Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sleep Aid

It's just after 5 a.m. and I can hear my 5yr old laughing in his sleep.  There are no other sounds, other than the clickety-clack of the keys as I type.  The sky is dark and the air is cool.  My heart is warmed by his laughter and mumbles of a "silly face".  Suddenly, I think I can sleep.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Eggs Are Beautiful

Living in the closest thing to the country that I ever have, I spent the last six years trying to convince my Hubby that since we are zoned for animals, we should at least get some chickens.  Now, after hatching and growing a dozen or so from eggs, I thought I was in over my head. Seven months after the endeavor began, we have been feeding them with no output.  Today, we, really I, was rewarded with one tiny, light brown and perfect egg. I was so excited that I took a picture or three and emailed them to my husband, who promptly called me and with all sincerity said, "I bet you're really excited".  Little did he know that that one little egg could somehow lift my spirits, that I did not even know were a bit down.  Yeah, apparently he gets lucky when I'm happy.  Talk about unforeseen circumstances, hahaha.

Oh, the white one is a store bought Grade A large for comparison.  Woo Hoo!  We have eggs, well, egg.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Enter the Nothing

Old sounds of memories ring through the mind.  Wonder what pulls them to the surface.  Wonder why they linger.  Trading time for reminiscing.  Pulled to the present with a bang, just to float back at the first moment of peace. Warm hearts relax the soul and all urgency subsides.  Good things past lead to smiles present.  Patience grows from nothing, from the distant feeling the tickles the heart.  Intangibles can be a wonderful thing.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Little Dreams

Daydreams.  What a nice break for a minute.  Doing dishes, looking out the window, dreaming of whatever comes to mind.  Not an escape from reality.  Reality is joy and conflict and happiness and all things.  Yet, in the middle of the afternoon, deep in the daily grind, the thought of blue skies and a cool breeze can bring a smile to the face that just moments ago reflected the boredom that was.  A minute to relax.  A minute to breath and it's back to the usual.  Only this time, it might look a bit brighter for the break.  The smile infects the soul and is contagious.  It is a good thing. 

Mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, fixer of all things broken, doctor, nurse, tutor, chef, and maid.  So many shoes to fill in a day, an hour, every minute.  It is a lot when you think about it, and there will never be enough time.  Take each day as it comes.  Though being all things at all times can wear on you, you only have to be who you are and the rest just kind of falls into place.  Though there is always room for improvement, I don't know if we can ever truly be who we wish we were.  Everyone I know wishes they could be their own version of perfect, the perfect wife, mother, lover, or friend.  We are all but human, and as such, we are perfect enough.  All else can be forgiven.

Hair, do I know you?

It's the first time in about four months that I attempted to straighten my locks.  Whatever the reasons, I've been unable to find the time or inclination to be bothered.  So, while on the phone and rushing to get ready, I decided to try and get the job done.  My hair was acutely atrocious, so no harm no foul. Admittedly, it was a half-assed job.  However, it was enough to make me remember why I ever bothered to pull out the flat-iron to begin with.  My hair looks much more healthy straight, except for the ends of course.  More than that, hubby came home and ran his fingers through it.  He hasn't attempted that for a long time.  So, I guess it might be worth the trouble.  Hubby likes it, and it makes me feel good, or at least better, about my hair. 

Usually, I'm not all about looks.  I've grown out of the stage where I had to live in a full face of make-up.  I can't help but wonder if it has something to do with where I live.  Make-up isn't really important in these parts.  Then again, neither is dental hygiene.  Anyway, I think that I'll begin to form a routine again, as best I can around a newborn and four year old.  I could try to squeeze some time after my two oldest are off to school in the morning.  It wouldn't kill me to take an interest in things, more than I have been.  Being sleep deprived really changes one's perception about what really matters.

I was looking at my slightly thinning, yet amazingly shiny (must be the products) locks and it was nice to see something not looking like crap.  I was transfixed on my dead ends.  Looking and the smooth shaft growing into the tiny v's at the very end of the hair, well, it got me thinking.  Everything looks perfect except for that one flaw.  The one tiny problem that could ruin the whole thing.  How many things in life do we see that way?  Everything looks good, your friends are true and loyal.  Then, one tiny mistake, one fatal flaw, and then the friendship is questioned in its entirety, or a marriage teeters on the edge not knowing which way it will fall because the foundation was eternally cracked due to one tiny imperfection.  Nothing is ever what it seems, not really.  Happiness is only happy because it is believed to be so.  When something, however minuscule, changes that perception ever so slightly, then what happens to the happy.  Is it gone, never to return? Does it change along with each revelation.  Can people or situations ever just be what they are?  I don't think so. I mean, how can they be.  I know what I am, yet sometimes even I surprise myself.  So, if I can still do that, then how can anyone else really know me.  Yes, loved ones  love you good, bad, and ugly.  But do they really know you?  I know who and what I believe my hubby to be.  Does that mean that he will never prove me wrong?  Of course it doesn't.  But he proves me right on a regular basis and that is good enough for me.  Unfortunately, all the good can be outweighed by one bad, one really bad. 

Let's hope that life brings good surprises and that the curves in the road just make for a more interesting journey. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Welcome Fall

Sitting out on the swing in the cool evening breeze, I listened to the sounds of the world.  I heard my roosters crow and the hens cluck.  They were loving the breeze after the long hot summer.  Though they have yet to yield a single egg, I enjoy them.  They are quite funny, and it makes this place feel like home.  My cat was stalking the chickens outside of their pen.  Though safe inside, the would gather opposite the kitty, and you could tell that he could feel his power as he watched them squirm from his gaze.  It's like my own little savanna.  The butterflies were out in force late afternoon.  So many different ones.  They must be lured by my weed garden flowers being carried on the wind.  I saw the largest one I had ever seen.  It was black with blue splotches and was at least as big as my open hand.  So beautiful is nature.  The mosquito are hiding in the chill and the crickets are sleeping.  The frogs that were so plentiful just days ago seemed to have run from the cold as well.  It was lovely. 

All About a Plan

I'm thinking that I should schedule my daily activities.  I've been home for years, and with the birth of my last, will bee home for a few more to come.  I'm good with that.  There's nothing like watching and helping kids grow.  Of course, no one tells you that spending so much time with them could lead you to blame yourself for any signs of unwanted behavior.  Ah, but that's a blog for another day.  I've been so far behind on things around here that I feel bogged down every time I open my eyes.  Sometimes I get a lot of things done, others not a darn thing.  So, in a serious attempt to regulate my daily output and eventually make my life a bit easier, I think that a schedule would do me good.  It definitely can't hurt.  Who knows, maybe I'll get a chance to do all things I would like to do with my kids.  Because right now, I feel like everything good is on hold because I have so many chores to do. 

Since the boys must get up at 7:15, then I shall get up at least at 7.  This would be regardless if hubby gets up or not.  Usually he does the mornings (mostly, I still get them ready) and I do everything else.  I must say, I love not having to walk anyone to the bus stop in the morning.  Anyway, I will start with the kitchen, and move to laundry.  My goal is to have everything washed and dried or at least 2 loads a day by lunch.  Then, in the afternoon, between errands and the boys getting home, I will put the clothes away and unload the dishwasher and tackle the living and family rooms.  The floors will have to wait until the kids are in bed, otherwise they just get dirty right away anyway.  This is my plan.  Perhaps I'll start slowly.  I'm not going to beat myself up too badly if I don't get some stuff done.  I have a bunch of kiddies and things happen.  But it is a plan and I feel better about having it.  Now, maybe with my new found hope I can tackle my personal pigsty and go back to living in a real home.

A girl can dream.

Monday, October 19, 2009

It Would Be Heaven

I've been known to bake the hell out of pies and cakes and other deliciously sweet concoctions.  However, I am yeast challenged.  I  try about four or five times a year to bake bread from scratch, no machines.  I have managed to make a decent dinner roll, and that's about it.  I can't even bake  biscuits from scratch, they just don' turn out right.  I can live with canned biscuits.  It won't kill me, since there are some that are quite tastey.  Oh, but the bread.  I have always loved the smell of fresh-baked bread. 

My family was never much of a baking family.  They can cook, for sure, but it was my extremely large and ever-growing sweet tooth that fueled my love of baking.  The first time I had homemade bread I was sleeping at a friend's house.  I was in high school, if you can believe it.  I think I'm the only one I know that never had homemade bread.  It was amazing.  I ate the whole thing, and I wasn't the least bit embarrassed.  They were amazed at how thrilled and excited I was over the bread.  Since then, it has been my mission to bake at least one loaf of delicious bread.  Okay, maybe I got a little more into it once I had kids.  I would love to be that Mom.  You know, the one that makes things from scratch.  Like I said, I'm good with desserts, but I'm all about the bread.  Yeah, I could never do Atkins. 

Unfortunately, I get so emotional about the prospect of delicious bread that when it doesn't turn out right, I don't bake anything for awhile.  Hence, only trying to bake bread a handful of times a year.  I have decided that today is the day.  I have cleared my mind and opened myself to all possibilities.  I think that I have been going into my trials with a specific outcome in mind.  In the past, I've turned out a few loaves that other people have enjoyed, but they were nowhere near what I intended.  Thus, I was again highly unsatisfied.  Now, I think I will just see what happens.  They always smell great, but some aren't as crusty or soft or light or whatever that I wanted.

Maybe I should take one recipe and just rework it until I get a result that I find satisfactory.  I just might have to try once a week.  Every day is a little hard for me, since I get so emotionally invested in my baking.  It's funny, I never have a problem if I bake a lopsided cake, or if I forget to brush a pie crust.  I suppose in desserts, I don't really care so long as it tastes good.  But with bread I look to be perfect.  Though I am aware that will never happen.  It would be wonderful if one day I could have to varieties of bread that I can bake consistently well, one for dinner and a softer, less crusty one for breakfast.  For now, I will be happy with just one that I can enjoy.

I'm all stocked up with flour and yeast.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Too Tired to Sleep

Does anyone else sit alone in the darkness, body too tired to move, yet mind speeding through a lifetime?  With thoughts whizzing past at an annoyingly attention-grabbing rate.  I have found sleep to be elusive.  This, in itself, is not new to me.  However, with my latest boy, I am worn out and actually long for sleep.  Now, unfortunately,  I find myself drawn to the computer at 3 a.m. when the little one has, once again, been fed and is resting.  Any normal Mom would try to pass out.  Yet, no matter how drained I may be, my mind won't let me sleep.  It would be different if I could nap with him during the day, but with four young kids, there is no napping.  So I find myself guiltily enjoying the silence of the night, wishing it would spread its tendrils through to sunrise, unbroken in its beauty. 

Thursday, October 15, 2009

'Tis the Season

A little rain and a 12 degree drop in temperature has made people a little loopy.  It has been hot and steamy around here for awhile, but what else is new?  Now this cooling rain has meant that people want to be outside a little more.  I thought I'd get a break.  Not so lucky.  So this rain has awakened the sleeping lime green devils in my yard and all across the neighborhood.  Little tree frogs have taken over the world.  These little guys, that range from tiny to about an inch long, are everywhere.  It's like one of the seven plagues.  I wouldn't care if I was at all normal about this sort of thing, but in my old age I've developed a fear of frogs.  Okay, just to clarify, I was all about frogs as a kid.  Then, while in high school, I saw a native toad in my German Shepard's food dish.  It took up the whole entire dish.  I was mortified as I had to feed the dog that night.  My father, showing no mercy, stood out there and yelled at me to pick up the bowl and dump the toad out.  The toad barked at me and in very slow motion climbed out of the bowl and attempted to chase me.  It wasn't hard to do as I was frozen to that spot watching the frog come closer to me.  Finally, I screamed refused to ever feed that dog again.  The big toads can still stop me from entering my house if I must cross one in order to do so.

Now, on my own terms I can pick one of the tiny ones up if I must.  At least the tree frogs are sort of cute by comparison, so I can definitely swat them off the car door to get in.  However, when my young ones realized that I wasn't joking about this punctuated dislike for these critters, they decided it would be funny to peg me with them.  They would take turns throwing frogs at me. It wasn't like it was raining frogs.  One would throw one and watch me try to get out of the way while screaming like I was being stabbed.  Then, after the fit of laughter began to settle, another would try his hand.  So, every 90 seconds or so I was dodging a froggy.  I tried to seem upset for the frogs and made a stink about it in a vain attempt to deflect my obvious freak out.  Boy, those kids don't know just how close I came to wetting myself in a sobbing fit of hysteria.  Thank goodness for hubby.  He came out of the shed and after being amused for about five minutes he distracted them long enough for me to run in the house and lock myself into the bathroom for a long hot cleansing shower.  I had to scrub the frog off, even though they never really touched me.  I'm a loon.  I know.  How embarrassing is this story.  What the heck am I thinking?

Pressure Cooker

Lately, I have been under pressure to bake cookies on a regular basis.  I do love to bake, but only when I'm caught up on everything else and have the time to dedicate to love filled yummies.  Knowing my love for baking, hubby came home awhile ago with a very large cookie book.  He and the kids went through every page with ooh's and ahh's over the various types of deliciousness that I would soon be making for them.  Like a good wifey and Mom, I made a new variety of cookie that very night.  Then a couple of days later, the pressure began.  I was reminded, ever so cleverly, about how if I made a different cookie every night, It would take me through the New Year to go through them all.  Now, when I glance at the book, I am no longer motivated.  I love to bake, because I find it calming and it works as a wonderful reward when I feel like me or the kids or hubby has accomplished something (like actually finishing and putting away all the laundry).  Now that I am constantly asked why I don't make cookies, and am reminded of how long it will take me to make all those cookies, well, I don't want to make any gosh-darned cookies. 

I know that the actual pressure is not intentional.  The boys just want goodies.  But for me, it has turned into a another sign of my growing inadequacies.  Now, usually, I can talk myself into thinking that whatever I get around to is just fine.  I don't pretend to be perfect and my family doesn't expect me to be.  Then, here comes the book.  It was a lovely gesture and everyone was excited.  It felt great to have them all looking forward to me baking for them.  But now, I feel like I have to be June Cleaver.  With the family sharing and rotating a bad cold, I can barely keep up with keeping them hydrated and tending to their symptoms much less housework, meals, groceries, and those gosh-darned cookies.  Also, being told that maybe fresh baked cookies will help with a speedy recovery is NOT helping. 

Perhaps, when everyone is on the tail end of this bug, and the milk won't cause more booger woes, then I may be motivated, once again, after I catch up on everything else first of course.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Price of Happy

Seems to be that daily stress is the killer of all joy.  Self-induced pressure is the destroyer of life.  In the grand scheme of things, who cares if dinner is a little late or if the floors are clean?  Not me, that's for sure.  It's a shame that annoying sounds of others' unhappiness has to leach into its surroundings.  It taints everything within earshot.  A shrill scream from an angry child and it's like an electric shock to the brain that closes off all the receptors to peace.  Blood pressure rises instantaneously.  Spouses and other loved ones can induce the same reaction.  Apparently, the more you care the easier it is to be miserable.  But by the same means is the road to extreme joy.  How nice it would be to have the latter without the former.  Unfortunately, one must open their heart and soul in order to allow the happy in and in doing so, everything else has a chance to enter too. 

I suppose without the sadness or misery or stress, then the joy wouldn't be so superfluous, and isn't that what we are all ultimately looking for, a love and joy to overflow our hearts.  Why oh why must it be so closely intertwined with the dark side?  I'll take the happy where I can get it, and if that means that I can't always be happy, that it must be tempered with everything else, then so be it.

My Little Little

Little hands and little feet
Little eyes for you to meet
Little fingers, little toes
Little miracle, watch him grow

Little face and toothless smile
Little peace for a little while
Little socks and little shoes
Lots of love for little you

Monday, October 5, 2009

If You Have Nothing Nice to Say.......

Time and time again it is clear that negativity reinforces the unwanted, whether it be bad people or bad behavior.  Haven't people heard of "you catch more flies with sugar than vinegar"?  It is almost to the point where I believe that people try to be curt, or downright mean.  There need be no provocation for the outlash.  It is a sad state of affairs when you're given the stink-eye for asking for the time.  It takes two seconds to look and tell you, and much longer to yell in passing "time to get a f-ing watch dude".  It would be nicer just to walk past and never look back.  

Anyway, episodes like that have helped to foster a society of people who don't even look at each other in the grocery store.  There used to be a time when everyone you passed smiled and waved "hello", even if you did not know them.  Now, you look at someone and it's the beginning of a confrontation.  Why?  Is a smile so threatening as to warrant an attack?  Is the recession making people more violent?  No, of course not.  I suppose when we are taught to look out for ourselves, there is an unspoken rule that others just don't matter.  it's not something that is outright taught.  However, it seems to be a very sad consequence of how society has "progressed". 

What gets me is the fact that I am still the kind of person to smile at someone who dares to look at me.  I still say "good morning" to strangers and speak to people wherever I go.  No, I'm not one of those annoying people who tell you their life story in an elevator.  But I will smile and nod hello, and if you happen to be wearing killer shoes, I'll tell you how fab they are.  If you happen to have no teeth and smell like a sewer, then I'll just leave it at a nod and a smile and quietly get off on the next floor just to escape the possibility of the stink sticking to me.  Again, I will not be the one to look you in the eye and say, "have some pride and take a f-ing shower dude".  

Sugar over vinegar all the way.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Life My Own

Trudging through time.  Trying to figure out the exact moment that led to a very specific reaction twenty years later.  Does it matter.  There is so much time wasted trying to find the origins.  Though a sense of understanding is a wonderful thing, it is what is going on now that is the issue.  How can tracing events long past, stop the pain that was caused just this morning?  It does help you, but does it help them.  Does it matter to the ones that have been stomped on and pushed away?  Will it make a difference, or help keep someone close to you, when you realize that your past effects your future?  It is the same for all of us.  Of course, some cases are much more tragic than others, but that doesn't mean that the reactions aren't the same. 

As adults, I'm all for figuring yourself out.  What I don't get is how so many people blame their past for all their problems.  There are too many people out there with severe tragedies somewhere behind them, and even without therapy, they've grown into caring, thoughtful, responsible adults.  So, if that can happen all on its own, how can so many still blame the past for their future even though it has yet to occur.

For myself, I have a need to know why I am the way I am.  However, if I make regrettable decisions, they are mine.  The good ones are mine as well, yet it is rare to take credit for that.  No one is forced to hurt the feelings of others.  Though the road is often difficult, the past doesn't have to follow you wherever you may go.  It will never be forgotten, nor should it be.  The past is part of who you are.  It is something to be accepted and then dismissed.  Take the lessons learned and try to move forward.  The more people you encounter, the more people who you touch, the further removed from the past you become.

It can be the most difficult task to let something go.  More often it is the bad things that tend to linger in the heart and mind.  So long as we can find a way to push them to the corners and lose them in the shadows, we can move on.  There will always come a time when these memories seek the sun, but few and far between is so much better than being in the forefront daily.

Acceptance and responsibility lead the road to a better you.  It's a rough road, but at the end lies freedom and respect.  I'd say it's worth the journey.