Thursday, March 31, 2011

Library SOS

Check out the headline in the local paper yesterday:
"Library system requests resident input at meetings."
(cue giddy laughter) Oh no They. Did. Not!
You know, I've been needing a spring cause du jour. This might just be the ticket. Maybe. Potentially. Prospectively. Absolutely!
Our library is particularly egregious because we happen to live in one of the wealthiest counties of metro Atlanta. And I totally want to capitalize on that proximity, with access to books beyond my wildest dreams. So far, the books and facilities available have not been the things from that library that are in my dreams. But not even the charms of Harry Librarian could draw me in there more frequently! (By the way, cute Harry has moved on, and has been replaced by a more friendly and typical library desk denizen: Ms. Gray-haired with Specs. Go back up and click on the Harry link now. You won't regret it.)
I have some specific input to share with the Library Board, thanks to my recent trip to Birmingham. While I didn't get to actually set foot inside the library I will tout as divine, it comes highly recommended. :)
I will keep you posted on my communications with the Library Commission. Finally, a cause that could bear obvious fruit! Or not! Either way, the best news is this: in a couple of years, we will have a new liberry. The End.

(Stay tuned for a photo or two. You need to know exactly what we are dealing with. And why "renovation" will not be on my input sheet.")

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Forecaster 2.0

Last week I suggested kindergartners as the real deal, and you all took it very well. I hope you are well on your way to getting one of your very own. This week's product suggestion is the Forecaster 2.0. It should alleviate any uncertainty about the weather forecast. If you have a Forecaster 2.0, a simple glance will tell you the average temperature and humidity. You can then plan accordingly.
For example, Atlanta just experienced a weekend of severe thunderstorms and a deluge of rain. Yet from the comfort of my own home, I knew the extreme nature of the weather that was upon us, and the exact humidity index.

Take a peek at my Forecaster 2.0's reading for a day of storms, and consider getting one for yourself:

The Forecaster, (ie, a random curl on the right side of Phoenix's head) predicting rain.

Yes, out of an otherwise stick-straight mop, the Forecaster 2.0 unequivocally announces rain whenever it is on the way.
The Forecaster 2.0. Better than a bum knee.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Sunday Creative - crane (for Japan)

With utter dignity
and undiminished anguish
they walk.
Away and away from destruction
Away and away from despair
Away and away from a life familiar.

With unfazed resilience
and internal beauty
they walk.
Forward and forward, to what the next day will bring.
Forward and forward, one simple step in front of another.
Forward and forward, gaining determination.

As reeds by the creekside
whip and bend, lean and toss
Thrown by whims of weather,
The bent reed does not break.
But it does wait.
For calm, for strength, for sun
And slowly, it straightens.


With heartfelt hope for Japan and its people, I join The Sunday Creative this week. The theme is "crane," representing the Japanese legend that folding 1,000 cranes not only brings hope and healing, but makes a wish come true. I add my crane to the numbers joining in this project, and a few words too.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Spelling is fun

Why is it fun? you may ask. What could be fun about it? Well, the fun part mostly involves the conjunction of kindergartners and spelling. If you have them, you know what I mean right off the bat. If you don't, you should think about getting one, maybe two. Kindergartners believe they have the world at their fingertips, because they can read things, spell things, and write notes. When kindergartners gain awareness of the art of the note, you will find notes everywhere. Posted on doors, posted on walls, posted on posts. Chalked on driveways, chalked on cars, chalked on me.

If you were having a bad day, then you could read notes like this:

"Penix is small. I love Penix."

And you could guffaw (don't knock it till you've tried it! Guffawing is awesome!), and snicker and have a better day. And hope they don't learn how to spell "Phoenix" anytime soon.

Or you could read notes like this:

"Nugget Lear
A great spirt
memory of Nugget
love Isabella, I love you Nugget"

written about a zhu-zhu pet in which the batteries have died. (His dear departed "spirt" may have been helped along by vigorous under-bed booting from a mother. Those things seem to squeal and squeak whenever it is bedtime.)

So, to re-cap. Spend some time with a kindergartner today. Ask them if they have written anything that day. Prepare to snicker, guffaw or just plain-old smile.

Kindergartners. Awesome.

(This kindergartner endorsement brought to you by my very own girlie twin-set of the kind. Double awesome.)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sing cuckoo!

Spring has sprung
Sing cuckoo! cuckoo!

Bethany's birthday has begun
Sing cuckoo, cuckoo!

I fell asleep last night thinking of a character who wrote a song like this, for his lover's birthday.
(Oh, that Tom from King's Oak) So I changed it around and drifted off making a rhyme. Maybe I was six last time life was that simple, and about rhymes and giggles.
Now, it's not so simple and my thoughts don't rest. It feels strange to turn 35. Like I gots to get a move on, for some reason. Thoughts go back to my journal, and something I wrote when I was 26 or so. Today's age seemed so far away, and I thought any personal aspirations would be well on their way to realization. I'm pretty sure I said 35, as though it were a world away! And any self-respecting achiever should be done by 35, right? It makes me snicker a little now.
So much life between then and now, so many other dreams realized. Hello, 35.

My girls love to hear how I wished for twins when I was a girl, and how that dream came true. What a surprise they were! My boys fit into our mix like puzzle pieces: Cole, the true eldest and diplomatic leader. Phoenix, barreling his way into the cherished last spot, heralding that he will not be denied.
My Rick. I have been with him for almost half my life.
We met in my birthday week, 15 years ago. Call it a fluke, a coincidence, call it synchronicity. That is a story for another time. That is a story of divine intervention.

I am thinking now that it is taking all these years to become truly myself. The fullness of being must be a lifelong journey, turning us inside out in the end. We're on our way to being spirits that shine out, heedless of the skin enclosing us. That's how I feel, on this birthday. Like I should shine right out, smiling along the way.

Here's to letting our lights glow, from the inside out.
Sing cuckoo!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

On Tragedy

Jadyn: Does everybody die, Mommy?
Me: Yes, Jadyn. It's the cycle of life.
Jadyn: So God puts us here, and after a long time we die? That's like a long game with people.
Me: You mean us being here, being born and living on earth?
Jadyn: Yeah. It's like God playing a long game that goes on our whole life.


As we watched the tragedy unfolding in Japan, and saw stories of heartwrenching sadness, Jadyn continued to question me. I spoke simply, explaining the disaster as calmly and plainly as I could. She talked and talked, questioned and questioned, trying to understand nature and its sometime savage ways, and how people attempting escape are sometimes unsuccessful.
She was riveted and intent.
And finally, decided: I wish those people could be dead for only one minute, and then come back.
Out of the mouth of a six year old, comes a solution we wish, oh don't we wish, could only be true.

I didn't set out to post on this today, but Jadyn's remarks have stayed with me all week, and made me think about who she is becoming. My wild card, my free spirit. What hides behind those seeking eyes? That independent, impudent smirk? And I am beginning to see, her heart is in the right place, and that is a beautiful thing.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Sunday Creative - Soul

It has a smile, and a voice of its own
An effortless connection
We search and long and hope to find
one or more in this life
We peer into the eye's depths
Deconstruct the words of another
For in that moment of realization
there are no doubts
These paths have crossed, and I know you well
Seems to cry out from the heart
And we don't come close to understanding
but we certainly accept
There is no substitute
for a soul mate.


Happy Monday to friends near and far! For more soul glimpses, The Sunday Creative crowd is here.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thursday Vignette

Picture the display at the front of most Old Navy stores: A family of mannequins, all decked out in the latest styles from head to toe. Complete with the family dog, of course!

Flash through these freeze frames with me.
I am at the check out, and Phoenix is walking around the mannequin family, marveling at them.

Frame 1: I look over, and he is riding on the family dog.
Frame 2: I glance back again, and he standing with the mommy mannequin, holding her hand and sucking his thumb. Just like in this post - only with a substitute mannequin-digit!
Frame 3: One more glance and there he is again, this time holding the daddy mannequin's toe, still sucking his other thumb.

That boy.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Into the Past

Every time we climb Stone Mountain I am caught up in the personal carvings etched in its surface. My family visited Georgia quite often, as I was growing up. We had dear friends in North Georgia, and my Dad loved to take road trips. I remember hiking up the mountain, hopping from name to name, imagining those long ago hikers. My fascination hasn't waned, and I'm always left behind, looking at one more name, one more date, as the kids wander ahead, eager for the top.

Think of it! What the Atlanta skyline must have looked like, back in 1899... And what this pair of climbers would have been wearing... if one was a woman, did she have a parasol? Laced-up leather boots? Were they visitors, or Georgians? Do their descendants live here still, and take their own children to see these markings from great-great-grand-daddy?
Even earlier, this rock was a special place for the Native Americans of the area, which takes the imagination to whole new heights. How many centuries did they visit it, worship on it, and never leave a mark?

Of course I squealed when I saw this couple's mark, proclaiming their love into infinity... Projected into the future, hopeful and happy-hearted, that's what I think of this one. A bubbly young couple, passionate and energetic, this Greg and Mary Ann.

To believe in infinity, it is a stretch of the mind. Almost inhuman, we are so bound by time. Only when a love has that certain quality does infinity call to the heart. Burn in the soul as if to say

I knew you before time. I knew you in humanity, and I will know you again as we move to, through and from God... I have seen you before, I will see you again...

A breath of infinity, a glimpse of a rock, sprouting up and steadfast in the soil. That's a thought for a Saturday, no? Happy weekend...

Friday, March 4, 2011

A bit of this and that

Halloo Internetz Friends!
I'm such a fair weather friend lately. And by fair weather friend, I mean when there's fair weather here, I am Out In It, and not in here rambling. Today? Not so much. March is showing its usual colors.
But the week was mostly beautiful and warm, and I rustled and scooted the monkeys outside all afternoon, every day. Then, the clouds moved in, I came to my computer and lo and behold! The dern thing would not power up. I tried all afternoon, and then walked away and let it rest for a night. I told Rick we were going to need to lay hands on it, speak in tongues and have a revival.
He blinked at me suspiciously, trying to figure out how serious I was. (How serious?! Them's big bucks to shell out! I was {kinda} serious!)
Alas, today, she got over her snit and fired up as usual.
I also realized this week just how often I say "when things slow down." The realizing part came when I admitted ruefully that "things" would not be slowing down anytime soon. If anything, the days are getting busier. And the homework time, oh the homework time...
What do you get when you scramble two tired kindergartners (yep, the teacher has phased out the nap), a daydreamy 4th grader, 2 year-old Todzilla, and a Mom juggling HW and dinner? Oh-la-la!
I have resorted to military precision, as in, Answer me, sir, yessir, is it your turn to ask me a question? Sir, nossir! You will close your mouth, Private, until I am done answering Private Two's question!
No, really.
OK, not at all. But, the tone and decibal of my voice are definitely military.
But my helpful friend Shah, she of the delightful visit to Birmingham last week, has convinced me to take Todzilla out of this flammable mix. Big Boy Time in his room, we will call it! And we will market it heavily and skillfully until he likes it, goshdarnit!
Which is why my time visiting Shah was so much fun. We solved problems, covered all the bases of Life Happenings, and stayed up late talking like we didn't have anything to do the next morning. And we didn't. A luxury for me, and one I highly recommend.
So Happy weekend to you friends, I will rein in my fair weather tendencies as spring progresses. Maybe. ;-)