June 12, 2011

  • My Milagro


    I’m taking a jewelry class tomorrow night.  It’s a class on wire-work and I’m looking forward to it as this is something I’ve wanted to learn to increase my skill set.  (yeah, I’m way more interested in improving my jewelry technique than I am in studying accounting software – go figure)

    So the project we’ll be using as the basis for these techniques is a “Milagro Chain”

    I’ve read the Milagro Bean field War, but even then I didn’t really know what a milagro was.  Looking it up, I discover that it’s a charm, typically left at the site of a saint, in thanks for an answered prayer.  The charm is meant to represent the miracle, so frequently they are shaped like body parts.  (Which led me to speculate for a moment on a necklace with a little sterling silver pancreas …)

    I’ve had over a month to get ready for the class, choose my elements etc.  But I just wasn’t drawn to anything.

    Until this afternoon.  I visited the New Mexico Bead and Fetish shop down in old town and found a New Mexico/Route 66 charm.  That’s about perfect.  As many different places as I’ve lived, I’ve never lived anywhere that felt so much like “Home” from the moment I arrived.  They also had a “New Mexico” charm, but the Route 66 reached out to me.  It speaks to me of driving on open roads, moving west, and of course of my now home state. 

    Tucker was disappointed that I didn’t choose a charm featuring his picture prominently as he’s convinced that he (or he and his brother if I MUST be fair) are the closest things to miracles in my life.  And he’s right in a general way.  But I have a LOT of “Momi” gear.  I wanted this necklace to represent something to me.  Home does it.


June 7, 2011

  • U Don’t Have 2 B Rich …






    U Don’t Have 2 B Beautiful 2 Turn me on

    I just need Ur Body Baby,

    From Dusk til Dawn

    U Don’t have 2 B Rich

    4 me 2 B Ur Girl

    U don’t have 2 B Cool

    2 Rule my World

    I Just want Ur Extra Time

    And Ur Kissssssssssssssssss


    So when I got home tonight, Tucker met me at the door.  He wanted to have family time.  Told me that he’s been feeling a little neglected lately.  He was already popping the popcorn, and had the movie ready to go.  Happy Feet.  We haven’t watched it in a while and I LOVE the music, so why not.

    My 14 year old sat close enough to me to technically be snuggling with his mom.  Now it wasn’t all snowflakes and polar lights, he also did things like put his feet on his brother, fart in the quiet moments, and generally make himself a squirrelly mess. But God Bless him.  He lets me know when he needs a little extra time. 

    And a good night kissssssssss

    I don’t know if anyone is still thinking that there’s any such thing as quality time.  As in the magical moments that you look into your child’s eyes and connect with his soul, then you dust your hands off and go about your busy life because quality makes up for quantity.  That’s never worked for me. 

    Maybe because I’m a foot smaller than either of my boys, but they have always been able to tackle me and hold me down if necessary.  And they are willing to deal with me in whatever way they must to get what they need.  That soul gaze doesn’t work for them, either.  They don’t give a flying flip about quality.  They want my body, mind, and soul to be present with them for great gasping gobs of time.

    Now they’re older, I do get credit if I sit still on the couch for the time it takes to watch a movie and I’m thrilled about that because I work all day and sometimes, I’m tired. 

    I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Momma loves you, too, boys …


June 6, 2011

  • Summer Reading? Anyone?

    It’s been, I don’t know, 3? 4? days in a row that I’ve logged in, discovered that I didn’t have anything to say, and logged out without blogging.  I’ve left a few comments here and there, but clearly my blogging skills are rusty.  I remember the days when I didn’t have to have a thought in my head and I could still blog pages.

    So in the absence of a real blog, I’ll post my summer reading list (so far) and invite anyone who sees this (2 years of absence will kill your readership ) to make suggestions of additional titles:

    1) (Currently reading) The Better Mousetrap, by Tom Holt.  I don’t even know how to describe this book except to say that if you didn’t like Douglas Adams, you won’t like this.  (I loved DA)

    2) Mistborn Trilogy, by Brandon Sanderson

    3) I Thought it was Just Me, But it Isn’t: Telling the Truth about Perfectionism, Inadequacy, and Power, by Brene Brown

    4) The Secret of Quantum Living, by Frank J. Kinslow

    5) Rules for the Dance: A Handbook for Writing and Reading Metrical Verse, by Mary Oliver

    6) The Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher (Yes, I know this is like 49 books and counting. I’m on #7 now)

    7) Something from the Philosophy Shelf

    8) Something from the Popular Sciences Shelf

    9) Something from the History Shelf

    10) Something from a section of the bookstore I haven’t thought of yet

    11) Something you recommend.



June 3, 2011

  • What your clothing says …

    Most of the time when someone mentions my clothing choices, they don’t just say, “that color is flattering” or “browns don’t do much for you”.  They say things like “those are happy colors! … you look like a hippie … you look like the cool Momi … or that color brown makes you look like you lost a mudfight.”

    So what does it say when my boss and I dress alike on the same day.

    We rounded the corner and met, stopped, stared …

    Gray capris = check
    Peasant blouse with purple paisley = check
    Lace edged cami underneath for modesty = check
    Black sandals with 3 inch heels = check

    It’s a really strange feeling.  There were mirror differences in our costume.  My pants were darker and my top had more white in the pattern.  The fabrics of her outfit were clearly more expensive than the fabrics of mine.  But it was similar enough to turn heads and invite comment.  (And the way our darks and lights were reversed carried all the way up to my dark hair and her blonde.) 

    Its unsettling to meet someone dressed as you are dressed.  It’s even a little more unsettling when it’s your boss who reflects your taste.  So I keep wanting to make it mean something. 

    But after careful pondering, I think it simply means that we both prefer a casual Bohemian style. 

    I’m going shopping tomorrow.



May 31, 2011

  • I have a drinking problem …

    There was an article in the paper today apparently detailing all the reasons you shouldn’t give your kids sports drinks. 

    Okay – I’m waiting for the article that tells me what they CAN drink because I think that now they’ve taken Gatorade off the menu, we’re left with nothing.  Can’t have milk because of the hormones, antibiotics, and bacteria.  Can’t have water unless it’s been distilled but you can’t have that because it comes in a bottle.  You can’t have soda because of sugar/caffeine/sodium and it comes in cans AND bottles.  You can’t have juice because it’s got too much sugar.  You can’t have tea or coffee because of both caffeine and it’s not grown locally.  You can’t have …

    You see the problem?

    What am I supposed to tell my kids.  Drink the dirt? 


    Time to start them on beer. 

May 25, 2011

  • Making up stories to tell

    So I’ve started writing again, or at least taking notes.  It’s amazing how exhausting it is to be burning adrenaline over a piece of paper.  I got a great line today.  I’m not sure how I’ll use it, or what it means but it was a sentence that sounded like it will lead somewhere. 

    “All he owns is his clothes and his medicine.”

    Maybe if I sleep on it, something will coalesce in my dreams.  Something less disturbing than my other dreams of late. 

    I’m still a little shaken from the one over the weekend where I lost my shoes. 

    And the one where I lost my memory and found myself engaged to marry a man I couldn’t remember, had no idea what he was like, who I was, or what kind of couple we were.  The most disturbing part of that one was that I didn’t want to break off the engagement because I was afraid of hurting his feelings.


May 22, 2011

  • Big Bang Theory

    So yesterday afternoon and through the evening I had 4 teen boys in my home.  All of whom are on the autism spectrum which makes for an interesting challenge as a hostess.  These are not people for whom the word “tact” has any meaning.  Gentle hints and gracious suggestions are useless in their world.  I felt like Howard’s mom from Big Bang Theory (sans brisket).   

    I’ve learned to make it clear to the guys AND their parents that if they choose to hang out at my house, they have to 1) let me know before they show up, 2) eat only the things that I’ve designated as snacks or dinner, no going through the pantry looking for better options 3) when the family room starts to resemble an uncleaned hamster cage, everyone participates in the 10 second tidy drill and 4) when it’s my bedtime they have to go home whether they are tired or not.

    Even with these reasonable rules we have such incidents as:

    Guest: “this is AMERICAN cheese?  I don’t eat American cheese on my homemade hamburgers, don’t you have any aged sharp cheddar?”
    Q-mom: “If it’s good enough for McDonalds …”
    Guest: “well, maybe you have something in the pantry I could make instead?” (of the burgers, hot dogs, and chicken I’ve cooked on the grill)
    Q-mom: “no”

    Or this one:

    Q-Mom: ”It’s time for you to call your parents, dear” (after he’s been here for 7 hours)
    Guest: “No, it’s all right, I can stay another hour or two”
    Q-Mom, “No, dear, you have to go home because I’m going to bed.”
    Guest: “Why can’t I just keep playing the wii?  I don’t care if you go to bed.”
    Q-Mom: “There’s something about the loud sound effects and yelling that makes our goals here mutually exclusive.”
    Guest: “Oh!  Why didn’t you say that!”

    Don’t get me wrong here, I like Big Bang Theory as well as anyone.  It’s just that in real life, Sheldon is less amusing and more work than he appears on television. 

    I’ve thought for years that it was best to try to plan my kids’ playdates with neuro-typical kids.  I think I was hoping that the normal would rub off on them and I wouldn’t have to spend so much time interpreting behavioral norms to them.  They would just magically “get it.” 

    Actually it turns out that spending time with Sheldon Jr. has been much more beneficial.  Normal mystifies them, but obnoxious they can understand and they want to avoid it.  So the new terribly-bad-evil-insult-which-instantly-motivates-behavioral-change has become, “You’re acting like Sheldon Jr.”



May 20, 2011

  • The End of the World

    “This may not be the end of the world, but you can see it from here.” It’s been a joke, a tee-shirt, a bumper-sticker, and probably a sign in someone’s front yard.  There’s a group of people wh’ve been touring the country for months proclaiming that tomorrow, May 21, 2011 will be the end of the world.  Judgment is coming.

    The world ends for about 200,000 someones every day.  It also begins for about 490,000 more.  That daily increase in the human population deserves a few blogs all its own, but not tonight.

    One way or another, the world will end tomorrow for the people who believe in this prophecy.  Either the world will actually end, in which case, I hope it does it before I have to clock in at 10:00 for my Saturday shift.  Or, it will cease to be the world in which their beliefs have meaning.

    There are 365 days in the year.  Every year I live through the anniversary of my entry onto this plane.  And every year I pass unknowing through the day that will one day be the bookend of my life.  Most years my birthday has been a pretty quiet and mostly unmarked occasion.  The pre-versary of my death carries even less weight on my life.

    If the world did end tomorrow, would I be pleased with the way I spent my last day?  I went to work, was productive, shared moments of understanding with some fellow humans, shared breakfast with people I love, am about to share dinner with people I love, engaged in creative pleasures (with my beads), wrote a blog, played my move in Scrabble online, and even read a chapter in the book I’m enjoying.

    The day we start and the day we finish our lives aren’t nearly as important as the days that come between.  I haven’t always been content with my life.  I’ve felt trapped by my circumstances and choices, I’ve imagined that life would be better “if only.”  But as I look over who I am, what I do, and how I feel about the combination, my life is good. 

    The End.

May 18, 2011

  • Hello, Darkness, My Old Friend

    Have you watched the news lately?  I notice something interesting when I turn it on (rarely).  We seem to be engaged in a new/old discussion about human nature.  Is man essentially good?  Or Fallen?  Do we have inherent dignity and worth?  Or are we little more than animals indulging our appetites whenever and however we can?

    A few weeks ago, Time magazine featured on its cover the question of whether there is a “Hell”.  It’s not a new debate in theological circles, but it’s gained some traction with the public thanks to the writings and teachings of popular pastor, Ron Bell, who suggests that God by the nature of God cannot condemn mankind to suffering and that ultimately everyone gets to Heaven whether they meant to or not.  This entire argument springs out of the humanist position that man is good.  There is no fallen nature.  There is no sin.  There’s only “healthy” behavior or “destructive” behavior and if we just all link arms, we can lift each other higher and higher.  No need to involve God in the process and by the way, even if there IS an afterlife, there’s no judgment.  It just is what it is and it might as well go by the name of “heaven” because “hell” as a concept is simply repugnant.

    The Times article was followed by a brilliant essay in the New York Times in which Ross Douthat said that if there is no Hell then there is no choice.  If humanity truly possesses free will, it must be possible to choose a real alternative. And by the way, there are certainly people who reach the point at which the choice may theoretically be possible, but there’s no room within the personality to make it. (He uses Tony Soprano as his example and I can’t see arguing with him.  Tony may have the freedom to choose, but it’s hard to imagine him ever wanting to be “good”.)

    With this as the background noise, the news of the head of the International Monetary Fund’s arrest on charges of rape and the confession of Arnold’s infidelity evidenced by the 10-year-old son of his illicit relationship with a member of the household staff isn’t so surprising.  There is a body of work decades old and consistent in it’s findings that if people believe there will be no consequences for their actions, they will lie, cheat, steal, rape, pillage, and eat their share and the cookies that belong to their roommate, too.

    We want to look good.  We want to be seen as the flawed (and therefore likable) but essentially worthy hero of the story of our lives.  We want to believe that we’re the “good guy.”  Spiritual teaching challenges that view.  Wisdom traditions hold that we miss the mark, sacrifice the greater good for private pursuits of immediate gratification, and we get caught in the endlessly repeating cycle of lessons never learned.  The oldest stories of humankind resonate with us because those ancient people aren’t aliens or even less evolved humans, they are just like you and me.  They fall to pride, lust, jealousy, greed, anger … and even though they lived in a world without Twinkies or Nacho Cheese Doritos, gluttony was a problem back then, too.  I think the ancients might have to adjust to a few technological adaptations, but all in all, if they were to meet us, they’d know us and feel right at home.

    There’s a bit of graphic language in the Bible that says the best form of righteousness man is capable of is about as appealing as a used tampon.  Having met a few people who were willing to tell me about their achievements in the righteousness department, I get where the author of that passage was coming from.  It’s not that humanity isn’t capable or doesn’t have the option to choose, it’s that we need an encounter with something transcendent like … redemption, salvation, or enlightenment; we can’t get there in our natural state.

    News of our brothers’ failures shouldn’t surprise us, but I hope we’re sober minded about it and remember that “there but for grace, go I.”



  • Quiet Morning

    It’s a cool summerish morning.  The sun is bright, I hear the doves on the wires outside over the sound of distant traffic, and even though I should be running around like crazy getting ready so I won’t be late for work, I’m not. 

    I’ll make it to work on time, but I’ve decided it’s essential to my happiness and well-being to travel in a dignified and non-crazy manner.

    Plus, the office I work in now allows a dress-code that’s more casual on regular days than anything I’ve ever enjoyed at work.  I’ll be wearing capris today.  Capris!  Yeah!  That’s so stinking easy, it makes me feel like I can be ready by just pulling on something straight from my closet without a lot of makeup fuss to go with the outfit.

    And heels.  Because the pants may be casual, but the shoes are my choice.