Close Encounters

closeClose. When I saw this I immediately read it as in “close the door.” It seems natural that my brain would go there since I say the word, oh, 6 or 7 hundred times a day during the summer. My little window AC is chugging along to cool down my third floor attic bedroom and every. single. time. a child bursts in (which is often) I say, CLOSE THE DOOR! It would be nice if I had a recording that shouted it out every time the door creaked open – sort of like a Harry Potter-esque spell.

1284Once my brain got passed that definition, I realized the word could also be Close – as in, “she is standing close to me.” Which perfectly describes my seven year old daughter whose “love tank” is always empty. She actually once paid her thirteen year old sister $2 to let her snuggle with her. 

In the end she got her snuggle but there was no money exchanged. Accepting money for hugs is not cool, so said Mom.

This post was is part of 5 minute fridays where you are given a word of the day and you write for 5 minutes and 5 minutes only. Find the link here. 

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Have a Plan Man, Er… Mom

Advice-for-Single-Moms-Have-a-Plan

“…it can still feel like I’ve been punched in the gut when I know an event is occurring that my children cannot participate in because they do not have a father who lives locally.” – Me

There are some things that only single moms know. I’ve found having a plan helps A LOT.

I’ve written about it here for my bi-weekly post for Moms of Faith.

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I Eat Crazy for Breakfast

I stopped by the drugstore this afternoon to pick up a card for my mother whose birthday was yesterday. Eighteen dollars ($18) later while attempting to hand over my credit card to the checkout guy he asked me if I wanted some headache medicine. Was the insanity swirling around me that noticeable? He gestured to the swippy machine in front of me (as usual – my brain refuses to believe that I actually have to swipe the card myself) and before I left, with my two cards, four bags of chips, two packs of Strawberry TicTacs and four wonderfully rambunctious (and hungry) children  I replied,

No thanks. I eat crazy for breakfast.

mom-kid-identity-meme

 

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Moms Will Understand

Mom-a-Three-Letter-Word

“I hear the word, “Mom!” a lot, and sometimes it causes me to cringe as if the sound of it were fingernails on a chalkboard. Yeah, it’s that bad.” -Me

I love my children, but let’s face it, it often seems like I am needed an awful lot. For single mothers especially, it can get overwhelming.

MOM: A Three Letter Word can be found over at Moms of Faith where I write every Wednesday and Saturday.

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What Would You Do with Two Extra Days?

If you had two extra days a week where you didn’t have to work, take care of anyone, clean, cook, feed people, go anywhere – totally free, extra days.

What would you do with them?

I’ve realized that I have too many interests.

Writing

Sewing

Crocheting

Quilting

Repurposed art

Treasure Hunting (Yardsaling)

Volunteering

Traveling

Home improvements/Painting projects/Making curtains/Quilt for bed…

Reading

Cooking/Baking

Selling Stuff (Ebay/Etsy)

That’s just off the top of my head. Besides working and parenting four children full time – which produces massive amounts of cleaning up, washing clothes, cooking, feeding, killing ants, dishes, shopping, driving, creating teacher appreciation gifts, etc… I also have half finished projects All Over.

In fact, right now I’m supposed to be cleaning, sorting clothes to give to the homeless and putting away the dishes (that I actually washed.) There is also a piece of yellow letterhead staring me down that reminds me that I actually have a business to run (and grow.) You can tell where my priorities are… I do believe that the more you have to do, the more you get done. I’m blessed with work.

Two extra (non-work days) what would you do with them?

ants

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Time Flies – Woosh!

Time-Flies-Use-it-Wisely

The older I get, the faster it moves. Week by week, season by season. Time is flying by. Am I the only one who feels this way?

“…time is often foolishly spent. Not just mere seconds or hours, but years and decades and in the saddest cases of all, lifetimes are wasted. Our lives are more than a handful of good deeds that if we are lucky, might just add up to enough to buy a ticket to a pleasant eternity.” 

See more on my weekly Moms of Faith article. Find the original here.

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It’s Like a Jungle Up Here

If you visit Clothed with Joy regularly you may know that I am from New Jersey. I realize that NJ is not “up” to a large portion of the world and for that I’m very sorry. It’s just how we talk, plus most jungles tend to be located geographically south of the North East, USA. FYI.

Eastern_Grey_Squirrel

Fact: Squirrels like the sound of my screams.

This morning I startled a squirrel. Squirrels in New Jersey are aggressive. I still have memories of being chased around the block by a squirrel as a child. I am not kidding. Around the whole block. It happened.

squirrel hole

Squirrel hole.

If you visit just about any outside trashcan lid in South Jersey you will find that a hole has been chewed into it. A squirrel hole. I once came home to find a squirrel on my lawn holding a piece of pizza by the crust and chowing down. Not kidding. It happened.

This morning I startled a squirrel. Apparently, I startled the squirrel enough that he leaped out of the adjoining trashcan and onto my thigh. This is the honest to goodness truth. This stuff happens to me. Neighbors four blocks over heard the screams.

A few months ago I was at the Philadelphia Zoo with my girls. It was winter and a little snowy so we ate our lunch at one of the many picnic tables near the carousel.

Picnic tables + zoo = Squirrel Hunting Grounds.

As we were eating lunch a squirrel came over and sniffed around our table. G, who is terrified of animals (zoo animals don’t affect her) started to get a little panicked. The squirrel continued to get more and more aggressive and moved from under the table by our feet up on to the table with us. G was in a full scale freak out by this point. I shooed the squirrel and spoke calmly to the children, who were now all sitting on the same side of the table opposite to me and somewhat freaked out as well (I don’t blame them).

The squirrel had moved on, so I instructed the children in my most momly voice to ignore the squirrel and it would go away.

KERCHUNK

“AAAAAAARRRRHHHHHHHGGGGG! IT’S ON MY BACK!” I screamed.

The squirrel leaped off the table behind me and clung onto my back spread eagle for a good half second. If only someone had been videotaping, we would be millionaires.

It’s like a jungle up here, and the squirrels like the sound of my screams.

 

I once had a squirrel in my dining room, remember this post with the squirrel trap? That’s nothing compared to the monkey in my kitchen, but that’s another story.

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Grateful – Yet Always Wanting More

There is something a little nerve-wracking about having only five minutes to get inspired and then write. As the time draws near to open up Five Minute Friday and reveal “the word,” my heart starts to pound and my chest tightens. It feels a bit like meeting someone new and I’m excited and nervous about it all at the same time.

Today’s word is Grateful. I could write mountains on this topic.

However, as I sit here with two minutes remaining I am reminded that no matter much I have been given (and I am so very grateful) that I always seem to want more. That’s not necessarily bad, but on a cold and rainy night when I think about how grateful I am to have a roof over my head and a warm bed to snuggle down in, I am simultaneously reminded of those who have no home and have no bed. Snow, wind, rain, heat – where do they go?

But here I am, grateful for a new couch that someone recently gave me but at the same time, eager to have a new floor put down in another room so that I can move the couch out of my office. Along with the couch came a menagerie of children who have claimed it as their own. I want my office back. I want a new floor in my kitchen and while they’re at it, how about new steps out front and…

couch

This post was written for five minute fridays. Find link here.

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Just Like Forrest Gump

Quiet. It was so quiet that I kept hearing my stomach make noise. Gurgle. Pop. Does it always make that noise and I just don’t hear it?

Yesterday, I started my mini-journey to my mini-vacation – Alone. The first time I’ve been without kids (or anyone else) since 2008. That’s a long time.

By 3:30 I reached my home away from home for the next two days. No TV. No wifi. Just a quiet stream and a creaky house.

When I first arrived my impulse was to walk. Just walk. So like Forrest Gump before me, I walked. ( Yes, of course I know he ran, but he walked a little bit first. The sad truth is, the closest I come to running is walking.)

I couldn’t find any trails nearby so I just walked on the side of the road, and watched the cars and Amish buggies passing by. The scenery wasn’t much to write home about, it’s been a harsh winter, we haven’t quite recovered.

I walked until I could walk no more and then went home. I lay on the couch all night. Sometimes sleeping. Sometimes eating hummus and chips. Sometimes reading. Sometimes checking my social media. (What? That’s totally acceptable) 😉 This trip is all about going with the flow and seeing where it leads me.

So, I will drink my Earl Grey Tea (which I haven’t had since 1994 in Jerusalem and now I remember why. Ew.) Figure out how to load pictures from my iPhone to my iPad – this can’t be that hard right? Put on my yoga pants, and walk.

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