Thursday, July 31, 2008



double check



Mother's Little Helpers?

Thing One and Thing Two?

We are off to visit a few more colleges.
Pray for me.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

All in a Day's Work

I went to lunch with Annie and Jules yesterday, and Annie reminded us about our emptying nests.  To console myself, I decided to hit the beach.
  Do these shoes make my butt look big?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Last week, Squazz took Augie to his final check after the wisdom teeth extractions.  I normally like to go to these appointments to make sure the kids are following instructions.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to make this last appointment, and he called me to give me an update.

Squazz:  Everything is okay with Augie's mouth.
Mental:  Oh good.  So he doesn't have to go back?
Squazz:  Nope.  By the way, have you noticed how handsome that doctor is?  I couldn't believe it.
Mental: Really?  Well I guess he is....

If any of you need any oral surgery, you can come here.
I will take you to your appointments.
All of them.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I Wonder When....

...I will stop subscribing to every magazine that crosses my path.
...people will start obeying the hands-free-while-driving cell phone laws.
...I will get tired of bikini waxes. family will stop using the dishwasher as a garbage disposal. clothes will stop shrinking.
...I will stop procrastinating. metabolism will find its way back to me. son will clean his closet, or start his summer reading for that matter. hairdresser will get back from her vacation. 
...I will figure out my next act.

Any other wondering folks out there this foggy Monday morning?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Better Than My Horoscope

Take a few seconds and do this over at Humble Origins  posted this last week.  I don't know where all these things come from, but I like this one.  And at least I'm not the finger....

You Are a Heart

Your life philosophy can be summed up as, "Love like you've never been hurt."

Your greatest wish is to have harmony in all of your relationships.

You can't help loving people, even when they're incredibly flawed.

You are a true romantic, and you are willing to give almost anyone a second chance.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I am So Not Going to the Beach This Weekend...

On the heels of my latest issues:

The Westport Weston Health District today urged local beachgoers to be on the alert for swimmer’s itch, a harmless but annoying skin rash caused by microscopic parasites found in fresh and salt waters.

Swimmer’s itch, also known as cercarial dermatitis, generally occurs in late July or August, the District said in a news release. It is a regular summertime nuisance throughout Connecticut and does not prompt beach closings. 

The blame for the itchy skin condition lies with the larval stage of certain worms, which are bird parasites, the District said.

The parasite’s eggs are released into water by water fowl droppings and eventually unsuspecting humans can become victims by swimming or wading in infected recreational waters. 

Bumps, resembling mosquito bites, develop on the skin as the body fights off the parasite. 

According to the Connecticut State Department of Public Health, symptoms of swimmer’s itch include a tingling sensation that may be felt when the parasite enters the skin.

A mild itching may occur within one to two hours after exposure and lasts for about an hour. A rash appears, 10 to 15 hours later, along with intense itching. The rash usually peaks in three to four days and disappears within a week. 

Repeated exposure to the parasite may increase sensitivity and the chance of getting swimmer’s itch.

Can I just get everyone together on this one?  I mean.  Ewwww.

Birthday Eve

Seventeen years ago today, I was one big mama.
Little did I know as the morning dawned that by the end of the day, 
I would go into labor in the middle of a restaurant.
In my big pink seersucker romper.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Psychosomatic Mama (With a Prize at the End)

One of my major phobias or quirks--I like the word quirk better--is that I am a highly suggestible lass.  If you were my mentor, you would not like to role play drug/alcohol/predator scenarios with me.  I would fall flat out in an anxiety attack.

I first realized the depth of my crap issues when my mother had some breast surgery during my Freshman year of college.  My own boobs breasts hurt for weeks.  I was doubled over in pain when I visited her. It wasn't the least bit pretty.  I think her doctors thought I should be admitted to the eighth floor. I managed to escape.  

I had babies and this issue didn't go away.  If anything, it got worse. Anytime a playgroup mother would mention the words "stomach virus," I would hermetically seal my house (thank you Ed McMahon).  Nausea gripped me for days on end.  I finally had to quit the playgroup. Sorry kids.... Who needed this crap?

Yesterday, I took a friend to the doctor for a checkup after a major back and neck surgery.  I swear to you that I had to come home and mainline Advil.   Gah.

Also, this week, we have been watching as Asthmagirl's K2 bravely had her tonsils removed.  I swear I've had a sore throat for two fricking days.  The good news is that all seems to be going well in Seattle, and the rest of the crap is up to me and my overactive mind.

In the meantime, AsthmaGirl herself has given me an honor which I am going to try to deserve. Isn't it beautiful?

 The Rules:

1) Pick five (5) blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also for contributing to the blogging community, no matter what language.

2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.

3) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.

4) Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of “Arte y Pico” blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award which is here: "
Arte y Pico".

My five choices are:

Chesapeake Bay Woman-- I love her writing and photography and I want to go visit her.

Chronicles of a Country Girl--I love her writing and photography and I want to go visit her.  In her new house. ;) I may or may not kidnap a certain dog.

Stacey Huston-- Are you seeing a pattern yet?  Her Wyoming home and photography are amazing.  As are her words.

Keetha-- Another Mississippi Queen.  'Nough said.  The writing and photography go along with the package;)

holly--Our favorite expat. Her tribute to Sophia Petrillo should convince you...

I have to go now.  I seem to have developed a slight rash after that news bit on poison ivy.

Spread the love, people, spread the love.

Bittersweet Mama's Summer Milestones

I am sitting here this rainy July morning (sweet, wonderful rain) in a pensive state of mind.  I have spent a great deal of time this summer just trying to get ready to prepare to think about launching my babies.  We are going on a little trip next week to visit yet a few more potential schools, and yesterday, as I mapped out our routes, it occurred to me that I was looking forward to the trip.  My children are on the edge of a major life changing and life forming event, and so am I.  While I readily admit to living vicariously at times, some things have shifted in my thinking.  I am slowly getting my self back.  Mentally and physically.  And the Universe is inching me into my next phase.  Some recent milestones in which I took comfort:
  • We graduated from the orthodontist this month.
  • Last Summer Reading book list. Ever.
  • Eight impacted wisdom teeth removed from two mouths.
  • I am starting to like the music in the grocery store.
  • I often find myself home alone.  And I like it.
I know my heart will be heavy when they go.
But these are signs that I'll be okay.
Any other signs I should be looking for?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Baby Fat?

Whatever happened to baby fat?
Nicole Kidman had a baby two weeks ago.
This is her post-baby body.
Makes Helen look downright obese, no?
My children are almost 17 and I am still waiting for my pre-baby body.

(photo from here)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

My Beautiful Sun Day

Yesterday (Sunday) dawned nice and hot.  In case you don't know, I am not the biggest fan of hot.  But I made the best of it.  I went to church at 9:30.  I was the Flower Person at my church this weekend, so I worked long and hard on Saturday to get them just-so.  Know what I mean?  I chose sunflowers, daisies, some fluffy green stuff and some fluffy purple stuff.  I worked for almost 3 hours to get my arrangements all nice and presentable.  I asked Annie last week if she wanted to help me because she likes to do this sort of thing as well, but she hurt her foot really bad on Wednesday, and I didn't want her to hurt herself sacrifice risk further injury risk anything more by helping.  She chose to play golf instead.  But that's a 'nother story.

Fast forward to yesterday, and  I'm sitting in church; it's about 90 degrees in there.  I don't like being hot.  Have I ever said this?  The whole way to church I said little prayers to the flower angels (?) (I believe, so they are real.) (Are all these parentheses legal?) that my arrangements made it through the night.  My church has no a/c.  It's New England.  It's an old, old church.  The math actually works out on this one.  The flowers survived just fine, but as I'm sitting there sweating out last night's chardonnay, all I can do is silently critique my flower arrangements.  I think I could have cut two sunflowers by about three inches in the left vase....wait!  GAH.  And get this, the lesson and sermon yesterday were all about the parable of the weeds in the wheat.  (Matthew I think--sorry-- IT WAS HOT, have you heard? And focusing was difficult.):

 You have to learn to live with the weeds in life.  If you rip out all the weeds, you risk ripping out all the good stuff.  It's all okay.  Beautiful, actually.  

Then, sorry for this long post but it was a long day I met Lucia for a bit of brunch before we headed to my hacienda for a float in the mallard pond pool.   On the way home, I passed a blind couple crossing a major intersection.

They had heavy backpacks, and both had canes.  The male was leading the way across a very busy street and his lady-friend was holding on to his backpack. Both of their canes were tapping away in the sweltering heat.  I was transfixed in that one moment, and luckily, I am happy to report that all the drivers were paying enough attention for once, and all this was a seamless crossing.  But I was left with my own weeds thoughts.  What is really important in this world?  How hot am I, really?  Is hot something that important?  Arguably a tough one for me....

Don't we all live in the weeds?  If we're honest?  I love seeing the wheat thrive.  Even the wheat needs some canes and some benevolent weeds fellow travelers.  

Saturday, July 19, 2008


When I shot this all I thought was how beautiful it was.
Then, all I could think of was HELEN.
I may need some help.
With many apologies to Simon and Garfunkel.
I am a rock.  I am a He-ee--eron.

I am a rock, I am Hell--lllen Mirren.
And a rock feels no pain;
And an island never cries.


In case you've been asleep at the wheel...the new blockbuster this Summer is The Dark Knight, which is the new Batman movie starring notables such as Michael Caine, Christian Bale, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, and the late Heath Ledger.  Heath's apparently in line for a posthumous Oscar.  I may even hoist my third buttock up and get out to watch this one...*sigh.

What is everybody doing this weekend?  I am one bored mama.  I need suggestions.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Skywatching at Calf Pasture Beach

Summer daze.

Skywatch Friday is hosted by Tom, Sandy and Imac at their new home Skywatch Friday!
 Please pay them a visit and join us!


This is Helen Mirren.  She's 63.
And in other news, I have discovered a third buttock.


Come visit!

And if you don't follow our directions, we will get it all on camera.
Did you have fun?
Is it my hormones, or do you find these signs a bit much?
All of these are from a neighborhood near my house.
I don't think I know any of these people.
I don't want to either.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

ABC Wednesday - Z

Z is for Zeal!

zeal     Audio Help   [zeel] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation,
fervor for a person, cause, or object; eager desire or endeavor; enthusiastic diligence; ardor.

ABC Wednesday has been brought to us by
Mrs. Nesbitt.
Pay her a visit and play along!

Monday, July 14, 2008

I Got Nuthin'

It is the Ides of July.  I got nuthin'.  
Ask away if you have a question for the Mental Mama.  
I will do my best to answer all questions.  
If I cannot, then I will ask Annie and Jules what they think. 
We will come up with something. 
I promise.

This n That

  • Am I the only person who adds dozens of blogs each week to my reading list?
  • Is there a way to make money reading blogs?
  • Why does it seem that the Humane Society takes every dime I give them, and send me more marketing crap I throw away? Take care of the animals.  That's what I want you to do with my money. Thanks.
  • If you can avoid it, never sign up to have your bladder muscles tested.  Ever.
  • Is anyone else out there tired of hearing about Angelina Jolie's twins?
  • Yes that icon is a picture of my ceiling fan.  It was my mother's, and I have had it in three houses.
  • My children leave for college next year, and I am going to cheer myself up with a nice vacation.  Where should I go?

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I arise in the morning torn between the desire to improve the world
 and a desire to enjoy the world.
  This makes it hard to plan the day.

--E.B. White

(photo taken at The New York Yacht Club, Newport, Rhode Island; June 2008)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ouchies (Part Deux)

Yesterday was Augie's turn to get his wisdom teeth removed. 
He doesn't seem to be any less wise.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Skywatching Over the Harbor

Each of us is in truth an idea of the Great Gull, 
an unlimited idea of freedom.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull
-Richard Bach

Skywatch Friday is the Genius of Tom and Jane at Wigger's World.
Pay them a visit and join us!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Fun With Daryl

A few days ago, our friend Daryl in NYC posted a wordle she created, and basically told us to all go forth and wordle as well.  Being very bovine-like, I followed along and made my wordle.  Only when I went to post it on here, it was about the size of a pinky fingernail.  No kidding.  It really pissed me off annoyed me.  Since I was festering in cranky and miserable juices, I just threw up my hands and went to find something else in my house to get mad about do.  

Later, Daryl and I were exchanging emails where I might have whined about how the stupid mentioned that my wordle wasn't loading into my blogger post so that anyone other than a Polly Pocket might be able to read it.  She offered to fix it for me.  So here you have it:  The Mental Wordle made possible by Daryl.  Now all of you go off and wordle, too.  It's fun.  Unless you are as dumb technically challenged as I am.

On another Daryl note, and, no, she is not paying me for all these props, although that might be nice she made up her own Award, and gave me one!  I think this one might just be my favorite, and I ask you to marvel in its creative little self.  It almost got me out of my old lady funk.
On second thought, now that I see this, I think I will break out of my old lady cranky funk.  And I want to share it with you all.  I think many of you have received this award because I am late in posting this treat.  But I've been a miserable no good bitch bit busy.  Now go forth and spread the love.  I am finally in a good mood, and I want to see this everywhere I go.  Mkay.

Mood Update

Today's Aquarius Horoscope: Jul 09, 2008

Things may get a bit rough for you, dear Aquarius, during the next few weeks, especially in the department of love and romance. You are likely to find that adjustments need to be made in your behavior in order for you to sync up with the people around you. Your powers of adaptation will be put to the test, but this is certainly nothing that you can't handle. Give your heart the respect it needs. More...

I feel a temper tantrum coming on.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

ABC Wednesday - Y

Y is for Yule Log.

The Yule log has been suggested to have been originally a custom amongst the Germanic peoples in tribute to the major Germanic god Thorassociated with Yule. Thor was associated with oak trees, such as Thor's Oak, in surviving references amongst the ancient Germanic tribes.[2]Since the custom survives to varying extent amongst the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons and Scandinavians, cultural connections have been suggested between the modern practice of the Yule log and the ancient veneration of trees associated with Thor.[3]

Later, as Christianity spread throughout Europe, the tradition became more closely tied with Christmas, especially in England, where Father Christmas was often depicted carrying a Yule Log. [4]

Among the eastern cantons of Switzerland,the Yule log is an important part of the folk traditions of the winter festivities and there are closer associations to pagan rituals of Wilderness during the Sylvesternacht in Appenzell at the change of the Year, that being the Solstice. (Source: Wikipedia)

Aren't you enjoying a little bit of December in July?

I thought so...

ABC Wednesday is the brainchild ofMrs. Nesbitt
Check it out.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Cranky Mama

I remember back when my rugrats were in elementary school I would often get cranky at this point in the summer.  I don't know why, but I did, and it would eventually pass.  I have always found that my cranky episodes, given enough time and space, will go away. 

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the cranks have returned to mental land. Unannounced, unwanted and for no good reason.  Does this ever happen to you?  Free-floating crankiness. The kids are good.  Life is good.  Still have enough $ to pay the utilities.  And yet I feel cranky, sad, out of sorts and blah. 

Maybe something big is about to happen....That's what I'm going with.  Yup, something big is about to happen. Big.

Three Things

I was just sitting around here minding my own business when our little ex pat Holly tagged me for an unusual meme.  Although Daryl, who was also tagged, said we should call it a UU.  Which I don't understand.  What is a UU?  Anyway, the thing about this exercise is that the taggee has to ask their spouse/significant other/kids/dog/whatever to list three random things.  For some reason, I procrastinated waited until Squazz had left this morning to ask my questions.  So I just called him a few minutes ago.

Mental: "Squazz, I have to do a meme.  What are three random things you know about me?"
Squazz:  "You can be brutally honest.  You are compassionate.  You are usually focused."
Mental: "Usually focused?"
Squazz:  "Well, sometimes you're not...."

There you have it folks.  I am brutally honest, yet compassionate with a twist of ditz.  But the funniest part of the whole exchange to me was the fact that when I told him I had to do a meme, he didn't ask me what it was.  He has been paying attention when I talk about this blog business.  Squazz knows what a meme is; he has been listening to me.  I wonder what else I have babbled about....

Well, now I have to tag a random number of you, and you would be Flea, Deb, The Baroness, Greta and Kiki, CBW.  Go forth and ask these burning questions.  Oh yea, you have to end this with  Pththththth.  I didn't ask, I just tried to focus on the task at hand.  

UPDATE:  Apparently I wasn't focusing after all.  I was supposed to let my taggees know they were tagged and put pththththththt at the end of my comments to them.  Okay.  Consider yourselves pththththted.  Done.  I need a nap.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Blue Hydrangea

Rainer Maria Rilke

Just like the last green in a colour pot
So are these leaves, withered and wrecked
Behind the flower umbels, which reflect
A hue of blue only, more they do not.

Reflections are tear-stained, inaccurate,
As if they were about to cease,
And like old blue notepaper sheets
They wear some yellow, grey and violet,

Washed-out like on a children's apron,
Outworn and now no more in use:
We contemplate a small life's short duration.

But suddenly some new blue seemingly is seen 
In just one umbel, and we muse
Over a moving blue delighting in the green.

Translation © by Guntram Deichsel, 2003-12-03

Gone Weedin'

Have a wonderful Saturday!
You can come help if you would like...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Skywatching at the Fireworks

Happy Fourth of July to my fellow Americans,
And a wonderful weekend to all my far-flung friends!
Visit Wom Tigley to see all the other Skywatchers and to join us!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Good Walk Spoiled

Hello, ball.

Guess who?
I'll give you a hint.
There is no Xanthippy one in this shot.
The Xanthippy one had the camera.
Oh yeah.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

ABC Wednesday -- X


Xan·a·du  n. An idyllic, beautiful place.

ABC Wednesday is the brainchild of Mrs. Nesbitt
Check it out.