musings in mayhem

writer, mom, tutor, superwoman

Archive for the month “December, 2011”


I am currently working on finishing the final pages of my middle reader novel, draft 3. The pressure got to me, and I needed to clean the kitchen and take a little break for a minute.


Here’s a peek:

Wordle: Untitled


Okay, back to the mines.


1. Christmas was wonderful.

2. I think the kids are all happy. I think Honey is, too.

3. Even though I received a tablet with Honey, my favorite gift may be my fluffy slippers, and new long sleeve shirts that are casually work appropriate, and sweaters, too, but mostly slippers.

4. Roadtrip was not bad, boys are off to their father’s for most of break. Honey, Toots and I stopped to visit with his Aunt and Uncle outside DC on the way home, and then

5. We’re spending New Year’s Eve day with my family in Connecticut for another ‘Christmas’ and I will retrieve the boys from their father.

6. I am exhausted and

7. Still need to bake the cookie doughs that I made last week.

8. I wanted to finish this draft of the manuscript this week, but between travels and job and cookies (haha), I don’t necessarily see it, unless I forgo sleep altogether.

9. I just can’t do that. I come close enough too often, and I do not want to hallucinate Angry Birds as I drive down the road to work.

10. Some pictorial highlights from Christmas Eve dinner and presents with cousins and Christmas morning:

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11. I will post some cute Christmas morning video later.

12. Next year I am asking for a better camera.

season’s greetings

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Solstice, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, etc, etc.

Enjoy whatever you celebrate. Let your light shine and may you be with loved ones at this time.

I wish you all the best in 2012.

cookie day

Cookie day got off to a late start. But I now have one batter in the fridge for its set time.

The baking may have to wait until Friday the way this day is going, and tomorrow is booked solid out of the house til 9pm.

My helper may be disappointed.  She went up to nap after first dough was done.

She didn’t want me to take her picture, no matter how cute she was with flour on her nose.


Happy Hanukkah, and Merry Solstice to those who celebrate either. I am partial to celebrating anything that can be celebrated, especially the promise of growing light to come after tonight’s longest dark of the year. At this darkest time, it’s nice to know, spring will come.



last stretch

We got most of our holiday shopping done over the weekend, in a rush, but we did it!  We nearly finished decorating, too.

We also took Toots to Urgent Care and yes, she had contracted a horrible sinus infection after about 10 days of an innocuous runny nose. She refuses liquid medicines, and is such a pipsqueak that most of  children’s symptom meds  in chewable or melting strips form, I have to cut in half.

Now she has a liquid antibiotic that she would rather work her contortionist techniques – she is quite talented, by the way – to avoid taking and then dribble down the front of her shirt. It’s only a 1x a day 1.6mg dose. It shouldn’t be this hard.

This week is going to have to be played by ear. I have no idea how I am going to make my usual skads of cookies to give to neighbors, etc while working and with all the kids home from school most of the week. And work.

We also have a Flat Stanley project to do for my nephew in Connecticut. We will take him up to Cornwallis’s Cave and the Big Monument up at York River Historic District, which is part of the Historic Triangle. We’ve done this before for a long distance friend. Captain Comic gets a kick out of holding the Flat Kid behind bars where Commander Cornwallis and his troops were held captive at the deciding battle to end the Revolutionary War.

I guess I just have to put my head down and run.  But then I recall, that is how my brother broke his teeth as a kid, running head on into a tree in a touch football game. Must use caution.


seasonal prep

We put up the tree and much of the decor for the season today.

Toots was a good helper, even with her snoggy nose and chesty cough.

Mr. Cynic helped pull stuff from the attic.

He had to put her down to straighten the heavy star on the fake tree. I used to always get a real tree, but with pine allergies in the house, we have used a fake one for a few years.

Once all the ornaments are on, who can tell anyway, right? There’s a real piney wreath on the door and when the morning sun shines on it, the scent fills the house when we open the door. Smells like Christmas without sending certain sinuses in the house into misery.

In other seasonal joy, Mr. Cynic’s high school competitive Jazz Choir and the other musical groups, had their Winter Concert on Thursday night. Here’s a little taste via 1 min cellphone video.

My son is the pipsqueak on the right, wiggling to the beat.

best laid plans

My work schedule doesn’t start til this afternoon today, so I had planned on knocking out more of the current chapter edit I am in the middle of since Tuesday’s writing group session. It had been the first time I had a chance to blow dust off of the manuscript since November 22nd. So I was really excited to have the house to myself this morning and get back to it.

And then Toots really didn’t want to wake up this morning.

And when she finally did, she was moving really slowly.

And then she spoke and sounded like Elmer Fudd on helium.

I thought I still might be able to write by plunking Miss Snoggy in front of the TV, but her viewing preference this morning is Yo Gabba Gabba, the theme song of which is not conducive to overhaul editing. It contains many other similarly psychotic tunes per episode, too.

So, it is laundry day and catching up on some things is on my agenda, instead.

that time


The mayhem is about to crest that first peak of the rollercoaster for the season.

Wish me luck.

May your ride be a sweet one.



december blooms

Camelias are the most surprising thing every winter since I moved from New England to south coastal Virginia a handful of years ago.

December is supposed to be bleak, grey, frigid, wet, and bare. A blank canvas absent of color, except for what we add during the season to liven things up.  I have deep affection for this aspect of the year, because it makes me appreciate the explosion of spring in its wild colors. That is the essence of a New Englander. It’s also meditative, this bleak and dark of the year.

But in Virginia, it has ranged from 70+ degrees Farenheit to 30 and back again. The result of this temperature rollercoaster is I now longer have good winter clothes, I miss the brisk, and the appearance of this:

The buds hide under the leaves, then the morning sun hits them and Bam!

This year, it has been warm more than cold so the roses have not given up quite yet. A rose in December – no wonder poems and songs are written about them.

What loveliness has surprised you today?


Honey’s birthday was yesterday. Toots couldn’t contain her excitement over helping to mix the batter for her daddy’s cake. She was rather obsessed with these candles, too.

Just ignore the crazy lady who had just walked the cake in, singing happy birthday. How did I get that look on my face? And why did Mr. Cynic take the picture just then?

Toots really loved mixing the batter. She mixed it so much I thought it was going to be a tough cake, but it remained fluffy. 


Captain Comic got right down to the business of eating cake, because there is cake, therefore it must be eaten. Mr. Cynic got down to the business of texting under the dinner table.


Speaking of celebrating:

We have had a rough go to the start of Captain Comic’s school year with some bullying I couldn’t quite get the school to believe was happening how it was happening. As is often the case with aspergian kids, their reactions to situations become the focus of situations in which the source then takes a back seat. Poor kid’s situation had been escalating for months, but the admin wasn’t willing to pay attention where I was directing them to – namely the bus- until it got to the point of my having to involve the police. I didn’t want to, but the principal gave me no choice, in fact, she told me I should. If she had just gotten on that bus back in September, his grades wouldn’t be suffering, he wouldn’t be going back into a more restrictive environment for his education and going back onto the sped bus.

But now that a deputy spoke to the bus load of students, and the principal finally did the same day, when I notified her about the deputy’s plan to do so – we’ve got the ball rolling, found the perpetrator of the biggest offense and now there will be a meeting tomorrow morning in the principal’s office with parents of both parties involved.


But that sure took a disproportionate amount of footwork on my part – as if I didn’t have enough mayhem on any given day. And a new job.



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