January 02, 2003

okay, one more to amuse you while I'm gone.

manatee cam... click for live updates every 30 seconds.

shutting down...

packing for florida. good day ya'll. see you soon!

i just love this book so much

Cushion Buckwheat.

I've been clicking through Wild Flowers from Castle Country for a couple of days now. I'm captivated by it.

I'm also deathly allergic to Buckwheat. Which is why I'm stuck on this page. I'm not sure if this is the same species of buckwheat they use in food, but it's interesting to see what buckwheat looks like.

Most people think buckwheat is a flour--because of the wheat part of the word--but I've always known it is, in fact, a flower, the hulls of which are used often in cooking. I've known it because ingesting it sends me straight to the ER where I end up on IV Benedryl, sometimes adrenelin, and nebulizer treatments to keep me breathing.

It's the only anaphalactic allergy I have, and I've had it since I was born. My brother too. Sleep overs at our friends' houses, with pancakes greeting us in the morning, usually resulted in my mom meeting us at the Emergency room, or calls from our friends' parents saying, "I'm not sure what's wrong with Jeneane, but..." or "Frank seems to be having trouble breathing, I don't understand..."

It's an odd allergy to have. In upstate New York, where they know how to make pizza, buckwheat is sometimes used on the bottom of the dough to keep it from sticking to the pizza pans. Only someone allergic to buckwheat would know this. Whenever we'd call for a pizza, I would have to ask, "do you use buckwheat on the bottom of your pizzas?" More than once I was greeted with a dial tone, the pizza tosser sure it was a prank call. Like, "Do you have prince albert in a can?"

Usually I'd lie when asked by my mom, "Well do they?" I'd say, "Yep," rather than admit I'd been hung up on.


Today buckwheat is big on the health food circuit. It's is what Japanese soba noodles are made from; it's in those little pillows that go round your neck for driving; It's in some breads. It's everywhere.

And I'm still watching out for it. My brother too.

So if we have a blogger lunch sometime, no tricks. 'Kay?

Off to pack...

January 01, 2003

heading to Florida late tomorrow night.

We're preparing to head out to Florida in the middle of the night tomorrow for about a week's vacation in Florida at Homossasa and Crystal River, after a jaunt to visit George's family near Orlando. Watch for us on the manatee cam. Well, watch for something. It sure is dark in that water at night.

I didn't snag the HipTop yet--not enough dough for that and the vacation--so I'll be blogging the old fashioned way. With a pad of paper and a pen. I don't remember how they work exactly, but I hear it's like falling off--I mean riding--a bike.

I figured I'd give you 24 hours notice so you'd have time to get your alternative blog channels tuned in.

I will post anything worthwhile when I get back. In the mean time, take care of one another, and please take care of Gary and his loved ones.



humbled by nature and this relationship

He has a passion. Wildflowers.

Stanton Finley writes of his father and mother who share a love of wildflowers. His dad is 81.

This alone would be interesting. As are these words, which Stan shares about his parents: "Mom and Dad can tell you the genus, species and colloquial name of every wild flower that grows here in Utah. They are delightful people who continue to inspire me as examples of how life should be lived, enjoyed, and savored."

Wow. What makes it fabulous is this wonderful book celebrating wildflowers, which Stan has helped his parents publish online. It is beautiful. A legacy of family and nature. And a great piece of online publishing by Stan.

As I read through it, I'm humbled by what they've shared here. I think you will be too.

Tom blogs Sawyer out of Wendy's belly and into Existence

A beautiful chronicle of images and words that show how Sawyer James came to meet his parents. Don't miss it.

network marketing for the economy, courtesy of halley

Goodness knows, the economy is something I know nothing about. I know how to spend money, not how to save it, and I have no idea how supply and demand works. That's my big problem. The debt thing. I want it, I buy it. bounce. oooops.

I think I'll adopt Halley's concept of the economy, if she'll share. Halley, will you doll out a piece of the economy to me? Maybe I could learn not to be a bad-credit spendthrift. Maybe if I thought it belonged to me, and not them, I could really make it cool, like a blog. Maybe we can blog a good economy into existence.

I also like Halley's idea about helping five people find work. It's the network marketing concept put to good use, finally. Economy amway. I like it. Beats girlism by a mile.

(Click the girlism link to see no fewer than 550 google references to the brand Halley built). ;-)

the damn ball finally dropped...


1:00 a.m. and jenna's finally asleep. I've never seen her so excited. No lie. All day long, every half hour, is it time for New Year's Rockin' Eve yet? Is the ball going to drop soon?

Me telling her it's only 10 in the morning, and no, we've got lots of hours to go.

How many Chuckie episodes, she wants to know. (We somehow got in the habit of marking time by Rug Rats episodes when she was 3. My bad.) I tell her about 28 Chuckie episodes. She asks me, 28 minutes!? No, Jenna, 28 Chuckie episodes. Lots of stares of disbelief. How could it possibly take that long to get to midnight?

I honestly don't know.

Then the questions about 2003 begin. She shouts, in 2003 I'll be six years old! I say, yep. She says, TOMORROW?? No not until September. NINE MORE DAYS? No, nine more months. But how many more days. I tell her 200 and something. She wants to know how many Chuckie episodes til she turns six. I say like 20 thousand or something. She seems satisfied.

SOON I'LL BE SIX!! Yes, soon. nine more months.

Well, mom, then how many more minutes til the ball drops?

That was all by 11:30 this morning. It went on and on like that. All day. All night.

Last year she was so excited about New Year's Eve that we taped the three hours of programming before, during, and after the ball dropped. She loved that tape. And understand that I'm not complaining. To have a bright, energetic, inquisitive, healthy, happy child. That's enough for me. That's all I need in 2003 to keep me going. That and some speed and some Vitamin B12 shots and maybe six or seven dozen boxes of No-Dose to keep up with her.

In between question and answer sessions with Jenna, I talked to good friends this evening, and to George on break. Every one heard Jenna bopping around in the background, barely able to contain herself. I said, yep, she'll stay up til midnight. I wish I could get her to bed sooner. My friend Marge has the wisdom of a mother with two children. "Can't you find the tape from last year? Put it in and make believe."

I never THOUGHT of it--I wish I had. Believe me, I'm putting this year's tape somewhere safe once I can pry it out of her tiny little hands.

Cut to Midnight.

The ball drops. Jenna and I are so excited we roll around the bed and hug and scream. I tell her Daddy's playing that same song in North Carolina where he's working tonight. She's amazed--RIGHT NOW?! He's playing that RIGHT NOW? I tell her yep, every New Year's Eve. Right at the same time. Just like on TV. RIGHT NOW?! she says it with such glee.

She can't believe the synchronicity of it all.

And I think of the New Years Eves past--13 years of them before Jenna was born--that I knew George, married him, followed him to New Year's Eve gigs, sitting at the table of band wives, watching the crowd get drunker and drunker. Waiting for my kiss until every other party animal in the joint got theirs and the band went on break. Some of them were fun. Party until 5 a.m., hang out, get breakfast, party some more, go to sleep half-way through the day. That, actually, is my kind of living. Or should I say was.

Then comes baby. Those days are over.

Now I'm used to spending New Years with our little girl. It's the night sharp shooter musicians scatter to grab the highest paying gigs. It's payback night that on rare occasion makes up for a suckass rest of the year.

And from now on, at least for the next decade, it's a night I'll be happy to spend jumping around on the bed hugging and screaming with my sweet crazy girl, singing Auld Lang Syne in time with Daddy.

Happy 2003.

December 31, 2002

good ridance 2002


I hate new year's eve. I find it an incredibly depressing holiday--at least I always have. Growing up I think I cried every new years eve--even as a kid I knew the feeling of regret. Why have I always used New Years Eve to represent regret instead of hopefulness?

Glass half empty.

I can't count all the things I regret, the things I wish had happened differently, in 2002. Too many. Too deep. Old ties broken. Separation of family. More loss. A year of irrepairable damage. And of opportunity? I hope.

In short, I'm glad to see this year end. And I am equally pissed at myself for saying these same words for as many New Years as I can remember. I tell myself shut the hell up. Be grateful that you all skated through the year with your health and the health of your loved ones mostly in tact. What else can anyone ask for?

So let me refocus my energies, through the posting of these words, on things I'm grateful for in 2002. Of course, my daughter, husband, house. Somehow my house always makes my list. Having somewhere to live, a house you like, is an amazing thing, one I never take for granted.

Beyond the obvious, I think about this place we're building online. And I think 2002 was a year of a different kind of love. A different kind of family. A kind of rebuilding, re-creation. Somewhere I said that blogging is a do-over of our childhoods. Getting the family thing right. Getting love right. Even getting anger and arguments and resolution right. I think this past year has proven those words true for me. Something is healthier in here.

There's dysfunction here, sure. Wars of words between bloggers. Hurt feelings. And sometimes a way to see the repair process. The recovery process at work. Since everything's sped up in the blogworld, maybe we're getting glimpses of what healing looks like from start to finish. Snippets of birth, life, death, rebirth all networked together through not-so-neatly-packaged links. Here there's always movement foward. Always forward. Something I just haven't been able to sustain--that propulsion--in the offline world.

So I guess 2002 is the year I'm glad I blogged.

Thanks for letting me say these things--things that don't even make sense to me but were somehow waiting to leap out of my fingers.

Happy New Year's. Be safe everyone.

December 30, 2002

for example

Some of Jenna's art from the last couple weeks...


self portrait

sunflower and house

abstract one


painting loss

Jenna's been spending the day painting. I'm posting this to remind myself to snap some pics of her latest artwork. Gotta do that. Soon.

She said to me after finishing a drawing with colored pencils today, "Mom, when I draw something, I wish I could make it come alive. I want it to come alive."

I said, "It does--in my eyes. It does come alive."

That was one of the nicer things I said today.

I've been an absolute crab. A bear to self, to husband and child. It has something to do with being sick. And some wierd Greek coffee that was all we had in the house in the way of caffine today. I told George, I get goofy when I drink this stuff. So I did. Drink it. And get goofy. And grumpy.

When I'm sick (have an ear infection), I'm not easy to console. I want to be under the covers by myself, but being a mother, it's hard to get the child to understand that. Even when dad is occupying her, it's not long before she sneaks upstairs onto the bed with words that go something like this: "I'm not bothering you mom. I'm just checking on you." Then you get rolled on and laughed at and sat on and asked a million questions, the last one being, "So, I'm not bothering you, right?"


You want to say, PLEASE go away. Just pretend to be invisible for an hour or two. I'm so sorry I'm such a terrible mother, but I don't want to be a mother today. I don't want to be a mother when I'm sick.

I want to be mothered.

And therein lies the problem.

My mother once told me that no matter how brave, how strong, how tough a person is--even if he's a grown man--when that person is dying, they want their mother. When a man is in pain, he cries for his mother.

I realized she had seen this first hand. More than once. I remember the moment she imparated this knowledge to me to be quite profound. And quite terrifying. And it never fails to cross my mind when I'm sick. It's not consoling to me. It's frightening.

She didn't mean it to be. She meant it to be comforting, I think. To show me that everyone--not just the me who used to be so much more insecure--wants their mother in times of ultimate chaos and pain and torture.

But there's something else to it.

Something primal.

Something terrifying.

Something ....

some thing to do with loss. I don't know.


when logic sets in

I stumbled across this great post from Joker on the Run that pegs pretty well how I feel. Our families are the same size, three humans (one little), and three furry pains in the butt. I often think the same things that Tracy says here. WHAT IF number two were to come along. How different would it be--and how much more difficult. You ask parents of broods and they say, after one it's all the same. Or they say everything changes. Or they say it's easier. More opinions than kids on this topic.

But the reminder that any women or man can end up raising the kids alone is sobering. It's the logic that sneaks in and gives us just enough pause for our biological clocks to run out. The same logic that makes people put off having kids until they're "ready," (big news flash: you never are).

Having done solo parenting for many months over the last year, I won't soon forget the exhasution. I thought what Tracy thinks. How the hell do single parents do it? How the hell did my mother, widowed at 34 with three kids to raise, do it? How do people do it every day?

My own short-lived experience showed me just how tiring it is. Freeing in some ways--it's your way or the highway--but equally tiring, and hard. At least it was to me. I felt like I had to be so many people at once--mom, dad, teacher, entertainer--just to get through the day. The sweet reward was laying down with her at night knowing we'd made it through another one--that we'd even had fun along the way.

But more than one? I don't know. Just don't know. I can't imagine how the dynamics change.

And while I'm on the subject, props to all of you doing it by yourself. Like Tracy says, especially with more than one. I'll buy you lunch since she's buying you dinner.

December 29, 2002

family goings on...

Last week we went to Chuck E. Cheese, where a good time was had by all. Some pictures of Jenna enjoying the rides.

An update on the Kitten front--Hunter went for his shots, got prodded, probed, poked, tested for all those nasty kitty diseases, de-wormed, the whole nine yards. Except for de-nutting, which will take place at 5-6 months. The vet estimates him at 3 months, which makes the bloggers who guessed he was four weeks old when he stowed away under my van right on target.

All is well--a healthy kitty. The vet, who has cats of his own, remarked that Hunter has the makings of a good cat. "You've got a good cat," I think were his words. Something profound like that. "I spent time with him in the back, he's a good one. I can tell."

No going outside until after the third series of shots, says the vet. So he's still king of the roost, torturing us with nails and teeth, immune to the squirt bottle already. We're glad to have him around. He is a special creature. Thanks to all of you who encouraged us to make a go of it with the little bugger.

Movie night

We went to the video store to rent some movies last night, but they had a deal where they were selling pre-enjoyed movies 4 for $20. Given that I've never yet returned a video on time (the $15 in late fees waiting for us are testimony to that), this seemed like a better deal than renting. So we got four movies and watched one last night. The Caveman's Valentine. How to describe it? It was intense. Very. If you can get it for $5.00 or rent it, it's worth it.


And the trailer.

Farrago, do you need a new home?

Seems FARRAGO has been having trouble with her hosting provider or something I'm still not sure I understand. For now, go here to read FARRAGO, and while you're there, it looks like there's two drinks left from the big blog party last night. I'll race you there!