the hyphens that define my life

Enjoy the Moments November 8, 2013

My squirrel saga lives on.  My cast is off, my arm is healed, but the squirrel jokes linger. My Facebook friends like to post squirrel videos or squirrel pictures to let me know they’re thinking of me while making fun of me.  That’s cool, I appreciate good squirrel jokes.

My very dear friend posted this photo, not to mock (a sign of a true friend [stick out tongue at all the other “friends”)], but to remind me of a conversation we had on one reason why we wanted to move out of Southern California.

squirrel humor

In Southern California, I felt like every day was a competition, and it was crazy. Competing for parking spaces, driving advantage, time, staying current on trends, while trying to instill values in your kids that it’s better to give than receive while they compete or keep up with their friends.  Competition was compounded just by the sheer numbers of people.  I found it overwhelming and draining.  I haven’t been in a rut, I am just settling into my groove.  My day-to-day groove is just chill.  The funny thing is that a chill groove is so foreign to me that I need to accept and enjoy.  That doesn’t make for exciting, funny, interesting or inspiring blog posts, but it does challenge me to write differently which is a good thing.

Family has not missed the opportunity to poke fun at me on the squirrel theme.  This week my younger sister sent me this t-shirt….

squirrel whisperer

The t-shirt is hysterical enough, please help me, I have a squirrel wardrobe.  Her message sent with the gift is legendary, “I am confident you have earned the dignity and respect  amongst the Spokane Squirrel Squad. ‘She is one tough lady – and smells like delicious nutty baked goods’.”  Spokane Squirrel Squad!  Nutty Treats!  Oh, that part could be true.

My husband and I were out running errands at lunch the other day.  When we returned, we entered through the side door and I noticed my house smelled really good, like chicken soup and homemade cookies.  I said this to my husband.  He replied, “Great, here I thought I married my mother, but I really married my grandmother.”  This was a fist pump moment for me.  I am an aspiring old woman, right on track (maybe slightly ahead of the curve) as I age up.

Just to keep in touch with my silly, young self (I’m certain it’s in here somewhere), I am a co-room mom for my eight year olds third grade class.  Twenty-four eight year olds celebrated with a Harvest Party for an hour today and it was awesome.  The first thing you do with kids is divide them into manageable groups.  With four sets of six kids labeled as apples, owls, scarecrows and pumpkins, we rotated the groups through four centers.  The centers included Funky and Fun Thanksgiving Facts (an interactive and informative Thanksgiving center complete with “Swill” to taste), bobbing for doughnuts (doughnuts tied with string and hung from an overhead wire hanger.  The kids have to eat the doughnut without using their hands), peanut butter and birdseed pine cone bird feeders, and a trail mix bar and apple juice.  I managed the peanut butter and birdseed pine cone bird feeder center.  Messy, gooey, sticky and a great project for eight year olds, we had fun making these bird feeders.  The birds will have stiff competition from the squirrels that will want to eat these yummy treats (gotta look out for my little friends, pyscho beasts we know them to be).

With all this said, I realize that I haven’t been in a rut, I just haven’t taken the time to reflect and appreciate where I’m at in life and enjoy the moments.  I’m thankful for our move and for Spokane.  I’m thankful for my friends, my family, for my children, for being able to see through a child’s eyes, for aging gracefully (despite the wipeouts), and, yes, I’m thankful for squirrels.