Tag Archives: mothers

Mommy’s helper is now 19


Seven Sins

This baffled me…why would someone nominate me for an inspiring blogger award when I go to others blogs to be inspired? Thank you to wafflemethis for letting me know he found something inspiring in my toy box.

Admittedly, my blog has a mixed bag of topics.  My older sister teased me once stating MsToyWhisperer was a ‘Mom that never grew up whom relives her childhood at auctions and yard sales while listening to rock music on her way to church’. She’s absolutely right.  My gravatar also states that I like to write about daily life and the people I meet along the way. It just so happens that’s recently been Adam Lambert and Jesus Christ.  One  I met in my dreams and the Other I met in my soul.

Both inspire me in different ways.  My hobbies and family inspire me as well.  In responding to the nomination, below are seven fun facts, or shall we say ‘errors in judgement’, related to categories in my New England toy box blog:

– Cranberry Blogs – My Life in New England – I live about 60 miles from Plymouth Rock. I didn’t know that as a child. In third grade what I did know was that there was a large rock near our sandbox with the numbers 1620. When our class read about Plymouth Plantation, I explained to my teacher that the rock was in my backyard and my friends could come see it anytime.  

ThIs laughable tale is now the source of family folklore and sibling rivalry. I don’t mind though. I think it illustrates the innocence of childhood as well as my father’s native landscaping sense of humor.  I admired his cleverness and now have a large rock on my own Massachusetts property with a brightly painted 1620. 

Adam Artistry: I was so excited to see Adam Lambert for the first time on stage, I created some business cards.  They weren’t  for him though, they were for me! I thought I was his most loyal fan in the world. I knew he was going to be a star as soon as I saw his audition on American Idol. It was clear he had three things going for him before he even finished that season.  He had

amazing pipes to wow the judges

a sexy current style to capture the audience

and a genuine presence to maintain staying power. 

I wanted (still do) him to be as big as Elvis. I (at the time) anonymously announced that I was his biggest fan:


On the way to Boston, I gave them out on the train. I left one with our waiter’s tip before the concert and gave one to the woman that painted our nails black.  In the Gaaarden, it paid off when I handed them out in the ladies room!  (Yes, I did.)  That’s where we met the cousins of one of Adam’s backup singers. I was now “one-away” from Adam.  They were headed backstage – so close but yet so far!  I  also left a few on the escalator and near each Security guard.  If anyone wanted to know whose calling card it was, they now know it was me!

Auction Block – If the Price is Right Once the bidding starts at the auctions, you need to be quiet and pay attention.  First and foremost, it’s a courtesy to the other dealers.  They may be waiting for something to go on the block and you are a distraction – or there might be something you overlooked in preview – or in my rookie case, you might be bidding on more than you realize.

At one of my first few auctions, I remember talking to my sister when some of the bigger items, like furniture, were being presented.  I was gabbing and only listening with one ear  to catch the final bids.  The auctioneer presented a bottle in his hand and when nobody bid, he told the crowd what town and company was on it.  That was where my grandparents had worked ‘back in the day’ so I impulsively bid $5 to have it. 

My sister looked shocked. 

“What?  I’ve bid before.  I wanted it for a memory.”

“Yeah,” she laughed.  “I get that.  I just don’t think you realize that you just won five CASES of bottles.”

I hadn’t. 

She laughed louder. 

The joke ended up being on her as well though – she had to help me carry them to my car!

Let’s just say I didn’t want them all but I did turn my lemons into lemonade.

I learned more about bottles and ended up making quite a bit of money from them  – over the course of THREE years!

Yankee Neon – Yard sales are typically in the morning hours. By noon, dealers are often packing up and by 2:00 it would be unexpected to still find one “open”. I was doing errands in Leominster one early afternoon and was thrilled to find a driveway that was still populated with the family hanging out on the yaaaad.  

I walked past some other parked cars and as I approached kidded, “How much for the Ford pickup?”

“It’s not for sale.” said one humorless guy.

I walked towards the women at the picnic tables, “I’m glad you’re still set up. I didn’t get to any yard sales this morning.”


I got past the tires and hardware along the cellar and started to look in the crates at the end of the driveway.  “What time are you set up until?”

I heard two of the chicks loud whispers to each other…

…and suddenly realized it wasn’t a yard sale.

It was just an extended family with a lot of stuff in the yard that hadn’t made its way to the dump.

I was a little nervous as I worked my way back down the driveway.  I was suddenly afraid of the truck I’d offered to buy.

I think I said something like ‘Have a nice day.’ or ‘My bad.’

I was relieved to make it back to my car.

It was my most embarrassing yard sale moment….

…until the following week when my mother and I walked past some cars parked in the street and showed up at a tent with our quarters and sneakers.

Evidently, outdoor weddings are in the early morning hours too!

Leaving the nest all about the chicks: 

* do I mention the time I scared my 3-year-old when I told her there was ‘a vug under the rug’?


* admit to not knowing my daughter’s first self-designed competition was swallowing pennies?

Everything and Nothing – 

* I was bald ’til I was six – and three years later I was Pipi Longstocking for Halloween.

* I was still a thumbsucker at 10 and even sucked the Mercurochrome off my bandaged thumbs – and three years later I had an accident reading in my parents bedroom window when it crashed down and tore off my fingernails.

Gallery – my youngest thinks her Dad should have grown up selling ice cream out of the back of a 1950’s ice cream truck!


Thank you all for reading! I hope this entry inspires all of us to embrace our whole self.

P.S. Have waffles for breakfast.

Breaking Bad

My daughter woke up for her first Spring Break day as expected. It was after noon and she was ready to call the shots:

– She told me to put my socks in our own hamper?

– I had to clean out our lint trap before she started laundry!

– She called me out and I put on a new roll of toilet paper.


If I was going to work this hard, I was leaving the house.  I asked if she wanted to go jogging with me? After my husband finished laughing, she said she’d go.

What I didn’t know was that a fitness routine has fashion requirements:

– I had to take off my classic gray sweats and put on yoga pants.

– My Yellowstone sweatshirt transformed into an aerobic jacket.

– Ponytails were standard, if I wanted to run like I was 20.

I didn’t. I just didn’t want to waddle like I was 50.  I only needed to take a quick run to see how far I could get. I was just trying to get off the couch, so something on me would melt away with the snow.

Besides, if I looked like I was 20 I wouldn’t need to run in 40 degree rain in March!

We finally made our way out the door.  I held up okay and didn’t faint. My daughter was light on her feet and didn’t run too far ahead.

Trisha isn’t in an exotic location relaxing in front of a sunset.  That’s not her interpretation of Spring Break.  Evidently, it means breaking her mother’s ass during the Spring thaw!

Code Coed

Our youngest was home this week and it was just like when she was a baby:

Nights turned into days.

The laundry doubled…no tripled?

Bottles of juice were consumed.

She made the most adorable faces.

We ordered Chinese in, just to have a night out.

We left the night light on  in the bathroom.

We went to  the mall so I could show her off.

Friends visited just to see her.

Meals and events revolved around her schedule.

We took a lot of photos.

I put lotion on her feet.

Her sister was jealous.

She changed clothes five times a day.

I changed her bedding and Dad planned her meals.

She wanted so much milk we considered buying the local dairy.

We went to the pediatrician.

We hung out on the couch.

I’ve been in sweats all week.

I checked on her after she fell asleep every night.

She made me laugh and cry.

She made our house a home.

Face Time

Our girls knew that I had broken down before they went back to school – and finally bought a smart phone! What they didn’t realize was that I hadn’t yet discovered all the various types of emoticons at my disposal. Last night they found out I have a new addiction.

Until yesterday, I just used a 😁 here or there. Recently, I had noticed I could personalize it a little more with my hairstyle 👧 and glasses 😎. As if that wasn’t cool enough, there was a day last week when I was responding to comments and noticed I could add a toy soldier 💂 too!

Then there was last night. The relaxing eve after the blizzard. A day of working from home was complete, all the snow was cleared and we’d just decided to have hot soup for dinner. The night was still young. I curled up near the wood stove with my buddy.

See previous post: https://mstoywhisperer.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/pug-mug/

I had a book but didn’t feel like reading. My tablet was with us but I wasn’t inspired to write. The bills and housework could wait. I blamed it on the snow. It makes you lazy.

I took out my restlessness on the girls. It’s their own fault. They didn’t answer their phones. Some time later, Trisha didn’t call back but she did text. I’m sure it was sweetly that she typed, ‘what do you want’?

Study hard I replied 📘📚📎📌📏📮📝📃.

With no return message after a couple of minutes I went for a social media cliffhanger – 📬 soon.

She took the bait, ‘my Christmas exchange’?

👕👘🎽 yes.

Stop with the emojis.

👀💜 U!

You are a bored old woman.

…and you are my 👣🚼👧


So I asked, what are you 💭?

Thinking we were done for the night, I added – 💤💤💤💤💤💤

But Trisha knows me well enough to have realized I was both bored and missing her. She also knew if she just called me, I’d get off her back.The phone rang and I was thrilled! I saw it said ‘face time’ and was ecstatic! It was her calling – on another feature I could learn how to use!

First I just had to answer it. I know green means go. I slid it and excitedly yelled ‘Hi Trisha!’!


What?! I’m thrilled that you decided to call. Sometimes I just like to hear the sound of your voice.

Right Mom, but I’m looking at your feet! You don’t know how this works do you?!

In a fit of laughter I tried to convince her I’d figure it out.

I could hear her pull her roommates into the conversation, “Look at my mom’s slippers. She doesn’t know technology AT All.”

“OK Trisha I got it. Are you still there?”

“MOM. If you can see me, I’m still here.”

I knew that. It was my rotary phone childhood that was reacting to my excitement. Trisha could focus on me now and commented on my hat. Evidently, She hadn’t realized I actually do wear my Adam Lambert hat around the house.

We chatted for just a few minutes, just liken the Jetsons!, and then she asked to talk to Dad. I didn’t need my phone to tell me she was being smart. She was probably telling techno-wise-Daddy that I had a technology deficit. Maybe I was overly excited..but I was just trying to emote.



It was my responsibility to get the girls, future nurses, to Boston. I certainly knew the way but only drove as far as Alewife, a popular commuter station in Cambridge. I didn’t have any other arrangements. It was Saturday and nobody knew we were coming. I just wanted the girls to physically see some larger city hospitals. I’m not a planner and relied on the subways once we abandoned our car. I’m not comfortable with the one-way streets and city driving.

Sorry, a guide isn’t necessarily a cab driver.

I planned to get us to Mass General Hospital a few stops down the red line. I figured the girls would walk the halls of a busy hospital and observe whatever happened while we were there.

I didn’t realize we would tour the ether dome, learn some origins of nursing and take photos in the serenity garden overlooking the city.

I wanted us to switch to the green line and have a nice lunch on Newbury Street. I thought maybe we could check out a few shops before getting back on the subway.

I didn’t realize there would also be a glass front Condom World in that neighborhood.

It was actually ironic since we were on our way to Children’s Hospital.

Since my daughter would love to work there someday (Children’s not Condom World), I wanted her and her college bestie to at least see the building, the interactive walls and musical stairs.

I never expected the charge nurse to also let us view parts of the NICU! After that, we also played on the beach and enjoyed our personally crafted fro-yo.

We had a very long, fun and educational day in Boston. I very responsibly provided my sightseers with information about their places of interest.

Its All Greek To Me

I wasn’t excited to go to the Mall post Thanksgiving. I was looking forward to some 1×1 time with my oldest daughter though. I am always so proud of her.

Not to put words in her mouth but while I knew she needed sweaters, I don’t think she was looking forward to the 1×1 time as much as I was. She’s never convinced I really know her.

As we started our drive, I was very direct. I wanted to know more about her new boyfriend, the current roommate situation and her off campus job but not necessarily in that order. I let her choose.

“So, what’s going on with you? What do you like most about campus life right now?”, I asked too enthusiastically.

She’s not twenty yet, so I still heard a mumble as she put down her phone. I don’t think she necessarily liked my approach and wasn’t sure how invested she wanted to be in my conversation yet.

“I didn’t know that. When did you decide you liked AC/DC?”, I realized as soon as I said it that I hadn’t made the translation. I had lost points quicker than a smoking grandma at the casino.

Inject The Venom. “REALLY!? REALLY MOM? That’s your response? Are you kidding me?” I’m sure she felt Kicked In The Teeth.

I didn’t know how to answer quickly enough. I couldn’t respond. Come Hell Or High Water, I already knew I needed to fix this.

“You know, the sorority that I just pledged? I told you I went on a retreat! Can you even say the letters Mom?” She was never a Wild Child, just a Live Wire. She was ready to electrocute me.


I thought I would be driving with Miss Adventure but now I knew I’d have to Rock the Blues Away.

“Alpha, what, Mom?” I’ll be living there next year.” We were now on the ramp to the Highway to Hell.

I was Damned and had to say With a Stiff Upper Lip, “Alpha, Delta, Betta something.”

“Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me right now?” She was Spoilin’ For a Fight and I couldn’t blame her.

I was Damned. “I can never remember all the letters. I know you’re excited about it.”

Danger! “How about you look back at some of those texts and downloads I sent you. It’s all in there Mom.”

She was absolutely right and sometimes I wonder Who Made Who. I might be old school but sometimes I just need to put all the tweets, instagrams and texts into plain old verbal communication. I had been a turkey and managed to send a Love Bomb. The smoke did clear during the ride though. She knows I’m proud of her and I learned more about her job, roommates and Bruce. The thing was, I still needed to illustrate that I was invested in her from afar. We continued our way into the mall because Money Talks.

Tinkle, Tinkle Little Girl

My husband had planned to pick my daughter up from school last Friday while I was at work. I couldn’t get home fast enough to see her but only arrived home to an empty house. I managed to stay busy with housework and a book until I heard the back door.

I shut my book, tripped over the pug and ran downstairs to see her. It was only my husband and he was putting her two bags on the kitchen floor.

“Where is she?!”, I asked excitedly.

“That’s her laundry.” he said matter-of-factly.

“I know – where is SHE?!”

“We went and had lunch with her sister and then she decided she’d stay at school.”

“You’re kidding me.”

“No, she just wanted a break. She got one. She just needs us to do her laundry.”

“YOU”RE KIDDING ME?” I said in a disappointed refusing whine.

“Seriously. How do you think I feel doing all the driving and hauling dirty clothes?!”

“At least you got to spend time with her.” I pouted.

I plopped in my rocker and then wondered why I could hear water running? As soon as I asked myself the question, I realized it wasn’t water.

I ran toward the noise knowing my daughter really was home. I didn’t care that she was indisposed. They’d tried to play a joke on me but now the joke was on her.

I hugged her on the toilet.

She couldn’t hold back any longer and neither could I.