Friday, April 30, 2010

Nothing but a Memory

Borrowing inspiration from here:
HD's blog
I'm glad to finally know who sings this song:
The House that Built Me, Miranda Lambert

Fact of the matter is I heard it driving home with baby G asleep in the backseat about 6 weeks ago.  I sat in my car in the dark and cried.  I thought Miley Cyrus was singing it and so I couldn't find it on itunes to buy.  Turns out that was probably for the best b/c it still makes me cry and I have been enjoying NOT crying lately.

HD is getting ready to move out of her house.  Her nuclear family began and grew there.  They built it from scratch.  She brought her babies home to that house.  The way she describes it, the house and her memories there are beautiful.  This is not the case for me.  I will be relieved (yet sad) to leave my current residence.  I have told friends I am hoping for something smaller and newer.  Wherever I end up moving I will welcome the lack of memories there.  I will embrace the blank slate that is mine to decorate.  I will cherish the void of a painful history.  The beauty of sunsets will not be colored by arguments or tears.  The majesty of the moon rising will not be witnessed from a chilly sleeping bag.  There might even be a finished floor.

I'm sad and torn.  This house's owner loves his house.  It was the one thing he wanted to keep come hell or high water.  Hell and high water came at the same time.  He left.  I left.  The house stayed.  It's empty; metaphorically speaking of course.   Literally, it's**tty memories.stuff.  Existing in empty is less painful than trying to grow amidst anger and rejection.  We truly reap what we sow and if you plant something poisonous in toxic conditions, you cant expect a prize-winning rose to grow from that cultivar.  This is horrible.  You do not generate life.  You do not generate hope or forgiveness or pleasure or kindness or peace.  You grow apathy.  You grow disgust.  You grow contempt.  You grow but it's ugly.  Eventually nothing grows and what was there dies.  I left.  He left.  We died.

So back to the song with some out-of-order quotes.  I told HD not to worry b/c "home is where the heart is" which doesn't have to be under a particular roof.  Really.  Humans have led nomadic lifestyles in search of food and fair weather forever.  In that case, home is where the full belly was.  You can give your heart to someone, maybe they're your home.  Maybe you're theirs; I think some dude I dated for way.too.long. used that one on me once.  Lame.  But cool to think about.  Maybe so.  "Home" can also be your safety zone in a game of hide and seek or various board games, no?  If you're "homeless" you lack a home, but of what definition?  Maybe having a home=being grounded, being safe, being secure.  So, first quote:

You leave home, you move on and you do the best you can.
I got lost in this whole world and forgot who I am. 

Yep, the songwriter is probably referring to leaving the home of our parents, but there's room for interpretation of "home" to include our "safety zone".  I think there's also room for it to be an ageless reference; we can be in the middle of a mid-life-crisis and found that we have wandered away from our home.  I would argue that when you find yourself in the middle of any crisis you have moved away from your "home" and to some extent forgotten who you are.  Yep.  It doesn't take "this whole world" and it doesn't take "forgetting".  Sometimes, it.just.happens.  I'll debate the causality of the relationship later.  Maybe.  Eh.

Secondly, she sings:

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
this brokenness inside me might start healing.
Out here its like I'm someone else,
I thought that maybe I could find myself
if I could just come in I swear I'll leave. 

For me, this verse doesn't translate directly.  I'm hoping to leave this place, this current physical home in order for the brokenness to start healing.  "Out here" could mean simply physically outside the house of my youth or in my case, the frappin' desert southwest.  For me, the "brokenness inside" is going to have to heal "out here" but in a new home.  Ummmmmm "out here" is my new home.  Funny thing is, I rarely took a glimpse of how lost  and broken I was.  Amazing, I know.  Denial is a strong, strong, sometimes self-preserving, emotion (and oddly contains the same letters as Denali).  More on mountain climbing later.  Maybe.

Now I realize if I were to try to return to the home of my youth, or to try and re-create it, that wouldn't be beneficial either.  That would be sad.  That's a whole other country song I'm sure.  I want a healthy release of what's been horrible as well as a release of any unhealthy expectations of what home should be like. If home is where the heart is then we each carry it with us anywhere and everywhere we go.  That is simple!  Well, Edgar Allen Poe aside...

Lastly she says:

Won't take nothing but a memory
from the house that built me. 

Which is a true statement because all the physical stuff is stuff.  She's singing that because she doesn't want to take any stuff from the house, that maybe it's not the stuff that made her who she is anyway, it's the memories.  Maybe it's healthy not to get too attached to a single place or 4 walls anyway.   While it's helpful to have a rooted identity somewhere you'd like to call home, I don't think that definition is an address exclusively.  And if you dislike the memories you have in a certain address then double bonus- you can leave them behind too.  

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I dabbled with "Wordless Wednesdays" a few months ago.  Now I'll try Thankful Thursdays.

Today I am thankful for many many things:
Children's Tylenol Plus: allergies blow (ha! pun intended)
toilet paper
a full belly
a clean-ish truck
a fit body
a sound mind ;)
TWO jobs that earn me paychecks
getting to be a mom (job #3 or #1 depending)
new friends
old friends
hot dark acidic coffee, brown sugar, and cream
professional guidance
peace and quiet / shalom in the home to borrow from Shmuley Boteach
a roof and more than 4 walls
leftovers, a fridge and a freezer
a checking account in the black
hugs and kisses
a cold and fizzy Coca Cola
cooked meat
suntanning on the roof!
playing in the dirt pile together after dinner
no Rattlesnake sightings yet
a second pair of jeans (since the pockets ripped in my favorite pair)
warm showers and good-smelling soap (lemon currently)
clothes that fit
free music
a voice
being able to hold and lift and sing and smile and explore and dance with my daughter * thank you to SL for the baby sling we haven't outgrown yet!
clean doggies
clean floors
a warm breeze coming through the back screen at every mealtime
new glitter crayons
new recipes that turn out amazingly (because there have been NONE this week)

I'll close here b/c I could keep going on!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Coupons Dude

Money has yet to grow on trees but can you believe it!?!?!  Yes.  It really does.

Holy cow.  So today I spent like $50 at Safeway.  Using the coupons that were mailed to me yesterday in addition to some manufacturer's coupons that I don't remember obtaining, I saved $12 or close to 25% of my bill!!

What WILL I spend my cash on?  Oh, bills, and my truck needs more brake work.  $well.

Let me also say that I found a bottle of cocoa butter lotion, thicker than but 1/2 as long as my arm, at Walgreens for $1.99 !  How can this be?  And if you read my blog, you know I am a *scent snob* and this stuff smells G-O-O-D.  It's Queen Helene- makes me feel like I should be scantily clad on a hand-carved wooden boat only as wide as my hips, being paddled by some scantily clad man-servants down some amazing river in Afrikakakaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.  And this imagination, along with an upcoming summerlong-pass to Breakers Waterpark, will be my vacations this year!

Thankfully baby G and I both ADORE the Safeway $2.99 Pepperoni Pizzas.  How CAN they be so good?!  I could eat pizza this price I.just.might!!!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Life and a Rubik's Cube

Today at work I noticed a Rubik's Cube on a co-worker's desk.  I had to do some research: is life like a Rubik's Cube?  The iconic cube is 30 years old.  Almost as old as...alright...I'm 3 years older than the puzzle.

"You Can Do It"

At this website you learn that there are many ways to solve the puzzle; and therefore you can reason there are many ways to  Same with life.  Thankfully the website gives you a failproof and color-coded solution in 6 Stages.  Hmmm.  Sure.  But maybe if the Rubik's Cube Puzzle is like life then in whose hands is your/my life?  Can I color code it?  Is the meaning of life color coded?  Could it be for easy understanding?  Please?  Apparently all the color coding and twisting is based on mathematical algorithms. Sure.  Can I undo every.wrong.turn I've made?  How do I know when I've made a wrong turn?  Is there always a solution?  How are we defining "solution"?

What's an Algorithm?

So then I got to thinking about math and fractals (because I always do, right after behavior and Maslow's hierarchy) and remembered that JW and baby G and I went to the "Hyperbolic Coral Reef" exhibit on tour in Phoenix.  It was our "Free and Classy Friday Trip" last May followed by a decadent yet classy lunch at the Culinary Institute.

Hyperbolic Space

also see:

Darwinian Evolution

AMAZINGNESS!  Algorithims again.

Then I was interested in art and fun free things to take baby G to this weekend.  I found this description in one photographer's work:

Not only does it erase the intervening hours of each day from view but the
pattern created suggests a cycle, refuting a linear perception of time.

Not that I am thinking that with my photos; I am usually trying to capture memories that I don't want to forget, and that usually later, depending on their subject matter, I DO want to forget.  Yet, this is interesting.  Some Physicists and Philosophers theorize that time is a contiuum, or a circle.

Nonlinear system

Math again.  And CHAOS THEORY!  Some quantum physics?  YES!

Then I was reading a paper for work and this word was used:


And then this dude came up:
Iannis Xenakis

...with some Game Theory!  I have some reading to catch up on.  

In conclusion, I argue that life is not like a Rubik's Cube because life is more of a stochiastic algorithim.  Life can be random and unpredictable and chaotic and possibly not lived or solved in a linear constraint of time or of rigid matter; exactly the opposite of solving the Rubik's Cube puzzle.  Sweet.  

Monday, April 26, 2010

Crockpot Magic

The crockpot has been my hobby lately and by lately I mean 2 Mondays and Oscar night.  One word, two syllables: su-ucks.

I consider myself adept at managing heat in the kitchen, and sharp things, along with flavor.  Alchemy and magic are my tools, if you would call them that, but everyone knows "...the extra ingredient is love"; to quote Betty Crocker.  Well, crap if I know where the love is in this crockpot cookin' baybay.  Heinous.

Two other coworkers and I are crockpot cookers (CPC)!  We are in the beginning stages of swapping recipes with the secrecy and snobbery of an elite sorority: CPC.  Getting my monogrammed picture frame now!  Apparently there is a difference between a crock pot and a slow cooker although I already forgot the difference.  My beast is a 4quart crockpot (I think).

I think what has been going wrong is, one word: cauliflower.  I have been craving it and it's boring to eat plain.  So, let me cook it at a simmer with odd ingredients for 11 hours.  Repeating:  Cauliflower.

When you walk in the door to a crockpot supper you want the heart-warming aromas to entice you into the kitchen for a bowl-full of giddyness.  I envision serving up a warm delightful bowl of nutrition for my baby girl.  A bowl-full of goodness that she'll shovel into her little mouth and fill up her cheeks with.  Little chipmunk cheeks full of tender carrots and perfect peas and magic.  I.want.magic.  Some crockpot magic.  That's ALL I want! That's what I expect!  That's NOT what I have been producing!  Instead I got stench and uniform overcooked-ness.

Now, because beans are affordable I have been adding them too.  And beer because it's been sitting in the pantry for 4 years.  And a whole onion.  As I type it seems like this should be the foundation for a dynamo chili.  But no.

Through eating nasty food I am "educating my palate".  I used to say this also to justify drinking lots of decadent $40 Pinots and less-posh bottles of swirl.  Education.  Well, I have learned to resurrect a nasty brown and foul smelling dinner with either canned tomatoes or frozen corn.  Does that count?  Acidity or sweet crunchiness. Take note!  I figure it's a good challenge and I don't want to waste the food.  Even the doggies got a taste.  I blended and have frozen some of the resurrected mush for soups potentially later, or WW3.   Blecgh.

Anyway it's not the end of the world and our bellies are full of healthiness.  Thankfully healthy food doesn't have to taste this bad.  When I don't use my crockpot, my healthy food doesn't usually taste bad.  And, I still have that bottle of champagne unopened from the weekend.  ;)  Sigh.

My next attempt will be without cauliflower and will include some chunk of low-grade beef that is meant to have the h*ll cooked out of it.  Yes.  Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thursday Thoughts to Tunes

It's amazing what you can do what you don't know what you can't do.  I am reveling in the fact that this past week at the Y I was lifting more than teenage boys 1/2 my age as well as a crusty Navy vet.  Yay for me!  Stoked!  All my clothes are fitting better too and my bloodwork rocked!!!  Cue: Animal by Def Leppard

I do not like dried apricots.  More specifically my GI tract does not.  I don't plan to buy them again for a year or so or more unless I am thru hiking the AT or sleeping on the roof or if I need to punish someone within 15 feet of me.  Cue:  Peaches and Cream by PDiddy

Baby G is scratching her nails on her mattress right now for attention.  Must.not.cave.  How annoying.  Seriously.  I'm going to try and provide "bigger carrots" and highlight her positive behavior with rewards rather than react to her bad behaviors and punishments.  Surely this will be a challenge but I think it's best to start young.  I remember at NA we had the "chip" system in 5th grade.  Operant conditioning at it's finest.  Yay.  Cue: More Human than Human by White Zombie

I still need a miracle to happen.  And a hero.  Not the sandwich.  Cue: We Don't Need Another Hero by Tina Turner

My brother is in boot camp and said they carry M16s everywhere.  Even to church services.  I find this ironic.  Nothing is sacred....finish the quote.  Really.  See previous line.  Cue: Shape of my Heart by Sting

Baby G tried sushi (cooked California Roll) today and loved it.  What a hoot.  Cue Buffalo Stance by Nenah Cherry

Today at work I was designing primers for DNA sequencing; PCR specifically.  I found myself thinking CAT California Georgia TAG GAGA California Georgia and so on and so on.  Dying! Cue Georgia on my Mind as sung by Willie Nelson

I want a garden and a chicken coop and some hired help to take care of them for me.  LOL!  Cue Devil Went Down to Georgia by Charlie Daniels Band

At lunch, when I shared the "lien" notice from my insurance co, my friend KL asked me "WHAT do you OWN?"  Ha!  Nothing except my truck!!!  Nothing worth the amount of the lien...which...thankfully my insurance co will take care of ...they...said. Cue Truckin' by Grateful Dead

What the h*ll is up with this weather? Cue It's Raining Men by the Weather Girls

I bought a bottle of chammers for my weekend sunning adventures.  Gold bikini+golden body+sparkly!  Cue Sun Is Shining by Bob Marley

Peace out and happy weekending y'all!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Manic Monday

This morning I accidentally poured Apple Juice in my coffee.  I hope tomorrow's cup is better.

I came across this link today:

And then did some research on this:

And then I got a letter in the mail about a lien from my car accident back in October.  WHAT?!  Uuugh.

My crockpot cookin' beans went ok...but I'll def. tweak the recipe next Monday.

I got a $10 credit at Kohls in the mail!  Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet.

No one has spoken to me in Spanish I am not.tan.enough!

I was complimented on my pedicure by another mom at childcare.

I am loving cranking my music up, with all the windows down,  after I drop off baby G at childcare.

Giving stuff away feels great!  Consigning it feels great too!!!

Baby G is loving her soap crayons.  She pooped in the tub again tonight and then fussed like the turd was going to grow legs, run her down, and hurt her!

I love sleep!

I am hoping I don't have to work more; well too much more.  I don't want a big house to clean and I don't want a lot of crap to keep track of.  I hope to stay safe and free.

My brother is apparently doing well in boot camp!  I'm sure he's sleeping better too!

I find it stunning that there is an active volcano in Iceland.  I never though ash had the potential to be so powerful.

I bought a basil plant at TJ's and have not killed it yet!

I think I'll have the dogs groomed and shaved down earlier than Memorial Day weekend this year.

The pool is still too cold for humans to enjoy.

I love going for walks with G before dinner with all of the Brittle Bush-lined streets!  Beauty!  Solitude!

I appreciate and enjoy being alone but I do not enjoy being lonely.

Vegetables and beans are wonderful!  Eating lower on the food chain is cost-effective and sustainable and happy for the waistline and bloodwork!  Amazing.

I am feeling super thankful!!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Weekend Thoughts; Life is like a petting zoo

So I think life may be like a petting zoo and heaven might be the Super Walmart on Tangerine.

Admission is free to the petting zoo and it's total chaos.  Thankfully baby G navigated it with finesse and kisses for all those dirty animals.  I guess now I'm hoping my metaphor doesn't translate directly but...  Like animals of the four-legged-kind we eat and we poop and we step in our poop and we get sprayed with water when we misbehave or are too aggressive with others.  We look for food and attention and love and peace all in a little hay-lined,  ramshackle corral; with a roof thankfully.  People come in to our lives for a visit and some pictures and to feed us and kiss us and then they are gone.  They point and laugh with us and watch our silly behavior and want to know more about us and get close to us and are happy, maybe we make them happy, and we're overjoyed.  But then they leave and wash their hands.

Walmart on Tangerine is a mecca of sorts in this desert. No less than 4 walls with a roof and lighting and AIR CONDITIONING with a McDonalds and nail salon and hair salon and an opthalmalogist and a garden nursery and a grocery store and BATHROOMS and things for sale!  You could be born and die; you could spend your lifetime, in a Walmart with nary a need!  There ARE doorkeepers but everyone is welcome!  The greeters ask how you are doing and they'll give you a basket for all of the stuff you want to shop for, or to load your toddler into!  They want to make your experience easier and enjoyable.  The floors are polished clean and the goods for sale are organized into neat rows with signs.  There is no trash to be seen anywhere!  People have been hired to help you find what you need.  There are express lanes with express cashiers who, again, are helpful.  All you have to do is relax and enjoy yourself!

Like the petting zoo, Walmart does house some INTERESTING "creatures". I love that almost anyone can have a chance to work at Walmart it seems, upon first glance.   But in actuality everyone is there for a reason; they have been hired to be part of a team.  Walmart, hate it or love it, is a well-oiled machine.  Their response to Hurricane Katrina outpaced the US Government's attempt.

I don't have a tidy conclusion for this post.  I wouldn't want to spend my afterlife in a metaphorical fluorescent-lit, walled-in, deep freeze, no thank you to cryogenic suspension either, but it seemed like everyone who worked there, no matter their size, age, color, or disability, had that purposeful gleam in their eye.  That "I'm part of a bigger something" smile on their face.  A peacefulness like someone was patting them on the back in approval...yes a paycheck is great incentive.  That individuals of unsound mind or otherwise-incapable body were here, gainfully employed, is testament to Walmart's managers and visionaries and all of the coworkers on their team.

In reality we humans are animals.  We can be smelly and greedy and selfish and exactly like the inhabitants of the petting zoo; which is fine and I do prefer to be outside in some shade being handfed :)  But I want to be more than part of a traveling circus.  I want to be a part of that bigger something.  I think I'd like to be part of a team.  I hope I can make things easier for others.  Guess I oughta apply at Walmart ;)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Through the eyes of a child

Let me tell you what.  Baby G and her grandparents and I went to the county fair today and it.was.awesome!  I got her a safety/leader/harness...ok..dang it...pretty much a fancy dog leash but whatev. Don't judge unless you have my girl.  She actually loves it and

It was an epic day.  Overcast skies, windy, crowdless.  Room to walk.  Room to roll in the grass and dance all by ourselves to some live music!  Most importantly, we got to see and play with some of the animals we have only read about thus far!  Most notable was the petting zoo.  Many people/sayings/poems/Bible verses tell us to enjoy life like a think of things like a try and see the world through a child's eyes.  Let me tell you what.  Here's what it looks like!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thank you; Doin' It Well !

So baby Girl's dual, repeated ear infections have cleared up.  Today during her follow up visit, her pediatrician told me to stay out of the sun, repeatedly.  Repeatedly, I retorted.  He said "You're to self-assured".  HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAA!  But, I thanked him for his concern. :)

Saturday late night a young gentleman asked me if I was an athlete.  Our age difference is too large for him to have been hitting on me.  I told him the truth; I was a dancer and a cheerleader but not a competitive athlete.  But, I thanked him for the compliment.

I have had the privilege of making life choices based on love forever. According to Maslow's hierarchy that's a privilege.  That means at least my belly is full and I am safe.   I loved myself first and acted only for myself for way too long.   For the past 10 years I have been drowning myself trying to make the focus of my love different men; not at the same time thank you.  This is like a cyber thank you to the loved ones in my life; past and present for all of the lessons I have learned.  Now the focus of my love is my daughter.

Children are a gift that will change your life.  The pediatrician said "They'll make you more serious."   Maybe so but I already take myself way too seriously. The one lesson I have to keep re-learning, because I am stubborn, is thankfully the simplest to enjoy; I am not in control here.  This is the lesson that keeps me humble.  No need to worry or be afraid of what's happened, what is happening or what is going to happen.  Sweet!  Peace.  And to think I was wanting to be out of control anyway for the while before I got preggo.  WHAT.A.RELIEF!  This realization IS the answer to my prayers.  I hope that I'm doing whatever I'm (not) supposed to be doing well enough  ;)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

If you love something...

This saying has been on my mind lately;  If you love something then let it go.  If it was yours it will come back to you....unless you rip its wings off and break its heart.
I made up the last part.
Unless said thing is a boomerang, is it going to come back for sure?  I guess a youngin would...while they are still young and have needs to be met by only you.  Maybe not when they are teenagers and adults with money and wheels.   Actually, I hope my girl grows up and flies away, but comes back to visit and hang out, b/c I've taught her to be free and independent.  I would want her to come back on her own free will if she wanted.
What about when accidents happen? What about when loved ones go off to fight wars?  Maybe it's not about physically letting go...
Dogs will usually return to you if they are fetching a ball you are throwing.  Cats return usually when food is to be had.  Kids and men too I guess.  Men will also return for a different sort of nourishment...
Do living things only "come back" to us because we are meeting their needs?  What if someone else is meeting their needs?  What if they are meeting their own needs?  Or wants?  Or desires?  How can you purposefully let the one you love go, for the chance of someone else to love them and meet their needs, better than you can?  Should you?  Surely that's insane.  Wouldn't it be more insane not to know?
I could ramble forever on this but the real question anything really ever ours to have and own?  Maybe for a moment yes.  For a lifetime?  For more than a lifetime?  Will we be reunited with them after this lifetime?  What about tortured souls that are neither here nor there?
How can we own love?  Is the only pure test to let it go?  This sounds so ridiculous.  I guess we can't own love, we can only share it.
I'm glad this is out of my hands.