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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

WTF - Town Council

Who in any earthly idea decided to run for town council? Me, that is! What was I thinking? I announced my run in July and I can't even tell you the number of text messages, phone calls, and emails. But since I love this town I'm doing this and getting ready for my "Meet the Candidates" meeting tomorrow night.

I thought I'd throw a few things out there for you. If I become a Council member, I promise you this:

I'm not changing who I am, you'll still see my same Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Feed. I'm not sharing my Snapchat because I share that one with my boys.

If you see me and run, give me some space. I may have just finished a yoga class and need just a few more minutes of zen.

I thought I'd share some of my favorite politics quotes! Here ya go"

And the most important lesson of all?

Wish me luck on tomorrow's night Meet the Candidates, may I do my community proud!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

WTF - Laundry List

My college freshman called and said he missed me and wanted to come home for a night. I understood the translation, "I have a boatload of laundry to do."

He came home proudly telling me he even was washing his sheets! (He's been in the dorm three, three weeks - Ewwww)

The next day when I go to take a shower, I wonder where all my towels went? Ah, yes he washed his sheets but left me the dirty towels and grabbed some clean ones.

With one still at home, I figured we had to go down my laundry list:

If you don't want it ruined, empty your pockets. Especially Lip Balm that melts in the dryer and you can't get the stains out of your clothes. If it does get ruined there is no complaining to the management. You snuck those pants into my hamper.

But you can leave money in your pockets. I love freshly laundered money.

Clothes around the hamper do not get washed, clothes in the hamper do.

If you tried it on and didn't want to wear it, it's still clean. Don't throw it on the floor for the dog to pee on.

You can reuse a towel if hung up properly. Don't shove it in a big ball on the towel rack. Remember this isn't a hotel. We can use towels more than once. And the argument that it touched your private parts isn't working. They were clean when it touched them.

If it goes into the wash inside out, it gets folded inside out. You can guess what's on that T-shirt.

Keep your socks together. I got overwhelmed by single socks to the point I just took a trash bag of single socks and gave it to Goodwill, let them deal with it.

You can wear your Jeans more than once. We don't work on a farm. Your father puts his jeans in the freezer to clean them. I'm guilty of washing mine.

Finally, you can use a computer, definitely use an iPhone. I'm sure you can figure out the washer and dryer.

Who used up all my laundry detergent?

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

WTF - How Strong Is Your Back?

I know children can be pains in the neck, but they are also pain in the back from bending over picking up all the different items on the floor. When my son was little, I always lost burp towels to the floor, dropped pacifiers. Of course his being the first child, everything carefully sanitized before dropped to the floor again. He laughed in his high chair, throwing food and watching the dog get to it before I could pick it up. The dog ate well.

We moved from the baby things to cussing every time I stepped on a Lego. I picked up Legos, Transformers, puzzle pieces, books, and the wayward piece of food the dog missed. We also spent a lot of time on the floor, playing games, reading those books, chasing each other. Once he was in bed, I spent the next hour picking up and putting away from the floor except for that Lego at 2 a.m.

When the toys started moving out of the house, the floor became covered in video games.  LeapFrog and math games came first, moving to the Nintendo DS and all the little game cards lost around the house. I'm still finding Nintendo cards to this day. They replaced these with Wii controllers until they moved on to the Xbox. I picked these up from the floor after chasing all the dead batteries rolling around the floor to disappear underneath the couch.

As the video games increased, so did the bowls and cups. I used to say going downstairs in my house is like going into Target. You say you're just taking a look and come back upstairs with a dish set, all your spoons, four towels, and a case of cups.

Then we move to the clothes on the floor. As Moms, we start picking them up, trying to stem the tide until frustration makes us close the door with a sigh. When they start borrowing some of yours or your hubby's clothes, it's time to put on your gas mask and look for them in their room. Murphy's Law most are way underneath the bed with the moldy food.

Then life comes at you fast.

You find their learners permit on the floor, put it on their dresser.
The driver's license then is on the floorboard of the car.
The college applications sit on the floor until you make them fill them out.
The welcome brochure from the school of choice sits on the couch.
Finding the cap and gown under the bed and picking it up and hanging it in the closet.
Picking up boxes of stuff and moving them out to the car.
Bending over placing the fan, so it faces the dorm room bed.

All this working out over 18 years, I think helped me bend over to pick up my heart from the floor as I closed that dorm room door.

How secure is your back?

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

WTF - Polar Coaster?

As most of you know, the High Country of North Carolina has two main seasons - summer and ski season. Residents have an old wives tale that every morning fog is August means a winter snow event. Many will say that is hogwash, but there are quite a few of us that take this seriously. Those the most seriously are involved with snow sports.

Sitting here on this cold foggy morning, I couldn't help but rejoice. There are still a few days left in August, but my count right now is at 15! My little jar sits on the window sill with white and black beans in it. The white beans are very foggy mornings, which mean a more significant snow event. The black beans are just your average snow. My first year collecting beans, my husband threw them into the pot of cooking beans.

On top of that, Farmer's Almanac is predicting a cold and snowy winter for Western North Carolina, a polar coaster. The polar coaster means temperature swings of highs and lows that will resemble The Fury of Carowinds. 

The polar coaster will help Beech Mountain Resort during the cold swings, but all the new upgrades to snowmaking will give it all the help it needs after milder temperatures. Upgrading water lines means more territory open at the beginning of the season to supplementing current coverage after a string of warm temperatures. Last year we had 22 inches in one storm, it was all gone in two weeks! Here's where you can get your Farmer's Almanac https://www.farmersalmanac.com

Look also to the Wooly Worm Festival of Banner Elk for winter's forecast. A Wooly Worm or Wooly Bear is a black and brown caterpillar. During the Wooly Worm Festival, Wooly Worms race it out in heats all day Saturday, the winning caterpillar collecting 500 dollars and providing the winter forecast.  There are 13 segments on a Wooly Worm for13 weeks,  the brown segments mean warmer, the black more severe weather. For me, the perfect caterpillar would be all black!  Here is last year's winner named Montgomery County's Best. "black, black, black, flick, dark brown, dark brown, dark brown, dark brown, dark brown, dark brown, flick, flick, flick. Black: below average, snow/ Dark Brown: below average/ Light Brown: above-average/ Flick: black and brown, below average, frost or light snow. The average temperature is 27 degrees F." For more information on the festival visit http://www.woollyworm.com

So if you are collecting beans, let me know your tally. As the weather turns colder, be on the lookout for Wooly Worms and let them race. Last year even with strings of warm temperatures, I still skied 118 days. This year my goal is 121, one-third of the year. Time to get those skis out and start prepping for winter, only 11 weeks to go!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

WTF - A Social Media Education by my Children

I think I have a different thought process when it comes to social media. My children decided to explain things to me.

"Mom, stop flexing on Instagram," They cry as I take a picture of the Southern Chicken Breakfast Bake Masterpiece and am ready to hit "post the picture."

"Why?" I ask pointing to the skillet on the stove, "LOOK AT THAT!"

"It's embarrassing," They reply.

So what do I do? I post a video to my STORY of them complaining about me over flexing then them cleaning their plate with my masterpiece. They say that's OK because it goes away.

Here's my education per my children:

Snapchat, you can send them pictures but don't post too much to your story. That's called flexing. My children suggest a picture every once in a while. "Oh and Mom, you may want to reply to Snapchats with just a picture of the top of your head." Me. "Why?" (thinking maybe my saggy neck is getting to them?) "That's what everyone else does."

Instagram - "Mom you flex too much." Me. "I put these pictures up because at the end of the year I can get a company to make a hardcover book out of my pictures! See? I'm not a scrap booker, I get someone to do it for me." Kids, "Just don't post any more animals on your walks to you story." Me. "Good compromise."

Facebook - Kids, "Only old people use Facebook." Me. "Good then you won't see me flexing on Facebook because I'm pretty damn funny."

Text Messages - "Who texts anymore?"

"Is that why you always ignore my texts? I see text messaging as saying something to someone and when they don't respond I go into insecure mode!"

Did they not like my text? Do they like me? Did I make them mad? Screw them. I'm never texting again.

Kids, "No why should we respond to everything?"

Me, "Just send me a smiley face or something to make me feel better."

Email - Kids, "What is that?"

Me. Heavy sigh.

Phone Calls - no one talks on the phone anymore. At least I am in agreement with that!

So I'm ahead of the game because I know I can flex on Snapchat and Instagram but behind the game when it comes to email and Facebook - so last year!

Now to get back on my computer and look up: Visco, WhatsApp, and Tinder.

Ha! No Hinge or Tinder for me. But I'm hip enough to know about it.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

WTF - Happy Birthday America!

Today, on America's birthday, I put my new flag up proud to be an American. I am proud of this country. An experiment started by our founding fathers, flawed at times but always rising up to do the right thing.

To me the American flag, all of them, are proud symbols of our heritage. Each has its unique and true story as a testament to different parts of our history. There are several ways to understand the flags and their makers. In Philadelphia, the Betsy Ross house still stands where she made our original flag. I was taught in school to look at Betsy Ross as an American Icon, now I see her as one of the original

feminists. Defying the British and creating the symbol for our country. In May of 1776, she met with George Washington, Robert Morris and George Ross and accepted the commission to create the flag. She knew Washington from sewing ruffles and other items for his wardrobe. The flag was finished in June of 1776 ready for July 4th 1776.

In Baltimore, the Star Spangled Banner house is located, where Mary Pickersgill and her mother created the flag that flew over Ft. McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. The flag that inspired a young lawyer named Frances Scott Key to write the Star Spangled Banner as he was negotiating a prisoner exchange on a ship in the Inner Harbor. I used to go to the Star Spangled Banner house in downtown Baltimore on school field trips marveling how small the room was where she sewed the flag. Did you know there is a buoy in the Inner Harbor painted red, white and blue? That buoy is where Frances Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner as a prisoner on a ship watching the bombardment of Fort McHenry. That to me is cool, I remember sailing around that buoy several times when I lived in Baltimore.

In the Smithsonian collection at the National Museum of American History, the Star Spangled Banner is displayed. The size of this flag is immense, 30feet by 42feet! When Mary was commission by George Armistead, he wanted a flag so big that the British would have no difficulty seeing it from far. The boys and I went from the small house where Mary made it to looking at the massive flag and learning about all the hard work at preserving it. On the flag you can see where pieces were cut out for different people to keep as mementos including one of the fifteen stars. Some of the original needles are still in the fabric and the initials of Armistead are sewn proudly on the back. Watching workers in white suits meticulously cleaning the flag and preserving is also pretty cool. The history of what happened to the flag after flying over Ft. McHenry is depicted in black and white pictures with the story of Armistead keeping the flag as a triumphant memento of the war later gifting it to its permanent home at the Smithsonian in the American History Museum.  Displayed in a glass case for 50 years except for two times during WW2 the flag was further restored and is now displayed in a climate controlled permanent installation. It truly is a sight to see!

So I'm waving my flag proudly because America, like me, has things in our past that maybe we're not proud of but we always rise to do the right thing. God bless America and Happy Birthday!

Friday, June 7, 2019

WTF - Graduation Compartmentalizing

Shit's getting real in this house as Graduation looms. I'm doing my best to compartmentalize things because if I even talk about it, I choke up.

My husband thinks it's funny as he says, "He's only going 45 minutes away!"

But he's going away. The child that used to scream from his crib at 430 in the morning "START DAY!"

So I'm focusing on the things that I can handle.

Wondering where the cap and gown went after the capping ceremony because I can't focus on watching his little brother cap the big brother.

It's easier to focus on finding the cap and gown under the couch downstairs in the kid's room.

Focusing on finding the special cord for being a straight A student and Athlete, because he doesn't care if he wears it but I do.

Trying not to cry during the capping ceremony. Focusing on how bad my back hurt sitting on bleachers for 2 hours and 15 minutes while the same 7 students got all the Senior Awards.

Watching him write out graduation announcements focusing on why App State has to have special beds in the dorms that require you to purchase special sheets. WTH?

Focusing on missing my own fundraiser Bourbon and Bacon rather than watching him cross that stage getting his diploma.

Compartmentalize things is easier than focusing on the big picture. Watching his spread his wings.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

WTF - Call Me SAP

If anyone knows my family, they know the McKeon side of the family is full of saps.

Case in point, my grandmother could never get through a greeting card without wiping away a tear or two. Every family gathering was not dry when my grandmother would ask my father to sing Mother Machree. Especially the time he prefaced it with, "I think this is the first time I ever sang this sober."

I tried to keep it together during my sisters wedding and erupted with a sob because, well, I'm a sap.

Cue now trying to hold it together as my first born gets ready to leave the nest. Sure I'm all confident as the announcements come in and excuse myself to the bathroom. Then the Senior pictures come through and I'll retire to the deck. I tell myself to hold it together but the McKeon comes out every time.

Why am I tearing up as I make them a post prom brunch, what the heck?

When someone asks me where Wolfgang is going to college. I have to gulp first before answering.

Writing out graduation announcements.

Hiding behind Jeff as we take Senior Prom pictures.

Because I still see the little kid that would yell from his room at 4 o'clock in the morning, "Start day!"

The kid who's head was too big so he couldn't balance to walk and scooted across the floor. I'm still amazing we never nicknamed him Scooter.

Waiting on the front porch for the bus to come by.


I said to Jeff the other day, "How am I going to handle this? I'm a McKeon and you know all us Irish are total SAPS! I'm not going to make it through graduation.

"Believe me, you won't be the only one crying," is his reply. He's right, I'll be in good company.

I guess I'll just quietly hold it together, watch them grow wings and hope I did a good job. Then let the McKeon side take over.

Friday, May 17, 2019

WTF - Obsession is that bad?

My children came home from school, checked the mailbox and walked in with a package for me.

"Ah! That's my delivery from Scribe Delivery! My new pens and notebooks!" Disclaimer, most writers are obsessed with pens and notebooks, basically all types of office supplies.

They look at my pile of new notebooks, the pens overflowing the holder, and the box of pens by the side of my "writing chair."

"Mom. we need to talk to you." One child says.

I'm thinking, "OK I've been slacking in the lunch department." or, "I'm still not washing your sheets, that's your job."

"What do we need to talk about?" I ask.

They look at each other, "The newest obsession."

"What are you talking about?" I ask. Me? Obsessed? Maybe a few TV series or a few vampire novels, but I'm not obsessed with anything!

"You're into the pen and notebook obsession," one child says.

"Yeah, this was before the coconut oil obsession," another says.

"What do you mean?" I ask.

They explain to me my cycle. I have the obsession, then I move onto the next thing.

There was the healthy smoothie obsession, where I made morning smoothies of chia seeds, beets, veggies, fruits, vinegar, lemon, turmeric, CBD oil whatever I could find. Oh, and of course the collagen for weight loss and hair growth. That lasted a few months.

Then they mentioned the Raramuri runners obsession after reading Born to Run. I was obsessed with salad for breakfast. They didn't like the waking to a breakfast of Spinach salad with a side of Flax seeds..

One of their friends said, "My Mom was obsessed with making chapstick. I walked into the kitchen at 3am and she was making Chapstick. I said 'What are you doing?' she replied, 'Christmas is 6 months away!"'

They counted off another obsession.

"Remember the I'm going to make my own greeting cards obsession," one asked. "We went to Michaels and you bought about 50 stamps, blank cards and told us it was cheaper to make your own card. How many cards did you make?" I wasn't answering three cards and the ink leaked all over my favorite shirt.

"And the painting obsession?" Another asked. Another Michaels trip buying canvases, 200 dollars worth of paint, then trying my best Bob Ross and realizing I really didn't have the talent.

"We like this obsession now," they both say together.

The latest obsession is born out of having one graduating this year from high school. I went from being lazy and throwing the ham and cheese sandwiches into their lunch to ending the school year strong. Years past they'd find a grape halved for their fruit, a moldy piece of brownie for desert then that damn sandwich.

This year, I'm obsessed with bowls. Putting all my cooking goodness together in one bowl (not mentioning the 3876 dirty pans in the kitchen.) I'm making bowls for dinner, bowls for their lunch. They've had the Asian bowl- teriyaki salmon with coconut rise and sautéed green beans. The Southwestern Bowl - fajita chicken with chili black beans, yellow rise, salsa and sour cream. The Pad Thai bowl of Shrimp, Peppers with egg, pad thai sauce and rice noodles. My most artistic was the sushi bowl-sushi rice, imitation crab, chopped avocado and cucumbers sprinkled with sesame seeds. (I had to steal a few soy packets from the grocery store for that one."

So they are lucky at this obsession, they are eating well and actually looking forward to their lunches on a daily basis. I'm enjoying making the food and feeling the small sense of being in control with all the monumental things happening in my life, one driving, another graduating!

I've been lucky that some obsessions stayed with me, my yoga passion and becoming a teacher. My reading though my husband may differ as he steps over all the books on my reading list. My writing, and you're welcome because you are here reading this. I have been informed by my husband that I cannot have another expensive hobby as I eyed the golf clubs in the Pro Shop of the Beech Mountain Club.

So whatever your obsession is - Chapstick, Bowls, Greeting Cards down to Spirulina Smoothies take it for what is it, some stick and it's a good thing and others end up in the pantry next to the paint supplies and the 16 tubes of Saran Wrap from the "trying to shrink my belly" obsession.

I'll just go ahead and hide the bee keeping supplies in the forest. Making my own honey is healthier right?

Can you name any obsession you can laugh about?

Friday, May 10, 2019

WTF - Mother's Day

Back when my boys were little, they always celebrated Mother's Day.

One year they brought a piece of toast and a Miller Lite for breakfast in Bed.

Another year, they loaded all their compliments on Alexa and let her do all the talking.

Another year, they just crawled into bed with me and declared "no one is moving for the day."

It's special to me celebrating with my children, but there's a small part of me that's sad on Mother's Day. Especially this one with so many monumental things happening this year.

One turning 18.

One getting his Learner's Permit

One Graduating

One moving out to go to college.

It's times like these that make me miss my Mom. To call her and have her help me hold it together as my children celebrate getting older and I'm forced to continue to let go.

If I saw her for Mother's Day, I'd tell her how much Wolfgang looks like Dad. I'd expect her to tell me to pull it together as I get weepy when writing out graduation announcements. Maybe she'd take Max out driving just to save me the heart attack, probably not.

I know she'd be here for the upcoming Graduation, she'd be there at the beach this summer as we celebrate Jeff's 60th birthday. Hell, she'd probably be moving to Beech Mountain for the summer because she'd be retired.

I miss talking to her about kids, about lessons learned, about marriage. I miss not being able to call her and ask, "Is this normal?" as my body changes again - sometimes not for the best!

I'll go back to my email and find that folder of all her emails, re reading them and hearing her voice again. I'll look at pictures and smile remembering when she said we had to "act cool" going into a club we didn't belong to and tripping through the front door. Or smile when she called me from a business trip to California telling me how nice her hotel room was:

"You won't believe it. There's all kind of food and a refrigerator full of beer and liquor. I can't eat all the food, but I went ahead and put most of the refrigerator stuff in my luggage!"

When you lose parents, it's these holidays that make you stop and find gratitude that you had that time with Mom. Then just like all the monumental things happening this year have the courage to let it go and tuck it away in that little box of what you don't want to deal with right now. Smile as the Miller Lite and piece of toast you received when the kids were little are now Eagle Rare Bourbon and Sourdough Toast.

For those Moms out there, enjoy! Enjoy the time with your kids and your time with your Mom because you never realize how fast it goes until you're looking at Graduation announcements saying, "What the hell?"

Happy Mother's Day. I'm going to brunch at Beech Mountain Club because my son is working there and wants "to cook me something."

Holding it together right now, making Mom proud.