Thursday, November 26, 2009

Today I Am Thankful!

Today I am thankful.
I try to remember everyday to be thankful for the life I am blessed to have. Some days are harder than others. Sometimes I do not remember that the things I struggle with are what make me who I am and are the tools I can use to become a little better every day. Sometimes I am high on how ridiculously happy I am.
Today I am thankful.
I am thankful to wake up to the sound of rain on my windows. It reminds me that the place I live in is green and lush and beautiful. The rain will cleanse the air and keep it cool when I have a house full of people today.
I am thankful for Fiona waking up in the middle of the night because it shows she is healthy and knows that whatever the problem Mama will fix it.
I am thankful for attitude from teenagers because they have learned freedom of expression. We're still working on self control but that will come.
I am thankful for 10 year olds who are independent because she is learning how to be her own person. And that person is amazing.
I am thankful for snoring dogs because they show us love and compassion and how to selflessly take care of another being.
I am thankful for family being here because it shows me how much people change and grow up and how we all become different people in our lives.
I am thankful for 27 people for dinner because it shows me we are loved and have an abundance.
I am thankful for my husband teasing me about inviting most of Pierce County because it shows me that he appreciates me for who I am and loves me with all that he is.
I am thankful for wonderful friends who tell my children "Help your mom, you know she won't ask for it even though she needs it" because she understands me.
I am thankful for my ex husband because he has made the decisions in his own life that has allowed my children to all be together today.
I am thankful for coffee because dear Lord it is going to be a LONG day.
Today I am thankful.

Blessings to you my loved ones, friends and family alike. Blessings to those of you who irritate the hell out of me because you deserve them to.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Firmly Rooted Transplant

It hit me the other day that while I may be a "transplant" I have dug my roots firmly in here in Washington.
I still miss California. I miss the 70 degree winters and the blue skies. I miss the freeways and the open spaces and the billion different options for everything. I just miss the way it feels. It's difficult to explain unless you've grown up somewhere else and then moved. Everything just feels different.
I find I've got this funny mix of southern California and Washington going on in my head. I don't own an umbrella and I'm still trying to wear flip flops in December any time the sun comes out like there's a chance it isn't 40 degrees outside. I know every place in a 25 mile radius that has great tacos and horchata and expects to find a coffee place at least every block.
I miss the warm sandy beaches.
I'm amazed by this place still. I've never known the sky to be so blue, when it finally shows itself from behind the clouds. The summers are amazing and you will never, ever see so many different shades of green anywhere else. Spring is crisp and clean and pink. When the sun and the rain get equal billing everything explodes in color and comes alive again. This time of the year the trees are turning red and gold and the scenery changes almost daily. It's picturesque most days and I'm struck with how beautiful this place is and how lucky I am to live here. OK the winters suck. There's no way for me to gloss over that. I still can't get past the winters - I'm still a California girl at heart. There's only so much you can change. ;)
But for now I'm enjoying where I live. I need a sweatshirt and a latte' and I'm happy. I'll be complaining about the weather soon enough!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Simple Truths

A few years ago for one reason or another I jotted down a few simple truths I like to live by. While my mind wandered away from me at some point today I remembered this and went to go find them. I don't know why I did either but it bears repeating. My life is so different than it was in June 2005 I wanted to see if I felt differently about anything. There isn't one that I would change and only one that no longer applies (and I opted to leave out)

  1. Good enough isn't.
  2. The measure of a person isn't in their words, but their actioins.
  3. Any woman going to the bar alone is only looking for one thing.
  4. There isn't much that could go wrong that can't be fixed by something expensive - or chocolate
  5. There is very little a man can do that can't be fixed by a little blue box (if you don't know where the little blue box comes from, it's best you stay out of trouble. or ask.)
  6. Know when to keep your mouth shut and your head down.
  7. Know when to open your mouth and keep your head up.
  8. Know where all the exits are.
  9. Say your sorry. Especially when you're right. Harsh words sting the one who was wrong the most.
  10. A lady doesn't need to wear a watch. All important events will be announced.
  11. Be on time. Tardyness is just plain rude.
  12. Don't apologize for who you are. If someone doesn't like you, it's their problem.
  13. Don't expect someone else to applogize for who they are. You don't have to like them.
  14. Don't be rude if you can help it.
  15. Sometimes nice doesn't work. But be nice until it doesn't.
  16. Anyone who says money isn't important has never had it, or been completely without it.
  17. Anyone who says they wouldn't do XYZ for any amount of money has never been offered the right amount.
  18. Love is a gift. Receive it as one. Give it as one.
  19. Trusting someone is knowing that they won't fuck-up when it counts.
  20. Loyalty is one of the most important things.
  21. Faith is believing in something you can't prove to be right.
  22. Learn from your mistakes. Even if you make them again.
  23. Learn from the mistakes of others. Even if they make the same ones again.
  24. Forgive.
  25. Most things can be let go. Most things should be.
  26. Tomorrow is another day.
  27. Make today matter.
  28. The state of your house is a direct reflection of your life.
  29. Never underestimate the healing power of cleaning.
  30. or a good cry.
  31. or a stiff drink.
  32. Dogs and kids know when we need love better than we do. Always let one in your lap.
  33. Never ask for more than you are willing to give.
  34. Never bet more than you can afford to loose.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Let me start out by saying that music is one of my very favorite things in the whole world. There are few other things that can move you like music. It makes you feel. It makes you think. There's a song for every mood. I have CD's I haven't listened to since my divorce because the lyrics are still too sharp. There are songs that I will listen to over and over because they bring me joy or remind me of something beautiful and wonderful. To hear these things live and watch the people blessed with this gift is one of the most wonderful things. It is something I have not done enough of over the years.
Last week Allie and I went to her first concert. What started out as a free acoustic show we won on the radio turned into tickets for the show that night. We were really excited as we both really like Flyleaf. I was looking forward to taking Allie and showing her what I love about live music.
This was so much more than I expected.
The "pre-show" was sponsored by the radio station and was the lead singer Lacey and the guitarist Sameer playing a short acoustic set for about 15 people. They came out and sat down and said hello. Lacey looked a little nervous. With eyes closed and wringing hands the voice that came out of this tiny woman blew me away. I've heard Flyleaf on the radio and at full volume in my car and was not prepared for the power behind the song. (I had to laugh a little when Allie noticed she was singing with gum still in her mouth.) The recordings of Lacey's voice do not do it justice - it doesn't allow it to resonate through your bones like it did in this small room. All I could think while watching her was that we were witness to something personal and intimate. There is real, raw emotion behind the songs. My first impression was that she was a musician - not a performer. Performing was part of it. Intimate gatherings like this one are part of the job. The joy is the music. The passion is the music. Here is this tiny woman with this huge voice sharing this with us. She's nervous. I would be nervous about baring my soul that way, too.
We got a chance to meet Lacey and Sameer after the show and get a picture and an autograph. They were nice and the kind of people you could sit down and have a coffee with. They were approachable and that was great. It might have had a bit to do with the fact that Allie is a head taller than Lacey. Allie was beside herself. How COOL was this!?
We wandered around around Seattle for a few hours. Had a coffee and a snack. Allie got the heck scared out of her by the Monk fish at the fish market. Really, the funniest thing I have seen in a while. They heard her scream 6 shops down. We had a good time and connected. It was nice to spend time together.
We stood in line with about 100 of our new best friends. From the look on Allie's face Christmas was waiting inside. All dark and punk-rock and loud - but Christmas still. She didn't know what to expect but she knew it was shiny and awesome! Once we got in she was all anticipation and energy. She kept asking what time it was and how long until it started. We ended up waiting a half hour past what the expected start time was. It was a concert, what can you expect.
It was worth the wait. My earlier impression was blown out of the water.
What I took as a nervousness seemed now a struggle to hold back the power and the passion in the song. What appeared now was a voice, a need, a power that was difficult to contain in such a small package. She practically burst. The accompaniment of the guitars and drums added to the feeling. It was whole. The package was complete. Her voice could only be complimented by the musicians she played with. Their music could only be lifted by her voice. The energy was explosive. I will definitely follow them for as long as they are able to share this amazing gift with us. Add to the talent a positive message and I'm hooked. "Arise and be all that you dream. Encourage each other and remember to sing over each other, over your family, and over yourself. Arise and be all that you dream".
Their newest album , Momento Mori, came out on Tuesday. Yes, we already have it and have listened to it. More than once. I had to load it on my ipod so that I have a hope of getting to listen to it and don't have to hunt down where Allie has hid it.
I hope this is able to foster the budding musician in Allie. Or at the very least will add to her love of music. Music is how Allie and I connect. I'm glad we were able to share this experience. If "alternative" is your thing, I definitely suggest you RUN to get your copy. NOW. What are you still doing here?

Arise and be all that you dream
Encourage each other
and remember to sing over each other
over your family
and over yourself
Arise and be all that you dream

Monday, November 2, 2009

23 for Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving just over 3 weeks away I am in full planning mode. I love Thanksgiving. It's my favorite holiday. It wasn't always, but it is now.
I had to remind my introverted husband the other day that he loves me and does so for who I am as I revealed that at this point, without everyone invited coming or confirmed, we are at 23 for dinner.
*GRIN* "Yup!"
"23? Really?"
"So far"
"23 - So far? How many people did you invite?"
Everybody is invited for dinner. It's Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is great. Thanksgiving is easy. Even for 23. Or more.
I have so very much to be thankful for that I have come to embrace Thanksgiving. I love all that the holiday stands for. As an adult I have learned that it is not the re-enactment of history that our school system would lead us to believe. I know that we are not celebrating the coming together of two peoples because of a common goal. We have moved past celebrating the actual harvest. What we are celebrating is being thankful for what the year has given to us. If you believe that you will reap what you sow then this is the time to be thankful for those things. I have a lot to be thankful for. I have a good life and a good family. I am loved. I have people to love. My daughters and husband are healthy. My house is warm. I have food in my cupboards and friends to spend time with. I have inconsequential things to bitch about. Life is GOOD and I am THANKFUL! So yes, bring on the people and the food and fill my house to the rafters with laughter and love!!
This is not my grandmother's Thanksgiving. We will eat at noon-ISH. You can come in your jammies if you wish. If you feel like you would like to bring something bring it. If you don't or you can't then come anyway. This is the one day of the year I feel like having someone say Grace before the meal. Richard, this is your gig by the way. Dinner is buffet style and "excuse me" and "can you scoop me some of that, too" and lots of elbows and hands reaching and people together enjoying the day. This is 23 (or more) people being thankful together. I'm looking forward to those who can "just drop in for a minute" and for those who can stay all day.
For reasons I'm not quite sure of the girls are not going to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving this year. I'm excited that they will be here with us but I am sad for them that they will miss out on this with their father. Allie asked me if I would let their dad come for Thanksgiving. I think I surprised her when I said that yes, he would be welcome here. Of course. Absolutely. She surprised me even more when she invited him! I'm not sure what he told her but I'm sure he declined. I did explain that what ever reason they had for not bringing them to him for Thanksgiving would also prevent him from coming here. I am glad to see that the spirit of the holiday is with her. It's about family and those that you love. He is our family and is welcome.
I hope 23 is not our final number. I hope to see many more people that day. If you can make it - great! If you can not I hope you enjoy where you are for the day.

Does anyone have any extra chairs? ;-)