Still dreaming…

“REM SLEEP: a state of sleep that recurs cyclically several times during a normal period of sleep and that is characterized especially by increased neuronal activity of the forebrain and midbrain, depressed muscle tone, dreaming, and rapid eye movements.”- Merriam –Webster Dictionary

I thought about her again this week, a lot- and the house.   Her name was Caroline.  I wasn’t sure at first, but it’s what kept coming back to me so that must be it right?  My Aunt Caroline and her husband originally owned the mountain house my grandparents had when I was younger.   Maybe that’s just what I want her name to be.  It’s amazing how you can go for such a long time without thinking about something that it becomes almost non-existent and then it comes at you out of no where.

I used to try to avoid having certain dreams.  You know, after you would watch a horror movie and you would be so terrified that you couldn’t sleep.  I would lie there thinking of all of the happy things I could with the hopes of avoiding a nightmare.  When I was younger, I longed to go back to the house and to visit Caroline in my dreams.

I found myself doing that again last night, but this time, I was trying to avoid going back to that house.   What if she had come back?  Maybe I am afraid she would be there and what she would tell me now?  I am older and know more than I did back then.   What guidance had she provided me before?  I want to remember but at the same time – I don’t.  What in my subconscious made me go back all those years ago?  How often was it?  I went back anyway, but only to the driveway.  I was on foot this time too.  It was worn now, and the pavement was cracked and protruded up as if the roots from the boxwood hedge were trying to escape.

They say that dreams only make up for a small window of time that you are actually asleep.  REM, or Rapid Eye Movement , takes up about 20-25% of the totally time an average adult sleeps- or on average 90-120 minutes.   I had fallen asleep around midnight.  I woke up from this dream at 2 am.   I woke up before I got to the house.

I’m dreaming of…..

Dream (As defined in the Merriam Webster Dictionary)-a series of thoughts, images, or emotions occurring during sleep.

My husband always says no one wants to hear about your dreams.  Generally speaking that is- it has to be one of the most difficult things to describe to someone.  It’s not a movie or a book that you can recommend to someone that they can go see or pick up and read.  It’s describing your subconscious to another person, in theory giving them full access to your inner most thoughts.  Well, that is if they care to sit and analyze why you just had a dream about three squirrels sitting on a low brick wall giving you love advice.  Yes, I had that dream once in college.

I have very vivid and strange dreams.  Not all the time, but often enough that I am writing about it.  I was encouraged to do so after recently breaking one of the Hub’s cardinal rules of “not sharing your dreams”.

This particular dream was one of two re-occurring dreams I have had in my life.  It involves a house. As a child, I believed it to be in Highlands, NC where my grandparents used to have a house we would visit most Falls and Springs.  For the longest time, I thought this house was so real that I asked my grandmother about it.  It was a beautiful grey stucco house that even now I can see in my head, but really can’t put it into words.  The house was classical looking on the outside but the décor inside was a bit jumbled.  Have I lost you yet?

I would always approach the house in a car, but like I said, when I started having this dream I was a child so I wasn’t driving, but I don’t remember anyone else being in the car with me.  I was going to visit the lady that lived there.  I used to know her name, but I can’t remember it now.  She was very sophisticated, but not stuffy.  She seemed to like it when I came to see her.  She was a grandmotherly figure but not any of the grandmothers or great grandmother’s I had at the time.  Could she have been the perfect combination of all four of them? There was someone else there- a maid possibly?  Starting to wish it was a book I could go pick up to help me remember. I can’t remember how often I had this dream, but I do know it was not often as I got older.  I think it was college when (in my dream) I went back to visit her, but she wasn’t there anymore.  All of her things were there, but not her.  I don’t know if she died (in my dream of course) but she was no longer there and I remember feeling terribly sad about it.

I always entered the same way- through a door closer to the right end of the front of the house.  There was a pool towards the left in front of the house.  Wooded land surrounded it with a well -manicured drive with tall boxwood hedges on either side.  I generally would end up in a round room in the house that had a window going almost all the way around giving a panoramic view of the yard/woods.  Shortly afterwards, I would wake up.

Since I have been married with kids, I have had the dream one other time.  I think I was looking for her to help me work out a problem.  I went back, and not only was she not there, but I remember it felt like she’d been gone for a while.   No lights were on and I think sheets were covering most of the furniture.  There was a man there I think and he told me she wasn’t there anymore.

As I have read back over this, I can see the Hub’s point of view because this all sounds terribly bizarre.  However, subconsciously I’m hoping someone can tell me why I dreamed about this woman who’s name I can’t even remember, and why one day she was just gone?  Maybe if I keep writing about this I will remember…


I love to travel.  I do not love to fly.

The mere mentioning of traveling somewhere that involves flying (even those dream trips we all plan in the far off future) cause me to break out in hives.

“Flight attendants, please prepare the cabin for take-off.”…..ugh, some of the words I dread most in life.  Well I take that back, the seatbelt light coming back on in mid-flight and then the pilot coming on (in his deepest voice) saying, ” Uhhh, passengers, we are anticipating some ‘choppy air ‘ and need everyone to return to your seats and fasten your seat belts.  Flight attendants, please suspend all drink and snack service and return to your seats for the duration of the flight.”

Yep, those are the ones I dread most.  I have had this happen a few times, and will have you know (on a particular occasion) that I stared holes in the flight attendant in my view sight the entire time (making eye contact on several occasions) to watch for any “irregular” reaction.  Because logic told me, if the flight attendants were calm, then surely we’d be ok?   I am pretty sure she was about to call the pilot for some back up to the crazy lady in seat 34D, but alas, the choppy air subsided and she instead decided to come check on me and make sure I was alright.  “I just don’t like turbulence,” I said in my saddest and most frightened 6 year old voice I could muster up.  She smiled and asked me if there was anything I needed for the drink cart- “um…yes, please!”

I have only once REALLY embarrassed my husband when brought to tears on flying back from England a few years back with his family after a lovely vacation.  If you don’t know, I will go ahead and tell you, there is some “choppy air” up there around Maine and Canada.  I think I almost hyperventilated.  Since then I have followed a strict diet of Tylenol pm and chardonnay  or bloody mary (if I feel like I need my veggies) prior to any flight.  He now is not embarrassed, but rather annoyed when his wife has her face pressed against the window drooling out of one corner of her mouth while he is trying to entertain the kids.

Now I am going to really throw you for a loop.  I have a friend who is a pilot of a tiny little airplane.  I don’t love flying in it, but I don’t hate it either.  I have not flown with him a lot, but he is very well aware of my phobia and is considerate of my “situation”.  I get to sit up front and he tells me EVERYTHING that is going on.   He explains every noise and every move he makes.     Twice we have been in the plane getting ready to take off and something has happened and he says “Sorry folks, we aren’t going to be flying today.”  No problem here!

So that brings me to my more recent flight two weeks ago…

(Let me stop and say that I am very fortunate and happy that I have gotten to travel like I have and take our kids cool places.  SO for those of you who are rolling your eyes at this post…well, I am too much of a southern lady to tell you on the internet what you can go do but if you’d like to talk about if over coffee I’ll do a dang good job making you feel like an idiot before it’s all said and done.)

I have been taking a yoga class to try and help me with some aches and pains I have been having from training for a half- marathon I am running next week. (Stay with me, I know this seems like I am on the Tylenol and chardonnay diet as I type, but I will bring this back full circle.)  It was Wednesday morning and we were flying out that afternoon to Utah to see my brother-in-law and his family.  The guru teaching always starts by asking what is going on with us physically and mentally.  It was a small class and my husband wasn’t there to be totally embarrassed, so I just blurted out, “I am afraid to fly and I am flying to Utah this afternoon.”  The only other girl who was in the class just happened to be a retired flight attendant.  Of course.  The guru was very calm and told me this trick of how I could find my pulse and use my breathing to regulate my heart rate and calm me down.  Thanks, I’ll try that….right, like that was going to work!

We arrive at the airport and  all members of my party (Frank and the kids) were all looking for something to eat, whereas I was looking for the nearest bar.  I’m thinking the pulse trick may not work so I am going to need some back up.   As you can imagine, trying to get the 3 year old (who was very excited about his first plane ride) to sit ANYWHERE for ANY length of time was quite a challenge.  The clock was ticking…time was running out and I was going to have to rely on the pulse trick after all!

Did I mention this was the same night tornado’s were going through Birmingham, AL?  For those of you who may be geographically challenged- Birmingham is on the way to Utah.

Pilot comes on, welcomes us aboard, goes over the safety…yadda yadda yadda…it’s time for take off.  I feel for my pulse….I CAN’T FIND IT!!!!  Dear Lord, I am already dead!!!!!!

I feel the other wrist….where is it!!!  Back to the other wrist…press harder dammit!! It has to be there somewhere???!!!  Ahhhh…there it is…thumpthumpthumpthumpthump….breath deep…thump-thump thump.  Breath. Thump- Thump- Thump.  Thump- Thump. Thump- Thump.  Wow, this really does work.  However,I had to do this the ENTIRE FLIGHT.  It worked, but I may have done major damage to my wrists in the process.

Bottom line, the pulse trick did work, but it helped a lot when that drink cart came rolling down the aisle.

I hope that this fear will lessen with time.  I am trying to be better about it “outwardly” because the girls have picked up on it a little and that is definitely not a trait I want to pass down to them.  Until next time….



Happy February 24th!


It was Valentine’s Day and the love and happiness was floating around.  I received some sweets from my sweets that morning and had watched people moving about with their flowers and stuffed animals.  Everyone just a little bit happier, or better yet, giddy.  Valentines were being exchanged throughout the day and everyone was spending a little more time with that special someone.

I started my Valentine’s prepping early this year, ( I know, it still shocks me even now.) buying my kids goodies to make (hang on to your seat) HOMEMADE Valentines for their school chums!   Thank you ‘crack’   It was a project that took a few hours , but they all got done and sent on their merry little way Valentine’s morning.

While prepping for the homemade Valentine’s, I spent about an half an hour one day in the grocery store on “supply buying day” looking for exactly what I needed so I wouldn’t have to go back. (I had to go back twice.)  When I was pursuing the greeting card aisle this is what I saw:

Well, actually, this is NOT  what I saw first, but once I was able to grab my phone (how weird does that sound) and get a quick shot without intruding.  When I started down this aisle, I saw this couple- on opposite sides of the Valentine section picking out cards.  Trying to find the perfect card for each person to say how much they loved them.   I wondered if they were picking out cards to give each other, their children, their grandchildren?  I do know that they were being very thoughtful about the process- carefully looking at the selection and smiling at those that would make it into their basket, shaking their heads at all the others.  I tried to be inconspicuous as I watched them so they wouldn’t know someone was butting in on their “Valentining”.  By the time I made it down the aisle and turned around, this is what I saw.  She looked back and smiled at him as he walked towards her with his cards.  They were done and heading out.  Happy with their choices.

I don’t think we normally hear a lot of Valentine lessons, but this year I learned one and looking back at this couple helped.  Valentine’s Day should be like every other day, or better yet- every other day should be like Valentine’s Day.  Not the cards and flowers that will get tossed at some point, but the “I love you’s”, the hugs, the kisses, or just sitting and holding hands- the things that really make your heart flutter.  This couple, while buying the cards, were giving each other one of the greatest gifts- time with each other.

Happy February 24th!

“Mom, do you think I’m too skinny?”

It hit me out of the blue, “Mom, do you think I am too skinny?”

Now, for those of you who know me, I have had a mental fight with my own weight most of my life and was determined to raise my girls and boy with self-confidence about their bodies and teaching them to take care of themselves by eating healthy and exercising.

“Not at all Julia, you are perfect!” I responded….then got on the defensive, “DID SOMEONE SAY SOMETHING TO YOU?!?!?!”  Mama BEAR was starting to come out in a big way.  “No,” she said quietly, “I was just wondering.”

Now, for those of you who know Julia, you some times have to dig deep for the words to come out.  I didn’t push it with her at this particular moment because I know how sensitive self-image can be, especially for girls.  Furthermore, I would have broken down into tears at some point and that would have totally freaked her out!

So I let it go, but it continued to eat at me.

Where did this come from?

Who said something to her?

Have I messed up somewhere?

How do I handle this if she, or Ivy, are looking at themselves in the mirror  and questioning being “too” much of anything?

I didn’t have any answers.

I still don’t have the answers.  I’ve struggled with writing this one for about a week now.  She hasn’t brought it up again.  Maybe I should just let it go.


Her time of the month….

Does she look hormonal to you?  I think my dog may have started menstruating….. WHAT?!?!?!  Is this a joke?  My poor little baby of a dog has entered into her “womanhood” already!?!?  I don’t know if I can take this.  Come on people, we just got done with potty training last week!

Would you like to know what tipped me off?  You better sit down….

I came downstairs this morning to find the little darling sprawled out on my sofa.  When I shooed her off, there was a spot of BLOOD where she had been lying!!!!!!!!  I checked her thoroughly and saw now other injuries so I think her “period” is the only explanation.

I feel like she and I need to go for a walk and have a long talk?  Is this weird?  Needless to say, the little darling is getting FIXED on Tuesday.  I have to admit, I teared up in the vet’s office making the appointment.  Is it really up to me to decide whether or not this puppy ever has little pups of her own….sigh…sniffle….SNAP OUT OF IT YOU STUPID IDIOT!!!!!  WHO IN THE HELL DO YOU THINK WILL BE DEALING WITH THE PREGNANT BITCH AND HER PUPPIES???  MEEEEEEEEEE!!!

So for now, I will pamper her and let her sit, watch bad tv, and eat whatever she wants.  I will take it when she barks at me.  Every bitch has her time of the month…

Get ‘er Done!

I’m sitting here polishing off the last of my shredded wheats and blueberries.  Exciting, huh? Sometimes after a somewhat long day, this is all I really need- just a bowl of cereal….ugh, this sucks!

Wait, just sit back down, this is not going to be a rant of the over-tired, under- appreciated, run into the ground mom…it could very easily be- but it won’t.  I don’t have the energy for that:).

It is uncanny the number of times recently someone tells me, “I don’t know how you do it with three?!”  “Hell, are you kidding me?  This is nothing- one of my best friends in the whole world has SIX!!!!- Stick that in your pipe and smoke on it for a little while!”

How do any of us do it?  One, in my mind, is no different.  (Albeit, my time with just one was just a blip on the radar- I still remember it being tough.)  I’m starting to think it’s just a stage I’m in…you know that memory thing I’ve been talking about….I think this is all linked.

I have three; 11, 10, and 3.  If those age differences don’t make you want to hit the bottle, I don’t know what does!  Just kidding- untie your panties!  I love it- it’s crazy as hell in my life right now and my mini van still smells like urine from some Thomas the Train underwear Trippe peed in earlier, but it’s ok.  It’s just the stage we are in.  My grandmother has this cross-stitch duck picture  in her house (or she did when I a child). See picture above.  So whether it’s none, one, 3, or 6 kids- we all are paddling like hell under the water at certain stages in life no matter what the rest of the world sees.  Some of our beaks are just breaking the surface of the water at times and that’s ok too,  because it’s just a phase.

I looked at my calendar today.  You know that cutsie “Mommy” calendar that has all the custsie stickers for the various kids appointments and activities. (BTW, Have you ever noticed there is not ONE sticker that represents a wine glass, or in the case of my friend with six, a beer mug for mamasita?  What’s up with that?)  You would think I was managing the schedules for a bunch of diplomats the way they are always coming and going.  I really should paint my van yellow and stick a taxi sign on top and really make some cash!  I think it’s when I am on these “runs” that I’m really at my peak performance.  For example, yesterday when I was at the girls school to attend a field trip meeting, Julia stops me in the hallway to get all over me about not doing something she needed me to-do that hadn’t been done right away.  Honestly, I can’t even remember what it was (memory thing) but told her, “Julia, I’m just doing good to get here at this point honey.”  Her sweet teacher just smiled at me and shook her head like you poor thing- and you have three!  I go to the meeting, whip out my mom calendar, and a friend comes to sit down beside me and she must have had a glance at the calendar and says I don’t know how you keep up with three.   Keeping up with them…that’s the easy part, it’s keeping up with me that has me stumped at times, but I’m working on it.

So, with all of this paddling like hell underneath, we all (no matter the size of your taxi if any taxi at all) need that time for ourselves.  Don’t get bogged down in the mush next to the shore, just gracefully climb over it and sit your fluffy tail down for a bit to reflect on what you have accomplished, not what’s left to get done.  You’ll get’er done eventually.