Friday, May 30, 2008

Ehh, so it ain't love Thursday anymore

How 'bout Love Friday?

We went to the beach on Monday and had a beautiful day.

This is what I see when I close my eyes and take deep breaths. I can feel the sun on my skin, the sand at my toes, and tension melts away.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

RIP Air Conditioner 1991-2008

You served us well, air conditioner. I knew when I walked in the house yesterday afternoon that it was serious. Last night was blessedly cool for Florida in May, and I hope that tonight we can look forward to more of the same.

We'll be replacing you with someone else tomorrow- someone new, more efficient, maybe even quieter. We won't forget the cool times we've had together, although I do think we'll enjoy your replacement even more.

Erik and I will be married 14 years tomorrow- isn't the traditional gift a new air conditioner?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Pitter Patter

What's making my heart swoon right now?


I have loved the Oxford English Dictionary since I first laid eyes upon it in college. I was recently telling someone about the OED, someone who'd never heard of it (gasp!) and I got giddy talking about the word origins, the long list of definitions, and the examples of each usage from literature.

Today's mail brought a bookseller's catalog, and on the first inside page this condensed version of the OED. Honestly, my heart skipped a beat. It is being offered at a great price, albeit a price generally outside of my book buying budget. My birthday is long past.

I don't really need this, but, oh, my heart.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Through Maya's Eyes

We spent Mother's Day at Epcot. Maya carried my Rebel most of the day. She took a lot of flower shots (just like mom!), but these two are my favorite's. Erik and I don't often make it into a picture together. The closeup of my bag was her idea, and I just love it.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Accentuate the Positive

This morning we were all a bit rough around the edges. Sam hasn't been to school since Friday; apparently he forgot the morning routine. Finally they were deposited at school- after having returned home for the forgotten guitar, and I was on my way to weight watchers.

As I settle in for the meeting and some much needed encouragement on the weight loss front, my phone rings. It is Erik, who simply said "I just had to check on our most important team member." Whoosh! All that morning roughness gone! Weight gain blues gone! I think this one call, these words, will be cherished even more than any gift the family might give me on Sunday.

Love Thursday

I love this picture of Maya. She's always willing to mug for the camera, and I have to ask her to cut the canned poses and just be herself. Yep, she's being herself here--oh that attitude! That sass!


I have a need for order. When it becomes obvious that the disorder around me is overwhelming, I retreat, bury my head in the sand.

The backyard is full of disorder. I stay inside, or in the front yard. Despite not enjoying gardening in Florida (nor anywhere, truthfully), I am so bothered by the chaos out there that even a short photography stroll in the backyard leaves me wanting to roll up in a ball, cursing our inability to create anything nice.

The bedroom (kitchen, living room, Maya's room) is a mess, I flee to the computer.

I'm not living up to my academic standards in freshman chemistry, circa 1988. I stop attending class.

Maya has called me on my escape mechanism a few times in the last few days. "Mom! This is more important!" Ouch. She's 6. Who's being the grown up? Yes, Maya. Yes, Sam. Yes, Erik. You are more important than the computer. I got an email the other day that asked--what is keeping you from the life you want? Ouch.

I need the connections I make online. I need the wisdom. Yet I need to be able to step away and take action here at home. Whether I like it or not, I'm going to have to be the captain of this ship if I ever hope to have even the smallest showing of order around here. Erik doesn't see the piles, the disorder, and chaos. When I'm overwhelmed, it feels like they're swallowing me whole.

I'm scared. What if I do spend less time online, and more time making order out of chaos, and I fail? What if I can't attain the perfection or level of order my brain keeps insisting it needs? What if I become the family leader I want to be, and no one follows?

I've been in the house for the past three days on sick child duty. I had to get out of the house this evening after dinner (oh the incessant talking! the talking all at once, at me, as if I'm the only one who can help them), so I grabbed my camera and walked around the house.

The whole backyard practically gives me hives (how the trees have grown since they were scaled back courtesy Hurricane Charley), and one corner in particular makes me so upset. That's when I started trying to imagine myself out there, doing the work, with work gloves, a hat, and a big pair of clippers. Nope. Not me, not gonna happen. So, then, self, why oh why do you care if it is overgrown? If you're not willing to do something about it?

Because, my mind whines, becauuuuse. Because it should be nice. It should be trim. And the floodgates open up: I should have a clean house. I should be studying for the GRE, I should be applying to graduate school. I should be a better mother, wife, and employee. I should try harder to make friends. I should meditate. I should exercise. I shouldn't overeat. Ad nauseaum, ad infinitum.

Then it is time for me to leave the backyard before some tree spirit snatches me away. I return to the civilized front yard, discovered by my children, outside to play in the last few moments before bed.

This too shall pass. I have taken some baby steps in the house to lessen the chaos enough for me not to feel that it is closing in on all sides. I'm taking a great Pema Chodron e-course. I'm learning from Karen Maezen Miller that the crooked path is ok (just before I finally bought her book I won an autographed copy from her!). And look, even tonight, wandering outside feeling hopeless, there was this:
These gulfs of incomprehension bring the opportunity for spiritual growth and self-acceptance. Momma Zen, p 8, Karen Maezen Miller

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Love Thursday

My sweeties were racing in the neighbor's driveway, and I was shooting away in the lovely light. When I got them on the computer I caught this little glimpse Maya was giving Sam. Yes, they fight, they're siblings. However their love for each other knows no bounds, and it has been a blessing to watch this love bloom.

Visit Shutter Sisters for more Love Thursday.