Dancing at the Exit

October 21, 2016 by Rieshy


Is it irony that we were at the E.R. two nights ago after my recent Middle of the Night post?
I don't thinks so.  It's just life.

Life is pretty awesome. 
And easy to miss.
Don't miss it.

I love that scene in the old Parenthood movie with Steve Martin when life is likened to a roller coaster ride.  

This little guy scared us all with a seizure.  I learned a new medical term.  Benign Rolandic.  Anything beginning with benign is a good start.

Outside our children's hospital there is a statue of children dancing in a circle with a gap left.  The gap has often troubled me.  A missing child?  Ominous symbolism outside an E.R.  But the brass statue has two, shiny outstretched hands, rubbed free of patina; proof that children instinctively know something adults often forget.  

They know to reach out, grab hold,
and join the dance.

Joining the dance with Psalm 150.


Dojo Lego Moats

October 19, 2016 by Rieshy

I've read a few articles on the importance of developing mat awareness while grappling.

Yesterday, while drilling BJJ at a friend's house, who is on maternity leave from the dojo, I realized that we have accidentally found the perfect way to fine tune the skill.  Toys.

Yes, toys.

In addition to her newborn, my drilling partner has an almost 3 year old who plays around our bodies as we drill; sometimes adding dropped action figure toys to the mix.

You do not want to be elevator swept, or elevator sweep your partner, onto a 2 inch tall Mighty Morphing Power Ranger doll.

So, pesky students who don't/won't pay attention to where other students are working?  Legos.  Throw a handful onto the mats.


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Middle of the Night

October 16, 2016 by Rieshy

Awake in the middle of the night because of arthritis pain with a fuzzy brain; dreading the lack of sleep to coffee ratio boomerang to ensue tomorrow.

People with regular insomnia? I don't know how you survive.

Middle of the night reflections on a rather momentous doctor's checkup for my youngest children:  It's been almost 3 years since my now 10 year old's last hospitalization.  I started this blog in the middle-of-the-night period of my life when I could never sleep more than 4 hours at a time (if I was lucky) without waking to feed my son.  We had to feed him multiple times in the night until he was 4 and then once a night until he was 6 1/2 years old.  And that was when he was well.

When he was sick there was no point going to bed at all.  He was sick a lot.  Added to that his younger brother had to be fed at night too.  On a different schedule.

I had a lot of middle of the night reflection time so I wrote and I knitted and I prayed.

We were in the hospital a lot.  So I wrote, knitted and prayed.

I took up spinning wool so I'd have more yarn to knit.

Four years later and my body still wakes at 1:30 a.m. almost every night.  My master closet is packed with a massive wool stash not exactly appropriate for someone living in the South.

Back to the momentous checkup:  The boys no longer have to do regular checkups with their geneticist.  There are no more tests to be done.  They are stable.  We still don't have an answer for what exact gene or genes are causing their hypoglycemia.  It doesn't really matter at this point because we know how to treat them when they are well and we know how to treat them when they are not well.

It may not sound momentous.  You have to listen carefully for the mental clicks; I'm no longer a medical-mom searching journals.  I'm not looking for a complete diagnosis or for a cure.  Their doctor said it's a bit like wearing glasses.  We don't have to know the exact gene for a particular case of nearsightedness; we just order the glasses and deal with the inconveniences.

We still have backup.  Their charts light up like Christmas trees and bump them to first in line if they have to go to the E.R. but I feel free.  They feel free.  They are not patients anymore.  That's the important click, the truly momentous and much prayed for click.

Anyone want to buy some wool?


Naming Pity

October 9, 2016 by Rieshy

Testing Moments

Autopiloting to the dojo
while reconsidering scrap booking.
Suddenly snipping in a living room
sans Master filled panels and bruises
and possible pity is appealing.

That perfect hobgoblin
The principle fear.
The question I couldn't answer honestly.
Even to my Soke;
naming it invites it.

To receive pity?
A spectacular fail is a softer mat.
Pity is the sloppy breakfall on your elbow.
that wrenches your gut and
pops something in your shoulder that you should never hear pop.

Pity is a fraction times you;
defining and excluding in a testing hall wreathed with smiles.
The children's table at Thanksgiving
minus the cheer and good food.

Pathos, the Preventer.  The anti-hero who won't try to fly.
And whose spin hook kick sucks.


An Observation of Bruises

October 2, 2016 by Rieshy

Because I'm a klutz with a tendency to be anemic, because I do mixed martial arts and because I play jujitsu, sometimes I have visible bruises, bumps and/or mat burn.

Not all the time and not always spectacular.  It's amazing what eyeshadow and a tan can cover.  My 17 year old daughter has gotten quite adept with a kit she bought me for christmas.  I don't even know what the tubes and powders are supposed to be for- for normal women- but they work great at covering the marks left by leg locks, thai kicks, accidental elbows, tight grips and gi chokes.

When I bother to use it.

When I don't I've observed some interesting phenomenon while out and about in my suburban area.

Mostly people are embarrassed and avoid looking.  You get your coffee really quickly from the barista when you pay with a complete 5 finger handprint bruise on your forearm.

People get overly friendly and talk to you like you have the brain power of a daffodil.  A trashy daffodil.

Then the really freaky one- you get oddly calculating looks from men. Very unpleasant.

The rarest response?  A friendly, "How did you get that bruise?"

If you have your young children with you while visibly bruised?  Angry.  People jump to angry.   You  see it happen quickly; they notice the bruise, their eyes narrow as they hand you your change and their normal smile flattens.  And they say Nothing.

Humans are weird; I don't know why God puts up with us.


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September 29, 2016 by Rieshy

Sometimes I think my words might smother me before I can wrangle sense out of them.  I'm bombarded by upper and lower case fonts.  Or maybe I just read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom too many times to my children.

This weekend was a new beginning for me in my martial arts journey.  I thought that when nine month long test was finally over that my overwhelming sensation as a baby black belt would be one of relief and lifted weight, less stress.  But it's not.

My overwhelming feeling, other than absolute bruised up physical exhaustion, is urgency.

I want more.  I want to train harder.  I want to learn faster.  I want to be there when kids in class suddenly get a move right and the look on their face changes.

I want to ride my bike down a curvy hill without my hands on the handlebars and feel the fall breeze whip around me.  

And then there is jujitsu.    My stupid injured rib keeps wanting to slip but I feel like I don't have a moment to lose; I can't see any progression.    My professor comes in 2 months but default fonts and sparring partners are still arm-barring me with impunity. Over, and over again.  Yet I love it anyway.

It's a new school year and I'm the dorky 9th grader who can't sleep, with my back pack full of fresh notebook supplies, the room full of the smell of erasers, and new school clothes folded at the end of my bed.

On our last mile as a black belt team the 59th Street Bridge Song, by Simon and Garfunkel, popped into my head and I tried to sing it.  Most of the team was too young to know it, not to mention I can't sing... It somehow seems an appropriate message to myself.


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Peach Cobbler Loyalty

September 4, 2016 by Rieshy

I baked a peach cobbler this morning to celebrate/mourn the end of summer.  It was a risky baking session because I used a recipe other than the family recipe.  I actually felt a little guilty.  I've always used my mom's recipe because the very smell of peaches remind me of her; she's been gone 23 years now.

I still miss her.

I still miss everything about her.

She'd love this recipe because she was all about baking new things.  She wasn't frozen in time while alive.  Funny how I keep her opinions frozen in death.


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