Category: random thoughts

Pollyanna Loves Swim-Up Bars

I did something right today.

This may not seem like a big deal to you, but I’m really bad at all things social interaction, and I actually helped a stranger feel better today, rather than just making them feel uncomfortable.

Go me.

Seriously. I have noticeably alienated every one of the other kids’ mothers at my son’s school who have tried to talk to me. It’s a real problem. I get nervous, blank out, stutter, and freeze up. And then the weird things come out of my mouth, like some sort of poorly done German film noir I have to watch in mortification, while I have the usual brain self-dialogue.

Oh my GOD, what is wrong with me? Why did I just say that? Why can’t I say normal things like normal people? Why would she want to know that? You’re so fucking weird, Tawni. Stop! Just stop now, while you’re ahead. Shit. No. Why didn’t you just stop? See? You’re just making it worse. They’ve got the freezy eyes of discomfort. You made another one have the freezy eyes of discomfort. She’s trying to politely escape. The eyes are flicking around wildly, searching for an escape. Congratulations. You’ve turned yet another human into a frightened horse trapped in the stable of your social ineptitude and insanity. Let her go. Save yourself! Run from me! I’m a fucking monster! Be free, horsie! Balls. Why do I talk… ever?

Anyhow. A guy was dropping off his daughter at my son’s kindergarten this morning. It’s a small private school. The kindergarten classroom is upstairs, and consists of fifteen kids. The teacher is amazing. Very smart, hands-on and loving. I adore her. More importantly, I trust her.

I hugged my son goodbye, and he started immediately working on some artwork. I have always been blessed with the most nonchalant-about-my-departure child in the whole world. He never went through the separation anxiety phase he was supposed to, and has always given me a cheerful wave, hug, and see you later when I leave him with others. Not a single cling. I got so lucky, and am immeasurably grateful for this little mercy, as I am a huge pussy a total empath. I honestly don’t think I could walk away from my crying child, even though I logically know it’s okay.

As I was walking out the door, I noticed one of my son’s classmates, a little girl, because she was sobbing big, weepy sobs while the teacher hugged her and helped her put her coat and backpack away. I looked up in time to see her worried daddy going down the stairs, obviously feeling awful about leaving her there crying.

I was on the flight of stairs above him, and we met eyes. I gave him the Ugh Face, and said, “It’s so hard to walk away when they’re upset like that, isn’t it?”

He looked so sad. He looked like he was about to cry. And as I mentioned above, I don’t really know what it’s like to walk away from a crying child fraught with separation anxiety, because my son has never had any, but it seemed like the thing he needed to hear.

He nodded, and I said, “The important thing to remember is that she will have completely forgotten about it and be playing with the other kids in about thirty seconds,” and I smiled gently. He smiled back.

Well I’ll be damned. You seem to have said the right thing for once, dipshit. No freezy eyes of discomfort! You even got a smile on his face!

We were both headed to the front doors leading out to the parking lot, but someone cut me off because the women who bring their kids to this school are rude, oblivious bitches busy people with places to be, but he made a point of holding the door for the women who cut in front of me, and held the door for me too. When I made it to the door, he looked me in the eye and said, “You have a really nice day,” with a grateful smile.

I told him to have one too, and walked to my car with tears in my eyes because I was so fucking happy to have helped make somebody feel better. I helped! I helped! My inner Pollyanna was hugging herself and leaping around clumsily as I drove away.

And then, when I picked my son up from school in the afternoon, someone had brought their new puppy upstairs to the kindergarten, and she let me hold it for, like, five minutes. I made someone sad feel better AND I got to hold a puppy today! It was a good day.

I like to think I’m complicated, but sometimes I’m pretty simple inside.

***

My husband won Sales Rep of the Year again at his work. He also won last year. He’s really good at his job. You’d be surprised at how useful a drama degree is in sales.

With the award comes an incentive vacation that the company chooses every year. Last year it was an Alaskan cruise. I was not spoiled enough to not be excited about a free vacation, but really, honestly, if you asked me what my dream vacation might be, somewhere cold and still in the United States while trapped on a big boat with the elderly masses and the rotovirus would not have been my first choice.

We had a good time. Of course. Alaska was gorgeous. I saw whales. We got the honeymoon we never had with 24-hour room service included for free. And it was especially nice after four years straight of parenthood without a break to not be a small person’s bitch-servantmommy for an entire week. But my husband and I both got deathly ill as expected. It took three weeks, two sets of lung x-rays, and a few rounds of antibiotics to get me back in ship-shape afterward. (Ahhaha. Ship-shape. Get it?)

So you know. I’ve been poor my entire adult life. I’ve never been able to afford vacations. I was genuinely happy to get Alaska.

But wait. It gets better.

This year, the incentive destination will be… drum roll… COSTA RICA!

Or Costa Fucking Rica, as my husband called it when he sent me the confirmation text that he had won the trip.

Costa Fucking Rica.

I can’t believe it. This is a vacation spot I would have chosen. I am a warm weather girl all the way, and grumpily wait for spring every winter under an electric blanket, with a stack of books next to my bed. I am so ridiculously excited about this vacation. I scream inside with excitement every time I think about it.

Costa Rica! Eeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

Here are some pictures of the beautiful resort at which we’ll be staying:



My husband is excited about the golfing opportunities. I might actually be a very brave girl and go to the spa for the first massage of my entire life.

I’m really weird about strangers touching me intimately. The whole idea of a massage sounds so sexual and intense to me that I’ve been afraid to get one my entire life. How do you turn that part off? How do guys not get boners during massages? If someone is rubbing me like that, it’s kind of on, you know?

And heaven help me if my masseuse is attractive. I got a really hot gynecologist at Planned Parenthood once, and it nearly ruined me. I turned red and splotchy and could barely talk to him as he stared into the depths of my nethers. If he hadn’t already seen my vagina, I would have given him my number. Humiliating.

But I want to move past this. What kind of a freak has never gotten a massage? I can’t die without ever having gotten a massage.

The website also mentioned a swim-up bar, and I decided that there really isn’t a more perfect creation in the whole wide world than a swim-up bar. I would have a swim-up bar in my living room if I could afford it.

So if you’re going to be in Costa Rica this summer, come join me for a drink. You know where to find me.

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The Dominant Vagina

(Writing from April 8, 2011.)

 

SelfPotraitApril2011

 

I watched a show the other night on TLC (The Little Channel) that has haunted me ever since. It was called Strange Sex.

I’ve watched the show before. I try to catch it when I can. Normal, average sex is pretty fascinating to me already, so I am all aboard the strange sex train.

Wait. That didn’t come out right.

And that’s what he said.

Anyhow.

The show that I watched as I drifted off into a Percoset-laced slumber featured a woman with two vaginas. She has two vaginas and two uteri. She got pregnant twice in one of the vaginas, and has two healthy kids. And two healthy vaginas. This blew my mind.

I am presently recovering from the removal of my measly one uterus, so the idea of having two of these uterus jerks to torment a woman filled me with sympathy for her. I wondered if she has to deal with two periods every month. I wondered if she could get pregnant in both vaginas at the same time, or with the children of different men. I wondered about the porn movie making possibilities available to a woman with an extra opening to offer. She could probably make a fortune.

Apparently she has a dominant vagina that she uses for sex, and a smaller vagina that is the width of a pencil. (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/woman-two-vaginas-strange-sex-174009) I discussed the show, and the dominant vagina versus the lesser vagina with my husband a few minutes ago, where he sat watching golf as I typed this. I theorized that it would be very convenient to have a tiny vagina that you could use after making the discovery that your date had a very small penis. You could choose the appropriate vagina based on the size of the penis. Or you could save it up as a special treat for your well-endowed significant other, like, “Guess what, birthday boy? You get the teeny vagina tonight!”

From the depths of this odd conversation, my husband pulled out the name of his next album. It will be called Choosing the Appropriate Vagina Based on the Size of the Penis. It will be a concept album, and when you play it at the same time as the movie The Wizard of Oz, it will sync up in ways that mystify and amaze you. Brace yourself.

***

I heard a Styx song today that somehow filled me with nostalgia and rage at the same time. It was on the radio in my car after I dropped my son off at school this morning. My iPod ran out of batteries, and when I turned on the radio, the song was just beginning. It was that “Babe” song by Styx. Babe, I’m leaving… came pouring out of my car’s speakers, drowning me in sickeningly syrupy vocals and inane, insipid lyrics. Oh my god. It was so bad that I actually got angry listening to it. I had to turn it off. What a ridiculous piece of horse crap. I remember listening to it as a kid. “Mr. Roboto” is a travesty as well. Are you kidding me with these songs, Styx? What’s the deal with airplane food and Styx?

***

I used my laptop to take today’s Self Portrait of the Day. I will probably do this a lot. It’s so much easier than using a camera, and then having load the pictures onto a computer. I can’t believe how easy my laptop makes everything. I already sound so lame and ancient, telling my son tales of how I never had computers or the internet as a child. He just looks at me like I’m boring him when I say such things. That might have something to do with the fact that he’s five, but you know. Whatever. I destroyed my body to bring you into the world; you will act like I’m fascinating, damn it.

I put on lipstick for today’s picture because I never wear make-up anymore, and lipstick is pretty intense. Lotta bang for your twenty seconds spent primping. I usually only take photos of myself when I’m made up to go out somewhere, and these unplanned shots are making me painfully aware of my pasty, washed-out redhead complexion and invisible blonde eyelashes. I’m like an auburn ghost. So yay, lipstick. Today I have lips. No promises for tomorrow.

Also: I’m wearing a convalescence nightgown in today’s picture. I have a healing five-inch-long (I measured it because I’m weird) incision on my lower abdomen right now, so I have to wear nightgowns or dresses; only clothes that don’t rub on the wound.

I took the photo at the top of this blog first. My son came into the office to see what I was doing, and a mother/son photo shoot ensued. I will leave you with some of our goofy shenanigans, wacky hijinks, and madcap tomfoolery below.

Happy Friday, pals. Make it count. I don’t really know what I mean by that, but make it count anyway. You can do it. I believe in you.






Saturday Night Self-Whoretraits


(Writing from April 9, 2011.)

Lazy. And bored. And a little bit slutty. When you have big boobs, it’s hard not to look slutty in tank tops. It’s not my fault. Stupid boobs.

I had a lazy, lazy, lazy Saturday. I can safely say that I accomplished absolutely nothing productive today, unless you count the big pitcher of orange, grapefruit, spinach, apple and carrot juice I made for my son, my husband and myself. But the juicer did most of the work, so really, all I did was cut up some fruit.

I am under strict doctor’s orders to be lazy, so I don’t know if I can technically call a 6-8 week post-surgical recovery period lazy, but it sure feels lazy to me. Firmly 4 weeks into it, I am going to try to take my first walk for exercise tomorrow morning, because the pain is always at its lowest after a night of rest. I’m excited to move again. I feel like such a slug.

My husband tells me I am the worst patient in the world because I don’t do relaxation very well. It has taken everything in me to not set back my recovery with too much activity. Only the thought of having to feel taken care of like a helpless child for even longer than planned keeps me from pushing it. I have been on my own in the world since I was just-turned-17, and having to depend on other people is really hard for me. I don’t like it. I don’t like feeling weak. It pisses me off. And I have trust issues; I can admit it.

I spent the first part of the day trying to read a book called The Passage, which bored me so much I stopped halfway in. I gave up. It kept jumping from character to character without taking the time to really make me care about them first. I was having a hard time following the story, and it was making me work really hard with no “Oh, that’s where this was going” sort of eventual pay-off.

When we’d finally jump back into the seemingly abandoned character’s life, I found I still didn’t understand what was happening or care about them anymore than before. I got really mad at the book and started skimming ahead, just to see if it got any better. I noticed it didn’t, and gave up.

This is the second time in a day I’ve given up on a book. Yesterday’s abandoned (reader)ship involved a memoir that was supposed to be about losing virginity and teenage years, but felt more like a writer trying way too hard to impress me. She tried so hard, in fact, that the story was completely lost. It was clumsy and obvious and distracting, the way she was trying to write.

(It reminded me of a musician trying too hard to impress people with difficult guitar solos and forgetting about the song. It’s all about the song, stupid. And writer, it’s not about your ability to write in a complex style, to reference as many poets as possible, or to change narrative modes every other chapter, it’s all about the story. Remember the story? Yeah, me neither.)

The final nail in the coffin was the spelling of “boo-boo” (as in a child’s painful boo-boo) as “bo-bo.” Ugh. Bo-bo? Really? That is something you might name your pet monkey, but it is not how you spell “boo-boo.”

I gave up a little past halfway through, and I’m a really fast reader. I can usually plow through anything to the bitter end. But this book felt insulting. Do your literary masturbation in privacy next time, please, writer. And I’m not referring to the sexual subject matter at all.

Maybe the pain medication I’m taking (only Motrin today, no Percoset) is making me scattered or something? But neither of these books seemed to get any better as read them. I felt like I gave them more than a fair shot. So I put them both into the “back to the library” pile, and moved on to the new Tina Fey book my husband bought yesterday. I’m already halfway through that one because it’s awesome. I adore Tina Fey so hard. She is so funny and smart.

Over the last few weeks, my husband has fallen into the routine of setting up Ma’s Daily Convalescin’ Spot in the corner of our giant home sectional couch (say that really fast). This involves a series of pillows for back and neck support and my giraffe comforter beneath it all because animal prints make me happy. We have managed to replicate the angle of the hospital bed that put minimum pressure on my abdominal incision while allowing me to sit up and hang out with the rest of the humans.

I have a stack of books nearby and the remote control, my computer, and an extra blanket with which to cover my cold old lady legs. This set-up is not unpleasant. I am still eager to be able to exercise again, but if I must be a couch potato, I am okay with my current arrangement. So tonight’s Self-Whoretraits were taken using my laptop camera as I languished in my nest of rest.

(I’m calling them Self-Whoretraits from this point forward, because it feels a bit attention whorish to be posting pictures of myself all of the time. Not that there’s anything wrong with being an attention whore. But let’s be honest.)

I’m wearing one of my two slutty hippie dresses. Made of filmy, thin cotton in a crazy patchwork design, my two slutty hippie dresses are an around the house staple in warm weather. They are not fit for public, but as house dresses go, they are wonderfully comfortable. The lighting is also terrible because it is dark outside, but we can pretend it looks artsy this way, just like we pretend JLo is a triple threat who can dance, act and sing.

I hope you made it count yesterday, like I asked. Happy rest of the weekend. Seacrest out.

Fishing and Snoring and Self-Portrait Whoring

I can’t stop watching River Monsters. I’m watching it right now. It’s a show about creepy fish that I end up watching every night as I fall asleep. (Learning about the giant snakehead tonight.) You’d think this habit would be giving me fish-themed anxiety dreams, but nope, still tornadoes, wasps and spiders surrounding me in enclosed spaces, and post-apocalyptic nightmares, as usual. No fish.

I was a huge animal nerd as a kid, and still spend more time watching animal and nature shows than most of the people I know. When my mom would take us to the library, I’d check out stacks of animal books every time, until I exhausted the library’s supply of them. I never stopped finding them fascinating, I guess. I absolutely would have majored in biology in college if I was better at math.

I’m typing this as I sit on the couch where I will sleep tonight. My husband and I can’t sleep together. I kind of hate it. He snores, and it is surprisingly my first time dealing with snoring. It turns out that not only can I not sleep through snoring, but I also managed to marry the one boyfriend I’ve ever had who snores. Yay, me.

I really don’t like sleeping alone. I don’t feel safe. She whined. Sorry. I’ll stop that. I actually have no real problems in my life, thanks to my recent surgery. All better.

The man who hunts fish on this show just said, “It’s too late to pull out now,” and I mentally added, “That’s what HE said,” and giggled to myself, here, alone on the couch. I’m such a dork. Eyes growing heavy. Time to go to sleep now. Sweet dreams.

Winning

(Random babblings from April 20, 2011.)

I really hate that I actually won something the other day, yet the title of this post looks like a Charlie Sheen reference. Give us back that word, damn it.

I won a call-in trivia contest the news has here every morning. It’s called “Watch 2 Win” and I watched and won. I was the 9th caller. Isn’t that funny? The fact that the answer was Robert Pattinson, the guy from the movie Twilight is only mildly humiliating because I won a $40 gift certificate to Charleston’s restaurant, suckas! Yeah, that’s right! Money makes humiliation less humiliating! And bonus: there is a Charleston’s near our house and we already like the place because I can get a good salad there.

It’s hard to find a good non-iceburg or non-Caesar salad in the Midwest. About a year ago, I decided to commit to eating a green leafy salad every single day, either for lunch or dinner. I am one of those weird people who loves vegetables and salad, so it didn’t take a huge effort, and I can honestly say that I eat a salad every single day. But it is even hard to find good lettuce in the grocery stores here. There is no Trader Joe’s with the wall of amazing bags of lettuce varities here. I’m lucky to find a spring mix in Oklahoma. Oddly enough, Wal-Mart sells a big clear box of organic spring mix at the cheapest price I’ve found.

Yay. Lettuce talk. This is an exciting blog, I know. Try to control yourself.

It doesn’t help that I’m writing this at 2 a.m. I can’t sleep, so I’m lying on the couch in the living room, pillow and laptop on my legs, typing this. It’s a living.

I say that a lot. It’s one of my favorite inside jokes between me and me. It’s a living. It’s funny because it’s not.

I don’t like to post blogs from this computer because unlike the desktop, where a red line will form under a word I’ve misspelled, I can’t figure out how to turn that function on in my laptop. It’s new and I’m not tech-talented. I’m naturally very good at spelling, but if I accidentally leave out a letter, that red line is convenient. Like above, I spelled “commit” as “comit” even though I know how it’s spelled. I know how to spell “commit.” (I am not afraid of commitment! STOP PRESSURING ME.)

I didn’t know how much I counted on those little red lines until I got the new laptop. Can’t beat lying on my back, propped up on pillows, typing in the dark living room, however. The clock says 2:22. And I just typed “The cock says 2:22.” No shit. Which would be a very different (yet much more interesting) type of blog. See? I need the red lines.

***

So I guess you’ve probably figured out that the tornado didn’t get me the other night. We had a fun time hanging out in the bathtub, my son and I, while the husband hovered in front of the television, watching for tornado news. He’s 6’5″ so he doesn’t climb into closets and bathtubs unless we see the tornado. Poor tall guy.

The sirens went off, but they always go off here if conditions are right for rotation. So eerie, the sirens. In Kansas they never turned on the sirens unless a tornado had been spotted on the ground, so that’s what I got used to growing up. It freaked me out for my first year in Oklahoma, the way they ran the sirens every time a tornado was possible, because in my head, there was one on the way to suck me up.

I moved from Phoenix to Kansas as a kid when my mom re-married, and the tornado watches on the television scared the crap out of me. I would pace from window to window, watching the clouds in terror. I have had tornado nightmares ever since, and still do every few months. I mean, what a horrifying thing. A giant swirling vortex drops from the sky and pulverizes everything in its path? That is just really not cool.

When we moved to Kansas, it was also discovered that I was deathly afraid of fire. Not like, healthy respect for something hot, but “my parents yelling at me for being ridiculous, trying to get me to come within 25 feet of the camp fire to toast marshmallows with the family” afraid of fire. I think I probably died in a fire in a past life. Or, I’m a huge chickenshit in this life. You know. One or the other.

I recently realized I’d passed on my fear of wasps to my son. I tried not to do this, and I’m not even one of those girls who is afraid of bugs, mice, or snakes. As I discussed above, I grew up on a farm. I can pee outside. And I’m not even super afraid of fire anymore. But wasps creep me out. I think it’s the fact that they can sting, fly and hover. The way they hover in the air around us seems so aggressive. Plus I’ve been stung a lot. It hurts. It makes me feel nauseated and weird. My sister threw up once after being stung a few times by a wasp that flew up her shorts, so I wonder if we’re not a bit allergic.

My son screams and runs when a wasp is within 100 feet. Just freaks out. Cries, even, just from the fear. Or maybe he’s just picking up on my fear. He’s one of those kids that is really sensitive and empathetic beyond his years, just like I always was. It’s a gift/curse. I could already tell he got it from me at the age of two, when he would give toys to other kids to make them happy and extend a hand to help kids up at the playground.

Other moms, moms I don’t know, will say things to me on the playground like, “My child would never do something like that at this age. He’s so sweet.” If he accidentally hurts me being clumsy, I have to play down the pain and pretend I’m okay or he’ll burst into tears because he feels so bad.

It’s odd, because most of the things I read tell me I’m supposed to have trouble teaching him empathy at this age, but I’m already having to teach him how to distance himself from the suffering of others. There is so much pain in the world that it will take over your soul and wear you out if you’re an empath. You have to learn how to not let pain have its way with you, or you’ll be crying all the time. It’s taken me 30+ years to figure that out. I hope I can help my son figure it out sooner.

Anyhow. Rather than buying poison to spray on his playset where the wasps were trying to build nests, we decided to tackle the problem organically. We bought a bird feeder, a bluebird house, and a purple martin house, and I’ll be damned if it didn’t work. The backyard is full of birds all day, and we haven’t seen a wasp since. I can’t believe it worked so well. Go nature!

***

Jesus. I am really babbling. Whew. If you’ve stuck with me for this long, you deserve some sort of prize. How about some goofy pictures I took of myself yesterday in a grody clay face mask? I took them while I was sitting in this exact same spot, so they kind of count as a daily portrait, right? I promised to take a daily portrait, but I just haven’t felt like being on the Internet much lately. I’m barely even on Facebook. Just not feeling it. Ever go through a phase like that?

It’s 3 a.m. now. Time to pass out. xoxo.




The First Nature Seen

Hello pals!

I’ve decided to feature photos from nature on this site as part of a series I’m calling “Nature Seen.”

This is supposed to be a play on the word “scene,” so I’m hoping people will realize this and not think that I don’t know the difference.

I was going to call it Nature Rocks! but I didn’t want to be a part of the disturbing national problem that is the overuse of exclamation points, and decided that it sounded too much like I was featuring pictures of rocks. Which would be kind of cool. I like rocks and have collected them my entire life, since the acquisition of my first rock tumbler as a child.

But that’s not what I’m trying to do here.

I am setting no limits except that the picture must involve an aspect of nature and be taken by me. Anyone can have an image of the day website featuring images borrowed from the internet, so I wanted to be unique and make them all Tawni’s-eye-view shots.

I love planting flowers, landscaping, and gardening, camping… and I love nature walks. A natural setting is where I feel the most calm and relaxed. Nature has always been my zen–my church–and the happy place I go to in my head finds me sitting next to a gently trickling stream amid evergreen trees.

I grew up on a farm and spent hours exploring the forest as a kid, and if I won the lottery (that I don’t play) next week, the first thing I’d do would be to immediately buy many acres of land. And then build and run my own animal shelter. But I digress.

Anyhow. I am doing this because I want to share something that brings me much joy. I hope you like it.

***

Today’s images feature my irises. I have a fetish for purple and blue flowers that caused me to plant three little iris bulbs four years ago, when we first moved into our home.

The front and back yard areas were completely blank, save for a few prickly, annoying holly bushes the builders stuck in front of the house under the guise of landscaping.

I immediately planted foundation bushes, and that fall, got bulbs planted that would produce flowers every spring. The three iris bulbs were in that first planting.

Every year I get a few more irises. Three has become so many more. The bulbs multiply and come back stronger in the spring, despite harsh ice storms and winters with record snowfalls. This year I got the best show yet. When I took these pictures, many of the irises had already bloomed, but you get the idea.

Enjoy the purple pretty:

Have a beautiful, peaceful day, friends.

Nature Seen

I love old houses. Give me a delicate Victorian, a simple farm house, or a classic Bungalow any day. Old houses have a charm and history that is so rarely found in new construction.

I grew up in two different houses built in the 1800s: an old school house that still had the bell tower on top and antique books and desks in the attic, outside of Lawrence, Kansas, and an old farm house outside of Holden, Missouri.

The one and only time I’ve seen a ghost in my life was inside the Missouri farm house. For reals.

We had a huge barn, and many other outbuildings to explore on our land. I very much wish I could give my son the wonderful experience of having nature to explore, and if I had extra money lying around, the first thing I would do would be to buy some land.

I drive by a few acres with a For Sale sign attached that I wistfully stare at every day. I wish I could buy the land and preserve the trees I know will be quickly cut down when construction begins on the inevitable ugly apartment complex or strip mall that will probably be erected there.

Despite my love of charming old houses, my husband and I knew that with character comes wear, tear, and repairs. We knew we were not going to have the budget to continually fix up a crumbling older home, so we had our house built new for us.

With this also came the option of having an open floor plan which very rarely comes with older homes, and for that I am grateful. My husband is also a tall 6’5″ man who simply wasn’t made to live in low-ceiling-ed older homes. My living room ceiling is 20 feet high, and the living room connects to the kitchen, which works great for a mother who needs to watch her young son.

I love the big windows and the natural light in my home. We save electricity because we don’t need to turn lights on during the day, we just open the blinds and curtains to let the light shine in.

But I still love classic older houses.

Recently, my husband, son and I attended “Rooster Days” in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. This is a little festival/fair sort of deal that I have been trying to drag my husband to since we’ve lived in Oklahoma. This year, I finally got him to acquiesce, so we caught the parade and took our son to ride some of the child-friendly attractions.

On the way back to the car, a hike of a mile or two, we passed some of the older houses in the neighborhood that I love. One is a huge Victorian that I later learned is a popular place to rent out for weddings. Which doesn’t excite me: I’m not a weddings girl. But the house looks beautiful from the outside. It is called the Stinchcomb Mansion, and here are a few shots I snapped as I walked by:

This is another house we walked past that I liked. Cool old farm house:

I didn’t frame the close-up very well, but you get the gist.

Aren’t they pretty?

Dandelion Wishes and Bees in My Face

(Writing from June 22, 2011.)

What’s not to love about the duality of a dandelion? I adore these dreaded yard weeds that make themselves known with cheerful yellow flowers, friendly, edible leaves, and puffballs made for dreamy wishing.

Of course I had to teach my son the joy of pissing off the Yard Police by blowing the seeds everywhere in the name of hopeful thinking. This is a childhood rite of passage akin to playing ‘loves me loves me not’ with a daisy, and must be passed down from one generation to the next.

When I first taught the fine art of dandelion wishing to my boy, he was three years old and not quite into the Mommy Adoration phase of boyhood. He was actually still in the temper tantrum-throwing I’m Only Still Alive Because I’m Cute phase.

When he made a wish on a dandelion, he would get a mischievous gleam in his blue eyes and say, “I wish that one hundred bees would sting my mom in the face!” Or something creepy like that – the more disturbing, the better. I would pretend to be mock dismayed on the outside with a smile, while feeling somewhat genuinely dismayed on the inside. There was a part of me that believed his wishes might actually come true. After all, what is more powerful than the wish of a true believer?

But no bees stung me in the face. And now that he is five, I’ve noticed he wishes for nice things. I was walking behind him through our neighborhood recently as he rode on his bike, and he stopped to pick a dandelion.

As he made a wish, he told me he was going to make the wish for me. He blew the puffy white dandelion apart and wished that I would have “…a happy sun, ponies, and a fish that doesn’t ever poop and make its tank dirty.”

He then handed me a fresh round puffball and told me to make a wish for him. I wished that he could have a long, happy, wonderful life, and I blew the seeds into the Oklahoma wind. My eyes watered a bit, hoping so fiercely that my wish for him will come true.

Here are some pictures of him making dandelion wishes, growing annoyed with his mom for trying to get him to look at the camera and smile, and finally riding away from me in exasperation.

I get that “Mom, you are a ridiculous human being,” look* featured in the penultimate photo quite often these days. If you ever decide that you are extremely cool, and wish to be knocked down a few notches in the name of garnering humility… have a child.

*I call it his Death Stare. In fairness, I might have just called him “Chicken Little” before I took the picture. (From the movie. It’s the big helmet. I can’t help it.) He gets really pissed off when I do that.

Enjoy:

Nature Seen

One of my favorite things about Oklahoma is the big sky. Since moving here, I find myself constantly snapping pictures of big sky. Looking up at it makes me feel completely insignificant and free at the same time, like I could just dissolve into the atmosphere like everything else, and that would be beautiful. I am Jack’s never-ending water cycle.

The sky here makes me feel connected to the universe while reminding me of what a tiny little grain of energy I ultimately am–not even a drop of paint in the big picture–all at once.

I’m possibly making looking at the Oklahoma sky sound like a bad drug trip right now, but I actually find what I’m describing to be a relaxing blend of emotions. If I can convince myself that I don’t matter, it removes most of my fears. Because if nothing matters, and I don’t matter, then there’s nothing left to be afraid of. (“Of which to be afraid” sounded stilted and weird, sorry fellow English majors…)

Anyhow.

I snapped these one evening facing north as a weird storm was moving by. I liked the electric pastel look of it, and the sharp, glowing edges.

I’m not feeling very write-y today, so I’ll stop now, but I hope you’re having a lovely day, pals.

xoxo.

Nature Seen

Hawks.

We got ’em.

I love ’em.

If I have a totem animal, I hope it’s the hawk.

Sometimes they land on our back fence and scare all of the birds away from the feeder, as bunnies scatter and head for the bushes.

I often miss living in California, because of the extreme, erratic, uncomfortable weather in Oklahoma, but all of the hawks I see every day make it better.

Thanks, hawks.

You rock(s).

(Sorry.)

This cool big hawk was silhouetted against the evening sky, and I had to get a few pictures, shown below from different angles, in color and sepia.

xoxo.