Wednesday, December 31, 2008


10. Continue exercising the "no" muscle - I hear it gets stronger with use.

9. Let go, move on, forgive, and heal. (Think: Serenity Prayer)

8. Learn to procrastinate - not everything needs my immediate attention - some things will just take care of themselves if given the opportunity. That's what they tell me, anyway.

7. Go visit my friend, Terry. Sit at her kitchen table in my jammies 'til noon, drinking coffee (decaf. now), and laughing with her and her family until my sides ache. For days.

6. Walk/talk/laugh/analyze/process/grow/challenge/share with my dear friend, Kathleen, 3-4 times a week.

5. Be nicer to my husband - not so stingy.

4. Have more sex with my husband (see #5).

3. Laugh. Laugh my *&% off. Big, deep, can't catch my breath belly laughs. Frequently, if not daily.

2. Replace judgment with compassion.

1. love.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


God, how long has it been, two years? Three? More? All Rojo has eaten, virtually, has been toast. Not just any old toast, either, Seattle Sourdough lightly browned, crusts cut off, smeared with butter and heavily shaken with garlic salt. Sometimes up to a loaf a day between breakfast and dinner - the only two meals he eats.

And for two years, three, maybe more, I have Windexed the hell out of the breakfast counter when he's done, soaped up the wooden stools, pulled the stools from the bar, swept the crumbs, and then spent the rest of the day finding greasy, salty, garlicky spots on everything. Everything. We have few articles of clothing left that haven't been permanently stained by butter. All our furniture has been heavily affected.

About a week ago, just in time for an early Christmas present, he announced, "I'm sick of toast."

You could have knocked me over with a feather.

He requested "taco," instead, something he hasn't eaten since preschool. "Taco," is really shredded chicken breasts with taco seasoning. He eats bowls of it, cold, with a fork, approx. 1/2 a breast at a time.


Until recently the boy hadn't had a serving of protein in 8 years.

What's next, vegetables? Fruit?

Anything is possible.

Monday, December 29, 2008


Got a friend here in Portland, fellow mother, writer, wife, snow prisoner for the last 2 weeks. Every few days we e-mail each other to say, "So, is it funny yet?"

Today she e-mailed, "I'm thinking of moving my office out into the garden shed."

I told her if she did that, I'd move mine out to the freezing/dirty/decrepit detached garage, circa. 1920. Sounded like paradise. I said, "Heat is secondary."

She wrote back, "I'm getting me a cheap-ass rub and a space heater!"

Right now it's a toss up what I need more, the detached working space, or a cheap-ass rub.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


This was hard to whittle down, read me some good books this year, but these are the stand outs.











Friday, December 26, 2008

is for the beetle that came on Christmas, filled Rojo with joy, and finally moved us all on to other topics (for now).

E is for how early Rojo woke up on Christmas morning - 3:50, three, five, oh, my hell of God.

E is for the cool electronic "scoreboard" he got that doubles as a clock, and has his favorite college team's logo emblazoned on it.

T is for thankful - he stopped us all mid-opening and led us in (albeit, a "bad word"- filled) prayer of thanks to God, Christmas, Santa, and Bernie Mac.

L is for love that filled our home.

E is for everyone that he had go around the room at the end of the day, and say thank you.

It's funny what 14 days of being snowed in with the three people you love most in the world, will do to you.

"Funny" is just my cute little way of saying I do not like the person it's turned me into. I know there are spiritual lessons all over the effing place. I know there are gifts upon gifts of this unstructured, wide open, day after day of nothing time together.

I know that.

I know that being "given" the opportunity to talk about beetles, college fight songs, water bottles and YouTube "bleeps" is fertile ground for getting myself on the Eightfold Path, and keeping me there.

I know that.

I know that I am blessed beyond belief to have a loving, healthy, happy family. I have a warm, safe, dry, lovely home big enough for us to spread out. We've had our electricity and Internet working beautifully throughout the last two weeks of foul weather. We weren't planning to travel, and our family is close by and our Christmas was lovely. Just really, really lovely.

And tomorrow I will find the camera cord, upload the pictures, put away some of the mess, and begin missing the season as it moves from "coming" to "going."

But tomorrow is years away from today.

Today is the day after Christmas, and most of the women I know liken Christmas to a marathon, and even if they've finished the marathon nicely, full of vim and vigor, the day after, they can hardly walk.

It's like that.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"Last Minute Gift Suggestions:

To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To every child, a good example.
To all, charity.
To yourself, respect."

Author Unknown

Monday, December 22, 2008


I'm a day late in recognizing and appreciating the gifts and beauty of the winter solstice.

I'm late in recognizing and appreciating the gifts of pretty much everything today.

Day nine of being snowed in has taken its toll.

No walking/exercise.

No personal time.

No "normal" rhythm to the days/week, just hour after hour, day after day of talking about the beetle.

"Mom, can we have 4 games instead of 5 today? It's the only thing that takes my mind off the beetle."

So we upped the games to 4.

Then 5.

Today it'll be six, and so on, until that beetle shows up on Christmas day.

"I'm more excited for Christmas than I've ever been," he announced yesterday.

And it couldn't be cuter.

And he couldn't have more of the Christmas spirit.

And I couldn't have less.

* Photo from

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Rojo has me watching endless episodes of "Nanny 911." He likes it for the "bad words" which artfully get cut out, whereupon he tries to figure out what the missing word was.

Fun times.

I watch it and try to guess how long it's going to take the parents to "get it." Their behavior is the problem, resulting in their children's "mis" behavior.

Episode after episode this is the case. The parents call Nanny 911 to come and fix their kids, and the nanny fixes them, instead. And the parents always act surprised when they put two and two together.

Two and two - the hardest numbers to add in the universe.

Recently a woman I used as a "coach" asked for a testimonial. I wrote that she was most helpful to me by pointing out the obvious - which was, of course, not obvious to me.

When I asked the "random" person if she had a message for me, she also pointed out the obvious, which, in a nutshell, was that I was personifying the definition of insanity - continuing to do the same thing over and over, expecting different results. Although her message to me was particular to one situation, I could see how universal it was for me.

Two and two.

Very hard to add.

Friday, December 19, 2008


I read the book, The Celestine Prophecy a LONG time ago - barely remember anything about it except the notion that when we keep bumping into people, it's because they have a message for us, and we might as well just come right out and say, "What's your message for me?"

Or something like that. That's my dim recollection of the book. And since then I've tried to remember that, that there is a reason why we "accidentally" keep hearing from, or seeing, the same "random" person.

This has been happening (again) to me lately. One person keeps "popping up." We've never met, but we know some of the same (significant) people.

Finally, yesterday, having a strong sense she would "get it," I just e-mailed to ask, "Do you have a message for me?"

And she did.


Note to self: Don't wait so damn long before asking next time.

* Photo from

Thursday, December 18, 2008


STM and I just watched this movie, "Lars and the Real Girl," last night - came highly recommended to us, but when we read the back we weren't so sure. Still, we brought it home, plugged it in, and sat back.

And were totally enraptured.

And maybe it's because we live with a boy that thinks Elmo is his soulmate. Elmo gives advice, courage, and company. Elmo is loved like the Velveteen Rabbit - in this house he became "real" a long time ago, and we all think of him as a member of the family.

And maybe it's because we live in a community like Lars', where everyone "goes along with it," where Elmo is a respected and contributing member of his society.

And maybe it's just because it's a great movie, that shows the power of love. Period.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Look what came in the mail Monday, despite the snow, despite the ice, despite the fact that I didn't even 1-Click it until Thursday night.

Not sure why I doubted Rojo when he told me it would come Monday (just because the shipping information said otherwise, I guess).

Not sure why I doubted Rojo when on Saturday, before all hell broke loose with the weather, he adamantly insisted no school for the following week. (Probably because I didn't want him to be right, and I still can't get through my head that arguing is not a good idea, it doesn't really change the fact that he is tapped in.)

Not sure why it's taken me this long to just surrender - we're in for three weeks of togetherness ("vacation" was scheduled to start at noon on Friday, anyway).

So, today I will just go ahead and cancel my plans for the rest of the week. I will drag up the round card table from the basement, and pull up a chair. I'll find a great jigsaw puzzle and make myself cozy by the fire. I'll sit near him as he Googles, watches his latest litany of favorite TV shows (Bernie Mac, iCarly, Nanny 911), and we'll talk about "nothing."

And it will be everything I need.

But just don't know it.


Monday, December 15, 2008



No school today.

Rojo predicts no school for the rest of the week (and the weather forecasts seem to be backing him up).

Can't talk now, gotta go work on being grateful...

(My SIL just sent me this great pic. of their rooftop - love the Tibetan prayer flags in the snow!)

Sunday, December 14, 2008


STM and I went Christmas shopping and left Woohoo with Rojo, to "keep him alive." When we returned Rojo was in front of his computer, fully engrossed in Googling something. He's an excellent speller, and can maneuver Google like you wouldn't believe - seriously, he's so fast and so accurate, it makes me dizzy to watch, so I don't. I just occasionally peer over his head to make sure he hasn't stumbled on anything inappropriate. He did find a bleeped out version of Sesame Street's The Count, but that's not so much inappropriate, as just plain funny.

Anyway. All this is leading to the fact that by the time I got home and took a peek, he'd been Googling for a good hour.

On blue water bottles with black tops.

For over an hour.

He has a red water bottle with a black top, and he'd really like a blue one, too, you know, for trading off when the red one is dirty. His teacher wants the kids to bring eco-friendly reusable water bottles to school, rather than the recyclable ones you use and "toss." Sometimes "Red" is dirty, and this can make for a rough morning.

He didn't grow impatient. He didn't grow tired, with dogged perseverance he just kept putting different key words into Google to try to find what he was looking for.

Finally I grew both tired and impatient, after only 5 minutes of watching from the sidelines. I got up closer, looked at his most recent Google search, and he had typed, "BLUE WATER BOTTLE LIKE THE ONE I HAVE."

He thinks Google knows him.

And his water bottle.

And what he means.

And who am I to second guess the boy?

Maybe Google does.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Rojo is in 6th grade, and his teacher, Mr. G., has a black plastic beetle he hides in the classroom each day. When kids have extra time, they can go look for the beetle.

EVERY SINGLE DAY when I pick Rojo up from school, he starts in on the beetle talk.

"I did not find the beetle today! Angelic found the beetle! Angelic always finds the beetle!"


"My BFF, Maddie, and I found the beetle today!"


"Mr. G. is only giving us clues about the beetle, but he will not just tell me where that damn beetle is!"


"Mom, what does it mean it is spending time in jail? Mr. G. says the beetle is behind bars. What does that mean?"

I pick Rojo up at 3:15 and then we head over to pick up Woohoo at 3:30. For the entire 15 minutes it's all beetle talk.

Every day.

Since September 2nd.

So, I wasn't all that surprised when he started talking about asking Santa for a black plastic beetle for Christmas.

Now he's trying to spread the good idea around.

"Woohoo? Would you like Santa to bring you a black plastic beetle, too? I can ask him for two!"

"Daddy? Do you want me to ask Santa for three black plastic beetles, and I can give you one? Would you like a black plastic beetle?"

He hasn't offered to order me one from Santa yet, but I'm sure he will.

I'm sure he will.

* Photo from

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


There's been a death in the family, "someone" very near and dear to me and a part of my life for o, these many years, apparently has passed on. It was the stench of the rotting body that first gave it away - something just didn't smell right. She'd been acting a little funny, not her usual high-performing self, but I blew it off. I should have taken her to the "doctor," seen if anything could be done.

And now it's too late.

My fullycaffeinated e-mail address is gone. I hope she passed peacefully, knowing she'd lived a full life - no regrets.

I can hear her from the other side, and she says things like, "We had a good run, we came into each other's lives both needing each other, and now we don't - you're not fully caffeinated anymore, you're 1/2 caf, at best, and I prefer to live more authentically."

You gotta love "someone" with integrity.

Not sure yet what this means for the name of this blog, I can only handle so much abrupt and difficult change at a time - I'm thinking a subtitle may solve the whole "problem," so I'm open to suggestions.

Until then, a moment of silence, please, let us honor Fully Caffeinated for a life well lived.

(My new address is:

* Photo from

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


We went to see Santa yesterday after school - STM and I figure this is our 15th time, and, gulp, perhaps the last...

Woohoo was a good sport, we didn't make her tell Santa what she wants for Christmas, but we did make her pose for a picture - some traditions just aren't going to be broken no matter how old you are - sorry.

Rojo was all over it like a cheap suit. He talked to Santa for a long time, but when he got up to leave he realized he'd forgotten to tell Santa what he wanted. Santa could see his internal struggle, and got up OFF the chair, and followed Rojo all the way over to us, patiently nodding and listening as Rojo struggled to get the words out of his brain and into the loving ears of Santa.

Eventually the words came out, "I... want... you... know... it's's pretend... it's small..., it has tape on it...Mr. G. puts it on the's a BEETLE!"

Santa winked at me and said, "Okay, Santa will take care of that, but Santa is also going to bring you special things he's picked out JUST for you."

Rojo beamed, looked up at Santa (eye contact is rare) and said, "Oh! That would be great! Thanks!"

Earlier in the day rock star Jenn, had Rojo do his grammar work on the computer, and they tied it to Christmas. Here it is:

Christmas Presents

I like Christmas because every 12 months is Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Presentes are fun to open. What I want for christmas is a fake black beatle with tape on it
And playtao and new white board markers and books and candy. That’s what I realy want. I will open in it on the 24th.

I'm thinking Santa can get the job done for around $10.00, $15.00, tops.

Monday, December 08, 2008


There is a scene in the movie "Father of the Bride," where Steve Martin stands in his upstairs hallway and overhears his two kids calling out, "Good night, I love you," to each other. I get teared up just thinking about it.

When that movie came out in 1991 STM and I weren't even parents, but we looked at each other and said, "That's what it's all about."

On Saturday night we got all dressed up and went to a Christmas party. Woohoo was Rojo's hired babysitter, and he was downright giddy in anticipation. Often times we leave them alone, but all she has to do is "keep him alive," for which I do not feel the need to pay her. But sometimes I actually hire her to do more than just keep him alive, I pay her to engage fully with him, and he looks forward to these times like there's no tomorrow.

He had the whole thing planned, they would walk down to "The Little Store" and buy brownie mix, make brownies together, and he would stir and then lick the spoon. Then they would eat dinner, and at 7:00 they would watch the 2-hour Drake & Josh Christmas movie, allowing him to stay up until 9:00.

"9:00? I can stay up until NINE?" He asked me, incredulously.

"Sure!" I said, happy to let Woohoo have the honors of that extra 1/2 hour of "fun."

"Oh! This is the happiest day of my life!" he proclaimed.

When STM and I got home from our party, we went around the house turning off lights, putting dishes in the sink to soak, and taking inventory on the state of the health and happiness of the children.

As we passed the newly reutilized dining room space, we saw that there were two place mats out with little card stock tents at each place, marking their places. Instead of just getting a bunch of snacks and watching TV and calling that "dinner," they had set the table, pulled up adjacent chairs, and DINED.


A little like that.

That's what it's all about.

Sunday, December 07, 2008


My e-mail is funky - only getting a few now and then, and apparently mine aren't being received, either, so if you're wondering what's up - that's the story! Hope to have it resolved ASAP! Thanks for your patience!

Saturday, December 06, 2008


So Rojo's up at 5:40 and giving me the to do's for the day, to which I'm too tired to argue, and simply nod and agree to every single one.

Finally he says, "You're in a good mood! You know, you could be in a good mood every day!"

"Good idea," I mumble.

"Don't forget!" he grins.

Friday, December 05, 2008


If you're not already listening to this CD over and over and over again, well, then you're just not fully enjoying the season! Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer's holiday CD is not to be missed! To order yours, click here!

I've listened to it so many times I've nearly perfected my harmony. I e-mailed Tracy just to let her know I was all ready to do back up with her if need be... still waiting for that reply. I'm sure she's just busy, what with the holidays and all. : )

Thursday, December 04, 2008


10. It's high time I embrace his ways
9. If you make a mistake, just write right over the top of it - who cares?
8. Left to right is just one way to write, not necessarily the only way
7. Top to bottom - again - optional
6. Everyone loves them a happy face
5. It's okay to send all your Jewish friends cards that say "Merry Christmas," because that's what Rojo wanted to say, and who are you to argue?
4. What's not to love about a 12 1/2 year old that is more excited for Santa than he's ever been?
3. It's okay to open all the windows and eat all the chocolate from the Advent calendar on the very first day
2. Some ornaments are just too precious to put on the tree - instead, put them under your pillow and have a "sleep over"
1. The Christmas spirit is alive and well, and living in our home

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Well, I promised to let you know how the whole fence mending thing went, and so I will.

It went better than I could have imagined, in both cases. I tend to forget that I'm not the only person working to better understand myself. It was obvious with both these old friends that they, too, had done much "personal work."

Put two women with shared histories together, add a large amount of middle-aged, hard lessons won, put them in a safe, neutral environment, and voila - love.

I don't think anything will change on a day-to-day basis with either of them, the roles they once played have been filled, or simply no longer exist. There is no need for "more," but there was a big need for peace.

I feel like two ghosts that had been taking up room in my psyche, have been exorcised.

Whatever sacred contracts we had with each other, have been fulfilled.




* Photo from

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

“Come to the edge.”
“We can't. We're afraid.”
“Come to the edge.”
“We can't. We will fall!”
“Come to the edge.”
And they came.
And he pushed them.
And they flew.

Guillaume Apollinaire, 1880-1918
French Poet, Philosopher

Monday, December 01, 2008


I took Psych 101 and 102 in college, circa 1981-82. There was no teacher, the class was "taught" on television, and I managed to go to one of the sites where it could be viewed, a number of times, the number being three.

I regret that.

I've spent the last 25+ years trying to figure out what I missed, namely the work of Carl Jung.

The term "projection" has been bandied about, and I always had a rough idea what that meant - basically that the people that drive you the most crazy, are the most like you, or something like that.

As I retroactively learn about Jung and his theories of Individuation, Shadow, and Synchronicity, I have approximately one "aha" per minute. And maybe I wouldn't have gotten it back then even if I had attended class with a good teacher. Maybe at eighteen there is a limit to understanding that only is lifted when one goes through the second rebellion: Midlife.

Or maybe now I just need to get it in a way that I didn't as a teenager?

As part of my relentless search for surrender (very similar to my recent "aggressively letting go" operation), I am really trying to individuate, to re-claim those parts of myself that I've projected on to others: The good, the bad and the ugly. All. Of. It.

That's what was really "under" one of my recent coffee dates/Operation Fence Mending. I was able to look into the eyes of a person upon whom I'd projected all over the place, and say, "Okay, I'm ready to have those parts of me back. Thanks for holding them until I was ready."

So, here I sit with a bunch of aspects of myself that aren't all that "neat," but they're parts of me, none-the-less. I'm now working to let go of the labels I've attached to them, "bad," "scary," "dangerous," and just Eckhart Tolle (touch with gentle awareness) the hell out of 'em.


Sunday, November 30, 2008


If life imitates art, my life right now is an abstract. Nothing is where it "should" be, and yet, there is some undeniable sense of universal order at play.

As is the Link tradition, we got our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. Well, one thing led to another. We moved the yellow chairs by the front window in the living room to make room for the tree, then it just sort of snowballed from there. Next thing I knew we'd gone completely crazy and moved the dining room table into the dining room. The "family room" furniture joined the living room furniture. (It's going to take me a few more days to get good with that juxtaposition.) The prayer room has some hodgepodge of furniture moved into a circle and we'll see how that all plays out. Not sure about the sewing machine/table in there.

Woohoo ended up with a leftover table in her room just 'cause there was no where else for it to go. Now there's a bookcase in our bedroom, and my groaning nightstand is thankful for the help.

In the last few years both STM and I have undergone some big personal transformations. Now our home has, too.

Maybe art does imitate life?

(The Beavs didn't get it done yesterday. It's not funny yet.)

* Photo from

Saturday, November 29, 2008


The Oregon State Beavers (yea) play the Oregon Ducks (boo) at 4:00 PM PST today. WHEN the Beavs win they'll be going to the Rose Bowl, baby! The Beavs haven't been to a Rose Bowl in 44 years. 44 is a power number, as all good followers of this blog know. That's all I'm sayin'. Oh, and let me also say this: GO BEAVS!

(STM is a Duck, Rojo has on his U of O shirt, I've got on his OSU shirt, and Woohoo claims to be a "platypus," should make for an interesting afternoon.)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

"Stand up, on this Thanksgiving Day, stand upon your feet. Believe in man. Soberly and with clear eyes, believe in your own time and place. There is not, and there never has been a better time, or a better place to live."

Phillips Brooks, 1835-1893
American Author and Clergyman

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm over here today.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Those of you that follow my blog (and, BTW, not enough has been made of how much I love and appreciate that, thank you), know that in the summer of 2007 I "left my kids" to go find myself. I was in frequent touch with them through the telephone and e-mails, and saw them a few times throughout my self-imposed seclusion, but none-the-less, I was not in their minute-to-minute lives like "good mothers" are.

Then I came home and wrote a memoir about that time, my midlife "crisis" book, my Erma Bombeck meets Elizabeth Gilbert self-discovery book. And then I tried to pitch that book to approx. a million agents, and was told everything from simply "not interested" to "love your book, love your writing, love your humor, love your honesty, but can't sell this book, now that Eat Pray Love made it big, there's a glut of this type of book on the market."

But for sure, the comment that hurt the worst, was from the agent that said, "Your readers won't be able to get over the fact that you left your children." And although I knew that comment was highly subjective, I feared she was right.

And then that same agent worked like crazy to find me a different agent, and I knew that even though I had offended her by my premise, I had hit a nerve - a universal nerve?

So I worked to get over the fact that others would judge me, whether or not they ever read the book.

And for the most part I was successful in getting good with my own decision, having told myself before, during and after the exile that what I was really doing, in the grand scheme of things, was not "leaving my children" but setting them free, particularly my teenage daughter. I wanted her to have her own life, to be unleashed from the invisible choke hold of my unfinished business. I knew what it was like to be fused to a mother that "hadn't done her work," and I didn't want that for my daughter. I wanted whatever "demons" she had in her life to be hers.

Not mine.

But the guilt remained. What if the voices on the outside were right, and the voice on my inside was wrong - just self serving and WRONG?

I decided to find out. This weekend I asked my kids. I started with Rojo, since he was the easiest, and I was a chicken.

"Rojo? Remember when I was gone for a long time?"

He looked puzzled, like no, he really couldn't remember that time, but I persisted.

"That summer when Daddy took care of you instead of me, when I was in Sisters?"

He nodded.

"Well, I'm really sorry about that time. I'm really sorry that I was gone, that I didn't take care of you all those days. I'm sorry if that hurt your feelings. I'm sorry if you missed me. I'm sorry."

He just looked at me, love visible from every pore of his skin, and said, "You don't have to be sorry. Now what time do you want to have our games today?"

Then I moved on to Woohoo and asked her virtually the same thing. She said in response, "Hurt me? You didn't hurt me. You helped me. You made me stronger. You taught me."

"I did? What did I teach you?" I asked, really wanting to know.

"You taught me that parents have lives they're not just here to serve kids."

Then we went on to have our best heart-to-heart talk we've every had, followed by the warmest hug of my life.

And although this does not mean I won't still feed the "Leather Fund" (time on a leather couch with a good therapist), perhaps it's time I feed myself a little something too.


(Just noticed the date on the artwork up top, 1994, the year Woohoo was born. No accidents. We had our family prayer time this morning, each kid drew a card from the "Enlightenment" deck, and both kids drew cards dealing with what? Forgiveness.)

* Photo from:

Monday, November 24, 2008


There are two kinds of people, those that upon finding a large crack down the center of one of her favorite coffee mugs, heartlessly tosses it in the garbage, deeming it "worthless," and those that say, "Hey! That's not garbage, it's just got character now. It can be fixed. Don't give up on that mug."

Thank God I'm married to the latter.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Thank you for all your love, prayers and support. Yesterday as I readying myself, closing my eyes and trying to center, a weird buzzing sound kept interrupting my moment of zen.

I finally opened my eyes, got up, and went to the window, where I saw not one, but two bees, side-by-side, trying desperately to escape. I gently captured then released first one, then the other, and went back to my "thing."

My "thing," shifted after those bees. First I noted the mere fact that it's November, and I haven't seen a bee outside, let alone inside, for months. Then I remembered that they symbolized resurrection, healing, and Mary. Then I remembered all of you sending me love.

Thank you.

Thank you for the bees.

* Photo from

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Still over here burning through the layers. Today is a big day. Any and all prayers/light/love are welcome.

Tomorrow I lay my weary arm down.

And rest.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Woohoo is becoming quite the writer. She has an amazing English teacher, and is being lit from within. What more is there? Here's her most recent poem, posted upon request:

Here's to guardian angels, both physical and non-physical!

* Photo from

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


So I put Rojo to bed, I've completed the full battery of bedtime routines, and am heading down the hall to my own bedroom. I pass the two opposing doors that separate our rooms. The laundry room (upstairs laundry: best invention ever) which directly faces Woohoo's door. And I think, That's the space I hold, right there in the middle. I am seated on the hardwood floor right between two doors, feet shoved hard against one, pushing, pushing, pushing, and back against the other, holding back, holding back, holding back. All I need to do to stop this insanity, is just stand up. That's it. Just. Stand. Up.

I keep walking to my room, all full of myself for my deep and powerful insight, and Rojo pulls me back into the moment.

"Mom," he calls from the opposite side of his door, "What time do you think you'll wake up tomorrow?"

"I think I'll wake up at 5:30 tomorrow. What time do you think you'll wake up?" I ask.

"I think I'll wake up at 6:10," he says.

"Okay. See you at 6:10," I say, "I love you, goodnight."

Back to my reverie and he cuts in again.

"Mom! Are you going to jump up and down?"

"Excuse me?" I ask, not knowing WTF he's talking about, because I'm all about doors now, and have long lost the magic of my moment with him.

"When you wake up at 5:30? Are you going to jump up and down because you will be so excited to wake up?"

"Oh. Good idea. Yes, I will jump up and down at 5:30," I answer.

"Don't forget!" he says. "Don't forget to be excited when you wake up tomorrow. Promise you won't forget."

"Okay. I promise not to forget," I say before making the final steps to my room. Finally.

"Mom?" he calls again.

""Yes?" I say through gritted teeth.

"That's a blog."

And so it is.

Now back to the jumping.

(BTW, guess what time he woke up today. To. The. Minute.)

* Photo from

Monday, November 17, 2008


I've had lots of friendships in my life, and by and large the ones that have ended, have died from natural causes. But there are two cases where the friendship ended in more like a bloody murder, with lots of drama and finger pointing and deeply wounded egos.

Well, this whole surrender "thing" I'm working on has a side effect I hadn't counted on - guess that's the whole point, a full surrender includes surrendering to the unknown. Long story short, I am going to be having coffee soon with both of these women.

"It's time to mend fences," I told Kathleen, even thinking as the phrase left my mouth, that that was an odd choice of words.

You see, boundaries were the problem, at least for me. I'm just not that great at maintaining them, and when I come across someone skilled at stomping on them, I have easily let that happen, then sat with righteous indignation right on top of the collapsed "fence."

I've always struggled with "Being a good Christian" vs. being a strong self-advocate.

The Universe, with its sense of humor, is giving me two big tests that feel critical to my personal evolution. How to strike peace, be loving and kind, while remaining true to myself.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


10. I don't like so-and-so
9. I'm mad at/about ____________
8. You hurt my feelings
7. I hate you
6. My stomach/head/any body part hurts
5. I don't feel good
4. Anything whiny
3. It's not fair
2. How come I don't get to do _____________?
1. Ouch

Friday, November 14, 2008


So I'm driving Woohoo to school, all the while she's texting one friend after another, and talking to me at the same time. Some guy likes some girl, and said guy is going to ask out said girl, but said girl doesn't like said guy, and Woohoo knows this, wants to save the guy the embarrassment, but not sure how.

"Why don't you just tell him you asked your friend, and she's just not that into him?"

"No. I'm going to text Sarah and see what she thinks."

More texting, more telling me of the developments, and more butting in from me, until finally Woohoo looks over at me, all cute in her designer jeans and North Face jacket (read: uniform), and says, "Mom, don't tell me the answer, I'm a teenager. This is my time for making mistakes and learning from them."

I'm pretty sure she's right.


Thursday, November 13, 2008


Sorry to disappoint you all, there really is no back story to the "mysterious" quote on yesterday's post. I am still on my Caroline Myss kick, and now am knee-deep in Entering the Castle. It's a study of the mystic, St. Teresa of Avila. Soon as I learn of someone new, I must get to Googling, and well, one thing led to another, and next thing you know I found that quote of hers and liked it.

That's it.

Did spend some time today, however, reflecting on the various answered and unanswered prayers over the years, and damn if that mystic nun from the 16th century wasn't right! Bottom line really seems clear: Control is an illusion, and any prayers that are really an act of coercion, should have an entirely different name, like, wishing.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

“More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones.”

St. Teresa of Avila (Spanish Nun, Mystic and Writer, 1515-1582)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Light a candle for softness
Light a candle for friends 'til they come through
Light a candle for warm kind love
Light a candle for me and you
'Cause there's a reason we've come here
Are we holding back
Or are we willing for connection
While knowing what we hold most dear
Must eventually surrender to its own direction

(Chorus of "Harmless Love" by Ferron)

A funny thing happened on the way to a life without Paxil: The backlog of emotions that that wonderful med held back (and I'd make the same decision to use it all over again - it was a lifesaver at the time, nothing short) are making their presence known.

My challenge these days is to "be" with them.

I'd prefer to numb. I'd prefer to get extraordinarily busy, and have no time for them.

And/or I'd prefer to process every little detail with trusted friends, effectively externalizing the process, when what it feels I'm called to do is nothing. No thing.

Nearly impossible.

But nearly is not the same as totally, in fact, they feel like they're on two opposite ends of a spectrum.

On Sunday I reached some point of surrender - Let come what may, was my prayer. No more super hero efforts at holding back the tide. All my expectations, wishes, plots, plans, unfulfilled desires, all of it -be gone, I thought.

And so, when on Monday morning the e-mails started coming, I wasn't all that surprised. The Universe is swift and compassionate. Somehow I tend to forget that.

Some doors were opened, some were closed, and some still swing back and forth, and I'm working (hard) to just watch them swing, and not rush in and hurry up the process, eager for "done" over "resolved."

The Dalai Lama teaches that if you can't be of help, don't be of hindrance. Be harmless.

Harmless love. I like that. I think that's what I'll "do" today.