Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I arrived last night around 11:00. I hung around with Em and we laughed and talked for awhile, which was great fun, but eventually she had to go to sleep around midnight or so...buzz kill. I found that I couldn't go to sleep to save my life so I watched the premier of "House" on hulu.com. I also played around on the computer for awhile. By the time I got to bed, it was about 3:00 am. Nice.
Before I hit the couch, I attempted to turn off my phone (which I don't know how to do) and somehow managed to turn on the video camera function. This is turn somehow triggered Emmy's home and property alarm system to come on. The beeps commenced and we had 90 seconds to "leave premises" before every satellite orbiting the earth lit up and informed every law enforcement agency on this hemisphere (and probably a few mercenaries elsewhere) that a little horn-rimmed, garden-variety, arthritic "moo" had invaded the premises. I ran over and disarmed it but not before my body received a full dose of adrenaline. Hello Mr. Xanax!
At approximately 6:30 am, the girl cried out for her mom because she had experienced a nightmare. I ran up the steps (on very little sleep and a wonky leg-which is better BTW) and attempted to respond therapeutically.
girl: Where's mommy?
moo: I'm here.
girl: Where's MOMMY! I had a bad dream.
moo: *climbing into her bed with one eye closing* It's okay. Mommy and Daddy had to go somewhere so I'm here. Isn't this fun?
girl: no! I had a bad dream.
moo: oh yea. use your words to tell me your dream anditwillmakethemonkeypielabsis
moo: YES! TELL ME YOUR DREAM!
She explained her dream and then we cuddled and all was well for about 15 minutes when she had another dream strangely like the first, which involved a person's big head and face. Scary. The 3rd time she had the dream I looked around the room and she was facing a huge globe of the world on her bay window. The globe was beautifully silhouetted. I will suggest to her mom that we move the globe, and by "we" I mean "her".
Shortly thereafter the boy awoke asking for his mom. This mom business...I had forgotten how demanding it was...it consumes you...little wonder it is for the young....why do 50 year old women want this?....God Bless Them, but hey, nature works like this for a reason ladies....
We scrambled downstairs to feed the youngins because....today is the one day in the week that the boy has "preschool"! So, ply food down his cute little gullet, get him dressed, and take him to school, right? Not so easy. I didn't mention that virtually EVERYTHING with him is a contest of wills-an Olympic feat of athleticism-and a virtual 24/7 vigil to keep him alive and make sure nothing goes into his potentially anaphylactic reactive body. It's a walk in the park. Emmy lost her mind about 2 years ago.
The girl and I return home and play on the computer together because she's 5 going on 50, usually. I do some laundry, and then it's time to pick up the boy. The girl says, "Go this way instead" when we're in the car. I said, "No. Your mom gave me these directions and I should just stick to this way". She said, "You're really taking the long way. My way is much better".
"But I feel that I should just do what your mom says. These are her instructions. I'm not at all familiar with the way you're describing. You're FIVE. Sorry."
"Moo, you should listen to me more. You'll get there much quicker. You're going the really long way".
"You're making me feel bad for being obedient to your mother's orders. I can't take this pressure".
"Whatever. But if you listened to me, we could already be there".
Anyway, the boy arrived home safely, we came back to the house, had some lunch, drove the girl to kindergarten, and I purposefully drove the boy through wine country with the air conditioner on and the tinted windows up so he would fall asleep. I know that's an old trick, but it works, right mommies? And it did! I even filled up Em's tank for her (okay, I used her own credit card, but still, she doesn't have to do it). I schlepped him up the steps to his own little bed and he looked so angelic, I could forgive him the chasing and running and screaming for help that he does when I dress him (nice...), the thrown shoes (what is that, a Bowman trait?) and anything else he gets into (or gets me into). So now I'm sitting in their kitchen. I should be doing my homework, but that couch is looking pretty inviting....
Did I mention that I would do this again tomorrow? For any of my grandchildren? Because this is as good as it gets! Watching these little people in action is the best. Alex, when I'm with you, my heart is lifted! We have our own little things that we do. We have fun, Buddy...you and me.
Emma, we had so much fun out here last summer. You were so cute and fun. It was so wonderful to watch you explore new sights and landscapes. You were an angel.
Katey and Lacey, your day will come. I think of you when I'm at the beach and I think, "Hmmmm, those girls are going to have to come out here on their Spring Breaks...."
Alyssa, it's so fun watching you develop into the young lady you're becoming. You're so athletic and your mom and dad are so proud of you. It's so fun when you come over. I love it when we play games and we're on the same team. You're my littlest friend and I love you. I will always love you.
Sammy! I miss you! Do you remember when I said you could serve a mission for the Church one day, just like the Elders? I meant it. Grandpa and I could help you with that. Think about it sweetheart. You are so bright and so special. We love you so very much. Stay the good girl that you are. Let me know what you are reading!!!
Charlie, I have begun to hold imaginary conversations with you and your sister. When I have mine and yours, I hold you on my lap and I whisper in your ear. We rock together. You eventually get drowsy and lean your little body against me. I just keep whispering and talking quietly into your ear. I tell you how much I love you and appreciate you. I tell you that you were "Baby B" and I thought you were very special from the very beginning, even before you were born. I kiss the top of your head...a LOT. I rub the backs of your chubby hands. Our time together is very relaxed and loving. I enjoy our imaginary times together, honey. I'm looking forward to seeing you in November. I feel your tenderness, Charlie. That's the word that defines our time together-tender.
Lulu, when I see you and I together, we are staring at each other at the same level. Your eyebrows are always up! You are constantly trying to figure something out. We smile easily with each other. Actually, you smile very easily and I smile when I look at you. You seem to be in control of the meeting, and I'm okay with that. You have a very high energy around you. I feel the colors red and orange all around you. Sometimes it feels like butterflies and dragonflies and other chirpy things are flying around you. You seem busy. I dreamed about you right before your mommy became pregnant with you and Charlie. You are a force, Lulu. I love you so very much. We will play together in November, you and I and Charlie....
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I started off the day just great. It was sunny, which is nice. Maybe the breeze was a tad on the cool side, but the sun was very warm. Interesting....
I took my text book out by the pool to read a chapter. I timed my IPod for almost an hour-I played my Holosync "floating" CD....ahhhhhhh and then chatted on the phone with Em, so it was more fun than productive, but anyway...
Came in, showered, lit one of my most favorite scented candles (clean sheets) did some homework (which counts as labor because I really have to use my noodle folks-as the song goes, "It don't come easy, you know it don't come easy"). My sliding doors and windows were open and I thought, "something smells funny, yet strangely familiar, what the heck?" I opened the door and imagine my surprise when I had found that it had rained a little bit. Oh. My. Gosh.
So the dog and I ran downstairs to walk around the building and take in the smells that go with rain. We are so NOT used to that!!!! How delightful. And to be able to WALK without gimping is WONDERFUL!!!
I came back up, did some more homework, and realized, "Hey! I need a sweater!" WHA?????
So today, I sunbathed, walked in sprinkles, and now I'm wearing a cuddly sweater. Wow....life is grand....time for some hot herb tea and buttered toast....SUH WEET!!!!!!
Monday, September 28, 2009
"It is something to fast, but we are so hungry already that fasting makes little difference."
"In the evening, after sundown, we eat yesterday's bread for supper & save today's for morning."
"Ignoring the bread from last night, hid deep in our pockets, we refuse soup at lunch."
"The knowledge that our God is near us lifts our spirits & we work w/renewed hope in our hearts."
"Tell Mama that I know she is watching over us through your eyes, Lord."
"protect my parents until we can return home. Tell them we are alive and love them..."
My father lost relatives in those camps. The thoughts of the camps haunted and frightened me all through my childhood. I still refuse to watch any Holocaust related movie or read any Holocaust related book. I can't do it. When the documentaries came on television when I was younger and I was sitting on his lap, I would bury my head in my father's chest to avoid seeing the images and his answer never changed. He said the same thing said in virtually every other Jewish home around the world. "You don't have to look, but you always have to remember".
So, with the blessings of living in this country and enjoying my freedoms AND growing up with the name of Katz without hiding or fearing for my life or the lives of my loved ones, may I offer these prayers:
Thank you for the love that binds me to my family. Thank you for providing my loved ones with all that they need. Thank you for the gift of charity that lifts all of us. Thank you for parents who love us unconditionally. Thank you for the opportunity to be a parent and learn how and why unconditional love can happen. And finally, as Yom Kippur is the day of Atonement, thank you for providing a means to which I can turn for a remission of my sins, which are many. And thank you for the blessings that come with forgiving others.
See Dad? I always remember...
Sunday, September 27, 2009
***I have no complaints. None. Nothing bothers me...much. Nothing of any import anyway. I'm so grateful for paved streets and washing machines and grocery stores and laughter and medicine and freedoms and everything that brings us hope and nourishment (spiritual/physical/emotional) that I have absolutely no complaints. Sure, I'd like to see some changes, but the people I love have roofs over their heads and people who love them. They have food to eat and they live in good places. The rest of the stuff I can pray about or breathe through. :)
***Charity is multi-dimensional. Certainly it's a feeling of benevolence, but it goes deeper. When we take it to the next step, it's the love of Christ that lets us know that the Atonement is working for us...that we are being saved while we are striving to serve others. Isn't that amazing!!!
***The best bumper-sticker I heard of...hands down....ever....on a car driven by a single mother of a child with Downs Syndrome, "My kid has more chromosomes than your kid".
***My husband, more often than not, whips my bottom in this word game we play. No wonder he wants to play it every night. He consistently wins. I don't understand it. How could that be? It's a combination of luck and strategy so I should have SOME breaks, right? But what I love the most is his sense of humor. He's a relatively serious guy, but when he and I are playing this, I get to see the funny side of him, which is very delightful. And if Eli is gone, he's even funnier. I guess he feels he can cut loose a bit more. Whatev.
The other night he had two words, "farm" and "we". It looked like I was going to score some points so he quickly put the two words together to form "farmwe". I questioned him on this. It went like this and keep in mind that his face and voice are totally serious:
Pete: I have "farmwe".
Me: Huh uh. I don't accept that. What the heck is "farmwe"
Pete: It's a fowl Deborah.
Me: A fowl? A bird? I don't think so.
Pete: Well. It is. It's a small bird. A woodpecker in fact. A small, tiny woodpecker that only pecks at mushrooms. That's why no one ever hears it. It's very quiet because mushrooms don't make sounds when you knock against them. *makes pounding motion with fist*
Me: Bite me, honey.
Okay...that whole charity thing?...I'm a work in progress. I'll get there....but there is NO farmwe bird...
Friday, September 25, 2009
At the close of your fast, you end with prayer. Following this, you pay a generous "fast offering" to the Church, which typically consists of whatever the cost would have been for the meals you would have eaten, had you not fasted.
The benefits of fasting are physical and spiritual. Physically, you feel cleansed. Your body gets a break from junk. Digestion can rest and typically, we have enough superfluous fat to get by for 24 hours without starving. We can survive.
Spiritually, it's amazing. It's an act of obedience so there are blessings that attend it. I am a woman of faith, so I don't just believe in miracles, I pretty much expect them. And I get them too. They may not show up in the package or time frame I was expecting, but they always show up. And throughout the day, during the fast, I get these little occurrences I like to think of as God winking at me.
Anyway, it's a nice way to spend the day. It's even nicer when it's over and you begin to reap the benefits. Sometimes I fast simply in gratitude for the love and laughter that is in my life. Sometimes I fast for specific things. But there is nothing stronger than family. And today, as I was driving through pretty hills and scenes, I was blessed with beautiful imagery of my family. Truly blessed. I was thinking of chasing Mae and Clarkie and was taken back to when I used to chase Jette and Emmy-the exact same way. Only Em would laugh so hard, she would stop running, or completely fall down. I would even chase them when I was big and pregnant with Eric...and I think I continued to chase all three of them when I was big big BIG with Eli. Okay, maybe not those last three weeks-which the OB allowed me to go over...yea...like that would happen today....
Anyway, I remembered chasing Jette and Em. The older couple next door would sit in their lawn chairs watching and smiling. They have since passed, but my heart grew so warm remembering them and that little time of paradise on Sunnyside Lane in that little house and how charmed those years were.
But, today was a good day. I'm full of health, full to bursting of love for my family, they seem to be doing okay and moving upwards instead of downwards. My grandchildren are well. I still have my mom and she prays for me and when I check in the next day to tell her I could feel her prayers, she almost cries when she tells me how much she loves me. I can't tell you how much it means to hear that coming from my 89 year old mother. I'm without sufficient words for how that feels. This mortality thing...five decades passed "as if in a dream"...
Fasting. I recommend it. And now I'm done. Love to all.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Do NOT remove the above notice. We don't know what the notice is FOR, or what it MEANS, but it has every right to be there. This was posted by someone with serious ego issues. They want LISTENED TO!!!!!!
"You're doing it wrong" is a quote from the movie, "Mr. Mom" and I wish I could remember how many times I uttered that sentence to my kids' Dad while they were growing up. *sigh* Well, at least this guy's head will float. Or at least his eyebrows.
The above picture is a public pool somewhere in Asia. Yea. Doesn't that look like fun. At least it's colorful. Is it any wonder that most of our flu's come from there?
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I'm taking human psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) this quarter. It's an important class because I'm strongly considering doing my dissertation on this subject. So....it kinda sorta important that I "get it". As a side note, I think it's funny that they insisted calling it "human" PNI, as opposed, I guess, to river otter PNI.
This week, I'm learning about the various tests, or assays, that are performed to measure the efficacy of immune function. It gets very involved. I was very tired and apparently still a little loopy following my knee surgery yesterday. So, sure, the first day in several weeks that I finally get the internet in my house, I decide to do homework from my table (in stead of from a coffee house) and I write something stoopid. I invoked images of Jedi mind tricks while describing apoptosis and cell function. Sure, I think in pictures but thinking in pictures and describing in pictures to one's professor are two vastly different things. Here's the first Jedi reference I wrote...
"NK and T cells kill these cells by lysing or creating holes in the non-self cells’ membranes. Also, NK and T cells perform Jedi mind tricks on the "non-self" cells, which cause these cells to kill themselves. It’s called apoptosis, or programmed cell death. NK and T cells are scary, but the force is with them." Isn't that great? Now I'm a nerd AND an idiot.
And then I wrote the following. The person I'm referencing here, K... V..., is one of the editors of our textbook, "The cell line used with this assay (P815) also responds to macrophages, T cells and NK cells. The authors lost me here, but apparently, it’s bad. Apparently, there is a lack of specificity and healthy, as well as non-healthy cells can be destroyed. I’m no professional, but that sounds like a serious disadvantage. And while I have you on the line, if I ever find myself seated next to K... V... at a dinner party, I have a few Jedi mind tricks of my own I’d like to play....such as, “This fork would look great in my right eye”....but I digress."
There. That should seal the deal. If I didn't look foolish enough after the first paragraph, I should look downright retarded after this one.
Maybe Kroger's is hiring.
P.S. I blanked out some of the vowels in her name so she wouldn't pop up in a google search and have me killed by her over-worked immune cell criminal cohorts. She might be powerful in the immune underground.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
So...now I have to drag the hubby around town to purchase a phone, and a television, and oh yea, a bed....cause we're still using an air mattress that Em and Jacob kindly loaned us. It's like camping out at our house, except we now found a spot with WIFI.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Until then, adieu. Or not.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Really! What the heck Kanye? The above artical by Daniel O'Brien is hysterical...some highlights follow:
He's "against higher education" and he is "anti-reading"-and yet he's published a book...Genius!
The "book" is 52 pages long and he needed HELP. That's right. He has a co-author for this tome. Kanye says wise things like "Get use to being used" O'Brien points out that it should be "get used", but if Kanye is anti-reading and anti-education, he wouldn't know that. Kanye also says "I hate the word hate". I'm not feeling the love....
Remember how Kanye got all that attention back during Hurricaine Katrina when he accused President Bush of not liking Black people? That was quite bold. There was certainly a lot of problems (putting it mildly) with how that situation was handled and Kanye stood out as a "voice of the people". But then he was interviewed about it. O'Brien reviews the explanation that Kanye gives for his outburst.
O'Brien wrote this, "He felt that the words showed the world that he had, in his words, “little baby Tourette’s, maybe not quite diagnosed” as evidenced by how “the truth just comes out accidentally like what’s off the top of [my] mind.”
O'Brien goes on to sum it up thusly...
So, here is the list of things we need to understand based on Kanye’s statements…
A) Kanye West genuinely thinks he suffers from an undiagnosed form of Tourette’s;
B) Kanye West thinks Tourette’s syndrome is when you accidentally speak the truth in the heat of the moment;
C) Kanye West believes that people will understand him better now that they’re aware of his undiagnosed, nonexistent condition.
…and our conclusions are, respectively, “No you don’t,” “No it isn’t” and “You’re an idiot.”
The article ends with O'Brien's appreciation of the hilarity of the phrase "little baby Tourettes", which he plans to name a drink after, with a Slim Jim as a garnish.
Kanye-repent...and then kindly disappear-hopefully into a structure of higher education and following your graduation, you spend your time and resources teaching good manners to young, impressionable children while teaching them how to read.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The cards have letters on them and you get to make words and it's like gin rummy, so you can't go out until you have all of the cards in your hands making words and then you have to discard. It's challenging. Every hand you get dealt one more card. There are 8 hands. You start with 3 cards and by the 8th hand, you have 10 cards. It's crazy. I tried to spell the word "viner". He wouldn't accept it. Obviously, a "viner" is a plant that vines, right? Such as a pea or bean plant...or a morning glory plant...or a clematis...anything that climbs and clings is a viner, right? But the stoopid dictionary we have is a very condensed, skinny, "everyday usage" dictionary that is entirely inappropriate for this game. So, of course it's not in there. So...I couldn't use viner.
Last night, Peter used the word "civet". I said, "Ummm, what the heck is civet". Without looking at me or changing his expression, he says, "it's a cat-like mammal".
I went off. "No way buster, huh uh, take those cards back you stinker. I don't think so. That is NOT happenin' here." I think smirked and said, "You must think I'm pretty stupid."
Peter said, "Deborah".
That was all. That was all he freaking said. And then he laughed. He laughed really hard. I don't know how many of you have ever seen Peter laugh really really hard, but it's hysterical. When he laughs really really hard, it almost looks like he's crying. Last night was one of those nights. I'm certain you can guess why.
Civet: (n). A slender carnivorous nocturnal mammal with a barred and spotted coat and well developed anal scent glands native to Africa and Asia.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Anyway, he came towards me with the attachment....roaring. He put it against the saggy skin of my upper arm. This appealed to him and was frankly, okay with me. It didn't hurt and it appeared to bring him great joy. But it wasn't enough. He wanted more.
He next placed the intensely strong sucking attachment to my cheek. Since his large closet doors are mirrored, you could imagine the scene I was staring at...not pretty....not one bit. One half of my face was missing inside of the tube. He then managed to sneak the tube outside of my glasses and over my right eye. Let's just think "Simpson's" cartoon on that one. As I drew back, he skillfully fitted the sucking monster over my nose and managed to clean out my sinuses in the process. I don't want to change that vacuum bag anytime soon...
I managed to escape by crawling to the door while screaming "NO Clarkie, don't vacuum Moo Moo!". Naturally, this didn't deter him from his joyful duties of sucking up my skirt, blouse, and any remaining hair. I got through the door and ran downstairs, but not before he managed to throw a couple of trains and some kind of tubing over the steps as I was running down. I dodged them, however, because I'm getting really good at that kind of thing.
Clarkie-my own personal boot camp. I really love that boy. I'm heading back over tomorrow.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Mae: "I love Sea World"
Em: "Man, I love this. Seedy mustard. It sounds so wrong, but it tastes so good."
Clark: *Snort" *he has a wicked cold*
Em: "Clark, why is your pretzel on your head?"
Mae: "We are trying to eat!"
Em: "Mae, don't stab your grandmother in the eye."
Mae: "We have Jungle Book II"
Em: "Mae! Let go of Grandma right now!"
Mae: "My mom is loco."
Em: "Mae, I'm loca, Daddy is loco."
Em: "Don't pull anything out of that box."
Me: "What's in that box?"
Clark: "You get over there Mae Mae, I"ll get over here" *they start popping packing material*
And thus ends another afternoon at the kids' house. Just another day in paradise...
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
We live 30 miles away from the ocean. That is stupid crazy cool. And it's a nice drive. We threw our beach blankets together, our ghetto cooler together, our ridiculous amount of sandwiches together, and hit the beach. It was loverly. You'll be able to find us there, north side of the pier, between the lifeguard offices and and the first lifeguard chair, halfway between the water and the road. The two happiest people who aren't running OR swimming OR playing OR moving. Yea, that's us.
So I took notice of the things that were around us...cause that's what I do. I saw a pigeon with two legs and one foot. Yes. You read that right. Two legs, one foot. The other leg just ended like a pencil. Odd. He hopped around. We looked at each other. We understood.
I noticed the silhouettes of sailboats on the ocean. The little scattering of triangles looked like faint editing marks, as though the ocean, sky and horizon were somehow a rough draft. Funny.
Teenagers are still geeky. They are seldom cool. The only time that teenagers look really happy and comfortable is when they are with a fun family. When they are engaged in a truly loving family get together, a teen looks less awkward, smiles without restraint, and their nonverbals are authentically happy. It appears to speak volumes.
Babies and surf=infinite adorableness....really.
I introduced Peter to Sudoku. Soon, he will be inadvertently humiliating me because I believe he is innately brighter than me. Rats.
We're going to try to get back more often...just cause...
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I'm on break from school. Imma do a dance. Imma do a dance. I'm reading to my heart's content and doing Sudoku....lots and lots of it. It's grand. This is the longest break I've had in school, I believe, since I began school in 2003. Yikkers!!! I've read John Elder Robisons' LOOK ME IN THE EYE. A memoir of growing up with Asperger's Syndrome in the 60s. I am in love with the book. He's amazing. It's a fascinating look into the mind of an "Aspie"...or an "Aspergian", depending on whom you speak with. Aspie is cuter-it sounds like a nickname. Aspergian sounds like a now defunct country from the turn of the century that used to do bad things to people for which the name has become a term for. "Oh, that company gets all aspergian on their employees".
Okay. I'd love to write more. Maybe tomorrow. My 'puter is about to blink off.
Love to all.