February 14, 2004

It was a good weekend, but tiring.  Friday was bliss like no other. After Eric got up late Friday morning (he was off work), Delena and I went to town and did a lot of shopping, had a nice lunch and got home around 5pm.  Eric had totally and completely cleaned the house while I was gone and Josh, Valerie and their kids were already here.

Eric grilled a nice steak dinner and we all tried to watch "The Grudge," but ended up too tired to continue, so we all crashed.  The rest of the weekend was spent with kids, kids and more kids.  They have three and of course, we have Delena and the two little boys, so wow, it was chaos.  Our house is average sized, I guess, around 1950 sq ft, but it shrinks by about 75% when five little kids are in it.

My granddaughters are a force of nature when it comes to their powers of destruction.  They wade through a room like a marauding army and when they are finished, it looks like a tornado went through.  That's my project for today:  getting the kids' room back into shape again.  I'm thinking about 2 hours ought to do it.

I also have several loads of clothes to fold.  My washing machine is a moody little thing.  It works when it feels like working and the rest of the time, gives it a half-assed shot and takes all day to do a load.  An exam revealed it is either the timer or the motor or both and the replacement of either is more expensive than the value of the washer and the replacement of both is more than buying a new washer.  Eric finally ordered a new, very cheap (How high do you want the water?  Which of these two cycles do you want to use?") washer that is being delivered.  Of course, likely due to the fear of being put out to pasture, my washer finally found one of its many cycles it likes to use, so I was able to get through the dirty laundry I have now.  The washer has served us very well.  When our last one went out, Eric was out of work and we didn't have a pot to piss in and that washer was DONE.  I happened to be having lunch with my friend, Jennifer, who said without me even mentioning it, "Do you know anyone who needs a washer?"  She had one on her porch she wasn't using and when we brought it home, it fired right up.  That was about 2 years ago, I guess.  We've been so wonderfully blessed by things like that...absolute miracles.

On Saturday, David drove up.  It must have been National Car Repair Day. Eric and Josh were in the driveway working on their individual transmission and got both vehicles running like clockwork.  David had to get his serpentine belt fixed before coming up and that went quickly and cost a lot less than Eric and I thought it would.  After that, we had a nice turkey dinner, birthday cake for Kaili and David left out around 6pm.  After that, we all watched "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle," which was wonderful.  I was due a good movie since the last few I've watched haven't been all that.  Yesterday mostly involved them getting ready to go back home and the rest of us relaxing back into routine.  I stayed up last night writing columns and posting other peoples' work.  Finally turned around midnight and took a Dramamine to help me sleep.  It pretty well drugged me out and I had a terrible time getting up this morning.  I'm glad the kids didn't have school.  It took a lot of pressure off of the morning.  They've been wonderful as well, quietly playing in their room since they got up around 7am. 

Speaking of movies, (Joe will cringe as I say this) I am really thinking that "Man of the House" with Tommy Lee Jones looks great.  I'll have to Netflix that sucker in a year or so.  Josh recommended "Saw," so I might give that a try as well.  Currently, I have "Elf" and "Once Upon a Time in America" left to watch.   Dylan doesn't want to watch "Elf."  He saw the beginning before and was upset that the baby crawled into Santa's bag.  He was worried that the baby's parents would be sad that he was gone.

At Walmart, I found a new "uniform."  On the $3 rack there was a pair of fleece pants in my size and a giant fleece sweatshirt.  It sounds heinous, especially in the size I wear, but it is an exercise in cuddly magnificence.

Eric asked a few phone linemen who were working like mad what they were doing (he's assertive like that) and found out they are laying fiber optic cable.  That's good not only because our phone lines are for crap and can't handle the number of accounts on them, but also because fiber optic cable opens up an avenue for DSL.  Oh man, if only.

The last load of clothes is in the dryer and if I am going to get in any quality nap time before cleaning the boys' room, it's going to have to happen now.  It's not that I don't love you guys, but damn... nap. 


Oh and here are pics from the weekend

February 10, 2004

Today is good.  Nothing discouraging happened.  It's beautiful out.  I'm sore, so I'm trying not to be fussy with the people around me who had nothing to do with me being sore.  They're all in awesome spirits, so I want to contribute positively to their day instead of curling up into a ball and whining about my shins and my back and my butt.

I walked again today and it went OK, I guess.  I felt like I was dying for about the last third or so.  Pictures are here.  Ack.

Sonofabitch.  He's actually going to do it.  When I was in England (Di was still alive and they were already talking about Charles and Camilla), they were saying if he married Camilla, he would have to abdicate the throne. I guess they found their way around it.  But wow, I am not sure I'd want someone calling me, "The Princess Consort."  That sounds suspiciously like "The Princess Concubine."

I bought Dylan a yo-yo.  Sounds innocent enough.  He asked for one; I got him one.  It came with an annoying instructional cd-rom (all for less than $2).  Booted up the cd-rom and it had different bands you could choose from to play yo-yo music.  To me, yo-yo music is "Yo Yo Man" aka Tommy Smothers.  This was mostly new punk and I was totally shocked to see "Pistol Grip."  Eric's cousin, Kyle (their mothers are sisters) is the drummer for Pistol Grip!  Here are pictures if you are interested:





Go Kyle!

Tomorrow, we're going out for the day, so I won't likely be around until Monday or Tuesday.  I hope you have a STELLAR weekend!


February 9, 2004

Every day with new promise and all things possible.  I was thinking earlier about the premise I heard put forth once concerning the power of the words "Until now..."  I can't remember if it was Dr Phil or Christiane Northrup, some writer that I admire who changed my life in some profound way, but the idea was to invest in the power of change that is inherent in the words, "Until now."  That creates a distinct pivotal point of evolution.  Sort of an AD/BC point.  Until now, I... and from now on...

That way of thinking makes every moment pregnant with potential.

At any given moment, life could change abruptly, by our own machinations or by those of The Universe.  For some people, that provides the foundation for great faith and hope.  For others, it freezes them in a rictus of fear and paranoia.  They can't even enjoy the good times knowing that the bad times are looming.  For them, the good times are nothing more than an invitation for the bad times to rev up for another round.

I've lived like that in the past and have spent a few years trying to work out of it.  Lord knows I've had so many opportunities to make choices about feeling either dismay and fear or faith and hope about situations.  Sometimes, I've given into the fear, despite a plethora of evidence (try a lifetime) that things in my life happen for my greatest good.  I don't know why I don't always trust and believe.  Maybe the demons in my head start whispering that it can't always turn out well, that I've used up all of my miracles, that I'm defying the "odds."  That's when I stop seeing any kind of plan or purpose and give in to the insecurities. 

I'm glad that most of the time, my faith is secure.  I don't know why even when I feel optimistic and full of faith that I still feel tense and anxious.  I think it's the same issue as when you're on a roller coaster that you know is safe and controlled to a fare-thee-well.  You know you're safe, but still, your stomach clenches and your bladder tightens and your throat constricts.  You think about that one person in how many millions who died on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  You don't think about all of the times that everything went right.  You focus on the very tiniest sliver of a moment when things went wrong.  I'm not completely sure why we are geared up to expect the worst for ourselves.  I guess it's likely some kind of latent, primal, mammal hunting reflex, like the precursor to fight or flight.  All I know is that one of my goals for this year, tying in to the slips I drew at Winter Solstice to tell me what to work on this year (health, physical beauty, joy and abundant friendship) is to relax into the moment and more fully enjoy the good things in my life rather than bunge up about any hint of a problem, even to the point of bracing for impact before there is any sign of a collision.  Now, there is not even one problem in sight, with the possible exception of my extreme lack of interest in exercising (see "physical beauty" and "health" in the above line up) or cleaning house.  In absence of stuff to worry about, I find myself on the verge of creating things to be tense about.  My upper spine is tight and tingling with some kind of energy needing to discharge.  I need to do some chakra work and figure out what should be cleaned out from that place.

One of the things that I'm uncomfortable about but is really, to all appearances, a good thing (thinking of that roller coaster versus the odds analogy again) is that Eric is having laser eye surgery on Thursday (as in a week from tomorrow).  He has an initial exam on Monday.  He has wanted this surgery for 10 years now, since he first heard about it.  He hates wearing glasses and contacts and wants to be able to see as soon as he wakes up in the morning instead of being blind until he can get to his visual appliances.  Part of the refinancing of the house involved getting the money for his surgery. His prescription is complex, so it's more expensive than the average procedure.  He described the surgery to me.  You're awake.  Your eyeball is immobilized.  You watch as they use a scalpel to cut your cornea, then the laser to adjust your vision. Supposedly, you can drive home from the procedure if you have sunglasses for the pupil dilation.  This is going to be a good chance for me to exercise the muscles that let me believe in the best rather than fear the worst (this coming for the woman who became utterly convinced she was going to die while under anesthesia for a tubal ligation).  I gotta get good at that whole bright side thing.

I thought I WAS good, but reflection and my upper spine all say that I've got a ways to go yet.

Today involves a good bit of house cleaning since I've been seriously screwing off for a while.  I need to get some kind of exercising done and I don't have a clue what it's going to be.  I'm so dangerously unmotivated. 

Delena and I didn't make it to town yesterday.  Eric ended up working late, so we are hoping tonight works out.  The kids have Valentine parties tomorrow since they are off school on Friday and Monday.  I'm gearing up for the four day weekend.  I look forward to being out with her tonight.  She's so much fun to shop with and I love spending time with her. 

I hope you all have a wonderful day.  Life is good.  Look to the good stuff and don't sweat the bad stuff.


February 8, 2004

Good morning!  Even as I type this, I wonder if it will still be morning when I finish this entry.  If yesterday is any indication, I'll be lucky if it's finished by the time I go to bed.  Talk about a stereotypical Monday!

The phone seemed like it rang off the hook all day.  I was glad many of my writers popped up with new columns because I sure wasn't getting anything done.  Even in the house, all I really managed was to run through a few loads of laundry (didn't even get them folded and put away - that will come today).  Eric was late due to work.  That means he will likely be home early today, so I think I'll take Delena to town a few days early.  Josh, Valerie and the grandkids are coming up on Friday and leaving on Sunday, so I'd like to not go to town on the weekend.  I'll be immersed in full on Mammaw mode.  David plans to come up on Saturday, so I'll have 5 out of my 6 children in one room, plus grandbabies. 

Kaili's birthday was last weekend and we weren't able to make it (Eric had to work on the jeep), so we are having a party for her on Saturday.  Got the presents, got the cake mix, just have to get ice cream. 

Other than the jeep having transmission work done, the weekend was great.  I took Nathan to town Friday night.  He has become quite a chatter box, full of questions whether he's watching TV or riding with me for the 30 minutes into town.  "what's that guy doing?" "what's that yellow thing?"  "what time is it?"  "is that AM or PM?"  "what does that sign say?"  "what does it mean?"  He slept all the way home (it was almost 9pm by the time we got back) and the second we pulled into the bottom of the driveway, he leaned forward and vomited. Fortunately, he'd only had some strawberry soda (he wasn't hungry and doesn't put much stock into eating at a restaurant with Mom like the other two do).  Still, it was quite a "welcome home."

Saturday was quiet through the morning.  Eric was in wonderfully high spirits and worked outside while I cleaned inside.  That afternoon, my friend, Jennifer came up to visit and we had a wonderful Candlemas ritual, welcoming in the warmth and the light and committing to our goals for the year.  The energy was very, very strong, fluid, fast and hard.  It was really great.  A friend of ours is returning to town to live and we will be working with her as well, so the new group is building up quickly.  If it stays at 4, we'll be just as happy as if it grows.  Quality, not quantity is the key.

So having that established, I do feel better knowing where my spiritual life is headed: working with experienced people, writing the CUSP book, exploring my own path.  It all sounds glorious and works out great.  Newbies who need detailed instruction (and a LOT of patience) get sent to Jennifer's group and the advanced folk come to mine.  I'm diggin it.

Sunday was also gentle and lovely.  David (my son, 24) came up around 2pm and we not only got to spend good time with him, but he also babysat while Eric and I went out for Mexican food.  Afterward, I came back and made dinner for David, then he and I got to sit on the couch and just be together for a while.  I love my kids (all of them) a really freaky amount and tend to be all up in their business.  Fortunately, they are all fairly tolerant of that.  David is doing exceptionally well and I am so proud of him.  It makes me all teary when I think about it.  I was also thrilled to have a husband do didn't give fuck all about the superbowl.

On Saturday, I started taking Relacore, that while it is marketed as a weight loss supplement, is actually also geared toward reducing stress.  Since the refi, our immediate problems are resolved, but I was still feeling very stressed.  I couldn't put any cause to it. It was more like I was used to being stressed, so I just kept doing it.  In fact, I thought I was being NOT stressed, but evidently, I was previously really stressed, so when I went into minorly stressed, it seemed like notstressed comparatively speaking.  My goal is to kick the stress altogether.  I was reading up on the Relacore (OK, you busted me, I was reading up on it because Wal-mart was having a sale on it for about $20 off). Evidently, cortisol is linked both to stress and to the accumulation of belly fat (I am the applestly apple ever).  While I take issue with the whining "it's not your FAULT you're FAT it's the CORTISOL" marketing, I am interested in the premise.  So I bought the stuff, not so much for any weight loss benefits, but to see how it would do with the mystery stress.  The results are very positive so far.  I am much more relaxed, sleeping very well (except when I missed a couple days of Remifemin) and feel much less stressed, but not with that dulled feeling brought about by Wellbutrin or Prozac where you have no highs or lows.  All this did was take away the stress.  It also does curb my appetite.  I get full a lot faster and don't really have any cravings.  Plus, when I take it 3 times a day, I have to drink a big glass of water, so that helps too.  Now all I need to do is break through the resistance to exercising.  I have many options and I'm just not doing it.

Still, I feel better on the Relacore, B-12 and Remifemin.  I think I've found my mix.

The cat's ass is still inside so far.  I stopped using the Solarcaine because he stopped coming to me when I called him (fearing the arctic blast to his little bunghole).  It still looks a little swollen, sore and bulgey, but when I last checked him this morning, he farted directly in my face, so I think his ass is going to have to wing it alone from here on out unless I see intestines again.  I have my limits.  He doesn't seem in any distress, but he also didn't seem distressed with about 5 inches of entrails following him around.

Surfer Dan, one of the fish, kicked the bucket, but miracle of miracles, we found a baby who is a couple of weeks old in the tank.  He's just tooling around like he belongs there.  I guess there's a population quota or something.

I was debating about a fire today.  We're a little low on wood.  It's hanging around 30 degrees, so I gave up and started courting one.  It has been resistant, but seems to finally be taking hold. We narrowly missed snow yesterday.  It rained for a good bit of the day, hovering around 33-34 degrees.  Dylan always says, "it's sparkling" instead of "sprinkling," which is darling.  So it was "sparkling" yesterday.  When we got up this morning, there was ice covering the porch.  I am doing my best to carry us through to spring with minimal snowfall.  I've had enough of that.  Plus, my little daffodils are peeking their green stems up through the dirt.


Spike with dark hair.  He's from Sacramento, so who knows?  Some day... in a Starbucks...  But Delena has such fierce dibs on him I'd have to keep it completely secret.

Speaking of TV, I've made quite an evolutionary leap forward.  I had a hole in my TV schedule, thanks to a Discovery Health rearrangement moving Chicago hope from 9am to 3pm (where it won a bloody coup over Dr Phil) and started watching "Judging Amy" again on TNT.  The first time I watched my way through the season in syndication, I desperately wanted to have Maxine Gray as my mother.

Now, I want to BE Maxine Gray.  Tyne Daly just makes me so happy.  She went from this:

to this:

to this:

To me, that is a nearly perfect progression:  Maiden, Mother, Diva.  She's going to be a great Crone.  I even came across what is reported to be her astrology chart:

If this is for real, (I had to translate it out of French), then Tyne is... well... Maxine.  Her sun is in Pisces, which makes her sensitive to what's going on around her and given to indecision, but the moon in Scorpio would put enough of a tiger in her tank to motivate her to get past her natural wishywashiness.  Couple that with Leo as a rising sign and at least one, appearing to be more, grand trine(s) gives her an amazing life.  She couldn't NOT be famous.  Her venus is also in Pisces, which would make love tricky for her as she might have trouble committing (Maxine again).  Her Mercury is also in Pisces, so she might not speak as precisely and directly as Maxine.  Her saturn and mars are both in cancer, which gives her an incredible drive for home and hearth, but makes home a complicated place to be.  Taurus in her midheaven gives her a nice balance and will ground out some of the wiggy energies.  Yeah, I'd like her.  

OK, enough glowing over Maxine/Tyne.  I'm cleaning my house today. It smells like food, butts, feet and cats.  Gotta nip those things in the bud before they get out of hand.

First, I think a bath and nap are in order.  : >

Have a great week, my friends,

PS:  Just found this:

What year was it?  1975-1978 (passed my GED, got married, moved to Guam before my class graduated)

What were your three favorite bands (performers)?  Eagles, Dr Hook, Kiss

What was your favorite outfit?  My 1 pair of jeans (got them in my sophomore year) and a red and white horizontal striped skin shirt (as in it it was short sleeved and fit like a second skin)
What was up with your hair?  Look for yourself (row 6, position 2 - Clark Chancelor is shadowed, so make sure you aren't looking at Pam Chapman instead of me) and here (row 4, position 2)

Who were your best friends?  Paula Phelps, Marty Canary, Sandy Martin, Ava Thompson

What did you do after school?  Homework, cleaned my mom's house, made dinner for my family, took care of my brothers

Where did you work?  At home.

Did you take the bus?  Yes, about a half hour.

Who did you have a crush on? Jerry Moseley, Tracy Trogdon, Brett Westerfield, Odell Troutman

Did you fight with your parents?  No, almost never.

Who did you have a CELEBRITY crush on?  David Cassidy, Paul Christy (a wrestler), Randolph Mantooth (he was then in a show called "Emergency," Edward Mulhare (from "The Ghost and Mrs Muir"), Bill Bixby (from "The Courtship of Eddie's Father") and Brian Keith (from "Family Affair").

Did you smoke cigarettes?  No.  No drugs, alcohol or cigarettes.

Did you lug all of your books around in your backpack all day because you were too nervous to find your locker?  Nope, I loved my locker.

Did you have a clique?  No. 

Did you have a hangout?  No.

Admit it, were you popular? Not at all.

Who did you want to be just like?  My algebra 2 teacher, Mrs. Render

What did you want to be when you grew up?  Out of Kentucky.

Where did you think you'd be at the age you are now?  Married to a dirt farmer in Kentucky with a lot of kids.

I'm getting there.  Things are good and I feel like I'm on my way "home."  :)