where the heart is

Studio for rent

view from sliding glass door
View from the Studio sliding glass door, of our very own Torrey Pine and the Canyon beyond.

We're in the process of trying to get our studio rented again, after a nine month hiatus on the housemate situation. We've really enjoyed having the house to ourselves again, though resisted moving back into the studio as it needed so much repair work and we hadn't decided yet what the plan really was. These last couple months, the plan has become clear: we can't survive our mortgage without housemates. The Mister just isn't getting enough work in this jacked up economy and my job doesn't quite get us there. So we've been working at getting the place done and this last week listed it on craigslist for rent.

It's so freaking nice down there. Especially since this mess has become this:

on gifting and the holidays

Love Thursday

This morning on my drive to work I head a woman speaking on being thrifty this time of year.  Much of what she said struck a chord with me, but when she spoke of hating presents, I practically shouted, "YES!" I know this seems ridiculous, but I really do hate getting gifts.  So often, it feels as though they are simply an opportunity for someone to show me how little they actually know me.  There are a few people who have a knack for giving me something that truly speaks to my nature and passions and from them, receiving a gift is a thing of wonder.  But mostly, it's just more stuff to stick in my house... and my house is full enough of stuff.

When you have kids, this problem seems to increase.  Once, a dear friend of mine talked of watching a pair of women in a toy shop.  They were looking at a plastic, made-in-China type toy that lit up, made noise and would make any self-respecting parent cringe after the third use.  They were giggling over how obnoxious this toy was and yet, totally planning to get it for a friends child.  She stepped up to the pair and asked, "Do you know what I think of people who buy this kind of toy for my child?" They blinked at her, "I think they must really hate me." I don't recall if the couple were then moved to make another choice, but I can't help but echo her sentiment every time someone gives the girls something along these lines.  "Is that really how you feel about me?" I wonder. 

Because of these feelings about gift receiving, I find it extremely stressful to give gifts as well.  Not only is it often a huge financial drain, but so often it feels like I'm cluttering a person's life or showing off my lack of knowledge about their likes or dislikes.  And if I'm going to spend money, I'd like it to mean something.  My mom often resorts to just giving us money, compete with profuse apologies.  Honestly, though, we always find the right thing to do with it, no matter how big or small the check is. 

In fact, my mother's latest guilty check has allowed the Mister and I to attend the wedding of my dearest friend. 

In Kauai. 

This weekend.

Without the kids (she's even keeping them for us).

Do you have any idea how exciting this is for us? If you're a parent, I'm sure you're yelling "BACK THE TRUCK UP!"  My buddy Ben actually made me stop talking about it, the jealously was just too much. 

Granted, she didn't pay for the whole thing, but her generosity is covering our housing.  And OMG, did we score on the housing.  We found a nice little place on VRBO that would accommodate us and two friends but in the middle of the contract process, the owner discovered she'd double booked.  "I have another property though and I'll give it to you at the same price.  I'm so sorry."  The other place?  Take a deep breath, prepare yourself and then click here.

Yep.  All that and a bag of chips.

Of course, not it sounds like I'm saying you should just give people money as gifts, which wasn't actually the point I was trying to make.  It also looks like I'm bragging about my trip.  I am.

Anyway, the point about GIFTS is this: unless you know the person very very well and have discovered just the right thing to make their life more fulfilled and less cluttered, consider some different ideas:

  • If your children go to the same school, offer to pack their kids lunch for a week
  • Bring dinner over on an otherwise busy night where'd they'd otherwise resort to fast food
  • Walk their dog when they're out of town
  • Sponsor an art project in their name.  You can donate to your favorite local theatre or check out Kickstarter for something in their town.
  • Take them out for coffee
  • Make your kids wash their car
  • Be present in their life

Who else can add to my list?  I'd love to see a collaborate list of ways to love in a fiscally responsible way.  Bring it on.

 

backwards

Grandpa's dog tags
My Grandfather's dog tags, stored with a four-leaf clover, what we think is a locker key and a coin given to him when he retired.

Once, when I was only about 12-years-old, I got it into my head that I should rearrange my bedroom furniture.  I was able to move most of the smaller items without any trouble, but when it came to the bed, I was stuck.  I walked around it a few times and finally came to the conclusion that if I put my back against the wall and my feet against the bed, I could shove it into motion. 

What I didn’t know was that the spot I was putting my back into was the exact spot where the bathroom next to my room had a leaky sink, effectively weakening the wall.   So when I pushed with all my 12-year-old might, instead of the bed moving outward, I went backwards, making a neat pre-teen shaped hole in my bedroom wall.

That’s kind of what this week has felt like, falling unexpectedly backwards when you swore things were instead to move ahead.

Every aspect of my life has had issues recently: home, work, family.  My marriage is still awesome and for that I am eternally grateful.  But talking with my cousin who has just reached the end of a very complicated divorce, I heard him telling us about some of the issues in his marriage that exist within my own.  That night I lay rolled up in Mark's arms and told him that I was very afraid.  We talked about marriage counseling, mostly as a way to check in after 10 years of patterns that are, admittedly, very set.  Part of me feels like that would be an expense and commitment of time that I don't really have available to me right now... and yet, I'd do anything to keep this marriage healthy.  Through the grief of my Grandfather's death to the troubles at work and the issues we've had with our home, I have always had this man by my side.  He makes anything bearable.  

And so I wonder what step(s) will get my out of the hole in the wall. 

I wonder what will help me find my way forward, after all this flailing about unexpectedly.

Here's what I wonder from the people living inside my computer:
Have you ever been to marriage counseling?
Is it necessary when the marriage is strong?
What about when the marriage is strong but you see potential future disaster (think of that leaky faucet that weakened the wall next to my bedroom)?
What about when you worry that the problems are all yours?

You're welcome to leave your responses Anon, if you'd like.  Or email me, that works too.  Or simply think about it for yourself and wonder and discuss with others, but not with me.  I'm OK with anything, really.

I do know this: the scariest of things are more manageable with a plan.  And damn if I don't feel like I need one right now.

When sitting within grief...

Sailor 1946

There used to be this amazing man in my life.  He was generous and kind and thoughtful and funny and loved his family with a quiet fierceness and tenacity you don't often see these days.  He was always laughing, even when things were falling apart around him.  He was the sun around which my mom's side of the family orbited, all of us reaching out and grabbing a bit of that warmth when we felt out in the cold. 

Good Morning Messages

A while back I started writing "Good Morning" messages to my kids on the white board they keep in their room.  I had been writing them notes on paper, but they just contributed to the mess that is their room (and I hate using up a resource if I don't have to).  So the white board was the solution.  Very quickly, Lily started requesting that I write and so it became a nightly routine.

Yes  Lily. A note *wood* be lovly.

I can't tell you how useful these have been.  With these notes I can get them thinking about what they might like to have in their lunches for school (an issue that was greatly stalling our morning routine):

Good Morning Message for 9/28/10

I can tell them what to expect from the day, which cuts down on some of the anxiety they often feel when they don't know what comes next:

Good Morning Message: 9/30/2010

I can threaten them not to wake us up too early on the weekend:

Good Morning Message: 10/02/10

OR I can address a wildly funny thing that happened without giggling, since, to my kid, it's not so wildly funny:

GMM: 10/4/10

I've even started collecting these in a flickr set which serves as a mini journal for our lives.  Helpful, considering I don't seem to have the time or energy to write this one anymore.

Curious as to if other parents have a similar habit?

Words

We're back from our vacation and I am at work today, trying to catch up after my week away.  Everything is... difficult here, so many tiny issues to solve and problems that cropped up due to my absence.  Vacation was so much more simple.  Saturday we spent all day at the river and I didn't want to ever leave that bit of cool rock, tiny rushing waterfalls, and perfect smooth skipping stones.  I'll have photos soon.

For now, I give you "words", another film from Will Hoffman (this time with Daniel Mercadante) to accompany Radiolab's Words episode.  I previously posted their short film called "Moments" which, if you happened to miss, you can find here.

 

find the quiet to bloom

Sunflowers

Tomorrow we head up to Northern California to visit the Mister's family, leaving chickens, garden and home in the hands of the housemates and shutting down this thing called work. 

I could not be more thrilled.

Things have been intense at the theatre with three shows running at the same time, often producing a swarm of people from multiple houses all expecting to get their intermission treats at roughly the same damn time.  I can't serve 1500 people at once.  I can try, but I will fail.  Although we've been doing a stellar job and I am mostly feeling warm fuzzies for my staff, who are all doing a hell of a job. 

But enough about work.

Sunflowers - Open

Instead, I'm going to focus on the small moments of this road trip.  I'm doing to see what I pass through an open window.  I'm going to watch the children giggle from the back seat.  I'm going to settle in to life at my in-laws.  I'm going to sleep late.  I'm going to have a couples massage with my Mister and then we're going to take each other out to dinner.  We will listen to the bullfrogs and the crickets from our little guest bungalow and know our children are being cared for by their Grandmother inside the house.  We're going to feed the horses carrots and visit with Mark's 94-year-old grandfather.  We'll make the drive over to Mark's brother's house and pick berries from the bushes that grow wild by the creek and eat veggies picked straight from his garden. We will do nothing for long hours each day.

Sunflowers - wildlife

I cannot wait.

So wish us luck as we start off at 4am, just four hours from right now.  I'm off to pack and cook some food and make myself ready.  Hopefully this time, our road trip will not involve getting stitches in anyone's face (or elsewhere, really)!

a soul-wide event

Support

Lily & I offering Anya support when she once got very hurt.

A while back I witnessed something that fundamentally shifted my perspective of the world and how it treats mothers.  I don't have permission to talk about the actual event, but I can say that it was deeply profound, mostly horrifying with small handfuls of deep and permanent magic, and it left me with an emotional bruise so purple, I thought a part of me might die from the impact.  Mind you, I only witnessed this event, so you can understand why those you actually experienced it would say that I could share nothing of it, especially not on the big, wide, scary, interwebs.

But here's the problem with agreeing to shut up (even when you think it's inherently the right thing to do): it makes you shut up in a thousand other ways.  I was so angry I needed my tribe to take me in and let me spew it all out.  But I couldn't.  Not really.  I sobbed into my husbands arms and told him over and over again that I loved him, that we were so lucky to have what we do.  His touch and quiet words helped the bruise start to heal.  I told my best friend about it and felt the purple parts of the bruise fade away, leaning towards that ugly greenish-yellow of a healing wound.  And I watched the people involved heal and celebrate the magic it brought into their lives.

But I didn't write about it.  I didn't share the powerfully raw images I captured.  After all, I didn't have permission and I can respect that.

You may have noticed though, I haven't written about anything. 

I cannot blame this incident for that, my life has become infinitely more complicated since I went back to work full time, decided to start a new garden, kept active with the girls and the summer school program we helped designed, started working with a new theatre (for free and in my "spare" time) and, oh yeah, took on weekly care of a co-op goat.  But the desire to write or photograph and share bits of my life... it dried up around the same time.  It's almost as though keeping quiet is a soul-wide event.

The other day, a friend contacted me to tell me this website was gone.  My domain name had expired and I didn't even notice.  Did any of you?  I doubt it, because in some way, this site expired a long time ago. 

But, I don't really want to give it up.  It's an ongoing meditation for my girls and I don't simply want to let it go. There are years and years of love dropped onto these pages and I hate the idea that it would simply stop because I didn't fully know how to heal myself from something I can't really even own.  I've been busy before and still committed to these pages so I wonder if this really is at the heart of my silence.

How do I fix this?  Where do I go from here?  How do I find my way back home?

meh, it's just an *occasional* emotional overload

Years ago I spent some time with a cardiologist.  My heart was doing these weird rhythms that didn't make sense and when it would suddenly start to trip along drunkenly, other odd things would happen.  For instance, the whole world would suddenly feel like it had slowed down while I appeared to be moving lightening fast.  I remember once watching my hand move rapidly across a test paper while my classmates seemed to be moving through molasses, my heart skipping and stumbling in my chest.  And the cardiologist could find nothing wrong with me.  Mostly because my heart refused to cooperate whenever he was looking, much like your car refusing to make that horrid noise once the mechanic lifts the hood. 

And then it just stopped.  Gone.  Like that.

Recently these little attacks have come back, though this time the symptoms are more defined.  My heart races more often than it skips and the only other thing that happens is that I become incredibly emotional.  I feel every last thing, deeply, fully, and to the tips of my fingers.  These emotional bursts seem to linger a bit.  I had one yesterday and curled up in my favorite chair with a blanket, watching TV while breathing deeply to settle down the racing heart.  Everything within me calmed and out we went for a friends birthday dinner, then off to book club for me.  But later that night I found myself facing my Mister in bed, my hand on his chest, unable to look away from that connection.  I was endlessly fascinated with that touch, the feel of his own heart under my palm.  It completely distracted me from all other things, this tiny bit of space where my hand met his skin. 

This morning when I woke I stood in my bedroom doorway watching the girls through the big living room window.  Lily spun circles in the middle of the room then turned suddenly to chase Anya around the couch.  Both were laughing when they crashed into each other in the fiercest of hugs, collapsing to the carpet, Lily practically carrying Anya down and squeezing her with the devotion of an older sister.  Anya caught sight of me and waved, big loopy arm movements and a face full of sunshine.  All the while they clutched each other, clearly so happy for their own connection.  I thought my heart might burst. 

A friend suggested that these are anxiety attacks, and that certainly could be the case.  My life is in a bit of a stressful place right now, and yet, I don't feel all that freaked out about it.  Nothing stressful or scary precedes these little episodes and they don't take me out of a functioning place.  I can go on with work or caring for the girls if I need to.  Getting to curl up and ride one out like I did yesterday is a luxury I rarely get to enjoy.  I don't know what to think about this stuff, the heart racing or the emotional depth.  Sometimes seeing the world so deeply shows me a side of "lucky" I'm not often aware of otherwise.  To fall into a riot of love over that connection I witness between my girls or between me and the Mister is a gift.  Though, it's admittedly harder to see that gift when it swings to the other side and I'm suddenly bawling at a TV show.  The video below brings me to tears every single time I see it (and you have to see it, too), but with a greater depth of something akin to sorrow when I watch it during one of these episodes.  What does it do to you?


If you don't already know about RadioLab, I urge you to go check them out. 

Anyone out there with a theory as to what's happening to cause these occasional emotional overloads?  I'm curious.  Anyone else want to tell me what the above video brings up in them?  Totally curious about that as well.

how I love my Mister, part the first

On May 7th, Mark and I will have been married for ten whole years.  That's ten years IN A ROW, people.  Which is somehow both shocking and obvious, all at once.  As in, "What? TEN YEARS!?!?!" and, "Well, of course it's been ten year.  Duh."  Marriage, much like life, is funny that way.

Anyway, I decided to try to actively name a thing I love about my Mister, every single day for the month leading up to our anniversary.  So here's week one:

Wednesday, April 7th: Lily has her first soccer practice today and I absolutely adore how excited Mark is.  He took her shopping for gear in the last week, lavished love upon her daily and retells every inch of the practice to me so I didn't have to totally miss out due to work.  He even takes photos (which I hope to post some day).

Thursday, April 8th: Watching him cuddle a sick kid shows me the depth of compassion I married.  His hugs are downright healing.

Friday, April 9th: My Mister is the king of puns.  Annoying and sexy, all at once.

Saturday, April 10th: We all go crazy at the Goodwill book loft and I don't seem to care how much we spend on books, I just love that Mark & I geek out in the same way.

Sunday, April 11th: I love how he supports my work.

Monday, April 12th: His parents arrive for a visit and I am instantly reminded of the love, respect and joy he has when interacting with his family. 

Tuesday, April 13th: On my way out the door to work I ask, "How many kisses do you need?"  He replies, in his best little kid voice, "1,000."  I grant half of them on the spot. 

 

More to come...

subtle shifts in perception

I've been working through what was a very emotional weekend.  My housemates birth process was one of the more intense experiences of my life.  Just being a witness to such an amazing event and all that went into her very special process was exhausting, I can't imagine what it must have felt like from her perspective.  I can say that I have never been so proud of a person, never so in awe of someones strength and power and grace, even when the whole thing sweeps you up in such a way that you can't hold on to the tail of the tiger anymore and have to allow yourself to be flung free, hoping you'll land safely.  And she did, with a beautiful baby in her arms as well, not too worse for wear.

I'm still recovering in some ways (though not as dramatically as her, of course).  Still processing the whole thing.  See, I have a hell of a lot of knowledge about birth and have had an abundance of resources available to me in my lifetime.  The midwives I am honored to call friends, the women who work tirelessly for safer birth that I am so fortunate to have at the end of the phone when needed, the sheer volume or passionate, caring women who have helped me learn all that I could... they still couldn't prepare me to witness such an event.  Even having babies of my own didn't really open my eyes to birth in America. And it frightens me a little, the sudden change in direction to which I feel called.  I don't have the resources right now to follow that call, but it's sitting within me, this desire to become more of the solution rather than an innocent bystander who sits on her knowledge and doesn't use it to change things for the better. 

Of course, this feeling may fade.  I may look back a month from now and wonder where all this passion went.  It may be that my sudden desire to change the world comes from the rush of endorphins still spiking in my body.  It could be that this immediacy will fade and I will go back to working for theatres where we make pretty plays for pretty rich people.  Maybe the two don't have to be mutually exclusive.

I don't know.

I just know that I am changed for what I witnessed.  And I think that is a good thing.  Now I just have to see where it takes me.

Sweet perfection

I'm at work today but taking a bit of a break to update this here blog thingie.  Mostly because something amazing happened this weekend and since I never did make baby books for my girls, this is all I have in the way of a record of the important things in their lives.

On Saturday evening our housemates welcomed a baby girl into their family.  It was a very long, emotional and difficult process that didn't exactly go as planned but at the end there was a healthy mama and a healthy baby and that is all that really matters.  Their daughter is so beautiful and fluffy (9lbs 4oz worth of fluff) and calm and perfect with little folded over ears from all that time with her head stuck in a pelvis.  She makes me want to cry, she's so amazing.  Mom and baby get to come home today and I can't wait to have a baby in the house again.  Especially one like her, perfect.

The housemates are very protective of their privacy so I don't know how much of her I'll get to share.  Maybe the photo of me holding her in recovery, maybe even a shot of the little boo, but whatever they allow just trust me that she's so cute it'll make your uterus hurt (you know, if you happen to have one).

In the meantime, send sweet babymoon vibes our way.  Our home just got a little fuller and I couldn't be more thrilled.

compassion fatigue

At playgroup today we were swapping ER stories.  I told about the awesome time I spent the night in an ER waiting room while three months pregnant on the busiest night of the year due to the awesome nurse hotline scaring the shit out of me over something that was nothing.  "It wouldn't have been so bad," I said, "if the doctor hadn't been such a jerk.  He wasn't just unkind, it was as though I had personally offended him by being there... by listening to the nurse on the phone tell me that I had an emergency situation when it turns out I didn't."

"Which ER?" one of the other mom's asked.  I told her and she replied, "That's where my husband works.  He's an ER nurse."  I couldn't remember the doctors name, didn't know if he ever even gave it to me, and it had been almost seven years ago.  But she went on to tell me about Compassion Fatigue, something I had never heard about.  It makes perfect sense: when you're working in an environment where people are always in crisis (say, a downtown ER for instance) there comes a point where you must compartmentalize your compassion or lose your mind.  How do you care for everyone when everyone you see needs so much care?

I can even see shades of this in my own, non-crisis infested life.  I've had family and friends who require so much energy and emotion to deal with, even on a casual basis, that I end up letting them go emotionally.  I always wondered if that meant there was something wrong with me, this slipping away of care, this giving up on others for whom I once had so much compassion and love.  I even see it with my own kids sometimes, finding myself not giving a shit when they launch full force into a whining tantrum and expect me to get worked up in response.  Instead I tell them, "Go for it, kid.  Cry if that's what you need to do." And walk away from them emotionally, not able to take one more "accidental" kick or one more breakdown over a toy.  I am simply done.

Are there people who have an infinite resource for compassion? Or are those the people who become emergency room professionals that are able to keep the care flowing?  Should doctors or nurses who find themselves weary of compassion leave the ER and go spend some time on the maternity ward?  Should we expect them to care?  Should they instead go into private practice and deal with the monotony of daily healthcare rather than the crisis of care required in the ER? 

And what does this mean for us as individuals?  When we find ourselves unable to care about someone, should we accept that or recognize that we are suffering from compassion fatigue and seek out a healing path for ourselves?

It's such an interesting concept to me, I'm very interested to hear your thoughts.  Please share.

Annual Turkey Live Blogging '09

For the last three years I've live blogged our Harvest Dinner and even though my commitment to blogging has been less than awesome lately, I feel the pressure of tradition and will be taking several breaks throughout the day to make a note of how things are going.  If you're bored and I haven't updated recently, just check out the last three events: click for 2008, 2007 and 2006.

This year I'm sticking to just doing the Turkey and cranberries as well as the gravy and, due to a last minute drop out, some yams.  I did the pomegranate molasses last night with a little help from the Mister and the Housemates as I had to be at work. We have only 14 people coming this year (down from 20 last year) so if anyone wants to come, just show up later and watch me squirm while I try to figure out where to put you.  It'll be awesome.

So here goes your annual live blogging of a turkey roast. Come back throughout the day for updates or just wait until midnight and see what I managed to get posted.

7:00 am - Everyone is up and therefore believe I should be up. They are evil and I hate them, but only for a moment.  Mostly because they leave me alone and I keep sleeping.

9:02 - I'M UP! What day is this?  Where am I?  What am I forgetting!?

9:03 - Blurry-eyed and stumbling I make it into the bathroom and then stumble into some clothing, even remembering that I will be on my feet all day and therefore need good shoes on my feet.

9:15 - Start roasting garlic

9:33 - Making the cranberries and enjoying the smell of the Triple Sec.

Lily and Anya stringing

9:42 - distracting kids with a bowl of fresh cranberries, a needle and some thread. They're making strings for the birds while trying not to poke their little fingers.

finished cranberries

10:00 - cranberries done and about half of them tucked into a jar for Mark, who has requested that I make too much and set it aside for later.

10:06 - making the herbed butter for the turkey, stating the oven.  Aiming to get bird in oven by 11am.

11:04 - Re-reading last years post and realizing I should wait to get the bird in the oven until noonish. Which is good, because the oven is ready but the turkey is still in the fridge. Working on it.

roasting

11:51 - Turkey in the oven. Really not a fan of raw bird. Ick.

mulling spices in cheesecloth

11:57 - putting apple juice and mulling spices into the crock pot. Need to set up the coffee maker for 6pm and start the yams a'bakin'.

12:14 - Yams baking in the oven, cider mulling it over in the crock pot. What's next? Oh, right! Sample the fancy cheeses, of course!

what?

12:45 - What? Isn't this what happens at your house when you clean up?

1:00 - Um, someone has to clean the bathrooms. Guess who?  Hell, it's me.

1:42 - yams are finally done (almost 2 hours of baking!) and now need to cool down so I can mash 'em up good and add the extra yummy bits.  Also, having a break from cleaning bathrooms since Anya apparently finds a freshly cleaned toilet irresistible.  Maybe this, rather than prunes, is the answer to her problems?

2:51 - And now the panic sets in. We're not ready. I'm not showered or dressed in clean clothes (neither is Mark). And the kids? Playing dress up!  Weeeee!

baked brie with spicy peach compote

3:20 - Showered! Dressed! Whoot! Now to get the cheese plate together and get me a drink!

John's apple pie, made from scratch!

This pie was made by John, who called in sick to work so he could make it a masterpiece. For the record, Oreet put the pretty leaves on top. And she's damn proud of those leaves.

4:00 - First guests have arrived with (count 'em) SIX dishes of yum.  We love them.  Turkey came out of the oven looking awesome and smelling even better.  But I still need a drink. Off to make that happen.

4:25 - JO arrives!  YAY! Let there be happy people everywhere. And yes, I got a drink. YAY!

6:21 - Dinner is over and everything turned out beautifully yummy.  So much good food.  Now comes dessert and coffee and tea and hot spiced cider.  Oh, I love this party!

7:41 - Everyone is heading home and the girls are in bed for the night. I'm so full of good food I'm in the pain stage. Also? I've received two phone calls and multiple text messages from work about work things. Step off, people, I'm EATING!  Well, I was.  But now I'm going to put my feet up with my Mister and leave the dishes for the morrow.

Another year down. More photos to come (I hope). Signing off!

"honest to truth" coping

Life is slowly adjusting to our new rhythm of work and school.  Mark and I have worked out a pretty decent way to care for the kids, me spending most days shuttling them to and fro while Mark works; then I take them to the theatre to hand off to him so he can feed and put them to bed while I work.  They almost always have a parent caring for them (when not at school, of course) and only one day a week have I turned to a friend to help make it all work.  I don't get to sing them to sleep anymore, unless it's my night off from the theatre, but I always sneak in a peak at their little faces and sometimes get a sleepy, "Mama" sigh from one or the other.  They've started sleeping together, both smashed into Anya's single bed, and I cherish seeing them tucked into each other, one had resting on the others chest or their backs lined up against the other, their breathing in an almost perfect unison.  We're making plans to redo their room so that sleeping together will be easier, while they still have the option of sleeping apart if they so choose.  Besides, that room is ready for an over haul, especially if it means we can get rid of a bunch of their broken, unused or simply annoying toys.

life without a roof is romantic

our bed on the deck

About a week ago the weather turned ridiculously hot, sending temperatures into the high 90's IN MY LIVING ROOM and even higher outside.  It was 106° as I passed the car dealership one day and I was so very thankful that the A/C in my car had decided to work that day.  The Mister and I spent a couple sweltering nights in our bed in the sky before giving up and moving outdoors.  We have a fold out bed on the deck and we dressed it with sheets, fell helpless and sweaty into it and prayed for sleep.  We were both thrilled when we awoke around 3am shivering and cuddled into each other with a kind of satisfaction we hadn't felt since the early days of our relationship when the mere act of spooning made us giddy and devoted.  We've been sleeping out there ever since.

hazards of not being able to see the future

another cairn

There this something inside me lately that I cannot figure out, a deeply agitated restlessness, as though I am waiting for something. I feel this undercurrent of a change in my life and since I cannot define it, I let it bloom into a thousand possibilities, some of them beautiful and magical, but mostly frightening and painful. Somehow, the unknown has turned into the big-bad-ugly and I cannot see the boldly-beautiful-urgency that it simply could be outlining. Correction: I can see it, but I somehow keep choosing to believe in the worst. And if we are our own manifestations of our futures, then how can I keep feeding the fear that the worst is yet to come? And how, when your life is so very beautiful already, can you not assume that big-change equals bad-change? It would seem like greed to expect beauty when you are already surrounded by so much of it.