Thursday, December 31, 2009

Secret Language

I wish I could explain to you
how this feels.

breathe in
another day
stupid people mechanized movements
soundtrack spinning

breathe out
dreams beating behind closed lids
pulsing technicolor wings scraping
feather soft and insistent
(never ending)
remind me

to

breathe out

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2010

I happened across my horoscope for next year today on Yahoo (and by happened across, I do not mean obsessively looked at every day.  What?)
***
Year 2010 Overview

Whew! Feel that enormous burden sliding off of your shoulders, like you've been carrying around an overstuffed backpack for the last couple of years? That would be Saturn, planet of structures and limitation, moving out of your sign. Congratulations, first of all, on having simply made it through more or less in one piece. You passed through the fire and made it out the other side.


Now, what to do with that spiritual Medal of Honor you've earned? Well, for one thing, establish who it is you really are with both yourself and those around you. Your ability to quietly endure both the big and little outrages of life have served you well in the last couple of years, and many of those around you may have come to assume that either it wasn't as rough on you as it was, or that you are somehow made of steel. In fact, you may have come to the same conclusion yourself. Virgo has a reputation for being able to take care of others with the best of them -- but can you turn that same care and attention on yourself? That's the big question you'll be facing in 2010.


The good news (beyond simply less bad news) is that there will be all kinds of opportunities opening up for you in new directions as far as fun, recreation and romance. So take advantage of those whenever you can. You've earned it!
***
I don't have particularly strong beliefs about astrology one way or the other.  I do notice that horoscopes tend to be broad enough to apply to just about anyone, and so I usually ignore them.  This one, however, did catch my attention. 

Whether it is written in the stars or not, the thought of having an easier time of it in 2010 than I did in 2009 is wonderful.  My year wasn't all that difficult.... I am pretty much recovered from my ten months of unemployment in 2008/2009, and am only a few months away from finally being back in a place of my own after over a year of roommates and uncertainty.  I've been able to pay off some of the debt I accrued due to said unemployment, and even spend a little bit on myself and my daughter.  Ryan and I have had our ups and downs, but pretty smooth actually compared to previous years.  Things with other people in my life have been mostly good.  I managed to find a job that I am not excited about, but it's not too terrible and it pays the bills.

But if my horoscope says 2010 is going to better, I'll choose to believe it, if for nothing more than the positive energy such a belief might create.  I will also, of course, tailor my own actions to make sure such a horoscope comes true (to the best of my ability). 

Come on 2010 - bring it on!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas















Spiteful

It has come to my attention that my blog is being read by certain people who are finding it offensive. I'm being told that I am mean-spirited, cruel, spiteful and vengeful, and that I need to "filter" what I write.

What I write is not intended to be hurtful, offensive, mean-spirited, cruel, spiteful or vengeful.  I write about what is happening in my life and how I feel about those events.  I will not "filter" how I feel or what I write about to protect individuals that do not care about me or my family.  I will not change or edit things to cater to individuals that I do not respect or admire. 

If what I write comes across as mean-spirited, cruel, spiteful or vengeful to you, DON'T READ IT.  If what I write upsets you in any way, shape or form, DON'T READ IT.  If you don't like what I have to say, DON'T READ IT.  No one is forcing you to.

Friday, December 25, 2009

5 Years, 5 Months, 11 Days

Five years, five months and 11 days ago I met a man at a bar. 

***
At first I didn't recognize you as mine.  At first I thought you were just another man in a bar, easily dismissed and forgotten.  At first I continued laughing with my friends, going about my business, not giving you a second thought.

You approached me, gave me your phone number.  Instead of throwing it away, as I usually would have done, I called you. 

In getting to know you, I felt understood.  I felt the pull of something I didn't understand.  I felt hopeful and romantic in a silly way.  I felt certain and unshakable in my vision of our future.  I acted nonchalantly, as if I didn't really care.

I recognized you as mine. 

When I found out you had a child, I almost walked away.    When you introduced me to him, I was terrified.  The first time he told me he loved me, I cried. 

***
There have been moments - hours, days, weeks, months, years - of joy.  There have been more times than not where we have been convinced that we'd gotten it right.  We had this relationship thing figured out - down pat.  All other couples should take lessons from us!  We were just plain happy. 

There have also been moments - very long moments (weeks, months) - of misery.  We have mistreated each other, abused each other, taken each other for granted, and been just plain mean.  There have been times when we were both convinced that it was over, that we could never recover from whatever had happened between us. 

But something unbreakable connects us, it seems.  Something stronger than love, more intense than shared parenthood, more important than promises.   Something that won't allow us to end.  Souls touching.

Through everything that we have endured and celebrated, every time we cursed each other's name or shared a lifetime with a single glance, every kiss and touch and words spoken in anger or whispered in love, you have helped me to be the person I want to be.  You have helped me to be a better mother, daughter, sister, friend and woman.  

You have amazed me with your talents, with your quick wit and patience with your children.  You have shown me your strength and determination in the face of adversity and your absolute devotion to what is important to you.  Your creativity and simple enjoyment of everyday life has always been astonishing to me.  You have taught me how to open up and laugh more easily, and how to not be afraid.  

Through it all, I have loved you.  Through it all, I have believed in you. 

I believe in us.

Merry Christmas Ryan.  I love you.

"I'll be reaching for the stars with you, honey.
Who cares if no one else believes"  --Blue October

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Fireflies in a Jar

If I could
I would bring you inside my skin
so you could feel
the sighs and shivers of
that sinuous snake that has
taken up residence
in my belly
so you would know
the tightening and sweetness
the thought of you brings
and the heat of awareness that slides
gently over my limbs
so you could
hold in your hands the uncertainty
and uneasiness
that permeate my days
so you could
set them free
like so many fireflies loosed from a jar
and together we could
watch their blinking lights become
swallowed by the sun
as it rises over the railing of
the verandah where we sit
I with my coffee
You with your tea
while a curly-haired little girl
blows raspberries at our feet.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Be Present

My goal these days is to be fully present in every moment that I experience.   I want to open my senses and truly focus on one thing at a time.  To soak up every iota of feeling I can from this time in my life - especially the joy I feel because of my amazing daughter.  I do not get nearly enough time with her. 

No more halfway-reading when he is talking to me.  No more halfway-listening to my daughter because the radio is on at the same time.  My brain tends to wander over to undone chores and to-do lists when things are actually happening in real life, and so I am not fully engaged and I short-change myself.  That's a pretty foolish thing to do, if you ask me.

It's not an easy thing to do, focusing on one thing at a time, especially in this crazy hectic loud demanding world, but practice makes perfect.  I'm going to practice until I get it right, and then I'm going to practice some more.


Santa Claus' House

The Guy in Red has been hanging out in SLO lately.... we caught him at his San Luis Obispo vacation home and snapped a couple pictures.



I wasn't privy to what they whispered in his ear, but I suspect Gavin wants some Star Wars action figures, and Caity probably wanted something RED. 

After visiting Santa, we went for a spin on the carousel and checked out the Christmas tree. 






It has been a lovely day overall.  I hope all of you out there are enjoying this last weekend before Christmas. 

What are YOU waiting for?

I know this is not a new concept (is there such thing as a new concept anymore?  Glass half full - yes there must be!), but while on my own journey of self-discovery and personal enlightenment, I have found this phrase has been key to my success thus far. 

What are you waiting for?

Although few would view my current economic and living situation as "success", I definitely do!  I may not be at the goal destination yet, but getting off my ass and making the changes that led me here was definitely a step in the right direction. 

In a nutshell, I hated my living situation; it wasn't good for my daughter or me, so I decided to quit whining about it and DO SOMETHING.  I stopped waiting for circumstances to be "right", and just took (careful, thoughtful, planned-out) action.  Granted, where I've landed is not quite what I anticipated, but you can't control everything.  I've simply touched down on a stepping stone. 

I've also applied this mindset to... well, just about everything in my life.  I stopped making excuses and started running and lifting weights again, quit poisoning myself with alcohol and tobacco (for the most part), and have made leaps and bounds of progress in how I view the world, the people around me, and myself.   I stopped waiting for other people to be who I wanted them to be, and instead changed my thinking to try to see things from their point of view.  I stopped trying to make myself into who I thought they wanted me to be, and instead I focus on being happy with myself.  It's tough sometimes, but the payoff is huge.  I've never felt better physically, emotionally and mentally.  My relationships are stronger, more in-depth, and more appreciated.

I stopped waiting for things to happen.  Instead I make things happen. 

Change your mind, change your life.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Lazy

This is an old piece of writing that crossed my mind a few days ago.  I miss the days when things like this just popped into my head.  I'm hoping it will come back.

Lazy

We went to the beach yesterday at sunset, the first time we left the house all day. The air was clean and sweet in our damaged lungs, and we smiled at the smell of saltwater on the breeze (we're so lucky to live here).



One person approached us wanting a cigarette (sorry, man, don't have any), another for marijuana (naw, dude, it's not me that has it...yeah, I smell it too) and we went into a little shop for something warm to sip on (two large cappuccinos and this candy necklace. thanks). We were lazy and had fuzzy heads from drinking and smoking too much the night before. Our steps were slow and heavy as we walked out to the end of the pier. Everyone else was walking in, as if the show was over - but it wasn't. They just weren't looking in the right place. People rarely do.


We held hands and stared down at the water, both of us thinking about the little boy who should have been with us, and the little girl who lives only in our imaginations for now. Her dark wavy hair and green eyes are always in the back of my mind, especially when I look at his blonde curly hair and bright blue eyes. He looks so much like his mom that it makes me want to cry sometimes.


It has turned chilly, and I was bundled up in a sweater under a sweatshirt and a beanie covering my newly-short hair. I could feel the wind caressing the back of my neck with chilly fingers, and your fingers even colder as you slipped them under my shirt to stroke my belly. The surfers below us were starting to go in, one by one, as it got darker and darker.


You started a drumbeat on my shoulders (ready to go? yeah - let's go) and we turned and walked back to the car with our arms around each other, swaying slightly on the uneven boards.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Girls day at the beach


There is a little spot about 10 minutes from where I live that plays host to thousands of Monarch butterflies every year from October through February.  They come down from the north to escape the killing cold of winter, finding refuge in our groves of Monterey Pine and Eucalyptus trees.  They form clusters on the trees in such a way that it looks like orange and black leaves have grown.  When it's warm, they fly around looking for nectar.  It is really an amazing sight.





This year I got to take Caitlin for the first time.  She was so excited to see the butterflies and play at the beach with me, Nana and Aunt Wendy.  We had a wonderful day - warm weather, beautiful scenery, and good company.   The butterflies and the beach were gorgeous.  Caitlin was an angel, as usual. 

  


We really don't get to the beach often enough.  She was a little scared of the ocean at first, but had a great time playing in the sand.  It was really a fantastic day.  I am so grateful to live in this beautiful place, and to be able to share it with my daughter.

What are you thankful for?

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving so far has been wonderful.  What?  It's Sunday?  Thanksgiving was Thursday?  Not in my house, my friend.  Thanksgiving is a four day event, as I'm sure it is in many houses across the country.

Ryan and Doug made a delicious turkey, and clowned around incessantly - as usual.




Gavin got all dressed up, and showed his Aunt Wendy what it's like to be smothered with stuffed animals....



Finally, dinner.




Much hilarity has ensued, and I predict that today will be no different.... once everyone else wakes up.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Turkey Trot

I ran my first 5K this morning.  My time was 31:58, which was actually a pleasant surprise, considering I actually did a run/walk.  About ten minutes in, I got a wicked side cramp, and so had to stop to walk four or five times.  I am very disappointed that I wasn't able to run the whole thing (which was pretty much the point of the whole thing), but very pleased with my time, considering.

Time to find another race and improve my time!

When I got back from the race it was to find that Caitlin was very sick and had to be taken to Med-Stop. She wound up having thrush and something else, I don't remember exactly what. We were at Med-Stop for something like four hours getting her diagnosed. Yuck. Poor baby.

Another Caitlin tidbit

Caitlin's favorite book right now is Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi.  Aunt Margaret gave it to her for her second birthday (along with a lot of other wonderful books!) and it has been in heavy rotation ever since!  She and her dad make some interesting sound effects while they read it!

She loves to ask everyone "What you doing?", and tonight told her dad and me that she was having a party with the stars.  She has learned the colors blue, red, green, orange and yellow, and can count to fifteen.  She likes to count the stairs as we walk down them.

My baby isn't a baby anymore!

A walk down memory lane.....



And now.....



Sunday, November 15, 2009

Memory of the Day

My Mom and Dad dancing to Neon Moon by Brooks and Dunn at my sisters wedding - which I was singing.



My Dad and sister dancing to "I Loved Her First" by Heartland.



Yep, I cried. 

Saturday, November 14, 2009

30 minutes

I did it. 

For the first time in about 15 years, I ran for 30 minutes (31 actually, but who's counting, right?) without stopping to walk!  Not only did I actually do it, but it wasn't even very hard.  Challenging yes, difficult - no. 

I am ready for the 5k next weekend. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fabulous

I just have to say, I feel  so good  today! 

Yesterday I felt awful.  Sick to my stomach all day, then achy and chills yesterday evening, until I crashed into bed around 8:30 (after watching move it move it - translation: Madagascar - with Caitlin).  I went to sleep actually dreading the possibility of calling in sick today.  I mean, really, who can afford that?  And who wants to be sick? 

However, I woke up feeling refreshed and wonderful!  I was so happy to not be sick that I was sickeningly cheerful all day long.  

After work I went for a run with Ryan and I actually made it all the way up the Hill his parents house is on.  This is not a hill, this is a Hill.  Very steep, very imposing.  Last time I tried (Monday), I only made it halfway.  Today, I made it all the way.  BOOYAH!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Halloween 2009

This year Caitlin went trick-or-treating with my friends daughter, Haley, with Ryan and I watching. We dressed her up as "Stinkerbell" (minus the wand as it was broken within 3 minutes of opening it) and took her to a few houses in the neighborhood. Haley looked awesome as a kitty (she looked pretty punk-rock to me - rawr!) and did an excellent job of taking Caity up to the houses and reminding her to say trick-or-treat and thank you.

So even though we didn't get to have Gavin with us, it was still a pretty fun Halloween. We missed the Bean (dressed as Darth Vadar) but I hear he had a pretty good time out collecting loot with his friends.

I'm off to eat some candy now!



Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Random Caity tidbit

It looks like Caitlin is right-handed. Well... I guess she had to inherit SOMETHING from her dad.

On a different subject, if you like to cook and appreciate pictures of food, you must check out www.smittenkitchen.com. One of my favorite websites by far.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween 2009






Just a few pictures from last night. More to follow.

A Journey of a Thousand Miles Starts With a Single Step

Just a reminder to myself. Sometimes I fall off track, but all it takes is a single step to get back on and work even harder to reach my goals.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Puff Pastries

"Hook me up with some puff pastries while you're at it. That sounds gooooooood."

"Puff pastries?"

"Yeah."

Follow Your Bliss

Someone said this to me a few years ago. At the time, I just smiled and nodded, thinking "What a dreamer. Who has the time or money?" I was thinking "follow your bliss" had to be something along the lines of "live each day as if it's your last" (no one would spend their last day at work or balancing their checkbook, so that little cliche is out). I negatively decided there were too many consequences and not enough time, money or talent to really delve into something that would make ME a more happy and satisfied person. I was taking a beautiful, life-changing idea and assigning monetary value to it. I was limiting myself to old and tired ideas of who I was and what I wanted out of life. I was over-thinking and too-quickly dismissing an idea that truly has the power to change a persons life for the better.

I was fooling myself into taking the easy, less happy way out. It was easier to drink, smoke and party and tell myself that I was happy because I was having fun. It was easier to connect with people on the superficial levels reached through alcohol and call those people my friends than it was to really get to know and trust them. I was too lazy, ignorant and selfish to face life head-on with no crutches or excuses.

Those "friends" are not the ones that were there for me when I was desperate for help to survive financially. They never had the guts to tell me I was screwing up - because they never really knew me, and I never really knew them. I was wasting my time. I was wasting myself by not believing in myself.

I made some decisions and changes for myself and my beautiful daughter, and am now following my bliss. I have learned so much about myself over the past year because of this decision, and feel happier, healthier and stronger than I ever have. I am doing things I never would have thought possible a year ago. I barely recognize myself sometimes - the negative, moody, sarcastic self is gone (well, most of the time) and in her place I see a confident, silly, laughing woman. I am working towards goals instead of just talking about them and setting a great example for my daughter. I still slip sometimes - everyone does - but I never give up.

Robert, thank you for telling me to follow my bliss. It took awhile to sink into this thick skull of mine, but I finally get it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Running

I went for a run today, striving to reach my goal of 3 miles or 30 minutes.... and failed. Again. I was going along just fine until I got attacked by vicious side-stitches! I kept chuggin' along, working through it, little-engine-that-could all the way! Until I just couldn't take it any longer and had to stop and walk after about 15 minutes - probably a mile and a half. It hurt!

This is the second time in a row that this has happened to me this week, so I have to wonder what's going on here. Am I eating/drinking too close to my run? Am I missing some important nutrient? Am I dying of some obscure running-side-stitch related disease? Am I just a wimp?

I'm inclined to think that it's food and drink too close to my run. I did have a large mug of tea today much later than I usually would.

Or maybe I'm really just a wimp.

I will bust through this plateau on Saturday.

Caitlin painted a pumpkin for us yesterday. Pictures will be up this weekend. She also asked me to sing along to the radio when we were driving to daycare yesterday. That was exciting - usually she yells "No!!" at me very vehemently when I sing in the car. So it was a nice change.

Time is up for tonight, yay for sleep!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How much cuteness can you take?

Random Notes Vol. 1

My two-year-old told me on Sunday, "It's my life, Mom!"

Advertising in Rolling Stone magazine is $15,000 for one month. Holy crap!

I need a new job. Seriously.

My appointment to pick my classes is Thursday!!!!

Caity got a Stinkerbell costume today and is THRILLED.

People who drive 60 mph on the freeway IN THE FASTLANE need to have their licenses revoked. I mean, really, why?

Homemade oatmeal/dark chocolate chip/pecan cookies can cure most things.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Star light, star bright....

I wish I may, I wish I might....

I want to be a stay at home mom. My dream right now... stay home with my girl, paint, play, read, dance, cuddle, sing, snuggle.... All the cool stuff I'm missing out on. I cram as much as I can into weekends and evenings, but oh how I wish....

Maybe someday.


Ryan is trying really hard to get his guitar company up and running, which may be our golden ticket. In the meantime.... I start school January 19, 2010!! I will be pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition. It may take me ten years but I'm determined. Thanks for the laptop to help me get started Dad! I do love a challenge....

Change is in the air

Caitlin and I are moving once again. I'm feeling very nomadic these days.


We have been staying at Margaret's rental property in SLO for the last two months, but alas, the time has come to move on. I'm not sure yet where exactly we are going to end up, but it will be somewhere in SLO or Atascadero. Wish us luck in getting settled!


Today I am going running again for the first time in a week. I was down with a cold, but am finally over it. I look forward to getting out there and getting ready for my first 5k, which I am doing on November 21st! With the exception of that awful cold, I am feeling stronger and healthier these days than I ever have.


More later.....