Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ur Doin It Right

Yesterday I felt like one of those LOL CATS. I'm sure that you have seen them around the internet. Here is an example:
funny pictures of cats with captionsAw, so cute!
But this was me yesterday:Self-loathing Iz doin it right

Thank you for all the supportive comments. My best friend once told me that moods can be like weather whilst depression is the overall climate. Yesterday's mood was a freak thunderstorm with hailstones the size of marbles. There was no weather service warning or time to get into the cellar. As fast as it arrived, it passed.

I woke up today still feeling mild self-pity, but by evening I was sunny again. I'm not in the middle of climate change, only temporary bad weather. I don't know what gives me these self-hatred jags. I lose all compassion for myself.

It would be really hard to be miserable today. I travelled with some coworkers to a special event I helped promote to collect hair for Locks Of Love, an organization that collects hair for cancer patients' wigs. We were treated to an elegant lunch at a white tableclothed restaurant, driven around in a big ol' gas-guzzling Lexus SUV, and didn't have to do any work at all. I didn't have enough hair to donate to Locks Of Love, but I organized some coworkers who did. We had lots of fun laughing and joking on our field trip. I brought along The Book Of Questions, and we entertained ourselves with that on the road while we were stuck in traffic.

Not much time to write, but I wanted to let you know that today was a better day. I don't want you to worry.

Love and light,
your friend,

Monday, May 24, 2010


I was crying big boohoo tears on the way home from work tonight, all over my mossy oak steering wheel cover. I saw a photo of myself posted at work for all to see, and I didn't recognize myself. I'm HUGE. It is not only that. It's just that I don't see ME in there at all lately. I can look into my own eyes and not find the old friend who always stared back. An abstract concept to be boohooing about, I guess. It's not just fat. It's becoming someone who I don't much like.

I want to stand up on a mountain and yell,"I'M AWESOME!" I know I am awesome, only you can't see it right now under the fat, and the business casual attire, and the frizzy hair, and the glazed-over expression. I AM BRIMMING OVER WITH AWESOMENESS. It's in here. Somewhere. Wait. I can find it. Just hold on a minute. I just put it down a second ago.

Wait, when did I put my awesomeness down? Was it New York? Virginia? Los Angeles? What year was it? 2004? 2002? 1997?

I looked at my own photo and I saw a fat girl working in a cubicle in a sagging sad little post industrial city. I don't see capable. I don't see thinker. I don't see strength. "THAT'S NOT ME!" I want to holler. "I CAN DO SO MUCH MORE! I'VE GOT A TEN THOUSAND GIGAWATT SOUL!"


Where is that soul?

When was the last time I used it?

What do I do now?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

It appears that I don't know what I'm talking about. Again.

Last summer, when I still had a leg to stand on.
I know that this is a developmental milestone, but all of a sudden my darling daughters have become sullen and surly. It's that natural pulling-away-from-mama-and-forming-my-own-identity thing. Hate it! It upsets me greatly. Have I suddenly become embarrassing? No, children, I was always embarrassing! You just weren't paying attention. I love them, and I know they love me, but we have entered enemy territory in the attitude department.

What's that you say?
You think I might not be a good role model when it comes to the issue of attitude?
I have no idea what you are talking about.

I also have no idea where my camera is. I have no idea about so many things! So, you don't have pictures of my fun and exciting weekend of yelling at my girls in various locations across the Lehigh Valley. We will have to use our imagination.

Everything I say is mean. If I gave them a pony, they'd want a GOLD pony. If I gave them a GOLD pony, they would pout and tell me that their sister's is shinier. 

Testing limits! Testing limits! Is this the limit? Are you sure? Can't I bend it? What about now? Is that really the limit? Really? You sure? Why? Why, mom? Why is that the limit? My friends don't have limits.

I have banned the disney channel from their lives, even when they are visiting. That made me popular. I think I might have told my older daughter, when she was declaring that her life was ruined, that she could call me after she was enrolled in an ivy league college, and we could broach the issue then.  Mwaahahahahahaha! Ok, that might have been mean.

I did go on a lovely date with my husband on friday night, though. I discovered a new place to walk. It is called a nature conservancy, but it is really not conserved nature. It is very structured and gardenlike, a misnomer, but pleasant in its own way. They built a little pond with blue orchids blooming all around it, and filled with the most adorable frogs that were just sitting there, eyes sticking out of the water, as if to say,"Are you leaving yet?" They were so cute I wanted to stick my hand into the duck weed and grab one for myself.  Then, right when my husband went in for a smooch, I could place the frog on his shoulder for safe keeping so I could passionately throw my arms around his neck. Next time. It really did seem like an enchanted place, and I would love to go back with a book sometime, perhaps a parisol, perhaps a dress with puffed sleeves, perhaps cucumber sandwiches, and fully soak up the loveliness.

THURSDAY I'm getting my wisdom teeth out. My friends tell me that it will feel like a kiss from a kitten. My husband and my mom promise me that my sinus issues will be a thing of the past. A THING OF THE PAST, I TELL YOU! Although, I'm doing pretty alright as long as I keep drinking my Naked Green Machine Juice. I call it my immune system in a bottle!

Are you still reading this? Is this still on?

I'm going to bed.

love and light,
your friend,

Monday, May 17, 2010

To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else. ~Emily Dickinson

Hello, Darlings!

I've been a piss poor blogger lately. My head is empty. I feel like I've said a lot of what I've Had To Say, and pretty much everything is redundant. I miss the little niche I'd carved out for myself in previous incarnations of this publications, the small community of readers. My writing was dependent on that exchange, and a lot of my old pals are doing other things, too. My blogging addiction has abated, and now I spend a lot more time DOING. Maybe I've just come to the age where contemplating my navel is passe. Have I outgrown this passion, or am I just in a dormant phase? Not sure.

Things are most excellent, though. The doing has been delicious. I have been organizing a salad club at work. This is part of our social responsibility and sustainability project. Once a week, everyone brings in a veg, we store it in the work fridge, and then we have communal salads available for the taking any ol' time. 13 people signed up. Today was the first day, and I enjoyed my salad very much, thank you!

I also wrote a silly little team newsletter at my boss' urging, and then he passed it up the chain to corporate. I was a little embarrassed because it was mainly a goof, but they LOVED it. They think it is wonderful, this positive "corporate culture" we are building, so my ego was very inflated.

I'm proud of myself because I took the most deplorable job, stuck with it, and found some things that I could contribute to the group. I've almost been there a year, and I don't find that fact to be something to cry about right now. I feel appreciated and useful, and I'm so grateful for the change. I know that hanging out there will not get me to the places I want to go in life, at this rate of pay, but still I have found plenty to be grateful for. I read a heartening statistic about millionaires. The median age that they found their calling was 45, and the median age that they became millionaires is 54. Not that being a millionaire is my focus. That is only the way Money magazine measures success. The point I took away is that I still have time to grow. I'm not done yet.

Weekends are a marathon of trying to squeeze as much as possible into two days. It is a race to be active, to be social, to expose the kids to culture and positive life lessons, to take care of the house, and also, don't forget, be awesome. This weekend I worked on my faux patio. Our door opens right up to the sidewalk. We have no yard, no patio, no deck, not even a stoop. Still, we set a table and chairs right on the sidewalk, and there many a beer has been drunk, romantic candle-lit dinners have been consumed, guests from overseas have been entertained, even movie nights have been hosted on the laptop.

This weekend I bought some super bright blue plastic Adirondack chairs. I wanted the wood, but they had to be "finished" and I have no place to stain chairs. I found an amazing lion fountain in the garbage, and I set that up and put flowers in it. My neighbor saw me mucking around with my chrysanthemums from last year, and she brought be pots and pots of flowers. They were donated to hospice, but I guess not enough people were dying, so we got them! Win-win!

The girls gave me a topsy turvy tomato growing thing. I don't like tomatoes, so I am trying my hand at cucumbers. I put that all together, and hung it up by the front door. Now I've got my topsy turvy, potted plants, Adirondack chairs, a table, and a fountain-thingy! I can sit there and watch the pizza patrons come and go. I can pat dogs as they walk by. I can watch the girls skip rope or do chalk drawings. I can inhale my husband's second hand smoke.

Here's more on the
Topsy Turvy, my new toy. I took some pics, but I'm not happy with them, so I'll get back to that later.

This weekend I also stumbled on The Mother of Community Garage Sales. I was planning to go hiking, but I ended up just walking the neighborhood up and down as if it was a tree-dotted shopping mall.

Things Obtained Whilst Garage Sailing
  • Books
-How to Raise An Emotionally Intelligent Boy(or something like that)
-Travelling With Children Workbook Thingy
- Vroom, Vroom, making trucks, 'dozers and cars with stuff you have at home (or something like that)
(all for my nephew, age 4)

-_The Family Under The Bridge (for the girls, although I absolutely fell in love with it!!!)

  • A Wooden Lazy Susan with four glass carafes, for salad dressings, very elegant (my husband makes SUPERB dressings lately)

  • A purple blouse for work

  • Toys
-An electronic circuitry set (unopened)
-A chemistry set (unopened)
-A science gross-out card game (unopened)
-A Maisey Mouse board game (again, for my nephew)

  • Four green place mats

  • Some of those green bags that keep veggies fresh

  • I like making bullets. They are fun!
My younger daughter was with me, and we figured that by the time we were done we had walked at least 3 miles, smiled and chatted with many neighbors, and had a fabulous shopping spree.

My teacher always said I was bad at closing paragraphs. In closing, I'm still here. Life is good. I'm grateful. My husband gave me a coconut Popsicle while I was in the bathtub and I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

Love and light,
your friend,

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Your average every day run of the mill stress.

So, today I was on the phone with the bank and the guy was trying to do something on his computer and just to fill the air said,"So, how was your day?" and through gritted teeth I said,"STRESSFUL!" I'm nothing if I'm not honest.

  • my bookcase that held my cd collection was knocked off of the wall by the children and broke into a million pieces.
  • I was talking about how I can't get connected to things because things are always being broken or stolen or taken away from me by the court system, and just as I said that, my husband bumped my arm and I dropped a priceless handmade mug my mom gave me and IT broke into a million pieces. I guess I made my point!
  • I got an overdraft fee for an old bank account I forgot I even had because my bank spontaneously decided to charge it fees for no reason at all. That's ok, though, I got it waved.
  • I am STILL dealing with bullies and my elder daughter. This time the girl attacked my child on the bus, then was stupid enough to prank my home several times, and I just used the caller ID and spoke to her father. Haha!
  • I found out that the situation with discipline on the school bus is going beyond annoying and into the realm of dangerous.  I have to work and am not able to pick the kids up from school and I haven't yet found a workable solution. I feel like Winne The Pooh..."think, think, think!"
I did have a very fruitful conversation with a school facilitator about the bully situation. He frankly told me that some of the girls in my daughter's class came to the school with some major behavior problems. They weren't aware of these issues at the start of the year, but now that they are getting to know the kids, next year they will be better prepared to handle them. He personally has taken the time to teach my elder daughter how to play chess at recess, and so has gotten to know her pretty well.

 I am so impressed with this guy. He is the most amazing communicator I have ever seen in action. He made me feel heard, he made me feel like my issue was important, and he made me feel like they are working on it. The school is brand new, so I know they didn't have any discipline protocol in the beginning of the year, but I can see that things have evolved even after only one semester under their belt. The talk was good, but of course I am holding out to see positive action.

The parent that I had to call was pretty receptive, too. I guess I have gotten braver than I used to be, because of the good practice I have making telephone calls to aggravated people at work. I was nervous calling a bully's dad, because what if the bully's dad is an even bigger bully, right? This dad was very polite and receptive, though, and the little girl apologized this morning, so I feel like I did the right thing. A scary thing, but the right thing.

I also think that parenting fucking sucks right now, and is a lot of work! I love it, but I am certainly right down in the thick of it these days lately. It is a challenge to take care of myself and them too. I don't feel as pretty or as fit or as educated or as pulled together as any of my peers that I grew up with without children, and I realize I seem to have gone into some parenting state recently that is close to the very first few months of infancy...it is taking 110% again. I'm back to the feeling of  I-haven't-taken-a-shower. It used to be because I was up with a baby, but now I'm working-full-time-running-to-girl-scouts-calling-the-bully's-dad-helping-one-practice-guitar-congratulating-one-on a-good-fractions-test-cleaning-the-cat-litter-packing-lunches-and-looking-for-the-lost-permission-slip! Gahhh! Who has time for matching earrings or mascara?

I've seen over the years that these things come in waves, so I'm sure it will pass...or I will die of exhaustion. Mom out there, what age was the most challenging to YOU?

Love and Light,
Your friend,

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sprinkle Your Own Pixie Dust

I have adhd today. I keep starting one thing and leaving to do another. I think I am overwhelmed from yesterday. Yesterday was our BIG TRIP to The American Girl Store in NYC. The day was so perfect and beautiful and dream-come-truish that I could cry just thinking about it. Sometimes, something clicks, and everything goes right.

Sometimes I feel like a squash ball being raquetted against a wall repeatedly at high speed. Sometimes I feel like the bottom rock of a mossy grass wall, just holding it up and that's pretty much it. I designed yesterday to be a fairytale-come-true for my daughters AND for myself, and the day unfolded like a lotus flower until I could nearly pass out from the strength of my spiritual gratitude. I know, that sounds dramatic, but if you read some entries from back in March, you could see that I really REALLY needed a Good Day. I was in Good Day starvation.

I've turned a corner. I'm not going to be a squash ball or a rock holding up weight. I think I am going to develop my inner fabulousness. People don't wake up fabulous. You have to craft it, create it, design it. You can wear a sundress instead of sweats. You can take time to make your food lovely on your plate instead of just shoving it down you gullet. You can be the Queen of your own very small, imaginary country. You can add a little sparkle to what you do daily. As far as I understand, no one will do it for you. If you want your life to glitter, it will only come to be if you sprinkle your own pixie dust.

This does not mean that I will turn vain and vapid, only caring about my hair and nails. This does not mean that I feel like a crash diet will solve all of my problems. I want to enjoy life, and it really came to me while holding my little girls' hands in the Big Apple, walking down Fifth Avenue, each one of us in brand new outfits. I don't know if I am expressing myself properly. It's all kind of pretzelled in my brain right now. Sometimes the good things occur because you planted them there. You grew them. You nurtured them. You harvested them.

I researched the trip. I budgetted for the trip. I saved the money for the trip. I planned the trip. I organized the trip. I lead the trip. I was fabulous. I enjoyed the trip.

Creating something beautiful in my mind actually came about in reality to be wonderful and beautiful. THANKYOU UNIVERSE!!!!! It is highly unlikely that I will have the energy to create another one like that any time soon, and that is not really what I learned. What I learned is that I DO have the energy to add a LITTLE bit of that extra pizzazz into my daily routine. Tea in a lovely mug. Beautiful music for the morning routine. Stopping a moment to enjoy the songbirds. Wearing the jewelry that I have stuff in a box.

Don't know. Still thinking about it, but I have to run off for dinner at my inlaws. Happy Mother's Day!

Love and light,
your friend,

Monday, May 3, 2010

Buddhist Menopause and Sleeping in a Sunbeam

I called my mother and told her that I went to a women's circle this evening for Tibetan Buddhists.

"Really? Did you bring a friend? What, are you Buddhist now?"

"Nope," I told her. "I just walked into the room full of Tibetan Buddhists and was like 'hey, how's it goin?'"

"Did you say,'Hey, Buddhists, look at me! I'm a Wiccan!?' Very brave. I would have needed a friend."

"I'm better without a friend. What if the friend does something weird and then I'm embarrassed?"

"True,"said my mother. "Trust no one. I can understand that."

The women's circle was about aging, which really seemed to be about menopause, and turning 50. I was the youngest one there. I wanted to tell them that aging happens from the day you are born. In fact, my little one wanted to come along, and she said,"I can come! I'm aging! I'm aging right now!"

The place is so beautiful, a lovely complex built into the side of the hill, with a meditation room with hardwood floors and windows overlooking the spectacular view. The people were nice, and I would love to go back another time, even though I didn't have much to add on the topic of tibetan buddhist menopause.

My older daughter was terribly sick today, throwing up without ceasing and scaring the hell out of me. I took the afternoon off to sit with her. I bought her gatorade and chicken soup and a redbox movie. In the afternoon, I asked her if she wanted to go for a little walk outside, and she got out of her jammies and into shorts and a teeshirt, and then fell asleep in a sunbeam on the bedroom floor. I thought she had passed out, but she told me no, she just wanted to be in the sun. My poor sweet baby.

I'm tired and running out of gas. More on my exciting life later.

love and light,
your friend,

My Weekend

This weekend we found ourselves surrounded by friends, sunshine, and a few snails.


Pennsylvania Monet.

Acting as normal as they know how.

My ex husband and his 3rd wife.

My tiny yet amazing Annie, and her HUGE house.

Sunburn #1, 2010

Deep thoughts, with a tree

Making an acorn whistle

My lovely elder daughter says,"Don't you want to come along, next time?"

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Relaxing The Best Way I Know How

My happy place, The Trexler Game Preserve

Well, hello-dere!

Today was an amazing, perfectly warm and sunny saturday, which we don't get a ton of in these parts. (Sorry, Vermont! I know you just got two more feet of snow for your Blessed Beltane.) I treated the day like a painting...I endeavored to create a masterpiece. I put on the new dress that my husband gave me, turquoise, my favorite. I packed an over-the-top picnic (shrimp cocktail was on sale!). We all rambled down the country road to meet some friends at the Trexler Game Preserve for ice cold creek water and cocktail sauce. If you recall, my new year's resolution was TO RELAX, and it's May already, and I haven't forgotten. I'm ON IT, yet, in a relaxed manner.

I have to work at relaxing. I know, an oxymoron, but to me relaxing is a carrot I have to run towards. I don't have to flip out over minutae, like when my husband says that he will register the truck, but I don't have proof of insurance, so he calls me at work, and I call the insurance company, and I have a paper faxed to the registration people, and then I get home...and my husband says he waited at the registration place for an hour but never got any fax....

Or when you haven't tattooed for a year, because you are a little bit nervous about it, and you finally get yourself ready to go, and you collect all of your tattoo stuff, and you clean out a spot to work in, and you find a victim, and the kids are in bed sleeping, and you've got the design, and you have cleaned and put down plastic and ointment, and you are just about to set the needle to the skin...and you are missing a vital piece that has to be special ordered and you have to pack up and call it a night...

Or when you are trained for a position at work that would be easier and would also mean a pay raise, and you have done it for a few weeks on a temporary basis and enjoyed it, and the announcement is sent out that they are hiring for the position permanently, and the boss says you would be perfect for it...and you can't apply because you are on a written warning for your poor attendence due to pneumonia...
Let it

See? Zen. Om. Hare Krishna. Choose the pantheon of your choice.

Nope, today was winding country roads with a cooler bungee-strapped into the bed of my truck, my husband riding shotgun, two kids in the back, and the bunny in the middle in the cat carrier. My friend was waiting with her two munchkins, and I was so excited I didn't know which direction to go first...unpack the picnic, get into the water with the kids, take out the bunny and introduce him, take pictures, or just sit and "relax"...it was pleasure overload. Don't worry, every one of those pleasureable things were eventually acheived. It was a tall-stacked submarine sandwich of loveliness.

I really enjoyed the new little kids to play with. The two year old had a smile that shone like a new penny. The six year old was a city kid thrown into the mud, catching frogs in buckets for the very first time. I like kids better than grownups.

I've got a sunburn. I've got peace in my heart. I've got a happy, healthy family. I'm grateful.

I am listening to: Sam Bush on NPR's Mountain Stage Radio Show
I am reading: about The Outdoor Challenge on
Five Orange Potatoes
I am working: on a truly ferocious pile of laundry
I am learning: to respect my husband's laidback nature
I am loving: that the sucktacular winter is finally dead and buried.
I give you:
instructions on how to make an acorn whistle

Love and light,
your friend,