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 (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.