November 30, 2003

My materialistic, worldly side admits

My materialistic, worldly side admits to
heading out into the crowds early Friday morning. The energy of the people and
being a part of the moving flow are so enticing to me. Unfortunately, there were
no good deals to have. So, we simply purchased the full price items we
desperately needed and headed home to toasted Muffins and Blackberry
Tea. As soon as we arrived home last night, I filled my tub and read through the
last few days of mail. I lay in the tub, reveling in the hotness of the water
and staring at my bright red toenails. I began to think about sitting in the
bathroom while my mother lay in the tub. I would watch her shave her legs, wash
her hair, listening to the movement of the water. Her body never really
interested me at the time. Now, I try to remember it occasionally and sometimes
see it without will when I look at myself in the mirror. I have not become my
mother, but cannot deny that I am very like her in many ways. There was a time
when recognizing her in myself would infuriate me. I know not how I came to this
acceptance of her imprint in me, but they lie quietly together now without
dissention.

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November 27, 2003

It is my goal to

It is my goal to visit all 50 states before I meet my maker. I have
traveled to 39 and the District of Columbia, so only 11 left to go. I lack
Washington, Oregon, Montana, The Dakotas, Nebraska, Alabama, Mississippi,
Florida, Alaska, and Hawaii. I have also been to Canada, Mexico, and Hispanola.
Going to Europe and Asia are also desired, but I feel some sense of patriotic
duty to see my own country and continent before committing to others. Arizona is
a state that I have wrongly imagined. It is quite diverse, mountainous and
evergreen in portions, dry and windy in others. I am amazed and thoroughly
delighted in this discovery. In these green slightly hilly places, it reminds me
somewhat of the Midwest. It is like standing in line at the market, looking over
and seeing a person very similar to one you once loved and lost: a feeling of
excitement, anxiety, and pain all at once rushing over your body. Both relief
and sadness taking the place of the hormonal rush that swept through your blood
only a moment before. I am sure that many will speak of their thankfulness
today. I choose to quietly think of the thankfulness that I have had and hope
that its medicinal properties heal my heart from this longing for my home.

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November 25, 2003

I finished watching Spirited Away

I finished
watching Spirited Away last night. It was...different. Sorry to use such a
common word. I felt like a tourist in some small country that I had never read
about or heard of. I was nervously fascinated. Is it because I am so accustomed
to an American style of animation or that I am severely uneducated about
Japanese culture and history? My mind is fattened upon the books of Western
civ,however. Other cultures have always interested me and I make an effort to
read books of varying countries and cultures to my children. I want to encourage
intrigue, not ignorance. We own several lovely and wonderful books of other
countries folk tales and lore (newsflash: Cinderella is not unique to Anglos),
but I am truly at a deficit in my understanding and knowledge of Asian cultures.
I know where Japan and Korea and China and the Philippines (another example of
my own ethnocentricisim- they are all countries that my own land is engaged in
"relationships" with) are, but could not find Singapore, Taiwan, or Malaysia to
save my life. I would like to watch it again, just to get some of the
particulars, to notice what I did not in first viewing. I don't think it is for
children who are easily frightened; there are some strange creatures in this
film, but I do applaud the heroine's bravery and appreciated the development of
her character throughout the film.

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I finally got home and

I finally got home and R put everyone to bed. I headed
straight for my tub and a Lucky magazine. After such brain usage today, I wanted
something a little more superficial to hang my hat on. So, I tubbed and caught
up on the latest fashions. Later, when it was safe to come out, I slipped into
my pajamas and got into bed with my latest book: How Should We Then Live?. My
eyes were heavy as I finished up the Middle Ages. I know that I am mortal. I
know that I am going to breathe my last, but I had one of those moments where I
was acutely cognizant of my own finite life. I will die and be gone from this
life, remembered by a few and chronicled by even less. It doesn't bother me that
I haven't made such a great mark on the face of history. It seems that the
people whom the backs of history strode upon weren't the ones with eloquent
speech or an excess of talent; it was those who got up everyday and did what had
to be done. Doing over and over the same tasks takes great self-discipline and
strength. I struggle many times to see the magnificent in the monotonous. Maybe
I need to realize this isn't a win or lose fight; a competition of wit and wile.
Maybe it is, but my mind deceptively fights the very things that are making me
who I am, that are putting me in the timeline of life.

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November 23, 2003

Could I just get some

Could I just get some coffee,
please? I am so glad that you enjoy chatting with such a dear friend, but I just
paid $2.26 for supposedly the best roast in the west and all I want is the cup
in my hand. So, please kindly excuse yourself from the conversation and serve
the paying customer! While you're at it, how about directing some of that cheer
and enthusiasm to the pastries that I kindly requested? And, for pete's sake!
Don't touch the cash register and then my lovely croissant! Oh, yes, the look
of, "What's her problem?" to your co-hort in my discomfort will certainly salve
my uncaffeinated blood! I'll just take my items and..what's this? A customer
comment card? How handy...a pen in my pocket! Hmmm, a name tag on your
fashionable apron.... the ingredients of such sweet satisfaction. Yes, I
certainly will enjoy my coffee and bread this morning. Yes, have a nice day
yourself!

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November 22, 2003

At the video store


At the video store the other night, I happened upon a highly recommended video
called Winged Migration. Rolling Stone said, "A movie miracle! It soars! You
feel privileged." That was enough to make me want to see it. I mean Rolling
Stone commenting on a documentary of migrating birds.... It is truly what it is
recommend to be. I am completely impressed with the film and intrigued by it's
cinematography and production. The children balked when they saw the cover, but
when I sat down with them and watched with interest (and animated a few scenes),
they were quickly lost in the quiet magic of birds in flight over majestic
mountain ranges, stoic icebergs, Asian steppes, blooming desserts, lighted
cities. Impressed, they repented of their initial skepticism. Watching the
Eiffel Tower come into view behind a flock and realizing the birds know nothing
of nor care for one of man's creations, only for their destination, challenged
the girls own thought processes. The directors were so creative in their editing
and filming, if not a bit courageous in their methods. While this film is
extraordinary in its photography, it is not without it's agenda. Dismal
industrialized sections of Eastern Europe are only a stopping place for some
birds; the final resting place for others. A peaceful Quail is disturbed from
her sitting by a combine. "Innocent" migrating birds are shot from the sky
dropping through the air and hitting the water with a heavy splash. The
soundtrack is wonderful and culturally all-encompassing of the lands through
which the different birds pass. A friend of ours who knows my affinity for bird
watching, sent me a tape of classical music accompanied by loons. Also enclosed
was a hand-carved and painted statue of the intriguing little foul. As I
carefully unwrapped the package, A (17 months at the time) stood with her eyes
barely peeking over the top of the kitchen table. When she saw the little bird,
she was immediately enamored and determined in her little heart to have that
loon. I put the tape in the player and sat down to watch her dance lightly in
reverie to the music, all the while, carefully cradling the loon. I decided to
check out some picture books at the library to satisfy her curiosity of this new
and unusual bird. I realized her quick attachment when she requested the bird to
come nap with her. She simply said, "Loon." So, I took the bird down from it's
perch and handed it to her. She made a nest of her covers for it, tucked it in,
and fell asleep. I still have the loon. It isn't on a shelf but wrapped and put
away along with the other items of treasure from A's early years. She carried
"loon" with her everywhere we went and slept with it at every rest time. She
dropped it occasionally and it chipped. Holding onto it with her tiny crusty
hands, the loon became worn and lost the hand-painted luster it arrived with.
This was her first inanimate love. We have long tried to encourage an
appreciation and respect, not for the created, but the Creator. By pointing out
the unusual, the normal, the unexpected, those things of great beauty and
extreme ugliness, they have come to see it themselves and direct their awe to
the One to whom true awe is deserved.

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November 21, 2003

I am watching Spirited Away

I am watching Spirited Away in increments as
my tired aching body will allow. So far it is interesting. I believe it is the
first foreign animated film that I have watched and as I haven't watched many,
getting used to the way the characters speak and move is an adjustment. It
reminds me of Speed Racer, which I just realized after a nice little search,
still has quite the following. I watched that on cable in the early '80's. They
seem so similarly animated. R was watching with me and provided a lovely
commentary on the movements and sounds of the
characters..."awwwww"...."oooohhhhhh"....."mmmmpppphhh" It was recommended me by
my local bookstore /coffee shop owner. So, I will give full report as soon as I
have finished. I took E with me to return a few videos and to go to the
bookstore to purchase The Atlantic Monthly. I had planned a delightful evening
with one of my favorite periodicals, involving frightfully hot, churning water
and bubbles. I browsed the religion section and found a book that I had long
been wanting to read. After chatting a moment with the clerk, I reached into my
bag to retrieve my checkbook. After digging for an embarrassingly long minute or
two, I realized that I had left it on the kitchen counter after paying the pizza
delivery guy (a whole 'nother blog is going to be devoted to that subculture at
some point). Sadly, I had to walk away with my dreams dashed of a private
evening of reading and tubbing. I can't wait to awaken and not sound like
Christine McVie's sick brother. I think I have eaten more Chloraseptic than is
medically recommended. Maybe I should just break down and go to someone. You
know, pay out the, ahem, and be told it's a virus. "Yes, thank you for your
professional opinion." I am sure that Eve was greatly relieved when her
daughters grew up and she actually had other females to talk with (please, I am
all about companionship in marriage, but a woman needs other women to survive).
The hardest thing about moving is leaving the support system that it takes years
to build. I am really tired of having to introduce myself over and over and
answer questions about myself, my life, my family, etc. I think there is great
comfort in being known! Being understood and not having to put on the false face
of contentment that everyone wants to see when they don't know you. I also hate
the games that women play when you aren't part of their inner circle. You know,
coming over and starting a conversation right in front of you about something
you have no idea about? Translation of this: "I am more important than you are.
See, I have a private thing with this person here that you do not have or know
about." All the while, smiling and feigning sweetness. It's like junior high all
over again. Why do women do this to other women? Have I done this? Am I also
guilty of duplicity to some poor soul who has left her friends, family, her life
behind her? Have I put on the face of snobbery? No, surely, I haven't been so
unkind....

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November 20, 2003

Am feeling like quite


Am feeling like quite the blogger with all the bells and whistles I took six
hours to load today. Each time I visit someone else's blog I find some new
trinket to bring to my own. I am now trying to figure out how to add
links...although I think that I do not have another six hours to sacrifice.

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Whew! I finally figured that

Whew! I
finally figured that one out! I think? Anyway, there is now the option to give
me your comments...I think? I guess I'll see if it really works(ed) if/when I
get some comments.

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Just checking to see that

Just checking to see that this new comment thing is working....?

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I had to get to

I had to
get to the bank to beat the merchants cashing my checks, so decided to go to
Tommies (nice that it opens in a new window, huh? I finally figured that one
out), the Krispy Kreme of the west, to grab a bagel and some coffee loaded with
half and half. I really like their bagels and donuts, but hate their
drive-through service. They can never hear me when I make a drive-up request and
add to that a severe hoarsening cold and you have the makings of a terrifically
funny commercial. That was me this morning. After requesting a wheat bagel with
ham, bacon, and eggs, then correcting the polite, deaf young man, I pulled away
to unwrap my delicious breakfast of wheat bagel, ham, bacon, and cheese. This is
the second day in a row (remember yesterday's entry?). It was still tasty, but I
really wanted my eggs. So, anyway, was listening to the The Diane Rehm Show. I
am extremely conservative in my political views, but love NPR. I listen to it
exclusively. I wonder how many other conservatives out there that listen to it?
Now, I don't always agree with their perspectives, but I don't think that I have
to. I rather like their set-up. Back to the thought, their was some professor of
family studies, blah, blah, blah, and he said that children are actually better
with a single birth parent than with a single birth parent and someone else
living in the home, like say, a live in boyfriend. The children are more subject
to abuse and neglect. Studies repeatedly show that children fair best with a mom
and dad. It is amazing to me that the nazi-feminists want the sperm from a man,
but think him useless otherwise. I know that there are people out there who
haven't had such a positive male figure in their lives, I am one of them. But
rather than take the view that ALL men are untrustworthy because one man, two
men, twenty men, took advantage of an attention starved neglected little girl, I
take the view that because of my situation (a parent too focused on herself and
her relationship with her abusive live-in) I was exposed repeatedly to these
types of men. I must say that my experiences have made me an excellent judge of
character. Something I see many women lack. I think because I spent so much time
watching my back, I learned to see past the outside and understand the looks in
eyes, the tone in voice, the habits and distinctions of those that prey on
children. I see it still today while shopping in Target, filling my gas tank,
eating dinner in a restaurant, walking through the halls of church. Oh, and I
didn't just "Get over it" either, believe me I kept plenty of couches and ears
warm with my life stories. I did benefit from therapy and believe in Jesus and a
good shrink. Occasionally I look at my daughters and am amazed that at their
ages I was so much more broken inside. So much more knowledgeable of disgusting
things, so much more sad, and lonely. While walking with E the other day, I
stood back and watched her stride confidently through the isles of the store and
thought, "My gosh. She likes herself. How wonderful!" When we were standing in
the check out line, I asked her if this was true. She said, "Yeah, I do. It's
other people that I don't like." Her cheekiness made me both my lips and heart
smile. I analyzed it and couldn't believe that I had succeeded where my mother
had ultimately failed. Well, o.k. I won't take all the credit. As conservative
as I am, I do agree with the African proverb made popular by Hillary's book that
it "takes a village (I happen to think it takes a village of relatives, not
social workers, that's all)." So, we all had done a fantastic job. Here was a
preteen girl who didn't think herself lacking and not measuring up. Now, she's
not snotty, just confident. Sometimes I go down and snuggle with her at night,
sometimes, I sleep over. She likes it, not that she wants me to say it out loud
in front of friends or anything, but she does. We talk. In the dark, she'll ask
me things that she really wants to know, but isn't' quite comfortable asking
with five other people listening. We talk in the light, too. So, please don't
over analyze. But, she tells me the ways she knows she needs to improve her
character. The thing is, she believes it will happen. She isn't hopeless and
despairing, agressive and hateful. She is positive and full of faith, believing
and gentle. My prayer is that this remains with her always. And that maybe the
wonder of watching it all happen remains with me always.

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O.K. Even though I wasn't

O.K. Even though I wasn't
feeling like a million bucks, I was tired of being inside, so I hit the theatre.
A friend and I saw Elf. I laughed at Will Ferrell's antics, but the movie itself
wasn't too good. I am young at heart and love children's literature and film.
This was downright stupid. Really. I know my girls well enough and they would
probably laugh at a few things (who wouldn't laugh at Will Ferrell's faces and
physical humor?), but wouldn't give it a thumbs up overall. We'll save our money
for something else. I can't wait for J.M. Barrie's Neverland. I am hoping that
it will be appropriate for E to see. She craves fantasty like fried foods need
grease! I am going to see Master and Commander this Saturday. Report to be
given. Am feeling really crummy this morning as after the movie I hit the coffee
house with my friend and indulged in chocolate confusion and a decaf loaded with
cream. We started talking and stood outside long after closing talking men,
relationships, and religion. Strange mix, huh? Anyway, I do believe the cold
wasn't good for this lovely stuff my body has been battling. Looks like I have a
date with the couch again today.

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November 19, 2003

Doughnuts for breakfast this morning!

Doughnuts for breakfast this morning! Hot glazed- yummy!
Nothing to expound on that- just a greasy, fried, sugar-glazed doughnut. If I
didn't have such a lovely cold, I would have a delicious cup of hot coffee
loaded with cream until it turned a luscious caramel color. Last night as I was
reading (sweet bliss), I got a telemarketer call at 9 P.M.. They obviously had
me confused with someone else. All of the questions had to do with eating
organically (wash your food), meditation ("which magazine should I get?"),
stress reduction (chocolate in any form), concern for the environment (getting
my trash out on time). O.K. I do care about the environment. I don't throw trash
on the ground and I used to recycle, but this annoying little town I live in now
doesn't have anywhere or anyplace for me to take recyclables to. And I think
that factories shouldn't be allowed to dump waste into rivers, creeks, and other
bodies of water. But I am not, by any means, excessive about it. R works in the
animal production business for pete's sake. After failing to answer any of the
20 questions properly, I was finally released.

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November 18, 2003

Tired of feeling like someone

Tired of feeling like someone cleaned
my throat with a choreboy, I went to my local discount drugstore and purchased
some cough drops. A package of useless, tasty ones for the children and
chloraseptic "lozenges" for myself. I popped one into my mouth and was
immediately transported to 1976. My grandparents (step actually, but when you're
an attention starved kid, who counts that?) lived right off the main highway
through a dinky nowhere town. I would spend two weeks every summer there. It was
the heaven. A very humid heaven. As my grandparents didn't have central air or a
window unit, we opened the large windows every night just as dark came on. We
sat in the living room watching the 10 o'clock news. I lay on my side tracing
the patterns of the plush two tone carpet they had installed two years before.
The creaking of my grandfather's swivel rocker along with the droning
newscasters voice made me sleepy. I always struggled between my need for sleep
and my desire to stay awake long enough to feign it and be carried to my bed;
the sheets cool and window reporting the occasional passing of a truck. I slept
in a twin bed at the foot of my grandparents bed. Nestling into the feather down
pillow, I would listen to my grandmother wind the clock and turn a dial finding
her favorite a.m. country station. Between the sounds of the southern night, the
smell of menthol cough drops, and Hank Williams, I would roll slowly down the
hill of slumber. I always awakened early. My grandmother got up very early each
morning to feed Miss Kitty, put the percolator on, get the morning paper. I
liked walking through the dark house and finding the swinging kitchen door
closed with a glow of light outlining it. When I walked through that door I was
greeted with a smile, given a seat at the tiny table squeezed into a nook in the
corner, and offered a tiny cup of coffee, mostly cream. She always took my
request for breakfast and did it exactly like I wanted: two fried eggs,
old-fashioned toast, biscuits with honey, and the coldest glass of milk. If it
was Saturday, she would offer me Rice Krispies loaded with sugar in a big
plastic cup and I would be allowed to sit in front of the t.v. in the front room
watching The Jetsons, The Flintstones, and other cartoon reruns on the cable
channels. Most mornings I could hardly keep my eyes open, but my heart longed to
have her to myself for those few minutes in the summer mornings. I never had
anyone's direct attention in such a concerned and loving way, so she easily drew
me into her heart. Lozenge now small enough to crack with my teeth and chew up,
so memory is now over. Thanks for the trip Chloraseptic!

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Today a list of my

Today a list of my inanimate
friends: Food is my friend! It is always available. Just a drive or phone call
away. I can look at it, make it, eat it, throw it out. It is completely
convenient for me. I absolutely love it. It satisfies my deepest longings and
cravings. It can be spicy and hot or smooth and cool. Those magic underwear that
suck me in and make me feel like I look 10 pounds thinner. Until I have reached
a higher spiritual plain (aka Heaven), then I do care and will continue to care
about my weight and how I look in clothing. No article I read or speaker I hear
will convince me otherwise. I wish that I could be above it, and sometimes I am,
but most of the time, I am not! So, leave me alone about it. Long live magic
underwear! Polyester is my friend. I never have to iron it or straighten out its
problems. Thus it doesn't inconvenience me or cause me struggles. Cleans right
up! All different shapes and sizes and colors available. So, it is thus
versatile and never the same! Always fits and never sinches me up (that's the
magic underwear's job). Make-up! No nazi-feminists need respond to this one. I
don't care if you think it's some underground conspiracy to kill off women. I
love it and will continue to wear it. Skin-smoothing, light-reflecting,
wrinkle-hiding, lip-plumping, pore-shrinking make-up! There, now that I have
declared myself to be completely materialistic and totally self-absorbed and
udderly lacking any depth to my character, I will go and think of something much
more serious and far less shallow to discuss and get back with you, made-up,
with a brownie, and sitting in my magic underwear with a terrific little skirt
and shirt on (or is it blouse if polyester?)

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I am not too good

I am not too good or above appreciating
beauty. I have a friend who thinks Tom Cruise is absolutely, fantastically
good-looking. Wait, even, Beautiful. I think it's the eyes and the charisma.
Nice eyes that seem like they are really looking at you, into you. And the
charisma.....the ability to draw people into places they didn't intend to go. I
plan on seeing this movie, what about you? Who took my tonsils out and strung
them onto fishing line and is now dangling them down my throat? Yesterday, I lay
on the couch and watch all six hours of A & E's Pride and Prejudice. I do love
good period pieces and nobody does British authors like the British, well,
except for Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibilty. Being a complete and totally
irrecoverable anglophile, I recently found the reason for my pathos in a
genealogy search. My ancestral origins are of England, so thus I am justified. R
says that I am enamoured of any culture save my own. Well, back to the couch and
not for any great filmed British literature, but for an icon of our own American
culture...Sponge Bob!

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November 17, 2003

Just checking out this new

Just checking out this new way of blogging....let's see how it went?

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I miss the Midwest. Yes,

I miss the
Midwest. Yes, yes, the west has it's "own beauty." Mountains, namely. But I do
not live in those, only view them from a distance. I miss a good thunderstorm. I
miss the wetness of the streets with leaves sticking decoratively here and there
in varying wonderful colors. The house we left had a huge sugar maple in the
front yard, I raked the leaves up for the girls to romp in. All we have here are
stickers and dirt and tumbleweeds. What memories these make. Shall I gather up a
group of them and tuck the children in for a cozy photograph? I miss having
plenty of trees for the snow to stick to making a nice picture to see when
passing a window. Silver shining against sky blue....

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There is nothing shameful in

There is nothing shameful in
eating a cheesburger while driving down the road, talking on my cell phone, and
enjoying it all because I am ALONE while doing it.

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November 16, 2003

Top 10 Favorite Movies of

Top 10 Favorite Movies of the Past 10
Years: Not in any specific order, okay? 1)Braveheart 2)The Shawshank Redemption
3)Persuasion 4)Amelie 5)High Fidelity 6)The Matrix 7)The Count of Monte Cristo
8)American Beauty 9)The Lord of the Rings 10) Notting Hill

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I want to edit some

I want to edit some posts, but
can't seem to get the old posts to display unless I post something new?
Hmmmmm.....

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Bought one of those mini

Bought one of those mini mags by a bigger hauncho mag about skin care.
This is my latest concern in my advancing years. As we drove the 45 minutes to a
Home Depot, I used the map reader light to make a list of what I need to do,
what I already do, and then divided everything up into body parts. When did this
happen to me? Did I not care about skin care in my 20's because I didn't need
to? Or because I simply didn't care? And why didn't I care? I didn't have
perfect skin, but I didn't have any wrinkles either. I remember watching my
mother look at herself in the bathroom mirror and wondering what she was looking
for? She was my mother then. There wasn't anything else to it. She hadn't become
a human being. I didn't then know her as a woman who had trusted in something
that twisted and broke the spine of her heart leaving her paralyzed and too
frightened to give to anyone else. I later wondered if she was looking for the
person she was before all of that, but all she was really looking at was the
wrinkle in the middle of her forehead. I know because I asked.

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November 15, 2003

I took two of my

I took two of my daughters
to listen to Mozart's Requiem performed by our local university orchestra and
choir. C has always loved opera. We purchased The Classical Kids Collection when
our first daughter was about two. It is really engaging for the children. From
an early age we have exposed them to a variety of music, but first and foremost,
classical. C took an immediate liking to Mozart's Magical Flute. She absolutely
loved the opera. I would hear her singing the songs in her tiny, perfect four
year-old voice while digging in the sand box, going to the bathroom, and
coloring. I think her preference for it made her sisters a little tired of it,
but we all loved how much C loved the Magical Flute (and still does). I hadn't
planned on taking her this evening. She is still easily bored by having to sit
still and listen for what seems to her a very long time. So, I assumed she
wouldn't be able to enjoy the Requiem. I had forgotten what was like to watch my
mother dress up, do her hair, put on make-up, select jewelry and wanting so much
to be a part of it. Initially, E was to be coming as her Cello instructor
suggested it. But, she got a last minute "opportunity" (new name for babysitting
as we are nearing Christmas) to care for some children down the street. That
left A and I to go alone. As I was twisting A's hair up into doorknobs (a
Swedish twist on dog-ears), C came and begged me to attend. At first I said no,
that it would be too long and she would have to sit still. Then I heard myself
trying to discourage her from attending something that I knew she would be
enthralled by. So, I explained, more positively, about having patience and
listening quietly to the words and music, she nodded all-knowing and quite
eagerly and agreed to do her level best to sit still and to listen. She
absolutely loved it. The program provided background on The Requiem which I
quietly read to both girls. During the Sequenz she pulled on my cuff and
whispered, "Why is the music so sad?" She has always been very sensitive.
Incredible how fast memories come into our heads- I recalled R's grandmother's
funeral. At one point in during the Mass, I began to weep. C was sitting on my
lap, unsure of everything. She could feel my shuddering attempts to keep my
tears quiet. Reaching up and putting her hand on my cheek, she asked my why I
was crying. I told her because I was sad that I would never see daddy's
grandmother again. She listened. Not with ears, but with heart. She began to sob
and shake. So, I held her tightly and we mourned together. I looked at C and
told her that the music was sad because it was about dying and that is something
that makes us sad. As the Sanctus began, she lay her head on my arm and feel
asleep.

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I was thinking today (surprising)

I
was thinking today (surprising) about how parenting is the absolutely most
sanctifying thing. I want to be comfortable. I want quiet. I want peace. I want
to be alone. Yes, yes, yes, all of this is possible in having children, but I
think the women that write the articles in all those annoyingly positive
magazines LIE! Or maybe they don't have four or more children? One time I was
talking to my mother and she made some comment about how my life was challenging
because of the number of children I have. I said, "yes, but you had only two."
"And that was a choice I made," she replied. "A choice I made." Did I decide to
have four children? When my third daughter was born, I had two other daughters
ages four and two. I decided then that either I was done, or I was going to
allow myself some breathing room (literally). I mean, I was wiping butts and
noses from the time my feet hit the floor. I would collapse every night and look
over at the father of all these children and think he was crazy to want to even
consider sex. But then four years passed and we had the last one potty trained
and people were getting themselves snacks and drinks and wiping their own butts
and noses, and I decided to start all over again. I knew that I wanted one more
child and that I didn't want to have said child after age thirty (old eggs,
etc.) So, I decided (well, technically "we" decided) to get pregnant once more
and welcome one more child into our family. There were times I thought I was
nuts. Especially when I was nauseated and it felt like my hip was being
extracted straight through my skin. And I definitely thought I was crazy when I
realized that I would have to go through labor again, recover from episiotomy
stitches (I have big-headed children), and start the orifice-oozing game once
more. Why is it that the women with the high, firm breasts get the most awe in
our culture? I have been through far more and yet am esteemed the least! It
should be that the woman with the longest breasts is most valued and highly
regarded! It loudly proclaims self-sacrifice and a well-gotten wisdom. Yet, when
I catch the gentle swing of my own breasts in the mirror, I stop and look and
lift and wonder what they looked like before they swelled and spilled over with
milk. Then my eyes travel downwards and I look at the map drawn lightly over the
south of my stomach by the growth of a wee body. I turn slowly around and try to
see my behind, but there is simply too much to try to see all at once and what
began as an innocent need for a shower turns into a mini-yoga session of
investigation. I have all daughters and want so much for them not to trace the
outlines of their stretch marks or laugh lines and doubt their beauty or
strength because of them. I want them to experience a just world and feel the
value of their moral strength and loveliness of their kindness and
thoughtfulness. We are spiritual beings in a physical body, that cannot be
denied, but how to bring them together in harmony..... And so, I end where I
began. I want all of these things, and yet the very thing taking these away is
making me be the beauty, the loveliness, that I desire so much for my daughters
to have.

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Starting to blog again after

Starting
to blog again after not blogging is like bumping into that person you promised
to call back and never did... a little embarrassing, a little fumbling. So, I
thought three weeks was a hiatus? What do I call three months? I know! A
mini-sabbatical...right? We went back east for a visit with family and to attend
R's 20th High School reunion. Now, really, in trying to pack for six people for
a ten day trip, I really, truthfully, forgot to pack anything for the reunion. I
remembered somewhere past Denver at about three in the morning. We stopped in
Junction City, Kansas to visit with my mother. She is a nurse in the Army
Reserves and was deployed in January of this year. So, we stopped there and
stayed overnight. My brother drove up from Stillwater and met us there. While my
mother and R took the children to a park, my brother an dI took some film to the
one-hour photo lab at the "local discount store" (hmmm, wonder which one that
is?). He is trying to work out all his stuff with our mother. You know, that
place we all reach when we start analyzing their parenting and trying to
empathize and mix it with who they really are as people and how that got mixed
up into their parenting? We drove on the next day to Missouri to stay with R's
parents. They have recently moved and so the house was new to us. They moved to
better accommodate R's dad who had a hemorrhagic stroke on Father's Day of 2002.
I never realized until we stayed with them how hard it is for me that this has
happened to him and he's not even my dad. He just sits in his chair most of the
day. Conversation is very limited and he's lost his sense of adventure. He
wouldn't even sit out on the sun porch to have lunch with us. It was all very
strange and difficult to process. This has made him more of a spectator than a
player, something he never was before. We used to go shopping together- he loved
a good deal. We talked frequently on the phone. He was a sort of renaissance man
before it's time. I am sometimes overwhelmed with sadness that K will not know
him like the other children have. Other times I am so angry that this happened
because the care of him has so monopolized my mil's time that she can't travel
to see us or take the children for any extended period of time.

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