Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tue Pose a Question

Why is it that last week I was so excited and anxious to go work out... even when I was so sore I grunted with every move I made... but this week, I'm hardly sore and all I want to do is sit on my can and read a book or play on FaceBook?

Too bad, Clancy! Come on, body... off to aerobics we go!!!

Rohan has this to say (he loves to type on my blog posts) :
fdfsssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

Monday, March 30, 2009

Manic Monday: Bird

There was a boy who lived down the street from me when I was growing up. His name was Ian. He was the oldest of 6 children (and he himself was only 8 or 9), only two of which had the same father. He had a hard life for one so young. My older sister and I both babysat these kids on occasion and we both have horrendous stories about our experiences.

So, Ian. Ian was a skinny, short kid with a shunt in his head from a brain tumor when he was young. (his story just seems to get worse, yeah?) He terrorized kids his age, i.e. my brother, Taylor, not to mention many of the adults on the street. I remember Taylor telling me about the time that Ian peed in a pitcher, added some water and ice to it, and brought it to my neighbor and offered it as an apology for some previous rotten behavior. He told her that he'd made some lemonade for her. I don't know if she drank it or not, but these are the kinds of things this child would do.

Ian loved to swear. He would walk around cursing his little head off and flipping the "bird". I tell this story because I have the image of Ian flipping the bird while I, and anyone else who happened to be around, stifled laughter. You see, Ian thought he had it all figured out. He loved to shock people with the naughty things he knew. But he had missed something in the lessons he took on giving the finger. He would come up to you with his face all screwed up in a sneer holding out his hand threateningly with one finger extended above the others... but it was his pointer finger rather than the tall middle finger. No one ever told him his mistake. I just remember feeling relieved that my little brother couldn't learn that particular trick from Ian.

As I sit here and type this, I wonder at the cultural significance of flipping the bird. For years Ian thought he was doing something really mean, which, in actuality, was comical to those around him. Just the difference of one measly little finger shifted the situation from offensive to laughable. I have a lot of thoughts on this, none of which I'm articulating very well, but it's given me something to think about.

I've wondered, off an on through my adult life, what happened to this family. I thought of Ian and his siblings as Devil Spawn when I was young, but I have a different perspective with passing years. I see now that they were shaped, in large, due to their rough circumstances and family dynamic. I feel compassion, where I once felt judgment and irritation. I hope those kids learn that they can overcome their past. They are not doomed to repeat it. Like everything, it comes down to choice.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday's Fabulous Five

I have been on a serious non-blogging jag... but, life is still fabulous!

1- Friends. They are the best. I've been well taken care of while my hubby, Mom and Dad are out of town.

2- Exercise. I've done it twice this week and I feel like a million (extremely sore) bucks! You didn't know bucks could get sore, did you? I have this little problem where I don't know how to ease into stuff. I just hit it hard like I've been exercising everyday for my entire life... but I haven't actually been doing that and that's why I'm so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, sososossosooooosoosoososososoosoooooosSSSSOOOOOOOOOssssoosoososoOSsoooooosososo, so sore! But I don't mind. In fact, I love it. I've been doing aerobics at my friend's (see Fabulous #1 above) ward where she teaches and it's been very fun and very free. Plus I'm going to start running again on Monday. I'm so excited to RUN! I can hardly believe it, but I actually LOVE running and am SO looking forward to it!

3- Pretend dinner dates with friends are fun!

4- Cadbury Mini Eggs. I love these little babies. I could eat five-hundred and forty-two in one sitting. I also like to exaggerate... but I do love these Easter treats! Despite my desperate love affair, I've only bought one bag this year. Go me.

5- My little Mac man is such a good boy. We had a few extremely rocky spots today and we (both he and I) pulled through like champions! Hooray for learning/teaching opportunities! I have high hopes for and tons of faith in this child of mine.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Vacant

It's like this.

No shovel touched the snow in the driveway all winter long. No footprints. No mail in the mailbox. No light cheerfully spilling out of the windows at night. No squeals of elation, or cries of frustration were absorbed by walls, furniture or consciousness. It sat cold. It sat dark and empty.

I stared at it. I wondered at what it held in the past and what it's future would be. I walked it in my mind, living there, laughing and singing there, smelling the charcoal of the barbecue in the backyard, leaves filling out the now naked trees. I explored the vacant places in my own heart, the places, once occupied but now locked. I tried, yet again, to guess at the connection that houses have with souls, but I came up short.

All I know is that house has been in the back of my mind all day. That house wants to sing, like me.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday's Fabulous Five and Rohan

1- It's Friday. Need I say more? I love Friday. Friday feels like a party, whether or not one actually happens. It just feels fun!

2- I think I'm figuring out iTunes. Call me retarded, but I've found it uber annoying and not very user friendly. But, I think I'm getting it now.

3- Today is the last day of school for my kids for until a week from Monday! YAY! I hope the weather is nice. If so, we'll go play Frisbee every day.

4- My son is REALLY good at Frisbee for an 8 year old. He's gotten good enough that's it's not just me doing my mom-job to play Frisbee with him. It's actually fun and challenging. Dang, he's gonna be good when he's 18!

5- My cell phone charger broke. This is no normal charger you can just pick up at the store either. It's a long story about that, but the end result was that I went for about a week and a half with no cell phone. Then my mom kindly charged my batteries with her phone and then they died again. I was waiting for a charger to ship from either Amazon.com or somewhere in Hong Kong. (more long stories) Anyway, to make a long story short, Hong Kong pulled through and I can finally charge my cell phone again! I'm so glad. I heart my cell.

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Rohan came over to me with a DVD case in his hand. He said he wanted to watch this show. I said ok. He's been very interested in the fact that there is a "bonus material" disc and he asked me, "Why is dat bonus material there?" I told him it was just some extra stuff. He was satisfied. I wanted to pick him up (because he's so cute) and in doing so I made him drop the DVD case. He got really worried and I assured him (as I held his cuteness in my arms) that the DVD was fine. He responded, "Yeah, dat's cuz it's made out of 'extras'!"

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Randomisms

So, this has got to be some sort of a record for me... I've only blogged once in over a week. I don't have much of an excuse. I have been busy. And I was out of town. But mostly I just didn't feel like it. Here's a few random bits from the last week-ish of my life.

-After he gobbled up a tuna sandwich, I grabbed Rohan's arms commenting on how his muscles must be growing from eating that big "Tuna PBJ" (as he calls them... all sandwiches are PBJ's). To which he replied, "Dat means I can wift up people and cais (cars)...... and cops...... and guns. Daddy's going to make me my own swoid (sword) and gun." Where do kids come up with this stuff?

-I took my car into the shop because our headlights don't work right. There's some sort of short which made it so when the daytime lights are on, only the driver's side worked. Then, you turn on the nighttime headlights and only the passenger side worked, and the high-beams, just the driver's side. Dustin replaced the bulbs and it still didn't work so we knew it was some electrical problem. It's been really handy (sarcasm) and Dustin and I have both been pulled over for the offending headlight. So, I took it in. Headlights out, no big deal, right? A hundred buck, tops? Well, that's what I thought. Try again, Clancy. "Five hundred dollars, please" says the man at the Dodge dealership. The problem was the "Front End Control Module". It's some computer thing. Nice. Modern, computerized cars are overrated.

- I, apparently, have been really happy lately. Or I've been having hysterical dreams. Dustin woke up and couldn't get back to sleep on Monday night and when he was coming back to bed at about 3am he said that I sat bolt upright in bed and was laughing my head off. Full on belly-laughs. He said I looked totally awake, and when he asked me what I was laughing at I told him there were all these funny people in bed with me, but not to worry, they were just laying there. Then I laid back down and was totally asleep in two seconds. That is not an isolated incident. I've been laughing a lot in my sleep. A LOT. And laughing hard, according to Dustin. I don't remember any of it.

-I have a love/hate relationship with my iPod.

-It's Spring Break for my kids next week and Dustin and my parents are going to be in Louisiana the whole time. BOOOOOOOO!!!!

- Springtime. Frisbee yesterday at the park with my kids and Maria and her kids. Glorious! And I'm a little sore. It really feels pathetic when you toss a Frisbee for an hour or so and you get sore. I need more exercise.

-I've fallen off the plasma wagon. I'm going to try to get on it again in a few minutes. Let's hope it goes well. That money was very helpful in our unexpected car expenses. Yay for plasma!!!

-The End.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Manic Monday: Party

I know it's been a while since I blogged. My apologies for anyone that actually missed my ramblings. ;) I had the chance to go to the Ballroom Dance National Amateur Championship at BYU last weekend with my friend, Rebby. Her son was dancing with his school team and he also did some individual syllabus dances. Let me tell you, it was a PARTY!

First of all, I left my children home with their dad and grandma (grandma, among a few other people, babysat while dad was at work) so I only had my own teeth to brush, body to bathe, stomach to feed, and self to put to bed. Can I get a "Hallelujah"!? As any mother can attest, this was a welcome break from the everyday routine. It was extra sweet because I am staring down the coming months of being a weekday-single-mom again. Dustin is going to start working out of town very soon. Needless to say, I was excited to have this *long weekend where I could just relax and breathe with absolutely NOTHING to do.

Secondly, I TOTALLY LOVED all aspects of the Ballroom Dance scene! It was so entertaining to watch! The dresses, the competitors, the different styles of dances... I really loved it. And watching my friend watch her son dance was the cutest thing! She would get super shaky and nervous and her heart would race and she would nearly cry every time. Her job as camera(wo)man was passed on to me or her nephew because her quivering hand made for less than desirable movies (in her words, not mine)! She is an amazing mother and a supreme example of support and love.

Third, I was able to stay with my friend's mother who was a wonderful and gracious hostess. I love observing people who have this skill. It reminds me of my grandmother, who's hostessing was unmatched in this world. I miss her.

Fourth, I stayed up VERY late on Friday night talking with my friend. We girls need these talks now and then. It was SO fabulous. Both of us were dead-tired the next day, but it was totally worth it. Plus we got to have a nap at a beautiful house on Saturday afternoon, go on a brisk walk after our nap and then get adjusted by her chiropractor. It was like having my cake and eating it too. PERFECT!

Fifth and finally, Malachi (my friend's son) is the most amazing young man I've ever met. He's so fantastic!! He has so much natural talent in so many areas and it's very exciting for me to have the chance to observe him developing so many of those talents. And I've never had more fun! Mal, in and of himself, is a party! When Rebby and Mal and I are together, it is soul-healing. That's what non-stop laughter does to a soul. Heals it.

Mal, thanks for having the courage to do the things you love and then inviting me and so many others to observe you in your joy. Never forget the way it makes you feel to take life into your own hands, regardless of the fear. Coming from one who mostly tip-toed her way through high school and didn't try the things she wanted to try for the fear of failure, I would say- keep doing what you're doing! Try out for those solos! Throw yourself into those dances! Aim high! Even if you miss, at least you took the shot. If you want to do something and you're scared, just do it anyway. You learn from it and you won't find yourself, at age 30, wishing you had taken the chance back then. You're an inspiration to me, Malachi!

Thanks, Rebby, for such an amazing weekend. I know you don't read my blog, but maybe someday you'll read this in my blog book. Thank you for being my friend, bringing so much light to my life and blessing me with your gifts and talents. LOVE YOU!


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*We left Wednesday evening and got back Sunday evening so I was gone for 5 days total. SCHWEEEETT!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Without A Hitch

No problems singing along with my iPod tonight. In fact, I just woke up my husband because of how little a problem it was.

I totally ROCKED Jason Mraz. Both Lucky AND I'm Yours.

I was Jason Mraz, guitar and all...

You are the crown. Be the crown.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tue Pose a Question

What is the deal with the government assaulting our constitutional rights? Does the agenda to disarm the American people disturb anyone else like it disturbs me? DISTURBS. As in,
dis⋅turb; –verb
1. to interrupt the quiet, rest, peace, or order of; unsettle.
2. to interfere with; interrupt; hinder:
3. to interfere with the arrangement, order, or harmony of
4. to perplex; trouble


This is keep-me-awake-long-after-I've-gone-to-bed material for me, kids. Disturbing.

Because I Must

Another late night for me. I've been up to my elbows in chocolate and caramel tonight. Yes, on Wednesday it all starts again.

As I stood there dipping, my back hurting, shoulder aching and eyes feeling tired, dozens and dozens of written lines ran through my head. Written lines about the facts and follies of life, the silliness of the human condition, the ache of autonomy, all the while my favorite playlist singing my thoughts along their merry (or not-so-merry) way.

Usually, when there is music playing, it requires a force of will for me to resist singing along. Usually. Tonight I am somber. I sang along to some, but mostly I just listened, my interest smearing itself like Elmer's Glue across my thoughts. For most of this night, I couldn't muster the enthusiasm singing requires. I wonder why that is?

My heart goes out to my husband. My mood was darkening just before he went to bed. Digging all the required dipping "equipment" out of our construction-zone basement was a dusty affair that required ridiculous amounts of household cleaners and paper towels. The dust pushed my itchy eye button which creates a domino effect of sneezing followed by a severely short temper. Go ahead. Ask my children. They have a testimony of Mom's finite fuse when her eyes are itching.

Spring is my favorite. Allergies. Between sneezes, itchy eyes and throat, I'm a regular time-bomb.

Which leads to the fact that I'm terribly hungry right now. Actually, that doesn't lead that direction in any way, shape or form. Apparently this post is a conglomerate of my random and semi-dark thoughts. Can you see them in your mind's eye? I can. I imagine my thoughts swirling like clouds that precede a storm, the wind whipping your hair around so it gets stuck in your mouth, sunshine scurrying to a hidden place in anticipation of what's coming, your nose wrinkling at that hint of rain in the air.

But, no. Not this time. You know those summer storms that roll in, dark and ominous... and then, surprisingly, roll back out with only a smattering of fat raindrops? That's more like how this mood of mine feels. It's temporary. It will be gone as soon as I extricate myself from this chair and rest my head on my pillow.

But here I am, writing anyway because I must. My dipping fingers distracted my body-sense and, for the last three hours, I wrote in my mind. I, of course, had brilliant prose and incredible ideas spewing from some previously dry fountain, and I let them run all over the place and didn't write them down... chocolate can be such a hindrance. My fingers itched to type. (and they itched from the chocolate) My flooded mind needed an outlet. I must say, it's a fairly disappointing flow that is being released, but I can't start writing something too brilliant at 1:00am... I have to stop sometime and go to bed. Maybe it was all re-absorbed into the ground so it will grow something better, bigger, prettier, fancier, and generally more wonderful. But, as silly as this is all starting to feel, I feel like singing again and that's sayin' something...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Safe Places

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This particular post had a soundtrack while I wrote it. If you'd like to hear, push play here.

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There are times where life brings you a sanctuary. A haven. And sometimes it's not a place in the literal sense of the word, but a home for your heart all the same.

Life moves, a river. A current carrying forward the past into the future, bringing the Now to every moment.

Like driftwood, you can let the current take you. You can drift. And in drifting, laying on your back mesmerized by the clouds, your sanctuary might recede into your mind's horizon, losing definition, engulfed by haze until it becomes unrecognizable.

At times like that, Panic can grip your heart. Where is your safety? Who are you? Why are you here, floating on this river? Was it always so wide? What is unseen below you? Did the river change, or did you change?

And then comes the choice. Drift again, ignoring questions, and see what the river will bring? Or swim hard for a safe place, be it the same place or a new and undiscovered haven, a resting spot on the journey?

There's always the choice.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

From The Jar... #35

Jar, jar... what will you bring today? I've been really guilty of digging through and finding one I want to write about and throwing back those I don't want to write about. Just goes to show that if you break a rule once, it gets easier to break the rule the next time. And here is what I "chose" to have the Jar say...


Did you have a childhood hideout? Where? Describe it.



I am not sure what it means by "hideout". If it means a clubhouse or something then, no, I didn't really have one. We did find a bush in our neighbor's backyard that was sort of hollow in the middle. It was more of my brother's hideout than mine. He, my older sister and his friends scoured the "spring cleanup" piles on the curbside and found things like old chairs and little tables to furnish it with. It was rather cool... but not MY hideout.

I had no clubhouse-ish place to call my own, but I did have a literal hideout where I went when I was sad, mad, frustrated or hurting and I didn't want anyone to find or bother me. We called it "The Sleeping Bag Place". It was this funky little closet that butted right up against our dryer in our basement. It was full of all our sleeping bags and we had many. As you can imagine, it was a good place to go and cry, all squishy with sleeping-bag-goodness, I would lay down in there and vent my frustrations. It was extra good if the dryer was running because, not only was the dryer warm in a cold basement, but the noise allowed me to cry with small sobbing noises, rather than condemning myself to total silence, my heart bursting with emotion.

This was also a place that my little sister and I would go and play when we were trying to do so stealthily, without my little brother. That didn't happen much but I have a few clear memories of Lacy and I playing in "The Sleeping Bag Place".

Another memory that's surfacing about this "hideout" involves some of my quirky childhood sleeping habits. For a few years I went through a phase where I was a traveling sleeper. I would wake up in the night and go upstairs to the bathroom. For reasons unknown, I would not go back to my bed but to the couch in the living room where I would fall asleep for a while. Awakening sometime later, usually because I was cold, I would proceed to lay in front of the heat register (if it was winter) and fall asleep in forced-air heaven. When the heater went off, or when I woke up, I would go to the couch in the family room where I'd sleep for a while, then wake up and move on to "The Sleeping Bag Place". It was here that my sleep traveling escapades would conclude. There were rare occasions that I would end up back in my bed, but, mostly, my memory finds me waking up in that secret place, baffling my mother as she went to my vacant bed to wake me up.

Good stuff, these memories. Good stuff.

Monday, March 2, 2009

I Heart Landlording

In my landlording "career" I've had many firsts. First time taking someone to small claims court. First time evicting someone. First time confronting recently evicted tenant and letting them know that, no matter how much I like them, they have to get out and get out now because I can no longer foot the bill for their existence. First time having serious destruction (seven broken windows, broken doors, broken yard, broken cashflow, broken heart) of my property by my tenant, who later became eviction #2 for me. First time getting a call... "My fridge/stove/dishwasher/dryer/furnace/brain is broken, can you come fix it?" First time getting a phsycotic text message from my tenant full of curses and threats and general awfulness.

The list could go on for MUCH longer, but I shall stop there. I would like to focus on my most recent first.

Today, my very nice tenant, who's rent was due yesterday which puts them in default today, came over with her son and a kind request. Her twelve-year old son serves as the (semi-lousy) interpreter because he is the only one who speaks English aside from the six and three year old daughters.

They first assured me that rent would be paid either tomorrow or Friday and the request went as follows:

"We need a letter from you." says twelve year old.

"OK, what kind of letter?" I say.

(turns and asks his mother, in Spanish, and turns back to me.) "A letter that says we need to pay."

My eyebrows knit in confusion. "OK, I guess I don't understand."

(more babbling in Spanish) "You know, like a letter saying we need to pay and how much we need to pay."

"Ummm, well, I can just tell you that you need to pay $SUCHandSUCH amount, and there will be $THISMUCH in late fees if you pay after tomorrow and $THISMUCH if you pay on Friday."

(more Spanish, and then a flourish of a piece of paper) "This is what we need."

I look over the piece of paper that he hands me and, aside from seeing that it's a form for some sort of one-time rent assistance, I can't really tell what it is except that it has a bulleted list of required items such as:
  • -Copy of rental agreement or contract
  • -Landlord name, address and phone number
  • -Eviction notice
  • -W-9 form filled out by landlord
  • -Three month plan and budget
I can't recall any more of the 7 or 8 bulleted items, but after reading it several times I point to one of the items and ask the twelve year old, "You need me to give you an eviction notice?" He looks at me, confused, like he hasn't a clue what an eviction notice is. I rephrase, "You want me to give you a paper saying if you don't pay me in three days, then you get kicked out?"

"Yes!" he nods emphatically and babbles something to his mother. She nods too.

"You want me to give you a 3-Day Eviction Notice?" Flabbergasted would be a good way to describe my expression, voice, body language, aura, cosmic field, and energy frequencies...

"Yeah" says the twelve year old.

"Really?"

More nodding and smiling.

"Oooookaaay... I'll just go print it up for you...."

And so I did.

They gave me a "Gracias" and a "Buenas noches, " and they were on their way with their eviction notice in-hand and a few more "Gracias's" for good measure.

Weird.

Manic Monday: Waffle

I was reading a fellow Manic Monday participant's post (Travis) and he said, "I love panCAKEs. But sometimes it's tough to know how much syrup is enough syrup. Sometimes I don't get enough syrup and the panCAKE is too dry. And sometimes I get too much syrup and the panCAKE is soggy.

Now waffles...it's always easy to tell when you have just the right amount of syrup. Just fill up all the little waffle dents!"

Travis' comment box was flooded with comments about his genius waffle/syrup ratio. And, while I thought it was an excellent post, full of wafflish insight, it was a problem I have never considered.

Upon further waffle reflection, I realized that my lack of consideration on this dilemma has to do with the fact that I don't put syrup ON my pancakes/waffles but, rather, to the side and then I dunk. That way, a pancake doesn't fall apart because it's all soaked through with syrup and I have some measure of control over the waffle-pancake/syrup ratio.

I do love to fill the waffle "dents" with butter though... a guilty indulgence!

Any waffle quirks you'd like to share?