Thursday, April 28, 2016


She’s fifteen.

Though it feels like just yesterday she was that chubby little bundle that slept like a turtle.  I remember noticing the day we brought her home from the hospital the lilac bush had come into bloom while we were gone.  This Saturday, our lilac bush was coming into bloom once again.

I have the words to fill hundreds of notebooks on this girl, with all her struggles, her accomplishments, her quirks, her downfalls.

Did I ever imagine who she would become?  I know I must have, but right now it is all so about whom she is becoming that I don’t remember what I wished for. 
My stubborn girl, who won’t do something if she doesn’t want to, has NEVER gone along with the crowd, who prefers the company of two friends she has kept from elementary school  to a gaggle of girls, who has never bought into the drama and always speaks her opinion loud and proud.

The girl who talks about anything and everything out loud to the embarrassment of her sister, the one who leaves banana peels and yogurt containers lying around the house, tidiness is not one of her virtues, you can follow her trail anywhere. The quiet one, who doesn’t talk just to fill a void.

This firstborn, the one who was filled with anxiety, always in distress through the hardest years of our lives, the one whose stomach has never been right.  She, the one, who bore the brunt of my learning to deal with hormones and attitude, who had her phone taken away far more often than her sister and who had to deal with the terror of her mother’s screaming at a situation where she felt out of control.
The one who so often opts out of the system, never typical, always I look forward to what she will do next.  She, the one who opted out of school and has taken over her own learning, who finally found confidence in Math, who with this time is discovering and exploring her passions.  The blooming feminist who cannot stand what is unfair.

The girl who at ten was doing her own makeup , not like I did, but with perfect subtlety so that I couldn’t say, no you are not walking out of the house like that.  She is the girl who can take five random items out of her closet and look smashing, who designed outfits for her dolls out of napkins and fabric scraps, who sits at the computer for hours not playing the game, but designing the hair, makeup  and clothes for her characters.

She is and always will be the little chick under my wing, needing hugs and time close together, my girl who I can snuggle and talk with for an hour before bed, the one who hated to apologize but who would leave notes on my pillow.  She is not afraid to still love her Mom and she makes me laugh so hard sometimes I think I will wreck the car.

I love her so, couldn’t imagine my life without her, and really I can’t wait to watch her, to guide her to the fantastic things she is yet to become.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

stepping away from life

My Grandfather moved on from this life last week.  I did no writing here because my time was filled with caring for and from my family.

You see, I have the most incredible family.  I have told several people over the course of the last week if everyone had a family like mine the world would be a better place.  Care taking is something we do well and something I spoke about at the memorial service as being one of the main things both my Grandfather and my Grandmother taught me about.

I've cried a lot of tears knowing how much I will miss him, seeing him walking outside with his favorite outside cat Buddy, sharing bird watching stories, watching him on the tractor outside, sitting on the porch swing.

But I'm not sad for him.  He lived a long (almost 90 years) and full life and was ready for what was to come.  I'm sad for my Grandmother who is alone after a marriage of 70 years.  I am sad for my thirteen year old daughter who is feeling it very deeply.  I'm not quite sad for me, though it keeps tapping me on the shoulder in odd places.  I dream nightly about death in some form.

I just want to continue to live my life in a way that would make him proud and I want more than anything to take care of my Grandmother.  Last week I spent more time at her house than my own, returning home did not feel right and back up the path I would go.

I had no obligations last week other than being and caring for my family around me, work, school, even cooking were put to the side.  Though it was very difficult, it was the most contented I have ever felt.  Now, as reality sets back in, I feel the crush return. Back to work, back to school, back to the daily business of life and I long to step back to last week when all was needed was loving care.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

the search for quiet

This house (the real one that is) is anything but quiet these days.  Two teenage girls will do that.  In all actuality there is never any quiet in this house, I go to bed earlier than the girls now, and peace, well, that is a thing of days gone past.  Nothing outrageous, just, you know, hormones.  I find myself craving peace even more now, yearning for quiet spaces.

I had considered doing a silent retreat.  Just for a weekend.  Oh, wouldn't that be nice, just some time alone with a few books on St. Francis of Assisi and no one to have to talk too.  I even researched and found a little place not too far away here in Maryland, with rooms or a hermitage.  Then I got a new litter of foster kittens, and oh well, there goes that idea.

My father bought one of those little Amish made sheds for his backyard.  I stopped to see him and went for a look.  I opened the door and stepped inside and oh my, I thought I could stay in here.  Its bare bones., just wood braces and a rough floor, but there was a window on one end and my delight when I found it even opened.  Oh how I wanted one so bad in that moment.  A little shed in the backyard with a window that faced the woods.  A  hideaway, an escape, a little writing cottage, don’t all the best writers have those.  Just a little place to step away from the opinions, the noise, the demands.  Then I feared I might not leave it and the girls would have to wander out to ask me if I was coming back.

I know that the day is coming soon that this house will be too quiet.  When it will just be the cats to keep me company.  I imagine I will be yearning then for the return of talking and laughter and even the occasional slam of a door. 

Being present is what matters most I guess, and finding peace in the midst of the chaos.  Yesterday I began yoga again and daily prayer.  I've been lapsing and I guess it's showing in my frayed nerves and the recurring panic attacks.

I cannot afford the little shed.  There are other needs, braces, glasses, a new car.  But I am tucking it away in the back of my mind for one day.  I am seriously contemplating it.

Monday, March 7, 2016

just now: march.seventh.sixteen

current time: moments before I should be leaving for work

in my belly:   Lady Gray tea in a Panera cup from yesterday

out the window:  a bit of frost, that will disappear very soon

in my ears:  woke up with “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie in my head

by my bedside:  “John The Baptizer” by Brooks Hansen.  I’ve been working through this one for a while.  It’s in novel form and a lot to work through, but someone I’ve been wanting to know more about.

watching:  don’t spoil me, I’m watching the finale of Downton tonight.

wishing:  I could be home more, weekends are a flirt, going so fast and leaving me satisfied but longing for more.

feeling:   appreciative of the coming Spring

learning:  how to put together lesson plans for Em now that she is homeschooling

good things:  hot tea in the morning, spending a weekend morning out with Em, when K comes into my bed in the middle of the night, being so close to help my Grandmother when she needs me, the olive bar at the grocery, my new fluffy pillows

the love list:

want to see The Man Who Knew Infinity, love Dev Patel
there’s a jellyfish cam,
this word: psithurism
I made this so incredibly easy cake this weekend
cute kitten overload

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

the curse of the infp

my heart hurts from all this

talking, talking, talking 

is anyone actually


to what anyone else is saying


I feel like I'm giving up on the world.  I'm watching the way the people around me treat each other. I'm watching my Facebook feed fill with opinions, opinions, opinions that are treated like pure fact.   I'm watching the utter nonsense that gets spoken about who will get elected and why and why not and can't we all just get along.

It just keeps getting louder and louder and louder and people keep getting meaner and meaner and meaner and suddenly everything that everyone does is wrong, not good enough, to be shamed.

It’s hard to be the feeling one
It’s hard to be the empath, the perceiver
The sensitive one,
who cares too damn much

Please, I just need a still small space full of kindness and quiet, just for me. Right now, before my heart explodes.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

swift scenes-the forest

{photo from Pinterest, no source listed}

The forest was old.  It knew many secrets.  Secrets that it guarded, given to it by the Creator.  The forest as it grew learned the keys to this world.  It knew what was needed to thrive.  The forest had passed many hundreds of years standing strong and protecting itself and its creation from what passed it by.

The forest was sacred.  As the land around it was taken, through need, through exploration, through progress, the forest remained.  As if some great force was protecting it, it continued its calling.  Its purpose.  The forest housed life, from the long buried earthworms, the most diminutive of insects that crawled across its roots, to the animals that sought refuge inside the sturdiest of trunks and the birds that flew among its guarded canopy. 

The forest was a sanctuary.  Created from all that was good, it grew in its own time and at its own pace.  Life flourished.  Native flowers blossomed unhindered.  The shaded ferns unfurling themselves each year.  The branches lay dormant but each spring flourished in a vibrant green that burst forth in new hope and thrived until the period of decline came, itself so beautiful, heralding a last glorious brilliance of color before coating the soil in a blanket of detritus that would serve it in its rest and retreat the following winter.

Any living thing that came to the forest thrived.  Plant, animal, even human.  Humans were a rare sight in a forest this deep.  The few humans that did venture to the forest left different than when they came.  The ones that came to the forest had open hearts.  They felt a longing to something more primal, some draw to the nature of things, some grasp of the understanding that there is more to what is seen on the surface of things.  The things the forest knew but could not teach, only provide.