Turn Me On

". . . I was always handwriting on a legal pad . . . The other thing about handwriters, it's the closest I'll ever be to being a visual artist. These pages after all the cross-outs and white-outs, it looks something like Cy Twombly wrote it."

- Richard Price, talking about writing longhand on an interview on "Fresh Air with Terry Gross" on National Public Radio (NPR.) Author of Lush Life, a story of culture clash in the Lower East Side.

Ironically, Cy Twombly very unfashionably at the time, relied heavily on
Literature for inspiration.

Blue Room, Cy Twombly, 1957

The Four Seasons: Summer, Cy Twombly, 1994



Hip Hop

I like to sew. In concept. I have stacks of unused fabric and patterns to show for it. I think I bought the frog and gingham flannels 3 years ago intending to make Boo some jammies. Finally did it this weekend - wooHoo!

Do you have a kid that likes clothes to fit just so? Nothing on the hip, free to hop? Or truth be told, would rather run nekkid? This is the perfect number for him - baggy and soft.

And very huggable.

Bummer Musings

3/1/09 Note: I wanted to share with you my sadness and loneliness, and my perspective and situation that made me feel that way. There are other factors too, my birthday not being a small part of that. However, I'm afraid I might have offended some of you and I'm sorry. I've edited my post with "some" and "often" to qualify my thoughts.

If you haven't noticed, I write whatever I find interesting. Somebody, an awesome somebody, I might add, said that I write about anything. I do, but I seriously edit what I post. There's discussion out there in the mama-blogosphere about whether we should edit our writing. I am a firm believer in editing, if only in my head. For me, one day may be some silly six-year old thing, another some cosmic contemplation. One thing I try not to be is a Bummer. Unless I warn you ahead of time. I think it's only fair.

So, what am I rambling about? I've been silent because everything I've had to say was a bummer. Because? I've been bummed out. I've been holding it in, even denying to myself that I am. My session with my therapist on Monday though, showed me that I need to be honest, first of all to myself. That being regretful, sad, angry, are part of the human condition. I don't know about you, but I need to hold the feeling in my hand, turn it around, look at it, parse it out, let it percolate. It is only then that I can place it in my psychological construct and be at peace. Don't think I'm this masochistic, narcissistic navel-gazer - ha! at least not usually!

I read all over the mama-blogosphere that others are having a hard time these days, too. It's that late winter blues thing. I almost think if we had had more snow, we might all feel better. I mean, God knew what He was doing when He made snow be white! It radiates and multiplies light and covers up the dullest, saddest scenes. Is snow a great metaphor for the Lord, or what? Winter is about dormancy, and the beauty and calmess of that. When you look, really look, you can see an infinite array of browns, grays and purples that can get lost in the vibrancy of the other colorful seasons. After awhile, though, we need to get out of the slumber - metaphorical death - and see the signs of Spring - the sign of hope. With snow, whether we realize consciously or not, whether we even give Him credit for it or not, we are reminded of the beauty that He can bring to us even in the darkest of days.

My "snow" came in the form of a dear dear friend, who herself is struggling from depression. I had been sorrowful at the state of the poor for weeks now. The President's speech, though encouraged by it as I was, only brought out the differences I have with some of my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. I sorrow at the lack of compassion and generosity that I see among some Christians. And I fear that when the day of reckoning comes, Jesus will ask us "Where were you when I was hungry and cold? Discussing theology at a conference?" I have been feeling so alone. Those with whom I am in agreement theologically, I often differ sharply politically. Those I agree with politically, I usually differ Biblically. I called this friend of mine to tell her I couldn't visit her this weekend feeling the way I did, and Handsome Husband in bed with an infection. As I shared with her my sadness, I realized, here, here is my gift from God to help me through this dark valley: a depressed person. A blanket of pure white snow, to shine light on my dark days. She held my hand, saying I understand, I agree, I see what you see.

I was going to visit her to help her, you know. Truly, God works in mysterious ways.



Belt It Out

I've always wanted to be a performer. Stand on stage, belt out some poetry 'n song. Wear hot clothes. 4" stilettos. Throw my hair around.

Band Name: Jahorina
First Album: "Matter As It Passes By"
Album cover:

Want to do it yourself? here are the instructions from BuzzFeed:

1) Go to “Wikipedia.” Hit “Random Article" and the first article you get is the name of your band.
2) Go to “Random Quotations” and the last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.
3) Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days” and the third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
Via Jakezilla



Lancome Boy

I was at the Lancome counter today. I love me my Lancome. I sat on the cool white and chrome stool and was being matched for new foundation. Boo was sitting on the other cool white and chrome stool looking at all the little jars and bottles in their samples display. He said "Mom, I want some lipstick."

Can you hear the silence?

My head says, "Uh-oh. Lavendar alert! Lavendar alert! How do I handle this without seeming alarmist?"

I finally, haltingly said, "Boo,uh, you have chapstick, or blistex. Yeah, you mean chapstick."
"No mom, I want lipstick."

My head says, "OK, maybe I can just ignore him and it'll blow over."

Then Boo says, "I want to draw a mustache."

Can you hear the sigh of relief?



Mastery of the Mundane

It's raining today. Is it raining where you are?

"the window screen, like a sampler half-stitched, or a crossword puzzle
invisibly solved, was inlaid erratically with minute, translucent tesserae
of rain"

- John Updike (1932-2009)



I usually don't do this kind of rambly this-is-my-life kind of post, but today, I just feel rambly and this-is-my-lifey. A little dithery and flighty, too. If you know me in real life, I am so not flighty. Cotton-brained, but not flighty. As a friend of mine said, "Don't underestimate the power of the cotton brain." I need a t-shirt with that on. If I believed in slogan t-shirts.

Today is my birthday. As my present, I am having a party on Saturday. I can't think of anything better than being with a bunch of girlfriends and yacking away the evening. Well, being with HH would be better, but you know what I mean. BTW, if you're reading this blog and you live near me, come on over! Chinese food at 6:30! I totally mean it. Boo can't seem to understand that the party IS my present. He keeps asking, "But what's your present?" This morning, he came to me all crazy-haired and no-pantsed and said "I know what can be a part of your present!! Lots of HUGS!" Those are the moments, aren't they?

So I'm keeping a stiff upper-lip an' all, but if you look in my eyes and ask me how I'm doing, I'll get all blubbery and start to weep. I mean, I love my life. I love that I'm wiser, I love my husband, I love our house, I love our little warty town. We're healthy. My hiney's sore from going roller-skating with Boo the other night and HH and I have various health annoyances, but nothing life-threatening. Praise. The. Lord. But maybe, maybe. Maybe I covet this life. Maybe I don't want it to end. You know, Death is the enemy. My pastor said that to me the other week and as long as I've been a Christian, I've never thought of it that way. We say "death and taxes," but death is not natural, from a Christian point of view, that is. I can't speak for the other religions. But God created us (Adam and Eve) to dwell with him forever in paradise (the Garden.) It was only by eating the fruit that made us die. Not drop dead right there at the trunk of the tree, but death would come to us. And don't ask me why God let evil in. Remember, this is going to be flighty and rambly.

The other reason, if I will admit it, is that I have regrets. I live my life living for today and looking for tomorrow - glass half full - but really? Honestly? I have regrets. I wish I had studied harder. I was one of those annoying people that studied just hard enough to get A's and B's. And get awards. And go to an Ivy League university. And get a Masters degree. I'm not bragging, because what did I have to do with inheriting a big brain from my PhD father?!? I think it's the fact that I was given this mind and that I sqandered it that makes me all the sadder. Many regrets aren't even my fault, but I am still sad about them. Molested, put down, misunderstood. Its only in my 40's that I've gotten it together. How much more glorious my life could have been.

So, I confess: 1) I covet this life, and though I don't like to think about it, 2) I wish I had lived a freer, more joyous life. I know, I know "This is the first day of the rest of your life."

Oh and one other thing. I now have wrinkles. My cancer scare and HH's health problems aged me 10 years. That totally sucks. Whew - this post is really depressing. I'm still told I look like I'm in my 30's, so maybe that's credential enough to post my How To Stay Young list:
1. Genetics: get birth parents that age well. My dad is in the middle and he's 80. The guy on the right is like 20 years younger.

2. Birth Order: be born last. Your family will always treat you as the baby, and you will always act like one.

3. Marriage: marry an "oldest." He will always act the oldest and adore you and take responsibility for all sorts of stuff so you can lay around and watch TV. Or blog.

4. Appearance: try to stay hip. But not too hip. You don't want someone getting close to you and realize "OMG, she's old!" Like Clinton and Stacey say: no miniskirts after 35. And as a male friend said: No bare midriffs after 18. OK, 20.

5. Expressions: be very animated with your facial muscles so you look like a little kid while you talk.

I'll take the tongue outta my cheek now. Have a good day.



Introducing My Exurbia!

Today, I would like to introduce to you my other blog site. I'll be posting my photos and Boo's artwork on My Exurbia. I am please to be yet another branch off of Lora's Oh, the Urbanity! I am still transferring information, so if it seems incomplete, well, it is.

Lest you think I am just another obnoxious mom showing off her son's work, please read my first post explaining my thesis. I love seeing how a child sees the world. I find it fascinating and a window into our own selves before we mucked it up with pretense and conformity.

Please leave me lots of comments and tell me if you see what I see.



5-Alarm Dish

This may look like a toy pan and spatula hanging on a light switchAdd Video to you, but to a certain little boy in my household, it's a fire alarm.

Why, of course!


In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease.
My comforter, my all in all,
here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, who took on flesh,
fullness of God in helpless Babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
scorned by the ones He came to save.
‘Til on the cross, as Jesus died,
the wrath of God was satisfied.
For ev’ry sin on Him was laid;
here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay.
Light of the world by darkness slain;
then, bursting forth in glorious day,
up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
for I am His and He is mine,
bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
this is the pow’r of Christ in me;
from life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
can ever pluck me from His hand;
‘til He returns or calls me home,
here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand!

@ 2002 Thankyou Music,
Words and Music by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend


Happy Valentine's Day.

Here are my flowers to you all!


We started out this morning with the ultimate sign of love: filing with Mrs. H. N. R. Block our MFJ (Married Filing Jointly) forms. I'm so glad romance hasn't died for us!

Then we spent a precious four hours just the two of us. We held hands. We look dreamily into each others' eyes. We kissed in public. We drove the hills and valleys of the area - one of our favorite pasttimes. (I'll post pics later this week.)

No cards. No gifts. But each other.


Sure Footed

Have you ever watched a buck? Power resting on graceful legs and slender feet? He bounds away balanced, sure-footed. He walks gently through brambles, his eyes always sure of the horizon. He is my love. He is kind, generous. I think him light, like the wind, but when he descends upon me, caressing me down to the depths of the ocean, I remember his weightiness. He is my rock, a cave that hides me against the turbulences.

I never believed in the ONE TRUE LOVE theory. Now I do. Precious gift from above.



Lunch Break

Brown rice and barley, bulgogi, kkak-tugi (or dak-dagi, as Boo calls it) and lily stems sprinkled with Japanese seaweed stuff. Oh, and a dribble of sesame oil.




A Phrase You Do Not Want to Hear

"Dad, dad! There's a waterfall in the kitchen!"

We are not the Trumps, Kimora Lee nor Leona Helmsley. We do not, repeat, not have a waterfall in our kitchen. However, when Handsome Husband forgets that he was filling up a 10 gallon bucket on the kitchen counter, well, then yes, we do.



My First BlogAward

That crazy Lora! She's over at Jakezilla (and Oh, the Urbanity!) and she gave me my very first bloggie kiss. MWAH! right backatcha!

So totally appropriate in Spanish because I so believe in bilingual education.

The Proximity Award is for blogs which:

"...invest and believe in Proximity; Nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and to be friends. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to 8 bloggers, who must then chose 8 more and include this text into the body of their award."

I'm good with this one. No other buttons need apply.



The Miracle In You

If you're a mom (or even if you're not,) you may be saying "Awwwww, how sweet." But you also might think that it's not so extraordinary.

You may think you understand when I say that this makes me choke up and practically hysterical. If your child has or had a life-threatening disease, then you do understand. A woman like me, who a close buddy described decades ago as "like glass - shiny and hard but breaks," has been shattered. To smithereens.

I am not weepy in a Hallmark or Kodak kind of way. No, not weepy. But I weep because it is Redemption. The power of producing Good out of Evil. What could do that? Who? This month 6 years ago, the 3 of us via Seoul, Taejon and DC, arrived back in Pennsylvania. Even then, as a 7-1/2 month old, we are sure he could sense our relief, that this, finally, was our last stop. He fell asleep on the sofa, into that arms-over-the-head I-give-up nothingness.

Our home, but not his. His was back in Seoul, with that other family he knew as his own. In that garlic aromad, seaweed souped, crowded apartment.

He never let me rock him. He never hugged me out of joy or affection. He never sat in my lap. For more than a second. Never mimicked me the way toddlers do. When he was 2-1/2 years old, I distinctly remember laying down behind him while he slept. I reached out to touch his shoulder and he flinched to shake me off. Time and time again, night after night I tried. Weeks of moving bit by bit, a hand, an arm. After months - of emails, phone calls, one therapist then another, this book then that, changing my entire focus and approach, neurological reorganization - this boy, this boy. . . became my son.

During the night, 3 and 4 times, I go to his room and watch him sleep. I touch him - and now - 6 years later, he leans into me. Now he seeks me out to fall asleep on my breast. He was lost but now am found. The miracle in you.



What I Learned This Week

"God is in the details."
Before Shakira and Oprah, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was known the world over simply as "Mies." Out of favor with the Nazis, he left the floundering Bauhaus school and came to the US. He is one of a handful of men that popularized what is known as the "International Style." Leaning toward the progressive thoughts of socialism and communism, I'd venture to guess that what he meant was that in the details - of life, poetry, architecture - a profound beauty and truth would be found.
As a Christian, I do not deify any political thought, art movement or, even, details. What it means to me, is that the God I know, the eternal, the magnificent, the triple "O", comes down and cares for even the minutiae of our lives; that He reveals Himself in the smallest ways. That He meets us where we are and whispers, "I love you and will take care of you." He sent ravens to feed the desperado Elijah1 and feeds even the birds2. I know your name3, He says to me.
When an ailing child alters all my plans for the week, and I am left with 2 instead of 5 days to work on a project, He may choose to be gracious to me and provide even the ribbons, vases and flowers for this prayer event. That though I was looking for one thing, a very busy but generous friend chooses to share her stash of ribbons, and there I must "settle" for another. In what I saw as Plan B, I was able to be grateful, and He showed me that when He orders it, it is Plan A.
He may even send me words of wisdom to share with the 48 women there. As I was arranging the carnations, I saw in them a beauty and life lessons that I had not seen before. [You know, carnations are SO junior prom!] Carnations are:

1) Low maintenance - yes, they needed to be trimmed to the right vase, but they are easy to handle and strong!
2) Humble - usually a support flower and inexpensive
3) Work together - the colors came alive as they were mixed and used together
4) Persevering - they are long-lasting
Yes, indeed, God is in the details.
1 1 Kings 17
2 Matthew 10
3 Isaiah 43

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