Thursday, December 31, 2009

Time - Tom Waits

Tom Waits is an acquired taste. Luckily, I acquired the taste some time ago, and while I don't play him often, I do play him when I need to feel: to release, dance a goofy dance or cry a river. Kari said this morning that she just discovered him, so I put all my Waits on play, made pancakes, padded around in my pj's while the boys tinkered downstairs. This song came on, and I began to leak from my eyes. Here's to Time - the good and the bad. Love to all.

2010 - Welcome. Bring it.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Solemn Vow...

JH spends so much time avoiding chores, it's becoming an art form. So I took this video of him promising to clean his room first thing tomorrow morning. He made me vow not to put it on Facebook or Twitter.

But he said nothing about my blog.

So here it is:

I'll let you know how it turns out.

Kitties keep us safe from falling snow

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Looking Forward...

2009 saw so many blessings, and I count them all in my heart, I surely do. But it also brought so much loss. Death, divorce, anger, sorrow... they all payed a visit, as they do every year. As I try to keep in perspective that these things are part of life, and we shall all feel sadness sometime, I can't help but hum along with this song.

My New Year's prayer for all of us.

Be kind, 2010

I have a little project

When we lived in Seattle, we loved these commercials with Edgar Martinez. And this morning, as I set out to make my little tv riser and my little desk riser that I got in the ikea used bin, I'll be thinking of Edgar.

I eventually want to make our attic space liveable. So I'm going to start small.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Woke up this morning feeling less shaky about the past days events. My son is in a better mood today too. I let him have unlimited time on the Wii yesterday, just as sort of an experiment. Yeah, it turned out like you'd think. A horrible temper tantrum, and an early bedtime.

He woke up very snuggly this morning, and today there are rules to butt up against, so I think he feels better. Also, he gets to have a friend over today (one that I totally approve of and adore), so I think that sunshine out there is trying to tell me something.

As I said in my post yesterday: feelings are not facts. They come and go. Today is a new day, and I'm keeping this person in my thoughts, feeling less judgmental and more gentle. Hoping she finds the kind of love and support she needs in her real life.

Because as messy and fighty and boring as it can be, nothing beats real life.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Social Media and The Kindness of Strangers

I started blogging to have a creative outlet. I was new to the town I lived in, I missed my friends. I was a mom who used to have a career as an actor, and my audience, while appreciative, was much smaller. I wanted to stretch my creative muscles as a writer. I wanted to reach out and see who else might think the same crazy thoughts as me.

The first person to comment on my blog was my dear pal suttonhoo, she of the gorgeous photos and amazing stories. She had inspired me to try blogging by sending me a link to hers so that I could keep up with her life in Chicago. The second person to comment was someone I didn't know, but she left me such a lovely comment, and I felt so giddy knowing that someone out there had found me and liked what I had to say, and felt, as I did, that this parenting trip was just the most amazing thing on earth.

Over the next three years, I was fortunate enough to develop more of an actual real-life friendship with Amy, and her Dallas Posse, and last spring, my hubby surprised me with a weekend trip to Dallas. Just me. Gulp. I'd meet these people in person, and what if, what if, what if? It turns out these people were the real deal, they were true friends to each other, and the Fabulous Franklin family opened their home and their hearts to me over the weekend. I felt completely at ease and at home and I carry them in my heart every day now.

Once, reading a comment on one of Amy's blog posts, I laughed at something someone said, and asked Amy about the commenter. She said that this person was someone I should know and I should follow her on Twitter. I swore I wouldn't ever join Twitter. And you know how that turned out. Now I'm just a social media addict like that. It's easier than blogging, and since life has gotten more hectic since I started out here: an emotionally demanding job, managing my little family, etc., Twitter has become my default. And Facebook. But mostly for people I know in real life and Bejeweled. Who am I kidding. So, anyway, I began to follow her, and I don't know about you, but I only read about half the stuff on twitter. It sometimes makes me feel like I'm reading People Magazine: like I should get up off my ass and get a life. But I can't stop. I'll go for weeks without posting, or even looking at it. But every once in a while, I'll pop on and say "hi", or leave a link to something interesting, or leave a bit of Joe-Henry wisdom.

Yesterday, I popped on to check on how everyone's holiday's had gone, and report that I had gotten back safely from Costco without having a nervous breakdown, when I read an alarming tweet from Amy's friend. She had taken a bunch of pills with alcohol. She was asking people to find good homes for her cats. My hands went cold and slick with sweat. What? WTF? Goddamn it. I still had to unpack my groceries from Costco. DAMN it. I don't know her. Is she joking? I sent Amy a direct message. No answer. I call Amy, she just read my dm, and she's worried too. She's actually never met this person, but has a cell number and a po box. She lives in New York. I call 911, they link me to Utica, they send me to another county, I tell them, uh, I was on Twitter today and uh, I don't know this person, and she posted some alarming things. I'm feeling like and idiot - it's not like I'm standing on a bridge next to someone ready to jump. The dispatcher I talk to actually takes me seriously, despite the fact that I was using the words "Twitter" and "tweet", and takes all the info I give her. She says they'll try to find her and will get back to me. I apologize and tell her I don't know if it's a hoax, but I'd rather be wrong than feel so hugely responsible for the rest of my life if I'm right. Amy and I call back and forth, she's trying to contact her, trying to reach others she knows who know this person. They are all concerned too. About fifteen minutes go by when the Dispatcher calls me back to tell me that they have located this person and are sending medical to check her out. I think they must have heard from others as well, and luckily they found her in time. She was in the hospital at last report, and was alert. She must have a hell of a headache. I hope she'll be okay. I hope she'll find help for her hurting soul.

And while I'm glad that I followed through with my instinct, I'm also feeling like it was just too much. Too much responsibility, too much drama. I don't want to be a part of it. What if this person hates me for making that call? Many of the people who know her better are sending her love and hugs, and I am too. But I'm also angry. My opinion of suicide is that it's selfish, dramatic and mean. I know that people sometimes just can't bear the pain. I get that. I do. I have a family member that valiantly struggles with deep depression every day, and he's my hero. And he would never, ever be selfish enough to leave us that way. What a horrible legacy to leave to those who care about you. Even if you're mad at each other. Even if you hate your life. But you know what? Change is possible, but only when you're alive.

Love to all. Hug your family. Even if you're mad at them. Especially if you're mad at them. Feelings are not facts. They come and go, and tomorrow will be a new day. Take care, and love the ones in front of you.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A New Tradition

The other morning, we were rushing like crazy to get out the door to school & work. I was getting crabby, wondering why it's the same EVERY morning. Why it's the same EVERY holiday season? WHY do I feel so much STRESS???!!!! WHY?!!!

Then Joe-Henry started to sing this very silly version of Jingle Bells. I started to sing along. And suddenly the here and now came into focus. I was driving. He was in the backseat. The car was filled with noise and laughter.

And all was right with the world.

Thought I'd share our really silly version of Jingle Bells with you. If you're feeling a little grumpy, sing along. You'll be in the Holiday Spirit in no time!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Joy, Wonder, Delight.

I was getting nervous for the Holiday Season this year, because I thought it might be the year that JH figures it out. I mean, we've already had our first conversation about sex (he asked, and I kept it brief and honest and then he asked if Daddy and I do that and if it's when he's asleep and I said "mind your own beeswax". ). So I figured that this year for sure he'd be asking about Santa.

I was right. And I didn't lie about it, I just said "well, what do you think?" He hemmed and hawed and went on about why do some of his presents have bar codes, etc. But tonight, we looked at this magical book together. Santa brought it to him last year, and he was so overwhelmed with everything else that it got overlooked. But tonight, oh my. We spent a good twenty minutes on the first two pages alone. He was telling me that Santa has a room of his own where he can go and have his own private feelings, even cry if he needs to. (Can you imagine Santa crying?!) I asked why he thought Santa might need to cry, and he said "well, if someone has to get put on the naughty list. He's a person like anyone else. Even though he never dies. But he still can get sad sometimes." Then he went on to tell me that Mrs. Claus was the best person on earth, even more than Santa because she has to make sure he's okay and she's really nice. "She'd have to be. Santa wouldn't have married a mean woman!"

He wants to go see Santa now. And I don't think he wants to ask for toys as much as check in and make sure Santa's okay and ask him questions about how the mail gets to the North Pole, and find out what makes him tick.

I love him so much. His innocence and wonder amaze me. And he makes me feel like an elf.