Friday, November 14, 2003

Do You Hear What I Hear? Road Trip Tuned

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Over the I-5 and through the 'hood, to Aunt Bucky's house we go! We are heading north for family fun and a turkelicious dinner. This will be nice. We haven't been to Becky and Dan's in too long, and we'll be seeing Grandma and the cousins. I have very fond memories of long holiday weekends in Los Angeles.

Our poor Odyssey has been recruited as a moving van, so today I should apply some loving elbow grease, so our ride will be comfortable. Time to clean the windows and sweep the accumulated footprints from the carpet. We have removed the things we were moving west, but there are other odds and ends lurking under the seats and in the cargo area. Road trips are a much happier affair when commenced in a refreshened vehicle, with a full tank of fuel, oil checked, and fresh tunes in the glove compartment.

Last night, speaking of tunes, I broke with tradition and played Christmas music. I have completely strayed from my firm policy of starting holiday tunes with the Thanksgiving post dinner clean-up. We were having dinner with a little Beethoven in the boombox, but his strenuous, demanding and urgent tunes were making dinner as relaxing as driving through Orange County on a Friday afternoon. Switch to Christmas at The Pops; bliss and merriment, joyful jubilation. Maybe by Christmas I will have played all my Christmas music, maybe not. But I can't imagine getting tired of any of it, so deck my halls and hitch up the sleigh: The Holidays are here!

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Here is a link that came from Anne. She knows I dabble in sewing/quilting, and she probably suspects that I accumulate a LOT of true. Well, apparently there is a place for those extra fabrics and "oops, what was I thinking projects?" at UFO-rphanage for Quilters, Home Page. I can think of a few people that might appreciate this link.

Now I should reply to Anne's email, and accuse her of interfering with my ambitious plan to clean and unpack. There are two quilts that I am aching to finish; supposedly they are for Christmas. My mind is slipping from domestic duty, to needles, threads and batting. Like a Crafty Siren, a voice is calling from the corner of my mind, "Quilting, quilting! The colors, the shapes. Feel the fabric. The cat litter can wait." Anne isn't really to blame; it doesn't take much to distract me from the task at hand.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Chango in the sweet gum tree.

Holly and Nicholas came over on Sunday. They came to hang out, see the progress, check out the new office. We shared a big ol' pan of popcorn, before heading out on a neighborhood walk. Max and Nicholas happily led the way. We carried dog biscuits for the dalmation, and the two labs where the ducks and horses live. We stopped by Geoff's new work place, and Martha took a moment to share her vision. Actually, Holly and I agreed that things look pretty good there, and the commute can't be beat. Nicholas cautioned us about going down stairs. Max kept us a safe distance from the curb and the busy street. These little guys are growing fast.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Someone said, "I wouldn't write about "pee." And I guess I would, but I hope it isn't blatantly rude or very, very tacky.

I was thinking about fictitious book titles, like "Yellow River" by I.P. Freely, and "Under the Grandstands" by Seymour Butts. Now those are tacky, but I still remember being 10 years old and hearing them for the first time. I thought they were funny and sophisticated, especially "Revenge of the Tiger" by Claude Balls.

Monday, November 10, 2003

I have not had any inspiring subjects to write about. Since moving, most of my thoughts are predominated by unpacking boxes and finding the right spot for end tables, lamps, and Costco cases of maxi pads. Geoff is responsible and motivated. Does he ever tire? He has plenty of drive for getting every last box opened and its contents appropriately distributed. I have plenty of drive for going up to Julian and seeing for myself what remains; and doing a little retail therapy.

And now it is Monday morning and I dearly wish I had devoted the entire weekend to organizing. The things I thought I could find are missing, and the things I no longer want to own are seemingly everywhere. I did go through all of Max's clothes to pull out the size 5s, and I stood by Geoff, for moral support, as he pared down his T shirt collection. I have nearly finished organizing the kitchen; where can the spoons, knives and forks possibly be? Looking for the boys immunization records I came across one last box of seasonings and cookie cutters, so obviously there is a little more to be accomplished en la cocina.

About those immunization records; today is supposedly the first day of kindergarten for Max, unless I can't find his records. This may become one of those days when a freakish variety of physical manifestations of my stress appear on my body; zits, hair loss, foaming at the mouth, doubling over with nervous tension and acute adult anxiety. In spite of my devoted labeling of every box and Geoff's regimented double checking of said labels, I cannot find the one box labeled: "Contents of Tall Green Cabinet." I am fixated on the hope that the three yellow cards in plastic sleeves are waiting for me in that one box which cannot be found.

There are brief glimmers, small moments, when I can imagine myself as organized and prepared, with beds made, skirts ironed, thank you cards sent off, and children fed and instilled with knowledge. In those moments I feel assured and ready. I can produce bank statements and medical records on demand. I can name my state representatives and the heads of state, and I know that Beethoven's 9th symphony isn't Ode to Joy. This alternate universe is not tangible, but just within sight; it torments me. Physical fitness, yoga and jogging, regular haircuts, occasional manicures, a clean car and three regular meals of balanced nutrition and inspired flavors, early vehicle registration, and cats trained to use the toilet, I want it all.

Last New Year's Eve I had a quiet moment to myself and I thought about making a resolution. I knew it should be about weight loss or learning to drive manual transmission, but I chose realism. I chose to set a goal that would at once challenge me and yet be reasonably attainable. I wanted to enjoy the pleasure of keeping my resolution, and I have. Since January of 2003, whenever I feel I need, or even just want, to go to the bathroom, I do. I pee freely. It is liberating to go even as children are asking for a favor or demanding attention. It is a relief to relieve myself even if the phone starts ringing, or one last task needs accomplishing. I no longer cross my legs in martyred sacrifice, and the feeling I have, from my small devotion to me, is a tangible ode to joy.

Now to find those dang records...