Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Out of the mouths of my babes.

A few cute stories of/from my cute children.

Lemur woke up this morning a little sluggish. I sat down on his bed to help him pick out pants. After he had chosen the wonderful "blanket pants" I had made him last year with Wildbound's help, he plopped down next to me and told me that he had had a dream.
"What was it about?"
His eyes glazed over a bit, as though he were attempting to re-enter the dream. I imagine it's how I look when recounting one of my nocturnal movies. "It was purple blind. There was another storm."
"Purple blind?" I asked
"I can't 'splain it. That's just what it was. We were in the car. And during Dr. Laura, the radio guy came on. He said there would be damaging winds, and hail stones this big" he made a marble sized circle with his fingers, "and I was so scared. Then the guy's voice went all krshshshskkshshsh and I think he got hit by the hail!"
I could see he was very upset, so I offered an alternative: "Maybe the storm was just dense like a blanket, so the radio waves couldn't get to the car any more."
He nodded and his shoulders relaxed a little, "Yeah, maybe that's it."
"Is that all?"
"Nooo," he said. "Then it hit our car, and we were purple blind - like a curtain and gooey! So you drove us home very safe and we came inside. We could see to Grandma's house and lightning was hitting so close to her house. The storm was bigger than anything I've ever seen in my life! There was lightning, and rain and hail and snow and it was like the sky couldn't make up it's mind, already." He stopped talking, though his eyes continued to move, as though he were watching it all again.
"What else?"
"Well, the lighting struck a tree up on the mountain, and the mountain caught on fire. Other houses were getting beat up and on fire. I was so scared, mom."
I reached out a hand to comfort him. He turned to me and smiled, "But then, mom, there were all these spirits and ghosts around us. They said that we were okay, and the storm wouldn't hurt us. They said that we shouldn't be scared because scared kills the brain."
I can't explain why, but his description brought tears to my eyes. "So they were protecting us?"
He nodded, "All of them. There was like nine for each of us. We were safe because they were with us and told us that being scared just makes it worse. So we stayed inside and waited until the storm was over and we were okay. There were lots, and we were safe with them."
"You know, Lemur, I pray for that every night."
"Well, it works."

The next was with Rivulet. At my parents house today, she asked to watch Bambi *commence eye roll sequence*. I turned it on and she watched the first part with interest as I wandered away to check on dinner. I came back just in time to see Bambi and his mother going out for their first meal of spring. Rivulet became anxious as the music changed, heralding danger so I sat beside her. Bambi's mother raised her head and perked her ears. "Quick, Bambi! To the thicket!" They began running and Rivulet clutched my hand, "What are they running from?"
"Hunters,"I answered.
"Run, Bambi! Don't look back! Keep running." Then the fateful sound of a gunshot. Bambi made it all the way back to the thicket before Rivulet asked, "What happened to the Mama?"
"She was shot by the hunter."
Rivulet gasped a Rivulet gasp, putting a surprised and sypathetic hand to her mouth. "Poor Bambi."
"Yes,"I said.
"It's okay, his Mama just went to be with Jesus Christ." Her tone was matter-of-fact, and though I turned to see her face, she looked completely okay with the turn the movie had taken. Then, as Bambi found his father she said, "See, it's his daddy. He's okay now. He's like Heavenly Father."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Rain Dance

Rumbling thunder woke me this morning. I very nearly jumped out of bed and then padded quickly to my son's window. As I pulled up the shades the sky was split with a thick bolt of lightning. Another "boom" echoed off Ben Lomond and it, coupled with my urgen whisper, woke my son from his dreams. He reacted much the same way I did: eager and excited he joined me at the window. But the storm was moving to the north and west, beyond our field of vision.

Together we quickly ran down the stairs to the bay window in the living room. I lifted the curtains to reveal a beautiful rain-soaked view of the valley. Both Lemur and I let out a deep cleansing sigh. We are rain people. Lightning again. Lemur ran back to his room to get dressed. I could not wait. I put on my jacket and went straight out the front door, standing in the middle of our lawn, facing the passing storm.

Very dramatically, there was a roll of thunder and then it began to pour rain. I lifted my face to the sky and let the drops wash over me, laughing and feeling totally free. I swayed a little, to such inner music that moved me. I was instantly reminded of Topaz in I Capture the Castle, who would go out to enjoy a rain storm in only a straw hat and hip boots. And that memory led me to my favorite line from the Broadway Camelot, especially as recited by my mother as Gueniveir:

"It's never being alone that bothers me most. Do you know, I have never been without someone around me my entire life? Neither at Camilliard or camelot. I mean, completely, totally, solitarily alone? Sometimes I wish the castle were empty, everyone gone and no one here but me. Do you know what I would do? I would bolt every door, lock every window, take off all my clothes and run stark naked from room to room. I would go to the kitchen naked; I'd prepare my own meals, naked; I would do some embroidery, naked; and put on the crown. And then I passed a mirror I would stop and say: 'Ello, Jenny old thing! Nice to see ya!'"

Now, I was not in this state - except emotionally. Although I don't doubt that my neighbors were concerned for my mental health all the same. I was outside on my front lawn at 6:54 am, in the rain, in my pajamas, showing no intention for going inside despite becoming increasingly drenched.

I opened my eyes for a moment, looking to the door hoping that Lemur was on his way out to enjoy the rain with me, but was instead met by a look from my beloved husband.

I went back inside.

And I have not yet been able to shake the feeling of well-being that standing ill-clad in the rain offered me this morning. Nor would I want to.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Labyrinthine Lawn-Mower

"A labyrinth is not a maze, but a walking mediation device with a single winding path from the edge to the center. There are no tricks, choices or dead ends in a labyrinth walk. The same path is used to return to the outside. The labyrinth represents the journey inward to our own true selves and back to the every day world.
Walking a labyrinth is a right brain activity: creative, intuitive, and imaginative. It can induce or enhance a contemplative state of mind. It is a tool which can calm our anxieties, guide healing, deepen self knowledge, enhance creativity, and lead to personal or spiritual growth." - Today I was mowing the lawn for my parents. They have a large sprawling yard and A LOT of grass to keep in check. I remembered all the times I dreaded mowing the lawn as a young teenager. And I noticed that today was very different. I had no headphones on. I was not singing "It's in His Kiss" from the Mermaids Soundtrack. I was not wearing shorts and a cute shirt in case the neighbor boys looked outside. I was not trying to pretend I was doing something - anything - other than mowing the lawn on a beautiful spring morning.

No; today I was pleased by the opportunity to be outside, smelling the grass and staining my feet with chlorophyll. I slowly walked behind the mower, around and around the back yard. I thought about Julia Cameron, and how she said that walking "replenishes our over tapped creative well and gives us a sense of . . . well, wellness." That "walking with our soles is really walking with our souls," quoting the following: "The action or rhythm of walking was used as a technique for dissolving the attachments of the world and allowing men to loose themselves in God."

I also thought about DreamPacker. A while ago she went through a Labyrinth phase. (Not to imply that she is out of that phase . . . she might still be in it for all I know.) She taught me how to draw one. We discussed making one out of rocks in her backyard somewhere, so one could go out and walk it at any time - freeing their mind by connecting right to left. She made a beautiful custom rug that I only wish I could afford. These thoughts led to another which was that perhaps this wonderful woman doesn't know how much she affects my life and mind.

I kept walking. I kept thinking. I went over a story-line in my head. I meandered through countless possibilities for past, future, present events and fictional parodies of each. Then I found myself thinking in a rut. I was walking along the perimeter of the yard, going literally in circles downhill. When I realized it, I rationalized that it was logical that I should be traveling this way because it was the easier path.
The image of the Labyrinth arrived in my minds eye. So I turned around and began mowing in the opposite pattern. I was amazed that my processes lept out of the rut and began flowing in a different direction. I worked a little more, and I was walking directly into the sun . . . but it felt wonderful. Metaphors sprang to mind. I wished almost fiercely for a digital recorder so I could speak and keep all my thoughts . . . then laughing at myself because even if I'd had one on hand, I could not have been heard over the sound of the engine.

We bought a new old car back in January. It did not have a radio. I used to believe that if I didn't have music in the car, I would fall asleep. As it turns out, my brain fills the silence with ease and I am actually more alert without music. I begin to have unspoken communications with the car, and am a better driver. I can calmly think out all my thoughts. I even begin to open my brain up to unthunk thoughts that before had remained wall flowers at the dance where all the music was too fast.

So from this I learned that Music releases emotion, and silence releases thought.
I learned that walking pumps my brain - though the two seem unconnected.
After I was finished with the lawn, I walked the mower back to it's spot under the deck and put it away. I didn't feel sad that the experience was over. But I did take a moment to marvel at how good it felt to have had it.

These were my thoughts today. And my brain would not let my head rest on a pillow until they were got out in a meaningful venue. And I guess I consider this meaningful as compared with other places I could have stored my musings because if nothing else, DreamPacker will know that . . . well . . . I bet she knows anyway.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The story flowers tell

These flowers, when I saw them in a corner garden on Temple Square this morning, made me think of my sister.
Then, while going through the pictures during the transfer from camera to computer, I was reminded of her again.
So I post it here . . . wondering if it will make other women think of their sisters.
As I think of mine.
I love my sister . . .

Saturday, April 17, 2010

And two of two.

Yikes. The week is nearly over and I haven't blogged once. I have even sat down to do it, but it seemed like so much work to ramble on and on in stream of consiousness hoping that something worth reading would tumble out.

Well okay, I have something I could write about.

Have you ever woken up with a song in your head and you can't figure out where or when you heard it last, even though it's obvious you have heard it alot because you know the tune and lyrics well enough to have it lodged in your brain the moment you regain conciousness?

Me, too.

A few days ago it was Hymn 143:

"Let the Holy Spirit guide;

Let him teach us what is true.

He will testify of Christ,

Light our minds with heaven's view.

Let the Holy Spirit guard;

Let his whisper govern choice.

He will lead us safely home

If we listen to his voice.

Let the Spirit heal our hearts

Thru his quiet gentle pow'r.

May we purify our lives

To receive him hour by hour."

Then this morning it was "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfeild:

"Staring at the blank page before you

Open up the dirty window,

Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find . . .

Reaching for something in the distance,

So close you can almost taste it

Release your inhabitions:

Feel the rain on your skin.

No one else can feel it for you:

Only you can let it in.

No one else can speak the words on your lips

Today is where you book begins:

The rest is still unwritten."

Now back when I was younger and more idealistic - romantic one might say - I used to think that when I woke up with a very random song in my head that it was akin to Heavenly Father using words I already knew to bring home a particular message.

These two songs, if searched on Google or Bing would likely not come up together under any circumstances. But they turned up in my head this week speaking of a common goal. It is a desire my devoted readers are familiar with. In fact, I could probably do a "fill in the blank" and every single one of you would get it right. Let's play with that.

A common theme/goal I keep rehashing while not actually doing any real definite work to move the cause forward is:

A. Learning the famous poem "The Jabberwocky" by heart,

B. Peeling a potato in one long strip like Meg Ryan peels the apple in Sleepless in Seatle,

C. Cohearantly writing down at least ONE of my stories from beginning to end in an attempt not only to have it told, but also eventually get it published to wide acclaim, or

D. Make a new renewable energy source out of onions and wax.

So let's say, just for the sake of argument, that my romantic side is right and in fact I am being given gentle, musical nudges toward C. What would that mean exactly? It would mean that Sunday School teachers are right and we all recieve answers to prayer differently. It would also mean that HF is totally aware of me, no matter how far off a particular mark I seem to be focusing. It might even mean that in my brain is a capacity for writing a particular something. I just realized that perhaps I've been thinking about this all wrong (though, really, when haven't I).

Yikes . . . off the top of my head I can think of three other posts I've written just like this one! It reminds me of the people in Church who ask why we are taught the same lessons over and over again. Why are we always encouraged to read the Book of Mormon or attend a Gospel Doctrine Class teaching about the Fall of Adam again? It's because we're not learning the first or second or third or twentieth time!!!

So . . . this must be the Spirit trying to beat me over the head. It's sure a nice way to beat me over the head. Certainly there are worse ways . . .
And while thinking this over I have decided it's a good time to abandon this particular blog (the basic refrain that it is) and spend some time opening myself up to who ever or WHAT ever is knocking at my proverbial door.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

One of two.

I have been playing my game like mad. And found a new T.V. show to enjoy: Justified. I didn't think I was a fan of Timothy Olyphant . . . but I have had my mind changed. I really like this show. I hope FX likes it just as much so I don't have to keep falling in love with and then losing shows.

And that's really all I have to say on the matter . . . Muad'Dib seems to think that there is "quality" and there is "quanitiy." I have put a demand on my quantity. And although my hope is that by so doing I will step up my game and improve on my quality . . . I have not done so yet. And I'm not going to right now. I want to go to sleep. Instead I will quick-write a second blog, which you will read first. Maybe next week . . .

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Rain is my witness that God loves me. (I'm not kidding.)

I did say I would write more. But I have since been plagued with car troubles and the spending of money on groceries. These problems have only been broken up by . . . wait. A good many things. Okay. Out of the whine and into the joy!

*I cleaned out the front garden bed. Now when people come to the house (if they can focus their gaze just so) they will likely proclaim "It is just like the flower beds 'round the temple!" Or so I imagine.

*I played with the kids outside, blowing bubbles of gargantuan size and voluminous shape!

*I went shopping for my brother's birthday.

*I was able to go to a corner grocery store and find absolutely everything my little heart could desire in way of food, hygiene and drink. How many people all over the world wish they were ME today?!

*I talked with my very own father for TWO HOURS. I had him all to myself. How many women can say that?

* I was able to drive Muad'Dib to work today, which I have not had the pleasure of doing since we got a second car. We made Rivulet laugh with our flirty antics.

* I have watched Lost, New Moon and 24 with my hunny.

*I looked over the wonderful present made by our cast. They even have pictures of Muad'Dib and Alisha as Adam and Milly!

*I arranged picture collages in my father's new office.

*I was asked to write a letter of recommendation. ME! It was as if someone declared: "What you have to say is important. Please write it so others can read it and be swayed in my favor by your words and opinion." Who doesn't want to hear that?

*My son gets to finally attend the Rock show with his Grandma tomorrow!

*My daughter performed a puppet show for me entitled, "The Veggie Tale who got Kicked Over the Fence!" It was a knee-slapper.

So although I have no great, profound discoveries from the past few days, I have had many bursts of joy. And to think I was about to set the week aside as "uneventful." Huh . . .

Good Grief! I turned 29 this week! It was my Gor'ram birthday on Monday. I was totally spacing that!!

I was taken to lunch in SLC by my parents and sister. Then Lemur, Rivulet and I walked to the Church Office Building and found it closed. So we walked to the Lion House and toured the Beehive House. Lemur said it was like going into a whole different world.

We went back to the COB, going through the revolving doors over and over and over, just to make sure they were working properly (you're welcome) and then took a tour to the observation deck. The children LOVED the super fast elevator ride and even more enjoyed looking down on the "New York City" as they called it. We pointed out a few "treasure parks" and decided to explore them.

We descended the elevator and walked to Brigham Young Memorial Park where we played "War," which essentially is to stand at opposite ends of the field as mommy spins in the middle and run until we all crash into each other. I tried to teach them "Marco Polo," but I was just met with giggles and silence.

Then we walked to City Creek Park and took all the different paths we could find, splitting up whenever possible. Rivulet loved the bridges.

Finally we walked to the Kimball Memorial Cemetery behind the Kimball Condominiums where I have spent much of my youth. Lemur was enthralled by the secret walkway that led us to the Kimball Monument. He asked me to read the whole inscription and was very interested in what a Prophet was and why one would get such a big gravestone and park.

We did all of this wearing light jackets and weathering the light spring rain. Okay, so there was a moment while crossing the plaza that we were bombarded by sharp, diamond shaped hail stones. But the children just laughed and laughed.

I didn't take my camera, so there are no physical pictures to share . . . because I did not intend on having such an adventure. And perhaps that is what made it so wonderful. I did not plan. I did not rush. I led my children, my children led me. We were and we were together in exploration. It was the finest birthday gift they could have given me. And it definitely made for one of my best birthdays ever. Oh, and the rain! We all loved the rain!! The rain was a gift from Heavenly Father. His way of saying, "I'm glad you enjoy the earth I made for you. Happy Birthday." I'm sure of it. So don't remark to the contrary. You will be met with silence and a knowing smirk. You don't know.

I'm grateful for the knowledge and experience I have received in exchange for my twenty nine years of life on this earth. I will be grateful as that number continues to climb. Fountain of Youth? No thank you. Fountain of Experiences? Yes, please!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

We might need an intervention . . .

What is that odd music you hear when you visit my page? Why is there suddenly an advertisment to the right? Well, the simple answer is: I have an addiction.

It's alright. I can admit it: I am addicted to WORDS!!

So take note of the new gadget on my sidebar. My highest run to date is level 28, with a score of 58,986.

I am totally and utterly under it's sway. Using words like "Ubiquitous" and "Irrationality," or "Protoplasmic" has never had a more instintanious pay off! Give it a try.

If you dare!!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

"The Egg-Stravaganza Debacle" or "Do unto others."

Last Saturday, I got some ants in my pants and decided to take the kids to the 100.3 Egg-stravaganza Easter Egg Hunt down at This is the Place park in SLC. Well, we packed some snacks, coats and baskets and set off.

The ride down was wonderful. We had a good time talking to each other and hanging out. Rivulet fell asleep. We arrived and I decided to be smart, and instead of attempting to park in the visually over-full parking lot, I just pulled off onto a side street and parked the car. We had 20 minutes to spare. We were SO going to make it on time.

So where are all the pictures of our wonderful adventure? There are none. Because the wonderful stopped there.

We exited the car into a beautiful March afternoon. It was sunny and warm, birds were singing and we were all in high spirits. Even Rivulet, who was only refreshed by her 30 minute nap. We followed the the droves of people who were walking into the park.

It's unfortunate that I didn't know the entrance to the park was nearly 3/4 of a mile away - uphill - from where we had parked, despite the appearance of being only 30 feet from a viable entrance. Oh no, that was an entrance to the road that led to the parking which was near the actual park which was still downhill from the actual entrance. Well, it was still a nice day, and a walk has never killed us.

But then a large fluffy white cloud thought it might be fun to block out the earths source of heat, but only on This is the Place Park. Seriously! I could look behind us - into the valley - and there was sun. I looked up the mountain only a few yards from where the park ended, and there was sun. But noooo, we had to tough it out and walk in the freezing cold shade. But I was determined to get my kids some of the fun.

We finally arrived at the gate literally 3 minutes after the gates were opened. And all the eggs were gone. I'm not being dramatic. I'm not messing with you. 12,000 eggs were already claimed and in baskets. And I'd say about 50% of the baskets being filled and carried were done so by parents. Yeah, that's right. ADULTS were doing the Egg Hunting, while children held on to a stroller or another parent and watched the fun. Ugh.

Well, we thought, we'll at least get to reap the glory of the Candy Cannon. So when they told us over loud speakers that we needed to clear Main Street because the candy was going to make it all the way from top to bottom, we went about 1/4 the way down the lane from the actual cannon and waited with baited breath.
The Cannon fired, candy zooming into the air in a glorious arc. Then about 200 parents ran into the fray, scrambling to snag candy for their children. My son surged forward with the grown ups, it being too late for me to see what was really going on and stop him. We lost each other for a moment, but he came back to my side soon enough with tears streaking down his cheeks. All the parents were slopping candy into their children's' baskets and buckets while my son cried that he only got one piece, but when he dropped it, a big guy snatched it up.

I decided it would be better to get back to the car and buy them an ice cream.

We began the long trek back to the car. All this time, the fluffy encroacher remained just above us in the sky. And to add insult to injury, it became very windy and blustery. My poor children became very, very cold.

On the way down the hill, we saw a trolley train. We asked if we could ride in it. They asked if we were parked in the parking lot. I answered no. They answered no. My son began to cry again. Rivulet took it like a woman and marched stoically beside me, doing her best to ignore life's cruelties.

We continued our walk and I decided what we needed now was a change of attitude. So I said, "Let's list how we wish this day would have gone; tell a story about it."
That worked for a moment or two. We each did a run down of how we wish the day had panned out. Lemur was full of angst and hurt. Rivulet wanted a pony.
I apologized for my flightiness.

Then it was quiet between us again. So I attempted to play with my kids and take their mind off the fact that not only did they not get to hunt Easter Eggs or claim candy, but that they were so cold and ill-prepared that I had tied their arms up in their candy sacks, hopping to offer some protection from the cold. I'm great, I know. *rolls eyes*

So I suggested we play the Opposite Game. Rivulet declared that she was uninterested in playing any game of any sort, in so many words. So I turned to Lemur, "What's the opposite of light?"
L: *silence*
M: *being chipper* "Dark, right! Okay, your turn."
L: *silence*
M: *still desperately trying to change the mood around* "What is the opposite of silence, you ask? Well that's easy. It's talking! Hahaha!"

L: *with vehemence* "What's the opposite of me wanting to play this game?!"

Well, people were staring at me as I laughed at/with my son. He joined in soon after. And the day was redeemed a bit just a few yards later when a little boy saw Lemur and Rivulet, looking miserable and asked, "What's the matter with them?"
"We were too late to get any candy."
"That sucks," he answered.
"Yep. But we're okay."
The little boy ran off ahead of us. When we caught up with him and his brother and father at the light, he handed my children a piece of candy each. Lemur's eyes brightened and glistened with a different sort of tear.
"Thank you!" he said excitedly.
"No problem. I'd want someone to do it for me," the boy answered. His father looked very proud. And then we walked off in different directions.

We reached the car a few minutes later. I asked the kids if they still wanted to get ice cream. Lemur looked at his one piece of candy, a kindness from a stranger and said, "Nah, I'm good."