Sunday, November 7, 2010


Last year at this time, I was about to turn forty.  It's kind of felt that forty should be a "big year" but for me, it was kind of a hard one.  On my birthday, we spent a whole weekend at funeral events for one of Andrew's relatives-- a man I liked, and was sorry to see go, but three days on my birthday weekend felt a bit much.  It was rainy, wet, and cold in the Hill Country cemetery.  I spent a whole lot of time sitting in the car with the kiddos.  Not really all that much fun.

I was working at a job that felt increasingly like the wrong place for me to be.  My mother was still alive, but it would be very soon that I would lose her.  A few minor illnesses for me, as well, filled some of the year.  Those are under control, but it took a lot out of me during. 

Good things happened, too.  I finally gave up on the idea that somehow I could somehow change people who just didn't like me or respect me.  (I saw one of these people the other day out in town and felt so happy that I didn't have to do the obligatory greeting...just ignored said person and moved on with my day).  I quit feeling guilty about some of the professional things I just don't have the energy or inclination to do anymore.  I worked a bit on my novel-- got some great ideas which, hopefully, I will have time to work into it very very soon.  I've found a real and true love for fixing up/restoring the historic homes we've been buying, and made an almost 100 year old home that was falling into a sad state back into a true jewel, that we will offer as someone's dream home very soon. Found a real talent, there, which I enjoy.  My kids have grown and changed and I love them more every day; it doesn't seem possible but it is true.  Hubby and I have found more time to spend just "us" now that the kids are a little less work and that's been truly a blessing, also.

I have wishes and resolutions for the year ahead.  I need to spend more "Me" time-- go to the gym, lose the weight that is unhealthy, get strong and fit again.  Forty One years of life on the planet is only a trickle of what I want to have ahead of me, and I am going to consider this a bit of a "do-over" year.  I want less sorrow, please, and more joy ahead.  That is my biggest wish for the year.  So next year (and it may be that I don't write a formal blog until then with the way this thing has gone lately!) I want to have a year filled with my own choices.  We will see what time & tide do to that wish. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Whew! Dusty in here!

::cough cough:: dusts dusts....clears away blog cobwebs.......

Really?  My last blog entry was MAY?!  Well, it just illustrates what's been going on here better than my apologies and disclaimers could.  I doubt very many people read the blog here anymore, anyway.  It's all about the Facebook status update, and who has time for more than a few hundred words, right? 

Since January, when I pulled Maia out of daycare because I wasn't working and it's silly to pay daycare fees when I'm at home anyway I have been on a roller coaster of Stay at Home Mom-ness.  She wasn't so hard to care for overall by herself but then once summer officially hit, Sean has been home and sometimes he is so time consuming it's not even funny.  If I gave you a list of all the things I should be cleaning right now, things that he basically has done since Sunday morning to trash the place, you would most likely have to pick up your jaw off the floor.  And then it would fall down there again. 

It's not normal kid mess, either, it's Super Autism Boy mess.  Yes, it is likened to a super power here.  I wouldn't say super villain cause his powers are not used for evil, not really.  He's more a dark super hero-- like maybe Batman or Wolverine-- who has his normal intentions sometimes turn out a bit destructive.

Today, though, is the last day of summer break for the kiddos.  They both start full time, 8-2:30 School tomorrow!

Pause for the sound of angelic choirs singing JOY JOY HALLELUJAH!!

Maia is in Kindergarten and Sean is back at his same ECSE class.  I am really looking forward to having some private time, some time where no one talks to me for hours.  For me to be able to sit on the couch folding clothes and not have a child come in the room and mess them all up before I can put them away.  For hours of writing my own writing, rather than working on anyone else's (and that's a subject for another blog post another time).  And mostly, for climbing out of this hole I feel a bit like I've been in for six months or so.

It's not depression, and do not get me wrong; I adore my children and am super duper grateful for the times we've spent together this summer.  Cuddles in the morning, laughing at them when they do something silly, watching them swim and play all day together. 

But there isn't a lot of higher brain function needed for yelling "SEAN STOP IT" one more time while he's for some reason running across the patio knocking down everything he can knock over (chairs, tables, garbage can).  Or for helping Maia find a place to hang her home made (duct tape & soda cans) mobile (which frankly is amazing but still--not what I want to do right. this. second... ).  It's a bit crazy making sometimes, and tiring, and then you hit pause for sleep and then start back on play/fastforward another day of do it all again.

Being a mom is a great gift and I cherish it.  But it's not ALL that I am and I can't wait to get some time to just me during the day.  And also time to spend with JUST ANDREW... which will be so nice again.  This is nothing new-- it's an age old complaint of people with young children and I don't say it in any particularly unique way. 

But it's kind of the last day of summer, for me, and in spite of the continuing 100 degree days we will have for at least a few weeks, I am going to do a happy Welcome Fall dance. 

Monday, May 31, 2010

Of Poppies and Memorials and The Lost

I had this post I wrote earlier about Memorial Day but it required looking up some details about the poppies that older ladies & gentlemen used to hand out when I was a kid.  Little paper red poppies with a tag saying "Lest We Forget" on them.  That history of Memorial Day refocused me on what is truly important about today. 

I remember asking my mom what they were for and she told me that it was in rememberance of World War I, especially, and the poppy fields that many soldiers died in. As an adult well-versed in the history of those horrible wars (entire generations of young men wiped out by things like mustard gas and chlorine poisoning) I have always thought the poppy appropriate and ironic in a metaphoric way, too.  The poppy is an opiate-- numbing us, helping us to forget pain and even life.  As it symbolizes not forgetting, it is also about the inevitability of forgetfulness because the human heart cannot hold that pain or else it, too, fails.

I think it has been more than 20 years since I've seen someone passing out poppies.  Memorial Day has become a day when people figure they should go out on their boats, burn some burgers, drink some beers, have a four day weekend from work.

The controversy about Obama not visiting the Tomb of the Unknown soldier in Arlington could, in this light, be a good way to refocus people's attention.  My earlier blog was too much about this controversy.  But if this controversy makes ONE person who reads this realize that it's about way more than the start of summer, I am going to be glad.   

This weekend, my hubby & I used the four days to go visit family.  But at the same time, we discussed this controvery in pretty good depth.  You see-- war is very personal and immediate to anyone who actually could lose someone to that war.  It's all fine and dandy to be academically involved in the debate over someone's presumed patriotism or lack thereof. 

But when you could have a person-shaped-hole in the universe where your mother, or father, or wife, or husband, or child once was-- then it's something serious to think about.  Even the thought of it is enough to make me not be able to talk, to take long moments of gathering my emotions.

I am glad that so much of the world has progressed to a point where a lot of people have not lost someone dear to them and can think of Memorial Day simply as the start of summer.  I am glad that we haven't been involved in a "Great War" in so long that it's not actually a priority to have a sitting president be a war vet.  That's, to me, an indication of progress.  It is good to hang out with family, connect in the warmth of the coming longer days. 

But we should remember the poppy's message:  Lest We Forget.  Don't forget the dangers that are still very real.  Humans have not suddenly all turned into puppy loving saints.  There are some bad mofos out there who would be perfectly happy to take away all our choices and prosperity.  And they might even have very big guns aimed at a soldier right. this. second.

While you are hanging out, remember that the freedoms to choose to be wherever you want to be today (on your deck, drinking a beer) were paid for in blood and tears by real people, who really die every second that they are sent somewhere in harm's way.  And that there are some right now who are fighting in a war that they don't get to choose-- that the leaders who represent symbolic functions and political sentiment are the ones who choose.  Yes they chose to serve their country in the military but they were not the ones who got to sign the papers that started this infernal shitstorm. They are just the ones who pay for it. 

It's NOT about red states or blue states or whether we like Obama or think where he spent his weekend matters in the great big scheme of life. 

This day is about red blood and the opiate of time and poppies of life going on that have made us all forget the very real lives that this day is supposed to commemorate.  That person was once someone's most perfect love, and is now gone forever. 

THAT is what you're supposed to Remember today.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Walkers: the same age?

This morning, as I was driving the boychild to school, I spotted several walking folks in my neighborhood who were awfully cute youngish men.  Among these were one adorable man with with neat chin length dreadlocks (I'm a sucker for good looking dreads) and one very clean-cut button down shirt & very short hair, looked like the guy who would carry your books for you home from the library, but secretly listen to the Talking Heads on his IPod.

What is significant about this is that people don't really walk in my neighborhood.  It's a strange few blocks that have no sidewalks (which is annoying as heck) and is kind of a busy street so it's not actually all that good of an idea to walk there.  So I thought about why the universe was throwing two cute walking youngsters my way. 

One thing these two very adorable young men revealed to me this morning is how old I am, at least on that front.  I didn't think of them in any sort of lewd manner, just thought of how cute they were, like puppies you just wanna adopt & buy a comfy doggie bed for. 

It's sort of like on American Idol, there's a cute finalist whom one of the judges (who is about my age and/or maybe a bit younger) was flirtatious with, and he quite naughtily sang Mrs. Robinson the other night to tease.  I don't think of that young guy (who is gorgeous, by the way, and super talented) as someone "on my list." 

I don't know what the point is here, but I just wanted to think about it a little bit.  I think it's a good thing-- there comes a time when you don't want to be Matthew McConaughey's character in Dazed & Confused

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Poison Ivy

No, not the sexy Uma Thurman kind.  This Poison Ivy is NOT at all good with a leaf green outfit and mask.  Oy vey does it hurt!

Last Monday, boychild had a blotch on his face when picked up from school.  I assumed it was a mosquito bite cause after all, this is La, and mosquitos are the official welcome-bird of Spring, Summer, and anything short of nuclear winter.  I'm pretty positive it didn't happen at school-- most likely, it just took that time to set in from the previous day.  No big, right, one little splotch of scratchiness?
I also worked to clean up the garden bed of our new rental property and had a big piece of poison oak's woody vine pop up onto my left upper arm.  It instantly left a burn mark-- yes, a burn mark-- but it did not really itch.  I went and washed it off and figured I was safe. 

So since then, poor boychild's face has erupted in multiple itchy scabby bits and my arm itches so much I may cut it off.  It would be an improvement.  I have tried the various washes-- including the 30 dollar, "will get rid of that nasty poision ivy oil for you" stuff.  (Works a little, not a lot). 

We have a lot of Poison Ivy plants in this area because it rains a lot, and we have nice fertile soil & warm, sunny days.  The swampland is prone to growing things we don't want. 

I will never, ever, underestimate the dangers of this plant, and man oh man, to imagine how awful it would be if it were in more "awkward to scratch" areas. 

Sunday, April 11, 2010


My garden
full of weeds from
Fall and earliest Spring
calls to me. I hear
the quietest of pulls, sigh, circular

The beat-up Buddha statue, the angel who watches quietly,
the trellis choked with brown, crispy leaves.
They leave no messages for me anyway.

The red-headed woodpecker who demands more more
sunflower seeds and
waits impatient, for summer's abundance of bugs
perches on a nearby tree and flits his wings.

I cannot bring myself to pull and neaten
and organize rows
of perky flowers.  This Spring,
the weeds seem more loving
than hopeful busy, demanding flowers.

I will pull them all up, plant grey
rocks and
small bonsai trees and tan sand.
But not today.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


So I haven't blogged much in forever, I know. I can say I've been busy, and that is ridiculously true.  But also, part of it is that I have yet to post here my mother's obituary.  I wrote it.  I meant to send it to some newspapers where she was born (Elgin, Illinois) since that's the only place there are people who might not already know.  But in spite of writing some poems about it, I just haven't been able to post that here.

Is it because it makes it more final, more formal?  Maybe.  But mostly, I'm not not in a blogging about me sort of mood right now.  And that's okay.  I'm sure I'll be back eventually-- I've done this too long to really drop it forever.  And it's an addiction that doesn't fade easily. 

So for now, follow me on Facebook where I can handle short updates and here if you don't mind some pauses now & then.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Greengold trees, leaves budding,
remind you of Eden's first dream
the one of unity, blissful innocence,
the bluest skies touched
with black birds whirling in pairs
tandem dreams of eggs, nest, beak.

This is what it means to heal--
winter's ice has gone, its stinging blade
a memory still fresh but less so. Less so.

The air is not yet touched with heat
the sun still feels far away
the skies do not press down upon our eyes
a flash of negative turning us into
shapes, blurring out
individual features.

For now, it is easy to forget the frenzy
that will follow soon,
the too much of everything--pollen, blind kittens,
bees swarming for new queens.

To lie still, to dream
--of seeds
in the newly warming soil,
to begin to forget the grief of winter.

Monday, March 29, 2010


this word has been in my head all day
and I pull at its ends
the shreddy bits
tie them off until
they find another way to shred.

I can't remember how to get there
and I never learned how to knit.

Red sweaters
fuzzy and a little itchy if the weather is not cold enough.
That's what I would make.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Your Own Path

Let's set the record straight:
the truth is,
you weren't always a very good mother.

You drank too much.  When other moms
were baking cupcakes and going to PTA meetings
you bleached your hair and wore too much blue eyeshadow.
Worked late nights. Had noisy sex when you
came home
in the mornings.

You laughed too loud when I was a teen
people would stare at you,
dancing as though
no one else was watching.  Embarassed me almost
to death.

You always loved the wrong men.
Including my father, who left
 and never really looked back
at us.  Not until
it was way too late.
You forgave him anyway.
Did not forgive the one who hit too often,
dropped it all and flew off in the night with me,
sleepy in the back seat of the car.

You grieved too hard.  Got angry
fast.  You could yell like a man. Fight dirty.
Spent entire days reading long novels and
ignoring the housework.

When the time came, you let me love the wrong boy
didn't say anything you would regret later,
and learn what that felt like. 
Stay out all night.  Ride in
fast dangerous cars when I should have been

There were loud fights.  I sometimes
wished you were not so brash
so rude to rude salesgirls.

You blew smoke into the blonde chippy's face
when,  16 at a football game, she coughed and
complained about your cigarettes. 
I looked at the other frumpy mothers
selling band candy and wearing brown shoes
and wished you away.

As we got older, and things a little easier,
all my friends liked hanging out with you--
It kind of annoyed me.
I said "she's not your mom."

You've had a tendency to rewrite history,
talk about how many flowers you planted,
how often you cooked home meals for me.

You did not age gracefully.

You do everything the hard way.

But the truth is:
now I know why. 

I've always liked Magdalenes better than Marthas.
And I am not embarassed to have loved you
all of those things.
in spite of them.


You know the story of Pandora's Box, right?
All the sins and ills of the world, and
it was hope
that flew out last?

It is a terrible thing. 


I used to find comfort, in that story.

Holding on to a single golden truth:
The idea that something could be hopeful
meant it could look up.  Get
better.  Improve.
This place was
as bad as it could get.

But I didn't know how hope could be used to tease you,
push you right into a limbo of doubt where you hang and cannot let go
--just this one more test, we'll try, just to see
maybe, maybe, maybe.
she'll turn around.  Maybe
this will be the one.

I've been kidding myself that I was
a goddess of plenty,
of summer sun and bees dusted a frenzied yellow.

When in truth, I know so much
better-- this--
chill of the bones
this, pinching of the mouth
loss.  Not yellow plenty but bitter brown.   
Bare branches and curled leaves. 
A swirling wind that leaves you
breathless and
tired, birdbaths overturned,
summer far away.

The last thing that flew out of that box
was as much a curse as a blessing.

As are all gifts that come in secret boxes.

KAW  Feb '10

Monday, February 15, 2010


I deal with life by writing about it. This has been fairly well established and won't be a surprise to anyone reading this.

Right now, words are sort of failing me. I want to write so many things about my mom, who is not doing very well in the hospital after we had hoped she was rallying.  I'm not really ready to do so, and I'm afraid that writing too much will somehow jinx her, but I also know that my blog writing doesn't have anything to do with what is happening in that hospital room right now.  While I have handled my dad's death and other family members going so well I wondered about myself a little bit, I don't think I'm doing very well with this one. 

I remember once when I was a very little girl riding in a blue truck, nestled between my dad, who was driving, and my mom, who suddenly fell out of the truck door and rolled down the steep hill we were on.  I think it was kind of a parking lot of some sort.  It seemed like a long hill, and it seemed like she rolled forever while I watched her go.  My dad stopped the truck and she came back and was mostly fine.  She had scraped her arm pretty badly and never could wear any jewelry with nickel in it again because her watch had gotten into the scrape and she had developed some kind of traumatized allergy. I don't know why the damn door opened and she fell, and/or remember much else about that day. 

This feels kind of like that time, though.  Watching her rolling down the hill, helpless to stop it, not knowing what will happen-- will she get up or will she just keep rolling until she is out of sight for good? 

I also used to have this reoccuring nightmare of being in the trailer where we lived at the time.  My mother was asleep on the bed, and the whole place was on fire.  I kept trying to reach where she was with the water hose but it would not stretch, and she would not wake up and save herself.  Classsic anxiety of kids about losing their safety source, their mom.  Clearly about me, too, because I always try to save people, especially when they aren't trying to save themselves.  Sometimes to my own detriment.  

My trouble is, I'm pretty sure I know the answer to that question already.  It feels like a heavy sort of knowledge and it turns out, my ability to be unreasonably grief-stricken over a cycle, a natural part of life, in a way that my mom would scold me for, is just fine. 

Incidentally, the picture above is my mom with my older sister, Dottie, not me.

Friday, February 12, 2010

To Write Love

A few weeks ago a friend invited me to attend "To Write Love on Her Arms" day.  It sounded pretty and I shelved it in my mind, thinking I'd check it out later.   Then I forgot in the hustle/bustle of life.

This morning that friend had a profile picture with it written on her arm and I thought, "oh yeah, I was gonna check that out."  I looked at the event and saw the hundreds of pictures uploaded and uploaded my own:

The event is meant to support "those who are fighting against depression and those who are trying to recovering."  It's a nonprofit group for those who are struggling with the issue.  I plan to go and see if there is a place to donate some money, too, because the point of passing on awareness should be more than just posting a mobile photo, although that is nice, too. 

As I was browsing on the site, I noticed several pictures that were taken by people who had clear scars from cutting.  One said as her caption something like "I have to keep working on it." 

I so wanted to hug these people, and had to blink away tears.  Oh, I've been sad, just like everyone, I've had heartbreak and pain.   I've even gone through phases of what could definitely be classed as depression, although they've been pretty short.  But I, myself, have never felt that much pain.  I am too attached to the world, too in love with snow dripping off the trees and squirrels yelling that it's too cold, a warm cat on my lap, and the smile of my loved one. 

But I am enough of a crusader to want to fix the pain for those who have it that strongly that they try to cut it away, or end it all.  I know that writing love on my forearm won't fix anything, but perhaps letting someone know that I DO love them, even if I don't really know them, that I love the bad things they've done as well as the good because that is HUMAN, that is life, and we keep going or we don't but love is the whole point of it all.  It's what we're here to learn, in my opinion.  And it can be as simple as an act of random kindness or as comlex as the things that make us scream from rooftops.

It is okay to hurt, but it is even better to love yourself into NOT hurting anymore. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

You ride your horses, I'll stick mine in a zoo, thanks

I have been an addictive computer gamer in the past.  Man I played the crap out of some Sims games back before I had kids*, and this one pretty cool action game called The Longest Journey, and and and!!!!.  I remember even back before I had a computer and it was all about the Nintendo being up 'til like 4 am thinking "just this one more level and I'll go to bed."  It's definitely a place I know better than to go because I do get obsessed, and there's a level of fun/pleasure there that people who never "game" probably don't have any clue about.  Maybe they don't have the same buttons that get pushed by the games, maybe they do but have just never tried it. 

Addiction is addiction, whether it's morphine or sex or-- computer games. 

I don't know WHAT inspired me a couple of days ago to click on the stupid games.  I tried the Farm one-- thought it was kind of boring and didn't get into it.  I'm really NOT interested in the Mafia game, or the cafe game, or even the City game or the island fish.  Still not interested.

Then I tried the Zoo game.  I remember playing it once ages ago, actually, and finding it stupid and saying no thank you.  Oh, and I played with it idly for a few minutes and then left it alone for a couple of days.  I wasn't all that into it.  So I don't know if it's changed or what, but I played it this weekend, just because I was a little bored.  I figured it would keep me a little entertained while the hubby worked on taxes, the kids watched ANOTHER episode of WonderPets & I wasn't quite ready to write more on my novel.

And then, the other day, my mom got sick.  Almost died, AGAIN, for the second time in several months.  May still not be totally out of it.

And, like any natural addict does, during a really stressful day, I reached for something addictive to keep me from thinking.  To numb me.  An opiate, of sorts. Man I played the CRAP out of that game yesterday.  I tried to keep the notifications from clogging up the feed but there's a certain level of things you can't actually accomplish in the game if you don't "share" the information.

I didn't pull out a belt and a needle, thank god, but I did fiddle, way more than is healthy, with a computer game.  It's fun, and there's a certain level of pleasure that comes with the organizing, like having a doll house.  You put the animals in neat little rows because you can't order your own world so easily.  And there's observable progress from it-- you "level up" when you do something simple that you can track.  In real life, the level up process is not nearly so clear.  And you can very easily go "up" and a few days later be smacked back the hell down, like, far far far. 

I've made fun of the facebook games before.  I joined a "not playing" XYZ games group in the past, just to tease.  And the endless invitations are kind of a pain.  Everyone knows that.  But they are part of the way you play the game.  When I was playing in the last couple of days, I was careful to only invite people who I knew were actually playing the game.  But I also know that Facebook is weird and it's possible that folks were being invited without my knowledge, that the application is sending out more than the basic notifications folks can block.  And facebook, as a whole, has been glitchy the last few days so it's possible it's been a pain in the ass to see all those notes.  It does only take ONE "hide Zoo World" click for it to go away (in fact, I think it's still hidden on my feed).  And it's no more annoying, to me, than the ads for Lap Band surgery I constantly get on my FB page-- probably because I talk about food a lot.

So let me say this.  If my feed adopting bears and tigers and levelling up was really annoying, I ask that you realize that it's a shitload better than me going out and shooting up, or getting drunk and driving, or whatever other addicitons I might have used to keep me from thinking about the fact that my mother is STILL on a ventilator, and still not out of the woods and I could be hours away from being a literal "motherless child" and all that entails.  I really don't want to think about it and I'm really hopeful still. 

But we never know what that "game" is doing for someone.  Maybe they don't "have a life" maybe they are hiding from the life they do have.  We all have something we use.  I promise to not mock my friends who play games and you know what?  Sometimes, when I'm not busy, I'll send you some freakin' nails.  It's no skin off my nose; I'm wasting time anyway.

And go play your own quiet hobbies.  I won't send you an email notification about Zoo World if you don't try to knit me an ugly green & yellow sweater.


Facebook, in general, is a waste of freakin' time.  If you have more productive things to do and didn't have a touch of the same bug that causes others to spend hours rearranging their Zoos or Farms then you would be reading a book or something.  I see people "quit" all the time who just don't dig it.  I, myself, am probably close to being done playing my game because I'm at a place in it that is getting increasingly too much time suckage.  It isn't worth it if the payoff is quite that long.  Cause I'm also a quitter. 

Rehab, you know, is for quitters.  What have I got til I'm done, now?  28 days?  Here goes.   Zoo, Cold Turkey. Wait.  You have a  turkey for adoption? Really?  Is it on your wall now?  Hmmmm.  Can you send me one?  ;)  Just this last Turkey.  And then I'll level up, and I'll quit.  Really. 


*Even wrote a pretty cool conference paper about it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Grief and Change

Online people, those like me who seem to share just freakin' everything with perfect strangers on our Facebook feed or here, probably boggle the minds of folks who feel more private.

But it's such a complicated thing.  I even read an article about how FB helps people deal with grief and loss, because of connections that were lost years ago but people who have shared the horrific experiences of life in ways that even your immediate friends may not have.  It's an understanding issue, in part, I guess, because everyone's bad times are their own, the first time they've lived them, and we never know how we'll handle it. 

When my dad died, I didn't really know him very well.  My sisters went to his funeral.  When Andrew's dad was diagnosed as terminal, that hit me hard, but it was still Andrew's family, Andrew's major grief, and I was busy with the kids, who were just a bit over one and it was a bit hectic. 

This Christmas, dragging my mother into the ER because if I hadn't, she would have died within a few days, was tough, but I felt like it was productive.  They helped her.  I was there, and if I wasn't, someone else was. 

Now, she's been in a rehabilitative home since then and she was doing much, much better.  But this weekend, something has happened and I don't know where it's going.  People usually don't die from a freakin' sinus infection, which is what she apparently has, but it's impeding the necessary oxygen, which her body, because of her severe COPD and 50 years of smoking cannot get on its own. 

They sent her to the ER yesterday-- something I was in the midst of trying to set up already from here after I had talked to her on the phone and was worried.  At some time during that, she crashed and they intubated her.  She's also sedated, but apparently, she's also been fighting the intubation so they've had to restrain her, too.  My neice, who has had to deal with this issue very recently with her own father, is the only person who was there.  My sister is on her way, and she will evaluate what we're going to ask happen next.

See, my mom has a DNR order.  And we all agree with it; but for some reason the hospital didn't have a record of it.  The respirator, apparently, is something they shouldn't have done based on that DNR.  While I don't believe my mom lost consciousness, I think she may have if they hadn't acted, and that's directly in violation of the DNR. 

So there you go.  I feel totally helpless and angry at the hospital and had to yell at my husband last night and my eyes are puffy and feel like they have sand in them.  I'm not really in a mood to do anything other than brood.  But writing helps, putting out the story a little bit.  I don't know how it ends, but if you extend any story far enough out, it's a tragedy. 

We'll see how this current act ends.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Warts and All

It is actually coming up on being with my husband for TWENTY years!  Seriously!  You know that scene in Groundhog Day where the insurance guy says "Ten Years!"  Now double that and the pitch just goes up even more. 

We haven't been married quite that long, but together, yes.  Just about twenty years.  And we're pretty darn happy, too.  I remember about six years ago, before we had our kids, someone was bitching about my biological clock (as if that was any of their business in the first place) and one of our family members said "Leave them alone.  They still LIKE each other."  YEAH.  Leave them alone!  

I'm not saying that there aren't bumps in the road now and then, days when I am furious at something stupid he has done, or vice versa.  I'm a perfect angel, though, so he never gets mad at me.  blink.  blink.  blink.  innocence and rainbows. 

So.  What makes this work?  What makes our relationship work, when so many others do not?  Especially after you have kids, when the tensions are ratcheted up a million times by waning hormones because of sleepless nights, whatever it is that makes those days after kiddos are born harder. 

What it mostly takes, for us, is accepting the warts as best as you can.  I always give this advice to people who are just getting married.  Figure out what you hate most about the person you're marrying and learn to love it because you're NOT going to change it.  (People do not "change if you love me."  Don't even ask).  A post by a blogger I don't read often enough, Stephanie Klein, reminded me of this because she said "what deadly sin are you willing to go to bed with?"  That's good advice, but my hubby's "sin" isn't as big as one of the Big 7. 

He's a flatulent man, honestly. Most of the time, it's not very smelly, but it's LOUD. I do not love this trait about him other than the fact that he is just so un-self-conscious about it. That unselfconsciousness I kind of do love because that makes him a sort of fearless person, and that's awesome. And it's not like he surprised me-- on our first date he snuck one out, and I thought he must be mortified (he was a little embarrassed, but not as much as most people would be).

So I laugh.  Even when it's kinda gross, and I need to spray him down with Lysol.  And guess what?  My kids do it a little bit too (Sean more than Maia).  And I actually DO kind of love that in the crazy way that mothers have of loving those little traits because they are little reflections of yourself. 

And laughing when it's kinda gross and yelling at each other HONESTLY without bringing up every fight you've ever had, forgiving each other sometimes, trying to forget, even, and not expecting the sun AND the moon.  And just dealing with the warts and all, every single day.  Some days are easier than others. 

All of that makes almost twenty years feel like just a start, and look forward to the next twenty. 

Friday, February 5, 2010

A piece of my novel

Okay, so a special treat today for you faithful readers.  This is a piece of my novel-in-progress.  It's an intense moment, when the narrator, who is a ghost, is killed.  I may take it off of the blog in a few days so it's not floating around out there-- I do kind of want to publish it one of these days.  But I wanted to share a part I really like. 

What do you think?  Critiques welcome.  Is there something you don't like?  Pacing?  Want to read more?  :) 


I can see it like it is happening right now.

Someone grabs me from behind. I am still laughing, looking at Tony’s face, and he suddenly stops laughing as strong arms go around my neck. I don’t realize what is happening at first and then Tony’s smile falls and he steps forward and then stops moving. His face goes hard, like a cowboy in a movie and I’m about to make fun of him for that and then the guy behind me (I had somehow thought, for a second, that it must be someone I knew, someone there to congratulate me on the engagement, because I couldn’t be being robbed; I didn’t have anything worth stealing.) But no. He, the guy behind me, not Tony, he says “look, if you just hold still no one has to get hurt” and he’s not laughing, not congratulating me, but he’s holding something really hard into my back, on the right side, just above the small. It hurts. I can feel it poke my spine a little as he wiggles it some. He stepped out of a doorway, out of the dark, and since I was walking backwards looking at Tony, I don’t even see his face. Tony does, though, and what he sees there makes his eyes go flinty; they go dark in a way I’ve never seen them. I mean, we were going to La Villita! There are tourists everywhere, but not tonight. For some reason, we seem to be in a bubble of space and time and there is NO one there to help us. No cars, no walking people. I think of La Llorona, for some reason, and the kids at the railroad, but I know they aren’t here to help. No one is. No one drives by, no one laughs. We don’t hear any footsteps come up to help us. Just this guy behind me, and I can smell his aftershave a little bit, like on a first date, and I think it might be Drakkar Noir and I think how funny that would be, to be robbed by someone wearing Drakkar Noir, for God’s sake, and I start to tell the guy that my purse is right here, take it.

Tony is holding his hands up, holding really still, saying something like “Okay, man, chill, it’s okay” and for some reason, the guy behind me gets nervous, breathes out sharply, and then holds me even tighter, jamming HIS gun into my side ribcage even harder. I can’t believe I was just a second ago laughing and looking at my golden butterfly ruby ring. And we were going to La Villita! I can still taste mint and sugar on my lips, and I lick them again, because I seem to have gone really dry, and I feel 100% sober, too.

I hear a noise back behind Tony somewhere, like feet scuffing, and I guess the guy holding me thinks someone is coming or maybe he had something to prove to whomever was making that foot noise and before I know it, Tony is trying to step towards us and I hear this crack, and something hits me, hard, in the middle of my side. I don’t really feel anything other than this whack; it’s kind of like falling off a merry go round when I was a kid. Falling on my back and the breath whooshes out and then I’m left staring up at the sky waiting to breathe, to breathe. Except, it doesn’t happen. I don’t catch my breath.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Autism Boy

Tomorrow is our yearly review of Sean's progress.  He's been in the special early class for a little bit under a year now, and his teacher, who is amazing & wonderful (all three of the teachers in his class are) called me this morning to give me a head's up as to what we'd do tomorrow.  She tested him this morning to have benchmarks, and apparently on a big number of things, he is doing amazingly well.  It's very good to see real progress.  I know it, but sometimes when you know something as a parent at home, it doesn't reflect at the school.  So that's the good parts.  It is VERY exciting that he is doing as well as he is.

Then, this week, when we were in San Antonio, we were at a restaurant/bar that has this kid's play area.  Sean & Maia & one of our friend's daughters were playing outside, where we could all see them through the windows.  Sean is generally a very sweet boy; when he IS aggressive or something, there's usually a really good reason for it.  He pushes back when people push at him, in other words, but he doesn't usually instigate problems.  (I can see that he might; I'm not saying he's a perfect angel or anything). This is the main reason why I felt fine about letting them play outside while we were watching not right on top of them.

But something happened with this other, younger kid.  I don't know what it was; one of my friends was there and Sean had bumped her daughter, and the other kid had started crying around the same time.  Then, this group of people brought their daughter inside.  Did they say something to me?  No.  They just sat at their table and complained loudly, and looked pointedly at our table like we should know something.  Well, I couldn't see EVERYthing that happened, so I didn't know, but I had my guess that somehow, something had happened.  If they had said something, I would have tried to make it right. 

So I knew they were talking about us, and Sean, and I pointedly apologized, told them that he's usually a good kid, but that he has autism and sometimes he can get into trouble when he doesn't understand something.  The mom of the group sort of waved at me and said something like "that explains it" and seemed to accept my explanation.  But then the whole group of them left, and seemed agitated still, as though we were those clueless folks who did something terrible to their kid. I was sort of confused.

Look.  It's not that I think Sean's autism excuses seriously bad behavior.  And I DO watch him as carefully as I can, and if I had thought there would be a problem I would have been out there.  I wish the woman would have explained to me what happened so I could understand it better. 

We're trying.  Super hard, to make him understand, to make him be the sweet wonderful kid I know he is, I know he can be.  But as I have said before, why can't we give each other (parents) a freakin' break sometimes?  Figure that it's not necessarily neglect and cluelessness but that there is something, a variable, that you don't know. 

Anyway.  One step forward, one step back.  At least we're mostly breaking even around here.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Koi in Winter

they barely move
jostle close, ontop of
each other.
orange, white, gold,
tail mouth
into black leaves, stir silt
for the warmth of earth mud rot.

alien elements offering barest promise of summer to come.
it is still a long long way from here.

the water is martini-cold
straight up
clear.  clean.

the cat drinks, loving the taste of old
moss and fish breath

the fish sense watching eyes.
swirl breathe spin.
the cat does not notice.  drinks,
saunters away.

dark warm leafy stillness
is forgotten in cold rushing.

kaw jan '10

an evocotive picture


I want
to be rolling drunk
on the tip of
the sweetest

not yet released, just before the waves take me--

Not intoxicated. 
I want the Anglo-Saxon version. 
Careless.  A little crude.  Of the gutter.

Forgetful of myself
trusting in others to
remember.  For a little while.

Painless-- never reaching
the place
where the balance is tipped
towards regrets.

Constantly giddy
dizzy-buzzed.  Like
a honeybee
in a meadow filled with
golden suckleweed, lillies, roses, sweet sweetness.

I want that moment
captured in
those time-elapsed photographs
at bloom's pink peak

still. . .
before. . .

imperceptibly reaching, shivering,
holy holy holy.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Closed Blogging: Why Bother?

A couple of years ago I closed off a former blog.  I had written so much pain and rage and frustration into that one and I couldn't see a way of rehabilitating it.  But I couldn't just delete it, either.  It's still there; I am the only person who can read it.  Sometimes that will happen to a blog I used to casually read; I'll go there and the writer has shut that valve, sometimes forever.

Blogs are funny things; they are journals for most of us who write them, ways of communicating with the self.  As I type, I don't usually plan out what I'm going to say, and often I just have an undefined something that I need to think about.  But they are public, and there is an illusion of privacy being breached.  I suppose that illusion can be pretty convincing sometimes.

I don't actually have any IRL*  who write blogs the way I do.  I know some online folks who write, but most people guard their secrets their privacy pretty carefully.   Which I respect, but it's amazing to me those folks who write all those details, their lives, their disappointments and personal issues.  I respect both types of folks-- those who write it all out, sharing the warts & all, and those who keep their privacy as close as they can.

I love that my friends and family can keep up with at least a little bit of what I'm thinking through this medium; I wish that I could, in turn, keep up with some of them, as well, in a similar fashion.  Since I don't know very many people who blog, for realz, the blogs I do read are folks who I "met online".  I love to read a story about their day, see a cool photo, step a minute out of my own head.

Lately, talking on the phone seems so invasive, so hard to do right.  I can't unsay something on the phone, highlight a phrase that didn't come out right and retype it better, so it's less painful, nicer. So I don't give away too much.  So that I do it right.  I find myself, with some people in phone conversations, not doing it right.  Screwing it up.  Wishing I could start over.

But I am also well aware that reading a blog entry does not mean I know anything about this person in more ways than superficially.  I know what they are writing, what they are telling me, but I don't know everything.  It's a kind of connection, and sometimes I have felt I know someone better through the blog world than I do some people in that "real life" that I speak to every day.  Just as when I write a blog, I don't say things that I don't feel like sharing.  What I share is honestly far more superficial than people realize, I guess.  It seems like there is nothing I won't write.  I've written about physical pain, emotional pain, love, life, hate, rage, disappointment.

I write things when I am trying to figure them out.  Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn't.  I wish I could give this gift to others, the ability to share this or that detail but not too much.  Maybe it's kind of a form of meditative practice; trying to know myself well enough to make the things that are selfish or greedy or wrong over into something better.  It's like my Tarot card readings.  I don't pretend to KNOW through magic or con-artistry what the cards REALLY mean; I just lay them down, tell you what the traditional symbolism would be and let you figure it out for yourself.  What do you THINK the giant head with the body of a cricket from your dream really means?  Your interpretation there is more important than my own.

I want to reach out, to take you by the hand, to give some kind of comfort from grief when that is needed, some joy when that is the thing that is called for.  Something good.  Pull out the good crystal goblets and expensive champagne and chocolates and share joy.   

Sometimes, when I blog, I can do that and more.

But what I have here today is a winter blue sky, windy, isolated clouds that imagination cannot shape into anything other than cold cloud, and trees that are mostly bare and shadows playing on my neighbor's roof. 

His Eyes

One of the things I remember most about the early days of my marriage to Andrew was how he would look at me with his intensely blue eyes, wide, serious.  Like he was memorizing me, and wanted to get it right.  There are more permanent crinkles around the corners of those eyes now, and his eyebrows get so bushy sometimes I have to trim them or he ends up looking like Lloyd Briges in Airplane!.  The photo is us, about five years ago, New Year's eve, and his eyes are the violet-y color of a man who has had a lot to drink.  ;)

I've seen those eyes pensive and scanning the wreckage of The USS Arizona in Hawaii, squinting in the almost too bright to stand sunlight of Alaska near the glacier.  I've seen them smiling at me as we kissed under that kissing bridge in Paris.  When we were having the kiddos and I was wide-open cesearean while he looked on, I could tell he was sort of woozy because his eyes were waaaay bluer than normal in his pale, about-to-pass out face. 

His eyes have always been a barometer to the things he doesn't say.

When we met, and he was a student aviator in Pensacola, he wore the ugly wire-rimmed aviator glasses he wears now.  I liked him because he was a little nerdy and didn't care about those uncool glasses, glasses they used to call "Birth control" glasses.  Weirdly enough, his and my eye prescription are almost exactly the same, and in the last few years, his eyes have not tolerated contacts, so I've mostly seen those ugly glasses.  He hasn't been vain enough to care to buy more stylish ones and I haven't really minded but...

However.  This week (tomorrow) we are going to Texas, where he will get LASIK to fix those pretty blue eyes so that he will see as well as I do now. (He has to have it done by a military doctor or lose his flight status). It will be a long week, and I worry way more about him getting the procedure than I worried about myself. 

But it will be nice to see those deeply blue eyes without anything in the way again.  Waking up in the morning, crinkles at the edges, eyes that speak to me of memory today and tomorrow and today again.   

Sunday, January 24, 2010

annoying neighbors

Today, it is we who are the above.  I feel really bad about it, to tell you the truth. 

We are draining our swampy pool. 

We tried so hard this year to keep it from turning swampy.  We cleaned leaves and leaves and leaves.  Tried to keep the chlorine content working enough with all those damned (like, five trees worth) of leaves in it.  I managed til sometime in mid December to make it.  But then, it just got too hard.  And too cold. 

And it's been getting really green in the last week because it got warmer.

So we rented the drain and it's been spewing algae infested water all afternoon, and being noisy as all hell, and smelling like gasoline, too.  And it's getting close to being done, but not yet. 

We plan to buy a pool cover to try to combat this problem for next year.  We had meant to get one this year but it's harder than you would think to get one. 

But I'm really self-conscious about it and feel bad for our neighbors having to hear the "rrwawar" of the drain pump still going.  Hopefully it will be done soon so it will hush.  Sorry!  Sometimes, your neighbors are aware that they are being pains in the butt but there really doesn't seem to be any not irritating way to handle the issue.  And you don't want my pondy-swampy pool in your vicinity, a perfect breeding ground for many many mosquitos, either. 

Sigh.  Sorry!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

How it Was

there is no place for what is missing here
no empty spot to poke
like a child with a lost tooth

there is no thing to be done
no weeping or rending
of clothing

there is only this silence
this refusal to be there
there is only this word
that will stay unspoken

and yet I search anyway
send out feelers
remember a time
when there was something there

and I can't, for the life of me,
be sure of when that last was.

I pat myself down, like
looking for lost keys.

I just had them. Right?

There is no way to say this.

You are gone. 
And the sky is still blue.

Is STILL Not Too Sensitive!!

Last winter, teaching the freshman seminar class I did, we worked a bit on the Meyer's Briggs personality spectrum.  I am, and have always been, an INFP.  When I was looking for info for the little slide show I did with it, I found this cool graphic. I've even written about it before, apparently, cause when I went to look for the graphic, I found a post about this, by me.  Duh!  :) 

It makes me laugh because I AM totally too sensitive.  I take things way personally.  It's not that I think the world revolves around me, not by any means, but I overanalyze EVERYthing.  I think "what did that guy mean, when he cut me off" or "what did she say about redheads" or whatever.  Everything has to be the universe attempting to smash my feelings. 

I know this is self-centered.  I think it's just the way I'm wired, to expect to be hurt by things that other people say "dude, get over it; it's nothing personal."  And the intellectual part of me knows this, but the emotional little girl in the picture does not believe the intellect.

So anyway.  I will go now and get some lunch and perhaps a new book and NOT obsess over slights that may or may not be directed towards me.  I am NOT too sensitive. 

Or maybe just a little.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


There used to be a place
for dead letters.

"What a terrible room to work"
we said, reading Bartleby.

Now so much is electronic.
The email comes back undeliverable.

No lingering paper scrawled in a dusty box
in a dusty room
for a sad man to file.

How rapidly we learn of
       our disconnection

Poetry 101

Once upon a time,
for a class taught by a very funny man
I wrote a poem

Cornered him after class
in a hallway, to show
my work.  I
praise, genuis,
I didn't know
how awkward that was

He liked the line about cool refrigerated fruit.

We learned that a sonnet is a 14 line poem
(I missed that question once on game night--
argued it could be a 16 line poem, too.  English majors
are too

We learned that slugs
just need a good PR campaign.
Lawn dolphin entered my vocabulary forever.
But I still squish them beneath my shoes
(and sometimes with a squeamish stomach
between bare toes at night).

I think about him every time
I post my magazine.  Think about sending him a link to see
my work.
Know (now)
how awkward that might be.

Forever a student,
forever a little bit wrong.

Forever waiting for praise.
And eating plums.

KAW January '10

for Jim Bertolino

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Why Housewives Don't Write Good Poetry

Set aside for the moment Anne Sexton.  She was a terrible housewife, by all accounts, and a great poet much of the time.

Housewifey duties don't seem to bring out the poet in me.  Who wants to read about the applesauce I cleaned out of the fridge?  Maybe an Adam & Eve metaphor thrown in there?  Nope.  Me either.  I don't even want to THINK about what it would take to write that sort of poem.

It's similar to when I was in early grad school and was really pretty darn happy & only wrote poems about writing poems, which defined narcissism & solipsism and a few other isms about self-love (and not even the interesting and infinitely more poetic kind of self love, hubba hubba wink wink nudge nudge). 

And frankly, even I am kind of bored by this post.  I really need to get a good book to read. 

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dear Facebook Citizens:

Yesterday, I was perusing the list of people who graduated from my high school in or around the same year as me and in the process, was noticeably disturbed by a few trends.  Let me give you a short list, therefore, of things I think grown up people (and/or people in general) should never do in their facebook profile picture.

1.  Do not sit with your legs wide open like a porno queen.  You graduated the year before I did; that means you're at least 40.  Maybe you're hot, but that pose is NOT.
2.  Do not pose on your motorcycle.  You're not a teenager and it's not that impressive.  The same goes for posing on your big, expensive boat. 
3.  If I have to guess whether your hair in the picture is one of those wayback photos or if that's you, now, you could probably use a restyle.  For the love of God, man, mullets?
4.  No shirtless pictures showing off your "guns" and looking surly.  I see you tucking your hands back there to make them look more bulgy.  Please.  It's not convincing me.
5.  Did you take that picture when you had a hangover?  Is that REALLY the best you can look?  Wipe off some of the eyeliner and brush your hair. 

And, just so I don't sound TOO grumpy and pissy, a few Dos.
1. DO leave that photo of a Corona w/ a lime on a beach with your feet in the picture.  That's kind of fun, and quirky.  It does look a little bit like an advertisement, but I still like the whole "wasting away in Margaritaville" vibe to it.
2. Person who had the Nude Descending Stairs as your picture?  I didn't recognize your name so I probably didn't know you but that is AWEsome.  I wish you wouldn't think I was a freak for the friend request.
3. Well done professional photos with your family are cute.  Keep them up there.

If we all follow these simple rules, the Facebook experience will be much more pleasant for all of us. 
Thank you, and good night.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

People I sometimes google

I think I've written about the phenomenon of googling old flames, old friends, lost to the water under bridges, before.  It's akin, probably, to drunk dialing except you don't have the number.  I've had people look me up on Facebook probably that way (more so, probably, now that I've added my maiden name to my profile.)  I've found a few folks from high school that way, too.  I sent out a few unanswered friend requests recently and wondered whether they did or didn't remember me.  If they did, what was it that made them click "ignore?" 

It's something to ponder after having had a couple of Mike's Lemonades. 

After a soul-searing argument I had this summer with someone, I've thought a lot about myself in a way of really trying to analyze.  Do I do this? That?  Am I empathetic or just narcissistic?  It's something some people never think about, something some probably think about too much. 

Especially after a couple of Mike's Lemonades.

40 years on a planet and I am exactly ten times my daughter's age.  Today, when I told her I was 40, her eyes got wide.  She finally understands enough about numbers and math to realize how many differences that is from her. 

Why do I feel an urge to google people I really do NOT want to reconnect with, and a sense of both relief and regret when it appears those folks are not really all that Internet Savvy (or maybe more than I am so that they hide their presence-- but I doubt it.)

I guess because my own life has been a series of losses; I've lost cities, friends, entire lives of things.  It's okay, because those losses made me the person I am. 

Or is it?

Time to have another Mike's Lemonade and think about it.

Monday, January 11, 2010


In "Where I Lived and What I Lived For," Henry David Thoreau wrote:  "Our life is frittered away by detail... Simplify, simplify, simplify! ... Simplicity of life and elevation of purpose."  His mentor & freebie landlord, Emerson, wrote in response:  "Don't you think one 'simplify' is enough?"

Yes.  Enough. One simplify works just fine.

This year is, for me, a year of simplification.  Jobfront, lifefront.  I am, in January, cleaning house metaphorically and literally.  No need to wait until Spring for this cleaning; if it makes me sad, or angry on a frequent basis, it is gone. 

I'm done with saying "well, this etiquette is weird, I will understand and accept."  If it hurts my feelings, and it's not the first time, then there's a compatibility problem and "Simplify" will be the word of the day.

And, to end with a quote from Stuart Smalley* that sums it up too:   "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and, doggonit, people like me!" 


*And yes, I'm quite aware that in many ways Smalley is an example of the 12 step ideals gone wrong.  I never said I was perfect.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Happiness for a Lazy Procrastinator

It's no accident that, years ago, my first blog was called Kim Procrastinates.  Somewhere along the way I had totaled up the numbers and found that if I had spent that time on my dissertation rather than my blog I would have finished years earlier.

I am a procrastinator,* and I am a bit on the lazy side.  I'll own that, fully.  I'd rather fiddle around on the Internet, for the most part, than do anything other than perhaps read.  I am also so NOT a neat freak, preferring to spend time doing anything other than cleaning up things.  Short of world peace, the one thing I would wish for should a Genii pop out of a lamp in front of me would be a non-defective Robot Maid to keep my house clean and laundry done.  Seriously. 

So this past week of cleaning up rental properties and running around like a crazy woman to Lowe's to pick up supplies (all but our annoying fake snow day when I was home with kiddos all day) has been a surprise to me. I know I like painting rent houses & remodeling; that I've figured out already.  But cleaning them is something I've always hired someone else to do in the past.  (I mean, since I've been able to do so.)

I've been having fun! Yes, the three baseball player college students who lived in our one rent house really really had a filthy refrigerator that stank when it was turned off and had this brown teriyaki sauce goo EVERYwhere.  But cleaning up after these folks & the other place (that wasn't actually as bad, to be honest) has brought out my inner Monk.  A little bit, at least.  I now have a real preference for a cleaning product (a couple of them) because of how much better they worked than other things I've used before.  (I like 409 and those Lysol wipes & this orange cleaning stuff.)

There's a certain satisfaction in just looking around and knowing that a few hours ago the place was trashed and now it's gleaming, and the fridge looks like new and you did that.  Now, heaven help the tenants who trash the place I spent so much time and effort cleaning.  They're going to be SO busted. 

Andrew has been joking that he has the "most educated cleaning lady on the planet."  Now, it's entirely possible that there are other PhDs who are doing professional cleaning, for whatever reason.  It's a tough job market out there.  I am kind of overeducated for the position, and yet, I do NOT mind it.  The whole point of this rental property landlord business is so that we can make enough moolah to retire early and live on a yacht in the Med.  Seriously.  Daytrips for the kids to the Louvre for art history class.  Etc.  And thus, it really does NOT suck to be working on this.  It takes up a LOT of time, and sometimes it's darn hard, but it's worth it.

But I'm really fine to not be worrying right now about making syllabuses and getting ready for another semester.  Next week's plan is to post my killer issue of Women Writers and work towards making it into a nonprofit organization, and possibly  squeeze in some more on my novel.  This last week of manual labor has been kind of cool, and I'm channelling my inner cleaning lady on my own house a bit, too. 

*surprisingly, I didn't even have procrastination as a tag until now!  Funny!
**and, by the way, what the heck happened to blogger's spellchecker?  ANNOYing.