Category Archives: family

Oh the places you’ll go–without me

This weekend at the Anime con I saw my near future. We were one of a handful of parents there, since our daughter was on the young side of attendees.  I felt old and out of place, tired and interested in the topics and entertainment only as a visitor, not a participant.  As much as I want to be into everything and there with Madigan, that’s not how it works.

The world and all that it has to offer, is hers to discover, with out me/us.  (Let that sink in)

It hit me like a brick when the kids were singing karaoke, in a 1 hour time span I only knew 2 songs, one was a creepy cover of an 80s song.  At one point, when something happened the kids started the “one of us” chant.  I know the reference comes from a black and white movie called Freaks.  But theses kids know it as South Park reference.  I was half offended that these 20 and unders didn’t know the history of this quote, where it came from and that it’s not a a funny cartoon reference but a dark pivotal point in a movie older than me …BUT for them it is a South Park reference.  And there it is.  

Music, art, comedy, love, passion all these thing that we over 20 folks have discovered and owned forEVER is brand new to them. They haven’t had catch phrases that mean something to them, inside jokes, songs that speak to their soul, loves of their lives, ownership of their own interests vs just doing what your parents will allow, discovering a band no one else knows about…she is standing right there, toes touch the line.  I remember when it happening to me, unaware what it meant when I was there, but I remember the breaking away.

Madigan is going to discover a band that rocks so hard, or has a dreamy guitarist, or  funny clever lyrics. This will be all she talks about, and she will be convinced that no band HAS EVER ROCKED IRREVERENTLY or BEEN AS DREAMY or AS FUNNY AND CLEVER as this band she discovered…(squeeeeeee).  But they have, I could give her examples because I discovered the Sex Pistols, Duran Duran and the Dead Milkmen.  In fact I could give her examples for each decade.  I could, but I won’t.  Because she deserves this, the feeling of discovering the best band, book, art, food, friend, spouse…she gets that win without her parents.

She hasn’t said it, but I know it will be thought or said, and I will paraphrase.  I will never be able to understand her love of whatever thing she loves so deeply, because when it first happens to you, it feels so unique, it’s all you and only you can understand the depth of that love.  I am excited for her to experience that, but I know it’s a solo act.

I am not sure I am prepared for this, but I hope we are kind to each other, understanding and considerate.

My mom

I had a sewing emergency today. I had a weird spool of thread that I wanted to use but couldn’t figure out how to load a bobbin. Whenever I have a sewing emergency my mom is the one to call. And as always she knew the answer, was able to explain it in a way that I understood and she was encouraging of my wanting to keep trying. I thanked her, told her I loved her and hung up. I tried her fix, it worked and I sent her a text saying “I wouldn’t know what to do without you.”

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As I kept sewing, that text just kept bouncing around my head. “I wouldn’t know what to do without you.” It’s going to SUCK. And I mean SUCK HARD! She has years and years of life left in her, but I am certain it will be too soon for my liking when it happens. It will be unfair and I will not take it well. I will regret not seeing her more, and beat myself up for any and all of the times I was ever short tempered or frustrated with her.

When it happens I know I would give anything for just one more phone call or text. Just for the opportunity to tell her how I felt today. So thankful that she is my mom, that we got to be as close as we were for SO MANY YEARS. That she got to see me finally settle down, get married and have a kid. I would thank her for putting up with my rants, crazy interests and all the moving I did. Thank her for loving and accepting me for who I am and how I am. I would make sure to tell her how much I appreciate that she thinks I am brilliant and beautiful and a good mother…and that she taught me how to sew.

14 years and the official start of the New Year

I don’t consider January 1 the start of the New Year, it is the 4th.  The last two months of the year are all about eating, drinking, treats, over indulging, all of that continues to the 3rd for us due to our anniversary.

We decided to go out for a fancy dinner for our 14th Anniversary.  The River and Rail is a local sourced restaurant we have been apprehensive about trying, getting a snobby vibe about the place and at one point was told children were not welcomed.  I felt comfortable taking her with us even though some patrons gave her a look.  I told her before we walked in that she deserves to be there as much as everyone else, she loves good food too.

I warned Boomer that I was going to order appetizers, drinks, get the steak entree and get dessert.  It has been a long time since I  have done that.  I love appetizers so much, but I always feel like we spend too much money when we go out to dinner anyway (even if it’s a cheap place, I can make MANY meals for what we send on one dinner out).  For our Anniversary I felt like it was okay.

We ordered the pork rinds with pimento cheese (and it wasn’t nearly as good as the stuff I get from Drew), ham and deviled eggs with carrot chow chow.  All very good.  Boomer had a chicken and sausage dish and Madigan and I split the steak.  A cocktail with Kettle One and cranberries.  A banana pudding with jalapeno ice cream and a tasting of 5 ice creams and sorbets.  It was a great end to another great year as a family.

The only bad thing was Boomer threw out his back that morning (he will do anything to get out of putting the chickens up).  He spend most of Sunday flat in bed.  Then I drive him to urgent care.  To put this into perspective, it was so bad he let me drive.  In the 14 years of marriage, this is the second time I have driven, so I know it was bad.

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We are looking forward to another great year of marriage, next year we are planning a trip for the big 15.  We have superbowl sunday and a garden to plan.  Here’s to a healthy, happy and fruitful 2015.

Half generation

With the two big holidays just around the corner, consider this a public service announcement for families like ours.

My nephews and my husband’s brothers are around the same age. (it’s a cool combo of me being the youngest in my family, him being the oldest, with a gap of 8 years between him and his brother)  Waiting to have Madigan later in life has been great for us.  Deciding we were only having 1 kid was also a perfect decision for us, we can afford to raise and care for one other person. The problem, no kids Madigan’s age.

We have a sort of half generation kid.   Madigan’s generation so far is Justin (30) , Mikey (25), Madigan (12). The boys have already started the next generation with Emma, who is 3, Ava turns 1 next month and the new baby (who I shall call Nacho Jazz Butcher).  Boomer’s brothers haven’t started their families yet.  Madigan has no cousins her age. And she never will.

If that’s not sad enough, she ends up being the only kid at family functions.  She will never know what it’s like to eat at the kids table. Being the only kids can’t be easy for her.  Always with adults, having to listen to conversations about who is sick, who just got married, who is going to have a baby or who just died.  She has heard stories about people she never met, and people she will never meet.  Grown up talk is very boring.

Kids are adorable when they are 10 and under, imaginative, playing with little toys, telling stories, saying cute things (when Madigan was small and I asked her if frog friend was a boy or girl, she said “He just a fwog fwend”).  Being cute was all you needed to engage or connect.  It’s tougher the older kids get. There is more of an attitude, more self consciousness, hormones messing with moods all comes with the teen territory.   She would rather I tell a story about what happened to her than her tell it herself.  Her interests are far from mainstream and require effort to learn about and understand.  I know more about her fandoms than should be allowed for an adult.  But if it’s important to her, it’s important to me.

If you find yourself at a family dinner with a teen who has her arms crossed, rolling eyes and seem irritated, please don’t assume they have an attitude or are sullen.  (She might have her arms crossed cause she is not terribly comfortable with her body changing.  Eye rolling is a way of communication, she just might not have the words to explain what she is feeling.  And she is absolutely irritated cause she can’t do what she wants to do right this moment.   Getting together with family means nothing to her now, she has YEARS to do it.  It’s the rest of us who know life is short and one day we all won’t be here.)   It is hard being a kid, and the only kid ever, at family functions.  She didn’t ask for that.  She didn’t ask to be born a half generation.

Oh and lets just say you do ask her about this…

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or this

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she might make a sound where she exhales very loudly and rolls her eyes, but please don’t stop trying to connect with her.  It’s important that we stay connected to the teens in the not so easy times so when they come out on the other side they realize we have been with them the whole time.  It will make it easier for them to apologize.

 

chicken for the winter

We picked up our 15 chickens on Sunday

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We let them “rest” for a day or two in the fridge, making it easier to cut up. IMG_6296

I leave some whole.

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Mom got me an early christmas present, a food saver, which has made the process easier.  I am confidant that the birds will be free of freezer burn.  They could last a year or more in there, but we eat them up before that happens.  Nice to know we have food for the winter.  We have been doing this for a couple years now, and have it worked out that we are usually on our last bird end of May, which is around the time of the first chicken day.

I know people think it’s weird that we choose to spend our Sunday processing chicken.  Even more odd is how kind of bummed I get after the last chicken day.  We started going out to the farm to get more connected to our food and now we have these great friends.  I look forward to seeing everyone, talking and laughing while wrist deep in chicken guts.  Sharing a meal with folks who believe like we do in real food, humanely raised meat and supporting local farmers/business.  I am glad that I met Anna at the Grandin Market in 2011, she was the only vendor selling chicken at the market at the time.  I had done a search to find local chicken and Bramble Hollow seemed to be one of the only farms doing it at the time.  If you go saturday, there are a handful of folks selling birds, maybe you can find a farm that will let you take a tour of the farm, and eventually let you start bagging, and when someone who usually helps out on the table goes off and has a baby, you might be one of the people they ask to help you do this.  Brent and Anna are always so grateful and appreciative of us coming out to help with the work, but we talk about it every drive home away from the farm how we feel like the lucky ones!

 

Just what I needed

I had gotten a care package from my Aunt Dee last week, but I was too busy getting ready for the beach to take the time to open it.  And after what happened, I am glad I waited.  What I got was a great big hug from my family.  My Aunt had been searching for one of these old Tupperware bowls, she calls them gum bowls, at flea market and yard sales.  I needed a GIANT bowl to mix and hold large batches of stuff for canning.  She found it!

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And inside, besides a sweet card and crafts for Madigan, photocopies of recipes of my grandmas, written in a day planner, with some pages that had little notes about her life.

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The Shirley she is talking about is the woman on the left.  It had to have been in the 50s.  Funny thing about this is my grandma didn’t drive but she had a day runner, you know to keep up with her busy schedule with at that time 4 kids.  She went on to have 5 more.  My grandmother was one of the feistiest women I have ever met, and she was OLD when I knew her.  She was all about her family, her kids and grandkids meant the world to her.  She saw her share of pain through her children’s lives, when talking about people in the family that didn’t share the Goluba DNA, she said “they aren’t in-laws, they are out-laws.”

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That brass bug is my grandmothers.  She had a collection of brass figures.  I don’t know if she actually liked the collection or with 9 kids, you buy something then they all have an idea for a christmas gifts.  She ended up with HUNDREDS of brass pieces.  My uncle Ronnie, who is my “god father” bought a brass piece that was of an adult nature and slipped it in with all the rest of the pieces.  I don’t know how long it was there before anyone noticed.

I love my loud, funny, weird family.  We laugh all time, just thinking about grandma talking about Ron’s boink cracks me up.  Oh how she loved her kids.  I can’t imagine having 8 more and still being able to love all of them, but she did it.  And had more love for all 27 grandkids.

I miss my grandma.

Almost

This morning we almost got into a major accident. Almost.

24 is the main road to the daughters school and with all the memorial crosses and flowers peppered on the side of this road, I am aware it can be dangerous. There are no shoulders, speed limit is 55, and for most that is just a suggestion, if there is trouble the only place to go is in a ditch or into a tree. There is a small gas station/ breakfast/convenience store that causes problems. It has a tiny parking lot,the view up the road is terrible, especially when a school bus is parked there. As it was this morning.

So as we were listening to Hall and Oats (seriouly, don’t let the last song I hear living on this earth be a Hall and Oats song) and driving into school, from behind the parked bus, on the small road that comes in at a weird angle, on the side of the store, a woman turns onto 24 in front of us to head the other direction. Remember 2 lane road. I have to swerve out of my lane, into the other lane, to not hit her full speed on her driver side door (one person, not injured). As I am trying to regain control of the car, a truck is coming at us in the other lane, (another person not injured, maybe two I didn’t do a head count) and not slamming on the breaks or ever correcting, we stopped swerving and we were not in a ditch or in a tree. I was so shaken up I has pull over and calm down. (two more uninjured people)

All I could think in the 5-8 seconds when I saw the blonde, mid 50’s woman pull out in front of me was keeping Madigan safe. First and last thought, every thought in between, Madigan has to be safe. I have almost gotten into an accident before, always alone, and it has never shaken me us like this. And even though she might not have see the truck coming at us, or the tree we could have been wrapped around or the ditch that would have eventually stopped us, I saw it all, plus bonus footage in my head. I really can run every scenario from disaster A thru Z and not one would have been good for her. Me hurt, her hurt, car ruined, broken glass, broken bones, without her no family, broken family, it all would have been awful.

As we were stopped on the side of the road, we both unbuckled and I made her hug me. Just to reassure me. She was fine, we were clearly fine, but just the thought of something happening to my perfect little family, on 24 listening to Hall and Oats, terrifies me. If you know me, and know my back story, really terrible horrible things can and have happened on random days that change everything forever. Thankfully today wasn’t that day for my family.

Looking so grown up

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She is playing a part in a video for one of her classmates in English. They are doing movie trailer reviews of books they have read. Her friend read one of the Secret books and needed a Mrs Mauvais so Madigan volunteered and needed a fancy outfit.

She is growing up!

A wedding in Florida…

24 hours of driving for 6 hours with family.

Not the groom but my very handsome nephew Justin.
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From left to right, my mom, my sister, the groom (the other handsome nephew), his lovely bride, and pops (the grooms grandfather on his dad’s side of the family). How could I not show up for this wedding?!?
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A hug for the groom from his cousin.
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And a little dancing!
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We are a close family emotionally, but we don’t get to see each other enough. I cried a few times, mostly cause I love those boys so much. And I miss seeing my sister and mom. I even got to see Aunt Shirley, which is always a treat. I love where we live, but wish I got to see my family more often. (Read this as open invitation)