Saturday, January 31, 2009

ok, here's the deal

so, that post i made a couple of days ago about was like the beginning of the long row of dominoes tumbling. there were more after that, but there is only so much you can capture with words at a time...only so much your brain can process as your perspective widens...only so much it can take in at once, i guess is more accurate.

what i realize is something like this...i birthed my kids, i've raised them...fed them, clothed them, watched them learn to button buttons, brush teeth, take steps, ride bikes (yes, my littlest did this last week and it is STILL my most favorite thing to watch them figure out in the world...srsly), all that stuff that they figure out in my presence...and i'll continue to be right alongside them, as much as they need me...this is my pledge in conceiving them, right? to be there as best i can when they need me...but they are their own people...period. always have been, haven't they?

see, when it takes awhile for you to figure out that these little folks are not, in fact, a representation of how you're doing in life...that their lives are not about you, but about them...well, it's one long "a-ha moment" and it leads to all these other realizations about other folks you didn't birth and your relationships with gives everyone an independence that changes your concept of interdependence, but that's as clearly as i can state that, so i probably need a little more time on that concept. (you know, like a lifetime or something)

anyway...all of this to say, that i love my kids. i see them as individuals these days in a way i don't think i've ever managed before. but then i'm also reconnecting with and still interacting with all these other folks. and somewhere in all of this, i see that our relationships to each other, without our own personal judgments or whatever, are basically the same. where one of us succeeds, we all succeed. where one of us is healed, we all get healed. my ability to affect my kids may be a little greater because of proximity and trust built in a relationship that has spanned their entire lives, but i will not be the only relationship that affects them and i should not pretend my only responsibility is to them. we all affect each other. from the child i dropped off to volunteer for the first time today to the woman i almost hit as she pulled out of the parking lot on the street two blocks before the rock gym said child was volunteering at. we all affect each other. some we think about, plan, and try to control how we affect. some we never have a clue we even were a part of that life. and everything in between.

i don't know why this is so huge, but it has cracked my world open. (in a good way...or at least a way i am drawn into) i feel electric. and grateful. and tiny and powerful and lots of other things.

one other thing...we watched the last samurai with the kids last night and this morning. (started it last night, finished it this morning) i do not really like tom cruise, but i will say he was kind of perfect, in his little, arrogant, cockiness for playing the role of america in that movie. i'm a little torn about the violence in the movie, and my littles cover their heads during much of it, but i wonder how that stuff sounds when you aren't watching.... anyway, my oldest and i talked about the movie, as we were crying at the's powerful stuff...power for the sake of power is a fucking powerful thing...big surprise. but strength for what you believe in...while it gets knocked down, assassinated, massacred again and again, cannot be crushed. and my oldest and i were both overcome with that realization, i think. i told him about obama's line in his inaugural address, "to those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents...You cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you." it is a fine line between protecting ourselves from terrorists and becoming the very terrorists we seek to protect ourselves from. while i believe it is noble to defend innocents, i believe if we become the same as those we are defending ourselves from, we are no longer noble. and while some people feel being alive is the most important thing, this movie kind of took my teen and i to different paths of thinking in our conversation than we'd ever covered before. and it was emotional for us the whole time.

so, there's today's verbal vomit. i think as busy as i've been, i'm a little backlogged in processing through these thoughts. my dreams have become wild as my mind seeks to work stuff out. i must continue my campaign to get my ass on the treadmill.

but now i have some lego parts to research for my second born's robot he's building and some sheets to change on the beds my three youngest children have all decided to sleep in. it's amazing how they are all growing and progressing and changing and teaching me the whole while.


Friday, January 30, 2009

life is good

i spend a lot of time driving right now. today, on the road, this was a song my five year old heard for the first time and really, really liked... (and i realize this is one cheesy assed video, but i couldn't bring myself to post young teenage girls dancing to this song and all the other good ones were embedding disabled, so here ya go...)

so here's the song i heard today on the road for the first time and liked. it's a little idealistic, yes, but i think if i squinted one eye and tilted my head a little sideways, it could almost be a song between my spouse and i. but maybe i'm just goofy like that...

i'm not splitting hairs or was a fun car ride. i do find it a little disturbing that my five year old has such a definite preference for rap music, but it'll all wash out in the end, i'm sure...i think it will, i think it will, i think it will...

it has been a long week. a growing, stretching, learning, thinking kind of week. and it's been good. but it's also good to rest a little on the weekend. and i am looking forward to that...oh, am i looking forward to that.


ps--i rarely ever do this, but i have to recommend a blog. i just added it to my blog roll yesterday...margaret and helen. they're 83 and willing to call it like they see it...omg, i love reading this blog...they are brilliant.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


i don't know where i got the idea that life was supposed to be stable...flat, smooth, whatever. but i have long pursued that goal. and now i understand that the reason i haven't achieved it isn't because of some defect of my character, laziness of my person...i haven't achieved it because it is unreal. life doesn't work that way. it's not always these huge shifts, like what split our continents...but it is not stagnate.

there is a shift going on in my household that has gotten my attention. my teenager is ready to do things on his be a little more independent. when we went to dinner monday to celebrate chinese new year, he went to climb with the rock climbing team. and this was kind of depressing to me...depressing in a way that made me want to stamp my foot and say "no! you're coming with US...we like you better than those rock climbing fools" (and i should say here that i like the rock climbing fools just fine...they are not fools at all, but when one is tantruming, one's integrity tends to get drowned out by the screaming two year old). instead, i let him go and i pouted...i brooded...i let myself be pretty disgruntled by the whole thing for the whole ride home and a few minutes after getting there. then my bil and nephew got to my house, and we were all cracking up together, waiting for my spouse to get home so we could go surprise the hell out of some chinese restaurant in our small town with the knowledge that there are, in fact, chinese folks living around here...

at dinner, as i looked at my three other sons and my nephew, my bil and my spouse and i, all sitting at this table, eating way oversalted chinese food, laughing and talking, i felt the absence of my oldest. and i saw a future with more of his absences...and even the eventual absence of the other little traitors, er, i mean kids at the table. it made me tear up some.

i know them growing up is part of the has to be. i don't want them to be dependent on me for every meal, every dime, every car ride or homework reminder, for the rest of their lives. i know they are good people already. and they look forward to each new opportunity, each new experience. my oldest is really getting independent. and i've seen more of the good man he's becoming as he's travelled out on his own than i ever had the chance to witness when i held him under my wing. but it makes me appreciate these times of transitioning all the more.

when my youngest was growing passed toddlerhood, i remember wondering if this would be the last time i nursed him, the last diaper i'd change, the last time i'd cut his food into tiny little chunks. but now i wonder if this is the last time my oldest will let me grab him in a cradle hold on my lap, laugh at my dumb jokes, talk to me about girls. i doubt so, but i've never done this's all new terrain for me.

it also occurs to me how my job as his mom has changed. how it's not for me to remove him from situations that may be he's chosen a challenging path because he WANTS the suggesting he avoid them at times only undermines his sense of what he's capable of handling...geez, what a crazy balance.

i just got in touch with a friend i used to spend a lot of time with after i went back to school in 1999. i'd met him at camp and i thought the world of him. he had an energy to him such that just being in his presence made me feel better. after he found me on facebook, i noticed he had some AA stuff in his bio. so this morning, he sent me the story of the last few years. he doesn't remember much of our time hanging out, other than he feels so grateful to have found me, see my family, be back in touch. he was drinking heavily, which i knew, smoking out a lot, which i figured, and also branching into other things, which i had no idea of, at that time. i always knew he had the ability to turn his life into what he has now. the part of him that's turned things around and been grown during those difficult years for him, was always just needed the chance to come forward, which meant all the bullshit had to burn itself out. and that took always does. but as i chatted with my friend, i thought, how would i feel if my teenager brought home someone like this man when i first met him? would i be okay with it? would i allow him the chance to experience the full gambit of life that i've had the opportunity to experience with him? or would i become afraid and try to get him to end his friendship? i don't know. but it is something i will definitely be thinking about for the next decade or longer, i suppose.

yesterday, i was telling some friends about this feeling of being overwhelmed...of vacillating back and forth between "i got it" and "i am in way over my head." a friend said i sounded like i was swinging on a vine, trying to get bananas. something about that image really struck me...that life is about swinging...i always think i will find that point of balance and stay there forever (you know, once i'm really good at it and stuff). but i don't think that's how it works. i think we swing back and forth, sometimes in big arcs, sometimes in smaller ones...but i think balance comes in recognizing it when we're there...not necessarily digging our fingernails in and trying to stay there...but knowing we'll return there again and again. i don't think there's any other way to look at life once i've admitted i am not in control of every aspect of it, nor can i be.

one of the things my friend said to me today...

personally, I had it all wrong, i am not on this earth for me but for me to be available to you, you being anyone i can be useful to

i hope my sons have the chance to know and love and learn from people like i have...

Monday, January 26, 2009

wanted to say

i barely have enough focus right now to get what i need to get done...done. i've also been a lot more active lately in cyber space, too... that said...i needed to come on here and say


i am still draining a little, but who cares? my whole face is not swollen on the inside and that is a raging success for me. i'm enjoying the healing.

also, i've been enjoying the oscar wilde quotes here's...

America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up.

and yesterday's was about forgiving your enemies because it annoys the hell out of them. (i'm paraphrasing here.)

so it's been busy...a good kind of busy after a slow, healing weekend. i'm a little spinney in the head...but i think my feet are under me...i think


Saturday, January 24, 2009

ok, this cold is starting to piss me off

and i think that's about all i have to say today...


Friday, January 23, 2009

park day

well, i thought i was getting better. then i went and stood out at park day today, in the wind, and the cedar, and, well, i am not feeling better anymore...

but i made it through week two of our new schedule...and this one included co-op and tuesday's rock climbing class, so it was pretty much the full deal. next week, we add flute lessons, and then we're really rolling full steam.

it was still a little wonky with eldest today. i kind of freaked at park day because, while talking to the mamas, out of my peripheral vision, i saw eldest drop another kid, rip a stick out of said dropped kid's hands, and then throw the stick away. so i quickly trucked it over there and eldest said kid had tried to hit him with stick because they were not agreeing over how to play capture the flag. ooooooookay. i asked eldest if he thought he could play the game and be cool with aforementioned kid. eldest said he thought he could be cool and avoid other kid, but that he really didn't other kid would respect that and would probably try to get in eldest's face. and i said, "well, i'm going to just put this out here even though you didn't ask...i don't think it's a good idea you stay and play this game then." (my stuffy nose was gone at this point in the day...but it is back in full force now) eldest agreed (he IS a sensible young man-ish type of guy) and went to do other things. i spoke to kid who'd been dropped, made sure he was alright, and just mentioned that it might get things back to agreeable a little quicker if he'd back out of a person's face who he'd just upset...although it was, of course, ultimately up to him...

it all went off fairly smoothly. but the adrenaline rush from watching my son drop another kid took awhile to wear off. once it did, though, i decided he'd done the right thing for him and that i was proud of him. he didn't hurt the kid. and i don't think any of the mamas were upset (in particular, kid who'd been dropped's mama, especially). it was alright...

now my spouse is on call. (i have the most hilarious story about a retained object he found during an exam the other makes me want to go make sure i don't have any stray socks or lost earrings hiding out in my nether regions...but i'll save it) i am trying to get into the new toni morrison book, but it is going way over my congested head...the language i usually find so enchanting is pissing me off because i keep thinking i must be skipping words...but no, that's really how it's written. maybe i should go find some annie...and some vitamin c...and a soft blanket...ooh, this is starting to sound good...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

just looking at stuff

it's been kind of blah here lately. i have a cold which makes everything kind of have this watery quality to it. drowning...crying...whatever...not that any of that is actually going on. it's just how it feels. the potential under the surface. adding to it is that, as i've mentioned a million times i feel like, it's kind of a busy semester for us. i finally called second born's flute teacher and added that weekly appointment to the at least i can let go of the guilt of not allowing him to be as overscheduled as the rest of us....aahhhh....(that's supposed to sound like a relieved "ah" and not a screaming type "ah" although either would work right there)

i feel like teenager is edgy. but i can't tell if he's edgy because he's feeling overwhelmed or if he's edgy because he feels like we're all looking at him to break down from being overwhelmed...see the difference? see the dilemma? it's kind of funny to me, though, in my congested, foggy headed state. because i don't know how to proceed. i mean...i do...i just proceed...that's how. and eventually we'll find a rhythm...or eventually we'll just be proceeding without being so damned conscious of it...whatever.

but tonight, when he got home from rock climbing team, he was kind of edgy, surly...grumpy...whatever. i can't tell if it's from being away from us so much...learning some independence...coming back and bucking us a little. i don't know. whatever it is, it's edgy, it's surly, it's grumpy. so, as my spouse is baiting a rat trap (i don't want to talk about that part of my story right now) with peanut butter, teenager says, "that's not even real peanut butter" all disgusted like. now, it does have flax seed added to it, but it is peanut butter. in my quest to buy natural products for my kids, i happened upon this stuff, and while it does have added oil, salt, and molasses, mostly i was overjoyed it could live on a shelf and not produce our own little exxon valdez oil spill every time someone wants a little peanut butter on something. seriously, the non separating part of it was hugely appealing after years of oil spills all over my hands, the counter top, whatever. so i explained to teenager that it was, in fact, really peanut butter. he kind of rolls his eyes (like there's a kind of to eye rolling, but humor me) and says, "well, i don't like the way it tastes."

now, i don't think we should get all emotional and read a bunch of shit into peanut butter. i really don't. but i did feel, just a little, like he was getting all rebellious on me about not liking this peanut butter. (it was the eye rolling that did it, you see...combined with the smirky lips and stare down after he said he didn't care if it was real peanut butter...and really i was missing the point by discussing whether it was real peanut butter...and why am i such a dumb whore as to not realize the real point here?...) and so i told him, in my stuffed up nose voice (which is so very cool, lembetellyouh) that all he has to do is let me know if he doesn't like a brand of something i buy and i'll try a different brand. and then i went to move laundry (read: got the hell out of room...the tension was so thick...yes, it was like peanut butter)

as i was moving the laundry, i thought about how hard it was as a teen to live in a house where i didn't always like what the parentals bought to pass for meals or snacks. how i did sometimes feel like they were choosing not to buy my own preferences. (i know, i know, five words, right? this was years before i knew the five words, so it was allll about me then...) and i can empathize with my son on this. i know he's told me things he doesn't particularly like and i've still bought them. usually, because i forget he told me he didn't like them. not because he isn't important to me. i just have a lot of shit to remember and these days, well, some of it's falling through the cracks. (yes, i just admitted my mind's a little cracked...see what therapy can do for a girl?) so i was all full of empathy for the teenager slighted by his mother's peanut butter bumble...who probably doesn't even CARE that she'll try something new and different next time...if, fingers crossed, she remembers to even buy peanut butter next time.

but then i thought about how freaking hard it is to buy something every person in a family of six will like...and then i felt all this empathy for the mother who can't always please everyone...sometimes because she doesn't know, sometimes because she forgets, sometimes because she just can't imagine it's that big of a deal...i mean, good lord, give her a break, wouldja?

so after looking at both sides of the situation, i decided to hell with it. it's about peanut butter, right? it is not about me. and i am tired and worn out from this damned cold and probably not thinking too clearly about this shit anyway.

but i do miss him. he is gone a lot. and it sucks being sick during this transition. but once i get better (and i'm on my eyes no longer feel like there are knives behind them and i don't feel the need to yank my teeth out anymore) i think everything will be alright...sometimes chaotic, sometimes delightful...but i think it'll average out to alright. and that's good for me.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

missing pieces

there's a thread titled "missing pieces" on my mama board right now. it's a mama talking about how she can't stand to lose the pieces to her kids toys...which i completely understand. i used to care about that stuff when my guys were little and none of them had pubic hair. but the title made me think of something else i've been thinking about these days...

a few years back, my girlfriend from high school, patsy, had been through a pretty devastating break up. now, patsy and i have been friends for over ten years...more like almost twenty...i mean, i knew her back in her vegetarian/health nut/running days. i'd sit and eat chips and smoke cigarettes and cheer her on when she'd run at the local track. she was the one who'd convince me to eat a salad every once in awhile, although i always tended to drench them in ranch dressing. i just didn't understand this push for health and sweat, i guess... it was funny to me when i went to visit her a few years back, almost a year after this horrible break up she'd been through, to find that there was no food in her house. i mean, her fridge had a head of broccoli that was pretty old, a bottle of water, and a sonic slushy in it. and i think she had some rice in her pantry... now, this happened to be a time in my life where i was starting to understand the push for health and sweat stuff...when i was in pretty good shape...eating well, exercising. (i'd like to think i'm still there...just not as completely. maybe my ass is on the wagon, but my feet are dragging the ground...something like that.) so i made her take me to her local grocery to buy fruit, some yogurt, some beer (which we never even that would happen these days)...she cried at how good a fresh strawberry tasted...because she'd forgotten. that's when i figured friends are like banks...we deposit little pieces of ourselves in them so that we can get them back later, when we really need them.

so, another friend of mine has been going through some stuff that is centered, in part, on meeting an old friend from the past and the gift of receiving a missing piece of who you were...who that person remembers you as...and frankly, if we're going to go back twenty or so years, whose memory of you is really the right one? theirs or yours? for this friend, it's been a huge gift to get to see the beauty in the person she was then...she had issues, yeah...and dealing with those issues clouded who she remembered herself as. all the guilt made it hard to love who she was. but her old friend loved that person that she was...and was willing to share it with the woman she is now.

that may have come across as kind of incoherent...but i've mentioned meeting an old friend on facebook. i've met a number of them. it's been wild. a lot of them are kind of acquaintance-y's nice to see how they're doing...see their kids, their families. it's good to reconnect, but there's probably not going to be a whole lot of day to day conversation going on. and a lot of them are people i shared a time in life with, not much one on one type of time to begin with. but tonight another one found me. and it's cool because i've been thinking about him a lot... it's just funny. all these glimpses of these people we were...these laughs we had...things we did...lives we had...spaces we've's neat to unite them with who we are the two versions dance together, find some commonalities.

anyway...i have a cold. and while that was a lot more focused than i thought it would be, i lost my train of thought. oh well...i know what i meant...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

a new day

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.’’

--Abraham Lincoln


ps--ok, i have to add this for today... my sister and her partner had invited me to austin to see amy ray (half the indigo girls) play tonight. and if the cedar wasn't so high that my whole face aches--even my teeth!--then i'd probably go. and maybe if amy was taking the stage before 9:30pm...that would probably help, too. i am sad to miss the show. i am sad to miss seeing my sister and her partner. i am also sad that i am getting older and having to rearrange priorities and make these kind of decisions...well, sort of. so here's my favorite amy solo song. i've posted it before, but it's still my favorite...and on a day like today, "let it ring" is a perfect sentiment...

Monday, January 19, 2009

five important words


i saw my the-rapist today. it was a good one. i was talking to her about the dynamics of the meeting my robotics team and parents had last night. about how hard it is to go forward with a group of adults i feel have such different philosophies from me. but i still feel responsible to this team, responsible for part of this journey. and how to reconcile a lot of that...find the flat place--you know, the one that's not slippery or jagged. so we talked about different people's expectations when it comes to competition...particularly adults coaching children in competitions. it helped to hear her say that my co-coach was making the classic mistake of making this about her...not because i needed to hear i was right, but because there was understanding and even a hint of forgiveness in the-rapist's voice when she said it...and that's what i'm striving for. the-rapist helped me remember that it is not the end of the world for children to have adults who make mistakes leading them...i can even turn out alright when those adults are completely unable to admit they ever made a mistake. my job isn't to remove all of those challenges from children's's to be there alongside them as they walk through them, helping as best i can...which often means just being quiet and being there.

i find this challenging to me because i want to believe my ideals are right...are good. and i do. but it would help if everyone was jumping to get on the same bandwagon...would make it seem all the more right and good. but there are lots of good bandwagons out there...some of them driven only by a person or two, i suppose. and whether someone agrees with me or is not about me. it is about many other things and i'm not one of them. i like it when the-rapist says these words, because she holds up her five fingers. now she doesn't even have to say them...i know what the five raised fingers means.

i am sure things will turn out just fine. i will find a balance and not spiral into craziness... this is a team of people led by good one is trying, purposely, to sabotage anyone. i feel my awareness reaching an equilibrium...a place where i won't be so easily toppled. i just keep waiting for my emotions to settle down and follow suit.

i laughed on the way home from counseling today, though, because i was listening to brandi carlile and "my song" came on. to me, it seems like a song that is supposed to be about her, but she can't help but define herself by this other as she basically sings this song to another person, she keeps going back to "but this is my song" makes me laugh because i have so long defined myself by my relationships, successful and unsuccessful both, that these five words are really, really hard sometimes. but i can see a lot of light beyond that doorway if i can get myself to fully walk through...


Friday, January 16, 2009

note to myself...

i like today's oscar wilde quote...

Morality, like art, means drawing a line someplace.

ok, now my note...

it has been a really long week...and a busy one, too. oldest started classes an hour away. oldest also started rock climbing practice with the team on thursday evenings. oldest and third born started piano on wednesdays. i still need to call to begin second born's flute lessons. co-op starts next week as well as rock climbing class for the three bigs. and i need to register third born for soccer. oh, and second born turned eleven yesterday, which was a very cool, very successful celebration with friends and family and i am very grateful for those who love us here... all of that proceeding after a competition weekend (complete with teenage tantrum last friday) and it was quite a ride.

i think we are going to be able to do this schedule...i do. i don't think i'm kidding myself too much in thinking that. but i have to say that i am not sure where my treadmill time fits into this new schedule. and tonight, as i feel myself sort of vibrating with tension and maybe a tiny bit of anxiety, i realize that treadmill time is important and must be a priority to some degree. let me say this again (for myself) TREADMILL TIME IS IMPORTANT... otherwise i will be grouchy, tense, negative, unhappy, and probably not fit into the jeans i have. i will probably eat a bunch of crap to compensate, thus making me feel worse. i will want interaction but not have the patience for it. i will feel antsy and hungry for something, but not able to find what i want, thereby consuming many things...junk food, relationships, hours at the computer doing nothing, whatever gets in my path. i don't think i'm being overly pessimistic, and i realize that all of this will not happen at once. thank god it hasn't yet, anyway. but these are the things i think may be related to leading a quick paced life, trying to meet lots of people's needs, and having lots of thoughts about all of it, but when i only worry in my mind about things i cannot control, and do not give my body a physical outlet for some of that energy/worry, my body starts to come up with some crazy ideas about how to work it out... i think my eczema will flare, too. and considering i've only begun to settle the last flare up, it will not be pretty. trying to accomplish all i've listed while scratching my skin off in "unladylike" places would just be too much, i think... so, once again, TREADMILL TIME IS IMPORTANT.

ok, on a side note...a friend of mine from CAMP called me today to play this song we used to sing, "rainbow made of children" for me. it was funny, because the words were different and it was sung by a band...very different from the only way i'd ever heard it, which was with counselors and campers singing at flagpole...and i've heard it hundreds of times like that. turns out she'd bought the soundtrack to the billy jack movies and this song was on there. someone had changed the words a little and made it a CAMP song...which i found hilarious. so did she. this is probably one of the reasons we're friends... anyway, you tube didn't have the rainbow song on it, but they did have another song she played me called "one tin soldier". i used to sing this at the lutheran church camp i'd attend in the summers. it was really cool to hear it again and it cracked me up that it was on the billy jack soundtrack. sure enough, you tube came through...


Thursday, January 15, 2009


tuesday, i was rocking my nephew to sleep, and the kids were watching cyber chase. now, i know sometimes it's strange to see a thirtysomething woman who can name the characters on children's programming better than adult programming, but i also know most of the mamas who read this blog can do that, too. so i am not going to get hung up on feeling strange here... but matt and inez were having a disagreement...matt had hurt inez's feelings by joking around about her vocabulary. and as i was drifting off, rocking baby s, and i heard some of the interchange between inez and matt, i was struck by this warm feeling as i listened to the comfort the actors were able to put in the voices of these characters...yes, they were arguing...but they were obviously very comfortable in their friendship and that was what i was struck by in my state of semi-consciousness. (award winning voice actors on could happen...)

now, monday night i had met a mama from my cyber tribe. and it was so comfortable. we just launched into conversation and friendship and was pretty seamless. i left just amazed by how comfortable we were...

this week, an old friend found me on facebook. and it was kind of weird, in the way that internet and two dimensional communication can make things so weird sometimes...but we kept at it, and there's a good level of comfort returning. there was a lot of comfort in our friendship when we were younger... i've been smiling all morning thinking about our emails going back and forth.

comfort is sometimes seen as kind of weak. the easy way. candy assed or soft. but in these relationships i'm talking about...ok, leave out the cyber chase thing since it's's not always easy to do the things you need to be comfortable in a relationship. sometimes it is easier to put up defenses...and while it may be somewhat more comfortable to be defended or feel protected, it can also be lonely as hell. and saying the things you feel, being honest, offering yourself up and allowing someone else to accept you...this is not always easy shit. it can be really scary. and if you go at it with too much fear, it can really knock you down. so being comfortable in yourself, being comfortable in relationships...this is really hard, tough, courageous stuff. but it doesn't just take your own's a group effort. and i'm grateful for those...past and present...that i've been blessed to get to work with.

and that is what i've been wanting to write all week...

ps--here's a song i heard on the way home from meeting my mama friend, carol. it just kind of captured what i felt was the ultimate spirit that we shared that night...yes, we're both morbidly intense and we covered a million different topics and again, it was such natural sharing...but this song made me see the two of us in a similar light...

peace out

Monday, January 12, 2009

sun and moon

ok, i'm a little tired, but i've been thinking about this one for a few days now...

saturday, as we drove to our robotics competition, at the butt crack of, i don't know what time that really is, but i am not a morning person...if it is still dark and we are calling it morning, i call it the butt crack of there's that.

at the butt crack of dawn on saturday, we were driving down the interstate. on the left side of the interstate, the sun was just barely beginning to put a little light in the sky. on the right side of the interstate, i could still vividly see the moon behind clouds. i do want to say that i was a passenger that day, so i never really dialed in to what i was seeing. i did think it was beautiful and i did comment on it, but then i just went back to staring at the road ahead and not thinking of much of anything.

but this morning, as i drove my teen to his first day of his dual enrollment a campus where almost everyone smokes, and many of the young men drive horribly, and they all have their pants hanging below their butts (i mean what is that? i know i did some goofy stuff to fit in...yes, my hair was quite tall for awhile there, but what's the deal with wearing your pants below you ass? can you even reach pockets behind your knees? i don't think so...) get the idea. it was kind of a more grown up thing that when he takes biology in a classroom with bible verses all over it, if you know what i mean. but on the way up there (because it's an hour drive...feel free to recommend or lend good audio books), the sun was up and the moon was still out. we watched the sun come up. it was neat. we kept waiting for the moon to retreat. but it didn't. i don't know where it finally went. it was like instead of going down, it was backing up...almost vaporizing itself or something.

and it made me think of the duality of things. opposites. can you have one without the other? and can they exist at the same time? i don't normally think that opposites can happen at the same time. i know my kids can be beautiful and awful...but i don't normally feel both at a given moment. it's like a movement between these two extremes along a how can it be both at once?

this weekend was the culmination (for now anyway) of much practice, much work, much learning, much growth. and it was not all fun. it did not all feel good. i don't even know if you put the warm fuzzies in one side of a balance and the pissed off freezies (like that one? i just made it up) in the other, which side would be heavier... but it was good. many, many good things came out of it. and i am glad we did it. it left me empty as hell last night. (AND i started my is that fair?) but it will fill me up for a long time...and give us so much fodder for more growth.

here are some lyrics to a song i was listening to today that i really liked...

every day is a bank account
time is our currency
no one's rich, no body's poor
we get twenty-four hours each

so how are you gonna spend
will you invest or squander?
try to get ahead
or help someone who's under?

that's just the stuff my worn out brain was thinking about today...not a whole lot of conclusions...just some stoned on tired observations, i guess...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

weekend over

and yes, i made it!!

i love today's oscar wilde quote...

If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.

i made it through my weekend... the team did really well...second place for the champion's award and third place in robot performance. it was awesome. we may have a shot at the next round of competition, but i don't think we'll be getting an answer soon on that and i'm okay with that. frankly, i don't even want to think about it for the next week...maybe more.

teenager starts his dual enrollment class tomorrow. three days a week, 88 miles round trip. i'm actually driving back up tomorrow night to have dinner with a mama from my cyber tribe. i'm really excited about that, too.


Friday, January 9, 2009


i just want to say that right now, tonight, this moment, i would like to have the biggest, most universal tantrum in the world...screaming, crying, hitting, kicking...even getting so upset i throw up sounds good.

part of it is that the teenager i was gushing about yesterday had his own tantrum today...and no, it wasn't like the one of my desire that i just described. by comparison, his was really pretty mellow. and i honestly did understand where it was coming from. he was really, really worn out from working out so hard last night and our robotics team moral is challenging, there's a lot of tension...the other coach is getting sick, too...which is enough to scare some instant appreciation into me because the thought of taking this team to competition tomorrow without her scares the hell out of me. (i have always appreciated her, even when her methods drive me nutso, just fyi)

communication through the tantrum went alright...i actually think we did fairly well navigating that minefield we hadn't been on since he was, what? two? but feeling things turned out fairly well does not seem to replace what gets drained in trying to handle a situation like that in a calm, fair, reasonable way...i end up feeling almost completely unhinged by the end of the evening.

i'm exaggerating...a little. but i really am worn out...really, really worn out. emotionally. my spouse is not helping matters today, either. i think he would say he's not trying to help my which i would respond "NO SHIT"....but this conversation is only happening in my head and i should probably cut it out before i piss myself off more.

all this to's a song my nephews introduced me to that my children recorded and i've listened to a few times the past few days and it struck me as a possible theme lately...i'll post the lyrics after...i'm not sure why he's picking on jamaican scam artists, though...i guess he just likes saying it, to be honest...not that he's all that easy to understand in this song anyway (for me anyway)...

I backed my car into a cop car the other day.
Well he just drove off, sometimes life's OK.
I ran my mouth off a bit too much, oh what did I say?
Well you just laughed it off, it was all OK.

And we'll all float on OK. And we'll all float on OK.
And we'll all float on OK. And we'll all float on anyway.

Well, a fake Jamaican took every last dime with that scam.
It was worth it just to learn some sleight of hand.
Bad news comes, don't you worry even when it lands.
Good news will work its way to all them plans.
We both got fired on exactly the same day.
Well we'll float on, good news is on the way.

And we'll all float on OK. And we'll all float on OK.
And we'll all float on OK. And we'll all float on.
Alright already, we'll all float on.
No don't you worry. We'll all float on.
Alright, already. We'll all float on.
Alright, don't worry. We'll all float on.

And we'll all float on.
Alright already, we'll all float on.
Alright, don't worry even if things end up a bit too heavy.
We'll all float on.

Alright already, we'll all float on.
Alright already, we'll all float on OK.
Don't worry, we'll all float on.
Even if things get heavy, we'll all float on.
Alright already, we'll all float on alright.
Don't you worry, we'll all float on.
We'll all float on


Thursday, January 8, 2009

i'm happy for my teen

he got invited to join the rock climbing team at the gym they climb at. the team is really expensive to be a part of and we've always had to turn their offers down. but they are going to try to work out a barter with him where he'll volunteer there a couple of days a week in exchange for his team dues. tonight was his first practice with them...i really think he's going to hurt tomorrow...a lot. but he was flying high when he got home tonight.

he also got a letter from a magazine he wrote a letter to for our robotics team, sharing our research project. the magazine asked him to write an article. when he read the letter, he said, "that's sort of cool..." his dad and i were like, "yeah that's cool!!!"

he's also decided to take a ballroom dancing class. now, this is for the girls, i know. he also did dance at my niece's wedding last may and his dad and i are definitely not the ones to teach him how to improve in that... and i am okay with it being for the girls. like lanatron reminded me, it's a safe, fairly controlled environment in which he will be able to get into a girl's space. sounds like a perfect situation to me...for now. (please allow me my "pollyanna" moment...)

and he starts his dual enrollment class next monday. and the co-op starts back up the next week, along with his rock climbing class and piano lessons. it's going to be a busy semester. and i think the summer will be spent making some decisions about what is truly important because while i don't yet know exactly what pace this semester will require, i'm already wondering if i can maintain it for the full semester...


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

a day of rest

well, and a lot of catch up, too.

first of all, some quotes i harvested from the kite runner. i liked this book a lot, although it was hard to read because i didn't find any of the main characters all that endearing and you could feel the tragedy coming way before you even knew when or what it might be. maybe there was something familiar in that, something i was relating to on some level, but it made it kind of uncomfortable. and then the story really began to weave itself and i got very, very caught up in the telling. it's a beautiful book.

the story was so foreign in setting and the way it began, that i didn't even feel compelled to grab my pencil until i was more than halfway through the book, and then there were only five or six i underlined...but i thought they were very beautiful, too.

"So when the Taliban came..."
"They were heroes," Rahim Khan said.
"Peace at last."
"Yes, hope is a strange thing. Peace at last. But at what price?"

"I see America has infused you with the optimism that has made her so great. That's very good. We're a melancholic people, we Afghans, aren't we? Often, we wallow in too much ghamkhori and self-pity. We give in to loss, to suffering, accept it as a fact of life, even see it as necessary. Zendagi migzara, we say, life goes on. But i am not surrendering to fate here, I am being pragmatic. I have seen several good doctors here and they have given the same answer. I trust them and believe them. There is such a thing as God's will."

"She said, 'I'm so afraid.' And I said, 'Why?,' and she said, 'Because I'm so profoundly happy, Dr. Rasul. Happiness like this is frightening.' I asked her why and she said, 'They only let you be this happy if they're preparing to take something from you,' and I said, 'Hush up now. Enough of this silliness.'"

And this is what I want you to understand, that good, real good, was born out of your father's remorse. Sometimes, I think everything he did, feeding the poor on the streets, building the orphanage, giving money to friends in need, it was all his way of redeeming himself. And that, I believe, is what true redemption is, Amir jan, when guilt leads to good.

"Father used to say it's wrong to hurt even bad people. Because they don't know any better, and because bad people sometimes become good."

"One time, when I was really little, I climbed a tree and ate these green, sour apples. My stomach swelled and became hard like a drum, it hurt a lot. Mother said that if I'd just waited for the apples to ripen, I wouldn't have become sick. So now, whenever I really want something, I try to remember what she said about the apples."

I wondered if this was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.

i think i'll hand this over to my teenager to read now...

so today is just regular stuff...laundry, organizing, making doctor appointments...maybe i'll even get wild and take down my christmas tree. (everything else christmas has been taken down...and i kind of like this big green tree with just white lights on it standing in my living room...kind of...ok, it's getting a little old) our robotics competition is saturday and while i struggle with some of the issues it's brought to my life, my bil reminded me, as i was telling him some of the things my teenager's done that have made me proud to know him, that these are the opportunities we were hoping for as we began this activity. and he's right. so it's's all good. but it was also be all busy, so i am very grateful for today and it's lack of destinies outside of my home, allowing me to achieve some of my goals here at home. (you know, like blogging and quote harvesting...priorities and stuff like that...ha)


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

winging it

ever set out to do something, but have no specific ideas, and then find yourself just flying along thinking "how did i get here?" and "hey, this isn't so bad at all..." see, i tend to plan things. whether i discuss my plans with anyone else is a coin toss, but in my mind, i've got a plan...usually...pretty often anyway. but sometimes my plans are kind of dumb and involve frustration and, yes, i actually plan on being frustrated or angry. it's not that i plan to muster the emotion just for the occasion, but if i'm making a plan and i know something is unavoidable, well, then, sometimes the accompanying anger or frustration might be unavoidable and should be taken into consideration and, you know, be made part of the plan...i'm just saying it's possible...

anyway...this is not about me saying this is the right way to be, or a good way to be, or even a way that works for me often. to the contrary, this is a post about winging it... i didn't wing it on purpose today. i just knew, going to robotics, that anything i could plan would not particularly be something i'd want to have happen, probably. (yes, there's still some tension on that front...but it's working itself out, thank god, or else i might have tried to work it out and really screwed things up...but i digress) so i went with no expectations. this is new for me. well, new like in the past couple of years or maybe just the last year, i don't know...i'm not marking time anymore, thankyouverymuch... worked itself out pretty darned well. and even the things that irritated me, when i tried to tell them to my sister later, i couldn't even muster up enough righteous indignation to make them come off well...shrug.

so cheers to winging it...having no expectations...whatever you want to call it. it served me well today and for that, i am grateful.

oh, and i am practicing listening this year (a resolution-ish type thing) i heard today...(yes, i'm going to try to do this regularly)...i heard the sound of an auto belay (rock climbing speak) clanging into itself because my ten year old didn't get it clipped into the floor anchor before it belayed itself right on up to the mother belay. now, this is not that big of a deal, really, it's not. but no one in my family has let go of an auto belay before and the fact that today was the day, in front of my robotics team, with a few extra guys along, and after the rock climbing gym guy had said it could cost us nine hundred dollars to replace the auto belay should it not work properly if it should not get clipped in and belay itself to the top...well, this was just the crappiest day of all for this to happen... ten year old cried. and hated crying in front of everyone, i know. made the whole experience all the crappier. and in that way i can relate to him. but he is so much more resilient than i ever had any idea was possible. hearing the belay clang may not seem like a big deal, but i was really glad i didn't ignore would've been a rough situation to catch up on and i was grateful to be able to be there, goofy as it sounds.


Monday, January 5, 2009

paper towns and 2008 books

i've already mentioned how much i loved paper towns and how truly wonderful a writer i think john green is. i love to harvest quotes from books and this one was full of them...some of them just hilarious, and some of them thought-provoking...which is why i love reading these books with my teen and talking about them. we both love the humor and the rest leads to some interesting discussions.

so here are some quotes...

"I always got nervous whenever I heard that Margo was about to show up, on account of how she was the most fantastically gorgeous creature that God had ever created. On the morning in question, she wore white shorts and a pink T-shirt that featured a green dragon breathing a fire of orange glitter. It is difficult to explain how awesome I found this T-shirt at the time."

"Both of my parents are therapists, which means that I am really goddamned well adjusted."

"Getting you a date to prom is so hard that the hypothetical idea itself is actually used to cut diamonds."

"I'm a big believer in random capitalization. The rules of capitalization are so unfair to the words in the middle."

"Those of us who frequent the band room have long suspected that Becca maintains her lovely figure by eating nothing but the souls of kittens and the dreams of impoverished children."

"It's a penis in the same sense that Rhode Island is a state; it may have an illustrious history, but it sure isn't big."

"Talking to a drunk person was like talking to an extremely happy, severely brain-damaged three-year old."

"They'd given me a minivan. They could have picked any car, and they picked a minivan. A minivan. O God of Vehicular Justice, why dost thou mock me? Minivan, you albatross around my neck! You mark of Cain! You wretched beast of high ceilings and few horsepower!"

"Whenever I eat a GoFast Bar, I'm always like, 'So this is what blood tastes like to mosquitoes.'"

"The minivan has become a kind of very small house; I am sitting in the passenger seat, which is the den. This is, I think , the best room in the house; there is plenty of space, and the chair is quite comfortable."

there are more funny lines and maybe alone, these don't read as funny on my blog as they were in the book, but i snorted i was laughing so hard when i read this book... and some of the other lines i really loved...

"You keep expecting people not to be themselves."

"Humans lack good mirrors. It's so hard for anyone to show us how we look, and so hard for us to show anyone how we feel."

"But isn't it also that on some fundamental level we find it difficult to understand that other people are human beings in the same way that we are? We idealize them as gods or dismiss them as animals."

"What a treacherous thing it is to believe that a person is more than a person."

"The people are the place is the people." (i don't know if this was a typo or not, but after reading it a few times, it started sounding almost like music...)

"I understand now that I can't be her and she can't be me."

"I must ask the wounded man where he is hurt, because I cannot become the wounded man. The only wounded man I can be is me."

i have read all of john green's books and enjoyed all three of them....

so here are the other books i read this year...

*paper towns by john green
*brisingr by christopher paolini
*eldest by christopher paolini
*eragon by christopher paolini
*snow falling on cedars by david guterson
*i know this much is true by wally lamb
*assassination vacation by sarah vowell
*the shack by william p. young
*lamb--the gospel according to biff, christ's childhood pal by christopher moore
*breaking dawn by stephenie meyer
*eclipse by stephenie meyer
*new moon by stephenie meyer
*twilight by stephenie meyer
*little big minds--sharing philosophy with kids by marietta mccarty
*the trivium: the liberal arts of logic, grammar, and rhetoric--understanding the nature and function of language by sister miriam joseph, csc, phd
*simplicity--the freedom of letting go by richard rohr
*all new square foot gardening--grow more in less space! by mel bartholomew
*grace (eventually) thoughts on faith by anne lamott
*anger: wisdom for cooling the flames by thich nhat hanh
*cesar's way written by cesar millan
*fatherhood written by bill cosby

i have a feeling i'll be reading a little more this's been good to me.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


i'd like to work passed it, so i will just get some out in this here blog... spouse says, "i'm sorry you're disappointed." i say, "don't apologize to me for my emotions." (i felt this was an important distinction) he said, "i'm sorry i disappointed you." now, i wasn't disappointed. well, i guess you could say i was, because disappointment is a very broad emotion, but it is not what i would've chosen as my emotional state. also, i wouldn't have held him singularly responsible for my emotional state either, but didn't really feel, at this point in the too long conversation we'd been having that he'd find that particularly relevant either. my spouse likes to choose his words...and once they've been chosen, getting him to change course in his thoughts is like trying to change the course of a river with is difficult...and after a lengthy "discussion," i just didn't have the energy. plus, i realize that he does not worry about soothing me when i've disappointed him. and perhaps in my rush to be sure he's not being too hard on himself when i've let him know he's disappointed me, i've made it so that he's untouched by it... well, not untouched and really, i'll never know how much my disappointment affects him...he'll probably never really know either. but i just thought i'd let him rest with the emotion for a little bit and have some confidence in his ability to work through emotions...the same way he has confidence we'll work through whatever he throws our way...whether he's saying what he thinks or just some made up bullshit...whichever... (ok, that was a little more bitter than i wanted it to sound...obviously i have some work to do on this one...and i'm working on it...i am....)

robotics...let me just say that my teenager is handling the tension there better than i am. i just don't understand why my co-coach feels the need to be so directive. it's like she's driving the bus and our team is in the backseat, cutting up, throwing spitballs, you know...all the stuff kids do in the backseat. and these guys are old enough to drive. well, not a car...but themselves in preparing for this competition. she doesn't give them a chance to appreciate what they've accomplished and then set the next goal. she just keeps pushing. and i feel like none of them really give much of a shit anymore. hell, i'm having a hard time mustering a flying fart about it lately...

parenting...i don't know why, but this has been a challenge lately. it's like, there's kindness and that's all good and well, but let's be funny, because that's more important than kindness. let's be sarcastic and competitive and put each other down...but all in good fun, right? which requires some kindness, but i feel like people only want to put forth the minimum amount of kindness needed to have good will when they really want to be shitty. all this, "he needs to know the truth" or "i care about him and he needs to be tough." i get tired of this. and after having six males under my care for this past week, plus my spouse popping in to add his own testosterone, i'm a little d.o.n.e with it. why can't people just be kind? why is that wimpy or whatever? my nephew has this illusion of being self-sufficient and strong and adaptable...and those are good things, but the idea that he doesn't need anyone...and that he's frustrated and weak when he does...i felt good i could listen and mostly just love him, even when his words made me want to puke. why can't people just admit they need other people? not to wipe your nose or your ass, but just a shared existence? whatever that is for whoever we're talking about...and yes, i guess some folks do in fact need someone to wipe their nose or their ass and there is nothing wrong with that, either. i need to buy this tshirt that says "we're here to get over our disillusion of separateness" or something like that. but it's this yucky blue color, so i haven't. but it is hard to parent young men who are able to dialogue and be kind to one another...who can joke around, but who watch the other person's face to see if it's too much, or just listen to the other person's words if they ask my guys to stop. to be responsive to another person, i guess is what i'm trying to say. it would be nice to be able to do this with someone who valued kindness and self-accountability the same way. oh, i know i sound all high and mighty in this, and i don't mean to. i am not perfect, that's for damned sure. but i do value kindness and i wish sometimes i could parent with someone who valued that as highly as i do, that's all...

i think that's really about it...or at least the high points. there are other things i am working on in myself...trying to be a little more independent. not totally independent...yes, i read what i write...but to change my own self accountability, not to my kids, but in my internal life, maybe...i don't know how to say it. i am also trying very hard to take care of myself...not necessarily in a pure way...moderation...this is my theme for this year, but i'll write about that later. but i am trying to run a little every other day, work out as often, and take my vitamins more regularly. i'm also going to be journaling more often, whether here on my blog or in my paper journal. i am ready to begin taking a more steady approach in maintaining a healthy balance in life.

hey, so in the interest of balance, one good thing today...i got to visit with a friend this afternoon when i picked my boys up from her house. (dh had dropped them off) i hadn't seen her in awhile, and she has family visiting, but it was good to see her. and she reminded me we're not too far from all those nice, normal things we used to do on a regular basis starting up again....relief.


Friday, January 2, 2009

looking back

it was a pretty good year, i guess. i'm worn out from it and that's often a good sign, i guess. and i feel alright going into this year...a little behind, but i always feel a little behind i've learned.

some of my favorite moments...most of my favorite moments are moments that are just extremely comfortable and feel good in a way i don't know how to put into words....but it feels good somewhere in my chest and it's a relaxed, warm, full kind of feeling, i guess...

making cinnamon rolls from scratch with my sister. my sister began a new relationship this year. but before she did, it was fun being her "girlfriend" for awhile. she'd call to check on me lots...and we'd talk and laugh and get morbidly times. she also drove up to visit a lot and that was great fun, too. i really didn't even know she liked to cook before...especially difficult recipes like cinnamon rolls that require you to make dough and let that rise, then make the inside cinnamon stuff, then make the rolls, then let those rise....she rocked at it. (although i think she touched my pet mice before we started working in the kitchen and forgot to wash her hands...i don't know why i think that, but it's how i remember it) anyway, it was a lot of fun.

when my friend lanatron came and stayed at my house during hurricane ike. she has four kids. i have four kids. it was a lot of people and a lot of work, but really, really comfortable at the same time. and it felt really good to be together at a time that was kind of worrisome...i mean, the hurricane devastated galveston. and her spouse was right in the eye of it, although we knew he was safe. but it felt good to be together, our families, during that that was the way things should be. which is often how my friendship with her it's just what it should be. it is one of my favorite moments.

riding to fort worth with my spouse. now, we had a whole evening together, and the ceremony we attended was beautiful. but it was a really nice time just driving together, no kids in the car, able to pay attention to each other and the indigo girls on for when the conversation was quiet. it was probably one of our most comfortable, peaceful moments together in a year that's been exhausting as far as marriage goes.

i also really enjoyed making cabbage rolls with my friend julie. we were brave, we were creative, we were inventive, and we were hungry. and we made kick ass cabbage rolls. julie and i do a lot of different things together...i've known her for ten years. but i think cooking cabbage rolls was one of my favorite things i've ever done with her. another of my favorite moments with julie was making a rosary for her mama when her mama passed away this year. her mama was quite a crafter and we went through her many boxes of beads to find the right ones for the rosary...sea shells, cat beads, wooden beads, green glass beads, some big clear was a neat moment together.

my other favorites are like experiences...i enjoyed teaching philosophy. working together with mamas to put the co-op together. watching the kids climb rocks. bathing my dogs and watching them outside. mowing the grass. hiking with my kids at pariah canyon. sitting alone outside in arizona. walking around brenham with friends. putting my grand niece to sleep in a noisy pho restaurant. getting to know the mamas in my cybertribe...what a year it's been with those women! meeting my friend jeanni and her son at the maker faire in austin...that was awesome. running two half marathons with my sister...and seeing my family at the seventh mile marker in the second one. spending my friend shelley's 50th birthday with her closest friends...oh my god, that was definitely a highlight of the year! getting in touch with my friend lizette. driving my friend patsy to the church on her wedding day....she was so worried i was going to get lost. having my sil thank me for sharing my views, telling me she values them. jen buying the life is good monkey shirt!!! i'm so glad she did that!!! and i have to say, so many of the books i've read this year have been great ones...maybe i'll list them later.

so, those are some of my highlights. i feel like i probably screwed my kids over by not listing a special one with each of them...but i am so blown away by them and so proud of them that it would be impossible to sort out specific ones from the ball of awesomeness that is them.

i've been blessed and i'm grateful.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

happy new year

i went into new year's feeling like, "uhm, whatever...just another day." but after reading some of the reflections and resolutions from other bloggers and mamas, i started feeling a little more inspired. but due to the increase in personages in my home (yep, nephews are still visiting til tomorrow), i'm unable to get my blog on with the extra eyes. (my blog is relatively private to those who know me and trying to blog with people who don't know i blog is like trying to shit in a public bathroom...well, if you're a woman...i hear it's nothing to drop a load in the men's bathroom, lucky ducks.)

so, i'll just say HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! and be back for more insightful stuff tomorrow...and there's been lots...