Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Bait and switch

In general, my weeknight bedtime ritual consists of stumbling into our dark bedroom, stripping off any unneeded clothes, putting my glasses on the top of the dresser next to our bed, sliding my hand out to feel for the kitten, and then laying down for sleep.

Monday, when I reached out, I touched a fuzzy kitty instead of a sleek one lying on my pillow. Apparently GrayBoy had decided to steal the kitten's snuggles for himself that night. A quick hunt found the kitten at the foot of the bed instead of in his accustomed spot.

Monday, March 28, 2005


Something amazing happened this morning. The alarm went off, and when I opened my eyes, the sun was already up!! Do you know how long it's been since that happened? And tonight when Pukka & I left work, we ran a few errands and had dinner, then drove home, and it was still light out! Who would've thought?? I guess spring's planning on making an appearance this year after all.

Last month, when I had my covenant group talk about celebrating winter, a lot of us talked about how we felt like we'd get along with winter better, if we had some kind of winter hobby, something we could do when it's cold and nasty out. And I realized that more than any other season, winter is the one that's most out of my control. Even the simplest tasks can get more complicated (especially in terms of motivation) when it's dark and freezing. In winter moreso than any other time, I can't always go where I want or do what I want when I want to do it. And for someone with control issues, this is a problem.

So here's to sunshine, flowers, and the illusion of control. Happy spring, all!

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Something in Common

I have a habit of taking my rings off whenever I'm cleaning or working on an ooky craft project. When Pukka finds them lying on the counter, he'll chastise me for going around "not married". The worst, as far as he's concerned, is when I go to Wal-Mart without my rings on. Apparently this is where I do my cruising. Who knew?

So when I heard the other day that Britney was spotted without her wedding ring, I just about drove off the side of the road I was laughing so hard. Thank god she didn't turn up at Wal-Mart!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Never thought I'd get to say this

. . . but I've got a guest post up at feministe. Lauren was kind enough to share her space with us for the day and it's been a lot of fun. I'm in awe.

Darkness and Shadow

When I first came to Iowa in my mid-twenties, I struggled with the dark aspects of life. I refused to thin the seedlings in my garden, and so they grew gangly and choked each other out. I was incapable of pruning the plants that did result, so they grew tall and lean instead of bushing out properly. When my then-boyfriend smashed his head and spent a week in a coma, I was way over my head.

I had recurrent visions in which I saw myself, only much younger (everyone saw me as younger than I was then), watching aghast as Atropos went about her work. I tried to deflect her, tried to force her hand away from those who were precious to me.

I knew it was vanity, but I couldn't help it.

That was just about ten years ago now, and a lot has changed for me since then. This January K. came to me and asked my help in ending a pregnancy. I concocted a witch's brew for her of plants that would help her towards her intention. When that didn't work, I took the day off work and went to the clinic with her. Two days later, I sat with her while she took the second dose. When she stood in the doorway of the bathroom and said, "I can't ask you to look at this." I said, "Yes, you can." I looked with her, then told her, "Yes, that's it. It's done."

Finally, instead of futilely fighting the unescapable truth -- death happens -- I was able to embrace it. I was reminded yet again how right it feels when I'm able to work with the current, rather than against it. And this time, I felt Her hand over mine, guiding me, showing me where to make the cut, showing me how to make it clean and as painless as possible.

Last month I sat in circle and S. invoked our inner divinity. She spoke of how, as women, we hold the power of life, of death and of rebirth.

This is common liturgy where I practice. This was not intended to be revelation. But for the first time in my few years, I could hear more of that statement not as potential or as metaphor, but as literal truth. I have held the power of life. And now I have held the power of death. And that night I cried tears of joy, hoping for the rebirth that will come in its time.

Sunday, March 20, 2005


Thursday night, Pukka and I left work and headed straight for my parents' for the weekend. Apparently, the kitties missed us. When we pulled up in the parking lot, Twiglet and Grayboy were watching us out the window. Then Grayboy backed up so that Tigger could get a look. Awhile ago, as I sat here watching TV, Tigger stretched the full length of his body against mine, reclaiming his territory.

Spent more time with Abigail this weekend. She has trouble getting to sleep without help, so I'd dance the length of my parents' formal living room, patting her little butt and singing her to sleep. Her favorite seems to be "It Had To Be You". She'd lay in my arms and smile up like me like a goon, before finally drifting off.

It was a good weekend. Tomorrow we're back to work and back to the house hunt. No rest for the wicked I suppose.

Monday, March 14, 2005


You know you've stayed up too late when "Celebrity Justice" comes on. (No, I'm not looking up a link for that one.)

Anytime I use the word "apparently", there's a better than average chance that I'm pissed off about whatever it is I'm talking about.

Saturday, Pukka and I went to visit our first house prospect. It was so darned cute you wouldn't believe it. I'm (we're?) still having some trouble realizing this is actually going to happen, I think. It's weird -- I never had any second thoughts about the whole marriage thing, but this house thing scares the crap out of me. Some days I fantasize about just forgetting the whole thing and renting for awhile longer.

Of course, I'm also enthralled by the prospect of actually owning the place where we live. Mostly, I'm excited to have something where we can do what we whatever we want to it. When Pukka and I were talking about the house over lunch afterwards, we were bemoaning the lack of a deck/patio, and the lack of a good way to add one given the current house/yard/door configurations, until finally I said, "But we could just convert the dining room window to a door and build a deck off the back." Pukka was just blown away with the realization that we could do that if we wanted. We're both so used to renting that our mindset is more "make do" than "fix it".

I've started climbing the stairs at work on an hourly basis. This does a couple of things for me, but mostly it's an attempt to get a little more exercise than I do normally. The sad thing is when I walk by the elevator, often my little brain says, "Hey, let's take the elevator!" Then I remember that getting to the third floor is not the actual goal. It's a little disturbing to me how many times this cycle has played out in the last week or so.

Every once in awhile, I meet someone and instantly like them for no obvious reason. I'm sure other people do it too. It happened for me at our wedding with Pukka's cousin and her husband. The family gossip network failed to notify us when they got pregnant shortly afterwards, but remembered to send us pictures when the baby was born last week. All weekend I've been madly knitting away on a little sweater for her. I'd rather crochet, but I just couldn't find a pattern that spoke to me. My knitting skills suffer greatly from the long gaps between attempts, so I've spent almost as much time ripping out and searching for errors as actually making progress, but it is coming along despite the setbacks.

Unfortunately the knitting precluded all of the writing I was supposed to get done this weekend. Some of that is "must have" and will hopefully happen tonight, but the rest will most likely have to wait. I have an unfortunate habit of not finishing projects, so I've learned it's best to work with the momentum for as long as it will carry me, rather than trying to fight against it.

Sunday, March 06, 2005


Pukka and I have friends who live with an African Grey. At times he chose to mimic some pretty unfortunate noises, like the time the batteries in the smoke detector got low while he was home alone for the day. After that, any time he thought he needed a tad more attention than he was currently getting, he'd start in with that piercing chirp.

Awhile back, the same household became home to a kitten, Iggy. There was some concern about the interaction between feline and bird, but they generally did fine. Last I saw them, the parrot would fly into the room, land on the floor and immediately call out, "Iggy, no!"

Similar things are going on these days in PJ's house. She and her husband have a dog named Gibson. Gibson is large, white, and generally believed to be not very bright. When she was pregnant, PJ was worried what he might think of the baby. In general, he seems to adore her. He's very protective and gets rather agitated when she cries. Given the opportunity, he'd lick her to pieces.

But any time he starts licking the baby, PJ immediately cuts him short with, "Gibson, that's enough!" When I was there, she told me she doesn't really care if he licks her once or twice, but she figures it takes at least three licks before her command penetrates his pea brain.

"I'm afraid," she confessed to me, "that Abigail's first sentence is going to be, 'Giboson, that's enough!' She certainly hears it more than anything else."

Sounds to me like Gibson and Iggy should form a tag team.

Friday, March 04, 2005

kitty food

The kitten firmly believes that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Given the opportunity, he enjoys bran muffins and granola bars.

Grayboy's more of a junk-food guy (which you might've noticed by looking at his waistline). His very favorite people food is potato chips. If that's not available, generally anything salty will do.

For Tigger, it's all about the cheese. He'll indulge in other things, but give him cheese and he's happy -- cheese sauce, processed cheese, real cheese -- it doesn't really matter to him.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Note to Self

I'll be the water when you get thirsty baby;
When you get drunk, I'll be the wine.

See how this is set up more like a palindrome, rather than being strictly parallel? Use that sometime.

(Yes, I know it's from a cheesy eighties song, but hey.)

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

On rootedness

Friday my husband and I met with a mortgage "originator". He asked, "Are you planning to still be living in this house in five years? In ten?"

I don't know.

My mother's father lives on the farm that has been in our family for almost two hundred years now. I will never live there, nor will my siblings or parents.

My father's father settled late in life. His mother died when he was young, and he spent his childhood being passed from aunt to aunt. When he grew up, he was a preacher, and the conference moved him from town to town as he was needed. They bought their first house when he retired.

I grew up three hours from where I live now. My sister still lives in the town we grew up in. My parents still live in the house they bought when I was five.

Iowa calls to me in a voice that sometimes only I seem to hear. As we travel, I hear her sweet song when we approach the border. Always, always grateful to be home, but feeling also that home is grateful to have me back.

My teacher learned to ground in California using the tree of life meditation. Naturally she used the redwoods. Then she moved here, to the prairie. No redwoods here. Not even close. She had to start over.

What do I gain by being connected to this place? To these people? To these things? What do I give up?