My Swiftly Tilting Planet

On the Tuesday before Christmas, when my husband was on vacation, we took our boys to a water park, located at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville.

This is the place where they house the Spruce Goose and lots of other vintage aircraft, in two gigantic, glass-fronted hangars. Last June, the museum opened an indoor water park in a third hangar. There is a wave pool, a water feature for toddlers, a regular pool (complete with basketball hoops), and four huge swirly slides, which begin inside a hollowed-out, 328,000-pound 747, which is perched on top of the building.

Very cool.

Since our boys are only 3 and 5, hubby and I had to go down the slides with them (which meant I had to get into a bathing suit, which is not quite the jolly fun it once was. Alas.) During my first trip down the slides, I got a very strange, light-headed feeling. That’s weird, I thought. Since I had no other choice, I decided to ignore it.

So we kept going down the slides, and into the wave pool, and into a round section of the regular pool that has jets that shoot you around in a tight circle – hubby dubbed it the “toilet bowl.” All in all, it was a very fun day. The boys were in Heaven.

By 5:00 the next morning, I was in Hell. Continue reading


Minka Disbrow

Update January 2, 2012 – To those of you who have made your way here from the AP article that went viral today…thank you so much for your interest in this story. My sweet Grandma (though very savvy) has no computer, but we are keeping her informed of all the interest and comments. She is more than thrilled that her story is touching so many people. Feel free to “share” on FB, Twitter…wherever. God bless you!

This summer, we visited my maternal grandmother in California. After a motel mishap left us stranded, I called Grandma and asked if we could “crash” at her small apartment near the ocean. When we drove up at dusk, a few hours later, Grandma was just coming back from the grocery store, where she’d gone to stock up on food supplies for us.

Her place was as neat as a pin, as it has been for as far back as I can remember. That night, after I’d tucked all my boys in bed, I went into the living room to keep Grandma company. I sat down with a book. Grandma was filling out a word puzzle with a ballpoint pen.

“I like to do something like this before I go to bed,” Grandma said. “It helps me unwind.” About 45 minutes later I sleepily called it quits, leaving Grandma sitting in a small circle of lamplight, still working on her puzzle.

Sometimes I think this woman will outlive us all. Continue reading

Leave It To The Bieber

Recently, I sent out a Facebook message: Did anyone have any suggestions for a great, gritty movie that the hubs and I could watch after we put the boys to bed? Hubby had had a rough week, you see, and sometimes we like to relieve stress by watching other people blow things up.

Several people recommended Inglorious Basterds, but when I went to Redbox that night, they didn’t have the Basterds movie. So, casting about for something similar, I selected Never Say Never, the Justin Bieber bio-pic.

Turns out, it isn’t similar at all. But I enjoyed it very much.

The next morning, while putting on makeup, I started wondering, because my brain will not stop jabbering for even a nanosecond: All this attention and adulation and hype – is The Bieber really so superior to me? I mean, how would we stack up, in a head to head contest?

So I started making a list…

(Today I am guest-posting over at The Five Stages – where I plan to indulge my fascination with pop-culture from time to time. Click here to read the rest of the story and to see my glamour pic, because when you visit Jenny’s site, you have to bring the glam.)

Geriatric Parenthood Has Its Privileges

My husband and I came to parenthood late – we’d been married for nearly seventeen years when I gave birth for the first time.

That’s a lot of years, in case you’re wondering.

I could write a very long post about the disadvantages of having kids late in life – but that would just be too easy. The disadvantages are legion. So, so legion.

Instead, I thought I’d look on the bright side of things, and share with you some distinct advantages to starting your family when you are nearing your AARP years. Should you be foolish enough to choose that route. Continue reading

What Not To Wear

Last Friday, I embarked on Operation Reorganization 2.0 and man, did I get a lot done. After several straight years of being pregnant (and feeling awful), nursing babies (and feeling awful) or having the world’s neediest toddler perpetually clinging to my legs and screeching (which I never did get used to) (but I love you more than life, baby!), we are finally to a place where I can get some projects done while my husband entertains the boys. And after several years of neglect, there is a lot to get done.

I used to think things like: “What if something (some vague, spy movie-ish thing) happens, and all the computers in the world go on the fritz, and I have to prove Dan and I have been married for all this time?” So I kept everything. When some friends helped us with Operation Reorganization 1.0, a few months ago, I got rid of stacks of utility bills and phone statements and other papers from the 1990’s.

This time around I was tackling clothing, and I was ruthless. I emptied a large dresser full of our “sports clothes” (including season after season of my husband’s softball gear), and “yard clothes” – stained and holey t-shirts in various sizes, droopy shorts, and those cotton sweatpants with elastic at the ankles that no one should wear outside the confines of their own property (and I know several people who would end that last statement before the prepositional phrase.) Continue reading