Friday, April 30, 2010

Yikes, It's Friday, Part 2

I'm not sure how the days are getting away from me like this. For your patience, here are a few Thor and Loki treats:

Chase Stickie is their favorite game. They play very differently. Thor likes the stick to be under something so he can dig it out. Loki likes to run in circles until he falls over. It's actually quite funny when Loki gets going good and becomes dizzy. You'll have to pardon the film quality as I was filming with one hand and operating the stick with the other:

Feed us, human:

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010


Acting My Age

Last week, I went to the dermatologist for a check up after having some pre-cancerous spots burned off my temples. I didn't see the doc who did the burning, but another, very nice doc.

When she came in, she asked if I was there to get Botox.

I must have look properly aghast when I said something along the lines of "Fuck, no." Okay, I didn't actually say the f-word out loud, but it was definitely floating around in my brain. I did manage to snap the jaw shut on the rest of the sentence which was along the lines of "do I look like I need botox????"

Because I probably do look like I need botox. I'm going to be fifty years old next month. My eyebrows are lower than they used to be. There are two vertical lines across my forehead that used to just show up when I frowned or squinted. The crease between my cheeks and nose is deeper. Sometimes when I glance quickly in the mirror, I see my mother's jawline. Things are heading south. There is a dry river bed look under my eyes.

I've been used to people assuming I am old due to my hair. It's been silver white for a long time. They look at the hair and not the face, I've told myself.

Perhaps they are looking at both now.

And I still can't bring myself to care too much. Oh, sure I'd love to have my lineless, non-saggy face back. I'd love to hear people gasp when they learn my age like they used to do. I'm human, it was a small vanity.

But I'm FIFTY years old. I can't look 30 forever. I can't stop the clock. I also don't want to spend my time chasing after a dream. Because that is what botox and face lifts mean to me, chasing after something long gone and not enjoying the now.

Sure, I've recently added having a facial every now and then to my haircut and eyebrow wax routine (Autumn at Stella Nova is AWESOME), but that is routine skin care, not trying to restore something that has been lost to time.

Three years ago (or four, I can't recall exactly now that I'm 50) I stopped dyeing my hair. I'd begun to go gray in my late 20's and had been putting chemicals on my scalp for over 20 years. When I made the decision, it was a personal thing, I was just tired of the mess and expense. I had no idea I had stepped into a political feminist tidal wave of women declaring they would no longer be judged on the color of their hair or the age it implied.

There are books that explain this better than I can, but essentially, there are three phases of female life across all cultures: the maiden, the mother, and the crone.

In our culture, we revere the maiden. We respect the mother. We give lip-service to the crone, but in reality, we despise her because she is not the maiden.

I am a crone. I accept it. I revel in it. I am finished with the emotional drama and uncertainty of the maiden. I have successfully completed my mother phase (although you never really finish that job), and now I am a crone.

My life is mine. I have confidence born of the wisdom I have accumulated over my life. I have the freedom that having sent my adult child into the world affords me. I have the means that a lifetime of work has rewarded me with.

If the price of all that I have gained in those years is a few wrinkles and some saggy face muscles, then it is worth it to me. I'm not going to cover it up with poison and scalpel work.

Yikes, It's Friday!

I really meant to post a Thor's Day yesterday, but got distracted by a nap and a chickadee baby murdering sparrow.

So a day late, here is your "I-Meant-To-Do-That" Thor moment:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Manicure, Thor style:

Loki and his new favorite toy, the q-tip:

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday Meanies

Sometimes they wrestle for fun. And sometimes they are borderline real fighting and, I assume, working out some sort of brotherly irritation.



Really mad:

Seriously mad:

Better back off and leave me alone mad:


Yesterday was weird. I rarely work Sunday nights, so my schedule was thrown off kilter. So I think Loki deserves a Loki video Monday.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Magnolia Paths

Some shots of the pathways at Magnolia Plantation. Not quite the same as when you are there, listening to the peacocks scare the heck out of tourists.

Petey the Peacock sez: Moi?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Magnolia Spring

It's pert near to warm out there! I am a wanna-be-photographer, that is well known. I'm not that good at it, but sometimes, Mother Nature just makes it impossible to take a bad shot.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thor's Day, the Movie

The much sought after, next to impossible to photograph Thor behavior: the tossing of Marty Mouse:

Why do I spend money on cat toys? Thor played with this bit of painter's tape until I took it away from him because he started to eat it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Get The Shotgun, Virginia!

Apparently, there is a lost submarine in Charleston Harbor. The Coast Guard is escorting it back out to sea.

Reminded me of a story my mother told me. Many years ago, when my mom was a wee young lass, the family was living on Folly Beach. My grandfather had left the house before dawn (probably to go peach inspecting or fishing). Granny was cooking breakfast for mom and her sister (I don't believe sister #3 or dear Auntie D as she is known here, was actually in this world yet). My mother's Uncle Dolph was staying with them. He had a broken leg and the heavy plaster cast made sleeping in those pre-air conditioner days sort of miserable. So he was up early, outside on the boardwalk, enjoying the fresh morning breeze off the ocean.

Mom heard him call to Granny, "Get the shotgun, Virginia."

As she got the gun and shells, Granny called out to her brother-in-law, "Is it a raccoon?" (rabid raccoons were not uncommon.)

"No," Dolph replied, "It's the Germans."

Granny sent my mother and her sister into the back bedroom and told them not to come out. She then filled her apron pockets with shotgun shells and went down to the beach to meet the oncoming Germans.

Turned out to be our Navy practicing for the D-Day Invasion.

Pity because if it had been the Germans, Granny would have ended the war right then and there.

Don't mess with a country raised Southern girl!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday Musing

When did busy-ness begin to equal worthiness?

A while back, I made a comment to an acquaintance that I had spent most of a rainy day curled up on the couch with a book.

She sneered that she wished she could waste a day like that, but she had too many things to do.

Um. Okay. Here comes the grumpy old lady, you little whipper-snapper you.

I did not waste a day. I had the luxury of doing exactly what I wanted to do.

Twenty years ago, I did all that wife-mother-worker-housekeeper stuff. I had a child in school and activities, I had a house to keep up, I was in school full time and working part time. I ran all day and most the night, seven days a week.

So don't go pulling your faux superiority on me, Miss McPrissyPants.

I really don't get the judgment that women pass on each other over everything. I honestly don't remember it being that bad when my son was young. (Unless then, like now, I just really didn't give a cracked tin horn what a random stranger or peripheral acquaintance thought of me. And my friends just have to deal cos they know how I am and if they don't like it, they wouldn't be my friends.)

I understand the need to put your children first when they are younger, but when did how much of yourself that you sacrificed become the measure of the "better" mother?

Is it some sort of repressed jealousy? A form of insecurity? The more you do, the better person you are?

Just be who you are or need to be and let others be who they are. We got enough to deal with in this world without all this sniping and snipping.

Thor sez: I left a hair ball this big under the bed!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Friday, April 09, 2010

Nurses Making a Real Difference!

I've spoken of the Nurse-Family Partnership program before. I am so happy to see it is taking off here in the lowcountry! Congrats and THANK YOU to all those who are involved in this.

This is exactly the sort of intimate, long term, early intervention advocacy that we so desperately need to start making a real difference in the lives of our children. A nurse stays with a young mother/family from prenatal until two years of age.

The stats on the successes of the Nurse-Family Partnership Program have been documented for over 30 years. Every dollar spent on this program saves five dollars in social costs down the road.

Plus, we have young mothers and fathers finishing school, getting jobs, not abusing drugs or alcohol, not getting into trouble with the law, not neglecting and abusing their babies.

And we have babies who receive what they need: emotionally, socially, physically and nutritionally for that most CRITICAL span of brain development - birth to age two. They will enter school ready and able to learn, with parents who know how to help them succeed.

This is great news for the area!

Thor sez: Are we coming out of the dark ages?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Monday, April 05, 2010

Boobs, Babies and Unreal Expectations

I am very pro-breastfeeding. The benefits for mother and baby are well documented and cannot be replicated by formula, no matter how much science the formula companies put into developing new concoctions.

I am not pro-guilt tripping. We walk a fine line between encouraging and teaching and creating guilty feelings in exhausted and confused new mothers.

I read this article with mixed feelings this morning.

I agree with everything the article says. But I also know that it is almost impossible to accomplish in our society today.

Why? Well, for one, new mothers are sent home within 24 or 48 hours of giving birth and that is not in any stretch of the imagination enough time in the hospital setting to get a good start in breastfeeding. Some moms and babies have no problems at all, but the majority need a lot of practice and teaching and support. I've seen mothers and babies discharged who I've had to spend hours at the bedside assisting with latching. What are they to do all alone at home?

And our schizoid society simultaneously shames mothers who do not breast feed and provides almost nothing in the way of support. Few mothers can stay home longer than eight weeks. Few have supportive employers who will allow the time and space for pumping. Yes, white collar mothers can usually count on some support, but what about the working class mom who works at McDonalds or WalMart or in a gas station?

And it really sort of hacks me that there are now all these compliance requirements being placed on hospitals that measure rates of exclusive breastfeeding during the hospital stay (exasperated by the fact that my hospital is extremely pro-breastfeeding and I know we do better than most, but still feel "judged" for every mom who decides not to breastfeed).

Those 24 or 48 hours are not what is going to determine length of breastfeeding. The support at home, on the job, in society is what is going to decide.

Let's put the blame where it deserves to be: on the hyper-judgmental attitudes of other mothers that make women who don't really want to breastfeed feel they have no choice, on the grandmothers who spew negatives on the struggling new mother (you are starving your baby), the fathers who get jealous of the baby hogging "their" breast, the boss who does not provide time or space for breast feeding, the coworkers who feel the pumping mother is getting special treatment, the people at the restaurant who complain to management about the "obscenity" of a discreetly breastfeeding mother.

Thor sez: Yet most humans found it adorable when kittens breastfeed.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Thor's Day!

I know, old stuff, but it cracks me up.