Saturday, January 31, 2009

quiet/busy time

The kidlets are going to my mom's for the night. Just the fact that they are going to be spending the night elsewhere says a lot about my head space these last couple of days. I have to say that I thought that I was coping quite...civilized-like regarding the death of my grandfather. I am not as messed up as when I lost Jeff. But grandpa has definitely been my 'go-to' guy for matters of the heart, my life, mechanical workings of the truck, house maintenance, history, etc. I used to tell him when I was a child that I wanted to marry someone just like him. I did. Now they are both gone and it is so very strange to not be able to contact either of them. I want to call them and tell them what is going on. Ask them both for their opinion.

I think I need a rest. A slight break in the monotony of all of this. I keep making a mental list of the things that I want to accomplish while Liv and Briar aren't here. Sleep. Clean out broken toys. Sew. Watch a movie with lots of swearing and possibly even sexual references.

I'm wondering how I'll sleep without tiny pointed elbows shoved in my nostrils and little finger nails exfoliating my ribs in the night. Maybe I'll empty the contents of one of the toy boxes onto my bed to simulate the feeling of soft, yet hard and pokey little people in the bed beside/on me while I sleep.

I am looking forward to staring up at the stucco on the ceiling and trying to form shapes and pictures in the patterns. I know, it sounds remarkable dull. I think in Jeff's absence I am finding that I am not nearly as exciting as I thought I was. We used to have such fun together, whether the kids were with us or not. He'd sit in a lawn chair and laugh at my inability to quietly remove an aluminum ladder from beneath the deck as I'd try to prove a point about how burglars could use it to break into the house. We'd make a bet about who could lose a preset amount of weight in a determined amount of time. The loser was to wear a gold coloured g-string all day while having to entertain company out on the back deck....My weight stayed the same. Jeff gained some. I got sick that day and didn't care that he wouldn't wear the thong. We set off expired flares in the backyard (a big no-no....) and they flew across the marsh into an elderly couple's backyard lighting up their bedroom for five mintues with an intense red glow. We worried that they'd die of fright, but laughed until tears rolled down our faces at the same time. When I was huge and pregnant, he'd chase me around the house as I'd try to quickly waddle away and cram as much icing into my mouth from the bowl as I could before he managed to get it from me. When we'd disagree, he'd jokingly threaten to drag me around on the lawn by my ankles. One day during a mock argument, he did. I screamed my laughter as I got a wet and grass stained bum. We wondered later what the neighbours must have thought.

I miss hanging out with him. I miss his laughter. I miss being funny and interesting to someone. I miss my best friend.

So, I'll go stare at the stucco and remember the fun we did have...and try to get some of things on my list done.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

a great loss

My grandfather died early this morning. It is a truly strange sensation to know that he does not share the same world with me and I cannot call him for one of our often daily chats.
His death is bitter sweet. I am so saddened for the loss of him and his guidance. But that sense of loss is for me and for those left behind...a selfish loss. I am happy, however, that his suffering is over, that his loss of dignity brought by the cancer is through and that he has peace.
I need to try to understand why this feels so truly different than the loss of Jeff when both of these men were so huge in my life. Is it that with my grandfather's death there is no 'trauma'? That we had the opportunity to say our good-byes and there were no unsaid words between us at the end? Is it because I have lost my fear of death? Is it because I am numb? Is it because he had expressed his feelings of fatigue and his readiness to move on? I feel a 'peace'. A gentleness. A calm. Not the fear or anguish. Is it just me or is it all of us?
I will miss him so terribly...but I also knew him. I don't feel that there was anything left to do. I know that he loved me and he knew that I loved him.
My grandmother and I hugged in the hospital and she said that when he passed, we'd know that he and Jeff would be together sharing a good laugh.....

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

single vs sole

I've been doing a lot of thinking about the labels that are created to define each of us within this society. Since Jeff's death, one of the labels that has been thrust upon me is that of 'single mother'. While I understand the reasoning behind this title, I don't feel that I properly fit this definition.

I don't feel single. I still love my husband and if he were alive, we would definitely be together. My status as a singleton parent was not my choice whatsoever. Neither of us chose to desert the other. Neither of us would have left the other's side if we could have helped it.

Often as a single parent (although I realize that this is not always the case), the children still have the benefit of contact with both their parents. The children still have two parents who love them, watch soccer games, rejoice in their accomplishments and hopefully, accept and support their difficulties and learning experiences. My children have me. Only me. Yes, they have grandparents and friends, but I, maybe mistakenly, feel that it is different than the truly unconditional love of a parent.

The single parent usually has a break every so often when they send their children to the other parent and they know that there children are with someone who loves them and has a vested interest in their survival. Again, I know that not all single parents feel safe sending their children to their ex and are quite justified in this feeling. If I need a break, I feel the need to carry it as long as I can before I am unable to hold on any longer. Then I must ask someone who has no obligations to my children or to me. I feel guilty as this imposition that I am thrusting upon others. I feel guilt for needing time away from my children when all they have is me.

Many times, there is anamosity between divorced parents. There is anger. Hurt. Sadness. Fear. As the child of divorced parents, I feel that I get this somewhat. But (please correct me if you feel that I am wrong here) I feel that at one point you loved this person, you cared for and wanted to be around this person. Most of the time, you didn't wish for their death. Now that you have chosen to seperate your life from theirs, and possibly you 'hate' them, you still know they are there. Breathing. Living. Their 'being' may irk you, but once you loved them, they loved you and they love your children. It may not seem like it, (and you may hate me for saying this) but the ability to share the world with them and still hate them is a luxury. You may have gone through hell with them or because of them, but you created children with them. Your children are here because of them. You have learned so very much because of your experiences with them. You are, hopefully, a better person because of this learning.

I hate that Jeff is gone. I am bereft and lonely. I am angry. I am terrified. But I am learning. I am picking one foot up and walking. I am a better person. I am more empathetic. More caring. More understanding. But I am alone. I am not trying to imply that one is harder than the other. I am merely saying that they are different and I don't feel that I fit the mold properly. Maybe I just need time to get used to this title. I don't know.

I am completely alone as a parent. I am a sole parent. I can't hate Jeff. I can't express my love to him. I can't ask for his help. I can't ask him how he feels about certain issues involving the kids. I can remember what we thought was right for our family before and follow this path. But things have changed and I have to sometimes make a new path and carry the kids along alone hoping that what I am doing is right for us now. It's scary and, fuck, I wish he was here even if we weren't together. So the kids could have the support and love of their other parent and I could know that someone else out their cared about their lives and would speak up if they could think of some thing that might make their lives easier or better....and actually know these little people as well as I do.

So instead of a single parent, I am declaring a new title. Sole parent.

P.S. I realize that I have over simplified many of the issues involving divorce in order to make my case for a new title. I apologize to any of you that feel offended or slighted by my definitions or assumptions. I absolutely meant no harm and I am so very sure that divorce is a truly hard and difficult road. I can imagine the fear, also, of sending your children to the home of a parent that does not share you feelings or ideologies and having this imposed upon your children. It must be terrifying to send your little ones to the home of an ex who is violent or bitter. I am blessed that I have not have to experience this as a parent. And I feel terrible for those of you who have.

Monday, January 26, 2009

playsilk dyeing

Krista and I ordered some silks from Dharma Trading before Christmas with the intent to dye them with the kids. While they are beautiful and a lovely product, we had to pay exorbitant duties from customs into Canada. BUT we were still very excited.

I have been hoping to use natural dyes but seem to lack the energy to collect the needed supplies at the moment. So, we used the ever-useful Kool-Aid. The kids had a great time stirring and immersing their silks. We only used small amounts cold water and Kool-Aid. It was interesting to see that the silks sucked all the dye out of the water leaving only the slightest tinge of colour in the remaining water.

Also, the blue Kool-Aid caused some strange reaction to the kid's skin making it sore and itchy...makes me wonder what it does to one's innards. They turned out beautiful and BRIGHT. When Krista added the red to the green, the resulting colour was more of a natural brown than an intense synthetic colour.

We dyed the remainder of our silks on Friday. My sister's twins helped and seemed to LOVE the crafty experience.

At this point, I had read some tutorials on how to dye playsilks with Kool-Aid in a different manner to ensure colour-fastness. But, unfortunately/fortunately, we don't have a microwave in our house due to my neurotic fears involving this small appliance, radiation and an event resulting in explosive microwaved eggyolk dangling from everyone's eyelashes at the breakfast table as a child. Anyhow.....Our silks turned out great without the microwave or the vinegar. We did not rinse them but haven't had any trouble with colour transfer.

After we had finished, we hung the silks out on the line to dry. It was wonderful to watch these colourful, light fabrics flutter around in the cold, dull backyard. I am so looking forward to sheets on the line again one day and fresh Spring green.

I am hoping to either find a source for more playsilks within Canada in an attempt to not have to pay these duties or to make some from silk from the bolt. I am wondering if the rolled hems would pose a difficulty. Also, I'd LOVE to attempt to do the natural dyes and see if we can produce some more natural occurring colours....Although, I still love the silks we have dyed this time too.

*I am realizing that this post is a bit of 'non-information' but I am leaving it up due to the pretty pictures.

10 months

Yesterday, it was the ten month date since your death. I am still stuck in the anguish of losing you. I still expect you home. I am still reminded of you with every item in the house, every look on our little one's faces, every memory of our ten years together as a couple. I still think of you as my best friend. I still feel married to you. I am still in love with you. I still need you. When I am eighty years old, I will still miss you, feel the absence of you and wonder how life would have been if you had grown old with me.

Life is so different now. I worry that I will forget the happiness I had. I fear the kids will lose their memories of their wonderful father....

Briar, however, surprised me yesterday when a friend was helping him with his coat. I had thought that most of Briar's memories and thoughts of his daddy had come from Liv and my references of you. I wish I had had more faith in the love of a little boy for his daddy. He said to our friend, "My daddy would say, "Stop squirmin'!" It was purely Briar. It was his memory. His thought. I was amazed and brought to tears that his daddy is still held in his heart and remembered.

Grandpa is not doing well. I feel an anger that you are not here with me while I deal with this. That I have to feel the loss of this kind and supportive man without you. I can only hope that although you are not here by my side, that if there is any way, you are with him, helping him and laughing with him.

I love you. Your Bean and your little Bear love you too. We always will. The whole pie.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

i know someone....

Hey, Matt is in People Magazine. So odd. I never thought I'd know someone in a major magazine.

Friday, January 23, 2009

internal dialogue

I'm always striving to learn and grow. Since Jeff has died, I have found that my education of the world around me and those that I share it with has been excelerated. Some of these lessons have been harder than others and some of them have been downright unwelcome. But many of them have been extremely 'eye-opening' when I apply them to past occurrances in my life.
One of the lessons that I am repeatedly been taught is that I am only in 'control' of myself. I cannot dictate how others will react, how they feel or how they perceive me or my actions. I can, however, live with honesty and integrity. I can try my utmost to do what I feel is the 'right' thing to do and this, ultimately, helps me to sleep at night and to live with my myself in my body.

Although, at times it is a struggle, I try my hardest to look at those around me with empathy. I try to understand what has brought us all to whichever place it is that we are at in our lives and our hearts. I do not want to cause anyone pain. I strive to act in a way which does not cause others pain and if possible to somewhat relieve strife if I can. But here again, I come to that lesson that is recurring in the education of 'me'. Although I try to ensure that my actions come from a 'good' and pure place, I can NOT ensure that others will understand my actions as such and that they even understand my motives.

I want to be seen as a kind person. A thoughtful and peace-filled person. An understanding person. But only I know what goes on in my mind, just as others only know their own minds. Others can guess at the motives behind my actions, but unless I am asked, they do not know. The best I can do, is my best. The worst I can do is to not keep trying to make the most of my time here and to not continue on a path toward learning all I can.

I don't want to be an angry, bitter person who ultimately creates my own version of personal hell by viewing the world with eyes of my most feared things. Who attempts to twist others actions and motives into something that I can see as a slight or an injury. This to me, would be a ruination of life. A right-off as I create my own pain by perceiving the world as a place that is 'out to get me'. In fact, this view is rather egocentric. A view that every action is caused by a reaction to 'me'.

I saw a billboard yesterday that said, "Image is what others think you are. Integrity is who you really are." Enough said.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

she's climbing the walls

Liv had expressed a desire to rock climb many times after climbing a portable rock climbing wall. This weekend, she started lessons. She LOVED it. Immediately after, she was asking when her next lesson was. It was awesome watching her climb and smiling from ear to ear. She looked so tiny on those walls. My only regret is that I can't go out there with her. Briar is too young to climb yet but I think it'll be a stellar activity for the three of us to do when he is a bit older...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Rosie's new/old home

Our sweet, funny, Rosie the Rooster has gone back to where he came from....Okay, he did not die. We took back to B&Ps where we got him from. We so would have loved to have kept him. Other than Lucy, he was one of the most friendly and cuddly chickens I have ever seen.
Our neighbours have been very patient but finally expressed their desire to hear Rosie's vocalizations as bubbles in the stew pot rather than an announcement of the forthcoming day.
So to protect Rosie from that fate for the immediate time being (although I cannot prevent a stew pot in Rosie's distant future at the farm), we took him to live with his 'family of origin'.
It was heartbreaking. He sat comfortably and quietly in the carrier as we drove to B&Ps. When we arrived, the kids said their good-byes, and I removed him from the cage. He stood stock still staring at me in disbelief. I apologized to him for the abrupt departure from his little harem and wished him well.
Suddenly, he turned heel and ran in the other direction. Thinking that he had accepted my apology and was ready for his new life, I stood up and turned to see the actual reason for Rosie's hasty departure.
SWEET LORD!!!! It's a bloody, fucking turkey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And a horrifyingly scary/ugly/beautiful/shocking one!
I was actually kind of freaked out myself but I couldn't stop taking pictures of his 'snood' (Thanks, Krista). The stinking turkey followed me around the yard with his plumage all puffed up in a menacing pose. I am definitely not one to mess with a least anymore.
I was about to leave when I spotted Rosie attempting to follow me to the van.
His attempts to come for another road trip were thwarted by this small roostery devil. I didn't know if I should intervene as I know that chickens need to establish a heirarchy and I wanted to be there if Rosie needed help. (God, I am a loser. And yes, I have trouble watching nature shows as I can never handle it when the sweet little meercats get dismembered by the evil hawks, etc.)
But Rosie the Rooster held his own and chased the little devil away. No one got hurt in the filming of these photos either. I promise.
Anyhow, I was just beginning to wonder if that horrifying spectacle of a turkey was what the evil 'Noel' had morphed into when I found her, staring at me with her angry turkey eyes. So she wasn't a 'tom'. She was just a bitch. I left for the van, followed by Rosie, followed by the turkeys and drove away wishing poor Rosie well. I hope he continues to hold his own. He is such a sweetie and we will missed his morning announcements.
Just in case you missed it.......
It's called a 'snood'.......

Thursday, January 15, 2009

This is going to take forever....

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

lameness of loneliness

I abhor it when I hear that someone is 'bored'. I can honestly say that I have never been bored. There is always something I could do. Something I have interest in. Something to read. Something to think about. Something to clean. This is harsh, but at times, I am a bit prejudiced against boredom. It seems to mark a lack of imagination. Of creativity. It is a weakness.
These same feelings are reserved for loneliness. Most often, I enjoy my time alone. I am used to my own company. In fact, I remember telling Jeff before we were dating that I wanted to marry a fisherman because they come home, we enjoy our time and then they 'go away' to leave me to my stuff for awhile. I have always thought loneliness to be a slight flaw. A lack of emotional sturdiness. This isn't to say that there were times that I felt some measure of loneliness too. I remember telling Jeff that I was lonely. That I needed him to come home. When he'd have been gone on long trips on the boat, I knew he was making a living for our family, I tried to not feeling resentment about it, but at times, I missed having him with me. And I felt lonely for his companionship.

But this, this is so fucking different. Even when he was gone and they were at sea for long periods, I felt close to him. He would call me every opportunity that he could. He was connected to me. We shared our children, our life and our love. We knew eachother so, so well. Even when we were angry or annoyed, we had this bond. The bond of people who love eachother and can call eachother 'husband' and 'wife'.

Now, there is nothing. There is this void. A blankness. Nothing resides there. It's a hole where that bond, that connection, lived. My side calls out...but there is no answer. There never will be. I am without love. I am without a connection. There is no one on the other end.

I just wish there was something to hold onto. Someone to cling to as I drown. Someone who noticed that I was gone. Someone who really knows me.

But that will never be again.

not much

Not much going on that's new.
My ear is still bothering me. I'm 'deaf as a post'.

Briar is doing really well with the whole potty business. Liv has developed a love for cross-stitch.

And I'm lonely as fuck.

Monday, January 12, 2009

something new

I've started this cross-stitch. In the past, I have regularly not finished cross-stitches. I am hoping that if I blog about it and regularly take photos of my progress, it will give me incentive to complete it. I love the design and even know exactly where I will hang it. So here goes! I'll occasionally post about it....If you don't see it for awhile, please remind me. ;)

farewell old foe

Yesterday, I saw Jeff’s truck drive out of the driveway for the last time. I heard it start with its’ deep, gravely voice for the last time. I smelled the interior that smells so intensely of him for the last time.
After he had died, I swore that the truck would never leave my possession. It would be with me forever if Jeff could not. It sounds silly, especially considering my dislike frustration with the vehicle over the last few years. Jeff loved that truck. It was part of him in some ways. The smell. The sound. The size. All equated with him.
But I have been watching as it was covered in snow and this week slowly remerges from this white blanket. Before this, I noticed how ….lonely and left-behind it looked. I could imagine it in a few years of sitting in our yard and noticed the things that would fall off. Fall apart. Rot.
This is what has always bothered me about the `Blue Mule`. It has always needed something. Parts. A dent repaired. A good cleaning. And no matter what, Jeff would do it. The money sunk into the truck would make me cringe. But he loved that truck. He didn`t want it to fall apart. Become a piece of junk.
So watching it slowly rot in our yard is hurting. This isn`t what he`d want. He would want it to be taken care of. It is just a possession, I know, but one that he saw value in.
So I decided to give a new home. I thought of selling it to someone who could use it. But the possible $1500-$2500 that I could get for it makes it not worth the pain of watching it drive the same streets. The intake of breath as I see it coming toward me. The brief moment that I think, ``There he is!`` And the harsh descent as I see some fresh shaven man who does not know that he is driving my love`s beloved truck behind the wheel.
Instead, I have a different plan. A plan that I know Jeff would approve of. The truck will remain in the family. Just not our yard. I`m giving it to Jeff`s son, Glenn. Glenn can afford to keep the truck running. He understands the importance of the truck and all it means. He knew how Jeff loved the truck. It won`t be some rotting piece of metal in his yard. He`ll use it. He`ll remember his dad driving it. And I won`t have to see it. It will be `living` in a town at the top of the island. A town Jeff loved. A town he fished out of. So although, this part of Jeff won`t be with me, it will be a place that Jeff was happy and it will be cared for and its`new owner will know what it means.
The driveway looks so empty with its’ huge blue occupant. Ridiculously, I feel vulnerable without it being there. As if Jeff isn’t watching over us and announcing his presence in our household by marking his spot with the truck.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

let them eat cake

Chocolate and cake are the best of comfort foods....And anything you ate as a child. So here is cake that I ate as a child. So yummy and moist and easy. I don't think I have ever posted a recipe for anything on the blog. That says something. I craft. I don't cook. But this cake is awesome and even I can't screw it up....too easily at least.
Lazy Daisy Cake
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour (we used whole wheat flour here as it was what I had on hand)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp butter

*Preheat the oven to 350 F. degrees.

- Put the milk and butter in a small saucer pan on the stove to warm.

- Beat eggs.

- Stir in sugar and vanilla to the beaten eggs.

- Stir in flour, baking powder and salt.

- Stir in the warmed milk and butter from the stove.

- Pour into a greased 9x11 cake pan and bake for 30 minutes.

While the cake is baking, make the topping...

  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (very packed)
  • 1 cup coconut

- Put ingredients into the small saucepan and warm until the butter is melted and mixed with the coconut and brown sugar.

- When the cake is done, pat the topping on and put the cake back in the oven for a few minutes to brown the coconut yumminess.

So good!!!!!!!


Both my blog and myself are having an identity crisis. The blog has morphed into so many things that I don't know if it 'makes sense' anymore. A crafty/homeschool/mourning/loneliness blog? I struggle as to whether I should split it up and make the painful personal stuff 'personal'.
I so appreciate the comfort of knowing that someone out there can hear me, though. Even though I am alone. I have no one to lean on. Someone out there knows that I am falling apart. They can't help me but they're there...and that helps.
I am tiring of writing about the melancholy shit in my life....but it is at the forefront of my mind. If I start to focus again on 'happier things' such as photography, sewing, the fun in homeschooling, maybe I can help myself to remember happiness.
So I am going to try to not focus as much or as often on the hard things. I don't think this is 'stuffing', but I need to change directions. I need to try to smile....real smiles.
So if I have nothing to say, I may just post pictures of our most recent adventures.
And I'll try to look to the sun....Isn't there some saying about 'looking toward the sun and then the shadows fall at your back'? I'll try it. I am game for anything at this point.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

to incubate or not to incubate

Liv has been begging to incubate some eggs again. As you can see, they will be fertile eggs judging from the bald spot on Lucy's head (left bird) inflicted from Rosie the Rooster (right bird). The other two chickens seem to be immune from Rosie's affections thus far. I would enjoy another 'Lucy' around but I am sure that Freckles would too. I've decided that we'll wait until we manage to get a door installed into the storage room downstairs to inhibit Freckles abilities to use the incubator as a personal roasting oven.

Also, when Spring gets a bit closer, I am hoping to give ducks another try. I feel a bit guilty doing it with the trouble we've had in the past but I would so love to have a couple of Indian Runner Ducks or Pekin Ducks hanging in the chicken yard.

But NO MORE turkeys....ever.

Monday, January 05, 2009

quick update and info

I thought I'd quickly fill in some blanks that I had noticed in my blogging....

  • Yes, one of my eardrums burst. Not the inital one with the pain much to my amazement. But both now have this not-so-lovely ringing/water rushing sound that prevents me from having completely comfortable face-to-face conversations as I do a lot of guessing as to what people are saying...."You want to do what to your dizzy, polkadot washwater?!" I am headed to a specialist in a few weeks to see about tubes. Yes, tubes in my ears just like a freckly little eight year old.
  • No, Robo hasn't come home. We miss him terribly and are worried sick. I've told the kids that he has gone fishing. Briar has been crying for him occasionally and Liv wants to show him the sea monkeys that we did end up starting without him. "Robo will be so excited!"

Desha - Robo is one of Jeff's best friends. I've known him as long as I've known Jeff - 14 years. He has lived with us on and off for years and would usually come home with Jeff when they weren't fishing. Robo, obviously, is not his 'real' name.

  • All three chickens are now laying eggs. Small (Sara-bantam barred plymouth rock), medium (Stella - black australorp) and large (Lucy, of course - buff orpington).
  • I recently got rid of the bloody turkeys. No, they weren't 'bloody' at the time (unfortunately...Was that my outside voice?!). Just mean and caustic. Actually just the black one, Noel. They never got to be a size that would allow for more than two people to eat them. Noel was 9.6 lbs and Pilgrim was 8.4 lbs when we dropped them off at B&Ps. Penny kindly gave us a pre-butchered, cleaned and frozen turkey to take home and graciously offered to give us back our turkeys when they were large enough and butchered. I declined as I feel they won't taste very appetizing what with being only full of 'piss and vinegar'. Do you remember a while back when I thought that having turkeys was so easy and fun and that anyone could have one in the backyard? Yeah. I was wrong. They attack the chickens and nearly pull the comb off the rooster (Rosie the rooster). They hide under wooden contraptions in the pouring rain on top of a mud slicked hill forcing you to try to rescue the bastards in the dark only to be clawed and beat with wings causing you to fall on your ass and slide down the hill into the coop door....not once but twice. They hiss when you try to pick them up. They eat everyone else's food but their own. They're bullies of the barnyard. I am glad to see them go. I will leave turkey raising to the real farmers.
  • Yup, we still have snow on the ground. I have never seen it snow so much. I have never seen snow last so long. I have never despised snow so much. Seasonal temperatures are beginning to come back for us causing it to melt and things to flood.
  • The illness that I had awhile back was never successfully diagnosed. Just a bad flu, I am guessing. They had thought it was glandular fever (aka mono) but tests came back negative. I have had this in the past and was convinced that it could not come back multiple times. It turns out that mono stays in your system and will recur if your body gets too worn out.
  • If you would like to contact me because you don't want to leave you message in a comment, you can find a link to my email address on my profile page. I love to hear from you. I feel so much less alone knowing that someone out there can 'hear' me.
  • I have a horrendously bad memory. I had a list of things that I wanted to mention or update on this post and now I am staring at the screen, listening to the rushing water/cicadas in my head with a complete loss of brain function. If it all comes back to me, I'll update in the AM.
  • Sorry that this post was one long complaint.

Oh! I remembered one thing....My little man, my little bear, Briar, is potty trained! With help from his cousins who are adding incentive because they are doing the same thing and his litte pal, Brody, who crossed the poop bridge a few months back, he has the interest and the want to use the can. We still have the occasional accident but the majority of the time, the bombs land where they should - in the toilet. Yay, Briar! (Is it silly that it makes me a bit sad? Crossing the big boy bridge into boyhood rather than staying with the familiar babyhood means the closing of a door and yet another milestone that Jeff has missed. He would be so proud. He would have been the one to show Briar how to stand in front of the toilet...not his mommy or one of his little pals.)

Saturday, January 03, 2009

two new traditions

I love traditions. The familiarity of knowing what to expect is comforting, especially now. I, also, love how they connect you to others...sort of like a club's secret handshake.
This year, as I was packing up our Christmas stuff, I was remembering how hard it was to open that box. Looking at all our ornaments that were tied to those golden memories of 'life before' broke my heart. Seeing Jeff's tattered and old looking Santa hat that he wore when handing out the gifts on Christmas morning. I was wondering if it would upset me as badly next Christmas. I had wished that there had been some sort of comfort as I had unpacked all this paraphernalia usually associated with joy and together-ness. So I decided to provide for myself. I wrote myself a letter and put it on the top of the box. It sounds so silly but I am hoping that my words to myself with offer some solace and comfort. Words from someone who understands. Words from someone who loves the kids. Words full of well-wishes and hopefully, hope.
The other tradition I am starting is not nearly as sentimental or sucky. I am cosntantly attempting to rid our house of 'extra'. It feels wonderful to cleanse and purge. Since Jeff has died, I find it even more satisfying. I think because I don't have him standing behind me saying, "What? Why are you getting rid of that? We may need it someday!" or "That a collector's item! I got it in a case of Alexander Keith's!" In actuality, I haven't gotten rid of anything of Jeff's. I can't. I still want him and all my memories of him held close. But my junk, outgrown kid's clothes, unused containers, extra sheets, etc. Out the door. I don't need it. I feel dragged down by it. Trapped. So the week after the New Year, I am starting Dump Day. Anything we haven't used in the last year goes. To friends who may need it, the Sally Ann, the recycling depot and if needed, to the garbage dump. I have already started sorting and cleaning. I have to do it in the dark of night when Liv's observant eyes are closed unfortunately. I would so prefer to not have to be 'sneaky' about this but she has inherited her father's love of the 'just in case' and the 'I had that when...' I just wish I had the truck insured so that I could take it all in ONE load!

P.S. Sara, our plymouth rock bantam chicken, has started laying! Tiny weeny little eggs! I took a picture of Lucy's regular lovely brown eggs, with Sara's teensy white eggs and one of Lucy's mammoth double yolkers (the one on the left if you can't tell). We had to have an 'egg fest' the other day as we are getting overrun with these ova!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

bring on the new year...

Goodbye and good riddance, 2008! You won't be missed, you sour bastard.
I am hoping that 2009 will bring peace, joy and healing back into this house and into the homes of all of you.
You'll have to excuse this 'disconbobulated' post as I seem to have brought in the new year with a wicked ear infection forcing me to ingest large-ish amounts of Tylenol 3's causing my thoughts to run random and amok. My kids are with my sister allowing me some rest and I am hoping that my eardrum will not rupture....although this would be the 15th time that I have experienced this event making it a rather common happening for me.
I have no sage words of wisdom brought on by the pharmaceutical induced boat-like rocking of my brain and the floor. However, I figured as the efficient and philosophical human that I am, I would use the pain-free qualities of the T3's and begin the year with a 'clean slate' so to speak. So I am cooking a batch of 'sugaring' and I am going to remove my leg hair. Yes, I warned you. This post is not of the regular melancholy or crafty sort. It is frivolity and ridiculousness. Even shallowness. The silly ephemeral crap that I regularly bemoan on this blog.
Anyhow, here is a fabulous and effective recipe for sugaring (sugaring is like waxing, but can be washed off with plain water if you get the concoction in the 'wrong' spot or you just lose your nerve).

2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice

I just add the ingredients in a large sauce pan (making it harder to boil over), stir a couple of times and heat to 265 degrees (using a candy thermometer). I remove the pot from the heat and after it has cooled substantially, I pour the molasses like product into a couple of salmon canning jars (I find the wide-mouth of these jars the best for scooping out the sugaring). When it's has cooled enough to apply to the skin, I use a tongue depressor to apply it in a stripe in the direction of the hair growth. I, then, use a strip of precut cotton fabric (I use fabric that has been cut with pinking shears to minimize fraying) to press onto the sugar. I hold the skin taut and swiftly pull the fabric in the OPPOSITE direction of growth (don't pull it 'out' as you'll end up with a bruise - pull it up and back against the skin). Repeat until you're hair-free.
*When doing delicate areas (bikini line and arm pits) apply cornstarch to your skin beforehand as it makes the sugar less likely to adhere to your skin - just the hair.

*You may end up with small raise red bumps after doing this initally as your skin gets used to having its' hair suddenly ripped from its' follicles. It's temporary. Just don't do this the same day you plan to go out in a bathing suit...unless you like red polkadot skin.

Then, just rinse out all your little cloth strips, hang them to dry and use them again next time. As you get into the groove of doing this, you shouldn't have to sugar, shave or wax more often than once a month. You'll have to do it a few times first to get all levels of hair growth first, though.
When you have to do it again, heat your little jar up in a sauce pan of water until it is the consistency of honey and 'fly at 'er'!

It's inexpensive, effective and enviro-friendly! Wee-hoo. I can't say it's totally pain-free, but it's not bad. And you get used to it. I can even do it now while on the phone and no one is the wiser!

*P.S. I think the idea of hair removal is a ridiculous and unfair societal pressure that women should not have to feel the pressure to undertake. It's ludicrous and unnecessary. That said, I am evidently a total hypocrite as I love the feeling of hairless legs and pits.

Happy New Year.