Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Heaven To Earth

Very early this morning I woke, looked at the clock and smiled because I was so happy I could go back to sleep.  In those dead as night pre-dawn hours, my body was resting while my mind was off running.  I was with my Mom in the only dream that stayed with me upon waking.  She looked so good and strong that I assumed it was a flashback.  I confessed to her that she would get sick and die soon.  Too soon.  A shimmer of sadness flashed in her eyes.  Oh, I'm already gone honey, she managed to say.  She reminded me not to forget the good things in life...the reasons for living through the sad and painful.  We shared some tears and a long hug.  Not long enough for I tried so hard to hold her tight in my arms even as she crumbled like ashes.  Dust to dust.  Heaven to earth.

Monday, July 30, 2012

On My Mind Monday

Suffering and despair force you to plumb the depths of the human heart in a way normal life can't.  It makes us wise beyond our years.
* Mary Karr
Sadly, I finished Cherry today and I've no more Mary Karr to curl up with.  Her second memoir had me laughing more often than crying, but there was heaviness looming at times and it inspired much self-reflection always.  Her early childhood, as told in The Liar's Club, was scary sad.  Her post adolescent account (Lit) was unsettling to say the least. This telling resonated with the erstwhile teenager in me.  Sometimes I catch the Peter Pan syndrome and wish I never had to grow up, but I never look longingly on a repeat of my adolescence.  And what scares me most about my children entering that stage of their lives is the feeling that seems to take over teenage minds. You know?  That feeling that they are wise beyond their years, that adults know nothing and understand even less.

Now I will embark on Patricia Hampl's Virgin Time.  If anything I'm drawn to it because I feel like I can benefit wisely from a more contemplative life.

Six down from  my list.  

Sunday, July 29, 2012

2 day pass

this was a pretty darn good couple a days.
it started better than it finished, but all in all it was good stuff.
friday i motivated to workout despite the fact that the couch was calling my name convincingly.
soon after i showered, my friend called to invite miss bit and i over.
if you know me at all you know i am the queen of last minute.
the nicer, fancier way of saying that is impromptu.
we accepted, dressed and picked up some custard in route.
chocolate chip cookie dough kept the little girlies happy along with their always active imaginations when together.
the mamas shared a bottle of wine (or one and a half) and glib girl talk in equal measure.
turns out...it was just what i needed.
after another sweaty workout saturday morning, we joined the boys up at the ball field for the district championship semifinals.
we were the home team!
it was another slaughter.
we were a little happy, but especially the boys (all of them players, coaches, dads and grandpas included).

we headed to the in-laws to spend the rest of the day with family.
the whole fam was gathered for festivities including swimming, gaming, birthday celebrating and olympic viewing.
it was a good day and we collapsed at the end of it beyond exhausted.
sunday i woke with a case of the nerves, washed t. bone's uniform one more time and baked cookies for the after the game party to be held win or lose.
win and we would celebrate going to state.
lose and we would have closure for a phenomenal and long season.
a season we would surely not complain one iota about were it to go even longer.
well, i never knew closure would be so hard to come by.
in 7 innings, we lost 4-5.
it was a painfully close game.
t. bone pitched his best game ever...ev-a, but still it was not to be.
there will be no woulda coulda shoulda cuz' this here pragmatist doesn't see the point.
we lost, they won and life goes on.
so does baseball, but not for a few weeks.
the tears quickly turned to smiles at the party and all of the boys were acting the carefree way they should this season.
there's still a whole lotta summer to enjoy.
so go on.
go on.

*please note that above photos are from saturday's victory.  no photos were taken at sunday's defeat because this blogger photographer was a little stunned.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for....

A day with just T.  Bone this week.  We both slept until 10:20, lounged around until it was time to pick up some lunch and then we went to the golf course for a little putting contest.  He won.

Miss Bit was away spending a couple days with her Grandma.  I know they enjoyed a lot of time in the pool.

Lots of new audio books.  I usually like to leave with 4 and then actually listen to 2.  I took home 7 this trip because I was so jazzed by the new titles.

Speaking of jazz, I'm really loving listening to The Great Gatsby.

The Knights are #1 seed after their 4th pool play victory Wednesday night.  It was another slaughter.  This time 15-5.  T. Bone had an impressive bare handed play at short.  We celebrated with the whole team at a local brew pub.  The kids had soda and pizza fyi.

Team Lightning ended their season with a victory Tuesday.

Thunderstorms this week.  Like so many other parts of the country, we really needed the rain.


Ordinary life.

The start of the 2012 Olympics.

T. Bone's first district championship game is tomorrow.  The Knights play my old rivals.  Go Knights!  Another slaughter'd be nice.  Just sayin'

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I just reread yesterday's post.  I almost deleted it.  I thought about erasing it since I'm vague and elusive from beginning to end.  The feelings I dance clumsily around here are clear to me nonetheless.  This is my blog.  It is written by me, for me.  It is in this spirit that I decided to keep the ambiguous entry.  Life is a process...a journey.  This blog chronicles mine.  It would be inauthentic for me to only talk about life's sweetness.  As a writer, it is paramount that I come here with honest intentions.  Being open and vulnerable is incredibly uncomfortable for me, but I believe that discomfort promotes growth.  Growth is what I ultimately seek. So when I share that I am having more down yos than up yos, it's because I'm going from wallowing to working it out.  I'm moving on.  I'm inching forward.

I don't divulge my emotional compass to make other people uncomfortable, to evoke pity or to cause alarm.  I share because it is cathartic for me.

So with my peace said, I feel compelled to put it out there that today is a better day.  Today is a good day.  Today the smallest of things are bringing me big joy.  Small things like lying in bed talking about the day ahead with T. Bone, seeing the prehistoric looking crane standing still on the lagoon's edge, watching the formidable hawk take flight across the field being mobbed by a blackbird, feeling the wispy breeze mitigating the oppressive heat, enduring a sweaty, fast four miles faster yet because I'm well into The Great Gatsby, enjoying a baguette and a good hunk of aged cheddar and sitting here giddy over the reality of a free and clear afternoon.

Today I close with this from The Great Gatsby...
And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had the familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.
There was so much to read, for one thing, and so much fine health to be pulled down from the breath-giving air.

I close with this because I feel like life is beginning over again with the new day today.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Do You Have A Minute?

I'm sitting here alone in my quiet house at what I always know to be my best time of day.  I'm a gloaming kind of girl.  I have a stack of engaging books most half read, a brand new issue of bon appetit and nothing but time.  The thing is though that tonight I just want to talk.  I need to talk.  I want to spill about today, this week, this summer, this season in my life.

The problem is that I feel like there is no one I want to burden with this heaviness.  No one who gets me (enigmatic)...gets this (angst).  It doesn't help that I have been keeping to myself out of need and out of desire.  It's just that I've been feeling fragile in a way that seems scary.  So I want to talk, but I feel isolated, estranged and distant from people in my life that I would normally turn to.  Mainly because I don't want to talk nice and happy about the weather (beautiful), baseball (on fire) or the best calamari I ever had (melt in your mouth), I want to talk about feelings, fears and frustrations.  I want to dig in deep to the messy stuff.

The truth is that I've been wading through the muck and the mire for awhile now.  I've been a one woman excavating expedition.  It has been immeasurably illuminating. The process of coming clean has been testing me in ways beyond my mettle, yet I'm still standing, smiling and even singing.  I guess that makes me stronger than I give myself credit for.

It's also the truth that there are so many joy moments in most every day.  I'm filled with gratitude more often than not.  Not forced or contrived contentment, but organic, inherent happiness.  The dailiness of life delights me.  Delights I say. And then one moment all is right with my world... the next I'm questioning what and who I know, the point, the importance, the meaning.  That quickly feels like despair.  OK, despair may be a little dramatic.  I feel like I go from delight to dashed hopes one hundred times each day. I feel like The Little Engine Who Could: I-Think- I-Can-I- Think-I-Can only what I hear is I-Think-I-Can, I-Think-I-Can-But-Why?  I'm a self-proclaimed pessimist, but an aspiring optimist.  I know the point. I get it.  What I don't get is how it is possible that the more I feel like I understand myself, the less I understand other people.  The good thing is that I want to understand them.  I won't give up.  I'm a pessimist, not a quitter.  Just like everyone else, like life, I'm an enigma through and through.

Monday, July 23, 2012




And after!

One more slaughter.
Another well-earned victory.

More reasons to smile.

Another cause for celebration.

Beaming with pride for my boys...the pitcher and the coach....the team.

2 day pass

this was a weekend filled with highlights. 

jess and i very much enjoyed a friday night out and also this take on bruschetta.  it was a tasty pico topped with the creamiest, loveliest goat cheese that i'm pretty sure would taste good on or with anything.  we lingered on the patio of an area wine bar as the sun went down.  we had our fill of grapes, girl talk and good food.

these two sold their share of lemonade on a sunny afternoon.  they earned $13.25 at a quarter a cup. of their own sweet will, they decided to donate the money to charity.  the humane society is the lucky benefactor.

miss bit and i enjoyed a detour an adventure on our way to t. bone's baseball game saturday thanks to an early start and a missed exit.  we decided to check out a nature preserve despite the fact that we were wearing flip flops. we only hiked a little on down the trail before miss bit almost stepped on a snake and we both screamed so loud that we were hoarse afterwards.  i almost felt sorry for the snake who slithered away swiftly.  we pinky swore promised to make time to explore the trails soon and to wear proper walking shoes when doing so.

the game only lasted an hour.  i'm not complaining, but it hardly seems worth the 45 minute drive.  it was another slaughter for the knights.  tonight we play the other undefeated team  real competition in our pool. it's supposed to be 100+ degrees.  good thing the game is at 8:00 pm under the lights. 

we bid adieu to loyal fans (including one whistling god mother aunt) and celebrated over ice cream with the team and sides of fries.

we had a relaxing night at home saturday.  well, except for miss bit who had a last minute swim date at the pool with some neighbor friends.  don't worry, we saved her some pizza, but she was so excited to hang out with the older girls that i doubt she would have cared.  coach mastered the dough. it was perfecto.  just the way i love it...crispy and cracker thin.  

after practice and a walk on sunday, we packed up again for another glorious afternoon at the lake.  t. bone brought a pal,  miss bit made friends there and we met up with my aunt and uncle who make a visit to the beach delicious and all the more fun.  the afternoon was frog fruitful and family fun.

i came home, took a nap and then went to bed.  what can i say?  i was worn out after so much goodness.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

6 days off.
2 of which were spent at the lake.
The boys played king of the raft.

The girls had fun frogging even if they didn't catch any today.
It wasn't for lack of trying though.
They got right in the thick of things...things being lily pads.

We also kept cool during a mid-week matinee showing of Ice Age 4.  It was cute and clever for us all.  The sloths were hilarious.  Due to 5 minutes of technical difficulties, the movie was gratis.  It ended up being a bargain afternoon.

Lots of time for long walks.  Walks I'm enjoying especially while listening to The Brave. It's a great story and the narration is impeccable.

Both kids had successful sleepovers this week.  That's cause for gratitude since T. Bone had to be picked up in the wee hours the last 2 times and Miss Bit has had trouble sleeping even at home night after night.  Never mind, that both these slumber parties were at our house.

Miss Bit's "issues" are slowly improving.  At least the lines of communication are open.  She's vowed me to secrecy so that's all I can share.

Any doubt I ever had that my girl is an old soul is completely out the window now.  She is ancient, deep, wise and true.

Michigan gladiolas.

Last night we were back in the stands for game #1 of the district tournament.
I'm not quite sure who had more butterflies...T. Bone or Coach.

Turns out they need not have fretted.

This was the scoreboard at the end of the game.  It was a slaughter.  T. Bone pitched 39 pitches and scored the first run.  He hit a beautiful triple.  Spirits were high and adrenaline was flowing.  I felt slightly sorry for the ladies in the booth next to these celebrants at the post-win party.  We stopped for Mexican.  I'm pretty sure they all ordered chicken wings though.

This girl was all smiles that they had chicken tenders on the concession menu. 

Fans.  T. Bone had quite a contingency in the stands.  Not to mention the 9/10 team made the 45 minute trek to cheer on the 10/11s.

Today my friend told me today that she and her husband were impressed that T. Bone stepped away from the excitement of the win and the team bonding to thank them for coming to his game.  I didn't know he did that.  Didn't hear it, see it or tell him to do it.  I'm always filled to the brim with gratitude and pride when I hear things like this.

Next game is Saturday.

T. Bone's only concern after his game was calling his uncle to inquire about his practice round.  He's gearing up for a little tournament of his own this weekend.

Shrimp tacos with avocado and cilantro crema.

2 against 2.  And no one got hurt.

Only 18 days until these 2 celebrate birthdays.  I cannot believe my baby will be 8.  T. Bone's bud will be 11.

Watch cats?  Scaredy cats?

Damage control.



My friend for reminding me you don't need many when you've got a good few!