• Fun in Knoxville,  I'm Apparently Old.,  Music

    Live From the Cheap Seats

    Last week we went to a blues concert here in town. The concert was good, but not my favorite. No offense to the artist who shall remain unnamed here; part of my problem is that the venue was standing room only and that is one of my least favorite things in the world: I need that chair behind me. Even if I’m going to stand for hours at a concert I love–like Foo Fighters–I am mentally more comfortable knowing that I have the option to sit in a chair for a few minutes if I need to. At the concert last week we took the recommendation of a friend and…

  • Blessings,  Confessions,  Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?,  I'm Apparently Old.,  UGH.

    This Is (My) Fifty.

    Today is my 50th birthday. I won’t lie: I am having a little trouble with this. This past week I have been filled with a strange type of upset and a little bit of panic that crashed into me out of nowhere. This “mini crisis” isn’t about anything related to my life itself. I have nothing to complain about (to say the least); the source of all of this is literally the number, and I am mostly surprised that I feel this way…but in a way, I’m not. I was one of those kids who did the math to learn that I would be thirty-two years old in the year…

  • Confessions,  Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?,  I'm Apparently Old.

    The Clock Goes Ding Dong

    My in-laws are fans of clock chimes. I know this because they have a grandfather clock and two other clocks that are set up to go off in succession and not at the same time on the hour (or the half hour, or the quarter hour). The clock in the kitchen chimes in song, and there are multiple choices including Bread’s “If” (I’m certain about this one) and Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly” (I’m not certain about this one but I thought of it at the top of most hours when I was around to hear the extended version of “ding dong*”). I had a lot of time on my…

  • Childhood Memories,  Confessions,  Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?,  I'm Apparently Old.,  Music

    You Don’t Have To Be On A Boat To Enjoy Yacht Rock.

    The scene: My car on a recent sunny afternoon. The players: My twenty-four-year-old son and me. The music: Yacht Rock. Dylan: “What the heck IS this?” Me: “It’s the theme from ‘Cannonball Run’.” Dylan: “Starring Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise*????” Me: “Yes! It’s on the Yacht Rock station. I’ve been on a seventies kick lately. I think it’s because it takes me back to my childhood. It’s comforting. Anyway (continuing in the voice of Thurston Howell III), don’t you feel like you could be sailing on a boat on a gorgeous day with not a cloud in the sky, listening to this music?” Dylan, rolling eyes: “Oh God.” Fade out.…

  • Blessings,  Confessions,  Favorite Things,  Fun in Chicago,  I'm Apparently Old.

    So Long, 2015!

    Another year is gone (I think I have whiplash!) and Jim and I will be spending another New Year’s Eve like boring older people. In fact, last night as we were discussing our exciting plans (basically watching movies on Netflix), our older son, who is headed to Wisconsin to do a bar crawl with friends, was sitting there thinking, “That is such a LAME New Year’s Eve.” No, I’m not a mind reader but his eye roll and head shake told me all I needed to know to make a good guess regarding his thoughts. Good thing he won’t be around, I guess. I mean, Netflixing IS a really good…

  • Childhood Memories,  Food,  I'm Apparently Old.,  I've Got Mad Skillz

    Jell-O Times Two.

    Until the last six months or so since my mom started trying to minimize, we have always known that if we’re looking for something from our growing-up years, she’s likely got it. It’s for that reason that when we come for a visit, we usually find long-forgotten things either by accident or, if mom finds something she wants us to take home, left on the dresser of the room in which we sleep. I was tickled on this visit to find a short stack of old report cards, a program from an elementary school play, and a collaborative recipe book made by my kindergarten class on that dresser. The recipe…

  • Amazing People,  Childhood Memories,  Favorite Things,  I'm Apparently Old.

    This Is A Recording.

    I’ve been listening to a piece of my childhood this week. I’ll get to that in a minute. First, I want to talk about how it’s a truly special thing when an entertainer can impact one generation of people in a positive way. Two generations? Even better. Three? One word: WOW. I have been watching the new Netflix Original show “Grace and Frankie”, which stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. Err, “WATCHED”, since they released the entire season at once and I devoured it. Past tense. Anyway, I was sitting there watching it one afternoon and J, who is twenty, walked into the family room and suddenly stopped as his…

  • Blessings,  I'm Apparently Old.,  My Kids Have Mad Skillz,  Reflections on Parenting

    Back In Time, If Only For a Moment

    I was loading up the conveyor belt with my purchases at Target earlier today when I noticed that there seemed to be a hold up with the customer ahead of me. Once I could find no more space on the belt, which hadn’t moved in a couple of minutes, I looked up to see what was going on and my heart melted. A little boy of no more than five years old was standing next to his young father, struggling to open his own adorable wallet and pull some paper bills out. I looked at the cashier in time to see her bagging a mid-sized Star Wars LEGO kit and…

  • Confessions,  I'm Apparently Old.,  UGH.

    Mr. Sandman, Bring Me A Dream. PLEASE.

    Take a look at this, an arrangement of just a few of the products that are involved in my pre-bedtime routine. It wasn’t always this way, my having to bring in reinforcements. Way, way back when I was in my twenties, I could brush my teeth, use the bathroom, get into bed, snuggle up to Jim, pull the covers up to my chin (I always loved being cozy under the blankets!) and fall asleep nearly immediately. I’d stay asleep until morning and even if I “only” got seven hours, I felt so well rested! These days, in my midtolate forties (to me, forty-six is not mid- and not late-; it’s…