Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday's Fabulous Five

1- My house is still fairly clean. The little things are starting to pile up and I start to panic, which normally sends me into a tailspin... but not this time. Not this time.

2- Our future family room in our basement has 8 brand new recessed lights on three way switches. Dustin did it all by himself, and it's a tie for who's more proud of him, he or I...

3- Girls' night tonight! It's supposed to be BYOC (bring your own craft) and that scares me a little bit cuz I suck at crafting, but I'm going for the estrogen, not the craft (or lack thereof).

4- Plain Truth. Good book. Fast read. Make you stay up way too late cuz it's hard to put down.

5- My husband has NOT been working out of town for quite a while now. It's so nice to have him around...

Love Fridays!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

From The Jar... #34

I'm in a hurry... imagine that I took the time to put the picture of the jar right here, ok? Thanks.

And the Jar says...



Describe your first crush.


Seriously? My first one? I don't know who my first crush was. My youth was so full of crushes, it's a miracle I survived. Incidentally, why do we call them crushes? Does anyone know? I was trying to come up with something quippy about how, with all my crushes, it's amazing that I didn't exit my teenage years flat as a pancake. You get it? Crushes... flattening me? (oh wait... I actually AM flat as a pancake and I left my teenage years married!) As you can see, all the quips fell very, well, FLAT. (Ooohhh. I really need to stop now. Can you tell I started this post late?)

So, yeah... crushes. Ummm... I had a crush on a boy named Sean McKeown in first grade. It was a mild crush. I remember no details about it except that I would chase him at recess and pretend to try to kiss him.

A more vivid crush was on a boy named Zach Cottrell. My best friend and I BOTH thought he was the BOMB-DIGGETY! We went to church with him and I was SOOOO in LOVE! (I think i was in third grade... true love, right?) Once at a neighborhood party I somehow ended up as a target and I was chased by Zach, and a bunch of other kids that he recruited, all over several streets for, what felt like, hours. I secretly loved it and remember feeling like I was the world's fastest runner. I can't remember whether or not I was caught.

I would never want to go back to those years, but I remember how fun it was to develop a new crush. That fluttery feeling... I wonder if my children have that yet? Mac is as old as I was when Zach Cottrell was chasing me around the block party, and Ella is the same age as I during the Sean McKeown crush days. The thought of my children with heart flutters is one part adorable, three parts freaky! I hope I'm up for it, because, ready or not, here it comes!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Unintentional Joker

My friend, Maria, was Rohan's substitute primary teacher in church last Sunday. She just put this on her blog. I, of course, being his mommy, had to put in on my blog...

...Rohan was hilarious on Sunday. After a conversation about the world God created and the uses of all the plants and animals, the question was asked: What about the ocean? Can we eat the ocean? Rohan's response, "Noooo! Because we would get sea sick!"

Thanks for recording my sweet little Joker, Maria, so I could record it too....

Monday, February 23, 2009

Manic Monday: Fire

I've sat here at the computer for far too long on a Monday morning. Monday's and me... we don't play nicely. We fight and bicker, slap and bite. It's not pretty.

I was trying to think of what to write for our lovely Manic Monday word and just kept wishing that someone would light my fire... my motivation fire, that is. *sigh* My house, that has been quite clean for over a week, needs some attention to keep it so and I just don't feel like it. My blog needs a Monday post and I just don't feel like it. My body needs to get out of these pajamas and into the shower and I just don't feel like it. My son needs me to build Legos with him and I just don't feel like it.

And then, it suddenly hit me. If I want my fire lit, I've got to freakin' do it myself! So, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to grab my strike-anywhere matches and search for dry kindling....

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday's Fabulous Five

1- I'm still in my pajamas. Yeah. It's 3:00... (I have been WORKING in my pajamas so I don't feel bad about it, I feel like partying!!!)

2- I am listening to a recording of my aunt singing The Flower Duet from Lakme... I have chills. My aunt is SO incredibly talented.

3- I have been keeping my house really clean (by my standards) for a good week now. What a difference it makes in my WHOLE house to have those two bedrooms done! I've even been showing people my basement. This is a giant step for me because, not only do you have to walk through almost every inch of my house to see these two rooms in the basement, but I have a "thing" about having people come into my house. I've never liked it. It makes me uncomfortable... squirmingly so. But there's been almost no internal squirming when I've been showing people this last week or so. Wow, it feels good.

4- Dustin stayed home from work today and installed all the lights in the rest of our basement. (didn't do the wiring yet, just put the lights in...) It's going to be a beautiful, well-lit basement with really short ceilings! (about 6'5"!) AND I've had a husband-friend all day today. :o)

5- I mentioned before that I was reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. The more I read, the more I LOVE this book!

So fabulous. So Friday.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Birthday Wishes!

Here's a birthday shout out to my great friend, Maria, whose birthday was yesterday. She is an incredible friend, not to mention mother, wife, daughter, pianist, intellectual, coordinator, organizer, confidant and giggle buddy! I have really appreciated our friendship, Maria. Thanks for everything and Happy Birthday, yesterday! :)

Another wish for a Happy Birthday goes out to the creator of my FAVORITE meme of the week, Manic Monday Mo! Thanks for all you do to make my Monday's rock the blogging world. Mondays are my favorite day to blog. :)

Sleep Deprived

An all access pass to raw feelings, walls down, she's checked in when depleted completely.
But, Dead of Night married to Passing Years eventually fall out of love and drive head-on toward Divorce...

A problem for another day.

For now, a stinging film rests on her eyes like contacts that she doesn't wear.
Her shoulders clench like acrophobic arms wrapping themselves around substantiality.
Fingers continue to fly and she wonders at this, her mind's backstage pass accessed through lidless doors.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

From The Jar... #33

My little Jar says...




Did you and your mother share an interest in any special activity?





Why, yes, actually. We did.


I suppose that the Jar wanted to follow that question with something like, "What was it, and why was it special?" That's pure speculation on my part, but I'm going to go with it.

My mom and I shared a special interest in being together. I can't say that there was any one particular thing that we liked to do, but whatever we did, we loved that we were friends and could do it together. I loved spending time with my mom. Always. Even when I was a teenager we had an excellent relationship.

I remember so many times, she would come and tap me on the shoulder and quietly ask if I wanted to run to the store with her, go shopping or run an errand. I had to keep it "hush-hush" so my siblings wouldn't be alerted. I know she loved us all equally, but she loved to take me to the store the most. :o) I didn't beg for whatever candy we were walking past or whine for her to buy this or that for me. We were "pals" and we just had fun.

My mom had a little Yamaha scooter. (well, for a scooter, it was actually kind of big) We would cruise all around Salt Lake on that thing. Those are some of my favorite memories. She would retire it in the winter, but I remember one time, mid-November or December, when our van was broken and I had to have a ride to early-morning Seminary. So, at 6:00 am, Mom and I wrapped ourselves up in warm layers finished off with GORE-TEX windbreakers and we hopped on her scooter and rode a little more than a mile in below-freezing weather. We screamed/laughed the whole way. This particular road goes over a gully with a creek. The moisture in the air drops the temperature by 5 or 10 degrees and when we crossed that part of the road, our screams went up in both pitch and decibel. We were laughing hard by the time we got there and I went into Seminary remembering, not how my cheeks stung with cold, but how my heart filled with warmth and love for my mother!

As adults, our relationship is much the same, except I can't always sneak away since I have my own responsibilities as a mother. But we love spending time together. I feel so blessed to have such an amazing relationship with my mom!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pay It Forward

Thought this looked like fun!

So, I got this from my friend, Amanda. The first 3 people to leave a comment on this post will receive a hand made gift from me during this year. When and what will be a surprise. There's a small catch...You knew there wouldn't be didn't you? Post this on your blog then come back and leave a comment, telling me your in. Fun, huh? Remember, only the first 3 comments receive the gift. And you get to do the same thing on your blog!

Red

So I've been restless. And I've been growing my hair out. I pretty much hate growing my hair out and I miss my short, short, SHORT hair that took me 2.5 minutes to do.

What's a girl to do? Why, dye her hair of course! :) I did this myself for six bucks yesterday morning. I would love to get it done by a professional some day, but I'm too low maintenance and cheap. This is the ultimate Clancy hair dye... no roots because it will wash out over time. So, if I want to do it again, I just do the whole thing over again. If I don't want to, my natural color will come back eventually. That's my kind of hair dye.

(I realize these pics are a repeat for some of you... sorry!)



Here's my new iPod that I won! I was supposed to take pics of me with it and I'm only just getting around to it.




I'm loving it. I love the change and I love the contrast. I must say, my son was really mad at me. He thinks that because I dyed my hair, he should get to dye his too. We actually had a nice little fight about it. He was VERY rude and sassy and I promptly sent him to his room. It went on from there and in the end it was understood that he might get to do something different to his hair when he's a teenager... like 18 according to his dad... but for now, he gets to leave his hair alone. He, apparently, wants to be a red head too! Where did he get that notion!?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Manic Monday: Candy

I'd like to take you on a journey. A journey of remodeling. A journey of chaos and dust. A journey of hope and pain (Dustin smashed his cute little finger REALLY hard one time). A journey of Clancy's favorite candy which is called Finished Bedrooms. Ahhhhh.


This is the joy of living in remodeling. This is the view of the "bedroom" from the outside. See the framing? My computer is on the back of the partially framed wall that is the NOW existing and wonderfully amazing closet!


This is me being a dork... in my pajamas in the newly Sheetrocked and soon to be incredible and to-die-for closet!


This is my dad and I when we finished spraying paint. Dustin and I still had to roll the walls, but Dad and I sprayed all the woodwork and the ceilings, which are the hardest parts. I've said it before and I'll say it again... my dad rules. Love you, Daddio!


This is not a very good picture, but this is just after the carpet got finished. Isn't it lovely!?




And here are the wonderful and amazing closets. In your prayers tonight, you might want to thank God for closets. They are the best!!!! (I made a sneaky haze over the rest of the basement that could be viewed from this room. It's still yucky and crazy. Better than it was, but if I showed it I might have to delete my blog.)



And this is the best candy of all! My kids were veritably bouncing off the walls with excitement about their new, carpeted rooms. They were totally hyper and crazy-insane. I actually did cry in gratitude as they said prayers and I sang them songs in their new rooms. (only a little, but my heart was bursting with relief and thanks) Then, the next morning after asking the kids how they liked sleeping in their pretty rooms, Mac said, "I woke up and thought I was a guest at someone else's house because it was so nice!" That made me want to cry, but I refrained. I am so grateful I could dance... or sing... or cry... or smile... or all of the above!

Thank you for coming on this delicious journey of Clancy's favorite candy. (I realize it's a stretch... I just wanted to show you my new rooms!)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday's Fabulous Five

Whoa! I'm tired. I have been so freakin' busy this week and I've gotten so much done! Just call me Awesome. Just for today! ;)


1- Carpet. Today. 2:30.

2- Mac and Ella will sleep in their beds tonight for the first time in nearly six months. I could cry. I might just, when I kiss them goodnight tonight. I'll bring tissues.

3- I've been enforcing the "Basement Reclamation Act" that I pushed through my own personal Senate. Slowly, my basement is resembling something besides an explosion of chaos and dirt. While I was cleaning, trying to organize the construction mess, and folding large amounts of laundry I kept grabbing clothes that one would hang on hangers... Ella's dresses and sweaters, Mac and Rohan's dress shirts, etc... and I set them aside thinking I'd have to figure out where to put them (as I've done most of their lives). Then, I had an epiphany. My kids have CLOSETS! Real ones. With shelves (you know what shelves are, right?), and a rod. They will even have beautiful bifold doors after the carpet is laid. Real closets.

For any of you who have always had closets for your children, you have no idea how much you take it for granted. We moved in with my parents shortly after Mac was born. The rooms we stayed in didn't have closets. Mine did have a closet of sorts, but it sucked. Mac's room didn't have one at all. We lived there until Ella was about a year old. (long time, I know) Then, we bought a little house. We had a decent closet in our room, but Mac had no closet still and Ella had a funky little armoire thing that smelled weird so I didn't like to use it. Then we moved into our current house where there is essentially one funcional closet. Mac and Ella slept in that room for a short period of time until we moved Rohan into that room. Mac and Ella came down to the basement into a big room that, you guessed it, had no closet. So, most of their lives they've had no closet and I've had years of frustration regarding the hanging clothes. But not after today. Oh, I could cry again! I could if I wasn't so darned tired. I love staying up until 3 am because I forgot about my kids' Valentine's Cards for the school party. It's awesome.

4- I bought little children's hangers for my kids' brand new closets. They're so cute. Pink for Ella, blue for Rohan and Mac. Can I tell you what utter rapture I have been in this week? Closets. Real closets. I've been putting toys and summer clothes on shelves and hanging clothes on rods with pink and blue hangers. This is funner than Christmas!

5- Dustin had a situation at work that was bothering him. We thought it was going to cost us a big chunk of change. It resolved itself yesterday in the most amazing and gracious way and I'm so grateful.

Friday's rule.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

From The Jar... #32

Missed the Jar last week. I don't remember why.




Describe your Mother's wedding dress. What did you know about her wedding?





My mom's wedding dress... I remember when I was growing up, it was always hanging in her closet in a plastic dress bag. I would sneak into her closet and climb on the shelves and look at it. I thought it was so pretty. My grandma made it. It was a sort-of peasant style... long sleeves that flared at the bottom but had a tie around the forearm. It had a cool bodice... I don't really know how to describe it, so it's a good thing I can add pictures.





Aren't they cute!!! Hard to see the details, but there they are!


I don't really know a lot about my parents wedding day. Here are a few details that I know. I know they were married in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. I know that it was a lovely summer day. I know that my Grandma Carol had a swinging outfit on in the pictures and my Grandpa Earl looked nothing short of dashing. (they stuck out particularly in my mind) And I know that my dad was over an hour late to the ceremony... maybe and hour and a half. Needless to say, my mom was FREAKING out. This cute little old lady in the temple patted her arm and said, "Don't worry, honey, we won't start without him." I don't think my mom was consoled.

Turns out, my dad was late because he got talking to an old friend (that was in town for the wedding? I don't really know who it was or why he was talking to him...) that he hadn't seen for a LONG time. This little episode is what we call "foreshadowing" for the rest of their lives. This lovely trait of tardiness has been passed on in varying degrees to their posterity. *ahem* Love ya, Dad and Mom!

I also know that my mom didn't actually want a reception. She'd rather have gone with "take the money and run", so to speak, but my grandma thought she should have one. So they did. The reception was held at my mom's cousin Cynthia's house in Salt Lake and they had an open house in Texas a week or so later.

That pretty much sums up what I know of a VERY important day in the lives of my parents. Maybe we need to have a chat, Mom and Dad!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's Not What It Looks Like!

So, today I went and donated plasma. It's been a while. Mid-December was the last time I partied it up at the blood brothel.

Since January, I kept thinking I should go, but I just haven't had the oomph. I decided today was the day, so I scheduled meeself an appointment and 45 minutes later, I was semi-reclining on the little S-shaped beds that they have.
See the bed? Doesn't it look comfy? That's not my body, by the way. I did a cut-and-paste number on a picture I found online. These are the very beds I love to chill on. (I'm sure you didn't realize I modified this pic. Good thing I told you, eh?)

So, yeah, back to my story. I waited patiently for all the stuff they have to do to get the machine and my arm ready. And then came the stick. I must say that when I've taken a break from my bi-weekly plasma donations (like I did recently) I get a little nervous again for this part of the "procedure". But... there was no need. I felt almost nothing at all! I congratulated my phlebotomist on her fine stick-job and she proceed to get things ready.

This particular donation happened to be the one where they take a small vile of blood for in-depth testing to make sure I am still a viable donor. They call it a "Spee" (sp?). Said phlebotomist connected the Spee vile to the plastic line full of my blood and then several things happened at once. I am not sure what she intended to do, but she let the Spee vile drop to the S-shaped bed, and, as she did, she looked up at the machine while the vile fell off of the little needle/tube contraption. I watched my blood splash up on the bed and I garbled something incoherent to get her attention.

She, very alarmed, grabbed the "hemostat" and clamped the line off. She said, "You've probably got some blood on your butt, now."

Perfect! I lifted my rear in the air and she said, "Yep. Blood on your butt."

I assured her that it was fine. "A little blood on my butt is no big deal, and I wore my used-to-be-favorite jeans that have a huge hole in the knee and the back of the cuff is gone. They've nearly seen the end of their days anyway. A little smear of blood? It's ok!"

She got everything all cleaned up... well, not my butt... but the chair and everything. I merrily began squeezing my squishy thing to pump up my veins and enjoying the taste of plastic tubes on my blood's "return", all the while reading Eat, Pray, Love (which is an awesome book, by the way!).

Thirty five minutes later, I was "disconnected", gauzed, wrapped and done. I gathered my book, took my layers off (I'm always cold there) and stood up. '

Whoa, Nelly!' I thought!

I had forgotten about my bloody rear. When she said I had some blood on my butt, I had the image of a little smudge, a few drops, a tiny bit. I severely misconstrued her statment of "some blood on your butt". The majority of my entire left pocket was SOAKED! So much that my underwear and pants were STUCK tight to the cheek. I tried desperately to keep my derriere toward the little wall behind me and away from the onlooking donors.
E-M-B-A-R-A-S-S-I-N-G!

I gratefully put on my coat that hangs just below my rear end and was reminded of some awkward moments from my youth. It was entirely unpleasant to try to walk out of there and drive home, but let's look at the bright side... I got twenty bucks and a good blog post!

Monday, February 9, 2009

More Rohan

*Rohan and Mom were eating breakfast. Mom was reading while she ate. Rohan blessedly interrupts Mom's read...*

R- Hey Mom! Did you know that animals have black spit?

M- Oh yeah?

R- Yeah....*pause*..... Some do....*pause again*.... Two of dem do.


*Very long pause*



M- So, which two animals have black spit?

R- Hmmmm.....I don't know.

*more pausing*

R- Mmmmm, bears have black spit. No. Bears have brown spit. That's cause they are brown. SHEEP have black spit! But they don't spit.

M- Really?


*Rohan continues eating his breakfast. Mom quickly writes down the conversation because some things little boys say are too funny/precious/adorable to trust to memory.*

Manic Monday: Wear

Dustin,

I'm sorry. I'm sorry that my patience was wearing thin today. I can't explain why I was so snappy and short. There's something deeper at the root, but I don't think I can look at it today. Often, the simple awareness that there is something deeper allows the real problem to reveal itself. When it does, I will talk to you about it, like I always do. It is likely that I will cry, and it is guaranteed that you will hold me.

You are infinitely good to me. I love you.

-Clancy

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Opponent

Yesterday, I was so worked up that I had to write away my agitation. I dropped that quick little post and it left you all wondering.

There are times when I write to feel better but don't necessarily want to spill all the secret thrills or pains of my heart, so I write in a cryptic manner and never address it again. Yesterday happened to not be one of those times. I was just in a hurry and had to write quickly leaving no room for explanation. It seems that some of you are interested in who this "opponent, nemesis, arch-rival" is. Elaboration follows...

I had a conversation with one of my tenants yesterday. I won't go into the details, but I had to make a choice about something he did and was expecting payment for without coming to an agreement with us first. It wasn't a right/wrong choice, but more about what was fair. It was hard for me because I felt taken advantage of. I always like to be nice, and, as a result, people walk all over me... or have in the past.

There have been times in my history of landlording where I actually stand up and remove the "Doormat" sign from my back. This was one of those times. I didn't take it. I did what I thought was fair, which meant he didn't get everything he wanted, but neither did I. I came up with a compromise. That's what fair is about, right? Compromise?

Anyway, my opponent wasn't so much the actual person I was talking to on the phone. Rather, it was my own beliefs about myself deserving equity and fairness. My own inner battle over "keeping peace" vs. "standing up for myself". My backbone won, and, now that I got all my cellular-nausea out of my system, I feel fantastic about my choice and my strength. Go me!

The end.


P.S. My Captain Crunch wound is almost all better! *sigh*

Friday, February 6, 2009

Worked Up

I just got off the phone with my biggest opponent and I'm left with trembling hands and weak knees. But this time I didn't cry. Not once. Standing up for myself and putting the people-pleasing in my pocket for a time leaves me feeling like I ran a marathon. Each cell in my body feels jittery, almost nauseated. Can individual cells feel nausea? Well, mine do.

Three cheers for backbone!

Hooray!
Hooray!! Hooray!!!

But the real champion and unsung hero is my blog, and the way writing calms my quickened heart-rate and stills my shaking hands. God bless Blogger and my sweet readers who always encourage and love.

Friday's Fabulous Five

Well, here we are. Friday again. Did this week go really fast, or was it just me?

1- I have a GYNORMOUS wound on the roof of my mouth... you know, a Captain Crunch wound? (well, mine's not actually from Captain Crunch, but it's that kind...) It had been there forever now- a week or something. Will it ever go away? I'm thinkin' yes, but I've never had one last quite this long. You may be wondering why that made the list. I'm wondering the same thing.

2- Someone I love is making me a scarf. Her first scarf EVER! I am so blessed.

3- My house is REALLY messy right now. REALLY messy, and there's someone coming over at 10:00 am. Say it again? OK. REALLY messy. But... he's coming to measure CARPET!!!! I'm so excited, messy or not.

4- I have a Captain Crunch wound, but am, otherwise, in perfect health!

5- My dad is the coolest. He's coming to my messy house to paint some more. I love him so much. My mom is the other coolest. She tags along for the fun of it and gives my children gum. It's extra funny because she taught Ella that your gum won't get all hard if you put it in the freezer. Ella taught her brothers. I find a lot of mummified gum in my freezer door that they forgot to chew some more. It might sound gross to you, but I think it's adorable. Little trails of precious, gum-saving children.

6- Bonus round. That gum story reminds me that maybe I should look at drips of jelly on the counter top or smears of toothpaste on the sink, or tracks of snow in the entry as precious little trails made by my favorite little people. I would cry for those messes if they were suddenly taken away. I'm grateful for cleaning up after my children, and teaching them to clean up after themselves.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Yeah, Write... Chapter 4

Here we are with the fourth chapter of our story. This has turned out to be a very fun game and I thank you all very much for playing and reading! Thanks to Polly for writing this week's chapter and also for giving our characters names and bringing things some closure! You did an amazing job, as did Ginny and Maria! I thought it might go on past here, but once I read it, I decided I like this as an ending. So, enjoy this, the final chapter of our game! :)

If you're just joining us, click here for chapter 1.... chapter 2.... and chapter 3. :)



The sense of terror might not have come to anyone else that looked through that door, but I had always had an unnatural aversion to them. Only now, with so many before me, did I realize that this was beyond personal preference.

Lucy, my best friend in second grade, who showed me jump rope rhymes and handclap games, was the first victim of my relationship with them. Her Max always sought me out, his hateful and hurtful eyes glowering. I postponed and curtailed my visits with her, and because I could feel him near her when she visited me, asked her over less often. I lost my first, and only, true friend in just a few months of Max's arrival. She became a casual acquaintance at school, finding friends who made time for her and trusted her with their secret crushes.

Mrs. Evans, the crazy old lady next door, had a piece of her heart (and probably her sanity) plucked away each time I refused her afternoon tea. I really didn't mind her incessant rambling about her daughter who moved too far for a job, her granddaughter, whose mother forced her to participate in every sport, activity, and community event, her cousin's son-in-law who had an opinion about everything, and scandalous chatter about Mrs. Riley on the corner and her tiff with Mrs. Barker down the street; it was all I could do to nod politely, but mostly because I didn't know what she expected me to say. I assumed she was happy to just do the talking. But after she found Sam and his knowing stare bore through me, I never entered her house again. Even as a child I knew it was wrong for him to react to me so harshly. I didn't understand it, and so, filed it away in the 'inexplicable moments in my life' section of my mind. I will never forget it. It was a look that pierced my mind and soul - stifled my words and choked my breath.

And here I stood staring back at dozens of them. Even without their seeming hatred for me, and I for them, I never understood cats, or their cat people. The sickly sour-sweet overpowering aroma wafting around this man was reason enough. Since I avoided all contact, I never had to experience the hatred that consumed me now. Once again, I was stuck; as much as I told my feet to move, they wouldn't. I angrily met each icy brow, every menacing frown, with a rage that exploded within me. The year that I had spent experiencing Collin's somber intensity, and then his anger, had finally become a part of me. Or had it? Was this his reaction to the threat, or my own? Such intense emotions were new to me, and I realized, as I stared into the faces of malevolence, that something within me was just awakening!

Through the suffocating wave of new emotions and confusion, I heard a small sound. It was door number three, finally! With a loud breath, I instinctively spun with enthusiasm at my reprieve. The face that I saw there brought tears to my eyes; my anger flared and was joined with terror. Panic and horror overcame me as I struggled to breath through pain that this new presence brought. His face flashed a thousand images through my mind with a pain that was so intense I couldn't scream, I couldn't run, I could only watch the slide show playing inside my head.

So this is why I chose this door. Zane. In all his monomaniacal glory. I knew everything in an instant. I had seen him every year for his research, except I had forgotten that until now. Now it was all clear. His project, his testing, his study, his monitoring. Me. Project Me, courtesy of 'Doctor' Zane.

"I've been expecting you. I knew that you would return. It is too much a part of you."
"Nice security," I spat, tossing my head across the hall.
"I knew you'd appreciate it. We have work."

Until this day, this moment, standing before a mad man with venomous stares at my back, I had always felt the strength of others. I gravitated toward them. I needed them to guide me as I blindly fumbled my way through my life. I was doing what they wanted, and now, I was doing what Zane wanted. Even my rebellion was under his control. The helplessness that this knowledge brought fueled new emotions inside me; not just emotions, a new voice. My voice. The intimidation I had felt was washed away with determination, which brought strength and direction.

I didn't need to listen to Zane anymore. I didn't need to listen to my friends, to the dagger thoughts from across the hall, to the 'mom' voice inside, or even Collin. My voice was all I would hear now. Zane was the reason I couldn't hear it before. Now something deep within me awoke.

I thought I knew the meaning of the word, 'relief', but the peace that I settled upon me when I finally felt Collin's presence again overwhelmed me. Peripherally, I saw him, hesitating in the opening of the building. My mental awareness made me understand everything he was thinking and feeling, and a new intensity in my senses caught the whisper of a smile that almost escaped his sedate face. Even after I ran from him, twice, Collin willingly came to my aid. I felt his pride and confidence in me, which is what I had always felt for him. I also felt his fury directed at Zane.

I wanted to destroy Zane. I wanted be sure he would never control me again.

And then I heard a voice. My voice. 'Put your hands in your pockets and walk away.'

And I did. To Collin. Not really to him, but with him. I was walking away from Zane. I was walking away from the fear and pain. I was going with Collin because I knew now that he was right. I had been with him, waiting. Waiting for something great from him, but really, he was the one waiting. Waiting for something great from me. He would allow me to listen to my own voice. He would help me. This is what he was waiting for. I was the one with the answers now.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Giveaway

You know I'm a sucker for them. You know I actually won one... no two! So, I persist. Please, disregard if these annoy you.

Elena referred me to this cute blog who is having a giveaway for a little girl's dress that Ella would ADORE! I've gotta give it a shot. Come on. For the children...

Check it out and tell them I sent ya!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Contstruction Stroke

Since we bought our house four years ago, our basement has been mostly unfinished and what was "finished" hardly qualified as that. In August, my dad came over with a sledge hammer and said, "We're remodeling your basement." Yes, our basement remodeling is the sort that needed a sledge. So, it began.

We broke out the floor in many places to install plumbing for a bathroom. My dad is the master construction dude. Pure genius. He figured it all out... all the drains and vents and the fall and all that plumbing stuff that I don't really understand. When that part was all said and done, we had new drain plumbing in our entire house and our main sewer stack was moved from nearly the middle of the room to a more enclose-it-in-a-wall kind of location. Then we had a cement truck come and we poured new floor in the holes we made. My dad rules.

Then we ran into financial issues. Both sides of our duplex were vacated. It's a large mortgage and with no income for it, we put a halt on all construction. The best part was, Mac and Ella's rooms were all messed up and everything was yucky and dirty. So, as I've mentioned before, they've been sleeping on the floor in Rohan's room in sleeping bags since the end of August. We are awesome parents.

Things picked back up at the end of December and Dustin started working on things again. He got all the electrical done and finished framing almost everything. The apartments were still vacant so we decided to just do the two bedrooms. My dad's been back performing with impeccable skill the various tasks that Dustin isn't quite so confident about. Sheetrock hanging and finishing, closet shelf building and chopping off doors to accommodate our low ceilings. Then Dustin did the finish carpentry and we just need to paint and lay carpet and the two bedrooms will be done. My babies will have beds once again. *sigh*

My job during this whole process has been cheerleader and Home Depot runner. When it was time to get materials for the doors, closets, base and casing, my dad spent about a half hour on the phone with me going over what I needed to get. We talked about right and left hand doors, bifold doors, how many feet of casing, how many feet of base, closet shelving and cleats and all kinds of other things. My dad, bless his heart, was trying to explain to me what kind of shelving material we needed. He kept talking about how many sheets of 11 3/4" shelves and how many 15 3/4" shelves we would need. I didn't understand how it worked and he was explaining and reexplaining over and over. My brain was starting to fry and he kept saying the word shelf. Suddenly I asked him, "Dad, what's a shelf?"

His response, "What?"

I repeated. "What's a shelf? I can't remember."

I think he thought it was a joke, but I was dead serious. I had been trying for so long to make my mind come up with a picture of something I didn't really understand because I hadn't SEEN the materials he was talking about, and then I heard him say the word "shelf" so many times that it simply lost it's meaning to me. It became just a sound rather than a "word" that creates an image in my mind. It was so weird. I really felt like I had some sort of stroke and I could not begin to describe how disoriented I felt.

It only took me a few seconds in real time to remember what a shelf was, but it felt like forever. My mind had to pull out of the place it was where I couldn't remember and go to a place that held a different context. I needed to get out of that abstract place and go back into a closet. I opened a closet door, looked inside... "Put that box on the shelf" I told myself. Then it all came flooding back. A shelf is a ledge thing in a closet that holds shoes and boxes and toys and books. Ahhhh... it felt so good to remember. But I can still, even now, remember how it felt to not remember. I have more sympathy than ever for my sweet little grandma who suffered a stroke and had to re-learn so many things.

I am looking forward to a post in the VERY near future where I can have pictures of two brand new rooms! Complete with closet shelves!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Manic Monday: Cloud

Cloud Idioms found on Dictionary.com:

in the clouds
, in a condition of absent-mindedness; lost in reverie.
This is me in the shower. The shower is a place where my mind goes somewhere else. I think. I pray. I am lost to my surroundings. I go through shampoo and conditioner at an alarming rate because I get so "lost in reverie" and "absent-minded" that I forget whether I've put either one in my hair. I can't even guess at the number of days that I've shampooed and/or conditioned my hair twice, possibly three times, but, such is the price for having my mind "in the clouds", my thinking place.

on a cloud, exceedingly happy; in high spirits.
This is me after a great writing moment, painting several rooms at my duplex, cleaning and making things look all shiny, sewing something pretty for myself or my kids, working really hard in my yard, or playing with my children. This is me in accomplishment instead of lethargy. The mere act of ACTING puts me on a cloud. I, therefore, make a "New Day's Resolution" to ACT this day. To experience my perch on a cloud.

under a cloud, in disgrace; under suspicion:
This is how I felt about blogging after asking a friend if she blogs. Eyes darting to her husband, she said something to the effect of, "No. I don't blog. I don't do Facebook or MySpace or any of those things. My brother warned me to NEVER, NEVER put so much information about me on the internet. People can use it against you and steal your identity and [blah blah blah]. So, I don't do it."

Then MY husband looked at me and said, "YEAH!"

What's a blogging girl to do when information like that is thrown in her face? It hurt me. I was thinking about this very conversation in the shower this morning as I was duly thinking about the word cloud, trying to figure out what I would write on it. Last night I had found these idioms and I liked them, but that's all that came to mind was how much I liked them. I still didn't know what to write.

As I was thinking these multiple things in the shower, I squirted conditioner on my hand and, as I looked at it, I wondered if I had even put shampoo in yet. So, I washed the conditioner off my hand, got shampoo and washed my hair, for perhaps the second time. I then grabbed conditioner, squirted it on my hand, rubbed it in my hair while saying out loud, "I am now putting conditioner on my hand- and now in my hair- and now I've done conditioner." (That's often the remedy to my problem, speaking out loud.) I chuckled to myself at my forgetfulness and then I remember the idiom and realized I was "in the clouds" at that moment!

I also realized that the conversation with my friend had put blogging "under a cloud" in my mind. Her words crumpled something in me and I didn't even realize it until this morning in the shower. As I sat and thought about it, I got angry. Yes, it's true, there are risks with blogging. Should I stop blogging because of it?

I've got news for my friend who unintentionally and unknowingly made me spittin' mad... there are risks in this life. There are risks with driving. You might wreck, break down, get a flat tire, get hit by someone else... or even DIE! People get killed all the time in car accidents! There are risks with investing your money. The economy could go south and the stock market could tank... oh WAIT... it already did! You could invest in rental properties and be a really nice person who would actually listen to certain people's excuses and then they might walk all over you causing you to lose enough money to buy your own car all over again! There are risks with buying things online. There are risks walking down the sidewalk. There are risks with falling in love. There are risks with bearing and raising children. There are risks with simply being alive on this earth.

But you know what? With the risk come the reward. With driving comes convenience and efficiency. With investing comes hard-earned education and prosperity. With online shopping comes convenience and a broadening of options. With walking, an appreciation of the beauty of the trees, of a fellow walker's smile and the joy of moving joints and muscles. Falling in love brings a sharing of a life, making joys a little sweeter and pain a little easier to bear. Children bring love and learning to an extent that's hard for me to fathom right now as I can't see the forest for the trees. And being alive on this earth brings the melding of physical, emotional and spiritual in a symphony of growth and change, heartache and jubilation.

I am not going to let the risks hold me back. I LOVE blogging. I love the freedom it allows to say what I want to say and to express myself and grow through my favorite outlet, writing! I will take the risks and let go of the fear. Fear calls to you what you are afraid of and what we focus on, we bring more of into our lives. I choose to focus on the joy. I choose to tuck the fear in and kiss it goodnight, and when it wakes up again, because it always does, I will repeat the process. It can have it's place in someone else's heart if they choose, but my heart lives in faith and love today, or in essence, on a cloud.