Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Dear Santa.... (I am aware of the tardiness).

I forgot my Christmas list.

This should tell you the amazing amount of SUCKAGE lately, because I am usually all over my Christmas list like Hobby Lobby, by Labor Day. I like to give notice, plenty of notice.

I want a lot of things that Santa can probably not put under the tree.

I want a bed warmer. Seriously. Someone to warm my spot in the bed at night. Dogs, men, and kids all are capable of this, but... They. All. Stink. I want a non-farting person to make my spot all warm and cozy, who then leaves. Wrap that, Saint Nick.

I want a personal shopper. I hate shopping. Seriously, clothes shopping almost gives me hives. I need some basics, but I would like to give someone a list, and have them do the (fun) stuff for me. I prefer Wacoal, Seven, tissue paper tees, tights, boots,  chunky sweaters, and layers of silver jewelry. That, party peeps, is as far as I go on shopping...

Counseling. Not for me. I go to a counselor who is plumbing the depths of my West-Texas Soprano-esque upbringing on a weekly basis. She is aaaaaah-mazing, and I love/loathe her for shining a light in all of my cobwebby corners. No. I want counseling for everyone else. Because, all fragmented sentences aside, some of you people are batshit. I have to deal with more of your skeletons than I should ever have to even know about. I have to deal with your e-mails, your texts, your outpourings, your phone calls, your silent treatments, all of it. And honestly, some of you are just rainbow-sprinkled little cupcakes of c-r-a-z-y. Those of you whom I love, I want you to get good help so you can live the good life. And you others, like you with the crazy Hobbit hair and the overabundance of liquid eyeliner (you know who you are), get some counseling. In Nebraska.

A Scrabble tournament. I want to play with wordsmiths. People who cackle over double entendres with their triple word scores. (Although E is a worthy competitor, with her impressive use of kidney epithelial cells, which I cannot even remember the spelling of...).

Lightness. Much sadness this past year, and I am ready for my heart not to be heavy. I want to wake up not feeling dread, I want my dreams not to shock me out of a cold sweat. I want to open my emails and texts without dread (see cupcakes of c-r-a-z-y above). I want to be able to breathe without feeling a crushing weight. I want lightness.

Not much to ask for, right? Pretty sure that I am on the good list. I ate my veggies, recycled, hugged trees, only ate free-range and organic meat, volunteered, tithed, stocked at the Soup Kitchen, said please/thankyou, and did not kick those Hobbit Hair people in their dangly bits, even when it was probably okay. Yep. Definitely on the nice list.

Love,

me

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Feliz Navidad.

I have two thoughts often running through my head this holiday season. I wish they were beautiful and sweet thoughts.

Not so much.

"Breathe." and "FYYFF."

These are my holiday thoughts. I would like for December 26th to be here. Now.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Nothing Explainable

I have been struggling for six weeks with writing. Six weeks of so much going on, that I have neither the energy nor the honesty to write.

And then there is the awfulness of Sandy Hook. I cannot bear to read about it and yet I cannot bear to look away. I feel like it is my responsibility to read every bit, every crumb, that I can about these babies that lost their lives. I need to look at their toothless grins, read about their wish lists to Santa and their desire to be soldiers and firefighters. I need to read about their last minutes, like somehow my acknowledging it will give it meaning.

The media, and many of us, are searching for meaning in all of this. At the end of the day, there will be no meaning. There will be no 'aha' moment when the police unravel the mystery of Lanza's smashed hard drive. There will be no big realization when they pour over footage of shooting ranges, searching for Nancy Lanza and her son.

Mental illness does not wrap things up in a tidy red bow. It doesn't make sense or have meaning. Mental illness is a big messy mess- colors splashed on the canvas that no one can decipher or explain. All the experts in the world can try to explain or find reasons for Friday, but nothing can explain it.

I dropped Timesboy off this morning at 8:53AM. I had this moment of not being able to breathe, as I saw the teacher open the door to the school, and then close it after he went in. When he climbed out of the car, I looked at his lopsided grin, his messy hair, and his untied shoes, and my heart shattered a little bit. I watched him lope through the doors, and knew that my boy would be safe today. I don't know how I knew this fact, but I did, and I hurt for the parents who won't get to pick their stinky boys up from school.

I ramble. But I struggle to make sense of that for which there is no sense. I want to squeeze my monkeys, whilst knowing this would probably alarm at least one of them. I want to make us have a dialogue about mental illness, and I want it to make a difference. I want us to recognize that one in four Americans will be diagnosed with a mental disorder in our lifetimes- this makes the conversation an important one. You love someone with a mental illness, you work with someone with a mental illness, and you may well be someone with a mental illness. We need to quit tiptoeing around those two words, and have a frank and open national discussion about how to deal with mental illness as a society. Mental illness doesn't mean our loved ones will commit violent crimes, but doesn't it mean we discuss that they need the same ribbons and bake sales that other diseases get?

Hug your monkeys, peeps. And if they are mentally ill, hug them harder. Don't hide it. Don't try to swish it under the rug. They all deserve better.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bottles.

I spent an extraordinary amount of time dealing with bottles as a child.

Having a father who was an alcoholic, we spent a lot of time looking for bottles. Finding bottles. Hiding bottles. Emptying bottles. Filling bottles, trying to water them down. Being surprised by the bottles. Learning to expect them, everywhere. Seeing my sister get furious and leave them out, as a 'we caught you' footnote.

I learned to discern between big oversized tumblers of tea that I could sneak sips of and the big oversized tumblers of 'tea' that would make my eyes tear up with their syrupy sting of liquor over ice. I knew what different bottles meant- bottles of beer are a slow, tilting slide; bottles of caramel-colored whiskey are a deep water dive. Bottles, for years, signified hurt and abandonment. Not until I discovered bottles of Boone's Farm did bottles take on a new meaning, one that entertained me through college until I realized I did not want to be my dad. Somehow, I have escaped my history, and a bottle is just a bottle today, nothing more for me personally.

Thirty eight years of living. For years, I veered towards addicts; there is a certain charm about someone who cares about nothing except filling a void. I was a magnet for every kind of addictive personality out there, while managing to avoid being addicted to anything but them. I learned how to deal with an addict for a parent. I learned how to deal with an addict for a partner. I have not, however, learned how to deal with nearer loved ones who are addicts. I know all of the 'speak', the lessons of codependencies. I know the ten commitments, and I lived and breathed al-anon growing up, but somehow they are escaping me as I realize that I am right back to my West Texas hell. Right back to looking for and finding the bottles, figurative though they may be.

I'd really like to go back to bottles just being bottles. I have found, hidden, filled, and emptied more than my share of bottles.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Microbursts

You darlings with all of your 'days of thankfulness'- what is this, November or something?

Oh.

Good lord, thirty days of saying what I am thankful for? EVERY day?

Yeah, like that is going to happen. My little microbursts of gratitude are fast and fleeting- an appreciation for the fiery sunsets or a little happy dance for the perfect dry cappuccino.



But, here, I can list fifteen things right this second that I am thankful for. Timesboy's rendition of Gangham Style when he thinks no one is watching. Steamrolling Superteen at night and hearing her protest and giggle like a little kid. Gingered carrot soup. Kale and pear salad. Funky fake coffee creamers in disgustingly sweet flavors-nomnomnom on the white Chocolate mocha and the pumpkin pie latte ones. My mama-always full of gratitude for my mama, for putting up with me and loving the unloveable me. Down comforters on cool mornings. Badass new running shoes that make sure nothing hurts except muscles after a run. My computer-keys to freedom. Pandora Radio- I can choose anything from Marley to Mumford and Sons. Cafemom- affirming my choice to write every day. Vitamin Water Zero Drive-that stuff is like crack, but with vitamins and caffeine. Pumpkin anything- whether it is pumpkin soup or baked pumpkin or a pumpkin smoothie from Jamba Juice. Freedom to travel-my passport promises adventures. My friends-all of em, for loving me and for being so stinking lovable. My badge from work- a daily reminder of what an amazing company I get to be a part of, even on the days that I want to run away from numbers.  And my rock-teaching me unconditional love through thick and thin, teaching me to love beyond what I thought I was capable of loving. I am better and blessed for ALL of these things and people.

Now, back to snark. My thankfulness bank is paid up through the fifteenth, with two days thrown in, just because. Peace and mushy gushy stuff, y'all!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Rotten Fruit

Mean Girls.

We all survived them in school, albeit with a few literal and figurative scars. I can think of a lot of mean girl moments but I will NEVER forget Heather Wallin and Crystal Ball chasing me on the playground and pelting me with overripe fruit that squished every time they hit their target.(I predict that Crystal Ball became a stripper without ever having to change her name, if karma exists.)  I always assumed that Mean Girls grow up and became nicer. I thought that age brought wisdom and kindness. Silly me, I thought that age softened the edges a little, rounded out the sharp corners and dulled the jaggedness.

Nope. Mean Girls just grow up into Mean High Schoolers and then into Mean Women. They might get a little better at the Art of Mean, a little savvier at cloaking it in 'caring and concern', but they are still mean. Maybe they learn to keep it under wraps until the mob mentality makes them say things that they will wide-eyed and earnestly apologize for the next day. Maybe they act like they are watching out for you, saying things like "I heard...", when really they are just enjoying seeing that microburst of shock flit across your face before you remember to cover it up with nonchalance.

When they hit you with those figurative pieces of rotten fruit, you suddenly remember how Mean Girls work. You remember how to dance the dance, and remember that vulnerability and expecting the best of people will get you absolutely slaughtered. You remember that being open and transparent when Mean Girls are in the area... Well, you might as well go back to fifth grade, with your thick glasses and baby fat rolls, or  high school in your old hand-me-downs and mismatched shoes in your 1978 Celica. That is what 'open and transparent and trusting' will get you with Mean Girls/Women. Rotten fruit.

So, put your armor on, remember to have thick skin, and ignore them to the best of your ability. Don't get drawn into trying to be their friend, or trying to be more mature. Don't be shocked when they throw out a juicy tidbit of gossip about you that they heard. Don't let the rotten fruit hit you in a soft spot. Don't stoop to their mean ways, because it will kill a piece of your you-ness. Be kind and good and truthful; stay out of the muck. Because, buttercups, we have decades left. Decades to hope that edges will soften and sharp corners will round out a bit. But we should not hold our breath on those things. Chances are, Mean Girls will turn into Mean Teenagers into Mean Women into Mean Old Biddies, the ones who will steal your applesauce, cheat at pinochle, and maybe even pelt you with fruit in the nursing home cafeteria.

Monday, October 29, 2012

If the shoe fits.

Happy Monday, peeps!



Life lessons I have already learned on this brisk Monday morning? Hmmmm.

One, I really hate when Superteen takes her iPod to school. I am stuck running with Keb Mo and Mumford and Sons. Nice music, not so much for moving your arse.

Two, I forget I have mildish asthma. Until I run in colder air at altitude. I suddenly remember said asthma and expired inhalers, as I feel knives twisting in my lungs.

Three, I have been so busy with being busy that I have neglected running these last few weeks. My lungs burning, my arse burning, and my legs getting weebly wobbly- I love that feeling. I need to remember that I love it.

Four, there is no better time for thinking than when you are running. Especially when your music is slow and thoughtful. Lots of time this morning for deep thoughts, and I feel a long blog post coming on....

And finally, Not even my new shoes could make me forget how stupid traipsing up a cactus-filled hillside in Toms this weekend was. Stupid. Stupid.

But the new shoes? They hafta be about five ounces each- feathers on my feet. And that, my friends, is a good Monday morning.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Farting rainbows

Timesboy- "I think it would be cool to have a dragon."

We go back and forth for a few minutes on the merits of having a well-behaved dragon as a pet. Then other supernatural magical pets come up.

Superteen- "I'd like a pegasus or unicorn."

Me- "Pretty sure unicorns are a-holes."

Timesboy- "Yeah, unicorns are all mean girls."

Superteen- "Yeah, but they fart rainbows and that's awesome."

Timesboy- "I'd really like a leprechaun."

Me- "Oooooh, they'd be worse than unicorns because they can talk."

Pretty sure the gentleman at the Running Company thought we were nuts when we came in debating the merits of a leprechaun over a centaur. These are the conversations we have when both children actually feel like joining in. This, or how to best survive a Zombie Apocalypse. (Hint, one prefers Walmart for crafting supplies, food, and ammunition all in one location, while the other prefers camping next to a well-stocked pond with a bow and arrow. Me, I prefer a Doubletree suite.)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Starts with a T and ends with an E. Or not.

So. Fifth grade Christmas. Full of visions of Atari  64's  and Jordache jeans.

We lived in the Spooky House. I wanted a cabbage patch who looked like me (i.e., chubby with a bad bangs perm and glasses), and my big sister just wanted a phone. Spooky House had a phone shelf right between the kitchen and the bathroom, so you had to either stare at the toilet or pine for the kitchen- no rest and no satisfaction.

All my big sis wanted was her own telephone. Wellllllllll, I was a snoopy child. I was the kind of person who can shake a wrapped gift box and know that it is chock full of rocks surrounding the perfect set of shrimp gold earrings or an add-a-bead necklace. I discovered, through legitimate channels, that my sister was getting a Microscope from our dad. Microscope. Telescope. Same thing to a ten year old girl more interested in Pat Benetar tapes and a rainbow spectrum of jelly sandals.

"I knoooooooow what you're gettttting for Christmas...."

When you are ten years old, and your sister is a way cooler fifteen years old, buttercups, these words have power. Raw power.

The sister, the sister's BFF, and me. With all of my power.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Catching Up

Soooo, this weekend was a ton of fun. Superteen has a lot, A LOT, of homework that she has to get caught up on. Freshman year is difficult, and remembering to turn things in on top of navigating lockers/boys/lunchroom/social hierarchy/fashion is amazingly challenging.

She thinks I don't remember this, but I do. I have much more vivid memories of my outfit for the first day of school than the memories of the Bill of Rights or of Diophantine equations. I don't even try to convince Superteen of this, because I also remember the epic eye roll I would have executed if my own mother had tried to say she remembered. (Pick yo' battles, peeps.)

Anyhoo, we played catchup this weekend. When I say 'we', I truly mean 'WE', because I got the lessons also. Civics- we ALL need to dust off a history book and reread. Superteen and I went through the Bill of Rights, twenty-seven amendments and a pile of court cases. I daresay most of us can only name a couple of amendments, and none in their entirety. I went through that entire document, and felt a little embarrassed by how much I take certain liberties for granted. Reading through court cases, I am reminded that people fought for our freedoms, not just in battlefields, but also in courtrooms and classrooms.

My point, cupcakes, is that we all need to educate ourselves. Not with pundits on the news channels that agree with our views, but with a copy of the Bill of Rights. With history books, written far enough removed so as not to be myopic. With retellings by our forefathers, be they founders of our country or our grandparents with their WWII tales.

Peace and love and mush!  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Juice

A handful of kale, a handful of spinach, half a banana, ice, and orange juice. A dropperful each of Ass Kicking immune, Ass Kicking Sinus, and Ass Kicking Biotic. Blend (preferably in a Magic Bullet or Vitamix) until a lime-green pulpy mess. Drink up quickly, and feel two distinct feelings. One, feel that surely this many vitamins can kick any cold germ's arse to the curb. Two, feel a little uppity/sheepish that you are now one of those whackadoos that juices, as opposed to most  who simply grab their breakfast with a side of hashbrowns in a drive-thru.

Nomnomnom


There, doncha feel aaaah-mazing, cupcakes?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Kick Ass



My head hurts so incredibly badly that I fear I may never be witty again. However, I am overdosing on medicine called 'kick-ass', and this has to count for something, right?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fifteen

Fifteen days.

I am ready to be a little less encumbered by stuff. Stuff- knickknacks and tchotchkes. Books I will never read again. The sweater I got on sale that just isn't quite right for me. Leftovers from another life that I have hung onto out of some sort of obligation.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

No Private Parts or Nazis. Please and Thank You.

Let's talk oversharing, peeps.
no reason, just because I can...

I sometimes overshare. I tell what I am thinking-good, bad, and ugly. I tell stores about the monkeys. I have even been known to throw a gross dawg story in the mix.

However, comma, I only overshare things that will neither harm nor embarrass the monkeys or anyone I love. Facebook and Twitter have become these cesspools of oversharing, and I propose that we go back to a little decorum. Maybe it's the election year, which has made each and every one of us a Constitutional expert with a platform. I propose we go back to cute kitty pictures and blow-by-blow accounts of our lunches.

I solemnly swear to the following, and I urge you to commit to it also....

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Webs


We say in our African idiom, 'A person is a person through other persons.' The solitary human being is a contradiction in terms. I need you in order to be me as you need me in order to be you. We are caught up in a delicate network of interconnectedness. I have gifts that you don't, and you have gifts I don't--voila! We are made different so that we may know our need of one another. The completely self-sufficient human being is subhuman. Thus diversity, difference is of the essence of who we are." - Archbishop Desmond Tutu

What a beautiful picture of diversity Archbishop Tutu paints. I am me because you are you. Pretty simple, isn't it?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Texas Love

Tanning AND barbecue. Because those go well together.

Yep. That is weird.

Tire Guy- I had forgotten about this!

Stillwater Mesa

Commie's Tacos- No Russian Flags or Symbols, but...
These are just my oddball pictures. What an amazing weekend this was- from midnight street tacos to Jumbo Groans' BBQ Ribs to an aaah-mazing brunch overflowing with Mimosas and kale salad (Yep, I can even find kale in Texas, buttercups.) with the Leveretts to seeing faces I have missed. I am reminded that friendship transcends time, and that the years go by too quickly. That, and that I will always be a Texas girl. Even if I cannot bring myself to say "Fixing to" or "All y'all". Ever.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Duly noted

I am struggling with how to deal with asshats. Struggling mightily.

I managed to disentangle myself from the bullying and childish behaviors years ago, and yet it still seeps in like a bad case of toxic mold. I chose to leave it, I chose to remove the poison from my life, and yet I still occasionally get slapped in the face with it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Two Words.

Two words.

Arithmetic and Forward.

Read em. Rinse. Repeat.

You are welcome.

Friday, August 31, 2012

A million excuses....

I have a million excuses. Achy throbbing IT band. A pill that my (not-so-helpful-but-well-intentioned) doctor put me on that made me hurt with every step. Twelve hour workdays/commutes. Overwhelming stuff on the homefront. The desire to pull the feather comforter over my head. Coyotes outside in the morning. Pitbulls chasing after us, stopped only by the grace of God. Forgetting my running shoes. Buying good running shoes that are actually really bad running shoes.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Slice o'Heaven...

Admit it. You want a slice of pie now...


That, dearies, is chocolate pie. And not just any old chocolate pie, but MEMA'S CHOCOLATE PIE. Oh em gee, this is the stuff that legends are made of, this pie.

I grew up eating three kinds of pie. Chocolate pie, coconut cream pie, and pecan pie. All Mema's recipes or mi madre's spin on them. All heavenly and all hard to keep my finger or fork out of when pulled out of the oven.

I am a bad bad mama, because I tend to think of food as fuel, and I tend to buy whole foods. Except for Nutella, I know, I know. When we trekked to Mema's house a couple of Thanksgivings ago, Mema made chocolate pie. Timesboy went NUTS. Absolutely bonkers. He wanted to eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dessert.

I then had to admit to both Mema and my mother that I had never made a chocolate pie for my monkeys. Never even tried. I made pumpkin pie and a (always failing to properly set) pecan pie at Thanksgiving. That's it.

Needless to say, I left with the promise that I would make the kiddo a chocolate pie with Mema's recipe, at least occasionally. I tried once, last year, but it was a horrible soupy mess of a failure.

Last weekend, I discovered what went wrong with my pie. Cornstarch, or a lack of cornstarch... Mema patiently walked me through the recipe once again. And Timesboy had three pieces of pie. And a promise that I will try again :-)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Family we make

"Friends are the family that we choose."

I love this saying. I have friends that are my family. Friends that I would donate a kidney to, walk through fire for, and spy on bad boyfriends with. I have friends who have known me since my buck-toothed, bad bangs perm days. Friends who have held my hand through the bad and the heartbreak, and are there through all of the sickness- they are my strength when I am weak. Friends who have kicked my arse into gear when I need it, in a loving way.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

What a weekend!

What a weekend this was...

I did picklebacks with Jesus.

Steuben's special. Jameson's with a chaser of pickle juice.
Yep, that really is a drink. And I now know that you could drink ANYTHING and pickle juice will completely kill the taste. I am still undecided on whether this is a good or a bad thing.

And confession...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Serious medical forms


Welcome to one of fifty-nine pages of required reading/filling out for my monkey to go to high school. Whoever created these forms OBVIOUSLY neither had a teenager nor a sense of humor. Because if they did, they would know that putting "ADD, ADHD, Depression, Mood Disorder, and Neurological Disorder" on said form is almost comic relief.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Spoonful of Love

Dear Buttercups,

I love you. I love political discourse. I love Jon Stewart and Tina Fey and Fox and BBC- God help me, I love em all. I love that we live in a nation where I will not be buried up to my neck and stoned to death for leaving He Who Must Not Be Named. I also love spoonfuls of Nutella, but I digress...

I have staunch Republican friends. I have strong Democrat friends. I have friends who have helped perform abortions, believers in a woman's right to choose. I have friends who lobby before Congress for Right to Life movements, and have made it their life's work.

I have friends who are ministers, who are faith through works. I have friends who will tell you that Science is their only religion, that there is no God.

I have family members who wear overalls to work, who are salt-of-the-earth. I have friends who are in the upper echelons of academia, who look down from that oft-mocked Ivory Tower.

I have friends who have probably never knowingly encountered a gay person. I have gay and lesbian friends who I've thrown baby showers and wedding parties for.

What I mean to say, is I have friends and loved ones from every walk of life. Every belief system imaginable, and probably a few beyond my imagination. At the end of the day, no matter where you are walking, please remember, we are all in this together. We can disagree on things, we can vehemently disagree on politics and beliefs. We can also be civil in our disagreements.

Remember, we have freedom of belief and freedom of speech, but we also have responsibilities to be wise with our words and our actions. Remember to be kinder than you may feel. Remember we are all fighting our own battles, some of which will never see the light of day. And, remember to be the light, whether you are a Republican, Democrat, Evangelical Christian, Pagan, overall-wearing oil field worker, a Suit, or a WoW playing geek.

Be the light. Peace and love and spoonfuls of Nutella, y'all!




Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Lara's Ballish Bars.

Eventually, I will truly, cross my heart and hope to die or stick a needle in my eye, give y'all the recipe for my Beet Bowl. Really, pinky swear.

However, tonight, you get homemade cashew cookie Lara bars. I double dog dare you not to eat em all in one sitting. Not that I have ever done that...

Ingredients, give or take...

-One overflowing cup of dried dates, coursely chopped. (Make sure they are pitted. Obvious to most of us, but I speak from experience when I say they are brutal on your blades. Ahem.)
-One quarter cup of coconut- I use real flaked coconut, but the sweetened stuff would probably taste good also. Hard to mess up here, peeps.
-One quarter cup of raw cashews. 
-A dash of salt. Use good salt, please. It makes a difference.
-Two teaspoons of vanilla

Combine everything in a food chopper, Magic Bullet, blender, anything with blades...
If you have ever eaten a Lara bar, you will see the consistency come together in your chopper/blender in about forty five seconds. Again, hard to go wrong here :-)

VOILA!!!

They kinda look like meatballs, don't they? That would be because I am too lazy to shape bars. But Lara's balls just sounds sort of wrong. We are just going to call them Lara's Ballish Bars. There. Done.

Peace and love and yummy stuff, buttercups. 

On my motherly failings...

My failings as a mother became painfully obvious yesterday when I told my daughter to 'nut up or shut up' via text. Granted, I was trying to make a valid point in a humorous way by quoting her favorite movie, but still.. The fact that I quoted this-


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Happy Saturday!


Heaven in Colorado is an excellent cup of coffee, my laptop, and a place to watch the world go by.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pepa

My cousin posted yesterday on my Facebook wall. A very simple and short post.

"Juicy Fruit and the smell of sawdust remind me of Pepa."



Wow, the memories that her one little post unleashed for all of us.

Dominoes and skipbo and pink stucco houses. Hot yeast rolls and strong coffee and warming blankets. Climbing on roofs. Nilla wafers and motorhomes and his buttondown shirts.

I fel asleep last night wandering through my memories like a favorite old book. Walking through Pepa's garden as he showed me his hard work- those roses, Brooke! Visiting his wood shop, where he was making a piece of furniture from old fence pieces- Pepa was a hipster waaaaaay before it was cool. His old pointy-toed cowboy boots and bright white tennis shoes side by side in front of the glass front door. How much he LOVED Mema's cooking- panfried zucchini, butter beans and cornbread, biscuits and gravy first thing in the morning.

I remember how he was larger than life for most of my own, but I also remember how he could slow down and spend hours watching the wrens nest in gourds on his patio. I remember how much he loved Lucky, who is now my faithful friend.

Thank you, Brooke. You reminded me how important family is and I cannot wait to rush home and see Mema. I shall bring dominoes, skipbo cards, zucchini from my garden, and my camera. I will not, as I said last night, be climbing roofs. No matter how hard you try to talk me into it...

Best Love Song EVER. With whistling, no less...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Bounty

Gold beets, purple carrots, red watercress...

...make for a happy happy girl, again! It's all about the beets.

Budgeting Blues

Real money, only in our grubby little paws for seconds. Darn it.


I hate budgeting. HATE it. It  makes me feel all panicky and stabby. Left over from my B-R-O-K-E days, I put off checking the mail for weeks. Like a little kid playing hide-and-seek, if I don't see the bills, they won't see me. Makes sense, right?

But, I know that I need to pay them, and the sooner I pay them the better. So I sit. And I open them up. I make my little piles- To Pay, To Do, To Hide, To Throw Away, and To Keep Me Up at Night. When I get to this piling stage, I have moved from the little kid to the high-schooler-avoiding-writing-a-paper stage. I can spend hours here, like if I stack them neatly, I might get bonus points and money off. Rawr.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Plant



















After a while, you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much
so you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
                              -Veronica Shoffstall

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Winter Park

Timesboy, Winter Park Reservoir

Superteen and Cupcake, Winter Park Reservoir

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Log In Your Eye

Soooo, we are having some growing pains.

Superteen got completely dumped by a best friend she has had since kindergarten. In a pretty brutal way. The girl asked if Superteen believed in God. Superteen told the truth, her truth at this moment.

No.

No, she does not. She was honest, even though it was hard and obviously not the 'right' answer.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The beet goes on.

Tell me you don't want a salad right this second... I dare you.

Superteen said my shadow ruined an otherwise artistically perfect shot, but I think the beautiful veggies overshadow my shadow. So there. 

I had a hand in growing those gorgeous greens. Okay, maybe a pinky. I follow directions and sing (softly) to them as I water and gaze at their beauty, but Wendy and Carol deserve the credit for 99% of the magic. Anyhoo, we have fennel and watercress. Tomatoes and chile peppers. Squash and beets. The list goes on....

Coup on Etsy- check out her tees!

And I don't know why my greens give me the urge to show you my newest tee-shirt order, but they do. And it is my bloggy universe, so I can.

Peace and beets and greens, XOXOXO



Saturday, July 21, 2012

Rolling, rolling, rolling...

Chokecherries on trail. Yum.

As cumbersome as it is, I have started taking my phone with me when I run. I see entirely too much wonderfulness on my runs and want to share. I have seen snakes, families of skunks, a bear, an almost nekkid man running a donkey on a leash, and more. I realize these chokecherries pale in comparison but still a sight to behold, yes?

Timesboy and I went for a bike ride this morning, instead of my run. I am aware of several things after said ride. One, the kid looks like Kermit the Frog on his bike when his legs are frantically pumping up and down.

Need I say more???

Two, he has no idea what I am talking about when I call him Kermie as we ride.

Three, riding bikes uses entirely different muscles and is a lot harder on your arse than running. My running shorts apparently don't have the padding necessary to prevent pain, nor does said arse. Must purchase cycling shorts for both their protective qualities and for their sheer hotness. *SNORT*

Four, it is hard not to smile while riding a bike. Especially a hot pink one. Running is a type of masochistic self-flagellation. Bike riding is getting in touch with your inner eight-year-old. Running is overcoming pain and obstacles and powering through. Riding bikes (in the manner that we do :-)) is pure WHEEEEEEE.

Five, I will probably never see the half-nekkid man running his donkey on a leash again, but if I do, you will be the first to know. Scout's honor.


Peace and love and chokecherry jam and all of the good stuff!





Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Happy Wednesday!

Sante Fe Trail, my home away from home...

I am not typically a narcissist, but do you see those technicolor rainbows? Those dark, brooding clouds that promise a torrential downpour?

Ummmm, yeah, I wore white yesterday. Pretty sure that is why we got the rain. ALL of the rain. I may run and wash my car later also. So, a pre-emptive "My pleasure and you are welcome."

Oh, and that anti-entropy thing? Man, does life get in the way of being industrious and neat and organized. I am getting right on that. Tomorrow. Seriously.



Sunday, July 15, 2012

Anti-entropy Time

According to Oxford Dictionary, entropy is defined as a gradual decline into disorder.

C has always designated October as Anti-Entropy Month. Which is code for, he gets serious shit done. Windows, paint, floors, you get the picture.

I don't think I am ready for thirty days of hard industrious efficiency, but I am up for a week.

This week, I am going to be efficient and industrious. I am going to be the Queen of Anti-entropy. 

Garage- for someone who hovers around the edges of OCD (My closet is organized according to color and mini-organized from there by sleeveless, short sleeve, long sleeve, and sweaters- capisce?), my garage is horrific. I unpacked everything possible in a week, and then shoved holidays, crafts, books, and etcetera in the garage. I then closed the door, turned the light out, and did not look at it for, ummm, four months.

Entry way- I am going to change out the flooring. By myself. Seriously. A neighbor's dog took it upon himself to start marking the door and it has managed to seep in underneath the flooring. Serious stench that cannot be covered up. Not even if I own stock in Scentsy or Yankee. SO I will be pulling up the old floor, cleaning, covering with KILZ, and replacing with shiny new.

Office area- I need to carve out a spot for work, even just a corner. And again, with the OCD-ness, if it is not charming, I won't work there.

Car- tags. Eeek.

I shall post pictures as proof. Except for the car tags, because pics of the DMV are less than enthralling. Kinda like watching gas grow. In slow-mo.


Okay, I think that is enough ambitiousness for now. Whew...


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

One step.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step."
                                                     -Buddhist saying

Never truer than when you are going to run eight or nine miles after a long and lazy hiatus.

Those first steps, I think about all of the things that I would rather be doing. Drinking a glass of Malbec. Smearing brie over crackers and enjoying the warm evening with friends. Sitting in an air conditioned theater watching explosions and excitement. Curling up with my latest read. Doing trailwork with friends- check out http://fomp.org for a great hands-on 'be the change you want to see' group that regularly improves our trails.

And yet, I continue. One foot in front of the other. One step. And then another. I think of the Buddhist saying as I throw an inner "I don't wanna" tantrum. This bratty reluctance goes on for several hundred feet and then I start to find my groove. My songs kick in, my breathing regulates and my muscles start to melt into the run. I start noticing all of my little markers on the trail that tell me exactly where I am. There is the bent tree with the bark stripped off by a bear. A few hundred feet further is the perfect view of Elephant Rock through a frame of pines. A few hundred feet further lies a discarded water bottle top half-buried in the trail dirt. I always mean to grab it, as it is technically trash, but it has become something of the landscape...

Courtesy of The Vaile Museum


I notice all of these little things and eight miles glides by. Okay, honestly, the first seven and a half miles glides by. The last mile or so, I am painfully aware of my IT band and the price I will pay for NOT running faithfully the last couple of weeks.

Kinda like life when I start to really think about it. One step at a time. Even when it aches.


Friday, July 6, 2012

Proof in the Pudding. Filling.

Donut Cake. A thing of Beauty...

Get up at the arse crack of dawn to both run and to buy donuts aplenty for a birthday cake of sorts. (Don't be all judgey, the kid likes donuts and I don't have white sugar or butter in my house.) We make a masterpiece of donuts and fritters and frosting and candles and bask in its glow... However, the birthday donut aficionado is still snoring away, so life goes on.

I walk by the Donut Masterpiece and notice a sprinkles donut is gone. I assume it is a payment for getting up at the crack of dawn and helping me create such a maaahvelous birthday breakfast. Rude, but, whatever...

Mysterious bites...

I saunter into the kitchen to get more coffee and I see. This. A chocolate glazed donut with several hasty, messy bites take out of one side. A sprinkled payment donut, I can live with. But bites out of the actual masterpiece? Too. Much. I walk down the stairs and tell the monkeys to knock it off and quit eating the Masterpiece.

I get blank stares and then indignation. Denials, to the point that I ask, "If you guys aren't eating the Masterpiece, who is?!"

Behold, the proof. It's not in the pudding but it is in the chocolate icing. And possibly the boston cream filling. Mehhhh.

Terrier Teethmarks

Chock full of guilt. And apple fritter. And sprinkles.



Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Shufflin'

Bad Bad bad wine...

The fire is seventy percent contained, the smoke is dissipating, and my excuses to not run are also disappearing. Dragged my arse out of bed this morning and slogged my way through seven miles.

This is the first morning since before the fires that my legs got tired around the same time that my lungs did. A big glass of red wine last night did nothing to help my run this morning, except possibly make it a little bit more masochistic.

I also saw a friend on the trail (Hi Jeff :-)), and remembered that I am an anti-social runner/slogger. We went about half a mile and I had to tell him to bug off because I cannot talk and move at the same time. Seriously, ask anyone on my middle school track team who remembers my broken arm. From running and talking. (Sorry Jeff :-))

In honor of my lightning speed, AHEM, I leave you with a kick arse pic. You are welcome :-)

Thanks, Jenny Lawson and itattoo.com




Sunday, July 1, 2012

July First

I have not been blogging lately because I have been too busy BEING.

Busy watching the fire burn. Busy being obsessed with percentages contained, acres burning, wind speeds and directions, numbers of homes burned, weathermen advising, politicians pontificating. Busy sifting through all of our stuff, figuring out what to take when we were under pre-evacuation. (For those who don't know, pre evac means be ready. Seriously ready. You might not be evacuated or you might move to a mandatory evac with ten minutes to get out.) Busy trying to be practical by grabbing documents-birth certificates, divorces decrees, passports, etc. Busy being practical by packing underwear and dog food and stuff we would need in the immediate future. Busy getting lost in the details, wanting to grab the birdhouse my Pepa made, the quilt my great grandmother made, pillowcases my Mema made, lovey dove sentimental things...

But now, we are free of the pre-evacuation notice. Even as the bulldozers are only a couple of miles away digging 'lines in the sand' for the possibility of the fire turning, my heart feels freer than it has in days. My eyes may still be burning from the lingering smoke and my every belonging may smell like a bad campfire/incense, but I don't feel the fear that has been crushing for days.

And life goes on. Superteen goes back to seven more days of Wilderness Camp, Timesboy revels in being a stinky boy- bike riding, archery, frisbee, knife throwing (ummmm, yeah. We had a come-to-Jesus talk about THAT one...). Laundry piles up, bills beckon to be paid, gardens keep growing, outdoor running resumes (albeit with the knowledge that the smoke is definitely still present. I have decided it has to be better than whatever crap they are pumping into the gym to mask the smoke odor...), dinner parties and writing groups pick back up. Life. Goes. On.

That being said, if you see a firefighter, hug them! One, because they are heroes and saved our city from what could have been an unchecked devastation, and two, because they are usually hotties ;-)

Palmer Lake Reservoir, just thought you peeps would need a pic of the coolness we hold dear...


Peace and love and ice cubes and cool drinks and breezes, y'all! XOXO

Monday, June 25, 2012

Fiery

"Fire has always been, and seemingly always will be, the most terrible of all the elements."
                                                                                                               -Harry Houdini

Waldo Canyon Fire Day Three

This fire is daunting, in both it's beauty and in it's terror. It started out as feathery plumes that drew the eye towards Pikes Peak. They got steadily darker and more ominous, eventually taking over the sky as we watched from our expansive office windows.
Heading north on Saturday night, it was easier to put it aside, as the smoke seemed to be just a haze in the distance. Sunday seemed a little scarier again, as we tried to take Grace to camp while road after road was closing. We drove towards the fire and watched as flames occasionally flickered at the top of the ridge line, then watched as they danced away.
I mentally started packing in my mind- what shall I grab if we have to evacuate? It's not so far-fetched- the fire could easily snake its way up here, just a few miles and a ridge. Passports, files, pictures- these are the things I immediately think of. Anything else, clothing, Northface sleeping bags, china- they would all be replaceable...
And today, Monday. Hottest day in over twenty years, with winds whipping in every direction. The air smells like a bad campfire- acrid and enough to make me rush inside. My car is covered in a fine layer of black- not enough windshield wiper fluid to do anything except smear it across my glass. I come home tonight, intent on both trying to cool off despite the heavy heat and on getting together things that matter, just in case. I look at all of the pictures that friends are posting online, and I am in awe of the power of a spark.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mile by mile

Eight point two miles.
There's something about this that makes me feel powerful.

And sweaty.

I feel like I should probably balance out the running and hiking with something  at the gym but then I see this...















I remember why I don't run on a treadmill. I might in the middle of winter, but right now, I have my mountains.
When I run, I spend the first five miles in an almost meditative state. Nothing but me and the trail. One foot in front of the other. Breathe in, breathe out. I pay attention to my stride, my form, everything about the actual run...
After mile five, I start to get into this amazing state where I am keenly aware of everything surrounding me. The smell of the pine trees towering over the trail, the black beetle slowly lumbering across my path, clouds building over the mountains. Mile five to mile seven are less meditative and more absorbing everything in front of me.
And then there is the last mile. That is the mile I love. The one where my muscles start to feel numb and achy at the same time. The one where I want to stop but I see my shadow and I see actual muscles in my shadow. Seeing that and feeling the ache is enough to make me run faster on that last stretch than the rest of my entire run. That is the part where I feel like a gazelle, where I am fast. This is where I feel powerful.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Scarily beautiful...

Mammatus clouds brewing overhead...

More mammatus clouds...
Tornado warnings in our mountain town- not an everyday occurrence... Monkeys and I met Mollie for dinner and then the clouds came rolling in. Literally rolling, head over tail, swirling through the sky. I forgot to freak out (remind me to tell you about Superteen being born in a tornado, inter tubes friends...) because they were so riveting. When I did put the word 'tornado' with the clouds, I decided to just enjoy the view. I decided that I did not survive thirteen months of Oklahoma hell to perish in a Colorado tornado. Not. Happening.

Welcome to my world...




The things I hear...

"My feet smell like vinegar."

"If there's a Zombie Apocalypse, screw Norad, I am going to Wal-mart."

"If you have more babies, will you name them Peeta and Prim?"

"Suck it, butthead."

"I'm going to put pants on." -this from the backseat, as we say, "You're in the car. Don't you HAVE pants on?"

"Noooo, seriously, Wal-mart is perfect for the Zombie Apocalypse. You can shoot and do crafts and kill zombies and use coloring books, all at once."

"What's a wanker, mom?"

"Zombie Apocalypses excite me!!!"

"You look hot in polka dots. Snort."

"I just need to clarify the air."

"Don't worry. My hands aren't in my pants."






Thursday, May 31, 2012

Why, hello...

Don't play with knives, especially when your mom only has spongebob bandaids...
I am not a mad man...

I have always loved this sign. Vacuums and Dragons. Yep.

Ice Cream Cookie Cakes

Whore. This word has so much weight, but only if we allow it. A bit of a backstory here. Actually two backstories. The first one involv...