The first day of spring this year is just around the corner. And that gets me thinking about…”Spring House Cleaning”! Crazy, I know. Isn’t this an antiquated activity? I remember when some of the most beautiful spring days were dedicated to emptying out one room of a house at a time. Then we spent days cleaning windows, washing walls, scrubbing floors, shampooing carpets, organizing drawers, sorting out closets, you get the idea. We used to basically clean the whole damn house, from top to bottom, one room at a time. Continue reading
I quit my job, my career, that activity that defined me as a person for 30 years. Since I’m over 55, I guess that means that I’m “retired”.
But what DOES that mean? I was doing the responsible thing by sticking to my “chosen” path for so long. Retirement sounds like my grandma who played Canasta with the ladies every Tuesday afternoon.
For the last two decades, I’ve sacrificed my energy to a career that was dependable, reliable, and safe.
On April 8, 2014, we started this blog.
Almost 7 years ago, we began by introducing ourselves, “Sidetracked Sisters are Sandy & Judy (sisters) and Lisa & Michelle (sisters). We are 4 sides of the same coin…(hmmmmm – how is that possible?). Some say we are very much alike, yet others say we are as different as they come. We are family and LOVE to torment each other.”
But you probably know that already if you’ve been following us for a while.
Sidetracked Sisters started as a home-based crafting group. After several years, we began writing our blog where we shared thoughts and 178 writings on random topics. Continue reading
Here are six tips for having a good relationship with your mother-in-law.
Doris wasn’t just a mother-in-law, but a fabulous friend. Personally, I feel she had quite a bit more to overlook in me in the beginning as I was selfish, opinionated, and just plain stupid. Example – I had my second child and was not up to par. It was spring and, of course, flower planting time. I being the perfectionist (and this is where stupid and selfish comes in) did the unthinkable… To be nice she planted a peachy/pink bed of petunias in an area where I would usually put, I think, red. Would you believe that when I felt up to it, I actually replaced her petunias with my preferred color? When I think of that today I just cringe. She never said a word, but I’ll bet she was not impressed with me.
Tip 1 – Be thankful for the little things they do for you and be gracious
When my husband and I started going together we were of different religions. I was with a girlfriend that was Lutheran, the same as my mother-in-law, and she said to me. “Why doesn’t Art find a nice Lutheran girl to date?” At the time I was appalled. Today I think it is pretty funny as later in life I turned to Lutheran and she turned to the religion that I had been for her second husband.
Tip 2 – Don’t sweat the small stuff. There is always tomorrow and things change
The two of us came from entirely different backgrounds. She was a farm girl and I was a city brat. Her taste was totally different than mine and we had a good time teasing about my exotic, or just plain different taste than hers. One time after putting up a half-moon mirror in my family room I asked her what she thought and she replied, “I think it looks totally stupid.” O.K. then!!! I had grown up enough by this time to actually laugh it off and I still have that totally stupid mirror still hanging in my family room.
Tip 3 – Appreciate true honesty and don’t take it personally
She was always there when I needed her, or just a phone call away. She actually got a warning ticket for speeding on Center Street to come and wash my kitchen floor. I was getting ready for one of the girl’s weddings and she thought I could use some help. The officer asked her where she was going in such a hurry, 50 in a 25-speed zone, and she said to wash my daughter-in-law’s floor. He gave her a warning, but I’ll bet there were a few laughs down at the station after that. I hope none of them knew me so as to judge me, expecting this poor older lady to wash my kitchen floor?.
Tip 4 – Appreciate the things they do for you even if it is not necessary
When I planted my perennial garden I worked during the day and had to get my plants in after dark for some reason. My mother and mother-in-law sat on logs in my backyard with flashlights to help me see what I was doing. My backyard neighbor had to hang over the fence in the morning to see what the hell was going on.
Tip 5 – Appreciate the big things they do for you
I could go on and on. She has since passed on and I miss her terribly. I miss our late evening gab sessions on the phone. Her stories that went on and on, and her being there for me was so enjoyable. Sure, she made me a little crazy sometimes, but I learned to overlook her differences and she overlooked mine. When she told me that I was more like a daughter to her than a daughter-in-law that was the ultimate compliment.
Tip 6 – Enjoy their differences and learn from them
They seem to have a book of knowledge that they love to share. Remember that they also compete with your own mother on most occasions and also learn how not to tread on toes.
Who thinks that Halloween is strictly for kids. I have noticed that a lot of adults sure know how to enjoy themselves. I have had a couple of fun memories that still make me laugh about Halloween!
First of all, you have to know me to know that I have a really weird sense of humor. I love to pull practical jokes. I get totally hysterical when I get a funny result to the point, you know, where you have to bend down on one knee so as not to pee your pants!!!! This, of course, does not make me the most popular person to anybody, including my family.
Picture this – I was at Walmart with my daughter and her youngest son, Nathan. He was 3 years old. He was fascinated with all the scary masks and was totally engrossed to the point he didn’t hear me when I kept calling to him. I put on the scariest mask I could find and kept calling him to look at me. He didn’t pay attention. So, I got down on my knees, got close to him, and said, “Nate!” He finally looked at me and when he noticed me, he let out the most awful, blood-curdling, loud scream and proceeded to run away from me, racing down the aisle to get away from the monster I had become. My daughter, with her baby girl, Jessica, in tow in another aisle, heard this and thought he got killed.
Another time that I still find myself laughing hysterically is when my oldest daughter was two years old. She had on a red snowsuit, with a sign that said, “trick or treat”. Plus she had on a silly witch mask Being she was only two, she was really dazed and confused as to what was going on. It was dark out and I took her to a neighbors house. Put her up on their porch. At this point, a group of other trick or treaters came and kind of pushed her aside. When the lady opened the door Lisa was behind it and was pushed off the porch and fell onto one of the bushes. Trust me, she wasn’t hurt, but when she looked back at me with this dumb, no expression, witch mask I totally lost it. I, of course, was kneeling down on the road so as not, you guessed it, pee my pants, laughing hysterically. The lady at the house thought I was totally nuts, to say the least. As I write this, I still break down with hysterical laughter much to my daughter’s dismay.
As I said, Halloween is just as much for adults as kids. Maybe with jello shots, putting bunny ears on your dog, put on a witch hat, own it, let yourself be a kid, and have fun.
Some of you might have been wondering why I posted a Discover Columbus post on what I called Columbus Day back on October 12, 2020. One of the Sidetracked Sisters brought to my attention that the celebration of this day has become “Indigenous People’s Day. I knew that at some level. Unfortunately, not in time to make this post “Politically Correct”.
It seems that Columbus was an adventurer and explorer but as we are now aware, he wasn’t a very nice guy. Some called him a Barbarian and a mercenary. Knowing the truth, we now celebrate a day in honor of Native Indigenous Americans in opposition to the celebration of Columbus Day. Governor Tony Evers established Indigenous Peoples Day via an executive order days before the observance in 2017.
Today we celebrate the people who first called this land home. We remember the struggles and tragedies they endured. We honor their place in and contributions to the shared story of America.
In correcting my mistake, I realize that this change is not just to be PC. In reality, it is doing the right thing for all the right reasons. It is deserved and long overdue.
How do you know when it is time to leave…
to change jobs…
to jump ship and switch careers?
Maybe you are looking for an “aha” moment to point you in the right direction.
A signal that shows it. is. time…
I am a teacher. I have been a teacher for more than 20 years. I’ve always known that my passion is dreaming…
That was until the beginning of November 2015.
To tan or not to tan, that is the question!!!
As I sit here with my white legs, white arms, white face, white body, white everything looking like a newly plucked chicken, next to my Hispanic granddaughter with beautiful caramel skin. I love caramel skin and in my next life perhaps I will have that gorgeous, flawless skin, caramel in color. But, today I am reflecting back to the days when we actually tried to achieve, and did, but not without a little (a lot) discomfort and pain. Continue reading
Mom and I went out the door hand in hand and headed to the bus stop. Mom didn’t drive when we were little so the two of us did our weekly trek to catch the bus for downtown. We would do our errands and then do our grocery shopping and finally take a taxi home with our treasures and groceries.
Three-year-old me ran up the steps and found a seat for us near the front of the bus. Most of the people that rode the bus back in the day knew each other. This day there was a man that was unfamiliar. Something was a bit different about him. I tried to whisper to Mom but my voice came out a bit loud. I asked how come that man had such a dirty face. She shushed me but too late. The man had heard my question. He told me that his skin was a different color than mine. I asked him why and he answered that he was born that way. He asked Mom if I wanted to touch his skin. She quietly declined and I climbed up in her lap. Continue reading
I got my hair cut–I mean CUT–right before 2nd grade. I was 7 years old. My mom had just gotten her 1960’s shoulder-length locks updated into the iconic 70’s shag. I loved her new do and wanted to be a grown-up who could make choices about my hair. So after much begging and pleading, mom relented. Thus was the beginning with my love/hate relationship with my hair.