Archive for June, 2005

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Just look what I’ve done!

June 21, 2005

my best accomplishment

When the phone rings at my house, it starts the next round of the newest family game. Kind of like “Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral,” we play “Playdate, Baby, or Fiber” on a daily basis. There’s never a question of who the call is for – it’s always for me. Anyone calling for my husband just calls his cell phone. He doesn’t even bother answering the house phone anymore.

Playdate

Sometimes, it’s a girlfriend of mine wanting to get together for a girlie playdate (usually involves sushi, beer, shoes, yarn, or all of the above.) Sometimes, it’s a girlfriend calling for a kiddie playdate (it’s an odd thing with kids – its almost easier handle a ton of them together than to deal with just a couple. They fend for themselves and each other if there’s a herd.) Sometimes, it’s my dear friend, JP, looking for an adults only dinner (she and her husband with me and my husband.) Elvis, those nights are so fun -but few and far between.

But, mostly, the phone ringing means work. And the phone’s been ringing off the hook.

BABY

As my business partner says, “look at us -getting all the attention!” We’ve been contacted by oodles and gobs of gestating women in the last couple of weeks. We’ve had a couple of births, a couple of interviews, a million prenatals, and the calendar is getting full. It’s good, what we do. We love it. We’re good at it. And people know it. (SMOOCH, DDFF!)

Sometimes I have to take a step back and think, “Whoa, how the hell did this happen?” I’ll tell you how – years of hard work and sacrifice. I have been into birthwork now for 12 years, in some form or another. I never imagined that someday I would be noticed on the street as “That doula Sarah,” that folks would come up to me and say, “I’ve heard so much about you – I’m so glad to finally meet you,” that people would honestly say to me, “It’s an honor to finally meet you. I cannot wait to have a baby so you can be my doula.” (I swear to Elvis, someone said that to me. I couldn’t believe it.) Just this morning, I got a phone call from an old friend from whom I haven’t heard in years. She said, “I Googled you to see if I could find anything at all about you and you’re fucking all over the place!” Yep. All over the place – in more ways than you can imagine.

Fiber

Last night, I sat back and realized that you could theoretically find my fiber creations (sewn, knitted, etc.) in several states. Missouri, Colorado, California, Minnesota, Ohio, Illinois, Kansas, Texas to name a few. A few weeks ago, I attempted to make a new bag, but it wasn’t looking right, so I finished it up as a hat. It just wanted to be a hat – stupid me for trying to force it to be a bag. Anyway – the hat became a birthday gift. At the birthday party, I got 2 orders for that hat! So, I made several to let the buyer have a choice. They all sold before the buyer got to pick. My husband, in his brilliance, held 2 back so that the buyer would still have his, but he no longer had a choice. I now have orders backed up for this hat that started out as a bag. It’s highly likely that my stuff will be selling in a couple of our local shops by fall. I’m getting phone calls or emails everyday from folks who are asking how much I charge for this shirt, that skirt, this hat, that bag, these pants – and how much do I charge for shipping because they live in a different state! Where the hell are these folks hearing about me? I don’t have a wesbite up yet. I don’t really much care how they’re hearing about me – I’m just stoked that they are!

Again, how did this happen? We grew up poor. Sincerely, I don’t think I had real butter until I was 17 years old, had no idea that cheese should be made mostly of milk instead of vegetable oil, and wheat bread? Forget about it. We were poor, but my parents busted their ass to give us the best we could manage. My Mom made most of my clothes and I grew up at the side of her old Singer sewing machine. I used to design clothes and then tell Mom, “Here’s what I want – you make it.” And she always tried her best, but I could see that she was thinking, “Make it yourself, you little freak! There’s no pattern for that!” So, I started making for myself. Crochet came out of desperation in my late teens and early 20’s. I’m telling you, when you’re in the desert and you’re tripping your tits off, it gets COLD at night. Hats are handy. I’m no longer in my early 20’s and I no longer trip (except over toys,) but crochet still serves me well. Knitting was just a short leap from there.

I’ve done so much more than I ever anticipated. I work for myself. I love what I do. I’m good at it. And no one, NO ONE, tells me what to do, how to do it, and no one does it just like me. Not bad for a gal who never finished college, who lived a rootless existence, who made some foul choices in my days.

I’m accomplished. I’m a business woman. I’m well known and recognized. I’m succesful. But that’s not what makes me most proud.

I’m most proud of the family I’ve built. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if it’s animal, vegetable, mineral, playdate, baby, or fiber. It doesn’t matter when the baby is due, who’s house we’re playing at, what color that baby sling needs to be. At the end of the day, I look at my sleeping sons and think, “those amazing creatures came from me!” As I slide into bed and curl up behind my beloved husband, I think, “This is my partner for life,” and I fall asleep dreaming of what we can accomplish, the four of us, together.

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Sunshiney day

June 20, 2005

I think, every once in awhile, we have to do a reality check. I think that all too many of us are carrying around a grudge and chip on our shoulders. Or, maybe it’s true that we are all just still holding onto that little bit of us that wore black all the time with either Docs or Cons and thought that no one had ever felt the suckage of the vast wastland of our lives nearly as much as we had – you know, the teenager in all of us. But, life goes on, life gets better, and sometimes we need to be happy about it. If you feel good, show it.

I’m feeling fabulous today. So, I’m gonna show it. And, I’m going to take a minute and list a few of the things that I’m so happy about – or, well, things that I’m so glad I have got going for me.

In no particular order:

I can get sushi in my area 7 days a week (although, the quality is better on 6 out of those 7 days.)

My boys are healthy and beautiful and smart.

My boys are incredibly forgiving when I screw up – which is often.

I can read and therefore the whole world is open to me.

I live in a country where I can say that the president is a total tool -and I do it every day.

I like myself overall, and I can face the parts of me that I don’t like in order to fix them.

I honestly am learning to eliminate negativity from my life – and that includes people who suck the life force from me, family members, so-called friends, and all.

I feel safe and loved in my marriage.

I trust my husband implicitly.

He still makes my knees shake, my toes curl, and my heart race. And all of that happens just with the thought of him. I’m keeping what happens when he’s in the room private. Heh Heh Heh.

My family has a roof over our heads, food in our bellies, and love in our hearts.

I can hear music.

I have dear girlfriends who fit the following roles: The Cheerleader (you can do it, Sarah,) the Realist (are you out of your fucking mind, girl?,) the impulsive one (oh, Sarah, you just gotta buy that! When else are you going to find a glow in the dark can opener?,) the caretaker (You have cramps? I’m on my way. Do you want one pint of Ben and Jerry’s or two?) The drop of the hat girl, (I’ll be there in 2 seconds – do I have to put on pants first?) the smokey boozers (girls night out, Sarah. I’ll pick you up and give you an ibuprofin and pedialyte IV.) I have girlfriends who inform me of new books, new music, new food. I have girlfriends who fill all those parts of me that need filling and that my husband just cannot fill. I am blessed to be around women, to love women, to appreciate women, and to NOT FEEL THREATENED by other women. I’m grateful to you all, ladies.

And I love men.

I have learned to be still and feel the air on my skin.

I get to see babies be born.

I love fibers and know what to do with them.

I have folks who will read this.

I could go on, but I have a kiddo who needs some lemonade and then we’re going to paint wooden turtles. We might go swimming later or we might take a nap. But, whever we do, it’ll be a sunshiney day.

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Daisy Head

June 20, 2005

Daisy Head

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Flower Power

June 20, 2005

Flower Power

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Sunday Morning Coming Down

June 19, 2005

Well, I woke up Sunday morning
With no way to hold my head that didn’t hurt.
And the beer I had for breakfast wasn’t bad,
So I had one more for dessert.
Then I fumbled in my closet through my clothes
And found my cleanest dirty shirt.
Then I washed my face and combed my hair
And stumbled down the stairs to meet the day.

I’d smoked my mind the night before
With cigarettes and songs I’d been picking.
But I lit my first and watched a small kid
Playing with a can that he was kicking.
Then I walked across the street
And caught the Sunday smell of someone frying chicken.
And Lord, it took me back to something that I’d lost
Somewhere, somehow along the way.

On a Sunday morning sidewalk,
I’m wishing, Lord, that I was stoned.
‘Cause there’s something in a Sunday
That makes a body feel alone.
And there’s nothing short a’ dying
That’s half as lonesome as the sound
Of the sleeping city sidewalk
And Sunday morning coming down.

In the park I saw a daddy
With a laughing little girl that he was swinging.
And I stopped beside a Sunday school
And listened to the songs they were singing.
Then I headed down the street,
And somewhere far away a lonely bell was ringing,
And it echoed through the canyon
Like the disappearing dreams of yesterday.

On a Sunday morning sidewalk,
I’m wishing, Lord, that I was stoned.
‘Cause there’s something in a Sunday
That makes a body feel alone.
And there’s nothing short a’ dying
That’s half as lonesome as the sound
Of the sleeping city sidewalkAnd Sunday morning coming down.

Thanks, Kris, for writing the words.
Thanks, Johnny, for giving it soul.
I know exactly what you mean.
I know exactly how you feel.

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What women want

June 17, 2005
Monkey and Sass
If you’ve read any of my recent posts, you’ll remember that some folks who are important to me are splitting up. Naturally, this gets me to thinking and I have to admit, I’ve come very close to spilling some secrets, sisters. I’ve nearly told the man the truth about what women want. Forget Martha-gate, I’m on the verge of some serious insider trading. I feel, however, that it needs to be out there because I do, after all, have compassion for those poor lost souls trying to figure out women. So, here it is.
Girls want to be needed. Women want to be wanted.
When we’re girls and young women (really, still just glorified girls,) we think we should be needed. That’s what we want from our young men (boys with patchy facial hair and that one lonely wirey chest hair of which they are so proud.) There’s nothing more romantic to the young woman than to hear, “I need you so much, baby. I’m nothing without you.” When we’re young, we want to feel like we are EVERYTHING to a young man, that the world revolves in our over sprayed hair and our Daisy Dukes. We like to “fix” our guys or, at least, show them the way. We love guys who are tormented and write Nyquil poetry (still lovin’ you Gegan, wherever you are,) we love guys who are just “misunderstood.” We want our guys to make us the center of their universe and the subject of their 3 chord garage band ballads. We long for the 3 AM phone call (for which we are grounded for a week,) because it’s the only time said young man can sneak a phone call to us since his folks busted him with the dime bag.
So, our young men grow into full grown men believing that this is still what we want. But, oh they are sorely mistaken.
When we become women, we want to be wanted. Never is this more true than for a woman who has been married for a time and MOST ESPECIALLY if she has children. We’re through with being needed. That penny has lost it’s shine long ago. We’ve been needed to pour juice, wipe bottoms, kiss boo boos, fold laundry, drive the car pool, find the work clothes, make dinner, attend the oh so fun office parties and dinners with the boss, sew on buttons, and be thrilled with the three minutes of love that seem to happen once a month and are over almost before we enter the room.
Nope, the “I need you” boat has passed. We’re cruising on the “I want you” ocean liner. And here, gentlemen, I give you the secret:
The difference between needing someone and wanting someone is this – when you need someone, it’s all about what you NEED from that person, ie, what that person can do for you. When you WANT someone, it’s all about what you can do for (with) that person.
Confused? Read on.
We don’t want to complete anyone. We want someone to come to us whole already. We don’t want to be needed because, dammit, being needed is constant work on someone else. Screw that. We want someone who can fix his own dinner, answer his own phone, figure out which pants match which shirt, can make a decision, have a hobby, whatever. We’ve been the center of the universe to young boys and children for YEARS and we’re done with it, if we have a choice. We want a man to say, “Damn, baby, you’ve been working so hard. Go ahead, get some sushi with your girlfriends. I’ll make my own dinner and play poker with the guys. You stay out as long as you want and I’ll see you soon.” We want a guy to say, “Hey, check it out – I figured that if you put water on the burner of the stove, it’ll boil if it’s turned on. Guess what all you can do with boiling water! It’s amazing! Here, let me show you!” We want a guy who will share the deepest part of himself with us, not because he needs us to hear it, not because we’re the only one he can trust with it, no, we want him to share himself with us because he can, he wants to, and because listening is enough. There’s more to providing than bringing home a paycheck. We want you to give as much as you take. While jewelry is nice (oh Elvis, it’s nice) we want you to give us things that you cannot hold in your hand.
We want a partner, not a project.
We want to *compliment* a man, not complete a man because a real woman is whole in and of herself and needs no completion – and we’d like the same in return.
Come to us whole or don’t come to us at all. We’ve raised enough men in our lifetimes. We’re done raising them. We want to walk beside you, not lead you. We want to delight in who you are, not help you figure that out.
No fear, men of the world, you are winners in this, too! Self sufficiency is an amazing tool to have in your arsenol. BUT, here’s yet another secret: women are much more likely to do things for someone if they don’t need us to do it. We’ll be so much more giving if it comes to us organically and not because it won’t get done if we don’t do it ourselves. It’s so much more enjoyable to make dinner for someone who can feed themselves than it is to make dinner for someone who will walk around like a lost puppy dog for hours complaining of being hungry.
WANT us, gentlemen. That’s it. Just WANT us. Delight in us, don’t demand from us. Let us hold your hand, not your leash. I assure you, if you can feed your own bellies and your own mind, together we can feed each others souls.
Okay, girls, I’ve spilled the beans. But, in all fairness, we cannot get what we want if they have no clue what that is. Show this to your guy. If he’s worth his salt, I’ll meet you at Osaka and we’ll stay out till dawn.
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One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small (the remix)

June 16, 2005

Americans are fat. According to the Weight-control Information Network (WIN,) a division of the National Institutes of Health, 129.6 million (64.5%) adults over the age of 20 are overweight. 61.3 million (30.5%) are obese. 15.3% of children (ages 6-11) and 15.5% of adolescents (12-19) are overweight. This blows me away. WHAT ARE WE DOING TO OURSELVES? WHAT ARE WE DOING TO OUR CHILDREN? If I hear one more person say, “Oh, my child isn’t fat – he’s just big boned,” I’m gonna flip out. Yeah, he’s got big bones – and he’s got some big fat on those big bones! Get that bacon double cheeseburger out of his hand – it’s bigger than his head! Ever hear of a damned carrot?

Don’t get me wrong. I know that for some folks, it’s entirely a medical issue. And oh, I know how easy it is to be one of the 129.6 million folks who are overweight. I was overweight for years. I love food. I LOVE FOOD. By the way, have I mentioned that I LOVE FOOD?

But I love myself more.

I’ve been dealing with weight issues my whole life. Seems that I’ve always been too fat, too thin, or pregnant. To be honest, I enjoyed the aspect of pregnancy that allowed my weight to balloon and no one batted an eye at it. When I reached, 160 pounds, however, it became an issue. At 5 foot 4 inches (on a good day,) I looked like a cube when I was 160 pounds. When I gave birth to my last child, I lost a bit of weight but not nearly what I would have liked. I thought, “Oh hell, I breastfeed my kids forever, it’s normal and neccessary to keep some of the weight on.” Then Stealth weaned. I lost a little more and thought, “Awesome!” But I couldn’t break that 150 pound mark. Just couldn’t. Until –

One night I was laying on the floor outside my boys’ room (to scare away the monsters, you know,) and I thought, “Damn, I’m bored. I wonder what would happen if I did a sit up?” So I did one and guess what happened? NOTHING. Nothing happened. The world did not stop spinning, gravity did not suddenly reverse, my belly button didn’t fall off. So I thought, “Hmm. I guess I’ll do another one.” So I did. And then I did another. And another. And then I moved my legs some. And then it occurred to me to do some every night. So I did. I decided to not eat the vat and half of ice cream that night. And I thought that maybe water instead of soda would be okay and if I had to have a soda, maybe one without so much sugar would work as well. The world kept on turning, I still was on the floor and not the ceiling and, yep, belly button still intact. But my pants didn’t fit anymore. Hmmm. Long story short, I’ve lost about 35 pounds since Thanksgiving of 2004, the majority of it coming off in 2 months (February and March 2005.)

Everyone has asked me what I did to lose the weight. When I tell them the truth – I ate less and moved more – they look at me with disbelief and disgust. Everyone is looking for a magic answer, the magic pill, that makes them lose the weight. I don’t have a magic pill for you (well, not one that will make you lose weight, anyhow.)

From CNN.com (Friday, June 10)
In a no-nonsense approach to weight loss, the American Heart Association’s new diet book offers options for the weak. Can’t give up pizza? Try eating two slices instead of your regular three. Craving ice cream? Try a sorbet.
“The intent on doing this was to try to get around the faddish diets,” said Dr. Robert Eckel, president-elect of the American Heart Association and professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “The theme is based on behavior, nutrition and physical activity.”


SURPRISE! I guess all that we were taught in 8th grade health class is true. What’s true today is the same that’s been true forever and will continue to be true for the rest of time. There’s no secret – eat from your brain, not from your heart. Move your body. The cold hard fact is that it took us all time to get to the weight we are, it will take time to get to weight we want to be. It’s hard work, but it can be fun, (Go ahead, tell me that giving away all your fat clothes isn’t a hoot!) It takes determination. It takes effort. But I’m worth it – and so are you.

You’re more than welcome to come and sit on my floor and see if you, too, can do a sit up without chaging the rotation of the Earth. I’m sure there are more monsters to scare away -they’re probably hiding out with the White Rabbit.

New note from Mamakohl:
I’m sure there are folks out there who will rupture a blood vessel in their foreheads reading this post. I hope you have insurance because if this pisses you off, just wait – you have no idea what might come flying out of my mouth / fingertips at any moment.

Seriously, if you have issues with it, seems to me that it’s your problem and not mine. I think it would be wiser use of your time to examine why you have such issues than it would be for you to use the time to email me your frustrations. I’ve got enough of my own, thank you very much.