Thursday, May 29, 2008

Theme Thursday - Flowering

I've decided to try my hand at a theme posting. I found this one through Shutter Sisters following a link to a link and so on... The theme is called Flowering.

When walking along our road on Monday, Dean pointed to this and suggested I take a picture. Here is what he found so picture-worthy and I was happy to capture it for him.

Friday, May 23, 2008


I have always loved writing. For me, it has always been a way to process my thoughts – sound them out so I really understand how I feel about something. That’s why I started this blog. But before the days of blogging, I wrote the old fashioned way – on paper.

When I was in middle school, while everyone else was listening to my science teacher lecture on about a George Orwell futuristic society where people wouldn’t carry cash – they would have their money deposited directly into an account and they would use these cards to buy things and machines would subtract the money they would spend. Wait, it gets better. To communicate, people would carry these wireless things that they would talk into, just like in Star Trek. I know, the man was a genius! Anyway, instead of listening to those predictions day in and day out, I was the girl who sat in the back of the room writing poetry about it all. I will spare you the sharing of this attempted poetry because I wanted to share with you something I wrote last year, or perhaps the year before, that I thought was quite good. It truly captured how I was feeling at the time – and how I feel every year at this time. A perfect post describing the melancholy of May, the bittersweet of the endings and the beginnings, the nostalgia and the hope… All summed up in several pages jotted down in my journal in the days before the blog.

But I can’t find the notebook. It is lost. Pages full of my thoughts from To Do lists, to questions to ask the Doctor, to my menu plan for the week, to phone numbers and messages hurriedly scribbled in random spots. My worries, my goals, my future blog posts… Gone.

I can’t imagine where I might have left it. I used to carry it with me everywhere but for awhile it just sat on my desk because I don’t have a lot of time to write down every little sound-bite from my brain and what I do write, I keep on the laptop. But the other day, I had it with me because I knew I would have time to write but I didn’t want to be responsible for the computer since I have a habit of losing things. Ahem. Anyway, the only thing I can think is that wherever I was, is where I left the journal.

And today it struck me that if I left it in a public place, someone has probably picked it up and read it. Initially, I was horrified. Not that a total stranger would care what I had planned to make for dinner on some Tuesday in April of last year or what I needed to pick up at CVS, or how much Logan weighed at his last well child check – but those notes are mine! I feel so violated at just the mere thought of some stranger knowing my innermost thoughts and personal routines. Are you snickering yet? Imagine being worried about some face-less somebody reading words that I had hoped to upload onto my internet blog!

I feel the same way I did a few years ago when I met my aunt at a local restaurant for lunch and I brought my most recent photos of Dean, a toddler at the time. The pictures were all perfectly chronologically organized in a photo album – an album that I left at the restaurant (I think) never to be seen again. That’s right - pictures of my precious baby handled by some stranger and probably carelessly dumped into the garbage can. Of course, I was able to buy a new photo album and get the pictures redeveloped, but still.

In this case, I probably can‘t rewrite that piece about May, a bit of writing that was as true when I wrote it as it is right now this minute. And that is what I truly feel I have lost here. With many of my posts, I have felt that I did not quite convey what I was truly thinking and feeling. With a few, I was almost there, but fell short. This, I guess, is a skill that comes with time and you (1blueshi1) have been quite encouraging. “Keep on, keeping on,” you said and that I’ll be grateful that I do. I hope you are right. And if there are any other faithful lurkers out there, this is a great time to de-cloak yourself and let me know you have been reading. I could really use the encouragement right about now.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Saving the World - one click at a time

Because I am lazy, I like to think I can make the world a better place by simply using my computer. And I can. Check out my side bar where you can click on a search engine that plants trees. That's right - the more you use it, the more trees get planted somewhere where trees are needed. And you can click to help pay for mammograms for women who are underinsured. In fact, that same site helps the environment, feeds hungry children and finds home for pets. One stop clicking. And you know about Free Rice, right? You play a word game and the more you play, the more rice is donated.
Help end world hunger

So go ahead - click away for a good cause. Let me know of other lazy ways to save the world!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Some Enchanted Evening

My sister just emailed me pictures of my niece heading off to her senior prom. Her senior prom. She looks gorgeous, of course, and so much more comfortable than I did just a mere twenty years ago. Seeing the pictures launched me straight into nostalgia and I had to dust off the old photo album from my own "glory days." And so here I am, a rare photo of myself - a twenty-year-old photo of myself with my high school boyfriend. Oh look, I actually cropped him out of the picture. It's like he's not even there - just like he made me feel that night. But I'm not bitter, after all, I've had twenty years to let it go. I mean, I didn't let a little thing like getting dumped the night of the prom taint my memory of it at all. I hope my niece has a more enchanted evening than I did.

Friday, May 9, 2008

My House is a Metaphor for my Life

The other day, my husband asked me a simple question. “How much money do we have in our checking account?” This is a question that I can typically answer in one keystroke but this time, it just wasn’t that easy. Trying to answer that one question was more like opening a Pandora’s Box of ATM receipts, deposit slips and bill statements – all stowed in several piles but with each pile spread around like kitty litter around the cat box. I dove into each mound of paper like I was playing “Go Fish” only to come up without a match and having to draw again.

There are few places left in my house to put things out of Logan’s reach – or at least make it harder for him to reach and buy me some interception time. We have one stretch of kitchen counter, the buffet table in the family room and the closets. Wait a minute, scratch the closets – he can open all the doors now. The problem is that these spaces are becoming uncontrollably cluttered. They have become the default homes for the laptop computer, bills to be paid, business receipts, school memos, the camera, art supplies, sharp things, etc. The delicate balance of organization that used to be a source of pride for me has disappeared, presumably under that stack of folded laundry. Things are getting lost, or restacked, or carried off to an undisclosed location and the disorganization is driving me to distraction. But pruning back the piles as if they are overgrown hedges takes TIME. It’s not just the piles themselves but also the question of the items’ rightful homes. The top of the desk is too accessible to little hands and if I file them away in the drawer, will they be un-filed only moments later? Does the overflowing recycling bin really need to be where I have to see it? And since obviously, it is no longer safe to stow the coffee grinder in the same drawer where it has lived for the last five and half years, where should we put it?

In short, what Flylady would call my “Hot Spots” have turned into raging infernos and the only thing I have to tame the blaze is a spray bottle of lighter fluid. Minutiae that once had it’s own space and time – chores that were routine are now special events. Too much time and effort are required for anything more basic than the daily schlepping of dishes, toys and laundry. What, you might wonder, makes it so hard suddenly? It seems too easy to blame the third child – blame the fact that there is simply more of everything to do. Adding to the extra laundry and To Do’s is the complication that comes with a little person who has no impulse control or sense of safety. He also has his own ideas of what he wants to do and how he wants it done. (And did I mention that he does not sleep?) It’s frustrating because sometimes I am stuck wondering why it has been so hard to incorporate this busy toddler into our house full of little kids.

And then I have flashbacks of feeling this way once before – probably about three years ago when Jess was a toddler. That was about the same time that I left my job and became a full-time stay-at-home mom. Then too, I wondered if I’d ever get my groove back. Once I figured out that it wasn’t just about the house being messy, that it was about me trying to redefine my role, I was able to enjoy my new lifestyle. When I stopped working, I assumed that I would finally have more to time to do the things that I wanted to do for myself and my family. It took a long time to learn that just being a mom and doing all the things that I had always done for my family was enough. And eventually I incorporated that new role into my sense of self and found that I hadn’t lost my self at all – not even under that pile of folded clothes.

So when will the balance be restored to the Force? Perhaps when we have a Democrat in the White House again, I’m not sure. But if memory serves, it will probably happen slowly, in small ways each day, until I can’t remember how hard it has been. Small changes here and there (like more sensible locations for some items or locks for cabinet doors) will help fuel the mental energy it will take to make larger ones. And until then, I’ll settle for a few minutes to sweep up one or two of those piles. As I’ve said before, it doesn’t take much to make Mom happy. A full cup of coffee and a clean kitchen counter is sometimes all I need to make my world right. Now, has anyone seen the remote?