Monday, November 24, 2008

Being Mom

I was thinking about what to write about and decided to write about children and Moms in general. Of course that means that I’ll write a bit about my small humans (who have approved this topic). I had my children later in my life. It’s not that I didn’t want children early. I’d always hoped to have my children before I was 30. As we all know, however, the best laid plans, etc. I didn’t meet my DH until I was nearly 37. I had my first child at nearly 38 and my second when I was 42. So I was off by about a decade. But that’s a huge decade.

I was told by many folks and read repeatedly that Older Moms have more patience and that more life/work experience is useful. This is not necessarily true. In the case of this Older Mom, I’m more set in my ways so that patience thing – not really working for me. In addition, I’m somewhat more tired than when I was in my 20s and 30s. Being tired does not help with being patient. Also I just can’t fathom how my work experience is helping out here. I’m an attorney by training. I haven’t figured out a way to sue my children for not cleaning their rooms or for causing pain and suffering. I experience said pain and suffering every time I look in their rooms.

On the plus side I do know a lot more than when I was in my 20s. I keep thinking that some of that will come in handy especially now that my oldest is almost a teen. Although at my age remembering the teen years is a bit difficult. Another plus is that I’m more wily than when I was in my 20s. That helps with children. But no one handed me an Older Mom manual when my oldest was born nor was I given an instruction manual along with the baby. I don’t think that Younger Moms get that manual either.

So here is what this Older Mom has learned that I share with my children:

1) Everything you do has a consequence. Think before you act, if the consequence is acceptable, then act. And make sure that the consequence affects you and does no harm to anyone else.

2) Sometimes life is just not fair. You were not born with an assurance that life would be peachy and wonderful all the time. Deal with it.

3) Everything that you want will not be handed to you. The corollary to that is: There is no Bank of Mom.

4) Work hard for the things that you do want.

5) Be kind and polite.

6) Being angry is ok under the right circumstances.

7) Be kind even when angry. Spoken words can’t be erased.

There are lots more things that I’ve taught and will teach my children. But I’m not really sure that being an Older Mom is that much different than being a Younger Mom. Would I have been a different Mom at 27 than at 37? I doubt it, but I can’t be 100% positive. I do know that I would love my daughter and son just as much no matter my age. One thing is for certain though, if I had had my children at 26 and 32 they’d be out of the house by now. That thought makes me incredibly sad. I guess I’ll just have to deal with it when that day comes.

Qwill’s Question: Older Mom or Younger Mom – is there a real difference?

(The picture is included because I think that Chinese Lanterns look like hearts. And I heart my small humans. Besides it's pretty!)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Channeling Martha Stewart...

For the last several years I have made my holiday cards. For the first three years I used a painting done my DH, but for the last few years I have used one of my photos on the card. I usually use a photo of something from one of my gardens. The spring and summer photos are a bit incongruous for winter holidays, but I like flowers, especially the ones that I grow. This year I was going to buy cards because I am just too busy. However, I started to think that it won’t take that long to make a couple of hundred cards. I am clearly delusional, but I feel that I should not break my self-imposed tradition. It’s not really THAT difficult.

First I have to pick a photo, which may be the hardest part of the entire procedure. Next I print and trim the photos and usually round the corners. I have a gizmo that I use to do that but it’s still a bit time consuming. 4 corners x 200 photos = 800 rounder snips. After that, the cards are printed. I print some in French and some in English. I use a generic Happy Holidays type greeting because I do not want to take the time to print different greetings for each holiday. It’s a time saver for me. After the cards are printed, I round their corners. Another 4 corners x 200 cards = 800 rounder snips for a whopping 1,600 snips. Well, that explains why my hand hurts after all of that! Now comes the assembly. Archival double-sided tape is used to secure the photo to the card stock. But it’s just a postcard type card that would simply fall over if I don’t do a bit more. The final step is to hot glue a little ribbon to the back of the card so that it can be hung. I pick out the ribbon after I pick the photo because I like the ribbon color to pick up one of the colors of the photo. When I can’t find the right color I simply use a white ribbon. The last step is to put the cards in the envelopes and head off to the post office. Sounds simple, no?

I am just beginning to sort through my photos. All of the photos are taken in the year that the card is sent. Here are the 2008 candidates… so far…

Qwill’s Qwestion: Do you have a holiday tradition that you just have to keep each year and/or which photo should I use for this year’s card?

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 10, 2008


My friend Ter posted a link to an apartment that defies description. Let’s just say it’s a disaster area of epic proportions. But it got me thinking about hoarding and pack-rattiness. And that got me thinking about collecting. Collect: To accumulate as a hobby or for study.

I buy a lot of books, but don’t care about hardcovers, or first editions, etc. so I don’t consider that a collection. I do consider my TBR as making up for a 10-year period where I had no time to read fiction.

I only have one collection. I collect mugs made by
Emma Bridgwater in the United Kingdom. I also have a few mugs from Nicholas Mosse. Those are made in Ireland. The bulk of my collection is from Emma Bridgewater since I only have 8 Nicholas Mosse mugs. Fortunately it's easy to buy Emma Bridgewater mugs in the U.S. now. Several sites have them, and I've even seen them in some museum stores. It’s probably a good thing that I collect mugs because I drink a lot of Stash Green Chai Tea everyday usually with foamed skim milk.

I tend to have very busy days and have a habit of setting my mug down and then completely forget where I put it! My kids find this amusing. Just this morning I rounded up 5 mugs from various places around the house. I know that there are more lurking, but I've yet to find them.

My favorite Bridgewater mug at the moment says "Happiness Is A Cup Of Coffee & A Really Good Book." The reverse side adds "And A Piece of Cake." It makes me laugh, which is a good way to start the day!

I have over 100 Bridgewater mugs so I’m good if you all want to come over for tea or coffee! But you'll have to bring your own cake.

So here’s Qwill’s Qwestion: What do you collect?

Friday, November 07, 2008

For My DH

I’ve wanted to write something about my DH for a while, so here goes.

I met my husband, Claude, while I was on vacation on a small Caribbean island. He was the chef at the 10-room resort where I stayed. It was pretty much love at first sight for us. We were engaged 2 months after we met and married 5 months after that. We welcomed our first child (a girl) the next year. We also moved to the Caribbean where Claude was the Executive Chef at another resort. Before you think that living on an island in the Caribbean is fun, I can assure you that going to the beach every day gets boring after a while. And lets not forget the hurricanes! After nearly 4 years we moved back to the U.S. We had our second child (a boy). In many ways I believed that our relationship was much like a fairy tale. I did not realize how accurate my belief was. Most fairy tales, before being made more palatable, had tragic endings. Read the original Brothers Grimm to check that out! I lost my handsome prince, not to a dragon or ogre, but to something much scarier - cancer. Throughout his illness my husband was brave, stoic, and optimistic. As long as Claude had a breath in his body he fought. He handled his illness with unparalleled grace and strength. He died in my arms on Valentine’s Day 2004. I miss him every minute of every day. And I am sad that my kids are without him. Claude and I would have celebrated our 13th Anniversary last month. I’m not going to tell long stories about him, but rather will share what he was doing towards the end of his life and for a time while he was ill.

Claude was born and raised in France. He studied to become and became a chef in Paris. And, wow, could he cook! After we returned to the US, he worked in a restaurant not far from the house. But he wanted to build his own business again and he turned to making chocolates. He also started to paint for enjoyment. Without overstating, he was an artist with both paints and chocolates. See for yourself.

Just a couple of his many, many paintings:

A Painting of the Riviera:

A New England Lighthouse

And here are some of his wonderful chocolates. We had 19 different assorted chocolates and 6 types of truffles. We shipped in North America only and sold at some speciality stores. We used no artificial ingredients or preservatives and everything was handmade.

For Valentine's Day a White Chocolate Box filled with chocolates and surrounded by Coeur de Passion (heart shaped dark chocolate filled with a passion fruit filling) and Noix de Muscade (a type of truffle):

And a close up of the Heart Box (edible):

A four-tiered box for Christmas:
And this is what you saw when the box was opened:

A 1 lb box of Christmas chocolates:
Claude was a remarkable man. He was talented, intelligent, funny, and most of all he loved me with all of his heart. I hope that wherever he is, he's at peace.

Michele Bardsley & Broken Heart Citizens at Bitten by Books today!

Bitten by Books is excited to welcome author Michele Bardsley and her cast Broken Heart Citizens today as our featured Guest Bloggers! They will be talking with you today and answering questions. Check out the contest at the end of this post! You could win the amazing prize they are offering up today!


Theodora Monroe, co-founder of the Paranormal Research and Investigation Services and self-published nonfiction author, will interview Broken Heart citizens for her newest book: Living Supernaturally in Broken Heart. Please help Dora complete the research on her book by asking your favorite paranormal citizen a question. For more information about Broken Heart, visit

Hello, my name is Theodora Monroe, and I’m thrilled to be here at Bitten by Books conducing research for my newest book. We have with us today several members of Broken Heart’s unique parakind community. Please welcome Jessica, Patrick, Eva, Lorcan, Patsy, Gabriel, Libby, Ralph, Damian, Darrius, and Drake.
Here's the link:

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Tag-about is Fair Play - 6-Things Revolution!

Mark Henry was tagged by me earlier today with the standard 6-things meme. The ever inventive Mr. Henry has turned this on end and created the 6-Things Revolution.

The new rules (which may be changed to suit your whim):

1. If you're reading this meme, consider yourself tagged.
2. Post these directions, or directions of your own making on your blog.
3. Post 6 pictures of what's going on in your life right now. They don't have to be interesting, so don't worry.
4. Give each a title.
5. Bask in your artiness.

Butterflies Are Not Always Free

Scary Laundry

Candy Bag and Axe

Parenting Books

Dinner or TG for Take Out

Only A Few Games

Now it's up to you!


So after staying up most of the night watching news, I get tagged by the most wonderful Rottie_mom this morning! Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Six random things about Qwill:

1. I have webbed toes! And no, I don't swim better because of them. :)

2. I have a degree in Slavic Studies. My thesis was titled "Sociolinguistic Problems of National Groups in the Soviet Union during the Stalin Era, 1922-1953." (did you manage to stay awake while reading that title?)

3. I co-edited a book on International Telecommunications Law back in the days when I practiced law. It was a lot of fun. No, really!

4. I received the Hammer Award from Vice-President Gore for helping to streamline part of the Federal government. This was a long time ago!

5. I've been a Green Bay Packers fan for over 40 years even though I live in New England.

6. I managed an Italian resturant in Washington, D.C.

So there are 6 random facts about me. So time to tag House of Redheads, Zombie Chow, Michele Bardsley, Dakota Cassidy, and Jaye Wells. All of these folks are awesome. However, the authors in this list are all very busy so may not have the time to play, but please check out their blogs and books:

Michele Bardsley is the author of the fantastic Broken Heart Oklahoma Vampire Series among many other books.

Dakota Cassidy is the author of wonderful Accidental Series as well as lots of other books.

Jaye Wells' Red-Headed Stepchild will be released in March 2009.

Zombie Chow is the blog of Mark Henry who has penned the unforgettable Happy Hour of the Damned. Road Trip of the Living Dead will be released in February 2009.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Vote and get a free cup of coffee from Starbucks

THIS IS A NON-PARTISAN MESSAGE! So please, no partisan comments!

After you vote on November 4th, you can get a free coffee from Starbucks. As if any of us need an incentive to vote! So go exercise your franchise tomorrow!



A privilege or right officially granted a person or a group by a government, especially:
a. The constitutional or statutory right to vote.

(American Heritage Dictionary online)