Saturday, April 29, 2006

Ode to a cat...farewell old friend

Lost my cat today. She was nineteen years old. She was very ill. I thank her for sparing me a tough decision. It's my birthday and I had another post all set with photos of growing up. That'll wait til next week. Goodbye old kitty from hell....(it's an affectionate term really!)

We had good times and bad. I was convinced at one time she was trying to overpower me by taking me out and tripping me every time I tried to carry laundry down the basement stairs. Once she decided to take a nap in my closet which I shut before leaving for work. She peed on my clothes and cried all day. And she loved to eat my floral mother's day presents and throw them up on the floor for me to step on in the middle of the night. Many times as I opened the door I would hear her jump off the forbidden kitchen table. That is until she was too old and lazy to bother and would offer me an indignant stare when I ordered her off as soon as I walked in the door.

But she was also the only other creature in the house every other week when my kids were at their dad's. And when she took her favorite spot on the top of the couch as I was reading or watching tv, she would take her paw and place it on my shoulder as if to say, "You know I am here if you ever need to talk." And later on in years she still liked to watch for me out the front window, then run to the side window as I pulled in past her, to watch me come home from work.

Either that, or she was watching to see if it was worth the climb to the perch on the kitchen table, or if I was already home.

I'm told by admirers she had the most amazing hypnotic eyes, and purred like a freight train.

Together with Wheezer... and now they're together again wherever it is animal souls head after here. I can see him now, walking up...sniffing to make sure it's her... Sneezing loudly....and saying, "Geeze took ya long enough. But remember... just like when we fooled the we act like we don't like each other. Just don't get caught sleeping beside me in the sun again!"

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Life is Good

Just a little post of gratitude.

I have a beautiful family.

I have a wonderful relationship with my mom.

I have a devoted, nurturing, supportive husband.

I FINALLY finished my BA and graduated with honors.

My health (mental, physical, and spiritual) is the best it's been in years though I do slightly resemble the Buddha in more ways than one right now ;)

I have many creative outlets.

I have a nice home which is a canvas for me to express myself.

I am really, really happy.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Company of Women- Punderson 06

I had the most wonderful weekend (wow- that's TWO in a row!!!!) I spent Friday morning with my husband and two daughters. He was working the afternoon shift, so he decided to get up early and take us all to breakfast. We stopped at IHOP and I had my usual half order of chocolate chip pancakes :) Yummy. We also split an omlette for a little protein (gotta keep my energy up to keep up with Anna!) Then we headed up to Kent State to see some ROTC folks that Rick worked with when I first met him, before he resigned from the Army. One of them is such a warm wonderful and witty guy named Major Joe. (No that's really his name- no generic Army pun inteneded.) Mjr Joe was excited to see me (BA Theatre at KSU) because Fri was his opening night for the Ravenna Theatre's musical Suessical. It's based on Dr. Seuss books and he's just having the greatest time. Now doesn't THAT break a ton of Army guy stereotypes! So break a leg Joe!

Then Rick went to work and I picked up my sons later in the day to start their week with me.

Friday night the kids and I hung out and relaxed after everyone's busy week.

Saturday am we awoke very early. Everyone ran around crazily to load up the family assault vehichle (mini van to most folks) and head off to Punderson State Park (which is where I took all the photos from this post.) I have attended a women writer's retreat there every year for the past three. (Hey Ski and Ninja- this year there was another retreat for romance novel writers there too! Though they kept to the cabins and we're in the manor so we didn't see them too much.)

Usually I stay for the whole weekend, but I'm nursing Anna and I'm not very handy with a pump (ha- get it? HANDY?)

So my husband was gracious enough to drive me the hour to Punderson, drive back home, come back at 4 to allow me to nurse during the break, hang around at Beachwood mall with all FOUR kids, AND drive back to pick me up at 9 pm when the open mic night was over. I must say right now that you should, as all the women writers were, some of whom who's husbands don't likely support them as writers, be in AWE of him! Sing his praises now :)
I could write a TON about this retreat and how it works. But I don't want to spend the day on the computer (nor do all of you want to spend all day reading. I'll write more about how the retreat is as a creative/empowering experience later in the week. I think for now I will just share some pics and samples of the pieces I wrote that came out of some of the classes I took.
So here goes. Enjoy.

On a workshop exercise of "If my ____ could talk ____ would say, "

If my breasts could talk they would say...

Why don't you love me?
Other women are jealous of me and wish they had me
Men adore me...lust after me
Your children have been nourished by me

Why don't you love me?
You cover me up
Bind me down
Consider sacrificing me to a surgeon's knife

Why don't you love me?
I am beautiful
I am a sustainer of life
I am a joy to share with the man you love

Why don't you love me?
Your children remember when they cuddle up to me
your lover knows when he carresses me
I long to be accepted
By you

Another workshop had me write about my role model. I could only think of one. She was sitting right next to me in class. Boy did she get some compliments about our relationship on Sunday morning!

I have her face
Her eyes
Her figure

I do that fidgety thing with my necklace
Without even thinking about it
We sometimes catch ourselves in the same position
Arms crossed left over right
Or chin in palm right elbow perched on left
And when we do we laugh
...the same laugh

She gave me such gifts
We write together
Do plays together
Create together

I think she's pleased with me
though I never strove to please her
Perhaps because I didn't

I am the same kind of mother
A nurturer with a touch of
Martyrdom and guilt
Always patient and wise
At least above the age and experience
of my children's level

Her gifts have served me well
on the journey to know myself
To love myself
and share what flows over my self filled cup

I only hope one day my own daughters
and sons
learn as much from me
receive as much from me
accept as much from me

As I wrote under comments, several of my instructors have complimented me regarding my writing which is so encouraging (even if they might sneak around and tell all of us the same thing!) I purchased a book from one of them called, If We Must Die, A Novel of Tulsa's 1921 Riot. It's by Pat Carr, and can be purchased at Barnes and Noble or Amazon.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Design on a Dime

For those of you who like to watch HGTV and try EVERY painting technique they show you....please think about this:

One day... you may want to sell your house...
*and one day someone may buy it even though it has this

on the walls of almost EVERY room.

And then some poor decorating challenged person like me comes along (I did not purchase this house but acquired it when I moved in with my husband. His EX wife picked it out. Goes along more with her personality- eh-chem...that's all I'll say about that.)

Fortunately, though I don't like some of the changes she made, she at least tore down some wallpaper and painted over some of this horrid sponge/rag rolling. UNfortunately...she didn't live here long enough to provide me with many rooms primered from this. As a matter of fact all that she did get painted over was the kitchen which was wallpapered, and the above bathroom. And though I will paint over those (well finish the kitchen since she only got it half way done) I am slightly grateful that it was she who tore down the wallpaper in the kitchen, and she who painted over the above bathroom. My husband painted over the pink living room and turned it into and office for himself. Boy is that a contrast - from pink to military nostalgia! He also painted over the red part of the rag roll in the blue/red room above, providing me with a primer coat on the bottom half.

So here are my befores of Anna's room:

This last one is with TWO coats of primer on it. After my frustration of seeing the horrid blue rag roll peeking through I decided there MUST be darker primer out there besides white. It never occured to me to tint the primer! I found tons of info on that, many sites stating that you should always tint primer gray. I will definitely try that next time. As for THIS time, I put another coat of white primer up and still could see faint blue rag roll. UGH. So last night we went out and bought another gallon of primer. This time I tinted it pink (which is the color I'm painting the room- hey I know it's not origingal, but you're lookin' at the mom of two boys. I'm excited to do a girls room therefore it MUST be pink.

Speaking of Anna, she's crying so I'm off to pick her up and cuddle!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

A moment of Zen


We have been having a lovely weekend. My husband's former classmate (who is a former major league baseball player for the Reds) coaches a high school baseball team. They were playing both men's former alma mater near Columbus so we loaded up the mini-van (ie family assault vehichle as my husband like to deem it for a more manly title.) We headed down that way Friday evening to treat the kids to a hotel stay (more excitement for them than any activity following!)

We arrived around 8:30 and my husband took the kids to the pool. Unfortunately, there was a group of parents and kids on some sort of tournament who had taken over the pool. They were throwing balls of some kind which hit my step daughter twice as well as some other guests not in their party. The parents sat oblivious by the pool, never even apologizing or attempting to contain their children. My husband left the pool to them, but did complain to the front desk that all guests should be respectful at the pool. I am very proud to say that my kids finally understand why we can be so "mean" when they are rudely having fun around others. They were appalled at the other children's behavior.

Saturday morning they were able to enjoy the pool more quietly. We then took off for my husband's friend's game. There I was introduced to his highschool football coach who, because of my husband's record there as well as his playing and later coaching sprint football at Westpoint, nominated him for his high school hall of fame this year. (Side note- he didn't win but is "honored to be nominated" ;)

It was too chilly to stay for the whole thing so we packed the kids up, stopped for some club sandwiches at Tim Hortons (note number 2- always stick to the specialty of each fast food place. Tim Hortons is for DOUGHNUTS, SUBWAY is for SUBS.)

We then headed over for a few hours at COSI. For those who have been, you KNOW what kind of family fun there is to be had by all. For those of you who haven't been, it's an easy place to entertain everyone in the family (though of course Anna found nursing in the famliy feeding room the highlight of her COSI experience.) We ended up buying a family membership which cost about 20 bucks more than paying for all of us to get in. So we'll be headed back for several more trips this year to get our money's worth.

On the way home we met one of my husband's former tank drivers for dinner along with his beautiful little girls. The youngest fell for me. It was mutual. Here we are together. In particular I admire her fashion sense and pink pumps!

We got home rather late, quickly unloaded the car and passed out. My husband had to work today. He gets up at 4:30 for work which today meant THREE- thirty due to DLST. SPRING FORWARD!!!! Sounds like an order doesn't it? Get out there and MULCH! TRIM YOUR HEDGES! CLEAN YOUR GARAGE! MOW YOUR LAWN! It's SPRING for cryin'out loud!
I much prefer "Fall Back". Ahhhh....the last leaves have been mulched by the mower... no more yard work...peaceful long winter nights ahead.

ANYWAY...This morning I get online and find out through my congregation's website that a Zen priest I heard there last year is speaking again this morning. YEA! I loved him last time. The message of the morning is "The One Who Isn't Busy." PERFECT! As if to demonstrate to myself why I NEED to hear this sermon, I scramble to round up three very tired children (Go get your toothbrush out of my suitcase I said!!!!") and nurse a very irritable baby who reminds me loudly that the last thing she wants to see is the car seat today. We are ready by 9:40, amazing not only because I am perpetually late but also because it is in reality 8:40 to our exhausted bodies. Just enough time for a rational yet expeditious drive to church....

I reach into my coat pocket.
No Keys.
I dig around in my purse.
No Keys.
I have a vague image pop into my head of placing my keys in the glove compartment on our way to Columbus Fri night so I wouldn't LOSE them!!!!

SO there we sat. Coats on, Anna crying in the car seat. My husband with the only other set of work til 3pm.

No UU for you.

The bright side?

The keys are not lost...

They exist in another realm...

Which is inaccessible to me in my current state of consciousness ;)

And so I will begin (yet) again to attempt to live a conscious existence in each and every moment. Especially when I am placing my keys somewhere!