Saturday, February 27, 2010

Well? What else am I supposed to be doing?

All by myself...wee ones asleep...I can watch whatever I want.

Mamma Mia is a guilty pleasure...Abba is part of that soundtrack of my childhood...dances at the Mwanza yacht club...play dates with friends...every time I hear an Abba song I'm transported back in time--to an amazing, carefree, African-sun-on-my-face time.

The first time I watched the movie, this song reduced me to tears. And it still does. Every. Single. Time.

Slipping Through My Fingers
Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile
I watch her go with a surge of that well-known sadness
And I have to sit down for a while
The feeling that I'm losing her forever
And without really entering her world
I'm glad whenever I can share her laughter
That funny little girl

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what's in her mind
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time

Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast table
Barely awake, I let precious time go by
Then when she's gone there's that odd melancholy feeling
And a sense of guilt I can't deny
What happened to the wonderful adventures
The places I had planned for us to go
(Slipping through my fingers all the time)
Well, some of that we did but most we didn't
And why I just don't know

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what's in her mind
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time

Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture
And save it from the funny tricks of time
Slipping through my fingers

Slipping through my fingers all the time

Schoolbag in hand she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Drive by blogging...

Flying solo for the next week and a half...brain's a wee bit fried right now, so here we go...

*Work stuff is hitting frantic mode...less than two months out from our first event of the season and I'm still searching for sponsors. However, on a very cool note...I finally found a media outlet to run a feature series on our adult/child team adventure race. Yea. When the publisher of a local family magazine emails me and tells me that she looked over our website and it was by far the coolest thing she's ever seen...it's a great feeling...sort of makes all of this worth it. So...back to frantic mode...I'm meeting with their production team later this week. Would it be tacky to take along my writing portfolio? Just wondering.

*I'm living with a
red headed, 26 pound ball of meltdown fury...she was just a little pissed off yesterday when it finally dawned on her that Daddy wasn't home and wasn't going to be home any time soon. This morning was fun.

*The dark side of the EOD/k9 wife role...I spent an hour out in the backyard yesterday picking up dog crap. Snow and ice had finally cleared out, and the kiddos couldn't even go out an play due to big, heaping yard mines! I don't get paid enough. Wait...I don't get paid at all...

*In the "silver lining" theme...in the middle of poop scooping yesterday I came across wee little crocus buddlings popping up...and that only means one thing...SPRING!

*The commercial playing during the Olympics...the one with the kids and the mom at the end? "To their moms they'll always be kids"? I cry. Every. Single. Time.

*Weather forecast is calling for more snow tomorrow. I'm ignoring it. In my head I'm laying on the beach in Mombasa.

So there you go. I'm going to bed.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Something in a Sunday...

The most amazing Beth wrote about music as soul food. Music always has a way of reminding me of a moment. Good, bad and in between. Moments.

I don't recall if I had heard the original Johnny Cash version (written by Kris Kristofferson in 1968) prior to the Shawn Mullens cover--most likely not...fairly sheltered musical childhood. But the first time I heard Shawn Mullens sing "Sunday Morning Coming Down" it took me back to the year I was 19.

And there's nothing short of dieing,
half as lonesome as the sound of the sleeping city sidewalk
and Sunday mornin' comin' down...


In the US less than a year. My freshman year at UNC at Charlotte. Plopped down in the middle of a new town, new country, new culture. Lost on a massive, grand, unfathomable scale. I managed to return to Kenya for Christmas and it only served to magnify the aloneness of the Lonely.

Somehow I convinced a restaurant to hire me--bussing tables since I had absolutly zero work experience. None. Sundays were busy and since I had no where to go, no one to be with on Sundays, I worked. I cleared away the remnants of families enjoying the day together. Laughing and spending time with each other. Wiped off the spills from children's cups. Laid out fresh table clothes and reset placements for the next family. And it compounded the Lonely in such an excruciating way.

Years later the lonely was still there. Another new town, new country, new culture. Choices made and consequences lived through. Every now and then I'd make a small attempt to get back on that path I was supposed to be on. But they were always half-hearted and all on my own.

In the park I saw a daddy
With a laughing little girl that he was swinging.
And I stopped beside a Sunday school
And listened to the songs they were singing.
Then I headed down the street,
And somewhere far away a lonely bell was ringing,
And it echoed through the canyon
Like the disappearing dreams of yesterday.

At some point I accepted the fact that I wasn't going to crawl out of the dark all on my own. The knowledge had been there all along--I am, after all, a preacher's daughter. It wasn't easy--it never is. Wounds heal, but there's always something left behind--if for no other reason than to remind us of our history, where we've been, where we don't wish to return.

I think the ones who say they have no regrets are either ignorant of their past or dishonest. I realize that every choice, every step left it's mark and remove one single moment and I change who I am today. I understand that. I accept that. But I regret the hurt I caused along the way. Most times it was unnecessary--simply me being selfish and self destructive. Remove that and I'm still who I am but there are others who may have one or two less scars. I'd be more at peace that way. Then again, maybe not. Those regrets make me sensitive to hurting others--make me stop and think before I speak sometimes, quick to apologize when I don't.

On a Sunday morning sidewalk,
I'm wishing, Lord, that I was stoned.
'Cause there's something in a Sunday
That makes a body feel alone.
And there's nothing short a' dying
That's half as lonesome as the sound
Of the sleeping city sidewalk
And Sunday morning coming down.

The song will always remind me of the dark. And why I chose the light. Again.


The greatest songs transcend generations and make themselves relevant in any age...Kris Kristofferson and the Foo Fighters (this one's for you, Sammy)...

Monday, February 15, 2010

story people...

I don't remember when, exactly, I was first introduced to "The Story People"...just one of those things I've always known about and enjoyed. This morning, sitting in the examining room with Kyleigh, waiting on the doctor I noticed this one up on their wall and it struck me as one that needed to be shared. We've been doing a lot of different things these days just to keep ourselves from going crazy...
I used to believe my father about everything
but then I had children myself
& now I see how much stuff you make up
just to keep yourself from going crazy.



Friday, February 12, 2010

Today's funny...

Yep. Just about sums up my opinion of this ridiculous, made-up holiday...

Pearls Before Swine

Or maybe I'm just grumpy after sitting there and "aiding" my son with his gazillion valentine's cards for Every. Single. Child. in his school...and his teachers. And our art box is woefully lacking in all things Cute and Heartsy.

Oh, he had big plans...there was going to be Cutting and Drawing and Painting and Glitter and Sparkles...we scrounged up a scrap of red construction paper and cut out big green and white hearts with crinkle scissors, smaller pink and red hearts with holes punched in them...stacked and glued them and called it Done. I managed to stop myself before I slapped on the foam Halloween skeletons...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Green things, peaceful things...

A few Sundays ago we talked about the third day of creation...God created trees and plants. These were 2 and 4 year olds--they weren't interested in the creation vs. evolution, new earth/old earth debates...we just enjoyed talking about what plants we love and what life would be like without them. For our craft that day we planted seeds...miniature sunflowers...and decorated the cup pots with plant stickers.

Somehow, all of my houseplants seem to be thriving this year...the African Violet, which I've had for years, goes through phases and right now is in a blooming one... the Green Leaf plant (no idea what it is but it has also been around for years) loves the window...and now our two little sunflowers are growing. All serve to remind us that, despite the snow blowing sideways out the window, spring will come, the sun will shine...

See...sunshine already...


Edited to add... Heart Leaf Philodendron...gosh, Google is a cool thing--all I did was type in "green leaf plant" and there ya go!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow daze...

I don't mean to continue to whine about the weather...really not whining, merely pointing out that this isn't Normal. Though it may now be the New Normal.

The winters I lived in Minneapolis, this was nothing...and everyone knew how to function in it. The infrastructure was in place to clear the roads and snow all winter was simply a part of life. Not so here. Though I have to say that local government seems to be dealing with this month's storms way better and more efficient than the December storm. Yes, we are teachable! However, we still haven't managed to acquire a snow shovel. Maybe put that on the shopping list for this weekend? If anyone has them in stock.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

For all you bakers...

Like I told Chef Tess...not sure my long suffering husband can handle another something bubbling away in the 'fridge, but her Everlasting Potato Starter intrigued me. I love science. I love new ways to do things. And this combines that with my love of baking. So...go check it out. And while you're there, leave a comment since she's also giving away a set of kitchen scales. And if you've never visited her blog, be sure to spend some time exploring.

In other news...still snowed in. Still nursing a sick little girlie. Still facing looming ad deadlines...

Friday, February 5, 2010

When re-enforcements can't come to you...

...then you find your way to re-enforcements.

Weekend forecast...Not Sunny. Lots of that cold white stuff...again. Husband working
all weekend...again. What's a Mama Llama to do?

Load everybody up in the 4x4, pile in the Legos, blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, books, movies and kiddo snacks and head out to find grandparents.

Of course, they live west of us. West being closer to the mountains. Over the line on the radar screen that was dividing the 10-20 inches of snow and the mere 5-8 inches...though, honestly, does it matter? So, yes, I loaded up my children and headed straight into the snow storm. Insane? Maybe. But genius insane.


Because Kokoo made pancakes for everyone this morning. And Babu exercised his culinary skills with baked tilapia for supper. And in between there was play time with both...coloring, mass Lego construction, reading, puzzles...

and best of all...sledding, sledding and more sledding.

Now...little ones are snoozing the deep snooze of little ones who have played hard all day. And I'm looking up the weather for tomorrow which basically is saying second verse, same as the first.

Even though we've all missed Sean and most likely won't see him for a couple more days, I'm not faced with the stressful knowledge of being snowed in and horribly outnumbered. And then, when we're all back together we can be together without one of us (me) venting on the other (him) and pissing the other one (him) off. We've tried being married that way and it didn't work out so well. I think that's what this whole "happily ever after" crap is about...the flexibility and the ability to say, "Yes, this could be sucky. But I won't let it. So there. Go be sucky somewhere else."

And that probably explains why I was advised to forgo the psychology major...apparently I already knew all of the highly technical terms and they realized they had nothing more to teach me.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A challenge in brevity...

Today on NPR they asked a fascinating questions...can you tell your life story in exactly six words?

So, can you? It's not a very simple task...as my sister noted, "No matter what I came up with--there were important facets neglected."

My six word memoir?

And then there was light...again.

What would be yours?