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Friday, October 8, 2004

maybe it's the sun, maybe it was the music on the radio this morning, maybe it was the cinnamon stick i had for breakfast.*

or maybe it's a whole series of small, unnoticed events coming together at this moment. whatever the reason, today is one of those days where i really appreciate my life. i like being a parent, i love being with my partner (even on the days where we drive each other batshit), i've got a great family, the leaves are especially gorgeous these days and there are tons of big, old trees on my drive to work, so i get to see plenty of autumn color, the library at school is shaping up nicely and the fundraiser is going well, and i've been having a blast in the kitchen lately.

Seventeen has turned thirty-five
I'm surprised that we're still livin'
If we've done any wrong
I hope that we're forgiven
Got a few kids of my own
And some days I still don't know what to do
I hope that they're not laughing too loud
When they hear me talkin'
Like this to you

That's when a sport was a sport
And groovin' was groovin'
And dancin' meant everything
We were young and we were improvin'
Laughin', laughin' with our friends
Holdin' hands meant somethin', baby
Outside the club Cherry Bomb
Our hearts were really thumpin'
Say yeah yeah yeah
Say yeah yeah yeah

John Mellencamp, Cherry Bomb

it's not that i never pictured this being my life. i guess it's more that i wasn't as concentrated on getting to here as some people i've known. maybe that's good, maybe that's bad; maybe i could have avoided some pitfalls along the way if i'd been more focused; maybe all the lessons in self-esteem and self-respect had to be learned the way they were learned. i suppose it doesn't really matter, the how, as long as it leads to the here.

In our daily lives, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but the gratefulness that makes us happy. - Albert Clarke

life at home is evolving; there are patterns emerging, patterns to the week, patterns to the day, patterns to our interactions. yeah, that sounds a little ethereal (or as n would say, a little woo [ed. note: this sound effect should be accompanied by glitter and finger waving]), but there are practical aspects to it as well. my hairdresser suggested an approach to school mornings - get up, feed the kid, get him dressed, then you go and get showered and dressed - that's eased up a lot of the rushrush, hurryhurry of trying to get out the door in the morning. if the reward to getting thru breakfast and organized is time to play, that's a good motivator for him. and i can pace myself better (altho not always well), so if anyone's rushing, it's just me.

and i bet you're wondering about the crock pot. well, maybe you're not, unless you've heard me babble about not wanting one because i'd burn down the house. (somehow, crock pots and pressure cookers got conflated in my brain, and i figured the crock pot would explode and sautè the cat and burn down the house. yeah. i didn't say it made sense.) anyhow, i signed up for Saving Dinner, after months of hearing how wonderful it is. and guess what? for us, it is. a weeks worth of entrees, suggested menus, and a shopping list, organized by section of the store - fantastic! one shopping trip, a kitchen stocked with exactly what i need, no more wasted food, no more panics about what to do with the chicken i bought with the vague idea that we should have something with chicken, no last minute runs to the store for 'just one more thing', and a great dinner on the table in about half an hour each night. the exception to the half hour is the one crock pot recipe each week. so i broke down and got one. first recipe was beef soup, and damned if it isn't some of the best soup i've ever had. there you go. live and learn. :)

Yeah, it doesn't get better than this
I'm letting go of old ghosts
That came close but they missed
And what might have been
Can't begin to compare to what is
It doesn't get better than this

- lyrics from It Doesn't Get Better Than This, by John Eddie

*the cinnamon sticks they just introduced at Dunkin' Donuts, by the way, rock. :)

eta: and in a nice bit of synchronicity, the sidebar today shows the Daily Om article on living in the moment. heh.

:: scribbled at 3:15 PM ... ... o

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

question: which of the following three do you think i did last night?

1. watched the Red Sox
2. listened to the VP debate
3. attended a parenting seminar with The Dane

if you answered #3, congratulations! we have some fine parting gifts for you. ;) (isn't that what they always used to say on game shows, or am i misremembering my wasted childhood afternoons?)

fortunately, the presenter had the game scores delivered as we went along. (someone at the front desk was watching the local station.) also, i get the @bat Insider newsletter delivered right to my mailbox, with all the details on my boys.

equally important, james and chuck did a bangup job of Veep Debate Blogging. (how they have the focus to watch, curse and type all at once, i don't know - hats off to you, guys!) james has some followup and commentary on the debate, and chuck has folded description of, commentary on, and links about the debate into one handy-dandy package.

the seminar, on how to consciously use productive language with kids, was quite useful; the presenter confirmed some things we're already doing, gave us some ideas on what we could improve, and explained a few ways to diffuse what others say. good food for thought.

so, tonight will be some reading and researching to figure out what was said at the debate last night, and watching the next game, if i can stay up late enough.

on a completely unrelated note, the little stretchy yellow frog that lives on my keyboard (usually over the num lock light, so he glows) has apparently become Buddhist. his front paws are glued together in prayer pose, and he appears to be meditating on the pause:break key. :)

:: scribbled at 3:44 PM ... ... o

Monday, October 4, 2004

ever wonder what a dollar can really buy these days?

well, Strengthen the Good is doing some great work, trying to bring attention to micro-charities that could use some press, and who benefit from small donations, even $1 or $5.

the current profile is of Debi Faris And The Garden Of Angels. i've really struggled with what to say, because i don't know how to articulate what i'm feeling. the person who pointed out Garden of Angels to STG perhaps said it best - "It's a bittersweet thing—you'll understand when you read it."

Debi and her organization have given 68 abandoned infants proper burials, and helped pass Safe Arms for Newborns, a program that, thru outreach and education, lets parents know that there is an option. To date, 59 children in California alone have been safely surrendered; forty-six other states have similar 'safe haven' laws.

i'd encourage you to visit Garden of Angels to read about it for yourself, and see if this is an organization you'd like to support.

:: scribbled at 4:37 PM ... ... o

if you're an Eddie Izzard fan (and if you aren't, why not?!), there's an interesting interview with him over at the Guardian.

'Mentally, I'm all boy - plus extra girl'

He sees this as putting his money where his mouth is: a fervent believer in the European ideal, he has what he calls 'radical centrist' politics, inclusive except when it comes to 'extremists of any kind, extremists of any religion' - which leads him to wondering what extremist Buddhists would be like: 'Really calm.'

love Eddie. who else would burble about extremist Buddhists? ;)

:: scribbled at 11:24 AM ... ... o

Sunday, October 3, 2004

unconscious mutterings:

Courage:: caregivers
Stamina:: caregivers
Leader:: helm
Idea:: germinate
Rockstar:: my sis
Dew:: morning
Guards:: National
Lenny:: Bruce
Alliance:: Survivor
Cigarettes:: killers

(a few people i know are in serious caregiver mode these days, hence the first two responses. my hat is off to them, for finding the courage, energy and compassion to be there for their families.)

:: scribbled at 1:07 PM ... ... o