Dear Tirzah,

Remember to breathe. There are two sides to every story, every situation & every circumstance…don’t choose sides, gain perspective. You aren’t a bad person no matter who tells you otherwise. You are capable of great love, immense happiness and worthy of complete devotion. You will be surprised when you realize that your love is not disposable.

Life will fall into place when it’s supposed to. Love the job you choose, don’t settle for less than you deserve. Delete the old bucket list and start a new one that is full of all the wonderful places you want to go, and the things that you want to be part of. Forget your past transgressions and forgive those who have hurt or offended you over the years.

Cherish your family and friends, loving each and every one with abandon. Face your fears. Speak your mind. Quit being passive. Ask questions. Ponder answers. Live your full potential. Stop getting down on yourself, it doesn’t help progression. Don’t be afraid to hurt. Don’t be afraid to love. Confide in your friends. Write more letters.

Savor each moment. Listen to music that soothes your soul and fuels your passion. Sing with the windows rolled down. Take more pictures. Read books that challenge your mind and strengthen your understanding. Keep moving forward, don’t get complacent. Remember what you’ve overcome and where you want to be. Let your guard down. Keep your head on straight. Make mistakes and apologize when necessary.

Be happy. Be yourself. Be genuine.

Paving The Way With Good Intentions

Looking back over some of my writing from the last few years, it struck me that we never truly know where we are headed in life. Old posts that touch on what love should feel like, what passion should look like, what commitment must be like…it’s all relative to the situation. Take for instance thinking you’ve found your soul mate, when really what you found were the guts to share you feelings with this person, but it never amounted to anything more than that.

Life is constantly in motion; it’s always moving us along, creating new paths and new obstacles to show us that we can overcome our fears and our demons. So many times I thought I knew what the hell I was doing, but what I was doing was simply moving forward. Gingerly paving my way with good intentions filled with friendships, lessons, loss, love, greed, persistence.

What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it, all the rest are not only useless, but disastrous.

Thomas Merton

Would you like to hear about what pisses me off? Or at least what pissed me off today.

I’m sure you do. In fact you can’t wait for just the teeniest morsel of pissedoffishness!

So here it is…

I had to call DSHS this morning in order to complete my eligibility review. Even though the automated system kept hanging up on me because “all circuits are busy, please call back later,” I was diligent and proceeded with good ol rapid fire redialing. I got smart and wrote down all the prompts and finally made it through to the queue where I was told my approximate wait time would be 27 minutes. I knew right then that it was bullshit. I called last week (too early for September reviews apparently) and sat on hold for TWO hours only to be told that the earliest I could call in and have a review would be August 26th, which is clearly today.

So I sat on hold…..doodled and drank coffee, tortured the cat, played with my son, played a game on my Kindle, sent copious amounts of email, checked Facebook and grew more and more impatient.

Pet me, you worthless human!

Pet me, you worthless human!

Finally, after 1 hour and 4 minutes, I was on the phone with a woman who sounded like she could have had a laptop perched on her legs while she was in the bathroom taking a shit. You know that sound…echoey and stark. She verified my address, family size and the amount of child support I was supposed to be receiving and then she typed up a bunch of junk for the next 4 minutes, told me I was good to go for another year and that was that.

Seriously?! You had ALL of that information plus every other detail of my life in the plethora of forms that I submitted…what is the purpose of making me sit on hold for so damn long?!

I know, I shouldn’t bitch about it, but you know what? IT PISSES ME OFF!

Over The Weekend

The weekend started out relaxing with movies and popcorn, until Saturday rolled around and shit got real. Aside from some general weeding (don’t even get me started on just how much needs to be done around here!), we decided to cut down a tree in the front yard. I don’t remember what kind of tree is was, but the stump of it is now hidden under that fake boulder on the other side of the sidewalk. I think I swept the sidewalk 3 times yesterday, between gravel, moss, branches and whatever-kind-of-tree-that-was needles. It looks significantly better out there without that fat thing hogging up the sidewalk.
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Then we painted the garden gate red. Well, to be honest, we painted this side, then ran out of spray paint and finished it today. Spray paint is awesome to use, but it’s bullshit to pay for considering the amount you get (or don’t get) in a can. Isn’t it pretty though? 

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Here’s a very non-professional shot of the garden. I was too lazy to take the picture from a good angle, but you get the idea. Raised beds, straw bales, vegetables and herbs. Your typical garden-variety….garden. Ahem. I planted some cilantro in there today, this means I need to make some salsa and guacamole soon!

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Aren’t those asiatic lily’s beautiful? We thought so too! We prettied them up a little with upside down tomato cages. Fancy, ain’t we! After a trip to town, planting and filling in the beds with bark, we decided to take another trip to Home Depot to buy some calla lily’s for the other side of the garden entrance. I didn’t take any pictures of those though, because I’m a lazy bastard. Also, because I wasn’t planning on blogging or anything. I mean, it’s been like….2 years or something since my last blog. Is there some kind of group I need to join for neglecting my blog? It wouldn’t surprise me if one of those did exist. Now I’m gonna have to Google that. Dammit anyhow.

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Where I’m From

I am from a place where kids stay out after the streetlights come on, from crackers and Easy Cheese and butter smothered popcorn.

I am from the country…a two-story house, water from a well and acres of land.  I am from honeysuckle and buttercups, scotch broom and thistle.  I am from bales of hay and saddles.  I am from tire swings and slip-n-slides, from wedges of watermelon and bike rides without helmets.  I am from sunburns and jelly shoes, from apple trees and snow boots.  I am from animal lovers and rescuers, from garden grown vegetables and home canned fruit.

I am from Lundquist, McDougall and Fahey, from card games and Super Bowl parties, from 50 cent pieces and scratchy beards.  I am from blue eyes and olive skin, from rules and consequences.  I am from lemon drops and cups of tea.  I am from banana milkshakes and late night conversations.  I am from educators and enforcers, from salesmen and laborers. I am from stubborn and meek, from passive and proactive.  I am from submarines and ships, from newspapers and books.

I am from the fort under the card table and the branch on the big tree in the front yard.  From record players and eight-track cassettes, from Polariods and negatives.  I am from bowling alleys and virgin Shirley Temples, from truck beds and swimming pools.  I am from bleachers indoor and out, from band and volleyball, from music and art.

From Strawberry Shortcake pillows, a canopy bed and albums full of Garbage Pail Kids, from Cabbage Patch Kids and Care Bears.  I am from Saturday morning cartoons and heaped bowls of Golden Grahams.  I am from family road trips and The Bodyguard soundtrack.  I am from emergency room visits and a broken arm, from aunts, uncles and cousins.  I am from wood cutting with Grandpa and dessert baking with Grannie.  I am from yarn and handmade afghans, from fabric and sewing machines.

I am from The Holy Trinity, The Torah, confusion, spirituality.

I’m from the Bear Festival, The Evergreen State and The Muddy Banks of the Wishkah.  From the ocean, blueberry bushes, homemade jam and pillowcases full of Halloween candy.  From the catchy jingles at Christmas time, the tar from the middle of the street, and the dad I finally had the courage to contact.

I am from nicotine outlined frames on the living room wall, scrapbooks and wallets with picture inserts.  I am from yearbooks and wedding pictures, from grade school stories and awards and ceramic handprints.

Me & Grandpa, 1981-82ish

Honesty

Yesterday, while getting ready for a shower, one of my daughters asked me “Why did you and dad split up?”  I was taken aback some since it’s been close to 3 years since we’ve split.  I asked her to repeat the question and was of course asked the same… “Why did you and dad split up?”

I had a few choices.  I could play the victim, I could play the pissed off and bitter parent, I could change the subject or I could face it head on.  I chose to face it.  Before you get judgmental on me and think that I haven’t yet talked to my children about this period in my life, let me assure you, it’s been talked about.  Now that my daughter is a little bit older and more understanding, I’m assuming she just wants to process this for herself which is perfectly healthy and okay with me.  While my mind raced a mile a minute, the words gingerly came out of my mouth, “Your dad just…he just decided that he wanted to go out and see the world…and see what else there was out there.”  She then asked if we’d been fighting a lot or arguing during that time.  I told her “No, we weren’t fighting, sometimes things like this just happen.”  She pressed on, “And you were okay with that?” to which I replied, “No, I wasn’t okay with it, but I wasn’t going to make him stay somewhere that he didn’t want to be…”

That was the extent of our conversation about splitting up with her father.  She knows that I care for him and wish him well, but she has also been able to see that life moved on when things didn’t go my way.

Sometimes my kids surprise me with the questions and topics they bring up, who knows what will be next. :]

Squeaky Toy

That’s what I sound like these days.  Thanks to having 3 kids in public school, I get my fair share of sickness.  The germy little turds, you’d think I was out licking shopping carts all day long.  On the plus side, the weather has been trying to decide whether or not to show us any promising signs of an upcoming summer.  Today it was nice enough to dig the lawn furniture pads out of the attic and get them all tied on and neatly arranged on the patio.  I know better than to think it will last since the patio is where the girls love to plug in their Barbie radio and bust a move.

To the 2 of you that read this, I’m sorry I have been neglecting you with my boring stories.  I guess I’ve been a little preoccupied with writing “real” letters.  You know, the kind that you actually write with a pen and then with the purchase of a stamp, the postal service transports for you?!  That kind!  I’ve loved getting back in touch with a notebook and taking the time to write out my thoughts and sending them away.  It’s been therapeutic for me, I should take the time more often to do that for myself.   That being said, I can’t wait until May 22!!!!  Should I go see him or should I wait for him to come see me?!  Decisions, decisions…  It’s too bad we can’t meet in the middle and just stay there for a good long while.  *sigh*

I just took a little break to order some prints from Snapfish.  They keep sending me reminders that I have some freebies to use, so I figured I might as well do it right now while I was thinking about it.  Free always seems to cost something these days…next time I’ll print at Wal-Mart then go pick them up (which is what I normally do anyhow).  It was only $3.79 for 46 prints, so I shouldn’t complain, but I will anyhow.  That’s just how I roll.

It’s getting late and I’ve been going to bed early-ish lately because of this ass kickin’ cold.  Sorry to bail, but guhnight y’all!