Leftovers

By Wendy Pierman Mitzel ~ Thanksgiving Leftovers: So I said this: "Life is about amusing your mother. Just do it. Hang the ornament." And this: "You will find, as you get older, you really don't care about being awkward." Maybe I no longer feel awkward because no matter how cool I try to be, my kids still try to avoid me. Still, forced family fun consisted of helping to set up the new sparkly deer on the front lawn, adorning the tree and watching stand-up (John Mulany) while noshing on pizza. I had to whine and resort to motherly guilt but, I made it happen. Also, I broke down and upgraded to an iPhone 6+ mainly because I needed the extra big screen with the extra big icons/keyboard. Am pretty sure I got snookered somewhere on the deal because my "free" upgrade was in no way shape or form free. When I put the phone up to my ear to talk, I feel like I'm back on the clunky relics from the 90s. But it does have fingerprint access. And over the course of four days our family provided pet-care for one always-hungry yellow lab, two slobbering St. Bernards, one welcoming kitty, and three ducks. Next year we add a pachyderm. Then, today, I got into the minivan (really did Read more...

Random Thoughts on A Wendy Wednesday

By Wendy Pierman Mitzel ~ I don't have a large house by any means, but I am confident my house is large enough to this annoying flyto find somewhere else to haunt besides the room where I am working. That the fly might be attracted to me,personally, has crossed my mind. Since I am too lazy to get up to find a fly-swatter, I am randomly dousing it, mid-flight, with lotion spray on my bedside table. It doesn't seem to be working, but it smells good in here anyway. Writing is hard. Coffee tastes good all day long. Because writing is hard, I spend a lot of time walking into the kitchen to get more coffee. Sometimes writing makes me jumpy. Or maybe it's the coffee. My dog  doesn't do the laundry, even though I ask him to do so quite often. There is never enough bacon. There are always too many dirty dishes. I have a lot of kids. Who have a lot of shoes. A lot of big teenage boys shoes. There is, more often than not, a pair of sh oes to trip over at any given time. Pearl Jam still sounds good. Not so sure about Duran Duran. Every Fall, I am surprised by hayfever season even though I have spend my entire life suffering through hayfever season. It takes me a few Read more...

Re-Run Monday: The Bird Battle Begins Again

Here's a new feature, Re-Run Monday. Lots of our old stuff didn't make it over to the new site last year, so we're uploading some of them here on Re-Run Mondays. Some of you might remember them, some of you might be new enough, this will be just like the first time around. Thanks for sticking with us! By Wendy Pierman Mitzel 3/27/13 Ahhhh Spring! The daffodils burst yellow from the muddy earth. A single crocus reaches for the sun.  And the shiny grackle bird spreads its wings in preparation to turd-bomb my backyard swimming pool. As I said to my son the other day: “It’s not Spring until I start yelling ‘Quit pooping in my pool!’ out the kitchen window.” Grackles show up in Spring to nest and like Navy Seals carefully plan their siege on my pool cover. Birdwatching blogs identify them as bullies and now I know why. These birds mock me with their beautiful iridescent feathers and alight on the very tree the little sparrows prefer and either kill them or drive them away. The sparrows and I are not the only victims of these poop-launching missiles. There are tons of blogs and web-forums dedicated to other’s driven cuckoo by these bird-brains.  Apparently, these Read more...

Re-Run Monday: Youth Sports is About More Than Just Winning

Here's a new feature, Re-Run Monday. Lots of our old stuff didn't make it over to the new site last year, so we're uploading some of them here on Re-Run Mondays. Some of you might remember them, some of you might be new enough, this will be just like the first time around. Thanks for sticking with us! Wendy Pierman Mitzel From : 3/6/2013 I used to squeak. From kindergarten through high school I put on my trademark white cleats and hit the “pitch” as those Brit friends of mine call it. And for the first few years I squeaked each time the black and white sphere came my direction and required me to engage in battle. It was a weird habit that my gawky, bespecticled-self developed. It took years to break once I realized I was too old for it to be cute and instead it had turned just plain weird.  I wasn’t a great soccer player at first, but as time went on I gained confidence and skill and control over my long, skinny arms and legs. Just as a foal takes time to become a mare, I needed a few years to GROW into myself. Eventually, I earned a varsity spot and a few conference awards for my kick-ass defensive moves and rockin’ white cleats. What’s disheartening to me, Read more...

The One Titled: What I Have In Common With An Old Classmate’s Mother

It may be all wrong, but this is how I remember it: Joanna Pascucci lived in a big, brick Italian ranch house on a little hill across from middle school.  I felt lucky that day to be part of a group of kids who walked home with the "cool girl" Joanna while we all waited for something that must have been going on later back at school. We walked up the long dirt driveway and in through the garage. I'd always wondered what it looked like in that house on the hill. Did it have marble? Was it gorgeous? I'll be honest. I don't know. All I remember is the kitchen island.  I was expecting a Venetian mansion, not an Italian mother's suburban Detroit kitchen. It was piled high with brown grocery bags of food. Not just a few bags. But to me, in my 7th grade memory, a dozen at least. Some of the items, bananas, cereal had already made it out of box. There was food on the counters. It was a free-for-all. I know I marveled out loud at the cornucopia of plenty, because she reminded me of her older brothers and their appetites. I swear she told me her mother gave up on actually putting most of the food in a pantry. It was attacked so quickly by the boys it wasn't worth the time and Read more...

Bruce Springsteen Said My Name

There I was truckin' along in my salty, dirty minivan with Sirius XM classic rock bustin' out my bass when Bruce Springsteen spoke to me. "Wendy let me in I wanna be your friend I want to guard your dreams and visions Just wrap your legs'round these velvet rims and strap your hands 'cross my engines..." The Boss was singin' to me people. Testify! I had no idea I was "Born to Run!" Yet here it was: "I wanna die with you Wendy on the street tonight In an everlasting kiss" Well, okay, Bruce but Sean might get jealous... "Together Wendy we can live with the sadness I'll love you with all the madness in my soul Oh-oh, someday girl I don't know when we're gonna get to that place Where we really wanna go and we'll walk in the sun But till then tramps like us baby we were born to run" Maybe you haven't heard Bruce, but I really don't like running, unless it's after a soccer ball, but even then I have my limits... Still, it's hard to say no to the Boss. Maybe I was born to walk really fast? Stroll along merrily? Okay, I'll run, but just 'til the next mailbox. After that serenade I started to think about my name, I encourage you all to do the same. There's Read more...

With Peaceful Intent…

~~~~~~By Heather Thomas Sinon, Guest Contributor    An Open Letter to Terrorists of all Sorts: You’ve made it so I have to stop watching the news. My soul hurts after hearing and seeing what you do. But, I want you to know that I get my kicks out of doing the opposite of everything you do. Does my love outweigh your hate? Probably not. I don’t have access to the 24/7 news cycle, as you unfortunately do. Even though you won’t see it, here’s a list of how I am defeating you. You like to bring down planes. I like to lift up people. You like to take people hostage. I like to take prisoners of hugs. You like to show horrible images. I like to show birds and bunnies and rainbows. You like to cause violent death. I like to ensure peaceful transitions. You like to bomb roads into oblivion. I like to let people merge on the highway. You like to cause homelessness. I like to adopt homeless pets. You like to spread viral threats. I like to spread viral love. You like to starve people. I like to feed them a little too much. You like to cause pain. I like to hold hands. You like to be a megaforce of evil. I like to be a megaforce of compassion. We could Read more...

Saturday Morning Happiness

By Wendy Pierman Mitzel ~~ Remember when Saturday mornings broke with the promise of a television full of cartoons to be watched from under a warm blanket in pajamas til noon? As an adult, I don't run out of bed for Looney Toons anymore, but this Saturday morning I felt a similar feeling of possibility. The sun is shining hard through my kitchen window, the coffee is made and there is nowhere to go just yet. So I have a few clear moments to simply look around, inside and outside of myself, and appreciate what brings peace and a smile to my face at any given moment. First, bunny tracks. Yup. It's been a beautiful few days of snow and each morning I peer out the window for fresh bunny tracks coming from under my shed and from the field behind it. It's like a map to their world, these fuzzy wuzzy bunnies who eat my raspberries in the summer and give my dog chase when he spots them. In the snow I can see where they come from and where they go. (Under my deck apparently.) It's like Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny are telling me a story. Second, yesterday I made a discovery at Starbucks: The Flat White. According to SBux it's: "A product of simplicity, crafted into artistry. An extra Read more...

When Love and Kindness Leave Lessons and Legacies

By Wendy Pierman Mitzel ~~~~   One afternoon, probably seven years ago, my neighbor saved the day with a glass of wine and a few moments of peace. I remember the day as a bit nuttier than usual. The four kids, 10 and under, were in the yard on scooters, bikes, swings and I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. I was likely yelling or whining at said children and I’m pretty sure now that my neighbors, Frankie and Bill, were witness to it all. They were a beautiful pair. Elegant and classy at more than 80-years-old, the couple exuded confidence, grace and class. Frankie wore lovely earrings. Bill always dressed the role of a dapper gentlemen. That afternoon, sunny and warm, they strolled out of their house as if nothing was amiss and invited me for a glass of wine and some cheese on the back patio, beautiful bluestone with rock walls and blooming rhododendron. Fairly new to New England at that time, I assumed 4 o’clock wine was some sort of classy East Coast tradition. And while I learned that it was not out-of-the-ordinary for the pair to enjoy a glass and a toast together, I’m convinced that on that day they spotted a woman at her wits’ end and said to each other: “Oh Dear, Read more...
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