Monday, November 30, 2009

Father Goosed.

There was an old geezer
Who went to the freezer
     To get some ice cream for a treat;
But when he got there,
The carton was bare,
And he stumbled away in defeat.

  ......sorry Dad.  I know you're not a geezer, but I needed a rhyme.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Black Friday is Like Ice Fishing

People go out on Black Friday for lots of reasons: to stand in line at the electronics store, $100 coupon in hand; to peer shivering with a face pressed up against the automatic doors of the toy store, fastest route to "the hottest toy of the year" mapped out at the store days earlier; to nab the best price of the season in an attempt to make the holiday more merry, more cheerful, more economical, more More.

But for me it's not really about any of these things.  And although I have never been ice fishing, I can imagine for those die hards sitting out there on the frozen pond, sticks clenched in gortex covered hands, it's not about catching dinner.  I'm going to haul myself out of my warm bed, grab my pre-sorted stack of holiday flyers and coupons, pull my pre-wrapped piece of pumpkin pie out of the fridge, fill my travel mug and head out the door with my mom tomorrow for the tradition of it.  For the bond that is strengthened by the fact that Black Friday shopping is not for the weak.  Sure we could bond over pedicures and warm tea at 10am on a Tuesday, but that's easy.

I'd be lying if I didn't say that there is the allure of the bargain, that deal you can't pass up...  It's like the idea that this year you might land the big one while you sit out there on the ice and freeze your ass off.  It's dark and cold.  The wilderness is filled with wild animals and dizzying scents.  They go through the motions: bait the hook, wait, wait, wait, wait, land the fish and start all over again.  We'll go through the motions: locate our merchandise, wait, wait, wait, wait in line, land our bargains and start all over again.  But we'll chat and laugh and mock the crazed shoppers and eat pie and hug over a great deal and find something just too cool to pass up and shiver...together.  Because that's my idea of a holiday that's more

See you at 5am Mom.

I'm Full

"To feel the love of people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life.  But to feel the affection that comes from those whom we do not know, from those unknown to us, who are watching over our sleep and solitude, over our dangers and our weaknesses-that is something still greater and more beautiful because it widens out the boundaries of our being, and unites all living things."
                                                Pablo Neruda

I am fueled by all of you who follow and read and comment and think and respond and take to heart and laugh out loud and share with others.  Thank you for widening my boundaries to include the Middle.  The middle bit is the best bit!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Three Gooses Makes it a Turkey

There was a young woman, I think you know who.
She had so many house guests, she knew not what to do.
She served organic broth, and homemade french bread,
Had a glass of red wine and went straight to bed.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The View from the Verge

I find myself living on the verge lately.  Which is not unlike living on the edge; radical, dangerous, unpredictable, prone to slipping into the abyss, requiring multiple layers of protective clothing and expensive gear, often resulting in fame and sponsorship.   Basically we're talking about modern parenting here, a.k.a. orphans as accessories and the Plus 8 crowd...but I digress.

Back to living on the verge.  The verge of what, you ask?  The verge of tears.  The verge of losing it, my mind, my patience, my self.  The verge of screaming.  The verge.  Period.

The safe thing about the verge is that it is much like the middle bit.  From the middle you can see all sides of something. What brought you there and where you'd like to go. 

That's the verge.  Its that last little bit of space you have to stand on.  You're not actually falling/jumping/hurling yourself over the edge but you are precipitously aware of how close you are to all of it.  Its another one of those choices, like happiness, where the awareness of how close you are to change makes your position safer, more manageable, more urgent.

Karen (whose blog I follow religiously, and who eloquently expands on this idea more here) says,  "Exhalation is the jump.  Inhalation is the parachute."  The jump.  From the verge.  Sometimes, as I stand here on the verge, my exhalation bursts out in the form of a scream.  Sometimes I exhale with a quiet sigh.  Sometimes it feels like there is no air, only tears that come out.  But that is the jump.  The step from the verge into some other place, if only just for a moment.  That moment that you choose to let go for as long as you can stand it before you inhale and release your parachute.  Inhale and quiet your voice or catch your breath or wipe your tears.  Because that too, is a choice.  To let it out but then to reach out, breath in, and save yourself from a hard landing.

About that view...from the verge.  Some people live in the city all their lives and only see dirty concrete.   They never look up to see the beauty in the static fingers of steel scraping the sky.  Some people live on the beach all their lives and see only the damage done by the surge of the tide.   They never look up and see the instant that sliver of orange slips like a blink into the deep water.  While I'm here on the verge, I will endure dirt and I will see damage.  I will fall or be pushed or jump with an exhale from the edge as I go down.

But I will climb right back up to the verge again because the view from up here is amazing.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Table Talk

Dinner is ready.  Come to the table.  Did you wash your hands?  Go wash your hands.  What are you doing in there?  Did you wash your hands?  Come to the table.  Why are you dripping?  Go back and dry your hands.  What are you doing in there?  Come to the table.  Sit down.

Get your head above the table.  Take a bite.  Get your chin off the table.  Take another bite.  Watch out for your drink.  Sit down.  Use your fork.  Yes, the tooth fairy came to see your sister.  Yes, the tooth fairy likes cauliflower.  Stop making that buzzing sound.  Take a bite.

Would you like more milk?  Take a bite while I'm getting your milk.  Sit down or you're not getting your milk.  Watch out or you'll spill your milk.  Take a bite.  Sit down.  Yes, those are garbanzo beans.  No, that's not lint in your couscous.  Stop pounding on the chair.  Sit down.  Take a bite.  If you can't scoop it up just use your hands.  Yes, you have to use a fork.  Watch out for your milk.  Why don't you just move your milk.  Take a bite.  No, I promise that's not lint in your couscous.  Please move your milk.  Yes, Christmas is coming up.  Please stop making that buzzing sound.  Sit down.  How about three more bites?  You want to take five more?  Perfect.  Take a bite.  Watch out for your milk.  Just use your fork to get the "lint" out of your couscous.  Take a bite.  Sit down.  Today is Tuesday.  Thanksgiving is on a Thursday.  No, tomorrow is not Tuesday. 

Yes, this is dinner.  Take two more bites.  Good job on your bites.  I'm glad you didn't spill your milk.  Yes, couscous is good.  Don't forget to clear your plate.  Get out from under the table.  Thank you for grabbing that spoon we dropped under the table.  Thank you for clearing your plate.  Stop.  Don't move until I wipe your hands.  Your face.  Why is the dog licking your leg?  Your rear end has couscous on it.  Stand still while I wipe you.  Yes, we're finished. 

Let's go read a book.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Goosed. Again.

Someone that I love built a big wall.
Then down from this wall things started to fall.
Much faster than horses and having no end
Love makes the broken things whole once again.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


"To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness."  Bertrand Russell

I came across this quote months ago and have only just begun to understand what it means.  My first thought was how sad, that people resign themselves to living without things and just try to be happy with some sort of absence makes the heart grow fonder garbage about how missing a thing makes you so much more grateful when it returns.  That sentiment screams lies to me during these long days when my husband is traveling, or busy with work, or running to rehearsals or meetings that someone else feels are essential to their happiness.  One of the things I want is a partner in all of this and being without his help does not make me happy.  That isn't what this quote means and that's not what this message is saying to me at all today.

I do believe that happiness is, in part, a decision.  That with a healthy mind, it is possible wake up everyday and not give happiness a second thought...but give it your first thought.  Before you think through your agenda, before you process your to-do list, before you consider the ones who need breakfast or to be let out, or to be let in or all the other thoughts.  Making a mindful choice to embrace Happy is possible and that's where the being without part comes least for me.

I have decided that for me, some of those things I'm going to be without, in order to come closer to the happiness of right now, are those things that I demand of myself.   I have considered lowering my standards, more on that later, I'm not sure I want to do that.  But that's just it.  If I was less capable, I wouldn't have so much do do everyday because I wouldn't demand it of myself.   If I was less organized my do-to list wouldn't be so long.    If I cared less, I wouldn't have nearly as much to do.  That quote says to me that its important to want things.  But happiness comes when the things you want get resolved by priority.  I want wonderfully prepared meals made from sustainable ingredients, and an organized home, and folded laundry, and to be able to find my sunglasses, to keep my children from wiping snot on the couch, and to watch my favorite TV shows, and a home filled with guests that are enjoying themselves, and a pair of really hot jeans, and to feel valued as a thinker, and lots of other things.   If I could be happy getting less done then I would have more time for myself.  And right now what I think I need most is some time for myself.  To be without some of those things I want is going to be an indispensable part my happiness.

Simple.  Yes.  Easy.  Certainly not.  But I have already decided what my first thought will be tomorrow.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

There Goes Trouble

All anybody ever wants is to leave their troubles behind.  I've got lots more to say about the departure of my troubles, but today must simply be marked by the departure of one small Trouble.  Your snaggle toothed, radar eared, death breathed, whimpering face gave us a lot of joy over the years.  Here's to hoping there's a highchair out there some where that you can wait under for flying food for the rest of eternity.  We'll miss you old girl.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Duck" Tape

Duck tape, as it's referred to in our house, is apparantly also an excellent way to strap down "Silly Gooses"!  It didn't last long, and turned out to not be a very effective restraint (so if you're about to give me crap about how inappropriate it is to tape down my child...just don't) but it was a very cathartic way for the mother to redirect the 3 year old having a screaming, kicking, flailing fit on the front sidewalk.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mother. Goosed.

     High Monday Monday,
     My children don't obey,
To the dead fish we must say farewell;
     The little dog puked 
     On the fine Persian rug,
And the dish broke my toe when it fell.'s been a long day and I'm looking forward to tomorrow.