Things I Love Thursday 11.24.11

Thanksgiving Edition: I'm proud to be an American.

Don't touch that dial!  Don't roll your eyes; give me a chance, here.

The other week, we were in Washington DC and Boo was given the choice to what to visit.  He chose the Air & Space Museum and the Capitol.  I have to say I was a little disappointed that he chose the Capitol.  It sounded a little boring to me, but the trip was for him, not for me.  As part of the tour, we had to watch a 12 minutes video.  I was internally rolling my eyes.  God can see my heart but fortunately my son can't.

Guess what?  It was terrific.  It took me outside of the nitty gritty ugliness of human behavior and made me look at the United States as it was meant to be.  It reminded me of the basis on which this country was built: freedom of religion, all people are equal, we can say what we want.

I know, I know.  Things are ugly right now.  And depending on who you ask, things are ugly for different reasons.

But really, where else would you want to live?  May God bless America.  Please.

I pray that you will zoom out, put aside the gritty ugliness of all human beings for one day, and honor whatever good and beauty there is.


Things I Love Thursday 11.10.11

I love to drive.
I love the adventure of looking for, and finding new places.
I love looking around me, letting my mind wander to different places.  (As if I needed encouragement for that!)
I love having my son, or my husband, or friend with me so we can chat without interference.

Today, my son and I are going into Centre City.  We're going to visit my friend, who is a Federal Judge.  He's going to show us his office, the courtroom, the holding cell and the sally-ported elevator that brings the accused up to the courtroom.

Then we're going to Chinatown and get some "Viepamese" food, as he calls it.  Then we rode the subway, all the way from one end of the line to the other, where it becomes the Elevated.  [Where we saw a lady drink Thousand Island dressing, from the bottle.  We could smell the vinegary dressing smell, which when, you smell it on the subway, smells rancid.]  Where my son didn't know to be afraid of anyone and held the doors open for anyone and everyone, of every color, class and odor.

I know people who are afraid to go into the city.  Who are afraid to, or don't want to drive more than 30 minutes at a time unless forced by job or hospital appointment.  I am blessed to have a reliable car, a husband who supports my plans and the money to buy the gas.

Drivin' in my car with the radio on.....

zoom zooom!


"What I Wore" Wednesday 11.09.11

This has been a crazy week!  We were in DC, usually a balmy place, and met up with 34 degrees and icy rains.  I was completely unprepared mentally and wardrobally.

What: Here's one of my favorite outfits: animal print tunic top layered over Victoria Secret Body lycra top and Simply Vera Wang leggings.  Accessories: statement wood & bone necklace refashioned by Jessica Buchtel, artist, satin gold watch from NY&Co, satin gold bracelet from the Sackler Museum of African Art.  Vintage black suede cowboy boots Via Spiga.  Bronze leather handbag by Talbot's.
Where: Seeing the Air & Space Museum.

The next day was much nicer, so I ventured out in something a little more Springy.  I'm writing an article for my friend Jo-Lynne, about what is appropriate attire for a 50-something.  I think I'm on the verge of being inappropriate; I don't know, just a little too "cutesy."
What: Sleeveless dress by En Focus Studio from Ross, with a melon shrug from Dress Barn, worn over black leggings.  Patent black wedges by Me Too.
Where: Touring the Capitol.

What: Eggplant front-zip fleece by Champion, purple and burnt orange down vest by Land's End over jeans.  Brown suede athletic shoes by Privo.

Where: Doing some architecting - roof inspection of the local public library.
I got this new gray cotton knit tunic by H&M and wore it two different ways:
What: With this aqua silk/wool scarf, over black leggings and knee-high boots.
Where: To a meeting at my son's school. 

Then a bit more casual, ironically, to church: over denim leggings and my vintage Via Spiga cowboy boots. 
I layered all my silver necklaces to get this look:

Finally, this is my dressy winter coat that I had to get out the other day.  This was my Christmas present a couple of years ago - cashmere coat by Fleurette bought at Last Call Neiman Marcus.

Join the adventure at All Things Chic!


Cleave, 2

Our Boo is very attached to his father.   It may be at age 9, he is starting to see the world from beyond the film of childhood.  We hear that it's around this age that children begin to see aspects of this world that were merely distant imaginings, like illness and death. It may be that he is just now able to begin processing the fears and pains of having watched his father felled to the floor.  His mother weeping and screaming, trying to get a response.

If you do not already know, our little guy has Asperger's Syndrome.  One of its symptoms is the inability to understand others' nor even his OWN emotions.  He has watched his father go off in an ambulance.  Over. and Over.  Something like 13 times in 12 months.  Through it all, this little guy never shed a tear.  I so distinctly remember, as I was tending to my fallen hero, then desperately going to the phone to call 911, seeing this little guy walking along the edge of the room.  In my mind, he is surfing on a board of denial, sweeping his hands along the walls, the doors.  Several years ago.

Several weeks ago, he started saying, "Oma, daddy, remember when daddy was in the hospital and I gave him my baby bunny?"  Yes, dear, that was very kind of you.  We didn't think much of it.  Then one day, little guy was laying with his dad, their heads nestled together.  Once again, "Dad, remember when you were in the hospital and I gave you my baby bunny to hold?"  But this time, his dad felt a tear trickle down little guy's cheek and land on his own, the rivulet continuing.

What is it like to not know your emotions?  [Alright, cut it with the comments about your husbands, okay?]  What is it like when you can barely recognize happy, sad, angry, let alone the more subtle satisfied, suspicious, or dismayed?  When you have to be shown flashcards of facial expressions and associate them with a word that may or may not make a connection?  It is stepping out of yourself, and looking at yourself, recalling the flash cards you've seen in therapy and see if one matches with your own psychic face.  Like recalling a spelling word.

But then again, we get some unique perspectives from our Boo.  And sometimes, it's spot on.  Like when recently, his dad was away on business.  They've been such close buddies lately.  Boo is in the back seat of the car, and we are driving away, leaving dad at his conference.  This time, the tear is not a rivulet but a watercourse, running over, under and around him.  Swept away, and little guy says,

"I feel like he's right next to me, but he's not here."

Is that not the essence of emotional pain?  being cleaved but then cleft?  Amazing, clear thinking from a boy who doesn't understand emotions.




Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.  - Genesis 2:24 (NASB)

I just read Little Bee.  We is thinkin it be bout goodies and baddies.

There is a horrific scene of g*ng r*pe. This isn't a spoiler because as soon as you start the book, an ominous valance of doom hangs over you.  Like a cloud which lovely fullness turns gray at the horizon.  It's just a matter of how and when the story unfolds.

Cleave isn't a word you hear much these days.  Except on the Food Network for cutting meat. Isn't it odd that a word would have a meaning and it's opposite? The word that means
to adhere closely; stick; cling.  to remain faithful.
also means
to split or divide by or as if by a cutting blow, especially along a natural line of division, as the grain of wood.
It made me wonder why r*pe is so traumatic.  Such a deep, primal wound that seems to even overshadow beatings.  Why children, who are barely aware of their body parts are almost irreparably damaged by it.  Not just the physical pain and physical trauma but there seems to result in a knowledge of deep betrayal.  A knowing.  
She also gave some to her husband....and he ate it.  Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.  - Genesis 3:6b - 8 (NASB)
When sin entered, why did Adam and Eve know they were naked, of all things?  How did they think to cover their loins of all things?  Could it be that their cleaving physically represented their cleaving psychologically, emotionally...primally?  And that something deep, at their very core, had been irreparably broken?

God is a poet.  God is Poetry.  Would He create us with this Cleaving which does not reference His own Cleaving to His trinity?  I cannot help but think that for  us to Cleave is to see a little glimpse of the Trinity.  Separate but Whole and Equal.  At His earthly end, it was not hanging by nails through his body, cleaving his sinews.  It was the agony of the cleft between Himself and The Father.

Perhaps the r*pe, the forcing, the tearing, perhaps it is essential humanity cleft to the core.  Left broken and shattered down the primal human grain.