We're moving this coming Saturday. I had it all under control. This was a good thing to do. The timing was right. Life had nudged me and it was time for me to step out from my comfort zone and fly.....Right? That's what I'm supposed to do, right? I have to admit that any and all confidence and conviction in this move and the change in lifestyle that I had has since vanished. Maybe it's cold feet....maybe it's sudden clarity. WHY am I leaving my sister? Why am I moving into a place that costs more (although I realize this place was set to be sold in the near future)? Why am I sending my sweet Olivia to SCHOOL? Why am I working when I should be with my kids? I have to stare straight ahead and the task at hand because if I meander at all, I begin to think of ALL the worst case scenarios and can't stop having a flip-flop feeling in my chest, crying yesterday's (often longer) mascara into Alice Cooper-like streaks down my face or freaking out at my kids about stupid, possibly psychotic, issues involving the whereabouts of my keys/a phone number/my brain. I know we never know if what we do is the 'right' thing....but I NEED to know if this is the 'right thing'!!!!!! I am attempting to keep a smile on by writing 'funny-only-to-me" notes on top of the boxes, "Liv's room - games, books, toy cash register,....and that really CREEPY doll". Or "Jeff's odd assortment of things that I never really understood". I mentally arrange all the rooms and our mountains of crap in the new house and attempt to convince myself that it's going to be super-fabulous!....But no amount of spit and polish can undent my thoughts and feelings of sadness and fear over leaving 'home'. I know Jeff comes with us....but I want him to come WITH us....and I want him to tell me that I am doing the 'right thing'.
I don't follow a lot of celebrity news. In fact, the older I get the more I have no idea who these people are who grace the pages of the tabloids at the grocery check-out counter. Our society's idolatry of these 'super-humans' baffles me and highlights the blatant differences between 'us' and 'them'.
Recently however, the death of an actress whom I could name was marked on the cover of these magazines. Although I admit I had no idea who he was before this event, I recall feeling real empathy for Brittany Murphy's husband, Simon Mojack, when I glanced at these glossy covers on the way to pay for our goods. I wondered how it would feel to not only suffer the loss of a spouse but to read about it in all the line-ups you were forced to stand in for weeks after. I had concluded that it may be cathartic to know that others had noticed the absense of the one you held so dear as well. That life hadn't just 'continued as normal'. That the spot that my loved one had held didn't just close over unrecognized when they stopped living.
I felt a kin-ship with this man. He had lost the love of his life as well. Simon knew the emptiness that followed. It made him normal and mortal - not the stuff of celebrity but the stuff of the average human.
Then he went and did something that our society loves to talk of as much as we recite stats on these legendary creatures - He died of a 'broken heart'. I felt like simultaneously screaming and barfing at the checkout counter when I read these words. I felt betrayed by someone who knew what this road was like. And the stupid thing was, I knew it was bullshit that he died of a broken heart. He just conveniently died months after his spouse did and made a fabulous and heartrending story for the media to skew.
If dying of a broken heart was possible, each and every widow/er would have been wiped off the face of the planet the moment their spouse died. This man's death is not some measure of how much he loved her and evidence that my love for Jeff must have been lacking. It is an unfortunate event that happened too soon after he lost his wife. In all honesty, I am jealous. I begged whatever possible higher power there may be to kill me in the weeks and months following March 25th, 2008. I WANTED to die after Jeff did....and sometimes still do. But I have never gotten my wish. So like all other widows/ers out there, I know you can't die OF a broken heart....you just die WITH one...whenever that may be.
Although I can't go into detail as I have been advised to avoid writing it on my blog, last Friday the kids and I were involved in an incident that has caused me a lot of upset and stress. I hope to be able to unload the feelings and pain that have resulted one day on here but for now it is felt that I need to keep hush about it. I'll just say that physically the three of us are okay. Please send us good vibes and hope for the best in the next while. Thanks......xoxoxo
I had thought my favourite farm animal/bird/white noise was the chicken. I adore their soft clucking. I enjoy the versatilityof their eggs and the meals I can create with the central theme of 'egg'. I love to carry one under my arm and feel that I am not just talking to myself about the minutae that happens in my day. I think it's genius that not only do I get food from these creatures, but I get fabulous compost material from them as well. Watching their daily activities is calming and peaceful.
Although I still have such large affection for my chickens that it verges on 'odd', I have found a new obsessive love. Ducks.
The only time I have ever had ducks/ducklings in our home was the short span of time that our poor ducklings were hatched from their shells before 'Freckles the Duck-Killer' broke into the warm, seemingly safe haven that was their incubator and annihilated them all before they had even a chance to dry off after the tedious chore of hatching. "Welcome to the world, Duckies!! Chomp! Chomp!"
Ducks are certainly cuter when they're dry.
I have noticed that the chicks find any morsel of difference between them and peck at it. Although they aren't doing it maliciously, they have been known to kill each other just by obsessing over a piece of shell stuck to another chick's back....or possibly by 'gang-pecking' the man-made orthorpedic shoes on one of their nestmates. In fact, the reason that a brooder lamp is red is to discourage the chicks from noticing bits of blood or slime on their sibling's bodies after hatching.
But ducks? No, they are so much more community minded. As you add another newly hatched sibling to the brooder, the small flock welcomes them in, absorbs them into the fold and allows for differences and individuality in their goo-patterns. Immediately they are all part of the clan. With chickens, you often have to slowly introduce new flock-mates to ensure that no one is harmed. But I suspect that with ducks, it's all good.
I have never attempted putting a chick in a bathtub of warm water but I can bet it wouldn't end well. But add a duckling to the bath and you have reason to never regret disconnecting cable. Although a beak sort of hinders their ability to smile, you can tell they are giggling and grinning as they frolic in the tub. They dive under like mini feathered submarines. They duck their heads into the water and then throw their heads back with glee. They paddle around with their tiny webbed feet fluttering beneath the water.
Although we had planned to give away all our little ducklings once they were big enough to not have to be kept warm under the brooder lamp....I have to say that we are now keeping 2....maybe 4 of our new little buddies. I LOVE me my duckies!!!!!!!
I have gone out of my way to avoid the parking lot of our doctor's office for two years and two months. I'd park on the other side of the building and walk the long way to get to my appointment. As I approached the glass doors to the dreaded parking from the opposite entrance I'd avoid looking at one specific tree. This tree marked the spot where Jeff died in my arms. Under the branches of this tree, in our family car he took his last breaths.
I did not think I'd EVER be able to enter that parking lot again. So very time appointments were scheduled only to be attended late because of my pathway of avoidance.
A few days ago the kids and I were running so very late for a visit with our doctor to deal with a run of pinkeye through our house. I sped like I was competing in the Indy 500 only to be stuck in a line-up behind an accident. I had planned to park in our now usual parking area to maintain my avoidance of the scene of our loss but as I screeched around the corner, I was suddenly struck by just how silly this was. I was going to be even later for an appointment because I was afraid. Afraid of what? The worst had already happened in that lot. Was I afraid I would relive losing Jeff all over again? I already do this on a regular basis. Was I scared that I would have a panic attack, not be able to breathe, lose the plot right there in the parking lot? I didn't have this luxury. My kids were with me. I am bullet-proof when my kids need me to be strong for them.
So, in a split second decision I faced that lot down. I didn't park in the exact spot as I had that day in March 2008. But I parked nearby. I grabbed Liv's hand, picked Briar up and ran for the doors. To anyone watching I would have looked like any other mother late for an appointment. They wouldn't have known of the demon I had just conquered. My triumph was unnoticed by anyone but me. My visit to that lot was so very quiet and quick - so unlike the day Jeff died.
I visited the scene of the crime. I'm okay. We're okay. We'll live. I will never forget or enjoy the memory of that day but it can't hurt me more than it already has.
One of the fabulous things that I love about Waldorf education is the emphasis on tradition and rythmn. One of the wonderful Waldorf traditions that we have adopted in our home is the 'birthday ring'.
Twelve days before a birthday (or other looked-forward-to event) the ring is pulled out and set up. Each day a small gnome is pulled from the bag and fitted into one of the slots on the ring. On the final day, a small candle is placed in the last empty hole and lit. The kids love the build up of anticipation to their day....and it seems to make it all the more special.
Although life has become so stacked full of have tos/should dos/need tos associated with moving, I'm finding that the move and all things associated are falling into place and feel right. I don't want to mislead you into thinking that life here is placid and calm; it's fucking crazy. But inwardly, I know this is the right decision (although if things blow up in my face, I may be found claiming that it felt wrong from the start....). There is NEVER a 'free' nanosecond, let alone moment anymore. The second life slows briefly, Briar helps out by emptying the contents of a fire extinguisher in the basement, Liv decides that my refusal to by a fused plastic doll with shocked expression and a smear of some unidentified substance on its' synthetic clothing from the secondhand store is evidence that I don't love her as much as love "Briar or the Earth" (her words, not mine), and ducklings that were not expected to hatch out for four more days make a surprise appearance. (Again the humidity was off for the late part of the hatch causing one of the ducklings to need my now-skilled hands for extrication from his calcium-laden 'womb'...And again, we have a slightly mangled baby on our hands. THIS time I know to let Nature straighten out toes herself though. NO orthopedic shoes for this little quacker....) I have been hesitant to mention one of our enormous life changes before now. Liv will be attending public school in the Fall. I truly feel she is ready to face a few new challenges and to be with other kids more of the time. Many of the practises of conveyor belt conventional continue to cause me to hiss and spit but after meeting with the principal at the school she will be attending, I felt comforted with the thought that I can still remain a large part of her learning experience. I feel that not everything in life is perfect but is necessary for some of the lessons we need to learn (Don't I know THAT)....And I must admit that there are times that I need help. Liv is an eager and excited learner. She is so very bright and knows so many things I had never even grasped at her age....And I hate to admit it, because I feel like a failure as a mom and especially a homeschooling, organic eating, poultry shoe making mom....But it is sometimes hard being in the presence of a wonderfully spirited seven year old girl 24/7. I need a rest. This is SO NOT the main reason she will be attending school, but I think a break from eachother will do us good....I just wish it wasn't EVERYday for 6-7 hours. I will miss her terribly. The house we are moving into is in the process of being renovated. New roof, new windows, doors, flooring, paint, etc. It's on a five acre parcel of land with two houses (one ours, the other the landlord's). The landlord's driveway goes straight down to the beach and we're welcome to go down anytime. They are happily accepting the arrival of our feathered friends and have even agreed to allow us to adopt a dog in the near future!!!!! I've been offered a job but can't say much about it yet except to say that it will pay well and work with the kid's schedule awesomely. I have so much more to write but so much more to read in preparation for my class tomorrow.....P.S. Did you know that dandelions are indicator plants and often signal a deficiency in calcium in your soil. BUT because dandelions themselves are SO full of calcium, it's nature's way of curing the problem. Cut 'em off, dig 'em up or mow 'em down, but leave their bodies to put the calcium back into the soil!!! It takes quite awhile to make a difference but is so much better for the enviroment than adding chemical fertilizers as an excess of one nutrient will cause a deficiency in another!! P.P.S. Can anyone remember what the character's name was in Flashdance? The first picture is of a duckling that looks as if it's wearing legwarmers. I want to name it after the Flashdance girl....
I thought I'd attempt to quickly update what is going on in our little house. I'm going to school to become an Organic Master Gardner. The program is WONDERFUL and I am enjoying it immensely!!! The hours are crazy and random but my sister and Marnie have been watching the kids for me so I can attend class. I have learned so much in the last couple of weeks that my head is exploding! Unfortunately, I don't feel that I am able to give it as much of my focus as I would truly like to as I have SO much else on the go. I have been packing. I am determined to make this one of the most organized and tidy move of all time. This is because the only people who will be available to assist me in the move on the big day (May 31st) are other mamas. Changing phone numbers, applying for education bursaries and attending job interviews have taken up any quiet moment. I am so excited for the new place, however. I am trying to not focus on how much I'll miss 'our' home; but to experience the thrill of a new chapter. I am excited to have time return to a slightly less chaotic pace, however. ....And you know, I worried I would feel that I would be 'leaving' Jeff behind if I left this house, but I realize now that he'll come with us. Many of our memories of him are in this little house, but his heart will always remain in ours. If he's 'out there', there is no way he'd not accompany on us on this new adventure. And I think he'd be proud of us and all we are doing.
You know the term "It happened for a reason"? I hate it. I have used it myself. But I hate it.
It seems to say that everything, good or bad, was supposed to happen to make way for some 'better' purpose. It's sappy and it sucks. It's almost up there with the "He's in a better place".
With this rationale, maybe because Jeff died, a cherubic little one was born into the loving arms of its' parents. Maybe he died to stop the excessive amount of fossil fuels being consumed by his gargantuan beast of a truck. Maybe he had learned all he was meant to in this lifetime and had to go to 'Heaven' to process it.
I say "BAA HUMBUG"! I hate to sound....evil, but those parents can have some other kid because I'd rather have my big hairy guy back. I would have let Jeff drive my little gas-meiser. And I can tell you, there were still a few things I had left to tell Jeff so he certainly didn't know it all yet.
I don't think there was any bloody reason. I think it just happened because it was 'meant' to. Good or bad, there was no 'reason'. It was just the way it was/is/will be.
And I think I just have to suck it up, pull up my socks and forget trying to find 'reasons', meanings or any other message hidden in his death. He's gone and it's the way our lives parted. Nothing I can do about it.
So I'll be a big girl (at least for a few moments) and carrying this backpack....and if there is any reason, I'll realize that it was to make me and our two little ones strong, empathetic and remind us to not take life and love for granted.
This blog contains a fair amount of swearing, painful and difficult subject matter. If you have objections of any kind, I believe it's your right to not agree. But, please, keep those objections to yourself and keep yourself busy withsomething else.
A few musings of a homeschooling, crafting, neurotic, organic loving and, most of all, kiddo adoring mommy...I've now become a widow. My best friend and husband died of a pulmonary embolism on March 25th, 2008. This blog has now become a place for me to mentally unload and try to figure out how to do this and who I am without him.