Being Mom

English: mom and baby

My baby just turned 21. She graduated from college in May. She has an apartment, a roommate and a couple of jobs to pay for her living expenses. She is looking for her first “real job” now. She is legally an adult.

But, I still worry. Did I do a good enough job? Does she have a moral center? Does she have a good work ethic? Will she make the right decisions? I still worry and I will worry about her until the day I die. That is being a mom.

When she goes out with friends, I worry. When she tells me her car is acting funny, I worry. When she says she hasn’t been to the doctor, dentist, optometrist, I worry. When I tell her I worry, she says “oh Mom, you did a great job.” I am not so sure.

I remind her that nothing on the internet is private. (Remember when you had to capitalize Internet?) Make sure your posts are tasteful and appropriate. Future employers are looking! “oh mo-o-om”

Yeah, I get that a lot. I worry.

I know I really shouldn’t worry too much, because she is a great kid and a wonderful daughter. Maybe it is not her so much as the company she keeps? Are they trustworthy with my child? Are they going to treat her with the respect she deserves? I worry.

Will I ever stop worrying? Probably not. One day, she will move farther away. One day, she will be married. One day, she will give me grandchildren. One day, she will worry about her own children and I will worry about them all.

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Cozy Mysteries

I have a confession. A guilty pleasure. I have discovered cozy mysteries. As a teacher librarian I do not have a lot of time to read adult literature during the school year because I am inundated with children’s lit. It is not a problem because I like children’s lit and I enjoy bringing the material to my students. However, it would be great to read something a bit more mature during the year. Normally, I would grab some YA lit which is quick and easy but necessarily intended for grown ups! So when I found the Hannah Swensen Mystery Series by Joanne Fluke, I fell in love. That series is based on Hannah Swensen, her cookie shop (The Cookie Jar), her family, crazy friends and her propensity to discover dead bodies. What I really loved where the recipes! I plan to buy the cook book associated with the series! That led me to a couple of other food related series. I could relate to many of the Minnesota references as I once lived outside of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area for a year. Freezing temperatures, hardiness of the natives, great baking recipes and the occasional dead body. What is not to love about that?

Cover of "Shades of Earl Grey: A Tea Shop...

Cover of Shades of Earl Grey: A Tea Shop Mystery

The funny thing I realized recently is that I had read some cozy mysteries in the past but had no clue it was a specific genre. I began reading the Laura Childs series, TEA SHOP

MYSTERY Series: Charleston Tea Room Owner. I LOVE teas and when I saw the book, Shades of Earl Grey in 2003 (I make note of this so you will know it came before the ‘other’ book of a similar title) I was hooked. I drink Earl Grey like babies drink milk! Fun information for the tea-aholic in me and recipes for the goodies made in the tea shop using tea in some of the recipes!

Another cozy series is The Lucy Stone Mystery series by Leslie Meier and the Trash N’ Treasures Mystery series by husband and wife team Barbara Allan (yes, they talk food too but I love the tips about antiquing). Perhaps I relate a bit because I can see the relationship between myself and my mother, who passed away a few short years ago, in these books. My mother was by no means as nuts as the mother in these stories but the general idea of how my mother could turn on a dime in the decision making process is in there!

I read a new cozy recently called, The Chocolate Cat Caper (A Chocoholic Mystery, #1) by Joana Carl. I am hooked, again, by the recipes and the characters. I can relate to the not-so-put-together heroine! I will be reading a few more of these when they become available for my Nook at my local public library!

Français : Église de Cranberry Isles

Français : Église de Cranberry Isles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have also started reading a cozy series based in the Cranberry Isles of Maine. Since I lived in Maine, not far from the Isles, and I camped on Mt. Desert Island (pronounced dessert by many locals – French ancestry here too)

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse Mt Desert Island

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse Mt Desert Island (Photo credit: foroyar22)

every summer with my husband and daughter, I feel a connection to the area. When I read the stories I smile. The sweet memories The Gray Whale Inn Mysteries by Karen MacInernery brings to me are a joy.  The recipes don’t hurt either. I can relate to the heroine also as a southern transplant to the state of Maine I now miss a lot of the offerings found in my little town outside of Bangor. I miss the great trips to the coast and the colorful people I met while there. If there is a cook book out there I may have to get it as well.

You can tell I find kinship in the books I read for soft entertainment. If I cannot relate then I do not enjoy!

Life isn’t fair

George Mason University

George Mason University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now, I know I am preaching to the choir here, but I just had to reiterate the obvious.

Life has never been easy for me and mine. My family was not born with silver spoons in mouths. My father’s people were share croppers. My mother’s people were laborers. My grandfather (Papa) owned numerous babershops in town until he lost his arm due to cancer. Circumstances – aka The Great Depression – kind of took the fight out of him. My mother worked hard all of her life and she worked hard to take care of us.

She was not educated and so life was especially hard for her. Divorced woman in the 60 – no real options. She tried her best, though. College was not presented to us as an option because Mom hadn’t thought it was very necessary. She was able to work and take care of us with only a 10th grade education. Only one of us actually finished high school. No, not me. I took my GED and got out of school.

My older brother and I started college in our late 20s and early 30s. I stopped and started a few times just to get into the routine of school and working full time when I became pregnant. I did not have a “normal” pregnancy. I wasn’t supposed be able to become pregnant, you see. I was, for all intents and purposes, sterile. Yep, she is my miracle baby! Then, at five months, I found out I had an incompetent cervix – it was too short and too soft and it was torn! After a cerclage (a purse-stitch) I was on bed rest for a bit. THEN, yes indeed, there is more! THEN I went into preterm labor. My miracle baby was born at 27 weeks. Ten weeks later she came home.

Life did not get any easier. She struggled with chronic acute asthma. She caught any virus going around. We spent a lot of time at the doctor’s office and hospital in hear early years. I divorced and moved twice by the time she was a year old. So, I went back to college and received my first bachelor’s degree and started looking for a job. No luck! Who would have thought that graduating from college with a degree is education, in social studies, would not garner a job! Well, the HR directors told me the truth – there are too many people out there with social studies teaching degrees and not enough jobs! Really?

So, even after I finished my second bachelor’s degree in US history, I still could not get a teaching job. I did get a job as a library clerk in the special collections department. So my history degree was helpful! I would not get the higher paying jobs in a library without an MLS so I began working on my master’s degree.

Oh, did I mention I met and married my wonderful husband during all of this? Well, his company transferred us to another state and I had to look for a new job. No teaching jobs available so I subbed from January through June at the local schools. They offered me a substitute job at the high school library for the summer. Then a one year position at the elementary school. I accepted.

My husband lost his job at the same time. No problem, he is an engineer and they always are employable, right? Nope. Not in a small south western town in Virginia. He went back to school and earned his master’s in IT – another highly employable career choice. But not there. We could not seem to catch a break.

The daughter continued to thrive. She was healthier once we found out she had allergies to dairy and refined sugars. She thrived. She did well in school. She ran cross country. She joined marching band and played soccer. She went to Governor’s School and graduated with a 4.3 GPA. She was accepted to all four universities to which she applied.

Golden. Not so fast. Her financial aid package was anemic. We ended up paying 8,000 annually to cover her education. Thankfully, she graduated early because she had earned 52 credits while in high school. Did I forget to mention how smart, and beautiful, and smart my daughter is?

She got a job or three to help with her expenses. She worked over the summers. She did everything right. She graduated early. She won’t even be 21 for a couple more days! Smart, remember? Now she needs a job. She is applying EVERYWHERE! She is applying for every job in the Communications and Journalism industry. She does not care that she has to start at the bottom. She expects to start at the bottom. She would rather not. 🙂

So, HIRE MY DAUGHTER ALREADY, she is WORTH it!

Life isn’t fair and she is learning this the hard way. She has done everything right but it is not coming together for her just yet. We have learned to roll with the punches and move on. She knows life isn’t fair and life isn’t easy. She is just ready to move forward.

Discovery

Luna 8 years old napping.

English: A diagram of the stylostome, or the h...

English: A diagram of the stylostome, or the hardened tube of dead cells formed by chiggers (Larval form of the trombiculidae) when feeding on them. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Seems like life is full of discoveries. As of late things have changed in my life. My daughter has turned into a grown up – well, maybe adult is the better word. She graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in communication with journalism emphasis. She moved into her own apartment. She is working, networking, looking for “the job” and looking to buy her own “first” car.

Yes, I cried at her graduation and although I am incredibly proud of her, I miss her and would love to have her closer to home.

My, our, puppy passed away. She was only nine. She had a reaction to medication and went to sleep on the kitchen floor. That was it. My husband called me at work. I think he was a little lost as to what to do. She was sweet and lovely natured. She was my daughter’s first real pet. Fish don’t count. Our pretty yellow lab named Luz de la Luna, yes – her name was light of the moon. She has nearly white fur except for a couple of pale gold lace-designed spots on the tips of her ears and the little gold on her back. She was my dog. She even slept with my husband and me. All 80 pounds of her. She was my furry baby.

I am seriously going through empty nest syndrome. No, I have not done harm to my husband but he is a little on my nerves. In all honesty, I am a bit of a loner so for me to be in a house with another person who really likes being with me, well…it is tough to say the least.

I have an opportunity to spend some time away from home this summer and I think it will do us all some good. Too much togetherness can destroy friendships and I’d like to stay friends with my husband, ya’ know?

Must get moving, I have been on the computer much too long this morning. With all the rain we have had we are getting pests in the house – no, not my husband. We plan to spray the house and the yard. Yes, the yard needs spraying because with the warmth and moisture we are inundated with ticks and chiggers outside.

I was diagnosed with Lyme disease this year so I am a bit paranoid now. Hubby and I worked in the yard last week and picked up chiggers. NOT FUN!!

Discoveries as of late – I still like being alone, I like yard work but hate chiggers! I miss my kid. I  miss my dog. I’d like to miss hubby – but only for a couple of weeks. I am okay not being at work but I am excited to start a new project. Oh, and I really miss caffeine!