Sunday, September 13, 2009

Love Expotentially

Sitting on the my daughter's Porch,
looking from face to well-loved face,
I started to think of how it all came about.
Tom and I fell in love
I met his brother David and loved him.
Tom and I made Mariah, whom we adored.
David married Judy, who became my sister
They created Katie, who has held my heart ever since.
Then along came Caitlin to Tom and I
Giving us a baby time again
Then Mariah brought us Terry, the son I always wanted
And Katie gave us Randall, who instantly became family.
Kinda makes you wanna dance!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Response to Crisis

It's a lovely laid back Labor Day weekend
As it has been our custom for many years,
the Lagoonatics have gathered for Dana's birthday.
Cold beer
warm hearts
on Paula's deck
A sudden scream pierces the Florida drizzle!
We all jump to our feet and pound through the house!
We fling open the front door where our children are sitting on the front porch.
"Who's yelling?" I demand.
"You!" Caitlin replies, dumfounded.
"It's Stephanie!" Stacey shouts.
"Where is she?" We all scream at each other.
"She left hours ago!' Caitlin hollers.
"No she didn't" Dana counters.
"Stephanie, where are you?" I demand in my teacher voice.
"She cant' see in the dark! She's in the water!"Stacey shrills, waving her arms.
So we all thunder to the back deck
( where we were sitting to begin with)
and hear hysterical laughter
from the endangered Stephanie
who was locked in the bathroom
we all roared by twice!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


The summer starts speeding by after July 4.
After my birthday it careens toward school.
It's been a good one.
I've slept
slept recreationally for the first time in years
Like the Nyquil commercial
I've slept like I slept before I had kids!
I've sat on the Porch watching the sun on the leaves
and prayed with no words
just opened my heart to peace.

There's been nights laughing on the Porch with Tom
we're still finding out new things about each other.

Stephanie's birthday, where the cops came 3 times!

The great Lagoonatic graduation party for Caitlin, Leah, Cass and Ian where I got called down for cheating at beer pong!

Riding down the Causeway with the smell of the delta and the wind in my hair
the top down and the radio up
goin to see David and Judy
and my adorable nieces, great nieces, nephews , great nephews

The party at Katie's where there was
a motorcycle wreck, a Tasar incident
and a wrestling match between me and Mariah
that led to removal of clothing (it's all family)

lots of beach trips
In Florida with the Lagoonatics
Dauphin Island with Eileen, Dell and Steph

too much time on Facebook

good books

visiting Mariah and Terry in their new home
I love seeing the pride they feel

reconnecting with Donna and Ellen
My friends from the time when teaching was fun
and school was a safe place to be
They showed me that friends can always come back

singing in the car with Caitlin
riding on the boat with Gina and Caitlin and her friends
watching Caitlin suddenly grow up
and become a deep spiritual person.

Party on the Porch with my yard full of children
whose parents were once children in my yard
Michelle, Kelley, Katie, Shannon, Justin and their babies

going to the 18th birthday of Stormy and seeing Ava there
part of my family
when they were small
and we fall back into our old ways
where the lines between ages are blurred
and we are all kids
And there was an Elton John imitator there!

It's been a good one!

And I haven't' gotten all the goody out of it yet!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Piles of Toys, Church Camp and Fathers

It was a good weekend here on the Porch.
My great niece Evelyn who is 4, came to stay with me.
She is a hoot.
She pulled her nightgown off and had it stuck on her head.
"Look, Aunt Marti, I'm a Muslim!"
Like most little kids, she is up at full tilt in the mornings.
Like most people who have forgotten this because they deal with teens who sleep so long you check then for crib death, I'm kinda foggy till coffee.
She kept, "Aunt Marti I'm hungry, Aunt Marti I'm thirsty, Aunt Marti, gotta poop" till I told her she had worn out my name and she couldn't say it any more until I had waked up a bit. so, she said, "whoever you are...."
We played in the hose, we drug out old toys, we went to the park, we had ice cream.
I hope she had as much fun as Tom and I did.
Caitlin has wanted to go to church camp.
I think some Jesus would do her good,but I have no funds for this trip.
I'm trying to get her into college.
My philosophy with my kids is I will lovingly adn joyfully feed, clothe and shelter them as long as I live, but after 18, recreational activities are their responsibility.
To put it a little more crassly and honestly, after 18 years of eating beans so she could cheer, do gymnastics,leading Girl Scout troops, dance lessons, field trips, if I'm going to send anyone to camp it's gonna be me and Tom!
Plus I'm trying to teach Ms. Sweetandcute to take some responsibility.
So the church sponsers her to go!
I'm real proud of my big-eyed baby.
We went to Mariah's big new house for dinner. She has invented a dreamsicle cake made from scratch that is out of this world. She is really enjoying cooking and taking care of her house. She will show you all the drawers where the dish cloths are neatly stacked and color coded.
Where did this young woman come from?
From our house, where we are redoing our bathroom by peeling off a srip of wallpaper every time we go in there?
Tom and I passed the evening sitting in the velvet darkness on the Porch, tallking of the past and future, living in the now.
I am continually astonished at the miracles that happen each ordinary day.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Summer Manifesto

This is it!
I had a year from absolute HELL at school.
I am suffering from TOPUWOPS syndrome.
Tired of putting up with other people's shit!
I am going to do exactly as I please this summer!
This is official notice that I am no longer responsible for the emotional well being of the entire Mobile County!
This is what I have done so far on my summer vacation....
got a pedicure (ooh, it's like crack, once you've done it you have to have more)
ordered a Bruce Springsteen Tshirt (this is a big step for me, before my daughter shopped at Puttin on the Ritz, I shopped at Goodwill)
walked the dog
did Yoga
gone to see Paula and Dana in FL
went to a tailgate party Friday
went out to lunch at Ed's Shed Saturday (great seafood overlooking the bay)
went to the beach with Tom and Jack Sunday
went to the beach with Dell Monday
went out on a boat with Gina and Caitlin Danielle and Samantha Tuesday ( I was napping when Caitlin surged in and said"we're going on a boat" and I jumped up and replied, "where's my shoes?")

went to see my nephew Kelley and his band Fat Man Squeeze at the Blue Gill Tuesday night with the top down and the warm salt air in my hair.
Today I am having a pajama day!
I am so lovin it!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mustang Sally

It was 1983.
Tom and I were in love with each other, life and our daughter Mariah.
Then something else touched my heart.
She was old
and needed lots of work
but underneath the years of neglect I could see my dream car:
a 65 Mustang.
red, no less.....
It took a while to come to my senses
and realize she required more work than I could have done.
I couldn't even ride my baby daughter in her
no seat belts!
So we found her a better home
kinda like the dog you take to live in the country.
and life went on
My baby grew up.
and gave me her
88 Mustang!
Yep, it pays to raise 'em right!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thunder Road

There was no extra money.
My car was not running.
Friends that I bought tickets for baled on me at the last minute.
But none of that matters.
Eileen and I went to Atlanta to see Bruce Springsteen,
Fueled by Granny's credit card
and Cadillac (God love her)
lots of coffee
and Born To Run up real loud on the stereo
"we rolled down the window and let the wind blow back our hair"
drove 5 hours there and back
missed an unpaid day of work
ate beans for a week
and it was worth every bit of it!
As long as there's rock
I'll keep rollin!
and it was worth every bit of it

The Best Part

: the best part of my day was a visit from Mariah
she brought the sun in with her.
I don't want to be one of those creepy empty nest whiney mothers,
but I miss her terribly.
We have these moments around the coffee pot that started when she was just past toddling.
I worked as a waitress at night,
She would get up before me,
sneak into my jeans to count my tips
then start the coffee.
She woke me up every day with a cup by my bed from the time she was tall enough to reach the pot till the day she moved out.
We would sit in our tshirts and frilly jammies , have a cup and plan our day. (hers was mostly milk and sugar the way she
drinks it till this day)
She has never been like a child to me
She is a best friend I made myself

Wishing you all someone you love to drink coffee with,


Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Final Rant on This Subject

I am a teacher to my morrow.
I can teach a rock to read.
I have taught and loved special needs children for 25 years.
I was told recently that I didn't do my job by a resource teacher that I had met twice.
She's right.
I was teaching a group of Mild Learning Disabled children while holding a wheel chair bound non-verbal child in my arms who was having a seizure. My team leader burst in and was appalled that I could not immediately file a paper. I'm not flinging the seizing child to the floor to search the holy file cabinet.
I am not going to stay up till 2 AM doing paperwork. (although I recently filled out 5 pages explaining why I had not taught a blind child to distinguish a figure from the background of a picture)
When I started teaching, I had the children in my room all day long. I had them from first grade until they left elementary school. I went to their birthday parties. I was friends with their moms. My room felt like church. I couldn't wait to get to school each day.
Then somebody decided it made sense to take the children out of the special education room and "include" them. Kids who had never had behavior problems stated acting out because they were placed in regular classes with over burdened teachers who had no training in special education. Special education teachers became overpaid aides and paper pushers.
I did a good job.
I loved it.
I'm done.
I retire in December.
I'm counting the days.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spring Break While Broke

My new to me car died.
I'll get it fixed soon.
Now I can stay home when I want to!
Luckily I have friends and family who love me enough to come get me from neighboring states
and rescue me when I'm ready to come home!
I spent a day with Judy, my SIL and her grand kids.
I was a dragon, a wild horse and a dinosaur!
I went to FL to visit dear Paula where I sat in the sun with Kelsey and Leah, talked through the evening with Paula and Dana.
I walked on the beach with the sun turning the water to diamonds.
I saw the Blue Angels against the sapphire sky.
Then my niece Katie came to get me.
My nephew Kelley and I played the drunk aunt and uncle in the middle of the day in the middle of the week.
I sat in the swing with a sleeping child in my lap and watched the leaves dance .
It's a good life.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Miss Evelyn
my great niece
Four years old
and the queen of the universe
came to play with me today
We made clover necklaces
Drank honeysuckle juice
Jumped on the trampoline
I did everything she did
except take a nap

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Rest in Peace?

My husband and I generally get along great.
I am cheerful and he is kind and gentle, plus there is the deep suspicion that no one else could stand either one of us.
The one place we are irritable with each other is where we should be peaceful.
The bedroom.
He has bad dreams which cause him to FLING himself out of bed.
For some reason, instead of eliciting concern from me, it infuriates me.
"what the hell is wrong with you?" I roar."Get back in this bed right now!!"
(I have never spoken to anyone that way while in a waking state)
Then there is the menopause factor, which causes me to alternate yanking all the cover off him and rolling up like a burrito with piling all the blankets back on him.
Last night I woke up about 3 AM and was aimlessly channel flicking when he sat bolt upright in bed and shouted "What's that noise?"
After levitating off the bed, I told him I didnt hear anythingting
"That noise!'he insisted, pointing.
It was the mighty earsplitting sound of the remote control buttons I was pushing.
At that point, I felt it wise to go to the couch.
I was up for hours playing word games on the computer.
When I finally dozed off, he woke me up to tell me he loved me.
It's hard to maintain my feelings of indignation.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Voice in the Wilderness

I got this from
really spoke to me!


You'll never achieve real success
unless you like what you're doing.

No one has ever succeeded in a line
of endeavor which they did not like.

Your chances of success are directly proportional
to the degree of pleasure you derive from what you do.

If you're in a job you hate, face the fact squarely and get out.

It's better to be a failure in something you love,
than attempting to be a success in something you don't.

Don't set compensation as a goal.

Find the work you love, and the compensation will follow.

The more you love what you are doing,
the more successful it will be for you.

Friday, March 27, 2009

hey guys
I miss the communion we had on AOhell
I think it's due to the way comments are set up
Let's all leacve our email addys on comments so we can continue discussions.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Today's Reason Why I love my Husband

He believes pennies that are tails up are bad luck , but he turns them over so another person can find them with the lucky side up.

Although he has not been inside a church since our youngest was christened (and that was a struggle) he is planting flowers in a grotto at a local church where he goes to meditate.

When Caitlin got a ticket and was crying, he rode his bike 5 miles to comfort her.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Things I Have to Get Done

I have got to find some way to get some money to send Caitlin to school. I think bank robbery is out of the question and we are too rich(have these people looked in my cabinets?) to get a grant. Does anyone have any suggestions?
On a lighter note...prom dress shopping....wheee!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Late Lamented LaFonda

It was Mardi Gras
and I was headed to a party.
I put my liquor (and I bought the GOOD stuff), the chips I was supposed to bring and my purse in LaFonda the Honda and thought, "It's a bit cool, better grab a hoodie"
I ran inside
When I came out, LaFonda was nowhere to be seen!
Fearing dementia had stopped its slow creep and had jumped me, I looked in the back yard...I looked under the bushes....
I called Caitlin
"Do you see the car anywhere?"
My child is right there with me.
"Did I leave it somewhere?" she asks.
I indignantly stride to the phone as a fine upstanding citizen to report it stolen.
Welcome to the new economy!
So I did what any self-respecting person would do who has their priorities in order...
I called someone to give me a ride to the party!
I took a day off from work to travel to Milton friggin Florida to get my purse and liquor back.
I had a great Mardi Gras.
Today I went and bought a a 13 year old car that I don't owe a dime on.
I'll drive it till it dies and get another one.
And never break my stride!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

drug testing

i firmly believe in drug testing for teachers
and if it comes back negative
for god's sake
give them some

my capitals and punctuation will not work on my key board so i am forced to be an ee cummings sort of poster now

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Just a Little Advice

It's probably not good for old Deadheads
(like me)
to use "Ripple" as a ringtone
While I'm standing there
head cocked to the side
goofy grin on my face
lost in memories
My daughter is yelling, "Mom, it's not a flashback! Answer your damn phone"

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Night in Hell

Maybe I am coherent enough to write about this after 3 days have passed.
Maybe not...
Friday night about 11, I kissed Cailtin goodbye.
Since she has turned 18, she can go to the dance clubs downtown, which seems like a whole lot of fun to me. They don't open till midnight , so she is due home around 2.
She always has her phone in her hand like an 11th digit. She texts me all during the evening, telling me who's there, who is with whom and the deal is, seh always has to let me know where she is.She's a good kid, this has never been a problem.
So, I got up about 1 to wait for her.
At 2 , I called to tell her to come on home,
At 3 I was cruising the streets of downtown alone, which is precisely what I feared she was doing!
I went to the police station & l was told I couldn't' file a report until she had been missing 24 hours.
I showed her high school picture to drunks who said helpful things like"I aint seen no cheerleaders out here tonight"
One guy said, "she's hot, I'd like to see her"whereupon his friend said"you jerk, her mom is worried" and they commenced to have a fist fight.
I was so upset , I kept visualizing some maniac tying her up and torturing her while she heard my voice mails, "Mama's gonna find you, baby"
I woke up every kid that goes to Murphy or interrupted their Friday evening
I found out she was with a guy who lives in a local college dorm.
I upset campus security by driving across their soccer field.
Some one alerted the young man by banging on his door telling him there was a woman hollering his name out of her car window
Caitlin came running out the door.
I left the car door open and ran to hug her, explained the situation to the officials who were worried about their field and we went home
I told her, "no, you are not grounded. We both have the same goals. We both want you to have a good time and we both want you to live. We are just adjusting your environment so you can be successful at both those things."
She said, So, I'm grounded"
"yeah, pretty much ", I answered.
She had turned her phone off because it was dead and had fallen asleep watching a movie. So while she was all safe and relaxed, I was in grave personal danger downtown after everything was closed talking to winos!
And how is it that everyone's phone that she was with went dead at once???
Sorry Caitlin, you can't bullshit a bullshitter.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Happy Jack

Maybe you can tell, we really love our dog.
It was a strong spiritual connection from the start.
He was all around the neighborhood for about a week, a roly poly puppy.
All waggy tail and cheer, he gave no indication he was a stray.
He didn't have that furtive humble air poor lost dogs have, he was having a good old time eating folks' garbage and creating havoc.
After seeing him around for about a week, our eyes me.
He sat and looked at me as if to say"well?"
I opened the door and said"you might as well come on in."
I feel irrevocably in love at that moment.
He has never whined, even as a puppy.
He is the happiest creature on this earth.
He is our therapist.
So when he cried trying to jump on the bed and couldn't climb the stairs, my partner on hikes and runs, my indefatigable fetcher of balls, it broke my heart.
Off we went to the vet.
I sorta knew he had hip dysplasia.
The vet said he would probably be fine, but he has to lose 20 pounds and fast.
He wants him to lose a pound a week. He really has gotten much too fat. He weighs 84 pounds. We should never have let him get so fat, but he has this face and he loves treats....
Anyway, with love, discipline and aspirin, he will be okay.
He was so good, even when the vet had to hurt him to examne him, he never tried to bite.
It is humbling to know a creature who is purely good.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I'm trying to get back in the habit of posting here.
Getting over my J-Land separation anxiety. (sniff)

It was just the best weekend ever!
Friday night was the basketball game. I go to watch my cheer leader daughter....Everything at this point in her senior year has such a feel of finality to it. We are standing together on the edge of a new life for us both. Afterward my house was full of girls and drama as they got ready for a party. I love teenagers. I love their intensity, the feeling that all of life as we now know it hinges on a look or a word.

Saturday, all my Lagoonatic friends were together in one place for the first time since August. The five of us have a bond that covers 3 states, 13 children, outlasted 3 husbands and 25 years. We all met for a party to be introduced to my high school boyfriend and dear companion Phillip's new wife (who is younger than my daughter, but different strokes for different folks)

Then Stephanie and I went out dancing for her daughter Molly's 21st birthday, which was a hoot. These kids continually hand my youth back to me.

All of this is so much more appreciated because I was having these weird panic attacks for a while that made me almost incapable of driving a car. I have no idea where it came from. I am a social soul and have been know to get up at midnight and drive to the beach on an impulse. I had gotten to the point where I stayed at home, telling myself that was just fine. I went to a psychiatrist and she put me on Lexapro. I dont' feel like I am taking anything, not giddy or sleepy. It took about a month, then one day I just got in the car and drove, all the while my mind was on other things, then I realized, "hey , I am not nervous!" Saturday nght I drove to the next county and all over town! I have my life back!

Sunday, dear Tom and I built a fire in the back yard and sang adn laughed and loved each other.

Today is a holiday, a pajama day.

The only goal I have is to walk the dog.

Wishing you surprizes and sudden gifts from life,

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Auld Lang Syne

Give me your hand, my old dear friend
and here's a hand of mine
We'll drink a cup of kindness yet
For auld lang syne