Thursday, October 28, 2010

Stillness and Knowing

I'm out of my mind with anxiety over Rojo's high school placement for next year. My rational, spiritual, intuitive side says, "All will be well. There is not a lot left you have control over. Trust. He always comes out on top and he will again. There are angels all around him and a greater good is being created all the time."

I totally, totally know that and believe that, and honor that.

However, between the hours of Midnight and 6 AM that side of me is nowhere to be found and the anxious, doubting, controlling, freaking out part of me is in full swing and it takes me all day to recover from being with "her" all night.

STM pointed out that when he gets over-stressed he shuts down and when I get over-stressed I fire up. I'm so over-stressed now I'm firing in all directions, totally without a plan, just frantic, nervous, unproductive and pointless firings. Suddenly every home furnishing is on my last nerve. Windows that have been without a treatment for seven years must have one this minute, art must suddenly be framed or reframed. I have to be DOING something, right? I can't just sit here and leave it all up to GOD, can I?

Driving is another time I really like to get myself worked up. Lately I have noticed an abundance of reassuring signs just as I'm deep into the What Ifs. A bumper sticker. A rainbow. A sign on a building.

In my daughter's high school there is my favorite Bible verse stenciled above the chapel doors. "Be still, and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10)

I know the call for me is to stop with the doing and be with the knowing.

God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Top 10 Things I Did Yesterday

10. Spent a very hyper morning with Rojo before he went to school

9. Met with a man that works with ASD teens to discuss possibility of working with Rojo

8. Went to FedEx Office (formerly Kinkos) and made copies of all Rojo's IEP stuff, to give to Rojo's new Resource Room teacher

7. Picked Rojo up at noon since this is a week of half days for conferences

6. Went to conference # 1 for Rojo

5. Went to conference #2 for Rojo

4. Went to conference #3 for Rojo

3. Came home and entertained Rojo until time to make dinner

2. Made dinner with Rojo "entertaining" me the whole time

1. Went to bed and dreamed/obsessed/planned for Rojo all night in my sleep

Friday, October 22, 2010


Had a dream that I was in the backseat of a car my friend was driving. She had her five-year-old daughter in the passenger's seat and the three of us were going to some mysterious place to me, but known to the two of them. This friend has two older children, and up until that moment I believed that was the full extent of her children: three.

We drive through underground gates and passage ways, tunnels and alleys and suddenly she's standing outside the car with a tiny baby in her arms. I see her trying to manage the five-year-old and the baby and offer to hold the baby for her. She dramatically pulls the baby to her closer and shifts away from me saying, "You can go home and read about babies if you want to know more about them!"

I then proceed to tell her that no one has ever in my life uttered more hurtful words, and I storm off determined to find my own way home, but alas, am hopelessly lost in a maze of darkness and spend the rest of the dream struggling to find her again, as she is my only way out.

Pretty sure those aren't the most hurtful words I've ever in my life heard, and now when I type this the whole dream sounds comical, but at the time it felt like a nightmare.

Trying to decide what are the dark and twisty parts of me. What is the baby part of me? The five-year-old part? The punitive part? The withholding and hurtful part? The pulling away and lashing out part? The lost part? The part that just wants to hold the baby?

* photo from

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Inside Wall

Well, it's done, the Sisters house closed and STM went over there this past weekend to pack up and haul back everything that he wasn't able to give away. There was nothing of value in the home. Isn't that interesting that I was so attached to all the stuff that is nearly impossible to give away?

Now the garage is full of stuff I am trying to find the proper home for, and as a last resort, hauling to the dump. We did bring home the couch and love seat that were there. We got the set used for $100 years ago, and have beat them up pretty well since. A couple over-the-counter slip covers are doing the trick, though, and now they are in our basement which is actually turning into the family room I've always wanted it to be, instead of the room at the bottom of the steps with all the *&^% in it.

As with all room makeovers, what you do to one, spills over to the next. Now I want to haul the piano from the main floor and put it in the new family room. I've never liked where it was placed when we moved, but I have kept it there all these years because that was the only main floor inside wall for it.

It was all about getting a piano I don't like, in the perfect spot for it and not for us. I inherited the piano when my dad died. He never played it. Not once. He acquired it when one of his tenants moved out and didn't take it. It's not my style. It's got emotional baggage. It's big and heavy and takes up a lot of prime real estate on the main floor. But there it's stayed, without question, for seven years.

Finally dawned on me that since I paid nothing for it, don't like it, and am only keeping it around for Rojo to bang on, it does not need, or in fact deserve inside wall status.

You'll be happy to know that the STM is working on getting a few friends over here, a couple of boards on casters, and hauling that hand-me-down-me-down-me-down piano's ass to the basement and the bad wall it deserves.

* Photo from

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Top 10 Things I Love About Writing

10. Entertaining myself and with luck, someone else

9. Being silly

8. The cathartic effect of of a good rant

7. Writing something I know will comfort at least one person

6. Writing something I know will get a rise out of at least one person

5. Writing something that makes me laugh

4. The surprises

3. The satisfaction of writing something that really nails it

2. How I don't know what I really think about something until my fingers type it on the computer, and my eyes read it

1. Hearing someone say, "You put into words what I've been thinking, but didn't even know I was thinking."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Top 10 Things I Hate About Writing

10. The writing

9. The self doubt

8. All the readers' voices in my head that say, "I want to know more about..." which only serves to make me mad and feel like punishing the reader by deliberately holding back information

7. Every guilty moment spent not writing

6. The dreams, mind wanderings, thoughts and obsessions about the writing

5. The writing

4. A good writing day that makes you temporarily forget just how much you actually do hate the writing

3. The inability to just say, "That's it! I quit!"

2. The feeling that everything you write is pure *&%^ and no one cares anyway

1. The writing

Thursday, October 14, 2010

No Accidents

I've probably written 10 blog posts with that title, but I don't care. Not enough can be made of the "law" of no accidents!

I just heard a great story about a man that had a simple question for one of his health care professionals. He knew he could just call and any number of people on the other end of the phone could answer the question, but something told him to go in and talk to the doctor personally, even though he didn't have an appointment. He went in, waited to get seen when there was just a couple free minutes between appointments, and he asked the doctor how he was doing. The doctor told him the truth: not good. The doctor explained the situation and of course, the man without the appointment held a vital part of the solution to the problem.

Such a beautiful reminder to ask each other, "How are you?" and then to listen to the answer. Such a beautiful reminder to tell each other how we really are doing, never knowing how others may fit into the story simply by showing up. Such a beautiful reminder of love.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Coming home from school, Woohoo is in the passenger seat, Rojo, Flicka and Elmo are squished in the back. "Mom? What does 'fruit' mean?" he asks.

"Fruit?" I say, not sure where he's going with this, because although he doesn't eat fruit, certainly, he knows what it is.

Reading my mind he answers, "Not like a banana, but fruit. You know, like 'fruit of thy womb, Jesus."

Quickly moving my brain from produce to Jesus, I answer "It means what comes from... Jesus came from Mary's womb. We say, 'fruit of our labor' and it means the results, the end product, the outcome.

"Blessed be Mary's fruit," he simply says.

* Madonna and Child by Raphael

Monday, October 11, 2010


I don't have any "real" sisters, but let me tell you, I have sisters! Here are three out of four of them, right here. My fourth sister wasn't able to join us on Saturday as we celebrated my mom's 80th birthday. She lives way too far away. Too far away to come for a weekend. Too far away for us to be in her life and her in ours, in any day-to-day way, but not too far away to be out of mind. She was sorely missed.

And here are a couple of cute sisters, don't you think? My mom's on the left. Doesn't she make 80 look good? 

I am blessed to have friends that are like sisters to me, too. Friends I can, and do, say anything to. Friends that are there through thick and thin. Friends that know the minutiae and the unmentionables. 

Sisters and friends, friends and sisters. Same thing.


Thursday, October 7, 2010


We are more than what we do...
much more than what we accomplish...
far more than what we possess.
- William Arthur Ward

Going through the basement I find a lot of things I've lugged from house to house, simply because someone told me they were valuable. Certain books, art, jewelry, antiques, quilts, that kind of thing. So house after house, year after year, storage box after storage box, they have followed me wherever I've gone.

I certainly could try to Craigslist them. I certainly could work to determine their fair market value and eBay them. I certainly could do a lot of things besides lugging them around for the rest of my life.

Finally occurred to me that while they may be valuable, they are not valuable to me, and what is valuable is the reclaimed time, space and freedom from them.


* Photo from

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Loving my new routine: get kids off to school, walk with Kathleen and Flicka, come home, shower, then write for at 2 hours and/or 2,000 words. I will admit that today I wrote two sections that were brutal to write about, so I let myself be done after two hours even though I hadn't quite hit the 2,000 word mark. The good news is those sections are as done as they are going to be until the next draft, and each day I get closer to writing about the fun stuff: Rojo's spiritual brilliance. At the ages I'm writing about now (up to 18 months), he was just a pain-in-the-ass.

Then I try and tackle one long-put-off home project or another. I discovered something about myself these last couple weeks: I don't want to start something if I can't finish it, and of course I can't finish a book or clean a whole basement in one day, so instead of chipping away, I would just postpone the whole entire thing. Now, I'm slowly, slowly-ing several things at once, moving from one "icky" task to another, just to keep the momentum going.

Walked into the garage today and almost walked out, but instead took advantage of the warm, dry day to haul a bunch of stuff out of there that was clearly garbage and/or recycling. Filled my car with things to take to ARC and the recycling center, and then hopped in the car and did so. Check, check! Didn't finish the garage, not by a long shot, but it looks SO much better already, and that took barely any time/effort at all!

Then I went down to the basement and started hauling stuff into my partially-cleaned garage, ready for the next ARC run (tomorrow). Old duvet covers, lamps, a too-small dog crate for a dog we don't even have, art work I'm sick to death of.

What I noticed as I sweated and hauled, went up and down the stairs and started to feel the difference not just see it, was that almost everything I was giving away wasn't mine originally. No. I was hauling other people's old shit.

I tend to do that a lot - haul things around that weren't mine in the first place, but somehow became so.

Eckhart Tolle plays on the ancient boom box as I move through the house. He says we are not our thoughts. We are the awareness behind our thoughts, and just touching with gentle awareness what's going on with us, as in, "Oh, look! There I go again storing other people's physical and emotional junk!" is half the battle. He says it much more eloquently, but you get the idea.

Today I will gratefully accept half the battle.

And half the junk.

* Photo of Sanskrit for openness from

Monday, October 4, 2010

Second Coming

In the car coming home from school on Friday, Rojo pipes up with, "Mom, Jesus Christ is coming back, you know."

"Where has he been?" I ask, one eye on the road, the other in the rearview mirror.

"Hell," he says with a laugh.

"Oh, yea? Where is he going when he comes back?"

"He's going to live in our hearts this time."


* Photo from: /

Friday, October 1, 2010


Driving a car without brakes--stopping the card Fred Flintstone style, new year at college with new roommates, a house so filled-to-over-flo...