Sunday, June 12, 2016

Incongruity

For over a decade, my favorite place on the planet has been a moment at the top of a turret of a small castle in Germany. From the top of that turret, I was able to look down the side of a mountain overlooking a tiny little town at the bottom. The town was built surrounding a beautiful, regal church… with its glorious steeple standing tall and proud in the center. It was pristine and white with a red roof, and you could hear the sound of the bells in the tower tolling amazingly clear all the way up the mountain. It was absolutely peaceful – a light breeze up there at the top of the turret, with the gentle sound of bells floating in the wind… it’s a moment that I always carry with me.

video
I’ve found a place that competes as a favorite… for all of the opposite reasons. The tumultuous waves crashing violently into the rocks, and then being sucked out… the only thing gentle is the spray of water as it drifts around me after the initial powerful impact against the bottom of the cliff. It’s almost overwhelming … as though I’m right on the edge of the planet. Standing near the edge of this cliff, closing my eyes and listening to the sound of the waves… it can easily be mistaken for something peaceful. Being here and experiencing this feeling of rest, while knowing there’s such an incredible amount of force in every wave that drives into the rocks, is absolutely amazing. Looking at the cliffs and knowing that the sheer power of those waves has carved out and smoothed all of these crevices, and understanding how many centuries of unrestrained savagery it must have taken to achieve the condition that it’s currently in… It is truly magnificent.

I ponder over the idea that two such incongruous moments can both provoke such an intense feeling of belonging within myself… I think it tells me more about myself than I’ve thought of previously… the ideology of remaining calm and finding peace even when being surrounded with or confronted by chaos. I find it thrilling to jump into the middle of the fray and cause things to settle around me – as though I’m a commanding enough force to incite tranquility with my intervention.  


When one of our customers suggests that there’s a problem, I enjoy the thrill of diving through my knowledge and finding an answer that will smooth things out for them. When I’m involved in a play, and the director has a need, it’s completely gratifying to be able to supply them with whatever it is they’ve asked for. Raising 5 teenagers and being able to keep the peace among them. Working as a midwife’s assistant in previous years… Perhaps it’s simply a mediator inside of me, and not a gladiator… but I’m willing to bet that in either case, the satisfaction of resolution is just as viable to both personalities. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

I want to climb a cliff, the highest I can find
And just jump out, to be free of these binds
It would be just a moment of freedom, that’s sure
But the landing would be the ultimate cure
An end to the haunting, the cage that I’m in
No more fighting of this horrible demon
It sits on my shoulders and whispers so loud
We’re alone together, even when there’s a crowd
It urges, it coaxes, it bribes and it whines
The promises always seem so divine
The end of the suffering, the pain that I feel

The ultimate stop of a nightmare so real

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

crazy ramblings...

Here I lay in the middle of the night
My eyes wide open though there is no sight
My mind keeps racing while the world is dark
Darting around as though running from sharks
My thoughts often feel as though they’re not mine
Dancing up to and over some line
That I dare not cross or focus on well
Or I’ll end up dreaming in my own little hell
The past is always there, waiting in the wings
Stalking me, scary but so mesmerizing
I want to run, but I’m frozen in fear
Knowing the past is nowhere near
Yet feeling as though it’s so close by
Floating in the darkness, I just want to cry
The life that I’ve entered has become such a trap
There is no escape, and I feel like I’ll snap
I’ve left the frying pan, jumped into the fire
And now I walk daily on such a tight wire
Afraid of falling from a dizzying height
And yet ready to jump, to end this fight
Over a bridge, in the car, from so high
Down to the cement, to crush out this lie
I pretend to be happy, calm and carefree
But there’s such a deep darkness behind the forced glee
The choices and options, decisions I’ve made
This game of life, as it’s meant to be played…
The final square to finish seems so far away
As I crawl painfully through every single day
I want to pick up the wheel and give it a fling
Just toss the board, and quit everything
Yank off the mask and torch the costume
Give in to the chaos, jump into the monsoon
As my mind goes spinning, so out of control

With so many thoughts that it might explode

Friday, August 12, 2011

Summer ramblings....

It's the time of year that I really don't like. It's too hot to do anything outside for any length of time... At 11pm at night, the temps are still hanging out around 90 degrees. It's positively insane.

Another part of not liking this time of year is that we're due to upgrade a couple of the cell phones on our account. I took the girls in to look at phones, made notes of the ones they were interested in, and then googled reviews of those phones. Apparently, having cell phones turn off randomly while in the middle of typing a text message or even talking on the phone is considered a normal issue. It happens on every one of the phones we looked up. It's an issue we've dealt with on other phones, and apparently something we're not going to get away from as long as we own phones that don't have data plans. (We are NOT getting data plans for our teens... No, they're not deprived. If they were, the wouldn't have phones at all.)

This is also the time of year when everyone is getting ready for going back to school. The stores have the back to school sales going on, and we stock up on the few things that we actually have managed to run low or out of since last year. I think the only thing on this years list was the flash drives - Target had the 8gb drives for $9 this week, so I picked up a few of those since we use the heck out of them. I'm wondering if I should pick up a few extra to use as Christmas gifts for some of the teens in the family? I haven't decided yet.

Tomorrow, the girls and I are going to run up to the job fair at the Renaissance Festival and apply to work there this year. Trae worked at it last year and enjoyed it, so I think it might be a good way to supplement Christmas this year. The girls will just be thrilled to be able to put money away. Vicki wants to take drivers Ed, so she'll need to set aside money for that & insurance. Fun! (yikes!)

Jessica graduates from Job Corps this month, so she'll be home looking for a job and learning to drive. She has her learners permit already, but hasn't done any driving yet. I've already determined that my husband will have to be in charge of driving with the learners. I'm not good at it... Seriously. I'm also working on rearranging the house with jessica coming home. Brittani has gotten spoiled and doesn't want to go back to sharing a room. We decided to put Jessica in zacharys room, put zach in the living room, move the living room to the family room, and stop using the family room as a storage room. Holy smokes! I'm in trouble! Lots of stuff to get rid of to achieve this goal. But I WILL get it done. I have to keep my chore-doers happy, or who knows how the dishes or laundry will get done without them :-)

Well, there's really not much else going on around here... Although I am still working on making a decision on our algebra curriculum - and need to get it ordered pretty quick. It's definitely that time!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Droughts & BBQ's - a bad recipe

I know my last post was in regards to the drought that's been going on... and while you generally consider some of the most immediate issues with a drought (i.e. dead lawns, gardens not growing well, hay not growing for feeding the livestock, etc), you don't really entertain ideas regarding wildfires... so it was definitely an eye-opener to have that very situation brought almost literally to my front doorstep.

On Father's Day - an event that is typically a day for family gatherings and BBQ, a gentleman who lives around the corner from us went indoors for a few moments and left his grill unattended. Those few minutes were devastating to a large number of people. While he took the precaution of lighting his grill near his back fence and well away from his house, he didn't take the extra time to douse the ground around his grill... he wasn't present when an ember popped out of the open grill and caught the pine needles layered on the ground on fire... by the time he came outside, it was too late... there was too much for him to be able to put out by himself. The wind kept the fire traveling away from his house, and ultimately, he lost no possessions in the fire. Sadly, there were many people in the vicinity that are not as fortunate as him. 

Thank you to so many of my friends for keeping us in your thoughts through this 5 day fiasco.  We are safe and out of danger thanks to the firefighters, the forest service and the lastly the rain that saved the day.  I lost track of how many departments showed up to help, and I know that there were many individuals from different parts of both Texas and Oklahoma that participated in trying to eliminate the fire. It was absolutely astounding to see so many different entities and individuals join smoothly together in such an enormous undertaking...
 
I was asked to put something together - so here is a quick look at what went on.
 
Although it never got closer than 200 yards to our house, it wouldn’t take long to burn as dry as it was.  The neighbors lost over 2 acres of forest in less than an hour.   Most of the woods are extremely thick, with layers of leaves and pine needles on the ground... lots of kindling and tinder to catch embers and light up easily.
 
Having to pack everything of value in an hour, makes you realize how much excess we have. It was an exercise that we had to participate in when we saw flames lapping at the street that ours meets... 
 
Here is a view from our driveway on Sunday facing the street that the fire started on.  The fire started 600 yards to the right of this frame.
Aftermath of a flare up that happened on Monday afternoon, it almost made it to the street, this is when we started to pack to evacuate.
Monday afternoon a neighbor and my husband took their front end loaders out and cleared some paths to hopefully slow or stop the ground fire from spreading toward our houses.  They cleared 2 miles of brush but as you can see the trees are so close together it could still spread if it got hot enough. 
 
Flare up on Tuesday afternoon as the winds changed from South to Northwest to a West to East direction and then back East to West.  The winds were gusting 15-20 mph.  This is when the helicopters really started to fly overhead and dropping water.
 
I took a video of the helicopters that were dropping the water after the Tuesday flare up.  This was a new helicopter that was picking up a bag to join in the firefighting.  I uploaded it to the KBTX live blog that was set up for covering the details in a live setting (dedicated to the fire and its victims to monitor the activity), and it was picked up and used on the KBTX news out of Brian/College Station.  At one point we had 4 helicopters dropping water constantly on our area for 4 hours.  
 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

May showers?

That nursery rhyme is definitely wrong this year... we've had no April showers, and it's a dust bowl out there with no flowers in sight. The roads are so dusty out here, and the heat is already up in the 90's. It's going to be a very loooong summer if this continues.

Trae and Jess are coming home for Memorial Day weekend. I'll pick them up on Friday afternoon, and return them on Tuesday. They'll have their official summer break from June 30th to July 18th, and I know they're both looking forward to that. Trae did say the food "miraculously" improved at Job Corps, so I don't know if they've got a new cook in charge of the kitchen? He definitely sounded like a happy camper about it, though. (I do know he had Pizza one night last week, though... I don't think the two of them realize that I really do follow their facebook pages )

Things are as crazy as usual at our house... this past weekend we spent Saturday with some friends down in League City, and then Sunday after church we helped clear out someone's barn... which means it was an afternoon spent outdoors in the heat . Monday I ran errands - Harbor Freight, Office Depot, Lowe's, and HEB for groceries. Today I'll pop into PetsMart, get Vicki's hair cut, maybe pop into the Container Store for ideas for Brittani's room, half-price frappuccino at Starbucks, then meet up with Andrew for his eye appointment, have dinner with him, and then head towards the airport to wait for Ruth's flight to come in.

I'm working on getting a box packed up to send to Trae & Jessica. I picked up a few surprises for them, and have some other things that they requested packed into it. The plan is to get it out in the mail tomorrow morning for them, but we'll see if I get it finished before I have to leave for the dentist office tomorrow.

It's getting near time for me to dash... hope everyone has a fabulous afternoon!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Another weekend gone by...

Trae and Jessica were home this weekend... full of stories and excitement to be home. It really floored me the first night that Jessica was here... she threw her arms around me in a huge hug and was crying... she said it was all so overwhelming. She's the one who's always composed and never phased by anything normally, so it was definitely a shock to know she loves me  

Since it was Easter weekend, they also got to spend a day with the cousins & everybody, so that was definitely fun for their first weekend home. They're already looking forward to the 2 weeks that they get off in the summer. They're ready to be well-fed with home cooking, and not the "institutional" food that they serve at Job Corps.

The counselor at Job Corps is helping Jessica apply for a Pell Grant, and she'll be able to live there on campus and attend college to get her associate's degree. She's thoroughly happy about that...attending college has always been a huge goal of hers, and I'm so thrilled that the people at Job Corps are working on that with her.

Trae has new eyeglasses... and they make him look all collegiate and smart I had him bring home his prescription so that I could order extra glasses for him. We generally pay $8 for glasses from ZenniOptical, so it's definitely worth having a spare pair of specs, or at the very least to get some prescription sunglasses. 

Saturday was pleasant with the family for Easter. We all met up out at Grandma's house, had a nice lunch and did the Easter Egg hunt. I do wonder every year when my kids will be allowed to outgrow it. Vicki volunteered to skip the hunt and help hide the eggs... it was apparently intended for me to hide them since Andrew was absent, but I volunteered to NOT hide the eggs, and NOT let my kids hunt... apparently that wasn't an option...

We left there shortly after 2pm, which is technically early for us to leave a family gathering, but I had to head home to drop the kids off, switch vehicles, and go pick up Andrew from the airport. It was definitely time for him to come home. 3 weeks is seriously pushing the envelope in regards to him being out of town. He spends his weekends thinking of the things he could be doing if he were home, and the weekends get spent with nothing getting done. The poor guy's brain turns to mush with all of the tv that he ends up watching in hotel rooms, and his honey-do list just piles up.

Vicki is out the door for her 2nd day of work. I don't know that she's entirely thrilled with the situation yet, but she'll get there. I think she had planned for her first job to be (a.) indoors, in air conditioning, and (b.) part time. Her first day was Friday, and she put in a FULL days work. She was across the street by 8am, and didn't get home until 6pm. She was completely exhausted by the time she made it home. She'll work today - I don't know for how long, but I made sure she left in time to walk down to their house to be able to start at 8am again. I did make her a cheese omelette for breakfast :-) so she had a good, healthy breakfast in her tummy to start off with.

Tomorrow and Wednesday she'll be with us in Grapevine, Tx. We're heading up there to Great Wolf Lodge... we've never been there, but a fellow homeschooler took the initiative and worked out an excellent rate that would be applicable if she could manage to get 10 families to sign up. I think we almost doubled that! So it's $166 total (with tax included) for two days of the waterpark, and hotel overnight at the Lodge, for up to 6 people per group. I think we're all looking forward to some fun family time. It's been a crazy year, and I know that I'm definitely going to enjoy a chance to just take some down time, and be with Andrew.

I think it's time for a 2nd cup of coffee this morning... and I also need to start working on my grocery list so that I can run to the store later... hope everyone has an amazing week!

Cute things that land in my email...

On the first day, God created the dog and said, "Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. For this, I will give you a life span of twenty years."
The dog said, "That's a long time to be barking. How about only ten years and I'll give you back the other ten?"
So God agreed......
On the second day, God created the monkey and said, "Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I'll give you a twenty-year life span."
The monkey said, "Monkey tricks for twenty years? That's a pretty long time to perform. How about I give you back ten like the dog did?" 
And God agreed...... 
On the third day, God created the cow and said, "You must go into the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer's family. For this, I will give you a life span of sixty years."
The cow said, "That's kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. How about twenty and I'll give back the other forty?"
And God agreed again...... 
On the fourth day, God created humans and said, "Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. For this, I'll give you twenty years." 
But the human said, "Only twenty years? Could you possibly give me my twenty, the forty the cow gave back, the ten the monkey gave back, and the ten the dog gave back; that makes eighty, okay?" 
"Okay," said God. "You asked for it."
So that is why for our first twenty years, we eat, sleep, play and enjoy ourselves. For the next forty years, we slave in the sun to support our family.. For the next ten years, we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren. And for the last ten years, we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.
Life has now been explained to you.
There is no need to thank me for this valuable information. I'm doing it as a public service. If you are looking for me I will be on the front porch.