Stirring the pot, raising hell and rearing children in the Bay Area

My Right Hand Man

Posted on Mar 11, 2013 in Featured, Thing 1 |

My Right Hand Man

My ex’s grandfather died today. And my Kitchen-Aid mixer is still packed from the kitchen remodel, so I couldn’t make chocolate chip cookies. If you know me, you know that I believe most things can be fixed by making chocolate chip cookies.

It’s not often that I cry, but this old man was a good soul — he’s worth a tear or two or ten. My son heard me and got out of bed. There’s a line where motherhood meets humanity and tonight, humanity won.

Tonight’s story isn’t really one for the public, except, I never want to forget it. And I’ve long since given up journals.

My boy came out to the livingroom in his green footy pajamas, and stated, “As your Right Hand Man, I want to know if there is anything I can do for you.”

I said, “Yeah, you can go to bed, it’s 10 p.m.”

And he said, “Blue puppy (his stuffed animal since birth) and my pillow and I have been camped out right here (pointing to the hallway) and we can hear you cry.”

I replied, “Crying isn’t always bad. I’m happy and safe and it’s time for you to go to bed.”

And my dear little man stood, hands animated like I couldn’t believe:

“There are three things you need to understand:

One: We men always play to our strengths. People who know how to play Bridge understand this, but you don’t know how to play Bridge.

Two: You have to put your hobbies first when you speak. What are your hobbies, Mom? Cooking? That’s not a hobby. Kids? I’m not a hobby, mom! You have to think of a good hobbies. You like football. And soccer. Those are good hobbies.

Three: You say things like ‘happiness’ and ‘health’ and ‘karma’ but those are all spiritual things. Don’t say spiritual things. You can say hobbies. Like if you say ‘technology’ I will say that’s a good one.”

I literally was struck silent. In fact, even as I type, I’m still shocked, just trying to type before I forget what he said.

I teased him, “Technology my bum, little one!”

He wouldn’t budge.

I asked him if he wanted to call my ex. He said, “Some things need time. I will call her another day.”

Again, he struck me silent.

“Everything is fine, son,” I told him.

He looked at me, standing in the hall in his green footy pajamas and Blue Puppy hanging from his fist, “I know. But I’m your right hand man.”

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Baguette at the Door

Posted on Jan 2, 2013 in Family, Friends, Rants and Raves |

We arrived home last night, New Year’s Eve, to a basket of fresh fruit and a warm baguette on the doorstep. Next to the door, another baguette, some flowers and a notecard with s small photo of a hummingbird on it. My refrigerator was stocked with milk — three gallons from each of the people who had dropped off some milk as a welcome home gift. In all, I counted 12 apples — red and green our favorites — from three different friends. Before I could close the front door, my mom was walking to the door with warm chocolate chip cookies and a smile that lights my life every day.

2012 was a shitty year, but today, on its last day, I saw two sunsets crossing the Atlantic, and my house was filled with all the beauty you could imagine. On the last day of this horrible and rough year, came fresh food, and love and friends and family and hugs and not one, but two beautiful sunsets, and I really couldn’t pass up the opportunity to think, What a bastard! That year I loathed, finished so beautifully, filled with fresh love all around us. Damn you, 2012, for being a beauty in the end, and reminding me what matters most.


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Monday Night Family

Posted on Sep 20, 2012 in Featured, iVoices |

Monday Night Family

In our family, Monday Night Football is sacred — always has been. For as long as I can remember, Monday nights meant eating dinner by the TV (a rarity!), and getting the chance to scream and yell and jump on the furniture. I have a memory of my mom jumping on the couch in her Oakland Raiders t-shirt that said “Property of Oakland Raiders” — it was grey and black and I thought she was so cool to have such a grown-up shirt. My grandmother, too, was a huge MNF fan, cozying-up to her little TV to watch MNF, but really only if Dallas was playing. Then it was Roger Staubach time — number 12, baby. GO DALLAS.

When Dallas plays Monday Night Football now, I bring out an old photo of my grandmother, place it in front of the TV, and put a beer and a handful of Lay’s potato chips beside her. Oh yeah, we’re a little nuts, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

During the NFL season each year, I have a Monday Night Football open house. I make a big, giant pot of somethingruther because I am not about to be sitting in the kitchen while everyone else watches the game. Chili, enchiladas, make-your-own tacos or a big, kitchen-sink salad are always waiting in the kitchen. You can find me and my kids plunked in front of the TV, just like my parents did when I was a kid. We cheer and scream and let out all the inappropriate loud noises we can’t burst out with at work and at school: “OFFSIDES, SUCKERS!,”  howls my daughter, while my son, intense as ever, wearing his Brady or Crabtree jersey, fist pumps with a defiant “WHAT A HIT!” It’s our unspoken permission to let it all go.

Every Monday night during NFL season, I feel the sense of family all around — tradition runs deep with us, and football is no exception.

So if you’re in the neighborhood this season, stop on by for a Monday Night Football fete — the food the people and the TV are all warm, the beer is cold and we’ll be waiting for you.

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Urgent Request: Pack-a-Back 2012

Posted on Aug 6, 2012 in Family, Friends, Rants and Raves |

URGENT REQUEST: Sacred Heart Community Services is in the midst of their annual Pack-a-Back, giving over 2,000 filled backpacks to children in need, so that they may attend school with their school essentials.

Immediately, they are in need of:

97 color backpacks (no red or blue due to gang issues in San Jose)

234 broadtip markers
500 shoe gift cards

Please, share this and pass it on. And if you want to donate, I will come to wherever you are to pick up donation of:

97 color backpacks (no red or blue due to gang issues in San Jose)
234 broadtip markers
500 shoe gift cards

Learn more here about Sacred Heart

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Posted on Aug 5, 2012 in Family and Friends |

‎”Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” -Dr. Seuss

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Posted on Jul 20, 2012 in Family and Friends |

My parents and I worked the 1984 Olympic Games — this photo is us on the podium the night of the boxing medal ceremony after it finished. Gave me a deep love of sports that has never left me.

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Let it Go …and it will float away.

Posted on Jul 11, 2012 in Family and Friends |

…and it will float away.

Source: via Samantha on Pinterest


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Morning with My Man

Posted on May 25, 2012 in Family and Friends |

Time is always stolen time with my babies — morning cuddles, afternoon texts, dinner together at night. Maybe we squeeze-in a car ride conversation or bathtime chat.

Mornings with my man are my daily treasures.

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