Tuesday, September 30, 2008

for the girls

If you want to do me a favor and show how much you love me, please check out this blog that Jessie told me about. If you really love me and my--uh, I mean Jessie's--girls, leave a comment that backs me up on the reason why I should win the drawing that will award two of Calico's stuffed monsters in a bag. That's all I'm saying. No whining, no begging, no exclamation marks. Just an opportunity for you to reward me and shower me with monster love for the girls. (Sorry Shi, Jessie asked first...)

Monday, September 29, 2008

bottles of my heritage

I know, it's been so long since you've heard from me that you've been worried that my new compy and I had a fight and my old compy refused to work with me because I have abandoned it. But worry no more. I have not been fighting with either compy (because obviously they both adore me).

No, no, I have been busily preserving the fruit I bought last weekend at the farmer's market so we in the gardens will have the tastes of summer after the snow flies. Remember that fable about the ant and the grasshopper where the grasshopper flits around partying away the days and laughs at the ant who is busily storing food for the days
when the snow will cover the ground? Well, on occasion, I am the ant. It is a deeply ingrained part of me.

While it used to be more economical to go to an orchard, pick the fruit, prepare it and store it, I'm not sure that is still the case. But even if it does cost more and take up time that I could use in all kinds of other ways, there is something very satisfying about buying fruit, watching it as it ripens, understanding the time-is-now mentality of a box of peaches or pears that demands that I carve out several hours to preserve these gifts from the orchards. The fruit doesn't care if it's an inconvenient time for me; if the fruit says it's ready, it is ready. I think of it as akin to pregnancy and delivery. When it is time, it is time. I also think the effort to find the fruit, prepare it and produce it is similar to breastfeeding a baby. Somehow, my body knew when it needed to produce the lifegiving milk for my child and it was exactly the thing my child needed at that moment. And that is the beauty of home-bottled fruit. There is something very comforting about providing this product from nature for my family, year after year.

So in the same way that I have for nearly all of the last 30 years, when the end of summer comes and fall is in the air, I know it is time to prepare for winter. I think it's in the dna from my strong pioneer women ancestors.
In addition to myriad other goings-on last week here in the gardens, I bottled peaches, pears, and raspberry jam. Jessie and I produced seven quart bottles of peaches on one of the nights; I did another 21 bottles of peaches the next night as well as 13 pints of low-sugar raspberry jam. Then the pears were ready for the bottles and when all of the pears were tucked safely in their bottles, the count was 20 quarts.

These are Jessie's first effort at bottling fruit

And these are the rest of the fruits of my efforts

Go ahead, just try to convince me these are not in the top five most beautiful things you've seen on the web today.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

byebye old friend

yes, it's true the old favorite compy has been replaced by this wonderful, lightweight, speedy new compy with its ruby red wireless mouse. It's tiny compared to the old compy (which, you know, I loved) but I think I will love this one at least as much if not a tiny bit more than my first compy love.

And, instead of leaving old compy laying around for the three little girlies to trash, uh, I mean play with, Jessie pointed out that she doesn't have a laptop, so when Jack and I got her one of those multi-fan dealios, it only made sense to give her the first compy.

This new baby has all kinds of new stuff to check out--vista, gadgets, multiple icons and multiple toolbars. In fact, it may be just a bit more chaotic than I like, so I'll be spending a bit of time modifying things.

But you should see the ruby red wireless mouse. It is wicked sweet.

Monday, September 22, 2008

i don't believe i mentioned

After our plane from JFK landed the other day, I turned my blackberry back on and was immediately buzzed about a phone message, which was from my mom, telling me to call her as soon as we landed. Silly, naive me, I did as instructed, and listened as mom said that she had left some things on my front porch for me.

Turned out she probably didn't need to notify me because the boys had moved the gifts into the kitchen but there's no way I would have missed the four large white Serta pillows from Stan's Club that were sitting on the bar ('I was using your bathroom a while back and noticed that your pillows looked pretty cruddy'). Guess she didn't notice that the cruddy pillows are goose down pillows that Jack loves that I bought a couple of years ago, half price, but still cost $80 each. They might look a bit loved without their pillowcases, but, well, that's because he loves them.

However, I might have missed the book she left for me. (Side note: while cleaning out the bookshelves in the basement last month, I found a book that I bought in 1977 or so that is called, "I feel guilty when I say no". Pause for a minute and think about that.) So, back to the book that my mom thought I needed. It is called, "I don't have to make everything better."

The book my mom bought for me is all about the importance of validation in relationships. Not solving problems for others who haven't asked for help, not doing things for others who can do for themselves, not doing the thing you think is most helpful but instead doing the thing the other wants or better still simply listening and acknowledging.

You know, that most important thing that mothers do for their children. Sometimes.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

oh what a beautiful morning

This morning, I woke up fully rested in my own bed with my cats playing their 'push the other cat off the bed' game. Jr and the drummer left for their jobs. Jack and I got up and ate a bowl of cereal--he had Wheaties and I had Cocoa Dynobites. We talked for a few minutes and he left for work.

And I was in the house alone, except for the cats. It was just like the years that I spent, raising children, caring for our home, and learning the joy of the gardens. I petted the cats, went out to find the dog and give her some lovin' and beggin' strips (she thinks they're bacon strips--get it? beggin/bacon?) and then I got my purse and my green shopping bag and headed to the park where the local farmers' market is set up on Saturdays until the snow flies. The weather was a perfect fall morning--an earlier rain with some distant thunder had washed everything clean and there was no breeze, just sunlight and calm.

I drove into the park and immediately felt at home. It is the park of my childhood, the park of my teens, and now, the park of my grammahood. At the top of the hill, I noticed the soccer games with kids of all ages in their brightly colored jerseys chasing the ball. At my left, I spotted the weekly dog training class, the excited dogs and the inexperienced owners. Next, I saw the bride and groom posing for pictures in the gazebo. And in front of me on the left, I watched the playground--the little children playing, throwing the mulch because there is no sand to throw, and the parents telling their children to stop throwing mulch, and the nearby couples snuggled in their sleeping bags and blankets, so young, so into each other, so completely unaware of anyone but their someone. And across the road in the pavillion was a family setting up for a family reunion.

The farmers' market was exceptionally crowded today or perhaps I arrived later than usual, but I think there were more shoppers because it is harvest time for so many gifts from the garden and orchard. I saw these adorable tiny little eggplants and some ginormous zuchini squash that, for a moment, caused me to wonder if they wouldn't have been perfect for a game of street hockey? I saw boxes of crisp apples and ripening pears and tomatoes, the end of the season corn on the cob, and the honey man from Grantsville. The bakers from the breadshop were in their usual place with all of their baskets of aromatic loaves. And the perennial girl was there with the perennials that she chose to share with others on this beautiful fall day. I immediately found the stand with the raspberries and bought two cases to wash and mash and make into jam. Next I found beautiful, large bartlett pears that are even now, ripening. And I found the most luscious peaches--lemon elbertas with smooth fuzzy skin and that perfect peach color--a blend of yellow, peach (of course) and deepening into a plum-red.

After moving all of that fruit into the back of my adorable little car, I walked back through the market, discovering the corn on the cob and paying only $3 for 15 ears from the peach and pear man. I stopped to visit with the perennial girl, who is always informative and friendly--a kindred spirit, I suppose.

I headed back to my adorable car and as I opened the door and sat down, I was overcome by the intensity of the mix of scents. The mixture of raspberries and pears and those juicy peaches was what I think heaven must smell like. It was warm and delicious and calming and I sat for a few moments just breathing in and out with my eyes closed. My mouth was watering and my mind begged for just one bite of that sweet juicy fruit.

I love this bounteous time of year in the gardens.

Friday, September 19, 2008

we're back

What a nice few days away we've had. Now we are back in the gardens and once again we escaped JFK with only a couple of hours delay. As soon as I heard the deep-voiced man in the cockpit telling us over the annoying loudspeaker that 'we' were having 'computer problems' because the computer had locked out the the last two people who wanted to get on the plane, I knew we would be waiting to get outta there. This wait was not as long as the last time--we were less than two hours late this time, as opposed to the last time we left JFK after sitting in the plane on the tarmac for what I seem to remember was six--or was it eight?--hours because we got out of line and air traffic was backed up because of weather or something. This wait was seriously no big deal. (Okay, except to the dreadlocked kid sitting next to me who missed his connection to Fresno along with all of the people who missed their flights to all destinations in California tonight.)

The most exciting airport moment was while we were going through security at our local airport at the start of our vacation when out of the blue, a security guard yelled out, "FREEZE," or perhaps it was "BREACH"--it was hard to understand, but everybody in the area stopped what they were doing as though we were playing freeze tag or statue tag or something. We didn't figure out what was going on, but at some point after, oh, maybe 30 seconds, we got the "ALL CLEAR" and we all breathed again and continued redressing and repacking. I don't know, there's just something unnerving about being so close to a guy in a uniform who has a gun and lots of adrenalin going and really, what does it take to be one of those guys anyway?

We had planned to go to the Yankee's game, and maybe go see "Wicked" and hit the Museum of Modern Art, Central Park, the Bronx Zoo, and finish up with the Statue of Liberty. Yeh, we made the game. And we skipped the rest. I know, you're scratching your head and thinking, "Dude, you were in New York with all of these plans and you didn't do any of that?" And I have to answer and say, "Yeh, we ate some really great food and we slept in really late and it was so just exactly what we both needed and wanted."

We ate in local places the whole time except for the Starbucks for me and the Wendy's lunches for Jack. One night, I had the most tender short ribs with potatoes and veggies while Jack enjoyed a burger; and another night we ate at the Yankees game, and last night, I had lobster and creamed spinach and Jack had sliced carrots and a huge baked potato with the fixins' and the biggest tenderloin steak I've ever seen. I didn't have my glasses on, but when I first saw the server bringing our food I thought he had a big piece of chocolate cake for Jack instead of a steak. Oh, did I mention the chocolate mousse cake?

New York never disappoints. It knows who it is. I relish its sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and the feelings I experience whenever we are there. This might have been our best trip ever.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

the chrysler building

Did I mention that our hotel is just through the block from the Chrysler Building? This is not the view of the Chrysler Building from our hotel room. It's from the internet. When we get home and I can get back to the normal photo downloading procedure, I'll post our view photo.

i love this town

I attended four very informative conference sessions today.

But the big news is our visit to Yankee Stadium to watch the home team beat the White Sox, 5-1.

Great things about tonight's outside activity:

1. Riding the subway. I love it. The people, the smells, the sound, and the crazy notion that you can go underground and in a very few moments, emerge into the sunlight at the place you want to be. Did you know there is a subway station that exits into Yankee Stadium?

2. Only four more games in Yankee Stadium until the season ends and it is torn down to be replaced by a parking lot, and a new stadium will be built in the currently existing parking lot. Is that brilliant or what? People can say what they want about Yankee Stadium being a lousy place to watch a ball game, but it's really a great place to see a game.

3. Baseball food. Yep, we had hotdogs and soda. The Utah version of baseball food. Dang tasty.

4. Did you know that there is a lot of group participation singing at major league baseball games including God Bless America by Kate Smith, all kinds of little bits of music between plays, Take me out to the Ballgame and what has to be the favorite of every fan, YMCA, which the ground crew dance to while raking the baselines between innings? And who could forget (or stop hearing it over and over in my head) Frank Sinatra singing, over and over, at the end of the game, 'Start Spreading the News', and repeating the last line--If I can make it there, I'll make it, (hip bump, hip bump) anywhere, it's up to you (Rockette's kick), New (kick), York (kick), Newwwwwahh Yorrrrrrk.

5. LaGuardia Airport is real close to Yankee Stadium--or at least I think it is because planes, big planes, kept taking off over the stadium, causing me to worry momentarily that the planes were on a course that might cause them to fly into the MetLife blimp.

6. We took photos at the game, but I still haven't figured out how to download them onto the computer, so for now, I'll post my drawing that shows very clearly my view of the game.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, we were sitting in the top tier, left field, row J, which would have been pretty great--and was pretty great--except that I forgot my glasses and my drawing is pretty much what I could see. The little gray blobs are the White Sox, the blue blobs are the umps, and the white uniform with the pin stripes that you can barely see (who is in the somewhat difficult to see red box near home plate) is Jason Giambi--the guy who is required to take drug tests to see if he's on the steroids, and since that all came up, he has, for some reason, gotten smaller and less able to hit the long ball. (Okay, I couldn't really see him clearly enough to tell if he's gotten smaller, but he wasn't hitting the ball very well at all tonight.)

The weather was perfect for a game, the fans were typical Yankee fans, the hot dogs were ideal for a baseball game, the subway was just the way I remembered. Well worth the price of admission.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

start spreadin' the news

Yes, it's true. Jack and I are in the the big apple at the New York Marriott East Side. Daytime work for me, playtime for both of us at night.

We survived the 5-hour flight even with the crying baby behind us and the whirling tasmanian devilchild four-year-old in front of us. And dude, I was patient! I didn't even have to pretend to be okay, because when I realized we were sitting between two kids for a 5-hour flight, I just thought about how it would be for Shi or Jessie to take kids on a flight for that long and I simply could not get upset with the kids or the parents.

You see, I can change. If I want to.

But I am certain that Shi and Jessie would have taken toys and snacks and sippie cups and possibly even benedryll so their girls could enjoy the flight.

Okay, probably not the benedryll.

Oh, one other thing--our cabbie from JFK to our hotel told us that there are three things that people don't like about New York--the weather, the traffic, and the women (and by people I think he meant men). It did seem that the bits and pieces of guy conversations I overheard as we walked down the street indicated that they didn't not like the women; it was more like they were totally confused by the women. And some were so battle-scarred that they were afraid to even try anymore. Poor babies.

Okay, just one more thing--after dinner we walked back to our hotel and along the way, the sidewalk was blocked by all of these people with cameras and there were black limos parked up and down the street. We stopped for a minute to see what was going on, and the door to a limo opened and out hopped a young woman who walked a few steps, stopped to smile at the crowd, and then headed up the steps to the entrance, where she paused and turned to see if anyone else wanted to snap another picture, but no one was paying attention to her at that point, they were all oohing and aahing over the pictures they got on their cell phones. And asking each other who she was. And she had this brief look of disappointment on her face and then she walked throough the doors.

I'm going to google 'Tara' tomorrow because one of the picture takers identified her as Tara mummblemummblesomething. I didn't get that part.

Monday, September 15, 2008

the big two-five

Twenty-five years ago today, the most amazing, precious, darlin' entered my life. That is the day Jessie was born. I've often said that if I could only have one daughter that I was so glad it was her, and my feelings haven't changed. In the manner of many blogs of today, I will now list 25 thoughts about Jessie--one for each year she has blessed my life.

1. She is quick to smile.
2. She is an extremely attentive mom.
3. She has great hair.
4. She makes adorable babies.
5. She doesn't put up with too much crap from her husband. (and I mean that in a totally positive way.)
6. She has never put up with much crap from her brothers. (which is probably why her marriage works so well.)
7. She is smart.
8. She is a hard worker.
9. She appreciates the beauty around her.
10. She has a deep love of all kinds of literature.
11. She is sharing her love of words with her daughters.
12. She is very patient with her children.
13. She is the planter of a lovely garden.
14. She is creative--whether decorating her home, fixing a meal, or playing with her girls.
15. She knows who she is and stays true to that self.
16. She feels deeply but only shares those feelings with those she trusts.
17. She was an adorable little girl.
18. She has these really cute freckles.
19. She can stretch a dollar.
20. She spends wisely and loves to find a good deal.
21. She is secure in her faith.
22. She can tell a good story.
23. She loves and forgives graciously.
24. She is a peacemaker.
25. She has been a joy and a blessing in my life. She tries very hard to do the right thing always. I could go on and on, but I'll stop by saying that I love her deeply and feel grateful to be in her life.

Happy birthday, sweetie. I hope it was a good day and that your future holds many more good days. xo mom

Sunday, September 14, 2008

hmmm. once again, no comments. ouch.

Today's list:

1. My friend, Amelia, who lives across the pond, has two adorable daughters who haven't seen much of Sesame Street--which is, I must say, amazing. Elmo wasn't the first word they said after Gramma? wow. Anyway, Amelia posted some links to utube videos from Sesame Street and while visiting those sites, I found this link. I'm posting this for certain people--you know who you are--but it's pretty entertaining for all.

2. Check out this picture Breanne drew on the white board on Friday and try to convince me it isn't The Cheat from HomeStarRunner. And if you don't know HomeStar, you should really check it out (start with characters or sbemail) because it will make you giggle, smile and laugh out loud. (sorry texters I tried to type lol but I just couldn't do it.)

Thursday, September 11, 2008


It wasn't such a great tv show idea, huh. I thought at least one person would point out that maybe I shouldn't watch or listen to KSL so much.

Possible top three best latest happenings in the gardens:

1. My boss surprised me with a promotion today.

2. I ordered a new c-o-m-p-y--but don't say that word our loud or even think it in its entirety, just spell it, so this c-o-m-p-u-t-e-r I've had for four years--the one that I love, that I typed every college assignment on and every blog post on, even though its wireless dealio doesn't work anymore, and even though its little rubber feet are missing so it overheats if I'm not careful to keep it perfectly centered over three months of Prevention Magazine under the front left corner (subscription provided by my mom) and my copy of Unholy Ghost under the right corner, and when it overheats, it suddenly makes this crackly, overheated, burning up sound that is followed by a black screen and then a self-induced reboot--so that buddy of mine doesn't get his feelbads hurt. Oh--there's that other thing going on--the top of this c-o-m-p-y that I lift up to open the screen has started to crack away from the hinges and I fear that one day the screen will simply lift off of the guy and I'll know way more about my c-o-m-p-y's inner workings than I ever expected to know.

So I decided to pick up a new one and for some crazy reason that I will never understand, my four-year-old that cost $1700 will be replaced by a bigger (more memory-4G!), better (no broken parts), faster (if I were Jack I could tell you the real name of the processor, but all I can remember is that it's a dual carbonated turbo charged high-speed speedy jaguarspeed processor), and lighterweight (4.8 lbs versus about 25 lbs--or it seemed to weigh that much whenever I tried to lug it through an airport), and the new one costs less than $900, including the webcam, yes, you read correctly, webcam, and the ruby red wireless mouse. Did I mention that the c-o-m-p-y is pacific blue? I think I'm in love.

The only way I can feel really okay about replacing my first love c-o-m-p-y is that when the new guy arrives and I move all of my financial stuff and pictures and other vital information to the new guy, I'll set up the older one on a desk for the little girlies because there is nothing more entertaining to them than to type letters on a blank page in microsoft word. (Um, I can already hear the son-in-law protesting that Breanne prefers a Mac...or perhaps he and Jessie are doing still more of that appledevil brainwashing.)

3. For my birthday, Jack bought me a new pink pearl roxy schwinn cruiser that has comfortable handlebars and a cushy white seat; big, soft whitewall tires; this amazing pearly girly paint; and a basket, bell, and ahooga horn. I rode it around inside the store so I could try it on, and then I rode it in the parking lot, and then we brought it home in the back of my car.

I took it outside and decided to ride it around the block, not realizing until I was at the end of my street that I wasn't sure I could perform a turn on my wide, city street, so I kept going straight away from the gardens. Next I realized that my street has a slope to it, and for the first time in my life, for the briefest moment, I had this sudden flash of realization that I could get seriously hurt if I crashed on my beauty bike. As a kid, while crashing on my little red bike, over and over, I never considered the possibility of bleeding or bruised parts; as a teenager, crashing on the little blue Honda 70s we rode, I never felt that I might be unable to hold a pen for 6-8 weeks while my broken wrist healed after my somersault over the handlebars (well that was really my dad and lilbro who both somersaulted and broke their wrists). As I experienced that newfound sensation--fear of pain--I kept pedaling down that hill and--tada!--successfully completed a left turn without crashing. I was halfway around the block! I continued pedaling back towards the gardens, confidence growing until a new sensation appeared. It started in my legs, first one then the other, over and over, until it occurred to me that the seat was not high enough for my grownup body. Maybe after I have ridden the bike for a couple of years, I'll figure out the proper method of relieving the cramps that extend from the toes up the legs into the butt, getting tighter with each downward push of the pedals. Did I mention that about the time I realized I wasn't ready to make a turn--just before the hill, before the successful turn, before the cramping--I looked down at the tires and discovered they were, at most, 1/3 full, which means 2/3 less air than required for appropriate tire action and the preferred speedy response time?

But did I give up and hop off of my bike and push it back to the gardens when I realized the state of the tires or when I felt the certain knowledge that I might not be walking if I didn't ease the cramping? Are you kidding? That premonition, that sudden, unexpected fear of injury kept me on that bike, pedaling in the longest strokes I could force out of those pedals--even rising from the seat on every third or fourth pedal stroke. You may be surprised to learn that even with all of these events and thoughts and fears, I only stopped once to try to ease the cramps in my wobbly legs.

And then, I made it back to the gardens--YES, THAT'S RIGHT--I RODE MY BIKE AROUND THE BLOCK ALL BY MYSELF!

I haven't been back on the bike since that day. I'm waiting patiently for Jack or Jr to make the necessary adjustments to my bike. And then, who knows, I just might make two laps around the block.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

i have this great idea for a new show

early yesterday morning, it occurred to me that i have yet to jump on the reality/home video tv ride to riches. i don't watch reality tv shows, although i have watched a couple of episodes of 'wipeout', found myself laughing out loud a couple of times and mostly groaning or silent for the balance of the time. i have to admit that there are also some in the gardens who will tune into america's funniest home videos or wackiest car chases--but only when there is no football, hockey, baseball, racing, movie, tennis, golf, billiards, world championship of poker, cricket match, weather channel, hi-def nature show, or nova to watch instead.

i think i have come up with a great idea for a new show: america's most outrageous media coverage!!! (and yes, it will require at least three exclamation marks, so i hope those three marks don't weary you to much, dear readers.)

the basic concept of the show will be to show how crazy the media can be. it will include anything that is reported as news, so that means we can submit ideas from newspapers, network tv, local tv, the news authority radio station, and lest we miss out on some of the most outrageous coverage, of course, fox tv, msnbc, and cnn. oh, and we can, if we must, include npr.

this is the short list of areas we can cover that i've thought of so far:

1. outrageous coverage of weather-related events--think geraldo standing ten feet from a levee in new orleans that could breach at any moment, or any number of reporters who are each trying to get the closest to being blown away by a tornado or hurricane. or how about the weather guy on the local station who always refers to lightning as 'killer lightning'. idiot. maybe this segment could evolve into a competition between annoying or dense reporters that requires reporter participation in ACTUAL! WEATHER! CRISES!!! not that i want anybody to get killed, but maybe if the show goes big enough, the reporters would all want to be on and some of them might need some time off occasionally...you know, to participate, not necessarily to recover...

2. a segment for local coverage--think ksl or the deseret news and their plentiful coverage of the predominant religion in the area. does this happen with baptists in the south or catholics in boston or jews in new york? skinheads in northern idaho? this segment could also include the non-news stories that are the majority of stories on the local news--pieces that are really a five-minute long free ad for a local business--that may or may not be locally owned. and there are also the fluff pieces that should be on a separate show--maybe it could be called, 'local fluff, no news.'

3. a segment for ads for local tv news and radio--if i hear those ksl ads, 'by the time you get to work, you pretty much know what's happening,' and 'ksl tells me all i need to know' and 'ksl is so informative', i'm going to scream. oh wait, i've already done that. well, if i ever run into those actual fans of ksl, i'll simply have to scream at them. and another thing, how about the name they call themselves, 'THE NEWS AUTHORITY'--give me a break. you know, if somebody wanted to say that ksl news was concise, i could let that slide because almost all of their stories are a headline and two sentences. except for the carol mikita church pieces and the headline stories about a bad accident or a kid who's been injured and then they can't stop showing the video over and over of the injured kid (BREAKING NEWS!!!) and the person who is alleged to have caused the injury, who will be convicted by ksl way before any judge gets involved. and don't forget deep-voiced guy who announces breaking news in a teaser that he recorded the day before. seriously, breaking news should be no more that an hour old. if you ask me. or if this is my blog.

4. if we needed a bit of filler, there could be a segment about funny headlines, reporters who can't seem to read the teleprompter, and lousy teasers that take more time then they devote to the story.

5. let's not forget the folks on fox and cnn. you know, the fair and balanced, no bias just news, (or whatever that clever line is from cnn) stations. sad to say, but there are far too many americans who totally believe whatever they hear from bill o'reilly or wolf blitzer. first of all, these guys are not newsmen. they are moneymakers. it might be fun to have a segment of alternating clips from both sides that would show clearly the biased, not fair or balanced blahblah they air at every opportunity.

6. one more segment could be about the stories that get print or air time versus the stories that are apparently too deep/messy/complicated/ugly for the average viewer/listener to understand, so we are protected from them by our dad, the guy who decides what gets aired.

7. that's all i can think of for now--besides the post is way past getting long--but if you can think of additional segments, please please share them. we can all use something besides the daily barrage of crap that passes as news.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

the most amazing dream

a couple of nights ago, i had the most amazing dream. it was so chaotic and then so totally, completely calming. i must write about it so i never forget the feelings it aroused.

my dream started with the usual chaos--people coming and going, including my three boy cousin brothers dashing around, blahblahblahing and slamming into and way too close to my personal space. it was very uncomfortable. i was at my gramma's house from my childhood and then at my old house, and then at my parent's house. jessie's childhood friend, jamie, showed up, on rollerblades with her long blond hair in a ponytail. she skated up and said hi and asked me how i was doing and told me she has two adorable kids and skated off. at some point i realized i was going to clear up my gramma's dishes (which looked exactly like the dirty dishes i'd left in my sink before bed), so i washed the dishes and set them on a towel on the counter to dry. and all of the time, people were rushing past, so fast that they were blurry streaks of color. and there was so much muddled, unidentifiable white noise. then i suddenly remembered my gramma was sitting on the edge of her bed, waiting for me to come sit with her. as i walked towards her, i saw a scale that said she weighed 99 lbs and i noticed how thin she had become, hardly more than skin and bones really. i sat down on the bed next to her (in the same way i used to sit next to her when she lived with us) and she reached out and took my hand and i covered her hand with my other hand and she patted the top of my hand. it was so real that i could feel the soft, fragile skin on the back of her hand and i could see the little age spots and i could feel her hand patting the top of my hand. i felt the same calming comfort that i felt when she patted my hands when she was alive. she told me i needed to settle myself, to rid myself of the desire in me to meet the needs of everyone around me. and as she patted my hands, the chaos settled, the white noise dimmed into nothingness, and time slowed to a sweet, manageable pace. the colors calmed into white haze and it was just gramma and me, peacefully caring for each other.

of all of the chaotic, crazy dreams i've had in the past few years, this is one that i will remember always--i'll go there to take a break whenever i need to. or whenever i want to.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

a bit of clarification

Today, Jessie called and said she had read my blog entry from yesterday and thought it sounded like I was feeling better. I agreed and said I thought she was correct.

But after thinking about her comment for a while, I realized it wasn't quite accurate. I think I'm understanding better and feeling sometimes better, sometimes worse, but the important thing is that I'm feeling. The thing that humans do.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

there she goes again

If you don't want to read more about therapy, just shut down your compy right now and go find a Dove Bar or if you prefer something warmer on this fallish day, have some tea or cocoa.

I've been talking about 'and how do YOU feel about that' for over three years now. The first therapist quickly became a dear friend, which wasn't the best relationship between therapist and client. But she did eventually achieve the one thing she knew I needed from her. She kept me alive until she got me to the hospital.

In the hospital, I had several therapists, which is what happens when you arrive on the weekend. Different therapists and psychiatrists twice a day and every one of them has an opinion--amazingly the same opinion expressed by various personalities--which is that they must break through that outer shell, shatter you into little pieces, give you lots of drugs and send you out the doors, a week later, in a stupor, ready to meet your new therapist, who will put you back together. Or in my case, find the sessions too difficult/boring/whatever, to concentrate on, especially when her computer screen is right there, beckoning her apparently to READ! ME! NOW! It's hard to compete with an interesting computer.

Then Carolyn came along. She is the first therapist who listens, asks, listens, asks, and if I really can't figure it out, helps me with the answer when the pain is too great and I am stuck. We have worked together to get me to the point where I am finally starting to understand.

Understand that the pills help me cope until the time when I have figured out the mysteries and no longer need the long-term or short-term benefits they offer.

Understand that the most important thing in any healthy relationship, the thing we all crave in some part of us, is for the others in those relationships to accept us and to recognize the gestures that define acceptance and safety to us and to give that freely because they love us purely, unconditionally. No strings attached. No control issues. No holding back. No matter whether the gift is reciprocated or even acknowledged. It is given not for gain. Not to manipulate, not to be praised. Simple, genuine acceptance and comfort.

Understand that relationships cannot be their best without communication. Through hard topics and hard times. With fairness while still maintaining the level of acceptance. Not for compromise, where one wins and the other loses. But to reach understanding and agreement that both willingly accept as it strengthens the relationship.

And finally, to understand that these things apply to every important relationship.

Perhaps I'm a bit of a slow learner, but, well--so far, sososo good.

Monday, September 1, 2008

not so surprising this anxiety

1. 22 August 2005--euthanized my sweet boy dog, Scout
2. 23 August 2005--my birthday and the day my biggest cheerleader gramma died
3. 29 August 2005--Katrina followed by the levee breaches
4. early July 2007--visited New Orleans and spent hours riding with Cesar, a local cabbie, who showed me the devastation everywhere nearly two years after Katrina
5. 31 August 2008--Gustav

My heart goes out to the peoples of the Gulf Coast.