Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I will not break eye contact, because you are CLEARLY up to no good

Apparently, we have vastly different attitudes toward strangers here at Casa de Motherscribe. BOY will throw open the door to any pedestrian who chances to walk by, most especially ones with dogs, and boldly initiates dialogue.

Can I pet your dog?

What's his name?

I'm BOY! Your dog reminds me of my Soul Man. He's dead. He was an old doggie.

What are you doing here?

Where do you live?

Etc., etc.

His sense of boundaries is very...wavy. He is open, sometimes to a fault. He is known to throw his arm around a stranger's leg, lift up the shirt on a pregnant belly, and investigate the neighbor's trunk they had forgotten about in the back of their closet.

GIRL is wary of strangers. She is known far and wide for her deliberate, wide eyed, "I will not break eye contact, because you are CLEARLY up to no good" stare. In fact, we called it The 200 yard Glare when she was a baby. Indeed. It was disconcerting to other people, but provided much amusement for us.

There was the restaurant incident when GIRL was under 1. We were vacationing on Edisto Island, South Carolina. The waitress, determined to engage GIRL and make her laugh, did her best. She wasn't good enough. Not for GIRL. And, she took it as a personal failure.

I've NEVAH had a child not smile at ME.

Obviously, GIRL, at less than a year old, was responsible for the waitress and her feelings. While I was finishing up lunch with BOY & GIRL in the restaurant, E went to a toy store next door to purchase a ball. As he was leaving the store, he ran into the waitress.

Is that ball for the baby who smiles OR THE ONE WHO DOESN'T?

Yes, she took it as a personal failure. Perhaps it ruined her life. Heh.

GIRL is not prone to easy laughter. But, when you hear her belly laugh or giggle, you're captured forever. A smile and her trust have to be earned. She is incredibly loyal, and keeps an eye out for BOY. As he does her. They have a pretty good system between them.

Recently, a group of harmless, elderly, Born Again ladies came calling. GIRL happened to catch sight of them just about to walk up our driveway. She ran out into the yard screaming:



Get INSIDE!!!!

Lock the doors!


She then proceeded to run into the house with BOY, slam the door, and collapse on the floor. Breathless...and giggling.

GIRL. She is cautious, loud, and a big ol' ham. Yes, GIRL is mischievous. Needless to say, the elderly ladies moved right on down the road....


Painting by Chuck Gumpert. Titled: Mischievous

submit to reddit

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hello Blogger... it's been 3 days and GOD knows how many hours since my last confession

JCK enters and shuts the curtain behind her.

Makes the sign of a giant B.

JCK: Hello Blogger... it's been 3 days and GOD knows how many hours since my last confession. I've been a bit...busy. Let's see...there was the virus that attacked my husband's computer. It took us 3 days to get rid of it. Then...our land line died, unexpectedly, with no explanation... And, of course, there was the toilet plunger incident, which needs no further explanation. Not to be overlooked, there is the not small matter of having two children 10 months apart who are incredibly adorable, but also take extreme glee in tormenting their mother. I am keeping them as busy as possible this summer, but when it comes down to it? I am their pet project. And...have come very close to gnawing on Kibbles-n-bits..and BITS...and BITS...

When not wielding a sword to combat computer viruses, a toilet plunger, and sending it straight through my own heart...I've been hard at work on my new business. I have begun marketing, setting my fees, casting about for clients, and am working on a web site. I'm feeling energized and focused. It looks like a part-time space is coming together, too.

I miss writing here. But, I will be back...

submit to reddit

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Well... when I wasn't tearing my hair out over Mrs. Devine

Last Saturday, there was a Fancy Nancy event at Vroman's Bookstore to celebrate the newest book, Fancy Nancy Explorer Extraordinaire. We dressed up. All of us. GIRL was rapturous. She picked her daddy's tie. BOY chose his own ensemble. And I did my best. We were enthusiastic.

There were little girls there in a full range of fancy, with a few brothers thrown in the mix. The room buzzed with excitement in anticipation of the arrival of Mrs. Devine -one of the characters from the Fancy Nancy books who was coming to "read the story." She made her entrance and was well received. She had an eager audience. All the little girls and a few boys were ready to hear a story. But, she just went on and on and on and ON and ON...chit chatting about things in the book, not reading the book, leading a grand inquisition ad nauseum. There was no telling of a story. Just asking questions, and lecturing in a high, screechy voice that grated. Especially when twenty minutes or so went by, and she STILL hadn't read the story.

Fancy girls were everywhere, aged 3-7, but BOY was not to be left out. When Mrs. Devine complimented all the little girls on how fancy they looked, BOY piped up: AND, handsome! You didn't say... HANDSOME! This brought about some tittering from the audience.

After another 10 minutes into it, I leaned over to E and whispered, I wish she would just read the book!

READ THE BOOK! - BOY shouted.

All the parental units had a good chuckle. Mrs. Devine? Not so much... The torture continued for at least 20 minutes more, by which time BOY had made his way to the back of the bookstore and was enjoying a quiet time looking over books, perfectly content by himself.

GIRL? Was delighted. First of all, she got to be fancy. And, she loved Mrs. Devine's grand inquisition into what is this and that??? -- as relates to Fancy Nancy. GIRL is a wonderful, engaged student. So, while half the girls had started standing up, and/or were wailing into their parents' laps desperate for snacks, GIRL was sitting quietly listening, and taking it all in. I was happy just to watch her. Well... when I wasn't tearing my hair out over Mrs. Devine.

Speaking of hair, at one point Mrs. Devine got a bit worked up over not having the full attention of her audience. As her wig started to slip backwards, she shouted:

Girls, Girls, let's stay focused. (Clap, Clap, Clap of her hands.) OR...you will NOT BE ABLE TO BE IN the Fancy Nancy Explorer's Club!

I recoiled in horror. Flashbacks to elementary school.

We're looking forward to reading the book, since we didn't get to HEAR it. Next time I think we'll just stay home, dress fancy, and read the book ourselves...

submit to reddit

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Scribe

GIRL and I were perusing a children's book on Ancient Egypt in which scribes were mentioned. We read that scribes were educated in the art of writing.

GIRL: Scribe. Like Motherscribe!

I am teaching her well...

submit to reddit

Friday, July 17, 2009

How BOY sees the clouds

Lately, when we are walking somewhere together, BOY has been reaching out for my hand to hold. It is new for us. This tiny bit of slowing down where he goes at my pace, rather than running ahead on his own. This morning I was just enjoying the feeling of his little hand in mine, when he said this...

BOY: Mommy, see that cloud up there.

JCK: Yes, BOY?

BOY: That is the heart of GOD.

Photo courtesy of Google Images.

submit to reddit

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It feels like a path is revealing itself here

My creative energy has been going into my new business venture. Yesterday I spent a couple of hours playing with designs for my business cards. I am really jazzed about having a massage practice for women again! I've also been brainstorming with friends on marketing ideas.

My biggest challenge at the moment is deciding on my pricing. It is a tough time for many in today's economy. I am hoping to market to the women who feel that stress relief via massage helps them MORE than hurts their pocketbook. I want to offer a price that attracts, yet not undervalues my talent. If I start too low, then when I raise my rates to meet the market, I set myself up for losing clients. So...what I am leaning toward doing is coming in at the average rate for my area, and offering a $20 off introductory special. The added complication is that in the beginning my business will be house calls, which are more expensive because you are bringing the massage to someone's home. Massage therapists typically charge more for house calls. Yet, I am building a business...

Last week, there was an exciting development. I was talking with a massage therapist about buying oils and aromatherapy materials locally...we were chat, chatting, which I tend to do...HEH...and it turns out there is a part-time space available in her office! I am really excited. I have yet to talk to the land lord (another MT), because she's on vacation, but the possibilities look quite good for me sharing the space. For a very workable monthly rent. This way I could offer both house calls and an office option for those women who want to get out of the house. Those of you who have young children can understand that...

As is always the case, now that I have moved out of the DEER CAUGHT IN THE HEADLIGHTS...FROZEN IN FEAR STAGE, I am struck by what the universe is giving back to me. I took a few shaky steps forward, started walking, and things are coming to me. It feels like a path is revealing itself here. At least for now...Stay tuned.


Question: For those of you who get massages, what would attract you to try a different massage therapist? Do you like the idea of an introductory special? What are the rates in your area? (I live in Southern California.) What about for a house call? I would love your feedback on this issue!

Photo courtesy of Google Images

submit to reddit

Monday, July 13, 2009

Random dinner conversation at Casa de Motherscribe

JCK: What were you two playing outside?

GIRL: Baby.

BOY: I told you that two times, Mommy.

JCK: You did? I'm sorry, I don't remember.

BOY: You don't have a very good brain.


BOY: You said we could watch that silly movie after dinner.

Loooong Pause...........

GIRL: Sometimes people don't keep their promises.

JCK: O.K. O.K., I keep my promises.

Photo courtesy of iStock images

submit to reddit

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Frieda Funhouse

GIRL is getting into all things Girly Girl. She loves wearing dresses, and doing her own hair with accouterments... And she adores it when I wear dresses, and put makeup on. One of her favorite games is "Nail Salon." It only takes a few props: nail polish, newspaper, and a bit of improvisation.

There is quite a character who operates the salon. Her name? Frieda Funhouse. Yes, that would be me.

It goes something like this... GIRL takes out a penny from her piggy bank, and knocks on the hallway door into the dining room.


FRIEDA: Why HELLO! What can I DO for you this MORNING? (Frieda's voice tends to go up and down, and the accent is sporadic. Sometimes sounds German, sometimes like a Drag Queen on a good day.)

GIRL: Hello. I would like my nails and toes painted, please.

FRIEDA: Oh, HO. HO!! Welcome. WELCOME! Please come in. SO.... You would LIKE a MANICURE and a PEDICURE, N'est pas? (Occasionally a French accent seeps in, too.)

GIRL: Yes.

FRIEDA: What is your name, dear?

GIRL: My name is GIRL. I've been here before.

FRIEDA: Aaah...YES. YES! How RUDE of me. SHOCKING. Just SHOCKING. So sorry. SO, SO sorry. I thought I recognized you. Well, now. Please PICK a color from the table, and we WILL get started.

GIRL: I like the RED.

FRIEDA: You DO? You DO! Of course you do! Of COURSE. (Frieda can be a BIT repetitive.)

GIRL: Yes, RED is my favorite color.

FRIEDA: Beautiful. OK, then. Let's get started.

GIRL: Here's a penny, Miss Freida Funhouse.

FRIEDA: Thank you. Thank YOU! Some people just DON'T pay me well. But, YOU! Why YOU!! Lovely CUSTOMER. Excellent taste.

GIRL: Thank you. My brother would also like to get his nails done.


FRIEDA: Well, of COURSE. Of COURSE, you DO! While your sister is DRYING, why don't we look at you. Oh, my, my...MY! Such SHOCKING nails. Such dirt! Such fun you have outside, NO?

BOY: Yes.

FRIEDA: One penny, please.

BOY: O.K. Here you go, Miss Frieda Funhouse!

FRIEDA: Such MANNERS! Lovely. Just LOVELY. Thank you. What IS your name AGAIN!? Fred?


FRIEDA: But, of COURSE! Of course. BOY it is. Do you like this blue?

BOY: I do.

GIRL: Will you please dry my nails?

FRIEDA: Yes, my dear. Oh, DEAR! My FAN! My FAN! It is still BROKEN. I hope you don't mind??? Here we go. PFFUFFTTT! PFFFUTTT! (Frieda takes a big breath and blows loudly on GIRL's fingernails & toenails.)

BOY: Me, too!

FRIEDA: OK, my dear. Maybe some of this DIRT can be BLOWN OUT! (The wind-up is a bit dramatic for BOY.) PPPPFFFUUUTTTTTTTTTTTT! PPPPFUUUUTTT!


FRIEDA: Well, time to go. TIME TO GO! Bye-Bye.

GIRL & BOY: WAIT! WAIT! We're not done yet.

FRIEDA: Oh, but I AM! Thank you! Thank you, my dears. Come again! Ta! Ta! Tootles! Auf wiedersehen. Au revoir. Adios. Ta! (Frieda exits)

It's one of my favorite games, too...

submit to reddit

Friday, July 10, 2009

Up at 5am. Success! Writing?

The alarm rings. JCK is up. JCK makes herself tea in the quiet darkness. She looks out into the early morning, takes a breath and...

Enter GIRL stage left: Why is it SO dark outside?

JCK: It's 5:45am, sweetie. The sun isn't up quite yet.

It is to be noted that GIRL in her entire 4 years and 9 months has never risen this early. Ever. Did JCK say EVER? JCK meant EVER. JCK is not exaggerating. It is to be further noted that due to Murphy's Law, GIRL awakened on the first morning of JCK's fervent resolve to get up early. To have time for herself. And to write...

All was not lost. JCK cleared and sorted through the piles on her desk.

Up at 5am. Success! Writing? Not so much... But, JCK's desk is neat and organized. And...JCK did enjoy the quiet. For a precious few minutes.

Photo Note: JCK wishes she was at this sunrise. It's been two years since she's been on that beach. Florida. Gulf of Mexico.

JCK was up at 5am, truly because of peer pressure. Thanks to Bad Mom for putting the pedal to the medal and being her emailing I'M AWAKE, ARE YOU? pal in the early A.M. Peer pressure works.

submit to reddit

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Discipline! I must find it.

It was a plan. My plan. Carve out a writing schedule for myself. Get up before sunrise to write before the rest of the household wakes up. The plan? It is not working. So far. Well, it's been three weeks, and I've succeeded once. Yet, I am determined to not give up...yet. My alarm rings every blasted day at 5am, much to the annoyance of my husband. And myself. Why have the alarm go off and then not get up? Why? Indeed.

The premise is a good one. I get my writing space. Uninterrupted. Quiet. And then the day is open for spending time with the children and keeping up with the house. The evening open for reading books or blogs, having sex, watching a movie, going to sleep early... Did I just say, having sex? I did!

The excuses I give myself when the alarm goes off are many, usually having to do with some form of sleep deprivation. BOY still occasionally awakens during the night, and now GIRL is waking up with nightmares and crawling into our bed. Whoever tells you that sleep deprivation stops after children are two years old is fucking lying, by GOD!

Then there was the morning the cat woke me at 3:45am. I should have stayed awake. It was that little window of time when you awaken during the night and are alert and could conceivably stay awake. However, I let myself go back to sleep. When the alarm rang at 5am, both hands were asleep and I had two crippled paws batting at the alarm button. It took a while to find and maneuver the off switch. My body could only speak in groans and sighs... So, I alternately dozed and had an internal yelling fest with myself for the next hour and a half. Until I could no longer stand myself and got out of bed ...at 6:30am. The usual time.

I believe all that internal angst, inner dialogue, is what I'm supposed to be getting out on paper. Discipline! I must find it. Schedule it. And wake up for it...

submit to reddit

Monday, July 6, 2009

Indeed... you might find yourself ass flat in COLD water

There is that thing. About having faith that you will reach the other side. You can doubt for a while, but at a certain point you have to take a leap. Kind of like walking across a stream. If you not only look, but really see, there is often a path available to you. Rocks, at first glance, randomly strewn across the water. Potentially a barrier. Until you breathe and see that you could follow them, a natural trail to the other bank. So, you take that first cautious step, your foot wavering, and then the next and the next. Each stone different than the one before. Higher, lower, flat, jagged... Some rocks are slippery. Indeed... you might find yourself ass flat in COLD water. But, you can recover, recoup your dignity. Clothes can be changed. Pride can be assuaged by the knowledge that you tried, by GOD, you tried.

I am full of new found energy with my latest idea for work. I've been gathering information, and brainstorming with friends. The timing feels right. It is a risk. Both my husband and I would be self-employed. Yet, why not? People with employers are being laid off left and right. In our current economy, no one is completely safe. If we ever were.

I am excited about the possibilities...

I can work in the evenings and on weekends initially, and then add day time hours when the kids are back in school this fall.

I will still be at home with my children most of the time.

And...that my writing here, and possibly elsewhere, will still survive.

There is another, not small, thing firing my belly. I relish earning money again. Quite a bit...

submit to reddit

Friday, July 3, 2009

Here's a little known fact about JCK

In the last few days an idea has been germinating in JCK's brain. In the quest for ways to generate income, she has been focusing on her skill set. What does JCK have to bring to the table, and what works for her family now that she is a mother of two smallish children? Somewhere between the last week of frequent yoga classes, and backing out of her driveway to smash into her neighbor's car...she came up with what she thinks is a gem! At the very least worth a try. What could this be, you ask?

Here's a little known fact about JCK. In the not too distant past, JCK was a massage therapist. She went to massage school for a year, completed 635 hours of study, and was certified in 3 modalities. By the time she graduated, she was able to open up her own office within 3 months. She loved her office. E painted it for her. A relaxing, soothing blue-green. She hung pictures and a tapestry. It was peaceful. It was her space. And she was proud.

JCK had a practice for women. She specialized in therapeutic massage, enabling clients to enter a sacred space to unwind from the day. And to leave a lighter, more rejuvenated person.

So...JCK has decided to launch a new business. Massage targeted to moms. The ones who never treat themselves to the spa, because it intimidates them or they can't afford it. The ones who keep saying they need a massage, but don't ever get one. The ones who are always juggling childcare when they attempt to do anything. Those ones. JCK will go to their homes and bring relaxation to them. She will arrive in the evening when the children are asleep. Or during the day when the children are in school or on a play date. And perhaps down the road, JCK will have her own space.

JCK had thought about doing massage again. But, it wasn't until the idea planted itself and began to grow....cater to the mom population, that it felt right. And if it doesn't work? There will be a few moms out there who are more relaxed, and JCK will have moved from fear into action. As for today, that feels like something. It really does...

submit to reddit

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Cheri, a sumptuous, heart-rending delight of a film...

I was invited to see a screening of Cheri a couple of weeks ago. The new Stephen Frears film starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Friend and Kathy Bates. Lust. Seduction. Older woman. Younger man. Sex... I couldn't resist.

The film is written by Christopher Hampton, based on two novels by Colette. Ahhh...Colette. The naughty and risque novelist and sexual provocateur who published both Cheri and The Last of Cheri in the 1920s. Colette was quite the genius at both titillation and razor sharp wit, all mixed in with pathos.

It doesn't hurt that the film is beautifully shot in France, and the lush costumes and scenery are like treating yourself to a sumptuous dessert.

What a treat to see Michelle Pfeiffer in the role of Lea the ravishing courtesan with money and influence! She is still achingly beautiful, and in top form. Rupert Friend, who plays Cheri, is ...dare I say it, delicious.

The chemistry between Lea & Cheri is seductive. From the moment he enters onscreen, I was mesmerized. And when he utters the words..."Come here" to Lea just minutes after they've been reacquainted...well, the seat of my chair got a bit...hot. Their relationship is complicated. What starts out as a harmless romp soon turns into a love affair. And I was swept up.
The movie has a few twists and turns, and I found myself catching my breath in moments. The camera becomes the cruel eye of youth and there are flashes when it is on Lea and you can visibly see where this will end. Lea's life is in the past, and Cheri's is just beginning. But, they never expected to fall in love...

One of my favorite scenes is toward the end of the film when Lea is sitting down to tea with other aging courtesans. The camera follows her expression as she watches another courtesan flamboyantly flirting with a very young man. Many emotions float across her face, but we are left with her being overcome, disturbed and almost physically ill. She sees herself...and we feel it.

Despite feeling like I had to chain myself down to avoid rushing into the bathroom when I got home to rue every bit of age on my face... I loved this film! If you want to be transported to another time and place, and crave a good story, go treat yourself. Do.

And the younger man/older woman thing? Well, I never used to get that. Until ...now. Er...recant, RECANT...

Movie still photographs courtesy of Miramax Films.

submit to reddit
Copyright © 2007-2014 JCK.

The content on these pages is the sole property of the author and may not be used or reproduced in any manner without consent.

All Rights Reserved.