Sunday, August 31, 2008

a secret corner

I am taking part in Catherine's Betchfest, an exchange geared at allowing bloggers to have a safe place to vent outside their own space and as such I have agreed to host another woman's post on my blog. She's asked to remain anonymous, but I am sure you'll be as moved as I am by her words and I applaud her courageousness in allowing her voice to speak here. I am sure she'd appreciate your comments about her post.

I am 11 weeks postpartum. Eleven weeks out from what I’m coming to realize was a truly a difficult, difficult pregnancy.

Throughout this pregnancy we moved house and into what would become a very stressful tenant/landlord situation, our son turned two and caught a violent strain of the rotavirus, landing him in the pediatric intensive care unit for five days, then a month later had tubes put in his ear. I vomited every day and gained only nine pounds. My husband filed bankruptcy and we unplugged our phone after my anxiety attacks came like waves every time the phone rang.
And here we are. Our beautiful daughter is a treasure and I love her with every ounce of my being. But those were some horrible ten months.

And now, my husband feels entitled to remind me that I was mean, and crazy, and unhappy, and complaining all the time. Here I am struggling with what I suspect is becoming a bout with my old friend depression and my husband must hold over my head what a burden I am, emotionally and financially.

In just this last week, he went to the movies, to a ball game, to the bar with my visiting brother. Last week he was gone all weekend at a bachelor party. And then he told me that I ask for too much. All I wanted was an hour to read a book at a coffee shop, alone. But we don’t have the money. Not even for a cup of coffee.

He hasn’t been kind to me. He’s miserable in his job. He carries the load of supporting our family, which we both felt was best. But the price these days has gone up, and I’m paying with my self-esteem and self-worth. To be reminded that I don’t bring an income in, to be made to feel as though I am less deserving of personal time, to be made to feel as a second class citizen in my home… fuck that shit.

And fuck you for saying I was mean, or unsupportive, or cranky, or insulting me because I didn’t want to have sex. I was vomiting and physically disabled. Thanks for your support.

I gave everything every single day to raising our son. There was very little left over for myself or for my husband. I did the best I could.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Hello, Victoria's Secret Kitty

The first of the lovely women who've agreed to cribsit the plus two is my girl Casey. She's funnier than me but no need to rub it in. Funny is what we are going for over the next week over here so I aim to deliver. I know you'll make her feel at home.

So one plus two? This blog. Those three plus me? All out party. And speaking of party, what are you wearing? Well, more appropriately, what are you not wearing? Whoa, before we get that far. Hi, I'm Casey from moosh in indy.

Now tell me what you're wearing.You see, I have this kid. She's three and a half. Girl loves princesses. And Hello Kitty, Care Bears, Dora, My Little Ponies and pretty much anything spawned from Disney. So basically anything that smiles, involves pink and can be played with. Since I only have one child, that one child is allowed to have the chokiest of chokey toys. Those little sets with the little animals that have collars and dog bones the size of a freckle? The ones that infants swallow and the ones you're not willing to retrieve when they pass them? We've got 'em.

It started small. At 18 months we got her a little doll stroller, it just so happened we found a $3 stroller at some bargain clearance store that had princesses on it. $3. Who cares what's on it?
$3? SWEET. From that point until now is kind of a blur. I blame it on the little girl down the street. The little girl who showed the moosh her dress ups. It's been chaos of sheer pink taffeta ever since. The princesses and various other characters have not (and won't!) make it into her everyday apparel, nightgowns however are a different story.NO! That's a lie! One Hello Kitty t-shirt snuck through, but it was Hello Kitty holding a camera! And I have a camera! Hello? Cute right? Damn you H&M for killing my principle.

However, here's the issue. Walking the aisles of TJ Maxx tonight I saw a nightgown with Hello Kitty on it. I considered getting it. IT WAS IN MY SIZE.

The moosh would think I was the coolest lady on the planet if I served her cereal in a Hello Kitty nightgown. At this point I only own one pair of pajama pants with the Cheshire Cat on them, a gift from my mom. But when I wear those pants? The moosh follows me around stroking my thigh proclaiming "I LOVE your kitty pants!"A compliment is a compliment right? And she's so enthusiastic about it. She LOOOOVES my kitty pants. I have a princess camera in my purse this very moment. I wash tiny little princess panties in every load of laundry. I serve spaghetti on heart shaped princess plates. I cure owies with Hello Kitty band-aids. She sleeps on a princess pillowcase and carries a princess purse with a princess cell phone (gifts I say!) I swore it would never get to this point.

Don't give into the man! Marketing! "DON'T DO IT!" I said.


I never even bothered to think that I would be talking myself out of a Hello Kitty nightgown in the aisles of TJ Maxx at 26 years old. Having a kid changes everything. From your dishes to your choice of themed sleepwear.

******Say what you want about me, but can I please ask your readers to vote for me in the Hot Blogger Calender? I made a video! I'm the token prude of the 2009 Hot Blogger Calendar! Modesty is Hottesty! Nothing to sign up for! Just vote! VOTE! The spirit of competition is BURNIN' IN MY (non Hello Kitty) BRITCHES!

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Thursday, August 28, 2008


There's a crowd in the front, as I walk the long hall I can't quite tell what folks are looking at, the mood feels fine but the crowd is well, crowded. As I get closer I see little wheels in the center of the action and as I get even closer I realize it's a carriage. We've got a baby in the house.

He's adorable. Freshly born skin and curly hair, he's nestled into this somewhat second hand stroller sleeping away the morning while a motley assortment of folks ooh and ahh. Even the toughest dudes are checking him out, no one and I mean no one can resist a brand new baby.

I stop and lean down, I watch him move his tiny hands in his sleep and look at his mama. He's perfect, I say and she smiles. For one brief minute the surroundings fade away, the reasons she's here and the fact that this is where his life is beginning, it all slips into the background and we are just two mamas standing in a crowd looking at a miracle. The background comes forward again and in this minute I want to cry, because this is where his life is beginning and I know the reasons she is here must be terrible too. I suppose we all need to take things moment by moment in order to make sense of it all or otherwise it might simply be too much.

I'm bringing some sisters in over the next week to have their say because I am ass over teakettle consumed with work. I'll be around on and off but these women have kindly agreed to stack the house starting tomorrow and I couldn't be happier having them here.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008


It's easy to grow accustomed after so many years, the days I walk into work and remind myself that this is their home, folks waking up in pajamas after a long night or a restful one, either way rising with the masses. These walls are the first thing they see when their eyes open and I can't help but wonder if they meet the day with a groan as I sometimes do. But for me, it's simple. I rise and pad into my kitchen and make coffee, take a shower alone with the shampoo I've chosen. I open the blinds and let the day in and might even take a few minutes to check in with all of you. But my friends, they wake up and will wait for coffee, depending on the hour and showers are always rushed and in tandem, the never ending feeling of a locker room, walking the long hall to wait their turn. Then they'll eat what we serve and will pull clothes from rumpled bags and figure out how to make it through one more day without a place to call their own.

One of the guys I know is on his way out as I'm walking in, he's got his work clothes on and a sack lunch, he'll work all day moving rich folks belongings and then come back here tonight and eat what we serve and go to sleep with blankets we offer and wake up tomorrow and do it all over again. My work, the place I earn my keep is their home. Sometimes it's easy to forget we all wake up to the same sun.

I'm scrambling these days, work is kicking my ass and I'm running short on time to write and to make the rounds but I can't stand the plus two crib sitting silent so I've lined up some sisters to come and make themselves comfortable, ones who will bring a little levity into the house and I know you'll make them feel right at home.

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Monday, August 25, 2008


As the bounce house started slowly inflating, the compressor rocking and the form taking shape I looked at J and said it's a rite of passage, renting a freaking bouncy thing. He laughed and nodded and kept putting beers in the cooler as if that balanced out the fact that a dozen kids were about to descend on our little patch of grass.

The bouncy was technically in our neighbor's lawn, a man who we have lived next door to for years and to whom we almost never speak. J mows his lawn twice a month, the tradition started about two years ago after we saw him kneeling one day awkwardly trying to snip at the grass with a pair of scissors. J started mowing it after that day and the man stays silent yet somehow it feels more neighborly. When J asked if we could take over his lawn for a couple hours the man responded quite kindly, uttering a sentence or two which was the most words we'd exchanged all year. The morning of the party I saw the man come out of his house with a lone plastic lawnchair, he walked over to where our other mismatched chairs were beginning to gather and sat it down beside them and turned and walked back into his house, never looking at me or saying a word. He made this same silent contribution to a party we had a few years ago, we returned it to his porch the next morning with a couple of beers stowed underneath.

The party was all we could have hoped for, good friends and family came and M preened and basked in the attention and the kids jumped their hearts out and ate too much cake and the parents and friends enjoyed the afternoon on mismatched chairs. The two hours extended into four and once everyone had gone and the clean up commenced J deposited the lone chair back on the next porch with a couple of beers again tucked underneath, our neighborly ritual over for the year and probably the last one we'll ever share.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

thick as thieves

He's back. And this time he brought her a toy pop gun. As much as I want to strangle him I am sitting now grinning while eavesdropping as they have a slumber party of sorts, with M keeping him up too late telling stories and making up jokes. He's falling asleep on her but he is hanging in, his adoration is obvious and M is in her element. I try and break them up, it's way past her bedtime and everyone is tired but then I see them sitting there, she's talking his ears off and he cannot get enough.

It's the beginning of a long weekend, a early birthday party celebration for M who turns four in a few weeks. She'll have family and friends and all lights will shine upon her and she'll preen for the camera and dance around the table and laugh her delicious belly laugh for hours on end. It's all hers, this weekend belongs to her and as such we'll let her run a bit faster and push a bit harder because if there is ever a weekend rules were made to be broken it's this one right here.
photo taken last weekend by the lovely Defiant Muse
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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

god in the house

I stopped by the front desk yesterday on my way out and noticed a big stack of magazines from a religious group. Titles like “who is God” and “what happens when I die” While forcing myself not to pick up the latter I asked the folks at the front why they were there. Some people drop them off regularly one of them said. It’s the eternal confluence of church and state, folks from faith based organizations help us a lot, but the sometimes covert and often overt tension is ever present. Without the support of local churches and religious organizations we would suffer, they offer donations and groups of folks to help with food and supplies. Their service is invaluable and yet I’ve never been able to reconcile the underlying mission of saving souls. Raised on the bible, I know the call for witness but I also know the deeper example of compassion and service to the poor and I wish the latter didn’t always mean the former had to crowd its way into the room.

So I said I’d prefer they were moved, that this information shouldn’t be the first thing folks see when coming to us for help because we are not a faith based organization and if we were representing one faith I’d prefer to represent them all. We have generous folks from Buddhist communities, from synagogues, a very large group of supporters who follow a guru rather than a deity but there is a subtle difference, their service is the highlight, service based on the strength of their convictions with virtually no proslethysing, a standard that settles better into this heathen’s soul. So one of the guys grabbed the stack and tossed them into the trash while another gasped out loud. Some folks want to read that, she said. It gives them comfort.

And I thought he’d acted hastily, I didn’t ask him to toss them, (at the very least I’d insist on recycling) and the divergence of beliefs settles itself right there at the counter, all eyes waiting to see how we'll be splitting this baby. So I asked them to place them in the back where other referrals are kept, so at least they’d be part of a larger representation even if none of the other information is religious. He looks at me and shrugs and digs them out and walks off.

I rail against knowing our place in the fight to save souls, if we stand merely as a staging ground for salvation or if we should simply chalk all of it up to free will and make sure our soup is always hot. We need these groups to keep the wheels turning and yet I know I don’t want the people we serve feeling that they have to subscribe to a belief system and I don’t particularly want volunteers acting as crusaders, offering to drive folks to their church with the promise of a Sunday meal means some might go just for the food and will have to tolerate your message in order to fill their bellies and others will feel full from both.

The ironic thing is that after a lifetime of church I see more faith and hope inside these walls than any service I'd ever been in. Folks who give thanks to their God for giving them the most humble of mercies, people who give the shirt of their back for their brother and will do without instead. Folks who accept their poverty with thankfulness and find ways to do good amidst the relentless struggle of being ostracized in a society who'd rather walk around them than look them in the eye.

It's not lost on me that this compassion is exactly what these volunteers offer, the kindness of their actions means more than I can say and yet I still feel protective of the folks who congregate in this house. And my own struggles with what I believe will forever press me, the fire and brimstone have shaped me in ways I sometimes wish it hadn’t and will forever keep me pulling my own hands away from the heat that others find comforting and to some, the very calling of their lives.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

behind curtain #3

M has become preoccupied with dying. We have no idea where its coming from, no one we know has died nor has she suffered a loss. But regularly, as in daily she says mama, i really don't want to die. When she says that a little part of me actually does feel like dying, her earnestness and questioning is entirely beautiful and it slays me. So we'll talk about it a bit, what dying is and how it's as natural a part of life as anything else. About how we hope that we'll all be together for years and years and years until any of us dies, and that she has a long life ahead of her first.

But then she'll ask but what happens when i die, do i get born again? Ah, baby. Your grandma would be so proud I think to myself. But explaining this to a near four year old is hard. Honey, none of us really know what happens. Some people believe we become angels or that we go to heaven, in fact if you talk to grandpa and grandma that's what they believe. Some people think we will return to earth again, and some think nothing happens at all. I don't know the right answer, no one does for sure because we are all still alive. So what we get to do instead is make sure we have the best life we can, we make sure we make every single day count.

How do we do that? She askes me then. By loving each other as hard as we can. By being fearless and by helping others and our planet and saying yes as much as possible.

And hugging. We should keep doing lots of hugging, she says.

Absolutely, baby girl. Hugs are at the top of the list. Your daddy and I don't have all the answers but we can promise we'll be right here with you trying to figure it out, okay?
That's good, mama. I like that. Let's do that.

And it shatters me, this conversation. Every single time it shatters me.

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Monday, August 18, 2008


I had the pleasure of seeing two different bloggers this weekend, something I almost never get to do. On Saturday Citymama and her girls came over and we walked down to our local farmers market, her girls are terrific and I can't believe we haven't gotten them all together before now.

And on Sunday Defiant Muse and her partner and adorable little girl came over for dinner, we ate too much and drank a bit and talked for hours. Aside from simply getting to sit across from her and talk the highlight was watching her man have a tea party with M, anybody who'll do that is a star in my world and it also means I don't have to do it myself. Dude. He also likes the aforementioned shoes. Heh.

It's amazing how this medium transcends into real life, and how once you get to know each other outside of the blog world you can almost forget how you met in the first place, but because you've shared so much already it's like you are starting off ahead.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

in my shoes

Today was a hell of a day, sometimes work goes down like that. The degree of suffering, the nakedness of despair, it's too much to even try and share no matter how much it rattles around in my head. So instead I'm going to talk about shoes, because if I don't talk about shoes I might break down and sob and no one likes a crier.
So back to the shoes. This morning when I was getting ready to leave J said something to the effect of those shoes are hideous. The shoes in question are ones I've had in my closet forever, I almost never wear them and yet find them endearing and perhaps even sassy and they were super cheap (for some reason that qualifier matters a great deal). Of course, J has no sense of style and I've told him so, in fact several folks at my work were highly complimentary of them which of course I've enjoyed gloating about when I came home.

But figuring that the jury may still be out, I of course must turn to you.
In or out, amigas? Inquiring minds want to know.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

this is your anthem

I wonder if you see your every day glory. You give birth, you comfort in sickness, you nurture into health. You stay home all day or you work all day but either way at night you are there. You paint or you read or you sing or you cook or you draw or sometimes a little of each. You teach them how to do the most basic to the often extraordinary and you are always there to cheer them on. You are there for the good stuff and for the not so good stuff too. You make sure they eat well and sleep well and have what they need. You listen to them and encourage them. You are always, always there, patiently creating a space for them to thrive. You might have better days than others but it's the sum rather than the parts that matter in the end.

And then you take the time to chronicle some of it. Sometimes it's the ugly bits and sometimes you brag and you brag because you've earned it and because it let's us celebrate along with you. You are brave enough to put issues into the light and ask for help when you need it. You are honest in self reflection and often more self-deprecating than is fair but we see right through it anyways. You create a history, not only for you but also one day for them. You challenge yourself to do more. You seek balance and sometimes you even find it. Your heart is moved in unspeakable ways every single day and you allow it to happen even if it hurts.

And you get up every single day and try your best to do it all over again. If you think about it, you are amazing, simply just by being you. At your worst, at your self-described worst you are still a bright light in the darkness. You always, always show up. I know this because I read about it every day in all of you. Bits and pieces and everywhere else. This is who you are.

And that makes you pretty damn cool.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

big yellow taxi

I can hear them through the walls of my office, carrying on about the Man. It's hot right now and that doesn't help. Desperation and irritation and always having to wait makes it worse. I walk out thinking maybe I'll get some air and see what's what and I hear someone say go fuck yourself you fucking bitch and I'm not expecting that so I look around with a dopey smile on my face you talkin' to me? repeating on a loop in my mind like I'm Travis Bickle. I'm confused, like I'm swimming through murky water or I've just eaten too much sugar and while I've probably been called worse come on now we've never even met. You talkin' to me? But hey whatever, that's cool.

But instead of turning around and seeing what's what I keep going, I go and I glide and I think about cooler weather and cheeseburgers and all the things I'd rather be doing right now than this.

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

July Just Posts

Sometimes but not often enough I have the honor of seeing one. A kid, someone in college or even still in high school, they show up and you can tell they are magic. This one, he was earnest when he said I'd like to see if I can help. So we put him to work and I got to see him in action. He was sincere and unafraid and smart and seemingly even here for the right reasons. After awhile we got to talking and he shares what he's seeing. I can't believe how bad it is. He talks about particular people, calling them by name. He's creative in solutions, he's not afraid to ask. It's got under his skin and I love it because it's the only way a kid like this would want to stay.

I ask him why are you here and he isn't quite sure except he can't sleep now knowing what he knows. I tell him he's onto something, that he's going to have a million opportunities, all more attractive than this. His friends won't get it, his family might not either. One day he might want to make some money, get a nice car. It's easy to walk away and forget and it's harder to stick around. This one, though, I think he might have fallen in love with this work. I tell him we need all the brains we can get, that I see that thing in him, that rare thing that says this kid can probably do anything he sets his mind to so I tell him in all seriousness that I hope he chooses this. This can be extraordinary too.

He asks me how old I am and how long I've been doing this and I tell him. He smiles then you must be a little crazy and I tell him Maybe. But those fancy cars and fat bank accounts are an illusion, you have to decide how you want to live. I'm also honest about my pending escape and perhaps because of it I press him again. We need some of the good ones to decide to stay. He might, he just might and I'll miss watching what he could potentially do if he decides to make this his thing.

The July Just Posts
Baha'i Thought with Generation Y on race
Cecilieaux with The beast drops the second shoe, Two boomer final solutions, Le socialisme americaine and Disparity
Chani with homelessness in perspective
Citizen of the world with A time to mourn. A time to heal.
Defiant Muse with like a rolling stone
girlgriot with A Girl Like Me and Oh yeah and we all look alike
Hamguins Hide-Not with OFG VIII peace
Hel with Life truths
Jen with Passing Through
Jill with A penny for your thoughts
Kaliroz with sticker shock
Kittenpie with Down and out in Riverdale
Krista with The melting pot post
Magpie with On Marriage
Mrs. G with Seventies
MYLIBLOG with Uncle Bobby's Wedding
Practical Spirituality with choosing beauty: where do we go from here and Sacred life Sunday: authentic beauty inspirations
Slouching Mom with For whom city lights glow
The Ascent of Humanity with The red pill
The Blog that Ate Manhattan with Abortion on the Web
Under the Overpasses with Geography of hope

Some of our faithful readers
Mama Tulip

Don't forget to swing by Mad and Su's places to see what they've cooked up this month and remember, we are here every month on the 10th and everyone is welcome. All you have to do is write. Or read. And to those of you who join us here month after month: from the bottom of my heart I thank you. It simply wouldn't be a roundtable without all of you.

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

quite possibly the most amusing thing she's said to date

I'm going to keep doing what I want and you are just going to have to deal with it,
okay Mommy-o?

The Mommy-o at the end nearly killed me. Dead and buried if not for the faint chill of hysteria still coursing through my veins. She slays me, my kid.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

we are all mythical hobbits

Some things take longer to die down than perhaps they should. Statements were misunderstood. People want to clear the air and move forward. It's human nature, seeking closure. Or maybe it's only dramatic if we make it so. But it persists, which says it must be about something deeper entirely, about the still undefined role of this place and the power it wields.

I've heard a number of people say post BlogHer this year that they aren't sure if they'll keep writing. That the conference caused them to rethink what they are doing and what they want to say. The energy around all of this has been very powerful and we've all got our own ways of handling the various emotions the conference stirred up.

Whether intentional or not, whether widely read or not, we have online personas, some quite akin to our real selves and others perhaps glimmery manifestations, but no matter how funny or serious or sad or angry or snarky or polite or well read or whatever, we have chosen to put our efforts into words that we then choose to share in the most public of all forums. We choose to do this and in the choosing we open ourselves up.

And if we allow for it, it can be incredibly meaningful. But that doesn't mean it doesn't come without responsibility. But to who? The writer? The reader? To thine own self be true? Is that enough? Or is that purely an american anthem about individuality and self-propulsion? I happen to think it's much more than that. I think we are all responsible and our responsibility is in making ourselves understood. Not necessarily liked all of the time, but at least understood.

We've got incredible power in this place. But it only works if we use it to turn the lights up. It only works if we can truly allow for give and take. But it's a choice, embracing this expansion, allowing for dialogue, widening the net. Allowing for compassion and for mercy. For depth. And then moving on.

Because if we aren't trying to be our best selves then what's this all for?

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

the underbelly

Every time our move comes up someone inevitably asks me one of two questions: 1. what about schooling for M? or 2. aren't you afraid of her getting sick?

I'm not so worried about school, at least not yet. Call me an underachiever, but I hope that the sum of what M will be learning will round out the parts she's not. Besides, she's not even in school yet and from what I recall elementary school is more of an exercise in socialization than getting into Harvard. And to be honest, I'm not sure what getting into Harvard gets you. I mean, I am sure it gets you stuff, but perhaps not the stuff I think is important. But this one is easy, if the local schools aren't giving her what she needs we'll supplement or home school altogether. We are smart people, smart enough at least. We can at least get ourselves to algebra before panic ensues.

Illness is harder. If there is one thought that rattles around in my brain at odd hours of the day it's the fear of actually causing her harm by our actions. That she'll not have access to the care she needs or that she'll get bitten by some mysterious jungle bug that will cause her toe to swell up and pop right off. In my darker moments I am almost paranoid, how will I protect her from all that I do not know? What will I do?

I realize that I've been lulled into complacency, I don't think every time we get into a car that we might get into an accident and I sometimes forget to wash the grapes. I am lulled because I know what to do here, I know those three little numbers to call if I'm in trouble and her insurance card is in my wallet. I know how fast I can get her to the hospital and I've got medicine on my shelf.

I do not know any of those answers for where we are going, not yet anyways. And so the not knowing can be consuming, I try and balance the bits of paranoia and fear that I readily attribute to my constitution no matter the situation and add two parts new experience and four parts there are tons of kids there and expat kids too and can mostly, mostly find my peace.

But I'll never, ever forgive myself should something happen to her, something that happens to her because we chose to do this crazy thing. And conversely, I'll not forgive myself if I let fear settle in at my table and make himself at home and keep us for trying to do this one extraordinary thing. J and I, while celebrating our sixth anniversary the other evening over good pasta and better wine, spent a long while talking about this very thing and his courage in some respects allows me to falter knowing there are two of us, two brains and hearts in one room feeling our way goes a long way.

Fear is a nasty bugger. It can keep us still and small, stuck on status quo. Some fears keep you safer and others can make you crazy. So as we move forward I'll run the gamut, fearing unknown dangers and willing myself to simply leap, hands clasped tightly as we go.

Don't forget to send me your Just Posts for July at The Roundtable will be here fresh and perky on the 10th. Join us.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Help some mamas bring democracy

MOMocrats Swag-O-Rama Raffle

The powerful lady bloggers over at MOMocrats are throwing a raffle in order to raise money to send their pretty brains and fingers to the DNC. I can't go but I'll be with them in spirit, and you know that we all want them blogging the democracy from there, no one better to get you the actual truth of the matter than these mighty women themselves.

Help some mamas out!

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tragically unhip

I was never hip but lately I feel decidedly not. I have these lofty ideas of going shopping, finding some great shoes or a bag, but then I have a spare hour and I can't stomach the thought of shopping, of walking aisles and trying to decide if that thing I'm looking at is hot or you know, really it's not. Besides, all this junk is expensive and really, do I really need it and generally the answer is no. So instead of replacing items that are worn out I try and make do, mostly out of resignation or laziness or general confusion. But I was inspired by my lovely roomies at BlogHer to try and get my shit together, especially after Neen looked at my crappy make up and kindly and gently offered to use her own products and be my own personal make up stylist for 3 days in a row. Now THAT is love people (or pity, you decide) and to be honest I got used to being babied pretty quick and not a morning goes by that I don't miss sitting in that little chair by the window on the 16th floor. But wisely realizing the end was coming, I asked them to help a girl out and we went to a makeuppy place in the City and I got some new stuff. Problem is, being with them was like being at a salon, I can't quite make it all work out the same as it did when someone else was doing it for me.

This weekend was more of the same, someone had given me a gift certificate to a mall (someone who doesn't know me well or perhaps just feels sort of sorry for me) and I've been holding onto it for almost a year. I figured I'd find a dress or some kicky shoes like Flutters but all I did was wander around like a lost child absolutely unable to find a thing beyond some new studs for my nose, which in actuality is a score because I've been supergluing the same stone back onto its base for about 2 years now and if you think about it that's even more ridiculous than this entire post and that's certainly saying a lot.

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Sunday, August 03, 2008


Every Saturday morning M and I walk to Farmer's Market, she on her bike and me with my pack. We talk along the way about things we want to buy, she always wants the same two things and my list varies depending on what's in season. Last weekend was the last of the asparagus, freesias were only here for a week or two but the summer fruit is bursting at the seams and the corn guy will be here for another month at least. Today we had a long list, squash and cauliflower, corn and basil, onions and peppers and all sorts of fruit. It's the food I crave but it's also the people, just being there often equals what we take away.

I see the older Mexican couple who man the strawberry table every single week. They love M but then again they love all the kids, they are always handing out samples and adding more berries to our baskets and talking to each other Linda, Querida, Bonita with smiles whenever M stops by. Today she ran over when I was still at the squash booth and made off with a basket of raspberries, I looked over and they are laughing and smiling as she's stealing them blind. The cookie lady isn't quite so agreeable, M must make her request with as much politeness as possible Please may I have a cookie? or the lady schools her on her manners while quite pointedly looking at me. Good thing her cookies are perfect, this time they met in the middle and agreed that Please can I have a cookie will do and I bite my tongue every week because she reminds me of an older version of Mary Poppins and for some reason that makes me want to please her too.

Women glide past in saris, the peaches and blues and greens are sublime and I want to reach out and touch them but I smile instead. The ladies with funky vegetable carrying contraptions never fail to cut us off mid stride and the old folks walk too slow and the parents are always distracted with their kids and there are at least 10 different languages being spoken at once. There is always music and once a month it's our friend with his afro-caribbean reggae goodness. Whenever he sees M he stops mid-song and calls out her name and gives her a kiss and we stop and dance and sing along. Today the old guy singing blues was there and the kids were dancing all over the place irregardless of the beat which made him mess up his song a couple of times because he couldn't help but laugh at them falling all over the place dancing like it's the Stones instead of Coltrane.

The sun is shining and tails are wagging and everywhere you look people are using reusable bags. The coffee house is jumping, the falafel guy has a line several people deep and the folks manning the Obama table get all kinds of cheers and waves and grins.

And every week after our pack is full and our money is gone we sit for awhile as M eats her cookie and I lean back into the sun and think to myself that there is no perfect moment more perfect than this.

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Friday, August 01, 2008

good things

July was a rough month in the blogosphere, folks getting sick, losing jobs, computers breaking down or people plain not getting along so since August starts today I figured I'd start it off with a list of good things.

Awhile back my lovely Amy introduced me to Donna from TravelMuse and Donna and I got to talking and once we move I'll be doing a bit of writing about kid-friendly foreign travel for her site. TravelMuse is fantastic, you can get inspired and learn about places around the world all at the same time. Needless to say I'm absolutely thrilled to get to be a part of it and Donna and her crew are lovely and worldly and wise.

Kristen is launching Blog the Recession Month with the goal of getting folks to click through readers to actual posts and spread the love because we can use all the love we can get and some folks appreciate the clickthroughs because it helps with paying the bills. If you want to play along she's got pretty little buttons like the one below over at her spot. Or feel free to steal this one. I'm easy like that. Trust me, Kristen is easy too. Heh.

Speaking of recessions, some of the powerful lady bloggers over at MOMocrats are heading to the Democratic National Convention this month and wow, is democracy expensive. We are doing a little fundraiser right now and if you want to contribute in the name of Better Than Mainstream Media political blogging we can use your help. $5, $10, it's all going in support of the MOMocrats and it all helps and we'll soon see these women blogging the truth from inside the bowels of freedom.

When I spoke at BlogHer there was a lot of energy around coming together as a community for good and one way to get involved is by checking out Just Cause It! Alyssa launched a new cause as a result of our panel and everyone is welcome. Wannabe Hippie live-blogged the panel and is still gathering urls from folks who want to be involved in spreading goodness around the net. I'm not sure where that's going yet but it's nice to know it's there and growing.

Lastly, it's time to send me your links for our upcoming Just Post roundtable. So send me the posts you've written or read about social justice or people doing good things in our world and we'll feature them all at the August Just Post Roundtable on the 10th. if this is new to you email me or clickety click on one of the purple buttons to your right. You can send them to Everyone is welcome to join us.

Whew. Now that's a lot of good things. Now tell me some of yours.

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