A perfect weekend…

We got home yesterday from a perfect camping trip with my book club. I’ve mentioned this special group of ladies before. You can read up on how we manage to take the “book” out of book club here.

For a quick recap for the non-informed (in which case, how dare you not be informed about my life) our book club meets monthly for a kid-free, husband-free evening of drinks, appetizers, drinks, dinner, drinks, dessert, drinks, vague book discussion and drinks. It’s fabulous! Did I mention the drinks? We have really grown into great friends and I wholeheartedly look forward to our evenings together.

A few years back we decided that our monthly dates were just not enough. So we made the decision to gather up our families and head to a fabulous spot for campfires, drinks, games, drinks, swimming, drinks and drinks.

It was an awesome weekend.

But like with any life experience I’ve learned a few things about myself.

1) I’m not a spring chicken anymore.

2) I’m getting old.

3) I’m not as young as I used to be.

4) My body is old.

5) I’m old.

This unfortunate fact got proven to me throughout the weekend. Camping just ain’t as easy on these old bones as it used to be. There were hot days and cold nights. There were Volkswagen-sized bugs flying around which caused me to manipulate my body in ways worthy of a Matrix stunt double. There were uncomfortable trailer beds. (Now, wait. Before you get all Swiss Family Robinson on me and tell me that trailer camping isn’t real camping you obviously haven’t had to wash dishes in a sink the size of a measuring cup. It’s real rough.) There were too many appetizers involving cheese. Ya know what I’m sayin’?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I know I’m not one signature away from an AARP membership or anything. I’m only 36. But 36 is certainly not 26 and I’m pretty sure that we exponentially age after 30 anyway.

Nevertheless, aching back considering, I love our annual camping trip and I love my book club ladies like family. A true testament to a spectacular vacation is looking forward to the next one, flying Volkswagens and all. And that I am!




My heart longs for days gone by

So, I was pounding away on my treadmill this evening watching a really fun movie from 1965, “That Funny Feeling” starring the incomparably adorable Sandra Dee and her real-life (albeit temporary) honeybee Bobby Darin. And next thing I knew I passed by forty-five minutes in a blur.

One of the reasons I prefer to watch the old boob tube while exercising is, given the right viewing choices, it can transport me right out of the “I am hating my sweaty life right now” mode to an utter zone out of epic proportions. Sounds safe, doesn’t it? So far I’ve managed to avoid any major missteps on the treadmill but I haven’t yet meandered into the horror flick genre. I actually prefer highly-entertaining romantic comedies and musicals to any other type. I sound amazing singing along to “Grease” while hoofing it along at 4 m.p.h, believe you me.

This cute little Sandre Dee movie surely fit the bill in the entertainment department. But what I found myself noticing, first and foremost, was the costuming. Ladies of that era were dressed to the nines. Practically from the onset of the film Sandra Dee is no exception. She hops out of bed wearing this floor-length pink confection and quickly dons a delicate white capelet for propriety.


First of all, I don’t hop out of bed. I slither.

Second of all, I’m not sure what I wear to bed would even classify as clothing. And I certainly have never “donned” a capelet for propriety’s sake.

Oh, to be Sandra Dee with her smart pencil skirt and matching jacket, fashionable hat perched atop her perfectly coiffed head, carrying a lovely little handbag and a hatbox. It paints quite a picture, doesn’t it?

Well, I come pretty close in my Old Navy sweatpants, stained v-neck tshirt and stretched out Skecher tennis shoes. I have a little problem with hats given my frizz-prone curly hair and the fact that I can’t really pull off ‘hat head’. So, obviously, the hatbox wouldn’t be necessary. I’m all about the lovely little handbag, though, but have a slight problem with the “little” part. I’m more of a big ol’ handbag kind of chick given my need to carry lots of lipstick and the occasional extra pair of size 4T pants. (I also maintain that a large handbag offsets my, ahem, shapely backside.)

But a girl can dream, can’t she?

I find myself drawn to these old 1960′s flicks for numerous reasons. Obviously, the fashion is a big pull but there’s also something so compelling about the innocence of the times and the subtle naivety of the leading male and female relationships. And honestly, they’re just a whole lot of fun.

So, do yourself a favor and rent a Sandra Dee, Audrey Hepburn or maybe a Doris Day movie this weekend and lose yourself in the beauty of it all.


A Gleektastic New Goal

I am all for having goals. I think they are therapeutic, inspiring, and can begood for the soul. However, please do not mistake goals for resolutions. I have previously posted regarding my distaste for resolutions. In my opinion, they are not evenin the same league as goals. The difference? It’s taken me approximately 25 years of making resolutions to learn thatI have absolutely no real intentions of ever fulfilling them. They are typically declared in a rum-soaked haze at 12:01a.m. after too many rounds of cards and way too many cocktails.

“My ressolushion zhis year is I’m gonna finally get dat total bakini bodee. You heard meee…I’m gonna do itsh.”

Burp. Hiccup.

“Yoush can totallee do it Mindy…Yoush are sooo awesome. I love yoush sooo mush.”

Hugs all around. See what I mean? Totally worthless.

But goals? I have many of those. And some day I will spend a little bit of time detailing them for you as they truly run the gamut.

And nowI have a new goal inspired by my most recent obsession.


No, not the emotion, although that certainly deserves some major props. I’m talking about the television show, people. And, unless you’ve been living under some rock (in which case, come out, it’s dirty under there and there are bugs) you must know about this ingenious hour-long extravaganza of music and dramedy. It’s every theater-geek’s weekly fix and every music lover’s secret indulgence. And, being that I fit both bills, I happen to love it.

I’ve been faithfully watching Glee since its inception and will admit to a few late-night YouTube sessions searching out my favorite songs performed by this amazing cast.
It was during one of these sessions that I came upon something absolutely astounding. Something that tickled my fancy so greatly it immediately inspired me to add it to my growing list of life-long goals.

Are you ready?

Here goes…

I want to participate in a Glee-inspired flash mob. Oh, man, do I ever.

Now, ifyou’re sitting behind your computer, shaking your head and wondering if Mindy has truly lost every last viable marble, allow me to explain. Wikipedia defines a “flash mob” as a large group of people who assemble in a public place, perform an unusual and pointless act for a brief time, then quickly disperse.

Yep. That’s me. I want to assemble with a large group of people in a public place and perform a pointless act. In this case, that ‘pointless act’ consisting of me shaking my tailfeather to an ensemble of Glee music with other fanatics. If, in order to fully grasp my dream, you need a visual (of a flash mob, not me and my quivering tailfeather, check out this link and you’ll get the idea, but be ready for a little Gleektastic music.)

Now, how do I go about getting myself included in this great publicdisplay of musicality? Should I start loitering public places? I should certainly startwearing leg warmers and my off-the-shoulder sweatshirt. You’ve got to be ready for this kind of stuff. I should definitely beginpaying special attention to large gatherings of people carrying boomboxes. It could possibly work, being in the right place at theright time.

Although, on second thought, I’m pretty sure that any of the above activity would place me on the local security’s watch list.

For now, while I ponder my next steps towards attaining this goal, I’ll need to continue practicing my choreography solo mio in my front room.

But I can guarantee you this. The next time I’m standing in the courtyard of some large public place and hear the beginning beats of “Don’t Stop Believing” I’ll be busting out my moves. Well, that is unless nobody else dances. In which case I’ll assume that it’s a gigantic coincidence and not, in fact, an emerging flash mob.

Wish me luck,


I Never Would Have Made it on the Prairie!

I was first introduced to Laura Ingalls Wilder at about the age of 8 and grew immediately enamored with her life. I used to dream about “Ma” and “Pa” and would imagine myself gallivanting my little country selfaround the prairie, wheat rustling against my skirt (because, um, it was the 1800s and every chick wore skirts.) I would daydream that the tiny little second-story bedroom I shared with my sister was actually a tiny little loft in a clapboard prairie house and I slept upon a strawtick mattress. I would pretend that my bicycle was actually a horse and we’d gallop all over the neighborhood, houses morphing into rolling grassy hills in my mind. I remember going to school and pretending my Care Bears lunchbox was actually a towel-lined tin bucket. In place of my peanut butter & jelly, I imagined freshly baked bread, homemade jam and a ripe, crisp apple.

And, as much as I loved the television show (I mean, come on…who didn’t think Michael Landon would be the coolest dad ever?) I relished the book series with even more gusto. I would lose myself in the Big Woods and on the banks ofPlum Creek, imagine being courted by Almonzo “Manley” Wilder and picture myself teaching in a one-room schoolhouse. I read each and every book furiously, all the while wistfully wishing I had grown up “on the prairie.”


Fast forward about, oh, uh,25 years.

We’ve had a run of some beautiful weather here recently that has forced me to leave the comfort of my temperature-controlled home and venture “out of doors.” Both of my kids love to be outside and I took the brief respite in rain as the perfect opportunity to spend some time with them and reconnect with nature.

Which totally reignited my love affair with “Little House on the Prairie.” The shining sun and gentle wind shuttled me back to a time when my biggest worry was tracking down the next book in my favorite series. I decided to take full advantage of my renewed inspiration andchannel my inner “Laura Ingalls” by reuniting myself with Mother Earth.

My first task? Weed something.

I could totally do this. I started looking around my yard, my eyes attempting to zero in on some obnoxious weeds. Okay. Has anyone ever noticed how some things that aren’t weeds totally look like weeds? I mean, I tried to explain this to Jer but he wasn’t seeing it. And I calmly explained I would be more than happy to relinquish this specific task right back to him.

Have no fear, Laura Ingalls Wilder. I have not given up.

Second task? Water the plants.

What could be more organic than providing nourishment to God’s bounty? Okay. Has anyone ever noticed that when applying too much water pressure to a flower bed filled with loosely packed mulch it results in a virtual dirt shower? Yep.I was over that quickly.

Okay, so I’m less of a “work outside” kind of Laura and more of an “appreciate my surroundings” kind of Laura.

Third task? Breathe in some fresh air and meditate on nature.

I’m going to be upfront with you here, folks. I didn’t last long at this task. I had the breathing down, alright. But the meditating? My first (and only) attempt at this soul-searching practice resulted in getting hit upside the head with a piece of flying sidewalk chalk. After spending a reasonable amount of time outdoors with my kids I have to admit I hightailed it back into my safety net…the house.

So, after 25 years I have finally come to a startling realization. Laura Ingalls Wilder, I am not. I obviously greatly romanticized what would have been a tough and trying way of life. I never would have made it on the prairie.

I would, however, have totally made it as Nellie Oleson’s nicer and much prettier next-door neighbor. In town.


Mother’s Day

First of all, I would like to wish a Happy (belated) Mother’s Day to everyone! If I’ve learned anything as a mom it’s that the title “Mother” carries a very broad definition. There are many people out there who deserve recognition for being a loving care-taker who may have no traditional “children” to speak of. I hope everyone celebrated the holiday with gusto!

Now, to those naysayers who claim that Mother’s Day is “just another commercialized Hallmarkholiday” I would have to beg your pardon. I disagree. Who am I to mock a holiday which enables me to take full advantage of my family’s obligation to honor me? I choose to embrace Mother’s Day as I believe it was originally intended…with respect for my own mother and pride that I am a part of those celebrated. I choose to celebrate it in its entirety with tissue-paper flowers, hand-scribbled greeting cards…and Ferrero-Rocher. (I’m pretty sure this particular confection is a form of legalized narcotics.)

I was woken up on Mother’s Day morning with a warning to not enter the kitchen. Apparently, my gift was featured front and center on the kitchen counter. And by some miracle (or, perhaps, due to the massive amounts of sugar consumed the night before) my kids were still asleep. Which meant I had to wait. Lying in bed. Because I have never been a proponent for waking sleeping children. This is due in large partto the experience I have had with the semi-psychotic behaviors displayed by half-asleep, grumpy children. No one should be subjected to that.

Once the kids began to stir, Jer hightailed it into the bedroom to herd them out to the kitchen.

I heard, “Shhh…We need to be quiet.”

“I am being quiet.”

“Mom can hear you.”

“No, she can’t. She’s still feeping.”

“Not anymore, Jack. You’re being so loud.” (At this point, Avery is definitely the louder of the two.)

“You guys both be quiet.” Hey. It wouldn’t be a holiday if someone wasn’t yelling at the kids.

Jer came back to the bedroom to let me know it was time to “wake up” and come out into the kitchen, the kids and my gift were awaiting me.

Now, I have to be honest here.I did this with a bit of trepidation given my history with this holiday and the gifts it has previously entailed.

Toaster oven.

That’s all I’m saying about that.

With my eyes closed, Jer lead me out of the bedroom and into the kitchen where I was immediately squeezed by my son, Jack. He loves any reason to celebrate.

“Happy Mudder’s Day”, he yelled.

“It’s your Happy Mother’s Day,” Avery added enthusiastically.

I opened the cards (which somehow manage to always bring out slight feelings of insecurity about my motherly attributes), teared up quite a bit, hugged my kids and then prepared myself for the gifting portion of the holiday.

Remember? Toaster oven?

I was very pleasantly surprised by my gift.

Jer had researched at length and then purchased me a Cricut Expressions machine. For you scrapbook lovers out there, you probably already know what this is. For those of you who would much rather get your teeth pulled out than entertain the idea of crafting (I can somewhat relate) it is a very cool paper-cutting machine with loads and loads of graphics and various lettering fonts at your disposal. This machine enables you to create personalized cards, quotes, sayings and could make scrapbooking your memories a cinch. And since I’m about a year-and-a-half behind inchronicling my own memories, I could use all the help I can get. With the memory part. Seriously. My memory spans about a two-hour period, and then only if I’ve been keeping notes.

I’m very excited about having this machine at my disposal but will have to admit that I’m a little intimidated by all it can do. I am envisioning many practicesessions in my future and have already began preparing myselfa defenseagainstJer’sexpectation that creative brilliance will automaticallycome pouring from my soul.

I’m not holding my breath.

Iam, however, cranking out some pretty sweet versions of “Mindy” die-cuts.