Thursday, December 6, 2012


I am not really into celebrity bashing, but if you told me the person on the right was Michael Jackson, I'd believe you.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Birthday Bliss

I'll admit I was sicker than a dog. I left for work before my family woke up, and arrived at school in the dark.
But classes went well, and my students were sweet.
We met Chicky, Chris' little sister, at Bbop and stuffed our faces. If you ever get by there, try the Bopchos. Hard-core yum!
From there, we raced to Chris' Grandmother's for a delicious chocolatey treat, some seriously strange chill time, and some awesome gifts.
Forty-one, here I come.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Shoki Para Ti

May I make mini-altars on my dashboard?
Sacrificial prayers, a Shoki for you.
Me, dying on the steps of your temple
holding only your hand,
May I unspin the web, so the demons flee with me?
No need for show, right?
I take what I brought
like a sick Santa using gifts as a guise.
I stuff them back into my sack.
My love a muse.
I let go so often,
a way of holding on.
If I could guarantee you would not die, too
I would kill myself at your feet
just to run my fingers along your lifeline.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Constant Slowing of My Roll

Last week, after waking up three days in a row with my throat swollen close to closed, I went to the doctor.
Strep. Penicillin.
But I had a funeral to attend Friday and family Thanksgiving on Saturday, and church on Sunday.
No time to be sick.
My medicine had been making me wonky, so I finally gave in. Monday, I slept for twenty hours.
I'm still trying to get over wasting a day.
I decided to take my meds at night only, thinking to call the doctor after the holidays.
But today, my face started burning and
My body started itching and red blotches appeared randomly.
I give thanks for Benadryl and hominy casserole and kids who drive and kids who take care of me and husbands who get allergy medicine and for football and family and God who has seen me through this unhealthy year.
But please, let 41, be the year of something new.

Friday, November 16, 2012


I'm starting to really like my city, but geez is it changing!
I found myself crossing the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge last Saturday and I was completely turned around. I think I was a bit mesmerized.
It made me think about our Grandmothers who used to shop and dine downtown as young women, but have been too nervous to drive there for at least twenty years.
"Here's where Titches used to be. And
that used to be Greene's," they say.
But there are not enough memory markers to make them comfortable enough to drive there on their own.
These days,I find myself saying, "My city is changing. Wow. Finally."
I rode the bus downtown for four years in high school, twenty years ago, and I can still find my way most anywhere from Arts Magnet. But back then,downtown was gray and listless.
Today, the buildings, the new parks, the endless places to eat, and venues for art and entertainment make me smile.
But the people, seeing the people living out their lives down here makes me feel happy. Like I live in a real city.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Rhythm of Leaving

There is a rhythm to leaving

Time is marked in events
Measured in documents turned in
Not the smell of new skin
A baby smacking when removed from my breast
A sweaty head napping in my lap
I move slower, making sure I see,
but underneath my pulse races.
A skin tag has formed under my right eye
Me at work while
My son is driving, somewhere 
my sister moving away
And then, the permit--
My daughter's face beaming.

There is a rhythm to leaving

A mean pulling away
that starts with a roll of the eyes
followed by a few thousand more.
There is a slammed door,
followed by a silence that makes
me wonder
if I'm fit to wear the title.

In between the tiny tearings away, love is shared
a new download, a poem, an intricate
breakdown of a piece of literature
too hard for even me. A connection, a scripture,
and still a long lingering hug,
fingers pressing on my furrowed brow, a silent saying, don't worry,
don't worry,
from people I worry about too much.

Rise up and call me what you will.
Just as long as you rise up, little ones. Rise up.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: Unstoppable by Salim Nourallah

This song makes me think of my girl who just had her quince last weekend! Sigh . . .

Friday, September 14, 2012

The State Fair

  1. October 23, 1988. 
    I broke God's heart. 
    My own heart already in shambles, barely noticed. 
    But somewhere, love was waiting like a salve ...
    but I didn't know, didn't know.
    So I went on
    a slave to unknowing.
    A slave.
    And the light shone so bright, so bright--
    Lone Star, where are you? 
    Out tonight?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Notes from the First Grade Drama Class

Young first grade girl enters the room.
"Is this drama?"
"Yes it is. Are you excited?"
"I want to be the queen? Can I?"
'The story we are acting out today doesn't have a queen."
"So, when can I be the queen?"

My normal, middle-school teacher self doesn't have the heart to break it to her. Not in real-world terms anyway.

"One day, when our story has a queen, you can have a turn."
"Yaaaaay!" she squeals.

Just like that.

Later, when we are acting out the safety tips from Officer Buckle and Gloria, I ask why we don't go swimming in an electrical storm.

This is still first grade mind you, and a young, first-grade boy raised his hand.


'An electrical storm has a bunch of lightening, and water conducts electricity, so if you are in the water and lightening hits it,  you will get electrocuted and die."

"Yes. Ahh. Yes," and I turn the page:)

I have met 600 little souls this week with names I am trying to brand into my neurons. They have lots to tell me.

Lord, give me ears to hear.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: Separate Ways by Journey

We saw Journey this past weekend with the Grandpa John and of course there was no Steve Perry, but Arnel Pineda did a superb job as the lead vocalist.

His vibrato is different, but his version of Open Arms got me good and teary eyed and dreaming of Skateland.

This song, Separate Ways, is for Chloe. It's her favorite Journey song:)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Forty Officially Sucks

I had my first, for real, panic attack.
I thought panic attacks occurred when you were panicking. I did not realize they mostly occur, when you are in denial about the fact you are panicking and therefore surprised by the fact that your heart is beating in your throat, your hands are numb, your chest is burning, and you are on the side of the road in a borrowed car with a paramedic knocking on your window trying to convince you to open the door.

That if you were having a for real panic attack, you wouldn't stop to think about all the things your husband has no idea to take care of if you die.  That you wouldn't stop to kick yourself for that blank will in your binder.

Because when you have a panic attack, you actually feel like you are dying.

I thought, that if you were panicking/dying, you wouldn't be worried as you drive away in the ambulance about said borrowed car, or that the flashers were on and the battery might die and your husband won't be able to get the car home. That you wouldn't be worried about your lack of insurance or making jokes about your vertical c-section, stretch marks, or Victoria Secrets' wonder-bra. That you wouldn't cry every time they came to do a medical test, because all you could see were dollar signs. That you would know you shouldn't answer the call from your sister who was in the process of moving to Houston.

I thought, nothing would matter except you were panicking/dying.

"What is going on in your life right now?"
"I was just talking to my mom. Telling her what's going on in my life."
"What's going on?"
"Both cars broke down. New car broke down. Middle son just started driving. I just started a new job in McKinney. My sister is moving to Houston. But this is not that major. I mean, really. If you heard my life story, this is not that big a deal."
"The son driving is enough to make me panic."

I didn't even call Chris until they finished testing me.
I didn't want to scare anyone.
I didn't want to bother anyone.
I wanted to be in control of the information and how it was disseminated.
I wanted to be in control of my behavior before I spoke to anyone.
I wanted to be in control. And I wasn't.
And this is why I had a panic attack.
Because I am not. In control.

I am not God.
Thank God.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday's Much needed Song of the Day

A karaoke staple for my sister and I. not exactly a party tune, but hey, that's who we are, where we come from and all that.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Three Posts About Ryan on my FB Page

I rarely get political on here. I don't belong to a party, for the same reason I don't sign a card to be a member of a church. I am a Christian. I don't want to say, I am a Christian, a __________. Or, I am an American, a _____________.

I have voted for politicians from both parties.

This is how I make my decision.
I make a list of the issues that are most important to me. ( I pray.)
I put a t-chart on the side of the list, with candidates names at the top. (I pray.)
I place a check under the candidate that agrees with me. (I pray.)
The one with the most checks gets my vote. ( I pray some more.)

That being said, I am not a one issue-voter. I am a ten-twelve issue voter. I land on both conservative and liberal sides of different issues.

Health Care
Right to Life
Americans with Disabilities
Treatment of Minorities
Freedom of Religion
Treatment of Illegal Immigrants
Welfare Reform
Human Rights
The Environment
The Vice President

(I won't lie. The stiff, salesman hair throws me a bit, but I try not to factor that in as a negative.)

I know I should include foreign policy and the economy(unless they involve human rights), but I don't unless there is some glaring irregularity.

Jesus and I will not be discussing these votes when He shows me the movie of my life because He was not left out of the process.

Here are the first three posts I saw from some Facebook friends today. I like the variety I get on the home page. I do not feel like I am listening to a one-sided radio station and often I am amused and informed at the same time.

Ryan's Indian Affairs Votes. Get the hint:/

The line waiting to see Paul Ryan. Sunblock anyone? (Posted by a Ryan supporter.)

Pell, Schmell!

I haven't made my t-chart yet, but I can tell you that as a result of some Obama spending cuts, Chaz's budget for specialized therapies was cut in half:/(Americans with Disabilities)

I can also tell you that Mitt Romney worked (and I believe is still in the pocket) for Monsanto:///(Environment, Human Rights, Economy-glaring irregularity.)

This might be my fist presidential election to Write-In.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: Stars by Spooky Folk

This one's for my sister , CJ, who is moving to Houston.
Shine on String Bean! Bet we'll see the light from here:)
YayandBoo. We love you.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Fevers and Dreams

Baz Luhrmann shot the scenes of my last dream. But that is all. Like he was experimenting. Maybe learning to use some new equipment. A long stream of white rooms and lots of  people working at various tasks.
Lots of people.
Me in my white t-shirt and blue jeans. My chunky flip flops falapping as I move from room to room with a baby on my hip. Not my own.
He refuses to lean into me for rest or comfort, only every now and then holds onto the neck of my shirt when I bend and he feels off-kilter.
He's very serious, this baby. Dark eyes and hair like me. But face not like me.
He's wearing a nondescript one-sie. He is super clean. He smells super good. He never cries.
At some point someone takes him from me. A favor. A break, they say, but I feel naked without him on my hip.
I see him watching me from across the room, in someone else's arms, like he is asking me when all this will be done. All the preparations, the cutting, the pasting, the hanging, the warming of food. Do we know how much time we are wasting he is asking with his stare.

I take him back. Take him outside. We sit in the grass. He looks more like a baby now. He leans back into my chest, looks up at the clouds and names the clouds in his head. That's what it looks like he is doing to me. I am sure he's a genius.

I don't ever wonder where his parents are.

At the end of the dream, there is all this footage, but no story line that anyone can make out.

But me and the baby have been here before. He's holding onto my finger and cocking his head with one eye closed.

There is a story here, he is telling me. A good one.

Of course it is. I say without saying. You're in it.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Going Away Speech

My kids left for Galveston today with their school. Before I completely freaked out I managed to impart some wisdom.

No scriptures came to mind. I didn't think to pray. Just a few words about coming home safely.

To Caleb: "Be respectful and wise. I know how it is when you get with friends. You get cocky. Think you're invincible. Maybe you take chances. Don't . Be brave, but not stupid."

To Chloe:  "The elbow is the hardest part of your body. Use it."

It needs some refining, I know.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Question Marks

The oldest kiddo had a followup appointment yesterday for a procedure I won't discuss in detail here.  The procedure had been performed twice and the very nice surgeon who heard of my last meltdown (which was handled very nicely by a kind young resident who pretty much did everything I asked after that) said we had to re-do it. He looked extra prepared for a hot-mommy-mess. He didn't get it.

It went something like:
Blah, blah,blah, blah blah, Just isn't the right tissue. Blah, blah, blah. Looks like it might be missing blah, blah, blah, blah,  This means he might not have a kidney. Blah, blah, blah. So we'll need to check.

In those few moments after he said this, the kiddo and I just kinda looked at each other, then back at the doctor, then back at each other, like Scooby and Scrappy Doo trying to solve a mystery.

I wanted to ask the doctor if he knew that my two little teenagers were going to the ocean on a school trip without me and if he could just stop talking and tell me later. If he knew that one of those teenagers will get his license in two weeks and while I am busy teaching an hour away, he will be driving to  dual credit classes at a local community college which I have heard has it's fair share of sexually active girls and low-level drug dealers. That I won't be home to eat lunch with them any more and that I'm kinda sad. That if he could maybe wait a few weeks before I had to stuff any more information into my brain, because there was no room for it to filter down into my heart just yet.

Because my heart is rearranging itself, what with all the pieces I am being forced to break off and just throw out into the world to fend for itself. Because hey, that's the natural order of things.

No one seems to care that I am not ready.

So, I listen. I take those those little tidbits in. Don't even write them down or anything, like the old- professional mom of a kid with a disability. Just "Okay. Okay. Okay," so he would finally shut up and leave us alone.

My son and I said very little as we gathered our things, entered the heat of the day, and walked the half mile to free parking while the cement cooked our already confused brains.
When we got in the car, Chaz looked at me and said: What's that mean?
"I don't know," I said. "I think it's just a big question mark for now."
But hey isn't everything?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: Shorty, Wanna Pizza Me? by Pizza

Our friends, Val and Toby made Argentinean pizza yesterday. I had no idea there was such a thing, so  I am less food ignorant today than I was yesterday.
There was blue cheese and onion, hearts of palm with golf sauce, ham and some other yummy something, and  tomato with basil. So I had a sliver of each and fell asleep on the floor during music time. We were also the lucky recipients of a goodie bag, which we ate for lunch.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

10 Ways I Could Start My Grad School Essay

1. Well, since I'm done having babies . . . 
2. My son just started driving and I need a major distraction.
3. I really need a job, promotion, etc.
4. Since , I'm never going to be rich, I thought I'd at least try to be smart.
5. I just need to know a bunch of stuff I don't know yet.
6. I have some extra money to blow.
7. Validate me, validate me, validate me.
8. All who are wandering, have no direction.
9. I need some friends.
10. I tend to flourish in community. I need an academic one.

Okay, so number six and nine are not true. Why I am procrasti-writing this essay so many different times is beyond me. Except my penchant for self-sabotage and desire for perfection and insatiable need to be accepted  . . . .

Monday, July 30, 2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Some things are sacred.
Like the time I touched your tooth
Or you put your palm on my scar for two seconds too long.
Or me seeing your feet in new socks,
Two blue crescents I wanted to rub against my face.

It feels wrong to lay them out here
like tools in a physician's office, waiting to excise a thing.

I'd rather expose them like leaves no longer kept inside branches.

And leaves? What do they do but change?

Me, you, breathing.

I try hard to pay attention like before you, but I am losing.

You are not, so I am happy.

Maybe here,
under a different moon, I can let the sacred fall, soft and magnificent
so my branches don't ache from emptiness.

Maybe I can grow a thing from the fall out.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: Only Love by Ben Howard

 Maybe he means falling apart because he's falling in love or falling apart because his heart is broken or just falling apart because life is hard.
Either way, I know what it's like to hope someone will love you even if you're falling apart, so the song struck a chord.
This video is beautiful. The underwater, and rock jumping frames are my favorite.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sweee-T's Tips for Trips

Basically one tip: denial.
I left for Austin this morning and if you don't know this yet, when women travel, they get weird.
Even weirder if they are leaving their family behind.
Which is what I am doing. For a week. And instead of being completely focused on getting my pickles in a row, I planned way too many social activities. It's like it's the last week before school starts and we haven't had all the fun we were SUPPOSED to have.

I packed intermittently, wrote and re-wrote lists that I forgot to post on the fridge, pre-read curriculum info on my phone between trying to do everything and see everyone.

At some delirious point Saturday night, Chris and I made it to the pool to stare at each other without interruption; some much needed gush time before the separation.

Now, I'm on my phone typing up the lists and emailing them to the sweet ones with instructions to only post one day at a time, hoping this will help prevent my husband's descent into an ADD haze. (Think the possum in Over the Hedge.)

And despite all the procrastifun, I managed to make French toast this morning, make it to the bus with clean socks and underwear ON TIME and write this blog.

Here's a little peek into the fun.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: Midnight City by M83

I really like the sound of this song, but never really listened to the lyrics, so I decided to look it up. Kinda weird after the last poem I posted, but that's the way I roll.
Oddly serendipitous.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Twilight is a time.
It is simple
Sad and haunting
I hold my breath
willing the seconds to stand still,
the light to separate from the horizon,
the colors to stop bleeding over,
the tears to stand at attention,
the warmth to stay, and stay.
Instead blue light finds me
holds my hand,
leads me languishing,
brings the cover to my chin
makes a tent over my ear,
so the fan sounds
like a far off ocean.
One I will only reach in dreams.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Reluctant Sorta Home-School Momma: Tidbits of Goodness

I like my kids, even thought two of them are kind of mean to me forty percent of the time. Betcha can't guess which ones, huh?
But for the most part, hanging out with them is awesome. I am trying to soak it all in before this internal, apron-string rigged time bomb explodes.

Here are just a few tid-bits so you can share in my wonder.

On the way home from, well, it could have been a kajillion places, Chloe says:

"Mom, I have an idea. I am going to write a short story about Adam and Eve's first kiss. You know, the very FIRST KISS." And she does, and it's awesome, and If she doesn't publish it elsewhere, I get to post it here:)

I am at the kitchen counter, when Caleb rushes in and says:

"Mom, you have to read this short story, the third one." He hands me Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger.
"What's it called?" I ask him.
"'Just before the War with the Eskimos,'" he says.
"What's it about?" I ask.
"Not Eskimos. You have to read it."

And I do. And it's weird and I kinda love it. I share in his awe even though I know he was reading in part to procrastinate revising a research paper he didn't do so well on last year.

Chaz knocks hard on my bedroom door, rushes in and says:

"Mom." Even if I look at him he will wait for me to respond with, "Yes." He even does this in text messages, instead of just texting what he needs to tell me.

So, anyway, I reply, "Yes?"

"I wanna write a play of The Sandlot."
"Genius idea!" I say and I am serious. We are going to try to write up a mini-version before school starts again and see if the vocational group at his school can perform it.

As this summer starts to fade into the busyness of the school/work mode, I am hanging on to these moments for dear life, hoping my kids still have room to breathe. With God's grace, I am trying to let these moments lead me, as I lead my children in their giftings without sucking all the fun out what they enjoy.
My fellow sisters in the cause of hoping our children make better choices than we did and lead more fulfilled and less stressful lives, your prayers are coveted.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: I'm Getting Ready to Believe by MIchael Kiwanuka

This makes me think. It's a continuous act--believing. Even before you do it. Maybe that's why some Christians prefer to call themselves Believers.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Midnight Survey and Morning Mercies

I'll admit that I was having a weird week. I was finally coming to the realization that I might not ever find my children's baby books after 8 to 10 boxes came up missing out of the shed they were stored in.
I was moving back and forth between rage and denial, staving off old-mean Tamitha with a denial teat, attempting to move slowly and deliberately, so nobody would be harmed in the search.
Blame crept it's way in craftily and took me all the way back to the burning of my own baby pictures in a BBQ pit- a vengeful act after a horrible argument between my parents.
"I have not been cared for properly, and that is why I can't care for my own things properly!"
I was an internal mess, trying desperately not to create an external disaster.
I have caused enough of those.
As a result of not being able to find something so precious, I began to notice my list of undones, unfinished.
And some words, uttered by various people over my lifetime echoed in my brain:
"You need to take care of your shit."
The spinning and toil commenced. At midnight, I sat down in front of the computer to delete emails, when I noticed a message from good old Bank of America asking me to comment on a recent phone interaction.
I have never given any person or institution such a low score, and when the time came to comment, which I usually skip, or put a winky face, I tore into their "puny, money-grubbing hearts" and thanked them for NOTHING!
It was not a shining moment and somewhere it is in print. I am sure the employee who reads it will think it mild, compared to some other strongly worded letters by those who have been grievously wronged, but still, I felt bad as soon as I sent it.
When I opened my eyes the next morning, the note popped into my head like a blurry dream. I pushed it away to start my day and didn't think of it again until I checked the mail, where there was a postcard revealing my own banking errorS, not just the one I had been charged for and realized, BOA had actually shown mercy, at least in this case.
And I had not.

Lamentations 3:22-23

22 It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Thank God. For real.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Art of the Cover #1: This Land is Your Land

I love a good cover song. I have written this blog with different songs and their covers at least twenty times, but never posted. I decided today was the day to begin the series.

Some covers leave me wondering why. This is not karaoke, people.

A cover is not about imitation. It's about honoring the original work and artist with a personally rendered re-creation.

Sharon and the Dap-Kings take a song I loved to sing as loud as possible  in elementary school choir, and make me not only want to sing it, but dance and lift my hands and smile and get kinda proud.

Here is the cover and the original for your enjoyment.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: That Wasn't Me by Brandi Carlyse

"Follow your heart," some people say as their best bit of advice. What they don't know is that sometimes our heart can be tricky, crafty, and full of stupid crap it might have learned while your momma was watching General Hospital.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9.

Being ruled by flesh and emotion can cause irreparable damage. Ask people who traded in their wife and children for some good times, who are in prison for bad choices, who thought by following their heart they were serving some kind of higher purpose, only to lose their way completely.

"Don't forget who you are," our friend Martin says often.

This is easy to do when you are trying to escape the pressures of everyday family life, of a life that hasn't turned out like you expected, of a life that is really hard, even when you've worked your tail off to make things go smoothly. Mostly, it is when we forget to be grateful that our heart turns on us. When all our hard work hasn't paid off.  When the often unrealistic expectations of ourselves and others becomes a heavy weight. When pride tells us we deserve more, instead of humbly receiving what is given to us.
So, as Chloe Curiel says, "Follow your heart, but only the part that Jesus lives in."
And, maybe, just maybe, you won't have to learn who you are the hard way.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mom's Day Revisited

A few of my friends decided that Mother's Day should be at the end of July. May is too busy with weddings, awards banquets, graduations and all. We have to rush, rush, rush just to RELAX for a day.

The kids made me French toast for breakfast and showered me with some interesting gifts: a hand-made bouquet of feather flowers, some finger nail polish, a kite, and lots of questions about the kind of skates I want.

Even though I didn't get to see my mom, or any mom-type units on Mother's Day, I had a great Mother's Day. My own tribe agreed to be dragged to Fort Worth to watch the final Dallas rehearsal for She: Bike, Spoke, Love. They actually paid attention and Chris even said one of my monologues was "chilling."

We came home, where Chris gave the fish he and Chaz caught, a hot-oil bath and we stuffed our faces and played one of those complicated Cranium games which was pretty hilarious. Chris and I kicked the little kids' tails and then we watched Breakfast at Tiffany's:)

I didn't get the chance to fly my kite until this week because these last months have been such a booty kicker.
It's simple, but pretty.
And randomly, two days before Father's Day, to make up for the skates I didn't get, Chris bought me a bike:)
That's cool. I don't mind spreading the holiday out.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: In My Place by Coldplay

I took the little Sweet  and two of her friends to see Coldplay Friday night for the beginning of her Quince year- I will explain this later.

I was expecting a pretty mellow pop-rock-ish kind of concert, just based on the music. I forgot the amount of underlying energy in most of their songs. Chris Martin ran around the stage like a kid hopped up on sugar. It was infectious.

We were the choir. We were the light show.

We swayed. We sang. We rocked.
We're still basking in the glow.

It was a wonderful, wonderful show.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Morning Ride

I am trying not to mourn the occasional morning dates Chris and I get to have with his work schedule and my random gigs, while I still get to experience them.
I start work in 8 weeks, but I'm trying not to let the summer slip away without enjoying my days and my family.
It is not easy. There are so many things to do. But I am remembering to go slow, not to spin and toil and fret. I am remembering to be happy.

Morning bike ride around White Rock Lake.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: ? by ? and a Raine Wedding Top Ten

A few weeks ago, some good friends of ours were married and the wedding was a blast. One night a few months before, the groom to be, Corey mentioned he had the song that he wanted played when his bride walked down the aisle picked out since he was fourteen. If that's not romantic enough for you, it was performed by a string quartet.
Chloe and I were dumb enough to ask if it was a secret, and right then and there they decided it was. So we spent a little bit of time thinking back to that time period and were totally sure it was a U2 song of some sort, but alas, we were wrong. 
So, to make you experience the waiting and wondering, uhm, a few seconds more, I made a top ten list of things I saw, that doesn't include the actual nuptials, because I wouldn't want to trivialize such a sacred covenant or the luminescent love that flowed through the happy couple all night long. 

Top Ten Things I Saw/Experienced at the Raine Wedding 
(Mostly on the Dance Floor;)

10. Getting eaten alive in the photo booth. (By Chris, of course.)
9. Doing the wobble with my girl, who taught it to me the night before. (And the wop, a bit later)
8. Watching Chris not only eat someone else's fajita meat, but like it so much, he went back for seconds.
7. Seeing Melissa Montgomery learn the Cupid Shuffle.
6. Seeing Josh, her husband, attempt, to learn the cupid shuffle.
5. Ian Bridgeman snaking out onto the floor and he and Chase, getting down, with the get down.
4. Rob Hendrick, asking me a question about a play I had just finished, right at the moment I was about to cry during the Mother and Son dance. Safe!
3. Bethany Warren, shaking her tiny, but mighty booty.
2. Watching from the sidelines as Chandler, the best man and brother of the groom,  and his mother, Mikaela, danced late in the evening. She was wearing his top hat, and at one point, during a turn, it fell to the floor. The next moment, they disappeared behind a pillar, but I could see Chandler's foot as he juggled the hat on his toe, flipped it into the air, caught it and placed it gingerly on his head. Like watching a movie, I swear:)
1. Finally finding out what song Corey had chosen for his bride's processional. Tah-dah! (okay, # 2 is really #1, but it didn't work a s a segue;)

Thursday, June 14, 2012


A turning over
and over of the brain.
God, You have my attention.
I feel no need to call out.
You are here.
If You have lips, they are pursed.
I focus on finite details; You don't.
When you are finished adjusting my inward view,
I will get up, move,
decide, with everything paired down-
a tunnel vision created for clarity:
A son's baseball game-go/
no dishes, or laundry, or sweeping.
Just dress, just go.
A celebration for the sister by the pool-relax/
no cooking, or cleaning, or decorating.
Just hang, just relax.
A covenant made by young believers-honor it/
no fussing, rushing, or last-minute wrapping.
Just attend, just honor it.
And so it happens--
Your expectations met in the most intentional way,
in the eye of a brain hurricane.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: City Lights by Hendrick

Hendrick broke up last year, but never managed to have their final show due to ah . . .  I'm not sure. Travel, family, logistic type stuff? Anyway, last Saturday, they finally came back together, just to perform their last show.
This is not a video of their last performance; I'm not sure if there is any video of the last show.
But, this is my final nod to some croony tunes Chloe and I love to sing along to.
We church/have churched with a few of the members of the band and hove come to know the others as a group of cool, humble guys. (Yes, that's Chris on the trumpet, for just this song:)
We look forward to seeing what kind of musical endeavors these guys get into in the future.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Buddy League

Buddy League, a Garland baseball club created by Heather Miller and her family, had the last game of spring season this weekend and some special guests showed up to cheer the players on!
The Mavs Maniacs showed us what they were made of: good cheer and festive moves!
We appreciate the show of some maniac love!!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: Do you Realize by the Flaming Lips

For my sister's birthday we bought KXT's Summer Cut Tickets and vegged out at Gexa for an evening and listened to some impressive local music (some of which has been posted here already:), leading up to some pretty amazing neighbors from Oklahoma.
I have been singing this song non-stop since then.
1. Because it's beautiful.
2. Because I woke up with vertigo the next morning, so the illusion of spinning is a very present issue in my life at the moment. ( The concert was not too loud, but they did have some amazing light/laser art going on, so who knows?)

Anyway, for my sister, my spinning head, and making good things last. You betta realize . . .

Friday, June 1, 2012

Leftovers Gone Wild

After stuffing some Pablanos, like pinatas, there was a bit of leftover filling.
I had just taken some things out of the fridge to try and make room for some produce and I found in the mix a lone eggroll wrap. That chorizzo and cheese filling was begging for a scrambled egg, a little blanket, and a hot oil bath!
Breakfast for a hungry teenager who is looking for a job and practicing impromptu essay writing.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: The theme from Glory

This was the first song that popped into my head when I thought of today. I cried my eyes out during this movie on the UNT campus. Chris and I still talk about it, and that was twenty years ago. If a movie about war affects people like that, imagine the affect of war on soldiers.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: Called Out in the Dark by Snow Patrol

This song made me think about the littles who are getting big and graduating right about now. This is your life, this your time, don't be bullied. Don't forget who you are.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother's Day Wish List

Just to make it public, here are some gift ideas. Not that anyone in my family reads my blog:) I usually ask for breakfast, a poem, art, a song or short story, but the last few weeks have been so busy for my kids, I feel guilty. Here is the materialistic list anyways:

Black speed skates, with street wheels.

A kite, simple diamond shape. Either one solid color, so it looks like someone stamped the sky with it,

or stained glass, so that it looks like a window in the sky

a jump rope with wooden handles, and metal rings so that the actual, real rope swivels inside the handle:)

A nerf football, because the last one the kids bought me, was lost by  . . . the kids.

And just to prove I am a grown up, a manicure, pedicure, a DMA membership, (Kimball would be even better) and a haircut. Also a trip to my favorite thrift store and an hour of Chris's time as he sits outside the dressing room to be the rear view approver.
I am guessing I will get the kite and maybe the jump rope and most likely the trip to the thrift store. The skates have been on the list for four years:)

Happy Mother's Day, Momma's of the World. Hope you have the blessing of healthy children who rise up and call you blessed.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: Intergalactic Planetary

I am pretty sure, in my everyday vernacular, I use more Beastie Boys' quotes than any other band. (Honestly, I probably quote Salt N Pepa, the most, but it's only one line 'Salt N Pepa's here and we're in effect.'-whenever I ask for the salt and pepper.)
For example:
Now, here's a little story I got to tell . . . when I'm about to tell a story.
You wake up late for school and you don't wanna go-when we wake up late for school-duh.
I did it like this, I did it like that . . . when I am in the kitchen or well . . . you know.
I know the fly spot where they got the ... fill in the blank for whatever my family is looking for.
No sleep 'til Brooklyn . . . when I need sleep BAD and can't get it.
(I texted this to Caleb in the afternoon. I didn't hear of MCA's passing until later that evening, when I read a post on Facebook while at intermission at Chloe's play.)

Ch, ch, check it out . . . when I want you to check something out.
Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves . . . every time we pass the restaurant.
I'm about to get money . . . when I'm about to get money or do something cool.
Kick it over here, Baby Pops . . . flirting with my husband.
She's crafty . . . when we are making crafts.
I am known to do the wop . . . because I am.
Intergalactic.Planetary. Not really sure. This line, said in a robot voice, has been on rotation this year, especially early in the morning. Not sure why, just been stuck in my head.
I could go on. I am a forty year old mother of three teenagers. I would not say I am the Beastiest fan, but their words just find their way outta my mouth, a lot. Something about that style, I'm guessing.

MCA was with it, and he's the ace:)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: I Won't Back Down

My oldest son Chaz turned twenty today. He was born the day after the LA Riots. I remember having my world turned upside down when he was born, only to turn on the news and keep asking, "That's happening here? In my country? Here?" Two kinds of innocence/naivete down the drain in one day was pretty heavy. Thank God for morphine or whatever they gave me after the c-section.

He's had this song on heavy rotation for the last few months, so I thought I'd post for him and me, too. It's a good reminder, especially with everything he has had to face and is yet to face as adult with a mental and physical disability.

It's not easy to be mom to a man who still needs so much help. But I know it's not easy to be a man who still needs so much help from his mom. I am learning to be more respectful and to back down so he can have room to make mistakes. He is learning to be humble and ask for help without getting angry.

The stand your ground line is especially poignant in the wake of recent events. I took a picture with a hoodie on a week after the Trayvon Martin incident, not because I believed Trayvon Martin to be innocent, but because with the information given at the time, I believed that there needed to be an investigation. Possibly an arrest. I was mostly left shaking my head.

-Zimmerman follows Trayvon who still has not been accused of doing ANYTHING suspicious. Trayvon sees that he's being followed, so Zimmerman's behavior IS suspicious--to Trayvon at least. He gets scared calls his girlfriend, puts his hoodie up and starts walking faster. Zimmerman gets out of his SUV and confronts Trayvon who has reason to be afraid by now. No one see's the beginning of the altercation, only the middle and the end-
So, it seems the real question here, is who was standing their ground first?
And since Trayvon is dead, I'm afraid we'll never really know.  

You may ask, what does this have to do with Chaz? What mom in this country didn't start looking at how their kid was dressed when they left the house, or thought about other's perceptions of their children based on appearance? Me, I have to worry about Chaz's reaction time. His response time is slow. He smirks when he is nervous. He doesn't want to wear a medical id bracelet. He's handsome and stocky and doesn't look like he has a developmental delay. He wants to stand up for himself and his friends when they are bullied. He wants to stand his ground. I want him to, as well. Just not with a costly price. 

Here's to hoping we can learn a mass lesson and to wishing many more birthdays for my boy.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Those who can't, TEACH.

I heard this quote while I was studying theatre in high school and somehow it became a truth in my brain. As an immature college student in the early nineties, I promised myself I would never teach theatre. After I had Chaz and realized how much time his therapies, doctor visits and general care would consume, I decided to get a degree in interdisciplinary studies and teach Reading- some weird pride issue.

I managed to keep a little pinky toe in the theatre world by doing a show here and there, offering after school classes and directing scenes for church, but I never wanted to be an official theatre/drama teacher.

Twenty years later, I have been offered a job by a colleague/friend doing just that-teaching drama to K-6th grade. I took the state test last Saturday and I  PASSED.

So I decided this quote should be revised.

Those who can and don't want to starve, teach.
Those who can and want to clothe their children, teach.
Those who can and want to have an extra dollar and seven cents to buy the homeless man at 7/11 a Big Bite, teach.
Those who can and want to fund some projects teach.
Those who can and like kids and acting and writing and making costumes and creating sets, teach.
Those who can and love the process of getting a group of thinking people together and seeing what kind of story we all can tell and what we end up learning about ourselves and others, teach. Even when that group of people will be twenty kindergarteners at 7:30 in the morning,  (You think the idea of twenty kindergarteners at 7:30 in the morning is daunting, try twenty kindergarteners after lunch. I subbed in a kinder class yesterday and even I had a hard time staying on task after one o'clock:)

Teaching anything is not for the faint of heart. Teaching while trying to maintain and protect a semblance of creative writing and performing space of your own is even harder. Doing this while trying to usher three teenagers into adulthood, might just do me in. But I am looking forward to the challenge.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: A Simple Song by The Shins

I wasn't crazy about this song at first, but the lyrics sound like something I might say:

"When I was just nine years old
I swear that I dreamt
Your face on a football field
And a kiss that I kept
Under my vest"

Or this part:

"My life in an upturned boat, marooned on a cliff
You brought me a great big flood
And you gave me a lift
To care, what a gift
You tell me with your tongue
And your breath was in my lungs
And you float over the rift
Apart from everything, but the heart in my chest"

Okay, well, maybe I might not say it quite as cool as that:)

Then I looked up the video-awesomeness. How often the people that wanna get you back, also got your back in the end. Strange love is.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Panic Attack

I have never had one before.
I am sure.
I am driving west.
The sun is bright.
My eyes more sensitive to this now.
My face tingles.
My right under eyelid quivers but there is no tear.
Why am I doing this?
I am gripping the wheel too hard.
I have forgotten the lines already.
I am most assuredly late.
A bottle of hot water rolls around on the floorboard.
My lips are tingling.
My face is hot.
My tongue sizzles like a gentler form of pop rocks.
Why did I say yes?
Sliding off the side of my face, is my face.
Salvador Dali appears in the passenger seat and cups his hand under my chin.
Shaved and young,
I am embarrassed because I wish it were Adrian Brody instead.
His mother appears in the back seat.
Her mouth is open and laughing.
"How did I miss that? 'Who the F I is?'" she squeals, "Who the F I is!"
We celebrate the deciphering of a line from a pop song.
My face is in his hands now, my eyeball a yolk.

Mama Dali puts her hand on my back.
My skin cools underneath her touch.
My body aches in a good way.
"Isn't that what you always wanted to be?" she asks. 
She likes me. I can tell.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: When I Get Where I'm Going Brad Paisley and Dolly

When I get where I am going, I am gonna play football with my cousin, Bobby. And maybe, just maybe, my touchdown dance will be better than his. But I doubt it.
( His response to this would be: "You really think I'm gonna let you score a touchdown just cuz we're in heaven?")

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Anti-Reversary

Last weekend we performed at an art show before we headed to Grapevine and The Gaylord Texan to celebrate our twenty years of marriage. Another guys at the art show said, "Yeah I made it twelve years, only to get down the road with someone else and realize I was dealing with the same #$%# with someone else. Congrats!" When we told our friend Aurelia, she squealed, "Congratulations on fourteen happy years!" And we laughed, for real.

Fourteen out of twenty isn't bad. At least to my knowledge.
I was crazy and controlling after we had Chaz and Chris was pretty clueless  and selfish. It was a rough start.
It took us an evening at the Gaylord to stop the spinning from our everyday world. Our second day there, we lounged professionally, and stared at each other, and were a bit gluttonous on all levels, and enjoyed being one flesh. It is not always easy to cherish the iron who is sharpening you. Opening your eyes to your short-falls just by existing in the same house with you.

We always used to think we were opposites, but our eyes are being opened a bit on that subject. We seem to be very different personality-wise, but as we get older we see more of a variation of similarity.

We both love parties, but only for awhile, before we are overwhelmed and find a quiet place to talk to just one or two people or take a nap:)

We both have store anxiety, but mine is grocery stores and his any other store besides the grocery store.

I am opinionated and will tell you my opinions. He is opinionated and keeps it to himself. We find out his opinions on the car ride home, sometimes in the form of a long lecture.

We both like really good stories, but he exaggerates to make his better, and is GREAT at telling them and I write fiction AND I let you know it is fiction and want you to read it:)

We both like to fish. Period. He's better at it.

We both like to play pool. I'm better at it.

We both love to create things. Chris makes music and art. I write poems and stories.

We both really love our kids.  He likes to feed their belly. I like to feed their brain. We both make our best attempts to feed their hearts.

We have never NOT been attracted to each other, even when we were attracted to other people. (Don't kid yourself into thinking this doesn't happen.)

We are both insanely jealous. This has lent itself to the high-school quality of the first ten years of our marriage.

We are both very physical.

We both love God and have a messed up way of showing it.

We don't give up and the benefit of that has increased ten-fold.

Even though we have both tried really hard to STOP loving each other, so we could move on to what the world would call, BETTER things, we were unsuccessful.

You know that Marilyn Monroe quote- "I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you can appreciate when things go right, you believe in lies, so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together."

We have changed. AND we did let go of many things, and we have moved on. AND things did go wrong.  AND we have been untrustworthy. Things have fallen apart for us, more, than once, twice, three times even. AND better things did fall together. AND we just kept loving each other all the way through to twenty years and counting.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: Rocky Ground

I've heard this a few times on our local station, 91.7. At first it made me sad, until he sings, "A new day is coming" then, not so much. Like I forgot he was going to sing that part.
Just like I forget sometimes that that new day is coming.
Like on Easter morning, when you find a two-ton truck parked so close to your car you can barely squeeze in.  And when you drive off, you find your driver's side mirror dangling. And then you remember you just had the car inspected the day before.
So when you get to church, and compose the note you will leave on the windshield during the break, all the words have a hopeful tone. Even if it hadn't been inspected already, the New Day is the Good News.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Twenty Years!

This is how my boy pitched woo. In a convertible bug, Chet in the tape deck and with abad attitude. And I fell for it.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mondays Much Needed Song of the Day: Dancing Away with My Heart

Upping the cheese factor, here, but hey, it's my twentieth anniversary this weekend.
This song isn't an exact representation of our relationship, because, uh, we got married. BUT, we knew we'd feel this way eventually.

And well, I'll always think of Chris as eighteen and beautiful.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: Stray Cat Strut

Last Friday, my son's band, The Regime, (this is a working title) played a cover of "Stray Cat Strut" for the talent show at his school. I videoed their performance, which I thought was impressive, on his iphone and he has yet to let me get my paws on it:)
I did snag a few pics from facebook. (Caleb is paying the drums.)

Anyway, I can't get the song out of my head, so I thought I'd stick it in yours too.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Reluctant Sorta Home School Momma: Switching Lanes

Last week, I took Caleb to get his driving permit. Instead of being nervous I was excited. Excited about him driving, the prospect of a “new” car, and taking a step toward siccing him on the big, bad world. I wasn’t afraid for any of it, and considering my penchant for death anxiety, that is a major accomplishment. 
Two days later, Chaz and I have an appointment with Dallas Area Rapid Transit. It hasn’t occurred to me the irony. Wednesday, I take Caleb to prove he can learn to drive. Friday I take Chaz to prove he can’t.
Sadness comes fast and heavy. Only a few minutes away from Chaz’s school, and I am sobbing.
Get it together I tell myself. And I do.
He greets me with his usual warmth, “Finally. It took you long enough.”
When we get to the DART office, I let him go into the cubicle by himself. I decide not to speak any answers for him, which leaves him with some long uncomfortable moments while he searches. I only speak when the interviewer glances over at me, which is only a few times. THIS IS HARD FOR ME.
“How’s life going for you?” the interviewer asks him.
“Not so great. “
“What could make it better?” She stops looking at her computer and turns to him.
“Oh, you know,” Chaz says, “if I could just do whatever I wanted. Like a grown up.”
“What kind of things?”
“Oh, you know, live on my own, smoke, drink. Stuff like that.”
“I don’t even do those things,” the lady chuckles. ‘What kind of drink?”
“A Bud Light or something.”
We both laugh now and I know for sure, this interviewer’s last appointment on Friday afternoon, is going to be a fun one. She continues on, obviously enjoying Chaz’s candor, and I just hold on to my seat, praying he doesn’t say anything that gets adult protective services called on me.
When we walk out from under ground at the DART office, the sidewalk is glaring from the sunshine. Chaz reminds ME to look before I cross the street to our car.
I drive home, pretty sure Chaz has been re-certified for the Dart para-transit service and I am maybe, just a little bit, less certifiable. I check the time, glad we finished early. Caleb needs the car for his drive-time with Chris and I need a nap.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day:Caught in the Crowd By Kate Miller

I spent last weekend with Lisa Berry-Ford, founder of The B. R. A.V. E. Society. My uncle interviewed her for a documentary he is working on about founding the organization after the bully-cide of her son, Michael Joseph Berry.
At one point, she mentioned the bystanders, the people he thought were his friends, who did not stand up for him. It made me think if this song and how sometimes we get the chance to apologize, but sometimes we don't.
Mostly it's just better to be brave in the first place, and hope for the best.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: Good Feeling by Flo Rida

I had just hopped in the car after a show, around eleven O'clock at night, pretty tired from the day's events and this song was on the radio--shocker--I still listen to the radio.
Anyway, I started dancing so hard--in the car, mind you-- and I hadn't even started driving yet. Just in the parking lot at the Bath House, dancing in the driver's seat. Maybe it was delirium, but I attribute it to this song which has to go at the top of my work-out playlist . . .  as soon as I make a work-out playlist.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Monday's Song on Tuesday

I waited 'til Tuesday to post a song. Wonder why? Happy Fat Tuesday!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Broken-Hearted People

While waiting for a buy offer at Plato's Closet, I dashed into Joann's Fabric Store to use the restroom but immediately found myself standing mesmerized in front of discounted Valentine merchandise. Not because of the items, or the prices, but because I was eavesdropping on an elderly customer's conversation with the cashier. She was buying fabric to make a head covering for a recent scar on her forehead and I started being nosy too late to find out how she came to have the scar.

She was obviously a regular who had not been in to the store in awhile because the cashier, Michelle, asked her why it had been so long.

"Well, I lost a brother." I glanced over to her, one hand on her chest, like she was holding her heart in, the other thin, pale hand splayed on the glass counter.

"What? How?" Michelle asked, with genuine concern.

"You know the one I've been caring for? He was crippled."

"Yes. How? What happened?"

"A hit and run. A hit and run when he got off the DART bus to go to work. Can you believe that? A hit and run?"

I think she said hit and run ten times. I couldn't move. I imagined an old Chloe talking about her brother, Chaz. I felt sick. A man came up to purchase and he must have heard part of the story too because when Michelle apologized, he encouraged them to keep talking and paid for his item quietly.

"How'd you get through all that?"


I finally made my way around the shelf to the other side with a broken-heart cookie cutter. When the elderly lady asked Michelle how her son was doing, she said "He's a senior now, and getting handsomer every day. You know everyday is just one day closer to him leaving me and I'm struggling."

Caleb's not even a senior and I already feel this way.

Why am I here, God? I just needed to use the restroom before running to the grocery store, and now I had to pry myself from the discounted Valentine section and remember my purpose. I walked through the store in a fog, finally found the restroom and left without buying the broken-heart cookie cutter.

I mean, geez. Aren't there enough broken hearts in the world?