Note To Self

July 31, 2011 by Rieshy

My 17 year old daughter has been away for almost 3 months. She arrives home from Austria tomorrow evening. I am almost giddy with impatience... I can't wait to hug her neck, hear her German, and eat the chocolate that we all assume she'll have in her carry-on case.

She owns an Ipod dock/clock radio that she didn't take with her. I think the 3 year old messed with it because it started going off every night around 1 a.m.

It's loud. Extremely loud. Yet, I am the only one that can hear it... from the other side of the house, through two wooden doors.

I've tried messing with it myself, in the dark and with great hand-scrabbling exasperation, feverishly trying to get "Oh Mandy" to stop blaring before my head explodes.

I've woken my 15 year old to ask her how to turn it off but she just cried out something about kittens and rolled over again. The strange thing is that by morning I cannot remember to ask my husband to reprogram the blasted thing.

Tonight it was playing some death metal song. Seriously, what possessed radio staion plays Manilow one night and death metal the next? So I'm posting this at 1:30 a.m. as a note to self to fix the Ipod dock during the day.

Because, as I stand in the airport hugging my long-missed daughter, I don't want to say:

Yesterday's a dream I face the morning,
crying on a breeze the pain is calling
Oh Mandy.

I think that might confuse her.


At The Intersection of Hope, Medical Knowledge, and Chronic Illness

July 27, 2011 by Rieshy

It's a low day.
A below day.
Another, "We don't know day."

I know better than to pin hopes on a new specialist.  Yet, even as I convinced myself that I hadn't really hoped, I found myself trying not to cry with disappointment in yet another flavor of pediatric specialist's office.

A least everyone participated in pretending that I was not crying.

Having a rare genetic disorder isn't good enough for my children.  They get to have a rare genetic disorder along an as of yet unknown biochemical pathway impacting unknown enzymes.

Yay us.

So round and round the traffic circle I go.  Medical Knowledge is blocked and (hopefully) under construction. I need to exit at Hope, but I keep just barely missing it.


Super Human Housewife?

July 26, 2011 by Rieshy

I was spinning wool into yarn today while watching I Am Number 4 with my children, for the 4th time, when it occurred to me that I'm so hopelessly domestic that I'm past the point of alien super powers.

Bear with me.  I love the idea of super powers.  I even 'fess up to admitting that I enjoy I Am Number 4. Yet, putting super powers on along with my tek sandals and Gap sundress in the morning wouldn't really impact my life.

If I could suddenly fight with super strength.... against whom? My toddler?

Perhaps I could call a babysitter to come over while I troll dark alleys trying to pick a fight.  Um, baby sitters are expensive and actually, our small town doesn't really have any dark alleys.

O.k. free-running without fear of a sprained ankle would be awesome.  Huge even, really huge.  Instead of barely making it through Pilates at the rec center I could race about, leaping and flipping over park tables while my Littles played on the playground.

Again, though fun, not really life altering.  It does amuse me to imagine it; I already get strange looks for merely hanging from the monkey bars.

Moving on- being fireproof?  On a daily basis I am thankful to say that being fireproof has never been a necessary aspect of my life.  Being able to read minds?  I have teenagers, do you seriously think you could peacibly coexist with such creatures if you could read their every unfiltered thought?!? 

Do you see the pattern?  If I was suddenly embuued with alien super powers while somehow still remaining me, the powers would be superfluous instead of super-anything.

Though, now that I think about it, when my 3 year old was in his biting stage being able to lift him away from his intended victim with a lumen force field would have been fabulous...

Charkha Not Chakra

July 20, 2011 by Rieshy

What to do when it is 10 million degrees outside and life has been a bit wearying?  

I know, go to a Dye Day... outside... 
and stand over pots of boiling wool.

Think the soaking wool looks rather like sheep intestines?  You should see what soaking black wool looks like.

Skeins drying in the sun.  It's an age old magic. 

Probably all spinning guild's are the same.  We can't just stick with one topic.  Charkha lessons ensued.  Spinning Cotton on an Indian designed wheel.

Rug making with hand-spun yarn, that is too scratchy to wear, wrapped over cotton clothes line.  Cheap and practical and I can't wait to start one.

A stack of my newly dyed wool bats.  A color so lovely I want to eat it. 

It spins up such a rich red.

 Of course I never know what I will see when I get together with my guild.  I sat working under this wind chime for a long time before I figured out what was making the woodpecker sound.

A lovely day full of lovely breezes learning new things and meeting new people.  

When life is wearying, learning something new, creating something practical always seems to blow away the cobwebs.


Foster Creativity At Your Own Risk

July 18, 2011 by Rieshy

It sounds like a great thing: children with a creative eye,
 but it causes kitchen chores to take forever.

That interesting reflection must first be admired 
and then filmed against black posterboard...

Turn the dishwasher on?  Oh, yeah...



Heat and Disautonia

July 14, 2011 by Rieshy

Disautonia? Just another word for why I wish I could pull a Madeleine L'Engle in The Wind in The Door, and send someone in to give my son's mitochondria a good talking to.

A lot of FOD kids are heat intolerant. Not as in, gee, this heat makes me hot and cranky but as in, hmmm, my body is shutting down important functions starting with digestion in order to conserve energy.

We live in Tennessee. It's stinking hot. The humidity is absurd. My 5 year old started showing signs of heat exhaustion Monday, while he was INSIDE. He was inside because it was too hot to go to the pool.

He's fine. I will be fine. I'm just angry. Angry at a faceless bunch of cells that are not doing their jobs.

I can relate the sentiment from Wives And Daughters, "I do try to say, God’s will be done, sir,” said the Squire, looking up at Mr. Gibson for the first time, and speaking with more life in his voice; “but it’s harder to be resigned than happy people think."
— Elizabeth Gaskell

Posted in Labels: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

My Mother's Snap

July 11, 2011 by Rieshy

Yesterday, at church services our 5 year old was sitting with his big brothers, four rows away.  He started getting silly during a hymn. 

I used a latent skill I didn't know I possessed.  The dreaded Accusatory Finger Snap.

The snap was decisive.  Powerful enough to cause my misbehaving son's head to immediately swivel back in my direction. 

Funny how only the guilty one turned to make eye contact, but that's the beautiful and mysterious power of snapping.

He got up and walked back to sit with my husband and me. 

As my son sat down I smiled at him to cover my laugh of surprise.  I had snapped my mother's snap without thought.  Her Accusatory Finger Snap could cross state lines.  Her snap could cause hardened criminals to weep with contrition.

The next hymn made me really smile.  Fittingly, it was one of my mother's favorites, "Angry Words." Now I just need to get some eye glasses so I can learn to cast my mother's Stop-You-In-Your-Tracks, Just-what-do-you-think-you-are-up-to, over the lens laser-beam glance.


Dumb and Scary

July 8, 2011 by Rieshy

Dumb, then Scary.

I picked a summer vacation morning to repaint interior trim.
It must have been the sugar rush from the cinnamon rolls my son baked for breakfast.

Who paints interior trim when 5 children are home?
Me on sugar. Dumb.

So now?  Now I sit and bellow, "OUT", every time one of my poor children tries to poke their head in the door.

I'm a Gorgon, wild hair and all, frightening my children.
Can I compare pristine white trim to Pegasus leaping out of my neck?  I'm floundering here.

So I'm stuck with Scary.  For at least another hour, until the trim dries.


Twue Wuv

July 6, 2011 by Rieshy

I've been reading a lot of young adult fiction this summer.  It's interesting, in an eye opening sort of way.  Some of the books have been good, some.... not.

I found it interesting that under all that goth cover-art one of the predominant themes is Love.  And what love is.  And how you get love.  And how you show love.

Yesterday, my car radio was on a pop station.  I don't know the artist- but he was singing that he loved so true that he'd take a bullet, catch a grenade, yada yada for his woman.

I'm 44.  That doesn't impress me.  Adrenaline-rushed moments are gone in seconds.

So as a service announcement for my teen daughters I'd like someone to write a song with the following elements;

I love you so much that I get out of bed today, for what feels like the 5th millionth time, to go work all day, even when no one recognizes my brilliance.

I love you so much that when you have a stomach virus I'll clean the bathroom afterwards while you sleep.

I love you so much that when I look at you I see the you I love, not the spit-up on your shoulder, bad hair cut or the 20 extra years.

I love you so much that when life gets slow and long and hard, I take your hand to go for a walk.

"Wuv, twue wuv wiww fowwow you fowevah."
-The Princess Bride

Sure, superhuman abilities, a mysterious past and unlimited funds might be nice, but being human is harder than that.  Love is what you do all day, everyday, even without the aid of adrenaline.


When Will I Ever Learn?

July 2, 2011 by Rieshy

My 3 year old lined up a tank, a fire truck, and a race car.

Abandoning the vehicles, he asked if he could get out the lincoln logs.

Of course.

He needed help setting up a city. He's very particular about building. We spent a long time working together. I was gently but firmly corrected many times. He had a vision.

I went to get the mail. I pictured him playing "city" with little people. I came back.

I had missed the entire point of the set-up. The lined-up vehicles had not been abandoned. They were just waiting for a city to be built so it could be systematically and theatrically destroyed.