12/31/07

Emerging From Underneath Of The Rock

Hello, all. If anyone still pops in over this way after almost a month of silence.
I hope that your holiday(s) were well for you all and that 2008 brings you much peace and happiness.

I've missed you all while I was away.
I often found my thoughts drifting to you.
Wondering what new topics were lighting the fires inside of your minds.
What new personal perils or triumphs you were sharing.

My intention with the "shutting down" of this little blog was to spend time reading all of you more.
However, I needed to cut myself off completely.
I peeked in from time to time, but I had to step away.
I found that the amount of pressure I put upon myself to write quality posts, to read, and respond eloquently was more than my feeble mind could handle.
Not to mention I was in the middle of a breakthrough of sorts.
Couple that with the impending holiday, classes winding down, a part-time job that I take way too seriously, and a family to be here for.
Despite being a Libra, I was having immense trouble juggling it all.

All of that being said, I feel that it is time to come back.
To mingle with you all, to be a part again.
My mind feels clear and my heart wide open.

I'm probably not picking a great day to return as it is the eve of yet another holiday, but that's just how I roll.

So again, have a wonderful New Year. Be safe, be well, go easy.
I can't wait to see what all of you have been up to!

12/3/07

The End or Simply The Beginning

Wow.
Wow.
I can't believe how I have fallen off here.
Fallen off of reading.
Fallen off of writing.

I recently heard myself saying to myself that there simply just isn't enough time.
But myself said back to myself that this is simply an excuse.
That if I really wanted to, I would find a way.

I don't want this to end.
But I don't have anything right now.
So I think a hiatus is in order.

Next week is my last class and the holidays are approaching (who would have noticed? like you need me to point that out!) and I will be on vaca from my little munchkins at the preschool.
Big things have been brewing with me on a spiritual level.
It is something so big I need time to reflect upon it.
This silence of mine has been purely mindful, somewhat meditative, and mostly reflective.
I've been thinking of you all and sending thoughts to you all out into the cosmos and hope that they make their way to you.

I think I may take this time to silence this here space and read what you all have to say.
As I have missed so much.
I may post a song or two.
Maybe a quote or a quick little story.
Otherwise I am silent and will let it flow when it is ready to flow again.

'Til then.
I'll see you.

11/27/07

Sunday Morning Song of the Moment

Are you totally confused yet?

Yeah, I'm cheating.
Today is Tuesday & I'm posting my song today.

We had some unforeseen stuff go down this weekend & it could not be helped that Sunday got pushed back to Tuesday.
Eh. Sometimes you just gotta roll with it.

I'm taking 10 minutes for myself to quickly check in on some of my old haunts out here.
I miss it.
I miss you all & the window(s) in which you allow me to peek inside of your funny, zany, happy, silly, sometimes chaotic, crazy, sometimes emotional, normal lives.
I'm finding it very hard to balance everything right now.

Anyway....I started reading a post on Phenom's blog & the song that I wanted to share two days ago popped into my head.
So I said f*ck it.
I'll share it today.
Pretend for a minute, if you will, that it is a lazy Sunday morning.
Close your eyes and just pretend.
Listen to the song & let it take you away for a moment.
Go on.
Do it.
Go ahead.
It'll do you some good.

Quiet Town by Josh Rouse

11/26/07

Two Cool Dude-ettes

This is for Jen & KC.

I am way in no way promoting the consumption of Bud Light.
I saw this last night & instantly thought of these two blogger-gals.

I'm hoping to be 'round the way soon.
I got writer's block & reader's block.
But you're all still my peeps!



11/21/07

Have It Or You Don't?

Compassion.

This question has been rattling around my brain for a few weeks now & it keeps popping up in unlikely places.

It first came to me as a topic for much heated internal dialogue, after Connor's conference.
(because I'm oh-so neurotic and analytical like that).
His teacher asked us what qualities we like most about Connor.
My answer was his heart - his compassion.
And his teacher agreed and then she said:
That's something you either have or you don't.

I thought this most interesting of a statement.
And quite honestly, it's not something that I ever stopped to really think about before.
It may be elementary, but I've missed out on many things/thoughts that are elementary.

I haven't missed out on it for lack of having it.
That is one thing I can easily say about myself - I am compassionate.
Probably to a fault.

But the idea that people are out there, walking around right now, with no ability or chance of ever having compassion boggles my mind.

I've heard the ever popular
that's how you have sociopaths.

Agreed. I understand that is what makes them so.
But my mind wanders to the possibility that there is more than the lack of compassion at work there.
That the lack of it is a symptom (for lack of a better word).

My bleeding heart self feels that everyone is born with some semblance of compassion, but it is our context, or our nurture, that helps to foster it.
And maybe that is simply just an idealistic way of looking at it.
From the informal "data" that I have collected thus far, I seem to be the only one who thinks this.

I look at my kids - who clearly have compassion for others - and wonder if it is something they have simply learned. And then I wonder how? They have not seen me hand umbrellas out to strangers on a rainy day, they have not been with me when I have handed food out to a stranger.
I realize my compassion extends farther than these two scenarios.
But I wonder if they already had it - and we simply foster it.
Or if it is a completely learned quality/value?

So what say all of you out there?
Do you think compassion is something you either have or you don't?

11/20/07

These Will Have To Do

Here are just some random images I thought I would share.
Because right now, my mind is too empty and too full.
If that makes any kind of sense.












11/18/07

Sunday Morning Song of the Moment

I've had a song simmering on the backburner for a few weeks and decided this week would be the week to share it.

Then, oh no, I had to be reminded of this video and since I had not seen it in awhile, figured I'd share it instead.

Last Monday, in my Topics class (Western Psych. vs. Buddhism - or vice versa), my instructor was trying to drive the point home about self/not-self. For us Westerners this is a complex, difficult ideology to grasp. So he showed us a short film based on a short-story by Kurt Vonnegut. In it were two young actors - a wiley, geeky looking Christopher Walken and an adolescent-looking Susan Sarandon.
After the film two of my classmates & I (who seem inexplicably drawn to each other) began professing our great love for Walken.
I brought up the Fatboy Slim video Weapon of Choice.
And we collectively began discussing how each of us couldn't believe it was him when we first saw that video years ago.

So that is my shared song today.
Weapon of Choice by Fatboy Slim.
Won't you join me in paying homage to Walken.
All hail, Walken.


11/14/07

Jug-gernaut

Early Tuesday morning and I am getting dressed slowly, wearily.
That three day weekend we just had went way too fast.


I'm in a trance-like state.
My eyes are open.
It looks as if I am watching the Today show while I slide on my jeans
and look from left to right as I find my shirt.
But I'm not yet awake.


The kids flutter about.
In and out of the room.
Here and there.
Up and down.
Under foot, over foot.

They are entirely too alert for this ungodly hour
and their presence of mind is just beginning to piss me off when I hear...


Hey, Mom! Look! I just found a really cool catapult.

I groggily turn from the TV to the floor where my eldest sits. As he holds his latest prized possession in his hands. He's moving it all about, trying to figure out how to get it to work.
I begin to chuckle despite myself and I reply with...

That's not a catapult, Connor. That is mommy's bra. Can I please have it so I can finish getting dressed?


He was crestfallen that I had just taken away his means of entertainment.
I'm not sure how I feel about wearing something that he considers large enough to call a catapult.

11/11/07

Sunday (Morning) Song of the Moment

No words today.
Not really.

They're....
Creepin' In by Norah Jones feat. Dolly Parton

Got any music suggestions to share with me? Drop 'em in the comments.
I'm on the prowl for sumpin' new.


11/9/07

Dreams and Wishes From The Past

I had my 2nd reiki treatment last night.
The session was interesting & I can't wait to share it.

But first I had to get a few other thoughts out.
The first thing is that I wanted to share that I wrote a little card to *E's* mom.
And it was well received.
I'll leave it at that for now.

Last night before and after my treatment I met up with my stepmom for some girly talk.
And after we were finished - quite honestly we probably could have chatted all night long - I stopped in to see my dad and brothers. It wasn't a long visit. But it was enough. In a good way.

I was sharing with my dad the details of my reiki treatment and something came to him and he walked away.
He came back with a box.
And inside the box was a violin.
An old violin.
In pieces.

He began telling me how this violin was my grandfather's (his father). And he loved this violin. He thought it was "something".
My dad took it to a musician in a local city to find out about it and to inquire about getting it put back together.
Sadly (or not so sadly), the violin is "nothing" in terms of monetary value and it would cost more to put it back to rights than to buy a nice, quality new one.

As my dad was telling me about it, I began salivating.
And felt bad despite myself.
I felt like a wolf, hungry for the kill.
I felt horrible for being so overtaken with thoughts like Give it to me!! Drop it, sucker. Hand me the box and no one gets hurt!!!
I somehow managed to get ahold of myself.

See, for as long as I remember I've wanted to learn how to play the Violin. And to see this in front me of me was almost too much to handle....the thought of playing Violin - his violin - clouded any ounce of good judgement I had.
I never have understand why I wanted to play. Because my passion has always been the Saxophone (and percussion, although I've never played percussion instruments).
Something has always drawn me to the Violin.

I had no idea until last night that my grandfather used to play.

My dad finished his story about the poor, dime-store violin.
And then he said
I'm going to have a little ceremony and I'm going to burn it.

I gasped.
My eyes in wide horror.
WHY????????

He said I'm going to burn it and take it down to Dad. Maybe if we all get together on the weekend of Thanksgiving we'll burn it then since we all will be together.

My grandfather apparently had much love for this 1920s Montgomery Ward Violin - that he bought 2nd hand and thought was "something".
And my dad is doing the right thing by his Dad.
It should be with him where he rests.

I left their house a little less selfish.
Happy that it will be returned to its rightful owner
and that since I've never met my grandfather and always longed for some physical connection, content in the fact that maybe I got this desire to play from him.

11/8/07

Confessions From A Not-So-New Mom

I have a little girl in my three-year-old preschool class.
Let's call her *E*.
*E* is a darling girl.
She is bright and full of personality.

I have quickly picked up on a few things that a seasoned teacher or a parent who has experienced certain things will pick up.
For example, certain behaviors that I associate with some of Connor's sensory issues.
And a few little other quirky things that are rather telling.

She is around the same age as Gracie and *E* is already on her way to becoming a paleontologist.
She's just flat-out bright.

I really like *E's* mom.
She's easy to talk to and seems down-to-earth.
We've had casual conversations about our kids.
I've told her about some of my observations and we share stories and knowledge.

But I think she is struggling.
In fact, she told me so today.

She feels lost and feels like the kids (her son is about 6 months old) are totally kicking her butt.
I smiled and listened.
And as it happens, I got distracted by some playground shenanigans.

I couldn't help but feel like she was trying to reach out.
She has said on more than one occasion that she feels lost and I've noticed it in the things she doesn't say as well.
I instantly thought of some blog addresses I wanted to send her to.
If she feels she needs to talk, I would want her to know that I could be a source of some comfort or information.
But I don't want to be the unwanted advice giver, or the know-it-all either.
That being said, she seems like she needs an ear and I am careful not to overstep my bounds.(this family has recently moved here from North Carolina and I'm not sure if she has much in the way of support from other moms).

How do you think you would handle this?
How do you think I should handle this?

11/6/07

To Reach and To Touch

Last night was my first night of class for the new block ( a block is 7 weeks of a semester, where the classes are one night a week for five hours). The class is Topics in Behavioral Science: Buddhism vs. Western Psychology.
When Rav was finishing up his degree we were fresh into our relationship & he was taking Social Psychology with the same instructor that I have for this current class. He told me fascinating things like the instructor brings his guitar into class every night and often sings as part of his lecture.
While he was taking the class, we ran into this instructor while we were out & about & he was wearing leather and stones. He had long hair and an air of calm about him. For all intents and purposes - a hippie, crunchy, granola, new-agey. And I was intrigued.

And everyone in the class that I am taking has taken many, many classes with him. They follow him from course to course. Sort of like dead-heads.
And I completely see why they do.

Anyway, the course he makes interesting. He shares his experience with being on the path. He is chockablock full of knowledge. And someone you simply don't mind listening to for 5 hours. We had a period of meditation during the class, followed by another period of meditation while he sang a mantra that was....beautiful.
My favorite thing of the evening, if I had to pick just one, was when he was discussing a conversation he had with a mentor on Buddhism (my instructor began practicing about 9 years ago). And his mentor said Spare people. Don't tell them that you are, your family and friends. Just spare them. No need to tell them. Be a Buddah.
~~~~
I was originally scheduled for an Economics class this block and quickly dropped it, after hearing rhetoric that a certain political party spouts. I fought with myself for much of the class and said that I need to stick it out.
I'm so glad I didn't.
I'd be missing out on one hell of a class.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

All of this got me thinking about how lucky I really am.
I work at a place that has a bunch of little munchkins who tell their mommies that Ms. Tabitha is my best friend.
And who have named their baby dolls Tabitha.
I learn just as much from them as they are (hopefully) learning from me.
I work at a place that is abundant with hugs and laughter and sunshine and smiles.
When I show up at a field trip destination my class runs up and hugs me.
I share the knowledge I have of teaching with the heart I now have from being a mommy.
How truly lucky I am to work like this.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I was watching a show on A & E or a similar channel about a parole board & it followed certain inmates for a specific amount of time.
I am fascinated with things like this because I love to watch people's behavior.
I listened to some men who were products of probably some really sadistic things in their pasts, they were mentally ill, and their reality was so far removed from the rest of the world.

One inmate was speaking about something that had happened to him and I don't know why but I thought to myself how horrible it must be to live a life day in and day out - and to never be touched. Whether it be physically or mentally/emotionally.

Days go by and we take for granted that we will come home to the waiting arms of our lovers, spouses, children, housemates, family members, etc.

We are touched by strangers who may walk by and say something nice - a mental hug, if you will.

We have computers and a network of people who offer up virtual hugs.

These things become like the air we breathe. They are so apart of our daily living that we forget that we could have it otherwise.

Imagine a week without one instance of physical contact - not having a heartfelt hug, holding someone's hand, having someone rub your back, etc.
Compound that by months and years.
Could you imagine how locked up, desolate, and lonely you would feel?
I'm not even sure I could go there in my mind.

I guess it is very easy for me to be sympathetic.
I don't work in a correctional facility.
I have not one inkling of what it must be like.
I know Rav would probably have his strong feelings on this.
But I can't push out the idea of that need.
How they need that too.

11/4/07

Sunday (Morning) Song of the Moment

Wow. Am I like, way late on this one?!

My good friend, B. turned 40 yesterday.
And to celebrate, a small group of us (Rav, J and her husband M, and B's husband D, & I) took B out to dinner at a nice restaurant.
Many drinks were had and decent meals were eaten.
B is a special lady & I was proud to be there celebrating her.

I've laughed harder than I've laughed in a long, long
long, long,
long
time.
Like laughed so hard my face hurt and my sides felt like they were going to explode.
Like laughed so hard I had to hide my face in my napkin and wipe the tears off of my cheeks.
Like laughed so hard that Rav was embarrassed because I was becoming almost unbearably and embarrassingly loud.
It was cathartic.
Last Saturday night, I cried so hard it hurt.
This Saturday night, I laughed so hard it hurt. Yes, Jen...I had my head thrown back in wide-open laughter :)
I think I'm making great progress.

Anyway, the point of this is that, this is just one thing that happened this weekend that has kept me away from posting.
A furnace emergency, a sick daughter, and a few other obligations have kept me from it.

But here I am!

And this song is for my sick Gracie. It's her new favorite.

Jealous of the Moon by Nickel Creek
I have do just have to say for only being 3, she's got great taste. I wonder where she gets it from?
I also think she is trying to tell me something with this song as she has been making me play it over and over and over.



11/2/07

Dream A Little Dream Of... Your True Heart's Desire

The lovely Deb tagged me for a meme. Today seems like a perfect day to do this.
And so far, this has to be one of my favorite memes.

Write five things you want to be when you grow up. Big dreams that seem like folly, but in your heart of hearts are very real and dear to you. Things that maybe you have forgotten about in the ebb and flow and toil of the everyday, but that never really leave your soul. What you would do if anything was possible?

1) The very first occupation I remember really, really wanting to do but seemed totally impossible is the same as Deb's #1 - a photographer for National Geographic. I desperately wanted to hop from country to country, continent to continent - making the world my home. I wanted to leave everything in America behind and simply follow my heart and the road.

2) I would really like to write a children's book (or two). This has been a long-standing dream of mine. I want to collaborate with an illustrator - become part of an artistic process. I so enjoy children's literature and nothing would please me more than to share a story of my own creation with children.

3) In the past few years, I have recently discovered that the two things I can "cook" well are soups and sandwiches. And for the past year or so, I have expressed interest to Rav that I would love to open an eclectic little soup/sandwich shop. A place with cozy, little tables. Oversized chairs, ottomans, teas/coffees/juices. Cool music playing in the background. Can you see it in your head? I totally can.

4) I would love to teach in Korea. Period.

5) A professional musician. I don't know if this one needs any explanation either. Again, with collaborating, part of a process, working with people who are as passionate about music as I am. Sharing that passion with others. Feeling goosebumps on a daily basis when I hear/play certain pieces of music. Aaaahh. I would be in heaven.

Please, if you are reading and feel so inclined, participate in this meme. I would love to hear what your dreams are.

10/30/07

What's It Lke Inside That Head Of Yours, Connor?

We have conferences next week at Connor's school.
I always look forward to these.
I'm most interested to hear what the teacher has learned about Connor and to hear about his progress.

I'm a smart mom.
I know my kid is a genius.
But a mom just likes to hear it over and over again, ya know?


I know words like
stubborn
inattentive
emotional
might be thrown about.
But that's OK.
It's part of his, um,
genius.
OK?
OK.

In an attempt to get to know each child better, the teacher sent home a paper asking about the kindergarten experience thus far.
The things your child especially likes, dislikes, what they say about school, etc.
And the teacher has asked that we bring it in for our conference.


I sat down and began asking Connor the two that seemed the easiest to answer.
The things he likes best about school
and the things he likes the least.


Some of the things he likes best are:
friend of the day
the green playground
the little blocks
Ms. Morris' hair (the librarian) - and OMG, did my son just say that? I need to check this woman out.
housekeeping


Some of the things he likes the least are:
gym
music
art
the blue playground
crayons AND pencils
group time.


I was intrigued by his answer of group time. So I say to my boy Why don't you like group time?
To which he says - (get ready for this...)

I get all sweaty at group time and it makes my belly hurt.


My dear, sweet, nervous boy.
I know exactly what you mean. When mommy is at school and she has to talk in front of people, she feels the same way bud. The exact.same.way.
You get it honest.
************************************************

Tonight is Halloween.
And I am sorry to say that I left my creativity back in Halloween of '06 and did not make anyone's costume this year.

Tonigth we will do what we have done for the past 2 years.
We will go to our friend's house - B & D.
Their three kids and our two get along famously.
Gracie even declared that N was her boyfriend.
We will order pizza and beg for candy in their neighborhood (it's a much safer 'hood than ours.). In fact ours would qualify for a 'hood status. Theirs does not.

Be safe tonight everyone.
And have a great time!

My Nature From My Nurture

I wanted to thank all of you for your kind words and your supportive comments.

And the general tone that my post conveyed was that of an existential crisis.
I thought I would take the time to clear up my vague-ness.

The existential crisis hit me in the earlier part of my 20's - shortly after giving birth to Connor.
Giving birth allowed me to look at death with a whole new set of eyes.
It allowed me to further look into legacies and what this whole thing called life is really about.
It left me sleepless and frantic many a night as I looked over in the bassinet at my new baby boy and asked the heavens to keep me alive as long as possible so I wouldn't miss out on anything.
But that is not what I am fighting today. Oh no. In fact, I would take the whole existential bit over what is floating up to the surface right now.

The forgotten feeling I was speaking of is a feeling of emotional isolation and abandonment.
A feeling so ingrained that it has become part of my self-concept.
This was not something that was taught systematically, like teaching a child to tie his or her shoes.
This was something that was learned by non-verbals, observations, and certain choices made over a my childhood lifetime by the adults in my life.
Unfortunately, it is still there.

The thing that is of great discomfort to me right now is that I have been facing the fact that it is happening again to me with other people in my life.
I'm left feeling like the little girl asking herself What is wrong with me? Why am I not worthy?

Over the years, I have learned to shake that.
And for quite awhile I have felt my new, true self take root.

However, the ghost of my youth is back.
And her heart aches.

She's working it out.
I know she is.
It's an icky, messy, painful process.
My adult mind and body has to act as the vehicle for all of these childhood pains to pass through.

Some of you, who have been reading long enough, know the back story. I've shared as much as I can out here. There is more to the story that I simply cannot find the words for tonight. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next week. I'm just not sure yet.

Joker, I want to thank you for your comment. If you had not said what you said on yesterday's post, I probably would not be doing this one. You read through exactly to what I was trying to say and I found such great comfort in it. Thank you, love. I know that I am not alone.

10/29/07

Cellophane. Shoulda Been My Name.

I'm almost afraid to post this.
No. Scratch that.
I am afraid to post this.

I've put myself out there before in this here spot before with pretty messy consequences.
But I've got to get some of this out in an attempt to clear my mind, in an attempt to work it through and let it go.
I'm hoping that when it's all said and done, I will watch it float away.
A red balloon of my irrational thoughts that I will send out in the void.
I will let them go and watch them float of into oblivion until they are the size of a pinhead and then disappear.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I had a feeling that, after a few quiet days and some physical labor, in the form of intense cleaning and heavy lifting of household furniture, that there would be an internal break.
A flood.
The dams and leveys that have been holding me back were bound to break.

Last night, in bed, it happened.
I broke.
My head ached like I've never had my head ache before.
The pain so intense.
Usually, crying is a bittersweet release.
It only hurt more to cry. Physically hurt.
At one point, I said to Rav
I feel like I am on the brink of madness.

It took me about a half an hour of crying to get out one word.
A half an hour.
To speak but a few words.
To speak the words that I so fought against.
And when I finally had the ability to speak this is what I said ( in a nutshell):
I feel like I am completely forgettable.

Being the nice guy he is and the ever-devoted husband, he of course, argued this.
And it is a nice sentiment. Really. That he says that I am not.
But it doesn't change the fact that someone feels that way.
After an entire lifetime of feeling it.
Some of it may be self-inflicted and as a result/circumstances of an ever-changing life.
Some of it may be my inability to properly cultivate relationships - in real life and out here.
Some of it may simply be residual hauntings of a past life.
Which, despite all of my personal growth and status as a "big-girl", leaves me still feeling it from time to time.

Now don't get me wrong.
I'm airing.
I'm not trying to throw myself a pity party.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

After a few more dull thuds of pain behind my eyeballs and forehead, I managed to get out that I believe this emotional upheaval I've been facing is a direct result of my reiki treatment.
Rav was not pleased to hear me say this. Not in the least bit.

I don't think she did this to me. Quite the opposite. It was there already. But the treatment was like a hot compress to a pimple. It just drew out what was already there.

I began discussing how I feel disconnected from my BFF, from my other close girl-friend, this here blog and the people I've been trying to cultivate relationships with, even Three Dog Night Dad.
I told him how someone once told me the reason people "forget about me" is because I am often too laid back and not demanding enough - I'm not the squeaky wheel.
I'm the one people turn to, IRL, but when it comes time for me to need someone, everyone else has vacated.
And I just hold it all in.
Until the damn breaks.
Which it always does.
And what a mess it makes.

Rav's response to my blubbering purging was that I am fiercely loyal. I am strong, independent - a giver. I give so much of myself and expect so much from myself, so I in-turn, expect a lot from others.
The problem with this, he indicates, is that most people are not willing to give back, equally.

And I see his point.
To a certain extent.

I don't give of myself simply for what I will gain in return.
I don't offer up my loyalties and my friendship hoping to gain any "extras".
I do it because it is me and it is in my heart to do so.
And for no other reasons.

Right now, it is just a lonely place to be.
And I hope that it is just my irrational feelings
that are leaving me with the impressions
of being forgettable.

10/28/07

Sunday Morning Song of the Moment

There is no story. No background.
This song gets me everytime I hear it.
It simply sears straight through me.

And then there are the lyrics.
The lyrics just make sense to me right now.

Crank it up - Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes


10/27/07

Piece By Piece, Little By Little, Bit By Bit

Today we spent the day fall cleaning and moving the computer/desk/filing cabinet out of the livingroom and up to Gracie's old room - which was transformed into the playroom-the-kids-never-use. Now half of Gracie's old room is the playroom. The other half is a "work area" for the two grown-ups in the house.

The weather has been perfect around here for such tasks.
Cold.
Windy.
Rainy.
Fall finally seems to have arrived and it feels wonderful.

Thursday I was supposed to chaperon a field trip to a pumpkin farm with Gracie's preschool class. However, weather not permitting, we got a day at home. Just her & I.
It was spent making up nonsensical Knock-Knock jokes, cuddling, and doing nothing in particular.
I did make a batch of Lentil & Sausage Soup that was heavenly.

I have pulled the heavier blankets out & look forward to slipping under them each & every night.
Despite the pull I felt to veg out in front of the TV last night, I opted instead, to light a few candles, curl up under our most delicious blanket, and listen to the rain falling on our A/C window unit (that we probably won't think to remove until January). I pretended we had a tin roof and fell asleep to the metallic drip-drop! and tried to let my stress wash away with the heavy rain that was falling.

Here are a few snapshots from today:



I wonder how much longer they will enjoy doing this together?


This I think is so precious because of her reflection. Click on it if you would like to see it enlarged.


After spending much of the day cleaning upstairs, I found a brown grocery bag that is especially for food donations that came to us in the newspaper, completely empty. As soon as I began to ask out loud where the cans were, I saw them. I still don't know which of my wee ones did this, but something about it touched my heart. And I don't really know why.



I don't know why I was inspired to take this. But looking at all of the colors of all of the thread I own makes me feel....hopeful.



I don't know what else to say about this picture. I just think it is darling.
Hope you all are having a great weekend!




10/26/07

Advice From The Ever-Wise Fortune Cookie

Constant grinding can turn an iron rod into a needle.

Yup. That about sums it up.

10/24/07

Self-Involvement Is Hitting An All-Time High

For one reason or another, I haven't written about issues or topics that have been weighing on my mind.
Despite the fact that there are usually many.

I am so wrapped up in the fog that is in my mind and permeating every cell that I cannot even begin to tackle other subjects.
Something has happened to me in the past week and a half.

I'll be damned if I could tell you what it is/was.
All I know is that there is a general discontent,
as well as,
a general goo that has slung itself to my very being.

I feel like I have been feeling like this for way too long.
And I just can't take it anymore.

Reading a blog is like scaling Mt. Everest.
Having energy to just get through the day is unheard of.
Patience?
Gone.

I cannot step outside of this funk long enough to enjoy the good things
or wrap my heart around the not-so-good things.

I'm searching myself and looking back trying to find out what exactly
happened.

And nothing has come to me as of yet.

I know that I have been rather cut-off socially due to the demands of part-time preschool teaching and my full-time student status.
I have not given of myself out here
or in real-life.
Other then in the occupations and roles that I have to employ.

My soul has not been fed.
And I feel it.

Could it be possible that my little old soul has a cold?

What do you think?
Do you believe that a soul/a person's essence can suffer from a "cold"?

I have to say that, right now, I am a believer.

10/21/07

Sunday Morning Song of the Moment

Certain songs/albums define periods of time.
And when I hear them I am instantly transported back to that time.
Often, I can smell the smells that I associate with that moment in time,
I can recall instantly how I was feeling, the vibe of the environment around me.

I know that you guys probably have experienced this too.

Within the past week, I have heard this one song two times. And I haven't heard the song in quite awhile.
When I heard it, I was transported instantly.

I was transported to the infantile stages of my courtship with Rav.
The stage where all we had was time together and little responsibility.
Our time was our own.
And most of that time was spent in bed.
Talking for hours on end.
And that talking would, of course, lead to other things.

The constant vascilation between deep, heartfelt conversations
and an even deeper physical connection is what comes to mind when I hear the following song.
And the entire Parachutes album by Coldplay is best easily described as the soundtrack of these days.
The seeds of the famiglia de Ravioli were planted at this time and took root.
Connor was, quite possibly, made to one of the songs on this album.

Enjoy Don't Panic by Coldplay

******on a side note, one more final to go. papers have all been turned in. and i will be able to resume my normal lurking, reading, commenting activities.******

10/18/07

The Sacred Place Slowly Fades Away

**continued from the previous post**

I begin to speak.
And the first few things I say are
This was amazing!
It was so intense.

K says Oh, good! I'm so glad!

She says a lot of people have told me that they often feel intoxicated or high during the treatment. And she asks me if I felt that way.
I explained to her that yes, in fact I had felt incredibly dizzy. But as quickly as it came, it vanished.
She asks if there is anything else I would like to share.
I tell her Yes & that she'll probably think I am nuts.
To which she ensures me that she won't.

I begin to explain what happened with my lower back.
This information she finds very interesting.

She begins to explain that I ...took in a lot of energy.
I look at her, slightly alarmed, and ask if this is a bad thing.
She says no, it just means that I needed it.
(I half-way want to ask her if she is exhausted at all, but decide against it).

K then begins to say that while she is applying her treatment, she tries to meditate as well and if she is prompted by an energy or thought, she just follows it.
During the treatment she was prompted to add only one stone to my body - the pink onyx.
She says that the pink onyx symbolizes love - and that she doesn't know why she was prompted to use this stone, but she was.

She also begins to tell me that when she was holding my right hand, she felt like there was a goal or something that I would like to accomplish, but that something is standing in my way. Something is holding me back.
And she asked that whatever it is that is impeding my progress to be removed.

I thanked K and she left the room to wait for me.

I sat in the silence of the room.
The energy shifted from when I had walked in to the now.
I sat on the edge of the table, rubbing my head and my face, and just breathing deeply for a few more times before I had to head back out to the world.
I looked up and straight ahead from where I sat was a picture.

The picture was of a fantasy-type genre, and the artist made use of earthy tones.
It was dark in appearance - blacks and all shades of browns and golden hues.
There was a mermaid sitting on a rock, on the edge of a shore.
She had the most, haunting eyes. They went straight through me.
She looked peaceful, content.
Yet there was something else in the eyes that I can't quite define.
In her arms, she held a baby.
The baby's head was turned in the opposite direction - burying itself in it's momma's chest, if you will.

When I saw this picture, actually saw it, I felt like I had been hit in the head, physically punched. It was a physical reaction.
And I began to sob.

This wasn't a bad thing.
I believe it was just a release from the treatment.

However, there is something to this picture.
There is something that resonates with me.
To feel such a powerful reaction to it.

I feel awkward talking about this picture.
And to be perfectly honest, this is the first time I am speaking of it.
I have not recounted the experience to anyone yet.
Until now, that is.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The energy shift between the room within and the room outside
is unbelievable.

Despite the overwhelming emotions, it is was so totally worth it.

I made an appointment to go back next month & strongly recommend everyone treat themselves to a reiki treatment.

I have to remind myself to tell my stepmom, Eileen that this was probably one of the best birthday gifts anyone has ever gotten me.

10/16/07

A Trip To The Sacred Place

When I walk through the door, I become awash in soothing smells.
A mixture of a subtle oil and maybe a slight whiff of coconut.
The air has a hint of smokey smell and ambiance to it.
It's not overwhelming and it is just barely noticeable.
Possibly from the candles that sprinkle the room.

The room is dark, comforting, warm.
It is a room I fear I don't want to leave.
It is almost uterine - in that it feels like the safest and most comfortable of all rooms.

Ethereal pictures are on each and every wall.

Each detail of the room makes itself known on its own due time.

The music, which has been playing all along, decides to make its entrance into my slowly de-clouded and de-cluttered mind.
It has soft beats, soothing panflutes dance their way into my ears and weaving and winding its way into every pore and cell.

K says to me in a voice that meshes with the whole vibe of this room in such a perfect way, to have a seat, remove my shoes and socks, and to hop up onto the table.

She instructs me to lay down.

And she guides me through deep, cleansing breaths.
I inhale deeply through my nose
and
exhale every ounce of breath through my mouth.

It is so quiet.
And my breathing seems as loud as an elephant sneeze in this peaceful, modest room.

K guides me through meditation
and leads me to my sacred place.
Where she leaves me feeling content and happy.

Suddenly I become intoxicatingly dizzy.
I feel very much like I have the dreaded, drunken room spins.
I think to myself if I feel like this the entire time I am here I will probably get sick.
Then
as quickly as it came
it was gone.
And I felt a slight nudge on my lower back that seemed to originate from the table.


By this time, I am so far gone that the only way I know she is there is that I feel the warmth of her hands touch my head and this inspires a memory or a thought.
She cups my ears and these memories and feelings become so intense.
I well up with tears.
She moves her hands to hold my shoulders
and the tears stop.
And one lonely tear escapes and makes its descent down my cheek.

K moves to my abdomen and then quickly walks away.
She returns and places a stone on my stomach.
I only know this by my sense of touch.
She then places a stone under my left hand.

After she places her hands on my stomach, she begins a gentle rocking motion on my mid-section.
This movement, though subtle and gentle, feels so perfectly right.
And again, I am blissfully happy and free as I travel through my sacred place.
The place I miss so much.
The place of my childhood.
The place I will always think of as home.

She makes her way to my knees and my feet.
She returns to my left hand, she keeps the stone in my hand and presses her hands on my hand.
And does the same with my right hand.

K sits down in her chair and politely tells me that I may begin to slowly open my eyes and sit up at my own leisure.
And she will wait with her head bowed and eyes closed
until I am ready to talk.

I do this slowly...
and she looks at me with expectant, excited eyes.

10/15/07

HELLO, Hello, hello

I swear I'm still here.

No, really I am.

I just need to get through this week.
Just this week.

I can put a few research papers behind me.
And a couple of finals....
Then I'll be good to go.

I'll be able to visit you all and sprinkle my little comments over your way.
In the meantime, I'm missing you and am visiting when I can.

10/14/07

Sunday Morning Song of the Moment

If you haven't noticed yet, most of the songs I pick fall into one of two categories.
One being:
*usually autumnal or a bit slow - melancholy, if you will.
*or have a significant meaning for me.

Sometimes the songs fall into both categories.
Other times, it is simply something new that I'd like to share.

Today I am picking this song for no particular reason.
It is not new and does not have an emotional significance.

I'm picking it simply because it is a great song.
And every time I hear it, I get chills.

Today's song is I've Been Loving You by Otis Redding.
(and everytime I hear 'Otis', I hear Duckie from Pretty In Pink talking about Otis in my head. Inflection and all.)

10/12/07

Something's Happening Here.... a post by Rav

The County that we live in has a population of just over 500,000 people. It is also the most affluent County in our State. Since September 24th, 2007, there have been 9 reported attempted abductions of children in our County. All of which have been within a 20 mile radius of our home. I say reported, because I do not doubt that some, for one reason or another, have not been reported. I also do not doubt that some were stopped prior to occurring. The police believe that most of these attempted abductions are not related, that is to say, that they were perpetrated by different individuals. In some instances, the individuals attempted to lure the children with words, in others, they attempted to physically abduct the children. Some of the attempts were interrupted by bystanders, and in one, the child was able to break free from the grip of her would be abductor. In many of the cases, there were reports made to the police of suspicious people/vehicles in the area in the days prior to the incidents. Now, I am not attempting to imply that the police are not doing their job. There is only so much that they can do. As far as I know, all of the would be abductors have gotten away. This is not due to the failure of police, or the failure of people to report suspicious behavior. The type of person who is attempting to abduct a child, is more than likely not going to do it on a whim. They are predators. They stalk their prey, and they are methodical. They wait until the best opportunity to strike. They take our boys, and our girls everyday, everywhere. Open your eyes! All it may take to stop one of these predators is to pick up the phone when you see something strange. It does not hurt to contact your local police department with a concern, and you may be able to stop something tragic.

10/11/07

Autumnal Healing

Well, autumn has finally made her grand entrance to little old Delaware.
It is chilly, rainy, and a slight wind is kissing the leaves.
It is pushing them down the road in a skitter-skat motion.
Just barely nudging them along.

And it is delicious.
I love this weather.

To top it all off, I am heading to the small town where my Dad & Eileen live.
Eileen is treating me to my first reiki treatment today.
I am so excited.

After my treatment, we're going to have dinner together. Just the two us.

Maybe the treatment will cure my writer's block.
Then again, maybe no.
But my skin is itching in anticipation.

10/10/07

The Better Half

Flutter did a post about her boy after being tagged by Kyla.
And Flutter was kind enough to tag anyone who read it to participate.
As is the usual lately, I am stumped on something to write about, I jumped all over it.

*****************************************
1. Who is your man?
Known in certain circles as Ravioli - or Rav. More commonly as Bryan.

2. How long have you been together?
We've been together for 6 years.



gawd, look how thin and young we looked. that was from when we first started dating.

3. How long did you date?
Before getting pregnant? Um, 4 months.
Before getting married? 2 years.
We knew that we were it for each other pretty early.
He knew before I did.
Well. That's not entirely true.
I was fighting it.





4. How old is your man?
27 years old & he rubs it in every chance he gets that I am older than him.

5. Who eats more?
That is just too close to call. We both can pack it away.

6. Who said "I love you" first?
My guess would be that it was Rav. Honestly, sitting here right now I can't remember.
(i'm terrible, i know)

7. Who is taller?
Considering we are both Hobbits I find this an amusing question.
Rav is taller though. By about 3 or 4 inches.
(he is so going to comment because of this answer)

8. Who sings better?
Rav without a doubt. Totally.
He may make up his own lyrics to songs. He may be ahead of the beat 9 times out of 10.
But dude can sing.

9. Who is smarter?
Hmmm. I think it's pretty even there.



10. Whose temper is worse?
Mine.
Mine.
Mine.
Though, when Rav really gets mad, he blows. Must of the time, it's pretty tough to ruffle his feathers.
I got every ounce of Irish temper left behind by my ancestors.




11. Who does the laundry?
We both do. It's a large task, laundry is in this household. It generally takes the both of us to tackle putting it all away & we each try to stay on top of making sure things get in the washer and dryer.

12. Who takes out the garbage?
We both do. When one forgets, the other remembers to lug the trash can to the curb.

13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed?
Rav does. Though we tend to mix it up every so often.

14. Who pays the bills?
Pretty much me.

15. Who is better with the computer?
Rav. Totally. I've got absolutely no skills. Ask Slackermommy. She'll tell ya!

16. Who mows the lawn?
Mainly me. Rav might once or twice a season. But mainly me.

17. Who cooks dinner?
Primarily me. Rav might cook up a box of mac 'n' cheese for the kids now and again. But the majority of the cooking is done by yours truly.

18. Who drives when you are together?
Again, primarily me.
And again there are exceptions. But most of the time it is me. So much so that on the rare occasions that when Rav does take the wheel, the kids beg for Mommy to drive.



19. Who pays when you go out?
I think this is a sort of weird question just because all of our money is pulled together in the same pot. I don't consider either of our wages "mine" or "his". It is "ours". He may actually, physically pay the bill. But we both contribute monetarily.

20. Who is most stubborn?
HA! HA! HA!
He is certainly stubborn. Totally.
But I think I've got him beat by just a smidge.

21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong?
Me. Rav might be wrong more often. Yeah. That sounds good.

And in all seriousness, even when he knows he is wrong he'll fight it & fight it until you produce proof otherwise.

22. Whose parents do you see the most?
We see my mom and stepfather more often than my dad or his parents.

23. Who kissed who first?
It was mutual, I think.
But I think I initiated it.
You'll have to ask him for that story.

24. Who asked who out?
Rav asked me out.
He thought he was so money.
He thought he was kicking mad game.
It was pretty bad.
But he had his charm about him despite his shaky game.

25. Who proposed?
He asked me to marry him, but the whole act of becoming engaged was a mutual effort.



26. Who is more sensitive?
Once again, we both are very sensitive people.
Though I would venture to say that I am a bit more sensitive.

27. Who has more friends?
I would say that it is probably me.

28. Who has more siblings?
Rav. He has three older brothers.

29. Who wears the pants in the family?
Yours truly.


(I picked this picture because it is from far away & you can barely see my face. For whatever reason, I am becoming less and less photogenic. But is a pic from this past weekend in Baltimore. And it illustrates the fact that I do wear the pants in the family.)

Oh, and go for it if you feel so inclined.

10/9/07

Teach Your Children Well

Set the scene:
Late Saturday evening, after we all came back home from a grown-up time in Baltimore and the kids having grandparent time. Rav & I begin bedding down for the night.

We were chatting and canoodling and just generally being cutesy before bed.

And Action!
We heard Connor get out of bed and make his way into the bathroom.
We stopped our little flirtation to listen and we heard Connor began to expell his stream.
And as this happened there was an unusual um, tone to it.
We both look at each other and mirrored identical looks and passed identical thoughts:
That doesn't sound good.

Rav jumps up and heads into the hallway to find a stream of pee followed by a puddle.

The stream is making it's way from the doorway of the chilun's bedroom, making a vast arc, and collecting in a pool on the hallway floor.

There is our son, with his pants around his ankles in all his glory.
Really, there was nothing left to do but let him finish at that point.

Rav asks Connor with a hint of exasperation and alarm in his voice
Buddy!? What are you doing?!
To which Connor replies as he begins to sob a little
Gracie told me to do it!!!!

Meanwhile, Gracie is entrenched in slumber.



Rav cleans things up as I sit laughing from the bed.
This did not amuse him at all.
And obviously, it wasn't the bathroom that we heard Connor walking to. Just his doorway which in his dazed state must resemble a toilet.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Sunday we made our way down to see Three Dog Night Dad, Eileen, and my brothers.
Half-way there, Connor says to me
Mom. I didn't know that your brothers were around when Mimi and Pop-Pop were married.

I said They weren't around Connor. I was the only one.
Curiousity grips him firmly and he says
Well how did Uncle Kenny & Uncle Ian become your brothers?

I explained plainly Well. When Mimi & Pop-Pop were done being married, Pop-Pop met Mom-mom and married her.....
and as I begin to explain that my brothers are my brothers because we share the same dad, Connor breaks in with this:

OH!!!! I see. It was a switch-off marry.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Connor comes home from school on a daily basis with a worksheet that is broken down into two parts. The top part has four empty boxes to draw in and the bottom part is where the practice the letter they are working on that day.

Yesterday, the class worked on the letter 'T'.

I saw that he had drawn a turtle.

He had even written our last name, which has two T's in it.

He drew a train.

And the last picture was less recognizeable.

I ask Connor to identify for me the picture he had drawn.

He clucked a little and says It's a toilet!!!

10/8/07

How My Heart Behaves

I truly believe that certain events happen and certain people walk in or out of our lives for specific reasons. We don't always know what they are, but it happens. Sometimes it is subtle sometimes more profound.

I am a firm believer in this.

For example, this morning I got up and made my way straight to the computer (which I usually don't do), I went straight to my blog, and clicked on Oh, The Joys link in my sidebar. There was virtually no thought in it. It was as if I was on autopilot. It was just something I felt like I had to do before I did anything else.
I read her post and thought to myself Thank god I did this. I am so glad I didn't wait any longer.
Granted that her world would not collapse in on itself because she hadn't heard from me yet.
But
I felt that it was so important for me to acknowledge what is going on over her way right now.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

We were in Baltimore this past weekend and not long after we had arrived and began walking our way to the venue, I saw a woman on the opposite side of the street who appeared like she needed some assistance. She was well-dressed, carrying a big purse. And she was standing in the middle of the sidewalk, slouched forward. I couldn't take my eyes off of her. She would stumble and sway. I kept waiting for her to just fall right over. People would walk by her and look with puzzled expressions and move on their way.
Included in those people were me, Rav, and the two other people we were with.

I spotted a security guard and was going to alert her to the condition of this woman.
But something else took hold of me and I did not do it.
All night and all of the next day, I would see the woman pop up in my mind's eye and I felt this terrible brick in my stomach for not doing something.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Those of you who have been reading for some time know that I was helping people that I was running into for quite awhile. And my safety may have been jeopardized at one point or another.
And I struggled with how I could do what needed to be done & not be stupid or unsafe.
This problem was compounded even more by the fact that I felt it was happening for a reason.
I felt that I was crossing paths with these individuals for a very specific purpose.

And the thing that I have realized is this:

It feels way worse for me to not do anything and be "safe".
It's this nasty, hard, thick brick in my stomach.

The whole diffusion of responsibility mentality that just doesn't sit well with me.

I think it way worse to not act. To shrug my shoulders and turn my head, close my eyes and
a)hope that the next person who comes along will help.
or
b)be completely cold, empty-hearted, and oblivious.

It's not my style and it just plain old does not feel good.
It feels inherently wrong.

It is a moral issue with me.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I know that I can't cure poverty or eradicate the use of highly addictive drugs.
I know that I cannot cure every ailing soul.
For every one person I help, there is an infinite line of people behind them.
I know that my bagged lunches, my $1 here and there do not solve the world's problems.
I know this. I do.
And I know that it is important for the people who care for me know that I am safe.

However, I know that it is not in me to continue to turn a blind eye.
I simply cannot do it. It doesn't feel right.

And that is just how my heart behaves.

10/7/07

Sunday Morning Song of the Moment, by Rav

Today, my baby turns 29. We had a great time in Baltimore this weekend, attending the Paolo Nutini concert. Some of you have asked, and no, we do not live in Baltimore. We are about an hour from there. I will leave exact details of the weekend for Tabba to post at a later date, but I must say one thing. Those of you who thought that Paolo was hot, I regret to inform you that I have seen him in person, from about 15 feet away. He is one of the ugliest men I have seen. I really mean that too. U-G-L-Y, he ain't got no alibi.... Anyway, today's song is a song that is special to me and Tabba. It was our wedding song, and has always been a song that we enjoyed. This is not the original version of this song. It has been covered by a very handsome guy, unlike Paolo Nutini. Anyway, enjoy It's Your Love, originally performed by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, here performed by this highly attractive guy, who sometimes sings flat, and off key....



I love you Tabba, happy birthday!

10/4/07

The Streets of Baltimore & Scads of Lovely Women

**Edited**
Edited to correct the link to Oh the Joys. She is raising two of the funniest, wild, entertaining kids on the face of the planet. Previously the link took you to the Online Bible College. Sorry :)

Tomorrow evening Rav & I head off with our two friends, Jon & Jess for an evening of adult interaction, and good music at this venue in Baltimore.
Oh, I just cannot wait.

Liv, I will be thinking of you and will be sure to pass on your pertinent info should he ask me if I know any hot, single yoga instructors.


So I will be scant around here this weekend as we partake in the celebration of my impending 29er-dom.
That being said, I promised you a thought. And I've had quite a few, if you can believe it or not. And I want to honor that promise before we head off for our celebratory weekend.


As I was saying, I was out at a musical production which was written by a woman about women. And while part of it might have been a little over-the-top for me, the basic message was one that I can certainly appreciate. Not to mention, as I've stated, I found myself thinking of all of you.
As the show went on and the various stories of each character was told, I thought of you all and the struggles and triumphs you all face on a daily basis.
Some of you are battling a problem that seems almost impossible to fix.
Some of you are simply exhausted and have had your plate full for far too long, but still full of grace and humor.
Some of you are starting over and doing it in a way that I admire.
Some of you are so busy & I miss your voice. But think of you daily.
Some of you are debratting your kids.
Some of you are raising two of the funniest, wild, entertaining kids on the face of the planet.
You have an amazing voice and give a beautiful voice to autism.
You give me the much needed chuckle and I admire the incredibly hard work you do.
I admire what you do for a living and in your views on raising your children.
I long for your insight into living greener.
I just love the two of you and your stories, your insights, your knowledge of literary things.
Yours is a voice that resonates with me and that I long to hear everyday.
I often find myself thinking of you and am anticipating what issue or topic you are tackling today. I admire your sense of community and your honesty.
I would chose you for my doc any old day of the week and twice on Sunday.
I love your writing and your guts. I am thinking of you.


The list could go on. And just because you're not listed here is certainly not meant to slight. Because believe me, I was thinking of you all.

I Will Survive was a song that was played during the musical and I got all choked up thinking of you all. Thinking of your lives...where you have been, the things you have shared, and the journeys yet to come.
And I was grateful, truly grateful that there are so many wonderful, wonderful, amazing women out there.
We are amazing creatures, we women. We endure, we change, we are flexible, we are strong, we are weak, we love, and long to be loved. And you all shine.


I don't think I'm saying everything I would like to say here, but I think you get the picture.
I am all the better for you all. Even in this completely open, yet 2-D way.
I am all the better
as is the world.
For you are all in it.
And that makes me so happy it brings me to tears during a musical.
(Just for those of you wondering. No, I am not PMSing :) )

10/3/07

OH! Look! A Meme!!

So the meme type of question/answer thing is making it's way 'round again. And I jumped at the chance to have Liv ask me a question or 5...Take a gander below. And if you would like me to ask you five questions give a holler in the comment.

1) So sometimes I am kind of a distracted reader... oh, look! a bird! What's with the midterms, etc?
I have been in & out of the halls of higher education for ten years. Including jumping between three majors (education, horticulture, and (now) Behavioral Science) with still no degree to show for it.
I came to the realization that my kids won't be little forever, that it's getting harder and harder to "make it", and I need something for ME when the kids are both in school all day. So I decided to head back to college.
This year marks my second full year and a degree program that suits me perfectly.
The classes I take are called block classes. They are one night a week, for five hours, and only 7 weeks. So I take two classes the first half of the semester, two classes the second half and I am still considered a full-time student. It works perfectly for our crazy lives as it doesn't pull me away from home & the kids constantly. 7 weeks and Poof! class is done.
This past Saturday was my first midterm for this block and Monday evening was my other midterm for my other class.
So that's the 4-1-1 on that :)

2) You've talked about life with a child who has an ASD. How are things going? How has your view of the diagnosis changed over time?
Things are going very well. Some of the sensory processing issues that Connor has had are not as intense and I have noticed a decrease in his anxiety. That, I think, is in large part due to the fact that he is in school all day. I do not provide the amount of structure that he requires. That's just the reality of being home.
My view of the diagnosis has changed in the sense that I don't believe that Connor is ADHD. I believe he may have something else that just has been masked by similar symptoms of ADHD. I also have changed my view in regards to the fact that I see this as a wonderful Ability. His mind is so wide open to so many other things.
Though he is so literal and often rather serious, he has abilities that are just simply amazing. And I feel that this wiring of his makes that possible.

3) You say you think you're an "old soul." I'm not doubting you, but would love to know what's new?
Wow. This is a tough one. I'd say that the stability that I've had in the last 5 years or so is new. The fact that I am grounded and not as afraid of myself anymore. I'm not afraid of the things I want to accomplish, my inner desires for myself, and a general acceptance of myself. I still struggle with it. But I was such a lost soul for awhile. And I'd say being grounded is new.

4) When I first started reading you, you were in the middle of a spree of helping folks everywhere you went to the point that a few of us were a little concerned. Have you managed to find safe and constructive ways to let your inner helper light shine safely?
Well, maybe. I haven't seen as many people (in the flesh) around that need help like I kept seeing there for awhile. It seemed like for a month or so they just kept cropping up - walking directly into my path. And I felt like it was happening for a reason.
But to better answer your question, I try to round up coats and shoes around this time of year for a shelter in the one large city in our state.
I've been giving small monetary contributions (what I can afford) to a couple of meaningful causes.
I've been toying with an idea of starting a recurring shoe/coat/clothing donation at the preschool where I work and have been trying to make a contact with my Soc. teacher who may be able to point me in the direction of resources who would be in need of such donations.
I inquired about a volunteer organization that tutors at-risk children with literacy and am trying to find a way to fit that into our schedules.
I feel that this helping part of me is being utilized everyday in the preschool with these wee ones that look to me to guide and teach.
And lastly, trying to talk to my kids about helping and being a good citizen. Connor came home the other day talking about a boy, T, who is a student in the school that adjoins Connor's for the severely disabled. Connor apparently got to go down to that school and spend a 1/2 hour with the kindergartners and hung out with T. T is in a wheelchair and only has movement of his head and no speaking ability. Connor was so intrigued and empathetic. I've been talking with him about it and asked him if we would like to see T again. To which he happily replied "yes". So that, I feel, is one way to perpetuate the process.

5) What does Mrs. Incredible do for exercise? We know she's flexible, but if she's stretched to the limit we need to get her to lay off the isometric work-outs.
Mrs. Incredible has let excercise fall by the wayside. I was mountain biking on a regular basis. However I quickly got bored of that once I lost the person I was riding with. I didn't lose her in the woods or anything. She just moved on.
This summer, I was very active working in my yard and would consider that exercise. But it didn't last very long.
Again, this is something else that I have been trying to figure out a way to work it into my daily schedule. I feel so much better when I'm active, so I need to get on it.
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And just when you thought there was nothing else left to learn, I found this meme on Maigh's blog and promptly stole it. But she said I could. So it's OK.
If you're interested, go ahead and copy/paste it & bold those which you have done.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36.Danced like a fool and didn’t care who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Gotten flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Passed out cold
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life
Last night, I went out with a group of women to see a musical written by a woman.
A musical that was about a group of women reliving the "old days" and therefore cementing the bonds of their sisterhood.

As I sat in the audience, I found myself thinking of all of you. Wondering if you could feel me sending vibes across this country and making it's way into other countries. I wondered if you could feel that someone out there was thinking of you.

During the musical an idea for a post came to mind.
And I found myself elated and relieved.

Then I came home to find out this had happened.
And I thought to myself that there is no way that I could justify writing about anything other than this.

If you haven't already, please go visit Jenn.
Please offer her your kind words and condolences.
Let's all go in peace today and do the best we can to keep each other safe.

10/2/07

When I Come Around

Mid-terms and other daily necessities are keeping me away from blogging and commenting.

Thoughts are starting to free themselves from the mental glue and quicksand that have been keeping them trapped inside.
I think they will flow forth soon.

Tomorrow I have the day off. And I am anticipating a new post tomorrow over an early morning cup of joe.

So until then....

9/30/07

Sunday (Morning) Song of the Moment

** Edited**
I removed the original youtube video of this song that I had posted after I discovered that it did not contain the entire song....I added a better youtube version.

So sorry this one is a wee late. Today was spent in the delights of crisp blue skies, a quick nip on the skin from just the slightest bite of cold in the morning air.
The air smelled of possibility.

We took the kids to our favorite diner. The kids ate well.
Rav dove into some Pumpkin pancakes that were to die for.

If you were to ask me, at the age of 21, if I saw myself with two kids and a husband at 28, I probably would have wrinkled my nose,shrugged my shoulders and said
You just never know.

I try to, on a daily basis understand this world we live in.
I struggle with trying to make sense of, not necessarily for myself anymore, but for these two precious souls who are in my care.

I've been looking back lately, smiling and nodding at accomplishments and personal growth.
I sometimes cringe at the car wrecks I've found myself involved in.
I remember on more than one occasion wondering if I'd ever make it through.
And I always have.

Sure I might have a few battle scars - visible and not.
And for all that I have learned, there is still so much more to learn.

I'm itching for the journey ahead, whatever that may be.
Knowing me and the way things go
it'll be one amazing, scary, wild, and completely enjoyable ride.

I hope you enjoy the song. It's nothing newly discovered or obscure.
On The Road to Find Out ~ Cat Stevens
It just fits right into a quiet little spot in my heart and mind right now.
And I just thought I'd share.

I hope you all are enjoying this early fall, day.


9/27/07

Mental Mute

I have so much and so little to say.

When I envision myself opening up my mind and my mouth to talk about what is pushing the insides of my brain to their capacity, I see an almost Shel Silverstein-esque image.
Wonky words and letters heaped up on their sides and upside-down in a
cumbersome, bulky regurgiated mess.
How is that for a visual?

I cannot think of an interesting story to share.
I cannot think of a topic to bite into.

But yet my mind is just so full.
I want to share.
I want to lay down thoughts and ideas and hear all of your voices respond in the comments.

Tomorrow is another day.

9/26/07

A Nine Pound Hammer Or A Woman Like You

I wish I had more to offer in the way of thoughts.
But right now, I've got nothing.

Instead my heart is hanging out with Jen, Deb, and Tricia.

And I'm sure that others out there are aching too. And my heart is with them.

Please help me in lifting up these women who, on more than one occasion, have lifted us up as well.

That's all.