Friday, May 31, 2013

Partners in Parenting

Baby momma drama.....baby dad mad.....ain't nobody got time for that. Real talk. Over the past few months my world has been consumed with the completion of my daughter's education with an MD and a PhD. I have blogged about it, cried about it, shouted about it, and damn near been kicked off of FB for posting about it. It really is amazing. And......it has been based in a true partnership in parenting which should be talked about because it isn't the normal narrative.

At 15 a girl should be picking classes not co parents or life partners but since that is exactly what I did I want to give a shout out to my daughter's father and say, "Great job!"

As teen parents we realized quickly we wouldn't be a couple. As adult parents we are both married to great people....just not each other. Me, for 20 years. Yup. Sooooo....we have 2 additional parents and personalities in the mix, and at the center of it all........we have my girl. (so I know it is "our" girl but.....well, I didn't say I was perfect)

We had to bloom where we were planted. For me, well, I took the 1st job offered to me in retail and have made it my life's work. He grabbed a job in a restaurant to help take care of his new baby....and 27 years later he is an executive chef. Had we not produced this beautiful girl, who knows what we would be doing. Perhaps it would be better, maybe worse. We don't dwell on it.

I wouldn't say we are buddies...........we both have full lives and other children. Aside from a few conversations about the old neighborhood...."Did you know so and so died? What? Get out of here!" or "Remember your old buddy, he's a grandpop now" ....our conversations have centered around what was best for our child. Private school? We did that...and as teenagers I am still trying to remember how we afforded it...lol. The one big huge fight with the angel girl.....we got through that. Sending our 16 year old off to college......we agreed on that. At the core it has always been what is best for her.

I wouldn't say it's been perfect. For most of my adult life I have supervised others....and this same daughter I speak of likes to remind me that I am not the boss of everybody. (I can't imaging what she is talking about) So I am sure there have been occasions when I was a least liked or vilified person........and the reverse is true too. But in 27 years there has never been a question on the commitment we both share for the proper upbringing of this person we brought into the world.

The past few weeks have been joy filled for both of our families. All of our children and our spouses celebrating with both of our extended families....we laughed and cried together. The pride was no more or less from any one of us........we had accomplished a great thing......together. Our daughter toasted us and she started with these words...." Some people don't get two good parents...I have been blessed with 4"

The added bonus for us is that it has been a text book  example of how to co parent. No hidden agendas, no personal baggage, no name calling. Respect all parties. Respect each other's time. Be impeccable with your word....do not break promises. And in all of this the person that it is being done for is your child. My experience is that these things can be improved upon but not taught later on in life. So...to any young girl (or old) that is reading this......these qualities should be present in any one you choose to deal with. Her father is a good quality man and he was raised that way. Real talk!

So I want to share my thanks and appreciation to him and his beautiful wife. It has been an incredible journey.  I salute you for the attention and support you have given her over the years and I am so grateful knowing that the love we have for her is only multiplied by the two of you. Bravo!

Dr. Dr Natasha with her Dad and Step-Mother and little sister

Dr. Corbitt with her parents




Wednesday, May 15, 2013

HOSTA La Vista Baby!!

This post is an ode to the old garden standard....the HOSTA. One of my personal favorites....and the one my youngest boy, as a toddler, called Hosties! heehee!

When I first became acquainted with this "can't kill it wonder" it was growing wildly down many a side fence. Full of weeds and holes from a "slug" fest or two....or three. Yuck! Then I was given a piece by a good friend and...well....the rest is garden history.


Variegated and slug resistant varieties shown here
All of my plants in the back garden have been gifts or splits. (and I don't mean gymnastics!)
The azaleas in the photo above were dug out of a lovely school Principal's yard. She was divorcing. He hated the bushes that she had grown to love. He was keeping the house. She would be damned if he destroyed them. Ummm, so sorry....let me get my shovel. (Really? I can't make this up!) The hostas come from a lovely couple that dig each other as much as they dig their yard....a whole lot! They loaded my car up with their extra babies and filled this Zen space for me last year. I mean...pow....and look...it is poppin!! That's what's great about them....they don't die...they multiply! Woop!

Now, y'all  know I am a girl on a budget.....but there is a whole HOSTA society if you can dig it! (Was that corny? Sorry!) You can check it out here....
So many varieties and even collectors. I have a total of 9 different kinds and I have a few on my wish list. The Big Blue is one I would really love......that sucker is huge!
But for now.....since the hostas were so easy to double down on (my term for splitting and making 2  or 3 outta 1) I focused on other plants like this. So......tons of Irises and Bee Balm. Now.....these came from the couple that moved into their grandmother's house they inherited after her death. She was a master gardener but her yard hadn't been touched in decades. And neither had their minds. Umm.....he had the confederate flag on his pick-up and there was a toilet on bricks in front of the million dollar house. You think that deterred me? I weighed my situation......and eyed those luscious green beauties that were mine for the picking and said......Here is a coffee and some gloves...tell me what I can take. 2 hours later I had ole boy following me in his pickup because my car was loaded. He even surprised himself. Plants can do that.....when you start digging and chatting the divide was broken......and of course I texted the address to my husband just in case I wasn't heard from again. Check out Grand mom's three full beds here:



these 3 beds filled with free craiglists "grabs" from a young couples grand mom's yard

Oh yeah...........so this is the green stage. Not a lot of color.....yet. Great plants to fill big spaces quickly that will look good all of Spring into Fall. I will share updates each month. The color is coming soon. I love these plants up. I snip, I spray, and I do talk to them. I'm telling you it works. And I am tickled every single year when I do my splits that someone trusted me with their history....with something they tended to at one time or another. So I share.....there are plenty of these plants in gardens all over. A friend here, my sister there, and last summer....against my husband's safety warning.....I went to a deep woods plant swap. Oh yeah.....picked up some Autumn Flower and Black Eyed Susans there. LOL. Anyhoo.....this is where we are now....more to come. HOSTA la vista, BABY! (that means "real talk" in plant Latin!)

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Mad for Monogram

I have a confession to make.......I am a gift wrap snob. I know, it's wrong. But what can I tell you. Some people have loads of shoes....me, I have a gift wrap stockpile. And, ummmm.....I have been know to wrinkle my nose at generic store wrap. I mean, you have to make your packaging POP! heehee. So, imagine my anxiety when I read the most beautiful shower invite that clearly states "please bring packages unwrapped" Oh my. What is a girl to do? Shakes, hives, sweats. I gotta think. Eureka! Shrink wrap it is!

But 1st.....what to get? I checked the registry and saw lots of kitchen items. Sturdy, practical, and a great gift for a gal that loves to cook. Hmmmmm, these will not be cute unwrapped. And, well, cute matters! (Start thinking of how cute the invite was and know I need to step my game up!) So I need a receptacle to put it in! Wine bucket it it! But....I wouldn't exactly call it special.......no worries. EVERYTHING, and I mean everything is better personalized! Woop woop! Ahhh, but personalization can be pricey! Hmmmm.....not when you do it yourself! Woop! Enter.....printable cling! (you ain't got that thing....if you ain't got a cling! Do wop do wop do wop) So, printed a cute and easy monogram for the soon to be newlyweds on window cling right through my printer. Cut and place! Luv it! And.....if it doesn't work for the bride.....pull it off and be gone! Woop!


Ok, ok, so now that is out of the way I need piece that pops! Now, I know I got the items from the registry but....it's hard to make a cheese grater pop. Trust me. Soooooo, let's go with a nice Monogrammed Printed Burlap piece framed up! Now I am grooving!!


How do you print on burlap? Easy breezy covergirl! You iron it on to freezer paper first. Stop. I can't take it! So cute. Trust me when I tell you everyone I know from now on getting married will have this as part of their gift. It is adorable! Ok, ok! With 2 monogrammed pieces I am feeling a theme come over me so.......apron with an iron on crest and baby. we. are. in. there! What? You know it!! Used the apron to hold the items purchased from the registry, added some champagne (I mean., the base is an ice bucket) and then I went to town with my blow dryer and shrink wrap! LOVE! THIS! And.....guess what.....it is not really wrapped. (well, it is, but it is see through) So, I think I didn't really break the rules. What fun. By now some may be rolling their eyes....that is too involves. Can't be bothered. Don't get me wrong, I get it. Buying from the registry makes things nice and easy and you know the recipient will be happy because they picked the item...............but, the love is in the details! Go ahead, get a theme. Add a little extra ribbon (don't you hate trying to make a shower hat and no one had good ribbon on the gift? Hello! Priorities people) lol. Whatever giving gesture you do think of the person and the occasion and have some fun! Soo much going on and everyone is soo busy it seems like we get through all of our events like a checklist. Party? Check. Ok, out by 3 for a Christening. OK. Check. Next day...dinner with sibling. Check. geez.....slow down . Put some pop in it.........gifts get opened and put away and used and life goes on....but those extra details will hopefully go a long way in creating a special memory! Real talk. And....to the future Mrs. Hersh, congratulations! I hope you guys have your happily ever after and then some!!


Friday, May 3, 2013

Notes FOR Nic

You may remember I did a short post on my simple cure for sadness....sending notes! Since that post I have sent many.....near and far, and while it is a gesture toward someone else...it really is for me. I just LOVE it. And I suspect some folks may think it is a bit weird or.....as Sweet Brown would say..."Ain't nobody got time for that!!" So imagine my surprise and delight when I received a package in the mail yesterday......

Ummmmm hmmmmmm. Fed ex. What? Yup! And....who could it be from? Someone who read this? A close friend or family member? NOPE!! This cute card and box with two little Black Angels (I collect these) came to my door from someone I worked with......wait for it......10 years ago!!!!!!!!!!! And haven't talked to since then!! OMG!!

And you know what? You would have thought I hit the lottery!! My boys wanted to know..."who is it from?" Earlier in the day we had a neighbor stop by out of the clear blue and say..."Do you have any tea? I'll have a cup." So what did I do? I fired up the kettle! My son looked at me like....ummmmm, is this normal? Did you know she was coming? Nope. But she wants some tea. She is an elderly neighbor that walks her dog around the block and has the most colorful tulips in her front pots. That alone warrants a spot of tea...don't you think? So we sat around and laughed and joked and when the tea was gone she said, "Thanks! That was very nice." And my son spent the rest of the day scratching his head in puzzlement. But he went along with it....and laughed appropriately when she asked if he thought she was too old to get a man. And he learned that a few minutes of your time still means something to some people. So when this package came (another random surprise) his expression was priceless. AND I LOVE IT!!

So I wanted to share that even though my thing is "a note from Nic" I actually got a note FOR Nic and I couldn't be happier. It confirms something I know to be true....people want to know that you see them! That you have thought of them in some small way and those thoughts were good ones. If you are waiting on the perfect time, or the right amount of money, or when the timing is right I want to encourage you to do SOMETHING now, What you can....with what you have! It matters.......and so do you! Real talk!