Thursday, October 29, 2009

letting go

Twenty five seconds into this meager first attempt at creating a mixed movie of some of the footage we took in Hawaii, walks the woman I was while away in August: Light, and goofy, unencumbered.

As it should be, while away from all earthly burdens, under the sun with my guy.

Not a day has passed that I haven't thought about this footage, how light my spirit felt while we walked the pathway to a picnic dinner on the beach, the dancing that followed.

The end of summer gave way to a gloomy fall and though the initial grief has passed, I still find myself quieter and more solemn these days. This isn't to say I don't have joy in my life; I do. I cultivate it. But I am more sorrowful and slower to laugh, and instead of just accepting this little phase I'm going through, I keep pushing myself to be that girl in the video again, amid the dead leaves and broken households and lonely nights when my husband is too far away from us.

That is what is breaking me. I'm chasing a lightness in me that has passed, as the days grow shorter and the wind howls outside in window.

The last of the yellow jackets has stumbled into my kitchen, passing the dogs on their way out, rummy and lethargic. It juts around the windowsill, in short jerky moves. My kids are afraid it will run them down, but it is no longer a thing of speed. Whatever spunk that carried indoors won't take it where it wants to go, peckish and neutered and dying.

It bounces off the ceiling light until I catch it, and put it out so we can both let go of summer, and days spent in the sun.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

taking my Lego alter ego on the road

I am up early with a puking puppy. (Yes, I have now managed to mention vomit in two consequent posts; my mother must be very proud.) I lead a very glamorous life.

It's dark and the rain is keeping my state Evergreen. I think I'll put on some coffee and work on a short story that I keep meaning to write while I send you over for shelter on The Porch, Women's Colony style.

I think it will make you giggle.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

hover craft

So I was preoccupied.

(World, who?)

My boy was sick, and lonely and begged me mercilessly to play Lego Indiana Jones forever and ever amen, until I gave in to his Vidiot* ways while the rest of the nation worried and wondered about a boy in a balloon.

Now by the time I had tuned in, said little boy - and I am loathe to give them any more publicity on my meek little media machine - had been 'found' and all was well or so it seemed.

I have to say I found the whole story to be suspicious because I watch enough NatGeo/Science/Nerdilicious-ness channels with my hubby to question whether that homemade balloon and basket combo could hold a boy.

Or maybe I was incredulous because I am pretty sure that if a Mylar balloon could be transformed into a functioning hover craft, my kids would fulfill their Up fantasies and they would be on your favorite cable channel right now, floating over Disneyland.

I'm just saying.

My gut feeling grew while we watched the family interviewed, not by Larry King, but by my girls on GMA. I was gazing at my laptop, typing away (pretend to be surprised) when I heard what can only be described as puking sounds on TV. Let's face it: Any mother worth her weight in diapers can recognize that distinctive heaving cough.

I watched, disgusted, as the little boy wondered off camera - alone - to vomit while his parents continued to make goo-goo eyes at the camera. Until one of the anchors suggested they check on their sick child.

I knew right there that something was wrong with this story, wrong with these people.

And I hated the way they had exploited their children and foiled a kind nation just to taste a little more limelight.

*Vidiot = VideoGames/Idiot. It's a term of endearment for my gaming offspring, coined by my Dad, after Wii marathons at his house. Or an insult, when on Lexi's lips.
**Does anyone else use this term or is it this family specific?

Monday, October 19, 2009

patch, pumpkin

Cooler temperatures?
Gourds galore?
I love this time of year.

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

I may have went a little overboard with the camera.
And Happy birthday to my little sister, Lori!

Friday, October 16, 2009


We don't live in a pineapple, under the sea;
But look what she found: Gary! It's he!

(For my girl, she who loves all creatures.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

boy's best friend

I'm a rotten mother, prone to worry. I'd much rather be strong.

When Zack was a bitty, bitty boy, a doctor once said - while he was very ill - that she didn't think we'd 'lose him', something that hadn't even crossed my mind at the time.

It was the beginning of many lab tests and doctor visits and I've always thought it traumatized him. I know it did me.

So when he woke up this morning, one side of his neck swollen and red, with dark circles under his eyes, it hit me again: I wonder when I will stop seeing him as that fragile 2 year old? I wonder if it ever goes away, after you dodge the proverbial bullet.

We had medical insurance when Lexi was a baby, but it didn't include vaccinations during her well visits, a policy hiccup that put shots nearly out of reach when we were narrowly living paycheck to paycheck. I sought mobile clinics, rows of mothers and howling babies and strollers snaking around a silver motor home parked in a vacant lot. It was the best way to get cheap shots.

I remember when Lexi was one, it took two nurses and my able arms to hold her down, her chubby little thighs lodged between the nurses'.

She was always the picture of health. Strong, vibrant.

My boy will be home for a few days, as his body fights what the doctor believes is an infection in his lymph nodes.

We snuggled in bed this afternoon, watching a week's worth of Spongebob in one sitting. Jake curled his body around Zack, his boy, licking his puffy neck while Zack caught up on some sleep.

Somehow, watching my big teddy bear of a dog stand guard eased my mind.

Friday, October 09, 2009

2nd Story

6:23 am.

My fantasy, sleeping in - sleeping in until 7 - dashed.

Fourteen pounds of brawn between me and my unidentified offspring, creeping into bed with me. Fourteen pounds of puppy dog, making up for all the months she played mute, Jo-Jo the shirker not doing her part.

5:07 pm.

We arrived at our designated depot, birthday girl in hot boots in tow. We laughed through dinner and drinks before taking our shifts at the Bagdad, while Jen saved our seats and 2nd Story took the stage.

Five storytellers took the stage and took us on an adventure: Near tears, and howling with laughter. Five ladies, out on the town, celebrating 39 years and waiting on the good that is surely on its way.

Monday, October 05, 2009

sniffles: the mama milton approach

So someday my boy in the Bat-Former jammies - we mix and match pjs these days - may or may not complain in therapy about my alternative medicine leanings, but for now he's a willing guinea pig participant in my antics.

I've plied him into drinking some kombucha, where few others will tread; he loves magic socks.

And now? He's running around, moonwalking and singing and chasing the dogs.


Here's another little something something we brew up when we are under the weather, plucked right out Nourishing Traditions. Easy and soothing and good on a sore throat.

Coconut Chicken Soup

  • 1 quart chicken stock (I used homemade bone broth; you could use canned, if you don’t have any fresh stock)
  • 1/4 teaspoons chile flakes
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • sea salt
  • 3 scallions
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1. Bring stock to a boil, and skim any foam that rises to the top.

2. Add coconut milk or creamed coconut, lemon juice, chile flakes and ginger. Simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and garnish with cilantro.

Thursday, October 01, 2009


First my well went dry, and I had very little to say.

And then I hit the wall, and had to admit I'm a teeny, weeny bit depressed. (Cue the dark paneling and bad polyester pants.)

Now I'm just putting one foot in front of the other, and looking up.

I may not be prancing, but I'm back.