Sunday, August 28, 2011

On the road

Driving to see Nana. Maybe for the last time. Wanted to take the train, but Irene wouldn't let me.
It is my favorite time of day. Dusk in the summer. First, This American Life, then blasting my favorite cd.  Thanks to Molly for making it for me 7 or so years ago.  It makes me think of you.
Staying with an old friend tonight. Want to ask questions. Hope we get a chance to be us before the morning comes.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

The last days

The last days of summer were filled. Very full.
School started today. Already one missed bus, ride given.
Neighborhood walk about after school. Reports good.
Group coming in the morning to help us recuperate. I love these people. They restore the home and the soul.
So tired, though.  Will I be able to give anything at all: attention, guidance, listening ear, energy?
Two weeks of break can't come fast enough. Half break, really. Still have another job, and children, and house, and, and, and.
I don't want to be that person, the one who responds to, "How are you?" With a grin and "busy" as a response.  Sadly, that's who I am at this moment. Like it or not.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The best thing to do with the best thing in life... to give it away.
I got this quote from one of my all time favorite books, The Education of Little Tree.    I've been living by this quote, giving away the best things, pointing towards the best things, handing over the best things.  I'm wondering, though, does the quote have to apply to dreams?  Do I really have to give my dreams away?
I am a big dreamer.  I've got a list of things I think would be cool to accomplish, things I would love to see happen but I might not be able to make happen: The Thrifty Momma- the maternity clothing thrift store that utilizes donations from once-pregnant women and hires women from our neighborhood to run the business; Wheelie's- the restaraunt that serves meat and three type meals, but you can pick and choose what you want using a wheel-type dial of a menu; a yard that is beautiful and peaceful with an outdoor shower and no mosquitoes.  These are dreamy dreams that make me yearn and pine and sometimes draw and write. 
Some dreams I share with others, not wanting to give them totally away.  Just sharing.  We talk about these dreams together, think of what could be, make little plans in our heads. 
The best thing to do with the best thing in life is to give it away.
The dreamer I have been sharing with begins to feel a calling.  The dream, for them is becoming more of a reality, but it can't be a reality for me.  Not now, not hear, maybe not ever.  Do I have to give the dream away?  Can I give the dream away?  Should I?
I don't want to.  But I often don't want to give other good things away: a day to rascally children, the last sip of cold milk to the begging son, a piece of the chocolate I have stashed in the secret place.  I give them away anyway.  Because that's what I do.  That's what I'm supposed to do.  Right?  So what about dreams?  Do I have to let them go too?


Monday, August 22, 2011

A piece of my day

Breakfast meeting, bible study/sermon prep, drive home, eat, feed 20, take 20 on city bus, 2 chaperone's, age range of kids: 1-16, at park.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cravings (no, I am not pregnant)

I don't get weird cravings, I get regular cravings. Things I almost always crave: chocolate, cheese, fizzy water, a cold glass of milk,  someone to talk to who will listen well and give desired feedback without a lot of coaching or work, Herdez salsa with lime chips, "real mail" in the mailbox, opportunities to make things, supplies for making things, interesting radio, shoes that make my feet feel good, a quiet moment, to be splashing my feet in cool river water.
I'll stop there. If I kept listing things, it'd just become my "faces" list, but this list is different. This is my craves list. There's a difference, I think.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Falling in love again

I have fallen totally and completely head over heels in love with my son. I thought I was in love when I first held him. I remember crying those first two weeks after he was born because I felt so attached and so overwhelmed with love. There's no way I would have guessed that my love for him would have been able to grow so much more.
But it has. At just three years old, this little boy has swept me off my feet.
Falling in love again is fun and exciting...and scary. I think everyone can list the fun part. The scary part is something like: will he love me this deeply in return? Will I do something to screw this up? Will something bad happen? If/when it does, how will I cope?
I try not to think about the scary part, but it is there.  Thankfully, the crazy busy-body little boy and his sweet brother, who I'm just getting to know, are good at disgracing me from my fear and overwhelming me with wonders and joy.

Happy birthday, Greggie!

Today is Greg's birthday. So, to celebrate, we did what every normal family does on a birthday. We took a field trip to Compare Foods Grocery store. 
We'd heard that Compare Foods had a good selection of Latin American goods and a great lunch counter, so we decided to give it a try with the hopes of also finding a Cuban espresso type coffee maker.  Score on all accounts!  The food was great. The store was stocked with all sorts of interesting things and we left with all the coffee supplies we needed!
Now, some of my blog readers (do I have any?) Might be surprised to read that our family wants anything to do with coffee.  Well, not too long ago, we went to a friend's house and she served Cuban coffee and Greg drank some. Since then, he's been hooked. Not hooked like the chain smoker coffee drinker stained tooth guy that we all know, but hooked like the one Cuban espresso every once in a while kind of guy. 
Maybe tomorrow morning Greg'll start the morning off saying, "Hey Joe, wanna cup of Joe?"

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

An update on the dog

Ok, so the day started off well. "Early", as JTJ decided to call her, took quickly to us. We fed her and gave her water and put her on our back porch for the morning. We took her out to the back yard to do her thing every two hours. She was very gentle and happy.
In the afternoon, I moved her to the bathroom so that we could go in and out to get ready for kids activities. "Early" needed to go outside before we left to take kids to the pool, so I asked Greg to take her. Now, I knew that the dog had a few days ago been picked up off the street by a neighborhood kid. I knew, too, that this same neighborhood kid came to my house on Sunday asking for scraps to feed his "new dog". Anyways, Greg took Early out. Neighborhood children saw Early and made a quick report to the neighborhood boy that we had his dog. (Great.)
While all that's happening, our community members come over to see our newly found dog. I barricade the kitchen and let Early run around in there for a few minutes so that she can get to know folks. After they were done seeing her, we put her back on the porch and went to the pool.
On the way to the pool, in order to ward off any speculation, Greg stopped at the neighborhood boy's house and let him know that we had the dog.
Fastforward 3 hours, we get home and put the boys down for a nap. We're in our room, talking about what to do with the dog. Greg doesn't like the idea of adopting this dog, but she seems neglected and we'd at least take better care of her than she's had already. I sort of like the idea of adopting the dog. We've been talking all day about how it almost felt like she was adopting us: following us in our walk, being so gentle and friendly, obeying our commands. Plus, I was sort of in love with the idea of doing something out of the ordinary, spontaneous, free.
As we're talking about all the possibilities and we're starting to settle into the idea of maybe taking her to the vet and getting her checked out and going from there, there's a knock at the door. Boys are napping, we're talking, we decide not to answer. More knocks. Then, we see three people coming up our back steps.
It is a community member, the neighborhood boy, and the neighborhood boy's very intimidating Dad. Now Early is barking on the back porch and our dog, Matthew, is barking inside. The back porch door is locked and so is our back door. Greg unlocks it and asks the three people to come back to the front of the house. Our community member replies emphatically, "Greg, it is THEIR dog!"
At that moment, my heart begins to sink. I hear the boy and Dad saying that they are going to take the dog home. We have no time and no way we can argue or debate or discuss the matter. At this point, we've gotta wake up JTJ from his nap so he can say goodbye to "Early".
We wake JTJ up and he says goodbye. He cries a little, but takes it pretty well. I, on the other hand, don't take it as well. I'm crushed. I'm sad because we're having to give the dog up without really deciding for ourselves if that's what we're going to do. I'm sad because this stray dog is being claimed by someone who I wonder will be able to take care of it. I'm sad because I was going to have to lose the gleamy eyed feeling of doing something so spontaneous and fun and free. I'm sad because it feels like my time, decision, house, and family has just been invaded upon and taken under siege.
Before "Early" leaves, I stop the neighborhood boy and let him know that I didn't like the way he approached the matter, that I wished that he thought more thoroughly about how his actions would affect other people. (Me, JTJ, Early) Then, I went inside and closed the bathroom door and had a good cry. Silly, I know. I'd only known this dog for 9 hours and I was sad to see it go.
Greg was still chatting with the community member, so I went around the corner for comfort, shed a few tears, and went home.
When JTJ woke back up from his nap, he didn't seem phased. I, however, can't get the whole scenario out of my head. At this point, I don't really wan the dog back (necessarily), I want the feeling back. The feeling of doing something free, fun, loving, and outrageous the just for the sake of it feeling.
Not related to Early, but related to the situation, I'm still upset about how the whole thing went down. I just wish we'd had time to work it all out. I wish we'd had time to talk things out, amongst ourselves and our neighbor. I wish we'd had time to say a proper goodbye. I wish the community member and neighbors would respect the boundaries of our home and lives so that we could have that time and so that we could have the physical space not to be invaded upon.
Oh well, enough "I wishing". We've got a dog, one that one of our interns would accuse us of not appreciating, so it is not like we needed another.
Goodbye Early Girl. Take Care. It was fun while it lasted.

What are we thinking=?UTF-8?B?Pw==?=

Morning walk. A stray dog joins us for the whole loop. She has two different colored eyes. She's sweet. Jtj named her "early". Are we really considering keeping her? Somebody remind us what a stupid idea this is...and fast!

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Greg gets on the phone tonight and tells stories and laughs with his best friend (s).  I went to dinner without Greg, But with a couple of friends. The two I was with are good friends and I am sort of new to the friend group. I listened and laughed as they updated each other. I soaked up every second of fun and friendship I could. At one point I felt myself getting choked up because I was enjoying our visit so much. Listening to the silly chatter and serious moments and just being there with those people was a real treat, one I do not get often. I got choked up, too, because these moments are so rare. I don't have real intimate and regular visits with friends. I was almost sad at the depth of relationship I was witnessing between the two friends, a level at which I rarely participate. I found myself listening intently, but also wanting so badly to break in with all the stored up stories and topics I have been holding onto for such a moment as this. After listening and engaging in their updates and conversation, I couldn't help but spew out all the things I wanted to say. It was embarrassing, really. "I went to a wedding this weekend grandmother has gone into hospice care...I learning how to make scratch off cards, my grandfather had a heart attack last night..." The words I'd been holding onto came spilling out. The girls listened and engaged with me as best they could, but they probably took me for a little loopy, what with dumping everything on them at once.
We had to wrap up our visit pretty soon after my spewing. I walked away with dreams of visiting with one another again, and soon.

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

a quick review

about my a glance.

Preached again. First time in three weeks.
Went to a wedding by myself. Only felt awkward a couple of times.
Very very down on my body size. MUST pick back up on excersizing.
Baby boy is sick. Sounds Wheezie. It is kindof funny, but not.
House is much easier to clean with 3 less people, but sure do miss their help.
Front yard was mulched. Looks much better. Feels much better. Much more work to go.
Groups came to help out this week. They worked hard. I was glad for their contributions.
Though I appreciate help, this week when we don't have help, it also means we don't have to be held accountable. After ten weeks of strict accountability, it is nice to have a little relief from that.
Want to make things. Need some supplies. Need inspiration.
Want to hang out with friends. Need friends. :)
Cursing the mosquitoes. They keep me out of the garden even when it is nice outside.
Wore pants just so I could sit in the hammock for a minute. Interrupted, though, by a phone call and neighbor's need. That's ok. Hammock was nice while it lasted.
Best food of the week: Wine tonight, donated potato salad and deviled eggs. I'm a sucker for deviled eggs.
Getting excited about the fall at church.
Dog has his summer itch. Annoying.
Sneaking too many mini M&M's out of the freezer. Who put them there anyway? Thanks a lot, temptor!
Miss talking to my grandmother. Ready for her to come back home.
My Nana is likely going into Hospice soon. Gotta figure out when to get to Raleigh.
Supposed to go to Boone on Friday. Want to go. Need to go. Need to go to Raleigh too.

That'll do for an update today.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Making earrings

I have been an earring making queen these past couple of weeks!

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Room to think...thinking about rooms

The summer is 1 1/2 weeks over!  This means I can finally think again!
Summers, for me, are about survival.  I don't have the typical parenting woes of "what will I do with my children while they are out of school this summer."  Nope.  My woes sound more like "What will I do now that I have everyone's children at my home while they are out of school."  Every day, we feed neighborhood kids and provide some kind of activity for them.  This year, we had the help of 5 interns, but that doesn't mean my job is done for me.  Nope.  I end up juggling new job, parenting job, Hyaets job, and kid rangling all summer long.
Did I mention I only have 1 1/2 weeks to go?
With the end in sight, I am able to think.  Most other times of the year, I am so overwhelmed with all the ideas I have in my head that I get stuck.  Right now, though, I am welcoming the new ideas happily.  I've got room for new ideas at the moment and that makes me very happy.
Among many of the things I've been thinking about is home decor.  Yes, I have been thinking about more "important" things like my new position as Pastor of a church and how to be a better parent.  But for one moment, allow my the luxury of talking about something as frivolous as home decor.
First off, I want a Happy Chair
Secondly, I want to repaint my dining room. Grey, teal, aqua?  Total color combo: plum, grey, blue, teal, yellow, red
I want to re-do the color combo in the living room to brown, lime green, aqua, scarlet, and plum
Playroom: The color combo is my favorite in the house right now: red, lime, yellow, brown.
I need to do some problem solving so that we can be a bit more organized.  Especially in the bedrooms.
It is fun thinking about things again.  Glad I have the room!


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Painting in the window

I found this painting in a store window.  I really like it. The reds and yellows are not paint, they are beads! That's the coolest part.
And to top things off, I caught a glimpse of this painting just after I enjoyed a chocolate covered waffle cone filled with turtle ice cream at Elizabeth's creamery. Yum!

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Friday, August 5, 2011

Rainy day

Pouring down rain. Some flooding in town. What better activity for the 13 kids we had than going bowling? City bus to uptown, rushing to catch it = no jacket, no umbrella. Wet baby. Fancy strike city uptown welcomed the crazies well. I chased wet baby (dry pair of clothes on him) and kids played, shared one big pizza, pretended to play arcade games. Running back through the rain to the transit. Several folks at the transit looked out of place. A quick glance and I figured out that the were evangelizing the transit. I called out to greg to tell him my discovery and was confronted by my very own gospel sharer. From TN, he said there were 12 who were there to tell the truth to the people of Charlotte. (Come on bus! Where are you?)
Yes, I do have a personal relationship with Jesus. Yes this is a group. Yes, they know jesus too.  For goodness sakes, ok, I'm a pastor, now can I go?
Bus comes. We get on. Good view of the flooding.
Home. Boys playing in mud. Bath. Pinky's for dinner.

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pool day

Pool days make me nervous. Lots of neighborhood kids and no lifeguard. Today, there were 20. Crazy!
Two more pool days this summer.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Too tired in the afternoon. Always having to "take 15". Interns gone to Discovery Place with neighborhood kids. Feeling slightly guilty about not going. JTJ wanted to go, cried when he couldn't. To balance things,  I committed to cooking and leadership of devos tonight. House is a wreck. Greg is a wreck because the house is a wreck. Can't do it all, be it all, fix it all.
Taking a quiet 15 before the guilt convinces me not to. After 15, i'll get up. Clean. Cook. Straighten. Parent mine and other's children. Straighten and clean some more.
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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Zinnias from the garden

The best thing (or at least one of the best) in our garden right now is the zinnias!

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I'm recommitting to the blog

Don't know what I'm promising...a word a day, a phrase a week, a paragraph every other week?

Don't know what I'm promising, but I'm going to recommit.

Not for others. Just for me. An outlet. Expression. Thoughts out there.

Not all pretty. Not all complainy.

It is what it is. I'm returning to the blog.