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Friday, June 9, 2006

yeah, i'm gonna blather about the rain.

because, honestly, i can't take it anymore.

'rain, rain, go away. no, that's it. go away.'

i'm desperately seeking an upside... my gardens are well watered, and the water bill will stay down. the electric bill won't suck yet, because we haven't put in the AC... oh, wait. the two sump pumps cancel that out. i haven't had to switch over my wardrobe yet, or find Shorts That Fit.

man, that's weak. that, my friends, is a really weak list of pluses.

me: 'man, i hate the rain. doesn't it suck?'
MedSm: 'yeah, i feel like a Cheerio that's been in a cereal bowl for five days.'

and that about sums it up, don't you think?

:: scribbled at 11:14 PM ... ... o

Wednesday, June 7, 2006


comment on this entry and i will give you a letter. write five words beginning with that letter in your journal, including an explanation of what the word means to you and why, and then pass out letters to those who want to play along.

(courtesy of the lovely MissMeliss, who indulged me in my love of words and letters, despite coming late to the game.)

i suppose one of the Cs could have been control freak, but i'm choosing positive words, and i'm not sure that counts as one word. ;) instead, i've decided to do a little Navel Gazing, and pull out words that have especially resonated for me in the last year or two.

ritters. those of you familiar with The Ark probably need no explanation for this one - but i think i might need one. much to my surprise, one thing that was released when we bought the house was my need to tend and nurture. well... i suppose that's not quite accurate. that's always been part of who i am, and something that's really come into full blossom as i find out more and more about who i am, who i can be, and how to feel comfortable in my own skin. this facet of it, tho, caught me off guard - the desire to have a bunch of small, furry pets, and some fish, and a few lizards and frogs, ostensibly for MedSm but we all know that's only an excuse. i've always been a cat person, and love my kitty to bits, cranky pesty old man that he is. the rest of them? quite an eye opener, and such a treat to learn more about the critters we share this planet with.

ultivating my gardens. the act of gardening is defiance, practice and meditation, all at once. reclaiming the grounds around my home, creating beautiful spaces bursting with texture and color, learning more about the microclimates, soil, plants, mulching, and growing, simply stepping out of the house and seeing splashes of color *that i helped grow*, taking satisfaction in building a stone wall or three, creating a new flower bed, refusing to let the weeds win, refusing to make it a competition, instead choosing to meld into the process and shepherding it along... it's a process that helps me learn patience, and attention, and how to get in touch with the peaceful part of me that loves to sit and watch things grow.

ompanionship. (and perhaps you have to have an Eastern bent to see the C in that image.) there is so much encompassed in that word, companionship. first and foremost, i am grateful every damn day for the gift in my life that is my marriage. hubby is an amazing person, and being with him helps me to be a better person. what we create between and around us, the cocoon that we weave to keep us safe and whole, the web that we build to connect us to our friends and family, is an amazing foundation. and being able to curl up next to him at the end of the day, connecting skin to skin, and feeling the rightness of being together, is amazing.

i'm also blessed with wonderful friends and family. i've always been fiercely loyal (if not always the best correspondent) to the people i love. and they have given me back the same gift of fierce loyalness. it's not always an easy gift; that ferocity sometimes comes out sideways, and there are occasionally tough conversations. but. but i wouldn't have it any other way. they credit me with the ability to come to the table and have the conversations, for which i am grateful, and i hope i'm able to sufficiently return the gift in giving them my attention and devotion.

the most recent journey in companionship is building new friends and community. taking root here in My Small Town, learning how to be a parent (and one who had to hit the ground running), figuring out how to step out of my habitual shell and make *new* friends in a new environment, taking a job in no small part because it will continue to push me in that direction, in ways both small and large, choosing to connect to family in new ways as we all grow and change (and multiply!) has been an amazing ride, one that i'm happy to stay on.

ooking. the kitchen has always been a comfortable domain for me. loved helping mom as a kid, experimented on the family at an early age, and eventually became more competent. ;) among my earliest food memories was making butter in nursery school, or maybe day care. (note to self: ask mom about that one.) we were sitting on a small wooden porch, taking turns shaking a small glass jar of cream. and when it finally felt like my arms were going to fall off, the butter started to come together. don't remember who was holding the jar, but i do remember how amazing it was to make a solid, tasty thing out of cream, just by trying. and then there was one afternoon in our first house - i must have been about 8ish, and bro was 5ish. i climbed up on the counters, got down all sorts of bowls (plastic and Pyrex, bless my parents for having unbreakable dishes), and Many Many Sweet Things. sugar, peanut butter, honey, jimmies, and probably a half dozen others - maybe jelly, and Fluff, among them. we spooned, and measured, and mixed, and invented, and ate ourselves sick.

lately, it's been a bit more upscale. ;) i love cooking for our family, and friends, and building a repertoire of good recipes. cooking for many is different than cooking for one in so very many ways. it's been a learning process, and i think i'm just getting the hang of keeping a well stocked family pantry, and how to sneak in veggies, and how to whip together dinner in 20 minutes without losing my mind. and as i walk thru the grocery store, i can hear myself at the deli counter, helping my mom shop when i was 6. 'half a pound of beef baloney, half a pound of provolone.' those words were my mantra, with their own rhythym; i'd repeat them over and over, afraid i'd get it wrong. years later, i hum them along, under my breath, and have my mother by my side, as i watch out for my own family while shopping.

hildren. much like critters, this one was a sneak attack. :) i feel sort of like an anomoly among women: i've never dreamed about giving birth, or holding my baby (well... there's a whole 'nother post about Corwin Michael there, which i may revisit), but i've often thought that i could raise a good kid. (right alongside this is the fact that i never dreamed about my own wedding, or being a princess, or prom queen, or any of that balderdash. but that's another other post.) so i suppose it's fitting, in some ways, that my kid came into my life pre-fab.

MedSm was about 4 when he and i became part of each other's lives. there have been twinges, especially around BioMom, or people who can't see past their own noses, where i've been made to feel badly about not popping him out myself, or at least being there for the puke and colic and diapers. but most days, i'm glad that we met when we did. knowing him is constantly humbling, and frustrating, and delightful, and fabulous.

in the process, as part of being increasingly involved with his life, and his school, i've learned more and more about kids in general. and y'know what? they're pretty cool. they've opened my eyes and heart to a whole new (and much shorter) perspective on life, for which i'm grateful. and it's good to be reminded of the lenses others use to see the world - we were all once there, we can dig up those memories, we can connect with that point in our lives where everything really *was* black and white because that's the way our brains worked, and it's a good exercise in compassion.

if you haven't done this recently, talk to a kid. get down on his/her level - and i mean that physically. crouch, kneel, sit, lie down, whatever it takes. get down there, ask them what the best part of their day was, and just listen. the answers are sometimes surprising, sometimes funny, and always enlightening. that has become a standard question in our home, either at the dinner table or when one of us needs to snap out of a funk. and it's a great opening to so very many onversations.

:: scribbled at 9:38 PM ... ... o