Monday, November 30, 2009

After two stories of alleged child abuse appeared in the paper in two days, I was wondering what the alleged abusers in each case were thinking. Did a certain man from Mat-Su really think that slapping his baby girl would make her want to eat her oatmeal and peas? What was the logic of the then-25 year old in trying to make a 15 month old (whose mind is just developing) perform any task? If she had failure to thrive, why didn’t he know what food to give her that she might enjoy? What kind of psychology were the two Anchorage men applying to the five year old in an odd child care arrangement and entrusted to them by “trying to scare the sh—“ out of a little boy to “toughen” him up with a “redneck flamethrower”?

What these men did was terrible, but I want to ask about something that goes back further. Why were they not taught better? I am not interested in warehousing and wasting lives in prisons; with some heinous, ignorant crimes being committed, there comes a point where there seems to be a need for basic family education classes in addition to or perhaps instead of health and personal finance in high school. In the old days, it was called home economics, but now it is often renamed Family and Consumer Sciences and covers everything from clothing repair, hygiene, cooking and nutrition to budgeting, child and human development and working within the community.

When I was in high school, I laughed at a poster of a girl of an indeterminate teenaged age. She was holding a darling baby and looking all forlorn with a caption underneath her stating, “Parenthood is like being grounded for 18 years.” I don’t know of anyone who was persuaded to use birth control by the poster. Some of us just loved kids and enjoyed babysitting and didn’t see it as a problem. Sex has been around for a long time and teenagers having sex is not going to go away. Whether or not to have abortions or use birth control is a matter of what the family teaches, but how to successfully run a household is a science and the schools need to prepare students for it, whether or not they have children.

Supporting yourself is tough enough, but raising a family is a hundred times harder. Most people will engage in premarital relations and whether they do or not is immaterial because almost all of the kids leaving high school will have to support themselves or be responsible for someone else. Sex can cause babies. Choosing between an abortion and having a baby is like choosing between jumping off a cliff and doing an infinite decathlon. Like jumping off a cliff, the decision ends right there. For the decathlon, as with a child, you have responsibility for it as you push on with new choices and events being thrown at you every few hours even when it’s slow. By teaching students (preferably freshmen) about the basics of home economics, they can be better prepared to handle the decisions, be it about family planning and other life choices that they will have to make for the rest of their lives.

When I read of the parents who abuse their children or who have made choices on behalf of their children that are out of society’s range of comprehension, I wonder what kind of training they had to prepare them for parenthood and for managing their lives. Did they know what raising a child and family would entail?

I wonder how many obstetricians and midwives watch babies being born, all born with essentially the same “stuff,” go home and cry (or drink off the feeling) fearing that the parents will watch a bundle of potentialities be snuffed out by ignorance.

By mandating home economics classes, school districts can make a positive investment in the next generation and future of our children.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Building up. . .

We got our insurance for our house today-- now we can look at building. My husband has an appointment with the bank on Friday, which will probably result in yet another appointment with them, given how they do things. We don't come out ahead-- we get to (God willing) get a bigger loan and build a bigger home. My husband is pretty much doing this and he asks me to look like he is asking me-- but this is really his project and there is nothing that I can do about it. He is considering letting me have an area where I can have a livingroom that doubles for yoga, which is nice, but he can dream all he wants until I ask if we can do something and he gets irritated with me and says something like, "Tea, we are really pushing it financially!"

Disasters are not good for fragile situations. He has the loan.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Unfriending People on Facebook

Probably one of the oddest things I have had to do is unfriend people that I don't like. One of the events happened right before my house burned down. She was a lady from my church's sister church and she'd always been witty and funny so I had invited her to be my friend. What happened after that was a rediculous mess where I started hating FaceBook. Somehow, she turned every conversation in to something about her. At the age of 47, she thought she was still cute fir being under 4'10" and called herself "a real firecracker!" in a conversation that had nothing to do with her or her height. . . and managed to turn other conversations into all about her. I am old to say this, but I posted a status with something like, "OMFG! My laundry is done!" She asked what the F meant. . . since she is the daughter-in-law of a guy who is considered a great writer in our church, the comment was meant to be as catty and as passive aggressive as I took it. A comment on my page about my funny kids turned into her talking about her kids who are all a year ahead academically. (But are under psychological care for what I think is probably learned behavior from her." I unfriended her after just a few days because I started bracing myself for her to post.

A few days after my house fire, she, the co-owner of a business that is doing well, said that she wanted to help me out. I declined and declined and finally told her in a message, "I don't like you. You annoy me and you have made me hate Face Book with your comments. While I appreciate your offer to help me, my expression is not for sale."

Today, a friend that I had made a few months ago through another friend, a young man who lives overseas and who wants to study in the States, instant messaged me. He was asking me about social mores and customs and seemed to be dreaming about living in the States for a while and asked me a pretty detailed question about intimacies. I unfriended him, in spite of his apology. I wonder if he was just trying o figure out Americans, but he knows that I am twice his age (at least) and I was pretty offended. I realized thatI had know idea who he was and he had access to my life on my page.

I realized that I knew few on my page and it spooked me.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mommy to Martha Graham

We had a function with the school the other night and Starshine had to put a poncho over her head and dance with it. At one point she asked if she could get toilet paper out of the bathroom and run with it-- at least she asked. She thought it would be cool to have toilet paper flying overhead!

I have a thing for covering my hair but I don't do it very often now. Starshine was trying to get me to put a napkin over my head when this photo was taken. She was telling me how pretty I'd look and I was giving her a giant smile and asking, "Prettier than this?"

Bunches of these were taken by Darrin and I drew some charactures of myself based on them, all with heavey eyelids and gargantuan teeth! I have some with a "sweenky eye"expression that are hilarious. I never saw myself as I do now!

The event was a dinner at their school. We had a dessert auction and all the kids served. Several of them, including Basil, got to practice their auctioneering skills which got better as the evening wore on. As much as I love my children, I stress out in the crowds. There is another dinner coming up that Bash volunteered me to cook at and told everyone how good I am at it. Go I shall, as long as I am not sitting in the midst of a couple hundred children and adults!

At one point I looked around to find Calamity Jane and then I saw her off in a corner with a friend. They were in yoga tree position and holding still. Later I asked her why they were doing it for so long and she explained, "We wanted to see who could hold the position longer and quieter." This morning, a Saturday, my kids were up at 6AM (they'd sleep till noon every school day) and I suggested that they try competitive yoga and Calamity Jane said, "These are the wrong people!" OK, combat yoga is out!

Monday, November 16, 2009

And. . . she's in!

Other than that the tester couldn't understand her, Starshine had taken over the test. After several silly questions that wouldn't stop, and a book that was many pages thick, my pre-school aged daughter took a deep breath, smiled and turned her book to the tester. "Show me orange!" she told her.

"Where is his elbow?"

The problem was. . . while I knew what she was saying, the Ph.D. with the speech degree was clueless, but very much amused. The purpose of my daughter being there was not to have her IQ tested, but to speak enough to be evaluated. They soon formed a detente where each one asked one and the test was soon over.


I am sad-- Starshine is going to pre-school soon. My last, 9 of 9, qualifies for special needs pre-school because of her speech. On one hand, I am thrilled because she has so badly been needing the interaction with other children, but on the other hand, I will miss her. We'd planned to send her to a yuppie-style children's play group once my other kids got settled, one that would do music or perhaps art. Thanks to the fire, we are having to take her to the public school, which is fine, but I'd wanted to indulge in this little treat for her, but really for my ego. You don't dream about having children and sending them to a public school special needs class. You imagine yourself going for lattes with other mommies for an hour or two while the children interact, then you imagine going back and hearing how well behaved your perfect child was.

Starshine won't care and this lasts longer and she will probably be more fun and I will have time to actually accomplish something creative with my 8-16 extra hours per week on my hands. Her school is close by and they have a huge playground.

As they grow older and move on, so must the mommies and daddies. With my eldest daughter, I was 25 when she was in kindergarten. I will be 42 when Starshine is in kindergarten. Children age their parents.

It's always nice to see the testers. I have known them for almost 12 years, they having met my eldest son when he was only a few months old. They said he had speech impairments and I was like, "You cannot tell this at 6 months!" As time went on, his problems became more pronounced. I got him help because I liked the teachers, but I really thought they were just looking for an easy case! (I was so delusional!) It was when Guy was 5 that his younger brother, Basil, showed up as average to advanced even in my eyes that it sunk in just how bad off Guy was. Guy is in junior high and still has delays.

They don't expect Starshine to have long lasting delays with her speech. The hope is to get her caught up by kindergarten, but sometimes they get worse as the kids develop. I will miss Starshine during the day when she is away at school, but I fully expect her to be herself and get into mischief when she is at home, just as her siblings manage to do! With her, I am happy for her to be going to pre-school, and I may go for lattes with the other moms, but I will laugh when I retrieve her and hear of how my littlest miscreant has pulled pranks and said goofy things and left people scratching their heads!

Friday, November 13, 2009

So my kids called 911. . .

This was written on a day that nothing burned down and plenty of good things happened. I was within two miles of my gas running out and I filled up my tank, I got some knitting done before my class this weekend, got my kids to where they needed to be. But. . . I took a shower in the late afternoon and got a pounding on my door shortly after I got out, "Mom! Nine one one is on the phone!"

I stepped out, I'd been hollaring at a child to find a hair brush for me. "Yes?" Apparently one of my younger children had called them and I was asked for my information. I looked at the caller ID to make sure it was who they said and gave it to them. A police officer came over within 30 seconds (we practically live next door to them) and I started rambling about my house fire. I think that may be part of why they called 911, because I had told them that in an emergency to call them and that was why I started rambling as I recalled the fire. Oh-- I had to share, I knew he'd understand.

Over the years, several of my kids have called emergency services and I never know who did it. I am torn between putting the phone up too high for them to reach it (a four and a five year old) to just banking on them doing it only once per child and letting the matter rest.

The officer spoke to my kids and told them that it is OK to call 911 in an emergency. Of course no one admitted to calling, so it was the dreaded phantom who breaks into bags of chocolate chips, gets into cookies and then glues the ends of the packages shut, sneaks into preservative laden dips and puts them back into the cupboard instead of the 'fridge where they belong and risks giving us botulism, etc.

In 20 years when I am 60, will this be something that I will recall or care about with the raising of children? Will there be something besides 911 to call for emergencies?

I am grateful for the response, but my nerves. . .

Now. . . some music for inhaling. . .

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Carrie Prejean is not my idol

I normally don't write about current events in SM&OT because my life and my family occupy me enough. I do, however, get into pageants. Beauty pageants are just fun. Certainly there are women out there who do them who do them only because they are closet sociopaths who would otherwise be axe murderers if they didn't have pageants to do. What the public sees as a glow on their faces is actually a glower. What I have seen as a married contestant have been women who like to look great and who enjoy looking at the pageant criteria and applying it to themselves. Mrs. & Ms. beauty pageants are about a married woman or a woman past the Miss age, taking her talents and skills and applying them to her family and community. There are public speaking engagements, often singing and MC-ing, they pose as role models and spokeswomen for various groups. Aside from often keeping them busy in addition to raising families and volunteering, pageants offer women a chance to exercise talents that often go by the wayside once they become mothers and wives.

I have to say that Carrie Prejean makes me able to stand someone who I swore that I would never speak of, the notorious Paris Hilton, famed for her crotch shots and actions that only served to get her ink and clicks, although she did handle David Letterman's jibes with a lot of class.

I'm going to link over to Shannyn Moore's page because Shannyn writes about this better than I do, but go over and watch Prejean's performance with Larry King. Larry asks her several times about what made her decide to settle with the lawsuit that she had vowed to fight. Larry is a journalist and is supposed to ask these questions. He backed off after he asked a couple of times and Prejean called him inappropriate. When King switched over to a caller, a gay gentleman who asked her a question about her stance on gays, she removed her mic and acted very self righteous, repeating that he was being inappropriate. Larry, in my humble opinion, was not being inappropriate. He is a newsman, not her personal publicist.

I really hope that Carrie's actions cost her interviews with legitimate newspeople, and considering who she had declared as her hero before she quit the interview, her actions will get her a manicured-toe-hold with the people that the right has been exploiting for the last 25 years.

Thank you, CP, I am certain that the libertine (I say this with admiration) Ms. Hilton appreciates how you have made her look not only smart, but smart with an impressive, wide span of emotions while you look like you had your upper lip glued to your front teeth. I can stand Paris Hilton now!

A Crumpet Veteran's Day

Veteran's Day (called Armistice Day by me because that is stuck in my brain becaue it was what my grandparents called it) was celebrated "quietly" in the Crumpet household. I keep wanting to get the kids out to honour the veterans, but for now, any event that has to do with my kids under 10, there are emergency trips to the bathroom, lost boots, traded gloves (and tears when one kid isn't aware of some "trade") and jackets that are either three sizes too small or too large. Couple this mess with services that start before 10AM and Tea may as well stay in bed. The kids would in theory be happy and I, in theory, would get a little extra sleep.

I discovered that my 11 and 13 year old children will gripe at anything. All was quiet and they ambled out of the TV room, "We've been watching TV for the last hour and a half!" Lord, have mercy! This was a problem? I would be glad for this if they were bored and wanted to go to the library or to some event scheduled for remembering the fallen soldiers and thanking them, but they thought it would be fun to do something like. . . the water park in Anchorage. I only wish we could afford that!

My husband brought home the makings for lasagna and sat down to help our sons who are in 4th and 5th grades get some homework done that they have been sloughing off at completing. They have to be ridden constantly to do their work properly and it is very, very frustrating. One is worse than the other, but they are both slacking in a major way.

I had to make lasagna at the same time I was making cookies. My kitchen is a tiny hallway and it was very frustrating. In 12 years of marriage, I have made lasagna once at it is just easier and less expensive to make it in a purchased, pre-made pan. The way I make it, I use ten kinds of cheese and it gets complicated. Just the basics makes me wonder why we live; it tastes bad to me. I brought Cloud in to help (she didn't mind) with the cookies and everything was just too crowded. (My rebuilt kitchen will be huge with two ovens and three sinks and lots of cupboard space.)

Starshine got into Cloud's lipstick but she got caught. (In the past I wasn't sure if it was lipstick or marker, but she got sloppy) and she actually got into trouble and had to applogize to her sister and scrub up the mess that she'd made, on her face and her clothes. She was so precious in her eyes welling up with tears and saying, "I'm sowwy. . ." Natually, she was more sowwy (sorry) for having gotten caught, but my husband raised his voice at her and her little heart could barely handle it! It is hard to not let them fall into your arms but she had to cry and see that no one was symathizing with her for having gotten into her sister's things. She cried to Mudd and he said, "I got into trouble for it last year!"

Poor baby!

Calamity Jane built a snow fort with some friends and went outside with her sibs for a bit.

We spoke at dinner about what Veteran's Day is about and why Mom still calls it Armistice Day.

Guy informed me that I get moody when he back talks me. The little brat gets full of himself, challenges me at every turn, and says I get moody. Gotta love it!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I want Magenta

"Life is like a box of crayons. Most people are the 8-color boxes, but what you're really looking for are the 64-color boxes with the sharpeners on the back. I fancy myself to be a 64-color box, though I've got a few missing. It's ok though, because I've got some more vibrant colors like periwinkle at my disposal. I have a bit of a problem though in that I can only meet the 8-color boxes. Does anyone else have that problem? I mean there are so many different colors of life, of feeling, of articulation.. so when I meet someone who's an 8-color type.. I'm like, hey girl, magenta! and she's like, oh, you mean purple! and she goes off on her purple thing, and I'm like, no - I want magenta!"

John Mayer

Monday, November 09, 2009

My house has a soul . . .

Today I was chatting up a very wise guy and I told him that I didn't like my house and he said, "And this is OK; this isn't yours and it doesn't feel like yours."

I told him that this house has a soul. He says he has felt it and asked me, "Does it like you?" I had never considered that. He told me that he feels a warm presence. He's been in when it is just cold and yet he feels warm. He suggested that I think about whether or not the soul of my rented home likes me and maybe we can warm up to each other.

I like it already.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

My brain is letting go of things it was hiding from me.

A poem came back to me today. Wordsworth's Phantom of Delight. I told you that after the fire, I forgot everything that I had learned. Phantom was a poem that a boyfriend in high school gave to me and after I was married to a jealous future ex for a few months, I bought a short anthology of poetry and artwork. (It was purchased from Nordstrom with a gift certificate from my mom. It smelled of roses.) The anthology had Phantom in it with a pretty lady depicted next to it. I memorized it. When I married my ex, he convinced me that I was too pretentious and should abandon my love of art and poetry and getting the book was a rebellion of sorts. Memorizing the poem was another rebellion since a former boyfriend had given me a copy of it and I'd had to throw it away when we got married. Since the fire, I have looked the poem up and it just wasn't resonating with me. It came today to my brain while I was listening to Pachelbel's Canon, another song that I loved back in the day. I was really happy and relieved. I was told that it would all come back, but I didn't know when. I hope it returns in droves! But where did it all go? When my snowglobe of a life was shaken, that box was completely emptied. Fortunately, it was emptied, but not burnt up. The debris is being put back into the boxes and rendered useful to me once more!

I wonder if people who suffer from memory loss feel in any way like I have. Knowing that something that I loved was lost was very hard on me. There are other things that are still gone and I know what they are, but I know that God willing that I have no problems that they will come back.

Emily is coming back, too. I folded laundry and wore my favourite quilt over my shoulders as her bird poems rustled in my head this afternoon. God gave a loaf to every bird, Hope is the thing with feathers-- but my favorite of hers speaks of the hour of lead. That also came back. The hour of lead-- that was how I felt as my house was burning and it lasted perhaps until a couple of weeks ago. Part of me woke up when my house was burning-- I felt like Sleeping Beauty as my sh-- burned and I re-processed my life.

Is it OK that I am coming out of the hour of lead only two months later? I have thought at times that I was shaking it, but having something so special come back to me tells me that I really am shaking the numbness, but at the same time, what I woke up to is still there, so I know it is real. I just really wish I didn't have to go through a fire to get to where I am in the process of going.

Couldn't my destiny have greeted me at my favorite store or bakery, instead, and without the sirens and flashing lights?

Would I have recognized it any other way? I hope that there is good for the Crumpets in this and that it is an easy good, not something like, something terrible is destined to happen so the fire will teach them a resiliency to make them tougher. I've stated before, however, that the good will not come from acquiring things-- the intangibles even now make me feel happy, but nothing will replace the photographs!

Thoughtful without meaning to be (Adorable child story)

When we were staying at the hotel, 7 year old Calamity Jane was just learning to speak Spanish. She was saying, "Buenos dias!" to everyone and really trying hard to show off her new skill and practice it. At the restaurant, she tried to order something and the waitress smiled and said she didn't understand her and she turned to me and rolled her eyes and said, "She doesn't speak Spanish. I'll have to try it in English." She was very annoyed even though she really didn't speak it well enough to carry on a conversation, herself.

One day she was with me at the hotel and the cleaning lady came in and CJ greeted her. The cleaning lady was/is from Guatamala and she exclaimed something very excited in Spanish. Calamity was taken off balance and turned to me and said, "She must be very smart! She speaks 'Panish!"

The cleaning lady gave her a hug and taught her the words for the equivalent of sweetheart and precious little girl, words that escape me now and were not in my head two minutes after she would leave. CJ was beaming and followed her around our rooms asking her about her country and her children. Before she left, CJ told her, "You are the importantest person EVER!"

The cleaning lady said that she made her day. She made mine, too.

Friday, November 06, 2009

The Mundane

I think that my life is mundane, but it is these common things that matter.

My landlord ordered a new stove for me. Thankfully, it is not from Sears. Sears takes their own sweet time in refunding you on orders that they cancel, and then they decide that instead of refunding you via credit card as they said they would, that they will mail you a check to be brought up by a comatose snail. It was mailed on the 20th... it should be here by now because I get things from all over the country in two or three days. I still don't have a portable dishwasher and it has been one month.

I don't know what is up with the stoves in my life. The one that I had had at my house had a burner knob that had come off (this happens with appliances that are more than 10 years old) and we had plans to replace the whole thing this PFD time. The one here had missing buttons. The neighbour who helps out the landlord said that the lady prior to the last tenant took off the buttons to clean it and accidentally threw them away. She said that I could use a computer game stylus to work it. I think the person who took of the buttons was the last tenant who was good friends with the lady who helps the landlord. I feel bad for the landlord because the stove was in otherwise decent shape and she doesn't need to spend extra $ on a house that she rents out. I really wish my house hadn't burned down and that I'd not lit that damned candle because I'd have just replaced my stove instead of having to rely on someone else for all these things. I liked where we were taking the house.

I hate that so many people who I don't know want to ask if we will rebuild the house to being bigger, always adding that our house was so small. It is annoying when people have looked at it after the fire and express with fluttering eyelashes how we could have fit the entire family in it. I am embarrassed over this and I wish they would shut up. Yes, we are making it bigger (I think we will be but that has to do with the banks) because it would be silly to not make it bigger. I don't like how it is happening and yes, we could have survived and the kids done well in life had we not expanded. I don't like that we may appear to be benefiting in any way from this. We are not really benefitting directly-- we are paying off one loan and using good credit to get a little more and entering another 20 year mortgage. I DO NOT reccommend that people light candles in their homes and hope that they will catch fire, like how a fire happened to us. We lost more than we will ever get back. I hate how people give me big smiles and say, "You get all new stuff!" I want to scream at them, "I LOST THINGS THAT I CAN NEVER REPLACE AND I WILL NEVER GET THE SMELL OF MY BURNING BELONGINGS OUT OF MY NOSE!" The things that I love most at this point are the things that people who I know have lovingly gifted to me. Retail therapy is overrated.

You take the good with the bad, but the good does not in anyway outweigh the bad in this case. I ran into a burning building to get my state ID because even in my crazy, irrational state of mind, I knew that getting a new ID from the DMV with no social security card or birth certificate would have been futile and rendered me non-existent for a period of time. I got injured and it hurts me to think that I could have died and been a body recovery for some firefighters and a dead mother to my kids, but it was worth it to have taken the risk, stupid as that may sound. I lost priceless photos of my children when they were still adorable and some evidence of something terrible that happened to someone. Yes-- I will enjoy a new kitchen (I get a new kitchen! woo-hoo!) and the new layout of the house, but it wasn't worth the loss. I did gain a couple of friendships out of this that I plan to treasure for the rest of my life-- bickering children in the past prevented at least one of them, and these friendships-- they may be what God intended and they make me smile when I think of them. Something that also makes it worthy for me is the help that has been offered in creative, imaginative ways from friends and friends of friends. I got a Lowes card. . . and a 10% off coupon for Lowes! One of my church friends bought everyone including my husband and I PJ's and toothbrushes and toothpaste. Another friend organized things. These are the things that helped me get through the first weeks. There was good and bad, but I have never wished nor would I ever wish this on anyone.

I will get past this, but if you ever know anyone who goes through this, let them bring up the bright side-- I am not walking around as a constant downer, needing a smile. This crap comes up when I am shopping or wandering around some place and it's like, "Oh! Tea-whose-house-burned-down." I am so diversified in my interests and before I met most of the people who say these things, we had things to talk about. Grrrrrr!

Two people that I don't know came up to me at the school today and asked if my family would like a Christmas basket. I politely declined, but I got a bad vibe from them for declining. I tell them that I appreciate them offering but that at this time we are doing all right, but to be sure to get the word out.

On a good note-- I still love my ultra short hair cut. I kid you not, it takes 20 pounds off my hips because it draws the attention up toward my face. It is more me than ever. I know you can't tell, but I am high energy and fun-- the long hair made me look like a spaniel. I kept having to resist the urge to point when I saw ducks in the Palmer Hay Flats. . . it interfered with my driving!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Why is he talking about me?

I think that one of the most annoying people that I have to deal with is my ex husband. He's not annoying because he is my ex, he is annoying because of his DNA. I have too many ex boyfriends and fiancees to get annoyed with-- most relationships ended with something that was too big for us to deal with and we parted on good terms. My ex? Once he decided that he wanted out, when our bills got too high and my parents told him that he needed to stop drinking and pay attention to his wife and children, he left the say rent was due and we had no food but some dry cereal and juice and bought a pair of $700 cowboy boots and told me to ask my parents and "the welfare people" for help with the rent.

That was close to 20 years ago. I've given birth to seven more children, gotten a degree and married and have had no regrets. He came up when Tiger graduated and I avoided him. A couple of my kids saw him and told me in private that he seemed smarmy. I said, "I never gave him much thought."

Most recently, I got a tattoo that one of my friends bought for me after my house burned down. This is something that I love and am very proud of. It's a monumental tattoo that goes from my elbow to my shoulder, that commemeorates a huge event in my life. I have met the artist who will do my next tattoo (tribal, of a magpie, on my right thigh) and I just in general love them. (My mom said that I won't be 40 for forever and asked how I will want to look when I am 80. Hey, I worked in an assisted living residence. At least I won't have pasty white skin!) Anyway, Tiger told me that her dad knows about my pheonix. WTF? She said that he told her that he knows about it like it was something taboo, but I was bothered first that he told her that he knew, and second that she informed me.

His wife is nutty as in, seriously OCD. Yes, she has needed medication and various helps with her personality. (Serious mental issues.) When I was in a court battle with them over the kids, she was the epitome of hearing something small about me and making her lawyer tell my lawyer that they "knew" about it. These were things that were not even illegal or questionable, just an intimidation tactic. It would have been unnerving if they were not spending big bucks every time they sneezed in their lawyer's direction! Was finding out through a friend of a friend on Face Book that I have a tattoo a big deal to them that they had to tell our daughter?

I told my daughter that she needs to think about what she is being told and analyse why someone is telling her about it. I've heard personal things about my ex over the years and said nothing to the kids. I know no one who admits to keeping tabs on their exes after the kids are grown up, and when they did secretly stalk them, they didn't tip anyone off. I told my daughter to write down the date and content when he talks about me, but to not tell me unless it seems like my like, health or personal property are in danger.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

So what if they are someone elses' memories!

Gradually I am coming back to life. I keep thinking that I am OK, then I have a little tearfest and memories come back. I so seriously hate my rented apartment's kitchen, but one of my friends gave me some blue ware that I've always admired and since she is leaving State, she gave it to me and asked permission to put it away since I accepted but didn't seem enthused. She told me stories to go with it and one was about a rooster that she bought from a garage sale that is green glass. She said that everyone saw this amongst her blue ware and would bring her glass chickens, pottery chickens, needlepoint chickens and even a squawking chicken! I don't want other chickens, but this one is so cool! Then a good friend said that the Chinese see them as good luck and he thinks that I have to put him where he can watch me! (Knowing the nature of this person, he will set up a live chicken hatchery in my bathtub just to see how I react!)

Other friends have given me things to make it nice. My friend Jane gave me a cookbook from her church and I look in it for her recipes and cook with them.

These things matter a great deal. Cooking is heart breaking for me because there were so many things that had memories that I remembered but didn't actively think of at the same time. If someone else has a disaster like I did, if the person likes me, I will try to give them something personal with a cute story to go with it. I never cook alone! Maybe I will send a bottle of Joy dish soap along with it!

An item that I just purchased is a memory from high school-- my second mom, Sky, let her daughter (who was a close friend) bring a crepe maker to cooking class and I just bought the updated version of it. It's a crepe maker. No, it isn't the best, but it reminds me of Sky who died almost three years ago and I will probably make crepes until my entire family and all my friends are speaking English with really bad French accents. I also ordered a French Maid costume. If I put exercise shorts and a t-shirt under it with little boots, I will be fit to serve my friends with my kids present and I may do that just for the fun of it!

Is anyone up for a bad French accent? OK, I will spare you. But it will be funny in person and I promise that the crepes will be delicious!

Two of my kids are at an inner-city junior high school which they changed to after the fire. The teachers are really jumpy, confirmed by some other parents. Since the kids don't want me to talk to the teachers, I won't, but my husband says they are in a rougher environment. I'd hate to teach there-- from the sounds of it, the teachers are depressed and they sound like they are mere steps from committing mass suicide or taking antidepressants in vast quantities. As much as the kids complain, they don't want me to take them out and send them back to their old school.

My husband is doing all right. It's hard because while his world was shaken up as much as mine, I got an extra rattling with having lit the candle in the first place and been in the house while the fire was burning. The other day, Starshine was watching TV and something came on that caused orange light to reflect on her and the room. Major flashback-- I was suddenly in and laughing as it was just the TV. When I first saw the light of the fire reflecting into the hallway, I thought it was a lamp. . . now flickering candles must mean fire in my mind. I wonder if I will react differently if (Heaven forbid!) it happens again, but one of the investigators said that I probably won't because we are preprogrammed to react to situations and that another fire would be as foreign to my brain as the first one was.

I just had a neighbor drop over to give my family some clothes. It was 9:45 at night. No one answered as we were chilling out. The person kept knocking. My husband answered. "Hi! We've never met, but I heard that yours is the very large family who had a fire and I was getting rid of some clothing. . ." My husband thanked her but declined taking them, excitedly suggesting that they donate to the next family that has a disaster of this nature. I hope she wasn't offended, but I was very annoyed at the late visit and persistent rapping on my door.

My writing is scattered and I am not liking it. There are some classes being offered through a couple of accredited colleges that are on line. They are in writing for the web, basic writing in all genres (a creative writing course offered in many places) and nature writing. Of course I want them all but in reality, it is hard keeping up with my blog so one will have to work.

2 Nov. : This was the three year passing of my dad. "Dad, I can't wish you a 'God grant you many years,' but I love you and I thank you for whatever you did to keep me safe at the house fire with only minor injuries to me which were my fault!" I have a friend whose dad died on 6 December 22 years ago and we have spoken much of our dads. Funny, my dad is prevalent on my mind from October on, but this year it started at the fire. My friend says it will be like this possibly for forever. He knows of the colourful relationship we had and he said that people can't hate each other as much as we did without really loving one another. That made me feel good. But now that 2 November has passed, I am not thinking of him as much. (Granted, it is only the third!)