Saturday, November 23, 2013

My List


November's Thirty Days of Thankfulness.... Ummm, yeah, I forgot that one. I can appreciate how awesome everyone else's lists are, but some days are a challenge for me. No one really wants to hear that I am thankful no one puked on my floor, or that I am grateful my banana didn't have any black spots. So I may not have a Thankfulness List, but I have a LIST! I am working on any or all of these at at any given point, so I have a list that I can even mark things off of. There- I am THANKFUL for lists.
  1. If you don't want your Mema and your monkeys to see it, don't post it.
  2. Don't ever speak badly about your job or your boss on any social media site. It is forever.
  3. On that note, the picture of you on vacation with a bong and too much cleavage? It is also forever. Don't post it, or better yet, don't do it.
  4. Get enough sleep. You'll be nicer for it.
  5. Be nice. But really be nice. If you cannot be nice, it is okay to retreat to your pillow fort for the day.
  6. Tip well. Waiting tables/Barista-ing/Being a hairstylist- these are hard and brutally under appreciated jobs. So, round up and tip well.
  7. Vote with your dollars. Your money probably matters more than your check on a ballot box, so recognize where every dollar goes.
  8. Grow something. Whether it is an extravagant vegetable garden, a windowsill of herbs, or an impossible to kill succulent, grow something. Getting your hands dirty and keeping something alive are good reminders that we are a small part of something big.  
    Grow something. ANYTHING....
  9. Call your grandmother. Call your mom. Call your old neighbor. Even if you only have five minutes, let them know that you are thinking about them. That five minutes might not be much, but you are not guaranteed five minutes tomorrow.
  10.  If your dog or cat pee on whatever you are growing (see number eight...), try again. A good reminder that shit happens, or in the case of my favorite plant, dog pee happens. Thank God for second chances.
  11. Be nice to yourself. Talk to yourself like you would your dearest friend, and be kind. You are going to mess up, forget to feed the lizard, step on someone's toes, stick your foot in your mouth, forget to pay the phone bill for two months, but it is okay. You would not beat your BFF up over honest mistakes, so don't beat yourself up.
  12. Drink more water. Wine and vodka don't count, but drink more water. Why? I don't know, just do it.
  13. Put your phone down. You are not so important that everyone needs to know what you are thinking in 140 characters, where you are on foursquare, what you are eating, or what is playing on your Spotify. So put your phone down, and actually enjoy what you are eating, what you are listening to, or who you are with.
  14. Apologize. When you have been an asshat, own it. Give a real apology, not an "I am sorry you feel that way" apology. When you show regret and own up to being a jerk, it is a sign of strength. And it is hard. Do it. And if you do it awkwardly, try again.
  15. Hug people. Hug their necks, hold their hands, peck their cheeks, pick them up and twirl them around. Whatever works. It is all about connection, and it is fleeting. So grab it while you have the chance.Unless it's the workplace, and then, try to avoid a lawsuit. A firm handshake or backslap might work. 
That's all, cupcakes. Peace and love and hugs and Potting Plants. XOXOXO

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Closed.


The monkey and I have been hiking every chance we get lately. Autumn is upon us, and winter is coming (Hello, George Martin...), so we are trying to get in as many hikes as possible. I think we can both tell you every inch of our favorite well-worn trails. Exactly how many turns before you hit the first reservoir. Where someone inexplicably put a spigot into a dying pine tree. The most likely place to see a fish. The peninsula that you have to tiptoe across a log to get to. The boulders that the monkeys love to scramble up, even as I cringe.

And then there is this new sign. Trail closed.

Hmmmm. I know it is probably closed because of all of the rains. There are probably boulders poised to roll down with the slightest breeze, so I am happy to obey the sign.

It's actually been stuck in my mind lately, though. Trail closed. Sometimes one way is closed. The way that you are accustomed to is suddenly shut off one day. It doesn't mean that you sit down by the sign or turn back around. It just means you find a new trail. That's all.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Waves.

20130228-P2282416 by everydayjill

Damnations. I thought I was going to get it right on Day Fifty.

It's Day Sixty Three.

I am still drowning. Drowning. Damn it.

I keep meaning to start over each morning, to live each day to the fullest and love to the mostest because I get the chance to. And instead, I just end up trying to breathe. Living fully and loving- fat chance. I am doing well to inhale and exhale. And sometimes, I actually forget to breathe. Catch myself gasping, because I literally forget to frikking breathe.

I try to count my blessings- I know I have a lot. Best friends, the monkeys, their best friends, mountain trails, autumn air, pumpkin smoothies, pug kisses. But this, this sadness- it is a strong tide pulling me down deeper.

I am fighting it, but pulling yourself out of drowning is hard work. Harder than real estate or insurance or digging fencepost holes or catering. I am exhausted- mentally and physically. I never knew that drowning in sadness could actually truly hurt. Note to self, sorrow aches. Like running or squats or burpees, but without a single calorie burned. Cruel joke.

That is all, buttercups. No big epiphanies. Except that sorrow sucks. And I know I am not alone, but it still sucks.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Day Fifty

I'd like to say that I took my Aunt's advice and took the day that my dad died as Day One to choose and love more consciously. I did not.

Instead, I cried a lot. And curled up in the fetal position. And drank too much red wine. And tossed and turned as I tried to sleep too much. And cried some more. And pushed my loved ones away. And didn't run. And watched too much TV to try and turn my brain off.

So today is Day Fifty. Hard to believe that it has been fifty days since Daddy died and my world tilted. Day Fifty is kinda my Day One, because it is the first day that I honestly don't find it hard to breathe. I never said I was a fast learner, buttercups. Slow and steady, slow and steady...

Someone who I count as a friend, even though we have never officially met, said something that was perfectly timed for today. She said that after her dad died, how she wrote and lived and loved all changed. I love this.

I feel like the past year, or two years, have been a hot burning fire. The last fifty days have been the flash burn, the worst of it. And yet, when I think of fire, sometimes beautiful things are forged from fire. Strong and sleek, beauty can come after the burn.

So maybe this is part of it. Maybe how I will live and love and write will change, be stronger and more beautiful after the pain. One of my favorite bloggers EVER, Glennon Melton, says that life is brutiful.
Brutal and beautiful, all in a big messy mess.

I agree. And on that note, I am going to finish putting my NASA space station control center together so that I can work. I am working from home from now on, which means that I will be a happy camper in my nest, and in my jammies and fuzzy slippers. (Just kidding, if you are reading this, Mamacita. I will be dressing for the office every day, down to my matching pantyhose and tasteful heels. Working from home won't change my office attire, ahem.) After I put the space station control center together, I am going to go for a run/jog/slog/gasping army crawl. And then I am going to intentionally hug and love on my monkeys, and whomever else crosses my path.

How could you not love these monkeys?!


Peace and love in this big messy mess. XOXO

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Percolating.

Friends and lovies keep asking why I am not blogging.

Good question. Since my dad died, I cannot write. Cannot write a single sentence without immense effort. Effort like I am trying to write a computer program for Mr. Gilger's Computer Science class for my final grade. Without Pancho writing it for me....

I choose to think of it as percolating. My thoughts and observations are slowly becoming active, gradually becoming lively. That, or I am about to hit a midlife crisis. Head Frikking on. Whatever.

This is the face of Percolation. Or skyping with my monkey. Pick one.
Change is afoot, buttercups. Not sure what this change stuff is, but change is afoot. 

Peace and percolating and love and vulnerability. XOXO

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wordiness

I collect words. I have scraps of paper, corners of napkins, pictures on my phone, all of words. If I chose what covers my walls, I would have walls of books, and canvases of wordy quotes. My friends are rarely surprised when they get a random text from me, saying "Could you look in that book on your coffee table and tell me what the quote was at the beginning/middle/end?"



When I hear a minister drop the word 'brevity' in his sermon, I want to stand up and say 'AMEN'. When one of my monkeys calls the other 'malevolent', I am so proud of the vocabulary that I have to remember this is not an acceptable word to call a family member. Out loud. If someone uses 'salacious' or 'pedantic' or 'chicanery', I honestly feel my heart leap a little.

I also have quite a collection of curse words. These, I would not splash on canvases across my wall, or tattoo on my wrist. However, if we are being honest, a well-placed curse word gets the point across much better than a wishy-washy "Beans and Rice" or "Gosh Darnit." I was around my (LOVED AND ADORED :)) sister this weekend, and was well aware that her kids probably don't hear a fifteen syllable variation of the F word when she pulls a hamstring. It's a journey, cupcakes. Littered with curse words and sore muscles, in my case.

That being said, I am constantly learning that words have a hefty power. Once said, they cannot be unsaid. Once the words cross your lips, you cannot grab them and stuff them back down. I am trying to choose them honestly and well, trying to make sure the ones that I would hang on my walls are the ones that cross my lips. Although I am about to go for a run, with a throbbing sciatic nerve. So if you hear a torrent of curse words, well. Yeah.



Peace and love and sweet whispers. XOXO


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Smudges

Several years ago, a friend's little girl died unexpectedly. Everyone frantically tried to fill in, babysitting the other kiddos, making meals, car duty, whatever we could. Right after, I remember telling her that I would go over and clean her house- everything had happened so quickly that cereal was still on the table. I vacuumed and mopped, folded laundry, dusted. I cleaned better than I ever cleaned my house in those days. I must have been trying to scrub away the heartbreak, erase the sadness. I spent hours cleaning, and I remember stopping cold at the smudges on the glass doors. Little toddler-height smears, where my friend's little girl had probably been watching dogs or siblings or her mom in the backyard.

I remember sitting down with the windex, knowing that I could not touch those smudges. Those little prints mattered, and they would not be wiped away by my hands.

I leave for Texas tomorrow, at the crack of dawn. I am going to say goodbye to my dad, to spend time with our family. I have been thinking of those smudges over the last few days. My dad had a lot of smudges. I spent my entire life trying to wipe them clean, as did everyone else who loved him.

Funny thing, those smudges. I no longer want to wipe them clean. They are part of it. His journey. My journey. I love him, good and bad, the clean and the dirt. Trying to erase the smears would be unfair, would change his story, and that is not mine to do. So, I am going home (ish) tomorrow, no Windex or Dr. Bronner's in hand. I am going to celebrate my father, the good memories and the smudges. All of it.

Peace and love and smeared patio glass, cupcakes. XOXO

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Life goes on.

Hello, peeps.
No meaning behind this, just saw it walking to the Farmer's Market...


Thanks for checking in on me, and for all your kind words. Amazing how kind words can soothe our souls more than the 'right' words. I am doing well, a lot wiser about some things than I was a couple of weeks ago.

One, nothing works like it does on TV, when it comes to death and funerals.  It takes time. Time and paperwork and signatures and faxing and scanning and email and phone calls and missed voicemails and, good God, money, to move things forward. On NBC and CBS, it happens in minutes. Someone dies, and the next day everyone is wearing black at the gravesite.

Not reality. My Mema laughed when I told her this, because she knows that arrangements take time. Bless her heart, she has had to bury too many loved ones, so she knows that the wheels creak by very slowly.

Two, apparently there are some arseholes in the death and dying business. One man told my sister there would be a 2000+ transportation fee for my father to be cremated. The next day, the gentleman whom we had been speaking with before said there was no fee for this. Hmmm. I have a feeling that the Transportation Man would have been happy to take two thousand dollars from a grieving family member. It reminds me of being at a bad car dealership in the nineties.

So, even if you are grieving, ask questions. Be smart, like my sister, and ask questions or call back.

Three, grieving catches you by surprise. I feel like I am in the ocean and the waves are big. Sometimes, they knock me over, and sometimes I can see them rolling in and dive under. Often, I am fine, and then I might tear up or have to stop and catch my breath. No rhyme or reason- I am just rolling with it.

And, four, life goes on. I may be sad, but life continues. Kids still outgrow their clothes and need new ones for school. The pug still manages to find strange things to eat and then return said things to my carpet. My oil still needs to be changed. The Farmer's Market continues beckoning to me with kettle corn and Palisades peaches. Library books still need to be turned in and the laundry does not do itself.

Kind of comforting that life goes on whether or not I am sad. Except for the laundry. That could stop already.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Daddy

My father died on Tuesday.

I keep saying it to make it real.

It doesn't feel real. Not real at all. I don't feel real. I sit and want to stand. I stand and want to sit. I am exhausted but my mind plays a continuous reel of good and bad. Everything tastes like cardboard, except chocolate covered espresso beans.

People don't know what to say. Some people say it perfectly, even as they profess to not know what to say. Some people are seriously lacking in saying anything- there is surely a "ten things to not say when someone dies" post waiting to be written. And then there is my friend, Nichole, who heard my voice on Tuesday and said "You sound like shit." I am not sure why, but this was the perfect thing- she heard it in my voice before she even knew.

My father was not a good father. He gave me a lifetime of hurts to heal, and he was not there for any important event. However, I loved him. I loved him fiercely. He had no idea how much I loved him because I was just learning to wade through the hurts, but I loved him. I loved the Daddy he was, who could bring a room to life with his energy. I loved the man he was after his stroke, his alert eyes hidden behind his thick glasses. I did not tell him how much I loved him, but I loved him fiercely.

This is a regret that I will carry for a very long time, because I know better. Life is too short, and I was mistaken in thinking there was time to heal wounds. I told my aunt this last night, that I have this incredible guilt. She has a stronger faith than I can comprehend, and she assured me that my father knows that he was loved. I have the weakest faith, so I can only want to believe this, but I will depend on her faith for that. She also told me not to get mired down in my guilt. To make this day one, of living intentionally and making sure that people know they are loved.

Her words have been in my mind all day and night. Neon bright. Live intentionally. Make sure people know they are loved.

I am working on it. As I sit and stand. Stand and sit.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Hi.

Soooo. I stepped in it last month.

My words, which resonated strongly with some fellow mamas, also unintentionally hurt some people. I have never intended to hurt anyone with my words, so I retreated. Tucked in, if you will.

My blog is my little corner of the world where I have a say. My thoughts. My view. my journey. Sometimes my words resound with other people, because many of us have a similar journey. Occasionally, my words are full of silly absurdity because it is my truth. Sometimes, my writing is a love letter. Often, it is healing a hurt or mending a wound. But it is never meant to hurt anyone, and my words are never meant as arrows aimed at anyone, much less my tribe.

So, I retreated to my cave, licked my wounds, apologized for the hurts, and took a break from writing. Which is like saying I took a break from breathing or bathing, because it is RIGHT. UP. THERE. for my sanity.

I am coming back to writing. Slowly. Baby steps. Hopefully better. And hopefully, my tribe and lovees know that my words are never written as poison. Except for against he-who-must-not-be-named. He gets the arrows occasionally with my words. And if any one has Poison Dart Frogs as pets, well... Yeah. Message me.

No, but seriously, I am writing again. Thank you for your IM's and emails and DM's and Pinterest messages and texts. I know you guys contact me in EVERY way but as comments on my blog, but I got them all. And I felt the love.

XOXOXO, peace and kind words and no poison arrows.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Rise and Shine

Rise and Shine,
And give God the Glory Glory
Rise and Shine, 
And give God the Glory Glory
Rise and shine, 
And Give God the Glory Glory, 
Children of the Lord...

This little ditty from fourth grade VBS at Church of Our Risen Lord literally came out of my mouth this morning. Literally. I woke up singing this with a strange urge to throw my arms out a la Maria from the Sound of Music.

I have not been in VBS in probably a hundred years. I normally open one eye slowly, and test the air to see if I smell my coffee brewing before I open the other eye. I hit snooze a ridiculous number of times. I most assuredly do not bounce out of bed, nor does singing cross my mind before noon.

Funny how our brains let little tidbits bubble up from faraway folds. Every verse of this song was in my head, from start to finish. And as perplexed as I was by this start, every piece of my day had a different feel than the norm. I found myself saying "get to" versus "have to".  I let people in in traffic, without thinking pissy thoughts. I could go on and on about how very calm and Zen I felt, but it would start to get annoying after a few more examples. My sister would probably call it a God moment :)

Peace and Zen and "Get to" moments, buttercups. XOXO




Sunday, June 23, 2013

Ducks are Jerks, and You Rock!

Charming little ducks, right?

No. Jerks. Complete jerks who have no idea that they are supposed to move to the right to let someone pass on a trail.

Usually when this happens with people who are in matchy shirts, I give them a little grace. But today, this was the last little bit of easy cement at the end of a fourteen mile ride in wind and a little rain, and I. Needed. This. Bit. To make it up the hill without wheezing like my pug after she chases her shadow. I needed it, and yet they waddled as if they were the only ducks on the trail. Hmph.

This was mile ten-ish. This is why I get out of the house, even though I could be doing laundry or cleaning up pug vomit stains or any number of exciting tasks.

I see deer and an astonishing array of birds. I always manage to see or run over a snake, even as I try to avoid rolling over them. I see clouds roll over, and forget that I am tired as I watch them move. I also manage to see the same people most days, no matter what time I choose to go. Strange, how we must be on the same rhythm.


An old friend posted on Facebook the other day that she had run two miles in forty-four minutes. She sounded almost apologetic about it, but said she was just starting to exercise.

I didn't write it (but I may still), but when I saw her post, my first thought was "YOU ROCK." Every post she writes about working out or running, I think it again. "YOU ROCK." Utmost admiration for everyone who just does it. One foot in front of the other, or one push of the pedal, that is how you start. And then you make little tiny goals for yourself. Run for a whole song. Run for three minutes without stopping. Run for four minutes without stopping. Run to that tree, that frikking tree that seems to be moving further away, for the love of God. And before you know it, you are a runner. Or a cyclist. Or a swimmer. Whatever, you choose, it starts with that one step.

I see one woman on the trail who has transformed herself. Yeah, she has obviously lost a lot of weight, and I see her run much more than I see her walk. The transformation goes further, though. She runs with her head up. When I first saw her, she walked with her head down, maybe watching one foot in front of the other. And now she runs proud. Pretty cool, because she obviously took the first step.

I just hope she watches out for those damn ducks. Jerks.

Peace and sweat and one foot in front of the other. XOXO




Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pug Life

Help me out here. HE gets the haircut, and I get saddled with the cheesy bandana?

Don't. Say. One. Word.



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Coming up for air.

I'm baaaaack.

Happy Father's Day to us :-)

...and to us :-)


No really, I tend to go underground around Father's Day. One of those holidays that makes me all envious and weepy and all around bitey. My father had amazing potential but it all got lost underneath the crushing heaviness of addiction. My father memories are chock full of broken promises and empty bottles. My stepfather actually told me the week after he married my mother that he didn't want another kid and had no intention of taking on the father role. Looking back, I was Timesboy's age at the time, and I can see with a wide-eyed clarity how crushing that was to a kid. Quite sure when I open that Pandora's box someday in therapy, there will not be enough kleenex boxes to mop up the tears.

And then I watch my kids struggle with navigating the challenges of their relationship with he-who-must-not-be-named. Heartbreaking, but nothing I can do. All I can do is love em, and have faith that they are stronger than the hurt. They have fifty percent of my DNA, so I have strong faith in this.

That being said, I should not have gone underground on Father's Day. I probably also should not have told the grocery store manager that I hate Father's Day and to suck it when he kept talking about Father's Day as I bought my berries and milk. I should not have gone underground. I should have praised the single mamas who wear two hats, being mom and dad every day. I should have taken the day to be thankful for all of the fathers out there who are doing their job. I should have lifted up the men who step into the daddy shoes when the biological daddies fail to. I should have given love to the ones who pay the bills for kids who aren't theirs, even as the 'real' daddies cry broke when they aren't. I should have given kudos to the family friends who step up, the uncles and the male figures who act as dads when they are not. These guys, the ones who don't have to show up, they are the ones that I should have been concentrating on. My kids are surrounded by men who step up to the plate every day, and I hope they are soaking in the love and the lessons from these men. These guys deserve the cards and the ties and the six-packs of beer. Every day, not just Father's Day.

Happy Late Father's Day to all of the good ones. Peace and love and microbrews and bad ties. XOXO

Thursday, June 13, 2013

That hot.


Me- "Hey, did you know you put your toothpaste in the fridge?"

Timesboy- "Yep."

Me- "Umm, why?"

Timesboy- "Haven't you read the back, Mom? Store below eighty-six degrees."

Yep.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Monchichi and a bit of anesthesia

Monchichi by lucaohman
Monchichi, a photo by lucaohman on Flickr.

So, I had a boob job today. *SNORT*

KIDDING.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have spent my life from eighth grade on trying to get rid of the boobs, so that first sentence is a LIE.

But, I did have general anesthesia for the first time in my life. This was a truly strange experience.

Several things were strange. First, apparently I was the first person that my primary nurse knew who had an eyebrowing plucking/rogue German ancestry chin hair plucking/teeth cleaning/face washing contingency in place in case I went into some long term coma from a freakish anesthesia reaction. It's not that I am vain or that I would even care if I was in a coma, but I would not want my monkeys to think that I was a monchichi when they came to see me. I thought everyone would have something like this in place, along with the Medical Power of Attorney. Which I have in place. Ahem.



Second, apparently I need to act up more. Suck air in and tear up, or complain a little about the IV and hawt attire. I need to request more heated towels and pillows and different magazines. I did none of this because I really just wanted to get through so that I could find a cup of coffee. For the love of God.

Third, General Anesthesia is NOTHING like Grey's Anatomy or any other show. There is no blurring of the edges as you drift off. Nope. There is an "I am going to put the mask over your face', and then ninety minutes later a different nurse standing there as you ask when they are going to put the mask over your face. An abrupt loss of a chunk of time. My new nurse did tell me that her husband kept talking about his 'B Danka Dank' while he was coming out of his first time with anesthesia. Pretty sure I did not do that for numerous reasons, one being I had to Urban Dictionary that one. I hope I didn't say anything awful or tell them about my dream last night involving a deceptively violent bullfrog with sharp teeth. Oh well, that is why they get paid the big bucks, right?!

Fourth, apparently there is a lingering issue with mental fogginess even after you can walk and talk. I heard five or six different nurses and doctors say "No major life decisions for the next couple of days". Doh. I can't even finish a compound sentence out loud, much less buy a car or change my will.

And finally, I don't really look like a monchichi. This is the anesthesia speaking.

Goodnight, buttercups. XOXOXO



Thanks @ lucuahman

Monday, June 3, 2013

One with the blueberry.

Mindfulness.

One of my favoritest (If Sarah Palin can make up words, so can I...) people struggles mightily with insomnia. Not just a little bit of restless legs or to-do lists on his mind, but full on trying to function on an hour or two a night.

He has tried everything, with varying degrees of failure. His newest thing is awareness. Mindfulness. He was telling me about it today, and talking about being aware in everything that he does, especially what he eats. Really tasting every bite that he eats, and appreciating what he is tasting.

While  the Insomniac was telling me about eating mindfully, I unsuccessfully tried to hide the container that I had hurriedly scarfed my sammich from. I pointedly put my Lavender Kombucha in between us, as if waving a flag of mindfulness to make up for said sammich scarfing. Let's be honest, you HAVE to be aware and mindful to appreciate Kombucha- otherwise you would think someone was giving you fizzy vinegar to poison you.

Later, I was eating my blueberries, and he brought up the mindfulness again.

I know, they are blackberries. I ATE the blueberries, okay?!


Me- "I am one with my blueberries."

Favorite Insomniac- Laughs. Then earnestly, "Really?"

Me- "Ummmm, yeah. No. Really, no. If I think about blueberries, they are kinda gross, pop-squishing in your mouth. But I am totally down with being one with blackberries and raspberries."

Favorite Insomniac- Laughs. Probably is aware that he wants to throw my blueberries at me.

Me- "They were organic though. So there."


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Garden

"Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them."
                                                       -A.A. Milne



When Superteen was little, she loved dandelions. I was granola, her dad believed the only good dandelion was a dead dandelion and that chemical warfare was a good thing, and the poor kid in the middle just wanted to admire her pretty yellow garden. She would wake up in the morning, look out of our huge picture window, and clasp her hands together in excitement.

"Look at my bootiful garden!!"

Those dandelions would spring up overnight, raising their heads defiantly even after he poured poison on them after my girl went to bed.

Life is kind of like dandelions. Some stuff just springs up, no matter how we try to get rid of it. I could probably take a lesson from Superteen, clasp my hands together, and learn to look for the garden in my weeds. Because it is there, even if it is not the one that I was intending.

Peace and love and pretty yellow flowers, friends! XOXO


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Catnip, Creativity, and a Neon Cathedral.

Random Post.  Just a few things that I am watching, reading, listening to, and loving...

This woman. She is me, and she is you. She is your sister, your best friend, that woman who you see every day at school dropoff. She just writes it better than most of us. My friend Julie told me about her weeks ago, and I could not find her book , no matter how hard I looked on Amazon. Her blog fell into my lap, pure serendipity, and I cannot stop reading her words. (Oh, and I was looking for the wrong book on Amazon. Oopsie.).

http://momastery.com/blog/

 Macklemore. This guy is pure creativity, poetry, and hard truths, all with catchy hooks. Get beyond the poppin'tags and listen to Same Love and Neon Cathedral. Wow....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlVBg7_08n0

Brene Brown. Vulnerability. This is a hard one, but important. I tend to prefer tucking in and protecting to being open and vulnerable, but Brene Brown is spot on.

<iframe src="http://embed.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe>

My friend. And really, her cats are this deadly. Two words. Catnip. Melatonin.

http://006point7ekgo.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/an-unexpected-guest/

All right, peeps. These are my loves today. Peace and love and mushy patience.  XOXOXO

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My mushroom fix...

This may look like I am storing someone's liver in a Mason Jar (Hello, Drunk Pinterest...), but it is nothing quite that morbid. Nope. This is the Mushroom, the beginning of the magic of Kombucha. Sterilized glass, raw organic sugar, black tea, spring water, and this...

Mother, SCOBY, or Mushroom- Pure magic!


Closeup of the Magic....

It is on my countertop and I am quite sure that the monkeys will try to scare each other with it, or double dog dare the other one to touch it. It goes into the tea tomorrow, and then sits in a dark timeout corner for seven to ten days to grow and ferment. Then, hmmmm. A little lavender, some pineapple juice, or chia- who knows?

Thank you, Derek and J9! And Bruce, for scooping it into my jar with only a slight shudder...



Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial

Memorial Day.

I am not going to lie. I spend the weekend getting plenty of sleep, barbecuing, enjoying killer Margaritas (Who knew the best margarita recipe ever would come from a geneticist from Jersey?!), buying flowers, riding my bike, and enjoying the third day off in a row. I do. I enjoy every minute of it, and I am not going to sit here and say that I don't enjoy all of these things to try and prove that I am more of a Patriot than someone else.

However.

(Come on- you know me. You knew a 'however' was coming).

However, my weekend has been interspersed with thoughts of those who have fought for freedom. My Pepa- Memorial Day always brings memories of going and putting flowers and tokens of love on gravestones. Memories of his war stories- I thought he was bigger than life, but in reality he was still a teenager, sent to fight. Memories of some of his serious stories and of some of his funny stories- one of when he was in the chow hall with his friend Tiny (I saw pictures of Tiny, and this name was definitely an ironic one). They were eating lunch, when planes started flying overhead, dropping bombs. Everyone flew into ditches and trenches, but Tiny managed to roll in with my Pepa, his lunch still in hand.

I think of my friends who have been deployed numerous times, and come back changed forever from what they have seen. I think of my friends who have seen their spouses deploy time after time, and yet they carry on every day because this is also their service to their country. I think of the sacrifices and worries and hurts that I hear about every day- more sacrifices than I will ever make. I think of the veterans I know, who have scars both physical and psychological- my friends who left limbs and peace of mind behind.

So I appreciate and love every moment of my three day weekend. And I am more grateful than words can express to every veteran for what they do so that we can enjoy our days. I am grateful today, and I will be grateful every day, which is how it should be.

That being said, hug a veteran. Listen to your grandpa's stories- not a lot of our WWII veterans around. Buy coffee or a meal for someone in uniform. Give a little love to your friend whose spouse is on their third deployment.  Appreciate every time you get to speak or vote or educate your daughter- someone paid for that right with their life.

XOXOXO


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Douchecanoe

Soooo.

At a recent gathering of women, there was one woman whom I did not know. I started talking to her because she was just standing off to the side.

Asked her if she had kids. Yes. Close to Timesboy's age. Asked where they went to school. The school  that we tried last year for the monkey and pulled him out of because it was such a milquetoast experience. I didn't say this because everyone is different and we all have different experiences. She then asked me where Timesboy went, and when I told her, she wrinkled her nose and said she wouldn't put her kids there. Dumbass me, I was curious.

Why? Oh, because they dumb the curriculum down there so much in comparison to the school her kids go to and all of the other schools in our state. At which point, I tried the mature "Wow, that is really interesting because we have not had that experience at all. Timesboy has had a wonderful experience and is doing great in the GT program with his learning."

Cue to Douchecanoe to stop talking.

She did not get it. "Oh, the GT program there isn't even the regular program at other schools."

Really? So, even though a lot of school board member's kids and grandkids go this school, it is subpar in an excellent school district? The GT program is subpar for my fourth-grader who is testing in the 99.5% percentile on state tests and doing 7th grade math for fun?

Another cue to Douchecanoe to stop talking.

She did not get it. "Oh, I don't mean anything by it. I think they just dumb it down because of all of the poor people there."

Doh.

No more cues to Douchecanoe. Some people are just assholes, no matter how many rhinestones and crosses they slather on. Funny thing is, this person owns a business in the same small town that she was slamming right and left. I think I would rather pull my pubes out with tweezers than support her business.

After wanting to smack my head against the wall in frustration, I realized that I love the little town that she was slamming. I adore the little school and am continuously in awe of how amazing all of our teachers and staff are. And even though I may live in a poor town and send my monkey to an "inferior" school (Yep, that word was actually used), I much prefer that to being a Douchecanoe.

I also obviously like the word Douchecanoe. Thanks for the highbrow vocab, Bloggess and RedheadWriting. :-)

Poor Peace and Love, Buttercups. XOXO


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ten year old wisdom.

Happy Spring! Or Summer. Whatever, I will take it!

Upside Down? This is how we roll, peeps.
"What do you want for your birthday, my man?"

"Stocks. Maybe a little Microsoft. A little Echostar. And Home Depot. Oh, and I want a riding lawnmower. Stocks and a riding lawn mower, okay?"

Silence. What do you say to those requests for the big ELEVENTH birthday?


"So you get to stay home for a few hours today by yourself? What are you going to do?"

"Vacuum a little. Scoop a little dog poop. Maybe some laundry."

Silence. Then, a hopeful and proud "really???"

Snort. "No, mom. More like Spongebob and cookies. But I will shower."



Monday, May 13, 2013

SLOG

Slog- V.
         1. to work or progress with a slow, heavy pace. Plod.
         2. to work diligently for long hours.

This. This was me tonight.

About a month ago, I pulled my hamstring. Sheer stupidity, and I knew the exact moment that I did it. I ignored this, tried to tell myself that it was just a sore muscle, but I knew exactly what I did.

Cue the countless trips to the chiropractor-doctor-massage therapist. Throw in numerous ice packs and some wicked menthol-eucalyptus-magical ingredient salve. All of this, and I still hurt.

I normally have a very high tolerance for pain, or a high pain threshold, if we must dip into semantics. I can give birth with nary a tylenol in sight. I can have four impacted wisdom teeth removed, with only a local anesthetic and some classical music to distract me. Stitches- I take mine with no anesthetic, thank you very much.

This hamstring has been a different story.

I hurt. Twenty-four seven. I hurt when I sit, when I stand, when I sleep. Mostly a low-level buzzing ache, but with a wallop of knock-me-sideways hurts just often enough to keep me on my toes. (Literally, keep me on my toes, because this takes some of the pressure off of my hamstring. Go figure....) I have become a whiny woman who complains about my arse hurting to anyone within hearing distance. I have become the kind of woman who walks around wearing Eau de Icy Hot, with an ice pack attached to my backside.

This fact annoys me more than Jimmy John commercials.

So, tonight, I ran. Or slogged. My time was embarrassing, but I did it. Three and a half measly miles, with my hamstring hollering the entire time. I may have told her to shut it- she protests whether I stay still or move, so I might as well move. My other muscles were loving me. My calves were stinging. My quads were aching. My lungs were burning. My feet were anticipating aching.

I did it. My hamstring does not hurt any more than the normal at this point, but I did come right home to an ice pack and Old Lady Salve. Any pain that I feel in my hamstring cannot best how good the rest of me feels from my slog. I may well return for more tomorrow.

Kind of like life, if I over-think it while on the trail. Even when it hurts, you move forward. Might as well move, because you are going to hurt either way. Why not be moving forward, in that case?

Peace and Menthol Rubs and sore muscles moving forward, my friends. XOXOXO

Happy Monday!

Happiness is...

A wickedly weird sunburn from six hours on a motorcycle yesterday. And NOT on the back of one ;-) Party tip- don't push your sleeves up while wearing gloves and a leather bracelet cuff in six hours of sun with not enough sunscreen. The four inch swath of red is hard to explain.

The best ribs ever for Mother's Day. And Kale. And More Kale.

Flowers in every nook and cranny, signaling that spring is here. Or summer. Whichever.

Watching my monkey ride his newish Specialized around as I sit on the front porch with my coffee.

Taking Superteen to school with curlers in my hair. I saw one dad laugh out loud, so it was worth it.

Mother's Day Card...

Stalkerazzi listening to his secret recordings of me. Oomph.

Superteen, giving me the look.



Sunday, May 12, 2013

Motherhood is a Team Sport

Facebook and Hallmark and Pinterest have really raised the bar on Mother's Day. Cards that sing, rose petals leading to spa treatments at home, hand tinted portraits of the children posing as the words Happy Mother's Day. Platinum rings cast with children's fingerprints for the non- Angelina Jolie mamas amongst us who cannot quite handle putting the latitude and longitude of each child's birthplace on our bodies. Mother's Day brunches done up in a delightful Lilly Pulitzer theme, complete with homemade sodas encased in Lilly Pulitzer prints to match the tablecloth and treats.

This stuff is all a big fat lie. Motherhood is not the perfect floral print wrapped around organic fair trade coconut macaroons. Motherhood is terrible and wonderful and joyful and painful, wrapped up in your favorite shirt that has snot and glitter paint permanently affixed to it. Motherhood is staying up all night with a colicky baby or a croupy toddler, drenched in sweat and tears because you don't  know how to survive on thirty minutes of sleep. Motherhood is hurting when your child experiences bullying or rejection- wanting to go Mama Lion and roaring against the perpetrators even though you should not.

Motherhood is watching your toddler sleep peacefully at night, their chest rising and falling so regularly and miraculously that you can scarcely believe it. Motherhood is catching your teen sneaking out at night, and marveling at their stupidity and lack of forethought. Motherhood is teaching your preschooler the joy of books, whether they choose Curious George or Captain Underpants. Motherhood is nagging your high schooler to study study study so that they have the most choices at their fingertips.

Motherhood is wishing they would wear more deodorant and less kohl eyeliner and bathe more and watch less TV and choose the kale over the Pop Tarts. Motherhood is wishing they would hear you about flossing. Motherhood is ADHD times a hundred, trying to make sure that you are raising PEOPLE who will make their way in this world. Motherhood is hearing your mother's words come out of your mouth, and realizing she was onto something.

Motherhood is learning to hang on tight, while letting go. Motherhood is letting go of the story you wrote for your children so that they might write their own. Motherhood is recognizing the wisdom of all of the other mamas, grandmas, sisters, aunties, and friends. Motherhood is recognizing yourself as both a mother and as a daughter, and recognizing this in your mama also. Motherhood is loving them always and forever, no matter what, even when they are pretty darn unloveable.

Motherhood is a messy miracle. Turn away from your Pinterest and all of the advertisements and expectations that are foisted upon us. Call your mama and thank her for loving you when you were completely unloveable. Call your mema and thank her for the patience of a saint and for all of the chocolate pies. Call your sister and tell her you think she is a fabulous mama. Call or text or Facebook your friends and tell them thank you for being in the thick of things with you- this mama business is a team sport. Hug your kids tight. And realize that the best Mother's Day gift may not come in a baby blue box, but it might be hand drawn on notebook paper.

Peace and love and mush, my mama friends! XOXOXO

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Two wheels and a wailing hamstring.

In like a lion, out like a lamb. My arse.

Not a lion or a lamb, just a gratuitous Lucky Humperdink shot...


If I possessed a magic wand to erase both March and April from my thirty-ninth year, I would so use that bad boy to wipe those two months from my memory. Eight weeks of trauma and drama, more tears than I thought I could shed. Countless loveys telling me that I look like shit, albeit in a loving way. Sleepless nights, worrying and scurrying, and feeling helpless because I cannot help those who don't want to be helped. Anger and exhaustion and fear, knowing that my love is not enough to pull someone up. Throw in a wicked cold, a pulled hamstring, the inability to run more than a few hundred feet without my hamstring kicking my arse ( no, literally, seizing up and kicking my arse into stopping that incessant attempt at movement), a couple of biopsies, enough whining in my noggin for a lifetime, and I have been right on the dark edge of despondency.

I hate whiny people. Seriously, I hate people who revel in telling you about their gout and corns and hinky step-cousin and bad childhood. I loathe the people who gain their identity from how things happen to them. And yet, here I am. Whiny and just a step shy of telling the intertubes about my fallopian tubes, family trauma and Redneck-Sopranos upbringing.

So I switched gears this weekend. Literally switched gears.  With this finicky girl.

Notice she is named Pretty Girl, Not Nice Girl with a Smooth Shift...


Call it a bucket list check, but I took a class. To refresh what it feels like to ride a motorcycle. Sixteen hours of counter-weighting and swerving and tight turns and stopping on a dime. FYI, Pretty Girl had the shittiest shifting I could have imagined, and she was pretty herky jerky. And by the end of the class, on a windy, drizzly thirty degree day, I was as herky jerky as Pretty Girl was. So much so that I am going back this weekend for a bit more punishment/joy.

Pretty Girl was kind of a mean girl, but she reminded me how much I like feeling free. When I was shifting up and pulling the throttle, I actually forgot about my hamstring screaming at me and all of the heaviness that  awaits me. I was in the 'right here, right now', with no room to think about anything but the two wheels underneath me.

This might be a love affair. If my hamstring will stop the incessant wailing.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Go to the nest.


I have no reason for this picture, except that I love it. My friend has these HUGE antique flashcards in her office, and I have this urge to be like the bad step-cousin and mentally put a tag on them in case she gets lost in a Paraguayan jungle or the such. This would be highly inappropriate, so I just enjoy them in her charming office.

Go to the nest, peeps. And stay away from our May storm, Achilles. Yep, our storm named Achilles...


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I hear you now.

I always took hearing for granted. Warrant concerts, Pink Floyd blaring in Ronda's Firebird, crickets chirping on summer nights, church bells ringing on a Sunday morning, whispers from a friend behind a cupped hand, a cat purring as he stretched out, my baby girl crying in the other room as she awoke- these were all gifts that I did not even recognize.

Until I didn't hear things. I just thought church bells quit ringing and crickets did not exist in Colorado. I thought that our doorbell was broken and my cat was too grumpy to purr.

Lo and behold, crickets do chirp and bells do ring here. When I was prego with Timesboy, I had a freakish case of hearing loss. Hereditary, kicked into high gear with the hormones that often surge in pregnancy (they tell you about stretch marks, but hearing loss???), my ears just quit working.

Amazingly enough, my hearing loss is much more correctable than nerve damage that older people often have. I am blessed beyond compare that I can walk out of my audiologist's office and hear someone's high heels clicking against a cold tile floor. I can hear bells and crickets and music and a child's cry. My ears have actually relearned some things, in that I can hear some things that you won't hear- I can hear your voice in a crowded concert, as clear as a bell's peal. I can hear a dog's tags jangling in the park across a football field, so clear that I will look around and assume it must be something within a few feet. I can hear birds warbling on a vacation morning, and I now know this is so precious that I will awaken at five just to sit and soak their songs in.

Interesting thing about correcting hearing loss. It is a far cry from correcting vision. Vision, when you correct it, you correct to 20/20 and see as well as the guy next to you who maintains perfect fighter-pilot vision. Hearing, you can spend eight thousand dollars on hearing aids (that insurance NEVER covers), and still only hear bits and pieces of what a 'normal' person hears. This piece on NPR helps clarify, for a sentence, what having hearing loss feels like.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/04/06/175945670/the-real-sounds-of-hearing-loss

Listen to it. Please and thank you.

Mushy stuff,  chirping crickets, and bells ringing. XOXOXO

Monday, April 8, 2013

Selfies, a stalker, and striped underwear.


 Having a stalker makes me aware of several things. One, I wear WAAAY too many stripes. Seriously. I obviously took those college J Crew catalogues to heart, because all of these stripes are ridonkulous. People probably place bets on whether my underwear are striped.
Two, I don't get selfies at all because I have no need for them. Why would I, when I have this adorable little creeper stealing around corners and taking pictures of me all the time? Over nine hundred on my phone, at last count. Some, I am aware of the snapping away, but others, I am engrossed in conversations with friends or looking at my salad or sleeping. Nothing creepy about that. No sir.
 I have been spending an extraordinary amount of time in IKEA these days. In my stripes. I draw the line at eating Swedish Meatballs or wearing yellow, but there are far too many pictures of me standing in an IKEA line.


 I hate pictures of myself ninety-nine percent of the time. The one percent, are usually taken by the Stalkerazzi. He gets me. The me that isn't cheesing for the camera, showing all my teeth, or smiling so that one eye squints. I actually love this picture, even though it is not the most flattering. He caught me in deep conversation at my favorite restaurant (Hello, Bella!!) with one of my favorite people as I was soaking up her words.
...and he lets me be stupid. I can stick my head in a shark's mouth, lick a lucky dollar, belt out a Sugarland song, pet a stingray and sing it a lullaby, crawl through the kiddie tunnel at IKEA, or get a chocolate milk mustache, and he will not only encourage it, but also get the proof on camera. Just in case there is blackmail money to be made in the future, I suppose.
 Look. IKEA. Color me surprised.
Occasionally, I tell him to knock it off. Tell him I am going to get a bodyguard. Until I remember he IS the ten-year-old bodyguard. Oof.
More stripes. At Ikea. Judge away. I totally would...
And yet, when I try to photograph the photographer, this is what I get. A shock of hair, and nothing more. Turkey kid.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Prayer.

http://edwardsharpeandthemagneticzeros.com/news/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qAZpQllC9w

I. Love. These. Guys.

This song- this song has made me think more than any other song in a very long time. Sums it all up for me- I don't want to be the pray-er, I just want to be the prayer....

Monday, April 1, 2013

Get off my lawn....

I find myself getting annoyed a lot lately. This is not my usual- I can normally let things roll off my back. Unless these things involve wet towels or dog hair in my toothbrush, but I digress.

No, I find myself getting annoyed in a way that I want to kick people in their shins or trip them. Often. Instead of doing this, because I am old enough to know that my liability coverage won't cover intentional misdeeds, I am just making a list of things that annoy me.


  1. Jimmy John commercials. Every time I hear one on the radio, I vow to never step foot in one of their sammich shops. Really, who thought it was a good idea to yell in a staccato and increasing way for me to buy your shit?
  2. Colored fog lights. When you drive up behind me with your pink fog lights on the I, I want to slow down to the speed my ex-mother-in-law would drive. That's right, forty slow miles an hour. Your pink fog lights are glaring and obnoxious and your money would be better spent lasering off that bad tramp stamp you probably regret.
  3. Assholes- you know who you are. You really try to harsh my gig, and I am not even letting you in the door. No, really. You cannot come through my door, even if there are zombies who are chasing you and wanting to eat your brains. In that case, you better learn how to climb a tree, because your annoying self is not coming through my door. 
  4. IKEA screws. Annoying little pre-stripped things.
  5. Selfies- I don't understand. I realize this is because I am old.
  6. Getting old- I realize this, and it pisses me off. I am getting old because I don't understand the idea of going to the mall and hanging out, or selfies, or duck faces, or mean girls. And the fact that everything is annoying me confirms that I am getting old. Or turning into a fourteen-year-old.  Whatev.
  7. Thinking about herbs and supplements- I just want my iron and calcium. Seeing bottles with words like 'slippery elm' and 'red yeast rice' makes me feel a little sickly.
That is it for now, buttercups. I am annoyed with being annoyed. Peace and wet kisses, unless you are an asshole. In that case, get off my lawn.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Knock Knock....

Insurance. What a conundrum this is. I have spent the last four hours- FOUR HOURS- on the phone, online, trying to unravel and understand their terminology, trying to find appropriate providers, trying to pay bills, trying to get anything done. Four hours, trying to get someone to clarify a legal definition of 'usual and customary' that they apply to their decisions to pay or not pay. Good times.

Usual and customary, my arse.


Insurance companies decide to pay on claims based on what is "usual and customary" in your area. There is no one that I have come into contact with who can define this for me. Does it mean "usual and customary" in Denver? In the midwest? For normal healthy children? For someone in the same demographic with the same diagnosis? For North America? For what and for whom?

Apparently, they don't know. I don't know. Google doesn't know. The insurance website and customer case manager don't know.

I have excellent insurance, a plan that makes most of my friends green with envy. I am very grateful that I have insurance because it opens doors that might otherwise slam shut.  However, opening those doors should not require four hours of secret handshakes, whispered codewords, and headstands. Just let me walk through the door and take care of business. Period.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Itty Bitty Truths.

Someday, I want to write all of the truths. Lay them bare, with no gentleness or blurring the hard edges. I jot bits and pieces of the truth here, but I hold so many close to my chest, both to protect me and to protect my loved ones.

Sheer happiness. 


Lisa tells me to write my story. She tells me to tell my truth, but I always resist laying it out there. 

This week has made me want to just do it. I have been surrounded this week by other parents and loved ones who are going through what we are going through. I have been moved to tears more than I thought I would be, both by other people's hurts and the realization that my experiences are shared. I have seen myself in other mothers' and fathers' eyes this week and I have wanted to make their pains go away, along with mine. I have found the strangest sorority I would have never thought I would be a part of. And yet, here we are. None of us want to be here, and yet we are so relieved to finally be here.

Truths. Itty bitty ones. Right here. Some people will think that you can cure illness like a run through the washer- soap, rinse and spin. Maybe a second spin cycle just to be sure. It doesn't work that way. a lot of illnesses, you have to work at being part of the cure. You have to show up. You have to fight for it. It isn't easy or convenient, but you fight the good fight for your loved one. 

Take the good for what it is. No matter how small, how tiny, a victory is a victory. Celebrate it. Those tiny blessings will give you strength during the hard times.

Hug your kiddos. Hard. And often. 

On that note, hug everyone you love. Hard. And often.

That quote that we have all had flit across our Facebook about "Be kinder than necessary, for everyone is fighting their own battle"- remember that. It's true. Except for He Who Must Not be Named.  He's an asshat, so you can actually connect your steel-toed boots to his dangly bits. Everyone else, yes, be kinder than necessary.

Recognize that no matter how alone you feel, you are not. There is someone else, or an entire community of someone elses out there that are going through exactly what you are going through. Search them out.

Breathe. In and out. Repeat.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Transport

Books transport us to a different world.

I forget this until I have a chance to slow down and read. Whether I am reading about a Googler living amongst make believe worlds in San Francisco, or a Quaker girl helping slaves to Canada in 1851, I then am transported somewhere other than a world of insurance and doctors' visits and karate lessons. I hold my breath as Ms. Haymaker brings a scrap of bread to a twelve year old slave on his way to freedom. I root for the hungry kid working at a bookstore waiting for his big break on the inter tubes. I read frantically, trying to absorb history from a world perspective about the Sandinistas and the contras. I come up for air, astonished every time, almost as if I have come up from a dark tunnel into the midday glare. Each time I close a book, good or bad, I am startled that the world has continued on its path.

And I am also aware of the world I want to get lost in, now more than ever. I am taking notes, almost feverishly, because I want to record every bird's conversation, every smell, every interaction that carries a quiet weight. I read and I plot. I read the words, scribble them on napkins, record them in my Evernote, and marvel at the thread that runs through us all.

"It took real skill to remove the gardener's hand from the garden."
                                                                 -Tracy  Chevalier

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Mah boy.



I found another one while going through old papers. This one is circa 2009-2010. For those of you who are not fluent in first-grade writing, I believe the monkey wrote "I have the best mom in the universe."

He also signed his name in parentheses above but I am not showing it (looking at you, Mr. Saudi Arabia lurker....).

I hope he ALWAYS believes this. Even during his teen years.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ribs

I had this roommate in college with a little thing for medical textbooks. She was a dance major, but she had more NCLEX and DSM titled tomes than any med or nursing student.

If I had a cough- she was there waiting to diagnose a rare fungal lung infection. If I had a rash- obviously something stemming from a rare autoimmune disease found primarily in Hasidic Jewish men.    Anxiety over a breakup- there was a diagnosis for that.

She obviously rubbed off on me. Twenty years later, and here I was yesterday...

"My. Ribs. Hurt."

"K. Sometimes things hurt."

"No. Not a good hurt. Like a HURT hurt."

"Ok. Sometimes things hurt hurt. Give it a day."

You don't understand. It HURT hurts in a weird place. In between the ribs. I think I have rib cancer."

"There is no such thing as... Never mind."

And today....

"Hey, guess what?!"

"What?"

"My ribs don't hurt anymore. I don't think I have rib cancer."

"I told you that it was just a twenty-four hour rib cancer."


I love when people get me. Without questioning my fear of developing
micropsia or triskaidekaphobia.





Monday, February 4, 2013

Reality Trumps the Fairy Tale

This happened.



The monkey boy writes random little snippets in the strangest places, as if he has to ground the thoughts  in reality before they float away.

This one, I found in a random spiral notebook. I was going through the piles that inevitably build up and reproduce, making sure there was nothing tax-related or important. And I found this.

Once upon, crossed out hard, and replaced by a simple truth. Almost like the monkey was saying, in a ten-year-old, non-cussing way, "fuck the fairy tale."

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

to me...

As a thirty-eight year old with too many scars, I would love to talk to eleven-year-old me. Twelve-year-old me. Thirteen-year-old me.

Things I would tell me? Hmmmm.

Best sweatshirt ever and a most epic Swatch watch.  Winning.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Drunken monkeys.

It started with IKEA. IKEA, otherwise known as the store with drunken monkeys stocking the assembly kits. No, really. 

I unpacked my chair, Timesboy (the non-drunken and non peacoat wearing monkey) looked at the directions with said chair, raised an eyebrow, and said "Drunken monkey directions?"

You see why the kid thinks that drunken monkeys are in charge at IKEA, right?

One bad tool, six crooked washers, and a seven page set of comic book directions later....


And we have a beginning to my spot. No monkeys allowed. Drunken, peacoat-wearing or otherwise.

Peace and love and pre-stripped IKEA screws :-)


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Yes. I did.

Hello friends. And lurkers. Yes, you, you weirdo in Toronto- I see you checking my blog on an alarmingly regular basis...

Crazy January, yes?

Two weeks ago, it was negative something degrees and I kept finding myself repeating "Winter is coming", a la Game of Thrones.  And today, Mid-January, it is a balmy sixty-four degrees. Sixty-four degrees as in I am about to put on running shorts- SHORTS- and go for a run. I have a definite love/hate for this whole global warming business...

Me, I have been busy being. Just being. Not tweeting, not instagramming everything, not four-squaring,  not facebooking, not blogging, not even writing. Just being.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Resolutions and Intentions

Screw resolutions.

I never make them for January first, because I always feel like it then becomes a race to the breaking- see how long we can last before we fail.

Screw resolutions- I had a spoonful of Nutella and Irish Cream in my coffee in protest of resolutions this morning. (The spoonful of Nutella was independent of the coffee, natch).

However, with change in the air, I have been tossing around resolutions for a couple of days. I resolve to run more. I resolve to be more present. I resolve to work on myself and my loved ones. I resolve to drink less wine so that I can run better. I resolve to write more. I resolve blaablaablaa. I resolve to not make resolutions and to just live my life.

After a couple of days of trying out the fit of resolutions on my shoulders, I finally came up with one that works for me.

I resolve to live intentionally each day. THAT, cupcakes, is my resolution. I resolve to be in the moment as much as possible, to live each moment, not through facebooking it or instagramming it or tweeting but instead truly being in it.

Because isn't that something we should resolve to do every morning that our feet hit the floor?

Happy 2013, loveys. I hope it is full of intention and love and rainbow sprinkles.




Auspicious Beginnings.


Giving up coffee was NOT on my lengthy list of to-dos for 2013.
Neither was visiting Bed Bath & Beyond today...

Life moves fast

I used to have reservoirs just a few steps from my wee cottage's front door. Full of bears, squirrels, deer, foxes, and a few animals I ...