A Moment as her Mother

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Categories: family, Fayetteville, The Bean, Tags: , ,

I picked Em up from school yesterday and as usual, we talked about her day. It’s tough to concentrate when she doesn’t feel well, but she really tried and wanted to, she told me. I told her sweetfacehow happy I was to see her. She said “really Mom? you say that every day” and I said “Really kiddo, I want you to know every day that you are absolutely the finest thing I’ve ever done and my heart grows three sizes every time I see you.” She laughed and went “oh mom.”

And in my head I thought…”Oh lil Bean, you’ll never know, but it does. The room lights up every time you walk into it.”

Life in a Northern Town came on, and I love that song, so with my croaky voice I sang along. And during an instrumental bit I told her how that song always made me feel peaceful and dreamy and at one point reminded me of Fayetteville, and probably will again. She told me I have a beautiful voice and the smile on her face was so much the sweetest thing that I thought I might dissolve right there. I stopped the car in the driveway and she said “Let’s listen to the end of a song (something I always did as a teenager)” And then said “keep singing Mom.”

Don’t let anyone tell you being a mother isn’t the best thing, the very best thing ever.


The Rooted Word

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Categories: Blogging Challenges, Daily blather, Project Reverb, Reverb14, Tags: ,

Project Reverb prompt: “What one word could describe your 2014?”

My word for 2014:  I think it would be summed up as improve.  And I did and didn’t. I did do better about exercising until I was injured. I have improved the food we eat. I am coming to terms with the fact that I have some severe food allergies and can’t eat certain things.I have detached and also stayed detached. I didn’t accomplish everything, but I did improve. I am more present. Now if I could just feel less rushed. Less pushed. I’ve removed some things that were no longer serving and hopefully that will allow for it.

I’ve also become more accountable. I am willing and have taken responsibility for my actions and I am also expecting others to as well. If I can do the Mea Culpa Tango so can they dammit.

I’m tired of being taken advantage of. I’m tired of relationships that are woefully out of balance (for example…in 9

years this person watched my kid one time and complained about it literally for years (and E is not badly behaved, she was just little and wanted her mama) I watched her kid many many times. but I was just supposed to suck it up. When she was ill I sent her food, when I was very very ill I didn’t even get a phone call…like that unbalanced) and I’m tired of relationships where I’m supposed to make up for how the world has ‘shortchanged’ someone. Bah. Also I’m not going to act like some version of myself any longer. I’ll continue to be kind and polite but I’m not going to be embarrassed for being myself.

The word I used was “steady” back in December 2013. And if I don’t think about the blow ups. It has been. I’ve gone to work at the same job with nice people. I have steadily climbed the ladder of knowledge in what I do. I have been steadily improving my participation in the home again (more cooking, more organizing, less giving up). I’ve been steady in working with Em. I’ve removed intoxicants of any sort for nearly a year now which makes everything pretty damn steady.

Reverb14 prompt: “The idea of rooting down into your own personal beliefs and center of truth is an ongoing process, and many things can serve as anchors or roots as you move through life. What rooted or anchored you in 2014? And where do you want to put down roots in 2015?

E anchors me and J does. My friend M does. He allows me to refer back to happier times and  see if how I remember things is correct–because I have a few people who delight in gas lighting me about my past. My cats and their time in my life anchor me. The horizon that I look at has…

I want to be a part of the community I live in in 2015. I want to find a way to be a more extroverted introvert. I want to feel a part of…

I want to be living in the town I’m going to live in for the next 20 years please.  If I’m not getting ahead of myself the word for 2015 I hope will be involved.


Brave writings

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Categories: Blogging Challenges, Daily blather, Project Reverb, Reverb14, Tags: ,

Project Reverb prompt: “Chances are, if you’re participating in #reverb it’s because you like writing. Or at least want to like writing. Writing is like a muscle. Use it or lose it. What do you do every day to hone your craft? Or, what would you like to do each day to contribute to your writing?”

I would like to write every day for  a half an hour. I’d like to be brave enough to write fiction. Or write poems again. My poems…do not suck, though poetry seems to be a dying art. My fiction I have no faith in, nor do I seem to have any imagination any longer. It’s just been a life long dream.


Reverb14 promptStep one: set the timer for 5 minutes and write down as many answers as you can think of to the question: ‘When and how was I brave in 2014?’ Note: remember the private, intimate and small ways in which you were brave as well as the big public ways.

Step two: Choose one of more of those moments of bravery and write a letter yourself back at the beginning of 2014, letting you know how brave you are going to be that year.

Step three: Write yourself a short reminder to tuck into your wallet or post above your desk of just how brave you can and will be in 2015.

I wrote the future letter yesterday, so I’ll be giving this one a miss , except to say…You were brave, you kept showing up when you really didn’t want to. You kept showing up when it made you cry. Next time stop before that point–none of it is worth that.


Dear Future self

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Categories: Blogging Challenges, Daily blather, Project Reverb, Reverb14, Tags: ,

Project Reverb prompt: “Write a letter to your future self, telling the future you about what you hope for you.”

Reverb14 prompt: “It all starts with kindness. Everything I have learnt, everyone I have interviewed, every word I have studied has guided me to this simple but profound conclusion: true happiness begins and ends with self-kindness. No more guilt. No more shoulds. No more comparison. And the very best way to give your weary soul some kindness at the end of this year? A love note. Write a letter from you to you… filled with forgiveness, love, and a big bear hug.”

Dear Future J–

If everyone is saying the same thing about a person, group or situation–they are probably RIGHT. I hope to god you’ve learned that by now.

Also–you’ve been telling yourself that you are embarking on yet another big adventure. I bet you were right. I know it’s hard. I know it’s nerve wracking, but you have to ask yourself–were you REALLY happy, or were you just …settling?  It’s good that you tried, it wasn’t all bad, by far.

I hope you are spending every moment with your kid. She’s growing up so fast. Every second is important.

You were right to give up on them.

You were right to walk away.

You will miss your friends but don’t let them slip away.

Also–2014 did suck, so did 2013. 2015 is going to be hard but ultimately a big damn adventure.

And please start walking again–you have a lot of new cemeteries to find. Join a writing group too.

Love past J


small pleasures , tiny rituals

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Categories: Blogging Challenges, Daily blather, Project Reverb, Reverb14, Tags: ,

Project Reverb prompt: “What small pleasures did you discover this year?”

Very soft warm house slippers.

The hidden Faces of buildings

The hidden Faces of buildings

Very soft warm plush blankets, covered in cats. That I have a child that still holds my hand and hugs me tight (though that is a great pleasure).  Finally noodling out how to do something in code I’ve not done before.

Having the chance to take pictures of the back of buildings. I don’t know why but this is almost magical to me, ok actually it is magical. Like I’m suddenly in on a secret, a whispered secret. A breath exhaled just before kissing.

Really great smelling candles.  That elusive sweet cucumber sent that is spring to me.

Dexy’s midnight runner’s Come on Eileen, played at full blast, the first time the temperature hits 60 degrees sometime in March. The feeling of anticipation that comes with it.

Seeing our daughter dressed for a dance…or is that a large pleasure. Seeing her with her friends.

The small and the large, they can each be one or the other depending on the day. The smallest can make your heart swell ready to burst. The largest can be so large you have to file some of the accompanying feeling away for later or be overwhelmed.


Reverb14 prompt: “What tiny rituals: signal that your day is starting; help you ease into a creative project; give you closure from an intensive task; or mark other significant milestones in your day? What new rituals would you like to create in the new year?”

at 5:20 In the morning, NPR, then snooze, then it comes on again and the light. The Mister gets the coffee that only 1/2 the time I’ve remembered to set up the night before. He brings me a cup in bed as I check the weather saying “coffee delivery man” and I hug him.

at 6:30 I go to the Bean’s room and say “time to gettin’ up lil bean lil bean, it’s time to get up lil

Wakin up Lil Bean

Wakin up Lil Bean

bean”  or sometimes “Wakin’ up lil bean.” If there is not too much stuff on the floor I sit on her bed and pat her back and kiss her head and sing a nonsense song or babble. It’s been this way since she was a baby and she allows me this still.

At work I drink my coffee, then my smoothie, then my water. My phone dings to tell me to drink water every 15 minutes.

I’d like to finish the day writing in my blog. Perhaps now that I have a bit more room I can.


Leaping into the holidays


Categories: Blogging Challenges, Daily blather, Project Reverb, Reverb14, Tags: ,

Project Reverb promptWhat decision did you make this year that was a leap of faith? Did it work out? Or not?”

It is still in process. We made the decision to move from our home of 9 years across the country. Better for J’s job, better for E to have adventures and probably a better work culture than where we are. I’ll let you know next Summer (once we get through a house sale) how this all plays out. What was keeping us where we are…other than some friends we dearly love, was dwindling. I didn’t want E to go to high school at the local high school and she only has one more year at her current school.

J never fit in here, not that he tried too much, but it was an uphill slog for him. He seems to have a much easier time in Oregon finding people he feels comfortable with. I…tried to fit in here and was successful to a certain degree but it has felt like wearing shoes that were about a half a size too small.

Our house on Halloween

Our house on Halloween

Not too bad, but a little uncomfortable. And by fit in I mean…feel comfortable. I know, as an introvert (or an extroverted introvert) I’ll never quite slot in…but I know I’ve felt more relaxed, more at home. I think I just spent so long away.

It hasn’t been bad though—far from it, with certain notable exceptions. It is just time. It will  be hard to leave the friends and the familiarity.  And I will miss this house. I don’t think we’ll ever have this much space again.

Reverb14 prompt: “I am not going to lie, I often dread the holidays because I grew with the holidays laden with heavy expectations of giving. The gifts wrapped in bright colored paper sitting under a tree sparkling with multi colored light were tied tight with invisible cords of what I was suppose to be or do that made it almost impossible to enjoy the gifts.

Now as an adult I strive understand there is a difference between generosity and giving. Generosity is free of obligations; it opens the heart, and creates warmth and connection between

the giver and receiver. When I cultivate generosity the holidays become something I look forward to sharing with my loved ones.

Look back at the last year and consider: how did generosity open your heart? How can you cultivate generosity in the coming year?”

This is such a loaded prompt for me right now. I do believe in giving without strings, but I am learning that in some situations that leads to being used. Not all, but enough.  Sometimes when you do things for people they expect you to continue doing them…always. Even when you let them know you are becoming uncomfortable. Or they take it so for grated they start ordering you around. Or you are always the giver.  When they start to laugh at you for your giving or throw it in your face…time to reassess and then deal with the storm that follows.

That won’t stop me from offering my gifts and talents. There are a few things I can do that others can’t easily and is a way I can show love. BUT …there is a balance. It is a difficult to describe, but when you start to feel hurt and angry….then generosity has turned into expectation.

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