Archive for May, 2008


Hello there, Summer!

May 26, 2008

Last week it was cold. Seriously. It rained all week and got down into the 40s at night. Yesterday brought Summer – almost 90 degrees, I think, and air so thick you could stir it with a spoon. Welcome to the Midwest.

The camping trip last week was remarkably fabulous. Seriously, I think it may have been my 2nd favorite camping trip of my life – the first being when B and I canoed across a lake and bushwhacked a clearing for our tent and camped primitively sans kids. Last week was fantastic camping – kids were thrilled and helpful, Hank was Zen, B was in a great mood, and we didn’t leave anything at home! Hank stayed the whole time, a might sight better than previous attempts that were aborted after he barked for a solid hour and I ended up taking him home. He roamed the woods. He carried firewood. He lay by my side in the dirt and warmed himself at the fire. It got much colder that night than we expected and had some rather frantic moments while rearranging sleeping locations at 2 in the morning, but you just cannot beat warming yourself by a fire late at night and early in the morning when it’s cold out there. Much preferable to need the fire to stay cozy than to need it to control the bugs. I’m sure we’ll be repeating again soon.

JP came up Saturday night and we had a great time – and awesome sushi.  It’s a shame how quickly one can spend $30 on sushi without even realizing it.   Can’t wait to do it again!

I went shopping yesterday to get some new stuff for the gym.  It’s so strange – a few months ago, I thought I had plenty of stuff for the gym.  I was dead wrong.  I didn’t have hardly anything!  Old, ragged, tired yoga pants have have seen a few too many sun salutations and run ins with Rodney Yee, a few t-shirts, some tired sneakers.  But hell, it’s a gym, right?  How often do you need gym clothes?  Apparently, if you’re me, you need gym clothes 5 or days a week.  I’m hooked!  As B says, “The gym is your fishing!”  How right he is.  So I went and bought some high end sports bras (if you know me you know why I need the high end ones,) some new workout pants, a few work out t-shirts (special material for those of us who sweat like stuck pigs while burning calories and building muscle mass,) and two pair of these:

It really is an atrocious picture – who the hell stands like that and looks like that?  Pshaw.  In case it doesn’t show properly, it’s like skorts (skirt with shorts under) but it’s specifically made for working out.  I don’t know why and I cannot figure it out for the life of me because it doesn’t make sense, but I really like these things a thousand times better than shorts.  I got these funky black ones with a zebra stripe short underneath and then some crazy gray ones that look either like they have flying birds all over them or it’s some sort of gray scale psychedelic camo.  Regardless, I’m happy with them.

But most importantly, however, I needed better shoes.  The ones I’d been wearing were wayyyyyy cheap to begin with and had no real support even in the beginning – imagine their condition after a year or more.  GAH!  I spent an hour or more trying on a zillion pair of shoes and finally found a pair that really felt supportive, had great reviews, plenty of mesh for ventilation, excellent support, and they looked kind of fun!  I was quite proud of my choice when I discovered that they are the same shoe JM Bill wears and that freak has been running for decades!  Let me introduce to you my new feet – Asics Gel-240 TRs:

I used to think it was impossible to fight while listening to The Grateful Dead.  I was wrong.  My kids have it mastered.

I have dropped 100+ pounds of stress, pain, anxiety, frustration, rage, and worry and have never ever felt better.  I will never pick it up again.  I have even told the folks who have held that weight with me that I would no longer be carrying any part of it, won’t even talk about that weight, and don’t bother telling me about the weight because I don’t care – it doesn’t exist to me anymore.  VIVA EMPOWERMENT!  Amazing how locking a door behind you can open a whole world ahead of you and I’m focusing on just that – the world ahead of me!

I’m addicted to Cesar Millan.  I don’t see any problem with that.  And neither does Hank.

I never knew how much boys eat.  Seriously.  My kids are growing like weeds and every week we run out of groceries sooner and sooner.  WTF?  Pretty soon they are gonna have to either learn to garden or eat air ’cause I’m running out of options!  HOLY CRACKBALLS, the baby out eats me and he’s 6!

Yes, Crackballs is a technical term.

I’m detoxing this week – no caffeine, no booze, nothing.  My cells feel gunky.  I’ll be really interested to see how this affects my workouts this week.  I’m assuming they will be nicely steamed hardcore with a side order of kick ass and some C’mon-Just-Ten-More sorbet for dessert.  I feel badly for my shower and my washing machines – they are gonna be taking a beating.  I’m gonna be dowsing myself in Fabreeze.  Consider yourself warned.

I’m hungry.  Think I’m gonna go eat a peach.


A very cool 4 minute video clip

May 23, 2008

This little clip has become almost viral around the unschoolers lists to which I belong.  I got it in one email from one group and by the end of the day I had gotten from 3 others and here I am passing it on here!

The last 40 seconds or so are irrelevant – about some other dude’s body language (although I agree with the Andrew Denton – he does seem a little shady there.)  Feel free to ignore that part.

I wish I could embed the clip, but that doesn’t seem possible or is beyond my grasp, so here’s the link!


Ah, bad blogger, good life.

May 20, 2008

I’ve been a neglectful blogger lately.  There was a time when I had an entry every day and most of them were profound or at least thought provoking.  Lately, I just don’t have the desire to write here all that often. Well, no wait, that’s not right.  I do have the desire to write here often, I actually think a lot about things and say aloud, “wow, that would be a great post.”  I even come down here to the desk and sit to write…. and nothing.  Actually what it really is that I’m too busy living my life to write about it.  Seriously.  It takes time to sit here and write – time that I could be living.

We’ve been organizing getting a fence around the yard for Hank.  In fact, we meant to have it done by our Hankyversary, but we missed it (it was May 6th.)  So B and I spent some time tooling around local hardware stores and deciding what we want, how much it was going to cost, etc.  Let’s just say that “pretty penny” was an oft used phrase, but we have budgetted for it.  Turns out that our friend, L, is redoing his fence and is just going to give us his perfectly good 6ft privacy fencing – all that we need to do ours — so WOOT!  That saved us almost $2000!!  Now, when we’ll get said fencing, I’m not sure.  I’m assuming it will be in the next few weeks.  Until then, B rigged up this awesome 100 foot rope for Hank to use in the yard.  It can get him to almost 3/4 of the backyard, has enough stretch that he doesn’t strangle himself when he reaches the end of it, and it just makes for a happy happy dog.  We play fetch out there for probably 2 hours a day or more.  LOVE THAT!

I’m still in love with my gym. Falling more deeply in love with it every second.  Need a one piece bathing suit.  Need new sneaks.  Need new gym clothes.  LOVE THE GYM.

We’re going camping tonight.  I’m so excited!!!!  Seriously, it’s been too long!  I really need it.  I mean, I REALLY NEED IT.  Maybe more now than ever.

And, on a personal note:

Dear Universe –  Be with her today.  Let it work out that she gets to the hospital and stays there. Let her get the help that she needs.  If that cannot happen, please keep her locked up, locked up tight.  Please keep her safe.  Please make her brave.  Please let it work this time.  Thank you.


Hold the lettuce, onion, pickle, and mustard

May 14, 2008

In other words, KETCHUP!

I’ve thought of a thousand things to title this post, but am unable to decide. Mostly because nearly 100% of the stuff going on is sooooooooooo good and juicy and wonderful and delicious … but the 1% that isn’t good sucks eggs. Actually, it sucks something much more nastay than eggs, but I’m a classy gal. Bwhahahahha. Anyhow, so I’m just gonna spill the ugly before I dance in the awesomeness.

My sister is in jail. Again. A little different this time because she’s actually staying there for awhile. Who knows how long – at least for another week, probably more like a couple of months. I know that most of you don’t even know that I have a sister. I don’t talk about her much. We’re as different as night and day and it’s hardly possible to tell that we came from the same genetic farm, much less the same freaking family tree. She has a blog and some of you readers have found me through her blog, so I guess I’m outing her. But I really don’t feel as though I’m calling her out – I’m sure she’d write about it if she could. She has certainly written about nearly everything else in her life in gritty detail. But even if she wouldn’t want me to write about it, well, too bad. It’s a matter of public record. Anyone in the world could find out about it and frankly, I’m tired of dodging the issue of having a sister who is mentally ill, incredibly irresponsible, totally unable to own up to her full responsibility in life, and selfish as the day is long. I’m tired of being concerned for the well-being of my nieces. I’m tired of all of it. I’m tired of pretending to care a lot when, in actuality, I care very little. You can only be burned so many times before you stop even going within 40 miles of the fire. Having said all of that, it doesn’t make it any easier to imagine her in jail. She’s my sister. She spent Mother’s Day alone in jail, she most likely will be spending her 40th birthday in jail. NO one in my family has ever been in jail – well, for more than a few hours. It’s hard to imagine how she spends her days. It’s hard to think about what she might be thinking and feeling. I love her. I don’t think I’ll ever stop loving her. How do you stop loving your sister? You don’t. But you stop being sucked in – which I have done. I’m not visiting. I’m not writing. I’m not calling. I’m not going to her court hearings. I sure as hell am not believing a single syllable that comes out of her mouth as long as I live. I’m not doing anything but living with the profound realization that if this doesn’t change her, nothing will. I’m betting that nothing will. This hurts my heart like you wouldn’t believe. Heartbroken ambivalence – is there such a thing?

Moving on the goodies!!

I just got back from the gym. Can I just say how much I love that gym? Holy crap. I think I somehow got married to a TreadClimber and also managed to get the Nautilus Delt machine deported, but other than that, it was a great day! I could seriously work out there 3x a day. Alas, I shall wait until tomorrow. I love the gym. OHHHHHHH how I love the gym. Must get a one piece bathing suit — cannot really do laps comfortably in a bikini. I also need yet another water bottle. I’m just not pleased with mine. I think this afternoon I’m gonna sew myself up a funky gym bag. SCORE!

B decided that the 70 some odd channels we had on TV wasn’t enough. Well, that and we both decided that we loath Mediacom with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns. So we switched to Dish. Now, let me tell you, I thought we’d be getting the 100 channels. NOPE. B decides that we need 250 channels PLUS a zillion and twelve satellite radio channels. I decided that we need the DVR (TiVo.) SO now I have a zillion channels that I can watch at any time. I can pause the TV to go pee and not miss a single thing! And I have to say the satellite music stuff rocks. Did you know that there is a channel that’s nothing but Elvis 24/7? I shit you not. Same for Sinatra. Of course, the one that gets the most use is the Grateful Dead channel. Oh yes. My new favorite number is 6032. SCORE!

If you’re a regular reader, you know that I’ve started pimpin’ out my friend, Stacie. She recently opened this fly studio downtown (Corner of 9th and Broadway for you locals) and invited Duck and Stealth to come play so she could figure out the lighting in her new digs. Let me tell you – this woman blew me away. FOR REALS. We had the best time evah evah evah evah. She took some amazing pictures – I cannot wait to see them all. Here’s a little preview:

Hawks at APP!

Please, ya’ll, go to Stacie’s site and check out all her goodies. She travels, folks. And she’s wicked fun and thinks I’m da bomb. What are you waiting for?? CALL HER AND SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT TODAY!! I’ll wait….

I’ve been craving a steak for months. This is bizarre because, in my 32 years of life, I’ve never ever wanted a steak. Suddenly I can think of damned near nothing else. So B and I are gonna go get me a steak tonight. The kids are gone (woot) and he’s off, so we’re gonna go have a little fun.

Speaking of, what the hell am I still doing here on the puter?

later taters.


I’m a woman of my word

May 10, 2008

Today I made good on a promise I made to Stealth 2 years ago and gave him a purple mohawk. I cannot believe how well he did (and Duck, too, who wanted red, we bought red, it turned fuscia – which he loves more than red anyhow…) I gave them each haircuts and then had to bleach Stealth’s hair out and then color it. Duck’s was already blond enough to not need bleaching.

So, who’s gonna take me in after B kicks me out when he sees this?


Archaeology for 88 cents

May 9, 2008

I found these really cute things for 88 cents that allows the boys to “dig” for treasures just like archaeologists. Seriously, 88 cents for something that got them dirty, sweaty (it’s surprisingly hard to hack through this clay stuff,) interested, entertained, educated, and excited. They each found a treasure (a sarcophagus and an idol cat,) and a deeper interest in history. Awesome!



May 5, 2008

“I don’t need to do homework, Stealth!  I’m learning on my own now!!”


Classroom pics

May 5, 2008

We learned that post paints aren’t just for posters, finger paints aren’t just for fingers OR for painting, dismantled washing machines can make awesome forts, parachutes made from grocery sacks and mop handles are cool when shot out of an air cannon, hand prints make awesome leaves, and that teaching makes it damned near impossible to learn.

It’s likely that this might turn into an Unschooling blog. Or maybe more likely I’ll start another blog about our unschooling ventures. We’re diving in, we’re swimming in the free waters of child led learning, and I must say, we’re already a hell of a lot smarter.

Some pictures of the artwork done in the basement this weekend. It’s become an “Art Gallery / Studio” and paints and brushes are now kept out at easy reach for those spur of the moment inspirations. The words mostly are my work, the drippy heart is Duck’s, the MOM is Stealth’s.

Fingerpaint handprints make awesome leaves

and finger paint footprints are lovely, too

And since the feet are already slippery, why not skate?

And from hanging out and learning in the yard …


Saturday Stillness

May 3, 2008

It’s Saturday morning. The boys are upstairs watching cartoons. B is gone. I’m drinking coffee, still in my pjs, listening to Explosions in the Sky, and enjoying being in the now.

now now now now now now now

It’s all we have, after all.

I feel as though I’m coming up for air after a long, slow almost-suffocation. It really is as if I can feel my brain getting oxygen and clearing and opening up and letting the fog go to wherever it goes to restore it’s gnarliness supplies for the next go round. I feel free and open at this moment.

I can honestly say that I feel no sense of rush or urgency about anything at all – that’s not something I can say often (read: ever.) I’m trying to change that. What’s the hurry? What is going to happen that I cannot wait the 10 seconds it takes to breathe, think, transition? Ah, transitioning. Not really one of my strong points. I do a lot of things, often times many things at once, things in succession constantly. I realize, however, that I don’t take the time to transition between one thing and another – I jump from one to another without batting an eye, without taking a breath, without transitioning. What happens as a result is that I miss out on the endings and beginning of things – the subtle shift that completes a thought or action, the first colors and flavors of a new idea, deed, or change. In essence, I’ve been living the Cliff’s Notes version of life. Flat champagne – still gets you drunk, but is just not the same. What a loss! What a shame! Life is in the details and I’ve been skipping over the juiciest ones:

The pleasure of noticing the sensations in my body as I sit in stillness and wait for “what’s next.”

The complete balance I experience while I sit in Lotus as my spine stretches to the sky and the energy travels up it and shines out of the top of my head.

The beautiful undulation of my breath as it moves completely independent of my efforts – it’s amazing!

When sunlight bounces off my arm, it makes my tattoo look like it’s dancing.

In between actions, regardless of how fast you jump from one to another, there is a beat. A pause. These moments, however fleeting, are our invitation to experience gratitude, peace, completion, stillness. Some days, these brief moments might be the only opportunity we have to feel any of those things. How sad to miss them. There is no such thing as not having time to find stillness in ourselves. 10 second meditations can change a life.


B is gone for the weekend. He left early this morning to drive 90 minutes south for a camping trip with his 3 best friends from high school. These four guys were like brothers (actually, 2 of them are brothers … twins, in fact,) years ago until college and life and family became priorities. These guys have been trying to get together to go camping like this for more than 9 years. I couldn’t be happier for him – B never does this kind of thing. He’ll be gone until late tomorrow night. He has no schedule, no limitations. I’m certain that he, too, will find time to appreciate the stillness.


I’m practicing relinquishing control while B is gone this weekend. I realize that I have some sort of “need” to control every aspect of everything in the house (read: about the kids) that it is robbing everyone – including myself – of autonomy. For 2 days, we’ll have no limits on screen time, snacks, music, etc. As long as it won’t poison them or leave them an amputee, I’m going to let the kids call the shots for themselves. This also means that I’m calling the shots for myself, as well, and will attempt to squash any “should” or “ought to” thoughts before they have a chance to manifest themselves. I belong to a radical unschooling discussion list online and the majority of folks on that list live this way 24/7 with their children and have reported amazing results. I’ve started implementing it in small doses for a week or so (giving unlimited access to computer time one day, etc.) and my boys limited themselves to only about 20 minutes longer than I normally “allow” anyway! Already today they have turned the cartoons off a full 90 minutes before the end of their allotted “Saturday Morning Cartoon Time.” I swear, I don’t give my kids enough credit.

What is this need to control? I would say that it’s because I don’t trust my children to make good choices for themselves, but if I’m going to be honest, I cannot say that. The truth is that maybe I don’t trust myself — trust myself to see the teaching moments in everything, trust myself enough to let my children learn from their own choices and mistakes, trust my parenting thus far, trust my ability to handle whatever their choices might be. It seems that in trying to teach them, I am preventing them from learning. Preventing myself from learning.

I’m going to sit with that for a while.