Friday, September 16, 2011

{this moment}

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
:: Inspired by Soule Mama ::

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Brain :: Chickenblog is Really Great!

Is it my brain? Is it the breakfast I ate, or the air I breath?

What makes me think the things I think, and what compels me to share any of it


I woke up, early, and I was feeling drowsy and content, thinking about friends who are coming to visit in less than three weeks. We've never met, face to face, in person. Janece and I have been blogging friends since 2004. I discovered her blog, No Ordinary Moment when Janece and Paul's daughter, Amira, was born. That was seven years ago. And now... now we are finally going to meet, in real life!

Happy Birthday, Amira!

The amazingnessness of all this was dawning on me, and then I was slapped, hard, across the face by a blinding reality: the house is a frickin' disaster. (I actually sat here for five minutes trying to think of a better word than "disaster," but sometimes you gotta say it like it is.)

#1. It's a shame that a child's birthday and the advent of a momentous visit are being moved to my back burner, so that I can publicly humiliate myself and post about the forty-two ways the Bird House has fallen on hard times.

#2. It's a shame that when I jumped out of bed to begin rectifying the situation, I stopped first at my hovel office, and started reading FB, blogs, emails, the news, and herb roasted pork tenderloin recipes. (So... I am beginning to get the idea that burritos four or five nights a week is not typical fare, and that there are more options out there. You raise the bar, Ree. You raise it real high.)

#3. This is promising to be a particularly random and pointless post, and I am kind of excited about the prospect.

#4. I am not even sure why I started numbering these remarks, but I like the momentum.

#5. We have three vehicles.
The largest-biggest-most ginormous key is for the Mini, the tiny car.
The teeniest key is for the Green Goose, our huge home on wheels.
And the mid-size key goes to the mid-size ride.
I made this startling observation this morning, and it was like a cerebral awakening! I felt like Archimedes in the tub, when he discovered the principle of density. Only I didn't run around, naked, shouting "Eureka!" And my observation has no significance, at all, but it's sort of funny. Sort of.

#6. Thank you, Carol W., for your faith in my potential, and for teaching me the principle of density.

#7. Thank you Sesame Street, for instilling in me a sense of accomplishment when I can find which of these things is not like the other.

#8. Proctor and Gamble sent me a generous and full box of free products, because I visited their faux house at BlogHer '11 The idea is that we can be mutually beneficial. I write about their soaps, and cleansers, and Vicks-Vapor-Rub, and they... they? Uhm. Send me more stuff? Money? Yeah. I am not sure where this is going, but I do LOVE Vicks-Vapor-Rub, and I would love to write about that.

#9. At BlogHer I learned that making frequent mention of a particular theme or key phrase will raise your spot on Google searches for that particular word or theme. It's a device some bloggers use to get recognized.

#10. Chickenblog is number one!
Chickenblog is number one!
Chickenblog is number one!
Chickenblog is number one!
Chickenblog is number one!
Chickenblog is number one!
Chickenblog is number one!

#11. Just kidding.

#12. My hair needs product, or love, or something. Once upon a time my hair was mostly straight, smoothish. Over the last year it has become increasingly SpaZtic. Almost curly. Fully unruly. I wonder about discussing this with other women, but I worry that certain, distasteful, topics will arise, including: "age, perimenopause, age, menopause, haircuts, aging, buying and using hair products, or getting old." I also harbor a fear that implying any complaint about my hair's condition will be promptly followed by me going bald.

#13. My hair is great. Really.

#14. Chickenblog is great!
Chickenblog is great!
Chickenblog is great!
Chickenblog is great!
Chickenblog is great!
Chickenblog is great!
Chickenblog is great!
Chickenblog is great!

#15. The Bird House is kind of a disaster, but objectively, for me, it's a disaster in a good way.
a. seven people call this place home, find shelter, love, and comfort here
b. seven people eat here... sometimes eight, or twelve, or fifty people eat here!
c. seven people create stuff here, and carve stuff here, and bake stuff here, and build stuff...
d. painting, studying, making, building, constructing, designing, eating, cooking, living... it's a messy thing, and I will continue to recruit help, and tackle projects and piles, laundry, dishes, and spills, but I can't say I would trade what we do and who we are for a neat and tidy Bird House.

#16. I get discouraged, and overwhelmed. I feel inadequate...

#17. Then I find a bookstore with chickens inside, and cats, and the thrill of it makes everything feel a little bit better.

#18. I dreamed that Alec Baldwin was staying here, and he couldn't find his cell phone, which he thought was maybe in the "lobby." (In dreams, our home has a lobby.) He needed me to go downstairs and find his phone, before he could get ready for the day, leave the room. And I was thinking, Gee, he's funnier on television.

Thank you.

I hope you are having a wonderful day.


My Brain

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sunday Was...

Sunday was tea party day. Remember when a tea party meant putting out your pretty plates and gathering your friends? Maria was up bright and early, nine hours early, to announce that she had dressed herself beautiful for our tea party.

Sunday was laundry folding day, and lawn mowing day.

Sunday was a day for giving thanks, and reflecting.

Sunday was Andrea's birthday.

Sunday was still life day, for Alex and Suki, who are in studio art together.

Sunday was order pizza day, and putter in the garage day. Sunday was watch a movie day.

Sunday was the day to clear-off the porch table, snuggle Benjamin, clean the carport, repair the mini-bot tower... browse the Internet.

Sunday I made pot roast, and smashed potatoes. William made salad. Max set the table. Maria helped. Sunday we picked a lemon from our tree, and baked lemon cupcakes. We made a pot of tea on Sunday.

Sunday was the day we were invited to Maria's tea party, and we enjoyed our time together at the Bird House.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's Always There

September 11, 2001. I have not forgotten. It changed everything... or at least it changed how I see everything. Maybe it only brought to the surface convictions and values that were always there.

I remember the fear and grief, the sense of panic about the days ahead, and the anxiety over what else might happen, and I remember the tremendous unity and determination that immediately rose out of the destruction. Everywhere, we were sharing this fierce pride and sense of community, we were bound together in our homes, our neighborhoods, towns, and as a nation. What a blessing we could, and can, be to each other.

Remembering that morning, the days and weeks that followed, certainly brings up sorrow and grief, and even fears, anxiety, I have tried to quell, to overcome. It feels so recent... how is it that ten years have passed?

The day's events were harrowing. It is no exaggeration. Each of us has an account of the day and events, and each of us was affected, changed, moved. Some stories are of heroism, some of loss, some of resolve. Most are simply personal, deeply felt recollections of coping, of feeling touched by tragedy, no matter our proximity to the destruction.

I think about the men and women who served, who ran into the smoke and gave everything to do their work. I think about the men and women who do this everyday. I think about volunteers, and individuals serving in the military... about sacrifice, and dedication. I think about the heartache families feel when they lose someone dear, when things blow apart, and we try to live, with our hearts exposed.

I think about the shadow that was cast over our lives, and I look for light, I look for hope. I look for reason, and instruction... for solutions to the devastation. I look for ways and means of putting things back together, for hanging on, moving forward, keeping faith.

I remember the spontaneity of our will, our unified defiance against terror, tragedy, and oppression. I remember the spontaneous, heartfelt expressions of that unity and pride, that resolve to overcome. I remember the flags, the flowers, the tears, the memorials, the exchange of knowing glances between strangers. I do not like the pain of recalling 9/11, but I love that we resolved to embrace one another, to thrive, to rebuild, to overcome. I love that we were able to reconnect to National pride, and community togetherness.

Normal days are a blessing. I have big dreams, and high hopes, but the normal days are great. I think about running water, soap, safe rides, adventures with friends. I think about having enough, and making do. I think about sharing... space, work, happiness, dinner, ideas. I think about all the good things that have transpired since that day. I think about every good thing achieved, and I think about working together to achieve more. I think about securing more normal days for all of us.

I think about my cousins, the firefighter and the policeman, the teachers. I think about my brother, who has done more than we can say in service to our country. I think about my neighbors, our friends, and how sweet they have made my life. I think about my children... and this is where I break down. I worry about what they fear, what they lost, how the world changed in ways that took something away from their beliefs and ideas about their futures.

I think about my son, and recall his deep, and lasting sorrow, because he could, and does, comprehend the magnitude of the destruction, and I wish I could relieve him of some of that burden. I wish. I wish...

There it is, that tangible grief, the injured place in my heart, where I cannot actually undo the harm, and here is my resolve not to be undone: we will keep moving forward, and we will find the best solutions that we can. I will not forget, but I will not allow the fears and sorrows to direct our course.

Ahead, we have possibilities. We have each other. We have art, and science. We have music. September 11, 2001 will always be there, we carry it with us, because it changed everything, and some things it simply brought to the surface. Let's remember those good things... love, community, service, education, kindness, sincerity, respect, compassion, intelligence.