it’s just that JUST, ain’t got nothin’ to do with it!
Originally posted June 2016
Life, or at least my life, seems to combine a very strange mix of humor, sarcasm and irony. When life would hurl obstacles my way, I much preferred to duck and hide my head under a makeshift cover, rather than confront it.
Although life has thrown me more curveballs than I care to count; there are no do-overs and you can only go around this world one time! Therefore, while I may not have any control over present circumstances, I do have control about how I choose to navigate around them.
At 50, my life is changing and changing fast! Giving up the business I loved and developed from start to finish is hard, very hard. For the last six years, I have put my entire life on hold. Endless hours, exhaustion, stress and financial strain combined with constant work and worry about ensuring that I provided the best work I could produce for my clients and the community have taken it's toll and yes, opened my eyes.
During this journey, I made many, many great friends that I will always treasure, and sadly yes, I did make a few enemies or shall we say frienemys. Either way, rest assured, what goes around comes around and I am confident that eventually they will meet my pal, Karma. You see, Karma has my back and I have no doubt there will be some future fun things to write about on that front.
First on the list-Employment
Employment, now there's a concept. Before undertaking the challenge of starting my own business, I never appreciated working for someone else. Now my mind swirls with the reality of so many simple pleasures:
Well, you get the picture. I've been asked, "Why does this excite you so much?" It really is quite simple, self employment means doing without many of the basic things most people take for granted. Groceries, clothes shopping, and yes, even splurging on a new package of underwear on occasion. "Did Mama really go there?" Yes, I did.
Second - My New Do
I have always preferred to be in the background rather than right out in front. The only exception to this would be when I am in a public speaking arena and as long as I can stand/hide behind a podium, I am happy. Rarely do I post pictures of myself and I have never been a fan of the selfie world. The part of me that tends to worry about mean comments or derogatory remarks must now fade into the background.
My new adventure shouted that a new do was in order, and so be it! I am nothing, if not flexible. With a new bold color and hair extensions, I questioned, "What am I doing, everyone will believe that I am going through a mid-life crisis?" So what, who cares what anyone thinks? Bring on the new do...It's time!
Third - New Me
When I say New Me, I guess what I'm really saying is Real Me! That's it in a nutshell, it is what this blog is about. Life, real life. The roads I've traveled are not uncommon; most of us have traveled similar roads. For those who haven't, well...as we say in the mid-west, "Bless your little pea-picken heart".
The world we live in today is rough, the political climate is ridiculous and our compassion for fellow human beings has diminished into a free for all.
I am a firm believer that laughter can lighten even the heaviest load and since life itself provides the perfect stage for a whole host of humorous adventures, I eagerly take one giant step forward and refuse to look back. I am Mama Tatuley and, for those who may not have met the Real Me, brace yourself; I plan to tell it like it is. So, sit back, relax and we'll journey together.
Love is in the air, romance abounds, restaurants are booked and vintage love songs fill the air on my favorite radio station; no doubt about it, Valentines Day has arrived!
As I sit, at yet another stop light, singing at the top of my lungs to the sappy '70 and '80 love songs blaring through the speakers, I can't help but laugh at the undeniable looks of judgement and smirks of condemnation from fellow highway motorists. I'm not quite sure if their obvious disgust for my behavior stems from the fact that I'm not "acting my age" or rather, they are simply allergic to "morning" people.
You see, I am very aware of the stark differences between "morning" people and well, people who are NOT "morning" people! Case in point!
THERE'S A SPOUSE IN MY HOUSE!
After 30+ years of marriage, one would think that many of our differences would have merged to form a somewhat meet in the middle, marital evolution, if you will.....NOT even close!
Hubby is definitely NOT a morning person. He would much prefer to stay up late and sleep half of the day; whereas, I am quite content calling it an early night and up before dawn.
I have to ask, what's up with "non-morning" people anyway? Seriously, why do you have to have a good 45 minutes alone with your coffee before someone can say "good morning" to you?
30+ years ago, I had no idea that saying "I do" and pledging to "love until death do us part" meant that I was embarking on a lifelong learning curve! Before the end of the reception, the dynamics of my little world and routine changed. I would soon realize that learning to live with a "non-morning" personality was simply one of many idiosyncrasies that would surface !
Like all young couples, we faced and endured many challenges, from children and jobs to finances and schedules. Over the years, I have discovered that there is something to be said for the solace found in a relationship that is comfortable, but remains fun! Relationships weather life's storms, trials come and go and disagreements or, dare I say, arguments happen. LOVE is constant, while LIKE, on the other hand, is subjective and depends on the day. Oh, c'mon, you know it's true.
Ah, but I digress. The subject is Valentines Day. A day set aside each year dedicated to celebrating love. I'm not sure when or how it happened, but somewhere along the way, commercialism crept into our expectations and inflicted a steroid induced guilt trip if one failed to shower their love with flowers, candy and/or gifts of shiny baubles. It seems that one must proclaim to the world their undying love and affection for all to see. As a side note, it is important to remember that true love rarely depicts the romance glamorized in greeting cards.
Yes, I'm a romantic, but I am also realistic. Here are just a few things I've learned over the years:
When there's a Spouse in your House, everyday is an adventure of sorts, so move forward, jump over (or crawl under) life's hurdles and quit agonizing over reality. The aging journey takes it's toll. Accept the fact that knees creak, bifocals are necessary and uttering groans probably means you're just trying to get up off the couch.
This year, preserve the budget and celebrate Valentine's Day the right way...with pizza delivery, a box of chocolates, cuddle on the couch and enjoy a classic movie....or two, if you can stay awake!
Have you heard the story of the Bread Family Christmas? I didn't think so. Time to grab a cup of hot cocoa, sit back and relax as I share with you one of the most elusive stories never told.
Although very little is known about the origins of the Bread family, their ancestry can be traced all the way back to the days of Moses and the leavened lineage of the Manna’s.
A long time ago, the wind was howling, snow was falling and it was a very, very cold Christmas Eve night. Corn & Ginger Bread were busily preparing for holiday guests to arrive for their annual Christmas celebration.
The Bread’s were blessed with six little muffins, each one embracing unique, individual personalities:
Excitement was in the air as the little muffins anxiously awaited the arrival of well… you know who? However, the excitement was less than a reality for Corn Bread, he was stressed and worried because the troubled economy made raisin six little muffins difficult. It goes without saying that times were tough for the Breads. Everyone, was cutting back and tightening their belts, or at least trying too, as many Breads were being sliced away from everything they had known.
Day after day, Cornbread would roll to the factory because they kneaded the dough. Through it all, Ginger Bread never seemed overly concerned. Ginger went about her sweet way, smiling through the worst of times. Inside the little canister they called a house, Ginger Bread always made everyone feel a little bit better and could always transform a bad day into a good one.
Ginger Bread made sure that the little muffins got a quick nap earlier that day, so they would be wide awake for the festivities. After a couple of hours, Ginger sang, “rise and shine”. Waking up was a little difficult for the little muffins as they seemed to be stuck in the warmth of their surroundings, but a little bit of careful nudging and they were ready to greet everyone.
It wouldn't be long before the "in-laws", the Loaves, would arrive. This added to Corn Bread's stress. Their rye sense of humor was never received well, and most of the time they ended up behaving like heels. Yet, year after year, Corn Bread kept hoping that this would be the year things would be different.
As customary, Breads from all over the country would soon be arriving from yeast to west and everywhere in-between. Aunt Éclair and Cousin Pita were the first to arrive. Uncle Crumpet soon followed. Uncle Crumpet always made Ginger Bread nervous because sometimes he would arrive a little half baked.
Time moved quickly and soon everyone arrived. Ginger Bread's house was filled with Breads; more than three dozen were gathered around the oven. The clock ticked ever so slowly as the little muffins anticipation grew. The little muffins were almost crumbling with excitement, when suddenly.......a loud POP was heard outside the little house, followed by a giggle. It was time! The moment they had been waiting for.......
There he was, easily identifiable by his characteristic hat, shirt and no pants ensemble. Yes, it was the famous Dough Boy himself, delivering goodies, fresh from the oven. He spoke not a word, but the giggles were endless. Dough Boy was soon out the door, on to the next oven, but they heard him exclaim as he soared out of sight, ....Happy Baking to all and to all a good night!
Can you believe it? Thanksgiving is only a little over a week away! Family and friends will gather to share stories, reminisce and, of course, feast.
Ironically, the leftovers are barely put away before thoughts of Black Friday intrude on the days festivities. Black Friday shopping has changed dramatically over the years. The age of online shopping has made this task easier, cost effective and healthier. When I say healthier, I mean less bumps, bruises and yes, broken bones. It was rough back in the day.
Honestly, I never understood the attraction of Black Friday shopping until I had small children and a limited Christmas budget.
Mom, it's the ONLY thing I want for Christmas!" In my house, this seasonal mantra typically began shortly after Halloween and continued through Christmas Eve. These "more than anything", die-hard requests always seemed to be attached to the most elusive, hard to find, toy of choice on the market. To this day, I can still recall the echo of desperation in the tiny voices of my children.
As a mom, I dreaded and despised the non-stop, commercial driven antics of the toy industry. HOT item lists and anticipated shortages plagued my very existence. How could I let my kids down? There could be no exceptions or mishaps, Santa had to deliver! Mindful of my limited income and armed with determination, Black Friday became my ultimate challenge...my mom badge was at stake and I had to emerge victorious.
Admittedly, my first Black Friday escapade was a colossal failure. As a newbie, I learned very quickly that Black Friday shopping was not an exercise for the amateur or an adventure for the fainthearted. Black Friday shopping success depended upon strategy, expertise and a fierce desire to beat the competition.
As soon as Thanksgiving festivities would end, my Mad Woman on a Mission personality would surface. As a Black Friday shopping guru, my strategy began by gathering sale ads, mapping out Early Bird Specials/Door Busters, making a detailed list of which sales were at what stores, set out my clothes and went to bed early.
The alarm would ring at 1 a.m. and I would arrive at my first store around 2 a.m. The specials were very limited and I had to be first or second in line if I were to have a chance at getting the "must have", "hard to get" item.
Thinking back, I have to laugh remembering how easy it was to distinguish between Black Friday professionals and first timers. First timers just didn't seem to understand the consequences of drinking too much coffee or the hassle of returning lawn chairs to the car. Suffice it to say, depending on the crowd, getting out of line wasn't always respected.
First timers experienced a Black Friday boot camp of sorts. Unfortunately, it is impossible to accurately describe the brutality that could sometimes accompany Black Friday shopping. Once the doors opened, rules disappeared and the shoppers that, just moments earlier, appeared to wait patiently, transformed into raging mobs brandishing fisticuffs, pushing and showing displays of ruthless hostility.
Over the years, I became very skilled at Black Friday shopping and my BFF and I incorporated team shopping into our ritual. Team shopping made it even easier to secure more of our "must get items".
The era of Cabbage Patch Dolls®, Ninja Turtles®, Power Rangers®, Tickle Me Elmo®, Power Puff Girls®, Nintendo®, PlayStation II®, Fur Real Cat®, and Holiday Barbie® are now gone, but the memories remain. Black Friday shopping became a quest I conquered and now it's over!
Like I stated earlier, times have changed. I still love Black Friday shopping but I have to admit, I do enjoy it more from the comfort of my computer.
In the interest of full disclosure, I'm not saying that I will never again (never say never) suit up to tackle the crowds and experience the rush of adrenaline while zigging and zagging my way through the frenzy of sale chaos. It is impossible for me to know whether or not nostalgia will once again release my Mad Woman on a Mission personality; however, one thing is certain....should that day arrive, I highly suggest that you move on or move over!
I asked my Facebook friends to add a line for a would-be Halloween story. My friends did not make this easy...this is the end result.
Right off the bat, let me clarify that my boldness should not be viewed as a lack of gratitude for the benefits you, Mr. Big Business, bring to your respective communities. The employment opportunities your company provides are vital and your employees are grateful; however, it is important that you, Mr. Big Business, make a concerted effort to never underestimate the worth and value of the community you serve and employees you hire.
Mr. Big Business, while you reap the benefits of tax incentives and government perks, your small business counterparts are simply aspiring entrepreneurs just trying to catch a break.
Membership dues are part of business, period. Your annual, obligatory membership dues to various organizations help ensure that your political interests are represented. At the same time, the small business owner struggles to pay those same dues; not for political representation, but to establish credibility. Sadly, every day, somewhere, a small business owner gives up and closes the door. With each closing, the American dream seems more like a slogan from yesterday than a possibility for the future.
So what can you do about it? Well, Mr. Big Business, I'm so glad you asked. Learn about and do business with the small businesses who live and work in your community. The quality and value of the services and products they offer may even surprise you. It's easy to forget that success breeds success; yet, as overall budgets increase, so grows the community.
Mr. Big Business, I really don’t think that you are cold-hearted; just unaware of the many great businesses that exist in your area. The unawareness is not your fault, but rather an enormous communication failure of the very organizations whose mission it is to bring small businesses and big businesses together.
Mr. Big Business, small businesses know who you are, what products or services you provide and even where you’re located; but YOU need to know them! Who they are, what products or services they provide and where they are located!
So, how do we turn this around?
Unfortunately, some of the organizations and so-dubbed "powers that be”, refuse to be part of bridging this gap, so that is why I am calling on you, Mr. Big Business, to be the catalyst for change. Together, combined efforts between Big Business and Small Business will reap stronger, economically sound communities.