Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Union Center Halloween
If only I had a mom like Stacy’s? Stacy’s mom sewed her an awesome costume. Since she started working nights it seems like mom doesn’t help me with anything? Trick-or-treating is tonight and we still don’t know what we’re going to be. At supper Christopher says, “I want to be a pirate!” Mom nods at him and smiles, “Okay.”
When we get done eating, she puts Chris in a pair of black pants and one of her white striped button down shirts. She knots it at the waist. She ties a red bandana over his head and draws a little triangle beard on his chin with make-up. She paints an eye-patch on him, and he’s done.
I still don’t have anything.
“Maybe you could be a hobo?” she asks. “I could help with make-up and you could carry a sack on a stick?”
Thinking of Stacy’s bright dinosaur costume, with its googley eyes and it‘s colorful tail, I fold my arms and tell her.
“I’m not going to be a hobo.”
“Or a ghost,?” she says, emptying three bags of candy into the white popcorn bowl.
“That is so lame.” I shift my feet and cross my arms again.
She runs her hands through the candy, mixing it up.
Chris and I stare at the lollipops, Resee’s cups, and Hershey’s kisses.
“Well, I don’t know what you want to be, but you better figure it out soon.” she says. “You’ve only got another hour.”
She looks at the candy and then at us, “It’s not for you. It’s for the trick-or-treaters. Stay out of it.”
The second she turns her back, me and Chris each grab a Hershey’s Kiss.
Chocolate melts in my mouth and as it glides down my throat I have an idea. I’ll be a Hershey’s kiss! Grabbing a piece of construction paper, a marker and some scissors, I head upstairs to my room. I cut out a long white strip and print KISSES on it, and it looks just like the wrapper in my hand. There, that was easy? Now I just need a little tin foil.
In the kitchen, I sneak the foil out of the cabinet, and head outside through the back porch. My hands are full with my kisses flag and the foil and some more candy that I stole as I walked out. The garage doors slide sideways like barn doors and I lean in to push them open with my shoulder. White chalk rubs off on my shirt from the chipped paint. Once inside I leave the doors open, eat the candy, and then start to wrap the foil all around me.
It isn’t working. My face is getting hot and this stupid foil is just getting all crinkled up? How can I get it to puff out at the bottom? No matter what I do it isn’t right? I hear something and when I glance outside, other kids have already starting trick-or-treating. Ghosts. Hobos. Witches. More pirates, walking up and down the shoulder of Route 26.
Tears start to come and my throat feels tight. Why does nothing ever work out for me?
Suddenly, Dad’s black Chevy pick-up crunches onto the gravel driveway and he parks in front of the garage. He gets out and walks over to me and I wipe my tears fast with the back of my hand. His jeans are brown from dirt. He’s got a dark beard now, and a belly. With his red plaid shirt and his steel toed work boots he looks like a real lumberjack and he’s scowling mean at me.
“What the hell are you doing with all that foil?” he barks.
“I was trying to make a costume. I wanted to be a Hershey’s kiss, but I can’t get it right.” My shoulders slump.
He says nothing and I don‘t know if I‘m in trouble?
Hoping he‘ll feel sorry for me I say, “It’s no use. I’ll just have to be a ghost.”
Dad puts his thumb and pointer on his dark scruffy beard and stands there stroking it, looking at me a while. Then he says, “Wait here a minute. ” He walks across the yard and into the house through the back porch. He didn’t even seem that mad about me wasting the foil?
He comes out with some wire hangars, and a tiny shade from his bedside lamp. With his thick fingers he unwraps the hangars from their tightly coiled necks like it’s nothing and straightens them out into long wire lines.
“What are you doing?” I ask.
“You’ll see.” he says and he winks at me.
I jerk my head back and smile big. Dad isn’t usually a winker?
In no time he’s made a wire frame out of hangars. He puts it over me and it’s kinda like a giant bird cage. I stick my arms out and he wraps the foil around the frame, covering it in smooth shiny silver. It’s the right shape? Puffed out at the bottom and everything!
Dad’s never helped me with anything before and I don’t talk because I don’t want to mess it up.
Next, he takes the lampshade and covers it with foil, making it cone shaped on top. He presses my flag into it and squishes the foil around it to make it stick. He puts it on my head, steps back, and shakes his head.
“That’s not gonna stay.” he grunts.
He searches the dirty greasy shelves of the garage until he finds some duct tape and he tapes the flag onto the foil. He stands back, folds his arms, raises his eyebrows and smiles.
Stepping out of the garage I have to pull one of my arms inside my costume to hold the frame up off the ground. I don’t care though, because I’m a Hershey’s kiss, and not a stupid hobo or a dumb ghost.
Mom and Chris come outside and her mouth opens when she sees me, but no words come out. She looks at Dad, smiles, and shakes her head. She’s looks happy, but kind of sad too. I'm hoping they don’t start fighting and ruin everything.
Dad leans against his truck and talks to mom for a minute. Me and Chris are dancing around the driveway. “Arrgggg!” he says, and I laugh because he isn’t a very scary pirate. Dad gets in his truck, and heads down the road toward the bar and we‘re heading off to trick-or-treat! My stomach drops when I remember I forgot to tell Dad thanks.
At every door, people say,
“Will you look at this? “ or “How clever!” or they’ll call over their shoulder, “Come here, you’ve gotta see this!“
My arm is tired from holding up my costume and it’s hard not to bump into people, but I’m smiling all night because this is the best Halloween ever.
“My Dad helped me make it.” I tell them, like it‘s no big thing.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Natalie Maines, the lead singer said it's a song about her grandmother who suffered from Alzehimers. Emily Robison(the banjo player) and Marti MacGuire(the fiddle player) are sisters. Their grandfather also had Alzheimers.
"And I will try to connect
All the pieces you left
I will carry it on
And let you forget
And I'll remember the years
When your mind was clear
How the laughter and life
Filled up this silent house."
I will never hear Silent House the same way again. Now, I find myself loving it.
It reminds me of a quote which I think can be attributed to Mr. Rogers? I'm paraphrasing here but it says something like: "If you know a person's story, it's impossible not to love them."
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Oh...and before you get those flu shots....please make sure they're thimerisol free. My sources tell me the pediatric doses are now mercury free (not that there's anything wrong with it) but often they take an adult vial (full of thimerisol) and cut the dose so the kid still gets a big old shot of poison. If your kid is three or over they give them the adult vial anyway. Don't stand for it. Mercury is not good for any body. Even yours.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
"You realize what they're playing?" Todd asks.
Fumbling with the coffee maker, I feign interest.
He smiles and says, "Writing workshop."
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
They came fast and furious, one right after the other. Two comments on an old blog post titled Why Autism Sucks: A Parent's Perspective.
“You are so anti-autism!” they cried. “How dare you?”
I had just posted a piece on the many alternative treatments we have used to help our daughter with her sensory processing disorder. People were commenting left and right, "You're such a great mom" and e-mailing asking for information on how to help their own children. I was feeling pretty good?
I published the first comment. It took a few beats for my brain to register what this person was trying to convey? Was this a joke?
It wasn’t a joke.
I deleted the second comment, but was I ever in for an education?
In my quest to share our experience with others, I had offended someone, possibly many.
It never occurred to me not to try to rid her of the debilitating anxiety that holds her back. It never occurred to me not to help her improve her delayed fine and gross motor skills. It never occurred to me not to help her with her sensory bombardment issues or her messed up bowels. I was truly shocked.
Mulling it over and over in my head, I finally was able to ask myself how it might feel, if I were autistic, to come across a mother who is working her butt off to make her kid, “not like me?” My stomach dropped and tears welled in my eyes.
When I was a young reporter in DC, the deaf students at Gaudulet University were up in arms about the new cochlear implants. With fury and hurt in their eyes they held up protest signs telling the world, “We’re okay the way we are!”
In my efforts to help her am I sending Riley a message that I don’t accept her?
My friend Kirby has cerebral palsy. She is also a recovering addict, sober for over 20 years. She is an addictions counselor and a peer on the spiritual path that I travel. Kirby is one of those people who “get” Riley. No need to explain, just total love and acceptance of her. I knew I needed to talk with her about all this.
When I tell her what’s going on she says, “I don’t think you are trying to rid Riley of autism, are you? It’s one of the things that makes her so amazing. She’s so wise, unlike any six year old I’ve ever met? You don’t want to rid her of that, do you?”
I have to think for a second.
Finally I say, “I want to rid her of the anxiety she experiences so that she can get through the day. So that she can share who she is. I want to rid her body of mercury poisoning so that she isn‘t run down and weak. I want her to be healthy, but I don‘t want to change who she is or how she thinks.”
“You’re trying to get rid of the symptoms, not the autism itself.”
“Like my alcoholism. Alcoholism is good, if you aren‘t using. It’s a gift that forces me to seek spiritual growth every single day of my life. There is no way I’d be doing that if not for my addictions.”
I think back a few months, I’m sitting with Riley at the kitchen table, while she eats her favorite snack. A wooden bowl full of peanuts, raisons and pumpkin seeds sits in front of her and she asks,
“Mommy, am I autistic?” The question takes me back, but I shouldn’t have been surprised. She hears everything.
I tell her about autism as best I can.
“Some autistic kids can’t talk. Many are super smart. Most have very sensitive ears. Sometimes they have a hard time because they get overwhelmed.” I list all the things I can think of and then ask her, “What do you think? Are you autistic?”
In true Riley form she takes a long pause and then says, “ I think I’m a little bit autistic.”
Shaking my head, I smile, amazed at this tiny person in front of me.
Since these blog comments a couple of weeks ago, I've been thinking about language and the intention we put behind our wishes. The DVD The Secret does a great job of explaining that what you fight against persists. We should never be “anti” what we don’t want, but “pro” what we do want. I think about our association with DAN! (Defeat Autism Now).
If I’m autistic, even just “a little bit,” do I want to be defeated?
I am a work in progress and I am learning. Many gifts come from it, but autism IS very hard on a child and on their family. Every parent has to make the decisions they feel are best for their children. I don’t believe we would change anything we have done to help our daughter but I am truly sorry that what I’ve written has caused you pain. I will surely be more sensitive and I thank you for opening my mind and my heart to these questions.
Growing up, that was the question always on the tip of my tongue. In the bible stories we learned during Sunday school, God was always telling people something. And I don't mean through the sounds of a babbling brook, the beauty of a flower, or even through the love we feel in our hearts.
I wanted real actual words.
Like He did for Moses.
Well, I never got up the nerve to ask my Sunday school teachers but I'm finally geting my wish. Director Stephen Simon is bringing Conversations With God to the theaters this weekend!
I can hardly wait to hear what God has to say?
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
What if this world is a womb, and we are gestating here, growing ourselves, much like a baby grows in utero? And upon our death, we are "born" into the world of spirit?
We're all just incubating. Stretching. Hiccuping. Kicking. Growing.
I'd have been much more gentle with people (and myself) all this time if I knew we were just little babies?
Monday, October 23, 2006
Last week she officially finished the kindergarten cirriculum.
For kicks today, her teacher gave her the first grade END of the year reading exam.
She aced it. Zero mistakes.
Tomorrow we'll see where the little Einstein stands in math.
She is the coolest.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
I’m rushing around the kitchen, trying to get the rest of her morning in order. Thoughts of a DAN! conference a couple of years ago run through my mind. Riley’s doctor was speaking and she admitted to routinely asking mothers to do what she herself could not accomplish on a given day.
Thank you, Dr. Mumper. I appreciate the acknowledgment.
Riley's supplements require a lot of smashing tablets, opening capsules, drops under the tongue, sprays in the mouth. All day long it's one thing after another. This is what I am doing with my nursing degree.
It's her magnesium she's balking at today. It's the one thing I can’t let her skip. It keeps the constipation at bay and I can’t let her go through what will inevitably happen tomorrow if she misses it.
"Riley, you need to take your magnesium." I snap.
I stop what I’m doing.
"Do you want me to put more honey in it?"
She stops crying long enough to nod.
Seth sits at the table, not touching his breakfast, a glint of defiance in his eye. He’s not going to eat until she does and she’s not allowed to eat until she finishes her supplements. Unspoken solidarity between them.
I squirt a blob of honey onto the peanut butter and mix it up on a plate with her spoon. She takes a tiny bite and starts screaming again.
Dammit Todd. If you can’t crush the tablets into a fine powder, don’t bother doing it at all.
He left for work an hour ago, preparing some of her supplements beforehand to help me get through the morning rush.
Walking to the sink I place my hands on the counter, grounding myself.
She can’t help it. It’s a texture thing. It isn’t her fault.
He was trying to help.
I scoop her peanut butter blob back into the porcelain mortar and with the pecil, I work my frustrations out on the poor unsuspecting magnesium.
Damn you with your crunchy little bits. Damn you all to hell!
Scraping up the now almost liquid concoction, I give the spoon back to Riley. She takes a tiny, tentative bite.
"Okay?" I ask.
She nods, and starts licking it off the spoon.
Sitting down at the table I say, "I’m sorry I got angry."
Between licks she says,
"I’m sorry I freaked out."
I smile because she said, "freaked out."
Seth picks up his banana and starts to eat.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
“Hey, isn’t that the guy from that awful Saved By The Bell show?”
I stop flipping to check it out. He’s dancing.
Sweet Jesus, he can really dance?
Next up, some football dude called Emmit Smith. Maybe Todd would want to know? He’s awesome. Look at him go!
Jerry Springer is dancing? How funny!
I call Todd at work. When he picks up I say,
“Oh noooooo,” Todd laughs.
Our marriage hit its first bump just four days after our wedding because of dancing. There we were on our honeymoon in Jamaica. There was a wild New Year’s Eve celebration going on, and Todd refused to dance. Seems he’d used up all the dancing he could muster at our reception and he was D.O.N.E. done. The music called out to every cell in my body. I felt like a wild animal in a cage.
Later, we sat on a dock, water lapping our feet and I told Todd how sad I had been. That I couldn’t imagine a lifetime of no dancing. Surely it would kill me?
He confided that dancing just didn’t come naturally to him. He felt stupid and self-conscious. He would love to learn. Could we take lessons?
I felt myself exhale. No need for that annulment just yet.
We signed up for Swing Dance lessons and for six weeks we met at the YMCA, learning some basic steps. It was incredibly hard for me to let him lead and I’m not sure I ever really let go all the way.
We started dancing in our kitchen, Todd’s face adorable as he’d try a new move and then look at me expectantly to see if I liked it. I always liked it. What we lack in grace, we make up for with enthusiasm and humor.
One evening, watching television, a commercial with bouncy music came on. Spontaneously, I got up and shook my groove thing for the whole sixty seconds. Todd applauded. Next commercial it was his turn.
Nine years later we still do this. Always trying to surprise the other with new moves. The one on the couch shouting, “Work it! Work it!” to the one dancing.
Early on, we went to see Fosse at the theater, and our repertoire expanded exponentially. I started doing little isolation moves such as standing perfectly still and just rotating a wrist. Todd perfected what he liked to call the "Bye-Bye Blackbird."
“Bye,” he crosses his arms and pats the opposite shoulders.
"Bye," he pats his thighs.
“Blackbird,” he puts his hand to his forehead like he’s adjusting his top hat and turns his head to the side twice.
Writing the above, my mind flashes to me in a hospital bed. They’ve told me my baby is dead. Ten weeks. We're waiting for an operating room so they can go in and take it. It’s all over. Completely out of my control. Yesterday I was pregnant with our first child. Now…I’m not. I’m numb. I can’t even talk. I can no longer cry.
Todd holds my dead hand. He can’t reach me. No one can.
He takes the lead.
He walks to the foot of the bed. Slowly he crosses his arms and pats his hands on his opposite shoulders.
Next he slowly pats his thighs.
Then, ever so gently, he puts his hand to his forehead like he’s adjusting his top hat and turns his head to the side twice.
The dam breaks.
Last night during a commercial in Dancing With the Stars, he roared as I hiked up my shirt and surprised him with an impromptu belly dance.
“Niiiiiiiice,” he said, nodding approvingly.
I took a bow.
Suddenly my latest addiction makes perfect sense.
And I tell ya what? We could give Jerry Springer a run for his money.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
It was sort of a cosmic call to prayer.
Something about the Universe shifting, lining up just so, making October 17th, 2006, a powerful day for manifesting, according to the ancient Mayan calendar.
Today, between the hours of 10:17AM and 1:17AM tomorrow, it is suggested we be very conscious of our thoughts. To think love, prosperity, healing, wealth, kindness, and gratitude.
At 5:10PM it is suggested we find a place in nature and sit there envisioning what we want in our lives and for our planet. Imagine it as if it's already occurred.
The e-mail said to dismiss negative thoughts because they’ll manifest quickly too.
Hmm? ……I was totally planning on doing all that today anyway.
Care to join me?
Monday, October 16, 2006
Sunday, October 15, 2006
In her blog Imperfect Serenity, Eileen Flanagan writes about a group called Combatants for Peace. It is made up of Israeli’s and Palestinians,working together for a non-violent solution to their conflict.
That’s how it's going to happen. The whole a 100th Monkey thing. When enough people reach for peace, it will be there waiting. All we can do is start in our own little corner.
Friday, October 13, 2006
He wrote back with a big, "Huh? Did I read that right?" (I’m paraphrasing here).
We have been so focused on getting to the bottom of this disorder, and on getting our daughter well, that I had almost forgotten the traditional medical community we left in the dust a few years back. I’d almost forgotten that most people don’t know autism is not only treatable but in some cases curable. The sad fact is, most pediatricians can’t even appropriately diagnose autistic spectrum disorders, let alone treat them.
When we first knew something was wrong, we took Riley to be evaluated at a very prestigious medical center in Baltimore. The big-wig doc there said, "Nothing wrong. I think she’s a little clumsy. You’re probably just disappointed she’ll never play sports." He offered to put her on prozac. She was three.
About the ferocious tantrums...our regular pediatrician said, "Tell her she’s making a big deal out of nothing."
Family said, "You have to be more firm with her."
Friends said, "It’s just the terrible twos."
Everyone agreed she was super smart.
Then....Riley got kicked out of preschool.
The child with nothing wrong got kicked out of preschool.
When mainstream medicine can’t help.... you either give up, or you keep looking.
We dug deep. First, we went within. We learned how to change our own perceptions about her. From there, we gathered our strength and started our search.
We took her to an occupational therapist who said, "You daughter is extremely sensory defensive. This is what it might feel like to be her." She went on to explain the hellish sensory bombardment Riley endured every day. I cried tears of sadness for my daughter who had been so misunderstood. Tears of relief because someone finally "got" her. Deep down, I knew my sweet baby was not a brat.
Autistic spectrum disorders are treatable and the further we get from mainstream medicine, the better Riley is doing. Here are the things that have helped us the most.
DAN!- an international group of dedicated medical professionals that are conducting research into the causes of autism and coming up with effective treatments. These doctors have been ostracized by their peers. They have taken significant financial hits to do this work. Many of them are personally affected by having an autistic child in their family. They are so brave to buck the establishment and they are HELPING kids. Riley is on a slew of nutritional supplements, including zinc, magnesium, calcium, folate, multi-vite, etc. Her diet has been cleaned up. She is on a two year regimen with chelation drugs designed to remove heavy metals from her body. (Yes, it is likely that autism is nothing more than heavy metal poisoning and the subsequent damage the metals progressively inflict). See David Kirby’s book, Evidence of Harm, for more info on that.
Note: Not all DAN! doctors are created equal. You might have to do some traveling to get a good one. If they don't listen to you. Drop them.
Methylated Vitamin B-12 injections- This is not the standard B12 vitamin that adults take for anemia. It is different. Methylated B-12 helps bodies deal with oxidative stress. These kids are in a constant state of oxidative stress because their bodies don’t clear toxins efficiently. M-B12 addresses the underlying cause of the problem behaviors. Riley’s anxiety dropped dramatically as a result of these injections which we give at home, every three days. We put numbing cream on before bed, and we give the shot while she’s asleep. The delivery method was Riley’s idea. She didn’t want to feel it and she doesn’t. The needles are tiny. Any parent can do it. Even those who are scared to death at first. Ask Todd. (MB-12 is also helping kids and adults with ADHD, OCD, etc.
Berard Auditory Integration Therapy & Bolles Therapy- This non-invasive therapy was nothing short of a miracle. When Riley was three, we did the Berard program which is ten days of listening to headphones for half an hour, twice a day. Music is filtered through a special machine and it gives the inner ear a workout and somehow rejiggers things in the brain. The effects are lasting. On the fourth day of treatment, the child who woke up every day of her life in a panicked scream rolled over gently and said "Hi Mommy." It’s been three years and she hasn’t woke up screaming since. Her balance improved greatly almost overnight.
This past summer we did a similar auditory therapy, (Bolles) and this one included visual and motor components. Again excellent results with increased motor coordination, and decreased sound sensitivity and anxiety.
Homeopathy- We started homeopathy a month before school and it’s too early to boast significant benefits but the girl is cruising along nicely and we’re not changing anything at this point!
Chiropractor/energy healing- When the 7th unrelated person referred me to this doctor, I finally listened and made appointments for both the kids. His focus is on energy healing and though we haven't been seeing him for very long, I am very impressed with the results, particularly with Seth...(the oft neglected little brother). It's a little "out there" but again...the further "out there" we get, the better my kids seem to be doing.
Visual Training- I’ve long held the believe that there is a visual component to Riley’s puzzle that we've yet to address. She is scared going down stairs, and on playground equipment. She has a hard time with inclines, often resorting to infant like crawling to get up or down a ramp. Another mom told me recently of a doc in Tarrytown, New York who is helping kids on the spectrum with prism lenses and visual therapy. Her 16 year old autistic son stopped toe walking and started making eye contact immediately in this doctor's office. We have an appointment for Riley (and Seth) in January and I am very hopeful to have this piece addressed.
There is also a book called The Explosive Child that has changed the way we deal with our daughter, resulting in a much more peaceful home life. Basic premise..."if you have a child with flexibity issues, it does not help to match their inflexibility with your own." Best book I ever read.
Our daughter is doing incredibly well. My free advice to parents out there would be, keep pressing. The medical community is not designed to admit when they don’t know something or to look off the beaten path. We can’t wait for the big slow machine to do the research. Our kids will be lost if we don’t go after this monster ourselves, now. Trust your intuition.
"If you are going to doubt something, doubt your limits."
- Don Ward
There, Robert....aren’t you glad you asked?
* Check out Robert's blog here.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
It's all true, and it goes like this:
The day you were born, the doctor said, "You have a boy! And he's a good looking little guy!"
Daddy and I were so happy. We laughed and I cried happy and we said, "We have a boy? I can't believe we have a boy?"
I heard you before I saw you. A sweet little gentle cry. It wasn't until I heard you that I knew you were Seth and not any of those other names we considered.
Daddy brought you over to me all bundled up in a blanket. He held you snug in his arms and looked down at you. Smiling, he kept saying softly, "Hi Buddy. Hi Buddy."
Daddy held you toward me so I could kiss you and then he took you for your bath.
When he brought you back to me I held you and looked at your face and kissed you over and over and we were so happy you were here.
You are the icing on the cake of our family. The thing that takes something from ordinary to extra special.
We love you buddy and we're so glad you are here.
Turns out this is all he needed. He went on his happy little way and hasn't given me any trouble since! Why didn't I think of it sooner?
Riley has decided she wants to take violin lessons! They offer them free at school and Riley's teacher says everytime she hears them playing down the hall she begs to go, so here we are, off to the music store to rent a violin this afternoon.
She has a leg up because it's the Suzuki method and she is familiar with all the songs from the piano fiasco of 2005.
God help me be a good mommy around this endeavor. I feel like I'm getting a second chance to do it right!
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
I sit up and peek behind the blind.
I could go out and watch the sunrise over the lake.
I have to be quick.
I throw on layer upon layer; it’s sure to be freezing. Tiptoeing down the steps I’m careful not to wake the other sleeping beauties.
I shut the outside door and then I hear it.
I’d turned the fan on high to drown out the laughter last night, when I went to bed earlier than the rest.
I stand there, shivering. Deciding.
You’ll never have this exact experience again.
Step off the deck.
The rain is big cold heavy drops on my head and it’s kind of funny as I walk down the path to the lake. I'm wet. So what? Ha-ha!
The dock is covered but water blows in from the sides. Pulling a chair toward me, I sit.
As the rain bounces off the lake's surface, it looks like the underside of an old quilt, with a million strings poking out.
Looking up, I'm in a cloud, which is a theater, and it’s audience participation. The players dance around me dipping forward in dramatic fashion and retreating before another actor takes center stage. I inhale the cloud and sway with the performers, smiling at the ones who wink at me as they dart and twirl over the water.
All this dancing coaxes out the sun and the rain stops briefly as he makes his shy appearance.
I sit and breathe and breathe and sit.
Walking back, I glance toward the house.
There they are, up on the balcony, with coffee & donuts.
They were a bit late, and not close enough to hear the actors breathe, but it appears they fully enjoyed the show.
Monday, October 09, 2006
"Let's say that you have been flowing positive Energy and you're feeling quite good about how things are going, and all of a sudden someone in your experience makes you outrageously mad. Then what? Bless that one, because what they are doing is pointing out to you that you've got a vibration in there that you haven't quite resolved. They are sort of reflecting back to you something...They're shining a spotlight on a vibration. Because if you didn't have the vibration, they couldn't be there doing what they are doing, because it is only Law of Allowing.
In other words, it's only Law of Attracting. There is no such thing as law of assertion. So you find yourself not wanting to blame them for the negative emotion that you're feeling but actually praise them and appreciate them for the negative emotion that they have caused you to have -- because they are shining a spotlight on a vibration you don't want. They are shining a spotlight on something that's a little bugaboo that's going to haunt you for the rest of your life unless you transmute the Energy. "Thank you, friend," you will say, "thank you for being so ornery in my life, because you have reminded me clearly of what I do not want." That's a left-handed compliment if we've ever heard one."
Abraham-Hicks, St. Petersburg, Florida, March 12, 1994
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Oh well...sex sells.
The TV interview went really well (or so I think). Me and my sister out on the deck at the lake house we rented with seven other women. It's a tradition Kelli started the year after her cancer diagnosis. This time Kelli got a chance to talk and I tried to zip it as much as possible. All the ladies were inside, craning their necks to listen through a screened window, which was a little distracting!
But...we did our job because we had the poor reporter crying within minutes. That will air tonight. Donna Harris from channel 13 was great. So was the cute youngin' she had filming the whole thing...his name was Sam.
I came back early because Seth has a fever and is throwing up. Todd didn't ask me to come home, but my baby is sick and they were up all night and I really just needed to feel Seth in my arms and rock him...which I did. He and Todd are conked out now. Riley is playing at my feet and it is good to be home, sexual dysfunction and all.
Friday, October 06, 2006
This time for my sister's annual women's retreat. It's a little something she's thrown together since her breast cancer diagnosis in 2001. The second year into it, my previously "oh-so-serious" sister came waltzing into the room in a grass skirt and coconut bra...the grand poo-pah of the festivities. It's that kind of a weekend.
Our story will be one of those featured in Parade Magazine in the Sunday papers this week. It is about how breast cancer affects family members. Also...the local ABC affiliate picked up the story and they are driving out to the lake house to interview us today. It will air on Sunday.
While I'm away, Hot Toddy will be taking care of business. Comments will be his domain while I'm gone. Feel free to send him some love.
Remember....NO TOYS IN THE CAR!
Riley: "Let’s have a wedding!"
Riley: "A wild wacky wedding."
Riley: "You be Honey and I’ll be Sweetheart."
Thursday, October 05, 2006
You wake up in the morning
without a hint of a yawn.
You paint the kitchen
without spilling the paint.
You plant the garden
without getting the dirt
under your nails.
You cook dinner
without overcooking anything.
You vacuum the rugs
without missing the least speck of dust.
You crack the eggs
without getting one piece
of shell into the omlette.
You iron the clothes
without leaving the tiniest wrinkle.
You read the newspaper
without missing the smallest item,
including used cars and
You use the bathroom
without making any offending sounds.
You sleep in the same spot
without moving an inch,
like a corpse.
You will be the death of me
without knowing or caring.
I can hardly wait for
the undertaker to arrive.
Ouch! That one had to hurt?
But seriously...this one makes me glad my house is a mess and that I'm actually living my life rather than trying to have everything be "perfect." This is just one of well, 44, amazing poems in Angelo Zuccolo's new book.
Fourty-Four Poems In Search of A Long Black Dress, can be purchased through J.E.T. Creative Media, Binghamton, NY. Other books by Angelo Zuccolo include The Ocean Rose:Poems of Love Found and Lost, and Remember! We Come From Good Stock:Italian-American Mostly Love Stories. Angelo was the Director of The Little Theatre at Broome Community College for many years. He is also the father of two gorgeous and talented daughters, the "love" interest of the beautiful Judith Hawkins, and a dear friend to many who have been fortunate enough to make his aquaintance.
*That's him in the picture! Too cute!
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Free hugs on my birthday! Free hugs!
(Thanks for the link Ms. Stacy Sheer http://stacyartz.blogspot.com/ )!
Todd made me a wheat free peanut butterey fudgy cake all by himself while I was away. They frosted it tonight. That's sweat on my forehead, not grease. Well maybe a little grease, but it felt like 100 degrees in our kitchen.
My Mom’s phone message this morning:
"Hi, it’s me. I got your message yesterday. I had a great time with the kids over the weekend. They are so cute and we had so much fun. Looking forward to seeing you next weekend. Oh...did I leave my cell phone charger in Seth’s room? I can’t find it. Anyway...I’ll talk to you soon. Love you! Bye!"
The woman has no clue it’s my birthday.
I smirk because this is exactly the kind of thing I would do.
Boy is she gonna feel like crap later.
* My friend Janet just did the same thing. Left a message. No b-day reference. I've known her all my life. They feel it, they know they should be calling me but can't remember why? Too funny!
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
What I was referring to was the master bedroom that stands alone in my mind as a living breathing entity in the CT home the workshop took place in. The homeowners generously donated their space for three days and considering there were about 20 of us drinking coffee all day, all three bathrooms were in use.
I must say, once I got wind of the sexy bedroom you had to walk through to get to the master bathroom, I never used any of the others. It kept pulling me in.
Erotic pictures (not porn) hung on the walls. Nudes, everywhere. The bedding was not too frilly, not too masculine. Care had definately been taken to "set the stage."
My thoughts went to our own bedroom, back in Virginia. Sure, we "get together" often enough but our room ain't no "love shack."
Plain white walls.
The comfiest cosiest bed ever.
Two night stands on either side with magazines, tissues, phone, TV remote, and a clock.
On one dresser, a big clear plastic storage bin that serves as our medicine cabinet. On top of said medicine cabinet are boxes of tampons and Stayfree night time maxi pads. There are also old newspapers from our trip to Tennessee (back in July), some lotions and a small 13 inch TV.
The other dresser is worse. On it...the iron, much dust, a pile of clothes, a jewelry box and diaper supplies. (Seth hasn’t worn a diaper in half a year).
The only art in this room is a wall hanging about "brotherhood" (to Todd on his 40th from his wonderful brother Tim) and a picture of Pope John Paul II (a wedding gift from Todd’s parents which came with a blessing on our marriage).
Um....you see where I'm going here?
Until I witnessed the sexy bedroom, it hadn't occured to me that our room is the only one in the house we haven't spent any time decorating, almost two years after moving in. How sad is that?
If you believe, as I do, that we create our own reality....and that what you focus on expands, you can see why this would be an upsetting revelation!
So...I'm on a mission to sexify the bedroom.
When I'm done, maybe I'll even post sexy pictures!
Of the room people...geesh.
Y'all are perverts.
"We did great while you were gone. You make it sound like all I do is complain. I said one little thing about the toys in the car."
"I know doll. You're awesome."
I saunter over to him, all silly like, workin’ my hips in my stained sweat pants.
Wrapping my arms around him I hug him hard,
"Sometimes you just gotta take one for the team." I whisper into his ear.
He shakes his head as he pulls me into his chest. His smell is deodorant and soap and I inhale to full capacity, holding it a beat before breathing out.
He kisses the top of my head.
I am home.
Monday, October 02, 2006
I had several hours to kill between train and writing salon and I lugged my heavy bags around and couldn't find anywhere to go to the bathroom! I went to a little cafe and sat eating my $10.00 salad, crammed elbow to elbow with a woman at the next table. Public bathrooms were almost impossible to score. I found a library and even there I had to wrestle a key off the librarian in the children's section and I couldn't set my bags down on the floor of their squalid john. Its smell could put a port-a-potty to shame.
I went for a walk and watched the city children play in their filthy little cages posing as playgrounds. Dirt, dirt, dirty. No room to run. No air to breathe.
I met up with writer Jenny Rough and we went for a short stroll in Central Park. It was nice, but nice as in....my back yard is nice. Just as nice as this. And it's mine. All mine! People, pigeons, all of yous'...get away from me! Ack!
No, I don't love NY but...the guy behind the counter at the crowded cafe..so sweet. The woman I clunked elbows with eating my salad....so helpful. The family who offered up their lovely apartment to host the salon, unbelieveably gracious! Shelly who organized...so talented, helpful and kind. The published authors who gave their time to talk to us fledglings, so candid and witty and honest and unpretentious. The new writers I met were delightful!
No offense New Yorkers, I may not like your city...
but I heart you.
You see....he's had the kids for a few days by himself and he's got some ideas about what I've been doing wrong.
He starts, "So, he drops his toy in the car, and I tell him I can't reach it, and he's crying ridiculously, on and on and that's it. NO MORE TOYS IN THE CAR. EVER."
This is when I look at Todd and dribble my index finger up and down over my lips and say....bub bub bub "toys" bub bub bub..."car".....bub bub bub "never" and my point is you're talking about everyday of my life with these kids, and ha-ha...you got some if it, and boo hoo cry me a river, and he knows exactly what I'm saying with my finger dribble and that's why he says,