Sunday, April 13, 2014

Monday Mimisms ~ The 411 on 4/14/14

 It's Monday. All day. The date is 4/14/14.
Tomorrow the world will experience a lunar eclipse featuring a blood red moon.
It is Passover Week. 
The Heartbleed virus is beating its last beat on cyber-earth and astrologers predict the beginning of the end of the beginning... or something like that.
The Easter bunny and all things crucifixion, resurrection and scandalous retail is upon us; not to mention the season finale of SCANDAL will make an appearance on Thursday. 
All things considered, I've decided to stay in the mirror until it's over.


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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Monday Mimisms ~ Curl Power

It had to be done.
I looked around.
No one here but Homer...

Where IS that dog??!

 Never mind. I'll deal with him later.
The ice storms of late left a few lingering problems in Bloggingham.
Do you see this pile of wood in the woods?

It needed piling.

SOMEbody had to pick up those sticks.

 So I took my prissy curls to the woods and did it myself.
Don't mess with the curl power.

 I stepped on a rusty nail. I got a sunburn. I have scratches on my Queen skin where no scratches have been before.
 And something bit me!!!
The worst part? It took an hour to untangle the tangles. Where is a scrunchie when I need one??? 

 But that's OK. I bought titanium garden gloves and didn't break a nail or even a sweat. (Queens don't sweat ya know...) At least a little tiny bit of the forest is clean and my poor little broken babies have been rescued. It felt good to work outside in the wildness of nature for the first fifteen minutes and do something un-Queenly and totally meant for a man to do (I know that was sexist, so shoot me)... but seriously, sometimes a Queen's gotta do what a Queen's gotta do.

So much more to do.
But I won't be doing it myself. 
Lesson learned
Ohhhhhhh and ouchhhhh! 

Where is the Epsom?

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Monday, March 31, 2014

I'm Published

It has not escaped my attention that my first poem publication lands on April Fool's Day. While at first this caused a tad bit of concern, I now have to wonder, given my history in the strange-twists-and-turns-of-life thread running wild and free through the vein of my time here on Mother Earth, if celebrating a first printed work as an author isn't entirely appropriate for a Pencil Skirt like me.
I thought you'd agree.

It is a day to celebrate. And a day to give my beautiful grandson who inspired my heart to write. He is two years old now and just a joy. I call him Baby Beans here on the blog. Grandson #1 (my Baby Boy) has been written about a lot in these pages. Some of you know him quite well through our adventures. They are both precious to me, each unique and tethered to my psyche and pen.

Baby Beans and Me

The book is titled  Nothing Fills the Heart with Joy like a Grandson : Words to Let a Grandson Know How Much He Is Loved and my poem is called When You Sail, Kiss the Waters. Thanks to Blue Mountain Press (Blue Mountain Arts) for choosing a poem that means so much to me for publication and for being so wonderful to work with. The illustrations are delightful, capturing the true spirit of a little boy and the heart of his grandparents throughout 96 colorful pages of tributes from celebrated author-grandparents around the world.
On a walk with Baby Boy

I am also grateful that they acknowledged this blog of mine, Mimi Writes, in the book itself. (That should sufficiently motivate me to post!) To Patricia Wayant, Author and Editor, I wish you much success with this new collection.

And to my blog readers since 2006....thank you for reading my words. I will keep writing. We will keep blogging.

We had quite the celebration on Facebook (see below!) as many of you knew I've been here writing and working on my own book(s) for the longest time in the Blogosphere and dropped by to do what bloggers do best - encourage. This was a lovely surprise. Your enthusiasm and cheering made my day! I appreciate your comments and support more than you know. I hope you will check out the book on Amazon, as well as other beautiful collections and inspirational works published by Blue Mountain Arts, Inc. The company was founded by Susan Polis Schutz as a greeting card business over forty years ago.
I've waited a long time to say....(please indulge me)

There's something surreal and indescribable about seeing your name in printed publication and holding it in your hands for the first time. As wonderful as that is, it pales in comparison to holding this little guy's tiny foot peeking out from a green blanket on the day he was born.
Love to my son, my Baby Boy, and Baby Beans.
May you always find your way home.

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Monday Mimisms ~ It Only Works In The South

This chandelier is made of empty milk bottles!
Have you ever tried to solve the world's problems over a cup of coffee and a stiff shot of banana-caramel pudding?
 It only works in the South.

 It was Friday afternoon. She was bone tired. I was bone tired. Makeup gone, hair de-fluffed and wearing ugly shoes. Who cared? We certainly didn't.
 "Let's go for coffee after work!"  
Off to the quaint little restaurant on the corner of our very predictable day-to-day neighborhood to figure out...well.... which dessert we're going to eat among other monumental decisions.

So, for three hours after work my friend and I sat pondering what to do with our lives. The whens. The hows. The whys. The why nots. 
Until it became abundantly clear to both of us that time will not stand still while we make up our minds. We're peering off the edge of a pier. Both at the jumping-off point. Ready for chapter two. Preparing to plunge. And knowing that no amount of hoping for the best is going to change the situation we're in.


 So we ate chocolate
and pasta
and even turkey and roast beef...until...
"What are you going to have," she asked, "the cheesecake (we could split) or the banana sinfulness?"
"I am splitting nothing with you!" I said. "It's banana pudding for me!"
She laughed and ordered something so decadent I can't even pronounce it. Then with a somber face she said...

  "I can't take it anymore, Mimi."

"Neither can I," said the greedy dessert girl.

And that was that.

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Monday Mimisms ~ Behind The Drugstore Door

"Oh my! You were standing so still I thought you were a mannequin!" said the bleary-eyed man in the store of sleep deprived and grouchy people. No electricity will do that to a crowd. Such is the ice storm we are recovering from and that is the reason I was standing so very still in the corner of the pharmacy near the windy freezing automatic door that day - charging my cellphone.
All the chargers had been sold. All the milk had been sold. All the cough medicine had been sold. All the batteries. As luck would have it, one lonely stoplight on one lonely icy corner still remained functional and this small lucky store happened to be on that corner. People flowed in and out constantly, some in their pajamas, most looking tired and weary after a day and night with no power - and me - trying to charge up my phone so I could call and check on my mama. They were kind enough to let me use their outlet. But there was no chair. I had to stand up for an hour watching all form of humanity (and some former students with a "Hi, Miss Mimi!") file in and out as they were forced to look at me.

I was bored.
And conspicuous.
In a pink fuzzy hat and pink fuzzy gloves
by the automatic door
that blew in icy visitors

So, when the bleary-eyed man jumped in fear and spoke to me I replied, "No. I'm quite real. But what a great idea. Thanks! I'll be a mannequin."
Then I gave him a Queen wave and froze it midstream in the air.
Have you ever seen a perplexed and frightened look on the face of a stranger? He speechlessly scurried away and didn't wave back.

I got some strange looks, there in the small town charging zone. A little boy about eight-years-old towed by his grandmother smiled and winked at me. "Don't talk to it," she said as she pulled him out the door away from the crazy pink hat lady.

I followed people with my eyes like those spooky movie pictures on the wall, trying to stand as still as possible, stretching my imagination to its limits. Why not? I hadn't been on a self-imposed story-seeking adventure like this one in a long time.

Soon my hand had to drop to my side and a very tall and lovely man with a furry hat struck up a conversation as he waited in the checkout line. "Charging my phone," I said. "Ohhhhh...," he laughed.  And we shared a few storm stories and chit-chat before he left into the setting-sun sky with bottled water and chips.  Except for the perceptive child and one other lady who offered her house and wood stove fire until the power was restored, no one else said a word.

Oh, what a great blog post! And then the wind changed as a strange new revelation began to dawn. Perhaps I'd been cold, sleepless and in the dark too long. Or perhaps....

Time to be still again. Only 21% charged said my cellphone screen. It was going to be awhile. After a few more minutes a new crop of cold and hungry townspeople staggered in. Based on the curiously wary looks I received, it finally occurred to me that perhaps people thought I was a homeless person standing by the door just to be inside a warm building. Two plastic bags at my feet, a purse, and a long black coat with mud-splashed tennis shoes from the trek down my slushy driveway. Yep. I looked homeless.

This must be what it feels like.
A spectacle. Pitied. Avoided. A person to yank your children away from. Someone whose eyes you didn't want meeting yours. How cruel it must be to watch families shopping together when you have no family of your own. How hurtful hearing the ring-ring of the cash register as the food you might desperately need is slung across a privileged counter as money counts from a privileged purse. I wondered. How do people go on? 
Why don't they all lose their minds? I think I would.  I unbuttoned my coat and unwound my pride. I wanted to know what it felt like to take that in and fight the urge to defend my societal status. I decided to stay in that wondering for awhile until I was full of the feeling. How odd that an unexpected ice storm had set the stage for my brief but startling journey into odd and curious stares.

  What did I care? Most were just strangers to me anyway. And even as I thought that careless and prideful thought the pink hat on my head began to bristle with shame. Would I feel the same if they'd been my colleagues? How much stronger the indignity when the undignified is known. Or maybe it's just that I see all humans in have and have-not groups instead of members of the same human race. Do I?

But it wasn't so much the uncomfortable rumblings inside me, it was the way people chose to either look away or throw disdainful darts, until the dance became awkward, as if my own quiet stillness was their invitation to judge that which was different and apart. But strangely and perhaps more enlightening than anything else, I began to consciously build a wall between myself and those who stared at me. I had to. Like bullets bouncing off a shield...she's strange, she's different, why is she standing there, what does she want? she's surely up to no good,  I hope she doesn't try to speak to me, go away go away go away.... such were the thoughts I heard in the minds of my townsmen as they struck painfully 'round the bottom of my not-so-spiffy coat. The voices in the silence said more than I wanted to hear.  I didn't belong in their world. And they clearly didn't want any part of mine. I might as well have been on Saturn instead of standing in the midst of my neighborhood.

 Even as the windy cold blew shivers up the bottom of an unbuttoned coat in my pretend-homeless world, I knew that one friendly smile or nod could have kept me connected to the rest of the world, instead of coaxing me into caged-human status. One human connection would have meant more to me than a few dollars in my hand. And it stung deeper than the chill of the ice outside.
For a moment I wished I had stuck to the funny blog script instead. 

How far away are each one of us - everyday - from actually being alone and homeless....
Not that far, actually.
One job loss. One death. One health crisis. One market crash. One set of spiraling circumstances and it all comes tumbling down. You - and me - might be the next person standing behind the drugstore door.

I left with my fully-charged phone of privilege, two bags of luxury snacks, extra cash from a modest but adequate bank account, a pink-hatted head full of humility - and one little tear that fell when I opened the door of my very own car.
 I will make an effort, said I... as I drove through a town with no lights or cafes or gas stations really look at people and not turn away. I will remember how it felt behind the door and I will try not to judge my neighbor based on where they stand, even when I don't understand, because I can't possibly know what lies beneath their hats or where they've been in their muddied-up shoes.

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Monday Mimisms ~ I Have Turned Into My Mother

I swore I would NOT turn into my mother.
And what have I done?
Turned into my mother.

Daffodils blooming in Bloggingham today
You see it goes like this...
After I was married and out on my own (barely out of diapers I was) we would visit my parents on the weekends. Back in the day. Talk. Eat. Rock the baby in the living room rocking chair. Drink iced tea. Talk. Rock. Time to go home. 
And that's where the trouble began. 
My mother would run into the laundry room and grab a big brown paper grocery bag. In those days, nobody used plastic bags and to this day I hate them, but that's another story. Then she would come back into the kitchen and start opening drawers. The snack drawer was first. Out came a couple of packs of saltine crackers from the box and 3 or 4 plastic wrapped oatmeal cookies. In the brown paper sack they'd go. Next, she would attack the fruit bowl, that is, if Daddy didn't get to it first. "Here, Sis...take these apples and a couple of bananas. We won't eat them before they go bad."

In went the fruit before I could say "no-thank-you-we-have-some-at-home-we-can-buy-our-own-fruit-really-we-can" but by that time Mama had opened the hot chocolate box and started throwing in individual packets of hot cocoa, which would soon find themselves mixed up willy-nilly with Lipton tea bags ( yes really!) that she'd divi up between us "just in case you run out of tea." 
Before I could say I-never-run-out-of-tea-because-you-give-me-extra-in-little-loose-packs-all-the-time, I would find her curly head turning this way and that looking for other things to throw in the brown paper sack before we ran out the door. Usually by that time, Daddy, the fruit giver, was already back to the Sunday paper in his recliner. It was a smooth, silent, stealth operation between them. I learned to surrender and bought a special airtight container to store her leftover scavage-run gifts to me and put them in my own kitchen cabinet. 

Did I mention the little plastic ziploc bags? And empty plastic chicken salad containers full of leftover dessert from dinner? Yes, that too. Always accompanied by, "Don't forget to put that in the refrigerator when you get home!"

So tonight when my son started to leave after visiting with me for awhile,
I found myself saying, "Do you and the baby need extra canned food this week? I bought some extra macaroni and cheese on sale. And ravioli! Baby Beans loves pasta!  I soooo did not buy extra. I bought it with them in mind lol   Here! Take this bottled water! You might want a drink on the way home!  How do you like the ground turkey I made for dinner?  (No, Mom) Want a bite? (No, Mom) Okay Okay Mom!  *bite*  Mom smiles.
Do you like it? (No, Mom) I opened the pantry door and grabbed a pack of moist towelettes. Everybody knows a person with a baby could use extra towelettes. He might run out at a crucial time!!
His head is shaking no-no-no as he takes the wipes with a thank you, throws the water bottles under his arm like a football and makes his hindered escape with a look of resigned surrender on his face.

I know that look.

Do any of you need some extra macaroni and cheese or ravioli this week.....I happen to have....

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Beauty of Winter Storm Pax

Bloggingham is covered with 10 inches of snow and ice. It is the perfect storm of peace. One of the most beautiful snowfalls I've ever seen. Winter Pax. Winter Peace.
I'm there.
Come along with me.
Bundle up

Now let's go in for hot chocolate.

Photography credit: © Mimi Lenox
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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Monday Mimisms ~ Red Hats and Carnal Conversations

I've decided to make peace with the snow. 

Sure, I like to see the big fluffiness fall in my backyard as I sit sipping a Bloggingham latte in my jammies ever so often. I like the photo shoots with birds and squirrels in my red red hat and all that... but...(you knew that was coming, didn't you?).. It's just that weather on this planet is beginning to feel schizophrenic! I saw a bluejay outside the other day. In the middle of winter. Chirping and flying around right in front of me. I looked up animal totems so that I could discover the meaning of such things. 

Did you know that a Bluejay sighting in winter means that you are about to embark on a happy season of your life filled with wonderful new changes??! 
Neither did I.....


And that's just my point. The Bluejay didn't lie. The very next day it was 68 degrees on the same tree branch.

The weatherman is predicting six+ inches of snow and ice starting in about 48 hours.  Based on the fluctuating  cognitive whims of the weather and my scientific conversations deductions with birds, I'd better unpack my bathing suit. 
Just in case. 

Images © Mimi Lenox and/or Wikimedia public domain
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