Pinning My Hopes

I have resisted taking the plunge into Pinterest. Until now.


It started innocently enough, with a well-intentioned search for the “best gluten-free recipes” and “help for autism”. Then I felt the urge to find “crafts using Guatemalan burlap coffee bags”, “perfect poses for family pictures”, and “letters cut from books”. Then I desperately need to find “rustic barn wood frames”, “quotes about dogs”, and “how to decorate with antlers”. And then I couldn’t stand another minute without seeing “beautiful flour containers”, “Amy Grant songs”, and “making words using rope”.


Realizing that I could find photos and tutorials for just about darn anything, I’m now going into the REALLY important issues that may impact my life. To make money, I’ll search for “selling art made from dog hair tumbleweeds”. To save money: “fitting into your old clothes by layering Spanx”. To stay healthy: “replacing calorie-laden foods with air without getting hungry”. To avoid last-minute stress: “how to remember that dinner happens every day at 6 pm” and “Christmas comes every year on December 25”. To feel productive: “how your house can clean itself while you write a blog”.


And finally, to save my marriage: “how to delete evidence that you spent two hours on Pinterest today” – just in case he doesn’t appreciate my new beautiful flour containers.

Skiing: 1978 vs. 2013

skiing-with-jonasWhat difference does 35 years make? Not much, when it comes to my emotional maturity. A whole lot, apparently, when it comes to my style on the ski slopes.

Last night I took my eight-year-old son to Hyland Ski for a few hours on the snowy slopes. We were both dressed for an Antarctic expedition, even with the temps topping 30 degrees and prompting thoughts of spring. My dirt-colored Columbia cap covered my girl parts – you know, my long hair and drawn-on eyebrows. My ski pants and coat? Also dirt-colored, with panels of black and white. My skiing? Not showy, let’s just say that. I snowplowed behind my son to make sure he didn’t careen into the trees as he tried to keep up with his more experienced buddies.

Flash back to 1978. What color was my hat? Hat? What hat? I wasn’t about to cover my blondie-locks, no matter how blustery the weather. Back then, I was considered a “ski bunny”. My goal on the slopes? Attract boys and show off my skiing, in that order. When I lost a contact, I wouldn’t wear my glasses, oh no. I just navigated with one eye spying the shadow-inducing moguls. Scary, huh? And my outfits were colorful, because color mattered. I recall having a crush on both Greenie from North Branch  and Big Red from Cambridge until I learned their real names, then found out how much they liked my ski bunny friend. (Hi Kris! Can’t believe you’re a grandma!)

Okay, not everything changed from that groovy decade that spawned That 70s Show. I still felt an un-mom-like euphoria when I bombed the hill with a bunch of eight-year-olds and beat them to the bottom. (Didn’t really matter that I outweigh them by a 100 pounds, making the real cause of my victory not skill, but gravity.) I also hit a few jumps like I did in the old days, the only difference being that it used to be on purpose.

But in the end – despite knees complaining about having to bend for several hours while enduring the equivalent of speed bumps, eyes the color of Big Red’s ski jacket, neck warmer glistening with snotsicles – I went home with the cutest boy in the world. Wouldn’t trade places with my younger snow bunny self for all the Alleve in the world!

Am I Typical?

Stop! Why answer that so quickly, mean-spirited follower? Give me a chance to compare our behaviors before boldly declaring me abnormal. Because sometimes I do something that may be considered quirky, then wonder if anyone else does the same thing. Are you with me? Let’s see.

I get giddy and smile like a pageant queen as the buses take my kids away in the morning, then I dance a little crazy jig when I get inside the house. Every day.

I also smile at myself when I pass by a mirror, just to be friendly to myself. (Believe me, there’s no other reason I’d smile at my appearance these days.)

I stick my tongue out at drivers who are mad at me. Sometimes I just point at them and laugh, just to tick them off more.

Instead of squishing them, I extend the life of most insects by bringing them outside. I’d do the same for mice and chipmunks, if my husband didn’t insist on killing them.

I can’t listen to Prince without doing a little Norwegian Middle Age Woman grind.

I don’t notice at all when I say “uffda”. Everyone else seems to take note, as in, “She lives in a metropolitan area, she’s under age 95 and somehow she’s not embarrassed to say utter that Norwegian cuss-wannabe.”)

I taught my dog how to dance with me. She has two left paws but lets me lead.

When no one’s around, I sit at the piano and sing songs by The Bangles. (“Eternal Flame” anyone?)

I still like to believe that animals go to heaven.

I enjoy coloring more than my kids do.

My dollar bills are always facing the same way, a harmless holdover from my bank teller days.

I brake for sunsets and rainbows. I’d stop for unicorns too, if they were real.

I can look a four-foot-tall pile of dirty clothes squarely in the eye without picking it up but stop immediately to adjust a picture that’s not perfectly straight.

I often eat all the dough before I get to baking the brownies or cookies. I once woke up at 3 am and craved brownie dough, hauled my sleepy butt out of bed, and made my sweet dream come true.

Have you heard of lucid dreaming? I can actually control what happens in my dreams. I won’t get into details but that’s a GREAT gift when you’re longing for things you’re too timid to do in real life. Like fly. Or eat clouds.

I have perfect pitch, and I test its accuracy often. I’ll hum a specific note, then go to the piano and play the note to make sure the two match. Yep, that’s middle C alright.

When all alone, I’ll close the door of our little half-bathroom to create an acoustic wonderland, then sing Heart songs as if I’m THAT Nancy – along with her sister Ann Wilson. The room’s too small to recreate their signature kicks, though.

After I clean a room, I’ll peek at it several times throughout the day just to remind myself how good clean looks and feels. So this happens, like, once a month. At best.

I’m embarrassed to say that I believe 10 am is the new 7 am when it comes to getting out of your PJs, and 3 pm is the new 5 pm when it comes to happy hour.

Okay. Now I see why you answered so quickly.  I’ll concede that my “normal” may be your “weird”, and I’ll probably like you more if your “normal” is my “freak show”.