Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Partridge in a Pear Tree Anyone?

In case you haven’t noticed, I like birds.  No, really.  I do.  That’s why I was so excited when I was out shopping the other day and I found this wrapping paper for Christmas!

And was thrilled when I found this little guy from Target to hang on our tree.

I think I may have tracked down the origins of my birdy obsession.  I blame my mother for imprinting my baby bird brain early on.  I found these in a “keepsake” box at my dad’s house.  

These retro looking fellows used to be attached to a mobile above my crib.  I’m pretty sure they were only hanging by a very thin string way back then and if they had fallen into my crib, it would have been bye bye birdy for Mama Finch.  But it was 1964; what did they know?  My parents also allowed me to ride in the car hanging over the front seat and gave me baby aspirin.  It’s amazing that I’m still around to squawk at all.

I also have surmised that genetics may play a role in my bird love as well.  You know how birds of a feather flock together?  My mother liked the little feathered creatures and my sister is a big time birder.  She even has special binoculars and goes on yellow-bellied sap sucker watching trips with her husband. I used to call her “Miss Jane”, but I don’t think she cared for the endearing nickname.  What can I say?  If the beak fits...

The sad and ironic part is the feathered fondness will probably stop with me as Legal Eagle hates birds.  How can you hate birds?!  Blasphemy!  She started out liking them.  She even owned a parakeet named “Chirpy” as a child.  But after she was attacked (so she claims) by an escaped caged flyer owned by a lady she worked for in college, she now views all birds as potential predators and softly curses them under her breath whenever she is around them.  Oh, Legal Eagle, don’t be a Grackle!

Unlike Legal Eagle, I just adore them.  They are really such gentle creatures (except for those darn Angry Birds) and very intelligent actually.  I mean, think about it.  Could you build your home out of twigs, branches and anything else you could scavenge?   I think not.  Also would we have ever known how many licks it took to get the Tootsie Roll center of the Tootsie Pop if Mr. Owl hadn’t informed us?  They don’t call them wise for nothing you know.

Monday, November 28, 2011

It's a Wonderful Weird Life Sometimes

“Jingle bells
Baby Chick smells
And needs a shower bad
Get out of bed you sleepy head
Or Mama Finch will be sad” 

Our children have just learned to expect and accept that their parents are just a bit weird.  Like when Daddy Owl and I occasionally come up with spur-of-the-moment wake-up songs to get their sleepy selves going in the morning.  Like this lovely rendition of the Christmas classic for Baby Chick’s morning wake-up call today.  I thought it was pretty good considering I’d only had one cup of coffee.  I guess I really am a poet and didn’t know it.

Monday mornings are always hard, but because of all the holiday hustle and bustle the last few days in addition to our nest being hit by various illnesses and ailments over the weekend (see photo below), it was a little more difficult to get everyone going this morning, hence the necessity of the song.  Did I just say hence?

On a positive note, signs that Christmas is fast approaching are everywhere.  For starters, Buddy the Wonder Dog and Dazey the He-She Cat are wearing their finest Christmas attire.

The tree is up and ornaments hung with great glee.  (I instructed them to give their best "Price is Right" pose.  They did good)

Santas are unpacked and arranged just so.

The nativity has been set up.

And of course, the forced viewing by yours truly of "It's a Wonderful Life" will commence within the next week or so and all those residing in the nest will be obligated to attend.  I feel this movie should be required for anyone desiring membership in the human race.  Especially those who use pepper spray on Black Friday over flat screen TVs.  Really people, really?!?!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Keep Calm and Trot On

He’s makin’ a list, checkin’ it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty and nice, Mama Finch is losing her mind.  Oh, what is that you say?  That is not how the song goes?  Oooops…Guess my memory transmitters are not what they should be these days. The last 48 hours have been a bit dicey, but on the upside I believe I may be on the cusp of a spiffy new scientific discovery that I like to call “dementia transference”.  I believe my discovery may be likened to catching the flu, only not nearly as fun.

Research to prove my new theory was easy breezy. I just found an elderly man with a broken hip and severe dementia.  I then proceeded to observe said subject in a physical rehab facility not equipped to care for severe dementia patients.  My experimental observations included the following:  subject screaming, swearing, and hitting in a nicely carpeted public hallway while trying to stand up on aforementioned broken hip, while nearby sweet little old ladies, whom I’m pretty sure have never before heard some of the super special words coming from subject’s mouth, covered dainty ears and swiftly shuffled walkers with tennis ball covered feet in the opposite direction. Further notations of subject’s activities included wrestling a nurse to the ground one-handed from a wheelchair, throwing glasses of tea, as well as an unmentionable bathroom “incident” that shall remain unmentioned, but has convinced this casual observer that whatever his nurse’s salary may be, it will never be enough.  Finally, I believe my research shall prove my theory that anyone brave enough to lurk within a 20 foot radius of medicated goofy-talking old folks with tempers and no memory will somehow by osmosis contract the same blank-staring, goofy-talking, no-remembering behavior.  Lurkers like me.

In an attempt to keep calm, carry on and try to keep my crazy at bay, I decided to go ahead and run the Fort Worth YMCA Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 5K with Legal Eagle yesterday morning as planned (see Trot Forrest Trot).  With everything going on with my dad, I thought it would be a good distraction and give me a chance to clear the care giving cobwebs.  So glad I did.  It turned out to be a beautiful morning and we had such a wonderful much needed “mom-daughter” time that we are thinking of making it a Thanksgiving morning tradition.

Legal Eagle was such a good coach, telling me to slow my breathing and pace myself...and that was just walking to the start line.  After the trot began and we stepped it up, she informed me we were on the wrong side with the “walkers” and as we crossed over the grassy median to the “runners” side, I was shouting triumphantly, “I’m a runner! I’m a runner!  And not just because someone is chasing me!" 

Of course, two seconds later, I thought I was going to die and five minutes later when Legal Eagle offered these encouraging words, “Just run to the stoplight and then we’ll walk”, my eyes narrowed and I began to believe an evil plot may be afoot.  In-between gulps of air, I hastily reminded her it would do no good to kill me as I had nothing to leave her except nagging guilt and Baby Chick.

As the race spilled into more narrow residential neighborhoods, the now condensed and thickened crowd forced our bob and weave to slow enough to actually make it a legitimate excuse to walk and a welcomed chance to breathe.  Ahhh..air.  How I missed you!  We were then able to take a closer look at some of our more interesting fellow trotters like these:

After the two mile marker, I suggest to Legal Eagle we should try to run again for two reasons:  1.  We want to at least cross the finish line running and 2.  When we glance to our right we notice a sleeping newborn baby in a stroller now going faster than us.  We do have our pride, so we once again began our bob and weave run and followed the openings made by striped tights girl all the way to the finish.

Thanks for the memories Legal Eagle.  Same time next year OK?  Just remember to remind me though 'cause I think the dementia transference has already begun.  What?  It could happen...

Monday, November 21, 2011

What? Me Worry?

I’m a worrier.  Did I happen to mention that?  Go ahead, offer up a subject, any subject, and I (and the beaks in my nest) guarantee I’ll find a reason to worry about it.  I don’t like being this way and I worry that I worry too much. See!!  Uggg...stop the madness!

Why do I worry so much?  Who knows.  What makes it even worse is that I realize as a Christian, God instructs me to hand my worries to him.  Let me just say that I’m really happy that He also realizes I’m a very flawed human being and that he loves me anyway, ‘cause sometimes handing over the crazy is not as easy as it sounds.  Kind of like Linus giving up his security blanket.  Whatever you do, do not touch the blankie.  Seriously.  Don’t.

Worries for Today Part 1

I had a call on my mobile (I love when those from across the pond say mobile with the long i sound.  I’m a Texan.  I can drag out a long i like nobody’s business) early this morning from a number I didn’t recognize.  With my dad’s current condition, every time the caller ID displays a number I don’t recognize I worry something terrible has happened.  See what I mean?  I’m not even to the main part of the story and I’m wrapping that well worn blankie just a little tighter round my thumb.  It was actually just a wrong number.  The unknown caller hung up on me the first time I answered and then immediately re-dialed.  When I answered the second time, a poor little old confused lady with a hard to understand accent quizzed me as to why I was answering her son’s number.  I reassured her that the phone number she just called out to me was actually mine and had been mine for quite some time.  She sounded worried.  Now I’m worried that the confused worried lady’s son may be sick or fallen and can’t get up or maybe just skipped out never to be heard from again because he was an eyewitness to some horrible crime and is now part of the witness protection program. Why else would his mother not know her own son’s number?  Or maybe he just lied to her and gave her the wrong number on purpose, which would make him the worst son in the entire universe and now I’m worried about her.  See what I mean?  I can even worry about complete strangers.  Someone help me!  My name is Mama Finch (Hello Mama Finch) and I’m a worrier.

Worries for Today Part 2

I’m worried about the Duggars.  No, not about having their 20th baby.  Oh no.  My concern is with the young-ins they have already procreated.  Considering I can misplace Baby Chick at the Super Walmart,  I don’t get how they flew across the Atlantic ocean all the way to Scotland/Ireland/England and didn’t lose one.  Not one.  How is that even possible?  Would they even notice if one of them went missing?  One word Jim Bob – microchipping...or a dog whistle.  My vet is very reasonable.  Call me.

Worries for Today Part 3

These are the ones that actually affect people I know.  Like Daddy Owl, the Fab Five, our families.  These are the ones that I worry about in the dead of the night.  The ones that give me pause in the middle of my day.  The ones I silently pray about.  The ones I now offer up to God and pray that when he washes the now threadbare blankie, some of the dirt and stink will be washed away as well, because I’ve been dragging it around long enough and it sure is dirty.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thankfully Gobblin' 'till We Wobble

It’s that time again.  The calendar tells me that in precisely 6 days we will once again celebrate that oh so American holiday of Thanksgiving.  I also realize we’re getting close to the actual day because the leaves have turned, the air has cooled, and pumpkin orange is everywhere we look.  What that means in Texas is the leaves are brown, it’s a balmy 79 degrees, and the Longhorns are playin’ football.  Yes sir, it’s turkey time!  Or as we like to say in the nest, time to gobble 'till we wobble.

Here are the things I am somewhat appreciative of:
  1. My “dread”mill
  2. The ability to run on the “dread”mill
  3. Cat litter
  4. Canned cranberry sauce
  5. Target
  6. Toms shoes (No Legal Eagle, they are not “ugly”)
  7. Ringtones
  8. 30 Rock and Tina Fey
  9. Reports that suggest Rick Perry has fallen in the presidential poll

Here are things I am more appreciative of:
  1. That Nordstrom has decided to take one holiday at a time and not give in to crass Christmas commercialism until AFTER Thanksgiving (Finally, someone has come to their senses)
  2. The Angels on earth who, disguised as nurses, have so compassionately cared for my dad
  3. My freedom of speech as an American to write silly little blog posts
  4. Morning coffee
  5. Living in the great state of Texas
  6. Reports that say Rick Perry has fallen in the presidential poll

Finally, the things I am MOST appreciate of this 2011 Thanksgiving day:
  1. God’s grace and mercy in my life that I don’t deserve, but have anyway
  2. Daddy Owl – the best husband a woman could ask for
  3. The Fab Five – the best kids a mother could hope for
  4. Buddy the Wonder Dog and Dazey the He-She Cat
  5. A roof over my head
  6. Food to eat
  7. Clothes to wear
  8. Reports that CONFIRM Rick Perry has fallen in the presidential poll
What are you thankful for?

Friday, November 18, 2011

We Gather Together

I guess it’s true that you do learn something new every day.  Driving home from the hospital after sitting with my dad all day today, I’m hunting the XM Radio dial for something lighthearted to listen to and I run across a conversation in progress on Channel 121.  The guest begins to discuss the importance of acorns and the best times to harvest and eat them.  I assumed they were talking about squirrels, Bear Grylls, or maybe ummm…uhhh (what was that third thing?), when that wacky Public Radio host started asking about harvesting and consuming dandelion weeds.  Then the talk took an unexpected and ugly turn as I realized squirrels, Bear Grylls and probably not even Rick Perry would be willing to digest dandelion weeds.  “They could not possibly be serious” I thought while I waited for someone to say “Live from New York, It’s Saturday Night!”, but this was no joke.  They were discussing some kind of relatively newish movement of foraging for food, berry by berry, nut by nut, and twig by twig by actual real-life, non-caveman 21st century people!

WTH???  Did someone close the Super Walmart and didn’t bother to tell me?  How the heck am I going to cook Thanksgiving dinner if I have to hunt and gather my own cranberries before next Thursday?  And don’t even get me started on where I'll find the candied cherries for the fruit salad (what tree do those grow on?).  The last time I heard of a human being gathering their own food using this process, someone was about to get eaten by the big bad wolf. Hey - I just realized that even the big bad wolf knew foraging was not a sensible idea!  What is wrong with these foraging hippy dippy trippys?

I’m all for vegetarians.  I get the growing vegan movement.  I really do.  But I think these well-meaning foraging folks may be one banana short of a bunch.  I understand their reasoning, but by the time you gather enough food for one itsy-bitsy teeny tiny meal, you will be enriching the soil of the bush you just foraged from.  The kicker of the entire radio show was when the very serious young lady, who I'm fairly certain wears eco-friendly shoes made out of recycled tires, called in stating we were all intended to be foragers.  She then proceeded to fondly reminisce how as a child she used to journey to her front yard, lay on her stomach and eat grass.  I think she may have eaten from the freshly fertilized side. 

The only things I forage are the following:
  1. The clearance rack at Target
  2. My child’s Halloween bucket for bite-size Snicker bars
  3. The prize out of the Cracker Jack Box
  4. Rick Perry’s comments for intelligent life
  5. The couch cushions for loose change
  6. Buddy the Wonder Dog’s crate for whatever he recently dug out of the upstairs trash
I suppose there are positive aspects of foraging.  Snacking would be way more efficient and cost effective. For example, if Hawkeye John gets hungry after mowing the lawn he could just reach for the bagged clippings.  Actually now that I think about it, Daddy Owl did say that as a toddler Hawkeye John enjoyed noshing on tree bark every now and again.  Maybe this could work for our nest!

Who am I kidding?  I suppose just like every other spoiled lazy suburbanite American family, we'll just gather our Thanksgiving dinner ingredients the old-fashioned way - standing in line at the Super Walmart -  and call it a day.  I think this newfangled movement will have to keep picking their berries and harvesting their hulls without me for now.  By the way, if you see the grass eating girl, please be sure and tell her she's invited next Thursday.  She can bring the salad.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Make Mine Pastrami Please

Funny how one phone call can change everything instantly.  The call came at 4:27 Monday afternoon just as I was attempting to help Baby Chick climb a tree by giving him a boost with cupped hands.  I’d taken him to the park trying to work in some quality time in-between my care giving shift at my dad’s and having to rush home and start dinner.  That same day I had also been working on a quippy little blog post about Thanksgiving, but because of the phone call (and much to Baby Chick’s chagrin), not only did the tree climbing come to a screeching halt but the quippy turkey talk was put on hold as well.

Funny too how these momentum changing calls are usually from my older sister.  The last time she called me with grave news with that tone of voice, she was calling to inform me that our mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer.  I’ll never forget that call in 1996.  That was the call that made my normal change forever.  That was the one that made me look at life just a little differently.  That was the one that forced me to no longer view life as a child but as a realistic grown-up who now had to care for an aging parent.  That was the one that made me realize that sometimes reality can and will throw a sucker punch that you are just not ready for.  That call in 1996 officially made me part of the “sandwich generation”, ready or not.

Monday’s knockout came because of my now widowed 91-year old father.  Daddy Owl thinks it’s humorous I still call my elderly father “Daddy”.  But as I’ve explained to Daddy Owl, that’s what my father is - my daddy and the passing of time can’t change that.  Just because the roles have now been reversed and he is now more like a “165 pound 3-year old” does not make him any less my daddy, crust and all.

Along with being my dad, he is also a person with Alzheimer’s which seems to be more common in our aging population.  But here’s the thing; my daddy is not common.  He is not the little old demure gentle soul who will quietly regale you with sentimental stories that you will someday write down and turn into a best-selling publication while then optioning the movie rights.  Remember how I mentioned reality bites?  He is a man who still yells and screams about the location of his car keys three years after the keys have vamoosed.  He is a man who by nature is about as stubborn and controlling as they come.  His way or the highway – that’s my dad.

What folks don’t realize is that dementia does not always make a person’s basic personality take a hike.  Nope.  Not only is it still there, it is now wrapped up in a brightly intensified package with a big red bow on top.  If you don’t believe me, just ask his neighbors where he has wandered, the home health care professional that he locked out of the house when it was “time for her to go” (there have been three), the local sheriff’s department who knows him personally, or the locksmith he called to make a new car key when his were taken away.  Yeah, that’s my dad.

When my sister informed me on Monday afternoon that Daddy had fallen, been discovered on his front step by a passer-by and a neighbor, that 911 was called and that she was following the ambulance to the hospital, I knew our normal had just changed again.  I could tell by the urgent tone in her voice that reality had just taken another swipe and the fun was just beginning.  You get the mustard, I’ll get the bread.

Would you like some cheese?  I will never again snicker when I see that commercial on TV.  He really had fallen and really wasn’t able to get up.  After an ER visit and x-rays, it was determined that the proverbial, old-person cliché had actually happened – he had broken his hip.  It is truly a difficult, painful and frightening process for all concerned when you’re 91, confused, full of morphine and you don’t remember where you are and why strangers are poking and prodding you.  Do you want that toasted?

So here I sit two days later in the hospital room wondering what exactly comes next as he recuperates from surgery.  Will he be able to walk again?  Is it time for him to leave his home?  I sit here and watch him sleep and I suddenly remember why I call him “Daddy”.  The same stubbornness that causes him to be combative, belligerent, and difficult to deal with today comes from the same deep down place where he got his unwavering love and sense of devotion for me when I was still the child and he was still the parent.  It’s from the same place that made him chase and flag down the school bus (as I sank under the seat from embarrassment) when I was 7 because I had forgotten something important.  It’s from the same place where he got the resolve sixteen years later to drive non-stop halfway across the country, no questions asked, to retrieve his hysterically crying daughter and her 6-month old baby girl after the crying daughter’s husband walked out leaving them high and dry.  It was from the same place that made him get up and go to a job for 35 years that he sometimes hated just to provide for his family.  It is from that same place that I am determined to find a way to get through this and draw the strength that I need to continue to care for him no matter what the future holds even if the lettuce gets a little soggy and the bread sometimes goes just a little stale.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

You Like Me, You Really Like Me!

No I am not Sally Field and this is not an Academy Award, but I am still so surprised and excited to see that one of my fellow bloggers, Melissa from Glimpses of the Good Life passed the "Tell Me About Yourself" award on to me yesterday.  Just like her blog, Melissa rocks!  I love to read about her caffeinated "ramblings" and I've even found new friends when she co-hosts the "Give a Hoot Wednesday" blog hop!  If you have not already done so, I hope you will check her out and become a follower of her uber-fantastic blog on GFC.

Here are the rules for receiving this award:

·       I must tell 7 things about myself
·       I must pass it on to 15 other bloggers

Here are seven things you may not know about Mama Finch...  

1.    My favorite perfume is Miracle So Magic by Lancome, but alas I’m now out.  (Note to the Fab Five.  Christmas is near - hint...hint...)
2.    I was once called "wordy girl" years ago by a friend in North Carolina.  I'm working on not being a wordy girl when I blog.
3.    I did not have a middle name until I was about 12.  (My name was not ALWAYS Mama Finch)
4.    I think Baby Mama is the funniest movie I've ever seen and that Amy Poehler and Tina Fey should take turns being President.  America would then be a much funnier place to live.
5.    I once got up at 2:30 AM to go with a friend to a local radio station in order to act like a giddy school girl and see JON BON JOVI!  (repeat after me...I'm not a stalker, I'm not a stalker)
6.    My sister the genealogist says we are of Scotch-Irish descent and we may be related by marriage to Davy Crockett.  This explains alot.
7.    Have I mentioned that I really really like birds?
OK - here's the fun part.  Now I get to pass this lovely award on to 15 other blogs that I love and feel you'll love too, so please give them a visit:

Monica's Tangled Web
Making Our Life Matter

Marlowe's Loft
Another Day Another Diaper
The Inklings of Life
Cinderella Trippin'
12 Hours to Bedtime
Renegade Mothering
Melissa Nevaeh Jiedyn
A Mommy with Selective Memory
Save Every Step
Here's the Thing
My Monster Blog
A Mother's Hood

Friday, November 11, 2011

Guarding Our Children's Hearts

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (Proverbs 4:23 NLT)

I stumbled across this Bible verse earlier this year and it really resonated with me.  In fact, I thought its message so vital that I wrote it down and hung it prominently on our refrigerator hoping that as my children passed it by during the course of each day, it would somehow make the same impact on them as it did on me.  But as so often happens with kids, they soon forgot all about its presence there on the refrigerator however, I did not forget.  I’m their mom and as my children’s mother, I’m really the ultimate guard of their heart right from the start.  If I don’t teach them, who will?

I immediately thought of the words of this verse yesterday when I was listening to a news report about the protestors at Penn State. The news report stated that approximately 5,000 people were protesting the firing of Joe Paterno, Penn State’s head football coach.  I found the staggering amount of protesters profound, especially when you consider why he was fired; for not reporting known sexual abuse against children by his very own assistant coach.  He could have prevented more children from being hurt by simply reporting the abuse to authorities, but instead he chose to remain silent. He followed his heart and because of his choice and the consequences that followed, his life course was determined for him and he was fired.  He may have been following his heart but he certainly wasn't guarding his heart.

And what about the protesters?  How could their hearts sincerely believe that winning a football game and a college team’s reputation is more important than a child’s safety and protection?  Right, wrong and consequences are too hard a pill to swallow for many in our superficial society today.  What are we teaching our young people?  Who was teaching them right from wrong as children?  Who was their model for morals, integrity and values?  It sounds to me that no one was.

I find it more than a little ironic that we live in a world that WILL take steps to guard and protect what it deems valuable: houses and cars with alarms, money with an armed Brinks truck, celebrities with body guards and even a highly regarded football coach with heated protests but we leave our most important asset, our children’s hearts, unguarded and susceptible to whatever corruptible thing might seep in.  We as mothers must guard our children’s hearts right from the start and more importantly we must guard it above all else because if we don’t do it, who will?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Not Today Keith Not Today

I have always tried to teach my children to put forth their best effort in all their endeavors so the fact that I must admit to not doing so myself is…well…disappointing to say the least.  And admitting that I chose sleep over watching the lovely Keith Urban on TV last night is nothing to sneeze at.  Especially if you know me and my interest in, alright, alright, total obsession with, all things Keith.   Maybe obsession is not the right word.  STALKER - now there’s a word.  This ugly word has been linked to Mama Finch more than once usually by one or more members of the Fab Five.  Like I said kids, if you’re going to do something, you’ve got to give it all you've got, even if it might get you 5-10.

Did I happen to mention that I, Mama Finch, HIGH-FIVED KEITH URBAN at a concert recently?!?!   What?  You have not heard?  I thought everyone within a 10,000 mile radius at the time heard my victory squawk.  I try to make a point of mentioning this at least once a day to anyone that will listen. The tip of my "not-worthy" right hand pinky finger touched his sweaty, beautiful, guitar-playin’ left hand pinky finger as his security people rushed him by and gave me the stink eye.

I really need to locate the two generous strangers who allowed me to knock them out of the way and climb over their high-priced floor seats to get to Mr. Urban and apologize profusely for my giddy prepubescent schoolgirl behavior.  Well that and to check if the restraining order is still in effect.

Who am I "kidman"ing.  Keith's got Nicole and I've got Daddy Owl and quite frankly, I think I have the better deal. True Daddy Owl does not play the guitar, but he has the patience of Job and is willing to put up with me.  Who else would tolerate spending his WEDDING ANNIVERSARY with his wife climbing over chairs to get to another man?  I'm tellin' you - this man is a saint!

Besides, Keith is not the only Aussie export that deserves our stalking American attention.  Anyone know where The Wiggles live?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Write, Write as Fast as You Can

I watched the beginning of the New York City Marathon yesterday morning.  At the exact moment it began, yours truly was on the DREADmill (refer to earlier post Trot Forrest Trot) just trying to sweat out 2 miles before fading to black, so I couldn’t fathom why anyone would, or even could, run 26.2 miles without stopping or at least passing out whichever occurred first.  Do you wonder if they’re thinking around mile 15, “Well, it sounded like a good idea at the time”?  I have to question their sanity.  If I could sit down with any one of them I would first ask not only HOW they do it, but WHY?  Why would anyone push themselves to the point of physical pain and exhaustion to reach a goal?  What could possibly be that important?

Why would any of us choose to pursue an interest that others might question?   You know like skydiving, tightrope walking, hillbilly hand fishing, or gasp, blogging?  Yes, this question was posed to me Saturday night in a noisy Mexican restaurant.  No, I was not asked about skydiving, tightrope walking or even the noble sport of hillbilly hand fishing, but about blogging.  Specifically what possessed me to start doing so.  And it was asked by none other than Legal Eagle’s ever so handsome and fantastically intelligent boyfriend sitting across the dinner table from me making small talk as I was shoving chips and salsa in my mouth.  Nice.

Here is the poetically lame answer that came out of my mouth as I gracefully tried to wipe away salsa dribbling down my chin, “Ummm…well…hmmm…uh, I like to write and it’s a creative way to do so.”  Mama Finch does not do well under pressure.

I have since had time to sleep on it and now realize how I should have responded.  I should have said blogging is actually a guise to write and writing is more than my hobby; it is my New York City Marathon.  It is the one thing besides my family and my God that I am willing to push myself to the brink for.  Writing is life and when words are fashioned together just so, it holds great power.  The written word has the ability to inspire.  It can make one laugh, cry, or get angry as it informs, entertains, changes opinions, stirs controversy, or even moves communities and/or nations to action.  The written word can change the world.  Even if your view of the world is from your kitchen table…as a blogger.  This is what I should have said.

His next question was how do I come up with topics?  Yep, I think that one is pretty much self-explanatory.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

They Say It's Your Birthday

OK, here’s the deal.  Today is my birthday.  And I don’t like it, not one little bit.  I am 47 today (shudder) and if I ever have to listen to one more tadpole of a person under the age of 29 drone on about how OLD they are (Legal Eagle), I will personally “ring their doorbell” and beat them about the ears.  Oh great… now I’ve become the “cranky old lady who lives on our street”.   Hold on…I need to go yell at some kids to get their ball out of my yard.

I promise I am not announcing this day just to fish for compliments or make a big hoo-ha (Did you know this is actually a word??  No no, not the dirty word!  A real word, I looked it up.  My love affair with Google continues…) about it.  I just don’t like seeing the number increase because when the number increases, the life expectancy decreases.  And when your days become numbered, you start wondering what you have done with those days.  Did I make them count?  Did I make a difference while here on earth?  Did I do everything on my bucket list?  Uggg…I just realized I FORGOT TO MAKE A BUCKET LIST!!  Great, now the memory is going too.

For the sake of my family (Daddy Owl says I should want to celebrate for the kids’ sake??), I will no longer view my 47th year closer to death birthday in a negative light, but in a more positive brightly lit fluorescent light.  So because I was born the same year the Beatles came to our shores, here goes:

They say it’s your birthday
That’s what my birth certificate and these festively wrapped packages sitting on our dining room table would indicate.

You say I get presents and a CAKE?!  Now I’m starting to see the light.  PAR-TAY in the nest!!

“It’s my birthday too, yeah”
Well-known folks who share my birthday:

Young Whipper Snappers:  Elizabeth Smart (24), Gemma Ward (24) (who?)
People Actually Older Than Mama Finch:  Adam Ant (57), Roseanne Barr (59), Charles Bronson (90)
Dead People (This one is not making me feel any better):  Stephen F. Austin (THE father of Texas Ya’ll)

"We're gonna have a good time"
Now that I realize there are those older than me, I'm in a better birthday mood and have decided to look at this day and any subsequent birthdays that I may be blessed to reach, with a thankful heart.  Thankful that on this day I will be surrounded by those I love the most and that we are all healthy, relatively happy, and blessed beyond measure.  And for those just joining this wonderful crazy world today, I only have two wee bits of advice.  Keep your ball out of my yard and it's never too early to get started on that bucket list.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Meal Planning for the Chirping Masses

I just read that as of yesterday the earth's population has reached 7 billion people. 7 billion!  Holy baby boom Batman, I can't imagine 7 billion of anything let alone human beings.  I am saying a sincere prayer of thanks that of that extraordinary count I'm directly responsible for feeding only 7.  Well actually only 5 on a daily basis since the oldest two have already flown the coop.  I also say a prayer of thanks that Daddy Owl and I do not have to worry how we are going to feed our nest because I do honestly worry how some of that 7 billion will be fed, especially the children.  I would love to be able to feed them all, but not really sure if I could fit that many around my table, even with the extension, so I think I will just donate here or here.

I also can't imagine meal planning for that many.  The factors that go into my meal planning are many, not the least of which are:

  • Daddy Owl - Has to watch sugar and carbs because he is diabetic.
  • Mama Finch (me) - I could be a vegetarian if not for the knuckle draggin' carnivores I reside with.
  • Owlie - Does not like anything with tomato sauce or meatloaf (gross she says), but she does like tomatoes.
  • Hawkeye John - Claims he is a "meatatarian" and wouldn't touch a veggie even if it was Chuck-a Norris approved.
  • Baby Chick - How much time have you got?  Will not eat any casserole, anything cooked in a crock pot, anything touching in any way on his plate.  He will eat pb&j and cheeseburgers w/ mustard, ketchup and pickles ONLY and whatever you do, NEVER EVER try to sneak in even the smallest dot of onion, 'cause the earth might implode with the protesting that will surely follow.  He will not touch any cooked veggies except for broccoli (but only w/ cheese on top), but will eat just about any vegetable raw.  Go figure.
I've tried incorporating "healthy" into our meals, but I saw all was lost when Daddy Owl lovingly referred to Quinoa as "Oh no. We're not having "dirt" again are we?"  My greatest culinary triumph was the day we had tofu lasagna and Hawkeye John and Baby Chick both asked for seconds without ever knowing what they were actually eating.   Ummm...well I guess they do now.  oooops....

Basically all this leaves me with is water.  Now as much as I like water, and I do, I'm not really sure water will provide my nest with the sustenance required to keep on being their amazing beaky selves, so I will continue my quest to find the holy grail of recipes.  One in which all hungry beaks will agree.  I think it might be easier to just feed the 7 billion.