Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Yes! to carrots

Last night I went to Walgreens. Not feeling super great but there were some things I couldn't wait any longer to get...like toilet paper. I decided to buy a new face cleanser and spent some time perusing the enormous selection. After I FINALLY pick one, I turn around and there is a display of all the boxed sets for 50% off...including several of my rejected choices. Square one. The one I finally decide on doesn't have a price. It does, however, have a little announcement that it is a $30 value...so when the clerk grudgingly did a price check for me and the amount was $19.99 it stood to reason that was the full price. The clerk did not understand my reasoning. It's scanning $19.99, the cost is $19.99. Didn't want to check the rack, the sign, the location, nothing. After a deep breath and a smile, I asked if there was someone who could help me because this item is very blatantly on a 50% off rack and very obviously not ringing up 50% off. Two customers later and he still hadn't called anyone to check it out for me. When I again requested that he send someone to help me, he rolled his eyes. Put his hands on the counter and after an exasperated "Why" on a great big exhale rolled his eyes again. Again. I would like to state that until that point and even a little past I was super kind and patient. I get that retail is tough. I get that it is even tougher during the holidays. I get that it is even tougher than tough after the holiday when people are doing returns, etc. I was there at one point and I know how it feels to be on the other side of the counter. I don't, however, know how it feels to be rude to a customer on purpose and roll my eyes right at them while they watch.

Then there's this...

I'm Sicilian. Red-headed. Gemini. And some punk just rolled his eyes at me.

But I held it in check long enough to laugh it off. He rolled his eyes...that big tough Meanie McMeanerson.

Roll away.

Watch this.

There were words, there were clenched teeth and phony smiles. There were explanations and there might have been veiled threats. There was a manager, there were three extra keystrokes that equaled a justified 50% discount. Nyah. Nyah.

I got home, used the whole routine of products that I just got for $9.99 and LOVED it. Not only did I love the product, I loved the $5 off coupon inside.

Oh, yes. I did the unthinkable. I went back. I jumped through the same hoops...with much less pomp and circumstance this time around. I used the coupon and got the next three for $4.99 each...and I had to buy them one at a time so I could pull the coupon out of each one to use on the next. It was comical. It took everything I had to not be smug and toss back the attitude. I'm proud that I took the high road paved with grace, dignity and kindness.

But then I wrote this blog.

and ~Nyah. Nyah.~ is hovering unuttered on the tip of my tongue. Again.

Cause I have four of these now...

Monday, December 28, 2009

A day of decadence...

♥waking up sloooowly...cuddling with the minis and easing into the day.

♥lunch with the witches...homemade tomato basil soup with goat cheese and croutons hot out of the oven...energy work and emotional work and a trip to her little library.

♥my view as the day drew to a close...
my guilty pleasures...menage a trios wine (grapes from three reds), seafood and Weeds on the TV...there were also fuzzy socks involved and a cat on my lap but they ended up on the cutting room floor. ~sigh~ oh, what a night.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Three beauty-full things after a 10 hour workday...

♥math I can totally handle...throwing a temper tantrum and still being loved + respected = understood.

♥sushi, sake and solitude.

♥my big fluffy cloud of a bed.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

At Last...


That's my Glo Bug. For her and I, it was love at first sight. It took a while for it to make sense but then we realized that being red headed Geminis...how could we NOT love each other? She was a few years my senior and time after time I tried to shove her into the maternal role. She wouldn't have anything to do with it. She had her own idea of who she wanted to be in my life. She was my hip, stylish, sassy slang guru. She was an inspiration and a loving kick in the ass just when I needed it most and wanted it least. She was a British babe with an adventurous life and a love story to envy. She was my friend.

About six months ago, we had an intense discussion about end of life issues and decisions. It didn't strike me as odd since we worked together and dealt with these things on a regular basis. She shared with me her personal preferences, and I disagreed voraciously. She defended her stance and we agreed to disagree. Her great love story had ended with the death of her husband and she was ready to be with him again. Although she would never purposefully end her life, she was anxious to join him. We had the typical discussions about spiritual beliefs and the big ole "what ifs." She was adamant and had total faith in what she knew the afterlife held for her. She smiled whimsically when she described it in terms of a movie we both loved: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. The main character falls in love with an old sea Captain's ghost who lives in the house she buys. She lives her whole life loving him but living her life fully. It was the final scene that Glo was talking about...where Mrs. Muir is aged and sitting in a chair beside the fire. She has a book or a cup of tea in her wrinkled hand. You see her lower it and the object slip to the floor and you know her life has come to its end. Then you see her hand raise up, a much younger version of that hand...and it meets another. You see the distinguished Captain standing there with her hand resting on his and then you see her youthful face full of love. There are smiles and they turn and walk away together. There is a difference in Glo's story. Her love takes her in his arms and they dance. She even knew the song he'd sing to her.

At Last (by Etta James)

At last, my love has come along
My lonely days are over
And life is like a song
Oh, yeah, at last
The skies above are blue
My heart was wrapped up in clovers
The night I looked at you
I found a dream that I could speak to
A dream that I can call my own
I found a thrill to rest my cheek to
A thrill that I have never known
Oh, yeah when you smile, you smile
Oh, and then the spell was cast
And here we are in heaven
For you are mine
At last

I'm missing her already, my Glo Bug. I'm listening to her song and there are tears...but don't get me wrong. I'm crying for ME not for her. I know she is exactly where she wants to be...At Last.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Rejoice, strain, repeat.

♥An announcement over tea...an upcoming May Day celebration of a love that was a long time coming.

♥Said tea...

♥Two consecutive nights of hilarious shit sprinkled with reality, love, lessons, readings, history, beauty, dreams and an occasional restless spirit.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Waiting, hanging out & history.

♥An estimate, an offer, a counter-offer, a request and an obligation...and being able to wait before deciding to move on any of them...giving myself the gift of time. Nothing HAS to be decided in THIS EXACT MOMENT if it doesn't feel like this is the moment to decide it.

♥Network issues making text messages impossible...meaning actual focus and attention and family time tonight with these two teenaged texting fanatics. Yay for solar flares or seismic action or psychic interference or whatever phenomenon blessed us tonight.

♥Coke. Ice cold. In a can. It still tastes like 1988.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Signing, sighing and sighing some more...

♥Signing my name eleventy bazillion times...I have a FABULOUS signature...now let's hope all those signatures get me this FABULOUS farmhouse I made an offer on today.

♥Movies set in Scotland. Actors? Lines? Plot? Pshaw...I'm just looking at the setting!

♥Peppermint ice cream with Magic Shell. Mmmm.

Past, Present, Perfect!

I guess I forgot to hit publish last night...whoops.

Yesterday's three beauty-full things:

♥Songs that make me think of my dad...remind me who I am, where I came from and that he's still such a big part of me.

♥A break in the middle of the workday...Indian food on a park bench, sun on my face, protection from the crisp winter air by my guardians: fuzzy boots, a homemade scarf and text messages full of love. :)

♥Me, Momma, Babygirl and Bub sitting at a table at the casino buffet celebrating my baby's 15th birthday, laughing til we cried over inside jokes and things I'm SURE no one else would think is funny. We ROCK!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Quoi, qui, oui!

♥A day full of the good kind of busy...where you know you are right where you're supposed to be doing exactly what you were put there to do...even if the four best words to describe the day are: death, feces & yelling Ukrainians.

♥Involuntary fluttering of the eyelashes and downward shy glances bringing to my attention that HELLO all of the sudden this guy has become attractive to me. Ut oh.

♥The movie Julie/Julia...watching it over a Costco appetizer sampler platter and giggles. Oh la la!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Starting slowly...

This week turned out to be as much about getting as it was giving. I had given myself permission to take it slow, to do even small acts of kindness as a part of the spirt of giving this holiday season. Some days it was hard to even do the small things. I would come home from a ten hour work day that drained my soul only to face cooking a meal, keeping my teenagers on track and cleaning up our home...falling onto the couch exhausted before it was even eight o'clock. My one day off? Spent in bed for the most part...recovering. It simply begged the question, is this how I want to live my life? Am I really LIVING MY LIFE...or have the "musts" taken over? Again.

Practicing patience with myself, I worked these two goals of mine into one big project this past week. I did something every day to bring spots of holiday love into other people's hearts but I also made sure each day that I took a step toward bringing my life closer to the level of lovely I desire. It was a symbiotic thing...the more grounded, settled, happy, fulfilled and purposeful I felt, the easier it was to give to others. The more I gave to others, the easier it was to make lists, make plans, have targeted conversations with people who could and would help me get back on track. By Friday there was a tickle at the edges of my life that felt suspiciously like hope.

My giving this week was simple. This week I was a kind driver. I slowed or stopped to let people merge into "first of the month traffic" here in the county seat. I gave up great parking spots by waving others into them ahead of me or by passing up the empty really great ones. I smiled at other drivers and waved if they smiled back. They were small things and small connections, but they felt real and they didn't feel so small. It was what I could do given where I was mentally and emotionally. Each connection seemed to feed some starving part of me...giving me courage to take the steps I need to in order to become a more energetic person capable of giving even more.

This past week was rough and taught me to be patient and kind to myself...to remember who I am instead of who my paycheck dictates that I be. I'm still part of the equation! I realized that there can be compromise, and once I put it out there, the compromise began and the rough edges of my days began to soften. I look forward to this next week of small ways to make a difference this holiday season and I wonder what the next great eye opener will be...if the difference is in the giving or the getting...and if it really matters as long as the interconnectedness of each of our experiences continues to be honored in the process.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's almost that time again...

I had a ball last December...and the December before that too.

Not because it's my boy child's birthday although that part is always fun.

Not because it's hat & scarf weather although I adore busting those fuzzy bits of love out of their summer hiding places.

Not because of trees or lights or ornaments or any of the holiday trappings although those things contain their own magic.

It's because of a little girl named Laura who two years ago helped me stop hating December. She introduced me to the idea of doing for others...spending the 25 days leading up to Christmas making a difference...even a small difference...every day.

It turned out that the difference I was making was in me. That finding out the season could be about crossing lines, breaking boundaries and learning that most people out there cherish connections more than just about anything else. That December could be guilt-free...not about obligations or facades or pretending to believe in all the confusion and contradiction that made my head spin every year. That being a parent didn't have to mean I had to continue traditions that made no sense to me just to give my kids normalcy. This felt so much more REAL to me...a tradition that I could be proud to introduce my family to. A tradition about giving back and acknowledging the blessings we forget about on a day-to-day basis. Our true Thanksgiving now starts on December 1st.

I don't know what little Laura is doing these days, but I know that her influence on this grown-up continues and her legacy grows with each moment, each person, each act and each smile...that's a mighty big change she's made...and a legacy to be proud of.

December is only days away...and instead of dreading it, I'm waiting with the same excitement I used to get waiting for Santa...what a lovely difference.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Just a peek...

at all the lovely 'round here...








and that's only one little bitty glimpse...SO much to be thankful for!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Grateful for...reminders, selflessness, and surprises.

♥Being reminded that the little box that I tend to think things "should" fit into limits the love, adventure and promise that lays ahead each day with each person in each moment.

♥Small gestures that make GREAT BIG impressions.

♥A soul sister letting me sit in her living room and work through what I needed to work through while knowing exactly what was going on before I even opened my mouth. Safe space. Time. Love. Patience. Understanding. No judgment. No big deal. Forgiveness and selflessness. An example to emulate.

♥An unexpected plan from an unexpected source that rocked my socks and reminded me to not think small. Not be small minded...not expect small mindedness no matter what, no matter what, NO MATTER WHAT.

♥Three straight days of being surrounded by fun Fun FUN!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Surprise, surprise and SURPRISE!!!

♥ A bright sunshine-y day that started out with Ugs, tights and a scarf but quickly became spaghetti straps, sunglasses and the top down on the convertible.

♥ Smooth transitions full of love and learning, understanding and patience...where only recently there had been competition and resentment.

♥ My girl, in her postop state...showing her astounding self-assurance, confidence, trust in those she loves and comfort in her own skin...even now when it's not quite exactly who she is. It is who she is RIGHT NOW and she's cool with that. She teaches me...daily...if I'm smart enough to pay attention to the lesson.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Lazy, music and possibilities...

♥ A three day weekend of home cooking, movies, hanging with my four legged family members and eating potato chips in bed!

♥ Floater. ~sigh~

♥ Reaching out...and being reached back for. Hope.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fuzzy ears, diagreeing and clean floors...

three beautiful things about this weekend...

♥ Wearing black fuzzy cat ears to work all day on Halloween...then forgetting and only remembering when people who logically shouldn't be smiling due to subject matter were grinning while we spoke. If only I could wear small smile makers EVERY day...

♥ Holding back my tears and holding my heart in check while I told the teenager "No" and stuck by it...and her tears as she realized that the world didn't end...I just hope someday she appreciates me slowing down the growing up part every now and then.

♥ After a weekend that contained a house FULL of teenagers, asking that they pick up their messes...and coming home to vacuumed floors. A little slice of heaven. :)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Round-about, squeals and cleaning...

♥ Hair in a ponytail, big black sunglasses on, top down, the new Dave Matthews on the iPod and giggling as I took the round-about three times...with a slight squeal to the tires on the third trip.

♥ A big party across the street for our 7 year old neighbor Maka Hiepo (Translated: beloved firstborn) complete with wafts of curry drifting on a breeze and bounce house squeals making us smile.

♥ Each of us in our rooms, organizing and cleaning...shouting funny finds and anecdotes between songs as we worked.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Three days worth of Beauty...

♥ Two whirlwind days of reminiscing, catching up and revisiting people and places that went into shaping who I am today...

♥ Super affordable, super cute jewlery...a whole mall of it!

♥ The thunderstorm I specifically ordered from this great big state!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Three Beauty-full Things...

♥ Texan humidity. My skin and hair LOVE it!

♥ Spicy boiled crawfish. O. M. G. In my heaven crawfish comes with hush puppies and okra!

♥ Seeing my lovely after almost a year...hopping off of a plane and right smack dab into her life...her LOVELY life!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Today's Three...

♥ My boss, recognizing that today's chaos is near impossible for me to walk away from and that even if I do walk, I would carry the unfinished business of the day with me...her eleventh hour telephone call when she's rushing herself just to say "leave it here, let it go, have a great vacation, YOU ARE APPRECIATED." sigh.

♥ My kids' enthusiastic reactions to my new cut and color. I passed the most important test.

♥ Overstuffed suitcases standing at attention next to the front door...my pink & lime green polka dotted luggage!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Confusing Tuesday with Thursday...

because tomorrow is my FRIDAY! And I'm off for a BIG adventure...

Three beauty-FULL things...

♥ A busy, full day at work that made 10 hours fly right on by...but those 10 hours were amazing...my path was crossed with the bravest of brave souls who inspired me with her love of life, her acknowledgment of her personal truth and her decision to only allow it to create a richer appreciation for this human experience and all the wonder it can hold.

♥ A pamper appointment at the end of the work day...and another connection...this time where MY eyes were the ones opened and I discovered a treasure right under my nose. Not only because she can make me beauty-full but because she is, through and through, beauty-FULL!

♥ Packing for the great big adventure. Overpacking and giggling about it. :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

So much beauty!

I can't pick just three beauty-full things about this weekend...so I will categorize.

♥ Time. There just seemed to be so much time. Time as a family, time alone, time with each of my children independently, time with their rowdy amazing posse, time to sleep, time to work on projects and time to do some road tripping, hiking and movies. I can't believe this was a weekend just like all the others...it felt like three rolled into one!

♥ Projects. The den was transformed from the catch-all space to a fabulous shared space for creativity, socializing, quiet and exercise. Oh, and storage...the closet is full but organized completely...things are findable! The herb garden is coming along beautifully. The path in the back yard is looking more and more whimsical each time I work on it. We created a family budget. Babygirl's room looks feminine and unique and oh-so-her after I painted it last weekend and she has been decorating since...it now is clearly her space. Lastly, I imposed a timeline on my writing so that I can mark the whole Dewey Decimal Number ordeal off of this year's birthday list.

♥ Treasures, both gained and given. We acquired an old trunk from the "free" pile at a yard sale three doors down that turned out to be FULL of antique camera equipment! We marked the kids' old beds with "free" signs and sighed hugely when they disappeared from the front yard. We each filled big black trash bags with items to donate to the local community resource center...letting go of so many material items that clutter and crowd...journaling as we went and taking pictures to treasure the memories instead of the items representing them. Knowing our donations will find their way into the lives of those who will find them to be treasures themselves. And of course, the time and the projects listed above were some of the best treasures of the weekend. Remembering to treasure each other...and to send that love out into the world. :)

It was truly an amazing weekend...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Three Beauty-full things...

♥ Staying in jammies til NOON!

♥ My babygirl doing the right thing not for the purpose of doing the right thing but just doing it in the course of being her...and then crying when I told her what she did and how it affected me. Sigh.

♥ Recognizing when ripples sent out into the Universe make small changes in a positive direction just how they should.

Oops, it's Friday...Four. Four beauty-full things...

♥ ROCKIN' with my lovely...

Lessons Learned

I revisited my old blog. This excerpt from November 1, 2008 jumped off of the page at me...

"C painted my toenails in room full of people completely matter-of-factly...the singularly most intimate experience of my life at that time. C was a mess...but he taught me that with enough tequila, you can ignore any mess. C was guitar lessons in the park, sushi and saki with chopsticks in my hair. He was late nite excursions to the observatory and spur-of-the-moment trips to Sonic, 45 minutes away, for cherry limeade. He was my travelling partner-in-crime and 9 pm naps with 1 am trips to the bar afterward. He was lazy Sundays in bed watching season after season of Desperate Housewives. He was dancing and dancing and dancing some more. He was hangover food and gourmet meals. He was my prince who put me on a pedestal and made me feel like the only girl in the universe. But I wasn't. It took a year and finally legal intervention to get him away after I found that out. C left me with the "if onlys" and a firm fear of trusting too much. A year later, I'm sick of C's legacy and I've decided to abandon that firm fear and replace it with hope."

At the time I wrote that, I was one year contact and tear-free, over C.

I'm ruminating today about how sometimes it's truly necessary to revisit the lesson to remind yourself of how far you've come.



C and I recently attempted to rekindle our friendship after almost two years of little to no contact. That felt reasonable, two full years of healing and living and learning. His life appeared settled and his new girl seemed suited for him quite nicely. As we got to know each other again, it became pretty clear that he was unsettled and unhappy. It became even more clear that he was searching for something more...and we began to fall into old patterns. When I took the time to catch my breath and take a good hard look at things, I realized that it was time for us to stop, look & listen, to remember the old lessons together and avert disaster.

My idealistic imaginings of a loving conversation in pear shaped tones full of maturity and kindness and an eye on how to create a safe and loving friendship didn't quite pan out. Actually he became angry and chose to return to our previous state of no contact, all or nothing. I cried for days...not out of grief or sadness or longing. I cried tears of betrayal again...but this time it was me who betrayed me. I had closed my left eye with purpose and intent to ignore what I knew, what I had lived and what I was seeing once again. I had chosen to hope and I had betrayed my own truth, my own beliefs and my own responsibility to myself to live my life with eyes wide open.

I am so glad to have given myself permission to revisit that old lesson. I am so much more than the girl who cried over him two years ago, the girl who wrote about him one year ago and even the girl who attempted to be his friend this time around. I'm the girl who knows herself, her own values and limits. I'm the girl who knows when to smile kindly and use soft words but own only what is mine. I'm the girl who doesn't have to run anymore. I'm the girl who can stand still and be me...love who and where I am and let the storm around me run its own course for its own reasons without FEMA having to come in to fix the damage.

I'm the girl who loves this life with all of its amazing challenges and adventures. I'm the girl who can't wait to see what lesson comes next...and knows with absolute certainty that it will be wonder-full.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Three beauty-full things...

♥ ANOTHER day off.

♥ Connections...coffee at the casino, emails between old friends, understanding between close friends, a visit from a lovely friend and my kids home after the long weekend away.

♥ Poland and Japan on the dinner table...multiculturalism at its best!


All things new contain a certain element of anxiety...wondering how things will go or what obstacles might arise...fearing failure or appearing inept...lack of certainty that what is around the next bend is really what you're prepared for.

Of course, there are ways to prepare...you can talk to people who have 'been there, done that' and learn from their experiences...you can research and plan and plan some more...you can opt out and change your mind or you can call for reinforcements to hold your hand.

The reality is that new is only new once. After once, you may not be an expert but the anxiety level is certainly lower and depending on how the experience went...your confidence level will be different as well.

To me the exciting thing is that life throws new opportunities in our paths all the time. Sometimes when we're ready and most of the time when we feel least prepared for them. Other times we go out of our way to seek those new experiences out with determination.

Today I sought out this forum. I sought out connection and communication and community. I'm anxious and scared and nervous...and hope-full and joy-full and so ready to take a chance, take a leap and hope for a tribe of lovelies that will seek connection as well.

Lovelies, are you out there?