Well hello there. Happy New Year! And I am happy, surprisingly. Very happy. I hope you are too.

I didn’t go anywhere or do anything more exciting than have Torte Au Chocolat, drink a bit of pink bubbly with people I love and watch other rather tipsy people light themselves on fire. The latter being a perk of living upstairs and having a good view of the street. One party-goer did his best to blow up our car but didn’t quite make it. Thankfully he still has all his limbs and we still have our car but it wasn’t for lack of trying.

Word of advice: the next time you’re at a celebration that involves fireworks, you know that guy who’s so drunk he’s slobbering and can barely stand? Make the world a safer place and steal that dude’s lighter. Then when he finally passes out, duct tape his pants to the floor*, slap a wig on him and Sharpie ‘Bubba’s B***h’ on his forehead**. Then take lots and lots of pics to post on Facebook.

*Preferably on his side so he doesn’t choke on anything disgusting.

**’I ❤ Sheep’ also works.

That’s all I have to say because tomorrow the world starts again and I have to be there early. So til later, be good and hug someone you love.



Long time no see.

Thinking. That’s what I’ve been doing since I wrote last. Lots and lots of thinking. I feel I have a lot to say. Four and a half decades worth. I’m hesitant to jump right into it because I don’t know if anyone would find my thoughts interesting enough to read. I also dread being too blunt or unintentionally offensive because I’ve always been opinionated. I’m not immovable about those opinions, I still have the ability to learn and change and I don’t think I’m right about everything. Still, some of my experience involves other people who might recognize themselves in it, vague though I tried my best to be.

I’ve been a long time reader of blogs and if I’ve learned anything it’s that internet anonymity is an illusion. It’s not that I would intentionally libel and write falsehoods, it’s that the truth is bad enough as it is. I don’t know if I want to clear the cellar of my memory at the cost of someone else’s peace of mind.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s a lot to think about but oh how it’d ease me to just write.

I think I will.

Makeover, stat!

MAN I had a full morning. It’s one of those days where everything I’ve procrastinated about in the last six months attacked me at once. The highlight was when I’d just finished walking my daughter to Kindergarten, done the shopping, and was walking up Mount Everest pulling a packed shopping trolley, deep in thought about another errand I was on the way to do when a woman came out of a Kiosk and demanded I give her her morning paper. My entire body was one giant “Excuse me?” She told me there was a woman who lived up on the hill by the doctor who was responsible for the newspapers in her neighborhood and I looked enough like this woman to be her twin.

Hello? First off, I live up on the hill by the doctor and I go out on foot quite a bit, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never carried newspapers in this country. Secondly, carrying the newspaper is a job they either give to teenagers or people who’re working off state help. Which, may I say clearly, is honest work done by honest people who’re making an effort. I have absolutely nothing derogatory to say about that. BUT, it’s an outside job, a strenuous one in a town where every street is either straight up or straight down, and you don’t do that kind of thing and come out of it looking elegant. In fact you look like you just got done running a 10k.

I think I’d better seriously consider what kind of image I’m projecting to my neighborhood and fast. Mama needs to start workin’ on her style.

Empty Nest part 2

I brought my son a grocery cart. I had two and found them extremely useful for carrying heavy groceries home on foot. Besides, you know how when you think of China you immediately think of hundreds of thousands of people on bicycles? I do, anyway. Well here in Germany lots of people have the little shopping trolleys. It’s what’s done.

The boy was dubious. Touching the handle of the little navy blue plaid contraption threatened his masculinity. In the end though he gave in,  took one for the team and used it for his old mom’s sake. Did I mention he was a good boy?

Anyway, the plan was that I’d come over and fix biscuits and gravy for breakfast. That was the intention. The reality was that he had nothing to cook with and by the time we’d shopped it was well past lunch, the smart little cart had lost a wheel, burst two seams and he was carrying it upright across his chest the last two blocks home, all the while cracking jokes about how incredibly helpful it was and what a wonderful idea I’d had. I spent this time bent double and cross-legged in the street laughing until I hurt and praying I wouldn’t pee myself. Sarcasm, you’re doin’ it right.

Finally we got everything home and were both loopy from laughing and low blood sugar. I set about cooking and about 30 minutes later handed him a huge plate of country potato wedges and two big cheeseburgers with the works. As I approached him with the plate his eyes lit up like a kid on Christmas morning and he choked out breathlessly, “OH… it’s BEAUTIFUL!”

I swear, that look and that compliment was one of the best things that has happened to me in a long, long time. I’m going to remember this good day forever.

Nest minus two.

Today I visited my eldest son in his first ever apartment. Or as he might more colorfully put it, his bachelor pad. Da place where all da magic gon’ happen.

Do people even say ‘bachelor pad’ anymore? Whatev. Plus a huge scoop of duckface.

He’s been living on his own for one week today and believe me he isn’t nearly as excited about that fact as I am. Not that he’s a bad kid and I wish him gone, but whew, the memories! See, what people don’t tell you about having kids is that if raising them to near adulthood doesn’t do you in, you get to live certain milestones all over again in technicolor. Walking through his door for the first time hit me like a… ah… well, it hit me. Suddenly I was in my own first place feeling those exact feelings.

Strangely enough we were both the same age when we moved out and also strangely enough I had just as much nothing as he does right now. Less nothing, even. I didn’t have two nothings to rub together. I swear I’ve never seen anyone so at the start of their life as he is. He needs everything, and everything is for the first time. Every moment is man first walking on the moon for him right now. And proud! My goodness I never saw anyone so proud. Wouldn’t admit to being without a single thing. Need? What need? He scoffs at need. He’s a man now. Men don’t need. Men go out and get what’s coming to them in their own time, in their own way, and men certainly don’t need no mamas tellin’ ’em what those things are.

I have to smile at the bravado. I’m just so proud of him and love him so much. It’s such an exciting time for us both. I told him tonight before I left to be sure and remember this moment. “I’ve been sitting right where you are and remember it clearly. Remember me one day when you’re sitting where I am now, talking to your own son as he starts his new life, and you’ll know exactly how much I love you.”

My grown man, on his own. There are no words.

Sometimes you find…

…. love in unexpected places. This was discovered during the last day of beautiful weather in October. The sun was shining softly, the wind was blowing just enough to gently lift our hair from our brows, the temperature was perfect. We looked down at the rich red and yellow leaves scattered on the sidewalk and there it was, shining up at us, impossible to miss.

Happy Several Things At Once!

Today is a big day. For starters it’s November 1st, which means if you’re reading this you’ve survived Halloween. Picture me typing that with a big smile on my face because I’ve been blessed/cursed with a vivid imagination. Thinking back to all the reasons I myself could be said to have ‘survived Halloween’, I know firsthand it’s always great to wake up the morning after all the hoopla realizing you’re still not dead.

In other news it’s also All Saints’ Day, as well as the beginning of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). In addition to all that it’s the beginning of my new blog! I feel full to bursting with beginner’s optimism and I fully intend to enjoy that illusion as long as it lasts. Which will probably be the next week to ten days but hey, I’ll ride that wave till I hit beach or fall off, dude. It’s all about the gettin’ there. By the way my name is Licaste (lee-CAH-steh) and I’d like to extend my warmest welcome. I hope you’ll come back often.