Monthly Archives: October 2006

Of Bunnies and Mommies

Wow… I am sitting here listening to Joe Frank on the radio, reading the story “The Runaway Bunny”.  Wow, he just read the whole story.  He had a problem with the same part that I did.  There is a part that goes, “If you become a sailboat, I will become the wind and blow you to where I want you to go.  If you become the wind and BLOW me, said the bunny, I will…. etc.”  Well, it’s the part that says, “I will become the wind and blow you.”

HA… I was thinking the same thing as Joe Frank… Isn’t this supposed to be a bedtime story for little kids?  I am sure that it’s pretty innocent, but still… I think about it every time I say it.  Joe sort of changed it a little bit to make it nicer.  HE says, If you become a sailboat, I will become the wind and blow you all the way home.  If you become the wind and BLOW me all the way home, said the bunny, I will…. etc.”

See, nicely put.  In the end, mothers get what they want!

Have a carrot, said the mother bunny.  

and so he did. 

Beware of Dragon Rants

Warning material contained in this post may not be suitable for all readers.

Okay, let me preface this by saying that I consider myself pro equal rights; so nobody is more shocked than I about this opinion. Also, I am not what you would call a sports fan; but I will say that I love to participate in various sports. To be frank, however, I don’t like football because it’s too complicated in the rule department for me, stupid rules. Do you get where I am going with this?

For some reason, I cannot say why, but I just want to puke when I hear women sports announcers talking sports with men on the radio…. and teevee. The very smart Drake will sort of grunt a non-committal acknowledgement when I start making comments about this… like I did tonight after the Jets game. I can assure you that the only reason I know that it was the Jets is because of the chatter after the game on the FAN about the bad judgement call by the refs that lost the game for them.

Amy Lawrence was on of the commentators, and yes, I got sick to my stomach when she came on after the game. I don’t know, I guess it’s because I am used to sports being pure testosterone. Now you have women on there trying to make testosterone comments… trying to be “one of the boys”. Ugh.

To be fair, I don’t know anything about sports or sports commentators, male or female. I just get the impression that the females are being fake, uttering sentences that are totally alien to the female mind and mouth parts. I mean, men, and especially sports obsessed men, have a lingo all their own when talking sports. I noticed it tonight when I heard callers into the radio station after the game. Alien sentence structure, terminology and usuage of normal words with abnormal words.  Oh, and the DRAMATICS.  Why would a woman even WANT to learn this crazy language in order to communicate with crazy men, all bent out of shape after a game, is beyond me.

All I can tell you is that I find it really annoying to listen to women trying to blend into the forefront of sports talk, reciting stats and recent team history, strategy, etc. I kind of find it a lot like scientists training chimps to communicate via symbols on a fingerboard. I won’t say who are the chimps and who are the humans; I’ll leave that to the imagination.

Life After Death

I wish to speak about death. Not a subject that is popular, but it’s certainly worth talking about.

I have lost my mother to death. In her later years, she was very sick and became a recluse. As the limousine carrying her family drove from the funeral home to the church, we passed our block, as is pretty standard. We passed strangers on the street and they watched as we drove by. I started thinking about this and wondered at how my dead recluse mom just affected strangers on the street. I imagined that the site of our little line of cars evoked certain thoughts of sympathy and maybe a prayer or two (if we were lucky). This little episode sparked a line of thought that traveled the road less traveled by most… or so I believe, so please correct me if I am wrong.

Afterwards, don’t remember how long it was, I read a book called “Our Greatest Gift”, by Henri J. Nouwen. It was a meditation on death. I hasten to add that the first book that I ever read by him was “Life of the Beloved”. Both totally blew my mind away; or I should say dismantled, then reconstructed it, though I should say it took longer than three days. I had hoped to have the book at my side while writing this, but I gave it to someone to read. So what I did was go to the Amazon site and get a bit of a review, paste it here, then write with it in mind. Hopefully, things from the book will come back to me while writing.

“Nouwen, well-loved author of such books as The Wounded Healer , offers us here a gentle, almost meditative book on coming to terms with death. Reflecting on his own not-so-distant future death, as well as on the deaths of loved ones and friends, he shares his view of death as a gift, an opportunity to impart hope to those around us, whether through our own dying or in our caretaking of someone else. In embracing death, says Nouwen, one comes to ask: “How can I so live that I can continue to be fruitful when I am no longer here among my family and friends?” One can, in other words, make choices that effect not just one’s self but also the generations to come–choices to care well, to die well and to embrace Grace.”

There is a question that is asked and that is, “How can I so live that I can continue to be fruitful when I am no longer here among my family and friends?” I think I will focus on this and see where it goes:

You’ve got to really think about if and how you affect people that you interact with throughout the day, especially those you love, and love you. This is something that nobody ever thinks about; so many opportunities going by unnoticed. Already I am starting to digress.

What I really want to talk about is the concept of influencing people after we are gone. It’s important to think about because it starts from now, from when we are alive. Ladies and gentlemen, our greatest gift is our spirit, the memories we give our loved ones while we are still alive. So often when we are stuck at a crossroads, we will ask ourselves, “How would so-in-so handle this situation,” or, “What would so-in-so do?” The dearly departed one appears to advise us from the grave. Well, I don’t know about those things, but I do believe that we come to know our loved ones and instinctively know already what they would do because we know their spirit from when they are alive.

Now, I am not saying that spirits cannot communicate with us. In truth, I really don’t know. I am speaking only from the perspective of how we can still be affected by people from the memories they leave behind; and I hope that I can satisfactorily convey that.

For myself, I have decided that I will be as open as I can with anyone and everyone I come into contact with. Coming from an early life of never uttering a word, this is a dramatic turn around for me, but unbelievably, it feels right. This has also been influenced by my own mother’s lack of opening herself up to us, her family. See what I mean by learning in reverse? I will go way out of my way to make sure that I am understood. I have written letters and have actually forced myself to speak intimately with family members and friends about such taboo subjects as sickness and death. Really what people need sometimes is someone who will not do the talking, but do the listening.

I am still not saying what I really want. “How can I so live that I can continue to be fruitful when I am no longer here among my family and friends?” Sometimes, the only thing we can do is plant seeds in hopefully fertile minds for the needs of the future. An example I’ll give is a conversation I had with my niece while she was still in grade school about dreams and possibilities after high school graduation. She didn’t have a lot of confidence in her abilities, probably due to the fact that she while growing up, she was constantly exposed to outside conversations about her “learning disability”. I wanted her to know that she could do anything she put her mind to. Well, she does have a learning disability, BUT that needn’t stunt her dreams and her efforts towards making them a reality. How often I cringed when my sister would talk about this subject in front of my niece. Anyway, to make a long story short, this is her freshman year in college. She wants to own a business, so she is taking related courses. She has a dream, a goal; and working towards it. She is the only one in that family to actually have disposable $$$. She is a bartender and wants to own a bar or restaurant someday. She has street smarts, she knows the liquor laws, she is soaking up knowledge in the area of her interests. She has a great head on her shoulders and I am rooting for her! It’s possible that I may have had something to do with her opening herself up to possibilities. I hate to sound egotistical here, but it’s for the example. In truth, my niece has another great aunt/godmother who, no doubt, has given her good advice.

So far, I feel that I have not done justice to what I am feeling, but this post is getting very long and not everyone has the time or inclination to read them so I’ll stop here…. for now.

I got this from the Henri Nouwen Society site and it resonates with me:

“Nouwen believed that what is most personal is most universal; he wrote, “By giving words to these intimate experiences I can make my life available to others.””

As always, I look forward to your comments.

Great Spiritual/Religious Author

~~I changed the title to this entry because my original intentions for this entry got side stepped because of the lack of time, but I will soon get into it when I have the chance to focus on my thoughts.  Thanks, The Dragonmommie~~

One of my favorite authors is/was Henri J. Nouwen. I am such a fan that I even know how to spell his whole name! I think these are some of his quotes, though I cannot tell by looking at this page of HenriJ. Okay, I’ve found another site, Henri Nouwen Society. I own several of his books, reflections, really. I urge everyone to check him out, if you have not already. He was the Wounded Healer, the Broken One, the Beloved. He explained to me exactly how even my broken life can serve to heal. His words are exquisite. He told me how a person can die well in “Our Greatest Gift”. He gives a whole new perspective on the subject from the point of the person dying and from those left behind.

A lot of what I have written thus far has been influenced by this man’s writings. He’s got something to say on just about any subject. I’ve always been left with a desire to be a better person because of this man, who was, himself a tormented soul. I can really go on and on, but I need to get to bed. Maybe I will write more tomorrow, but now, bed.

Knitting Update

This morning I got up really early, like, 5am early! My hands hurt like the devil. I think that I’m getting arthritis if I don’t have it already. ANYway, I felt inspired to whip up a pair of these:

Fingerless wrist and hand warmers

Wrist warmers

I used LB Wool Ease and Sensations’ Angel Hair. I have to admit that this combination feels veeeery soft due to the Angel Hair. Usually when I make these or mittens, I make the arm part longer so that when you’re outside in the cold, your arms get warm, too. I only had one skein of the Angel Hair, so I had to keep them short as I had no idea if I would have enough. Everybody, be forewarned that I <cringe> work on the fly. I do not use patterns for more of my stuff, I just go. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. This time, it definitely did and I have extra yarn so I am wondering what I could make next to go with my warmers. I could probably make flaps to convert these to mittens, but I am thinking headband or something for the hair. I hate hats and don’t have enough for that, but something. Any ideas? I made them with a loom, which allowed me to literally whip these up! Both done in a couple of hours.

I am also still working on that poncho but have not finished it off yet. I’ll post it as soon as I do. Another thing I am still working on is that Log Cabin Blanket. I’ve gotten a few more stripes done and, so far, it looks like this:

Log cabin blanket2

I’ve seen some nice ones posted around with some sort of pattern running through. What I am trying to do is do half, diagonally, in blues and purples (cool colors) and the other diagonal half in greens, but that did not work out because on that side is gray and aqua blue. I guess I wanted to make this into a scrap project, but I ended up actually buying yarn when I was out the other night to knit and left extra yarn home. I didn’t just buy one, but four skeins. I tried to be random about it, but when I looked, I had a solid blue and a mixed color with the yellow, green and blue; and a solid mauve and a mixed one with pinks and purples… go figure. I am also thinking that I want to vary the textures on this here and there. Don’t know yet as I am clinging to my hoarded novelty yarn!

Time to go…. thanks for stopping by!

Update on Screechboy

Thought I’d do a quickie post to bring you guys up to date.  Yes, Screechboy a.k.a. Little Drake.  Have you ever heard the rare sound of a squeaky screech?  I hear this whenever Little Drake, also a.k.a. Gabriel, is really annoyed and verbalizes his displeasure with us.  Cute, though it jars my nerves.

Past week or so, Little Drake has had this rash on his whole body, and there were two days that he had a minor temp. To make a long story short, Dr. Oxman, his pediatrician, says that it’s probably from the fabric softener sheets I started using.  He also found a sore throat and took a culture of it to make sure it’s not viral.  Still waiting for the results.  The thing is that I was only using the fabric sheets for towels, but I “could” have put them in this big wash I did of all of the little baby clothes. It’s funny how usually I put just a couple of his things in with mine, but THIS time I put up a mega wash of all his stuff. So the other day I rewashed every item of textiles associated with my little drake…. last night being the last of it- his special fleece blanket.

Doc Ox says that this rash will take a full two weeks to completely go away. Gabriel’s not even itchy, but in the mean time, I’ve got to put calamine lotion on him 4x a day…. yeah right! This little guy is so wirey that I can’t get him to sit still for anything… besides it would be faster to just dunk him in a vat of the stuff. Seriously, aside from that, it’s amazing that even though he squirms, you can see that he is actually allowing me to swab this stuff on, and even on his face. So precious!

I forgot to mention that this rash clears up, then comes back during the day. Since I rewashed his clothes, the rash seems to be gone in the mornings, then resurfaces during the day. All in all, he is not really sick by the normal standards. Yesterday he even went out for a little bit with his dad.

Oh, another update is that Little Drake started climbing two days ago (it was the rash!). We’ve been really spoiled because up to now, he has not tried to climb at all. Now, he climbs and he thinks he can walk to and fro on my little love seat. He is SO very happy and proud of himself! What an accomplishment! The story goes like this: Simple. First he wasn’t there, then he was. I was sitting on the couch, knitting. Then all of a sudden he was laying on the couch right beside me making noises. At first I thought nothing of it, but THEN I realized that he was UP ON THE COUCH. “How did you do that?”, I said. So I did what every mother probably has done at one time or another to confirm such progress. I put him back down on the floor to see what he would do. Sure enough, he threw himself against the couch and lifted his leg higher than I would think possible and got himself up with the biggest grin on his face. What a view! I plan on posting a video as soon as I can get one.

Another development of Little Drake’s is that the terrible two’s are coming on earlier than the name implies. He is so moody sometimes, totally out of his normal character. I am thinking maybe it has to do with the fact that he wants to communicate more, and he is, just in a non-verbal way. He is not talking yet, though he “talks” all the time. Unfortunately, I cannot understand him and probably never will. I take my cues from just knowing him and what he would “probably” want. I can see it being frustrating for him.

I noticed yesterday how jealous he is of my attentions. I had company over and was trying to teach her how to sew together a sort of knitted braid rug. I noticed that he got very cranky because I was giving my attention to her and not him. I think part of the problem, too, is that I am constantly taking things away from him and telling him what he “cannot” do or have. I hate to restrict him out of the kitchen, but that is where all the stuff is that I don’t want him to touch… garbage pail, stove, broiler door, outlet in the mud room… it can go on and on…. like when he pulled the table cloth and knocked over a full glass of iced coffee… SPLAT, WHOOSH… all over everything!

Yep, I’ll probably have to keep him out of the kitchen or keep him in the highchair while in there. So cute, though, he tries to help. Yesterday, he took some clothes that were on the floor in my bedroom and put them in the bag in the mud room…. it won’t be long before I have a little laundry assistant! Then one time he got a hold of my knitting and tried to knit… I am constantly amazed by this kid. Soon he’ll be knitting, too, though it freaked me out at the same time that he got those needles in the first place.

Oh man, it’s light out already. I got up when Big Drake went to work to write a comment I was thinking about last night and, now, almost 3 hours later, I am ready to go back to bed but can’t because baby will be up pretty soon……………….

need coffee!

Photographs and Memories

Thank you, Naturalhigh, for another great post, “Life As It Ought To Be” ! You really got me to dig deeper inside myself to where I really don’t want to go… not that I’ve not been there before. Even though I’d rather forget, it’s always better to know where you’ve come from.

Becoming a parent has brought a lot of things to the forefront of my brain for consideration. Lot’s of childhood memories came, unbidden, flooding back. I made the decision a long time ago that if I was to become a parent, I did not want to be like my parents. Does this sound too harsh? Maybe, but I should say that even though I had a mostly miserable childhood, some of it was not my parents’ fault; and there are some happy memories of us having fun as a family. While I do realize they did the best that they could, and they always had my best interest at heart, having that knowledge did not stop the pain. It took time.

I remember my mother rummaging through a bag of hand-me-downs, searching for clothes that might fit me. That young child of 5 years old, or so, did not notice anything other than the annoyance of her mother’s voice as she voiced, “You’re too big for this”, “you won’t fit into this”, or “this won’t fit you.” That child wanted to shrink into the smallest ball possible; she heard an underlying message of “you’re fat”–abnormal. She did not know that she was a young child still growing and, indeed, growing out of her clothes—a normal thing. I can truly understand how random remarks can really damage a young mind. I remember that all my life I had the self image of being “fat”. Then on day, as an adult, I came across a picture that I remember taking around that same age. It was of two young, very normal sized girls, my sister and I, sitting on the back steps with gigantic pine cones on our laps. I remember taking that picture, and what I remember is dreading to pose for that picture and trying to hide BEHIND the pine cone. Now where on earth could I have gotten that idea? FYI, later I did, in fact, acquire a life long supply of fatty deposits…. and demons.

Without getting into all the details, the above is the gist of what I want to avoid with my kid. I also have become a big fan of CLEAR communication. I mean, if I don’t get it, or if I think that YOU don’t get it, I will go back and ask you if you understand, or ask questions myself. I will not let it go… though sometimes I think the Drake has it; but somewhere along the line, he still loses it. HA! Could not resist that one! Seriously, I can remember my mom having a hard time talking to us, as evidence the birds and the bees talk. When I got my period, at 9 years old and my sister 8 yrs., she took the both of us aside and very awkwardly gave us some of the details of reproduction. Oh yes, my mother was seemingly a very stoic, unapproachable person. Sad because, in reality she was a very emotional and deeply affected human being.

I acknowledge that this might sound very unfair and really not so bad. I can only say is that there is a lot more factors to add to this brew to make me one totally messed up kid. God was on my side, however; he kept me out of serious trouble. He held me and protected me until I could really take care of myself. For that I am eternally grateful. No matter how much pain I endured growing up, I am now grateful for it, for my life as it unfolded. I can hold my head up high and say, unequivocally, that I know pain. I also know that pain makes you strong.

I’ve always said that I learned my lessons in reverse. I learned everything that I “don’t” want, as opposed to seeing something that I like, and then go for it. I learned that with my parents and I learned that with my first husband. My Drake is the only person in my life who showed me what I actually like…. so I went for it!

Getting a bit daffy now, need to get some sleep…. But first, off to check the stats!

Addicted to…………… Blog Stats!

Is anyone else as captivated by their blog stats as I am? I think that it’s only equal is the need for checking my email every 5 minutes… (I kid)

Seriously, I’ve really gotten into checking out my blog stats–just to see. I do it as soon as I log in, and exactly the last thing I do before I log off.  I actually like to see the numbers going up. I’ve gotten acquainted with GMT cutting off my little graph at the end of the day, and I have adjusted. I am on EST, soon to have DST to adjust to, as well.

I think I like it most because it gives me the feeling of being in control behind the scenes. If that isn’t an oxymoron I don’t know what is! But really, I feel like I am privy to information that nobody else is… sort of empowering. I get the same feeling when I figure out some of my son’s toys. Yeah, like finally finding out that the big blue hippo that he can ride can actually pick up stuff with his mouth as it rolls along. Yeah! I was wondering why the mouth was going up and down…. I digress, of course.

As predicted, I certainly don’t have a popular blog, but I am glad that I am writing it. I am glad that I’ve gotten to peek into some of my fellow blogger’s brains. What I’ve found out is that we all have more in common that we might think on the surface.

Do You Hear That?

This post is inspired by Naturalhigh’s blog, entitled LIVING LIFE FULLY, the post was called, “The Places We Are Called To Be”.

“The place God calls you to, “ writes Frederick Beuchner, “is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

I start with the above quote from her blog. This really grabbed hold of me when I read it today…. where deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet. I really like this. It feels right. God will always call us to a place where we can help others in whatever way they need to be helped. It could be a smile, or it could be a few words said just when they needed to be said. It’s this kind of thing that I get excited about. Every day miracles.

Pain is not something to shy away from. All pain is, well, painful. I learned early in life that there is no other option other than to ride the pain, physical, emotional, whatever. Eventually, I realized hey, I got through that… I am still alive. I, along with everyone else, has weathered a lot of pain throughout my life. You ask the question, “why?” If God was such a loving God, then why all the pain? What reason… there has to be a reason, right? I got into survivor mode. To survive, I needed to rise above the pain and look at it objectively. Once I could make it a part of me, acknowledge and accept it, I realized that nothing could touch me, or use that vulnerable part of me, against me. Cool. That was where it stood for a while until I started to get spiritual. There had to be more.

Somewhere along the line I recognized that, at times, I had a certain amount of empathy towards those who had experienced what I had. I would feel the urge, the need to do or say something to help. Now, though I always loved to write, I could not speak. I was a stutterer, meaning my brain would freeze and go blank; and any effort to verbalize would come out sputtering…. repeatedly. In fact, I was incapable of speaking. Silent, I bore this gift, this added dimension of “feeling” other’s pain as well as understanding it, within my boundaries.

Finally, I ventured forth, baring my pain- my raw self, sharing my own pain in an effort to have an effect…. to help. This happened when I joined a self help group for divorced and separated people. This was truly when my life began. I was literally transformed then… or I should say the transformation had started then. I grew. Now, I am a totally different person. I can finally articulate my thoughts. So, in striving to help others I am saved, myself.

There are many passages in the bible that bring me to this same spot, the place that I need to be. Unfortunately, I fail to recall specifically what they are… (don’t you hate that?) For me, the place that I need to be is right here. Ah, finally back to Naturalhigh’s post. She speaks about being called. I did fight my calling; but now I am here answering. I pray that He will find me worthy to be His vessel on earth. I will sometimes drift off into hymn lyrics and I will do so here:

“Hear I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord? I have heard you calling in the night. I will go, Lord if you lead me. I will hold your people in my heart.”~~~~ Hear I am, Lord

I know that I am called right now to mother a precious soul of the Lord, my Gabriel. I often wonder that God has found me worthy to have a baby. Wow. I must trust in the Lord. I question, but I always end by acknowledging that I am His vessel and that I must not hesitate to act; in this case, to bring up baby.

This is for The Mommy, at “Attempted Motherhood”, if she is reading. None of us are perfect. Yes, we bring our faults, our failings into our mothering. It’s okay. Being aware of it is the first and biggest step to parenting.  Being conscious of what we want and what we don’t want is SO important.  We have that unique perspective and we must somehow consciously use it for good and make our negatives into positives. Can we call it “creative mothering”? It can be done. We look at our babies and marvel that we are entrusted with them. What a blessing! Gabriel inspires me every day. I look at him and know that he deserves the best that I can offer… and sometimes he gets my own worst and that I cannot help sometimes. One of the miracles is that I now believe that I have a LOT to offer a kid, whereas before, I didn’t think that I had anything of value to offer. Well, I learned that I have MYSELF to offer and that is a great gift… for both of us!

I look at him and I am reminded that he will not always be this little baby. He will not always come running to me with innocence in his eyes…..

…but I will remember!

Maternal Dragon Spirit

My maternal grandmother taught me now to knit and crochet. She created many items from scratch, years ago, that you see in the stores today, like crocheted towel hangers, flowers, mail holders, etc. Let’s just say she was very creative. I have that hands on creative spirit she possessed. Not my sister or brother, me. Gabriel and Granny Blanket

(This is Little Drake a year ago) I watched her spend her whole summer knitting, arranging and attaching this full-size granny square spread for her bed. This is the most amazing thing; she used all the colors of the rainbow for it, and you simply cannot discern a pattern from throughout the whole thing. Amazing. What’s more amazing is that I now have this spread on my own bed, or rather hers; because I now have her bedroom set, as well. How lucky can a girl get?…. Though I do not think of her having sex in it…. ugh, was that necessary? Yes. I mean, we all think of stuff like this and blogs are our written thoughts. You can’t just delete or erase your thoughts. I definitely digress, however.

I often think about how similar I really am to my grandmother… or my memories of her as she is gone from this world now. You see, I never had a really good relationship with her. We always clashed. I could attribute this to the fact that gemini’s (me) and Pisces (her) simply get along as well as vinegar and water. I grieve for her still, but more for the relationship that we never had. She taught me all the creative things that I know how to do. She also made satin ribbon roses from scratch. Not those pathetic ones they sell in the stores now, flat as the flattest pancake. Not only did we make the roses, but we made the stems, too, and the leaves. We made realistic roses…. beautiful. We put them on gift packages. She taught me how to cook as well…. to bake is more like it. I was the one who helped her knead the dough for all the Italian pastries, cookies, cakes and whatever.

I watched her painstakingly and lovingly practice her crafts. Whatever she did, she did with love and creativity. I can remember her pulling out layette sets from her closet or from under her bed when we heard of someone expecting a baby. She made them for everyone, well, except me because I did not even have a man by the time she died. When my dad sold the house, we found all her knitting stuff. He was going to throw out everything and I could not bear it, so I took everything. Unfortunately, by the time I got to go through it all, I was in a cleaning frenzy and threw out all the partially made layette sets, including hats, booties, jacket, and in some cases, tiny mitts. At the time, I was not knitting and had no idea how to put her treasures together, to finish them. Soon after, I found out that I was pregnant. I cannot help but feel that she was revealing them to me for my own baby. What a total washout that was, I was.

If I ever have a daughter, I will name her Mary Rose for my grandmother and the roses we made; and to honor her inspiration in me.

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