Mrs. Incredible Ponders Persona

I started this little blog this past July. I had a little blip whereby I deleted the whole blog, with some pretty good posts, by accident and had to start all over. No big deal.
But I went into this because, after staying home with two wee ones for 2 years, I needed something for me.
I saw some of the mommy blogs out there. Some of them were really good & I enjoy(ed) reading them. Some of them were too much for me (and that is OK - that's their thing....not necessarily mine). Since, at that time, really the only thing I thought I had to draw on was, being a mommy, that's mostly what I blogged about. All well and good, I suppose. But as I started typing, and my thoughts and feelings started flowing, the thought occurred to me: why must you only blog about mommy hood? Tab, you are more than just a mom. You can blog about more than just the kids. That hit me like a sloppy, cold, wet lasagna noodle in my face. This space was mine. I could type about pretty much anything I wanted or anything that occurred to me. And as I have many more interests than just one, I took(take) that liberty.
The change sort of just happened. Not that being a mommy isn't important. It certainly is. It's just not the only thing that is important, nor the only thing that defines me. If today, I wanted to talk about...oh, I don't know, soil sedimentation, that's cool. That's what I'll blog about.

Along the way, I've passed blog paths with some pretty cool people. People that I like to relate to, despite differences or vocations. People that make me laugh, make me think, make me happy just by being on their site. And I hope that I've done the same for them. I don't always have the perfect things to say to them about whatever it is they're typing about, but mostly I can, in one way or another relate. I've found support here, within the confines of computer screen pixels.
And I've found a spot where, for the time being, I can be creative. I can be as poetic, dramatic, flighty, human, inhuman, funny, not funny, etc that I want to be.
With that though, I hope that I can relay some of my true personality. The things I type about mean something to me and they do reflect me. I do want to keep this thing real. It is an extension of me. And I do find, that I have to censor certain aspects of a post. I have to sometimes not post about something for one reason or another. Sometimes, things are so important, so close, so raw that I can't find the proper words to do them justice. Even though, in my mind, they're screaming to be let loose - to find their home here - with some of my other thoughts. Maybe in time, I can find the proper form, the proper prose to put them in. Until then, they swim around, a mere fetus of a post, waiting all warm and snug, until I can pop them out into this cold, sometimes cruel world.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I want to stay true to myself. And I find that it can be hard when hit with the reality that a one-dimensional post pops up on a computer screen. Only some of my true self can be reflected. As they are just words, with no intonation, no facial expressions. Any one person can read what I put down here and interpret it and turn it around to mean something that fits into a context with which they'd like to put it. Some people can read it and see straight through to my left ventricle or my frontal lobe. Others will only see spiderwebs or coal. Beauty is in the eye......
This is all the consequence of the written word, I suppose.

I struggle with whether or not a reader can see my heart through some of my posts. If they can tell that I really am human. That I'm not just a machine that instantly and robotically produces prefabbed blither. And then I go back to, well if I do this for me, then why do I even care about that? This is such a public forum, so grow a thick skin or take this whole thing down to the ground. But then the answer comes and it is this: Because you do care, because you have a heart, because you are human.

The road that has led me to this post today, hasn't been a planned one. It just happened. And I'm happy with the fruits so far. And I imagine I'll keep going. So what if, on some days, I don't have the perfect things to say? So what if, I bumble or type for a week about how bad my PMS is? Someone out there is feeling my pain. And that is what this has eventually led to, for me....sharing, empathizing, relating, community. Maybe if we all lived in the same town or city, we'd be typing a paper together, organizing a huge playgroup, working on an agenda for _______ issue, walking in the park, planting a tree, opening an organic fruit & veggie stand. But for now, we share this space. And I just hope that I'm doing it and myself justice.

Let me add here, that this is not meant to be a stroking session......I am merely placing my thoughts as they have come out regarding my blog, my thoughts on how it has come about, etc.

I'd like to hear from you all.....how did your blog start, what was the initial intent? How do you reconcile having to (possibly) censor or hold things back.....Do you question whether or not your true self shines through?


Seoul Food

I swear in another life I was Korean. It's weird. And it's a topic to get into another day, but for now:

Korean food. Mmm, Mmm, Mmm. I just love it.
Especially Gamja Tang.
Especially when it's cold outside.

Gamja Tang translates to potato soup. But essentially it's a spicy pork soup with potatoes and bean sprouts. Yummy.

I got hooked on Gamja Tang in Annendale, VA. with a former (who is Korean). I remember we were in this hole-in-the-wall restaurant. And I was reading the menu. I stopped on Gamja Tang and asked my former if I would like it. He said, "It's a very Korean dish. It's a spicy soup served in a hot pot. There are potatoes and pork. Try it. It's very good for you." I tried it. Oh dear lord, it was so good. I swear my eyes rolled back in my head and my toes curled.

I've had Gamja Tang in Virginia, New York City, and Los Angeles. Each time I ordered it, I got the look. The one that says: look at this little white girl. Ordering this soup. But the proprietors are too polite to say anything.
And it doesn't matter. The stuff is good.

After my former & I had parted company, I was sad. But more sad that he hadn't left me directions on how to get to some of the good Korean restaurants.
Some places I knew how to get to. Like the ridiculously good 'Cow Town' in Flushing, Queens.
Gamja Tang....seemed out of reach. It's not commonly served in most Korean restaurants that I have access to.

Necessity is, indeed, the mother of invention.

In fact, believe it or not, I had forgotten about it. Until I became pregnant with Gracie. I had to have that soup.
I found a recipe on the internet. And figured how hard can this be?
I waddled into our nearest Korean grocery. I bought two hot pots, and all the necessaries for the soup.
The first batch, didn't come out too good. As I forgot the essential Doenjang (fermented soy bean paste).
But each batch I've made since rivals those that I've had from one coast to the other.

It's freezing here in our little state - on the East Coast. And today, I strolled into the Korean grocery and bought up the necessary ingredients for this fine soup.
The sweet Korean lady running the store asked me what I was going to make and I told her. She smiled this big, kind smile, her eyes got big. And she said, Oh, yeah? You make the gamja tang? I told her yes. I love it. I ate it when I was pregnant with my daughter. And she is so strong. She smiled even wider and said, yes. It is very good for you. They say it even help with the cancer. I told her how I had found out every bit of information about the soup in my search for a recipe. She seemed so happy to talk about the soup and just how good it is.

Now, it must be said....I'm stingy about my soup. But I have to share.
I figured since I have bored you to tears writing on and on about the soup, I'd atleast reward you with the "recipe". Recipe is stating it loosely. I'll list the ingredients. But there are no measurements. I basically just use as much as I think is necessary and taste as I go.

Gamja Tang:

Pork ribs (how many lbs. - I haven't the slightest clue. Just go with your gut.)
Potatoes (probaby about 4, quartered or smaller)
Doenjang (again - no clue. But I think for a rather big pot of soup, I use about 1/2 of a big jar)
garlic (??? I love garlic. So, it stands to reason I use a good bit.)
red pepper ( again use your discretion - it's a spicy soup - but you don't need a lot)
green onion (about 3-4)
bean sprouts (the big, white ones - and again, no clue. I usually plop 2-3 good handfuls in)

Boil the pork ribs in water for about 2 hours. And then add potatoes, Doenjang, garlic, red pepper, and green onion. Once all of those ingredients are added, bring the soup back to a boil and add bean sprouts. Simmer until all is cooked through.
Accompany soup with rice.

It has a different flavor. Not many people I've come in contact with that have tried it, care for it. But it is said to have many health benefits and if this sounds like something you might have a hankering for, try it. I firmly believe that it gives my system a boost and a leg-up on warding off infections.
Happy cooking!
Oh and.....it's low in calories. So, that's something.


Sunday Morning Song of the Moment

I get lost in many of the songs that I love. I get lost in the music, the lyrics and the feelings/message. I usually can feel it with every ounce of me and am completely moved by the ones that acutely strike a nerve.

Few songs, make me cry everytime I hear them. But there is one.
The first time I heard it, I blew a kiss and sent it to Connor. He was just a baby when I bought the Home album by The Dixie Chicks. And when I heard this song, it was like someone hit me over the head with a brick. And upon doing so, it was as if they cut open my head, my heart, my once-inhabited womb and placed this song there. Forever to be shared between Connor & I. And seriously, everytime I hear it, I well up. For this song lingers deep and just below the surface. Where all my love resides for my first born.

The song means so much to me (and Rav) that we chose it to play at our wedding for a three-way dance with our baby boy. However, the DJ made a boo-boo and played the wrong song. So, we never got the opportunity to have the three-way dance to that song in a public fashion. But we've had three-way dances with our boy to this song many, many times on the dance floor that is our living room floor, or Connor's bedroom. And that is just as meaningful.

Roll it.......

By: The Dixie Chicks

Dragon tales and the "water is wide"
Pirates sail and lost boys fly
Fish bite moonbeams everynight
And I love you

Godspeed, little man

Sweet dreams, little man
Oh, my love will fly to you each night on angel's wings
Sweet dreams

The rocket racer's all tuckered out
Superman's in pajamas on the couch

Good night moon, we'll find the mouse
And I love you

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh, my love will fly to you each night on angel's wings
Sweet dreams

God bless Mommy and matchbox cars
God bless Daddy and thanks for the stars
God hears "Amen" wherever we are
And I love you

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh, my love will fly to you each night on angel's wings
Sweet dreams


The Noodle Post Makes A Stand

When I started looking up information on creating my own blog, one of the tips a mega-blogger offered up on their site was to stay away from noodle posts.
Does anyone know what a noodle post is?
It's the type of post where you post the most mundane occurrence. In the most mundane language. Very frequently.
Here's an example of a noodle post:

"Today was a great day. I got out of bed, and I walked up and down my steps 35 times. That felt nice. After that, I went to work. When I got home, it was nice out. Since it was nice, I figured I'd plant some flowers. They were pretty. By the time I got done planting flowers, I was pretty dirty and hungry. I washed up and went to get something to eat at Olive Garden. I figured that was pretty fitting since I just planted flowers - so it would be nice to eat at a place with the word garden in it. When I got home, I went to bed. "

Sometimes that's OK.
Sometimes that's all you can come up with.
You're brain is saturated with the mental challenges of the day, and you're searching for something, anything to blog about. So, I understand that.

But day in and day out, the same bland noodles?

Every one's choice to blog is personal. And what you want to blog about is personal, as well. So, while I don't enjoy reading or writing noodle posts everyday of my life. That's an OK choice for some. I can choose to read or not to read. I can choose to write or not to write.

And what I decide to post about is my personal choice. My blog is , and most blogs are, by nature, self-centered. If mine is too much so or too whimsical and that's not your bag, here's a tip: Don't read it.

I enjoy airing out my idiosyncrasies. Openly putting myself out there and logging my self-evaluation. Saying publicly: "Here's where I am today. I was here yesterday. What will tomorrow bring?"
I enjoy the sisterhood that I have met and found here. There are some awesome people out there, who do have a lot of interesting things to say. I may not agree with all of them. But different perspectives are great. And we all even throw a noodle post out there, every-so-often.

The wonderful thing about the community I have found here in bloggy land is that they've helped me work out some of my stuff - my baggage. We are of different backgrounds, different ages, different interests. But we all bring something to the table.
We all have something to say. We all have a voice that needs to be heard. And most of them are kind, caring and compassionate. While it's hard to see our flaws through the computer screen, we have them. And that's what makes us all the more lovely.
But how about, for shits and giggles, we don't say things that are snide, malignant, cruel, invidious and/or deliberately mean? That's just bad form.

I've found that blogging is what I make of it. Like most things in life. I started the blog for me. Self-centered? Yes.
I think the thing that is scariest about the evolution of my blog is that I have come to feel completely comfortable here to lay down all (or most) of my thoughts. I feel here, like I do in my own home.

I'll leave you with these lyrics and call it a day.

I don't spend my time, tryin' to be what I'm not
I don't spend my time, trying' to get what you got
I work at pleasin' me, cuz I can't please you
And that's why I do what I do
My soul flies free like a willow tree
Doo wee Doo wee Doo wee -ee
~Erykah Badu


To Spank Or Not To Spank? That Is The Question.

Yes, that's my big arse....Bry took this lovely shot in the summer.
Objects on your computer screen are
larger they appear.

Growing up in the archaic 1980's, my backwoods, mountain-dwelling family thought it was ok to have a "stick" that was about 1 1/2" thick, with names written on it. The names being that of myself and my cousins. See, our moms were all single-moms, who dropped us off with my grandmother everyday, so we were brought up with our grandmother as a second mom & cousins who were more like siblings.
My grandmother always had it wedged way down deep in the space between the cushion and the side of the chair. If you saw her rooting, you knew you were in for it.
Anyway, that stick scared the bejeezus out of me. I avoided the sting of the stick on my little tooshie at all costs. Now, I wasn't the picture-perfect child/granddaughter/cousin/girl. But, the stick helped me to think more creatively, i.e. sneakily. Whatever I was going to do that was wrong or bad had to be done at just the right moment. And under the perfect circumstances so as not to be seen, heard, caught or inevitably, hit with the stick.
My recollection of events was that I got a "licken" probably once or twice. So, it obviously made quite an impression, as I can't recall for sure how many times I was struck. I was influenced more by the absolute presence of the stick. I'm not sure if that made me a little bit more smart, or a little bit more stupid.

I remember the first time I spanked Connor. I thought I was going to die. I was almost ready to call DYFS on myself. It was totally reactionary. And Connor was pretty little. He kicked me really hard, and without even thinking, I slapped his leg.
Yes, his leg had the tell-tale fingerprints, the redness, and slight welt. I have never felt so awful in my whole entire life.
That being said, I really try not spank my kids. I try to rely more on Behavior Modification and time-outs. I'm the type of parent, whose kid when standing on top of the coffee table, is warned that they may fall, but I'm not going to remove them or spank them. If they fall, they will understand. That's not to say that if something completely and utterly dangerous were going on, I wouldn't intervene. But I'm more of the school of thought that experience is part of the learning process.

It's been in the news lately, that spanking may be outlawed. I'm not really sure how I feel about this.

Take for instance Tuesday. I was speaking with the director of the preschool (who happens to be my dearest, best friend) at pick-up time. Gracie runs away from me toward the parking lot. I call to her to come back. Now she thinks it's a game. I run after her, which makes her even more engaged in the game. She starts to run into the path of an incoming mini-van. I grab tightly a-hold of her arm, give her little, diapered heiney a quick smack. I show her the van, the street, and explain that she could get hurt.
As I walked away, aware that I had witnesses to the spanking, they could see the tag number of my car, if they so wanted to report me.....that I just spanked my child in broad daylight. It wasn't a beating. It was somewhere between a love-tap and a full-on spank. But there were witnesses. And it is quite possible, that I could have offended someone enough for them to point authorities in my direction.

You think I'm crazy? Ravioli has people on his case-load for hitting their kids.

Why I don't condone beating for beatings sake. Or that spankings the main form of discipline, I do find that in the case of immediate danger, a light spank is, or can be, called for.
Maybe I've got it all wrong. I mean, I think the powers-at-be are trying to protect children who are in harm's way.
But what about the rest of us who are just moms and dads who love our kids enough to not want them hit by a car, to touch a hot stove, or to put their fingers in electrical sockets? Does that put us in the criminal category??

Thursday Thirteen

I haven't done this in quite awhile. So, today I thought I would do 13 quotes that I find interesting, helpful or offer up some much needed insight. Happy Thursday to you all!

1) "Modern man believes he is fruitful and productive when his ego is aggressively affirmed, when he is visibly active, and when his action produces obvious results."
-Thomas Merton

2) "We think too small. Like the frog at the bottom of the well. He thinks the sky is only as big as the top of the well. If he surfaced, he would have an entirely different view."
-Mao Tse Tung

3) "Perception is merely reality fixed through the prisms of your soul."
-Christopher A. Ray

4) "You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist."
-Indira Gandhi

5) "Meat makes, and clothes shapes, but manners makes a man."
-Scottish Proverb

6) "Your neighbors vision is as true for him as your own vision is true for you."
-Miguel de Unamuno

7) "These are weighty secrets, and we must whisper them."
-Sarah Chauncey Woolsey

8) "Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is a noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials."
- Lin Yutang

9) "All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions, is called a philosopher."
-Ambrose Pierce

10) "Assumptions allow the best in life to pass you by."
-John Sales

11) "To run away from danger, instead of facing it, is to deny one's faith in man and God, even one's own self. It were better to drown oneself than live to declare such bankruptcy of faith."
-Mahatma Gandhi

12) "There is so much good in the worst of us,
And so much bad in the rest of us,
That it ill behooves any of us,
To say anything about the rest of us."


13) "We hate some persons because we do not know them, and will not know them because we hate them."
-Charles Caleb Colton

And as a finale because it's too good to leave out:

"Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its virtual unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true."
-Martin Luther King, jr.


The Thing I Think I Love Most About Rav

Ravioli is many, many things. He comes from a family who are somewhat tall (tall when you're a hobbit) and thin.
He's short and stocky (yummy).

Ravioli is cool as a cucumber. He's all perspective and reason. He's cool-headed and even-tempered.
(This is fascinating to me because I'm so not that way. I guess that's why we work.)

He is humble and a little cocky. He's silly, funny. He has a great laugh. A smile that makes me feel funny in my tummy and eyes that I want to curl up in and stay awhile. Stay forever.

He stands with me, wraps me in his arms and then sets me free. And as I look back over my shoulder, there he is smiling. He likes watching as I float along and find my way.

He is childlike, but all man.
He makes me laugh, he heals my wounds, he lifts me up and sails choppy seas with me.

He has a hard time finding the broad-side of a bull. It drives me crazy sometimes, but it is endearing. His serenity, his 'sit-back and wait' attitude makes me want to throw a temper tantrum. But most of the time he's 100% correct. He's not afraid to speak his mind or call someone on their stuff. It may not happen at that exact moment. But he will. He's just biding his time. There's something to be said for waiting for the right moment.
I often admire how calm he can be. I've asked him repeatedly what it would take to get him fired up. Then I saw him coaching his kids at a wrestling match.

I heard this man yelling at his team, at one of his wrestlers. I was curious who it was. They sounded so loud, so passionate. I looked in the direction of this booming voice.
It was Rav.
And not only was he yelling, he was pacing, his hand was clenched in a fist and moving across his body in an upward motion. His face was red, his eyebrows furrowed, and I believe he may have let a little spit fly out of his mouth.
My jaw dropped down to the ground.
And I got hot.

Wrestling is somewhat interesting to me. I admire what the kids have to go through physically. The athleticism. It's a sport you do have to be totally devoted to. I attend the matches when I can, try to learn what I can so I can follow Rav through the nuances of the language. I am there to support the team, sure. But the main reason I go, the thing that gets me in the door & sitting on hard-ass bleachers is

Because seeing this super-amped up version of my calm crab is (one of)the thing(s) I think I love most about my serene, cool man.


Tearing Down The Walls From Within

Jen said something to me the other day. And it was a kind, little something. The impact, she's probably not even aware of. And I wanted to yell into my computer speakers, "Jen!! Hey! Can you hear me??? How did you know that this has been on my mind? Ohmygod. Let's talk! I need to bounce some ideas around..." But I can't yell into my speakers. One-way thinking, these speakers. So I just yelled inside my brain in Jen's direction. And made a mental note to take on the subject that I had been too scared to admit on here. However, her comment opened the gate & has made it ok for me to speak publicly about it.

Social causes and History are quite fascinating to me. (Bad)Politics and (Bad)Politicians in general, for the most part, leave a bad taste in my mouth. But I got to thinking awhile back about how to go about making changes. And that I hate to admit it, but one of the only ways to really make some permanent change, to actually hear people is to enter into politics. And then my stomach heaved a little bit & I began to feel a tad nauseous.

I don't see myself as a politician-type. And the thought of politics never entered my mind before. But lately I've been playing around with the notion quietly. You know, to myself.
You will by no means see my name on any ballot come 2008. And I'm not saying this is anything that will come to fruition. But what if it did?
What if?

Then I would be part of a process, a system that I have come to regard as smarmy and disappointing. That the things I hold so dear might disappear because then I would be a politician. Oh, I shudder.

But the thought that I come back to. The thing that I inevitably arrive back at, is that there has to be good leadership out there. There have got to be politicians out there who really do have honest intent and the greater good on their agenda. I mean, it can't be beyond the realm of possibility, can it?

I don't know the answers. I don't know that I would ever join the rank and file of beauracracy. But as I've said before, I do feel the need to become a part of something much bigger than myself that is ready to throw on their boots, toss their clinical, rubber gloves aside and get some grit under their fingernails.

But as I circle around again, I come back to wouldn't it make me a hypocrite?
Then I say to myself but that's where you can make some changes. From within the confines of those paper thin walls.

I just don't know.
What's your take?


Silently Singing Loudly

How is this possible? You ask yourselves. Oh, it is.
It so is.
Explain. You're saying to your computer screen.

Why, thanks for asking me to explain. Explain I will. Just follow me here.

Right now, I'm reading two books. Technically 3. These are just my pleasure reading books. I am reading The Time Traveler's Wife, On Beauty, and the curious incident of the dog in the night-time. I'm not too far along in The Time Traveler's Wife because I am reading the curious incident.... for a book club meeting on January 30th. And On Beauty has taken a backseat to the aforesaid books and to school.
I seriously digress.

As I have been reading the curious incident.... it has occurred to me that I may be Autistic. And I'm not saying that to be crude, mean, demeaning or insensitive. But I see some definite similarities in my lines of thinking. It also has given me great insight into some of Connor's thought processes. He was not diagnosed with Autism, but some of his Sensory stuff falls in the Autism spectrum.
I would like to share this book with my mom who works with an Autistic adult.

That got me thinking about what someone would think if they just walked off the street and into my house & caught me at the computer. See, the computer is in our livingroom. When I'm sitting at the computer, my back is to our front door.
When Ravioli is watching TV or playing Playstation and I am on the computer, I plug in the headphones, do my thing on the 'net & listen to my playlist.
I crank the music out. But I can't sing out loud. That would be embarrassing for me. And excruciating for Rav.
So I find myself rocking in a 'dancing' motion all over the place in the computer chair, grooving my head all over the place, banging my hands to the beat of the music, moving my feet in tapping motions and mouthing the words to all of the songs.
Quite a sight to behold.

So, imagine one's surprise if they didn't know me. And saw me gyrating like that. They would have to think that something is just not quite right.
And well, frankly it's not. I'm a certified nutter. I've made my peace with it. And obviously so have you....for you read my stuff. You visit me here and know that I'm a bit wonky.

But seriously....what a sight that must be. I almost wish that I could float above my body, to see what kind of spectacle I am making of myself.
And then I wonder what Rav must think as he sees me out of the corner of his eye, doing the Elaine dance in the computer chair. I wonder if he's scared, amused, bemused or makes a mental note to himself to call the local psych. hospital. First.thing.in.the.morning.

I wish that I could sing as I sit here....But I Can't.
Though, these times when I'm forced to become mute, and dance from the top of my head down to my tapping feet, I feel the music a lot more, when I have to rely on my body to do the singing.
I'm almost convinced that if you really paid attention, you could figure out the song by watching my body. Because usually one part is "playing" the bass line, another lead guitar, another rhythm guitar, my head and/or feet generally plays percussion, my torso seems to follow the horns if there are any and if you could read lips that would be a great help too, as I'm generally mouthing they lyrics.

So, that's how I silently sing music loudly.
And contemplate the fact that my thought processes seem a lot like Christopher Boone's in the book the curious incident....
And if someone walked in my house and saw me at the computer, they'd have to agree that I'm just a little off.

And this crazy, rambling post is just one more piece of evidence for the jury.

Sunday Morning (but now it's afternoon) Song of the Moment

This one's for You & You and yeah, even You.....

I don't know about you all, but it seemed as though for quite awhile that I enjoyed living in a constant state of confusion. I had so many questions and got so few answers. I tried to force my way into a "normal" life. Despite forces pulling me in other directions. I was trying to decide my path. I couldn't figure out why relationships failed, why I couldn't figure out my purpose and why things in my life seemed to implode in on themselves.

But when I finally stopped pulling against the tides, the forces and the winds and finally learned to shut up for a second, it all fell into place(for the most part). I'm still trying to figure some things out. But in a much quieter way.
I've noticed that if you just sit still and be quiet it's much easier to hear the answers. For some reason, though, it's such a hard concept to grasp. I find that we waste a lot of time and energy on where we think we should be or what we think we should be doing. And just because we think those things, doesn't necessarily mean that's how it's supposed to work out - despite all of our efforts.

The following song, I feel just embodies that whole way of thinking. And for some reason, everytime I hear this song I instantly think of the book The Tao of Pooh.
It doesn't matter how many questions we have. We'll go searching. And we may think we have found them. Some paths are straight and narrow, others are a bit more meandering and winding. But life is about the journey, not necessarily the destination. And in the quiet, in the silence is when we do finally become Closer To Fine.

Closer To Fine
By: The Indigo Girls

I'm trying to tell you somethin' about my life
Maybe give me insight between black and white
The best thing you ever done for me
Is to help me take my life less seriously, it's only life after all
Well the darkness has a hunger that's insatiable
And the lightness has a call that's hard to hear
I wrap my fear around me like a blanket
I sailed my ship of safety till I sank it
I'm crawling on your shore.

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain
There's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in a crooked line
And the less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine

I went to see the doctor of philosophy
With a poster of Rasputin and a beard down to his knees
He never did marry or see a B-grade movie
He graded my performance, he said he could see through me
I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind, got my paper
And I was free.

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain
There's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in a crooked line
And the less I seek my source for some definitve
The closer I am to fine.

I stopped in the bar at 3 a.m.
To seek solace in the bottle or possibly a friend
I woke up with a headache like my head against the board
Twice as cloudy as I'd been the night before
I went in seeking clarity.

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain
There's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in a crooked line
And the less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain
There's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in a crooked line
And the less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine

We go to the bible, we go through the workout
We read up on revival, and we stand up for the lookout
There's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in a crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine
The closer I am to fine
The closer I am to fine.


Turn My Dial and Turn Me On

Sorry, devoted readers, for my absence the past few days. Life has been moving at a manic pace. The distraction from some of the static we've received the past week and a half has been welcomed. But....

Rav's wrestling team has a tournament this weekend. A tournament that requires them to stay overnight at a hotel.

So me being hard-up, hot and bothered, I took it upon myself to make arrangements for the kids to stay with their Mimi & PapPap overnight. I'll be on the road today, making my way to my man and a hotel room with ONE BIG BED.

It is, quite possibly, pretty sad that our big over-night out is piggy-backing off of a wrestling tournament. BUT I DON'T CARE. We haven't had an 'adult' night in a long time.

Oh, yeah. That's the spot. Right there.....

Bow, chicka, Bow-wow. Mmmmhmmmm.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
I know I will ;)


Breastfed On Momma's Milk, Music and Love

Just a few minutes ago, somehow, I ended up on the floor, singing loudly and terribly to songs on my play-list on the computer, sitting on my knees. Gracie was sitting on my lap, facing me. Snuggling up against my chest. Where she hung-out for so long, in her first several months of life.
She was clearly enjoying this time. Revisiting her old haunt.
She always seems to enjoy it when I sing.

If you heard me sing, you'd have to question Gracie's taste.

I breastfed both the kids.
Went well with Gracie.
Not-so-well with Connor.

Gracie liked to eat.
A lot.

Gracie only liked to be held by mommy.
And no one else would do.

She has since outgrown some of that.
She still likes to eat.
But other people can touch her now.

When we brought Gracie home, she & I occupied the living room as our new bedroom. She was in the pack-n-play, and I on the couch.
Norah (Jones) would come to visit.
As would Alison (Krauss).
And Nickel (Creek).
Dixie (Chicks), Jack (Johnson), Bob (Marley).
Just to name a few.

We had a veritable party going on. To celebrate my baby girl's arrival.
I would nurse at all hours of the day & night. Singing along to music. Right in baby Gracie's ear.
Rarely did I actually speak to her. It was, most always, in the form of a song.

I gave to her so freely. I gave her my heart, my milk, my thoughts, my songs. And she took them. She placed them inside her little baby heart and her little baby mind. And she took them for what they were.
The best of me that I could possibly give.
She did not turn away or cry out in horror at my horrible singing voice.
The warmth of my chest, the tightness of my arms around her, the bare-bones love that flowed back and forth between us was all that was important. The world around us was placed inside of a glass bottle and floated away over all of the oceans and the seas.
We were an island of love, acceptance, humble giving and graciously taking.

Every song I gave to her, was a testament of my love for my baby girl. And just when I thought I had no more songs to sing, I would find another.
Just when I thought I had no more milk to giver her, I was replenishing the stores.
And just when I thought I could not muster up another ounce of love, there it would come. Like a tidal wave, rushing all over us. Receding and then rushing in......and crashing all around us again.

I've had to draw on these simple, beautiful, quiet times. Because I have felt my best self battered a bit. And just when I think I am the worst version of myself, I have to stop.

And I look into the eyes that have been fed on Momma's milk, Momma's love and Momma's music. And in those eyes, I can see that the best of me has been deposited there. It wasn't taken from me, it was handed over lovingly. Where it can bloom and grow and be even bigger and better.
Better than I could have made it.
By myself.


A Moral Imperative

This morning started out a bit rough. Beginning with me being grumpy. After I poured myself a cup of coffee, I began to search the web for some writings and images of Martin Luther King, jr. I immediately found a video of his "I Have A Dream Speech". And instantly a calm washed over me.
As soon as I started the video, Connor excitedly yells out, "Hey! That's Martin Luther King! It's his birthday!!" My eyes filled up with tears and I'm still picking up the gelatinous pieces of my exploding, melting heart.

Way back in the day, I attended a rather new school in our district: Martin Luther King, jr Elementary. We studied Dr. King from September-May. Because of this new school, the name, the legacy, we reaped some pretty cool benefits. Coretta Scott King came to our school and gave a speech. Jesse Jackson visited as well. Though we only heard a few words from him as he passed through the hallways of our school. I have always felt that if I were at any other school, this would not have happened. We wouldn't have learned so much for so long. We might not have necessarily got to actually see Coretta Scott King in person or actually hear her words coming from her mouth only a few feet away.

As I listened to Dr. King's speech this morning, his words rested upon somewhat wisened ears. And so many thoughts came rushing forward. First off was how no matter how many times I hear that speech, it continues to give me goosebumps. Second off is that his message was inclusionary. He wasn't about lifting African-Americans up and pushing Caucasians down. He was about everyone living together because we are all from the same place. We are all, essentially, the same. I mean, you can't get any simpler than that. Then that got me thinking about my race. And some insights that I have been privy to. I've probably been privy too all along, but have just now allowed myself to actually digest them.

For example, in my History class last semester, we began talking about the Civil Rights movement, the women's movement, and John Kenneth Galbraith. We also began discussing the 'new face of poverty' - women and children, primarily. And a young, good-looking, well-dressed guy in my class of my race says, "Well, we don't have abject poverty in this country anymore. People aren't struggling like they used to." I almost fell off of my chair. And I don't know why. Because only a white person could say something so ignorant. And I mean ignorant in the actual definition of the word. I, of course, couldn't keep my mouth shut: "You mean to tell me that you believe abject poverty doesn't exist in this country? Has Katrina taught you nothing? And of course, many people don't think it exists because it's not a picture that this country is happy to hang on it's walls." His response was something that went along the lines of "Well, people are poor now because of Katrina."
Oh My Dear God.

We are so led astray by what is really going on. By our own government and media that I do not know why we are not rioting and marching again.

Which leads me to the next stream of thought. Where are our leaders today? Where are our MLK, jr's and our Rosa Parks'? Is is that they're out there, but they are essentially being censored, shut-down and shut-up? Or is it that no one is willing to stand up for the good of people? I'd really like an answer to this question. I know I'll probably never get it.
I want to feel hopeful that we, as a country, have not become complacent, that we have not moved backward in time. But it is my observation that
we have.

Some would argue that racial justice has been fought for and won.
Some would argue that sexual equality has been fought for and won.
Some would argue that this country has come a long way.

I'm not disagreeing with some of the progress. I mean, I can't be completely negative and say nothing has been accomplished.
But we have new challenges.
And we all need to rise up to those challenges.

The other night, Ravioli was watching the football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New Orleans Saints. The camera panned out and took a wide-shout of the whole entire football stadium. You could see how many people were packed into each seat. The amount of people was overwhelming.

I remember watching people in a football stadium not so long ago. During Hurricane Katrina. Desperation, hopelessness, hungry, thirsty, listless babies, panic-stricken mothers, elderly famished. I said to myself, Oh my god. These people were sent there TO die.

And when I saw that football stadium on TV Saturday night, I heard that voice again. Not that the people watching the football game were sent there to die. It was just seeing all of those people, the sheer numbers, was confirmation for some reason. I saw the actual number of people that stadium could hold. And that there is no doubt in my mind that officials knew what was coming. And why in the hell there weren't ample basic supplies was just beyond me. The questions just pile up and compound on top of each other. I'm just as mad about it today as I was then.
Is anyone else?

That is a clear-cut sign, to me, that racial equalities have not been settled. It's a clear-cut sign to me that we are in a class-war here at home. But neither of these, it appears, is being fought for.
What would MLK, jr. have done had he been alive to see such a gross mistreatment of so many individuals of this country?

I have felt the call to become apart of some organized thinking, some organized action. But I don't know where to turn. And maybe others out there feel as I do. Maybe they want to be involved, but don't know if there are any action groups. So, if someone out there knows where to go, please, comment and leave the information. Let that be your service today.

By giving of ourselves, we are giving to so many others. And many times, it takes little effort on our part, to give. And the smallest thing could be the biggest miracle to someone else.

I don't mean to get all preachy. I'm not trying to jam anything down anyone's throat. I just have my own dream of a better way, a better intention. And I know others out there must have the same kinds of dreams.

Let me end this here. But I'm going to make a long post even longer by adding lyrics to a song that I keep hearing in my head right now.

Picture of Jesus
By: Ben Harper

It hangs above my altar
Like they hung him from a cross
I keep one in my wallet
For the times that
I feel lost
In a wooden frame with splinters
Where my family kneels to pray
And if you listen close
You'll hear the words he used to say

I've got a picture of Jesus
In his arms my prayers rest
We've got a picture of Jesus
And with him we shall be forever blessed
Forever blessed
Forever blessed

Now it has been spoken
He would come again
But would we recognize
This king among men
There was a man in our time
His words shine bright like the sun
He tried to lift the masses
And was crucified by a gun

He was a picture of Jesus
With him so many prayers rest
He is a picture of Jesus
In his arms so many
So many prayers
So many prayers rest
With him we shall be forever blessed
Forever blessed
Forever blessed

Some days have no beginning
And some days have no end
Some roads are straight and narrow
And some roads only bend
So let us say a prayer
For every living thing
Walking towards a light
From the cross of a king
We long to be a picture of Jesus
Of Jesus
In his arms
In his arms so many prayers rest
I long to be a picture of Jesus
With him we shall be forever blessed
With him we shall
With him we shall be forever
Oh-Oh- I long
I've got a picture of Jesus


Sunday Morning Song of the Moment

This week for me has been crazy. It has, in fact, felt like it has been a month long. Starting with a visit around this time last week with the Wicked Witch of the West, a brief tango with the likes of Lex Luthor, then being within the grips of a classroom again (that's actually not so bad, just an energy zapper), two imps, and a King-sized Ravioli. Some good, some bad, some utterly ridiculous. But I'm here. I'm happy. I'm content. I have two happy, healthy, smart babies. I have a husband who loves and supports me. What more could a girl ask for?
Despite the undulating, rough seas I have travelled upon this week, I have washed upon the shore with some sun on my back, and singing happily in my heart. Not too shabby.
So, my first choice for a song this wonderful Sunday morning was "Closer To Fine" by The Indigo Girls. And though that is a great song, my final choice is much more fitting.

This week, I chose "Natural Beauty" by Neil Young. The first time I heard this song was with my Dad. At that point, I wasn't much of a Young fan. I didn't get it. But then I heard that song, as well as, the rest of the album and it clicked.
The chorus offers up much needed comfort for my natural self. It is a healing balm for the inner cracks and crevices where my self-doubt, my insecurities and my tough judgements toward myself tend to seep through.
It's a rather long song. But take the time to read and if you can find a place to download it or listen, please do. Balm up that heart, mind and soul of yours. We all could stand to be a little kinder to ourselves and to everyone around us.
It's a beautiful, beautiful song.

Natural Beauty
By: Neil Young

On the roller coaster ride
That my emotions have to take me on
I hear a newborn baby cry
Through the night.

I heard a perfect echo die
Into an anonymous wall
of digital sound
Somewhere deep inside
Of my soul.

A natural beauty should be preserved
like a monument to nature
Don't judge yourself too harsh,
my love
Or someday you might find
your soul endangered
A natural beauty should be preserved
like a monument to nature.

You had so much
and now so much is gone
What are you gonna do
With your life?

What a lucky man.
To see the earth
before it touched his hand
What an angry fool
To condemn.

One more night to go
One more sleep
upon your burning banks
A greedy man never knows
What he's done.

A natural beauty should be preserved
like a monument to nature
Don't judge your soul to harsh
my love
Or someday you might find
your soul endangered
A natural beauty should be preserved
like a monument to nature.

Went to the rodeo today
I saw the cowgirls
lined up on the fence
A brand new Chevrolet
A brand new pair of seamless pants

We watched the moment of defeat
Played back over on the video screen
Somewhere deep inside
Of my soul.

A natural beauty should be preserved
like a monument to nature.


This Just In....The Bottom Line

I have been slapped in the face the past few days with the following headline:
"Hollywood's latest accessory: Babies."


Maybe I'm too sensitive. Maybe I'm making a mountain out of a mole-hill. But somehow, someway it seems beyond wrong and sickening to compare human life to an arm/neckful of bling, the latest designer bag or the latest designer shoes. I mean, really. C'mon. It was bad enough when the latest accessory for a celebrity to carry were dogs. But now we've debased life even further by this outrageous, stupid headline.

I guess what bothers me about this, and it bothers me on many, many levels is that a) it's true. and 2)this is what "we" think of human life. I've done a few posts on humanitarianism and trying to think about each other and where we all are in the grand scheme of things. But this is demoralizing and despicable. It has just confirmed all of my worst fears: That human life is no more important and is just as dispensible as Dior's Fall Fashion line. The fact that life is something that will last only a season - a minute thought for a minute second. It is in today and out tomorrow. An innocent, completely insecure, totally dependant-upon -others- for -survival human being is now, merely, a decorative ornament.

It is just that novel of an idea. A precious, human life.
I don't think this country can sink any lower.

Not only does it confirm all of my worst fears about our society, culture, country. But it confirms the worst fears for those people out there in the rest of the world and what they think about Americans as a whole.

And that my dear friends, is

the bottom line.

I can't even begin to wrap my mind around this. It's frightening, frightening stuff.


Ever Since I Was A Young Girl, I Played The Silver Ball

I've been having a pinball week. That probably makes no sense.

Think of a pinball machine. You pull back the lever, which pushes the pinball up the shoot and

Ping! roll, bounce. Ping! roll, bouncebouncebounce.

That is what it is like inside of my head. My thoughts are like the ball. They are solid, they have a direction. As soon as the initial thought hits my conciousness: Ping!...bouncebouncebounce. Ping!
It's driving me insane. My paddles aren't working well or long enough to keep one thought in play for a substantial amount of time. There's just too much. So many thoughts behind the ones before it. Bouncing off my frontal lobe, temporal lobe, jumping synapses.
For example, while looking for pictures for my island post, I saw a picture I took on the island. A beautiful picture of brown volcanic mountains, lush green grasses, skies so blue. But BLAM! there's a bunch of powerlines. It was so....shocking. A complete shock to the system. Sort of like the Sesame Street game..."One of these things just doesn't belong here. One of these things just isn't the same."
Then that got me thinking about the route I take home from my mother's house. On a beautiful scenic route, we have to pass through a Valero oil refinery. Lovely scenery that offers, let me just tell you. Everytime I pass through, I try to hold my breath hoping that by breathing as little as possible it will save me from cancer cells at a later date. Crazy? Yes. But that's just me. Anyway, on evenings when driving home, you can see deer. Yes, deer, all around the big oil tanks. Walking around, laying in the grass, eating. Again...shocking. Frightening. And again, I sing a song to myself, "One of these things just doesn't belong here. One of these things just isn't the same." It pains me to see these innocent little deer on the bad side of the barbed wire fences that keep them bound to eat, what I'm sure to be, tainted grass.
Then the issue of tainted grass and the deer gets me thinking about how I am disappointed in not joining all the smart, lovely ladies over at Jen's place who put their hearts and thoughts into the Just Post. I'm quite disappointed in myself for not doing this.
That got me thinking of time, or better said, lack-there-of. I cannot throw together a thought regarding an important topic and put it out there. I'm not able to sit and write eloquently enough. Where's my time going?
That then leads to my blog & where I want it to go. The direction it has taken has not been at all what I thought it would. But that's a good thing. I'm happy with being part of a thoughtful, smart, caring, positive community of women. Who all bring something wonderful to the table. They are understanding, supportive and emapthetic. Though I'm not as involved as I would like to be, it feels good to have my big toe in the big pool.
That leads to my readership and comments. Why is it that I feel disappointed when I get little or no comments? When, truth-be-told, I started this blog for me. The intent was for it to be a creative outlet for my thoughts/ideas. But I've become wrapped up in readership, or rather, gaining one. And getting people's thoughts, opinions and feedback. Is it that age-old social acceptance...wanting to be liked/popular? Whatever it is, I need to work it out.

See what I mean? Classes have started up again this week. I'm exhausted. And I can't quiet my thoughts or stop their incoherent, incomplete stream.

"That deaf, dumb, blind kid sure plays a mean pinball." ~ The Who


Broken Arrows and Poison Darts

Often times, I find that despite all actions I take against such things happening - every word, every syllable, every action of mine is a lethal poisonous dart. What absolutely sucks about my poisonous darts is that they only seem to affect certain people and I'm not even aware of the fact that they are poisonous. Much like a jellyfish must not know they can sting or a skunk knows not of it's offensive smell.
It's a gift I've been given as a survival technique(?) - or it's just all a part of my charm.
I personally don't care for the odor that permeates off of a skunk, but I appreciate what it's purpose is.
So, while I realize that I am a bearer of things that can be lethal, I try not to aim my darts at anybody. I try aiming for the ground or I'll stand on top of a hill when no one is around and shoot them up into the air. Sometimes I visit the banks of a stream or a river and shoot them into the shallow, rocky water.

Occasionally - just for fun, Bry puts a pea atop his lovely little cranium and I practice my aim. It's a sacrifice he's willing to make. He takes one for the team more often than not. But a girl can't be a dead-eye with every shot, you know. And she's only willing to sacrifice her clydesdale, beefcake husband but so many times.

Once I get going with something, I can't stop. Rav becomes weary from standing in one place too long. He removes the shredded bits of pea from atop that lovely cranium and calls it a day. But I'm still at it. Zinging darts all over the place. Higgeldy-Piggeldy and willy-nilly. I'm not as careful as I usually am and I think that everyone can duck like Rav can or that they can tolerate darts whizzing around their heads. My arm begins to tire, my hand is trembling. And every so often, my aim gets a little screwy and......


Truly it was an accident. I'm not trying to hit you right between the eyes. And I mean that.
I'm not being sarcastic.

You know how I've been struggling to remove the toxic people from my life(it pains me to even bring this post out of the closet where it's been hidden for a bit. But I've had a few near misses with some toxic gases). I'm trying to make the day-to-day a little better for my family and myself. I'm on a path. Nothing is getting in my way. I certainly am not trying to trample anybody along my journey. However, if the worst is what you're looking for, the worst is what you'll get.

All I know is that I'm trying to be the best me.
I'm just trying to matter.
And I cannot do anything to change what has already been decided.

I wish that I had been blessed with the the endearing qualities of a loveable airhead.
I wasn't.

I wish, sometimes, that I didn't feel passion from the tips of my toes to the teeny, tiny broken dead-ends of my hair.
But I do.

I wish that I were blessed with the campfire personality. The one that everyone longs to sit around to feel all warm and good.
I don't have it.

I wish that I could turn off my curiosity, my constant search for knowledge - the thirst for more.
I can't.

I wish that people could see that my open-ness, my willingness to pour myself - my whole self - into whatever is just my way of relating. I wish that my words, my actions, my thoughts were more clearly defined and concise. So that there could be no misunderstandings.
The don't.
They aren't.
But there always is.

In any group there are roles to be fulfilled. The leader. The follower. The winner. The loser. The teacher. The student. The happy. The brooding. The social. The anti-social. The likeable. The unlikeable.
Sometimes there are shades of grey. You don't fit into one specific category. You can be the leader and a loser. You can be social and a student.

My role, apparently, is quite clearly defined.
The accidental lethal poisonous dart archer.

Great. Thanks for that.

If you just embrace the burn, be at one with the sting of it, you may eventually learn to appreciate it's purpose.


Stars That Clear Have Been Dead For Years

Not long after waking up this morning, I realized that my Sunday Morning Song of the Moment song would turn into a Monday Morning song as well.
Man, I hate that.

I was struggling with a topic. A fluid thought. I rarely, if ever, can come up with something funny.

Today is absolutely no different. Nothing funny. It wasn't until I sat down just this moment that I think I have something interesting to say. We'll see.

I remember being on an island, not so long ago. Well, to be exact - it was 10 years ago this past August. So, relatively no so long ago. You get my drift.
I had never been on an island before. Other than Tangiers Island in Virginia.

So, I was on this island. And I had become acutely aware of my smallness. The smallness of the island in the vast, vast Pacific Ocean became all that filled up my mind. I had never been so aware of my place in the grand scheme of things. It was frightening and exciting. After my initial shock wore off, I found myself totally immersed in this island. The weather, the smell of the air, the simpler way of life, the food, the sun - you name it, I was all over it. It had never occurred to me that grass could be so green. The sky could be so blue. The air so clean. The water so pristine. Despite all of the human activity, this island seemed relatively unharmed.

It was here, on this island, where I got to 'dance' with sea turtles. It was here on this island that I realized my soul, my spirit was like a breeze. It went wherever it wanted to, whenever it wanted to. I realized that things would never be the same when we left.

The trip had it's faults. Mainly due to human behavior. Some mine. Some that belonged to someone else. The expectations put upon such a place, a once-in-a-lifetime trip were too much for people that could barely walk without stumbling from time-to-time. It had nothing to do with the island. But everything to do with human error, egos, and impending feelings of losing something.

I remember being out on the lanai on our first evening there. After I had come down from my shock/panic attack. I looked up at the sky & it was if I had seen the stars for.the.very.first.time. The sky was a color I have never seen before or since. And the stars that I've looked at my whole life, were a different color and clarity. It was like looking at a diamond in Wal-Mart and then wearing a ring from Tiffany's.

What really struck me was how close the sky and the stars appeared to be. It was almost as if I put my arm up above my head I would touch the sky with my palm. That I could actually run my fingertips along this inky, black goodness and my whole hand would be glittering from all of the stars that had attached themselves as I did this. I had even entertained the notion that I would be able to grab the moon and dribble it like a basketball or use it as a beacon.
This was my ritual. Every night. To look up at this new sky. I wanted to see it everynight, to make sure it was real. And then to drink it in for as long as I could. Who knew that in a place filled with so many sights: jungles, rain forests, volcanoes, locals, beaches, sunsets - something so everyday was what I longed for the most? Here on this island was how the sky should always look. And I wanted that etched into my memory. Something that I could draw on at a later time.

It has been my dream since meeting Rav that we would go there. This is a place I feel we must see together. I want him to experience such a peaceful, all-natural place. I want him to smell clean air and grass that is green because the soil is lush from volcanic ash and clean soil. Not green because of chemicals placed there. This is my dream for us. Something so natural, pure and happy.

I'd like to see if the sky still looks that clear there now. Or if it was clarity I was looking for at a tumultous time in my life and clarity I had found. Even if it was temporary.

**I just wanted to add here that I am heartbroken because I cannot add my own pictures as my scanner has decided it won't let me scan.**


Sunday Morning Song of the Moment

I'm pretty sure that I'm one of few Fiona Apple fans. That's ok. People don't know what they're missing(In my humble opinion). She has her flaws, sure. Most people do. But if someone can sing like she can and write lyrics the likes of which blow my mind up into a million tiny pieces than they're alright with me. I'm a music whore, I suppose.
All joking aside, from the minute I heard her voice way back in 1995-6 (I believe it was) I was hooked. This chick's voice is no joke.
I picked up her sophomore CD when it was first released (in 1998-9?). I was reluctant. With whatever was going on with her, I was afraid the music would suffer.
Nope. Sure didn't. There are so many songs I could chose from off of 'When The Pawn.....", but the choice for today is my anthem. It's like she opened up my soul, saw my life unfolding and wrote this song specifically for me. I have never felt that way about a song before or since.
Now, my favorite line of all time I have adopted from her: "You fondle my trigger, than you blame my gun."
Damn girl, exactly.
Despite her flaws, critics, or whatever I have never related to an artist like I can to Fiona Apple. And if I could sing like anyone, I think it would be her.
So, enough babbling on. Here are the lyrics.

A Mistake
Fiona Apple

I'm gonna make a mistake
I'm gonna do it on purpose
I'm gonna waste my time
'Cause I'm full as a tick
And I'm scratching at the surface
And what I find is mine

And when the day is done, and I look back
And the fact is, I had fun
Fumbling around
All the advice I shunned, and I ran
When they told me not to run
But I sure had fun, So
I'm gonna f*ck it up again
I'm gonna do another detour
Unpave my path
And if you wanna make sense
Whatcha looking at me for
I'm no good at math

And when I find my way back
The fact is I just may stay, or I may not
I've acquired quite a taste
For a well-made mistake
I wanna make a mistake
Why can't I make a mistake?

I'm always doing what I think I should
Almost always doing everybody good
Do I wanna do right, of course
But do I wanna feel I'm forced to
Answer you, Hell no

I've acquired quite a taste
For a well-made mistake
Why can't I make a mistake
I'm always doing what I think I should
Almost always doing everybody good


Givin' Him Something He Can Feel

Some answers to questions are so clear. And my answers are eloquent & to the point. For instance, when Connor hits me with this:
"Why doesn't Gracie have a penus?"(that's how he says it, so I spelled it like that on purpose).
"Because she's a girl."

Why does Daddy have a gun?"
"To protect himself from bad guys when he's at work."

"We don't have a chimney. How can Santa come in our house?"
"Santa is magical & he always finds a way. If he can't fit into our little chimney, Daddy will let him in the front door while we are sleeping."

"Do I have school today?"

The list goes on & on. Relatively simple questions. Relatively simple answers. Answers I feel comfortable giving. Sometimes they are white lies that I hope I can forgive myself for telling at a later time. However......

Connor's question of Heaven.
Makes me want to run & hide.
Never to be seen again.

It means that I can't lie. But I think I do. I think.
I hear myself, as if I'm in a tunnel or a cave, regurgitate an answer. I feel my lips forming an answer something about angels, death.....long time from now.....very old......God.

It means that all of my doubts regarding my religion are placed before me. It means, in some respect, that I have to make a choice. A choice I've not yet fully made as an adult. And place my choice before my moldable, knowledge-hungry, answer-seeking child. And watch as he digests my answer, willingly. I suppose I am to feel satisfaction that he takes my answer as acceptable & walks away. As I wipe the sweat from my brow & calm my trembling hands and just thank God (if there is one) that the conversation is over.
For now.

It also means, as a mother, that I have to face my mortality. And my children's eventual mortality. It is an impossibility. It's something you can't begin to wrap your mind around & begins your descent down this twisting, spinning, sickening vortex.

And the only thing that can bring you back is to throw yourself at this innocent little being and cover them in kisses, squeeze them so hard that they squeal in pain & delight. And hope for the best.
And if you're really lucky, you have a clear-cut faith that is unfaltering that can lift you up & carry you through.
I don't think I'm that lucky.


Tacky Schmaky

I usually can't stand the feel of flannel. I own 2 pairs of flannel PJ pants & I don't mind wearing them, but the feel of them on my hands drives me bonkers. (And I wonder where Connor gets his Sensory Processing issues from - Gee.)
Anyway, the thought of flannel sheets never entered my mind. I thought if I can barely handle flannel PJ's, how the hell can I handle flannel sheets? Total impossibility.
However, Santa brought the following flannel sheet set for The Rav & I.
And I think I'm in love.

Yeah, they might be a little tacky. But, they have Gnomes on them. So, I have to love them. I walk in our room & see these bright, tacky, cheerful sheets and all seems right with the world. Well, not really.
But they make me happy. So, there.

OH - and SuperYay for first days of school after a (too) looong winter break! YAY, YAY, YAY. Can I get an "Amen & Hallelujah"?? I feel light as air. Truth be told, so does Connor. He practically drug my out-of-shape keister across the street to the bus. Damn, that kid is strong.


A Country's Call To Apathy

I can always tell when I'm being sucked inward by the weight of a thought or topic - inward within my own mind, my own thoughts - when I'm looking at things around me, but not seeing. When I'm walking through the day, but not living it. The past few days since I've learned about the execution of Saddam Hussein, that's exactly what I've been doing.

So since I've been in my outwardly shut-down, mulling-things-over mode, I know that this has had a great impact on me.

I just now have come to be able to write about it.

I'm not sure where this post will go. Just bear with me.

The news rocked me. More than I ever could have imagined it would. And for more reasons than I can fully wrap my mind around.

With the start of the New Year, we ended the deadliest month for American casualties for this year in Iraq. But the innocent who have died, I'm sure is above and beyond ours. Why do we not mourn for them? And I have to wonder what is in store for our troops & all of the citizens of Iraq now that Saddam has been hanged. More blood-shed? More torture? More hunger? More crying? More waiting & wondering?
And for what, exactly?
I can think so clearly about how desperate mothers must feel over there. Desperate to protect their babies from bombs & rubble & evacuation.
I've run through that scenario in my own mind. If something catastrophic were to happen outside of my door. Where I would take my babies to hide & be safe. To live. Breathe. Eat.
There are mothers living what I have the luxury of imagining. Half a world a way. But I feel them in their panic. Across the distance.

I so want a perfect world for my babies & for everyone.
I'm certain perfection doesn't exist.
Peace does, though.
So does humanity.
And humanitarianism.

I'm not even sure where I stand on Saddam. He obviously seemed like a bad, bad person. But I'm so confused by lies fed to me by my own government that I'm wondering who really is bad. I've entertained that fact that he didn't deserve what he got.
I can't help but feel like we are doing to Iraq, what we tried to do to the Communists for so long. I feel in my heart of hearts that we are now, The Iron Curtain.
It is so easy to be scared by things we know little of. We went into this war with a President - a country (including myself) who knows little of that culture, that religion. And here we are, pressing our government on this country. Without really getting to know what the greater good is for that country.
We haven't even figured it out here.

Like most of our war efforts, we are only there because we think we have something to gain.

I feel sick as I type this because I have no solution.
I have only thoughts. Gripes. Criticisms.
Pity for my country. That I was brought up to believe was great.
But have now seen it for what it is. A big, callous, corporate, apathetic bully.
People like me are viewed as not being supportive of our troops. Of being un-American.
If me wanting our troops home to live, hugging their families, being mommies and daddies, sons and daughters and citizens, is unsupportive, than so be it. It is wrong for me to wish them home, I suppose.
And if being un-American means I care about the state of the world for the whole of humanity, than I'll say it loud and proud, I'm un-American.

I feel pity because I feel that it's going to get way worse for everyone before it gets any better. It's this somber, sick brick in the pit of my stomach.

What I do not have is apathy. But most of this country does. Maybe I am mistaken. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places.

Our babies, our families, friends deserve a better world than what we are giving ourselves. Creating for everyone.

Americans are not the only ones who are deserving.