Sunday, August 31, 2014

Positivity Challenge, Day 2

1. Quiet Sunday mornings.

2. Coffee

3. A good night's sleep.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

While We're Both Still Breathing

It continues to astonish me that you, who professes to having moved on to create a better 2.0 version of yourself, who is grateful for the blessing of forgiveness from others, who is described by others as being generous and kind, is so unwilling to extend the benefit of those very qualities to me. Maybe I just don't want to believe, particularly after having established a brainy, humorous, lexophilic connection, that all you were interested in was a little uncomplicated, casual, out of town sex. Even though I expressed to you before we were intimate that I don't do the friends-with-benefits or the casual thing. It's never worked out well because I become attached. I even described to you how I meticulously go about choosing a partner for what I term scratch-the-itch sex and how even that can go badly, especially if I don't follow my self-imposed rules for that activity. You were amused while you massaged my feet. The next day we agreed that this was something we both definitely wanted to do again. That was months ago. In the intervening time, misunderstanding ensued. You didn't give me an opportunity for explanation, preferably face to face. You hurt my feelings and I reacted. Because what happened between us before we met as well as during the brief time we were together, you mean something to me. I have reached out in every way possible to no avail. You seem rigid in your resolve to ignore me, even to project the impression that we never met. Did you have the right to change your mind about me? Yes. The very least you owed me was to man up and have the courage to tell me you weren't interested in seeing me again. I remain grateful that you didn't use the old saw, let's just be friends. I've worked my way through all the stages. I'm doing my best to accept the way things have turned out without asking why. Because it's likely I'll never know why. The thing is, looking back I would still drive four hours through frozen rutted slush to meet you knowing it would end this way. And even today, because it's so rare to meet someone I connect with on so many levels, I would meet you anywhere just to look into your eyes again. For an hour over a beverage to sort it out. This desire paints me as neither weak nor foolish nor desperate. But as a believer in what could be, a sucker for romance, and a woman who trusts that Trent 2.0 is a work in progress.

Ac·cen·tu·ate the Positive

So I've been following my friend Sara's Positivity Challenge on Facebook. And enjoying it for a number of reasons besides the obvious and welcome break from all manner of people dumping buckets of ice water over their heads. Today she nominated me to take up the challenge, which is terribly simple but at the same time gives you pause to contemplate. All I have to do is list three positive things in my life each day for a week and nominate three other friends to do the same. This is a good thing. I have been feeling like I'm in a bit of a limbo-like slump the past few days so a thoughtful exercise in positive thinking may be just the thing I need to pull me from the shadows into the light.

Positivity Challenge, Day 1

1. Being a mom is the first, best thing in my life. I think I came to a complete understanding of love when I held my newborn sons for the first time.

2. Grateful for my sisters Martine and Pam.

3. So fortunate to have wonderful friends who shore me up, make me laugh, and tolerate me when I'm a pain in the ass!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

This Is So Me....

Do them with great enthusiasm. And love. And fearlessly.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Oh, The Shame!

Um, so, yeah, the stairwell remains Christmas decorated. Since I shall commence with putting up the holiday frou-frou in approximately three months, it seems counterproductive to haul in the ladder to take it down at this point. Works for me.


Here it is, the end of August, and there haven't been nearly enough hammock afternoons this summer. Mostly rain and bugs, specifically mosquitoes, have been responsible for this dearth of naps and/or beers in the hammock. And, yes, thank you, today's was most enjoyable.

Nothing Messy About It

Otherworldly! Or, more appropriately, other sky-ly. Read the story here. I feel a special connection to the Orion Constellation, aka Messier 42. It's the namesake for my firstborn. A self fulfilling prophecy sort of thing. And, yes, it works. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Lego Longing

Seems this set was a limited edition, not an addition to their regular line-up. Which means it has already sold out. And, sadly, that one of them was not sold to me. Lego executives! Listen to me! I want one of these Lego female scientist building sets! And while you're at putting it into regular production, create a way cool limited edition featuring a Lego female mad scientist, ala Frankenstein or Dr. Jekyll, or even better, Pauley Perrette's forensic specialist, Abby, from tv's NCIS. I want this Lego set even more than I want music videos to return to MTV! As Captain Picard would say, make it so!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Uff Da

The eighty percent humidity has defeated me. I have closed up the house and turned on the air conditioning. But I held out until August 22nd! Grandma Esther would be proud of my frugality. Then again, in her later years, she would have been wearing a sweater and running a humidifier this time of year. I think mostly because it had irritated my mother, her daughter at one time. Guess who I get my stubborn nature from.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ten Things About The Fisher King

1. Terry Gilliam is a genius.

2. The story line of redemption is both captivating and uplifting.

3. Incorporate any aspect of the Arthurian Legend and you have me.

4. Absolutely brilliant casting! Robin Williams (nominated for the best actor Academy Award), Jeff Bridges, Mercedes Ruhl (won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress), Amanda Plummer all turn in terrific performances.

5. It has a castle!

6. The waltz scene in Grand Central Station.

7. Parry (Robin Williams) is so right on with the subject of bowel movements.

8. It is quite clear that Parry wishes to laminate Lydia's (Amanda Plummer) Video Spot! membership card.

9. Jack (Jeff Bridges) altering Parry's hand-me-down suit with a stapler is funny and adorable.

10. Watch for the inimitable Tom Waits in an uncredited cameo as the wheelchair bound homeless man in the Grand Central Station scene.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

It's Just So Damn Permanent

I've had suicide on my mind. As in thinking about it as a phenomenon, not committing it. And the thought I can't shake is this. Suicide is the ultimate act of selfishness. Not judging here, just observing. And it seems to me that those who are considering offing themselves have got to be suffering with unbearable pain. Because should they go through with their plans they leave innumerable unanswered and unanswerable questions. They leave behind people who loved them. People who helped them through difficult times. And one of those people will likely have the misfortune and agony of finding the body. I don't have a solution. Not even a suggestion or a bit of advice. Just sad over the loss of so many individuals who couldn't find enough light to hang on for one more day. Which makes me grateful for the rays of light in my own life. For the things that I find joy in. And for whatever optimism or stubborn streak I possess that tells me I will not go quietly. Can I exit gracefully even if I'm kicking and screaming? Let's be kind, as Plato admonishes us, for everyone we meet is fighting a great battle.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Second Song This Sunday

Sadly, July's entertainment budget was depleted when I found out Jason Isbell was playing in Sioux Falls. This is the song that made me want to see him in concert. I echo the sentiment. 

Seize This Sunday

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Ten Things About Today

1. Amelia cut my hair this morning. I love when Amelia cuts my hair.

2. Getting ready for a rummage sale is a royal pain in the ass.

3. It rained off and on for most of the day.

4. In reference to item #3, this means that Reid still hasn't mown the lawn.

5. I am in total and absolute agreement with Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess, that the plural form of fox ought to be foxen.

6. In reference to item #2, the pain in the ass is tolerable because of the cash that sort of appears out of nowhere and because I get to hang with girlfriends in the process.

7. Tami came over with a kickass bottle of pinot grigio. We wiped the rainfall off the deck furniture and enjoyed a glass or two.

8. Karen has the most gorgeous grandchildren. I say this with utter confidence despite the fact that I have yet to meet grandchild number three who is just over a week old.

9. I seriously need a serious guyfriend before empty-nest syndrome truly sets in. It is simply a little too quiet here tonight.

10. It is unfortunate that the just-past-full moon has occurred at the peak of the Perseid meteor shower. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Golf Explained

Let's laugh so hard that it hurts. Because that was his gift to all of us.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Thank You, Mr. Williams

Last night around this time Reid emerged from his basement lair to announce that Robin Williams had died. Yeah, his online bio is already past tense. It hardly seems possible. Twenty-four hours later, after seemingly constant news updates and reading several articles about his life and career, it still doesn't seem real. Suicide always leaves so many impossible to answer questions. I can only imagine the anguish and pain that caused this celebrated, remarkably talented, uniquely funny man to take his own life. If I'm overly sad over the death of someone I never met I expect I have a great deal of company. Robin Williams possessed an everyman quality that made him come across from the screen in such a personal way. It made him believable and accessible. I wonder what made him laugh in the way he made us laugh. And for me, that was face down on the table, weeping and snorting. 

Monday, August 11, 2014


The poem in today's Writer's Almanac is wonderful. I've always felt that saying a marriage has failed when a divorce ensues is oversimplification at best, judgement at worst. And my fave advice columnist, Carolyn Hax, has this to say about gender labels:

Are boys with flower gardens only part boy, and female athletes part girl? "Boy" and "girl" labels belong on lavatory doors, not on the choices kids make.

Monday is off to a good start. So much so that I question whether this is Monday at all.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Out for a MoonTan

Pardon me while I go outside and howl at the supermoon. And engage in pareidolia. Simply put, I'll be looking for the man in the moon. We like to see faces even if they're not actually there. Personally, I've never perceived a face on our satellite. But there's no harm in looking.


Today's Sunday crossword? Kind of a mess. Lots of over-writes. Because I do it in ink. With two errors. Last Sunday's was perfect. Which is why you get to see it. I find that photo evidence is necessary for showing something well done. Especially if I'm alone when I accomplish something great. Generally when I goof up there are witnesses around. This page is hanging on the fridge if you should wish to drop by and examine it for authenticity. Today's is going into the recycle bin.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Miss Abi Turns Three

Happy, happy day to KangaAbi! The too adorable outfit courtesy of her uncle KangaTigh. I want one of these in my size. In pink. I still fervently believe in Santa Claus. 

Fox in the Henhouse

We are an inclusive group. What started out as a loosely organized band of women has grown to include those who don't fit into the original unintentional inception. In the beginning the thing all of us had in common was divorce. Specifically, divorce that had left us excluded from the social circles of our marriages. We were outsiders. And worse, this is a small town, small-minded in many ways. And even though we all have friends outside of this group, it was great to have found each other. There was an immediate understanding of what it was like to be marginalized, maligned even. We were pariahs! And we were proud of it. We filled the empty spaces for each other and supported each other. There have been the occasional petty squabbles but for the most part we get along well. We know from experience that apology, forgiveness and kindness bind us together. And none of us saw a potential problem when about a year ago we welcomed a divorced man into our ranks. After all, it's not like we vote on it or have a formal ceremony to solemnize membership. It's more about showing up, feeling a sense of belonging and comradery, and returning. Let's call the man in question Y. Y joins us for drinks, dinners out, outings to take in music, birthday celebrations and is included in spontaneous get-togethers. He even hosts occasionally! He really seems to fit in with us girls. Life goes on. But wait. Over time it becomes apparent that something is askew. The group dynamic has changed, but not in a way any of us can put our finger on or give voice to. Just as the word implies, dynamic means mutable, so there are ongoing shifts and changes all the time among us and between us. This was different, though. Insidious and ultimately harmful. At this point I must admit I don't know the inner workings of Y's brain and must give him the benefit of the doubt. I can't say with any certainty that Y had an ulterior motive in gaining access to our circle. Only he would know that. Just the same, an unspoken rule had been violated. That's the problem with unspoken rules. They're unspoken. In defense of our assuming no need to speak up and make obvious this rule, such a rule was not necessary in a group of hetero women! Thou shalt not hit on nor make amorous moves toward nor make such amorous intentions known regarding members of the group. We are not fair game for you! The problem is that he has systematically made overtures toward or made it necessary for each of us to establish boundaries with him. Which in itself isn't so bad. Personally I am a fan of, and actively practice a principle I call not leaving what-ifs dangling. I like clarity. I like to know for sure if I'm reading the signs correctly. Maybe it's inevitable that a man among women will attempt scoring with them even if the signs aren't there. The problem is that it feels like opportunism, and opportunism isn't a concept you should apply to friends. It would be different had mutual feelings arisen and grown between Y and one of us girls. But that wasn't the case. And now he's pouting over us not feeling comfortable with, and subsequently canceling, an overnight road trip. Sadly, many of us are feeling the need to take a little break from this man in our midst. We are the excluded, not the excluders, this isn't how we operate. The reality is that Y is now regarded as an interloper who has become territorial over the space he was welcomed into. And I think we all need some time to consider what that means, individually and as a group.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Barbie Car!!!

Yes, I still love my Outback. But, please! This is the Volkswagon Barbie edition convertible! I got to touch it at the Mall of America last month. I wanted to get inside and roll around but those darn security people are, like, everywhere. There are even pink engine parts! I pine for the opportunity to test drive it. 

New Favorite Word

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Unwise Whys

Man, this fork in the road looks familiar. The emotional side of my brain is asking a multiplicity of most likely unanswerable whys. Why, why, why? Like a five year old hopped up on Twizzlers and glazed donuts. When I know that I need to listen to the rational side of my brain. Which is saying, quietly but firmly, you may never know why. Never. And you must accept this. If you do receive an answer to these plaintive queries, it will arrive only in a moment of peace, never when you are in the midst of turmoil. True understanding follows acceptance, not insistence. I need some stillness. I need some quiet. Deep breath.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Easily Amused Dept.

It astonishes me that a full three years after my dismissal from the seed lab that I continue to receive confidential emails from the health insurance provider that used to cover me! My password still works! Their informational newsletter that advises me on how to improve my health through lifestyle changes arrives in my inbox without fail! So. Who's minding the store at UnitedHealthcare?

Monday, August 4, 2014

An Even Dozen

I am an avowed town/city girl. Though I occasionally perform a farmish chore. On Friday I was in charge of watering various livestock and the gathering of eggs. First let me say, an up-close, loudly squawking chicken can be a little frightening. But considering that she was in the process of producing the egg in the upper right corner of the carton at the time, I cut her some slack. In fact, I felt admiration for the ole girl. Okay, I was downright impressed. Some of these went into the making of French toast yesterday. Others will go into a lemon tart tomorrow. Eggs. A little miracle that chickens own like nobody's business.


In honor of John Venn's natal day, and heck, because I do adore a cleverer than average Venn diagram. Enjoy. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

It's Universal

Something that happens to all of us. Unless you are that couple who fell in love at first sight as toddlers and never left each others' sides. Does this actually happen? Anyway, I just listened to a repeat of This American Life featuring break-ups as a theme. Sigh. The segment with a nine year old girl talking about her parents' divorce struck me in a tender spot that I am surprised is still there. I am forty years past the first time my own parents split up. It's such a normalized part of my history that I usually give very little thought to it. But hearing Betsy's child voice describing her feelings took me back in time to my own experience of learning that I was about to become a child from a broken home. Broken home. The way I often heard divorce described at that time. I was not surprised to learn that it is more common to be a child who is a survivor of divorce than a child who has not had this experience. My own two children are included in this majority, making it less a statistic and more of a reality, a reality I have personally lived through. My experience as a child did have one positive effect, though. In light of the fact that my own parents' divorce was very disruptive and traumatic, it was of paramount importance to me that my divorce should inflict as little pain as possible on my kids. Making me the generational sandwich filling on the divorce delicatessen menu. My ex and I were grownups and sheltered the boys from the adult business that through no fault of theirs would impact their lives. So that they could continue to be kids. That's how it should be. It's enough that they have weathered their own inevitable break-ups. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

My Tigh

This wasn't yesterday, it's a fave pic of us from four years ago.

Yes, boys and girls, Tigh is back in the neighborhood! Truth be told, he's been on American soil for a couple of weeks already. He was in Seattle and managed to get my elder son to venture out of the house and be social over tasty beverages! The important thing is, he showed up on my front doorstep yesterday and we got to hang out for most of the day! Even more fortuitous is that Brittney is also in town and she joined us for a beer out on Cubby's patio. What an excellent day. 

My Little Badass Sistah!

Aside from being hilarious, the girls in this photo look amazingly like my sister Martine and me! That's right. Freakishly resemble, even. And the age difference is accurate. Plus, Martine can so pull that don't mess with me expression. I'm reminded of the biker gang in the desert confrontation scene from The Gauntlet when Clint Eastwood's character Ben Shockley says that yes, indeedy, he can do what he's doing because he's got this here badge, this here gun, and the love of Jesus in his pretty green eyes. In Martine's doppelganger's case, all she has is the attitude, the properly positioned middle finger, and the pretty green eyes thang. If you ask me, that's all she needs.