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Filtering by Tag: birthday


Cindy Maddera


There is a Simpson’s episode called “Lost Our Lisa” where Lisa defies her mother by trying to take the bus to the museum to see the Orb of Isis. She gets lost and then she calls her dad for help. Lisa calls him because she knows that he will be on her side, mostly because Homer is always getting himself into some kind of trouble. What follows is a madcap adventure where Homer tries to get to Lisa, which he does, but by the time Lisa is safe and sound, the museum has closed. It was the last day for the exhibit and Lisa missed it. So, Homer breaks into the museum so Lisa can see the exhibit. They have the whole exhibit to themselves and get to see something that no one else has ever seen. One of the greatest things about that episode is how Lisa experienced things she never would have had a chance to experience if it hadn’t been for Homer. I can say the same when it comes to my Dad. He was the adventure seeker, the rule breaker, the guy who step on the other side of the velvet rope to get closer. Dad was my Homer and I was his little Lisa.

My Dad would be eighty years old today. At first I thought “that can’t be right!” but he was born in 1939. So yeah, my Dad would have been eighty today. There has been no one who could bring lightness to my seriousness the way my Dad could. Not even Chris. Dad just had a way. He taught me to seek out those adventures on occasion. Sometimes it’s okay to break a few rules. Dad used to put his tray table down as soon as we reached altitude and I would always get onto him. I would tell him that it was too soon and it made him look too eager for whatever snack the attendants were going to bring us. He found it hilarious and whenever we would fly he would ask me if it was okay to put his table down. It became a great joke, but you know what? It was a lesson in doing what you want, when you want and not caring what anyone around you thought about it.

Here is what I believe. I believe that if Dad’s mind hadn’t flown the coop, he’d still be putzing around breaking rules and seeking out new adventures. Wow, and typing that sentence made me well up a bit. I did not expect that. In yoga class on Wednesday, Kelly talked about Mercury being retrograde and usually I roll my eyes at this kind of talk. Except this time Kelly said something about letting go of the emotions that will bubble up during this time of retrograde. It is a time for letting go of some shit and I thought about some shit that I was hanging on to in regards to my Dad. I have been holding on to some resentment and anger. Not for Dad, but for circumstances surrounding his last year with us. I have also been holding on to some guilt for not doing more to intervene to change those circumstances. My Dad taught me what it means to be unabashedly authentic. Those are the things I should be holding on to. Not the resentment or anger or guilt.

I am thankful for every hot air balloon chased, every tray table that was set down early, and every moment of lightness and silliness.


Cindy Maddera

My birthstone is the garnet. Don’t get me wrong. The color red is nice and I know it’s some people’s favorite color. It is not my favorite color. If you look through my closet, you are mostly going to see gray, blue and purple colors. More blue than anything. Actually, my favorite color is that Tiffany’s blue or robin egg blue. The garnet is a deep red, almost maroon color that turns me off. If I haven’t been so impatient to enter this world, I would have an aquamarine birthstone. I would also share my birthday month with both siblings and my dad. Instead I decided to come out early during the coldest most miserable time of the year which has only gotten worse as I’ve aged and moved north.

Now that I think about it’s really been worse since the move north. It never dawned on me that the climate could be so different just three hundred and fifty miles north of Oklahoma City. It never dawned on me that so much would end being so different three hundred and fifty miles north of Oklahoma City.

The last birthday I celebrated in Oklahoma was my thirty fifth birthday. I had requested a strawberry cake and my mother had made a lovely fancy white cake with strawberries on it. What I had really wanted was a simple strawberry cake mix. Pink strawberry flavored cake. Misti asked Audra to bake me one, but Audra said that she couldn’t do it because strawberries were not in season. Audra said she made some other cake and I really didn’t care because I knew that whatever cake she made me, it would be wonderful. Misti, Amy, Chris and I gathered at Chris and Traci’s house with Audra’s cake. It had the cutest elephant made of icing sitting on top. I cut into the cake and when I pulled the knife out it was pink. Audra had made my strawberry cake. It was the kind of surprise that made me giggle with joy. That was also the same night I told all the people gathered in Chris and Traci’s house that I had received a invitation to interview for my job in Kansas City. Chris and I would move a month later. That was the last time we were whole.

I still can’t help but feel that I ruined everything.

Tuesday night, I sat in Dr. Mary’s office telling her about the power being out at our house since Saturday. I told her about how Michael and I have just been stubborn in our notions that the power was going to come back on any minute. “We’re fine.” This has been our answer to everything. I told her that really though, I’d reached my limit. I woke up Tuesday morning at 4 AM and the left side of my body ached because I hadn’t moved all night. I was weighted down with to many layers of clothes and blankets to move around. We were not fine. We were depressed. Then I mentioned the next winter storm that is headed our way. Sunday is supposed to be the coldest day in the history of KCMO. I told her that on January twentieth, 2012, the last of our doctors who had had any kind of hope for a treatment for Chris told us that there was no hope. I told her that every year since then, I’ve been dealing some sort of shit leading into my birthday. Death, sewage backups, snow storms, inauguration day for the worst president in history, power outages. I just want one year with out the shit.

I want strawberry cake.


Cindy Maddera

Chris turned forty one and then died one hundred and three hours later. This is the first thing I remember when I wake up on February sixth. It is the beginning of the losing. If this were a normal day and there were no such things as tumors or cancers, Chris would be turning forty seven, but this isn't fantasy land. Tumors happen. Cancer has been a thing since the dawn of man. No one lives forever. I can't even image what we would be doing to celebrate his birthday this year. Movie? Dinner? Maybe have Amy, Roger and Charolette up for the weekend? Traci, Chris and Quinn? Maybe we'd go there? I don't know. The only birthday of Chris's that we celebrated after our move to KCMO was the one before he died. It had only been a year since our move. 

One year. 

2011 was a year of great change. 2012 was the black hole that sucked up all of that greatness.

I keep thinking that there really is going to be a day when I don't dwell on this day. Facebook reminded me to share a Thankful Friday post from February sixth where I wrote about being thankful for the time Chris and I had. I read through it and rolled my eyes. What a load of sugar coated bullshit. Of course I am grateful for that time, but come on. I'm the Pollyanna of grief. Oh look at me! The person I expected to grow old with died before we were old, but I'm doing so great! Sometimes I think this attitude I have where I try to show everyone (mostly myself) that I'm doing just fine, diminishes Chris and what we had. I mean, if it was all so great, how is it that I've been able to move forward so quickly. What I don't always tell you or anybody is just how much I have to work at staying in forward motion. 

Do you watch This is Us? I don't know why Michael and I watch it. It makes us both cry every damn episode. The latest episode was the hardest for me but at the same time, a little validating. Twenty years later and each family member is still grieving. Each member of the family spends the anniversary of their Dad's/Husband's death dealing with it in their own way. Mom makes lasagna. Kate watches a home movie. Randall goes all out for the Super Bowl, Dad's favorite thing. Kevin...usually does nothing, but that changed this year. We see him start his own tradition. I feel like each of those characters represent my years of grief. I made everything jambalaya the first year. I got lost in all of our old photos. I haven't gone all out for anything or started a new tradition. Those are for years to come I guess. 

I have removed 90% of his junk from this house. Mostly garbage. Some toys. All of his clothes with the exception of a T-shirt that I still wear and his old bath robe. I still wear that too because it's big and soft and he didn't really wear it but once or twice. I never got around to fixing his Facebook account. It requires a photo ID and I've put all of that stuff someplace so organized that I don't remember where. Also it's for selfish reasons. The daily onslaught of messages to his timeline is too much for me. So I've let it slide. I'll fix it eventually. I owe it to the others who loved him. Just not today. Today I am too busy being split in two between the life I had and the life I have. 


Cindy Maddera

Over the weekend, I increased in age by one whole year. According to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, I am now the answer to the ultimate question of life, the Universe and everything. You probably will not be surprised to hear that forty two doesn't feel any different from forty one. It just is. So the real answer to life, the Universe and everything is that it just is. It just is, people. That might be a slightly unsatisfying answer to some, but unicorns wouldn't be magical if you saw one every day. I don't know what that means, but just go with it.

We celebrated my birthday with a Pimms cup and snails from the Westport Cafe, because the Pimms cup is becoming a birthday tradition. Terry and Billy met us there for appetizers and drinks, which was a surprise because I didn't know they were coming to meet us. I received a card from Billy and Wilson that had a sexy man picture in it and set of lottery scratchers. Terry gave me a gift bag containing multiple awesome gifts, but the most awesome gift in the bag was a bag of tiny hands. They fit on the ends of my fingers so that if I put one on each index finger and then pull my sleeves over my hands, I look like Dooneese. I plan to keep a pair of tiny hands near me at all times because you never know when you're going to need an extra (tiny) hand. The rest of those hands are going to end up in my Halloween display. I love them so much. After drinks and appetizers, Micheal and I went to Bob's Wasabi for dinner where I ate the best sushi I have ever eaten. That's really a remarkable statement because I've eaten sushi on the east and west coast. Also, KCMO is darn near the middle of the country. It's a loooong drive to the ocean. I don't know how Bob does it, but it is delicious. After sushi, we headed back to the Westport area to a donut/cocktail place. I ate a mediocre donut while drinking a champagne and Chartruese cocktail. The cocktail was delicious and made by a bartender who thought very very highly of himself. It's good to be confident. 

The next day, we went to our hairdresser for haircuts. I looked down at the chunks of hair that fell into my lap and noticed that there sure was a whole lot of gray in those chunks. I said something about that to my hairdresser and she said "Yeah...I noticed that you've gotten a lot more gray since the last time you were here." That was a little more than two months ago. My new haircut is kind of edgy with my bangs real long and the sides real short. I have a strong urge to color my hair gray. I know that there is a lot involved in this process, especially if you are not already blonde. It's totally damaging, but I still kind of want to do it. Maybe this is a mid-life crisis thing. Except Michael and I both agreed that I'm probably going to live to be ninety something. So, it's a little early yet for a mid-life crisis.  

Maybe it's a pre-mid-life crisis thing. 



Cindy Maddera

The Cabbage turned seven on Friday. I made her stand against the wall to mark her height and then we ate pizza and watched the Cosmos. Her birthday party was on Saturday at a gymnastics place. I was pretty put out with the 'No Adults Past This Line' rug separating the waiting room with the gymnastics equipment. I wanted to jump on some trampolines. There was cake and presents and then we left the Cabbage with her mom so she could spend time with grandparents who had driven in from Iowa to see her. The Cabbage and her Mom met us the next day at the body piercing place. Our gift to her this year was ear piercings.

Michael and I rode our scooters to meet them. We had a few minutes of waiting for the shop to open and the four of us were just standing around talking. The Cabbage walked up to my scooter and hopped on. Erin, her mom, started to tell the Cabbage to get down, but I stopped her said it's okay. Then I looked at the Cabbage and told her not wiggle around too much. We were all kind of looking at her sitting there on my scooter and noticing how her feet almost touched the floor board. Suddenly Michael beckoned the Cabbage over to his scooter and made her climb on. He pulled out the passenger foot rests and asked her if her feet touched. They did! We all did a happy dance (except maybe Erin, because it makes her nervous, she is the mom). The Cabbage is tall enough to ride on the back of Michael's scooter. 

The Cabbage is tall. I think the most fascinating part is that I swear, just three weeks ago, the Cabbage was asking to be measured on the wall. She stood up tall and Michael put his fingers on the wall to mark it. When he looked, he said "Nope...not marking it. It's barely changed since the last time we measured you." The Cabbage pouted. When I marked her height on Friday, Michael and I stood there looking at all her growth and how so much of it seemed to happen in just three weeks. She's grown almost a foot in one year. We are having a problem buying pants that fit her length wise without falling off width wise. She has complained about gymnastics and how she doesn't want to do it anymore. She says the stretching hurts. Part of that is because her leotard isn't long enough for her torso and it ends up in an uncomfortable wedgie up her butt. I went to buy her a new one, but buying a size up wasn't fixing the problem. 

I ended up getting her a two piece set with shorts and a tank. The Cabbage wasn't happy about it, but we had a long talk about how the one piece wasn't going to work well for her body. When she whined about really wanting the one piece, Michael chimed in with "I'm sorry honey, but you're just too tall for the one piece." I immediately corrected him by saying "It's not that you're too tall, Cabbage. You're perfectly tall. These leotards just aren't the ones for you." Michael nodded his head in agreement. "Yes! Cindy's right. You're perfectly tall." I'm being very careful about not attaching negative words to anything about her body and I am increasingly annoyed at an industry that insists that we, even children, are one size number. I am annoyed with an industry that says this particular number and cut of cloth is the average size for all women. This industry is out of touch and ignorant of what average really is. It's hard enough being a woman and trying to figure out pant sizes. Now they have to make it suck for the kids too. 

Or at least for the adults who are purchasing the clothes for the kids.

As a result of all of this, I've taken to only purchasing cool t-shirts that I come across. She has plenty of t-shirts, though she prefers wearing dresses. That has also made things easier because leggings tend to me more forgiving in sizes. She wears a lot of unintentional capris. I leave the shoe shopping up to her parents because I don't understand children shoe sizes. At all. I mean, seriously. Matching a child with a proper shoe size is a MENSA test. Any way.. the Cabbage is growing up and doing big girl stuff like getting her ears pierced and talking about getting rid of her Barbis.

Change happens real fast. 


Cindy Maddera

I have a cold/sinus infection. I'm not going to say it is the flu because I got a flu shot this year and, By Golly, I'm not about admit that I got stabbed in the arm for no reason. All this is just a build up of mucus that's irritating the top back of my throat while at the same time making the insides of my ears itch. The cold medicine, while not really doing much to get rid of that mucus, has coated my entire head in cotton candy. Not so much delicious cotton candy, but super sticky cotton candy. It's making it hard for me to be here. Also, I don't have much to say. 

Saturday, we went to the Mid America RV show and learned that we could tow something a little bigger than the original popup we had intended on purchasing. This left us with more questions than answers. So we left the RV show and drove way out to the east side of town to visit the dealership where we were probably going to buy so we could look at the RV they didn't have at the show, but did have in the show room. Then we filled out paperwork and put down a deposit and I started to worry about how it was going to fit in the driveway and how we were going to make monthly payments. Then Katrina bought me this super cute retro camper plate set to go in the new camper and I looked at Michael and said "the driveway is not my's YOUR problem." I just sort of handed him all of the things I was worrying over. Some time in the next two or three weeks we will have a camp trailer parked in our driveway and we are going to have all of the blocks in place to keep it from rolling down hill and into the street.

After that, we drove all the way over to the exact opposite side of town to go to IKEA. We bought a new bookcase system to store the stereo/turntable and records. The old bookcase was leaning slightly and then when we dragged it out of the way, it exploded. just fell apart. We replaced it just before a disaster. At the same time we purchased the bookcase, we also purchased a full length mirror to hang on the bathroom door. We can now see our whole bodies in a reflection. I am not convinced that this was a good purchase. This body will be forty one on Friday. This soon to be forty one year old body has turned shy and would just rather not know what is happening from the neck down. Though, I'm not so sure about the neck up part any more because we just replaced two burnt out bulbs in the bathroom with LED bulbs that say they are "soft white" but we all know that's not true. 

Friday, I have a visit with my lulu massage therapist and Josephine has an appointment to get her hair cut. I have planned nothing else for the day except maybe a matinee of La La Land. We bought an RV for my birthday and a mirror to remind us we are visually growing older. What more does a girl need? 


Cindy Maddera

My brother told me that my mom took design classes when they were building the Collinsville house. At first I was totally surprised, but then I wasn't at all surprised. She was always taking down wallpaper and putting up new wallpaper. She constantly rearranged the furniture. She always had baskets of floral arrangements put here and there. Don't even get me started on her throw pillows. Mom has always been creative and our home always reflected this. It's not just the creativity thing though. Mom wanted to know more about house design so she took a class. This is typical mom. She wanted know how to do pottery. She took a class. Her job before I was born was to fix jewelry. I'm sure she took a class to learn how to do that. Mom wanted to do this or that, she took the time to learn about it and then did it. Whatever it was. She's still doing that. Right now she's in the middle of completely remodeling her kitchen. 

This independence, this do-it-yourself mentality is a trait that I inherited from Mom. Some people may call us stubborn. That's probably true. There for sure is some stubbornness to our tenacity to accomplish a task. Mom burned her wrist while setting fire to a bunch a garbage in the old swimming pool one time. She probably shouldn't have been out there trying to do that by herself, but she was like "fuck it! I'm getting rid of this garbage!" Except she would not have used those exact words. Ever. The other day I bruised my knee when I tried to rest the whole dang chicken coop on it so I could change out their water. I probably should have waited for help, but I was like "I CAN DO IT ALL!" Stubborn and independent. Those two words sum up my mother and I pretty well. Despite the trouble my stubborn independence has gotten me into at times, I am grateful that this is something I inherited from Mom. And I when I say "gotten me into trouble", I will say that it's never been any kind of trouble I haven't been able to get out of. Mostly.

I tell you this today because it is my fiercely independent Mother's birthday! Mom, thank you for teaching me the value of self reliance. Actually, I want to thank you for teaching me so much more than this and I'm thankful that you're around to keep on teaching me stuff and being there when I drop my stubbornness and need you. My birthday wish for you this year is that kitchen fairies come in and speed up the remodel in some magical wonderful way. I am also thankful for the time we'll have together this weekend. We're having a girlie girl weekend. What else? Michael has had some sort of head cold like thing all week. The guys at work have it too. I am thankful that I have been able to avoid it. I am thankful that I can bend over, put my shoes on and get back up. I am thankful for slightly warmer temperatures. 

I am always thankful for you. Here's to a weekend of cucumber slices on the eyes and a super Thankful Friday!


Cindy Maddera

Josephine is officially a year old today. At least I think it's today. I looked at her paper work and I can't tell if that's a five or an eight. Since I missed the fifth, I'm going with eight. I bought her a Kong on Saturday and I think she likes it. I've seen her chewing on it even without the peanut butter smeared inside it. We determined that she was using the old logs propped next to the fence as a diving board for flying over the fence. Michael moved them and Josephine was still in the yard when I got home yesterday. So, fingers crossed. Michael wants to change her name to Henri with the French pronunciation. She is still so much puppy. She wants to obey, but it's so hard for her to sit still. Chewing and tearing up things is the most fun and Michael's room is best room for finding pens and candy wrappers and socks. I let her have run of the house last Friday as a test. She and the cat broke into Michael's room and Josephine destroyed the blinds in one window. They were crap blinds anyway. 

Josephine is my dog. Michael would probably cook her up and make puppy stew if given the chance. Or so he says. I've seen him laugh at her ridiculous puppy ways and the way he places his hand on her head when she plops down against his leg. Mostly though, she's laying in my lap or following me around the house. Josephine has been waking me up around midnight like she needs to go out. I let her out and when she comes back inside she just curls up at the foot of the bed and I let her. I've never had a dog that slept in my bed. I guess Odie did before he was banished to the outside. Hooper never had any interest in it. He always preferred the floor or his own bed. That time we had the ice storm that took out everyone's power for weeks and weeks, I spent that first night alone in our rent house in OKC. Chris was babysitting Quinn. He called me just as the power went out and said he'd come get me, but I told him to wait until morning when it was a little safer. I grabbed every blanket and hunkered down for the night. I tried to get Hooper to lay down next to me, but as soon as I stopped petting him, he was off the bed and sprawled out on the floor. 

Josephine doesn't snuggle up next to me at night, but instead has her spot at the end of the bed. She loves the wool blanket I brought back from Ireland and she snuggles down into. As much as I'd like to be all strict and say "NO DOGS IN THE BED", I find that I cannot be. She is a comfort and warms my feet. She doesn't walk all over me or hog the bed. Sometimes she snores, but she did that in her crate too. In the mornings, she'll get up when I get up and stretch into down dog, followed with up dog and I rub her belly. Then I open the door and the cat is usually sitting there and Josephine jumps down to bite his ear or neck or leg. The two of them follow me to the kitchen for food. By the time I'm done with my shower and pull back the shower curtain, Josephine will be laying on the bathmat with one of her toys and Albus will be sitting on the sink. That's where the three of us hang out in the mornings. 

Josephine is a crazy messy hilarious little dog. She's smart and loving. She reminds me of my Pepaw. I look back on when we got her and she was so dang tiny. So tiny. She's still small, but only in size. Her personality is huge and when I look at her she makes my smile huge. She'll get an extra scoop of peanut butter tonight in celebration and maybe a bath. Happy Birthday Josephine Boisdechene Clofullia!