Monday, March 30, 2009

circles of light watching

still here. left foot, right foot, breathe.

i will say i've been thinking a lot about responsibility and commitment. we are dragging through the end of this semester. and finishing it out is what seems right to me. but sometimes, this little part of my brain says, "maybe you should just never know when to say 'no'...maybe this is one of those times." but i don't think so. a few more weeks, and we'll have completed this crazy assed, over scheduled, exhausting, draining semester. and what will we have accomplished? well, i'm still thinking that one over... i mean, there are obvious answers, but i'm trying to see the larger picture...and that's kind of hard to do when your eyes are crossing from exhaustion and fed-uppedness. (i just made that word know, in case you couldn't tell)

but the teen and i have seen through some tough times this past week. a few episodes of him being pretty unhappy with me...the first time, i owned what he was saying. and didn't let myself take it all personally...taking constructive criticism, particularly when delivered with the tact of a fourteen year old, is not my best thing. but given the intense love and respect i have for this particular fourteen year old, i am incredibly motivated to get better at it. and this past week, i felt a little better at it than absolutely sucky...and i feel this is real progress. the second time, i gave him a little of the same honesty in return...but made sure he understood i didn't feel he was responsible for how i felt...that i just wanted him to know i was a little "done" with this particular situation too...that feeling "done" as i did, yet having to hear how "done" he feels over and over...well, that it wasn't helping my "done"ness very much...and that i don't know exactly how to make the "done"ness any better, and that thus far, the only advice i have is to grit your teeth and keep going. which i feel he took rather well, as i still got a massage later in the truly, i think he took it damned smashingly well.

eleven year old has a robotics comp of his own coming up next weekend. i am thrilled for him and excited to get to be the total parent/spectator at this event. he has shown a lot of focus and enthusiasm and i can't wait to see the end result for him. i can't even begin to understand what he's done...but i am ready to see how it works.

nine year old is rocking the soccer world...well, in my evaluation, he is. this does not mean his team wins a means they are greatly improving and still loving it. the best kind of success, in my experience.

and five year old...he is reading like crazy, noticing words and asking questions about language...i love watching that awareness light up. he also ended up in my bed this morning...and while it stretched my older body (older than when i used to sleep with them full time, i mean), it was nice.

lots of light all of a sudden. thank blog...


Friday, March 27, 2009

busy, busy, busy

and feeling overwhelmed. we're making it through, we're doing it (kind of like that feeling when you first stay up on a bike...i didn't learn to ride til i was eleven, so that one is particularly etched in my brain...), but i am looking forward to a break.

this past week i...

went to a funeral for my grandmother. it was a really nice funeral. we always laugh at funerals in that family...everyone gets a little manic, i think, to be honest. i mean, there are tears, too. it was good to hear such great memories and stories about my grandmother. it is a weird feeling to attend a funeral for someone that alzheimer's has been slowly taking away over the last decade. my grandmother was such a difficult woman when i knew was really neat to hear stories of the woman she was before i knew her. it was a letting go even though it's been a gradual letting go for so long...but at the same time, there was so much receiving i didn't expect. i am glad i went.

got a baby niece. she was born tuesday. she had her first major surgery on repair a bowel obstruction. they removed a little over half of her intestines...but her prognosis is very good. i am sure her parents feel much like those little chamois you run through those rollers at the car wash to get all the water out of them so you can go back to drying the car...but really, really relieved and grateful chamois, you know?

figured out how to get my oldest to a rock climbing competition (almost four hours away) and my third born to his soccer game (and soccer pictures) at almost the same exact time on saturday morning. my spouse will still be at work at that same exact time, just to explain why i'm so damned impressed with myself. but really, the credit goes to my bil for agreeing to take my oldest to the comp. you know what? i'm going to give myself a little credit, too, for asking him. i'm still a little mortified that i asked for something so big, but the relief when he said yes is so much greater than the mortification...

and that's all i'm going to blog about... really, i came here to post that even though i feel wiped out, stressed out, worn out, and strung out a lot lately...i can still be stopped and moved by the beauty of life, whatnot. a mama posted about kd lang singing leonard cohen's "hallelujah" in my cyber tribe and i just had to you tube (i wanted to say, i know the people waving in the background of her singing is annoying, but i spent a lot of time watching you tube clips of kd lang singing this one yesterday, and i just loved her voice and the sound quality of this one...even though visually, it is so distracting...and dar, i sat here crying listening to it again this morning...thanks for sharing it)

and here's an indigo girls song off their new cd (which i have and i like a's a little more mellow than their few previous, but there are some beautiful songs on this one...i love the part at the end when she says the one she's waiting for is me...well, her, not me...ugh, just listen)

so there's my week in review. i get to stay home this weekend and aside from soccer, i don't have many commitments. well, i have robotics and such, but i have big blocks of time i can use to get caught up on all the stuff that's sat and waited while i was running around crazy the last few weeks.

peace out

Sunday, March 22, 2009

short road trip

the kids and i are heading out on a short road trip to my hometown for my grandmother's funeral tomorrow. we'll do robotics today (since we all missed it last week) and then we'll head out. i'm kind of looking forward to seeing so much family and i'm grateful my spouse is ironing all the funeral clothes. my teen is stressing over a research paper rough draft he has due tuesday, and it's stressing me out a little, too. but i guess it'd be unreasonable to think we'd be stress free, what with life happening and it's all good.


ps--and i did buy the indigo girls tickets (thanks, mama jess!)...dh said he'd like to go see them (i forgot i went without him the last time...) so we comes out tuesday. yep, it's all good.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

hey guess what?

the indigo girls have a new cd coming out...great joyous dancing... my sister called me while i was in san francisco to tell me they'd be in austin in may. i really want to go, but i have a feeling my spouse will give me that look that says, "we can't afford to do something so frivolous." and if you think i'd be misinterpreting the look, i'm sure right after he gives me the look, he'll say something like, "that's a lot of money to spend on concert tickets"...sigh...he has such clearly delineated lines when it comes to stuff like that.

but if you go to amazon, you can listen to little snippets of the songs...i KNOW we can at least afford the damned cd. :)


Friday, March 20, 2009

loved and chosen

while we were on vacation, my 22 year old nephew and my sil (his mother) had an argument. to be honest, they had a couple of arguments. the first one, i told him i thought that was enough, he'd made his point, and did he think he could stop himself. no, he didn't ask me if i thought it was enough, but i figure if i have to hear him tear his mom down for awhile, then he can hear my unsolicited opinion on it. i mean, it is family vacation after all, and, well, that's part of it... i don't like to hear unsolicited opinions, so i don't attack folks in crowded rooms. i mostly only ever attack my spouse and i save that for private moments...makes it more special. but i digress....

the second argument they shared with everyone...hehe...i'm being a little jerky here, but i love these people dearly, so it's not as awful as it sounds. anyway, the second argument they had that we got drawn into by being there, i realized how hard it is for my nephew to be with this whole insecure he feels, how judged, how less than everyone else, how other. and as an adult, well, as an older adult, i know he chooses some of this, alienates himself, whatever. but that mattered to me less than how he felt. so i told him that i was proud of him for coming on vacation with everyone...for choosing to come. and that's all i said.

apparently, my sil heard me. and today, she wanted me to know that her the-rapist told her he was proud of her for letting her son, my nephew, go with them on vacation. that her son doesn't always make good decisions and has made life difficult for them, so the-rapist was applauding them for letting him come. she compared that to me telling my nephew i was proud of him for coming. i told her i was glad her the-rapist told her that and left it there.

later, i felt kind of pissy about it. i wasn't making a negative comment about her when i told my nephew i was proud of him for coming. i was supporting him. and she has a the-rapist to tell her "good job" when she needs to hear it. now, granted, my nephew wouldn't go to therapy even if you offered him money, but i think it's okay for him to hear "good job" once and awhile...even if he does still make mostly crappy decisions...which i don't know that he does or doesn't...just if. (see how good i am at playing defense in my own mind?)

then i picked up anne lamott and read through the quotes i've underlined lately...and here's a passage from an essay called wailing takes place in her sunday school class with three to six year olds...

Next, as always, we did Loved and Chosen.

I sat on the couch and glanced slowly around in a goofy, menacing way, and then said, "Is anyone here wearing a blue sweatshirt with Pokemon on it?" The four-year old looked down at his chest, astonished to discover that he matched this description--like, What are the odds? He raised his hand. "Come over here on the couch, " I said. "You are so loved, and so chosen." He clutched at himself like a beauty pageant finalist. Then I asked if anyone that day was wearing green socks with brown shoes, a Giants cap, an argyle vest. Each of them turned out to be loved and chosen, which does not happen so often. Even Neshama--Anyone in red shoes today?--leapt toward the couch with relief.

My Jesuit friend Tom once told me that this is a good exercise because in truth, everyone is loved and chosen, even Dick Cheney, even Saddam Hussein. That God loves them, because God loves.

"This--more than anything else--does not make sense to me," I said.

"Because you are a little angry," Tom explained. "But when people die, they are forgiven and welcomed home. Then God will help them figure out how to clean up the disgusting messes they have made. God has skills and ideas on how to do this."

i don't know about having to die to be forgiven and welcomed, but the rest of it made me smile and feel all warm inside...i am happy to know the tiny aerobics instructor is loved and chosen (my sil)...and the tall, dark headed guy who always wears suspenders is loved and chosen too...and i'm hoping the plain blonde who thinks too much and gets overly defensive in her head is loved and chosen, too...and everyone else.

so my kids are outside playing in the blow up pool from two summers ago. it's kind of deflate-y, but they're still having a great time. ahhh, i just heard the bathroom door shut, so i believe there are probably some grassy kids climbing into my tub to warm up and clean up...spring is here. it just springs hot enough in texas to play in the water. happy days!


Thursday, March 19, 2009

being bums

i often wonder if i give my children too much leisure time. (ironically, i balance this out with worrying that i over schedule them...which is it, huh?) we watched three episodes of heroes yesterday. (blockbuster didn't have the third season of but then we did our responsibilities and got back on the laundry train, took our heavy comforters off our beds, played outside, bla bla bla. so it's not like we didn't get anything accomplished. but we're taking it easy this week. after running our asses off on vacation last week. too much? not enough? i'm not sure... all i know is that i'm exhausted and have no desire to jump back into the normal routine around here. so i'm taking it easy. hence, my kids get to take it easy. but i have to say, it is awesome listening to them playing with each other, talking about last week, hanging out together, etc, during this time. i'm loving it. so right or wrong, it's good, you know?

i think my spouse wonders if they'll be productive citizens without all the pressures of school, grades, gpa's, etc. i don't know... on margaret and helen's blog today (which i thought was hilarious, btw) one of the points they make is that helen spanked her kids, her kids didn't spank theirs, and eventually, one of them will be proved right. but maybe they'll both prove good enough...who knows? what works for one family doesn't always work for another. i hope my kids are interested in the world and find a way to connect with be a part of it in a way that is mutually beneficial.

ok...i am going to go do a short run. nothing strenuous. i'm also going to neti pot all the junk out of my head again. then, i will get dressed and find something to do with my day. and i'm pretty sure we'll all be smiling while we do it. sometimes life is hard and stressful and crazy...but this is what we've chosen. and it feels good to have some of those times where we remember why we chose and are grateful for the work we're willing to do to be able to share life with each other like this.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009


i am sitting here, getting ready to pour my second cup of coffee...and i'm tired. coming back home after being in california for six days is a bit of a jolt. i also think having a cold and acting like a kid and going, going, GOING anyway might have a little to do with my exhaustion. it was fun, fun stuff.

san francisco is like a different way of life. i mean, we're all people...we all eat, sleep, poop, work, etc...but it was so neat. so much walking. such a great public transit system (although sometimes those drivers drive so quickly...and with all the stopping and was hard to get my land legs after getting off of some of those buses).

did i mention there were 23 of us staying in two houses in san francisco? all my spouse's family? did i? well, my spouse is the youngest of five children. and there is often a lot of tension in his family. but this trip went really well. i mean, yes, there were tense moments. but things seem to recover much more quickly than usual. or maybe i'm just getting older and don't care as much. either way, it was good. the kids had a lot of fun f-bombs or the like. and the adults did pretty well, too. (yeah, i'm not making the no f-bombs statement here...i don't like to lie and i'm not too sure on that one). but for the most part, things went fairly well. i think, because this was an unfamiliar place to many of us, the mamas were too busy either shopping or keeping track of kiddos. the tension tended to come from the men this time...directions, decision making, stuff like that. go figure...

it's great going from texas to california, because you wake up at six or six thirty every morning...even if you don't go to sleep until eleven o'clock or midnight. get up, get dressed, eat dim sum (burp) and go exploring. california to texas? not so easy. especially when you don't actually make it to your house until 2:30 in the morning. but...this is a side note...i was so proud of my teen. he went to his class monday morning (which requires leaving our house by 7:15 or earlier) after getting into his bed at 2:30 monday morning. my spouse and i left it up to him. and he went. i think he would've stayed home, but he realized he'd be missing next monday to attend my grandmother's funeral, so he decided to go. i was impressed...he really is growing up. (if i could just ignore all the dirty underwear shoved around the edges of his bed...why do they do that?!?!?!)

so...i made it up early this morning. teen did too, again. he's one ahead of me on that. the rest of my house is quiet, quiet. i think another cup of coffee is in order. maybe some more strawberries. it is good, good to be home. but i had a lot of fun in san francisco and can't wait to go back and experience and explore some more.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

other side?...

san francisco was awesome. we did so much...alcatraz, california academy of sciences, exploratorium, chinatown (twice), cartoon museum, muir beach, muir woods, dim sum everyday (burp)...and i think that's it. add in a couple of different dinners, and a chocolate cooking class i took with my bil and niece, plus many bus rides and long, long walks, and that's about all we did. i was freaking exhausted when i got home.

i had a cold the whole time, but hope like hell i can get over it now that i'm able to sleep in my own bed.

and my grandmother died saturday while i was gone. my sister called to tell me (have i ever mentioned how i am soooo glad my sister is my sister? like i'd marry her if she weren't my sister, she's just that awesome). grandmother's funeral is next monday, so the kids and i will attend. and i am really glad i drove the sunday before we left for san francisco to say good-bye to her.

since we've been home...we've found what looked like wendy's sweet and sour sauce in our gas tank (after picking it up from the airport parking garage) and also found a $100 a month charge on our credit card (since last october) that's not ours. good thing we took a vacation before this crap, huh? so that's what we've been working on since yesterday.

much more stuff to write about, but things are still going kind of quickly...hopefully it'll settle a little more soon.


Monday, March 9, 2009

see you on the other side

i am leaving for san francisco tomorrow. it is a vacation, but i am not really excited when it comes to vacations in places i don't know that require things that i am unfamiliar with. i know many people find this exhilarating...and i could possibly be one of those people...if not for the four young ones looking at me, expecting me to lead them, teach them, guide them. but it'll be fine. they already know mama gets lost sometimes, has to turn around...they just might get the opportunity to learn that mama can just sit down in a crowd and weep when she doesn't know where the hell she is...maybe...who knows?

so the packing is almost done. my lessons are almost ready for co-op tomorrow.

yesterday...well, first of all, i have to get in a routine of blogging again. my thoughts get so scattered...and my blog really gives me a place to reflect, process, see stuff in print (because i'm a very strong visual learner, don't you know...) so this is something i must make a priority.

ok, yesterday...i drove four hours to tell my grandmother good-bye. she's the one with alzheimer's who came to visit me a couple of thanksgivings ago and hopped out of the car and said "hello! you remember my husband..." uh, yeah...i remember papa. :) so things have been going downhill for her. she's unresponsive. but who knows how long things can go on like that? my mom (step mom) is up there staying the week with her. my grandfather (who's also a little crazy...i hope i'm not offending anyone, but it's just the truth) actually recognizes my grandmother right now. (this is after a month of refusing to sleep in the bed with "that woman" because she is not his wife...) it's kind of sad but also kind of beautiful. it was very, very tender yesterday...the whole thing. so i drove four hours there, hung out for almost four hours, and then drove four hours home so i could get my family packed today. my grandmother's birthday is wednesday...we'll see if she makes it there. i'll definitely be thinking of her in san francisco...

and that's about all i got right to finish packing.

Friday, March 6, 2009

trying to stay open

that's my visualization these days...not letting myself clamp down, stress, get tight.

here's a song a friend mentioned a line to earlier today...went and listened to it, and while i usually prefer live versions of them singing, i kind of liked the lyrics being on the screen for this song, even though it made me feel kind of impatient at first...


Thursday, March 5, 2009

seriously, my yard's gonna rock...

i let myself get that negativity out yesterday, but i can't leave it at the top of my blog. makes me feel like a little black cloud spreading my blah to everyone who may happen by. i know negativity happens, but it's not necessarily something i want printed on the tip of my nose.

so things are working out. no, they aren't worked out. i don't know that they EVER get completely worked out. but they are at least moving again...and i don't think i'm going to give myself a stress induced heart attack anymore. i am grateful for those who will listen to me in those moments of being lost. i am grateful for those who've shared with me in ways that still affect me when i am going through stress...little lights along the way that are these great surprises and lifelines.

and i am still working in my yard as a way of releasing some of this tension. i mean really, my yard is going to look awesome here... it's been neglected for awhile, and i've really only just begun...but i like the way this feels. now the inside of my house?...we're not gonna talk about that part today.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009


last week was a crazy week...lots of different things to work through, think about, let go of... this week has just been kind of stressful. i suppose last week may have left me a little raw...and i'm pretty sure there's some pms stuff going on, too...but my anger, frustration, has been off the charts this week. and i'm tired of it. i tried really hard last night to just be quiet...not shut my mouth...shut off my mind...just BE. it was alright. then i read some of wicked and went to bed. but it wasn't better today. matter of fact, my chest was killing me today. i was tight, tight, tight...all i'd have to do was think about what was pissing me off and i'd cry. so, i did what any sane person, or insane person looking for some sanity, can do...i went out and pruned the crap out of my bushes in the front yard. i mean, this was seriously needing to be done. they look a little shorn and god only knows if they'll look alright once spring gets her season going, but it needed to be done and that's that. then i got my garden ready. maybe i'll just plant it tomorrow, i don't know. i will say that i wish i could plant a money tree...because everyone seems to want their share. and it is so hard for me to say no. or even just to say, "uh, can we talk about this first...because that's a lot of money." i really need to go see the-rapist...but i really am getting to where i just can't afford it. blah.

oh, peace...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

quick check in

just to say i haven't fallen off the face of the of times, worst of times...and all that jazz.

i will say that there is nothing more frustrating than feeling frustrated AND feeling like you shouldn't feel that way, but, well, you know, still feeling that way...only a little moreso.