Wednesday, December 30, 2009

growing home

There was a perfect light, drizzly rain today when Austin and I went for our walk/hike. He actually got started without me as I let the big dogs out of their pen and picked up poop. I kept hollering for him to come back, but the little bugger just kept walking up toward my parents' house where he knew they would give him food. Shit, that kid likes to eat.

Anyway, I followed him up the hill when I was done and we made our way around the garages and the barn and up the hill and through the trees. We were starting to get wet through when I said we should head home, but we ended up in our favorite hiding place instead. There's a small space behind the holding tank for my parents' well. There's lattice and vines overhead and a retaining wall behind. It's one of those perfect places to be quiet and listen to birds calling and leaves blowing in the wind. If you don't draw attention to yourself by making noise, you can stay in the shadows like a little critter and catch bugs and hide treasures. Today we could even hear the water running into the tank from the pump. It was such a perfect, peaceful sound.

We don't have enough of those intriguing little spots for kids (and kids at heart) on our end of the property. That's something I want to work on. My idea of a perfect garden would be one that fairies would be glad to call home, with flowers and fruits and overgrown greenery and perfect little hiding places. The Burpee catalog came a few days ago and I poured over it like a kid with a toy catalog.

I think it will be the way I imagine it eventually. We already have the orange tree (that little thing can produce!) a good lime tree (the half that the gopher left us at least, fucking gopher), lavender, roses, some trees, and a healthy looking wisteria getting started.

Here's part of my wish list: magnolia, catalpa, almond, walnut, blackberries, more roses, mint, maybe some oleander, sweetgum, maybe some bamboo, I have some ginkgoes inside that I need to move out this spring... sigh. I can't wait.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

relearning and unlearning

Damn it I'm tired. Ready for this year to be over. Ready for this month be over and for payday to come so I can buy dog food.

I learned and relearned some things this year and unlearned some things that I may or may not have been pretty sure about. I know now, again, that I am not a Believer in God. The same way I knew when I was a young child. I spent a couple dozen years in the middle questioning my lack of belief, for various reasons, but when my mettle was tested this year the answer came through loud and clear.

Maybe it's not as true to say that I don't believe in God as it is to say that for me it doesn't matter if there is a God.

I can only imagine what a blasphemous statement that must seem to be for some people. I mean no offense. The thing is, whether or not there is a God, I want to be a good person. And I know bad things will happen to me and my loved ones sometimes whether or not I believe in God. And there are some things in this life that I have absolutely no control over, and whether those things are determined by God or chance or the stars or whatever it just doesn't matter, it's a fact either way.

And if God does exist, I don't believe for one second that he gives a rat's ass if I love him or not.

.::.

I suppose I should acknowledge the oddity of posting this atheistic blubbering just after a big ol' Merry Christmas post... Christmas is something I do for my family. It could just as easily be called Saturnalia or Secular Winter Money Orgy or Every Baby is a Miracle Day; a rose is a rose.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Making Merry

First, I just have to thank the person who gave my three year old a microphone. That shit ain't funny, bitch.

But really, we are having a great day, and the feast is still to come.

Merry Fecking Christmas, y'all.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

do it like a monkey

Considering the fact that I eat 2 to 3 bananas a day, and open at least one for each of the kids EVERY DAY, this is kind of huge for me. And no, I'm not kidding. We go through several bunches of bananas a week.

Plus, it affords you the opportunity to dispose of that funky little end bit right away. Bonus!

I also want to note that I don't have that much trouble opening the damn things in the first place, but every once in a while you get one that doesn't want to open up, and the stem end gets all mushed, and then my whole day just goes to hell, you know?

A belly that shook when he ran, like the big fat gut that he had

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Austin the red-nosed reindeer

People keep trying to make me listen to Christmas music and I just can't take it. My daughter gets in my car and the first thing she wants to do is turn the station to Christmas music. I do my best to tolerate it, but after a few minutes, I take control of the dial and turn it.

I am enjoying all the lights though.

And then there's this:

The antlers? Hand prints. The nose? A pom-pom on a string.

The cuteness cannot be denied. So only I'm only 1/3 grinch. Right?

.::.

And for my own records... it be rainin'.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

There's still some magic to be had

This is not a happy Christmas post

Yesterday as Dan and I activated Maya's cell phone and got it all ready for her, putting numbers in that she'll need, I was so excited. I know she'll be happy to get it for Christmas and that she'll want to call everyone she knows to give them her (own!) new number and wish them a Merry Christmas. Just thinking about my daughter being happy made me happy.

I was also happy the day Dan and I went shopping (just the two of us!) to get stuff for the kids. But otherwise, this Christmas season has been mostly a sad one for me so far. I'm sure that's in no small part due to Lori and Garrison. For anyone who doesn't know, Lori is a friend of mine who was arrested in February 2009 for murdering her 17 month-old son, Garrison. The circumstances are still not all that clear, but there are no other suspects. One of her other sons turned 4 a couple months ago. I keep thinking about him and his father and what they are facing this holiday season. Missing their baby boy and mama and wife. Missing her and hating her at the same time.

I've also been thinking about Lori this time last year. She and her family had just moved into a new place and she wanted me to see it. But I didn't see it until after Garrison was dead and she wasn't there. She and I had a disagreement about something, mostly in principal, and managed to agree to disagree, mostly. We didn't talk very much between December and February, for whatever reasons.

She emailed me the Thursday before Garrison was killed on a Monday. The email was nothing out of the ordinary. She told me she was filling out a job application and she needed some contact info for someone we both know. She was making plans. Making changes. I just didn't know the shape of the changes to come. I don't know if she did.

I think the next two months will be hard as I rethink and relive conversations we had. I think about writing her again, and then I shred my letters. I call to make appointments to visit her in jail again and don't take the times they offer me. I can't bring myself to call her husband. I can't bear the thought of seeing her other two sons. My heart breaks at the thought.

For me, my kids and my husband, Christmas morning will come. We will open presents and laugh and then go visit family and eat too much food, and look at Christmas lights on the way home. And all the while a little piece of me will be with Lori. And another little piece will be with her husband and sons. And I will do my best to remember to be present and grateful for all the love and beauty I have in my life.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pretty pretty

I'm not that much of a purse person. I've maybe had 10 in my whole life and my current model is showing some wear.

But today I went over to papayaart.com (which I have been a fan of since a coworker turned me onto their calendars a couple years ago) and saw this lovely thing.

So I know what I'll be buying myself come December 31. A little post-Christmas - let's celebrate payday - present to me.

Hell, at least I'm good for the economy. I can't hang on to money to save my life.

.::.

A little note about their calendars: The images average about 5x7 and are excellent quality for framing after the calendar year is over.

.::.

The blogger is receiving NO goods or reimbursment for this post.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Givin' Up by One eskimO

Monday, December 14, 2009

Kandi by One eskimO

Nia! Nia! Nia!

This weekend I finally got a chance to watch a movie that I have wanted to see for a while... My Life in Ruins. It stars Nia Vardalos from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which I think she is still best known for. And MBFGW is good, but there's this other movie she did in between the two I've mentioned and it's called Connie and Carla.

Let me just say that if you have not see Connie and Carla, you must. Right now. I don't care if you are at work or watching a baby or whatever. Stop it and go watch that movie. It's a blast and will brighten any day. It is something like Victor Victoria only different. And if you haven't seen Victor Victoria, the only thing I can say is... what the fuck is the matter with you?! I mean, Julie Andrews, in drag, falling in love with James Garner... what's not to love?

Here's a clip from Connie and Carla...

Anyway, sorry... My Life in Ruins was really cute. It was definitely a good break from all the holiday crap on TV with beautiful shots of sunny Greece, a sometimes thick-headed but (almost) always loveable leading lady, and some pretty hot romantic action. And Richard Dreyfuss has a great part in it.

All of this talk about Greece (My Life in Ruins) and musicals (Connie and Carla) can't help but bring to mind Mamma Mia! which I also loved. I hope you don't hold that against me. And both Connie and Carla and My Life in Ruins fit very well on the list of Movies That Always Cheer Me Up right along with Mamma Mia!

So, I highly recommend My Life in Ruins, and I think I've made myself pretty clear about Connie and Carla, but if I haven't... SEE IT. Really.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Is it over yet?

Well shit me. At my age I should know better than to brag. I went on and on yesterday about sunshine and dirt and today it’s raining. Again.

I don’t know if you’ve thought about this already, but we only have 2 weeks until Christmas. The thought of TWO WEEKS brings upon me 3 different emotions: 1) Panic. I am not ready. There is still shopping to do, bills to pay, food to cook, performances to attend. 2) Excitement. I get a week off work and time with family members from out of state who I love. 3) Relief. It will finally be over. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and it is called January.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

For those of you who live in places that are not all sunshiny right now…

I’ve been reading on a lot of blogs about snow, and wind, and cold, and NO SUN. And for fuck’s sake, I don’t know how you guys do it. We had rain ONE DAY this week (first time in… months?) and by the end of the day I was so freaking sick of it. The dirt road I live on was a river of mud. My already crappy eyes were all but useless in the glare of car lights on the wet streets in town.

The last few days there’s been frost during the night, but then the sun comes up and GLORY BE, who needs some anthropomorphized deity when we have the sun?! THE ultimate source of light and energy on Earth, you know? [Crap, there I go showing my pagan side.]

Anyway, I’m thinking of you folks out there. I feel for you. But I sure as fuck don’t want to be where you are today. I’ll take 115° in the summer over snow in the winter ANY DAY.

And before you tell me to go to hell for bragging about all sun and no rain... I present you with the Google Maps street view of my house.

THAT my friends, is A LOT of motherfucking dirt. DIRT is a fact of life here.

The River

This song is on the depressing side to say the least, but as someone who got pregnant at 18, I can relate to it a great deal.

The River by Audra Mae

I've done a bad thing it's okay
I'm going down to the river today
And the river's gonna wash my sins away
Til I'm born again tomorrow
Water get over my head
Make me forget my sorrow

I'm going down to the river alone
Don't tell mama and daddy I'm gone
And if they cry when I don't come home
Just lie and tell 'em I'm funnin'
Water get out of my eyes
Into the river wide I'm runnin'

And I can't swim
But it's alright
'Cause all my sin will drag me down even if I could
And if it weren't for him and the love that night
I'd be living for the light like a good girl should
'Cause a good girl should

This old town'll have my skin
I can't speak the trouble I'm in
So if I don't come back again
Go lie beneath the willow
'Cause where I carved my name
Is where my soul remains
And I'll still know

Lord, and I can't swim
But it's alright
'Cause all my sin will drag me down even if I could
And if it weren't for him and the love that night
I'd be living for the light like a good girl should
'Cause a good girl should

When I meet the Lord so kind
I'm gonna give him a piece of my mind
And I'll tell him I wanna know why oh why
When he's so damned forgivin'
My daddy won't look in my eyes
Momma knows the lies I'm living

Oh, I can't swim
But it's alright
'Cause all my sin will drag me down even if I could
And if it weren't for him and the love that night
I'd be living for the light like a good girl should
'Cause a good girl should

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Stand By Me

One of my favorites.

John Lennon (October 9, 1940 – December 8, 1980)

Monday, December 7, 2009

20 Questions

I didn't get tagged or awarded or anything, I just liked these questions. And yes, I am that narcissistic. Why?

  1. Your Hair?
    Dark brown, nearly black, naturally curly, about to my waist, but always up in a bun.
  2. Your favourite food?
    Bread, pasta, rice, CARBS!
  3. Your dream from last night?
    Ms. Moon invaded my dreams. Well, not her, but a dream similar to one she wrote about. I found some unused rooms in my house, and was deciding which to move my MIL into so the kids could have their own rooms again. In the rooms was a treasure trove of oddities to be gone through.
  4. Your favourite drink?
    Ice water with LOTS of ice.
  5. What room are you in?
    A dungeon. I might like work more if there were WINDOWS god damnit.
  6. What is your hobby?
    Watching TV and movies. Eating.
  7. What is your fear?
    Can't speak it. Don't want to tempt fate.
  8. Where do you want to be in six years time?
    In the black.
  9. Where were you last night?
    At home doing laundry and bathing kids.
  10. Muffins?
    Chocolate, please.
  11. Last thing you did?
    Went out in the rain without an umbrella.
  12. What are you wearing?
    Denim jacket, pink shirt, black pants, black boots.
  13. Your TV in your house?
    Where else would it be?
  14. Vehicle?
    White Toyota Camry, the epitome of a generic car, and I love it.
  15. Your favourite store?
    Le Target. And when I can get there, Lady of the Lake.
  16. Your favourite colour?
    Black for things I wear, white for things I use (dishes, towels, cars, etc.) and blue. and green. Don't ask me hard questions.
  17. When was the last time you laughed?
    Yesterday at my grandmother's house, my 3 year-old son walked into the room holding a piece of metal of unknown origin and announced "I didn't broke it." The adults just looked at each other and cracked up. (Then I went to investigate.)
  18. When was the last time you cried?
    Last night, lying in bed I got to thinking about how old and tired my grandpa looks. He's 90 and has had a good life, but I'm not ready for him to go.
  19. Your best friend?
    My mom.
  20. Favourite place to eat?
    Let's see, there's the Italian restaurant, the Greek restaurant, hmmm... I'm hungry.

rain shoes and pouty lips

I’ve decided to make note of it on the blog when it rains here, because it happens rarely enough that I have trouble remembering. So to that end: It’s raining this morning!

Somewhere deep inside of me my Oregon born bones are breathing a sigh of relief.

I started to leave the house in crocs, but Dan convinced me I was better off in my boots. I’ve had these same boots (black pull-on biker boots) since I was about 15 or so, more than half my life, and they are showing their age.

I wear crocs nearly every day of the year, and new crocs do just fine on wet surfaces, but mine are worn out and smooth on the bottom, a slip and fall just waiting to happen.

I would be barefoot if I could. I hate shoes. I was one of those country bumpkins growing up with dirty feet because as far as I was concerned, shoes were just a waste of time. So now today I have (my husband’s) socks on (!!!) and my feet are warm, and I’m all, “oh, so that’s what that feels like.” But these boots weigh about 100 times more than my crocs, so I’m having trouble walking and driving. Ah well, so it goes.

.::.

Last night I went out to pick up a few things and got a Christmas present for the gorgeous little girl in the photo below. Shopping for her made me sad because I don’t see her nearly enough (she and her parents live a few hours' drive north of here). I’m a cousin to her daddy, but I look more like her mama.

I agree baby. Pout pout pout.

I just now noticed that both her mama and daddy are wearing all black in this photo. No wonder we get along so well. :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Last Request

This is the same cat from my post a few days ago.

Side note: The quality of his skin in the close ups makes me feel ooooollld.

Friday, December 4, 2009

famous last words

I cracked. I gave in. I said not until high school and I didn’t make it. I don’t want to give anything away here, but I just ordered Maya’s Christmas present and it rhymes with hell throne.

It’s pink like the bike.

It looks like 13 is the year of her independence, and independence is pink.

God help me.

40 Dogs

For Dan.

Warning: Bitch Session Ahead

Let’s bump that santa crap down the line, shall we?

I switched my counseling appointment from Monday to Thursday this week. I don’t think I like my therapist as much on Thursday. I never quite got the hang of Thursdays.

My head hurts. I’m on my period. I overslept and was late to work.

Hardboiled eggs really fucking stink, but damn they’re good.

My left shin has been killing me for days. It’s that kind of pain that makes it impossible to concentrate or even hold down a conversation. I don’t even know what I did to it.

My husband is smoking again. And while he will admit to individual cigarettes, he won’t admit it’s a regular thing (or tell his mother). He’s a grownup, it’s his body and I can’t control him. At least it’s better than chewing tobacco (which he did for a while). That’s just nasty. And he smoked when I met him, so it’s one of those things that if it really bothered me, I shouldn’t have gone out with him. It doesn’t bother me, other than the whole cancer thing, dying and what not. And I don’t want my kids to pick up the habit. But with his RA and all the meds that come with it, his risk for heart attack and stroke are already doubled. Add that to the fact that he’s seven years older than me and you can bet good money on me being a young widow.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's Christmas Card Photo Time Again




That kiss was completely genuine. I was just lucky to have the camera out at the right time.

The house pic isn't for the card, I'm just so damn proud of it. Dan kicks ass with the lights!

New kid in school


For about a year and a half, Austin went to the daycare/preschool at my work. (I work at a college, and child development is one of the programs offered. I paid big bucks for my kid to be a guinea pig for college students. I’m kidding. It’s a really great place. He loved it.) We drove in to work together and went home together every day. But around the time of his surgery, his dad and I made the decision to move him over to the SDC* preschool offered through the public school district. Yesterday was his first day at the new school and so far so good. Really good.
I’ve been pretty apprehensive about the schedule. He was in full-time care at the college, and now he’ll just go three hours a day. My mom and husband will have to juggle the rest of the day and my mom is very involved in her church and my husband is a student, so when I say juggle, I mean it. This is why I put him in full-time care to begin with.
And to be honest, a big part of me just aches, wishing I was the one that got to be with my little boy all day.
Shaking it off… this isn’t about me, it’s about him. This new school looks like it’s going to be a really good experience for him. The teachers and staff are wonderful and there are just a few kids in his class (he needs that). So that’s where we are. Grandma is dropping him off and picking him up today. He’ll be glad to see her when the day is over and will probably fall asleep on the way to pick up Maya at her school.
.::.
*SDC = Special Day Class, aka special education

New Shoes

Overly literal video, but I love the song...

Hey, I put some new shoes on,
and suddenly everything is right,
I said, hey, I put some new shoes on and everybody's smiling,
it so inviting,
Oh, short on money,
but long on time,
slowly strolling in the sweet sunshine,
and i'm running late,
and i don't need an excuse,
'cause i'm wearing my brand new shoes.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

For one moment

I dreamed last night that you called me on the phone. For half a second, I was so happy to hear your voice. Then it all came crashing back. What you did. Where you are. Nothing will ever be the same.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thankfully

Hope you had a good Thanksgiving too. I, for one, will NOT be shopping today. How 'bout you?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Play-by-play

One of the two turkeys defrosting in our fridge sprung a leak, leaving turkey blood all over the apples and what not. So the fridge got an unscheduled sanitization this morning. Who’s ready to be a vegetarian? Me. Except I could never give up ham. Oh well, next life I guess.

My husband and I have the Thanksgiving routine down well enough that there’s not really any stressing to do ahead of time. I'll get up tomorrow and cook the cranberries (a super simple recipe with orange juice, sugar and fresh cranberries and it is yummy). Then I get the hell out of the kitchen because Dan is in charge of the turkey and the stuffing and don’t even think about telling him to do it differently. He uses cornbread (I’ll make that tonight) and the giblets and celery and onions and that so-called poultry seasoning stuff. If it were up to me, it would be a sourdough stuffing with apples but I got over that shit about five years ago. Besides, aunt and uncle #1 make that kind for Christmas (BIG GRIN just thinking about it). So anyway, while he gets the stuffing ready (which yes, he does absolutely put it inside the bird) I start moving the living room furniture to make room for the extra tables. Our dining/living room is one big L-shaped space around the kitchen, so we butt two 6-foot folding tables right up to the regular dining table for one 17-foot long last-supper style table. Then one of us will clean the bathroom. It’s probably my turn since he did it for Maya’s party. After the sweaty work is done I’ll take a shower and sit down and watch the Macy’s parade with Maya. That girl is obsessed with parades.

The pecan and pumpkin pies are already made and bought, respectively, there are wheat and white rolls, my mom is bringing green beans, grandma brings sweet potatoes (or are they yams?), aunt and uncle #4 bring wine, mother-in-law’s sister is bringing apple pie just because we need to have 3 kinds of pie, oh, and grandma brings ice cream to go with it. Grandma asked me what she could bring, and I told her the same two things I tell her every year… sweet potatoes and ice cream. Then I asked her if she hates me and she said no, she loves me (anyway). I told her about the pecan pie being ready for her and that 89 year-old woman made a sound like a little girl getting a dollhouse or a pony or something. Cracked me up.

When the turkeys are about ready and the table is set, people start to show up. I get to cleaning and cooking potatoes to mash, and when the mashed potatoes are done, I get the hell out of the kitchen again so Dan can do the gravy. Again, he does it the way he wants it and everyone just better stay the hell out of his way. He and I both have some control issues. Don’t mess with my dishwasher, just let me load it.

Then I’ll drink too much wine during dinner and get dizzy when it’s time to clean the kitchen. The dishwasher will be running and the folding tables will be put away by 8:00*.

We make a pretty good team.

*If that sounds early to be done and cleaned up, you should know that my family is afraid of the dark or something. Everyone but my cousin Dave will be gone by 5:00 or so.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Los Straitjackets

For your viewing pleasure.

Friday, November 20, 2009

portrait of a girl and her bike

Sorry about the shit quality of the photo. Of course the one time I get her to slow down for a pic I have the damn camera on the wrong setting. She looks proud though, yes?

And... Dimples!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I Got a Feeling

You gotta admit, you have a decent job when you get called into your boss' office, and it's not because you're in trouble, but because she thinks you need to watch this:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tell Your Mama

I'm not trying to tell anyone one anything here, I just think these lyrics are funny...

I won't cry for you
when the night grows long
and I won't lie for you
because you done me wrong
so tell your mama
I said hello
and that she raised you
too damn slow
you're too damn slow
too damn slow

because I've been waiting
for your time
and I've been missing
out on mine
so tell your father
that I said so long
and thanks for raising you
so damn wrong
you are so damn wrong
you're so damn wrong, so damn wrong.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

it was a success

Well, it's been 24 hours since Maya's party and given another 24 I may just recover. We sent out 20 invites and had about 15 kids there ranging in age from 4 to 14 plus a few parents and grandparents. The invites said we would do karaoke and play wii, and boy did we.

Early Saturday, we cleaned and decorated, fixed food, and waited patiently to see if there would be a decent turn out.

The custom sign shown below is from Oriental Trading Co and helped folks find the house.

It took a little bit for the kids to warm up with the karaoke, they wanted to play wii first. And the madness when it was time to open presents was, well, madness.

Maya is just left of frame here.

Overall, the party was a huge success, and I know why we've gone to amusement parks for her last 3 birthdays.

I'm too tired for a birth story. I'm just glad she gave me one. As exhausting as that party was, those kids are freaking awesome, and I'm glad to know them.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Show Me

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

switching gears

Look what I bought for you know who:

It's a pink cruiser from Target. It's soooo pretty in person. And so big! I took it up to my mom's house to hide it, and there in the garage was Maya's first 2-wheeler and it is so tiny. I need to take a picture of the two bikes together for comparison. And then I will cry cuz my little girl is all growed up.

Also, I think after all the holiday crap blows over I will be getting this trike because, you know.

felled often

I didn’t really understand how much I relied on her until last week. I knew I missed her all these months. (It’s been nearly nine months since she was arrested for killing her own son and that seems… noteworthy, that it has been nearly the same amount of time as gestation.) But being aware of missing her and needing her friendship are two different things. Last week I suddenly felt like a compass that couldn’t find north and was left spinning.

I still choke on the word murder. I check on her nearly everyday online. Our county sheriff’s website has an inmate information system. I can see if she’s been moved, when her next court date is, etc. Without saying so, I am checking to see if she is still alive. And every time I go there, I am struck anew by those words.

187 F PC MURDER
187(A) F PC MURDER
273AB F PC CRLTY CHILD CAUSE DEATH

And I ask again, how did this happen? And again, still, there is no answer.

I'm sorry to come back from my blog hiatus with this. It's a heartbreaking thing that I try to stay away from. But there many things about watching Austin recover from surgery that triggered these emotions for me.

Friday, October 30, 2009

sigh of relief

Well, we're home and tonsil/adenoid free. The doc said Austin's tonsils were like golf balls. So there you go. He did pretty well before hand, until he got bored with playing with the hospital bed. Thankfully, not too long after that they came in with the liquid sedative.

They said the surgery would take 45 minutes and it did, pretty much to the second. It was the waking up that was hard for him. He fought and cried and cranked and ripped the IV out of his arm. And we sat and rocked in the chair and got him to drink water and they sent us home.

He was still pretty miserable at home until grandma (my mom) showed up with the yellow jello. (that's fun to say. Try it. Yellow jello. Yel-low jel-lo.) He was happy to see grandma and finally eat something (he didn't care for the popsicles we had, too cold). Then he watched DVDs until he dozed off on the couch. Every once in a while he'll sit up like a shot and whine and hold his throat. We kiss him and smooth him and he lays back down and falls back to sleep.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

T and A

No, not that T and A... Austin is getting his tonsils and adenoids removed this Friday and I am so fucking nervous. We’ve been down this road with Maya already, and with her we’ve done it enough to know what to expect… she hates anesthesia and FIGHTS it, furiously; but once she gets through it and the waking up and groggy feeling after, she bounces back beautifully. And knowing all that I still get nervous when she has to go under, which she has done several times so far in her short life (tubes in, tubes out, tubes in, and you shake it all about, tonsils/adenoids out, dental work, tubes in, fucking seriously, enough already). So not knowing how Austin will do with it is making me all kinds of wound up. And I know there’s no use in being worried, we’ll deal with it when we get there, however it goes. But still. This could be ugly. He’s a stubborn little turd. They’re gonna need the liquid sedative.

And the pain after really sucks. Two weeks of recovery aided by popsicles and DVDs.

But on top of all that is the relief that this day will finally come. He has needed this for some time now and I’ve been struggling with his pediatrician(s) just trying to get a referral to an ENT, and then when we finally did see an ENT, it took about 10 seconds for him to say we should do it, god love him. He asked me if I wanted time to think it over and I laughed. No. Let’s do it. And just like that, we had it scheduled for Friday.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Watch Them Grow

Barely

Ms. Moon asked us a question. Namely, how do YOU "do it" and are you crazy from it? I wasn't going to answer because, frankly, I try not to think about it. But then I got to thinking about it and, well...

First, my stats... I am 32, married to a 39 year old who is chronically ill and hasn't worked in three years but goes to school part-time. Important: He is Chronically Ill NOT Terminally Ill, death is not immanent, but he will be sick until he dies. We have two children, a 12.9 year old girl who is "mildly" mentally retarded and has a tendency to take her clothes off at inappropriate times, and a three year old boy who was once a very mellow baby but is now like a pre-schooler on crack (hopefully this will be corrected to some extent when he has his tonsils removed this Friday so he can maybe get some sleep). I have had the same full-time job for nine years and have worked in some capacity for the same employer for about 11 years. They are mostly very understanding about "family stuff" and thank god because I'm always taking someone to a doctor appointment or some such thing. I live in a 1400 square-foot three-bedroom house on a dirt road on a one acre portion of a 10 acre piece of land that my parents own, so I will never be homeless. My sixty-something parents live a couple hundred feet away and my 76 year old mother-in-law lives in my house and she just found out she has skin cancer. My parents are retired, but are often pre-occupied with church commitments and their own aging parents who are in their late eighties and early nineties.

How I "do it"... I get up at 5 AM every day of the world. My kids take a bath EVERY DAY after dinner because like me, they get The Funk fast, and I ain't putting up with that shit. Most of what I "cook" comes out of a box, bag or jar and gets doctored up a bit. I haven't made anything from scratch since Home Ec in the seventh grade. But I do have standards as to what is in the box, bag or jar. Most of the time. The eating dishes go in the dishwasher and most of the cooking dishes get done by me at 6 AM on Saturday morning or 9 PM on Monday night. The pots stack up a bit during the week, more so if my husband decides he wants to cook (god help me), less so if he grills out back (thank god for the grill). My whole house is dirty so I try not to wear my glasses at home so I don't see it. I dropped my birth control pill on the kitchen floor yesterday morning and as I was down on all fours looking for it, I thought the dried gunk and dog hair on the floor might make me throw up. My house only gets really clean when I am hosting a Family Dinner, usually Thanksgiving, Easter and Fourth of July. I go to yoga and therapy during my "lunch" and take my son out for a walk/hike/explore on Saturday morning when my daughter goes to church with my parents (Seventh-day Adventists). I gave up religion when I was five or so but attend special occasions, like the Christmas play, to support the believers I love. I make decent money, but don't see much of it because I spend a small fortune on daycare/preschool for my son because my husband was having too many bad days with his illness to keep him home all the time. I have lost most of my "real life" friends to distance or other circumstances, so my blog friends, a couple work friends and my mama and grandma are all the friends I have. I listen to music all the time and would me much more crazy than I am without it.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The real cure for depression: Anger

I’m having trouble focusing lately. Whenever I get like this, my mother says it’s because I’m tired. But I’ve been tired since I was born to motherhood and sometimes I think I’ll be tired until I’m dead. But this out-of-focus-ness comes and goes. And sometimes, along with it, comes a sort of emotional numbness.

The numbness is what comes when my depression and/or dissatisfaction has exhausted itself. I don’t mean to say it’s gone away or gotten better, it has just worn itself out. Or rather, worn me out. So I guess in some ways, my mother is right, I am tired. But it’s not a sleepy or physical kind of tired. It is the sludgy trenches of depression.

There are things that help. I am truly grateful for yoga. And I am considerably less desperate than I was before I started taking Prozac. But it is still just… there. I don’t know what kind of shape I would be in if I didn’t have a three-year-old that doesn’t know how to take ‘no’ for an answer when it’s time to get up in the morning. Because of him I get my ass up and out of the house to walk and explore on the weekends.

And I know that for some people, even a stubborn three-year-old isn’t strong enough to temporarily combat their depression or other mental illness. I know it.

.::.

This morning, just before my yoga class was going to begin, the topic of recycling came up. A woman next to me was talking about taking bottles into the recycling center and asked me if I did that. I said no (my trash service picks up recyclables every other week) and, I told her, I don’t have enough storage space to collect bottles for the recycling center. She said “yes you do; you’re just too lazy.” That word – lazy – hung there for a minute. I don’t take kindly to that word. She went on to explain that when she takes her bottles in, she gets about $2 for her trouble. I shrugged, as if to say, okay, that’s not worth it to me. Then she said that she wished she was as rich as me, to not care about $2. Then she asked “are you rich?” No. “Well,” she said, “maybe that’s why you're not.” At this point I decided I didn’t care if I ever spoke to this woman again in my life.

At various points in the class, the yoga instructor reminded us to let go. To be present. I was having a little trouble letting this conversation go. I kept imagining myself kicking that woman in the head. But I didn’t kick her. I just wrote it instead.

Why did this bother me? Well, this woman doesn't know me. She doesn't know how much space I have, how many people I have in that space, how much I work to keep things going. I CHOOSE not to collect bottles and cans to trade in for money. They still get recycled. I just don't want them sitting around the house for months (and it would take that long to collect enough to bother taking the time to make a trip, because WE DON'T EVEN USE THAT MANY BOTTLES, BITCH.)

End rant.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Not so free bird

I stopped into my neighborhood home improvement store yesterday for just a moment to buy a plate hanger for the newest addition to my collection of Blue Willow plates. As I was checking out, I heard the sound of a bird and could tell it was close enough to be inside. I asked the cashier, and she pointed up to a skylight where the poor bird was trying to fly up and out, only to repeatedly smack himself into the glass. I said something about him thinking the light meant there was a way out, and another employee said the bird had been there all week (whatever that means on a Tuesday). I asked if they had put out a bowl of water for him. Employee #2 said that they had been trying to get him out. How, I wonder, do you try to get a bird out of a skylight that is 40 feet overhead? Butterfly net and a cherry picker maybe?

I left and went on with my day, but find myself still wondering about that poor bird. Is he full of anxiety? Do birds feel anxiety? Does he have a nest to get back to? Is he getting tired and ready to give up?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

Interracial couple denied marriage license in La.

NEW ORLEANS – A white Louisiana justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple out of concern for any children the couple might have.

Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, says it is his experience that most interracial marriages do not last long.

"I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way," Bardwell told the Associated Press on Thursday. "I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else."

.::.

Read the full story here. "They [my black friends] use my bathroom," was ABSOLUTELY my favorite bit. I mean, seriously. What the fuck? What year is this? Who is our president?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

While we're sharing

With all this talk about bicycles (here and here) I feel compelled to share something. I cannot ride a bike.

It’s not for lack of trying or anything; I just have really horrendous balance and equilibrium issues. I had lots of ear issues as a youngin (not unlike my own daughter) and didn’t even start walking until after my first set of tubes. My mom loves to tell the story about how strong I was, and how I tried to walk but would never let go of her. That is until the night we came home from getting tubes in my ears (the first time) and I walked away from her to some furniture, putting one foot in front of the other like a little pro.

Anyway. Can’t ride a bike. It seems like it would be such a good thing to do though. So, when I have money (ha!) I’ll be in the market for an adult tricycle, like the old woman I am.

I can’t swim either. (Sad face.)

Where the Wild Things Are

Confession: I have never read the book (cuz I'm a girl?), BUT I am excited about the movie.

Maybe I'll go buy the book today for the kids. I got a copy of the soundtrack for my birthday, and this song is one of my favorites from the CD. It's slow, but worth it (I think).

Contrariwise has been celebrating the upcoming release of the movie with tattoos featuring illustrations from the book, and oh my god, check out the commitment here:

3712533018_d5a527efe2_o
This is Miss Grace’s tattoo of one of the Wild Rumpus scenes from Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.

Wow. She still plans on getting color.

I never go see movies in the theater cuz it costs tooooo much, but I eagerly await the DVD.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

One-legged waterwheel

I went back to yoga yesterday for the first time in a couple months. Every time I go back after taking a break, for whatever reason, I ask myself “why did I ever stop going?!?” Sometimes I think I need yoga more than therapy. I’ll keep both for now, but if someone made me choose tomorrow, it wouldn’t be a hard decision.

Anyway, blah blah blah, with yoga you either get it or you don’t, so I’ll shut up about it. Except to say that I must have been trying a little too hard to prove that fat girls can do it too, because my abs hurt.

I turned 32 on Sunday. It was a nice day. Austin has been sick so we’re trying to keep him low-key. I have exactly two things to say about turning 32… What the fuck happened to the last 14 years? Seriously. And… Only 23 years until retirement! Woo-hoo. Kidding.

Monday, October 12, 2009

What works for me

Prozac.

Yasmin.*

Yoga.

Water.

Fiber.

More Water.

I really want a Mountain Dew. HAVE MORE WATER.

I have a really bad headache. Okay, have the Mountain Dew. But then have some water.

Take a damn walk already.

.::.

*There are side effects and shit. Talk to your doctor.

Rain by The Beatles

I'm not sure how it's possible, but I had never heard this song before this weekend. It seemed so befitting my blog title I had to post it.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I love me a good hippie catalog

I got a catalog today from Northern Sun with all kinds of fun hippie/tree hugger paraphernalia.

One t-shirt made me laugh out loud. It said, "God used to be my copilot, but we crashed into the mountains and I had to eat him." No offense intended to the believers, it just tickled me.

But my hands down favorite is the poster shown here. It reads: I pledge allegiance to the Earth, and all the life which it supports. One planet, in our care, irreplaceable, with sustenance and respect for all.

As the daughter and granddaughter of public school teachers, and a long time partaker of public education, I immediately thought of the hundreds of mornings spent reciting the pledge of allegiance (to the flag) and had a mini-fantasy about starting a private/charter school where we would recite this pledge to the Earth every morning. We could have a school garden and use the veggies and fruits for the students' lunches. We could take field trips to local dairies and popular hiking locations. And...

Help me with this fantasy school. What would you like to see there?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

37 days and counting...

Okay, I figured we needed an update on the Great Birthday Countdown. And I needed to get my head out of my ass. So. A bike. For the almost 13 year-old. I still can’t get used to that. Thirteen!

I looked first at Target, mostly because I’m always at Target, so I might as well look, right? It’s a Super Target, which you have to say like it’s a superhero… SOUP-PER TAR-GET! Anyway, they didn’t have any beach cruisers, but they do have a nice mountain bike. And it’s purple. Purple is good. But it’s not a beach cruiser and SHE SAID BEACH CRUISER.

Next was Sport Chalet. I wanted to go to the local mom-and-pop bike shop next, but the hubs said they would be too expensive, try Sport Chalet. HA! You wanna talk expensive. Sport Chalet is a NO.

So there I was in the mom-and-pop bicycle store. :) They don’t have anything in stock that meets our needs, but can order something quickly from a place that HAND BUILDS bikes in Huntington Beach. Awesome! We would be supporting TWO semi-local businesses. Hellsa yes. Problem = it’s twice as much as the mountain bike at Target and money is an object.

Next was craigslist. I found an awesome, pink, 24” beach cruiser for $150. In Inglewood. I am nowhere near LA and Inglewood? Is. We’re talking 90 miles away. So not happening with the hubs.

I still really like the idea of the more spensive cruiser from the local business, but the more-logical-than-me hubs is pushing for the Target mountain bike. (And no, that’s not why I was pissed at him this morning.)

good reading

I don't have it in me today to write and be positive. I'm tired and weary, but this is good, you should read this.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

All of My Days

Another song from the Away We Go soundtrack.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Walk & Don't Look Back

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Deathdays and Birthdays

Today is the first anniversary of my father-in-law’s death. Less than two weeks ago we celebrated what would have been his 78th birthday with his favorite flavor of ice-cream, chocolate chip. He never liked cake, so there was none on his birthday.

It’s hard to believe a year has passed, and along with it all of those firsts. The first Thanksgiving without him, the first Christmas, his and my mother-in-law’s anniversary in May. With all of those firsts out of the way I think the shock of his absence is lessened. Now there is mostly that bittersweet feeling of loving and missing.

Up until 2004 my in-laws lived less than a 10-minute drive away from us. But that fall they got a wild hare to move out of state, to Arkansas of all places. They enjoyed it there some, I’m sure, but my father-in-law’s health became more and more of an issue and in the summer of 2008 they decided it was time to come back. On September 3, 2008, my husband got on a plane to help them pack up and drive to California, and I stayed home with the kids to get our little house ready to hold 2 more people. The house has done quite well, I must say. It’s a good, flexible house.

On Wednesday September 17, 2008, my husband and his parents finally pulled into our driveway. Their trip west was an exhausting one fraught with tornados and the challenges of traveling with a very sick old man. On Friday, September 19, he was admitted to a local hospital with congestive heart failure. He spent his last birthday in the hospital on September 24, but he was released on the 26th and we celebrated his birthday with him the following day. The day after that, Sunday September 28, we called 911 and he was back in the hospital. Late in the night on October 3, the hospital called and said that his breathing had changed, if we wanted to be there for him, it was time. I was unable to wake my husband or my mother-in-law; they were so exhausted from everything. I called my mom to come over in case the kids woke up and I drove to the hospital.

I held his hand. I read Psalm 23 out loud from the bible in the bedside table. It wasn’t the King James Version though, that one is the best for Psalm 23. I told him that we would take care of his wife and that we would miss him, that we would always love him. There was no death rattle. His nearly imperceptible breathing became harder and harder to witness, and when I hadn’t seen his chest rise and fall for a few moments, I went and got the nurse and said I thought he was gone. By that time it was sometime after 1 AM on October 4.

The week following his death was one of the hardest, if not the hardest week, my family has ever experienced. When the funeral was done and over, my mother-in-law was sick from exhaustion. The day after his funeral, we celebrated my birthday and thus began this first year without him.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Poll: Nose Ring

I am hereby soliciting your opinion. I am trying to decide whether to get a nose ring. I think they look pretty, especially on Indian women, not that I am Indian or anything... as far as I know (I am something of a mutt). Anyway, it would be on the side, not through the middle, just because I like that better.

So, what say you? Yay or Nay?

My mom says nay. Actually, her exact words were “please don’t get a nose ring.” And she was dead serious, almost pleading. I’m old enough to not be pushed toward doing something out of rebellion, but am I old enough to not be afraid of disappointing my mother? I really don’t know.

I will admit that some of my reservation stems from my age. I will be 32 in 9 days. Am I too old to do such a thing?

.::.

Disclaimer: Please understand that even if the overall consensus is strong one way or the other, I will still do what I damn well please in the end. I just think it’s fun to get people’s opinions.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Oh! Sweet Nuthin', Away We Go


I just watched Away We Go for the first time last night. Great movie. The scene that featured this song ripped my heart out and smashed it into the floor of a dive bar.

I can't say it any better than this reviewer, so if you want to, read this.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Buster Voodoo

Thank you Dr. Yuan

I almost kissed a pulmonologist yesterday. My boy started snoring a few months back (maybe May?) and that was followed quickly behind by sleep apnea. We have been to the pediatrician several times asking for a referral to an ENT (ear/nose/throat doctor) but to no avail. Every time they blamed the breathing issues on his weight, and they are right, he is a chunk. So, we met with the nutritionist. Then back the pediatrician. Then to a new pediatrician (who.was.horrible.) Got a referral to a pulmonologist. After having the same 30 minute conversation we have every time about what Austin eats (everything), how much he eats (a lot), how active he is (very)… after the weight conversation, the pulmonologist looked at his tonsils and suggested we go to an ENT. No kidding! But really, I’m not bitter. I’m too happy to be bitter.

Thank all that is good in the universe. Austin will be going to the same ENT that changed Maya’s life for the better 8 years ago.

Seriously

My daughter has informed me that she has counted and there are 44 days until her 13th birthday. So there’s one less thing for my to-do list. Count days until Maya’s birthday. CHECK.

HOLYHELLWHATTHEFUCKOHMYGOD. I am about to be the mother of a teenager. That is not possible. I’m too young for this. Excuse me while I grab a paper bag to breathe into…

Items on the birthday girl’s wish list include:

  • Cell phone (I’ve been telling her for years: not until high school, missy.)
  • Horse (HA! Maybe when I when the lottery.)
  • Computer, her own (HA! Hahahaha. Ahhh. Good one.)
  • DSi and/or PSP (handheld game systems, if you don’t know.) (Meh. Maybe. (She already has a DS, but the DSi and PSP are more better.))
  • New bike, preferably a beach cruiser (NOW we’re talking.)

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Fixer

Looking forward to hear from you if you are still alive

In my line of work, I get A LOT of those phony emails that start off with "congratulations, you have just inherited $24 million USD from my client who died somewhere on the continent of Africa..."

This is by far the BEST bogus email I have ever recieved. Enjoy.

From: elra harrison [harrisonraven@yahoo.com]
Sent: Thursday, September 24, 2009 8:20 PM
Subject: Looking forward to hear from you if you are still alive

Attention

We write to confirm the information we just heard from a man named Mr. Peter Obi, he came to our office to inform us that you are dead and during your illness you instructed him to claim the Federal Government Compensation fund of $4.5 Million on your behalf in case you die. So He made things very clear to us that you are dead and he’s the only person you disclosed this matter with and you have instructed him to come and claim the money since you are dead.

Therefore, we want to confirm if you are dead or Alive and failure to reply back in the next 24hrs simply means what Mr. Peter Obi said was right that you are dead because Mr. Peter Obi has ordered us to release the ATM Card that contains your Compensation of $4.5 Million to Mr. Duane Ben. from United 3States and he has agreed to pay the needed fund valued at but we have not gotten the money from him yet as we want to find out if you are dead or not, so if you are still alive you are advice in your own best interest to reply back and so we can stop further communication with Mr. Duane Ben.

Note: that for we to know that you are alive and any mail we receive is from you, you are to reconfirm the following: - your name, phone & fax number, House Address Occupation and your Age. Beside if you fail to comply with the needed $210 US Dollars required there’s no way we can post the ATM Card to you but you can come to Benin by yourself to pick up your ATM Card.

Contact Dr.David Moore
For further clarification you can reach him on telephone number+22997 629 092
Email: XXXXX@XXXXX.XXX
Looking forward to hear from you if you are still alive

Yours truly,
Mrs.Elra Harrison

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Catch that Train

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Lactation or Bust

Something I wrote a couple years ago...

I’ve had two babies. I tried to breastfeed both of them. I failed both times.

With my daughter we quit completely when she was about a week, maybe two weeks old and it was obvious she wasn’t getting anything from me*. The general consensus of those around me was that if I stuck with it eventually it would have worked. But I was broken, emotionally and physically. I was done breastfeeding. I was only 19.

Nine and a half years later, pregnant with my second child, I was determined to make it work this time. I was healthier and more mature. It was going to work.

It was going fine in the hospital after he was born. He latched on well; I was thinking good, positive breastfeeding thoughts. Colostrum was flowing, well, as much as colostrum can flow. Our last night in the hospital was a rough one. He started cluster feeding, but without any breaks between clusters, and I started to go nuts. A nurse who I had thought was an old meanie turned out to be very supportive and told me all was normal, hang in there. All the next day was the same and I was exhausted, but it was time to go home and that was all that mattered. That was a Friday.

Our first night home was a nightmare. He suckled but only got frustrated. We tried and tried but nothing. We were both in agony. By morning he was pushing 24 hours without a wet diaper and I started to panic. I wouldn’t let him get any more dehydrated than he already was. Unfortunately, it was very early in the morning and we didn’t have any formula in the house. I had been so convinced I could make it work this time that I had deliberately not bought any formula before he was born. I woke my husband and asked him to go to the store. He was startled by the fact that I was very upset and he got angry with me, but he went anyway. While he was gone I boiled the bottles (I had bought some of those). By this time the baby’s eyes were a little sunken and he had become listless. I decided not to take him to the doctor because I knew they would just give him formula there, and I could do that. I was sure he didn’t need IV fluids. He had a two ounce bottle every two hours for the next two days and recovered beautifully. I took the rest of that day off from breastfeeding, but started pumping the next day. The volume I got from the pump was painfully underwhelming.

The following Monday, my third day out of the hospital, I had what’s called a “Great Start” appointment where you see an OB/Gyn, pediatrician and lactation specialist all at the same time. The pediatrician said the baby looked great and I worked with the lactation specialist for quite a while, she was the best. She told me to limit the formula I was giving him to one ounce per feeding and put him back on the breast. I was supplementing. We made a follow up appointment to see her again a few days later.

At the next appointment the lactation specialist recommended mother’s milk tea to help boost my production and gave me a supplemental feeder. This consisted of a bottle with a very small gauge tube coming out of if that I was supposed to slip into his mouth when he was on the breast so he would get formula and breast milk at the same time. I thought it was great at first, but gradually became less satisfied with it.

Another week later, when my milk production still wasn’t what it needed to be, the lactation specialist put me on supplements, fish oil, blessed thistle and one other that I can’t remember. I was taking 6 of each a day which meant I was spending a small fortune at Henry’s, but I was determined to try. Two weeks after that my milk production was still low and the lactation specialist had to let me down easy, we had tried everything she thought would help. I decided to breast and bottle-feed as long as it would work to do both, even though it was exhausting and time consuming. I still had two months off from work to be with him full-time.

Right before I went back to work, I had an appointment with an OB/Gyn that I had never been to before. I talked to him about the breastfeeding problems I had and he gave me the same line so many other people had. He said that if I had stuck with it, it would have worked eventually. After all, what do you think women in third world countries do? They just have to tough it out. I was pissed, but I was too tired to counter. I wanted to say “What the fuck are you talking about? Do you know the infant mortality rate in third world countries? I wonder if dehydration could have anything to do with that you fucking moron asshole!” But I didn’t. What difference would it make right? The damn difference would have been that maybe he would have thought before saying something so stupid next time.

For every function of the body, there are people in the world for which that function does not perform normally. There are people who can’t process sugar, or pee on their own, or conceive a child, and both society and medicine do their best to help them compensate. But for some reason, breastfeeding is supposed to be an exception. It’s not that I couldn’t make it work for a physiological reason, but that I didn’t try hard enough. At least that’s what so many people seem to believe and what I’ve been told many times over. To hell with that. I wanted to breastfeed so bad I couldn’t stand it and I tried everything they told me to try. But I wasn’t going to let the baby get sick or suffer beyond reason because my body didn’t work right. I did what I had to do. I wish I could have breastfed him full-time until kindergarten, but I couldn’t. At six months he stopped wanting to nurse and was on the bottle exclusively. It broke my heart to quit.

I guess the moral of the story is that if you are having trouble breastfeeding, do what you can. Relax, be positive, eat and drink plenty of good things, try your best. But even if it doesn’t work the baby can still grow up strong and healthy, and you won’t love each other any less.

.::.

*I must have been supplementing from the getgo with Maya. I was so sick** the day she was born I barely held her, so maybe they started in the hospital. I really don't remember for sure.

**I am miserably allergic to morphine and spent 12 hours vomitting violently, mostly dry-heaving, which is especially horrible after a C-section.

Friday, September 25, 2009

What boys are made of

Who needs TV when you have a 3-year old boy, a dog run and a hose?

He is LOVING it.

Get in mah belly.

Here I'm trying to stay out of range of the hose.

What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails, and puppy-dogs' tails,
That's what little boys are made of.

Starting Over

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Iron & Wine, Love Vigilantes

Salty Sweet and Bitter Shadows

From where I sit at my dining table I can see my neighbor’s horses through the window. My favorite, a palomino named Aprisa, shades herself under a large pepper tree.

According to the calendar it is fall, but today’s temperature will lap at the 100° mark. But better that than snow.

When I have the presence of mind to do so, I say some version of the following prayer each time I sit down to a meal.

I give thanks to the Heavens and the Earth for the nourishment I am about to receive, and for the wellbeing of my family and the love I may give and receive.

Some days ago my therapist asked me whether – maybe, perhaps – I create drama in my life because I find contentment boring. The drama she was referring to was my tendency to spend money I shouldn’t and to overeat. Both of these behaviors lead to some kind of fallout which may or may not include friction in my marriage and/or feelings of guilt. This has led me to the realization that (1) the feeling I associate most with contentment is a full tummy and (2) the feeling I associate most with anxiety is hunger. [Note: I will never be anorexic. Also: being broke = future hunger.]

Interesting, says I.

My father left me and my mother before I was a year old. My relationship with him has been superficial at best and incredibly painful at worst. He and I have not seen each other in nearly 20 years. This abandonment left me feeling worthless and unlovable (once I was old enough to perceive his absence and my resulting feelings). As an infant I was sick often and clung to my mother desperately. It didn’t take her long to learn that one sure way to calm me was to feed me. I don’t blame her for that. She wanted her baby to be content.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I and Love and You

For PF :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

No mas

The majority of what is occupying my thoughts these days cannot and/or should not be blogged about. So, I think, I’m done for the time being.

Take care of yourselves out there. I'll be reading.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sweet Face

Story: World's oldest person dies in Los Angeles at 115

I don't know if I would be that cheery about living to 115 (which would be the year 2092 by the way!) but bless her heart.

I don't usually get worked up about this kind of thing, but...

Dear readers, are you all familiar with this 2012 business? Apparently, some interpretations of the Mayan calendar point to apocalypse somewhere around December 21, 2012.

I can’t believe I’m even touching this nonsense, but I’m more than a little upset about it. Especially this effing movie. To say that I’m DISGUSTED by the fact that some effing studio is trying to make money off of something that some people are truly afraid of would be a real understatement. It pains me to even look at the poster. And don't even get me started on the goddamn History channel. History my ass.

Without getting specific, I will ask you this… Did you know that a large portion of the human sacrifices in the ancient Mayan world were of children? Did you know that those sacrifices were meant to stave off the end of the world?

There are people out there who are honest to God afraid of what may be coming in just over 3 years. And my logical self knows that there is less than no point in worrying about it. But the part of me that wakes up at 2 AM on a semi regular basis worries that if nothing else, what about the people who are so afraid they might take some kind of drastic action? What if this is a self-fulfilling prophecy?

In all likelihood, this is just Y2K all over again. Folks will stock up on food and water and ammo and then… nothing much at all will happen.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hope and Hard Work

My daughter’s school district DID NOT stream the President’s speech into the classrooms. They did not take the kids to the multi-purpose room to listen. They are only providing a link to it from their web site to listen to on our own time. I knew that was what was happening last Thursday, and because I’m often tired and usually overwhelmed, it didn’t occur to me to email the school board members and say “why not? I want my kid to listen in school and be MOVED and MOTIVATED.” I should have done that, but I didn’t.

When I told my mom that Maya’s school district would not be playing his speech for the students, she made some noises along the lines of “why is he butting in? We don’t need him indoctrinating… the kids don’t care if he wants them to work hard…” And I said, “BULL, I know Maya would love to hear it, she loves all that stuff.” She is and always has been very impressed by the stature of The President [even when it was Bush.] And the thing is, my mom used to be such a good liberal, and even a women’s libber back in the day. But she’s moved right in her autumn years. But that isn’t what this post is about.

This post is a shout out to Obama to say thank you for that speech. I am glad for the kids who did hear it in school and I am grateful for whatever portion of it they took to heart. This post is a reaching out to Ms. Moon who is scared that healthcare reform is maybe being irreversibly sabotaged. This post is a raising of my voice on the side of hope and determination.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Not Measuring Up

libra
I am too much sugar and not enough sleep.
I am too much thought and not enough do.
I am too much want and not enough money.
I am too much TV and not enough read.
I am too much eat and not enough walk.
I am too much laundry and not enough fold.
I am too much mother and not enough wife.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dreams

Friday, August 28, 2009

Woke Up This Morning

I haven’t been talking about Lori lately, on the blog or in real life. Ever since she wrote and said goodbye I have been attempting to loosen my grip. Not let go completely, just relax the muscles a little. It caught up with me this morning at 2 AM. I was awake and afraid and...

I never know how much to say about this. I don’t know the circumstances that can lead to mistrial, and I sure as fuck wouldn’t want it to be my fault if that did happen.

I’m not trying to be mysterious here. I’m just trying to share and explore my feelings without the details of the case, and that is pretty hard to do sometimes.

Part of me just really wishes these next few months would hurry up and get done. I want the trial to be over. I want whatever answers there are to be had.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

His Noodliness

Do you folks out there follow the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster? It really is my cup of tea. Anyway, a few weeks back they posted a letter from a concerned 13 year-old that was just heartbreaking in its earnestness. But the first comment is what kills me. That is why I love these people. Read on, if you dare...

The Post:

I am a practicing Roman Catholic. And I am also 13 years old. I was on Yahoo Answers and found a question about “The Flying Spaghetti Monster” So, I clicked on it. I probably shouldn’t have but when the link finished loading, I almost cried. Its hard enough for me to have faith in God already, I’m the type of person who needs to have things proven to them, but I just found your site… Disgusting for lack of a better word. I also heard that you made this site because you wanted to get back at the Kansas School Committee or something. I am hoping and praying that this is a true fact, and that you really don’t believe in this. I know this is wrong of me to say. People should believe in whatever they want, but really, looking at some of the articles that you have written, It seems that your site is more of an “In your face” thing to the Christians saying “Haha, we can make a religion just as easy as you guys can, see how stupid it is now?” For example ‘Your just jealous that our god has bigger balls then yours’? Excuse me for my language, but thats just crap, again, for lack of kinder terminology.Even so, if you made this as a joke, or something to pass the time, that doesnt mean everyone else sees it that way. I mean, come on, you have a majority of collage students believing in this, and hopefully they’ll see how stupid (excuse me for saying that, im just trying to tell you my opinion without criticizing you further then everyone else already has) this all was, and that they may want to rethink their ways, that maybe you’ve gone a little too far?I relize this all probably sounds silly from a 13 year old, but please take this into consideration…. If this whole thing is not a joke, im sorry, but if it was bobby… Thats kind of sad.
-erin

The Comment:

Argh! Swing’n'amiss there matey! Hopefully growin’ up’ll grant ye a sense a’ ‘umor! Ye need ta’ unnerstand Erin, me matey, there’s a lotta jokes out there that people don’t find funny or be offended by. I happen to not like Dane Cook’s particular brand o’ humor, but that don’t mean I gotta write ‘im a letter! Leave us well enuff alone until ye can grasp the point o’ a bit o’ satire matey!
RAmen
Cap’m RedTom
PS: If’n ye have trouble believin’ in yer skydaddy, why not try out Partafarianism fer 30 days? If’n ye don’t take a likin’ to it matey, we’re sure yer religion’ll take ye back!

That is some good shit right there. RAmen.