Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wendy's very first school picture! Try and tell me my girl isn't gorgeous! Just look at that grin...

Sorry I haven't blogged in awhile - I got show busy, and work busy, and pretty much just life in general busy. I will probably never be one of those chilled out, focused people. I'm just too much TOO MUCH for that kind of lifestyle, know what I mean? Not that I don't envy the simple folk from time to time...

Who are you incomplete with?
I am not completely myself with a LOT of people. Or, more specifically, I am only part of myself with just about everyone. There are so many things I want to hide from so many people. Mistakes I've made (and continue to make), regrets I have, dreams too complex to express, let alone realize. Plus I want you to like me. Always. No matter who you are, no matter how I feel about you. I want you to like me. I want strangers to like me. I want enemies to like me. I want people whose opinions, ideals, and daily lives to which I am utterly indifferent TO LIKE ME. This has ALWAYS been a problem. And my preferred method of dealing with this has been to only reveal to you the parts of myself that I know you will like, so you will like me, you see? I occasionally have been know to turn up, or turn down the volume of certain parts of myself as well, to further support the you-getting-to-like-me thing. Sometime it works. Sometimes it doesn't. Bottom line: I am incomplete with just about everyone I know.

Who are you grateful for?
I am grateful for my daughter most of all. She is the embodiment of delight to me.
I am grateful for my husband, who sees all my light, and still (somehow) loves my dark.
I am grateful for my brother, especially for the week after my daughter was born where I would have self-combusted if he hadn't been around to cook and clean for me.
I am grateful for my parents, who worked so hard for so many years for me and who taught me so much about the very best things in life: God, love, family.
I am grateful for my husband's family, especially my sisters-in-law, who all welcomed me with open arms even though we are all so different, and I know a lot of the time they don't really understand me.
I am grateful for my students who make me feel famous and needed and who TEACH ME every day.
I am grateful for the quiet and forgiving companionship of my cats, and the exuberant and steadfast companionship of my dogs.
I am grateful for the friends I had in college who supported me as I discovered myself, and who added bits of themselves to the mixture that was becoming me so I could keep part of you with me always.
I am grateful to you, right now, for this.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Conversation with Wendy

As I am getting the wee one ready for her bath last night we have this conversation:

"Momma, you have band-aid?"

"Yes, that's right - I have a band-aid on my arm."

"Why? You hurt?"

"I gave blood today. You see Wendy, I went to the blood drive and after I read a book of instructions and answered some questions a nurse came and put a needle into my arm that was attached to a tube and the tube was attached to a bag. When the needle was put inside my arm my blood went into the bag. The doctors can save it for later in the bag and use it to help someone who is sick - isn't that nice?"

At this point Wendy pauses to consider it all - the explanation I've just given for my boo-boo, my band-aid, and more than a few words she doesn't quite understand yet - like blood and instructions, and needle.

"Isn't that nice?" I prompt.

She looks at me and smiles. "No."

Ah, two-year-olds and their "No's"...
It made me laugh.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Gratitude and Questions

Yesterday morning as I drove to work I marveled at the sky. Every imaginable shade and variation of gray, white, yellow, and blue was visible as the remains of last night's rain gently stepped aside to reveal a brand new sky. I miss New Mexico's skies almost every day, here they are always so obscured by trees. (They're everywhere, seriously...) But I do enjoy what the rain does to the sky here in South Carolina. And first thing in the morning on my way to work it is a glory to behold. I was feeling quite lucky to be up and moving about early enough to witness it.
I was also lucky enough to be a part of a lovely musical experience earlier this week when I went to a Jason Mraz concert. He's such a beautiful soul: fun-loving and playful but he also seems to have an element of child-like wonder juxtaposed with a sexy slice of life experiences. I sometimes think that maybe he and I were twins separated at birth - things he says, stuff he does, things he writes about - they all are things I have felt or thought or learned. Too bad we'll never be friends in real life - we'd probably have a ball together.
I think sometimes I need to work harder at showing Alex how much I love him. Words are how I communicate, but actions are what matter most to him. You think I'd be better at it after six years of marriage, but I suppose much of that time was spent figuring out myself and how to be me in our realtionship. I have a tendency to be way too self-involved. It's just so much easier to understand myself rather than those around me, even those to whom I am closest. How should I show it? I really don't know what would be best. The kinds of things I do for him already he doesn't really seem to want or need. What's a girl to do?
Really good music, really good company, really high energy. Love, life, mystery, miracles, people, especially children. Friends. Health. Happiness. Sharing and coming together in unity for a purpose somehow greater than any one. Feeling sexy. No worries - although I've noticed that dancing when worried can relieve the pressure of those worries for awhile.

This little girl, dressed like a fairy and fascinated by a flower - that makes me want to dance.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

moving right along

Been working on this Artist's Way thing. Fell behind but am working to keep up with it. Wasn't allowed to read this week (which is why I fell behind reading all your blogs) and as a result have been doing A LOT of cooking - mostly desserts. (Hello cupcakes!!!) Wrote morning pages almost every day this week. Worked out four out of seven days. Went to the beach with Jenny & got free cupcakes - super yummy! Have ideas in my head for things I want to do. Rehearsals are going well; set and costumes are coming right along too. Made a lovely necklace all by myself and bought cupcake earbuds so I can rock out wherever I go.Enjoying my summer and wishing I was better about blogging and doing my artist's dates (haven't really done one yet) but it's nice to have goals! Hope your summer is delicious!

Do you like my new earbuds? I think they're too adorable!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

a hopeful postscript & a happy ending

We get to keep Pixie!!!
Alex talked to his dad (who is something of an expert when it comes to dogs) and our vet and both of them feel this was an isolated incident, and an accident at that. They pointed out that not only has she NEVER been aggressive before, she is especially gentle with Wendy. They both agreed that there was really no need to take her to an animal shelter, becasue she posed absolutely no threat. I'm so relieved! I cried a dozen times yesterday - anytime I thought about having to lose Pixie - so I am VERY thankful that this situation worked out so well. Thank you everyone who send me good thoughts, positive vibes & prayers - THEY WORKED! Thank you for your support, and thank for helping me to keep my sweet puppy!

Friday, June 11, 2010

so sad I can hardly take it

This is Pixie and this is the important background information you need to know:
1. She is my dog (Charlie is Alex's dog)
2. She is an unspayed four-year-old Siberian huskey and Pit Bull mix
3. She is terrified of our cats - especially Enjouer - I've had to rescue her from him before when he got her backed into a corner
4. She is super smart (taught herself to fetch) and super energetic (taking her for a walk you realize why huskies were taught to pull sleds)
5. She is insanely protective of her family, including the other animals, Alex, Wendy, myself and our house and yard - she's left my several gifts of dead animals over the years (moles, snakes, rats, squirrels, etc.) which had the audacity to come into our yard without her permission
So here's what happened:
Last night I put the dogs out onto the back porch to get them out from under my feet so I could fix Wendy dinner. Alex heard Charlie barking like a maniac and went out back to yell at him to be quiet. He was out for longer than it normally takes to yell, "Hush up" so I peeked out the window to see what was keeping him. I saw him whacking on something with a broom and then he nose-dived to the ground behind our big tree. I called to him, "What's going on?" And he screamed back to me that Pixie had gotten a cat.
It must have been a stray that wandered into our yard, but when I rushed over to see if I could help, all I could tell from looking at the poor animal was that it most likely was not going to make it - it had parts that should have been on the inside visible on the outside. It was hurt quite badly. Alex told me after it was all over that at first he thought she had a toy doll someone had tossed into our yard the way she was shaking it around, then he realized it was alive and thought she'd somehow gotten ahold of a puppy. He ran over to Pixie with the broom, trying to get her to let go of it without causing further injuries to either animal, and that's when he realized it was a cat.
Alex yelled at me to keep away from the injured cat once he'd gotten it free and asked me to bring him Pixie's collar and leash. When I returned it was just in time to see the wounded cat jump over our fence and run away. Alex hauled Pixie inside and then drew my attention to Charlie. We still aren't 100% sure how it actually happened because Charlie was already limping and crying by the time Alex got outside, but somehow Pixie bit Charlie and hurt him pretty bad. We know it had be an injury caused by her and not the cat becasue the bite marks are too big for a cat. Charlie is still limping and Alex has insisted we take Pixie to an animal shelter.
I'm not disagreeing with him - I understand that living in a house with another dog, three cats, and a small child that one strike in the biting zone means you are out (all animals included). I know that being attacked by dogs when Alex was little doesn't help him to feel any pity for a dog that bites. I know that he is making a hard decision to keep Wendy and four other animals safe.
She's my puppy. She thought she was doing right, protecting us from a strange, intruding animal. I know she only bit Charlie by accident, that she was caught up in the frenzy of protective fury (and yes, I understand that it just as easily could have been Alex, or Wendy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time near Pixie's frenzy) She won't understand why we've suddenly left her in a strange places with scary new smells, new people, and other animals. She'll be scared and confused and as an adult dog may never get adopted again - especially if anyone finds out she bit another dog.
I'm just so sad, and I can't think of anyway to make this any better.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

baby steps

I meant to write a great big blog today about how my first week of The Artist's Way went. And I was going to whine a little about how I'm feeling overwhelmed and wishing I hadn't committed to this YET AGAIN as I am sure it will all eventually amount to nothing, and I was going to ask for some positive encouragement from you to help keep me going.
Then I realized that I did more to take care of myself this week than I did last week, and that's quite an accomplishment. That I feel mostly OK about how I did this week and that I get to start again with a clean slate today, at the beginning of week two. So I will remember to be positive and go with the flow and I will give you this, becasue I think it's cute:

Wendy is VERY FOCUSED when she is blowing bubbles - it's serious business folks. Good night - sleep sweet...

Monday, May 31, 2010

Fifth time's the charm (I hope)

I, Dorothy Smith, understand that I am undertaking an intensive, guided encounter with my own creativity. I commit myself to the twelve-week duration of the course.
I, Dorothy Smith, commit to weekly reading, daily morning pages, a weekly artist date, and the fulfillment of each week's tasks.
I, Dorothy Smith, further understand that this course will raise issues and emotions for me to deal with.
I, Dorothy Smith, commit myself to excellent self-care - adequate sleep, diet, exercise, and pampering - for the duration of the course.
Signed this 31 day of May, 2010 by my own hand (in that typing kind of way...)

So here I go. Again. Apparently this is going to be hard for me to commit to - as I got distracted even trying to type all the bits above. I just want to be better - more creative, more expressive, more artistic, just more. I've tried this before (four times actually) and never managed to see it though to the end of the twelfth week. Maybe this time with your support and encouragement I can do it.

I'm supposed to be working with something called "blurts" this week - little interjections of negative self-talk that pop up to shut me down. Just got one as I was finishing up the sentence about your encouragement and support above. It was, "Not like anyone ever reads my blog anyway..." which was swiftly followed by "How can I ever hope to be a real writer when I can't even get old friends interested in my blog?" What does that reveal, I wonder.

I am now supposed to adjust that blurt into a positive affirmation about myself and my talents. Here we go: "A few people whom I have never even met follow my blog - I must have said something interesting at some point to attract their attention." Wow - what a weak-assed affirmation! Is that as positive as I can be about myself? Let's try that again, "My blog is interesting and I enjoy sharing my thoughts with an online community." I suppose that's better.

Here's some more, with their more positive counterparts:
When I trust myself and don't listen to others bad things happen. / My intuition knows what is best for me and my growth, even if growth is sometimes painful and scary.

My mother will resent me because I can do what she can't or because I did it without her help. / As a mother myself I know that watching my daughter figure things out on her own is an indescribably joyous thing; I also know that no one ever achieves things alone and my mother's support and guidance for me far outweighs her resentment and jealousy.

I can't even see this through to the end, how can I hope to make a living as an artist. / Every day is a brand new chance, a brand new opportunity - nay, every MOMENT.

I wish I'd started earlier. / I now have the experience, wisdom, and knowledge necessary to make an incredible artist.

Those who can - do. Those who can't - teach. / I can be both a working artist AND a teacher of other artists.

Maybe I have already achieved all I was meant to. / If I can dream it, I can achieve it.

Maybe I'm not really blocked, maybe I'm just untalented, and that's the real reason I don't succeed as an artist. / Maybe that's the block talking - trying to keep me too scared to even try. (I don't know if that can be classified as an affirmation, but it's all I could think of right now.)

I just wasn't born with that kind of talent - it comes naturally to them. / I was born with just as much talent, I just have to rediscover it.

I'm supposed to do at least half of my weekly tasks - that's five out of ten this week, and can do more if I find I have more time. I'll start on those tomorrow...

P.S. Wendy's hair is now long enough for tiny, cute little ponytail!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I don't want to go into too many details but I feel the need to vent so this is gonna be pretty hard to follow, but that's on purpose...sorry...
Seriously? Why are you being that way? I don't understand why we couldn't at least be friends. What on earth could I possibly have done to make you so angry at me that any I attempt I make at communication is completely ignored. I miss you. I still yearn for your approval. I look up to you so much. What in the world have I done?
And you! Seriously? Why? I wish I could tell you the truth about everything, about all the things he did to me. But it's too little too late and it would just come across as pettiness - me trying to use you to hurt him. Maybe that's all it is, deep down dark inside, but if you had any idea, even the smallest hint of an inkling of what he did to me, how he ruined my life forever and I will always bear the stain of his deception, I honestly don't think you'd want to have anything to do with him. You would avoid him like the plague. You would realize that he destroys everything he touches because he only has and only ever will care ONLY about himself.
And as for you, young man... what ill will do bear me, exactly? I seem to recall us parting on good terms. can't we put it all behind us and be buds. I'm not trying to stress you out I just always thought you were neat.
I need to do something - or maybe some things - to help me forgive and move on. Holding onto hurt is not healthy for children or other living things. I just really wish my life wasn't so filled with so many forceful and unavoidable reminders of my past hurts...
P.S. I gave blood yesterday! And that makes me really happy! Something so small, so utterly tiny, and it helps to save lives. I feel cosmic after donating. And the free cookies don't hurt either! ;-)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

so close I can taste it

It's only 16 days away and I really don't know if I'll make it. I'm literally salivating for it, I want it so bad. I'm talking about summer folks. As a teacher I need a break just as bad (if not worse) than my kids do. My brain is fried and I am SO done. I can't be clever, or witty, or creative, or challenging, or interesting while teaching anymore. I left my knowledge, wit, and humor back at Spring Break and it's too late to turn around and go get 'em. So OF COURSE this is the time of year when EVERYTHING happens. We've got awards banquets, and spring recitals, and graduation performances to get ready for AND early-bird meetings for the kids starting my awesome fine arts program next year -, but still...LAME. I'M JUST SO TIRED. And as the sprinkles on top of it all I decided this year to do summer STEP (an arts program spanning the mornings of the first two weeks of summer for those gifted & talented kids who just can't get enough of school). WHY DID I DO THAT AND WHY DIDN'T YOU STOP ME?!?! Anywho, some nice things have been going on and for your pleasure I shall share:
Wendy was the flower girl for Alex's cousin Sarah's wedding today. She did very well for a not-quite-two-year-old. She walked down the aisle without running amok once. She forgot that whole part about throwing the flower petals on the ground, but seriously, what did you expect? She can't even weild a spoon with one hand just yet - did you really think she could multi-task by walking AND petal-tossing AT THE SAME TIME and in front of a big room full of NEW PEOPLE and completely WITHOUT mommy or daddy walking next to her? (Also this was an improvement from her trial runs yesterday where she would do a very un-ladylike squat every so often and scatter the petals then loudly start to sing the"Clean Up" song from daycare and gather them all back into the basket before standing up to walk a few more steps, squat and repeat the whole thing all over again.)
My theatre students had a big performance today and they did a pretty darn good job. OK, so someone did a big line flub and it was totally obvious when another kid tried to cover for the kid who lost the line...and another kid forgot a key piece of blocking that sort of threw the whole story out of whack...and my most responsible, dependable and reliable kid FORGOT HIS ENTIRE COSTUME but all in all it really wasn't too shabby. Audience folk told me they could hear and understand all kids but ONE (and it WASN'T the one I was afraid it was gonna be, either!) and we got quite a few laughs. So what if the laughers were mostly comprised of parents of my students and the students who wrote the play we were performed - they were still laughing at us, and when you're doing a comedy you totally want that. I was pleased that they made it through their first real performance in one piece. It's hard and scary to perform when you first start and they really took care of each other out there. And that part, the being there for each other part, made me real proud.
I am trying to be more positive so here's a silly picture for you - Wendy & I rolling our tongues - enjoy!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


I don't want to bore you with the gory details so here is a short list of the things that SUCKED this weekend:
I left my wallet in Bi-Lo and Alex had to go get it for me
I made a brand new recipe and Alex couldn't stand it because the onion pieces were too big
I dropped a glass lid in a store and it shattered all over my feet (which were in sandals)
I tried to buy a kitchen gadget and at the checkout realized I didn't have my wallet (it was still on the counter where Alex left it after getting it from the Bi-Lo for me)
I got pulled over for speeding AND I didn't have my license (it was at home in the aforementioned missing wallet)
I forgot to give Wendy her medication...twice
Pixie ate Wendy's toy purse, necklace and cell phone
I made everyone late Sunday morning
I unknowingly threw Wendy's sunglasses (which she LOVES) out into the backyard and Pixie ate them
I burned the apple dumplings I made for Alex's D&D night with the guys
Wendy keeps saying "douche" and it's entirely possible that she learned that word from me
Here's an even shorter list of the things that were AWESOME this weekend:
I got a new purse because the zipper on my old one broke...
...wait for it...
...thirty minutes after buying myself this new purse (spending money I really couldn't spare) I found out my mother-in-law had just purchased me a new purse for Mother's Day
This was NOT my weekend...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What had happened was...

That's what my students always say when they are about to explain why they just did the incredibly stupid thing they just did, so since I recently did something pretty dumb I'll start my story that way too...
I participate in a little thing called "Short Skirt Thursday". This is a lovely tradition that was begun by one of the library ladies at the school where I teach and since I love libraries and librarians, and since I want to be their little groupie in every possible way I can I am now a weekly participant in "Short Skirt Thursday". The problem is that I'm white. Really, REALLY white. So white that even other teachers make fun of the blinding brightness of my bare, white legs - not to mention all the crap I get from my students.
So I decided to rectify the situation by employing the use of some tanning lotion. I'm not what you'd call fashion savvy (by ANY stretch of the imagination) but I read what I could find and bought one that seemed mild and simple. The instructions were quite clear - after application I was to THOROUGHLY wash my hands. And I did. I washed my hands THOROUGHLY...just not IMMEDIATELY after application...
So now I have orange hands. Yep, orange hands. Almost the exact color of the text in this post now that I think about it. I look ridiculous. But it's OK. I can totally still teach a lesson with my hands in my pockets.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Feeling pretty bleah right now.
Got nothing brilliant to say; my day kinda sucked; and I'm less than happy with a certain someone right now.
Sorry - I hope I'm not spreading my meh mood to you.
Maybe tomorrow will be better - heck, it's GOTTA be better, it's Friday.
So I supposes that's my silver lining for now...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Rock Wall Epiphany

I had to do team building exercises today after work. My football coach of a principal thinks it's good for all of us teachers to occasionally come together and do things like three-legged races and water balloon tosses. Because 50 year-old science teachers love obstacle courses and the like. (Mind you, I am NOT a 50 year-old science teacher, I am a 31 year-old theatre teacher, but this did not appeal to me in the slightest so I'm assuming most of the other folks I teach with - who are middle-aged or older and very conservative; it being the south and all - weren't too keen on it either) I got out of it last year some crafty and clever way but I didn't figure out a good excuse in time this time around so I had to go participate.
Well, this year one of the team-building events was a rock-climbing wall - the type that they use to train military peeps. So I'm sitting there on the ground watching my fellow teachers try to tackle this humongous wall. Some of them made it look really easy, scaling to the summit in what seemed to be mere seconds while looking like spider monkeys wearing pants. Some of them made it look really hard, complaining about the pain, the fear, and never getting more than 2 feet off the ground. After a while I realized that I really wanted to try it. It looked scary, heck, it looked downright terrifying. But I wanted to see if I could do it. So I asked for a harness and got in line to wait for my turn. When my moment finally came I made a mistake - I looked out at the crowd of teachers - a hundred or so dignified individuals whom I respected and whose approval I sought - squinting up into the sunlight to keep tabs on who was making it to the top of the rock wall. I realized I couldn't do it, not with everyone watching me. (I'm a flipping THEATRE teacher here people - do see the irony for Pete's sake???) All I could think of was what if I fell? Or slipped? Or smacked into the wall and knocked myself unconscious? I thought of a million ways I could make a fool of myself in front of everyone and then I HAD AN EPIPHANY!
That was EXACTLY what I was asking of each one of my students to do every day.
Do this thing (we teachers say) - for some it's easy, for others it's hard but you have to do it, and you've never done it before, and you have to do it in front of everyone else.
So I climbed that rock wall all the way to the top and rang the bell as loud as I could. Because I sure as shit ain't gonna ask my students to do something if I ain't got the guts to go for it too!
(It was SO FREAKING COOL!!!!!)
P.S. In case you're wondering yesterday's bake sale raised $1600 to help pay for the surgery :-)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

True Love

We had a bake sale at school today to help raise money for true love.
It goes like this: years ago at the little high school where I teach there was a girl who was a cheerleader and the prom queen and so sweet she gave you a toothache. She met and fell in love with a boy who also went to the school and he played sports and was prom king and was just about the nicest guy you could ever hope to meet. They got married as soon as they graduated and had a bushel of kids and then a super-bushel of grand-kids. The girl works at the school to this very day and everyone who meets her loves her because she's STILL so sweet she gives you a toothache. In conclusion, the boy and girl have been ridiculously happy for a hefty chunk of their lives together.
But last year something bad happened. The boy got cancer, and it was really serious. No one thought he would make it. He lost an entire lung, but he stayed with the girl because he loves her. And eventually he got better and the cancer went into remission. We all thought it was gone for good.
But two weeks ago we found out it had come back - this time in his brain, and he would have to have a surgery to remove it all. He did, and the doctors think it's really all gone this time, but the girl and the boy can't pay for the surgery and don't know what to do.
So we had a GIANT bake sale for them today. All the teachers and secretaries and principals and staff brought something in to sell. I brought in French Breakfast Puffs. They are these decadent little nutmeg flavored muffins rolled in melted butter and cinnamon & sugar. They're very sweet. But not as sweet as the picture of the girl & boy together which had been set up on the table with all the goodies. And not as sweet as true love.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Today I'm green with envy.
Some people just make it look so damn easy. They stay positive all the time, and make good choices, and don't tangle the lines of communication, and wish wellness to all they encounter, and cook delicious new, healthful meals each and every night, and don't take things personally or turn every little thing into a huge drama. Those people are so with it. Sometimes it kind of makes me sick. I know I'm a mess but at least I'm interesting! (That's such a weak argument - those other, more perfect type people are super interesting too - way more so than me in fact because they have time to develop and realize their creativity more fully...)
But I'm not that - and I don't know if I ever will be. I fall victim to negative thought patterns all the fricking time, I mis-communicate with those closest to me on almost a daily basis, I mentally curse people who cross my path and piss me off just about every time it happens, I make box dinners all the time because I am too tired to make something from scratch or we are too poor to afford better food, AND I become offended and hurt WAY too easily.
So what I want to know is - how do I get to be like them? Balanced. Peaceful. Happy.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I have to go back to work tomorrow.
I am NOT looking forward to this. I have done so much and enjoyed it all this past week:
I went to the beach with Wendy & Jenny
I cleaned, reorganized, and donated the junk in my house
I took steps towards moving into a new house
I caught up with my finances
I bought much needed new glasses & contacts
I did lots of pages in Wendy's baby scrapbook
I watched fun movies
I started working out again
I read a lot of blogs on here, and wrote a fair share too
I just hope I'll still be able to keep up with this whole blog thing once I'm back to work full time...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I took a silly facebook quiz today and while I place no real stock in things like this I'd like to believe that this has me pretty much pegged - even the "bad" stuff...

It was titled "What Color is Your Energy?"



Idealistic and full of spiritual power, you have one of the strongest and most influential energies. With a strong intuitive and psychic ability (though you may not know it), you have an effortless influence over those around you without them - and most likely you - even noticing. Every little change about you, be it emotionally or atmospherically will affect those around or closest to you. Few notice it - when people do start to notice, however, it makes them feel unsettled and unsure of you, so make sure to be careful with just how many things you change!

You have a very protective nature and often put others before you without thinking twice. Sometimes however you’ll find yourself questioning your actions and will try to change it - don’t. Not only are you selfless (to an extent), you’re most likely to be extremely empathic - maybe one of your friends is feeling low and they haven’t mentioned it? Doesn’t matter - something inside of you will click and tell you that something isn’t right. No matter what emotion they’re feeling, chances are you’ll feel it too and be able to carefully slip it out of them as to what’s going on.

You’re also creative to the extreme; often you let yourself escape reality and create new thoughts, worlds and ideals for you to live by and start to hate what’s real and long for what you created yourself. You’re a very passionate person who loves to feel inspired but when deprived of the things you love, you become difficult to handle, depressive and often self-abusive. Remember: you’re full of intensity, and although a lot of the time it’s something that people gravitate towards, it can also push people away and make them not want to get any closer. Take care to limit how extreme your feelings and actions are, otherwise you may end up feeling quite alone.

Positive Qualities: Intuitive; empathic; open-minded; creative; somewhat selfless; compelling; mystifying; impulsive.

Negative Qualities: Tend to go to extremes; unbalanced; difficult; secretive; you can be quite manipulative though not always with cruel intentions; impulsive (not always a good thing!).

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I freaking love elephants

Earlier this evening I was watching some Planet Earth while munching on some dinner. Wendy (who had finished her dinner and was mooching off of me) was also mildly engaged in the pretty birds and fish and mammals - but her attention was equally divided between the TV animals and our three cats, whom she kept trying (unsuccessfully) to hug.
At one point in the movie the narrator was teaching us all about elephants and their long trek for fresh water in the drought season. I was rapt. I ADORE elephants. I think I may have been one in a past a life. They are such incredible creatures and one of my animal sisters who I truly try to emulate. This fascination began early on when I first saw Dumbo (laugh if you will but that freaking movie STILL makes me cry...) and fuel was added to the flames when I watched a documentary about elephant graveyards a few years later. All in all I'm pretty much in love with elephants. Anyway, back to the story -
So the narrator is going on about how as they are traveling they get caught up in dust storms and families can sometimes get separated, especially young ones becasue they become temporarily blinded by the dust. As I'm watching, the camera focuses on one lone baby elephant who wandered away from the rest during one of the aforementioned dust storms. He was industriuosly following his mother's footprints in an attempt to rejoing the group, BUT he was going the wrong direction.
My heart broke. I started weeping uncontrollably for this baby elephant lost and alone in the world. Wendy stopped trying to bag a cat, turned to me and stared at my tear-stained face. I tried to calm down and smile, as past experience has taught me that Wendy becomes DEEPLY troubled by my tears. Then all of a sudden my 19-month old baby girl wrapped her arms around my neck, squeezed her little cheek next to mine and said, "It's OK, mama."
I love elephants, and I LOVE my daughter. She is a good, good soul.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What I know

Ok, so I don't really know anything about politics. I don't know which guys are for or against which issues. I don't know who had an affair on his wife or who is a secret member of what shocking religious group or underground organization. I don't know what church group is protesting what, or why. I don't know which restaurants serve only earth-friendly organic food. I don't know which businesses are green and cruelty-free. I don't know who has it right, and who has it wrong, or even what the criteria are for making that decision in the first place.
Here's what I know:
I know everyone everywhere deserves a second chance because people are always making mistakes, and everyone needs more opportunities to get better.
I know that it is possible to learn from your mistakes and grow becasue of our bad choices.
I know that hurting others is never the best way to solve the times when we don't see eye to eye - issues may be worth fighting for but I'm pretty sure there's a point where you have to step back and realize that we were all created to be different...and that maybe the one who did the creating had a very good reason for that.
I know that every time I eat any type of meal I am grateful for the bounty of the earth that sustains me and which allows me to keep caring for my family and doing work I love.
I know that I could always be doing better, be doing more, but having good intentions, the willingness to help, and a positive outlook can be powerful in and of itself.
I know that I am open to learning more everyday, and I hope I will never disregard wisdom or enlightenment from any source.
I know I love deep and true, and that as long as I open my eyes tomorrow I have another chance. And another. And another.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Top Ten Favorite Things About Today

10. Had chocolate malts for dinner (not JUST chocolate malts of course)

9. Wore my awesome new beatles tee shirt today - it looks like this:

8. Bought a kitchen scale today so I could make a super yummy vegetable soup for dinner later this week.

7. Used the magic of spring cleaning to attack Wendy's room and the front closet (will do more tomorrow)

6. Donated a hefty portion of Wendy's outgrown clothes to friend who has friend who is about to have baby and can't afford much for her. (Did you follow that convoluted sentence?)

5. Downloaded a bunch of new music onto my MP3 player (all by myself!)

4. Started re-reading one of my favorite books (this may not sound like much to you, but I ADORE reading comfortable, familiar stories over & over again - even more so now that Wendy is in my life and uninterrupted reading time is really hard to come by)

3. Made plans with Jenny to go to the beach tomorrow afternoon. (first beach trip now that the weather is turning warmer - yay!)

2. Enjoyed Wendy's THREE HOUR NAP (yes, you read that right...)

1. Found time to post another blog - even if it is a kind of mindless one.

With warm hugs; thanks for listening...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Picture this...

This evening Wendy's dad went to his weekly guy's-night-out shindig, leaving us two gals at home alone with each other. Close your eyes, if you will, and imagine the following:
First we tried to watch movies together, but I just wasn't feeling The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland and she's not so much for 80's flicks like Dream a Little Dream so we moved on to the next event: bubble-blowing.
Wendy had gotten a plastic bubble-maker in the shape of a butterfly from Nana for Easter so we took it out onto the front porch (her without her pants on because it was hot, me with mine on because they lock you up for that sort of thing at my age) and commenced the bubbling. She was utterly delighted, and was squealing with unconstrained joy until the bubble fluid ran out - then it was back to the drawing board...
She played a couple rounds of her current favorite game "Shoes Off, Shoes On" but it was obvious that just wasn't satisfying her. She was bored. She was restless. It was time for some drastic measures on my part.
So I grabbed a book light, flicked it on, and showed her how to wave it around. While she was getting the hang of that I killed the lights and cranked the music. We spent the rest of the evening dancing around like dervishes with fairy lights to Jason Mraz music (On Love, In Sadness was a particularly big hit with her) and then she went to bed and I came in here to share it all with you.
Goodnight. Sleep loose.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Letting Go

Letting go is NOT easy for me. I have a hard time trusting others the way I trust myself. All others. Yeah, that's right, including you!
I don't mean to be that way, but somehow I am. I try to take little steps to improve upon this disadvantage within myself, and I took a great big one this year with the spring Drama Club production.
I had already decided the show would be the Moliere comedy Tartuffe, but suddenly one morning I woke up and thought, "I should pick a student director this time around!" So I did.
It was hard, and scary, and stressful. I often expected him to know things that he didn't (and couldn't, given his level of maturity and inexperience) and then I got frustrated - more with myself for not having been a better teacher to him, or for expecting too much from the poor kid and stressing HIM out (he was a novice first-timer after all) or for even having the effing idea in the first place.
But we made it through alive - all of us - and I think it was quite delightful in the end. It felt good to have shared one of my most rewarding experiences with someone else who revels in the joy and thrill that comes with creation. It's a precedence I may well decide to continue with...
... or maybe I'll return to where I am comfortable, being in full control of my shows, but either way I learned things - about myself, about how to do it better, and about the satisfaction that comes with a good solid collaboration.
So in that spirit please enjoy these photos from my latest show:

P.S. Please don't judge me based on the photo quality - I'm a phenomenal director, but a pretty pathetic photographer...

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wendy's dinner

Wendy is a fan of eating - always has been. I used to have to nurse her for hours at a time. Seriously, hours. She effortlessly made the switch from a liquid diet to solids. It was all good to her - as long as she has something to put in her tummy. I am deeply relieved that she is not a picky eater. She eats things you don't really expect 17 month-olds to eat. Things like lima beans, and vegetarian sausage. So for your entertainment, a photo-illustrated blog of Wendy eating dinner (you'll have to excuse the blurriness - that kid moves like lightning when there's food at stake):

As you can see - on tonight' s menu we have pineapple, which Wendy loves and refers to as "APP!" We had "APPS!" for dessert tonight after carrots, lima beans, and ravioli.

This is her charming "mouth-full-of-food" face, one of my personal favorites.

Wendy doesn't like the flash on the camera - it makes her squinch up her eyes all funny...and totally ruins her entire dining experience....of course, she could just be making me a lovely diaper surprise, those two faces are remarkably similar...

Now, on to some serious eating...

Listen here, Mama, time to get that flashy camera out of my face I'm trying to eat my dinner! soon as I get it unstuck from between my teeth...

I'm just going to ignore you and hope that you go away and leave me in peace to finish my meal.

I tell you - that little girl makes my world go round.
Good night - sleep sweet.