Friday, March 28, 2008

March is almost over, part of me is sad to know this, for I feel like I didn't have March, much of the time seemed to go in ways unmerry, and nonproductive, and I always want and feel I need more time, not less. But the rest of me is happy to move on, closer to warmer days, and hopefully to more merry (no more silly stomach pain, or chest pain, distracting me, and occupying me as I google stuff and try an elimination diet, which did not work for me, except I did decide that I am not having trouble with a category of food).

There aren't any holidays to prepare for in April (St. Patrick's Day pranks went off really well YEAH! Easter was not such a hit, though plenty of work went into it. Cheese didn't like his gifts, and he had trouble finding the eggs hidden outside, and he didn't want to get his hands dirty getting them out of mulch, dirt, grass, or even the mailbox with its possible spiders. He did of course like and appreciate the chocolate, which is good otherwise I fear the Easter bunny might have been incited to declare retirement) so now my time should be more my own, and I intend to be more personally productive with it. I feel like I hit some sort of bump in the road, and let myself be knocked way off track, or came upon a great ditch, and just slide right down into it (instead of working out how to go round), and now I need to find the path again, and take up walking upon it. I just need to gather my energy, find my direction, and set out.

Now what was it I was doing again? Where was I on my way to and why? Wasn't there a song whistling in my heart? What was that tune again? Perhaps if I hum the parts I sort of remember the words will begin to come back to me. If only they would fall upon me like the rain falling outside my window today. The rain softening the ground, and waking the seeds for spring. Words wont you fall on me, over and over, till what is hard in me softens, and gives way, so the planted but ungrown ideas can drink you in, and stories can grow? My umbrella is set down, my face is turned upward, and my heart is open.

rain, rain, rain

wake and inspire

Thursday, March 20, 2008


to have time to visit blogosphere later today, or tomorrow.

as our household's Official Liaison to the World of Magical Creatures and Beings, I have been a bit busy lately. Plus I am also She Who is Responsible for the Doing of ALL Things Domestic, no matter how much I try to convince other household members that I do not wish to carry the title.

I do so prefer when Easter is in April and the flowers have begun to bloom. And it feels warmer and you know it is spring just by looking out your window. Or not even, you can just feel it through the walls, it just feels different.
I believe today is the first day of spring. YEAH! So we are on our way.
and I am happy to see some flowers are on their way!

Which means the time I spent this fall, on my hands and knees, digging in the dirt, is likely to result in bloom.
( which is not the way it has usually worked out with me and tulips, or me and daffys)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Disappointed Cheese

The other morning while driving Cheese to school. I saw something over in the field. I laughed and said, "I don't know what it was, but in this light, it looked light a chihuahua on stilts with a long white mane.".

Cheese took great interest in this. Asking me all sorts of questions. I said "you know, I know that wasn't what it was, I don't think it was anything, it seemed to have twigs for legs. I am just saying that is how it looked to me.". When I picked him up from school he presented me with this drawing.

He asked me more questions. Said we had to drive by it. He was beginning to spin a mythology around this unknown, this new, creature. Like we were on the verge of discovering a real pokemon, or something like big foot or loc ness. This made me nervous, as I knew driving past it and looking at it closely would shatter such thoughts. When we drove by, it took awhile for Cheese to find it and see what I had seen. As we turned the corner, in that light of day, He saw it, and said it looked like a big upside down clear jug perched on top of some twigs and laughed at me merrily, for being so silly. And indeed that is exactly how it looked. He still liked his drawing, and was working on a name for the creature. We talked on about it that day mused perhaps it had magical powers, and could disguise itself as trash to avoid detection. Cheese thought perhaps it had come to look after the large pond, saying once it was driven away by pollution but now had returned.

In the morning as we drove by, Cheese saw it, just as I had the first day. He beamed at me eagerly. He insisted I bring the camera later so we could get a photo of it on the way home from school. I agreed but was concerned that seeing the features close up turning into trash before our eyes would be disappointing. We got our photos. We came home and hooked the camera up to the computer, and as we clicked on enlarge. We were amazed "oh my God!" it really did look like an animal. How could trash and twigs catch the light just so?

Cheese could not wait to show his dad the photographs when he got home. His thoughts were busy planning an expedition on Saturday to go check out this creature. Bob got home. Cheese had me cue up the computer and show him. Bob's response low and monotone "Wow, that looks neat. You said it is nearby? It must be one of those coyote decoys." Coyote decoys? Cheese and I stared at each other. We had never heard of such a thing. Bob went upstairs. Cheese came over to me, whispering under his breath "Dad has ruined the whole thing. Ugh. Right away taking all the fun out of it.". I shrugged. I thought about the water feature, and said maybe it is meant to keep things away from the pond. I decided to google coyote decoys. The first ones that came up looked nothing like it, and Cheese and I felt a little better.

But then we saw this

a perfect match. This photo explains why it seemed like his shoulders were so much higher than his hind quaters. And why that back right leg that I thought was a twig, looked so odd. Cheese was very disappointed. I felt very silly. I never thought it was a real animal, but I never thought it was a decoy either (I didn't know they made such things. They are good for keeping geese away from ponds et. cetera.) . I had thought it would be rather amusing to go on the expedition and see how twigs and trash, taken with light, could deceive us so. Thinking this as I washed the dishes, I said "You know I think I would have preferred if it had been trash.". Cheese muttered and mumbled unhappily for a bit, then declared "You know, what I think. I think I would have preferred it being trash to this.". I shook my head yes "like it was some sort of magical trash". (having him say what I had just said back to me as if I had never said it, amused me. His father does that to me all the time. Only I think Cheese knew he was doing an echo. Whereas Bob never actually realizes it, as he doesn't fully listen, and my words seem to gather and reform in is subconscious and strike him there as if his own idea.).

I tied to talk Bob up to Cheese, " It is good that your Dad told us, now we know, otherwise we would have gone to see it without having a clue what it really was." Cheese said "Yeah but then, we would have gotten to go on our expedition, and we would have become excited and nervous as we got closer, and it looked like some real animal, and then when we got close enough to realize it was a plastic decoy we would have burst out laughing. We would have felt dumb but we would have had fun. Now it is just all disappointing and bummed." I shook my head yeah.

Cheese's first words this morning were about the coyote "Oh, I still can't believe it. We were so close to something exciting happening, and now, nothing at all.".

He had me put the binoculars in the car. He wants to look at it today on the way home. He wants to look at it, and really see it for what it is.

There is one thing we still haven't solved, it did turn and look at us the one day. True it was a windy day. This made perfect sense when we had it as trash, part of it blowing in the wind. But this is supposed to be a 2-D model. But as I have told Cheese, it could be the latest version with a bobbing head or something.

Cat mad

I took Cheese to school without feeding the cat first
I returned home to this

So do you think the cat was mad?

by the bye,
that room had mauve carpeting when we moved in.
It is our "we will change it someday 'soon' list." along with several other projects/expenses, which stay just as they are, year in and year out.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

It is just about that time of year again. St. Patrick's Day. The day when my son wakes up to find our house pranked by Leprechauns. A lot of silliness took place last year. 37 things according to Cheese, who likes to keep track. And adding that onto the past 5 years of pranking. I think maybe the elves are out of ideas for this year. I said something of this nature to my son, and that perhaps this year they would go on to prank other, new kids. (I use the term prank loosely as the spirit here is gentle compared to some April's fools day stuff.) He was horrified that I would consider such a notion. "Of course they will come. They always come. Our house would be so dreadfully boring if they ever stopped. I couldn't stand it." So that settles that then. Except that I am quite certain that the leprechauns only have 10 ideas for this year.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I love this movie

Editorial Review from essential video
My Neighbor Totoro is that rare delight, a family film that appeals to children and adults alike. While their mother is in the hospital, 10-year-old Satsuki and 4-year-old Mei move into an old-fashioned house in the country with their professor father. At the foot of an enormous camphor tree, Mei discovers the nest of King Totoro, a giant forest spirit who resembles an enormous bunny rabbit. Mei and Satsuki learn that Totoro makes the trees grow, and when he flies over the countryside or roars in his thunderous voice, the winds blow. Totoro becomes the protector of the two sisters, watching over them when they wait for their father, and carrying them over the forests on an enchanted journey. When the children worry about their mother, Totoro sends them to visit her via a Catbus, a magical, multilegged creature with a grin the Cheshire Cat might envy.
Unlike many cartoon children, Satsuki and Mei are neither smart-alecky nor cloyingly saccharine. They are credible kids: bright, energetic, silly, helpful, and occasionally impatient. Filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki makes the viewer believe the two sisters love each other in a way no American feature has ever achieved. My Neighbor Totoro is enormously popular in Japan, and some of the character merchandise has begun to appear in America. The film has also inspired a Japanese environmental group to buy a Totoro Forest preserve in the Saitama Prefecture, where Miyazaki's film is set. --Charles Solomon

Me- It has magic and heart, spirit, imgination, and wonder.

Monday, March 10, 2008

odd security blanket

don't think I will do a real post today, go visiting instead.
but here is yet another bummer post (non-uplifting). Tomorrow I shall do a fun topic.
Early Sat. morning 4am, got up to use restroom, when lay back in bed, to sleep on my right side as usual, had crushing pain and burning, in right upper arm/shoulder around to back of shoulder blade, and in center of chest. Like no pain I have ever felt before. (I guess sort of like how it feels when your muscles are burning from fatigue when you do tons of reps of something, joined with the feeling of being compressed, like different parts of my body were crushing the other parts) Turned onto my back, pain in arm started to get better, then the pain in shoulder, pain in chest persisted for a while. Then the burning, and crushing stopped, but the tightness stayed in the center of my chest. Movement seemed to threaten a return of the bad pain (trying to cover my feet with a blanket, started it again, so I stopped doing that), so I barely moved for an hour. Finally the pain was mild enough and I felt relaxed enough to do internet searches (In bed), which I thought would make me feel calmer, and they did, after about an hour of that I fell back to sleep.

I assume I either pulled something, or have GERD. I am not aware of having heartburn, I mean yeah I have had it on occasion, but not frequently. I do tend to have issues with my stomach though. (as I was all day Friday). And I had noticed last week, that I felt better when eating really warm foods, like soups. I'm thinking about doing one of those limited or rare foods diets to see if I my body just doesn't like certain foods.

Since this happened I have had, on and off, a feeling like there are air bubbles, or a lump trapped under my sternum, this seems to be consistent with acid reflux, or an anxiety type of reaction, according to the world wide web. My chest has a dull ache from time to time, as does the middle of my shoulder blades, and bending my head down is unpleasant (these would make sense if I had pulled something).

I have now become rather reliant on this darn hot gel pack. I can not go to bed at night unless it is on my chest, because it always makes me feel better. Which I guess means, either it is a muscle pull thing, or has now become a psychological thing.
I feel silly, and quite like a hypochondriac for letting myself become so anxious. When the pain persisted I thought about going to the hospital, and even Saturday during the day thought I would make an appointment to see a doctor today, mostly for peace of mind. But now I feel that is unecessary, unless something else were to happen, or unless my imagination runs away with me and I become fretful. I am writing it out here, as I am trying to clear myself of it. It took too much of my weekend thoughts and energy. I want a mental reset.

Friday, March 7, 2008


throwing one.

(actually this post turned out to be just a personal writing oriented pep talk. Yeah, lets call it writing pep talk to self, number 2,387)

I was having a bit of snit, snit fit, yesterday. It only lasted a bit. But still some unsettledness has come of it.
I had been having a lovely day.
I decided to listen to Oprah's New Earth classroom.
I have mixed feelings about the book, some things I like, some I don't.
I decided to read it though, because of the beginning, when Eckhart speaks of flowers, and birds (and gems). There are no gems in the story I am working on writing, but his reference to flowers and birds, and the symbolism, natural inspiration/feelings from that, echoes well their meanings in my story Echo. So that interested me. I liked that. Our meanings echoed so I entered.

Anyway my snit, or should I say my ego's snit (according Echart) is merely this, too much of what is in his book, reminds me of elements in my story. And like any sane writer type of person, I feel like I have been robbed. Well not really, not like it was taken from me, but since someone else, has already presented it, like I can not present it, thus I still have what I had, but the value in giving it to others has been taken away.

I have been down this road with myself and the work of others, before. I believe ideas are given, not just to one, but like a stream, a currrent, ideas flow, and several people, (2, 20, 200, 2000) receive it, or parts of it, only it manifests itself differently through the lens (eyes, heart, soul, life) of each person. So it isn't the same exact thing, but different versions of like ideas. And I have told myself in the past that this is true for a reason, because we all need to hear, certain ideas over and over, and to take them in, in different ways, and forms, till we can fully know them. Thinking over this again started to make me feel a little bit better.

Further talking myself out of my snit, involved lots of, his book is a self-help book, yours is a novel. Some parts have like ideas true, but aren't these universal ideas anyway? I am sure many published books have both the ideas presented in his work and yours (this made me feel both better and worse). And there are elements in both works (as far as I have read him anyway) that are sure to be different. And one is a story, and thus automatically different. And the concepts are presented differently. Well yes, but some aren't, actually, I heard some words come out of his mouth that were things I had written. And that did so bum me out. But still, they are not the same. And why can't I take some comfort, some value in those parts which do echo? Why can I not decide that it validates, rather than invalidates, the story which I wish to tell?
And isn't the story called Echo, for a reason. Yes, because it is full of echoes. So what harm is there in more? I guess I don't want mine to be the echo, because then it would seem like a copy, like his was the origin. But just like in your story, none of the echoes are copies, they all echo something deeper. Both works are echoes, of some other, an intangible origin, just like all those other published works that echo the same themes. None are copies, all are echoes. That we feel and hear, and try to echo back, to source, and on, to future.

I am a bit wary of reading rurther into his book, for I have little doubt, that I will be faced with this issue again. But since the messages do echo, I know, that there is need for me to hear them, and take in such words, as I shall find there. And he is to try and help us to set down our egos and certain concepts of I, my, and mine (ideas my work doesn't address, nor for that matter does my mind). And I can see value in reading these ideas. Plus now that my ego is stomping around wearing big clunky boots trying to make lots of noise in its angry disappointment, or sulking quietly," what is the use, I have nothing to add, to give, so why bother?". It seems it might be of more value than ever to try and see beyond ego's thinking.

It is amazing to me that this is just the beginning. That I am still at the beginning of a writing journey. By the time I work through all these blocks, and starts and stops (which it seems I must do, over and over, and over again), and have the full draft, and then rework it, till it is as good as I can make, by the time I am finally "there" with the work "finished" in my hands, a time that seems far off, that a great amount of energy and work, and courage will be needed to get me to, by the time I am finally "there", I will still be at the beginning. Deeper in, further in, but nowhere near the end. Maybe best I think of it as the middle, least I become too discouraged. Yeah I can do that. The middle, and with a high vantage point, where you can look off into the distance and imagine, it wont take much for my journey now, and then as you walk down and start tredging through, realizing "Oh my God, I might never make it. I had no idea it was still so far away". But I don't mind lending to myself the illusion of it being closer, and easier than it will be, in fact, I feel I need to. For it seems to me I have been on this path a long time, indeed I started over 10 years ago, (I keep wandering off to side paths) I need to hold within me the believe that I have covered ground. And I need to hold that belief to help me to keep walking, and once I am further in, till walking back out through the start seems as long and difficult a journey as walking on through does, till that time, best if I focus on my progress and not the distance yet before me.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I woke to a pleasant mood, and a soggy day.
I don't know what that is that is skipping and humming inside me, but it has declared today "a good day".
Perhaps it is that all this rain is happening in warmer days, and the wet ground, is softer ground, preparing to give way to the change of season later this month.
The little stream has flooded her banks. She rushes along her narrow course, then spills out spreading herself across the grass till she feels calm and still.
A group of Canadian geese is happily floating in a make-shift lake, made of rain water and a corn field.
Yesterday before we had quite so much rain, I saw a group in another field, pleasantly traipsing through gushy mud.
I say pleasantly for they easily could have been elsewhere in the still golden sections of corn field, but they were congregrated in the mud. A mud hub.
This morning for the first time I noticed rain water flowing off the bottom of my car's side view mirror, I rolled down the window to see it better, and got my right shoulder rained on. I rolled it back up, and watched it through the raindrop speckled window.
Then I noticed some scattered flocks of Canadian geese racing across the sky.
I wonder what it feels like to fly in the rain? What it feels like on one's wings?
In another field, I saw a great flock of snow geese.
My being has assigned their image/presence a symbolic significance which I don't logically understand, but that only lends a greater magic to them, my not knowing why they effect me so, why I see something beyond, greater, more, in them, than what they reasonably are. A little song of white notes playing in a field, a swelling song of white notes filling the sky. Perhaps some part of me thinks their white feathers like dandelion fluff, and meant to be wished upon, to fly off and carry dreams through the world. "White birds is all" part of me says "that is all they are", and another part of me smiles, broadly, warmly, amused, for she thinks that the other part of me is silly for trying to see them in such a small confined way. I never know which one is the silly one and which one truly sees, they are rather interwoven through me, and I like having them both, I need them both, the science and the mystical, interwoven they form my spirituality.

As I look out my window, I want to know what things are, understand things, be connected with reality, but also always be taken by seeing how the pavement reflecting rain water appears all blue, and how it plays, weaving itself with winter's grass glowing golden. How that brings me something, makes me happy. And I don't need to understand why that is, to try and deconstruct it, to see my seeing more clearly. I'll take it as the gift it is.

I like that, about being here now, in this time period, there is so much more information, so much more knowing what things are, new discoveries, new undestanding. And yet even so life still holds her mysteries, as new discoveries, often mean shifts in viewing, and thus things do not seem fixed, rigid and solid, there is a fluidity of thinking, of seeing. And even when we think we know something fully, and completely scientifically understand it, have broken it down to its smallest parts, understand each component, and why, and how, still we can look upon it and feel great wonder. The understanding not detracting from the impact of something's beauty, in fact often one finds other layers to be amazed by. It does surprise me a bit, that Information, and a "modern age" does not keep things from acting upon us in another way, nature often inspires transcendence. It might be a lot easier now-a-days to be distracted, to be so busy running around here and there trying to get things done, that one doesn't have time to see, but the thing that interests me is, that when one does look, one feels. Color in a field, the way light hits something, the flowing of water, birds in flight, they speak to us, in words, in ways, unknown, and they have an effect. Perhaps not on every single person, but certainly on most. It must be, just how we are made.

Once upon a time, it seemed as though scientists and those who believed in "something more" were on opposites sides, looking at the world through completely different eyes. Now one set of eyes can see both views, hold beliefs that contain both. I find great beauty in that.

Ooops, wandered down the road a bit further and off the main path I had meant to walk (I was just wondering why the sight of a flock of geese in a mud puddle made me feel happy, and kept walking on from there), oh well, I enjoyed the walk anyway, even if it is a bit jumbled. Perhaps it might seem a ramble through bramble for one who might amble by. But to me, it was sky.

Monday, March 3, 2008

cocoa socks

Cheese made a chocolate cake, and chocolate icing the other weekend, and we soon found the bottom of our socks had turned brown from all the cocoa powder on the floor. I kept trying to clean stuff up, but there was flour, sugar, and cocoa powder everywhere. Cheese has many skills, neatness is not currently one of them, and in fact he doesn't think of it enough to try for it. Fortuntely for him, I found the extremeness in the degree of mess, amusing. And I have never made a chocolate cake from scratch (I did a carrot cake once about 13 years ago, and that was it), and so I am impressed with his interest in doing such. No matter how dirty our white socks get.

Cheese is very good with the pizza, he makes it now every Friday night. We used to buy frozen. His is a heck of a lot better. We still buy the dough, and then he rolls it out. I think eventually we should try to make the dough ourselves.

A few weeks back, I had Cheese save me some dough, and I made a pizza too. Mine was so bad, I could only eat the outside of the circle and had to throw the center away, this pleased Cheese no end. I wish I had done it on purpose to fill him with such personal pride, but no, I tried to do well on my pizza, oh how I tried.

The draw-back to all this cooking, besides all the cleaing up, and dishes, is that none of it is very healthy food. I am hoping as we go along, I will be able to steer him towards some less calorically dense menus. Friday he made a mega batch of chocolate chips cookies, and we are all definitely gaining weight on this new cooking plan. The cookies gave me back the weight I had just lost with being sick the week previous. I find I am unable to resist, fresh baked this and that, and freshy made this and that seem to be about my home now in huge quantities.

Mostly I wish to be encouraging on his cooking path. This is a child without many non-electronic hobbies. His favorite ways to pass time are: playing video games, watching TV, and going on the internet. He does at times also build with Legos, read books, and sometimes draw things that have do with video games or comics. So I think cooking is a good hobby to add to the mix, and a good skill to have. I'm just not sure what to do about the whole, there is better, more fattening food in the house, so we are eating it, thing.

On to those muffins, Cheese made them the other week, while I was cleaning up the pizza stuff, and making a marinade for his Saturday dining plans. I took a look at the finished product (the one on the left), bit like rocks really, and gently said " you think maybe perhaps you forgot an ingredient?". He shrugged his shoulders. Having been down this road myself I ventured "baking powder perhaps?". "OOoooh, yeah, I forgot that". I then read the recipe outloud and there were several other things he forgot as well. I told him it was best to go down the list and check things off as you add them. I was concerned that this incident would make him think he couldn't bake, and certainly couldn't make muffins, for that is what I would take away from such an experience, so I said let's find a different muffin recipe and do it again. He was a good sport about it, pleasantly willing to do it all again. I got the stuff out, and he measured, and mixed, and poured (and checked things off as he went down the list), and as you can see, the second batch of muffins (the one on the right), were soft, and rose up nicely (they were tastey too). He celebrated by getting out the steel thing you tenderize meat with, and giving the first batch of muffins a few good whacks.

Last night he posted the menu for this week at The Dingo Cafe. is, Monday-cheese quesadillas, Tuesday-asian glazed pork (or chicken), Wed.-meat ravioli (made with wonton wrappers?), Thurs- beef tacos, Friday- pizza, Sat-fried chicken, Sun.- a turkey dinner, and apple pie. Oh and of course there are sides, Monday's tomato soup, is the only veg (or fruit if you insist on calling it so) that is among them.
Not at all a Taffy-ish menu. Bit heavy on the read meat, and cheeses, bit light on fruit and veg. I am not sure what to do. I want him to keep his interest in cooking, so I need to keep him interested in eating what is cooked. When I used to do the meal planning, and all the cooking myself, he scarcely ever ate what I made. He would turn his nose up at it and get himself, a bowl of cereal, or peanut butter and jelly, or instant mac and cheese, or instant ramen instead.
I wouldn't worry if we were an athletic sort of group, but um..we aren't.