Monthly Archives: May 2012


It has been brought to my attention by my youngest child (lower left) that the expression I use of hers is not in fact “anywoodles” as in anyway but “anyhoodles” as in anyhow.  I was sort of fond of woodles and had gotten comfortable with it.  Dropped it in conversation here and there.  It was working for me.

But, life is change and some say change is good (I go back and forth on that one) so on this Mother’s Day 2012, I will laugh at my mistakes, big and small, (see orange person above guffawing) and move on.

With anyhoodles in my hip pocket, who knows?  The sky may be the limit.




A gift for your moms…

I received an email from a reader that I decided to share with you since tomorrow is Mother’s Day and, aside from Hallmark, I think you can always say it best with flowers.  The reader explained very sweetly that he had two moms, “they are lesbians.”  I appreciated his candor and also it was helpful in case I might have assumed he had a mom and a step-mom. Anyhoodles (see post 2/26/2012), he had researched the care of cut flowers on a website that made them sound more high maintenance than a small herd of  hippos so I felt obliged to assuage his doubt and confusion and explain there is simply little better than a gift of flowers. Especially from a son. I wrote:

Dear Joe (name changed to protect the innocent),

I don’t normally respond directly to my mail  but as a mother, I cannot pass up the chance to guide you in giving your moms flowers.  My response is YES, YES, YES and the mama’s health website, as you said, makes giving flowers seem so troublesome and it is not.  It is always the best kind of joy to receive flowers. Girlfriends get flowers, stage actors get flowers, grandmas get flowers, but as a mother, I am most excited and pleased when I get a bouquet of anything from my kids.
And I never thought about the problem of two mothers on Mother’s Day! You have to worry about the gift times two. If you live near your moms, my advice is get them each a bouquet, not just one. And keep the flowers simple. You can never go wrong with all of one thing.  No matter the number of flowers you choose–three or a dozen.  All roses are a no-brainer. I  love white, peach or yellow– but no red.  All tulips  are wonderful. Tulips are the only flower that continues to grow after you cut it. Also if you put a penny in water, the copper makes them stand up straight and not sag over the side of the vase.
A general rule for flower selection is:  no carnations, no bakers fern, no mums, no bows stuck in the middle on a plastic stick, no dyed to match anything and you are good to go.
If possible, deliver them in a vase, as many people panic at the thought of what to put fresh cut flowers in if received in a loose bunch. Get them at your grocery store, a florist, a street vendor, buy them at the train station. It doesn’t matter. Your moms will love that you remembered and that you remembered them with flowers.
And the after care is up to them.  Most cut flowers bloom happily for at least a week just stuck in a vase with water to fend for themselves.
The moment they are presented is the best part no matter how long they last.  I don’t know a woman on earth that doesn’t melt at the sight of an unexpected bouquet.
Good luck and I hope this helps.
And happy Mother’s Day to your moms,
Mrs. Mom

Commencing to commence

I received videos of two commencement addresses by email this morning. I am sure I will receive more and I have to admit, I always look forward to them this time of year. All those fresh faces in the crowd, the speaker full of sage advice, usually witty vignettes about their own college years and most certainly earnest reflection.

One was Steve Jobs’s 2005 address at Stanford and the other CNN’s medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta’s recent address to the Class of 2012 at his alma mater, The University of Michigan. Both used numbered ideas, imaginary point bullets if you will, that outlined their version of how to handle, look at or best utilize one’s future.  Each urged their crowd of twenty one-ish,  fidgety, probably hung over college senior listeners to hope, dream, succeed, fail and embrace whatever lies ahead.

I was actually touched and inspired by both speaker’s thoughts.  Extremely different personae.  Practically polar success stories.  One traditional.  One anything but.  One born of college sweethearts who lived the American dream.  The other given up for adoption by a college relationship, taken in by a second choice adoptive family and nonetheless, also lived the American dream.

I listened to their reflections, their guidelines.  Both were extremely impressive but neither strayed too far from typical graduation speech text.  Find your dream and live it.  Live it new each day.  Love your family; remember your friends. Know that each day is a gift and could be your last, Steve Jobs’s  reflections on this obviously more haunting being recirculated posthumously.

I hear and read these speeches so differently now as a fifty plus year old someone than I did as a twenty something someone. I feel like the parents always nod in ardent agreement with these speakers as their children nod off. I know these kids are hearing bits and pieces as they check their cell phones and chat behind cupped palms.   They might even catch the thesis of the address but can they really employ or truly understand the advice at their stage of life?

They are so young.

So I am thinking these addresses as fabulous, well-delivered and well-intentioned as they are, are often more poignant for the parents than they are the students. For some of us, they stir up memories of roads not taken and long forgotten dreams that these students haven’t lived long enough to feel or understand. That said, maybe it is not such a bad thing.

Kids can hear these speeches and be inspired to take the twenty or so years they have lived and build a successful, fulfilling future that should include many decades.  And the parents can be reminded that they may only have twenty or so years left and, if they are fortunate, a few decades to finally do what really matters in their lives and make that difference that seemed so easy as an idealistic college graduate.

In spite of my somewhat conflicted sentiments, I hear/read commencement addresses and I feel recharged.

These particular commencement reflections got me out of my bathrobe before noon, inspired me to write this post after a month-long, road trip hiatus and will at least for the rest of the day make me more conscious of  how I am spending this particular 24 hours.

Check them out.  You may even get a week, a month, a year’s worth of kick-in-the-ass. I was just glad I took the few minutes each to watch and listen…And seriously, could Sanjay be any better looking?


Sunday thoughts by Dr. Seuss

“Today I shall behave, as if this is the day I will be remembered.”
–Dr. Seuss