Friday, July 18, 2014

Nearly Naked Rick Springfield and the 80's Ladies.

Last week, our little gaggle of ladies who have fond musical memories of the 80's got together for a big night out to see Rick Springfield and Pat Benatar play together. 
It was, like totally, awesome.
And Robbin happily realized that a group of classy ladies like us needed to arrive in style and so she made sure that we had a limo to take us to the show....because after all, we are way cool 80's ladies. 
As you can see, both Robbin and I were doing our best to capture the Flashdance-y fashion of the era while the other women pretended like they didn't get the dress 80's memo and decided to go for the cute, fun and appropriate look instead.   
I assured Robbin that of course we wouldn't be the only women at the show dressed in 80's gear and that the place would probably be full of cool gals like us in Cindy Lauper meets Flashdance outfits… absolutely no need to change into the cute capri's that she had tucked in her bag.
But guess what? Apparently no one at the entire concert thought it would be as awesome as Robbin and I to pretend like we were rocking 1985. I am certain that I was wearing the only two leg warmers in the entire venue.
In fact, when Rick hit the stage, he was definitely not wearing leg warmers or really much else.
I'm still not exactly sure why Rick played the entire concert wearing only skinny black jeans, but he is by far the most body confident rock and roll grandpa ever.
And he played Jessie's Girl like nobody else could, and oddly enough did a really fantastic cover of the Katy Perry song Roar.
And it turns out, in spite of his near nudity, (or maybe because of it) I am just as much of a Rick Springfield now as I was in the early 80's.
He was very fun...kind of slimy, but the 80's ladies were ok with the super fresh sleaziness of our Dr. Noah Drake. 
Following Rick, Pat Benatar and her man Neil Giraldo hit the stage and kept all of their clothes on during the whole rock and roll time.
Pat sounds fantastic and it was a lot of fun to see her and Spyder on stage together...and yep, if you are married to Neil, then apparently you may call him Spyder with an "y." 
Which makes me wish that I had some sort of awesome badass nickname...and also made me wonder why Pat was Pat while Neil got to be Spyder with a "y."
Thank you ladies for a fantastic night full of obscure 80's references, near naked pop stars, a few questionable fashion choices and a whole lot of laughter.
And where the immortal words of Pat and Spyder ring true now more than ever.
"We are young, 
Heartache to heartache we stand, 
No promises no demands, 
Love is a battlefield 

Rock on Summer Sisters.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

"Send Slim Jim's and a Better Knife!"

Photo credit of young extremely macho Jamie goes to a nice Camp Kooch-i-Ching camp counselor.

Jamie sent us a letter from camp.
He is having a GREAT time. We are certain that he is having a GREAT time because he was sure to write GREAT very big and in all caps.
He is also in desperate need of a BETTER knife, because he was the only kid without a "really good knife." 
Karl thinks that the perfectly fine swiss army knife was just a little bit too Swiss, and he needs something more macho to earn the respect of the other junior campers.
And obviously, any almost 12 year old guy with a good knife needs as many Slim Jim's as a mom can fit in a care package.
I wasn't even sure where I could buy a jumbo pack of processed meat snacks and had to depend on the kindness of friends for that level of research.
(FYI bottom shelf in snack food aisle of grocery store)
And you better believe the next box to camp was full of Slim Jims and a really awesome, full of machismo, far BETTER, knife.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Mary, Beyonce and JayZ, Together for One Night Only.

Beyonce and her husband JayZ came to town on Saturday night and I was lucky to get to see them  with my girl Mary. 
It was a great show, full of serious dance choreography, wind machines  and not a lot of clothing…at least for Beyonce and her fans. Queen B seems to gravitate towards mesh bathing suits and stilettos, and many of her biggest fans wore similar outfits.
Mary and I did not think to wear our bathing suits and stilettos..she wore cute but sensible flats and I wore my mom sandals that look a lot like they were chosen by Peppermint Patty.
I'm sure that both Beyonce and JayZ would have been appalled had they noticed, but fortunately there were thousands and thousands of other fans in platform peek toes there to cover for us. 
But even though Mary was wearing cute flats, she was still able to rock out to every single super feminist girls rule empowerment lyric that Beyonce belted out. And there were many of them.
I was quite proud. 
And also relieved that she wasn't singing along to JayZ… whose music and style ooze cool, but his lyrics are not so PG. 
And while Beyonce and her Sasha Fierce glares through the heavy draft of her wind machine did seem a little bit intense at times… I appreciate her message of confidence and cheered for each and every raunchy girl power ballad of the night.
Here is a completely staged portrait of Mary fist pumping and loving Beyonce Sasha Fierce Knowles Carter…she and her cute, cool husband really do put on and awesome show.  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Co-parenting Caterpillars.

I am the proud grandmother of four darling little caterpillars, raised by a single father, Henry. 

Actually, the little caterpillars started their journey to adulthood with two parents... Jamie and Henry, but the co-parenting gig didn't work out very well and Henry felt that he deserved full custody. 
He won the mostly non-debated custody battle (based on the fact that he was the only parent who squirted water on their plant diet) and since only one out of four caterpillars died in childhood, I think he turned out to be a pretty good caterpillar dad. 
This cute little spikey fellow is a Common Buckeye Butterfly. 
He was adorable as a caterpillar kid, but had a very awkward pupae stage.
 I know…right?
These two rowdy guys chowed down on their milkweed plants and got really fat and sassy almost overnight. They were really cute but super committed to eating every last scrap of that poor pitiful milkweed.
 In this photo you can really see the feigned innocence but don't let him fool you…he totally inhaled the entire plant in just a few hours. 
Little stinker.
Ok I admit I play favorites…Stripey is totally my most beloved grand caterpillar. 
Here he is eating while upside down! Gorgeous and talented!
And check out his beautiful  pupae stage...
 Like a dew drop of precious.
And then the time came when the little guys burst out of their pupaes and into a big bright world of nectar and flight. 
Here is my favorite grandson, Stripey rocking his new look. 
And awkward no more, Common Buckeye is ready to fly off into the great beyond with his equally cute sibling butterflies. 

Fair thee well sweet butterflies n`ee caterpillars… thanks for the happy memories!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Letters to Camp.

Last week, Karl said his goodbyes to Jamie as he dropped him off at camp in Northern Minnesota. Actually I don't think that there were any goodbyes, as I understand it there was more of a "see ya" before he ran off to play dodgeball with another first year camper. 
Jamie will have a fantastic time, we are sure of it. 
At first he was excited to go to camp, then he got nervous, and when he and Karl left, he was both very excited and very nervous-which I believe is  the feeling before all big adventures. He will be spending a good chunk of the summer with other guys… some a little younger, some a bit older and the really old guy counselors who are in their early 20's. 
He will be doing lots of adventurous things... even going on a week long hiking and canoeing trip through the boundary waters and into Canada. 
I am very happy that he has cool counselors that will take him on these wilderness-y adventures...  if he was waiting for his mom to hike to Canada with him, he would be waiting a very long time.  

The camp is old school… no computers or electronics and all communication is done by old fashioned snail mail letter writing. 
This is the mail cubby that has replaced his emails and telephone conversations….Jamie's name on a mail square.
(I really love this) 
Jamie will be away until the middle of July. If you would like to write him a letter or send a post card, he would be thrilled to receive it.
Please let me know and I will happily forward his camp address to you. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day to the Men in my Life.

I am absolutely the luckiest person ever to have had the good fortune to share my life with three of the best fathers to ever to walk the planet. 
Mom and Dad at Anna's graduation ceremony…a happy day.
My dad is honest and generous and understands people better than anyone I've every known. 
He is fair. Very, very fair about everything.
He is the opposite of a snob and believes that everyone is equally important. He is absolutely crazy about all of his 11 grandchildren and loves all of them as only a Grandpa could. He is 100% supportive of everything that's important to me. He didn't think it strange at all when I told him that we wanted to adopt boys from Guatemala and opened his heart to Jamie and Henry. And then, years later, when I told him that we were hoping to adopt a 6th child, a little girl from Ethiopia, he stood behind our decision and welcomed Rosie home.  
In short, he is more than awesome and I am very proud to be his daughter.
Jim telling Rosie about one of the many times Karl got hurt and needed stitches when he was little. She was appropriately horrified.
I don't know if Karl's father Jim was ever worried about Karl marrying me, and I truly appreciate that it's a mystery to me. Instead he trusted Karl and thoroughly welcomed me, Anna and Mary into his life so many years ago. 
I will be forever grateful for kindness that he showed to me and the kids then and now. Jim is the best father in law I could have ever hoped for.  I love him for being such a great father to my husband, but also I really LIKE him for the wonderful person that he is to all of us. 
Karl and the boys on a helicopter ride… the boys all agreed that if I took them,  I would have definitely been airsick.
So happy not to be included on that adventure.
My kids are blessed to have the best dad ever and they absolutely know it.
 He knows each kid better then they know themselves and
can predict how they will behave in any given situation…bratty, sweet or a somewhere in the middle. His dad instinct is uncanny, he knows when things are a big deal and when they aren't, when to be tough and when to take it easy. 
I don't know how he does it, but I do know that I am very lucky to share this parenting gig with a man of such incredible dad skills.

And so in honor of the three wonderful dads in my world… I thank each of them for being there for both me and our six very fortunate kiddos.  
Happy Father's Day!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Stuck in the Bath with Mac.

Cincinnati Public Library partnered with a whole bunch of really great independent bookstores to sell 500 copies of the now Cincinnati best seller…
President Taft Got Stuck in the Bath 
in order to bring it's author, Mac Barnett for a visit.
The book selling goal was reached and true to his word, Mac paid a visit to President Taft's hometown.  
And because he came to Wordplay, where kids love to read, Mac got to read his story about Presidents and Bathtubs in the presence of several claw foot bath tubs. 
(Because kids love to curl up and read in a tub and Wordplay gets that.)
So of course, I had to ask Mac if he would get in a bath with my kids, and of course he did, because he is awesome. 
The terrific Mac Barnett sharing his books with young fans at Wordplay.
And then we kicked all of my kids out and Mac got back in the tub and did some pretend reading of the book that he wrote.
"I'm laughing because its really, really, funny!"
And I agree with him.
It's a great book… super funny with just enough tasteful presidential Taft-y nudity.