The Rolling Stone

June 20, 2012

I have been finding my life again here in Columbus. Little by little, I am defining what is normal life. I started going to a writing group…it really sprung me back into action this week. My poor, neglected blog!! I have internet and am reunited with my camera man. Before I go back into my usual blog format, I have to share my writing group assignment. If you are looking for a great writing prompt, here is one. Write a response to something. Pick a song, poem, or even a piece of art and write a response. I picked “Like a Rolling Stone” By Bob Dylan. When I went away to college, I wrote a paper about this song. I said I felt like that poor little rich girl about to step out in to the big nasty world. I thought it was pretty fitting to use the same song for my new life, and how much I have grown since then. (and I am not talking about the size of my behind….). 

I couldn’t wait to get away…to go somewhere. Somewhere that wasn’t home. At three, I packed my clothes into a plastic Minnie Mouse suitcase and ran away to my Grandma’s house. At nineteen I ran away from a failed relationship and a certain future. I packed up my journal and my small town attitude to something bigger. I was pretty brave, that spoiled little rolling stone who was used to a walk in closet and an easy life. Is the poor little rich girl metaphor a bit tired? Why are we so happy to watch her fail, why can’t we cheer for her as she grows up to be a stronger woman? Just like a butterfly, she sheds her overpriced designer cocoon.
Once upon a time you dressed so fine
You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn’t you ?
People’d call, say, “Beware doll, you’re bound to fall”
You thought they were all kiddin’ you
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hangin’ out
Now you don’t talk so loud
Now you don’t seem so proud
About having to be scrounging for your next meal.
You don’t know me at all. Just because you fail doesn’t mean you are a failure. Just because you are broke, doesn’t mean you are broken. This little doll needed a slice of humble pie to appreciate the walk in closet and dream that one day those eighty pairs of shoes would find themselves a home. I don’t talk so loud, because I listen. I don’t judge because I am not perfect.
You’ve gone to the finest school all right, Miss Lonely
But you know you only used to get juiced in it
And nobody has ever taught you how to live on the street
And now you find out you’re gonna have to get used to it
You said you’d never compromise
With the mystery tramp, but know you realize
He’s not selling any alibis
As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes
And say do you want to make a deal?
The deal wasn’t so bad. I didn’t sell my soul or anything…just a piece of my youth. But really, don’t we all need to trade that in for a suit and tie? Why does it matter where I got my juice? Do you always like to kick a girl when she is down? Sometimes Miss Lonely is a mask, or a cover for what we are scared to show. I can live on the street and in that mansion on the hill, I can live with my self and the decisions I have made. While you are so quick to judge me, ask yourself this when was the last time you fell from grace and got back up?
You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns
When they all come down and did tricks for you
You never understood that it ain’t no good
You shouldn’t let other people get your kicks for you
You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat
Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat
Ain’t it hard when you discover that
He really wasn’t where it’s at
After he took from you everything he could steal.
He didn’t steal anything. I stole from him. Experience and life. They come with mistakes. Maybe I used the diplomat, maybe I loved him. What do you care? It is over. He wasn’t for me…..maybe he has a lovely wife now and a lovely home with a white fence in a gated town…his chrome horse retired for an even bigger one. Are you going to be better for me, with your accusations and your mockery? I saw the jugglers and the clowns…I laughed in their faces and threw pennies in their hats. I wasn’t perfect, I was a child who tossed her self into the lonely world. I lifted up with a smile from the juggler and a hug from the clown. We all need a little comfort food on the coldest of winter days. I admit I took advantage and they got hurt. I feel bad about the frowns, but we all have to walk away sometimes. How is that any different from you getting your kicks from my sadness?
Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people
They’re drinkin’, thinkin’ that they got it made
Exchanging all precious gifts
But you’d better take your diamond ring, you’d better pawn it babe
You used to be so amused
At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used
Go to him now, he calls you, you can’t refuse
When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You’re invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal.
The language wasn’t what drew me in, how silly of you to assume that. Amused only tells half of the story. What do you know of love? I like to run away, as I said. I ran away from Napoleon. Maybe I didn’t want a life of rags and pawned diamond rings. I am not proud of breaking his heart, but mine broke as well. Don’t you know that the pretty people do have it made? A smile opens a door, a flirty gaze gets a drink. Precious gifts are fine for a while. I didn’t exactly hike up my skirt to the highest bidder, but I used some charm to get somewhere that wasn’t calculating IQs. The pretty people demand something from you, they take back what they have given you the minute you aren’t one of them. My face has long been replaced by now with something younger and prettier and bustier. Another little rich girl who will learn the same lesson when she is ready. You ask how it feels to be on my own but you didn’t warn me of the dangers. You laugh at my mistakes and riddle my failures. I have no secrets to conceal, but I am far from invisible. I guess that makes me a metaphor, or as you like to think, such a cliché. Rags to riches, poor little rich girl. She went away to the big city and learned a thing or two about life. She made some mistakes and took advantage of some people to get ahead. She became a person of strong convictions and then a strong person with some convictions.

How does it feel
To be on your own. With no direction home
Like a complete unknown Like a rolling stone ?
I like being on my own. I am in charge, I call the shots. I am no longer the rich girl or the poor girl. I don’t need a direction home. I am a bird, so I flew away and built another nest. Being an unknown has its advantages, but I am far from that. I don’t need a big fancy name or a group of admiring followers to be valuable. I am not as superficial as you would like to make me out to be. I am every nineteen year old princess who leaves her suburban palace to find her prince or maybe her destiny. It has been over ten years since that journey started, since I listened to your words and cried. I knew what you were warning me of, and I tried so hard not to become that little rolling stone. Then it happened, I stopped caring what you thought. You can paint me whatever you like, but I don’t care. You can call me names and make me fit nicely into your box of stereotypes. Maybe I could have chosen you and you would have made me happy, or maybe your inconsistent intolerance for my flaws is what turned me off. You sound like a scorned lover. How easy for you to mock me and point out the poor judgments I have displayed. You are that insecure voice in my head telling me that I am not good enough or that I don’t deserve this happiness. Not once did you point out how I have learned from them or that I have changed some of my girlish thoughts. It is your voice that has haunted me since the day I left home, your words I was afraid to become. A stone won’t roll forever, it will eventually stop and become sediment. You won’t haunt me forever, I will eventually tune you out.

(um..insert random pictures of things that look like rocks and travel? sure, why not. I love pictures. )

The Method

April 11, 2012
It’s a broken poem, started up yesterday
And it came true now, mind was on holiday
It’s an open road will we soon see the end
It’s an open book, a story to tell the band
There is hardly a method you know” TV on the Radio

There seems to be a method for everything. Methods to loose weight, methods for parenting, methods for success. Anything you do, you need a game plan for. If you succeed, then everyone wants to know..what is your method? What is you secret? How did you do it? I sometimes wonder if we get so locked in the method that we are oblivious to the end result. I am terrible with directions. If someone tells me where to go, I simply ask “what is the address”. If they try to give me turn by turn directions, I start to tune them out and hear things like “la la la..gas station on your right…la la la, blue house. I don’t mean to do it, and my life has become significantly easier since the invention of GPS, but I just can’t seem to focus on a step of instructions that work for someone else to get somewhere. When I buy anything that requires assembly, I can usually function by looking at the picture..not really reading the directions. I love to make as man “there are two kinds of people in the world” analogies as I can. It simplifies things to black and white, eliminating any sort of complicated shades of gray. So for this post, we are going to say there are two kinds of people in the world: those who are driven by the results and those who are driven by the method. I am a results person. Whether they are good or bad results, I am just looking for the point. When people explain things to me, whether it is at work or when I am trying to fix a phone, I simply ask “what is the point of this?”. Sometimes it makes me seem rude, but since I can’t always comprehend other people’s methods, I cut right to the chase. I need to see the big picture before I can see the process of painting it. When I think about parenting, I am often amazed about how many opinions there are about to raise your children. Since children don’t come with a step by step handbook or a picture of what the end result looks like, I assume the method that works best for you is the best bet. My end result is pretty easy: I want children who aren’t jerks, respect themselves and who aren’t so caught up in trying to mimic other people’s methods that they forget that the real fun in life comes from creating your own methods. So when they are doing the kind thing like holding a door open for a mother struggling to get an oversized stroller through it, I would be overly proud to know that they aren’t jerks. When they look at themselves in the mirror and they truly love what they see, then I will know they respect themselves. When they create their own paths in life, one that involves learning from acehivements as well as mistakes, then I will know they are learning their own methods. I feel pretty strongly that the best mentors, parents, bosses, etc. are those who are clear about the end result and build you up enough so you are confident enough to come up with the methods that work best for you.

That is why I have this blog. It is my result. My style is a reflection of my method. When I read magazines, or watch TV, or even try to find women around me that have amazing personal style, I see one thing: an end result. That is what an oufit is every day, and end result of how you want the world to see you. How you get there should be up to you. One day I want to look professional, confident, grown up. I put on a black button down and a full skirt. I added a gray cardi, feeling that the dark colors would make it more serious, more confident. These are the colors that demand I be taken seriously, that say my methods are just as good as yours. Some days I dress in vibrant colors or playful flowy prints. Those are the days I want to seem fun or flirty or relaxed. When you start to create your own methods, you have more freedom over your results. I don’t like to ask people “how do you do that?” I like to just admire results.





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Shirt: New York & Co
Skirt: The Limited
Shoes: Seychelles (DSW)
Sweater: H&M
Belt: Betsey Johnson (TJ Maxx)
Necklace: Charlotte Russe

Writng prompt: What is a method you created that you are proud of. What was the end result? Did you achieve the result you wanted? Some would argue that methods and structure are more important. Which do you find to be of greater importance?

The Pet Sitter

March 22, 2012

Olivia is always one to sweat the hypothetical. She asks for something like a cell phone and cries when I tell her I was twenty-five when I got my first phone. “Do you know who old I was?” My dad piped in. She ignored him as the tears started to brew over her eyes. “Can I have an iPad?” She asked.

Me: Do you have any money?
Olivia: Can’t you just put it on your credit card?
Me: No. I don’t need an iPad. You can buy one with your money
Olivia: How much does one cost?
Me: like five hundred dollars.
Olivia: Where am I going to get five-hundred dollars?
Me: Get a job
Olivia: I can’t get a job. Can’t you just make five hundred dollars from paper?
Me: If I could do that don’t you think we would have a house with more than one bathroom?
Olivia: I mean one of those bills. Like you make for my lunch money. Can’t you make a bill for five hundred dollars?
Me: You mean a check?
Olivia: yes. Can you write a check for five hundred dollars so I can get an ipad?
Me: No. I would have to have five hundred extra dollars in my checking account. You don’t just write checks.
Olivia: How am I supposed to get an ipad?
Layla: you could have a lemonade stand.
Me: there you go. You would need to have a couple lemonade stands
Layla: like five?
Me: if you make twenty dollars per lemonade stand, then you would need two hundred and fifty lemonade stands to get an iPad
Olivia: But I want an iPad now.
Me: Why do you need an iPad?
Olivia: For the apps. I like apps
Me: What is wrong with just using a computer?
Olivia: It doesn’t use apps. It is useless.
Me: I see.
Layla: how about a pet sitting business? You could walk and feed dogs.
Olivia. Yeah!! I could do that. Can I start walking dogs for money?
Me: If you want. That is a lot of dogs to walk.
Olivia: I need posters. Can I make posters and put them in the yard so people know I walk dogs?
Me: sure.
Layla: you need to get it laminated. So they don’t get wet. Just like at school. The janitor laminates things for us.
Me: Really?
Layla: Yep. Olivia needs to have the janitor laminate her posters.
Olivia: Can’t I just laminate them at home?
Me: You need a laminator.
Olivia: Can you buy me one?
Me: No. that is silly.
Olivia: Can I buy one? I have ten dollars.
Me: they cost more than ten dollars.
Olivia: How am I going to get my signs laminated?
Me: take them to Kinkos or something.
Olivia: Can I send it to uncle Jeremy? He makes signs
Me: Sure
Olivia: I can’t wait to get home and make a sign.
I remember starting a “business” as a kid. I read tons of The Babysitters’ Club or always imagined having the perfect Lemonade stand. There was so much I wanted to buy and I couldn’t understand why my parents just wouldn’t give me what I wanted. Huffy bike..Barbie dream house (with elevator), Hypercolor T-shirt, Umbros Shorts, a Walkman and New Kids on the Block Tapes, a Nintendo complete with Duck Hunt…there was so much temptation for a kid. And this was before the world of cell phones and laptop computers and iPads. It is funny to watch the kids gradually grasp the concept of why they don’t have everything and how much stuff actually costs. I am sure Olivia won’t walk a single dog…but at least I don’t have to be the mean Mom who won’t buy their kid an iPad (today).
Parenting tip: If you want to keep your children busy for hours…tell them they can’t have an iPad so they spend hours making signs for their new “business.”

Writing prompt: Do you remember starting a business as a child. Was it a lemonade stand or your version of the Babysitters’ Club? What did you want to buy with the money? Were you successful or did you loose interest before you even started?

The Swing

March 19, 2012

What is it about a swing that makes kids so happy? I love the way they squeal with joy when their feet touch the sky. Nothing makes you feel more youthful and free than being on a become that kid again who thinks they are a bird. You start to sway really slow then gain a bit of momentum by pumping your legs. Legs out, legs tuck, lets out, legs tuck. Sometimes you hold on tight to the cold chain and lean back slowly to let the air puncture your cheeks. Then you arch your body forward so the back of your head gets a turn in the breeze. There is something completely magical about a swing. Who came up with this concept of a piece of rubber fastened to a chain so perfectly that it molds to every bottom? Our ten-day forecast in Ohio: amazing. With all stress and tension building up in my life, I couldn’t think of anywhere better to go than to the playground. Josh and me played “best aunt and uncle ever” by taking the girls and my three year old niece on a walk to the playground yesterday. The sun was hot and the air had that perfect spring breeze as we pulled the little one in a wagon and the girls rode their bikes. Immediately the kids ran to the swings. “Push me! Push me!” they would yell. I remember when the girls were little; they didn’t know how to make themselves go on the swing. I think that is one of those moments of motherhood that goes vaguely noticed but appreciated…the moment the kids can pump there legs and you don’t have to push. I remember standing there pushing and pushing while they laughed..”Higher! Faster!” Push, push. “Are you good?” I would ask…my arms starting to get stiff from the constant motion. I start to think of things I could be doing while they were playing. I could be thumbing thought a magazine or getting their snack ready. I could be lying on a bench staring straight up at the clouds watching the day slowly float by. But there I was, pushing and pushing…making a funny face as they would soar closer to me. Then one day, they don’t need me. They run over to a swing and start pumping their legs while I sit on a nearby bench and update my facebook status. As I stared at the clouds slowly floating by, I thought about how fast my kids have grown. They went from needing me to do everything to barely needing me at all. They can make their own food, ride their own bikes and push their own swings. I sometimes forget the little things. Some days, I get a memory or a glimpse of them when they were small…or even my own youth. I try to hold on to the good things….like tiny fingers clutching the chain on a swing crying out for more. If you are having trouble my recommendation is to head to your nearest playground..grab a swing and let your feet soar in the air.


Shirt/Pants: The Gap
Shoes: Teva

Writing Prompt: Think of something you loved to do as a child. Was it a playground or a swing or your bike. Think of how you learned this activity and why it meant so much to you. Tell a story of you as a kid enjoying this activity and imagine yourself as an adult trying to do the same.

Fool In the Rain

“I’ll run in the rain till I’m breathless
When I’m breathless I’ll run till I drop, hey
The thoughts of a fool’s kind of careless.
I’m just a fool waiting on the wrong block” Led Zeppelin

Remember fat Tuesday? The day you splurged on the thing you were giving up for forty days. Us good little Catholics…now craving cheese or cookies or sweets or beer…or in my case…shopping. I have not purchased as much as a pair of earrings since fat Tuesday. (truthiness font..) If you were wondering what a shop-a-holic like me buys the last day of shopping…here it is- My beautiful pale peach MM Couture tunic from Piperlime. I had this shirt in my Piperlime cart for over six months. It was a little pricey for my usual thrifty budget. But for forty days, I deserved something good. So I used my Tuesday Gap cardholder special of 10% off and my ten-dollar rewards coupon and had a little Mardi-Gras-shopping good time. I haven’t worn it yet for an outfit pic. I imagine wearing this top with my favorite pair of cutoff jean shorts and these amazing Seychelles I can’t wait until after Easter to buy. I braided my hair to the side today and opted for some dainty earrings instead of my huge statement necklace. I have been doing pretty well not buying myself anything (well there was this moment of desperation and an Urban Outfitters coupon…but no one is perfect…).






Shirt: MM Couture (via Piperlime)
Pants/Ring: The Limited
Shoes/Earrings: Charlotte Russe
Umbrella: Totes (via Target)

At four years old, I wondered if Olivia was too young to have her ears pierced. As a mother to two daughters, it is not hard to get caught up in the glamour that is tiny holes in your baby’s ear. Do you get them done when they are infants? For some it seems like torture to a baby…but it is also better since they will barely remember it. You could wait until they are in middle school or even older and assume they will be mature enough to handle the turning and cleaning associated with getting your ears pierced. It is hard to pin down the “perfect” time to have a child’s ears pierced. Of course “experts” will tell you that it depends on the child. If your child has a higher tolerance to pain and is particular about doing activities each day like brushing their teeth or taking a bath (who are these strange children?), then they will be better with the ear piercing. I guess the best time is to wait until they are actually asking for earrings…why put holes in kid’s ears that really don’t care. (the not so girly girls). 
Layla was around six when she wanted her ears done. Liv was four and wanted anything Layla had so we decided to get them both done at the same time. Probably not my wisest of parenting decisions as earrings became the thorn in our sides for the next two years..(yes..two years). It started with the cleaning….”Don’t touch my ears!!!!” They would both wail. Then there was the changing of earrings…”Don’t touch my ears!!!” And of course the dreaded soccer umpire who would make them take the earrings out before each game. “Don’t touch my ears!!!” Their voices would reach a special high octave that I never knew possible. There was the fear of taking the earrings out, the fear of bumping the ears while brushing their hair the resistance to winter hats and ear muffs and of course the fear of putting any sort of medicine on the ears. “Don’t touch my ear!!” Liv’s ears would grow this nasty gel-like stuff that looked like rubber cement…it would crust behind her ear to the point where the ear became glued to her head. Another great use for A&D lotion…ungluing a child’s infected ear lobe from the side of their head. We were at the beach one day. Layla had gained enough courage to let us change the earring four times and Liv would not let us near the earring. Once I chased her around the house to clean the glue between her ear and head…when I finally caught her she peed herself while screaming..(you guessed it)..”Don’t touch my ears!!!” Liv had been swimming all morning and playing in the sand. As she was digging a hole in the ground and running back and forth to fill the hole with water, I looked at her ear. One of the earrings was missing. “Liv, your ear!” I said. She cupped her hand over one ear…and her face twisted into a scream as she realized there was no more earring. I was going to convince her to let me use a filler earring until I realized the only earrings I had with me were the large dangly kind that I like so much. I had no choice but to wait until we got back four days later and try to jam another earring in. There was no way Olivia would let me do that. Our argument of whether we would put in another earring or take the other one out and let the holes close up all together came to a six month stalemate of Olivia wearing one tiny blue heart earring. I tried to get the earring out but she wouldn’t let me come close. “Don’t take it out!!!” She would yell as I neared her, cotton ball in hand. Finally, I did what any desperate mother whose kid had one infected ear would do, I waited until she was in a deep REM cycle sleep and took the earring out. It was few days before she even noticed…but she was not at all happy with my deceit.
Since then, she has been asking for a redo on the earrings. Layla had finally realized that Moms do know everything, and took my advice on cleaning and caring for her earrings. She now changes and cleans them with no assistance. I had promised Liv she could get her ears repierced when she turned six…then seven. I said they would be a birthday gift, then a Christmas gift, then a Valentines Day gift. I put off the inevitable ear repeircing for over a year…until Friday. Olivia is always in fierce competition with her three-year-old cousin. Perhaps it was four plus years of being the “baby” in the family until her cousin came along….or the idea that you have to bend a little and let someone else have her way…but Olivia’s rules are based on what her cousin Sammie is doing. Friday Sammie got her ears pierced. She had the little purple hearts in her tiny lobes that reminded me of the first time Liv got her ears pierced. Olivia went from wanting her ears repierced to demanding she get the ears done, like yesterday. So today, we went to the mall. “Where do you want to get them done?” I asked. “Where did Sammie get hers done?” She replied. “At the Piercing Pagoda.” I said. “That’s where I want to get mine done.” Three clenches of the fist, two holes and one pair of flower studs later, Liv has her ears repierced. Believe me, I know what the definition of insanity is. (doing the same thing over again and expecting different results….). But there is something so irresistibly adorable about earrings in little ears that make me forget all the pain. I guess that is what life is about…seeing the tiny diamond flowers in the sea of infection. Am I a fool? We will see.


Writing Prompt: Is there something you swore you would never do..But were somehow coaxed into doing? What was the thing that made you decide to go against your convictions? Do you regret the decision or are you glad you took the chance?

UPDATE: Liv was in the shower. I went in because I had a bad feeling about her thick hair and the earring. I was right. On had fallen out and there was blood running down her neck. I saved the earring from a life living among the clumps of hair hang out in our drain. I called our piercer who promised after a day or so it would be healed and we can go for round three on piercing. third time is a charm I guess…