April 2007

The not knowing is not always the worst. Sometimes the knowing is even worse.


Life hasn’t always been kind to me. But whatever it hands me, I create a plan and a backup plan in my head. They are not always the best ideas but I can function if I have these thoughts floating around in my head. I can take whatever is handed me, if I know what it is. Its the limbo I can’t take. The not knowing what the hell is going on, being unable to create some elaborate fantasy in my head (i.e., plan) to combat the worry. I can’t stand this slow torture of not having a firm hold on my life. Basic things like where am I going to live, where are my children going to lie there pretty little heads down at night, do I pack my stuff and move next month or do I hang in here as long as I can, in limbo land. I fricken hate limbo land. It destroys my mind and will. It zaps me like no other horrible thing that has happened in my life. Ladybug has two massive strokes at birth: I instantly have a plan, contact doctors, social workers, take care of NannyGoat. Macdougal develops a killer flesh eating bacteria and tries to die? I instantly have a plan. But this limbo shit? Its a piece of crap. A large steaming piece of crap, that I can smell but can’t see. If I could see it….I would have a plan about how to clean the shit up.

(borrowed from Chris )

Let’s say you’re at a friend’s house in a strange part of town. You’re on your way out when you realize that you’re not 100% sure how to get back to the highway. A friend offers to lead you in his car. You take him up on it and tail him back to the highway.

Halfway through the trip, seemingly out of nowhere, a car passes, does a complete 360-degree turn, wildly out of control, and clips the front of your car. Your airbags don’t deploy and you realize quickly that you’re okay. Your friend having seen this transpire in his rear-view mirror, pulls off a hundred feet ahead. You jump out of your car, announcing to him that you’re fine. The driver of the out of control car does the same. The damage isn’t insignificant but it’s not terrible.

As you survey the damage and the other driver checks out his car, you pull out your cell phone and you call the police. After you hang up, the other driver walks over to you. “Listen, I have a problem. You called the police, right?” You reply that you did. “Look,” the driver responds, “I’ve been drinking. When the cops get here, they’re going to arrest me because it’ll be the third time. They’re going to lock me up. I’d like to call my wife if that’s okay.” And you tell him that, of course, it is.

Before too long, the driver’s wife arrives. She’s driving a mid-size SUV. She’s well-dressed, clearly a professional. Between the two cars and the looks of both, it’s clear they’re not filthy rich but neither are they destitute. When the wife arrives, she heads straight for the three of you.

“If the police come, they’re going to lock my husband up for a long time. I can’t live without my husband. I know what he did is wrong and it’s dangerous, but I’ll give you $5,000 in cash right now if you just tell the police that I was driving. We’re both covered by insurance and your car will be taken care of. I just can’t have my husband in jail.” And with that, she thrusts an envelope full of cash in your direction.

Do you take it?

I was born in the early 60s. I grew up in a school where we had scheduled “Bomb drills”. I grew up trained to react to the sirens. It was as much a part of learning as the ABCs. Images like these haunted my days and my dreams. I didn’t watch, so much as study movies like The Day After. As I aged, those experiences created a fear which spawned planning. I planned how we would survive after a nuclear explosion. Where we would go, what we would need, how we would get there. As a teenager I learned as many “old-fashioned” crafts as possible. Storing that information for use in a world where machines were destroyed. After I started having children, I dreamed about it. I mapped out the bomb shelters, knowing where each one was-closest to the grocery store, the preschool, my work. About how I would get to the kids if they weren’t with me and, once again, how we would survive. I never doubted that most of my family would survive because I was prepared. I realize now that what I had, and still have, is hope. It might not be logical, but it’s what I have.

Now 2/3s of my children are adults. I can share with them my plans for survival, in fact I can expand these plans now because they are old enough to help (I go directly to store…canned goods only….you go to Sporting Goods Store….fuel, guns, ammo….you go fetch horses and tack…then we all meet up and travel to Great Grama’s cabin in the mountains). They laugh at me. Not at my grandiose plans, but at the idea that there would be a chance to implement my plans. They have no hope. Not the slightest smidgen of a thought that we would survive. No plans, just boom and bye bye.

I find this tremendously sad. In a world as tenuous and frightening as today, why don’t they have hope? What has happened in the world to take that away from our children? They need hope, we all do.

I have got this song blasting playing at work, I am trying not to sing along outloud to protect the innocent ears of my coworkers.

I won’t pretend to know what you’re thinking
I can’t begin to know what you’re going through
I won’t deny the pain that you’re feeling
But I’m gonna try and give a little hope to you
Just remember what I’ve told you
There’s so much you’re living for

There’s a light at the end of this tunnel
There’s a light at the end of this tunnel
For you, for you
There’s a light at the end of this tunnel
Shinin’ bright at the end of this tunnel
For you, for you
So keep holdin’ on

You’ve got your disappointments and sorrows
You ought to share the weight of that load with me
Then you will find that the light of tomorrow
Brings a new life for your eyes to see

So remember what I’ve told you
There’s so much you’re living for       —  Third Day

Got to tell you folks, I feel like today is a much better day. Birds are singing, the sun is shining, God is good, and…..

Sanjaya is no longer on American Idol

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I am under

Beneath the dark, cold water

I stroke through the silver and black

Unable to reach the reflection above


There is a glimpse of cheek above

A flash of fingers outreaching

Unable to rise

Slowly I sink

Down to the silt and stone


I kick the bottom

Only stirring up a fog

I twist and turn

No longer knowing up from down


No one knows

I am here at the boundary

The twilight between light and dark


All of the courage

Once held in my heart

Seems nonexistent here

Beneath the dark, cold water

I remember growing up as a kid, I could hardly wait for Sunday morning. My Dad read the paper and I got the funny paper. The cartoons were in color on Sunday, a vast improvement over the weekly, and there were always puzzles on the last page. I don’t get the newspaper anymore, because I am using the ‘Net to save a tree. But this little exchange was almost as fun as those old newspaper funnies. I had just told her I had to go, because I need to clean the house so the Realtor can show it:

NannyGoat: I’ll send Ladybug over to clean

Vixen: Oh yea, great idea

Vixen: cuz, early toddler clean really helps

Vixen:…helps make the house look like it was bombed

Vixen: bombed by the dirty fairy

NannyGoat: depends on what kinda look you are going for

NannyGoat: she designed our apartment in her own Feng Shui way

Vixen: Toddler Feng Shui?

NannyGoat: yes

Vixen: nifty

NannyGoat: it looks like a mess to the untrained eye but each toy is in mathematical placement to ease the body and soul

Vixen: strategic planning on her part I am sure

NannyGoat: yes very long planning

Vixen: or short planning, she is quick that way. So brilliant it only takes a moment to perfect her plan

NannyGoat: she is constantly arranging and re-arranging as well

Vixen: because moods ebb and flow

Vixen: and must be constantly accounted for

NannyGoat: right now she is adding bananas to the middle of the living room floor…brilliant placement…brilliant

Vixen: I can picture in my mind how well the banana color goes with your black couch…a striking choice

NannyGoat: extremely aesthetically pleasing

Vixen: and handy if she gets hungry later…form AND function

I have no hope that my horoscope will change my life, but for fun I read it daily. However, today’s seems to fit my life quite prefectly:

As you begin a new adventure, it’s time to put an end to a situation that you no longer want in your life — this will be like pruning a rose bush: an unpleasant (and potentially painful) task, but a necessary one if you want some beautiful things in your life to blossom. It’s okay to mourn the end of something you’ve grown familiar with, but try not to let these feelings dampen the optimism and excitement you’re feeling about the new beginnings in your life.

The day before yesterday (yes, I am sure of it), my youngest baby was in elementary school, my middle was in middle school and my oldest was just getting the hang of high school.

Today, my youngest is getting her driver’s permit and my oldest is going to find out whether my SECOND grandchild is a girl or a boy?

I am very afraid, as I seem to have misplaced about 10 years. Has anyone seen them?

Some people say home is where the heart is and that a house is just a building. Yet you are a special place, a place that has housed so many years and memories. You have sheltered us for almost 10 years now, you are one of us.

Do you carry the memories as we do? Have your walls absorbed the voices of our past? As I begin to box up my things of years, I look back with fondness, joy, sadness, and exasperation upon my time with you.

You were a large place: drafty and cold in winter; hot and uneven in summer. Your extra girth allowed me to foster my addiction for fostering wayward souls. Taking in so many when they needed, growing my family beyond its blood ties. Seriously, what would life be without Sparkles and Lloyd in it?

Such lovely holidays we shared: Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Happy Stick Day and 4th of July. Special occasions too–birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, births, and engagements. You gave as a place to re-group and focus during difficult times too—unhappy stick day, loss of jobs, strokes, near death experiences and sickness. You were always the center, the meeting place, our tether.

I think of the big things and the little things. Sometimes they pour over me in a rush and others times they trickle in slowly. I remember Bear in elementary school, adjusting so well, earning Citizen of the Month and performing with her violin in 5th grade orchestra. Her many, many friends always jumping on the trampoline. The years of being the Girl Scout “Cookie Momster”, then becoming a leader for her troop. Of teaching catechism and meeting friends along the way.

I see so much of MacDougal’s life reflected in your windows. Touch football, basketball in the driveway, young boy’s so envious of his bond with his father. Growing from young man to adult. High school graduation, illness and rebirth, learning the frailty of human kind and meeting the woman who will become his wife.

Nanny goat’s life whistles through your halls. Love and struggle, a graduation we dreamed of, drama and comedy, of leaving and finding your way home again, engagements, weddings and precious miracle babies.

I see great laughter and joy. I see struggle and sorrow. A moment standing in your front yard with the towering pines above me and my family surrounding me, determined yet desperate with worry about a new baby who clings to life.

You brought us many people. Some who have stayed in our lives and some who have not. You gave us neighbors: crazy ones, druggie ones, angry ones, Canadian ones, toilet papered ones, needy ones and giving ones.

You gave us irony: A Cinco de Mayo which was so horrendous and violent, but eventually led to a Happy Stick Day in which we laughed and laughed at the man swinging at the missing piñata while blindfolded. Days and days of working to get the motorcycles ready for riding, and a day when a motorcycle caused a policeman to almost arrest my innocent son.

Ah so much, much more….but I think I will let the others add. Let this be our tribute to you, house on honey water.

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