May 10, 2003

Strep or something else Diary - 102

Temp is back up. I'm alternating tylenol and motrin every three hours as per doc. it's not the fever as much as it is the dehydration from so many days of fever to worry about. and, why after three doses of omnicef, still so sick. tomorrow is "go day or no day"--fever above 100 = take her in. fever under 100, watch til Monday. What the heck IS this horror? Going on day 5. So very tired. Please hold good thoughts. Off to rest.

Strep Diary - 98.6

could it be? I'm afraid to think it. We haven't seen 98.6 in four days. could it be?

Strep Diary - 103.5

just when you think it's turning, it's not. more motrin. call into the doctor. literally crying. waiting. her teeth chattering. syringes of water between chattering. somewhere in Hamburg, I'm pretty sure George has a high fever. Break it, daddy. We talked (IM) yesterday, was it yesterday?, his lymph nodes were popping out of his neck, throat raw, no word today. Break the fever Papa. Break the fever. please.

Strep Diary - 100.5

Hey, that's lower, huh? Motrin wearing off though. syringe after syringe of gatorade and water. Good news? I HAVE SOME! Got her in the shower, cooled her some, washed her frayed dry hair, even braided through her tears to make sure her head is cooler. You know her hair--it's quite a crown of warmth to have when you're fighting a fever. So she's braided and sleeping now. White spots on the roof of her mouth--not sure if it's the strep or yeast from the antibiotics and lack of resistance due to the strep. Anyone seen strep spots on the roof of the mouth? Am going to look that up. It could be either or. Maybe yogurt later will help.

An hour ago she said, I want lasagna. THAT'S GOOD! When she gets bossy about food, I know that's a good sign.

Will certainly know which way this thing is going to turn by tonight, I hope, as the omnicef will be four doses in by then. Thanks for all the good thoughts.

Happy mother's day, ya'll. ;-)

strep diary

seems to be the only thing i can write about. because being a solo parent through this, this is all there is. no house, no dishes, no animals, no bills, no mail, no phone, no drives, no nothing. just one syringe of gatorade, then water, then a bite of this, then motrin, then water, then gatorade, then a bite of this, then lay back, then rest, then water, then gatorade, then omnicef, then water, let's play a game, see how we can squirt the water into the cup with a plunger, look it splashes us, hee hee, then drink it, just drink it, then laydown, then sit up, then a bite of this, then a squirt of this, then get salt water, then rinse your mouth, then pat til you burb, then lay back then rest, then sit up, then a syringe of water. that's how it goes. that's all there is. my head is on fire.

Strep Diary

what is this thing that has possessed my daughter? She woke up burning in the middle of the night. Motrin. Sleep, and woke up five hours later with 102.5, ON MOTRIN. The roof of her mouth is covered in white spots now, and I suspect we will be off to one or another location today. A resistant form of strep? I'm beginning to wonder. This is day four. Prayers welcome.

May 09, 2003

Strep Diary: home sweet home

we're back from urgent care. thanks to the patience of a great male nurse who took the time to squirt gatorade down her uncooperative throat one ML at a time (something she wouldn't let me do, mind you), we avoided an IV. It took a very long time, and her fever spiked to 103 while we were there, so I was so glad we went. Her poor little teeth were chattering and shivering, but we got the latest dose of motrin and phenegern suppository in and the temp is down some.

another long night, but at least enough liquid in her to get that precious pee I was looking for.


Interestingly, the female pregnant doctor was an absolute snot. Brought in two flavor ices (like I hadn't been down THAT road) and walked out, which Jenna flat out refused and which sent her into such chills from just looking at them that I had to cover her in the comforter I brought just to keep her from chattering off the table.

then my "don't you fuck with us" hormone went into high gear and I walked out into the nurse's station and read that hussie doctor the riot act. Never saw her again, thank goodness; instead the patient male nurse sat with us for over an hour, showing Jenna the option: IV versus Gatorade. She's a smart cookie. She opted for the plunger.

We're home. suppository where it's supposed to be. all is right with the world.

more when I have brain cells.

Strep Diary - Still so hot

Pushing liquids the last several hours. Not doing much good because of this darn fever, which doesn't want to budge even with tylenol, even with cold cloths, even with tepid bath, so I'm off to the Urgent Care to get some help with getting this kid rehydrated. Wish us luck. More later.

102.5 - The Strep Diary Continued

I think I could get a little bit more tired. Under dirt, maybe.

Last night was bad, this morning was bad, still not eating or drinking enough I took Jenna back to the pediatrician. Her fever kept rising instead of falling, her stomach hurting more not less. Medicine change. From Zithromax back to Omnicef. Praying. If she can't keep enough liquids down by tonight, it's off to urgent care tonight for IV rehydration. She's close, but the doc gave me today to try to push the liquids at home, and finally more PHENERGEN suppositories to help her little tummy. She's digging the Vernor's Ginger Ale, but with her fever so high, it's constant pushing of sips. One sip at a time. The great milestone will be whether or not she pees by 6.

It comes down to that. Hoping to see pee. A mom's life.

I had to run to only the second business meeting I've had in a month--which of course would fall in the middle of strep week--and was gone an hour while my sister sat with her. While I was gone, her temperature climbed another degree and a half. I found myself listening to the two men in the meeting, nice enough, professional, likable guys, thinking about how they probably didn't have to go home and convince their kid that this suppository, or "possitory" as Jenna now calls it, is really a good thing. And every piece of paper they showed me had her name written on it--or it looked like a prescription--indecipherable doctor's orders--nothing seemed real. But I got through it. I'm hoping it will all make sense in a couple of days.

so tired.

She's sleeping now. I'm off to rest. That's why no more great writing or breakthroughs or anything else, except to relate that what I see, in her sick circled eyes, her two pounds lost in ONE day, is a little tiny girl who needs me, and that's enough to keep me pushing. Even though I feel pretty much like crap myself. sure do.

Keep sending those healing vibes. We sure can use them. Thanks for listening. Hope to be writing about something other than strep very soon.

May 08, 2003

The end of order

The throwing up has begun again. I bugged the stinking doctor for some phenegren this evening because she's been complaining of feeling sick to her stomach all day, to the tune of having a hard time taking her medicine. What is it with pediatricians these days that makes them so conservative? All I wanted was two more suppositories to make sure the throwing up didn't start again. Call a couple in, Doc, will ya? No, she hasn't thrown up in a while, but she can't stomach anything. Yes, we've done sips of Veronor's Ginger Ale. Yes, cool bath. Yes yes yes. And no, none of that helps you stomach medicine when you have strep. the bacteria lives in your throat. you swallow it. it goes along its merry way. you throw up. HELLO. Conservative-to-a-fault doctors? Are you out there? If you are, bring me a phenegren suppository THIS INSTANT! I still haven't washed off the last throw up yet. I'll be sure to greet you at the door with a smile.

it's shower time.

thank you for accommodating my rant.

disorder and chaos, it's no accident

I've been doing much thinking, talking, and now some writing this past month. And I have arrived at my chosen, at least for now, school of thought on trauma and recovery. I am of the school that believes it doesn't matter, except from a pharmacological perspective (which is only an aid along the way), the label you use. You can it label bi-polar, or borderline, or acute depression, or anxiety, PTSD, or complex trauma, DID, or MPD; you can choose from the eightyeight gazillion labels that insurance companies insist be selected from in the DSM IV.

You can do all of that and dance around a mayberry pole all you like, but it comes down to trauma, it comes down to chaos. Disorder results from chaos, and disorders result from trauma. Something happened to you, maybe even before you were able to speak (enter the silence part), and it was traumatizing. And reinforced as you grew.

Having said that, it is interesting to delve around in the disorders of personalities, the neuroses and psychoses of our age, because they are, if nothing else, flavors. Some are vanilla flavored and some are razor flavored. You see?

More later--I have to go wash the throw up off of me now.

we're getting better!

For the visually inclined

It has something to do with this, which is saved as a PDF, unfortunately, because I don't have a good graphics program right now that will let me move it out of powerpoint into a jpeg. Later for that.

This is the world of trauma damage and recovery according to Jeneane. I shared it with my therapist via email, who I was supposed to see today except that strep intercepted me, and she wrote, "Wow. It looks as though you've been working hard." And so I have.

This is a schema of wounding and release, as related to silence and genuine voice, as experessed by self (or not expressed in the false self's case). I am planning to write more about this, which made me draw it one night last week, soon.

The underlying message is the difference between consuming and beholding. It was during a recent conversation with RageBoy that I stumbled upon the consume/behold difference. A week or so ago when I was so sick, and landing right back in my childhood sick bed which, twisted as it is, is one of my warmest memories (later to realize, during the massage, that it was my father's sickbed I was longing to get back to, if not for anything else but to comfort and be comforted, and maybe to say goodbye), that Uncle Rage said, "Get yourself some flowers when you stop at the pharmacy."

I said, "I don't really like flowers. They bother me."

He said something like, "Huh?"

And I said, "I don't really see the use for flowers."

And he said, "They're important, because they are not something you consume, like cigarettes or food or alcohol. They just sit there and let you look at them."

Then he began talking about himself again, that motherfucking narcissist.

While he told tales of his latest trip to Starbucks, I was left thinking about that consuming thing. And I thought, what word is the opposite of that? What is that THING I don't do so well (or at least not as well as I consume). I said to myself, it's BEHOLD.

The consume versus behold idea was born. It was one of those ah-ha moments that can't be neatly expressed in a post or two--I couldn't email it to George or even tell my therapist about it because it is one of those network/node things. It is an ah-ha among interrelated ah-has. And so I set out to diagram it.

There is a consuming that parallels nicely with addiction. Especially in my life. Probably in yours. It's cigarettes, it's food, it's booze, it's sex, it's gambling, it's any repetitive movement that's sole result is to numb, psychically. Sometimes physically. And it is numbing something. The pain behind it.

Enter narcissistic wounding. Enter the damage side of the diagram. Enter addiction, pain, terror, the trauma side of the equation. Enter the place where some of us come from, bouncing furiously as children around neglectful or abusive or alcoholic or non-existent homes.

The trauma related side, the wound side, of the diagram, is the 'shit happens' side, but it also, if you look closely, is the SHIT CONTINUES TO HAPPEN side.

As in, we do this and we let this be done to us. If we don't make moves to get better. We bounce up and down the left side, mostly DOWN, until we are so unreal we might not even recognize our selves if we HAD selves to recognize.

That is the side that our culture has a vested interest in imprisoning us within. It is related. To consumption. Dig it.

The other side of the diagram--call it the healing side--is how to become free. It is the beholding, the appreciating, not the addictive obsessive. It is the wanting not the needing. You see? You see how I connected that with my previous post!?

I am something else.

(watch that grandiosity, jeneane).


Proud. To have, at least in my own mind, put SOME (this is a baby step for me) constructs around what happened to me, and how I can get better.

If it resonates with you, let me know.

If you hadn't noticed, blogging made it into the getting better side.

Go figure.

We can all get better.

And it DOES get better than this.

That's why it's called, "Getting Better."

Where need meets want

We all have needs, right?

I mean, all of the books on healing, on trauma--even the good ones--talk about getting your needs met. It is, I think, the passive voice of that phrase that bothers me. The getting your needs met--as in, what, my car is meeting my needs? my rug? my kitchen table? what exactly or who? If we're talking about a job, let's say a job. If we're talking about an other, let's say our lover, spouse, husband, wife, mistress, whomever. I think, in some ways, it's letting us off the hook--that phrase--that "getting our needs met," and if it's not letting us off the hook by encouraging us not to identify the "who," well then, it's letting the who off the hook. And that ain't so cool.

Okay. so drop that freight train of thought for a milisecond. Maybe it's the word "need" I'm bothered by. I have been so goddamn needy all of my life until now, all of my life has revolved around needing and letting need block wanting, desiring, but also, the life-and-death nature of pathological need served to fuel a devilish passion and assasin-like aim in me. How powerfully ironic.

Yes, so I am seeing, now--not that it makes a bit of difference to you, except in the way that standing across the street and looking at your own house, then standing on your own side of the road and looking across at the neighbors makes a difference; let's say perspective then--that need blocks want. And that if you can get to a place where you can lessen the reins of life-and-death terror-invoking child-within need, okay maybe that's setting boundaries, I don't know, but if you can get to that place, it feels very much like someone has slipped some very dark sunglasses from your eyes, and the world looks more yellow, really. An intensity of color, you notice, by broadening your fixed focus to include, say, ten feet to either side of you. Or me, more specifically. In other words, it has its good points.

I don't know where I'm going with this, except to say these new hues of what I think just may be mental health are jolting when they come, as are the setbacks when they bust in and say, "HEY! you are so fucking weak," and I say now, more and more, you know what? Fuck off.

What comes with these mini bites of self understanding is a parallel understanding of others which feels almost paranormal. And a love for self and others that feels more genuine and more real.

I think this is healing.

the simple things

talking again, the wind coming back to her, she is not whining, she is talking and giggling, sweet sounds. and a bath. we had one. finally. and she walked to it. I have been carrying her to and from the bathroom all day yesterday, today, carrying her to the doctor, holding her in the doctor's office, carrying her into the grocery store, limp head against my shoulder. And now she is up and walking back and forth. A half hour ago, she walked to the mailbox at the end of the driveway with me, and only asked me to pick her up when we had to cross over the worms and bugs washed up by the storms. she noticed the ick of it. we're turning the corner.


Strep Diary - that kind of body tired

i'm that kind of body tired, that ache, that unhealed wound, that bruise, that sore. she hasn't been out of bed, still burning up, doesn't want to drink. the medicine is in, the suppository is up, and I'm just, well, not.

thanks for staying tuned. stay tuned. she has to start drinking. something. little cracked lips. my head is pounding.

we just slept for a while.

bliss, forgetting, forgotten, nothing finding nothing, numbness carved into welcoming flesh.

I am body tired.

Diagnosis: STREP

again. third time in six months. got meds. resting. goodnight.

bad night

Off to the pediatrician.

May 07, 2003

P.S., North Georgia Neighbors

If a tornado is headed our way, do NOT and I mean DO NOT tell us.

I was hoping not to have it be 11 p.m., me with Tylenol P.M. in me, and Megan Riley visiting

It's 11 p.m. and the throwups have officially begun. It's going to be a loooong night.

I'm guessing virus now. This poor baby. Off to get more supplies for the bedroom.

Thanks for staying glued to your blogs--don't you wish you were h-e-r-e?

I could use help with the laundry.

Make that one now very stinky duvet cover, bath towel, mommy shirt, jenna shirt, and pillow case.

Megan Riley, if I see you next week your ass is grass.

More Stormy Weather

Tornado warnings blowing the minds of our south-side neighbors, more to come through the night, thank you Alabama. Can you make it stop now?

Jenna's still hanging around 101.9 as she finally falls asleep, her head pounding, her telling me how she can hear the rhythm in her ears, boom boom, boom boom, boom boom. Her new booklight was just what I needed to check her throat, which looks great, amazingly, which is why the headache-fever combo is worrying me.

Just talked to the doctor who sounds more tired than I. He said yes, yes do this, do that, you're doing fine, a million things it could be. If she gets worse, the fever goes higher, bring her in during the night; if she's sleeping call in the morning. Try to get dose two of the antibiotics in. Try to make her drink.

I'm going to make a nest on the floor by her twin bed tonight, a comforter-on-carpet night for me, having not seen her quite this needy for me, one eye squints open and it's, "MAMA!"

I want my sweet pea to feel better. I would let you take a finger off my hand tonight if you could make her feel better.

storm brewing

Barometer, 30.05 and falling, Jenna 101.6 and rising.

You say Tornado, I say Tornado

let's call the whole thing off.

More watches today, darkening skies fall to match my mood. Thinking of Megan Riley's Pinapple Chunks. Feeling queasy. Trying to pull a Halley outta my hat. Turn it over and knock the brim. Empty.


I'm reading my post below, and I try to see the day through different eyes. I know Halley well, count her among my blog friends. And one of her most amazing qualities, I think, is the way she looks at life as hers for the taking. So today, with Jenna here crying over her headache, clinging, needing, staggering about, I asked myself, what would Halley do?

If it were Jackson instead of Jenna, Halley would make a tent out of the bed covers and climb in with a flashlight and read Scooby-Doo mysteries, bringing cheese and crackers and a bottle of carbonated flavored water or green Kool-Aid with her. She wouldn't worry about crumbs; she'd take care of that later. They'd climb into imaginary mysterious worlds of vampires and mummies, of intrique and detective work, and just now I can hear Halley yelling, ZOINKS!

If Halley's house were a mess today, she'd invent a cleanup crew with pajama-wearing Jackson, and they'd put on pirate hats and go off on a hunt for burried trash, jumping out from behind walls to surprise one another with an old dixie cup or random dirty sport sock.

For lunch she'd make something out of nothing. Peanut butter club sandwiches, stacked high, alternating flavored jellies, grape then strawberry, and then peanut butter, bread and maybe a few crackers. She'd dance around the lunchtime totem pole and Jackson would hug her waist and laugh.

Naptime would be delicious. She and Jackson would curl back up in Halley's bed, she'd rub his straight dark hair and tell him the story of when she was a little girl, and sick, and how she dreamed herself to far off lands to ride unicorns or great giant kernels of blue popcorn.

For dinner, Halley would order out, then get dressed up for the delivery boy, just to shock him. Maybe she'd put on grannie glasses and a doudy robe and fuzzy slippers, and speak only French when he rang. Or maybe she'd let her flowered Victoria Secret camisole float, just barely, above the button on her pajama top to see if she could catch him gazing. While she was waiting, she'd blog about it, one of those big Halley headlines: Delivery Boy, Ring This Belle.

She and Jackson would slurp up lomein, in a contest, seeing who could slurp the longest noodle the fastest. Jackson would laugh, and Halley would say, "STOP IT! You're going to make a noodle come out of my nose!" And they'd fall off the kitchen chairs giggling.

At bedtime Halley would tuck Jackson in and lay down beside him, sing him a church song to let him know that everything, absoultely everything, will be just fine. And after he drifts off, Halley would call a blog friend and say, "AAAH! Jackson was home sick. We played pirates and picked up trash and told stories, and you should have SEEN the guy who brought our Chinese dinner, this young boy, he was just so CUTE!"

And I'd smile and tell her she's a damn laugh riot, and secretly I would wonder how it is that Halley can turn any day, any ordinary day, horrible day, into an adventure, into a party, into a Halleyday.

Big Chunks of Pineapple

I have heard for the last three days how Megan Riley threw up big chunks of Pineapple right on the line. Fascinated by her classmate's biological demonstration at circle time, Jenna has been discussing this amazing event endlessly with anyone who will listen, which means me and her aunt, for days.

"Megan Riley ate too fast, and she threw up big chunks of Pineapple RIGHT ON THE LINE!"

The line is the circular piece of tape that outlines where the children sit for circle time.

"Too fast. She ate big chunks and she threw them RIGHT UP!"

I ask if Megan was sick, Jenna says no, but then reports that Megan was absent the next two days, and that yes, she was sick. Among other things I think, great. Nothing spreads through a school quicker than "the throwups."

So when Jenna woke up this morning crying from a killer headache, complaining of a sore throat, and asking for "the throw up bowl" I thought of Megan Riley and her big chunks of Pineapple.

I'm off to get the thermometer because she feels hot to the touch. Wondering what will blossom from this: big chunks, strep throat, a quick-fading virus, or another round of week-long sickness. These things I wonder as I get some toast and cool water ready, check the weather to see what flood or tornado might be stopping by today, look at my house in complete and I mean complete disarray. Today was going to be "my day." The day I clean up the house, having gotten the most recent project out the door to my client, the day I get things back in order so that I can just simply r-e-l-a-x.

But Megan Riley and her Pineapples have different ideas.

I admire Halley, who wakes up thinking anything's possible, while over here I wake up and learn nothing's possible. At least not today. At least not for me.

Off to fetch the thermometer.

May 06, 2003

Who's There?

Jenna is five and therefore loves, yes, knock knock jokes. I hoped the phase wouldn't come, me, no fan of knock knock jokes. Still, I find myself giggling at these:

Knock Knock
Who's there
Sid Who?
Sid down, you're rockin' the boat!

Knock Knock
Who's there
Luke who?
Luke out below!

Knock Knock
Who's there
Les who?
Les get outta here!

Knock Knock
Who's there
Wayne who?
Wayne wayne go away!


In the dream the
sea is frothy salted
wrapped around your waist
mine and
you lift me
take me

How far back
do I trace to see
where it
came from
what part of me
let you in.

We are born eyes open,
what happens.

I am ignoring everyone

I haven't linked in these 30 in 30 attempts. Sometimes I do. This week I've kind of rolled in my welcome mat, or more appropriately, my go out mat. I'm welcoming people in, but I'm not reading many blogs this week. I go through these phases. For two weeks I may read a dozen or so new blogs, add them to my blogroll, follow them daily or even more frequently, become inspired by the writing there, have so much to say thanks to the sparky synapses they ignite.

Then a week or two after, I fall off reading most of them--one or two usually stick with me and our intersections remain permanent. The community grows outward, theirs and mine.

Then comes a week when I don't remember who I read or why I do this. I find myself visiting the three or four blog buddies I started with, revisiting old friends, trying to remind myself that blogging is worth it.

Generally after that comes a few days or more where I roll up my awnings and close my door. I write from inside. I don't care much what's going on out there with you or you or you. I'm glad when you come to visit me. I get pissed when you don't. My hit meter suffers. I go from 150 or 200 readers a day down to 100 or even fewer.

I get a little excited about that downturn, wondering how low can I make it go. What do I have to write that will make no one come? I'm just curious. You know. It's about feel, it's about give and take, it's about soloing and see who sticks with you, lays back so you can have your say, and is still there to come back in when you're done.

Yes, I do that.

Freaky kind of.

Somewhere during my solo, when I'm not really here or there, but I'm paying attention mostly to what I'm saying, not what you're saying, but glad that you're still on stage with me, I start to rekindle what I love in this, about this, for this, for you and you and you, my own sound makes me care again because it is informed by all of you, it's not pure, it's hybrid, and I remember that when I hear myself.

That's when the compulsion to reach out regenerates and I move back outside this place to care, talk, scream, link, and add more layers to my own voice, through you.

Coming soon--jeneane lays back and listens. Followed by Jeneane takes it out.

more later

30 in 30 failure. I'll try later if I stay awake.

Could I claim tornado damage?

I have no excuse for the state of this house.


It's hard to believe I ever worked. I can't keep up and I had no work-work to do today. I am, just now, looking at the following, all on the floor of my living room:

empty camera case
empty fold-up computer desk
gopher--the grabber pickerupper thing
bin of old books
barbie (4)
barbie car,
9 kids books
train track
kids CD player
kids roller coaster toy
3 sneakers
activity pad
puzzle pieces
5 stuffed animals
kids chair
Children's encyclopedia
Toy Horse (36 inches high)
Swim mask, child's
six tubes of acrylic paint
dixie cup

It's a damn good thing a tornado didn't pick this house up--or maybe I should claim it did?

I am slow today

Usually when I try to post 30 in 30 I have this current running through me, an urgency to write. I don't have that right now, and I'm falling WAY behind in my race for 30 in 30. I may have to do 15 in 30 and pick it up later.

take me and leave me

A potential client takes me to lunch on Friday. I'm pretty high at the prospects for work there. Nice client from way back. Easy to work with. Been profitable through the nonsense of the last three years. Needs help pronto. Next 60-90 days will be busy.

So sure am I that I'll be getting gobs of work, that I go out and buy new shoes, jeans, and get my hair cut, lasanted, and styled.

I called yesterday to say, hey, when are we going to start?

Does the phrase "Hurry up and wait" ring any bells?


From Jenna

Today the sirens went off and we had to get in the bathrooms at school. Sirens were on, and this was NOT good. We heard the sirens from the bathrooms, so we ducked our heads, put our hands on our heads, criss crossed, and you know what? There were THREE bathrooms and we had to use the boys and girls bathrooms. The boys went in the boys bathroom, the girls went in the girls bathroom, and there was NOT enough room. So the rest of us had to go in the BIG LADIES bathroom!!

There was a thunder storm. It came RIGHT OVER MY SCHOOL! It kept on us for a little while. But it never went away. It'll be here tomorrow, and now it's starting to thunder again.

that's all I'll say for now.

bye everybody!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you drive by

You're likely to see Jenna with a full-face swim mask, bright green, high heel shoes, a cash register in her hand, outside on the stoop checking the weather. Please don't tell anyone.

High Heel Sneakers

Jenna's running around with her high heel dress up shoes on. She just got an opened can of baked beans out of the fridge and is eating them cold. I was so tired today I was laying down when I saw her walking around with a cold hot dog she grabbed from the fridge. With one parent to keep tabs on her just now, she's learning to make due. And I'm learning to let her. Have to save energy for those things that could really come out of no where and hurt her, like tornadoes.

Has anyone seen our cat?

I dunno. He was here before the storm. Maybe he's smart enough to be down the basement as the thunder starts rumbling again.

Tornado Alley

Upstate New York has its fair share of weather. I grew up making human chains to walk to school in the winter, the obligatory child suffocating in snowdrift story scaring us only enough to be sure we put air holes in the igloos we carved out of the piled-high snow on the side of the road. The battle of Man vs Nature is at the core of every resident in Western New York. It makes them special. Their struggle is special. It is as much outward as inward, as much against bitter wind, cold and lake effect snow as against the inner struggles of depression and light deprivation.

Even so, the south is weather of a different flavor. Living in "Tornado Alley" here in northwest Georgia is in fact more traumatic for me than the six-month winters of Buffalo and Rochester. There, your resistance is high for weather. It's a given, a friendly foe, it's coming, nothing to be done, two, three, four, five months of snow, sleet, ice, you just turn up your coat collar and deal with it.

Down here, it's different. Weather surprises you. Weather is something that jumps out from the side of the road out of nowhere, knocking your car from its happy little lane into a guard rail or worse. Weather is sirens. In the last week I think I've heard the tornado sirens three times. Today I had to brave thunder, lightning, tornados, and flooded roads to go fetch Jenna. We made it. But I was left with a homesick feeling for snowstorms and blizzards, which, at home in New York, blanketed entire cities and counties. Which you expected. Which rarely jumped out of nowhere like tornadoes, those boogie men that swirl round and then swoop down out of nowhere to carry you off.


i just wrote a really good post and lost it.

why don't i post as I go?

I only know that when I get fucked with, I come back with a vengence.

So here goes an attempt at 30 posts in 30 minutes.

Lose this, Motherfucker.

May 05, 2003

allied challenge

The first person who gives me the lyrics to the old and little-known classic "Jeannine, I Dream of Lilac Time" wins! (what, I don't know, but you win. a big ole link if nothing else). I searched google and came up empty on the lyrics. My dad used to sing it to me. I only remember the words to the first line. Um, that would be the title. Thanks!

Erroll Garner plays it here.

Was a little slower when my dad sang it to me. ;-)

NOTE: Thank you goes to Michael OCC for taking me back, way back, with this rendition. Love ya, Bro. And thanks.

Jeannine, I dream of lilac time
When I return I'll make you mine
For you and I
Our love can never die
Jeannine, I dream of lilac time.

Yes, that's how I remember it.

May 04, 2003


What I'd like right this minute is to run away. Not just a little away, a lot away. Far away. Away away. That is how it feels, just now, as the night wraps around this house, these walls, bulbs unchanged, not sure which rooms even have light anymore, and don't much care. Light, overrated. So I would run someplace dark, someplace with a sea, a dark sea, the image burned into my core of the sea at night, waves keeping time with my heart.

If everyone who ever loved you wore a disguise, how would you know? You can't know on your mother's knee that her face is not her face, that her eyes aren't looking, not quite, at you. And when another takes your heart, how would you know whose face is whose? You might wonder, but you don't know. You never learned what is is.

When humans are broken, their edges jab one against the other, cutting, not meaning to, not even knowing where your edges end and theirs begin.

Is it love, is it mine, is it us, is it still, is it death, is it pain, is it healing, is it growth, is it joy, is it wonder.

Is it?

been weird

It's been a while since I felt like writing anything. what's up with that? i don't know.

I do know that my palms itch today. And my feet. What the heck is that about? Yesterday too. Not just a little itchy, but MAJOR get a fork from the drawer and itch the shit out of my hands and feet. Back to drinking a lot of water, as that seemed to help with this last bout of bizarre health quirks.

I've heard that itchy palms mean you're going to run into some money.

I could sure use that kind of running into.

If this is true, I'm going to run into a boatload, because the itching is way way intense. Which makes it hard to type, really.

What else is new? Everything. Everything is new. Nothing is old because everything that was old was wrong and everything that is new is completely uncertain, and look at me. Living through it. Sometimes even enjoying the openness of Everything. The letting go of nothing.

I took Jenna to the bookstore yesterday. This was a big thing for me. My instinct when I'm alone with Jenna, i.e., when George is gone, is to keep the two of us pretty much around home, safe, somewhat anchored, to be sure no harm comes to her. My instinct is fierce protectiveness, a measure of which is good, a stifling amount of which is bad. So making this bookstore decision was something of a milestone, a venturing out, a welcoming in of words and pages and people and stimuli.

Her reaction when I said, "Hey, do you want to go to the bookstore?" really brought my tendency toward inertia home to me. She said, "REALLY? Really mama?! THANK YOU!" As if I just told her we were going to Disney. We're talking Barnes and Noble.

Jenna, I'm sorry. But you're five, not 35, and there's still time for me to get better at this motherhood thing, this living thing, and I'm really really trying.

The bookstore was, well, fun. There I said it. It was fun! I picked up Carol Gilligan, and got Jenna a collection of Jack and Annie books, which they read at school, along with a new book light to put by her bed. She is slowly learning to go to sleep without me. Her chosen company for now are books. And I think that is incredibly wonderful. I hear her reading to herself from her bedroom, think how much is opening up to her because she can read, think of all the things I can start to show her in books.

And I feel alive.