The Knitting Journeyman

Gathering Up One Thread At A Time As I Weave This Web Of Mine.....

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wishcasting Day Is Here!

My internet was down yesterday--my modem went bad and I had to wait for the tech to get here and 1 decide what the problem was and 2 fix it.  She replaced the modem.  All is good now.  Except that I am still catching up with emails and other things, since I was at R's Monday and pretty much worked on other things rahter than sort through email.

All I could think yesterday was, yikes, it's Tuesday!  I can't miss Talkative Tuesday!  Even though my normal pattern seems to be to hit it late...I still love to do it.
My last thought before bed last night was, thank goodness I can get up in the morning and be able to reach Jamie's website for Wishcasting.

Then I woke up this morning and had a hundred things to do.  Of course.

I finally got something posted on my new blog, a blog which is not going to be for everyone, just so you know. It's my Alyce Uncensored blog.  There will be harsh language and sexual content (not porn, not porn) there.  Mostly things that will cause some people to become uncomfortable.  Which is why I warn you here. 

Then I got to tease my boyfriend awhile.  He has a job interview today.  It's for a lot more money.  And we are hoping it's in a lot better environment.  He is rather sick and tired of people who cannot communicate in his life and is trying to remove the non-communicators as best as he can.  This job means alot to him, and to us, on many levels.

Then, my knitpicks order came in.  Darn book sale.  It is still on-going.  Forty percent off all books.  I bought books, a few sock knitting books, but a couple for fun that I have wanted for awhile.  Plus, more sock yarn, although this time I think the yarn is more for me than for R.  I bought silk blends this time...although I know I will make him at least one pair from the silk. 
Of course, I had to skim through and ogle all the books before I could do anything else.  I'll have the titles loaded into goodreads later on today.

I'm in a pretty good mood today, so babble mode is on.  :-) 

I shall now trundle over to the discourse at hand:  WISHCASTING!

I am so grateful to Jamie and to all the wishcasters, for all their support and hard-work with so many projects other than just Wishcasting Wednesdays.

Today's award-winning question:
{well, Jamie should win something for all these questions!}

What do you wish to share?


This question hit me in several various ways.

One thing I do wish. especially of late, is that I could share with people the image they present of themselves to other people. 
In my work, I often watch people completely destroy their own lives, without understanding what they are doing, without accepting their own personal responsibility, blaming everything on everyone else.
I wish I could show people what other people think of them.  It would blow their minds, and hopefully steer them onto a better course of action.
I am watching people destroy their own lives and other people's lives just to justify their own sense of injury, when even complete strangers can see the injury is one they fabricated and petpetuate for themselves.
It makes me sad that people manufacture for themselves such heinous lives in order to justify their sadness and inadequacy. 

On another side of life,
I wish I could offer people a glimpse of the Magic that I get to see every single day.
Children, for one, have such a wonderful knack for revealing things that grown-ups often forget to see.
We need to re-learn how to believe in faeries and angels and witches and strange things, just to keep the Magic alive in our hearts.

A commerical lately has a perfect line on this one for me: 
it's a son talking about his dad, and how his dad always laughs and smiles, even though dad has lost his job.  The son is sure that dad is smiling and laughing so much for the benefit of the family, even though he must be sad inside, but dad also means it as well.  He's not just pretending,  He is really involved and really enjoying life, and the lives of his family.

That is the Magic that I wish I could share with everyone. 
That no matter how bad things may seem, there is always a silver lining.

I am often 'accused' of this.  That's why I am the one everyone calls when they need a shoulder to cry on, why my clients are return clients and repeat clients and why they recommend me to everyone they can.  Because I have a knack, even in my own darkest moments, for being able to pry open that one lighter shade of grey spot and focus on that.  To expand and beat the tar out of it, if need be, until it's big enough to hang some hope on.  That's me.  That's how I live.  Even if it may take me some time to find my own grey spot to beat.

There is no reason to be miserable, to dwell on the bad, the horrible, the unattainable.  Dwell on the positive things.  Let the light of Hope swell in your heart until it subdues your mind.  Allow your mind free reign until your heart catches up.

It's the whole take the time to smell the roses deal.  Notice the breeze.  Listen to the windchimes.  Play with your food.  Sing in the shower.  Dance in your living room.  Run in the rain.  Splash in mud puddles.  That whole philosophy that far too many people disdain as they grow older.  It's a shame.  So much is lost that way.  When you close your eyes to the beauty of life around you. 

That's my wish for the day. 

Open your eyes and be happy!


Weekend Update On The Delay

This weekend was terrific.
Saturday the kids and I got to play super heroes together. There are enough capes for everyone here. 
I love to watch my kids play together.  They are very open and affectionate with one another.  N holds E’s hand, gives her kisses.  She is ever the big sister.  We still have to keep her from speaking for him or he won’t talk—or better, I like it when he talks over her.  It’s hard to teach the don’t interrupt thing, when she’s the one interrupting him first.

Sunday, I went w R to have his tattoo done.  So, it is official now.  I have finally corrupted him.  Despite the fact that he has wanted a tattoo longer than he has known me, I am officially to blame, since I am the one w several tattoos. 
He got a teal ribbon tattooed on his upper bicep/shoulder, in honor of his mother’s passing from ovarian cancer.  Sunday was her birthday.

If ever you need a tattoo—Jason Conrad at Cheap Trx in St Louis, MO.  Best artist in the world.  My only other shout out for a tattoo artist is Bryn at the Ink Well in Weirton, WV.  I recommend no others except these two.

The ribbon has the texture drawn into it, as if it were really actual fabric.  It’s very well done. 

He also took me to see his mother’s tree.  He’s driven us by it before, but this was the first time he took me over to see it.  I was touched.

E and I spent the night as his place Sunday night.

Monday.  E and I were on our own.  It was awesome. 
We took a walk.  Just the two of us.

So, my original intent was to go look at a couple houses for sale within walking distance of R’s house.  It turned into something else. 

I hate to drive.  The road is full of ignorant people who don’t care about anyone else other than themselves.  I have always hated to drive.  The only reason I got my driver’s license, really, was because when my grandfather died, my grandmother couldn’t drive.  She was literally stuck at home.  Not within walking distance of squat.  She hated, hated, hated, to have to wait on people to give her rides.  She also needed to get a job; she needed to be able to drive herself to work.  So she had to learn.  She was not the best driver in the world, by any means. 

I hate to drive, but I wanted to know how, just in case.

See, I always thought I would get married and stay married.  That’s what I had wanted all along, even as I figured out pretty quick when dating entered my life, I was not a one man type of woman, unless the man was extraordinary.  I am still that same person in many ways too.  For me, marriage was and is the same—it is a vow—to death do we part.  My divorce didn’t kill me…heck, my divorce wasn’t a divorce except on paper.  I was already dead before he asked me to marry him—his asking me to marry him was his way of making up for killing me.  He told me that, in different words.  More than once.  We were already living together again before the divorce was final.  With me pregnant by my after separation fling. 

That final break was not the end of a marriage—it was a resurrection of sorts.  Unfortunately, I chose poorly in my next choice.  I was looking, but not, for a man to replace him.  After having belonged to a single man for so long, after my upbringing and thought process, my conditioning, I had to find a man, right?  But, I don’t go looking.  I never have.  I never do.  They come to me.  One way or another.  This one came to my school as a teacher.  I had to break with him in order to find me again.  And, as I say every day, I am utterly grateful that he is such a colossal –whatever he is.   If he were not so 180 from what he says he is, I would have never found what I needed to grow, to heal and/or to move on from that divorce.  If he ever learns how to communicate with others in a real sense, a miracle will have occurred…I swear it.  I tell you, the worst people make the best teachers.  Seriously. 

Technically, the ex brought my current boyfriend into my life.  Does that count as him finding me?

It took several years after my son’s dad for me to heal enough to do anything.  That man is a lying treacherous manipulative snake.  But he swears it is because he has the best of intentions.  What is worse is – he is being honest.  He truly thinks the way he treats me and deals with me, since he met me in 2002, has been with the best of intentions and respect and etc etc.  One day, the gods will turn his actions upon him and will show him the error of his ways.
I will not be there to see that.  I do not want to see it.  I wish it could be avoided, but the man has chosen his own path.  He has to walk the path he has chosen.  Not my stuff.  Not my issue.  I won’t have to deal with it when the time comes, even though he will reach out.

This is about the walk we took, isn’t it? 
I used to walk everywhere.  When I was in high school.  After high school.  I didn’t want the responsibility of a car anyway.  I didn’t want to drive. 
I liked walking.  I could and would walk for miles and miles every day.

I won’t walk where I live now.  It’s actually a fairly safe place, don’t get me wrong.  If it is safe enough for mothers to turn out 4 and 5 year olds to run in the gangs through the streets, knowing that the other mothers keep an eye out as well, it is safe enough for me to walk.
Except—I tend to attract—the strangest elements.  I seem to have this scent that attracts the lizards and Klingons.  Lizards are the men that no one else would touch even after inhaling a bottle of cheap tequila in under five minutes.  Klingons are not just women, but, for me, it's gay men or women who aren’t hitting on me, but ‘need’ me for the company—and they are not people I want to hang out or around with….like a complete stranger who is suddenly your bestest friend in less than five minutes…you already know her life story and the bartender just brought your drink order to you sort of person right after you sit down.
I will not take my daughter out in an environment where I know that one out of every twenty men that wander here will follow me home, trying to play their game and roll me with their sweet talk.  I am not kidding or exaggerating.  I get these guys trying to talk to me when I take out the trash, or mow the lawn, or get the mail.  Really.  Really annoying.  Above all else, they do not need to be aware that I live alone with a young daughter and a dog that is useless for family protection.  I spend more time protecting her than vice versa—although she is young yet—there may be hope for her. 

My dog is actually my other reason.  Yes, mothers keep an eye out on the groups of kids that wander.  But no one really pays much mind to the people walking their dogs.  One, when I used to walk my old dog, other stray dogs would try to start fights.  My dog then was a coward too and I was the one fighting dogs off.  And yes, I will.  I have no compunction about stepping in between dogs.  It’s only blood and it’s only stitches.  I have the attitude.  I usually keep my hair covered, since dogs/wolves/etc have less respect for the blonde as they are normally aberrations in the pack.  Female and blonde means very inferior.  Only—I am an Alpha.  It may not always be immediately apparent.  I have been the cowed down one for too long in my life.  But I am the Alpha and I know the role.  Plus, with all my studying and background, I know most breeds fairly well.  It’s like dealing with people.  You kick them in the right place, you win the fight –speaking of people.  I have never had to do more than tap a dog on the nose, literally, not hit them, tap them.  Although I did think my other dog was going to kill some stupid stray once.  It’s not the pitbull half of her to worry about—it’s the chow part.  Chows are scary. (yes, both of my boyfriend’s dogs are part chow…I know….)  Pitbulls, I love, hands down, every time.  The best dogs in the world.  Ask Petey of the Little Rascals—he’ll tell you the same.

But I know there are a group of kids who walk their part chow dog around this neighborhood, trying to start a dog fight with any dog out.  I have been told about them sending the dog after cats.  The cats do not win.  I do not want any part of that.  Period.  I will not take my dumb dog out into that, because I’ll end up going to jail for beating the heck out of some stupid little kids.  Plus, my dog is dumb enough and friendly enough.  Most people around here are afraid of her based entirely on her size alone.  I want to encourage that fear, because up close and personal, this dog will lick you to death.  Or pee on your shoe maybe.  She is not a guard dog.  Unless you are a bird or a squirrel.  She’s a love puppy—she wants to be petted.  She is uber needy.  So not the dog I was hoping to get—even though I wouldn’t trade her for anything.  Most days, at least. 

The walk.  Right.  I wander.  I know.

This walk was great.  There were few people.  Those we passed did talk to us, but that was good.  I was never worried about anyone following us home.  Plus, this is my favorite time of year.  Chilly, wind blowing, leaves turning.  We saw about four houses for sale.  Got flyers for the two that had them.  Found the yarn for W that I have been going nuts trying to find (red heart baby cloud) and bought two skeins, just in case….
We walked all the way to the thrift store and I let E look around to her heart’s content.
E found a funky blue hat.  And a killer pair of boots with mega high platform heels.    She is utterly proud of herself.  I found a children’s book of Zen shorts.  I will not classify myself as Zen nor Buddhist.  But I do have a great appreciation for Zen, deep down.  Thanks to the ex, Buddhism is in the distrusted organized religion category, along w so many others.  It was a very fruitful day.  Plus, as we were heading back to R’s house, he drove by and picked us up.  He’d worked through lunch and was home early.  It was terrific.

We even had a great dinner at a very nice restaurant. 

My only issue was I took two different sorts of allergy meds that day, and they made me very tired.  It is the only time I have not gotten out of bed to escort R to the door, after he’s brought us home and is returning to his.  I don’t really think I was awake after I heard the front door close.

I miss walking like that.  I miss feeling the air.  Talking to people.  Not worrying about the lizards and Klingons, well, at least not so much.  And I love spending time w R, in any capacity.  Even when I am tired, confused, groggy and medicated.  He is an amazing man.  He takes such wonderful care of me.  It’s the small things he does that really mean so much.  Not that the bigger things are shabby, but it’s the small stuff that touches me more deeply, that embeds itself in my heart and my memory.  I like that.  I am so not used to it.  But I really like it.  I could get used to that—without taking it for granted or taking advantage of it.  It means a lot to me. 

Here’s to more days like this weekend and Monday, well, without the allergy med fatigue and fugue anyway. 

May we all live in peace together.  Always.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Death of An Old Friend

     My bread maker died tonight.  In the middle of making dough for a new bout of pumpkin yeast rolls.  My son’s current can’t get enough of item.
     I have had that bread maker since 1994?  Somewhere in that time.  It had to be ’94.
     ’94 was a terrible year for me.  In February, I lost my first child.  In February, while still recovering from that loss, I started to work for SBC as a toll/directory assistance operator.  Someone should have shot me before I took that job.  The job was more destructive than the loss of my child.  I am not joking. 
     Christmas.  ’94. It might have been ’95, but I doubt it.  The ex-husband gave me that bread maker for Christmas.  I nearly caught him and his buddy taking time from a job to go to the walmart in Van Buren, AR.  I was looking for something for him.  He was looking for something for me.  He saw me; I don’t think I saw him.  It would have never occurred to me that he might be there.  I forgot how much ‘free time’ the SBC outside guys (these were splicers) could manifest on any given day.  It is, I think, the last remaining item that I have in my possession, other than my wedding ring set, which he gave me, other than the scars I carry on my psyche and my soul.
     He re-did my entire kitchen for me that Christmas.  I still miss my convection oven.  The bowl cracked and we had to get rid of it.  I have only recently started to wish I still had it, only recently begun to start looking for a replacement.  Not like my toaster convection oven, but the glass kind of convection oven, where it is more a bowl sort of thing with an apparatus lid attachment.  Descriptive, aren’t I?
     I remember one of his girlfriends coming over and confronting me, asking me what he gave me for Christmas that year.  She’d gotten a waterproof radio for in her shower from him.  I got the bread maker, the convection oven, and a whole bunch of other stuff. 
     When he was confronted later on, he claimed that proved where his heart lay.  And for years, maybe that was true, but that’s not the only place his heart—or other body parts, lay.
     I look back on the things that particular (not the first, not the last, not the only one who ever came to me, but the only one who thought he was being honest with her—and from what I’ve heard in the past few months, it’s the same thing all over with her as well, only he is better at covering his tracks now, lest she either kill him in his sleep—or have him put in jail) woman told me, or said in front of me, over the years.  Yes, there was a time where we were friendly with one another.  I honestly wish her well.  I always have, after I got over my –anger with?  hatred of? him.  It wasn’t her fault he was such a cheating schmuck.
     I listened to her side.  He had caused her as much pain as he’d caused me.  You have to listen to your heart, no matter what, even when you love a moron.  Trust me, there have been several in my lifetime.  I understand the need to satisfy your heart, even when your mind is telling you to run.
     I actually have always wanted to thank her for everything she gave me.  She told me once she knew I lied to her about things, just as she lied to me about things.  She was wrong.  I never lied.  If I did, I was repeating lies that I had been told.  Nothing more.  What she gave me, however, was utterly priceless.  That woman set me free in so many ways. 
     If I thought he or she were truly happy, nothing could set me more at ease in life.  I would be so glad for them.  According to rumors, and there are those who just love to fill me in on myopic and odious details at all times, at times when I think I am finally over and past all of that, where I am just happy to have gotten out alive, much less anything else.  I do wish them well.  Really.
     This woman, in her telling of tales and stories, gave me the clue to the ex I had always missed, the one that clued me in to just how long the man had been seeking out the company of other men.  I am not a competitor in the best of times.  I will bow out, sit aside, and simply watch.  I do not fight unless someone forces himself or herself upon me.  There are conditions now where I will attack—but it takes a great deal of provocation—and only in certain arenas.  I will fight no battles for anyone else, except for a certain few.  Of which the human contingent number three and no more.  Other than that, my animals or my home, those I will fight over, for and about, at any given time, if they are threatened.  I do not start the fights, but I have been known to finish them.
     Some days, talking to people from high school is highly entertaining.  I had forgotten my reputation in places.  I had forgotten that I had always had that certain implacable “aluminum foil” core (ripped that off from Stephen King, yes—now name the book and I will be impressed…)  I had forgotten that even in my weakness, I had been able to be strong in the name of others. 
     If I have any uncertainty about love, I will step back and allow the party to prove himself or herself.  I always stepped back where he was concerned.  He took from me the only thing that ever meant anything to me, and I allowed him to keep me as a prisoner for … far too long.
     I have an intense sense of justification to listen to this woman tell stories about certain parks in Ft Smith, AR, and know that these are the parks where the ex had lunch so often when he worked outside.  All the stories he told about his ‘encounters’, where someone tried to hit on him and he repelled them, often forcibly, all suddenly made sense.  There was that click into place as the stories he’d told about her clicked into place as she told me her side of things, and as she heard my side of things. 
     As she continued to talk, I heard the click click click that went back to Fayetteville, AR, where his first wife had left him for a woman that honestly looked more like a man than he did.  No slur on him intended.  She was a nice girl, I guess.  He said she was—he should know—he slept w her too.  Not my type of person, no matter her sexual orientation.   then again, neither was his ex.  I wouldn’t have talked to her if we passed in the street.  She was too…off…in a certain way.  The broken know the broken on sight, whether they admit it or not.  She was broken.  Her girlfriend was even more broken and needy.
     In Fayetteville, why was the ex, who was such a notoriously flagrant homophobe the only man a certain friend from an ultra-conservative Christian family would turn to to discuss his homosexuality…or why said man would detail his encounters with other men with the ex?  Why did the ex give this man his most prized possession when we moved from the house into an apartment…his dog?  Suddenly, it all made sense.  As did the ex talking about a certain former room-mate he had had before he’d met me.
     Why, in Fayetteville, when I worked at a certain laundromat known as, uhm, the best place in town for men seeking men to hang out and congregate was the ex one of the men who got hit on every single time he went in there?  In fact, he was the only man I ever knew that got hit on every single time he went in there.
     I listened again to the stories he’d told me since we’d met.  He didn’t have many stories, in all actuality.  After being with him for a year or two, I’d heard them all, and had started to keep track of how he embellished things differently w each re-telling.  He’d been hiding this secret for a very very long time.  It came to a head when one of his boyfriend’s accosted me in an attempt to lure the ex into a three-way with me included, or a four-way with the boyfriend’s boyfriend.  That was the first real tangible proof I had, other than the ideas and the rumors that had clung to him all along.  All those tales he’d ‘re-created’ to make him a hero and make me think him a big strong hetero man…all crumbled to pieces.
     I have dated bisexuals before—some who openly and freely admitted who and what they were, and others who hid it to save their families, or for whatever reason they had.  It never bothered me.  I have more respect for someone who lives their life openly and truthfully, but that does not diminish anyone in my eyes.  I know how cruel the world can be to those who choose to live their own way.  Whether for sexuality or religion or any other thing.  It’s hard to hide things like that.  It eats away one’s soul, which eats away one’s body…it destroys the mind. 
     If it weren’t for that one woman, I would have mourned my lost years for many more years.  I would have moved on, but I would still miss things that I thought only came with the ex.  Thanks to her, I learned better.  Thanks to her, I can enjoy my current relationship and current circumstances far more than I could without this sense of freedom she gave me. 
     I have said it before; I do not have an issue with the ex’s cheating.  He was a cheater when I met him.  I never expected him to be faithful to me.  I told him that up front.  He and I started dating while he was still married.  He told me the pitiful tale of how he was in the middle of a divorce.  I have proof he was staying over with me in October.  We’d been talking by phone for over a month.  He’d been married that August before I met him.  I didn’t know that for a very long time afterwards.  I learned a lot of things afterwards.  None of it matters now.  My only caveat is if he had told the truth, I would have allowed him anything, I would have forgiven him anything.
     I have a certain code of ethics by which I live.  I know there is no stopping a cheater from cheating.  I have never tried.  I would never try.  I expect loyalty in a relationship.  I expect fealty.  I am saying these things, because without the ex, without his …girlfriend … I would never have solidified my code of conduct, which includes a new clause for certain things that weren’t there before I met him.  Before I met him, I was far more than tolerant.  Boys will be boys.  ‘Sex is like pissing.’ to quote the Diego Rivera line in the movie Frida.  The way I had been brought up said it didn’t matter what happened, as long as we were open and honest about everything within the context of our relationship.  I had held on to that since I was a teen-ager.  The man I dated in high school is what set that bar.  Anne Rice helped, with her Vampire Chronicles.  When Marius told Armand, try a boy, try a girl, try them all—to paraphrase, very badly, I am certain.  But, the point remains…so long as there are consenting adults, be my guest.  If you don’t try, how will you know?  I have never held that particular … exhortation against anyone. 
     I do not believe in fidelity for the most part.  I am faithful to an awful point.  Even when I was married to a serial cheater, the only time, since meeting the man, that I slept w anyone else was after we were legally separated.  I had had opportunities, ones that I really wish I had taken at times.  There is one married man who is probably still married in name only who was such a good friend, I should have cheated with him to give him the surcease for a few minutes he so craved and needed.  I have never once regretted being faithful to the faithless.  If given the choice, I would continue along my same chosen path.  I was the wild girl, but I was also the one person who, when she dated three or four guys at a time, told every single one of them, and usually had them meet one another at some point so they would know each other on sight.  None of the men ever had a problem w each other over me.  Everyone knew up front, where I stood, and where everyone else stood.  We never had any problems.  Honesty and communication were always key.
     Nowadays, I have a man that makes every other person in the whole world pale by comparison.  There is no way I would seek succor outside our relationship.  There is no way I would want to or need to if the possibility ever arose.  There is no way he would or could either.  There is no reason to, we are that well matched.  Where there was doubt with the ex, there is no doubt here with my boyfriend.  Not a hint.  Not a smidgen.  Not a trace. 
     Funny, the ex-husband introduced us.  I cannot think about the ex now without smiling, because if not for his desire to find someone to go out and do ‘couples’ things with, I would never have met the love of my life.  This man is completely re-defining the things I thought I knew so well while with the ex.  He is reminding me of the person I was before I met the ex, the person who was much more open, much more alive.  I was broken then, yes, but I was still so much more alive then.  I was young, a teenager, just starting to get through all the teen angst garbage, starting to find myself and propel myself forward.  I thought I had hold of the best thing in the whole wide world.  Then I allowed that one man to completely destroy my soul in one fell swoop—and I so lost my soul and my will to even survive that I gave him complete control over every little thing.  St Louis was supposed to ‘save’ our marriage, his words.  It saved me, saved my soul, even if it had to break me into smaller pieces before I could be reunited and whole once more.
     I am grateful for that.  To the girlfriend, to the pseudo-priestess, to the little men in between.  I would not have my two kids now if not for the egregious notions and narrow-mindedness of certain people.  As terrible as that sounds.  My children, my family, they are my life.  Not that I cannot or do not steal time away from them to have private time alone with the true love of my life (versus the false god of the ex-husband), but I still have more now than I have ever had before while out on my own.  I am blessed. 
     I cannot say thank you enough.
     This is the eulogy for my poor deceased bread machine.  I am absolutely glad my boyfriend loaned/gave me his bread maker eons ago when mine was still in storage—before mine was thrown violently around in a big moving truck that flipped upside down.  The old bread maker put up an incredible fight.  Only a few of her programming buttons still work.  Tonight her rotator stopped rotating.  She lead an eventful life, she did.  Even put away in storage for so long.
     And, as much as it grieves me to say, my boyfriend’s bread maker will soon follow—but only because it’s a one pound load machine…and my old girl was 1 ½ pounds…and I am notorious for making large quantities of dough that this small one pounder won’t really be able to keep up with, even though it is a very good machine…
     So, as much as it pains me, so long, farewell, adieu my long-time friend.  As I rid myself of your old beaten up countenance, perhaps you can take with you all these memories of the ex and the good times and the bad times and all the rest of the miscellaneous detritus I still have around me because of him.

Manic Monday

What is the longest time you've gone with your Internet not working in your home?
a couple weeks in between moves--waiting for the service to be connected---ARGGHH!!!

How many email addresses do you regularly use?
three--because I recently got rid of all the extraneous email addresses, which would have put me over twenty

Are you able to access the Internet on your phone? If so, how frequently do you use it?
no-nor would I want to if I could--I am very against total connectivity all the time--I need to get away from the internet--more often than I will admit to myself :-)

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Week Of Nothing

Excuse me while I giggle over the post title here--it's not too far off the mark either, as I sit here and look around at the things I should be doing instead of ...just sitting here...

Lauren pointed Jamie to the Joy Diet Journal 
so I will put it here for everyone else to find as well--even though it is on TNC site too.

I actually did more than nothing for 15 minutes a day.
I tend to chuck my morning pages of late.  So that hasn't been helping.
The whole, brew yourself a cup of tea and ruminate exercise a la Eric Maisel--hasn't really happened in awhile either.
I haven't really been doing much of anything at all recently.  I've been stuck in one of my strange quasi-immobile choked up and stagnant places.
I can blame the time of year.  I can blame the Equinox.  I can blame the weather.  I can blame lots of things.
But I won't.
I've just not been super motivated about things.

Plus, my bf hasn't been sleeping well--and if he doesn't sleep well--I don't sleep well.  Thirty minutes apart and if he can't sleep, I can't sleep.  Only my can't sleep is worse, I think.  BUT--my can't sleep can also be very productive, if I let it.
I have the remnants of a dream scribbled out here that needs to be written out more fully.
I have a story written last night that needs to be typed out.
I have other ideas scrawled out as well.

How does all this stuff tie into my Nothingness?

Do you know what I think of when I think of the Great Nothing?
The movie the Never Ending Story...and the great black Wolf-thing that sought Atreyu to devour him.
Nothingness is sort of like that for me--a huge irrationally rational predator waiting to snap me up in its jaws and swallow me whole.

I love Martha's book--she says things I have thought and things I have tried to impart to others without really coming right out and saying it as boldly and as bluntly as did she.
It's her "squirrel brain"--where I have the 'monkey mind'....that got me.  Dead center.

My first fifteen minutes starts the day, more like twenty or thirty minutes.  When the dog hears the school bus gearing up outside my bedroom window and wants to go outside to bark at the little children--which she knows she is not allowed to do.  So I have sixty pounds of panting fur that literally throws herself across my body, literally laying on top of me, her head against my chin, her hip against mine, and I have to pet the goofy thing, rub her belly, until all the buses have gone (that's about three different buses for three different schools, from 8a to 9a)  -- not that I will pet her that long....just long enough to fall back to sleep... plus my first client of the day usually calls within that time and I get to talk to him....before i go back to sleep.....

BUT--that is not the only 'nothing' I do.  I gave up years ago trying to sit and observe--observe my breath, a candle flame, a roly poly crawling...I became a meditation teacher--because I was not able to find a seated meditation that I could do -- UNTIL I read an article somewhere along the line (after I had taken the meditation certification course....of course) about a Buddhist retreat that incorporated knitting (or crocheting -- or any sort of handwork) for roughly 15-20 minutes before seated meditation.  The report was that by focusing mind and body on the hands, on the handwork, the meditation experience was deeper for everyone involved.  The fight to quiet the mind less.  So on.  SO forth.  I read the article about five, maybe six years ago.  The basics stuck with me.  I still don't do seated meditation--unless zoning out is a form of meditation.  All of my meditations are moving meditations.  Yoga.  Walking.  Knitting.

With all the current knitting and crocheting requests awaiting me, it was an easy thing for me to pick up the needles and yarn and say--this is my fifteen minutes of between client calls.  In between fielding questions from an overly annoying child.  In between interruptions from the dog (who is worse than the kid most days).  Knitting became a good excuse NOT to go online, not to check email, not to read headlines, not to do anything at all, but feel the ebb and flow of the fiber moving between my fingers....

That's a good thing.  That has really helped me.  Here is the peace I have been seeking.  I still have a long way to go with things, but that little space, between petting the dog and knitting something simple and mindless, those little pieces of Nothing, have kept me from being eaten by the Great Nothing.

I am looking forward to next week's path along The Joy Diet trail...Truth....

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wishing On Wednesday September 22

Wishing on the day after you know how much power that has?

Jamie has an amazing question today, as simple as always, but with such far reaching implications as it nibbles the brain....

What luxury do you wish for? 


What do I wish, as a luxury?

The very first thing that came up for me was TIME....

time to write by hand, time to transcribe everything onto the computer, time to cook and to bake, time to wash, dry, fold and put away the laundry, time to keep up with all the dishes my 8yo dirties in a day (which can be an ASTOUNDING amount some days and I am still not really sure how she does it....), time to organize the things I want to organize, time to build the things I want to build, time to draw, time to paint, time to knit, time to crochet, time to sew, time to sculpt, time to sit down w E and get her to do her schoolwork by hook or by crook (some days are better than others), time to read, time to garden, time for Yoga, time to ride my bike, time for hiking, time...time...time to ...sit and just vegetate and to do nothing and to be happy doing nothing....


Then there's me on a practical level--the only real luxury I want is a house big enough to settle my family into right now...where there is more than enough room for all four of us, plus the three dogs...where there is plenty of room for us to grow and to expand as we continue our journey together, surrounded by lots of land, and preferably few neighbors other than lots of trees.  


My what can I do right now level is saying--you need a pressure cooker!  lol

Funny what that many pounds of apples can do to a woman (see previous posts about apple picking)...

 That really is all I could ask for right now...really....


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Manic Monday # 182

Manic Monday--so I keep forgetting the days of the week...I know...I know...

Would you be willing to have horrible nightmares every night for a year if you would be rewarded with extraordinary wealth?

Sure--why not?  Nightmares I can deal with and in the end the money will be there...

What was the most recent movie that made you cry?

Cry in what way?  Tears of mirth? Of joy?  Of sadness?  
Wolverine made me cry just looking at all those chests...but...ahem...that's a different story, huh?
I don't recall for sure which movie made me laugh so hard I cried recently.
But I do know the Changeling made me cry so hard I haven't been able to watch it all yet.  I have to have someone here w me when I watch it.  That has to be the scariest horror movie I have seen, in years....

Would you rather be stranded on an island alone or with someone you hate?

Alone.  No question about it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Evil Bird

Cricket is all sorts of different colours--she even has white on her wings these days.  We are crediting the food we are feeding her.  Kinda like a flamingo in the zoo.  Her chest is far more red and yellow than we have ever seen it.
Doesn't make her the nicest creature on the planet though.  :-)

The Good Dog

She really is a good dog...really...

The Girl

You saw what N sleeps w -- here's what E sleeps w--that you can see--not including the books and notebooks and pens under the pillow--or the toys under the blanket w her...

Knitpicks Order Pictures

We were very happy when the knitpicks box came in.
It was a MUCH bigger box than I expected.
I knew what I was ordering--for some reason it did not dawn on me it would be this much yarn...and so my rough low ball estimate for socks--I will still allow to stand.
Although R looked at all the yarn last night and there are no issues on colours.  We will wait to see how well stuff knits up....
here are the pictures...

as it arrived at our door

the box opening fairy--I am not allowed to open any package or box that enters the house

first peek in


all sorted out

tidy and back in the box

Red Venus

I've been touting the Venus de Merino pattern lately--what with its Turkish cast on encouraging me to great toe up sock heights!

I told you I finished her--and then E snatched her right out of my hand and both girl and doll disappeared into the girl's room.  I wanted to show N the doll, to get his feeling about it.  He does wonders for my creativity.

Anyway--the pictures could have turned out better--but they didn't.

So here she is, the front and back view.

I need to work on my shaping for her breasts next time--and I need to pay more attention--her head is done in reverse stockinette stitch rather than the stockinette it should be in--I blame Henry Fitzroy (Blood Ties) since that's what I was watching...oh no...I wasn't...I have to blame the Wolverine and his brother...I was watching Liev Schreiber and Hugh Jackman when I finished her head least now I feel better having realised that...

Here's the best pics I could manage...

The Things He Sleeps With

My boy.

his birthday--Zathura the game

Then there is the pumpkin from this weekend.
Yes, he was posing in all but the last one...

so exhausted after apple picking and shopping

Witchy Poo Preview

She would dress like this every single day if she were able...this is merely a taste of what is to come....

Real Men

Real men can pull off any it make-up, nail polish, a kilt, heels, a wedding name it.
A real man is not afraid to challenge his own image--he is secure enough in his manhood to defy anything and still know he is all man.

Yes, these are 4 inch platform Mary Janes, to go w my anime Alice Halloween costume.
Yes, he wore them out in public.
Yes, he pulls them off better than his sister does.
No, I am not ashamed to be seen in public w him in those shoes.
Yes, he can wear make-up, he can wear nail polish, he can have hair in curls down to his butt, he can wear a thong and pasties when he's older--I do not care.  This is my son and I love him no matter what, unconditionally and without judgement.  Period.

Apple Picking Saturday (the unseen photos)

Here are the pictures I did not include in the previous posts, for one reason or another...

This is the side view of the jurassic adventure.

Just more shots of N in the dinosaur 'ride'.

The tractor ride was not the easiest of things for me to maneuver through--we sat up in the front on the way back.  On the way there we sat in the back and I was much better.  In the front, I could see what was coming, especially when we went up the sides of the ditch and it made me feel as if the tractor could flip over at any minute--not good there.

N was ready to go see what was in the shop--he wanted his pumpkin shaped lollipop--which we as yet have not found.

I was trying to hold him up in this shot because I'd been carrying him for some reason.  Then I figured out he's tall enough to do it standing on his own--which is the other shot you saw before...
E refused to have her picture taken there, if just standing beside her brother and me.  But when she saw the shot this am, she thought it was so cute.  :-)

Yarn on the hoof.
We get the house w 3 acres--guess what we get to start doing, even if I do get to dig the fence posts all by myself!

Apple Picking Saturday (fourth post)

I love this picture.  E did not want to go on the Jurassic adventure w her brother once they were able to go in.  They had to wait their turn.  When it came time, she declined.  And of course, in typical E fashion, she went silent and grumpy.  I am not a bit pained to say I am so very grateful that R's ex was so completely obtuse and uncommunicative at all times throughout their entire relationship.  It has more than helped him when dealing w E--and w me too on those days when I retreat as well.  Although at least in my case, he knows he'll get whatever it is I am brooding over out of me when I am ready, if he is patient and consistent, and he always is.  With E, though, it takes more work.  And thank goodness he had such a difficult row to hoe for so long w his ex, otherwise he might not be having so much success w E these days.  Not that he wouldn't be trying to work w her, but it takes a great deal of patience to get anything out of E.  She is more like me though, lately.  She goes silent and grumpy, and eventually she will talk.  If you keep asking the right questions.  In my case, w her, I have reached the point where I ignore her fits til hours later, or the next day, and then ask about things.  Sometimes I get answers, sometimes I don't.  With R though , he gets answers, because he won't leave her alone until she talks.  He is absolutely determined E not end up/turn out like his ex.  Thank goodness.

I want to talk about N here now though.  He had such a HUGE day on Saturday.  We are used to hearing about him melting down when over tired or over hungry.  Not playing by the rules.  Demanding to have his own way.  Pitching fits.  Throwing himself down on the ground and screaming til he gets his way.  Not participating with the group.
One thing I do know about my son is he is a very very keen manipulator.  I have watched him for weeks, months, use behaviors that are obviously routine for him, as there is no emotional content in the behaviors, but that do not work for him with me/us.

I forget what it is that set him off, probably we went somewhere to eat and that wasn't the place he wanted to go or something like that since we were in the car.  N kicked the back of the seat.  He is a very easy read, this boy is, and there was no maliciousness or anger in him.  He was performing an action that had gotten him results in the past.  It is becoming all too obvious when these things happen.  Neither R nor I fell for it.  On top of which, neither of us would tolerate the kicking of the seat.  There was no yelling.  On anyone's part.  But N looked at us and you can see the intellect in those eyes.  He simply got out of the car and went along w us.  We had no other problems from him.
You can talk to this boy.  He does listen.  He does understand.  He is fine with having secure unyielding boundaries.

I had asked T about taking N to 6 flags here soon, for FrightFest, as that is the only time I like 6 flags, and now E has been requesting we go lately.  We all love Halloween here in this family.  T warned me how unruly N is in a crowd, how he doesn't like to follow the group, how he likes to go into restricted areas, how he might throw a fit, might want to leave before everyone else, more than likely would not go on rides.  Now, to defend T, really here, although he was treating me like a babysitter (because he doesn't know the difference, again in the poor man's defense, he honestly does not have a clear grasp on such things) he was just trying to warn me of what may or may not happen.  He was honestly trying to be helpful.

We don't have those problems with N when he's w us.
We have had instances where he hasn't been ready to leave a place (like the fun farm at eckerts, or a few weeks ago, whole foods for some reason) and he will pitch a fit about leaving which result in a struggle to get him into the car....but otherwise we rarely have issues when we are out and about.  N is an ornery little cuss, yes, but so is E.  We usually run through more issues w E than w N.  Believe it or not.  I give N alot of leeway and legroom to work his thing, depending on his disposition, yes, but overall, he follows the ground rules and isn't too obnoxious.  Even though I give in way too much some days to buying him stuff, he's a doll to go shopping w, for the most part.  I have always loved taking him shopping, especially in grocery stores.  He has a good sense of things that people don't really expect 1 out of him and 2 out of a child so young.

We took N out apple picking.
1.  He'd had a full morning before we left, what with the pumpkin massacre and all.
Plus, we fed them before taking them out (not that the adults didn't need food too, but still.) N did not want food--he wanted to go straight out and pick apples.
2.  I didn't expect to be out nearly so long as we were just picking apples, but N was entertained the entire time.  After he figured out you could eat apples in the field and then toss the finished apple away on the ground when you were done, he was good to go, so long as I wiped off and shined up the apple for him before he ate it.
E had an incredible blast.  She still thinks it is so amazing that R lifted her up so she could pick the apples high up in the trees.
3.  N did great both on the tractor ride there and the tractor ride back.  He was a little anxious to get on the first one, because he was raring to go.  Much like every single other kid in line.  Only N wasn't running around, wasn't screaming or crying, wasn't being a complete butt like some of the other children there.  On the ride back, all he was worried about was being able to get on the tractor.  He was afraid it would leave without us.  Telling him there were other tractors coming and going seemed to help and he was ok standing in line then.
4.  He really enjoyed himself picking apples.  He said the whole time we needed to do it again.  That he wants to go again.  He even traded apples w his sister at one point.
5.  He did great standing in line to pay for the apples.  ($84 dollars worth of apples, even with the 2 free pounds w the coupon we had).  He was anxious to go to the play area as we were taking the apples back to the car before we did anything else, but he went to the car and then we went to look around inside the place before we went to the kids area, and he was fine with that too.
6.  He knew he wanted to go on the Jurassic adventure from the get go.  It's an inflatable playground where kids climb and bounce and do whatever inside.  He didn't try to scale the side of the wall to go down the big slide in there, but he watched some kids do it and I think if he'd had more time he might have tried.  Before we let him do that, we walked around the entire area, seeing what there was to see.  We fed the goats, which N thought was ok as long as I was doing the feeding and he was doing the watching.  The wallaby was not very interesting.  He flat out refused to ride a pony, but was more open to E or me riding the camel.  Makes me wonder what happened w him on a horse that bothers him so much.  Last time I had him on a pony ride, he was nervous, but not overly so.  No more than any other kid.
He stood in line to get tickets to go on the dinosaur 'ride'.  He stood in line, more or less patiently until it was his turn to go inside the dinosaur 'ride'.  He gave the man his tickets all by himself. The kid could not wait to hand them over and get inside.   He went in all by himself, the first one inside.  He made sure he knew where I was and then he was ALL OVER that place.  He had a blast.  I was so proud of him.  I did not see the shy retiring fit-throwing child who would want to do his own thing that T kept warning me about.  I saw an active engaged little snot head who watched the other kids and did what they did, even though he waited his turn on a couple things, and made sure he was out of the way of a couple of the older boys, which I don't blame him.
7.  He came right out once the turn was over.  R had swooped E up during N's time inside the dinosaur 'ride' and was trying to get her to talk/engage.  N and I walked around.  He wanted to ride the airplane ride, but you have to be less than 50 lbs to ride it...and we know N is 60 lbs--but I think he's closer to 65 now.  He was very disappointed he couldn't ride the planes, but he was ok w it once I explained he was too big/too heavy.  We walked over to the inflatable jumping thing, where you get inside and jump up and down.  Well, we'd only bought 4 tickets, because the dinosaur thing was 2 tickets per child, whereas the jumping thing was 1 ticket per child.  I wasn't going to let N use all the tickets without at least trying to get E to try something.  I told N only Sister had tickets left and he'd have to ask her.  So he went over and asked her if he could have a ticket so he could do the jumping thing.  She decided she wanted to do that too.
8.  Both kids stood in line together.  N was the first one in.  He gave the guy his ticket and popped right in.  E was right behind.  There was only one other child there, a little girl about two, maybe three.  Her mom called out for her to do something by calling her name and my E stopped dead in her tracks and stared at me in complete confusion.  The little girl's name was Evie.  Evie short for Evelyn.  My Ev thought that was cool.  And everyone went back to jumping again.  N never even stopped.  I was proud of him there too.  He tried very hard to avoid the little girl, even though the little girl tried even harder to avoid him.  Apparently there's a Bubba in her life and he's kinda rough and tumble w her.  Can't blame a girl for being careful.  Again, when the barker cried time, N popped right out and was ready for the next thing.
9.  We walked around after the jumping thing.  N wanted to do the inflatable slide (I think because he didn't do the slide in the dinosaur thing), but we were out of tickets and were not getting anymore. So we walked around.  Mini golf was free though and R and E played the whole field, I believe.  Whereas N played several holes.  Then we'd walk around.  He'd play several holes.  Then we'd walk around.  But he really enjoyed himself.  When we played golf, he followed right behind R and E.  He did the holes they did, because that's how it was done.  He had SO MUCH fun.
10.  He was not ready to go when it was time to leave.  He did not at any point fling himself to the ground.  He did cry all the way back to the car and gave us trouble getting into the car, but R and I both managed to get him in and seat-belted without too much ado.  Once in the car, it wasn't that bad.  Hesettled down pretty quick.  Impressively so.
11.  Where did we go then?  Oh, I believe we went to R's house then, since we had to let his dogs out.  N spent the whole trip trying to make sure we were not taking him back to T's house, but that we really were coming back to my house and that N was staying w me.  He was fine at R's house, nibby as all get out.  N and I played pool for a bit.  I'd forgotten how much I love to play pool.  R took the time to show both kids how to shoot.  E likes pool too.
12.  Then we went to target, since N had a giftcard from Granddad for his birthday to spend.  Sheesh.  We so should not have gone.  It was an expensive trip.  Usually around Halloween I make multiple trips to target.  We buy a couple bags of  pumpkin spice hershey kisses.  I usually let E pick out one Halloween movie at a time each visit.  Nope.  Since I don't have a car, we did a whole bunch of shopping all at once.  N got his birthday stuff, which includes a footie pair of dinosaur jammies, a buzz lightyear set of jammies, a plethora of movies from Shaun the sheep to Alvin and the Chipmunks meet the Wolfman.  He did not want toys.  He did get a lollipop.  He'd been looking for a pumpkin shaped lollipop all day.  We never did find it either.  He was tired in target, but not fit-throwing or anything.
Ev got scooby doo jammies--which I currently cannot get her out of now that they are washed.  Plus black footie jammies w skulls all over them.  Yeah, she is happy now, buddy.  She got socks to wear w her witch costume for Halloween.  I got socks to wear with my Alice costume, if I am allowed to leave the house in it.  It is a bit shorter than I had anticipated, but it is workable.  With the right stuff under it.  I bought 2 t-shirts for me too--because I love halloween and will wear them year round--as will E as well.  N would too if he were allowed to at T's house.  We got a whole bunch of pumpkin spice kisses, most of which I have hidden by this point.  I think we ended up with about ten movies.  Not as bad as it sounds since most of them were $5 a piece.  Plus, they had alot of science and history dvds on sale for like $3-5 each, so I picked up several of those as well for E.  She loves stuff like that.
12.  N fell asleep on the way back to my house.  We stopped at the grocery store.  R and E went in to get a couple things so we could make dinner.  N woke up about the time they made it back.
13.  We had no problems w him at home.  He ate his dinner, after informing me that taco meat requires chips with which to eat it (T had neglected to tell me that when he told me how much N loves taco meat), but it worked out when I broke up a taco shell into pieces so N could eat it that way.
14.  He was happy.  Exhausted but happy.  One major incident and one slight incident (before the apple picking--he was so determined not to eat but to go straight to apple picking he did not want to leave the car when we got to arbys to pick up food--it was faster to go in and order than it was to wait in the drive-thru line)

All in all, I keep seeing N being more calm and more together when R is around.  R does not waffle at all.  He is willing to give space, but once he says this is how it is, he doesn't waver from that.  N has a great deal of appreciation for that.  As does E.

Note on E here.  Yesterday we stopped for dinner at applebee's between looking at houses.  Usually there is an argument about which of them I sit next to, R or E.  Usually E demands to sit next to me, whereas I prefer to sit next to R.  Usually sitting next to R means I actually have room to, ya know, breathe and eat in peace.  Usually.  Yesterday is the very first time she ever sat down on her side all by herself without a question and then proceeded to pick on both R and me.  That is really quite a step there.  It does show how much more secure w things she is now that there is no doubt that R is here to stay.

We went to see the house on three acres again yesterday.  I do believe, barring financing issues, this is the house we are getting.  It is definitely the house we all three want.  Hands down.
Wish us luck.