Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Could be worse. Sometimes my coworkers do that when I'm feeling completely fine - after all, I do get paler than a chemotherapy patient during this time of year. It ain't easy being green....
Nonetheless, I wish you and yours a very happy new year! Now excuse me while I blow my nose. Again.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Christmas has been a constantly shifting concept in my life, as I’m sure it has been for most people. As a child, it was a day of magic and excitement and miracles and ohmygod brand new toys! As I got older, Christmas became a day of family and warmth and a really, really good meal orchestrated with love by frenzied parents. Later, the simultaneous divorce of my parents and (unfortunate) marriage of myself and my Ex caused Christmas to become a whirl of confusion and division – my life was like a jigsaw puzzle of mismatched pieces, and I was trying to squash them together to make a recognizable picture. It didn't really work. And as the dust settled, Christmas became whole again, but in a duller, half-recognizable form, seen through the eyes of a person who was considerably less happy than she used to be.
And now, Christmas of 2008 has arrived with a brand new life and an outlook to match. I anticipated December 25th (and the days pre-and proceeding that day) to be brilliant – a glorious comeback of the “old” Christmas, full of magic and wonder and anticipation. I decorated liberally, and I brought presents generously, and in abundance. Brian and I started what are sure to be new traditions in our happy little life, and punctuated the month of December with little instances of warmth and merriment and other Christmas-y feelings, all tied together with a roaring fireplace and a happy dog and a sense of gratitude that cannot be expressed by words.
Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned. Yesterday was undoubtedly the darkest day that I experienced in 2008. It wasn’t only what happened (although what happened was pretty awful), but that it was allowed to happen – that bad people should triumph and good people should suffer (2 days before Christmas, nonetheless!), that really pulled the rug out from underneath me. I’ve had several struggles this year that have really challenged my sense of justice, but this latest action completely blindsided me. The hurt is deep, and shaking this last hit off is proving a monumental task.
The people who surround me are lighting little fires in my chilly, significantly bitter heart. Sympathy and understanding and hugs are abounding. Friends and coworkers are offering advice and shoulders and food and cards and smiles. Brian (my god is he wonderful) is sitting with me in my dark tunnel, saying just enough and offering more support than I thought was possible. My family is sharing my outrage and driving me forward with righteous cause, bearing my flag proudly. Surely this is what Christmas is all about. I think I’m finding that Christmas doesn’t always come easily and effortlessly. Often, it comes with our burdens and sadnesses and indignities in tow. But it’s our ability to rise above these hardships – with the help of those we love – that makes Christmas the special time of year that it is intended to be.
This Christmas Eve, when the weight of my hardships were dragging me under, I felt a thousand hands reaching to pull me back up.
And I am grateful for each and every one of them.
So I wish everyone a Merry Christmas. May your loads feel a bit lighter, and your hearts a bit brighter this Holiday season.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
When you look at me
In the twilight of my life
Do not see me as I am
Do not see
The craggy wrinkles
That line my eyes
A thousand smiles
That wear themselves
As badges of honor
About my lids
Do not see
My worn out skin
That clings so loosely
Soft and tired
A thousand dances
That gently tugged
And stretched me thus
Do not see
The spots of age
That dust my hands
A thousand moments
So precious to me
That they are each one recorded
To be relived forever
And when I am gone
And laid out to rest
Do not see
A lifeless form
Whose touch has grown cold
And stiff with death
An empty vessel
For I am up
Amongst the stars
Sharing each smile
Until we are united again
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
This divorce is costing me. It's costing me money, and its costing me time, and its costing me my sanity and its costing me my health. I seriously think I'm getting an ulcer over this thing. I mean, who plans on walking in to court not knowing if you're actually going to be heard and granted a divorce THAT DAY?!? Ridiculous.
Monday, December 15, 2008
1. Don't be fooled by the excitement of a flood
I'll admit it; when I looked out the window and saw Haynes Creek rushing mere inches from the top of the dock, I got a little excited. There's nothing more thrilling than witnessing the raw power of nature. I know the creek only rose, like, two or three feet, but land was missing and trees were under water and I when I saw what had happened during the night, I rushed outside, camera in hand, admittedly enthralled with the dramatic changes to our yard. But when you live mere yards away from a creek, do not—I repeat do NOT—view a flooded backyard as a form of entertainment. An excess of water is never a good thing. Period.
2. Sump pumps are not to be trusted
It's true. Sump pumps are one of the laziest, most spiteful, and unpredictable machines ever invented by man. Their job, their only mean of existence, is to work. When water gets too high in the hole, they are supposed to pump the water out of the hole, through a network of pipes, and into some sort of vast, unknown place I like to call "the public sewer system." But do they do their job? Rarely. They run when they're not supposed to run. They stop running when they're supposed to turn on. They clog and fail, most often when nobody is home to recognize the problem before a state of emergency is created. I think sump pumps are the "red-headed stepchild" of the plumbing world; you should expect them to let you down, lest you be disappointed when they do.
3. Never sleep easy if you are under flood conditions and relying on your sump pump to keep your basement dry
Not much explanation needed here. I slept, on Friday night, dreaming of sugar plums and what-have-you, while the sump pump/timer contraption we had rigged up (on account of the sump pump running continuously) went haywire and water slowly filled our basement.
4. Wet carpet smells like ass
I should know; I had my face planted in rolls and rolls of saturated carpet (get your mind out of the gutter) while I lugged them up the stairs, through the house, and out to the garbage. It kind of smells like wet dog, mold, patchouli, and something inherently evil. I bet that’s what Dick Cheney smells like when he gets out of the shower. Gross.
5. Basement make-overs aren’t always planned
We were planning on eventually re-doing the basement. We were going to pull everything out, rip up the carpet, re-paint, re-carpet, and possibly put in a bar.
And then the basement flooded.
Now, with the exception of the bar, all of that will be happening this week. Actually, after this weekend’s fiasco, a bar will most likely be installed. And used. Heavily. See, every cloud has a silver lining. True, we might have spent our weekend dragging everything from the basement into the kitchen, dining room, living room, and sunroom to pull out the carpet, but by Christmas, we may have a fabulous new basement. Now repeat after me: The glass is half full…the glass is half full…
So, to summarize:
Flood + broken sump pump + a blissfully unaware night’s sleep = new basement
Serenity now, folks. Serenity now.
Friday, December 12, 2008
As I'm walking out the front door, I casually glance out the back window.
"Hmmm. The creek looks a little high," I say to myself. I stop and puzzle. I walk to the kitchen window.
"Hmmm. The creek looks REALLY high."
I open the back door and walk on the deck.
This is what the backyard looks like:
So the bad news is that we have a sump pump that stopped pumping automatically and now needs to be run every hour for about 2 minutes to keep the water from flooding the house.
But the good news is that I had to stay home and keep an eye on the pump.
I don't care how old you are, a "snowday" (or should I say, "floodday") is ALWAYS exciting.
HOORAY! Happy Weekend, Everybody!!!!!!!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
You get the point
So remember the subject of my most recent post? Sloths? Well, Elise just came in today with this comic strip. Not only is it HILAROUS, it discusses sloths, which in itself is a strange and infrequent subject of conversation—except for this week, apparently.
And you know what? My coworker Elise has been absent from this blog completely, except for this week. This week, she was in two posts in a row!
So there you have it. The Plate of Shrimp Theory.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Apparently I'm ringing in the New Year (a month early) with a brand new 'do!
So, I cut it off. Below are before and after shots:
Okay, no, seriously...
Before (hottie on the left):
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I thoroughly enjoyed myself, but I'll admit that I spent a great deal of time trying to "diagonse" the Grinch with a psychological diagnosis. Aspergers? Schizophrenia? Some sort of Social Anxiety Disorder? I guess we'll never know. Interestingly, I found myself comparing the Grinch to my Ex-husband, and slapping my forehead for never checking his shoes to see if they were too tight (which might have explained his distain for Christmas, and life in general). In my mind, the Grinch and the Ex could be the same person, if you replace the "Noise, noise, noise, noise" with "Right-wing capitalist agend" and "Commercial support of the Military-Industrial Complex." (boy, I don't miss THAT speech at all, lol).
Monday, December 1, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
An amazing sky
Morning at camp, sun streaming through the trees
This picture captures everything, especially since I had no idea it was being taken
A long trip - tight quarters and comfortable silences
Always proud of this photo, taken in a place far far away
Lucky to call this home
Full minutes of uncontrollable laughter. Poor Skittles
You could hear the woosh of their wings. And it was a beautiful day
My next painting
A place in Brazil that filled me with good, good feelings
I love to share in the ridiculousness of life. Nobody could look cool in that thing
My present painting. If only there were more hours in the day
A well-captured image of San Diego
The drama of a carousel at night. Maybe a painting one day?
The intreague of a path, high up in the mountains