Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Twenty Five Days

Hello, friends!

Long time, no see! I've missed this place, and all of the blogs that I stalk. Err, follow. I've been away from the intertubes a lot because I have been busy living. Funny how that living thing works.

Anyhoo, the entire month of November sailed by, and we have landed smack dab in December. Normally, I would start to freak out and be trying to make everything perfect-ish. I would be making lists of exactly what gifts to buy for the monkeys, what to do for everyone else, how I could jam more decorations in nooks and crannies, and pretty much being unpleasant in my attempt to make things pleasant.

Not this year. No freaking out. No stressing. And absolutely no unpleasantness. I worked too hard to get rid of all of the unpleasantness in my life to let anything that feels like that come creeping back in with the tinsel.

Sooooo, instead of getting all of the gimmes that go along with the season, the monkeys and I are trying something different. We are spending twenty-five days giving. Twenty-five days of random acts of kindness. A random act might be paying it forward for a coffee at the coffee shop or making cupcakes for an Advent Festival or leaving a gift on a neighbor's porch. We have definitely been blessed in so many ways, and we are concentrating on trying to give that back instead of making a long list of 'wants'.

It's like Flat Stanley. With Teeth.
Oh, and this happened. No explanations, except I think this fifty dollar Crocodile head, bought on the side of a Louisiana highway, may be the weirdest and coolest thing I have ever laid eyes. That being said, one of the random acts of kindness may be gifting him to someone else...

Peace and love and kindness and crocodiles, cupcakes. XOXO

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

True Achievement, Part Two...

My favorite face in the universe. Shhh. Don't tell her. 

I bragged on the boy monkey yesterday, and alluded to bragging on the girl monkey, but not enough.

She rocks. She has been through hell, twice for good measure, and she is still standing. She's also one of the funniest and wisest people I have ever known. She is wiser than any adult I know, and I would probably have been a helluva lot better off if I had started listening to her advice a couple of years ago. Her one-liners can make my jaw drop, and I am pretty sure she could be famous for her stream of consciousness speeches if she was the type to put 'em on youtube. She can be at the doctor getting a gallon of blood drawn, and she gets the nurse to open up and talk about herself. She knows the grocery store cashier and what he sells at his Etsy store. She searches out the new or lonely kid and lifts them up.

Today was epic amounts of suckage, to the point that it got funny around lunchtime. Two dogs ran away, I found a black widow THIS close to my head on the ceiling, my phone died a majestic and sudden death, and all three dogs required a vet appointment. Before ten this morning. And this is just the stuff I can share on the World Wide Web, because I am learning boundaries...

When I left after work to deal with some of the above trauma, I think she saw the copious amounts of suckage that was my Tuesday. My monkey cleaned her room, cleaned the kitchen, made gluten free cookies, went to our local bbq place and bought me dinner, and dealt with the various mammals. She then helped me program my new iPhone because I have never owned one.

My first iPhone photo. He looks guilty and expensive, yes?

Just had to note that I am raising two awesome and amazing people. I am putting people out there who make the world a better place, and definitely a sweeter place. I think they have absorbed my mantra and effort to be the light.

Peace and love and cookies and grace. XOXO

True Achievement

Even when you have a good kid, an unexpected email from a teacher can tie your stomach up in knots. I received an email this afternoon with the monkey's name as the subject.

I know he is a good kid. He is in sixth grade, doing eighth grade algebra only because I refuse to have him doing ninth grade algebra this fall, breaking records on his state test scores, getting second in his age group in 5ks, but when I saw his name on an email, I instantly starting thinking about how to properly word an apology.

Nope. She dropped a beaker in science class and it shattered. She said every other kid yelled or said "What was that?!" or the equivalent. Again, I was still in apology mode, thinking the kid must have yelled out "WTF" or "Damnations" or anything else that he might have heard from his sister or me.

Instead, she wanted me to know that he was the only kid to come over and ask if she was okay.  She wanted me to know that I am raising a good kid. I know that I have amazing monkeys, but so good to know that other people recognize this.

There is so much emphasis on achievement and accomplishments in our world. I know, because I can easily fall into it. Nothing makes me happier than when I pass someone while running, even if my lungs threaten to stage a mutiny with the effort. The weekly email that lets me know how I am performing at work compared to my peers, it sets my mood for the week.

Honestly, though, there are lots of douchebags that are high-achieving. I know kids who outperform everyone around them, who are wickedly unpleasant to be around. I know adults who are hyper-overachievers who are straight up Mean Girls, male and female. But, good people, really good people with warm hearts and well-developed empathy, they are a rare gift.

I have two smart and talented kids. They are wickedly funny, to the point that I sometimes think that we could be our own sitcom. Today was a really important reminder that I am also raising good people. I think this is more important than raising Valedictorians or overachievers. Those titles are awesome, but I love having the kids who check on their teachers and who make every person that they come into contact with feel better for it. That is the highest achievement and accolade I can ever wish for my monkeys.

Peace and love and warm hearts and the occasional "Damnation", buttercups. XOXO

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sometimes it snows.

I got to catch up with two of my favorite people tonight. Not Facebook or social media people at all so they will never see this, but they are the kind of people I can sit on a patio with  or in front of a fire with and not realize that three hours have flown by.

We were talking about the recent red light days, and Dave gave me a deep thought for the day.

"Sometimes it snows in Denver."

...and sometimes it snows in the summertime.

At first, I didn't really get it. And then I suddenly did. I hate the snow. Snow in March, April, and May just makes me weepy or stabby. But here I am. And sometimes it does indeed snow. It happens, without fail. And it passes, without fail.

The red lights will turn. The snow will give way to blades of green. Life is good. Or, as Dave puts it, life is "wonderful, wonderful, wonderful."

There's the lesson I learned today. Sometimes it snows in Denver. Oh, and he also told me to quit dating assholes. Told me life would be more wonderful if I would pick better. Suggested maybe I make anyone after my self-imposed dating hiatus pass the test with him and with Superteen.

Two life lessons in one day. My job here is done.

Peace and love and snow and thaws, cupcakes. XOXO

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Party Tip

We are all going to die, buttercups. Whether it's from Ebola or an attack or seventy-four years of shitty eating or pickling our livers with liquor or a bad genetic hand we are dealt. We are all gonna die.

So quit watching the news. Quit worrying about the stuff that you have no control over.

I get it. I am tempted to go all in with the news. I am tempted to read a variety of sources to keep up with the latest threats from an incompetent response by our own government to crazy French Jewish girls trying to join ISIS. However, my reading and obsessing about all of the threats is not going to save me or my loves from any of the dangers.  It's not going to save you or your loved ones either.

So, go enjoy this day. Get outside and feel the leaves crunch beneath your feet. Walk your dogs and watch how joyful they are to be alive. Call a friend and have a glass or three of wine. Play hooky and take your monkey to a movie, ordering popcorn with extra butter. Sing along badly to the radio. Enjoy all of the everyday moments, because we only get so many of them.

Peace and love and presence and crunchy leaves, loves. XOXO

PS, It's Breast Cancer Awareness month. Feel yo'boobies because that is one thing we can try to avoid dying from. Trust me on this.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Golden Wisdom

I heard two amazing quotes from completely opposite spectrums today. No deep thoughts from me, just loved these and wanted to share them.

I know these golden leaves are going to be covered in snow any day now...

"It's okay to look back. Just don't stare."
                                     -WWII Normandy vet

"Just be yourself. Unless you suck."
                          -Wisdom from the World Wide Web

Both thoughts stuck with me today.

Peace and Love and Wisdom and less suckage, mis amigos. XOXO

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Putting Summer to Rest

We got ready for winter today. Put the garden to bed, stacked firewood for the stove that I now know how to use, and otherwise planned for what looks like a long winter. 

It's days like these, when the snow starts swirling in the late afternoon, that I remember I am truly a Texan at heart. As I pull out warm wool sweaters, jackets and thick scarves, I find myself checking the weather reports and real estate listings in Texas.  I could handle sticky heat and cedar fever much better than I can handle below freezing October nights.

On that note, putting the garden to bed always feels good. Even as I know there is no more eating carrots or spicy mustard greens straight from the garden, I love taking care of each plot in the chilly morning.

Remains of the Rainbow Chard...

One more of the Rainbow Chard, little bites of heaven

This is where the Composting magic happens.

Gate to the garden, with a photobombing Luna. XO

No more Chard, plenty of compost, and we got done right before the freezing rain started. Now, as I write my paper for one of my classes, I find myself flipping from heirloom seed websites to Texas realtor pages. And so it is, being a displaced Texan in a beautiful Winter wonderland. 

Peace and love and Rainbow Chard and warm weather, cupcakes. XOXO