7.15.2012

K is for...

KEYS

Awhile back, I locked my self out of my house not once but twice. Both in the early morning before taxiing kids off to school.  I'm not gonna lie. I wasn't happy with myself and that translated into not being happy with the last one out of the house. No one had an extra key and sometime ago I stopped leaving a spare outside. But it was my deal and so, after dropping everyone off, I began to deal.

It went a little like this...

Day 1:

The house is two-story. I knew that I had left a window unlocked when I was airing out the upstairs after the air conditioner decided to take a vacation on one of the hotter May days. I also knew there was a 6ft ladder left out when I was prettifying my rosebushes.  I also knew the night before was filled with torrential rains and looked like more of the same was arriving soon. Pertinent, the currently trendy maxi-dress is often my garb of choice when running out of the house. Due to the rain, it was exceptionally cool that first morning so I created a lively ensemble with a nice pair of 2.5 inch wedges (because as short as I am I have no business wearing a maxi-dress) and a belt-less Pink Panther robe.  I was a stunner having topped it all off with a purple beanie.  As I made plans to scale my house, it became clear the ensemble was not good climbing gear.

So...

I went and got a Cup of Oh No! I didn't want to go inside, you know, to avoid making any one partron feel under dressed so I perused Google on my phone for a locksmith with no luck while waiting at the drive-thru. So, I request a side order of phone book. Which they had...with pages that were alphabetized and everything and I found a fellow in the Yellow to help out. He lived just down the street from me aka my neighbor. Whoop! Long story, short. Mama is in the house!


Take 2 = Day 2:

Shame on me. Total Groundhog Day moment. I just wanted to go back to bed. But I hauled the kids to school and patted myself on the back for having worn jeans that morning. I get back to the house and grab the ladder and try to secure it against the house near the window that I'm hoping is still unlocked. The ladder wobbles. With wild abandon. Not good. Included, I'm a good two and a half feet short of pulling up to the roof. Not gonna happen. And I've no intention of calling my neighbor again. Plus, my phone has died even if I wanted to. And I've no intention of knocking on his door because I'm not exactly certain which door it is. The neighborhood is rather large for such a small town. Luckily, there's a retaining wall that separates my property from the city's easement.  The ladder rested easily next to it so I scale it onto the wall. But from that wall, I have to leap up about three feet to get on to the roof.

Until faced with this sort of dilemma, you never really know how snug your jeans are.

This causes me to hesitate. $#%&! Which causes me to take on a fearful vibe. Which causes me to climb off the wall and back down the ladder.

I had this scenario running in my mind of how I'd fall off the roof and they'd find me after I failed to pick up the kids just lying there unconscious because I had accidentally let the dogs out of the gate when I came in through the back so they wouldn't be there to lick my face to revive me and I would be covered in ants because of this mammoth ant hill that was near the ladder, of course, those little guys probably would have revived me. I hadn't thought of that.

Anyway, "they" would be the neighbor who was the locksmith who would be wondering why I hadn't just rang his doorbell and I'd have to admit to being both cheapskate and awful neighbor.

Have I mentioned I'm an acrophobe? Kinda. If there's railing, I'm good.

-I'm thinking, This is ridiculous!!!

I have my trusty Mulberry tree growing right next to the wall and hanging over the roof.  In theory, it could use a good pruning but as my List of Things to Do grows so does this tree.  I scale the ladder, climb back on the wall and hunt for the strongest branch.  There is one but I'll have to jump for it.  Great. If I get it, I'm on the roof.  If not, I'm on the ground.

--> Insert above scenario here with deleted scenes from Empire of the Ants (with the role of Andi now played by Joan Collins) <---

What to do? What you're always supposed to do. And what I'm terrible at doing.

You just go for it.

So, I did.

And guess what?

The window was locked.



just Kidding. :)

7.14.2012

J is for...

JUNEAU


Keeping with my ocean theme, after arriving in Washington State and establishing residency by working for a year, I transferred back into college.  

I've been told I'm a social chameleon. Basically, that I can fit in anywhere. That all stems from my ego's insecurity of always feeling like "it" fits in nowhere. But when I began school at Evergreen, I had a sense of belonging. Suddenly, I began to make sense to myself.  Part of that was due to what I considered very authentic friendships. 

I had so many beautiful people in my life.  Two of them convinced me to take a trip to Alaska with them.  They knew of my grandmother working the pipeline in the 70's and how I dreamed of going someday. One of the girlfriend's mother lived in a lovely condo in Juneau and she arranged for us to stay there while her mother was away. 

My babydoll was nearing two at the time so I made her 9 days of bedtime stories on cassette tape. I knew she would listen to them every night and that somehow allowed me to give myself permission to go. I couldn't imagine her not hearing me read to her. She adored that tape I had made. So, I packed. 

We flew into Juneau and it is the scariest flight I had ever been on in my life. It is a night flight. The plane is maximum capacity. I say this without judgement but strictly as an observation: Many on the plane are obese. There are also many human odors permeating the space around me. I have a window seat that I wish I could open. The entire flight is Turbulent with a capital T and, as we prepare to land, all the rest of the letters capitalize, too. Even in the dark, I can see a mountain on one side of the plane and another on the other and they seem way too close together. As we descend, I put my head near my knees and listen to the barf bags quickly opening as passengers attempt to heave into them. Nonetheless, we manage to bounce our way to our gate.

I supposed I could share the glacier hikes we took. Or the shopping we did. Or the art galleries we visited. Or the people we met. But two things stand out for me besides the flight: 1) I saw my first whale pod and fangirled like you would not believe and 2) I serenaded the Aurora Borealis...and I dare say, she fangirled me. 

My how we sang.  

My girlfriend studied opera and, at the top of the Dan Moller trail, she belted out an aria like no other. In vain, my other girlfriend and I joined in. There I watched Aurora dance to the love in our ensamble. Never will I be convinced otherwise. She danced for us. The sky was filled with her choreography. It was as if, with the help of her Northern Lights, we had captivated the entire Universe. 

In. That. Moment. 

7.13.2012

I is for...


ITCH

I had never seen the ocean before. 






In the early 90's, Life took me on a journey from Kansas to Washington State. After leaving a Sacramento pitstop before the sun arrived, I found myself several hours later a passenger on Oregon's pacific coastal highway. 

I was dozing in and out but I remember the freshness of the air awakening me.  It had hints of my childhood when my parents had taken us kids down to Burbon Street and the wind carried the gulf into town. But there, I was distracted by the sights and sounds of the busy city.  On the 101, there was only the darkness, the faint sound of the radio, and the salt making its way through the trees and into me. I was excited to meet the ocean but I would have to wait until morning. 

When the sun rose, I went out to greet it. I was overcome with wanting to be in it. It was glorious. Expansive. Welcoming. 

Soooo...

I ran into it. I didn't question its depth. I didn't question its temperature. AND I didn't question if it was safe. 

I ran in thigh level. It was freezing and when I came out I had an insane reaction where I was exposed to the water. 

Great. I was allergic to the ocean. 

I didn't care.  Maybe I should have. 

But I would run into the ocean many more times during that Life I lived in the Pacific Northwest. 

Every time it felt worth it. As crazy as that sounds. 

Every single time. 

7.12.2012

H is for...


HEART



Someone has said, "the Universe has
imagined it even better than you
have." And we like to add to that: The
Universe got all of its information about
what you like from you, and it has
remembered every piece of it and has put
it together in perfect formation. And so,
the things that are on their way to you are
so much better than you even know that
you want. And as you allow them, the
essence all of these things that the
Universe knows that you are wanting
make their way to you and appear in perfect
timing for you.

--- Abraham



...and Heard*


*see previous blog 

7.11.2012

G is for...

GARDEN

“However many years she lived, Mary always felt that 'she should never forget that first morning when her garden began to grow'.”~ The Secret Garden



It seems like a very long time ago since I've been able to garden in a way that is life-affirming and soul-soothing. It's ironic because I'm the managing partner of a farm operation. I deal in crops all the time. But that is only due to a financially tactical move by my ex-husband who, not wanting to break up any personal or farm assets during our divorce, thought it best to combined it all into the "50/50" partnership I manage. 

Hence, we are business partners. 

I wanted to serve the children. Wasn't all of this created for them? I believed, at the time, it was for the best. And as all of the finagling and logistics were taking place over how this was best accomplished, I allowed my confidence in creating to waver. I began to question everything I thought I knew. So, I agreed and considered that maybe this was what my life was supposed to look like. 

I wanted peace. 

I wanted not to fight. 

So...

I took the Path of Least Resistance. 

And here I am, finally, gardening again. But each time I put my hands in the soil I can feel that my life wants to grow beyond and out of this situation. And though I acknowledge the beautiful ways I've expanded and the bravery it has taken to open my heart to discovering who I really am, I can feel the days ripening...
when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom...*

So...

Affirmation: My Soul enjoys prevailing in a good old fashion Fighting of the Good Fight. 

Ahhh, I think I'll just convince My Higher Self to create a new belief that skips the mess and takes us straight to blossoming.   

Regardless, I've faith, faith, faith after seeing my poor Sun beaten garden come back to life with a little prayer and a little ingenuity. 

*Anais Nin

7.10.2012

F is for...


FIB aka FIASCO

I recently had a significant amount of carpet removed from my home and hardwood installed. The were two entities involved in this happening. The Salesman that sold me the flooring and the fellow who installed it.

They were friends.  Were. 

The Salesmen sales his friend the story that I have a few bids out and, in order for him get the sale, he needs it installed at $2 a square foot. Fib #1. I had no bids on the table. I chose him...no one else...after he had told me he could install it for $2 sqft. Anyway, the friend agrees because the Salesman promises to help him install the materials to keep the labor within the friend's typical range. Fib #2. The Salesman never shows up to help. He checks in when I have a concern then takes off again. He sales me a story that he's going to let his friend have a "whole" gig making himself sound rather generous. Fib #3.  As the installation progresses, I realize the friend is really getting ripped off because I'm practically reflooring the entire downstairs which has angles and edges that are time consuming to flush. We discuss it and I compensate to the degree that I can. Particularly, since he and his team are doing a great job AND, particularly since,  Fib #4, the Salesman gave him a sob story that this was an insurance claim. Basically, nice guy helping me out. By this time, the friend and I have become friends. So, when the job is nearly finished, my friend gets a call from the Salesman telling him to take any remaining boxes of wood with him. 

It's good to have friends. 

He reminds that I did pay for all the boxes which included the remaining 16. Luckily, my dad is one of the shadiest guys I know (at least up until the mid-90's) so I know how this works. Salesman take my money, over buy, retains the excess and works a new job on my dine for nearly nothing in cost but labor.  Basically, Fib #5. But the wood is on the trailer outside my door. I told my friend that I would be carrying it inside. He said he couldn't help me. That was fine but if the Salesman wanted the 500 sqft "leftovers" he'd have to remove it from my home.  

*Giggle* 

So, the Salesman shows up all happy-go-lucky with the intention of sweet talking me into handing over the goods. He's brings his massive ADHD sidekick with him who earlier in the week rambled on and on about a delay in starting the work because the Salesman hadn't actually bought or got the wood. I'm still not sure exactly what he was telling me. I asked the Salesman directly to clarify what his sidekick meant but he claimed that the kid didn't know what he's talking about though "there had been an issue with the company"...possible Fib #whatareweon...which turned out well as the Salesman ended up buying a more eco-friendly brand than he said was available. It seems as durable from what I can tell but I don't want to know the cost deviation. Anyway, I surrendered all that and filed it under Higher Good. I actually surrendered it all to the Higher Good so the next portion of the story is just me navigating the ever changing sea of contrast. With no malicious intent, when you can see the clear path that another is taking and you're called to their path not as an obstacle but as a teacher...you gotta teach. 

***

The following is a dramatic reenactment:

Salesman and Sidekick enter my home. The Sidekick leans against the wall near me while the Salesman puts his hand on a stack of boxes and leans into me. And frankly, in that moment, I'm blessing every moment that I'd ever been given a lesson in intimidation.

Salesman: So, Little Lady, what seems to be the problem?

Little Lady: There's not one. I'm keeping my boxes. 

Salesman: I can leave you a few.

Little Lady: No. They're mine. I bought them.

Salesman: That's just not how it works. We always take what's left over.

SIDEKICK smirks. 

Little Lady: It's nice to try something new. 

Salesman: They're not your boxes. 

Little Lady: (Insert Beotch) Yes. They. Are. 

Salesman: (Offended by my tone) No. You misunderstood what I've been saying. 

Little Lady: Hmmm...maybe my lawyer could explain it to me. 

Salesman: Hey, Miss...

Little Lady: Andrea.

Salesman: Andrea, there's not no reason to go getting all ugly on me.  

SIDEKICK snickers.

Little Lady: (Glancing at Sidekick) Oh, you're right. I'm so sorry. Of course, I've forgot the role I'm playing.  I'm the stupid single mother of five children who couldn't possibly be savvy enough to know when she's being taken for a ride. Got it. Thank you for your time. 

Little Lady exits the room with a rather silent but dramatic flair (which her daughters would later reveal as Oscar worthy).

***

Needless to say, they didn't touch the boxes but a yelling match did take place in my frontyard. The friend took the opportunity to stand up for himself. I think he's taken it upon himself to acknowledge the numerous times the Salesman has "wronged" him. He's a hard worker who has a lovely family to support and deserves to work with people who respect him.  

I know this was all for the higher good because I was really upset with myself for not buying enough materials to redo the staircases...but...guess what. 

Now, I need to get a bid for that. I'll make sure to get more than one but the first goes to my friend. 


***

Epilogue: I'm shopping at the end of an aisle at the Super Shopping Place when I see someone turn their cart into the other end. It's the Salesman. He sees me and pulls an Andretti into the next aisle. I'm not at all surprised.  I don't forgive people. There is never a reason to if you have faith in the Higher Good. You realize you are blessed by them. Why would anyone want to forgive a blessing? He has nothing to worry about with me. K. Maybe I could have left my make-believe lawyer out of it* but I am of no harm to him. What he's making up, he's making up but some of the making up caught up with him. And when he embraces the learning in it, he'll be able to approach me. For now, I realize, he's still stuck in the lesson.

But, then again, most of us are.



*My Fib #2

7.09.2012

E is for...

EMOTION

"Remember thought comes first, then the emotion. Do not try to change your emotions. Just wake up and think joyful thoughts." ~ Ships of Song

This is not as easy as it seems. But it is a worthy practice. And it aids in many a morning when the best sleep I allowed for is a string of catnaps over the period of 4 or 5 hours. I say allow because the nocturnal nature of my child is no more out of my control than any other creation...but I know him. And I know he creates, too.  I know he is keenly aware of many more sights, sounds and movements than I am that occur in the daylight hours that both distract and cause him discomfort. I know that night has a stillness and a quietness that comforts him. But again, we have something new happening and I can see him moving through the sights and sounds of daytime more easily now. 


Yessss. I feel a full 8 hours of sleep on my near horizon. Until then, I'll continue to awaken to warm and fuzzy thoughts. 

P.S. One is never too old to own a teddy bear. 

7.08.2012

D is for...


DRIVING



When my son was much younger, we lived an hour outside Austin. And every week morning, I would drive the commute to this special little school making a pitstop at Round Rock's Burger King off I-35 to pick up another child to tote him the rest of the way.  Then, replay it all back again at the end of the school day. 

Driving can be monotonous. So, you do things like memorize exit signs or wager with yourself which lane is going to move faster once you actually hit the morning rush. You make creative judgements regarding out-of-state license plates. You watch for teen drivers running late for school. Eventually, you get wise and learn to manipulate the service roads until you've cut 10 to 15 minutes off the commute. There was a prayer I'd often repeat at a red light: Green, God, Green. The kids still say that one. I love it, too, because God never fails them...but it is a lesson in timing. 

Anyway, one thing that I began to do that made the commute so enjoyable was to write lyrics and melodies. I got a recorder and tried to input story ideas or write poetry but I found it too distracting.  For some reason, singing came effortlessly while allowing me to maneuver my way past, what seemed like, an ever increasing traffic flow. 

Save one, all the songs I'm in the studio working on now came from this commute. One for my mother. Another that reminds me of my late aunt. And a couple of others. I'm taking my time with the music. Just got it all on cruise control. Just like those old days when I was headed into Austin City Limits. 

7.07.2012

C is for...

COCONUT



It's a long story. I'll tell it soon. But, basically, I hired a young woman to work with my son. At the time, I was requesting to truly understand Unconditional Love and how it served my path, blah, blah, blah. I'll tell more of that soon, too. But, unknowingly, I hired a pregnant woman who.....smokes. I didn't ask whether she did or not because in my reality pregnant women don't smoke. I can be very naive. There was a moment, as I looked at her, that I thought: Can't continue to hire her. I can't give her money to support this habit. This is wrong. But then my Soul stepped in and said: How can you serve her? She is here to serve you. How are you going to honor the Best Her?

Got it.

I've only lovingly talked to her about smoking. I've offered to pay for an Rx and have given her information that many have used successfully without medications. When she began working she was at 11 - 12 smokes. Now when stressed, which began to be less and less as we spent time together,  6?

Recently we began implementing coconut oil into my son's diet. Slowly and happily seeing interesting improvements. We still have our moments but they're not days! She took it upon herself to research the benefits. Completely enamored, she's become quite versed and even put herself on the coconut detox. No small surprise, her cigarette craving is almost completely gone. She still struggles with the motor memory mostly. The habits of the habit.

Anyway, I will tell her life story soon. She's given me permission. And as we've grown close, that story has empowered me in so many way. She has been of great service to the path of my Soul. And I love her unconditionally.

7.06.2012

B is for...


BABIES

I have many. 

It's a fact, from very early on, my intention was to have 6 babies, no husband and drive a Mercedes station wagon. It was a scandalous proposition for a pre-teen because everyone in the "know" knew I had planned for those babies to all be biologically mine. The Mercedes was more a symbol of autonomy and abundance while my parent's marriage gave me no real incentive to engage in that

But look at me now! Five kids. Divorced. And a mini-van later...I'd say I'm well on my way!

I LOVE my life! 

...and, as an aside, an FJ Cruiser is more to my liking now. 



Hmm...that shirt kinda makes me look pregnant. 

7.05.2012

A is for...


ANDI

I'm 62" high except for the 1/4" that went missing somewhere in my youth while holding steady at a 117 lbs when wearing jeans. I know that jeans weigh roughly a pound after a baggage clerk at an airline recently informed us that one pound over would be an extra $50 bucks. Luckily, the trusty carry-on came through for that pair of Lucky's. 


I also have dark brown hair that is beginning to show signs of greying. I'm not one to color, sooo, I'm in the throes of making peace with my follicles. To soften this, the Universe had me run into this beautiful woman while paying the city bill the other day. Her hair was an amazing mix of black and grey and it looked rather smexy. I think it must have been a bit of her Mexican flair.  Attitude is everything "they" say. Nonetheless, I'm manifesting awesome hair or an organic hair salon in my future. 

My eyes have a strange color. My driver's license says Hazel but I was once pulled over by a trooper who said they were more Blue and teased that he could take me in for falsifying documents. Funny guy unlike the time I was actually getting my driver's license and learned what the term, "cop a feel" meant as the officer helped me with my seatbelt. He was not interested in my eyes. And he was not funny. 

Virgo.*

Oh, I'm also a recovering INFP. 

*Sept. 3rd