Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tuesday, Sunshine, Park, No Cubicle

   Hi guys! Guess what? I actually got sent home from work today for a PAID vacation day. Whoot! So here it is, a lovely tuesday afternoon, and I am just waltzing in from the park! Suh-weet!

Today at the park with younger daughter:
YD: Wouldn't you love to have that big house overlooking the park, Mommy?
ME: I would love it. Sometimes I get really tired of being poor. It's not really that I want a bunch of things, but sometimes I feel like I am not giving you and your sister everything you need.
YD: Mommy! That's ridiculous! If you weren't giving us everything we needed we would be dead already.

   Last night I did some astral travelling.The universe and I had to have a chat. I guess it has been far longer than I had realized since I had exercised that particular muscle. My mind kept wandering off, and I pulled it back, wander, pull, wander, pull, but I was able to go the places I wanted to go and do the things I wanted to do. This morning when I awoke I immediately heard my intended results. How's that for fast service! I could tell from just the way that my husband climbed the stairs to the apartment that he had gotten the good news he hoped for. He had an early am meeting with the owner of the wrestling building. I put in a cosmic request for a certain landlord to feel flexible and open-minded. He did. The dojo stays open for another month at least.

  When I awoke, I also had one hell of a "hangover", for lack of a better term. I felt exhausted, and everyone at work keep asking if I was alright. I didn't know how to tell them that I sent my soul travelling outside of my body, and that might be why I can't remember my password to access my computer. I've been doing this since I was eleven, but what is normal to me is not necessarily normal to the rest of the world. When I read about shamans in the books written by  Carlos Castenada, I thought,"Well, you don't need peyote for all that..." I must have looked like I had spent the night on peyote, though. The Goddess was kind again, and when the phones at work slowed down, I got sent home with pay.

  I think that my husband and I have successfully navigated the current rapid shoot we found ourselves in. Even though we did not make the profit we anticipated, we have regrouped, recalculated, renegotiated, and seem to be canoeing along again. I hope.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Have A Little Faith There is Magic In The Night

My commutes to work have been very quiet. I don't like the gaping maw in my dashboard, waving wires at me impudently. Fuck it. Today was so stressful that I felt like sticking forks in my own eyeballs, but I'm trying to put compassion at the forefront, right? Compassion. Om, shanti shanti shanti.

In the town where I grew up someone spray-painted on a train bridge,"Have a little faith, there is magic in the night..." It wasn't until much later that I realized that those were Springsteen lyrics, but still, it is a great comfort of an expression.

Om, shanti shanti shanti...have a little faith, there is magic in the night.

I was so generally disgruntled today that I had no interest in dinner (!) and when I called my mommy to whine about my problems, she was in an airport in minneapolis and it was awkward to have her shout into her cellphone. With nothing else to do, I let the kids take me on a walk and we wandered by a friend's house.

"Mountain! You are good at fixing things!"
"I am?"
"Yes! Do you know anything about trampolines?"
"You got a trampoline!?"
"Yeah. I've been working for the past six hours in the ninety degree heat trying to put it together!"

Thus, I spent my evening on my hands and knees underneath a trampoline threading a cord through the protective netting and tying it to the lattice underneath. It was perfectly absorbing and just what I needed. I felt useful. My friends have two little girls also, and the four waited so patiently for hours just for a lovely bounce. My husband and his best friend stopped by for a cigarette, and still I was under the trampoline, tying away, happy as a clam. I am really weird, I know.

The girls and I didn't get home until 10:30. We stumbled on the uneven sidewalk pavement because we were so tired. Ivan the 17 year old dog went home today. Alive. I still need a goat and a car stereo.

This is what I had to say on June 28th, 2007-

"I am astounded by B. I have never been loved so unconditionally. I hope he doesn't change his mind about me. I would understand if he does. Perhaps, on some level, I push him away to test him. He passes every test. He is a miracle.

I am a turd."

B. is my husband now. I'm still a turd.

But a handy turd!

Love and Light,
Your Friend,

P.S.-Leave me a comment. I get them at work and they keep me from sticking forks in my eyeballs. Usually.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Emotional Evolution

Sunday night. Muggy. My hair up off of my neck. The 17 year old dog paces back and forth, back and forth. The desk is littered with chinese take out boxes. My husband lays ,with all of his clothes on, on top of the coverlet. That is as close to rest as he allows himself to get. He lays rigid, like a corpse, when he is sleeping. I kiss his lips sometimes, in the middle of the night, just to make sure they are still warm. He says I love you without waking up.

We went to three parties today. At the third party, a baby shower in a rented fire hall, my younger daughter found her breaking point and I knew I had only minutes to exit before the total nuclear meltdown ensued. It starts with hyperactivity, followed by excessive clinginess, then disporportionate overreactions...you know what I am talking about, moms? The overstimulated, over-caked child is ready to CRASH!

We made a swift and gentle exit, and on the way home my elder daughter says to me,"Mommy, I feel so bad that we had to leave your party early. You never make us leave our parties early, and this was your time with your friends. " Man, you could have knocked me over with a feather. My elder daughter's true gift from god is a huge compassionate heart. I never would have taken notice to a thing like that. Not at 9, and probably not now. I'm a narcissist, you know. I wasn't mad about leaving the party. I was just as happy to go home, but it really meant so much to me to have my feelings recognized by my kid. HUGE. I wonder what she can do out in the world with such a sensitive attunement to the needs of others? I hope she can keep that. Life can beat it out of you.

I do try to instill this virtue. I say,"How do you think that made her FEEL?" I say,"You know, that person may be wrong, but you will get out of this situation faster if you first address their FEELINGS...". I say, "It made me FEEL great when you did that so kindly." I notice that some other kids never think of others. Their parents think that as children they are naturally selfish and greedy as a symptom of  their immaturity. I think they are allowed to be selfish and greedy because they aren't taught any different. They don't grow compassion as they mature spontaneously, without guidance.

When my girls were born only 18 months apart, I forsaw  A LOT of sharing issues. I will tell you what I did right away. I knew I couldn't keep track of what was who's and how long they had been playing with it, so I just said,"We share everything." Even if it was a toothbrush (well, maybe not a toothbrush), if the other kid wanted it, the sisters had to share. If it was the case of a toothbrush, I probably would make the kid give her toothbrush to the other, only just to look at, not to put in her mouth.  If I heard the word "MINE!", I took the toy away and ignored their squawking. By age two, they knew,"we share everything" was the rule, and there was no discussion of whether they were going to have to give up the doll or the cookie. It didn't matter if it was new. It didn't matter if it was your birthday. It didn't matter if the other kid had no use for the thing. Yes, you gotta share. Yes, every time. Yes, it may not feel fair, but it the long run, you know that you will get shared with, too, and you have learned to be a nice friend. It really worked for us. It set up a household culture of thinking of others feelings.

I was writing in a paper journal about some of the things I feel that I have accomplished in life. None of them were traditional accolades...I got this degree. I won this prize. I got first place in this or that. I haven't done any of those things (yet?). Everything I've done comes under the category of emotional evolution.

- I mended my relationship with my mother.
- From rubble, I built a strong family unit.
- I helped my children heal from the loss of a parent.
- I instilled in my children a spiritual reverence for Nature.
- I healed my post-traumatic stress syndrome (mostly)
- I cut out toxic relationships.

Maybe I just NEEDED the most emotional evolution. I was born a neanderthal. :)

People often say that our children are sent to us to be our teachers. My serious, big-hearted Elder daughter, often taking on more responsibility than she should, puts compassion in the front of her life. She inspires me to do the same.

Love and light,
your friend,

Saturday, June 26, 2010

My husband is searing tuna steaks

 with a freshly squeezed orange sauce for dinner. I bought those expensive tuna steaks a long time ago and stuck them in the freezer and forgot all about them. How lovely! The Cowboy hasn't been happy this week. His long awaited wrestling show came and went. The show was wonderful, but it just wasn't promoted properly, and we didn't sell enough tickets. We had been so looking forward to a triumph, and now we are only further buried. His parents are travelling in Puerto Rico on vacation, visiting family. When he told his parents how the show went, his mother just passed the phone to someone else without saying a word.

I look at it like this. He made 99% great decisions. The ring looked great. It was set up and ready early. The venue was beautiful, nicer than any other place I've seen a show in. The talent was awesome. The show was safe. Everyone there had a great time. We didn't mess up any of our equipment. We only needed some more butts in the seats, and we know how to promote. Next time (if we make it to a next time!) we will promote about 25x harder. How we are going to make it to a next time without the necessary capital is the current puzzle. Microloan, anyone? If you buy us a goat, we can turn our lives around. :)

Meanwhile, life has been coming at me very, very fast. I'm stuck in some giant, cosmic wac-a-mole game, and those fuckers just keep popping up. There was a huge product recall at work, and we had to adapt from being open 10 hours a day to being open 24-7. I took some midnight to four am shifts. Cool. I can do that. It is refreshing to be out of the box sometimes.
I walk in stride with people
much taller than me
and partly it's the boots but
mostly it's my chi
and I'm becoming transfixed
with nature and my part in it
which I believe just signifies
I'm finally waking up
                          -Ani DiFranco, who else?

My in-laws went away for a week, so we pretty much moved into their house, only five blocks away, to take care of the dog and things. The kids' long golden-brown limbs hung off of the couches, wrapped in scratchy afghans, bathed in the blue light of The Covetted Cable TV til seriously late hours. We came to a happy medium with the tv. No Disney. Rare Nick. "Yes,Please!" to Bindi The Jungle Girl! I love her!

Then my best friend, Anna, dreadlocks to her knees, decended upon us with her husband, her son, and her two dogs. They are on a road trip and came ramblin' through. How many dogs are we up to now? Three? Right.

3 dogs
1 cat
1 giant bunny
Some fish
1 fulltime plus overtime job
3 kids
2 hippies
1 suicidal wrestling promoter
and MEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!

Man, I love these people. My friend and I are a little like country mouse and city mouse. She comes from the woods of vermont, but the poverty and the schools there are so bad that she and her family are shopping for a new place to live. They are heading towards Asheville, NC, and I wish I could go with them SO BAD! But, my life is in this post-industrial shithole, for better or for worse.

I took them to a municipal rose garden at dusk. Our children acted instantly related, and ran far ahead of us. I can't believe that we have been friends almost 25 years. I can't believe that we were children together, and now we have children. The kids climbed to the tops of trees. The dogs took long drinks from the creek. Anna, the naturalist, pointed out all the trees and told me which plants were safe to eat. She taught the kids to make salads out of tiger lilies and wood sorrel. Anna's husband almost wept from finding ripe mulberries, a thing from his childhood in Missouri that they just don't have in Vermont. When the fireflies came out from the fronds of the weeping willows, it just became completely perfect.

Then they were gone again, in a flash! I was back to work in the "wee smalls" in the call center, where all the supervisors were running around like chickens without heads, and there were gum-chewing temps with odd eyes all over the place.

The girls' paternal grandparents were here. They took the girls out for one day and the girls came back with new outfits and leftover pizza. They gave the girls expensive amusement park tickets. I felt hugely uncomfortable, not because they aren't nice, but because I feel like they only see me as the poor, abused, abandoned mother. It is at times like these that I would like very much not to be fat, and to give the appearance that I have it all together. Oh, bother. My ragged edges are what make me Me, right?

So, then... I am babysitting my friend's 17 year old dog. Yes, this is really my life. The dog is blind and deaf and doesn't really walk so good. He bonks into walls and his legs splay out too wide when he tries to walk on the tile floor. He kind of seems like a hairy reptile because he is all bones and leathery skin with occasional tufts of wirey grey hair. He's a looker, let me tell you. He can't figure out where he is, so he just topples over in the hall and the kids yell,"Mommy! Is Ivan dead!? No, he's breathing! Nevermind!" Somehow he got behind the dryer, though, and ate the attachment between the dryer hose and the wall. Surprising gumption, for a seventeeen year old canine.

Someone stole the stereo out of my truck this morning. On second thought, send a goat and a car stereo.

Thank you for your support.

love and light,
your friend,

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Serenity Now!

Today is the day, PEOPLE! My husband's wrestling show! Today! Nothing else is going on except the girls have a girl scouts sleep over, work is running a major recall and are demanding all hands on deck, my in-laws are in Puerto Rico and we have to house sit AND my best friend and her family are visiting us at last from VERMONT!!!!


No time to write. Just wanted to let you know that I am here and I am proud of my man. I will take pictures!

love and light,
your friend,

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Assumptive Cupcake Ritual

Respectfully stolen from es.toonpool.com

         Making cupcakes pisses me off. It's just the whole ASSUMPTION about the thing. You have a kid. You start being required to make cupcakes. Cupcakes are not a quick project. There are stages and waiting and icing and I don't know how people always put the exact right amount of batter into the little paper cups because how do you know how much it is going to rise???? How do you KNOW!?

  Whatever. My older daughter's birthday is in August, but summer-birthday kids get to bring cupcakes in for the class before the end of the school year.

   I think there is something to this whole Assumptive Cupcake Ritual . A mother expresses her love by going through this whole long, chocolately ritual. It's like the Japanese tea ritual. It's not about the tea. It's not about the cupcake. It's about the time and beauty and love that you put in. I love you so much that I will devote an evening to making you some stupid cupcakes.

  From a mix. Don't push it, kid.

   Can't I draw a picture? Can't I build you a tree fort with a pulleyed bucket system? A lego-block shopping mall with little security guard with a yellow head and a miniature revolving door? Nice, right?

   No. It's the Assumptive Cupcake Ritual every year for every kid across America.

Older Daughter, international spy
   Older daughter, I love you. You are an astoundingly complex and compassionate small person. I love how you have faced down a really difficult social situation in your new school this year. I love to hear you play your guitar and pretend to be Taylor Swift. I love how you took on being a bonafide Girl Scout with such zeal. You are my pint-sized Batman, always fighting for justice without the fanciful super-powers of weaker heros. You are the only kid wearing pink in Paris. You are the personal assistant that I always wanted, and I take my hat off to you.  If it's cupcakes you need, I'll do it. But don't expect it on the regular.

 love and light,
your friend,

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Revisiting The Postal Service or Hot Damn! I love Pandora!

Hi!  How are you?

Things are pretty tame around here. T... A... M... Zzz...oh!... E. I've been so responsible lately. Parental. A model employee, even. Gah. My husband's time to shine is coming soon, and it is very hard for this card-carrying narcissist to share the spotlight of The ME Show. Adrenaline used to be my drug of choice, and lately I'm about as much fun as an SAT proctor and a tax auditor comparing support hose.

adrenaline junkie: (from urbandictionary.com)

Someone who gets high on adrenaline and possibly addicted to it. They usually supplement this addiction by doing activities that give them adrenaline rushes such as shoplifting, gambling, skydiving, stock market trading and possibly fighting.
        Guy skydiving: "Oh my god this f****** awsome."
Observer: "Wow look at that adrenaline junkie, he just can't get enough of it can he."

What can I do to cause TROUBLE????
Remember how I used to be, people? No, don't try to remember. It will only hurt.

The good news is that I have created THE PERFECT PANDORA STATION and it has been giving me an eargasm all night long. Do you know pandora? You pick out music that you like, and then it mixes it up with other songs that the magical machine *thinks* that you will like. So, I like to throw a monkey wrench in, and I tell the magical machine that I like Ani Difranco (duh), White Stripes, Bob Marley, The Cure and Janet Jackson! Take THAT, magical machine! Well, I told it that, and right now it is playing a song that a short-lived boyfriend used to croon into my ear as I fell asleep in his sweaty twin bed. Oh, swoon! How did the magical machine know that? He knew all the words to songs that he liked. I had forgotten that I liked anything about him.

Here is the extensive list of things that I liked about him, unabridged and in entirety:

Beginning of list
1. He thought I was cool when I was at the very bottom of my suicidal pit of despair.
2. He worked at my favorite independent movie theater.
3. He sang me this song when I was falling asleep.
End of list

Here is the song:

Maybe something will happen tomorrow.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bread and Roses

   My friend, Madame One Tree, wrote a response to my depressive lament over my abundant size. Click here to check out a burlesque show by a Big Grrl over at Madame's place! I absolutely adore Katherine Lashe, and Madame has good thoughts. I'm glad to find a woman who shares my passion for the Divine Feminine.

   In other thoughts on womanity, my dear Anna sent me this:

Song Lyrics of Bread and Roses

As we go marching, marching, in the beauty of the day,

A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray,

Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,

For the people hear us singing: Bread and Roses! Bread and Roses!

As we go marching, marching, we battle too for men,

For they are women's children, and we mother them again.

Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses.

As we go marching, marching, unnumbered women dead

Go crying through our singing their ancient call for bread.

Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew.

Yes, it is bread we fight for, but we fight for roses too.

As we go marching, marching, we bring the greater days,

The rising of the women means the rising of the race.

No more the drudge and idler, ten that toil where one reposes,

But a sharing of life's glories: Bread and roses, bread and roses.

Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;

Hearts starve as well as bodies; bread and roses, bread and roses.

    I like this song, and I would love to learn it and sing it with my girls. I hope that classicists do not object, but here is a modernization of the old song, remade in honor of international women's day:

    My mother taught me a lot of the peace songs that she knew, and we thought it appropriate to sing them to my nephew while he was trapped in the car with us on the way to Woodstock! We sang,"Where have all the flowers gone?", "Blowing In The Wind", "We Shall Overcome", "We are a Rainbow Made of Children" and even "If I had a Hammer." I wonder if my mom knows this one? I bet she does. I wasn't raised by wolves, just hippies. We sing a lot.
   I spent my day as women all over the world probably did. I did about twenty dollars worth of laundry at the laundromat, sorting, folding, and hauling with my daughters. I scrubbed the bathroom. I scrubbed the kitchen. I cooked  nutritious meals at home. I delivered food to my man at work, little ones following behind me. The children went to the corner store with pocket money. I spoke to my mother. I cursed the humid weather. I scolded my children. When the weather broke, and the rain angrily pounded down, I sent the children outside to play in the downpour, mostly to get them out of my hair. Not much different from a thousand of my ancestors, and in its own way, rewarding.
Love and light,
your friend,

A Saturday Unscheduled

    The girls caught fireflies tonight in the alley behind the house. They saved a plastic container from the farmer's market, poked holes in the top, and collected eight lightening bugs in their butterfly nets. The girls only hold the bugs for a short time before releasing them back to the urban wilderness. The night air is heavy with humidity, and their hair hangs loose, thick, and woolly over their sweaty necks.

   With stomachs full of mango slurpees, a surprise gift from The Cowboy, they trudged up the apartment stairs to build a fort in the livingroom. The cat gives constructive criticism with an arched eyebrow. A blue bedspread pulled tight over the couch and tied to my spindle-backed chairs becomes a canopy. Stuffed animals, pillows and quilts are shuttled underneath. Brave Bedoin princesses close their eyes, lids reflecting the blue light of cartoons on tv.

   The Cowboy is dressing for a late night meeting at The Republican Club, which has very little to do with political affiliation and a lot more to do with dollar beers. He asks me which shirt to wear. I choose the black, which matches his hat. He looks so handsome, and he is so excited that the energy just radiates from him. Only one more week until his first big wrestling show under the name of his own wrestling company! Things are coming together, but even his relaxation is work. He may get to drink a beer tonight, but he will be meeting with guys to discuss additional show dates and venues, concession percentages and ticket prices.

   My saturday at home was actually a treat. I tried to do as much as I could without the car, since my husband and I have to share one vehicle lately. After being away the last two weeks, it was nice to walk with the girls through my very own neighborhood, going to my spanglish-speaking bank, taking note of the cornflowers growing wild by the sidewalk, and picking up hot pretzels for the girls at the farmers' market- Younger's favorite! I treated myself to a vegetarian gyro as big as my head. We checked out the grand re-opening of the corner market. We chatted with a freckle faced kid from school. We walked over to visit some neighboring friends, observing the giant sycamore trees and the spring time rabbits nibbling on dandelion. The day was hot and the girls' cheeks were flushed.

    This is the time I get to discuss all sorts of topics with my daughters. Walking is very good for that.  "When I was a child, the autistic kid wouldn't have been in your classroom. The little girl with down's syndrome wouldn't have been in your girl scout troop. They kept people with disabilities separated from everyone else because they held things up and slowed things down. What do you think about that?" Sometimes we hold hands, and sometimes they run ahead. Overall, I think I walked about four miles. I read somewhere that people in other countries walk an average of five miles a day, just going about their normal lives. I wish my life was really set up so that I could do more without a car.

   My new year's resolution was To Relax. This is actually a real struggle for me. The goat inside this capricorn wants to be climbing the highest mountain, getting a phd, running a marathon and curing cancer all at once. I have to remind myself NOT to schedule, NOT to pressure myself, NOT to push to the absolute limit. I have given myself a year to try to learn to really relax. Taking time for walks, vegetarian gyros and chatting with freckle faced kids really feels good, for a change. 

Love and light,
your friend,

Saturday, June 12, 2010

2007 Rerun: Wicca Books To A Good Home

I found this in an undisclosed archive, written three years ago today. I thought you might enjoy the rerun!

                    Wicca Books to A Good Home
Let me begin at the beginning. I am a wiccan. I started buying books on neopaganism when I was about fifteen, saving my money and paying full price because I couldn't get the information at the library, and I didn't know anyone with whom to trade. I stacked them up at the back of my altar, then just the top of my babyish yellow bookshelf, cherishing them and touching them gingerly and lovingly. I stacked them so that I could read their titles as I lit my candles and chanted my prayers. My parents were supportive of my new interest, luckily, because I have stuck with it for more than ten years now.

My ex stole these books, and the many more I added to the collection in later years, to use against me in court. To accuse me of being a satan worshipper and an unfit parent, and to hurt me because he knew how highly I prized them. He still hasn't returned them.

My favorite aunt, a witch herself, went to an auction and brought home SEVENTY-FIVE wiccan books. I cried when she gave them to me. It was as if the universe had repaid me.

I bought a huge bookshelf and faced it every morning when I awoke, my treasures being the first thing I saw.
And I realized, these books symbolize something wrong being righted, the rape I felt by being stolen from, the betrayal of the person I most trusted. The energy has been returned in the action. It was not held in the books. I no longer needed them.

I have studied, I have loved, and I wanted to pass them on. So, months ago, I went to my favorite wicca shop with big bags, and the lady oohed and ahhed, exclaiming,"And this one is out of print!" She gave me a good sum of money for only a few. I went home with a lot.

I discovered a great lady in the owner of this shop. She is such a mother figure, as many wiccans can be. You just want to hug her. She was tattooed recently by BoSo with a cresent moon on her forehead, just as the priestesses in The Mists of Avalon. She told me what a great guy he is. "Oh, if I wasn't married!" she said.
Today, being short on cash, I brought the rest of the books back to her. I brought the girls with me, and she is just a gem with kids. She talks to them and gives them respect. She took the time to get some dragonsblood, and show them that it was a root from a plant, not actually the blood of a dragon. She sprinkles them with fairy dust glitter, and they just fall in love.

She looked at my books, and said," I am so sorry! I have no money." I looked at her, and I said,"Well, you should just take them. They will be passed on to the right people here."

Today I gave ALL of my wicca books away, save maybe three. It felt great to give back to my community, like leaving a fifty dollar bill in the collection plate.

She asked why I was getting rid of them, and I said,"Well, I don't need them, I know all of that stuff." Then I realized I sounded like quite an ass. "Not to sound too cocky..." I stammered, blushing.

She looked at me, and even though I have only met her a few times, she told me it was nice to see me looking so happy. What a great compliment! She invited me to her Litha ritual, even though it was otherwise full, and I felt honored. She told me to take anything I wanted from the shop for trade for the books, and I found on the bookshelf a book on handfasting, the wiccan word for marriage. I traded for that and considered it a done deal. Maybe she will be able to officiate at the wedding!

I have had such a hard time finding my niche here in pennsylvania. I feel so happy when I meet someone that I can click with.

Blessed Be! Merry we meet, Merry we part, and Merry we meet again.

Love and Light,
your friend,

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Long About Knee-Deep In June

Elder practices for her first guitar concert*
 Last night was the music concert at the school. They fired my younger daughter's inspiring and all-around-perfect teacher, regardless of my speaking before the school board and my writing multiple letters. I am hoping that there is a cosmic reason that I just can't see from my perspective. I hope that even better things will rain down on this lovely lady after she leaves our school. I'm plenty sad and angry about it, and I didn't like going to the school feeling that way for a school concert. It took the fun out of it for me.

Me and Dad being ourselves *
I got to check out the bully after my daughter. She has a full bra, a skin tight spaghetti strap top, edged with black lace, and giant hoop earrings. She is ten. She looks older than me! She wrote and performed her own song, which was impressive. I congratulated her after the show. (TEN BIG-OF-ME POINTS!) I can see how she could eat my kid for lunch in the back of the school bus, though. Yikes!

I woke up today with a stomach ache. When work was slow, and they offered people the chance to go home, I took it. I slept for three extra hours. I think things have been going by too fast for me lately.

How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone. -Coco Chanel

Come, sit with me on my blue plastic chair, and let's blow off work together!

I drop my fears into your ocean
and watch them sink from sight.
I place my fears on your broad earth
and see them rot away.
I put my fears into your hands
and they are no more.
When you offer your arms to me,
Great Mother,
your hands hold nothing but love.
-A Book of Pagan Prayer, pg 222

*asterisked photos by my sister

Love and light,
Your friend,

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Big Deep

A Woodstock, NY celebrity, photo respectfully stolen from the web
        Every time I sit down at the computer to blog I feel like I am stealing time from responsibilities I have to handle. I went away for the weekend, and wrote down what had to be done for the pets and the plants, and that alone was three pages. The Older has Official Campbell's Soup tomato seeds growing on the widowsill and my topsy turvy cucumbers are growing like gangbusters, people! The hospice-donated flowers are going against their origins and LIVING. June is bustin' out all over.

        I woke up in the morning with my nose stuck into the nape of my husband's neck. I can not explain how much our relationship is healed by sharing the same bed. I'm not talking about sex. I'm talking about sleeping, in the same bed, at the same time. Sure, he is only there for four hour stretches, but I'll take what I can get. He is so happy right now, preparing for his big show. Sometimes I think the anticipation is even sweeter than the event. Right now, before it has happened, the upcoming show is *perfect*.

       Life is beautiful, and coming at me very fast. One school project is finished, and another is soon due. One laundry load is finished, and another is begun. One work day is finished, and another soon follows. I have been away for the past two weekends, and feeling like a jetsetter all of a sudden.

       My brother and his family visited my parents from Florida, and I finally got to spend some time with my super-amazing nephew. My only complaint is that they treat the mini-human like a Ming vase. We made short work of that, rolling him in the dirt. We took him swimming in a wild swimming hole, in the cold rain, much to his delight. The swimming hole was like a private fairyland, even the adults had to swim in the rain. Sitting on a blanket, blue from the cold, peanut butter sandwich in hand, he yells out,"I LOVE PICNICS LIKE THIS!!!!" Stick with us, kid. He's only four. He's totally delicious.

          We went on a day trip to Woodstock, New York. I was tickled by how much my little daughter loved that place. "There are so many beautiful dresses!" The sun came out and everything was tie-dyed and psychedelic. I wondered into a little spiritual bookstore, and I bought a book of pagan prayers. The woman asked me if I was on her mailing list, and when I said,"No," she told me I looked like a local. I was sincerely flattered. I kept thinking of my husband, but he couldn't  come with us. His work is mostly nights and weekends. Still, having a relationship like ours lets you never take your time together for granted. I definitely prefer it to being joined at the hip. Again, anticipation is good.

Here is a song I like for you:

I am reading: A Book Of Pagan Prayer

I am avoiding: laundry, dishes, personal finances, exercise, multiple promised web design projects, etc.

I am praying: for the little one's AMAZING teacher's contract to be renewed

I am grateful: for still being Punky Brewster on the inside.
love and light,
your friend,

Friday, June 4, 2010

Good News From The Adirondack Mountains!!!

where my heart lives
Well, big news! If you have been following me all these years, you know that there is a box in my brain labelled,"Fretting About My Parents' Adirondack Camp." It's a long label, but it was a big brain box. My parents bought this hunting cabin in 1983, no central heating or running water. When I was a child I spent at least one weekend a month there all year round. As I grew, my parents' interests went in different directions, and the house has fallen into disrepair. Basically, they fixed it up really cute and cosy in 1983, and haven't touched a thing since. Now, 27 years later, just about everything in the house needs to be replaced.

Over Memorial Day weekend, I made the five hour trip up there with my family. I took a look at the house. All I could see was decay, and I didn't even know where to start. I was so mad that my parents didn't seem to care! The truth is, they didn't know what to do, either. They debated selling the place. They thought they might add on, but if they were going to do construction, they didn't want to move anything in the house that would later be torn out. The situation seemed to be in stalemate.

When I was a toddler, my mother hung white contact paper up in the outhouse, and all of us kids and all of our visitors drew pictures and left messages on the walls. Now, the drywall had molded and rotted, and the paper was cracked and faded. There was almost nothing to save. I sat in the doorway of the outhouse last weekend, and let the tears flow down.

I drove the hour to the big hardware store, and bought new wallboard and contact paper. I took photos of all the doodles that were still visible. I got a crowbar and tore the disgusting drywall out. Wet leaves had rested against the wood, and the farther down I went, the more decay I found. I pulled out old nails with a hammer. I cut new wallboard and hung new contact paper where I could.

I got a rake and started raking. I cleaned out around the firepit. I weeded the stairs and the flowerbeds. I found a packet of wildflower seeds and sprinkled them. Over the years, the tree had absorbed the pulley for the clothesline, so I ran to town and got new pulleys and line. I climbed up the ladder and put up a new clothesline.

In the house, I cleaned out the medicine cabinet, throwing out bottles marked 1985. I bought a new welcome mat, and laid it down. While I was doing all this, my parents' had a guy come and look at the house. He looked at the foundation, and the pipe of the woodstove (not up to code!). My parents deliberated and decided to add a second story loft to the house,with a folding up staircase, and expand the deck space.

We are not selling! We are building on!


Man, I can not describe the RELIEF I feel. I don't care, really, if they add on or not, but watching the house fall down was ripping my heart out. I hope that the new project will renew their interest in the space, and they will remember why they fell in love with it in the first place. The whole family was so happy. My mother's dream has always been to expand. My father didn't want to ruin the original integrity of the house by adding water and heat. I just wanted the house to get some attention, and now we all have our way!

Meanwhile, the girls got plenty of time to play on the beach of the lake. My husband and I got a lot of time walking around town, holding hands and eating icecream. My older daughter said,"I am the most happy here! I am off of the charts of happiness when I am here!" I am so grateful that I can give my girls that, as my parents did for me. My husband seems to be falling in love with the place just as much as I am. He's no natural mountain man, but he has discovered a passion for campfires and chopping wood.

Now that I know that the house is saved, I'm not satiated. I want to live there. :)