August 12, 2005

Ha again!!  I have been most triumphant.  I have been fighting all day with a Hot Wheels Cyborg Attack race track that Nathan got for Christmas last year.  The damned thing is HUGE and rickety and everything you never want a Hot Wheels track to be.  I had to take it apart at one point to put it in the shed (it's an intermittent play with toy) and damned if I could get the thing back together again.  It looks like this.  Finally, after tinkering with it off and on fro about 5 hours, I got the thing put together.  Now, of course, he can't find the cars that work on it.  :)  He has a small laundry basket of Hot Wheels cars (he loves'em) and he's doing a trial and error search.  So far, it's all error.  The D batteries are a little puny and that may have something to do with it.  So yes, that is my exciting day.

Something I kept wanting to mention, only because it shows what a doof I can be, is that a week or so ago, my friend, Kelly, who just moved to Florida, called to give me her new phone number and address and such.  I was upstairs when she called and pawed around on my nightstand for something to write on.  I pulled up a card, jotted down her info and after we hung up, I noticed that the card I used to write her info (on the back) was her change of address card she sent out to everyone.  : P  Duh.  Now I can read it on the front or on the back.

I am taking Dylan to town tonight when Eric gets home.  We're going to blow off Burger Night (hell, I can get ignored in town and the kids will see their friends on Monday anyway) and have a relaxed weekend.  I'm definitely in the mood to go to town and get out of the house for a while.  I am very much looking forward to having days to my self and a vehicle at my disposal so I can go to town alone for a change.  I love spending time with each child individually and I know it is important to them, but all summer long, I have been without any time alone and it is really wearing me down (maaan).

I am not one of these people who goes insane when they are left to their own devices.  I get all kinds of creative and crafty and selfish and adventurous.  I LOVE time alone and drink it up in big gulps.  I'm going to go to movies and shop and get pedicures and basically send us to the poor house (but wow, what a trip it will be).  There are book shops to explore, thrift stores to raid, TWO museums I've never been to and art galleries galore.  You wouldn't think it, but Placerville is riddled with art galleries.  There's a place called "A Touch of Balance" that I have to check out (it's a holistic massage joint) and another enigma called "The Land of Ahhhs" which is boasts "adult clothing, gifts and incense."   Ahem.  Sounds like a Crafty store in disguise and if it's not, it should be. 

Movie reviews:

Finally got around to watching "Love Actually" and was aptly impressed.  I love composite movies like this one, "Short Cuts" by Robert Altman and "Pulp Fiction" by Tarrantino.  Throw about 6 different stories at me that ultimately interlink and I am a happy girl.  I would have liked to have seen a little more resolution on some of the stories.  What happened with Karl and Sarah?  Was that IT?  Did Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson stay together?  Did he ever put his slutty secretary in her place (being another office?).  C'mon, throw mama a bone here.

As I mentioned before, we saw "Sky High" and it was absolutely so much fun.  Delena has a new obsession in the guy who played Warren Peace.  Goddess bless her, my girl loves the bad boys.  My sons also loved the movie.  We had a really great time.

My second season of "Dead Like Me" finally showed up after 3 weeks.  I haven't had a chance to tackle it yet (although Delena snagged it right away), but I will.  Now, I'm waiting for "Carry it On," the Peter, Paul and Mary documentary.

House is still staying clean.  I will do laundry this weekend and a quick clean and be ready for the week that is to come.  The boys are very eager to get back to school and Delena is too, but isn't eager to admit it.  It's a good deal for everyone all around (big cheesy grin, huge happy dance, loud party music, etc, etc).

Every weekend that comes seems to bring a step up in my life, where I am in a better place than I was the week before.  I really can't hope for anything better than that.  I feel very optimistic going into this weekend, knowing the world is my pearl (I don't like oysters).  Weather is lovely (it's past 3pm and I never did turn on the AC today).  Lots of independent, open time is coming up for me and life is good.  Some of the experiences that brought me here were really painful, but I really don't think I would have taken the initiative to change the things that needed to change I am very good at questioning myself into the ground (analysis is paralysis) unless the signs are absolutely definitive.  Sometimes, the definitive signs take the form of painful experiences, but at least they are motivating and I am where I need to be. 

So life is good and there is still a solid 11 weeks or so of harvest left.   That is just positively delicious.

Have a marvelous weekend,

August 11, 2005
(Ha!  I thought yesterday was the 11th.  It was actually 27 years ago today that Paul joined the military)

Weird dream.  (Big surprise, huh?)

I was dressing for my wedding day with Eric, not that Eric and I ever had a "wedding day" beyond the fact that it was a day and we were married at the end of it.  In my dream, I was a slender-type person and was wearing a classic wedding gown with a snug bodice and poofy skirt, net and such all around.  The dress was in three parts with a long train that snapped onto the waist of the dress, and the waist of the dress actually snapped onto the bodice.  I was standing in the dressing room, wearing white heels, white stockings and a white camisole, cussing the snaps while I was trying to get the skirt attached to the bodice.  There seemed to be a million snaps.  My ex-husband, Paul, came in to see how I was doing.  He looked like he does now, not like how he did when I was married to him.  In the dream, I knew he had divorced his wife, Natalie, and married another woman I didn't know, a heavyset woman who was a friend of his.  Natalie and the other woman both lived with him (I'm remembering her name as Nancy) and Nancy had a little baby who was a couple of months old.

In the dream, I acted like it was no big deal to have my ex walk in on me mostly in my underwear on my wedding day, a big smile on his face and talking my leg off (TWO dreams this week where Paul was talking to me and talking to me and talking to me, WTF?).  I asked him what was going on with Nancy and Natalie and he told me that Nancy needed someone to act as the baby's father to keep the real father from getting custody (the Paul I know would never get involved in something like this, but then, I haven't really talked to the man in 9 years, so he could be totally different; I know I am), so the marriage was in name only.  I asked him if he was "tappin dat," and he laughed and said, "You really think I am sexually aggressive, don't you?"  To which I replied, "Honey, you are a sexual carnivore."   A sexual carnivore?  He laughed and said, "What is a sexual carnivore?"  I said, "You know, you eat what you kill."  He said, "Oh, I thought you were saying you thought I was gay."

That's where the dream ended and that's kind of funny, because through our marriage, I always did think he was secretly gay (as it turned out, based on evidence, um, no) and not particularly sexually carnivorous. 

Weird indeed.

It made me miss the times he would smile.

Eric comes home today!  He's having his fire marshall inspection right now and then will hit the road, so I should see him early-late afternoon.  We aren't people who get all fall-aparty when we have a few days when we aren't together, but we always enjoy the reunion.  I was a military wife for too long to freak out when my husband has to leave for a few days.  I have learned to look for the positives, like no time limits, having my own schedule and eating junk instead of cooking full meals. 

The only plans we have for the weekend are for me to take Dylan to town for his day, visit with David if he is able to come up and get the kids all set for school on Monday.   Eric may or may not actually have to work tomorrow, so the weekend might actually start a day early.

It's so beautiful out.  I love that the heat of summer has passed and we're into more temperate times.  Fall and Spring are my favorite times of the year.  Since we didn't get much of a Spring this year (we went from snow to 90-degree weather within the same month), an early descent into Fall is a real blessing.

Ew.  While I was here ruminating over the joys of weather and nature, Tuffy brought a bird to me that he'd killed.  I don't mean he dropped it dutifully on porch, I mean he brought fresh kill to me at my desk.  He then proceeded to shake it around a good bit, so there are now little bird feathers all over my floor.  Got the bird outside, likely insulting his hunting prowess in the process. Cycle of life my ass.  It gives me the iggidies when it's on my family room floor.

Last night, we got pizza as planned and while we were driving there, I was knocked over by the greatest idea! We'd have a family pot luck!  There is a little market across the street from the pizza place, so I told the kids we would order the pizza and while it was being made, we were going across the street to shop.  They were to choose one thing from the grocery store that they loved and wanted to share with the rest of the family.  That would be their contribution to the pot luck.  There were no limits. They could choose whatever they wanted to share.  I figured they'd break the bank, but they were remarkably conservative.  I, of course, contributed pizza and cheesy bread.  Delena brought Reduced Fat Wheat Thins, Dylan brought a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Nathan brought those Skippy Peanut Butter squeeze packs.  :)  It was lovely. 

I power ate three of the doughnuts and regretted it.  I've been really laying off of the refined sugars and I got a major migraine from my splurge.  (but it was goooood)  Won't be doing that again.  Lesson learned.  The migraine got in the way of me getting to sleep at a reasonable hour, but once I got to sleep, I slept well (even with the oddball dream). 

The house is already nice, so a vacuum and a bed making and a broom across the floor and I am DONE, baby! 

I am starting to get a little pissy about some DVDs I ordered.  I waited and waited and waited for July 17th to roll around so the second season of Dead Like Me would be released.  No one in town had it, so I gave in and ordered it online on ebay.  It's been 3 weeks and the thing isn't here yet.  I get froggy with the seller after 2 weeks and the frog has been set into motion with limited results.  I blame it on the Mercury retrograde.  Ditto on my copy of "Carry It On," the Peter, Paul and Mary documentary DVD.  When I frogged at 2 weeks, they told me that "oops!" they had an inventory problem and only THOUGHT they had a copy of it when they put it on ebay but really would not have it for another 1-2 weeks.  Bastards.  Again, Mercury retrograde gets nutty.  I have been feeling a considerable lessening of the effects this week as compared to the past 2 wicked weeks.  I just want my DVDs to watch!

Time to get a jump start on a hard day of vacuuming, sweeping and making the bed, as well as a bunch of screwing off. 

Have a wonderful Thursday!


August 11, 2005
(Ha!  My first husband entered the Air Force 27 years ago today)

Hello from the mountain!

As I mentioned a few columns back, I have really missed my old nonsoapy format and the freedom of design it offered (and of course, I will miss the user pictures I had on Live Journal), so I have returned to it after a much needed break.  Now that the kids will be back in school (Monday), I will have more time to surf for good linkware designs and work through Front Page to journal instead of the convenience of LJ.  I've been writing on LJ since December and began using it exclusively in April, so it's definitely time to come back.

It's a beautiful day up here!  It's already noon and I have yet to turn on the air conditioner.  I have tower fan that blows into the family room and with doors and windows open, air moves just fine.  In fact, it's only, wow, it's 80 degrees in here and  I still don't feel it.

Looks like Eric will be back tomorrow early eveningish.  That will be nice.  We've both enjoyed having time on our own, but we miss each other a lot.  He thinks he'll be done with job there tonight, schedule a fire test tomorrow morning and hit the road.

My plan is to get the kids involved with helping me clean the house.  I just did a major clean this weekend, so it's not bad, just surface messy.  I'll reward them with pizza and cheese bread for an early dinner. 

Yesterday was lovely.  The kids and I headed downtown around 10:00am, stopped off at Walmart for a few things, then hit the theater to see "Sky High."  I don't know what I was thinking by being surprised that it cost $24 just to get in the door with 3 kids.  That's actually cheap, but then, I do forget.  The movie was wonderful and both the kids and I enjoyed it very much.  Afterward, we went to McDonalds for late lunch and they played for a while on the McSlides and such.  The usual assortment of dirty little kids was there. There are no slummy areas of Placerville.  Nearly all of the area is neither particularly affluent or particularly ghetto.  These kids had not been introduced to washcloths or tooth brushes for quite some time.  I've been dirt ass poor before, but there was always water around somewhere. 

One thing that surprised me about McDonalds and our time there that I didn't register until we were eating is that only Nathan ordered soda to drink and it was actually their noncarbonated orange drink.  Dylan and I had tea and Delena had water.  She is such a water fanatic, which I love.  All of my kids drink tons of water and if I have my way, they always will.  It's a hard habit to adopt if you aren't raised with it. 

Got home and did almost nothing the rest of the day, which is why cleaning is needed today.  The kids were occupied and happy, so I grew roots and vegged out. 

Today has been quiet as well.  Not even many phone calls.  I'm not much of a phone person.  Talking to Eric is about all I prefer to do.   It's training, really.  I used to talk on the phone for hours, but since I've had little kids this time, it is inevitable that the day can be peaceful and serene until the phone rings, then all hell breaks loose.  I hate having to leave conversations to manage kids and put out fires and answer the door and that always seems to happen as soon as I get into a conversation.  E-mail is much easier for me. 

My "see what I need to see" candle finished burning today and wow, it was a real doosie.  I was surprised by the continued clarification and insight I've been getting on people, including myself, and relationships and what I want in life.  That candle was $1.19 and some spellwork well spent. 

I feel as though I am in the home stretch to change and I love it.  Did you ever think a Virgo would say that?  There were life changes and viewpoint adjustments that I needed to make for harvest to really take hold and I feel as though those have all been successfully accomplished.  No more pretending that people around me are what they aren't.  No more trying to see people as anything other than what they are.  My ex-husband used to tell me that I always saw people through rose colored glasses, pretending they are the best they COULD be rather than who they actually are and what they are choosing to be instead.  Then I wait and wait for that "best self" to show up from time to time and live for those times and resent the rest.  I think he was right (he didn't put it quite like that, but that's the essence of it).  Events, a whole series of them since Yule (Dec 21) have shown me how too often I allow people to be in my life who are continually hurting me and others.  I keep them there because in my heart, I know they are capable of doing and being better than what they are showing me and the world.  Sure, we all wax and wane, but I am no longer willing to accept a baseline of behavior from the people around me that is hurtful, that is reactionary to the extreme and that is abusive.  I think it is very important that we know what we want from our friendships and other relationships and if those needs are not being met, that we clarify to those we love what we need and give them every opportunity to respect and meet those needs.  If the people around us continue to refuse to meet those needs, then we decide whether or not to continue the relationship.  Dr Phil says that one of the most insidious forms of  abuse is to know what a loved one desperately needs, have the ability to provide it and refuse to do so. 

I tend to be very clear about what I expect in my friendships.  Most people who know me know well the degree of crap I am (and I am not) willing to take.  If there is any question and it comes into play, I clarify directly.  This time, Goddess took over and truly showed me what I needed to see in a few people. In some, it was for the better and caused me to rethink their place in my life and love them even more.  In some, it was for the detriment and showed me that they were really not people I wanted in my life.  Just because a person can do and be better then they are once in a while does not mean I am willing to sit around and wade through the game playing and bad behaviors people demonstrate in between those best self spikes.

It's funny, but in planting "abundant friendship" in the spring, I can truly see now how that harvest is coming around and it is doing so in a wonderful and unique way.  I needed to better understand the nature of true friendship and to see that it is a two way street.  I am not only responsible for how I treat others, but I am also obligated to take responsibility for my reaction to how others treat me.  I have to keep my life and my relationships clean and honest and free-flowing.  In the past, I have definitely caused mixed signals by remaining silent while people I thought were my friends behaved in ways that caused me to doubt and resent them, while I waited for the good times.  No more waiting for the good times.  I think we're going to go with a "three strikes" rule. 

A long time ago, I went with the "screw me once, shame on you; screw me twice, shame on me" rule and I have never regretted it.  When people really roll me over and kick the shit out of me with their pointy little boots, they don't get a chance to do it a second time.  Apologies are not enough.  They have now demonstrated to me what they are capable of doing and I am not willing to get in line for it again.  "Believe people when they show you who they are the first time."  No shit, Maya. 

Of course, I am not Virgo enough to think that people I love and want to have in my life will never disappoint me or hurt me.  Of course they will, but as (again) Dr Phil says, "If they'll do it with you, they'll do it to you."  When you watch how people interact with others who are NOT you, when you see the dramas they play out over and over from one person to the next, you have to know your turn is coming up.  We are never special enough that the person will never come around to treating us the way they have treated others.

I am grateful that my life is all cleaned up now and ready for new energies, new beginning and new friends to come into it.  I feel very excited and optimistic about the future.  With this lovely breeze blowing in my window and bringing the smell of the earth, the trees and the flowers in with it, how could I not?  I have a plaque that says, "Every Spring, the song of the Universe begins again."  It was in my mother's things when she died and I felt it was speaking to me.  The song comes into full crescendo at Harvest, when the notes are the strongest, purest and most vibrant that it will ever be.  Now is the time when the song moves our hearts and brings us to tears in its sheer beauty.  I am so excited to already have this benefit from what I planted only 9 days into the 12 weeks of harvest.  I feel so blessed.

To all of the people who surround me now as friends, I want to say thank you and remind you that you are very special and important to me.  To all those who have left my life, especially this year, I wish you the very best and hope that you find joy and success and friendships that are more compatible than I was with you.  I have known some amazing, special people and I am grateful for all of the connections I have made that taught me so much.  With any luck, we can all take the lessons we have given to one another and put them to work creating better, healthier and wiser friendships.  (Private note to all of you:  I never said 'I love you' and didn't mean it with all my heart.  You all held a very, very special place in my life and in my spirit, regardless of our ability to meet each other's needs in a mutual way).

Now, I have to go shower (1pm, eep!), clean house and journey off the mountain for pizza.

So much love to all of you!