Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Isn't this so typical of me, running the deadline down to the wire? I think about my post all day then squeak it in at the end. It's also that I have so many choices for topics, and most of them need or deserve more thought than the blogging driveby. But on the other hand, let me let go of expectations. After all, part of NaBloPoMo is the actual posting every day. That's the main accomplishment. The quality is not necessarily the main point. Or to put it another way, to make great art, you have to be willing to make bad art. It's part of the process...

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Expectation Creep

Where have all the pumpkins gone? Gone to lanterns every one...
Obviously, if I really wanted to carve one that badly this year, I should have, would have made the effort much, much, much earlier. *sigh*

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There are things in life that are very nice to do for other people. It's nice to be generous and supportive. Sometimes we love doing those special things. Sometimes it even comes naturally, and why stifle that gift?

But then sometimes that extra gesture becomes an expected service, and there be expectations and grumblings. Oy.

A couple times, it's a sweet gesture. They love it and one gets gratitude and appreciation. Next thing you know, it's been written into your responsibilities. Don't let it happen to you.

The flip side: appreciate the generous gestures that come your way every day or every so often.

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NaBloPoMo. Not just a good idea: it's good for you too. hehe.
Believe that if it helps.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Reading for the Chill

We had the long, slow slide towards Autumn, late Summer sun slanting and brilliant, still hot and dry. Then I turn around and it's Fall. It's brisk. The cats are huddled in search of warmth because I haven't turned on the heat yet. They creep into my lap at any opportunity. I walk about feeling cold because I automatically put on a short-sleeved shirt and neglect a sweater.

But let's savor this cool air for a while yet. I bring out another fluffy layer of fleece, and the cats creep onto it and burrow in. I put on a turtleneck, a fleece layer, my fleece vest. I'm comfortable inside, pleasantly cool. The house makes little creaks of adjustment as the sun warms the roof. I make some hot chocolate, glad that I recently replenished my supply before the cold hit--and contemplate plans for the next month, the season before the New Year. I make soup. I work in the office. I go outside to sample the air and check the state of the yard.

But the first freeze is coming on. I know that. I spent some of my afternoon stripping the garden of any useable fruit or herb; some things do not tolerate the cold at all. The last of the basil must be taken in or it'll be dead by morning. The last few pitiful green tomatoes hang hiding in the leaves. I can't decide whether they are worth saving. I leave them to their fate.

Then at last, it's evening. After a dinner of soup and late-season pesto, I know it's time. It's still above 60 inside, but I turn the thermostat down to 70 and turn on the heat. I tilt my head to catch the faint sounds of the furnace perking to life. A raccoon (it can only be a raccoon-no possum or squirrel runs that heavy) goes running across the roof. And the cats stretch and blink. It's still cool inside, but the extra edge of chill gradually dissipates. At last, it's really Fall! Time to cozy in.

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Sunday, October 28, 2007


Last week, we finally got some rain. More than just a little drizzle; a whole two-three days of washing, drenching rain. After weeks and months of drought, it was absolutely wonderful. A little slick after those months of no rain, but tolerable.

Some days later, I heard about my sister's accident. She had been on her way to work, flying down a four lane county highway in the middle of one of those downpours when she hit a rise and went airborne. My heart about stopped to hear my husband's voice when he reacted to this news on the phone. Then I relaxed a little because I could hear in his voice that it wasn't as tragic as it could have been.

She went airborne, she said, and off the road and down a 5 foot embankment. Thank god the car was still pointed forward.

It's a complete miracle that she missed the telephone pole that was in her path. (I think my heart just stopped again imagining it.) Although she was out of control, she was somehow able to wrench the steering wheel enough to miss the looming deathtrap and go flying down another 80 feet or so, coming to rest on the muddy grassy roadside... It's an additional miracle because trying to effectively steer on a slippery grassy surface is a slim hope indeed.

I've had my unfortunate share of slow-motion oh-shit incidences, the last, worst, one ten years ago. As she was telling me about the telephone pole, I could see it in my mind... the moment when you realize you've made a serious miscalculation, the scariness of the near miss, the looming, the rattling and jolting as you fight for control as the grass, brush, poles and your life slashes by, probably in slow-motion as these things tend to go. Even the tow-truck driver remarked on her luckiness. Luckiness as far as these things go, that is. No other vehicle was involved. The car is little rattled up and needs work, but she's fine.

But. She's been doing a lot of thinking and soul-searching since then. How much she's driving to work... the way the family has to travel... her whole life flashing before her eyes... what she should have, might have, could have done. She didn't say so, but I thought of the potential for leaving her family ripped to shreds by her loss, and it makes it hard to breathe.

This week, I don't have to go to a haunted house to get a serious fright. All I have to do is think of my young niece ever losing her mother and what that would do to that little girl we love... I just turn cold inside.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

NaBloPoMo 2007

Yeah, that's it. National Blog Posting Month.

Here are a couple badge linkies that'll I've leave here while I try to figure out how to post them on my template. Oh me of little techno savvy...


In Training for ... that November thing

Is it almost November again already? This year has flown by. Almost time for the NoNaBloMo. Or is that the NaMoBloPo? MoBloNoPo? ShaNaNaNaPoMoBloMo? Okay, whatever the hell the acronym is!

Well, as the concept is that I "vow" to write/post an entry every day of the month of November, and I am woefully out of blogging shape, I had the idea of get back into training, sort to speak. Do a few reps so that when it comes time for November, I don't actually drag myself around in agony of posting every. day. Oh, the pain.

I have started a list of ideas to blog about, so hopefully I won't choke halfway through the month. It will get a little tricky around T/Ging since we'll be traveling away from home and therefor less able to log on to post.

So here we go. As in any new (exercise) regime, I'll start slowly and gently.

Hup. (breathe)

Okay, just a little.

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Last month we looked at a certain jam-packed weekend and decided to blow it all off and do something for ourselves. Instead of going to a wedding and several other things, we took a camping and hiking vacation for ourselves to one of our favorite spots for some "couple time." Now why do I start feeling so guilty about that afterwards?

We had many options, ya know. There was an annual getaway weekend that we would have loved to attend, and several other small events including a renewal of vows reception of a couple we are friendly with at church. Hanging over this all was the wedding we'd been informed last Summer to "save the date" for, but had not heard about since. One of *those* weekends.

Well, we started evaluating options and obligations. We sighed over missing this one getaway. This year's talent was sure to be fun and interesting, some people I hadn't seen in a while, but early on, I'd already had been telling people we'd have to miss it because of this wedding... which we still had not been invited to.

At some point, we talked about getting in some camping in our favorite spot in a nearby state before the weather got too cold. The best weekend to go would be one in which M had an extra day in his weekend, one in which we could be unhurried, one in which we could be away from our regular lives to relax, one which was... you guessed it, this same weekend of the wedding to which we had not been invited. Of course, the event was smack in the middle of the long weekend.... you can see our dilemma.

The more we looked at the calendar, the more intense our yearning. If we waited too late in the year, it would be much colder, much busier. Finally, my husband made a telling remark. "You know, do we even *know* we are getting an invitation to this wedding?" he asked. "We haven't heard from them. ANd even if we do, we are not even really close to them. I think we should go to ____." I was both ecstatic and flabbergasted. I grilled him to make sure he wasn't acquiescing just to please me. I had been half-convinced that M's sense of social obligation would dictate that we hold open this time for, essentially, friends of friends. I was wrong. He really wanted us to go away.

So, that's what we did. Ironically, just before we made camping reservations, we received the invite in the mail... barely three weeks before the event. We looked at it and said, "too bad" and sent our regrets. We drove, we camped, we hiked ourselves halfway into the ground, we snuggled and talked. We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. It was great couple time.

Then of course, we come home to face social pressure. Some "friends" can't imagine that anyone would chose to do anything differently than they would. Some people would pity us for missing the event of the century. Some people very nosy and hurt that they did not see us there... As if so goes the crowd, so goes us peripheral acquaintances.

I don't want to be a hanger-oner at an event for people we barely know, even if "all" of our friends would be there. I don't want to give up opportunities for M and I to do the things we've loved to do together since we were barely in a relationship.

But this is all a moot point, M says. We did the right thing. We don't need to make justifications. It was a wonderful weekend together. We don't need to talk about it further, he says.

And he's right. But still I feel guilty. As if someone who went out of their way to give us an invitation, to include us, should not be turned down, even if it's not what *we* want to do. What? I should feel guilty for making my own choices? Too much tangled up in that.

Whew. Enough heavy lifting for one day. Ow. Better go stretch...

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Goodbye Lisa, hello daughter.

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I've been following the comic Funky Winkerbean. It's interesting how a fictious comic can affect us so strongly at times. When I saw Bull and Linda bringing home their (Asian/adopted) daughter, I cheered and whooped and rejoiced as if they were my own frends! When Lisa was dying, I shed tears every day. I mourned for her, and for her husband and family... even for myself, sorrows past and the inevitable sorrows to come.

Something about the medium creates a space for us to tap into deeper feelings. Even if it's not personally connected to us, much less "real," the themes are meaningful, showing us universal joys and sorrows.

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Regarding The Long Wait, I saw this wonderful statement from Penguin on Rumor Queen. Sometimes people can be really thoughtless about questioning our wait. It's hard to respond appropriately when we ourselves are having a hard time with that same long wait! It's good to have postive models for responding, so thank you Penguin.

She says, Quote:

When people ask questions or make statements that intentionally or unintentionally undermine our commitment to our second adoption, we say, "As you can imagine, the long wait is very disappointing to us, so we could use all of the encouragement and support you could possibly muster to support us during this difficult time. Thank you for any kind thoughts you have." I think most people don't know how we feel and once given a bit of direction, provide a ton of support.

Yea, penguin! :) No doubt, I will have opportunity to use that line of response...

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Grace of State of Grace asked recently, "So, I ask you, mah dollins, what keeps you going?" Hmmm. What does keep me going? Especially with my tendancy to discouragement. My response:

My Sweetie for sure. But for those occasions when that's not working, it comes down to putting one foot in front of the other, and feeling myself as one small piece of an unimaginably immense pattern, knowing I can't fall out of the pattern.

Also, feeling that I can help and encourage people in the world--as a teacher, mostly. I'm told it's a gift, but it's as much for me. If all else fails, music will comfort me, keep me grounded and help me release fear and move forward.

... I suppose that's true with everything in my life...

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