Sunday, August 31, 2008


what a lovely weekend. i do not see my stepmother's family often enough.

my grandparents are doing well...they are the ones i've mentioned before that have alzheimer's. but they are on good meds now and doing better than i had heard they were doing. they're a little skinnier and so look a little frailer, but at least they were fairly coherent and sweet and happy to see us, even though they weren't quite sure who all of us were.

we hung out at my uncle's lake house yesterday. the kids got too much sun, had way too much fun, and the adults got a little too crass, but it was all in good fun. i am so, so glad i went. it had been awhile since we'd really gotten to hang out with my dad and stepmom, too. and that was really quite good. and it's always a good time when my sister's around. we are now purple haze buddies...

and while i was gone, sarah palin was picked at the republican vp candidate... i really hate it when stuff like that happens and i'm too busy having fun to obsess over reading about what the hell happened. i've also missed out on checking on gustav's progress. i know my aunt in new orleans is evacuating...moving stuff out of dodge. it's weird when the world goes on without me...and didn't even seem to notice i was gone...snort. (i've been snorting a lot lately...have you noticed this? i have...)

so there are lots of things i want to write about. but we have our first meeting of our inclusive homeschool co-op on tuesday and while i've been mentally preparing, my lesson plan sheets are, well, empty. so i have to work on those things. art with littles, philosophizing with middles. this semester will feed parts of me that i haven't fed so well in a long time. i can't wait to see what the kids will teach me.


Friday, August 29, 2008


that's supposed to be a monkey sound...make it while scratching your armpits...i think you'll get the idea...

so i just paid bills. that's depressing. you can only pay out more than you bring in for so long, you know?... and i know it will settle down...sort of. i mean, july was crazy because we went on vacation. and then august gets a little heavy because i order our stuff for a new year hsing. and pay the registration fees for music classes, sports leagues...oh lord, i haven't even paid for their rock climbing gym membership... it'll settle down. sigh....

i decided not to put the kids in cce classes this semester. i was all geared up to do it. felt like i needed to. see, catholics can be kind of funny in that if you put your kids in catholic classes, catholic schools, take them to church, get them to do their sacraments...and THEN they go bad...well, that's not your fault. you did all you could do. but if you didn't' do all that, well, maybe it is your fault... :) and i know that's not true....but as a parent, you want to do the best you can...provide your children the best opportunities. and i felt like maybe i needed to put them in the classes...but i was struggling so hard with it. my spouse and i are not sure how we feel about this church we're at. and putting the kids in the classes there would anchor us to a place we don't even feel 100% comfortable. so, while talking to my sister last night, it just all became really clear to me. we'll attend church for another year and find the one we're most comfortable at....make it a priority this year. there is no race to get these kids religious-sized.... at least not for us. anymore than there's a race to get them to reach academic milestones before they're ready and it's appropriate for them, for us, for our family. that felt good. and it's not like the kids don't have exposure to faith... i felt kind of dumb for trying so hard to push us into something that clearly wasn't the right thing for us right now. i mean, it was just so clear last night. but it's ok. left foot, right foot, breathe.... and my oldest is fine with the decision. gives him another year to discover on his own, gain some confidence in himself...before i throw him to the wolves...hehe...just joking.

oh, and speaking of kid stuff. lanatron and i were talking about the things we do for our kids...and how expensive those activities can get. i walk through the toy aisle in stores and it almost makes me mother would never have bought me toys that cost that much. never. but when paying bills this morning, i was amazed at what i'd forked out in the way of classes for my guys. i mean yes, the-rapist gets a healthy chunk of the checks i write, but flute lessons, piano lessons, robotics stuff, co-op...holy moly. and i paid cash for soccer since i forgot my checkbook, so that one wasn't even in there.... it is important to me to provide the guys these opportunities. mostly because i don't know much about robotics, or how to play any instruments, or biology or soccer... but i also want them to have adults in their lives that they see and have the chance to share space with on a regular basis. so while i do believe it's worth it...oh, i just wish residents were paid a little more than $1400 every two weeks. which is not chump change. it's a fine amount. but with four kids exploring the world and their guides needing a little reimbursement for their stuff like food, utilities, and house payments....well...we'll be eating a fair amount of rice and beans the rest of this year.

because i don't even want to talk about christmas, ok? and do monkeys really ever worry about money?...doubting it...

i'll be gone for the weekend to return sunday. have a lovely labor day weekend.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

political monkey mind

so the democratic national convention has been going on. and i feel kind of like a twit to say that i haven't paid attention because we started piano lessons, my spouse is finishing a month of nights, the kids had a friend spend the night, i bought groceries, i cooked... yeah, i know, not things really high up on the priority list...and i mean, it wasn't a convenient week for me to watch the dnc. my friend julie called me yesterday to tell me that david sedaris was covering some of it for npr. and then i read all about michelle obama's speech. and hillary's... my friend jen's blogging about it. damn...i am missing good stuff.

but i did see some of al gore tonight. how funny is that? we get home from soccer practice, turn on the television, and there is my crush from the last sixteen years...sigh. i love him. for some women it's movie stars or musicians... i'm surprised mine is a politician. but he inspires me, turns me on...all those things a crush should do. he's so smart. it used to piss me off that the press would always talk about how "stiff" he was. my mom used to say he had no personality. well, maybe he wasn't a party boy like our current chief...oh, i'm ashamed. that's so crappy. i do not mean to pick on w. he's almost finished and i'm trying really hard to love him like annie says jesus thinks we should...yes, even w.

the other day my mom told me obama supports abortion. i told her i wasn't that kind of catholic. then her husband told me that a woman who has a child on public assistance should be sterilized when that child is delivered to prevent her from having others on public assistance. i replied that my first son was born on medicaid. they also complained that obama (who they called "nut whack" the whole time...i think it's a compound word, but it's not in the dictionary...we'll see what spell check decides--spell check decided it was definitely not a compound word, fyi.) was going to raise the personal gains tax to pay off the national debt. my spouse and i DID NOT ask how they proposed the national debt be paid off. because there is really no point in it with them. i'm not meaning to pick on my mom or her spouse...i try to love them like i think jesus wants me to love them, too.

these are just the things running through my slightly preoccupied, slightly overburdened mind. i care passionately about politics. much the same way i passionately love art. but i don't always have time right now to read about these things as much as i'd like. i do read more about politics than i do art, but it often seems like never enough. we live in such a highly opinionated culture, it's often hard to discern truth. but as i was watching al gore tonight, i wondered if obama was his choice all along. and i figured out that it really doesn't matter. obama is the one running for what al gore feels is important in the way of the future of this country. and i think i have to agree. because if i were john mccain and campaigning as the candidate for the party that has been running this country the last eight years, and i wanted to be elected...i'd be the one using the campaign slogan "change"...but that's just my opinion.

peace out

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

a letter

we are starting our fifth year of hsing. when i started hsing, i had one friend i knew that hsed. she started when her oldest was in sixth grade. and that oldest started her sophomore year at the local public high school this year. this friend sent me a letter after my first year of hsing that she wrote me when i first started. but she didn't send it until after my first year was finished. it made me cry to read it because so many things she wrote were so true. and i was so relieved. and it gave me peace...

in my cyber tribe, there's a mama who's on her second year of hsing. and i think she loves it. but there are definitely times that i think she needs to know she's not alone in...and i want to reach out to her and tell her that she's not alone. i was talking to lanatron about it the other night and we talked and shared and supported each other through so many things that i wished this other mama (from the cyber tribe) could've been there to hear. it just helps to know that some of these things are normal, we're not doing it wrong, and it's okay to keep trying even when it feels like we are (you know, doing it wrong).

so i went and searched through my files for this letter because i knew i still had it. and it still brought me more peace. and i thought i'd try to share some of that by posting it here...

Confessions of a homeschooling mom


There are some things I want you to know. A few tidbits about this homeschooling life you’re about to embark upon. Things you may not read in those “wonderful” homeschooling books. Things I don’t like to admit in the light of day. But, things, I want you to know, as my friend.

Some of these you’ll have to discover on your own. I’ll try not to take that away from you. I just don’t want you to call me and scream “Why didn’t you tell me this?”

There will be days you think the rest of the world is crazy. You may even equate public school with child abuse. Harken, my friend, and hold those comments. There will be days you are ready to pray to the public school god. Days you lie awake, convinced you are screwing your kids up forever. Days you are so completely overwhelmed with the responsibility of their education. You’ll feel you literally hold their lives in your hands. Days where you believe you’re a failure. And, there will be days you fail.

Let me tell you a few absolutes:

While you’re responsible for their education, you are not the only one they will learn from. At some point, as they grow into adults, they become responsible for the paths they choose. If you don’t give them enough, they will have to seek more. If you have given them a positive view on learning, they will seek and find. We have some influence, they have some control over themselves, God has complete control over it all.

While it is easy to badmouth others for their choices, and choosing to homeschool is a noble choice, there are other families out there who make noble decisions every day. Many do not homeschool. While it is important to honor our individual families and their ways of life, it is equally important to support our sisters who are traveling their journey as well. And, besides, as my father-in-law used to say “one who talks shit, eats shit”.

You will have days you don’t want to homeschool. You will be exhausted. You may even raise your voice with one of those little blessings. It is the same little blessing who you want to instill a love of learning in. Maybe you’re different than I and you won’t raise your voice. But, maybe you will. It will be okay. If they didn’t know it already, your children will learn you are human. They will learn exactly which buttons to push and how to push them efficiently at all the wrong times. You will all learn the meaning of consequences.

You will be brought to your knees. When you bend down to look a child in the eye, hoping it helps explain a difficult concept. You will fall to pick up a wounded child – wounded in a sibling battle that rang out through a “wonderful” homeschooling day. You will stumble to your knees when your ankle twists as you step on a pile of legos. Lastly, at the end of the day, you will fall to your knees, before God, because you have been humbled, frustrated, challenged, rewarded, and blessed by those children. Get used to being on your knees – it’s a favorite place for homeschooling moms.

You will blow off school. This is why we homeschool. Because we want the freedom to say “no, we don’t have to do that today”. There are some days your child will not “learn” academically. He won’t be in that “zone”. The best thing you can do, is respect that. Okay, but, as an adult, when we have those days, we have to pursue, and do it anyway – says the little voice in your head. Well, you’re right. We do. But, he doesn’t. He’s not an adult. So, minimize the tasks at hand, build him up for success, call it a day and go to the park, and later, to McDonald’s for supper.

Days like these, will alarm the analyticalized, standardized-testing, comparison-minded individuals surrounding us (i.e. husbands). We then, have to persevere, not only for ourselves, our children, but for our surrounding family. Just as we trust our bodies, to birth, breastfeed and then trust our children’s bodies to sit, crawl, teethe, walk and run, we must combine such trust with faith with homeschooling and learning. I don’t mean the faith that the sun will rise tomorrow, or the kind of faith that says, things are better at the light of day, I’m talking the kind of faith that says we know a man died on the cross for us and rose again 3 days later. It is a faith that learning takes time, learning doesn’t have to happen in just one institutionalized way. Learning happens when playing legos with a little brother, or spending quiet time outside under a shade tree – or (gasp!) at the park and McDonald’s. It’s like the amount of breastmilk a baby gets….how much each feeding? The answer is “enough”.

Whether you homeschool for one week, one month, a year or a lifetime, you will always cherish those days. You’ll remember them as the days you stopped time and spent it with your children. It’ll become the time the dishes piled in the sink for a long time and paper plates became a means of survival – because, well, because N had exams, was never home to study because the kids were there; the time you built teepees in the living room and let the kids sleep in them for a week because s was studying pre-Columbus native Americans; it’ll be the times you crawled to your bed, dragging a laughing e who came with you solely because he could maintain that latch; it’ll be the time you look back on and think…”Why did I worry? How much can they learn in elementary school anyway?”; although, I don’t know for sure, I suspect this is what it will be like.

You will grapple with things. Grapple with issues like peanut butter again or cereal for lunch? Grapple with beginnings and endings….did we study it enough, did we learn it? Is there more? Trust me, there’s always more…..they will tell you when it’s enough….

Much like I grapple with this letter, although I started it last spring, it wasn’t right to send it your way…it wouldn’t have made sense…but now is the time…however, this is not the end…(see: previous paragraph: grappling)…..

And now, this is the letter I told you about, I’m sending it today, a year later, because the Holy Spirit said, “It is time, and tell her to let N read it, too.” So, hey, it’s not just that I only now had the time to download it to a thumbnail drive and then transfer it to a puter where I can email it…it’s because God said “It is time, my daughters.”

Peas and love

i removed her name because i didn't ask her before i posted this. but i am forever grateful that she was courageous enough to write this and share her wisdom and honesty.

checking in

i checked in with my spouse today. because it felt good to do it. because we finally had some free time with no painting or sleeping or tolerating each other... (yeah, we've done a fair amount of that lately...and when you're focused so much on tolerance, conversation can be, well, strained...)

i really do like him for the most part. he is funny. and smart. and thoughtful. and kind. generous. gentle. i'm sure it's just how stressed our time is lately that makes these things seem not so obvious...or important at times.

we talked about schedules. the fact that oldest isn't sure he believes in god, but is kind of wanting to do cce classes (i asked dh, is it okay for kids to ask questions in cce?...). we talked about therapy, mama friends, my mother, our niece, his dad, traveling this weekend. he started to tell me about being one of the few men on residency with a lot of women...apparently he takes quite a bit of crap...but he didn't get to finish that. i have to remember to ask him about that...

life is picking up around here. we have met some really nice people. made some really great friends. it's been amazing, to be honest. when i'm not too full of myself and my own crap, i really am grateful. my kids really have a good circle of friends...little and big, young and grown...and for this, i am happy. what's that song? "make new friends, and keep the old, one is silver and the other gold." yeah, goofy...but perfect.

now, if only i could get myself on the treadmill this week...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

hummingbird head

that's how it feels my mind is a little hummingbird flitting around in my on this thought for a few minutes, that thought for a few...but not one thing for too long.

the-rapist has this analogy she uses. she says you can't go anywhere on an empty tank. she says i have to work on filling up my tank. i don't know what kind of gas i take... i come back to this every now and then. i know i enjoy blogging. i like to read. i like to be alone... i also like to get stuff d-o-n-e. i like to take care of my family and other folks. i feel like i do these things often. and i don't often feel empty... well, last week, i felt really empty. and i wanted to fill it...with, shopping, internet wasteland. oh, and i also love music. anyway...(look, a sea gull...)

i have this post i wanted to make about my childhood. kind of a healing the inner two year old type thing. but i was thinking about it earlier...and kids are so much smarter and resilient than adults are...i think my inner two year old is over it. the basic gyst of it was that my mom taught me if i'd only become a perfect child, then i'd receive a perfect love. and i was kind of pissed to realize that...for a day or so...because then i realized that my mom still believes once she's the perfect person, she'll receive a perfect love. so it's not like she held out on me or purposely manipulated me. she couldn't give what she didn't have. like i said, i'm kind of over it. i mean, i guess i'll still feel small tantrums over that habit of wanting something not reasonable...eckhart tolle calls them pain bodies, i think...but it's not as powerful.

there are other things that are still powerful that i haven't even begun to decipher. and i'm okay with that, too. my perspective gets longer at times, so i realize the objects in my emotions aren't as big as they feel, i guess.

what else? what else?....

we are busy folks. we painted my oldest's room today. just knocked it the fuck out. that was cool. it looks nice. kind of more mature, i guess. and he rode his bike to his robotics team meeting on sunday. and rode it home. this is big shit...really big stuff. i'm happy for him. hell, i'm kind of happy for me, too. but painting with him...that did not make me happy. i hope i never paint with him again. he sucks at it. and makes a freaking, fracking mess. i thought i'd have a heart attack from the stress of the mess + not wanting to be a buzz kill and bitch him out for this "my own independent room" thing we were doing...omigod, sometimes the stress of being who i want to be almost kills me dead. but have i mentioned how brilliant he is? (when he's not painting or playing basketball...and we both suck at basketball...equally...or maybe me even more...but probably not)

ok...this is all i have. i mowed the backyard tonight. it really, REALLY sucks when i wait too long because the grass gets so thick and tall it chokes the mower. it takes for-freaking-ever to mow...sigh...oh, and i haven't showered all day. that's something i almost never do...but i just never made it in...gross.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

reading through the tears

yes, it's been an emotional week. and that could be what i mean by the title... but it isn't. i've finished reading lamb...even though i was pretty sure i knew how it would end (i mean, can a fictional book about christ's life really go that far?..), it was hard to finish. but it was a brilliant book. i really loved reading it. and whether i was laughing so hard or caught so off guard by some way mr. moore would state things, or some insight, or just the beauty of some of what he wrote...i cried a lot while reading it. i highly recommend it.

here are some of my favorites...

[christ/josh to biff]
"How are we doing on the Beatitudes?"
"Pardon me?"
"The blesseds."
"We've got: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness; blessed are the poor in spirit, the pure in heart, the whiners, the meek, the--"
"Wait, what are we giving the meek?"
"Let's see, uh, here: Blessed are the meek, for to them we shall say, 'attaboy.'"
"A little weak."

"Let's let the meek inherit the earth."
"Can't. You gave the earth to the whiners?"
"Well then, cut the whiners and give the earth to the meek."
"Okay. Earth to the meek. Here we go. Blessed are the peacemakers, the mourners, and that's it."
"How many is that?"
"Not enough. We need one more. How about the dumbfucks?"
"No, Josh, not the dumbfucks. You've done enough for the dumbfucks. Nathaniel, Thomas--"
"Blessed are the dumbfucks for they, uh--I don't know--they shall never be disappointed."
"No, I'm drawing the line at dumbfucks. Come on, Josh, why can't we have any powerful guys on our team? Why do we have to have the meek, and the poor, the oppressed, and the pissed on? Why can't we, for once, have blessed are the big powerful rich guys with swords?"
"Because they don't need us."
"Okay, but no 'Blessed are the dumbfucks.'"
"Who then?"
"How about the wankers? I can think of five or six disciples that would be really blessed."
"No wankers. I've got it: Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake."
"Okay, better. What are you going to give them?"
"A fruit basket."
"You can't give the meek the whole earth and these guys a fruit basket."
"Give them the kingdom of heaven."
"The poor in spirit got that."
"Everybody gets some."

"Okay then, 'share the Kingdom of Heaven.'" I wrote it down.
"We could give the fruit basket to the dumbfucks."
"Sorry, I just feel for them."
"You feel for everyone, Josh. It's your job."

"Oh yeah. I forgot."

[maggie/mary magdalene talking to josh and biff after they've gotten frustrated that the disciples don't understand what josh means by the kingdom]

"You two are the ninnies. You both rail on them about their intelligence, when that doesn't have anything to do with why they're here. Have either one of you heard them preach? I have. Peter can heal the sick now. I've seen it. I've seen James make the lame walk. Faith isn't an act of intelligence, it's an act of imagination. Every time you give them a new metaphor for the kingdom they see the metaphor, a mustard seed, a field, a garden, a vineyard, it's like pointing something out to a cat--the cat looks at your finger, not at what you're pointing at. They don't need to understand it, they only need to believe, and they do. They imagine the kingdom as they need it to be, they don't need to grasp it, it's there already, they can let it be. Imagination, not intellect."

[biff speaking to maggie]
"When we were in India, we saw a festival in the city of their goddess Kali. She's a goddess of destruction, Maggie. It was the bloodiest thing I've ever seen, thousands of animals slaughtered, hundreds of men beheaded. The whole world seemed slick with blood. Joshua and I saved some children from being flayed alive, but when it was over, Joshua kept saying, no more sacrifices. No more."
Maggie looked at me as if she expected more. "So? It was horrible, what did you expect him to say?"
"He wasn't talking to me, Maggie. He was talking to God. And I don't think he was making a request."
"Are you saying that he thinks his father wants to kill him for trying to change things, so he can't avoid it because it's the will of God?"
"No, I'm saying that he's going to allow himself to be killed to show his father that things need to be changed. He's not going to try to avoid it at all."

(emphasis my own)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

w. h. auden

i've been thinking about this poem for awhile. i read it when i was in college...the second i guess i was twenty-five or twenty-six. (remember julie? the class we met in...)

we read this poem...

The Unknown Citizen
(To JS/o7/M/379 This Marble Monument Is Erected by the State)

He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be
One against whom there was no official complaint,
And all the reports on his conduct agree
That, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a saint,
For in everything he did he served the Greater Community.
Except for the War till the day he retired
He worked in a factory and never got fired,
But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc.
Yet he wasn't a scab or odd in his views,
For his Union reports that he paid his dues,
(Our report on his Union shows it was sound)
And our Social Psychology workers found
That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink.
The Press are convinced that he bought a paper every day
And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every way.
Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured,
And his Health-card shows he was once in hospital but left it cured.
Both Producers Research and High-Grade Living declare
He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Installment Plan
And had everything necessary to the Modern Man,
A phonograph, radio, a car and a frigidaire.
Our researchers into Public Opinion are content
That he held the proper opinions for the time of year;
When there was peace, he was for peace; when there was war, he went.
He was married and added five children to the population,
Which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of his generation,
And our teachers report that he never interfered with their education.
Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd;
Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.

so after my surprise at reading the pretender, this poem came back into my mind. when we did it in my class, it was a strange discussion. our professor was this very enthusiastic and fairly brilliant man. he read us this poem and asked us what we thought. a man who was pretty outspoken in the class immediately announced that he liked it. that he wanted to be the man this poem was written for. that it seemed this unknown citizen lead an admirable life and he'd be proud to live a life like the one described here. at which point, my professor had no fucking clue how to proceed...

it wasn't about whether or not this poem was describing a way of life that we agreed with or not. it was about analyzing the poem...what we felt about it, yes, but also what auden was trying to say in it. but the personal stamp of approval this man had put on mr. unknown citizen made any further analyzing a little tricky. my prof looked at me with eyebrows raised. rather than speak to my prof, i turned to the man in my class and asked him if whether, in achieving all of these things, he'd like at least a little something to be personally unique about the journey for him? maybe his name? the name of his children? something uniquely him...

i think the discussion went alright from there. i do recall the professor being relieved that we could discuss it somewhat, but i also recall that it was a very careful discussion...never quite going to the root of things.

i understand why the discussion had to be that way. i understand that my mother feels the way she does. (did you miss that parallel?...i know it's where i was headed all along, but realize you can't read my mind...) even my spouse was quick to tell me that there was nothing wrong with the way of life described in this poem...why does everyone feel the need to tell me that? life isn't that freaking different, you know. much of my life is conventional. and the areas that aren't so much, it'd be a truckload easier if i went ahead and made them so. i think about it sometimes. but the bitterness that follows isn't worth thinking about it too long.

anyway, my thoughts have tread into weird places lately. hopefully letting this out will let me work passed this...whatever it is. the-rapist on monday...woo-hoo...lots to talk to her about. she often wants to discuss my mother and i often tell her it's a screwy relationship that isn't changing so there's really no reason to go there. maybe i'm think?

Friday, August 22, 2008


i didn't mean to sound like i was judging jackson browne in my last post. i was more struck by just remembering how i would belt those songs out that my mom loved. or that i thought she loved...she sure played them a lot.

i can remember when my mom was dating and she'd cry when she'd fight with a boyfriend. she'd get herself a wet washcloth to put on her swollen eyes. and whenever she'd set it down, i'd pick it up and put it on my swollen eyes. not that i ever really knew why we were crying. but if she was crying...that was reason enough, in my young mind, for me to cry. she used to get kind of pissy that i'd take her rag, though... but that was just my mom. she never quite appreciated the absolute loyalty and devotion she had in a labrador, but not so much chewing.

and then i realized she was all caught up in men...almost addicted...even if they were mean, horrible, stupid men. which none of them really were. but when one's throwing your mom around, you tell yourself they are. i actually learned a lot from some of the men she married. good stuff...important stuff about life, whatnot. i don't know why, but i've always been that way. able to see the good in people. not that i don't feel angry or hurt or pissed or petty...because i do. i really, really, really do. but i ultimately come to this place of understanding. sometimes i quite resent it. weird, huh? sometimes i don't want to be understanding. i feel the understanding opening this door on a person...and something in me tries really hard to keep it shut, slam it back closed...well, sometimes.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


i watched mr. holland's opus with my kids tonight. i desperately needed a feel good movie and it delivered righteously. but then one of those one line picks up where another left off moments happened. during the movie, there's a segment where they play jackson browne's song, the pretender. and i got all nostalgic. my mother used to love that song. she had his album and we used to play it a lot. i loved the pretender and, what was it? was it running on empty? i'm not sure anymore. my mother was a big jackson browne fan.

so i went to you tube to watch the video and i read the words to the song and, well, first i thought maybe i wasn't reading them right. and maybe i didn't. it's been a tiring few days and i am plenty capable of mistakes, even when i'm not impaired. but "starting out so long ago only to surrender"? and "believe in the lie of those things that money can buy"? there were other lines, too. i don't know... but i will say, that after reading the words while listening to this song that i am not so sure i feel inspired by the message of, i find i can't help but feel that good kind of nostalgic feeling while hearing it still. and that's kind of how i feel about so much of my childhood. like i am seriously warped because of the nostalgia i feel for things that kind of sicken me?... does that make sense? i don't know...

my spouse and i argued today. it came down to what we value, as people. it was this discussion about how what he values doesn't mean that he doesn't value what i value (because they can be kind of different, depending what level we're talking about). which i understand. but it seems if i tell him something i'd like him to do, even if he doesn't value it....and i don't mean tell him like once or twice...we've been together for fifteen years this month....and if he values me, then maybe...anyway...sigh...some thoughts just never seem as powerful or even relevant in words as the emotion that accompanied them when they were born (or reborn for the hundredth time, i guess).

so here's jackson browne's song...see what you think...i'm not judging it or anything...i was just kind of surprised to see the actual words to this song i used to sing with all of my eight year old heart...but oddly, maybe i am starting to figure out why my mother's so disappointed with me?...


Wednesday, August 20, 2008


from lamb...

"Lao-tzu built this wall," Josh said.

"The old master who wrote the Tao? I don't think so."

"What does the Tao value above all else?"

"Compassion? Those other two jewel things?"

"No, inaction. Contemplation. Steadiness. Conservatism. A wall is the defense of a country that values inaction. But a wall imprisons the people of a country as much as it protects them. That's why Balthasar had us go this way. He wanted me to see the error in the Tao. One can't be free without action."

"So he spent all that time teaching us the Tao so we could see that it was wrong."

"No, not wrong. Not all of it. The compassion, humility, and moderation of the Tao, these are the qualities of a righteous man, but not inaction. These people are slaves to inaction."

"You worked as a stonecutter, Josh," I said, nodding toward the massive wall. "You think this massive wall was built through inaction?"

"The magus wasn't teaching us about action as in work, it was action as in change. That's why we learned Confucius first--everything having to do with the order of our fathers, the law, manners. Confucius is like the Torah, rules to follow. And Lao-tzu is even more conservative, saying that if you do nothing you won't break any rules. You have to let tradition fall sometimes, you have to take action, you have to eat bacon. That's what Balthasar was trying to teach me."

"I've said it before, Josh--and you know how I love bacon--but I don't think bacon is enough for the Messiah to bring."

"Change," Joshua said. "A Messiah has to bring change. Change comes through action. Balthasar once said to me, 'There's no such thing as a conservative hero.' He was wise, that old man."

"Screw it," I said. "This is going to take forever. How long can it be? Let's go around."

i read this passage to a friend last night. she's made a lot of changes in her life. and i don't think that has to be a bad thing. but i think ignoring those changes is kind of dangerous. it was funny that while we were talking, this passage came to my mind. one line leaves off, the next comes along and keeps carrying things forward, and the circle keeps being made...

a quick story from yesterday... i was eating an ice cream bar. it might have been my fourth ice cream bar, but it was still a moment for me...i was enjoying it. until my five year old called my name from the bathroom. and i was kind of annoyed. because my name, called by that particular child, from that particular room, means one thing...i need to go wipe his butt. and while i can easily accept that parenting has it's dirtier moments and while i usually have no problem helping him with this little hygiene issue, i was peeved he'd ask me to do it while i was eating ice cream...i mean, come nothing sacred?

so i went and did it. i wasn't exactly kind about it. i mean, i didn't hurt him or anything...geez, that sounds horrid...but i didn't conceal my peeved-ness. so he pulls up his pants, flushes, whatever he does after i take care of the dirty stuff. and i go sit down to finish the last couple of bites of ice cream. and then he walks in the dining room, sees my empty ice cream stick, and says,

"mom, can i throw that away for you?"

it was one of those humbling, here's a gift, please see it kind of moments... yeah, sometimes i struggle with what is asked of me. i have a ton of reasons, whines, and complaints about being only human, having my own needs, having so many responsibilities, etc... but when my eyes are open, when i am not blocking it out, when i am not minimizing or ignoring or bitching too much...well, and i guess even sometimes when i am...i see how much i am given...the many sweet gifts i receive. and i am grateful.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

just so you know i'm still complete

it has been raining lately...go figure. i just spent a weekend putting soaker hoses around my house to water my foundation and it's been pouring all day. but the rhythm of the rain is sooooooothing.

i read this in lamb today and i had to post it...don't worry. my sense of humor is still way intact.
(josh is jesus and this is a conversation between josh and his bff, biff)

I said, "Josh, you are so gullible. Guys always lie about stuff like that. That's the problem with your not being allowed to know women, it means you don't understand the most fundamental nature of men."

"Which is?"

"We're lying pigs. We'll say anything to get what we want."

"That's true," said Joy. The other girls nodded in agreement.

"But," said Josh, "the superior man does not, even for the space of a single meal, act contrary to virtue, according to Confucius."

"Of course," said I, "but the superior man can get laid without lying. I'm talking about the rest of us."



devotion...n. 1. enthusiastic loyalty (to a person or cause); great love. 2. prayers.

i pulled out with the mountain laurel blooming
on a dirt road that is soon to be paved
down to the site of my original establishment
and the west end family grave

cause one day moves into two
(one day moves into two)
and i'm losing
everything except for you
(everything except for you)
and i would sing you a song of devotion
(i would sing you a song of devotion)
yeah that's what i should do
(that's what i should do)

blood runs thick and when it rains it pours down
(blood runs thick)
on the family tree on the fields of war
(the family tree on the fields of war)
i spend my time being broken hearted and grieving bound
(i spend my time being broken hearted and grieving bound)
yeah i haven't much need to look forward

i just let a one day move into two
(one day moves into two)
i'm losing
everything except for you
(everything except for you)
i would sing you a song of devotion
(i sould sing you a song of devotion)

book of days
(book of days)
the way things lay
(the way things lay)
that's just space and time
(that's just space and time)
i gave it up
(i gave it up)
all for a love
(all for a love)
that won't be defined
(that won't be defined)

i've had enough temporary aquisition
building fences for no gain
(building fences for no gain)
taking dead trees down before the winter freeze
(taking dead trees down before the winter freeze)
i said let em rot and fall where they may

just let one day move into two
(one day moves into two)
i'm losing
everything except for you
(eveything except for you)
ah yeah
i would sing you a song of devotion
(i would sing you a song of devotion)
that's what i should do
(i gotta let them fall where they may)
(cause one day moves into two)
it's the book of days
(i'm losing)
it's the way things lay
(everything except for you)
now that's just space and time
(i would sing you a song)
i gave it up
(of devotion)
all for your love
that's what i should do
(that's what i should do)
that's what i should do
(that's what i should do)
that's what i should do
(that's what i should do)

words and music by amy ray

amy ray quote from 10/03/2000: retrospective liner notes:

"i guess i am finally understanding the futility of trying to control anything in life."

and this is what i'm thinking about lately...the song has been playing in my head the last couple of days. and when i read that quote, well, i would've died of surprise if not for knowing that's just the way things roll these days...where one line ends, another seemingly unrelated line picks right up. it all goes together. i am along for the ride. i have my own devotion to my own internal compass...i am aware of that devotion and choose to act on it, within it, for it, around it, through it.

(yeah, it's foggy headed times...too much shifting around in there to come up with many of my own words...) peace

Sunday, August 17, 2008

so much to say

or at least, so many thoughts swirling around in there...along with those, so many emotions...and me thinking if i can just find the words, maybe i can make a little room and not feel so nutty.

my kids like to fish and had a great time doing it this weekend.

my mother and i have very different values but still love each other and that means we often end up sitting across from a woman we normally wouldn't even like, much less love, trying to find something to say that'll pass for conversation.

i get tired of sleeping in animal fur.

five hours in the sun, on a boat, will give me a sunburn no matter how much sunscreen i put on.

people will always respond better to my spouse who is a doctor than they will to me. (well, certain people i should say...)

my spouse loves me and tries very hard to respect the woman i am and support me without pulling that patriarchal you need me to save you's much more subtle than it sounds...and he tries. i am grateful my friend i married is such a good man.

listening to another person is an incredible gift...i am blessed to have people in my life that are so good at it, i often take it for granted. but then i get reminded and i stop taking it for granted.

love between friends is a powerful thing...even if someone might try to ignore it or minimize it, it's still pretty powerful stuff.

alright...that's all for now.

Friday, August 15, 2008

sing it willie

yep, we're gone again this weekend. i think last weekend is the only weekend we were home in what will now be six weeks. and i love to travel and see the world. i think it's just the weight of the coming semester that makes it hard to go back and forth right now. so while i'm not quite as enthusiastic as willie, i do enjoy the opportunities the road presents.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

resting for a minute

it has been some dynamic times lately. seems like they always are, to be honest. but getting through a particularly busy summer, full of things you are awake and aware of...that's something, too. lots of growing, lots of learning...i'm tired, to be honest. and there's so much going on this next semester... i'm sure it will be fine. i spoke to my dh about it and let out a little of the steam that was was good. of course, then he got all bent out of shape over some skirts on his way out the door, so maybe it stressed him out some, i don't know... i do know that he and i both will get through the next few years with a lot of support and a lot of faith....and prayers and meditation and probably wine, too.

so why the picture? my five year old is proud beyond words at his math book... he's an official kindergartner...well, as official as we get around here. and the fact that he asks me five times a day to help him with his math, and tells me as many times how much he loves math, and expects me to drop everything to do said math...well, i may not show it each time i'm asked, but i do love it. as always, it's awesome watching your child find something they love. (and yes, we often do our school work in our underwear around here...)


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

big minds

i'm reading a book called little big minds, sharing philosophy with kids. i'm adapting it (visually and organizationally) into a curriculum i'll be teaching at our co-op this fall. i've had a pounding headache the last couple of days, so i'm just going to post this quote that really got me when i was working on the chapter on friendship...

In their analysis of friendship, philosophers have been confounded by the ways in which we complicate communication and connection unnecessarily, in spite of our deep desire for both. Why do we get in our own way? We know when we are shutting down and pushing someone away from us. We are aware when we are not making an effort, yet we continue to let friendships fade. For many of us, it is a challenge to allow our friendships to find their own rhythm, and instead we manipulate them to suit our needs.

i often try to teach my kids stuff because it's something i need to know. and i feel kind of guilty when i look back and realize doesn't seem fair to make my kids listen (repeatedly sometimes) to things i can't seem to grasp and keep a hold of. oh least i let them play their video games after they listen, huh?...and i'm not too bad of a cook?...chuckle, chuckle...

off to work my day...

Monday, August 11, 2008

so it's like this...

if you hate jesus christ superstar, you might want to skip this one....

lately, as i've listened to the resurrection, i've been struck first, by how beautiful amy's voice is as jesus. and also michael lorant, who is judas. i've owned this cd for a very long time...over ten years...but when michael lorant sings heaven on their minds, it almost makes me cry. i've never felt like i understood judas so i could empathize so strongly with him. he's so caught up in his human fears...denying his dependent nature, you know? trying to make things right independently...all by his own hand. and we know how that one ends.

and then there's jesus in the garden. i think i posted the one from the 1970s movie already, but i'm so pumped to find these videos of this other version, i think i'll post it, too. jesus (as portrayed by andrew lloyd wright, i realize) struggling with his own human independent streak, but ending in dependence. not exactly a warm and cozy commercial for dependence, i suppose...but what did you expect? you know how the story ends on earth and how it continues on other levels... and it's kind of different to hear it sung by a woman, too...for me, anyway.


still treading water

yeah, yeah, i know...just swim, fortheloveofgod...i'll get there.

the meeting went well today. got some stuff done. that was good. i think if i can focus, i can get the rest knocked out pretty quickly. i don't understand what holds me back...but it does...this i cannot deny.

went to the-rapist today. it was good, sort of. not a "oh, there's the light, let me walk in it" kind of good. more of a "let's be real about where things stand and the limits of one person's ability to maintain the sanity of a family" kind of good. i'll be meditating on my dependence quite a bit this semester. meditating on my dependence has led me to recognize the things i need to do to take care of myself. i've read a lot more. recognized my body needs me to run...or workout at least. (running is just easier for now) i've even called some friends lately here in my area. it's funny, but i also need to be productive. and i can work that, too.

working on it...

so here's something i've been listening to lately, and finally realized there were some videos on you tube...they aren't the released versions i've been listening to when i run, but it's fun watching amy play jesus and emily play mary. what can i say? i really love amy....

peace out

Sunday, August 10, 2008

head vs. water...who will end up on top?

well, maybe it's not that dramatic...but i thought it was a good title...

we've just taken on a lot this semester. and while i think it is all very exciting and worthwhile stuff...and while i believe my family is at a point to be able to work cooperatively to achieve these goals we have set for this semester...and while i KNOW i'm not the only person who has any responsibility in maintaining the course we've laid out...i'm a little, uh, nervous. it's a lot of stuff...really, really cool stuff...a lot...yeah.

rock climbing again...woo-hoo! piano and flute lessons still...coolness. the cooperative effort has worked out and is a go...very, very exciting. robotics...two teams, no less...what more could a mama ask for? how about soccer?...but we haven't heard back on that one. and then there's ccd...or cce...whatever they're calling it these days. i plan to put the boys in those classes, too. they haven't taken a ccd class in five years. why? i don't know...i'm just not highly motivated to put them in classes pertaining to things as personal as religion when i don't feel i know who will be teaching them. and i realize children learn by example...and i must be providing some sort of example for them...i just have no idea what it is, because i've been so focused on other things. and i don't know why i could maintain a focus with the kids on religion, but i just couldn't. so i'd like them to get at least a year of class. plus i think it might quench my oldest's curiosity about girls...there are a ton of girls in catholicism....snort. i'll just have to keep him away from those preacher's kids...wink.

i worry that i feel so anxious and it hasn't even, you know, started or anything. and i didn't run don't ask if i took my medicine. but i worked hard outside in the yard laying soaker hoses around my foundation and covering the ones in the backyard with hardware keep the dogs from ripping them up and pissing me off, i mean challenging my balance. i even have the blisters and poked up hands to prove it. i'm going to try waking up early to run in the morning...the things i'll do to try to stay sane. (rolling eyes here...)

and tomorrow i have some friends coming over. it's under the pretense of a meeting, but i'm just happy to have them over. i don't know why i don't invite folks over more often. well, i often have the problem of wanting to invite everyone if i'm inviting anyone. and then i never feel like my house is clean and always worry people will be grossed out by some nastiness i don't know is there because, well, i'm not great at cleaning. but that just sounds stupid as i type it so whatever.

i do want to finish painting the house this summer so i can put the painting crap away.

sigh...i'm just not sure who's going to end up on top...but i suppose i should stop struggling and being so stiff if i want it to be my head...haha, that's funny. i have to get out of my head so much to keep my head on top. made myself smile...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

drug of choice

my bff after high school, patsy, used to work at a home for adults with different disabilities. she worked with a woman with down's syndrome who would have anxiety attacks. whenever one was coming, patsy would ask her, "did you take your medicine?" and the woman would say, "buspar" spreading her hands out gently for effect. it worked for her.

if someone asked me if i took my medicine, i'd have to say, "running" i ran last night and the calm that settled on me was...well...remarkable. i never thought i'd be a regular enough runner to get used to the effects of it. but i guess i have. because i've had some pretty big anxiety attacks lately...and i've been able to work through my anxieties, but today was so much better. i'll be getting on the treadmill here in a bit.

we've spent all day at a sumobot tournament. my bigs made and entered robots in this competition. they won at least a few rounds, which was a nice surprise for them. they both really love this robot thing. and i'm really glad they've found something they love and nice folks to share it with. but i've had enough of it for now, to be honest. i'm ready to take the kayaks out or do some climbing or something. enough indoors...well...not really. we're still hitting over 100 almost daily. but enough technology. we went to half price books today and i bought bug's life...on vhs...i just needed some low tech. i'm ready to pop it in here in a bit. once i convince them to turn off guitar hero.

peace out

Friday, August 8, 2008


i think i mentioned that my spouse's schedule is a little funky, so i'm not getting to run lately. at least, not on my treadmill. my sister just reminded me i could do it outside, but do you really want me to tell you how hot it is?....again?....

so there's been all this thinking going on without any physical outlet to let some of this energy work itself out. and i think that's why i've had a nagging headache for a few days. i thought it was caffeine related, but now i'm not so sure. which, again, strikes me how subtle our actions are that maintain some things affect us in ways we aren't even aware easy it is to upset the balance because it's difficult to realize all that's influencing it. more mystery...

but i will say that i think where mystery and personal responsibility meet and clash is at the line of accountability. who to blame when things go wrong? but i guess what i'm figuring out is that blame serves no one and is so misguided...there's that feeling of if we know how or why something went wrong, we can keep it from happening again. but i think that's a big old maybe. because, like i said, if things that influence outcomes are subtle, then how can we guarantee anything can be avoided? and at what cost? and for what unforeseen result?

so while i learn about and recognize a balance between my mental activity and my physical activity, i do wonder about a balance between the mystery and the not so mysterious...or maybe it's all mysterious...or none at all...(kind of chasing my tail here, huh?)

back to my coffee...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

some randomness

there have been so many things going on in my mind all seems random because i'm not spending much time on one particular thing. i mean, it's all related...and i understand what drives me from one thought to the next when i'm making the jump. but i admit i often look back and think, "what the hell was i thinking about?" and then give up rather than try to figure it out because there's probably something i should be doing...

and maybe that's why it's occurred to me several times lately how fragile things easily courses are switched in the blink of a decision. the other night i was going to call my spouse, but the hospital number wasn't on my caller id and i couldn't remember it, so i didn't. did he need to hear from me? i don't know. i thought it was a good idea until i realized i'd have to look the number up and then i figured he'd be fine. and he was. but it made me laugh to see the dime that decision turned on. and that's just the one i caught, i was aware of.

there have been times i've seen later the slight breeze that changed a course...was it fate? god? my will? evil? indifference? survival?

there are so many times i feel like i don't have a choice...or like i didn't have a choice. i know the kids feel the same way, too, often. i know my spouse suffers the same delusion. but we have lots of choices. and for some reason, the more i walk this path that i feel may crush me with its pressure, the more i realize just how many choices i have to get off of it. and i'm glad.

this has happened once before in my marriage...where i had to find all the different choices i had for getting out of it so that i could choose to be in it. staying only because i had no choice was making me miserable and i was turning into a pretty awful person. after finding all these other options, i chose to stay in my marriage.

i imagine we'll stay this medical course...but there are lots of different ways to walk it. and who says medicine has to be the most imposing part of this journey anyway? (ah, see, i just found another choice...)

this sounds all kind of loopy to me today. i didn't sit down with the intention to write this. i sat down determined to focus my thoughts long enough to write something. i have a lot of stuff to do today...and a lot of it is stuff i was supposed to do earlier in the week, but kept getting distracted from. and i've been choosing my distractions...i was aware of those choices. but i need to get this other stuff done now.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

ramble on (again)

i'm cutting back on caffeine this tea in the mornings instead of my usual half caff coffee. so this may be more pessimistic than i really think i feel. but there are so many things bumping around in my head that i promised myself last night i'd get up and blog this morning.

i'm going to do this ala lanatron...

homeschooling... our co-op is on. and i'm excited about it. but i have less than a month to prepare for it, and i'm a little nervous, i guess. i am really grateful for the opportunities it's providing for my kids and their journeys. i was getting kind of worn out trying to meet all of their needs educationally, particularly since little bit is five today and starting "kindergarten" and going to have his own needs to be met. (well, he always did, i realize, but now he's ready to really be a part of things, you know?)

i waver a lot between believing that my guys are where they need to be and anxiety about what if i die and will they transition well to school? ok, i don't really worry about dying. but i do worry if they're "measuring up"...but then i remind myself about the yardstick they're being measured against and, while i don't embrace it totally, i can't deny is the pervasive yardstick. so while i'm feeling good about things, it is that time of year where, as i prepare for next year, i can't seem to help but reexamine all the reasons i do this and make sure my guiding principles are still working for us. which is a good thing, i realize, but not so very productive when you have these syllabuses (spellcheck says it's not syllabi...) to be creating, so is also kind of stressful.

intimacy... i think this is what was captivating me in those vampire books. meyers has a pretty terrific hand at capturing the energy of intimacy with her words. and the books are clean...none of the usual bloodbath/orgy typical of vampire books. i mean, they aren't blood-less or sex-less, but she focuses more on the energy of things than the mechanics.

anyway... i mentioned my almost fourteen year old was reading these. and we talked a little about how she captures the feelings involved in sex without describing the details of it. (we also mentioned that the characters didn't actually do it until they were married...i'm sorry, i couldn't help myself, i am a mother now...) but it's kind of weird to think of my teen reading something that i felt was pretty heavily threaded with such intimate energy... partly because i know he is craving it, whether or not he thinks of it that way. partly because i don't always know how to meet my own needs for intimacy. there's just so many different ways to do it... like parenting (myself?), where you have so many options available, you often fall into a rut of a few different things, getting frustrated when they don't work completely, forgetting how many different ways there are of doing things, looking at things, shifting things... i know i'm getting vague here. but it's mostly because i'm trying to say what i mean without listing all the things i don't mean...and it seems that's about all i have on this one.

mystery... since i was talking about parenting and since i think it's a part of intimacy, too... this is another aspect of life i've been thinking about a lot. i'll be thinking about stuff, life, whatnot...and working through my thoughts...and there is often this feeling like i should be able to figure something out...arrive at some definite conclusion, answer, life lesson. but lately, it often comes down to the fact that there is just some mystery to life, things i am not meant to understand in my head and that i need to work on my confidence in understanding in my heart. and while i feel frustrated when i bump into this mystery sometimes, i know i wouldn't wish the world to be different. ok, well, there are some things i would probably wish different...and regret later...but the mystery part? no...i wouldn't wish that away.

oh! and politics....but really, it's the internet... my mother has been sending me these anti-obama emails lately. not like personally written emails, imploring me to turn away from the dark democrats, but forwards....and i rarely read forwards to begin with, but i find political forwards particularly distasteful. i realize people are passionate about politics. but taking some small fact and turning into something totally irrelevant and barely true just to create a negative emotional response to something, well, it pisses me off. it's fighting dirty. it gets people so stressed and is just a general waste of energy. sheesh. can't we choose one candidate without villainizing the other? but mostly, i just wish my mom would chill out about this stuff or leave me out of it. i finally responded to one of her emails and she almost bit my head off, telling me what a long-standing, proud member of the republican party she is and how rock solid her opinions i'm just sore because hillary didn't get the nomination, but how all the democrats would screw the country up. geez.... i'll hit delete on the rest of her forwards, but why does she have to send them to me in the first place? i get tired of people assuming if you're diplomatic that you aren't passionate, too. but it's fine...i'm working on letting it go...

running... my next half marathon is in november. but my spouse's schedule is funky this month and doesn't leave me much time for training. it's a drag. i think that the energy i am not letting go with running is going to make me a nervous, crazy wreck. but that's just my opinion. i should've run this morning. it was seventy-five degrees here this morning. i don't think we've had a temperature that cool since april or may... and i blew it blogging. well, i also laid on the couch with the sliding glass door open and enjoyed the temperature for a few minutes. i can't wait for fall...

ok...ramble off (again)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


my niece had her baby last night... (that's not part of the zombie post...just a pre-script i had to get out)

i have finished the stephenie meyers books. the twilight saga, i think they're called. twilight, new moon, eclipse, and then breaking dawn. i enjoyed them a lot, but i will admit the last one got...tedious. and i found myself psychoanalyzing the author a lot in that book, wondering if this is her fantasy or what...but maybe i reveal too much about my own fictional writing by saying that, i don't know. (i haven't written fiction in sooo long...)

i was obsessed over finishing this story, though. it was kind of disorienting. i truly felt like a zombie. i mean, i really haven't done much but read the past few was all i could think about. and my head kind of hurts from it. i think my knees are sore from so much sitting and reading, too. this was fun, having a good story to be excited about reading, but i'm also glad it's over. i am sure my kids will be glad it's over, too. i know my spouse will be happy....snort.

so, now to life as usual...

Sunday, August 3, 2008


we went to visit dh's family this weekend...

prayers for my niece who is due friday, on 08-08-08. she looks wonderful, she and her husband are the kindest people, and i can't wait to meet this baby.

i am worn and feeling quite vulnerable after not having a weekend at home for a month. and spending time with my in laws, particularly one brother in law who is so fixated on insults lately, only exacerbates the weariness and defensiveness. but some time at home should help with this.

i think my kids feel much of the same.

we need to join a local gym so that we may start swimming daily (or near daily). we did some of that this weekend and the kids neeeeeeeeeeed that.

i bought all four of the stephanie meyers vampire books this weekend and am on the third one...halfway through it. my oldest son has been reading them, too, and is waiting for me to finish the third. i can't explain what is so compelling...i called them sweet valley high but with vampires. i do want to say, from what i remember of sweet valley high, that the writing of these books is a lot better and the plots are more intricate. but i can't help that i think they are also really sweet books and i am really enjoying them.

married life wasn't so hard this weekend.

there is another relationship that i am doing some meditating on... a friend i had not spoken to in a long time. and she's having a hard time.

and my sister's been in philadelphia all weekend attending a family wedding. so i've been thinking about her lots, too.

oh, and my niece who is moving three and a half hours away to begin her own journey with medical school. she got her first new car last week and moved into her apartment over the weekend. i know she is nervous. i know her family will ache sometimes with her absence. and i know everything will be great, too.