Tuesday, May 30, 2006

News Flash ... ?

The holiday has put me behind and my creative well is still dry ... So for today I'm sharing just a wry observation. Enjoy and feel free to discuss!

This Sunday, my pastor was saying how he’d signed up for a news paging service, and had set the alert level on only the most important, extreme, pressing news issues. A level he’d expect to be reserved for war news, assassinations, major disasters, things of that nature. True items of national and international concern. He said that he had not received an alert in months, until the previous evening. He checked the alert with great interest, only to be informed that Angelina Jolie had given birth to Brad Pitt’s baby in Africa.

A subordinate point to his sermon … but seriously, this observation of irony is a great one. I'm not opposed to pop culture diversion, but - Let's examine the context. Is this really a Red Alert situation? Is this really earth shattering, culture changing news? Is this the height of our concern as a mass conscience? I mean, yay for them, that’s wonderful – But who really cares? This affects me and my life … how?

I'm beginning to realize why I've stopped watching the news lately.

Speaking of diversions, check out my new Miscellany link, Stuff on My Cat. You'll have to scroll down - I'm too lazy busy to link it. You'll be sure to get a grin from it. :)

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Have a Safe and Happy Memorial Day

God Bless America
Land that I love
Stand beside her
And guide her
Through the night
With the light
From above.

Have a safe and Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Be sure to pause and reflect on those who have fought, and continue to fight, to protect out freedoms and preserve our way of life.

God Bless America.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

JLR ~ 4/24/64–5/27/05

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
He tells her, "I want to paint you naked on a big brass bed
with bright orange poppies all around your head."
And she says, "Crazy old man, I'm not young anymore."
"That's all right," he whispers, "I've never painted before…
I want to read your tea leaves by candle light.
On a fat velvet sofa, I want to be with you all night.
I want to tickle your feet with a peacock plume."
And she says, "Can you talk a little softer, there are people in the room!"
And Jane says, "My children brought me here and promised me they'd call.
You know kids forget that's just the way of it all."
And he says, "Well, that makes us both footloose and fancy free,
so Jane do you want to come see the Painted Desert with me?
"Do you love me Lady Jane, Lady Jane?

Do you love me Lady Jane, Lady Jane?
You got me talkin' to the moon, you got me walkin' in the rain.
Do you love me, do you love me Lady Jane?
Do you love me?
Do you love me like I love you, Lady Jane?"

- "Painted Desert Serenade" - Joshua Kadisson
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In the garden of my life, J was a rose. We were friends for 22 years and never have I met anyone so selfless and so giving to everyone she loved. She made me a better person for knowing her and having her example in my life.

I met J when she was pregnant with her son. The father had run out on her, which devastated her heart. But she was strong. She took on single parenting to the little life inside of her as if there were no other choice, because to her there wasn’t. She knew she’d manage – and she did, with grace if not always with ease.

A few years later she again became pregnant. She was engaged to this guy and things seemed well. But he had problems. In time he ended up in jail and again J was alone, with 2 young kids to raise. She lamented over her broken heart, but her disposition never soured. Life was what it was to J. You play the hand you have been dealt, it’s what you do.

J lived with diabetes and its various complications, and was ill much of the time. She always told me, matter of factly and without drama, that she knew she wouldn’t live very long - and that the state of her health and the fact that she had two children out of wedlock had her fairly convinced she would die a single woman. No man would want such a baggaged woman like her. I told her that was nonsense. Someday she would meet a man who would love her for the sparkling beautiful woman she is, inside and out.

Music brought us together, and we made tapes for each other for the duration of our friendship. One day I gave J the above song, telling her to listen closely, because she was someone’s Lady Jane and one day he would find her. One day she’d be loved by him so much, that what pain he couldn’t take away for her, he would have such understanding and offer such comfort that it would be just as well. She loved the song, but only sadly responded to the idea, “I don’t think it’s meant to be for me … ”

Cancer took my beloved friend a year ago this Saturday. I have grieved deeply from the loss of her during this time, but am transferring my emotions to rejoicing. Rejoicing that she is finally free from the pain in her body and the pain in her heart. Rejoicing in the thought that she is finally being loved the way she should have always been, in the all comforting arms of the One who truly sees her beauty. Any time I see a rainbow, I feel her with me. In those rainbows, I hear her voice - letting me know she is happy now.

Remembering you this weekend, J. I’ll see you again, dear friend.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

DVD Review - The Exorcism of Emily Rose

This weekend, I watched “The Exorcism of Emily Rose”. I have been thinking about it ever since.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this movie. While I’ve seen “The Exorcist” (1973) and wasn’t interested in seeing a ripoff, I wanted to see this for whatever reason. Maybe it was the quiet undercurrents about it – while it didn’t do much at the box office, I’d heard good reviews. Something told me this was different.

While billed as a horror film (and rightly so, though not wholly), “Emily Rose” was mostly a courtroom drama. A priest is on trial for the homicide of a young girl, supposedly possessed by demons. She had not responded to medical treatments of epilepsy nor various speculated psychoses, all of which were hypothesized as conditions by her doctors. Her devout Catholic family called upon their Priest for help, and Emily willingly placed her entire care in his hands. Upon her death, he is arrested and prosecuted by the state.

He is represented by an agnostic lawyer – who finds it difficult to believe in such matters but must hammer out a case based on supernatural angles. The prosecuting attorney is a Believer, but must prove the Priest negligent.

Throughout the course of the trial, Emily’s story is relayed through testimony and flashback cinematography. The more you learn about Emily’s final years, the more your mind contemplates “superstitious” possibilities.

To make it more interesting (to me, anyway – the fact nerd that I am) – Being that this movie is based on a true story, I did some research on “Emily Rose”, whose real name was Anneliese Michel, and found that the movie was fairly accurately representational to the true story, barring minor details.

I found this movie to be very interesting from its courtroom perspective, with just enough horror and creepiness to keep you alert without going over the top. A compelling look at when the defining borders of the natural, unnatural and supernatural blend and become indistinct. If you love movies that make you think rhetorically, check it out. You’ll be left wondering how many cases of “possession” can be attributed to mental illness … and/or how many cases of mental illness may indeed be the presence of dark outside forces.

When neither can be proven as hard fact, who is to say?

Friday, May 19, 2006


In between downpours yesterday, I took poor little cabin fevered Incrediboy out to play in the fresh air. He was so giddy you’d think I gave him a snout full of nitrous.

Before I knew it he was ankle deep in a great big puddle. GAH! I ushered him out promptly, a little perturbed that his only pair of shoes that he’ll allow on his feet were now saturated and would take days to dry out. But upon pondering the delight on his face by seeing how far he could splash and kick the water about in liquid peacock tails, the little tomboy in me got to thinking about how much fun it was to slop around in puddles and creeks.

When I was in scouts, the most anticipated summer camp activity by far was an afternoon of “creeking”. We’d don a pair of old, worn out shoes and scurry down the banks of the creek. We’d wade around in the chortling waters, watching for crayfish and water striders, tadpoles and interesting stones tumbled smooth by the currents. Something about the feel of the cool fresh waters flowing through our shoes and embracing our ankles made us feel euphoric – as if we were really getting away with something. As if we were being granted a secret parole from sensibility.

I got that same feeling again just then. I popped back in the house to grab my camera, and while I knew I shouldn’t encourage such abuse of the sacred Elmo shoes, I allowed him to continue playing in the puddles. Over and over, back and forth he ran. In a few moments, I joined him. The clear rainwater turned brown and muddy from the constant agitation of our feet. The legs of his sweatpants grew heavy with the splashes. He squealed, laughed, and beamed with the sweetness of this indulgence.

And so did I.

Childhood is getting further and further away in my rearview mirror – but I’ve been briefly gifted a wormhole, to shortcut back whenever I choose. I need to take advantage of it - whenever I can. I figure Incrediboy can only be blessed and enriched by Mom's company sometimes joining in the play she watches over. As can his Mom. And if a few pair of shoes get ruined in the process, it's a small price to pay.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
… This morning, there's a calm I can't explain
The rock candy's melted, only diamonds now remain.
- John Mayer

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Perhaps it was the fiercely cleansing storm we got at dusk’s edge last night. But after many days of clinging funk, I feel renewed today. I feel – lighter. Calmer. The heavy air and the smog in my eyes are rinsed by the forceful rains. My soul invigorated by the deep massage of hail and winds. Somehow, inconsequential concerns of late were carried off in the watershed.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Is there a second in time I looked around?
Should I sail through or drop my anchor down?

Is anything enough to kiss the ground
And say I'm here now … ?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A bird landed on the sill of my office window this morning. A bright little goldfinch. I watched the little feathered, ink-tipped lemondrop from only inches away - and he stayed for a considerable amount of time. I don’t know if you’ve ever had the opportunity to study a tiny bird up close for any length of time, but they’re quite amazing. So delicate, and so intricately detailed. It’s very illuminating to realize how much attention has been given to the design of such a tiny creature in a big big world.

I got to thinking about how my little visitor is probably very insignificant in the big picture of universal impact. Yet he is no less a shining jewel. No less stunning a creation despite that.

I feel like, though I’m not where I’m to always remain, that I am where I’m supposed to be right now. I see no reason I can’t be content with that.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Brought to you by the Letter "R"

I hope to post something from the heart again in a day or two, but until then I’ve been meaning to play the Letter Game, passed on to me by the lovely Chesneygirl. Here's how it works: You take your assigned letter and then write 10 words that start with that letter and explain why they are important to you and how they relate to you. Normally I should say here that if you want to play, let me know and I’ll assign you a letter. But frankly I can’t handle that type of pressure. So if you want to play, go ask Chesney or Naïve for a letter, or assign yourself one ;). Sheesh, such a buck-passer, I know.

This was a bit more challenging than I expected, but it was pretty fun, too. Hope you enjoy learning yet more useless information about me!

Rabbits. Everybody knows that I love bunny rabbits. They’ve always been my favorite animal. I even still have my bunny from when I was a little girl – he’s one of my prized possessions. Speaking of rabbits, there’s a family of bunnies in the bushes out front of my house. The babies are so cute you’d just die. (Quiet, BigWhiteHat - Bunnies aren't for eating in my house. ;D)

Rock and Roll. I’m a music girl, especially rock and roll. I’ve gotten busy with other things as I’ve gotten older, but rock and roll used to be “my life”. I don’t mean I was a groupie. I mean I was a FAN, and a huge bank of rock knowledge and trivia. Rock and roll is a huge part of me even now.

Rinker. The make of our beloved family boat. I have always been drawn to water and was lucky enough to marry a fellow water nut. Our boat’s our second home and it’s hard for me to imagine life without it.

Rae. Naïve’s middle name. She’s my soul sister and best friend. Outside of God and family, the most important person in my life.

Records. I’m the family historian in my world. I research the genealogy and capture the events of our lives in my scrapbooks and journals. I love doing this. Memories alone fade so quickly.

Reality shows. Yes, I enjoy the guilty pleasures of Survivor, American Idol, and a few select others. And I also love the slice-of-life reality shows, like American Chopper, Miami Ink, and especially Deadliest Catch. I LOVE Deadliest Catch! (And here’s a bonus related R word for you here: The greatest Survivor of all time: RUPERT! Hee hee!)

Right. This is a twofer. My politics are right oriented – that’s a biggie. But I’m also … um … guilty of not apologizing very easily, or admitting that I am wrong. I’m stubborn that way (blush). I love to be right and hate to admit when I’m not so right. Pride is a big thing I struggle with …

Restless. If I’m not busy doing something, you can bet a dollar that at the very least, my mind is grinding away at a million miles an hour. I’m always thinking, writing, designing, composing, sorting - my brain is very restless. To the point of having a disorder, I sometimes think.

Rocky Mountains. Despite the fact that I’m a summer girl and should be living in the tropics somewhere – if I could move anywhere I think I’d choose the Rocky Mountains. Words cannot describe how they change you, just being there. God’s country. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

Randall. The bad guy in “Monsters, Inc.”. The movie presently the favorite in my house. That I get to watch and/or hear… Every. Single. Day. You know me – I love Incrediboy, and the laughter he emanates while watching is worth the madness of the water torture repetition. But let’s just say I hope the rain leaves SOON so we can go outside. AWAY from the DVD player.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Good Mother, Bad Mother

In case you didn’t know, motherhood is terrifying. To me, at least.

Due to the broken road Hub and I had traveled while trying to start a family, I was scared to death my entire pregnancy. Scared we’d lose this baby too – scared of when he’d arrive. I’d completely reconditioned myself to a life of childlessness. It almost felt as if I were being submitted to maliciously cruel stress tests. But in retrospect, it paled to what was to come.

Initially, I was completely terrified of Incrediboy, and bore crushing silent embarrassment for that. I was exhausted just by the thought of the tasks ahead, and nerve wracked beyond collection. When he cried, I’d fall apart. Hub had to handle much in the beginning – I couldn’t seem to get myself together. It was awful.

In short time the overpowering love and devotion came upon me. Of course you love your child, but it’s not uncommon to feel very detached at first. Sometimes it takes a while to absorb and adjust to the shell shock of parenting an infant, and truly emanate that from your heart and soul. Not too many sources warn you of that, and the self induced guilt if you are one who experiences this can be squelching.

Perhaps for some, it is - but for me, parenting was not instinctual. I had to learn things that everyone else just seemed to innately know. And ignorance is not bliss.

I have often been told that I’m a good mother. That I am so cool and relaxed, seemingly taking it all in stride, and that Incrediboy’s pleasant nature is an obvious reflection of this. But truthfully, I don’t feel like I have it together at all. I still worry and second-guess nearly every move I make. While other mothers exude confidence, I cower inside, questioning my choices even when I know they are sound. Am I doing right by my son? I crumble inside from the ocean of the love I feel for this little boy. I implode from wondering if I’m not doing enough, not being enough. I constantly battle the mindset that I am simply not worthy – that he deserves more than what I am. More than I could ever be. That maybe God made a mistake. Why has He placed such trust in me?

I know God doesn’t make mistakes. But it’s just the way I feel. I feel so shamefully underqualified.

Is this normal? Is this … right?

Please, please, please. Lord of the Universe, please replace my doubts with confidence and wisdom. And please please, please. Above all, please help me be the mother he deserves.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

My Next Job

I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said, “Remember who you wanted to be”. Since then I’ve been amusing myself with that very activity.

When I was a kid I wanted to be the typical fare. Album cover artist. Astronomer. Rock star. Punk hairstylist. Jackhammer operator. Okay, maybe not all those are typical. But none are too exciting to think about for very long anymore. In short time I switched my thoughts to what would I do NOW, if I could do anything. Here are the top 3 dream jobs of mine, in no particular order.

Stormchaser. Yet another “Clew is a Nerd” fact: I’m obsessed with the weather. I consult my Weatherbug radar several times a day and even bought a clock radio with a NOAA band feature so I could keep tabs on exciting developments. Here's a secret, I once read a 600+ page casebook about unusual weather phenomena, just for fun. Shhh, don't tell anyone. Anyway - plain old rain is a drag, but I LOVE storms. Growling winds, dazzling lightning, chest rattling thunder, deep bruise colored clouds. Awesome forces of nature, just awesome. I can’t think of many scenarios more exciting than chasing thunderheads and funnels across the plains. If it weren’t for all that dang waiting around in between.

Medical Examiner. Remember that show “Quincy”? I loved that show. I was only 9 when that series started and my mom had serious doubts about her little girl’s normalcy, watching such a show. But I loved it. I still love forensics – not just CSI shows, but the real docudrama ones too. I love the whole piecing together what happened thing. I’d only want the neat and tidy cases, though. Nobody who’s already blackened and juicy with rot, please.

Movie critic. Honestly – doesn’t the world need a REAL PEOPLE’s movie critic? Someone with real world tastes, who will tell you like it is? Seriously, I’ll tell you when something’s really good or really stinks. Or if it stinks but is worth seeing for the great action or effects. When to save your money and when to really get excited. What’s truly funny and what truly just insults your intelligence. I think I’m the woman for that job. And no foppy Frenchy French foreign film reviews from me. Who sees subtitled movies in real life? Anyone? If I want to read, I’ll stay home with a book.

Are any of these too much to ask? I don’t think so. I'm preparing my resume now ... I'm sure I'm a shoe-in for any of these.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

In My Head, I'm Already Gone

Lately, I haven't been myself. Not only have I been physically ill, but I've also had my feelings hurt a few times, am all-around pressed in my schedule and have been distracted in general. Hence, I'm found wanting for anything decent to post about this week.

It's times like these my little pea brain takes a mental vacation - usually into my own personal travel memories. Today is such a day.

In case you need ideas for your next big getaway, here are some suggestions of a few places I've been fortunate enough to experience. All are recipients of Clew's 5-Star Heaven on Earth Award. If you go, send me a postcard.


You'll be hard pressed to find a more bizarrely breathtaking landscape. Surreal and saturating.


Landscape so beautiful it will bring you to your knees. Absolutely stunning.


The Polynesia of the Carribbean. Delicious.


Yes, the colors really are this vibrant. Practically life sustaining.


Blindingly beautiful red rocks on deep azure desert sky. Soul quenching.


So well known it's practically a cliche. But after three days there I could have stayed another month and not had enough.

Thank You God for this beautiful world I get to live in! Just knowing these places remain comforts me, as if reassuring me that I can and will one day return. At each I left a little piece of me, and my heart searches for these missing fragments as I revisit once more.

Having a great time - wish you were here!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I Been Illin'

Rule #1: If you make it through winter without being sick, don’t ever mention it aloud. Because the flu bug WILL find you if you do.

After a remarkably long-standing streak of good health (save a touch of a cold now and then, which doesn’t really count), I came down with the flu this weekend. And it was ugly. I can’t even remember the last time I threw up – I didn’t even throw up when I was pregnant. But I had a heck of a refresher course on Sunday!

I could barely even concentrate in church I felt so weird. I mean I was on the verge of passing out. On the drive home I started to feel really oogy, and then early afternoon it hit. You know those barf sessions where you’re in heaving convulsions, like a bronco in a rodeo, long after your guts are empty – the ones that make tears stream down your face and have you shaking like a leaf for 10 minutes after? That’s what I’m talking about.

Oy vey.

Yesterday I was able to keep food down but felt as if I’d been thrown down a rocky embankment. I was so achy, especially my back, that it was a chore to move.

Today I’m much better, thank you for asking. But now I’m buried. But since I haven’t posted in a while and may not be able to for another few days, I just wanted to say hi.


Until next time … ~

Friday, May 05, 2006

In The Moment

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Inchworm, Inchworm,
Measuring the marigolds
Doing your arithmetic
You’ll probably go far …
Inchworm, Inchworm,
Measuring the marigolds
Seems to me you’d stop and see
How beautiful they are.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In his usual pattern, Incrediboy wanted to go out and play after dinner last night. I had a hundred chores and was not in the mood. But I sat the dishes and laundry aside for later and went out in the back yard with him.

I was distracted last night, with many things on my mind. I have a trip to my parents’ house to get to this weekend, which I really don’t have time for. I need to wrap up the books before the trip there too. My sister-in-law, soon to be sister-OUT-law, is having a birthday next week and I really should get a card to send her since she still remembers all of us and sends gifts at holiday time. I’m overdue for my annual exam and I still need to find a new doctor since my old one retired. MBDog loves to drink out of the nasty stagnant rainwater puddle by the woodpile despite the fact that he has ample fresh water in his bowl, and now has a case of diarrhea to show for it that doesn't seem to be going away on its own. I thought about when we can get him into the vet. I milled over items for the weekly grocery run. I constructed a list of tasks I needed to address at the office in the morning.

Things of that nature. Things that make just enough noise in your head that you get in an absorbed thought zone and miss the details of the moment.

I turned these thoughts around in my brain as I absentmindedly pushed Incrediboy on the swing and we ran around and threw hoops on the basketball court and checked out all the usual stops in our yard.

Then, as Incrediboy scaled the rungs of the slide, he stopped and said, “Oh, LOOK! A WEURM!” I snapped out of my mental agenda and looked at where his little finger indicated. He was pointing to a tiny inchworm – make that half-inch worm :) – making its way up the side of the ladder. It was no bigger around than a pine needle, and its smooth, bright green body stood out vibrantly against the weathered gray timber of the swing set. Upon closer examination, I could see a butter colored line down its back, flanked in inky black pinstripes so thin they were was barely visible. He was a cute little guy.

Incrediboy informed me that his name was Slimy.

We watched Slimy for a while. He’d scooch a few times, raise his front end and wave it about madly and then settle it down again before repeating the move. Incrediboy was delighted. I placed my finger in front of Slimy. He climbed on and traversed his way along the side of my hand. He was so light that I couldn’t even feel him. Incrediboy squealed and insisted we go show Daddy.

We took Slimy to the barn, where Daddy was busy building shelves. Daddy stopped to see and was duly impressed. Incrediboy beamed, lapis eyes shining with excitement. We all decided to put Slimy back where he was, so he could go home to his family.

The evening’s activities commenced as they had before, but thanks to our little inchworm friend, I had switched gears.

The spring breeze, almost sickening-sweet with honeysuckle, danced across our skin and through our hair. I breathed the delicious smell in deep, until I could feel it in my blood. I became aware of the feeling of the grass as I sat at the base of the slide for Incrediboy to leap upon me when he reached the bottom. Cool. Scratchy. Dotted with remnants of the morning’s gentle rain. The faint smell of damp earth beneath. I heard the lush leaves whisper overhead in the wind’s path. Leaves which hadn’t yet burst out only a week or so before. As I lay back in our backyard meadow in between slides, I watched the thin film of clouds over our heads. They swirled gently and delicately, as if God were idly stirring cream in His coffee cup. Birds danced and shrieked in the air overhead. I felt heat roll off of MBDog as he did a fly-by, chuffing like a steam engine.

Incrediboy grabbed my thumb and drug me off to his next point of interest. His little hands were both warm and cool at the same time. I hadn’t noticed that before. His laughter released a swarm of butterflies in my heart.

My concerns of earlier were far, far away. I was only in the moment. And it was a pretty amazing place to be.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Just call me 'Lefty Ruggiero'

I've decided to take my Moussaoui post down because it's been giving me a stroke just knowing it was here. I'll still say I hope he gets shanked in the yard. I'll also leave previous comments up just for posterity. :)

In attempt to avert my own death-by-aneurysm over gross injustice, I’ll share another thrilling anecdote from my life and times. Plus, in case I wind up dead, I want the following posted as a testimony.

Incrediboy is a very affectionate son and insists on giving me a kiss before bedtime. But I do not get just any kiss, mind you. He has taken to putting his hands on each side of my head, and then kissing one cheek, and then the other. Sometimes he’ll even plant one on my forehead, but always he’ll hit the right and left cheek.

We call this the Godfather's kiss. We have no idea where he got this from, as we don’t watch the namesake movies or Goodfellas or Donnie Brasco or the Sopranos or anything like that – at least not when he’s up. Which leads me to wonder, am I slated for a rub out? Am I about to be whacked?

If I suddenly stop posting, you’ll know what happened.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

All So Simple

Bear with me, I do have a point.

For those still following along, I’m almost done with my grandma scrapbooks. I have 2 more layouts to do and then they’re done. DONE! And even a week ahead of the Mother’s Day deadline. Woohoo!

I’ve been a little distraught the past few days, though. There are three layouts in particular on my mind. One turned out great. I’m really pleased with it. Another I am equally thrilled with. Then there’s the one in between. I don’t like that one. Not at all, really. I’ve thought of redoing it, but I have no good ideas on how to do so. So it’s bugging the crap out of me. And the fact that it’s book-ended with (IMO) the two best layouts in the whole book makes it look even cruddier to me.

The cruddy layout consists of Halloween photos, which is a big part of the problem. Something about holiday layouts makes me have a right-brain hemorrhage. I despise doing them because I am not easily inspired within the confines of a theme, and they always look stupid and cheesy to me when I’m done. I don’t know why that is, but I simply suck at holiday layouts. SUCK.

Being the obsessive-compulsive over-analyst that I am, I’ve been thinking about this. I love my hobby and am normally bubbling over with layout creativity, yet perpetually struggle with holiday theme pages. Why is that? After countless stewings, I’ve come up with an idea.

It is said that art imitates life. And here is a prime example. I love holidays. I really do. They’re a hassle, but I love gathering with loved ones. Precious familial bonds are fortified and memories that will last a lifetime are forged during these celebrations. Best of all the Hub and I are reliving the joys of holiday enchantment through Incrediboy’s fresh eyes, and I wouldn’t want to miss any of them.

But when I look back on my memories of Incrediboy’s second year, what is it that first springs to the forefront as most endearing, for me?

It’s the little stuff. The every day, any day events that pop up and shine like a crystal shard for no particular reason other than that’s when they happened.

See, while I don’t mean to downgrade these wonderful childhood holiday memories in the making, it’s almost as if even the vignettes within are pre-categorized. Even the surprises of the holidays are within suit, and therefore, semi-expected. Shining moments, for me, are those that simply appear from nowhere. Random, unconnected, and unprovoked by the calendar. Discovering a big yellow garden spider in the window well. Noticing how different the warm rough concrete of the basketball court feels in comparison to the soft cool spring grass on little bare tootsies. Studying daisies and ladybugs. Petting the velvety nose of a horse. Playing stick and tag with boisterous but so gentle Most Beautiful Dog. Chasing the moon across a field. Learning how to blow dandelion fluff.

Holidays are nice, but the moments of ordinary contain the real magic for me. And clearly this reflects in my layouts.

My final two layouts are the birthday (intimidating in its holiday-like quality) and the back cover page, which needs to be conclusive in some way. But I'll not stress. In ending wisdom, I’ll keep in mind what my wonderful husband said to me this morning. As I fretted about the sub-par Halloween layout and wanting these scrapbooks for the Grandmas to be perfect in every way, he simply said, Honey, it doesn’t really matter if you don’t think they’re perfect. What matters is they will love them. And they will.

Sometimes you realize, it’s all so simple.

Monday, May 01, 2006

May 1, 1995

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I have traveled the paths of desire
Gathering flowers and carrying fire
Raising a grave to the reasons behind me
Looking for strength as you live to remind me

I am crossing the bridges of sorrow
Empty with yearning and full of tomorrow
The river is high and the bridges are burning
I know I’ve been hurt but I keep on returning

I’m drawn to you ...
I’m caught in you ...

~ October Project

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Eleven years ago, my life changed forever.
Never will I doubt that Phoenixes do rise from the most desolate of ashes.
To the twelfth year of our journey. I love you, Hub.