Monday, September 29, 2008

Everyday blessings

This afternoon I sat in the house clicking away on my laptop working. A client document. Due tomorrow.

My fingers fly over the keyboard. I am lost in my thoughts. The house is silent.

My girls are outside playing in the yard on the first rain-free day we’ve had since the middle of last week. I am grateful for the silence. I need to focus. I need them to entertain themselves for a while.

Every so often I get up and peek out the window. The yard is fenced and private, but I need to make sure they are safe, happy and unhurt. They are playing in the front. They are happy and engaged.

I return to my seat, relieved that I have a few more minutes to focus on my work.

The next time I check, they’re no longer in the front. I step outside and walk down the path that runs along the front of the house. When I reach the driveway, I spy them. They are in the far end of the yard, near the barn.

They are holding hands and running. They are barefoot – galloping in unison through the grass. Their dresses swirl around their legs. Their hair flies back from their faces. They stop by the pond, momentarily pause, then spin and run back toward the house.

Now that they face me, I can see they are smiling – huge smiles that force their eyes wide. I watch. I feel the sudden sting of tears in my eyes.

I look at my daughters in their (unplanned) coordinated purple and fuschia dresses, running in the grass and laughing and my heart swells with love, family and grace. I thank God silently for the gifts I have, the joy I feel. The incredible life I’ve been granted.

The love I feel watching them is palatable – physical. I can taste it on my lips and feel it in my chest. It courses through my blood, tingles the nerves in my arms. My chest is heavy with it - a block of wood.

I could cry with it. Or laugh maniacally with it. Or both.

It fills me head to toe. I watch them – my children. My life. The love I have for them fills me head to toe. I feel it swell from top to bottom. My heart feels like it could burst. Never did I ever dream of a love like this.

I look up at the steel gray sky and whisper a prayer of thanks. For this moment. This day. This life.

I take a deep breath. A tear rolls down my cheek. I exhale.

And then I run to them.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'll tell two friends, and they'll tell two friends, and so on, and so on

One of my favorite bloggers reposted something from one of her favorite bloggers that is so incredible I have to repost it here.

And if you also think it's incredible, maybe you can repost it on your blog? One by one, bit by bit, we can be heard. We can make a difference.
_ _ _ _


Every day I wake up and I want to write about the election.

Every day I want to post you tube videos of Sarah Palin scaring the hell out of me.

Every day I want to give homage to Jon Stewart or post drafts of my hate mail to Karl Rove.

But I know for sure it’s no longer enough.

I want to do more than add my voice to the millions of Americans crying out for change.

I want to be an agent of that change. I want to make a difference.

Talking about it is no longer enough!

Writing about it is no longer enough!

Leaving it to others is no longer enough!

In 2000, when we elected ‘experience’, my vote wasn’t enough.

In 2004, when we elected ‘experience’, my vote wasn’t enough.

This time I’m not just voting for intelligence.

This time I’m not just voting for integrity.

This time I’m not just voting for bold initiative.

This time I’m working for the campaign. I’m a member of my local volunteer team.


We do not have enough volunteers. We need more people to register voters, to persuade, to get out the vote.

It’s actually a lot of fun and I’ve met some amazing people.

Just two hours a week can make a difference.

You can sign up to volunteer here.

You can find your local volunteer coordinator here. Even better, go here.

Or e-mail me at meg[at]simplynutmeg[dot]com and I’ll get you connected with the right person.

Please join me in spreading this No Longer Enough campaign:

Please publish this post or write your own post and link to it on your blog and spread the word to your readers, even if you can’t volunteer. Many of us just need a little push (someone approached me at the grocery store) to get in the game.

Just think; if every Blogger recruited just one volunteer…

Maybe we’re what we’ve been waiting for.

And here’s where I put my money where my mouth is:

If you join in spreading the word, publish this post, or write your own post with a link, sign the Mr. Linky below. If I get 200 links or more before October 10th, I’ll use a random number generator to choose a winner, and I’ll give away one brand new Dyson.

Because my one vote is no longer enough.

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Wordless Wednesday: Fatigue is the best pillow . . .

Unless you have a blankie.


Click here to see who else went wordless today.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Children of the corn maze

“Good luck,” said the Smarmy Teenage Boy sitting at the entrance to the corn maze. "It’s a tough one."

“Thanks,” I muttered, following Peanut into the maze. Loaf sauntered in behind us. Peanut ran about the maze willy nilly – excited when she came to the end of an aisle to see there wasn’t a dead end, almost more excited when there was one.

As for me and Loaf? We just followed her around blithely. Loaf picked up long pieces of broken corn stalks from the ground, dragging them behind her for a few feet before dropping them and picking up another.

We walked deeper and deeper into the maze. We passed the same groups of people again and again. We changed direction repeatedly, backtracking when needed.

15 minutes passed.

We could no longer hear the sounds of the Fall Farm Festival behind us. In fact, we could hear nothing at all. The maze seemed to have an insulating affect against all sound.

20 minutes passed.

Loaf started to whine.

”I’m tired.”
”I’m thirsty.”
”I’m hot. (Did I mention it was close to 90 degrees?)

And then finally, a demand: “PICK ME UP!”

So I did and we walked on. We got stuck in an endless loop of dead ends, walking in circles for what seemed like forever.

25 minutes.

I started wondering how many people needed to be rescued from the corn maze. I pictured Mark wondering why I never came to meet him in Morristown like we planned. I envisioned them running the plates on my minivan – the last one parked in the field – hours after the festival ended. I pictured a search and rescue team moving through the maze late in the evening with hound dogs and flashlights, looking for the dumb lost mother and her two poor children, who by now were hunkered down in the dark trying to stay warm and were sucking on old corn husks for nourishment.

30 minutes passed.

I started paying attention to the position of the sun (on my left, on my right, behind me, etc.). And most importantly, I took charge and stopped letting Peanut lead. Clearly, that had been A Very Bad Plan.

35 minutes passed.

My arm was falling asleep from carrying Loaf, I had sweat dripping down my back and my throat was as dry as sandpaper. I began eyeballing the rows of corn, wondering if we could cheat by pushing straight through them to get out. They looked pretty thick. I started wishing for a machete. The sharpest object in my purse was my car key and something told me that was not going to be very effective in sawing through the thick stalks. We kept going.

40 minutes.

We passed a large group that had walked in ahead of us.

"Do you have any idea where you are?” they asked desperately.

Crap. So much for following them. They’re as clueless as me.

45 minutes.

I could hear the sounds of the festival again. This had to be a good sign, right? The exit must be close.

48 minutes.

We exited the corn maze!


Smarmy Teenage Boy looked at me and my hot, sweaty charges and smirked.

"Giving up?"

Just then, Peanut started cheering: WE DID IT! WE DID IT! WE SOLVED THE MAZE!

Smary Teenage Boy then stood up and raised his hand to high-five her. "Good job!" he called, slapping his palm against hers.

He then looked at me. ”Don’t sweat it. It took me an hour and a half and I was running at times."

Which just goes to show, even the Smarmiest can sometimes be charmed by the Smallest.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Does anyone else hear it?

Is anyone else hearing the Godfather theme in their head?

The Godfather theme song that is? Or am I the only sick person who starts humming it immediately upon seeing this picture?


Thursday, September 18, 2008


It's perfect, and touches me deep
First thing in the morning, when I hear you speak
And last thing at night as you bid me sweet dreams
The brush of your lips lets me know what you mean

And all of the hours that pass through the day
Those spent together and when you're away
I think of you always, imagine your touch
Think how to show you, I love you so much

So when we're apart, and you long for me near
Just try to remember, you're already here
For deep in my heart, where no one can see
You'll be forever, together we'll be

by Louise Scrymgeour

Wedding ceremony 9/18/99

Thank you Mark for 9 wonderful years of marriage. Mwah!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Why blue lollipops are cool


Click here to see who else is wordless today.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

See Kim. See Kim run (and bike, and swim).

I have this friend. I met her my very first day of college. She lived down the hall from me in my dorm. She’s a little kooky, in a good way. She's not just a spark, but the firecracker that results. A light of color and personality that makes everyone around her ooh and ahh. She lives in Maryland. She knows who she is.

In college, she was a source of constant entertainment. During finals, she was always the first to crack (in a good way). She’d dress up in some wacky outfit and dance around the dorm, sometimes with a broom or stuffed animal. I have pictures. I’d scan and post them, but I value my life too much.

In 2002, months before I conceived Peanut, we met at the Jersey shore for a weekend getaway. We were looking forward to two days lounging on the beach and one wild, crazy, ridiculously drunken night out. Days before the meeting, the forecast promised to rain on our parade – literally.

“If it rains, we’re getting tattoos,” she told me.

It poured.

I drove north on Sunday with fresh ink on my back. She drove off in the opposite direction with the same on hers.

In June, I came home to a message she left on my machine.

“I’ve had an epiphany,” she began. “Next year for our 40th birthdays we should go to Vegas.” There was a long pause. “After we do a triathlon.”

I literally laughed out loud. A triathlon! Plu-leaze. Who did she think I was? As I’ve written before, I’m no athlete.

But not long after her message I happened to read an article about Dara Torres, the 41-year-old swimmer who was about to compete in her fifth Olympic games, faster than ever. I thought about it.

I’m no Dara Torres, but if she could make the Olympics at 41, why couldn’t I do a triathlon next year? Not one of those crazy Ironmans with 2.5 mile swims, 112 miles bikes and a full marathon (26.2 miles) at the end. No, not one of those. But maybe a shorter one?

A little digging around revealed that Sprint Triathlons are fairly common.

So sometime next spring, my kooky, long-time friend and I will attempt to complete our first triathlon. (Notice I say first as if there may be others? Hope springs eternal.)

The exact distances are TBD, but it will be something in the range of a half- to one-mile open-water swim, 15- to 20-mile bike ride, and three to four miles of running. Yikes!

While I’ve worked out regularly for the last two-and-a-half years, taking strength training and step aerobics and kick boxing, I was doing none of the activities required to finish a triathlon with some semblance of grace and ease.

That has since changed. I’m running and biking a few times a week. Last week, I even started taking adult stroke lessons at the local Y because the doggie paddle I taught myself to do at the Fish Pond in North Adams, Massachusetts sometime in middle school probably isn’t going to cut it for a half mile (or more) in open water. I may be crazy, but I’m not stupid. Like I said, I value my life.

So those are my big goals for 2009: Finish a triathlon. Don’t die.

And maybe, just maybe, I’ll get another tattoo as well. If my kooky friend agrees to get one too.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

She loves me, she loves me not, she loves me!

So wow!

Hannah, over at I'm Not Hannah has given me this wicked cool (you can take the girl out of Massachusetts, but you'll never take the Massachusetts out of the girl) award! Check it out:



Seriously, that is way cool. I'm humbled. And really, really happy. Thank you, thank you. :-)

This reward comes with instructions:

- You can put the award picture on your blog.
- Link to the person who awarded you.
- Nominate at least seven other blogs that you love.
- Put up links to those blogs.
- Leave messages with the blogs you nominated.

So, in no order, here are some of my favorite bloggers. I'm way too tired to say something profound about each and every one of them, but I assure you that they're all fantastic writers and storytellers who will touch your heart and make you laugh (maybe at the same time). Go check them out - you'll be really glad you did.

1. Binkytown for having one of the world's cutest babies.
2. Mayberry Mom for being so amazing.
3. The Minnesota Matron for being my political twin.
4. Jennifer at Thursday Drive for opening her heart and soul so eloquently.
5. Amanda at Tumble Dry for writing achingly beautiful stuff like this.
6. Laryssa at Ryssee's World for being an awesome cousin, friend and daughter.
7. Urban Pedestrian for injecting wit and wisdom into ordinary, every day things.

Bonus: The Miss Elaine-ous Life for her gorgeous kiddos and great attitude about every thing.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

An ordinary day like no other

Today I woke up. Made my children breakfast. Drove them to school. Went to the gym. I picked up Loaf at 11:30 and had lunch. I took a shower, then picked up Peanut at 1 p.m. and we all went to the library.

A perfectly ordinary September day.

Except it wasn’t.

The first reminder came when I turned on the radio and the newscaster said in his ordinary voice: “Today is Thursday, September 11, 2008. This is NPR.”

Seven years. Seven.

It hardly seems possible. All day as I went about my chores and errands, fulfilled my responsibilities and duties, I swallowed a lump in my throat and felt tears burning behind my eyes.

I managed to avoid the horrific images most of the day, though much to my chagrin when I was at the gym MSNBC insisted on re-broadcasting its footage and commentary from 2001, complete with the smoking Twin Towers and Pentagon, as if anyone who was alive in 2001 needs to ever see those again. They are images that are unfortunately filed in my permanent memory whether I want them there or not.

I ran on the treadmill not wanting to look, but unable not to. I tried desperately to focus instead on the other networks’ coverage of the Memorial service. But it was no good. My eye kept getting pulled back. The gym was eerily quiet. No one was chatting next to each other on the equipment like usual. Or if they were, I was too wrapped up in my own emotions to notice.

My head spun with the horror of that day: Sitting in the conference room at work watching smoke stream from the first Tower on a fuzzy feed from the local ABC affiliate. The dreaded realization when the second plane hit that we weren’t watching a dreadful accident, but something much, much worse. Something out of a nightmare. The panicked calls to Mark begging him to get out of his building and as far away from New York as he could get NOW. My coworker who sat anxiously by the phone – not even wanting to get up to use the bathroom – trembling with fear and not knowing if her husband, an employee at the WTC, was dead or alive (she finally got the call around 3 p.m. that he was fine, thank God.)

Compounding things was the fact that September 11, 2001 was a day much like today in the New York area: Sunny, clear blue skies, a hint of cooler fall air. It felt like it did that day. It even smelled like it did that day, if that makes sense – the scent of fall blown around on a pleasant breeze.

I don’t think anyone in this country came away from that terrible day unscathed. We were all victims in some way. But it is impossible to live in this area of the world and not think of September 11, 2001 on a regular basis. It is impossible to live here and not know someone who knows someone who died that day, or who ran from the City covered in dust. Someone who has nightmares still about what they saw or heard.

I think of 9/11 every time I drive to work when I come up over a hill and catch a glimpse of the New York City skyline, forever, irrevocably altered. I think of every time I hear a jet screeching overhead, glancing up nervously waiting, waiting for the worst. I think of it every time I walk into the dry cleaner around the corner from my office and see the poster tacked up, “Remember our nephew, Josh, killed 9/11/01,” and see Josh, smiling back at me in a tuxedo looking happy and alive.

Most of all, I think of it each and every time I set foot in New York. I love that City, but I will never feel completely, 100% safe there again. It doesn’t stop me from enjoying everything New York has to offer, but my body always does a full exhale when it hits the western shores of the Hudson once again.

But despite the regular reminders, the anniversary always hits me particularly hard. I go about my day doing ordinary things because I have to. But on this day, more so than usual, my heart aches and weeps for those who were lost on what started out as a perfectly ordinary September day seven years ago.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: The baby squirrel

We walked outside and it was just sitting there on the front step. A teeny, tiny baby squirrel.

We walked outside and it was just sitting there.

So of course, we fed it.

It was REALLY hungry.

At one point, it was sitting on top of Mark’s foot, eating.

At one point it was sitting on top of Mark's foot.

It ate about three of these big, round crackers.

It ate like 3 of these crackers.

It was fearless, even climbing up into Mark’s hand.

So hungry it even climbed up . . .

And sat in Mark's hand.

We put it down under a tree and went out for the night and it came back (with a brother? Sister?) and has been hanging around the kitchen stoop for a few days. We aren’t feeding it anymore (aside from what drops out of the bird feeder) because we really don’t want another pet.

And yes, Mark washed his hands really well after putting it down.

Click here to see who else is wordless today.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Just stick that knife in a little deeper, then give it a good twist

Scene: Our house. Peanut is exhausted and asks to be carried off to bed. I lift her up.

Me: "Oh you are getting so big. Haven't we talked about how I don't want you to grow any more? Yet you keep doing it."

Peanut: ::giggling:: "I can't help it, it just happens."

Me: "What I am going to do when you're too big to sit on my lap? Who am I going to snuggle?"

Peanut: "No one."

Me: ::gasping for air:: "Uh . . . What?"

Peanut: "Or you could snuggle your grandchildren."

Me: ::passes out::

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Friday, September 05, 2008

It's hard to be consistent these days . . .

. . . especially when you're a Republican pundit. I present to you the Video of the Week courtesy of Jon Stewart and The Daily Show:


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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Warts and all

Sitting on the coffee table, I face both my daughters, who are plopped haphazardly on the couch.

"I love you," I say, voice trembling. "I love you both so much. No one in this world is as important to me as you two are."

Earlier, we had a run of bad behavior, lying and talking back (them), along with yelling and screaming (me). It was late and I was tired and they were in the tub. While I walked down the hall to get Peanut's nightgown, they managed to throw what looked like eight gallons of water onto the bathroom floor. I stepped back into the room and slipped, ramming my shin - hard - against the vanity.

"What the . . . ?" I asked, rubbing my leg and looking around to assess the scene. Sudsy water - a lot of it - everywhere. Water dripping down the walls. Towels soaked. Bath mat saturated. Loaf's jammies sopping. Her clean bedtime pull-up plump with water and ruined.

I was gone less than 30 seconds.

"How did this happen?" I asked incredulously.

"Loaf did it," Peanut shrieked with a wise-ass grin on her face.

"No it was Peanut," said her sister, unable to hold back a giggle.

"Someone is lying," I said, feeling the anger swell inside me. They both looked at me, smirking. Their unmitigated joy over being naughty - knowingly and willingly breaking the "no water outside the tub rule" - fueled the fire.


From there, things quickly went downhill. I will spare you the messy details, but suffice it to say in the end, Loaf was wailing that I'd "hurt her feelings," and Peanut said I was mean and she wanted to send me "to charity to someone who doesn't have a mom."

And I? Was feeling like total, complete, utter crapola.

I so rarely lose my cool, but when I do, it can get ugly. And sometimes, acting like a screaming banshee might be warranted, but for this? Water on the bathroom floor? Come on, Kimberly, get a grip.


After five years, why is this stuff still so hard sometimes?

Later, after all the water had been mopped and the toys in the bedrooms picked up (by all three of us), I sat them on the couch. The calm had been restored, sheepish guilt beginning its slow march on my soul.

"I know you're sorry for throwing all that water, and I'm sorry I got so mad. I overreacted," I began. They sat watching me with their huge eyes. "You know, even when I'm angry, I still love you. I love you both so much."

We ended with hugs and kisses and promises to be better to each other in the future. I will certainly try to hold up my end of the bargain.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: The importance of exercise

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Last I checked, Palin was not Hillary. Let's accept that and move on.

I have to admit, I wasn’t a Hillary supporter. I voted in the primary for Obama even declaring myself a Democrat to do so.

However, I knew when I cast my vote for Obama - knew with all my heart and soul – that if the Democratic nod went to Hillary, I would vote for her without hesitation in November. Which is why I am so friggen confused about what’s happening and what I’m hearing about right now.

Are disgruntled Hillary voters – mostly women – really, honestly, truly considering voting for the McCain ticket just because he chose a woman as VP? Really?

To those who are in that camp I really have to ask: what the fuck? (And I don’t throw that word around lightly).

But seriously: What the fuck?

Yeah, OK. Palin has a vagina and apparently there is a whole crowd of people (mostly women) who desperately want to see a vagina-owner in the White House come January 2009.

But Palin? Really? Palin?

Not only is her experience level questionable, but more importantly, she is the diametric opposite of Hillary on just about every single issue. She’s staunchly pro-life, pro-gun, pro-captial punishment, wants a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, thinks creationism should be taught in schools alongside evolution, and is an environmentalist’s worst nightmare.

And let’s not forget who her main man is: John McCain.

Don't get me wrong. If you agree with what the McCain/Palin ticket stands for - then of course, obviously vote your conscience. That's the American way. But voting for this ticket simply because it now includes a woman is no different than a white man refusing to vote for Obama simply because he's black.

But for Democrats and uncommitted voters who supported Hillary during the primary, voting for McCain/Palin is exactly the opposite of what Hillary would want. She said so herself in what I thought was one of the most fantastic speeches she’s ever given.

The GOP is counting on the fact that desperate Hillary supporters are going to look past Palin’s beliefs and see only her motherhood, her womanhood – put bluntly – her vagina - and blindly cast their votes based solely on these traits.

The GOP thinks we’re all a bunch of mindless, brainless, incapable, emotionally driven ninnies who are going to get caught up in Palin’s biology without really examining her politics.

It thinks we can all be manipulated into abandoning the principles we believe in – that Hillary believes in – with no serious thought because, after all, women do what men tell them to do - either directly or subtly.

Quite frankly, I have to agree with Tree on this one.

I’m insulted. Infuriated.

Is that really who we are? Is the GOP right? Are we really just a bunch of nail-biting sheep who will fall into line and overlook – or not think about at all – our principles simply to get “one of our own” in power?

I hope not. Because this woman is no Hillary Clinton. Anyone with a brain (or a vagina) should be able to see that.

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A real leg-crosser

Scene: My house yesterday morning (Monday), getting ready to leave for my town's Labor Day parade.

Me to Loaf: Please use the potty before we go.
Loaf: I don't have to. I just went.
Me: (Skeptically) You just went? When did you go?
Loaf: Ummm . . . Friday.
Me: Friday?
Loaf: Yep, Friday.
Me: Uh huh, well, you better go again. You know, just to be safe.

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