Friday, April 30, 2010

fun or something like it

Hi all! I've been thinking about the fact that blogging comes easier (for me) when I have something to complain about. Which is pretty shitty, I think. I don't want to just put whiny crap out there. You know?

So here I am saying "I'm o-KAY!" But I really have nothing else to say. I did almost blog about the light and air last night. It was so magically lovely out. But then I just decided to enjoy it instead of going inside and turning on the computer.

I guess now that I have a laptop with a battery that lasts longer than 30 seconds I could try taking it outside... I'll have to remember to try that.

Dan has concert tickets tonight for a show that I wouldn't be caught dead at, so it'll just be me and the kids. Maya has made it very clear that she wants to take this opportunity to do something FUN! She went so far as to suggest Disneyland, which won't be happening. But I think I've decided to let them pick between Chuck E Cheese and The Mall. Shudder. The best I can say about those two options is at least neither would last longer than a couple hours, and then I can go home. Dan's gonna owe me a night.

But I have a cute little house, two gorgeous kids, a mostly decent (sometimes great) husband, a good job that I don't always hate, and a car that is paid off and runs (knock on wood). I have brains in my head and feet in my shoes. And it's Friday! (Again, already, really?) And payday! I'm o-KAY.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lucinda Williams: Essence

Baby, sweet baby, you're my drug
Come on and let me taste your stuff

Baby, sweet baby, bring me your gift
What surprise you gonna hit me with

I am waiting here for more
I am waiting by your door
I am waiting on your back steps
I am waiting in my car
I am waiting at this bar
I am waiting for your essence

Baby, sweet baby, whisper my name
Shoot your love into my vein

Baby, sweet baby, kiss me hard
Make me wonder who's in charge

I am waiting here for more
I am waiting by your door
I am waiting on your back steps
I am waiting in my car
I am waiting at this bar
I am waiting for your essence

Baby, sweet baby, I wanna feel your breath
Even though you like to flirt with death

Baby, sweet baby, can't get enough
Please come find me and help me get fucked up

I am waiting here for more
I am waiting by your door
I am waiting on your back steps
I am waiting in my car
I am waiting at this bar
I am waiting for your essence

Your essence
Your essence

randomness not worth the read

I should know better than to complain about the weather. It’s cold and rainy again. But since I was complaining about the heat, I guess that’s a good thing? Why can’t it just be 70° and pretty? I’m not asking too much, am I? No, no. Rain is good.

I went with Dan to his Rheumatologist yesterday. Somehow the two of them ended up talking about Ultimate Fighter Champions and porn stars. I really don’t understand men sometimes. Meanwhile, Dan’s cholesterol is on the rise (what’s one more health problem?) and his doctors are nagging him so much about his smoking that I don’t have to say a word. I just raise my eyebrows, shake my head and shrug. When Dan asked me how much I paid for that parasol, I told him I didn’t remember (which we both knew wasn’t true) but that it was less than his carton of cigarettes, so stick it.

Lori is in court as I type this. They are actually starting to throw the word “jury” around in the court “actions” so things are progressing the way they do. She will be 40 tomorrow. Greeting cards are against the rules where she is, which is just as well. I don't think "happy birthday!" would be altogether appropriate when one is awaiting trial for murder.

Fuck. This blog should have a disclaimer for depressing content. Sorry.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

light and music

Just a quick update to my last post. As you can see we got the parasol hung, but I think we'll need to adjust a little so I don't bump it when I open the curtain.

It's over the new window... but I still didn't manage to get a shot of the view out the new window... mostly trees and the ugly propane tank. We need to build a tank house I think, like Grace's. The things hanging down from behind the parasol are lights.

More important than all that though is the wonderful music we've been listening to. I've only had one listen so far, but both Elisabeth Williamson's CD and Lon Williamson's CD are beautiful. I will be getting to know them better tomorrow.

I think it was a line from a movie or something... that melody is like lust where lyrics are like love. You hear the melody and are attracted right away. You listen and get to know the lyrics and grow to love them. The two together make magic.

The Great Window Project of 2010 - part 2, and The Bed and The Parasol

So, a while back we took a window (actually two windows) out of the dining room to put in a sliding door. We knew then that we wanted to reuse one of the windows in the master bedroom, on the outside wall shown below, but we couldn't get to it right away.

Well, it's mostly done! Just some finish work to be done on the window sill inside.

I haven't gotten a good picture of it yet from the inside, but you can see the edge of it on the right side of the picture below.

All that light doesn't keep Austin from snoozing when he really needs it. Meanwhile, Maya is back in her old room, the one that was mine and Dan's while my MIL lived with us.

The color theme of her room is what I refer to as Rainbow Explosion. I had big plans for redecorating with a new color scheme, but best laid plans, and all that jazz...

Anyway, that bed has been around since forever. I was mine from the age of 2 until Dan and I moved in together. Before that it was in my great-grandparents' house on a farm outside of Trinidad, Colorado. My great-aunt Mary still lives in that house and I am ashamed to say that I have exactly zero photos of that house, even though I've stayed in it twice.

But back to the bed. When my grandparents brought it to Oregon for me from Colorado, strapped to the top of their car Okie style, it was painted cream and blue. When I was Maya's age, my mom and I took it upon ourselves to strip it to expose the metal, and we weren't too careful about getting the blue out of the nooks and crannies on the medalions joining the rails on the headboard and footboard.

Above: shell detail with a little blue paint remaining; Below: siderail detail.

One or three of my grandpa's sibblings probably slept on this bed about 90 years ago. I imagine that if Dan goes before me, it will be my bed when I am 90... or whatever age I stick it out til.


I got up to answer the door and my vintage paper parasol came in the mail! Here's a picture from the etsy listing.

I love the look of the spines on the underside, so I plan to hang it (open) from the ceiling. You can faintly see the painted flowers through the bottom side, so we won't miss anything by seeing only the underside.

Along with the parasol, my latest CD order came in. I got both Elisabeth Williamson's and Lon Williamson's CDs from (as seen/heard on and I can't wait to give them a listen during dinner!

Well, I best figure out what to feed these kids for dinner now that I think of it. Take care out there!

Monday, April 26, 2010

preparing for summer

It’s here already. The Heat. 90-something today. And for some reason I have a harder time with 90’s in the spring and fall than I do with 115° in August. I’m just not ready for it yet, I guess.

Just last week I was ready to write a love note to the sun. We had rain for like three days in a row, or something crazy like that. And it was cold. Like below 60°. Practically unheard of later than February around here. And I WAS FREEZING MY ASS OFF. (I just used “like” twice in one paragraph. Fucking Californian, I am.)

Be careful what you ask for, missy! The sun came back alright, hard and fast. And now I’m having to rethink my all-black-all-the-time wardrobe philosophy. And give up sugar and salt because my system struggles to evacuate that crap in the heat and I feel it in my blood and muscles and joints.

And meat. Again. My ongoing battle with my internal vegetarian led me to buy fake meat for the first time ever today. My usual approach to not eating meat is just to NOT EAT MEAT. You know, grains and beans and all that good stuff. But when Dan told me today that he wanted to grill burgers for dinner tonight, my immediate reaction was that I won’t be able to eat that. Period. Must try something else.

Intellectually, and as a wanna-be Buddhist, I see vegetarianism as a good and noble thing. But bottom line, for me? I just have to be really freaking careful about what I eat. So many things just tear my ass up. Literally.

And on that note I bid you adieu. Have a lovely Monday evening. Take care of yourselves out there.

Friday, April 23, 2010

spin cycle

Is it just me, or are the weeks beginning to scuttle by at an accelerated pace? Is that the first sign that I am – of a certain age? Not yet middle aged. (Am I? Not quite.) A working adult. Yeck.

That is all to say… holy crap, it’s Friday again! Yippee!

Wait. What difference does it make if it’s Friday? Tomorrow I have class and there are 12 mountains of laundry waiting for me at home. Why don’t I have a maid? Round and round. I’m kidding. I LOVE the weekend. I just hate Sunday night when I’m in a mad rush to get ready for Monday again. Round and round.

The house is in utter chaos with my Mother-in-Law moving out (she left behind some things she didn’t want anymore for us to deal with… thanks!) and us moving back into the master bedroom, and Maya moving back into her room and OH MY GOD did I mention the fucking laundry everywhere?! I will take pictures of the lovely bedrooms when they are more presentable.

I have faith. We will get there. There will be some modicum of order. I have to believe that so I don’t completely lose my shit.

And me and the man have a private bathroom again. Yippee! Just watch your step; don't trip on the dirty laundry.

And don't bother telling me Maya is 13 and should be doing the laundry. THAT is another post altogether. That girl. Gotta love her. Literally. I have to. It's Mom Law.

Dan either. He just this year learned NOT to inform me when he is out of clean socks*. (I work all week and the washer is right in there, dear.) Don't want to push it.

*Can you just imagine that scene if he were the woman, telling her husband that she was out of clean socks? And all that that implies. HA! Fat chance.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The dream me is a crazy bitch

I had one of those long, convoluted dreams last night (or maybe it was several short, weird dreams) that leave me wondering -- what the hell is wrong with me?

But my favorite part was when I found myself standing in my kitchen, yelling at a handful of adults (most of whom I am related to) that because they were talking so loudly they had woken the children, who in turn woke me, and I DIDN’T GET ANY SLEEP. In a dream (during which I was asleep) I was yelling and bitching about not sleeping.

Somewhat later in the dream I was throwing things and making a scene in the driveway.

The dream me needs a vacation.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Jakob Dylan: Nothing But the Whole Wide World

Nothing but the whole wide world to gain
Nothing, nothing
Got nothing but the whole wide world to gain
Nothing, nothing
Got nothing but the whole wide world to gain

I'm here on the blacktop, the sun in my eyes
Women and country on my mind
Both turned me out over the borderline
Now there's no more love loss and no more shame
No more digging holes or graves
Nothing to lose but rivets and chains
Got nothing but the whole wide world to gain

Nothing but the whole wide world to gain
Nothing, nothing
Got nothing but the whole wide world to gain
Nothing, nothing
Got nothing but the whole wide world to gain

Was born in a stable and built like an ox
Down in the pastures I learned how to walk
Mama, she raised me to sing and just let them talk
Said no rich man's worth his weight in dust
They'll bury them down same as they do us
God wants us busy, never giving up
He wants nothing but the whole wide world for us

Nothing but the whole wide world for us
Nothing, nothing
Wants nothing but the whole wide world for us
Nothing, nothing
Wants nothing but the whole wide world for us

I ain't got no money, can't get no love
Never was too good at either of them
I'm here for adventure, whichever way it comes
But what good is an angel that won't catch up?
I'm free falling now, and I'm ready enough
I give my tears and I give my blood
I'd give nothing but the whole wide world for one

Nothing but the whole wide world for one
Nothing, nothing
Give nothing but the whole wide world for one
Nothing, nothing
I'd give nothing but the whole wide world for one

Friday, April 16, 2010

Thoughts on Enlightenment in the Information Age

I finally got a chance to watch the PBS special The Buddha last night. It really was terrific, I think. I won’t bother trying to retell the story because a big part of the beauty of this special is the way they layer explanations and interpretations from several scholars, and each person watching and listening will get more and/or less value from each small piece.

It actually helped me a great deal. There are certain aspects of Buddhism that I have struggled to understand for a while now, and taking this in I felt – feel – partially released from that struggle. Not entirely released because I think that is part of being a Buddhist. Being engaged. Questioning. Present. Aware and mindful. To be honest, I had sometimes thought my inability to understand certain aspects might be a deal breaker, like I wasn't ready (wasn't good enough) to be a Buddhist.

A Buddhist. Am I calling myself a Buddhist? I suppose I am. It is not like being a Christian though. Buddha does not replace or personify God. Buddha is not my savior. I am my savior. I am responsible for my own awakening, my own suffering and the cessation thereof. And as an extension of that, hand-in-hand with that, I am compassionate of (to?) the suffering of those around me. Or at least I do my best to be compassionate. I have and will fail at times.

Buddha is not my God. (This is something that my family tends to make assumptions about.) I keep Buddha near me in order to remind myself to be present. Grateful. Mindful. Compassionate. And when I need it, to guide me. Or better yet, help me to guide myself toward light and balance.

I find myself asking this question over and over again: Is it easier to become Enlightened in this day and age than it was in Siddhartha’s? Did his search and the work of seekers before and since better prepare us to become enlightened? If we are looking for it? If we want it? Is wanting it 90% of the journey or 1% of it? Do things like mass media and the Internet allow us to share these thoughts and help one another in such a way that for us, it is just –– easier? Am I over simplifying?

Maybe not easier. Maybe just more –– accessible.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

While we're at it...

Mother-in-law is out (and *most* of her stuff). Hole is cut in the wall for the window we will reuse/recycle.


You know, the carpet in there is a real mess... the carpet in all the bedrooms is a real mess...

Should we?


Recarpet the bedrooms. While we're moving things around anyway.






We'll regret it if we don't take the opportunity. It would be an even bigger pain in the ass later. We'd have to move the stuff all over again.

Should we?

While we're at it?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cuss me

I made myself a beautiful lunch to take to work today. It had red potatoes, chicken breast, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, carrots and two kinds of cheese. It was in a glass dish, in a bag, which I dropped getting out of my car. For about a minute I considered trying to separate the broken glass from the food, but then thought better of it. Damn. That was going to be good.


We watched Fantastic Mr. Fox yesterday. Oh. My. God. Why didn’t you people tell me that was a Wes Anderson movie? How did I not know that? It was HILARIOUS. I mean, Austin wanted less than nothing to do with it; he left the room. It’s not really a kid’s movie. It’s a stop-motion animated Wes Anderson movie. LOVE.

They don’t use any swear words in it; they replace everything with cuss. As in, “the CUSS you are!” Or, “what the CUSS?” Cracked me up.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Citizen Cope: Healing Hands

This man does somethin' to me.

Happy Friday, bitches!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lively Up Yourself

The Universe was telling us to SLOW THE FUCK DOWN

The day after I sprained my ankle (which seems to be healing quickly, by the way), both my mother and my grandmother went down hard. Grandma got 11 stitches in her elbow but miraculously didn’t break any bones. Just an hour or two later, my mom sprained her ankle after she misstepped walking down a slope.

Austin was present when each of us fell, but was not at fault in any physical way. Cosmically, I'm not so sure.

And – AND – Dan got a speeding ticket. (His first in 20 years, as he keeps telling anyone who will listen.)

Alright, Universe. WE HEAR YOU.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

the leg bone connects to the foot bone

I don’t know whether my foot was aiming for the grass or the cement, but it didn’t land on either quite right and before I knew it I was on the ground. The outside side of my ankle was less than pleased. Oddly, I was almost immediately most upset about the fact that I will, no doubt, miss yoga this Friday.

Ice and rest, rest and ice.

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to work we go.

Albeit slowly.

Monday, April 5, 2010

breathing room

“Just what is Stephanie’s good news?” I’m sure you’ve been asking yourself since Thursday. It must just be tearing you up inside! (Does my sarcasm translate here?)

Well, my mother-in-law, who has lived with us since just before her husband died in the fall of 2008, got her own place! I mean no disrespect to her when I call this good news. It’s just that having another adult, another woman, another mother in the house has not exactly made my marriage easier. And marriage is hard enough all on its own.

And Maya will be getting her room back!!! That poor girl is so freaking tired of sharing a room with her little brother. She has no space to herself and she needs it, for all our sakes.

So my husband’s mother will be moving out slowly over the next couple weeks. Then we will take advantage of the master bedroom being empty and put one of the windows we took out of the dining room into our old/new room before moving back in there. And then, finally, move Maya back into her original room. Christ almighty. It will be good… when it’s done.


I drank too much. I slept too little.

There is fucking chocolate everywhere. What does chocolate have to do with Jesus anyway?

My nearly 4 year-old son has acquired the sleep habits of a 4 month-old. I WANT TO GO BACK TO BED.

Oh, but the strawberries and ham (not together, necessarily) but definitely two of my favorite things on this planet.

Ham. Me as vegetarian = FAIL


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Beauty in the World

Did you ever have one of those days when everything just sort of fell into place? Yesterday was one of those days for me. We had a "staff development" thing at work that was, to be honest, Enlightening in the best way. I also went to a yoga class (not my usual class) and had my usual "why why why did I stop going??? I must never stop going again, ever," moment after. And then I heard some good news. I won't share it now, I don't want to tempt fate, but... soon, I hope. (No, it's not a baby, just in case you were thinkin' that.)

Macy Gray's Beauty in the World