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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

it's the great letdown, charlie brown

The kids hopped off the bus yesterday and slapped on their costume apparel.


halloween 2007


We were headed to Sauvieland, a pumpkin patch, sure to be the hit it was last year. Right? RIGHT? Enter the ominous music; it was a bummer.


this picture makes it worth the drive to Sauvie Island


Sure we had a good time. The kids looked great and went on a ride around the property, pulled by a tractor.


hannah mootana


space cowboy


And I snapped their picture with the pumpkins, something I do every year.


wee bit cold


But it just didn't live up to the expectations of our cast and crew.

{Personal disappointment + hungry crying boy + preteen drama queen crying girl = Wavering Sanity.}

Finally I pulled the ripcord - I directed the sobbing children to the car, tromping through the mud, having those icky Motherhood feelings that made me come thisclose to shouting:




(Not so pretty or proud.)


But instead, I turned up the radio, some White Stripes to drown out the disappointed throng. Once I realized, 10 miles later, that Lexi may be somewhat sane again, I turned down the radio and she told me it had been so fabulous last year, so perfect, that it just really hurt her heart (oh yes, she's definitely mine) that it wasn't as good this year. That the hay ride closed early. That her friends weren't around. Soon the sadness gave way to a lesson in low expectations, my personal philosophy for getting through the holidays ahead.

They both dried their eyes and I told them I was so hungry I was gnawing on my arm. They chuckled and soon we were playing the 'gnawing on appendages game' until I found a place to fill empty tummies along the I-5.

I sure hope Halloween proper is a little less stressful. My expectations have been lowered accordingly...


(Here's our Sauvieland pictures from 2006)

Monday, October 29, 2007

paint and the pullman controversy

It is Monday morning and I have nowhere to be - I think my heart jumped in my chest. I went on a walk, while Greg continued painting the house the happiest shade of mustard yellow, though I can tell he is worried. Something about school bus yellow. I'll leave him to his fretting. I see Tuscan flair, once the shutters and door are no longer country blue and I plant red flowers in terra cotta pots this spring. I'm forecasting lavender - the herb, not paint. I can picture it now while I sit in my robe, with a mask on my face. I'm sorta mummified, can't answer the phone. Yes, it is Monday morning and he is working very hard. I am not.

Yet I am troubled. I don't even want to write about The Golden Compass controversy a brewing but it's on my mind. So here it goes: this unfit Christian wants to weigh in on this email campaign about Philip Pullman.

I read the books a couple of years ago, before I started going to church again. I wasn't looking for an agenda in the trilogy; I didn't know Pullman was an atheist. I sensed that he had a bone to pick with the church and at the time, so did I. And so do a lot of people and for good reason - I can't watch the news without hearing about a pastor gone wrong or sexual abuse or scams. I've seen this poison up close and personal. It's ugly and a wonder I ever found my way back to God.

(Sigh. I hate writing about God sometimes. I get all tangled up and twisted and ranty. Please bear with me.)

So, given my rocky spiritual journey - picture a suburban pilgrim with new age lingo and a thing for Joss Whedon - maybe I shouldn't weigh in on this boycott. But I can't help myself. If The Golden Compass criticizes organized religion I have to believe that my faith can take it. I can't pretend the church is above reproach. I'll go one step further: shouldn't we who profess to believe in God be the first to clean house, to stamp out injustice, to question the misuse of power in the name of God? Can we allow for dissent? (Although I disagree with the premise that the god in these books in the God of the Bible. It's fiction.)

Maybe it isn't an appropriate movie for some families. If you aren't comfortable with Pullman's views and don't want to support him, I get that.

I plan on seeing the movie first and going from there, making up my own mind.

But for now, I am washing my face before this mask corrodes my mug.
____
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Sunday, October 28, 2007

last litter

We swung by my Grandma's place today, to snap some pictures for her Christmas card. She usually sends out about 200 cards, at the very last possible moment, and gets hundreds of pictures of dogs back every year. It's a little crazy, and I don't like the kennel, but it's strange to think this is the last litter.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

bad mom made me do it

Bad Mom went on her merry way, seeking her celebrity heritage, so I thought I'd play along. Because it is very meaningful, finding my long lost relatives.



Who do you look like?

Friday, October 26, 2007

call me grizzly adams

I grew up before stranger danger was hip; I lived in the woods and did what I pleased. Nobody worried much back then. I spent my summers on the back half of our acres, with a brown bag for snacks and a vivid imagination. I thought the clouds obeyed my whim. I chased bunnies and picked blackberries, huckleberries. And when it was time for my Dad to come home, I'd tear down the path, through the wild christmas trees, to the corner, so he could pick me up and drive me the 300 yards home.

I grew up loving solitude, wishing I had the guts to hide away in a tree on Mt. Hood, like the kid from my favorite book at the time, My Side of the Mountain.

We were poor. It's popular to make that claim, to downplay your upbringing, but it's true. My parents narrowly escaped the drunken chaos of their childhoods, fleeing southern California and leaving the rat race behind. They bought some property, and propped our home up on blocks because they couldn't afford a foundation. We didn't have running water for years because they couldn't afford a well. They postponed having another baby until they had a bathroom hooked up. My Mom insisted she couldn't go through another pregnancy with an outhouse.

Yet, we were never hungry; we were content.

I think moving to Oregon saved their souls. I felt that early on.
_____

Last night, Greg got back in town, just as the kids were packing it up. I bent the rules, they stayed up longer. He couldn't get through the door - they mauled him. Lexi read from her new book, Zack grinned his newly toothless smile. They kissed him, thrilled he was home.

We tucked them in and he unclogged the kitchen sink after all my efforts had failed. (I swear the dirty dishes were mocking me.) I feel a little foolish to admit it, but having my man home and being able to run the dishwasher made me giddy. I started to nod off, aware the week had been hard, but happy. I decided not to analyze it too much. I've kept depression company plenty of times before; it seems right to welcome the unexpected joyful times. Even when I can't explain it.
_____

This morning my friend and I skipped the gym for the second time this week and headed to a lake nearby. The roads were frosty, my lungs stung as we started around the trail. We passed packs of retired women, greeting us with a hearty hello and bright lipstick. My kind of girls. A baby in a fleece hat peeked out from his carrier, getting some fresh air. We huffed and puffed uphill, jabbering all the way. (Correction: I huff, and she talks for a bit until I catch my breath.) The breeze brought the leaves down around us, a rain I can live with.

Maybe this is the secret to a light spirit - this solitude, this quiet. There are days when all that is dark in this world makes me weep, makes me doubt there is anything left to celebrate. Makes me wonder if I believe in anything at all. But today isn't one of those days.

Today feels divine.

glory

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

the horror of ponies and a God that laughs

After two strenuous days of school, the kids are slacking the rest of the week, doing the half day thing. They raced off the bus yesterday, flooding me with big plans for the day. But alas, I was in the the bad stretch pants - the bad sweats' pitiful cousin - sipping tea. We were grounded.

The rain came back and we had a quiet afternoon, well, except for the kids in my house part. We popped popcorn, and watched Evan Almighty, cackling at bird poopy jokes, dancing like fools with Steve Carell and Morgan Freeman at the end of the show. Yes, the fictional freckled God added an 11th commandment to dance, and I believe in that kind of God. I do.

We all climbed on my bed, books in tow. Zack read a few on his own and then asked me to read a couple more to him. We read some classics: Frog and Toad, Edwina by Mo Willems, the brilliant. Then he raced to the shelf and found one of Lexi's book fair castoffs and begged me to play along. HE MADE ME READ MY LITTLE PONY - PONY PARTY. I thought I'd tossed that sucker long ago. What was I thinking? I mean, look at it:




Sunny Daze was dressed as a cheerleader. She jumped in the air and shook her pom-poms. "Three cheers for Pinkie Pie! She's a lovely butterfly!

So, I read it, sing-songy, jeering, but I read it. Lexi started laughing too, asking me why I hate the ponies like I hate McDonalds. I guess I didn't hide my disdain very well. But bedtime came and didn't have time to explain all the world's evils so I tucked them in, kissed their noggins and turned in, to my pony-less book.

____________

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

"now let's make sure Ms. Milton is comfortable..." (Fade to black.)

Look at me! Sitting up! Well, I guess you'll have to take my word for it. I'm back in my chair and overusing exclamation marks.

I came through my procedure - which makes it sound like I had a facelift - just fine. I'm considering getting a cheery tattoo on my forearm, like good luck, to bolster the nursing staff charged with starting an IV on my puny veins - it really is a challenge. They work the needle like parking a SUV in a small parking lot, in out, in out, in out, apologizing under their breath. Nothing like giving them a quest, I guess. But thankfully, that was the worst of it because the drugs were just that good. I can hardly remember any of it.

Greg brought me home and went to fetch me jello and soup while I rested. I swore I felt OK until I passed out, barely finishing my phone call. I woke up in a fright, certain I heard the kids' bus and I flung myself down the stairs, sliding in my socks and nearly breaking my neck for kids that were still at school. I think this is why I wasn't allowed to drive. Something about lack of judgement.

I woke this morning, prepared to stay home and follow the doctor's orders, sensing I would feel just fine but I would use it as an excuse to watch TV or read. Truth is, I had to lay still because I was light-headed and queasy, hungover from the drugs. A nurse called to check on me and told me to take it easy. So I did and I am.

So concludes this wild toad's wild ride. Thanks for all the encouragement. It is so appreciated.

(Maybe I should have stuck to recycled posts. I still feel a bit off. Or offer. Is that a word? Going now...)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

much like a drowned rat

Did I mention it was supposed to rain on our glorious mom and me horse camp trip? I think I did. And I'm here to report that mother nature kept her promise - it poured.

It poured when we loaded up, it poured when we unpacked. It poured during our meals, the rain woke me up in the night. It poured, it poured, it poured. But we had a great time.
camping with mom
I survived staying in a cabin with eleven 9-13 year old girls with another beleaguered mom. (Our leader 'mysteriously' volunteered to take the 2 extra girls to another nearly empty cabin. She's brilliant folks.)
Lexi, the archer
We took an archery lesson.
royal ridges
But the best part was riding. It's been years since I've been on a horse; I have to admit I was pretty nervous climbing up on Alex. We tromped through the mud, deep into the woods covered in a blanket of moss. The fog hadn't completely lifted, and for the first time all weekend, a hush came over the troop. I longed for my camera, but settled for staying in that moment, in the silence and the quiet rain.

It was worth developing webbed toes.

[Hey all. I'm having a 'procedure' tomorrow morning on my esophagus - part diagnostic and hopefully therapeutic too. Maybe a biospy. I've been assured that I will be properly wiped out on pain meds and a sedative, so I might lean on some earlier posts - back when only a teeny, tiny handful of people read my blog - to fill in for the next day or two. Or maybe I'll wing it, doped up. I'm also in the market for any prayers and positive thoughts you may feel like sending my way. Thank you, kindly.]
_______
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Friday, October 19, 2007

birthday wishes from Mr. Ed

Today is packed: I'm working out, attending a baby shower and then I'm hauling a bunch of girl scouts out to the woods for horseback camp. Overnight. In the rain. I'm digging out every piece of fleece I own because the weather is dreadful, at least for a trail ride. Lexi is packing lots of thin layers as the scouts wear matching bright shirts over everything, to make them identifiable, if they were to get lost in the woods. I'm thinking if I happened upon a lone, crying girl deep in the woods, I would figure it out. But I'm not the director so we obey.

I'm overlooking the cold and focusing on the time spent with my girl. I better be making it awesome because this trip came at a price. I am taking off on one of the holiest of all holy days in my family - my sister's birthday. You think I jest. I worried a wee bit when the star lined up against me, pitting the beloved horse camp vs. Lori. Lori loves her birthday in a way I just don't understand. There's a lot of plotting involved and a weeklong celebration. Thankfully, she forgave me (you did forgive me, right?) and bought my 'this way you can party all weekend' suggestion. I think she is replaying last year's festivities with friends this year, which sounds fantastic to me.

So, Ms. Lori, have a spectacular birthday! I know you will. I'll be shivering in my sleeping bag tonight, rethinking my commitment to scouts. And perhaps parenting. But you knew that already, huh?

Emailing: wheeler girls
_________
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Thursday, October 18, 2007

I can't type; I killed my hands by way of pumpkin

pumpkin family
We finished up our pumpkins last night.

yes, that's peanut butter on his face
The kids even wielded a blade. Am I crazy?

(I'm off to help out on picture day. It's raining with 40 mph winds in the forecast. I can't wait to see what this does to the precious's hair.)
___________
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Monday, October 15, 2007

this one time at band camp

Some mornings I am overwhelmed by the sheer volume of words my daughter fires at me. Words imbued with exclamation! exhilaration! And don't forget the sing-song quality that feels like verbal bludgeoning before I have met my caffeine quota or taken a shower.

But then I look at her. I fear Guileless Lexi has a short shelf-life, that in the coming years the world may not be as bright and full of wonder like it is now so I don't interrupt or let myself grow irritated. These days are short; someday soon she will keep her thoughts to herself, leaving me behind.

Please excuse me while I grab a cup of joe, and settle in for a bit. I've got some attention to pay.

bubble bliss
____________
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pumpkin guts suddenly sound appealing

Greg gutted our pumpkins yesterday so I decided to reward him with some inane football watching/Xbox joy free time, while I took Zack to his swimming lessons.

I settled in to read Grace (Eventually), plopped in a chair behind the glass observation wall. A young lifeguard somehow managed to escape between our worlds and approached the couple sitting in front of me. I thought, Oh how nice. He's probably telling them that their kiddo is excelling, needs to be moved up. Or maybe the poor darling is scared. What can I say? I was feeling generous.

Then I heard, in painful slo-mo, the words no mother wants to hear at the pool: Open sores.

Yes. Young Master Joey McOozenton* came to the pool, and hopped on in with the unsuspecting youngsters, all with his grandparents' blessing. Good gravy folks, what were you thinking? And, um, ew.

Better yet, they managed to say something to dismiss the concerns, something that made the sores somehow alright-y with the lifeguard. I resisted the urge to plunge through the glass and yank Zack out.

I'm sure I'll regret my inaction soon enough. I think 'quarantine' is the word I'm searching for.

*not his real name
__________
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Sunday, October 14, 2007

see you tomorrow

I started a post yesterday - after my class, in the yard while some neighborhood friends were here playing with the kids. The sun made an appearance and I sat outside, equal parts supervisor and writer.

And then my laptop konked out.

And I saw last week's Sunday paper, still untouched. (Correction: I think Lexi pulled out some ads.)

And I don't want to talk about the laundry.

So, my post will have to wait. I'll be back tomorrow. I'm in search of the perfect pumpkin today, before the forecast calls for heavy rain and domestic chores.

Friday, October 12, 2007

in all their splendor

pumpkin patch

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice.
Meister Eckhart

Thursday, October 11, 2007

(d)our (m)inions co(v)ey

I'm sorry to announce that I am crabby. I wanted to throw a party; I have now written 300 posts. I wanted to write about baking cookies with my kids last night, life lessons with flour and eggs. (The kids learn fractions, I learn p a t i e n c e.) Instead I was a good citizen, good wifey and took my car for a vehicle emissions test.

I pulled up to the booth and immediately the young woman started asking me questions. I'm not even going to pretend I speak car. My husband speaks car to me all the time. I 'listen' but don't retain squat. Heck, I listen and it sounds like:

car car car, car car car, blahblahblah, what's for dinner? blahblahblah car car car, you are pretty and the best wife ever, carcarcarblahblahblah, blah blah, Buffy. (Okay, he never talks about Buffy which makes me weep.)

You get the picture. I only perk up when it pertains to me. So when Ms. Inspection asked me a reasonable question I didn't know the answer to, I sighed and made a guess. In a grander moment, I would have looked at the registration paperwork in my hands, but I had just walked and gabbed on a treadmill for an hour and I was beat. Sweaty me couldn't think straight. She took the paper from me and corrected me. Cheater! Forget what I said. She's Ms. Snide. Every question is the same: Awkward silence followed by me hemming and hawing and wishing Greg was doing all the car stuff. Finally she dismissed me to pull ahead while she laughed with her co-worker, clearly at my expense. Oh funny funny her.

Laugh now Ms. Car-Speaking Mean Girl. I'll be back, and next time, I'll have all the answers right. Next time, I'll bring Greg.
__________
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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

the suburban artiste; taking this show on the road, or trying anyway

Now is the time when the battle begin: My bloggy brain says 'stay awhile, in this comfy chair and drown in blog-reading heaven' while the rest of me knows I have things to do. Tangible things. Things that demand getting dressed and going to the school and creating waterpaper apple die-cuts because I said I would for Art Discovery. My mouth said yes and so I am following through. Stupid mouth.

But my mouth has said other things too. (I'm chatty.) Like, I am going to work on my short story and there is a novel I've been dragging my feet on. Here it is October, and I am avoiding writing fiction because I have no idea where to start. It's new and difficult so I took action: God help me, I've signed up for a writing seminar.

I just finished the required reading this morning and the anxiety is setting in. Portland is teeming with hip hipster-type people that write and I can't help but imagine they are going to sniff out my PTA status and scowl. Or maybe that's my burgeoning inferiority complex showing. They (the people I imagine, with all the courage and coolness) will probably be amazing and gracious, scared and nervous too - I'm being a big non-hip wuss. Not that it matters because I am going, I'm taking a step.

I'll be the supergeek up front, taking notes and plotting dinner. It may not be glamorous, but I never imagined my life could be this sweet.
__________
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over the river and through the woods

walnut tree

Applegates' Beagle Kennel

It must be Wednesday. Get wordless.
__________
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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

hibernating


all done
Originally uploaded by mama.milton
My sister, Lori, and her husband went out to dinner for their anniversary on Sunday while I watched their boys. Caden cried for a while after they left, finally collapsed in a heap on the floor.

I scooped him up and he faintly smiled before going back to sleep.

I hear you, CC Bear. Sometimes a nap is called for.

Monday, October 08, 2007

motion sickness

We wound our way to my Grandma's house, by the Clackamas River. I am dizzy, taking in the leaves. I don't want them to fall off; autumn is too short.

I sit with Grandma while my Mom greets boarders, picking up their dogs. She is delivering bad news, the business is closing. Lexi and Zack run around with the final litter of puppies, chase a cat. I spent my childhood, on that same grass.

Grandma talks about going through papers. I read something Papa wrote for church, years ago. There's an old scholarship application, and my sister's high school transcript. She keeps everything.

She is adamant she needs her Jeep and nods off, mid-sentence. She is helpless, and somehow still obstinate. I can't figure it out. She doesn't want to let go, move to my parents' property in a place of her own. She asks me how would I like it if I had to move?

And I quietly remind her that Greg and I are considering it right now. He is working in another town more and more. I talk to him on the phone and here's what I picture: the hollowed out mall, off the I-5, where we stretch our legs and pick up a coffee when we go visit his parents. I don't want to go there.

More than that, I am content here. I finally have friends I adore, healthy kids; family and a church home. But I don't have Greg so the talks go on.

She says to no one, "I don't want to go."

I say to you, "I don't want to go."

And a lot could happen before spring.

Nothing is set in stone in the corporate world - this I know firsthand.

I don't know if Grandma will see spring at all.

But we both look out the window, watch the wind pick up the leaves and toss them about.

It seems familiar.
____________
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Sunday, October 07, 2007

deep thoughts, on a sunday evening

Bio-putty in the hands of an amateur (me) + 15 two year-olds + Sunday best = biohazard.
What ever happened to a day of rest?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

bug, sharp objects and other dark things

I have a rather sunny, upbeat personality (just go with it) but I like me some creepy, dark movies and books. I've got two thought provoking recommendations for fall, if you like to be unnerved, just a little.

Here we go:
First up: Sharp Objects. I know Powell's Books was pushing this book hard last year, and Stephen King wrote a blurb for the cover, so this may be old news. But I am slow. (Did I mention I am finally reading Eat, Pray, Love? I am clearly behind the curve.) Flynn has crafted a sticky tale that goes to the heart of motherhood, when things go wrong. Not only did I enjoy watching the storyline and characters unwind, but I found myself rereading her beautiful, sparse sentences. It was a joy to read, so I might be a sick woman.













Next: Bug. Now you need a creepy flick too. This movie was adapted from a play, and it has that feel. The cast and set is limited, claustrophobic. If you can make it through the first half hour, which I found slow, I think it is amazing. Nihilistic and disturbing, but worthy. (It was directed, after all, by The Exorcist's William Friedkin.) I can't say more, but if you see it, I'd love to know your take on it.

Ok, that's enough macabre for the day. No other dark things. Go look at the pretty leaves outside and think happy thoughts.











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Friday, October 05, 2007

and so it begins

Morning doesn't agree with Lexi. They are sworn enemies; it's a drag whenever they get together.

(If you do the math, the sun rises each day and the epic struggle continues.)

Zack bounces out of bed each day, races around, like he's secretly trading Lord of the Rings action figures for lattes out of his bedroom window. Like he's a closet coffee drinker.

My girl is sidetracked Suzy, flitting about, dreamy. The words from my lips, a figment.

She forgets to turn down the burner and her oatmeal sloshes on the stove top. I keep my cool; I am a Zen master. Still she panics.

I gently remind her what time it is. I strongly suggest she go outside.

The bus is long gone.

I dry my hair, brush my teeth and drive them to school. I calmly explain that we will be restructuring our morning routine next week. And all seems well.

As we step on the curb, Zack asks, "Where did Lexi go?" I look around and she has vanished. Is she picking clovers? Did she wander to the swings? Is she telling another Mom about her bangs? It's possible. I ask:

"Hey Lexi. Where are you?"

And around the corner she comes, permascowl in place, on the verge of tears. I try to hug her but she growls at me. Growls.

And then she mutters the words I knew would come, someday:

YOU EMBARRASSED ME IN FRONT OF MY FRIENDS.

Yes, I am guilty of the egregious act of walking and breathing on the shared sidewalk. I acknowledged her. For shame.

I wonder how she would feel about walking to school next time. I'm not above it. Then she will be late, and escorted by a stinky, sweaty Mom.

Excuse me while I plot my revenge.
__________
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Thursday, October 04, 2007

let's talk about something lighter, tv perhaps

The past few weeks have been heavy. Too heavy. I think I need to tread somewhere lighter today, something I find much easier now that Greg is home. Rumor has it (shhh) that he will be here all week. Like a comedian.

{I am leaping about, with my laptop, which is harder than you might think.}

School let out early yesterday, so the kids camped out upstairs all afternoon, playing uno and zoo. I am guessing about the zoo thing. It's the only way I can explain the bleating and squeals. Zack helped me do the dishes, teetering on his tippy toes. Lexi spoke in exclamation marks about MAKING PILLOWS FROM OLD JEANS! BEING HANNAH MONTANA FOR HALLOWEEN! AND HER HAIR! HER HAIR!

(And I must ask, when will she stop talking about it? I suffered through a haircut Saturday, actively ignoring her frowny face, forcing her to tell the nice lady what the heck she wants. Which was bangs. Bangs = tween panacea, for about 347 minutes. Oh, they were glorious hours.)

We hustled to finish our chores before Greg pulled up, just in time for popcorn and Pushing Daisies. I am embracing this quirky show, sending it love and good vibes and hoping it doesn't get cancelled. Television-making people, listen up: I need this show. I need its cast. I need at least one or two decent new shows, preferably that I could watch with my kids. Last week, I gave Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice the axe. And I used to love 'em, but I had to take them off my DVR because I can't take the dumb things you are making those lovely characters do.

(For instance, Lexie Grey proclaims 'I am your sister' while Meredith is rolling a woman with an amputated arm into the ER. Who would do this? No really. Make it stop. Where's my remote?)

Sorry, I got all crazy there for a moment.

So, last night, the Milton four grabbed a blanket, scarfed popcorn and watched the humble pie maker resurrect his childhood sweetheart.

And everything else washed away, down the street with the storm.

_____
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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

amends

I considered taking the kids over to my Grandma's today, to give my Mom a hand while the kids play. There's always something fun to do at a dog kennel - chase puppies, run in the mud. But Zack is coughing and congested. It is better I stay away.

Grandma is spending a lot of time sleeping now, or watching TV. It's hard for me to picture her sitting down. In my mind, she is never still, always in motion. Telling us what to do.

She is bossy. Or is it 'she was bossy'? I don't know anymore. It just seems that she always gets her way, even now.

I close my eyes and imagine my Mom feeding the dogs she is trying to place now, taking on the chores we all swore we didn't want to do. I see her sleeping there and it starts to sink in. I may grouse about my hurt feelings or revisit better times, but really, I grieve for my Mom. I wish she could have heard the words she needed to hear, some sort of apology. I wish my Grandma could have done it, stopped talking about her show dogs, and paid more attention to her only child, the one who has always been waiting. But it is too late. She never owned up to the things that hurt my Mom and I'm sorry.

I sure wish she had.

{much to my sjogren has been updated too}

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

get in line

Sorry it's dark. When I 'painted' over our address, the picture became murky. Oops.

Everybody wants a little of his time...

(Wordless Wednesday! Now with exclamation points!)

shadows

Another storm is coming in - the wind is rattling the windows while I fold clothes. The sky is dark. My Mom is between households, one foot at home, the other at my Grandma's place. It's hard for me to talk about the past few days. It's hard because my Grandma was a flawed, neglectful parent; she was critical of me, impossible to please. And we have her with us still, but under my Mom's care. Like a child.

Things are different now. She may not improve, return to her old self. I can't help but feel sad that she was too busy to make time for her family while she could. I won't lie: Beneath the quiet grief is a flicker of anger. There is so much to do and the burden feels heavy and our small extended family will be extended further. (My Grandma runs a business from home. I promise I will do a better job explaining the situation down the line.)

So. I look out the window and I reach for my kids. We talk about their day at school, fix snacks, admire the itty bitty pumpkin I picked up this afternoon. It's all I can do, I make these hours count.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

100 words or less: slumber party

Slumber parties are dumb. Tired girl cries way too much. She is clingy. She doesn't want to go to school. She can't recover, take a nap because the sugar. It courses. No sleepy. Only crying. Makes Mama want to cry or hide or run away. But I can't. I like sleep and listless girl.

Why, child, why were you the last to give in?

Shaving cream is dumb too.

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