Sunday, November 30, 2008

weekend edition--short version one puked at my house. i think the odds of being exposed by two different folks to two different puking viruses in the same house and NONE OF US getting the virus are slim. which makes me feel like we have immune systems of steel. and maybe that's not what it means, but it is how i feel, and that is what matters....

my nephews came and spent the night last night. seven young men/boys...ages 16 (almost 17), 15 (just turned...yesterday was his birthday), 14 (that one's mine), 13, 10 (almost 11...mine also), 9, and was a blast. it really, really was. i am so glad we did it and we all had such a good time...almost burned the house down with my less than brilliant candle placement on my nephew's cake, but otherwise...all great.

i do notice, as i keep going forward with this life, how some things change...many things change. but many don't. but i can always change how i react to things. if i choose to. and i imagine that as i change how i act in those types of situations, it will change my whole perception of them. i don't know. i just have to slow down a attention somewhat...relax the rest of the somewhat. something like that.

lately, i have this feeling like there's more to say, but then i just can't frame any of it in words. there are many things and many people i pray for right now...but most of them involve situations i am fairly certain i do not know the right course in. i am fairly certain i cannot even sit and lay out five distinct courses for any one situation, which tells me i am limited in conceiving a solution. so, all i can do is offer my sincerest wishes for peace in and for all of them. and that's where i'll end this...

Friday, November 28, 2008

roller coasters and patience

i've been thinking a lot lately. actually, it would probably be more blog-worthy if i was able to stop thinking for awhile. and i have been playing around with that a little...but it's not what i'm writing about today.

i will say that i have been really, really stressed out lately. and i feel it. i feel the physical results of that stress. but i feel them for what they are--the result of being stressed out. i know i'm not handling my stress well, although i think it's a step in the right direction to at least see a little bit of a separation between whatever thoughts are running through my head, the stress, and my ability to handle this all differently, even if i'm not. although i am handling it differently because i am not wildly looking for things to blame this on. i am also rather suddenly able to let those that are close to me know when they're pissing me a fairly direct and somewhat polite-ish way. and i think that's progress too. but i am not just working myself up in my head, looking for what is stressing me out. i'm at least able to know i'm stressed and try to figure out how best to handle the stress as well as what might be causing it. which may not sound distinguishable or even remarkable, but as a process, it feels like a step in the right direction...maybe i still have a long journey ahead, but it does feel like i'm at least on the right track, which i'll get back to in a minute.

but i want to say it is not like i've got this shit figured out, because i haven't. i know that i will not figure it out tomorrow either...or probably even the next day. it may take a lifetime. which means i need patience. which exasperates me a bit, i'll be honest. but i can exasperatedly accept that patience is what i need, where i need to be resting, turning to, growing myself. and once i reached that place, this song started playing in my head....

(can you believe this was guns n roses singing at the grammies almost twenty years ago? wow... i dressed up as axel rose one year for halloween...)

anyway...that was last night that the patience song started playing in my head. then i spoke to my friend jeanni this morning. let me tell you...sometimes i talk to that woman and it is like a cool, clear glass of water after hiking for hours. like you didn't even know you were thirsty but it still quenches you somewhere so deep down, you can't stop drinking. and she shared this quote with me about roller coasters. i was telling her about how sometimes we set things in motion in life...things that can take years to see them play out, if we ever truly see how they play out. and i can understand appreciating and living in the moment. but sometimes, i was telling jeanni, i'd like a little smile from the universe that it's at least going okay...a little nod that things are headed in the right direction...wherever that is. so she shared this quote i'll have to paraphrase because i can't find it online...

it was talking about how life is a roller coaster. how there is thrill, and color, and excitement. how we are drawn into it...maybe we like it, maybe we don't. how we start to live on the roller coaster, forgetting that, ultimately, it's a ride. it ended by saying that when people come along to remind us it's only a ride, we kill them.

which about slayed me. (we are jesus-y girls, jeanni and i, so that's who we were thinking of primarily, although we both mentioned that he wasn't the only one to ever try to remind us it's just a ride.)

i also talked to my friend who makes music. she texted me on my phone yesterday to wish me a happy thanksgiving and tell me she was thankful for me. imagine that...someone as beautiful and wise and amazingly talented as her being thankful for crazy, needy, off key me. it was definitely a high point. so i talked to her today, too.

i can be patient...i can. it is difficult, but i can be. and it strikes me that when i decide to surrender and not just talk about being patient, but truly try to be patient, i have these moments of contact with these incredible people who really end up encouraging me on that leg of the journey, even though they didn't know i was traveling that direction. it is one of the most beautiful and delightful parts of this amazing journey.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

happy day

well, it was my first thanksgiving hosted at my house. my sister and i cooked almost everything, with a few additions from my spouse and my bil. and my sister's girlfriend helped a lot, too. until she started puking at three o'clock this morning. which was weird because my eighty-five year old grandmother was coming and i didn't want her to get sick. but then, about six hours after she got here, my eighty-five year old grandmother was puking, too. but otherwise, i think it was a complete success...

hehe was good. my brothers came. my dad was funny and not too drunk. my sister was, well, very much my sister. my kids played too many video games. and everyone pretty much had a great time. except for the barfers. but the barfers even smiled some post-barfing and we all took our turns cleaning up the bathroom....

a lovely day with lots of moments to reflect on gratitude and whatnot.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

one thing

running a half marathon is like an energy enema. not too long ago, i did some push ups for the first time in awhile and had some crazy dreams as a result. whatever is stored in muscles can make for some interesting introspection once you've released it. so running for that long, pushing yourself, makes for interesting times for awhile. add a spouse in residency and four children and, well, it can almost make you believe you're crazy at times...

here's a song i heard today that kind of touches on things i'm having a hard time talking about. although i have to thank mama lana for letting me get a lot of things out last night...and i have to say, i think she'll appreciate this song, too... ;)


Sunday, November 23, 2008

a little catch up

it's been really busy around here. and a little bit crazy, too.

teenager has been accepted to the college he applied to, in the dual enrollment program. i drove him there for his accuplacer, and it was eighty-eight miles round trip. so we'll be doing that three times a week next semester. but i am happy for him and ready to do whatever i can to make this a successful semester for him. (well, i mean support him in having a successful's such a fine freaking line with a fourteen year old...and no, it's not really that fine a's just trying to find the balance between his fourteen year old self and my thirty-four year old self...THAT'S the challenge)

thanksgiving is happening at my house this year. i don't think this is asking too much. i think i'm ready. but i'm a little freaking out about it. and i realize i am over-reacting here. no one cares about the house...or at least they do only minimally. which makes me freak out a tiny bit more because it means i need to go to the grocery store and i am not looking forward to that... but i just need to suck it up and go...

and we hung out with friends friday. that was nice. man, that was really nice. i don't know why i am so reluctant, hesitant, and most of the time honestly don't think about inviting people over. especially when i get so lonely. i don't's weird. but friday was awesome. the kids had a blast and so did i.

ok...i swear it's been busy. it's just not stuff that translates well into words before you've had coffee or tea or even a drink of water first thing in the morning. there are also other things, i'm sure. but i've been missing blogging, even though i haven't had much to blog about. oh, i begin no less than two or three blogs a day in my head...but once i sit down, nothing's been itching to be written.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

some wisdom

call me erratic, but after the last post, i remembered something i read today that i also wanted to post. i'm reading eragon, much to my fourteen year old's delight. i try to read most of the books that are really important to him, and he's been asking me to read this series for years.

this is a passage early on in the book, some words eragon's uncle says to eragon and his cousin, and words i'll probably put on my children's bathroom mirror...

"I have words for both of you. It's time I said them, as you are entering the world. Heed them and they will serve you well." He bent his gaze sternly on them. "First, let no one rule your mind or body. Take special care that your thoughts remain unfettered. One may be a free man and yet be bound tighter than a slave. Give men your ear, but not your heart. Show respect for those in power, but don't follow them blindly. Judge with logic and reason, but comment not.

"Consider none your superior, whatever their rank or station in life. Treat all fairly or they will seek revenge. Be careful with your money. Hold fast to your beliefs and others will listen." He continued at a slower pace, "Of the affairs of only advice is to be honest. That's your most powerful tool to unlock a heart or gain forgiveness. That is all I have to say."

and then there was this part in the book where they're talking about an ancient language that names what a thing truly is and gives you power over it.

Eragon considered that. "What do personal names mean in this language? Do they give power over people?"

Brom's eyes brightened with approval. "Yes, they do. Those who speak the language have two names. Their first is for everyday use and has little authority. But the second is their true name and is shared with only a few trusted people. There was a time when no one concealed his true name, but this age isn't as kind. Whoever knows your true name gains enormous power over you. It's like putting your life into another person's hands. Everyone has a hidden name, but few know what it is."

..."I'd like to know mine, " Eragon said wistfully.

Brom's brow darkened. "Be careful. It can be a terrible knowledge. To know who you are without any delusions or sympathy is a moment of revelation that no one experiences unscathed. Some have been driven to madness by that stark reality. Most try to forget it. But as much as the name will give others power, so you may gain power over yourself, if the truth doesn't break you."

yeah. so i guess i'll be finished pouting. return to center...or a little closer to center anyway. i can feel when i'm walking the perimeter...or the surface. i actually visualize marshmallow goo when i'm there. but i don't hate that part of me anymore. at least i haven't lately. it's tiring hanging out with a grumpy two year old...or a couple of grumpy two year olds, maybe.

but we are all heading inward. however we push or proceed...head first...side paths...muscle...heart...gentle...blunt...heavy or fluffy, i suppose...usually a mixture of all of these and more. i can be patient again.

but i'm still pouring myself a glass of wine.

i think i feel like pouting

i don't know...i just don't like hurting. i'm tired of hobbling. i'm tired of being overwhelmed by my kids growing up. i'm tired of not taking things in stride...i mean, can't i choose that? what's my problem?

i'm tired of not feeling like i have the right thing to say, the right way to look at something, the right mindset to get through something.

i don't like being the person that, when you tell me how great your relationship is, all i can do is tell you how i feel disappointed...i swear i don't mean to do that. it's just if we're talking relationships...i should probably be quiet. i don't like trying to joke around and being told to lighten the hell up...okay... i don't like trying to read and telling people i'm trying to read and then they laugh and keep talking. i don't like having to take my kid to take a standardized test...yipes.

think i'm just tired? grouchy? anne lamott calls this the natives getting restless, hearing the drums beat, how it gets really loud sometimes...sometimes it helps to look at it in another person's words...

i think i need a glass of wine...
peace out

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

wanna read a really good essay?

it's an anne lamott essay i found while i was searching for something for mama beth in my cyber tribe. i didn't find exactly what i was looking for...i found something better...


it's getting better

the muscles are finally ending their loud, painful protest. the foot?...uh, no. but it'll get there... and i guess i'll just have to stay off the treadmill til it gets better...sigh...(muwahahaha)

there's another shirt i thought of that i my dreams, i'm a kenyan...i think i need this sticker. or the one that says marathon ho, i'm not sure which.

today was good. it was our last day for the semester in co-op. i'm still amazed at how difficult it was to put together and how easily it ran...and continues to run. and i love the kids. i mean like toe curling love the kids. it's a blast.

the kids and rock climbing...there's a class of college kids that climb at that gym after the homeschool class. today was their final. there was a route marked, and the last holds were graded...match here for an 80....match here for an 85. they moved in five point increments to the last hold, which i must say was a bitch of a reach, up to 100. my oldest son got to 100...with all the college kids watching, mouths agape. he really climbs quite gracefully and has a fair amount of technique to draw on. his eyes were lit up afterward. and i have to temper myself...i don't want him to crow like a rooster, but i can't deny him the sensation of being thrilled with his accomplishment. i might end up turning him into me if i do, introspection is not always warm and fuzzy...bla my second born scored a ninety on the route...not bad for a ten year old, hey? and the nine year old scored an eighty. but i think that's probably because he went first...headstrong, pushy child that he is. they also did this really crazy, really cool work out today. the rock climbing instructors are learning to loosen up, broaden what they're teaching, and really make it fun (and relevant) for these kids. it's a blast watching and i know the kids are loving it.

and then there's still the college thing. teenager still wants to go. i guess that will be my primary job tomorrow...scheduling the things that need to happen to get him there. it still feels kind of weird.

and my spouse...i have been avoiding a lot of this discussion because...well, a lot of reasons. it is tender. it is old. it is repetitive. it is huge, it is not so huge all at the same time. it confuses me. it challenges me, too. it feels sometimes like a brick wall that i run into, knocking the wind out of me. other times it feels like a phantom i've dreamt up and isn't real at all. and i think i'm about talked out on that for now....

ok, teenager has friends over. all the sons get so excited when there are more males here to spend the night. it gets kind of loud. it requires much food. it reminds me of another marathon shirt i saw sunday...this sounded like a good idea three months ago.

Monday, November 17, 2008

bookworm award

i received this from bohemi-anna, who is one of those young, intelligent, vibrant, and kind people who makes the world a better place. i even bought a scarf from her to wear to remind myself she's out there. i guess you could say i am happy to know her... <3

Here is the rule for the award:Pass it on to five other bloggers, and tell them to open the nearest book to page 46. Write out the fifth sentence on that page, and also the next two to five sentences...The CLOSEST BOOK, NOT YOUR FAVORITE, OR MOST INTELLECTUAL!!

ok, the book is plan b, by anne lamott. (man, i lucked out...i swear i had gardening or the trivium over here the other day...)

ok, page 46, fifth we go... it's from an essay about her mom, and her mom's ashes, and how she finally dealt with them, called o noraht, noraht...

I put the brown plastic box in the closet as soon as it came back from the funeral home, two years ago, thinking I could at last give up all hope that a wafting white-robed figure would rise from the ashes of my despair and say, "Oh, little one, my darling daughter, I am here for you now." I prayed for my heart to soften, to forgive her, and love her for what she did give me--life, great values, a lot of tennis lessons, and the best she could do. Unfortunately, the best she could do was terrible, like the Minister of Silly Walks trying to raise an extremely sensitive young girl, and my heart remained hardened toward her. frightens me how i can relate to this as a daughter and be kind of terrified by it as a mother at the same time...but time settles in my chest and makes me settle down, eat it all bite by bite and stop trying to swallow the whole thing at once...keeps me from choking to death.

ok, i just needed the break and remembered i'd been tagged. thanks anna! oh, i get to tag five more...hmmm...i know! i know! how about jen, hope, lana, julie, and whit...i KNOW you all read like crazy...and you're all pretty sexy, too...

marathon lessons

ok, so i didn't win. ( bil, for some reason, kept reminding me of the purse in this marathon, which was annoying after the second or third was this implication that if i was going to run, i might as well try to win or something...buzzkill...)

but i did finish. and i did shave about twelve minutes off of my time in february. my sister had the goal that we'd finish in under three hours. and i admit, i thought that goal was kind of crazy since she hadn't run in two months prior to the half marathon and i hadn't run the two weeks prior. but, like this shirt i saw on the course (and as the mandela quote on the right reminded me of, too)...marathons are the triumph of desire over reason. and my sister and i experienced that triumph was awesome. (we finished in two hours, fifty-nine minutes, and thirty-seven seconds...shweet)

but triumph and awesome-ness sometimes hurt like hell. and my sister and i are also experiencing that today. oh yeah baby...can you say hobble? well, i can. (and i mean i can hobble...not just say it...hope, we didn't do too well without you to remind us to stretch afterward...oh was humbling and we'll never forget again, i'm sure.)

but let me tell you something about my sister and i. or something i learned about my sister and i. or something i figured out about my sister and i. we are good partners in these kind of deals. because she is stubborn and cynical and freaking hilarious. (there was this moment that i don't think i'll ever forget...strangely it was one of my favorite half marathon moments...where we ran by this guy in a banana suit and my sister looked him in the eye and started shouting "peanut butter jelly time, peanut butter jelly time" and the guy's eye lit up and he and his friends and my sister finished this little chant from family guy that she showed me last night so i'd get it...but it was so random and so hilarious and this is the stuff my sister excels at.) anyway, she thinks i'd leave her in the dust if i didn't run with her. and i did pull her along a little at the end. it was a sweet moment when i told her we could make her goal even if we walked, but that we'd have to walk faster and she looked at me and said, not all yelling at me either, "but i am walking fast" and suddenly looked like a little kid again. anyway, what she doesn't know is that i may be able to run longer, or ignore the pain better than her (i HAVE had four children to her never even had intercourse, you know...), but i would never be able to do this without her. there are things she believes about me and limbs she is willing to walk out on with me that no one else in this world would even consider. and for that, i am strong. well, i'm sure working out and training has a little to do with being strong, but it makes me determined...and there's a lot of strength in that, too.

we had a big cheerleading section at the seventh mile marker yesterday. my mom. my spouse and kids. my bff from high school and her partner. that awesome friend i was writing about awhile back who plays beautiful music. and also my sister's new girlfriend, who i really like a lot and is already part of our family. i cannot tell you what a lift seeing all of them was.

and i told my cyber mama tribe i would be thinking about them while i ran. and i did. they are such a diverse, strong, gentle group of women.

so of all the shirts i saw that were inspiring...

the older i get, the faster i was

on a really long beer run

marathon, the triumph of desire over reason

who moved the finish line?

i know i run like a girl, try to keep up.

and my personal favorite, does this shirt make my butt look fast?

i have to go with...13.1 miles and still smiling.

Friday, November 14, 2008

gotta run

well, i run on sunday, but i'll be leaving tomorrow morning and not back til afterward. i'm a little nervous, kind of tired already, but since i've done this before, i guess i feel a little more confident. i admit i'm looking forward to the training time to work on some other areas in life that i fear may be getting a little "flabby"...but it's all a marathon, right?


yeah, today's better

how could it not be? i mean, we went on a field trip at a biosolids plant at ten o'clock this morning. there is NOTHING to perk you up like seeing the many stages of purification of sewer water and how they turn it into "sludge cake" (which is a really, really nice term for dried out, compressed shit that does not smell like chocolate) and compost and sell it back to the public. i used to be amazed by the signs on the side of the road in a the rural-ish community i lived in that would say "lamb manure for sale"...i'd think, "wow, that's ballsy...your animal shits and you ask us to pay you for it." but really...where we went today, these guys are geniuses...selling our own shit back to

seriously, i think it's an awesome thing. otherwise our shit would go into landfills. so putting it back to use is great. this place also gets all the tree debris the city and the rest of the population generates when trimming for power lines, etc., and they chop 'em up, mix 'em up with the "dewatered biosolids" (another tricky word for dried up, compressed shit), and sell 'em as nutrient enhanced mulch for our flower gardens. it was neat. but it did smell like shit...there's no denying that.

so yes, i pulled myself out of my funk by literally surrounding myself with shit. maybe the problem is the solution? not exactly what i had in mind, but i couldn't pass up the little connection.

now i think i will go to park day. maybe....

and tomorrow, i travel to pick up my packet for my half marathon. i am ready to be finished running in races for awhile. i am really, really busy, and committing to run only stresses me out instead of the outlet running is supposed to be and usually is.

yesterday i realized i had forgotten this field trip. i'm so glad i got reminded the day before instead of the day after, because i've had the latter happen as well and it sucks so much more than the first.

my fourteen year old is also asking to be enrolled in a dual enrollment college class at a technical college about thirty miles away. i am looking into it, and it definitely seems like something that can be done, but it is also challenging me, this whole "fruit of my looms" growing up thing...and i don't mean learning to use the potty or use his own fork, either...i'm talking hair in places i used to be in charge of cleaning, chest broader than father's, shaving, wearing adult sized clothing, and now, hey, how 'bout i go to college? growing up. it's not bad...i mean, it's really mostly pretty's just weird.

ok, i don't want to put myself back in a funk. (and i swear i still kind of smell the biosolids plant, too...)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

giving up for tonight

i had this post i was going to do about what if the problem is the solution?...but it's been a crappy night, so i give.

maybe tomorrow will be better...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

look what i found

sometimes i like to just look at all of my bookmarks on my computer...i have quite a few of them. things that, for whatever reason at a given moment, struck me as worthy of returning to. so today, i went to a lot of those places, clicked around and played. there's a group called bioneers that i often think about, wondering if NOW is the right time to join it. but instead, today, i let my attention and time be taken by the international baccalaureate degree programme. i did, however, find this on the bioneers website and i just had to put it here, because, well, it is beautiful.

Dear Brother Obama,

You have no idea, really, of how profound this moment is for us. Us being the black people of the Southern United States. You think you know, because you are thoughtful, and you have studied our history. But seeing you deliver the torch so many others before you carried, year after year, decade after decade, century after century, only to be struck down before igniting the flame of justice and of law, is almost more than the heart can bear. And yet, this observation is not intended to burden you, for you are of a different time, and, indeed, because of all the relay runners before you, North America is a different place. It is really only to say: Well done.
We knew, through all the generations, that you were with us, in us, the best of the spirit of Africa and of the Americas. Knowing this, that you would actually appear, someday, was part of our strength. Seeing you take your rightful place, based solely on your wisdom, stamina and character, is a balm for the weary warriors of hope, previously only sung about.

I would advise you to remember that you did not create the disaster that the world is experiencing, and you alone are not responsible for bringing the world back to balance. A primary responsibility that you do have, however, is to cultivate happiness in your own life. To make a schedule that permits sufficient time of rest and play with your gorgeous wife and lovely
daughters. And so on. One gathers that your family is large. We are used to seeing men in the White House soon become juiceless and as white-haired as the building; we notice their wives and children looking strained and stressed. They soon have smiles so lacking in joy that they remind us of scissors. This is no way to lead. Nor does your family deserve this fate. One way of thinking about all this is: It is so bad now that there is no excuse not to relax. From your happy, relaxed state, you can model real success, which is all that so many people in the world really want. They may buy endless cars and houses and furs and gobble up all the attention and space they can manage, or barely manage, but this is because it is not yet clear to them that success is truly an inside job. That it is within the reach of almost everyone.

I would further advise you not to take on other people's enemies. Most damage that others do to us is out of fear, humiliation and pain. Those feelings occur in all of us, not just in those of us who profess a certain religious or racial devotion. We must learn actually not to have enemies, but only confused adversaries who are ourselves in disguise. It is understood by all that you are commander in chief of the United States and are sworn to protect our beloved country; this we understand, completely. However, as my mother used to say, quoting a Bible with which I often
fought, "hate the sin, but love the sinner." There must be no more crushing of whole communities, no more torture, no more dehumanizing as a means of ruling a people's spirit. This has already happened to people of color, poor people, women, children. We see where this leads, where it has led.

A good model of how to "work with the enemy" internally is presented by the Dalai Lama, in his endless caretaking of his soul as he confronts the Chinese government that invaded Tibet. Because, finally, it is the soul that must be preserved, if one is to remain a credible leader. All else might be lost; but when the soul dies, the connection to earth, to peoples, to animals, to rivers, to mountain ranges, purple and majestic, also dies. And your smile, with which we watch you do gracious battle with unjust characterizations, distortions and lies, is that expression of healthy self-worth, spirit and soul, that, kept happy and free and relaxed, can find an answering smile in all of us, lighting our way, and brightening the world.

We are the ones we have been waiting for.

In Peace and Joy,
Alice Walker


Tuesday, November 11, 2008


i woke up this morning to a post written by my friend, jen. jen and i have read many of the same books. well, to be more accurate, jen seems to have read almost everything, which happens to mean that, conveniently, she's read most of the books i really like (yes, anne lamott included). in her post today, she quoted kurt vonnegut in breakfast of champions. i've read breakfast of champions, but unfortunately, all i really remember from it was a picture drawn of an asshole. thank god jen has a better memory than i do. i copied the quote from her blog to put here...

So this book is a sidewalk strewn with junk, trash which I throw over my shoulders as I travel in time back to November eleventh, nineteen hundred and twenty-two.

I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.

my experience of military has been a little challenging lately. not because of the military necessarily, although the present war has definitely kept it more in the forefront of my mind...but many of the challenges are just part of who i am. i think i've mentioned before that i'm a non-confrontationalist who doesn't really even like to hurt other peoples' feelings, right? but this is me. it is not necessarily what i expect of the world...well, i mean, not in a forced way...

reflecting on today has been kind of difficult. maybe it is because i live in the south...maybe it is because i live near an army base...maybe it has nothing to do with what is going on around me and all comes from within me...but i am tired of being told what i should feel in regards to those presently serving or those who have served our country.

has it really gotten so bad that the assumption has to be that the general population is apathetic and needs to be told how to feel, what to do? and even if it has, are you trying to act in a way that perpetuates it? because speaking to me in a way that presumes i don't respect you makes me wonder why i should respect you, to be honest. (there may have been a bumper sticker here, a tshirt there...) are feelings about war supposed to be so simple? for or against? is that really all there is anymore...should it even be that easy? i find the feelings i have to be rather difficult to capture in a slogan and maybe that's why i feel so offended when i read some of these like i said, it's probably more about what's inside me.

i liked this quote because of the way it portrayed armistice day/veteran's day...a moment of silence to hear the voice of god. it is comforting to me...the idea of god silencing a battlefield, of warriors stopping to hear.

it is hard for me to even begin to try to imagine war...very hard. but i know it is real. and i know as long the country i live in engages in wars, men and women will be called to man them. and i know those who are called to participate can do so with honor...and often do. so while i do feel gratitude, and many other emotions as well, i think the main idea of the day, for me, is...

Monday, November 10, 2008

roll call of sorts

so sometimes it feels weird to post about the emotions of a weekend and find them so completely untied in to what was actually going on that weekend...what my family did...the fact that we had a lot of fun together...stuff like that.

so i thought i'd post a little about what we did this weekend.

friday my parents came to visit. we were at the park when they got to our town. we'd just finished planning next semester for the co-op we participate in...very exciting stuff. then we picked up lunch and came home to meet my dad and step mom. it was very nice, very cool hanging out with them, watching them watch their know, just normal old sharing space stuff. then they left to visit my grandparents, who have alzheimer's and dementia a few more hours up the road.

then my friend julie came to stay the weekend. she bought us all tickets to the renaissance festival for my children's birthdays. it was an awesome gift. we left saturday morning, after my dh finished rounding on his patients. we met my sister and her partner, who we were meeting for the first time. it was a lot of fun. we got to see the birds of prey show (a MUST SEE every time we've ever been), the other brothers (a comedy/juggling act that my spouse, i'm pretty sure, wants to be when he grows up), and the joust. my sister and her partner took the bigs to the ded bob show, too... then we threw chinese stars, axes, knives, catapulted frogs, rode in giant was great fun. the weather was absolutely beautiful and the company was the best. it had just been so long since we'd had time together, as a family and with a group of friends, doing something so completely was healing.

and then yesterday, as often happens when julie visits, she convinced me i can cook cabbage rolls were on the menu last night, and a cabbage casserole (to use up the rest of the head of cabbage) and a pumpkin pie. my bil, sil, and nephew came to visit, which always makes me very happy, and we all had a good time talking, laughing, playing with baby s, my two year old nephew.

yesterday was also remarkable because each of my guys got time alone, which is pretty rare. my oldest biked to his robotics team meeting and back. my second born had his robotics meeting. my third born went fishing with dad. and my youngest went to the grocery store with mama (he chose this, i wasn't a dead end field trip). julie stayed home and read twilight, which i believe i have gotten her addicted to.

so while i was having my kfkd delusions and feeling like an egomaniac with an inferiority complex, there were really quite a few great things going on around me that i was also able to participate in and enjoy. i am grateful for the time with loved ones this weekend. ken always reminds me there are chains of gold and chains of iron. the real kicker is that i'm starting to realize we get to choose our chains...letting go of some of them is kind of hard. yep...

here's the song i woke up to playing in my head...don't think it was kfkd playing this morning...must've bumped the dial... :)

uhm, yeah, this video was taken at a barnes and nobles in

Sunday, November 9, 2008

pity party, sort of

anne lamott refers to herself in an essay as an egomaniac with an inferiority complex. this is a phrase that, for whatever reason, has stuck with me since the moment i read it. anne lamott also calls the negative voices that play over and over in her head, some times more loudly than others, kfkd radio, which stands for k-fucked radio. this also rang a bell for me. my friend denise says i also picked up the phrase mindfucked from annie, which may or may not be true...i've been an anne lamott junky for over five years now...but it does make me want to go back and read and see if annie agrees with me or spell check on whether mindfucked is one word. (although i suppose if i read it in her book, i'd be spelling it the way i read it, huh?...which may support denise's theory...hrm...)

so this is kind of how i felt yesterday. and believe me, i usually have much sympathy for those who must suffer me at these times. but something was different yesterday. as i've learned to observe my emotions and not become them, i've also found that sometimes i must suffer through my own bad mood as well. not just inflict it, because it is not always my choice. i did use to feel like i was somehow putting these folks through my mood, forcing them to endure my negative presence or something. but now that i am not, in fact, my mood, sometimes i suffer a bad mood. and it allows me to be glad as hell when it's over, instead of embarrassed or sorry or ashamed or looking for forgiveness or whatever bullshit i was, in fact, inflicting upon myself, albeit unawares.

this does not, however, turn off kfkd radio. it still plays. but it kind of makes me laugh a little. i mean, kfkd is crazy negative. for me, kfkd says everything that happens is bad because i am bad. in the "right" mood...i can believe i stub my toe because i suck and therefore deserved it. like somehow the magnetic fields of the earth are picking up on how much i sucking is a metal maybe? i'll stop there. anyway...instead of making me want to cry or want to drive my car off a bridge, it kind of made me laugh today, because it really was a bit over the top...i mean really, where do i come up with this stuff? and did i always used to buy into it? believe it? why didn't it ever strike me as kind of nutty before? i dunno....

i don't know what these things mean or where exactly they lead to. but it was fun to not be the donkey at the party, with everyone out to impale me with something...well, i kind of felt like i still was the donkey a little, but this time i had a faded party hat on and a glass of watered down punch.

Friday, November 7, 2008

it's all about math

so i was talking to my co-coach yesterday...about hsing, whatnot. i told her how much i loved math...particularly algebra. you can jump in the problem almost anywhere you want, work it forward, work it backward, work it long as you don't break any rules, it'll work out. and then bonus, you can always substitute your answer back into the equation to make sure you got it right. i mean truly, this is healing stuff...settling stuff...the kind of thing you grab onto when your childhood is bouncing all around, ricocheting off of young parents, dating parents, parents who are still trying to figure out their place in the world and forget, sometimes, to check on the little person along for the ride. i loved math...way down deep in my toes.

i didn't say all of that to my co-coach. no way. but i'm sure she could tell i was not making it up in the least when i said i loved math. she likes math, too. she also likes sarah palin, so it's not like we're ideological twins or anything...i mean, she loves sarah palin. but i digress...

she said not many mamas that she knows like math, much less love it. and so we went on talking....

we talked about trampy family members. i know this sounds weird, but i do have some sort of trampy cousins and she, apparently, did too. it's funny though, because i was talking about inviting my cousins to thanksgiving and she was talking about distancing herself from hers. now, in all fairness, she was talking about high school and i'm talking about this month. so there's that.

but what struck me was how absolute her judgment was of some of the things we discussed...some of the issues that came up. we talked about abortion, for some reason. she shared some of her thoughts about it...i shared a few stories that my spouse has had come up in the hospital...instances where the life of the mother was at risk if they didn't induce labor for a fetus everyone knew was too young to survive. i didn't mean to be challenging, but it is a pattern in my behavior that i've long storytelling shifts to cover the other side of the issue...

i've always been like that. tell me about a population of people that take advantage of governmental support, and i'll tell you about someone i know who's risen above. tell me how women who have a child with governmental support should be sterilized to prevent them from doing it again, and i'll tell you how my first son was born on medicaid. tell me how people who work hard for their money should be able to keep it and not give it to those who don't work hard and i'll tell you that i've earned lots and i've earned little, and i'll gladly pay my taxes to help someone who was in my situation. i'll even tell you that someone who loved us said we could use their taxes to have that first son so all the other folks who think i was stealing from them don't have to worry...

i know there are trends. i know there are stereotypes. i know there are even statistics that can prove some trends or stereotypes may be, well, statistically sound. but i also know that which way those generalities lean has a lot to do with the perspective of the person looking at them. and that there will always be things that we miss. always.

so...going back to really is all about math. because numbers in algebra are pretty absolute. people, however, are not. and while i found solace in the stability of math from the unpredictability of people, i've had to learn to be comfortable in the world of peeps because, well, numbers aren't so conversational or supportive or even humorous on a tough day, i guess. and so when people call me liberal or bleeding heart or sensitive or aware or's really just that i hate feeling like i have the one absolute right answer and finding out i don't. math did this to me.

because i have had people make assumptions about me that just weren't true...apply generalities to me that just didn't fit. and while it didn't end my life, it did hurt my feelings. and i'm just not into hurting people. but it also hurts me to assume i know something about someone that i don't. it takes away from my depth as a person and my opportunity to see myself reflected in someone else...often someone i don't think i share anything in common with, or even don't want to believe i could share anything in common with. no, i obviously don't always get that right or pull that off in a way that i'm proud of. i often fall short. but it's a goal i have embraced and the learning in trying to achieve it is huge...learning about the world around me, the people i share it with, and myself, too.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

it's still like a dream, almost

there are so many things i think i want to say...but then i type them and erase them because they, in fact, are not what i want to say. or they don't necessarily embody what i'm trying to say.

i will say that i grew up with parents who were pretty racist. i don't know that they ever would've been moved to physical violence by their ideals, but there were many things i heard as a child that i just knew weren't right...were cruel and were false. it made me feel sorry for my parents, yes...but it also made me watch people of color. since we had none as friends, i watched as often as i could.

i still hear my parents say things that make me cringe. although now that i'm older and own my own car, they are much more careful in what they say. i received so many emailed forwards from my mother this election about obama. none of them true, all of them pretty exaggerated, all of them focusing on his "otherness". and it made me uncomfortable. because i knew my mother would talk about taxes, but i felt pretty sure, as her daughter, that her motivation was a little deeper and a little older than that. and it challenged me in a lot of ways.

we all have a tendency to view those we share with...either traits, activities, ideals, location, same, and those we don't share with as other. when i watched obama's acceptance speech, and mccain's speech, too, for that matter, i was struck by the message of unity and same-ness in each of them. it is so damned easy sometimes to just chalk some one up to being on the "other" team and avoiding them or hardening off to them, forgetting them. but we've made our bed as a nation, and now it's time to lie in it...all of us together.

i saw this in a clip on a friend's blog this morning. it was beautiful. this poem was part of the clip and i thought i'd put it here, too. it is such a beautiful, beautiful poem... again, i'm typing and erasing...haha

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou

we all rise...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


i've said this word to my sons quite a bit the last twenty-four hours or so. i keep telling them that history seems like something that happened a long time ago. that we don't always realize history is being made. and they've been around for some history making events, but they were too young to remember it. this election they will remember. and i think it's given each of them pause for their own reasons and to process their own young perspectives.

it has been so long since i've felt buy in with so much of our government. i often talk to other parents about trying to get buy in from their kids on the policies of the family. it's so much easier when kids believe in or understand why they're being asked to do certain things. and it's the same with government. but i'm a good citizen...i don't have to totally buy into it to respect and follow things. but i feel differently now. watching the race be so close in so many states, you could really tell how each vote mattered. and seeing how great the electoral college margin was compared to the popular vote margin...kind of gave a little universal balance to the gore/bush election in 2000. it just seemed to be a healing event in so many ways and for so many folks.

it will be interesting to see how the next four years go. i feel excited about it. excited to see a segment of our country participate in an election for the first time. excited to see how that affects the progress of our nation in general. in a lot of ways, after the last eight years, there's really not that much further down to go, not that much more apathy to be felt. but last night, i felt like we were soaring... we went to bed praying for the health of our grandfather and for the health and safety of our president elect.

disjointed, yes. heartfelt, yeah, that too.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

keeping it light

okay, a little potty humor from today...

my youngest went potty at the rock climbing gym today. we're, what?, four days out from halloween? he'd told me he thought he had to pee and poop, which means "come check on me in a minute because i'll probably need help wiping". so i gave him some time, went in, and while i was wiping him, i noticed the little round poo balls in the bottom of the toilet. so i ask him, "was it hard to get this poo out?" and he says yes. so i go on to tell him it's because he's eating too much candy and a lot of sugar will make him constipated, which means it is very hard to get the poo out. and he replies, "yeah! and i almost had to explode my head when i was pushing it out, too!"

yes, these moments sustain me in some strange way...freaking hilarious.

and i think it's really cool that my fourteen year old has not walked away from the television and election coverage tonight. i think i owe part of this to his founding documents class he's taking in co-op, along with his teacher who i happen to know he really, really likes. but the rest i think really just has to do with an awakening awareness of the world we live in. he mentioned tonight how excited he is to be able to vote in the next election. (which almost made me throw up in my mouth, but i donwannatalkboutthat) i am surprised by how emotional i feel about this election. the realization of an america where an african american man can run for president chokes me up.

alright...was that light? i don't even know. i am soooo morbidly intense right now...i can barely stand myself.

oh, and some thoughts for my spouse's father. he had a heart attack in february, remember? he's re-clogged what they opened already, so surgery is in his future. no one is happy about this. he's a really good man, even if he did instill this overkill work ethic in his he is on my mind and in my heart.

and this is really small, but my youngest is getting a cold, it sounds like. and since we haven't been sick in so long (which i am grateful for, i promise), it almost makes me cry to hear his hoarse little voice and see his tired little eyes. yes, everything almost makes me cry, but i wanted to mention this one specifically.

peace out

ps--came back to we're still watching election night coverage...and it is cracking me up that my youngest has started referring to the blue states as the rebels and the red states as the empire...think star's the color of the light sabers, i swear...i don't talk politics with my five year is, again, one of those things that sustains me.

Monday, November 3, 2008


it's just one of those times. i didn't realize it until i went to therapy today and actually had a chance to talk about it for awhile. according to the-rapist, i am working through the grief of my kids not being babies (although she assures me that older children is a delightful time of parenting, too, and i really, really like where my kids are right now), i'm working through shifting relationships with my mama friends and community of support, i'm working through the continued stress of a spouse in medicine...stress on time, stress on relationships, stress on money, and then there's the stress of our parents getting older...which applies more to my spouse's family than my own.

oh, there may have been more stuff, i don't remember anymore... but it actually felt good in the end to cry a little and just pour it out. it wasn't very coherent. it wasn't all put together or connected or whatever...none of it was particularly relevant to anything else other than these are all things that are important to me, people who are important to me, relationships that are important to me.

so what was her advice? well, i have to say, it really cracked us both up when she started telling me what i needed to do...then she stopped herself and said, "uh, no...that's way too directive. what i'd like to see from you is..." man, we had to stop for a few minutes before we could stop laughing over that. but she'd like to see me lighten up on myself. (that one's kind of hard...) she'd like to see me continue to learn to take care of myself. (i've been working on that one...trying to figure out exactly what it means) and she'd like to see me work on setting aside some time for communication with my spouse...or communication for all of our family would probably be good, too.

wish me luck. going into november is a hard time of year for me. dealing with the decreased sunshine hours while the world gets ready in a flurry of activity for christmas has been really rough the last five or six years. and christmas...with its incredible potential for spiritual opportunities and its nauseating pull toward over-consuming...well, it's just a rough balance to struggle finding with less sunlight than normal. but i will try to be aware of these things going into it and not let myself get sucked least not without being aware of my consent to be sucked in, i suppose.

i'm also struggling with my eczema right now. sigh... but i am going to make an appointment with a nurse practitioner. i am, i am, i am. i just need a little support in that area. i can't afford the energy drain that comes with chronic pain...even if it's not major just wears me out after awhile.

ok...onward and upward. or i'll at least try for a few steps forward... :)

real quick...i know i've posted a video of this song before. it's the indigo girls singing the wood song...but it brings me peace, so i'm posting it again. maybe this is a different show.