Mother's Blues

Three years ago, the famiglia de Ravioli really struggled.
We threw our hands up in the air.
We huffed and puffed.
We shook our heads in resignation.
We wondered What in the hell is going on? What did we do wrong? What can we do now?

Connor was struggling and as a result we were struggling too.
I knew before I knew that this was beyond us and we'd have to get help.
And we did.
And things were good.

He finished kindergarten without major incident.
And he is barely receiving any "extra" help or services.
We've seen some old behaviors/issues peak out of old, long forgotten places.
And we've seen some new things come up.
The summer has been rough.

And now he's heading to 1st grade.
Where he'll be expected to sit at a desk.
I well up with tears and feel a sneaking claw of panic grip my throat and chest.

Because we have to start over with a new teacher.
She has to figure out Connor.
He's a complicated fellow.
And yet at the same time, so easy to figure out.
Which makes it even more complex and complicated in the difficult simplicity of his personality.

I panic because a lot of his own family and friends don't understand him.
Do not understand that his lack of physical/eye contact isn't a personal affront.
They don't understand how full his mind is. And how when it gets too full he bursts at the seams.

They don't understand that his desire to hide when entering a new social situation is not
because he doesn't want to see them, it's because his body processes commotion and change
much differently than the rest of us.

My heart still breaks for the kid, my kid, our kid
that many people will not get to know.
Because they leave his aloofness at the door and handle him at arm's length.
Simply because they just
don't understand or try to.
Or pretend to.
But we see the difference between true, genuine love and acceptance
and the feigned.
Parents can tell the difference.
And so can the kids.
He can tell.

And I just want to scream and cry and thrash on the floor and kick people in the shins
because it's just so unfair and damned frustrating.


Sunday Morning Song of the Moment - Tuesday Edition

Sunday found us running around like well, crazy people.
We were preparing the house for a small gathering of family members
and just a few friends to help us celebrate
Connor and Gracie's birthday.

It was a picture-perfect day.
It was warm and breezy rather than
Delaware's famous hot and humid.

The kids had a great day and I think the adults did too.

So here is my song that I would have chosen.
Just two days late.

There is no story.
I just love the song.


Not Always an Easy Question

Aliki asked me today: "How ARE you?"

This got me thinking about the nature of the question.
In most cases, it can be a pretty pedestrian question.
You could walk into an A&P and ask someone, "How are you?"
You would most likely get an, "I'm fine and you?" in return.
Most of the time, the question is asked without any real answer.
Most of the time, you ask the question and you don't want the answer.

I also know that I'm usually a caretaker-type personality.
I'm usually the one that people are coming to for help, advice, and guidance (in real life).
So rarely am I asked the question.

And that is OK.
Most of the time, I am OK.
There usually isn't much to tell.
I'm a pretty open book.

So, when I opened my gmail and saw the comment (in the form of an email) where Aliki asked the question, it made me smile. It made me stop for a moment and ask myself:
How ARE you?

Rather a simple question.
It shouldn't be hard to answer.
But it is.
Today it is. Well, sort of.


I made a lot of progress this past year letting go of the little girl who was screaming on the inside.
But she's back.
She's back after my mom told me that she is leaving my stepdad.
I'm a grown woman, I know.
But the way in which my mom does this knee-jerk reaction thing and well,
just brings back some memories which I thought were long dealt with.
On a less selfish, egotistical note
I'm thinking of the implications this will have on Connor and Gracie.

Rav & I have been dealing with a family issue which I really am not at liberty to discuss here.
While it has certainly taken its toll, it has only helped us to talk through some things and take stock.
The ripple effects are heartbreaking.

I'm going through yet another spiritual awakening of sorts and have
come to some realizations that are wonderful, scary, and comforting
all at once. I'd love to blog about this, but I don't know if it will ever come about.

The biggest thing is that, despite turmoil and stress, I'm staying even. I'm not hiding.
I'm good.

Rav and I are strong in our relationship. We have our days, like we all do. But I am so, so thankful for our solid relationship.
I realize how connected we are and how we are lucky to still have passion.

Ours isn't a perfect life.
Far from it.
But we've made it together.
We work hard at it.

And it's perfect for us.

So, to answer the question:
At the end of the day.
When my head hits the pillow
I am thankful.

And I am good.


4 Years and Several Pounds Ago

I gave birth to Gracie.
On July 22, 2004.

My pregnancy caused great stress and I wondered how we would get through.
A double-blow was dealt when I found out that we were having a girl.
I wondered how.

How I would mother a girl.
I knew love and hugs would be involved. That's easy.
But it was all of that other stuff.

Needless to say, it's been fine.
Beyond fine.
I still struggle with the horror of horrors:
Princess crap.
I draw the line at tiaras and clothing with the words princess on it.
But she's a girl.
Through and through.

Despite being my daughter, she is my rock.
She has no idea that there are days when she is what is holding me together.
And I recognize that might not be good.
But all it takes is for her to smile or touch me.
And I know it will all be OK.

She is full of something that I will never possess.
She is what would happen if you mixed the very best parts of Rav and I
but only
made it better.
She is that fantabulous.

I love my daughter.
My girl.
Happy Birthday, my little lovely.

Here is your (latest) favorite song.
May you hold it close. And remember it is so true.


Words Worth

I try to squeeze in all of my leisure reading during the summer.
During the academic year I'm too busy with my required reading to take the time to read for pleasure.
So with my impending (temporary) unemployment and my sojourn from school, I plowed into my first book of the summer.

I was ecstatic when I found out that my main man, David Sedaris, had a new book out. To be perfectly honest, I finished this 2 days after I got it. So that was about 3 or 4 weeks ago.
And he did not disappoint me. I know that he has hit his mark when I have to put the book down and just laugh.

Last night, I got to thinking (for some strange reason) about writers. In particularly sitcom and movie writers, as well as, David Sedaris, Garrison Keillor, Mo Willems and our very own OTJ, and Kevin Charnas. As well as personal favorites Maigh and Flutter.

See they have something that I will never possess.
The ability to write, a wicked sense of humor and the ability to find great humor in the mundane.
Nothing slays me more than a person who can demonstrate wit, cheek, and humor with a single and oft time simply constructed sentence.
And when I use the word "simply" I mean it in the sense that they use ordinary words.
They don't have to flash a $10,000 vocabulary. They don't have to bedazzle you with verbosity.
They just say it and
it's damned funny and thought provoking. Sometimes even emotional.

When I think about characters in fiction or those on TV, I found that I have a recurring attraction to those that are precocious. Being a person who is not all that witty and only sporadically funny, I feel drawn to someone who oozes those attributes so freely. As though through this person I can relate to the sense of humor and the thoughts that get trapped somewhere between my brain and my mouth.

I fantasize about a smoke-filled, over-caffeinated writer's room.
And imagine myself swirling about with my arms stretched wide open, being completely in awe at the wicked smart one-liners that fly about.
Or the banter and mundane events that inspire one another to construct dialogue that will later amuse millions.

I wonder about the process. If a writer walks into the writer's room and innocently shares a story - something that could only happen to them and it becomes fodder.
I wonder about the lives and the real-life characters and happenings that later become my amusement.
A line from a movie such as: "I've always been considered an asshole for as long as I can remember. It's just my style." - Royal Tenenbaum, how does that take shape? What was the inspiration? How do you sit down and come up with something so simple and funny?

The point is: I adore it.
I wish I had it.
And I don't. But that's OK.
I'm just glad that there are people out there that do.


Sunday Morning Song of the Moment

I love me some Ray LaMontagne.
His voice goes straight through me and bewitches every cell, every pore.
I've said before that if I could sing (and if I were a man), I wish that I could sing like him.
Granted, this version isn't great. The album version is sublime.

This song between the artist, what the song is about, and those blessed horns is just the right concoction for a gal like me.
It's a mixture of my favorite things.
I crank this when I'm alone in the car and hit repeat.

Enjoy. He's my man.
But I'll let you borrow him for awhile ;)


Fathers and Daughters

You all have sat through countless posts about time spent with Three Dog Night Dad
when I was a little girl and how those times were the happiest of my childhood.

Well since becoming involved in a mature, adult relationship
and transitioning into mommyhood
my dad and I have rarely spent time alone together.
We'd say with best of intentions that we needed to do it.
And well, you know how that goes.
All Cats and the Cradle and all.

This past weekend provided that opportunity
what with my younglings and man away in Massachusetts for a long weekend.
I packed myself a bag and a beach chair
and met my dad down at his beach cottage.

We sat together drinking a few cold ones and chatting.
And then we went out for a quality dinner together.
Upon entering the establishment we received a few sideways looks.
But I figured it's small-town Delaware, they probably don't appreciate a guy with long hair here.
And I shrugged it off.

Later on, after introducing my dad to some audio versions of David Sedaris, and a few rib-cracking laughs later, we were out walking around near a dock.
Again, we're just talking.
We look over to our left and there's a rowdy, good-natured group of locals who are red faced
and uber-smiling.
Good for them. I think to myself.
Then we hear:
Hey! Hey! Hey, lady!
I turn my head and say Yeah?
She replies with:
I dig your old man's beard!!
My dad and I smile and laugh.
We look at each other and my dad replies with
Uh. She's my daughter.
The lady's face becomes an even more pronounced shade of scarlett and apologizes.
I think that's when it hit me.
How often do you see an adult woman spending time alone with her dad?

I was OK with this.
I have no problems spending time with my dad.
But I think once girls hit a certain age, you just rarely see it.
Maybe I'm wrong or maybe my little state just isn't that progressive yet.
It just hit me as kind of sad.


May The Farm Be With You

Someone sent this to me today & it's just too good.


Dirt Between Our Toes & Nobody Knows

I'm sure with inconsistent posts and barely getting by to read any of yours
I barely have a readership.
It is what it is.
You get what you put into things.

And lately my focus has been on reconnecting with kids I barely saw over the fall and winter.
Painting the boudoir of a young couple who has been married for 5 years, had 2 kids, and one messy, stark white, room (that would be Rav & I).

We've been outside.
Hiking, playing, getting dirty.
Sometimes dinner has only consisted of an ice cream cone.
It's been a few, sweet weeks of simple luxuries.
Like ice cream for dinner.
Oh, we had those last week.
The week before last.
I kid about that.
My kids are eating fine.

A day or two goes by and I realize that we're dirty.
Dirty from play and grass and sweat.
But it's good.
Cleansing even.

I've hitched up the bike trailer to my bike
and the kids and I have headed out with a packed lunch
to our local park.

We've hit fairs, ridden rides, and spent more time together in the past few weeks than
we have in what seems to be the last few years.

We spent the night at the beach with Three Dog Night Dad and Eileen.
We've put our toes in The Atlantic and been covered in sand.

Last night the kids and Rav arrived home after spending 4 days in Massachusetts
sans Mommy.

All the while, we see Connor falling back into old, familiar, anxiety-ridden territory.
And we're tired.
Our family is busting out of this house and desperately wants to spread its wings.
We don't know where or how we'll get there.
Change isn't even on the horizon.
We just feel the itch.


My Latest Obsession

I know I've been sparce.
Beautiful weather has been beckoning the famiglia de Ravioli outside.
And I'm weak.
I'm a sucker for warm, sunny days.
And the smell of Water Babies sunblock on my kids' rounded arms.
All while I hold a sweaty glass bottle in my hand and throw my head back to wash the
cold adult beverage down my dry throat.
This song goes well with all of that.

Cape Cod Kwasaa Kwasaa by Vampire Weekend


How Long, Not Long

This weekend found us staying close to home.
We had made some plans to do some party hopping.
But the universe had other plans for us.
More in particularly - me.

I couldn't venture far away from the cold, hard comfort
of a certain...commode.
I'll leave it at that.
Just as well.
I could certainly use the money rather than dump into our huge, ginormous gas tank, which in turn dumps the remains into the air and in turn also makes greedy men fatter.

Which turns me to the point of this post.

Most of my time was spent in the bathroom - like you need to hear this, I know.
I'm just keepin' it real.
And an article on the front page of our paper highlighted how "survivalists" are turning inward, growing their own crops, and arming themselves for the insurrection to come.
I'll admit, that our paper isn't a great one.
But it's what we have and so I read it - from time to time - mainly when I want a good chuckle.
However, this article captivated me.
As I began to read it, I began to panic.
These "survivalists" as they are being called are buying "homesteads" and learning to grow all of their own food, plant fruit trees, depend less on oil (none of this sounds bad), and making sure they are armed to fend off mobs of hungry, homeless, starving people that will be moving in masses to find food.

I know how bad things are. Or at least, I think I know.
But it got me thinking about the countless Americans out there,
shuffling through their day to day.
Life as usual.
Despite the state that we are in.
Scenes and dialogue from The Grapes of Wrath began to pop into my head.
Where everyone is bewildered, naive, and in denial about the state of how things truly are.

And I wonder if we - as a nation - are there.
People are losing houses.
They are packing up and moving...
And they get handed a government check.
"See now. Doesn't that make it all better?"
It reminds me of the countless flyers passed around in the book.
A promise of better things to come.

Then I wonder if the article did exactly what it was intended to do.
Scare me.
Manipulate me.
At the very least though, it got me thinking.

I do know this though.
Things are probably a hell of a lot worse than we think or think we know.


Sunday Morning Song of the Moment - Tuesday Edition

Last summer, we visited some of Rav's relatives who reside outside of Baltimore - around the Towson-ish area. His cousin works at The Merriweather.
My eyes widened and we began to talk about some of the better shows he had seen up to that point in the concert season and what he enjoys listening to.
What an occupational hazard - seeing so many concerts. For free.
Anyway, he told me that Wilco's show just a few days before was outstanding and played the CD for us while we ate crabs and threw back some cold ones.

When I pop in my Wilco CD I instantly think of that day. On a porch somewhere in Maryland. I can see Rav's cousin's face looking at me - soaking in the music. And I knew exactly how he felt. I can remember the way the air smelled and how at ease I was in that very moment to be talking to him about music and watching him enjoy it. That is the only time I really feel at ease - feel like myself - my complete, whole self. When listening to music.

Anyway, I've been listening to this CD since last summer and this song really hit me hard the other day. It's like after all of this time I heard it for the first time and it finally made sense. Almost like when you're learning a new language and you can finally read and comprehend something on your own. Much to your surprise and delight.

So, go. Enjoy this song and sorry about the long-winded explanation.
Sky Blue Sky by Wilco


Happy Mother's Day by Rav

It is a little late, but I would like to say Happy Mother's Day to all out there to whom it applies. Today, we, the Raviolis, spent the day much like any other sunday. Our grand plan to go out to breakfast was smashed, as many of our plans are, by the greedy bill collector. Add to that the fact that, like most of America, we are slowly drowning. It has been hard on Tab and I, keeping this ship afloat. At times, it seemed as if it was more than we could take. And everytime we seem to get to a place where things are better, the world turns upside down again. No matter what happens though, I find that the struggle makes us stronger and our love grows. Even when it seems as if universe wants to tear us asunder, we manage to fight through. Happy Mother's Day Tabba. I love you. "When the storm comes, you shelter me..."


I Haven't Been Sick All Winter...

And then May comes with 70+ degree weather.
The sun is shining.
It's beautiful.

And I'm sick as a dog.


Hurry up....browse away from here before you catch it!


Sunday Morning Song of the Moment

Sitting around this winter, spending way too much time in front of the tele, I became obsessed with a little snippet of a song I heard on the new commercial for the slimmed-down version of Apple's iBook.
I would wait by the TV and hope that the commercial would come on just so I could hear 30 seconds of the song.
I didn't know what it was, I didn't know who sang it. I just knew I loved it.
I thought to myself, "That song makes me want to rush out and buy an iBook." Those smart people at Apple. Needless to say, I didn't buy an iBook. However, one lonely evening with my kids in bed early, Rav hard at work, I diligently sat down to my dial-up connection and began my quest.
After much groaning which was had by myself and my computer, I found that song.
I promptly downloaded it & have been happily listening to it since.
This morning, I found it on Youtube and got goosebumps after watching the video for the first time.
So now that I have built this song up to impossible expectations, I will share it with you.
Many of you probably have heard it already. Especially if you watched a lot of TV over the long, cold winter.
But here she goes anyway....

New Soul by Yael Naim


Extreme Makeover - Blog Edition

For the past few months, I've been wanting to change the look around here.
But I figured I'd let it go until I could actually load a page on something higher than a 24k dial-up connection.

I get bored easily.
I like to change and evolve.
My immediate surroundings have a major impact on my moods and feelings.
And I'm so over the color-scheme and look of this here blog.

So, I put it to you....
Have any ideas for a color scheme?
How about a picture idea for the header or whatever its called?
Oh, and "Mrs. Incredible" has to go....should it just be TABBA?

Please...let the ideas fly.
I think if we all put our creative .02 in the pot we might be able to come up with something on the cusp of fantabulous.

this is what i have come up with so far. if you have any suggestions or constructive criticism, please feel free...


Out Of The Ashes

I like to play coy and say that in the past few months of my absence nothing has happened.
Well, nothing that merits you taking a few minutes out of your busy day to read, anyway.

I got to the point where I would sit in front of the screen and think to myself, "What is the point? Hasn't it all been said and done before? What could I possibly say that is so unique? I've told all of the stories that there are to tell."
That hit me really hard.
The possibility of an actual depth to my soul that I thought I possessed was nothing than barely a shallow pool of a personality and life experience.

Life ran away with me on its back and all I could do was hang on. Let the school work take its toll, daily survival played its mundane tune, and I went to bed with the weight of good intentions laying in my chest.

So many times during the days and weeks my mind would drift to you.
Thinking, wondering, missing.
And hoping.
Certain lines that you have written or comments would pop into my head and I would smile.

Blogging, writing, commenting left a big void.

But while nothing much was going on - domestically speaking - I have been transforming.
I needed to unplug.
I am still morphing, I'm sure that the journey is not complete.
And one day, may I will be able to tell you of white light, and sweat lodges, incense, stones, cats, meditations, and visions.
Some of it will sound crazy, I'm sure.
And that is OK.
I am certainly not hear to convince anyone of anything.
I will share them as an attempt to sort out this spiritual awakening I have had, to look back on it and watch the pieces fall into place.


What Now

I sit here and look at blogger pages and think to myself, "How do I...?", "What do I....?"

I scratch my head, not sure what the proper protocol is.

I'm back in the saddle - electronically speaking - and yet I still don't know what to do.
As of last night I had 611 new items in my Reader. How do I even begin reading all of that? Do I post first, read first, then post? I don't know what to do after such a long absence. I'm making my rounds - trying to catch up. When I'm over your way, I'll probably say 'HI'. Not on every post, but some.

So let me know dear lovelies, how do I even begin this thing again?


Sunday Morning Song of the Moment

This about sums up it.

School is done for the year.

And we have our DSL back up and running.


Elementary, My Dear Watson

Here's a question or two for you:

Why is someone who considers every human being truly equal considered "fringe" or "radical"?

Why is something we are taught in preschool and/or kindergarten - that everyone is the same and that we should treat everyone nicely and with kindness - thrown out the window at a certain point?


As Time Goes By

Well yet another month+ has rolled on past and I let the blogging ball drop.....again.

In an attempt to scale back spending in these rocky times I don't know when Rav & I will be opting for high-speed again. So I will have to be content to live in the dark ages of dial-up for now. And I do have to say that dialing up has really taken the wind out of my sales in regards to blogging.

I'm home on Easter vacation with the kids this week and figured I'd pop in and out and maybe update this sad little blog.
For those of you who are still interested in what is going on with me, I'll fill you in:

* In February, I received my Reiki II attunement (which is what I think brought about the last post). It was a very intense process and one that I'm happy I went through with. So now I am trying to get my hands on anyone who will let me and trying to figure out a way that I can give people who need healing a little reiki. Rav & I are working out the details.
So...if you know anyone in the Mid-Atlantic who could use a little reiki lift be sure to send them my way ;)

* School is going and I'm trying my best to hang with it. I'm still enjoying it and it is certainly doing it's part to feed my hungry heart (which never seems to get enough knowledge/learning). My plate is just very full and I'm working on trying to remain balanced. The reading I have to undertake for the class I am currently taking is killer and I am a notoriously slow reader.

* Preschool is keeping me insanely busy for a part-time gig. But that will be ending in May until the next school year....I'm looking forward to the break.

* Kids. The kids. Oh yes, my crazy kids. They're slowly and methodically beating me down and killing me. But then, that is their job, right?

* We bought new living room furniture. Our old set was a third-time hand-me-down and I couldn't take it anymore. It was gross and faded and I didn't even like sitting in our livingroom anymore because of it. We found a great deal on a new set, paid cash, and have been happy little clams ever since.
Exciting stuff, huh? Aren't you glad you're reading this riveting stuff?

So that is the update as I can think of it.
I will try to be more on top of my little space here. As I do miss it and all of you out here.



I thought I knew what it was.
I mean, what it really was.
Looking back, I see that I was a fool and that I had very little understanding of the true meaning of the word.
I was a fool to think that the pounding in my chest and the wide-eyed, deer-in-head-lights look equaled fear.
I thought that the whole numb feeling in my limbs was a sign that I was truly afraid.
Afraid, for instance, to be alone in the dark, afraid of what it meant to have a step-parent, afraid of a sub-standard test grade and what consequences were in store when I would come home from school, afraid of being found out.
At the time, it seemed legitimate.
Now I know better.

Something I read brought the visuals back to me.
Reminded me of my fear of losing him - losing either one of them.
It once was a distant thought. Just out of my reach. Something I never thought I'd have to face.
But the fact that one day, he came so close to being gone, rocks me to my core.
The words I read - words belonging to someone else - brought back the images I thought I had somehow managed to forget.
How naive and egotistical of me to think that?
How could I possibly forget?

How could I, his mother, forget that I turned my back, or that I was that stupid, that I would take such a chance with something so precious?

Why on Earth would I think, for a second, that I would be able to block out of my mind the look on his face - the fear and desperation in his eyes?
Or worse yet - what he was probably thinking, during those water-filled moments.
Things like Why is it taking so long? When will she notice that I am submerged and come over and get me?
I imagine that those moments must have felt like an eternity to him.

Is that part of our mother-son bond now?
The fact that we both now know what fear really means?
If so, it is not a glowing testament on my part, as a mother.

I wonder if that is the day my creativity, my words, got left at the side of the pool?
Because looking back, I haven't been the same since that day.
I even feel silly saying that, because I - we - were blessed with a happy ending.
But the guilt, the images, the fear just won't go away.

Writing about this makes me feel guilty.
and even throw in a dash of

I feel like writing it out like this, makes it sound as if it is all about me, how I feel, how I can't shake the images that repeat themselves in my mind's eye. How terrified they make me feel. Even now that it has been almost 8 months ago...It's a vicious mental cycle I am in.
Shouldn't it be about him?

I guess I just want him to know I'm better than that horrific moment in our history.
I guess I just want to know I'm better than that horrific moment in our history.


Sad State of Affairs

It has been one month since I have posted anything.

And that's just posting.
Nevermind reading.
Reading a post?
What in blue blazes could that be?

I feel like I am letting you all down.
Like I have you on a yo-yo.
Such was not my intention.

But dial-up with a 22K connection?
Uh, fecking sucks. yes, I said fecking.
Reading with same said connection?

To be honest, I cannot even remember when the last time I signed on the computer here at home.
And this just touches on the computer issue.
Which is the major issue.
I mean, MAJOR.

I miss you all.
I do.
You too Phenom.
I got your email.
I'm here.
I'm alive and well.
I just cannot stomach the internet with a connection that moves slower than molasses in Canada in January.

I'm thinking of you all.
Missing you all.
And feeling much like a cavewoman.


The Things They Leave Behind #2

So, this is it. The only arrowhead that I've ever found.

I asked my dad, the last time I spoke to him if he "planted it" for me to find.
Which he emphatically denies.
I was quite relieved.
I mean, that would be sweet and all. But I'm glad it came to me own it's own.

The story about finding it came back to me at Christmas. My dad, Eileen, and my brothers came over on Christmas Eve....

Being adults (and I use that term loosely), Rav & I don't expect much from anyone for Christmas.
However, I know that I'm always in for it with my dad. He usually throws something emotional at me.
So, this year he hands me a box. And they specifically held this box back for me to open. Rav & I opened our Soprano's Family Cookbook, our assortment of gourmet cooking sauces and such. But this gift was held back.

We finally finished opening and the gift was handed over to me.
To be honest, I was scared.
Scared of having an emotional outburst.
I open it and inside of the box is a small shadow box.
And inside of the shadow box on batting, my dad arranged various of his artifacts from The Farm.
A handmade marble, a thimble, old buttons, pieces of pottery, various small tools - similar to arrowheads.
I was shocked and stunned.
Such a beautiful, heartfelt gift.
Probably one of the best I've ever received.
Receiving such a gift, kick-started my brain and reminded me of the arrowhead and the story, which I retold later that evening.

I probably could do this post and my dad/the gift better justice.
But the gift touched me so that I cannot find the words.
All I can say is that I look at it everyday and smile.
Just smile.


Getting On & Off The Wheel

In another life, he might not have had so many run-ins with the po'-po' (= the police).
But he was a young man and if you ask him he would have said that all of it was in good fun. He didn't mean any harm.

In another life, he might not have had to do a tour in 'Nam.
Only to come back broken, haunted, demonized by memories.
Some of which, left him wondering what happened to 9 months of his life over there.
It's probably for the best that he doesn't remember.

In another life, he might not have had to work for gangs to make a living.
Throwing dynamite at people's houses to persuade them to pay up.
He was just doing his job so that he could eat.

In another life, he might not have had the stuffings beat out of him when he said he was
done with the lifestyle and wanted to lead a straight life.

In another life, the woman he loved might have stayed.
She might have stayed to see the child grow.
The child that he helped make with her.
But she had other fish to fry.

So this wounded, lost man stepped up to the plate.
And he lived for this boy.
This boy was his life.
He picked up and carried on after she left.

In another life, he might not have been a friend/co-worker of my dad's.
This rough, sweet, loyal man.
My dad can be a magnet for lost souls that way.
The two were instant friends.
And that was a lifetime ago....that my dad and he whooped it up everyday at work.

In another life, this man's mobile home might not have exploded in the middle of the night.
Burning himself and his son.
In another life, the son had no burns on the lower portion of his body.
And in another life, the only family he has to speak of is not laying in a hospital 1 1/2 hours away, in critical condition - most of his body covered in burns, and breathing by way of machines.

But that is life.
Those things did happen.
And I am left wondering if my dad's old friend is getting off the wheel finally. He has lived through so much.
If he is letting the suffering of this life go.
I am left wondering what will happen to the boy - the 15 year old boy - who is on the brink of losing everything.
The man who lived for him after living through so much.


Sunday Morning Song of the Moment

Serena Ryder opened for Paolo Nutini when we saw him in concert in October. Rav & I have been hooked ever since.

Today's pick is: Weak In The Knees by Serena Ryder.
If you listen carefully, you may hear Gracie even singing along, coming to you from the East Coast.

And Magpie, in answer to your question....you'll find out this week.

Phenom: we watched Stripes now I know what you were talking about :)

Have a great Sunday everyone. And I hope you enjoy the song.


The Things They Leave Behind - #1

When my dad was young and living on The Farm, he would spend most of his time outdoors.
In the Fall and early Winter, he would spend time hunting.
In the Spring and Summer, he would spend time fishing and walking the fields.

For many years, my dad had built a collection of Indian Arrowheads, pipes, pieces of pottery, and the like from his time spent scouring.
There seemed to be one spot in particular that was a hot bed for lost things.

My dad's collection became quite large of these forgotten artifacts of another time.
Many exquisite arrowheads of many different colors, pieces of pottery, even teeth.
Lots of them.
(He didn't tell me about this until a month ago.)
In fact, he had found such an exquisite piece - a rather large and perfect arrowhead - he donated it to a museum in our state where it was on display until my early childhood. Where it is now, who knows.
Time slipped away, the young boy became a young man and an even younger father.
This hobby of his fell by the wayside.

I remember being a young girl and sitting with my dad for countless hours (willingly) examining arrowheads and other pieces of hardened, ancient earth that he had found.
He would tell me the story behind each piece and I would sit transfixed by what these were.
Small little bits of history that my dad had unearthed on The Farm.
I would very selfishly ask if I could have them.
And he told me one day, they would be mine.

As I got older, dad & I would walk the fields together.
Examining deer prints or other animal tracks.
Talking about the migratory patterns of geese and other winter-time escapees.
We would both walk and talk with our heads down.
Searching the ground for any piece that wanted to be found.

At age 11, I began getting really pissed off and utterly frustrated that I had never found anything.
As dad & I walked the fields, I said You know, all of this time you and I have been out here, looking, searching, and nothing. You have cases and cases full of arrowheads. Do you think you found them all? Do you think there are any left? I can't believe I haven't found one!
I looked down at my feet and there it was.
The one and only arrowhead that I have ever found.


On Christmas, we headed for home from my mother's house after a long, busy day.
The kids were spent and so were we.
Rav & I each have a kid to buckle in and as we do so, Gracie asks me if Santa is coming to our house tonight for more presents.
No, honey. Santa is not coming tonight. Christmas is all done until next year.
These attempts at explaining are futile.
And the look on he face punctuates that.
She is crestfallen.
Maybe even a little depressed.

I remember that feeling.
Though I didn't feel it until I was about 11.
I remember saying to my Dad that the day after Christmas is pretty depressing.
After talking with him about it, I processed it. Made my peace with it as best I could.
However, seeing this realization was over my three-year-old's face has hit me rather hard.
She is over it. She is not asking about it anymore. But seeing her like that broke my heart into a million pieces.

Today was Connor's first day back to school.
Today marks the start of the first full week back to work after the holiday madness.
Today is the start of my classes for the Spring semester.
And it's back to the way we were.
Back to racing around in the morning looking for a matching set of socks.
Back to making sure the kids have breakfast, while my hair is air drying, half-dressed, wild-eyed, and maniacal.
Back to cramming a waffle or 1/4 of a bowl of cereal into my mouth as I run out the door.
Back to racing around trying to make sure we all get to where we need to go. On time.

These mundane rituals signify that, compared to many, we have it good.
I'm trying to remember that as I am dialing up with a 24K connection because our DSL is down.
I'm trying to remember that as I am already obsessing about school work after downloading a 30 page syllabus and wondering how I will balance again. Balance it all.

All while I do this, people are suffering, many of whom are invisible and on the margins.
People are living lives and having babies and losing loved ones and fleeing from erupting volcanoes, losing their belongings in floods, working for nothing, living on nothing, and having babies in shelters in foreign countries.

I keep hearing about this crazy notion of change.
In fact, I'm quite sick of it.
I feel like it's going to turn into this hip, mod, in-thing to say.
Yeah, it will turn into this thing to


Sunday Morning Song of the Moment by Rav, sort of...

Tab had to run out so she left me the duty of posting this. Today's song is Tonight You Belong to Me. This song is an oldie. Some may remember that Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters sang it in movie, The Jerk. I didn't, I just read that on YouTube. Anyway, this version is by Josh Ritter and Erin McKeown. We love it, and I bet that you will too. Enough rambling. Listen to this already...


A Quick Aside

Just to let you all know...
We are having major internet issues.
I'm trying to get caught up on all of you via Google Reader and I drop comments here and there. But until our internet "stuff" gets sorted out and until I get all caught up on reading, my comments might be scarce.

Just thought I'd let you know what the deal is.


And I Think To Myself

The past month or so, I've been doing a lot of reflecting.
And as many of you are probably doing, I am reflecting on the year, my conduct and progress or lack thereof in 2007, etc.

I'm of the mindset that resolutions are pretty lame.
In fact, as I was watching the Today show this morning, I began getting just a tad bit annoyed.
I began thinking about this cycle of unrealistic expectations and inevitable let-downs.
The pieces of spirit that can become broken and left to feel like a failure because
perhaps it didn't quite shave the body down to some ridiculous notion of what beauty or proper weight should be.
Maybe having a cluttered home really is the sign of a happy home and not having a closet that looks like it was ripped out of Posh's house isn't the sign of a failure.
Maybe driving a Honda or a Hyundai rather than a BMW or a Bentley is OK.
I don't know. I mean, there is more than one way up the mountain. I just think resolutions are a set-up for failure and shouldn't we be doing something to feel better about ourselves and each other?

As I've been reflecting on the past year and such, I was thinking about simplicity.
How it is the teeniest of acts that really do start a movement.
Whether that movement be within society or simply within someone else's heart.
That in one way or another we all have the capacity to do this, we just try to make it seem so hard as a way to justify being asses to each other.
An experience I had the other day, finally made the lightbulb go on.

You all know, that have been reading for a time, that I truly try to make it a point to let others know I care. Sometimes it is misconstrued, sometimes it is seen for what it is.
Sometimes I care so much that I become immobilized. It's almost more than I can bear to do or to speak. I become so overwhelmed, so full.

Anyway, I've noticed that opportunities have not presented themselves in "grand" ways for me to extend my hand.
And in fact, I had become quite irritated because I thought I had fallen off the giving train.
That people were not being sent my way for a reason (if that makes any sense).
And the giving of myself feels better.
It feels awful when I am not.

I've been making it a point lately to look directly at people when I am out walking.
And not only that
but to smile at them.
Possibly even say "hello" or "good morning".
Whatever feeling presents itself is what I will do.
(this paragraph makes me sound like a grump. i keep picturing in my head old man Potter from It's A Wonderful Life. I truly don't believe I walked around like that before. I just went about my business like a million other worker ants.
So I've been making this effort, which brings me to the point.....are you shocked that there was one?)

I was on the phone with my academic institution to ask a question the other day. A lady was assisting me with my question and was most helpful. As the call ended, I simply said to her Have a good day.
Pretty innocent. Pretty pedestrian.
I didn't say to her I have the address and phone number to Beckham's house. He's waiting for your call.
I didn't say Oh, I happen to have this extra $1M sitting in my back pocket. Want it?
I simply said Have a good day.
And there was a reaction.
A reaction of shock.
A reaction of pleasant surprise at such an utterance.
(Now listen, I'm not claiming to be this wonderful, always do-gooder.
I know this tale of human interaction is one that could be told a thousand times a day by a thousand other writers who could write it in a more brilliant way. I am simply sharing this experience and the shock of it with you. Sharing it from me, Mrs. Incredible (Tabba) to you, lovely reader.)

I hung up the phone feeling glad that she got off the phone with me in such a way.
And a little sad too.

Sad because it sounded as if she had never heard it before.
How is it that we are so 'busy', so clinical with each other?

I am hopeful though.
Hopeful that things will get better.
Hopeful that maybe if we all could take these resolutions and maybe cram them up - er, that's not nice, T.
(try again)
Hopeful that maybe rather than worry about driving a car that costs as much as it would to feed a small nation or injecting foreign materials into our faces, or hell worrying about the pile of papers that cram your credenza, desk, and sock drawer
we could just take the time to say
Have a good day.
And smile.
Maybe say hello or good morning.

It sounds idealistic.
I know.
But it makes a difference.