once upon a time last year, before I tucked my roses in for their long winter's nap, they were a delicious lemon yellow. Every time I saw a bud,

I would get a sudden craving for a lemon drop...

whenever I watered the buttery blooms....

I started thinking of creaming:  sugar.... butter... eggs....

photo and pound cake recipe from Pioneer Woman

or my mouth juiced up for lemon bars.

photo and recipe from my baking addiction

now...that's good stuff to be sure...but the exciting plot thickens....

since awakening from winter slumber, apparently there has been some horticulture hankypanky going on in my rose garden. it seems miss lemon got a little too frisky with mr. red and now, instead of bloomin' sunshine, the first spring flush looks like this:

oh gosh...I feel a craving for peach galette coming on.

photo and recipe from spicy ice cream

isn't that crazy? so for all you gardener's out there...I'm just wondering... is this common? now it would be nice to know why my roses are changing color and all, but maybe you could help me solve the even bigger mystery:

why in the world do I think of food when I look at my roses?

speaking of food, I quite enjoy Pinch My Salt


Happy Mother's Day

I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. 
They have clung to me all my life. 
~Abraham Lincoln

Some mothers are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, 
but it is love just the same, and most mothers kiss and scold together.  
~Pearl S. Buck

She never quite leaves her children at home, even when she doesn't take them along.  
~Margaret Culkin Banning

paintings by William Adolfe Bouguereau

I miss thee, my Mother!  Thy image is still
The deepest impressed on my heart.
~Eliza Cook

I cherish 
passing year
I have 
my mother
~ms. fish

I pay tribute to the
dearest of mothers
who on this day 
her heart doth ache
with yearnings
to visit her own

oh, let the sweetness
of memory
sustain thee
for one day
you shall embrace

happy mother's day to my mother and grandmothers
whose examples will take me a lifetime 
(and hundreds of dollars in plane tickets)
to live up to


highs and lows

yesterday I wrote about the lows that came along with the high of being one semester closer to graduation.

today I'm writing about the highs that came along with the low of being a few weeks closer to graduation.

this time it's the high school graduation of my one and only daughter....my right hand rock...my friend....my teacher... a ray of talkative sunshine...the best a mother could dream for.

the "high" came in the form of a concert:  the high school orchestra's final spring concert: always a highlight of my year. I love to listen and sway to the variations, harmonizations and modulations of the music. I love to watch the sea of bows rise and fall in perfect unison like a team of synchronized swimmers. All of this is made even sweeter when your child is on the stage. I never tire of it. even after watching more than...say 40 performances of Daisy's over the past 12 years. How I love watching Daisy play.

so I'm sitting in absolute rapture. also happy to be sitting next to my parents who have just returned from playfully cavorting around the country, when SUDDENLY, near the end of the concert, my bursting heart sprung a leak and Joy started seeping out everywhere......  it spilled over onto the floor and wafted up onto the stage where my daughter caught whiff of it.

our eyes met. she saw the 'leaking.' the slight raise of her eyebrow and the curl of her smile said: "not now, mom. get a hold of yourself" at the same time, her eyes twinkled with tolerance, loving kindness and a secret pride that her momma loves her. either that or she was thinking about a certain boy.

the catalyst was this crazy mean thing they do called "honor the seniors." sure...it's a wonderful thing to praise the career of a musician...except that all the hooplah means in twenty something days my daughter will no longer be bouncing through the door at 2:45 pm chattering excitedly about her presentation in spanish or the kid that put a live mouse in someone's locker (it's true!); and the even bigger meaning:  that in a couple of months, Daisy will no longer be bouncing through the door at all, except Christmas or when she needs to do an occasional load of laundry.

I thought my numb bum was sore. it's nothing compared to the pain of release in my heart.

Although it's true I lost a little Joy last night, I thank you dear darlin' daughter, for putting big deposits of it into my heart in the first place. 


see what my mom had to say about the concert here
and if you want to be especially enlightened about the joys of motherhood and come away feeling inspired and fulfilled, read here.


a cheeky award

I like receiving awards as much as anyone who is slightly narcissistic. but I have to admit, I wasn't real thrilled with my latest award, presented yesterday at the House of noStyle by the Association of Sedentary Students ...


this award comes after weeks and hours and hours of researching and writing the final papers of this  semester. let's hope my grade is inversely proportional to the pain (bad pain = good grades, eh?).

on to happier news.... It's the end of the semester!

that means i'm on the backside of the doctoral degree mountain! only 2 more semesters in the saddle. meanwhile I have this burning question...will the cheeks choke...the tail feathers topple...the derriere deteriorate... the booty bawk?

now that I'm a decorated expert, I fear the answer is:


it's a bummer. but I figure the rump will recover. around december...just in time for Christmass.
if you or someone you know suffers from numb butt, try this. tell them the NUMBUTT bum champion sent you.


motherhood monday: we got no training

one of the biggest complaints about motherhood is the lack of training. I was one of the lucky ones who came to motherhood with some experience. I owned a Yorkshire Terrier for three years.  at ten months, my children could stay and heel. at a year, they could catch a Frisbee in their teeth in mid-air. at fifteen months, after weeks of rubbing their noses in it and putting them outside, they were paper trained.

some women were not so fortunate or realistic. they viewed motherhood from a safe distance.

at a baby shower I was attending one evening, the mother-to-be gasped, "did you see the story in the paper about the woman who forgot one of her children in a laundromat restroom? and she dares call herself a mother! how disgusting! what kind of a mother would...."

"what kind of a mother would..." it was a familiar phrase. ten years and three children earlier, I had used it myself with just the right blend of shock and disapproval. now, I personally know seven mothers who have tried the same thing.

"mother" has always been a generic term synonymous with love, devotion, and sacrifice. there's always been something mystical and reverent about them. they're the walter cronkites of the human race...infallible, virtuous, without flaws and conceived without original sin with no room for ambivalence.

immediately following birth, every new mother drags from her bed and awkwardly pulls herself up on the pedestal provided for her. some adjust easily to the saintly image. they come to love the adulation and bask in the flocks that come to pay homage at their feet on mother's day.  some can't stand the heights and jump off, never to be seen again. but most mothers just try to figure out what they're supposed to do...and how they can do it in public.

motherhood is not a one-size-fits-all, a mold that is all-encompassing and means the same thing to all people. some mothers give standing ovations to bowel movements. other mothers reserve their excitement for bigger affairs. some mothers have so much guilt, they cannot eat a breath mint without sharing it. other mothers feel nothing when they tell a kid his entire pillowcase of Halloween candy got ants in it...and eats it herself.

what is certain is that there is probably not one of you who has not at some time of your life demanded an answer to the question "what kind of a mother would..." it's an old phrase, conceived in innocence, carried with pomposity and born of condemnation. it is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns into compassion and understanding.

may we not judge other mothers until we have walked a mile in their shoes of clay.

and most importantly, may we not judge ourselves. 
Our kids do that enough for the both of us.

fish food: you deserve something delicious. make yourself this salad.

essay taken from "motherhood: the second oldest profession" by Erma Bombeck 
picture: picasso mother and child
oil on canvas 100x81cm
baltimore museum of art


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