Pain, Flowers & Adult Children Back Home

healthylifestyle website

healthylifestyle website

Las month was a busy one.  It has been 20 days since my last post when I told you all about my dilemma with medicinal marijuana.  I have since been approved as a patient and will be receiving my official medical id in the mail soon.  Then, it is a matter of waiting for dispensaries to open up in the area.  Sigh.

I have not felt this bad in years.  Because one of the medications I have taken for the past couple of years comes with too many risks, I had to stop taking it.  I did not realize how much it was helping me until I had to stop.  Sigh again.

Walking in excruciating pain has become the norm, never mind trying to exercise.  My joints are fiery red and angry and are behaving like total @@@holes (sighs again and swears a lot in Spanish).

All I can do in the meantime is thank the heavens above for wine.

One thing that has brought joy to my life has been the flowers in our gardens. My son has always told my husband and I that the day he sees us sitting inside looking out the window watching the birds and flowers, is the day we have officially become old.  I am afraid that day has come.  I just love it when the flowers are in full bloom and hey, look at that birdie outside...  Yea.  Who knew peonies could be so…orgasmic.

IMG_3940 IMG_3941

The other pastime I enjoyed this past month was spending time with my babies (ages 21 & 19) while they were home from college.  They have since left the nest once again for their summer jobs away.  My son is enjoying being a Community Service Officer on an island near the coast.  He is living in an old coast guard barracks with the other CSOs with no TV and no WiFi.  I think I would die.  He has to shine his shoes, press his uniform and shave every morning before reporting to duty – bike duty.  He is looking forward to this new experience which should help him decide if a career in law enforcement is for him.

11391782_957692857584347_4260624456261974783_n

Brickhouse-daughter is at a location which, as I write this, is under a tornado watch.  Like her brother, she does not have WiFi so I am not able to check in on her to make sure she is still alive.  She is up in the mountains training to be a swim instructor and camp counselor at a very nice 6-week sleep-away camp.  She gets to share a cabin with fifteen 11 year-olds.  Bless their souls.  She is excited about this experience which will help her decide if a career with children is for her.

smosh.com

smosh.com

I have to say that while they were home, I learned a few new things about the life of empty nesters and got a glance at what a relationship with adult children can look like.

I learned that:

  •   It is now somewhat safe to fess-up to my adult children about all the wild and crazy things I did in my youth, without fearing that they will do what I did.  I do not know what inspired me to do so but they found some of my tales amusing and may have even thought of their mom as “cool” (I’m projecting here).
  •   They are now capable of offering real actual sound advice!  For real.  It is thrilling to see this kind of role-reversal where they respectfully (yes, I said respectfully) offer their views and wisdom to situations Mr. B and I may be facing.  It is almost freaky, I have to admit.

  •   As mature as they now are, listening to me hum show tunes all day long, still annoys the hell out of them.

More importantly, I learned that:

  •    Intimacy and love-making are non existent, when the kids are home from college (it is way easier when they are little and have no idea what is going on.)  I did not realize how quickly a woman’s brain can switch from thinking she is a wild, uninhibited sexy (gotta have it) goddess, to being a prudish, asexual (stay away from me) Mother Superior of a convent, Mama.

Who knew?

Mr. & Mrs. Brickhouse Hit The Town!

christiemellor.com

christiemellor.com

Can I tell you how much  I recommend having an empty nest?  Yes, it will be very sad at first and you will miss the offspring like crazy, but  the next day after a while, you will adjust.  And adjusting we are doing.  I mean, someone’s got to adjust and it might as well be us.

We have been empties for about eight months now, minus some vacation weeks where the babes have been home (Glee!)  It is wonderful to see how they have matured while away at school and what great adults they are becoming.  As empties, you learn that you no longer annoy the heck out of your kids all of the time, only occasionally and particularly if you walk around your house humming, in which case your 19-year-old daughter will not be happy.

With this new-found freedom and spontaneity, we behave like two teenagers in lust love who ran away from their homes to be together at last.

Although every night feels like a Saturday night, this past Saturday night we spontaneously decided to go out on the town for a late dinner.  Our town had just hosted the annual Extravaganja Festival (that’s for another blog post but basically it is an organized and somewhat controlled marijuana festival in our town common – don’t ask.)  Because of the amount of participants lingering around once the festival ended, we opted to go out in the next town over.

After a delicious Italian dinner, vino and mas vino, we ventured up stairs of the restaurant where their bar/lounge is.  A band from Vermont was performing and the bartender told us that they were fantastic, so we decided to stay and watch them.  Mind you, it is now about 10:45 pm (way past my bedtime).

sent from PicArt(Free iPhone_iPad App)-9

We got carded before entering and were almost not allowed in because Mr. B had left his license in the car.  Seriously?  The bouncer didn’t believe that we were 21?  Once inside, I noticed that there were no chairs in the entire place.  None.  How is a 50 something brickhouse with lot’s of problemas supposed to stand the whole time? Then, I spotted two chairs at the bar being used by a Stephen King look-alike wearing ear plugs, and his date.  How the hell did he get a chair and what did he know about how loud this band was that he came prepared?

We stood at the bar with our drinks watching Stephen King like hawks in case he go up so we could immediately steal his chair.  That’s when a 30 something girl asked me to take a group picture of her and her friends celebrating girl’s weekend.  I clicked away and before you know it we were bffs.  The four of them and the two of us.  Long lost friends, found.  

After explaining to them that we were empties and out past our bedtime, they proceeded to tell me that there was no way I could have children in college. After lot’s of, “no way, it cannot be, you are lying”, I revealed my age to them.  They all gasped and fainted right there and then (well, not really) and then told me that I looked like I was 36.  Thirty Six?  Ding, ding, ding, ding! How ecstatic was I?  Poor Mr. B got the, “you look good too but she looks amazing”, sympathetic afterthought.

Feeling much younger now and drunker, I looked around sizing up the crowd.  It was a very…er, eclectic group.  Old, young, hippies, clean, black, white, hippies, single, dating and hippies.  The aroma around me was…skunk-like, in a good skunk kind of way.  Wait.  Had the crowd from the Extravaganja in my town made their way here?  Wherever they had come from they had come relaxed and ready to hear this band (which by the way had not started playing yet at 11:15pm).  I made sure to take long deep breaths as I waited for the band…

What a fantastic and cool band!  They call themselves Barika, meaning to blossom, bloom or be successful.  A six piece ensemble playing all acoustics.  I had never heard such varied funky/psychedelic music played like this.

 “Led by their grooves, Barika is wholly rhythmic, captivating audiences with the beautiful, hypnotic way in which they interweave melody and groove to create something that is not only danceable, but incredibly interesting to listen to. Barika creates a soundscape of funk soaked in psychedelic, West African resonance.” – Performer Magazine

The most unusual instrument (played by a nice and quite high man) was the Ngoni.  It is a West African harp-like instrument made of Calabash (a gourd), dried animal skin and fishing wire.  

The highlight of my evening by far was that he let me touch his Ngoni !  He let me play with it and even pluck it!  SCORE!

sent from PicArt(Free iPhone_iPad App)-10 sent from PicArt(Free iPhone_iPad App)-11

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. B and I could not stop ourselves from dancing to the groove.  Such great rhythms and beat.  We were not the only ones dancing, though.  It appears that Elaine from Seinfeld was also there.  This amazon woman who was super wasted, jerked her arms, legs and head in seizure-like movements, almost broke Mr. B’s nose.

momandpopgifs.tumblr.com

momandpopgifs.tumblr.com

 A young man next to us must have been…meditating, because his eyes were closed the entire time as he tripped swayed back and forth.  He looked very tranquil.

After dancing a bit, it was clear that my feet were going to fall off so I looked over to Stephen King and can you believe he was getting up to leave?  I literally ran over to him, took his chair and dragged it to where Mr. B and I were standing. We continued to enjoy the fabulous music.

Before long (at 12:30 pm) the place was packed.  More and more people kept streaming in.  The later crowd consisted of a lot of muscle men sporting men-buns.  What in the world is up with men wearing their long hair in a little bun?  I know it’s “in” and I admit that I was staring at their muscles and not their buns, but still. 

At this point it got way too crowded.  It was shoulder to shoulder crowded with people bumping into us no matter where we were.  I actually became very claustrophobic and had a mini panic attack.  I had to get the hell out of there ( I know, I’m old).

Although it took me until today to recover, we had a blast!  

Not bad for 50-something empties (who look like 30 year olds – um, only me – that is!)

“Chickiti-Chickiti” in an Elevator? Why Not!

entertainment weekly

entertainment weekly

 

As a barely moving vivacious 50-something empty-nester, something I think about more often than when my nest was full, is engaging in some steamy chickiti-chickiti.  Yes, by chickiti-chickiti, I mean well… you know (I’m Catholic and family members read my posts so don’t make me say it!)

Going down the list of all the ingredients needed for an ideal chickiti-chickiti recipe at this stage in our lives, I checked our pantry to see what Mr. B and I had:

4 c. of desire =  CHECK!

2 heaping Tb. spoons of sexiness = shit, we only have 1/2 ounce left

2 fit bodies = the expiration date says 1/31/87

3 gallons of wine = CHECK!

 A minimum of 1 slinky lingerie = do Cuddl Duds count?

1 unlimited prescription of small blue pills = I’m not telling…

A huge amount of privacy = CHECK!

So, on a recent business trip where I accompanied Mr. B, we were feeling even more adventurous than usual.  Our hotel had an abundance of floors,  making the elevator ride…slower and longer.

It was late at night.

There was mega alcohol in our systems.

We were alone in the elevator.

The desire was palpable.

The lust…untamable.

Excitement took over us as he leaned in for a passionate kiss while his hands explored my not so sexy body.  What a rush…

That’s when it happened.

My ears popped.

Not only did they pop, but they hurt!

Can you say, MOOD KILLER!!!?

 

 

I begged Mr. B to stop at once.

 

He asked me what was wrong, but I could not hear out of either ear.

 

 The elevator doors opened to our floor.

 

 

The end.

Do You Hear What I Hear?

{When the kids come home from college for the holidays }

****

Said the husband to his little wife,

do you see what I see

way up in his room, little wife

do you see what I see

our child our child, back home from college

with a laundry pile as high as the sky

with a laundry pile as high as the sky

****

Said the little wife to her grumpy spouse,

do you hear what I hear

deafening through the house, it’s heavy metal,

do you hear what I hear

a noise a noise, psychedelic rock amplified

with a sound as loud as a sledge-hammer

with a sound as loud as a sledge-hammer

****

Said the husband to the mighty wife,

do you know what I know

in our peaceful palace – we are no more,

do you know what I know

our child, our child shivers in her room

and turns the heat up to 95

cuz she thinks we are made, of silver and gold

cuz she thinks we are made, of silver and gold

****

Said the ‘rents to their children loud and clear,

listen to what we say

listen to what we say

there are rules to follow, when you come back home,

the dirty dishes, they need to be washed

and the car is now out of gas

and the car is now out of gas

****

Said the wife loudly to her mighty King,

listen to what I say

the children, the children, will be leaving soon

it will bring us goodness and light

it will bring us goodness and light

*And the remote control will be ours again.

I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Send The Elevator Back Down: Parent’s Weekend

e8b366402f0b17b5433269bac439d19b

m.google.com

This is something Kevin Spacey‘s mentor, the late Jack Lemmon used to tell the young aspiring actor.  Now 55 years of age, it is one piece of advice he has taken to heart. And one he eagerly passed on to 6,000 plus Villanova parents, students and faculty at this year’s Parent’s Weekend event Mr. B and I attended, this past Saturday night.

Send the elevator back down.

Think about that for a minute.

I love it!

True to his younger self as a comedian, Kevin Spacey had us all in stitches with his dry humor and infamous impressions.  Knowing that he was addressing a Catholic University, he was careful to warn us of his tendency to “drop the F-bomb” on one or more occasion.   “I promise not to drop the F-ing F-bomb”, he said to Reverend Peter, the President of Villanova.  He entertained us with his perfectly crafted Johnny Carson impression as well as a flawless, Bill Clinton.

He expanded on the elevator quote by reminding us not to let the number of floors between us and those who are less fortunate, become too large.  He also encouraged the students to take risks and go out of their way to reach their dreams.

My dream was to run on stage and hug Kevin to death but seeing that his two-year crazy stalker woman from Massachusetts just got a maximum sentence for stalking him, I decided not to listen to his advice to take a risk.   I will however, be sending the elevator down always, from now on.  And of course, binge-watch House of Cards episodes.

This could have been me! bigstory.ap.org

This could have been me!
bigstory.ap.org

After driving for 6 hours in Friday traffic through the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania for Parent’s Weekend,  we arrived at our hotel which was located in the vicinity of the largest Shopping Mall in the United States of America.  I am referring to the well-shopped, King Of Prussia Mall.  It is the King, Queen and the entire royal family of malls.  Wow.  You need to follow a maze of highways and roads to get to the actual mall.

[Speaking of malls, I have a question that has been on my mind since my kids were pre-teens that maybe you can help me out with.  Why on earth do stores like Hollister and Albercombie and Fitch soak their clothing, racks, counter tops, floors and walls with gallons upon gallons of men’s cologne?  For the love of nasal cavities!  Walking into these stores is a hostile assault on our fragile olfactory systems.  Anyone?]

We saw our little girl for about one half hour before jumping in bed from exhaustion.  We were naïve in thinking that she may want to sleep with her mom and dad at the hotel (What?  It could have happened…),so we got a suite.  Hello?  Sure enough, she returned to her dorm with her roommate to do something with some friends.

On Saturday, we took her to a popular place for breakfast and let her talk and talk and talk.  She told us about the things she liked and the things she was still trying to get used to.  She joined the club swimming team and was happy to get back in the water doing her killer butterfly stroke.  She was thrilled to have won a raffle that allows her to go to all the Villanova basketball games without having to enter the game lottery (which apparently is a big deal since the games are always sold out.)

There's that scary Wildcat again. villanova.edu

There’s that scary Wildcat again.
villanova.edu

Next, we were off to the Villanova vs. James Madison football game.  Football does not get the attention basketball does but the stadium was in fact packed with alumni, parents and a lot of freshmen.  Mr. B loves football so he was enjoying the game even though the first half did not go well for the Wildcats.  Our plan was to  stay for the first half and then head over to the mall from hell to get our daughter things she needed.  Mr. B was not thrilled.  Especially after hearing that Villanova beat James Madison and he missed it.

photo 2-14 IMG_1843

 After being carried out in a stretcher surviving the mall and feeling like my arthritic feet were walking on a field of golf balls, we went to dinner with my daughter’s roommate and her mom.  Love them both!  We headed back to campus to watch Kevin Spacey speak.  Once that ended, the girls made it clear to us parents once again, that there would be no Kumbaya-ing as a family back at the hotel.  They had plans, once again.

When Sunday came along we noticed that our hugs got tighter and longer in duration.  We took her to the bookstore for some more Villanova apparel she had to have and then to lunch.  When it came time for our final goodbyes, that’s when it hit us all.  I couldn’t let go of her, Mr. B held her hand a little tighter and her eyes got teary (kill me now).

nymetroparents.com

nymetroparents.com

As we drove away, dragging our broken hearts with us, I remembered something I learned two years ago after dropping our son off when he was a freshman.

The end of September and the month of October are times when homesickness is more likely to kick in.  The honeymoon is over in that the excitement and newness of being in college and away from home has subsided to some degree.  Now they begin to realize that they are there to study (not just party) and that they miss the familiar, the known and the comfortable.  Suddenly they discover that they are on their own and that it is all up to them to navigate through the complicated web of “college life”.

They were on top of the world as seniors in high school, and now find themselves at the bottom of the barrel and having to figure out who they are and how they are going to succeed in college.  A daunting task.

Although we know our daughter is happy, there is a difficult adjustment period during freshmen year, that is quite normal.  There is also a pretty difficult adjustment period for the parents that is also, normal.

Painful, but normal nevertheless.

 

One Flew North, One Flew South, Both Fled The Scene Of This Cuckoo’s Nest

mixfruitsalad.com

*Notice the $$ falling out of the nest                       mixfruitsalad.com

**This Cuckoo’s Nest is now officially, empty**

…as is my heart,

…and my wallet.

Don’t get me wrong, there are still two adults in the Cuckoo’s nest who are responsible for most of the cookooness, but the young have indeed flown the coop (*sobs uncontrollably).

Where do I begin?  Let me grab my bottle of wine, I will be right back.

Ok. I am back.

Chick #1 flew back north (4.5 hours away), to begin his junior year in college.  We had to rent a cargo van filled with apartment necessities.  Those necessities consisted mostly of our things which we must now replace.  Can you have a bridal shower as a 25 year wedding anniversary celebration?  Just wondering.

IMG_1601

The apartment is on the third floor with narrow stairs, so I only made the trip up and down once.  What I love about this youngling of mine, is that he gave me free rein to do with his apartment whatever I wished.  A mother’s dream!  I set up his little kitchen with some touches of red, including a red cutting board, dish drying mat (essential), trash can, etc.  He even let me organize his room!  I had to contain my utter excitement.  

IMG_1607

After an exhausting day of apartment set-up and running to the store (Mr. B did the running) to get things we had forgotten, it was time to head back home.  The great thing was that my son was returning home with us for the night, before officially moving the following day.  I got in his car and let Mr. B drive the cargo van home.  Do you know how incredibly precious it is to have uninterrupted hours with your 20-year-old son to just chat and laugh?  

We talked about girls, careers, music, movies,cooking and parenting.  We even threw in a couple of bathroom words (fart, mostly) in our conversation, as I needed to open the passenger side window on more than one occasion, to breathe in some fresher air. 

The wonderful thing about your kids growing up is that they really begin to like you and appreciate what you do for them.  He did not stop thanking me for all the help, advice, time and $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ we have spent on him over the years.  He kept adding how much he appreciates us as his parents.

Believe me when I tell you that there was a hell of a lot of SOBBING going on.

Now on to Chick #2.

 My baby girl’s freshman year.    This was a three-day ordeal process.  After collecting all twenty five bags she had packed and assessing the space we had in our newly purchased SUV, it was immediately determined that it was not all going to fit.

IMG_1625

Fortunately, we had a carrier we were able to attach to the roof rack of the car.  Off we headed, on our five-hour journey south.  One half hour into our drive,  she informed us that she had forgotten some important documents back home.  Five and a half hours later, we had reached our destination.

Bright and early the following morning, we headed to the college for our designated dorm room move-in time.  It was the most organized chaotic process I have ever witnessed.  Lines upon lines of cars, separated by rows and color coördinated by dorm.   Even WildCat himself scared the shit out of us greeted us in the parking lot to entertain us while we patiently awaited our turn.

IMG_1651

How many hours does it take to unpack twenty-five bags and set up a girl’s dorm room?  I could not tell you.  It may have been twenty-four or three, I am  not sure.   It was not until her very nice roommate and her parents showed up, that I appreciated my daughter only having twenty-five bags.  How on earth her roommate’s seventy-five bags of stuff fit in the room, is beyond me.

IMG_1665

 

IMG_1670

Trash and recycling outside of the dorm (mostly from our daughter and roommate, I firmly suspect)

 You would be very proud of me.  No tears were shed…up to that point.  I did find myself staring at her and watching her every move for signs of distress, anxiety and joy.  I saw all of the above.  

We participated in all the parent orientation activities and got to know the roommate’s parents well. So much so, that the four of us wished we were starting college and partying at the dorm.  Or at least, drinking.

Here is when the flood gates opened.  There was a closing Mass to end the orientation and to gently nudge the parents off  campus to allow for the students to settle into their new homes.  

The tradition is for the President of the University (a dynamic and charismatic priest), to give a special blessing to the freshmen class and repeat the blessing once they are seniors and graduating.  We were instructed to put our hands on the student’s head or shoulders and repeat after the priest as we blessed our children.  

HOLY emotions.  

There was no turning back and no stopping the flood.  I wailed like a baby as I tried reciting the blessing while looking right into her eyes.  What can I tell you except that it took me hours to recover from such a beautiful and spiritual ceremony.

After the inevitable goodbyes, we set off on our journey back home.  That we survived what became a six-hour white-knuckle drive in blinding monsoon-like rain, while swerving away from a family of deer trying to cross in front of us, was truly miraculous.

I have yet to enter my chicks’ rooms since I have been back.  

I have however, frolicked around the nest naked a couple of times and it was so much fun!

 

‘Cause All Of Me, Loves All Of Me And Words & Pictures

pinterest.com

pinterest.com

“When you truly love yourself, you are enough. Your happiness and well-being become a top priority”
― Annette Vaillancourt

*******

I am feeling somewhat better after my little break-down this week.  When I think about this coming Fall and how alone I will be, I go back to that sad and dark place occupying a corner of my heart.  Fortunately,  I am beginning to see the possibilities for me and what opportunities await me in the months and years to come.

I also thank you wonderful people, for your unbelievably kind words of encouragement.  You truly are the best and I wish I could climb right into this screen and hug you all…and kiss some of you, too.

stock-photo-closeup-photo-of-a-beautiful-sexy-red-lips-giving-kiss-138982058

In working through this realization that I will be spending an abundant amount of time with just me, I decided that I better get to know me.  What if I don’t like me?  What if me and I just don’t jive?  If I am going to be tied to my own arthritic hip 24/7, isn’t it important that I find out as much about me as possible?  Especially, to ensure that me is not a criminal, an identity thief or God forbid, a bitch! Imagine that!

 So I decided to follow me, for a full day.  Like an eager student who shadows  a person in their workplace to decide if the type of work she is observing, is something she wants to pursue.

I had to ask me for permission and thankfully, me agreed.

After watching me get up, make the bed, go to the bathroom and get dressed, I have to admit, I was a bit bored (yawn).  Me’s knee was swollen and she was limping around the house (what a  wuss!)

I watched me eat some cereal and sit on the comfy couch with my laptop, ready to search for the opportunities and activities waiting to be chosen by me, to help fill the endless hours my empty nest will bring (ay, that was a mouthful.)

First Internet Search:  A Jewelry Making Class.  Me enjoys making bracelets out of beautiful beads  but needs the skills necessary for securing clasps and hooks. What? A Class this coming Sunday? Why, yes!  Me and I are both available to attend (maybe we will get a twofer on the cost.)

jewelrymaking.com

jewelrymaking.com

Second Internet Search: Meditation.  Me has always wanted to learn how to meditate and appreciate the true meaning of mindfulness.   What? Free classes at the University? Yes, please!

Woman meditating on the beach at sunset.

Then, me took a short break to look at showtimes for a movie I have been dying to see;

Words and Pictures

What? 2:20 today? Ticket for One, please!

I could have called my friend Gina who wanted to go with me but I decided that I needed to go, with just me.  Like a date.  With me.  Would me share popcorn with me?  Would me like yeast or cheese on her already buttered popcorn? Would me try any funny business in the theater? I had to know.

After accepting the fact that my fellow movie goers were no younger than 97, I settled in my seat, with me.

 YOU ALL MUST SEE THIS WONDERFUL MOVIE!!

impawards.com

impawards.com

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2380331/

Starring Clive Owen & Juliette Binochi, in an inspirational romantic comedy.  Clive Owen plays, Jack Marcus a prep school English teacher who tries to educate his students about the power of the written word (as writers, you are going to really appreciate his character and his take on the English language.)

Juliette Binochi, an artist in real life, plays the character of Dina Delsanto, an artist who is battling  Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Her illness limits her painting abilities and she is forced to teach Art at the same prep school.  A friendly war ensues about the importance of Words vs.  Pictures, as the two teachers try to prove to their students that their mode of expression, is superior to the other.

No, it is not a chick flick.  It is an everyone flick.  It deals with addiction, bullying, family relationships and passion for one’s career.

  What an inspirational film.

Me and I both loved it.  

We discussed it on the way home.  I then told me that I was happy she let me shadow her today.  I told me that I kind of liked her.  That she is fun, beautiful and a fighter.  

I reminded me that there is nothing we cannot handle, together.  

I told me that I was happy to be me and that I even… loved her.

*******

‘Cause All of Me is Learning to Love,  All of Me