Tuesday, October 30, 2007

and now for something completely different...

happy halloween! :)

i will post pictures tomorrow of my "black cats", and you have until noon wednesday to post suggestions of what on earth i can dress up as, using only items found in my own home - including but not limited to a red feathered mardi gras mask, my wedding dress & children's dress up clothes. good luck - to us all!

Monday, October 29, 2007

regarding my dander...

like tony campolo says, "it's a short way from 'God's way is my way' to 'my way is God's way'. we would do well to guard that small distance with every ounce of passion we have.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

you'd better believe my dander is up!

“We are the religious right,” he liked to say. “One, we are religious. Two, we are right.”

this is a quote from a man who is a pastor in kansas, and was in an article on msn about the evangelical church & politics. i couldn't even read it all, i got so mad! not at the article, which was, from what i read, mostly accurate & trying to be balanced. i was furious at the people who give that 'face' to the church - the "i-am-right-and-you-are-going-to-hell-ha-ha-ha" people, pastors no less! show me where in the Bible Jesus goes around advancing a political agenda, or damning people to hell. go ahead. show me. seems to me the only people he had a problem with were the ones who went around saying "we are are religious and we are right". the worst part of this sort of publicity, aside from how sad it must make God, who's main concern is redemption and love, is that as someone who loves Jesus & goes to church, i get lumped in with that man and his twisted theology & politics. the world assumes that i am on his bandwagon, because i am a God-follower. well, i don't usually make faith declarations in this forum, but i am about to! I AM NOT ON HIS BANDWAGON. i want no part of it. there is no spirit of Jesus in that. there is no mercy, no love, no grace. no room for redemption or honest questions or even humanity.

i know that many, if not most, pastors & God-followers are loving, sincere people, who readily acknowlege their own failings and recognize that they stand, when they are able to stand at all, in the forgiveness & grace of God. they are just people trying to follow Jesus, and love the people around them. i guess it's just that they don't make good press.

we're not in kansas...er...canada anymore

it's 64 F and cloudy today according to the internet weather... that's about 17 C, for you canucks back home.... albeit a fallish 64, if you know what i mean. but this is how i can tell we have become "southerners". The Girls are outside playing. in toques, mitts & scarves. and i turned on my furnace.

Friday, October 26, 2007

reason #178

the first thing i fell in love with were his hands - they are big and smooth and strong, with broad fingers and nice cuticles. they are just beautiful. i used to watch over his shoulder while he played the piano, and it was hypnotizing. (so i have a hand fetish - sue me!)

recently i added a new reason to love those hands, and the man behind them. kyra is trying to learn how to crochet, and the "directions" are not very clear. we've all taken a shot at interpreting them, to no avail. but to see curtis, head bent in concentration, with his big, strong fingers trying to help her unravel the mysteries of crochet - that was another beautiful and hypnotizing thing.

curtis is a great dad. The Girls and i are so lucky to have him.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

for the record

being a grown up sucks.

why aren't we barefoot?

the rain, people. i love the rain. beyond how badly we need it, i love it. when i was a girl i used to run barefoot in it, race sticks down gutters, and gleefully soak myself to the skin at every opportunity. i have memories of playing under the glow of streetlights in the rain, with the blessing of my mom, who wisely allowed joyful play of almost any kind. when you are a kid, the rain is a friend, not a threat. it changed the world into something more sensual - it smells different, feels different - dirt becomes mud and gutters become rivers, and it sounds different. there's no worry about your hair, your shirt, your makeup, your book, your laptop, your suit... every small face lifts itself to the rain, without needing to be reminded.

don't you wish you could go back to that?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

a conversation

me: oh, man... i'm so tired. God, are you there?

God: hello! i've been...

me: cause i am swamped and overwhelmed, you know? life is hectic and i just feel like i'm barely keeping my head above the water...

God: well I ...

me: and i thought you were gonna be here for me, you know? that you'd give me strength, or whatever, and help me figure all this out?

God: I've been...

me: and i've been waiting, well, not really waiting i guess, cause i've been so busy, and i'm reading this great book right now, and the girls, and the air conditioning unit...

God: why don't you...

me: and i could really use a little help down here, ok? so i gotta run - i'm gonna watch the stuff i dvr'd last night and finish my library book. hmmm. and i need milk, and coffee. i wonder if milk's on sale at target this week? i saw a cute shirt there i'd like to try on.

God: i miss...

me: so if you could just take care of that for me, i'd appreciate it. i'll check in with you later.

God: oh. ok. well, rachel, i miss you. i'll be here when you come back.

gimme a break

we needed research to prove this?

**mom warning**

i rarely do this publicly, but can i just say, i am so proud of my daughters?

this has been parent/teacher week, and my girls are exceptionally intelligent, kind, responsible, well liked, excited to learn, passionate about equality and friendship... their teachers go on and on with a sort of wide eyed wonder. it's what every mom wants to hear...and i am so proud of my girls. especially because they aren't just smart, but they have beautiful, beautiful hearts. what more could i possibly ask for?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

public service announcement

beware the drunken elephants!

if you, like me, have been keeping your rice beer in rubbermaid on the back deck, you may want to rethink your storage options! the trunks on those asian elephants are very dexterous, and we all know how those crazy kids can't hold their liquor!

Monday, October 22, 2007

for future reference....

yesterday at church i was standing with a group of friends when The Girls walked up, and shanna put her arms around them saying to krya, "you are made of sweetness & light", and to meg, "you are made of spice & love". which prompted me to ask, (foolishly), "what does that mean i'm made of?" her husband had just finished saying that we couldn't discuss that in mixed company when simpson, a lovely man who doesn't give 2 figs about fashion, said, "really cute shoes and a tasty blazer." the whole group burst out laughing, and i had to concede that they were probably right! the truth of that was hammered home at the end of the service, when i was presented with a 'best mom in the universe' certificate, handmade by meg. in fine print along the bottom it said, "the cutest shoes and the most loving". that's an epitaph worth being proud of. when i have died of old, old, old age, feel free to put it on my tombstone.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

to know what the night knows

I need the fading light to sink beneath my skin
The crickets to crawl into my heart & sing their song.

The light of day has burnt my skin
Left me exposed & dry around the edges –
I need the evening air to inflate my lungs & breathe for me
To cool the raging furnaces of do & don’t,
Quiet the voices and still.

How can a twig be held suspended by a silken thread?
Is the tail of that squirrel twitching its Morse code for me?

Green and gold and brown is the light that seeps through the trees -
Then its momentary magic is gone
And all that is left is something by which I can see.

I need to know what the night knows.
How it holds the dark so lightly in it’s palm
Without fear or pain
Without even dark.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

saturday at my house

Slender and agile
The long fingers (with chipped purple polish only on the thumbs)
Carefully lay the blade alongside my own thumb (free of polish of any kind).

She pushes my hands together
With instructions to blow hard into the small crevasse.

Imagine my shock when, after being defeated by grass my whole life,
The jarring scream of an eagle
(Or blasting honk of a crow?)
Pierces our front porch!

Again and again
I blow hard into the small crevasse
While my daughter dances with bright eyes around my chair exclaiming
“‘I told you, you could do it!”

Three brown eyed girls
Hooting and chirping merrily in the sunshine
Luring neighborhood birds into response
Smiling at each other widely
From beneath our thumbs

Which look like they are up our noses.

Friday, October 19, 2007


i think this is a weekend when we all ought to enjoy a glass of wine - or beer or pina coloda, whatever you prefer - in celebration that this long, hard week is finally, mercifully, over.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

so tragic i can hardly type it.

i was driving with sarah down my street, and we had to swerve to miss a squirell that was laying on the road...and just as we passed it (with a wide margin) we saw it drag itself out of harm's way with only it's front paws, it's lower half dragging uselessly behind it! awww, man! it wasn't bloody or in any other way obviously injured, but it was the saddest thing i've seen in a long time in nature. poor baby...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


so i have some things going on in my life, some external & some internal, which are more overwhelming than i expected. i thought it would be like a stroll, or at worst a hike, through the park, but have found it to be a lot more like navigating the fireswamp without the dread pirate roberts to pull me from the snow sand. i feel constantly ambushed - not even by big things, necessarily. even dinner can undo me. i teeter on the brink of overwhelmed at every moment, never sure what i can do to help myself, or how to let others (read "curtis") help me. add to that the guilt i feel for not being the wife/mother/friend/"insert role here" that i ought to/could be, man... it's harsh over here.

so if you pass me on the street or in kroger or at church and i just don't seem myself, please don't think it's you. it's really not you. it's me. i promise.

fall in the south

it happened all of a sudden, as it usually does, i guess. one day you wake up and open the blinds, and all the trees are firey red and brilliant yellow...beautiful in the clear, early morning light. the hardwood holds on a little more, so there is still some pretty vibrant green back in the woods here and there, but there is no question that i finally woke up to fall.

we were at the state fair yesterday - an experience my canadian friends and i didn't have growing up. it's definitely not my cup of tea, but The Girls had a great time - rides, friends (we went with the staff), food...they each even won a prize throwing darts at balloons. we also got to see pig races - how funny! - where they alternated pig, goat, pig, ducks and finally pigs again. you've never lived til you've seen a duck race.... and again, me without my camera! dang!

and you'll get no complaints from me about the weather....

Monday, October 15, 2007

rock star poets

good morning, friends! how are you this morning? good, i hope...

i was recently turned on to a new poet - naomi shahib nye - and although i've not read much of her yet (i have 2 books upstairs to linger over), i have a new quote for you all.

"i want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do."

Saturday, October 13, 2007

saturday from heaven

meg is, even as i type this, is mopping the kitchen (voluntarily!) while telling me her life plan. she is torn. she wants to be a "movie maker" (not sure what she means by this - probably an actress?) or a janitor, because janitors get to mop things. reflecting now, she tips her head and says, "but if i was a movie maker i could just come home and mop..."

Thursday, October 11, 2007

a good question!

what would you do if there was an asteroid going to hit earth in 60 minutes? interestingly, 2% of people said they'd start looting. LOOTING. the world is ending, and all they can think of it stealing?

leave me your answer in the comments. what would you do?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

words to live by

this is why everyone should go to the zoo, at every opportunity. you never know what you're going to see! :)

maybe i just need a nap

i want a gentler, more even keeled me. not sure if it's possible...i think i am wanting something that i am fundamentally not. personality isn't just something we made up - we are all different. and sometimes i wish i were something i'm just not. but then again, i like to think i add a little spunk, a little color & pizzazz to life. if i didn't, who would? so i guess rather than wish myself into someone different, i really ought to be who i am full tilt. why is it that it seems to be harder than it ought to be, just to be yourself?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

ranting and raving

so meg wants to be a girl scout. great! the registration fee is only $10! great! plus $4/mo dues. no problem. plus $14.50 vest, $15 pants, $24.50 skort (for "formal" occasions), $14.95 (plus shipping, because i cannot find it in an acutal store to save my life) for the formal occasion blouse, $12 for the casual brownie t-shirt, and $16.30 for patches & pins. for a grand total of $107.25, not counting dues or shipping. but hey, at least meg has black shoes already. it's not even the money - it's truth in advertising. i'd much rather they ask for $125 upfront, and then just give us the uniform & et al. not only would it be clearer the commitment you are making, but it would immensely simplify the process - for everyone. i think of the lower income parents who want to provide opportunities for their daughters, and suddenly $10 swells into $100... it's just not fair, you know?

in addition to which, i was assaulted with CHRISTMAS for sale at penny's already. correct me if i'm wrong, but we have not yet finished the halloween debacle, nor thanksgiving... no wonder we are all sick of christmas by december 25th. and that is just plain sad.

too tired to make sense

dude. i'm sooooooo tired. i know you are, too. what is up with that? too tired to think, too tired to blog. so here's a thought for you from a book i read a couple months ago.

"it seems that God wants to grow us up, to use us, wants us to be strong and wise and courageous. he doesn't appear to be terribly interested in making sure we're comfortable. he would not make a good flight attendant." -j.ortberg

funny how God's not as much like Christina Aguilara as we might think.

also, The Girls. meg just asked if she could be a "modeler" when she grows up. kyra wants to be an environmental scientist. how do two such different peas come from the same pod?

also, heard a new word (albeit from a british paper) "he-vage" : as in, man cleavage. for example, "how much he-vage should a man show?" i wonder how i can use that in conversation? i think it will take some work...but i'm not one to shy away from that...

dang. did i mention i'm so tired i'm loopy?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

WAY better than my new shoes!!

do you ever get frustrated by the fine print associated with good causes? the sign says, "proceeds go to ...." but the fine print at the bottom of the poster says, ".1% of sales..." or some other ridiculously small donation. it makes me crazy.

but this i love!

tom shoes - a shoe company that gives away a pair of shoes for each pair you buy! one for one, nothing in the fine print! last year they gave 10,000 pairs to children in argentina, and this year they are taking an estimated 40,000 pairs to africa, and plans for a shoe drop for needy kids in the US in 2008!

i think i'll buy toms for christmas presents this year... toms and goats!

Friday, October 05, 2007

i love that don miller...

"the very scary thing about religion, to me, is that people actually believe God is who they think he is."

he's right, you know? in many ways we form our own image of God from our experiences, politics and how we were raised, and you end up with people truly believing God wants them to kill abortion doctors, or make the homosexual an outcast, or doesn't care if they cheat on their spouse or their taxes. we turn God into a religious formula of our own design, making him in our image, rather than letting ourselves be made into his image. we think we've got God all figured out... but donald miller has something to say about that, too.

"...one of the things you notice about Jesus (is) that he's always going around saying you have heard it said such and such, but i tell you some other thing. if you happened to be a person who thought they knew everything about God, Jesus would have been completely annoying."

Thursday, October 04, 2007

night air makes me wax philosophical

i was sitting outside on the porch last night in the dark, looking up through the sprawling leaves of the trees to the stars, drinking in the evening. until i moved here, i didn't know that air really could be "soft" - i'd read it in books, but figured it was poetry, not fact. but the air was so soft last night ... velvety on my skin and smooth somehow. there was no traffic, only crickets and the occasional rustling in the bushes of some small creature waking up. it was really beautiful - and rather than make me feel my 'smallness' in the scope of creation, it made me see that i am part of the largeness of life...made for a reason by the same hand that made the stars and critters that rustle; not a tiny cog in a big wheel, but my own piece of a glorious puzzle. like davy crowder says, "you make everything glorious - what does that make me?"

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

a conversation with meg...

(meg) "... but why not????"

(me) "because i am the most horrible mother in the world."

(meg) "i am going to go to the mom store and get a new one."

(me) "good idea. what is she like?"

(meg) "she looks like you, and she is like you."

(me) "oh - so basically you're just going to get me for a mom?"

(meg) "yeah - all the other moms are too dull."

(really. that's what she said. my finest moment.)

i'm a grown up now - part II

i recently had a revelation that made me feel, for the first time, like i may actually be a grown up. it was definitely a shock to my system! it was, perhaps, not what you would expect - not how old my kids are, or that i am a homeowner, or that i have grey hair (just a few, but that's enough. trust me.) rather, it was that for the most part my friends have real, grown up jobs. they are psychiatrists & anesthesiologists, microbiologists & vaccine developers, lawyers & teachers! we all used to be kids playing at "grown up" - i knew a bunch of students & wanna be musicians & young moms who read college brochures. but not anymore. i realize that none of them really feel like grown ups, themselves - and i have included photographic evidence of that here for your viewing pleasure! :)

it was just weird - and vaguely alarming - to realize my generation has actually become, or at least is becoming, the generation that is making the world go round.

Monday, October 01, 2007

what a grownup thing to do!

we are closing on our morgage refinance this morning - what a grown up thing to do! this has been fraught with hassles, largely due to our status as visa holding non-citizens, but our morgage broker - (yay, erika from corporate investors morgage!) - worked the system for us like crazy. and technically, to be fair, curtis did all the work on this one...i just have to sign the dotted line. it's kinda nice, actually...