Sunday (Morning) Song of the Moment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Mental Mute

I have so much and so little to say.

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

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

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

Tomorrow is another day.


A Nine Pound Hammer Or A Woman Like You

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

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

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

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

That's all.



In approximately two weeks, my calendar will turn yet again.
With that approach, I will be hitting my third decade. I will teeter there and wait for three-oh to grab hold.
(Oh, shush. I know you're all rolling your eyes at me. I know that I'm the baby of the "group".)

I feel that as such, this marks the end of something.
And not necessarily in a bad way.
But it definitely has the closing of a chapter feel.

And because of this, I have decided
A) that I need to celebrate this birthday - as I usually don't celebrate myself on my birthday.
B) I have been doing more introspection and self-evaluation than I normally do. (which means I've been doing A LOT).

I've been thinking about all that has been wrapped up, accomplished, discovered, and experienced in these two decades.
The roads have been rough, meandering.
Making their way to smoother, more purposeful ones.

I have found pieces of myself that I had thought were long gone and had become useless litter that lined my road.
I have learned how to (more) easily identify that meaningful "litter" that I discarded without knowing any better and the "litter" that is simply just that...trash.
Whether that be unhealthy people, habits, or mindsets.

I have become much more comfortable with this personality of mine, this essence that spans more than the (almost) three decades.
For it reaches much farther back.
It resides in the 1940's.
Completely skips over the 1950's.
And picks back up again in the late 60's-early 70's.
I was born before my time - if that makes any sense.
I'm simply an old soul.
And I've come to accept that as OK.
It's OK that I may be the only 20-something who watched Are You Being Served? and Laugh-In (on Nick-at-Nite with Three Dog Night Dad & Eileen) growing up.
It's totally rockin'(I think)that I get goosebumps when I see 40's era cars, clothing, and hear 40's era music.
Which brings me to the next...

I've embraced my inner geek.
And that's all I have to say on that.

These things I've listed above have always been a part of me.
But this year.
This year
I've grown into them.
They fit now.
I'm much more OK with me than I was ever before.

Not to say that there isn't more work to be done.
I'm still struggling with things.
There is still so much left to do, left to learn, left to explore.
There are inner boundaries that I want to push just a bit farther.

With all of these inner victories that I have won this year
it does make me eager to see what the year between
29 and 30 will bring.


Sunday Morning of the Moment

My pick for this morning is New Shoes by Paolo Nutini.
I'm so happy to have run across him in the past few weeks.
I desperately needed something new.

I particularly love that you can hear hints of his Scottish accent in the song.
Yes, that's right. He's Scottish.
Go figure.


Of Kindred Spirits and Hunting Mice

I have a new ally in Beck.
Her story of finding a mouse carcass sent me into sympathy gagging.

I absolutely, hands-down, with out a doubt would love to rid the world of all mice.
That may sound horrible of me.
But they really are about the nasty of all nasty beasts.
They just plain old skeeve (spelling? anyone?) me out.

I have called Rav home in the middle of his work day because I saw a mouse who thought himself so bold as to go prancing through my diningroom in the middle of the day.
The set on this guy (the mouse), I'll tell ya.
To think it is OK to just go sauntering through my diningroom like that.

One evening, I fell asleep on the sofa (Rav was upstairs). When I woke up to go to bed, a mouse decides to play chicken and run right out in front of me.
I hauled ass back to the sofa and had Rav come downstairs and give me a piggy-back ride across the livingroom floor and over to the steps.

Why am I telling you about all of this?
Well, the other night in soc. class, we got to talking about germs. And how some people are extreme (though they might not think so) about hand-washing and touching things.

The instructor said she just does not think about germs the way that a germaphobe does.

And I agree. I mean, I am mindful to wash my hands. I try to hover over public toilets, I use my foot to flush public toilets. But I'm not completely paranoid in public places.

And we began a discussion about how everyone has their thing.

I couldn't think of what my thing was.
Because I'm not a freaky-deaky person.
I'm above obsession.
I have it all together.

Slowly it came to me that my thing is mice.
When the weather starts getting colder, I have a keen sense of the almost inaudible
scratch, scratch, scratch in the walls. If I hear the slightest sound of a teeny, tiny squeak I become alert.

My pupils dilate. My breathing becomes very slow and quiet. I sit very still. I turn in the direction of the sound.
When I hear it again, I know the game is on.

I run around the house stuffing steel wool into every little nook and cranny.
I make sure every available electrical outlet has those sonic mice keeper-awayer things.
I put the poison pellets under appliance.
I hunt them. I can tell the paths that they are travelling. I am keen to their habits.
And it really does become this thing that just takes up my spare thoughts.

It occurred to me the other day just how insane I am about keeping these things out of homes.
We were at my mom's house getting ready to leave.
As I was standing by the door, I happened to look down at the baseboard trim.
I said to my mom, Looks like you've got some mice.
She said Oh, no! Why? How do you know?
I said, See down here at the trim? This little pile of wood and paint dust? They are running behind the baseboard trim and are digging out a nest or whatever.
She was like Oh, I thought it might have been from ants.
Could be. I said. But it looks more like mice to me.

What do you think?
A job in pest control awaits?

Or just plain old insanity?


He Double-Fists - With Crayola

A couple of weeks ago, we were out to dinner with the kids and my BFF.
(oh, what a rarity. We just don't do restaurants with both of the kids. Unless it is the diner for breakfast).
I happened to have a box of crayons in Gracie's bag.
And the kids set to work coloring the fronts and backs of every placemat they could get their hands on.

Connor was sitting to the right of me and I looked over at him.
He had a green crayon in one hand
and a red one in the other.

And he began writing his name.
With both hands.
Two letters at the same time.
And his hands were moving in opposite diretions of each other.

His name looked perfect.
There were no mistakes.

My jaw flew open and plopped itself into my bowl of soup.
I asked him to do it again.
And he freaking-fracking did!

Has anyone else ever seen this?
Tonight is open-house at his school and I'm hoping to run into the Occupational Therapist.

On a side note, I tried this out myself.
And I couldn't do it.
Not to mention, it looked terribly sloppy.
Whereas Connor's looked perfect.

Or just me?


Sunday Morning Song of the Moment

I may have picked this song before. In fact, I think I did use it on one of the weeks where I couldn't select just one - and I added it in a list of many that week.

But there can be no substitute for actually listening to the song.

I want to send this out to two lovely women.
There was a time when I desperately longed for lovely, strong, fun, intelligent women in my life.
I lived in envy of other women who had a group of "girls".
And I have recently accumulated some amazing, amazing women friends.
I am ever so grateful for them.

I dedicate this to the lovely Mrs. S. Whom I adore.
She is a dear, dear woman.
She is a teacher of young men in a catholic high school in our small state.
She is a devoted, amazing mother.
She jokes about how she has a degree in French.
And when we get that huge influx of French come in to our country, she will be in high demand. (I'm sure she is in high demand, anyway.)
She offers her home, her table, her meals, and her affection to my little family whenever we visit.

I also dedicate this to Jess (not to myself, Jess. But to the other Jess - and she knows who she is).
Jess who heard this song playing in our house one night and was moved by the music enough to ask who it was.
Jess who is embarking on a new adventure and who I know will do well.
The adventure will not take her to Paris.
But it is an adventure nonetheless.
She is scared and excited.
And I am so proud of her for taking such a leap.
She is courageous, fun, and smart, smart, smart.
I'm so glad to have met you and look forward to spending more time getting to know you even more.

So, J'ai Deux Amors by Madeleine Peyroux is sent out to these fine women.
I am thinking of you both this morning.
Won't you all join me for a stroll through Paris with these two lovely women?
We'll lock arms as we walk, we'll throw our heads back and laugh, we'll long - maybe just a little for the moment to never end, we'll lift each other up, we'll relish in the light that we each radiate.
You won't be disappointed.


Full Circle

I haven't seen Three Dog Night Dad in quite awhile.
There really is no great excuse.
Attempts have been made.
And for one reason or another, it just doesn't come to fruition.

Out of desperation, I phoned old Pop at about 4 p.m. Tuesday evening and said
Hey, Dad. It's Jess. Feel like stopping by for a bit on your way home from work?
He gobbled up the invitation.

We sat on the couch and chatted while the kids showed him every meaningless tidbit under the sun.
Meaningless as in Here, Pop-Pop! Look at this tissue!!! Here, Pop-Pop, look at this Cheerio on the floor that has been here since Connor's 6 month of life!!!
They were so excited to see him, they had to ply him with every object and object description they possibly could.

So there we are.

Father and daughter sitting on the couch.
Having a good old,long overdue talk.
All of a sudden, my dad stops listening.
His eyes avert to the right of me.
Something else has grabbed his attention.

At first I'm a tad bit alarmed thinking maybe that ginormous spider of ours has made it's way into the house.
Or worse yet, a mouse has been spotted (I'm freakishly afraid of the nasty buggers).

I look in the direction that has him so engrossed.
And it is this picture that has made it's way to the computer screen during the screen saver montage:

He sat there staring with the goofiest, most satisfied, longing, happy look on his face.I was speechless.
I didn't know what to say.

But as a mom, as a parent, I can only imagine what he must have been thinking.


Apparently I Am The Queen Mum

Last night, I got approximately 1.4 hours of sleep.
I have a cold that is sticking it to me where the sun don't shine.
And it is that reason that I did not sleep last night.

Oh, how I wished that I did not have to shower, get dressed, drive to work and put on a happy face for my cute little preschoolers.
I just wanted to stay in bed.
Scratch that.
It wasn't necessarily that I wanted to stay in bed.
I needed to stay in bed.

Alas, I got dressed and waited for the day to get started.
I was taking care of some last minute curriculum planning this morning when the phone rings.
And it's Rav.

He is on his way to drop Gracie off at my in-laws to be cared for while we work.
Rav says You want to hear something funny?
I think to myself: as long as it's funny a la it's actually Saturday morning and we've all gotten our days screwed up, which means I can go back to bed. That's the only funny I want to hear.
But that would be mean to tell him to shove it.

So I say Yeah, I guess. (which is oh, so much better)

He says So, we're in the car and I say to Gracie 'Who is my most special girl?' And she says, 'ME!!!'. And then I say to her 'Are you my princess?'. To which she replies 'No. No I am not a princess! You can just call me Queen.'

I laugh genuinely and say Oh, no. That is just no good.

Rav says Yeah. I thought I'd just share that with you so we both know what we're up against.

True dat.


Misty Morning II

What can I say today that someone else isn't already saying more eloquently?

Last year, I did a ranting, raving post. And I have to say that I don't feel much differently today than I did last year.

All I can say is I Remember.

And I'm sure you do too.

Sometimes, I feel that is the best that we can do.
Because there are not always clear cut solutions and answers.
And the mentality that people have of
How could that happen here?
Bothers me on so many levels.

All I know is that today I will have a hard time playing silly games and painting with my little preschoolers.
I'll have a hard time looking at them and knowing that the world as it was is so completely changed from the days before towers fell and planes crashed, to the now.
It's with a heavier heart and a heavier mind.
I'll look at these children who are so pure in their ignorance
and all I can do
is Hope.


Sunday Morning Song of the Moment

I really have been out of the music loop lately. I'm usually on the prowl for little known artists and songs. But so many other things have been keeping me away from it.

Things like my first baby heading off to all-day kindergarten.
And this fact has had me reflecting quite a bit about just how fast time flies.

We were visiting parents of some good friends of ours last weekend.
And we began to talk about the kids.
And I said to Mr. & Mrs. S. It seems like it was just five minutes ago we came over here with Connor in his infant car seat.
It does feel like that was just five minutes ago.
I've been trying to remind myself that our financial situation isn't always going to be like this.
The kids won't be this little that much longer, that I'll be finished school sometime soon, and things will change.

And all of this is good.
All of it.
The hard, the easy, the heart-wrenching, the anticipation.

And the other thing?
I am happy.
We are happy.

And nothing encapsulates all of this for me like the following song.
Mushaboom by Feist


On Yesterdays and Tomorrows

When I think about how to make this world a better place, I instantly look to the generation that is waiting-in-the-wings.
The ones that don't even know that the weight has been placed upon them.
I think about what a load that is for these up-comers to bear. Considering their ages haven't even hit double-digits yet.
That it is completely up to them to rid the world of the nasties.

But that is faulty logic.
We, the adults - the generation of the now, might not be able to fix things but it is up to us to set the examples and to lead accordingly.

I got to thinking about how my compassionate heart became that way. How as much of a spit-fire I can be IRL, I am or try to be, kind. I tend to see things that others might not where other people are concerned.
And I got to thinking about how that came about.
I reflected on the adults in my life that fashioned and molded me. The adults who made the most postive lasting impressions.

You all are probably rolling your eyes and sighing, saying to yourselves Yeah, we know. We know. Your dad and that damned reggae music. Sheesh. Shut your pie-hole, would ya?

And while yes, my dad had the major positive influence on me, my compassion, my kindness, my manners came from my grandmother (my dad's mom).
She was the one that taught me to think of others first.
To always be polite.
To welcome anyone - to try and make them feel at home.
If anything, my grandmother was about propriety. And I don't mean that in a snooty way.
She just strongly felt that you should act a certain way to other people. And that way was always kind and polite.
And many others had their hands in the pot as far as the shaping-of-me went.
There were religious leaders, parishioners of our church, teachers, other relatives, etc.

It certainly wasn't any one person.
There were many.

I see how our society really gears toward the individualistic approach to things and I can't help but to think how sad it is.
And I reflect about how we push our kids to be independent, to not need anyone. Or at least need others as little as possible.
And then how shocked we are when they do find their wings and find their way and gain that independence, we scratch our heads and wonder
Why don't they need us? Why don't they come around?

I think about the gaping hole that would be left behind in my spirit or creative mind had I not been influenced by Mrs. Duncan, my 4th & 5th grade art teacher.
The battered little girl (emotionally) who never asked for hugs, but got them on a daily basis from Mrs. Bridge nee Pokoiski.
Or the feeling of belonging to something bigger at Christ Episcopal Church because of Rev. Lindermann, Mrs. Budd, Mr. & Mrs. Warren, Mr. Mitchell, Mrs. Bright, Mrs. Bonner and all of my friends in my sunday school class.
Or the unconditional love from Aunt Marie, Aunt Vicki, my Dad, Eileen (my stepmom), and my younger brothers and my mom.
The list could go on.

I might be in my metamorphosis stage right now. And I am certainly still working on myself to help better the world. I'm still trying to figure out what that means for me, exactly.
And those people above had a hand in it.
When I feel my heart overflow for someone, it is because of the love and caring that these people have showered on me.

And adults everywhere should be so mindful of the little eyes that look up to us and the little hands that need holding.
While they may be the future
We are the now.


Are You Sick Of These Boring Posts Yet?

These past few weeks have been a little nutty here.

With Connor starting school.
Both vehicles in and out of the shop on a eerie rotating schedule.
Now Gracie starts preschool tomorrow.
I start my first day at the preschool tomorrow.
And classes start back up for me at the school of higher education.

Things are starting anew in waves.
Just when we get in a groove
newness crashes in all around us in a refreshing and near-drowning frenzy of excitement and anticipation.

My mind has been both too full and too empty lately.
At the same time.

I wish I had something thrilling to report today.
I really don't.
I've spent the day awash in mundane planning and floating in seas of laundry.
Nothing so much thrilling there.

Here's to September and the subsequent changing of seasons.
And here's to having something to say.
We'll see what tomorrow brings.


Dignity In The Diner

Lately I've been thinking a lot about growing old and maintaining dignity.
I've been thinking about how I envision myself still vibrant and active when I hit my elder years.
I don't know if that is what will happen.
But that's what I hope for myself.

I've seen many an elderly person turn into a bitter shell of the young people they once were.
I listen to the lonely in their voice and think I'd probably sound just as scared and bitter when faced with this kind of lonely and/or this kind of pain on a daily basis. Who could stand to live with such physical pain?
Not to mention, feeling worthless and left behind.

I think each gender struggles with that worthless feeling, but in different aspects.
Males feel it after a life spent working and providing and no longer being able to do so.
And females feel it after a life spent working and caretaking and no longer feeling needed and valuable.

And of course growing old with dignity, I'm mindful of how our bodies and our minds can turn on us on a dime and we have no control over that either.
And again, just how scary that must be.


On Saturday, we rolled out of bed early, threw on some clothes and took the kids to our favorite diner for breakfast.
And can I quickly just tell you how much I adore going out to breakfast on a weekend morning?
I LOVE it. I love sitting down to a cup of coffee made by someone else and being waited on.
The anticipation of the meal.....
Anyway...we all love this diner.

We walk in and there is a crowd by the door waiting to be seated.
Gracie is hanging out in my arms "being shy".
And Connor is dancing around the register counter waiting to pick out his lollipop (don't ask) with Rav.

Gracie and I head off to one side as the door/register/waiting area are very close together and we are trying to leave room for people to walk through.
And as we're standing there I look over to my right (where there is an alcove of sorts with about 6 booths and a narrow walkway to get to those booths) and there is an elderly gentleman with a walker. He is trying to make his way to his table and gets stopped by a fellow female patron who knows him. He apparently has been battling a cold and has stopped to ask him how he's feeling and just generally speak to him.
As they are speaking a waitress and a female buser (is it with 2 s's?) are waiting to get by.
The waitress gets huffy and walks away.
And the buser tries to scoot past and can't.
So she waits.
Another female buser walks up to her and they begin speaking in their native language and are most obviously talking about this gentleman.
The waitress then walks back and sees he is now making his way back to his booth, very slowly, but is making his way nonetheless.
And as she is standing behind him, she is shaking her head and muttering nastily under her breath.
The poor fellow gets the wheel to his walker stuck, which hinders his forward motion, and her agitation grows.
(Mind you, this woman - the waitress - is middle-aged. Probably in her late 50's).

I was so taken aback by such passively cruel behavior.
Never once did she offer to help him.
Never once did she try to move him along by simply talking to him and escorting him to his table.
And he didn't even know the subtle "cruelty" that was being pushed in his direction.
Which is probably for the best.
But I saw it.
And it bothered me.
And I did nothing.

I worry about elders and those incapable of caring for themselves being subjected to cruelty in facilities - let's face it, it happens - it's happening in my home state right now. Today.
And fret over what is being done to these people or not done.
And I can't do anything about it.
I'm one person who can't save the world.

But here I was in a public place and saw such a disgusting display of intolerance.
And I chose to do nothing.
Because I was waiting in line with my family to get served a $5.00 breakfast.
And I chose to not act.

This got me thinking about all of the times we choose not to act over things we think are "little" or "benign". And how they really add up.

We might not see how one action or inaction effects the other, but they do.

I again do my infamous projecting and wonder if I would want someone to stand up for me or help out if that were me or Rav in that restaurant.
And of course, the answer is yes.
Those of us who can, need to rally for those who can't for themselves.

Little kindnesses.
Little kindnesses.
Growing older and growing period, with dignity.

I'm still working on it.


Another Sunday Morning Song by Rav

Today, at the end of the summer, I am reminded of when Tabba and I met. At the end of that summer we were faced with daunting prospects. Both of us were planning on attending school. At the time, Tab was living about 45 minutes south of me, and her school was about an hour and a half south of me. After 2 months of constantly being together, we were faced with spending a lot of time apart. The thought was unbearable to me, and to Tabba. Anyway, I played this song for her because it seemed fitting. The song is Haven't Seen For a While, by the Pat McGee Band. This band is mostly a bar band. They have had some success in the southern states, and I believe that they originally are from the Carolinas. I had the privelage of seeing them in Philly, and I met Pat McGee when he came to the University of Delaware to play. The particular version of this song is not my favorite. The album version is much better, but there are no good videos of this tune. Pat McGee is the gentleman on the guitar, without the cowboy hat. If you have ever been separated from your significant other for any length of time, this song will probably resonate in you too.....