Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Laughter and Life after Death

On Christmas Eve, my mother told us she would like to set aside time for a Scriptural or spiritual moment to remember the true meaning of Christmas and focus on our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
To this my sister replied: "I worship Jesus every day and in everything I do. Can't I have a day to just play with my family?!"

Then, tonight, I was backing up the car and Lemur asked me to change the music to a song he liked.

I sternly answered, "I can't right now. I have to focus on driving or we could crash and die." He has heard this answer quite a few times as we have been out driving in the snow storms for the past week.

He was silent for a moment. Then he said, "Mom? It's okay. If I die, you bring me back with fire and wood."

"Fire and wood? What do you mean?"

"On Star Wars. Like Darth Vader."

"Honey, I don't think it works like that in real life."

"Oh yep it does. But I'll be blue, like with Yoda."

Friday, December 14, 2007

Peaceful Warrior

Here I am to plug another movie. This one is incredible for entirely different reasons. Rather than being excited and bursting with rampant emotional praise, I just want everyone to know that this movie is life changing. There is so much truth in so little time. It's about a gymnast. You can view the trailer if you want, I have a link at the bottom. But I think it spoils the experience of the movie if you watch it first.
Some of the things I learned in just the first twenty minutes include little truths like this:
"Wisdom is doing."

Can you believe I didn't know that?

And the above picture is from my favorite moment. I will make my famous chocolate chip cookies for the first person to tell me what Dan learned about that rock in his hand.

Enjoy! I sure did. Thanks to Muad'Dib for always broadening my movie-going horizons.
Has anyone read the book?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A list of good

If it weren't for all my recent coughing, I would have been posting my many sneezes. So in the interest of changing my blog a little bit, here is a short list of things that have been making me sneeze:

1. Taking pretty pictures of pretty people
2. Seeing fun movies with fun people. (The Bee Movie, Beowulf, Mickey's Christmas Carol with my kids)

3. Playing Catan early mornings with my daughter curled up on my lap.

4. Waking up to Christmas in my living room every morning.

5. Being suprised by a smaller number than I anticipated.

6. Using my license to give without question.

7. Receiving kisses from my son.

8. Watching Rivulet dance.

9. Singing in a recording Studio - for three hours!

10. Being nuzzled by a rat for the first time in 13 years.

11. Cooking for my husband.

12. Being in tune with my angels.

13. Spending time with DreamPacker (finally).

14. Cleaning out the cupboards above and around my range hood.

15. Seeing my Grandma for lunch.

Well, those are my top 15 (how cool is it that I didn't feel right stopping at 10!) I'd expound, but I'm going on two hours of sleep and . . . no, let's just leave happy.

I have a warm place to sleep. I have children who love to cuddle me. I have a husband who appreciates what I do for him and his children. I am getting over my bronchial upset, and have the perfect gift for at least half the people on my list. So far, so GREAT!

And River just peed on the floor. Heaven, give me strength!

Thursday, November 29, 2007


BEOWULF!" Incredible.
That's the only word for it.

I literally (and I mean like a wet dog) had to shake this movie off. In the car on the way home I expelled my excess energy with excited yells and disturbed wimpering.
I had shivers the entire ride.

When Muad'Dib asked if I enjoyed it, I couldn't honestly say yes, but I said - honestly - that I EXPERIENCED it. I have never jumped or squealed so much in a movie. It wasn't scary but it was intense and beautiful and moving and gorgeous and enthralling. (I think those are enough adjectives, don't you?)

Do NOT take children. I'm really glad we didn't, and they guy who took his four small children to see it, thinking it was just an animated feature, had a lot of explaining to do at numerous parts in the film. "Daddy, why are they hanging from the ceiling like that?" and "Why isn't she wearing anything?" (there was a remarkable amount of nakedness) and "Why would he do that?"

No one under 20 should see it unless they are prepared for realistic death and gory monster mayhem. Wildbound, don't even think about it. Yikes. Muad'Dib had to release my death grip on his hand near the end of the film, and I was nail-biting the rest of the time. There was once I nearly jumped out of my seat!

This is a positive post. If anyone asks me if they should see it, I want to yell "Yes!"from the rooftops because it was so INCREDIBLE,
But these warnings are warranted: trust me.
For years I had heard a friend of mine try and tell me the story of Beowulf, and convince me of it's inherent charms as one of the masterpieces in literature. Well, now it is a masterpeice of moviemaking. It simply MUST win an Academy Award for SOMETHING!

Oh Wow. If this is the capacity of moviemaking ahead of us then WOW! This story was brilliantly told, brilliantly acted, brilliantly animated . . . I'm gushing now, aren't I?

No matter what anyone else says, I stick by my review. I still have that man's voice ringing in my ears: "I Am Beowulf!" Check out the trailer on my side strip to see more. This is the gory version, so if you don't want the blood (or the phallic symbols), don't watch, but you have to at least listen. The music (in the film) is glorious and the rant at the end is pulse pounding fun!


Sunday, November 25, 2007

And River says: "Miranda!"

Notice the new picture at the top of my blog. It is called "Miranda: the Tempest". I like it. I like it so much that four years ago Muad'Dib bought me a 16x20 canvas print of it and I was able to frame it for my Christmas! It has hung in our bedroom ever since, always calming me, and beginning the water theme in our room.

The other night as we were attempting to put our little Rivulet to sleep, I realized how funny it was that we have a girl named River and a picture in our room named Miranda.

Real BrownCoats would get the joke.

Y'ever have those days where you feel like writing and you want to write something - anything, but only nothing comes out? Many pages in my journals are littered with these sorts of entries: times when my soul has something to say, but has not yet communicated it to my brain.

In these instances I often ramble of my days or my feelings. Not like brain poop rambling, but super romantic, pretty, Louisa May Alcott sappy rambling. I revert to my Anne of Green Gables self and use the largest prettiest words in my none-too-limited vocabulary.

I use words like "blithesome" and "floating". I conjur images like a goose coming to land softly and gracefully on an otherwise quiet pond, making only a few soft ripples that stretch ever so slowly to reach me as I sit on some shore or other. I begin to see things in pastel colors and gentle tones. The sound of a car going by reaches my ears with a calming sort of music and I want to cry from the beauty of it.

This is my pretty side. This is the self I really prefer to be when I am alone. It is the self that takes me to Antique stores and into quiet moments of nature. It is the self that remembers Subway and Lake Powel and Hilton Lakes. It is the self that writes the dreams and desires of a romantic girl's heart. It is the self that imagined wonderful and magical places that made no sense of any sort to anyone but itself. It is the self that is constantly sighing with contented relief because it is constantly releasing everything else from that other world: the cranky, tired or frustrated world. The calm state cannot understand the wired state. I take a look from one place as though onto another and feel entirely removed.

I have half a cedar chest full of the ramblings of my heart. I have a poetry book full of second rate poetry and first rate emotion. I have stories chock full of beauty and prose and images that still take my breath away.

Not long ago someone mentioned to me that I was merely surviving. When I shared that thought with another, they said that surviving is all a young mother can do. "What about thriving?" I wondered. Today I understand that to first thrive I must know what that means to me. What would it take for me to thrive?

One answer is: more moments like this. More chilly mornings where I sit by my newly-set-up Christmas tree with one space heater turned to me and a human incubator cuddled up on my lap. More created opportunities to write whatever romantic or glorified drivel I can conjur in my amazing mind. More moments where I take Cowboy Bob's advice and simply BE. What I can do is wonderful. What I can be is awe inspiring. What I am is enough.

And out of my nothing has come something. Thanks for sharing the moment with me.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sneeze in a Dressing Room

A woman walks into a dressing room with four pairs of pants, two dresses and two shirts. The pants range in size and shape, because they are from the clearance section. As has been her habit, she has chosen what is available, not what looks best on her. The lights are bright, and the colors are classy as she enters the over-large cubicle with a long mirror on one wall.

Carelessly she removes her old chicken-juice stained jeans to don new ones, hoping one pair can possibly fit her the way these have for almost three years. Sure, she had to sew the zipper back in by hand and perhaps her husband was correct and she shouldn't have been walking on the hems until they wore right off . . . but she had enjoyed these pants.

Shopping is an exciting excursion for any woman. There are those who point out that the mirror in the dressing room is the most unfriendly mirror there is. That six foot peice of reflective glass ruins whatever joy a woman can derive from shopping, because it is too honest, too judgemental.

Well, not this mirror. Slipping into the first pair of pants, the woman noticed that she had grabbed the wrong size. But, she was over halfway in anyway and decided it couldn't do more harm than trying on any other pair of jeans. She fastened the oversized button and zipped up the pants and . . . her heart sneezed.

Perhaps it was her imagination. She turned from side to front to other side, admiring the flattering image she saw before her. She tore off her old snot-slimed shirt and threw on one of the new ones she had brought in with her.

The plum wine tones brought out the blush in her cheeks, her excitement now beaming from every muscle in her face. Still turning, still admiring herself she began to laugh. A laugh so loud and so full that the woman outside the stall asked, "Is everything working for you then?"

"Nope. I think I grabbed the wrong size!" How giddy that made her!

Another shirt - charcoal but in a similar cut - did not detract from the beauty of this robust woman who continued to giggle and dance before the mirror. The sales girl brought her three more pairs of pants, in that smaller size.

For twenty more minutes, the laughter continued, the dancing continued. She flipped her hair over her shoulders and totally enjoyed how beautiful she was. The pants were too expensive. The shirts weren't, so she decided to buy them and look for the smaller size of jeans somewhere else.

As she happily exited the cubicle she had dreaded entering, the sales girl grinned at her and asked, "Saw something you liked?"

How could a simple "Yes!" be enought truth for the moment?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

BEWARE: Dreams to follow . . .

WARNING: to those who don't enjoy hearing or reading other people's sleep stories: skip this post! For those who enjoy the mental tumble a dream brings, I invite you to continue:

Last night Rivulet was sick, meaning I got up with her and her not-breathing-ness every two and a half hours. So I was blessed with not one, not two, but THREE very interesting dreams.

1. I was on the top level of a school (the top being, like, level ten). The school had many students and many stairs. I was so tired, sleepyand worn out, but I needed to exit the building on the ground floor to go home. The top level, I tried moving people out of my way by being gruff (thanks to the Leemur's new story reminding me of the word). It didn't work because it didn't make a big enough impact on enough people to actually clear my path.

Then I heard music. It was like Glen Miller's "In the Mood." Suddenly I was in a twirly skirt and realized whatI should do. I channeled all my efforts for gruffness into dance. I was swirling and spinning; until I was past the "I'm smiling so much my face hurt's" stage and was simply breathless with joy. It worked amazingly well. People not only cleared my path, they stood to the sides of the halls to watch me in wonder. Some weren't too keen on me expressing myself this way, I could tell . . . but there were others whose faces lit up by my passing.

I knew I was still exhausted, and yet I was energizing my way past it. I got to the door, and did a whole big dance number with a guy who was standing there. I tried to exit when it was over, but the faces of some more intrusive theater friends blocked my path and said things like, "You are so talented, just do it one more time!" I was so tired, though. No one listened. And the music wouldn't play again. I needed rest. Finally I gave up the being nice and said with calm, "I'm tired and I need to rest. Move out of my way." They did.

Moral: My journey does not need to be taken in happiness, it is happiness. Anger hinders my progress and my process.

2. I saw my sister on the steps of a huge school where she was the new principal. Together we talked and laughed and began leading music. She told me she was the one playing the music in my last dream that let me dance my way out.

3. A possible road my life could have taken had I made different choices at age nineteen. Sure there were good things like weeks at Lake Powell with friends, lots of theater, graduating college and being payed for my talents. Oh, and James McAvoy fell in love with me . . . but in the midst of it, I felt an incredible longing. I saw Muad'Dib on a house boat that we passed in LP,(in the dream) and thought (with McAvoy's arm around me) "That's a guy I'd like to know."
My father wasn't pleased with my choice in men . . . I wouldn't make time to eat with my parents, I felt ugly, though I was the "size" I wanted to be. I actually spent time in the dream envisioning what i would look like after children and prefered it. It was my "dream self."

And then the Simpsons came to eat with James and I and I found a fly in my creme brule' so I think the meaningful part of the dream was over by then.

I know there are those who say dreams are merely the brain's way of processing excess rigamorola we've accumulated through the day(s). Some of mine are that way . . . but not these. These were like markings on an unfamiliar trail that quietly reassure me: "You are on your way. Keep moving forward." Which, oddly enough to some, is a lesson I have not learned yet. Perhaps that's why i keep creating the situations that will teach it to me.

I feel so pleasently delightful right now. Reassurance does that to a person.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I submit:

I have decided that a new phrase needs coining.

In the spirit of Brain Poop, Emotional Vomit, and Gushing, I submit:

A Heart Sneeze.

Unlike it's brothers, a heart sneeze is incredibly desireable every day. Every moment of every day, actually. It is recognized by its odd symptoms: an uncomfortable tickling as it creeps upon you while you wonder with baited breath: "Will it really happen, or will it go away leaving me with simply the desire for sneezy greatness?" When it does come to full fruition, the impact is remarkable: Blinding release of joy: sometimes all at once, while other times followed by another or a third like burst (depending on the original level of joy). Then one is left with the incredible satisfaction. The peace after a storm of excitement, as it were.

This is my creation. And I continue to endeavor to experience it daily. hourly, if I'm not too tired.

Also, I have decided not to employ anger as my thug. He instead will be reserved only for moments of true outrage for crimes against my person or the safety of my family.

Instead I take it upon myself to learn more of this greater tool called "Love." I have a capacity for it. I must make use of it, for already it's employ has made a vast difference in the relationship between my son and I.

So when I am too tired, and would otherwise revert to anger as a way of keeping myself awake, i shall look my babies in their wonderful faces, do a yoga pose, and release a heart sneeze upon them. For I have much to sneeze about!

Friday, November 9, 2007

I have nothing to say, but BY GUM, I'm going to scream it!

* Cleaning dust off of the baseboards is harder than one would first imagine. Baby wipes are handy in just such a situation.

*Also, never leave a box of "pop up" wipes on the floor near your one-year-old, or you'll end up cleaing the baseboards.

*October walks are the best.

*Fallen leaves are sticky. Be careful, you could get stuck in them and have to have your mother come and grab you by the waist, carrying you upside down and away from danger. Just ask Lemur. It was harrowing.

*It is possible to get a little bit lost between 1700N. and 2100N. if you aren't paying attention.

*The Mountains are always east.

*I hate Sonic and his friend, Tails. One is fast, but the other is weak.

*The world of Catan falls at my feet, praying for mercy from my brilliant strategy! Yes, bow in submission, O you conquered!

*Winning Catan Online goes to my head.

*I am in need of a good book. Strike that: I am in need of a captivating book.

*The house never gets clean. Strike that: the house never stays clean.

*My son is brilliant. He is also brilliant at playing dumb - or deaf - when it serves him.

*I had hope last year. Then a broken heart. Then I buried it in sugar. Now the wound needs cleaning and I'm not sure I have the hope I need to heal it.

*Ieek: I'm drowning in emotion!

*Stripling warriors are quite . . . what's the word . . .Stripling. Yes, that's it.

*Walking eases the pain in my hip.

*Running doesn't.

*I want a dog.

*I want a bike.

*I think I'm sounding like a person who is getting close to saying something almost silly like, "I wanna be more like . . ."

*I like Wicked. Particularly Kristen Chenoweth. Dude.

*I enjoy many of the shows in the fall primetime lineup: ~Pushing Daisies~Brothers and Sisters~Samantha Who~Private Practice (ABC)~Life~The Office~30 Rock~Heroes(NBC).

*For someone who has a lot of time on her hands, I should be able to do more. I get a lot done. But I don't seem to do much.

*I'm not positively prepared for the holidays. I fear I may have been bitten by a Hum Bug. perhaps it was when I walked into Smiths the day after Halloween and was thrust into Christmas without a simple "Howdy-do" from Thanksgiving all to the tune of "I'll be Home for Christamas." by good ol' Bing. THRUST!

*I like the scriptures.

*I have a friend again!

*Me writing is remarkably beneficial. And not only to me. Someday you may all profit from, or at least enjoy, my reamarkable writing-ness.

*The world beyond the veil is not as far removed as I've sometimes feared and sometimes closer than I would like. Hmm.

*To everything there is a season.


Friday, November 2, 2007

Of Pumpkins and Troll Boogies . . .

We had a big day, October 26th, that included, but was not limited to:

The carving of pumpkins to make Jack-O-Lanterns, the laundry, baths and even the creation of Troll Boogies (pictured below) for a "Harry Potter Party" we would attend later that night. Anyone know why Troll Boogies are a Harry Potter-themed treat?
Lemur was so proud of our pumpkins. I had drawn seven possible faces and he had chosen these two, their names being:
" Shucks"
and "Angry"

We then got ready for the Harry Potter party. As promised here is a picture of the cloak I made for Lemur. The dark circles under his eyes really add that extra "something", don't you think?

My little Emperor Palpatine!

Here is Dave, who most of you will know as "Albert" from our production of Secret Garden. He made his Quidditch robes and matching ensemble all by himself. His wife is a Gryffindor student sans the attack on Hogwarts. That pesky fake blood was running into her eyes all night!
Then there's us, two students from Ravenclaw. I know: we rock, we're so cute.

They had Pumpkin soup, a meat pie and all sorts of goodies. We played "Who (or What) Am I?" (Muad'Dib was Voldemort, and I was Azkaban) and "Harry Potter Scene It" It was good times . . . except that we didn't know anyone except Dave. But Lemur was adorable. He would yell "Suprise!" when anyone knew showed up to the party. And he and Rivulet played with our wands (not pictured. They light up and make sounds, though.)
And actual Halloween, Muad'Dib accidentally took Lemur's cloak to work, so I dressed him up as a pirate and we went to Hastings with my mom to find a book. When we got back, no one was up for Trick or Treating. So we watched Spider Man 3 and went to bed.

It was a good Halloween.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

One of the Lessons I was meant to learn

Guess what I learned yesterday?

The Atonement is INFINITE.

Think about that word for a minute: just try and grasp the scope of it. Then realize what I learned:

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is INFINITE.


Monday, October 22, 2007

MY beloved son.

On Saturday, my sister, my mother and I took my Grandmother and met an aunt and my cousins in Midway for a tea party at Pandora's Tea Parlour.

I arranged for one of my cousin's husbands to watch Lemur so he could play with his boy cousins. When we went to drop him off, though, he seemed a little nervous. My mother gave him a ten dollar bill to help him feel like he had something of hers to keep him connected though we were leaving.

I forgot about this ten dollars.

This morning he must have put it in his pants pocket, because while we were out shopping for Halloween costumes at D.I. he picked up a toy and said he wanted it. I said it was too expensive. He held out this ten and said, "But Mom, I have ten blue dollars!" I remembered where it came from and that it truly was his. So I gave a short shpeil to the effect of, "Be sure this is what you really want . . ." He was so sure and so ready to have me get off his back that he offered to buy Rivulet a doll. She had picked out a stuffed baby doll that looked brand new, and was hugging it close. Lemur wanted to buy it for her. But before we made it to the register, we passed by the books (which I can't pass up at least browsing) and he saw a hard back Book of Mormon. Now:

I have an old pocket size BoM that I found in Seminary that is pretty beat up and Liam has taken to calling it his "blue book" and taking it to church or sleeping with it. Last Sunday, a page ripped out of 2nd Nephi. He was pretty upset and handled it with much care after that. So:

He picked up the HB BoM and said, "Mom, it's just like my blue book. But new. I buy this too. It's my favorite book forever." He then carried it around all day, commenting on the pictures of Jesus and Samuel the Lamanite. He is currently sleeping with it. He had me read from it before bedtime prayers.

Let's recap:

1. Get's $10, which he could spend on anything . . .

2. Offers to buy his sister a dollie.

3. Decides to buy a Book of Mormon.

I'm guessing this is one of those moments where I sit back for a second and realize that I'm not screwing up all that much, because- so far - I have a pretty great son.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Good news to me!

I won a game of Catan on Hard A.I.! And without longest road or largest army! How cool is that?! It's a good thing Rivulet was sleeping, or I would have been screaming my triumph at the top of my lungs.

I learned how to use my sewing maching (which has been in the closet since my mother gave it to me on my birthday.) First thing I've sewn? a Jedi cape for the Lemur. And a little cape for Rivulet from the scraps. Pretty happy with that, too.

Mundane to some, highlights to another. Yay! I won!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What I did today:

* Made my husband lunch at four in the morning.
* Slept in until 9.
* Went to a business lunch with a "warm contact" and my father. I was SO an asset to that situation.
* Painted half of my parents garage door yellow.
*Ate three candy bars without even thinking about it.
*Read the paper for a few minutes and can't remember anything it said.
* Came home with Muad'Dib and the spawnlings.
*Cleaned a floor covered with filth that wasn't mine.
* Won a "moderate" game of Catan on X-box. Shaka wasn't even close!
* Showed the free apartment to some people
* Bought pizza.
* Cooked pizza to perfection.
* Read half a book
* Put my children to bed.
*Scratched Muad'Dib's head.
* Fought an inner battle while not trying to actually fight it for fear that I would only make it worse.
*Tried incredibly hard to maintain focus on something, anything for more than a few seconds.
* Failed at focus.
* Got ready for bed.
* Wrote a blog that will make almost no sense to anyone but me, my Coach, my husband and my demons.

But writing makes me feel better. I may not sound better, or even coherent, but i feel just a little bit better.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The talk that got me.

"A knowledge of truth is of little value unless we apply it in making correct decisions. Consider for a moment a man, heavily overweight, approaching a bakery display. In his mind are these thoughts: The doctor told you not to eat any more of that. It’s not good for you. It just gives momentary gratification of appetite. You’ll feel uncomfortable the rest of the day after it. You’ve decided not to have any more. But then he hears himself say, “I’ll have two of those almond twists and a couple of those chocolate doughnuts. One more time won’t hurt. I’ll do it just once more, and this will be the last time.”

"The process of identifying truth sometimes necessitates enormous effort coupled with profound faith in our Father and His glorified Son. God intended that it be so to forge your character. Worthy character will strengthen your capacity to respond obediently to the direction of the Spirit as you make vital decisions. Righteous character is what you are becoming. It is more important than what you own, what you have learned, or what goals you have accomplished. It allows you to be trusted. Righteous character provides the foundation of spiritual strength. It enables you in times of trial and testing to make difficult, extremely important decisions correctly even when they seem overpowering.
"I testify that neither Satan nor any other power can weaken or destroy your growing character. Only you can do that through disobedience.
"Understand and apply this vital principle to your life: Your exercise of faith builds character. Fortified character expands your capacity to exercise greater faith. Thus, your confidence in making correct decisions is enhanced. And the strengthening cycle continues. The more your character is fortified, the more enabled you are to exercise the power of faith for yet stronger character."
-Richard G. Scott

This is a cycle I want to be a part of!

Friday, October 12, 2007

From "Life"

"Anger ruins joy, steals the goodness of my mind; forces my mouth to say terrible things. Overcoming anger brings peace of mind, a mind without regrets. If I overcome anger I will be delightful and loved by everyone."
-Detective Crews on the new NBC series "LIFE."

Rings a little true for me.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Kids say the Darndest . . .

Last night we were up at Mountain Road Ranch to visit Wildbound and Wildman. NAM, Lemur and Pocketmouse were outside while the adults were "talking" inside. Lemur came in to show me what they were up to. Handing me an unshelled walnut, Wildbound explained that the kids were outside cracking them open and eating the nuts. I asked Lemur to go open one for me. He did and I ate it. He then held up three others and said, "These are for daddy."

"Sure, sure," said I, trying to keep up with the Voucher conversation and the debate whether we were all created "good" or created "equal."

Lemur then spotted a bag of dried apples and decided he'd rather fill his hands with those. "Excuse me?" he asked politely.

"Yes, Lemur weemur?"

He held out his full hands to me,"Will you hold daddy's nuts?"

"Uh. . ."

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

My Son Wrastled with a Snake!

Last night I was at my cousin's house helping prepare dinner for her husband, when in he comes, a good twenty minutes before we expected him. All excited he says, "Amber, come look! There's a snake outside!"

Immediately my brain goes back to the science classroom in Junior High when a snake tried to bite my ear off. I don't even try to repress the shudder that jolts up and down my spine.

Amber dries her hands and makes an excited bee-line for the door. Stopping she turns to me and says, "Wanna come?"

Before I even have time to shake my head, my son - the Mighty Lemur - yelps, "Yeah, Yeah!" and hopps down from the stool where he had been perched eating Cheerios.

Well, I'm not about to be outdone by my four year old, so I also followed her out the door, telling the Rivulet that I'd be back in a minute. She looked content with her grape juice and bowl of dry cereal.

Down the stairs and outside the garage, there it was: a small green and black garden snake. It was perhaps the length of Lemur's arm from wrist to shoulder, and skinny enough warrant the first words out of Lemur's mouth: "Oh, he's so cute!"

Now, cute's not the first word i would have used. Especially as it began to slither toward the asphalt in the most disturbing fashion; back and forth, back and forth quick and slickery until it reached the street and found the gravel uncomfortable on his belly. As he darted back to the cement sidewalk, I stole a look at my son and saw his intense desire to hold this new creature in his two little hands. Well, I'd cure him of that right quick.

I reached down and picked it up. It immediatly curled up in my palm and stuck it's pinky-black tongue out to smell my thumb. Luckily I had no more mental flashes of death and hissing. I was cool as a cucumber. Though considering what happened next, we may have to change the saying to "Cool as a Lemur."

His big blue eyes took in this "neat" reptile, watching in wonder as it curled around my hands. Then breathily he said, "Can I hold it?"

"Are you sure?" I asked.

"Yeah, Yeah. Can I hold it?"

"Be careful and don't squish him. His bones are little, okay."

"Okay." He held out his eager little hands and let the snake slither into them.

I could feel each little bone as it wriggled out of my hands into the hands of my son who remained entirely calm. He brought the snake up and looked directly into it's dark little eyes and then looked to me, beaming, "He likes me! He likes me so much!"

The next ten minutes were spent trying to keep the snake in his hands. It tried to writhe away several times, even attempting possible death, though he was caught each time by the hands of my boy. Lemur never jumped, never squealed, never dropped the creature in surprise. Even when it tried to climb up his arm under his sleeve. He didn't even laugh. He was engrossed in the wonder of this reptile.

Finally, we decided to let it go in a sandbox. While walking there, the snake curled around both Lemur's thumbs, holding them fast together. Lemur leaned down and the snake slowly unwound itself and chose another place on the sand, under a truck.
As we were walking back to the house, Lemur's big blue eyes filled with tears and he seriously asked if we could take the snake home. This wasn't a fit. Wasn't a tantrum. He was completely impassioned and controlled. He REALLY wanted this. I said, "Okay. Let's get a bowl or something to take him home in." I turned round and walked back.

The snake was gone.

The rest of the evening, and even into today, Lemur asks if we can go find a new snake. But this time, he wants a purple one.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Nelson Family Vacation No. 1

As hinted in Muad'Dib's blog: we are home from our FIRST vacation. We went to Midway Utah, where "Swiss" is not just a theme, it's manditory! The first day there, we braved a very (very) rocky road to Cascade Springs. Thanks to Tristano and Nicoletta for taking us. It was chilly . . . but we muddled through somehow.
Little Fists was sure cute with her mother . . .
And Tristano improved the scenery in his own way though
it was nothing compared to how my Muad'Dib did! ;)
Lemur wasn't too excited to be there at first, but as I let him "choose which path" he 'warmed up" to the expedition and soon was enjoying himself. Though you can't tell from the picture . . .

Cascade Springs is made from water deep below the earth's surface that just bubbles up. Oh, it was beautiful. Yes, so beautiful I cried. The rich colors and heavy scent of rain was healing the wounds gathered from spending too much time indoors. *Sigh in rememberance*

Then there was an excursion to the Outlet Stores in Park City. They should just call it "Highway Robbery." I mean, $32 for a pair of 12mo old JEANS?! Especially when Rivulet is just as cute in a $2 Dora hat and glasses. Am I right?
Sunday, Trailblazer and Dreampacker stayed with us, relaxing and enjoying my mashed potatoes and newly aquired grilling skills (yay Fluffy, the grill who only loves!). Late in the day, The parentals set off toward MRR and called back to tell us to check out the Zermott resort just down the street. Here is what we found.
"I'm like a kid in a candy store!" I exclaimed. Wait . . .

Then there was the "life size" chess set.
A Queen and her pawn.
The Next day we just relaxed and went for a drive in the colorful hills. But it rained most of the day, so we stayed indoors watching movies and playing. The day after that, however, we went to Thanksgiving Point where we encountered-
Ravenous Dinosaurs
A Lemur and a Sayyadina who couldn't leave the Erosion table alone. "Welcome to the Nelson Dam . . ." Muad'Dib and I actually tried to re-route all the water to one lake. I could have stayed and played there all day.

See, Even Rivulet was having fun!
We also saw a 3D movie, which was AWESOME, before going back to the condo for games and rest. The kids were tuckered, and the canyon was beautiful.
Ahhh, the Historic Heber Valley Railroad.
Lemur kept saying, "I like Harry Potter? I ride a train to school?" How cute. My favorite parts were riding in the cupola, seeing my children's faces alight with wonder as we rode in the open boxes and in particular this:

If you click, you can see the foundation of a pioneer home that was revealed by the reservoir being drained. It was very interesting for me.
Muad'Dib was a picture taking maniac on board, but the above is his favorite: "Doesn't it just say 'I'm on a train?'"
And this is how Rivulet reacted to the train horn. Poor little monkey.
Ahh. the ride back.
Rivulet enjoying the fresh breeze through her hair while looking out the caboose window . . .
And this last pic really sums up the trip. Weary. Fun. A thousand more words I dare not take time to type or even think.
As Muad'Dib pointed out, this was the most time we have spent together since . . . ever that we didn't have a distraction like new baby or work or a play. It was . . . wonderful. I would say "interesting" but that just isn't right.
Yes, the kids were loud. Yes, things were expensive. Yes, I personally got little in way of REST. But my soul was still fed. I made meals for as many as 8 people (and it was good), I cooked, I cleaned, I made the bed and all that. And I realized that what I have always thought is actually true: I would rather spend time with Muad'Dib than anyone else. I made a good choice. I have great kids and a family. That's a weird thing to understand when I still feel 17 inside.
Shoot. I'm so happy it should be illegal. Luckily, my "pursuit of happyness" is in the Constitution, in God's plan, and in my sights.
Happy Vacation!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Beginning strong, ending . . . not so much

"That isn't negative defeatism, just an honest appraisal of the situation based on years of congruent data." - Fedaykin.

Saying it creates it, though, right? Like if I appraise myself and say I find an emotionally overgrown self-religious, brain-off, overweight, anger addicted and physically undesirable girl, does that make it okay to SAY it and call it truth?

Recently I came across the first two chapters of a book I was planning on title-ing "The Princess Theory." In it I had come to the "unshakeable" understanding that not only was I a divine person ('divine' like a daughter of God and also like a chocolate truffle - Wildbound knows the one's I mean) but I had a large hand in CREATING that state, as well as the awareness of it.

I understood that I could choose my emotional responses. I could physically create and package my body: actually BEING who or what I wanted most.

Though recently I have thought that I could talk about myself any way I wanted, because I knew the truth of me and no one else did. It was okay to say negative things, as long as they were true.

But what CREATES that "truth?" Don't I, as a powerful being capable of creating my own life, don't I? I can, yet I do not.

In the interest of being "honest with myself," I have ceased to be kind to myself. Many people fall into this very pointy trap. It's like a raccoon trap. You know the kind. Put a shiny object at the bottom of a can, and stick a bunch of nails in the can so that the hand can reach in, but once a fist is made around the shiny prize, you can't pull out.

The "prize" is the "hard truth we all have to face" in order to live in "reality." What's so great about reality, you ask? We'll I've asked myself the same question for years, or I have asked that question of the many who have watched me in disgust and wonder.

I still don't have a good answer. Because I have yet to square the broad definition of "reality" with my own personal definition of "reality."

The worst part? I am so sleep deprived that my brain no longer does it's function-y things in the brilliant way it used to.

So I fall back on the "hard truth" and accept it because it's easier than working at creating my life.

I'm just so damn tired.

That reminds me of a funny story: My sister and two brothers were in the drive thru at Taco Maker. My younger brother gave the teller a hard time trying to figure out if they had pink or regular lemonade, (though I believe he finally settled on root beer). So when they finally pulled around to the window and my elder brother wanted my sister to ask for fire sauce, she was hesitant to make any more proverbial waves. My brother became very quiet and he merely said, "Do I have to get serious? Do I have to say, "I want fire sauce, Damn it?"

Always it is making me laugh. Alwaaaaayyyss. Now Lemur wants me to play with him and I wanna: having completely forgotten what I was talking about. Testimony to the lack of sleepy-things.

Time for going. I hope that soon it will be time again for thinking. I miss thinking. I miss being brilliant and loving and having people go: "Wow, you are so beautiful and so smart." As all cycles, it will come again. Most assuredly after I have had more sleep and something something.

Seriously: what day is it?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Super Hot Husband Alert!

I think these pictures speak for themselves.

Again, "Rose" is a lovely model. Yay for overcast picture excursions.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I'm not really a poet, but . . .

If eye were to see
the open
What would eye behold?

A child enveloped
in womanly flame
to ne'er again be told.

This child held up
eye can see,
by a man so long fortold

This man so warm
can see this
and hand he came to hold.

The heart of
within the eye
the beauty there retold.

He see's in eye
the imagined
worth far more than gold.

With such an
his eye gives love
softer past the bold.

The worth of eye
that sees the
never can be told.

And the
welcoming the eye
Forever will
I hold.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A fond farewell

I hate to admit it, but the time has come and it must be faced: I have grown up. Well, at least grown out of the need for stuffed animals, no matter the emotional attachments to them. So, in stead of holding onto them, I have taken a few parting pictures, and will send them to DI for another generation of children to hopefully enjoy.
This is Slither. A puppet my parents gave me for Christmas. My other siblings got bug puppets . . . I don't know why I got a snake. Pretty cool, though, huh?
Ellie the Elephant was a gift from my sister. I think I was nine.
Lucky the Lion came in a balloon the summer I broke my ankle. With it was a card from my parents: "We hope you get well soon. We're not "lion!"" Corny . . . but adorable.

River came outside with me to take these pictures, and stared playing with the other animals we had accumulated. Then she stood up!
She's holding "Pap Freed" the bear, beaming in her glory!

"Now you listen to me, Mr. Bear." Looks a little intent, doesn't she?

And then there were a few picture moments with Mommie.
Good times. Good times.