Recent Happies

29 10 2011

I haven’t been focusing on The Happy much at all. That isn’t to say that I’ve been unhappy, but I certainly haven’t been meditating on it, or taking photos with the intent of making them into prayers of happiness. I don’t know why, really. Maybe a combination of September kicking my ass, a little apathy, a lot of intense busy-ness while we prepared for and executed the estate sale (not to mention all the paper and photo sorting I’m still in the middle of), and a fair amount of guilt over too many iPhone pictures, and it just kind of slipped away. So I am going to try to make this a priority again, assuming I can remember – once I lose a habit it’s hard to re-create it than it is the first time. Feel free to remind me if it happens to occur to you. And now here’s some Happy from the last month (all iPhone all the time). I may not have focused on it at the time, but I’m doing it all now.

Happy Thing: Finding this Monstrosity.
“It’s a horse taking off a human costume.”

Happy Thing: Sunrise From Bed

Happy Thing: A Giant Shiny Light Bulb To Play 7 Days In

Happy Thing: She Fell Asleep on Me While Watching TV

Happy Thing: Sunset

Happy Thing: Kermie Finger Nails and Freshly Knit Hand Warmers


A Letter From My 18 Year Old Self

28 10 2011

I haven’t been blogging lately because I’ve been burying myself deep in boxes and boxes (and boxes and boxes) of old papers. Of particular interest (not really) were all the phone bills from 1972-1979. And then I came across this letter. I remembered writing it and being quite proud of it, but I haven’t seen it for 15 years and I wasn’t sure what I’d think when I came across it again. Turns out, I was kind of brilliant even back then. (Also, I was just as humble as I am now.) The only thing I’ve changed is to leave out the last names of my witnesses. To protect the innocent, of course. Enjoy!

To whom it may concern,

I am sending you this letter in order to prove to you that I do, indeed, exist. It may or may not be hard for you to realize, or even comprehend this, but it is true. I hope that you, in turn, will attempt to confirm your existence for the rest of your fellow human beans.

The first example of my existing that I will give to you deals with witnesses. I have an uncountable many witnesses that can attest to my existence. Among them are Alejandra, Sofia, Melissa, Kathy, Tamara, Summer and my mom. You may question any of them as to the subject of my being, for, they have all, at one point or another, used their five senses to know me. A person can only know what exists via their five senses.

The second example I provide you with is this letter. A letter cannot spontaneously generate out of nowhere, it must have a writer. Just as a dinner must have a cook, a heater must have a heater-maker, and a dog must have a mom. Therefore I give to you evidence of my existence.

The third and last example of my being are my belongings. A non-existent person has no belongings, it would be stupid them to have any. A dead person may have some, but they, at least exist-ed. I have too many belongings and I therefore exist, I suppose, too much.

In conclusion, I would like to say that I hope this clarifies the issue of my existence for you, and I hope that you pass the word around so as to stop any ugly rumors before they start. Thank you for your time, and keep this in mind for yourself in case anyone questions your existence.


Good Morning! Have a Deadly Spider!

12 10 2011

Stumbled out of bed, into the shower, out of the shower. Got dressed. Stumbled into the kitchen, pulled the bacon out. Found a brown widow sitting in her web on my kitchen counter. Set the bacon down. Commenced panic attack.

evidence of her stupid choice of real estate location

First order of business: Tweet that shit.
Second: Take photos.
This is how I roll.

And then I stood there for 38 minutes weighing my options. That’s normal. Right?

Option 1:
Move out, leaving all my possessions behind, and never come back. Not really feasible. I have lots of stuff. I like my stuff. I don’t want to leave it behind. Also moving is a lot of work and I’m rather lazy.

Option 2:
Call the landlord and a) beg him to kill it and b) prove to him that brown widows not only exist but that spiders do, in fact, come in through windows. It’s way too early to have to deal with his bullshit. Also when he says he’ll be over in “ten minutes”, it usually translates to “next week sometime”.

Option 3:
Smash it. Impossible. I can’t smash spiders. If I use something like a hammer I miss (and break the counter), if I use my hand, I require heavy sedation and therapy to recover from the emotional trauma of feeling their body “pop” in my hand.

Option 4:
Set it on fire. Not only do I not need to come within six feet of the spider, but I also don’t need that plan to backfire resulting in a deadly, flaming spider running around the house and coming after me.

Option 5:
Vacuum that bitch up.¬†Only that’s another plan I don’t need to backfire on me.

Option 6:
Hot glue. I’m pretty sure I’ve lost all sanity at this point.

Option 7:
Move out and never come back. Oh. Already covered that.

This was pretty much me:

Source: via Bonnie on Pinterest

And that’s roughly what those 38 minutes looked like, interspersed with an occasional whine or whimper, or the kids running around screaming, “WE’RE ALL GANNA DIIIIEEEE!”

And then I spied a box of unopened Kleenex. Puffs, actually. And in a fit of sanity and bravery (that is probably an oxymoron) I grabbed the box and slammed it down on top of the spider. LIKE A DAMN NINJA.

And then I stood there for a few more minutes wondering if it was safe to peek.

It was. She was quite dead.


And then I asked Margie to throw the tissue box away for me.

But in yet another fit of sanity and bravery, I envisioned yellow yarn (which is, apparently, the antithesis of squashed venomous spiders) and chanted, “Yellow yarn is really quite lovely,” and peeled the lid off (because she’d had the decency to be squished right on the part you tear away, rendering the rest of the box TOTALLY FINE) and threw it away. Like a damn ninja.

And then, just for good measure, I sprayed down the counter with disinfectant.

And you know what, my internet friends? All this before coffee.

I’m doing Science and I’m still alive.

10 10 2011

I’m not actually doing Science. Or maybe I am. Depends on how Scientific you want to get about Science. POINT being that I haven’t properly updated or even written anything here for you as evidence of my Science-doing or lack thereof. Here is an update. I am definitely still alive.

My numbness has mostly dissipated and somewhat evolved. In that instead of feeling numb, my eye feels twitchy. And instead of my hands being confusingly wholly numb, now it’s more of a carpal tunnel thing. Which is way less alarming. But still bizarre in its origins. The rest of it is either gone or so mild I can’t tell if it’s there. Which is, of course, where it began so I don’t feel out of the woods by any means.

Backing up to that week. It never totally went away for days. The Thursday after I’d been seen in urgent care, I had another moment of strong numbness while in the library with the kids and I spent an embarassing amount of time in the bathroom smiling at myself to see if both sides worked. (They did, but turns out my smile is somewhat uneven. Discovering that while wondering if you are having a stroke is… interesting.) But it passed and I went through my day as I did the rest of the week: feeling fragile, but going through the motions and living life.

And then that night, somewhere just before dawn I think, I had a thought. I’d often heard people say that body parts in discord relate directly to psychological discord. For instance, a sore throat means you aren’t speaking up about something. So I tried to relate my numbness with a psychological issue and – BOOM – I was already quite aware that I was putting certain aspects of my grieving on the back burner. I had made the conscious choice to stay numb.

There were a lot of reasons, some sound crazier than others. Part of it was time. Part of it was the fear of having to cry, feel sad or angry, to make all that hurt raw again. Part of it was that, after she died, I felt her Spirit and her Crazy were released into the atmosphere and I was terrified to invoke her and risk imbibing some of her Crazy. I was afraid to become her.

The same night I had this thought, my aunt had one with the same intent. Totally separate instances.

The following day was the first day my numbness got much better. (Although, as I type this out, I feel it more strongly right now. Which either means that I am totally right or totally wrong. The Universe is sometimes unclear with her messages.)

So I have spent time nearly daily working hard on grieving. I tried journalling and only learned that I’m afraid to move forward. And then, a few days later, I had another thought come to me in the night: to write my mom a letter. It seems really completely obvious to say it like this, but you have to understand that this was a part of my mom’s Crazy – the letter writing. She always had at least one 20-page letter active to someone or several someones about how they’d wronged her. We found probably over ten boxes of papers, many of them were notes or letters. TEN BOXES. So I didn’t even consider it for a long time because of Invoking the Crazy. And then that night I remembered: Embrace the goodness of mom to heal from her badness. Do not be afraid to channel her. Write her a letter. It’s a good idea. And so I did. And then I read it aloud to her. (Because that’s not crazy at all.) Immediately I felt lighter.

I learned two things from writing that letter. First that I always made her a part of my life as much as I could. I always talked to the kids about her. “This was my mom’s favorite song.” “My mom taught me that, she was a smart lady.” Having read all my mom’s notes this summer I had allowed her to trick me into thinking my kids knew nothing about her. And I realize that she wanted more. I did what I could for her, too. I sent her pictures, videos, allowed her to read the homeschooling blog so she’d know what we were up to. But recently I realized something else: I saved my kids from so many scary experiences with her. It’s impossible to remember all the things that never happened, but considering the times she did break through my wall into my life in the last six or eight years, my kids wound up scared because of her Crazy.

The second thing I learned was that the wall I built, the one made to protect me, was built of all the bad things, and it hid the good things from me. All these years I’ve tried so hard to remember the good things because I wanted to be balanced, and it turns out, I carefully hid those good things from myself so that I could live safely and sanely. I gave up all the good parts of my mom. And now I don’t know how to find them. I love my mom. When I got that phone call that day back in July, I started bawling before I hung up and didn’t stop for about 12 hours, and then only to go about my day as needed. I fell into the dark for a good month or more. I love my mom. But I am having a hard time finding love for her now. Isn’t it strange how emotions work? I can have directly conflicting ones raging inside me at once. I love her, but I can’t remember how to love her.

When I mentioned this physiological-psychological connection to my acupuncturist, she suggested reading Louise Hay’s book on the subject. And then the Universe was all, “Yeah! What she said! That’s a great idea! Here, let me make it easy for you.” Browsing books on sale on the Nook, I found it for a couple bucks. I opened it up last night and read the descriptions of my current issues:

Carpal-Tunnel Syndrome: Anger and frustration at life’s seeming injustices. (Note that I recently made a category for this blog called “2011 is a Fucking Motherfucker”)

Face: Represents what we show the world.

Numbness: Withholding love and consideration.

Fairly insightful, I think.

So that’s where I am right now. I’m trying to catch up on work, on homeschooling, on handling my mother’s affairs. So when it comes to writing, it’s mostly deep, dark shit that I need to spew privately. Which may or may not be Science. But I am definitely still alive.

September Tweets. Because I just noticed it’s October now.

5 10 2011

Moths. Because fruit flies and ants weren’t enough.
1 Sep

Margie made me watch The Impossible Astronaut last night. Me? Nightmares all night long. She? FINE. Why are kids always braver than me?
2 Sep

Playing this morning on the radio inside my head: Roxette.
3 Sep

Elliott: When I’m grown up, I don’t want just a store. I want a WHOLE MALL.
3 Sep

We’re watching Keeping Up Appearances and Elliott is CRACKING UP. He’s funnier than TV.
3 Sep

Wow. @wilw Just posted my second Kriss Kross reference of this weekend. THIS MEANS SOMETHING. And I am afraid.
5 Sep

I just took a cold shower in a bathroom with flickering lights. Admit it. You wish you lived as high-class as I do.
6 Sep

Just saw a hummingbird outside my window and thought -finally! a bit of magic today! – And then the hummingbird took a shit.
6 Sep

Hahaha, Weather. Nice joke. Now kindly remember that this is San Diego and 100-degree thunderstorms don’t belong here.
6 Sep

You know what’s wise? Going through the meds my mom had in her house and wondering WTF? Oh wait, no, I was wrong. It’s stupid.
7 Sep

Just found a drug that treats schizophrenia, nausea, anxiety before surgery, chronic hiccups, and symptoms of tetanus. That’s… random.
7 Sep

ALSO. I really hate how the word “tetanus” has the word “anus” in it like it’s trying to get away with a dirty joke. Real immature, Tetanus.
7 Sep

Elliott, in the bouncy tunnel: Mommy, little kids are getting me!!
8 Sep

Operating on 5 hrs sleep and fading fast. Gorging myself on local disaster news from 3-5am may not have been so wise after all.
9 Sep

New fall dressing I made up for you today: EVOO (or other), Cider Vinegar, maple syrup (grade B), smoked sea salt. You’re welcome.
11 Sep

ZebraBelly is feeling melancholy tonight. PMS is a jerk.
12 Sep

Elliott’s newest thing is to call his sister despicable.
13 Sep

Basil and watermelon tossed in EVOO, balsamic and smoked sea salt. Best idea ever.
13 Sep

Margie just now, in her sleep: Sorry, I meant to put them together, but I thought it’d just be easier if I… put them together.
17 Sep

Internet, I am very disappointed in you for being so awesome and forcing me to stay up too late. (Do it again tomorrow, mkay?)
18 Sep

Margie: Salt tastes like a mixture of violence and unviolence.
19 Sep

Maple syrup comes from a tree. Therefore it counts as the produce portion of my breakfast.
20 Sep

My bathroom smells like hamsters. Why does my bathroom smell like hamsters?
28 Sep

You know, Groupon, when you advertise “Spa Day @ 92% off” and then it turns out to be laser hair removal, I get very disappointed.
29 Sep

I just finished the last of the chocolate in this house. *panics a little*
29 Sep