Happy Mother’s Day

Mothers do many things for us…but hopefully they make us smile.

To all mothers, mothers-to-be, adopted mothers, ex-mothers, and those who spoil and mother children, here are some fun mother phrases and what they really mean…

Happy Mothers Day!

 

 

A face only a mother could love

 

Everybody and their mother

 

Fairy god mother

 

You kiss your mother with that mouth?

 

The Mother Lode

 

‘Yo Mamma

 

Mother Hen

 

Mama’s Boy

 

Mother Nature

 

Queen Mother   

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Mother’s Day

I am blessed to be a mother

I am blessed to have had my mother for 54 years

I am blessed to have friends who are mothers

I am also blessed to have friends who have left it to

Others to be a mother.

Life is Short………Be What You Want.

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Vincent Van Gogh’s Mother

 

 

Whistler’s Mother

 

Barker Gang’s Mother (Ma)

 

 

Pablo Picasso’s mother

 

Mother Theresa

 

Rembrandt’s Mother

 

Juan Gris’ Mother

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

shamrock-heart_designTo my Mom, who was Irish.  Miss you, Mom. Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

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Irish Regret

Bittersweet memories

Blur my perception of the past

Connection with my roots

Happened long after

My Irish mother

Went wandering

Into the Eternal Green

I always heard the song

Of the creative muse

In my head, my heart

My very soul

Yet my ignorance

Veiled the possibilities

Of today, tomorrow

And all that had been

My dearest Irish Rose

A perfume I rarely inhaled

Is your memory enough

To make the garden bloom again?

My mother’s secret shadows

Haunt me to this day

Leaving so many strings untied

If only I had paid attention

I should have asked about

Her blood so green

And history so ripe

Tales of the clan of Cullen

Too late came to light

Only to become part of

Yesterday’s sunrise

I’m sorry I didn’t feel

Your Celtic heart

Pounding inside of mine

I hold onto the strands

Of Irish dreams and songs

One last attempt to thread the tapestry

Of an ancestry so bright and real

I shine within my mother’s glow

And scream it from top to hill

My melancholy regret

Is that she’s not here

To dance the jig

And toast the shamrock

With her daughter so true

And so Irish

Sunday Morning Art Gallery — Mother

For my Sunday  Evening Morning Art Gallery today, I’m going to do something  a little different. I am going to honor the most  famous — and probably underrated — mother in the world.

mary-baby-jesus



Mary, the mother of Jesus, is the best known female character in the Bible, yet very little is known about her. I mean, she doesn’t even have a last name!

mary india

Imagine her life. She was a peasant woman, simple, honest. She becomes engaged to a carpenter named Joseph. And while she’s planning her wedding — BAM! An angel appears and tells her she is going to keep her virginity yet be the mother of the son of God.

ballenger-black-madonna-and-child
She is a religious person, so she believes the angel. I can just imagine what her betrothed thought. It takes a lot of commitment to explain the unexplainable. There are varying theories as to if the two were or were not married when she delivered her son. Either way, there was a lot of shame and explaining to do before they reached Bethlehem.

Chinese Jesus

Yet this wonderful woman perseveres. Her and Joseph’s marriage date is lost in the dust of the past. But she delivers little baby Jesus in a barn somewhere, in a stable or a cave or a quiet building in the dark. And so Mary takes her first step into motherhood.

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Raising the Messiah couldn’t have been a cake walk. I’m sure he had his terrible twos/threes/fours too. She was poor, Joseph was poor. I imagine Mary made the best of things, though,  and loved her little boy with her whole heart. She changed his diapers, played stones-in-the-bucket and washed his cuts. She fed him and hugged him and sang him lullabies. And as baby Jesus grew, so did his mother’s fears.

icon_mother

To have been given the blessing of having a child, and also knowing that he would be crucified for the sins of the world, must have been a burden almost too much to bear. Jesus knew of his calling from an early age; I imagine that brought about a bit of arrogance (in a holy sort of way) too, so his teenage years were probably a little testy between mom and son.

15th-of-august-indian-madonna

Eventually Jesus left the nest and went out to the world, leaving his mother behind. Some say she had other children. But she was, after all, the mother of the son of God, and sensed the tragedy yet to come. It’s not known when Mary realized her oldest was destined for a horrible death. Nonetheless, I can’t imagine living through those last few months of her son’s life. No mother can.

Mary

It is assumed Joseph died before their son started his fateful journey, so she was alone when her baby, her child, died on the cross. Like other women, she worked through her pain and loss and used her strength and faith to spread the message Jesus left behind. It is not clear when she died, and many religions profess she ascended into heaven full and whole.

madonna-of-the-rosary(1)

So on this day when we celebrate Mothers everywhere, let’s celebrate the Mother of them all. Mary. And let her normal, unusual, spiritual, female spirit guide us all. Let’s celebrate mothers who suffer and mothers who laugh. Mothers who cry and mothers who love. And mothers who love their children with every beat of their heart.

holy-theotokos-icon

Happy Mother’s Day to Moms Everywhere.

Marriage Lessons…?

Couple Embracing 1As usual, my pre-blog state is one thing, the actual blog another. During break this morning I came across this article in the Huffington Post and just had to read it.

I’m almost sorry I did.

I was born in the early 50’s, so I never really “knew” what their version of marriage should be. Yes, my mom loved my dad. Yes, my dad suffered from PTS from World War II, something men back then didn’t talk about. Yes, my dad occasionally pulled out the Army Belt to make a point to my brothers.  Yes, that wasn’t the right way to do things, but that’s how it was done.

But this article entitled, “Aweful ’50s Marriage Advice Shows What Our Mothers and Grandmothers Were Up Against,” shocked me to my core. With all the news lately about domestic violence, and perpetrators saying that’s how they were raised, gives even more insight into what our mothers and grandmothers really went through.

Taken from the Ladies’ Home Journal’s Can This Marriage Be Saved? column, here are the top lessons back then:

Lesson: A woman’s “personality” is to blame for marital problems. (April 1953)

Solution: Sylvia was advised to “change her personality and deeply rooted attitudes” against her husband, the counselor wrote, because she’d “deeply wounded his masculine pride.” Being too “fast” with boys in her past had left the 31-year-old almost as emotionally immature as a child of four or five … driving her husband out of his home to the corner bar and into the arms of other women.” The counselor found ways to blame Sylvia in every aspect of the couple’s marital woes, from Everett’s drinking to Everett’s probable infidelity, while Everett himself merely “modified” his drinking and philandering.

 

Lesson: The longer you’ve been married, the more you should let domestic violence slide. (April 1954)

Solution: Apparently, Lucy was now chained to her abusive husband because she’d somehow missed her window of escape at the ripe old age of 36. “[Lucy], her child and her elderly aunt were financially dependent… Without Dan, Lucy was marooned” — safety and mental health be damned. Lucy’s husband, a man who didn’t like seeing women in pants, was even excused for considering his son a “rival” because his wife wasn’t paying him enough “badly needed praise, appreciation, admiration [and] love.”

 

Lesson: Wives should be able to read minds (February 1953)

Solution: the counselor chided Alice for her lack of ESP. “In cooking him expensive steaks and smothering him with excessive protestations of love,” it was explained, “she was offering him not the kind of attention he wanted and needed but the kind she wanted herself.” A good wife would have realized she was making nice dinners the family couldn’t quite afford, even though her husband wasn’t using his big boy words to express himself.

 

Lesson: If you don’t give your spouse enough attention, he has a fair excuse to cheat on you (May 1953)

Solution: “Of course, she herself was largely responsible for Joe’s infidelity. She practically drove her husband to find in the company of another woman a little of the praise and credit he was not receiving at home,” the counselor wrote. Amy was advised to “adopt a divergent set of values” because she was “just too busy.” Poor Joe “felt like a nobody who didn’t count” while his wife made sure they had enough income to eat.

 

Lesson: Never try to have it all (October 1955)

Solution: The counselor found Patrice at fault not just because of her career, but “the way she handled her career, her husband [and] her child.” Patrice, the counselor noted, “grew to womanhood hating the unalterable fact that she was doomed to be a female in a man-made world.” Luckily, she got her “true reward” in the end, “when she reduced her career to second place … she became a successful wife and a successful mother.”

You have to read the details behind each lesson. You have to.

Here is the link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/26/can-this-marriage-be-saved-advice_n_5829870.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

Have fun. And quit squinching up your face every other word…

 

Kiss Me I’m Irish

crystal shamrock There has been a lot of sadness in the news lately –too much death. Too much depression. I’ve gotta find my happy place. So I’m not gonna to be around much this weekend — I’m going to Milwaukee’s IrishFest.

IrishFest is a grand celebration of everything Irish. Chocked full of good music, good people, and good times. I am probably Gaelic Storm’s oldest groupie (61), but that doesn’t stop me from singing loud and clear along with the band and a thousand other good-natured fans. There’s nothing better than their bawdy, good-natured music to life my spirits and connect me with my halfblood Irish roots.

It is also the time of the year that I miss my mother the most. Five feet of firey Irish glow, she was taken from me when she was only 54. She never got to sing “Darcey’s Drunken Donkey” or “Kiss Me I’m Irish” with a thousand other real and pseudo-real Irishmen; she never got to meet my husband, nor watch  her daughter and grandson sing teary-eyed  to the High King’s “Wild Mountain Thyme”; nor watch her great grandbaby dance the Irish Jig in his emerald green t-shirt.

And 30 years later, she never will know how much her daughter still misses her.

So whether or not you are Irish, grab a mug of beer or cup of coffee; listen to Gaelic Storm sing “Kiss Me I’m Irish,” (especially the jig at the end) and love the one you’re with.
Here — let me help you —

 

 

Kiss Me I’m Irish

Old song and old stories
They keep us alive
Without our past
We would never survive
I am my island
My island is me
So you know what you can do if you don’t like what you see

Kiss me, I’m Irish
I am the wild rover
My eyes they are smiling
And I’m seldom sober
I like my whiskey
And I love to dance
So if you’re feeling as lucky as me, take a chance
And kiss me I’m Irish

My heart beats a jig
And me blood, it flows green
I’ve been a rogue and a rambler
From ocean to sea
And I like a Bevy
Now and then this I’ll never deny
But I only drink on the days of the week that end with a ‘y’
I’m no saint I’m no sinner
Of that there’s no doubt
I’ll tell you the truth
I am the one that your grandmother warned you about

Kiss me, I’m Irish
I am the wild rover
My eyes they are smiling
And I’m seldom sober
I like my whiskey
And I love to dance
So if you’re feeling as lucky as me, take a chance
And kiss me I’m Irish

Dublin, Milwaukee, Cleveland and Cork
Kerry, Chicago, Armagh and New York
Belfast and Boston, Donegal and DC
Raise you glasses and sing, sing, sing, sing with me!

Kiss me, I’m Irish
I am the wild rover
My eyes they are smiling
And I’m seldom sober
I like my whiskey
And I love to dance
So if you’re feeling as lucky as me, take a chance
And kiss me I’m Irish

Kiss me, I’m Irish
I am the wild rover
My eyes they are smiling
And I’m seldom sober
I like my whiskey
And I love to dance
So if you’re feeling as lucky as me, take a chance
And kiss me I’m Irish

Lyrics and Image courtesy Gaelic Storm ©2006

The Sashaying Mink

            I was sitting around the other day, talking with friends about fashion, and somehow it came up that I had two of my mother’s mink stoles in my front closet.  They are at least 50 years old, and although she passed them on to me, I’ve never had the nerve to wear them. After all, no one wears stoles anymore.  And, besides, I didn’t think it would look right to wear the things grocery shopping or bowling.  We all had a good chuckle, then one friend asked what I was waiting for.  How old would I have to be to not care what other’s thought of my wardrobe?

            I have spent the last ten years of my life trying to accept who I am, and being happy with said acceptance.  I have always been too critical of the way I look, and I’m finally at the point where I don’t cringe when I look in the mirror.  Why I wasted so much of my youth thinking I was going to blossom into a sparkling rose or a diamond beauty I don’t know.  I have learned that people love me for me. They accept me with my Rembrandt physique, unicorn obsession, and all.

            But back to the mink stole.  My friend got me thinking. I am finally feeling good about myself, who I am, and where I’m going. I will never be a runway model or Nobel Peace Prize winner, but who cares? I’m a lot more fun to be around. I don’t make a daily drama over which sweater to wear with what skirt, or how long my hems should be.  I’ve waited all my life to have a sassy, witty side, and I’m finally having fun letting these sides out of the box. I’ve changed my eating habits, my clothes, the books I read and the glasses I wear.  Why can’t I keep pushing the envelope and wear my mother’s prize possessions?

            I might not go to places where mink stoles are the height of fashion, but I do get together with friends and family who love me and enjoy having a good time with me.  We play games, we gossip, we laugh.  We support each other through surgery and unemployment and cancer and the passing on of loved ones.  We talk about each other’s health, libedo and career, so why wouldn’t they support me if I wrapped a gorgeous mink around my shoulders?  It would open up space to share stories about our mothers and grandmothers, about the way they dressed or the great meals they cooked.  We could talk about their lives, whether they went to school or worked on the farm.  We could share the heartache of losing our mothers at a young age or watching them wither away from Alzheimer’s or how we still enjoy being with her. We could share how much we missed our moms and grandmothers, or how glad we are that they are finally out of our lives.

            We are all rich in history.  Everyone you meet has a past, perhaps even a past life.  We spend so much time hiding behind facades that are acceptable to the population at large, and rarely take time to be just who we are.  Now and then it is prudent to keep your idiosyncrasies to yourself…after all, it wouldn’t do to dress like a Renaissance Faire wench at work or bring a laptop to the movie theater.  No one wants to hear you sing Bon Jovi in the bathroom, nor are they interested in your bedtime rituals.  But what about the classical music geek who is dying to get out from under the cloud of secrecy?  What about the fact that you love tinkering with cars or that you look for the hidden meaning in Woody Allen movies? What about your collection of angels that can fill a small room or the songs you’ve written that you plunk out on a guitar?     

            Why are you hiding who you are?

            If you are afraid of others making fun of you, get over it.  People have made fun of us from the day we were born and will make fun of us long after we’re gone.  There will always be some goofy looking baby or toothy grade schooler or chubby high schooler that will forever look back at you in the mirror. You will always be who you’ve always been.  So why not have some fun with it?

            There is a game night coming up next month at one of our friend’s houses.  I think I will wrap one of the mink stoles around me and sashay into the world of daycare workers and college students and tool and die makers. I will bring the memories of my mother Rose along with me, inspired by the fur around my shoulders, and she’ll be right there, having fun with us, too.

            I think I’ll bring along the other one just in case someone else wants to sashay, too.