Living More By Living With A Little Less

I took Jess' advice, and have started reading "Middlesex". I had to put Barack Obama in the bathroom book bin for now. I'm not in a clear enough state of mind to really give that book it's fair shake.

I'm in the very beginning stages of the book and I'm already enthralled as to where this thing is going to proceed. And it just so happens that the chapters I have just finished have coincided with something that has been rattling around this noggin of mine. I'm going to attempt to tackle this in a somewhat clear, lucid manner. We'll see how it goes.

This thought started the other day when talking to a friend of mine about the people that she services at the preschool that she owns. The preschool that Gracie attends. The preschool that I previously worked at. In fact, think for a second what I'm saying.....preschool. It operates for 3 1/2 hours a day. That's it. This is not a daycare. It's a preschool. A preschool where 98% of the mothers are stay at home moms. Stay at home moms that have bodies I would die to have. Dress like they have no budget. Stay at home moms who drive vehicles that most P.I.M.P.'s would love to own. Homes that probably would take Rav's whole monthly salary to heat in the winter.

That being said, the fact that my friend, who owns the preschool is my BFF, the Godmother to my two babes, my kid goes for free. Aaannnywaaayyy.....

We got to discussing how they appear to take their circumstances for granted. How they are lucky that they get to stay home, to be so fortunate to have all that they have. To which I replied, Well, then, how can one really be grateful? How does one truly act that way? What is it that sets this person apart as being grateful, but another not so much? To which she replied, Well, I think of you I guess. You and Rav are struggling. You don't have a lot for extras. But you are always there to help someone out. You give whatever it is you have. (Jen, if I'm not mistaken, you were tackling this same question a few weeks or more back?) This made me feel embarrassed. But coming from the person I admire so for her giving spirit, her large heart, I took this as a supreme compliment. Granted that, I can always find ways to do more, I do donate to different causes. But seriously, this post is not intended to pat myself on the back....I'm going somewhere with this.

The other day, I was listening to the latest Dixie Chicks album that I just downloaded. And I listened to their song called "I Hope". At one point, the lyrics stating something about 'having more than you could possibly need...'. And this got me thinking back to the original thought..

And today, I'm reading "Middlesex" and these first few chapters being about refugees, fleeing a country with so much death, disaster, and fire. And this thought added to the ones before it.....

I got to thinking about my own grandparents. How hard they worked. How little they had. I got to thinking about my grandparents, and their 6 kids (one of those kids, my mother) living in a 3 bedroom house. A small 3 bedroom house. But does that need to be said? Most 3 bedroom houses are relatively small.....

I got to thinking about the house I currently reside in. 3 bedrooms. And no damned storage space. Barely enough closet space.

People then, Back then did not own the amount of things we find ourselves owning in today's times. They weren't concerned with "things".
I had to do a little research on poverty in America. And what I read was pretty interesting. If you think about poor people in America. Just the average working poor person. And much to my surprise, we don't fall into the "poor" category. But anyway....the average poor home has at least one TV. Quite possibly, a computer. A car. Possibly two.

I think of what people did during WWII, The Great Depression. The struggles.
Like most things, it is what you make of it. What you walk away with on the inside. What you do while you're in it.

I think back to what it was like to be so poor growing up. The things we did without. Eating at my grandmother's house every day. Thinking back to how broken everything seemed to be. How broken everything was. A broken family, a broken mom, a broken kid, a broken car, a broke bank account, broken heaters in broken apartments. Being sent to bed early in your mom's broken bed wearing your coat and hat and mittens. Being sent to bed early because you had so much body heat, you warmed the bed for your mom by the time she wearily crawled into it.
Those broken times made the times I have now with my kids a little sweeter.

Rav & I struggle. Our bank account isn't setting the world on fire. We have it a tad bit better than I did when I was growing up. And my growing up certainly wasn't the worst there was. But it made me who I am today. Those times were times I buried myself in books, in music, in school, in thinking.

I came to the realization that we don't need so much. We may want it. But we don't need it.
I have come to the realization that older generations that have come before me are strong, and colorful, and wise because of struggles. Because of their hard work. Because things weren't easy.
It seems that so many people out there think that they are exempt from a struggle. That everything should be so damned easy. And for some, they somehow miss the struggles. And everything is easy.
But they are at a disadvantage, I think.

I'm not saying struggling means that you need to have a down-trodden attitude. It doesn't mean that you can't be happy. It just means that when you step out of the big mug puddle and are met by another one that is a tad bit smaller, you know that you'll be alright.

I don't know. I may not even be making the point I want to make. I think the point I'm trying to make is: It's OK that neither of our vehicles have DVD players in them. It's OK that "I don't hope for more than I could possibly need or use". All I want is to wake up to my Rav every morning. I want to wake up to Connor & Gracie's stinky, hot breath in my face, giggling. I want to eat breakfast at our hand-me-down dining room table. I want them to understand how good they are doing when they get excited by a toy that costs $.25 at The Goodwill.

The life I have now.
The things I have now.
The man I have now.
The kids I have now.
Are way more than I ever thought I'd have.
And that is seriously all that I ever want.
Anything else is a bonus.
And I need to pass that on.

Maybe this is the way I rationalize our situation.
Maybe not.
Maybe I'm just thinking idealistically - not realistically.
Maybe, inadvertently we're actually on to something.

But if we all just stopped and thought about how much stuff we don't need. That we can live with a little less.
Like so many before us have done.

That we might actually end up having so much more.

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures." ~Thornton Wilder

Jen, thank you. It's as if just by your mere presence via computer lines, I healed over enough to say something from my heart.

The artwork was taken from here.

Just Remember....

That your own well-intentioned advice will always come back to bite you in the ass.

A Pause & A Deep Breath

Until I can post about something and not whine, I'm taking my leave. Talk amongst yourselves. Discuss if you will: Why do people today have so much stuff?


Useful Tip #33

NEVER, under ANY circumstances - no matter how tipsy you are, no matter how bad the mind-numbing, bone crushing pain is from your cute, strappy sandals, or how nice the place appears to be - walk into a "public" restroom barefoot.
It's just asking for trouble.

Kick Me When I'm Down

As if 24+ hours alone by myself with a sick 2 1/2 year old girl wasn't bad enough......

As if 24 + hours alone with the above said and a boy with an attention addiction wasn't bad enough.....

As if being alone with the above said isn't bad enough, then in the middle of trying to prepare a meal for the two above said, your son informs you he's pooped in his pants. Water is boiling, things are baking (and burning), you go up to clean him up, dump the dump in the toilet, flush and YAY!!!
Because your son tends to withhold because of issues with dumping his dump in the toilet, this big ball of dump refuses to flush.
Can I get another YAY!!!!! ?
Son is standing there with crap pasted to the insides of his legs, you're desperately spinning in circles trying to find the plunger as the water and soggy bits of shredded toilet paper teeter precariously close to the rim of the toilet bowl.

Eureka! The Plunger!!!
You strategically plant the plunger around the edges of this insanely huge dump-ball, so as not to implant the plunger in it's mass. You heave and push down, waiting to hear that comforting sound of the big GURGLE that ensures this will all be over soon. Otherwise, you have to resort to cutting this up with a plastic knife and fork
Dinner, anyone???
Speaking of dinner.....it's cooking itself in the kitchen, amazingly enough.
Pretty soon, you'll upgrade from Plumber to Fire Fighter quicker than you can say Poo.

As if all that wasn't bad enough....
You're sick with the nasty beast of a cold you're daughter so lovingly shared.

And if that's not bad enough.....
Aunt Flo has come to town.


The cosmic forces just love you, Tab.
Remember: this is divine.
I've heard myself say it. It's in black & white.


Sunday Morning Song of the Moment

Ok, so if you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know of my love for Bob Marley & the Wailers. It's a deep-rooted love. It is a love that runs wild, it runs deep, and true.

His music is a gift my father bestowed upon me at a very young age. So these songs of his were truly the songs I sang since I was a little girl. When most 5 year-olds were singing The Care Bears theme song, I was singing "Three Little Birds" or "No Woman, No Cry". His songs are a source of great comfort to me. They make me think, they make me feel, the make me happy. I can be in the most sour of sour moods and if I hear any song of Bob Marley's I'm feeling pretty good. I may still be upset at the actual events that put me in a sour mood to begin with, but my main man Bob always makes everything OK.

Since my inception of the Sunday Morning Song, I have tried not to pick a Bob Marley song or a Dave Matthews song. I don't really know why. I guess I suppose because these are my two favorites. These two are the ones that I own almost every version of every song they've sung. And I've tried (unsuccessfully) to keep this for songs that are new to me. But that hasn't worked. I also figure that these two artists' are a given. That at any given moment any given song of theirs would be a choice. And especially for Bob, that holds true. I figured today I would go against my own "fake" rule and chose a Bob song as my dad's birthday was on Friday. And I'm missing him as I haven't seen him since the beginning of December. And this one had me dancing my crazy dance in the computer chair!!
***And I think what I've tried to say about Bob & his music that I never could, but the though finally came clearly, is that it is as much a part of me as well....... My Name. ***

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Lively Up Yourself
By: Bob Marley & The Wailers

You're gonna lively up yourself, and don't be no drag;
You lively up yourself 'cause reggae is another bag.
You lively up yourself, and don't say, "No";
You're gonna lively up yourself 'cause I said so!

Hear what you gonna do:
You rock so, You rock so, like you never did before, yeah!
You dip so, You dip so: dip through my door.
You come so, You come so, oh yeah!
You skank so, You skank so: be alive today!

You're gonna lively up yourself, and don't say , "No";
You lively up yourself big daddy says so, y'all!
You lively up yourself, and don't be no drag;
You lively up yourself 'cause reggae is another bag.

What you go that I don't know?
I'm a-trying to wonder-wonder-wonder why you-
wonder-wonder why you act so. Yeah!

Hey, do you hear what the man seh?
Lively up your(self) - your woman in the morning time,
Wa! Keep a liv'lin up your woman when the evening come
And take ya-take ya-take ya-a-a!
Come on, baby! 'Cause I wanna be lively myself, y'all!

/organ, saxophone, and guitar solo/

Lively up yourself;
Lively up yourself.
You want to rock so, you rock so:

/saxophone solo/

You rock so, you rock so;
You dip so, you dip so;
You skank so, you skank so, and don't be no drag!
You come so, you come so, for reggae is another bag!

Get what you got in that bag!
What you got in de other bag you got hanging there?
What you say you got?
I don't believe you!


The Score

The Kids: 4,000,001

Mom: 2

If you add Dad, the total would be zero. So, if I stand alone, the score is better.

One of those points is for the fact that Connor now alerts me in this way while I'm in the kitchen doing mommy stuff he says from the livingroom:

Hey, Mom!! I think Foster's is coming on!

You sweet little ball of genius, you!

And my addiction to Foster's borders on sick. Just so you know.

An Addition

(To the previous post....)

As I sit here wasting away the day in front of the computer, Gracie walks up to me with a tissue in her hand. She offers me her outstretched hand with a tissue in it. I look at her and see the tell-tale green gunk oozing from her cute, fat, little toddler nostrils. And just for good measure she also has added a shining, shimmering streak of snot across her cheek. I see she needs some help. And like the smart woman I am, I grab the tissue. Big Mistake.

It's slimey. And it's on my hands. I sling this nasty tissue to the ground and shout: Eeeww!!!!!
Gracie giggles and blows a big snot bubble and says Mommy! (giggle, giggle) It's ok. It's just boogers.

Yeah, sure is boogers, kid. And one thing you need to learn about your mommy ASAP is that she has issues with bodily fluids. Whether they be from vegetable, animal or mineral. Take that stuff somewhere else. It grosses mommy out! I have no problem touching a dry tissue and wiping your funky nose. But there should be absolutely no contact between the wet secretions of your nose and my tender, sweet flesh.

It's just boogers.
Yeah. Keep walking, kid.

Bittersweet Symphony

Rav left yesterday afternoon to head down state to the State Wrestling Tournament. I'm sad to see him go (he won't be home 'til late tonight, which is no biggie), but I'm elated at the fact that the wrestling season will be officially over. Yeeeehaw.

You have to understand that we somehow got Gracie to school 2 days a week (1/2 hour away), Rav to work, to wrestling practice, back to work, home, then me to school and so on (until 2 weeks ago) with one car. Yes. You heard me correctly. One.Car. It was a constant juggling act. And as much as I am happy that Rav is happy with coaching, it's nice to see the loooooong season come to a close. I digress though.

The kids are each coming down with a lovely dose of green snot, mixed with raspy breathing, coughing and fevers. And of course this decides to blow up into a full-blown deal when Rav has flown the coop.

At 10 p.m. when the kids were still awake, barely breathing and all snotty, I knew I was in for a looong, rough night. I finally get them to bed, get myself to bed at about 11. At some point, the kids both made it into our bed. By that time, Gracie was running one nasty fever. I couldn't bear to head to the couch. So, I was nestled in restless sleep, in a horizontal position at the foot of our bed. While the babes slept somewhat soundly in vertical positions, stretched out, with their heads on the pillows.

At approximately 7:15, I was awoken to the sounds of their deep breathing. Followed by the occasional snort and raspy exhale.

Morning routines being what they are, I felt the need to expel some built up gas. Which sounded something like this:

Then Gracie in her sleep-induced state followed with a:

Connor added the crescendo to this little symphony with a rolling, undulating, vibrating:

Their father would be so proud.

What struck me as funny is that I was the only one awake. They did this, seemingly as if on cue. Like it was a game. I was waiting for them to giggle after each of them sang their morning songs. But nope.
Asleep. Dead asleep.

Aaaaah. Nothing like the smell of pent up gas in the morning.


The Gut Shot- a guest spot by Rav

Tabba asked me to do a guest spot, and I could only think of one thing to post about. My every thought for the past 24 hours has returned to this thing and I just can't get past it, it's a long one, but here goes:

I was sitting at my desk yesterday morning, doing nothing, as usual. My phone rings, which is certainly a normal occurrence, and I am just thinking about which jackass is calling me and what stupid question they have for me. To my surprise, it was my old boss on the other end. Before I began my illustrious career as a probation and parole officer, I was a security supervisor at the local mall. My boss, the security director, and I had a fairly good relationship, at times very good. I don't speak to him, or any of the good friends I made there as often as I should, but as we have mostly all moved on to become law enforcement officers, we are a busy lot. Anyway, I was quite pleased to hear his voice on the phone. He sounds funny though and says that he needs a big favor. He asks me a question, which would put me in the terrible situation I am currently in. He asks me if I remember his biggest fear in regards to "E". "E" is a security guard who has worked at the mall for almost 20 years, and seemed as if he would be there forever. No one really liked him, as he was a little strange. As a matter of fact, we couldn't stand him, and any one who is human, could not stand to be around him. He was missing teeth, he smelled, and he had these crazy conspiracy theories. Worst of all, he was a dumpster diver!!! Sometimes he tried to hide it, and other times he proudly spoke of all the things he had "recovered". He used to talk about what a great guy he was and how his neighbor was a single mother, and she worked two jobs, and that he used to take care of her children and take them places. So when my boss asked me what his biggest fear was, I knew it right away.
We had all joked, for years, about how "E" had to be a sex offender. We used to laugh about how weird he was and how we would not be surprised if he was arrested for being a pervert. And, he didn't help his situation. Sometimes, he would make comments, that were so outrageous and inappropriate, that we just had to walk away. Personally, I attributed it to him being a crazy old man.

After I answered my old boss's question he informed me that "E" had a girlfriend, a surprising fact to me, and that she had called "E" out of work the night before saying that he was in some trouble. She called my old boss in the morning and said that a Detective had called and told "E" that he needed to turn himself in on a warrant. I looked "E" up in the computer and saw that he did in fact have a warrant. I looked at the warrant and saw what it was for. I could not speak. Oh shit, I said to my old boss. And then I confirmed his worst fear. "E" was wanted for Rape 1st, Continuous Unlawful Sexual Contact with a Minor (3 charges of this one), Sexual Exploitation of a Minor (2 charges of this one), and Possession of Child Pornography. Just at that moment, I was asked by a co-worker to help with something. I told my boss I would call him back and I hung up the phone. I sat there staring at my computer screen. I could not believe what I was reading. And then I made the biggest mistake of all. I read the actual warrants, the information presented to the judge requesting that "E" be charged with these heinous crimes. In summary, "E" had molested the daughter of his neighbor, the single mother. Apparently the girl has been in therapy for a while and she had just disclosed that "Uncle E", as she knew him, had molested her. The warrant was detailed and explained exactly what and when "E" had done to this 11 year old girl. It also stated that a search warrant had been executed on "E's" home and it listed all of the things found there. Pictures and videos (home made or otherwise), were just the beginning. And then I thought of this mother and the fact that I remember "E" saying that she had more than one child. I couldn't help but wonder if "E" had molested them too. And then, I was struck by the worst part of all, the dates of occurrence. We laughed and laughed about how weird "E" was, and how he had to be a sex offender. Chester the child molester we jokingly called him. And all the while, this poor poor girl was having her life ripped apart. This man whom she trusted, was in fact a disgusting despicable thief. He stole so much from her, but I can't help but feel like he stole something from me too. Of the group of guys who I worked with at the time, 2 have become state troopers, 4 have become city cops, 1 is a county cop, and me.
I have spoken with 2 of the guys, the troopers. Neither was surprised at what I told them. I don't know if either of them is as affected by it as me, but I do know one thing. Some part of me feels like there must have been something I could have done. Instead of laughing, maybe I could have prevented what happened to this little innocent girl. I know that she wasn't the first, and if it had not been her, it would have been someone else. But I don't know that I'll ever be able to get past this feeling.

"All that is necessary for evil to succeed, is for good men to do nothing."
-Edmund Burke


Staring Crazy Right In The Face

Tuesdays while Gracie is at school, I head over to my friend Beth's house for chit-chat and coffee. Sometimes these chit-chat sessions end up being purging sessions. I have entered her house early on Tuesday mornings upbeat & happy...and have left there spent from crying and purging. That might not sound all that appealing. But considering, I might spend $100 an hour somewhere else to do the same thing, it's not all that bad.

She understands and listens to my thoughts regarding these shifts that are going on. The fact that I've become comfortable with my own head/self. My thoughts on things. The fact that something is changing within me.

What I haven't talked about in great detail is this fog that I've been in the past few weeks. The fact that little or no effort has been put into blogging lately. Little or no effort has been put into cleaning my house. And I have absolutely no energy. I'm trying to wear my happy face and not panic. I don't want my inner thoughts regarding this to shine through. But the fact is that I'm scared.

I don't know what is wrong. I'm skating by on a day-to-day basis with the bare minimum. The momentum and energy I had just a few short weeks ago is a very distant memory. I have comforted myself with the idea that it is just the natural shift. That all things ebb & flow.

I have had some emotional upheavals lately & that this could certainly contribute to how I've been feeling. But what I think I'm most afraid to admit to myself is that I could, quite possibly, be depressed.

OH, the horror of that ugly, ugly word.

I'm not a big follower of the Zodiac. However, I think some things can generally hold true for some of it. That being said, I am a Libra. And that means balance, justice, fairness. That also means that our surroundings play a huge role in how we feel. I am affected by the fact that things in the winter become so dreary, I am affected by the fact that my house is not right at this particular point. I have two....yes TWO sofas in my small living room right now & it's driving me mad. I feel like the walls are closing in on me. There are piles of crap everywhere I turn. Piles of toys, piles of clothes, piles of magazines/papers. All I need is 7oo cats & I'd be cooking with gas. I'm not an anal clean-freak person. But things do have to feel right. And they just don't. I am to the point of crawling into our new ride and driving as far as I can until I can't go anymore.

In my mind, everything is neglected. And the hole seems to be getting deeper & I don't know how to dig out. Meh.

Now that I'm done whining I wanted to personally acknowledge a few people:

Slackermommy: I've been reading when I can. I'm sorry I haven't been there like I want to be. Apologies suck, in my mind, I just need to DO. I'll work on it.

Pippajo: Thanks for always being there. I'm sorry I've been absent.

Oh, the Joys!: Your humor is one of the things that keeps me going. Sorry I've been lacking on the comments over your way.

Jen: I hope you have had a wonderful vacation & sorry I haven't commented over your way either.

Deb: Same thing....I love reading what you have to say. But my comments your way are lacking. I'm a shit.

I know I'm forgetting others, so I apologize to you all as well.

I think what I need is a swift kick in the arse. I'm trying to find what it is that is going on & fix it. But it might take awhile. So, if I'm not around much, I'm sorry. But I'm trying & I'll do my best.


Sleep To Dream

I had this dream the other night. And now that I've had this dream for the third time, in a relatively short period of time, I now feel comfortable enough to label it a recurring dream.
In the dream, I am on a bike trail riding my bike. And I'm riding through the woods. The landscape is very hilly. I am inclined to think that this is a dream version of a park I've ridden before or the Northern part of my state. Anyway.....I'm riding along (sometimes alone, sometimes accompanied by someone - not sure who) and the trail leads to what looks like part of a rather large Estate. I'm assuming this would be the DuPont's as I'm pretty sure I'm in Northern Delaware (in my dream). On the left are some average-sized homes. I'm assuming these are quarters for the "help". And straight ahead, in the middle of the trail, is this large, boxy, Georgian-style mansion. It's usually a slate-blue color with white shudders. It's quite clear that this home has historic significance. I dismount off of the bike and enter the house. Everything inside is perfectly preserved. And when I enter, there is a museum-like feel to the house. I walk around, looking at the artifacts, inspecting the furniture, the floors....everything. Sometimes I head up to the 2ND floor, sometimes I simply mill around the first floor. But after walking around for a few minutes, it becomes clear that I am not alone in this house. I hear banging and clanging, footsteps, creepy noises, moaning and any other number haunting noises that you can imagine. I end-up hauling ass out of there & shortly thereafter, waking up.

This past week, I've had that same dream. Only this time, inside was a "tour guide". She was an older lady, dressed in period clothing. She seemed very warm, welcoming, sweet and generally-speaking: grandmother-ish. In the middle of her spiel about the dining room artifacts, there it is. All of the footsteps, loud banging, moaning, wailing, and related haunting noise. As I begin to take notice of all of the noise, the old lady just smiles this apologetic, non-plussed smile, shrugs it off, explains this happens all day, everyday and continues on with her tour. I look at her with a blank stare and run as fast as my size 8's will carry me back outside. Where upon, I wake up.

This dream is freaking me out. I discussed it just the other day with Rav for the first time. And we began discussing recurring dreams - old and new. I decided as him & I were talking, that I'd have to google Recurring Dreams and see just what in the hell was going on.

I did just that the other day & the results were quite interesting regarding my particular dream. It seems that when you dream about a house - that represents yourself. If you dream of an attic - that is your mind, your intellect. Different rooms are different parts of your personality/life. If you dream of a haunted house, that usually means that you need to deal with an old issue or repressed whatever. Dreaming of a haunted house could also mean that you are shedding old ideals/adopting new ones, but that something has yet to be dealt with.

This whole explanation has got me thinking. I certainly, over the past year or so, have shed some old ideals and have been changing my way of thinking. I've been looking past myself & trying to take a different approach to the way I deal with things.

I don't really know what the unfinished business is. Considering that most of us tend to have a bit of it over the years. I know that I'm not excluded in that. I guess what it comes down to is quieting myself down enough to listen to what is really bothering me and having the courage to take it head on.

I'm ready to ride my bike in my dreams and find that the trail is not obstructed by this big, old, boxy house. I'm ready to find that the trail extends through the woods, over the hills, to a bright, sunny field.


Random #999

I have to admit that I find it intensly amusing when AOL spell-checks my emails and the spell-check zeros in on my name (Tabitha) it wants to replace it with Absinth.


(Freaky Geek)

Ignore the inner dialouge that I've chosen to type. I'm sick with a nasty cold & punchy.

Sunday Morning Song of the Moment

This week's pick is from one of my new favorites. And what also makes this pick nice is that it's a song/artist that Rav enjoys as well. That doesn't happen too often. Anyway...
Whoa, Nelly. Dude can sing. If I were a guy, I would want to sing just like Ray LaMontagne. Like a lot of the artists' that I pick, I could choose any number of songs. But this one is hitting me in just the right spot this week, so I figured I'd share.

I Could Hold You In My Arms
By: Ray LaMontagne

When you came to me with your bad dreams and your fears
It was easy to see you'd been crying
Seems like everywhere you turn catastrophe it reigns
But who really profits from the dying
I could hold you in my arms
I could hold you forever
I could hold you in my arms
I could hold you forever
When you kissed my lips with my mouth so full of questions
My worried mind that you quiet
Place your hands on my face
Close my eyes and say
That love is a poor man's food
Don't prophesize
I could hold you in my arms
I could hold you forever
And I could hold you in my arms
I could hold you forever

So now we see how it is
This fist begets the spear
Weapons of war
Symptoms of madness
Don't let your eyes refuse to see
Don't let your ears refuse to hear
Or you ain't never going to shake this sense of sadness
I could hold you in my arms
I could hold on forever
And I could hold you in my arms
I could hold on forever

Snapshot Saturday

Our new (to us) baby. Ain't she purdy?? I'm in knock-down, drag-out, be-still-my-beating heart L-O-V-E. Not the greatest picture, I know. I know. I'll have to take another one at a later date.
YAY! for Landrover Discovery's!


Useful Tip #325

Keep a spare key somewhere outside of your house.
Or better yet, take keys with you when:

*You go out to chip away 3" of accumulated ice on your driveway, so that you can correct yesterday's mistake of skating on your ass to put your kid on the bus.

*Then while chipping away that 3" of ice, you try to help out a neighbor that is stuck on your street on the sheet of ice(which your kid's bus got stuck on yesterday on the way to school & had to be bailed out & the kids were a 1/2 hour late for school on account of your kid going to school & your house is on a slight incline. And vehicles, ice and inclines don't go together). You chip away under the tires, you push their vehicle, you spread salt under their tires. All in an attempt to be a good neighbor. (which at this point, in my mind is way over-rated).

*It is fricking freezing outside. I mean like windchills are in the teens & single digits.

*After all of that, you make your way back to the house (from the street, in front of your house), you're freezing, you have frozen snot running down your face, you can't feel your thighs anymore because you are so cold. All you want to do is get back in the house.
And you can't.

Because the kids have locked you out.

And you know they can't open the door because you have (like a good mother) installed the plastic safety doorknob covers over the doorknobs so they can't make that great escape they've been planning that they hope will land you on The World's Worst Mothers List.

*You panic. No cell phone. The gates to the backyard are frozen shut. You have to hop the fence in your semi-frozen state. Beat & pound, pound & beat on the back door. Where your four-year-old stands looking up at you in dismay. You scream through the glass of the back door (and now all of your neighbors know you're an idiot b/c your kids have locked you out of the house when hell has literally frozen over), that he has to go & get a stool, and turn that big lock on the top of the back door. And you think this is damn near impossible as he has had Occupational Therapy for almost 2 years and still struggles with the pincer grasp on his pencil, so how in the hell is he going to have enough strength in his little fingers to turn this big, ass lock??

But he does it.

And upon re-entering your home, said four-year-old turns to his two-year-old sister and says:
Gracie! Don't you dare lock mommy out of the house ever, ever again!

So there, Gracie! He.told.you.

In a nutshell, that is why you need to use your brain. Plant a key outside somewhere. Or like I said, take keys with you outside. Because just when you think your kids would never lock you out.
They sure as hell will.

The End.


Patience Rewarded

This one's for Pip.

10 Firsts:
1. First Best Friend: Her name was Keesha. We met in the 2nd grade and were best friends for about 2-3 years. I would consider her my very first best friend.
2. First Car: Oh.dear.lord. My first car was a Plymouth Horizon. It was white with a light blue interior. My parents bought it for me for my 16th birthday.
3. First Love: Davy Jones from The Monkees. (Oh, shut up. I was a little kid, watching Monkees reruns on TV. I had no clue!)
4. First Vacation: Outterbanks, NC with my dad, stepmom & her best friend & her family.
5. First Job: an associate at Sears (where I met Mark).
6. First Piercing (and my only): My ears when I was like 7 or 8.
7. First Concert: It was a tribute concert to Bob Marley at The Mann (I think?), when I was about 8, that my dad & stepmom took me to.
8. First record/CD bought: Jeez. You think I would remember this one. Hmmmm. This a tough one. I remember the first record that I was given. I remember the first CD's I was given. But I can't remember the first one I bought myself. That's bad.
9. First real love: Mark. I met him my junior year in high school. We started dating in August right before my senior year. We ended up getting an apartment together and calling it a day in like 1998.
10. First screen name: I believe it was Hexfan. I was into the Flyers & Ron Hextall was/is my favorite player.....it was a (bad) ode to him.

9 Latest:
1. Latest alcoholic beverage: Yuengling with dinner which I am currently still working on finishing (the drink - not dinner).
2. Latest car ride: Last night, to pick something up for the kids to eat since our electricity went out.
3. Latest movie watched: Little Miss Sunshine. Rav & I watched it yesterday during our Snow Day.
4. Latest phone call made: To my best friend, Pat's house, and I spoke with her daughter Jen, who is taking a class with me this semester.
5. Latest jacuzzi bath: It's been that long that I couldn't even tell ya. But I think it was in Massachusetts at my BIL's house 1 1/2 yrs. ago. Sad, sad, sad.
6. Latest played CD: Ray LaMontagne's Trouble CD. I rarely buy CD's & I just bought this one Sunday morning. Dude is AMAZING.
7. Latest time you cried: Sunday morning AT breakfast when Rav & I were discussing something regarding Connor.
8. Latest meal: Spicy Tomato-Basil Pork Tenderloin out of the Cooking Light magazine.
9. Latest curse: The eff-dash-dash-dash word. The Queen Mother of all dirty words. I sling that thing around like a soggy noodle.

8 Things You Wear:
1. Crazy Socks
2. Fleece slipper socks overtop of the crazy socks.
3. Jeans
4. Grannies (for some reason ever since I had Gracie, I can't wear thongs anymore. I save those for X-tra special occasions.)
5. A new bra.
6. Black Gap T-shirt
7. A new purdy purple sweater I bought recently at Goodwill. Yes. That's what I said.
8. My wedding ring.

7 Have You Ever:
1. Dated one of your best friends? Uh, yeah. Not a good idea. I don't recommend it.
2. Been arrested? Nada.
3. Fallen in love at first sight? Yup
4. Been in a TV program? Ever watch Bewitched? That little girl 'Tabitha'...yep, that was me. Kidding. No, never.
5. Had Your Heart Broken? Seriously? A man-eater like me? C'mon. YES!
6. Said you loved someone without meaning it? Yeah. I'm terrible.
7. Made a prank phone call? Yes, but not since 8th grade.

6 Things You've Done Lately:
1. Laundry
2. Talked on the phone
3. Drank hot chocolate w/ peppermint mocha creamer topped with Extra-creamy Redi-whip.
4. Ate dinner
5. Got rip-roaring drunk this past Saturday.
6. Laughed 'til I pissed my pants a little watching Little Miss Sunshine.

5 Favorite Things:
1. Rav's eyes
2. Music
3. Slipping under a Korean blanket
4. Coffee
5. Sleeping children

4 People I Can Tell Anything:
1. My dad
2. Pat - my best friend
3. Beth - my good friend
4. Bob - my queen friend

3 Choices:
1. Black or white? White, for sure. I LOVE white T-shirts. I'm anal about my whites being white (not gray), pure white snow. WHITE, WHITE, WHITE.
2. Summer or winter? Summer! Duh.
3. Chocolate or chips? PMSing.....hell ya, Chocolate. Chips, sometimes. Mainly chocolate.

2 Things To To Before You Die:
1. Write a children's book.
2. Travel to Australia

1 Thing You Regret:
1. Way too personal to mention here.

On an unrelated note, Pippa....to answer your question (and thank you for thinking of me), I'm feeling the same. The doc suggested it is emotional. But I'm not so sure. I'm going to keep an eye on this & if nothing changes, make some more appointments. Clearly, something is up. But he did a huge work-up & everything came back normal. Go figure.
By the way, I hope you find out what is 'ailing' you & my thoughts are with you & Your Girl.

Postcards From Hoth...

Greetings From Hoth! We wish you were here.

The lush foliage on Hoth. It's indescribably beautiful.

We were so lucky to book our vacation to Hoth during

the peak weather season.

I (Tab) decided to head out of our "villa" on our Tonton (thank you, Jon)

and see the local terrain.

The Hoth skies are heavy with the warm rays of sunshine.


Spending Valentine's Day on Hoth is a dream come true. I have, since I was a wee little girl, dreamt of spending Valentine's Day on a planet of ice.

As a surprise for Rav, I had this wonderful meal all planned out. I figured I would make this wonderful meal that we could sit down and enjoy together. It just so happens that as I was preparing the fresh herbs for the sauce and preparing the tenderloin Voila! - the electricity goes out. Not to be deterred, I find as many candles as I possibly can & am determined to finish this meal....in the semi-darkness.
Yeah, that didn't work.
Despite our meal plans being put on hold, we had a wonderful dinner of homemade Lentil soup (whose effects are "beneficial" in many, many ways - who knew that we'd both benefit from those effects 12 hours after the fact. Gas masks are a must-have. Next time, I'll place them atop of the napkins when I make this soup), a dessert of strawberry shortcake....by candlelight....with the kids.
It may not have been what we planned, but it was an adventure. And we all had fun.
Hoth does have it's good-points. There are just too many to name here. I figured I'd send you all the pictures and let them speak for themselves.

See you in a few days - after we all defrost and thaw.


a valentine for The One

Sweet Air
By: me

He admires her walls,
her delicate confusion.
He watches the changing-of-the-guard
The emotion, the mind-set,
checking out
While the next shift man their posts
And begin their vigile.

He has no expectation
or no wayward intent.
He just wants to be
in close physical proximity.
Because he thinks the
air near her smells sweeter.

He asks for nothing.
And he gives her

As he treads so
softly, yet strongly
Around her,
He is quiet.
But yet she can hear him
so loudly.

She takes notice that
the air smells sweeter
Where he is.

The guards march on
to man other gates.
And there he is...

Her strength,
Her steadfast,
and gentle man.
The gentle man who is
strong enough to pick her up
and carry her away.


Thank You, Mrs. Salt

Warp speed.
That's how the Ravioli family rolls. My head is spinning.
It's reeling from all of the fog. And then traveling at warp speed.....that can do a girl in.

Thursday I had my follow-up with my PCP, so that he could read the results of my blood work. Good news is that the blood work was all perfectly normal.

The bad news?
That it all came back perfectly normal.

I do have my health. So that is something.
We discussed what could possibly be causing my hair to fall out by the handfuls. We discussed my appointment with the GYN and he sent my healthy ass on my way.

As I was traveling the road toward home, I called Rav to tell him that there isn't a GD thing wrong with me - medically speaking. And his voice sounds funny. He sounds as if he is teetering. He then asks me where the dustpan and hand broom is.

It's in our room, I reply. (as I had been cleaning the mutant dust bunnies earlier that day).

Okay, he says. Then proceeds with:

You won't believe what our daughter - you're daughter has done.

Me: Oh, god. What'd she do?

Rav: Well, she has sprinkled salt from the kitchen, all the way up to our bedroom. It's everywhere. You can't escape it.

Me: (beginning to belly laugh)

Rav: Oh my god!! It's everywhere!

Me: (full-on laughter)

Rav: Go ahead and laugh your ass off because it's all over your new iHome. Awww.....OH shit! It's all in our bed. F*&% it.
I'm not even trying to clean all of this up. Maybe it's good luck. And since we'll be laying in it, it'll always be over our left shoulders.

Me: Bwaaaaahahahahaha.
Okay, honey. You sound like your hands are full. I'll just talk to you when I get home.

Rav: Yeah, okay.

That's the funny thing about kids. You just never know what they're gonna do next. You never know what you'll find in your bed, what you'll find in your toilet, that that squishy stuff is that you just stepped in bare-footed, or why in the hell there is a slotted spoon in your underwear drawer.
There is, I'm convinced, a method to their madness. The imaginative, eccentric uses of the most everyday items becomes an art form. It becomes a great source of distress, possible catastrophe and amusement.
And it is all too fleeting.
Thank goodness for it all.
For it is divine.


Walking Through The Fog

I don't know what's going on with me this week. It's like for the past two or so weeks, I shot my wad & now I've got zilch. I have quite a few posts that are half-finished non-sensical what-ever. I had to type a two page paper for class (I mean, how hard can that be?) and my mind is so cloudy that I felt like every sentence was either a fragment, a run-on, or again, nonsense.

I have had nothing to draw on this week.
Tabula rasa.

In other news, today I go to the doc for my blood work results. I know this sounds crazy, but I hope he comes up with something. Because then at least I'll have an explanation for what has been going on. Not necessarily mentally, but otherwise. And tomorrow, Rav and I head out for Part I of his medical "stuff".
Honestly, everything is an effort. Waking up in the morning - major effort.

Preparing a meal. HA! It takes me all day to talk myself into making the most meager of meals. I feel like I need a cheerleader here.
You can do it! You can do it! Put the food on the stove! There's nothing to it! You can do it!

What's weird is how great I felt last month & this month (which has just barely begun) has left me zapped and a limp noodle of my former self. Perhaps that's just the giving and taking of energy? The natural balance of things in the universe. So, if you all wouldn't mind...send some energy/general health vibes my way.


Here's Hoping....

I love checking things out on the storypeople website. The "stories" are just too funny and a little left-of-center - which I'm always down with.

Sorry I haven't had much to say this week. I go through these spurts. Where the well runs dry for a bit.
Hopefully I'll be back in full-force sometime this week.


Question Of The Day #1.5

So, is it completely rude, juvenile, and ridiculous of me to want to wear my iPod while I grocery shop?
What do you all think?

(I fully intend to disconnect the ear buds at the check out line. Unless I do self check-out, then the ear buds are staying intact.)


Sunday Morning Song of the Moment

I don't even know where to begin this week's song. I had three (including the pick for this week) in mind. I wish I could figure out how to host music on here, so that I had the capability to share more than one song on Sunday. It would make it easier on these weeks when I have a hard time deciding. And I find that typing the lyrics just doesn't do the songs any justice. Blah blah blah.....enough rambling.
The chosen song is a beauty. It's been on repeat inside my head & on my playlist. It doesn't have any history for me, there are no significant events to tie me to this song or anything like that. It's just one of those songs that hits you in just the right spot. Like Shepherd's Pie, or your Granny's homemade soup. Comfort. Beautiful, sweet comfort.

Heal Over
By: KT Tunstall

It isn't very difficult to see why
You are the way you are
Doesn't take a genius to realize
That sometimes life is hard
It's gonna take time
But you'll just have to wait
You're gonna be fine
But in the meantime

Come over here lady
Let me wipe your tears away
Come a little nearer baby
Cuz you'll heal over
Heal over
Heal over someday

And I don't wanna hear you tell yourself
That these feelings are in the past
You know it doesn't mean they're off the shelf
Because pain's built to last
Everybody sails alone
But we can travel side by side
Even if you fail
You know that no one really minds

Come over here lady
Let me wipe your tears away
Come a little nearer baby
Cuz you'll heal over
Heal over
Heal over, someday

Don't hold on but don't let go
I know it's so hard
You've got to try to trust yourself
I know it's so hard, so hard

Come over here lady
Let me wipe your tears away
Come a little nearer baby
Cuz you'll heal over, heal over, heal over someday

What's The Story, Morning Glory?

I've finally decided to take action. Actually Rav & I both have decided to take action regarding medical "stuff". I'm not really allowed to discuss his form of action. But I'm ecstatic about it.

I have been struggling with a couple of things. One is that my hair is falling out. I mean, I run my hands through my hair and I get fistfuls of hair. If anyone reading this actually knows me, you know how thick my hair is. And I'm not prone to shedding. The only time I lost hair like this was a few weeks after I gave birth.

I've made mental notes regarding this problem for the past few weeks & have dealt with it by merely complaining about it to anyone who will listen & merely shrug my shoulders at the same time.
I've been feeling weird. I'm very achey, my sleeping patterns are all wonky, I'm tired all of the time and I always look bloated. I know that my weight fluctuates, especially ever since having Gracie. But something is just.not.right.

On top of which my cycle is all F!#$ed up too. I get sick. And I mean sick - among other symptoms. I won't get into details, but something is, again, just.not.right.

The first step of action was I walked into my PCP and asked for a script to check out my thyroid, as I have had a goiter in the past (about 10 years ago). With that test & a few others he threw in for good measure, maybe we'll be on to something.
Then I finally called the GYN & am going to talk her ear off next week about all things cyclical and probably be made to feel quite uncomfortable, but it must be done.

That being said, I've sat on my arse regarding these things for way too long. I mean, all kinds of things could be running wild & rampant and I've been so concerned that it's taken me months to pick up the phone to make a couple of appointments.
That being said, if any of my friends or any of my sister-cousins called me & told me this, the mother-hen, big sister, pushy - but concerned Tab would come out & they'd get the old You better go get that checked out Better be safe than sorry, why not get it checked out right away before it becomes anything really bad speech.

Why do I think so little of my own health and well-being. Why am I content to let myself suffer rather than be pro-active. And really, this is unlike me. Not saying I'm a hypochondriac. But I'm pretty good at listening to my body & if sumpin' ain't right, I'm usually on it.
So, what's my deal?


If You Could See My Cheeks

You would notice that they are a bright, rosey red. I'm totally embarrassed and flattered that Jess over at Oh, The Joys! nominated this post for a Perfect Post Award.

I've never been nominated for anything here in bloggyland, and I'm so thankful and humbled by the nod. So, thank you Jess. You like me! You really, really like me! Sorry, I couldn't resist. Bad joke, I know.

Seriously though, thank you.