Archive for the ‘mothers and daughters’ Category

My daughter and I were having lunch at Mimi’s yesterday. She was having French onion soup and mentioned that she had French onion soup when she was in Paris and didn’t like it as much as she likes it the way it is cooked here in the U.S. Apparently, the one she had in France had the onions finely chopped and she likes them un-chopped. Then she went on to tell me that she had also had quiche in Paris. I like to listen to her talk about her trips because I feel like I can experience a little of it when I listen to her. (Afterall, I payed thousands of dollars for those trips and never heard about them much; didn’t even see pictures!) (more…)

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My cell phone rang at 1 AM. Very few people have my cell number and no one calls me at that hour. My heart stopped. It had to be an emergency. I looked at it and it was my daughter who was in the other room of the house. I figured she wanted me to fix her tea or bring her cold medicine as she has one of those yucky winter colds. I picked it up: (more…)

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[This story is about something that happened several years ago. It’s true. It’s proof that even I make mistakes. Just don’t tell my kids! ]

It started as one of those absolutely marvelous days, only to turn quite bad!

After a delicious morning of incredibly well-behaved and productive students, at lunch time the Principal complimented me on the day’s writing lesson which she and the Superintendent had observed. Everyone in the faculty room heard her compliments and they gave me a thumbs up! I was feeling very successful, even blissful. After lunch my students brought me sweet notes and pictures they had made for me, along with the healthy parts of their lunches they hadn’t eaten. At dismissal, I let them all go and had a short parent conference then packed my bag with the papers I would have to correct that night. Watching the clock, I headed for my car. (more…)

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I discovered Moleskine notebooks about eight years ago. I love them. I love the way they look and the way they feel. I have never owned one. I have purchased them and given them as gifts but I have never allowed myself to indulge in their luxury and utility.

Moleskine notebooks were produced in France and used as the preferred notebook and sketchbook for legendary artists including Van Gogh who made sketches on Moleskine sketchbooks. So did Picasso and Matisse. Ernest Hemingway used Moleskine books to make notes and plot stories for his novels. He describes writing at a café in Paris, using his notebook, in Moveable Feast and in The Sun Also Rises. Hemingway is one of my favorite writers. How could I not be impressed by and drawn to Moleskine notebooks when they were once again produced in 1998, after being gone from the face of the earth for years?

If you’ve never seen one or touched one, you should jog down to your favorite book store and look for one. I know that chains such as Borders and Barnes & Nobel carry them. So do some of the smaller bookstores. I was recently (well last April) drawn to a display of Moleskine notebooks and “city books” at Powell’s Books in Portland. I really wanted to buy one and I did. I got the small pocket sized ones in a three pack. I gave them to my son who uses little notebooks for ideas and notes, even though he now has a great cell phone/PDA to do it on.

I had actually thought to myself that this year I might gift myself a Moleskine notebook for my birthday. I had rationalized it but I’m sure I would have backed off in the end. (more…)

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As a parent, we cry many tears.If we’re lucky, most of those tears are the joyous kind; the kind that come when they take their first step or the day you leave them at the door to the kindergarten room.

As a parent, we often think it is a thankless job.If we’re like most other parents, we don’t get that “Thank you, Mom” or the “I love you” very often.It often makes us think that they don’t care; they don’t need us; they wouldn’t even notice if we dropped off the face of the earth. (more…)

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My twenty-two year old daughter, T,  moved from the southern California area to northern California in July of 2006.  She knew no one up here except me and her little sister.  Well, she also had a boyfriend that moved up here at the same time.  Not knowing anyone here, she posted an ad on Craigslist.org, looking for a room mate.  After corresponding and meeting with several people,  T and I met with one young woman for breakfast.  She was a bit immature but very independent, resourceful, and friendly.  They found an apartment in August and lived there together until last week.

In the year they lived together, both of the girls went through many changes.  First, less than a month after moving up here, my daughter’s boyfriend of four years broke up with her because “there are so many girls at college”  that he didn’t want to “limit himself.”  T also ended up withdrawing from the college they both attended for a variety of reasons, mostly academic.  Since then she has struggled with a couple of part time jobs that gave her such few hours of work that I had to pay her rent and mine, as well as most of her expenses.  Last June she got a great full time job that pays her a very nice hourly wage.  For her room mate things have been changing too.  She has changed boyfriends a number of times, applied for transfer to another college 400 miles away (she begins in January), turned 21 and discovered booze big time!  She is also a local girl who has a lot of friends here.  She’s pretty much become a party girl.  We’ve also discovered that she is quite self-centered.  She rarely thinks to thank anyone for a favor.  Last spring we took her along with us on a one week driving trip and changed our trip plans to accommodate her desire to visit the school at which she has been accepted as a transfer.  I paid for all expenses.  Not once on that trip did she say “thank you”.  She makes plans with my daughter then gets a better offer and dumps my daughter.  When we were on our trip last spring, we’d all be sitting together and a guy would walk by and E would say something like, “Did you see how he couldn’t stop looking at me?”  Of course there were three of us that he could have been looking at but it was always E they were ogling, at least in her eyes.  (In actuality they were looking at either E or T or both but not me.  I’m far too old for them to have been looking at me, unless it was while they were thinking something like, “Wow what are those girls doing with such an old lady?”)  My daughter has her “ways” too.  I know she is not perfect but she always calls E to include her in her plans.  She changes her own plans to include her room mate.  T is quite thoughtful toward E.  Last summer the two planned on moving out of the apartment house they live in at the end of the lease (August).  However, E decided at the last minute that she did not want to move in September and then again in January to go to the new school up north.  So my daughter stayed there at the apartment, even though she doesn’t like it there and they pay too much rent, just so E would not be stuck without a room mate.  That was pretty thoughtful of her, I think.

Although the plan was for them to stay put til the end of the year, T became increasingly unhappy staying there because she never gets to see E or speak to her.  They leave notes for each other and send emails.  E spends a lot of time at another friend’s house and works different hours than my daughter and she also goes to school full time.  T’s job is also 28 miles away from their apartment and she sometimes ends up getting home after 1 AM because of the commute time.  Some of my daughter’s friends from work were moving in together and invited her to move with them.  It would be much closer to work and about half of what T pays for rent at the apartment she shares with E. Being thoughtful, T turned it down so that E wouldn’t have to find a new room mate or get stuck with the extra rent for the coming three months. Then E announced that her boyfriend was planning on moving in with her when he got back from Iraq in a few weeks.  In the end, my daughter’s friends rented a house without filling all the rooms and invited my daughter to move in with them in December, saying they’d keep a room open for her.

Over the past month I have listened in as T has left E voice mail after voice mail asking if she wants to do anything or just sit at home and watch a movie together so they can get caught up as they haven’t seen much of each other.  E never even answers the messages.  Last week, my daughter called me on her way home to say she needed to pick something up and would I have it ready because she and E were going out and E was waiting for her.  When she arrived ten minutes later, I could see she was on the verge of tears and said she wasn’t going out with E after all. She tried not to cry but as she told me what had happened, the tears came (which is really difficult for this mother to handle).  Apparently after T called me, E called her back.  This is what happened:

T:  “Hey!  I’m almost at my mom’s and I’ll be home in fifteen minutes at the most.”
E:  “I was just wondering  if you’re going to drink tonight because I don’t feel like playing babysitter if you do.”
T:  “Forget it.  Go without me.”

E goes out drinking about three to four nights a week.  My daughter hadn’t been out with friends in a couple of months. T interpreted the remark, and more so the tone, to mean that E didn’t want to share the spotlight with T, as has been in the past when they’ve gone to the karaoke place they were going to go to. And, she  had just had it with E’s self-centeredness.  She said she was moving out right away.  She went out to the garage and looked for boxes and went home and started packing.  She knew E’s boyfriend would be home from the Navy in less than a week so E would be without a room mate for two or three days at the most, if that.

T called the girl who was holding a room for her in the house they’d rented and told her she was moving in right away.

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On Thursday, I remembered the days my oldest daughter would make me cry with her hurtful words and disrespectful attitude; the days I thought would never end and that my daughter and I would never get past the “teen angst” stage.

Tina is now 23.She lives near me and works about a half hour from me.My house is between her apartment and her work so every day she stops by after work and I feed her.Sometimes she stays and watches a DVD and other times she runs off after she eats but I get to see her and spend quality time with her.Since her cat died, almost two weeks ago, she has been depressed and has had to hurry home to keep her other cat company because he’s lonely without Noisemaker so I’ve missed spending time with her.

She had two back to back days off this week, Wednesday and Thursday.On Wednesday, she took me (well we went in my car but she drove because she says I drive too slow) to Kendall-Jackson to pick up my wine club shipment and we did some tasting, too.Afterwards, we went out for dinner and she treated me.That was nice, for a change.I usually pay and she knew that I am really short on money this month so she told me not to worry about the bill.She’d take care of it.We had a nice dinner then we came home and she took a nap before going home.On Thursday, we went to Napa to the Clos du vin winery.I had a card for complimentary wine tasting for two (it normally costs $10 per person).The drive out to Napa was nice and leisurely.A lot of the trees are changing color, yes even in California this happens.Vines are heavy with grape clusters.The air was fresh and crisp.The wine at the winery was much better than anticipated.Normally, Tina likes only white wines but at that winery, she liked the reds, too.In fact, she bought a bottle.

We drove around a bit and visited a couple of other wineries before getting really hungry.She announced she was taking me to the Big 3, which is one of the restaurants at the hotel where she works, in Sonoma.We headed there and when we got there, it was nice to have her introduce me to her friends from work and to see her enjoying the people she works with.She just started that job less than three months ago so I hadn’t been there with her before.The food was delicious.I had roasted salmon and she had a meatloaf sandwich.Then she ordered a dessert for us to share.It was delicious (brownie topped with whipped cream, caramel, bananas, and vanilla bean ice cream).She was so proud to pick up the bill and put it on her employee discount (50 %).She encouraged me to select something from the gift shop but I really didn’t need anything so I told her “another time.”

On the way home, we decided to see a movie at the theater where my other daughter works (family gets in for free, any time).We called her and she said there were several movies we could catch if we came right over.We got there and waited a while before seeing Two Nights In Paris.While we waited, Susie (my youngest daughter) brought us free soft drinks and popcorn.Her co-workers stopped by to talk to us.Finally, it was time to see the movie.I truly enjoyed it.The movie.The dinner.The wineries.The drive time with Tina. The time spent with my girls.

Years ago, I thought these days would never come.

Clos du vin winery, Napa


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