Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Messes

This is what I walked in to see in the livingroom. Isn't that cute, you might say.
Marshmallows on the couch.
If that were all, Dear Reader, I might agree with you.
But, in this house, particularly these days, in this life, it is but The Beginning.
The Mama sighs, closes her eyes, and does a quick spin back out of the room.

She comes to the kitchen table - happy to be here today, as bc work is done, and she may read and moan (as in thump her head against the table) at her leisure.
Evie mentioned a few ondits that I felt compelled to check out. Led to a few groups, and a few thoughts, and a few shrugs - let them live, I don't care. I simply can't summon up the energy today. Check into Always Unschooled. Messes, it turns out, is a current topic. Well, not messes, exactly, but the repercussions of messes, if you will. Being organized and a Martha-Wannabe in a Free Kid World.

Sigh.
You think that I am complaining because I like to complain.
Not so.
I read all the time about messes in this unschooling life.
There seems to be a decided difference between mine and theirs.
Theirs puts me in mind of Martha Stewart in the midst of a glorious art project.
Ours have more of a chocolate-syrup fingerprints with dog hair on it, step on the carpet and squish a raspberry under the arch of your foot, into the bathroom and what the hell is that puddle with the chunks in it? feel-to-them sort of mess.

Eric calls them tar and feathers.
"Why don't we just toss out a bucket of tar, and throw feathers on it? He says in frustration and exasperation.
Quite so.
Would seem that it would be the easier thing to clean up on many a day.

Back to today. Livingroom is coming along oh-so-slowly, but kitchen is shaping up. Maddie comes in searching for juice. After a quick look - we usually have a variety available, I see that there is none. "Shall I make some lemonade for you?"
"Yeah."
Get out the pitcher... to find this.

It's a few slices of salami. Naturally.

No matter, I have two of them. I'll just get out the other one.

I've found it quite therapeutic to spend the day in the kitchen. My kitchen is old. I'm pretty sure it's all original cabinetry. Inside the uppermost cupboards is a pale pink paint, with a crack going through it that seems to have happened in the house's 'settling'. I'll not be painting it ever, I"m actually strangely fond of the old fashioned Pink Paint. (notice the way my mind drifts off into some sort of pleasant sanctuary.)

Back to my labors. It was actually quite soothing. Aside from my freak-outs that I couldn't do it all on my own.
Amazingly, when I changed my attitude from anger to joyously cleaning, so did Little Son. "Mom, I'm gonna have that stuff picked up in no time! Can we make chocolate chip cookies when I'm done? But wait!, for now, it's Back To Cleaning!"

There is a difference in messes, as I mentioned. There is the Joyous Living sort of mess. It looks something like this. (This includes dirty feet, organic grapes, a lone cuisenaire rod, an ad from a Play-doh toy enclosure, a little boombox, a wadded-up paper towel, a glass of beer :), and Lil Notebook with camera ubs cord.)

And then there's the get-the-hose and start at the ceiling sort of messes. I'm afraid that most of ours belong in the second category.

And now?

Now, even as I sit here type-type-typing, I stand up - for something-it has been lost in the momentary chaos - to see Maddie sitting not three feet away from me with the giant can of Stephen's Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa and a gallon of Heinz White Vinegar.

Choke.

Trev comes in and pours himself a glass of lemonade ("It needs more sugar!") and spills it on the table and -by default, the floor.

Within a few more seconds, he calls out "Mom, Maddie went pee on the livingroom carpet!"

Yup. That sounds about right.

All in about 24 seconds.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Friday, July 27, 2007

Fence Post

I was walking around my backyard with my camera, partly because I wanted a change of scenery (been working at the kitchen table all day), and partly because I was looking for a picture, one that conveyed my mood.
Most just didn't suit.

Mushrooms?
Well, I'm not feeling toxic, exactly.

Hawthorn?
Too beautiful.

Considered various weeds. Not quite right...

Raspberries?
Too juicy and sweet.
Tomato blossom?
Too promising.

A fence post with a missing plank nearby and a rusty nail poking out and tree branches coming through? Closer, but just a little too lush...

Aah, here we go.
Yup, that about says it.

#41

Read Conversations With God, Book II.
Done.

Today's wisdom is (quoted from the book by Neale Donald Walsch.)
God speaking to Neale:

"First of all, it is not yours to judge what is a life wasted. Is a life wasted if a person does nothing but lie around thinking of poetry for 70 years, then comes up with a single sonnet which opens a door of understanding and insight for thousands of people? Is a life wasted if a person lies, cheats, schemes, damages, maniplates, and hurts others all his life, but then remembers something of his true nature as a result of it-remembers, perhaps, something he has been spending lifetimes trying to remember-and thus evolves, at last, to the Next Level? Is that life "wasted"?
It is not for you to judge the journey of another's soul. It is for you to decide who YOU are, not who another has been or has failed to be."

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Talk

I tried.
Honestly, I did.
And I'm not just saying that, or trying to make this seem a funny sort of thing.
But, (tired smile) at this point, at this late hour (hours and hours later) it is really pretty amusing. Though admittedly I was thoroughly frustrated at the time.
The Talk went something like this.

(deep breath)
"Trev, I want to talk to you about something."
(here-we-go-again sigh) "What is it, Mom?"
"I want to talk to you about naked."
(another sigh.) "What is it this time?" In a resigned sort of way.
"Well, I am concerned about the neighbors, and I want you to understand a few things."
"What?"
"Well..." hmmm. Thought I had this planned out, turns out I don't. "Uh, some people are embarassed when they see naked children.
"You see, son, we have parts that some people consider private.
"I just want to make sure that you stay safe. Do you know what instincts are?"
"No."
"Well, pretend like you're going to punch me."
He swings at me in really slow motion.
"No, I don't mean like that, I mean like this." (and I was only trying to show him how to swing, not scare the hell out of him.)
He fliches, and puts his elbows up by his head.
"Well, yeah." I say. "What you did? Protect your head? That is an instinct. You felt like you needed to protect yourself."
"Oh."
"And whenever you are in danger, I want you to be able to trust your instincts. If someone does anything that makes you uncomfortable, even a little, it's not okay. You should go and get me, or Daddy, or Grammy, whoever is close by."
"And if I'm in danger, I just do this!" and puts his elbows by his head again. "And use my instincts!"
Sigh.
"Well, yeah.
"But also, if you are in danger, I would like you to run. And if you can't run, then bite, and poke eyes, and kick, and if it's a man who is bothering you, then if you kick him here, it really hurts."
"Bwah-ha-ha!" he laughs.
Sigh, again.
"Um, Son, now back to the naked thing."
"Listen, Mom. Can I go now?"
"No, Trev, this is important, and I want to talk to you. Listen.
"Some people are embarassed by naked children. (I didn't say adults, as Eric and I don't go around naked, except while streaking for a towel, as I mentioned before. Though we don't act as if it is a shameful thing, either. Don't want him to get the idea that seeing any adult naked is okay.)
You know how boys, males, and girls, females, have different parts, right? Those parts are what make up our se*. (again, I'm not bashful of the words, just don't want any internet searches to lead folks here) And because of that, some folks say those parts are private." (Went on to remind him about the seed that he carries in his test**, and the egg that the female carries)
There! I was feeling very proud over that bit of truth, and very smug with my explanation.
"You know that male and female bodies are different, right?" (We've talked a bout this before, how males anatomy are on the outside, and females are on the inside.)
"Uh... okay." he says.
"Well, let's talk about it. We have parts that are the same, and parts that are different. Let's see... we all have noses, right? Well, some of us don't, but many of us do. And we have eyes. (This is where it gets sticky, as we always say "People come in all shapes and sizes, and that we are all different.) And we have ears. What parts of me are different than yours?"
I'm thinking breasts are the most obvious, of course.
"ummmmmm... Legs!" he says.
"Legs? Do you not have legs? How are mine so different than yours?"
"Well, yours are brown, and mine are...... gray."
"Do you mean tan? Yes, I spose that's true...."
Long-winded sigh.
"Alright, Son, we're done for now."
"Fshew!" Trev said. "And if any adult tries to put me in danger, I'll just do this!" And puts up his armored and magical elbows again.

Later he came in and said "Mom, if anyone tries to trick me, I'll always call them a Rip-Off Artist!"
"Alright, Son." Remind me to check into human cloning so that I can facsimile myself to be in all places at once for the next few years.....
God bless him.

It's as I said, the boy just doesn't get it. Has no clue.
I said before, and I'll just have to go with it, that it will just have to come in its own time.
I'm more interested in cloning myself than I am in destroying the boy's peace, anyway.

#76

Shout out "Wa-hoo!" in glee and utter abandon.

I am amending this one.
I am sort of a "Wa-hoo!" kind of girl. Not obnoxiously so, but I tend to take loads of pleasure in the small things in life.
I've found myself "Wahoo!"ing a couple of times in the last few days.
The most recent was yesterday, when it finally rained (it's been two months! - at least I think it has...), and I found myself skipping and dancing outside in it, splashing and kicking in the ditches at the side of the road. Wahoo, indeed.
But even both times I thought of this particular Quest, it somehow didn't feel Just Right. Not that I was faking my exuberance, mind you, for it was genuine, indeed, but somehow I wanted the wahoo to be.... more.
So I am saving this quest, #76, for something astounding.
A wahoo! that shakes me in my boots (er, bare feet). That makes me tingle from toes to my curly (though tangled) locks. One that makes my heart beat faster.
A wahoo that speaks to my very soul.
So, here's to those sorts of wahoo's.

#80


Become friends with Little S3.


Aah. lil s3. It's so nice to meet you. My name is Stephanie. I am sincerely hoping that we shall be fast friends. I'm counting on us being able to help each other shine.....

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Rain










I am refreshed.
I am replenished.
I am renewed.

July 25

Today was a delightfully regular sort of day.
Not chaotic and busy, and superduper exciting, and full, and fun-filled.
I think I'd be suspicious of such a day, as the last few have been so different than that.

But today was perfect.
Not in an especially jubilant way, as I said, but quiet, and peaceful, and pleasantly joyful. Taking great pleasure -solice- in the small things sort of day.
Lots of quiet talk.
Lots of hugs and kisses.
Lots of talking, and murmers.
Perfect.
I am at peace.
I am in love today.

A funny (considering)

Yesterday I was all wrapped up in the ugliness, as I said.
So I decided to sit Trev down and have a naked talk, and since I was reading about laws and running into (though I wasn't searching for it, certianly) yucky S.O. laws and stuff, I had the first "danger" talk with Trev.
"Anything anyone does that makes you uncomfortable is not allowed" sort of talk.
He (as boys will do) grabs a certain appendage, and says "But I can do this." And I said "certainly you can." Wondering if I have destroyed his innocence. And then he puts his forefingers in his mouth, stretching his cheeks,and says "And I can do this." And I say, "yes, you can." and he goes on to tug on his ears, and nose, and knees, demonstrating how he has power over his body, and how one is no more strange or private than the last.
I learned much, friends. Well, I knew that he didn't feel "wierd" about any parts, as toes to him are equally important to what some would consider private, but it was great to have it affirmed in all this ugliness.
I follow his lead, and say "Yes, and it's not alright to touch anyone else in a way that they don't want you to. Like when you climb on Daddy's back and he asks you not to. Or when you hang on my arm when I ask you not to (it makes me wonder if my right arm was shackled in a past life, as it makes me feel crazy to have that arm trapped.) Everyone is in charge of their own body."
I didn't bring up personal stuff, because he has never demonstrated a curiosity about such things, or even notices them, and I am not about to put a sense of shame, embarrassment, or force my child to grow up when he has never demonstrated curiosity about such a thing (aside from a few basic questions). To me, it's like introducing prejudice to someone who doesn't notice that people are even different colors. Not my place. It will come in its own time.

No wierdness. No loss of innocence.
Sigh.
A light in a day of darkness, to be sure.

final expression (ie getting it all out)

Evie Dear wrote: My heart is breaking for you after reading that post. It's shit like that that makes you want o just pack up and move somewhere else, doesn't it? Ok, maybe that's just me. :)
Absolutely it does. I had these eratic thoughts of "move to shack on some island somewhere" and "but I would have to get out before they 'served' me", and "but how would we sell the house?" and on and on.

It wasn't just the small comment of "this could/would be an issue", as the house next door still has the for sale sign up, with no "sale pending" attachment. I'm not freaking about that, really.
I started really thinking about ncm.
About how she put on lipstick to come over. (I've always before seen her hot and mussed, as she is working in her yard.) It was like she was preparing herself. Like she had to be empowered to come over. Righteous. Maybe superior?
And I felt like she was sizing me up. Me, in my house-cleaning tanktop and shorts that were too small. Staring at the popsicle stains on my carpet. And the trickle from Maddie's new bubble blower. And telling me how naked children can get diseases. (blech) I am sure she was thinking "bare butt on this floor?" "Don't mind the stains, my machine is broken, needs a new engine part..." "Oh, you can borrow mine...." Gee, thanks lady. Teetering this way and that to get a wider view of my home.
Telling me how she grew up right-wing Christian.
I get in somehow, don't remember when, "we homeschool" and she said "Yes, I know", how the hell did she know that? (I wanted to get it out of the way, as I didn't want her to think we were truant come time for school to start.)
Telling me how she saw on the news about kids dying on tramps "So don't expect nc to be able to play on the tramp! her daddy saw that, and nuh-uh ever again." I wonder if she was really saying "can't play with your son." And told me of a kid dying on a skateboard coming down a hill "just like this one!" and her daughter will never be scooting on that hill, or she'll have everything taken away from her.
She was trying to impart wisdom, of course.
She was trying to show me the way to being a better parent. Really, she was. Ask Eric. Well, you could if he would even ever once leave a comment!
She sees me as neglectful, I think. Because of my children's liberty.
She was staring at Maddie (in her drawers) -Maddie had a break out on her legs (not terrible), she sometimes gets into Trev's snacks, though we try to keep them out of her reach- and I was compelled to say "she's allergic to milk, and she gets a rash." "Oh, well, there's soy milk, and also rice milk." Just as if I kept giving her cows milk, and didn't have a brain. "Yes, we give her soy and rice milk, and Trev drinks regular. Well, organic." I say. pssh.
And (perhaps thankfully) I couldn't even get two words out, as she just always cuts me off and carries on. (actually Sunday was the first time she ever listened to a full sentence from me.) Sunday was the first time I considered that she was competent. When someone just opens their mouth and carries on for thirty minutes without letting you say more than "well, we-" you tend to dismiss them.

My girlfriend Sam came over last night to cheer me up - as great as it is to have friends who follow the same path as you, it's also pretty great to have one that is so vastly different, and who really knows you and really loves you.
She called me to check on me last night, I had called her at work to ask if she thought I should call a family attorney friend of ours to ask him about the naked law. She said she didn't think he'd know, but I'm pretty damned sure that he would. Anyway, her attitude was "Screw em!" Only she didn't use that word.
And (shouting)"What the hell are you doing talking to that lady and listening to her for?!? She comes over to your house and tells you all this, and she's lived in the neighborhood for three weeks, and she makes you feel like this?!? Did you kick her in the ass and tell her to get the hell off your property!?! Don't you listen to her! Your kids are free! They're brilliant! She doesn't know what she's talking about! Psh. Tells her kid not to play on the hill. No having fun!" she screams. "Don't you listen to her. Do you hear me, Stephanie? Don't you ever even talk to her. She is bad for you!"
Is it any wonder I love her so?

Point being, I'm not afraid of ncm, and I certainly am not feeling inferior (nor superior) to her. And now that I've reasoned out where my fears came from, I am feeling a lot better.
I am sure to some it would appear that I was/am being over dramatic about the whole thing, but I kept wondering if I was having these fears because doom was imminent. Like I was worried about it because dcfs was going to knock on my door any minute. What it meant, as usual.

Hopefully I will come away with more tolerance for my fellow man.
Hopefully anyone who reads this who has intolerance for naked children will come away feeling a bit more empathetic to some of our lives and choices.
Just because we see something as wrong, doesn't mean that it is. (I mean this on all levels, not just those that I approve of.)

While I don't intend to demonstrate for her benefit, I believe I shall stand up for us, and impart a wisdom of my own once in a while... "I trust my son." and "He is a cautious child, and knows what he is capable of" (which he does) and "He has great problem solving skills" and "He is competent" and such things. If I could ever get more words out than these I would try to convey a philosophy, but I know I never will be able to. It's probably just as well.

Thanks so much for the therapy session. Really.
What a great way to work things out. I get it all out. No one has to read iffen they don't want to. It's a rather superb service, I'd say.

There is so much I want to tell you about other things, but I am going to get off here and go love and play with my children now.
Soon!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

July 24

It's been a shitty, ugly day today.

Full of pain, and terror, and paranoia, and doubts, frustration, and totally out of my own head and heart and in the bottom of the cess pool.

I've ignored my children all day -skimmed right over their delights and discoveries without even taking note of their joy (even, heartbreakingly when they were trying to share it with me). That just makes me want to bawl. Not intentionally, but had my head and thoughts in some very dreggish places, and I was not able to climb out of it.

Yesterday (evening) I was in such a great place - I read and was confident again in the way we live our lives.

Today... no.

Started off looking at laws again. Trying to find out if the children being in our backyard naked was illegal, or not.
While doing searches for that - while not coming across any por*ography (except for one adult site) I had to sift through all this garbage on se* o**enders ( * don't want any wierd searches leading folks here) and child por* laws, etc. For hours. Not the way I want to spend my day. Dregs, I tell you.
Then I had to read about how dcfs can and will take children away from their homes for a messy kitchen. Or laundry on laundry day. More and more crap. I also read that you don't appear at trial before peers (parents who would certainly understand) but a judge who is automatically looking at you as an evil-doer. And there is no presumption of innocence, in fact, but the proof is put upon the parent. You have to prove that you're emotionless, and contrite, and not angry and stable in front of a judge with an axe, while you have not seen your children in two weeks.

Yelled at my children "No naked outside!" rush-them-back-in-as-fast-as-I-can "Put your drawers on!" and they look at me like I'm crazy and mean, and that I make no sense. Which of course I don't.

It's total craziness, and I feel powerless to stop it.
I feel threatened. I feel threatened with my life (which is my children and home) and I feel outcast, and that I could never explain my life to one who would only accept contrition and absolute conformity.

I tell you this.... I will never, ever again, upon my oath assume that someone is even a little bit guilty when they tell me they have had problems with dcfs.

I am hoping that is my lesson to be learned in all of this... judge not lest you be judged.

I've been drug down.
With my puffy eyes, snotty nose, delirous mind and thudding chest.
Everything haunts me.

Tomorrow - tomorrow hopefully I shall obliterate this whole mess!
First I'll curse it.
Then I'll spit on it.
Then I'll feed it to Annabelle so she can poop it out.
Then I'll burn it.
Then... then I don't know. Maybe I can just feed it to the worms so that they can make something good out of it.

Blah. I gotta go. I'm spent.
Here's to tomorrow.

#2

Get up before dawn thirteen times.
This morn was number three.
Wow. Two days in a row.
(grin) It's because I had an afternoon nap yesterday...

Monday, July 23, 2007

rally forth....

I picked up Conversations With God today. Book two.
Book two is about collective consciousness.
It's about living your truth.
It's about not repressing your children and their ideas.
It's about judging others.
It's about the rebelliousness of youth.
It's about different planes.
It's about education reform.
It's about political reform.

.... So far.
Isn't that interesting?

(I'm on page 142)

abysmal

There are so many thoughts and layers and questions and doubts and fears... and there is anger.
I am hurt, I am feeling betrayed by my fellow man, and I am angry.

While we were getting ready to go to the mountains for the afternoon, NC's Mama came over. She had lipstick on (how strange) and said she came over to chat. I invited her in, knowing immediately something was up. (My livingroom floor was in desperate need of a vacuuming, Maddie had spilled cashews on the carpet a few minutes before, and it hadn't been vacuumed yesterday, as I worked all day, and then we ran errands last night. Figures.)

We visit for a while, then she tells me that the people who are thinking (in process?) of buying the house next door made it a point to go over to her house to inquire about our naked children. Evidently they've been here three times, and seen bare hind ends all three times. "That's going to be an issue." Were their apparent words to her. And then NCM said "They don't seem the type to come to you and talk to you about it. I think they might just call dcfs. They seemed nice, and everything, and I don't want you to hold it against them, but I just wanted you to be warned."

She went on to suggest a 6 foot fence (most of our that side does have a wood fence).

I made some comment like "They wouldn't take my children away because they're naked for heavens sake (streakers)" and she said "Oh, yes, they would."

What?!?
Really, What?!?

She went on to say that she's been on both sides of dcfs, and they in fact would, and do take children away for such things. That in fact, they more often take children away from good homes than bad. Good parents will fight like hell to get their children back. Bad ones won't. Good ones will jump through hoops, pay exorbitant amounts of money. Bad ones won't. Can you believe such a thing?
I'm crying as I write this, friends.
What kind of screwed up world is this where this is the standard operation procedure? I have been trying to track down information on naked, and the laws, but I haven't been able to find anything so far. I did run into a site called kidjacked, and learned a few things about dcfs. Like that they are trained more in manipulation than in anything else. That they are taught to believe that "All parents are potential abusers." That they will blatantly lie to you and your children. There are many other terrors.
I can hardly believe it, actually. It's hard for me to fathom that ordinary (well, you know) people's children could just be taken away. The world just doesn't work that way. There is such a thing as rightful living, and karma, and living with love and kindness, and and and....
That site convinced me that it does happen. That I need to go into this with my eyes wide open.

Being a little paranoid, you might say.
But the sad truth is that I am not.
I've already had one run in with them.
This last winter.
My little son, being the boy that he is, was rather fond of running outside for a flash, long enough to grab a handful of snow, and bring it back inside. In whatever he was dressed in at the time. Usually a long sleeved t-shirt and drawers.
I don't request or require that he put on a coat and shoes for such a thing. I don't see any harm in running outdoors in your bare feet and drawers for twelve seconds. I'll run out and get the mail in the same condition.
Evidently a neighbor had a problem with it, for dcfs showed up at my door.
Something like "can we come in?" "I guess....." (not ever again will I say that after reading on that site.) "you've been reported to be neglectful of your children, and we came to talk to you about it...."
You can imagine my reaction. I was stunned, and just sat and stared at them.
Told him he ran out to get snow, for a few seconds, and I didn't have a problem with it. That he liked to take it to the bathroom sink and melt it. "Yeah, it's an experiment!" little son piped in.
I was "cleared", if you want to call it that, officially a couple of weeks later. But I did write them a letter (to which they didn't respond), and she warned of the children being naked in the front yard, and I said quite blatantly that I would contain their naked selves in the back. And I do. We have a streaker from time to time, but usually they're shooed back in the house right away. Not necessarily to protect my neighbor's eyes from the atrocity of a naked bum, but to protect my children.

So the impossible has happened once before. All in the name of misunderstanding. All in the name of The World At Large not understanding freedom. All in the name of judgment. Of jumping to conclusions. All in the name of people living in fear.

Which brings me to another part of this process that I am really angry about.
I don't live my life in fear. I Don't Live My Life In Fear. I choose love. I choose to trust. I choose to live rightfully, and believe that you create your own reality. That all things come to you for a reason.
I refuse - refuse- to believe that I need to live my life according to another's judgment. To replace a common held belief with my own judgment -just because someone says I should.
I've questioned 'why' my whole life. Why should I do that? Why do you think that? Why is that a law? Why should I put this ingredient in before this one? Why does it need to be done this way?
Always question.
If it doesn't make sense to me, often I'll disregard it. 'Just because' is never an answer for me.
So I'm angry that others expect me to think (and act) the same way they do. I'm angry that others expect compliance "just because". I'm really angry (and disgusted, and disturbed, and hurt) that someone would see a naked child and think something bad about it. That there must be something terrible going on. That the parents must be at best neglectful. That the children themselves must be perpetrators of some sort. Damn them.
I'm angry that I felt driven to that kidjacked site. That I had to read (and believe) the worst of the world (its officials), and be informed that bad things happen to good parents. I'm infuriated that this stupid occurrence could change my life, and change the lives of my children. That they may come to a conclusion that they should be ashamed of themselves for living their lives in a happy and free way.
Damn them.
I'm angry that this could change who I am. That I question my faith in humanity. That my belief and faith that gentleness and kindness and love are the way to live your life, and that nothing bad can touch you if you live in such a way is shaken.
That there are practices and instruction for "officials" on how to manipulate children and unsuspecting parents into saying the wrong thing. Not many things make me more angry than "turning words around", and then leaving no room for explanation.
I'm angry that all of these things are coming up just because one person said "that will be/could be an issue." whatever the hell they said.

I've got some serious praying (in my way, as Laura said not too long ago) to do to figure this thing out. To figure out how to go on.
Of course we are encouraging the children to wear clothes while they are in their very own backyard now. Trev wants to know why. I don't know what to tell him. I know that some people (to think kindly of it) are modest. But I don't know why. I don't know why they would look at a streaking babe and think "wicked" thoughts. My children don't understand that. They've not been taught that they have anything to be ashamed of. They don't poke and prod. It just is what it is. Like natives, actually.
Of course I'll eventually talk to the new neighbors (hopefully not ones that would rather call dcfs than speak to their next door neighbors!). Though I don't know what I'll say.
There is a line in a song by Cowboy Junkies that says
"But I won't let it change me,
not if I can.
I'd rather believe in love.
I give it away,
as much as I can
To those that I am fondest of."

So I've got some questions to answer. I need to uncover what I need to learn, and take with me the best of it, and get back to living my life happily.
And not let it change who we are.

#2

Get up between dawn at least 13 times.
I think this is the second time.
This morning's reason - I have a tale to tell, and wanted to be with the quiet and the gentle light while I think about it.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Drawrings

Oh I laugh at Evie's request....
the whole point was to learn to draw, then be un-self-conscious :) enough to share it.

But, instead, lol, I'll take the easy way out, and share here and now.

Here is assignment number three. (done quite some time ago. I've not picked up the book in ages.)

But I appreciate the distraction and levity (a rather disturbed post is in process, and waiting for the telling) so I am being accommodating.
Thanks for the request, Evie, and I promise I'll post a real drawing sometime.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Artful Bloggers

If you've an interest in blogs in general you've probably seen a few truly beautiful blogs.
Amanda has one at Soule Mama.
Julie has one at Two Little Birds.
Boho's is certianly a fine example of beauty.
There are many others.

I am inspired.
I am determined.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Frito Lay (or) A Patio With A View


Most of our city property is very private.
We have this little spot in the back that joins the very back of the neighbors, but no one is ever back there, except occasionally the dog, so we do just fine.
About a month ago, maybe more, I was sitting on my Perfectly Peaceful Patio, reading, and doing whatever I do in this Thoughtful Spot, and I hear a neighbor revving and rrr-ing, and I'm like "whatever, it will go away soon."
Pretty soon, this ..... thing.... comes revving (backwards) into my life.
What the hell?
It should be noted that I'm doing my best to shield my personal haven from the neighbors. I've planted a grapevine that is taking it's sweet time to flourish and fully possess this bit of fencing.
Also, before this.... thing.... (The Thing now blocks it) there was a bit of brick wall that had some absolutely horrendous writing painted on it.... bright blue..... God knows what it said... that I absolutely despised.
Anyway.
Where was I?
Oh yes, rev-rev-rev.
I look up to see This Thing backing up into my world.
"Hey, hey! You can't park that thing there!" I shout in my head. "Oh, no! Someone do something!" I'm thinking.
So several days go by with mine eyes being greeted first thing upon entering the world of summer and birds by The Thing.
Hmmph.
Not too much later, maybe a week, the thing spoke to my heart.
I don't remember the thing's exact words (we'll call it Frito Lay from here on out), but it started to tell me its tale.
Of how he used to be bright. And multi-colored. And used to resemble one of those billboards that I detest so much (I'm considering one day moving to Maine, simply because I hear they have outlawed billboards.)
I started supposing that the owner of Frito Lay didn't hate me so very much. I started imagining that maybe he even painted Frito Lay for my benefit. That the green was the best thing that he could come up with, as he didn't want to Ruin My World.
I played the confrontation out in my head...
"Hey, you can't park that monstrosity there! This is my view! I live out here! This is where I love, and breathe, and fix myself! Who are you to ruin my life this way?!?"
And owner of Frito Lay looks at me, thoroughly crushed, and heart broken, for he had done all he could to make Frito Lay acceptable to mine eyes. He had no where else to take him.
He had tried his best to please me.
Oh.
Oh. Oh, I'm going to cry.
I'm so sorry! I didn't know! I should have thought..... I'm so sorry. Please forgive me. Of course he can stay. How kind of you to be so considerate......

Seems it could very well be. His front isn't painted, after all. I've no idea what his other side looks like.
Seems to me that thinking a bit about a certain thing before we get all worked up about an atrocity "done to us" is a mighty good idea.
I've been thinking on this for a while now, and tonight shared this tale with my husband.
He said (or something like it) "That's what sets you apart from all the other jackasses. You have the capability of thinking about things, and separating it, and coming to a wise and thoughtful conclusion."
(almost swooning sigh of pleasure.)
I'm a different sort of jackass.
Isn't that the nicest thing you've ever heard?

Being Unconditional

Amanda on Soule Mama said something yesterday that I really loved, and found a lot of comfort in.
It was what I had been thinking and practicing up until the last few days, only I hadn't really noticed it.
Anyway, she said:
I'm not really a fan of the 'how to' parenting books. I've never found a whole lot helpful in those. I think it's that many of them focus on the 'act' of parenting and not the 'heart' of parenting. The action without heart just doesn't really work for me. The hard "work" of being a Mama (for me) doesn't come from the structure of our home or the discipline 'method' we use or any of those actions, but rather on the inner work that we do to be the kind of parent we want to be.

I think this is where I'm at. Remember how I said not too long ago that I wasn't reading much on boards or any books, just reading a few blogs, and figuring it out on my own?
It relates to this.
It goes back to (once again) being mindful. And heartful, as the case may be. It's paying attention, truly, and letting my heart guide me, and letting my little one guide me, to show me what they need from me in that moment.
And hopefully in any critical moments, I will be in tuned enough on a regular basis that I'll be able to recognize when something is going awry, or when my child needs special help.
I know them, after all.

I don't suppose the answer is Out There, after all. And it's not even necessarily in my own head or heart. I believe it will be found in the moment. If I'm paying proper attention, it will be found in my child's face.

That's not to say that I shan't be very careful about offering praise for living a life well lived, as I can see that's not a good idea - I am too fond of it myself - but that I'll just have to follow my heart and my child's lead.
We are friends. Truly friends. And becoming better friends all the time (with Trev, Maddie is still very young.)
I think that I can trust our relationship, and trust our hearts to show us the way.

In the meantime, I'll just not fret about what is happily acknowledged, and what might be boasting. It's never false, I don't operate that way, and if it's a true celebration of living our lives, then I'll not be denying the joy.



correction: I've ammended this post. I often say "you" in a hypothetical way, but I don't mean to be preaching, just talking to myself. So I've ammended it in this post to "me" and "my".
ie "Letting your heart guide you" has been ammended to "my heart".

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Funny (well, before the sadness, anyway.)

My friend Evie made me laugh with a comment that she made today, and I wanted to share my hilarity....
She was talking about living an ru life, and family not understanding....

"...you know how hard it is..... when family members aren't understanding what it is we're doing (or undoing as the case may be). "

Lord, ain't that the truth?
Undoing, for sure.

On a more somber note, 'tis the whole reason I've chosen this life for my children, I want them to have a much easier and confident time of it.... hopefully they'll come through childhood sans neurosis and violent tendencies.
Sort of a jumpstart, if you will.

Many of us spend our adult lives undoing the damage. Or else we drink too much, or look for love in all the wrong places, or connect with people that are really harmful to our spirits, or sabotage ourselves in a thousand ways.

Undoing, indeed.

Little S3 and Me


So far I've been pretty aggravated. (only been playing for a few minutes.)
But the software is a lot different, and I'm getting really frustrated. Could be that I need some updates for Vista.
Or it could be that I've not yet had a shower today. :)
At least one of them is easily fixed...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Making It Legal

I'm not feeling nearly as anxious about the whole thing this year as I was last.
Last fall (hopefully there will be an eternity of glorious summer days between now and Back To School) there was a sort of Panic on the Homeschool Front.
I was pretty comfortable with unschooling, was well on my way toward being mindful and living consensually, and had been reading on Always Unschooled for several months - probably a year or more, but I had yet to reach a place of trust.
I still had a need for my children to be considered superior (smart, intelligent, bright, above average, etc).

Which brings me to today.
I was feeling my way around the rules and legalities for making it legal this year. In my state - which is pretty dang friendly to homeschoolers- it's only a matter of sending in a notarized affidavit saying "I will be home schooling (though I felt compelled to change those words to 'home educating') my children according to Utah Code xxxxx.
That's it.
Okay. I can do that.

Now, as I sit out in my backyard, watching my three loves -well four, Annabelle is barking at them whilst they play- playing and laughing, I am pondering the difference in my mind today, and what it was around this time last year, if any.

A while ago I briefly considered joining the IDMWOPTAMC (It Doesn't Matter What Other People Think About My Children) group. But then I considered that I can't quite make that claim.
I took it as "I don't care what anyone thinks." Not quite there yet. I care what Eric's Mama thinks. And my dear friend Sam. I prefer that the world at large sees my children as shiny examples of a happy and well-lived childhood. I like to demonstrate. I like to show another way things (such as communicating without admonishing) can be done in a public situation. For whose benefit? My children's. Other children. The world at large. My own.
Though sometimes I fail miserably at this, such as when attending the Family Fun Day the other day. There I was, panicking, trying to get my babes to come out of the bouncy slide, as "their turn was over", thinking that behind me were a bunch of Mama's and babies squealing for their turn, steaming in the heat, tapping their sandaled toes, and muttering behind their hands what a couple of rude children I had - imagine my surprise -and chagrin!- when I turned after finally dragging my bouncing babes out of the thing to find the line empty, and no one there. You may note my embarrassment, because it has taken me this long even to be able to mention The Shameful Occurence.
(shudder)

Moving on...
I am doing my best to shed my "he knows so much, and he's only in kindergarten (or going to enter first grade)! thinking.
I'm not certain where the parameters are yet.
The parental pride "I-adore-you-so!-and-think-you're-the-greatest-thing-that-ever-walked-this-earth" opinion and "if it doesn't matter that he doesn't tie his shoes, then it shouldn't matter that he is learning to tell time" thought.
I'm not sure where I should stand.
I mean, I know where my heart lies, and being enchanted by my children is a blessed thing, indeed. I'm just not sure where the enchantment ends and the boast, and pride begins.
Or if it even matters.
But it seems somehow that it should.

I think it relates to the whole Unconditional Parenting thing again.
And I've yet to find my place in it.
Which is sort of strange, because usually I'm pretty confident about the way I go about living my life.
It seems that if there is a correlation between this thought/thinking/consideration, and between a more encompassing one - "acceptance is acceptance, and not a judgment of good or bad" sort of thinking.
I'm muttering and stumbling, I know.
I'm trying to muddle my way through it.

What I mean is.... finding a true acceptance of What Is.
There seems to be no place for parental pride in Accepting What Is (without judgment).
Is it possible to be thrilled by so many little accomplishments, be lit up when your child enters the room, and have them not feel a lack of such appreciation in another critical moment?
I realize that often I think in absolutes, and I really am trying to be open-minded in finding my way to the end...
The end, of course, being finding my own understanding, and being the best helpmate I can be for my children.

I think this may take a while... and I will gladly accept any enlightening words on the matter.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Learning

I asked my friend a while back if she thought repetition was really a key to learning, or if it were more of a key to rote learning.
What I meant was, are the redundancies of worksheets, and busy work really necessary? Is repetition a vital key to learning? I wasn't questioning if worksheets were necessary - I certainly know better than that- but that if repetition were vital.
Do we, as unschoolers, reap the same benefits (or more, even) because we simply learn things in a natural way, and in our own time?

I'm leaning more and more towards believing it's just not necessary.
I think.

Mastery comes from practicing, sometimes. I believe that's true.
And this is something I've struggled with many times.
Sometimes it's a slow process when I want it to be immediate.
I accept something as truth.
I know this to be the way.
I can see that the way of it is xxx.
But I get lost (and frustrated, often) in the getting there.
Knowing the truth, and making your way on the path without stumbling or tripping are two entirely different things, sometimes.

So... is this related?
And where does one idea end, and differ, from the other?

Do you spose it's always a matter of time?
I remember being a kid, and being with a group of other teens out in a boat, on the water. We were (some of us) learning to water ski. I tried. A few times.
Another girl said while waiting her turn "I know how to do it. I'll get right up."
"Hmmph", I thought. "We'll see."
Damned if she didn't.
Got right up on her first try.
Blast!

Is it always the same?
Is there a familiarity involved?

Wayne Dyer tells of a story of being an ice skater as a kid. A fine ice skater.
He was watching the Winter Olympics with his children, many, many years later on television. Watching Kristy Yamaguchi.
"I can do that." he said.
"What?!?" his kids demand.
"I can do that. The spinning, the leaping, skating backwards, all of it. I can do it."
"You can not!"
"Yes I can. Someday I'll show you."
The man had not been on skates since he was fifteen years old, and was now sixty or better. He found himself at an icerink with his children.
He put on skates.
He stood up.
And within a few short minutes, he was skating like he was forty-something years ago.
He goes on to say that not one cell in his body was the same as it was forty years ago. Not one bone, not one blood cell, nothing. But he knew that he could do it.

Is it the same?

Trevelyn started learning (by his Mama's gentle introduction) to use the potty at age two, exactly. He was fully learned by his third birthday.
Madeleine made the request entirely on her own. She started being dry in the morning, and one day I got the potty out of the garage. No pressure.
At age two (exactly) she started going on her own.
It's been about three weeks. I think the process is nearing its end.
As I mentioned to someone earlier today, some might dismiss it as "Girls are easier than boys." But some of us would simply say, "Well, she's ready."
She was given the freedom to choose, and make her own decisions, and is growing up and learning all on her own.
She is ready.

Trev is learning to swim.
He is most willing to hold his breath under water. He kicks his feet. He's making inquiries about diving. He asks for advice on how to get from one end of the pool to the other. Under water.
I'm sure that with sufficient practice at a real (larger) pool, he'd have the basics down in no time.

I spose it depends on the circumstance?
On whether or not we judge it to be difficult?
If we think it's attainable?
If it seems impossible or not?
The limits of our own mind?

Or could it have a completely different relevance, such as what we truly (in spirit - what we've created for ourselves) desire to learn?

It doesn't make sense to me that a thing could be true in one circumstance, and not in another. As I've mentioned already today.... it seems to me that all things are relative. That what is true in one instance must be true in another.
Truth - universal law, I mean, not personal evolvement, doesn't fluctuate, does it?

So.... is the answer to be found somewhere in asking the question, then? In the process of the learning?

reflection

I've been thinking about reflecting light.
I suspect there's a truth here that everyone knows but me.

I am considering that there is a universal law here, something about all things being reflective in light (light being a medium for vision, awareness, and discovering truth in concepts.)
I'm wondering if there is a connection -as in it's the same- between all things being reflective in physics and astronomy, and the same being true for things on a more personal and intimate level - those matters being personal choices, spiritual quests, and our general daily actions.

Do you suppose that our daily actions reflect just as well? Well of course they do. Why wouldn't they?
I think this is what the whole microcosm/macrocosm thing is about. "As in Heaven, so on Earth". And "As above, so below."

These aren't foreign concepts for me. I've long acknowledged these particular truths. It just strikes me now because it seems that I've stumbled upon another layer of the truth. It's the same truth, of course, just laid out for me in a new way.
And I'm fascinated by it.

All the more reason to be conscious of our daily thoughts, actions, and reflections of the world around us.
All the more reason to act in a peaceful and kind manner.
We have the choice of simply reflecting What Is in an unaltered manner. And it could very well go around reflecting off every one else, unchanged - or getting worse-, for a very long time. Possibly infinitely.
Or we can change it.
If we utilize our wisdom and consciousness to transform a particular thing into something bearing love or kindness, don't you suppose that it would be reflected in the Heavens?

Don't you suppose that this would be the way to Change The World?

#43

#43 Sleep out on the Tramp.

Trev and I consoled ourselves (though I was mostly recovered when I closed up my post last night) by making the decision to sleep on the tramp.

We talked and watched the clouds, and made plans for today.

The birds woke him up at the very early hour of eight o'clock! We were still awake and talking at about midnight.

I didn't sleep well, and it was pretty dang warm last night, but the late evening was a fine one.
I'll post the details on olm.

One more down... I really need to finish making that list!


This post is related to Joyful Quest: 103 Things in 861 Days

#6

#6 is "Go to the drive-inn at leat once every summer."
Check.
I believe I already told you all about that.

Love the drive-inn.


This post is related to Joyful Quest: 103 Things in 861 Days

Sunday, July 15, 2007

In Disappointment

Let me just tell you how completely bummed we all are.
We were headed up the mountain, cruising along at a surprising 75 mph, considering we were fully loaded with gear and the five of us.
All of a sudden.... RRRrrrrr. Nothin'.
Won't go in gear. Won't do anything.
We pull over, and ponder. What the hell?

Eric checks stuff out (which is really pretty funny, he is like me, wouldn't recognize something wrong even if it were visible) and shrugs his shoulders. "I dunno."
Looks under the truck. Nothing spewing.
Wait a few minutes, try to start it. Nothing.

I wasn't worried, it was a 100 degrees (or sure seemed like it), we were almost to the top of Parley's (a pretty big climb), we were really loaded down, and the truck was just over heated, I thought. Seemed likely.
No worries. Give it a while.
Give it another while.
Trevy and I tried to catch grasshoppers a ways off the side of the road. They were tiny. And fast.
Tried again.
Not yet.
Still not worried.
Finally a really nice kid stopped to help us, he's driving an older 4Runner himself.
After some investigating... "I think it's either your timing belt or your fuel pump."
Not overheated, he said.
Tow truck? he asks.
(Note my sinking heart at this point.)
Tow truck!?! Can it be?
Not really true, is it?
But what about meeting The Sea Monster, Trev wants to know. (Yes, Moon Lake boasts The Moon Lake Monster.)
He not only planned on meeting him (her?) he planned on swimming with it. Even had me call Uncle Nate to see if he could borrow his scuba diving gear so he'd be sure to spot him. Didn't want to ask Uncle Nate himself because he didn't want his heart broken. (I told him that I didn't think Uncle Nate would have gear his size.) Turns out, Uncle Nate doesn't have any scuba gear, any more.

Had Eric try three more times while waiting for the tow truck.
Mmmmm......No.

Aaah, damn.
The whole way home (in the cab of the towtruck) we lamented and wailed about how Very Disappointed we all were.

Eric kept telling Trev how sorry he was, and sad for him, and eventually I complained "Aren't you sorry for Me, too? I certainly am!" I was half teasing, but very near tears myself. He said that indeed he was. Hmmph.

I sat myself down here (at home), terribly sad, bemoaning our fate, hoping to write my way into being healed of all heartache.

It has certainly helped that I'm sittin' here outside, on the back patio - there are rainclouds, making promises, looking dark and dangerous. My family is jumping on the tramp, playing, BAH!ing, and bouncing each other. Much laughter, roaring, hootin' and hollerin' is going on.
It's really quite nice.

I guess it won't bee too hard to find reasons for laughter and joy.

(just a few minutes later)
Now it's almost full dark. I've plugged in the white Christmas lights that I have draped around the covered patio.
The crickets are chirping. It's still, except for the waving occasional breeze on the treetops.
Just a short while ago I was having a hard time imagining any magic coming from this very ordinary (for me) scene.
It's all so usual. It's my favorite wicker chair. Feet crossed and propped up on the arm of the matching sofa. Tall cold glass of beer next to me on my little accent table.

Aah, hell. (Or Heaven.)
Sigh.
Yes, I s'pose this will do.

A Different Day

So as you know I have a certain intention for this weekend. (Eric's weekends begin on Sunday, always, and we have the cabin until Tuesday, so I'm calling today through Tuesday our weekend.)

I'm trying to figure out how to begin.
Setting my mind, if you will.
I'm doing my best not to have any expectations. I've tried to work out a plan with Eric - you take the children and dog for a couple of hours, and I'll take them for a couple of hours. (one of his favorite fishing spots is about 20 minutes away.)

I have visions of meditating while sitting on the sandy beach, letting the wind riding the waves brush across my face and skin, carrying my doubts and impatience far, far behind me.
I see myself sitting amid tall grasses with my sketch pad, my deluxe colored pencils, charcoals, and water-color pencils.
I see myself sitting on the cabin's porch, notebook in my lap, tea by my side, with my feet propped up on the railing, click-clack-tapping away at my keyboard.

I have other visions, too.
Seeing Trev investigate under rocks with his magnifying glass. (a favorite pastime at home.)
Building sandcastles. Or hills. Or burying secret treasures.
Checking out Ant Lion pits.
Playing Steps From Home.

I am trying (truly I am!) to not be attached to these visions.
I am picturing myself serene, and at peace, and easy, and in grace.
Nothing irritates me.
Nothing worries me.
I have nothing to prove.
I've only to live my best life - be a mindful and attached mother, a good helpmate to my husband, and a thoughtful guest to my hosts.

Do not worry!
Do not worry.
Do not fret over what others are thinking.
Do not take responsibility for others decisions, or quests.
Let others live their life.
And you live yours.

Yes. I'll not worry about appearances. I'll not fret over judgments. I'll be true.
I'll just Be True.

(deep breath)

Well, then.
Here we go......

On Writing - Badly (OR) Piles of Laundry Make For Broken Computers

Regarding the communication problems, and writing.... it really is/was a matter of self-doubt. It was never a matter of if I should write - as my friend said, I would be -quite literally- without my head if I didn't write. Well, my thoughts and contemplations, anyway. I don't know for certain that my head would physically fall off my body (or more likely rot off), but it's certainly possible.

I think my doubt came from just being in a place lately where I found myself cut off from my thoughts.
What I mean is, I've been so busy with first with bc stuff, getting the calendars out, then the pc broke down, then the new notebook came, and I had to program it, put my stuff in, (track down my stuff in the first place since I couldn't transfer files from the dead one to the new one), and throwing birthday parties, vacation, and being amidst general chaos with the outside stuff, I found myself totally disconnected with the inside stuff.
I didn't realize I was disconnected until the angst over little g2 not working - how on earth shall I capture my babes with no camera? Have to use my wits to tell the story instead.... oh wait, turns out I don't have any at the moment.....
At that time I stumbled onto My Typography, and after reading there I came to the conclusion that as a writer I suck. (I'm over it now, as I have reasoned out the why of said... suckment. And, being an unschooler, I have no business thinking that just because I have basically no formal knowlege of how something technically should be composed, doesn't mean that I cannot compose.)

Eventually (as you know) I arrived to this place with the knowledge that first I need to pay better attention to details, warnings, and signs, (and the laundry - I'm conviced that it's all connected), and next that the best way for me to get there, and back to myself, is to be contemplative, mindful, and to live on and with purpose. So that's where I'm going.
So yes, it's (I've) come a full circle.

Aaaah.
Blessed Be.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

After further contemplation....

It's the most obvious.
I've not been paying attention. Last night right after I wrote that possibility, suggested it, I knew it was the reason.
I've had too many things that I've felt that I Must Get Done, and have not left any moments free for the finer (more subtle and delicate) things.
I've not neglected the children really (yet), I have taken time when needed for that. But other delicates, like computers, and thoughts, and meditation, and contemplation, and communication, all of those have suffered.
Too busy.
Head too busy.
Hands too busy.
Fingers too busy.

I'm not blaming myself (how unusual for me), and I don't necessarily think it's a bad thing that I've so thoroughly neglected my home and head, in the name of Business That Needs To Be Taken Care Of. It's been a cycle, though, and since I am reviewing and contemplating the cycle, and and don't much care for the outcome, I've decided to take heed of the warnings, and to Pay Attention.
I mean that quite literally, as I think you know.
Be mindful.

I'll be retreating (not sure quite how yet) into a wondrous place of contemplation and thought before I speak. Before I react.

(lol) How perplexed my in-laws will be this weekend when every time they ask me something I stare at them and take a good five minutes before I answer their questions. They'll be sniffing my drinks, and asking Eric if I'm on any new prescriptions.

It sounds silly, but really, I think it's my answer. We're heading up to the lake, and there will be ample time for paddle boat rides, walks in the woods, sketching while lying in the grass, and playing with my water colors. (all of these things being related to meditation, contemplation, and introspection.)
So it seems a fine opportunity to totally retreat. I'll be away from all my usual things and worries. Maybe the trick (or the answer, or maybe the quest) is about being totally inside my head, heart, and spirit, while maintaining a great communication with the others around me.

Communication: The act of communicating; transmission.
The exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, as by speech, signals, writing, or behavior.

Retreat: The act or process of withdrawing, especially from something hazardous, formidable, or unpleasant.
The process of going backward or receding from a position or condition gained.
A period of seclusion, retirement, or solitude.
A period of group withdrawal for prayer, meditation, or study: a religious retreat.


Yup. That sounds about right.

I'm starting to really look forward to this weekend, and to think there is a bit of serendipity at work...

Mortality

I've never actually come right out and said so, I don't believe, but this blog (and this life) is in part about mortality.
I don't mean immortality, as in "let my thoughts forever be heard".
I mean mortality, in a very somber and rather morbid sense.

First of all, I want my children to know me should I leave them. (I'm not ill, of course, or expecting to be whisked away by anything or anyone.) I think since it's probably my greatest fear, to leave my children unloved by their mother, and so unimaginably deniable and painful, I have a need to kick its ass by living my best life with my children. It so takes my breath away and leaves me so soul-stricken (the thought of it) that I have a need to make it go away by taking away its power.

What a screwy thought.

The second (and far more practical) mortality thought is that we all know that the moments flit by like dandelion blossoms, and before we know it, the moment -the childhood- is over.
And I love the moments.
I want all of them.
I want to smile a dozen times a day when that cute boy shares a thought with me. I want to be able to sigh over the way my daughter just said "thank you" in the middle of the night when I gave her a drink of cool water. I want to hear and smile over her saying "shews and hocks." I want to hear "I need you to warmth me a little." and "Daddy's home!" in that ecstatic way they say it.
I don't want to forget the moments. I don't want to give them away to someone else. (teachers, daycare providers, babysitters)
I'm selfishly guarding and cherishing them.

They're my moments, my loves, and my bliss.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Communication Problems

Oh I have certainly been neglectful of this blog.
I have certainly been neglectful of this aspect of my life, too.
My camera died, as you know. Then my desktop. Leaving me to wonder what it meant that I had these two major things cut from my life.
Then yesterday my notebook (brand new) took a nosedive. After spending a while with tech support, to no good end, they are shipping me a box to send little laptop back to them for repairs.
This morning it decided to work again, after a while.
Not sure why physically.
And still not sure why spiritually.

I have considered that it might be a price I'm having to pay for a bit of piracy.

I've considered that it's repercussions because I've used the words "I" and "writer" in the same sentence. Or even in the same chapter. (I've seen lately how utterly bereft of wit or of an interesting expression of thought I am.)

I've considered that I ought perhaps to put the memories inside my head instead of freezing the moment in words. That maybe I am too eager to let the moment just lived reside in the past, making room in my head and heart for the next moment's magic.
Maybe I am abandoning the last moment too soon, filing it away before I am learning from it.

Maybe I'm writing to please -placate- too many others. Any others.

Maybe I've been steamrolling over the more delicate things (people, requirements, subtleties) in my life lately. Maybe I've been just a bit too coarse.

Maybe I've just been a really poor communicator. And I need to pay attention.

Provided I arrive at any conclusions, and I get the opportunity to do so, I'll let you know what comes of it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Crystal Lake

Oh, I wish you could see this beautiful place.
We didn't make it up to the fossil area, but instead came back to the place we were a few weeks ago in the Uinta's. I wish you could see it. And hear it.
I went to the car a few minutes ago to get our homemade insect repellant, as the mosquitos are out.
On the way to the this lake there are a couple of little ponds on the other side of the trail, and last time you may recall that there were spikes in the water, rising up, and promising to be lily pads after a bit of encouragement and time.
So I went to see how they were coming along.
I can't express to you how glorious it was.
There was a late afternoon sun shimmering on it in spots, and a vivid reflection on the water. It was even being tended to by a huge dragonfly.
Some of you may be very familiar with ponds and lily pads, but I saw my first ones in my early twenties, and was utterly enchanted by them.
The ones today are boasting huge leaves, and a few of the more ambitious ones are already bursting open their glorious flowers.
I couldn't linger as long as I would have liked, as my family was expecting me.
So I carried on, not on the trail (as I had gotten off the trail to seek out the pond), and eventually I started wondering how many different species of wild flowers are in this amazing place.
I started picking them so that I could keep track. As of this moment, I have collected (in as friendly a manner as I could) an even dozen, and this does not include the beautiful, colorful grasses.
Amazing.
Right after I started collecting, I looked up and about twenty feet away was a doe. "Oh!" I said, as she quite surprised me, of course.
What did she do, but look right at me, squat to take care of her business, and then resume eating. "Hello." I said, thrilled that she hadn't run off. (I've always had a very sincere and deep desire to be Snow White, and have all the forest animals consider me their friend.)
"You have a lovely home," I told her.
She started sauntering off, and I finished up my errand.
So now I am sitting here, trying to capture the serenity and glory of this place, and am making plans to return the first weekend after I get my new camera.
Eric is fishing, Maddie is being a Bog Baby again, and Trev is walking around barefoot between his Dad and I.
Annabelle is running around, shaking the earth, and once in a while she'll be tempted to stop and visit by the chattering chipmunk or squirrel, whichever he is. I have yet to see him.
The sun has now gone down over the mountain, and it's getting bit too cool for a wet and muddy baby.
Trev wants me to take him back by the lily pads, to show him where I saw my deer friend.
So I s'pose it's time for me to go.
Hope you found beauty in your day, too.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Desktop Update

This is really of no consequence to anyone - but I have a few friends who offered to help me out with a possibly crashed hard drive.
We can rest easy, friends, it's the processor, not the hard drive.
Pretty irritating that one from about '95 has outlived a pentium 4.
Hmmph.

Aah well, easily fixed. (well, sort of.)

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Rain

Oh my God, I'm sittin' here, proof-reading my already-published post, and I get a whiff of rain.
Rain!
It smells like Rain.
I'm off.

Picture Perfect Moments of Summertime (sans camera)

My Mom told me the other day of a tale of a young guy on a little motorized scooter. (I have a Devo sort of thing going in my head.) He's little, and apparently nerdy. He's helmeted. Perhaps at the insistence of his Mother?
Anyway, I forget the particulars, if they were first stopped a light, or what, but eventually it happened that this Little Dude on his Mosquito Sized Scooter ends up driving among two Most Burly Bikers - Older, long hair, the real thing, folks, and not your Yuppie Pretenders- on their bad-ass Harleys.
What does Mosquito Boy do when he finds himself flanked on either side by these two Hell's Angels, kicking his ass in by the sheer decibels of their altered mufflers?
Why, what could the boy do, but Enjoy The Moment - which was apparent by his enormous ear-t0-ear grin.
-Well, then. I admire your pluck and humor. Onward, friend.

Yesterday while putting a couple of bucks in at a foreign gas station (I am pretty dedicated to my local neighborhood station) my tank (it's too damned hot to risk running out of gas and having to walk with the children) I saw this man -older and gray-haired- saunter into the gas station. I won't say he's stumbling, but he was only a hair's breath away. Not wearing a shirt. Looked a bit hot. It was about 103 degrees at the time. All of us looked hot.
About a minute later (my automatic transaction was now over) he comes back out carrying a little brown bag.
Aah.
'Bet I can guess.
No air conditioning. Or not much of one, anyway. Hot summer's day. Sittin' in your gold or avocado colored LazyBoy left over from 1971.
One (more) cold beer should do it.
-Well then, "Onward, friend."

Stopped at a light (same few minutes) and I hear this delighted (and delightful!) laughter.
It makes me smile, and I look around to see who is so enjoying their moment. Seems it's a girl. She's young. She's dressed in a little tiny (it's too damned hot for anything else) skirt, and a tank top, talking to an older (but he looks pretty hip) man. He seems to be engaging, and she appears to be thoroughly enjoying the conversation.
They're certainly a mismatched pair, I can't imagine that they've known eachother other for longer than their arrival at the corner.
I could be wrong, of course.
But it's hot.
And it's Summer Time.
And the world's stand-offishness and reservations seems to have flown with their button-down collars.
We all seem to be more pervious to the sun's and our fellow man's ways.
Letting the light in.
Vulnerable to our surroundings.
Letting the marvelous and blessed breeze move our minds and hearts where it might.
So I say again, with a smile "Onward, friends."

At this moment the skies are dark, and if weren't so damned hot I'd be hoping for a summer's storm.
There aren't too many things I like better than splashing and kicking in the gutters during a rain storm.
I seem to remember a quick spell about
"Rain, rain, come again.
Take this water from my hand,
And help to heal this dry land."
Maybe I'll do just that.

Anyway.
Some marvelous Moments Of Summer.
Hope you're having some of your own.
Well then. Onward, Friends.

Getting back my hands....

My Dearest Darling Papa is sending me his only-a-year-old Canon S3 IS (rated among best in class for compacts) soon, so along with it I will be given back my hands.
He was going to surprise me with it, until I called him to ask him what I could get right away for about $200, then he was forced to ruin his surprise!
A marvelously generous gesture.... but methinks Dear Papa is also looking for an excuse to buy a new "throw around" camera. (Someday I"ll be asking him to pass along his professional ones, but I'm not yet ready for that.)
This one puts my great (but now dead) little G2 to shame.
an amazing built-in tele lens of 432mm! woohoo!
Oh, it also shoots (evidently) high-quality video, so that might be fun.
I'm so thrilled.
My dad is just waiting for my brother to return it (he borrowed it a few days ago) and then it will be on its way.
woohoo!
I spose I should actually learn to use it...

Now I gotta go investigate what's up with my desktop....
blech

Monday, July 02, 2007

A Breath of Fresh Air (after a tale of Dark Confession)

It's amazing what such a thing can do for you (the fresh air). I mean it quite literally, of course.

I've been up to my...
Neck, if I'm being impartial....
Armpits, if I'm being vulgar....
Third Eye if I'm being metaphysical...
in muck and blech the last week.
The kind of muck that while living it, you just go on Auto-Matic Pilot. Not because it's your choice, just because you need to survive (the busy stupid stuff has invaded and taken complete control), and it's the Best That You Can Do...

I even heard myself reassuring me "It will be alright if you do it this way for a moment..."
And it was.
Alright (meaning all of us are still alive), but certainly not All Right.

A couple of days ago I hollered at my son for something. I don't even remember what, it's been such a common, thoughtless occurrence, lately.
He did some Monstrously Evil Thing (I roll my eyes at myself) and I let it fly.
Eric comes in, "What's going on?" and I relate the Offensive Tale, and he is equally upset.
Our heads are swelling, our hands are sweating, our jaws are clenching, our dragon scales are popping off our backs, our roars are becoming increasingly menacing, "What a bad, bad thing this child has done!" (Where are those gypsies that offered us a sixpence for this child?!?)
Trevelyn is pleading, "Don't listen to her, Dad!"

A couple of minutes later, I apologize to Trev. Before he apologizes to me.
"Mommy, I want to talk to you."
I grabbed him and hugged him close.
"I'm so sorry, Bud. I was wrong, and you are very dear to me, and I am so sorry."
We carry on with communicating our frustrations and needs, and then kiss and make up.
Trev goes into the kitchen, and Eric said something about "I don't want to be in the middle of it, and you guys need to work this out."
Oops.
The Mama said, "Uh, we did work it out..." thinking "I was wrong, and I've been behaving beastly, and I'm so glad I've made up with my son."
And Trev goes over to his Daddy, and again pleads "Don't listen to her, Dad! She's a Brain Washer!"
Which is an extremely funny label if you're not the one being accused of such an evil offense, and certainly appropriate at times.
Not funny to me, however, and not fair, when I was defending my son.
Leaving me to feel cut off from the Family Love, and like the Devil, himself.
"What?!? I thought everything was alright, and we were friends...." etc, etc.

Tossing me (rather violently and headfirst) into the conclusion of......
(drum roll, please)
that when I tattle (ugh) Trev's supposed 'misdeeds' to Eric, it appears to him that I am luring him (his beloved Daddy) over to my side. Er... The Dark Side, as it turns out.
When Trev shouts "Don't listen to her, Dad, she's a brain washer!" it appears to him exactly that. That I am attempting to turn his SideKick (as Trev thinks of him, lately) against him.
And vice versa. When Trev runs to tell him of my Dark Moments, I feel like someone is trying to turn my best friend away from me.
Ugh.
(shakes head) I'm such a dolt.
Why had I not seen this truth before?

***
Aaaah.
After an afternoon playing outside, and being baptized by the cool, clean water, and splashes, and games, and rinsing off the residual "ick", I am much recovered.

Isn't it interesting how we (I) find ourselves more and more deeply delving into this thought process and way of life.
It begins with offering freedom and unconditional acceptance to the children.
It extends to our friends. Our siblings. Our own mothers and fathers, and in-laws. To our neighbors, and community, and city, then countrymen, and hopefully The World At Large.

That's what I'm hoping for.
That my sense of Freedom (acceptance) For All will eventually include All.
My self. My spouse. My children. My world.

None being of higher rank, or of more importance than another.
All equally respected.
And all equally cherished.